Tuesday, January 31, 2012


We hit a major milestone in our house this week. The completion of our downstairs bathroom remodel!!!
Even though Ellie and I pitched in a little, most of the credit for this project goes to Brian (and our friend Dusty). We're SO excited to have the work complete, especially before the baby comes. It's been a long and frustrating road — as every rehab project we undertake seems to be — but I love the result.
OK, so the bathroom is still too small to capture any decent overview pics... but trust me that before the project there was no tile, a leaky shower, different sink, and outdated electrical and plumbing options. SOOOO proud of all of Brian's hard work!

Week 39 and more

Here in this 39th week there's not too much new to report. I could go on for awhile about my current lack if comfort — between cramps and pressure, frequent trips to the bathroom, the impossibility of getting comfortable to sleep at night and the anxiety of waiting for Friday. But I'll spare you all too much griping. I like to save most of that for Brian anyway :)
This is the update from experts for this week:
Your baby's waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

I've also been thinking about how different this pregnancy has been than my first. The most noticeable is my size. I've actually gained about the same amount of weight in each pregnancy, but since I started smaller this pregnancy I'm finishing out smaller. It's amazing the difference that's made in being able to do things, like tying my shoes! And, in general, I've carried the baby lower in this pregnancy than in my first. That's caused additional bladder pressure throughout, but I did avoid a lot of the lung crowding (feet in my ribs and other shortness of breath issues) that I had during the first pregnancy.

Emotionally and mentally this pregnancy has been a lot different. I know more this time around, which has been of some comfort. I didn't freak out at every small symptom or over analyze (too much) when my monthly stats for the pregnancy didn't match the standards. Every pregnancy is different. This pregnancy I've experienced much more of the "nesting" instinct. In the past few weeks I've filled our freezer to capacity with meals and snacks. It's a little ridiculous, to be honest, but I'm sure we'll appreciate the ready-made meals in the coming weeks. I'm not sure why I am more frantic this time about being prepared before baby No. 2 comes, but at least the cooking and baking makes me feel better.
I am getting increasingly nervous as labor draws near because I know more this time about how hard it can be. I didn't expect it to be easy last time... but there's still no way to prepare yourself fully from reading books or hearing stories from others. It's such an intense experience, and while I'm ecstatic to be within days of the payoff... I'm worried about getting from here to there.
But nerves are normal. Brian is doing a great job in trying to keep me calm. And, dare I say, we're feeling somewhere close to "ready" for this whole adventure to start for the second time!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Play dates!

Ellie was a social butterfly this past weekend, with play dates on Saturday and Sunday!
Here she is checking out Hattie's chalkboard (above), and getting some serious Ring around the Rosie action going with the kids over at Karah and Kevin's house. Even though their "Rosie" dance was a little unorthodox, Hattie and Ellie definitely had the falling down part nailed. I was tired just watching them jump around and then collapse on the floor a dozen times in a row. Such fun!
On Sunday, our friends Lia and Mike watched Ellie for a few hours while we went to a show at Purdue. It was nice to get out for a "last hurrah" before baby comes... and it was even better to see these pictures later and know how much fun Ellie had with her friend Colin!
Here she is getting ready to catch Colin as he went down the slide. And (below) these two are totally rapt by an episode of Dora that Ellie talked the group into watching.
A little doctor's checkup never hurt anyone...
And, of course, Lego towers had to be built. Glad to see these two having so much fun!
Thanks again to the Hansons!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Moose puppy

As I was working on organizing baby stuff this past week, I came across the moose costume we bought for Radar a few years back for Halloween. We decided Muzzy needed a turn playing dress-up, so here's Muzzy the Moose. Always good for a smile :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Waiting game

One week out from the arrival of Baby No. 2! I always like to add "or less" to that statement, but I don't know how likely it is that I'll go into labor early. I was only dilated a little over 1 cm at my doctor's check this morning, so I've got a ways to go... but given how late in the game we are, I'm definitely ready for our little one to arrive. Unlike with my first pregnancy, I've had some serious bouts of contractions this past week. Nothing regular or concerning, just the body getting ready for the main event. We'll keep you all posted!

Here's the Week 38: Leek update...
Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she's over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you'll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.

Wondering what color your baby's eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she's born with brown eyes, they'll likely stay brown. If she's born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she's 9 months old. That's because a child's irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she's born, but they usually won't get "lighter" or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

P.S. Ellie had gray eyes until she was over a year old, so I'm very interested to see those peepers on our new little guy or gal :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The sledding continued this past weekend when we got a "big" (for Indiana) snowfall. The snow was wiped out by a thunderstorm (!) on Sunday night, but now there's some coming down again... so maybe daddy and Ellie can get some more hillside fun in again soon.

Here are a couple videos of the brave sledding duo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Water park

We took Brian — er, Ellie — to a local indoor water park this past weekend. Yes, the outing was technically meant for Ellie to get her swimming fix... But Brian loves him some water slides :)
Of course, Ellie was a big fan of the shallow water activities. We visited a facility attached to one of the hotel's in town. And while the admission rate was a little steep, we figured it would be fun to try out and give our fish-baby some time in the water. Ellie had a blast playing in the water, even though it was pretty cold and her lips were turning purple after awhile! She still didn't want to get out. But finally Brian took her in to the hot tub area to swim, which luckily wasn't too hot for her to spend a little time in, and she thawed out (as did Brian!)These two had a blast! I mostly stayed on deck, since I don't have a suit that fits right now and didn't want to pay another full adult admission to the park.... But I did dip my feet in the hot tub for a few minutes while B+E were in there, and it was wonderful :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Potty training tales

I've been afraid to post about all of the success we've had so far in Ellie's potty training... because I don't want to jinx it! But Ellie is doing awesome. Around Christmastime we realized that she'd plateaued with the pull-ups we were using. She would go on the potty sometimes, but often she'd refuse to even try. We knew it was a risk to switch to big-girl underwear, but we decided to go for it. Ellie was excited to pick out Dora and Minnie Mouse underwear. And in the three weeks she's been wearing them we've had just a handful of accidents. What a big girl! We're still using diapers at night, and that will probably last a while, but the decrease in diaper changes during the day is amazing :)
And I don't mean to make it sound like this has been easy. Ellie is plenty stubborn and sometimes refuses to go even when it's been hours since her last potty visit. During those times I usually make her sit with me near the potty and wait -- no toys, no games, just waiting it out until she admits she has to go.
The most comical accident she's had so far happened at school this past week. We've talked plenty with her about how she has to tell her teachers when she needs to go to the potty. When we asked her after this accident why she didn't tell anyone she had to go, Ellie told us she did inform someone. Unfortunately, the person she told was Olivia -- one of her 2-year-old classmates. Oops.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Me and my gal

Just a fun shot of me and Ellie on the teeter-totter at the park before we got all this snowy, rainy and windy weather. Cheese!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Zoo animal party

Ellie went to her friend Sydney's birthday party last weekend. It was very cool. Her parents held it at Lafayette parks facility where the nearby zoo could send four animals for the kids to learn about and even pet! Brave Ellie touched all of them -- a snake, lizard, hedgehog and armadillo.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Countdown time

Doctor told us at this morning's appointment that she's scheduled to induce me on Feb. 3. Just two more weeks until we get to meet our newest little mystery baby! And it's pretty cool that our babies' birthdays will now be Aug. 3 and Feb. 3.
Despite fighting a cold and having to work late nights at work this week, I'm feeling OK in this 37th week. I didn't gain any weight between my last two doctor's visits and I'm so glad to see that number on the scale tapering off. I've been growing like gangbusters, but the weight plateau near the end is normal and usually just means some of the amniotic fluid is taking its leave. I know baby boy or girl in there is feeling cramped because the kicks/pushes I'd been feeling are much different now. It's more like a body shift or nudge now when I feel the baby move. (It still thrills me, though less-so in the middle of the night when I'm trying to fall back asleep...)
I also found out today that my test for Group B strep was positive, which just means that I'll have to get some IV antibiotics in the hospital before the birth to prevent passing an infection onto the baby. Doc said it's not from anything I did or didn't do in the pregnancy, just one of those things. I'm taking comfort in the fact that a friend recently dealt with the same thing during the birth of her daughter and said it was no big deal. Can't add any stress to my life right now... just have to keep my eye on the prize!

Here's the latest update from the experts -- we'll see if Baby #2 follows suit with Ellie and has lots of black hair to start only to turn into a total blondie.

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don't be surprised if your baby's hair isn't the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Given the thunderstorm and 50-degree days we've had since this past weekend... the sledding pics seem a bit dated, but I'm so glad Brian and Ellie got a few runs in while there was still white stuff on the ground here. They had so much fun!

And I was happy to tag along as the official photog on this trip, but maybe Ellie and I will be able to sled later this winter. Hope everyone enjoyed the snow while it lasted :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Our ultrasound appointment today had plenty of drama. Luckily none surrounding the baby's health... our almost-6-pound baby is doing great and expected to continue growing like a weed!
But after months of wondering whether we were having a boy or a girl... and then hearing during an ultrasound appointment late last year that it was a boy... we're now being told it's probably a GIRL. Our doc said she's sure that the look she got last time indicated boy parts, but she's also convinced by the pictures from this latest ultrasound that it appears to be a girl. So all she would say on record Thursday was: It's a baby. Looks like we're having a surprise after all!!
We're both thrilled either way. However, I do need to reorganize some of the baby stuff I pulled out and take Ellie's old girl clothes out of storage (and get some back from a friend I lent them to, in case we wind up needing them soon). But none of this is a big deal. We're just thrilled to see our baby and hear good things from the doctor.
Given the baby's size, my doctor is leaning toward inducing me to deliver a week early again. This means our baby will probably arrive sometime at the very end of January or the first few days of February. Three weeks!! We'll know more about the timing after next week's appointment.
For now, I'm happy to share these humorous pics from the ultrasound. This baby is very active and liked hiding his or her face from the tech, so we didn't get the great shots that we did during Ellie's ultrasounds.
This was the best face shot, despite the "get out of my face" look the baby is giving us!

These next two show the cute little hand, and how the stinker likes to cover his/her face!And, finally, here's the Week 36 update:
Your baby is still packing on the pounds — at the rate of about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy covering of hair that covered her body as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that covered and protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Your baby swallows both of these substances, along with other secretions, resulting in a blackish mixture, called meconium, will form the contents of her first bowel movement.

Hard at work

Our friend Dusty pitched in his tools and expertise on Sunday to help Brian wrap up our downstairs bathroom remodel. The project started last April... and we're really hoping to wrap it up before the baby arrives! The molding is all in place now, and Dusty also replaced an outdated outlet. So we've just got some "minor" detail jobs to do and a drain to place in the shower before this room is fully functional again. Ellie was eager to lend a hand, which the boys let her do when nothing dangerous was going on. Good thing she got a new tool set for Xmas!

And doesn't she look great in Dusty's work boots?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Funny co-workers

One said to me this afternoon, "Don't take this the wrong way, but you can really tell now that you're pregnant."

And another told me about seeing the college student intern sitting at my desk the other day and thinking at first that it was me with a much shorter haircut. His assumption was based on a) his desk is all the way across the room, so he didn't get a good look, and b) she had food spread out across the desk like I always do these days.

Yes, both of these co-workers are male.


A little something fun for your Wednesday. Ellie flying :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Potty training

We took a big step today in Ellie's potty training. She is wearing big girl underwear for the first time!
She got to pick them out at the store herself last night, and not surprisingly we wound up with a pack of Dora's adorned ones. Brian got her ready for school this morning and reported a very excited girl when it came to putting on the pants... but then she told him about 2 minutes later that she'd peed in them. Oops. Brian got her cleaned up and tried not to have her feel too bad about it, but explained that she needs to warn daddy or mommy or her teachers before going in her pants. He sent her into daycare with extra underwear and pants, and I fully expected to pick up a bunch of dirty items along with Ellie when I got her at lunchtime today. Imagine my surprise when I found no bagged-up clothing items in her cubby! She apparently did great going on the potty at school this morning. She went again for me before nap when we got home... but I decided to put a diaper on for nap just in case. (Glad I did since it was very wet when she woke up.) Now we'll see how the afternoon progresses back in big girl pants.
I'm so proud of our Ellie!

Celery Bog

Ellie and I took advantage of more spring-like weather this past weekend by catching up with my friend Amy and her daughter, Sydney, at the Celery Bog nature center over in West Lafayette. We took a slow, somewhat muddy walk along some of the trails and got to check out ducks and "gooses." Ellie was thrilled. Sydney just turned 5, but she was patient with Ellie and very sweet showing her the sights and teaching her about her binoculars and net and a bat house (!) along one of the trails.

Holding hands :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Lazy weekend morning

Most of our Saturday morning was spent playing puzzles with Ellie, while the dogs rested on the nearby chair and observed.
We also found time to try out some of Ellie's hair clips. She wanted to wear them all at once!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The coming changes...

I have been all over the board these past couple weeks. My work schedule was off for a week and then I actually got to be off for a whole week, and home with Ellie. We had so much fun together on some mini-adventures. We went exotic places like the downtown library for toddler time (stories AND a craft), the fabric store and even a "new" park yesterday (pictures to come). Almost every day she's been home with me Ellie has said at some point, "Mommy, I don't have to go to school today," phrased partly as a question and a demand. That had me wondering how she feels about the place we've been sending here almost every week for the past 29 months... but my mommy guilt was also put aside somewhat when I would see her get bored with me during the days and start to try to engage her dolls or the dogs into whatever make-believe scenario she was currently engaged in. I think the interaction with other kids has been great for her at daycare, especially as she's gotten older... But there are so many gems of her personality that Brian and I miss by not being around her all the time. I guess that's just one of the balancing acts of parenthood.
I've been trying to figure out how to write about my amazement with Ellie these days, but I'm having a hard time with it. Our toddler is growing into a precocious, creative, sensitive, hilarious and (at times) demanding little girl.
This past week I've caught her consoling one of her toys, a block with a duck inside it, by saying: "Oh, the duck is sad. He misses his momma and daddy. It's OK, little duck. We'll find them soon." Heart strings, right?! I know part of this is from a "Dora" storyline, but the voice and attitude she has while playing these games totally amazes me and melts my heart.
Of course, there are also dozens of times during the day when she totally frustrates me. She definitely knows most of the time what she is or isn't allowed to do... but that doesn't stop her from heading in the wrong direction frequently. And I'll catch her giving me looks to see if I'm noticing her bad behavior, and then wait until the last possible second (usually after I've finished my warning count of 1-2-3) to abandon whatever she's doing wrong. I'm sure my mom will smile reading this and thinking about the times I presented exactly the same "challenges" growing up.

But even when I have to scold Ellie or implement a dreaded "time out," all I usually want to do is scoop her up and gives hugs and kisses. I'm still in awe of the love I have for this child and the fact that it seems to get bigger every day of her life. I didn't know I was capable of such total devotion until she entered our world. Now I find myself sometimes overwhelmed with the idea of either splitting that love between two children or shortchanging one. Don't get me wrong, I've always wanted Ellie to have a sibling... but now that the hour is upon us I can't help feeling a little guilty and sad about the changes coming. She won't be our only one anymore, and I know this transition will be hard on her in some ways. Of course, having grown up with plenty of siblings (and plenty of love from my mom and dad), I know that the dynamic will ultimately balance out and she'll have more than enough attention over the years from her parents, brother and all of the extended family. But I still feel bad about how this will all seem to Ellie at the beginning when suddenly mom can't always free up two hands for her... and this baby brother goes from a theoretical lump in mom's belly to a real, screaming baby around "her" house 24/7.

I don't doubt, however, that Ellie is doing great so far thanks to -- or in spite of? ;) -- the hard work Brian and I put in as parents. That much is clear. And it gives me a whole lot of confidence (despite what this rambling post my otherwise indicate) as we head into babyhood all over again.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Outdoor adventures

A week ago we decided to take Ellie and the dogs for a walk, and we almost froze in the sleety rain and wind during our brief stint outdoors. (Although Radar did cooperate pretty well while Ellie held his leash. Only one near-escape!)On Friday, I took Ellie over to the park in just a sweatshirt! Can't believe the springtime weather we are having in early January. The park was mobbed, and we had a ton of fun on the swings and slides.

And the wagon turned into more of a toy than a mode of transportation. Great to get some fresh air and exercise!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Belly shot

For those curious, here's what the baby boy looks like these days in momma's belly.
We get another ultrasound next Thursday, and I can't wait to get some more up-close-and-personal pics of the baby :)

Week 35: Honeydew

From the experts this week:

Your baby doesn't have much room to maneuver now that he's over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (pick up a honeydew melon). Because it's so snug in your womb, he isn't likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times he kicks should remain about the same. His kidneys are fully developed now, and his liver can process some waste products. Most of his basic physical development is now complete — he'll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Man, they aren't kidding when they talk about the cramped quarters in my belly by this week. Whenever baby boy really starts to get moving, we can see huge lumps of feet, knees, elbows and baby bum bulge out from my stomach. I think it kind of creeps Brian out :)
I've losing steam in these final weeks but trying to take it easy where I can. I have the week off from work but have spent much of it chasing after Ellie. That's OK, though, because I'm trying to soak up as much dedicated Ellie-time in these next few weeks as I can since my hands will be really full when baby arrives. I'm anticipating (and dreading) a tough transition period for our little girl when she has to share mom and dad with the new baby. But I'm counting on the support of family and friends to help get us through.
Thanks so much for all of the offers of help that have already come in. We're truly blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chicken and old friends

I think we should offer this one to Chick-fil-A for their next ad campaign :) We met up there Monday with our friends Ben and Janet (and sons Micah and Isaac) while they stopped in town to visit family for the holidays. The kids had a lot of fun together eating chicken and fries, and then playing in the kids area. And that meant some quality catch-up time for the adults.
Great to see you all!