Friday, December 31, 2010

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Confession!

My baby is 10 months old and I don't think she knows her name. This is our fault (mine, my husband's, and Andrew's) because we have referred to her since birth as Squeaky (she made little squeaky noises in the hospital and I lovingly gave her that nickname). Also, Squeaker, Squeaks, Squeakington, Squeaky McGhee, Squeaky McKitty, and Squeaky Kitchen (this last one makes me giggle because one time I asked Andrew where Squeaky was, and he said, "Squeaky Kitchen?", so the addition to the nickname came to be).

Elise is a beautiful name, and I love it! I chose it for her and it came to me, much like Andrew's did, and I knew it was THE name and there could be no other name. I really should start using it more often so that she can know that SHE is "Elise".

In the meantime, it's all just good fun and Squeaky has her whole life to learn who she is. :-)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Progression

Just for shits and giggles, this is what my test looked like yesterday morning. I think it's safe to stop testing now. :) Say what you may, but it helps ease my mind and a happy mind means a happy Sarah.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Five weeks.

I am getting more comfortable. The test obsession is wearing off some (well, not really, since I have tested at least every day), although I did POAS this morning and saw that the control line is starting to fading even more as the test line takes more dye away. Things must be progressing nicely.

Christmas was fun in our house. I had the camera going, the hubby had the camcorder going, and we watched both kids open up their presents. I will get some pictures up once I upload them to Photobucket. Andrew got this really neat tornado lab thing (he loves tornadoes) from "Santa" at my mom's house and that his his favorite gift. Elise is a little too young to enjoy all the gifts but I got her this "Peek a Boo" book and she giggles when I read it to her. So cute! My favorite gift: a new vacuum! :) It actually works, unlike my old one, and it has attachments and everything. I felt like a Kirby salesman as I vacuumed up all th stuff my old vacuum left behind (and no, I didn't get a Kirby; it's a Hoover Wind Tunnel (
this one, I think). My old vacuum wouldn't even suck up cereal -- you know it's bad when you have to throw things in front of your vacuum and make several passes before realizing it's not going to pick them up.

Elise is 10 months old today. Where has the time gone? (I always feel so cliche saying that, but it's true). She is such a funny baby. Andrew played so nice with her yesterday that I must have praised him 10 times, and I let him know when I tucked him in how proud of him I was for being nice to Squeaker. He was crawling all over with her, hiding from her and then she'd squeal with delight when she saw him. It was adorable.

Anyway, here's to 2011! I toast you my glass of fizzy juice. May your year be fabulous.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Paranoia

Ah, the joys of early pregnancy. I'm 4 weeks and 3 days, just early enough where the only thing I can do is obsess and pray that things progress nicely. I'm too early to see anything on an ultrasound, hear anything with a doppler, or watch my belly grow. The only thing I can do is continue to test (and I have, 12 times, so far) and temp (to make sure mine stays up there). I didn't used to be this way, but for those of you who have gone through the heartbreak of a loss, or consecutive losses, you know where I am coming from. The rate of miscarriage for someone who has had two or more losses goes up and my "safety net" was taken away after the 2nd one, when I thought I was in the clear at 12 weeks. I had no symptoms that anything was wrong and when we couldn't hear the heartbeat, the midwife offered an ultrasound and I knew right away that s/he had stopped growing. The baby measured 8 weeks, and I had not a clue -- no bleeding or anything.

I cried, and then a few days later, the process began and I healed up and luckily found out I was expecting Elise five months later. And with her, I was very cautious, very scared, knowing I was incredibly blessed to have Andrew but wanting to meet this future baby as well. I knew from my own research that I had a luteal phase defect. I have 24 day cycles with late ovulation, which gives me a short luteal phase (8-9 days on average, but sometimes as short as 5) -- in layman's terms, this means that an embryo does not have time to implant before the next cycle begins and the number one cause of LPD is low progesterone. This was something I brought up to the midwife (not the awesome one I have now, but another one) when I was pregnant with the 2nd one I lost, and I got my levels checked. At first they rose nicely, but then dropped. She did not think it was necessary to supplement progesterone, and 2 weeks later was when that baby stoppped growing.

I have moved on in my mind because without that loss, I wouldn't have my beautiful Elise. But of course, that doesn't change my mentality now. So on Monday I called to see if I could have my Progesterone level checked. My result was 14.8 and they like to see it between 15-20. The nurse said I'm not that low, but under what they like to see, so she did order the Prometrium supplements for me. It doesn't hurt anything to supplement -- it is not guaranteed to help, and it's not a certainty that my numbers wouldn't rise on their own, but why chance it? Especially when I know my own body and am certain, after 2+ years of charting, that I do have low progesterone (which is needed to sustain a pregnancy).

I picked it up last night -- this time I am not doing the pill form, but a (cover your eyes, guys!) suppository -- they are supposed to be more effective that way. I so far am cool with it because when I took the pills, they always made me feel dizzy/drunk and I don't have that this time. I am hopeful they will help.

Until my belly grows or I can hear that heartbeat, I am sure I will obsess a little bit, but hopefully it will gradually become me just enjoying being pregnant and not worrying so much. So that's where I am, in limbo . . . I can test because it eases my mind to see that line get darker (a positive test only tells you that you are pregnant, but those of us in the online "fertility" world know that a line will progressively get darker as the hCG hormone in the blood rises).

Thank you for all the congrats! I am really glad that I have my online friends. I can't talk to my friends in real life about all this and I certainly can't talk to my family (only my mom knows) because I don't want to have to "untell" everyone, but there is such a great support network I have found both through my mommy boards and through Blogger, so I really do thank all of you for being here for me. ♥

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas to . . . my family?

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To all my loyal readers, I love you. I am able to share with you news that I cannot share yet with my friends in real life or even my extended family. So this news is TOP SECRET and I think one or two of you are Facebook friends with me, so thank you for helping me keep this quiet until further notice.

We weren't really planning on having a third child, but we didn't do a whole lot to prevent it, and we found out on Friday that we are expecting. I have taken now five tests (and still have 2 more to use up, muhuhahaha) and the line is getting darker. I am also now starting to get that constant hungry feeling that is familiar.

Now, I am saying this with caution, because those of you who have been following me for a long-time know that I have had 2 losses, one of them being early and the other one being not so early (found out at 12 weeks), so I am in limbo right now. I'm praying for a healthy and sticky bean.

This one is due 8/29/2011, four days after Andrew's 4th birthday. Elise will be 18 months.

I can handle this, right? My friend (whom I met online when I was pregnant with Elise) has told me, "you were born to be a mom", and it was one of the greatest compliments ever received.

Behold!
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13 and 14 dpo


So with that, I bring you Christmas cheer and tidings for the New Year -- may you get everything you want this year, whatever it may be. Please join me for the ride into my third (and final, yikes!) pregnancy.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Best and worst Christmas songs?

I love this time of year. I always have. The snow puts me in a holiday mood and once Thanksgiving is gone, I'm all Christmas all the time, especially when it comes to the tunes I play in my car. It's one month where I can enjoy all the classics, as well as the modern stuff.

I will start with my list of the worst Christmas songs. These are ones where when I hear them come on, I will change the station or hit the "CD" button to change the song immediately:

Worst songs:

  1. The Christmas Shoes (by NewSong, 2000) -- can a song make me want to kill myself more? I can't stand the song or the guy's voice. If Country Music and The Christmas music station got together and made a baby, this would be it. WORST SONG EVER, CHRISTMAS OR ANY GENRE!
  2. I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (by John Coctoasten and performed by Gayla Peevey, 1953): Wow. Yeah, this song is just really annoying and I don't know if it's the lyrics or the lady's voice. I seriously say, "Aaah!" when it comes on and quick change the station.
  3. The Chipmunks: "Hula Hoop" -- simply annoying; nothing more and nothing less.
  4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Bruce Springsteen, 1981) -- I just can't stand the laughing during the song; it really irks me. It's a crappy rendition of an okay song, at best.

Best songs:

  1. We Three Kings/God Rest Ye' Merry Gentlemen (Barenaked Ladies feat. Sarah McLachlan, 2004) -- this song is AWESOME! It's beautiful because it's simply an acoustic guitar and then the voices come in and it's a really nice compilation of the two songs. Sarah has a beautiful voice and the song is perfect just the way it is. I have talked to many friends who agree that this song rocks.
  2. O Holy Night (traditional) -- a classic that has never disappointed. I especially like the Manheim interpretation.
  3. Carol of the Bells (Manheim Steamroller version, 1990, "A Fresh Aire" CD) -- how can one NOT get in the holiday spirit while listening to this?
  4. Christmas Canon (Trans-siberian Orchestra, 2004, "The Lost Christmas Eve" CD) -- this song is beautiful, and genius. Brilliant! The classic melody, normally a wedding favorite, contrasts very well with the voices of the children. My mom and I love this song and turn it up so much that the speakers vibrate in the car.

It bothers me that I only have four in each list, because even numbers bother me, but there you go. I'm sure some will agree and some will disagree, but this is the time of year when we can state our opinions and everyone is all jolly and happy so they just smile and say, "Happy holidays"!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Got a Christmas tree!

Finally! Mr. Scrooge, who shall remain nameless, did not want to go get one for us or with us, so I took Andrew to the tree lot in town (not what I wanted to do, but I found out yesterday that the awesome Christmas tree farm is closed for the season; plus, I wouldn't be able to find my way there since it's 45 minutes away and I have no sense of direction).

We took Andrew's carseat out to make room for the tree and I put him in Elise's seat instead. We found one tree we really wanted but after I carried it over to the car and tried to slide it into the trunk, it would not fit. So I carried it back and then we picked out one that was already somewhat "wrapped" so it would fit better. I got that in and used the bungee cord to keep the trunk down and then we stopped by Menard's to get a Christmas tree stand but they were out. I texted the brother-in-law, and he does have one we can use.

It was -3 (actual temp, not including the wind chill) but I had Andrew bundled up really well and we had a lot of fun picking out the tree. They had this locked box where you put the tag and the money, so it's somewhat on the honor system, but there was a sign that said we were under camera surveillance.

The husband is griping because I didn't plan and it's less than two weeks until Christmas and I'm just now getting a tree, but hey -- I did my best. And tomorrow when we get the tree stand, I will get it in there and we will have fun decorating it. :) I will post pics when we are done.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Some random [and probably boring] updates . . .

I have some of my Christmas shopping done. I feel better now than I did earlier in the week! We actually went out into the blizzard (taking it slow, never getting over 30 mph) to simply get out of the house and we ended up making our way out to the shopping area. I had a $10 off card for both Old Navy and Shopko so I used those up, oh yeah, and a $10 gift card I won at work for Walmart (I got 3 of my photos in the annual calendar we make to give to residents for Christmas) so I did save some money. I really, really enjoy buying gifts for people. My favorite part is when I am all done shopping so that all I have to do is wrap them. I don't mind wrapping -- I take my time and do a little bit each night after the kids are asleep (not simply because some of the gifts are theirs, but because BOTH of them would be all over the paper and it would just be a mess.

I really, really am in need of a massage. It's been 4.5 years -- I remember getting one not too long before my wedding and that was in July of 2006. My back has hurt but it's not a back strain kind-of pain, more of muscle/tension pain. I have this big knot on the edge of my right shoulder blade and it's been there since college (and that was a long time ago, as I am eight years post-grad now). It used to bother me a lot more because I would walk/bike to campus and carry around a heavy backpack all day. It's not as bad now, but it's there.

I love this time of year. I love all the snow. I have fond memories of my childhood when we would play in the snow at night and look at the pretty lights around the neighborhood. I remember lying in the snow with my sister and it was so calm and quiet -- I love that insulating effect snow has. We'd hear the scrape of the shovel as my mom cleared the insanely long driveway (my dad made her do it -- it took her several hours each time). I could never live anywhere warm during the holidays, or if I did, I'd have to come back here by about December 20th because I just need the snow for the whole experience. It's the same thing with Christmas lights: they have to be colored. White lights are so boring.

My kids are doing amazing! Today I was watching them play together. Elise was acting "hyper" and crawling after Andrew and then she'd stop and sit and wait for him to crawl by her and then she'd squeal and crawl towards him, thumping her hands on the floor. She's 9.5 months now and experimenting with food a little more. She really loves oranges and we give her little pieces. If we don't a) peel the orange fast enough or b) the orange is gone too quickly, she cries or screams for more. She has a little baby radar that picks up on any food being eaten anywhere in the house. We pretty much let her sample what we're having, assuming she can have it, but she isn't taking in a lot of foods. When she isn't eating what we're eating, she has organic baby purees and only about 2 tablespoons at a time. She is nursing 8-9 times a day (a day = 24 hours) so she's still getting a lot of the good stuff. And loving it. Andrew is still as funny as ever -- he makes us laugh on a daily basis. He no longer uses the potty seat (the kind that sits under the toilet seat) -- he simply climbs up there, places both feet on the seat, and lowers himself down, supporting his weight with his hands. He can do this now for both #1 and #2, but is still not wanting to stand up to do #1. To each his own, right? He has a very extensive vocabulary and picks up on random stuff. There's this dorky show on PBS called "Rick Steves" (it's a guy who travels Europe and talks about it, tour-guide style) and Andrew happened to recognize him one day when it was on, and called out, "Rick Steves!" Yep.

I'm still loving my job, and they are handing over more responsibilities -- it's just additional FMLA paperwork and I'll be doing more tracking, but it's okay with me. I have the system in place all set up and ready to go in Excel. I love organizing things, both at home and at work.

Last snowfall total for this storm was 11.1", and it's still coming down! This is classified as a blizzard because of the blowing snow/wind speeds. It guarantees a white Christmas, so for that I am thankful. It can all go away on December 26th, and then begins the countdown to spring (fat chance, since here, it's never "here" until April).

Do any of you do this thing where you are always looking forward to something? There's little events that I look forward to (stupid stuff like my kids' doctor appointments, heck even my own appointments if I should be so lucky to have them), Fridays/weekends, there's a work gathering next Tuesday night, there's holidays, birthdays, etc. -- I live my life in these moments as I always have my whole life, and I can't remember a time where I wasn't always looking forward to something. I wonder if this is why I never get depressed, even when there are times I have probably had valid reasons to be so.

Anyway, gotta dash. I am going to try and start getting to bed by 11:00, and we are already over that by seven minutes. Goodnight!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Passion.

I am a passionate person. I have certain things that take precedence in my life and those passions define who I am. It's just the way I have always been. for instance, when I was younger, I was bound and determined to be the very best I could be at playing the flute. I practiced every single day four hours, sometimes up to four hours a day and it became my life. I even paid for my own weekly private lessons in high school and purchased an open-holed flute instead of a car. I went through college, playing in both the orchestra and the wind symphony (8 hours a week for 1 credit per class) and it was my passion.

When I became a mother, my passions changed. Suddenly it was all about being the very best mother I could be. If I had to define myself, I would say I was a mother and nothing else. My parenting style, if you haven't realized it by now, is definitely more attachment parenting. I do believe that babies should be held more often than not -- they are only babies once and I, as a mother, will never get these moments back and once they are gone, the child is grown and no longer a baby. When I look back at my life in 30 years, I want to look at these moments I have captured in my mind, these beautiful moments where I held my babies close and kissed their sweet heads and looked into their beautiful eyes. I am a photographer so I am always looking for beautiful moments to capture, but there are some moments I capture with my eyes and store in my head, hoping that I am not cursed with Alzheimer's (which runs in my family on my maternal grandmother's side and strikes at a young age).

So many people are so concerned about fitting in with society. Why? Why do I care what anyone thinks about what I do? Does it really affect that person and his/her life? Why do we, as a people, want to all be the same anyway? Why is anyone who is different immediately categorized as "weird", "strange", "odd" . . . etc. I think part of it is because people are used to what most people do.

I guess the point of this rambling post is that my passions define who I am as a person and those passions are what make me me. Without those passions, I wouldn't be the person I am and I would probably have a hard time functioning.

One thing I do not do as a parent or even as a person is judge others for the choices they make. I see other parents in stores and out in public all the time, and I see them as parents. We share the common "link" that we have little ones to take care of. I can sympathize with a mother who has a feisty toddler too tired or too bored or too whatever, who suddenly decides it's time to embarrass Mom and pitch a fit. We've all been there at some point or another, or will get there in the future. Before I became a parent, I would just get annoyed, but hey -- we all change with time. I have now discreetly breastfed in public many times, using my lovely nursing cover and my only goal is to feed my child. I am not about to "please" people by going into a bathroom (where to sit? Ew!) or hiding in my car simply because the normal around here is to bottle feed. Maybe if more moms see moms like me, they might come out of hiding too. We live in America, Land of the Prudes, and it's so much different elsewhere. I have friends in Norway and Canada, for instance, who state that it is completely normal to see breastfeeding moms in public and it's just accepted. People walk by and occasionally give an approving smile, but nobody balks and certainly nobody says anything to express disgust (in fact, my friend from Canada still states that she can't believe the way it is here, because it is so different). I guess the point of this interlude is to say that I wish people were more open-minded and accepting. I don't look down on anyone and I expect the same level of respect. My passion may be breastfeeding and someone else's might be a sport, but we all have a place in this world and it's what makes us different that makes the world an interesting place to be. And nothing has made me feel better in my entire life than my current passions.

Friday, December 3, 2010

9 month well check

I forgot to update on Tuesday, but Elise had her appointment. I know these posts bore most all of you, but I need this for my records.

She weighed in at 19 lbs, 12.8 oz., which is almost the 75th percentile, and she is 27.6" long, which is the 50th percentile. She is meeting a lot of the 12 month milestones, and the Nurse Practitioner (we alternate between her and the pediatrician -- they work as a team) said she's doing great!

We were away the past couple of days -- we just stayed in a hotel and went swimming, just 2 hours away, so not too far from home. The kids had so much fun! Andrew loves to swim, and Elise was squealing with joy the entire time. The only thing about staying in a hotel is that both kids were aware that they weren't at home, so bedtime was a little more stressful than at home. It's good to be back.