Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Week 30: Cabbage

Sorry about the lack of updates on the blog! I have a bunch of stuff to add on here as soon as I have time to get pics uploaded onto the computer. In addition to the Thanksgiving weekend craziness, Brian and Ellie and I have all battled illness in the past week. Brian had some sort of stomach bug, which I got to a lesser degree a few days later. And poor Ellie was diagnosed with an ear infection and strep throat earlier this week. I didn't know that toddlers sometimes get a chest rash as a symptom of strep... that is, until the daycare workers on Tuesday called to say that she had one! She's doing much better now that she's been on antibiotics for a few days and is enjoying the extra episodes of "Dora" that her sick time bought her :)

In baby news, we're still absorbing and celebrating the BOY news we got from last week's ultrasound. The name search is officially underway... which may provide for some argument fodder over the next couple months, although we've found several that we both like. (And, no, we're not going to advertise the name possibilities on here since we've learned from the past that there are too many opinions out there.)
I'm not sure Ellie understands the whole baby brother concept yet, but she's enjoying telling people. She spent five minutes at the dinner table the other day yelling to the dogs: "It's a brother!" And she inherited an "I'm a big sister" book (along with dozens of other books — yay!) from her cousins in Nebraska, so we've been enjoying adding to her reading rotation.
Our little man continues to grow and kick and tumble around in my belly. It's a lot of fun feeling all of the movement, even though some of those jabs are starting to hurt. He's getting muscle, apparently. And since he's moving upward these days, my breath is getting shorter. Just a quarter of the way left to go, though!

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

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Week 29 and Thankfulness

Happy Thanksgiving!
We've got more than our share to give thanks for this year, and we're thinking of all of our loved ones today — near and far. We got a second look at the baby this week and our doctor told us the sex! We thought we'd let Ellie share the news and some advice she has for her sibling.

We're all SO excited about the news and can't wait to meet this little one! So thankful today and every day this baby gets closer to arrival.

Most importantly, the doctor said everything looks good with the baby and my pregnancy so far. Here's the update for this week:
Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is growing bigger to make room for his developing brain. To meet his increasing nutritional demands, you'll need plenty of protein, vitamins C, folic acid, and iron. And because his bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby's hardening skeleton each day.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Victory dance

It's no "double-check discount" move, but Ellie seems to have come up with her own touchdown celebration dance. Here's hoping she gets to use it in helping the Packers celebrate a lot of TDs in the Thanksgiving game!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Going running

Ellie wants to do anything and everything that Brian and I do these days. One of her favorite's is "going running," which she decides to do quite frequently. Here's a couple shots of her getting on the gear she deems necessary for these outings. In the top one she gets points for the running shirt and digging out Brian's headphones.
In this one, however, she got her baby dressed (including sneakers) but forgot her own pants :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Library trip

Ellie's gone to a few story hours at the downtown library in recent weeks. Brian took her one weekend and I took her (AND her baby) this past Saturday. She's very excited to visit the library, but she doesn't always last long during the actual story time. The librarian there does a great job and picks out five or six books to share. Ellie's threshold is about one book, at least in this setting, so we usually wind up somewhere else in the children's section of the library looking at books and toys on our own. Here are a couple shots of her pre-story time when sitting was still an option and she got to check out the moving sculpture, which she calls "the birdies."

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Week 28: Chinese cabbage

Welcome to the third trimester! I was psyched to hit that milestone this week, even though I know it means a lot more discomfort is headed my way. In these last three months we'll watch my basketball belly grow to the size of a watermelon — which I didn't totally believe in the first pregnancy until it actually happened. As you can see from the new family picture I put up here, I've already grown quite a bit.
The average weight gain this last trimester is 11 pounds. I'm already up about 20 from my starting weight, so I'm definitely going to try not to go beyond that gain... but the baby may have other ideas. My mom (at 5-foot-4 and about 120 pounds) said she always put on more weight than recommended during her five pregnancies, and instead of worrying about it she just got really good at giving the doctor a dirty look if he gave her a hard time about it. We grow babies big in my family, with my siblings and I each weighing between 9.5 and 10 pounds at birth.
All that being said, even though I'm scaling back on running at this point in the pregnancy I'm hoping to stay active with walking and yoga and chasing Ellie around.

Here's what the experts have to say this week:
By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She's also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Severe weather, close quarters

We had some crazy weather in Lafayette on Monday. The day started with thunderstorms (weird enough for November) and the winds picked up through the day until a tornado watch was issued in the afternoon. I arrived at Ellie's day care just as the warning sirens started going off. I was initially relieved to be out of my vehicle and in the building, and I was happy to actually have eyes on Ellie in that situation. However, once I'd arrived I was there for the long haul since they wouldn't let me or Ellie leave until the tornado risk was gone. The 30-minute warning was extended to last more than an hour... and we all had to spend it in the very small bathroom of Ellie's day car classroom. That's right, it was 75 minutes spent in this 8x8 bathroom with 10 toddlers, three teachers and two other parents. Oh, and the teachers decided to close the door at some point to keep the kids from escaping... but that meant the temperature slowly climbed to about 100 degrees (or at least it felt like it). Wow, were we happy to get cut loose when the all-clear was issued. I happened to have my camera with and got a couple shots of the mayhem.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can you tell...

That Ellie was excited to take a bus ride across town to visit daddy at work last week?
And here's a short video I got of her playing (and leaving some food on the ground for birds) at the bus stop downtown.

Go daddy!

Ellie and I got to cheer Brian on to a major personal best time in his half marathon this past weekend. He blew away his previous record by 10:30!! So awesome. I've been so proud of his hard work over the past few months as he trained for this race. He picked a training program that was so challenging that he had to spend a month training just to start the training. A little crazy, yes... but he stuck with it, and it totally paid off. Now Ellie and I are looking forward to weeks ahead of us where Brian/daddy doesn't have to fit in a run every single day!
Ellie and I drove out to the 9.5-mile mark on the race course and offered Brian some mid-race encouragement. Ellie is still cheering "Go daddy" and "go runners!"
So proud of daddy at the finish line :)

Monday, November 14, 2011


Last weekend we visited Colin and Lia all the way over in West Lafayette. It's crazy that we can't find more times to get Colin and Ellie together, even living in the same town, but they had fun once we made it happen! Colin doesn't look too pleased here about Ellie hoarding in on his chair, but he was a great sport about sharing his toys, and even a cup of milk, with Ellie — or, Lellie, as he likes to call her.
The highlight of the trip was sitting in the Hanson's large ottoman/toy bin. Good stuff.

Friday, November 11, 2011

More smartness

Here's Ellie showing off her knowledge of colors... in Spanish. I didn't even know the words for half of these but she's schooled me.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Week 27: Cauliflower

We had a checkup with Dr. George today and got great marks for my growing belly and the baby's strong heartbeat. I explained to her that this past month has been up and down for me — with some weird stuff, like the leg rash and headaches, along with lower back pain. She reassured me that things look good. I've been feeling pains in my lower abdomen that I don't remember from last time, but the doc said it's likely from carrying the second pregnancy different than the first. Since my abdominal muscles were changed by carrying Ellie, this baby will sit lower and I'll feel the pangs in new spots. It's nice to get reassurance from someone with an MD. And, as I've said, I continue to be reassured by the baby's activity. There's so much kicking and moving going on in there! Dr. George predicts it's a boy since the baby's been giving me some trouble :)

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Head turning

One of Ellie's latest traits is her need to get our attention often and audibly. It's sort of cute, at times, but the constant "Mommy, Mommy!" can get frustrating when I'm trying to have a phone conversation or even get a complete sentence out during a dinner conversation with Brian. The best is when I stop what I'm doing and ask, "Yes, Ellie?" and she falls silent and quickly tries to think of something to tell me. Other times I have to laugh when the object of urgent interruption is something critical like saying: "Mommy, you're eating peas." Yes, I know. And if Brian and I are carrying her when she comes up with one of these urgent messages, Ellie will physically grab our cheeks to turn our faces toward her and make sure she has full attention.

I was excited to see this article title "Why 2-year-olds interrupt" appear in the emails I get from
But as I read through to the advice on what to do to improve the situation, I found that they were basically telling me to wait until she's 3 and hope it gets better then. Sigh. Good thing she's cute. Here's the article for any other parents who are interested.

You're on the phone with a colleague when your child tugs on your sleeve and bleats, "Mommy...Mommy!...MOMMY!!"

When will he learn not to interrupt? Unfortunately, it will be a while — a 2-year-old thinks that the world and everything in it (including you) exist for his benefit. In addition, his short-term memory isn't well developed, which means that his impulse to say things right now, before he forgets, actually has a physiological basis. As a result, the very concept of interrupting makes no sense to your child. He can't grasp that other people and activities sometimes require your attention or capture your interest. When you focus on something other than him for a moment, he might actually perceive it as a threat.

Tolerating a 2-year-old who cuts in every time you're chatting with a friend or scheduling an appointment is exasperating, but if you keep his worldview in mind, you'll realize that he's not purposefully trying to irritate you. Don't worry, though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. By the time he's 3 or 4, your child's short-term memory will be more developed, and he'll begin to understand what an interruption is and what you mean when you say, "Mommy's busy right now." So look forward to the time when he'll be able to hold that thought (for a couple of minutes, anyway).

Lullaby Moon "reading"

Ellie caught us off guard recently when she started reading along with the book "Lullaby Moon" during the evening's story time. She does this with some other books — most notably her fave Where the Wild Things Are — but we haven't read this book to her as many times and didn't realize just how fast she can absorb these words/stories.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Thanks for all the words of encouragement from everyone! I'm feeling better after a weekend filled with a mix of work and play. I'm trying to take a more organized approach right now, hitting the list-making hard to make myself feel like I've got a plan for getting everything done from dinner plans for the week to shopping plans for the holiday season. Yay lists :)
And I had a cathartic closet raid this weekend, too. Just pulling out a bunch of the too-small clothes and shoving them into a bag for now made me feel better (not having to look at them longingly) and made room for some more maternity stuff I unearthed in the process.

On the Ellie front... our little girl had a sick day this past Thursday. She woke up just after 4 a.m. puking and didn't let up for several hours. Luckily the bug seemed to work it's way out of her system that morning and didn't linger. Here's a shot Brian got of Ellie taking a short morning nap on the couch while he stayed home with her.

But here are more shots of her that same evening when she rallied enough to want to attend her gymnastics class. This was just her second week, but she had a lot of fun. The class is a little bit of a free-for-all because of the age of the students (all 36 months and younger) and the busyness of the gym. It seems like a good experience for her, though, and should be a helpful way to burn some energy each week as the weather turns colder.
p.s. Her wet shirt front visible in the last photo isn't from a sweaty workout session... it's from playing in the drinking fountain, which may actually be her favorite part of the class.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Week 26: Cucumber

(Warning: Lots of complaining in this post.) I'm definitely dragging this week, and I feel like an emotional mess most days. Between work stress and the achy back, hip pain, food cravings and awkwardness of pregnancy I am not too fun to be around... as I'm sure Brian can attest to. I'm trying to figure out places to cut out some stress right now because I'm getting burnt out, but there's not a lot of wiggle room between the full-time job, full-time parenting and full-time trying-not-to-let-the-house-fall-into-shambles. And speaking of a lack of wiggle room, my wardrobe is getting tighter and the outfits are much less fun to assemble in the morning. Some of my shoes already aren't fitting because of my feet growing/swelling, and for pants I either have to choose between uncomfortably tight waistbands or elastic ones that start to sag down any time I start walking around. And I don't know what's going on with my hormone levels right now, but I feeling like bursting into tears at least a couple times a day. I love getting to visit my uncle and grandma in Nashville, but it's also hard to be around my dad's family without thinking more than usual of him and getting mad/sad about all of the wonderful parts of my life (and Ellie's) that he's not here to share.

Wow, I wasn't kidding when I said I had a lot of complaining to do. Sorry. At least I offered fair warning.
Of course, as I write this I'm eating an apple (trying to balance out my Halloween candy consumption of late) and the baby is responding by jumping around excitedly inside my belly. It's hard to argue with that. I'm now reminding myself that life is good, the baby seems to be doing great — growing like crazy and not purposely trying to make me feel like crud at times. Time for a deep breath and some input from the experts for this week:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Visit to Nashville

We trekked down to Nashville (TN) this past weekend to visit Uncle Carl, Aunt Carol and Grandma Schneider. While Ellie had a tough time with some of the travel and sleeping in a new place, we had a pretty great trip. Brian was psyched to be with other Cardinals fans for his team's World Series victory on Friday night! And we ate like kings at Carol and Carl's place all weekend. So nice to get to see them now that we live within driving distance :)
When we stopped in to see grandma on Sunday morning we decided to sing a few kids songs that both she and Ellie knew. The photo is of us doing "twinkle, twinkle little star" and there's a short video clip of "rock-a-bye baby."

And here's Carol reading Ellie one of her bedtime stories. Thanks again for having us!