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Sunday, February 28, 2010

February in Review - Amy

And last but not least, a review of how I'm doing on my various resolutions:

1. Read the Bible.
Doing good. On track with my reading plan. I've finished Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Job, and am now into Numbers.

2. Read at least one pleasure reading book per month.
All I managed in February was one quick little fiction throwaway (actually a young adult book). I'm still plugging away on Three Cups of Tea and am *almost* done. I guess this technically means I met my goal though.

3. Join some kind of musical group (a band or a choir) and perform with them.
Nothing yet....

4. Blog daily.
28 days in February, and I believe this brings me up to 31 posts. Go me.

5. Get back down to (at least) my pre-pregnancy weight.
Clearly haven't started on that yet, but at least I can say that I won't be gaining anymore after today. :)

6. Get invovled with some kind of theatre group and help out with at least one production.
Nothing yet.....

7. Teach Bryn to read.
She has learned how to spell "Bryn," "Mommy," and "Daddy," and she is working hard on learning all her lower-case letters (knows all the upper-case ones).

8. Potty-train Shay.
She has sat on the potty a few times, but hasn't actually done anything in it. She is very reliable about telling us when she needs her diaper changed, though, so she's on her way to ready.

9. Finish up some of my murals.
No progress on the actual murals, but I am thrilled to report that all the painting on Shay's table and chairs is done, and the star-and-moon table looks adorable in her new room. I need to remember to post pictures.

10. Frame our portraits.
Completely done as of today. :)

11. Paint the kids' bathroom.
Not yet....

12. Get Shay into her big girl room.
Done!

13. Breastfeed this baby.
We can start on that tomorrow. :)

Checking into the hospital in less than 12 hours. My next post will be welcoming this baby into the world!!!

February in Review - Shay

And Shay's calendar:

1 - attend free Kindermusik class designed for 3-5 year olds, and Shay does all the activities

2 - asks to go to the "food store" to get "white yogurt" (her favorite food)

3 - plays with Parker Sharp and babysitters Lauren and Stu all morning--and then talks about them for the rest of the day

4 - loves to color pictures of Sesame Street characters

5 - starts azithromycin prescription for bronchitis--nasty cough and runny nose, but otherwise in good spirits

6 - Nana visits to trade cars--the blue van is now officially ours (although Shay still calls it "Nana van")

7 - gets spoiled by Nana all day--especially loves the purple knit cape Nana brought from her store

8 - crazy for candy of all kinds, especially Valentine's conversation hearts

9 - helps cut out heart shapes from dough to make cookies for Daddy

10 - Happy 29th Birthday, Daddy! Out to dinner at Boulder Creek, where Shay refuses to eat and wants to run around all night

11 - loves doing puzzles at the Speedway library with Mommy while Bryn is at school

12 - loves climbing in and out of the seat of the Intellitainer--"I play Baby Liam's bouncy seat!"

13 - displays mild interest in kids her own age, but really wants to be running around with the big girls (Bryn, Hannah, and Emily)

14 - tells Mommy "I love you too much!"

15 - loves to watch movies on "little TV" (DVD player for the car)

16 - favorite movie is "all princesses sing" (Disney Princess Sing Along Songs)

17 - loves to look at characters on diapers before Mommy puts them on--Ernie is her favorite

18 - when picking clothes, declares "No, Brynie like pink. Shay like purple!"

19 - favorite movie is "Hannah kitty" (a short Little People video)

20 - eats "white dodurt" (vanilla yogurt) for basically every meal, every day

21 - dinner with Parker Sharp--Shay loves to hug and play with her, but is worried that Parker will try to take her tights :)

22 - likes when Mommy does her hair with clips and "hair lotion" (mousse)

23 - adores "heart tandy" (Valentine's conversation hearts) and wants to eat them all the time

24 - playdate with Brett Graunke--Shay loves bagel bites at Einstein Brothers

25 - playdate with Chris and Sam Willman--Shay loves to play with balloons

26 - says "Hi dude!" to Mommy's stomach

27 - angry with Mommy and calls her "butter" as an insult

28 - loves to sing "Oops" song from Kindermusik class and pick the various names to fill in

February in Review - Bryn

Here's Bryn's calendar for February:

1 - go to sample Kindermusik class at library, but Bryn clings to Mommy's side and claims that she is "still sick"

2 - learns about groundhogs and the number 1 at school

3 - juicy, barking cough - Dr. Z diagnoses Bryn with bronchitis

4 - writes her own name on Valentines for all her classmates

5 - slips on the ice and falls down - cries and cries

6 - Nana visits and we trade cars. We now officially own the blue van!

7 - plays with Nana all day and declares "My Nana spoils me!"

8 - spends "naptime" trying on all the dresses that Nana brought from her store

9 - snow day - no school or dance class. Helps punch hearts out of dough to make cookies for Daddy.

10 - Happy 29th Birthday, Daddy! Bryn delights in "giving" him some of her favorite toys, packaged in all her purses and bags

11 - Valentine's party at school--VERY excited about all the heart candy!

12 - attends local Father/Daughter Dance with Daddy and dances the night away

13 - says that Christopher is still her favorite friend, but she loves Hannah and Emily too

14 - declares that Mommy is her Valentine, then decides that Daddy and Shay can be too

15 - wears her purple butterfly rain boots from Nana's store EVERYWHERE, even with her pajamas

16 - learns about healthy foods at school--which somehow translates into a newfound love of bagel bite pizzas

17 - loves to "waddle"--she learned about this by watching a "Diego" video about penguins on NickJr.com

18 - learns about the Olympics and their 5 rings at school

19 - insists on doing naptime in underwear instead of a diaper, because that's what "big girls do"

20 - loves to jump on little trampoline in the basement to "exercise her heart" (like she learned at school)

21 - dinner with Parker Sharp--Bryn loves to play hide and seek but keeps calling out from hiding places for adults to "find her"

22 - changes her own poopy diaper at naptime--and hangs bag containing dirty one on Mommy's door

23 - learns about transportation at school, including buses. Also, tells Mommy that something "really flaps her off."

24 - learns about the letter J (jets) at school

25 - learns more about transportation, and fingerpaints a boat at school

26 - loves Hidden Pictures magazine--solves every puzzle in her first issue

27 - loves to draw pictures for her family and friends (and a random girl at Kazan restaurant)

28 - very excited to have a "sleepover" with Aunt Kristin (because Mommy is going to the hospital to have her baby brother in the morning!)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Soon

Soon, I will be able to both sit down and walk without pain.
Soon, I will be able to sleep without the aid of medication.
Soon, I will be able to stand up without fear of my legs giving out.
Soon, I will be able to stop wearing this V2 supporter.
Soon, my varicose veins will be gone.
Soon, the skin on my stomach will stop itching from being pulled so taut.
Soon, I will be able to reach my feet again.
Soon, I can wear jeans instead of stretch pants.
Soon, I'll be able to wear regular shirts without fear of exposing my belly.
Soon, strangers will stop asking me when I'm due.
Soon, we'll have to buckle the third carseat into the van.
Soon, I'll be able to bend over and pick things up off the floor.
Soon, I'll be washing clothes in Dreft detergent.
Soon, Ben will no longer be the only boy in our house.
Soon, I'll get to sleep in a bed that moves up and down.
Soon, Shay will get her turn to wear the "I'm the Big Sister" shirt.
Soon, Bryn will get to hold her baby brother.
Soon, I'll be getting up at 4:30 in the morning for a 6:00 induction.
Soon, my sister will be spending the night at our house to watch the girls.
Soon, I won't be able to refer to my children as just "the girls" anymore.
Soon, I will have to finish decorating the nursery.
Soon, I will have to test our old baby monitors.
Soon, Ben and I have got to finish our "to do before baby comes" list.
Soon, we'll have a Meyaard baby.
Soon, proud grandparents will want to come visit.
Soon, Tela's remaining black hair will turn white.
Soon, Dagny will start sleeping under the crib again.
Soon, I'll be getting up all night long to nurse.
Soon, Ben will have some time off work.
Soon, Bryn will have to stop sleeping in my bed.
Soon, Shay will no longer be the baby of the family.
Soon, I'll have to learn how to change diapers on a boy.
Soon, I'll be ordering my meals at the hospital.
Soon, I'll be wearing a hideous hospital gown.
Soon, I'll be hooked up to many monitors.
Soon, we'll be taking lots of pictures.
Soon, I can stop taking iron supplements.
Soon, I'll be able to roll over at night without coming fully awake.
Soon, I can decrease the amount of pillows I need to sleep.
Soon, I'll be stocking up on pacifiers.
Soon, small blue clothes will be in use.
Soon, I'll be a mother of three.....

Less than 34 hours until induction!

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Most Horrible Thing I've Ever Heard

Take a look at this article regarding "a new Utah law that could charge women with homicide if they miscarry." I hope this is someone's idea of a really terrible joke, or else it's the most horrible thing I've ever heard. My three miscarriages have been the most traumatizing events of my entire life, but to know that I could be thrown in jail because my body is out of whack? How utterly terrible.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mommy Weight

To those of you who claim that you cannot possibly take a guess as to the baby's weight because you haven't seen me or how much I have grown--here is my effort at getting you to play along. No, I'm not about to reveal how much I weigh these days (the total is just too depressing), but I will let you take a look at the comparison between pregnancies.

Here are Ben and I checking into the hospital for my induction with Bryn. I remember being bigger than this; maybe it's true that "black is slimming."

Here's me about a week before my induction with Shay.
And here's me this morning (so about 4 days before this baby's arrival!).
Yes, I know I am "all baby." But really, where else are they supposed to go on my 5'2" frame?
Any further guesses on baby weight now?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Baby Weight

Mostly because complete strangers have been eyeballing my stomach with fear in their eyes and saying things like, "Is there just one in there?" and "How big is this baby going to be?", I've been contemplating the likely size of my son. Here are pictures of both of my girls when they were first born:

Bryn Elizabeth weighed in at 7 lb 11 oz.

In spite of my OB's fears that my gigantic stomach indicated that the baby was getting "too big for me to handle," Shaylee Grace was all of one ounce heavier than her sister, totaling 7 lb 12 oz.

So I'm now entertaining guesses..... how much will this baby weigh? I'll attempt to come up with some kind of fabulous prize for whoever can guess the closest.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

38 Weeks

Today was my last OB appointment (theoretically) before delivery. Unfortunately, it didn't contain much news.

* I'm still dilated to 3 centimeters. Maybe 3 1/2, my OB said. Not very encouraging, as I was at 5 for about a month before we induced Shay.

* I'm still effaced at 70%. No progress since last week.

* No other signs that this kid is going to come on his own.

Oddly enough, the only encouraging sign is that I woke up with a monster migraine today. I haven't had one of those since the very beginning of the third trimester. When I mentioned this to my OB, she said that sometimes women get killer headaches right before they go into labor as a result of their dropping hormones. So that might be it. Or it might just be that I was in so much pain that I couldn't sleep last night in spite of the Ambien, and my hours of laying there miserable made my head hurt. Knowing my like, that second one is probably it.

But we are officially set up for an induction beginning at 6:00 am on March 1. We've got childcare lined up and everything. While I'm still very disappointed at not going into labor naturally (at all, ever, in 3 full-term pregnancies), I have to admit that this induction date is providing the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel" and motivating me to get keep going every day, because now I know that the end is actually in sight. So t-minus 6 days and counting....

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Gift Outside My Door

Now that Bryn is 4, she has largely given up naps. She only sleeps one day a week or less, but I still make her do "naptime" every day. This largely translates into "quiet time." She knows that she is to stay largely in her room (unless she needs to potty or get something out of the upstairs playroom) and that she is not to wake up Mommy or Shay. Luckily for me, she loves to play on her own, and she'd be happy amusing herself in her room for far longer than I ask her to each day. I have often feared that this little tradition of ours might change once the baby comes if he cries during "naptime," but for the time being, Mommy needs a nap (or at least some down time) to get through the day.

Often, when I wake up from naps, I find some kind of little gift from Bryn outside my door. Usually it is a picture that she has drawn for me and wants me to see as soon as I get up. She's a very good girl and has gotten in the habit of leaving her gifts outside my door, as so not to wake me up or disturb me during quiet time.

Today, however, when I opened my door after about an hour of laying there and getting beaten up by the baby (and thus being unable to sleep), I found a bag hanging on my doorknob. And what was in the bag? A diaper. A poopy diaper.

Yes, folks, that's right. Bryn had pooped in her diaper, taken it off, cleaned herself up, put the diaper in a trash bag, left it for me to dispose of, put on clean underwear, and gone on with her playing.

Kid, if you are old enough to change your own diaper, you are old enough to not be wearing them anymore!

In fairness, she only wears diapers at naptime and at night, and my friends in my moms' group assure me that it is perfectly normal for this to continue for several years (some of them with 7-year-olds still engage in the overnight diaper!) after daytime potty training. Lately, I haven't even been putting Bryn in a diaper at naptime, since she sleeps so rarely and is perfectly fine going potty by herself. But she does need one at night, since she is such a deep sleeper that she doesn't wake up when she needs to go. I only put one on her today because she has been up since 4:30 this morning and I was hoping for a nice, deep nap for her. Obviously that didn't pan out, but I do now have a bag of poop to show for my efforts.....

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bite Your Tongue

There are a few things I hate as a pregnant lady, but NOTHING that I hate more than when people comment on how large I am. I mean, really, I've noticed the 30 pounds that I've put on in the past 9 months, thanks. And I try to graciously grin and bear the stupid comments. But that does not save me from conversations like the one I had this morning. I was waiting in line to pick up a book at church. Just standing there, not attacking anyone with my stomach or anything. And out of nowhere, this random woman approached me with her eyes bulging.

Random woman: Oh, my. When are you due? Today?
Me (biting my tongue): No, two weeks from now.
(her eyes proceed to bug out of her head)
Random woman: No, really? Are you SURE there's just one in there?
Me: Yes, just one.

And then I turned around and marched out of line, which necessitated me going back and waiting again later....

Really, how can people think that it's okay to say things like that? And for the record, whenever people have made stupid comments during any of my 3 successful pregnancies, it has always been women, never men. You'd think that women would know better, after going through it themselves, or at least seeing their friends go through it.

It's like when I was pregnant with Bryn and was teaching. One first teacher work day of the year, another teacher (who had toddler twins at home, no less), took one look at me and said, "Whoa, when are you due--today or yesterday?" Um, well, that was August, and I was due in November, thanks.

Or again when I was pregnant with Bryn and I nearly got into an argument with a Target employee. One of my student aides worked at Target, and I ran into her there over the summer, so we were chatting. During our conversation, another random employee came along and joined right in, vehemently insisting that my doctor much clearly be wrong and there MUST be at least two babies growing in my stomach. No, just one average-sized girl, thanks.

I distinctly remember when I was pregnant with Shay as well. After enduring idiotic comments like these for the entire pregnancy, I got great pleasure out of running various errands on my due date and the day after. That way, when rude strangers looked at me and said with awe in their voices, "Wow, when are you due?", I could respond with a smile, "Yesterday." And then watch them back away slowly with fear in their eyes, as if I was going to explode right then and there....

So, friends, let me offer you a piece of unsolicited advice. Never, NEVER comment on a pregnant woman's size. I don't care if her stomach is acting as a roadblock or if she is as big as a house. Most of us (those of us with basic manners, at least), would never comment on a regular woman's size, going up to her in public and saying, "Wow, you sure are fat!" or "You really need to try a diet!" So don't do it with pregnant women either. After all, we have a lot of extra hormones going on, and we really can't guarantee your safety from our wrath.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Looking Back

Naturally, I've been doing some thinking lately about how the girls will react when Baby arrives. (I've also been doing something thinking about how strange it will be to have to say "the kids" instead of just "the girls," but that's another subject.)

Both of them are currently very anxious for him to arrive (so that makes at least 3 of us). Bryn, especially, doesn't understand why he isn't here yet. She was anxious for him way back in October. Back then, in an effort to give her a timeline, I told her, "First it's going to be your birthday. Then it's going to be Mommy's birthday, then Shay's. Then it will be Jesus's birthday, then Daddy's birthday, and THEN the baby will come." On the night of Daddy's birthday, as we went to bed, she asked me, "So is the baby coming tonight?" And she just couldn't understand why he wasn't. At least with an induction on the calendar, I can give her a count in days now--although, of course, I'm still hoping that the count is wrong and he'll show up sooner. :)

As for Shay, she is simply Baby Crazy. Ever since she has been able to walk, she has gone up to complete strangers in public and wanted to play with their babies. So far from being upset about losing her title as the youngest, she cannot wait for her baby brother to get here. A few weeks ago, when I went in to get her at the end of her nap, she was crying. When I asked her what was the matter, she said she was crying because she wanted her baby brother to hurry up and get here. You and me both, kiddo.

So obviously I don't know what it will be like to add a third child, and a boy at that, to our family, but I've got my fingers crossed that it will go as smoothly as it did with Bryn when Shaylee arrived. Here's one of our first pictures of Bryn checking out her new playmate, way back in November of 2007:


In about a week, I hope to be posting similar pictures, this time of Shay wearing the "I'm the Big Sister" shirt. C'mon, little guy, we're all waiting for you!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Update

Dr. M's office called today to schedule an induction. Assuming that I decide to go through with it, we'll be checking into the hospital at 6:00 am (ugh) on March 1. Of course, I'm still hoping that Baby will show up on his own before that. T-minus 9 days or less.

I took one of the Vicodin last night in an effort to decrease my pain while I slept. This ended up being a complete and total failure. I took it around 8:30, and by 11:30, I was still lying awake, unable to sleep because of the pain. As I said yesterday, Dr. M told me that the Vicodin should "take the edge off," but it didn't even do that. I don't really know what the deal is, since it has utterly knocked me out when I've taken it before. But now the pain is so bad that I couldn't even sleep when I wanted to. Ridiculous.

On the up side, I guess I would be safe to take Vicodin during the day, since it did absolutely nothing to make me sleep. On the down side, if it doesn't help with the pain, what's the point of taking it? Grr.

I've always heard stories about how women start to "nest" shortly before they go into labor. Again, I've never actually gone into labor on my own, but I've always wondered: if I force myself to "nest," will that trick my body into thinking that it's going into labor? Silly theory, I know, but my house was becoming quite the pit after me laying on the couch and pitying myself for the last few days, so I decided to tackle some projects today. I basically spent the whole day cleaning--not like vacuuming or dusting or mopping my floors or anything, but just sorting through and putting away the many, many stacks of stuff that have been piling up on every available surface. This invovled much bending and stooping, which are activities I have been trying to avoid recently. Okay, I admit that much of this was motivated by an article I read online yesterday that said that lots of physical movement can help induce labor. That and how I thrive on order and cleanliness. At any rate, my house is now in somewhat better shape, but I'm not in labor. At least I'm feeling better about my surroundings though.

As I'm writing this, the baby is kicking intensely and I'm contracting again (although not the kind that actually achieves anything). He seems to have his days and nights mixed up, because he's always kicking at night. He only gets really worked up during the day if one of the girls is sitting on my lap--apparently he doesn't like his sisters invading his territory!

As long as he's all riled up anyway, I think I'm off to have a bedtime snack of some pineapple. Thank you all for the suggestions on the last post..... I think pineapple will be my first effort, though, because it sounds really good anyway!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

37 Weeks

I had my 37 week appointment today. My due date is on a Sunday (March 7), and my appointments have worked out to usually be on Tuesdays, so doing this one on a Thursday seemed like waiting forever, and I guess I'm technically at 37 1/2 weeks.

As I reported last week, my doctor said that she would be willing to induce me at 39 weeks. When I went in today, I was desperately hoping to talk her down to 38 1/2 weeks, but apparently that's not actually something I can negotiate. She says that if she could induce me now, she would, given how many problems I'm having, but the hospital has a policy that they don't allow induction until 39 weeks, unless there is some kind of "extenuating medical circumstance," which actually seems to be a somewhat limited list of conditions, not including varicose veins.

So here's the update overall:

* I have gone from 2 centimeters dilated last week (and the week before) to 3 centimeters dilated. I was really hoping for more than that.

* I have gone from 50% dilated last week to 70% dilated this week.

* Plenty of contractions, but no productive ones.

* My (immense) stomach is measuring at where I "should" be for 39 weeks. That may mean that this baby is big, but given my previous pregnancies, it probably doesn't mean anything at all. I am a short person, and this baby (and my previous ones) just didn't have anywhere else to go but out. My old OB was convinced that Shay was going to end up being "too big for me to handle," which is why we ended up inducing with her, and she was all of 1 ounce heavier than Bryn (7 lb 11 oz for Bryn, 7 lb 12 oz for Shay). So probably we're just seeing more of the same now.

* I am in extreme pain. All the time. It was definitely NOT like this with the girls. I mean, yes, the final weeks of pregnancy are far from comfortable, but I could function on a daily basis, in spite of having PUPPPS and a pelvis that dislocated in 3 places. But this kid is constantly putting so much pressure on me and I am a freaking mess. It's kind of a "chicken and egg" thing with the varicose veins that I've developed this time around. We're not really sure if the way I'm carrying this baby caused the veins, or if the veins are just making everything he does feel a million times worse, or both. In any case, he needs to get out. Now.

* Without getting too graphic, apparently the swelling of the veins makes it pretty obvious how much pain I'm in, so my doctor is very sympathetic. I haven't been able to get any sleep for the last 2 weeks without the aid of Ambien, as that's the only thing that takes the edge off the pain enough for me to relax (or knocks me out enough to not notice the pain). I've only been taking a half a tablet a night, and Dr. M says it's fine for me to take a whole tablet, but the one time I tried that, my furniture kept flying around the room. Ben says that was only in my head, but hey, that's where I live. :)

* At any rate, my doctor wrote me a prescription for Vicodin today and suggested that I take it during the day in order to "take the edge off the pain." I haven't had Vicodin since I gave birth to Shay, and I took it very sparingly then because it knocked me out so badly, so I have serious doubts about my ability to care for 2 kids all day if I take it now. I hurt so much that I'm willing to try anything though, so I dropped off the prescription to be filled. I'm hoping to be able to survive tomorrow on my own and then give it a try over the weekend, when Ben is here to relieve me if it knocks me out too badly.

* Dr. M also stripped my membranes today in an effort to get this baby to come earlier on his own. Ahem. Let me just say that this experience brought a new level of torture to my already pained body. So it better work.
(Side note to Melissa, if you're reading this--after arriving home this afternoon, I started to think that I vaguely recall you saying or blogging that there was some very good, medical reason, heretofore unknown to me, that the stripping of the membranes should not be done. If such is the case, please do not remind me of that reason until after this baby comes, as the damage is already done, and dang, it hurts.)

* Unless Baby decides to come on his own, Dr. M can schedule me for an induction on March 1 (due date March 7). I feel a little hypcritical to do the whole early induction thing, since I fought pretty hard (and failed) to avoid induction during my pregnancies with both girls. I really, really wanted to go into labor naturally with both of them. I'd still like to go into labor naturally with this one. But as demonstrated by my experiences with both girls, it seems that my body might just not know how to do that. So if I'm going to end up having to induce after the due date anyway, I'm thinking I may as well just do it early and end my misery as soon as possible. The pain may just be clouding my logic, but it currently makes sense inside my head.

So that's the update. Baby coming on March 1 or before. T-minus 10 days. Meanwhile, any and all suggestions of effective natural methods for convincing this kiddo to come are welcome. :)

P.S. I'm going to enable anonymous comments for the blog again. I shut them off a few months ago because I kept getting spammed and I was sick of going back and deleting those, but now I'm sad about the lack of comments on all my recently blogging efforts, so I'm thinking that maybe more of you will be able to comment if I turn them back on. Yes, I like comments, they make me happy, hint hint. :)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thuggin'

(This one is for you, Grandpa Dave.)

This week's Wordless Wednesday.... suggested captions?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Twos-day Takedown

This week's Twos-day is a two-part series.... Comments or captions? :)

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Valentines

Both of my girls were incredibly sweet on Valentine's Day. Bryn told me that I was her special Valentine (although after some talking, she decided it was okay for Shay and Daddy to be our Valentines too). Shay made the following statement, which just made me melt: "Mommy, I love you too much!" And all of that was while Ben was in the shower, so I know that it was unprompted. :)

They must have taken their cues from their daddy though, because he was also wonderful. He let me take a nice long nap, and later he counseled me through the huge emotional breakdown I had as a result of the severe pain that is accompanying me for every minute of the final weeks of this pregnancy. (Come to think of it, the baby was the only one who did NOT treat me well this Valentine's Day....)

Here's me with two of my Valentines..... Love you all!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Crazy Friends - The Third Time Around

Apparently my friends have not heard that baby showers are really only standard for the first child. Ben and I have often hosted Game Nights at our house, and my friend Andrea lobbied me to host one more before this baby comes. Ben was an enthusiastic supporter of this plan. So we scheduled one for last weekend, only to cancel due to snow and reschedule for this Saturday night. It turns out that Andrea, Ben, and the rest of our friends were in cahoots and were actually planning for Game Night to be a baby shower--which apparently I hosted for myself. :)

After being overwhelmed by them all walking through the door with presents, I did tell them that I'd never heard of a shower for the third child before, but Andrea informed me that it was necessary in order to avoid poor Baby Boy from growing up in a house of all pink. So we are now all set to go with many blue items, including blue washclothes and blue M&M cookies.... they thought of everything!!


So thank you, thank you, thank you to all our wonderful friends - Andrea and Rob, Cathy and Eric, Kathleen and Mike, Carrie and Steve, and Jill and Craig..... and also Krysten and Adam, who sent a sweet gift last week; Melissa and Rob, who were at the party in spirit; and Suellen and Alicia, who had to miss it because they were out of town. We have the best friends ever!

Bryn Goes to the Ball

Friday night brought a very special daddy/daughter date for Ben and Bryn. Our local Parks and Rec department put on a Father/Daughter Dance at the local high school. I've been eyeballing this event in our community fliers ever since we moved here (when Bryn had just turned 1), but the youngest that kids can attend is age 4, so this was her first big chance. Given how much fun she's had dancing the night away at various weddings, we figured she'd find the dance to be hugely fun.

I didn't tell her about this "surprise" until after naptime on Friday in order to prevent endless anticipation. She got excited right away about how she was going to the "ball" with Daddy. She was a little confused about why Shay and I weren't going, but I tried my best to explain that it was something special for just her and Daddy.

After a quick dinner with the whole family, she scampered upstairs in order to get ready. I let her pick her own dress, and she selected her Christmas dress, as well as various jewelry items made by her Nana in her beading business. Here's the finished result--little girl super excited to go to the ball!



Here are Ben and Bryn at the dance itself, which Ben said easily had about 1000 attendees. They also had various treats and craft projects for the kids, so Bryn was in pure bliss.
And here's Brynie dancing the night away. Notice that she took her shoes off right away, just like the big girls do at high school dances and weddings. :)

Meanwhile, Shay and I stayed home. She initially cried a bit and said, "I want to ball!" I would imagine a similar scene with poor Cinderella, left behind by her stepsisters. :) However, Shay was soon placated with a heart-shaped cookie with red sprinkles and some cuddles from Mommy, and we spent the rest of the night playing together. She was especially intrigued by some of the baby toys that we've recently brought up from the basement and spent a good portion climbing in and out of an Exersaucer seat, proclaiming, "I play Baby Liam's bouncy!" She went down to bed around 8:00, and pregnant Mommy struggled to stay awake until Daddy and Bryn got home from the dance at 9:30. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Sweet Dog Free to a Good Home

Please pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested.....

My sister Kristin is attending nursing school, and as her time commitments for school and work increase, she is having a difficult time taking care of her sweet little dog, Sadie, because she is away from home so much. She is looking for a good home for her dog. Sadie did live with us for a year (while Kristin lived with us), and I can attest to the fact that she is wonderful with children. My girls love her and would take her in a heartbeat if it wasn't for the impending arrival of this baby. Please see Kristin's description below:



Sadie is a 2 year old dog – half Chihuahua, half Terrier. She weighs 11 pounds. She is extremely lovable and playful and loves to cuddle….she will give you hugs and sit on your lap if you let her! She loves to runaround and play with her toys. She is short-haired, so she does not shed or ever need haircuts! She is potty-trained and will let you know when she has to go out. She loves her sleep, and will get right under the covers and snuggle with you. She is great with children and gets along well with other dogs. She is very cute, very fun, and very low maintenance. I wish I could keep her forever…but unfortunately because of school and work I am not able to give her the love, attention, or space in my tiny apartment that she deserves.
She already has everything she could need: her crate, leash, collar, food, food dishes, nail clippers, her papers, treats, bones, toys, and even some cute little outfits! I am not asking for any money, just that she has a good home to go to where she will be loved and cared for.
If you are interested, leave a comment here or email me at AmyPfan at yahoo dot com and I'll get you in touch with my sister. Thanks!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Geeky Boy Night

Ben has long sighed over how he wants to have a Geeky Boy Board Game Night (his title, not mine) but has never seemd to find the time. So, for his birthday, I planned one for him. He was incredibly surprised tonight when I told him what was going to happen, and he even did a happy dance around the kitchen. Right now he's downstairs with five of his friends, covering the kitchen table with board games that I don't even pretend to understand and having a great time. So happy birthday one more time!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Happy 29th! (for real)

I pretty much robbed the cradle when Ben and I started dating. He is 2 years younger than me, which doesn't sound like that big of a deal, but has definitely made our relationship interesting a few times. Like the first year we were dating, when he was a carefree sophomore in college and I was a big old stressball senior, trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life after graduation (note: still trying to figure that one out). Of course, part of that is just our personalities.... him: carefree, me: stressball.

When I was student teaching and then working at Carmel High School, the other young teachers invited me out to the bars with them several times (although I never did end up going). They all wanted to meet Ben, to which I had to reply, "Um, he can't come, he's not 21 yet."

When I was in my first year of teaching at Zionsville, Ben was a senior in college. Some of my students (seniors) were dating people the same age or older than him. Most notable was one boy, who was dating a girl that was actually good friends with Ben, and another girl, whose boyfriend was older than Ben and already had a child.

Ever since Ben got out of college, though, the age difference hasn't made any difference at all. Until, that is, I turned 31 this past November and had to realize that my youthful husband was still a mere 28. That made me feel OLD.

Ben turned 29 today. Yes, for the first time. :) All day long, he has been asking people, "If you had 29 to do over again, what would you change?" And he's gotten some pretty good responses. His theory is that he wants to get his life figured out before he turns 30, so if he starts now, he can pad it by a year. (Me, I'm hopeless, I'm already 31 and have no idea what I'm doing.)

We had all kinds of celebration tonight, with presents and cards and caramel brownies (his favorite) and dinner out as a family. Bryn was so excited for Daddy's birthday that weeks ago, she packed up tons of her favorite toys into every bag and box that she owns and put them aside as "surprises" for him. To his great credit, he displayed much enthusiasm about every doll and stuffed animal that he opened tonight. :)

My favorite part of the evening, though, was when he picked up the first wrapped package from me and said rhetorically to Bryn, "So, what do you think is in here?" To which she promptly replied, "A book." Apparently little Smartie Pants remembered which presents she helped Mommy put in each package!

Shay was not much for the birthday festivities tonight, running around and playing while Daddy opened presents and displaying utterly zero interest in her dinner. We did manage to get her to hold still long enough to take this family picture at dinner though..... please excuse my heavily fattened appearance, as I am currently great with child. :)

At any rate, we're all wishing our beloved Daddy Ben a very happy birthday. We love you, Ben, and all of your girls are wishing you a great day! (and your boy in utero too)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

36 Weeks

I had my 36 week OB appointment today. Let it be said that I had a very rough morning beforehand (to be discussed at some later time) and was desperately in need of some good news from the doc. Unfortunately, I was hoping for good news of the "let's go down the hall to a delivery room and have this kid!" variety, and all she was able to tell me was the following:

* I tested negative for Group B Strep.... thank goodness! I had it with Bryn and will never forget the pain of that penicillin burning into my arm while trying to weather the contractions.

* I am 2 centimeters dilated. Of course, this was also the situation at my appointment 2 weeks ago, and I walked around 5 centimeters dilated with Shay for over a month, so this is not really all that big of news.

* I am 50% effaced. The nurse practitioner that checked me last week didn't give me a figure then, so I have no idea if this is a development or not. But again, I was 70% effaced with Shay for nearly a month before we had to induce her (after her due date), so this is not really something to get all that excited about.

* I am having lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions. (Okay, this actually something I told the doctor instead of her telling me, but she seemed to view it as a good thing). I realize that most women do this for quite a long time before going into labor. The only reason that the doctor and I find it notable is that I never once experienced a single contraction (Braxton-Hicks or otherwise) with either of my girls before getting pumped full of pitocin during their inductions. I actually didn't think that my body knew how to do that on its own. So we're viewing it as a positive sign that I at least seem to be capable of contracting this time around, even though it's not currently doing anything productive.

* I am already producing milk. (Again, something that I told the doctor instead of her telling me, but good nonetheless.) I am hoping to avoid the Nursing Debacle that I experienced during the early weeks of Shay's life, which subsequently led to her becoming a bottle baby, unlike her sister, who nursed for a full year. At any rate, having milk this early is a good sign that 1) maybe this baby really will show up sometime soon on his own and 2) I will be able to nurse him when he does arrive.

* My varicose veins are not getting any worse. Of course, they're not getting any better either, but I'll take what I can get. At this point, the pain I'm feeling is more pressure from the actual baby than from the veins. Good, I guess?

* My doctor is not comfortable letting me go more than a week past my due date without inducing me. This would actually have made me really frustrated during my previous two successful pregnancies, as I wanted to go into labor naturally. But with Bryn, my body did not dilate AT ALL, efface AT ALL, or contract AT ALL until we induced after the due date. Sometimes I really think that she'd still be in there if we hadn't gone in after her. We also had to induce Shay because she was showing no signs of coming on her own, in spite of my body cooperating a little better that time. So while in principle I am not a fan of induction and would rather do this naturally, I honestly wonder if my body is even capable of that. Plus I've been in so much stinking pain this time around that it's kind of nice to know that there is a "hard stop" date out there.... gives me something to hang on to!

* Due to the varicose veins and my previous two delivery experiences, my doctor said that she would be willing to induce up to a week early. This is actually better news for Ben than me, as he (and various other family members on both sides) desperately want this baby to come in February instead of March. You see, my birthday is November 11, and both of the girls were born in November as well (Bryn on the 3rd and Shay on the 27th), so we pretty much celebrate that as Girls' Birthday Month. Ben's birthday is in February (tomorrow, actually), so everyone is hopeful that this little boy will show up in time to make February into Boys' Birthday Month at our house. One week before my due date is February 28, so we could theoretically make it happen if we decide it's really all that important. Although I'd really prefer if Baby would just make that happen on his own. :)

9 days until my next appointment, so I'll just continue to hang in there for the time being!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Groundhog, We're Done

Of course, Groundhog's Day was last week. And it always yields 6 more weeks of winter. This did not seem like a big deal until the snowstorm we had on Friday, which yielded massive amounts of snow. But we got through that just fine. And now they're saying that we're going to have another huge storm tomorrow. Grrr. Bryn has both preschool and dance class tomorrow, but my real worry is the fact that I have an OB appointment tomorrow (and my OB is a half an hour away). Seriously, doesn't that groundhog care that there are pregnant ladies out there who need to be able to make it to the hospital?

At least the little guy is cute. See the colored renditions below--the first one is from Shay, and the second one is from Bryn.





Sunday, February 07, 2010

Colts and Fish

While basically all of Indianapolis is glued to the television tonight for the Colts vs. Saints Superbowl, my wonderful husband offered to forgo this manly pleasure in order to take me out to dinner. Ben's mom Helen is here this weekend, and she offered to watch the girls in order to give us a date night. Ben picked Bonefish Grill, which is one of our very favorite places, and also one reserved for very special treats only. While there is normally a sizable wait to get in, tonight there were only four tables in the whole restaurant (including ours) in use. It was perfect for a quiet date night, and we were even able to make it home (with Dairy Queen desserts for everyone) in time for Ben to watch the second half of the game. So now that we've had our fish, go Colts!! :)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Officially Grown Up

Yeah, look at me, I'm a mini-van mom.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Fill-In

I haven't done any Friday Fill-Ins yet this calendar year, so I thought this week might be a good time to start. The original text is in bold; my answers are in plain type.

1. I know it's going to be a rough morning when I have to wake Bryn up--she just cries and cries instead of getting moving, even if it's significantly later than she usually wakes up. I'm already dreading the year that I will have to start putting her on the bus at a certain time!

2. The last month of pregnancy is the longest month (and that's what I am now in!).

3. You can't help but wonder what the producers of "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman" were thinking when they created the final episode--such a weird cliffhanger ending (which we watched on DVD tonight).

4. Ben's mom is bringing us the van tomorrow; bring it on! (The "it" in the "bring it on" here can either be considered my new status as a mini-van mom, or the impending birth of this baby. I've been saying that he's not allowed to come until we have a car big enough for all 3 kids to fit in, which we will after we purchase the Meyaards' van from them this weekend.)

5. Where have you looked already? (This would be a question that I ask Bryn a lot, when she is moaning that one of her toys is missing.)

6. Ben's Malibu is now available for sale. I will be driving his parents' van (which will be our van after this weekend) and he will be driving my Jeep. Now we just need to sell his car to pay for the purchase of the van.... so if you know someone who is interested, send them my way.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed after I post this, tomorrow my plans include becoming a mini-van mom, and Sunday, I want to go on a date with Ben while the girls have fun with Nana!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

13 Reasons I'll Be Glad...

For this week's Thursday Thirteen, I thought I'd feature 13 Reasons I'll Be Glad When This Baby Gets Here:

1. no more sciatic nerve pain

2. no more pain or huge veins from vulval varicosis (the doctor assures me the veins will shrink right back to their regular size)

3. no more having to wear the terrible V2 Supporter

4. no more Ferralet (iron supplement) to make me sick on a daily basis

5. I will be able to wear jeans again

6. I'll be able to reach my feet again.... especially helpful when putting on socks and shoes

7. I will no longer get beaten up from the inside

8. I might be able to find a comfortable position to sleep

9. Bryn and Shay are going to be such good big sisters--they can't wait for their brother to come!

10. Ben will no longer be the only boy in our household

11. I'll be able to put all the "getting ready" stress behind me and enjoy a sweet little bundle of love

12. I will no longer have to tell Bryn and Shay, "I'm sorry, I can't do that, the baby is hurting me."

13. I will finally get to hold, cuddle, and love my baby boy!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

No Wonder I Feel Wordless

After nursing both girls through their vomiting illnesses last week, now we have this to deal with..... Suggested captions for Wordless Wednesday?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Double the Princess, Double the Fun

Bryn came up with this ensemble the other night, and Shay liked it so much that she rummaged through the costume box until she found a matching one. Both girls are sporting Princess Ariel dresses and Princess Minnie hats. Bryn also added some fairy wings to her outfit, but Shay didn't seem to find those necessary. Very classy! :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

January in Review - Amy

In order to hold myself accountable, I'd like to do a monthly sort of check-in (or virtual walk of shame, as the case may be) on how I'm doing with my resolutions for the year. My original resolutions and the explanations of why I'm trying to achieve them can be found here. And now for the first check-in of the year....

1. Read the Bible.
So far, I'm on track. By following the chronological plan I found online, I've completed Genesis and Job and am now into Exodus.

2. Read at least one pleasure reading book per month.
I actually read 3 1/2 books in January--hooray! Two were just throwaway fiction books, but I really, really enjoyed Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski. It is his personal story of how, as a college student, he became convinced that Christians are not doing enough to help the homeless in America. In order to further his own understanding and faith, he left everything behind and lived as a homeless man in various cities of America for about 6 months. It's an "easy read" in that the style is very easy, but I had to stop every few pages to digest what I was reading. It's very convicting and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a heart for the homeless, or who wants to grow one. The 1/2 book I mentioned is one that I'm still working on, Three Cups of Tea, which is the story of Greg Mortenson and his personal quest to build schools for the underprivileged children of Pakistan and Central Asia. Very interesting.

3. Join some kind of musical group (a band or a choir) and perform with them.
As I mentioned on the original post, this one is going to have to wait until after this baby arrives and I again have the command of a normal person's air supply.

4. Blog daily.
31 days of January, 32 posts. Pretty good, huh? :)

5. Get back down to (at least) my pre-pregnancy weight.Clearly no can do on this one so far. I am pleased to report minimal weight gain in the month of January though, combined with plenty of baby growth.

6. Get involved with some kind of theatre group and help out with at least one production.Again, on hold until baby comes. I have been keeping my eyes peeled for opportunities though.

7. Teach Bryn to read.I have been constantly impressed this month by her skills in writing letters. Her newest activity is to come up with a word and ask me what letter it starts with.... ad nauseum. Her friend Kaylee from school loaned her the Bob Books that she used to learn to read, so we're working with those right now.

8. Potty-train Shay.
As I said when I made the original resolution, this one won't happen until summer. She has actually asked for the "little potty" several times this month, but with my large girth and slow rate of movement, we've never made it in time.

9. Finish up some of my murals.
No progress in this area yet. Not to sound like I'm making excuses, but all of my painting activities have been directed at finishing up Shay's shelves, table, and chairs this month. We're almost done with those, and then I'm hoping to move on to more creative projects.

10. Frame our portraits.
Coming along great on this one. Our walls now sport framed portraits of our family for the last two years, and I've got the girls' yearly pictures framed and put up on shelves. My wonderful husband also hung several other frames (including some of our wedding, some of us as kids, and some of our anniversary frames), so our house actually does now bear evidence as to who lives here. I have two more family portraits that I want to hang (and Ben already hung the empty frames for me as a motivator), but I need to go dig around in boxes in the basement to find them.

11. Paint the kids' bathroom.
I think about this every time I walk in there, but no progress yet.

12. Get Shay into her big girl room.Check. All that remains to be done is for me to finish her table and chair set, but she is completely moved in aside from that. (which reminds me, I never did post pictures--those will come soon)

13. Breastfeed this baby.Obviously not do-able until he comes, but that's still the plan.

All in all, I'm pretty proud of myself! One of my unspoken resolutions was also to keep up on all of your blogs, which I am pleased to report I have done on a daily basis in January. I also agonize over our finances on a daily basis, but in spite of all the upcoming baby expenses, we even managed to put a little into savings last month, and we are still debt-free except for our house (meaning no credit cards, no car payments, and no loans). So overall, hooray for January!