Tuesday, May 24, 2016

31 Week Updates: Baby 2.0 (and Iyla's First Recital!)

How far along? 31 weeks today!

How big is baby? She feels like she's grown a lot in the last week. The movements- punches, kicks, rolls, & turns- are much more pronounced, and there have been several times when walking where I feel like she is going to fall out of me, due to moving waaaay down low. AND she is waaaay up high at times too, where I get short of breath. Lots of baby hiccups! The apps say she is about the size of a coconut now- around 16 inches long and over 3 pounds in weight.

How big is Mama? This week the "you're getting so big!" comments have continued. My weight came back up to closer to where it was 2 weeks ago, but is still less than it was at that weigh in (two weeks ago I was at 139.6, then last week dropped to 136.8, this morning I was up again to 139.2). So total weight gain at 31 weeks is 29.2 pounds.

 31 week belly

Sleep? I'm still falling asleep and mostly staying asleep OK, still waking very early. And oh how I need naps! Unfortunately having a 3.5 year old who no longer naps means my naps are reduced to the 2x/week when our nanny is here. This afternoon? I passed out for 1.5 hours! That is crazy considering I am normally a 20 minute napper.

Food cravings/aversions? I've gotten to the point where I am filling up faster due to limited stomach space, and depending on the meal sometimes getting instant heartburn. I've been loving cheeseburgers lately (decent healthier versions from local restaurants)...and ice cream is my favorite treat. Still a no-go on seafood.

Symptoms?

*Oh the fatigue. Both Sunday and Monday I suddenly hit a HUGE wall after eating in the late afternoon/early evening, which saw me with strange symptoms of what felt like faintness, heartburn, heart palpitations, and overall physical exhaustion leading to an immediate need to lay down. And did I mention I napped for 1.5 hours today (thanks to our dear Nanny)?

*Hips have been a little better overall, though my amazing Myofascial lady is STILL OUT OF TOWN. Her one week vacation turned into three, and I am like a junkie who got a taste of the good stuff and need her back ASAP.

Big sister? My parents came to town for the weekend because Iyla had her first ever dance recital! It was amazingly cute, and she was SO excited for it. Her part in the recital was all of 1.5 minutes, and she did maaaybe 2-3 of the choreographed moves, mostly staring with wonder out at the audience for the duration of the performance (this was a HUGE real stage!). It was definitely one of my favorite Mama moments so far!

 Her "official" dance photo. Too much!


I bought Iyla two "Big Sister" books that we've started reading, and she appears fascinated! One of the two books goes into more detail about the pregnancy process itself and discusses how when baby gets too big for the uterus it descends into "the birth canal" to be born. Iyla stares at the picture on that page for SO long and now likes to play act that her animals are having babies and that the babies are in THE BIRTH CANAL. It's hilarious and adorable.


Most looking forward to? Our guest room furniture is likely getting moved out this coming weekend, which means I can put the GREEN LIGHT on the nursery furniture delivery! I'm looking forward to seeing how those pieces look and feel in the nursery, to better inform how the rest of the space will come together.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

30 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 30 weeks today!

The big exciting news is that I PASSED MY 3 HOUR GLUCOSE TEST!! Thank God. Such a huge relief.

The process surrounding that test is intensive. Basically I couldn't have any food or drink after midnight the night before, and had to arrive at my clinic at 7:40am for an initial blood draw. Then I had to drink a sugar drink within 5-10 minutes and have THREE subsequent blood draws done on an hourly basis, not being able to eat or drink anything during that time.

Yuck.

The one nice thing was that my clinic treated me to a cozy private room for the duration of the test, where I set up camp and was able to get work done while being held hostage.

My private waiting room

 The "waiting for another blood draw" face

How big is baby? The baby apps estimate she is around 3 pounds now, gaining up to 1/2 a pound per week at this time. I suspect she has settled into a head down position (yay!), as I've been feeling daily rhythmic hiccups that are always waaaay down low. I can also tell her space is getting limited, as her movements are taking more of the form of body parts poking & undulating around my upper and mid belly. I'm also starting to feel the weird "flipping" movements where all of a sudden there is a BIG movement and a lot of pressure way down low in my lady parts.

How big is Mama? I was very surprised at my weigh-in this morning to see I was down THREE pounds from last week- for a total of 136.8. So weird! And of course I have a call into my doc's office to make sure this is normal and OK.

If you look closely you'll see we've painted the nursery-to-be! The walls are now "silver sage." Happy to have at least one step of that process complete.

Sleep? I'm falling asleep well, sleeping pretty soundly, but waking WAY earlier than I need to be (in the 6-6:30 range). I recall this happening in my pregnancy with Iyla too- so weird. I've also been getting quite beat by mid-day and if I can squeeze in a nap it is OH so luxurious and needed! However, it is extremely rare these days to get those nap times, due to a combination of my work schedule & Iyla vehemently resisting her "quiet time."

Food Cravings/Aversions? Not much different or notable here.

Symptoms?

*Constipation is back with a vengeance. Curious if it has to do with the additional iron supplements I have started (due to low iron counts on a recent blood draw).

*More pressure down low (as I suspect baby has settled head down).

*Hair loss. Still getting large tangles of hair in my hands with each shower, and constantly picking hairs off my clothes.

*Same old same old with the sore hips/thighs. My lower back has also been getting quite sore by the end of the day, needing a lot of stretching out before bed.

Big sister?  Oh Iyla Gracie. She is definitely being very THREE lately (well, 3.5). Yesterday was an exhausting, hilarious example of this. To include:

*Monumental meltdown about having to do 'quiet time" I finally compromised (a term I'm working on with Iyla) and took her into my bed with me, telling her the rules were that she could play on her side of the bed as long as she stayed quiet and didn't bother Mama (I was going to attempt a nap). Two minutes in she was poking me and asking me questions and poking me some more.... definite FAIL of a compromise!

*When BC presented her with a new set of toy cars as a gift, she played with them for 2 minutes before announcing "I don't LIKE these! I want something ELSE!" 

*At dinner I cooked up a meal Iyla traditionally loves, complete with her beloved asparagus and corn on the cob. When I said it was dinner time she excitedly ran to the table, only to erupt into immediate sobs screaming "I don't want that! I want something else!" She screamed and fussed for about 15 minutes while BC and I attempted to eat. Finally I asked if she needed a hug and she said yes, calming in my arms. I then gave her the choice of going to play by herself (and not eating, though I KNEW she was hungry!) OR eating her dinner. She chose to play. Then on her own terms 20 minutes later returned to the table to happily eat the asparagus and corn (admittedly after a slight bribe from Papa saying he'd give her some cherries IF she ate some dinner). 

*At  bedtime another monumental meltdown due to our missing one of the new baby toys a friend had brought over (which Iyla promptly adopted as her own). It amazes me that with over 20 stuffed animals piled into her bed she still maintains a mental inventory of every.single.one.

EXHAUSTING.

I have a book on toddler discipline I think I need to dust off and actually read, as her limit testing and  tantrums are definitely giving us a run for our money lately.

3.5 year old FIEST!

Most looking forward to? Taking care of business, both personal and professional. The rest of this month until the end of  June look to be super busy on all fronts. I am multi tasking the very best I can toward hopefully taking a BIG BREATH come July- just in time for baby girl to make her arrival and shake things up again!

Friday, May 13, 2016

To Iyla Grace at 3.5 Years Old

Sweet Iyla Grace, you are now officially 3.5 years old (as of yesterday, May 12th) and growing up SO FAST right before our eyes! You are so full of creativity and imagination, and continue to be one of the most intelligent and empathetic kiddos I've ever known.

Here are your official 3.5 year old updates!

How big? You are wearing 3T still for most clothes, though still fit into 2T pants (they are admittedly short on your long legs, but that works perfectly as "capris" for the summer!) You wear a 7.5-8 shoe, and now have two favorite pairs you can put on 'all by yourself'.... sparkly silver Crocs and sweet sparkly Melissa Mary Janes (which I scored for $30 off on the Zappos' site).

You've been VERY particular lately about how your hair is done. Requests orders are usually for "dumbo ears" (two ponytails) or a bun.


Favorite foods? Here is a list of foods that are almost always sure things in your book:

*Honeycrisp apples
*Strawberries
*Cliff Bars (Peanut Toffee Buzz)
*Pancakes
*Broccoli
*Gummy bunnies (you consider these a huge treat!)
*Sausage (you love Applegate's chicken and apple sausages)
*Pasta (either Annie's mac n cheese or any version of butter noddles)
*Corn on the cob
*Chicken tenders
*French fries
*Calamari
*Green curry soup
*Cranberries and raisins
*Cheddar goldfish
*And last but certainly not least- CHOCOLATE. Anything chocolate elicits immediate bliss for you.

  

Favorite toys/activities:

*You LOVE playing with toy horses. You have two different 'sets' that don't co-mingle: your My Little Pony set (that were mine when I was a kid!) OR your Melissa and Doug set. Your very favorite is the My Little Pony you call "Rainbow Uni."

Speaking of horses, you recently surprised Papa and I by wanting to ride a real pony! We had arrived for dinner at a favorite local spot- Contigo- and it just happened to be their 5 year anniversary party, complete with pony rides, tattoos, and apple bobbing. You rode those ponies no less than 10 times and could not get enough of them!


*You love putting on shows. Shows where your horses perform, other dollies perform, or shows where YOU perform (often with princess dresses and pom-poms). You'll ask us: "do you want to know what this movie is called?" and then proudly announce the official name.

*Hide and seek! All day every day. Every time Papa or I first come into the room you tell us to wait while you hide. It's always hilarious, because you direct us on just how to play. We'll say "I wonder where Iyla is?" and you'll call out "check behind the chair! Check behind the bookshelves!"

*You have a little set of colored bees & hives that you adore. Your teacher at school once told me how much you loved bees and that you tried to 'pet' them; it's no wonder you got your first bee sting AT school ON the palm of your hand.

*Lately you've been having one stuffed animal buddy that HAS to go to bed with you and accompany us throughout the day. The chosen animal can change week to week, but 'white bunny' (pictured below) has been going strong for almost 4 weeks now:


*You love playing with ribbons or strings, and call anything of this sort a "doodle-y."


*You love wearing your pink "Sleeping Beauty" dress. You definitely are a girly-girl through and through on the fashion front, and if you had your way you'd pick out fancy holiday dresses to wear every.single.day. (I love that you also love playing in mud and getting down and dirty- the best of both worlds!)

*You have a set of magnetic letters that you love and are showing so much interest in learning your letters and making words.

*You still LOVE your books, and never tire of reading aloud together. I've noticed that if I try to skip or alter a sentence in any given book you will quickly correct me with the exact written wording. You've seemingly got them all memorized, and these are NOT short picture books I'm talking about! Lately your favorite book is a Disney chapter book with multiple princess stories in it.

*Baths/water. You would sit and play in the bath for hours if we let you! You have a set of dinosaurs in there that get a lot of play time. You also continue to love your weekly swim lessons.


Sleep? Naps have been pretty much MIA since you turned 3 years old. We still try to enforce a daily "quiet time," where for an hour you rest and play quietly in your room. Usually 1-2x/week you will fall asleep during that quiet time.

Bedtime is typically around 8pm, and you fall asleep in the 8-8:45 window (later if you've taken a nap). You usually wake for the day around 7:15-7:30.

I will say that for the last two weeks you've been giving us a REALLY hard go of it with quiet and bed time- pretty much since our return from California. This happens a few times a year where you get extra clingy and throw monumental tantrums and screaming fests when it is time for us to leave your room. I suspect you will soon be emerging with new perceptions and skills, as you always do after a time of unrest. In the meanwhile... GOOD GRACIOUS. We may need to come up with some creative new routines for you! ; )

New skills?

*The most amazing thing I've observed in the past couple of weeks is that you are now actively engaging other kids your age to play. This is definitely a new thing for you! On two different occasions we've been out with other kiddos and you'll go up and ask things like "do you want to race?" or "do you want to play hide and seek?" It's pretty awesome.

*Learning your letters. You have had such a heightened interest and enjoyment of naming letters lately, correcting identifying almost all of your upper case letters and many lower case as well. We play games where you'll see a short word and then will have to pick out the correct letters that go with and spell out that word. You also LOVE to rhyme, and are very good at it!

*Number concepts. We've never worked with you on recognizing sight numbers, but you absolutely can count to 10 if not 20, and will easily remark "let's play with these 3 bunnies" or something of the like, always getting the quantity correct.

School? You absolutely love going to your sweet little school, which you attend MWF from 8:45-12:30. Every day at pickup I find an elated, glowing little girl (often in dress up clothes!). It's been such a lovely place for your first school experience.

Your Papa and I recently got the call that you were accepted into one of Austin's most prestigious and hard-to-get-into Montessori preschools for the fall. We were initially offered a spot in January, but that felt too soon for our family. However, thinking ahead to the fall? I definitely think you'll be ready! Yesterday I mentioned to you that you'll be starting at a Big Girl School next year, where they will help teach you to read. You were very excited by that prospect, and got further excited when I told you the school even has its own playground ("I want to go there and play on it!"). I really think you will thrive and grow so much in this new environment. Here's hoping!

Personality? At 3.5 years old:

*We are working a lot with you to re-think and re-word things "kindly." You have quite a knack for making DEMANDS when Papa and I play with you.... getting very frustrated and telling us NO! if we don't repeat things you tell us to say exactly right, or play exactly the way you had in mind.

*You are an extremely sensitive and empathetic little girl. You are not a kid who needs 'time outs' for discipline; all I have to do is raise my voice slightly and firmly when I mean business and this alone often elicits genuine remorseful sobs from you. You are quick to notice and react if you see another person sad or crying. You also do not like when Papa or I say we are feeling mad, sad, or frustrated at your behaviors. You'll immediately cry "don't be mad! Don't be frustrated!" I try to make a point to you that everyone feels these things, that these feelings come and go (and won't last forever) and that we still love you even when we are feeling those emotions.

*You are so creative and imaginative, constantly making up stories and games with your toys. You still prefer your smaller plastic figurine toys to regular sized dolls; you've actually not shown an interest in any kind of baby doll since you were around 18 months old. Wonder how you'll feel about a baby sister?

*You are still not a very physical kiddo. We have yet to find a bike you like or will ride (and we've tried around 5 types already!) and you are still quite hesitant with new physical feats. You do NOT like to be rough housed with, and are definitely not the type of kid who wants to be held up by her feet or put in any compromised horsing around position. I totally get this, as I am exactly the same way!

*You are an observer, and very slow to warm to new people or people you haven't seen in awhile. In our music class, there are several other kiddos who will come up to me and snuggle in my lap affectionately. I've NEVER seen you do this with anyone other than family or those you are extremely close to (like your nanny or teachers). People definitely have to take the time to earn your trust and affection.

*You have a strong sense of self and never do something just because everyone else is doing it. In fact, if you see a group of kids all doing one thing (like singing in music class, or following the teacher's lead in dance class) you often will purposefully do something different (run to play in the curtains, do an alternate dance move).

*You are still amazingly good at sharing with other children- which I observe over and over again as an anomaly for your age group (and you've always been this way!)

*At a recent parent/teacher conference with your school teachers, they remarked how much they genuinely LOVED having you at their school. They said you were always kind and concerned for the other kids, were well liked by all your peers, and were an excellent listener during group activities. Papa and I thought: "darn right!"

We love you so much sweet Iyla Grace- thank you for making our worlds so incredibly bright! Happy 3.5 years to you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

29 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

How far along? 29 weeks (yesterday)

How big is baby? I actually got to see her last week for an ultrasound! They estimated she was 2 pounds, 13 ounces and everything was measuring right on track at around the 55th percentile. She was moving all around during the ultrasound, starting in a breech position then moving transverse. On any given day she is still dancing in complete circles all around my tummy- let's hope when she finally settles into THE position it is head down!

Here's one of the best 3D shots we got from the appointment. I still can't get over how much she appears to resemble Iyla as a newborn (see 2nd photo of newborn Iyla):


How big is Mama? This week I've been treated to a noticeable uptick of comments along the lines of:

"You're about to pop!"
"You're so big!"
"When are you due?" (followed by a grimace when I say late July)

Ironically this week has seen the least growth weight wise of the pregnancy! I was only up .6 of a pound this morning, for a total of 139.6. Here's the 29 week belly in all its glory:


Sleep? Still doing well overall there. My hips are always extra achy when I rise to use the restroom in the night, but I am sleeping pretty soundly.

Food cravings/aversions? Same old, same old here.... aversions to seafood and overly rich foods, loving eggs, veggies, red meats, & sweets.

Symptoms?

*Oh man. I got notice yesterday that I FAILED my 1 hour glucose test that screens for gestational diabetes. So on Monday I get treated to a 3 hour follow up test, where I have to fast after midnight the night before and then get my blood drawn 4 times in 3 hours while I am held hostage at the doctor's office, subjected to drinking their sugary glucose drink. And if I fail that test? I officially get diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which means NO MORE SWEETS for the remainder of the pregnancy. Holy hell that would suck...I mean, I'll do whatever I need to do for the heath of the baby, but oh do I hope I pass this 2nd test!

*My hips were amazingly better for the week following that myofascial appointment, but are now noticeably stiffening up again. Starting next week I'm going to see that therapist weekly, so hopefully that will continue to help see me through to the end of this pregnancy.

*My migraines overall have been SO MUCH BETTER.... as in, I can only count two since March 1st, which is pretty amazing for me (who typically had several/week).

Big sister? Iyla has been going through a pretty intense attachment period centered primarily around MAMA the past two weeks since we've returned from California. This looks like her needing Mama to put her to bed, needing Mama to help soothe her to bed, waking in the middle of the night crying for Mama, and having several meltdowns with transitions when Mama and/or Papa have had to leave. Poor buddy! I am sure she is also hip to the fact that as my belly continues to grow baby sister is getting closer to her arrival. I'm willing to love on and spoil her as much as needed through it all! I mean, just look at this face:


Most looking forward to? Actually getting started on baby prep! I'm definitely feeling the time pressure, but my work just got quite busy so all of my spare time has been filled to the brim.

I DID happen upon all of my absentee maternity clothes from Iyla's pregnancy this morning (finally! I've been searching through our storage for months!) A little late in the game, but excited to have a few more options to see me through these last couple months of pregnancy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

28 Week Updates: Baby 2.0

We are back from our lovely California vacation!

Here are a few of my favorite shots from the trip:

It was oh so nice to have a full week to kick back and reconnect with this guy! And the views weren't too shabby either.

We rode on a wine train! They served a 3 course lunch as we meandered through the Napa Valley, ending up at a CASTLE for a wine tasting & tour. Not a bad little day at all.

The castle we toured

I was lucky enough to meet up with two dear ladies who I've come to know through their own blogs. We had a lovely lunch together in Yountville.

That's Jesica from Just Smile and Blog and "Lanie" (aka Melanie) from Unruffled Lanie 

We also had a fun night out with our friend Megan, celebrating BC's birthday together in downtown San Francisco. Megan was kind enough to lend us her car for our week long excursions!

On to my official 28 week updates:

How far along? 28 weeks today!

How big is baby? My baby apps estimate her around 2.5 pounds & 16 inches long. She may have started having actual dreams this week, and is working further on skills like sucking, coughing, and hiccuping. On that note- I am pretty sure I felt my first baby hiccups on the plane ride to California! I felt small rhythmic bumps happening over and over again in my belly, and my first thought was: "is she punching my belly in a timed syncopated rhythm?" This was followed by: "is baby convulsing? Having a seizure?" And then finally the more practical explanation hit me: HICCUPS!

How big is Mama? I was curious to see how I'd weigh in after a week of vacation. Usually vacation means I eat more than normal, but given I fell ill with a cold on this trip (boo), I was eating a lot lighter than usual. It didn't matter. I still gained 4.4 pounds over the last 2 weeks, for a total weight of 139. I've officially surpassed my TOTAL pregnancy gain with Iyla- which was 28 pounds- and at 28 weeks with this baby I am up a total of 29 pounds.

28 week belly with baby #2

And just for fun- here's my belly at 37 and 38 weeks respectively with Iyla… I am already looking full term this round (though her bump was definitely more filled out on the top):



Sleep? Still doing well overall.

Food cravings/aversions? I started having an aversion to meats on our trip, which I attributed to my cold. Now that we're back and I'm feeling better I'm still not preferring them- instead wanting salads, bread, eggs, & veggies. We'll see if that continues!

Symptoms?

*I've had heartburn in the evenings a few times, which is a new one for this pregnancy

*I did vomit one morning during our trip, likely due to drainage from my cold

*I had several bloody noses on the trip (from the dry mountain air)

*I've been getting short of breath more often- noticeably so when Iyla snuggles on my lap for story time, when I lay down, or when I go up stairs

*Feeling much warmer than normal. This has been going on for awhile now (as evidenced by my turning the AC down/fan on every night) but was oh so evident on our plane rides to California- where i wore a tank top and still wanted the AC blowing on me! Historically I am always FREEZING on airplanes, needing multiple layers to be comfortable.

*Still struggling with the pelvic issues. However, I did have a visit with my amazing myofascial practitioner yesterday (she's the one who helped Iyla immensely with her torticollis)- and I don't know why I didn't reach out to her sooner! I think she may be my magic ticket to a bit of relief during these last couple of months. Here's hoping!

Big sister? It was SO wonderful to reunite with our sweet Iyla Grace after a week away! She and Grandma had planned a little birthday party for BC upon our arrival home, and before BC and I had even walked through the front door she was asking Grandma if it was time yet for cupcakes. : )

We are grappling right now with some big decisions toward Iyla's fall schedule, as we just found out she was again offered an exclusive spot in a 5 day/week Montessori school for next school year. We've been on this waiting list for TWO years- and were initially offered a position this past January, which ultimately felt too soon.

But now? I think Iyla AND Mama may be ready for this new change. It will be a little crazy driving her to and from school daily with a newborn, but it will also be SO good for her to have a safe, stimulating, fun community that is consistent for those early newborn days when I am sleepily ensconced nursing & soothing her new baby sister. And the thought of having that gentle one on one time with baby sounds lovely too. Iyla got that as our first born, and it would be a gift for this little lady to also get some cozy solo time with Mama. I'm observing at the school again tomorrow, and we hope to make some final decisions by the end of the week!

Iyla has been showing a LOT of intrinsic interest lately in naming & writing letters (and is quite good at it!)- another reason I am thinking a more structured school setting that capitalizes on those budding interests and skills might be a great fit for her.

Ever since our return home Iyla has been vehemently protesting her "quiet time," which means Mama hasn't gotten much quiet time either! I find whenever we go away (with or without Iyla) there is usually a period of re acclimation to our schedule and house rules that takes a LOT of patience and consistency on our parts. It doesn't help that BC had to turn around yesterday morning for a weeklong business trip to Arizona… so it's just us girls working together through this transition.

These two had such a fun filled week together! We miss Grandma already and are so grateful for the time she was able to spend with Iyla.

Morning school portrait

Most looking forward to? I'm excited to start going through Iyla's old baby supplies and getting everything set up for baby's nursery. If this little one comes in the same early time frame Iyla did (around 37.5 weeks)- that means I only have roughly 9-10 weeks to go- which feels like the blink of an eye! My goal is to have everything ready by July 1st, so for the next two months I'll be in full on baby prep.