Thursday, March 29, 2012

To paint, or not to paint the nursery?

I literally found, and fell in love with, this nursery just days after taking my pregnancy test:

I knew, boy or girl, this nursery would be perfect for my two kiddos.  (Because, oh yeah, they'll be sharing a room.)  I love the idea of hanging each of their names over their cribs.  And I think the trees will be a really fun and inexpensive way to decorate the walls!  I've been very happy with Lucy's crib and plan to buy a matching one for Babe; and I've also decided that we can manage without adding a dresser, so the changing table stays! 

Now for my dilemma...  Which wall color coordinates best? 
The current wall color (not adequately shown in the Nursery Reveal) is called Orange Confection:

And the new palette that I'm considering:

Lets hear your thoughts, Readers!! 
Would the green walls clash with my plans for a green glider?  Should I get a different (maybe more conservative) color glider??

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Our transition to cow's milk

Was pretty dang easy!  (And thank God for that - we could use a little more easy peasy in this house!)

Lu had her first taste of cow's milk five days before her first birthday, and was transitioned after just two days.  No special timing was used; we happened to be approaching the end of our present can of formula, and I didn't want to buy another.  The first swig resulted in her classic EWWW, what the eff?! face - probably due to the drastic change in temperature.  (I had started giving her room temperature formula months prior, but refrigerated milk is downright cold.)  So I played around with different formula-milk ratios over the next two days, until all the bottles were eventually just milk.

We were verrry fortunate, as Lucy has shown no sensitivity to dairy, no fussiness or tummy troubles!  Our pediatrician said to keep the milk intake between 24-32 ounces each day, which hasn't been a problem.  She seems to really like milk much more than formula.  Now if only we get over her aversion to sippy cups.........

Monday, March 26, 2012

Washing bottles is overrated

(I'm sure my Mom will thoroughly enjoy this post...)  She's been telling me since Lucy was, oh, I don't know, 6 weeks old that I needed to use Playtex Nurser Drop-In Bottles.  But being the neurotic, exclusively breastfeeding, new mom that I was, I said, NO!  She will only use Breastflow Bottles!!!  And we all remember how well that worked out.  We were content being slaves to the Medela brand (despite the collapsing nipples and cheapy bottle rings that crack if you look at them wrong).  And my Mom was content using the Playtex bottle when she had Lucy Duty.

My love of Playtex began very recently - shortly after Lu started going to daycare, and it deepened with the transition to formula.  Because there are few things that I hate more than washing a half dozen stinky bottles at 11 pm...

There's no telling how Baby #2 will tolerate the bottle, but you can bet your buns we'll  introduce it much earlier, and we'll also throw a Playtex into the rotation. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

18 Weeks

How far along?  18w1d

How big is baby?  Sweet po!  5.6" long and 6.7 ounces; he's in the middle of a growth spurt, practicing his hiccups, yawns, sucking and swallowing, and moving like a ninja!  Love feeling all those kicks, Baby Boy!!!

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 117.6 this morning; which is a 1 pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 8 pounds.  My belleh has become the designated crumb catcher.  Still wearing my regular pants with the belly band and maternity shirts; I bought some maternity leggings and they are super comfy!  No new stretch marks and the belly button is in, but shallow.

Try not to be too jealous of my cheetah print straightener.

How I'm feeling?  Umm...I actually fainted Destination Maternity.  Am thinking low blood sugar is to blame.  My legs buckled and I fell forward onto the cashier, everything went black, I couldn't speak, and I was covered in sweat.  So embarrassing.  And it's happened two more times since then...  Must call Dr. O in the morning.  It doesn't help that my allergies are acting up and I had a slight fever (100.6) yesterday afternoon.  Besides all that, though, I had tons of energy during the week.  We walked 3 nights and I followed my diet.  I craved corn dogs and fried pickles after watching Food Network...and I didn't get either.  ::sad face::  Insomnia is still a problem, but I sleep like the dead once I finally crash.  Also, having occasional painful twinges when I lift Lu out of the bath or car seat.

What's been on my mind?  There should really be some kind of disclaimer before tear-jerker scenes!

What I'm looking forward to?  Being half-baked in two weeks.

Best moment this week?  The déjà vu feeling at Lucy's party...  Right after she was born I dreamt about sporting a cute baby bump at her first birthday party. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

17 Weeks

***Extremely late***  Figured I should probably post this before my next weekly update. 

How far along?  17w5d

How big is baby?  Onion!  5.1 inches and 5.9 ounces; cartilage is turning into bone, he's finally putting a little meat on those bones, and the umbilical cord is growing larger and stronger. 

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 116.6 pounds on Saturday morning; which is a 2.6 pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 7 pounds.  Ugggg.  I cringe at the thought of what my weight would be if I wasn't watching carbs and exercising.  Still wearing all pre-pregnancy pants with the belly band and maternity shirts.  So very proud of my ass for still being able to fit in my pants.  No new stretch marks and my belly button is approximately the size of a Tic Tac.  Also, a totally random pregnancy symptom, the skin on my hands is so grossly dry that they're actually cracking.

How I'm feeling?  Lots of energy.  We walked four times this week, and I stayed up until 11:00-11:30 each night baking and prepping for Lucy's party.  (When I did sleep) I had tons of dreams about Babe, mostly of what he'll look like.  In my dreams I'm staring at his face and rubbing his cheeks, and then I wake up to find my shirt has crept up and I'm rubbing my belly.  Oh, and my only craving was for buttermilk waffles, specifically the ones from Sweet Tomatoes...but I did not give in!  I actually followed my diet everyday but Wednesday, when I ate two cookies.  

What's been on my mind?  I'd like to start painting the nursery after Lulu's birthday party, and I'm thinking about making DIY crib skirts

What I'm looking forward to?  A bigger belly and stronger, more frequent baby kicks.

Best moment this week?  Seeing my reflection with a great big belly.  Also, being told that I'm "all belly".  Hello!  Best compliment you can give a pregnant lady!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

12 Months

One whole year.  I told you to slow down, Lucy Lu...but did you listen?  No ma'am.  My squishy, helpless newborn is now a distant memory; you're my big girl, my big, baaaaad toddler(Bah!  I'm already crying...)

At 12 Months:

You talk all.the.time.  Everyday your teachers tell me about the stories you tell; they set you up in the jumperoo, in the big kids room, and you talk to all the kids. 

You're finally saying Mama as much or more than Dada, still no clue if you're differentiating.  You also try to say doggy, but it sounds more like da-ee

You go to daycare 4 days a week, Tuesday through Friday, and hang with Momma on Mondays.  You love daycare and you're doing wonderfully; eating well, taking two solid naps, you even have a boyfriend!  And it's funny because he's actually our neighbor; we see him playing outside on our nightly walks, and he calls out to you, Ucy Uuuucy!

You love to finger paint with pudding.

You crawl and cruise A LOT.  You are always moving and always getting into everything.  I actually have to watch you (and baby-proof) now...

Oh hey, should I not be in here?
Or here?
YOU TOOK YOUR FIRST STEPS TODAY!  You took 4 steps towards me, without holding on to anything!

You have a new nickname this month: Old Lady Lucy.

Yes, that is in fact a walker...
You roll a lot.  Not a new trick by any means, but you take off rolling as soon as I lay you down.  Diaper changes are pretty much impossible.  Bottomless crawling is totally adorbs, but it's risky business.

You've started dancing on command.  You bounce up and down and shake your tush when Momma or Grammy sing to you. 

You plop down on your bum every couple of steps and yell, Ooh!

You got your first ball last week - Grammy couldn't resist giving you an early birthday present - and you scream with excitement every time we roll the ball to you.

You also looove your activity walker:

You went almost three weeks with no flem, but woke up hella congested on your birthday.  

You have 6 teeth, and I apparently need to start brushing them.

You have transitioned to cow's milk.

You hate sippy cups. 

You've become very opinionated at meal time.  You smack the spoon out of my hand if you don't like what I'm serving - especially anything with texture.  Very frustrating.  Going to start working on manners, like NOW.

You are quite the drama llama with tantrums galore.

Pick me up NOW, Momma!  Rawr!
You love bathtime.  You actually kick and scream when I take you out, and the screaming continues until you fall asleep...

You sleep through the night, but occasionally wake and self soothe.  Bedtime was moved back to 7:00, but your wake time varies between 5:00-6:00.  You sleep on your tummy and move all over your crib. 

You weigh approximately 25 pounds (95th percentile).

You are 29.5 inches long (90th percentile); and the pediatrician believes, based on your growth pattern over the last year, that you'll grow to be 5'7" or taller.  Taking after Auntie Fallon, eh??

You are wearing one size pocket diapers on the largest setting and size 2 covers, and you're in 18 month clothing.

You got three immunizations yesterday, and you were such a trooper!  Fortunately, we won't see the doctor again until June. 

You celebrated your first St. Patty's Day.

You celebrated your FIRST birthday, after having a gorgeous 12 month portrait session.

You are the brightest part of my day.  You've taught me so much in these 12 short months (but I'll save the weepy stuff for my Dear Lucy letter).  I love you so very much, words can't even begin to describe it.  You are beautiful, you are happy, and you are healthy.  Quite frankly, my darling, you are too good to be true.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Party

Oh, the party...I don't think I can say how genuinely grateful I am that it's behind us... 

I tried really, really hard to throw the perfect party (because of my idol this one food blogger).  A lot of time went into planning and preparing for this little shindig; I did not, however, anticipate a hail storm or congested birthday girl on the day of the party.  All wrenches aside, I'd say it was actually a success.  (My photography skills, on the other hand, not so much.  Jenn, I stole most of your pictures.)  Here are a few pics from the day:

All the baby friends!
Momma blowing out the candle, because Lu had no interest whatsoever.
Smashing cake is overrated, it's all about sucking the candle clean.
In fact, screw the cake.  The icing is the good part.
We only made it about halfway through the mound of presents before the birthday girl needed a nap!

Royal Icing Sugar Cookie Favors

The yummy menu (not adequately photographed above) included:

Tomato-Basil Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Ham and Cheese Sliders
Italian Pasta Salad
Deviled Eggs
Veggies with Garlic Dill Dip
Fresh Fruit

And for dessert:

White Cake with Strawberry Filling and Pink Buttercream
Ginormous Chocolate Chip Cookies
Fudge Brownies
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies (courtesy of my darling, Meg)

It was the perfect day, surrounded by our family and friends, lots of food, and PINK everything.  I'm still trying to figure out how we crammed so much love in my teeny tiny living room.  A big thank you to everyone who attended! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birth to 12 Months

I've never lined up all of her monthly pictures before today.  Writing this post took my breath away.  Here is my little beauty over the past 12 months, from fresh out the belly to present day:

1 Day
1 Month
2 Months
3 Months
4 Months
5 Months
6 Months
7 Months
8 Months
9 Months
10 Months
11 Months
12 Months
Thank you for the best year of my life, Lucy.  I never would've thought the whole world could fit inside my arms, but that's just one of the many things you've taught me.  I love you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lucy

I just sang Happy Birthday to my daughter for the first time, and I'm still pretty shaken up.

Mucho blogging to follow...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'm done with DS screening.

(And I'm sure my readers are done hearing about it.)

I want to know if my baby has Down Syndrome.  It is literally driving me crazy.  I think about it constantly.  I worry about it constantly.  I pray about it constantly.

This morning I actually went so far as to call my doctor's office to schedule an Amnio.  I came to the conclusion that I needed to know, that I could not physically survive without knowing for the next 5 months.  But as I waited for my doctor to call back, I started thinking about the risks.  I found three different statistics for the rate of miscarriage, and I'm sure I could find more if I kept looking.  What if I lost my baby?  That would kill me.  I'm not being dramatic when I say that, I think the loss would literally destroy me.  What if I delivered a severely premature baby?  Any baby born that early would have some kind of handicap, and I will have caused it!

I tell myself, and others, that the reason I need to know is so that I can prepare for his arrival (find a Special Needs Pediatrician, join a support group, do some extensive reading, etc); but I think the real reason I need to know is to begin processing and accepting.  I accept my child regardless of having Down Syndrome, three heads, or any other abnormality.  I love him.  My biggest fear, what I refuse to accept, is the cruelty that he will face throughout his entire life.  High school especially.  But that is not reason enough to risk his life.

So far every test and ultrasound has indicated a happy and healthy baby, and given no reason to worry about his ability to survive the remainder of gestation or life outside the womb.  Plenty of DS babies have been born without any extra special preparation beforehand, and they and their families were just fine.  So that's that.  No Amnio and no MaterniT21.  This is in God's hands.  The Level II Ultrasound and Echo are scheduled for April 2, but those are mandatory due to having the early Anatomy Scan Ultrasound.  Thoughts and prayers for Babe are very much appreciated.  Thank you all for the love and support.  My internet family has grown over the weeks and has been more helpful than I could ever say.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anatomy Scan and Sequential Blood Screen

Uggggg.  I don't want to write this post, I've been putting it off since Friday.  For the record, I have not cried this time.  I've stopped myself each time. 

The Anatomy Scan ultrasound was perfect.  (Did you notice my emphasis on perfect this and perfect that in my gender reveal?)  Those were the doctor's words.  She saw all four chambers of the heart, with no holes or shadows.  He was measuring one week ahead.  His nose, neck, and every other measurement exceeded the minimum requirements.  The doctor said those were all indicators of a very healthy baby and that she saw no markers for DS.  I left my appointment feeling reassured.

Then I got the call with the blood screen results on Friday afternoon...  If you remember, my first trimester blood screen showed an abnormally high risk for Down Syndrome (1 in 110).  My doctor explained to me that that risk is actually reduced by 1/3 to include error ratios and the NT Scan measurements; so my overall risk at the time was 1 in 330.  The sequential blood screen showed a risk of 1 in 86; which is also reduced by 1/3, putting my overall risk at 1 in 240

I have mixed emotions about that number.  At a glance, it's not so's still a less than 1 percent chance, especially when I think about the "perfect" ultrasound.  But...the ultrasound isn't really perfect.  Ultrasounds can only detect 2/3 of DS babies, meaning 1/3 of DS babies will appear perfectly healthy.  Not to mention my tendency to fall into the smaller, less likely percentages (having a breech baby, the failed version, cesarean section, I could go on and on).  And then I think about how my risk is 5 times higher than other women my age (1 in 1100)... 

It was our hope that the risk would decrease after the second screen, and that we could stop thinking about this altogether; but since the risk has increased, there will be more tests and more worrying.  I'm in the process of getting authorization from my insurance company for the MaterniT21 blood test.  The test is 99% accurate (second only to Amniocentesis) and poses no risk to the baby.  Unfortunately, the test is very new, and not all insurance companies cover it.  After MaterniT21, depending on the results, comes Amnio - which absolutely terrifies me.  I will have another ultrasound around 20 weeks with an echocardiogram of Babe's heart, in an effort to find any subtle heart defects. 

This is all so doctor was talking about all the hypotheticals:  the need for specialists, the NICU, delivering at a different hospital, being induced early.  I wish I could curl up in a ball and sleep for the next 5 months.  I wish I never had the NT Scan.  I wish I could fix this.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

16 Weeks

How far along?  16w0d

How big is baby?  Avocado!  4.6 inches long and 3.5 ounces; he can now hear my voice, he's growing hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows, and forming taste buds. 

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 114 pounds this morning; which is a 1 pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 4.4 pounds.  Followed my diet pretty closely and walked two nights.  I feel like my belly exploded overnight; all of sudden I look like I could be 30 weeks pregnant!  Love my baby bump!!!  I wore maternity dresses and skirts all week long, but I am still able to wear regular sweat pants to bed and jeans with the belly band.  Stretch marks are still pretty pale and the belly button is shallow - I'm actually thinking about braving the bikini this summer.  Whoa!

Please excuse my Just Rolled Out of Bed look

How I'm feeling?  I have become obsessed with sugar free, decaf iced coffee; but for some reason a lot places don't offer it.  My trips through the Dunkin Donuts drive through led to a second craving...tuna salad on a plain bagel.  My energy varies by the day - there are days that I'm extremely motivated and accomplish a lot, and then there are days that I take 2 or 3 hour naps.  Also, got my first bloody nose on Wednesday, and another on Thursday.

What's been on my mind?  I'm worried with the sudden growth spurt that Babe will take after Uncle Cole and be 10+ pounds at birth...  Also, I miss wine.  A lot.

What I'm looking forward to?  More frequent and stronger movement.  I felt a lot of movement this week, especially whenever I held Lucy.  (I'm sure Babe could feel his big sister pressing on him.)   

Best moment this week?  Finding out that Lucy is going to have a baby brother!!!  Second best moment had to be this morning when Lucy started petting my belly and smushing her face against it.

Prenatal Visit:  I saw my doctor on Friday afternoon.  Those visits are always pretty uneventful...pee in a cup and listen to the heartbeat.  This time we discussed the results of the sequential blood screen that I had on Monday, which is deserving of it's own post...  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Wanted: Pregnancy Assistant

Someone to...
Fetch me iced coffee.
Rub my shoulders, neck, and stinky feet.
Share opinions with (i.e.: baby names, nursery decor).
Laugh at me when I cry at the end of Restaurant Impossible.
Gush over recipes and food porn with. 
Force me to walk every night.
Push refresh when Hulu freezes.

Compensation:  Smiles and yummy food.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

If you are pregnant, buy this skirt:

Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but I've been living in this skirt since Friday's THAT comfortable.  (Don't believe me?  Check out Sunday and Monday's posts.)  Everyone, expecting or trying, go now and buy this skirt.  Also, buy these tank tops while you're at it.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

She is very much my daughter.

Just in case there was any doubt, after almost 12 months (what the?!), we finally have confirmation...Lucy is indeed my child.  I know this not because she grew inside my belly for 38 long weeks, nor because she is a spitting image of infant me.  I know this because of her instantaneous and devout love of cake.

Head on over to L.Soucy Photography to check out the rest of my gorgeous girl's 12 month session!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's a................

Welcome to my virtual gender reveal party!

All sources and other drool-worthy ideas can be found on my Pinterest.

The anatomy scan was this morning, where they not only found one perfect nose, one perfect heart, and all sorts of other perfect measurements...but also...A PENIS.  It's a boy, it's a boy, IT'S A BOY!  He was quite the exhibitionist, he had no problem showing off his boy parts.  The whole family is excited and cannot wait to meet you Baby Boy!!!!!!!!!