Tuesday, January 29, 2013

to remember a few things

A few hodgepodge details I want to remember years from now.

- E won't say water.  She calls everything "milk" or "juice"  I can ask her to parrot any word and she will try - and then I'll say "can you say WA-TER?" and she'll just look at me, smile, and shake her head.  When we're brushing teeth, she asks for more "milk"  When I turn off the bath water, she points to the faucet and cries "Miiiiilk!"

- Just this week, E has started calling me "mum"  I have no idea where she got it, but it is very clearly not "mom" or "mama" or the "mommy" that she used to use.  She still says the others some, but most of the time - at least this week - it's been mum.  And, you know?  It's really cute.  She had a really really great weekend with no real tantrums and she was cuddly and helpful and cute.  When I walk into a room, she cheerfully says "Oh!  Hi Mum!"  or when she was helping me put away groceries - she brought over a bag of apples and said "Here mum! Here da Bapples, mum!"  really cute.

- Relatedly, I took them to target a few days ago, and I let them get whipped cream in a cup as a treat from starbucks (mix with chocolate powder and whole milk - it's a free milkshake!)  Abby has always called it "ice cream" But, because it's in a coffee cup, E calls it coffee.  At one point, she tipped her cup over and says - loudly - "Oh no Mum! Me Coffee!  Me Coffee spiwwed Mum!"  It was funny.

- She's a little obsessed with coffee.  Not drinking it, of course, but she gets really excited about identifying it.  So, if Kyle and I make coffee at home, or if we get it at a restaurant - she excitedly says "Coffee!  Dats coffee!  Hot? Dat's Daddy's Coffee?  Coffee hot?"  And we'll let her feel the cup to confirm that, yes, it's hot.  I gave her a teaspoon taste of my coffee last week for grins and giggles.  She tasted it, and - to my horror - started smiling and nodding her head.  But, after swallowing it - she frowned and shook her head and said "no" I asked her again if she liked it and she confirmed "no. no coffee" *whew*

- Abby said the other day that if we have a boy, we can give him to Jen (nanny).  When I pointed out that she would have a lot of fun teaching him things, she said "I can only teach girls, mom.  I can't teach boys anything!"

- We are hosting playgroup this afternoon and Abby is very excited.  I just got a report that she won't play with any of her toys because she wants to "keep things nice for my friends"

- Yesterday, I asked Abby what she wanted to be when she grew up.  She said "A garbage collector"  When I asked her why, she didn't miss a beat before responding "Cause I like the stinks"  What in the world am I supposed to do with that?  Other than laugh, obviously.  I like that "stinks" is plural.  She will make a fine garbage collector one day.

- E calls Abby "Babby"  and we sometimes catch ourselves doing it too.  Abby likes it when E says it. She doesn't like it when mom and dad say it.

- E loves to play with things that Abby is playing with, naturally.  She also likes just playing with things that are Abby's.  If Abby comes over and tries to take it back - then E gets aggressive and pretends like she's going to bite Abs (she's not going to actually do it - but it makes Abby let go so quick, that E knows it's her most effective strategy)  BUT - if Abby is sad about not playing with something - if she is hanging her head, pouting, or crying....E can't stand it.  She always comes over and gives the toy to Abby and says "here ya go babby"  It's sweet.  So far, Abby doesn't seem to realize she could manipulate this.

- Abby is at the age of wanting to understand everything and wanting to be included.  It is commonplace for her to interrupt me or Kyle while we're talking with an annoyed "WHAT are you guys TALKING about??"  So, we're working on manners that revolve around waiting your turn and not interrupting - but once we explain what we were talking about - she's satisfied.  I kinda like that she wants to understand.  I remember feeling that way as a kid, too.  Listening to my parents talk and feeling frustrated that they weren't talking on my level.  It's tough being a kid, sometimes.

- I've now taught E that my belly is synonymous with baby.  I'm 100% certain she has no concept that there is an actual baby in there....but, she will "play along" and hug my belly, pat it, kiss it, or poke it and say "baby!" or "hug baby!"

And now my lunch break is over.  I'll write more later :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


We are, officially, halfway through this pregnancy.  That seems strange on several levels.  Mostly because I know the second half is when you look and feel pregnant - everyone knows your pregnant and all the baby naming and planning and dreaming start to take a stronger place.  So, in some ways, the 20 week mark feels like the start of a pregnancy.  In other ways, of course, it feels like I've been pregnant forever.  September was a long time ago.

At 20 weeks, I'm feeling good.  Our last ultrasound showed that baby looked happy and healthy and so while we will continue to get growth checkups due to the 2-vessel cord - there's nothing much to worry about now.  Baby kicks are only getting stronger.  I started feeling them around 15 weeks this time.  By 16 weeks I was sure of it.  But this baby never really gave me "flutters" that typically come before kicks - the very first time I felt him/her -it was a kick.  S/he's a strong one.  At this point - they are regular, strong, but not yet bothersome happy little reminders that there is something growing in there.

I've managed to avoid maternity clothes so far.  Oh how things change from baby #1 to baby #3.  I remember being 16 weeks pregnant with Abby and being SO excited that I was finally big enough to wear maternity jeans.  For real.  16 weeks.  I learned from that experience, and didn't put on the additional elastic until 20 weeks with E.  So, I'm happy that I'm still wearing my regular clothes with this one.  Admittedly, they're modified now.  My favorite jeans still fit - but they no longer button.  So, I'm using hair-ties to band things together for a little while longer.  And I'm wearing more and more dresses. I started this pregnancy 10lbs lighter than I did with either of the girls - so I'm hoping that will help me avoid pulling out my maternity wardrobe for another week or two.

Most of the cravings (salty and briny things) that I had to some degree early on are all evened out now. I had previously lost my appetite for sweets, but I think I'm back to normal now.  I don't crave anything in particular most days, I don't hate anything either.  But, I will say - when I need something - I need it Urgently.  If I'm dehydrated - I need water NOW.  If I suddenly decide that chips and salsa has to happen - It's all I can think about until it does.  And the feeling you get after you satisfy those random cravings....so wonderful and totally worth it.

We still haven't opened our gender envelope.  I still want to.  Kyle is still on the fence.  So, we'll see.

I do have a list of names in my head that I'm eager to compare to Kyle's name list.  Although, there are admittedly a few that I really really love and I'm afraid to share them because I'm afraid they'll be rejected too quickly.  So, I'll hold off until Kyle has shared his lists first and we'll cross our fingers that there is common ground from the get go.  I think coming up with a boy name will be easier as we've not used any yet.  A girl name will require more brainstorming...although, I certainly have some ideas ;)

Abby is very excited about the baby now.  She's been talking a lot about giving things to the new baby.  "Mom?  These shoes don't fit me anymore, so I'm just going to save them for the new baby"  She also is 100% convinced that the baby is a girl and refers to "her" as such consistently.  When we ask her "what if the baby is a boy?" Abby just shrugs her shoulders and says "I dunnnnoooo..."

I kinda feel the same way ;)

I worry about Elizabeth.  Sweet E who will now be the middle child.  Elizabeth already has a difficult time sharing me.  If I tickle Abby - E runs over saying "Meeee tooooo!  Meeee tooo!"  Same goes for hugs or games or any attention.  To be fair - if I'm tickling E, Abby usually runs over and asks to be next too.  But, Abby is older and better at waiting.  E is not.  I worry that she's going to have a hard time after the baby comes with all of that.  And while, I know that it would 1) be normal and 2) pass with time - Abby had such a smooth transition to big sister-hood that I worry about being ill prepared for helping Elizabeth through it.  

But, then one day - they will all be playing and laughing and plotting against me and I'll think "this is perfect"

In truth, I am very excited about having 3.  With the moments of sheer panic and worry aside - this feels so very right.  I can just tell, in my heart of hearts, that this was absolutely the way things were supposed to be.  3 is going to be perfect....messy and loud and stressful and crazy perhaps....but perfect.

Friday, January 18, 2013

morning ramblin'

I have a few minutes before my  next thing, so I thought I'd try to write for a second.  I don't have anything in particular to write about - so, let's' start with the girls.

Elizabeth is getting to be less and less of the baby everyday.  Her increasing toddler-ness is ever present.  Her vocabulary expands constantly, she can do things on her own increasingly often, her hair even fit into a ponytail this week.  :)  She's just getting to be so big.

She's a really funny child.  She's always trying to make us laugh and usually has Abby in a fit of giggles over something or another.  She's also far more stubborn than Abby was at this age - at least according to my memory.  This is the age where she is learning that sometimes the answer is "no" even after you ask for something so nicely and say please so sweetly.  She's not very good at handling those rejections yet. Typically she pouts, sometimes she stomps and crosses her arms, sometimes she melts down.  Luckily, redirection isn't usually too difficult - but I'll be happy when this overly dramatic response to the smallest slights phase is past us.

E is still really into her trucks - she got lots of transportation toys for Christmas and she plays with them most often.  Every night she asks to sleep with her truck book, but we've managed to keep them on the shelf for now.

Now that she is *finally* getting over her cold/cough - E's appetite is back.  She's a great eater most of the time.  She's learned to get out of her high chair pretty easily since we took of the tray attachment and just pushed her up to the table...but we're working on it.  Usually the threat of a time-out for standing in her chair or crawling out is enough to keep her in it.  If she does get a time out - she responds well.  Knock on wood, she's never tried to get out of the corner...it's a matter of time, I know - but for now - I'm happy that the time outs are enough discipline for her.

Of course, the thing E loves more than anything in the world is Abby.  She calls her Babby.  And I'm pretty sure the feeling is mutual.  E will follow Abby anywhere - but a lot of the time, E is the one to instigate the game or activity with Abby. E has always been more assertive and physical than Abby was at the same ages.  Watching them play together is the best thing in the world.  I can't think of anything better. And Abby is so good with Elizabeth - she loves teaching her things and showing her things.  This morning, while they were brushing teeth, I heard this exchange:

Abs: "Hey E, can you say Battery?"
E: "Baary"
Abs: "try again.  Bat-er-ee"
E: "Batty"
Abs: "How about we try it in Spanish.  Can you say Battery in Spanish?"
E: "Barry n spash"
Abs: "Great job!"

The conversations they carry on amuse me to no end.  We told the girls a few weeks ago about how they would be sharing a room once the new baby came - Abby was very excited about the idea.  She instantly went on and on about how they would stay up all night talking and talking.  I have no doubt they will.

In baby news - I had another ultrasound yesterday to double check for spine and heart abnormalities.  The doc said everything looked great.  So, I don't have to go all the way to Children's now to get the fetal ECG done.  And I'm just fine with that.  I'll still get monthly ultrasounds to check growth due to the 2-vessle cord, and they'll continue to keep a special eye on the heart and spine just to make sure things continue to look good - but I'm not worried about it in the least.  Yesterday's scans were kinda fun because I could see the baby jumping around on the screen AND feel it at the same time.  Pretty cool.

The gender-envelope is still un-opened, but I still plan on opening it at some point.  Just gotta convince Kyle that we should and figure out how and when.  I think the idea of accidentally finding out again (they accidentally told me E's gender at 38 weeks) is one reason I'm so motivated to find out the gender this time.  It's less of finding out if it's a boy or a girl and more of - I want to find out on my own terms. I told Kyle that if they slip and tell me again on accident before I open that envelope - that he loses all rights to opinions from here on out.  ;)

All righty - time to get back to work.  I'm so glad it's Friday and there's a 3-day weekend ahead of me.  So. glad.

Monday, January 14, 2013

iphone picture dump

Just a random bunch of pictures from 2013 :)

Abby asked if we could put out a fire.  I though this was the safest way to do that.  
She had fun :)

The girls at work with me for day #2 this year.  Movies, popcorn, suckers, toys - working is FUN! 

airport family :)

baby #3 - most recent ultrasound

Abby got a Tag Reader and loves it - I love it, too.


Abby made *quite* the tea party for her friends a few days ago.  There was a lot going on. 

American cowgirl fairy PJ girl

Armstrong hair...sorry kid. 

Abby is way into puzzles lately - it's so much fun to watch her figure it out :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A month late - Abby's birthday interview

I've wanted to start this tradition for a year or two now, but am just now getting around to it.  I borrowed these questions from interviews my other December Mama friends used with their kids.  I hope to do a birthday interview every year...I think they're a lot of fun and make a great snapshot of what life is like right now - at 4 years old. 

What is your favorite color? Blue

What is your favorite toy? Trains. I like watching shows and riding Bucky (Abby and E pretend that our rocking/recliner is the pirate ship from Jake and the Neverland Pirates) and going to museums and to play tokens

What is your favorite fruit? Um...Yogurt! And Berries...blueberries

What is your favorite TV show? Gaspard & Lisa.  

What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  A sandwich. And PB&J sandwiches and Turkey sandwiches

What is your favorite outfit? I like dressing up as a sheep and a ballerina and I like my star clothes (shirts with stars on them)

What is your favorite game? The hardest game in the world. (what's that?) It's from Gaspard & Lisa.  And I like Car games - it's called the car game magic flying game. 

What is your favorite snack? green beans.  yogurt

What is your favorite animal? birds and giraffes and elephants

What is your favorite book? Dinosaurs (Oh My, Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!).  Unicorns.  And my chuggington book.  And the lullaby book.
What is your favorite song? (singing) twinkle twinkle little star....(sings whole song) 

Who is your best friend? Ava, cause I love to play bellyache (what they call playing doctor) with her.

What is your favorite cereal? cheerios

What is your favorite thing to do outside? feed the birds and hang ornaments on our house

What is your favorite drink? Juice and milk and water

What is your favorite holiday? Halloween because I LOVE eating candy

What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My dog snowball, and baby, and doggie and Lamby and Sunshine and Ferdinand

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? oatmeal

What do you want for birthday dinner?  Oooh!  A special surprise!  cake and cupcakes and cookies.  some some special oatmeal and green beans and soup and marshmallows and round donuts

What do you want to be when you grow up? all kinds of things! Like a driver and a garbage man and to drive cars and to drive a train and to live at a farm and to go somewhere and to go to a restaurant and order by myself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

do-over Tuesday

It's important to have bad days.  Right?  That way you appreciate the good ones.  That's what I kept telling myself yesterday.

To start, I have a cold.  I don't know if pregnancy colds are worse than regular ones, but you can't take much more than Tylenol (which is a joke) to relieve your symptoms.  Yesterday was day 3 or 4 of said cold - and so my threshold for dealing with stuff was lowered.  Y'know - when your face hurts and your teeth hurt and you blow your nose every 3 seconds and your eyes are red and watery and you can't taste anything?  It really makes you less....patient.  In general.

So, I went to work and spent 2 hours working on the same document.  Sneezing once a minute.  Every time, both my interns would say "bless you"  and I started feeling guilty for making them bless me so much.  I had to drive to our central office that day, so I decided to go early so that I could get home a little earlier.  Packed up my stuff and headed out.

While walking down the hallway, I got stalled behind a group of high school boys.  They were chatting in Spanish, sauntering.  I thought "why aren't they in class?" but decided to leave it be as I was about 5 steps from the exit and I wanted to leave.  I cut through the group to get past them and as I did they broke out into a fist fight - with me - literally- caught in the middle.

I suppose if I spoke Spanish, maybe I would have had a heads up that they were not on friendly terms.  Who knows.  I half tried to break it up and half just yelled at them.  It wasn't too long before our friendly PO was there and handcuffing the boys and everyone was carted off for questioning.  Boys.  The whole thing made me angry.  If you're going to fight - don't do it at school.  Don't do it while some lady is walking past you.  I got shoved around and hit by flying arms and elbows but was totally fine.  Just angry.

So, I left.  Started to drive to the office.  I kept getting emails from a parent who is....high maintenance? I'm not going to get into specifics here, but let's just say that she wanted me to fix a problem that wasn't a problem...and that the whole thing was confusing and time consuming.

Eventually, I headed home.  I stopped at the grocery store.  I bought myself a pity-cup of ice cream.  One of the individual sizes.  I got to the car and opened my Rocky Road and realized I left my spoon in the store.  No worries, I have no shame, I started eating it ice cream cone style.  Just straight up licking it.  Problem is, I got to a point I couldn't reach.  No shame.  I'll use my finger.  So, here I am - my finger is throbbing in pain because it is so cold and I'm shoveling ice cream in my mouth in the store parking lot.  And here's the kicker...I couldn't even taste it.  Not one bit.  UGH.

I went and picked up the mail we had held over vacation and headed home.  Chatted with Jen, and started going through the mail.

ER visit bill.  Expected.  EZ Pass violation bill.  Expected (and we're appealing that).  Blood Work Bill.  Unexpected.  $800 freaking dollars of unexpected.  Here's what went down last month:

Ultrasound Doctor: There are some abnormalities in the unltrasound, do you want a harmony test?  It's non-invasive, very accurate, and new.
Me: Will it cost anything?
Doctor: No, no, no.  Insurance will cover it, we can put it in a certain way to make sure.
Me: Ok then, if it's free - sure.

It was not free. My insurance does NOT cover it.

I sobbed. (keep in mind my lowered threshold for stress in general).  I called around.  End result is - we wait 45 days for insurance to offically reject it and then I try to appeal it.  But man, I was LIVID.  How dare they tell me with such confidence that it was covered..and how dare I take their word for it.  Livid.

I left the house, tears still on my face, to take the girls to playgroup...and hour late.  Envelope on my doorstep.  Water bill.

Eventually, we went to pick up Kyle and came home.  Kyle made the girls dinner - I swallowed some tasteless chicken soup.  Decided to take a Benadryl to knock me out - and it did.

That day was kinda sucky.

But, I will tell you one moment of light I had.  I was in my room, just off the phone with my insurance company and trying to hide my blatant sobbing from Abby....which is of course impossible.  Toddlers pick up everything.  Abby came and hugged my leg and gave me a kiss and said "Mommy, I just love you."  My brain said "$800 is nothing compared to her.  Look at her.  Look at how blessed you are"

And my brain is right, of course.  This too shall pass.  And today was already a better one.

Monday, January 7, 2013

before I forget...

Kyle and I haven't decided if when we should open our secret envelope revealing baby's gender.  Kyle still wants to wait to be surprised, but I'm still hoping he'll come around and let me know before hand.

But, before I forget, I wanted to document an exchange that happened before Christmas.

I was helping Abby write her wish list to Santa.  She was telling me what she wanted, and I wrote it down.  When she was done with her part, I asked her "What do you think E wants?"

And you have to remember that we had not yet told her about the impending #3.

She says very simply "Maybe she'd like a boy"

I paused, and asked "What do you mean?  Like a boy doll?"

And Abby says, "Oooor, y'know, just like a real boy."

I was a little creeped out and decided to keep the conversation going in another direction - and Abby eventually decided E would like a ball for Christmas.

I suppose only time will tell if she was right.  I still don't have any idea what prompted her to say that - or what she thought she meant...but, I thought it was worth documenting.  Y'know, just in case Santa was listening.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Now that the cat is out of the bag, so to speak, I feel that I should document some of what the last 4+ months have entailed as far as this new baby is concerned.

I was pretty sure I was pregnant early in September, but had to wait a few weeks to make sure.  I spent that time coming to terms with what was sure to be.  This wasn't planned, exactly - but Kyle and I had both hoped to add a new one within the next year or so.  Our "plan" had been to wait another 6 months or so.  But, plans are made for changing.  And, as it turns out, this plan is better than the one I had wanted.

Once I got the positive test, I tried to think of a creative way to tell Kyle.  I couldn't think of anything.  I plopped down by him and said "So.  You've got till June to decide if you want a minivan or not"  He said "ok, why?"  And I added "cause that's when your third kid is due"  He was surprised - but not panicked at all.  We were happy.  We've always known a third was in our future.

This baby is due June 11th, officially.  This means I'll get to take the last few weeks of school off, and I'll have the summer at home.  In addition, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to take off of work through December -giving me a full 6 months of maternity leave.  Some of that is still up in the air, but I think it will work out.  This goes well with Abby, hopefully, starting pre-school in the fall.  In theory, I will be able to get up and take her to pre-school while Kyle stays home with the younger two.  Then I'll be home with just 2 while Abby is at school and Kyle at work.  Easy peasy, right? ;)  More importantly, taking 6 months off will allow us to save some pennies to help us scrape through the second half of the year where we will be paying for pre-school AND childcare for two.  That's gonna be rough, but it's just 6 months and then Abby will be in kindergarten the next fall (what? sigh.)

This pregnancy has been easy on me.  I had some nausea, but nothing that a snack or some sour candy couldn't fix.  I had some exhaustion, but it was manageable and relatively short lived (I mean, apart from the standard- always-tired-baseline I rock now ;)  I haven't had any real aversions, and no super strong cravings.  However, I have a preference for salty things and I've lost my gusto for sugar.  I'll eat it, sure - but if you offer me a cookie or chips and salsa?  I'm probably going to pick chips.  The only day I had a true crazy craving was the day that I could not stop thinking about green olives.  I craved that briny salty goodness.  I bought a new jar and made a batch of egg and olive salad.  I ate almost all of it in one sitting and finished off almost all of the olives too.  That made me pretty sick for a little bit...but at the time, it was exactly what I needed.

While this pregnancy has been easy in a lot of ways, it has not been without complications.

We had our first scare the day before Thankgiving.  We came home from dinner out with the girls and were ready to start bedtime and cleaning the house in prep for Brittany and Jason to join us the next day.  I started getting some cramps and discovered that I was bleeding fairly significantly.  I was pretty scared and decided to go into the ER to get checked.  I couldn't imagine going through thanksgiving day not knowing for sure if I'd lost the baby or not.  I was 11 weeks at the time.  So, off to the ER I went.  Karen came over to our house later and Kyle took the train to join me at the hospital.  After a lot of questioning and waiting, they did our first ultrasound and showed me a very strong heartbeat.  I cried and cried and could not stop crying.  I was so relieved.  I had an internal tear and was sent home with instructions to avoid heavy lifting and to "take it easy"  The tear is now all fixed and that's not been an ongoing issue.

Kyle was great - he did 99% of the cooking and cleaning and all of the lifting on Thanksgiving day.  He took really good care of me, and made sure I didn't overexert myself...even when I was sure I was fine.

So baby has continued to grow and develop.  During our 12-week ultrasound, the doctor flagged a few things she wanted to follow up on - a thick neck fold for one.  We went back at 14 weeks and the neck fold was normal, but the cord and the brain had some soft-signs for some other disorders that she wanted to follow up on.  Specifically spinabifida, heart defects, or cleft pallets...but at 14 weeks, things were too small to see.  So we went back today. The doctor said that the brain, spine, and heart all look good to her - but she wants to check again in a few weeks.  The only for sure abnormality now is that I have a 2-vessel umbilical cord instead of a typical 3-vessel cord.

This isn't completely uncommon.  It happens in about 1% of the population (which I guess is not uncommon in baby-land-speak)  Most of the time it doesn't mean anything, but I will get at least monthly ultrasounds to keep an eye on baby's growth etc.

In more exciting news - the tech said she could tell us the gender today.  We opted not to find out, but we had her write it down for us in a sealed envelope.  Which is sitting on our kitchen counter.  Kyle does not want to find out yet, but I do...so we are keeping the envelope closed until we come to an agreement. :)

So.  ALL of that to say - YAY! We're having a baby!  We're excited. I'm not worried about the ultrasound stuff as there is nothing yet to worry about.  We'll keep you posted.

If you're still reading this.... Hi mom.   :)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


One of my resolutions this year is to blog more regularly/often.

We'll start with something simple - our exciting announcement for 2013.  :)