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Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Monday-Gluten Free Edition

I love planning meals. I may not always be the best at it, but I enjoy sitting down, picking out the menu, then writing out the grocery list. I also love trying new recipes. I (with Corey's blessing) recently decided to slowly make our way to Gluten Free-dom. There have been articles on how it can help with kid's behavior, although it's not a cure-all. It has been shown to reduce autistic kids melt-downs, help adults lose weight, and give more energy. While we don't have any autistic kids, neither are we overweight, I thought it would be fun to try, just to see if we feel better overall.  We still have gluten in the house that needs using up, but I'm starting to look at recipes in ways to adjust them to our new diet. So if there's anyone out there who has trouble in this area, here. Let me help you.

Tuesday- Lettuce Wraps: Instead of sandwiches, we are just going to wrap lunchmeat and cheese up inside a leaf of lettuce!

Wednesday- Tacos- Just use all corn hard or soft shells, and make sure the seasoning packet isn't hiding any secret gluten.

Thursday-Wild Rice Chowder

Friday-Chicken Cordon Bleu  Just swap the flour for cornstarch.

Saturday-Tomato Broccoli Mozzarella and Pasta Casserole  I could choose to go out and buy GF pasta, but I decided to switch the noodles to zucchini and see how that works.

Sunday-Sauteed Shrimp with Feta Cheese and Lemon Butter Sauce

Monday-Slow Cooker Pot Roast

So there you have it. Usually I end up switching a few menu items around, depending on what we're in the mood for, but at least this gives me something to work with!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I'm Back! And Mr. E's Birth Story

8 Months.

Has it really been that long?

I am such a slacker. For reasons unknown, even to myself, I just upped and stopped blogging one day. But it feels good to be back! So much has happened since I last posted. Let's speed things up, shall we? 33 weeks pregnant to...

5 months ago. 41 weeks along. 11:00am
Holy cow! (Literally, I feel like a cow.) My due date has come and gone, and we're back to Friday, where all the magic happens. My daughter was born on a Friday, so why not this baby? I go in for my 1 week overdue checkup, where my midwife does some extra monitoring to make sure everything is ok with the baby. Baby is sluggish, and Deanna gives me ice water, then juice to wake up the baby and get it moving. Everything seems fine, the baby quite cozy. Deanna asks if I want to be induced. Umm, no. She then offers to scrape my membranes to see if we can get things moving. Hahahahahahahaha, no. My sil had that done, and let me tell you, she is still furious at how much pain it caused her. I may be uncomfortably large, but I am content with the baby coming on its own time. We finish up the appointment, and I schedule one for the following Friday if, God forbid, the baby doesn't come by then. And I go home.
Miss C is in bed, and I'm feeling restless. I'm looking forward to a nice weekend with my hubby home, and decide to make coffee cake for tomorrow's breakfast. Corey is in Milwaukee, an hour and a half away, for class. He won't be home till late. The recipe calls for brown sugar, which is of course on the very top shelf of our cupboard, and I'm too lazy to get a stool to reach it. Rats. What the hey, might as well jump to get it, shake things up a bit! If the baby felt me jumping around like a maniac, it didn't let on. I feel great, the coffee cake tastes delicious (I didn't want to wait until morning to try it!) It's around 8:30 and I decide to go sit in bed with a movie. Wow, this nights is moving slow. Yay! A call from the hubby:) We are just chatting, and he asks how everything is going. I tell him everything is fine, looks like the baby won't be coming, and he could stay a little late to do some extra studying. Anyway, it's late enough that I'm too tired to even want the baby to come tonight. He says he won't rush home, and all of a sudden I get a seriously intense gas  pain! It actually takes my breath away, but then it passes. Corey and I say good night, and I resume my movie. About 20 minutes later, I get another pain, and this time there is no gas to accompany it. Red, flashing warnings are going off in my brain. No, I tell myself, it's fine, nothing is going to happen. Well, another pain is coming, and I'm too uncomfortable to sit in bed. Hmm, this is seeming oddly familiar. My stomach starts churning, and I'm beginning to feel sick. I literally run to the bathroom and make it just in time. I start vomiting, and here's the embarrassing part. I was puking so hard, I peed my pants. Guess everything needed to come out to make way for a baby being born! Since Corey was still in Milwaukee, I decided I should call his parents to see if they might be able to take me to the hospital, and also watch Miss C. Thank goodness she slept through all of this! After I called them, I called the hospital, who told me to come in as soon as possible. At this point, the contractions were running into each other, and I quit timing them. (When I got home, I noticed the pad of paper I had in the bathroom to keep track of contractions, and it only had about 3 sets of contractions written down!) I realized I should probably call Corey and clue him into the events of the night. When he answered, it was around 9:00, and he had left class early because his brain was fried, and he just wanted to be home. I told him to meet me at the hospital. After that, I changed into some comfy capris and a t-shirt, found my hospital bag, and finished packing the last minute items, like a camera and my toothbrush. I had to stop every few minutes to let a contraction pass. Finally my in-laws arrived! My 16 year old brother in-law stayed to watch Miss C, while Corey's parents drove me to the hospital. I remember gripping the hanging handle above the door every time I hit a contraction, or we went over a bump. I later found out that Corey got the the apartment a minute after we left, grabbed his overnight bag then arrived at the hospital the same time we did. Once we got there, Corey's mom went back to our apartment to stay with Miss C, and nurse came with a wheel chair for me. I vaguely remember seeing a lady from our church who works at the hospital. Of course we had to do all that dumb admittance information, which honestly, is quite annoying when contracting every two minutes. They tried to make me sit in the wheel chair, but I refused. I'm one of those people who needs to walk those contractions off! I'm sorry, sitting on my bottom just doesn't help.
I'm up in my room when they hook me up to a monitor. Everything looks great, and my midwife goes to fill the birthing tub in the water birthing room. My contractions are coming fast and hard, and I think I was at 8 cm dilated. They break my water, then move me into the tub. Ah, finally, a little reprieve from all the pain and tension. I instantly feel better, when another contraction slugs me, and reminds me what pain is again. From there, everything is a blur. I remember squatting in the tub, because it was to uncomfortable to recline back, like you have to when you're in a hospital bed. At one point Deanna asked me how I was feeling, and in my clouded, pained state, I told her I felt like I needed an epidural! "Great", she said, "it's almost time to push then." Pretty soon it was time to push, and I remained on my knees, legs spread, bearing down with every contraction. Corey was in front of me, holding my hands, while I squeezed his to pulp. My midwife reminded me that once the baby's head was out, it would be automatic for me to want  to stand, but to resist, because if that baby's head hits air before being completely born, things could become dangerous fast. After three or four pushes, the baby's head was out, and I got to feel the hair! It had tons. Then it was time to switch positions to sitting, legs in the air, so Deanna and Corey had easier access to deliver the rest of the baby.
One more push, and Corey caught the baby with Deanna's guidance, and then it was in my arms! That's when I noticed we have a son, and I tell everyone that it's a boy. I tell my son over and over that I love him, and that he needs to cry. He starts squalling, and I keep kissing him and kissing him, slime and all. I requested delayed cord clamping. Not only is that more beneficial for the baby, but it meant I could hang on to him longer, while the placenta finished pumping the rest of it's nutritious blood into my baby. This is really good at preventing infant anemia.  After a while, Corey cut the cord, and they took the baby to dry him off and measure him, while I climbed out of the tub to deliver the placenta and get all stitched up. That's the part I hate most. I myself am reduced into a whining baby, because Lord knows, I can handle pushing out a baby, but when it comes to my wounds being blotted and dried with scratchy gauze, and needles being used down there, I am a blubbering mess. I can birth a baby all natural, but afterwards, I request all the drugs I can get. At this time, I'm really trying to focus on my son who is laying under the lights on the weighing bed, so I can block out the pain, when the nurses realize they actually need to weigh him about now! I hear a nurse saying "nine pounds....No, ten pounds, two ounces! Wait, what?? Did I hear that right? I just pushed out a ten pound baby? To be honest, I am very proud of myself. Yes, I CAN birth a baby drug-free, even when he weighs over ten pounds:)

                                          Day we got Home- with my little family

                                          Like father, like son

                      Mr. E, Born September 9, 11:30 P.M. Weight- 10lbs, 2 oz Length- 23 in

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birth Plan and My To- Do List

My Growing Belly

We are roughly at 33 weeks along! I honestly can't believe how fast this pregnancy is going. My midwife and I already know the birth plan, but I though I would share it with you today:) I have definitely been thinking about it a lot lately, since it will be put into action soon enough! As with C.R., I am keeping this plan simple and low on details. I don't want to have this huge list of specifics and expectations, because things could change with a moment's notice, so as long as I keep things simple, I will be flexible. I plan on having a water birth again, which worked great last time. With C.R., after I arrived at the hospital and answered all their admittance questions, they allowed me to labor in my room's tub until I was dilated enough to be moved into the actual water birthing room. Water is a natural "soother" for me, so even though I was still in pain, it was manageable. At one point, I was given a shot of Nubain to somewhat help with the pain. Not that I could tell! So I think this time, I won't even bother asking for it, especially since it made me kind of sleepy. This makes the plan easy- Water birth with no drugs! Now, the day could come, and I might not be able to have the water birth. Anything as simple as having Diarrhea the day before (sorry for the grossness) to any hint of a  sign of possible fetal distress could make me ineligible for a water birth.  If there is any sign of meconium in the fluids when my water breaks, or the baby's heart rate slows with the contractions, my plan is out. In which case, I am not opposed to an epidural! I'd like to think I could tough it out, and still accomplish a drug free birth, but like I said, I'm not set on anything. I refuse to beat myself up if I opt for drugs. The difference between me laboring in or out of water is like night and day, so if I have to have the baby out of water, I might turn into a big baby myself. We will just have to wait and see! I am a pretty private person. so the only person accompanying me in labor will be my hubby. That's it. Well, and the midwife and her nurse. I think I would just feel awkward with an audience. When I was laboring with C.R., my mom came in towards the end (I was exhausted, crabby and in pain!) and asked if she could be in there. "Sorry mom", I said pleasantly, "not at this moment, thank you." HA! I think I was in the middle of a contraction and couldn't even speak, so I quite vigorously shook my head, and I think just gasped out "NO". I love my parents and friends, and hey, even my in-laws! But when I am in labor, it is between me, my husband, and our coming child.
Another thing I remember before C.R. was born, is that I was convinced that I would want her in the room with me all the time (partly so I could bond with her at every chance, and partly because I didn't want to chance having my baby switched with someone else's! Paranoid? Yes.) Yeah, that didn't happen. I was so tired, I asked them to take her to the nursery so I could get some rest. She also had a gagging problem from swallowing too much fluid on the way out (not from the water birth!) so they had to suction her airway a few times, and they wanted to keep an eye on her anyway. I'd like to say I'm Super Mom, and can handle this baby directly after birth, but I have already made the decision that I will cuddle and love this baby, but if the nurses want to change it's diaper and take care of it while I sleep, I am totally fine with that. I'll have plenty of chances to do that after we get home.
I also like to bring a bag of chocolate and a thank you note for the nursing staff. Hey, it doesn't hurt to get on their good side right away! They will be helping me with my child after all.

How your baby's growing:

This week your baby weighs a little over 4 pounds (heft a pineapple) and has passed the 17-inch mark. He's rapidly losing that wrinkled, alien look and his skeleton is hardening. The bones in his skull aren't fused together, which allows them to move and slightly overlap, thus making it easier for him to fit through the birth canal. (The pressure on the head during birth is so intense that many babies are born with a conehead-like appearance.) These bones don't entirely fuse until early adulthood, so they can grow as his brain and other tissue expands during infancy and childhood.
Note: Every baby develops a little differently — even in the womb. Our information is designed to give you a general idea of your baby's development.

How your life's changing. 

You may be feeling some achiness and even numbness in your fingers, wrists, and hands. Like many other tissues in your body, those in your wrist can retain fluid, which can increase pressure in the carpal tunnel, a bony canal in your wrist. Nerves that run through this "tunnel" may end up pinched, creating numbness; tingling, shooting or burning pain; or a dull ache. Try wearing a splint to stabilize your wrist or propping your arm up with a pillow when you sleep. If your work requires repetitive hand movements (at a keyboard or on an assembly line, for instance), remember to stretch your hands when you take breaks — which should be frequently.As your baby fills out even more of your belly, lots of things might start to change: Whereas before you were sashaying, you may find yourself waddling. Finding an easy position to sit in — let alone sleep — is becoming more of a challenge. And bumping into chairs and counters is par for the course.

Many women are still feeling sexy at this stage — and their partners often agree. You may need to make some adjustments, but for most women, sex during pregnancy is fine right up until their water breaks or their labor starts.

My To-Do List

Bring Bassinet out of Storage- Check
Bring Neutral Newborn Clothes out of Storage -Check
Wash and Fold Newborn Clothes- Check
Locate Newborn Car Seats- Check
Pick out Boy and Girl Names- Check
Make Birth Plan- Check
Mail in Hospital Admittance Form- Check
Pack Hospital Bag- I plan to do this week 36. Four weeks might seem a tad premature, but hey, the baby could be too. Always be prepared!
Buy Chocolate for Nurses- I will do that when I pack.
Make and Freeze Meals- This week I will begin to incorporate freezer friendly meals into my menu plans. I doubt I will feel like cooking the first 2 weeks of baby being here!
Buy Breast Pump- That is one expensive item. I entered a few giveaways for a Tommee Tippee electric breast pump. If I don't win, we may not even buy one until after the kid comes. You're supposed to solely breastfeed the first 6 weeks anyway. 
Have baby-sitters on standby for C.R.- My mom took off of work the first week of September, so hopefully baby comes in time! Otherwise, schedules may need to be rearranged between my mom and a couple friends.

I'm sure there are things I am forgetting, that I will add later. But I think that covers it for the most part!

Friday, June 24, 2011

So Long, Sleep!

I have officially given up on sleeping through the night. Between an angry little wombie who doesn't appreciate being laid upon (therefore constantly kicking the side of the bed/ my ribs I'm laying on) and an overactive bladder with a big imagination (it just THINKS I have to pee), I am constantly being woken up! I do believe this baby has mistaken my bladder for a trampoline. I tried telling him/her differently, but apparently he/she didn't get the memo.  Not quite sure why this surprises me, since I have been through this before. I know it's just my body preparing me to be woken up even more once the pipsqueak is born, but still. You'd think my body would want to rest up for that big moment. And since I've been gifted with this lack of sleep, I've been a tad more irritable lately. But only a little! HA. Ha. ha.

My Growing Belly
30 WEEKS!!!!!!! And if my math is correct (which is very questionable these days, as my blood flow no longer tries to reach my brain, just focuses on my uterus) there are only 10-ish weeks left to endure. I mean enjoy : - D As I mentioned before, baby loves jumping off the walls. My latest craving has been corn dogs, which I hope doesn't last too long! Why can't I just crave vegetables??  And something I found ironic- I am at the 30 week mark, and have gained 30 pounds! I now weigh a pound more than my husband. But I guess I'm glad that he's not gaining weight along with me! I mean, one of us has to stay sexy, lol. I have now begun having check- ups with my midwife every two weeks, and everything still looks fine. I know it's a little early, but I pulled out all of the gender neutral newborn clothes out of storage and washed them and organized them. The bassinet is already set up in our room, and I'm slowly collecting newborn cloth diapers. I'm so excited!!

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's about 15.7 inches long now, and she weighs almost 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). A pint and a half of amniotic fluid surrounds her, but that volume will decrease as she gets bigger and takes up more room in your uterus. Her eyesight continues to develop, though it's not very keen; even after she's born, she'll keep her eyes closed for a good part of the day. When she does open them, she'll respond to changes in light but will have 20/400 vision — which means she can only make out objects a few inches from her face. (Normal adult vision is 20/20.)

How your life's changing:

Remember those mood swings you had earlier in pregnancy? The combination of uncomfortable symptoms and hormonal changes can result in a return of those emotional ups and downs. It's normal to worry about what your labor will be like or whether you'll be a good parent. But if you can't shake the blues or feel increasingly irritable or agitated, talk to your doctor or midwife. You may be among the 1 in 10 expectant women who battle depression during pregnancy. Also let your caregiver know if you're frequently nervous or anxious.You may be feeling a little tired these days, especially if you're having trouble sleeping. You might also feelclumsier than normal, which is perfectly understandable. Not only are you heavier, but the concentration of weight in your pregnant belly causes a shift in your center of gravity. Plus, thanks to hormonal changes, your ligaments are more lax, so your joints are looser, which may also contribute to your balance being a bit off. Also, this relaxation of your ligaments can actually cause your feet to spread permanently, so you may have to invest in some new shoes in a bigger size.

My Daughter
Have I already mentioned that CR is part monkey? And also part parrot. She is always climbing and mimic- ing. She ran into the kitchen one day, and a couple minutes later I went to get her and found her in her high chair. You know, the tall pedestal kind that a kid shouldn't be able to climb into themselves? I didn't think it would be possible, especially with the tray sticking out the way it does. She also tries to repeat everything that I or the hubby says. There is this one drawer in our desk that she is not supposed to open, yet insist on getting things out of it. Of course, we constantly tell her no when she does open it. Now she tells herself no as she pulls open the drawer! It would be funny if she wasn't so stubborn and ALWAYS getting into that drawer! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Are We There Yet???

My Growing Belly

I enjoy being pregnant. I really do. But lately, with this HOT (high 90's and humid!) weather, an ever active CR, and little energy, I think I'm just ready for the kid to get here. Although I'm not so sure that will help with the energy part. This baby is constantly dancing and jumping. Especially at four o'clock in the morning! Which I'm sure he/she will still do after birth. At 27 1/2 weeks, it's crazy to think that our little bundle of joy will be here in around 3 months! Just have to get through the summer :/ I haven't had any really intense cravings for a while. Nor have I been extremely hungry all the time, like it seemed I was with CR. Which really makes me question why I've gained so much weight this last month! 12 lbs in the last 5 weeks seems like a lot to me, but my midwife said not to worry about it. I'm not worried. Just really curious as to what it's from. Yes, I know, a baby. I'm just going to call it water retention.  That works for me!
I was babysitting my cousins 3 young kids, and her oldest, 5 year old, loved touching my belly. She just laid on the couch with me, her hands on my tummy, concentrating on feeling baby kick. Her mom is also pregnant and about as far along as I am, and the kids are really looking forward to a younger sister. So of course, they also referred to my baby as a 'she'. This really makes me wonder how CR will react when she's old enough to understand and I'm pregnant again. Right now she kisses my belly, but it could be because she likes round objects ;)

How your baby's growing:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.
The second trimester is drawing to a close, but as your body gears up for the final lap, you may start noticing some new symptoms. Along with an aching back, for example, you may find that your leg muscles cramp upnow and then. They're carrying extra weight, after all, and your expanding uterus is putting pressure on the veins that return blood from your legs to your heart as well as on the nerves leading from your trunk to your legs. Unfortunately, the cramps may get worse as your pregnancy progresses. Leg cramps are more common at night but can also happen during the day. When a cramp strikes, stretching the calf muscle should give you some relief. Straighten your leg and then gently flex your toes back toward your shin. Walking for a few minutes or massaging your calf sometimes helps, too.
It may be the furthest thing from your mind right now, but it's not too soon to think about family planning. You'll want to have made some decisions about postpartum birth control before your baby arrives. If you're considering a tubal ligation, be aware that most states require you to sign a consent form at least 30 days beforehand. So if you'd like the option of having the surgery during your postpartum hospital stay, don't wait too much longer to discuss it with your caregiver. (You can still change your mind later.)

That thing about leg cramps? Awful but true! I even get them in my feet. Ugh. I almost prefer labor contractions! And while we're on the subject of painful experiences, let me tell you about something that happened last week! I mentioned in an earlier post that I had swollen lymph nodes under my right arm. Turns out that's not what they were. The lumps came back a couple of weeks ago, and I figured I would just let them work themselves out. Well, more kept coming, and they just got bigger. And painful. I woke up last Tue, and I couldn't take it anymore. I don't think I'm a wimp, but it HURT! I looked at them and noticed the biggest one was turning whit at the top, and was extended maybe a 1/4 of an inch. It was so sensitive my whole arm hurt, and it was all I could do to carry CR to the car, take her to a babysitter so I could go to the Dr. The Dr. took one look at it and said "you're not going to like this but we need to cut into that and squeeze some of that puss out." Gross. So he and his nurse laid me down, shot the lump with Lidocaine to numb it (which it didn't) and lanced it. They then taped my arm with gauze and told me to expect lots of drainage. For pain he said use a heating pad. And here's what makes me laugh. He said if I had all day to just sit on the couch with a heating pad, do that as much as I could. Really? With a 1 1/2 year old to run after and care for? I don't think that's gonna work.  Anyway, after the wound cultures came back, it seemed I had a pretty bad infection that probably just started with shaving under my arm, but once the infection took hold it was very aggressive. Dr, strongly suggested I stop shaving and just let the hair grow. Oh yeah, "sorry Corey,  but I'm an all natural woman from now on!" I then spoke with another Dr. who told me if I just washed with antibacterial soap fist and changed razor blades often, I should be fine. Whew. I admire women who don't care about body hair and let it all grow. I, for one, am not one of them. So there's my insane medical story and excitement of last week!

My Daughter

Is crazy! I would love to borrow some of her energy! She now runs all the time, climbs on everything, and dances and jumps constantly. In fact, I'm pretty sure she broke her crib this morning with all the jumping she did on it. Seriously. I need Corey to look at it. (Excuse me for a second. I gave Charlie some dried pineapple snacks which she is now putting into her shoe.)
Ok, back. A few weeks ago at Charlie's 15 month check up, she measured at 75th percentile for her height and 30th percentile for her weight. Which means she is tall and skinny. Like her mama! Ha. ha. ha...  CR is a little escape artist too. Apparently she escaped from church nursery a couple weeks ago and someone found her climbing the stairs. She's fast when she wants to be! She has also learned how to blow rasberries. On my tummy. She thinks it's hilarious. And if she leaves any drool, she tries to wipe it off. Too cute:) She can now say Mama, Dada, Gramma ('amma') and Ella ('Eya') Ella is my sister in law's dog that is usually at my in-laws when they babysit CR. CR loves dogs. I took her for a walk in the stroller a few nights ago and we passed a yellow lab. CR couldn't take her eyes off of it and looked back at the dog until it was out of sight. 
The other day Corey came home from work, but only for a few minutes as he had to go straight to school. CR was so excited to see him and promptly burst into tears as soon as he headed back out the door, and tried going after him. It made us both realize how terrible it would be for him to be deployed with CR at this age. I'm so glad she doesn't remember him being gone when she was a baby! Later that evening, CR played a game with me. We were in the living room, and she would wave goodbye and go into the kitchen, but a few seconds later, she would run back with arms flung open, and give me a big hug and kiss. She did this over and over.

Friday, April 29, 2011

My Baby is Half Baked!..... OK.... and thoughts on breast- feeding.


Things are finally going downhill! Which is a good thing:) This means we have passed the 20 week mark and time should start flying by now. Right? Actually, today marks the 22nd week of my womb- baby, so about 18 weeks to go. Give or take a few days. Maybe the kid'll be a couple weeks early, which would be fine by me! I'm already facing the "uncomfortable stage" which seems to have dawned earlier this time around than it did with CR. I'm turning into a pillow freak. I need a pillow behind my back at all times- have even considered bringing one to church! When I sleep I need one under my stomach to prop it up. And I'm not even huge yet! Also, I have difficulty transitioning from laying to sitting and rolling over. ALREADY:( Oh well, everything else is going pretty darn well, so I won't complain. We had our Baby Debut ultrasound 2 weeks ago. It was amazing! The baby moved the whole time, sucking it's thumb, waving, playing with it's feet, and even smiling for us! Already seems to have a huge personality, which it's gonna need if it's going to live under the same roof as CR. We are still determined to remain clueless about the sex until the baby is born. It's been difficult. It would be so much easier to know what I'm preparing for, and to refer to it by it's name. But I really want that special moment when the baby comes out, and they put her or him into my arms, and I get to see for myself. So we will wait.
Here's 22 weeks:)

How your baby's growing:

At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.
On a side note: I've been having the biggest cravings for cheddar ruffle chips. And yes, they MUST have the ruffles!
CR is.... really there are no words to describe her. She's a character, a ham, a pistol. She does something new every day. She has boundless energy and is constantly chattering (in baby language). She is usually happy, but that can instantly turn to whining. She likes to carry purses around, but she won't let me put bows in her hair. She is obsessed with paper and tissues. She will grab a Kleenex out of the box, then run as fast as she can before I can take it from her. A couple Sundays ago, Corey stayed home with CR since they were both sick. He was letting her run around without a diaper because she had quite a rash. He wasn't watching her closely, but noticed when she stumbled up next to him, grabbed a Kleenex from the box, and scampered off. He looked over to see what she was doing, and she was squatting over a puddle, trying to clean up her "mess" with the Kleenex! She's growing up. *Tear*. Well, looks like she's ready to begin potty training. 

About this time a year ago, I had a 3 month old and a deployed husband. And LOTS of stress. CR hadn't quite gotten the hang of sleeping through the night, and it was just about that time that she began losing weight. She was constantly eating though! About every hour and half she would want to nurse, but then just fuss and fuss- I was worried sick. Finally I wondered if maybe I wasn't producing enough so I gave up and began feeding her formula. Miraculously, she became happier and fatter. I felt like such an awful mom! I had every intention of breast- feeding the first year, and here I was almost starving my baby. I talked with the pediatrician at the next appointment, expecting her to criticize me or look down on me for not realizing what was wrong. Instead she told me how common it was for new moms that have a deployed spouse to actually lose milk due to stress. She was so reassuring about it, and just told me to keep feeding CR formula and keep track of her weight. After that. CR was the happiest baby in the world. I still have moments of regret about not being able to bf, but I don't beat myself up over it. It wasn't selfish reasons for formula feeding her, and was outside my control. Also, it was a learning experience. Now I know that this time around I'm going to nurse as much as possible, but I will also pump, as a way to make sure the baby is getting enough. My goal is once again set for at least a year of breast feeding, and with Corey home, I shouldn't have the stress I had last year. In all, I'm super excited to look back on everything I did "wrong" with CR and formulate a plan on how to be better for this baby. Other things I'm changing- 
Cloth diapering! I've now come to realize not only the health benefits of it, but also money saving and earth saving.  I was a year late with CR, but I hope to be fully cloth diapering by the time this baby comes! 
Baby wearing- I used a sling for CR every now and then, but I wasn't very educated about them. I have now purchased and won more slings that, not only are they more comfortable, it'll be a huge bonding benefit with a newborn. Also it'll make my life easier with having two kids:)
And the best change of all (that wasn't in my control)- There will be a dad in the picture for this newborn! Corey had to leave right after CR was born and didn't really see her again until she was 9 months. So this is the first baby he gets to experience all the really new developments with.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Belly Pics Are Here:)

Thanks to my friend, Lacey, we took some last minute pictures of "the belly".  17 weeks folks! I've already been feeling this kid kicking for about a week now, and boy is he/she active! Let's see what all is going on in there...

How your baby's growing:

Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.

I'm not exactly sure how big a turnip is...not sure I've ever even seen one? Wonder if they taste any good...... Anyway, *hehe* My husband actually got to feel the baby move too, which was a surprise.  We decided not to get the ultrasound at the hospital this time since it was pretty expensive, but are going to Baby Debut instead. Probably  around week 20, so coming up! Guess I should make an appointment, huh?