Parent’s Day @ Ballet!

Today was “Parent’s Day” at McKenzie’s ballet class, so we got to observe. It was so cute, and she had a lot of fun. =) There’s a recital on Sunday, so that should be cute too…but that goofy girl can’t keep her tongue in her mouth, she sticks it out whenever she’s focused (a la Michael Jordan). Ha. Baby boy was dancing around the whole time too. Gosh, I love that feeling. He’s getting stronger & stronger every day!

And if you’ve noticed that I’m blogging a bit more than usual, there are a couple reasons: 1) I’m trying to keep a record for Jon, and 2) I’m going a little stir-crazy with McKenzie by myself and craving an outlet/adult interaction. Ya dig? Sorry if I’m blowing up your inbox! (But not really…)

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Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.

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So, while walking McKenzie to/from school 3 things happened:

1) We saw this glorious piece of work…pimp-mobile anyone? Then I’m wondering: are they passionate about cereal, or trying to make a clever implication that they like prostitutes? What’s the deal? McKenzie thought it was awesome though, she said, “Look! What a cool car! Can we get colorful wheels?”
2) Walking back from her school I got hollered at not once, but twice…no make-up & in workout clothes…obviously I’m not visibly preggo with a jacket on yet. Not gonna lie, it made my day. Haha.
AND 3) A young fellow with dreadlocks stopped his car and offered to help me walk my dogs, who were both heeling perfectly. Goodness, I’m flattered, but I cannot wait to move…we don’t even live in a bad area! Either way, I’m definitely ready for a change. And a single-family house. It’s nice to know I’ve still “got it” though. ;) Know what I’m sayin?

Day #1 in California

After what seemed like an eternal day of traveling, McKenzie and I are finally in California visiting Grandpa Jeff (my stepdad). She was an amazing little traveler, but she was queasy on the plane…she threw up on the 2nd flight then fell fast asleep. I’m so happy I always carry a car sickness bag with me at all times! I highly recommend it for any parents…it’s saved me from cleaning up vomit in cars or planes on more than one occasion (the joys of parenting!).

Anyway, on our first full day yesterday, we took Dexter the dog on a long walk, and McKenzie stopped to enjoy all the flowers. She loves flowers. Then we ate a delicious breakfast at The Original Pancake House, after which I napped. Later in the day we went to Strand Beach in Dana Point, 10 minutes from Jeff’s house. The vistas are beautiful & McKenzie wanted desperately to play in the sand…she did & she loved it! It was a great start to our visit, and today we’ll be boating on the ocean on Jeff’s boat. Hopefully we’ll see some dolphins, seals, & whales!

Part of me is always a little sad when we visit, with the realization that we won’t be living here anytime soon (which was our plan before the Army). It’s just so beautiful: weather, scenery, everything. I would have loved for McKenzie to grow up here.

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So, now I’m high-risk.

itchytummyAs I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been really, really itchy lately. Well, for weeks actually. It is TERRIBLE. Like, wakes-me-up-in-the-night-type terrible. I even mentioned it at my 9 & 14 week appointments. “It’s just hormones,” they said. “It’s your skin stretching,” they said. “Itching is a 3rd trimester thing,” they said.

Well, I self-diagnosed weeks ago with ICP (Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy), characterized by severe, wide-spread itching without a rash. Basically, your liver doesn’t process the bile-acids properly, which makes your histamines go crazy (hence, the itching). And I’ve always had an asymptomatic liver disease (since birth), so it made sense. It fit my symptoms perfectly. I even called the after-hours nurse line because I was freaked-out. When I spoke with the nurses at my doc’s office the next day, they were unconcerned. “It’s just hormones,” they said. “It’s your skin stretching,” they said. “It’s too early, it’s a 3rd trimester thing,” they said.

But guess what showed up in my labs, after demanding that they test me for it?! ICP. Yeah, I f***ing knew it. Moral of the story? Always, always listen to your body. It normally shows up in the 3rd trimester. At 17 weeks, I’m nearly half that. My doctor told me she was “shocked,” and that in the other cases she’s dealt with, none of the other women had it before 35 weeks. Lucky me.

This diagnosis officially makes me high-risk, but it should disappear within days of giving birth. It’s a “complication.” It doesn’t affect the development of the baby, cognitively or physically, but mothers with ICP have a much higher risk of stillbirth (for reasons still unknown) and babies are more to have respiratory distress after birth…which is exactly the thing a pregnant momma doesn’t want to hear. =( To minimize the risk to the baby, I will have weekly ultrasounds starting at 24 weeks (viability) until my 32nd week, when I’ll start having Fetal Non-Stress Tests (NST’s) 2x a week. Because of the increased risk of stillbirth, doctors induce between the 37th-38th week of pregnancy. That means we’ll have another late-August baby…I’ll literally be pregnant an entire month less than McKenzie (who was super, duper late). Maybe Jon will actually get to be there if it’s planned?

I comfort myself with the knowledge that, if delivered before 38 weeks, the risk of stillbirth is less than 1%, which is the same as normal pregnancy. My silver lining is that I get to have more ultrasounds (did I jinx myself with that last post?), and we get to meet *him* sooner.

I’m trying to stay calm. It’s still scary. And I’m still itchy. But hopefully the medication I’m taking 2x/day will have these wicked bile-acids under control soon.

And this makes me miss my husband that much more, I SO wish he was here right now. Thankfully, I got to speak with him briefly yesterday to tell him what’s going on…and he hadn’t gotten my letter yet, so I told him it’s a boy. Another silver lining? I’m trying to stay positive, it could always be much worse. =)

A Great Week, In Sum

Time is going really fast lately, and I think that’s great! I miss Jon SO much and it can’t go fast enough. I’ve been staying really busy, and I have wonderful friends who take the time to come visit me & hang out. It’s pretty great. Here is the last week in sum:

Monday: In the morning I ran errands and then in the afternoon McKenzie and I had our little photo sesh with the baby shoes to announce the sex of the bebe. She’s such a good sport, it took all of 10 minutes…but then I locked us out of the building. A kindly neighbor let us in, but I need to make a *mental note to get spare keys and give them to Madison friends.* I spent the rest of the afternoon editing the photos & letting McKenzie play. BigCollageTuesday: This was McKenzie’s first day back at school from Spring Break, and THE BIG DAY to find out the sex of the baby! The appointment wasn’t until 4:30, so I cleaned house and did TONS of laundry (long overdue) to keep myself busy. While McKenzie was at school I took a long, glorious nap. I have been EXHAUSTED lately…the kind of tired that makes your eyelids feel like anvils on a thread. If you’ve been preggo, you know what I mean. When 4:30 FINALLY rolled around, we went to the appointment at Baby’s Debut here in Madison. Some people have asked McKenzie’s reaction to finding out she’s going to have a little brother…and honestly, her initial response was “EWWW! A penis!” Oh my gosh, it was hilarious. But she enjoyed seeing the baby too, and of course I love it. I would have an ultrasound every day if I could. This is my favorite pic, I think he looks so peaceful like he’s sleeping. And the technologist said everything looks great, so that’s always nice to hear. 10 fingers, 10 toes, healthy heart. At night, I wrote Jon a nice, long letter to mail off on Wednesday.wpid-KUEHL-BABY-BOY-16-WEEKS_18.JPG

Wednesday: Oh geez, I went and got my military ID at the local reserve office first thing in the morning. The photo is HORRENDOUS. I think the lady made me look like a troll on purpose. Blah. She was not friendly. And it’s so embarrassing, I’ll have to use it all the time! Urgh. I was not pleased. Anyway, I’d also had all the photos of Baby Boy printed at Walgreens, so I sent off a letter to Jon telling him the news. I’d contemplated calling the unit and asking if they could tell him, but I think a personal with photos is a little more romantical. Ya know? Then, around lunchtime my good friend Stephanie came into town for a sleepover. She’s a music teacher at an elementary school, and she brought a ukelele for McKenzie to play with. She is a rockstar with McKenzie! They sang and danced SO much, so of course McKenzie was head-over-heels! Many adorable moments ensued, including this “You Are My Sunshine” duet. *melt* We went to the mall after McKenzie was done with school. then had a lovely evening, complete with pizza & a Disney movie marathon.

Thursday: Since we’d had a sleepover, we got some delicious breakfast at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. The food was amazing, as always. Then Stephanie had to go home, and I took McKenzie to school…after which I had another long, glorious nap. Did I mention that the weather has been GORGEOUS? I’ve been walking the dogs to school when I drop-off/pick-up McKenzie and taking the long way back home. It adds up to 2.5 miles per day (1.25 round-trip, one way). Go me, that’s more than I’ve gotten in awhile. How sad. Darn Wisco winters. =/ I’m going to make a point of walking whenever the weather’s nice.

Friday: McKenzie has ballet Friday mornings, then after I quickly stopped into the doctor’s office. I’ve been having the most horrible itching…like widespread, horrible itching. Like, so bad it wakes me up. They were concerned it was early pre-eclampsia, but my blood pressure was fine, so they did some labs to test for something else that’s a little more scary. I should hear back about that tomorrow. After the short doc visit, our long-lost neighbor came to visit with her 2-year-old. What a handsome little guy! We got to chat while the kiddos played, and even took the dogs/kiddos to a nearby playground to get some energy out. She gave me a great idea for a future blog: balancing dogs & kids. It’s pretty rough some days, especially being alone lately. I feel so guilty sometimes, like I’m a terrible dog owner. =( Sooo, more to come on that another day.

Saturday: We finally got McKenzie a big girl bed! She was definitely outgrowing her toddler one, and she LOVES it. I had been looking for one for awhile, and finally settled on this one…and I’m SO pleased. It’s solid wood, very sturdy, and it was on sale for $189 when I bought it. Compared to some “standard” white twin bed frames I was looking at it was a steal! Plus, it’s a space saver, and she loves using the ladder. But I spent the ENTIRE day putting it together by myself and rearranging her room (although I’m not satisfied with the layout yet). The bed took 2 hours, but it was extremely easy. We don’t have the mattress yet, but I ordered the special 6″ bunk-bed mattress, so she’ll still have ample railing space still to prevent any rolling accidents, as per suggestions in the reviews. I do love that it’s not too high for her (chest height), so I’m not too worried about her falling. I would’ve loved a bed like this when I was a kid! I think I might put up a tension rod & some curtains underneath to make the “fort” even cooler.

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Sunday (today): We had a lazy morning…McKenzie slept in until 9! It was amazing. Around 1, we headed over to a 1st birthday party for my BFF’s identical twin boys! It was so cute, and her decor was awesome. It’s been so fun to watch them grow up the past year! And of course, McKenzie had fun playing with all the balloons. And there was pulled pork…the same to-die-for pulled pork recipe that I’ve posted. Yummm. Then McKenzie and I went to run some errands: a quick trip to the grocery store, and a successful trip to Michael’s (craft store)… To elaborate, I have been eying these adorable Easter Baskets at Pottery Barn Kids for the past 2 months, but I absolutely could not justify spending $30-$50 on an Easter basket…no matter how cute, even if it’ll be used every year. Anyway, at Michael’s all the Easter stuff was on clearance for 70% off, and I managed to score this Easter basket for a grand total of $5.60 (originally $16.99). I was pleased! It might not be *as* cute, but I think I can trick it out a bit. Either way, it’s definitely a cute upgrade. =)basketAll-in-all it was a great week. Finding out we’re having a BOY was definitely the highlight though. I look at those little ultrasound pictures every day. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe I’m even pregnant since I’m not that big yet! Soon enough. I’m sure I’ll be eating those words in a month. Lol. Today I am officially 17 weeks, but here is my 16 week photo since I forgot to post it last week. And no, I am not angry (as some FB commenters noted)…that is my straight face. Yes, I have an angry-looking straight face. Thanks for noticing. Haha. 16weeks.words

This week, we’re looking forward to going to visit Grandpa Jeff for a week in California. There is sure to be lots of yummy food, boat-riding, and dolphin-watching! Have a great week everyone. =)

Happy Spring.

We saw our first robins the other day, so hopefully spring is around the corner. It was finally 40°-50°F the past couple days. Nina (paternal grandma), came to Madison to watch McKenzie so I could have some girl time and go shopping for Easter goodies for the basket. I managed to find some great non-candy items, as well as some yummy treats she’s been eying at the store.easterbasket2012So this morning McKenzie woke up and discovered that the Easter Bunny had filled plastic eggs and hid them all over the house…and hid her basket in the shower! Silly Bunny. She totally did the “overjoyed face,” complete with wide-eyes and palms to her cheeks. We had a great morning! Happy Spring everyone. =)easter 2012

A whole week?

Wow, I usually don’t go a whole week without posting. I guess I’ve been “busy.” My sister and niece visited last week during her spring break, and this week we reciprocated with a visit to their new house in Minnesota! Their closing/loan underwriting process was quite a hassle, so I know she’s relieved it’s over. The house is lovely, it’s a great “forever home!” I can’t wait to own a house someday, a condo is just not the same. To be able to simply let the dogs out a door will be heavenly…

Anyway, I got them this wicked-cool decorative tripod clock as a housewarming gift. At least I know Jesse likes it…men are not prone to rejoice over home decor, I suppose.

tripodclockBut we’re home now, and it’s McKenzie’s spring break. I think I’m going to enroll her in K5 for the fall here in Madison, just in case we don’t have a “post” with the Army yet. The local elementary school has a Spanish dual-immersion program I’m considering, BUT I know it’s only beneficial long-term if they complete the programs, so I’m not sure it makes sense if we’ll be moving. That said, I speak Spanish so it might be cool even if it’s for a little while.

And I haven’t heard from Jon. I guess we’re going to be pen pals the next few months. =( And I don’t know when we’ll see him again. But McKenzie and I are settling into a routine, though. I got her a Shutterfly photo book with only photos of her & her Daddy. She loved it and sat down with it right away. It was really cute, I’m so happy she likes it.

In the Bebe department, I had my first visit with my actual doctor last week, and I really like her. She was super approachable, friendly, and great with McKenzie (which is important to me because she’ll probably be coming with me a lot). And is it bad that I like her because she’s young? But I do. I don’t want my doc to be an out-of-touch old fart. No offense to them. Anywho, the baby’s heartbeat was 145 and everything looks good. And we get to find out the sex in 1 week! As in, in 1 week I will know if it’s a boy or girl. Woot! Any guesses? Come on…

And because pregnancy can make any lady feel gross & icky, here is a picture I like of myself. Yes, it is a year old. And yes, I really like this hat & scarf. Oh, and I’ve been having pretty awesome risqué dreams lately. This lady ain’t complainin’. Totally forgot about that part. ;)mewglasses

14 Weeks…Officially 2nd Trimester!

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14 Weeks, Baby #2

How far along are you? 14 weeks now! Time is flying.
How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a lemon. 3½ inches, 1½ ounces.
Weight Gain? 6lbs, same as McKenzie the first trimester.
Maternity clothes? Yep. I wear sweats & sweatshirts around the house. The (pictured) pants are skinny jeans in long from Motherhood, and my shirt is a non-maternity tunic from a boutique.
Stretch marks? Nope, not yet. As I mentioned in my 12 week post I’ve been using BioOil…I’ve been using it every night before bed, and it’s actually faded my stretch marks from McKenzie and my laparoscopy scars! Needless to say, I’m very pleased.
Sleep: My sleep is getting better, thank god. I miss Jon at night though…a body pillow is just not the same. =(
Best moment this week? Signing up for the YMCA and watching McKenzie’s first ballet class. And I talked to Jon yesterday! It sounds like he’s doing great. He needs to re-do basic training since he’s been out of the military for more than 5 years, but after looking at his DD-214 they made him Platoon Guide, meaning he’s in charge of like 60 people…so that’s good for him, a leadership position right off the bat. But apparently he will definitely be training the full 23 weeks (almost 6 months!). SO, I will be pregnant all by myself nearly the ENTIRE time. Lame. It was great to hear from him though! But I won’t get any womb-service. =( I assume I’ll have this bebe in Madison, too, cuz I’m not moving at 39 weeks. Plus, I like Meriter, the hospital where Z was born.
Movement? Yes! When I read before bed at night I can feel little flutters here & there! Nothing consistent, but I know that it’s the bebe.  At the First Trimester Screen, the utrasound tech said that the placenta is attached the the anterior uterine wall, meaning I’ll probably feel it 2-3 weeks earlier than if it were attached somewhere else. Cool with me, I love the feeling.
Food cravings? Green olives! I ate (and drank) a whole jar. This is not unusual though, I always love green olives & I did the same thing when I was pregnant with McKenzie. It was her first favorite food when she turned 1! When she started eating solids I’d cut them in half and she’d gobble them up.
Food aversions? Not so much.
Labor signs? Nope.
Gender? Too early to tell. April 2nd! Only 2 weeks away!
Symptoms? No. And thank you for all the advice last time…prunes & Miralax helped with that. ;) I’ve been making a point to drink 64oz of water every day, and that’s helping too.
Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody? I’m just sad. I’m having a hard time adjusting to Jon’s absence, and I think my hormones are making it worse. =(
What I miss: Jon, Jon, Jon…for several reasons. ;’) And I’m going a little stir-crazy being alone with McKenzie all the time. I had a great girl’s lunch with my BFF today, and it was great, no interruptions or begging for my food. And plenty of adult talk. Lol.
What I am looking forward to: My sister is visiting with my niece, Abbey, tomorrow! And we get to find out the sex in two weeks! Any guesses? Boy/Girl??

First Day of Ballet & a HILARIOUS Video

BalletDancerAs I mentioned yesterday, I signed McKenzie up for her first Ballet class. She loved it! She didn’t have the right shoes today (oops), but it went great. She was incredibly nervous at first, but one of her 4K friends happens to be in the class, so she settled in quickly. Phew! Afterward we went swimming. The YMCA here has an awesome little splash pad for kids with dumping buckets, squirt gun thingys, and a little water slide. She loved that too. Maybe I’ll take her swimming every morning? It was a fun day, and really nice for me to get out of the house. Ballet

And since yesterday was my bad day, I watched this video like 5 times. It made me laugh so hard! And it’s only a minute long, soooooooo check it out and laugh your butts off too…I was definitely not expecting that! And I like the guy’s reaction at the end, priceless. Haha. Another one that makes me crack up is this drive-thru prank. Are there any videos that never fail to make you laugh?! Laughter is the best medicine, after all, so do share. ;)

I had a bad day.

Today was not a good day. Before Jon left, he told me he hit the car into a pole backing out of a parking garage. Well, I examined the back & there were a few tiny scratches…nothing I couldn’t live with. BUT, I failed to look at the front of the car, because…SILLY ME…he said he hit it backing out. Um, yeah.
Well, I drove that car today, and discovered the entire front-driver side bumper was missing paint & cracked. WHAT THE HELL. I was mad. I took it in for an estimate, and it was $616. $616!!! Ooooh, I will be speaking to him about this whenever I hear from him. I’m not pleased.
Then, when McKenzie’s friend was over (who is afraid of dogs), I had Logan & Cali in our  bedroom for an hour. Cali decided to chew the newly painted door frame…like, newly painted last week. Not that bad, but still a pain. And she’s 7 now, she knows better! She got a doggie spanking. Seriously not my day.

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In a positive note, I did have a wonderful breakfast out with McKenzie, and we got a membership at our local YMCA…now I can sign her up for swimming & ballet! I just want to have a solid schedule while Jon’s away (so I don’t feel like I never leave the house). Hope your day was better than mine!

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