Saturday, December 31, 2011

something new every day

Last night, as I was getting her ready for bed, Charlotte started waving her hands in front of her face while saying "eh-poor, eh-poor." It took me a moment to realize she was saying and signing EXPLORE. I asked her what explore meant and she walked around the room pretending to look for something. One of our newer Signing Time videos is about the great outdoors- animals and nature terms and words like tent, camping, and explore. We've watched it maybe 4 or 5 times, and her focus has consistently been on the animals. But suddenly, she tossed out "explore." And today, "tent." Every day this little girl amazes me.

I started listing some of her recently-acquired words, but there are too many. She is such a sponge right now, picking up everything anyone says or does. Incredible. We tell her every day that she's awesome, and she returns the compliment... "Mommy awesome. Daddy awesome, too."

She has at least two new teeth, canines that finally broke through on the right side. The top left one might be through too, but it's hard to see. The bottom left is visible through her gums, but not quite broken through. That's 14 teeth now.

We have a name for the baby. C proposed it on Christmas eve, and it grabbed me right away. Her nickname will be Maggie, short for Margaret Frances. Charlotte now pulls up my shirt and calls, "Maggie wake up! Maggie moving?" Charlotte understands that Maggie will come out on Maggie's birthday, but we don't know what day that will be. Today, I think I convinced her that once a baby comes out, she can't go back in. I don't know if Charlotte wants to go back in once Maggie vacates her spot, or if she wants to send Maggie back in. Either way, she kept saying, "Back in Mommy" until I convinced her that wasn't a possibility. If Charlotte is half as loving with Maggie as she is with her dolls, this baby will be drowning in hugs and kisses... and blankets.

My pubic bones ache like mad now, especially towards the end of the day. My ankles no longer return to normal after a night's sleep. The GD seems to affect my blood sugar only before 11 am. Once I make it to lunch, I never see high numbers, no matter what I eat or how little I walk. In fact, after pizza today I measured the lowest blood sugar number I've ever seen. And all I did in the hour between eating and testing was put Charlotte down for a nap and read a book.

Maggie has the hiccups now. Charlotte is sleeping (have I mentioned what a terrific sleeper she is?). It's January first already. Happy New Year all!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

at 21 months...

Just to document what our precocious little toddler is up to these days, I must mention...

She sings. Not just made-up songs like "Daddy song" that I mentioned before. Now she sings "Twinkle Twinkle," "Ring Around the Rosie," and my own version of "Rock-a-Bye" that I made up in the hospital when she and I were alone for the first time ("Rock-a-bye Charlotte in my arms. We love you and all of your charms. You're the best girl that we ever knew. We love you Charlotte. Yes, we do."). She has attempted the alphabet, and occasionally makes it through all the syllables with the tune, but not all are pronounced correctly. She also starts "Frosty the Snowman" and "Jingle Bells," but hasn't learned all the words yet.

She can count to thirteen, but when she's counting something she likes to go back and count certain items more than once so she can end on one of her preferred numbers... usually 5 or 10. She can correctly identify numerals 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, and 0. She gets 2 & 5 and 6 & 9 mixed up, possibly because they so closely resemble each other upside-down.

She can put her shoes and socks on all by herself. The shoes are often on the wrong feet, but she'd rather keep them that way than suffer the indignity of someone correcting her efforts.

She can put her legs into her pants, but doesn't yet know how to pull them up. Sometimes both of her legs end up in one pant leg.

Given a letter of the alphabet and a word or two that begin with that letter, she can name additional words that also begin with it. She can do that for several letters, not all or even half yet. But wow, what a start. Some of her favorites are "D-d-d-DADDY!" and "M-m-m-Mommy!"

She understands that she is more likely to get what she asks for, and to get it more quickly, if she asks nicely for it. "Watch Elmo NOW" has been replaced with, "Please, Mommy, watch Elmo TV?"

Some days, if I haven't gotten a shower before she wakes up in the morning, she takes a shower with me. She doesn't mind the water splashing all over at all, even in her face and eyes.

Given the choice between wearing a dress or jeans, she chooses the dress every time.

She fearlessly slides down any slide at any playground we've been to, all by herself, even when no one is there to catch her at the bottom. Then she shouts, "Do it again! (her absolute favorite phrase)" and runs back to the ladder or stairs to climb up and slide again.

She usually waits to poop until she has a fresh, clean diaper on. Then she announces that she has a poopy diaper and needs to be changed again.

Nap and bedtimes are a breeze. She loves to snuggle down with her babies (she sleeps with 3 dolls and several stuffed animals) at bedtime, and looks forward to afternoon "quiet time" when she can take a couple of books to bed with her to read while listening to a BST CD. She sleeps from 7:30 until 7 every night, and naps for 2-3 hours every afternoon, starting at around noon.

Charlotte has mastered most of the signs from the three Signing Time DVDs we've watched so far, in addition to all the Baby Signing Time signs. She usually speaks the word as she signs it, so signing has really become a tool to reinforce her spoken words. When I can't understand what she's saying, I ask if she knows the signs for her words. Misunderstandings don't last long.

She climbs and descends the stairs holding just one hand while her other leans on the wall or holds the railing. The rail is still a little high for her, but she doesn't like two-handed help any more.

She drinks water out of a big girl plastic cup without any sippy or straw attached. When she's had enough to drink, she takes a big swig and lets it dribble down her chin.

She loves to talk to and poke at the baby. She knows that the baby will drink milk from mommy when she's born, that the baby will come out on the baby's birthday, which we don't know yet, and that babies sleep a lot. She wants to teach the baby to roll a ball.

Charlotte loves trains and Elmo and Abby Cadabby and her baby dolls. She is an avid "reader." She reminds me often that we should go to the library for more new books.

so quickly

Just over 6 weeks left in this pregnancy. Unbelievable. The nursery STILL does not exist- is full of two desks and chairs, papers and files, and most un-nursery-like, the cat's litter box. That's our project for the week- clear it all out. And choose a paint color. And a carpet, unless we do a fantastic job of cleaning the existing one. But the thought of a new baby crawling all over the rug that once housed the litter box makes my skin crawl, so I suspect the room will see new carpet. So much left to do, and time is flying by faster each time I pause to consider it.

33-week visit to the midwife this past week- all is perfect. I also had a level-2 u/s, at which all the organs were functoning perfectly and #2 measured in at the 46th percentile. We also saw a lot of hair on her perfectly-formed little head. I don't know if Charlotte's hair showed up on u/s and no one ever pointed it out, or if this baby has a whole lot of hair, but now we know she's definitely got some. It'll be interesting to see just how much when she comes out. GD be damned, this baby is matching Charlotte's growth stride for stride. Speaking of which, my glucose levels have stabilized. In the spirit of the holiday, and since I was working retail on the Friday before Christmas, I had two cookies in addition to my carb-controlled lunch. My blood sugar was lower than it has been after any meal since I started measuring it. So, I gave myself the weekend off from monitoring.

For reasons that have not been made clear to me, the OB/MW practice will be much less cautious about me this pregnancy. With Charlotte, I went in for twice-a-week NSTs and weekly BPPs from 32 weeks until delivery. This time, I am scheduled for no more ultrasounds at all. None. Nada. Not a single one. If I press the issue, they'll give me one more growth-check at 36 weeks. But I really don't believe we need it. I will have a weekly NST, though, starting Tuesday at nearly 34 weeks. From my (Dr. Google) research, it appears that the biggest concern in an AMA (aka "Mommy's over the hill") pregnancy is a decrease in amniotic fluid. I've been assured that the NSTs and bi-weekly visits to the OB or MW will be sufficient to catch any problems before they become critical. And the OB/MW visits become weekly after 36 weeks, so someone will be checking us out twice a week for pretty much the rest of this. As far as the baby's size is concerned, provided my blood sugar continues to be controlled through diet and exercise (the miracle of the 15-minute post-meal walk lives on!), I have nothing to worry about.

Basically, it seems that I am not the only one more relaxed this pregnancy. The medical personnel involved seem pretty calm about it too. Now my only concern is that my water may not break to signal that it's time to head to the hospital. True "labor" didn't start until we were already there last time, and then it went very quickly. Second babies are supposedly even faster to arrive. We don't have a huge margin for error. It'll be interesting, to say the least.

I found out that the hospital DOES have rocking chairs available, and that they were available when I birthed Charlotte. It didn't occur to me to ask for one while I was there, but I will make a point of it this time. Even before the baby is born, I'll put in my request.

Physically, I am mostly feeling completely normal. The baby moves a lot, so I feel a lot of jabs, pokes, and rolls in addition to BH contractions that usually set in when I overexert or haven't had a drink in a few hours. I tire more easily, and deep breathing takes effort. By day's end, my pubic bones feel completely beat up and moving my legs sideways is excrutiating. But a decent night's sleep seems to cure that, as well as the very minor ankle swelling that I've encountered thus far. Sitting at the computer is bad news for both, though, so I'll end this here. Suffice it to say that I a feeling great 90% of the time, and would probably not notice the aches and swelling if I went to bed a little earlier.

Merry Christmas to everyone. I wish you all the best this holiday season and beyond.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

make mine a double

After a lot of research, I finally picked out our double stroller. By the time #2 us here, Charlotte will be not-quite-2 and not ready to abandon a free ride on trips to the zoo or the mall (for people-watching and indoor walking when the weather makes it dangerous to walk outside). I decided on the Joovy Caboose. I like that the back seat is padded and has a seat belt, but I'm a little concerned about the lack of space when the front is occupied by a carrier, but we'll have time to practice before the new baby gets here. The stroller should be here within a week and the baby is due 2/9. I know Charlotte will enjoy the stand-up option. She'll have a higher vantage point from which to see the world, and she'll be a big girl who doesn't need to sit down all the time.

We upgraded our car last week. I would have been the only one able to drive our Corolla if 2 car seats were in the back. C wouldn't fit (well, technically, he could squeeze in but only with a bit of uncomfortable pretzeling) when the driver's seat is forward to accommodate Charlotte's convertible. And the convertible takes up less room than the carrier did. Now, we have a sleek little wagon with liberating sliding doors and three rows of seats. Even with two car seats, we can take on two passengers in addition to our little family. I'm planning for a future with carpools and playdates, when I'll need to take more than just my two girls. We looked at a lot of small and mid-sized SUVs, but without a 3rd row (and a much higher price tag, plus horrible mileage), we'd never have room for more than the 4 of us. It's not flashy or sporty, but so far I am loving the new wheels.

When Charlotte was an infant, she never liked my Mobi wrap. Slings seem a little too precarious, and she never liked those either. So, in anticipation of toting #2 to Charlotte's music class and to the playground and generally carrying her around the house with me (Charlotte didn't like to sleep unless held for the first month or two), I bought an Ergo carrier. I tried it on today, 7-month belly and all. Obviously, I'm not about to carry anyone on my front, but it fit quite comfortably on my hip. Charlotte was super-curious, so I plopped her into it and she loved it, much to my surprise. She kept asking me to walk around the house giving her a ride in it. I hope #2 likes it as well.

Still no crib for #2, and the nursery has not been emptied out or redecorated. It struck me yesterday that we only have 2 months left. Nine weeks! And that's assuming the baby's not early. Yikes! We have plenty of clothes, and she'll sleep in the basinett for the first few months anyhow, so I'm not panicking yet. It would be nice to get it done, though. And, not that I'm complaining, C hasn't been laid off yet, and may wind up working on a job that might continue thorugh the whole winter. I'll keep picking at the room. Mostly, I hope to have the guest bed in there before the baby comes so that she and I can share a room for the first few weeks while we settle into some semblance of a routine. My Mom will also need a place to sleep when she stays here with Charlotte while I'm in the hospital.

We may cloth-diaper. I'm still debating, but today Zulily is offering some Fuzzibuns for an unheard of price (they have ugly phrases/pictures on the butt- I guess no one was buying them at retail). I might pick up a few to try out on Charlotte before making my real decision. Anyone care to weigh in on their experience with cloth diapering?

It's past 1 am, and I am not asleep. This has become my routine... I simply cannot fall asleep at a reasonable hour, but I'm consistently exhausted all day. I've tried not napping, but that doesn;t seem to affect my nighttime wakefulness. I need to find a solution, and soon. I can feel my mind turning to mush.

Monday, December 5, 2011

GD- not too bad, so far

I had my GD session last week and learned that my numbers from the 3-hr GTT were remarkably similar to those I had two years ago. The specifics are downstairs, and I am too lazy at the moment to make that walk, so I'll include them later in case anyone's curious. Or maybe just for my own reference since I read back on this blog to remind myself what happened when and what I thought of it. Glocometers and lancing devices have gotten smaller since my last pregnancy, but I'm happy to report that the 15-20 minute walk still works miracles. It's difficult, though, to get out and walk after each meal when I have to consider Charlotte's meals and naptimes and wants/needs.
Not to mention my own desire to put her in her bed each night- I love the sleepy hugs and kisses, and especially the blowing... [in her music class, there's always a lullaby, preceeded by the instruction to count to 3 and blow the lights out]. Now that she doesn't object to bedtime, she lies down and asks me to cover her with a blanket, then immediately tries to blow out the lights. I have to remind her to count to 3 first, giving me time to walk to the light switch by the door. Sometimes, she calls out "Sweet dreams" to me as I leave the room.

So, in spite of only sporadic walking, my blood sugar has been mostly OK. It will improve as I get used to counting carbs again, and already it's gotten me into a better mindset as far as my diet is concerned. I was a little too lenient on myself before, but now I have the extra incentive I needed to eat the way I should.

Baby #2 still doesn't have a name. When I think of one I like, C vetoes it. And I haven't been enamored with any of his selections. We both so loved Charlotte's name that it's making compromise difficult this time.

I have a 31-ish-week OB appointment tomorrow. As we near the home-stretch of this pregnancy I'll be scheduling the twice-a-week NSTs and weekly BPPs that swallowed up my schedule last time. I hate the cost of them, and will have to make arrangements for a babysitter (thank goodness for my parents), but I look forward to paying more attention to this little one, who I fear has been a little neglected compared with her big sister. I just don't have the time to obsess over every little thing with this pregnancy. Charlotte isn't a demanding little girl, but I enjoy devoting as much time and attention to her as I can. She's learning something new daily, hourly, almost by the minute, and I don't want to miss a thing.

Charlotte isn't demanding, but she tries to be. Whenever she wants something, she tells us by announcing "Need that NOW!" She learned the word "now" from me, I must admit. As in, "Charlotte, sit down on that chair now. Chairs are for sitting, not standing." Or, "Charlotte, get away from that {dangerous thing} now before you get hurt." She no longer sits in my lap for storytime, but walks around the room and returns to peek at her favorite pictures as I read to her. She does listen to the stories, though, and her favorite changes every week or so. She loves getting new books from the library, too, so we go at least every other week.

Music class is on hiatus until the new year, but Charlotte loves to sing and dance any old time. She makes up songs. The Daddy Song, for example, goes something like this, "Daddy so-ong. Oh, Daddy song. Daddy, Daddy song." She made up a similar Mommy song, Grandma song, Reilly (our cat) song, ... We have songs for brushing our teeth, pulling on socks, pouring milk. Everything is an event worth celebrating with a song. And when she doesn't feel like making one up, she loves to sing "Pop Goes the Weasel" or "Ring Around the Rosy." She sings most of the ABCs, and recognizes maybe 6 or 7 letters now- especially C for Charlotte, U for upside-downm M for Mommy, and D for Daddy. She is finally associating numbers with the counting of things, although she isn't always accurate. For instance, she counted her fingers last night and only had four on one hand because pointed a lot faster than she spoke, running out of fingers to point to before she reached the number 5. She loves numbers, and will spontaneously start counting even when there's nothing to count. She recognizes the numbers zero, four, five, and eight, but I wouldn't claim that she knows how many each represents.

Charlotte likes to feel and see the baby moving under my skin. She'll pull up my shirt to "look at the baby," and tries to poke her awake if the baby isn't already moving. My belly has gotten lots of hugs and kisses in addition to the pokes, but I really doubt Charlotte understands that a real person is in there who will soon be sharing Charlotte's home and parents. Charlotte goes with me to my OB appointments. She was very protective at first and cried when the nurse wrapped my arm in a cuff to check my blood pressure, but now she thinks of it as a hug for my arm.

It's way past bedtime, and I could babble on for hours more.Happy holiday season, everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

oops

3-hour GTT today, and I failed. Decisively. It worries me that I might have been allowed to float through the rest of this pregnancy undiagnosed as a result of the 1-hour test. I'm grateful for my overprotective OB. I am also grateful for the understanding phlebotomist at the lab who allowed me to spend the hour between each draw in the hospital lobby instead of the lab waiting room. The lab's chairs were not made for pregnant women, nor for anyone who has to sit in them for more than 10 minutes. The lobby, on the other hand... heaven.


I'll meet with a counsellor next week for my "diabetes education session" and get the specific numbers from the 3hr GTT. I passed only on the 3rd hour's draw- even my fasting level was over the limit.


So, minimal pie and stuffing for me this Thanksgiving, plus a brisk walk afterwards. Happy holiday, everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

things change

"They" say that no two pregnancies are alike. Well, I can attest to that. I took the 1-hour glucose test today and got my Rhogam shot. I did those two things together during my previous pregnancy, on 12/31/2009, and failed the GTT but the shot didn't hurt a bit. This time I PASSED!!!!! the GTT, and the shot hurt. Not a bad trade-off, eh?

Last time, the cut-off for the GTT was 140 and I was at 170 an hour after the orange drink. This time, they've lowered the cut-off to 135 and I was just 130. Alas, because of my history, they're making me do the 3-hour test anyhow. I'm kind of wondering why we bothered with the 1-hour at all, but I'm happy with my better number.

I have my suspicions as to why my glucose level was lower this time. I brought Charlotte with me, so instead of sitting around for an hour, I was moving around a lot with her... we sat for a few minutes in the waiting room, then escaped to the hall bench to get away from the blaring TV. Then she asked for a snack and had to walk each dropped Cheerio individually back to the trash can in the waiting room. Then we saw sunlight at the end of a hallway and had to check out the view from those windows. We tried to go back into the waiting room for the last few minutes, but someone had too much cologne on and I couldn't breathe in there. I was also not advised to eat a high-protein, low-carb breakfast last time. If I'd passed the 1-hour test while pregnant with Charlotte, and I hadn't been monitoring my blod sugar for the last 11 weeks of that pregnancy, I wonder how big she would have been.

Even if I somehow miraculously pass the 3-hour test (and I'd really like to), I'll make an effort to walk after most meals like I did with Charlotte. I'll be worried the whole rest of the pregnancy that, unmonitored, my blood sugar levels will be just high enough to grow an overly large baby that I'll have trouble birthing. Walking was my solution before, and I'm sure it'll help again, monitored blood sugar or not.

In other news, I've been out of work for nearly a year now. News stories about "the unemployed" continue to emphasize that the longer one is out of work, the less attractive one appears to potential employers. I'm working a little bit- 1 or 2 retail shifts each week now that my seasonal gig has ended. I'll keep that up until Christmas, or until my ankles consistently disappear when I'm on my feet for 4 hours. I'll be wearing support stockings to keep swelling at bay. I don't remember exactly when I lost my ankles last time, but believe it wasn't until the last few weeks of the pregnancy.

I feel pretty good- reasonably energetic most of the time, with just a few aches and pains that I completely expected. This baby has been making big moves for about a month now. The early flutters grew quickly into jabs, pokes, and rolls that can be both seen and felt from the outside. I have a hard time believing we're less than 12 weeks from meeting this little person. 83 days. I didn't even mark the day we dropped to double-digits. We're touring the birthing center this weekend, mostly to find out if they have gotten rocking chairs. If not, I'll have to find a portable one to bring with me because the first days of nursing are, I think, made more difficult by the uncomfortable vinyl hospital chairs that are the only thing to sit on besides the (also uncomfortable and vinyl) bed.

The twice-weekly NSTs (non-stress tests) and once-weekly BPPs (biophysical prophiles) will start at 32 weeks. I have a second level 2 ultrasound scheduled at 33 weeks to re-check the baby's proportions and weight and overall development. My 3-hour GTT will be on Tuesday, just in time to make a mess of my Thanksgiving stuffing and pie plans. (I never cared much for turkey, but I love the trimmings and desserts) As I rattles these things off and look at the calendar, I realize we need to get cracking on the nursery. We haven't done a thing yet, aside from beginning to clean up the office paperwork. We haven't even gotten/ordered/selected/borrowed a crib, but one was offered to us a few weeks ago. I'll have to see if it's still available and what condition it's in.

So much to do, and the time is flying faster than ever. Whee!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

lots of words, but not much to say

Oh, the chatterbox. Quite suddenly, Charlotte has really discovered her voice. She's almost constantly talking and singing, narrating her way through the day and then recounting it to anyone within earshot. Her first words in the morning, after the "Mommy come!" that draws me into her room to rescue her from the crib, are always "Read Elmo book." But she no longer wants to read one of the stories in the big Elmo book. No, she just wants to "find Lola." One little blue monster who appears on about 4 of the book's 200 pages, Lola isn't a Sesame Street regular. In fact, I'd never heard of her (or Herry and Flossie) until we read this book. For a couple of weeks now, searching for Lola has overshadowed the reading of almost any book in our collection.

Charlotte and I are sharing a cold this week. We both have nasty coughs... hers is somewhat scary because when it strikes in the middle of the night, it often leaves her gasping for air. All I can think of are those pertussis vaccine commercials, but her gasping isn't as bad as that. Still, if either of us does not improve significantly by the end of the week, at least one of us will be visiting the doctor. I read on Web.MD that I should wait two weeks before consulting a physician about a questionable cough, but since Charlotte's young and I'm pregnant, I've decided to shorten the timeline. Luckily, we have no fevers at this point, although Charlotte did have a slightly elevated temp (99.4) over the weekend. My cough always sounds worse than it is, so I don't really think I have anything worse than a simple cold, but it's left my throat feeling like I swallowed a handful of broken glass. I'm snoring loudly enough to wake C, and my mouth is so dry in the morning from exclusive mouth-breathing that I can't talk until I've had a glass of water.

Charlotte and I have been enjoying music classes since last December, and we've rejoined the swim classes at a local gym starting this weekend. Charlotte loves water, and I'm looking forward to relieving some gravity now that my belly is beginning to noticeably weigh something. Baby #2 is still moving around a lot- no big movements and nothing visible from the outside, but it's movement enough that I can feel her with my hand and not just on the inside. I can't wait for the movements to get a little bigger so I can let Charlotte feel them. I think they're too subtle for that now.

We're planning to use hypnobirthing techniques again, and I just dusted off the book this morning. I never did listen to the CD that accompanied the book, but since we're not taking a childbirth class this time around, I'll break that out at some point. I have a relaxation CD around here somewhere that I hope to find again, too. I'm both looking forward to and dreading this birth- our first was so perfect that I fear there may only be room for disappointment with this second go. And I expect the resulting baby to be Charlotte's opposite... a colicky poor nurser with day/night confusion.

My p/t seasonal job ends next week- HURRAY! I look forward to afternoon naps and time enough to cook dinner more than once a week. I've been leaving at 1 every day and getting home between 6 and 7. A couple of times, I didn't make it back until after 7:30 and I didn't even get to put Charlotte to bed. I ached so much for her that I found myself wishing she'd wake up and need consoling in the middle of the night just so I could hold her. I've really enjoyed the job, though, and the kids I've been working with have been (for the most part) a real pleasure. While I don't intend to do this job again next year, I do expect to visit the kids to see how they're all doing. I can't see doing this while bf'ing a 7-month-old (next year's scenario). And I'm not sure my parents will be willing and able to babysit for two considering how much Charlotte wears them out. I'm planning to resume the retail gig that I left to take the seasonal job, but that's only 2 shifts each week, and now that I'm visibly pregnant I'll be able to take things a little easier (i.e. no climbing vertical racks to reach back-stocked merchandise). I'll get my discount back just in time for holiday shopping! Too bad we don't sell any baby stuff.

My next OB visit will be 11/8, just shy of 27 weeks. There's been no mention of the GTT, so I don't know when she plans for that to happen. I believe it was right at 27 weeks last time. Maybe we'll just assume I'd fail and skip the test itself. That would work for me! I may need a new glucose meter, though, since I can't remember where I stashed my old one. And I wonder just how inaccurate those meters are considering I can't just use it for the GTT. A finger prick is a lot easier than a full-fledged blood draw.

Snow is in the forecast already. Happy Fall everyone!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

really?

I blinked and suddenly I'm on the brink of the third trimester! Baby #2 is very active and seems to enjoy bouncing on my bladder, a very odd but not necessarily unpleasant sensation (no leaking as a result, or my opinion might be vastly different). I am finally quite obviously pregnant, not just questionably fat. I'm once again falling asleep nearly every time I sit down, but have trouble falling asleep in bed before 11 pm. On my own, I'm an "early-to-bed, early-to-rise" kind of person, so this is a bit out of character. Luckily, Charlotte has fully settled into her 1-nap-a-day routine and sleeps consistently until 7 or 7:30 every morning, so I don't have to get up at 5 to get in the shower before she demands my attention.

The first cold of the season is making the rounds of our home. C was sick first, and worst so far. Charlotte started off with a runny nose but now has a pitiful cough during the night as it seems to have settled into her chest. She had a slight fever today, so I may call the ped for some reassurance that it's just a cold and not something to worry about. I have a scratchy throat and expect to wake with the nose-faucet tomorrow. None of us has had a flu shot yet this year. My fingers are crossed that we won't need to have had the shot before we actually get it.

All-in-all, life is going on pretty normally and this pregnancy is flying by. We need to get to work soon on the nursery- empty out all our office stuff (and find a new home for it all) so we can paint over the pepto-pink walls and cloudy-sky ceiling. The mobile and artwork are here. I haven't thought about frames yet for the art, nor of a color for the walls. I should get on that soon, but will probably wait another couple of weeks until my seasonal job ends (which I have absolutely LOVED, by the way, but will be happy to put behind me). We're having a tough time deciding on a name for this baby- have come up with a couple of possibilities we could both live with but nothing either of us is crazy about. We'll know it when we find it, I hope.

Got to go... maybe I'll be asleep before 11 tonight.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A little update

Charlotte had her 18-month ped appointment last week. She's quite the petite youngster, weighing in at 19 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 30.5 inches tall. I did not ask for the percentiles. Frankly, I don't care. She is who and what she is, and she amazes me every day. She's developing on or ahead of schedule. And someone's got to be on the bottom of the size chart or else the chart would be a lot narrower.

Physically, Charlotte seems very coordinated for her age. She walks with confidence, and has ever since she started walking for real (on 6/25/11, three days past 15 months). She's never had the toddler wobble, and almost never falls down (except when really tired or trying to run on uneven ground). She feeds herself with both fork and spoon, but tends to load up the spoon with far more food than can fit in her mouth so a lot ends up in her lap. Utensils lose their attraction about 10 minutes into a meal, though. Then she stuffs them into the gap between the armrest and the folding hinge on her highchair and pretends not to know where they're hiding. She loves to dip whatever she's eating in sauce- marinara is her favorite. She'll try any food I put in front of her, but prefers to stick with her short list of favorites- oatmeal, pasta with sprinkle cheese (or pesto- that's my girl!), fish sticks, hot dogs, baked chicken, whole grain bread, cheese, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and pb&j sandwiches. When I eat after feeding her, she will eagerly eat off of my plate foods that she won't touch on her own. She usually has one "good" meal each day and then just nibbles on the rest.

She more or less dropped the morning nap three weeks ago, but the transition isn't quite complete. For example, she's teething (upper canines) and did not sleep well last night. She woke up at 5:45 and was ready for a nap at 8:30. She'll sleep again for an hour or so around 1:30 this afternoon. On a 1-nap day, she wakes around 7:00, has some quiet time around 9 (we read and play with her bedroom toys), and naps at about 12:45 for a couple of hours. She consistently goes to bed at 7:30, and protests only as long as someone is in the room with her. As soon as the door closes, she turns her attention to her stuffed animals and blankets, rearranging everything to her liking before settling down to sleep. About half the time, she asks to listen to music ("shooosic"), specifically BST's "New Day" CD, before C or I leave the room. Upon waking in the morning or after a nap, she's happy to play in her crib, babbling to her lambie, blankets, and babies for 20-45 minutes. When she's ready to face the world again, she calls, "Mommy come!"

I became "Mommy" instead of "Momma" on the same day we gave up (for the most part) the morning nap. Odd coincidence, as I don't believe the two milestones are at all related. I have no idea why she suddenly started calling me that.

And now she's awake, so that's the end of this post.

Monday, September 19, 2011

the big reveal...


I wanted us to find out at the same time, so C and I opened this together on Wednesday night. We're excited. And we're name-hunting, since we'd picked out a boy's name (Elias Christopher) but had not settled on one for a girl. As soon as we decide on a name, we'll teach it to Charlotte so this baby will be "known" to her well before her actual arrival.

We get to re-use Charlotte's clothes!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

tomorrow's the day

We're going ahead with the plan to find out this baby's gender months before we meet him (odd date, ergo male pronouns). I have my u/s and meeting with an MFM tomorrow morning. I'll bring along an envelope and piece of paper on which the u/s tech will write the baby's gender. It'll stay sealed in the envelope until C and I can open it together tomorrow evening so we can find out at the same time. I want us to find out together, as we would have had we waited until birth day.

All this assumes, of course, that baby isn't shy about displaying his anatomy.

I'm excited. This feels like Christmas Eve, back when presents were surprises. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

a little different this time

Did you know that peanut butter can trigger heartburn? I never had heartburn before, and since I continue to slather sandwiches with Wickles hot pepper relish (try it! It's delicious) and enjoy them with impunity, it didn't occur to me that something as innoccuous as peanut butter could cause pain. Garlic has become a minor issue too, but so far the heartburn is nothing a few generic Tums can't handle.

There was a time when I was pregnant with Charlotte that C tried to pursuade me to let us find out her gender before her birth day. I won (not that it was any sort of contest), and Charlotte's identity remained a mystery until we saw her face-to-face for the first time. This time, it looks like we'll be finding out early. I "let" C have his way and at next week's 19-week u/s, if the baby isn't excessively modest, we'll find out if Charlotte will have a baby sister or baby brother. C is trying to rationalize, emphasizing how much easier the transition to big sister will be for Charlotte if she knows the baby's name ahead of time. I think he has a point, but I also believe he just really wants to know.

In Charlotte news, her vocabulary continues to expand on a daily, almost hourly basis. At the grocery store last week, I let her hold the bag of onions (until she tried to take a bit out of one) and told her what they were. She rode around the store in the cart singing "un-un." Tonight, I shared some spaghetti with her and she called it "adetti." She calls out, "Simba (she says his full name now), warrooo?" when she can't find the cat ("where are you?"). She crawls underneath anything she can fit under, then peeks out and announces, "Under!" Each day, there's some different toy that she needs to "bring" everywhere she goes- "Bring book!" or "Bring duck!" When she really really wants something, she "NEEDs" it, spoken with a tinge of desperation... as if to say "why have you not handed this to me already?" She can say and correctly point to her eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, teeth, tongue, ears, eyebrows, neck, head, hair, back, arm, leg, sleeve, elbow, tushie, knee, foot, toe, ankle, and heel. Most surprisingly, she can count to 13! C and I usually get her started and prompt a number or two along the way, but once she reaches 5 she handles the rest completely on her own. The first time she did it, we couldn't believe our ears. I don't think she can identify actual numerals, but she knows that three is more than two. Just ask her how many cookies she'd like to eat.

Lemonade is still her favorite drink, and she can say it now without the extra syllables in the middle. Whenever she sees a ball, she tells me to kick it. We went to the library yesterday and she insisted we should find "bunny books!" so we came home with Peter Rabbit and a horrid book called Bunny Days (do you want to read about bunnies that get put in the washing machine, sucked into a vaccuum cleaner, and have their tails chopped off with garden shears?), as well as a couple of others. She loves to dance and spin when music is playing, and announce that she's dancing or spinning while she does it. We have a favorite song from a Sesame Street episode that we can listen and dance to again and again and again (What I am, performed by Will-i-am and the SS puppets- check it out. It's catchy and positive and exactly what I want my daughter to listen to). Soetimes she "needs" her "tu-tu" "on" while she dances. Her first 4-word sentence was, "Grandma read Elmo book." My parents babysit every afternoon while I work at my p/t, seasonal, low-paying but super-fun job, so she knows they're coming and makes plans for them.

My mind is a jumble now... I just realized I can't write a focused paragraph, so I'll end here and go to bed. Let's just say that 17 1/2 months is more fun than I imagined, and the fun increases every day.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Baby #2's nursery decor

The art:








...and the mobile:



I love Etsy!

one at 17 months, the other at 15 weeks

The big kid is continuing to amaze us at every turn. She can repeat nearly every word we say to her, and more of them stick than we thought possible. Charlotte has begun telling us (asking us?) to do things- "Daddy, grass, no!" means, "Daddy, please mow the lawn. The grass is so tall it trips me." "Hungry, eat, please, lemonade," means "I'm famished and need to eat NOW, and I need some lemonade, please." "Read Elmo Grandma, please," is "Read me the Elmo book that Grandma gave me, please." I'm awed by the fact that, 9 times out of ten, when she gets fussy I ask her to tell me in words what's wrong, and she calms right down and tells me!

It often takes an hour or more for Charlotte to fall asleep, even when she's noticeably tired. She's content to play in her crib, babbling with her caterpillar, lambie, and babies. Sometimes, she'll holler, "Momma, Daddy. Momma, Daddy!" But I think she's just checking to see if we'll come get her like we do in the morning (I usually wait to get her out of bed in the AM until she calls us to get her). When she gets no response, she goes back to her toys. We're still on 2 naps each day, except on the rare occasion when she sleeps until 7:30 in the morning- then we skip the AM nap. She's usually up at 6, and out of her crib by 6:30. I'd like to drop the morning nap soon, though, because I start a new job this week which will have me gone from 1:15 until 6:30 every day, and I don't want her to sleep away so much of the limited time we have together. It's also tough to squeeze in our trips to the grocery store, music class, and library story hour when the morning is interrupted for naptime. I may experiment with skipping the morning nap for the next few days to see what happens. We'll just move the afternoon one up from 2:00 to noon.

Charlotte knows, but doesn't necessarily understand, that there's a baby in Momma's belly. When she's on the changing table, she likes to reach over and pull up my shirt so she can kiss my belly. When we tell her she's going to be a wonderful big sister, she smiles and nods like she actually understands what we're saying.

Nursery prepaprations have begun. I selected some art from etsy and a terrific artist made a coordinating mobile for me (photos to follow in a separate post). The room is currently our office, and chock full of paperwork, computers, printers, desks, etc. It's also home to the litter box, so we'll need to get the cats used to finding that somewhere else well before Baby arrives. Our home's previous owners painted the room pink, with blue sky and puffy white clouds on the ceiling. We need to do a complete paint job. That's part of why Charlotte is in the room she has... we didn't want to empty out and paint the office at the time.

The second trimester has settled in already. The nausea and exhaustion are gone, although I still indulge in a little afternoon nap now and then. I haven't felt any movement yet, but heard a big one last week while listening to the heartbeat on the doppler with my midwife. Because I had GD with Charlotte, I was tested early for it this time. I'm happy to report that I passed, with plenty of room to spare. I'm off the hook until 26 weeks, when they'll test again. We passed on the "sequential screening" for DS. The process caused us a lot of unnecessary stress last time, and since the results are far from definitive we just don't see the point in putting ourselves through it again. So, there was no NT scan. I did have a "size/gestational age" ultrasound at 12 weeks, though, and Baby was measuring 2 days ahead (aka perfect). I'll meet with an MFM and have a level 2 u/s at 19 weeks, but won't have the bloodwork done that was part of sequential screening. When offered, we'll also decline the amnio. This baby is what he is (it's an odd date, so today the baby is HE), and no amount of testing can reveal the complexity of just who that's going to be.

I suspect, already, that this one's a boy. We will not be finding out before birth-day, but this pregnancy just feels different than my first. I know, I don't have a lot of experience. Some of the differences... 1) I've gained weight more rapidly than with Charlotte (14 pounds already); 2) Baby's heart rate is significantly lower than Charlotte's at this stage (143 bpm at 14w5d); 3) I've developed a little bit of acne, while I had super-clear skin while pregnant with Charlotte; 4) Milder nausea, but more constant, this time than last; 5) my belly is flat- it protrudes, just as you'd expect of someone who's pregnant, but the front surface is completely flat. I was very round with Charlotte, like carrying a watermelon; 6) I've gained weight all around my torso, instead of just in front. So, there you go... my first prediction. I wonder how many times I'll change it before we meet Baby.

I feel great now that the "flu" of the first trimester has passed. Most of the time, I don't feel pregnant at all. I've lost my taste for coffee (again), but have no real aversions or cravings to report. I'm terribly thirsty, but that could be becaue it's summer. None of my clothes fit comfortably and I'm trying to get by without buying much of anything since summer will be over soon. I can wear what I wore with Charlotte once the weather cools a bit. Bras are the biggest issue now, actually. There's not enough room between boob and belly for underwire, and I have yet to find a reasonably supportive no-wire bra. All the bras I began wearing when I stopped breastfeeding are too small in the band, while all the ones I wore before & during my first pregnancy are too big in the band.

Charlotte's finally napping (took her 45 minutes to fall asleep this time), so I will too. Be well everyone!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

sweet sixteen

...months, that is.

Charlotte continues to amaze me. The whole walking thing is old hat now, and she doesn't seem to care what sort of terrain she's on or if there's any kind of slope. She even tries to take the stairs with just her two feet, although about halfway up, she usually gives in and uses one knee and one foot. She won't even try to walk down stairs, or crawl down them. We're trying to teach her to slide down on her belly, but she'll only go down a step or two before heading back up again.

Baby Signing Time has been replaced by Elmo (pronounced "M'Elmo") as her entertainment of choice. She's utterly mesmerized by him. She can name several other Sesame Street characters too- Ernie, Abby, and Mr. Noodle being her other favorites. We still watch BST a couple of times each week, but now that she knows all the signs it doesn't seem to interest her as much as it used to. I'm trying to decide where to dive into the Signing Time series, since the first several videos re-cap the BST signs. Should I introduce her to the more "mature" format with signs she recognizes, or should I jump to new signs and hope the format isn't over her head? Either way, I love being able to communicate with her. She makes her wants known, with both signs and spoken words, and sometimes even tells me things ("grass wet" "milk cold").

New spoken words are sprouting up every day. Today's gem was "money." We have a wedding to attend on Saturday and needed a new shirt and tie for C, so we went shopping today. Charlotte brought her money (pillow-like coins in a clear vinyl change purse), and rode around in the cart waving it at everyone, saying "Hi! Money!" Another recent favorite is "lemon-emon-emon-ade" for her newly-discovered beverage of choice, lemonade. She's absolutely crazy about "bewwies (berries)," and is in for a rude awakening now that the last of the backyard blackberries have been picked. She loves to play "ah-ide (outside, simultaneously signed and spoken)," especially is we blow some "bubbles," which are fun to "pop, pop, pop!" She signs and says "ang oooo (thank you)" at appropriate times, completely unprompted, which makes me inordinately proud.

Physically, she's still on the small side but has gotten noticeably taller in the last month. Suddenly, she stretches her 12-month clothes to their vertical limits. The size 3 1/2 shoes that I bought on her birthday no longer fit. And my next diaper order is for size 4's because the 3's have become low-riders on her narrow hips.

We're still (happily) a 2-naps-a-day household, following a roughly 2-3-4 waking schedule- Up for 2 hours, then nap #1. Up for 3 hours, then nap #2. Up for 4 hours, then down for the night. She consistently goes to bed between 7 and 7:30 each night, and sleeps until 6-6:30. Sometimes, she goes willingly into her crib for a nap and then plays for an hour before falling asleep. But, as long as she's content and some napping takes place, I'm keeping both naps. I need them. I shower and clean up the breakfast dishes during nap #1, and take a nap myself during nap #2. I do look forward to losing the morning nap, though, because it will open up such a big chunk of the day for running errands or going out to play before it gets too hot. I'd love to take Charlotte to the zoo, aquarium, or children's museum, but it's tough to schedule such an outing between naps and meals.

Egad. It's late and I'm exhausted. More another time. Be well, all!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

good good good

Charlotte finally decided that walking is fun. On Saturday, 6/25, she made the switch from crawling and hasn't looked back since. Shoes, no shoes. Indoors or out. She's comfortable on two feet and loves that she can easily carry things in her hands while making her way. My back is thankful, but her fearlessness at the beach and on playgrounds sometimes makes my heart skip a beat. I love just sitting back and watching her walk wherever she wants (within reason). The confident smile on her face is priceless. Her 8th tooth finally broke through on the same day.


We made the 15-month visit to the pedi. Charlotte is the epitome of health, albeit on the petite side. She's a little more than 19 pounds (5th percentile). I didn't notice her height (15th percentile) because she was trying to wriggle off the measuring mat. She absolutely hated going to the doc this time and started crying as soon as we walked into an exam room. As a result, we decided to skip the scheduled shots. We'll have to go back soon to catch up, and I think the only one due at her 18-mo visit will be an early flu shot.



We bought Charlotte a new t-shirt...
...with the intention of subtley announcing the pregnancy by visiting various friends and family while she wore it. We couldn't keep the news to ourselves, though, especially since I already look pregnant (I think). We ended up telling our closest friends and family at 8 weeks, and then posted this photo on FB for the rest of the world to see.

This first trimester is kicking my butt. I'm perpetually exhausted, and have had mild but non-stop nausea for about 3 weeks now. I compared morning sickness to a hangover when I was pregnant with Charlotte. This time, it feels like the flu. It's been a fairly warm summer so far, which isn't helping at all. I'd love to take Charlotte to the beach every day so we can both cool off, but the amount of gear involved makes it more of an ordeal than I can handle that frequently. Instead, we have an inflatable kiddie pool in the backyard, and now that she's walking I may put out a sprinkler (the lawn can sure use it).

I'd mention something about eating and sleeping habits, but she's just waking up. Time for breakfast!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

vocabulary update, now with spoken words

Anyone who'd prefer not to read about a babbling toddler, but who's interested in the progress of an IVF pregnancy, please redirect yourself here.

Charlotte has not repeated her walking feat since Memorial Day. She's consistent about wanting to hold just one hand, actually just one finger, while traipsing around the house. And she's taken a few solo steps here and there, but nothing like she did on Memorial Day. "They" say that kids tend to develop either their motor skills or their verbal ones first, while the other lags a bit. This little girl has definitely been focused on the verbal side of things.

As far as signing goes, she's mastered nearly every sign in the Baby Signing Time series. "New" seems to be a tough one for her to understand, but when she hears Raffi singing "Day-o," she sings and signs "day" right along with the music. Same for "baby" in Baby Beluga. She made up her own sign for "wet," reaching up to touch my hair if I say the word because of the times I've gotten her up from a nap with my hair still wet from the shower. I found a TV show that often includes sign language and taped a couple of episodes, from which we both learned signs for "boy," "girl," "sit," "stand," "on," "off," and a few others. There's really no doubt what she's signing now, and I think even someone unfamiliar with her toddler interpretation of signs would be able to understand most of what she signs.

Verbally, she's become a sing-song chatterbox. The intonations make it sound like she's really saying something in complete thoughts and sentences, but "real" words pop up only once in a while during her conversations with herself (or her toys). Her favorite word by far is "baby," which she coincidentally introduced on the day we got our BFP. She tries to imitate our words, and has been pretty successful with many of them.
Some of her current spoken words:
day
dog
night
apple
berry (boy does she love blueberries and strawberries!)
bed
baby
Bobby
no
knee
back
nose
eye
eat
ball
rabbit
toe
bath
bubble
on
up
down
mama
dad
pool
beach
big
sleep
bee (or B, for Bruins... yay, Bruins!)
bear
lamb
sheep
boat

I'm sure I've left out a few, but she adds new ones every day so it's hard to keep track. She loves music, and has recently asked to listen to Antje Duvekot at nap and bedtime (with only three CDs in her room, it's that, Bruce Cockburn, or Mozart. I think Antje's cover is the most interesting-looking.). We've been going to Music Together classes since January and she really enjoys making music, dancing, and interacting with the other kids. Anyone roughly her size or smaller gets air-kisses and is excitedly called "baby." The other children seem a bit smitten with her and follow her around... even though she crawls and many of them are 2 or 3 years old.

I guess this is kind of a 15-month update. I just realized she turns 15 tomorrow. Wow... time is still flying, and I wonder how that will affect my perception of this pregnancy.

Sunday, we were picking out Fathers Day cards when she spotted one with the picture of a crying baby on it. She insisted on hugging and kissing the baby, and the one on the card behind the first one, to make him feel better. She truly seemed bothered by the fact that he wasn't happier after her affection.

Charlotte is about 30 inches tall, and weighs about 20 pounds now. She is solidly into 12-month sizes, although some 9- and 18-mo items fit too. She's still in size 3 diapers, but we had to upgrade to "overnights" at night because she was soaking through the regular ones.

Charlotte eats pretty much anything. She's willing to taste anything new, especially if she sees me eat it first. When she doesn't like something, she swallows it quickly to get it out of her mouth, which means she doesn't chew it so she gags on it and then spits it back up. I hope she learns soon how to just spit something out if she doesn't like it so we can skip the gagging/spit-up drama and mess. She takes all her beverages from sippies with straws now, with occasional attempts to drink from a "big girl" cup. Not a lot of success there- she likes to put the cup under her lip so most of the liquid pours down her chin. When she concentrates on it, though, she is quite capable of drinking from a regular cup.
Until a week or so ago, her normal meal schedule was 8oz of whole milk upon waking, followed by a bowl of 7-grain cereal with fruit after her morning nap. Lately, though, milk has not been enough first-thing in the morning, so she gets some yogurt or fruit along with it. Lunch is usually a deconstructed sandwich or yogurt+wheat germ, plus some cut up veggie and fruit and milk. She's not always interested in a snack after her afternoon nap, but I always offer her some fruit, cheese, crackers, or toast. Dinner can be just about anything, especially if there's sauce for her to dip things in. She loves chicken, fish, pasta, meatballs, and pizza. Broccoli is her favorite vegetable, so I have to admit we serve that to her often. Chopped-up tomatoes are a hit too, sometimes. It's not easy to find organic veggies that make good finger-foods, but our CSA will help with that starting this week. All-told, she drinks 16-24oz of milk every day. She has a cup of water available to her all the time too. We haven't done much with juices- C and I don't usually drink juice, so we haven't encouraged Charlotte to. We prefer to give her lots of fresh fruit for snacks and "dessert." Charlotte is absolutely crazy for strawberries and blueberries, and watermelon was a big hit, as has been mango. Apples are especially enjoyed if she and I share one, taking turns taking bites, but applesauce is yummy too. Charlotte's biggest meal of the day is usually after her morning nap, at around 10am, and then she just nibbles the rest of the day.

Socially, Charlotte ADORES people. She says "Hi" and waves to everyone we pass. We're hardly out of the car anywhere we go before she starts making friends. She's noticeably disappointed when someone doesn't return her greeting or at least smile at her. She doesn't seem to have any stranger anxiety, but that's when I'm around. I suspect she might react differently if I weren't. At music class this week, she crawled over to another mom (whose son had wandered off to look in a mirror), reached up to take her hands, and led her around the room for a couple of minutes. And this was at a make-up class, with parents and kids we'd never met before.

In addition to babies, Charlotte loves rocks. At the beach, she likes to stand in the water and pick up the biggest rocks she can handle, then give them to me to toss them back in the water with a big splash. In our stone driveway, she likes to fill my hands with rocks, then relocate them to some other place... like the lawn or the front walk.
She likes to sit in my kayak in the back yard, then test her limits by standing up and telling me, "No," when I remind her that she needs to sit, not stand, in a kayak. She does that with chairs too... stand up, then tell me "No," as she sits down again. It's as though she wants to make sure the rules have not changed. The "No," isn't a challenge or a "No, I won't" kind of thing- more like she's demonstrating to me what should not be done.

Geez- there's so much to say about this wonderful little girl. But I need to take a shower before she wakes up, so I'll end it here. She continues to be the source of much amazement and joy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

perfect

6w4d u/s

HR 115 bpm

Measuring 6 weeks (Charlotte started off slowly too).

Singleton.

Hurray!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

BFP

11DP2DT- thrilled doesn't begin to say it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

memorable weekend

Anyone who'd rather forego the amused ramblings of a toddler-mom and go straight to the IVF cycle details, please redirect here.

I am weak. I knew it was too early, yet P'dOAS anyhow. Not just once. Twice. I still have one left, and intend to use it tomorrow morning. So far, they're been negative and I'm convincing myself that it's still too early for an HPT to yield any other result. My beta is scheduled for Friday. There's plenty of time for a +HPT between now and then.

The big news this holiday weekend is that Charlotte started walking! She's been walking steadily, holding anyone's hands, since October or thereabouts. She's been cruising like a champ since Thanksgiving or earlier. She took her first unassistend (yet totally provoked) steps months ago, and had taken a few unprompted ones on occasion. This afternoon, she was suddenly confident enough to walk around the house holding just one hand. We've been trying to get her to do that for what seems like forever, both because we knew she could do it and to save our aching backs. Then, this evening, she stood up (using nothing to assist her, which she's been doing for a month now), looked at me with a sly grin, and started walking across the room. She paused halfway to her destination to look over her shoulder as if to verify she had an audience, then finished the trip. No stutter-steps. No hesitation. No stiff-legged newbie-walker strides. She WALKED. Like a kid who knows how to walk.

No positive pregnancy test this weekend, but we officially have a toddler in the house now. I'm happy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

28 retrieved. 4 fertilized.

2-day transfer on Saturday afternoon. I guess I can't ignore my age forever.

Friday, May 13, 2011

plugging along and hoping for the best

On the IVF front, we're on CD7 now and I continue my high dose Gonal-F through the morning of CD9. An u/s and some b/w on CD9 will likely lead to tweaking my dose, but the b/w this morning yielded no change. I'm bloated, so I know something is happening. And the CM... well, even this early, let's just say it's there. But I'm apparently not responding like I did two years ago. Somehow, I thought I would even though time and age should have lowered my expectations a bit. I'm still optimistic, but not expecting the same dramatic numbers we saw in 2009. Maybe that will make this easier- I won't be surrounded by doctors and nurses saying "FREEZE ALL!" and I won't have to worry so much about OHSS.

Anyone want to guess how the cycle will go this time? In 2009, during the cycle that worked, we ended up with 40 eggs retrieved on CD12. 24 were mature, and 15 fertilized. We transferred 5 embryos on CD15, which led to a singleton pregnancy and a +HPT at 9DP3DT. My guess... 31 follicles on CD12: 19 mature, of which 11 will fertilize, and we'll again transfer 5 on CD15. I like prime numbers.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I've been had (amended)

SHOP AROUND for your drugs!

There was a Freedom Fertility Pharmacy pamphlet at the RE's office, and it indicated that their prices were available online. So, I looked. I paid over $1200 for each 900U Gonal-F pen (I paid half that... insurance covered the rest). Freedom sells them for $780**. You'd think the RE would have known such price discrepancies exist, and would have warned me or at least advised me to look around before they placed the order!

Is the RE getting a kickback from my pharmacy?

** I just looked more closely at Freedom's web site. The "current" prices that they published were current as of October 2009. I sent them an email requesting truly current prices for the drugs I am using and will withold judgement of all parties involved until I find out of their actual prices are similar to what I was charged. I'll let y'all know what I learn.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

down

I'm feeling pretty glum. Shelled out >$3k for the stims. The house needs a new roof. Fuel prices have completely eradicated our business profits. And remember that interview I had at the beginning of March- the one with the company that laid me off? Well, I didn't get the job (old news- I've known that for over a month), but BOTH of the other interviewees did. They said there was just one opening, but somehow, they're both emailing from a work email address now. Three people interviewed for one job, and I'm the only one still unemployed.

Yes, I tend to focus on the silver lining in every scenario. I treasure the time I have with Charlotte. And in an ideal world, I'd stay home with her voluntarily. But we really can't afford this right now. And I am terrified that something may happen to C. If he's out of work for any reason, we're sunk... completely. I'm approaching the 6-month mark. Interviews on NPR with employers repeated over and over that when someone becomes "long-term unemployed," they're even less likely to find a job or be seen as desirable by a potential employer. "Long-term" begins at 6 months.

I've said before that I should start buying lottery tickets. I was joking then. I think I may actually buy some now.

Monday, April 25, 2011

a breakthrough?

If you're here to follow IVF progress and would rather not read about a near toddler, please redirect yourself here. Thanks!

Tonight, for the first time since early January, Charlotte went to bed without protest! Not only that, she actually leaned out of my arms toward her crib as we stood beside it saying "Goodnight!" to all her toys. It was about 45 minutes past her usual bedtime, and she'd just taken a bath, AND she had a messed up nap schedule today, so I'm sure she was completely exhausted. I hope this marks the end of the "I don't wanna sleep!" phase.

In other news, her vocabulary continues to expand. The other day, we were "walking" down the hall when I asked her to help me put her toys away. She let go of my hands (she's not walking solo yet), sat down, and signed "help." Then she reached up for my hands so we could walk some more as though nothing remarkable had happened. She'd only just been introduced to the sign that morning, and I didn't know it had sunk in. Amazing. She also learned BOY, GIRL, and COOKIE that day.

That's all I have in me right now. I'll write a more involved 13-month post soon. G'night!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

it's all good

Anyone stopping by from CycleSista who doesn't want to read about life with an almost-toddler, but who is interested in hearing about an IVF cycle that's just getting under way, please go to this page. Thanks!


Everything has fallen nicely into place for our IVF cycle. My body jumped immediately back into my usual rhythm and today is CD7. Lupron will begin on CD22, assuming the CD21 BW results are acceptable. C had blood drawn for the requisite STD testing, and I had a mammo on Tuesday. My last pap was less than a year ago, so that requirement is filled as well. These steps all felt like major roadblocks last time, but now that I'm familiar with them, and the RE's office informed me of them all at once instead of peppering me with them one at a time just as I thought I'd finished jumping through all the hoops... Let's just say that I feel calm and prepared this time.





In other news, we celebrated Charlotte's first birthday with our closest family and friends last Sunday. I rented an indoor soccer field and bought 75 beach balls, which turned out to be all that 24 kids needed to have a good time for an hour. Then we had cake, and that was it. Party over. I baked all week and stressed about whether or not there's be enough cake for everyone, but we ended up begging people to take some home. Here are some highlights...


Charlotte seemed to enjoy wearing the tutu I made for her. Here she is, crawling around the soccer field after the big kids.




Charlotte decided that she really likes cake.



One of the big cakes. We had a ladybug theme (my MIL had a thing for ladybugs). I made three big cakes, plus one small one for Charlotte to tear into. I'm proud of how everything turned out, but have to admit it was very easy to do. If you want to know how, just ask. Same goes for the tutu- very easy, and with adorable results.


We're still struggling with sleep as Charlotte is content to fall asleep in my arms or lap, but insists it's the end of the world when I put her in the crib. It's not the crib that she hates, though, because she's perfectly happy to play in it for a while upon waking. She's not walking yet, but has come very close and can raise herself to standing without walls or toys or anything else to push up from. New words in the last week or so include SHARE, GRASS, ON, OFF, LEAF, TREE, DAY, and Grandpa (which I think she's been signing for months, but now it's exactly as demonstrated in the videos). She's trying to sound out words all the time, too, and has spoken "all done" more than once but isn't consistent with it yet. She signs "POTTY" when her diaper is poopy now, too. I'm so in awe and in love with this little person!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

another cycle, another blog...

I kind of goofed, and I hope anyone landing here from CycleSista can forgive me. I did not mean to link to this blog, which has become more of a parenting/watching my daughter grow page than an IF story. I started a new blog to chronicle the nuts and bolts of our efforts to turn Charlotte into a big sister. The commentary for that may end up here, or it may land on the new blog. I just don't know where would be more appropriate. I have made some "friends (if I may call you that, dear people who have been following and commenting for a while now)," and don't want to leave them in the dark about what's going on. At the same time, I don't want newcomers having to read parenting stories while facing their own IF struggles. I guess that I will, while cycling, include a link to the new blog at the beginning of each post here. Visitors who don't want to read about my life as a mom can skip to the other page without having to read any further than the first sentence. Still here?

Monday, April 4, 2011

current vocabulary

I need to make a list to document this, since I haven't written it down anywhere else. Charlotte's current signing vocabulary includes: DOG CAT BIRD FISH BEAR EAT DRINK APPLE MILK BANANA CRACKER MORE ALL-DONE PLEASE THANK-YOU HOT COLD UP DOWN MOMMY DADDY HAPPY SAD SLEEP OWIE/HURT TRAIN CAR BUS BOAT RAIN SNOW WIND CLOUD YES (nods her head, not the ASL sign) NO (shakes her head, not ASL) BOOK WASH-HANDS BRUSH TEETH SHOES SOCKS POTTY FRIEND She may not fully understand some of them, like friend, but some she uses all by herself to tell us something. For example, today we were in a store. She had her jacket on, and the store was pretty warm. Charlotte started signing "HOT," all by herself, not in answer to a question. I was amazed. And at dinner tonight, I offered her more soup and she responded with "sssssooooo (her way of saying soup)" and the sign for happy. Soup makes her happy, I guess. Blogger keeps removing all my formatting. Sorry about the lengthy run-on list.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

another blog... Project Sibling

I've created another blog to track the progress on Project Sibling. There will be spillover and overlap, I'm sure. Oddly enough, when I looked on CycleSista, I found several other bloggers just beginning a first IVF cycle for baby #2. I feel like part of a generation, as opposed to a solo oddball. Anyhow, I suspect the new blog will be just for stats and numbers and dosages and such. Right now, I'm waiting for AF so we can launch into the cycle for real. I still expect it in about a week, but I think clomid added a couple of days to my cycle back when I took it before, so AF may be slightly delayed for that reason. We'll see. I'm a lot more laid back, relaxed, and calm about this cycle... for now. I attribute that more to experience than to already having a baby in my life. I know what to expect, for the most part, and should not be blindsided by anything this time around.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

ONE

It's official. Our baby is a whole year old (plus two days already). We made the 12-month visit to her ped today. 17 pounds 10 ounces and 28.5 inches tall. I asked the ped which growth charts he uses and learned that his are not specific to breastfed babies, so of course his percentiles don't match up with what I find on the W.H.O web site. Regardless of her percentiles (which I didn't even bother to remember), he agreed that she looks healthy and is hitting all the usual milestones on time. He almost-sort-of apologized for suggesting supplementing at our last visit.

Charlotte has 7 teeth now, and seems to be working on some more. Drooling kicked up another notch yesterday, and her fingers are spending a lot of time in her mouth again.

Charlotte had a very long and trying day today, which turned out to be a temporary solution to the sleep/cry problem. I woke her up 45 minutes early this morning so I could drop her off at her old daycare while I visited the RE. The daycare has openings a couple of days each week and accepts drop-ins at an hourly rate. Since she's been having issues with naps, I told the teacher not to bother putting Charlotte down for one. Instead, I picked her up an hour after her usual nap time and drove around for 75 minutes so she could sleep in the car until her ped appointment. She had two vaccinations/immunizations today, and took them really well. She yelled at each needle stick, but calmed quickly afterwards and was smiley-happy again by the time I'd put her pants back on. Shots always wear Charlotte out. Even after a decent nap this afternoon, she was exhausted by 5:30 and asleep in my lap by 6:15. I sat and rocked her awhile to make sure she was deeply asleep, then moved her into her crib without disturbing her at all. No tears tonight. Hurray for all of us!

Charlotte still drinks 20-24 ounces of breastmilk (frozen/thawed) daily, and I think there's enough in the freezer to last about two more weeks. Her daily eat/sleep routine is generally something like this...

6:30 am- 8oz breastmilk upon waking;
8-9:30- nap;
9:30- 7-grain cereal with mashed banana and tahini, about 2/3 cup, washed down with 4oz breastmilk;
12:30- bread, cheese, fruit, and vegetables (she loves peas now that they're not mush)- usually all as finger-foods so she can feed herself- with 2oz breastmilk;
1:30-3- nap
3:30- snack of yogurt with fruit and wheat germ mixed in, plus 2oz breastmilk;
5:30- soup and a cracker or two, with 8oz breastmilk of which she usually drinks 3-4oz;
6:45- the rest of the breastmilk that she started with dinner.
7:00- bed.

All-told, I dump 2-4oz of breastmilk every day just because she doesn't always finish all that I prepare for her. I learned, though, that she completely loses interest in milk when forced to wait for a refill. She drinks more, and wastes less, when I offer a little more than I think she'll drink. She drinks all her milk from a sippy, and water from a toddler cup with a straw. We practive using a "big girl cup" every day, and she does well getting water into her mouth. Then, she seems to decide she's not thirsty after all and opens her mouth so the water streams out. Some days, she has a huge appetite and eats more than I thought she could hold. Other days, she's not so interested in food and pushes everything away after a couple of bites. It helps that she can sign "all done," and knows what it means so she can tell us when she's finished versus when she just wants something besides what's in front of her. She is not afraid to try any food I put in front of her, and only eggs have met with a consistently negative reaction.

As far as talking goes, she knows and uses about 25 signs, and has begun imitating her video while watching it. She doesn't seem to learn new signs as quickly as they're presented, but she tries them out and it seems a new one or two stick every day. Yesterday, she learned "snow." Other recent additions are hot, cold, rain, up, and down. She loves to imitate sounds, especially ssssss and shhhhh when we say words like soup or fish. She tells our cats to get "dow" when they climb on the table.

Waterbabies continues to be great fun, although I liked the teacher in the first session a lot better. Music class is a blast- Charlotte is so confident that she crawls right up to the bigger kids and their parents and grunts or smiles to introduce herself. She spends as much time cruising around the room as singing and dancing with me. She has yet to demonstrate any stranger anxiety at all, although if I am in the room she demands to be the center of my attention.

Charlotte is still sooooo close to walking, but not doing it on her own yet. She moves faster and leans on my hands less every day when we walk together, but freezes up as soon as I let go. She can stand on her own for over a minute, bend down to pick something up off the floor then return to standing, and eat/drink/play while standing alone. I'm still hopeful that she'll be walking by her birthday party on 4/10.

Here are some pictures...
11-month caterpillar shot. She's no longer willing to lie beside the caterpillar, so this was the best I could wrangle.

The train was her birthday present, and she loves to run back and forth across her bedroom pushing it, but she doesn't know how to turn it around or steer. In this photo, she's standing alone and playing peek-a-boo with the train.
The weather finally turned spring-like, so Charlotte got to try out the swings and slides at a local park. She LOVED them! We'll be back there often, maybe daily, when the spring finally settles in for real.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

no sleep without tears

Once upon a time, Charlotte would lie down willingly in her crib when she was tired and go to sleep without any fanfare or fuss. Her signals were clear- when she was tired, she'd rub her eyes or yawn. She'd sleep well and (usually) long. We were very very lucky, and we knew it.

Charlotte's a big girl now. Since she was about 10 months old, she has not gone to bed willingly. Not once. It all started when she had a fever and was teething. She stopped sleeping through the night for about 6 weeks, waking with screams and cries that convinced us she needed help getting back to dreamland. We held her and cuddled, nursed a bit, but invariably she'd reach the point where she seemed as miserable in our arms as in her crib. We finally realized she'd fall asleep faster in the crib, and would stay asleep if we didn't have to relocate her to the crib from our arms. So, when her second round of tears began, we'd place her gently in the crib and hastily exit the room. She would cry for a few minutes (sometimes very obviously FAKE tears, with dramatic pauses to listen for a response from us), then fall asleep. Sometimes, she'd go silent as soon as the door clicked shut (closed to keep the cats out of her room, a cat-free zone).

The last 4 weeks have taken nap and bedtime to a whole new level of drama. The crying and screaming have intensified, but she still falls silently asleep within about 3 minutes of the door closing. She knows when she's tired, but will not willingly lie down for nap or bedtime. The fact that she does calm herself and fall fairly quickly asleep has kept me sane, but I wish I knew how to help her enjoy going to sleep again. We have a routine that we always follow- read a few stories, sing a couple of songs, then wave goodnight to the mobile, the trees outside her window, the clock, the sun or moon. Some more cuddles and kisses, and then she starts her tantrum as soon as we approach the crib. We tried letting her stay awake longer, hoping that being more tired would eventually lead her to ask for bed. Overtired just made it worse.

My question for you- is this a phase? Did your child do anything similar? Is there a way to skip the drama and go straight to the sleeping peacefully part? My husband only witnesses this once each day, when we put Charlotte down for the night (she's back to sleeping from 7pm to 6:30 am, thankfully), so he doesn't think it's a problem. I witness this three times each day, and it's breaking my heart to see her so miserable. Three minutes feels like forever when my baby is wailing.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

unexpected warm welcome

A few of you dear readers have been following along since before Charlotte was conceived. Some of you may have jumped in further along our journey, but read back to our early days of TTC. If you fall into either of those camps, you may recall the less-than-rosy picture I painted of the RE's office staff. Honestly, I never felt welcomed there and it always seemed that they didn't care one way or another about the results of our efforts.


Imagine my surprise, then, upon being greeted warmly by pretty much everyone in the office today! They all wanted to see pictures of Charlotte, but all I had was my "dumb" cell phone with one blurry and too-small photo as background. I never sent them a birth announcement, a Christmas card, or any pictures because it never occurred to me that they'd care. It started with the woman sitting at the front desk, the wonderful lady who coordinates all the insurance details who was the first to suggest I buy individual health insurance that would cover IVF. She remembered me! Then, the RE was all smiles and happiness- asking about Charlotte and how I was enjoying being a parent, commenting on my weight loss (and off-handedly dismissing any concerns I expressed about potentially diminished fertility as a result of waiting until Charlotte was a year old before starting anything- THANK YOU!).


The nurse who explained the next few steps to me claimed to remember me, congratulated me on Charlotte's existence, and coo'd over the cell-phone photo. The phlebotomist said she thought Charlotte could only be 4 or 5 months old by now, not almost a year already. Nothing but good vibes there today. What a welcome relief! I was expecting them not to remember me at all, or to recall only the negative interactions we'd had.


Then we got down to business..


First off, my body (I LOVE my body right now...) is cooperating perfectly. AF began yesterday. The RE wants me to complete the Clomid Challenge (to check ovarian reserve), so they were able to draw CD3 blood today, on CD2. I'll take clomid on CD5-9, then go back for another blood draw on CD10. Also on CD10, an office hysteroscopy to take a look at my uterus. Assuming all that goes well, we'll follow the same protocol as last time with lupron starting on CD22 of the next cycle (this one will be tainted by clomid). I need to schedule a mammogram before lupron starts because they won't cycle without mammography results that are less than 2 years old. My last mammo was in January 2009, when we first started working with the RE.

Since I like to have at least a basic idea of what will happen when, I made the calculations. I'm guessing that my body will return to old rhythms. So, the next CD1 will be around 4/8. Lupron would begin 4/29. Another CD1 on roughly 5/8. ER was on CD12 last time, which would put it on about 5/19, with ET on 5/22. This is for you, Charlotte!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

how we're learning to sign


I've not received any compensation from these folks, but I highly recommend their videos. There are CDs and flash cards available too, but I haven't tried those yet. The songs are very catchy and easy to sing along. Each sign is demonstrated by an adult as well as by several children, then reinforced with both animated and real-life images. In addition to developing a vocabulary, Charlotte seems to understand that her motions can communicate. I often see her moving her hands in ways that look very intentional but don't resemble any of the signs we've learned. She may be making up her own. I love being able to converse with her!

Monday, March 7, 2011

oh yeah, the stats

I forgot to mention Charlotte's stats for the 11 month update, so here they are...
She wears some 9-month, but mostly 12-month clothing.
I estimate that she weighs around 19 pounds, probably just under. At her 9-month ped appointment, the doc expressed concern over her weight because she dropped from the 25th to the 10th percentile or something like that. I looked it up, and I don't know what chart he's using because she was right on the 25% curve as far as I could tell (WHO growth chart). I took offense with his backhanded suggestion to supplement with formula ("I recommended that to another mother, and the baby improved (gained a lot of weight).") and canceled the follow-up weigh-in. She's learning something new every day, eats as much and as often as she wants, is a happy and active baby, and simply looks healthy. I know I'm not a professional, but I am not worried about her weight. Babies come in all shapes, y'know!
Food is a lot of fun... I read Super Baby Food (bits and pieces of it, during Charlotte's naps) for some ideas on what makes a balanced diet for a baby. We start each day with 6-8 ounces of breast milk (frozen/thawed... we stopped BFing on 2/15)- 8 ounces in the sippy, and she drinks as much as she wants but never quite finishes it off. Sometimes, that's all she wants but other times we then share a bowl of oatmeal, adult-style low-sugar organic all-natural stuff. After a morning nap, she gets about 1/3cup of 7-grain cereal (my version of "super porridge") that I run through the blender before cooking so it's a little smoother. She loves mashed banana and a tiny bit of tahini in it, and sometimes I have to refill her bowl (2-tablespoons at a time so as not to waste too much) again, and again, and again. She downs another 2-4 ounces of breast milk with that. Lunch is usually Greek yogurt mixed with fruit- mashed steamed apples are a favorite, as are the organic fruit squeezee pouches that I found at Tarjay. I'd guess she eats between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of that, sometimes more, plus another 2 ounces of milk. A light snack of cheese and whole-wheat crackers or some fruit fills in between lunch and dinner, but sometimes she's not interested in it. Then she LOVES homemade chicken and rice soup, pureed, for dinner. On some days, she'll eat more then a cup of it in addition to 2-4 ounces of milk. Finally, she downs another 6-8 ounces of milk before brushing her teeth and going to bed. All-told, I offer her 24 ounces of milk every day, and she usually drinks around 20. I would feel badly about the wasted milk, but there's still enough to get her past her birthday (and her 1-year ped appointment), so I'd rather offer more than she wants than leave her wanting more.

She hates eggs- they make her retch. Otherwise, she seems happy to try new tastes and textures. She gets a quizzical look on her face when tasting something new, but usually reaches out for more. Aside from the squeezee fruit things, and puffs, I don't buy baby food. We tried a few and she didn't like anything but the fruits. She has a straw cup filled with water available to her between meals. I offered watered-down juice a few times, and she didn't seem impressed with it. Since we don't drink much juice in our house (I'm a water girl), I don't push it on her.

Did I skip any pertinent 11-month details?

By the way, she signed"Mom," "Dad," "cat," and "bird" for the first time today. She was learning a new sign every few days, but that's four in one day! Luckily, the next two videos in the series should arrive in tomorrow's mail so we can continue this vocabulary explosion.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

11 months- what was she doing two weeks ago?

She's picked up the pace. New talents emerge daily now, and she seems to bask in the glory of our recognizing each new word or ability. She likes to "jump" off the edge of the pool at our waterbabies class and go completely underwater (very briefly) before landing in my arms. She says "eye" and pokes at everyone's eyes- dolls, stuffed animals, any person within arm's reach. She knows where everyone's nose, ears, and mouth are except her own. She took two unassisted steps, once, but doesn't seem at all interested in independent walking. She "walks" up an entire flight of stairs holding my hands, but crawls up just 3 steps before giving up (and since I won't let her do this without my hovering over her, she then reaches for my hands so she can "walk" the rest of the way). She's primarily a hands-and-knees crawler now, resorting to the commando pose only when she wants speed on a slick floor. She loves to play peek-a-boo, using either her hands or feet to block her eyes. Her signing includes eat, drink, more, milk, all done, wash hands, brush teeth, dog, grandpa, apple, banana, hat, boat, car, shoes, please, thank you, sleep, yes, no, up, potty (although she doesn't know its meaning yet), and train. She's making associations now- saw a photo of a baby in a bubbly bathtub and signed "wash hands." She saw a truck and signed "car." When someone yawns, she signs "sleep." We don't know the sign for hair brush yet, but when she saw a picture of one she pantomimed brushing her hair. She babbles "Dada dadadada dadada" when she sees a phone (loves to "talk" to her Daddy on the phone). She has 6 teeth and made her first visit to a dentist, where she was an absolute DREAM! The dentist commented that she was the calmest, most cooperative not-quite-one-year-old he'd ever met. She imitates my hand motions for Pat-a-Cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider. She makes a "shhhh" sound when she sees shoes or fish. She says (with spoken words) "hat," "hot," "dada," "momom," "Mba (Simba, the cat)," "Eye-eee (Reilly, the other cat)," "Mpa (Grampa)," and "hi." She has begun putting things IN, whereas up until a few weeks ago she would only take things out. She's not up to sorting shapes yet, but has figured out how to align a plastic coin with the slot in her toy piggy bank.

Best of all, perhaps, is the fact that she has resumed sleeping through the night.

She's just waking from her morning nap (I think today may be a 3-nap day), so I need to end here. In every way, Charlotte amazes me. Thank you, universe, for forcing me to be home with her at this time in her life!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the three Ls

Lopsided, lumpy, and leaking.

Weaning has gone very well. Charlotte really doesn't seem to have noticed that her milk now comes from sippy cups. We stopped using bottles after I realized that letting an almost-toddler hold her own glass bottle wasn't my most brilliant idea. She was only using a bottle twice each day, first-thing in the morning and at bedtime, and never indicated a preference for them. I'm not a big fan of the sippies we have, though, which resemble bottles more than cups, so I am still looking for something better to bridge the gap between bottle and big-girl cup. With a finite supply of breast milk available, I'm not willing to deal with the spills from a big girl cup or the not-even-close-to-emptying of her straw cup. We have some hard spouted sippies, but she didn't like them when first introduced. We'll try them again.

Production-wise, my breasts seem to have received the message loud and clear. No engorgement here. Although there are some hard, lumpy areas that are quite tender. My left, the better performer during the latter half of our breastfeeding days, is noticeably larger and lumpier than my right. Leftie is also leaking just a bit, especially when I lean forward or carry Charlotte on my left side. That's funny, since there was no leaking at all until now.

I have reason to suspect that I ovulated yesterday. If true, and my body resumes its pre-baby schedule, I should see AF some time around 3/12. I have an appointment with my RE on 3/10. My hope is that she'll let me launch right into active TTC... lupron would begin on CD22, roughly 4/3. AF would re-appear about 4/11. An ER on CD12 like last time would put our ET on 4/26. I could potentially be certifiably pregnant by Mothers Day. But I know better than to make any plans. For now it's enough to know that our donor is still available so Charlotte will have a full sibling if this works.

In other news, I have a job interview. They're hard to come by, and this one was kind of a surprise. A position opened up in the same office that laid me off 3 months ago. I tossed my resume into the ring, without a cover letter and with a salary requirement 25% above my previous pay. These people are heartless (who else would lay people off, without warning, in between Thanksgiving and Christmas?), so I know it isn't a sympathy-interview. And they don't waste their precious time interviewing people they're not seriously interested in. I've loved staying home with Charlotte, but if offered the position at the salary that I requested, I'll take it. The added income would help us pay for the insurance that will cover Project Sibling, and I can send Charlotte to any daycare that has an opening (we could afford the pricey ones!). She LOVES going to the daycare at our gym, and now that we're not BFing she doesn't care who feeds her. I'd miss her terribly, but this would boost my career and cover the cost of Project Sibling. Then, I could afford to be a SAHM intentionally after #2 arrives.

Eleven-month post coming soon. It deserves its own space.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the in between *updated

Charlotte is "napping" now, at 5:15 pm. This is unusual for her, but she was sooo sleepy that she couldn't stop rubbing her eyes and yawning so I put her in her crib. Now, she's standing up, sitting down, standing up, babbling, tossing her caterpillar out of the crib, rearranging the blankets, lying down as though to test the position, then standing up and babbling again. If she does fall asleep, she's not likely to wake up until the wee hours of the morning. It's too early to go to bed for the night, but too late for a nap and she hasn't had dinner or her bedtime bottle yet.

What do you do with this in between time when your little one is exhausted?

* UPDATE:
I let her sleep for nearly two hours. Then, I woke her up, changed her into jammies and gave her 4oz of expressed breast milk- all while the dimmest light in the room was on. She dozed off in my lap while we cuddled and went back to bed without any protest. And, best of all, she slept through the night. I think she might be returning to her "dream child" self. As of 2/24, she has slept through the night three nights in a row. She still wakes 2 or 3 times at night and fusses (to an untrained ear, it sounds like crying), but then eases herself back to sleep. I suspect her recent daytime sleepiness is the result of her interrupted nights, and I hope her cold clears up soon so she can return to normal.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

one day down; a lifetime to go

We made it. I have not nursed my daughter since Tuesday's breakfast. I did have to pump this evening. I was uncomfortably full, but managed to control myself and pumped only enough to be comfortable again... about 3 ounces. Charlotte didn't appear to notice anything unusual- wasn't any more clingy or fussy than normal. She is coming down with a cold though, generously shared by a toddler who coughed and sneezed all through yesterday's music class. I think this is the first cold since leaving daycare nearly 2 months ago, so I'm not complaining... yet. As long as it's just a somewhat stuffy nose that allows Charlotte to eat, breathe, and sleep normally, a cold isn't so bad. I just hope she's healthy enough to enjoy waterbabies on Saturday. My girl LOVES the water. And I hope this cold doesn't sidetrack our weaning efforts.