Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crazy Day

Wow...I'm exhausted. Micah woke up on the late side yesterday, and we did a mad dash to get hi to his art class before daycare...only to find out they canceled the class and forgot to tell us. We dropped him at daycare and came home. We got a bit of work done, but then we ran out to go to my condo to work on getting it ready for sale next week. We spent about an hour cleaning things out, then went to my my midwife appointment. The baby was doing well - I'm still 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced (or so). I was hoping for some more progress, but no such luck! I think she will be staying put for a little while longer. My belly was measuring around 35 weeks (I never got bigger than that with Micah). They did my group B strep test...let's hope it comes back negative!

After the appointment, we came home. I finished putting a few things away, got a bit more work done, and then the architect and the builder came by. We talked about the new bid, finalized a few other pieces of information - and now we wait for a formal written bid (hopefully to come in on Monday). If the bid comes back as promised, we are all set to move forward and get these renovations on the road! Right after our meeting, DH ran out to pick Micah up from daycare. He did not nap at all yesterday, so cranky does not even begin to describe Micah's mood last night. He was really difficult all through dinner, and we finally gave in and just put Sesame Street on for an hour before taking him upstairs for a bath and bedtime.

Micah woke a bit on the early side this morning (just before 8). He was still pretty cranky through breakfast, unfortunately. The babysitter arrived at 9:00, and she helped keep him calm and get him dressed. My father showed up around 9:45 - it was the first day of the new semester of his classes, and unfortunately, I screwed up and scheduled an ultrasound during class. I wanted to go with Micah and the babysitter to show her the ropes, but I just couldn't be in two places at once. My father volunteered to come down and go in with them so she would not have to do it on her own. Apparently, they had a great time - my father left the first class for a bit to run errands, but he was a huge help getting them down there and all settled into class.

While they were in class, DH and I went for the ultrasound. Twoey looked great...she is still head down. She was measuring at about 35 weeks (same as Micah at this point). They guestimated her weight at around 5 lbs 15 ozs (which I think is a bit smaller than they predicted for Micah at this point). I think she is going to be small like Micah. They confirmed a whole lot of hair again, too, so I think we are going to have another baby with crazy hair! She passed her biophysical profile with flying covers, scoring a perfect 8/8.

We made it home around 11:30. We scheduled Micah for back-to-back classes, so they did not come home until about 12:30. My father left and went about his day, and the babysitter fed Micah lunch. Our organizer showed up here around 12:00 - I immediately took her upstairs to help me finish digging out the bedroom. In the corner of the bedroom, I've had one last box that I never unpacked after we moved in, and a pile of a few other things. Since I gave up my office when we moved here, I don't really have a place to store all of my papers and business items. Unfortunately, they've been getting a bit unwieldy. We sorted the box, sorted all of my papers, divided everything up for filing, and threw out several bags of unnecessary junk. I now have a space in the room to put a small dresser for Twoey's clothing until we move into our bigger place. I feel SOOO much better to have unloaded a bit more (and the organizer also attacked DH's half of the room and unloaded a bunch of his junk, too). So, things are looking up - we've significantly de-cluttered, which will make packing up to move MUCH easier (and I don't have to feel like keeping the baby in our bedroom is a health hazard!).

Micah went down for his nap a little after 1:00 pm. While I was working with the organizer, the babysitter brought her friend over (who has previously babysat for us). She is thinking about changing her job, and might be interested in working for us as Micah and Twoey's nanny beginning in September!! I'm so excited - if this works out, it really will be a great solution for us. She is responsible, good with children, and she is willing to work for a very reasonable amount of money since she is only 20 and has never been a nanny before (although she has TONS of babysitting experience). She would like to be a party planner when she "grows up" and my father has a lot of party planning connections (he owns a stationery business and does a lot of work in that field). We think we can hire her and help get her some internships/other part-time work in the party planning industry. Our hope is that she'll work for us for two years full time (and maybe another year or so part-time), and that as our need decreases, we can slowly help her take off on the career of her dreams. Let's see if this works out!

At 3:00, the organizer left. I was amazed at how much we accomplished in three hours. My mom normally comes on Thursday nights for date night, but she has had a rough week at work (and an unexpected trip to the dentist), so I told her she could take the night for herself if she needed it. She apologized, but decided to head home after work. Since our babysitter is desperate for more hours and to earn more money, I asked her if she would mind staying later tonight. She happily agreed! When Micah woke up from his nap, she asked if she could take him over to her mom's house. Her mom babysits one of my best friend's kids on Thursdays (that is how I found our babysitter), and Micah loves playing with them and loves going to their house. I said it was fine, and off they went! They played in the baby pool, and played with trains. The babysitter called and asked if they could stay at her mom's house through dinner, and I said that was fine. When they took off, DH and I decided to head back to my condo to finish emptying it and do all the touch-up painting that needed to be done. By the way, I love those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers - they did a great job removing all kinds of scuffs and issues. We stayed there for about 2 1/2 hours, then made it back here before Micah's bedtime. We walked through the door, and Micah was sitting quietly, cuddling with the babysitter, and all dressed in his pajamas. We got to spend some time with him and put him to bed, so it was a nice evening. The babysitter took off after a VERY long day, but they both seemed to have a great time (and we managed to accomplish a lot today).

I can't believe we still have another day left this week! I'm looking forward to the long weekend. We are going out to dinner on Saturday night with all of my cousins. We are thinking of having a few people over on Monday afternoon/evening for a Memorial Day....gathering. Very small and low-key, but hopefully it will be fun. We want to keep it small and simple (I am not up for working too hard...and I want to be able to easily cancel if I go into labor).

So...happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's French Open Time!!

I am an avid tennis fan...and I'm so excited to be watching the French Open again! Personally, I'm in love with Rafael Nadal, and I truly despise Roger Federer. I'm so glad to see Rafa back in top form and ready to reclaim his title (that Federer won last year by default). I also still love watching Andy Roddick...but clay just isn't his surface. As for the women...I hate Justine Henin, and I'm definitely rooting for the Williams sisters.

This afternoon (after his nap), Micah came downstairs to hang out with me for a bit - he took one look at the tennis on the tv and broke out into a huge grin. He started pointed at the screen and clapping, and saying...."bah-ball." Yes, according to Micah, all balls, and all games played with a ball, are, by definition, basketball. Okay, we'll have to work on that part, but he did love watching tennis. He sat snuggled up with me and we watched Roddick play today. He screamed "Whoa" when they hit the ball, and "boom" when the ball hit the net. He clapped when they scored points, and he screamed with joy when the players got into nice long rallies. Yes, I think I'm grooming a tennis fan, much to his daddy's chagrin. His daddy was so worried that he removed Micah from the tennis and took him grocery shopping.

This morning, the babysitter came to help take care of Micah. She arrived at 9:00 this morning, but could only stay until 1:00. She fed him breakfast and got him dressed, took him to play at the park, fed him lunch then put him down for a nap. During that time, I managed to pack my hospital bag, shovel out the bedroom from a bunch of junk, and make DH clean up his junk, too. It feels so much better to have made a dent in the mess. I also got a bunch of work done. I really like having the extra help around right now!

I'm still having pretty constant contractions. The more I do, the worse they get. I'm very interested to find out whether I've made any progress since last week...but I doubt it. We shall see - my appointment is at 1:45 tomorrow.

Yesterday, I took my dog to the vet - her breathing was very labored again, and her hacking cough had returned. I was fairly certain that fluid was backing up in her lungs again. The doctor examined her and agreed. The good news was that there was only *some* fluid in her lungs. He decided to double her dosage of Lasix for the next two weeks. If she does well, then he will try to reduce the dosage again and see if she will maintain that way. I am supposed to take her back for another re-check either Wednesday or Friday.

Micah has been talking up a storm lately. He is starting to put words together (like "Hi there"). He knows a bunch of body parts (head, foot, belly, tongue, mouth, nose, eyes). He is saying the word "more" now (he used to just sign it), and he definitely says "hi" and "bye-bye" all the time. He is recognizing animals more and more, and he knows a bunch of the sounds animals make - his favorites are "quack" and "moo." He loves to watch the birdies, and he is still a huge kissy-monster. He climbs all over the furniture and runs laps around the house.

I have to say, I am going to miss this time with Micah as my only child. I'm so excited to meet Twoey and get to know her, and I'm excited to see Micah become a big brother. But, at the same time, I sometimes wish I had more time with just Micah as my only focus. I love how we snuggle, and I love our time alone together in the mornings. I adore him - I truly think he is the cutest, sweetest thing that ever walked the earth, and I am just filled with love for him. I know I will love Twoey every bit as much as Micah, and I know there will be plenty of room in my life for both of them. But, this time with just Micah is special, and in a way, I know it will be a loss for both of us - it will never again be just the two of us, and I guess I'm sorry that I can't give more of this special time to him.

Someone posted this on my SK board this week, and it really struck me...I think it articulates many of my fears about expanding our family, and perhaps my hope for how it will be:

Walk along holding your 4-year-old hand, basking in the glow of our magical relationship. Suddenly I feel a kick from within, as if to remind me that our time alone is limited. And I wonder: how could I ever love another child as I love you?

Then he is born, and I watch you. I watch the pain you feel at having to share me as you’ve never shared me before.

I hear you telling me in your own way, “Please love only me.” And I hear myself telling you in mine, “I can’t,” knowing, in fact, that I never can again.

You cry. I cry with you. I almost see our new baby as an intruder on the precious relationship we once shared. A relationship we can never quite have again.

But then, barely noticing, I find myself attached to that new being, and feeling almost guilty. I’m afraid to let you see me enjoying him—as though I am betraying you.

But then I notice your resentment change, first to curiosity, then to protectiveness, finally to genuine affection.

More days pass, and we are settling into a new routine. The memory of days with just the two of us is fading fast.

But something else is replacing those wonderful times we shared, just we two. There are new times – only now, we are three. I watch the love between you grow, the way you look at each other, touch each other.

I watch how he adores you — as I have for so long. I see how excited you are by each of his new accomplishments. And I begin to realize that I haven’t taken something from you, I’ve given something to you. I notice that I am no longer afraid to share my love openly with both of you. I find that my love for each of you is as different as you are, but equally strong. And my question is finally answered, to my amazement. Yes, I can love another child as much as I love you—only differently.

And although I realize that you may have to share my time, I now know you’ll never share my love. There’s enough of that for both of you – you each have your own supply.

I love you—-both. And I thank you both for blessing my life.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Renovation Update

I've spoken a lot about our home renovations, but have not had the opportunity to get specific. As you may have read here before, DH and I have had significant struggles trying to decide where to live. My first choice was to move - a bit further out into the suburbs so we could get a really nice, spacious house with a yard. DH wanted to live in the same area where we live now (where the lots are smaller, houses are smaller and older, and much more expensive). Long story short...we couldn't seem to agree, so I gave in and agreed to do a renovation. Ultimately, I knew we had the baby coming, and I was afraid if I didn't give in, we'd still be "discussing" it when the baby arrived we'd be in big trouble!

DH was convinced that we could add on all the rooms we wanted and have it done before the baby was born (I knew this would never happen, but I agreed anyway). We worked with an initial builder/architect team, and they gave us some nice plans...but it wasn't what we wanted. The bedrooms were all way too small, they left a lot of under-utilized space, and for the amount they were charging, I truly felt we should be getting more. As I thought about it, I realized we could end up...stuck...in this house. While DH swears he'll move in 5-7 years anywhere I want, I just don't believe he'll suddenly cooperate when the time comes (he promised he'd move anywhere I wanted this year, and he changed his tune this time, too). So, my feeling is if we are going to be stuck here, then this house better offer just about everything I could possibly want in a house, or I'd spend my life wishing we had done more with the renovations and regretting my decision to settle for less.

Ultimately, my goal was 3 bedrooms and an office upstairs (ideally 4 bedrooms plus an office, but I did not think that would be feasible). I wanted an eat-in kitchen, separate dining room, family room, living room and an office (DH and I both work from home, so we each need an office) on the main floor. I just wanted a bigger rec room area and some unfinished storage space in the basement.

After having some challenges with our first builder/architect, we started to talk to another architect. We immediately liked his proposals, and decided to pursue working with him. We ran into one snag early on - the initial plan (a two story addition in the rear and a one story addition on the side) just wasn't working out - we could not make the bedrooms work out (even after the renovations, the bedrooms would barely be 8x9). After discussion with the builder, he told us it would only cost a bit more to do a two-story addition on both the back and side. We decided to bite the bullet and absorb the extra cost so we could have 4 good-sized bedrooms and an office upstairs.

As we moved forward and got to the point of finalizing the plans, the builder (who has been involved from the beginning to keep us on budget and inform us if the decisions we were making were increasing the budget) told us the current "bottom line" - and we were shocked. Apparently, we were more than 20% over our budget. We spent several weeks trying to cut back on the expenses and figure out what inflated the budget, but the price just kept creeping up. We were at an impasse...lots of money invested in the architectural fees, and not enough money to move forward with the project.

Our architect suggested we get another bid from a different builder. That bid just came back today, and it puts us 10% under our budget!! Not only that, it includes a few upgrades we had previously planned to give up (like a custom bathroom, hardwood floors, etc.). We are quite relieved - that gives us room for unexpected costs and some budget creep. So, I believe that we are ready to move forward - finalize the plans, file for permits, and get this show on the road. If all goes according to plan, we should be able to break ground in July or August. We are planning to put my condo on the market (hopefully sell before we break ground) and then move into an apartment for a few months during the renovations.

So, here it is...our home renovation plans. In 2008, we completely gutted the house - we re-studded and insulated the walls, removed a few walls to open up the floor plan, redid the kitchen and bathrooms. Currently, our house has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs (we also converted one of the upstairs bedrooms into a master bathroom and a master bedroom closet). On the main floor, we have a kitchen, dining room (more like an eat-in kitchen), living room and a half bathroom. Downstairs, we have a utility room/laundry room, a small office with a bathroom, and a small rec room area. I have highlighted in yellow the areas that are the existing house - as you can see, we are putting an addition on all 3 levels off both the back of the house and the side of the house.

Here is our new proposed First Floor Plan (you can click on the images to see a larger close-up view):


The only thing we will be changing in the existing part of the house is the stairwell. Right now, the stairs for the house are directly in front of the door when you enter the house. We will be moving those stairs to the back of the house in the new addition, and in place of the stairs we will have 2 closets - a coat closet and a food pantry. Additionally, the existing living room area will become our formal dining room.

We are making more significant changes on the second floor. In the existing part of the house, the new foyer and the new bedroom on the left are our existing Master Bedroom. The hallway bathroom in the existing section is our current master bathroom. That "new" bedroom will likely become a guest bedroom. The second "new" bedroom was formed from the existing stairs, existing hallway bathroom, our existing master bedroom closet, and the front half of Micah's existing bedroom. The two closets in the back of that bedroom are the back half of Micah's existing bedroom. We will be creating a brand new master bedroom/closet/bath on the side of the house, and the rear addition will give us another new bedroom (likely for the baby), an office, and the new stairs. Here is a draft of the second floor plans:


Finally, in the basement we are only making minor modifications to the existing area. The new laundry room area is where our current stairwell exists. We are simply bringing the washer and dryer out of the utility room and giving it its own space. We are leaving the rest of the basement as is, adding an unfinished storage area in the back, and a finished rec room area on the side. So, here are the basement plans:


I'm still dreading this project - I think it will easily take 6-9 months, and if our past experience is any indication, it could even take longer. I guess we'll just have to make it work.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Belly Shots...35 weeks

I finally got around to taking belly shots again. I really meant to do a better job of recording my belly growth each week again. Unfortunately, the lighting in our current bedroom is not nearly as nice as at the condo, so I haven't been as good at documenting.







Saturday, May 22, 2010

Trip to the Zoo

On Friday, Micah had a daycare field trip to the zoo! It was his first trip to the zoo, but I was a bit hesitant about chaperoning. DH had a prior commitment and could not attend, and I was afraid the trip would be too much for me, especially on my own. Last minute, my father was able to re-arrange his schedule so that he could chaperone the trip, and I decided to go along, too.
My father showed up at our house bright and early at 9:00 am, and off to daycare we went. As a side note, my father showed up a bit dressed up for the trip to the zoo. He had on a beautiful blue button-down collar shirt. I took one look at him and suggested he might be too hot in the outfit. In typical fashion, my father insisted he would be fine. Knowing my father (who NEVER likes to dress down), I knew it was a losing battle, so I gave up on trying to convince him to change into a short-sleeved Under Armour golf shirt.

We were scheduled to leave for the zoo at 9:30, and left about 9:45 - not bad for daycare time. We took public transportation to the zoo - quite interesting taking our entire group on foot and down elevators and onto the trains. We had a few issues on the metro. First, we ended up with a wind tunnel as we were entering the station, and one of those "caution" signs caught air and took flight, charging 50 feet down the tunnel and nearly taking us all out. It was a bit scary! Luckily, no one was hurt. We complained to the station manager, who was completely uninterested in helping out.

Then, as we were loading onto the train, the train operator failed to follow procedure, and caught a few of us (me and "Grammy" - the older woman caretaker for Micah's class) in the train doors. We were quite scared, and it took several patrons to pull us inside to safety as the train started to move. The train operator did the same thing at every stop, so I decided to get the train number and file a complaint - that operator was quite dangerous. We reported him as we exited the station, and DH sent a follow-up note to his contacts.

The weather cooperated - it was bright and sunny, but possibly a bit on the hot side. My dad looked like he was roasting (not that he would admit it). He even rolled up his sleeves - a HIGHLY uncommon event! We began our descent around the zoo, stopping and looking for animals along the way. We saw a sloth bear early on, but a number of the animals were inside, and it was difficult for the children to see all of the animals from their strollers. We did see some cheetahs, and we tried to get a good look at some seals, but it was quite crowded. Micah seemed to enjoy the birds, but he started to get a bit restless as we wandered through the park. I was getting hot and thirsty, and my contractions were picking up. I took a bit of a break, drank some water, and sat down while my dad took Micah on with the group. I caught up to them a bit later.

We started to take them out to look when we saw the red pandas and elephants. Micah LOVED the elephants. My dad did a great job carrying and chasing after Micah - it was getting to be a bit too much walking and lifting for me. He needed a few breaks, too (his back was hurting a bit). What a pair we were! His back, my belly...perhaps we both should have skipped the field trip, but we were having fun.






We let the kids walk around a bit, and we then found a picnic area for lunch. While we were at lunch, the orangutans put on quite a show - they climbed out of their area and climbed across the ropes to the other side of the zoo. Micah was chasing them, pointing, clapping and loving them! He even said "monkey" a few times. Once again, my father spent the bulk of his time chasing Micah around the picnic area, and I was glad I had him along. Micah did not eat much for lunch at all - too much stuff to do instead.










Here is some video of the orangutans in action:

video

video

After lunch, we headed back home - I think we left the park around 1:00 or so. We arrived back at the daycare facility around 1:45, and then we said goodbye to Micah. I was exhausted after the trip, but it was a lovely day!

And for good measure, here is a video of Micah stomping around in his Daddy's slippers:

video

Thursday, May 20, 2010

35 weeks and a trip to L&D

I'm now over 35 weeks pregnant (I believe today is 35 weeks 2 days). This pregnancy has flown by, and we are still not prepared for Twoey's arrival. Oh well...working on that part. Unfortunately, I haven't had a ton of time to do much about that yet. Tuesday and Wednesday I spent the entire day on a telephone conference/webinar. I was supposed to attend a work meeting in Atlanta, but could not travel due to the pregnancy. So, I attended virtually instead. I hate sitting on the phone like that all day! DH was a huge help and took care of Micah all day while I sat on the phone and worked. Micah was definitely cranky in the morning - and can you believe he actually took a 4 hour nap for DH? I never get that lucky!

As for this pregnancy, I've been doing better than my pregnancy with Micah. I've had contractions, but things seemed to be stable and I had not been worried about them. Once I hit 34 weeks, the relief set in, and I really haven't paid much attention to the contractions at all. However, last week, I noticed a change in my contractions - they moved more towards my back. I've been uncomfortable, but hanging in there. I mentioned something about it at my last appointment, but they felt it might just be because Twoey had changed positions (she moved down and was rear-facing in "birthing" position).

On Tuesday after my conference call, I started experiencing some heavier contractions in the evening, and I was very uncomfortable. I fell asleep, but woke up to the sound of Micah screaming his head off (teething again). DH and I took turns going in to comfort him. While I was in his room sitting on the glider and rocking with him, all of the sudden I started to feel these incredibly sharp pains in my rib/side and right down through my cervix. It was excruciating, and I had to get DH to come in and take over. I literally hobbled back to the bedroom in pain and lay down on the bed. After propping myself up with my pregnancy pillows and relaxing, the stabbing pain seemed to subside a bit. At that point, the contractions were really intense - significantly more so than at any other point this pregnancy. I knew I had taken terbutaline, so I decided to ride it out.

While the contractions were really intense, they did not seem to be coming any more frequently than every 7-10 minutes (only 6-8 an hour). DH kept asking if we should call the midwives or go to the hospital, but I kept insisting it was nothing. My thought was that if it was labor, the contractions would start to happen more frequently. I also knew from my pregnancy with Micah that I could go through a lot and not be in labor. I also felt that waking my parents up at 3 am, forcing them to come over and running up to the hospital only for them to tell me it was nothing and go home seemed silly. I had another 8:00 am conference call for work that I really didn't want to miss, so I decided that as long as the contractions did not increase in frequency, I was just going to ride it out. I'm sure it helped my state of mind that I'm already 35 weeks - if, in fact, I did go into labor, the baby would be fine. She might not even need any NICU time.

Around 5:00 or so, I finally was able to sleep a little bit. I got on my conference call bright and early Wednesday morning while DH took care of Micah and brought him to daycare. The contractions (and the intensity) continued all day, and when my call wrapped up around 5, I decided to call the midwives. Mostly, I was wondering if I should take more medicine or if we should bother to change to a different medication for the next few days. Much to my surprise, they insisted that I meet them at the hospital to be seen. I was so frustrated! They told me I could wait until after rush hour. DH and I talked it over, and I decided he should stay home with Micah. My parents offered to come down, but I did not think they should cancel their plans. I opted not to pack a bag and drove myself to the hospital. I got checked in and they hooked me up to a monitor. Turns out, I was having frequent contractions, but every 7-10 minutes I was having a more intense contraction. Nothing earth shattering. They did a quick check and determined that I am 50% effaced and about 1 cm dilated (she said just barely - she might even call it a dimple instead). The baby's heartrate was a little too steady, so they gave me some juice, turned me on my side, and kept monitoring her. Once they got her heartrate bouncing around a bit, they told me I was free to come home.

So...not a productive evening. The good news is everything is fine, and at this point, I should be able to make it to 36 weeks. They will re-check me next week, but once I hit 36 weeks, my body can do whatever it wants and they will not worry about labor. She thinks with rest and the terbutaline I should be able to hang in there at least another 5 days. If my pregnancy with Micah is any example, I could contract for weeks before my water breaks!

I've decided I'm not going to call again unless my water breaks...I don't feel like making any more pointless trips to the hospital. I do need to get my act in gear and pack my hospital bag and maybe a few things for Twoey. I can't believe she'll be here soon!

Today our babysitter (the one who took care of Micah last summer) started again. She'll be working here on Tuesdays and Thursdays all summer (and perhaps I'll bring her in to help out with the baby on other days, too). She has been a huge help - we went to the park, and she chased him all over the place. I am feeling a lot of contractions and pressure, so it was nice to pass off that responsibility. Tonight we will be taking Micah to a grand opening event (the place where he takes classes just relocated) and then we'll be headed out for date night.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Piano Man

I think it has been a while since I've done a "substance" post, so here goes! When I last left you, DH was out of town. Things went much better than I expected, actually. Micah slept in late on Tuesday...but the dog was up at 5:30 am. Since her heart problems, she has been having issues holding her bladder, and she gets very anxious for her food/pills about 1-2 hours before it is time. I think she knows they make her feel better and they start to wear off around the 10 hour mark. I'm working on this, but there isn't much I can do!

On Tuesday, I had hoped to take Micah to a free musical performance and story hour at the mall, followed by a train ride, but the cleaning lady showed up pretty late. Unfortunately, we missed the musical performance and the story hour, and the thought of heading to the mall just to take Micah to the train ride seemed...daunting. I was afraid he wouldn't sit still and I'd be chasing him by myself around the mall and fighting him about leaving. So, I chickened out and decided to save that for another day...with help. Instead, I called up my parents and asked if they wanted to meet us for lunch! Micah and I drove over to pick up my mom and my Dad joined us a bit later. We just ate at noodles and company, and we had a good time. I have to say, it is so much easier on me now that Micah will eat pasta! After lunch, Micah took a nice nap. When he woke up, we watched an episode of Between the Lions, played a bit, and then I fed him dinner. DH surprised us by actually making it home before bedtime, so the day was a breeze.

On Wednesday, I spent the day downtown at a work meeting. It was actually good to "see and be seen" and I may have found a few additional jobs for the next year. We shall see how that pans out. I'd like to try and line everything up before Twoey arrives.

On Thursday morning, DH, Micah and I headed off to an ultrasound. We had a snafu with child care for Micah (honestly, I forgot to make arrangements in advance and our "go-to" babysitter was busy) so we brought him along. Twoey was great! The appointment was quick, with very little news to report. She is still head down, and now turned in "birthing position" facing my back. That probably explains the back pain I've been experiencing, the change in my contractions, and all the extra pressure on my bladder. Her heart rate was perfect, and then we learned one other fun piece of information...she has hair! The ultrasound tech thought she had A LOT of hair, so Twoey may come out with as much hair as Micah. I'm going to be prepared - I'm going to buy one of those little clippy bows so we can take a picture of her with a bow clipped on her beautiful locks! DH made sure to ask the tech if she could tell the color of her hair (my mother is DYING to know if this baby will be a redhead), but the tech was decidedly uncooperative (ha!). Once she realized we were just teasing (we obviously know you cannot tell color from the ultrasound) she announced that it looked white on the screen (as hair always does). I said I knew premature grey hair ran on my mom's side of the family - poor baby! So, hair color (and true quantity) will still be a surprise, but there is hope that Twoey will have luscious locks like Micah.

After the ultrasound, I hosted a mini "playgroup" at our house - I invited a few of the other parents who are normally in our Thursday class (we are on hiatus for another week). Only one was able to come over, but the boys played together for a few hours. Well, I should say they mostly played independently, but occasionally Micah was not so nice. He does not like to share his toys, and he can scream if others get too close and he will sometimes fight for toys. We're working on it, but I feel like we are not making much practice. The good news is that by the end of the playdate, Micah was walking over to Alex and hugging and kissing him. It was adorable! Of course, Alex looked quite perturbed and a bit frightened - he had that "Weren't you just beating me up and now you are kissing me?" look on his face.

Friday was another work day, but somehow things just seem so hectic right now. I've been working on getting a proposal done, and I've been trying to wrap up a bunch of deliverables before the baby arrives. In addition, we've been trying to figure out how to handle these renovations. We are currently over budget (not a shock, right)? I could post a whole separate post just about the renovations (and probably should) but the short version is we hired a builder to keep us on budget. We did expand our project, he told us dollar amounts for the things we were adding, we felt we could afford it, and then he came back with the final total cost and it was significantly higher than his numbers led us to believe it would be. Every time we try to cut things back out, the price doesn't seem to drop. So, we are at an impasse right now. Because of the delays, we no longer think we can move back into my condo during the renovations. My condo really only has 2 bedrooms (3 if you count the downstairs room). We thought that would be fine while the baby was small, but now she might be 2 or 3 months old when we move, and we really feel she needs her own room now. So, we are in a mad dash to get my place on the market and hope it sells before we need to rent a place. What a mess! We are both pretty pissed we've held on to the condo all this time to not even live in it again, but what can we do now?

On Saturday, our friends hosted a party at their house. It was a ton of fun - they have a fantastic back yard with swings and toys, and they put out sprinklers and baby pools for the kids. We snacked and socialized and played all afternoon, and it was really a fun day. Micah loved the slide and playing basketball, and he loved the snack table..he personally ate all the goldfish, the animal crackers, and half the fruit platter! There was also a climb-in Thomas the Tank Engine that Micah loved riding. Eventually, we moved inside, and Micah spent about an hour playing on a piano! He has seen and used toy pianos before, but he had never had the opportunity to play on a real piano. He was sitting on the bench, banging away - and I have to say, it even sounded somewhat melodic! I think he might just have some musical talent in there. Time got away from us, and we had to do a mad dash home around 8:15 pm. We literally threw Micah into the tub for a quick rinsing (he was so dirty from being outside all day!) and then plopped him into bed.

Sunday was another crazy day for us. Micah woke up extra early, and it was a long morning. We were trying to get things in order and keep him entertained, but he was really cranky. We tried putting him down for a nap around 1, and the little bugger woke up screaming at 2! We had no luck getting him back to sleep, so DH decided to take him outside for a walk and to run errands. I guess I lost track of time while they were out (I was trying to get some work and cleaning done). They did not arrive home until almost 4, and I suddenly realized I still needed to shower and we were supposed to be at a picnic for Micah's daycare already! We did not make it there until about 5, but we had a nice time. There was pizza, some activities, and good music. Micah was playing with a soccer ball most of the time, and he had fun wandering all over the field and getting into trouble.

Yesterday, Micah started off the morning in daycare, but we pulled him out early because we had his follow-up appointment with the ophthalmologist. One funny story - apparently, when they changed his diaper, he looked at the caretaker and said "stinky." That is what we always say when he poops - I tend to say "stinky, stinky Mr. Micah." Funny - it never dawned on me that he would pick it up! Anyway, Micah's appointment went quite well, although we were waiting forever to be seen. Micah was excited about the Cars movie on the screen - he kept saying car and vroom vroom. He also grabbed a Thomas the Tank Engine book and wanted us to read that to him (we may have a new obsession we will have to "feed.") The good news is his optic nerve still looks great, and there is no sign of any swelling or pressure in his brain. So, surgery for the craniosynostosis is still unnecessary. The other good news...Micah does not need glasses (for now). He definitely is far-sighted, but it is not outside the range of normal for children. The bigger concern is that there is at least a half diopter difference between his two eyes, which *could* be a sign that he is developing amblyopia (lazy eye) - which I have. For now, the doctor just wants to continue monitoring things. He feels that he can see well enough for walking and learning. We do not have to go back for another year! He would also suggest bringing the baby in when she is about a year old, so I'll bring the two of them in together next year.

One new problem that has cropped up this week...I think Micah is a bit too attached to television. I usually only have him watch 30 minutes - 1 hour of educational television a day (all PBS shows). He usually does not ask for the tv, but if he sees the remote he sometimes climbs on the couch and fusses indicating he wants to watch tv. BUT, if we put on his show for 30 minutes, he gets VERY upset when it ends. Tempertantrum kind of upset. He kicks and screams and throws his head back and points and fusses. It is quite a sight! I try to distract him, and I do not give in and let him get more television as a reward for that behavior, but I really hate that he is starting to do this. I'm hoping it is a phase and that he will learn that when the show is over, tv is finished. I really only put it on at times when he is a bit cranky/clingy, or if I need to keep him busy while I prepare his food for dinner or before bed time. I also find that when he is getting really wild and destructive, the tv is a good way to get him to calm down and focus and relax. We sing songs with the tv, go over the letters and words, and I do think he is learning from these shows. The other time it comes up - in the mornings and evenings, DH likes to watch the news. If Micah sees the tv on and it isn't his show, he has started getting mad and tries to force us to put on his show. My solution for that has been shutting the tv off. If we cannot have it on at all, then that is what we will have to do.

Friday, May 14, 2010

17 months

Today Micah is 17 months old!! I just cannot believe how time has been flying. I also cannot believe he is going to become a big brother in the next month, too! As always, Micah has been adorable. I love watching him learn and figure things out now, and I definitely think we are starting to see significant language development. He is not afraid to let us know what he wants!

His current favorite words seem to be "Hi" "Bye" "Basketball" and "Birdie." He also loves to shake his head "No." He seems to be stringing multiple words together sometimes, too. He usually calls me "Mommy" now and not just "Mama." He loves sitting with me and reading stories, and he often points to pictures in the books and uses the right words to identify the pictures. He loves to read Good Night Moon at night before bed. He will say "Moo" when he sees the cows now! He can also point to the red balloon and the kittens, and he sometimes will say cow and kitty. One of his favorite books is called "Squishy Fish," and on one of the last pages of the book, it says "But the best thing my squishy fishies do, Is give great big hugs and kisses, too." Every time we get to that page, Micah gets a big smile on his face and he leans in close to give ME a hug and lifts his face to get kisses. I melt each and every time!

Speaking of kisses, Micah is a wonderful kisser. He loves to come over and give us hugs and kisses. He also loves to give his toys and his friends (and even some pictures in books) hugs and kisses. He can just be so sweet and cuddly sometimes.

He is starting to recognize his body parts, and he sometimes tries to sing along with different songs. He seems to understand what we are saying to him, too...unless, of course, we are saying "No." He is expanding the television he likes - we now watch Sesame Street, Between the Lions, and Word World. I think these PBS shows are quite clever and educational, and Micah seems highly entertained by them. We watch 1 or 2 of the half hour shows or a 1 hour show most days.

He loves to point out the birds every time we are outside, and he climbs up onto the chair by the window to look outside and watch the birds and his basketball hoop. He has become a true pro at climbing on and off the couches and chairs. He loves to climb behind the back pillows on the couch and "hide" behind them.

I love watching Micah interact with the dog. He leans in to give her kisses and cuddle with her, and she often kisses him back. He is just so happy all the time.

He is still very skinny - I don't think he has gained much weight, but I guess we'll find out at his appointment next month. He does seem to be growing taller and stronger, though. We are mostly putting him in the 12-18 month size clothes now...but they are definitely big. He loves to climb on things and play on slides. He LOVES being outside, and I think he'd stay outside running around all day if I let him. I wish we had a bigger yard for him.

I think he is finally making some significant progress on his teeth. He definitely has 2 new teeth on the bottom, and I believe that 2 more teeth (I think the bicuspids) may have cut through the top gums as well. There are 4 other swollen bumps in his mouth (at least I think there are - he really doesn't let me in to check it out). So, if my count is correct, he now has cut 10 teeth, with 4 more on the way. Based on his behavior the past few days (a little cranky, a little clingy, hitting his face a bit with his hand, and waking up crying from a nap after only 1 hour), I think we may have another tooth update in a few days. I think I mentioned that he has a small chip on his front left tooth - we still do not know how that happened, but it does not seem to bother him at all.

We are starting to have some behavior challenges. Micah seems to have developed some possessiveness about toys. He will sometimes scream loudly at other children when they get too close, and will occasionally pull a toy away from another child. He does not yet seem to understand the concept of "sharing." We are working on that...I try to remove him from the situation if he is behaving badly, and I try to prevent him from keeping any toys he has stolen. Hopefully, this is a phase he'll outgrow (or at least he'll respond better to reprimand once his language skills improve).

So...happy 17 months, baby boy! I love you with all my heart, and each day you are with me, you bring so much joy to my life. I am amazed watching you grow and develop, and I cannot wait to see the person you become. I hope that your kindness continues to grow, and that your wonderful smile continues to bring happiness into this world. I hope that your offers to share your food and toys grow into a deeper generosity of spirit, and that you develop your talents...maybe music that you seem to love so much right now, or your love for animals, or whatever other secret skills and talents you have within you.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Become a Bone Marrow Donor

This week, I learned that a good friend of mine from law school was recently diagnosed with Leukemia. He is a father of four young children, and was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. He now needs a bone marrow transplant to save his life.

I am encouraging as many people as possible to get tested and register to become a bone marrow donor (or make a donation to help support the testing and registry of other bone marrow donors). You can gain more information by clicking here:

https://www.giftoflife.org/Public/Online/DonorCircles.aspx

Please consider helping save a life.

Monday, May 10, 2010

On my own....

Today began 48 hours of me "on my own" as a single parent. DH is at a conference in Philly. I think this may only be the second or third time he has gone out of town since Micah was born - he has definitely done more stints as a "single parent" than I have (although I've had him more days on my own than he has). I think I'm just a *little* nervous being 34 weeks pregnant and on my own.

I really shouldn't complain. DH was here this morning when we woke up. I took care of Micah and got him ready for daycare while DH packed and got ready. He was able to drop Micah off at daycare on his way out. Today was actually quite easy - I just had 3 work meetings and an OB appointment, so I did not have to worry about Micah during the day.

Luckily, my Dad was available this evening, and he came to join me around 5:30 today. He kept me company while I went to pick Micah up. I had a horrible experience at pickup today, though. I did not recognize the woman in the room watching the kids when I arrived. I saw another father there I recognized, and I said hi to him (and his son). Micah saw me and came running over and said "hi" and called me Mommy. While I was gathering Micah's stuff together, the woman asked me if I was Micah's GRANDMOTHER. Hello - I'm clearly in my 30s, I do not have a single grey hair on my head, and I'm obviously pregnant. GRANDMOTHER? That is what you thought to ask me? I can understand that she did not recognize me, and if she had asked who I was to verify that I was authorized to pick Micah up (or even if she checked my ID), I would have been fine with that. If she had asked if I was a family member, I would have been fine with that. But GRANDMOTHER? SERIOUSLY? How obnoxious is that!! My pregnancy hormones kicked into full gear, and that woman was really lucky I didn't knock her into tomorrow. I complained about her in the front office on the way out, too. But GRANDMOTHER? Come on!!

After my rude encounter, we were able to have Micah walk to the car holding our hands. He carried Micah for a bit (I'm finding it harder to carry him these days), and helped me keep Micah occupied at home while I cooked him dinner and put away his laundry. Actually, my Dad brought Micah a brand new Elmo DVD - the two of them went downstairs and watched it together. I have to say, I'm not sure which one of them was more enthralled. Perhaps my father - Micah actually got up to play with other toys a few times, and when dinner was ready, it was my Dad who whined about needing a few more minutes to watch the end of the video. They were cute together sitting on the couch and watching the DVD - Micah sucked his thumb most of the time, but he did get up and dance a few times.

Micah ate a pretty good dinner - he had a few pieces of chicken, some rice, sweet potatoes and strawberries. He usually doesn't like to eat chicken, so I was surprised. My Dad was a huge help wrangling Micah for his bath (WOW was he dirty today!!). I did the bathing, but my Dad lifted him out of the tub and kept him occupied while I lotioned him up, dressed him in pajamas and combed his hair. Of course, Micah had to take his turn to comb my hair (and my father's, too). Once we finished bath time, Micah gave his Grampy a hug and a kiss and said night-night and goodbye, and Grampy left us for the evening. Many thanks to Grampy for helping out! It made my night much easier. I finished up our nighttime routine and put Micah to bed. Luckily, he was nice and tired and drifted easily off to sleep.

I had my 34 week OB appointment today. Twoey's heartrate was nice and steady, and all is well. I told the midwife that I've been feeling a lot of pressure and heaviness, and she suggested I increase my dosage of the anti-contraction medication. Great - that makes me restless. Other than that, nothing new to report! I can't believe I am already 34 weeks pregnant and that we'll be meeting Twoey in just a few short weeks. I have so much to do to get ready!

Tomorrow is going to be a long day - I have Micah at home and no classes or activities planned. I need to think of something for us to do, or Micah will go crazy! I may take him for story time at the mall, and there is an indoor train there, too. We may also go pick up my mom and take her to lunch. I have a feeling I will need a little relief by the end of the day...I get exhausted chasing after Micah and I am extra-exhausted because of the pregnancy. Perhaps I'll see if my Dad wants to stop by for an hour or so in the afternoon, or if I need my mom to come by for an hour or so around dinner time to give me a break.

I have some cleaning up to do (cleaning lady will be here in the morning), and I'd like to try and get to bed relatively early (although I still need to take the dog out sometime between 2 and 3 or she'll wake me up at 4 am, so perhaps I'll just take a nap, walk the dog, and then go to bed). Wish me an easy day tomorrow!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

This is my second Mother's Day as a mother...and the third since I discovered I was going to be a mother. I have been looking forward to this day - it is such a wonderful way to celebrate family. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to be a mom to Micah, and cannot wait until next year when I can spend Mother's Day with Twoey, too.

It was another wonderful day - I was not only able to spend it with my mother and my son, but my brother, husband, sister-in-law and nieces, too. What could be better? Rather than fight the lines at a restaurant and worry about restless and misbehaving children, we decided to get together for a brunch at my parents' house. I brought our waffle iron, eggs, bagels and I mixed up a homemade Belgian Waffle batter. My brother brought fruit and toppings for the waffles and veggies for omelets. My Dad set the table, provided the orange juice, and ran out to the store for the syrup my brother forgot. DH and my brother made eggs and waffles for everyone, and we all sat down for a wonderful brunch together.

We had a great time - the kids all played together and the food was delicious. We did spend half the day chasing the dog and trying to keep her from stealing the leftovers. There were a few meltdowns, lots of noise, and more than our share of smiles and laughter. We took a family photo for my mother (she wanted a picture with all of her grandchildren to place on her computer desktop). I love seeing Micah interact with his cousins, and I love seeing my mother with her grandchildren. It really was a great day to remember how lucky we are. We ended up staying there all day...Micah took a nap, everyone went for a walk, and we ordered pizza for dinner. All-in-all, it was a perfect Mother's Day.

We topped off our day with some family time at home - Micah cuddled up on my lap and we read a few stories. He chased the dog around the house a few times, and he gave me kisses. At bedtime, Micah climbed the stairs, waved at me, and said "night night." Perfect, right?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Getting nervous

I seem to be a delinquent blogger these days. I'm definitely getting nervous about reaching the end of my pregnancy. I'm about to hit 34 weeks, and I already am feeling a ton of pressure and contractions. I probably have about 2-4 weeks left of this pregnancy, and we do not have a name for this baby. I haven't even packed my hospital bag yet! I finally pulled out the pee pad for the bed in case my water breaks in the bed again.

I'm feeling a bit bigger this pregnancy than I did with Micah, and definitely getting physically uncomfortable. My body hurts and I am having a hard time getting comfortable these days. I am loving how much Twoey has been moving around, though! I think it is interesting...I can already tell my two babies have different personalities. Micah was quite active all the time - he never stopped kicking, punching and bouncing. My belly would dance all over the place, and he loved to cause trouble whenever they put the monitor or the doppler on my belly -he'd go right over and start kicking and punching it! Twoey is also active...but in a more mellow way. She flips and rolls and occasionally kicks and punches, but she is much more likely to be stretching, or kicking one or two times in a row and sitting quietly for a bit. I think she is going to be more reserved than Micah. She does have that touch of cute-but-evil running through her - she finds a spot (like my rib) and she'll poke it repeatedly. I almost imagine her with an impish grin as she pokes it over and over again while I'm thinking "don't do that." Micah STILL likes to do that now.

I'm getting excited to meet Twoey. I wonder what she will look like, and I wonder if she'll be born bald or with a full head of hair like Micah. I kind of hope she has a full head of hair like Micah - we could immediately put adorable little bows in her hair! I wish we could figure out the name situation, but we are really struggling. We have a list of names...but we just haven't found "THE" name yet.

On the Micah front - he is just being so cute most of the time. His Daddy took him to a free music performance on Tuesday morning at one of the local restaurants. He has been busy in daycare and he has such a great sense of humor. On Thursday, we went to meet his Grammy and Grampy for a nice lunch, and Micah got to walk and hold their hands for the first time! They also played the "one-two-three swing!" game with him while they walked, and he laughed and laughed. He is definitely starting to talk more and more. Tonight, we were outside playing on his slide/basketball hoop toy that his Grammy and Grampy gave him for his first birthday, and he said basketball! (Okay, it sounded more like bah-ball, but he was definitely saying it). He kept shooting his baskets then stopping to clap for himself every time he made a basket.

But perhaps the BEST part of my week happened tonight. I got my first first Mother's Day gift FROM Micah, MADE by Micah! I was all teary and happy - it was such a wonderful thing. They had him make it at daycare, and wrapped it up and sent it home.




.As you can see, they framed a picture that Micah painted, and they included a picture of Micah making the painting! It is currently sitting on the fireplace mantle, and I'm loving it.

For good measure, here is some video of Micah we've taken over the past two weeks. We finally have a new Flip video camera (we had given our old one to our niece for her trip abroad back in January, and it took us until now to replace it)!
video

video


video


video

Monday, May 3, 2010

Oh the times, they are a-changin'....

I know I always say this, but I'm constantly amazed by how much things change from week to week. It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last substantive post...and while not much has been going on, so much has changed. Funny how that is...I've had all these little nothings I've wanted to post, but nothing really interesting to write about, so I keep postponing the blog entries.

Overall, my last two weeks have been relatively uneventful...I've been cramming my work week into 3 full days plus afternoon nap time the other two days. I lost a lot of time while Micah was sick, and I do feel that I am quickly running out of time before Twoey arrives. We are desperately trying to wrap up the final plans for the renovation (I've been meaning to post a draft of the plans and talk about all that insanity) and file for our permits. Once again, we are already behind schedule and the budget keeps ballooning. We got a nasty bout of sticker shock at our last meeting, so we are now trying to figure out how to reduce the costs without scaling back the scope of the project.

Micah, however, is changing rapidly by the moment. His vocabulary seems to be increasing by leaps and bounds. He repeats words, says thank you, get down (to the dog), car, vroom, tree, doggy, milk and a few other things. He has been amazing us in other ways lately, too. After refusing to eat any pasta (or rice) for months and months...he started to eat spaghetti! They told us he ate 4 bowls at daycare, and we did not believe them. We took him out for dinner at a chili place, and we ordered a spaghetti chili for dinner that he scarfed down! This weekend, my nieces were in town and we served Macaroni and cheese for dinner...and Micah couldn't gobble it down fast enough! So, apparently pasta is now an option again. I also made him rice to serve with dinner last night, and he ate that, too. I'm excited because it means we have more options for meals now, and it will be easier to stop for lunch and dinner in restaurants if we can serve him pasta. Here is a picture of Micah playing with his cousins at a street fair we took them to - they were dancing and playing while a kids musical group performed:

Micah currently has a strawberry obsession. I think, if we let him, he'd eat strawberries until he exploded! We bought a huge flat of strawberries to make strawberry jam, and every time Micah saw it, he insisted on eating more strawberries. I think he ate several pounds of strawberries all on his own!

It was only a month ago that I posted about how Micah would walk to the gate and climb upstairs at bedtime when we asked him if he wanted to go upstairs and go night-night. Now, Micah's response to that question (and almost everything else) is to shake his head no. Do you want to go night-night? No. Do you want to go sit in your chair and eat dinner? No. Do you want to play outside? No. I think no is his default response to everything now. Sometimes, I admit I ask questions just because it makes me laugh when he shakes his head no!

Micah has found a new obsession...shoes and hats. He loves to put our shoes on and try to walk around the house. Sometimes, he brings his own shoes over to us (while we are sitting inside) and insists that we put his shoes on his feet, too. I can't tell you how often he walks around in pajamas and shoes, or a diaper and shoes. He also LOVES his Daddy's bike helmet, and is constantly trying to wear that, too.



On April 24, DH and I went to one of my best friend's wedding. Actually, I set her up with her husband at our wedding! The wedding was just beautiful - I only wish I felt more up to dancing. I kept trying to get out there and enjoy myself, but the contractions would get a bit strong and make me nervous. Nevertheless, the wedding was beautiful and we had an amazing time. Luckily, Micah was able to spend the night with his Grammy and Grampy while we were at the wedding. They had a great time, and Micah did really well sleeping at their house. They ate pancakes for breakfast, and we picked Micah up right around lunch time. We decided to run over to my friend's house to visit her new puppy - only 9 weeks old! He is a cav-chon (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon mix). He was so cute and sweet - only 2.5 lbs! He was bouncing all over, and Micah was IN LOVE with him. He had no fear - he loved the dog jumping in his face and kissing him, and didn't even worry about the little nipping.

Micah seems to have 2 new teeth...one on the bottom left, next to his bottom 2 teeth, and one on the top left...I think it is the bicuspid. He has at least another 4-6 teeth trying to break through. This has made for a few rough nights - teething definitely causes Micah to wake up and fuss. Friday night he was up from 1:15 until 4:00 am, but he has been better since then. Unfortunately, he woke up on Saturday morning with two spider bites - one on his cheek, and one on his arm. It looks like a spider walked across while he was sucking his thumb and bit him twice. It is kind of nasty and bubbled up, but so far, it appears infection-free. We have been wiping them down with hydrogen peroxide at night and dabbing them with neosporin. We've also given him benadryl at night to help with the itching and swelling, and it seems to be working.

We are having some issues with Micah and aggression lately. The good news is we had a playgroup here on Sunday with a whole bunch of women I met through the breastfeeding support group I attended after Micah was born, and it seems we are all struggling with the same issue. Micah has a tendency to get territorial around toys - he will scream loudly if others get too close and he thinks they will take them away, and he has even been known to push to protect his toys. We try our best to reprimand him and teach him to share, but I just don't feel like he is learning yet. He usually does not walk over and steal something from other children...normally, he'll watch and wait and grab it when they drop it or turn their backs. But, I do get embarassed when he yells at other children in class. Here is our little playgroup:

Micah has also become obsessed with climbing on the chairs and looking out the window. He can easily get himself on and off the couches and chairs in the living room, but we still worry that he likes to stand and jump on them (and does not listen when we tell him to sit). He loves to bounce on the chairs and bury himself in the pillows - I just wish he would develop safety awareness!

As the weather has gotten warmer, I've slowly been bringing out Micah's summer clothes. I purchased everything for the summer in size 12-18 months, but the clothing is pretty large on him. Actually, in terms of length, the size isn't bad, but he is just so skinny that all the bottoms fall off of him! We did recently discover that many of his shorts have tabs in the pants that allow us to cinch them in - this has been our saving grace!

Last week, I had another appointment with my midwife and the maternal fetal medicine specialist. I have to say, I'm feeling far more uncomfortable this pregnancy than I did with Micah. I just feel...stuffed all the time now, and Twoey is definitely sitting on my bladder these days. My belly was measuring perfectly - exactly 32 weeks - and her heart rate has been great. She is head down and starting to engage, so we are definitely on the right track. Twoey measured 32 weeks in size, and estimated her weight at 4 lbs 2 ounces (I found that shocking - that is 1/2 lb larger than Micah was at the same time!!). I think, however, their estimates may be off - her head has already dropped a bit, so the fluid levels were a lower around her head which can affect their measurements. They also seemed to think her head was measuring larger than the rest of her body, so it was most likely a bit inaccurate. Her arms/legs/belly were all measuring a week or two small...which seems a bit more normal to me (since I was a small baby and Micah was so small). I guess we'll see what the next growth ultrasound says! My cervix seems to be holding steady...shocking, but true. The contractions are still there, but we seem to be keeping them under control. I lost 2 lbs since my 30 week appointments, so still no weight gain of any kind. Now that I'm planning for Twoey's early arrival...I'll probably end up 42 weeks pregnant and needing to be induced. I'm definitely feeling anxious about things...I have no idea when we are moving, and whether we will be here or in the condo when she is born. Because we do not have a final room together, my need to nest is being thwarted...I have nothing to get organized! So, instead I seem to be obsessing about furniture and paint colors for the finished house.

I guess my final update is about names for Twoey...no, we do not plan on sharing her name before she is born. Not that it matters...the only name we really have so far is Twoey! We are VERY stuck on names this time. Ironically, we just came up with a name we like for a boy...and we're having a girl. We did this the last time, too. We just can't seem to find that "perfect" name that resonates with us. I have a feeling this baby may be Twoey for the rest of her life!