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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Showing so soon?

I had my 12 week doctor's appointment today (Baby's heart rate is ~160). I'm sure this isn't the first time I'll ever say this, nor will it be the last, but this pregnancy takes me by surprise. Mostly because I forget I'm pregnant. With Ellie, I knew to the day how pregnant I was, but this time I have to rely on the weekly update emails I get. My 12 week appointment served as just another reminder. I have a doc's appointment? What for? Oh, yeah. Baby.

So, as soon as I receive my next update email, it will be officially the second trimester mark. Weird. On the bright side, this means I should start having more energy, my boobs are getting bigger, I am not threatened by a super sensitive gagging reflex, and I can start gaining weight without feeling bad.

Speaking of weight... I've gained 4.5 pounds since finding out I was pregnant. This is about the same as last time. However, I AM ALREADY SHOWING!!!! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? The first time around, it wasn't until 19 weeks that I got a tummy over night. That's the equivalent of 2 months from now!!!

Is this normal? Do second pregnancies just tend to POP more? Does this mean that my belly button might pop out this time around??? I could be one of those cute pregnant mothers with the outie that people joke about being the sign that the bun is all done. I've always wanted one of those!

Name that tune!

I have been trying desperately to get Ellie's singing on video. Of course, she usually sings when I don't have the camera, or stops whenever she sees the camera come out. I once got her to sing for me but the camera was on the wrong setting. By the time I started recording, all I got was Ellie saying "you're welcome."

The one I REALLY want to get on video is her singing "The more we get together." We were having ice cream the other day when she started singing that one by herself. "Your fiend. My fiend. My fiend. Your fiend. More togever. Appy we be." It brought tears to my eyes. So what if I was actually crying - you would too if you were there. Unless you were Michael, who was indeed there and did not cry.

Anyway, here are the ones I have been able to get decent videos of. The videos include us helping her with words, but in real life she often sings the entire song herself. It takes us a while to figure out which song she's singing, but once we know it, it's amazing to us that she knows most of the words!

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Preparing for the dentist

When bringing your young toddler to the dentist for the first time, I highly recommend going prepared. Learn from my mistake. I thought I was prepared - I told Ellie over and over again that we were going to see the dentist and that she was going to sit in his chair. He was going to show her his neat toys with his water squirter and suction tube. He was going to show her the light that turns like magic when he pushes it down. He was going look into her mouth and see all her teeth. What do you say to the dentist? Ahhhhh!

Every reaction from her indicated that she thought the dentist was a magical place and she was very excited to meet him. So I thought I prepared her well.

We get into the dentist office and she sits on my lap in his chair. Her baby doll, in turn, sat in Ellie's lap. The dentist was very friendly. He talked to the doll a lot and asked Ellie many questions about her. Does baby have teeth? Yes. Does baby brush her teeth? Yes. Can I see baby's teeth? Ahhh. It was going so well. Then he asked the dreaded question.

Dentist: What is baby's name?
Ellie: NAY-KED BABY!!! (shouts it so that I can hear laughter from two rooms down)
Dentist: Your baby's name is...?
Ellie: NAY-KED BABY! (more laughs)

I wish I could say that the rest of the visit went just as well. He never was able to get a look into her mouth. I guess we'll try again in a couple months.

But lesson learned. No matter how much you think you're prepared. MAKE SURE YOUR DAUGHTER'S DOLL HAS A REAL NAME!!!! Susie would be nice, don't you think?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Our Story: Deciding to Have Children

The question was "How did you know you wanted to be a parent?"

My response:

I've always known that I would most likely have kids some day. I did, however, tell people that I would be willing to pass up the opportunity of having kids if I replaced it with a lot of traveling. If some day I could be in a conversation with anyone and they asked me "have you ever been to..." my response would be "yes"... That would be awesome! There are so many places in the world that I want to see. Lots that I have seen and I'd want to see again. Lots that I haven't seen yet. So I did feel like if I could replace the children with lots of travel then I'd be willing to give up that opportunity.

As a result we did try to travel as much as possible before having Ellie. We've been to a lot of places in Europe and it's neat for us to watch travel shows (like with Rick Steves) and see that we've seen many of the places they often talk about. But there's still so much more to see. One of Michael's ideas, which I LOVE, was to come up with a Worldwide Treasure Hunt List. We have items on the list from all the places we'd love to visit (locally and internationally). Some of the many items we have already found include: glass rose from Venice, tea set from England, cow bell from Switzerland, Mozart music from Salzburg, town clock from Ellicott City and maple leaf from Canada. There are still so many items left to find like: Bone art from Australia, Celtic Knott from Ireland, Nesting Dolls from Russia and chess set from Poland.

Anyway, as much as we love seeing other places, in the end the tug to have kids won over the tug to travel the world. It would be cheaper. LOL.

The thing that excited me most about the idea of having kids was the chance to see the world again through a child's eyes. I'd like to consider myself someone who appreciates the small things in life. I probably do notice them more than the average person, but not like a child. When I see something that I take notice of, I may appreciate it, but I"m not learning about it for the first time. Like so many adults, I just forgot what it was like for *EVERYTHING* to be new. Maybe that's what I like so much about traveling to other countries.

Anyway, I absolutely LOVE watching Ellie discover new things for the first time. I LOVE watching her perfect a technique that she has fun with. I LOVE watching her imitate us, trying to be so grown up. I LOVE seeing how much there is to learn, that I took for granted knowing (like sipping through a straw). EVERYTHING, every action, every reaction... is learned. Even being scared about something is learned. I never knew that. The first time Ellie experiences something scary, she's almost never afraid of it. She's quiet, and takes it in. The next time she sees it, though, she's scared. It's incredible how much a child learns.

So in a nutshell (a big nutshell), I knew I wanted to be a mother because I wanted to experience the world as the magical place I so easily forget that it is.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our Story: The Engagement

It was a cold winter morning...

Actually, it was Valentine's Day weekend of 2004. The plan was to have my sister and her boyfriend come into town for the weekend. I didn't think anything of it because I figured he wouldn't propose on Valentine's Day itself (too cheesy, right?) and my sister was spending the weekend with us (he wouldn't propose with her there because then she'd be jealous).

As we're about to leave to pick Erin & Justin up from the airport, he brings our bags to the car. He tells me we're actually going on a trip as soon as they land. Oh road trip! Fun!

We got to the airport and parked in "Long Term Parking", at which point I learned that I was going on a flight. Michael said that Erin and Justin were just in Dulles for a layover.

Inside he managed to check us in without me knowing where we were going. The lines were incredibly long! I had never seen so many people. Over and over again flights were being announced with final boarding calls and I had no idea if they were our flight. Apparently they weren't.

I left the bag with the ring in it at security. Poor Michael nearly had a heart attack, but it was still there when we went back.

Erin and Justin were waiting in the terminal for us. Apparently she didn't know where we were going either because she was told that Dulles was her final destination.

We didn't know the destination until we actually got to the gate. Paris!

You heard right. Erin suddenly got suspicious but I still wasn't. I didn't think that Michael would ask with Erin around.

To make this story a little shorter, they proposed to us at the top of the Eiffel Tower. They did it at the same time, but took advantage of the crowds to separate us, so we were "alone".

So that's the story. It was so cool that Tom Cruise copied it a couple months later when he proposed to Katie.

What's your story? I'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Story: The Beginning

A year or so after moving out to MD, I had long ago broken up with the boyfriend and Michael was still in CO getting his Masters degree.

I was alone in MD and spent a lot of time talking on the phone with my mom and sister. During one conversation I was complaining to my mom about how I didn't feel like I would ever meet someone who matched me out in MD. I felt like even though I had met a lot of nice people, they just weren't what I was looking for. She told me I needed to make a list of all the traits I wanted in my ideal guy. The way she figured it, if I could envision him, he would come to be.

What a stupid idea. But I did it anyway. I figured it couldn't hurt and at the bare minimum it would clarify to myself what it was I was looking for. So out came the list. I still have it, but I don't think I need to share it, do I?

Months later Valentine's Day was approaching. I called my mom again, lonely and depressed. "Your list idea was stupid. It didn't work!" She told me to read the list to her because maybe I forgot something. How would she know if I would forget something on MY list? But I humored her and read it out loud. "Yep, you definitely forgot something very important. You forgot to say that he is present in your life."

What? You can't be serious! That's just stupid. But again, I figured it couldn't hurt and as silly as it felt to do, I penciled in "He is present in my life."

The following day (February 14, 2002) I received the following email:

Dear Jennifer,

I wanted to take a moment of time to let you know what you mean to me. I know you can't possibly hear this as much as you deserve.

One afternoon we were sitting in the Engineering Center lobby, and you were looking out at the snow falling. You turned to me and asked, "What do you think people take for granted? I think they don't appreciate the snow." I always thought you were attractive, but in my eyes, that moment made you beautiful. Never since have I ever watched the snow fall, and not thought of you, and really appreciated it.

I can honestly say that you have brought so much light into my life, that I am a better person for having known you. I just thought you should know.

So, have a Happy Valentine's day, and if you would excuse me, I am going to go watch the snow fall.

Always,
Michael


A couple weeks later I was in CO for a ski trip and invited Michael to join us. Our first kiss was on the ski lift at Brekenridge and the rest is just details.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Our Story: The Friendship

Ok, so this is a step away from the usual, but Spleeness has convinced me to document our story. I think it's a good idea, so here I am... talking about Mommy and Daddy's story instead of Ellie's. I think it will be the theme for the next few days.

Michael and I first met each other in the halls of the engineering center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. I recall writing class notes to a friend of mine (I later asked her if she still had them, but she didn't... sigh) about how I kept passing a guy in the hallway and though I did not have a clue who he was, I was strangely attracted to him. We would pass each other in the halls and I'd always give him a big smile and he'd return with a great wink.

Months later Michael and I passed each other again, but this time my friend was with us. "Oh, that's Michael" she said. Apparently they went to high school together. So, that's how I learned his name.

You might wonder why I didn't grab the opportunity to say more to Michael than just an occasional smile. The answer to that was that I was dating a guy at the time - seriously. In fact, the day that Michael finally got the courage to ask me out on a date, he was walking up to me and in came my boyfriend for a kiss. Poor Michael turned in his heals and headed for the drinking fountain.

So for the time being, we just became friends. And good ones at that. I recall having some great conversations with Michael and thinking that he was just an amazing guy. He was the topic of a lot of class notes between me and my friend. Wouldn't it be neat to still have those???

Friday, March 20, 2009

Baby's size today

The baby is barely the size of a kumquat.

What's a kumquat?

Ever noticed the zebras?

You know the animals, right? They're the ones that look like little horses with black and white stripes? They make funny sounds that are nothing like horses, but they're still pretty easy to pick out from a crowd of other animals, right?

Now tell me this... which direction do the stripes go? Last I saw a real zebra (and I admit it's been a while, so my memory may be failing me) the stripes go up and down. Maybe the zebras you've seen are different. Maybe I was looking at the ones I've seen with my head tilted or something.

I have you wondering where this is going now, don't I? ***EVERY*** zebra we have on a toy, in a book, or even on a recent birthday card invitation (for those of you who know Andy) has the stripes going from head to butt. Are there two types of zebras? Why would companies that make products related to children put the stripes horizontally if they weren't real?

Let me know if you have that kind of zebra at your local zoo and maybe I'll come visit you!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What's your superhero power?

Have you ever wished you had a super power? Of course you have. Though I'd assume you silly boys think about it more than us girls, everyone knows it would be awesome to have a super power!

You'd be wrong. Of course. We often are, aren't we?

You see, I am one of those lucky few who has developed a super power in real life! You heard me! I think it's from the pregnancy, but there is no denying the change. I have a power that no one else seems to have. I can detect smells from miles away!

Some of the many examples:
A banana peal thrown in the trash
A plate of squash
Dirty diapers from afar (with or without poop)
Someone's cough
A burp from across the room
Hamburgers
Egg salad sandwiches
Soda
Paper recycling bin
Sharpie marker
Toothpaste
Dog breath
Carpet
Coffee
Day-old drinking fountain water
Rubber from a bouncy ball
Packing peanuts

Yep. The smell of each of these things has, on occasion, resulted in at least one attempt (some successful and some not) to convince whatever is in my stomach to stay there.

I haven't quite figured out how my new-found power can be used to take over the world, but I am working on controlling it. And everyone knows that's the first step. The smells that an average person would not notice or even care if they did, are bold and threaten my mere existence to live a normal life. You've heard of Clark Kent, right? That's me. Niffer by day and Sniffer by night. Two lives - no wonder I'm so tired!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Another Button

While taking a bath...

Ellie: Button!
Mommy: Did you find another button?
Ellie: Yeah!
Mommy: Where?
Ellie: Righ dere!
Mommy: Oh, that's your v*g*n*.
Ellie: I fin it!
Mommy: Yep, you found it.
Ellie: Gina Button?
Mommy: Yeah, I guess it is.
Ellie: I see?
Mommy: We all want to see our buttons.
Ellie: I see?
Mommy: I know, we just can't bend enough to see.
Ellie: Can. bend. see. button.
Mommy: Exactly.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Everyone has buttons

Ellie: Button! (pointing to Mommy)
Mommy: Is that a button? (laughing)
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: Yeah, it's Mommy's boob button, huh?
Ellie: Boob button! (points again)
Mommy: (still laughing)
Ellie: Is funnai! Boob button.
Mommy: Yeah, they are funny.
Ellie: Is yucky!
Mommy: Yeah, they do look kind of yucky.
Ellie: Layla boob button!
Mommy: Does Ellie have them too?
Ellie: TWO! Layla. Two. Button!
Mommy: Yep, everyone has two buttons.
Ellie: Daddy two button?
Mommy: Yep.
Ellie: Mommy two button. Daddy two button. Layla two button!
Mommy: You're so smart!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pregnancy Feedback Loop

There is some universal law (maybe it has to do with physics?) that says as soon as someone finds out they're pregnant, they must eat LOTS of food. It something like this:

I'm pregnant therefore I need to eat more, therefore I will gain more weight, which is proof that I am pregnant and should eat more.

Maybe some of you don't know this... but you're not SUPPOSED to gain much weight during the first trimester. If my memory serves me right, it's only a couple pounds.

My body doesn't work that way. I think I like food too much. I find out I'm pregnant and BAM! I go into gaining weight mode. And that's ok because I'm pregnant, right?

Hey. Don't give me a hard time. I'll just breast feed until it's all gone again. That's the plan and I think it's a pretty damn good plan! Now let me eat my second muffin!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

French Class

Last week I almost forgot about French class so I picked Ellie up late. She knew I was late. As soon as she saw me, she ran to me and said "Fen cass!" as if she was saying "hurry, Mommy!" On the way out the door I told her that I was sorry for being so late.

In the car she seemed very serious.
Ellie: Mommy?
Mommy: Yes?
Ellie: Umm... I wan Fen cass! (in a concerned voice)
Mommy: You want French class?
Ellie: Yeah (still concerned)
Mommy: Ok, that's where we're going.
Ellie: Good (sighs with relief).

The poor girl thought that we were too late to make it for class!

Did you notice the full conversation? Did you? I certainly did. I think it was the most real conversation I might have had with her up until this point. It seemed like there was more back-and-forth between both of us. And did you notice how excited she was for French class? She loves it!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Best compliment yet

"Mommy, you so funnai."

Granted she said this while I was blowing my nose and again when I was shaking my hair to dry it, but I take pleasure in knowing I can make her smile.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Round Two

As you now know from yesterday's post, I'm pregnant again. It's why I haven't really been writing as much lately... but finally I'm comfortable posting about it. I've seen a heart beat so it must be true!

Here's some of the stuff I've written in recent weeks:

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Wow. That was quick! I know we said we were trying for another, but I guess I kind of expected to have a month or two to get used to the idea first. Go Go Gadget Baby Maker! Well there's no turning back now!

I've got to say that there is nothing in the world quite like what I call "pregnancy tired". I first found out that I was pregnant with Ellie when I came home and decided that the rug in the entry way looked way too comfy to deny myself a nap. That's not normal. Well this time I decided that I must be pregnant when I fell asleep ironing curtains (Grandma is helping us make curtains for our house). Yes, you heard me. I fell asleep. Standing up. Holding an iron. Like I said, there is nothing like pregnancy tired. If you've been pregnant, you know what I mean. If not, then I just can't explain it.

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I think we're still in shock about being pregnant again. Ellie has joined in. This morning at breakfast Mommy said "Eight months? Ahhhhhh!!" and for the rest of the morning, Ellie would go around saying "Ate monts? AAHHHHH!" I think she's nervous about it too.

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God knows how far into the pregnancy I am. My due date, if calculated by the day of my last period, is October 15th. With Ellie, my original due date was changed by 2 weeks after the first ultrasound. I'm guessing that after all my frustrations with the pregnancy test this time around, it will be a similar story. I wonder if my body is just gets pregnant "late" into my cycle.

Either way I think we're safe. October 15th is a good month away from our anniversary. We really really want to keep our anniversary to ourselves. My anniversary! Mine! Stay away! Hahaha... like I have to share it with too many people. The 11th of September hasn't been a very popular wedding date for years now. No matter. They don't know what they're missing! And I'm rambling.

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I'm guessing I'm 4-6 weeks into this thing and already it feels so different than with Ellie. With Ellie I was excited to announce my pregnancy to anyone who would listen and I thought it was odd whenever anyone would comment on how I didn't wait longer to tell people. This time I understand. I'm not really sure what is different, but it feels so weird to make my pregnancy public knowledge **BEFORE** I've even heard a heart beat. It's like I want to be sure I'm pregnant. Being late and tired isn't enough. I want to hear a heart beat before I will consider exposing my new baby to those around me.

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I'm not thrilled. There I said it. It comes as a surprise to me too. I was so excited about getting pregnant again, and it was Michael who was nervous. Now that I'm pregnant, the roles have been reversed. He's all giddy with joy and skipping to silent music. Meanwhile I'm the one who is questioning this decision. It's not that I don't want another child. And it's not that I'm unhappy about being pregnant. It's that I'm not completely thrilled. With Ellie it was like a beam of sunshine was always falling on me, but this time I can't help but question our decision to go back to sleepless nights. And what about Ellie? I'm sure I'll be wondering that every day for the next 8 months.

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Already the pregnancy dreams have started. When I was pregnant with Ellie I had the most bizarre dreams, most of them too bizarre to remember. One that I do recall, though, was dreaming that I gave birth to a litter of puppies. There were five of them and since I only have two breasts, it made feeding time quite hectic. I recall that one of the puppies ended up nursing from my belly button.

This time I gave birth to a rooster. The rooster was breached and that's not a pretty sight. If the rooster comes out head first, all the feathers line up in a smooth fashion. On the other hand, if the rooster is breached... let's just say it's not pretty and leave it at that.

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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Our morning

This morning was very pleasant for me but I'm not sure why exactly.

Ellie got dressed with relatively little fuss. She even let me put in cute little barrettes into her hair.

Then we came downstairs and played with Ellie's new big green ball while Daddy was cooking breakfast. She called all the plays with commands like "fewt Mommy" or "fewt Daddy" or "fewt right dere!" or "fewt Lala". In case you don't know what "fewt" means, "throw it" becomes "few it" becomes "fewt". Lots of fun.

After that, we watched the garbage truck come by. This is a favorite weekly event for us. Yep. Garbage truck entertainment. Fun stuff. Note the proper garbage truck watching technique - nose fully against window for best results.

Then we ate breakfast. Ellie sat in a big chair and ate eggs and ham. Afterwards, she had Daddy carry her out to the car like he always does. They then had an "no, I love you!" and "No, I lo luu!" contest. And off we went.

So no, really there wasn't anything special about this morning, but it was very special to me. Imagine what it will be like to multiply "special" by two.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Oh yeah? Well, vacuum!

This morning Ellie was in the other room declaring "I f**k you!" over and over again. Daddy apparently noticed the look of concern on my face and he quickly explained that I was obviously misunderstanding.

She was vacuuming. With her little toy vacuum. "I vacuum" turns into "I vac-uuu" turns into "I f**k you!" Who knew?