Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Questions

I have been asked several questions lately and thought I'd compile them here and answer them.

How are you feeling?
Honestly, I have not felt this happy since I was pregnant with (or nursing) Natalie. Physically, I am feeling pretty great as well. There are minor pains here and there, and only on occasion (usually after sitting for our 3 hour adoption class) do I have such pain that I have trouble walking. But even then, yes, I have a smile on my face and usually laugh at myself for walking like an old woman. Thankfully, Mike is there to help me get up and going, and once I get moving the pain subsides rather quickly. Not sure I would complain about ANYTHING pregnancy-related. If you'd like a more concrete reference to how great I'm feeling, I have photographic proof that I was on a dance-floor this past weekend doing the "cha-cha slide" with friends.



*ahem* Moving right along...

Are you taking a birthing class?
No. We did that before Natalie was born, and I felt like it was a waste of time and money. (They were trying to educate us on something my body already knows how to do...labeling it this or that doesn't change much) I will admit that I really did enjoy the 30 minutes of walking around the L&D floor and knowing this was where we would meet our baby. It was nice to be familiar with what to expect, so this time around I think we are going to try to take Natalie to a big-sibling class so she knows what to expect.

Do you mind when people touch your belly?
For the most part, I don't mind at all! I truly appreciate others recognizing the beauty of this life inside of me and feel her kick. In fact, I have been able to see my best friend several times this month, and she has felt our baby kick quite a bit. We're close enough that I just grabbed her hand and put it on my tummy. What surprised me was Em's strong emotional reaction to the kicking. Apparently, that was the first time she had ever felt a baby kick from inside the womb. So when she got to feel the baby hiccup several times, I could have sworn she misted up. These kinds of interactions are just as precious to me as well. So no, touching my tummy does NOT offend me.

Are you getting professional maternity pictures taken?
No! Apparently this is a big trend right now. It usually involves little clothing, to show off the belly, hold your hands in the shape of a heart over the belly, and try to be sexy at the same time. To me, pregnancy certainly doesn't feel sexy. So I try to keep my clothes on as much as possible. Thank you.
Seriously though, I realize the point of these photos are to honor this special time in a woman's life, and I respect that. Instead, I have Mike take a profile picture every 2-3 weeks to show how much the baby is growing, so I can put those in her keepsake box to look back on when she's older. Natalie already loves looking at the ones I took of her in my tummy.

Are you planning to breastfeed?
Oh goodness, yes!! I nursed Natalie for 12.5 months and would love to be able to nurse all of my babies that long. There are so many things that can thwart those plans, but I certainly hope it will work out just as well this time around.

What are you naming the baby?
Mike and I have a fantastic name picked out! You will find out when she is born! :)

Are you having a baby shower?
When we found out this baby would be sticking around, I called my best friend up and practically screamed our news. Her response was a calm, "I am throwing you a baby shower." I laughed it off, (because who throws baby showers when it's not your first baby? To add to that, its another girl!) However, she has insisted that there are many friends and family that want to celebrate this life with us, especially with everything we've been through. So I have agreed as long as it's not focused on gifts or shower games. I am now looking forward to spending a few hours with some of the most amazing women I know!

Who will be in the room with you when you deliver?
Mike, my doctor, and a nurse or two. That's it. I am very strong in my opinion that the only people that need to be present for the birth of a baby are the two people that created that baby. If I could have my way, we wouldn't even need the doctor or nurses there. I found a quote today that expressed EXACTLY how I feel:
Giving birth is as intimate as lovemaking
You will need privacy and support and tenderness
Labor is not a spectator sport
Your partner is not your "coach"
I don't need a support team of family members and friends there. I don't say that to be insulting to anyone, but what I mean is that my husband is all the support I need. Once our baby girl is here, I will gladly (and proudly) share her with our family. But until then, it's just Mike and I. This is how it was with Natalie's birth, and this is how we want it again for this little girl.

Expectant Mother Parking

...is so pointless. Walking is GOOD for pregnant mothers, and if you need to park that close (because you shouldn't be walking long distances) then you shouldn't be out shopping.

Now, give me a parking sign that says:

"New Mother's Juggling
Groceries, Baby, Car seat,

Stroller, Diaper Bag and
Other Childre
n"


and I'll be happy. THAT would actually make sense.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Interesting Phone Call

When Natalie was born, we donated her cord blood. It was something I hadn't even thought of until my OB encouraged us (while I was in labor) to go ahead and do it. It didn't cost a thing, the blood bank paid for everything. ***Cord blood contains adult stem cells, which can be used for a stem cell transplant for someone with a severe illness. In many cases, it can cure them of their disease. ***

Fast forward 4 years.

Someone from the cord blood bank called to ask about Natalie's current health because her cord blood was a match (and being considered) for another child with leukemia. I was happy to share Natalie is a very healthy little girl, and glad our decision could potentially save a life.

As I hung up the phone, I was overwhelmed just thinking about what it might be like to have a child with leukemia...or any disease. I have prayed for them many times today. My heart goes out to them, wherever they are, and I hope they find their cure.

Ughh!

Yet another reason (to add to my long list) I am very pro-breastfeeding! Even those of us who chose to formula-feed should never have to worry about something disgusting like this!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Family pics

These pictures were all taken a little over a week ago before church. Every-now-and-then we try and grab a few pictures of us in our Sunday clothes. You know, to balance out all the other pictures of us that aren't so flattering. ;)







Mom and Natalie posing in front of the mums they planted the day before. Actually, mom planted, Natalie dug about 10 holes in the dirt:


It's rare that we get a picture of just the two of us...still didn't this time! There's obviously three in this pic! :) Hello tummy!

Love my girls!

Two of my closest friends:

I have been able to spend more time with them in the past month than ever before. Weddings (and all the parties and prep that go into them) are so much fun!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

No caffeine for me, thanks.

I never drink coffee, rarely have soda, and mostly just drink water, O.J., and soy milk. So during this pregnancy, I have enjoyed the occasional soda (occasional for me means maybe once a week) because caffeine isn't at all harmful in small amounts. OB's just tell the soda addicts and bed-heads-who-rely-on-3+-cups-every-morning to cut back. Not a problem here.

However, lately this little one is getting strong! (yeah!!!) Her kicks pack quite a punch and I have one area on my tummy in particular (where her feet are) that gets very sore. Last week I was having trouble falling asleep because I couldn't get into a position that knocked her off balance enough to stop pummeling me. I say all of this with good humor and a lot of love. Truly! But all of this happens when I don't have any caffeine in my system, so imagine when I realized my mistake of drinking a soda the other night! Ouch! I'll stick with water, thank you. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Craigslist Deals!

I started shopping for baby things off of craigslist back in July and now have almost all of the bigger items we need. You'd think that because since she's our 2nd daughter, we'd already have everything, but several things have broken or there were a few things we did without when Natalie was a baby. Everything we bought so far has been in excellent condition. All they needed was any fabric pieces thrown into the wash, and I always wipe down any surface area with Lysol wipes.

This is the baby swing we bought several months ago. It is the Cadillac of baby swings, and we paid $65 for this one. (original price was anywhere between $130-150) It does about everything short of changing diapers.


The glider & ottoman was $90 ($250-350 brand new) plus I spent an extra $20 to reupholster:


The biggest deal was Natalie's bedroom furniture. We LOVE the quality and how well it works in her room. We paid around $400 for 7 pieces of furniture, which would have been thousands of dollars if we bought brand new:


The sit n' stand stroller was another recent purchase. The lady said she used it only 3 times because her kids fought over who got to stand in the back. LOL! It has absolutely NO dents, marks, or scratches on it. Brand new condition! I'm not a big fan of the fact that our older car seat somewhat clashes colors, but that will only be used for the first few months. (then the car seat bar is removed and a child tray is installed for the front seat) I paid $65 for this stroller ($130-$150 new)


The same lady that sold us the stroller, also sold us a Baby Einstein play gym. She was a sweetie and even installed new batteries for us. I paid $10 for this, and although I don't think they sell this play gym anymore, this brand still sells for $40-$70 new.


When Natalie was a newborn, I followed the back-to-sleep advice. UNTIL I found her choking on spit-up...and I had only been out of sight for less than 30 seconds! That was the last straw. I had ENOUGH of going against my intuition to appease what the pediatricians were telling me to do. However, I could not shake the fear of SIDS, so I did some research online and discovered that in Australia and the UK, breathing/movement monitors were popular. I ordered a used one through e-bay and it worked wonderfully for us! I never slept so sound! I paid a LOT for that monitor, but it was worth it. I sold it to a friend a while ago, and have been noticing this trend of monitors is gaining popularity in the US and has been for the last 3-5 years.

I have had my eye on one in particular and looked it up on craigslist just to see if I could get lucky. There was a lady selling hers BRAND NEW (never been opened) because they received it as a double gift at a recent baby shower. She was asking $55 for it. (ridiculously under priced!) I jumped on this and got it yesterday. It was, indeed, unopened and works perfectly. Sleep monitors sell anywhere from $130-$200 new!


Gone are the days of going through rummage sales! I love that I can find exactly what I want online, meet in a very public (safe) place and get what I need for a cheap price! In the past few months alone, we have saved between $1500-$2000. Nice!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WHO did I buy this for??





Natalie is loving the baby gym I bought last week. She knows its for the baby, but I told her she could play with it now, and share it with the baby when she's here.

I have it all cleaned up and put away now. I got tired of tripping over it (already) and then Cole kept stealing the green pillow and running off with it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I don't suffer in silence...

I had a doctor's apt today with an ENT specialist. Over the past 12-18 months, I have suspected I had a polyp (gross I know!) in my nose/sinus. I have had 5 colds in the past year, and 4 of those have turned into sinus infections. What bothers me more than that is the constant 'tickle' that makes my eyes water and nose run. Pregnancy has only made these issues worse. It has come to the point of making me miserable most of the time, not to mention it's embarrassing! So! I had my dad look in my nose (lucky him) last week and he confirmed the polyp and told me to go see my ENT. Thanks Dad, for tolerating my cheap-ness and not making me go see my regular PCP. :)

The nurse was getting my history and Natalie asked me if she could tell her something. I said sure and this is what Natalie said:

"My Daddy was stuck in traffic today so I had to come here with Monnie. I miss him. My daddy is my best friend. He can do ANYthing, did you know that?"

So the nurse was 'awwwing' over her, and even though Natalie wasn't the patient, the next thing I know, Natalie got to pick out a toy from their toy bin. What!?! I was considering telling miss nurse how great MY daddy is when the doctor came in.

He started things off generic enough by looking in my ears, then throat, when he announced, "well, this definitely isn't an adenoid issue!" (I have nothing in the back of my throat...no tonsils, no adenoids, no uvula) Oops, forgot to put that surgery down on my medical history! In my defense I was distracted by my daughter while filling out that paperwork. But yes! A T&A would be a relevant surgery for an ENT to know about. *forehead smack!*

When he looked up my nose, he didn't get very far before spraying some antihistamine up there. Holy smokes people! That tickled so bad, I was miserable and had tears rolling down my cheeks. Natalie thought I was hurting and jumped off the chair to hold my hand telling me, "it's alright, Monnie, it'll be better soon." I explained I was fine and we moved on to the next torture procedure...only after he sprayed my nose again. Really, that annoying polyp was already looking like something I could tolerate for the rest of my life.

He picked up a light and a mirror and told me he was going to look in the back of my throat...so just to breathe very shallow so I don't gag. He stuck the mirror ALL the way back and maneuvered it around to look up on the other side of my soft pallet. This did not bother me a bit, as I don't seem to have much of a gag reflex. I never have, and I suspect it's because of the lack of "stuff" back there. But I was laughing on the inside, thinking of certain people I know who would have left at this point. LOL

Then he announces that he will be using a scope to look up into my sinuses. Yep! He puts a rubber hose up my nose on each side to confirm that I have one large polyp (that even wiggles around when I breathe which is why it tickles all the time!) and some inflammation on the other side. Apparently quite a bit of my nasal passage is blocked on both sides. Lovely.

So the plan is to wait until this baby is born so we can do a CT of my sinuses before they surgically remove the polyp. Sounds great--I'll be knocked out for the surgery. In the mean time, at least for the next couple months I will blend in with anyone else suffering from allergies. :)

As we were leaving, the nice security guard at the front desk asked me if Natalie could have a sucker. I said sure and helped her pick out a flavor she'd like. He had her take another one for her little sister, but told her to eat it for her. LOL He was such a sweet man....trying to fill her pockets with suckers! Our next stop was at the bank, and the teller sent her a sucker as well. She did pretty well today! I, as the patient, did not get anything...other than the privilege of paying the co-pay.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Oh Natalie!

These are two separate conversations I had with my daughter today.

Natalie: Monnie, do you want to see Lady & the Tramp?
Me: (loading the dishwasher) Sure hon, we can watch it.
Natalie: LOOK!
*Natalie was standing in the kitchen with her shorts around her knees, pointing to the picture on her panties...which happened to be Lady & the Tramp! Silly me for assuming she was talking about the movie!*
Me: (laughing) Ahh, very nice panties Natalie. I'm glad you like them.

Later tonight after dinner:
Natalie: Monnie, I am SOOOO full!! Look at my tummy! *lifts shirt*
Me: Yes, I see! You ate a good dinner.
Natalie: *pushes tummy even further out* Look, my tummy is almost as big as yours now!
Me: Yeah, almost.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cleaning Lady

That's my new title! At least from my mom. ;) I make the trip out there every 3-4 weeks to clean their house top to bottom. (usually during a couple days that Mike works so we can still enjoy our weekends together) Mom and I both love this arrangement! I love having the extra cash to spend, and she loves not having to spend her weekends cleaning after working 40 hours/week.

The afternoon we got there, it had just rained so Natalie was splashing in the mini-puddles on their deck. She loves her new rain boots!




Mom and Dad have a whole fleet of hummingbirds that enjoy the feeders they put out. There are always 5-6 buzzing around at a time. It's fun to watch them because they are SO territorial for being such tiny little things!


Natalie watching the birds:


This is probably one of the best pictures I have taken of her. It will be enlarged and framed on our wall shortly. :)


"My lovely lady lumps" (LOL! Those of you our age will get the reference):


There are walking sticks ALL over the place at their house. Very neat to watch!


Friday evening, we took a walk in the neighborhood. This dog is NOT Cole. (even though they look almost identical) Meet Bailey. She is my parents neighbor-dog and they love her more than Cole because she doesn't come into their house. LOL She's tied up at the moment because she's been getting into trouble down at another neighbors pond...apparently bothering some fish!


We expected to see Bailey, she's always around and VERY friendly. What caught us off guard was the big chocolate lab and lab puppy that came out to greet us! The neighbors are dog-sitting the big one, and just got the puppy a couple weeks ago. Her name is Bella.

The big one ran toward us barking ferociously when we first met, and I laughed because I recognize the "front" labs put on. After 20 seconds of sniffing and me talking to him, the lab wiggles came out and we were great buddies. They are such loving, gentle giants...but to those who aren't familiar with them, very intimidating too! (I once had a guy jump over the porch railing of our house to get away from our barking Cole)

Natalie crawling all over PawPaw before bedtime...we were in the middle of getting jammies on, and somehow she escaped before we could get pants on her!


Snuggling before bed while watching a little tv:

Momma-bear has resurfaced

I will be venting in this post. You've been warned. ;)

Saturday morning my mother, daughter, and I went to the park to do a little fishing. The weather was beautiful. So absolutely perfect that we didn't mind our pitiful catch of the day being a leaf! Mom and I were talking and watching Natalie give up on fishing (after about 5 minutes) to go pick flowers and throw them in the lake. She was also fascinated with the tadpoles swimming around. Such perfection in the little moments. (If I can find a way to upload pictures from my phone, I will be posting pictures)

So along come two tweenage boys walking along the path behind us. They were talking loudly, and I kept hearing the f-word along with some other colorful language. It feels like I have to put up with this language ALL the time where we live. I am always distracting Natalie and trying to protect her little ears. I don't even bother saying anything to those people, because it would just draw attention to their language, and probably cause a confrontation where they would spew more of it at me. But we weren't in my city...we were in my hometown, at a quiet park enjoying everything about the day, and I had HAD enough.

After the 3rd f-word, I turned around and yelled, "exCUSE me?!" They didn't realize I was talking to them, and out came (surprise!) another f-word in their conversation. I yelled even louder, "WATCH YOUR MOUTH!!" The one kid barely glanced at me, but muttered "sorry" and they kept walking. I didn't hear anymore foul language. After that, they stayed on the opposite side of the lake, walking back and forth, but never circling around like everyone else does. It was clear they were avoiding me, which my mom found amusing. I mentioned something to her about the stupidity of provoking a momma bear. Seriously. Not to mention a very pregnant momma-bear with hormones running rampant through her body! Really? Bring it on. Stupid tweenage boys. Ugh!

Mike and I have many friends from all different walks of life. Most of them do not use foul language, some do, and a select few could make sailors blush. But EVERY ONE of them use "filters" when in public and especially around children. It's not difficult. It's called common courtesy...and I'm sick of the lack of it!

So the next day, we were shopping in a Carter's store before we met Mike for dinner. I had told Natalie she would like it there because they always have toys on a table she can play with. So we get inside and we find a lego table with 12 legos on it. (if you have a child, you know that would entertain them for about 30 seconds before they will be hanging on your leg, begging to leave) There were a few other things on the table, a bear, puzzle, and block train, but they were still wrapped up in packaging. Natalie kept asking if she could play with those toys, and we told her probably not, but I said we could ask. (usually at these stores, they have all kinds of toys opened up to play with, and then more on the shelves that you can buy)

So Natalie waits patiently for the store clerk to come out of the back office. When she does, Natalie says, "Excuse me, may I please play with those toys on the table? They aren't open." I was so proud of her for being so polite, what happened next shocked me! The lady brushes past us (sighing), goes over to the table and scoops up all the unopened toys muttering, "Some kid must have put them here. They don't belong here. No. You can't play with them." She walked off with the toys and left my daughter with her bottom lip trembling and tears running down her cheeks. I said (rather loudly--oops) "Oh that was nice!" Then spent the next few minutes consoling Natalie. I can understand if they didn't want the toys opened, but she could have been nice about it and maybe left the toys there to look at. Oh, and my FOUR-year-old showed more respect and kindness than YOU, lady!

When I got in line to check out, I ended up with miss rudeness herself (and she knew I was upset with her...it was obvious) so she proceeds to try and make up by ooohing and ahhing over Natalie. She asks her about the baby sister on the way, how old she is, etc., etc. I didn't say a word. I'm just fed-up with the lack of decency and respect.

OK. Rant over.

The view from here...


...is getting rather lumpy! :)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Keeping it classy...

At church last Sunday, I took Natalie potty after we picked her up from her Sunday school class. While we were washing our hands, I noticed the lady next to me was wearing a t-shirt. On her t-shirt was EVERY character from the show 'Family Guy.' I'm not kidding.

Fast forward 10 minutes on the drive home.

Mike: So while you were in the bathroom, this lady comes out, and on her t-shirt is---
Sarah: the family guy characters! I KNOW! Right?!
(we both crack up)

Oh how I love our immature moments! We couldn't get over the irony and uhm (dare I type it?) TACKINESS of someone wearing a shirt like that to church. TO CHURCH! Sure we probably all have tacky shirts, but most of us also have mother's that wouldn't hesitate to beat-us-senseless if we wore them to church. So pardon us for being a tad judgemental. It was beat ingrained into us since we were children that you dress your best on Sundays. :)