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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19 Weeks

19 weeks.words

Urgh, I’m sorry all my posts have been mostly pregnancy related…but alas, it has consumed my life lately. I can’t believe I’m 19 weeks already! I promise I’ll have a blog featuring my new stroller, and some goodies I picked up in Cali on our trip soon. Here we go again:

How far along are you? 19 weeks…I’m officially half-way, since I need to deliver by 38 weeks. Only like 4 months to go! That’s crazy.

How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of an heirloom tomato.

Weight Gain? I’m up 7lbs. I’m pretty pleased with that, I think I was at 15 by now with McKenzie.

Maternity clothes? Yoga pants & sweatshirts are my uniform of choice.

Stretch marks? A tiny one on my inner thigh. And my boobies, which are leaking now. Oh joy.

Sleep: My itching is much worse at night, so my doc suggested Benadryl…not for the itching, but to knock me out. Worked like a charm last night! I slept like a man. =)

Best moment this week? We booked  trip to visit Jon next month! I’m so excited. It was EXPENSIVE for a 48 hour trip, but I don’t even care. Oh well.

Movement? He’s getting stronger & more consistent every day. =) I love that feeling. He’s tumbling around right now.

Food cravings? Bite Size Tostitos (my fave) covered in Sharp Cheddar. And also scallops (this recipe is easy and delicious…I use sea scallops. It’s one of the safest pregnancy seafoods).  Weird.

Food aversions? Nope.

Labor signs? Nope.

Gender? BOY!

Symptoms? Not as itchy, thank goodness. Nothing to speak of. Gotta love 2nd trimester. =)

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? Pretty happy. A little overwhelmed with cleaning up the house post-vacay.

What I miss: Not a whole lot, pre-pregnancy wise. Maybe my body obviously…I’m in that awkward stage where it’s not clear if I’m fat or pregnant. Haha.

What I am looking forward to: Seeing Jon next month, obviously. But we also have the 20 week anatomy ultrasound next Wednesday (May 1st), so I’m excited to see Baby Boy again.

Home again, home again.

I’m still recovering from our horrific travel day home from California on Wednesday/Thursday…a snowstorm in Denver turned our 6 hour travel day (4 hours of airtime) into 18 hours. We finally got into Milwaukee at 3am. It would be horrible for anyone, but I was particularly exhausted being almost 5 months pregnant, and traveling with a 4 year old. And I am not one to invoke “pregnancy status” as an excuse for anything. McKenzie was such a trooper though, so that was definitely a plus.

As a silver lining in the whole mess, I discovered the USO. What a lifesaver! I always thought it was for active duty servicemen only…I had no clue it was for dependents too. Well, it was amazing. Free pizza, snacks, juice, water, internet, huge comfy recliners, big screen TV’s, phone chargers to borrow, and a play area for kids. The volunteers were the most awesome people ever…so kind & helpful. And after traveling 10 hours already, with 8 to go, I was on the verge of tears, and the USO was a little slice of heaven. No joke. Throughout the whole thing, McKenzie was an absolute ANGEL. No whining, crying, or tantrums. Angel status, for sure.

In California, now that was another story. She had a tantrum like 2x/day. Her sleep was all messed up from the time change, and let’s just say Jeff didn’t have a lot of food in the house…a perfect recipe for tantrums galore. Oh, you won’t escort me to the bathroom? 30 minute tantrum. Oh, did you say I need a nap? Spastic, exorcist tantrum. Moments like those, I could use a “tag” from Jon. =( I am happy to report, though, that her behavior is back to normal & she is currently spending her 2nd night in her big girl bed.

Overall, it was great to see Jeff, but I’m very happy to be home, and I won’t be traveling (voluntarily) for awhile. I had all these plans to stay busy, but I may have been overly ambitious. This itching is out of control (and much worse at night), so I haven’t been sleeping well, and then I’m exhausted during the day. I had a doctor’s appointment today and they said I could take Benadryl to knock me out. I really hate to take anything unnecessary, but I’m desperate for a good night’s sleep. Maybe I’ll pick some up tomorrow.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer, but it has seriously been a rough couple days. As an attempt to stay positive, here are some random things I’ve been happy about lately:

1) Baby Boy is a lot more active. Nothing super-consistent, but the movement is more frequent, for sure. It’s the coolest feeling. Something you never forget.
2) I brought my wicked-awesome stroller back from Cali, which Jeff had picked up for me off of Craigslist…and as a super-bonus, he refused to let me pay him back. Baby B’s gift. Sweet.
3) I got tons of adorable baby clothes from my favorite resale shop when we were in California…onesies for 99¢! I went a little crazy. Maybe I’ll share my spoils in a different post.
4) I got to talk to Jon for 15 minutes last Saturday. It was heaven! I miss him like woah.
5) I came home to a letter from him! He liked the pictures for the baby’s announcement of boy/girl. =)
6) We get to go visit him next month & he gets a 48 hour leave. It’s gonna be super expensive, but I really don’t care at this point.
7) At the airport in Orange County, a little old lady said to me, “That daughter of yours is going to be a knockout…and she has quite the little booty.” It was SO funny…particularly because she was little & old. But Jon might have cried if he heard someone say that…lol. Poor Daddy.
8) I’m reading a new book by my favorite author, James Rollins. Love him. When I read for pleasure, I enjoy action thriller books, and he is my fave. I love reading.
9) I loved watching McKenzie play in the surf at the beach on our trip. She had so much fun. She would play chicken with the waves, and she delighted in throwing sand into the water. Here’s a photo-dump from my phone…our last beach day, in Laguna Beach, 10 minutes from Grandpa Jeff’s house. Have a good weekend everyone, I will be relaxing at home.

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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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17 Weeks

17weekswords

How far along are you? 17 weeks now! Time is still flying, I can’t believe I’m 2.5 weeks away from half-way.
How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a turnip.
Weight Gain? 6 lbs. nothing new
Maternity clothes? Yoga pants & sweatshirts?
Stretch marks? A tiny one on my inner thigh. Blast.
Sleep: My itching is horrible at night, so my sleep leaves much to be desired…hopefully the meds kick in soon. =/
Best moment this week? It’s been a rough week (as mentioned in my last post). Maybe hearing Jon’s voice? We’re flying to Cali today, so that’ll be nice. A break from this dreary rain. And I guess finding out I’ll get to see Baby Boy weekly via ultrasound & we’ll meet him early? In about 20 weeks…
Movement? Here & there, nothing consistent yet.
Food cravings? Water? Apparently the Cholestasis of Pregnancy can cause loss of appetite…I think I have that aspect as well. I guess I’ve been wanting Bite Size Tostitos (my fave) covered in Sharp Cheddar. MMmmmm…
Food aversions? Not so much, just not very hungry.
Labor signs? Nope.
Gender? BOY! BOY! BOY!
Symptoms? Itchy, itchy, itchy…still not feeling/looking very pregnant. I honestly thought I’d be bigger by now, since it’s baby #2.
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? Moody…not the best week. McKenzie had a wonderful tantrum last night, and the dogs are a handful sometimes. Urgh.
What I miss: Jon, Jon, Jon…I should get to talk to him Sunday. He left a month ago tomorrow. Blah.
What I am looking forward to: Sunshine & the ocean. My step-dad (Grandpa Jeff) lives 10 minutes from this slice of heaven (and that is a camera-phone pic):Laguna Beach

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. =)

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

DIY Kid’s Swimsuit Alteration: No More Falling Straps!

IMAG0420_1So, I’m not sure what clothing manufacturers are thinking, but McKenzie’s straps always fall off her shoulders: tank tops, swimsuits, dresses, etc. She doesn’t have super-broad shoulders, but I think she’s a pretty normal-sized kid. Am I alone here? Either way, I don’t like it. I prefer to keep my 4-year-old’s chest completely covered, thank you very much.

Anyway, as I mentioned in this post, we’ve been going to the YMCA lately for swimming. Last summer, I had actually tied dental floss in the middle to keep her straps from falling off (see above)! I was sick of it. Sooooo, today I decided to alter the shoulder straps (ie: cut & re-sewed them…just a needle & thread). I am SO pleased with the end-result. They stay perfectly and don’t fall off…it worked so well that I had to share!

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The “after.” The straps were originally two inches out to either side.

In the future maybe I’ll just look for halter swim suits, but if you have the same problem with your daughter’s clothes, I highly recommend this simple fix. =)

14 Weeks…Officially 2nd Trimester!

14Weeks

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. ;)