Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I'm feeling fairly short winded tonight. I have much on my plate and not a lot of time before I need to hit the sack. Here is a 2009 review. I'm just doing this quickly so please forgive me if I forgot something!


January: Nothing much happened. Work!


February: Abigail turned 1 year old. My parents came out for a visit.


March: March was fairly uneventful, except the last week ushered in a cold for Abigail that she would fight on and off for 6 weeks (or so).


April: We discovered that we were expecting another sweet girl in November. My due date was November 14.


May: We made a trip to Kansas and enjoyed a lovely stay with my aunt and uncle in Nebraska.


June: Another month of work and staying home.


July: We took a little trip to Michigan with Andrew's family.


August: My parents came out for a visit and we headed to Pittsburg at the end of the month for a family reunion.


September: At the beginning of the month, Andrew and I were able to get away for a little one night retreat. It was so nice not to have child duty for a night. I don't think I've slept that deeply since Abigail was born (or since that night).


October: I was getting large and ready for the baby to come. We took at trip (when I was 37 weeks pregnant) to Shaker Village in Kentucky. Andrew also had a business trip to New York this month.


November: On November 8, Elsie Joy was born after a brief and relatively easy birth. She was born in a birthing tub in Dayton. It was a wonderful experience. A few days after Elsie arrived home, Abigail became very ill with some virus and got her first antibiotic. My mom came to help out with the new baby. On the day she arrived in the area, I started to get very ill myself with a breast infection (not mastitis). It cleared up the day or two before she left!


December: December was filled with adjusting to a new baby, being at home with both girls, and getting ready for Christmas. The holidays were busier than I wanted them to be (what did I expect with two kids) but enjoyable, none-the-less.


I'm getting ready to write down some goals for 2010 and am going to set up monthly reminders on my calendar so this isn't just a one-time thing. Hopefully I will write about them and then at the end of the year, we'll see how I did! :)


I'll leave you with a picture of my sweet Elsie Joy giving me some of her first smiles.


Monday, December 28, 2009

Still Crazy!

Well, I still haven't taken the time to upload pictures or video from Christmas.

I took the time to sanitize my kitchen sink, counter, and fridge today. It was nice to get all that clean!

Abigail seems to have picked up another cold. I was just thinking how wonderful it has been that she's been healthy for six whole weeks now! A record! This cold doesn't seem to serious. Hopefully it won't develop into anything else. She's been playing and eating and drinking normally so hopefully she'll fight it off quickly (and NOT pass it to her sister!).

I feel like I'm on vacation this week since Andrew is off work. I made it to the Library by myself today. So nice! I'm hoping to make a JcPenney run later in the week (he has to work on Wednesday).

The most exciting thing around these parts is our new TV and Blue-Ray player. We bought ourselves a new flat-screen TV with some Christmas money and decided to get a Blue-Ray player since we can now play high-definition things. We were also thrilled to discover that our Blue-Ray player also can stream videos from Netflix, Blockbuster, and You Tube (it is hooked up to the internet connection in our house)!!!! Hello HOURS of entertainment for Abigail with the Happy Cow Commercials and Elmo videos on You Tube.

Actually, I'm only kidding. I really try to limit Abigail's TV watching to when it is only necessary (like when I'm in the shower) but it is nice to be able to watch those downstairs. I let her watch the ABC song with Elmo twice today. She was thrilled!

Also the TV streams Pandora Internet Radio. If you haven't heard of this, you're missing out. Andrew listens to it all the time anyway but it's nice to play it over our sterio system.

We're living it up! :)

That's all for now folks. Maybe tomorrow I won't be so lazy and actually get some pictures and video on here!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Whirlwind!

It has been a whirlwind of a week. We have had so many things to do and places to go. I got a new camera with my Christmas money so hopefully we'll have more pictures and fun stuff like that!

I hope to resume to regularly scheduled blogging soon!

Quick updates:

Abigail continues to amaze me! She learns new things every day. Tonight she said "Sorry Bella" to her cousin. It was so cute! She can almost say her ABC's by herself. She can count to 10 but still leaves out 4 and 9 so I'm not sure that counts yet. In January I'm going to look into some "curriculum" (of sorts) to work on recognizing words and beginning to read. This will definitely be a no-pressure sort of thing but she is interested so I figure - why not! Perhaps we should really start to work on recognizing her colors first.

She is also interested in the toilet but has yet to do anything in it. I'm not pressuring her there either. I'm just making it fun and letting it be her choice whether to go or not. She's still young and I don't want it to be something she fears. She sits on the potty (her choice) once a day or so, so we are moving the right direction.

Elsie is growing like a weed. She is smiling, cooing, and getting so big. She has yet to turn into a real decent sleeper yet. Perhaps I'm spoiling her because I'm being so lax on her sleeping habits. She is still sleeping most of the night in a swing or bouncy seat. I try to have her start the night out in her bed. She goes 4 or 5 hours for the first feeding and 2 to 3 for the second at night which means I'm still getting up twice a night. She is a remarkably easy baby, despite not sleeping much at night. She really rarely fusses, unless she gets hungry or gets hiccups when she's tired! I couldn't have asked for an easier baby. I'm so spoiled!

Okay - more later. I will update on Christmas and other such happenings!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Our World

Here is a word picture of what is going on in our world at this very moment:

- Abigail is in bed talking herself to sleep. So sweet!

- Elsie is sitting beside me in her bouncy seat with hiccups. So sweet!

- Andrew just left to go see a movie he has already seen with some family. (Yes, he has to work in the morning).

- I'm blogging.

- Our van is in the repair shop . . . again.

- My fridge is bare. I need to go shopping . . . but when and with 2 kids?! Yikes!

Chivalry is Alive!

My dear, sweet, loving husband got home from work last night at 9:45 pm.

He called me on his way home and I told him that our van was acting weird during the day (same problem as before - ugh!) so at 9:50 pm, before even setting foot in the house, he was under the hood, trying to figure out the problem.

The main reason why this is so important is that in our house right now we have no milk, eggs, juice for Abigail, veggies for Abigail, or fruit for Abigail (the last two she eats at each meal - most of the time). I MUST go to the store today!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I'm still here!

I'm still here. I wish I could find time to write more but my computer time is limited with little ones around.

I'm doing bedtime by myself for the 2nd time because Andrew is working late. And for the second time Abigail is throwing a fit at being put to bed. How does she know her dad isn't here? I don't get it.

Anyway, I'm trying to be strong and not give in and just let her stay up. I'm exhausted from a rough night last night (every member of my family woke me up, actually - including the dog and my husband) and I really could use a peaceful night!

I have a post forming in my mind about the change in my job status and what it is like. Hopefully I'll get a chance to write more soon.

Perhaps I'll get the chance to take a bath here in a few minutes.

Good night!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Day

What a different day we have had! We have had a wonderful day! I have a happy, bouncing, agreeable, loving, obedient (mostly) toddler today.

She didn't listen a few times when it came to the computer but after some correction, I think she got the message.

We had fun reading, singing, dancing, cleaning, and just hanging out today.

What a difference a day makes!

I also must add how thankful I am for my sweet baby, Elsie. Seriously, the child is a dream! She cries when she's hungry and occasionally cries when she's overly tired and can't settle down but other than that ... nothing! She's laying on my bed at the moment, wide awake and cooing to herself.

I think the Lord knew that I couldn't handle a high needs child and while I may regret saying this, at this point she seems to be pretty laid back and mellow!

I am so blessed with my wonderful family . . . husband and two beautiful girls. I do feel blessed . . . even during the tantrums! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What a day!

I was going to go into detail but now I'm just too tired.

Abigail has been a challenge today, being super happy and talkative one minute and then throwing a tantrum the next.


From hitting me and her sister a little too hard, to not eating her supper, to throwing a tantrum in each of the two stores we went into today, I know we've hit the "terrible-two" attitude stage.


In going through all of this, I know that it is just her age - that it will pass - that she's adjusting to a baby too.


My prayer is that I will be able to calmly guide her to realize that her attitudes and actions are sinful (I know she won't grasp this just yet). My prayer is that I will not react to her attitudes and actions just because they are embarrasing or annoying to me as a parent. I'm not sure that makes sense but I want my reactions to her as a parent to be guided by my concern for her heart and sinful nature and not guided by my own selfishness (being embarrased or annoyed). Hopefully that makes sense.
How can this sweet face be so naughty sometimes?

I love this girl more than anyone could imagine!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I've lost my mind!

This may not seem like a big deal to some but here's what I did last week (yes, I'm sharing my stupidity with you).

I have been working on writing thank you notes for people who gave us gifts for Elsie/Abigail or brought us a meal.

They are all written (thus far).

I put addresses and stamps on 1/2 of them and mailed them. I was still working on addresses for the other 1/2.

I realized several days after I mailed them that I only put $.41 on them and current postage is $.44. I also realized I didn't put my return address on any of them!

Ugh!

I also think I threw away the list of thank you's I had to write.

I attempted to recreate my list last night (at 3 am because I couldn't sleep thinking about it) and I'll have to write them all again, put postage on all again, and attempt to mail.

My main concern, however, is forgetting someone!

Yikes!

P.S. If any of you mom's have tips on how I can get my daughter to stop fake crying, I'd love to hear it. She's been doing it all morning. Completely fake but does it every 5 minutes. There goes the fake crying again. Hmm.

P.P.S. Here is what I have done so far this morning: fed baby, fed Abigail, made mexican chicken dish for crock pot, made rice, made two pecan pies, ate breakfast, unloaded dishwasher, reloaded dishwasher, read to Abigail, baked pies, hand washed dishes, fed baby, got baby to sleep in her crib (first time!), called guy about Sterling house roof, and blogged. I am getting ready to shower and hopefully go shopping this afternoon because it is such a warm day. I have to take advantage of it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

A New Day

After I got the girls to bed, things calmed down at our place last night. I only got up with Elsie twice (I've been doing that for about a week now) and Abigail was quiet as a mouse all night and slept until 8 am!

We've had a wonderful day already. I managed to get a shower during Elsie's morning nap (which is still doing on) and I actually exercised for a while! Abigail was fascinated by my workout video so I'm sure she'll start joining me soon. I held a baby during the last 10 minutes of the walking workout so it was extra good for me! :) Elsie was easily lulled to sleep by my movement.

Just wanted to say that we're fine but looking forward to Andrew's return tonight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And the day was going so well

I had a wonderful day . . . up to a point.

Abigail got home from her Nana's and we had a nice supper together, read some, and got her ready for bed. Andrew's cousin came over to babysit so I could go to our small group Christmas party tonight.

As soon as I said good-bye to Abigail, she had a complete melt-down. I have NEVER seen her cry and scream like that before. NEVER. Complete hysterics. I finally (after 15 minutes of calming her down) decided to try to leave anyway.

I got all loaded in the van and gave it 5 or 10 minutes to see if she'd calm down. I listened at the door and could still hear her screaming (she never does this) so I went back in.

The ONLY thing she wanted was to go with me in the "new car". So, I bravely decided to try to take both girls. She would not go to bed for me and she did not want to stay with Andrew's cousin and play.

After taking Andrew's cousin home, Elsie started screaming in the car and Abigail kept saying "home" so I gave up and just came home.

Abigail was fine once we got back and went to bed easily. I can only think that this was some sort of reaction to 1) not being around me all day, and 2) having Elsie get to go with me to the party and she didn't get to go. Anyway, it made my nerves SHOT!

Ugh, so much for feeling like I had this two-kid thing down. Not only am I disappointed to miss our young marrieds small group Christmas party but I feel like an utter failure as a mom. Yuck!

I MISS MY HUSBAND! Ugh!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

All Alone Again

Andrew is in New York . . . again. He was there two months ago as well. I never expected any travel when he took this job but things in the office changed and well . . . it's necessary now.

Instead of dwelling on all the things that could go wrong when he's away (and with two kids - yikes!), I'm planning some fun things to do for me and the girls (well Abigail anyway).

I want to say a big "thank you" to my in-laws who are keeping Abigail overnight tonight and some tomorrow. I can't wait to sleep in again tomorrow! Andrew left from here at noon today so I got to sleep in as well (as long as Elsie does) - which this morning was 9 am! Do you know how long it has been since I slept in until 9 am?! I was definitely before Abigail was born.

I also love getting the house all sparkly clean when he's gone. It's in pretty decent shape right now, actually. Despite having two girls to care for during the day, it's amazing just what being in the house does for me getting it clean. I have never really been home all day before (because of work) and by doing just little things, we can keep it pretty clean around here. The bathrooms need some work, and my desk area, but the rest of the house is clean. By clean I mean that Abigail and I actually dusted the living room the other day (and vacuumed!).

Okay, all for now!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Elsie Pie

My sweet little Elsie is 1 month old today. Hard to believe!

She is starting to come into her own. She is beginning to fight sleep a little bit (a trait she shares with her sister) and is starting to not fit in some of her newborn things.

Time . . . slow down! :)

Elsie and her wonderful daddy!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sleep Update

Last night Elsie ALMOST slept for 5 hours! She was at about 4 hrs and 45 minutes when she got hungry! She was in her swing. She fell asleep about 9:30 pm and unfortunately, I wasn't able to fall asleep until about 10:30 pm (something about my husband coming in and turning on the light at 10 pm and then tossing and turning for a while) so I have yet to sleep that amount but I now have hope it will happen soon!

She still has yet to sleep in her crib. I need to really try to work on that so she can get used to sleeping laying down. I'm really going to be very adamat about her napping in her own bed starting in the next few months. We had such a time with Abigail's naps until I really started insisting that she be in a bed for naps. I want to avoid that with Elsie if possible.


Speaking of, she's struggling with going down for a nap right now, so I'm going to try her crib for a while.


Enjoy the Christmas photo we took yesterday. We took a LOT of them, so I'll post more later!


Friday, December 04, 2009

Dearest Elsie Pie

Dear Sweet Elsie,


When your sister was born, she used to get letters from me all the time. However, mama is busy with two girls (and still recovering from all this) so this will be my first letter to you. Sorry for the delay!


I am so thankful that we named you what we did because it is so fitting! Elsie means "my God is bountiful" and indeed He is! He has brought overwhelming Joy (your middle name) to our life these past three weeks.


He is bountiful in so many ways and I want you to know that. I can see His mighty hand in our lives since you've been born. First of all, your birth was amazing (I'll post a birth story later). When you came home from the hospital, God protected you and provided healing for your sister so that you did not catch her bug.


God is bountiful in that He provided a way for us to be well cared for when I wasn't feeling well with my infection by allowing Grandma RoRo to be here. He provided a way for me to continue breastfeeding you and protected you from coming in contact with anything that would make you sick.


You light up our lives and bring us such joy. We can hear the joy that you bring to your sister when she says, "Elsie Pie". Our greatest desire for you is to know the joy of salvation that is only available through knowing Christ. That is our mission to you as parents, to guide you to know that sweet saving grace.


Last spring we were surprised to learn that you would be joining our family and I must say that was one of the greatest surprises of my lifetime (if not the greatest because we were planning for your sister).


I don't think words can properly express what a wonder you are to me and how much love you have brought into our little family.


I'll love you for always,


Your Mama!


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Home, home!

This feels like my first week to actually be home with the girls. With family in town, Andrew home, and lots of help before (and not able to do much), I didn't really feel like I was at home with them until now.

It's going great! We've had an occasional moment with Abigail and a whiny attitude but they are pretty much centered around food and/or nap time. Over all, we've been having a great time. I have even managed to get a shower or bath taken each morning! As long as I get Elsie to sleep and closed in her room (safe and sound where big sister can't play too roughly) then I am able to get ready.

Abigail is fascinated by me taking a bath. I usually have a little observer running in and out of the bathroom telling me that she's watching the Happy Cows (which she isn't really, she's in the bathroom), that I'm reading a book, that I'm taking a bath, that I need more water, etc. It's quite funny.

If I am able to get ready in the mornings, then I can use nap time (Abigail's nap time that is) for other things, like napping myself . . . or blogging, which is what I am doing now.

Eventually, when Elsie starts to sleep better/more/etc, I will probably try to get up and ready before Abigail wakes up. That might not be for a while yet, however.

Now, if I'm able to pull off getting all our Christmas shopping done before Christmas, we'll be good to go!

Here are some photos!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Still here . . . part 3

This is going to be short and sweet.


I have two reasons for that.


1) Elsie is asleep.

2) Abigail is asleep!


(Therefore, I should be sleeping!)


I'm alive. I ended up having to get my infected cyst drained (yuck) at the ER on Wednesday night. It had gotten significantly worse and I probably should have gone in sooner. Oh well. The draining itself was fairly tramatic, as the ER doctor pretty much did surgery on my left breast while I sat there and watched.


I'm fairly squeamish about these things too.


Elsie and Andrew were waiting for me in the lobby (they don't let kids into hospitals these days) so I was by myself for the procedure. After the drain was pulled on Friday afternoon, I began to feel much better.


The site is still very sore and hasn't healed yet but I don't have the stabbing pain or fevers that came with it before. The redness seems to be clearing up, although keeping a bandage on it is irritating my skin a bit. Oh well.


My apologies if there are tons of mistakes in this post. I am not taking the time to read over any of it because I need to be asleep!


Elsie is only sleeping in 2 (sometimes) to 3 hour stretches and this mommy is tired!


Here is a taste of the fun we've been having around here! :)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Still here . . . part 2!

I guess it is a good thing that I feel good enough to blog today, instead of just lay in bed.

I had two doctor's appointments yesterday. The first was actually for Elsie (who is 10 lbs now and looks great - doc said) at our family physician. I saw him as well since the pain in my infected area had increased and I had very strange temperature fluctuations. He didn't know what else to do for me, so he suggested that I go to see my OB/Midwives.

So after driving down to Finneytown to the doctor, I drove up to Vandalia to the other doctor - with baby in tow the whole time. Anyway, the midwife I saw prescribed a new antibiotic (that was $70!!!! - wowzers!), hot compresses, cabbage leaves, and lots of rest. She told me yesterday that if it hadn't improved by this morning, I was to take myself to the ER in Dayton (where they would treat me).

I didn't ask what they would do for me in the ER but I'm assuming some sort of surgical draining will occur.

This morning rolls around and my temperature has been consistently lower (between normal and 100) so I called the office to see if I could hold off a while. I got the okay from the midwife to not make a trip to the ER for another 24 hours - IF my temperature did not spike above 100 - or if they breast area did not get worse. However, if the breast area has not significantly improved in 24 hours, we're supposed to go to the ER - on Thanksgiving Day. A major bummer. I'm not sure how this will work with my breastfeeding baby.

This thing is like wearing a knife stabbed into my chest 24/7. It is difficult to do things like hold my children and get out of bed. Makes for one guilty feeling mama. I'm so tired of feeling bad at this point. There is no real comfortable position to sleep in. Sleeping on my back is probably the best, but still quite painful.

Well, I'm hoping for significant improvement in the next 24 hours.

We'll see.

P.S. What a HUGE blessing it has been to have my mom here. I have no idea how I would have managed without her here. She has taken care of Abigail constantly from the time she got here (which is when I started feeling bad) and has done lots of cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I am so incredibly blessed to have a mom like her and to have her here at this time!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'm still here!

I'm still here . . . barely.

On Friday, I started getting a sore spot on one of my breasts and then a cough along with it. It has progressively gotten worse and today my temp hit 102. I finally called the doctor and was prescribed an antibiotic for mastitis.

I may also have a cold, although I'm not sure.

I have to admit though, today I felt absolutely terrible. I haven't felt this sick in years. I remember having the flu right after we were married and I think that's the last time I have had a fever like this.

I'm spending much of my waking hours hoping and praying that I am not passing any bug on to any of my family members, although particularly the two girls. I have been very careful not to touch Abigail without clean hands (and Elsie too) but with breastfeeding, it is hard to keep my distance.

Ugh!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

This week!

This week has had its share of moments that were so much easier than I expected and moments that were way more challenging than I expected. Today is my second full day home alone with both girls. It really isn't going too bad. Here are the challenges that I had not expected ahead of time:

- How whiny Abigail would be! This is probably my biggest challenge. She is getting to the place where her verbal skills are good enough to be able to communicate what she wants. However, she still resorts to whining a lot of the time. I know this is just a phase but it is tiring. She doesn't do it in response to the baby really, just when she wants something. I'm not talking about when she was sick either. Whining while that sick is understandable!

- How hard it would be to have Abigail so sick. I hate it when my kid (now kids) are sick but it is even worse when you have a very new baby you are trying to keep healthy. Today is Abigail's second fever free day (I think - she was a little warm last night still) and so I think we're in the clear as far as contagiousness goes.

Here are the things that have gone better than expected:

- Even though I feel like I'm having a slow recovery, with a lot of pain and achy"ness" leftover from the birth, I'm still able to do lots around the house. Laundry doesn't take long and as long as I'm sitting down to do the folding, it doesn't increase my pain. I was also able to make dinner last night (heated up a frozen meal, actually) but that felt good.

- How much I love being home with my girls! I enjoy interacting with both of them and managing the business of the home. I'm looking forward to doing more and more of this when I am able to physically.

Since Andrew has gone back to work, it feels like my "materity leave" is over. Days of staying in bed, not cooking, not cleaning, etc. However, yesterday my mother-in-law took Abigail all day (she spent the night actually) and the day was quite restful and productive. I got a nap in, got to take a bath, did laundry, and cleaned out the dishwasher. All are big accomplishments!

I also keep forgetting that . . .

My mom is still coming to help!!! :) She is coming on Friday and I am so looking forward to her visit! I can't wait for someone else to help entertain Abigail and hold Elsie (I would say "when she is fussy" but that is a pretty rare occurance at this point). Hopefully with her here to help, I can continue to get some sleep during the day.

-----------------------

Elsie is still doing fairly well at sleeping. She had several 2 to 3 hour stretches last night, which isn't bad. The thing that makes the nights go so much better is when she goes back to sleep easily. When she cries for food, it takes me about 1/2 hour to do the feedings (both sides) diaper change, and swaddling. If she goes back to sleep right away, then I have only lost a little sleep and can head right back to bed. It's when, after that 1/2 hour, and I'm back in bed, if I hear her crying, I know it will take me a while to get her back to sleep.

Okay, sorry for writing a book. Most of this is just for my memories sake. I wish I had written more after Abigail was born so I'm trying to do better this time. I'll hopefully have more interesting things (like pictures) and well written things to post later!

----------------------

Oh, and P.S. For some reason I'm having a very difficult time keeping up with all the old blogs I used to read. I may have to go through them and only keep the people I know and the ones that are really interesting. I think I have 1000 unread blogs by this point. Yikes!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fresh Baby

video

I thought I'd share the video of Elsie's first few minutes of life. Obviously we didn't film the birth (if we did, I would NEVER share that in a million years - you all wouldn't want to hear me yelling) but Andrew went with Elsie after she was born and getting cleaned up and checked out, while I made my way out of the birthing tub.

Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm still here!

We've had kind of a rough weekend with Abigail. Her fever broke on Saturday but returned on Sunday and is still lingering today. I called her doctor this morning and he recommended an antibiotic. This will be her first antibiotic ever. I'm kind of sad. I wanted her to never have to have one, unless an extreme situation, but she is pretty uncomfortable and I really do trust her doctor, so I'll be picking that up later.

Today is our first full day home without Andrew. It is 12:20 and so far things have been great. I have really enjoyed spending time with my girls so far. Abigail was a bit of a stinker during lunch but the nap factor (and having a fever) was coming into play.

She has been so sick lately, so I am starting to suspect that her food allergies are playing a bigger role in her health than we previously thought. I have read some about how eating foods that are allergens can suppress the immune system, which would be one reason why she seems to catch every cold that comes along. I decided to try to eliminate one at a time and see if it made any difference. So, I'm starting with wheat.

She had oatmeal and pears for breakfast, a spelt muffin for a snack, and rice, carrots, and peas for lunch. I hope I can keep this up. It will definitely be a challenge! It will be easier once I am physically able to do more (like shopping trips). I'm still a little slow getting around.

Well, both girls are sleeping so I should be too. (What am I thinking. . . blogging during the naps?!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Daily Update

Boy, my titles are original. Ha! Oh well.

We survived the morning without Andrew. Actually, it went quite well. Abigail is feeling a bit better (more on this later) and so she played most of the morning. Instead of asking to go down for a nap like yesterday, she fought it with all her might today. I got a few loads of laundry done and emptied some trash cans.

Abigail's temp was around 100.6 all morning. The main thing is that she acted WAY better than yesterday. Her appetite is still pretty small but she played and enjoyed watching videos with me this morning. She didn't want to lay on the couch or take a nap. In fact when she laid down for a nap she kept crying and saying "play". Hopefully her body will continue to fight of whatever this nastiness is.

Elsie is still a great baby - except for sleep! I have been tracking her sleep since we've been home and the longest stretch was last night from 5:30 am until 8 am. Of course, I got up at 7:30 am because Andrew had to leave. Most of the time she wakes about every hour or 45 minutes to nurse. Lately she has been difficult to get back to sleep too. I will get her settled in her bouncy seat or crib and go back to bed and 5 minutes later she will be crying. She definitely has her days and nights turned around so I hope they right themselves soon! Last night was the first time that I really felt very overwhelmed and weary during the night. It didn't help that Abigail was up some too. Andrew was with her but I was still awake through it all. Thankfully I have done this before and know it will pass. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.

Okay, I'm off to nap!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Oh my! Part 2

Well, we are dealing with a pretty sick toddler at our place. She had a 100 degree temp when she got up and then proceeded to take a 2 hour nap (from 8 to 10 am). It was at 102.9 when she woke up. The main problem is that her doctor is not in on Thursdays and said they are also very busy tomorrow. Yikes! They suggested we get her checked at an Urgent Care, so we may be heading to one after lunch.

She feels miserable and has just been sleeping, not eating, and watching cartoons (which she rarely does) with Daddy this morning.

We are keeping the girls apart as much as possible. Elsie is staying upstairs today and if I have contact with Abigail, I'm trying to wash as thoroughly as possible before touching her.

My heart is hurting because I want to take care of both my girls but that's hard to do without spreading the germs. I'm so thankful that Andrew is home. Maybe we'll figure out what is up with Abigail later today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oh my!

The day started out with Elsie's doctor check-up. I'm happy to report that everything looks great. Her jaundice levels are fine, she is gaining weight back, and everything else checked out. We had a nice relaxing day at home following the appointment.

However, Abigail has been quite whiny and clingy and she felt just slightly hot to me tonight when I put her to bed so I took her temp. It was around 102. Yikes! She has been battling this cough/cold for a long while now. It's sad to say this but I hope it's just an ear infection or some other sort of infection and that she doesn't have a new bug. Poor girl.

We were hoping for a quiet day at home tomorrow but if Abigail wakes with a fever tomorrow, we may be making a run to see her doctor.

I am praying tonight that this is something very minor (maybe she'll wake up fine) and that if it is a bug, it stays away from our new little 3 day-old bug - Elsie. That wouldn't be good. She seems to have been slightly out - of - sorts for a few days now, with weird naps and a bit clingier, so she may have been running a slight fever for a while.

Well, I've got a sleeping baby in my chest and so I'm going to try to turn in early and get a bit more rest tonight. Elsie was up every hour or two last night so I'm hoping for a few good stretches tonight.

Goodnight!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Calm

Things were calm here today! My mother-in-law had Abigail most of the day, which really helped us to relax and sleep when needed! Thank you so much, Susan!

Here is a picture from today!


We had to have Elsie's jaundice levels checked today but the report back is that they are within normal range, so nothing needs to be done. That is wonderful news.
We had a very good day. Elsie had several awake periods where she just sat and looked around at us. So far (knock on wood) she seems to be a very mellow baby. She really doesn't fuss much, except when hungry, and has periods of time where she is just awake.
Abigail seems to be having a little challenge adjusting. She loves the baby and wants to hold and pat her but HATES it when the baby cries. She just howls herself, poor girl. I know she'll get used to it. She is cranky at some small stuff but this is a big adjustment for her.
Well, I'm going to go check on my little family now.
More later!

Monday, November 09, 2009

We're home

Jaime here:

We arrived home at 6:30 pm tonight. Elsie has already eaten twice and is sound asleep so I'm off to do the same. (I've already eaten as well). :)

Abigail is enthralled with her baby sister and wants to hold her hand, pat her, and hold her and gets very upset if she can't do that. We'll have to spend some time doing that tomorrow.

Elsie has to have her blood drawn again tomorrow to check her billirubin levels (jandice) because they think she might look a little jaundice. Hopefully all the eating (and subsequent pooping and peeing) will help her.

We'll post pictures, probably tomorrow, when things calm down a bit.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Elsie's First Pics




Welcome

Andrew here, Jaime is resting comfortably on the bed while feeding the girl. Oh, by the way, the new addition to the family is:

Elsie Joy Schechter
Born on 11/8/2009, 2:53pm
Weight: 9lbs 2.2oz

We arrived at the hospital at 11:10am, got checked into our room at 1:30 (due to a bunch of other people having babies at this birth center), and then pushed out a baby.

Elsie has been eating for 30 minutes straight, I guess it takes a lot to keep 9+ pounds going through the first few hours of (air-breathing) life.

I'll stop now, Jaime will post later, including pictures.

Is it time?

This will be short and sweet, depending when/if another contraction hits. However, I just wanted to write this down, since I can.

I woke up with a mild contraction at 2:30 am. I decided just to try and wait it out in bed so I spent most of the night waking every 30 minutes to a contraction.

I finally got up at 7 am and took a bath. I woke Andrew at 7:45 am to get Abigail (she was awake) and to tell him that I was having some pain.

He made french toast for breakfast and fed Abigail.

They still aren't real close together but are fairly strong. We sent Abigail over to the grandparents because she gets a little freaked out when I have a contraction and I need Andrew to time them (otherwise I could go somewhere else).

We'll see what the day holds!

Friday, November 06, 2009

I forgot

I forgot to mention that my belly is measuring at 41 weeks (hello - big baby!). The midwife said it is just an estimation and still within a normal range. I was told before that I had a lot of amniotic fluid and so that could also be the cause of this size of belly.

No wonder I feel SO HUGE!

39 week appointment

I had my 39 week appointment this morning. I'm actually not 39 weeks until tomorrow, but who is counting. :)

Everything looks good. I'm so thankful!

  • Blood pressure normal
  • No swelling
  • No weight gain (whatsoever- yeah!)
  • 3 cm dilated (2 cm last week)
  • Baby has now dropped and is engaged and ready to come. The midwife didn't actually give me what "station" the baby was at but from what she said, I would guess it to be a -1 or 0.

So for now, we wait until the little miss decides to come. The appointment took over an hour because she had to leave for a while to deliver a baby. I'm so thankful that my gracious mother-in-law could keep Abigail for me, so I didn't have to worry about her during the wait.

Today is also day #1 of my new job - being a stay-at-home mom. Who knows, this job may last years or may last a few months but I'm planning on enjoying raising my kids without being divided by work, while I can.

Here is a self-portrait I took about two weeks ago. We're going to try to take more pictures this week, with Abigail, if possible. At least I have these self-portraits, just in case she decides to come tonight.



Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

This is it!

No, I didn't title this post after the Michael Jackson movie (although it was very good). . . I'm talking about the fact that this is my last day of work.

Scary!

If I think about it too much, I get a little sad, such wonderful people here, so I'm just not thinking about it.

Anyway, I know I'll be back to help out and also I think I may join the MOPS group here, since one is not going at my own church, so I know I'll be around.

-------------------------

I was immensely blessed last night when the majority of Andrew's family came over and cleaned my house! Seriously! What an amazing gift. Now I can rest and get ready mentally (if that is possible) for the new baby without having to worry about my dirty house. There are still areas that need work (the kitchen! - hello!) but much of the heavy duty stuff is done. I feel like I am one of the most blessed mama's around!

--------------------------

I feel ready now to have this kid. Much of the time I feel like I want to go ahead an have her now. Everyone in my house is healthy at the moment - Abigail is on the mend from her cold anyway. She hasn't been up at night coughing lately (now that I say that she'll wake up tonight). I have a slightly stuffy nose but I've felt like this for weeks and nothing has come of it. I'm just packing in the vitamins and getting plenty of rest (and praying, lots and lots and lots!).

-------------------------

Thanks for taking part in my baby poll. That was fun - for me at least. I am looking forward to seeing who wins. I'm also tempted to give out clues about the name - perhaps one a day - but I don't know when to start doing that. I'll have to consult my husband on that one. :)

Have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Baby Poll

So, no baby last night . . . no contractions yet today. Yeah! :) I am taking mercy on my hips and legs and seeing the chiropractor today. I am in such agony at night that I wake up about every hour (seriously). The only thing that relieves the aches in my hips and legs is to get out of bed or to sit up, propped with some pillows. I do both . . . a lot.

Abigail woke up coughing at 5:30 am. Andrew took care of her (thankfully). The unfortunate part is that his alarm goes off at 5:45 am so he missed his last 15 minutes of sleep. He got her cough calmed down pretty fast, though. She slept until about 7:15 am.

I think it would be fun to hear from some of you when you think this baby will come, what her name will be, and how big she will be. So, please leave a comment! :)

Here is my guess/intuition: She'll be born 11/6/2009 @ 2:12 pm. 8 lbs 2 oz, 20 inches long. Ha! I'm not telling you the name though.

Oh, by the way. The person who gets the closest in all categories will win a lunch date with me and baby #2 (maybe Abigail) at the Red Onion (when we feel like getting out) or something of equal value (if you live far away).

Monday, November 02, 2009

Drawing Near

Today was the first day of my last week of work - make sense? Thursday is my last day. I'm trying not to freak out. I hope we made the right decision (I know we did) and that we can live on the meager little budget that I have put forth for my family(with his additional income being counted on).

Trust and faith . . . right?

In other news, Abigail's cold seems to be ever so slightly improving. She still has a nasty cough and runny nose. I am wondering if she'll have a cough until next summer. Seems like she's had one forever. Perhaps staying home with me will help that situation some.

She has also been fairly challenging lately especially when home alone with mama. The girl knows that her mama is physically unable to do much. She has been doing things that have always been off limits in our house (cell phone, remote stealing, etc) and is doing it with an attitude! She grabbed my cell phone from me tonight and when I asked her to bring it back, she yelled at me "no". Oh dear!

She got up a few times at night this past week because of her cough. Thankfully her daddy took those and I was able to stay in bed. I was awake but still it was nice not to have to trudge downstairs and do lifting and fetching of water and cough remedies. I really hope this clears up quickly for her. It would be nice to only have 1 baby awake at night.

The little baby? . . .

I had a few very mild and irratic contractions this morning at work. I was able to still work, think, type, and answer phones so I knew it wasn't the real thing.

However, I did stand up to take one call and . . . .whamo! I was hit by a huge contraction. I thought my legs were going to buckle. It was one of those that hurts clear to your knees. I was sweaty and shaky and it lasted about 1 1/2 minutes.

Then . . . it was done. No more for the rest of the day.

We never really know when she's coming. Contractions could start any time or it could still be weeks (please, please, please - let it still be weeks away - I'm not ready!).

I'm not ready. Babies are so much easier to care for on the inside. I'm not sure I'm ready (or will ever be) for the intense sleepless nights, marathon breastfeeding, and caring for a toddler all at once - and all the emotions that come with that. As uncomfortable as I am right now, being 38 weeks and 3 days, I know what is coming. Yes, a sweet precious baby (who I can't wait to meet) but also lots of work. So, for now, she can take her time.

When I think that she could possibly come tonight - I get very nervous!

Okay, I'm off for my regular bath and bed routine. I have noticed much more significant leg pain and cramps at night if I don't take a bath before bed. I won't get this luxury much longer (for a few months anyway) so I'm enjoying these nightly baths.

Friday, October 30, 2009

38 week appointment

I had my 38 weeks appointment this morning. A lot of the pressure I'm feeling is normal, the midwife assured me. I also have normal (but low) iron levels, so I'm just watching that. She made sure the baby's head was down and then she did check me (upon my request).

I'm already 2 cm dilated. It really doesn't mean much as far as when the baby will be born but I am glad to know that those 20 minutes of contractions the other night already got me to a 2. That's nice! :)

Abigail has a snotty nose and cough still but didn't run a fever at all. She was still a little cranky at times and is whining in her crib right now (bedtime) so we'll see if she goes to sleep soon. Her nap time was still pretty short today (1 hour). I tell you, this girl knows when it is her momma at home with her and just won't nap for any good length of time. She's taken a 4 hour nap before at the sitters house.

I did manage to sleep about 20 minutes while she was asleep. I'm hoping for a little longer rest time tomorrow.

I keep wondering how long I'll be able to do things (like grocery shop, pick up Abigail, etc) but I'm still going. I managed to get several things done around the house today. I took out some trash, cleaned up our room, did the dishes, grocery shopped, made beef enchiladas for dinner, and did some laundry. All in all it wasn't a bad day.

I'm going to see if there is any wiggle room in our budget from October. If so, I am seriously considering hiring someone to come clean, just for a hour. It would make a big difference!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sickness Update

Abigail thankfully still had no fever at bedtime. She is terribly snot ridden and cannot go a minute (it seems) without coughing. She had a very short nap but then wanted to play outside, so we did for an hour.

My main concern is that she's not eating much. I think it is due to her coughing but still, a few bites of things won't fill her belly. Maybe this will improve tomorrow.

We ended up putting her to bed around 6:30 pm because she was so tired. It's been a while since she's been in bed that early. She fell asleep easily and has been asleep since then. Yeah! (I'm off to bed very soon).

I'm contemplating making this the first night EVER that I leave the baby monitor on Andrew's side of the bed. He said he doesn't mind getting up. I wonder if I can really do it!

We'll see!

Ironic! I want my mom!

After I wrote last night's post, I woke up at 11:30 pm with terrible contractions. They lasted until about 12:30 am when I took a bath. I was still up for a while after that, just waiting for my body to relax.

On top of this, it would seem that my precious 1st born is now sick. She was coughing a little on the way home yesterday, then more in the evening, then she woke up at 10 pm coughing. I gave her water, Vicks, honey, and held her in my lap (not an easy thing to do these days) in the easy chair so she could sit up. The coughing eventually subsided.

Until . . .

2 am. I'm still awake from my bout with the contractions and I hear her coughing . . . a lot. I go and wake her up, give her whatever I can to soothe the cough and put her back to bed. She laid there and coughed for another 30 minutes or so but they seemed to be tapering off, so I let her sleep.

I woke again at 5 am with her coughing. I went down and checked on her but she was asleep so I left her that way.

I mean . . . seriously! Why this week does my child get sick? She had a slightly runny nose this morning, which could have been from the coughing, but no fever to speak of. Her temp was 99.1 and then 98.5 so it wasn't much.

So, if you're the praying sort, please pray that the #2 child will wait just a while to come out (so we can gather ourselves and be ready and healthy) and that #1 child will recover very quickly (and that it's nothing serious). Oh, and it would be very nice indeed for me and Andrew to stay well so that we can attend to the matter of giving birth to another child!

Yikes!

I want my mommy! (How am I almost a mother of 2? Impossible.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy!

I haven't blogged lately because I've been busy!! People at work are realizing that my last day is one week from tomorrow (yikes) so I am up to my eyeballs in tons of projects. I've been trying to take it easy but still working a bit from home on them.

I'm also taking care of myself by making sure to be in bed by 9 pm each night (although it's 9:15 pm now). I'm not usually sleep until 10 but that gives me time to read, relax, and put my feet up.

It's getting quite difficult for me to get around these days. The hardest time is in the mornings. I have been late to work everyday, I think. By the time I get myself up, showered, ready, dressed, breakfast made (which I eat in the car), I'm late getting Abigail up and dressed. Thankfully she eats breakfast elsewhere, or we'd really be in trouble. She loves to take her time in the mornings and play a bit. Unfortunately, at 7:15 am, when we have to leave by 7:20 am, that's not the best thing!

I'm beginning to have just a touch of swelling in my feet so I'm really trying to take it easy. I don't want them to freak out at the midwives office and put me on bedrest (with a 21 month old - that would be BAD news).

I'm so very very thankful that tonight is Andrew's last class. He has been teaching a class at IWU and tonight is the last one. He's usually home in an hour so I think it's safe to say I won't go into labor while he's in class.

I haven't had any contractions to speak of at this point. The baby is heavy and so there are a few other uncomfortable issues but if labor goes like it did with Abigail, I don't think this baby will be born for a while yet. Of course, each labor and child is different.

I discovered that the birth center has WIFI and I'm toying with the idea of blogging a bit during birth. We'll see how that goes. I just want the option. It may be Andrew doing more updates than me actually writing anything other than the word "ouch" but I think it would be neat to have a record.

We'll see!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yikes!

This YouTube video should make women think twice about "convenient" c-sections. I know many people have them because it is medically necessary however, recently I have heard quite a few stories of people having them because of unnecessary induction, because the doctor was going to be gone, or because the mom got "tired".



Just remember, there is more at stake from having a c-section than major surgery. When insurance is involved you never know what might happen!

Home

Sorry for the lack of creativity. My energy is currently being used to breathe, eat, and sleep. :) Oh yeah, I guess I can't forget clean, cook, work, grocery shop, laundry, etc.

We had a lovely weekend in Kentucky. I'm sure I'll post videos and pictures later. I am glad to be back and in my own bed, however. I slept much better last night, although still was up several times due to leg aches. I wish I had a solution for that. I'm going to try the chiropractor this week.

Well, I'd better get ready for work. I was late a few days last week and sent everyone into a panic, thinking I had gone into labor, so I guess I'd better not be late. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Choosing Where to Give Birth

If I had my choice of where I would give birth, I would so choose to give birth here:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20091023/od_afp/malaysiaairasiaairlineoffbeat

Okay, so I'm kidding. I would probably not choose to give birth on an airplane but free flights for life does make it sound quite appealing!

I preregistered to give birth at Family Beginnings this morning. I'm eligible to give birth there in one day. I'm 37 weeks pregnant tomorrow. Wow!

I definitely feel more settled having gotten all this done.

There are a few more things I'd like to do but aren't necessary to do before the baby comes (like get a haircut - make more freezer meals - etc).

My midwife appointment went very well too. I'm so thankful that some of the "problems" I had when pregnant with Abigail are no where to be found in this pregnancy. I haven't gained any weight in a month, my blood pressure is normal, I have no swelling, etc. Those were all concerns last time. I'm thrilled that I'm almost 20 pounds lighter than I was when I had Abigail (again . . . swelling issues). God has blessed me with an abundantly healthy pregnancy and I'm so thankful.

They were/are concerned with my iron levels (which I'm sure are low) so I had to have my blood drawn, but no big deal. I just need to remember to take my supplement a little more often.

Oh, last note of the day . . . the birth center has wireless internet now. I'm going to talk Andrew into taking the laptop and might attempt a blog to two during birth. Wouldn't that be neat? Of course, it might be Andrew blogging but still . . . Maybe I'd get more followers that way! :)

We're off to Shaker Village for the weekend (if we can find a dog sitter).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Reading and Llamas

Sorry about the quality of this video. I took it last night on the way home with my phone. Abigail's "reading" outloud was SO cute that I had to get a video. I was watching the road and not where my camera was pointed so I don't always have her in the shot. Then while we were driving along, we saw a huge pack of Llamas standing by the road. I believe they had gotten out of their pen. You get to see Abigail's reaction in this video. Of course, she calls them cows first, and then horses. The girl loves her farm animals, though.

Enjoy!


video

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Interesting Phone Call

I just received a phone call from our daycare provider. My heart jumped a little bit when I saw her number. I expected her to say "Abigail threw up" or "she has a fever". We know a few people close to us who have the flu. I know that it's generally mild and unavoidable but being 37 weeks pregnant would not be the most opportune time for me to have that in my house. (Although probably better than after the baby comes). Anyway . . .

However, she did not say any of those things.

Do you know what she said? . . .

"Your daughter has learned to take off her pants."

This statement, in conjunction with the fact that I know my daughter HATES having a poopy diaper (it is so time to potty train!), I knew what was coming next.

"I had to give her a bath because she had poop all over her clothes, the bed, her hair, and I think she may have eaten some."

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

(The child already has to wear onesies and pants everywhere so she can't get into her diaper. What is next, only overalls? Zip up, footed PJ's? Straight jacket?)

Yuck!

(To my future 16 year-old daughter, Abigail. I apologize if this embarrasses you. However, I'm still posting it because . . . it still happened!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stepping Out. This is faith, right?

I have to admit a few things to you today.


I'm scared out of my mind.


I'm a little scared of being a mother of two. I know there will be joyful times and I know there will be struggles. We'll get through and maybe even enjoy ourselves in the process.



What I'm really scared of is . . . .



QUITTING MY JOB!




Ahhhhh!!



Hello??!!!



I have always worked. In fact most of my adult life I have had more than one job. I've never had NONE!



The sermon we heard yesterday at church did not fall on deaf ears. It was about giving and stepping out in faith. Perhaps this is not how people usually think of giving; it is real to me that I'm giving up something that makes me feel secure (a job = financial income) for something I feel God is calling me to do (raise my kids).


While talking about this in the car on the way home with my husband, I was challenged that if this is where I feel called to "give" sacrificially (or give up is a more appropriate phrase) I need to be doing so cheerfully, as the Bible instructs.


Yes it is scary - way more scary than I want to admit (I LOVE security) but this is a time in my life when I need to practice my trusting skills. I need to trust my husband to do what he can . . . and is willing to do - provide. I need to trust my God to do what He can and is willing to do . . . - provide. I also need to trust myself, my money management skills to help us out.

Yet . . . it is the actual DOING part that is hard . . . The actual trust as go.

10 days left of work (or less if the baby comes early).

Here we go!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Things I've learned . . .

These are lessons that I have learned lately. If you want to know more, you'll have to ask me in person or privately. Explainations will not go on this blog. :)


1) I cannot please everyone. Now, I just need to learn to stop trying.


2) No one is going to take care of me like I will.

Happy Monday to all!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Teeth & Plea for common sense . . .

I just wanted to put up a quick post that Abigail has her bottom 2-year molars coming in already and I believe she's working on more. She has been super slobbery and the bottom ones are through already. I think they still hurt, though. Her chin and cheeks are chapped from drool but I have been treating those with coconut oil and they seem to be better.


However:

Let me simply conclude with this - if you read this and see my daughter, please don't stick your fingers in her mouth to feel for her new teeth.

Thank you! :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Pregnant" comments I have heard recently . . .

and I can't believe people would say some of these!

  • "Now, you're having twins, right?" - Umm, no.
  • My doctor said, "Wow, you have experienced substantial growth these past two weeks." (But I hadn't gained any weight).
  • "I was surprised to hear that you were pregnant but now that I see you, I can see that you are pregnant!"
  • "So, how much weight have you gained this pregnancy?"
  • "I see that your baby has dropped." - So why can't I breathe yet?!
  • "Just in this last week your belly has gone whoa."
Okay, so most of these I still find amusing but I can't believe that people comment on pregnant women at all! I am a pretty conservative person and am not a big fan of people taking particular notice of my body and pregnancy does not help that. It just invites people (how ever well intentioned they are) to just stare, comment, and ask! I was talking to one lady today who spent more time looking at my belly than my face. I mean, I understand the draw, but for a fairly self-conscious person, those things are just a touch embarrassing.

Also, my dear sweet husband keeps mentioning more kids. I warned him that if he is actually wanting to have a serious conversation about having more than two kids, he's better not mention it for a while. . . . at least the next 5 weeks and he'd probably be wise to wait 10 to 15 weeks to even say the words "more kids".

He should have landed by now at the airport (which I can see, thanks to flight tracker). It will be so good to have him home!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today . . .

Today, 29 years ago, the man who would make me a very blessed lady, was born!


Happy Birthday to my honey. I'm very sad you are not here today. We made it through night #1 with no incidents what-so-ever. I did wake up a lot because it just felt different in here!

We'll have to have a nice little celebration this weekend.

Knowing you, however, you aren't moping or sad or even thinking anything about spending your birthday away from your family. I'm sure you are making the most of your day and enjoying every moment.

Thank you for being my inspiration (as corny as that sounds, it's true) and a wonderful father to our child (and coming child).

Hurry home!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Special Day

I wanted to acknowledge that today is a special day.

It is my mother-in-law's birthday.

Susan,
Thank you for all you do to help me. Just knowing that you are there to help (especially in the coming weeks/months) brings a peacefulness to my heart that you wouldn't imagine. I hope you have a wonderful fun day and I also sincerely hope that Abigail was a good girl today! :)

Also, it is my aunt-in-law's birthday as well.

Happy birthday, Linda. We are looking forward to seeing you at Christmas. Not long now!

Tuesday

I did end up going home to rest. It was nice. I am now thinking that I had some sort of protein or blood sugar issue that made me feel that weird. Feel fine this morning. I'm going to start the day with a hearty dose of eggs and keep some food nearby, just in case.

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Quick letter to those of your related to my dear husband who live close by:

Dear family,

My apologies in advance if I call you in the middle of the night during the next two nights. I promise I will only do so if I am dying or having a baby. Thank you for being around. That alone makes me feel better!

Love,
The lady almost ready to have the baby (but not in the next few days)

Monday, October 12, 2009

This week

I can't wait until this week is over. The reason is because my husband will be gone to New York City (on his birthday) for a business trip. Ugh!

He doesn't really have a choice. He has to go. I just want this week to be completely uneventful. Abigail is actually at the babysitters this morning. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling that great. I won't go into details (I'll spare you!) but it all started with me not sleeping well, having a crazy morning with Abigail waking up coughing (still!), etc. I think I'm just worn out.

Andrew is telling me to go home and rest. I may just do that after I finish a few things.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Crazy Weeks!

The past week has been crazy at our house. Andrew started teaching another class, our sitter (or her daughter) has been sick, car repairs, preparing for baby, and general toddler craziness. Nothing major, just little things that make life a little more hectic.

Andrew is leaving next Tuesday - Thursday for a business trip to NY city. The way I'm feeling at this point, I think it is safe to say that the baby won't come during his trip. I had contractions and other "symptoms" for a week or two before Abigail was born, so I'm counting on the same thing happening this time.

If you want to find me in the next few weeks, you can look for me in bed. I really want to rest as much as possible and to cut out all the extra stuff. It's just a few weeks! Nobody will notice I'm gone!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ethical People Do Exist

I have shared a little on here about our "new car" as Abigail calls it. It's used but new to us. We bought it a few weeks ago on a Saturday. By Monday the check engine light was on and it smelled hot to me after I drove it. The temperature gauge was normal, however.

Andrew refilled the antifreeze during the week and that should have been our first clue!

By the end of the week, it was in bad shape. The car was shifting funny and making some weird engine noises as well. I took it to our local trusted mechanic on that Friday.

After diagnosing the car, it was concluded that the water pump was leaking (great) and that had caused the other problems. This was six days after our initial purchase of the van. I was bummed.

The mechanic ended up not charging us as much as he originally quoted (love that!). Andrew had the great idea to contact the previous owner to see if they had any knowledge of this issue and just to let them know about it and how fishy it seemed! We weren't expecting anything.

Well, long story short (ha, like I can ever tell a short story) - they appreciated our honesty because I told them the mechanics cut the cost for us and just honestly told them the cost for parts and labor, and they have paid us for 1/2 of the repair!

In today's world this is just inspiring. Someone is willing to take responsibility to help when technically and/or legally it wasn't their responsibility. We should have had the van checked before buying it (rookie mistake) but I'm so glad we bought it from upstanding and ethical people!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Long time!

I can't believe that I haven't written anything since Wednesday! Very unintentional!

Thanks for all the ideas for food. I will see what I get around to making in the time I have left. I at least have a few meals in the freezer and that makes me feel better.

I still didn't get around to making a meal plan for this week. I have some leftover soups (yummy, yummy, homemade tomato soup - my mom's recipe. And yummy, yummy, beef and veggie soup from Grandma M. - which Abigail LOVES) so we may be having soup and sandwiches a few times this week.

I managed to get the house in semi-clean shape this weekend. Of course, with a toddler, nothing is ever like I would really like it to be. I did get the downstairs bathroom, living room, and kitchen cleaned, so that is progress! I did some straightening up of our bedroom but it needs dusted, sheets changed, and vacuumed. I think I got a lot done because Andrew was gone to a training seminar on Saturday for most of the day.

We are getting closer to having Abigail's room done. I need to get some trim painted and then I think we're done for now. I really want to put some Wall Words up in her room but they seem so expensive. I can always add them later! Our goal is to have her take a nap in there on Friday, so we'll see how far I can get this week.

I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon (seeing the doctor, not a midwife) so it will be interesting to hear what he says. I had a bit of a painful weekend with lots of pressure and a few contractions (I think they are only Braxton-Hicks) but that may have been brought on by doing a little too much around the house. Andrew and I practiced some relaxation techniques last night (finally) and I need to keep it up!

Our biggest surprise of the weekend came last night when we were all just sitting around the house. Abigail was playing, of course. She ran into the other room (her bedroom) and in a few moments I heard her panicked cry. I waddled my way in there to find her standing at the top of our step stool. She was stuck and couldn't get down. Good thing the ladder wasn't in there! I didn't have the presence of mind to grab my camera but let this serve as a record that she's following in her daddy's climbing footsteps. Oh my!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Recipes and ideas!

Ok you cooking folks out there. I need recipes and/or ideas of things that I can freeze and have ready quickly and easily. Any ideas?

I'm really starting to run low on ideas of foods to cook for supper. The problem is that I love to cook and I don't like taking short-cuts or using boxed and processed foods. Well, that makes for one tired mama after making a meal. So, I'm trying to find things that are simple yet fairly healthy to make for supper. I'd like these recipes to be meals I can double and throw 1/2 in the freezer for the end of October, beginning of November, and after the baby arrives.

Tonight we had baked chicken, steamed broccoli with a homemade cheese sauce (yum!) and garlic bread (although Abigail had blueberries instead of the bread).

Another quick question, if I make a chowder (with cream or milk) should I leave the cream or milk out of the frozen portion and just add it when I'm reheating it or would it be okay to freeze?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Beyond Thankful

*Disclaimer: people are listed in no particular order.*

I am sitting here after quite a day. I won't go into many details (or try not to) but it consisted of getting ready with no electricity, finding out our sitter was sick so she was unavailable today, and spread to a few other things throughout the day.

There is one thing that I am so thankful for today, in the midst of all these annoyances . . . that is family.

I have NO idea how people can raise their children without the loving support of family both near and far. Let me explain just a bit . . .



You see . . . this is Andrew's mom. Not only does she take care of Abigail for us two days a week (and any other time we ask) but today when I called in a panic because our sitter was sick (and woke her up), she gladly took on another day of childcare and even came to pick Abigail up from me at work. Beyond that, she had us over for a yummy dinner tonight and does so frequently. All of this is such a huge blessing to me. I am always so thankful that Abigail is being cared for by loving family members and not having to do dishes or cook is a huge help for me right now. I love to see the wonderful things Abigail is learning from my mother-in-law who is a wonderful teacher. I'm hoping Abigail will learn the beautiful art of quilting, as our family has been blessed by many beautiful homemade quilts from Andrew's mom as well as learn the art of hospitality from her as well.

Let me explain further what I mean . . .



This guy, a.k.a. my dad, does live far far away in Kansas. However, his long distance support, interest in Abigail and joy when he does get to see her, mean the world to me as a parent. I love to see the way he interacts with her when he is here, or we are there, and how he wants me to go away (ha!) so that he can babysit. I remember his visit right after Abigail was born and how she was wearing a particularly tricky outfit (dress) and my dad managed to get her dressed without even a peep from her. He certainly has a way with newborn babies. I called him the baby whisperer!

And Andrew's dad (right side of the picture). . . how many times has he saved me from catastrophe. Let's see . . . there is the time he taped up my car window one cold morning because it wouldn't roll up. There's the time he drove my purse over to my house in the early morning because I had left it at a restaurant the night before (and they rescued it) and it had my car keys in it so we were stuck - not to mention all the mornings that he spends feeding Abigail breakfast and playing with her. Some of her favorite things to do are to water the plants with "papa" each morning. I also couldn't go without mentioning all the stuff he does to help out around our house.


And of course, my own mama. First of all, I am blessed by her, simply because she is my mom. I know that raising a quick-tempered, stubborn, selfish (whatever else applies) person like me wasn't easy but I learned a great deal from her gentleness and caring. Now that I'm a mom, she is the first person that I turn to for advice. If my daughter is sick, my first reaction is to sit down at the computer and email my mom for advice or give her a call. She is always there for an encouraging word and helpful suggestion. I am blessed beyond measure to know that I have her wealth of knowledge to lean on as a mother.

Do you see what I mean now? How do other people raise children without a wonderful support system like this? . . . And I didn't even get to the great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, great aunts, great uncles, cousins, etc, that give us help each and every day.

Believe me, I could type pages of ways that Abigail's wonderful grandparents help us out.

There is no way I can repay this kind of support and help to my family, except to say that you have my word it will be passed on to the next generation (and beyond).

The night I almost killed my dog (and weekend recap)

Our dog almost was murdered last night.

I got up 2:20 am to use the potty (as usual) and I heard whining. I thought it was Abigail but when I checked the monitor, I realized it was the dog all the way in the laundry room on the other side of the house. I took him outside to use the bathroom (yes at 2:20 am) and put him away.

In addition to Dewey's whining, I heard Abigail coughing in her sleep. She has had a minor cold this past week (no fever) but just can't quite shake it yet and has a lingering cough. I went into her room and actually woke her up (ha! payback, kid!). I had her drink some water and gave her a homeopathic cough syrup and let her sit (sleep) on my lap for a while so she would be sitting up. When her coughing lessened I put her back to bed and headed back to my own bed. The dog was still whining.

*A little side note: do you know how precious it is to hold your sleeping toddler at night? I think I could become addicted to going in there and waking her up and holding her. Why will I be annoyed in a few months by the amount I will have to be up at night with the new baby? Maybe I'll be able to remember to cherish the time because pretty soon they don't even wake up when they cough!*

Anyone looking for a new pet?! :)

__________________

The rest of our weekend was great. On Saturday morning we all headed to IKEA. Our main objective was to buy a second crib. This will be used by Abigail until she is ready for a big bed. She's NOT ready yet. We got the crib and a few other small things.

In the afternoon, during her nap, my sister-in-law and I worked on painting Abigail's bedroom downstairs. I'm thinking that 33 weeks is about the cut off for climbing ladders but I made it up and down our step ladder and will have to do it once more to finish up. However, we made great progress!

We had a lovely supper and enjoyable evening with family until Abigail had a melt-down over a purse. She wanted to play with the name-brand purse and not the cheap knock-off we wanted her to play with. I think her daddy and I are in trouble!

We had a lovely Sunday. The sermon at church was especially good and it topped of the day when the Bengal beat the Steelers. I actually watched the whole game. :)

The only other bummer news I have is that our "new van" is sick. It was acting funny and smelled hot while I drove it last week so I took it into the mechanic last Friday and we have to replace the water pump and a few other small things. Needless to say, that was not good news. Hopefully we'll get the fixed and be on our way with a nice reliable van.

Countdown is on, only six more weeks of work for me (weird!) and seven more weeks until my due date.

Wow!

Friday, September 25, 2009

For my memory - 33 weeks

Just so I can remember this pregnancy in the future (after all, this is my only journal and record of life - yikes!), I'm going to write a few things down:

I'm almost 33 weeks (tomorrow) and my feet are swelling already. I was hoping to avoid that this time. Ugh! I think they started about this same time with Abigail. I'll have to look back on the ole' blog.

Thankfully no painful carpal tunnel this time. I hope it doesn't show up but I don't have much time left. I struggled with it most of the pregnancy with Abigail.

Starting to feel panicked about the birth. I think Andrew and I have done relaxation exercises once. I must take the initiative and do them myself! Every.single.day!

I'm going to do my best from here on out to say "no" to things. I need (for my sanity and my strength) to rest more. Abigail goes to bed by 7:30 each night so I need to be resting after that! I've lost a little of my grip on what it is like to have a newborn.

However, her room is still not done and hasn't been worked on in weeks. Maybe I can put in an hour on Saturday to do some painting.

I have started to pack a bit. I just have some nursing clothes and a night-gown that I wore for Abigail's birth in a suitcase. I have a few small toiletries that I need to throw in as well.

I need to wash baby clothes (yikes, I have so many) but I have no place to store them since Abigail is still in the upstairs room. I think there is one drawer free.

Ok, that's all my ramblings for the day. Hopefully I'll get some of the cute videos and pictures on here soon.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Morning Conversation

I had a phone conversation this morning that went something like this:

Lady: Hi, I'm from out-of-town and plan to attend your church (*note: the church where I work, not where I am a member) this Sunday and I have a few questions.

Me: Okay, great. What can I help you with?

Lady: I see communion will only be at your late contemporary service and I need to take communion this week. Is your service ultra contemporary?

Me: I'm not sure what you mean by that. There are modern praise songs played with guitar, piano, and drums, but there is still traditional liturgy included in the service.

Lady: Okay, so it's not all that hand waving junk, then?

Me: (*At this point, completely at a loss for what to say.) I actually don't attend this church so I'm not sure if anyone raises their hands in worship or not.

Lady: Oh, okay. Can I just come and take communion then?

Me: (*Closed communion and I have NO authority to tell her yes so I say) I think it would be best if you spoke with our Pastor. He's in this morning.

Lady: Okay

Call transferred!

I'm just baffled. Of course this is coming from me who sang this song in church on Sunday. Enjoy!




I love thinking about "Oh how He loves us" - All of us!

All of us! And I'm so thankful that He does!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Random Things

I tire so easily these days. I came home last night (after work) made supper and cleaned up the kitchen a bit. After putting Abigail to bed I headed for the grocery store. It was nice to take my time. After I got home Andrew and I watched our daily dose of Battlestar Galactica. It's been fun to watch these with Andrew (no . . . I'm not usually a SciFi fan so to answer the other question going through your mind, yes . . . I love him a lot). I was almost asleep on the couch by the time the show ended at 9:15 pm! :)

The new van is great. I have enjoyed listening to Abigail saying "new car" when she sees it. Quite fun!

Speaking of things she is saying, the girl has just been booming with new words and even phrases. She will now repeat almost everything we say. I kept trying to put a clip in her hair yesterday and she finally pulled it out one last time and said "mama hair" so I stuck it in my hair and she was as happy as could be and excited that I understood what she meant. :)

She also loves to talk to the dog. Every day she says "Dewey sit, Dewey stay, Dewey no, Dewey food" and LOVES to feed the dog. She can almost feed him by herself except she can't always lift the full bowl of dog food from our container. Someday soon we'll be adding that to her chore list! :)

She also loves to pat people. It is so sweet and funny. She'll say "Pat Dewey, Pat Mama, Pat Dada" and then come up and pat us. She also loves to "pat baby" so I hope she helps me out with that. :)

I'm already packing for the hospital. I figure that it will just be less for me to do later. Of course I only have two things in the bag.

Okay, now I need some suggestions for things (if you would, please):

1) Relaxing songs! I made three CD's for my labor with Abigail. Now, she surprised me a bit by coming 3 days early and the CD's weren't packed in the bag so I didn't have them with me at the hospital but I used them afterwords. I am planning to burn some CD's NOW and put them in the bag NOW so I'll have them in the birth center but I need more relaxing song suggestions. Those old CD's are just that . . . old.

2) Names! We are still at a stand-still with names. We just can't find a name that we like.

3) Good books! I haven't read a really good book in a while and I'm dying for one. Actually, I'd love to have a stack of good books for the early newborn days. I definitely won't have time to read during the day but with Abigail I read a lot during nursing and it helped to keep me occupied! :)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Mom Car

Guess what we bought this weekend? A van! We've been looking for one since June and the right one just happened to come across our path (actually we found it on autotrader.com but it seemed just right for us). It's a little smaller than normal but I like that. It seems easier to drive to me. It was 100,000 miles, leather seats, 6-cd changer, and all the windows work! Yeah! I'm happy.


I am excited to have a new (ok, used) vehicle but I did LOVE my little Camry so it will take some getting used to. I also really hate spending money, lots of money, but I guess that I should consider myself blessed that every time we need a vehicle the money has been there for us to pay cash. We don't always have it in the budget to save for a car (and should) but it has worked out so far. Yeah!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blast from the Past

I really need to go wake my daughter up so we can go to my midwife appointment but I'm blogging instead. I think I can still make it on time. :) I hate to wake her up if I don't have to. Anyway, these pictures are from our Hawaii trip last year. Just look at how precious my little girl was/is.

I'm definitely feeling excitement that I get to have another one of these. Sure, it may take six-months for that cuteness (and sleep) to happen but, oh well.




Thursday, September 17, 2009

Preparing for a Newborn

This is a very sensitive subject for me but I was inspired to write a little about this from another blog I read. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only mommy who felt this way (actually about 80% of this bloggers polled felt the same way I do) about newborns.

Let me start this off by saying how much I love my daughter. I would not have wanted to miss one precious moment of her sweet life. I love being a mommy to her (at any age).

Ok, having said that, let me just begin by saying that I found the newborn stage to be the most confusing, stressful, painful (emotionally), tiring, and all-consuming phase (although very sweet at times).

  • Perhaps it was because I had horrible first-time-mom syndrome and didn't know what to do with that screaming infant.

  • Perhaps it was because I had a difficult labor and was already exhausted when we got home.

  • Perhaps it is because I try to be sensitive to my husband's sleep issues and take the night-time duty by myself so he doesn't have another reason to wake up.

I needed someone to say to me "yes, this too shall pass". I did get that when my friend Bridget came to visit me. Abigail was napping and Bridget and I sat for a while and chatted. I don't think she had any clue that she was saving my life (metaphorically, of course) but she was. Her son is two months older than Abigail so she had just been through it. Remembering that conversation makes me feel teary even today!

So . . . by the way . . . it does get better! And quickly!

Thankfully I read this blogger's post today and she said that while preparing to have her second child, she braced for the rough newborn stage and said . . . it wasn't bad at all.

Oh my goodness, I cling to that hope and I pray it will be true for me as well.

I'm sure it will be different because well . . . I have been there before. I have had a newborn. I know what they're like. I'm a seasoned breastfeeding mama (17 months of it!). I also know that I have a toddler to take care of as well.

Here are some things I plan to do differently this time to help in the first few weeks.

  • #1 - Not sleep in the easy chair!!! I slept with Abigail up on my chest in our easy chair for far too many nights the first two weeks. Very uncomfortable way to sleep, especially after giving birth. Ouch!

  • #2 - Get her to sleep by herself, preferrably in a crib (with a swing and bouncy seat for backup) from the first day. This will only help in the long run. I felt absolute panic when Abigail was 5 weeks old when my husband said she needed to start learning to sleep (he was right of course). Really, it was very smooth (for her, NOT for me) and so I need to start as I mean to go on.

  • #3 - I will not co-sleep with her. I didn't do this often but occasionally a night would get so long that I would plop down in the single bed in her room and just snooze away while breastfeeding. I was never comfortable, she was never comfortable, and it just got to me (mentally). *See below.

*I would wake Andrew (accidentally - of course!) many times during Abigail's first few months because I would be dreaming that she was in bed with us and I'd think we were smashing her. I would be frantically feeling around the bed for her and end up patting his head. Poor guy!

  • #4 - I will ask for what I need. This is tough for me. I usually just like to do for myself, especially at night. I can count a handful of times that I actually woke Andrew up to help me. One was the first night Abigail was home. She was cranky, her tummy was rumbly, and I was clueless! Another time was when she had the 104 fever and had vomited everywhere. I knew that I needed other parental support to decide if an emergency room run was necessary and I wanted him to clean up the throw up!

Having said ALL of that. . . (bless you if you're still reading) . . . I'm still thinking about hiring a postpartum doula. Will I actually do it? Probably not because way down deep inside, I'm cheap when it comes to things like this!

Wouldn't that be nice though? A person there a few hours a day who is there to only oodle over me?! Sounds glorious!

Picture this: painting nails, getting back-rubs, getting spa treatments (hello facials), cooking me whatever I want to eat, watching movies together . . . and I realize I'm being delusional!! By the way, in my day-dream I can smell lavender! :)

Those are my thoughts. If I'm a bit discombobulated in the six weeks between November 14 (or whenever she's born) and Christmas, please just look the other way, I will have a newborn (and a toddler). Yikes!