Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Through the Years

Not my favorite holiday, but boy do I love the costume part of it! I have such fun brainstorming a theme and sewing their costumes. This year Avery opted for a manufactured, highly-marketed costume, and since we already had it in the dress-up box, I saved my time and effort for Eleanor's, which will be super-simple anyways. I'm tired these days. :)  The big reveal will come tonight.

But to tide you over, a look back through the past few years....

Avery's very first Halloween. I had the chef's coat, so she got to be the lobster.

Mrs. Potato Head, age 1.5
showing off the high heel shoe covers, which didn't last long
Eleanor's first Halloween. A crow and a scarecrow. Ages 6 weeks and 2.5 yrs

Last year, and the chicken costume was worth all the trouble to make it

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bumpdates, Weeks 12-15

15 Weeks - garage sale and then accident that weekend, so never managed to get a pic

And also - I need to flip these pics and take future ones facing the other direction. Mentally, it's weird to see a progression of growth going to the left.

The arrival of the second trimester was such a welcome blessing. More energy and the nausea is gone. I'm showing so much earlier this time around, to the point where one lady raised her eyebrows when I told her how far along I am. 

Sleep is hard to come by already - I don't remember it being this hard to get a good night's sleep this early on. 

I'm sort of in maternity clothes, which I really thought I'd fully be in by now. Maternity pants fall frequently, but most of my regular pants are too tight. I always look like the letter "S" when pregnant, so I'm not happy with most of my wardrobe choices. 

And, as early as it is, I've started feeling the baby move. Not the tap-tap-tap that is so easy to recognize at first, but a weird turning in my lower abdomen. Thankful for this sweet gift, since I started feeling that before the accident, last week, and then have felt it since the accident as well. 

Brainstorming nursery ideas, but won't put anything into action til after Christmas. Girls will share a room again, like they did last year, since their sleep habits are more or less in line now. This will hopefully let them keep sleeping when the baby is up and down all night. 

Looking forward to the rest of this trimester - this is when pregnancy is fun.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

And another makes 5

We're having another baby! 

Old news to the Facebook and Instagram crowd, as the blog takes the backseat these days as far as updates go, but yes, for posterity, I can't gloss over this *tiny* little tidbit. We are so thrilled to grow our family, though I confess: I waited three whole days to spill the beans to Luke, mostly because I got the budget talk two days in a row, the same day I found out. Didn't think that telling him another person was joining our family would ease his stress any. ;) His mom offered to watch the girls so we could go on a date, so I told him over yummy pizza when he was calm and happy.

And his reaction?


I feel so blessed to have a husband that excited for another baby. Especially since this one surprised us.

Luke's mom wins for best reaction. I will re-enact it for you if you ask. That makes 10 grand-babies on Luke's side, with my mom rapidly catching up at 7.

The first trimester was rough this time around. I haven't thrown up in any of my pregnancies, nor did I this time, but instead of mild nausea for a week or two (both with Avery and Eleanor - I know, be jealous), it was all day, constant, never-letting-up, for 10 weeks. And nearly passed out a few times at church, and at home, and in the grocery store. And then I got a stomach bug, just to keep it interesting. But, that bug also took care of the weight I gained more rapidly due to the massive amounts of food I consumed in an effort to ease the nausea. I'm showing MUCH earlier than last time...I'll have to dig around and do a side-by-side comparison of belly pics. My abs have waved the white flag of surrender. As long as I don't tell people how far along I am, I just have a nice little bump and I let them assume I'm about halfway. Thankfully, the midwife told me I'm not measuring too big and that my uterus size is right on track. I was starting to worry that Luke's wish for a double-digit birth weight was being granted.

I started feeling better after the stomach bug; it seemed to knock out all the nausea, and I'm back to eating a normal, healthy diet and walking some in the mornings as time allows. With the weather cooling down, we'll start walking in the evenings too. No major cravings, though during the first trimester potatoes always sounded good, as did cereal. Smells bothered me more than usual (not really much of an issue in the my last pregnancies), and again, marinara sauce - not really a winner. That means no pizza either, unless it's a white pizza. I usually crave red meat, but not so much this time. Salt sounds better than sweet most days, like it did with Eleanor. I wanted nothing but sweet with Avery. Interesting fact - I had diabetes with Eleanor, but not with Avery. Wonder if I'll end up with the pregger-betes again. Salads rocked my world a couple weeks ago, and hoping that craving comes back soon. Better for me than craving pie or potato chips. Water gets boring, so sometimes I splurge and have a sparkling grapefruit water just for the fizz. Chipotle and I are best friends, as are good home-cooked comfort foods. I try to not splurge too much on the fatty meals, but nothing beats a good bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup (thanks, Nana!) or chicken pot pie, or beef stew.

We are going to use our doula, Sara, again. I'm sure we could handle labor fine, but I just love the element of calm and peace and confidence that she brings to the event. Seriously, she makes you feel like a rockstar. Delighted to have her be a part of our birth story again!

We are not going to find out the gender, either. It was so fun last time, and I figure if we have a boy, he certainly won't go naked for long thanks to generous grandparents.

We absolutely cannot wait to meet this baby, though I'm enjoying this pregnancy as if it is my last. Don't know that I will be able to talk the hubby into any more after this one.

Oh, and somehow the baby has been nicknamed Bruce Wayne. It's awesome to hear Avery tell people about mommy's baby, Bruce Wayne. Their eyes get really wide.

Today marks 15 weeks, due April 5 (which also happens to be my grandmother's birthday).

Avery at 4.5

Four was a hard transition for us. Six months later, we are in a better rhythm and I'm really enjoying this age now. I mean, I enjoy ALL the days. Every single one of them. :)

Avery started preschool in September, and a month later, she is still loving it. She wishes she could go every single day, and she has nothing but positive things to say about her time there. I am a big fan of her teacher who picked up on the fact that Avery has started reading (just a little bit - no novels here) and has asked how she can help support that outside of the class. Avery isn't as verbose on what goes on during the school day as she was at the beginning, but throughout the week she'll throw out some random fact that could only have come from school, so I know she's absorbing something at least. And hopefully she's not talking too much.

She and Eleanor love love love to play games together. All day long they are involved in some kind of make-believe, with Avery as the ringleader. I love seeing their friendship develop.

They still fight over toys and personal space, too, but it's become less of an issue in the past couple of months.

More and more I see fruit from training and prayers, and it's a sweet gift to watch her learn kindness and generosity. She's always been tender-hearted, but to see it extend to others is a true treat. Her energy is huge, so teaching her to be calm and considerate of others can be difficult. She is joyful and has a big personality. I pray that she will continue to live life joyfully and vibrantly and never lose that.

She loves to have something to snuggle with, so losing the lovey a few months ago was so sad; thankfully, she has gravitated towards whatever strikes her fancy that night, usually her kitty, though I've seen her curled around a book or a cup also. And this afternoon, she actually fell asleep during her quiet time. I went in to wake her, to which she replied, "I'm still tired. Will you snuggle with me?" Gladly, sweet girl, gladly.

She overheard me singing a lullaby to Eleanor one evening when she wouldn't settle down, so now every single night she asks me to sing the same song to her. It's become a wonderful ritual after storytime and prayers.

She still loves to dance. We've taken a break from ballet for the time being, but I am hoping to resume after Christmas.

She says she wants to be an artist when she grows up, and to paint faces. She loves to draw and color, and eventually I'll be the fun mom that pulls out real paint and glitter and other messy things. Maybe.

She is still a picky eater, and if she could eat only foods that belong with ketchup, she'd be one happy camper. However, she also thinks anything can be eaten with ketchup, so sometimes this is how we get vegetables down her. Fruit never has to be forced, thankfully.

After bath, if Luke helps them get ready for bed, he always warns the girls, "No monkey business!" Monkey business then ensues, of course, which involves lots of jumping on the bed and giggling.

Even when she doesn't nap, which is most days, she still takes forever to fall asleep, sometimes an hour or longer. She will sit and read in her bed quietly, though sometimes we catch her up and trying on her dress-up clothes.

And some favorites quotes from the past few months:

Daddy, why do my tears not fly off like an airplane? But on tv, those tears fly off like an airplane. (this one's a bit of a mystery)

Daddy, would you like to talk to me all the way to Nana's house?

Taco Bell isn't a very awesome place. (Must be because I craved bean burritos with green sauce during my pregnancy with her.)

She threw a huge tantrum a couple weeks back over only receiving 5 marshmallows (she wanted 10, because "5 is not my favorite number). She then chose zero marshmallows by her attitude which spiraled down into a complete and utter meltdown. We talked through it with her, and she voluntarily apologized for yelling at us and having a bad attitude and agreed that next time she would ask nicely. First thing the next morning, she came in and asked us, "May I have some marshmallows please? I just want 5 because yesterday I had a bad attitude so I think I'm good with just 5."  (Seriously, is she only 4?!)  Luke surprised her with some extras..."You gave me 11!" (HUGE grin)

Whew. I have to go potty from all that learning. (upon coming home from school)

We just adore our sweet Avery-girl!