Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10th 2017

ME: 365d Pregnant. I gained 8 lbs in the past two weeks and am at an all time high for my weight. Dr thinks the most recent bout of weight gain is mostly swelling. I knew I had a little swelling, but did not realize just how much until she started poking my legs. We all are fighting a cold, and for me that is harder since I do not want to use PTO and I can't take most meds. For some reason, it seems all of the pregnancy safe cold meds are the drowsy ones, nothing to  use during the day. I swore off pants last week and am living in leggings, skirts and dresses. Baby is head down and, I believe, engaged in my pelvis. She had been resting on my right hip bone for awhile, but when I had a chair massage last week the little bit of pressure I put on the top of my belly for 15 minutes (leaning against the chair) was enough to pop her into place. It is always hard to get her heart rate on the monitor, I am told this is partially due to an anterior placenta, but I have to think its also just a bit of her being stubborn haha. I have signed up to do the puzzle derby on 3/4 despite 3/5 being my due date, and I am hopeful I will be able to attend, but you never know! The ammt of faith I am putting in, as DH puts it "two data points" to indicate this pregnancy will go overdue is probably a bad idea, but I really can't help it. I did pull the baby clothes out last night. We have a carseat purchased, but not installed, hope to do that this weekend. I have been approved for some work from home during my maternity leave so that I don't lose TOTAL touch with the office for 8 weeks, which with my current level of responsability would be a disaster. Mostly I am just surviving the days and enjoying feeling the kicks. 

BEN: I cannot express what a 180 we have seen from this boy. We went from horrible reports at daycare, aggression, being mean to other kids, etc, to perfect reports, "he was the most helpful" "he was so friendly all day", "he was engaged and smiling all day". It all changed from one week to the next and we have now had 3 weeks in a row of excellent behavior. As mentioned in the last post, what we did was take away ALL violent toys initially, even ones that dont seem really violent like Battleship. We also took away his screen time initially, and then we started encouraging him to have the daily goal of "doing five helpful things" and I would remind him of this every morning at drop off. I am not sure which thing worked. After one week of great reports at daycare, we gave him back screentime. After two weeks of great reports, we gave him back battleship. That one made me nervous because it defo changed the tenure of his play! He went from hardly any violent play to talking about guns and explosions again, BUT as we have seen no relapse in his behavior (only in his imagination), we are allowing it. Now he has had three weeks in a row and we may let him start playing pokemon again, as long as the focus is not on battling. We will see how it goes. This boy wants to be the BEST and has a very competitive nature. He now brags when you pick him up "I WAS THE BEST KID". Haha... well as long as he is trying to behave I will put up with it. We took him to Saturday morning at the races and he didn't push anyone (Like he did at the last summer races in August), so I guess we are making progress. He has also recently started playing a lot with playing cards, both actual games like Solitaire, Pyramid, and even Kings Corner, but also just a made up game where he creates families within suits that need to do certain things to survive. 

FELICITY: Oh, she is certainly two. Terrible terrible two. Daycare described her as "sassy" at one pickup. She knows what she wants and tries to get it. With Ben's behavior so improved it really emphasizes how often she melts down or is naughty! (For example, spraying grape juice all over grandma's house). I am sure she will outgrow it. She hate us brushing her hair and putting it up, and claims to want a haircut, but I dont think she really understands what that means so I am putting it off because I like her long hair, even if it is tricky at times. I have been trying to be more consistent at brushing it and putting it back when I can so that it gets less knots and so she is more used to it. She has been playing on the kindle a lot, she likes the game where you clean the house! LOL. She likes to clean stuff in real life too, so that makes sense. She also likes to be helpful, carry things too and from the table, get something you  need from the other room. She is now OFFICIALLY TALL ENOUGH TO REACH LIGHT SWITCHES. Holy moly. She is getting big. Her least favorite thing in the world is being told no. Her favorite thing in the world is taking a nap on Grandma's lap, with her pacifier in her mouth and a blanket (she will tell you all of this). 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Snapshot 1/22/2017

Amanda: 34w1d pregnant. Nauseated frequently. Sciatica frequently. Occasional migraines. Can't bend over or do heavy lifting. In high spirits. I drink too much Star Bucks, and shop more than ever before. Both habits that I will need to curtail when baby comes. One U/S has shown this is a girl, and thats what we say it is, but we recently discussed where we are on names if we find out later they were wrong and its a boy. At work, I have been certified in my supervisor position and am working on some big 2017 projects. I am trying to figure out how to best allow these projects to continue while I am on maternity leave. Its a different position to be in than my previous two maternity leaves where I was perfectly fine to just walk away from my daily work duties, knowing I was replaceable. Its a nice change, but also a challenge.

Benjamin: 5 years old (zero months) old. He is experiencing some major difficulties at the moment, both behaviorally (aggression, difficulty expressing his feelings at daycare) and phyisically (GI issues). I generally do not want to be a stay at home mom.. but it would be nice to be able to take a week or two off and just focus on him, unfortunately that is not an option right now, so we try to figure out different things to tweak in the context of our day to day life to help him out (most recently eliminating violence from his play, including things that seem innocuous but are actually about battle like Battleship, and limiting screen time more). He also can be incredibly sweet and he is so intelligent. He loves to play strategy games like Chess, he loves to learn about history and science. This morning in the car he was telling me about how blood cells work. I told him that his Grandpa K studies such things, how your body works when you are running around. Ben said that Grandpa should watch the Magic School Bus if he gets confused. We still need to have his birthday party, but I feel like his behavior needs to improve a bit first.

Felicity: 2y,4m old. She wants to be so independent. She puts on her own shoes, gets dressed, has strong opinions about what to wear, wants to get in the carseat herself, wants to open the baby gate herself, wants to pour her own food when we will let her, butter her own toast (and put it in the toaster to begin with), etc. She also changes her mind ever 10 seconds, which is the typical two year old. "I want apple juice" .."NO I NO WANT APPLE JUICE" cue the tears. She is very emotional. She likes playing with baby dolls, wrapping them up, pushing them around in strollers, pretending to feed them. She still uses a pacifier. Her version of the word pacifier sounds like "water". If you ask her to clarify it, it comes out 'wa-ter-wa-ter". She also likes to do whatever her big brother is doing, or to wreck what he is doing, or to steal his Eevee. She unfortunately likes to get our attention by putting things she know dont go in her mouth, like game pieces, in her mouth. She loves apple juice, blankets, and her bunk bed. She is running, climbing and jumping now and grows more everyday.

Monday, January 2, 2017

New Years MEMEs

For some unknown reason I skipped these posts at the end of 2015. I am kind of sad about that now, but I must not have been in a very reflective mood last year. This year I am a day or two late, it has been a rocky start to the new year. Aaron and I both had a rotten cold the past three days. Luckily though our families helped us through and we are both on the up swing.

Exercise #1

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before? Became a supervisor.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year? My goal was to simplify and organize. I made progress.. but its a constant battle.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Ben Ben became a father, and some of my cousins.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Grim dog.

5. What countries did you spend time in this year? Just America.

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016? My life is pretty damned good. My biggest wishes are for other people.

7. What dates from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? June 10th, date of my FET.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Becoming supervisor

9. What was your biggest failure? Not recording it! LOL... bad with pictures, journaling, blogging

10. Did you suffer any serious injury or illness? Nope!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
 A new van

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and/or depressed? The American Electorate

14. Where did most of your money go? Daycare, mortgage, eating

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? MFIP contracts. Thanksgiving trip to Des Moines.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?  Shut up and Dance

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? happier
b) thinner or fatter? fatter (mostly due to pregnancy!!)
c) richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of? being mindful

19. What do you wish you'd done less of? facebooking?

20. How did you spend Christmas? In Duluth - Santa came to our house, then we went to my parents for the day. ILs came up and spent it with us as well. There was a Christmas Day Blizzard, but everyone made it to the celebration and home safely.

21. Did you fall in love in 2016? I stayed in love.

22. What are the main websites you used? Facebook, What to Expect, Amazon

23. Did you write anything worth reading this year? No, I hardly wrote anything.

24. What was your favorite TV program? Supernatural, various cooking competition shows, Voyaguer

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I try not to hate people in general, but Donald Trump comes to mind.

26. What was the best book you read? I mostly just read book club books. I enjoyed Book 2 of the Raven Cycle, and I enjoyed Etta and Otto and Russel and James

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Piano Puzzlers on MPR

28. What did you want and get? A promotion, a pregnancy

29. What did you want and not get? A living niece/nephew

30. What was your favorite film of this year? I dont even know what movies came out this year or what I saw. Oh! I know! Magical Beasts and Where to Find them!

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 32. I have no idea what I did.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? If Trump hadn't won the election. If we had our first female president about to be sworn in.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016? I discovered Lularoe!!

34. What kept you sane?
 The help and support of my family and friends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? David Tenant, Dean Winchester

36. What political issue stirred you the most? The election. Black lives matter.

37. Who did you miss? My graduate school friends

38. Who was the best new person you met?

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016? We don't live in the idealistic world I had come to feel like we did.

40. What word or phrase sums up this year? Waiting

Exercise #2

1 minute ago... I was watching watching The Crown
1 hour ago... I was helping get the kids ready for bed
1 day ago... I was nursing a migraine, trying to make it through parenting.
1 month ago... Working on MFIP Contracts
1 year ago... Preparing for a trip to St Louis for Christmas
1 decade ago... I was in the middle of my first year of grad school.
1 lifetime ago... I think I was in revolutionary in Russia

5 minutes ago... Talking to Aaron, trying to remember what movies we had seen this year
5 hours ago... I was cleaning out under the sink (new years ... motivation)
5 days ago... Hosting a holiday party at work. Pizza Luce!
5 months ago... awaiting anxiously news of if this pregnancy would work out
5 years ago... I was massively pregnant with Benjamin, waiting to go into labor!!

Exercise #3

The rule is simply: Post the first line of each month of my blog from the last year.

JANUARY: On December 22nd we left Duluth MN and drove the 10 hrs down to St Louis MO to visit my ILs. We arrived back home on Saturday (Jan 2nd). Here are some highlights from the trip
FEBRUARY:  Ben... his personality. How do I describe it? The easiest way I think is - he likes the bad guy. 
MARCH: On Friday night we took Ben to his first Hockey game, or, at least he first one he has any chance of remembering at all.
APRIL:   IFelicity is asserting her independence these last few days. She want's to do everything herself.
MAY:  After lingering cold, yesterday a new weather pattern moved in and we suddenly have summer temperatures (too warm for my liking!). I love being able to open the windows though, and seeing all the summer close out there.
JULY:Yeah... so it has been two months since I posted. Oops!
In my defense, I have moved to some other versions of keeping track of our lives - mainly a "line a day" journal in which I keep one line as often as possible for myself, Ben, and Felicity. But I did not mean to abandon my blog.
AUGUST - December - NO POSTS

Pregnancy #3

 I am 31 weeks pregnant! Its a girl. We are elated. It has been a rocky journey! We had two frozen embryos left from when we struggled to get pregnant with Ben, so we set up to do a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) starting way back in February. First I had to get my thyroid back under control, then in April I was able to start the 8 weeks of meds required to ramp up for a FET. In early June I traveled to Columbus OH for the transfer (easier to take me to the embryos then vica versa). Only one of the embryos survived thaw, and we transferred that on June 10th. 10 days later, when we started to try to figure out if the transfer worked, my numbers were not what the doctor hoped for or expected, and they did not rise as quickly as "normal", but we wanted to be sure it was not viable before stopping meds so I kept having Aaron jab me with needles (9 shots a week) and we waited. We had our first U/S in early July, and again it was not clear news, not what the doctor hoped to see, and more waiting. Then, the middle of July we were able to have our second U/S and finally, some definitively good news! There was a baby in there, with a strong heartbeat! Such a big change of momentum. I was measuring a FULL WEEK behind with no explanation (given they knew the exact timing of everything), but besides that unaccounted for week, it all looked good, and so it has all kept looking good since then. My due date is March 5th (after they moved it a week).

This has been a rough pregnancy symptom wise as well! I had a lot of nausea and shortness of breath at the beginning and it was hard to know that it might be just the meds and not a viable pregnancy causing it, that was a huge psychological thing for me. The nausea stuck around until very recently and I feel sure it will come back. I assumed that because I was so nauseated, it  must be a boy, because I had been nauseated with Ben but not Felicity. Then I also started getting migraines... which was something I had with Felicity and not Ben. In the end, our October anatomy scan showed a healthy, stubborn little girl who would NOT show us her face for anything (we went back in November and got a picture of her face)

Overall, I really enjoy being pregnant even if I am exhausted, short of breath, nauseated, and getting occasional migraines. Just in the past few days she has gotten big enough in there that I am starting to feel every move, one of my favorite phases of pregnancy!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

All Grown Up

Yeah... so it has been two months since I posted. Oops!
In my defense, I have moved to some other versions of keeping track of our lives - mainly a "line a day" journal in which I keep one line as often as possible for myself, Ben, and Felicity. But I did not mean to abandon my blog.

It has been a crazy two months. Here is what we have been up to -

-  I have been selling Usborne Books, averaging four parties a month.
- For my Birthday we went up the shore and had a glorious picnic and fun time hanging out at the Baptism River and Silver Bay Marina
- I travelled to Columbus in June for a frozen embryo transfer. We STILL are waiting to find out if this was successful, so don't ask.
- Aaron and Ben traveled to Des Moines to help his parent move there!
- We had a good Independence Day! Aaron was sick, but I took Felicity and Ben to the Superior Parade, we had BBQ at my parent's house, and I took Ben to see the fireworks (from Marshall)

Here is what the kids are up to -

Ben is starting to learn manners and act like a human being! Sometimes. He is into Legos, Ninjago (a lego Ninja show). We bought clearance Star Wars playdoh that he is loving.  He is still a picky eater, but seems SLIGHTLY more likely to try something new if we say he will like it.  At least once daily he asks "what kind of dragon are you?" and we have to invent a new dragon to play as. Aaron just introduced him to Pokemon Go and he likes that. His speech is still not clear, he will continue speech therapy in the fall. He loves playing in water. He is interested in learning to read, and in science.

Felicity is talking more everyday. The last time I posted we were excited she was saying things like Nooooooo. Now she is saying multiple sentences and surprising us with new vocabulary. Today's new sentence was "I'm coming!", which she shouted out down the sidewalk to her dad today who was already at the garage. She loves to be outside. She likes vehicles. We went to the airshow this weekend and she laughed at the noise of the Jets. She likes to point to a vehicle confirm what it is, and then say vroom vroom. She likes to identify possession - who owns what. She is still saying Ommy for drink , and I do not know the link. She is fearless and will climb anything, is doing some serious big kid obstacles at the playground these days. She wants to do anything she sees her brother doing. She jumps  (It took Ben forever to jump! So this surprised me!). She wants to do EVERYTHING herself, I would say she has hit the terrible two's early.

Hope that is a good update!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Sunny Weather

After lingering cold, yesterday a new weather pattern moved in and we suddenly have summer temperatures (too warm for my liking!). I love being able to open the windows though, and seeing all the summer close out there.

Last night we went to the Lyons Club Pancake Dinner at the DECC. It is a massive affair, and it was our first time going. It was also Ben's first pancake dinner. He was so excited about it going in when we described the concept, and the actual event did not disappoint. He was especially happy about the blueberry syrup they had. Felicity was pretty tired, so its hard to tell if she liked it or not. We also all had our vision screened by my friend Sam with this cool camera that you just have to look at to tell if your eyes have certain issues.

Felicity's new developments this week... she is saying a lot of things specific to her books, like the book that says "oops" and the one that says "noooooooo". She tries to mimic these dramatic sounds. She is also trying to say more other things like "all done", "please", etc. When we have made it to the playground, she has loved the slides. She has also tried some "big kid" obstacles like ladders and the like, she jumps right in and tries!

Ben has been pretending to be an animal or monster or creature basically non-stop. Bloody Devil (a giant black and red sea serpent he made up), or Alligators, or Spiders, or Spinosaurus (apparently from Jurassic Park?) . He plays he is the baby. He asks repetitively if we are still playing we are the parents. He likes when I call him "baby ____" instead of Ben. He has been loving Magic School Bus books recently.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Felicity at 19 Months

Felicity is 19m old!

She has peed on the potty 4 times so far! She is very interested in using it.
Its hard to remember what changes since the last time I posted.
She loves to brush her teeth, wash her own hands, and of course play in any running water. She loves baths.

She is a hungry girl, she eats so much on somedays! But she is already showing the same picky eating that her brother has. I suspect she is actually modelling his behavior. I was trying to get them to try cantelope. She refused. Then Ben refused. Then I dared Ben to lick it. He licked it and immediately took a bite (because its good!!). She immediately wanted some.

She is much more likely to eat something if she can put it on a spoon or fork. She uses utensils more, and better, than her brother. She likes BBQ sauce, oranges, beans, and cottage cheese the most. (and Jelly Beans...)

Her language has started to take off a bit in the past two weeks. She tries to say more and more things. My favorite thing lately is the way she says "oh". A common morning conversation would be:
Felicity: Da da daddy? (Pointing at the bed where he sleeps)
Me: He is at work
Felicity: Oh.
She also likes that rhythm... da da daddy? Ma ma mommy? ow ow owie? She uses it a ton.
She is still using Owie to mean help sometimes, though she does seem to understand help is a word too.

She continues to be pretty awesome.