Tuesday, August 30, 2011
The baby (and bump) is definitely getting bigger! I can feel the extra pull on my tummy now when I'm moving around and especially when trying to sit up to get out of bed. The number of pillows in our bed has already grown, much to Brian's chagrin. Between my extra pillows and the dogs there's not much room leftover :) In other news this week I am showing some definite signs of "pregnant brain." I'm trying not to feel too bad about the forgetfulness because it's documented in many places as being linked to hormones, etc during pregnancy... but it can be annoying. I did the grocery shopping this week during Ellie's nap Saturday. I checked the list four or five times before checking out but still managed to leave a couple items out of the cart. And unfortunately I didn't even remember what I forgot all at once so Brian had to make TWO follow up trips to the store. He might be handling the grocery shopping for the next few months. That might be safer anyway since I've been getting some weird food cravings recently ranging from a hot dog with melted cheese on top and a side of sauerkraut (last night's snack) to a Whitman's sampler box of chocolates (which I really want but haven't gotten yet). Here's the baby news this week.
Your baby's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord — her lifeline to the placenta — is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and she's around 5 inches long from head to bottom. She can move her joints, and her sweat glands are starting to develop.
Monday, August 29, 2011
This was a cousin picture Ellie never would have complied with. The photographer had the kids pose with the cupcakes and pretend to take bites, but then they had to put them aside until after dinner! Maggie made it work by promising the kids they could have as many cupcakes as they wanted for dessert. I'm sure their parents were pleased :)
Here I am giving a toast to the happy couple. I look way more composed here than I actually was. Lots of tears from me, but I got some laughs from the room, too.
Awkward hug post-toast.
Here's daddy and Ellie playing with some Color Wonder finger paints. This is normal for a wedding reception, right?
Sunday, August 28, 2011
We decided to pitch a tent in the backyard, plan a menu centered around the fire pit and give Ellie a taste of camping out before attempting to go away somewhere for a weekend. Well, those camping plans may happen later rather than sooner after our escapade.
Friday, August 26, 2011
I used this crust recipe.
I doubled the ingredients so we could have a thick crust — our favorite — and then we kept the toppings simple, with homemade tomato sauce, mushrooms, cheese, basil and fresh garden tomato slices. For some reason I'm super skittish about cooking with yeast... always sure it's not going to work. But this one came out great. I can't wait to try some more pizza varieties! And cooking it on the grill made it all that much better. We just threw the whole pizza stone on there and kept checking on it. Brian saved it just as it started to get a little burned at the edge of the crust, probably about 15-20 minutes in.
I didn't get any pics of our finished product because we were too busy devouring it. Well, Brian and I were anyway. Even though Ellie loves pizza, she was being a weirdo last night and only took a couple bites of hers. But we didn't let it go to waste :)
It's great to be back to eating a wide variety of foods. I hardly have any aversions anymore, so Brian and I are trying to return to this year's goal of trying a new recipe each week. Next week I think we're trying this cover recipe from the new Cooking Light. I love homemade mac-n-cheese and am intrigued that this one uses butternut squash and greek yogurt. Yum!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Get ready for a growth spurt. In the next few weeks, your baby will double his weight and add inches to his length. Right now, he's about the size of an avocado: 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces. His legs are much more developed, his head is more erect than it has been, and his eyes have moved closer to the front of his head. His ears are close to their final position, too. The patterning of his scalp has begun, though his locks aren't recognizable yet. He's even started growing toenails. And there's a lot happening inside as well. For example, his heart is now pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day, and this amount will continue to increase as your baby continues to develop.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
And Ellie checked out these tunnels through the prairie dogs' exhibit, but she's not tall enough yet to be able to pop her head up through the top and see what's going on above.
The highlight was seeing the baby goats... and having one nibble on her shirt. After I took the picture Ellie grabbed her shirt away from the goat and yelled, "Mine!" Hard to argue with her.
Ellie played with some of the farm vet toys, but for some reason these chickens did not take her up on her offer to listed to their chests.And no trip to the park would be complete without a stop at the swings. Her absolute favorite!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
It started to go downhill when I brought Ellie home from daycare at noon. This is our schedule most days and Ellie goes down for her nap while I work, sometimes frantically, during that 2-3 hour window to finish whatever assignments I have for the day.
Well, for some reason Ellie decided Wednesday that she was not going to take a nap. I listened to her alternate between playful babbling and fake "come-play-with-me" cries for the next 45 minutes... and finally went up to assess the situation. It quickly became clear that sleep was far from her mind, so she came downstairs to play.
I spent the next few hours alternating between playing with toys, listening to Ellie read her books and trying to clack away on the laptop. My work arrangement works great when Ellie and follow our assigned schedules... but I had a hard time trying to combine work and playtime. The trickiest parts where when sources finally returned my calls and I had to conduct interviews while trying to mask some of the toddler yelling and crashing toys in the background. Luckily, I was able to set up her prized Elmo video and distract her with animal crackers for some of my phone time.
She was so good during that string of work that I decided we both needed a break. So we put on swimsuits and sunblock and walked over to the pool at the park... only to find it closed. (Apparently it's only open on the weekends now that school is back in session. Sigh.) We looped around to the swing set, but the seats and slides were too hot for Ellie's bare legs (since she was only wearing a swimsuit...), so finally we just retreated home. I filled her kiddie pool in the backyard and that seemed to work as a sub par substitute for our original outing.
When a staff meeting was called at my work for 5 p.m., Brian was able to come home a bit early from his job to free me up. This came not a moment too soon, as Ellie's mood was starting to dissolve before my eyes. Turns out she needs that nap time.
While I went back to the office to finish my story and attend the meeting, Brian and Ellie went to pick up a pizza. Cooking was not happening yesterday.
After dinner and some play time, we got Ellie ready for an early bedtime... as she was seriously overdue for some shut-eye. But she continued to fight sleep. Brian (whose seasonal allergies have suddenly come on in full force) stayed inside to work on Ellie while I went out to mow the lawn.
By the time I finished, he had almost succeeded in getting our overtired girl to sleep, so I decided to slip out for a short run to shake off some of the day's stress. I was less than a quarter mile from the house when I tripped over my own feet and slammed into the pavement. *Luckily?* I was able to twist during the fall and absorb most of it with my palm and my right hip, so as to avoid road rash down my arms and legs ahead of this weekend's wedding... but it hurt! I didn't even bother feeling embarrassed and was glad when a lady pulled over to where I was laying on the side of the road to check on my condition. I muttered something about being fine, I think, and retreated back home.
Battered and bruised in so many ways from the long day, I gratefully went to bed early. Here's hoping for a more successful, nap-filled and injury-free Thursday.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Dorothy, Ellie and I had dinner with our friends Haley and Dusty over the weekend, giving Ellie some (supervised) quality time with her boyfriend, Dusty. Ellie, like most little girls I'm sure, is shy around men, including all her uncles. But Dusty is another story.
For some reason, Ellie asks about Dusty quite often. Once I asked if Dusty was her boyfriend, to which she gave an emphatic "YES."
I've often said that Ellie cannot date until she's finished her Master's degree, but we like Dusty. There's quite an age difference, and he's married, but as long as she's back by bed time (7 p.m.) and has a clean diaper, we think it'll be OK.
When it was time to leave Haley and Dusty's, Ellie readily gave Haley a hug and kiss. We expected some shyness about Dusty, but Ellie immediately ran over and hugged him. I told her to give Dusty a kiss on the cheek, but she planted one right on his mouth.
On another boyfriend-type note, Ellie's apparent favorite song is "My Boyfriend's Back" by the Angels. The teachers at daycare tell me she asks for the song often, and when it comes on the CD they play, she stands facing the player and sways until it's over.
This morning, they got out the CD, and while Ellie refused to dance for us, she was mesmerized during the entire song. As it wound down, she frantically said "Please, please!" while pointing at the player. She wanted to hear it again.
"One more time!?!? Fireworks!" she squealed.
We learned "one more time" while watching a fireworks video on YouTube the other day. So, whenever she says that, she follows it up with "Fireworks!"
I'll leave you with this, the video of the Angels, which Ellie has seen and couldn't take her eyes off.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Not too much new to report from my end, so I'll just share what the experts have to say for the week:
Your growing baby now measures about 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighs in at about 2 1/2 ounces (about the size of an apple). She's busy moving amniotic fluid through her nose and upper respiratory tract, which helps the primitive air sacs in her lungs begin to develop. Her legs are growing longer than her arms now, and she can move all of her joints and limbs. Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam. There's not much for your baby to taste at this point, but she is forming taste buds.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Ellie got to hang out with babysitter Shanna on Saturday night while Brian and I went on a date night. Here's a shot that Shanna snapped on her phone, and then shared on Facebook :)
Shanna doesn't get much babysitting work from us... since we rarely go out. But she was happy that we decided to hit an early dinner on this particular Saturday so that she could play with Ellie. (When we've called on her in the past, the timing is often later in the evening when Ellie is already asleep or just about ready for bed.) It sounds like they had a great time playing outside and then indoors with just about every toy Ellie owns!
Ellie was a bit nervous when a round a thunderstorms hit later in the evening, but Brian and I got home shortly after they started and gave her some cuddles before a late bedtime. (She rewarded us by letting mom and dad sleep until almost 8:30 on Sunday morning!)
Thursday, August 11, 2011
And the baby gender predictions have already begun for #2. We got to hear the heartbeat for the first time at Wednesday's appointment! It was amazing and wonderful. The heart rate was right at 160... so what does that mean? Well, according to random old theories, a fast beat means it's going to be a girl and a slower one means a boy... But I remember Ellie's being all over the board. There's really no evidence to back the theory up, but I guess it's fun to speculate :)
Lots of people have asked us if we're going to find out the baby's gender this time around. And I defer that question to Brian. He's in charge of that particular decision... and he'll have to make up his mind in the next five weeks because we've got an ultrasound scheduled for Sept. 14!! I like the idea of being surprised again, but Brian really wanted to find out last time and was a good sport when I insisted on waiting. I'll be happy either way. Just can't wait to see some pictures of this little one in about a month!
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
First up, the cute stuff: Ellie and I played outside and enjoyed the cool evening when Brian had to go back to work for his monthly Science Cafe event. Ellie stole my sandals and played with some of the bubbles she got for her birthday. Happy girl!
Earlier in the afternoon she accompanied mom and dad while we completed the sale of my former car, the Mercury Sable we recently replaced with a minivan. I am so excited to have that car sold and the money applied toward our minivan loan! We got a pretty good sale price for it and unloaded it on a Purdue international grad student — who seems very excited about his first car.
After Ellie went to bed I spent a couple hours sorting clothes in my closet. I pulled out a bunch of pants, skirts and shirts that are too tight these days. And I started pulling out maternity wear... but I also found a bin of clothes I packaged up in the past year as I dropped a bunch of weight. I'm glad I held on to some of this stuff because it'll serve me well in the next few months. I'm sure I'll get to the point later in the fall where it's maternity-or-nothing... but it's nice to still fit in to some real pants, and to feel like I have more than 2 options when I go to pull an outfit out for work. I've only gained 5 pounds so far — right on track for the end of the first trimester — but it's all in the waist and chest, which seriously alters how my clothes fit (or not). I caught myself feeling a bit nervous and sad as I put away my newer, smaller clothes. But I've promised to remain upbeat about my growing body and my plans to regain my shape post-pregnancy... and I intend to do so. When pregnant with Ellie I had nothing to go on except the widespread warnings about how hard it is to lose baby-weight and how many women don't. Knowing that I was able to pull it off (and then some!) after Ellie was born gives me more confidence that I'll do the same the second time around. So, I'll say good-bye to my "skinny" clothes for now and count on pulling them back out next year.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
More literally, on the pace topic, I'm seriously slowing down in my running. With the recent heat I've only been able to get out a for a few runs each week, since my early work schedule only gives me running openings during the afternoon or evening hours during the week. I've been taking advantage of the weekends, trying to get my miles in early in the morning, but I've had trouble getting more than 10 miles in total some weeks. Now that I'm 9 weeks out from our next half marathon — the Indianapolis Marathon/Half on Oct. 15 — and the weather seems like it might cooperate a little, I'll be ramping up my mileage... but still taking it slow. I found during my first pregnancy that running was very helpful in working out the kinks and general discomfort, but also that the increased weight and shift in balance requires some adjustment. But I'm still hoping to get a "pregnant PR" in this half — which would only mean running faster than the 2:26 half I did while 5-and-a-half months pregnant with Ellie.
Well, enough from me. Here's the Week 14 update from the experts:
Welcome to the second trimester! This week's big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb. Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another. His kidneys are producing urine, which he releases into the amniotic fluid around him -- a process he'll keep up until birth. He can grasp, too, and if you're having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb. In other news: Your baby's stretching out. From head to bottom, he measures 3 1/2 inches -- about the size of a lemon -- and he weighs 1 1/2 ounces.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
(*Pretty sure Brian is already sweating butter in this one above! Or it's from working the grill... It was HOT, but thankfully rain-free for the party!)
Jacob, Melissa and Kris (one of Brian's oldest friends) taking a cheesy pic with us!
And here's Ellie halfway through opening her mountain of presents. She's a very lucky little girl. Thanks to everyone!
Thursday, August 4, 2011
With a little inadvertent help from mom and dad, Ellie went very high on the helicopter ride! We made sure her bar was pushed in tight... but that's apparently the position that makes the car go up once the ride gets moving. Ellie loved it while we watched nervously from below!
Fingerprints have formed on your baby's tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you're having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
It's hard to believe our little baby turns two years old today. If it's possible, I think we love her more than we did on the day she was born. The days and months are flying by, but I'm happy that we're packing a TON of fun and learning and growing into every moment.
I'm sure I'll have more to add later, but for now I'll revisit a couple favorite shots from the past two years... in no particular order!