Monday, October 31, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Here's some happier news from the experts this week:
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Ellie did some bowling and was thrilled to get a candy treat afterward.
She rode the helicopters and the horse and buggy ride. You'll notice a very cute Elmo in the cart behind her. He was very upset to get off the ride when it was over and started crying, which prompted Ellie to worry all night that "Elmo's sad!" We had to keep reassuring her that he was happy now.
A cute shot of the walk to the park with daddy!
And a shot with mom as we tried to make it look like we were wearing the floating witches hats... not sure we succeeded...
And here's an action shot of our very adamant froggie girl:
Sunday, October 23, 2011
I've been thinking about Ellie's diet (meaning her food intake, not any special diet she's on...) a lot lately. She's clearly got a sweet tooth like her mommy, and as I've indulged my pregnancy food cravings in recent months there's been a lot more of the sugary stuff around the house that Ellie makes special requests for. One favorite of hers is "I want cereal with treats and milk. But no milk" ... and then she proceeds to eat all of the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms we give her and leave the rest. This is only a sometimes treat, mind you, but she also gets candy for going on the potty and desserts on the nights when we have them at home. At school, too, I've arrived to pick her up during afternoon snack and often find the toddlers all surrounding a table eating cookies. None of these things are the end of the world, but I know from my own weight struggles over the years that there has to be balance. That's why I'm happy we only give Ellie milk or water to drink at home. We also encourage a lot of healthy snacks and meals. Some of her favorites are hummus, peas, corn, apples, bananas, oranges, pretzels, Cheerios, raisins and even tofu! (Note to other parents: To get Ellie to like tofu our winning recipe is cutting it into sticks, breading it with panko or other breadcrumbs and lightly pan-frying it. We let her dip it in marinara sauce and Ellie is in heaven.)
I don't want to make it sound like all Ellie eats is super healthy stuff. Breakfasts on weekends are our house basically revolve around syrup... waffles, pancakes, or my creation this morning: french toast made from leftover homemade cinnamon raisin bread. And Ellie manages to dip each bite of her food about five times in the syrup before starting the process over again. But I think we strike a decent balance with offering a side of fruit at breakfast and then keeping lunch and dinner on the healthier side. That also helps me keep my own diet from going off the deep end! I'm proud of Ellie for trying new foods all the time and often choosing the healthiest option on the plate — and then requesting seconds. I hope we're helping her build a good foundation of smart eating choices... to balance out the times when we give in to her hard-to-resist requests for "treats."
Thursday, October 20, 2011
And here's one of Ellie and mom exercising our cheesy smiles for the camera. Ellie's forced grin is too funny :)
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Brian and I also got on a bread-making kick recently. We've turned out yummy loaves of honey wheat, rosemary and cinnamon raisin bread so far. I still can't believe how easy it is to do with my mom's old breadmaker machine. We literally just dump the ingredients in and then pull out a loaf a few hours later. Ellie likes the rosemary bread dipped in olive oil! That's her Italian blood, I suppose.
I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with new bread recipes, and we're looking forward to using the machine for pizza and other dough recipes. Such fun :)
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The race on Saturday really wiped me out and I was really hurting that night and much of Sunday. But after a long night of sleep I felt much better. I've been battling some severe headaches and had a rash suddenly appear on my legs late last week. From what I've read the rash is likely caused by pregnancy hormones and will go away after delivery (but maybe not before then)... I'm glad the summer shorts weather is behind us. I'm keeping an eye on the headaches since they could be a symptom of something worse, but so far I think they're under control.
Again this week I'm grateful for all of the kicks and dance moves I can feel from baby #2! Those jabs reassure me that things are OK inside, even if I'm starting to feel a bit yuckier out here. Enough complaining though... on to what the experts have to say this week:
Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
Monday, October 17, 2011
We all had adventures, mostly good.
Brian and I got a great deal through Priceline and stayed at the Crown Plaza hotel in the historic train station in downtown Indy. When checking in we asked about getting a late check-out on Saturday, to ensure we'd have enough time for much-needed showers at the race. The lady said it would cost us $35 unless we signed up to become Priority members. When we found out that was free (well, except for signing over the right for endless emails from them) we went the "priority" route and then got out room upgraded for free, two drink tickets to the bar and access to a guest lounge with free snacks and drinks! Brian and I are pretty easily impressed, so we were ecstatic. Now that we're priority members we also like to think that we're kind of a big deal...
After a huge dinner out Friday night we ran a great race on Saturday morning. The weather was perfect (except for the wind heading in certain directions) and the course wound through Fort Harrison State Park where the fall colors were amazing. I went into the race with a goal of running under 2 hours and 15 minutes... but around mile 6 we realized we were on pace to break 2:10 if we stepped it up just a little. So we did and crossed the line just under 2:09. I was thrilled! (Though I apparently was also exhausted and emotional because I immediately burst into tears like I did after finishing my last pregnant race. I blame the hormones!)
(This photo was post-race, though I'm still smiling! Had to get a shot by the conductor statue because he was checking his watch... just like we did about a thousand times during the race.)
After the race I was hurting a bit more than I'd anticipated, so we canceled plans to stay in Indy the rest of the day and go to a dinner theater show that night. We'll reschedule! Instead we stopped at Trader Joes and then got home just after Ellie woke up from her nap. I was amazed at how much I missed our little girl even with being gone for just 24 hours.
On the Ellie/grandma end, the highlights of the weekend were time spent cuddling on the couch while watching Elmo, a trip out to the toy store and to get waffles at IHOP, bath time with extra splashing and TWO trips to the park. Brian's mom said Ellie did great in our absence, even though our gal got a little sad on Friday night when she realized mommy and daddy wouldn't be back before her bedtime. But I was so proud to hear that Ellie went down for nite-nite and Saturday's nap with very little struggle.
Everyone had a great weekend. Thanks again grandma Linda for the visit!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Hopefully Ellie is completely better today and can enjoy a visit from grandma. Brian's mom is coming to stay with her tonight while we go down to Indianapolis for a half marathon we're running early Saturday. Pictures and stories from the weekend to come!
On a side note, now that the weather is turning cool again we can bring Ellie's new rain boots out again. We got them about a month ago but she's only worn them a couple times because of the temps. How adorable are they?!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The baby is a moving and dancing machine. In fact, it took a while to pin him/her down at the doctor's office yesterday when we were trying to listen to the heartbeat. But once we caught up with baby we heard that glorious thump-thump and got perfect marks for the checkup. (For those keeping tabs, the heartbeat measured in the 140s this month.) Here's what the experts have to say...
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
And as a reward mommy took her across the street to Meijer for a ride on the 1-cent mechanical horse. Now she wants her hair cut every day, I think :)
Monday, October 10, 2011
- She can count to 10 in Spanish! We know they practice colors in both English and Spanish at daycare, so I guess it makes sense that they do numbers, too... but, still, impressive for a 2-year-old.
- She can read a lot of the book Where the Wild Things Are with or without the book in front of her. Ellie is big on reading books herself these days, which usually just means flipping through the pages really fast and then declaring "the end" when she closes the book. But with her favorite book — referred to just as "Max" — Ellie will read lines like "night Max wolf suit mischief one kind... and 'nother... Mother called wild thing... Max eat you up." It's so fun to watch, but she won't do it upon request because she gets shy.
- She also won't do this one on request, but Ellie can sing a couple verses of her favorite bedtime song "Hush little baby." Generally she just recycles the "mommy buy you diamond ring" verse, however, so we can see she's a toddler with expensive tastes already :)
- Ellie can — and loves to — eat whole apples. She got into the cabinet where we stored our recent 30-pound haul of apples from the orchard trip and pulled one out for herself the other day. Luckily she got one that is slightly sweet and not a super-tart baking apple.
- Speaking of eating, Ellie is testing our limits big time in trying to get treats and sweets... and the vacation week certainly didn't help, considering all of the ice cream, donuts and other unhealthy fare we indulged in. Beyond the occasional tantrums and arguments we have with Ellie on this front, she's developed this very cute way of asking for a treat. But recently she asks for a treat and if we seem to be considering the request she'll immediately amend her demands and ask for five! Not sure how she arrived at this new favorite number, but we haven't given in to any of the "five treats" requests yet... so maybe she'll lower her expectations soon.
- She refers to all bugs as bees. Ellie alerted me to a spider crawling across the kitchen floor the other day by shouting "no, bee!" Luckily the spider was small enough that I was brave enough to kill it without calling in reinforcements (i.e. Brian).
- Her imagination is running wild. Ellie comes up with pretend roles all on her own and we'll hear her acting things out with her baby dolls or the dogs or whatever object is closest. The other day she slung on her toy purse and yelled out "See you later, mommy. Bye-bye. I got swing." Good thing she hasn't mastered getting out the door on her own yet...
Sunday, October 9, 2011
The rest of our vacation week has been a blend of work and play. We've had a ton of projects and chores "in the works" at our house for months now, and we finally put some of them to bed. We have new front steps railings installed, our garage is cleaned and organized, our oak room has been transformed from dumping ground into playroom for Ellie, and the downstairs bathroom remodeling project is... well, closer to being done.
Just to show that I'm not purely working Brian (and myself) to the bone, we've gotten out for some fun time, too. (Although Ellie thoroughly enjoyed helping us empty out the garage. Her part involved moving very small items and then playing with everything we dumped in the yard.) We've been to two parks in the past two days and shopped yesterday afternoon for Ellie's Halloween costume. She's going to be the cutest ladybug ever!
And, last but not least, all is going well with baby #2. As I wrap up Week 22, the baby is the size of a spaghetti squash and I'm feeling good -- and round :) He/she is kicking and moving so much these days, and those nudges and flutters are amazing to feel. Here's the latest:
At 11 inches (the length of a spaghetti squash) and almost 1 pound, your baby is starting to look like a miniature newborn. His lips, eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and he's even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums. His eyes have formed, but his irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment. If you could see inside your womb, you'd be able to spot the fine hair (lanugo) that covers his body and the deep wrinkles on his skin, which he'll sport until he adds a padding of fat to fill them in. Inside his belly, his pancreas — essential for the production of some important hormones — is developing steadily.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I caught this shot of Ellie being sweet and holding Baby Charlie's hand. Charlie, Amanda and Ben's almost-5-month-old, was a doll and Ellie was a bit infatuated. She also was a bit jealous when Brian or I would hold him... but she's going to have to get used to sharing us a bit, so this was a great experience for her.
She loved sharing his play mat and even invited her babies and frog in, too.