Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

It is 10:15 pm. I'm sitting here, watching football, listening to The Hubby snore on the couch. It has been a good night. We had friends over, celebrated the new year at 7:00 with the kids, then put my little lady to bed a little late. I got a fight, with wasn't fun, but it is all fairly quiet now. Just me, my kicking baby, and my snoring husband.

Not only does this night mark the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012; this is also what The Hubby and I consider our 10 year anniversary. It's a long complicated story, but we went from friends to more 10 years ago tonight and have been inseparable ever since. We didn't celebrate our 5 years of marriage this past summer, so why would tonight be different? We're low key type of people, so this is okay with me for tonight.

My wish for all of you is happiness as we enter the new year, whatever that means for you in your life. I can't wait to see what excitement 2012 brings--meeting our little boy and who knows what else!

And now it's time to prod The Hubby off the couch and ring in 2012 in an acceptable way for this pregnant lady--going to sleep.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sometimes you just need to take a break

This morning I was lying in bed, dead to the world snoozing a bit longer as The Hubby took his shower, when I awoke to the sound of "Mommmmy....Mommmmyyyy...."  I opened my eyes and looked at the clock.  It was a little early for her to get up, but because she typically just cries as she awakens, I rolled out of bed, and went into her room.  I scooped up my girl, her head laid on my shoulder, and we went downstairs.  We sat in the same rocker/recliner that I'd nursed her in for 21 months, the same place I used to rock her to sleep every night, and just rocked and snuggled.

Eventually, she slid down so her head was in the crook of my arm--the same position (minus the swaddle) that we'd sat in for months at bedtime.  She looked up at me with her sweet brown eyes and said, "I want to sing, Mommy".  So we did.  We sang "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", the ABCs, and then she asked me to sing "The Rainbow Song".  I'd been singing "Rainbow Connection" to her at bedtime for the last few weeks, so I started and was surprised when she started to sing with me.  We snuggled in the dark living room, singing, rocking, for a few minutes.

She started to wake up more and asked to see "The Farmer Song...with the Animals", so we sang "Old MacDonald" and we were singing it when The Hubby came downstairs to see what we were doing.

What a great start to the morning--I wish I could start every day like that!

Monday, December 12, 2011

20 Weeks--Halfway there (technically)!

First of all, I owe you all a real blog--a good blog.  I have a lot swimming around in my head.  But for now you get my weekly update, two days late, as usual.  And you'll get my meal plan tonight.

How am I feeling? Generally, pretty good.  I've got another cold or a continuation of The Cold That Wouldn't Die.  Either way, I was feeling pretty run down on Sunday, especially after staying out late on Saturday night.  I'm doing a lot better with that today, though, and am at work, plugging along.

Mentally, still struggling with my flabby belly.  But otherwise, doing well there, too.

Weight thoughts: I don't really have any at this point!  I've been avoiding the scale and just eating when I feel like eating.  I haven't gone hog-wild, but I haven't really limited myself, either.

Doctor appointments?  None until 2012!

Maternity clothes?  24/7 at this point.  I love the shirts because they make me look more pregnant and the pants are just comfy.  I got a pair of jeans from a friend this weekend.  They actually fell down while I was walking down the stairs yesterday, so they may need to wait or be worn with a belly band.  I also got a pair of black dress pants at JCPenney on Saturday.  I don't love them (they're tight on my thighs) but I don't hate them.  I'm wearing them again today.

Movement? I'm definitely feeling more definite movement, but not consistently still.  I've gotten a couple of good kicks, though, which make me feel a bit better.

Baby preparation?  We painted Baby Girl's big girl room yesterday and will be working on it sporadically.  We're hoping to keep the doors closed so she can get a big surprise from Santa, but we'll see.

Last Wednesday, The Hubby and I had a date at the dentist.  We were done early, so we went out for ice cream and to discuss boy names before picking up Baby Girl from the sitter.  We have about 40 on our list of "I don't hate it" names.  How's that for progress?  We're just incredibly far apart on naming styles for boys at this point.  But with time, we'll come up with something that we both love.

We still haven't made any baby boy purchases.  I want to talk to The Hubby about this and what we're doing in the nursery and maybe about buying some clothes.  We also need to go through the tubs of clothes from Baby Girl and sort out what can be used for Baby Boy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

19 Weeks

How am I feeling? Pretty good!  Still battling a bit of nausea when I don't eat the way my body wants me to.  I've still got a bit of a sore throat and cough at least once a day (for the past FIVE WEEKS).  My hair is still falling out as much as it was pre-pregnancy.

Emotionally, I'm still struggling with the way my pregnant body looks.  I work hard every day to wear something that doesn't make my double belly obvious, but it stresses me out.

Weight thoughts: I gained 6 pounds in under 4 weeks between my two doctor appointments, which was frustrating, but not totally surprising.  I've been hungry, not really worrying about what I'm eating, and eating to quell nausea.  I've been trying to do better, but whenever I eat anything healthier (ie. with FIBER), I get extremely gassy and that gas really hurts.  I was (and still am) craving salads, but end up paying for them later in the day most of the time.

Doctor appointments?  We had our BIG u/s last Friday.  I was feeling anxious about the appointment, afraid something was wrong with the baby.  I knew I shouldn't be feeling as much movement as I did with Baby Girl because of my anterior placenta, but I still thought I should be feeling more than I was.

Before the doctor came in, The Hubby and I started discussing names.  He got (pretend) angry, telling me that we need to wait to narrow down the name pool by about half.  So then I told him I wanted to bet on the gender, since he was so convinced baby was a girl and I was so convinced baby was a boy.  He said, "I don't like to bet because I don't like to lose" and I pointed out that if he loses the bet, he wins b/c he's getting a boy.  He was okay at that point.  I named the terms--person who won the bet gets to sleep in on Saturday morning.  He named the time--8:45 a.m.  I agreed that the loser even had to sleep with the baby monitor on their side of the bed.

Dr. S came in and we chatted for a few minutes.  I told her I was anxious and just wanted to see that little heart beating, so she started there--she located the heart right away.  It was, as always, a beautiful sound.  The heartbeat was 152.  I then told her we had a bet about the sex of the baby.  She found "the goods" and turned the monitor to me and said, "Who was right?"  I immediately confirmed that I was right.  It was obvious to me that there was definitely a penis in there.  The ultrasound wand shifted slightly and I wasn't quite as sure that I was right, but she confirmed--"Yep!  A boy!"  I asked if she would grant us the guarantee that a different OB/GYN did when she did our anatomy scan for Baby Girl--a wardrobe of the opposite sex if their determination is wrong.  She said she doesn't make guarantees like that :)

I looked at The Hubby.  He still looked confused, but I honestly think he was in shock.  And I smiled.  I grinned.  I kept smiling while we looked at the parts of the brain, the four chambers of the heart, the humongous noggin (measuring at 20 weeks even though I was only 18w6d), the fingers, the toes, and everything in between.  Baby had one hand up to his face and the other hand was touching his feet for most of the ultrasound.  He was squiggling all over the place!  Dr. S had some problems getting a good picture of the spine because Baby Boy was laying on his back at the very bottom of my uterus, facing up.  Eventually, though, she could see and everything looked great there, too.

Before I knew it, the ultrasound was sadly over and The Hubby had hardly said anything the entire time.  I asked Dr. S about my bloodwork results and all of them were good--all decreased odds for Downs, Tris.omy 18, and all the other things the quad screen checked for.

What a great appointment.  The realism of having a boy sunk in a bit later that day and I wasn't *as* excited, but I'm still happy.  I'm happy that Baby Boy is growing properly, healthy, and will be loved by SO many people (as many people as if he were a girl--I'm not saying it's just because he's a boy).  And the fact that he's a boy could be fun, too :)

Maternity clothes?  All day every day.  I just went through my closet yesterday and moved all my "not going to wear until this baby is out of me" clothes to the back and made room for hanging up my maternity clothes.  I am going to make a trip to JCPenney and maybe Destination Maternity soon to look for some maternity jeans and black dress pants.  My jeans from last time just weren't comfortable and with some extra weight REALLY aren't going to work.  My black dress pants were a little snug on the thigh.  I found one other pair that I'm wearing today, but I don't love them, either.

Movement? I'm fairly confident that I'm feeling movement, but it's nothing like I remember with Baby Girl.  Just before I began this post, though, I felt my strongest movements yet, so I'm hopeful that they'll really start increasing from here. I'm anxious to be feeling this baby more and more!

Baby preparation?  Now that we know the gender, the first thing we're working on is a name!  We don't have a boy's name that we love.  We also need to discuss what we want to do in the nursery since the pink and brown decor won't really work so well.  Yes, I *could* keep it, but want to do something a bit more neutral or boyish.  I'm leaning toward animals--I saw an adorable duvet at Ikea that had a circus theme that could be cute.  We'll see!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meal Plan 12/4-12/10

We had a big holiday party with our friends on Saturday night and have a lot of leftover turkey that we'll be using in recipes throughout the week, which means we'll be trying some new recipes.  If these are as good as I'm anticipating, maybe I'll roast a turkey more often!

I'm not going to commit to having any recipe any specific night because who knows what I'll be in the mood for at any given time!  We don't have any dinner plans this week, but I know there will be at least one night that I don't feel like cooking.  I've learned recently not to even bother planning for more than five meals in a week.

Turkey Tetrazzini
Creamed Turkey (will likely serve with leftover mashed potatoes and maybe some dressing)
Turkey Noodle Soup
Spinach & Chicken Tortilla Bake - When I saw this on my Google Reader, I knew I wanted to try it.  The ingredients were a bit more expensive than I'd like, but it should be good :)
Fajitas - To use up the remaining tortillas

Friday, December 2, 2011

Two Year Molars and other stuff

Because I'm sort of sucking at this blogging thing these days, I wanted to post a quick update.  I'm fairly confident that Baby Girl's first two year molar has broken through the gums on the lower right side.  I've seen it below the gum for a few weeks and then felt it today.  Hopefully the others come through fairly smoothly.

We had our anatomy scan this morning for #2.  I will reveal the sex later to save some surprise for some IRL friends :)

I've lost all motivation to cook.  I cook when I have to, but I just never feel like it and would rather eat out.  Might explain a 6 pound weight gain over the last 4 weeks.  Whoops.

Monday, November 28, 2011

18 Weeks

How am I feeling?  Generally, just fine.  I probably would have said on Saturday that the cold was gone...and then I started coughing more on Sunday.  Of course.  So who knows where that's going.  But pregnancy-related, I'm doing pretty good.  My hair is STILL falling out as much as pre-pregnancy and I'm still exhausted.  I'm experiencing a lot of acid reflux, but no heartburn for now, thank goodness.

Emotionally, I'm still looking at my belly and seeing fat.  I'm showing more than most because of my upper belly, which is still bigger than my lower belly.  You'd think just the lower belly would grow with baby, but it's not true at all and that's making me anxious.  Also on the emotional side, I've totally come to terms with the thought of having a boy, so I think I'll be able to be happy no matter what we find out on Friday in that regard.

Weight thoughts: Haven't weighed myself recently, but I have a feeling it isn't going to be good when I do.  I just haven't been watching what I eat much and have been eating out far too much.  I'm hoping that that will decrease for the next few weeks until we get into Christmas, but I'm not confident.  I'm just too tired to cook most of the time and The Hubby isn't ever going to say no to ordering out, even though we both know it's the responsible thing to do.

Doctor appointments?  Just the one this coming Friday for our anatomy scan.  Praying that baby is healthy and willing to show us the goods :) 

Maternity clothes?  I'm pretty much always wearing them at this point.  I can still wear a number of my non-maternity pants because they were always big in the waist and come up over both of my bellies.  I had forgotten about my sister-in-law's maternity shirts that were in a box in the garage that I pulled out before we left for the long weekend.  A lot of them fit really well, so I'm excited about that.  I'm actually wearing one of them right now :)  Maternity shirts just help me feel better about being pregnant and not just fat.

Movement? Maybe?  It's still SO faint.  I'll feel little bumps that I figure are the baby, but it could just as easily be gas.  I'm crossing my fingers that it picks up soon, but am not confident that it will, sadly.

Baby preparation?  We're heading down to IKEA on Thursday to hopefully get some things to finish up Baby Girl's room.  Like last time, I'm anticipating a bit more preparation once we know the gender.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Shutterfly Giveaway Winners

It's your lucky day!  Because there were only 7 entries to my giveaway AND I discovered that I actually had THREE codes to give out, almost half of you were able to win! I used the random number generator on and these are what it gave me:

#3 corresponds with Samantha, who also asked how I got involved in this.  I found a link on another blog site to apply to get free cards for other occasions and then they contacted me for this holiday season.  Very exciting for me!

#1 of the remaining 6 corresponds with Cassie

#3 of the remaining 5 corresponds with Sarah

I've contacted all of the winners and will be getting the codes out ASAP so you can get your holiday cards created, mailed to yourself, and then sent.  Congratulations to all the winners!  

To those of you who didn't win, I hope you'll still stick around and keep reading.  You never know when I'll say something interesting or have another giveaway!

Collecting Stars

It seems like every day Baby Girl is making up some new pretend thing to play.  Her favorite thing recently has been to collect the stars in the car.  She'll reach up into the air and gather as many stars as she can.  And then she'll share with The Hubby and me.  We have to protect our stars and not let them fly away.  But sometimes if they do fly away, she'll catch them for us and give them back.  And then sometimes she wants to collect ALL of the stars and then will let them free (only to be snagged again).

I feel like there's some sort of metaphor there.  I'm just not sure what it is.  But it's a beautiful thing.  I love her imagination.

If I could collect all the stars and give them to her, I would.  And if she let them go, I'd gather them again.

Monday, November 21, 2011

17 Weeks

How am I feeling?  I'm doing fairly well.  I am still having very slight bouts of nausea, but they're manageable.  I've been feeling stiff and really need to start doing some yoga or at least some regular stretching.  The Cold is still lingering a bit in the form of some snot and coughing in the mornings and evenings.  I'm still exhausted--I fell asleep at 7:30 on Friday night, woke up long enough to move upstairs, and slept until Baby Girl woke at 6:30.  And I was still tired.

Weight thoughts: I weighed myself the other morning and found I'd gained about 4 pounds in 2 weeks--up a total of 12 pounds.  I'm not happy, but it's not a huge deal and not hugely unsurprised.  Most healthy foods give me insane gas (which leads to major gas pains when you can't regularly release the gas....), so I've been avoiding them generally.  That leave me a lot of junk and junk doesn't tend to keep a person full for long, so I eat even more.

Doctor appointments?  Anxiously anticipating our big ultrasound in less than 2 weeks on Friday, December 2nd!

Maternity clothes?  Oh hell yes.  I have been wearing maternity pants full time for the last few days.  I just love the comfort of them and am happy to discover that my pants from last time still fit fairly well.  I still don't *need* them, but I'm wearing them.  Now I just need to get some more long-sleeved shirts.

Movement?  I think so.  It's really faint, but I think I'm feeling some bumps and bubbles in there.  It's comforting, but I don't feel it consistently enough to freak when I don't feel it.  Hoping to feel more soon, of course, but not holding my breath because of the anterior placenta.

Baby preparation?  Nothing major recently.  We got the bedding and a couple of accessories for Baby Girl's big girl room this weekend.  We'll kick into high gear once we know this baby's gender, I think.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Meal Plan 11/20-11/26

It's a light week for cooking.  I was up early enough this morning, though, that I had time to gather coupons for the grocery, so it might not be as cheap of a grocery trip as I'd like to think.

Sunday: Going to my parents' house, so my mom will likely cook chicken and noodles
Monday: Bow Ties with Spicy Sausage in Tomato Cream Sauce
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie (will cook chicken while making Monday's meal)
Wednesday: Easy Skillet Pork Chops
Thurday-Saturday: Letting other people cook for us :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Conversations my husband and I have when the kid isn't around

Once you've been together for ten years and have a kid, when you aren't around the kid, you sort of run out of meaningful things to talk about.  Sure, we talk about our day, but when that topic is exhausted, what do you talk about?

Apparently, we talk about underwear.  Not just any underwear, but underwear that have some sort of a scent to them so that when you fart, you release a pleasant smell.  I had a few arguments about this: 1) at some point, even the pleasant scent will become related to the not-so-pleasant scent it's attempting to cover and 2) the underwear would need to be chemically designed to work WITH the foul odor to interact and create a new, pleasant scent.  And because everyone' different, you would have to have personalized undies.

And then we discussed what pleasant scents we would like to create.  My choices revolved around light, airy scents--baby powder, roses, and the like.  The Hubby, however, decided that he wanted his to smell like a turkey.  Or a pumpkin pie.  And then he decided that we'd have to design different undies for different holidays, both in patterns and for scents.  You could have one that smells like pine trees!  Or chocolate!

And that, my friends, is what happens when my husband and I are in the car together after a long day of work, without a toddler asking us questions like "what's that?" and "why?" and "what's that do?".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shutterfly Holiday Cards...and a Giveaway!!!

It's time to start thinking about holiday cards.  Ever since Baby Girl was born, we started sending out photo cards (and giving photo books as gifts as well) because I know people love to see her beautiful face.  Many times it's the only contact we make with people throughout the entire year, so they can see how quickly she's growing, too.

I think I've posted before about how much I love Shutterfly, but I wanted to make sure you really know it this year :)  I've tried other websites, but love the quality of Shutterfly.  I typically order holiday cards (and sometimes other cards throughout the rest of the year) through Shutterfly and I wanted to show you some of my favorite designs this year.  I won't tell you which ones I'll use, just in case you're on my Christmas card list!

I actually received a couple like this last year and I love it!  I love that you can include multiple photos as well as the classy, classic design

Of course, this year we just have one kid, so we'll likely just include one picture.  I like this and obviously am leaning toward the monogram designs!

This one is a little different and I love the way it looks with a black and white photo.  

I haven't taken our Christmas card photo yet, but I'm sure it will include a lot of joy.  I can't get Baby Girl to stop smiling most of the time.  This one is really fitting for our family--we laugh all the time together!

Don't you love these designs?  Go check out all of Shutterfly's awesome Christmas card designs!

And here are the details for the giveaway:

I have three codes for 25 free cards for my readers that Shutterfly provided me!  That means THREE of my readers can win codes for 25 free cards (codes expire 12/31/11).  Wow!

I'm going to make entering easy--just go to Shutterfly and come back and tell me which design is your favorite.  You can tell me why, too, but it's not required :)  Make sure I have a way to get into contact with you in case you win.

The giveaway entries will be cut off at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, November 22nd.  On Wednesday, November 23rd, I will announce the three winners both by emailing them individually and on the blog.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Baby's Gender

I was just coming to post that I have this gut feeling that this baby is a boy and the fact that the heartbeat (this past visit the h/b was in the 140s or 150s--I forget) and cravings (savory instead of sweet, even though I remember craving savory with Baby Girl sometimes, too) all suggest it just make me even more sure.

And then I was going back through old blog posts and found this.  Same doctor appointment around 16 weeks, same lower heartbeat, just like last time.  I suppose it is possible this could be a girl.  Only time will tell--just over 2 weeks until we find out (hopefully)!

I think I mentioned before that I wasn't enjoying the thought of having a boy.  Heck, saying I wasn't enjoying the thought is a gross understatement--I was scared and pissed and anxious about the idea of having a boy.  But I've actually started calling this baby a "he" and it really is growing on me.  Will I be sad not to use Baby Girl's clothes again?  Of course.  But whatever God's plan is for this child, it will join our family and it will be what is meant to be and I will embrace it.  I think I've convinced myself enough that it's a boy that I won't even cry if the doctor tells us it's a boy.  I even have moments where I *want* it to be a boy so The Hubby and his family will be extra happy.

But now it's just a waiting game.  We shall see!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sickness, and the meltdown it caused

On Sunday, October 30th, I got a really sore throat on the right side, like I had some major drainage coming from my ears and down my throat.  Ouch.  When I got up the next morning, it had migrated to the left side of my throat.  Throughout the remainder of the week, I felt worse and worse.  The worst of it (for both Baby Girl and me) was Saturday and Sunday, November 5th and 6th.  I had a really runny nose, a cough, and was just plain exhausted.

I felt quite a bit better by Monday and went to work.  I felt like I was generally getting better throughout the week.  I was coughing less, my nose was drying up, and I'd assumed, while I'd been feeling rough for awhile, that I'd at least feel normal by this past weekend, two weeks after it all started.

That doesn't seem to be the case.  I don't know if I actually feel worse, but I sure don't feel better.  I think my nose is running more.  Both Baby Girl and I are still coughing, especially in the morning.  I would probably be worried about her or myself if we weren't both feeling the same way.

To make matters worse, on Saturday afternoon, I started feeling nauseous.  I couldn't decide if I should eat or not and am glad now that I ate dinner because it at least made me feel better at the time.  I was afflicted with the nausea all day on Sunday as well and only felt better when I was actually eating.  I've tried all my normal fixes--drinking more water, eating smaller meals with more protein--nothing is working.  Ugh.  I don't know if it's pregnancy nausea or related to being sick.  I even fell asleep very early in the recliner and took a nap on Sunday.  All I know is that I'm tired of being sick.  I'm tired not feeling good.  I'm tired of being tired. 

It all came to a head yesterday.  I walked up the stairs to my bedroom, laid down on my bed, and just cried.  I didn't want Baby Girl to see me so upset.  I sobbed.  At some point, Baby Girl and The Hubby came upstairs and we all hung out in our bed for about 45 minutes, playing in the "tunnel" (under the sheets).  It was fun.  Soon they left, though, and I fell asleep.  I hadn't intended to, but when I woke up, I was in a bit better spirits. 

I wish I could say I feel better today, but I just don't.  My nose feels stuffy, my head is cloudy, I can't regulate my temperature (a typical pregnancy symptom for me), I'm still coughing some, and I'm exhausted.  I just want to feel more normal, even if it's a pregnant normal.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Meal Plan 11/13-11/19

We've failed miserably at cooking as much as planned each week, so this week we're only planning for 5 meals and one of those is using leftovers from another meal.  I've also had a resurgence of nausea and exhaustion, as well as STILL fighting the same cold that I've had for two solid weeks now, so I'm anticipating a lack of energy to cook, too.  Look for a blog post entirely devoted to whining about this very soon.

Sunday: Mexican Chicken and Rice--I think I found this on Pinterest and it was great.  It was a lot like a family favorite, Salsafied Chicken and Rice, but with a bit more veggies.  Baby Girl ate her entire plateful, eagerly, and The Hubby and I agreed that we need to have it on a regular basis. 

Monday: Swiss Casserole Chicken--If you look back at my last few weeks of meal plans, this has been on it.  For some reason, we really fail at crockpot meals some weeks.  I'm going to try really hard to get this made this week, especially since the cheese is already sliced (I was getting ready to make it one morning when I discovered my chicken had gone bad, even though it was the day of the Sell By date).

Tuesday: Sweet Pork Tacos with Cilantro Ranch Dressing--As soon as this came up on my Google Reader on Cassie's blog, I knew I had to make it.  I'm hoping it'll turn out okay with Caffeine Free Diet Coke.  I could go buy a 2L of Caffeine Free regular Coke...hmmm...  Either way, I'm really excited to try this.  I also hope that we can ration the meat--the pork loin we had in the freezer was a little smaller than the recipe calls for and I'm hoping to use it for quesadillas later in the week.

Wednesday: Chicken nuggets and tater tots.  I saw this (sort of) on Cassie's blog when I read her meal plan for this week.  I bought some pretzels and might try crusting the chicken in it.  We'll see :)

Thursday: Quesadillas with the leftover pork

Friday: No plans, but we'll likely eat out at least once during the week, so we can cook a leftover meal this night.

Saturday: We have a tradition of having Chipotle on Football Saturdays.  I'd thought it wouldn't happen every week again this year, but since I got pregnant at the beginning of football season, I figured, why not?  Maybe this kid will come out loving Mexican (authentic, Americanized--we don't discriminate) as much as its big sister does!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

14 and 15....and might as well do 16 weeks

In all the excitement of making our official announcement, I stopped writing updated blog posts about my pregnancy, so I've missed the last few weeks.  I think it's okay, though, as nothing particularly exciting has happened.

How am I feeling?  Just fine, except for this cold.  I started getting a sore throat (not just scratchy) October 30th and am still blowing my nose and coughing some.  Baby Girl has it, too, and is still doing the same.  I think we both generally feel okay and are sleeping fine, but the cough is hanging on for a long time.  But as far as pregnancy goes, I'm doing good.  No more nausea!  I'm still exhausted every day, but I don't really remember that letting up much last time, either.  I have crazy dreams at least every other night when I typically dream only once or twice a month.  I'm also still having shortness of breath unrelated to the sickness.  All typical pregnancy stuff that doesn't bother me too much.  I still don't have to pee any more than I did pre-pregnancy.  I hope I'm blessed to escape that symptom again this pregnancy.

Weight thoughts: Up about 8 pounds.  Not horrible, but not great.  I know it will only go up from here, but I'm hoping to curb it a bit.  Some veggies, especially peas, don't sound great to me, so I've been eating less veggies than I normally do with dinner.  But I have found that I love a raw bell pepper and/or a salad, so I've been trying to have those on a regular basis.

Doctor appointments?  Just had one on Monday, November 7th.  We were scheduled to see a different doctor since my regular OB was on GYN rotation in the hospital, but were pleasantly surprised when my regular OB popped in and did my appointment!  The nurse had had me disrobe from the waist down and that confused and concerned the OB.  She immediately asked, "Are you doing okay?  Any bleeding?"  I told her I was fine...just following orders.  She laughed.  :)

She found baby's heartbeat--147 bpm.  I'm leaning toward boy, but of course we'll see.  She asked if we'll want to find out the sex of the baby and we told her yes.  She said, "Let's see if we can find out today..." and started moving around the ultrasound wand.  She said everything was a little small so she couldn't tell anything, but she did print out a picture of our little one for us to take home.  Love her.  She sent us down for the bloodwork for our quad screen and told us she'd see us on December 2nd--for our anatomy scan and (hopefully) gender determination!

Maternity clothes?  I've worn maternity pants twice in the last couple of weeks, but mostly because I didn't feel like wearing regular pants or didn't have anything clean.  I'm still wearing all of my normal clothes if I want.

Movement?  I've wondered if I've been feeling movement some in the last few days, but have told myself that I'm probably not since my doctor told me I have an anterior placenta.  From my understanding, that's the only problem with the anterior placenta--muffled or no feeling of movement.  Plus whenever I'm pregnant, I have an awful amount of gas, so I'm sure that's what I'm feeling.  I'm still holding out hope that I'll feel my baby move soon, though!

Baby preparation?  The Hubby continues to clear out Baby Girl's room and she continues to anticipate her big move there.  I'm anxiously awaiting the gender determination so I can start planning the nursery and determine if we'll need new clothes and other items.  I've also been loosely shopping for a double stroller and trying to decide what kind to get, especially since Baby Girl is older and more independent, but much better behaved when she's strapped into a stroller.


Written 10/27/2011

I just walked to a different floor in my office, sat down on the toilet in the last stall, and cried like a little baby.

I am so exhausted.

I went out last night.  No, not to a club or a bar--to book club.  There were four of us there and I really enjoyed myself and the company.  I got home, however, around 11:30 and was asleep around midnight.

Then, this morning, Baby Girl decided to wake up early.  She started moaning (her normal "I'm awake" noises) around 5:30, which is over an hour prior to the time The Hubby typically has to wake her up.  I went in and got her around 6:10, which was twenty precious minutes prior to the time The Hubby typically wakes me up.

Add on top of that the fact that I'm 13 1/2 weeks pregnant, stressed about work stuff and my inability to concentrate, stressed about the state of my house, stressed about getting Baby Girl's Halloween costume made, and trying my damnedest not to get a cold....and I'm just done.  I've felt like I could fall asleep at any moment for weeks now.

Today I just realized how incredibly worn out I am and just broke down and cried.  I don't have any idea how I'm going to find the energy to cook dinner, to deal with Baby Girl (toddlers are SO EXHAUSTING), to clean my house, to do laundry, to make Baby Girl's do anything but sleep.  And that's why I cried.  I cried from stress and from exhaustion.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

13 Weeks

Written 10/23/2011 @ 13w1d

How am I feeling?  If you would have asked me at 12w6d, I would have told you that the nausea had returned and I felt pretty awful.  But today I'm doing pretty well.  I even overate last night without too many negative consequences.  The predominant symptoms that I experienced very early (morning diarrhea and headaches) have returned, but I'm hoping they don't stick around for long.  I'm also experiencing quite a bit of pregnancy-related congestion that I keep thinking will turn into a cold.  Imagine feeling like you're going to get a cold for over a week.  That's where I am right now.  Just relieved to be officially in the 2nd trimester and hoping the energy and feelings of normalcy return soon.

Weight thoughts: As of Saturday morning, I'm up 1.8 lbs from the day we found out we were pregnant, which I think is pretty darn good since I'm not watching what I'm eating nearly as closely as before.  I'm sure the aforementioned symptom doesn't hurt, of course. Of course, I participated in a clinical study today (Monday) and it made it look like I'd gained even more.  Crazy doctor office scales.

Doctor appointments?  Not until November 7th.  I'll be seeing one of my doctor's colleagues, which I'm actually looking forward to.  If this baby cooperates, I'd like to deliver vaginally, which means I'd be more likely to have one of the other doctors in the practice deliver the baby.  With a scheduled C-section, I wasn't terribly concerned about that.

Maternity clothes? Not yet.  I want to, but don't really have a need to.  The only type of clothes that aren't fitting well are my jeans and they work okay with a hair band on the button.  My maternity jeans were never that comfortable, so I'm not in a hurry to wear those.  I did try on a new-to-me pair of maternity khakis, though, and am really tempted to wear those.  I definitely didn't look pregnant whatsoever in those, though.

Baby preparation?  For me, it's mostly been mental.  I'm still getting used to this.  Every single day I think about how things will be different once we have another human to be in charge of.  We did tell our good friends last Sunday, which was really fun.  They were genuinely excited for us, which was a great feeling.  We also told The Hubby's parents on Saturday (10/22) and they were really, really excited.  I asked Baby Girl, "Isn't there something you wanted to talk to Grandma and Pops about?"  She said, "Baby Boomer".  The Hubby asked her where "Baby Boomer" is and she said, "In Mommy's tummy".  It didn't take long for them to figure it out from there.

The Hubby has started working on cleaning out the room that will be Baby Girl's, much to my dismay.  I'm not really that excited about moving her to a new room with a big girl bed.  She, however, is incredibly excited about it.  She asked me tonight about her bed and told me that she wants Boomer to sleep in her bed after I told her that her crib is her bed for awhile longer.  She also decided she wants to paint her new room purple, so we'll be working on that soon.

12 Weeks

Written 10/17/2011

This weekend we hit 12 weeks, which, even though 13 weeks is technically the beginning of the 2nd trimester, felt like a big milestone.  We got to hear baby's heartbeat again on Wednesday and feel a lot more comfortable with being happy now.

I'm feeling pretty good.  I was prepared on Saturday to write that the nausea was gone, but then got hit with another bout on Sunday.  I think I just get off on my eating schedule during the weekends and that's what causes me to get nauseous.  I was fearful that dinner would make me feel worse (last time I was feeling nauseous before having Chipotle, I felt worse afterward), but I ate my full bowl and felt great afterwards.

We got to share the good news with one of our closest couple friends yesterday and it felt great.  We were a little nervous about telling them because they've had a rough year of their own, but they really seemed genuinely happy for us, which was a relief.  We're hoping to tell The Hubby's parents this weekend (if they aren't available for us to visit, we might have to Skype with them--keeping this secret is killing me!) and then we'll be able to tell the world.

I'm still not really showing, but notice the swelling myself.  I could probably keep wearing my normal clothes for the next couple of months, but am not sure I want to do that.  Once we tell people, I like looking more pregnant than fat!  So I'll probably switch to maternity clothes in the next month.

As I was writing this post, I realized I hadn't scheduled our 16 week appointment (the computer system was down when we were there before), so I called.  Our next appointment will be November 7th (we'll be 15w2d) with one of my doctor's associates since my doctor will be on hospital duty that week (she warned us at our last appointment).  Since I was on the phone, I asked to schedule our subsequent appointment, hoping to get a better time slot than late afternoon.  The scheduler said we could come on Friday, December 2nd at 8:30 a.m.  MUCH better time slot AND we'll only be 18w6d.  That will be our anatomy scan (the scheduler says they do them between 18 weeks and 22 weeks--so glad to be on the early end of that this time!  Last time we were over 21 weeks!).  I can't wait to find out what we're having.

Doctor Appointment

Written 10/13/2011

Yesterday we went back to the doctor for our 12-ish week appointment (will be 12 weeks on Saturday 10/15).  

I should start the story a little earlier, though, where I'm at work.  The appointment was at 2:45 and at 2:06 I realized I HAD to pee and I wasn't going to make it to pee in a cup.  So I went to the bathroom and proceeded to chug 16 ounces of water so I could pee again at 2:45.  We get to the appointment and I am successful at peeing in the cup (so much so that I could have overflowed it).  Woo!

We waited for a LONG time in the exam room.  There were a few signs asking patients to be patient, which made us laugh because we'd never had to wait for too long.  Until that day.  We didn't get to see the doctor until about 3:30.  Wow.

From there, the appointment was pretty standard.  I unbuttoned my pants and she stuck a paper towel around the edge of my pants and panties so she didn't get any goop on them.  She pulled out the ultrasound and we waited.  And waited.  I began to panic (I found out later from The Hubby that I clenched my fists).  She must have realized how scared I was because she said, "I can *see* it, but we just can't hear it".  Thank goodness. Then she tells me that my bladder was extremely full.  Seriously?  I didn't even feel like I needed to pee.  In fact, I didn't end up peeing until about 6:00 that evening!

Anyway, she moved the wand around my bladder enough that we were finally able to hear that beautiful whoosh whoosh whoosh.  The doctor said it was in the 160s (was 168 at the first appointment).

And that was it.  It was a really short appointment once we saw the doctor.  We declined the ultra screen, but indicated that we'll do the quad screen when the time comes (at the next appointment, I think).  And then she was gone!

One thing to note.  At home, my scale is telling me that I've gained two pounds since finding out we were pregnant almost two months ago.  That's great compared to gaining 10 pounds prior to my first appointment at 9 weeks with Baby Girl ;)  But the office scale is saying I gained 2.5 pounds since our last appointment four weeks ago.  I know it's not a big deal, but I'm hoping not to gain as much with Baby #2 than I did with Baby Girl.  I'm not stressing about it, but I just want the record to note that my home scale says I haven't gained that much!  :)

11 Weeks

Written 10/11/2011

Eleven weeks.  I'm actually amazed that we're here.  I don't really know what I expected to happen, but it's astonishing to me that we're less than two weeks from the 2nd trimester.  I go back to the doctor tomorrow afternoon where we're hoping to hear that beautiful heartbeat again.  Once we do, I'll breathe a big sigh of relief.

I'm actually feeling a lot less anxiety right now about the pregnancy.  I FEEL pregnant.  I feel off and on nausea (still related to when and what I eat).  My stomach is definitely protruding, especially by the end of the day.  I'm getting out of breath when I go up the stairs.  I'm hitting a wall mid-afternoon and then again early evening where I just want to sleep.  I haven't fallen asleep just hanging out at the house like I did when I was pregnant with Baby Girl, though.  The combination of these symptoms have given me a sense of calm.  I hope the calm is warranted.

I think this is the longest I've ever kept a secret, too.  We aren't telling many people for many reasons.  It's gotten complicated keeping the secret, but we'll be sharing soon enough, I think.  My mom asked if she could tell after our appointment tomorrow and looked shocked when I said no.  This is on *our* timeline, not hers.  I think we still want to get even closer to twelve or thirteen weeks before we share with the world.  And there are some very important people we need to tell before we start screaming it from the rooftops.  All in good time.

I need to get some bloodwork done.  I was supposed to do it between my last appointment and this one, I think, but forgot to walk down and do it.  Maybe I'll do it right before (or after, since we'll have some time, and to save some pain in case the bloodwork isn't necessary) the appointment tomorrow.

9 & 10 Weeks

written 10/3/11

I didn't really post much at nine weeks because nothing was really happening.  I was feeling better in general and just coasting along, waiting for our next doctor appointment.

Now we're at 10w2d and things have taken a turn for the worse.  My nausea has ramped back up and I'm feeling worse than I was earlier in the pregnancy.  I don't know whether I can blame my horrible food choices on Saturday (which sat just fine right after eating, but I found myself feeling horrible after eating dinner and couldn't even finish it) or if it's just baby nausea.  I ate better on Sunday and was able to go out for dinner and enjoy my food, thank goodness.  But I'm finding myself feeling pretty awful again today.  Nothing like Sunday morning or Saturday night, but I just don't feel well.  And that sucks.  Hoping that it passes once I get back into a routine of eating normal again.

And now we're counting the days until our next appointment.  9 days, in case you were wondering.

We told my parents on Saturday that we're expecting and they were appropriately surprised and excited for us.  I think they're far more excited for Baby Girl to be a big sister than anything, actually.  I'm convinced she's going to be a great big sister.  She's great with the babies at the sitter and loves babies in general.

Another recent development is that I feel like I've really popped.  It's happened far earlier this time around.  I'm having a hard time hiding my pregnancy (since we still haven't told many people) but, thanks to having clothes that are too big, don't need to move to maternity clothes just yet.  You'd better bet, though, that once we start making the pregnancy public, I'll be wearing maternity clothes just for the comfort factor!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

8 Weeks

Written 9/21/11 - 8w4d

How am I feeling?  I actually feel great.  I've had some bouts with exhaustion, but nothing horrible.  Last time I was falling asleep on the couch before dinner, but now I can at least make it until Baby Girl is in bed.

The nausea hasn't been bad at all.  It's definitely tapering off and I only get it when I get really hungry or really full.  For instance, yesterday I had TWO large pitas with tabbouleh, feta, and tzatziki in the middle of the afternoon.  I felt fine for the first hour after eating it, but then by the time we got home, I was feeling pretty rough and just needed to lay on the couch for awhile.

I still get surprised by a shooting pain in my left bo.ob sometimes, but it's nothing severe.  Just surprising.

I feel like the bloat is really on now.  I notice it by the end of the day, but I'm pretty confident that most people just think I'm looking fat.  Still no sign of needing to move to maternity clothes--I'm in the same place I was last time in that I have some clothes that were getting too big on me when I got pregnant, so now I can just wear them for awhile.  Once we've told people about the pregnancy, I'll start wearing some cuter maternity shirts, just because I can.  That, and to make people realize it's baby and not fat.

My weight seems to be holding fairly steady.  In the first couple of weeks I gained about 5 pounds, even though I was actually eating less.  I lost 3 of those and am back to up around 2.  I'm allowing myself to eat junk again, though, so I'm guessing the pounds will creep on sooner than later.

What's new?  We got to see our little gummy bear last Wednesday.  I was having major anxiety about not feeling pregnant, so they set me up with an ultrasound at 7 1/2 weeks instead of having to wait until 9w6d.  Thank goodness!  We also met our new OB and we both love her.  We didn't think there was any way we'd like her as much as our old OB (who is going to be focusing on surgeries instead of delivering babies), but we really, really do.  Baby's heartbeat was 168 bpm and we got to see the spine, umbilical cord, and the rest of the blob of baby that was in there.  How cool.  Our next appointment is at 11 1/2 weeks.  I think after that appointment we'll start telling the world, but will want to tell a few close friends before then...just need to figure out how and when :)

Fun facts?  I love that The Hubby is so into this pregnancy.  Since he has an iPhone he has a pregnancy app that's giving him updates about the baby, so sometimes he'll randomly tell me what size the baby is now.  For instance, last night he told me the baby is the size of an olive.  How exciting and absolutely adorable :)

Let It Begin

Written 9/6/2011

The eating has begun.  The first few weeks I wasn't any hungrier (or maybe even less hungry) than I was pre-positive test.  But today I'm eating like crazy.  I'm eating to stave off nausea and I'm eating to relieve stress.  I'm craving all sort of random things and just want to eat and eat and eat.  Pinterest is not my friend, as I'm pinning all sorts of delicious-looking treats that I don't have the energy to make.  But they sure look good.

7 Weeks

(written September 12th)

How am I feeling? 

Too damned normal.  It's actually scaring the shit out of me.  I don't feel nauseous anymore.  I still haven't hit the exhaustion.  I feel pretty much like myself and I'm scared.  The only lingering symptoms are my inability to breathe well and my inability to regulate my body temperature--I'm always either too hot or too cold and sometimes both, depending on the part of my body.

What's new?

I told our sitter on Friday so she could plan for next year and hopefully not pick up any infants after awhile.  I just told my boss today because we're having a lot of discussions about the future and projects that will be upcoming and I wanted her to be able to plan accordingly.  My boss, ever the realist (after having two miscarriages and a decade-long struggle with infertility and failed adoptions), advised me not to tell anyone until I have my first appointment (still 2 1/2 weeks away), which made me even more nervous about my lack of symptoms.  She acknowledged the very real possibility of me having a miscarriage (her first one was discovered at her 10 week appointment) and now I'm completely anxious.

What's Baby Girl think?

We haven't really told her.  We're not planning on telling her until at least after the first appointment and then we won't really talk about it much until I start to show so she has some tangible evidence that there's a baby in there.  But we've talked with her every few days about what she would think about having a baby in the house.  As of right now, she's said she'd rock "her" to sleep, feed her, change her diapers, share her toys, etc.  I have no doubt she's going to be a great big sister.

6 Weeks

Written 9/5/2011

I'm feeling much the same as last week, with bated breath.  The fact that I don't feel horrible could mean one of three things: 1) this pregnancy is going to fail, 2) this is going to be a great pregnancy or 3) the nasty nausea and exhaustion will hit sooner.  It really depends on the day which I believe to be true, but it's never #2.

I've had some bouts of nausea off and on, but nothing unmanageable.  I've still got off and on tender boobs as well and some small cramping that feels like stretchy.  My digestive system seems to have calmed down and I'm not waking to go to the bathroom much anymore.  I'm not as hungry as I was when I was sticking to counting points, which is sort of weird, but I'm committed to listening to my body.  My body temperature is impossible to maintain--I'm either too hot or too cold, without fail.

Also, my hair is still falling out in clumps.  It started in June or so, which I assume is my normal summer shed plus some since I nursed until late April.  But it's still going and it is GROSS.  Waiting for the hair retention to kick in.

I'm noticing a definite expansion of my waist, but no real bloating yet--which is another reason I'm fearing for this pregnancy, although I have no record of how early the exhaustion, nausea, or bloating hit last time.

I feel like I should just relax and be grateful for feeling so relatively good.  I've had a lot of stuff going on at work and also have been really active recently and if I were feeling worse, I don't know how I could've managed.

Update (just 5 hours later):  I'm an asshole.  The nausea has really kicked in and I can't tell for sure, but think it's taking the form of a meat aversion again.  I got a huge wave while cutting up chicken for dinner tonight and had a hard time composing myself.  Ugh.  I should be happy--nausea is a sign of a healthy pregnancy.  But damn...this is a bad week at work for me to be feeling like shit.  Praying for no actual puking again this time.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Five (and a half) Weeks

Written 8/31

I'm feeling...okay.  I find that if I let my stomach get acid-y, I get nauseous.  I also apparently ate too much yesterday (I had a snack of a small apple and a stick of string cheese at 3:30) and was really nauseous from that.  But otherwise I'm not feeling much nausea.

I'm still having some digestive issues.  I woke up around 2:30 Monday night needing to go to the bathroom.  I can't tell if it's when I sleep on my back or if it's unrelated to sleeping position.  I'm SO not ready for my sleep positioner already, so I'm hoping it's unrelated.

I'm still feeling a little crampy sometimes, but again, nothing too severe.  I'm waiting for it all to hit, though, knowing that the full-blown nausea hit at 6 weeks for me last time.

My waist is already gone.  I might have been delusional thinking I had one again, but it's totally gone already.  I'm not bloating too badly, but can tell a bit of a difference.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but my starting weight was 208, which was really exciting (I hadn't been below 210 since I was pregnant with Baby Girl).  Even though I'm actually eating less than I was before getting pregnant (I'm committed to listening to my body and my body doesn't seem as hungry now), I've gained 4.5 pounds already, which makes me sad.  My goal is to gain as little as possible (without going overboard, of course).

4 Weeks

Blogger's Note: You're going to be seeing a lot of posts very quickly.  I'm going to try to space them out some.  I continued to blog after finding out we were pregnant, but just didn't publish the posts.  Now that word is out, I'm going ahead with the posts.

Written 8/21/11

I fear I've already gotten to the point where I cannot go too long without eating.  I fear even more that the nausea has already set in and that scares me.  We went to the park and when we got home I felt horrible.  It could've been the heat, the lack of water, or the lack of food, but I just needed to sit.  The Hubby cooked our dinner for us, thankfully.  But man...I hope this isn't the start of something ugly.

I've got a really short fuse these days with Baby Girl, too.  I can blame the pregnancy, but I think it's just how unreasonable and unpredictable she can be.  She gets mad when I fold over the bread on her sandwich.  She cries when I cut up food.  She sobs for the most ridiculous (in my adult mind) reasons and I just have a hard time handling it.  I understand that she's trying to exert her independence and I think we're really understanding with that.  That's probably why I get so upset--we usually give her a chance to do something on her own or "like a big girl", but then if she can't handle it, we need to step in.  And that's when the waterworks begin.

Anyway, pregnancy news is small.  We haven't told anyone and are waiting for awhile longer.  Our first appointment isn't until September 30th, but I can't imagine waiting that long to tell our families. 

I should mention, though, that I'm being forced to switch OBs.  My OB (who I just saw for my annual fairly recently) won't be delivering babies after October.  I was going to switch to the OB that we had for our gender determination with Baby Girl (my OB didn't do the anatomy scan), but she's really popular and, therefore, harder to get in to see.  I chose another OB in the practice, a woman.  I feel a little embarrassed now, but I did ask if she speaks English well.  I can be irritable when pregnant and really want to be able to communicate with my doctor well.  Anyway, she does.  So we'll be seeing her--I hope that it goes well, we like her, and that she's open to a VBAC if conditions are right for it.

So that's about it.  I'm waiting for the exhaustion to hit, waiting for the nausea, waiting for everything else.  I did test again yesterday morning, just to see.  Still pregnant and the line is even darker than before.

This Morning

Written 8/17/11

This morning after The Hubby's alarm went off I went back to sleep and had a dream.  I dreamed that I was running all over my parents' house (that didn't look like my parents' house), looking for some pregnancy tests that I'd hidden.  I thought I'd hidden them in the sleeve of a coat that was hanging in the coat closet and went to the closet and the coat was gone.  I ran around a bit more, looking for the tests and finally found them on the floor in a pile (I had boxes of 50 or 100!) with other "junk" from the coat closet that my mom had tossed out.  This means mom had seen them.  I grabbed them and started toward the bathroom, but my mom was in front of me.  I see her back start to get wet and then she starts running, something my mom never does.  She ran into my dad's arms, sobbing that she'd peed herself again.  And that's when I woke up.

Yeah, the dream was completely bizarre, but I had it in my mind that I needed to test.  I'd thought about my estimation of when I'd ovulated, if I had when I normally did (approx 8/4) and decided if I wanted to test that I should wait until at least today, which would be approximately 12 dpo.  Last time I didn't test until I was closer to being late--my period isn't due this time until Saturday and honestly, with the amount of stress I've been under, I wouldn't have been surprised if I hadn't ovulated at all or late.

I went downstairs, found a stash of cheap tests a friend had given me after she got pregnant, stowed a few in my underwear, and went back up to our bathroom, which still has a sleeve of plastic cups from when we were TTC Baby Girl.  I was moving pretty quickly--I really had to go!  I peed in the cup, dipped the stick, and sat and read a book for awhile, waiting (The Hubby was still sleeping and I didn't want to disturb him, especially since I was confident it would be negative).  After 3-5 minutes, I glanced at the stick, fully prepared to see one line.

I saw two.

I immediately assumed that either 1) it was a false positive or 2) it was detecting some hormone from ovulation and I'm actually ovulating instead of pregnant.

I dipped again.

Still two lines.

And I was shocked.  Just shocked.

I finished up my pottying, dumped the pee from the cup, and went out to our bed.  The Hubby was awake and looked up at me and said he thought I was in the shower.  I turned on my bedside lamp and showed him the sticks and asked him what he saw.  He squinted.  He said, "what am I supposed to see?"  Duh, dude...  Then he said, "I see two lines."  A pause.  "What's that mean?"

Seriously, dude?  I have to spell it out for you?

"Two lines means I'm pregnant."

"Are you kidding?"

Yeah, I think it's official.  We're both in shock.

Hell, I'm still in shock.  I still don't believe it.  I've been trying to figure out what could've happened to have the test messed up.  This was our first month of "trying without trying" (where I knew we had sex within a few days of my expected ovulation, but didn't go out of our way to time it, temp, do the fertility monitor, etc.).  And it just happened?  No waiting for months?  No negative tests?  No way.

I emailed a picture of the pee sticks to the friend who had given them to me and she was as shocked as I was (she knew I was hesitant to even "try without trying", let alone actually TTC).

Physically, I'm still feeling some boob twinges.  I felt a couple sharp, short cramps a couple of days ago (implantation, I'm guessing).  I'm starting to feel a bit bloated and a bit crampy.  All of these things could technically mean AF is on her way.  Or it could mean I'm pregnant.

For now I'm proceeding as if I'm pregnant--better to behave as if I am than to take meds and drink as if I weren't.

Holy shit.  This is (possibly) happening.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meal Plan 11/6 - 11/12

This week will be an odd one in our house, as our sitter is closed 11/6 through 11/13.  Baby Girl's care will be provided by a combination of both of her grandmas, a great-grandma, and her parents.  This also means that we need more servings for dinner and for leftovers for lunch than normal.  Also, today we'll be hosting a dinner with The Hubby's mom, grandma, and brother and his family, so we'll have a full house. 

Sunday: Spaghetti, meat sauce, garlic bread, and salad
Monday: Swiss Casserole Chicken, that I've been planning to make for weeks

None of the other meals have a pre-determined night--it all depends on what time we get home from work and how much time we have in the evenings to do prep.

Hot dogs & mac and cheese
Pot Roast, potatoes, carrots, and onions
Pot Roast Enchiladas
Pork Chops Over Rice

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Meal Plan 10/23-10/29

I have a hard time striking a balance between trying a bunch of new recipes, doing a bunch of old standbys, and returning back to newer recipes again.  This week isn't a bad mix, but I had to work hard at finding a balance :)

Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake: This is a recipe that uses some Chef Boyardee products that I'm testing for a market research company.  I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share the recipe, so I won't, but it sounds good :)

Swiss Casserole Chicken: This is for cooking club this week, but is something that I'd wanted to make before. 

Enchilada Casserole: This recipe is from one of my coworkers.  I'd had it before and had some leftover corn tortillas, so I asked her for it again.  It's pretty good, but sort of time-consuming.

Roasted Potatoes, Chicken Sausage, and Peppers: I saw this come up on my Google Reader this week and knew it sounded like something simple that we'd love.  I had half a bag of red potatoes that was waiting to be used and saw that red bell peppers were on sale at our grocery this week, so it sounded like a good fit for this week.

Sloppy Joes and Tater Tots: I asked The Hubby what old standby he'd like and he said it sounded good.  I can never say no to meals like this since they're easy and definitely remind me of home.

One night this week we are going to go out to Montgomery Inn.  I bought a Groupon a few months ago, thinking we'd use it either for our anniversary or for my birthday.  We didn't ever celebrate our anniversary and went somewhere else for my birthday, leaving the Groupon unused and expiring on Friday.  Just hoping Baby Girl will cooperate there--I hesitate to take a kid, but hope it will be better on a weeknight.

Oh, and tonight we had Raising Cane's.  After dealing with a non-napping toddler for almost 2 hours in the car today, neither The Hubby nor I were in the mood to cook dinner.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Why Pray?

I've been doing some spiritual reflection recently, which I think is important for spiritual growth.  It really started when I was asking some friends how you're supposed to "let go, let God".  In other words, how do you get it into your head that you're not actually in control of things, no matter how much you want to control (AND I DO).  For instance, now that we're entering cold and flu season, I find I have a major rise in my anxiety because I'm always worried about one or all of us getting sick.  I know, realistically, that we'll get through it, but it still stresses me out in a major way.  I also know that there are steps we can take to reduce the possibility of getting sick, but ultimately we can't absolutely prevent it, short of taking drastic measures like not ever having contact with another human.

Soon after having this discussion, I began reading a blog about a woman who lost twin boys at 18 weeks pregnant, then got pregnant with sextuplets that she delivered at 22w6d.  Four of the six died and she blogs about the surviving two.  She's actually now pregnant again with a singleton.  She and her husband have a tremendous faith in God and it's really made me think a lot about God's will.  For some reason, it was His will that they would lose six children and they're accepting of that.

There's this odd distinction between God's will, though, and free will.  In the past, I've always believed that we have free will, but God just knows what choice we're going to make.  I still think that's true to an extent.  But I've also been thinking about the point of this blog post.  If God's will is going to happen, then why pray?  Why express our desires to God if He's going to make the decision anyway?  Can a human actually influence God's will?  Or is prayer just a comfort to the person who is praying, feeling like they have some power in this world?

In this case, when I'm talking about prayer, I mean prayer asking for something.  Asking for someone to get healthy.  Asking for our safety.  Asking for something specific to happen.

I don't think there's a definite answer to any of these questions, at least not for me, not yet.  But they are thoughts that I've been grappling with and I wanted to write about, hoping to gain clarity.  I haven't yet, but I'm working on it :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Meal Plan 10/16-10/22

This week's meal plan was incredibly uninspired, which is a little ridiculous.  I read quite a few cooking blogs and have a TON of food-related pins on Pinterest.  Unfortunately, when I started checking out my starred items in my Google Reader and my pins...a whole lot of them were desserts.  Not helpful when trying to decide on dinner foods!

I wrote up my grocery list and, after looking at the grocery ads, decided that I wanted to go to Kroger, Meijer, and Aldi.  I thought I would buy the least at Aldi, so I headed there before lunch.  I'm glad I took the whole list because I bought everything for all of our meals, plus some snacks, and supplies for salads for myself this week.  I've not bought much from Aldi before, so this is an experiment of sorts of quality and taste.  I'll still run to Kroger for Goldfish and Meijer for apples ($0.49/lb), but both are on sale throughout the week, so it doesn't have to be today.

Johnny Marzetti (for my cooking club)
Hot dogs and Mac & Cheese
Baked Chicken Nuggets and Baked Red Potato Fries
Roasted Veggie Pizza
Smoked Sausage, Cabbage, and Red Potatoes (and old family favorite)

(I have no idea which nights we'll eat which meals, but these are our choices)

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Typical Weekday

Someone was asking about a typical weekday on a message board I'm a part of.  Because I'd already typed it all up, I thought it would be interesting to copy and paste it here, just to remember what the routine was at this point in our life.

6:00: DH gets up and in the shower
6:20: I get up and in the shower while DH packs lunches and gets DD's toast ready
6:35: DH gets DD up and fed while I'm getting ready
6:55: We tag-team getting her dressed while scarfing our own toast
7:10: Out the door to head to the sitter's
7:40: Arrive at sitter and drop DD off.  Leave for work.
8:00: Arrive at work (DH and I carpool)
4:30: Leave work.
4:50: Arrive at sitter.  Drive home.
5:30: Arrive home.  Begin cooking dinner immediately while DH plays with DD.  If dinner is something that I put together and then it cooks on its own for awhile, I'll either clean up the kitchen or we might all take a quick walk.
6:15: Eat dinner
6:45: Clean up from dinner and maybe play with DD
7:00: Start DD's bedtime--she watches Special Agent Oso every night to wind down
7:30: DH takes DD upstairs to brush teeth.  I get 3 minutes alone.
7:33: "Mommy, I'm ready for you!!"  I wait a couple more minutes.
7:45: "Mommmmmmyyyyyyy....."  I head upstairs.  I read DD a few books, we pray, we sing songs, I put her to bed.
8:15: I head downstairs.  Clean up from dinner, load lunch dishes into dishwasher.
8:45: Sit down and catch up on DVRed shows, email, etc.
10:00: Bedtime

Potty Training Update

If you would've asked me prior to potty training, I would have said that I'd be sure we'd still have accidents at 26.5 months.  If you would've asked me the same question around the time she turned two, I would've said that she would be fairly accident-free by now, based on the trend she was showing at that point.

Unfortunately, I was right when I said she'd still be having accidents.  It's not horrible, but I think the root of it is that we're giving her a bit more independence with determining when to use the potty.  We aren't asking her every 15 minutes if she needs to go to the potty anymore and I think that's leading her to have more accidents.

When she first potty trained, she was immediately dry during naps.  I was so proud and impressed.  And then, for some reason, about a week ago she started having accidents during naps. She may be sleeping more soundly.  She had naptime accidents last Wednesday through Friday at the sitter, but stayed dry during her naps at home.  The sitter put her in a Pull-Up every day this week and she's stayed dry all week during naps.  We don't know if it was a fluke or what, exactly, it means.  We're still taking the laid-back approach with her since she's still only 26.5 months old.

She's still peeing in her diaper/Pull-Up (just depends on what we feel like putting on her) overnight.  She hasn't shown any inclination to wake up in the middle of the night and she rarely staying dry overnight.  We have a suspicion that she does the majority of her overnight peeing while she's waking up in the morning, as it's usually warm when we go to her in the morning.  I've always heard that night training is purely physical and not mental like daytime training, so I'm not surprised that she's not ready for it yet.

Generally, though, things are going really well.  We've gotten her transitioned away from the convenience of her little potty in the living room and she's only using the big potties.  She doesn't even use her potty ring most of the time--she's comfortable holding herself up.  I guess the next task is teaching her how to wipe?!?!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Prior to turning two, Baby Girl hadn't really noticed shadows much.  She'd noticed them when we were walking before, but didn't think much of them.  One night, The Hubby, Baby Girl and I were all hanging out in her room and The Hubby decided it would be fun to turn out the light and show her a shadow puppet with his hand.

But it backfired.  She was SCARED.  She cried and clung to me like it was a monster that would get her.  The Hubby and I felt AWFUL.  We turned the lights back on, but she was still shaken up.

From that moment, she started noticing shadows everywhere.  When we'd taken our walks around our neighborhood, she'd see them following us or in front of us.  We tried to turn it into a game, rather than something to be afraid of.  She'd jump on mine and tell me that she was walking on my shadow (Mommy, I walking on you shadow!).  When I was putting her to bed, she'd notice the shadow that we created on her wall from the nightlight on her monitor.

After awhile, she got used to seeing shadows and that they weren't scary.  We showed her how when she moved her arm, it moved her shadow.  We played with the shadows in her room and she started having fun with them.  I'm glad she got over it fairly quickly and it didn't turn into a full-fledged fear of the dark or anything.  It was her second fear, besides fears of loud noises (which reared its ugly head the other day when The Hubby fired up the saw to make a rake Baby Girl-sized...).  I think we can say, though, that it's been conquered.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Meal Plan 10/9-10/15

It sure seems like we keep making new dishes, but never keep track of which ones we really liked and want to make again.  Anyone have a good remedy for that?  I think I try at least two new recipes that pop up in either Pinterest or my Google Reader every single week!  We already cooked our dinner for tonight and it's definitely a keeper.  Now if I can just remember it in a few weeks...

Sunday: Easy Skillet Pork Chops (new recipe)
Monday: Ranchero Chicken Crostada (new recipe)
Tuesday: Chicken Tortilla Soup (new recipe)
Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Braid
Thursday: Tequila Lime Chicken (a cooking club recipe)
Friday: Smoked Sausage Pizza
Saturday: either order out or eat a meal we don't cook during the week

Friday, September 30, 2011

Another Use for a Roast

I know I'm not the first person to come up with this because I found the recipe online.  However, it was definitely a concept I'd never considered.

You saw on my meal plan that I was going to make a roast in the crockpot.  I did and it was very good.  After The Hubby and I had it for lunch the next day, though, we'd both had enough of meat, potatoes, and carrots.  I was talking to a colleague about this and she mentioned that she's made enchiladas with leftover roast meat.  Brilliant!  She said she'd send me her recipe but never did, so I didn't some Googling of my own and came across this: Pot Roast Enchiladas.  Why hadn't I ever thought of that?

The Hubby needed to run to the grocery while I was putting Baby Girl to bed on Wednesday night anyway to get milk for her at the sitter's, so I asked him to get a couple of extra ingredients to round out the stuff we already had.  We made the enchiladas last night and they were delicious!  I did my own tweaking so that I didn't use half of an ingredient or something.

My instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Dice one whole green bell pepper and half of a large sweet onion and saute together in some EVOO.  Mix in one can of Rotel, about halfway drained, and the leftover pot roast, and just under 1/4 of the can of red enchilada sauce.  Cook until warm.
  • Spray small glass rectangular dish (maybe 8x11ish?) with cooking spray
  • Split filling approximately into eighths
  • Using taco-sized tortillas, place filling in a strip across the middle, sprinkle with some cheddar, then roll up (I didn't bother closing the ends) and lay seam down in the dish.
  • Repeat until all eight tortillas are filled (you'll have to smoosh them together to get them all to fit)
  • Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top.  I didn't have quite enough to cover it, so some of the enchiladas weren't as saucy as others, but that was okay with me.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until warm (I don't think it would hurt to cover, but I didn't.  The sauce got a little dried out, but it's alright.)

I served it with some corn (I'd planned on rice, but couldn't find the rice I swore I'd bought).

This was really yummy and an easy way to use up leftover pot roast when you don't want to just eat the same meal again.  Now what am I going to do with those potatoes and carrots, especially since I have a meal for tonight and am not cooking again until Tuesday?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Meal Plan: 9/25-10/1

I wasn't feeling very inspired this week, so my meal plan isn't particularly exciting, but it's filled with some easy comfort foods.  The Hubby balked at the thought of a roast this week--he says it's still too warm for it.  This is the same person who fixed chili in August, though...

Sunday: Stouffer's Lasagna--yummy and easy.  I'd never had it before but saw it on sale last week at Meijer, so I had The Hubby pick one up.  We really enjoyed it and it was a lot less labor-intensive than making it from scratch!

Monday: Grilled ham & cheese with soup

Tuesday: Roast, carrots, red potatoes, and onions in the crockpot

Wednesday: Spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday: Grilled pork chops & peaches & red onion w/ rolls (could do Wednesday if it's not raining)

Friday: Leftover roast

Saturday: I *think* we'll be celebrating my birthday, but I'm not totally sure.  We'll be celebrating throughout the weekend, but my biggest birthday wish each year is that The Hubby do all the planning for me since I plan all of our get-togethers throughout the year.  He mentioned last night that there could be some celebrating on Friday.  We'll see.  All I know is that I'm getting coupons from some of my favorite restaurants with free birthday meals, so I'm looking forward to lots of eating out over the next couple of weeks :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Well, I'm glad that's over

I've been quiet and I know it.  It isn't because I don't have things to say and it's definitely not because I don't *want* to blog.  Work has been insane and, while I didn't do all of my blogging at work, my energy level in the evenings has been incredibly low.  All I want to do once I get Baby Girl to bed is zone out at the TV and go to bed early.

Our project went live two weeks ago and it's rolling along fairly smoothly.  I'm hopeful that we'll be able to dive into Phase 2 soon, but it should be much less taxing and time-consuming for me, especially now that the initial roll-out is done.  You see, I was the main Systems driver for moving our office to a paperless process, which is a HUGE shift in culture.  It's been a struggle to gain the buy-in that I needed and, as expected, we had some technical difficulties, but it's up and running and operational for most people.

This project has honestly been really exciting and frustrating at the same time.  By the time I walk out of here, I'm wiped and have no energy to devote to my own family.  I'm glad we've stabilized at work, though, since it's now The Hubby's turn to have crazy time at work.  I'm hoping after this week we'll both be able to relax in the evenings and not be impatient and testy all of the time like we've each been over the last few weeks (mostly me, I'll admit).

This isn't necessarily an apology post--I also sort of wanted an entry to remind myself of this time, where I couldn't find the time or energy to do much of anything, let alone write out a great blog post.  I hope you've all been doing well and hopefully this means I'll be around more often, writing more super exciting stuff.

Or, you know, writing about my kid and her potty training progress (she woke up dry this morning, for instance...).  :)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

So good that I'm telling you about it again

I know I told you my meal plan for the week already, but I tried a new recipe that knocked my socks off tonight.

Earlier in the week we made shredded buffalo chicken.  It was tasty, but a little spicy for Baby Girl,so we let her dip in some ranch dressing which made her a little happier.  After having dinner and packing up our lunches, we set aside 2 cups of shredded chicken meat to use in this recipe.

I knew this recipe would be good because I've loved everything Cassie has posted that I've tried, but I never could have imagined how good it could be.  You see, I've always been a blue box mac & cheese type of girl.  Love the stuff.  My mom would slave over making a mac & cheese from scratch and I never really liked it.  It would be crunchy on top (in my opinion, mac & cheese shouldn't be crunchy) and I just wasn't a fan.  In early adulthood, I tried this copycat recipe of my favorite macaroni and cheese at our favorite local BBQ restaurant.  Whenever I want to be fancy with my macaroni and cheese, I'll make it and everyone gobbles it up.

So when I saw Cassie's recipe for Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese, I knew it would be yummy, but I just didn't have confidence that I would love it more than my go-to mac & cheese.

But you know what?  I loved this recipe more than any recipe I've made in months.  Seriously.  The freshness of using real milk and cheese, combined with the buffalo chicken and some spices...delicious.  I want to go pick up the pan from the stove and eat the entire thing.  I'm actually thinking that next time I make the buffalo chicken I might just freeze half and use both halves to make this dish.  The only tweak I made to the recipe was that I made it with the already-buffaloed chicken so I didn't add the wing/hot sauce.  I thought the amount of heat was perfect.

I am tempted to put this on the meal plan again next week, but I'm actually thinking I might go see what other mac & cheese recipes she has since I remember quite a few crossing my Google Reader.  But you'd better believe this dish will be back on the meal plan very soon!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meal Plan 9/5-9/10

This weekend was all sorts of crazy, so we ended up eating out a lot more than planned.  We used coupons and gift cards to make it a little cheaper, but that meant we ended up with some leftover meals (and, even more sadly, some meat had to get tossed).  Our meals this week are a combination of leftover meals and new meals.

  • Lasagna: This is my mom's recipe with cottage favorite :)
  • Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and corn on cob
  • Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese: will make extra slow cooker buffalo chicken to use in this
  • Chicken Nuggets, Oven Red Potato Fries: Bought some panko to roll some chicken chunks in and bake
  • Spaghetti & Meatballs: I always cheat and get frozen turkey meatballs and then those hang out in the freezer for days we don't have leftovers to send with Baby Girl to the sitter's
  • Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini served with pasta

Facing Forward

It's so hard to believe how quickly Baby Girl is growing up.  This weekend we sent her to her Grandma and Papaw's for Friday AND Saturday nights while Mommy and Daddy were participating in the OSU Alumni Band.  We were going to pick her up after the game Saturday, but decided (correctly) that we would be too exhausted to make the drive that day, so we let her spend another night.  She did great--I don't think she hardly noticed we were gone.  We, of course, missed her when we weren't busy or sleeping, but I think it was good for all of us.

We had installed Baby Girl's carseat into my mom's car and when we took it out to put into our car to take her home, we reinstalled it forward-facing.  Everyone but me seemed really excited. I get the feeling that my parents think some of the decisions we make for her are silly so they get incredibly excited when we decide that she can have some sort of sinful food or we let up on a rule or we turn her forward-facing.  It's annoying.  Anyway, she's now forward-facing, which she tells us every time she gets into the car.  The seat in the little car is still rear-facing and I'm not sure when we'll turn it around, but I'm not in a big hurry.  She was happy enough rear-facing, but does seem to enjoy seeing Mommy and Daddy while we're driving in the car.  And now we can see what she's doing back there, too.

It's fine, it's nice.  But the most important thing is that it's just another sign that she's really growing up.  She's wearing big girl jeans with a t-shirt and actually has pigtails in her hair and she looked like such a big girl in her carseat on the way to the grocery this morning.  I loved her as a newborn, I loved her as an infant, I loved her as a toddler, and I love her now as the little girl she's becoming.  I just can't believe it's all happened so quickly.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Noisy Mind

After a really stressful morning of work (and a pretty meager lunch), I decided I deserved a short walk to quiet my mind and get rid of some of the stress.  I was sure a dose of Vitamin D via the sun and some fresh air would really help.

You see, my brain doesn't get quiet very often.  I've always got multiple to-do lists swimming around in there as well as detailed thoughts about the more important topics.  My work has really, really picked up (which explains my lack of blogging) with a very large project going live one week from tomorrow.  I'm finalizing testing, taking screenshots, and preparing training materials and records.  I get overwhelmed very easily and find myself needing a break from the sheer noise of it all.  Thus, the walk.

I stepped out the door and was greeted by more noise than I was experiencing inside my office.  There was a loud roar overhead and when I looked up, I saw the Goodyear Blimp.  Once I started to block that noise out, I heard the passing cars, then people on cell phones, then jack hammers in the construction zones, and then those damned cicadas.  A quiet walk?  I wish.  It still helped me relax a bit and the sun was refreshing, but it definitely wasn't any quieter than my mind!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

At 2 Years

At 2 years, Baby Girl can:

Say her ABCs
Count to 20 (sometimes missing 13 and sometimes missing 16)
Sometimes count to 29
Speak in full sentences (longest word count I've had is 7 words, but I don't count most of the time)
Spell her whole first name
Spell the names of most of her daycare friends
Write her first initial
Recognize some letters (I don't know which ones or how many at this point)
Sing lots of songs--her best ones are Jesus Loves Me, ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Mary Had a Little Lamb, and most of Carmen Ohio
Go up stairs without holding on
Go down stairs without holding on (very recent development closer to 25 months)
Ask many, many questions: "What you doing here, Daddy?"  "What's that?"  "What's that sound?" (while holding her hand out like she's trying to listen, only with her hand in front of her ear)
Know that green means go and red means stop
Know that a red hand means don't walk
Do extended pretend play
Go potty all day with few accidents (2-3 per week)

At 2 years, Baby Girl loves....

Mommy at bedtime
Daddy at playtime
Baby dolls
Her doll house
Being tickled, so much that she asks for it
Mimicking Mommy and Daddy (putting babies in timeout, etc.)
Being polite--she says "excuse me", "thank you" (which is now turning into "thanks"), "I'm sorry", "please"
Food--she's still a great eater (knock on wood)
Singing with Mommy
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Special Agent Oso
Marching bands
Goldfish crackers
Anything sweet
Wearing big girl panties
Daddy's iPhone
Rough housing with Daddy
Drinking milk
Jelly toast

At 2 years, Baby Girl dislikes...

Going to bed (although it's getting better)
Taking time out to go pee
Being told "no"
Anytime she feels like she isn't independent
Listening (I'm sure I say "Are you listening to Mommy?" at least 10 times per day)
Time out
Sitting still
Riding in the car

At 2 years, Baby Girl is:

28 lbs (60th percentile (!))
33.25 in (40th percentile)

(Letter to Baby Girl forthcoming...)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Love You

These three words are really common in our house.  The Hubby and I say "I love you" every time we hang up the phone, whenever we part ways for the day, and sometimes just whenever.  We tell Baby Girl that we love her all the time.  

And now she's telling us back.

For awhile, it was "I you" whenever we said it first.  But now she's giving us hugs and looking up at us, unprompted, and saying, "I love you, Mommy".  And my heart melts every single time.

The other day I was crying because I was frustrated with her TWO-ness and she looked at me and said, "Mommy sad?"  I told her that I was frustrated and a little sad.  She wrapped her little arms around my neck and said, "I love you, Mommy" and my tears turned to tears of joy.  I gave her a big smile through my tears and told her that I loved her, too.  

I know someday she's going to tell me that she hates me and when that moment comes, I'm going to remember these moments, this little voice, saying "I love you, Mommy".