Monday, October 28, 2013

A Week in the Life (v.15.3)

Our new Halloween tradition...  She gets so serious about lighting our little pumpkin candles.

Our little lady got picked as "Star Student" for November.  That means that she gets her photos hung on the door to her room at daycare for the entire month!

A little front yard hunting...  E leaves for Ireland and that night, one of the two neighborhood 8-pointers beds down in our front yard...  He's definitely a monster...

I thought that he was injured as close as he allowed me to get.  I had crept within 20 yards of him head-on before he started to stir.

Finn's first photo that is actually a photo!

We also got our first snow-fall last week.  We were actually in a lake-effect snow advisory for much of the day on Tuesday.  And Lady loved her first taste (literally) of snow this season!  She also giggled and giggled at how excited Munk got of the snow -- he is definitely a snow dog and loves eating and sliding in the snow.

Celebrating Halloween a little early.  I figured that it's totally okay to wear this outfit twice in two weeks as I want to get at least two wears out of it before Halloween is over.

Another one of Finn's photos.

Holy pregnant lady, Batman!!!  In the last two weeks, my belly has grown exponentially. At my doctor's appointment this morning, I found out that I gained 6 more pounds this month and that I'm measuring at 31 weeks which is 4.5 weeks ahead of the curve.  He said no need for concern at this point, but at my next appointment in late November, we may need to schedule an ultrasound to see if I'm going to have a Big Fish on my hands.

Over the weekend, Girlfriend got to go to her first birthday party.  One of my dear friends' littlest turned one.  Not surprisingly, she was more interested in their two dogs than she was in the other kids.  And this photo represents perfectly the entire party.  She didn't want to get too close to the other kids, but was still interested enough to see what was going on.  Not bad for her first time!

A late riser...

 I also had my glucose testing done this morning.  For anyone that has never had to drink this sh*t, I envy you.  In fact, this specific lab didn't even refrigerate the grossness...  I gagged at least four times, but had that puppy finished in under a minute flat.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Gone Fishin' at 24 weeks

So here it is... The protruding pregnancy belly has officially arrived.  In fact, it arrived about two weeks ago.  I looked in the mirror on Sunday, October 6th at 23 weeks 4 days and saw a pregnant lady.  My first reaction was honestly "Holy sh*t, girl, you ARE pregnant!"

I'm currently 26 weeks pregnant, but the post was written two weeks ago and I was just waiting to take a bump photo.  Well, it hasn't happened yet -- life gets in the way of a good selfie sometimes.  I took my first bump-date photo with Finn at 24 weeks and really wanted to do a side-by-side.  Time slipped away from me and my belly got bigger and bigger.  If I were to make a comparison of today with 24 weeks from my first pregnancy, I would feel like a fat whale.  Then I realized that I had taken the "belt" photo while I was 24 weeks.  So I just edited the photo to look of a similar style to my six month photos with Finn.  So without further ado...  Then and now...

 Six months with Finn

Six months pregnant with Fish

A freaky-deaky photo of the two pregnancies combined.
And although the photos aren't exactly the same, you can see how much bigger my belly is this time around pretty prominently.

The last two months have flown by and I forgot that I was pregnant most of the time.  With the broken foot, I just felt fat and uncoordinated.  I have also officially reached the zone where I can't sit down and tie my shoes without my belly getting in the way.  And I still have FOUR months left!  In comparing the photos from Finn and Fish, I feel like I look a lot larger already, but in comparing the weight gain, I've only gained a single pound more this pregnancy.

We had our anatomy scan done the day after I broke my foot (September 9th).  Everything looked great with absolutely no concerns, except "doing the googles" do terrible things to worry-warts. I found out that I have an anterior placenta, meaning that the placenta is on the front side of my uterus and not the back.  By most definitions, it is not a concern unless it is sitting low over the cervix, which would not allow for a natural birth.  Mine is not low -- but I started searching through the archives of google and found that anterior placentas lead to "sunnyside-up" babies (posterior babies that are essentially born backwards, facing the ceiling rather than the floor).  Posterior babies mean oodles of back labor, which it doesn't sound enjoyable to me...  Lady's birth was relatively fast and the seconds tend to be even faster (which is a good thing in my book) -- posterior babies are not born fast.  But when I spoke with my doctor, he did the academic thing and searched through published medical articles (and NOT google).  He concluded that the main source of information on posterior babies and anterior placentas was from a Finnish group and the increase was only 12%.  He told me not to worry, which I'm trying to do.  Fish is also breech at this point.  This doesn't concern me as Finn was breech for her anatomy scan as well.  She settled into position a couple of weeks before, so I don't doubt that he is going to do the same.

In the last week or so, I can feel my pelvic ligaments starting to loosen.  It's not terrible, but occasionally when I shift in bed or am sitting on the floor with Finn and try to stand up too quickly, I'll get the familiar stabbing pain in the crotch area.  I had pretty severe pelvic pain with Finn for the last three months, so although this is minor right now, I don't doubt that it will heighten as time progresses.  This type of pain I'm actually okay with as it makes the end game more convenient.  This is my pelvis loosen for an easier delivery and when it happened with Finn, I kept telling her that she better had fly out with all the pain that I was in (I would say that four pushes is essentially flying in my book).

Fish is also becoming very active.  There have been lots of kicks and jabs already.  I felt his first kick on September 7th (the day before I broke my foot) while watching the Iowa football game at 19 weeks.  (While Finn gave her first kick at 19 weeks also, she decided to kick me during an Ohio State football game -- I'm hoping it was because she wanted me to turn the channel!)  Having an anterior placenta, the first kick came a lot later than I anticipated.  I had felt him moving around in there at around 16 weeks, but was waiting for that first kick.  When it didn't come and didn't come, I was wondering what was amiss.  The placenta on the front side of the uterus acts as a cushion with the abdomen and the kicks are muted until the baby gets bigger.  He is big enough now that I feel all the jabs.  With all that belly, I would hope that he was big enough.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!

We went to the pumpkin patch with Mimi on Sunday morning before she left.  I got very nostalgic when I looked back at the very same pumpkin patch a year before.  The girl has grown so much.  It amazes me how smart and grown up she is now.

The very same pumpkin patch just one year before... (See all of 2012 photos here...)

20 months old -- 2013

8 months old -- 2012 
(See all of 2012 photos here...)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Under the sea--- errrr, lakes...

So within the last week, my mom has come and gone and E has gone.  Mom came on Wednesday afternoon and left Sunday afternoon.  E decided to make a trip to Ireland and left on Friday evening and is scheduled to come back on Sunday evening.  As of right now, it's just me and the girls (and Munk & Norman).

While Mom was in town, we decided to hit up the Cleveland Aquarium.  We had headed out on Saturday in hopes of beating the impending rain to make it to the pumpkin patch before the Aquarium. Once we arrived at the pumpkin patch and it wasn't open  due to rain, we decided to aim for the pumpkin patch on Sunday morning before Mom left and drove to the Aquarium.

It was a good thing, too.  If we would have made it to the pumpkin patch AND the Aquarium, we would have had our meltdown right in the Aquarium.  We at least got through most of the Aquarium before our meltdown occurred on Saturday.

The Cleveland Aquarium is actually pretty nice for little kids.  It's not an amazing aquarium with lots and lots of large salt-water tanks (although, it totally could have, I was too busy watching my kid to really see what all the little tanks held).  But it did have a great deal of smaller to medium sized tanks with fish from all over the globe.

Finn was actually quite scared of some of the fish.  She couldn't grasp the concept that there was glass in between her and them and refused to touch most of the glass if the fish was anywhere close to the glass.  I will say that the girl is absolutely petrified of turtles.  She would shake her head and say "no" whenever we offered her one of the kiddie step-stools to see the turtles.  But she was at that point willing to take the step stool with us, trying to drag the stool with us.  And a mini-meltdown would ensue when her plans were thwarted.

The Aquarium also had a touch-tank where you could touch the rays.  Even though she wouldn't put her hands in to touch them, that was the portion of the aquarium that she enjoyed the most.  She did stick her hands in the water initially and then immediately put her wet fingers in her mouth.  After some stern explaining about "acky water", I'm not sure if it was actually seeing the rays that were swimming on the surface of the water or my lecture, but she didn't want to put her hands in after that.  I think it was more of the first explanation.

I will say one thing totally unrelated to the Aquarium -- Little Miss' hair...  She definitely had her Mimi's hair.  They have the same color hair and they have the uncontrollable frizzy hair with a little bit of humidity (and there was a lot of humidity in the Aquarium & outside with the rain).  Her hair can get frizzy with the best of them.  And her bedhead first thing in the morning is one for the ages!  I'm currently trying to control the back frizz with some leave-in conditioner, but we are working with the appropriate amount.  I don't my child to look like Mary from "There's Something About Mary".

After the touch-tank, we were almost done with the Aquarium tour and they always save the best for last.  They had a sea-tube for their shark tank.  It was pretty neat and the tank was actually really big.  But by that point, Finn was O-V-E-R the Aquarium.  In fact, the sea-tube led to a pretty great yoga session with her, rolling around on the floor.  We got in a Corpse pose and a Fish pose.

Here is her Cobra pose.

Downward Dog

Check out her friend looking over her shoulder in the tank behind her...

And we ended our time at the Aquarium having to go through the Gift Shop.  Of course, everything that is at her level is bright and shiny.  We had a meltdown of epic proportions when we had to put back the shiny, blue package of coffee.  Who knew that she was such a coffee-lover already?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Born country!

You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.  I was born country and that's what I'll always be.  I always thought that I would be raising my family in Iowa, raising my littles country the way that I was raised.  Now to clarify I didn't live on a farm, but throughout my childhood, we visited my grandparents' farm no less than once a week.  But we always have free run of the farm, going to see anything that we wanted and playing anywhere that we wanted.  And we did have a cow pasture as the back perimeter of our back yard with a corn field directly adjacent to it.  So although, I didn't have to get up at 5am everyday to milk cows, I claim country roots.

But life takes unexpected turns and in some ways, those turns are better than you dreamed of and in others, they aren't quite as good as your dreams.  I've seen more of this world than I ever thought that it would or realized that I wanted to see.  I've also brought some travel to my family who probably would have never saw New York City if it hadn't have been for my crazy cross-country move 10+ years ago.  But there is always a part of me that wishes that I was raising my children back in a small town in Iowa.  Only one problem... E was born in the Bronx and is by NO MEANS a country boy -- he is a city-slicker with soft feet who will dabble on the country side.

While I would love to move out to the middle of "no man's land" with no light pollution at night and a huge yard, he thinks that it would be too lonely and boring out there.  He has to have the close option of having the big-city feel.  If he could choose one place to live that would make him happy, he would chose NYC.  And maybe having parents with two separate ideals is going to bring the best of both worlds to our children.  So I'm teaching Finn (and E) to love country music and cows (I've caught E on an occasion or two actually singing along with the country songs when I wasn't around) and E is going to teach her street smarts.

I've always teased E about buying a cow and setting her up in the front yard as our own built-in lawn mower.  Yet, our city won't allow pet cows (darn it all!).  Maybe I'll be able to talk him into some chickens.  I think those are legal and fair-game.  What little girl wouldn't love her own pet chicks?  Besides -- everyone knows that my favorite smell in the entire world is baby chicks under a heat lamp.  I think that it's only fair that we give sister the chance to realize that it may be her favorite smell, too.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I'll take "Famous Haircuts" for $400, Alex.

The before -- in the car on the way to the salon

“Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts”  ― Jim Morrison

Last Saturday was a big day.  Finn had her first haircut.  E kept asking me if I was going to cut her hair and then worse, threatening to cut her bangs himself.  Now I have never admitting it publicly, but I do cut E's hair.  I have cut it ever since I moved out to Jersey to live with him.  I am by no means a professional, but E's hair-style is "cut it shorter than it was when we started".  So if you ever see him walking down the street with a bald spot on the side of his head, either I was mad at him when I cut it or was distracted and cut too much off one side.  But I wouldn't give her her first haircut.  I wanted it to be super-fun and really special as it was her first.  

I decided upon SnipIts even though it was 30 minutes away.  I had wanted to get there as close to their opening time as possible because they didn't accept appointments.  We were only an hour late and when we arrived they told us the wait would be 45-60 minutes.  So we went and ate a Brueggers Bagels.  And after we finished eating, we decided to hit up a Halloween store in the same strip mall.  Immediately upon entering the store, Finn headed right for Sophia the First and proceeded to pick up all the candy-catchers that they had on the shelf.

Girlfriend walked around the kiddie section of the Halloween store with those buckets, proudly displaying her future as a bag-lady.  She cried only a little when Daddy took them all away and put them back.  The store had a lot of interactive displays (you know, the kind of life-sized zombies and mummies that move when you push a button).  Well, Daddy pushed one too many buttons and the attacking dog frightened our poor Miss Muffet and we had to high-tail it out of the store fairly quickly.  She didn't cry, but she definitely jumped out of her skin and started whimpering fairly loudly.  So we exited stage-right and it happened to be perfect timing as our 45 minutes was up.

We didn't wait long once arriving back at the salon.  Christy was our lady and she was excellent!  She offered Finn a sucker and it was BFFs from the start.  Before I go any further with our story, I will tell you that the hair in the preceding photos are all Daddy's work.  He thought that it was totally okay to muss her hair until a rat's nest every time he could -- figuring that they were going to fix it at the salon anyways.

She was a perfect angel in the chair!  There was absolutely no fussing, no whining.  Nothing!  She sat pretty and let Christy do her magic.  I think the sucker helped.

The sucker only lasted for half of the hair cut.  She happens to be like the Owl in the Tootsie Roll sucker commercial.  She will NEVER know how many licks it takes to get to the center.

Luckily, there were also Goldfish to be offered along with the sucker.  The photo above was her shoving as many Goldfish in her mouth as she could.  Sister was trying to get as much food as possible out of Christy during that haircut.

There wasn't much length in the back taken (as I'm sure you can already tell by my hair -- I like long hair).  But her bangs were trimmed so they won't fall in her eyes anymore.  Christy swept those bangs back into a little side ponytail and gave her a bow.

At the end of the cut, every kid gets a prize.  Finn was super excited for her little rubber ducky.

She also got a piece of chocolate for the ride home for being such a good girl in the chair.  I think that more chocolate ended up on her face than in her mouth. And she proceeded to fall asleep almost immediately after eating the piece of chocolate.

It is exhausting looking this gorgeous...