My little family!

My little family!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

23 weeks and 29 years old!

29th birthday. Inside our hotel room.
Here we are.
Another week, come and gone.
This was a GREAT week. Truly one of those weeks (despite sickness for Layla) that make me feel so lucky.

Rewind to last Thursday.....worked from home. Dinner at my parent's house complete with yummy Hesh's chocolate chip cake.

Friday, my actual birthday. 29. An exciting time. Slept in (barely..) as I took the day off of work. Able to have a super early breakfast with Josh, Layla and his mama at my restaurant of choice - I randomly chose IHop and it was SO.GOOD. I love pancakes. Went home - packed - and decided I wanted to look pretty so I went to Blo-Out-Bar. For $35 they do your hair - you can choose from 11 different styles and I always go for the Blair (long, loose curls) - it's so fun and makes you feel great. After lots of playing and lots of Layla kisses, Josh & I were Washington DC bound!! It's about a 3 hour drive - not too bad and we always have fun on car rides. We stopped half way for a late lunch (hot dogs - random but so good) and after a few wrong turns once we entered the city, we made it to our GORGEOUS hotel. We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental (thanks - it was lovely. We made our way to our huge room and relaxed for a while before dinner at the Occidental (across from the white house). What a delicious meal, seriously. Josh claims it's "the best meal he's ever had" - no lie. The decor was so fun - lots of framed pictures of important people in government, etc. It was fancy without being stuffy. When we sat down, there was a birthday card signed by the entire waitstaff for me - how cool. We chowed down and cabbed it back to the hotel on a warm September night. It was really lovely and the perfect way to end my birthday.


Library of Congress behind us!

Steps of the Capital!

Saturday, we woke up early and decided to walk to the closest Starbucks. We had yogurt and coffee and enjoyed the quietness of the city and the lovely weather. Eventually, our dear friend Keven Stone picked us up and took us on tour of the city. We took some really fun pictures and saw awesome sites. Next up was our tour of the white house - SO COOL! We had to wait a long time in line and my feet were swollen something fierce, but I pushed through and really loved it. The tour itself was self-guided. We found that while we were there, the first lady was HOME - I would have loved to meet her. I find her beautiful, wonderful and powerful. So cool. After the tour, we went back to the hotel, packed up and left. Of course prior to leaving I found it completely necessary to buy the robe from the room - it was the nicest, most cosy thing EVER.. haha. 3 hours later and we were in the door and kissing Layla all over. I always say I would love a night away but the 3 times I've had it, I can't wait to get home to her.

Sunday, I woke up and was lucky enough to go get a prenatal massage - a perfect way to end my birthday weekend. It was great and relaxing. A little bit of shopping at GAP and Bed, Bath & Beyond and I went home. Layla went in for a nap and Josh cooked an awesome crock pot of Sloppy Joes - YUM! My parents came over for dinner - it was a great night except after Layla's afternoon nap, I noticed she was much fussier then normal. Thus began the sickness.......

Layla ready to cheer on the Eagles!!

Monday, woke up, gave Layla milk which she promptly threw up. Lovely. Also had a fever. Skipped music class. Morning nap and she woke up great so we (me, Josh's mama and Layla) decided to head to the mall for maternity shopping and lunch. Layla did great and ate wonderfully. Home for naps. Took Josh's mama to the train station, took my car in the mechanic (needs a new transmission - thank the lord I lease), got home and Layla threw up everywhere (luckily in the drive way) - great. A quick bath, bed.

Tuesday, Layla woke up with fevers and throwing up. A lot of cuddles. Tylenol. And a lot of movies. Tangled, Toy Story and Sesame Street. Repeat. I went to the ultrasound that afternoon to see baby boy. He looked great!!! His ventricles measured perfectly (woo!). He still has the cysts (two in his brain) but they are not concerned with them. I still have placenta previa (boooo) so I have a follow-up ultrasound in 4 weeks. By Tuesday evening Layla was playing and seemed to be mostly better!! We also ordered a new SWING SET that day!!!!! I'm so excited!!! (it will be set up on Monday!)

Yesterday, Layla woke up again with a bad fever and throwing up. UHHHH. I worked from home. My nanny took care of her. The doctor confirmed it is a virus. Frustrating and sad. She was so lethargic and sad. By last night she was mostly better but Josh & Layla skipped break the fast for Yom Kippur. I went to my Aunt & Uncle's house to represent us.

By today, she seemed better and is at my parent's playing and eating well. Hoping we are all done with this nonsense - it's NO FUN!!

lots of love. Until next week!

How far along? 23 weeks, 3 days. The size of a LARGE MANGO! At the last ultrasound, he weighed in at a whopping 1 pound, 8 ounces. So proud of my growing boy. 
Total weight gain/loss: We needed to take out the battery to use in Layla's thermometer so no scale this week - WAHOO! haha
Maternity clothes? I finally have a few key pieces - thanks to an awesome sale at Old Navy and the generous gifts from Josh's mama from Pea in a Pod I have a few more shirts, a new pair of jeans and two pairs of pajamas for the hospital.  
Stretch marks? None yet.
Sleep: Still a horrible time. I am waking up around 4:45 AM and unable to go back to sleep. Bummer. 
Best moment this week: Seeing him at the ultrasound on Tuesday - a solid heart rate of 168 beats per minute.
Have you told family and friends: SI!
Movement: YES! Josh finally got to feel some awesome kicks too!
Food cravings:  None this week.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Feeling pretty good. Nausea here and there but nothing to write home about.  
Gender prediction: My baby BOY!! 
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? Flat?
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Happy or Moody most of the time: Feeling good. Although a late night viewing of The Notebook caused a mega-breakdown last night. Notebook tears are way different then normal tears - they flow hard, long and without fear.
Weekly Wisdom: Can't think of anything off hand - I guess I'll say that turning 29 was exciting and I'm looking forward to entering my 30's next year!! 
Milestones: Turning 29! And Baby Bear growing! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

22 weeks!!

Happy hump day, ya'll :)

It's Wednesday - two days before my birthday. I'm now 22 1/2 weeks pregnant. This means I'm in my 6th month of pregnancy. That's BIZARRE.

It's been a great week sans the worst back pain I've experienced in my life. I guess I can officially call it sciatica pain? I've been going to the chiropractor but I don't think it's helping much. It's also a big commitment (2-3 times per week) and I don't have the money/time to put forth. I'm dealing with the pain and I made a massage appointment for Sunday - can't waaaaait!! Otherwise feeling pretty good. No nausea. Lots of insomnia. Not as tired during the day (ironically). Lots of baby boy movement.

Biggest thing I've done this week?? An obscene amount of online shopping -- baby boy's nursery is coming together!!! He now has a crib, curtains, a curtain rod, bedding, a storage unit and baskets. I can't wait!! I'll post pictures as it comes together but the colors of the room will be navy blue, white, grey and a pop of color (either a brighter blue or a brighter green). I'm debating taking my sister's glider and updating it to match the room or just buying the new one I found. I'll decide soon.

We had a lovely week. The weather has been that perfect combination of sunshine and low humidity. Cool mornings, warmer days (but not hot) and perfect nights. I love it and I'm trying to spend as much time outside as possible.

We were supposed to go down the shore on Friday but nixed that plan and opted to stay home instead. We got a babysitter and had a wonderful date night to a restaurant we never tried before - it was really yummy and a lot of fun to just chat with my favorite person in the world.

Saturday, Josh & I decided to head to Target for a few things... close to $300 later, we headed home (oops) - it was so much fun though. After Layla's nap, we dropped her off at my sister's and went to test drive the Dodge Grand Caravan. HOLY COW. I'm not joking - it was a wonderful experience and I'm completely hooked on the car. It's so beautiful, drives great and the options are endless (hello DVD player, remote sliding doors, remote start, a computer in the car that stores music and movies, etc) - I'm obsessed and I hope it works out. My lease isn't up until May 2013 so I have time - really would love to have that car before the new baby comes!! After that, we grabbed Layla and took afternoon naps. So much fun. That night, Andrew came over for a sleepover -- we gifted this to my brother and sister in law so they could have a nice night out (my sister took their other two kiddies) - it was SO MUCH FUN. Andrew & Layla get along so well and they played so nice. Andrew slept over and he did great!! Woke up once in the middle of the night but otherwise was awesome.

Sunday, we (Me & Layla, Kim & her kiddies, Adam & his boy) went to the farm for pumpkin and apple picking!! The weather was perfect - the kids LOVED it!!! Layla ran around (her walking skills improve every single day) and it was a blast. We bought a huge pumpkin and hope to carve it this weekend!! The weather was ideal - I'll post pictures soon. After a nice afternoon nap, we went to my parent's house for the first night of Rosh Hashana. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! :) It was a lovely dinner and my mom did a great job.

Monday was music class - Layla's favorite. She had a blast again and ran around playing with all the kids. The funniest thing she does is SCREAM and SQUEAL each time Miss Sandy brings out a new instrument to try. She's such a character. After class, we met my Dad for lunch. Layla never had a morning nap but was perfect and ate a huge lunch. I was all excited for a nice long afternoon nap but instead disaster -- she cried for over an hour, then THREW UP. I think she worked herself up so much between crying and a big lunch. It was gross. I felt so bad. As soon as I got her out of the crib, she was happy and played so I knew she felt okay. We weren't going to bring her to sister's for the second night of Rosh Hashana but Josh decided we should - considering she had NO nap other then a 30 minute cat nap in the car on the way to dinner, she did pretty good.

Yesterday was a stormy, yucky day so Layla and I decided to play inside. She took a short morning nap (uh), my dad visited, then we went to Target again for a few things and left with a shopping cart full (what is my problem?!) - after that began another afternoon of a nap struggle. No idea why but I think it may be teething?? I almost gave up but decided one more time and was able to get her to sleep for another 45 minutes. Not a long nap but something - I felt like I won a war. Last night, my sister and the kids came over to play and for dinner - everyone had fun and we all passed out soon after they left.

Hoping today is a better day for Layla and her naps - the brief time we thought she was going to one nap a couple of months ago was no good. She NEEDS two naps a day. She's happier, eats better and sleeps better at night. My nanny is the nap queen so I'm hoping she works her magic today.

That's about it - looking forward to this weekend. Josh's mom comes tomorrow, I'm having my hair blown out on Friday, Washington DC that night with my love, a white house tour on Saturday, a massage on Sunday.. lots of shopping, naps and Layla kisses in between!

Cheers to a great week and the start of the best season, FALL!!

Layla & Andrew's 1st sleepover -- playing the drums on pots and pans. :)

Layla at music class playing with the drum sticks!

BIGGGGGGG belly!!!

How far along? 22 weeks, 2 days. Baby bear is the size of a spaghetti squash or papaya :) 
Total weight gain/loss: Want to have severe anxiety and heart palpitations? Get pregnant. Weight gain is a FUNNY thing. If it's humanly possible, in the past 2 weeks I have gained 7 pounds. Literally -- 7. I'm not sure how that is possible but short of a good cry and a quick reality check that weight gain is a SMALL price to pay, I've come to terms with it. I'm now up 17.6 pounds. Two weeks ago I was only up 10.6 pounds. UH. The funniest thing? I looked my blog to when I was 22 weeks pregnant with Layla - guess what? I was up EXACTLY the same amount of weight -- guess it's fate that I will gain a lot again this pregnancy?? Whatever works.
Maternity clothes? I just ordered a few key pieces on Old Navy (hello maternity sale!) and I'm going shopping at Pea in a Pod on Sunday with Josh's mama - very exciting!! I want to get something really cute to take maternity pictures - coming up fast with Oona, my love from college.  
Stretch marks? Bio Oil and prayers. None yet.
Sleep: This week has possibly been the worst yet - middle of the night wake-ups, EARLY mornings - strange dreams. No fun. Pregnancy insomnia stinks. 
Best moment this week: Lots of baby kicks. We had a LOVELY weekend. The weather has been extraordinary.
Have you told family and friends: The best thing I've ever done was share my story on here - the support I've felt is incredible.
Movement: Yes!! Lots. I'm trying to figure out his schedule but no such luck. I really want Josh to feel a kick!!
Food cravings:  None this week. Due to the fact that anorexia and pregnancy don't go well together, I'm focusing on lots of fruit and veggies.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Luckily, as of now, nausea seems to have left the building.  
Gender prediction: My baby BOY!! 
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In! But so so so weird looking.
Wedding rings on or off? On! But getting a little tight.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Feeling happy, good and calm.

Weekly Wisdom: My mom told me this morning that weight gain doesn't matter. She's damn right. 
Milestones: Hmm - I guess the fact that I'm turning 29 on Friday is a milestone for this mama!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Birthday wish list!!

First and foremost. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your sweet words and kind messages. I'm overwhelmed by the amount of compassion and I want you to know it deeply impacted me. I feel like my baby boy is surrounded by an intense amount of love which is ALL this mama can ask for.

With the last entry being a little more emotional then I initially anticipated, I decided it was time for a fun little post. With my 29th birthday looming on the horizon (one week from tomorrow), I decided to make my wish-list. Why not, right? I mean - you only turn 29 once!

First up... the gift I have already received from my fabulous husband. A brand new Marc Jacobs baby bag. While some may call this ridiculous unnecessary, I call it fun! I love my baby bag that I used with Layla (Coach) but it's WAY too small for one baby, let alone two!

Cute, practical, cleans easily and is FUN!

The rest are wishes... not a plea for gifts, so don't judge ;)

A prenatal massage. Or 5.
Josh's mom bought Layla the CUTEST little pair of TOMS and now I'm jealous - I think I need my own!
A few new maternity pieces - clearly nothing from above. This was the first image I found that fit the thought.
Date nights with Josh - without having to pay a babysitter ;) Layla goes to bed early so we have a babysitter come every other Friday and hang out while Layla sleeps - easy peezy! BUT it would be even more fun if someone came over and did it for FREE!
Although we bought new construction last year, I would love to re-do our kitchen and add an island. The picture above is actually close to what I'd want- we need new stainless steel appliances. I think I want the cabinets a bit darker but I love this idea.
A new Dodge Caravan. We are test-driving on Tuesday. Hopefully we'll end my lease early and I'll be cruising like the cool girl that I am in this puppy!
Jamaica. Enough said.

I SERIOUSLY want the rest of our house painted - specifically the living room, master bedroom and 3 bathrooms. The new baby's room will be painted in November by Josh's dad - can't wait!

AND.... obviously.
World Peace. That would be lovely.
Has anyone been watching the news lately?
Depressing. Depressing. Depressing.

Ok... have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So what happened...?? (and 21 weeks)

First and foremost - I won't bore you all with EVERY.SINGLE.DETAIL about what has been going on the past few weeks (although this will be a long post and I commend you if you make it until the end). It's been emotional, stressful and scary. It's been a lot of waiting. It's been a lot of tests. And the end result is that it appears EVERYTHING IS OKAY! Which is the news I hoped to hear (and quite honestly didn't expect...) - I'm not a religious person but I do believe in the power of love and I SWEAR the amount of love and kindness we've felt from family & friends has been so incredible, healing all the pain associated with this whole thing.

Let me back up...

We had our anatomy scan. This is a scan done between 18-22 weeks to get a detailed look at the baby. It also happens to be when you can find out the sex so it's a very exciting time. We had our anatomy scan done in office. I noticed the technician (extremely nice) taking extra pictures of the brain. After having multiple ultrasounds with Layla, I have become a expert novice at reading ultrasounds and had a feeling something wasn't quite right. I shook off the feeling and focused on the fact that our sweet baby was a BOY! We were elated. The tech also told me had partial placenta previa (see below). And that was that. We left with our pictures from the scan as thoughts of boys and trucks bounced in my head.

Fast forward to dinner - out with my entire family - I receive a phone call from my OBGYN.

"Can you go somewhere quiet? This is your doctor and we need to go over some results from your scan."

NOT the words you want to hear.

I sit down and she begins to explain the findings (again, see below).
I begin to break down. I faintly remember listening to her and she ended up with stating I needed to follow-up with a level 2 ultrasound (more detailed).
I couldn't breathe. Thoughts danced in my head and they weren't pretty. What was happening? Why was this happening? Did I do something wrong?

Here is what we were told:

Partial Placenta Previa (I had this last time, the reason I had a C-Section) - I'm not surprised. I am on pelvic rest (no sex), no exercise, limited lifting, etc. It sucks but it can move as the baby gets bigger. I can't have a vaginal birth but I am having a repeat C-Section on 1/14 anyway.

Choroid Plexus Cyst (I had THIS last time as well) - - Here is an article but basically they are NOT harmful most of the time. They tend to disappear by the 3rd trimester (Layla's disappeared one week after the initial ultrasound). They CAN be scary if paired with other abnormalities (stunted growth, another organ having issues).

Enlarged Ventricles - THIS was the part that scared me. In the brain there are ventricles and B's are enlarged/wide. The doctor sounded worried and said that I needed to go for further testing. I broke down. I didn't understand what was happening or why. After discussing with my sister (mom, sister in laws, brother, brother in law and even Ava, haha) I calmed down. Kind of. We all did a lot of research and it seems to be BETTER than we had originally thought which was good news. My sister texted me "Statistics are definitely on our side. From what I can tell there will be a lot of ultrasounds to come. Maybe even weekly. They will be looking for a decrease in ventricle size (most likely scenario), the same size (good scenarios, less likely) and increase in size (worst scenario but least likely)."

SO. I have the level 2 ultrasound a couple of weeks ago at the hospital. The tech is again very nice. Explains as she goes along and later brings in the doctor (a specialist).

He tells me that it appears ONE ventricle is enlarged (not both as we first thought). He goes on to say this can be an indicator for abnormalities. It can be harmful. It can cause damage. I stare in disbelief because I was hoping the original scan was wrong. He says there are 4 things we can do -

1. Amniocentesis - We denied this as there is a small risk of miscarriage. As we had already opted to keep the pregnancy no matter what (he's my baby boy, after all) -- this seemed too scary for us. It would provide a definite answer of any abnormalities (everything else cannot provide a certainty).
2. Blood Work - Sometimes infection can cause the enlarged ventricle. I had this done last week and the results all came back negative.
3. Follow-up Ultrasounds every 4 weeks - Self explanatory. We will continue with this until it's deemed unnecessary.
4. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia - A day of testing. We opted in to do this yesterday. And so we did.

We left the ultrasound room with a little more hope but I waited and waited - that's all I could do. I made my appointment with CHOP and hoped for the best.

Yesterday finally rolled around and my day of testing began.
Josh was unable to miss work so fortunately, my mom was able to join me.
I picked her up at the bright dark hour of 6 AM and off we were to CHOP.
We were scheduled to be there by 7:00 AM and we were only a couple of minutes late (due to traffic + getting a little confused).
We were sweetly greeted by a receptionist and I was prompted to fill out paperwork, go over insurance information, etc.
The room itself was nice - big - comfortable seats and ABC was on TV so we got to watch Good Morning America. Than the waiting began -- not too bad and my mom and I were able to catch up :) Plus I FINALLY wrote some of Layla's 1st birthday thank you notes (seeing the positive in an otherwise gloomy day).
I was called in for the first test...

A Fetal MRI. If you've ever had an MRI (I've been lucky enough to have two thanks to headaches in college and viral meningitis in 2008) -- you basically are squeezed into a tube, ear plugs stuffed in and you lay still for a long time. I was told this could last anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour depending on baby. Thanks Moses baby boy cooperated because 23 minutes later I was done. I don't have claustaphobia but it's not the most fun place to be. Not too bad and fairly quick.
After that, we met with our coordinator, Stephanie. She was very sweet (and perhaps the tallest woman I've ever met) -- she went over my medical history, family history, etc. Lots of talking. Lots of questions.

After that, we waited some more.

Then we went to an echocardiogram - for baby. It was basically an ultrasound but focused solely on the heart. Sometimes genetic disorders can affect the heart - so they were looking for anything wrong. At the end of the test, she let us know that the baby's heart was "text-book perfect". Beautiful. His heart rate was 147.

After that, LUNCH! Thankfully because I was starving. We made our way to the cafeteria and were pleasantly surprised. It was gorgeous - sushi bar, salad bar, sandwiches -- amazing. We got lunch and ate. I looked around and noticed how many little kiddies were in scrubs. Patients. Their parents looked exhausted and beat up. My heart ached for them. I heard a set of grandparents singing to (what appeared to be) a 5 month old baby boy that he was finally able to go home. I couldn't imagine. As lovely a place CHOP is, I never want to experience this again.

After lunch, we headed back upstairs and waited some more. By this point my back hurt something fierce and my nausea was in full force. Lovely. We sat and I responded to the numerous calls and texts I had received all day. It brightened up an otherwise gloomy day.

After a while, we had our last test - an ultrasound. That lasted 90 minutes. Literally. They looked at every detail. Their equipment was far superior then anything I had ever seen. The technician asked where we were from - when I explained I grew up in Philadelphia and now live in a suburb right outside the city, she was surprised. "You're lucky!" she exclaimed. She went on to explain that a lot of people fly to the city for the very tests I was having. I couldn't believe how much I took for granted how lucky we are to live so close to one of the best children's hospitals in the country. We continued the scan and clearly me and the tech became BFF. She was so sweet, as was EVERY SINGLE person we dealt with that day. She gave us our souvenir (picture above) and we went back to wait. We were the last 2 to remain (earlier in the day the waiting room was filled with expecting mamas with big bellies and heavy hearts).

Then the doctor came over...

He directed us to a room. We sat down. In the middle of the table was a box of tissues. I was sure it was bad news. We knew we'd be meeting with a doctor at the end of the day to go over all the results but it finally hit me that it was time to see. He sat us down, smiled and said....

"This is why I love my job. The times I get to give good news are the best part of my job."

I sat silent.
My mom cried.
We held hands. My mom hugged the doctor. I sat and stared in disbelief.
He went on to say that per all of the tests, the ventricle is not enlarged anymore.
He is not concerned with the cysts or previa.
He cannot say with 100% anything but by all accounts it appears the baby boy is perfectly healthy.
I couldn't (still can't) believe it.
The nightmare is over.
I asked if I would need to come in for further testing and he said nope!
I will continue to have ultrasounds at the hospital to monitor the cysts and previa but as far as he is concerned, they are a non-issue.

We left CHOP smiling. We are the lucky ones. We got the good news. Not everyone does. And I am well aware of this.

We celebrated over Chinese food and frozen yogurt with my sister and the kiddies last night.

I started a Babies R Us registry.

I started dreaming of my babies playing together again.

It's not that I didn't think about the baby all the time..... But it was always filled with fear.

Now, I think about this darling boy and I cry because he'll be healthy. Life is hard. It's full of twists and turns and it's a constant obstacle course. I couldn't bear the thought of him entering this world already dealing with pain.

Now hopefully the only pain he feels as an infant is a little hit or two from his big sister.

Thanks again for all your kind words. We love you!

Tune in this weekend for a special appearance from the Dada himself - he requested a chance to be a guest blogger and I couldn't be more excited!!!!

How far along? 21 weeks, 2 days. The length of a carrot! He is currently weighing in at ONE POUND, ONE OUNCE!
Total weight gain/loss: No idea. It was bad news earlier in the weekend so this morning I hid the scale and I've opted for the every other week weigh in. Why add stress to the baby party?
Maternity clothes? Need them. Bad. Maternity shopping must be in my very near future.
Stretch marks? Bio Oil - please work your magic.
Sleep: Sometimes good, sometimes not. Quick naps help. Early bedtimes (sometimes) help. WEIRD dreams. Lots of potty breaks. 
Best moment this week: See above. The best part of this week, this month, this pregnancy.. so far. Knowing my sweet boy is going to be healthy.
Have you told family and friends: Yes. I've been very forthcoming this pregnancy with everything (way more then last pregnancy). I guess it helps to talk about it?
Movement: Yup! Lots. My mom felt a swift kick yesterday - so cool. Josh hasn't had a chance to feel movement yet, hopefully tonight.
Food cravings:  FROZEN YOGURT! With chocolate toppings.  
Anything making you queasy or sick: Still dealing with bouts of nausea but nothing compared to even a few weeks ago. Yesterday I was fairly nauseous in the afternoon - I think it's spinach? I eat it a lot and I always feel like poo afterwards. I had a spinach salad again today for lunch. I guess I like torturing myself?  
Gender prediction: Confirmed again yesterday - BOY BOY BOY! 
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In! But weird. And shallow.
Wedding rings on or off? On! But seem to be getting tighter. Crap.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happier then I've been in weeks. 

Weekly Wisdom: Trust your gut. Bring your mom with you to long day appointments. And eat a blueberry muffin if you're in the mood.
Milestones: A huge milestone, indeed. We can breathe a sigh of relief at the fact that our boy is seemingly healthy and well.

Belly in clothes!

And 11 fun facts while I think of them......

1.      Layla is now 90% walking all the time. She doesn't do as well in shoes as barefoot so for the most part, she's shoeless. I don't mind. And she's getting FAST. It's so so so cute.
2.      I'm obsessed with the new local frozen yogurt spot, Yo Fresh. It's 15 or so flavors of low fat/fat free frozen yogurt and all the toppings a pregnant girl could wish for. We've been two nights in a row. I also made friends with the boss. Obvi.
3.      We are getting our next furniture delivered next Thursday and I can't wait!! We are finally making home changes. It's really fun. My list is literally two pages long. My brother Matt told me it would be easier to move. He may be right.
4.      We are considering getting the Dodge Grand Caravan - they may be helpful in getting out of my lease early. I love my Nissan Rogue but the trunk space STINKS. The 4 things I want/need in this car are automatic sliding doors, a DVD player, hands-free Bluetooth and a remote starter. I'm SO excited about getting a mini-van. Despite some hesitation from Josh initially, he's completely on board.
5.      I can't remember if I wrote about it but we are officially booked for our next vacation to the outer banks -- a week with my ENTIRE family in a 12 bedroom, 11 bathroom mansion on the BEACH. Layla will be 26 months and baby boy will be 7 months. I can't wait. Literally.
6.      We are going down the shore on Friday. I want to gamble. Bad. And swim. But gamble more.
7.      We are going apple & pumpkin picking on Sunday - we went last year and Layla was a little peanut. This year she'll be able to run around a bit more - I'm so excited!! FALL IS HERE! Almost. Whatever. The cool mornings are a clear indication fall is upon us.
8.      Next week is my 29th birthday. My last year of my 20's. A fun, exciting, scary, crazy and otherwise fabulous birthday -- Josh & I are heading to DC for dinner, relaxing and a tour of the white house!!! How patriotic of us! ;)
9.      The monopoly playing is out of control. We're obsessed.
10.  I'm so excited for all my shows to come back!! Smash, Shark Tank and Once Upon a Time specifically. Did anyone else watch the Bachelor Pad finale? Holy moly!!!
11.  Josh surprised me at lunch today on the way to his appointment. It was a 60 second hug and kiss in front of Saladworks that made my day complete. I hope we're always this in love. Even when we're old, wrinkly and can't hear each other. ;)

Layla rocking out at music class - so happy to be back in the swing of things!

Friday, September 7, 2012

15 months!

15 months -- really???


Just hanging out with Mr Bear

15 month stats:
Weight: The last time I weighed her, she was 24 pounds or so :)
Height: Also a guess...31 inches?
Eating: A struggle. 3 meals a day. Lots of snacks. 3-4 glasses of organic whole milk. Tons of water.
Clothes: 12-18 month, 18 month.
Diaper: Size 4. Size 5 at night.
Shoe Size: 4 1/2

My apologies in posting this one day late. I swore I'd ALWAYS be on time for your monthly posts, but yesterday got away from me. I'm sorry my sweet girl. Maybe it's because I'm in denial that you're actually 15 months old!!! Considering your 1st birthday was now 3 months ago (and your thank-you notes are still sitting on the desk to be written), it's perhaps true that I'm not ready to let all this time slip away.
You, my girl, are a WALKER! I can officially say with pride that your days of crawling are (almost) behind you. Everyday, your balance gets better. You have started running and you try to jump (while yelling "JUMPY! JUMPY!") - it's the cutest, sweetest thing. You now own 2 pairs of shoes (sneakers and sandals) but they're both a little too big so you are mostly barefoot. Grandma ordered your first pair of TOMS and I can't wait to get them in the mail. I need to start putting you in shoes everyday so you can walk outside (your favorite place to be - you constantly yell "OUTSIDE!"). I finally took you for your 2nd haircut at Wiggle Worms - you weren't as eager this time but you sat long enough. I don't love the bangs they cut and I'm still putting your hair back or in clips. It's getting so long and so light. You are also thinning out more and more due to all the moving around. I love your rolls and kiss them often because I know they'll be gone. I had to reschedule your 15 month doctor appointment for a few weeks from now so we'll learn your percentages for height & weight soon enough.
Playing, laughing, giggling, chasing the cats, playing with water bottles and talking are your favorite things nowadays. You play SO nice by yourself but you are truly a social butterfly. You can't get enough time with your cousins and friends which is why we enrolled you in school (3 more months until you start). I love how social you are and I think it's great that you can play so nice with bigger kids. Sometimes they forget you are a baby and you get very sad when they take your toys. You'll learn fast how to get them back! You are obsessed with Rigby and Shluffy and chase them all around. Rigby lets you pet him but Shluffy only lays for a few seconds before he runs away. You love your blocks, new Sesame Street toys, books, and other random toys. The car and your chair are your favorite places. You also LOVE to play with wallets - you take mine apart almost daily. You are getting really good at commands ("Please bring me Mr Bear, Layla" - it's so wonderful to see how much you understand us! If I ask you a question, you always answer with a very loud YES or NO! It's adorable.
You, my girl, are TV obsessed. You now hand us the remote and ask what you want!! Your favorites are "Elmo" (Sesame Street), "Ryder" (Tangled), "Birds" (RIO) and "Woody" (Toy Story 3). We try to limit us much as possible because you can get completely lost in a movie for a full 2 hours if we let you.
Despite lots of teething this month, you are continuing your great sleeping patterns. You are even back to your 2 naps daily!! You sleep 11-12 hours every night and you are going to bed later and later. Last night was almost 8:00 PM before you went to bed and you were happy as can be. I'm happy that the days of 7:00 PM bedtimes are behind us - it makes it easier to go out to dinner, etc. Speaking of going out to eat (our favorite family past-time), it's starting to get a little bit harder. You can eat and quickly get bored - we tend to show you movies on our phones to past the time and can occupy you with games, toys and books but it's not as easy as before. We knew this day was coming - you are a girl on the go, after all!
Mom-Mom asked me the other day if I knew how many words were in your vocabulary - if I had to guess, at LEAST 40! It's amazing to me how much you pick up, and fast! You remember everything, it's incredible. You are very good at repeating but what's more incredible is how much you retain. You can name almost every single family member, especially when we look at pictures.
Again, food is our battle - going on a few months right now. You are getting better at trying things and if we allow you to feed yourself, you'll eat more and more. You mainly stick with fruit, yogurt, cheese and snacks (all organic, at least) but I'd love you to eat more veggies and protein. All in due time, I suppose. You can seriously chow down on french fries. Shocker ;)
Starting next week, we'll be going to two classes - music on Mondays and toddler tunes on Tuesdays - I am excited for you to make new friends (and maybe I'll make some new mommy friends!) - I love to get us out of the house and experience new things. With Fall right around the corner, we have lots to do - apple picking, pumpkin picking, lots of walks, lots of time at the playground (without all the heat!), Halloween (you're going to be the cutest elephant the world has ever seen) and more! Also this month, we'll be heading to Atlantic City for a night away and you'll get some alone time with Grandma while Mama & Dada head to DC for my birthday! :)
We now know that Baby Bear is a BOY!!! I know you are going to be an incredible big sister - every so often you'll call him "Money" - I guess it's similar to his name?? I love it and I can't wait to see the friendship the two of you will form. You'll be 19 months apart - when people hear this, they always comment how I'll have my hands full. I smile and nod but I secretly want to scream... my heart will be full of love and I'm the luckiest mama alive!!!
I love you, my girl. Don't worry - you'll always be my favorite. Just don't tell your brother.

Oh, ya know, just having some meatballs, yogurt and apple sauce for dinner.

I love you, Kyle.

Just hanging out. In a semi-yoga move.

Splash Splash Splash! It took all summer (and my whole life) but I FINALLY like to swim!


I love you, Dada.

Best friends.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

20 weeks. Half Way. 50% COOKED!

A letter to my dear, sweet, wonderful boy.....

20 weeks. We made it half way. We are a team, you & I. On May 23rd -  per your Dada's hunch, I took a pregnancy test in the bathroom and cried tears of joy at the thought of another little person once that second line appeared. After that moment, I realized we would have another bundle of joy in our home.
It's quite crazy how much I love you already. Although you've only been with me for a short time, I'm attached and can't imagine my life without you. I walk by your room everyday and peek inside wondering how I'll decorate it. I have an image in my head of grey walls, white furniture and navy blue accents. Cool, calm, collected. That's how I imagine you. A sweet, gentle soul with dark eyes and dark hair. I picture your sweet face and I'm reminded why I struggle everyday with being sick. The end result, that perfect baby in my arms.

We found out this morning that you will be born on January 14, 2013 via cesarean section. It sounds like a perfect date and is SO soon (just over 4 months from now). I cannot WAIT until you are here. I have no nerves about the delivery. I want you in my arms and can't wait for that morning when I stare at your face for hours upon hours.

It's been a stressful, emotional and otherwise not fun few weeks worrying and thinking about your little body. I hope and pray you are comfortable and that all the testing isn't bothering you. Sometimes during the multiple ultrasounds we've had, they press on my belly so hard and I feel like you want to scream "LEAVE ME ALONE!" - I like that about you. I hope you always have the strength and courage to speak your mind, my dear boy. We will continue to have ultrasounds and testing done to make sure everything is good, although I have now decided it WILL be good because it has to be. No matter what happens, you are our love, our baby boy, and it will be perfect.

You gained an additional ounce at the last ultrasound (last week) and I wonder if you'll grow even more when we head to CHOP on Tuesday. That will be an entire day of testing but luckily your Mom-Mom is coming with me as I'm sure it will be a long and emotionally draining day.

Although I want you here and can't wait for the sweet moments of nursing you in the dark and reading you stories, I have to admit it feels good to carry you around and know you're safe and taken care of. There's something to be said for no diaper changes and not worrying about nursing you every 2 hours ;)

The amount of love you will feel when you arrive will be intense - prepare yourself. Me, your Dada & your big sister, Layla, are SO EXCITED for your arrival. We are trying to teach Layla about you but she's still a baby herself. I know you'll be the best of friends but I apologize now if you get hit or bit along the way. It's not that she doesn't like you - that's her way of showing her love. In addition, you have EIGHT first cousins ready to meet you and play. Ava (6), Abbey (5), Justin (4), Marley (3), Max (3), Andrew (2), Remi (5 months) and Sami (4 months). They are so much fun and will ALWAYS be by your side. It's a small, exclusive group that you are lucky enough to be born into - always remember that. You are baby number 10 for our family - a very special person indeed!! You have aunts and uncles that can't wait to spoil you (Uncle Adam, Aunt Heather, Aunt Kim, Uncle Michael, Uncle Matt, Aunt Danielle & Aunt Sydney). Your grandparents are BEYOND excited and already filling your closet with gifts galore! Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop can't wait to watch you every Thursday and Grandma & Grandpa can't wait for all of our future Florida trips!! You are also BLESSED with 4 great-grandparents ready to give you kisses - Mom-Mom Millie, Mom-Mom Rose, Great-Grandma (GG) Rita & Great-Grandpa Sandy. SO very lucky, indeed. That's just the immediate family - tons of seconds cousins, great aunts and uncles, and millions more to treasure you. OF COURSE we can't forget your furry brothers, Shluffy & Rigby. As your sister has taken to chasing them around the entire house all day, everyday, I'm sure you'll follow suit and do the same.

I can't help but wonder what you'll be like. Loud and hilarious like your sister? Quiet and reserved? Will you breastfeed easily or will it take work? Will the C-Section go flawlessly? Will you like to read? Will you love to cuddle? Whatever you do, whatever you decide, just know we are ALWAYS here for you and will support you through every choice and decision.

You are our first son and you are the best surprise we've ever received.
Keep growing, baby bear.
Forever yours,

Half way!
How far along? 20 weeks, 2 days. The size of a BANANA!!!
Total weight gain/loss: In a much better place then I thought - I gained 0.6 these past 2 weeks. I'm up a total of 10.8 right now which is fine. I have 19 weeks to go. Hopefully I gained approximately 1 pound a week which would put me in the right range (25-35 pounds total).
Maternity clothes? Josh's mama's birthday gift to me is maternity shopping when she comes in September - I can't wait! I want something for when we take pictures with Oona in October and a few odds and ends for everyday wear.  
Stretch marks? Bio Oil - my belly looks good but I've noticed a few light marks on my side. Blah.
Sleep: Thanks to extreme vertigo yesterday and a sore throat today, sleep has been weird. ALSO, pregnancy dreams are by far the weirdest things ever. Last night I had a dream my name was Liz and I became a teacher at my high school. What. 
Best moment this week: Finding out the baby's birthday (1/14/13), hearing the heartbeat last night (in the 140s) and all the positive emails, notes and phone calls. I have an amazing circle of family and friends.
Have you told family and friends: Yes, couldn't live without them knowing.
Movement: Yes!! Lots. Right now included. I just had a small cup of hot chocolate because my office is sub-zero.
Food cravings:  Not really. I guess chobani yogurt.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I was pretty bad with nausea yesterday thanks to the dizziness. UHHHHHHHHHHHHH. COME ON!  
Gender prediction: He has a "pee-nas" as my niece Abbey likes to say ;)
Labor Signs: No.
Belly Button in or out? In!
Wedding rings on or off? On!
Happy or Moody most of the time: All over. Major cry-fest last night in the shower. It was a doozy. 

Weekly Wisdom: Listen to your doctor - she's awesome. The appointment last night made me feel good despite learning nothing new.
Milestones: Half way cooked and we have a C-Section date!!!