Monday, December 13, 2010

I can't help but whine.

As of yesterday, I am 38 weeks pregnant.  I know I shouldn't complain since I have 2 weeks until my due date.  But darnit, I'm going to complain anyway.

I'm just READY to have this baby. 

I'm huge.

I'm swollen.

I keep throwing up.

I think my tail bone is dislocated, as I have an annoying "clicking" with every step.

My back hurts.  A lot.

I have false/prodromal labor ALL.THE.TIME.   Contractions strong enough to make me grimace and wake me up at night.  Yet, the moment I start to think "this could be it!" - they stop.  Damnit!

I'm sore all over from said contractions.

I sleep like crap.  Restless leg syndrome.  And it hurts to sleep on my left side now, which is the ONLY way I can sleep. 

I'm cranky.  REALLY cranky. 

But really - I just WANT MY BABY!!!!!!!  I cannot wait to meet her.  I honestly never thought I'd be pregnant this long.  And now, I feel like there is no end in sight! 

I know... no woman has ever been pregnant forever.  It could happen any minute.  But that is little consolation these days.

The not-pregnant me would get annoyed with a 38-week pregnant woman whining the way I do.  But, hey - its my right to be hypocritical! 

Ok, whine over.  Back to work.  Must keep my mind busy...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I did it!!! TERM!!!

As of December 5, 2010, I am officially 37 weeks and FULL TERM!!!!!

I was told at the beginning of this pregnancy that because of the reasons for my son Bennett's preterm birth, I had a 30% chance of giving birth prematurely again.   Now, 30% sounds really high when you are talking about your baby!!!  I'll admit, I was a nervous wreck. 

And it wasn't exactly smooth-sailing.  I did have some issues with pre-term labor, including a stint in Labor and Delivery at 28 weeks where I had to be given Terbutaline to stop my 4-minutes-apart contractions that caused me to start dilating and effacing.  The doctor gave me a stern warning that I was "very high risk" for delivering preterm and should take all precautions necessary to keep my contractions under control.  I have a very irritable uterus though, so controling the contractions was a difficult task.  By 32 weeks, I was 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  And a nervous wreck.  But the weeks kept passing by and I was still pregnant!!!

So, with several lifestyle restrictions (no lifting over 10 lbs, no exercise beyond light walking, etc.), 19 weekly injections of hydroxyprogeterone into my bum, and 8 cervial surveillance ultrasounds, I did it - I made it to term!!!

Making it this far stirred up a whole pot of emotions.  If I didn't realize before how EARLY 30 weeks is to be born, feeling the difference between 30 and 37 weeks with this pregnancy made it very real.  I am just so happy and thankful to know that Miss Isla won't have to suffer the way her brother did.  I am happy to know she has the best start in life - every baby deserves that! 

As we were counting down the hours until I hit 37 weeks (and yes, I did stay up until midnight!) and it became obvious by 6:00 p.m. of 36w6d that she wasn't coming that evening, I turned to my husband and said "Aren't you so happy we changed our minds and decided to have another baby??"  You see, for a long while after Bennett was born, there was no way I would even contemplate risking having another baby.  I just couldn't go through it again, and I couldn't put another baby through that.  Obviously, I changed my mind.  And I'm so glad I did.  Because, even though she isn't here yet, I cannot even imagine never having Isla. 



Now, we shall not call this a "shower" as it is apparently taboo to have a shower for any baby but your first.  Yes, ma'am Ms. Emily Post.   However, 'round these parts, it has become common to have "sprinkle" for subsequent babies - a smaller and more intimate celebration of an impending birth.  When my good friend "AA" offered to host one of these shindigs for me, I gladly accepted!  I was very excited - not for gifts really - but to have an opportunity to share my blissful anticipation of my little girl with my close friends and family!

AA organized a beautiful, yet intimate, event at a local restaurant that specializes in Greek food.  She served plates full of delicious hors d'ouvres and made these adorable little cloth diaper favors with girly colored M&M's inside.  I had SUCH a wonderful time visiting and chatting with everyone!  Its hard to find time in our busy lives to get together, so it was a cherished opportunity! 

Unfortunately, we were all having SUCH a good time, that no one remembered to take photos!  Here are the lonely three photos that were taken:

My eyes grew wide as the gift table disappeared from view underneath bags and boxes of pink and purple wrapping.  I was NOT expecting this.  At all.  Now, I must say that the #1 culprit here is without a doubt my best friend Melissa.  She is an over achiever.  And an over-giver.  She is SO excited for a little girl to be born (we currently have 4 boys between us) into our crew that she went a little crazy - shoes, hair accessories, bottles, baby medicine, baby wash, a Fisher-Price Newborn Rock 'n Play Sleeper, Yellow, burp rags, Aden & Anais Oh Girl! Swaddle Wrap 4 Pack, and oodles of clothes!!!! 

I also received several beautiful hand-made gifts, including gorgeous painted bird houses from my mom and sister, a needle-pointed blanket from my mom, and a knit hat from a friend!

My other friends also inundated us with wonderful and thoughtful gifts as well.  As I walked out of the restaurant that night, I could not think of a single thing I had left to buy before baby girl arrived!!  I was overwhelmed by the generosity.  It may have been called a "sprinkle" but we were literally showered with love!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Half Baked

In honor of Prematurity Awareness Month, I snagged a copy of this new book Half Baked from the library.  Now, I don't have much time, or energy, to read these days for pleasure.  But, I ripped through this book in less than a week!

The author is the mom of a 25-weeker who chronicles the challenges of her pregnancy, hospital bed rest, delivery and her daughter's journey through the NICU.  It was great to read the "inner thoughts" of someone else who has been through a very similar experience.  And our stories have many eery parallels.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a NICU mom! 

I do have some criticisms though.  First, the author seems to resort to using her thesaurus too much, plugging in $.25 words in ways that do not flow naturally.  I mean, really, the word "soporific" shouldn't appear more than once in a book of this length.  I felt it detracted from her otherwise witty and "light" prose that made the book enjoyable (and easier to swallow given the gravity of its subject matter).  

Second, the author threw some stinging jabs at moms of preemies who weren't as sick or as premature as her daughter - as if our experiences weren't "bad enough."  I don't think it was her intention, and I can relate on many levels to what she was saying.  Its hard to be sympathetic when you are in the throes of the NICU toward moms of babies who were born weeks later than yours, and whose only "challenge" is to overcome some apnea or reflux issues.  When you are in that hell, those things seem trivial compared to the challenge of simply trying to get your baby to BREATHE on their own.  However, one mom's experience shouldn't diminish anothers.  You really cannot compare preemies.  I know I felt jealousy and resentment whenver I would hear of a baby who was Bennett's gestational age or younger who was doing better than he was.  Silly really.  I should be HAPPY that another baby isn't struggling as much as mine!  But, the NICU can make you a bit psychotic.  Regardless, I am assuming the book was intended to appeal to a wide-range of preemie-parents.  If were me I'd have softened that discussion a little more. 

Anyway - its still a great book, and it was great to hear that I'm not the only crazy psychotic preemie mom out there.  Read it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes

Dominga Pacson Reyes
May 12, 1910 to October 29, 2010

Very early this morning, Ace's maternal grandmother passed away.  She was 100 years, 6 months and 2 weeks old.  We knew the end was coming near, and the entire family gathered last night at the hospital to be with her. 

I took Carter into his Great Lola's hospital room for what I felt would probably be his last goodbye.  He asked me if he could touch her, and I said go ahead.  He went up to her, took her hand in his, and just held it and rubbed it for several minutes.  He said "Feel better Great Lola" and we left.  We'd been talking about death with Carter over the past week to prepare him.  He had asked a lot of questions and seemed to understand.

At 12:11 a.m. Great Lola passed away.  This morning when Carter woke up, Ace and I told him the news.  At first, he seemed a little stunned, processing that she really was gone.  Then, he smiled a big bright smile and said "Today is her first day in heaven!  She is with Jesus now!"

Our precious little five year old son understood perfectly.  While we are very sad that she will no longer be with us and will miss her presence, we should also celebrate!  While we on earth are mourning, she is embarking on her new life.  Her everlasting life through the Lord! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Two Months 'Til Christmas

Today is October 25th.  EEEKK!!!! 

The winter holidays are a stressful and busy time for us under normal circumstances.  But this year, it is even moreso considering the fact that I'm DUE to have a BABY the day AFTER Christmas. 

The tricky thing about babies is you have NO idea when they are going to come.  I'll be term (37 weeks) on December 5th, so anytime after that is fine by me!  Although, I really would like her to come in the year 2010.  You know, tax breaks and all.  Nothing to do with the fact that the idea of going overdue is less than appealing....

Actually, I don't want her to come ON Christmas either.  Let's face it, you can't compete with Jesus' birthday, no matter how cute you are. 

I do fear, though, that she will come on say December 23rd and we'll still be in the hospital on Christmas!  Given that I have two little boys at home eagerly awaiting the jolly old elf already, that would be very disappointing!  But fear not - I do have a back-up plan.  IF Isla comes with such comedic timing, then I will have Carter send an "emergency" letter to Santa telling him to come back the next available day.  Yeah...that's the best I've got!

So, my goal for Christmas shopping is to have it all done and wrapped BY Thanksgiving this year.  To accomplish that goal, I think Ace and I will just have to schedule a "date" night and go to Toys R Us and hit them up in one trip and take it all back to his office for a wrapping spree. 

But what about Christmas cards?  I'm thinking I'll just skip that this year.  Its just too complicated.  If I send one out with just a picture of the two boys and then Isla does come before Christmas, then I'll feel badly she wasn't included.  Besides, I'll be turning around and sending out birth announcements shortly thereafter.  Maybe I can make the announcement dual-purpose...

And should I buy her a Christmas dress "just in case"??  I know - everyone is saying I won't want to bother with dressing up a newborn.  But what about the photo op????  

Ok, now my head is spinning.  It's too much.  I think my ultimate goal is to give birth, survive, make sure my kids have a magical Christmas, and if anything else gets done on top of that - bonus.  So, if you don't get a Christmas-Card-Birth-Announcement from me with a picture of my three kids in coordinating outfits, you'll know I'm just surviving.  And that should be enough holiday cheer - don't you think?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Isla's Nursery

After two boys, I cannot even begin to tell you the fun I've been having preparing for a little girl!!  I wavered back and forth between using the same nursery set I had for the boys (Pottery Barn Kids Chamois Lambie) because it was gender neutral, or splurging a bit and redecorating the nursery in a more feminine pattern.  I figured, this is my last baby, my only girl, I should enjoy it!!

Right now, the nursery is basically a storage room while we work on combining the boys into one room.  Lots of organizing and purging still to be done.  But I couldn't wait for the "finished product" (which in all honesty may be weeks or months coming still) to share with you the nursery plans!!

I definitely did not want a Pepto-Bismol pink nursery.  I like pink.  In small doses.  So, when I saw the Penelope nursery bedding from Pottery Barn Kids with its combination of various shades of pink with yellow and green, I was in love!  Plus, I kind of have a "thing" for birds. 

The walls will be painted a pale yellow, and we'll hang the quilt on the wall above the changing table/dresser.  There is one "empty" wall where I plan to put this fun wall decal:

I scored a used (but very good condition) hot pink/light pink blended chenille oval rug with a wide green edging off of Craigs List for PENNIES compared to the $300 the same rug sells for retail!

For the closet, I found these adorable clothing dividers on Etsy!

Sure, what's IN the closet is trivial, but I love details!

I do plan on reusing the same curtains from the boys' nursery, and they just so happen to coordinate pretty perfectly!

Above the crib, I will paint wooden letters to match spelling out her name.  And if I get reallllllly ambitious (i.e. am successful at convincing my husband to do it), I may make a few bird houses painted to coordinate to hang on that wall too!

Considering she'll be here in 10 weeks or less, I better get hopping on this massive project!!!  Keep a look out for photos!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My MUST HAVES for a Newborn!

With the impending arrival of a new little bundle of joy, I've been frantically scrambling to accumlate all the accoutrement necessary for survival. 

O.k, ok., all you really need for a baby is some clothes, a boob, a carseat, and a safe place for them to sleep.  But, I've found along the way that there are a few other items that certainly make life with a newborn a wee bit more bearable. 

Fisher-Price Cradle Swing WITH an A/C Adapter

There are many swings out there on the market, but the one swing that all my mommy friends have reported success with is the Fisher-Price Cradle Swing.  There are a variety of "styles" to choose from.  It can swing both side-to-side (a unique feature particular to this swing, which both of my boys preferred) or front-to-back.  This was the perfect solution for my nap-resistant babies, and the ONLY way I got any sleep when they were going through periods of day and night confusion!  This is one item I honestly do not think I could have lived without!

Back when my boys were itty bitty, they didn't make them with A/C adapters to plug into the wall outlet.  So, we burned through endless batteries.  I donated our old swing and found one for Isla on Craigs List (for $45 - **patting myself on the back**) that DOES plug in!  This new feature is a must!

Dr. Browns Wide-Neck Bottles

I have a love-hate relationship with these bottles.  YES - they do have a gazillion pieces that have to be washed and sanitized.  BUT - I have not found a bottle that vents better than this baby does!  A bottle (if you use bottles at all) with a good venting system is a God-send if your baby is the least bit colicky or has any degree of reflux!  Its worth the extra effort to wash and assemble all the parts.  Trust me.  These bottles are BPA-free as well.
I also like the Born Free Wide Neck Bottles, Twin Pack, 9-Ounce, but they are considerably more expensive and have just as many parts.  They are another good option. 

Medela Microwave Sterlizer Bags

Talk about a time-saver!!!  These sterilizer bags are a time-saving way to sterilize bottle and pump parts!  While you don't really need to sterilize all the bottle parts after three months of age, I always continued to sterilize the nipple anyway. 

I also use these bags after pumping at work to sterilize my pump parts.  They fold up compactly and fit easily into my pump bag.  Each bag can be used up to 20 times and takes only 3 minutes to use! 

White Noise Machine

When Carter was a baby, I had this problem where I would put him down for a nap, and he'd be awake again minutes later.  I was ready to gouge my eyes out when I stumbled upon a miracle cure for this problem - white noise.  One day, I just happened to be blow drying my hair near where he was "napping" and discovered that he actually was staying asleep.  As soon as I finished, he woke right up.  So I turned the hair dryer back on and wah lah! he slept soundly the entire time it was on - way longer than he ever slept without it! 

Let me tell you - I burned through two hair dryers and tripped countless numbers of electrical breakers before a kind mommy friend pointed out to me that they actually make devices that replicate this sound for you!  What a life (and energy bill) saver!!!!  Both of my boys sleep amazing well with white noise, and still use it to this day!  This is one thing I recommend to all first-time moms way in advance.  A total MUST HAVE.

A Ring Sling
Babies like to be held.  A lot.   As in, all the time.  I didn't discover the miraculousness of sling-wearing until Bennett was born.  I purchased one in advance of his birth on the advice of experienced mommy friends who said its great for nursing #2 while still attending to the needs of #1.  It turned out to be even MORE useful for me with Bennett because not only did I have to carry around a baby, I had to tote around a heavy apnea monitor and oxygen tank as well. 

The benefits to baby of baby-wearing are numerous - just Google it.  But the benefit to mom of keeping your newborn close, safe, and happy while running around the house, cooking dinner, roaming the store, etc. is something no study can document! 

I should caution you, however, that recently there have been warnings about suffocation risk with the use of slings.  For that reason, I recommend wearing the baby upright (as shown in the picture above), in a "froggy" position - this position is totally safe.  This also happened to be Bennett's favorite position as well!

There you have it - my MUST HAVES for a newborn!  Mommies - what are YOURS???

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'm Baaaaaack!!!

I must say, I'm slightly flattered at how many of my blog readers have asked me lately why I've gone MIA from this blog!  To be honest - I just got overwhelmed and needed to take a break.  After all, raising two very energetic boys, gestating a sweet little girl through a high-risk pregnancy, and working full-time as layer is a bit to chew for even the best of us.  Or, so I tell myself. 

So, how about a review of the "highlights" from the past few months -

Carter started Kindergarten and LOVES it!!!!

Bennett started preschool and LOVES it!!!!

I am currenlty 29 weeks pregnant with a little girl to be named Isla Michelle!!!

Ace has been pouring his heart and soul into growing and expanding his company.

The next few months are bound to be busy and exciting times for us.  The benefit of my sabatical from blogging is that its given me some time to come up with some kick-butt content to write about!  I hope you enjoy and thanks for bringing me back to the blogosphere!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

18 Weeks!

We're trucking right along in the gestational department! I am 18 weeks pregnant today. The baby is now approximately 5.5 inches long and weighs about 1/2 a lb - about the size of a sweet potato!
The 1/2 lb baby doesn't quite account for the 10 lbs I've gained thus far though! Ooops :) Because my BMI was on the higher end for normal when I got pregnant, I really should not gain more than 25 lbs total. That's a little scary...

I'm feeling pretty good these days. I rarely have morning sickness anymore - only about once or twice a week! I have tons more energy during the day, but am still beat by early evening. I feel a lot of fetal movement, which I absolutely adore!!

I started the progesterone 17P shots this week. Despite all the hype leading up to it, it was easy peasy. I barely felt a thing. My bum was a tad sore for about two days afterward, but nothing to complain about.

This week upcoming is pretty exciting! Thursday morning, I have my anatomical ultrasound, where they take an in-depth look at the baby's organs and take all of its measurements to make sure everything is developing well. If the baby cooperates, we will also be able to find out the gender!! After that appointment, I am heading to a consultation with a midwife practice who may consider me as a patient for a vba2c!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bennett's Toddler Bed - FINALLY done!

This past Spring, I discovered this awesome blog - The blogger is a stay at home mom in Alaska who designs and builds her own wood furniture. She generously creates plans and posts them on her blog for all of us to use and replicate! Her designs are inspired by some of my favorite stores - Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, etc. HEAVEN for me. However, other than a shop class I took in 7th grade, I had NO experience with woodworking! But, ever fearless, I embarked on this project -with the help of my husband of course. And let's be honest - he really did most of the work because stuff like saws and drills scare me a little bit. But, I will get there one day.
So, after obsessing over this blog for weeks (literally) I decided that our first project would be a toddler bed for our crib-jumping son Bennett. I printed off the plans and headed to Lowe's for the lumber. All in one day, we bought the supplies, made the cuts and assembled the head and foot boards!

The bed really was beautiful "naked" but I wanted to stain it to match the rest of Bennett's nursery furniture, which is Mahogany. That had to be put off to another day, and actually took several days and coats to get it perfect. Then I got pregnant. And sick. And nothing other than eating (sometimes) and sleeping (a lot) and breathing has really been accomplished since then!

So, we started this project on April 10th and completed it yesterday, on July 5th. We're real efficient, as you can see. But it is DONE. And I love it!
Bennett slept in it for the first time last night and did great! I was nervous that he would fall out because he's a hurricane when he sleeps, but he stayed in just fine!
We did learn a few important lessons in the process, however, that I feel I should pass on to you, should you decide you want to attempt a great feat such as this ;)
1. I learned that lumber doesn't actually measure what they are labled. A 1x6 board is actually only 5.5'' wide, not 6'' as the label would lead you to believe. This is important in figuring out measurements, obviously. Maybe this is common knowledge, but I had no idea.
2. Cut as you go. We pre-cut everything and that ended up being a mistake (albeit fixable) because some of the pieces didn't match up perfectly. So, we had to fix pieces here and there. When pieces go side-by-side, mark the cut for subsequent pieces off the first cut so they are all uniform.
3. When cutting, add on 1/8'' for the amount the saw takes off.
4. Double-check your plans before you start cutting. Sometimes there are small mistakes in plans and you want to catch that before you do anything permanent! For example, the plans we used from Knock-Off Wood were for a 26.5'' mattress, when a crib mattress is actually 28.5'' wide. I accomodated for this by using larger pieces of wood than plans called for, but fewer panels. Read the comments for each plan entry and see what others have to say - they often point out potential challenges and flaws in the plans!
5. Sand REALLY WELL. The finish is ALLLLLL in the sanding. An electrical sander is a must.
Next up - bunk beds for Carter!!!! He's been begging for bunk beds forever! Which will come in handy with Baby 3.0 makes her arrival and Bennett has to give up the nursery!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Shooting Up

Last week, I met with my Perinatologist (a doctor specializing in high risk pregnancies) to discuss our plan of attack to help prevent another preemie. Because I had a preterm premature rupture of membranes (pProm) with Bennett, there is a 31% chance that it will happen again. Now, that 31% figure comes from a study that looked at all moms with a history of pProm - which included known and unknown reasons and risk factors. We don't know why I ruptured so early with Bennett. It could have been a total fluke! Or, there could have been something going on that they could never find that caused it. But, its maddening because without knowning the cause, its very difficult to assess my true risk for a repeat pProm AND to take appropriate precautions to prevent it.

That said, even with known causes, its pretty diffficult to prevent pProm. The Perinatologist recommended weekly 17 p (hydroxyprogesterone) shots, bi-weekly ultrasounds of my cervix (because a common cause is "funneling" at the top of the cevix, leaving the amniotic sac unsupported), lifting no more than 10 lbs, and restricting exercise to light walking. I am also Group B Strep positive, and will be monitored for that and possible spread of infection throughout my pregnancy.

So, the next day, I go to my regular OB check up and report these recommendations to my doctor, who should be the one to prescribe and administer the shots for me. Despite my Perinatologist's recommendation for the shots, my OB was very resistant to it and was trying very hard to convince me that I did not need them.

The 17p shots were designed to help prevent preterm labor. They work by keeping the uterus calm, hoping to keep you from having any contractions. Since I was not having contractions when I came into the hospital after my "full" rupture, my OB said he doesn't think that was the cause of my rupture and therefore the shots won't help me.

That would make sense EXCEPT for the fact that I have a very irritable uterus in general. I have already been having contractions here and there with this pregnancy, and I'm still a few days away from 15 weeks! Furthermore, I actually started leaking fluid at 21 weeks - three weeks before I was admitted to the hospital. Who knows if I was contracting then or not! And the day that I ruptured, I was having contractions on and off the whole day. They weren't regular contractions, so I assumed they were Braxton Hicks - but WHO KNOWS!? The point is, we don't know. But if there is a chance these shots could help me prevent putting another baby through hell, I'm going to do it!

Then my OB had the nerve to say - "Yes, but you realize that this is an added cost [the co-pays] and pain and inconvenience for you?" Does the man not realize that I would hang from the ceiling by my ankles for the rest of my pregnancy if I thought it would keep this baby in? Does he think I care that it will hurt or cost $10 a week? He has obviously never had to sit at his child's bedside daily for nine weeks watching him struggle to breathe. I would do ANYTHING to keep that from happening to this baby.

I was already looking for a new provider before this happened, but now, I feel all the moreso that I need to do just that...

So, starting at 18 weeks, I get to have a shot in the bum every week. Fun, fun, fun! Now, all I need are volunteers to administer them....

Monday, June 21, 2010

Hellooooooo Second Trimester!!

I am now 14.5 weeks pregnant! That means I'm now in the second trimester - woot!!!

The Lord has blessed me with a "normal" pregnancy this time - hallelujah! With Carter and Bennett, I was sick all day long throwing up my guts until 28 and 20 weeks respectively. This time, my morning sickness has greatly diminished with the onset of the second trimester - as the doctor always promised before but never delivered! Wow, it really DOES happen for some people! I still get nauseous and sometimes sick in the evenings, but that's NOTHING. I'm more tired in general - but that's to be expected growing a human being, working full time, and chasing after two crazy boys!!

Last week, I went for my first trimester screening and nuchal translucency ultrasound and to meet with my perinatologist. The purpose of the screening is to assess the baby's risk for having Downs Syndrome or a Trisomy. For the first part of the test, they measure the nuchal fold - the pocket of fluid behind the baby's neck. In general, they want to see this under 2.5 mm, and Baby 3.0's nuchal fold was measuring about 2.0 mm, which is really good! The spinal cord looked great (no evidence of spina bifida or other spinal cord defect)! And they also look for the presence of a nasal bone. Baby sure gave the tech a run for her money trying to get the right shot to make sure the nasal bone was present, but she did finally get it and the nasal bone was there!!

The second half of the screening is a blood test. Based on the blood test, my risk for Downs was lowered from 1:740 (based on my age) to less than 1:10,000, which is the lowest possible number!!! My risk for a Trisomy was lowered from 1:1400 (based on my age) to less than 10,000 as well. We would not terminate the pregnancy regardless, but we believe in being informed and prepared if we were to be faced with that challenge. We are VERY happy that our baby appears to be perfectly healthy thus far!

And, of course, we got some nice purdy pictures to hang on the fridge:

In case its not as obvious to you as it is to me, above you are looking at two profile pictures of the baby with the head on the right looking upward.

Here, you can see in the photo on the left, the butt, and part of an arm and hand. The photo on the right is the hand, which the tech said is the clearest picture of a hand she's ever seen at this early stage in pregnancy!
Turns out, Baby 3.0 is actually measuring in the 95th percentile for crown to rump length! So, it may be a little bigger than most 13.5 weekers are! The tech said the baby was about 4 inches long and weighed 2 ounces!
The tech also took a little peek-see between the legs and saw parts that look very distinctly female :) She said would say with 95% certainty that we're having a GIRL - but....its still early. So, we're condemned to suffer and wait until our next ultrasound on July 29th to see for sure. I'm so excited at the possibility of a little girl, but I'm also bracing myself for the possibility that the tech will say "oh well there is the penis - it must have been hiding." He he he.
That's all for now folks! I will try to update this blog more frequently! Especially now that I've seemingly rejoined the land of the living!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ten Weeks

Ten weeks! That's 1/4 of the way through! Still feels pretty early in the process though. The baby is approximately the size of a prune now. As you can see (excuse the weird look on my face and disheveled hair), I'm getting quite big already! By the end of the day, I'm even bigger.

I had a prenatal appointment yesterday. Overall, it was uneventful, but we were able to find the baby's heart beat with doppler - in the 140s!

At my first appointment, they found Group B strep (a very common bacteria found in pregnant women) in my urine culture, so they re-tested me for that. Regardless, they will administer antibiotics during labor as a precaution to make sure the baby doesn't get infected.

I've gained 1.5 lbs according to my doctor's scale, which is the most I've gained at this point in pregnancy! In fact, I LOST with both the boys in the first trimester. The only way I keep the nausea and puking at bay this time is by constantly eating, so I shouldn't be surprised.

Next up on the baby agenda is the first trimester screening and nuchal translucency scan (to screen for things such as trisomies, downs, and spina bifida) on June 24th. So, things are kind of boring for now!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I've been working on my waistline alright

Expanding it, that is.....

So you may or may not have been wondering where I've "been" for the last month. I just sort of disappeared and stopped updating my challenge progress. And for good reason.
On April 15th, I received the surprising and yet happy news that baby #3 was in the oven! I hadn't planned on getting started on that project for another 6-9 months, but I think someone else had different plans.
So yep, I'm due 12/26/10. That puts me at 8w4d as of this post. Thus far, its been a fairly typical pregnancy. Morning sickness, but not nearly at the level I had with my first two when I had hyperemesis. Mostly just tired. And expanding. I guess the uterus just falls out by baby 3#? (Although, I think that picture makes me look way bigger than I actually am...).
We had an ultrasound on Friday, May 14th and saw ONE little gummy bear in there, measuring perfectly with a heartrate in the 160s! I have a history of miscarriage, so I've been on Prometrium, and probably will be for a few more weeks. No biggie.
So, now that the news is public, I can update more on here! 'Cause I know you've missed me so much, right????

Friday, April 16, 2010

Challenge Day 17

First off, I need to declare that I am NO LONGER OVERWEIGHT!!!! I weighed in at an even 136.0 this morning, which puts my BMI at exactly 25.0, which is the cut off for "normal"! Seeing the label "overweight" has been so difficult for me, so this is huge!

I ate well yesterday!
B - 1/2 bagel with cream cheese
S - plum
L - mixed salad with turkey and oil and vinegar dressing
S - a handful of almonds, banana
D - toast, two eggs, 2 sausage links and hash browns (yep, there is a story there)

Last night, I went with my mom to see Elizabeth Gilbert (author of "Eat, Pray, Love") give a talk. I left work early so I could spend some time with my babies, but didn't manage to squeeze in dinner before I had to leave. The talk was AWESOME - I think Elizabeth Gilbert is an incredibly compelling person. But, I was STARVING afterward. The only thing we could find open that late was Denny's!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Challenge Day 16

Finally, a good food day!!!

B - Kashi with blueberries
S - 6 almonds and 1/2 a cucumber
L - soup and a plum
S - greek yogurt
D - 1/2 a crab cake (Carter stole my other 1/2)

I'm still hungry, so I think I'm going to make a sandwich in a minute :)

No workout today. Bennett came in our bed in the middle of the night, then Carter this morning, and I wasn't about to give up my sleepy cuddles :) Too much work to do it tonight. Tomorrow morning, its ON!


Over two weeks into my "Get Fit Challenge" and I have to be honest and say its been a total FAILURE thus far. I've lost one whopping pound. Whoo-de-doo. **rolls eyes**

I try to lay blame on my crazy job for sucking all the energy and life out of me. But really, there is no one to blame by me, myself, and I.

I read somewhere that your physique is determined 60% by diet, 20% by exercise, and 20% genetics. I won't go into the genetics here. But, its been clear that my pitfall has been with the diet element. I could exercise from now until the end of time, and it will only account for 20%. I cannot make long term and sustainable (hell, even short term) progress if I don't get my act together and start eating right.

Generally, I would say that most of the time, I eat well. However, a single day has not gone by during this Challenge that I didn't splurge and eat something off plan. I want to kick myself in the butt now! If I add up all that crap I've eaten the past 15 days, I bet you that would account for MANY pounds I did not lose.

Planning is the critical element. I've been so pressed for time lately that I have really slacked on this element. Heck, I haven't even set foot in a grocery store in like a month. Bad. I HAVE to plan me food. If not, then I grab "whatever" and I guarantee you, "whatever" isn't good for the waistline.

Another issue is that I usually splurge out of emotional eating. FOOD IS FUEL, NOT MEDICATION! I need to emblazon that on my forehead. I eat when I am stressed. I eat when I'm sad. I eat when I want a pick-me-up. This pattern is definitely not healthy.

Anyone else like that? How do you overcome that? Logic says that one should recognize the triggers and come up with alternative coping mechanisms. Sounds good, but what exactly do you do?

I've got to do it ladies. I have just GOT to. Nothing will ever truly change unless I do!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Today is my 29th birthday. How is it that I feel so old, and yet, so young at the same time?? I'm definitely on the younger end of my "mommy friend" peers. I guess its just something about teetering on the edge of moving into a new decade that makes me feel like I'm almost grown up. SO much has happened in my 20s! I graduated from college, got married, went to law school, had a baby, graduated law school, passed the bar exam and started practicing law, had another baby. Phew! Its been a busy decade!

I have one year left. Which leads me to think - how do I want to end this decade?

The thing that pops foremost into my mind, is that I want to really "regain" control over my life again. The past two years have been a whirlwind, a true blur. I've definitely been off my game. I've been basically struggling to "survive" - and I hate that! That just isn't me.

I want to go into my thirties as the woman I KNOW I am inside - strong, organized, efficient, energetic, positive!

I also find it sort of "funny" as I reflect, that throughout my 20s, I've been very focused on tangible accomplishments. And I've accomplished quite a lot. When I think ahead to my 30s, there really isn't much left by way of a tangible solid goal that I want to do. I think more along the lines of "I want to be a more present mother with my children;" and "I want to enjoy the day-to-day business of life more." I'm still pondering whether that stream of thinking is the problem or the cure.

Well, nothing like a birthday to make you contemplate your life. And your wrinkles and gray hairs :)

By the way - I love my husband, but he SUCKS at birthdays. In the 14 years we have been together, he has completely forgotten my birthday three times. A handful of other times, he's barely acknowledged its passing. This is one of those years. I got a "happy birthday" this morning, and that's it! Hmpf.


Hello all. I'm a few days behind, huh?

Let's see Day 12 (Saturday), I had a pretty good day, all things considered. I had Kashi for breakfast, and then a salad for lunch, when I met my best friend to celebrate are very close-together birthdays. For dinner, I had some pansit (Filipino noodle and veggie dish), and that's it. Then I had a beer. Oh, and I think I ate some of Carter's Yan Yans. No exercise, but did spend lots of time running after kidlets!

Day 13 (Sunday), I don't remember breakfast. I think I made eggs. Yep, eggs. Lunch was a turkey sandwich with pepper relish. Dinner was pizza. I didn't work out, but Ace and I spent 3 hours doing carpentry work together!

Day 14 (Monday), I ate really really well! I had Kashi with blueberries for breakfast, some whole grain crackers for a snack, some soup for lunch with celery sticks, a plum for a snack, and then I split a small dish of pesto cavatappi with chicken with Bennett for dinner!

I also tried out Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred, Level 1 workout. These workouts sound so alluring. They are 20 minutes a piece, and have intervals consisting of 3 minutes of strength training (resistance and some free weights), 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs. The Level 1 workout didn't really challenge me much. And with only 6 minutes of cardio total, I am skeptical that it would actually make me lose weight! I plan to try out the Level 2 workout tomorrow. This would probably be a good thing to do for days where I don't have a full hour to workout, or I'm kind of tired, and would otherwise skip my workout.

Day 15 (Tuesday) - MY BIRTHDAY!!!! So, all bets were off. I won't even go into it. Thanks Ann Ann (my darling sister in law) for the "razbaby" ice cream cake!!!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Challenge Day 11

B - bacon, egg and cheese biscuit
L - Lean cuisine
S - almonds
D - Mushroom and swiss burger and a few bites of chocolate

No exercise today. Total exhaustion has set in. Way too much work. Hopefully, tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


So, I'll just cut to the chase, because I know what you really want are pictures!

Yummm, ring pop!

Mommy and her precious boy :)


The "brotherly-love" choke-hold.



Look mommy, I'm flying!

Does it GET any cuter than this??

A rare family picture!


For dinner, we met my parents at a park for an Easter picnic! They did an egg hunt for the boys, and they loved it!

My dad used to carry my sisters and I this way :)

Happy Easter!
(only a few days late...)

I know you all want the pictures, so I'll cut the the chase.

Play ball!

There is some background you need to know before we get to the meat of this post (and the pictures, of course). Last fall, when we signed Carter up for soccer, he literally screamed and threw a tantrum the entire way to his first practice. He was dead set convinced that he wouldn't enjoy it and wouldn't be any good at it. He refused to participate for the first 10 minutes. Then, he tried it. And decided he liked it! Plus, he was pretty darn good at it!

So, I had this bright idea that I wouldn't tell Carter that he would be playing tee-ball. I just packed him up in the car and drove him there. When he realized what he was in for, he became sullen. He pulled me down and whispered in my ear - You tricked me!! Uh oh. Yeah, I felt like crap.

Once again, he refused to participate. He wouldn't even stand with his team (which included three of his best school buds!). We kept trying to conjole him into just trying it. He just cried and refused to budge. Then, one of the coaches asked him to run the bases with him. And well, he knows he can run, so he did it! And from that point on was really into it!

Introducing Carter, #2 for the Orioles!

Running the bases with Coach!

Learning to throw the ball - he had great form!

Learning to catch the ball - a huge accomplishment considering heretofore he's only closed his eyes and put his hands over his face when a ball was thrown at him!

It was really so cute. We're really excited to watch Carter play this season, and progress and grow!

I do, however, keep wondering how I should have handled the situation from the start. It frustrates me that Carter won't even try anything that he doesn't already know he's good at. I'm just not sure how to handle it.

Carter asked me why I tricked him the other day (kids never forget anything). I told him that I hoped he'd see his friends and think it would be fun. His response? Well, that didn't work out so well, now did it. You're plan blew up! Yeah, he may not have a good dose of courage, but the kid has a lot of sauce!

How would you have handled it?

Challenge Day 10

B - Cinnamon Toast Crunch :) 1/2 Coke for caffeine
L - 2 Taco Bell Bean Burritos (had to buy something I could eat while driving)
D - apple with organic peanut butter

Def. didn't eat enough today, but I wasn't feeling well and had NO appetite.

I was out of the office taking a deposition until about 3:00 this afternoon. I got back to work, then immediately had a conference call with an expert, then immediately went into a meeting with a client. Then I had a meeting with my boss and left at 6 for the day. Busy much?? I've been going non-stop since 6 a.m.!

The GOOD NEWS - I exercised! Woot! We went to the high school when I got home and I ran 2 miles around the track, 1/2 of that with Bennett in the jogger. I tell ya - the jogger makes it twice as hard!

Bennett decided he wanted to run too - and actually ran 1/2 a mile around the track! It was the CUTEST thing ever. He's such an athlete. Of course, I was panicking about the calories he was burning. Plus, he was wheezing like a maniac. But boy was he happy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Challenge Day 9

B - Non-fat Greek Yogurt
S - whole grain crackers
L - spinach salad with turkey and oil and vinegar
D - BBQ chicken, a few bites of potato salad, and green beans (okay, I also stole a few of Bennett's fries...)

No exercise again today. I slept in this morning (trying to recover from only 4 hrs of sleep the night before), and I have too much work to do tonight :( So many deadlines!!!

Challenge Days 6, 7, and 8

My dear friend Alice Anne (who is currently training for a Figures Competition and is absolutely inspiring) asked me yesterday "Where did days 6 and 7 go?" I had NO idea what she was talking about - but duh...

So, I honestly don't remember much about this past weekend. I remember staying up until 2 a.m. on Friday/Saturday racing against deadlines for work. I remember taking the kids to Noodles Co. for lunch on Saturday ans splitting a dish with Bennett. I remember eating hot dogs for dinner. I didn't work out, but I DID chase after my crazy kids all day since daddy was busy moving into his new office!!!

Sunday, of course, was Easter, so we had lunch at my In-Law's house after church. I don't remember what I ate, other than a slice of mocha bread and a pink lemonade cupcake from Touche Touchet. Then, we went to the park with my parents for a picnic dinner and had grilled chicken, pasta salad, and fruit salad! And more running around with kids.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. Bennett woke up around 3:30 a.m. needing a diaper change. So, I got him back down to sleep, but then I couldn't sleep thinking about all the things I needed to do that day. I gave up and just got up and did a few hours of work before the morning hustle began. I should have worked out, but I really as tired, and I was on a roll with work.

B - Kashi with raspberries
L - Grilled chicken sandwich from Chik-Fil-A (was on the road taking depositions at another office)
D - a few bites of cheese tortellini, three blue Peeps.
S - an organic apple

Definitely didn't eat enough yesterday, but I didn't have much of an appetite either.

I couldn't work out in the p.m. because I was driving Carter to my parents' so he could spend the night and go to the ZOO today! Lucky duck!

I weighed in this morning and am still sitting at 138.

I really need to get my "cheating" under control!!! I know meal-planning is a big part of it. I just haven't had time! Work has been cra-azy lately. I'm lucky to have TIME to eat!

I know it isn't about sticking the rules, but it IS about losing weight and getting in shape, and making excuses (however valid they may be) isn't going to make that happen!

Anyway, I owe ya'll a Tee-ball post and an Easter post, so I will try to upload pics tonight and get those up!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Challenge Day 5

I want really badly to bluff right now and tell you all that I had a GREAT day, worked out hardcore and ate like a bird. But alas, that would defeat the whole purpose of posting these mundane details - to be held accountable.

So, I will brace myself for the tongue-lashing. Here goes:

My alarm went off at 5 a.m., but instead of hitting snooze, I turned it off, thinking, "I'll get up in just a minute." Two hours later, I wake up to Bennett calling "mama, mama, mama." Classic. So, no workout this morning.

It was a hectic morning because Ace had an early appointment and I had to get Carter to school and rush home to finish up some work before I had to be at a mediation. So, I poured Carter some Cinnamon Toast Crunch per his request. I go about packing his lunch, dressing children, and generally running around exasperatedly. Carter refused to eat his breakfast, feigning a stomach ache. Well, I hadn't eaten yet and we were on the 5 minute countdown to blast off, so I downed his uneaten bowel of sugary cereal with lightening speed.

I came home, rushed to get some work done before I had to leave. The mediation started at noon, so I had to find something quick to eat at home. So, what makes more sense than an almond butter and jelly sandwich? It was all organic, so that counts for something, right??
Well, the mediation turned out to be a COLOSSAL waste of time and money since the other side basically refused to even really mediate (even though THEY suggested the mediation...). Four hours later, I trudge back home and needed to find something to quell the hunger pangs. Of course, Doritos are the only solution, right? I mean, some fat free Greek yogurt or a nectarine just would never do! Ugh.

So, in no time we're rushing out of the house again to take Carter to tee-ball practice. And since I'm operating on genius-mode today, I suggest we grab some KFC at the drive through and picnic at the field. Then I proceed to gorge on two pieces of grilled chicken breast, potato wedges and Pepsi. Nice.

After tee-ball (which warrants a whole 'nother post all by itself), we rush to church to attend the Good Friday mass. Mass was at 8:00 p.m., which is prime melt-down time for tired kids. Bennett actually was pretty darn good in comparison to some of the other demonstrations we witnessed, but we still had to dart early so not as to screw up our kids' sleep schedules too much. Utterly stressed out and exhausted from this whirlwind day, my eyes became fixated on the Dove chocolate bunny my mom sent me for Easter. "I'll just eat the ears," I reason. Well folks, there is a half-eaten bunny sitting on my counter at the moment. Who wants to cast bets that the entire thing will be gone before tomorrow - given my stellar exhibition of self-control today???

All I can do is shake my head. This has self-sabotage written all over it. Three days in a row of screwing up. I need a shot of will power. Because THIS my dear friends is my pattern and the very reason why I've been chubbnormous for the past nearly two years since Bennett was born. Must.break.the.cycle!!!

Phew - it felt good to get it off my chest. Bring on the chastisement so that I double-think before I put crap into my mouth, knowing I will have to confess my sins to the interwebs!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Challenge Day 4


B - 1/2 cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese
L - hummus with whole grain crackers and a cucumber
S - small piece of cake (Firm's 35th Anniversary Party....)
D - chicken, tortilla chips and salsa

Exercise: Insanity Cardio Power & Resistance. Way too many push-ups - 'nuff said.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Challenge Day 3: Bad Day

Bad bad bad day today!

It started off with skipping my morning workout. See the prior post for the explanation.

Then, I forgot my lunch.

Then, I pigged out at my brother-in-law's birthday dinner.

Then, I skipped my workout again this evening.

Ahhhhhh. This does not forebode well for me, considering I'm only on day 3!


B - Kashi Go Lean Crunch with berries
L - Peanut butter crackers and apple juice (that's all there is to eat at the office when I forget lunch, and I didn't have time to run out for something)
D - 5 chicken wings, a large serving of pansit (a Filipino rice noodle dish with veggies), some french fries, and 1/2 a piece of delicious birthday cake!!

We didn't get home until late due to the aforementioned birthday dinner. By the time I got both sugar-pumped kids in bed, it was already past 10 p.m., and I just couldn't bring myself to work out this late...

Tomorrow is a new day!

Challenge Day 2


Breakfast - two eggs, 1/2 piece of whole wheat toast and 3 large strawberries
Snack - yellow bell pepper with hummus
Lunch - organic minstrone soup
Snack - nectarine, Coke Zero
Dinner - 1 ground turkey breast taco in a whole wheat tortilla with brown rice, cheese, spinach, tomato and olives; a handful of tortilla chips and some avocado/salsa/mango dip; two glasses of Merlot :) Thanks to the Youngs for having us for dinner!

Not bad, but I can't seem to shake my caffeine needs, hence the nasty Coke Zero.

Exercise: Insanity Plyometrics Cardio Circuit. I really "dug deep" for this work out and burned out on the last set. It kicked my butt!!! I'm SO SORE today!

Bennett recently started crib-jumping, so he's been sleeping on his mattress on the floor the last few days until we get a bed for him. Last night around 3 a.m., I heard him crying, and found him going down the stairs! I couldn't get him back to sleep, so I just put him in bed with me, something I NEVER do with Bennett. And for good reason - he's a maniac! He was flipping and turning all night and I barely slept a wink! Anyway, I was SO tired still when my alarm when off at 5 a.m., so I flipped it the bird and decided to do my work out tonight instead :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

It's On! My 60-Day Get Fit Challenge!

I know, I know... This is only my umpteenth post about how I'm finally going to bite the bullet and get in shape, right??

Well, I'm REALLY going to do it this time! I swear! And what is going to be different about this time? Why, I'm SO glad you asked! YOU! Yes, YOU are going to hold me accountable, because I will be posting everyday to keep myself in check! I'm embarking on a 60-day challenge to shed majah L-B's and get this mummy tummy back into shape!!

So, prepare to be blinded, because below are my starting photos and stats:

Sorry, I know that was painful, but it had to be done.

Weight - 138.0 lbs
BMI - 25.2
Body Fat - 28mm/33.5% (scale says 31.5%, but I guess that is splitting hairs at this point)
Chest - 34''
Waist - 28.5''
Hips - 39.25'' (HOLY!!?!?)
R Thigh - 21.5''
L Thigh - 21.25''
R Arm - 12'' (flexing)
L Arm - 11.5''

My goal is to get down to 120 lbs - about what I weighed the day I got married! I also want to get my body fat percentage down to 24%.

Clearly, I have a lot of work cut out for me...

I will be doing the Insanity 60-day program for exercise, with some runs and yoga thrown in here and there when possible. So, that gives me until Memorial Day weekend to get bikini-ready!

So, what do you say? Are you up to the challenge of keeping my butt in check and on-track???