The year in review.

January- nothing to report
February- I become pregnant
March- We start selling and buying a house
April- I lose my consulting job, we pack the old house
May- Move into the new house
June- Josh has an asthma attack, hospitalized for two days
July- Josh has MSRA staph infection, hospitalized two more days
August- We begin paying hospital bills
September- Christmas shopping, paying hospital bills
October- Finish nursery
November- Elliot is born, I get mastitus and blisters
December- Prepare for Santa's visit, finally get financially caught up, grandmother passes away

This year has been eventful with its ups and downs. I'm glad to be in a new home and glad to welcome Elliot to the family, but I say good riddance to hospitals & doctors. I don't have any resolutions other than keeping the boys alive. I just want a fresh start in '08.

After several phone calls this weekend the family decided to forgo a funeral/memorial service for my grandmother. The cremated remains will be moved to Corpus Christi some time this Spring. I'll have my own memorial then.

My dad is finishing a work project (he's a construction foreman) in August then will move back to Texas. He's not sure if he'll move close to Dallas or Corpus. Either way, I'll probably get to see him more often, at least once a year.

My grandmother passed away this evening. She was seventy-one.

I would have posted a Merry Christmas blog yesterday if I hadn't been sick under the covers half the day. I felt feverish, lethargic, achy and- get this- guilty that I wasn't well enough to enjoy Joshua's first Christmas at home. Instead, I curled up to sweat it out while Rusty watched Josh play and took care of Elliot.

Santa brought lots of loot to our house. Joshua's favorite gift: a train set. He also got a pirate ship, a singing potty, Mr. Potato Head, a whale puzzle, a camera, and a play doh activity kit, to name the main stuff. Rather than rapidly rip through packages, he focused on one gift at a time. So it took hours for the last gift to finally get opened.

Rusty thinks he got my cold. I told him to keep his head down and don't breathe on anyone. There's a good chance he'll be working from home tomorrow. I, however, have plans to get out. First I'm off to a playdate then the mall area for exchanges and shopping with gift cards. Yay, shopping! :)

Pet peeve: when magazines start an article then make you turn to the back to finish it.

It doesn't feel like days away from Christmas. It was 74 degrees this afternoon. I went on two walks with Elliot. I'm sure it will feel more spirited this weekend.

I wish I had taken a nap. It's 7pm and I feel exhausted! Only 4 more hours to bedtime. :-(

I can't imagine TV life without TiVo*. Esp for 4am feedings & fussiness.

We don't have that per se, but recorded shows from our satellite provider.

Elliot's pediatrician visit today confirmed he has colic. He's healthy otherwise weighing in at 11.5 pounds and 22 inches tall. He has a bit of yeast infection in the groin which we'll put cream on to treat. No vaccine this visit- yay!

The mall trip wasn't all that bad but I don't want to it again any time soon. Breastfeeding in a Starbucks w/ Josh who cannot sit still nor resist wandering around, is not to be desired.

Oh wait, there was one incident. Josh walked away from me while I was distracted putting Elliot into the sling. This was while we were standing in line to see the train display with 50 other families. I looked around for him, got a slight panicky urgency to my search then luckily someone spotted him. I threatened to buckle him in the stroller ("no want it") and threatened to put him Daddy time-out ("no want it") but ultimately all he got was a very stern scolding. He knew he was in trouble and wasn't allowed more than two steps from from my side the rest of the time.

The Sip 'n See was successful. A handful of people showed up, first from Rusty's office then from church and a few extras in between. Elliot was on his best behavior- as was Josh- saving all the drama for the evening.

Our evenings are not calm. Elliot begins his cry-fest around 8-9pm. Josh resists his bedtime routine which starts around 7pm. When Elliot cries at night, we have to soothe him in the downstairs bathroom farthest from Josh's room otherwise the sound travels upstairs right to Josh's door. After Josh is asleep Elliot is usually awake fussing off and on for about 2-3 hours. Like now. As soon as he's out, I'll go to sleep too. (Middle of the night feedings are going smoother- but it still takes at least a full hour to go back to sleep: diaper change, nurse, burp, soothe, sleep, repeat in 2-3 hours.)

We're giving serious thought to Joshua as being ADHD. I'm going to inquire about him to the pediatrician this week.

Why do strangers feel compelled to compliment a mom on weight loss after she's had a baby? At no other time is it acceptable to broach the topic. A man at the mail office today said I looked like I lost all the weight. I kindly thanked him for the compliment but it bothered me. How does he know how much weight I gained? And what if weight gaining/losing was an issue and he sort of rubbed in the point? In truth, I've lost about 10 pounds but only people who know me well would really be able to notice. I know he means well. A better compliment could be "if I hadn't seen a baby I would have never believed you just had one" or "you don't look exhausted, he must be a good sleeper".

Tomorrow is a first for me. While Rusty does his last minute shopping in the morning, I've agreed to take the boys to a mall for a few hours. God help me- I'm fearing the worst. Here's what could go wrong:

  • I have to breastfeed in a bathroom while preventing Josh from touching anything
  • Both boys have a meltdown at the same time
  • I have a meltdown
  • Josh throws a tantrum while I'm busy holding or nursing Elliot
  • I get both boys home with success but am unable to get Josh to nap

Baby cries put me and everyone else on edge. Although Rusty is fielding this round of crying (we've been trading and this blog has taken over an hour to compose off & on) it's my trn again soon. I hope Elliot goes to bed early-ish tonight. I'll need the rest.

For some reason I decide to count calories today. Not for dieting reasons (heavens no!) but just out of curiosity. I don't think I'm drinking enough fluids and not eating enough food. Today I had:

Item - calories * = approx.
Pria bar - 170
2 Owens sausage biscuits - 360*
glass orange juice - 165
banana - 200*
Slim Fast - 190
ginger cookie w/ frosting - 60*
glass lemonade - 200
tuna casserole - 250
bottle Aquafina wellness water - 10
bowl Bertolli's pasta - 340
glass milk - 240
pear - 86
Total - 2271

Ok, I'm not starving myself, but I'm also not eating enough to effectively support breastfeeding. Some days I eat more and some, like today, may not be enough. Not included in my calorie count is nearly 3 pints of water.

I spent my morning at Northpark mall. I generally don't care for that mall but I met up with a friend and had a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket. So after chatting then feeding Elliot, I bought new shoes from Skechers. They were the most glam and comfort in my price range. They have built in bling!

I've got my yearly bah-humbug feeling. Maybe the Christmas spirit will catch me later but now I'm just not feeling it. First there's the tree. We do plastic which requires assembly and fluffing. Yes, we fluff the branches to help it have a tree-like appearance, not the squished-in-a-box-11-months-of-the-year look. Then there's lights. I tuck the lights back into the branches to conceal the cord while Rusty does this looping up and down technique. Somewhere halfway done we bicker about how the other one isn't doing it right. This year we added a new element of aggravation: Joshua. Lights went on and off, decorations ended up broken, he was getting into things he shouldn't- it was a hassle. In the end, we have our tree, it has lights, it has decorations and I don't feel warmer in the heart for it.

Both children are napping, the windows are open to an autumn breeze, I've cleaned house a little and showered- this is nice. I'm embracing the peace and quiet while I have it. My luck, both will wake up around the same time.

Our first pediatrician visit this afternoon proved our suspicions: Elliot weighs a full pound more than he did at birth. 9 pounds, 6.5 ounces- 21 inches long. He's already graduated into size 1 diapers. He got his first vaccine (Hep B) then we got our flu shots during the visit. We're going to seeking advice from a doctor referral at the Scottish Rite Hospital regarding one set of his webbed toes.

The key to managing a house of children as a team is having a healthy, strong and even fun pre-baby relationship. For us, we had nine years together before taking on the responsibility of parenthood. In that time, we did what other young couples do: clubbing, movies, parties, doing stupid things. These memories give us something to smile about when the weight of a stressful day- or week or month or year- drags on our spirits. More than that, these memories remind us that we had our time. The new chapter on our relationship starts with Joshua and on the next page we introduce Elliot. Over the next 18 years or so we'll be writing the next chapter in our relationship. And as we do, we won't forget the original nine years. To make sure of it, we listed the top 50 pre-baby moments. No, I won't list it all here. But here is a sample I don't mind sharing:

  1. The scavenger hunt that sent Rusty looking through huge water fountains in downtown Dallas
  2. Sitting through the scariest damn movie ever played at the Magnolia Theater from the AFFD
  3. Taking kung fu classes together
  4. Seeing The Cardigans in concert with Matt Musselman
  5. Seeing Meat Beat Manifesto in concert, then hearing how people got diarrhea from the bass
  6. Seeing The Polyphonic Spree at the last Fry Street Fair held on Fry Street
  7. Our trip to San Francisco
  8. Skydiving- twice
  9. Shaving Matt Peck's head drunk
  10. Upon entering our honeymoon suite: “Where’s the bed?”
I'm not sure what we'll do with our complete list. Print it and scrapbook it some day, keep it on the server as a file, add a printed copy to our wedding album. Having our list is a start. And an end in some ways.

I'm eating the worst PB & J I think I've ever had. The bread, the jam and the peanut butter are all wrong. Rusty tried to guess my preferences during the last grocery run. He got lite wheat bread (the first ingredient is water and I can believe it), sugar free jam sweetened with Splenda, and Smucker's Natural peanut butter. Smucker's isn't so bad in of itself, I just have to add my own sugar and keep the oil stirred around before refrigerating. Next week I'll defend my palate by listing a specific brand, one I know I like to take the guessing game out of shopping for me.

Josh is driving me up the walls. He's testing the boundaries of what power he has over us. For example, he'll ask for a cracker in the middle of dinner then flip out when we suggest he eats his dinner first. After dinner, after he begs and whines relentlessly for that cracker, I hand him a cracker to hear him whine "No want a cracker!" A pause then, "Juice?" He doesn't really want a cracker or juice or cheese or banana or whatever, he just wants to know if we'll give in to his request. The other thing driving me up the walls is his persistent whiny voice screeching "no want it no want it no want it..." He says this for EVERYTHING. No want it bath. No want it shoes. No want it bed. No want it head. Yes, he actually said he didn't want his head once. Ask him what he does want? "No want it."

SUCCESS!! I got Elliot latched on correctly on one side this evening and successfully breastfed him. The other side, the one healing from mastitis and damaged nipple, isn't ready for him to breastfeed on so I'm still pumping. No more fever, minimal soreness and it's slowly gaining milk supply on that side. For a few days he may be alternating between breast and bottle until the other side is fully healed again. This whole experience has reaffirmed my desire to only have two children- no more.

Today was the first day I ventured out of the house for non-medical reasons. Our little monkey (one of my nicknames for Elliot*) has already outgrown the newborn size diapers so we went to the store for a few things. Elliot slept in the sling the whole time we were in the store. Rusty was the one with the sling.

*Names of endearment for Elliot: little monkey, little Elliot, fuss nuts, newb, and Moe. Rusty calls him Moe, I don't.

Ah Shalom.

Elliot is sleeping in the sling, Josh is going to bed and the house is at peace again. For now.

Since the blockage in my milk supply, I've been taking it easy. Elliot wasn't latching on correctly- or he was insufficiently sucking- which caused some damaged to my nipples. After talking to a lactation consultant, we decided I needed to heal so I'm pumping every 2-3 hours then feeding Elliot breast milk with a bottle. I'm hoping things will be healed by Monday and we can try breastfeeding again. My midwife isn't keen on my using a bottle but at this point I don't care about anyone's opinion. When the most sensitive area of the body hurts repeatedly and never gets a chance to heal, criticism falls on deaf ears.

In other news, Josh continues to be an angel around his brother. I can't wait to see how different- or similar- these boys will be when Elliot gets older. So far, they are both very different babies...

Josh as a newborn vs. Elliot:

Swaddling- Josh loved it, Elliot loathes it
Sling- Josh hated being in a sling, we can hardly calm Elliot without it
Pacifier- Josh was addicted, Elliot rejects them
Bottles- Josh did fine the first time I bottle fed him, Elliot needs some coaxing
Spit up- Josh was a prolific spitter-upper, Elliot rarely has spit up- so far
Back sleeping- Josh never had problems laying on his back to sleep, Elliot hates it

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am most grateful for family. Rusty's parents came to our house for the big meal. In addition to playing with Josh- who was so wound up over grandparents that he refused to nap- they cooked a traditional meal in the kitchen and helped clean up. They also helped with my drama de jour.

Oh drama. I feel like a drama queen lately. Today it was a clogged duct in my breast. It started this morning as a mild sore spot. I fed Elliot but the soreness didn't go away, it intensified. It got worse over the course of a couple hours preventing me from lifting my arm, bending over, doing anything. I started to get the chills even though I was wearing a double layer shirt and a jacket. The house was in the 70s, but I was shaking like a penguin. A call to the midwife and a lactation consultant got us good advice and prescription antibiotics. I breast fed Elliot on the sore breast only in hopes of unblocking the duct. It's still sore but I'm not running a fever and it's better. Long story short, because I need to feed Elliot again, I was miserable for the majority of the day. It was so great to have family here to help out.

peace out until later

the power to blog compels me... but I don't have time or two hands to type with. :-(

I forgot a couple details:

He weighed in at 8 lbs., 6 oz. and 20.5 inches long. Overall, a bigger babe than Josh who was 7 lbs. 13 oz. and 19 inches long.

It's time. Wish us luck!


I had my midwife appointment this afternoon. I'm still healthy and still pregnant. For those interested: weight 172, blood pressure 110/64, baby has dropped into -1 station still at 3cm dilated, cervix is very ripe. We decided to check again for any progress (none to report) and during the check we decided a cervical massage might help speed things along without being too invasive. We'll see.

Josh has picked up whining. He's also begun dramatic displays of disappointment by tossing his head on the sofa or edge of the counter. This morning he asked for a banana with breakfast. I explained we have no bananas left, "Do you want some toast instead?" He grabs the counter and buries his head on his heads chanting "no want toast, no want toast..." in a high pitched almost cry-like sound. Of course he's not all that upset. He's just protesting our lack of bananas.

I spent yesterday and a little of today hand sewing the top edge of the curtains for the nursery. They are up and functional, but not complete. The sides and bottom need to be hemmed but that can wait for some other day. They're hung and I'm finished worrying about them. yay!

After tonight, I'll be nearly out of projects to do around the house. I've nested, cleaned, fixed, unpacked, organized, shuffled, saved and prepped as much as I can. The last project I can do in my spare time while waiting is to organize the mp3 files on the server. I started that earlier this week and have another day's worth of work I can invest into it.

uh-oh. I hear a thump upstairs. I think Josh is awake.

Starting yesterday I've slowly begun to discharge the mucus plug. It's a different experience than the first birth. The first time, I was already well into early labor when the whole mucus plug came out at once. This time, totally different timing, totally different consistency. Sadly, it doesn't mean much in regards to timing of when I'll go into labor. Could be tonight. Could a week from now.

No baby today.

It's interesting how people respond when I tell them the due date was nearly a week ago. Here's a sample of recent responses:

Lady at Wal-Mart- "Really!!?? And the doctor says it's ok? ... Usually they don't let you go so long."
Mom at park- "You're stronger than me. I couldn't wait to get Connor out when he was due."
Server at Peter Piper Pizza- "Wow. And you're here?"
Friend- "How long will you let it go?"
Friend's mother- "I can't believe you're still getting around so well."

In a time of inductions and schedules, many people can't understand why I would want to let Nature run the course. It just makes sense to me. Women are designed for this and we each have a different rhythm. Some are early, some are on time, and some are late. I guess I don't see the need to rush things if I'm not in pain and am healthy.

Now, having said all this... I am getting impatient.

But hey, I'm human. :-)

Still waiting...

We were supposed to have rain today. For nearly a week the forecasters have rain clouds pictured for today. At minimum a 30% chance. I did not see rain! There is no rain! Where is my rain!? It's a lovely day otherwise. Nearly 80 degrees, clear skies, breezy and no rain.


Josh is in school starting today instead of tomorrow. Rusty's new bet for when Newby II will be born is Thursday. He feels pretty confident about Thursday. I was hoping for today or tomorrow, but my confidence in those days are waning. To pass the time, I'm going through the mp3 music folder and cleaning up tags (artists, song title, album, etc.) It's something stupid we want to do but it takes time. Which I have.

No baby.

Saw "No Country for Old Men". Didn't care for it. I like Cohen brothers movies, but this one missed. It wasn't the gore. It just felt flat. The story wasn't complex, the characters didn't have depth and weren't unusual, it lacked the humor, wit and dialog I expected. But it was a date with Rusty that didn't cost us any cash (yay gift certificates!), perhaps our last for a while.

Nope. No baby today.

We saw Matt & Samantha's new home in McKinney this evening. Dang it's far away! But they're close to family and have the house layout they wanted. It's a nice mostly one-story home. I say mostly because the upstairs is one big entertainment room with a half bath. Well, it will be an entertainment room when they move stuff in. All the bedrooms are downstairs. It's a nice little development all sparkly brand new. I'm sure the area will flesh out nicely once businesses move closer and Hwy. 121 is completed.

On the way home from our visit, we entertained a bored Josh in the backseat by singing. Here's the song we adapted for the journey:

The wheels on the car go 'round and 'round... all the way home!
The wipers on the car go swish swish swish...
The windows in the car go up and down...
The speed detector goes errgp, errgp, errgp...
The radio in the car goes [we made up music sounds]...
The brakes on the car go [Rusty: eek, eek, eek]... me: The bat in the car goes eek, eek, eek, all the way home. (That cracked us up so we kept going with it-)
The monkey in the car goes oooh, oooh, oooh...
The elephant in the car goes errrrrrrvvv!...
The wombat in the car goes- [what the hell does a wombat sound like!?]...
The doggie in the car goes arf, arf, arf...
The parrot in the car goes braa, braa, braa...
...and so on.

We finally set up a college fund for the boys' future. Yay! Our financial dude came over to help with questions even though we didn't sign anything with him that would give him a commission. I thought that was way cool of him. He could have just walked us through it on the phone or by email, but I appreciated the personal touch of the home visit. So it's set up and we'll soon add funds to it.

Still no baby.

Feeling big and heavy. And hungry. It's time for ice-cream and more honeydew melon.

Still no baby.

Oh yeah, new pictures on Gallery. w00t.

(Last 2 pages of Joshua's folder plus last page of Newby II.)

No baby yet. The midwife checked me on my request. I'm nearly 3cm dilated and 80% effaced. No contractions, no cramping in days, no further signs of anything happening. So we continue to wait. It could be hours or it could be more than a week. Rain is in the forecast for Monday and Tuesday. My bet is on one of those days. Rusty's hoping late this week. Dinah is hoping for Sunday morning. If you'd like to take a guess on the day, click the comment link below and place your bet.

I spent much of today shopping. I got all sorts of things I've been looking for: socks for Josh, bath towel for Newby II, relaxing classical guitar music (to help put Josh and his brother to sleep), lamp for nursery, Big Brother/Little Brother outfits, a small basket for the bathroom, and most importantly a lovey (well, 2 actually) for Newby II. Josh's lovey is Puppy. He's had Puppy at his side since he began sleeping in his crib his first week. His brother has a Tigger doll waiting. I also got a honeydew melon per Preethi's suggestion that it's what sent her into labor when she was late. I'll slice it open Friday.

Other than making curtains for the nursery (I hate sewing!), I'm done with all the big projects and ready for this baby. But I'm also patient. I enjoy the peace, the freedom, the sleep, the time with Josh and Rusty. I'm not going to rush things until he's really late. I need to enjoy these last few days lest I forget how difficult the first few weeks are with a newborn.

Here's a cow picture I put on Josh's shirt before he went to school this morning. He hasn't noticed that his usual milk is switched to soymilk. It's a reminder to his teachers (and us) that he's on a lactose free diet this week.

No baby yet. No signs of pre-labor either. He's just chillin' in there taking his time.

After eating lunch with Rusty today, I got a sever case of no-motivation-to-do-anything. I started out string this morning knocking out things on my to-do list: take Josh to school, drop off stool samples to pediatrician (more on that later), grab caffeine free latte, talk to Bank of America about their 529 college fund, take Soymilk to Josh's school, start prepping fabric for sewing curtains...
...then I had a yummy sandwich and chocolate malt...
...and took a nap...
...and that's about it.

About the stool. Josh has had loose stools for about 6 weeks. It ranges in consistency from kinda-firm to oatmeal to soupy. I called the pediatrician about this a few weeks ago and the nurse practitioner recommended removing dairy from his diet and increasing fiber foods. I reduced dairy and upped the fiber to no significant change. So we took a visit to the doctor's yesterday and she requested stool samples to send off to a lab. Normally Josh has a couple BMs a day. But in 24 hours, he gave us an amazing FIVE poopy diapers. Enough to fill every sample container required for the lab test. So we'll find out if he has virus, bacteria, lactose intolerance, or just chronic toddler diarrhea. (Which does exist and goes away on its own between three and five years!)

Tomorrow morning I attend a market research group for a cool $65. The topic is about grocery shopping. I originally wanted to take the cash straight to a massage therapist on Thursday for some lower back and foot attention. But we're low on cash this paycheck thanks to the timing of a number of bills. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that grocery shopping is more expensive these days? Seems like we're spending more on food each week than we budgeted for back in the summer. Anyway, I'm undecided whether to use my cash for myself or deposit it. I want to treat myself but I feel a little guilty not giving back to the household. After all, $65 is roughly half of our weekly grocery bill- on average.

Time to pick up and prep for dinner.

Not to get anyone's hopes up too high, but I think my body is preparing for labor. I have two signs of pre-labor this weekend. We're still waiting and promise to get the word out when the time comes. The official due date is Wednesday (Nov. 7th).

Our monster house! raaaaarrrrrrr!!

Made of card board, painted w/ interior latex paint, held up by hooks on top and string on bottom. We had TONS of trick or treaters yesterday. We ran out of candy after 2 hours despite our full bucket of $30 in treats. Next year we'll have more candy and will probably add something to the Monster look.

Joshua was an adorable puppy. He had a great time collecting candy in his dog bone candy pail (made of an oatmeal box w/ construction paper bones) and handing out candy to other kids. His favorite treat: suckers.

This weekend has been productive- we got several projects completed around the house. My biggest priority was making the Halloween decoration for the house (it totally rawks and I'm so proud of it! Pictures to come.), followed by putting the crib together, installing the infant car seat and preparing for a play date on Monday. Somewhere in there I also did some web design work and managed to clean downstairs twice. Rusty had a few projects of his own and a few shared with mine. The nursery is almost finished. So close! I need to assemble the infant swing, check that my breast pump is functional and make curtains. I'll probably start on curtains later this week.

Josh and I are done being sick. We both had a cold this week and have pulled through it coughing and blowing our noses. Well, I blow my nose, Josh either picks his or asks for the nose bulb. Unfortunately, it seems as though Rusty finally caught our germs. He's going to take it easy, maybe staying home from work tomorrow. At least he can take more drugs (unlike Josh & I) and may have help in getting rest this week.

My mom is scheduled to fly in Tuesday morning and will be with us until Thursday afternoon. She hasn't seen Josh in nearly a year! This will be Joshua's first trick-or-treating and my mom's first visit to our new home. Until today, I was OK with the idea of the baby being born around Halloween, but with Rusty sick I hope he doesn't come this week.

On that note, I decided that if this baby is more than 10 days late, I will probably ask my midwife to induce me. If I haven't started labor by Nov. 7th (the day after the official due date), I'll start with all the homeopathic stuff like eating certain foods, massage, meditation, using evening primrose, and so on. Until the... we wait.

A Day in the Life…

People have asked me “so what do you do in the day when Josh is in school?” No, I don’t watch TV all day. I decided to record my every movement yesterday. I caught a cold from Josh Tuesday and woke up Wednesday morning feeling like crap. While the day was a bit a-typical, it’s really not far off from a normal day. Remember, this is my normal life. Not exciting. At all. So here ya go…

  • 2:52am wake up w/ runny nose and full bladder
  • 2:55 cover up Josh then go downstairs for a drink and snack (applesauce), watch the ending of Garden State
  • 3:50 go back to sleep
  • 7:40 Josh wakes me up by whispering “Momma” at my bedside
  • 7:45 finally get up
  • 7:50 change Josh’s diaper & put new band-aids on his scratches, get him dressed
  • 8:10 get breakfast ready then take Josh downstairs to eat
  • 8:15 give him medicine while he’s eating then write a note to his teacher about his cold
  • 8:20 give him his inhaler treatment and put on his shoes
  • 8:25 say good-bye as Rusty loads Josh into car
  • 8:30 eat a bowl off cereal, watch CNN Headline News
  • 8:39 answered automated call from UPS wanting to pick up a package (that won’t be ready to send until Friday)
  • 8:40 call UPS to reschedule pick up
  • 8:48 lose patience w/ Indian customer service rep
  • 8:56 call customer service to talk to another Indian rep who speaks better English (who ultimately doesn’t solve my problem either)
  • 9:20 while on hold, I look for an image to create an Evite invitation
  • 9:28 call w/ ends, I resume creating my Evite
  • 9:55 talk to Rusty after finishing the invitation, check email
  • 10:10 go upstairs to nap
  • 11:45 wakeup
  • Noon check email while lunch cooks
  • 12:20 watch yesterday’s Oprah show while eating lunch (Asian chicken noodle soup, apple, slice of cake, OJ and iced-tea)
  • 1:10 text message w/ my mom while beginning to create an animated gif, and run dishwasher
  • 2:05 take short break to check email
  • 2:15 take a call from Fieldwork Dallas
  • 2:25 end call (I qualified to attend a research group for $65), continue working on animated gif
  • 2:55 give up trying to animate my gif, shut down computer
  • 3:00 go upstairs to get dressed, then leave to vote
  • 3:35 return home from voting, wait to leave with mother-in-law to pick up crib picking up around the house while I wait
  • 3:55 leave w/ mother-in-law
  • 5:25 get home minutes before Rusty & Josh (sans crib, SUV was too small), start prepping for dinner (Boboli pizza)
  • 5:55 prepare table for diner, serve Josh
  • 6:10 sit down to eat
  • 6:25 clean up dinner, take Josh upstairs for diaper change and shower
  • 6:30 Josh in shower, I get into pajamas
  • 6:37 Josh out of shower, Rusty gets him into diaper and pajamas while I continue to pick up downstairs
  • 6:40 sit w/ Josh who plays doctor w/ me and watches a little television, I give him his medicine and inhaler
  • 7:05 I lay down due to raging headache (sinus pressure?)
  • 8:15p wake up
  • 8:25 check email, begin work on animated gif again while Rusty sits outside Josh’s door
  • 8:30 catch Josh coming downstairs then sit by his door
  • 8:40 Rusty sits by Josh’s door while I return downstairs to work on gif
  • 9:36 finish working on animated gif (yay!!), brag to two friends online
  • 9:40 sign up for hosting play dates next spring, reply to a few emails
  • 10:10 watch more of 1408 w/ Rusty
  • 10:45 go upstairs for bed, read “In the Beginning Was the Command Line” for a few pages
  • 11:20 fall asleep
Follow up: I felt really bad this morning and slept in and did nothing all day long. Between headaches, sneezing, blowing my nose and taking two naps, my schedule was full.

Josh has a cold today so we're chillin' at home all day. He wants to go "ou'side" but it's raining and cold. And his voice is horse from coughing all night. At least he's in good spirits. He's dancing, ate breakfast and not cranky. Thank goodness!

We're spreading our memes through our son. He can now imitate dance music: oomp-cha-oomp-cha-oomp-cha... He can count to 20 (with help past 10) and knows his colors (mostly) and can identify all the basic animals and body parts- so an occasional useless skill, like imitating dance music, seems OK.

Today has been super productive for us. Josh spent the late morning and took his nap with the grandparents giving Rusty and I a few hours to get stuff done. We finished putting together the dresser in the nursery, prepped dinner, cleaned the house a bit and now are working on the Fox & Co website. Well, Rusty's fixing code while I take a moment to blog. He's grappling with making stuff work in both I.E. and Firefox.

Newby II is growing. People say I look bigger than the last time they saw me. When he's awake, I can count 10 movements in about 2-3 minutes. Joshua was almost always 10 movements within 2 minutes. This guy is between 2-5 minutes depending on how active he is. The weather is supposed to cool off tonight and tomorrow- W00T!! High of 66 sounds so nice right now. Josh will wear pants and a long sleeve when we go out tomorrow, I'll wear short sleeves and a skirt. I'm down to one skirt, one pair of shorts and two dresses. If these fail me, my last resort is a large mu-mu type dress from the first pregnancy.

Last update before I go back to web development mode: the hair is no longer blue streaked. Alas, it was changed to brown last week Wednesday. I'm getting used to my new, easier-to-style do. In a sense, I've lost an identity. But I'm still 5'10.5" tall, which really helps me stand out in a crowd and I'm the same quirky, goof ball I've always been. Just without blue hair.

Josh is tossing and turning right now. He's having trouble falling asleep tonight. We're reasonably sure he'll stay in bed and eventually fall asleep in the next few minutes. It's taken about 45 minutes to get to this point. :-(

However, overall, he's getting better. Especially in regards to sleeping through the night. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but the timing of his new blanket and 'big boy' pillow are uncanny. Prior to the new threads, he was waking up frequently at night for various reasons: lost his security item (Puppy), fell out of bed, had a vivid or bad dream, or some other unknown reason. After the switch, and getting over seasonal allergies with a moderate asthma flare-up, he's waking up maybe one time, if even! (Except last night during an intense thunder storm that even woke me up.) I want to say, "Aha!! It was the blanket and pillow that made all the difference!" But not so fast. The reasons for him waking up prior to the new bedding hasn't changed. He can still lose Puppy in his bed, still have lucid dreams, and still on occasion fall out of bed. So the mystery is unsolved. It's simply a fine example of how correlation is not causation.

Last week Newby II dropped a bit. This week, he's still low and a few people have noticed. My heartburn has eased up a bit, probably due to the extra gut space. I think my pelvic bone is a bit out of whack so I have plans to visit the chiropractor this or next week for a final adjustment. Rusty's been good to me by massaging my back, discouraging me from going up and downstairs, and he even clipped my toe nails this weekend. What a champ of a husband!

Josh and I spent the morning playing at Arbor Hills in Plano. We were invited to join a group of moms celebrate October birthdays. Although Josh is older and waaay more active than the group's kids, I decided getting out to a park near home in the morning might lead to a good long nap. So far so good! I almost didn't want to go though. The idea of chasing after Josh doesn't appeal to me these days. But I'm so glad I did go because I bumped into another moms group I know that was meeting at a pavilion outside of the playground area. It was like a blast from the past! I saw moms I knew from Josh was an infant, and now their kiddos are all as grown up as Josh, and a couple have new ones since then. I really wanted to stick around and chat, especially with a few I clicked with long ago and haven't seen in over a year. But Josh was running amok, as usual. :-(

I'm in so many moms groups these days it's getting hard to learn names. Here's my list of moms groups in order of longevity:

  1. Tots & Babes
  2. Monday Moms (aka Awesome Moms)
  3. Presbyterian Hospital Moms (I'm not really a member anymore, but I run into them)
  4. Carrollton Moms Group
  5. 2007 Babies
  6. Homestead First Friends (the neighborhood assoc. group)
I don't regret being so involved, but I do feel a bit pulled sometimes when something fun is going on at two places at the same time. My only regret is that I can't remember names or recognize familiar faces as quickly as I would like.

Josh is waking up. That's my cue to wrap things up. And scarf the remainder of my lunch!

I'm fairly convinced the baby has dropped a bit this week. There's more belly in the way when I sit down. Luckily, no one expects me to be lady-like when I sit. Today was my last day of prenatal yoga. I decided I was done for a couple reasons: one, the dropped belly is making it difficult to keep pace with the class and, two, my schedule. I'll continue to stretch and be active at home, I'll just not be making a 5 mile trek to be with others.

Besides, I'm eager to begin all the nesting things I want to do: make curtains for the nursery, finish wrapping holiday gifts, unpack stored baby stuff, assemble the crib & dresser when it arrives, stock up on baby essentials (i.e. nursing pads, pacifier, etc.), and most importantly make a duffel bag for the BIG day so we're not scrambling at the last minute. All these little things take time that I hope to have more of after next week as I wrap up two web design projects.

The midwife appointment on Tuesday went well. Blood pressure is very healthy (110/60), weight gain is good (I've gained 42.5 lbs. so far to be 164.5), the belly size is good (~33"), we have a birth plan and we have back up plans in case something (anything) doesn't go as planned. We're set! And now waiting.

I was so grumpy last night. We went to bed around 11pm. Thirty minutes later Josh wakes up for some reason and I attend to him. Coming back to bed, Rusty went from silent sleepr to heavy snorer. I grumbled about that saying something like "why is it that I get Josh and you get loud! Stop snoring." Then twenty minutes later Josh wakes up again because he lost his puppy. Then 15 minutes later he wails again because his nose is stuffy. Rusty gets up to help him with that. Ten minutes later for the same reason. Then 15 more minutes later for- I don't know why. I think he made some crying sound one last time in his sleep that I ignored.

Ironically I had just finished reading an article in Scientific American about how boys shorten their mother's lifespan by an average of 34 months and are rough on the life of siblings born after them. It's still speculation as to why this is so. If this evolutionary theory is true, I'll attest to it. I get crap for sleep on a regular basis, I run after him constantly, and he's just rough on me physically, such as wanting to be picked up all the time, bouncing on my lap and other toddler boy rough-housing.


Feeling icky today. I've had an upset stomach and heartburn off and on since lunch. Plus, and I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think the baby is dropping just a bit. When I was pregnant with Josh, he descended weeks before he was born. It's now more uncomfortable to bend to the floor. My next midwife appointment is Tuesday and she may check me then. That' the appointment we also discuss our birth plans. Which Rusty & I need to review this weekend. We have just about 4 weeks left. Time's a tickin'!

We're monitoring Josh's breathing today too. He's been coughing all day and Rusty thinks he heard a little wheezing earlier. He spit up mucus and other food/milk stuff at dinner. But afterwards he felt better, the coughing reduced and his appetite came to full swing. He's had his rescue inhaler twice today with little improvement. Despite the news reports about cough medicines for young children, we gave him some cough suppressant before bedtime. So far he's sleeping and quiet.

I'm waiting a bit more impatiently for the weather to cool. It's the first week of October and we're still HOT! It should mid-80s by now. I remember it being chilly near Halloween both last year and the year before. Where is my cold front!?!?

It's Friday but Josh is in school because I have lots of work to get caught up on. I'm really striving to finish all these web projects before the end of the month. Having this extra day takes some pressure off of the deadlines. So far, I've gotten a lot done this morning and after this break will dive into my to do list again. Hopefully I'll be caught up enough that Josh won't have to be in school next week Friday too.


Here is a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.

Moms Night Out last night was great! We met at Obzeet's for dinner/dessert and socializing. I had already had dinner (grilled ocean perch on rice pilaf with mixed vegetables) so I had a huge slice of chocolate caramel Heath cake. YUM! Among the five of us, we spent about 80% of our conversation talking about our kids. Other topics ranged from house improvements to bills to crime in the news. It felt so good to get out for a bit and connect with my friends.

Work work work! I have so much work to get done, Josh will be in school again tomorrow to give me the extra time I need to get caught up. I wouldn't have to do so if Rusty wasn't working on Saturday. I suppose if Countrywide is busy with campaigns that means business is trying its hardest to turn upwards without more layoffs. Which is reassuring despite the few weekends Rusty has to work.


Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying
to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play'
never find the time for play?

Speaking of work, I've got three website projects on my plate- yay! Two should be done relatively quickly, the third can wait for months as there's no rush.

The nursery bedding arrived this week- yay! It's all coming together. I have the major stuff taken care of, and now get to focus on the little things like pacifiers, receiving blankets, onesies, bibs, and diapers, to name a few. I still need curtains too and plan on making a trip the cloth store mid-October, unless I find a bargain somewhere that happens to match.

I'm relieved to have the majority of big expenses over with but now we're burdened with financial woes in the aftermath. After mortgage, a Visa bill, car payment and some monthly expenses, we'd eaten through over 2/3 of Rusty's paycheck the day after it was deposited. ouch! So we're back to limiting our expenses until we get caught up. To make matters worse, I'm not very good at adding receipts to our electronic ledger so it kind of crept up on us. I have two checks of income coming in this month, which will help, but only a little.

We went to the grand opening of a new St. Vincent de Paul thrift store today. My friend Dorothy has been busting her rump as project manager (that's the only title I know to describe her position though it may be inaccurate) for nearly two years, first helping to raising funds during the capital campaign, then pulling the pieces together for staff, facility, merchandise, donations, etc. They did speeching, ribbon cutting, free food and drinks, and even had a mariachi band with a Latino Elvis on a stage. I found a boy baby doll for Josh for a dollar. He was so excited to have his baby doll. This evening we showed him how to properly hold, burp and kiss his baby doll. Then Rusty took it a step further by putting the doll under his shirt to mimic breastfeeding. Josh thought it was just a clever game of hide-the-baby.


That's what Josh has taken to screaming when he thinks we're going to take something away. Even if it clearly isn't his. Like the lawnmower.

Tomorrow is my medical research appointment. You may recall from previous postings that I've enrolled in a pre- and post-natal medical research through Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. Yesterday and today I was on a special diet provided by the researchers to regulate and limit my intake of sodium, potassium, and general yummy fatty foods. I have a profound respect for anyone on a strict diet. It's very difficult not to cater to the smell of popcorn or pizza or cookies or invitations to go out with friends. In my opinion, they don't feed me enough. For the past two days the diet has just satisfied a feeling of hunger, but nothing more. I never get that full satisfied feeling after a meal. Tomorrow morning, after I take Josh to school, the research team will draw blood, make me do breathing exercises, will look at my heart, tilt me on a bed, take my blood pressure a lot, and test some nerves in my legs. After the three hour test I'm free. I plan on packing a goody bag to take with me for afterwards: a banana, Oreo cookies, trail mix, and maybe a PBJ sandwich.

I'm hoping the check from the research will be in by mid-October. I have a hair appointment to go back to brown (bye bye blue) on the 17th and would like to pay for that myself.

Bumble Bees!

Michelle of Bella Designs did a great job of hand painting these adorable bumble bees all over the nursery walls. These match the nursery bedding due to arrive next week.

All we need now is a crib and dresser to really make the room complete!

We think Josh has learned the word "crap" from Rusty. He started saying crap this evening and repeated the word over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.... He said it with various tones of voice, with a whine, with conviction and with all sincerity. We tried to change the subject, to engage him in another activity, to peak his interest in a new word. But all we got back was crap! I scowled at Rusty only briefly. I'm guilty of another word myself. Friday I discovered a sippy cup of water spilled in a plastic shopping bag of new socks I had just bought. Without thinking I exclaimed "ah damnit" in my agitated tone. Then, yes, Josh proceeded to say damnit too. He only said it twice but it's only a matter of time before he damns something.

Rusty & I spent the second half of Sunday sans Joshua. The in-laws took Josh to the Plano Balloon Festival while we ran a couple errands, went to dinner and visited a couple friends briefly. I got a sewing machine from Anne (thanks!) and a dinner certificate for Steve Fields- yum! It was the time with Rusty that I appreciated the most. It energized us being able to relax and focus on loving each other instead of multi-tasking and keeping up with a two-year-old. Love the kid to death, but I also love the little adult time we get these days.

Newby II has hiccups right now. It's such a weird feeling, those little thumps.

This morning Josh bent over to pick up a toy and farted in the process. It sounded like a muted machine gun. Then he stands up, giggles and says "I farted! hahahah Fart fart fart..." Such a boy!

He's counting better these days although he stills skips 'two' sometimes. Actually he'll 'two' and any other sequence of numbers he wants. For example, this evening he was racing from the front door to the living room window. At the door, he readies himself by counting then shouting Go! Except he counted like this: one four five six, GO! - one seven eight nine ten GO! - one three four GO!

My midwife appointment on Thursday went well. Baby measures a healthy growth, my blood pressure, protein, glucose, weight, all those vitals are healthy and normal. Baby's heartbeat is fast and strong, just like Josh's was. We talked about the low lying placenta. It has grown upwards and is now 4.7 cm from the cervix- which is great news. There are now no complications going into another natural birth. The next appointment will focus on our birth plan and preparations so Rusty will be there along with Melissa.

In other news, Rusty & I are working to pick up another client to design and host his website. He has a new business (that I can't talk about yet) and wants to roll out with selling it this Fall. We're waiting to hear from him confirmation to begin. Additionally, another contact, Rusty's boss's husband, wants to barter a custom cabinet he built for us in exchange for a website and some hosting. Since he already has the cabinet made I'll probably begin sketching ideas for him next week.

Speaking of sketching, the nursery will get it's final wall treatment on Tuesday- yay! Michelle of Bella Designs will come in the morning to paint the bumble bees on the walls. Now all I need to get is furniture, bedding and curtains, and the room is complete!

My feet are starting to swell. :-/

It's my birthday- I'm 31 today! yay! I didn't do anything special for my birthday today except stop for a slice of cheesecake in the afternoon. Rusty and I are working on plans to go to the movies this weekend to see Across the Universe.

The change in season has caused Josh's nose to be "messy", as he puts it. He woke up several times last night saying "nose mess" and "nose hurts". I'm guessing the sinus pressure is what hurt. Aside from the discomfort, some dripping and the occasional sneeze, he's fine.

I volunteered and shopped at Divine Consign today. It was nearly an all day affair. I started my volunteer shift at 8:30, went home at 12:50, ran an errand, took a short nap, then went back for shopping at 4pm. I jumped in line an hour early for the pre-sale shopping and still had a long line of moms in front of me! I got more clothes, shoes, books, a couple toys, another baby monitor and a crib side CD player. I'm all shopped out and happy with my new stuff. :)

Picture time!

Here's Rusty at home. Yes, he's almost always in the office at home.

Me & Hannah Poole- She's due in 3 weeks in this picture.

The brown walls in the loft before they got painted.

Southern Painting painter dude doing his thing.

From brown to blueish-purple, green and yellow walls!

The loft with our fancy custom curtains made by a neighbor named Jenny. She did a beautiful job! I tied one up to show the difference in lighting and effect.

Another curtain graces the top of the stairs (also made by Jenny) and look great against this new green.

Josh's room.

The nursery. Or what will be the nursery. The lighting isn't great in this shot.

The upstairs is a much happier place now.

We took Josh to the Jimmy Porter Park in Carrollton after dinner to let him run around and release some energy. The park has been updated since we were last there- more than two years ago! There's re-enforced banks on the creek, mini waterfall to control flow, an official brick crossing path, and -gasp!- a paved parking area. The grass was shoulder high to Josh in some areas but he didn't mind.

We got our upstairs painted and I LOVE it! I'll post pictures tomorrow or Monday when the walls are dry enough to move stuff back. The only unexpected snag is the nursery walls are a bit more purple than blue-purple. I even put in Reveal light bulbs. Maybe some blue tinting on the light shades will help. Once the room fills in with furniture and other colors perhaps it won't be so nearly girly.

Our house getting painted today! I'm so excited to see what things will look like with our new colors. The fumes are a bit strong so I'm chillin' downstairs today. I'll take pictures when it's done for everyone to see on our online photo album.

My busiest week of the month is almost over- yay! It's been nice to be busy this week compared to some previous weeks. Here's a review my week:

  • Monday Josh ran away for an hour followed by a nice 2 hour power failure in my neighborhood
  • Tuesday was yoga and lunch with mom friends followed by prepping my lunch and breakfast for the morning
  • Wednesday I volunteered for the JBF Consignment Sale for 5 hours (throwing out my pelvic joint in the process)
  • Thursday I saw a chiropractor then shopped and volunteered another 5 hours at the consignment sale
  • Today the house gets painted upstairs while I catch up on email, phone calls, and other tasks
So back to the shopping. For any mom who hasn't gone to a consignment sale, an organized one I should add, she is missing out on good deals! I found some toys for Christmas, a Joovy stroller for $75 (which I need to clean up today), a glider with a nursing stool for $40, some Fall/Winter clothes for Josh, new shoes for Josh, baby clothes for Newby II, and a baby sling for $20. I won't say how much I spent but it was all way less than it would have been retail, especially the stroller, glider and baby sling. The only thing I'm still searching for is another baby monitor for the nursery. I plan to volunteer and shop Divine Consign next week in hopes of finding one. I saw several yesterday but not with two speakers.

There were tons of moms at the pre-sale. I heard that about half of the total sales are generated during the pre-sales. I got in on the first pre-sale since I volunteered to work 10 hours. The consignor pre-sale started at 6pm and when the moms filed in at 6:00pm, there was a slight breeze in the room of moms dashing around and rushing in. I expect Divine Consign to be bigger and busier based on how it was last year.

My birthday is next week. For the first time in years (or ever), it doesn't feel like such a big deal. I guess turning 31 isn't a big deal in of itself. Last year I dyed a streak of hair blue to mark my statement against feeling old. I don't feel old this year at all, though I do plan to turn the blue back to brown at month's end. I don't expect to have the time or energy to maintain the blue once Newby II is here.

Speaking of, he's awake now thumping around. My next midwife appointment is next week, the start of my 33rd week. This week I'm 32 weeks, the beginning of my eighth month. Two websites to check out for the expecting mom is and Storknet. According to these sites (collectively), he's sleeping 90-95% of the time, weighs at least 4 lbs. (my last ultrasound indicated 5.5 lbs.), has all five senses, toenails and hair are growing, and by next week the average weight gain for the mother is 22-28 lbs.


Well, I've gained- lemme check real fast... - about 36 lbs. With Josh I gained about 50. So far I'm on a similar trend. Not that I care about numbers. I'll lose it all again in time. I eat healthy, stay moderately active and avoid junk foods. Ok, I avoid really junky junk foods! :-)

Josh was missing this morning for almost an hour. Here's what happened...

There's a thunder storm this morning with the works- lightening, thunder, gobs of rain. The morning started out fairly typical with Josh up right around 7am ready for his diaper change and breakfast. After his bowl of cereal, I go upstairs to shower while he's downstairs watching Bob the Builder. So far, this is still normal. Usually Josh follows me upstairs eventually. I finish and check on him. He's playing with a toy and watching the start of Sesame Street. I go back into my bathroom to pull up with my hair and finish getting dressed while Rusty is showering. I was upstairs the second time for maybe 5 minutes. As I was on my way downstairs, when I see the back door open. Still, this is isn't completely unexpected since Josh has on occasion helped himself outside to play. I'm thinking "Oh geez, he's playing in the rain and getting muddy." As I approach the back door, I see the gate to the driveway open. Uh-oh. This isn't good. I check the backyard and downstairs and realize- he's missing!

I yell to Rusty what's going on then grab an umbrella and start my search up and down the alley. No Josh. Rusty comes out in shorts to look while I call the police. At this point, we estimate he's been outside 10-15 minutes. I'm not panicked at this point, just level headed and looking. No Josh. We switch- Rusty stays in the home while the officer and him double check the house and I walk up the neighborhood. No Josh. I look in the drains where water is rushing in and have this thought what if he was swept into the drain. No Josh. Now I'm starting to have fears of him drowned, kidnapped, lost, hurt... No Josh. I tell the neighbors on both sides of our home to keep an eye out. I search the front of the neighborhood again when a black truck pulls up and a man asks me if I'm looking for a little boy.


I was relieved and emotional all at once. I'm so glad he was picked up by a Good Samaritan. He explained that he saw Josh wandering in the street headed towards Rosemeade. The neighbor had been driving around looking for someone looking for him. "He's a very sweet little boy and I can tell he's well cared for." I get the driver's name, thank him repeatedly and take Josh inside.

The policeman takes notes, I change him out of his sopping wet diaper and clothes, and we evaluate how he got out and how to prevent it. On a normal day, the gate to the driveway is closed but we think the storm tripped it making it open. We had the back door locked but we didn't have the flip latch locked. Also, we didn't have our house alarm set which would have notified us of the door being opened.

I'm so thankful he's not hurt and wasn't missing for a terribly long time. In that short time where I began to panic and imagine the worse, I felt like a statistic. So many children go missing and I brush off those stories. They were negligent parents. The kid should have known better. I won't happen to us, we lock our doors and have a gate.

It happened to us for one hour. And one hour is all I need to learn my lesson. Never underestimate your toddler's abilities and never trust that they will OK alone in the home.

We changed Josh's bedtime routine hoping it will help him sleep sooner and more independently. My goal is to get him to either fall asleep within 30 minutes of lights out or to stay in bed when we walk away from outside his room.

Old routine: bath, 10 min. of TV, asthma medicine, brush teeth, read books, say good night then sit outside his door (mostly out of sight) on a stool with a dim hall light until he falls asleep.

New routine: TV after dinner, asthma medicine, bath, brush teeth, read books, say good night, play a CD of soft music then sit outside his door (mostly out of sight) on a stool with a dim hall light until he falls asleep.

Mainly the music and the timing of TV is new. We're giving this a few days to see if it helps. Eventually I'll drop the stool sitting too. Tonight's music choice is Matt Musselman's Dialogue, soothing classical piano music. Tonight he's out in less than 20 minutes. Go Matt!!

The spring on the garage door snapped yesterday as Rusty was coming home. Josh was coming inside with him when it happened so of course he talked about the 'boom' and the 'sound' and 'garage door' and 'it broke' and 'wow!!'... He even talked to pop-pop and grandma on the phone about it.

Midnight snacks and naps are becoming more frequent. A typical night snack is a bowl of cereal or piece of fruit. I also tend to take a nap almost daily ranging from a 30 minute snooze to 2 hrs or more, especially if Josh is frequently up at night. I remember napping in the first pregnancy too around this time of gestation. Luckily I'm at home this time instead of cat napping on my lunch break in the office.

The usual yoga instructor is out on vacation in Ireland. I've come to prefer her style the best having the right mix of stretching and breathing, while not over working us mega bellied mamas. The substitute today was brutal. She didn't have the "isn't it wonderful to be pregnant" mat-side manners. In fact, many of her stretches were difficult to do even without a big belly. My opinion isn't helped by the fact that I was positioned right in front of her (or behind her when she faced the wall) and nearly had a foot in my face several times. That technical issue aside, I was so tempted to inquire what days she teaches, but resisted for fear of seeming tacky.

Here's the baby! And he's head down!! yay!

The sonogramist confirmed that the gender (still a boy), estimates the weight at five and a half pounds and suggested an early due date of October 26th- which I laughed at and said "yeah right". (They don't really know by looking at a baby's measurements.) I inquired about the low lying placenta and was informed she was not at liberty to say. Why is that, I asked. Because of liability. Huh. She goes on to say that if she told me a bit of information that I misunderstood or misheard or misinterpreted in some way, patients were known to get upset, doctors get upset, her boss gets upset... essentially, they would rather the doctors interpret and communicate the sonogram results to the patient than the sonogramist. Whatever. I'll find out at my next midwife appointment (which happens to be on my 31st birthday) whether or not the placenta is growing up and outward enough to not be a complication.

The pregnancy is going fine but has its ups and downs. I'm getting heartburn almost every afternoon and/or evening so I've started taking papaya enzyme tablets- they work rather well and last longer than Tums, although not with immediate relief. I get leg cramps twice a night on average and still get a little out of breath while walking and talking, especially when doing so going upstairs. The up-side is I get to take it easy propping my feet up and sleeping with a couple extra pillows. Naps are almost daily, if even for 30 minutes. On more than one occasion the Jamba Juice people will "accidentally" make too much smoothie and put my order in a larger cup. woot. Tomorrow is prenatal yoga. I planned to go on Wednesday but Josh was home that day recovering from being sick (he threw up several times in the night) so tomorrow is my make-up day. Perhaps I'll stop for another caramel covered apple on the way home. :-)

It's already three and I feel like my day is almost gone! Quicky update before I rush off to do laundry, prep dinner and run errands:

  • Midwife appointment went smoothly this morning. I scheduled myself for another ultrasound later this week.
  • New pictures of our weekend trip to Boulder, CO are now posted online in our photo gallery.
  • Josh learned a new skill last week: he can now open the refrigerator. I moved his milk cup down to a shelf in the door where he can reach it whenever he wants.
  • I have current maternity pictures on the last page in a folder called Newby II. Sometime in November I'll rearrange the gallery to include our newest member keeping Josh's pictures in place. New pictures will be added to this folder periodically or monthly.

September is looking to be crazy busy for us! My calendar on the fridge is filling up almost daily with various events such as volunteering, appointments, yoga classes, playdates and scheduled events. So far 6 weekdays have nothing scheduled or planned yet. I'll try to keep updated with the blog this month, but no promises!

Beautiful Colorado! We arrived yesterday after a relatively short and somewhat painless flight. Short being less than 2 hours on the plane, and painless being Josh's willingness to not run everywhere or tantrum. He was fine on the plane until the landing when he got cranky then fell asleep. It helps that there were 4 other families traveling with kids.

We ate a late lunch at Efrain's with my dad then convinced Josh to nap for an hour. That held him over for the evening allowing us to wash clothes and eat at my aunt's condo. He's now acclimated to the change in time zones- he woke up at 7:05 this morning and went down for a nap at almost noon.

I'm rally grooving on the climes. It's a good 10 degrees cooler than at home now- yay! We spent the morning wandering around the Farmer's Market and Boulder Creek Festival. If it weren't for my restraint, I could easily spend all our cash at the market on foods and stuff. Today I bought 2 white peaches, 3 carrots, 3 prune plums, a bag of flax seed crackers, a jar of salsa, and red stone earrings. Except for the earrings, everything is organic and super yummy.

After Josh gets up, we may swing by my grandmother's apartment before going to a patio party at my aunt's. My grandmother Betty is suffering from lung cancer (since 2003) and every update I hear sounds worse and worse. She's miserable living with the medical treatments and reduced lifestyle. It's a grave reminder of how smart I was to having never smoked cigarettes despite growing up around it. In some sense, I want Rusty to get the clue too before it's too late. The sooner he quits in life, the better chance his body has of cleansing itself and avoiding his own lung cancer. And the better chance we have to teach our kids to do the same.

Josh has a funny way of saying some words:

elephant = eff-a-nant
balloon = ba-noon-noon
T.V. = tee-dee
box = bock

He's got the onset of a mild cold it seems. I plan to keep him away from crowded kid areas today and we'll do low-key activities. So far it's just some sneezing, a little sniffles and coughing, but these are the things that can quickly get out of control with his asthma.

A couple updates to previous blog entries...

  • We changed our paint colors for the upstairs rooms. "Honeydew" will work nicely in the loft/game room, "Afternoon" in Josh's room, and "Hyacinth" in the nursery. Southern Painting is scheduled for September 14th using Sherwin Williams paint. We decided to do vinyl wallies in Josh's room but still plan on having bees painted in the nursery.
  • My failed attempt to use the Elna 7000 sewing machine turned out to be not my fault (yay!). A couple days after I returned the borrowed machine, a former Chinese neighbor called to check on us since we moved. I asked if she had a sewing machine I could borrow but she insisted on making the curtains herself. "I make look good. You see." And she did! They are way better curtains than I probably would have made. She confidentially told Rusty "do not let Sarah have a sewing machine, ok?"

Rusty scored mega-cool points with dinner this evening. He made oh-so-yummy cod cakes (cod, potatoes, carrots, onions & stuff) that even Josh gobbled up. In fact, Josh ate more cod cake than peas and cheese. It helps that he also had tartar sauce (a new word for him) and cocktail sauce (another new word) on the side. Thanks super Dad! Tomorrow Josh will get to see his grandparents Anne & Russ (aka pop-pop) for dinner. We're making quiche, French onion soup & Caesar salads for everyone.

Emily stopped by for less than 24 hours with her family on Thursday night through Friday morning. They invited me to join them for a baseball game at the Ranger's stadium in Arlington (Kansas City Royals trounced the Rangers 6-2). Josh came with me while Rusty stayed behind with the onset of a mild cold. Friday morning we had breakfast at Ikea, went shopping at Fry's, picked up Emily's mother from the airport, then hung around the house until everyone had to go. By night, I was so exhausted from the extra activity and lack of Josh napping longer than an hour, I crashed by 8:30- nearly the same time as Josh.

Women are hypocrites: we title ourselves in ads and articles Wife, Mom and [insert professional title here]. Never do we see men labeling themselves as husbands and fathers prior to their work titles. Are women so busy juggling family life and work life that an extended title is needed? Don't fathers also juggle family life after a long day at work? Or perhaps we women are trying to connect to other moms that we're just like them. In addition to working, we too clean up after dinner, give the kids a bath, read stories at night and shuttle them to school or daycare each morning. Oh wait. Dads do these things too? Hmmm. Why do we get those extra titles? Are there that many dads out there who don't pull their weight at home? Or are we women holding on to an old fashion view of dads who leave all the domestic work to the women?

I had my midwife appointment this morning. I’m as healthy as could be expected: low blood pressure, no traces of protein or glucose, normal weight gain, healthy baby growth, no complications health-wise. My midwife is 90% certain the baby is breech at this point, but we’re not too worried as there is plenty of time for him to turn on his own before we get too far along. So! We have a low lying breech baby and an otherwise normal healthy pregnancy.

I met a mom-to-be the other day who reminded me that I am surrounded by supportive mothers whose beliefs are aligned like mine. I know several moms who are all for breastfeeding for as long as reasonable, or even possible. Moms who learned every detail about their pregnancies in order to make informed decisions. Moms who forged ahead against their doctor's wishes or even insurance company's wishes in order to obtain what was best for them or their baby. Moms who opted for alternatives to conventional wisdom and practices. The mom-to-be that I met was about as hands off as one could get. She did not feel the need to take a birth preparation class other than what the hospital offered (at or after 36 weeks), she was all for the epidural and painkillers, but didn't want a c-section unless it was really needed. Her doctor is concerned the baby may be too large in proportion to her body size (she's not petite and her belly isn't enormous at this point) so talks about considering a c-section have already come up. She plans to go back to work after 8 weeks maternity leave.

Scary thing is- she's so not alone. There are millions of other moms-to-be who are following closely to her path right now. They blindly go into labor and motherhood relying on doctor instruction and basic notions of the upcoming transition into being a mom. They don't question their doctor's advice and see no need for birthing classes since that's all taken care of by the hospital.

I'm not going to judge these women. They are following a system developed by the medical industry that is in place to relieve mothers of such stresses and worries. But I do have a different drum I beat to and enjoy the company of other moms who have their own drums as well. I am ever so grateful to be surrounded by the moms that I have befriended in the last 2 years. :-)

I made an wish list for the nursery. We finally have a theme and an idea for the currently empty room. yay! The brown walls will be painted a super light yellow to match a bumble bee theme, black furniture, and some day we'll have bees painted on the walls by Bella Designs. I can't wait to see the finished room! :) Josh is also getting an upgraded room decor to be a planes, trains and trucks theme.
My Wish List

My first attempt to sew with the Elna 7000- let's just say I suck so bad I never figured out how to thread the needle throgh the contraption and that's using the user's manual, circa 1987. I stared at pictures, read and re-read steps, experimented. I still don't get it.

Here’s what I remember of this morning’s yoga class:

…extend your left leg up, breathing deep into those areas that need oxygen most, hold that pose and let your shoulders drop, now raise them, inhale, feel your shoulder blades rolling back, taking deep calm breathes as you do, roll them back along your spine, now take your right hand and grab your left foot keeping your shoulders back, breathe, now take your right leg and just curl it gently around your body resting it on your left shoulder, exhale as you stretch those muscles…

I think I was doing it right because I broke a small sweat. I liked the instructor too. She was much less spiritualistic than the first instructor I had for prenatal yoga.

Here’s what’s new for those who want to know:

  • We recently hired a house cleaner to come twice a month. The idea is to take care of the grime that we tend to neglect, like dusting the window blinds and vacuuming upstairs. Once the new baby comes, she will be greatly appreciated.
  • We’re planning a trip to see family in Boulder, CO for the Labor Day weekend. It will be Josh’s first flight as a toddler/preschooler. I think we're ready for the challenge!
  • We are getting ready to have the boys’ rooms and game room painted from ca-ca brown to something more kid friendly and upbeat.
  • I was planning to visit my mom in Lubbock but may not after all since our funds will be tight in August and early September. (We have a number of expenses hitting us at once.)

This week my focus is getting curtains made. I borrowed a sewing machine from Rusty’s mom (thanks!) then realized I haven’t used a sewing machine in over 15 years. I did use a serger two years ago but that was a different machine and different project. So! It’s time for me to suck it up and do some domesticating for once.

"I like my coffee like I like my women- in a plastic cup."

Gotta love Eddie Izzard.

Inger sent me (and 40 of her closest friends) to a website to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen foundation. Her personal story with breast cancer is a reality check for all of us. Breast cancer does run in my genes and although I haven't noticed anything unusual yet, I know I need to be vigilant for bumps. I did have a cancerous pocket removed from my eye lid about 3 years ago. There was a tiny bump on my lower eye lid that looked like a wart or something. I went to the optometrist to remove it for cosmetic reasons (it didn't really bother me, it was just there) only to have the lab report back that it was basil cell carcinoma (skin cancer). The optometrist and eye surgeon were both rather surprised of the lab result because it's an unusual place to get skin cancer, and we were all relieved to have caught it early. Not nearly as traumatic as Inger's experience, but eye opening nonetheless. ;-P

This low lying pregnancy is starting to be noticeable. At least twice a day I get winded and feel a mild pressure on the pelvis. When this happens, I get the urge to sit or lay down and take it easy for a little bit. I've increased my fluid intake and reduced my trips up and down the stairs in the daytime to what's necessary. I'm thinking to start yoga classes soon at Destination Maternity during the week while Josh is at school. And I'll be going to the pool more to take some of the pressure off.

Josh is a knowledge sponge lately! Finally!! I taught him the sign for water this afternoon and he repeated it (with a cute variation) after seeing it only a couple times. Now he can say and sign "more water". He's slowly getting into the routine of saying "tank you" when he gets something, but still needs to be reminded to say "may I" and "pwease" when he wants something. We're working on it. He's remembering tunes and singing them. He doesn't know the words but he likes the song "Are You Sleeping?", mostly because he gets to say "ding ding dong" at the end. He's super cute when he's happy. And super annoying when he tantrums. But that's two-year-olds for ya.

Me and Josh at Target this evening:

Me: Josh, sit down honey. Thank you.
Josh: Up?
Me: No sweetie, sit down.
Josh: says something incoherently
Me: Sit down.
Josh: whines and continues to try to stand up
Me for the remaining 20 minutes of shopping... sit down, sit down, sit down, Hey, I said sit!, sit down, sit down, sit down now, now Josh, sit down, put your butt down, sit sit sit, sit down, sit down now!, sit down, sit down, sit down, I said sit down!, sit down, sit down, SIT DOWN, sit down now or- sit down!, sit down, all the way down, your leg wouldn't get stuck if you were sitting down, sit down, sit down, SIT down, sit down NOW!, SIT DOWN!!! ...

I finally buckled him in which sent him into hysterics, crying, wailing and carrying on like I had broken his spirit or arm or something. In the checkout line I gave in and pulled out a Dum Dum sucker from the diaper bag. He immediately stopped screaming (which was putting me on a super short fuse and annoying everyone around us) and obsessed over his new sticky treat. In general, I'm opposed to giving toddlers/preschoolers candy, but this wasn't candy- it was a life saving device. ;-)

I have a viscious case of heartburn that started last night and carried over to this morning. I thought it was due to my homemade lasagna last night, but when I woke up and got heartburn again within 30 minutes, I knew it wasn't just lasagna. Perhaps its hormones or something baby related. In pregnancy, everything can be attributed to being pregnant. I'm 24 weeks along, have gained 20 pounds and, aside from heartburn, feel fine most of the time. Sometime I feel some pressure way low in the belly, either because baby is stretching or because... uh, I really don't know why.

Josh and I both had appointments today. First his...

We went to have the area from surgery checked out. He's fully healed, everything looks good and he can now resume all kid activities- yay!!! The area is starting to itch (which means the skin is healing) and there's still some firmness, and this is the deep tissues that are also still healing. The appointment was quick and anti-climatic.

Now mine...

I took Josh with me to my midwife appointment this morning. So far, everything checks out to be normal and healthy: weight increase is on target, diet is still good with room for improvement (as usual), uterus growth is on target, blood pressure healthy, baby's heartbeat strong and fast- like Josh's. We talked about some of the things I read about from Pithiviers and she's ok with everything except the "safety position" which isn't necessary. She informed me that the doctor who came up with that technique later recanted his stance stating that it really wasn't effective. So no change there- which is fine by me. She also suggested a warm bath for me and the newborn baby at the same time, or we could use a wash basin just for the baby. We talked about the sonogram from four weeks ago. Everything looked normal and healthy there except for one detail: the placenta is low lying. This didn't seem to be a cause of alarm to her though she'll monitor things to make sure things stay low risk. Apparently the placenta was measured to be 1.8 cm above the cervix. Two centimeters seems minuscule to me, but apparently this is enough to not cause alarm. We'll do another sonogram at 32 weeks to see how things have grown.

So I had to do some reading on what exactly a low lying placenta is and what it means. "Normally the placenta implants or buries itself into toward the middle or top of the womb. This means that it is well out of the way of the 'exit' when it comes to labour, and the baby has an easy passage out. When this doesn't happen, you are said to have a 'low lying placenta'. This can potentially cause complications when it comes time to give birth." [] This is not uncommon- 15% to 20% of pregnancies have a low lying placenta. However, after 28 weeks, a low lying placenta is known as placenta previa. My midwife informs me that with a low lying placenta, it typically grows upward (toward the top of the womb, where the blood supply is best) as the uterus expands. This is good as at gives room for a normal labor. But, if it stays low at full term, there may be complications such an increased risk of early labor and bleeding.

This is not a common pregnancy complication as about 1 in every 250 pregnancies may have placenta previa. Placenta previa can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy. There are actually three types of previa:

1. Complete previa : occurs when the cervical os is completely covered
2. Partial previa : involves only a portion of the cervix being covered by the placenta
3. Marginal previa : extends just to the edge of the cervix

Diagnosing a previa is usually made when there is painless bleeding during the third trimester, although in many cases there are no signs at all. If it is diagnosed after the 20th week of your pregnancy (my sonogram was at week 20), and you are not experiencing any bleeding (I'm not), you may be simply asked to cut back on your activities, and increase the amount of time you spend in bed (darn!). You should, however, be alert for any bleeding in which case you will be put on bed rest, be told to refrain from sexual intercourse (bummer) and be monitored more closely by your practitioner (or midwife). []

SO! If I notice any bleeding, cramps, or unusual pain, I'll let everyone know, including my midwife. Until then, I'm to assume this will all be fine as nature works itself out. It's good to be informed and know what the risks and implications are in any unusual situation. Luckily, I'm not in an unusual situation yet.

Well, no more unusual than what my life is already. :-)

I borrowed a book from my midwife at the last appointment called Birth Reborn by Dr. Micheal Odent. It centers on a birth clinic in Pithiviers, France. The hospital has a maternity clinic run primarily by midwives and birth attendants who fully support natural labor and birth. My natural birth experience having Josh was wonderful and I got some ideas from the book to do a few things differently this time around:

  • At Pithiviers, they give the baby a bath in warm water within shortly after being born. The idea, in addition to cleaning the baby, is to provide stimulation and comfort through warm water, what they have been used to for the last 9 months. With Josh, he was sponge cleaned by the midwife and Rusty in the birth center's bathroom using warm water from the sink. I think a small basin would be easier and more comforting for the newborn.
  • As common with most hospitals and even midwives (mine included), the doctor or midwife will often put pressure just above the pubic bone in order to check whether the placenta has detached. I remember this feeling quite uncomfortable. This time, I would prefer to wait for the final contraction when my body is ready to expel it on its own.
  • Although I don't want to give birth in the water, I do want to relax in the bath during labor. Last time the water was filled up and was so hot it took several minutes to cool it sufficient to my comfort. This time, I'll make sure the midwife and birth assistant know to keep the water a cool 95-98 degrees.
  • Immediately after birth, even before I am seated and ready to receive the newborn, I'll ask that he's placed in a "safety position". This is on the baby's stomach with head turned to the side for only a few seconds- enough time to give a good cry and take some deep breaths. The idea is to let gravity prevent any fluid from traveling into the respiratory tract.
I'll add these to my birth plan once we get to that point after summer.



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