Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jel-dy on ma Bel-dy

We went for our weekly ultrasound today. Again, little one didn't cooperate with the crowd pleasing photo shots so no print outs!

Mary Louise and David tagged along as Brent was getting home a bit late and our neighbor that usually watches them was out of town. I began trying to prepare the kids for the appointment this morning - way too early...

As it turns out, they couldn't care less about seeing the "baby in Mommy's belly". Primarily, they only cared about 1 thing - whether or not this "docca" would do anything at all to them.

I tried to divert their concerns (after answering their questions about a dozen times) with stories, "we're going to see your baby brother or sister today!!", by looking at previous ultrasound pictures and talking about them. They seemed interested...then reverted...

ML: no my yike jel-dy on ma bel-dy Momma? no my have jeldy on ma beldy? (jelly on my belly)
D: my sit in da bench? not da chair Mommy! not da chair! my dus watch? (apparently, to David, spectators sit on benches while patients sit on a chair)
ML: no docca bodder me? my dus watch Mommy? (the doctor won't bother me?)

They continued like that all day. All the way to the doctor. In the waiting room. In the ultrasound room. They didn't stop. Repeating over and over and over...

But, they were so good!

Afterward, Mary Louise said, "dey dus put a yittle jel-dy on da bel-dy. See Momma baby in her tummy! My be a bit brudda Mommy?" (they just put a little jelly on the belly. Can I be a big brother?)

I've explained a number of times that she will be a big sister and David will be a big brother. But, she insists that she wants to be a big brother - "no sissa!" ha. Whatever works kiddo!

It really was alot of fun to have them with me and see their reactions. They were just fascinated with the screen.

The baby is doing very well - practicing breathing, kicking, fluid level is very good. The estimated weight (again, this week, it's just an estimate - not based on measurements) is 5 pounds 4 ounces. Next week, we'll get a more accurate weight but right now, the baby should be gaining about 1 ounce per day. The placenta remains healthy (premature aging of the placenta is a sign of pre-eclampsia). The heart rate was 139 - which was the lowest reading yet, but I was assured it was well within normal limits. The baby was, for once, resting during the ultrasound (go figure ha).

The position is still head down - a little lower than last week but not concerning. The back and rump are curved around my left side with the major kicks and jabs on my right.

I'm still feeling well but getting notably slower (sigh). My blood pressure is still stable.

33 weeks 3 days!!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Frenzied Friday

I normally try not to book us for more than 2 things in a day...try would be the key word there...this Friday, we had:

David's private speech therapy at 10am
Electrician at the house at 12 noon
Meeting with the school board rep (our new case worker) at 3pm

then, I made the call to explore our options for a new pediatrician...

It's been bothering me for quite sometime. What with being asked each time I call for a wellness visit if I'll be bringing my "other child Kuylen this time" and having to frequently see "a colleague" as our regular pedi (and I use the term regular VERY loosely now) "isn't in today"...among other things - rude office staff, taking over 30 minutes to make an appointment due to hold times, a phone menu that is seriously as long as a credit card service, not to even mention the belittling for breastfeeding "so long" and the rampant over use of medication. Anyhow, I've sort of been picking and choosing advice, calling things a win if my opinion is at least tolerated rather than argued against, and brushing things aside that I didn't agree with or knew full well were totally and unbelievably out-dated.

Thursday night, I attempted to call the nurse after hours to discuss Mary Louise getting a double dose of medication and was asked what insurance we had before even being asked our situation or for goodness sake, a name! Then I was put on hold for almost 10 minutes while they attempted to charge said ins. FOR A PHONE CALL. Then I waited another 45 minutes to even hear from the nurse who had not bothered to either find out, listen to or receive the reason for my call in the first place. (umm, don't worry, I'd already called poison control who had time for advising and even called back to double check on us about 10 minutes after the nurse finally called.)

Friday morning, one of my "to do" list top 3's was to call a new pediatrician who came highly recommended by a friend of mine. It made an absolute world of difference:
I got immediate answers by a very polite office staff who even offered to have our records switched for me! and an appointment Friday morning for Mary Louise - 10am. This really put the pressure on all of us, but thankfully, Brent was able to lend a hand and work from David's speech therapy waiting room.

Mary Louise and I went to fill out paper work and meet with our (possible) new pediatrician. The wait was rather long - but I'm pretty sure that was at least in part because of the new patient paperwork which I did for both Mary Louise and David.

This doctor...oh...she was an absolute breath of fresh air for me. Mary Louise LOVED her and was a very big girl for the whole check up. The verdict was that she has some pretty nasty sinus congestion - but it was staying in her face, no wheezing or chest congestion noted.

The doctor not only discussed updating Mary Louise's OTC medications but also discussed prophylaxis and holistic options COMPLETE with up to date research references!! Oh. my. gosh. My nerd-tasticness was just oozing with excitement.

Rather than conventional decongestants, the doctor stated that a teaspoon of local honey (the darker the better) given every 4 hours has been shown to be as and many time more effective than Robitussin and Dimetapp. Also, giving a teaspoon daily helps immensely with seasonal allergies - comparable to allergy shots specific to pollen and plant related allergies.

Don't believe me? (I know most have heard this before) Mary Louise and David started their "honey therapy" today and haven't coughed at. all.

Oh, P.S., David started with a runny nose this morning.

Not only that, but Mary Louise hasn't needed a breathing treatment since last night. We are to use the honey to soothe coughs and throats and Mucinex (children's) along with as much water as Mary Louise and David will take to help to thin mucous secretions. (This, of course, along with the breathing treatments that Mary Louise already gets as needed. To the treatments, she added that she would like to keep a close eye on Mary Louise as, again, newer research states that giving up to a daily dose of the Pulmacort, if needed, can help to prevent at risk patients from developing chronic conditions such as emphysema and/or related to childhood asthma and respiratory allergies later in life.

She was fully supportive of long term breastfeeding. She supports and routinely recommends use of probiotics for healthy digestion. She listened, asked over and over if I had any questions and not only asked Mary Louise questions, but she actually waited for a response!

So, we have a new pediatrician and I'm hoping that we have found our medical home base.

The electrician came to finish up installing the television - so high now that I need a ladder to clean it.

Nanny Zoo came for a quick afternoon visit. The kids were more than happy to play outside with her and with Brent for a bit while I monitored the electric work progress and had a sit down with the school board rep.

In short, David will qualify for speech services beyond age 3 years. I have a meeting just before his birthday to form and finalize his IEP (individualized education plan). The IEP made will then be good for 1 year and the evaluations we just finished will be good for 3 years. Beyond that, they will have to be renewed (papers resigned). David will have services until the age of 9 years at which point he would need a medical diagnosis to continue.

We discussed the results of David's evaluations. Although I feel very strongly that the results are far, far, FAR below his actual abilities (and I made it a point to make my thoughts known), I do feel that he would benefit from continuing his speech therapy at this time. We'll see what happens at the IEP meeting. The small silver lining is that comparatively speaking, David is making obvious improvements in all areas of development. We looked at the evaluations from his admit into Early Steps in September and compared them to the evaluations from a few weeks ago. So, though he doesn't "perform" to his top ability during these evaluations, he shows significant improvements over time none the less.

It was a long day - but it was productive. By the end, I was exhausted, but sort of thankful for the many distractions from what stayed on my mind - my dear Mommom's birthday. She would have been 97. There are no words...


Thursday, March 22, 2012

32 weeks 3 days!!!

Brent and I went to see my regular OB and have (yet another) ultrasound this afternoon - and the results were just breathtaking...

Approximately 4 pounds 13 ounces. Our baby has CHEEKS!! bright full cheeks. Definitely Brent's nose. Right on target. Lungs developing beautifully and still practicing breathing. For such a brief moment, we got to see our little one playing with his / her hands, kicking, turning. Beautiful.

My fundus is about 33 cm. Right on target. The baby measures from 53rd to 57th percentile consistently. The ultrasounds, when done so frequently, are considered more reliable (as far as growth) than ones done sporadically.

Things are going really well. I will see the doctor in 2 more weeks. Weekly ultrasounds are to be continued. After another 2 week check, I will start to see the doctor weekly. At 35 weeks, my daily Asprin is to be stopped, at 36 weeks, I'll stop my weekly progesterone injections and start to have cervical checks during appointments to check for dilation and effacement (oh, be still my heart! as many times as my cervix has been checked, that must be some sort of iron clad muscle...ok, that may be a bit too much...).

My blood pressure remains steady. Take that hot mess in for a minute.

I am to do twice daily "kick counts" which consist of counting baby movements during 1 hour time spans. Lowest normal would be 10 kicks per hour.

Sweet Meese started Wednesday with a runny nose...and I jumped into administering breathing treatments like nobody's business. This morning (Thursday) she's congested, but assures me, "it dus a wun-dy nose Momma. No my go to da Docca." I'm really hoping she's right. No fever, and her cough is pretty dry. Just an ugly runny nose. We did do a treatment around 2:30 or 3am last night though as well as one yesterday morning with steroids and one Xopenex prior to bedtime. Her appetite is considerably down- even with the steroids, and she's extremely whiny. But otherwise, she's playing, begging to paint, running around and riding her tricycle as usual. The horrible weather we've had the past few days looks as if it's clearing so I'm hoping we'll be able to sneak in short spurts of outside time which typically helps us ALL to feel better.

David is doing well - no runny nose yet! and is eating like a champ. We'll see how the next few days go...His home therapist cancelled their session again today as she wasn't feeling well. She can come after their birthday for make up sessions - so far, we have 2 to make up. Otherwise, we'll be done with her and entering the school system depending on their availability for therapy. But again, whatever they offer, it will only be during the school year so we would only have a few sessions this spring before school lets out for the summer. He has very recently picked up Mary Louise's "now" habit. For example, if he wants to do something, the request consists of saying, "My do (xyz) NOW Mommy!" I feel like I tolerate quite alot from these 2...the smashing of food on any and all hard and soft surfaces, the 9001 messes per day, constantly watching that they stay away from electrical outlets (when the heck does that fascination let up?!), climbing cabinetry, waking anywhere from 2 to 4 times per night...each, playing with the door knobs so much that they've actually pulled 2 completely off the doors, drawing on the walls, moving furniture and let us not forget the Desitin fiasco and flour in the shoes incident- gads, that was a pain. But the NOW thing, it really makes me put on my brakes for some reason. I would predict a number of rough days ahead to break them of this latest habit. David and I had a 20 minute stand off the other day. I remember 5 minutes feeling like an absolute eternity as a young child. He lasted 20 before he said, "please" instead of "now". But, he said it - and he's done a bit better in a bit shorter time span ever since.

Learning, testing, remembering, balancing - such is the life of Mom and toddler...and eating - Mary Louise is asking to eat so I'd better get to fixin' before she changes her mind!


I was going to include some ultrasound photos. I hope to add them later but Brent has to re-scan them to be compatible with this format. We've actually had an awfully rough day with David throwing multiple tantrums, Mary Louise not feeling well and me feeling totally exhausted from last night's fun - alternately waking up every couple of hours, giving a breathing treatment, rain, wind, blah. This evening, I made friendly with Poison Control as, in our tired stupor, Brent and I EACH gave Mary Louise a dose of OTC decongestant. It was ok - kept her up a bit, but not an still got my heart going a bit though...I need to decompress...tomorrow. will. be. better.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Our Big Social Mixer

I can't believe I forgot to mention that I attended a natural foods class at a friend's house last week. There were 8 or 9 mothers there and just under 15 children under the age of 4. The class was, well, busy. It was very relaxed and we discussed beginning a natural foods pantry on a budget and how to get started when beginning a change of cuisine lifestyle. Some of the wee ones were in slings while others closer to Mary Louise and David's age, played in a nearby toy room. I was a bit nervous about bringing them with me for a number of reasons not the least of which was them catching something during the last few weeks of prime cold and flu season...but I bit the bullet, considered the fact that at 10am on a weekday, most of these mothers were stay at home and/or breastfeeding and reasonably health conscious to even want to go to the class to begin with...

Mary Louise and David behaved BEAUTIFULLY!!!

I arrived almost 20 minutes early. The host was very gracious and let us just play and get settled while she rushed about doing last minute whatevers (no matter how ready one is to have company, there is always that last 20 minute pinch time when you think of 800 things you'd LOVE to have done but just have no time for...somehow, I'm pretty sure said 800 things go unnoticed - regardless of completion - as long as said host doesn't point them out...back to the story).

David was shy at first so I held him, sat when he relaxed just a tiny bit, allowed him to take his time getting down and joining in the fun. Mary Louise sashayed right over to the son (3 yrs.) and daughter (18mos I think?) of the host and introduced herself, "Hi! My Meese." Sweet baby girl.

They made very fast friends and I was impressed at just how gentle Mary Louise was with the little girl in particular - making sure she had some toys, moving aside so that she could see what what happening, etc. David couldn't help but to want to join eventually and even went from my lap to getting right in the thick of the play AND talking almost immediately after about 10 minutes of taking it all in.

More children arrived and Mary Louise and David would shyly look for a split second before going back to playing and allowing the "new kids" to join. Some were loud, some knew each other well and were quite comfortable at the house as they were very close friends with the host (she and I had talked a number of times via email but never actually met in person until the class), but Mary Louise and David took it all in stride. One little boy remarked, "he doesn't talk so well!" When David was trying to answer a question he'd asked. I told the boy to ask again as David certainly doesn't mind repeating - and said that we were working on his speech. The boy nodded, asked David to repeat and they fell back into play mode. No problem.

The class was getting ready to begin so I slipped out to the next room to listen. I sat where they could see me expecting David to get over-whelmed by the full room of children any minute. Much to my surprise, it was Mary Louise who came to "check on me" every 20 minutes or so and I rarely saw David at all. The host kept an eye on the kids while the class went on and said how well-behaved my little ones were and gave me updates on how they were doing specifically. I really appreciated it and was so proud of the 2 of them!

The only mishaps were when a baby (crawling) took David's had buttons on it and if you know David, you know if he sees a button, he MUST press it repeatedly. He was not happy. But he didn't throw a big fit. I gave him a hug, said to let the baby play for a bit and wait for the toy to sit unused and get it again. He balled up his fists, hemmed and hawed for a minute and found something else to do for the 3.5 minutes the toy fascinated the baby, then snagged it again. Very good!! Another time, a group (including my 2) were playing in a bedroom and someone closed the door. Panic ensued. All was well, however, when I opened the door again and let them know everything was ok.

That's it! over 2 hours, loads of kids, noise, sharing, moms all over. It was great! No fits, no grumpies, just good fun, meeting new people- with a side of learning a little more about whole foods and getting a few great recipes. Win!

When we left, Mary Louise and David even walked up to the host and said very clearly, "Thank you! Bye bye!"

Really, though there were hungry moments, needs for reassuring hugs and a little referee-ing, all of the children played very very well together - and the added plus? nary a sneeze nor a cough in sight!

Mary Louise has asked - at least once a day - ever since, to "go and play with the babies Momma". She loved the play time. David is a little more hard nosed...but did very well in the church nursery today with 2 other children there. I sat with him for about 5 minutes to let him warm up and once he started playing with a nearby train set, he didn't even bat an eye when I left. No trauma, no tears, and I came back to all smiles from both of them. (ok, all smiles and a fight to get them to leave!) Incidentally, I'm quite sure today marks the very first time in almost 3 years that I actually got to listen to the entire service - and hold Brent's hand for a full hour without having to catch babies falling off pews or flying crayons. (Date time - I know, we're just wild and crazy these days).

Happy 32 weeks Suga!! (who totally kicked me in the ribs the entire service!) and ohhh if I had a dollar for every time someone pointed at my belly and asked, "just one this time right? Are you sure? well, thank goodness for that." Really. between that and, "8 more weeks? are you sure? you're pretty out there!" Nice.

I feel good - some days, very tired - as in, no matter how many naps I'm allowed, I'm still just drained...but otherwise, I really don't have any of the "normal pregnancy woes" that come to mind. Occasional burning in my throat - but it's relieved by a dose of antacids when it really gets bad. I sleep well overall, and unless I overdo, the hip pain is more than bearable.

Still thankful, so thankful - and just ridiculously excited about 32 weeks. 8 weeks or a little less!!! Dare I say it?! oh those little grunts, that sweet soft, warm bundle, the nuzzles, seeing Mary Louise, David and the baby explore their roles and settle into a new normal. Love. Just love.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Readying the nest!

We have been super duper busy around here during the past week. Uncle Collin came to lend a hand with Mary Louise and David so that Brent and I could get the upstairs toy room up and functioning last weekend. When Mommom and Kyle came down with the flu though, he opted to stay with us all week - giving me a little time to really spruce things up around here!

Toy room: done - am working on 2 bulletin boards to properly display the artwork of our masters but otherwise, it's great! We even got around to hanging some pictures upstairs...ok, if you've known us for any amount of time, you know good and well this is a BIG deal. Hanging just one picture in our house takes, sometimes years...sometimes it just never happens. It usually means we're about to move...we're not - that I know of anyhow - it's just one of those things...

Mary Louise and David are LOVING their toy room. They have a well organized craft closet, space to stretch and play and their very own space to share. In Mary Louise's words, "Daddy! My woom is boo-tee-full! My sweep in my big bed ta-night?"

They were ready. The transition has been wonderful and Mary Louise, though she wakes long before the crack of dawn (try any time between 4:30 and 6am), she does seem to sleep very soundly there and wakes less than before. David still wakes one to 2 times nightly, but after the first 3 or 4 nights, seemed to figure out that this new room was safe and he's been a calm "waker" ever since. As I've said before, I don't think I'll ever be able to accuse those 2 of being great sleepers...

We were also able to organize and finish the guest room (minimal to no baby / kid things there!! comfy bed!!), clean out and organize kid clothing, linens and the remaining boxes and odds and ends around here.

During the week, I re-organized our changing area and some built in shelving in our kitchen - which brings that to a much more functional room.

Anyhow, things are coming together. Projects are getting done. I am so very thankful to feel well enough to continue to keep up with it all. I finished Collin's visit out with a really good house (and dog) cleaning and even managed to have an electrician come and wire and area to mount the television - a long awaited project...(and with the kids constantly smearing whatever is at hand over the screen, a much needed one).

I feel like we finally moved in - over a year after actually moving in! ha!

I had an ultrasound on Wednesday - the first one that didn't yield any more photos of the Sugs. As it turns out, sweet baby is a little tired of the paparazzi. 31 weeks marked the start of our weekly biophysical profiles. We watch for proper development of the baby including certain milestones. In the final weeks of pregnancy (can you even believe it!!!???), a baby will begin to practice breathing - the diaphragmatic muscles get a little practice moving up and down and the baby makes facial breathing movements a few times per hour. We saw a few practice breaths during Wednesday's ultrasounds - right on track!! The estimated weight was 4 pounds 3 ounces - assumed by adding one ounce per day since the prior ultrasound. They will actually measure the approximate weight of the baby every other week per protocol (so I will have a more accurate idea of the weight after this week's check-up). The bottom line during this week's viewing is that the baby looks wonderful, we are both very stable and there are no concerns at this time. Uncle Collin was able to tag along which was really nice as his schooling will likely prohibit him from seeing our new little one for a bit post birth. Though there weren't any great frontal views, he did get to see some movement, hands, feet, a quick profile, and hear exactly how the baby was positioned - still head down but flipped since the previous week so head down toward my right hip, back curled up towards my left side, rump just under the left side of my rib cage with legs and arms snug and cozy on my right side. That kiddo is certainly making good use of any space my short waist torso can provide!

Mary Louise and David come up with things all the time...I really should keep an ongoing list:
Mary Louise's regular positive response is, "Yeah. Ok Mommy. Sure! Uh huh!" That child is almost 3 going on 14...

Today, David was pushing her around on her tricycle. They got a bit rowdy and Mary Louise hit her shin on a pedal. She didn't cry - just came up to me with a bleeding shin and a HUGE grin saying, "My have new band-aid Momma?! Just one! My have a bo-bo wite here! My need a new Band-aid wite Momma?!" I gave her a pink Hello Kitty Band-aid...not that she knows what the heck Hello Kitty is (umm, incidentally, what, or who is Hello Kitty - I don't even know)...I found her a few minutes later proudly looking at her battle wound saying, "He-yo Kitty Cat!! My yike pink! He-yo Kitty! Meeee-yow!!"

On house cleaning day, I told the kiddos that we would bathe the dogs first thing in the morning. Mary Louise said, "My bave da dogs myself Mommy?"
"Sure!" I said, "That would be wonderful!"
"Ok!" she said. "My need a tow (towel) and a pink hose peese."
"We don't have a pink hose Mary Louise. I don't even know where to find a pink hose. We do have a perfectly nice green hose that you can use though."
"My need a pink hose NOW Mommy!" she said. "Dus one. You can find it on da peter (computer)."
This would be the unabridged version of the story - I did mention this on Facebook so I could remember. That child...the now thing, I could really do without. We're working on it. Otherwise, she's quite the hoot and a holler!

David has been doing some fine tuning with his super dry sense of humor as well. His therapist told me when she came this week that he ignored her for a good bit of the session. I asked him about it and said he needed to listen to her questions and try to answer them. He grinned and told me, "my pay (play) Mommy!" He then went back to doing things as he wanted. Again, totally normal behavior for his age (at least that's my opinion anyhow).

This afternoon, he ran around our little play area in nothing but a bright yellow cloth diaper. He seriously reminded me of a tiny super hero. So funny. He was so busy - working on blowing bubbles, drawing with chalk and pouring water over plants and bricks.

We've finally had some really nice weather after a number of very rainy days. It has done absolute wonders for our moods and I'm so pleased we've gotten to literally spend hours outside.

Brent started a 24 day challenge with Advocare yesterday! He's doing really really well so far with the diet changes. I'm so excited for him and for us both as we explore the tweaking of our pantry and fridge and streamline our diets again.

32 weeks tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 8 weeks or less!!! (but hopefully at least 6 more right Suga Bean?!)


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Playing at home (as requested - pics and vids)

Mary Louise and David are BEGGING to go to the park this morning. I would certainly oblige but for a rather ominous looking grey sky ahead. We usually walk to the park - and I'm really really slow these days - and I'd rather not be blocks from home shoving a double running buggy along with my recently acquired pregnancy waddle as the power behind the machine.

Nonetheless, Mary Louise insisted on getting dressed (in pink of course) "just in case" the sky clears and we can make our way down the walk. David, on the other hand, opted for a "jammy" morning...but he did eventually allow hair combing.

My diversionary efforts have included (but are not limited to):
Helping me hang diapers on the line by handing me clips and the next wet piece - even on overcast days, there still exists the anti-stink / anti-bacterial property of line drying - I try to never miss a day of opportunity.

Dancing in the kitchen: (Mary Louise has pretty fancy feet - and I'm not referencing her snazzy shoes either!)

Counting and "cooking" which David MUCH prefers over that dancing foolishness:

Ok - for those that panic over food on the floor and consuming said food. I don't really (I usually make some sort of comment, but otherwise, it's a non-event in my day- I've got other things to worry about - like crowd surfing attempts off the back of the sofa...P.S. we don't have a crowd here...). That is all.

Reading books.

"Cleaning" messes: (Mary Louise and David have favorite toys they use as "tiny bacuums" to clean a crumb mess on the floor - Mary Louise consistently chooses the weed eater while David actually chooses the toy vacuum. They love to follow me while I use the cordless sweeper - which, I might add, is the sole reason our house does not look like a compost pile - I use that thing at least 3 times a day!)

From children's museum and home March 2012

David cooking:
From children's museum and home March 2012

A few new favorites:
David in his (uhem) "hiding place" at the park:
From children's museum and home March 2012

Pretty in Pink:
From children's museum and home March 2012

Steering the shrimp boat at the Children's Museum:
From children's museum and home March 2012

Serious business:
From children's museum and home March 2012

Happy birthday Mere!!! (and no, David did NOT stick his fork in the side of the cake instead of accepting the piece Mere gave him)
From children's museum and home March 2012

The album:
children's museum and home March 2012

An older album / photo dump: (it's a total mish mash of fun but it's quite lengthy)
January 2012

I hope this quells the cravings for a bit Nanny Zoo!!

(and uhh- 30 weeks 4 days. yeah. YEAH!!)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

30 weeks 3 days!!

Mary Louise woke up bright and early at 5:30 requesting, "bwek-fist peeese!" I reluctantly got out of bed and we fumbled down the stairs - trying hard (unsuccessfully) not to disturb "the boys". They stirred and went back to sleep and Mary Louise and I began morning duties: laundry, dogs, cat, dishes, diapers, and of course "bwek-fist!!"

Mid way through her Tiger Milk Bar, Mary Louise looked up at me and asked, "Mommy? My go to gwo-see today?"
"What do you want at the grocery?" I asked in return.
"Uhhh. was-brees, staw-brees, and hummus! peeese!"
How could I deny her sweet rosy cheeks and big blue eyes??

David was up shortly afterward and Brent was off to work not long after that.

Mary Louise continued to ask for her groceries so we all got dressed (ok, we needed a few things anyhow) and had a really funny ride to the store. All the way there, Mary Louise asked to stop at the park. To antagonize her, David kept yelling, "no park!" But when I looked in the rear view mirror, he was grinning while yelling. Mary Louise, on the other hand, was not so amused.

We arrived at the store, I gave the "you MUST stay in the buggy" lecture, and got the affirmative nods after a few "no's". We found that there were new buggies there! One pink car, one yellow taxi and one police car sat in the cart bay - Mary Louise and David were beyond excited...but they had to agree on a cart to ride.

Of course Mary Louise wanted the pink one - after all, she was wearing her pink butterfly top, pink sandals, and pink hair accessories as she'd chosen while getting dressed. I mean, what else would she ride in but the cart that matched her fancies.

Of course David pumped his brakes at the mention of a pink grocery chariot.

After some discussion, they settled into the police car...and Mary Louise spun the steering wheel on her side eagerly the ENTIRE way through the store yelling, "beep beep get outta ma way!!" David thought she was nothing short of hysterical. (I can't say I disagreed).

Once home, we unloaded, kids played outside and we had a bit of lunch before making our way out once more for playtime at a neighbor's and my doctor's appointment:

My doctor was so positive about my current state. He said, "I have no concerns at this time and think you're progressing beautifully and right on target." I almost asked him if he could repeat himself so I could record what he was saying.

My fundus is measuring at exactly 30 weeks. As we did end up doing an ultrasound (I can't seem to leave without one!), I got to see our little one, listen to the heartbeat (rate of 150), hear measurements (3 pounds 11 ounces!! and the 57th percentile) and watch shenanigans - yawning, swallowing, flipping and kicking. The baby is in a head down position - and will likely stay there throughout. Head is to the lower left side, with legs and rear end to the upper right. He / she is starting to get into the classic fetal position. I saw the umbilical cord floating behind the baby - it looked like bubbles. Amazing.

Though the baby is big, the growth curb he/ she is following is constant - perfect arch. So, no concerns. Measurements are consistent with a baby about 2 weeks older in gestation which is also fine.

We discussed delivery a little. I muster up the nerve to ask a few more questions each time I see the doctor - I never had such luxury before - worrying over the tiny things, things that matter - but pale in a NICU / preemie delivery.

I'll see the doctor again in 2 weeks but begin weekly biophysical profile (ultrasounds) next week. I will continue progesterone shots through week 36 and discontinue Asprin therapy at week 35. It's surreal to think such topics are now on the discussion far so good!! (so excited!)


Monday, March 5, 2012

We're (all) growing!!

Mary Louise and David are getting so very big - both figuratively and literally. They are well into 2T clothing. David can still pull off an 18 or 24 month shirt as they tend to be long and he's thin so width is certainly not a problem - and of course shorts are a whole different story - thank goodness it's warm again because his pants were all too short while his waist hasn't grown at all. Dapper Snappers have become our "go to" fix all to keep his bottom covered while out (this after having him run around after church one Sunday and having 2 elderly ladies giggle and come to get me because "your boy is running about with his pants around his ankles!"). Anyhow, Mary Louise is a pretty perfect 2T currently and I'd expect her to remain so for at least another year.

We went shopping yesterday in a search for the one thing I consistently purchase when needed...(all of their clothing is purchased online during end of season sales a year ahead of time. I collect the next size in a storage bin and have it on hand when they outgrow a size. This way, we save- the rock bottom prices are often much better than consignment - and there is no frantic trip to the store.) SHOES. Ah my nemesis. David has his dear daddy's feet: impossible to fit. Mary Louise is relatively easy - she's just narrow so we stick to a certain, very few brands. David, however, has cinder blocks for feet - cute ones - but have you every tried to fit a shoe on a square??

So, yesterday, we tried. I at least get them to the store for proper measurements (ML is a 6.5 and David is a 6 so we typically try one half size up). Mary Louise was successful - and pretty skinkin' entertaining. They rode in their stroller to the shoe department of Dillard's. (we're pretty limited here as far as shopping). The sales woman walks over and Mary Louise suddenly announces, "My want PINK sooos Mommy, peeeese?!"  That, my friends, is a gal who knows what she wants. Of course we looked at pink shoes. She pranced around and ran in circles in her pink Converse and pink patent Stride Rite Sandals and was just pleases as could be as we purchased her lot of pink spring and summer shoes. Sweet David, on the other hand, couldn't even fit into shoes that we technically a full size above his measurements. No one routinely stocks wide widths here. So, after trying one more boutique -type store, we called it quits. That's about all Mary Louise and David (and Momma and Sugs for that matter) can take for a Sunday afternoon - even with Daddy there to lend a hand!

I took pause today as I received the information on an insurance claim for my last ultrasound: reason: excessive fetal growth. Ha - a bit much. While at the store, the sales lady kept staring at my belly. Finally, she asked my due date. I responded, "May 13th". She stared, quietly, for another moment. I added, "it's a big baby." "Yeah," she said, puzzled, "you're pretty out there..." Thanks lady, you're the second one this week to point out how big I am. Really, I hadn't noticed what with having my belly bump the counter while I felt sure I was still about 3 feet away. At least she didn't try to rub me and make a wish!

Mary Louise and David have NOT stopped eating for days now. Really. They eat breakfast from about 6am until around 10. They finish up the last bites around 10:30 and start asking to "EAT momma EAT!!!" again around 11:30. They eat off and on until around 1, again about 3 and slow towards 5 which is when we gear up to do our bed time routine. Sound early? It is. We draw out bath time over an hour and read as many books as it takes while Mary Louise and David wind down in bed. They do go to bed early - before 7 usually. But letting them stay up later only earns us extra grumpy time the following day (as opposed to time sleeping in). No naps, early bed time = a little quiet time for Mommy at the end of the day. Win.

The big news of the week for us is that while Mere and Pops were visiting this weekend, Brent and I finally set Mary Louise and David up in their very own "big kid" room. They have a full size bed with the box spring removed (lower mattress), a single bed so that, if they choose, they can have their own sleeping space, and they are no longer in a room that connects to the master. Ok, so they are like 4 feet down the hall - but it's the furthest they've had to travel to get to us...ever. They've slept there for 2 nights and, all things considered, it's gone well. They still wake about twice nightly - sometimes 3 times. We are certainly going through an adjustment - they have to figure out where they are when they wake. But I'm sure things will settle again soon. I read to them in a rocking chair by their bed now as opposed to lying down with them. In truth, I miss the extra snuggles, but think this is best as I'll be trying to nurse, read and wrangle very soon and I'll need the extra mobility I get with sitting away from the kids trying to sleep. When we go up the stairs, Mary Louise and David get so excited to march into their "bery own big woom!" with a "boo-tee-ful bed!" so it seems, for now, that this change is positive. Brent and I are hoping to finish things up this coming weekend by turning his old office (which is right next door to the "big kid" room and connects internally with a doorway) into a play / reading room and putting the last touches on his office (which is now in the little room connected the kids used to sleep in). If you're wondering, we will use a co-sleeper attached to the bed for the baby.

I've recovered a bit from last week's parental beat down. We had evaluations on Monday, then David had home therapy on Tuesday and Thursday as his therapist was sick the week prior and needed to make up a session. Then he had private therapy on Friday. Thursday, his home therapist confidently told me that David had started out at a 1 year old level of speech back in September but was now at a 2 year old level. I tried to respectfully disagree, but she was pretty insistent. We agreed, above all, that he is making progress. She informed me that if I refused the "Head Start" program here, that she didn't have any other recommendations for me.

I decided that I just needed a break from all of the school opinions and opted to follow up that Friday with his private therapist.

I went in thinking I was some sort of lone ranger - but knew David acted more like himself at private therapy than he ever did with evaluations or even his home therapist. I spoke with his private therapist for 30 minutes. She said that their basic criteria for 3 year old speech was that the child could freely and spontaneously string 3 or more words together. Not only does he routinely do that, but he typically strings 5 words together - but it can be difficult to understand if he's too excited or tired. His private ST also said that after I'd voiced some concern a couple of weeks ago, she'd talked to the other 2 therapists that worked there. He has seen both of them on occasion- enough for them to have an opinion. The bottom line: he is showing some language delay, but is otherwise doing well.

This weekend, I reviewed 2 and 3 year old schooling curricula in our area - noting the goals of the programs. David and Mary Louise participate (at home) in all focal areas of the 2 year old class and have already achieved or are in the process of learning the 3 year old scholastic goals of our first choice school. They both fall notably short in one area - potty training. Even if we were interested in schooling, I have yet to find a program that even accepts diapered children after age 2.

Again, I can't even believe I'm still talking about this...thank you so much for all of the support.

Today was absolutely gorgeous! I hung the diapers on the line to dry (because I'm all pioneer like that...P.S., Brent and I made our own laundry detergent Sunday afternoon - romantic right?), and we dressed for a morning at the Children's Museum. We spent an hour there - it was surprisingly busy so Mary Louise and David tired quickly. They did really really well with the other children though before finally getting overwhelmed and hungry after just over and hour. We opted to have a picnic by the lake, played at the park, and walked along the water for anther 2 hours or so. Mary Louise serenaded us with her own rendition of "Jingle Bells"- over and over and over again.

I did aim to get them good and tired with all of the activity - but I ended up good and tired myself. We came home rosey cheeked and happy. I took my blood pressure when we walked in the door - just to make sure we were ALL doing just fine - 114/76 - nice. After a walk, chasing my littles around the park and museum, and loading up for the very short ride home, I'd say that's solid.

Happy 30 weeks and 1 day to us!! I'd better run - little Miss, "my yike pink" is about to paint a table with hummus and the green bean is really thinking about spitting juice at "Monkey George" on the television...