Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Week 27: The PUNCHING and KICKING Week -- 3.17 -3.23

I'm pretty sure our little girl is going to be a future UFC Champion because, my-oh-my, can she punch and kick.  And, she has endurance!I feel it ALL day long on all sides of my tummy -- way up, way down, far right and far left.  She is all over the place!  I hope she continues to enjoy the space while it lasts!  As she continues to grow it is going to become pretty snug in there!  

I didn't get out this week nearly as much as I would have liked.  Nothing like last week, but that is okay.  I think the weather in KC has everyone pretty much fed up, especially stay at home moms with babes who desperately want to run and play outside.  Today, we woke up to another 7-8 inches of snow.  Snow, Shmow! I'm not even sure I'm going to pull out Eli's snow pants again so we can all go play in it.  We'll see.  Oh, spring, where art thou?!?


The snow is just starting to fall -- 2 days into spring!

Finished product, thank you mother nature -- now could you please give us some sunshine!!  Pretty please!!

Baby Milestones this Week: Baby girl's lungs are going through some major developments these days, which (combined with the opening of previously plugged nostrils) means she's now able to practice inhaling and exhaling. The lack of air in my womb means every "breath" is filled with amniotic fluid, but hey -- it's progress.

Best Moment of the Week: Change up.  Worst Moment of the Week:  I finally gave in and let a professional cut Eli's hair.  Big mistake.  I told the hair dresser to leave his bangs right above his eye brows  and to just shape up the rest.  Well, his bangs are practically at his hairline!  And, they aren't even even!  Argh!  I can't wait until it grows back! 



Okay, maybe I was exaggerating a little bit but I still want my baby's long hair back.
I'm so glad I won't have to worry about baby girls' hair nearly as much (at least when she is small, I'm sure by the time they hit adolescence our hair troubles will migrate from Eli to little sister in the hair department)!  In fact I'm really looking forward to my little girls hair!  I've always loved doing hair and now I'll get to have my own little model 24/7!  I hope she likes to have her hair done!  Ha!  My luck, she won't at all!  

I wonder what her hair will be like?   Will it be super blonde like Eli's?  Or red, red like daddy's?  Or maybe she will take after her grandmothers' and have brown hair?  Will it be straight like mine? Or wavy like daddy's?  Oh, all the possibilities!  One thing I do know -- it will be adorned with lots of bows!

Obsessions this Week:  My desire to nest is steadily increasing.  I've started to pull out Eli's infant necessities: bouncy seat, floor play gym, tummy time mat, etc and wash the parts.  Still have LOTS and LOTS to do!!!

Symptoms this Week:  Continued sacrum pain, leg cramps and stuffy nose.  Also, and this isn't anything new either, but I haven't really written about it -- I have the craziest dreams.  I remember this with Eli too.  They aren't necessarily associated with pregnancy but are wacko!  I must have quite the imagination.  Some are pleasant, some not so much.  

Epiphany this Week:   Life is full of tragedy.  People need prayer.  People need love.  A few months ago, I thought I was losing this tiny baby.  I prayed that God would heal my uterus and He did.  But, what if He had other plans.  Painful plans.  Would the God that I know and love still be good?  Yes.  His plans are for His people are only good.  But, I am not sure how I would have responded if things would have gone differently.  I am not sure if I would have been able to praise Him in the storm.  I am not sure if my faith wouldn't have been altered.  I hope not, but I am not sure.  I thank God that I have family and friends who have faith that is stronger than mine and whose lives are a continually testimony of His goodness.


God, there are so many people I know that need You right now.  Desperately, need You.  Please help them to see your plan for them while in the midst of their suffering.  Wrap Your loving arms around them and give them Your peace.  Please give me a compassionate heart and help me to know how I can serve Your people.  Help Mike and I to raise children who value compassion and serving others above intelligence, athleticism, and popularity.  May Your will be done. 

What is different this time around?  At 27 weeks with Eli I noticed I had started to experience Braxton Hicks contractions.  I think I am beginning to notice them this week too!  Crazy how everything happens so in sync with my body for both pregnancies.  

We are still way behind where we were on our list of things to do before baby arrives but a fellow mom from my neighborhood, Glenda, messaged me on FB and offered me her sit and stand stroller and a car seat and base!  How awesome of neighbors do Mike and I have!?!  Such a blessing!  Thank you Glenda!

What I'm looking forward to most next week:  

On Thursday the neighborhood mommy group I set up on FB last fall is going to have its first monthly Mom's Night Out at La Fuente (So far it has only consisted of play dates).  I am so excited to take a break with other moms and just enjoy of few minutes of socialization with out being interrupted by kiddos!  We've already got next month's date set up too!  

AND

My life long friend Mary Beth is coming to visit from WA!  She will be here on Saturday and I am so excited to get to spend Easter with her.  We met in 2nd grade and became best friends right away.  Through out our schooling our friendship ebbed and flowed but we always came back (stronger than ever) into each other's lives and today she is one of my bestest friends!  Yippee!

AND

Celebrating the amazing love of our Savior Jesus Christ and the price he paid on the cross for our sins with my family and friends.  Happy Easter everyone!  


To do list: (red is new)


*Decide on a name -- we are getting closer -- If you asked Mike, he would say Ellie Grace.
*Buy:
nursery furniture
double stroller -- trying to choose between a side by side or a front to back, got some really excellent feedback from other moms on FB but now I seem to be even more confused...  We shall see!  Thanks to Glenda!
nursing tanks
pacifiers, diapers, etc
video monitor
Sophie the Giraffe
I really want to get an Ergo baby carrier but we shall see
*Decorate the nursery
*Finish basement remodel -- Getting closer!  Mike is almost done building the built-in and carpet and dry wall people can come this week!  Then, we still have A LOT of painting to do but nothing too big.  I think we should be done in about a month!  :)
*Sew a new cover for the glider and ottoman -- I've asked my mother to do this and she happily obliged!
*Look into maternity and newborn photography
*Get breast pump out and organize supplies
*Schedule a hospital visit for mid-April
*Plan a low-key "sprinkle" for baby girl (we do not need a full-blown shower as we have been mightily blessed, but I'd like to celebrate her upcoming arrival with family and friends in some way or another) I talked to Mike about this and he said he already has something in the works for me!  :)  How sweet!  


And, the list keeps getting longer...


Week 27 Belly Pics: 





With Eli -- June 2011

Only 90 more days people!  Yikes!  I can't believe I am entering my third trimester!  Praising God for getting us this far and for the days to come!

XO,

Alison

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Winter 2013 with Eli: 15-18 months 12.14.12 - 3.14.13

Winter 2013 with Eli: 15-18 months 12.14.12 - 3.14.13

***Click the photo collages to see a larger view -- all the pictures are iphone except of few. I have more from our actual camera that maybe I'll upload later but I'm being lazy right now...



December 



Teething

Eli's latest bout with teething started just before Christmas and this time it was those big fatty teeth in the back of his mouth -- the molars!  Cutting molars suckity, suck, SUCKS!  Mike's Christmas vacation time began with us going to the doctor due to a mild fever and a very fussy little boy.  It was a Saturday and the place was packed with babies crying and kids coughing.  Eli tested negative for RSV and the Flu but the doctor said that all four of his molars were trying to poke their way through and one on top had just begun to rupture.  He said that the molars are the most painful to cut because of their size and to keep him on motrin (like clock work) but that is all we could do for him.  He then tested Eli's oxygen which was low so he sent us to children's mercy for a chest xray to rule out pneumonia; which, thankfully, he did not have.  We spent 5 hours at either the doctors office or the hospital -- mainly waiting -- that day!  (What a way to start a vacay, right?)  Eli was a wreck for the next two-three weeks.  I can honestly say that teething -- for Eli -- is almost as bad as learning to sleep!  Lord, when will we catch a break with this child?!?!

5th Annual Christmas Eve Taco's with the Stephens!

Mike and I cooked up a little Mexican feast and invited our family over to enjoy the afternoon of Christmas Eve!  This pre-holiday celebration has become quite the tradition in our household!  Mike can cook up some mean tacos and we are definitely willing to eat them!!  

The beautiful Christmas table setting Mike's parents sent us!  We will treasure it for many, many Christmas' to come!  Thank you!

Sisters and cousins.  Eli is definitely teething!

Our family :)
Eli in his cute Christmas PJ's after our family left.

A Christmas to Forget...

Mike and I agreed that, unfortunately, Christmas 2012 was the worst Christmas both of us have ever had.  Firstly, I hadn't done much shopping at all.  I just couldn't gather enough energy to do much of anything in November and December.  (I'll blame it on the 1st trimester of pregnancy!) And, as for wrapping -- which I usually love to do -- that didn't happen either.  So, Mike and I stayed up late on Christmas Eve and wrapped the few presents we had for Eli and each other.  Thankfully, Eli's Oma and Opa sent him lots of gifts so at least the space under our tree wasn't completely bare!
  
Then, in the wee morning hours (when Santa was supposed to be visiting our house...) I woke up to a TERRIBLE stomach ache and knew immediately that I needed to throw up.  From 1-4 in the morning I was stuck in the bathroom throwing up every last ounce of food and then when that was done -- and, trust me when I say it is no fun to throw up homemade Mexican food -- I continued with stomach bile.  It was violent.  It was gross.  Once the puking was over, I knew what I was experiencing wasn't just typical morning sickness you get with pregnancy.  I felt HORRIBLE and tried my best to go back to sleep hoping and praying that I would feel better for Christmas morning.  

Christmas morning came quickly and to my dismay I wasn't feeling better at all.  I couldn't keep anything down and just wanted to stay in bed.  I literally forced myself to get out of bed when Eli woke up and watch him open presents.  It was miserable for me but what was even worse was the fact that Eli was a wreck too!    I was laying on the couch thinking... Seriously, is this really Christmas?!  The one day of the year that is supposed filled with joy and love?  I felt terrible for Mike who had a sick wife and an extremely fussy toddler (darn teeth!).

A perfect representation of Christmas morning 2012.  Me on the couch and Eli fussy.  

There may have been a smile or two in there somewhere.

We chalked my stomach ailment up to food poisoning since I had eaten some enchiladas that had been sitting out for a few hours the previous night and headed to my parents to celebrate the day with them and my sister's family.  Eli had a decent time at first and went down for a nap shortly after arriving.  After his nap, he was NOT happy.  There didn't seem to be anything we could do to make him even crack a smile.  Poor babe.  He wasn't even interested in opening any presents (which Mike ended up doing for him).  He didn't want to eat either.  Poor Mike and poor the rest of my family that had to listen to him fuss and cry for the remainder of the day.  

During dinner, I laid in my parents bed while everyone ate the wonderful meal that my mother prepared.  (I had the pleasure of drinking Gatorade and eating a cracker and half of a banana).  Through the door I could hear Eli crying at the dinner table.  And, couldn't help but cry myself.  For those of you that don't know, Eli hasn't ever been the happiest child on the block.  He has always been very needy and, at times, incessantly fussy.  Don't get me wrong -- he would smile and giggle and play everyday but it wasn't the "norm" for him.  He pretty much needed constant attention and even then would still be fussy.  He was exhausting.  And, at times -- on particularly difficult days -- I will admit that I thought I was going to lose it.  Well, on the evening of December 25th 2012, I LOST it.  I love Eli more than anything in the world but in that moment couldn't help to wonder what I was doing so wrong that Eli was such an unhappy child.  I bawled and bawled and wailed until I had the ugliest I had ever cried in my life.  (I'm sure the fact that I was miserably sick on Christmas and that Eli was especially difficult due to his teeth didn't help anything).  My mother and sister found me drowning in a wet, snotty pillow and tried to console me.  Shortly after, Mike and I  decided to leave and I continued to cry the whole way home and began to ask myself how the hell (and I am not a cuss-er) was I going to handle having two children, if the next one's temperament was anything like Eli's?!?    

That was the night I woke up to a puddle of blood and Mike and I thought we were losing our baby. (I honestly couldn't help but wonder if all my sobbing and questioning led to this horrible outcome.)  We woke Eli up and headed to the ER.  Thank God we were not miscarrying and still have a growing baby girl at 26 weeks pregnant.  But, as you can imagine, this was a VERY tough 24 hours for me and my family.  

Ready to put Christmas 2012 past us and looking forward to spending it with two healthy babies for Christmas 2013 in California!  Yippee!

New Years

Mike and I had planned to go to our friends,  Matt and Ashley's, NYE/Engagement Party but due to Mike's chronic cough and my modified bed rest we decided to stay in.  My mom actually stayed the night at our house because she was planning on babysitting.  I think we were all in bed by 9pm.  LOSERS!  (Watch out friends without kids as this is what happens when your bundles of joy arrive!)  :)  Eli enjoyed having his grandma stay the night though.  She was there in the morning and stayed for breakfast!  He sure loves his grandma!

January

We found out in early January that Eli was going to have a little sister.  Sammie sister will always have a special place in his heart!  :)

During the month of January I was on bed rest (mostly modified) due to the blood clot in my uterus and my parents took shifts taking care of Eli.  I know someday he will thank them for their service to him and his little sister.  They did such a great job of keeping such an active toddler happy during the middle of winter when it is too cold to be outside!  Thank you mom and dad!

An attempt at weaning...

In the beginning of January I was told by my OB's nurse that I needed to abruptly wean Eli.  Nursing can cause uterine contractions and since I was at an increased risk of miscarriage due to my SCH weaning is the typical protocol.  I hadn't planned on weaning Eli for a few more months so I was pretty devastated.  Eli had been especially wanting to nurse during this time because his teeth really hurt him.  Those couple of days of weaning were a complete nightmare.  Eli was constantly was asking for milk and cried and cried when I told him no.  We tried so many types of other milks and he wouldn't drink any of them.  This all happened during the weekend and on Monday I called to ask my OB her thoughts.  To my astonishment and pleasure, she said that I could continue to nurse because at 15 months my uterus shouldn't really be contracting much or at all during feedings.  She said if I felt cramping when I nursed then I should listen to my body.  I didn't feel any increase in cramping while nursing.  Yay!  What a HUGE relief!  So much stress for no reason.

A BIG change

Around the middle of January Mike and I saw a huge (and when I say huge I mean ginormous) change in Eli's behavior.  He was suddenly so much happier!  Can I get an AMEN!?!?!?!  I think his teething pain had finally lessened and his sleep got much better and it all just somehow clicked!  This was perfect timing as I was experiencing some major anxiety with my then high risk pregnancy.  Thank you God for only giving us what we can handle and nothing more.  Eli still has a fussy day here and there and maybe two strung together but for the most part, he is a happy, happy boy!  God is good.


February

The month of February was pretty much a blizzard in KC.  We received two feet of snow within one week!  Eli enjoyed the snow but for the most part it was too deep for him to have any real fun in. I started to feel better (as my cramping and bleeding decreased) and we began to do some "Mommy and Me" things again.  It felt good to get out of the house!!!


Valentine's Day

Eli and I went to Potter's Haven in down town  LS to make some pottery for daddy and Oma -- a special Valentine's surprise!  We made daddy a BBQ platter and Oma a garden stone -- both with Eli's hand prints!  

We also attended the Pint Size Play Valentine's Party that LSPR puts on!  It was fun -- crafts, snacks and running around a gym is a perfect party for little E!

Music with Mar also had a Valentine's Party and Eli received his first peer Valentine's!


March

I've been looking forward to March since January.  I've told myself just make it to March and the weather will be better and my little Eli will get to frequently enjoy his most beloved place again -- mother nature!  He LOVES to be outside and to explore everything the great outdoors has to offer.  I dreamed that come March we would be able to play in our backyard and start going to parks again!  Well, today is March 19th and we've had two -- one, two -- good days so far and I just looked at our 10 day forecast and it isn't until March 27 that we will even break 50 degrees! Boo hoo hoo!  Remind me again why Mike and I choose to live in the Midwest?!  Honestly, the thought of moving South has been rolling around in our minds lately.  This cold weather is just depressing and kids love to be outside getting fresh air and excersizing!  Hmmm, maybe we just need a good vacay!?!? (I'm sure I'll be complaining about the heat come a couple of months!)

Here is to April and the sunshine it will hopefully bring us!


St. Patrick's Day

Our little family attended the Annual LS Emerald Isle Parade for the first time and even though it was pretty chilly Eli really enjoyed looking at the different entries in the parade!  He really liked the firetrucks, police motorcycles and horses!


18 Month Check up

We had Eli's 18 month check up on March 19th -- 5 days after he officially turned 18 months.

He was
33.5 inches -- 81st percentile in height
24lbs 10oz -- 31st percentile in weight
and his head circumference was 68th percentile.  Eli's pediatrician said that all of his growth charts look great!  He is a skinny boy but nothing to be concerned with.  

We could answer yes to all of the questions the doctor asked about Eli's development:
-he responds to praise (although he isn't a big clapper)
-he can say around 10 words -- average in 5-10 (doc says animal sounds count!)  
Mom or mama
Dada
Moo
Moon
Up
Hot (sounds like aht)
Ow
Hi
growl
Boo
Neigh
Monkey sound
-he understands simple directions
-he dances to to music
-he is interested in other children (especially older children)
-he points to things
-he understand "night, night" and "bye, bye"
-he gets excited to see people he knows other than Mike and I
-he needs some time to warm up to a new situation but eventually does -- doctor said this should drop down to a mere few seconds by two years of age
-he is very affectionate with us, Sammie and his stuffed animals
-he can feed himself with a fork and spoon

We asked about Eli's pigeon toes and he watched him walk.  He said that his hips haven't completely moved into place yet but that it should take place in the next year or so.  He continued that there was no need for braces because the body 99.9% of the time works itself out.

We also asked about almond milk vs. whole milk.  He said Eli should be drinking whole milk because of the fat content and how it helps to develop the brain.  I hope he can get used to the taste!

His speech was a major concern for us.  I haven't let it bother me too much until the last month or so when (and I know I shouldn't) I started noticing several other mom's post about their 12+mo olds saying LOTS of words.  Eli seemed so stagnant for so long.  I knew he understood what we were saying because we could say, "Go throw this in the trash" and he would or "Where is Blue Bear?" and he would get him.  So, the doctor saying that he was right on schedule for 18 months made me feel good.  He said that by the time he is two he should have 30-50 words.  I am looking forward to this!

Of course, he HATED the shots and it is so heart breaking to have to hold him down while they poke him. :'(

He wanted his daddy the whole time we were there.  Melts my heart!

Other:

Eli can sign:
please, thank you, more, milk, all done, sorry, bye bye

Eli knows the following body parts:
eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, tongue cheeks, chin, hair, eyes, legs, knees, toes, hands, fingers, and of course penis and balls! 

He has pretty much figured the car seat out and doesn't fuss much anymore -- unless it is a long care ride or he is especially tired.  

He is also much better in restaurants and Mike and I have figured out a pretty good routine to keep him happy: books, snacks, drinks, cars, iphone videos.

He can point to most animals in a book when asked, "Where is the cow?" he will point to it, etc.

He can take off his socks and shoes and jackets.  He tries really hard to put his socks and shoes on but still needs assistance.

He does SO well with time out -- all we have to say is, "Eli, if you do that again you are going to go to time out."  Most of the time it works like a charm.  If it doesn't he goes to time out for 1.5 minutes and we tell him why he is there.  He sits there the whole time and asks once or twice if it is "all done" in sign language.  Then he says he is "sorry" in sign language as well and we let him out.

What Eli likes:

Transportation!  Trucks, tractors, cars and especially airplanes
Climbing
Showing off his belly button
Hearing the garage door open when daddy gets home
Books -- especially with animals, cars/trucks, and babies
Stuffed animals
Being outside
Music and Dancing
Wrestling and running around on the couch especially with Daddy
Playing Fee Fie Foe Fum with Grandpa
Hide 'n Seek
Riding on people's backs (like an elephant)
Pushing furniture and large trucks around
Running around on a trampoline
Bath time with either mommy or daddy
Teasing Sammie, hugging Sammie, pointing out Sammie's features
Playing, jumping, cuddling, reading and watching tv on mommy and daddy's bed before night time.
TV: Barney, Elmo music videos, Dinosaur Train, and Daniel the Tiger  (He is a PBS boy)
Foods: spaghetti, almost all fruits, pureed veggies, oatmeal, waffles, avocado, black beans, rice, soups, rotisserie chicken, noodles, mac and cheese, string cheese, slice of cheese, sweets, ice cream, gummy bears!  He will try almost anything but  you will know quickly if he is keen to it by whether it ends up on the floor or not!  :)


Sleep

Oh, the wonderful world of sleep in the Stephens' household!  Instead of writing about the negative aspects of Eli's sleep the last few months (trust me there are some) I am happy to report:

He consistently sleeps through the night 10.5-12 hours.  He goes down with no to little crying.   

He takes one good nap a day, sometimes waking half way through, sometimes not.  For awhile it was hard to figure out just what time to put him down because he wasn't really showing any signs of being tired but now his schedule is this

Goes to bed between 8:00 and 8:15
Wakes up between 7:00 and 8:00
Goes down for a nap between 1:00 and 2:00 for 1 - 2 hours

Pretty darn good considering what we've been through!  I think he finally figured it all out around 16 months! Praying our little girl won't take that long!!! :)

Thoughts on weaning...

I attended my first breast feeding support group this past Monday for the 1st time in 14 months!  I knew there were other moms who went that are breast feeding and pregnant and a few who tandem nursed their children.  So, I figured, I could get a good perspective and some support from them.

Let me say this much -- never in my wildest imagination would I have ever thought that I would even consider tandem nursing (nursing two children during the same time period).  When I was pregnant with Eli I did lots of research and made a decision to breast feed to at least one year.  I was open to continuing to two years for the health benefits.  However, I had no idea the emotional connection I would develop during that process.  Furthermore, when I tried to abruptly wean Eli at 15 months he was a total train wreck and my heart broke for him.  I am so glad that me OB okay-ed us continuing.  

I will also say that when I first found I was pregnant with little girl I set a date in which I wanted to be completely done with it and that date was Eli's 18 month -- the middle of March.  That would give me a good 3 month period for him to get adjusted to no milk and give me a little break before baby comes in June.  

Well, it is the middle of March.  I am still nursing.  Not much, maybe 2-4 times a day.  I'm not even sure if he is getting that much but I what I do know is that he still enjoys it.  He latches on and gives me a grin. He plays with my face, points out my mole and strokes my hair.  I talk to him and sing to him while he gently sucks away.  It lasts maybe 5 minutes.  I love it.  It doesn't bother me.  It is not a hassle.  He loves it.  He wants it. I'll give it to him.

So, as I chatted with the lactation consultant -- who is such an incredibly caring, compassionate and intelligent person -- I came to the conclusion that I just wouldn't stress about it.  "It" being weaning.  Eli is already very actively weaning.  He doesn't bf for nutrition.  He eats solids and drinks lots of liquids.  He just likes to snuggle up with mommy.  I literally am in awe with myself for deciding to probably tandem nurse.  I can't imagine saying to Eli, "Okay, here is the new baby, which means less attention for you and oh, by the way I am also taking away mama's milk."  I am 100% okay with my decision. I am owning it.  I know other people may think it is totally weird and I get it because it is not the norm in our culture.  But, it is in other cultures and our culture is beginning to change.  And, I think it is a good thing.


My dear, sweet Eli,

If you could only take a peek inside my heart you would see it swelling, no bursting, with love for you!  You have helped me understand what unconditional love truly is.  It happened when I first laid eyes on you and has only grown stronger each day since.  You are loved and cherished by so many.  You are a child of God and He loves you more than you will ever be able to fathom. 

You have changed me.  I am a better person because of you.  You have taught me when to be patient and when to hurry; when to laugh and when to cry; when to be silly and when to be serious.  Most of all you have taught me how when you truly love someone you put their needs in front of your own.  You are my most treasured gift and I will cherish you -- every moment with you -- for the rest of my life.

I don't want you to grow up, my sweet baby.  You are such a fun and cuddly bundle of complete joy right now!  My heart melts with each hug and kiss you offer me.  Your giggles and squeals of joy are like music to my ears.  I especially love watching you with daddy.  You love him so much and are beginning to prefer him over me.  I thought this would make me sad but it really doesn't.  He is such a good dad and he will be who you will  model your own life after.  I know he just adores you and loves you so much too!

I never could have imagined that life could get any sweeter from the day you were born but it does each day.  You are my only baby boy and you will always be my only baby boy.  But, a baby girl is on the way and she is going to be your little sister!  Oh, how I know you will love her.  It will be hard at first but you will get the hang of sharing mommy and daddy with her quick.  You are going to be such an amazing big brother and I can't wait to see you in this role!  God chose you to be her big brother -- to be a good role model and to protect her -- to be kind and to love her.  You're going do a great job!

But, for the next few months it is still just you, daddy and mommy!  You better believe we are soaking up each and every moment we get with you.  Lets have a great spring together, okay!  

Eli, my first child, you are a true gift from God.  I love you and always and always will.

XOXO, 

Mama


Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 26: The BUSY Week -- 3.10 - 3.16

It has been a week crammed full of FUN, but I am one tired mama!  Thursday and Friday were heavenly as temperatures soared into the 70's!  
Eli enjoying the sun in our backyard sandbox!
Followed by a weekend of highs in the 40's with rain and sleet!  That is Midwest weather for ya!  :(  Hoping that the sun will come back soon and stay around for awhile because...

Monday - Eli and I met my friend Lara at McAllister's Deli here in LS.  He was such a good boy and let us sit and chat for a good hour! 
Tuesday - Took Eli to Flip Zone for the second week in a row.  He had a blast running on the trampoline!
Wednesday - Met up with my friend Alyssa and her son who is 6 months older than Eli at Chick-fil-a. The boys we so good and had fun checking out the play area.
Thursday - Went to the Zoo with my friend Rachel and her two kiddos.  She babysat for Eli a year ago on Monday's while I was still teaching -- she was such a blessing! The weather was chilly at first but warmed up quickly and the kids really enjoyed seeing the animals.

Friday - My sis and I met up at Burr Oaks in Blue Springs.  Eli LOVED it.  We had a little picnic in the woods overlooking a creek and so enjoyed the nice weather!!

Saturday -  Mike and I took Eli (and Sammie) to the annual LS Emerald Isle Parade.  SO FUN!  
Notice we are back in winter coats for the parade!

Whew, what a week!  I would much rather be busy than not.  It is hard for me to think back to a few months ago when I was on modified bed rest.  SO. GLAD. THAT. IS. OVER.  Thank you Lord for allowing my body to heal and for all the good friends and family that you have placed in my life who make it that much better!


Baby Milestones this Week: Baby girl is soaking up my antibodies, getting her immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and she'll soon be practicing the blink...perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes.



Best Moment of the Week: Too many to choose!  I had a blast with Eli this week!  I can't wait till little girl gets here and can join in on the fun!

Obsessions this Week: Loving the bigger kicks and punches and seeing the movement all the time -- through my shirt when I look down!  I love you baby girl!

Watching my stomach bounce around while Eli moves.  I may have said this before but, he can even move my laptop if I'm leaning it on my belly while working.  He is going to be a strong boy! (June 2011 -- 26 weeks with Eli)

Symptoms this Week:  Funny, but exactly the same as last time!  See below!

Heart burn!  I have never had heart burn before so I don't think I knew what I was experiencing the first couple of times I had it.  But, I've begun notice that after I eat (especially anything unhealthy) that I get this burning sensation in my upper chest and even towards my throat.  It isn't very pleasant.  However, I've heard the more heart burn you have the more hair the baby will have.  Not sure if this is true?  Anyone have a testimonial to share? (June 2011 -- 26 weeks with Eli)

Epiphany this Week:  I am quickly approaching my third trimester!  Really?!?!?  Where has the time gone?  It seems like yesterday I was writing a post about how slow this pregnancy was going and how I wish I could just press fast forward and June 22nd would be here.  Now that I am not constantly worrying and am getting out the door much more often the time seems to be flying by!  We still have SO much to do!!!  We aren't checking off any of our "to-do's" and the basement remodel isn't going as quickly as we expected.  We really need to get some of the essentials done ASAP because I don't want to leave them hanging until I'm 35 weeks when I know I won't feel like doing anything at all!

What I'm looking forward to most next week:  Eli has his 18 mo check up and we are going to chat with our doctor about how to prepare little boy for little girl!  We are also meeting with our PaT representative -- she is the bomb!  She has 5 kids and I know she will have some good tips for us too!

What is different this time around?  With E, we painted his nursery this week and had ALL of his nursery furniture.  We had also had one of our four showers and begun to organize supplies.  Lets just say we are currently waaaay behind where we were with Eli at this point.


To do list: (red is new)

*Decide on a name -- we are getting closer
*Buy:
nursery furniture
double stroller -- trying to choose between a side by side or a front to back, got some really excellent feedback from other moms on FB but now I seem to be even more confused...  We shall see!
nursing tanks
pacifiers, diapers, etc
video monitor
*Decorate the nursery
*Finish basement remodel 
*Sew a new cover for the glider and ottoman
*Look into maternity and newborn photography
*Get breast pump out and organize supplies
*Schedule a hospital visit for mid-April
*Plan a low-key "sprinkle" for baby girl (we do not need a full-blown shower as we have been mightily blessed, but I'd like to celebrate her upcoming arrival with family and friends in some way or another)


Week 26 Belly Pics:




With Eli -- June 2011


Much love to you all!  Prayers for a blessed spring!

Xo,
Ali

Monday, March 11, 2013

Week 25: The SMOOTH SAILING Week -- 3.3 - 3.9

*** Red and Strawberry Blonde are still tied 4 to 4 in the poll to the right -- if you haven't got a chance to vote, please do!

*** Please forgive my many grammatical errors!  I have never been the best writer, and for some reason, when I edit immediately after writing I do not see the blatant errors I've made?!?  However, days later I always go back and read my posts and find multiple mistakes -- and, of course, turn red with embarrassment.  Sometimes, I fix them and sometimes I figure most people who read my blog have already done so, so what is the point?  Really, I am just trying to make myself feel better about all the typographical errors I make in each post and am looking for some sympathy... I can't even blame this on pregnancy brain because I do it regardless if I am growing another human or not... :)

Smooth sailing from here on out!  Mike and I got some really good news at our OB appointment on Friday! The SCH has shrunk 90% and our doctor does not foresee any future complications.  She expects us to go full-term.  :)  Mike and I are thrilled!  Now that we have complete confidence in this pregnancy, I am no longer wishing the weeks away and am trying to consume each moment of just the three of us.  Before I know it, we will be a family of four and our precious little girl will be here to complete us.

It is still VERY chilly here in KC which makes it hard to spend any extended amount of time outdoors, especially when it is windy.  The snow is finally melted though!  :)  I'd be okay with not seeing anymore fluttering flakes until next winter.  Make that Christmas 2013 please!  However, Eli and I had lots of fun this week exploring new indoor attractions.  He's such a sweetie and has turned into such a cuddle bug!  I am really looking forward to watch him cuddle up and kiss his baby sis!

Funville at CC, Mommy and Me at Flip Zone and a nice walk around the neighborhood!
Baby Milestones this Week:  That oh-so-handy sense of equilibrium is kicking in, and She is learning to distinguish right side up from upside down.



Best Moment of the Week:  Our OB visit.  We got to see baby girl wiggling around in my womb -- as happy as can be.  Everything looked absolutely amazing!  The blood clot shrunk 90%.  I no longer have a low lying placenta.  Doctor says to expect healthy baby girl in JUNE!  Could the results have been any better?  :)  

Baby girl is small.  She was only in the 31st percentile for weight -- 1lb 9oz at 25 weeks.  For a comparison, Eli was 1 lb 12oz at his 20 week u/s -- 5 weeks earlier!  OB said she doesn't even become concerned unless baby is in the single digits as for as percentiles.  I'm not worried -- in fact, I'd prefer a smaller baby.  Pushing Eli out was no easy chore and I'd love, love, love to be able to say I only pushed for 15 minutes and she arrived!  (Wishful thinking, I know!)  

Obsessions this Week:  I am still craving desserts like an elephant craves peanuts.  Oh, and I am beginning to feel like an elephant!  I think the two are related!  :)

Symptoms this Week:  I'm beginning to feel really uncomfortable while sleeping.  Oh no!  I have 15 more weeks to go -- yikes!  That is over three months of tossing and turning!

I am still having sacrum pain, leg cramps and a very stuffed up nose.  Boo.  On the bright side, she is moving like crazy and I love it!

Epiphany this Week:  Day Light Savings sucks WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY worse when you have young kids.  Right when you think you are on a good schedule, bam!!! you lose an hour or gain an hour -- and, I am not sure which one is worse!  

What I'm looking forward to most next week: We'll see if this happens, but the forecast for Friday shows 66 degrees and sunny!  I'd love to soak up some sun while Eli runs around in our back yard!  

What is different this time around?  Last time at 25 weeks I had just begun to see my linea nigra (dark line down the center of your belly).  No sign of this line so far!  I am sure in the next couple of weeks it will appear!  But, I'd be okay if it never did -- that pesky thing stayed around for a good 6 months post Eli's birth!

To do list: (red is new)

*Decide on a name -- we are getting closer
*Buy:
nursery furniture
double stroller
nursing tanks
pacifiers, diapers, etc
*Decorate the nursery
*Finish basement remodel - this coming week our drywall will be done and Mike is going to start building our cabinets.  Here is similar to what we are thinking: 
Yes, my husband is a handy man!!!
*Sew a new cover for the glider and ottoman
*Mike wants to paint the house!
*Look into maternity and newborn photography
*Get breast pump out and organize supplies
*Schedule a hospital visit for mid-April

Week 25 Belly Pics:

You can see my short hair better in this pic!  What d you think?

With Eli -- June 2011

Lots of love to all the other prego moms who read my blog and everyone else!  The support is tremendous and the prayers have been answered!  

XO,

Ali

Friday, March 8, 2013

The tennis ball v. the grape.

17 weeks -- uterine blood clot was the size of a

25 weeks -- uterine blood clot is the size of a





Our ultrasound today showed there was a 90% reduction in the size of the subchorionic hematoma!  Praise God!  My body is doing its job and reabsorbing the blood!  OB says to enjoy the pregnancy and expect a healthy full-term baby in June!

Additionally, baby girl is super healthy -- everything looked great from heart and brain to fingers and toes!

Mike and I are saying prayers of thanksgiving today, please join in!

XOXO,

Alison

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Week 24: The VIABILITY Week -- 2.24 - 3.2

**Don't forget to vote on what hair color you think baby girl will have.  There is a poll at the top of the right side bar.  We have 8 votes so far -- red and strawberry blonde are tied for first!  I'm thinking blonde like Eli.  I know way more than 8 people view this blog when I publish a new post so humor me and vote!  It is anonymous!  ;)  Thanks!  

Since December 26th Mike and I have been praying for this week to arrive.  24.  The week a baby reaches viability and can (with fairly good odds) live outside of the womb.  This milestone seemed like it was forever and a day away.  But, the weeks have passed -- some slower than others -- and sure enough it is here!!!  God is good!!!  Right now if something were to happen causing our precious baby girl to enter this world early, she would have a 40 - 70% chance of survival.  The percentages rise fairly rapidly with each week from here on out and once we hit 28 weeks -- March 30th -- it will feel like we are finally out of the woods for good!  See chart below.

21 weeks and less0%
22 weeks0-10%*
23 weeks10-35%
24 weeks40-70%
25 weeks50-80%
26 weeks80-90%
27 weeks>90%
30 weeks>95%
34 weeks>98%

Its been a good week!  Another week with NO blood!  Such a blessing.  (It just doesn't feel right to bleed during pregnancy -- even when you know what is causing it!) 

There is still snow on the ground in KC!  We are definitely battling cabin fever but try to get out at least once a day to enjoy the sunshine and, if you are Eli, eat some snow.  

I had a glorious hair appointment!  Love my hairdresser.  She is 30 weeks pregnant so we had fun talking about anything and everything pregnancy.  I chopped 6 inches off.  Feels good.  I was ready for a change, must be the weather. 

Mike's work has slowed some and I've enjoyed having him around more often.  He and my dad continued to work on the basement remodel this week.  The wall is totally down now and we are ready to start dry wall hanging and repair!

Baby Milestones this Week: Baby girl's skin is becoming more opaque as the fat starts to pack on. And, thanks to the formation of small capillaries, her newly thick skin is taking on a fresh pink glow. :)

Best Moment of the Week: Nothing feels better than knowing that if I were to go into labor that our little girl could live!  Thank you VIABILITY week and thank you GOD for getting us here!

Obsessions this Week: Baby girl clothing! 

Pink. Check. 
Ruffles.  Check.
Bows.  Check.
Diaper covers.  Check.
Dresses.  Check.

Oh me, oh my!  Am I in for a treat or what?  I've never been ashamed to admit -- I am a girly girl through and through.  But, now that I am actually able to shop for my very own baby girl, I am completely and utterly tickled PINK!  Check out the adorable summer outfits I found at a local consignment sale.  Less than $2.00 a piece people!  




And, since we are talking all things girly -- my amazingly talented sister gave me these cute  infant head bands to adorn baby girl with once she arrives.  Libby actually has her own business -- Lib. Laugh. Love. -- and if you haven't had a chance to check out her FB page, you are missing out!  She sells beautiful jewelry and scarves for very reasonable prices!  

https://www.facebook.com/LibLaughLove?fref=ts




Symptoms this Week: Continued sacrum pain as well as I am experiencing leg cramping while sleeping.  I go to stretch my legs and whoa -- pain!  I remembered -- maybe Mike taught be this -- from last time to point my toes upward and the pain quickly subsides.  Funny, huh? 

I think my stuffed up nose is here to stay until the very end!

Epiphany this Week:  I was going to say that God is good but I already knew that.  However, his love and faithfulness continue to amaze me everyday of this pregnancy.  

What I'm looking forward to most next week: Friday's ultrasound.  Feeling pretty good about it.  Of course, I'd love for the hematoma to be undetectable but I am prepared for it still to be hanging around.  I am also excited to see baby girl rolling around in my womb!  Mike and I have had our fair share of ultrasounds but it never gets old.  To have a screen in front of you that enables you to see what is happening with the baby inside of you is incredible to say the least!  

What is different this time around?  With Eli's pregnancy, I had never even heard the term "viability". I didn't know that once I hit 24 weeks he could have been born and survived.  My doctor didn't ever mention it -- no need to with an uncomplicated pregnancy.  With this pregnancy, this week has -- as you can tell -- been our main goal for quite some time.  Here's to 28 weeks!

To do list: (red is new)


*Decide on a name -- we are getting closer
*Buy:
nursery furniture
double stroller
nursing tanks
pacifiers, diapers, etc
*Decorate the nursery
*Finish basement remodel
*Sew a new cover for the glider and ottoman
*Mike wants to paint the house!
*Look into maternity and newborn photography


Week 24 Belly Pics:


Growing, growing!  You can't really tell but I chopped 6 inches off my locks this week!



With Eli, May 2011.

I know I've said it before and I know I'll say it again but thank you all so much for your prayers and support!  Please continue.  :)

XOxo,

Ali