Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The yellow blanket I made a while back has quickly become our favorite baby blanket. It is heavy enough of a yarn that wind doesn't blow it all over the place. It has an awesome drape, and is extremely soft. I was thinking I should make another one. I have to get on it quickly if i want it finished before the need is gone. For the quality of yarn, it is shockingly cheap. Here is the yarn I use....Please vote on a color. The blanket I made was out of their "butter" color, which turned out to be more of a bright yellow. Just FYI.

Friday, December 26, 2008

post-Christmas post

Christmas is over and we had a good time. Our house might take weeks to recover. We brought all the gifts back with us this year, instead of like in past years having people over to our house. That means we have lots of bags. We don't have an abundance of time, energy or the desire to put stuff away the second we get home. Most of that time has been spent opening up Ava's toys and getting them set up for her. (Can I just say how annoying it is that the My Little Pony playland thingy doesn't work with the regular sized My Little Ponies? Why did I buy her a set of 7 ponies?) We did pretty well getting to where we needed to be and had fun seeing the family. By last night we were all pretty worn out but we will still had a good time. We thought it was too easy to get out of the house last night, but that would be because we forgot all of our gifts at home. We were just working on getting enough diapers, sippy cups, new toys that had to come, and blankets out the door.

We were both up extremely late on Christmas Eve. Rhys slept well, but was still up as needed to eat. I think we got up to open presents around 8:30. Ava seems to love her new dollhouse the most. She has been playing with it non-stop.

We decided that our new recliner is our gift to each other. It is how we are rationalizing it in our heads at least. Our rear window of the van exploded due to the change of temperature on the 23rd so there went the chair money and then some. Woe is us, the employed. It is always nice to complain and then realize that really, there is nothing to complain about. We are fed, housed, and healthy.

I just have to say that all of my siblings are amazing gift givers. Ever since I can remember they have always been able to come up with gifts that are either just what I wanted or something that I need that I didn't even know that I did. This has continued and now has spread to my husband and kids. It is awesome and so appreciated. When I think about how much thought goes into each gift every year it makes me tear up, even non-post partum years.

See the password protected blog for pictures!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

5 days

We are five days in with two kids. It is definitely an adjustment, but not a bad one. I think Ava is having the hardest time with the whole thing. Her behavior and attitude drastically changes for the better when she is getting some one on one attention. She really loves Rhys and wants him with her so it isn't that bad. She hasn't asked for him to be sent back or anything like that. She actually panics if she thinks he isn't coming with us somewhere. She is just very whiney and wants lots of help with things, in addition to a whole lot of talking back and attitude. She just can't figure out if she is going to be the big girl or the baby. The bobo situation has gotten horrible. Rhys can have his all the time, why can't she? Rhys is another bobo baby, though I think it is funny that we introduce such a thing when we currently have an addict in the house.

We have been busy running around with things. I am looking forward to just being home for a few days. Tomorrow we have a few errands to run, but that isn't bad since we can limit it to what we need and want to do. Rhys has his new baby appointment and we have to pick up a few things. We will see how much weight he has gained back. He only lost 4.8 ounces in the hospital and started eating a ton as soon as he gets home. He eats often but not necessarily a lot, which is why it is so often. I am trying to convince him that 15 minutes is better than 5 and it lasts a lot longer...especially at night.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hello Rhys

Rhys is 3 days old today, though it is technically our 4th "day" with him, since he was born first thing in the morning.

Short story of his birth...we had just finished our candy making marathon for the night and were watching The Biggest Loser finale. The baby had been moving around like a crazy person, very odd movements. The shape of my belly had changed and everything. I had told the baby that if it wanted out so bad to just go ahead and poke a hole. The last person gets on the scale and I am suddenly questioning how I didn't notice peeing on myself, and quickly realize what had happened and took off running for the bathroom. Turns out in addition to my water breaking, it was a whole lot of blood. Mostly all I could see was blood and clots. (I failed to mention that it had snowed and most people had been calling to say it had taken them 3 hours to get home from work.) I called my doctor and was put through to the nurses at Edward's. They said with the weather that I really should just call an ambulance and go wherever they take me. They didn't want to risk me being stuck in the snow somewhere. The blood/water had stopped pouring out and I could still feel the baby moving all over the place, so I was only a little worried. I made sure I was all excited about getting to go out on the gurney and waved bye bye to Ava (who was still up for some unknown reason) and I was gone. The hospital was somewhat confused why I had come in the ambulance, since the paramedics just told them "40 weeks and water broke" but I told them what really happened and the doctor came right in to do an ultrasound. I still had a little water around the baby, but not even close to the normal amount and I had an "old placenta" and she could see where some of it had separated. I really lucked out and had an excellent doctor who was super nice. She said that as long as there wasn't anymore gushes of blood I could continue on like normal, since contractions had pretty much started immediately. As the doctor said, the body's way of taking care of a problem.

Contractions picked up and went fine. I was progressing normally, so no pitocin was needed. I got my epidural around 2am (my water broke around 10:40pm). I still had that one spot like I had with Ava that wouldn't go completely numb, but it still was much duller, so I was fine with it. We both tried to sleep at that point. I would say we dozed, but no sleeping really took place. The doctor came into check and I was at 5cm and 60%. An hour or so later, I was at 7 cm, and 90%. The doctor kept saying once I completely efface it would go much faster. Pretty much the contraction after that last check, I felt the baby push down. I kept that to myself and just rearranged myself to be more helpful to the whole process. I kept hearing the nurse I had with Ava say to just wait to push until you need to especially with an epidural because your body will do a lot of the work for you. The contractions were a little less than 2 minutes apart at this point, and with each contraction I could feel a little more pressure. The nurse asked me when she came back in if I was feeling anything, so I told her. She checked and I was ready to go. This was 45 minutes after being at 7. She called the doctor and the other nurses and after 10 minutes of pushing, Rhys was out. It was so different from with Ava. I felt the head come out and I actually looked down and said hi. I knew he was a boy before anybody said anything because I was able to watch him come out. He was 8 pounds 5 ounces and 20.5 inches long. He came out crying and mad.

Our time in the hospital was short. I specifically asked to be able to go home the next day. Rhys wasn't that interested in eating in the hospital. He showed me that he could do it right away but then didn't concern himself with anything other than sleeping and pooping. We were home by 1 on Thursday. Ava was very excited for us to be home. Rhys didn't feel the pressure of the hospital apparently, and decided he was all about eating as soon as we got home. (I will have to remember to post about Ava's reaction to Rhys in the hospital later.) We all got naps Thursday afternoon and slept probably at least 7 hours Thursday night. Yesterday was just a relaxed day and we did Christmas at my dad's house. Rhys is way more vocal than Ava ever was and is very particular about being held a certain way and by certain people. Sometimes he doesn't want me, sometimes he doesn't want Justin. Sometimes he feels like screaming just to scream apparently. This time around, we seem to not be passing him around to avoid waking the dragon, so to speak. If he is content, just leave him, even if that means sitting in the car seat, regardless of who wants him, Ava included. Last night he decided he really likes to eat and wanted to eat every hour to hour and a half. If not screaming would ensue. He wasn't up just to be up, he just wanted to eat. He tends to have awake times during the day which is good.

Ava is sleeping so I am thinking it is nap time for me too.

Monday, December 15, 2008

new furniture

My recliner, which was my favorite place for sitting with Ava when she was a baby, is now broken. It was a good, free recliner when we got it. The bottom has kind of fallen in, and I sit on an angle and the foot rest comes up every time I sit in it. I actually sink in far enough to the seat that the foot rest cuts into my leg. We did some deal hunting and found a great deal on Besides baby furniture and our mattress, this is our first new piece of furniture! We are going to put it downstairs and move the rocking chair upstairs. Justin likes the rocking chair, so now he will just have it upstairs and I will have a recliner up and downstairs. Little by little, (apparently a lot more slowly and little by little than previously thought) we will actually pick stuff out for our house and get furniture that we have chosen. It will be crazy.

By the way, I do love free McCafe Mondays. The free coffees are little, but they are tasty. If the McDonalds by our house would start doing the lattes and stuff I would be pretty happy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

40 weeks #2

I am way less crabby about the baby never coming out. (I was fighting a serious craving for chocolate that we didn't have in the house and it was a big contributor to the crabbiness. We haven't rectified that situation, so it could flair up at any time... psst. new york super fudge chunk.) It still may never come out, but in reality, I am due tomorrow. Labor is when you dilate, so I am just not in labor now. Dilation is no way to predict when you will go into labor. I would much rather walk around at 1 than 3 for weeks, because 3 just gives you lots of false hope. I still can't commit to activities and I still am not going to respond to things like "baby come out yet?" But in the mean time, it is what it is, and we are all just hanging out at home and it is fun. Ava is currently singing into the booger sucker and has given me a callous scraper for my foot to sing into.

40 weeks

I had my doctor's appointment today. No change. "Nothing much going on," were the exact words of the doctor. I am going back next Thursday to get everything checked again. I will be induced on the 22nd if there is no baby by then.

Therefore, we will make no promises to being anywhere at any time. We will show up if we can, I guess. Just because in theory we will be home for Christmas doesn't mean we will go anywhere. We might, but who knows. As a side note, I will also no longer respond to any questions or messages about whether or not I have had the baby because that is really just annoying at this point. Nobody wants the baby out more than me. Believe me, I will not forget to tell people.

In other news, my blood pressure is still perfect. Gained a couple pounds (thanks Eddy's) and baby's heart rate was 128. Once again I HAVE NOT DROPPED, I JUST CARRY LOW. The baby is actually back up a station.

Monday, December 8, 2008

favorite Christmas song

So my here is my favorite Christmas song. Click on the link and listen and enjoy while you continue to read....

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman/We Three Kings

I love singing it. It helps that it is in the perfect key that I feel like I can just belt it out, plus it kind of makes me want to dance around a bit which is a double bonus. I downloaded it the other day and have been trying to figure out what else to burn it to a cd with so I can listen to it constantly in the car. I love the different vocal parts in the song and I know mine by heart. I am hoping to actually get to sing it with someone, even if it is just in the car...(Justin, this means with you...or Michael, anybody, Bueller.) It will be excellent. Man! Won't it rule when Ava learns to sing parts? She already sings into her microphone (the booger sucker) and dances around.

No sign of baby, by the way. I am guessing sometime this upcoming weekend. No particular reason, just don't get your hopes up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First Juice

Ava has never been a juice drinker. She really doesn't care too much for it and we rarely buy it because we end up throwing out most of the bottle. She would never finish a cup full, and never really asked for it, so it just didn't get used. Until we found First Juice. She loves the banana carrot flavor. It comes in a bigger bottle and a re-useable sippy type bottle. She likes to drink out of the sippy bottle, but likes water in it and stuff. Bad news about First Juice, it isn't found in most grocery stores. So far I have found you can buy it online or at Babies R Us. More bad news, it isn't cheap. Oh well, she is getting vegetables.

39 weeks

I am actually 39 weeks today. I went to the doctor on Tuesday and just never got around to writing this.

Nothing has changed. My blood pressure is perfect, gained .8 pounds, not any further dilated or effaced. Baby's heart rate was 146. Justin came with so he got to see Ava hear the baby. She thinks it is funny. No predictions were made about delivery. There really is no way to make them, other than going by when I had my last baby. I was induced 2 days before the due date, so to them, I will probably go up to my due date. Oh, the baby has NOT dropped.

Justin put on his facebook that there was a false alarm. There wasn't. An alarm has to be raised for it to be false. I had to poop. Generally really painful contractions accompany the need to poop or foreshadow it. Apparently there is no room for the poop.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The countdown until the due date has officially begun. 10 days. Weird. The fact that it is December and that no matter what I will have a December baby is weird. It will come out at some point and it will be in December.

Ava and I have big plans today for making Christmas presents. Tomorrow is the post office to mail bookmooch books that I seriously meant to mail sometime in October. I need to stop accepting to send things because I hate doing it. Meanwhile, I have 15 points to use, which means 15 books. Problem is, the books I want are never available. Nobody even has them listed. After that is the doctor's office, lunch, nap and work. It should be a good time. Other than work and other things on the calendar that is about it for definitely planned out days.

It snowed. I was told when the barometric pressure changes and it snows, I will have the baby. Baby doesn't want to come out apparently.

Monday, November 24, 2008

38 weeks

That was a speedy visit. Nothing really to discuss. I am now 1 cm, 50% effaced, and the baby has dropped down another station. I am now where I was with Ava until the day I was enduced. I think I effaced more, but that was about it. She never dropped down to a farther station until I actually started pushing. For all those that will say the baby has dropped...I carry low. Very low. I think with Ava people would try to convince me that she had dropped, even though I knew otherwise. Once the head kind of settles in, I just look like this. I have a very long rib cage and don't care the baby up by my chin. I carry it in my lap. I gained back a pound that I had lost, but still not everything. I am sure that ice cream I bought yesterday and Thanksgiving will help me catch up.

Ava had her pre-op physical. She is now 26 pounds and 33.5 inches. I knew she had gotten taller. She is still tiny in the percentiles for her age. She is 12th for weight. 26th for height. No wonder her pants won't stay up. She told the doctor about when she made her big poopie in the potty. She told him it was like a Dori poop. Love him for giving her a high five for the big poopie.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

We went to the grocery store tonight to get a few necessities we needed for the week (milk, eggs, etc.) and stuff to make our contributions to Thanksgiving dinner. Justin was a little stunned at the total after checking out. He thought about what all we got and realized we left the store with over a gallon of ice cream. That is what happens when Eddy's is buy one get one free and you have a pregnant lady with you who only wants to eat what sounds good and if today it sounds like peppermint ice cream, that is what it is. He also got a gingerbread house kit to make with Ava after her eye appointment. We found one that has good candy to decorate it, so we will probably actually eat it.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning. Any bets on any activity down below? Any guesses on the ETA of this baby? This morning one of the custodians at church asked me if I was having triplets. I am not that big.

Monday, November 17, 2008

back up

We have internet again!!!!!! Yay!

My cougher is sore. I know there isn't such thing as a "cougher" but all the parts of my body that go into coughing are sore. I can survive without cold medication now, which does tell me that I have definitely turned the corner. Every day it is getting a little better, it is just taking forever, or so it seems.

My friend had her baby Friday. I can't wait to see her. There are things going on with the baby, so I am definitely trying to give her space. I am sure she knows I am there if she needs me, but I always think how I react to things. there is a fine line in being there and supportive and a hassle, an overwhelming presence to have to be dealt with. For all I know, nobody else thinks the way I do, so then I just end up being a turd, but there is thought behind my actions, or lack there of.

37 weeks

I had my 37 week appointment this morning. The doctor wasn't thrilled to hear about my pneumonia, but he said it did explain why I lost 3 pounds in a week. I am generally feeling much better. I just have a little head congestion, like a normal cold. I actually think I got a 2nd cold right after the first one that gave me the pneumonia. I didn't have any head congestion with the first cold and that is pretty much all I have this time. It is much better than it was 4 days ago, even yesterday, so hopefully in a day or two I will be cold free for the first time in almost a month. Blood pressure was still good. 104/68. No swelling. Baby's heart rate was 140. No dialation yet, but 50% effaced. He said the baby has come down a bit, but that is about it. I told Justin about the effacement and he was like oh crap. (he does NOT want this baby to come any time other than 2 days before the due date or beyond.) I was like it doesn't mean anything. I was like this for a month with Ava. To me it is just a confirmation for myself that I am right when I say I can feel a little something happening, but not much.

Our internet is still down, 3 days and counting now. There is something wrong with the wires in the ground (my guess is they dug through something important while putting up new utility poles) but they are going to try to fix it today.

Other blog will have to wait until my internet is up to get this post.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

36 weeks and sick

So I have had a cold for over two weeks now. It was an odd cold. Mostly just in the back of my throat and my chest. No real boogers or stuffy nose like with a normal cold. The cough has been driving me nuts and in the last couple days seemed to get worse and I got body aches and chills. I pretty much got fed up of not being able to sleep at all, and was just getting more and more tired, so I called and made an appointment with the doctor. I actually hadn't been to my primary care doctor in about 4 years. I have been that healthy. Weird. I used to get sick all the time, sinus infections and whatnot. (that really does prove something to me about my living environment and whatnot at the time, but whatever) I was thinking maybe i had an ear infection since I could feel pressure in my ears. Either way, I wanted to sleep and it had gone on long enough. The doctor came in and did the standard look in the ears, throat, etc. Listened to my chest and felt my throat. (I was super clammy and sweaty, so I am sure that was a pleasant experience for her.) Anyway, she was like yeah, you have a little pneumonia in your lung. Excellent. That explains the constant soreness in my back and side and why it is hard to sleep if I lay down, why I can't stop coughing, etc. Didn't even think of it as a possibility. So now I am on antibiotics. I am hoping it all clears up before I have to have the baby, because I think a whole delivery with pneumonia would be unpleasant. Plus I still have a lot of cleaning and stuff that I want to get done that I need to have the energy to do. Obviously that is not that big of a deal, but it is very annoying to have "nesting eyes" seeing things to be done everywhere you look, but no energy to get off the couch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

36 weeks and tmi for those who are sensitive

Just some basic info. I had my 36 week visit this morning. Everything is looking good. The doctor says she thinks the baby is already six pounds and will put money on it being born weighing 7 lbs 4oz. We will see if she is right. She said definitely bigger than Ava if I go 4 more weeks.

blood pressure: 104/68
weight: minus one full pound
measuring 35 mc
heart rate: 132
cervix is closed and high. She said I am almost a finger tip. I told her I didn't feel anything happening at all, so it doesn't surprise me.

My job is to sleep. I took myself off the schedule for any future over nights at work. Right now I am going off of 2 and a half hours of sleep. I am hoping to get a couple more in when Ava takes a nap before I have to go to work for my regular shift.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

busy busy

We had a pretty busy weekend. Our weekends usually actually start on Friday, with Justin working from home. I worked Thursday night and the emergency brake light came on again in the van. We decided to take the van in to get fixed Friday morning. Turns out the cap on the master cylinder came off and we were leaking brake fluid. It was a good thing we took it in and turned out to be a very inexpensive repair, which was awesome. Major car repairs are never really in the budget, even though all the money management things say you should set money aside just in case, it doesn't happen. Money is set aside, just not for car repairs.

One of the perks of Justin's job is fun family stuff. He got us tickets to see Madagascar 2. It was Ava's second movie and she was pretty excited. She did better than when we went to see Wall-E, but I think it had to do with the fact that we went int he afternoon instead of at night. She was very excited about her popcorn and ate most of her bag, minus what she spilled on the ground. I think the sequel was funnier than the original. There are going to be some good kids movies out around Christmas so we are planning some good Daddy/Ava outings while he is home on vacation/paternity leave.

Justin fixed my laundry room shelves today. Sort of. Turns out that our studs are way too far apart for the shelves, so we actually need to get wood that is wider to put on the arms for the shelves. We are getting a lot of the things done off the to-do list. I have a lot of errand running to do this week, and that will get quite a few things crossed off.

That is about it for our exciting life right now. Tuesday I go to the doctor for my 36 week check. The doctor might give me a size guess for the baby, not that they were even close to right with Ava. It is the debate...I would love to not be pregnant much longer. On the other hand, we have doctor's appointments and other things planned until right up to the due date and Justin's vacation time planned around it, so it would be nice if the baby didn't come early. How weird that I am actually hoping to not have the baby until the 11th or later. It would be ok if it were the week of Thanksgiving, but earlier in the week, but Justin's vacation would then be weird. Who knows.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Picture in my mind

I have these moments, where I wish I could burn the image into my mind and never forget it. They are moments when I fall more in love or just in love all over again with Ava. They are moments that I hope I can remember forever and always be able to replay.

Today we were going out to the car so I could take her to daycare and I could go to work. It was beautiful out so she just had on jeans and a t-shirt. Her hair was crazy, as it is 95 percent of the time, and just blowing around in the breeze. I told her we had to hurry up so I am not late. Usually this makes her slow it down to a snail's pace, but today she felt the need for speed. She said, "Yes, we have to go fast, fast, for mommy's work." and was not really walking all that much faster, but putting her arms into it. She was focused, on a mission, head forward, arms swinging. She had the form of a speed walker, minus the speed. I just was thinking about how old she is getting and what a big girl she is, but as she was swinging her arms, all I could see was her little baby dimples she still has in her elbows. All I could do was give her kisses and hugs and say lots of I love you's. I took advantage of her cuddly mood and got quite a few back on our way into Wanda's.

She had a great day today. She will be happy to find out that her new friend, Barack Obama won, she will be able to see him on tv a lot more. Her obsession with him has continued. This morning she told me about how she and Daddy and Barack Obama had hotdogs and Daddy did a fire, and they had hotdogs...and on and on. I have no idea why she thinks Barack Obama loves hotdogs so much, but she does. She loves to see him on tv, hear him on the radio. I think she thinks he is her friend. I told her we were going to vote today. I told her that I was voting for Barack Obama, and that got her going all over again about her BFF. She kept asking when we were going to see him. Then she kept saying, "We went to vote. Vote for Barack Obama." I was seriously hoping she got shy when I was voting. Last thing I wanted was for my 2 year old to get busted for campaigning in a polling place. The election worker gave her a bag of candy corn, so that distracted her from making any political outbursts.


Ok, well typepad wasn't cooperating, so I will post on this site first. I am in a great hunt, well research hunt, for a sling for this baby. I have a sleepy wrap, which I think will be great for longer periods of time. I am wanting a sling for when I am out and about and want to just stick the baby in there, not have to go tie the whole thing up. I also think Justin will be more likely to use the sling, less hassle. I had a baby bjorn for Ava and didn't really like it. I felt like her head wobbled all over, her feet got cold/possibly numb from it cutting into her legs, and I couldn't really cuddle on her. Not to mention it was hard to get her in and out of especially when she was asleep. We have a double stroller and I think it is going to get a lot of use, but I remember with Ava I brought the stroller with me and ended up carrying her most of the time, especially for the first few months. I held her a lot and I think that has helped with attachment which rolls over into everything, including discipline. I am definitely ok with the concept of babywearing, and I agree with it. I am excited that I don't need to plan down time for this baby like I did with Ava. I didn't want Ava to suddenly be shocked when she went to daycare and wasn't held all the time. Turns out she was held MORE at daycare, especially at first, than when she was home with me. Wanda's mom was staying with her at the time, so she had a full time cuddle buddy. I don't see myself "wearing" my 2 year old, but I am fine with it when they are still babies.

Here is some info I have read on babywearing, from Dr. Sears.

1. Sling babies cry less. Parents in my practice commonly report, "As long as I wear her, she's content!" Parents of fussy babies who try babywearing relate that their babies seem to forget to fuss. This is more than just my own impression. In 1986, a team of pediatricians in Montreal reported on a study of ninety-nine mother-infant pairs. The first group of parents were provided with a baby carrier and assigned to carry their babies for at least three extra hours a day. They were encouraged to carry their infants throughout the day, regardless of the state of the infant, not just in response to crying or fussing. In the control, or noncarried group, parents were not given any specific instructions about carrying. After six weeks, the infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43 percent less than the noncarried group.

Anthropologists who travel throughout the world studying infant-care practices in other cultures agree that infants in babywearing cultures cry much less. In Western culture we measure a baby's crying in hours, but in other cultures, crying is measured in minutes. We have been led to believe that it is "normal" for babies to cry a lot, but in other cultures this is not accepted as the norm. In these cultures, babies are normally "up" in arms and are put down only to sleep – next to the mother. When the parent must attend to her own needs, the baby is in someone else's arms.

2. Sling babies learn more. If infants spend less time crying and fussing, what do they do with the free time? They learn! Sling babies spend more time in the state of quiet alertness . This is the behavioral state in which an infant is most content and best able to interact with his environment. It may be called the optimal state of learning for a baby. Researchers have also reported that carried babies show enhanced visual and auditory alertness.

The behavioral state of quiet alertness also gives parents a better opportunity to interact with their baby. Notice how mother and baby position their faces in order to achieve this optimal visually interactive plane. The human face, especially in this position, is a potent stimulator for interpersonal bonding. In the kangaroo carry, baby has a 180-degree view of her environment and is able to scan her world. She learns to choose, picking out what she wishes to look at and shutting out what she doesn't. This ability to make choices enhances learning. A sling baby learns a lot in the arms of a busy caregiver.

3. Sling babies are more organized. It's easier to understand babywearing when you think of a baby's gestation as lasting eighteen months – nine months inside the womb and at least nine more months outside. The womb environment automatically regulates baby's systems. Birth temporarily disrupts this organization. The more quickly, however, baby gets outside help with organizing these systems, the more easily he adapts to the puzzle of life outside the womb. By extending the womb experience, the babywearing mother (and father) provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganized tendencies of the baby. Picture how these regulating systems work. Mother's rhythmic walk, for example, (which baby has been feeling for nine months) reminds baby of the womb experience. This familiar rhythm, imprinted on baby's mind in the womb, now reappears in the "outside womb" and calms baby. As baby places her ear against her mother's chest, mother's heartbeat, beautifully regular and familiar, reminds baby of the sounds of the womb. As another biological regulator, baby senses mother's rhythmic breathing while worn tummy- to-tummy, chest-to-chest. Simply stated, regular parental rhythms have a balancing effect on the infant's irregular rhythms. Babywearing "reminds" the baby of and continues the motion and balance he enjoyed in the womb.

The womb lasts eighteen months: Nine months inside mother, and nine months outside.

What may happen if the baby spends most of his time lying horizontally in a crib, attended to only for feeding and comforting, and then again separated from mother? A newborn has an inherent urge to become organized, to fit into his or her new environment. If left to his own resources, without the regulating presence of the mother, the infant may develop disorganized patterns of behavior: colicky cries, jerky movements, disorganized self-rocking behaviors, anxious thumb sucking, irregular breathing, and disturbed sleep. The infant, who is forced to self-calm, wastes valuable energy he could have used to grow and develop.

While there is a variety of child-rearing theories, attachment researchers all agree on one thing: In order for a baby's emotional, intellectual, and physiological systems to function optimally, the continued presence of the mother, as during babywearing, is a necessary regulatory influence.

4. Sling babies get "humanized" earlier. Another reason that babywearing enhances learning is that baby is intimately involved in the caregiver's world. Baby sees what mother or father sees, hears what they hear, and in some ways feels what they feel. Carried babies become more aware of their parents' faces, walking rhythms, and scents. Baby becomes aware of, and learns from, all the subtle facial expressions, body language, voice inflections and tones, breathing patterns, and emotions of the caregiver. A parent will relate to the baby a lot more often, because baby is sitting right under her nose. Proximity increases interaction, and baby can constantly be learning how to be human. Carried babies are intimately involved in their parents' world because they participate in what mother and father are doing. A baby worn while a parent washes dishes, for example, hears, smells, sees, and experiences in depth the adult world. He is more exposed to and involved in what is going on around him. Baby learns much in the arms of a busy person.

5. Sling babies are smarter. Environmental experiences stimulate nerves to branch out and connect with other nerves, which helps the brain grow and develop. Babywearing helps the infant's developing brain make the right connections. Because baby is intimately involved in the mother and father's world, she is exposed to, and participates in, the environmental stimuli that mother selects and is protected from those stimuli that bombard or overload her developing nervous system. She so intimately participates in what mother is doing that her developing brain stores a myriad of experiences, called patterns of behavior. These experiences can be thought of as thousands of tiny short-run movies that are filed in the infant's neurological library to be rerun when baby is exposed to a similar situation that reminds her of the making of the original "movie." For example, mothers often tell me, "As soon as I pick up the sling and put it on, my baby lights up and raises his arms as if in anticipation that he will soon be in my arms and in my world."

I have noticed that sling babies seem more attentive, clicking into adult conversations as if they were part of it. Babywearing enhances speech development. Because baby is up at voice and eye level, he is more involved in conversations. He learns a valuable speech lesson – the ability to listen.

Normal ambient sounds, such as the noises of daily activities, may either have learning value for the infant or disturb him. If baby is alone, sounds may frighten him. If baby is worn, these sounds have learning value. The mother filters out what she perceives as unsuitable for the baby and gives the infant an "It's okay" feeling when he is exposed to unfamiliar sounds and experiences."

Any reviews on slings you would like to share? They are welcome.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Happy November

It is already November, as that is what happens immediately after Halloween. I can't even get into a real countdown about baby #2 until December. November is just a normal month. I do like that you still get to do fall stuff. Pumpkins, spices, smells, all of that good stuff carries over. We have also decided that Christmas stuff is going to have to go up immediately following Thanksgiving or it probably won't happen.

Did I discuss the hanging of shelves? I honestly can't remember. Sorry to repeat. Thursday I decided to hang shelves in our laundry room. I bought these shelves about three years ago and we have had many debates on where to hang them. Pipes in the wall and all that. The intended wall turned out to be a firewall that did not have any studs for me to put the shelves on. I went for the opposite wall. 2nd choice, but it would work. I could only do one set, instead of two but any type of shelving will be helpful for storing cleaning supplies. Our house has lots of walk in closets, but it does not have any storage for regular living stuff. I marked the studs, used the level, all that stuff. Double checked and triple checked before and after drilling the holes that I was in the stud (not that you couldn't tell while drilling) to make sure the shelves won't be falling down. In order to do this, I was climbing up on the washer. I do not have the upper body strength that I used to, not mention the added lower body weight. It was much harder than in my younger days to climb on the washer. Either way, got up and down did all that good stuff. Put on the brackets. Go to put the arms of the shelves on, the end was in sight. I put the brackets on backwards, so there was no room for the arm things to hook on. I didn't have that many more trips up onto the washer in me and at that point I was just pissed. Justin says he will fix the shelves now that I have screwed them up. I really want a place to put our cleaners that is up high. I also would like the shelves out of the hallway. We have a whole list of things to get done pre-baby. I think we are going to just take a weekend and get it all done.

We didn't get U-verse installed on Saturday. Not that we canceled or anything. The signal isn't ready at our house. They are coming to work on it tomorrow. They said the line needs grounded. After they get it all fixed, they are going to call and reschedule an installation time.

Ava had fun on Halloween. (picture will be posted on other blog) She dressed up as a pug. Her costume turned out to be way too small even though based on the label and what size she actually wears, it should have been a little big. She couldn't bend over in it or turn her head. Justin ended up carrying her around trick or treating to make the process go a little faster. She was acting very shy at her first house, but once she figured out that she got candy, she gained confidence and enthusiasm.

I went to a baby expo with some of my family this weekend. I got a bunch of good coupons, samples, and 6 free bottles! I am pretty excited about the bottles, since that is one thing I really wanted to get but just hadn't gotten around to because when you buy more than one bottle you realize how expensive they are. I came this close to getting a 4d ultrasound done. They had a booth where you could have a 15 minute ultrasound for a ridiculously low price (especially when I think of how much I am paying for my 5 minute 2d ultrasound I had done that the insurance isn't paying for.) I debated, since it wasn't really necessary. Justin had seen videos on youtube and thought they were cool. He said I should get one done. I go to sign up and there was a 3 hour wait. I didn't do it. We were pretty much expo'd out at that point, and couldn't see sticking around that long, plus people had to be back by then. They do have a place in Naperville where I could get it done for twice as much as at the expo, but I don't want it that much. (twice as much is still not even a 3rd of what we are already paying for....grrrrr)

I am heading into work in an hour. I am hoping it is a fairly quiet night and that I get a couple hours of sleep in on the "loveseat of death." I am getting off at 4 so I can come home and sleep for about 3 hours before Ava gets up. I don't have anything in the afternoon so hopefully I will get to nap then too. I have a cold that is mostly in my throat and chest which makes sleeping suck even more than it did before. In a way I am sad that I am not going to get a full nights sleep, but at the same time, I rarely sleep for 8 hours straight anyway, so I might as well break it up.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Posted pictures of the pumpkins on the other blog... this is a little taste.
I want one of these. I will be buying one in the near future....

I am pretty sure I will be ordering the one with the hooter hider label. I am classy like that.

Ava just fed the dog a full bag of treats.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

important question

This is something that I really need to know.

What songs always make you:

a) dance around in your head, house, car, whatnot?
b) want to turn it up and belt it out?

There are many other thought provoking questions I have rattling around in my head tonight relating to things like laundry baskets: use more or put multiple loads into one giant mound? or how many messages are too many to keep on an answering machine? but they aren't really that important of questions. I need the music ones answered. I NEED the answers. I think Ava's "big fire" is making the upstairs smell weird to me. (Ava is calling her humidifier many different things with the word fire in it. It is currently her big fire.) I need to go to bed and stop worrying about smells. Tomorrow starts early, and I am working the overnight so I actually do need to sleep.

Biggest Loser

I watched last night's episode of The Biggest Loser. I am seriously disliking 75% of the blue team. Usually I don't really cheer on a particular team, but right now it is hard not to. Just thought I would mention this very important detail in my life.

I am working on a blanket that I am giving as a gift. I am way more than halfway done. I did the first half pretty quickly but seemed to have lost my oomph. I have definitely been slowing down. I need to get on it. I have a few more that I have planned to make, but I have a feeling I honestly won't get to them.

We have serious plans for tomorrow night that involve painting pumpkins. I am guessing there will be some pictures posted by Friday. We didn't get too many pictures of Ava and the picking of the pumpkins this weekend because she really wasn't feeling the funk.

Tonight is the potluck at work. I at least don't have to worry about packing a dinner for myself. I did make a cake and then realized that I grabbed the wrong kind of icing off the shelf. I think the kind I have would work....but I don't want to experiment on something I am bringing to work for other people to eat. I haven't decided on what I will do. I am guessing it will depend on how early Ava wakes up from her nap to see if I have time to run to the store. I am guessing I won't so I need to just make a decision.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

34 weeks

I went for my 34 week check up today. Everything is good. Baby's heart rate was 165. (Those of you who were betting on it being a boy, due to the heart rate, better think research has completely dis proven that theory.) My blood pressure was 116/60, so no problems there. I think I actually had a .8 pound loss according to them....did I fail to mention at my last appointment they had me down for gaining 11 pounds? Their scale was off, I had just eaten, and the time before I hadn't eaten and was wearing shorts and a tank top. There were many factors that resulted in my "11" pound weight gain, which was really like 6, but that is besides the point. I am still 11 pounds under where I was when I had Ava, so I don't see myself going over that mark. My goal will be complete.

I actually had the same doctor today that delivered Ava. I actually hadn't seen her since the day Ava was born. She remembered me, which was nice. She also said something along the lines of the goal for this delivery would be to avoid all the craziness and drama of last time. (craziness and drama = being induced, muconium, hyper stimulation resulting in an irregular heartbeat and shortness of breath, decreased heart rate in Ava, consents for a c-section, delivery in the operating room, doctor thinking there was a partial placental abruption, limp, unresponsive baby.) It was actually nice to have her validate for me, 2 years later, that it was really as crazy as I remember. It clearly wasn't an everyday, run of the mill delivery for her. It doesn't change anything for me, but it was more of a "thanks, glad you saw it the same way."

We aren't canceling the installation of u-verse. Justin called today and asked a few questions, got things clarified, and got more discounts added on. It is now going to be significantly cheaper for us for 6 months, and just regularly cheaper for 6 months after that, and then just a little cheaper from there on out, if we don't get anymore promo specials added on.
Ahem, for those of you who don't have access to my normal posts, I am going to copy paste them here...minus pictures of my kid(s). If you want pictures, then comment or email and ask for them. If I know you, most likely I will give you the link and directions to get to my other blog. I will put on here when pictures are posted. Maybe if I get too lazy, I will put on here when I have posted a post....we will just have to see.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Things have been pretty steady here in our house.  Things are getting done.  Laundry, grocery shopping, bank trips, etc.  I have caulked the bathtub.  It only took me a week due to finding out the caulk I had was too old, and then I had to get around to going to buy more, even though I had already scraped out the old stuff.  If we only had one tub, I am sure the project would have been completed much faster. 

Nothing new on the baby front.  I go to the doctor tomorrow for my 34 week visit.  It is still trying to escape regularly.  I have dreams about hands and/or feet trying to come out of my skin to grab me.  No real gender dreams though.  We have gathered a sufficient amount of gender neutral sleepers to get us through the first couple weeks/month depending on the growth rate.  I have girl clothes if it is a girl, obviously.  I have been looking at boy clothes in the store, and so many of them are super lame.  I seriously do not like the pajama look on my kids when we go places, in general.  Ava always had little outfits.  A lot of the boy clothes look like pajamas with a truck or baseball bat on them.  I like the little man outfits.  What is wrong with a shirt and pants?  They have onesie type shirts that aren't stupid.  I am all about being  comfy but that doesn't mean the kid has to be dressed in sleepers 100% of the time.  And are power tools and sport stuff comfy?  Just curious.  I still feel fine.  I feel pregnant, but fine.  My back still hurts most of the time and I get tired, but I still consider that fine.  I am healthy and good to go, just happen to be pregnant. 

Ava is going to be "big Maggie" for halloween.  She is really going to be a pug, but she calls it Big Maggie.  We will see if she actually lets us put her costume on.  Crap!  Ava finished her swimming lessons Saturday.  I am debating signing her up for the next session.  It will obviously cause a problem since the class is 8 weeks long.  The next session starts tomorrow so I need to go sign her up tomorrow if we want to join.  I have asked Justin if he will take her to the last few since he will be home.  He hasn't given a clear answer.  I am not going to be able to take a class with her again unless it is on Saturday mornings which really don't work well for us, and I think she enjoys it so I really want to get her signed up.  I think she is going to do beginning dance classes after December, so I don't have to do it with her. 

That is pretty much what is going on in our life right now.  Same old, same old, but still fun. 


So here are a couple things that have gotten on my nerves. doesn't have any copies of books available that I actually want to read.  I feel like I am always mailing out books because I actually list ones that people want.  (Justin, you should have me re-list books you are done with, unless you are planning on keeping them forever).  I am running out of books but I have a list of at least 40 that I want to read but can't get my hands on them. 

I am also really annoyed at Ava saying she is hungry but refusing to eat what is given to her.  She has gotten insanely picky and is wasting a ton of food.  I am pretty sure it is just her way of being in control of things but seriously, you can't live off of fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.  Well you could, but it isn't very healthy.

I am also annoyed that certain keys on my keyboard decide not to work randomly.  During this post it is the comma.  I have to go back and hit it hard to make it work. 

In other news, dinner dishes are done and the ceiling fan has been cleaned.  Bath time is coming up and I will fold a couple loads of laundry so I have pants for tomorrow and then I am calling it a night, housework wise. 

OOOH!  Another annoying thing.  I read that the networks are discussing chucking Pushing Daisies.  I seriously love that show!  It is so different and fun.  The dialog cracks me up and the colors are so pretty.  I will never get to see it in HD if they cancel it since Justin has voted we cancel the installation of U-verse, so no HD receiver in this house yet.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

quote of the day

This evening Ava was talking to Val. Val was asking about the new baby.  Val said, "What is the baby's name?"  Ava said, "Jesus."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I got soup

I remembered something I was going to write about.  Ava loves the one song by The Killers that the chorus goes, "I got soul, but I'm not a soldier."  She will actually sing along with that part and knows all the words.  When she talks about the song, she calls it, "Got soup/soul, soap" depending on the day.  Sometimes she drops the "got" and goes with the one word name.  So we were in the car listening to the radio, and a different Killers song comes on, I don't remember which one, just one of their bigger radio hits.  She goes,"This got soup? Yes, its soup!"  I told her it was a different song but the same band.  She sat and listened for a while, and then said, "Nope, it not soup."  but in a very confused voice.  I didn't have the ability to distinguish which band was which, without knowing individual songs until at least high school, possibly even college.  I remember when I started listening to country music, I couldn't figure out who people could tell the male singers apart.  To me they all kind of sounded the same.  Soon after I was able to tell them apart, so I would guess that would be my junior year of high school-ish.  She has definitely beaten me there. 

I have sold most of my diapers by the way.  Who knew previously pooped in diapers would be hot items on Craig's list.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

wow, long time no post

I keep meaning to post something, I just don't get around to it.  I don't really remember what all I have been meaning to say right now.  Oh well I guess.

I am working hard on some blankets.  Hopefully I can have some finished soon. 

I have also decided to sell my cloth diapers.  So far I have two people interested in two kids that I have.  That only leaves like 20 more diapers to be sold.  It is kind of sad selling them.  They were really cute and I enjoyed picking them out.  I just did not enjoy washing them.

Ava has gotten old.  This weekend we were at a baptism reception thingy in a house she had never been to before, with people she had never met.  She was completely willing to go off with a stranger with the promise of toys upstairs and kids to play with.  She just left us and would come back randomly for food and then go back to playing.

I am going to a chiropractor for my back.  I have had two adjustments so far and it seems to be helping.  I am able to do more and it isn't hurting quite as bad as soon when I do all that stuff. 

I am having an odd reaction to simply homemade food in combination with shopping at walmart.  I miss shopping at Dominicks.  I want to go back.  I want there to be food to make, actually cook in the house.  I miss some of the things we used to eat.  I want to shop in a clean grocery store with short lines.  I am a little mad at walmart right now for being so seductive with its location and somewhat low prices.  I really hate shopping there, yet that is always where I end up.  Now we use their diapers...for the love.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

awwww cwab

Ava says crap.  I thought last weekend she said it, but her version of clap and what could be crap, sound the same.  I think she was really talking to her toy and saying, "clap, clap, clap."  Yesterday she asked Justin to put lotion on her hands.  He tried opening a sample soap bottle, that had a seal on it.  I told him it was soap.  He told her that he couldn't put lotion on her hands because it won't work.  She said, "Awwwwww cwab.  Yep, its cwab."  You had to hear her tone.  I was cracking up.  It was seriously one of the funniest things I have ever heard.  We obviously told her not to say crap, that it isn't a nice word, but it was still funny.  So if you hear her say things are cwab in a very negative tone, we are pretty sure she is saying crap, and feel free to correct her. 

In other news, I thought I would toss out some favorite winter perfume scents.  Euphoria by Calvin Klein, Mediterranean by Elizabeth Arden, Chance by Chanel, and for a softer scents, Cashmere Mist by Donna Karen and Daisy by Marc Jacobs.  I went with some spicier scents for recommendations.  I feel like it is fall now, and it makes me think warm, spicey thoughts, so there are my recommendations.  Do I expect anyone to run out and buy some perfume based on these suggestions?  No.  Just thought I would list them.  I went on a perfume smelling trip today and I just compiled a list of my favorites.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Last night I sorted through all the bins of Ava's clothes.  I am glad that it is done, since I have wanted to get to this for a long time.  All my bins are actually labeled now.  I took out the new baby clothes, neutral stuff at least.  I have a whole bin of girl new baby clothes, so if we have a girl we are set.  If we have a boy, it will be fun because I will get to go shopping for new baby stuff all over again!   I went pretend shopping online.  What I mean is, I added stuff to a baby registry on  The perk of that is, we get a discount on anything we buy off of our own registry, which is why I added stuff for Ava on there too. 

The baby is a wiggly monster in my belly.  Ava says she saw it move.  I don't doubt it, because it is moving all the time and pretty visible from the outside.   10 more weeks and then this baby is out.  We have a lot of stuff going on this fall, so 10 weeks will go by quickly I am sure.   

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday night TV party

Ok, so there is no party.  All my regular tv buddies are occupied.  If I were more serious about getting together with people to watch tonights shows, I would seek others out, but I do actually have other things to do tonight so it will be good that I am flying solo.  So I think my plan of attack will be Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, and then ER.  Survivor will probably be tomorrow afternoon.  It used to be it.  I would watch Friends, Survivor, CSI and ER on Thursdays, but now I don't.  Survivor has drastically dropped in priority.  Sorry to all of those who love Hello My Name is Earl and The Office.  I do find the Office funny.  Just not enough to bump some of my other shows.  They lose.  I have heard that the new AT&T tv service thing has a dvr that lets you record 4 shows at once.  What would I do with myself?  How many Thursdays would that have come in handy?  Anyway, I am having a little party myself and hoping Justin watches something with me, but he won't because he hates all things good.  (how do you like it???)  Ava and I just made a caramel apple pie.  It was super easy.  If it turns out well I will post the recipe.  I think I need to go get some ice cream to go with it. 

Tomorrow morning is our 2nd MOPS meeting, which should be somewhat interesting based on some recent events.  I need to make sure I get there super early to get myself organized and set up.  I still haven't gotten some questions answered about who I need to pay money to which annoys me.  I am the finance person, so I am actually paying some people for their services tomorrow.  I just write the checks, I don't arrange the people.  We are on snacks for tomorrow night's group.  I am going to make a cobbler.  Mmmmm good foods.  I love fall.  I love fall/winter baking.  I wish it weren't actually 85 so my house didn't get hot with the oven on and I could turn my air off.  Oh well. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

ahhhh haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!

Can you hear the joyous singing from my house?  I just realized that the majority of the shows I like are starting up again this week.  I am so excited, you have no idea.  Justin doesn't even have to worry about it because I will be at work two of the nights so he can just play video games or whatnot, he just can't watch anything on tv because the dvr will be busy. 

Dori has a new dog cage thingy.  It kind of looks like a pop up hamper that has mesh windows and it closes.  Ava always says Dori is in her bag.  She is acting better since in it actually, which is somewhat surprising.

Ava dropped her bobo in the car today.  She wanted it back.  She went through all the different colored bobos that she owns to see if we could give those to her.  Then she asked Justin to stop driving the car to get her bobo.  She wanted to know why  he had to keep driving.  Sometimes she is too smart.   I have to remind myself that she is only 2. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

27 weeks

I had my doctor's appointment this morning.  I have now entered the 3rd trimester and crossed the critical time line.  woohoo!  I passed my one hour glucose test which is good.  I am anemic now which explains a few things.  Blood pressure still good at 104/68.  Weight gain completely on track and steady so that is good.  Baby's heart rate was 148. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


The new fall season of TV is starting!!!!  Right now for adult shows it is only Bones.  Last week's episode wasn't that good at all, but I have hope that it will get better.  Also, did you know that Crossing Jordon was canceled in 2007?  I have been watching re-runs on A&E to catch up on the story line to be ready for the new season...Justin said he knew that it was canceled but thought I did too.  Oh well.

What I am actually excited about right now...Imagination Movers on playhouse Disney.  Ava has a few shows that she watches every morning while I check my email, do dishes, etc.  I get tired of the same shows all the time.  Imagination Movers just started and we are watching it for the first time right now.  Ava is very into the show, talking to the TV and everything. Some shows will ask questions, expecting the kids to answer at home, and she just sits there.  She is actually answering them on this show.  The music is so much better than in other shows!!!!  That is a very good thing since the songs will be stuck in your head for days.  Hopefully it stays this way and doesn't get lame.   What is funny to me is Ava says she has her  "shows".  She reminds me of an old lady who has to watch her soaps.  Sometimes when it isn't her TV time, she will say, "I want to watch my shows!  Ava's shows, not Mommy's shows."  I am glad playhouse Disney isn't on all the time.  It cuts out the temptation of giving in.

Swimming lesson update:  We are still going this morning.  I am guessing we will find out there when we have been moved to.

Monday, September 8, 2008

catching up

Today I woke up with a ton of motivation to get things done.  I actually got out of bed, cleaned toilets, folded laundry and showered before Ava got up.  I usually stay in bed until she gets up, which is why this is out of the ordinary for me.  I had a ton of errands to run today and I did all but one (the rain was just too much so I decided to put it off until tomorrow) and still kept going on things when I got home.  A lot of what I needed to do was related to MOPS and kick off on Friday.  Other people needed me to finish things so they could work on their parts, so I didn't really have time to put it off.  One of our errands was signing Ava up for kid/parent swimming lessons.   They are supposed to start tomorrow, so I did kind of wait until the last minute.  She could see the pool from the front desk and got super excited.  She thought she was going swimming right then.  She told every person who walked by that she was going swimming.  She was kind of disappointed when she figured out that we were leaving instead of swimming.  She knows that we are supposed to go tomorrow though.  The place called today and Ava is one of 2 who signed up for the Tuesday class, so we are probably going to have to change dates and times.  The guy was supposed to call me back tonight to let me know the plan but I haven't heard from him yet.  I will call in the morning.  He said that if they can't figure it out yet, we will still go tomorrow and then switch for future dates.  I asked Ava what we are doing tomorrow.  She said, "We are going swimming.  With my goggles!  I want Nemo goggles."  She doesn't need or have goggles.  She just thinks they are like glasses.  I bet she wouldn't like them if they were actually on.  She did go straight to the source though since her follow up statement was, "Daddy!  I want Nemo goggles. You get them for me?"

This past weekend was Justin's work family outing to the zoo.  It was awesome.  They rent out the whole zoo and pretty much everything was open at least for a while and we got tons of food.  All the places you normally have to pay for were open too.  Ava had fun in the children's zoo.  She got to pet the goats and a baby chick.  She loved Tropic World with the gorillas.  She still talks about how the monkeys were silly and one got in trouble.  She meowed at the meercats.  She said all the animals "were looking at me."  The best parts were no lines, no crowds, perfect weather, and all the free food you could ask for.

The weekend before last, Justin planned a night out for my birthday.  We got a hotel room at the Lodge, McDonald's affiliate hotel thingy.  I got a prenatal massage in their spa.  I highly recommend it.  It was so good.  I want another one.  I think I should get one every month until the baby comes out....After my massage, we got all dressed up and went to dinner at Capitol Grill.  Excellent food and service.  The one side dish, lobster macaroni was possibly one of the best things I have ever eaten.  I didn't even have to eat lobster.  It was in chunks that Justin could eat.  So really, their macaroni was one of the best things I have ever eaten.  We then went on to see a musical at Drury Lane.  Then back to the hotel for the super comfy king size bed.  Room to flop around while sleeping is very important to me at the present time.  The next morning we went out for brunch and did some shopping and went to go get Ava.  I had gotten new shoes while shopping because the ones I had on were hurting my feet.  They were super cheap and had stars on them.  Ava sees me and doesn't say anything, she just stares at my feet.  Then she says, "Your shoes have stars."  Apparently this was very odd to her.   Monday, we went to go see Hamlet 2 and Ava stayed at her other grandma's while we went to do that.  Pretty much she had full on family time from Saturday night until Monday afternoon.  She has just now switched back to being the child I dropped off.  I think she liked getting to do whatever she wanted and people who still listen to her commands because it is cute.  She wasn't happy having to go back to her normal life.  It is hard being 2.

The needing room to flop while sleeping reminds me of something that I was planning to write about but didn't.  I always come up with things to say while I am about to go to sleep.  Like while mentally recapping my day, I am like man, that is what I should say...but then I go to sleep and don't write it.  Anyway, I have reached the point in the pregnancy where I remember why towards the end of being pregnant with Ava, I couldn't wait for her to be out so I could just sleep again(which contributed to the cry fest the first night home with her when I thought about the fact that it still wasn't going to happen possibly ever again in my life).   It is hard to find a comfortable way to fall asleep.  Then you do fall asleep, but your arm does too at some point and you have to roll over, but you just can't roll over anymore.  You actually have to wake up and coordinate other parts of your body to shove yourself over to your other side and move all your pillows around and the blankets are moving with the pillows, if you were actually not too hot to sleep with blankets on, so you have to move those, and then all the sloshing around causes stomach acid to go all the way up your throat, so then you are coughing because your throat is now burned, and then you are ready to go to sleep and you have to catch your breath from all the activity.  Repeat 5 times a night, getting up to pee 1-2x in addition.  I no longer like going to bed.  I put it off as much as possible.  I just dread all the comfortableness.  It is like eating after you have had a stomach bug.  You do it because you have to, not because you want to.

Good banana bread

Our family activity tonight was making banana bread.  It turned out so good.  It is a slightly healthier recipe than normal, but you can't tell.

1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
approx. 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/3 c. butter
2 T. milk
2 eggs
1/4 c. plus a little extra chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixer bowl combine 1 cup
of the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add mashed
banana, butter, and milk. Beat in an electric mixer on low speed until
blended, then on high speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and remaining
flour, beat until blended. Stir in walnuts.

Pour batter into a
greased 8x4x2-inch loaf pan. (the person I took this recipe from's baking tip of the day: if you
want the rounded loaf top shape, only grease the bottom and part way up
the sides of the pan instead of all the way to the top. This goes for
rounded cake, cupcake, and muffin tops as well.)

Bake at 350
degrees for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the
center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Ava's politics

The other night I had the democratic national convention on tv.  Ava started applauding with the audience.  She asked who people were so I told her Barack Obama's name.  Last night we were all in the car.  It was late and Ava was pretty much talking to herself to stay awake.  Here was her conversation with herself.  I will just translate it, though most of the words she said are very clear.

"I think I like Obama.  Yes, I like Obama.  Obama likes wronies and hot dogs."

Apparently Ava has very strict criteria on who she will vote for.  You must like macaroni and cheese and hot dogs.  She also either saw some interview that I didn't, that disclosed Obama's enjoyment of macaroni and hot dogs, or she just assumes that her favorite meal is so great, that everyone must like it. 

Justin also says he is in trouble and needs to make more money.  We went into Gymboree last night and she immediately started walking around picking out things that she likes.  She is generally very opinionated in her clothing.  She usually picks out at least part of her outfit or gives us a color that she wants to wear on any given day.  She also tells me how to do her hair most of the time.  She pretty much always decides which shoes she is going to wear.  She also gets excited when she finds out we are going shopping. 

Friday, August 15, 2008

Perfect Strangers

I just finished the book Perfect Strangers (author...I have no idea) and it was entertaining.  I got way into it in the end.  I would give it a 3 for entertainment value.  It is in the same category as Bridgette Jones Diary (but definitely not as funny!).  I was a little surprised after I finished how much of a romance type book it was.  A little more in the general romance category than I generally read.

I have read a couple other books that I never said anything about.  I can't remember where I left off, but I know I didn't say anything about Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.  It is fantasy and no something I normally would read.  Justin really wanted me to check it out to see if it would be any good.  It was an adaptation of the story of Sleeping Beauty.  I liked it.  It was a good read.  As with other things I have read by Orson Scott Card, the writing isn't pretty writing or anything like that, but it is still a good story.

baby book data

Ava had her 2 year well visit last week.  She was considered healthy and ahead developmentally.  She is 24.4 pounds and 31 1/2 inches.  She is right around the 20th-25th percentile for both height and weight and once again the 97th percentile for head circ.

I had my prenatal visit last week also.  New baby's heartbeat was once again 145 bpm.  I actually lost some weight this time.  Total gain of 13 pounds.  Blood pressure 110/60.  Nothing too exciting.  My sciatica is relatively better if I just don't carry Ava or other babies very long, lift things or do sit on strange the ground. 

Once again, another post that is really only for my future reference. 

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The big present

So as I write this, Ava is at the Wiggles concert with Justin.  We bought her the tickets a couple months ago as her gift.  They have floor seats.  Justin has sent me some video on his cell phone and she is just staring at all the people.  He sent me a text saying that they were right by Murry and Jeff and Jeff said hi to her!  He said she just stared at him though.   I am excited to hear her talk about it later.  I am sure, just like with everything else, she will just sit back and take it all in.  I am a little sad that her favorite Wiggle, Greg, doesn't tour with them.  She was asking earlier if he will be there.  We said there will definitely be a yellow Wiggle.  Should I be capitalizing Wiggle?

Last night Justin had a meeting thing to go to, so Ava and I went out.  We went to dinner at Panara and then to the movies.  She has never been to a theater before, Justin has been leary of her making it through a whole movie.  We went to see Wall E.  I think she got a little bored/tired towards then, and asked to leave, but she was sitting still so I just told her we had to wait until the end of the movie.  On the way home, she talked all about , "waahey, Ava, the babies, the big people, and Mommy and cah corn"  Over and over and over again.   I think she would have totally made it through with no problems if they hadn't shown 20 minutes of previews first.  There was a cartoon at the beginning and she loved that.  She just sat next to her giant bag of popcorn and was cracking up.   She clapped when it was over, it was pretty cute.   At bed time, when we were done praying, she said, "Thank you Mommy for woovie."  I am guessing she liked it.  When Justin was telling her to get her shoes on, they had to go do something special, she said all hushed, "to a woovie?"

Justin's guest post about The Wiggles


So, yea. Em asked me to "guest post" about Ava's and my trip to go see the Wiggles. Because, you know, it's a virtual baby book and whatnot.

So for the first 20 minutes of the ride (it was at the Allstate Arena, which was about an hour drive (or rather was supposed to be, we got nailed by a storm on the trip so it was about an hour 10)), Ava could not be convinced that we were not going to see Wall-E again. So, I gave up and just drove.

Let me back story a little bit - we had originally planned to get 3 tickets for all three of us to go. We couldn't get 3 good seats together to save our lives. We would have been a few rows up in the middle section (they didn't sell tickets to the top section) directly to the right of the stage. We would have been looking longways at the stage, and a lot of profiles of those on stage. No thanks. So, I had Em look for just 2 tickets, and figured just she and Ava could go. So we got the two tickets, dead center, in the back row of the floor. I figured, well, that will work. They'll be good enough, better than the alternate.

At some point in there, Em decided that because I'm the one who watches the Wiggles with Ava more often (Em has very low tolerance for children's television), that I should be the one to go with her. To be honest, I had been kinda sad that I wasn't going to be there to see Ava get to see the Wiggles in person. So, I accepted. Mostly I just felt bad that Em couldn't go.

Back to today. As we walked into the arena, we walked in almost straight across from the seats we would have had, and I started thinking, "oh... those probably wouldn't have been so bad... hmm..." And then we actually got to our seats. I changed my mind. The seats we got were VERY good. I expected "back row of the floor" to be pretty far away... For those who go to our church - when I'm doing slides, where I'm sitting, in comparison to Ronn while he preaches - we were a little bit closer than that. For those who don't go to our church... I don't know... 60 feet? Something like that. Back row, but almost dead center, right in front of the sound board. Excellent seats.

I was impressed that Ava was rather patient waiting for the show to start. I hadn't stopped for any snacks, and Ava started asking for popcorn. There was now way... there were only 2 entrances to the floor section, and they were jam packed with people coming to the floor section (yes, my "emergency route" Spidey sense was tingling severely, but enough of that). There was no way we could go get popcorn. But, as Em said via text message, once the show gets going, she'd totally forget. Which was true.

The first thing that opened the show up with was a couple of the "Wiggley Dancers" doing the whole "get one half of the audience to cheer louder than the other" deal, but were not speaking, but rather using sports whistles to get everything across. It was actually pretty funny - between the way they did it, and the costumes they wore, it was very "Cirque du Soleil" clowny, if you've ever seen that. If not, then disregard. In any event, Ava (and many of the other small children) didn't like it. But once the Wiggles came out, with "Big Red Car", in the appropriately named vehicle, all bets were off.Img_0041

(The pictures make us look further away then what I said above, but that's our crappy camera hard at work. I tried to zoom, but was left with the inevitable blurry garbage pictures)

Mostly she just stared, but at various points she clapped, and did a bit of singing, and towards the end of the night, plenty of dancing (particularly to "Hot Potato", "Do the Monkey", and "Point Your Fingers and Do the Twist").

For what Em mentioned in her last post, during one of the songs the dancers were all on stage, and the wiggles walked up the various rows of the floor, then all came around the back of the floor seats to all go back to the stage from the same side. Anthony came up the row just to our left, and went around behind further to our left, so came within about 15 feet of us or so. Murray came up the row to our right, and so crossed directly behind our row, since we were the back, so crossed within about 1 foot behind us. I pointed him out to Ava as he was about to come by, and tried to get his attention as he passed, but didn't catch it. Murray's looking OLD btw... Jeff came around from the row far to our right, and then likewise came across directly behind our row. I pointed him out to Ava too as he was coming up, and just as he was passing I yelled "Hi Jeff!", and he very briefly paused, gave one of his giant Jeff-smiles, and waved to Ava, again, about 1 foot away. So that was fun. But you know, Ava just stared. I don't think she quite got it.

As far as Greg's replacement, Sam, for those of you out there who might at some point have followed the Disney TV show, Sam was often on the show as one of the Wiggley dancers, and was also both "Dapper Dan the Pirate" and more recently "Professor Singalottasonga". Oh, and honestly, Sam is a much better singer than Greg, but sounds (and looks on stage) fairly similar. Also for those who have seen the TV show as far too often as myself, the Wiggley Dancer regulars (and pirate regulars) Benny and Katarina were there as well. Benny's stinking hilarious on stage, btw - 200% energy.

NOTE: Yes, I realize I'm a huge dork-nerd for knowing the names of the songs and the names of the performers and all of that but gimme a break I watch with Ava! Yes I had fun I admit it leave me alone!

OK, this is already WAY too long of a post, but I wanted to add without detail that I thought it was pretty fun that they left some good room for ad lib (at one point leaving Jeff, who was supposed to be sleeping, cracking up on stage), and also throwing in some stuff that only the parents would get (for example Murray needing to "make sure his guitar was working" by, lights down to spotlight and disco ball, playing the opening riff to "Stairway to Heaven").

OK too much post. Justin, out. You can stop laughing at me now.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

She's 2

Ava says she had a fun birthday today.  It seemed to have gone by pretty fast.  I am glad she was in a good mood most of the day.  She woke up happy and pretty much stayed that way.  She got to watch her favorite shows this morning.  We then went shopping and she picked out a cake mix to make this afternoon.  She picked McDonald's as her lunch but barely ate any of it.  She talked to herself in her room off and on for 2 hours instead of taking a nap.  Justin came home from work early and we gave her her present.  She got a Cars couch. 

She was excited that it had Lightning McQueen on it. p>We then made her cake.

She was then spent and fell asleep on her new couch.

After her nap, we frosted and decorated her cake.  And ate some sprinkles and icing.

Eventually, we sang blew out the candles.

And there she is, my big girl.  She is in a constant state of turmoil right now over whether or not she is a big girl or a baby.  She likes to pretend to be a baby including making strange baby noises.  All you have to do is to ask her about the new baby and she goes straight into baby mode.  I am not even going to entertain the idea of potty training until after the new baby comes.  She really shouldn't feel threatened.  I am excited about the new baby, but I am just as excited about Ava growing up.  I love who she is right now and look forward to watching her grow.  She is my big helper and friend.  She is so polite right now, most of the time, and is fun to be around.  Her birth has given my life clear direction.  I have never felt more content or settled than I do right now. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

same old, same old

We are already into August.  It is now regularly 90 degrees outside, so we have stayed inside way more often than I would have thought towards the beginning of the summer.  I think if we had our own back yard where Ava could have toys out there all the time, she would definitely be outside more.  Maybe next year, who knows.  I prefer fall so much more than summer, that I am looking forward to August being over, or at least the August weather.  We do all seem to have August colds which is kind of weird.  Those can go too.

This weekend we got to see the proofs of Ava's 2 year pictures.  I am in love with them.  I am going to have a horrible time deciding what to get.  I have always imagined having a photographer follow us around just doing normal-ish things so we could get cool pictures, like the famous people and that is essentially what happened.  They really got Ava as she is right now.  It is awesome.

Justin and I both got new cell phones today.  I have been able to get an upgrade for 6 months now.  I was holding out for him to qualify for the full upgrade.  I would just rather us be able to get them at the same time because it saves any confusion later.  His phone was essentially dying, so we just went ahead and did it now.  I was very tempted to get sprint's equivalent to the iphone, but I really thought it would just be indulgent and more phone than I really needed. 

Ava has made definite improvements in the last month or so in the church nursery.  She will finally stay the whole time without crying.  She actually walked in by herself today.  She gets excited to go, which is a very good thing.  I think she will do even better when she moves up to the 2's in September.  She likes their toys better. 

I am off to take cold medicine and go to bed.  Hopefully Ava will sleep in tomorrow fairly late and it can be a good start to a good week.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

almost 2

I haven't updated in a while.  Ava turns 2 in a week.  I was just looking at some old pictures and she is getting so so big.  I am sure I won't do the Ava post around her birthday, so I will start now and hopefully do a big one around her birthday.  Ahhh the best intentions.  I suck at follow through. 

Anyway, Ava can tell emotions.  She always tells us if people are sad, excited, happy.  She thinks everything is funny.  She sees something and says, "That's funny."  Usually it isn't.  Sometimes she is checking with us to see if really is funny.  She can count to 14, and then starts over at 1.  Her favorite number is 6.  I think she just likes to say it.  She recognizes some letters.  A, H, N.  She knows all of her colors.  She pretty much can say just about anything.  Most days are full of regular conversation.  When she gets really excited it is hard to understand or when she thinks she is on the phone.  She just goes too fast.  She has started to mumble/whisper to tell me things that she wants when she thinks the answer will be no.  I think she just figures I will say ok, whatever, if I can't understand her.  She loves to read books and often sits there reading them outloud to herself.  She remembers what the stories are about and says some of the right words. 

Things she said today.

I was brushing her hair and said, "Oh! Your hair is so beautiful."  She said, "Yeah! I love it.  Daddy likes it too."

I asked her to bring me my phone because it was ringing.  She said, "No.  I no feel like talking."

Ok, hopefully I will do the sappy stuff next week.  I have often said that certain posts were just for me.  When I started my original blog (that I am really sad that I don't have, so if anyone knows anybody at blogger who would want to undelete a year of posts, let me know) my intention would be that Ava and future kids would have it to look back on when they were older.  They would be able to read about their day to day activities and my thoughts about them at each stage of the game.  I know that I often post because I know that people read it.  It is like having a paper due.  Knowing that others are out there reading it makes me stay on top of things.  On the other hand, I sometimes think that having others out there makes me censor myself.  I am not always one for putting my feelings out there.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

rain and water

We did the relay for life on Friday.  I think last minute our team was beat out for first place for fund raising.  It doesn't mean anything, but it does motivate us when it comes to getting pledges.  It rained pretty much right after the walk started.  Not a little rain, a down pour.  It was fine because the tents were up, so most stuff stayed dry but everything did have that damp feeling.  At 3am it was raining again, and a thunderstorm with lightening was moving in, so they ended the walk early.  That wouldn't have been a good situation at all, tents flapping around, acting like little lightening rods.

We went to Lake Geneva for the weekend with friends.  It was a fun time.  There was a water park in our hotel.  Ava loved the lazy river.  She liked to just sit in the donuts.   I took her down without Justin on our first day there.  Everytime after that, she would ask if Daddy was going too.  He isn't a huge fan of water, but Ava is a huge fan of her Daddy, so he is going to have to get over that.  On our last day, Ava finally was willing to get in the regular pool with us (and it wasn't too crowded).   She definitely had fun but she definitely needs to take swimming lessons.  She couldn't get the concept of kicking her legs or not "eating the water."   Justin and I had a nice dinner out at a fancy schmancy chop house.  The food was amazing!  The dessert was super good.  We had a chocolate mousse cake thingy.  I don't even know what it was, but we dipped in a raspberry sauce.  We made breakfast in our room each morning, or really Bryan did.  Justin and Bryan did the shopping and Justin got cinnamon rolls for us to make on our morning.  We didn't have an oven.  We did have a lot of butter.  In two days we went through 4 sticks of butter.  I shouldn't say in 2 days, more like in 2 meals.  I fried up our cinnamon rolls in butter.  I chopped them up into little pieces first and then let them cook up in the butter.  I put the icing on top and mixed it up when it was all done.  It was so good.  Max had a panic while I was cooking because he thought I just couldn't read the directions and was making them wrong.  He didn't have a problem eating the end results of my illiteracy.  Needless to say, Justin has started back on spark people since getting back.  Justin brought the "new" camera and it had battery issues the whole time, so I don't know if we actually got any good pictures.  Anytime we wanted to use it, it would have no power.

I have figured out that I pretty much rotate my hobbies in streaks.  I haven't crocheted anything since finishing my yellow blanket, but I have been reading a lot.  I have read through all of my  books that I mooched, so now I am kind of wanting to crochet again.  I need to just get around to ordering my yarn that I want to use.  In the mean time, I just sent out 7 new book requests.  I went to the library with Justin and Ava and took the book discussion group lists and looked for books that might be interesting to me.  Ava gets so excited about the library.  All she wanted to do is read.  We said, "Do you want ice cream?"  She said, "I want books."  Not too shocking since we are both readers, but still.  I hope she continues with it.  It is so odd to me that some people really never read.  I guess that is what some people think about people who never work out....

Tonight we had the Italian herb crusted pork tenderloin that we got from Simply Homemade.  SO GOOD!!!!!!!!  It was the perfect amount for us too.  I feel very odd that it is already going to be Friday tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Simply Homemade

So this past weekend I went and prepared my meals at Simply Homemade.  The gist of the thing is, you pick out your meals ahead of time from their menu.  You go in, they have all the prep work done, you follow the recipes and get everything all set.  Nothing is cooked yet.  It is all food you are essentially preparing to prepare.  Then you take it home and freeze it.  They give you directions on cooking it after you defrost it.  I was done in an hour to an hour and a half.  I am not sure what time I exactly started.  We now have meals for dinner for the next month.  (if you have more people in your family than we do, it would be the next two to three weeks.)  So tonight I made our first meal.    It was really good.  Thumbs up all around, even from Ava.  It was kind of like one of those skillet meals in a bag, but the food all seemed fresh and home made, vs preserved.  We had: 

Chicken, Broccoli and Mushroom Crepes - NEW

Ooh, la, la. A French classic, perfect for a light summer dinner.
Chicken, broccoli, and mushrooms in a creamy white sauce accented with
Swiss cheese are wrapped in your own homemade crepes.

Foil Pan

Nutrition Info : Calories- 290, Fat- 8g, Protein- 29g, Carbohydrates- 24g, Fiber- 2mg, Cholesterol- 113mg, Sodium- 527mg

I did have to make the crepes, but they gave me the batter.  I don't know why this is in bold and I can't fix it right now.  Oh well. 

In other news, I did finish reading Vanishing Acts.  I don't think it was anything to review.  Good beach reading I guess.  Didn't require a lot of focus. 

It has legs!

I had my ultrasound today.  We did not find out the gender.  The opportunity has now passed us and we will be waiting until December to find out if this baby is a boy or girl. 

I haven't felt the baby move as much as I did at this point with Ava, but the doctor still said that I am feeling more movement than he would expect at this stage of the game.  That would probably be because this baby apparently doesn't stop moving.  Every time the nurse tries to get a heartbeat, it moves away, trying to escape.  I felt it move around a lot after she was all done.  It did not appreciate getting poked at I guess.  During the ultrasound, the tech kept saying the baby is definitely a big mover.  I think he had to time it just right to get some measurements because the baby wouldn't stop moving around.  It did wave to us at one point.  I saw the hand come up and the fingers close.  So, here are the pictures.  I labeled them.  Yay me and photoshop.

Here is the normal ultrasound picture, standard head and body.


The straight on view of the face.  Usually known as the "alien"


The hand up by the face.

Here is my favorite.  You can see a good profile of the face, and it actually looks like a baby, not an alien or blob.  You can see the little nose and cheeks.  That is one cute 2D black and white baby.