Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Just Waiting...

Well we are 99% organized and settled in our home and with all the things I needed to reestablish on post. I have the girls' information updated with the childcare people so I can start to use some hourly care. I have gotten back into PWOC (Protestant Women of the Chapel), which is a weekly praise, worship, and Bible study time for ladies here. I have also gotten back into the routine of working out with a couple friends Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It's good accountability, good workouts, good friend time. They have kids too so it's a fun time for all.
We're still waiting to hear "for sure" about when Rich will be coming home. All through this deployment he has been prepared for/planning on coming home on the trail party (last guys) because of the jobs he's held for this whole year. Now, someone new may be changing things around, which could mean he'd come home main body (with most of the other soldiers). That would be great for us (heck yeah, come home at a year instead of adding a couple extra weeks!) but not great for him as he is the best one for the job of staying to wrap things up and has been almost looking forward to doing this part of the job he has worked and prepared so long and hard for. The one deciding was supposed to make up his mind by today but still hasn't so we're still waiting to find out.
Ava has been talking a lot about all the things she and Rich are gonna do when he gets home. "When Daddy gets home we're gonna play basketball, and baseball, and football, and soccer, and golf, and go for a run! We're gonna have so much fun!" Raina, of course, has no clue.
We just got done Skyping with Rich for the first time since we left GA. It has been over a month since we "saw" his face and even though we lost connection about 10 times I am very thankful for the technology we have and the freedom we have to use it. And thank you, again, to Emily as we are at her house using her computer and internet right now. Rich has our laptop in Iraq with him because he was working on finishing up his masters over this deployment, so we don't currently have a computer at our house. Emily is actually out getting a massage right now so I am here at her house with her 5 month old daughter Clara, and Ava and Raina. (And Sookie. Can't forget their sweet pup.) Fun! Speaking of these precious girls I need to get off the computer as Rae needs a little nap and Clara needs a diaper change.
Until next time...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Home Sweet Kansas

The trip out here was actually a great success. We did the whole drive on Sunday, September 11, but were able to pack the truck and trailer to where I could put the pups in the bed of the truck in their cage, so the ride inside for us was not too chaotic. Thank you so much to Emily and Caleb for letting us stay with them when we arrived in town! We got a decent night of sleep before a lloonngggg day of moving on Monday. I was totally cleared out of storage by Wednesday the 14th and had pretty much everything at least in the right rooms. I love our place! It's a 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath duplex with a layout very much like where we lived on post before. (It's actually very close to where we lived before.)
In a lot of ways it feels like we never left here. I can't believe a whole 10 1/2 months has gone by since we left! I'm excited to get all of our things put away and organized. I have an appointment with the fence company we used before to come take measurements and everything next week so we can get a fence put up here for the pups. It's not too fun taking them out on leashes every time they need to do their business, and a chihuahua and a yorkie live next door and bark at us every time we go outside so far.
Anyway, I guess that's about it for now. I have A LOT to do in the next few weeks! :)

Friday, September 9, 2011

6 Month Appointment for Rae

Went to the doctor for Raina's 6 month check-up and shots this morning. They measured her at 26inches and 15lbs 7oz. That's about 50th percentile for both and her head circumference is still 75th percentile (don't remember the measurement). She is doing GREAT! She is rolling and inch-worming all over the place and is sitting up a little bit. I'm going to start introducing some other foods now in addition to the rice cereal and oatmeal she has been eating for the last 2 months.
Ava is doing great too. She is starting to interact with Rae more and makes sure to tell everyone "Raina's my little sister!" She likes to help me do things like feed the pups, sweep and vacuum, throw Raina's diapers away, set the table, make meals, etc. (pretty much everything, actually).
We are going to be moving back to Kansas in the next couple days. We will make the drive on Sunday, stay with our old neighbors from where we lived before, and sign for our new place and move as much out of storage as possible on Monday. Should be a fun 1000 mile trip with the 2 girls, 2 pups, and a uhaul trailer this time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Catching Up on Raina

So I have obviously not updated this in a while...
On May 7 (2 months), Raina rolled over from tummy to back.
She started smiling, laughing occasionally, reaching for toys, etc.
On May 11 Raina went for her 2 month doctor's appointment. She was 22 inches (50th percentile) and 11 lbs 6 oz (75th percentile). She got her first round of shots and screamed like crazy (of course) but I nursed her immediately after and she calmed right down.
On June 7 (3 months), she rolled over from back to tummy. Once she figured out she could do that she did it constantly. Like as soon as I would lay her down on her back she would immediately roll over to her tummy.
Now she is really on the move, rolling all over the place and pulling her little knees up under herself in preparation for crawling. She is still nursing and I just started her on rice cereal, which is liking.
Today (July 12) I took Raina for her 4 month appointment and shots. She is now 23.5 inches and 12 lbs 7 oz. A little slow on the weight gain these last two months but the doctor said she just needs more calories now (as it's time to be introducing the rice cereal and oatmeal now and then other "Stage 1" foods at 5 months.
Ava is being a great big sister. She gets a little jealous of the attention I give Raina, sometimes, (as Raina requires a lot more interactive type attention now) but overall she has been very good about sharing time, toys, attention, etc. She is very helpful too, getting diapers, toys, burp cloths, whatever for Raina and me. I need another whole post to really update on Ava, actually, so I will save that for another time. :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Routine, Rest, & Halfway

Ava and Raina are asleep. Both of them. At the same time. That's still the goal in the new ROUTINE I am trying to establish and it is being achieved more often now. Therefore, I am taking this opportunity to enjoy some alone time, thoughtful time, adult time, peace, etc. I usually end up doing this at night after they've gone to bed but that means I don't get enough REST... so the new (always flexible) plan is to take chill time/get stuff done time/whatever I want time during their afternoon nap so I can go to bed when they do at night. Being a full-time Mom and Dad is pretty exhausting, and while I have help from Mom and Shane *when they're home,* they're still not the parents so it's a different role. I am SO looking forward to living as a family of 4 under one roof when Richard gets back! That being said, he has been gone exactly 6 months today, so we are about HALFWAY through this deployment. Hallelujah!!!

Raina is much more alert when she's awake now and has started smiling some. She's such a content little baby, thank the Lord. Ava is in such a constantly testing/changing/needing attention phase of life - I don't know how I could appropriately deal with her if I had a hard baby too. She pretty much only cries if she's really hungry, really tired, or too cold. The rest of the time she is pretty chill just looking around, waving her little arms. I need to give her more tummy time but that's hard to do sometimes with 3 dogs and Lil A on the loose.

Ava is a piece of work. For real. Wonderful, don't get me wrong, just challenging. She is SO smart, so keeping up with her mentally (explaining things, talking about things) is what is most draining for me. She remembers everything and has such a funny sense of humor. She still (over 3 months after Jaden was born) will say this whole thing: "Baby Jaden's in Stephanie's tummy! (knowing that's silly) No, Jaden's not in Stephanie's tummy anymore! She went to the hospital, the doctor helped her, and now Jaden's not in Stephanie's tummy anymore! We can hold him and see him! You're smart!" (This whole little explanation being what I used to tell her when he was first born. All the way down to the "you're smart" part that she now compliments herself with.) She also says things (or people) are "ridiculous to the max," which of course she got from me, and uses that phrase in context as well. She is still very good with Raina; I just keep an eye on her when Raina gets fussy. Usually she goes to her right away trying to put her paci in or put her blanket on her saying something sweet like "It's okay, Baby Ray!" But sometimes she turns into a mini-mom and says something like "No, Raina. Stop that fussing right now!" So we have the whole talk about how babies have to cry because they can't talk and that's how they tell us that they need something. So then it's "No fussing, Raina... sometimes babies have to fuss... it's okay, Baby Ray." I saw Ava "nursing" one of her baby dolls this morning. She was using the boppy around her waist and everything. Then she bounced the baby on her shoulder, patting her back and saying "shh-shh-shh-shh" JUST like I do with Raina. Monkey see, monkey do. Reminds me of my "Little Mirror" post from a few months ago.

I'm really going to try to get some good video of both the girls in the coming weeks. I know their daddy and our far-away family would like to see them in action. It's nice for me to be able to look back on later too; it's like an online journal of our/their lives. I was looking at some old posts about Ava from when she was about Raina's age so I could remember what I can be expecting in these coming weeks of her development. Pretty cool. Anyway... that's all for now.

Friday, April 8, 2011

One Month Check-Up

I took Raina for her one month check-up today and the doctor says she is doing great. She is 21 inches long and 10 pounds now. She is still nursing very well (every 3-4 hours in the day and longer at night) and has longer periods of awake and alert "play" time now too. I'm trying to get her long nap to coincide with Ava's so I can get a total break or nap myself. So far I'm getting some overlap but not a total match-up. Not a whole lot else to report right now, I guess. I go to the doctor for my own check-up on the 19th and am ready to be officially cleared for workouts, etc. (I have already been working out but am definitely not going all out yet.) Until next time........

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Back to "Normal" & Potty News

We took Richard back to the airport on Tuesday. It was hard. It's always hard. But we're in a good place right now and I have a feeling time is about to fly by for all of us. So it's back to "normal" now, which means video chats, extended family, the girls and me, play dates, etc. I got an email from Richard today saying he is back at his post and settling in again. The girls and I went to a neighborhood play group yesterday, which was good for Ava and for me. Today I am trying to find space for all Raina's clothes, toys, baby gear, etc, AND replace my fall/winter clothes with my spring/summer clothes as it has been so nice here. It will feel good to get everything organized but it's kind of a slow process right now.

In other WONDERFUL news, Ava just went potty all by herself about five minutes ago! She has been potty trained for a long time now but she hasn't been coordinated/strong enough to pull her pants and panties up and down by herself. Well just now she went in the bathroom, put the toilet lid up, pulled her little step in front of the potty, got on the step, pulled her pants down, sat down and scooted back, peed, got some toilet paper, wiped, pulled her pants back up, put the step away, put the lid down, and flushed the potty... by herself!!! Her pants are a little crooked and her panties may or may not be pulled all the way up under those pants, but we are definitely getting somewhere!!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Raina lost her cord today. It's funny because tomorrow is her due date and she's already ready for baths and such.

Ava is adjusting pretty well. She has no problem with me holding and doing things with/for Raina. However, she doesn't always like other people holding her or looking at her. This was surprising to me as I thought she would have more of a problem sharing time and attention from me. We were at the chiropractor the other day and the front desk lady was looking at Raina and asking questions about her, etc. Ava comes running up saying "No, Lady! No look at Raina!" What!? Really, Ava? So we're working on all that. :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

R&R and Birth Story

Sunday, March 6, 2011

8:00am(ish) - Ava woke up ready to go for the day (despite not needing to get up for another hour or so)

8:30am - On the way down the stairs for breakfast we took the final link off the countdown chain. "Ava, all the links of the chain are gone! What's going to happen today!?" "Daddy will be here!!!"

11:00am - Church started where Ava played in the toddler room and I sang in the choir.

1:30pm - I drove laps around the North and South Terminals of the airport waiting for Richard to call and tell me where to pick him up.

2:00pm(ish) - He's here! "Look, Ava, there's Daddy!" She ran to give him a hug, a little unsure but super excited at the same time. I cried just watching their reunion. It was so good to hug him and have him hold us all.

2:45pm(ish) - First stop: Waffle House. All Star Special and Cheese n Eggs. Snuggle time.
4:00pm(ish) - We got to Mom's house (she, Kev, and Shane were gone for the night) and Richard got reacquainted with BB and Pancake. EXTREME EXCITEMENT. Like major jumping, squeeking, barking excitement.

8:00pm - Our together-again family of three went out to eat. Mexican. Delicious.

10:30pm(ish) - We were all getting ready for bed... showers, reading books, more snuggle time, and I was having some contractions.

11:32pm - I wrote down the time of a contraction thinking "This might really be it...?"
Monday, March 7, 2011

1:00am(ish) - I called the doctor to tell her that I had been having definite contractions every 6-7 minutes for about an hour and a half. She told me to try walking, resting, drinking water (all the things that would make the timing of the contractions change if it wasn't real labor) and keep timing for another hour. I woke Richard up to tell him to get his stuff ready in case I woke him up again needing to go in a hurry. I got Ava's bag, my bag, etc ready to go. I drank a bunch of water. I walked around the house for a while.

2:30am(ish) - I decided to try sleeping for a while (at least between contractions) since they hadn't yet gotten any closer together than before.

4:02am - I decided I should get up and empty my bladder (as having a full one can slow labor) and when I got out of bed I felt like I was leaking (but was definitely not peeing). I hurried to the bathroom and leaked a lot more fluid and blood. (My water broke with Ava so I knew what that felt like and this was not the same.) I called the doctor again and she said to come on in. My contractions immediately became more intense and closer together especially while walking around getting ready to go. By the time we left they were every 2-3 minutes apart.

5:15am(ish) - We arrived at the hospital and got checked in at labor and delivery. (On the way to the hospital the contractions had slowed down and spaced back out to every 6-7 minutes again.) The nurse said I was about 4.5cm dilated. My contractions were spacing out even more; like not even worth timing anymore.

6:15am(ish) - The nurse started me on Pitocin to strengthen and regulate my contractions. They started coming pretty regular not long after. The doctor came to check me and said it seemed I had had a partial break of the amniotic sac so he finished breaking the waters and wanted to keep me on the Pitocin too. The contractions really became frequent and intense after the complete water breaking and in combination with the Pitocin.
10:00am - I told the nurse I was starting to have pushy kind of pressure with the contractions so she checked me and said I was 7.5cm dilated. The contractions were super strong and about every 2 minutes.
11:00am(ish) - I got an epidural but by the time the contraction pain subsided I had a much lower vaginal pain and pressure. The new feeling was much different from the contraction pain and I had to work through and breathe through the contractions even more than I had before I got the epidural. My nurse checked me again and I was 9+cm, like fully dilated on one side but with a rim left on the other side. She hurried to get the doctor in there and Richard ran out to tell everyone waiting that we were about to be pushing.

11:30am - Raina Renee Ezell was born after 2 (relieving!) pushes. She cried immediately, was very pink, and had a bit of almost strawberry blond hair. 20.5 inches long, 8 lbs 13 oz. The nurse gave Raina back to me after a quick check to make sure that all was well and she nursed right away, latching on easy (yes!).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Baby Time!

Long story short (with more details to come later)...

Richard flew in from Iraq for R&R on Sunday afternoon. Ava and I picked him up from the airport after church around 1:30pm. We enjoyed a great afternoon and evening together as a family of 3 before becoming a family of 4 Monday morning. Praise the Lord for His perfect timing!!!

Raina Renee Ezell was born safe and healthy Monday, 3-7-11, at 11:30am measuring 20.5in and weighing 8lbs 13oz.

Friday, March 4, 2011

38 Week Pic & Update

I have been feeling a little crampy, am starting to notice the Braxton Hicks contractions more again, and my back has been hurting the last couple days. But... so far I am still pregnant! I went to the chiropractor today and have been doing ice and heat, which should help with the back issue. I have found that activity -as in doing anything- leads to more contracting but that there's not much going on when I'm literally just lying down resting. So I am putting myself pretty much on bed rest until Richard gets here. Good thing it's the weekend and Mom and Kev are around to help with Lil A! And speaking of Richard, he is on his way here! It will probably still be a couple/few days before he gets here but the traveling process has started. Woohoo! Dear Lord, please grant him safe and quick travels and Baby Girl a few more days stay in my belly!

Ava's Speech Update

Since my last post, Ava's stuttering got dramatically worse. At one point Monday night she came to me almost crying unable to say something. She put her forehead to mine and her hand on my cheek and tried to whisper what she was trying to say and it still wouldn't come out. She was so sweet and her getting upset totally broke my heart so we ended up both crying together for a few minutes. After that she didn't want to even try to give me one word answers to questions. (This is the girl who normally has whole conversations with herself and others.) The next morning (Tuesday) she seemed a little better but got really stuck again that afternoon. Mom came home from work and I was crying and had just put Ava down for a nap. I told her what was going on and she suggested we go ahead and take her to the pediatrician for my own peace of mind and so I would have the referral to take the next step if we needed/wanted to do so while Richard is here on R&R. So we took her in right then and the doctor told us all the same stuff I had already read. She said they really don't worry about stuttering until kids are school age and that they can go through phases where they are just on information overload and have a hard time getting their words out. That explanation makes sense to me and doesn't at the same time. Like why would Ava all of a sudden have a hard time saying "Thank you" when she's been saying that for literally like a year now? This is the girl who had like 50+ words at 18 months! Anyway, the doctor also said (to my relief) that if Ava had some kind of neurological issue she would have other things going on too, like physical and other delays, which she definitely does not. So I have the referral for a speech therapist if we decide we need to go that route. However...

Literally the day after going to the doctor (Wednesday), Ava woke up talking SO much better; like back to the level of the first day I noticed a little weirdness but hadn't really thought anything of it. She has been a little bit up and down yesterday and today but overall is miraculously better. (No crying or getting totally stuck.) Her spirits are back to normal too. She isn't anxious about attempting to say things and is chattering up a storm like her usual little self.

All I can really say is Praise the Lord! I don't think I have prayed so long/hard/fervently about anything ever. (The mother bear instinct thing is for real! It is SO hard to see your child distressed or struggling and still so tender and vulnerable.) The last week and a half in general has been probably the hardest most stressful time of my life. I literally have NO control of anything that is happening (Richard's arrival time, Baby Girl's arrival time, Ava's speech, etc) so I have had no choice but to cling to Jesus. It has been very good for me spiritually but taxing emotionally and physically.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Hopeful Report at OB Appt & Ava Update

I had another OB appointment this morning and saw a different doctor than the one I saw Thursday last week. She checked me and said I am about the same as I was (2cm, 50% effaced) and that she thinks it is totally likely/possible that I will make it until Richard arrives. He may be arriving a little earlier than we originally expected, too, so for now I am breathing a little easier. My next appointment is next Monday.

Ava went to the day care place today during my appointment and had a blast again. I'm so proud of the great little girl she is growing up to be! She is SO stinkin smart and such a sweet girl (usually, hehe). One thing I'm keeping an eye on, though, is that she has been stuttering a little bit lately; like it just started within the last week. Initially it worried me but I've done some reading about it and it sounds like a pretty normal thing. Apparently it's not at all uncommon for 2-3 year olds to go through little phases of stuttering as their cognitive development and language skills do not always match up exactly. Like they can think faster than they can talk sometimes. I have seen definite changes in Ava's use of words in the same span of time as the stuttering so for now I'm assuming there's just a little disconnect in the speed of her different kinds of development. For example, a lot of times when she would wonder what something was she would point or bring it to me and say "What's that, Ava?" (phrasing it the way I would ask her). Well just in the last two days she has been getting it right instead. Yesterday we were outside and she pointed at something and said "What's that right there, Mama?" Another way she has changed is in the complexity of her responses and using more connecting words. Usually when she would go potty and seemed like she was done I would ask her if she was all done. She would say "Yeah" or "All done." Yesterday I asked her if she was done and she said "Umm, yeah, I'm probably all done." She has also discovered that if she's struggling to get a word out, whispering helps her. (Interesting.) So... I'm not worrying about Lil A just yet. :)

So, anyway, while labor and such could still happen anytime (I mean, really, no one every knows until it happens), I don't feel like it's as pressingly upon me anymore. It's nice to NOT be in control of this situation - we are forced (in a good way) to trust God and it's quite freeing. I think now I will be able to relax and enjoy the week (and these last days with just Ava) without analyzing what I'm feeling every minute (timing contractions, etc). I plan to still avoid extra walking and such but will do all my usual stuff otherwise. Story time at the library with Ava tomorrow, choir practice Wednesday night, girls' night with a couple friends one night, Shane's baseball game(s), another chiropractor appointment at the end of the week, church on Sunday, OB appointment on Monday, and then potentially picking up Richard from the airport any time after that (??). Oh yes, and lots of naps and resting mixed in with all of that as well. That should be a good week of keeping busy to (hopefully) make the time fly by. :)

I will probably update again here with my 38 weeks picture on Wednesday night or Thursday sometime. :) :) :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Still Pregnant

Well I am still pregnant. I've been feeling more of the "Braxton Hicks" contractions and randomly time them for an hour or so but so far no consistent pattern has developed and they're still not painful. Richard will be here somewhere between 1-2 weeks, which sounds like an eternity right now, but I am still hopeful that he will make it in time for Baby's birthday. If not, I have really settled with being okay that Skype is the best possible backup plan and I'm ready to have this girl today if she's ready to come. I'm not walking and trying to get things going but I'm not staying in the bed or anything either. Given how long it will be before Richard gets here we both agree that I should just live normally (with naps!) and if I go into full swing labor than so be it.
I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow so I will update again after that (unless we end up at the hospital tonight!).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

37 Weeks... Baby on the Way?

I had my 37 week OB appointment today and... oh boy...

I saw one of the doctors I hadn't yet seen this morning. I liked her a lot. My bp was 110/70, I have gained about 29-30 pounds, and I measured 37 cm (which corresponds perfectly with the 37 weeks I am). The doctor checked me and said I am a "loose 1," closer to 2, cm dilated and 50% effaced and had a decent bit of bloody show. Having changed that much since last week, having more Braxton Hicks contractions, having that much show, and this being my second baby, she said she would be very surprised if I made it another 2 weeks and that I probably won't even need another appointment next week. !!! -->Let me mention here that I have not been walking, have only exercised twice in the last week (stationary strength training stuff only), and have been napping and/or at least resting and overall taking it easy every day. Basically, I have not been doing anything to intentionally help this process along.<-- Anyway, I had a lot more show in the hours following my exam this morning, still have some now, and have been having more contractions as well. The contractions are still not painful, they feel more like just pressure, but I am trying to pay attention to them more now and take note of their timing. I packed my bag and finished getting Ava's stuff together when I got home and then took about an hour nap. I am working on who I need to contact who can get in touch with someone in Iraq so Richard can get on Skype and "be there" for the birth via video chat at least this time if Baby Girl really does come before he gets here.

Either way, whether Richard is here or not, I feel as prepared as possible and overall ready to go. "Dear Lord, please give me the strength to get through whatever happens whenever it happens. Please protect Baby Girl and deliver her safely and in good health. Be with Ava and her little heart and mind as we go through all these changes and make adjustments. Thank you, Lord, for your everlasting love! Amen."

37 weeks picture

Thursday, February 17, 2011

36 Week OB Appointment

Well I went this morning for my 36 week appointment and all is well. The doctor checked me and said my cervix is still closed (yay!) but that he could feel Baby's head (double yay!). So she is head down for sure and I am not currently on the verge of going into labor or anything, so I am breathing big sighs of relief about that. (Still praying that the timing of Richard's R&R works out just right and he is here for the birthday!) My bp is good, Baby's heartrate is good, I have gained about 27 pounds now, and... well that's pretty much it. Smooth, routine, normal, etc. -- all very good adjectives I want to have associated with a pregnancy. I have another appointment next Thursday so I will update with what's happening and a new picture then.

In other wonderful updates, I got Ava registered at a daycare center this week to use for some random hourly care. It is just a couple minutes away from Mom's house so it is super convenient too. Anyway, she was there for four hours today while I ate breakfast, went for my appointment, did some shopping, put air in my tires, and picked up lunch. It was so awesome/weird to be totally by myself for that long! (It's been a while.) When I picked her up the ladies said she was wonderful; listened and followed directions well, played nicely with the other kids, was helpful, etc. That's my girl! :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

35 Weeks Picture

I'm not positive, but I think Baby Girl is head up right now. I have an OB appointment next Thursday so we'll see what the doctor says then. I would of course like to avoid a c-section but I would also like to avoid an ECV (external cephalic version) where they would try to actually turn her from the outside. I went to the chiropractor today and was more out of whack than I thought, so I'm hoping that getting my own body in better condition and alignment will help Baby get her little body in the right position too. If, on Thursday, the doctor determines that Baby is breech for sure then I will go back to the chiropractor on Friday to try a few things with her that she has had success with in the past in getting babies to turn.

Anyway, here's my 35 week picture. I will definitely update here again next week after my appointment Thursday.

Friday, February 4, 2011

34 Week OB Appt

Well I had my 34 week appointment today and everything is looking great as usual. My measurements, weight, bp, Baby's heartrate, etc is all excellent. I saw the doctor who delivered Jaden for Stephanie and I liked her a lot. She answered a lot of questions for me about how she typically runs things for a labor and delivery so I feel totally great about the possiblity of her being the one on call when I go in. I go back for my next appointment in 2 weeks and they will start checking me every week then (!!!).

Ava is starting to understand this whole baby thing a lot better now, I think. It really helped that she got to see Stephanie and talk about Jaden in her belly and now see him in real life. (She held him yesterday for the first time, too, which was really sweet.) We have been reading her "I'm a Big Sister" book a lot (at her request) and she kisses and feels my belly move every day. She snuggles and rocks her baby dolls too so it'll be neat to see her taking care of them while I take care of Baby. :)

How Far Along?
34 weeks 1 day
Maternity Clothes?
pants FOR SURE, some maternity tops and some long regular tops
Stretch Marks?
I could literally feel myself growing last week and thought for sure I was going to get stretch marks but so far they're still absent (yay!)
I get up to go to the bathroom a few times each night but the time between those trips I sleep pretty well (and I nap like a champ many days!)
Best Moment the Last Couple Weeks:
Richard and I (99%) decided on a name last week... not telling yet :-x
Baby Girl moves A LOT but the movements are no longer jabbing punches and kicks as she is running out of room. They are move sweeping movements and my belly looks like a waterbed when she moves, hehe.
Food Cravings?
I've been eating like a champ; pretty much anything and everything :)
Labor Signs?
The lower back pain and pressure from a couple weeks ago is mostly gone now and the Braxton Hicks contractions are no longer alarmingly close together, so I'd say no labor signs now (PTL!).
Belly Button In or Out?
Rings On or Off?
no swelling - rings still on
I've kind of stepped up the workouts again. I do 3 days a week of super high rep, low weight strength training and 2 other days a week of light other stuff, like walking.
What I Miss:
sleeping on my stomach and not having to pee 800 times a day
What I am Looking Forward to:
seeing Richard when he gets here for R&R (hopefully before Baby comes)!
The doctor told me today that at their practice they do not stop labors for women who are 35+ weeks along. I am less than a week from being 35 weeks so... Baby Girl really could be here almost anytime!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baby Jaden & 32 Weeks

Congratulations to Jordan and Stephanie! Their baby boy Jaden Lee Seckinger was born at 5:20am on Wednesday 1/19/11 weighing 7lbs 8oz. Stephanie had a smooth labor and delivery and Jaden is absolutely perfect. That means we are Uncle Richard, Aunt Danelle, and Cousin Ava now... Somehow becoming an aunt was almost more surreal to me than becoming a mom was. I guess because Jordan is permanently in about 9th grade in my mind, hehe.

in the waiting room
Stephanie and Jaden
We were at the hospital all night (you never know how long things will take, so we just stayed). Ava did great playing for a good while and then sleeping about 4 hours in the family waiting area. A very nice perk to being there and getting to visit with Jordan and Stephanie during the labor (AFTER the epidural, hehe) and then after Jaden was born was that I got to see exactly where I will be going and how everything works at that hospital for when I go in to have Baby #2. It's a nice place and I feel good knowing what things are like there.

I had an OB appointment this morning and saw one of the nurse practitioners again. I have been having a lot of low back pain and pressure and more than usual Braxton Hicks contractions the last few days so I was anxious to be seen. She checked me and said my cervix is still closed and thick so that is very good. She also had me do a Non-Stress Test for about 20-30 minutes to monitor Baby's heartrate and any contractions and I only had one contraction during that time, which is also good. Baby's heartrate is in the the 140s, my blood pressure was 102/70, my belly is measuring on track, and I've gained about 22 lbs. So things are rolling along and I have my next appointment in 2 weeks and will be seeing one of the doctors I haven't seen yet (although I did meet her at the hospital Wednesday; she delivered Jaden).

Two big prayer requests: 1) that I stay on this okay track and don't go into preterm labor for any reason... and 2) that Richard will be here for the labor and delivery. Here's my 32 week picture:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Panties Only for Lil A!

Ava is officially wearing panties only (no pull-ups) day and night! She has been in panties during the day since she was 18 months old but we were still using pull-ups at night just in case. She's been staying dry through the night the majority of the time for the past couple months so for last 2 nights I had her wear panties and she had no problem. (Last night she slept from about 10pm to about 7:45am. Awesome!) This means I will be diaper/pull-up free for a good 2 months or so before Baby Girl #2 arrives! Woohoo!

Speaking of Baby Girl #2, we are still working on a name. We have a pretty good list compiled and are trying to narrow it down to a few favorites to choose from. Baby is super active and I am still feeling really good. Oh! I got a double jogging stroller on craigslist this past week. It was new, never used, and very reasonably priced. And it is one SwEeT ride. I'll be using it with just Ava for now but can't wait to add the other sweet girl!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

30 Weeks!

10 weeks (give or take!) to go! I can't believe how fast this pregnancy has been flying by. I have been feeling great lately. My back is not hurting, I'm not overly tired, I don't have any swelling, etc. The only thing giving me any trouble is that one varicose vein in my right leg, but even that is only a bother if I stay on my feet ALL day. I have been pretty good about eating clean and balanced, walking some, doing strength training 2-3 days per week, and putting my feet up a few times throughout the day. Baby Girl is starting to encroach upon my rib space a little more now, especially on the right side. I feel like I've been carrying a little lower this pregnancy than last. By comparing pictures from this and last it looks like I cannot possibly get any bigger outwards, but I think I have still have room to expand upwards. I guess that's pretty much it for now. I'm just still praying every day that God's timing will include Richard being here for the birth of this sweet girl.

Holding my abs in as tight as I can

And relaxed... :)

I have an OB appointment on Friday. I'll update again then!