Saturday, June 30, 2012

32 Weeks

How far along?  32w1d

How big is baby?  Squash!  15.2-16.7 inches and 2.5-3.8 pounds; he should be in the head down position and is getting ready to descend into my pelvis.  I am really optimistic about Parker being head down!  All of his movement is in my ribs, and with Lucy it was all in my cervix and tailbone.

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 132.2 pounds at my prenatal appointment on Thursday; which is a 1.2 pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 22.6.  No new stretch marks, belly button is out, still wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band and maternity tops, dresses, and skirts.


How I'm feeling?  My pace is really starting to slow.  Swelling has been minimal, thankfully.  Still sleeping poorly; still craving Sprite mixed with lemonade; and still contracting all day everyday.  I timed them on Monday and Tuesday, out of curiosity; on Monday they were 30 minutes apart, and on Tuesday they were 12-14 minutes apart.  They're uncomfortable (some are painful), but I've learned to tune them out for the most part.

What's been on my mind?  I am happy to say that we are ready for Parker's arrival!  You can see my updated pregnancy checklist HERE.  (We didn't get to all the nice-to-do items, but that's ok.)  And you can expect a post on freezer meals and a nursery reveal in the near-ish future.  Bring on the relaxation until D-Day!

What I'm looking forward to?  Starting our Hypnobirthing home study.

Best moment this week?  Seeing Parker's name everywhere.  On work trucks, political signage, and, even at the hospital, my mom's doctor was Dr. Parker (and her nurse was Lucy). 

My co-worker recently told me that she had a dream Parker was born in the middle of next week; which prompted Casey and I to take bets on his arrival.  Now that we're outside the 2 week window of the Preterm Labor Test results, it's kind of fun to think about.  Casey's bet is 3 weeks from now, sometime during the week of July 16.  My bet is 4 weeks from now, sometime the week of July 23.  What do you think?  Maybe the full moon will have an impact on his arrival??  If you'd like to take a guess at when Park will arrive, head on over to the poll located at the top of the sidebar.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Lulu the Watermelon

"I really should put some music on..."

"Now it's a party."

"Wait a minute...why am I the only one in the pool?"

"Unacceptable.  This pool party sucks."

"I'm over it.  I'll just catch some rays instead."

"Grammy, I'm tired.  Hold me."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

31 Weeks and Bikini-Clad

How far along?  31w4d

How big is baby?  Pineapple!  15.2-16.7 inches and 2.5-3.8 pounds; all five senses are fully developed, undergoing some major brain and nerve development, and his irises now react to light. 

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 131.0 pounds on Friday morning; which is a gain of 2.4 pounds from last week, and an overall gain of 21.4 pounds.  No new stretch marks and my belly button is most definitely out.

How I'm feeling?  Clumsy and swelling.  I've been craving cherry icees and Spite mixed with lemonade, but my appetite has really tapered off.  Other than the contractions, all of my symptoms (heartburn, swelling, back pain) are very mild compared to when I was pregnant with Lucy.  The contractions suck, though.  They are completely different from BH contractions/menstrual cramps:  they last 45-60 seconds, my belly gets rock hard, Parker stops moving, it's hard to move, they hurt...  I've been having them since last Thursday; but I haven't called my doctor or even timed them because they're over 10 minutes apart.

What's been on my mind?  Labor mostly.  My contractions are uncomfortable, and some of them actually require me to stop what I'm doing and breathe through them; so I'm really curious to see what true labor feels like.  Casey and I widdled down the to-do list over the last week, and I feel much more at ease with Parker coming early, should that be the case.  His clothes are washed and the nursery is 90% finished.  We still have a few small things to purchase and I'd like to make some freezer meals, but I'm not going to stress myself out over it.

What I'm looking forward to?  Spending some time in the kitchen and filling the freezer.

Best moment this week?  Going a whole 7 days without calling my doctor!

And now, a drumroll please.............

You can see the rest of my maternity session HERE.

The pool shots were done at my parent's house.  The water was freezing.  But it actually felt really good after shooting outside all morning.  When I walked out in my bikini, my dad looked at me, head shaking, and said, "You've got to be kidding me."  Thanks for that ego boost, daddy-o!  It was a lot of fun, and I am so happy with how all the pictures turned out.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sneak Peek: Maternity Session

We had our maternity session with the lovely and talented LaTricia Soucy yesterday morning, and I just had to share a little sneak peek!  Click here to see the rest.  And stay tuned for (gasp!) bikini pics!!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

15 Months

Well that's odd.  Didn't I just write one of these monthly updates??  Yes, yes I did.

It's finally starting to sink in just how little time we have left as a family of three.  It's a bittersweet transition, because you're our first born.  You've had us wrapped around your finger for the past 15 months and 2 days, and we've loved every minute of it.

At 15 months you are:

Very stable on your feet.  You walk, run, trot, waddle, dance...  It's adorable and makes me incredibly proud. 

Impossible to grocery shop with.  Chasing you up and down the aisles of Safeway is exhausting.

Climbing.  On and off the couch and into the bath tub. (As a result of this we now have to keep the bathroom door shut at all times.)

Learning to talk.  You have entire conversations in your own language; you are very clearly trying to communicate and express yourself.  This month you started saying Balloon (pronounced ba-bal), Yes, I do, and Out.  We've been encouraging you to say Please and All done, but haven't had any luck.

Understanding simple requests.  Can I have a kiss or hug?  Come here.  Gentle or Be nice.  Look.  Put that down or Don't touch.  Can I have a high five?  Wave bye-bye.

Figuring out what you can and cannot get away with.  You love to touch things (your night light, humidifier, hamper, cords), but you do NOT love to be told No.  Most of the time you need to be told 1-3 times, and then if you continue we remove you from the room.  (I'll write more on this in a separate post, stay tuned!)

The definition of the phrase Monkey see, Monkey do.  If Daddy takes a sip of chocolate milk, Lulu needs a sip.  If Mommy eats a piece of watermelon, Lulu needs a piece.  If we're brushing our hair or teeth, Lulu wants to brush hers.  What more proof do you need?

Becoming more independent by the day.  You feed yourself, brush your teeth and hair, help put your clothes on and take them off.  This month you started trying to put your own shoes and seat belt harness on.

Still kinda clingy, mostly in unfamiliar places, but also immediately after we pick you up from daycare.  I love the rare occasions that you want to be held - except when I'm cooking dinner and you're wrapped around my legs.

Quite the little helper.  You help Mommy and Daddy put our shoes on, close doors and drawers, and push buttons.

A girly-girl.  You love to accessorize with sunglasses, hats and even your lunchbox!  (Mommy needs to find you a purse.)  Although, you hate manicures and pedicures...your nails haven't been clipped in weeks. 

Really enjoying your toys.  They're not new, but you're getting so much more use out of them now that you're a little bit older.  You can actually climb onto your push car without help, and drive it all around; and you've started throwing (and almost catching!) your ball.

An excellent eater!  You love to try new foods and sample what everyone is eating around you.  If I don't have dinner on the table by 6:30, you get pissed and you don't hesitate to let us know.  You eat just about everything, you're not terribly picky.  Carbs are still a favorite (pancakes, bread, pasta, potatoes, cake)!  You eat a lot of yogurt, veggies and fruit, click here for our toddler meal plan.

Sharing your food, but not your toys.  You love to feed us and your friends at daycare. 

A Puffs enthusiast!  I think it's more the long cylinder container that you enjoy than the actual cereal.

Going through two food-related phases, and both are quite frustrating:  1)  Flipping your dinner plate over as soon as it's placed in front of you.  2)  Trying to eat the food, that fell off your plate, off of the floor.

Am I the only one with floors like this???

Carried, at an arms-length, to the bath immediately after dinner (because you're covered in food).  You love bathtime.  Daddy gives you all of your baths and the two of you have so much fun.  You've accumulated more bath toys than our tub was meant to hold.

Interested in reading, finally!  Every night, after you've got your pajamas on, you grab a book and slowly back yourself into my lap.

Following a pretty solid routine on the weekdays: 
7:00 am - 5:30 pm  Daycare
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm  Play
6:30 pm - 7:00 pm  Dinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pm  Bath
7:30 pm - 6:30 am  Bedtime
Sometimes we've got a little more or a little less time before and after dinner and bath, depending on work schedules and errands.  Your actual bedtime is a constant work in progress; we recently moved it up to 7:30, because you seem to be transitioning to one nap per day.  You usually spend 5-15 minutes talking to yourself before crashing, and you'll spend up to 45 minutes in the mornings before letting us know you're ready to start the day.

Attending daycare Monday through Thursday, and staying home with Grammy and/or Auntie on Fridays.

Healthy!  Just one nasty diaper rash the past month (the cause of which is still a mystery...allergy or teeth???)

Sporting 8 teeth, and no molars that I'm aware of.

24 pounds (75th percentile).  My child, you are so, SO skinny!  Our beloved neck roll is officially gone.  You're wearing 18-24 month clothes (with room to spare!), and one size pocket diapers/size 2 covers on the 2nd and 3rd snap.

31 inches long (75th percentile).

Thank you for another beautiful, hilarious, FUN month, my love.  Every time I see you I am reminded of how much you've grown and learned in just 15 months.  And every time I feel your little brother kick, I can't help but think that you used to be just a belly you're feeding me popsicles and closing the garage door.  Watching you grow and being apart of your life is the greatest gift you could ever give me.  I love you, Lulu. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

30 Weeks

How far along?  30w3d (had the very late realization that my weekly birthday actually falls on Friday, not Saturday)

How big is baby?  Cucumber!  15.2-16.7 inches and 2.5-3.8 pounds; his skin is getting smooth, his brain is getting wrinkly, and he is strong enough to grasp a finger!

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 128.6 on Friday; which is a 1 pound loss from last week, and an overall gain of 19 pounds.  Wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band, maternity tops, dresses and skirts.  I don't have any new stretch marks, but my old ones are starting to become more visible; and my belly button is out.  It's not as adorable as I thought it would be.

How I'm feeling?  Kinda lousy.  I could do a whole lotta whining right now, but I'm going to do my best to refrain.  I'm having contractions as I write this post, and my stomach muscles are extremely sore after five days of contracting.  Lower back pain is raging; occasionally very hormonal; sleep sucks; still obsessed with Fritos, but less of an appetite overall.

What's been on my mind?  (Too much, as usual.)  How messy my house is.  How much I want to get done before Park is born.  How uncertain our future has become, thanks to preterm labor.  But mostly, how much I miss Lucy...

What I'm looking forward to?  Our maternity session on Sunday. 

Best moment this week?  Two awkward, but funny, comments from (male) strangers.  Comment #1:  Wow, you must be getting close, huh?  Nope, still have over two months!  Comment #2:  (With his eyes closed and using dramatic hand gestures aimed at my belly) Hmmm, mmmm, that must be a boy!  Yup, sure is! 

I ended up seeing my doctor late Thursday afternoon, instead of Friday morning, because the contractions returned.  They were 10-13 minutes apart from 10:30 am - 4:00 pm.  She did another internal (cervix was still closed!) and put me on the monitor - at which point my contractions had stopped.  She ordered bed rest for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and said to call if I started having more contractions.  If I had had more contractions, she would have performed another preterm labor test.  Depending on that result, she would have given me an injection of steroid's for Parker's lungs; but, fortunately, none of that became necessary.  I survived the weekend with consistently far apart contractions (over 10 minutes), all of which ultimately stopped on their own.  My doctor did mention that women with my specific combination of low proteins and amino acids are statistically proven to deliver preterm.  These same proteins and aminos are what affected the results of our Down Syndrome screening.  My regular prenatal visit is scheduled for June 28, and I sincerely hope to not have to see my doctor before that.  I'm still on pelvic rest, and bed rest is encouraged as needed.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Preterm Labor and OB Triage Round II

When did I become one of those patients?  The kind that goes to OB Triage twice in one month???

Despite the smirk on my face, I was extremely worried about Park and annoyed with myself. 
(Casey, however, kept making me laugh.)

I thought I was going to bake oatmeal cookies last night.

Lucy was in a happy mood when we picked her up from daycare, I made an easy, tasty crock pot dinner, and I had all of my ingredients ready to start baking after Lucy went down.  It should've been a perfect evening.  But all day long I felt a little "off".  I was light-headed, kinda queasy, and contracting sporadically.  I finally started to feel really uncomfortable around 6:00.  Casey insisted I lay down after dinner, and I started timing the contractions at 7:30.  They were 4-5 minutes apart and 40-50 seconds long. 

Never having experienced true labor (preterm or term), I wasn't sure what a contraction felt like.  I actually had to have Casey feel my belly during contractions and rests to confirm there was a noticeable difference.  My belly would get rock hard, and at the peak of each contraction I would feel intense cramping.  It felt like my insides were being squeezed, and it was even difficult to move.

I spoke with the on-call doctor at 8:15, after having 9 timed contractions, and she said to go to the hospital immediately.  Casey cleaned up our dinner dishes, packed a small overnight bag - just in case, and then we brought Lucy to my parent's house.  I continued timing the contractions on the way there, and they were coming 2-3 minutes apart and still lasting 40-50 seconds.  We got to the hospital around 9:00 and were immediately taken back to OB Triage, as the doctor had called ahead.

The nurse put me on the monitor and began recording contractions; she took two samples to check for rupture of membranes and preterm labor, and then checked my cervix for dilation.  ROM was negative, PTL was positive, and my cervix was closed - mostly good news.  (Even though the PTL came back positive, it's not the most reliable test; positive results indicate a heightened risk, but not a guarantee, of delivery within the next two weeks.)  I was given a shot of Terbutaline (a.k.a. Terb) to stop contractions and it took effect almost immediately; Casey and I watched the monitor as my off-the-chart contractions decreased in frequency and intensity.  I stayed on the monitor until 11:30 and was discharged with orders for pelvic rest.  Tomorrow morning I'll see my doctor for a follow up visit, and I am very anxious to hear her thoughts.

Keep cookin', Park.  I mean this in the nicest way're just not chubby enough for the outside world yet.  I love you. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Showering Baby Parker

One of my good friends hosted a baby shower in honor of Parker over the weekend, and it was so much fun!  She claims it was the first baby shower she ever hosted, but she could've fooled me.  It was a perfect afternoon, and I feel extremely blessed to have such thoughtful, loving people in my life. 

There was cute decor and yummy food, even a onesie painting station!

Naturally, I remained close to the food...

There were lots of momma friends, baby (toddler) friends, and family!

With Auntie and Grammy
With Great Grandma and Grandma Shelton

There was some biting and toy stealing (by Lucy), with fleeting moments of peaceful interaction. 

There were (so, soooo many) presents!

Lulu was quite the little helper!

And there was one special gal that made it all possible...

It's safe to say that Parker's wardrobe is well stocked after this beautiful shower.  Thank you to everyone who came or sent a gift, there are no words to describe the incredible amount of love we felt.

My cookies!  (Shameless plug?  You betcha.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

29 Weeks

How far along?  29w2d

How big is baby?  Acorn squash!  15.2-16.7 inches and 2.5-3.8 pounds; he's plumping up nicely and starting to get a little cramped.  Which I can attest to...ouch!

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 129 pounds on Saturday morning; which is a 2.6 pound gain from last week, and an overall gain of 19.4 pounds.  Still wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band, maternity tops and dresses; and I recently added a maternity support belt to my wardrobe, courtesy of my friend Dianna - it's been verrrry helpful!  Belly button is usually poking out by the end of the day and no new stretch marks.

How I'm feeling?  Swollen, itchy, and irritable mostly.  Oh yeah, and not sleeping.  (Which may or may not contribute to my irritability.)  My belly feels heavy and my pace is starting to slow; whenever I hold Lucy I get these sharp, shooting pains all over my belly and Parker gets pissed.  This week I craved orange juice, Pop Tarts and Fritos - soooo random.  I swear I'm still trying to be mindful of carbs, but I'm more focused on portion control. 

What's been on my mind?  Still feeling overwhelmed and starting to freak out about having a single digit countdown to Baby Boy's arrival.  I'm nesting in a rather unique attention has shifted from painting the master bedroom (which I still want to do!) to launching my home bakery's website.

What I'm looking forward to?  Having energy again.  Laying on my stomach.  Playing with Lucy like I used to be able to - not while seated on the couch or laying down.  MATERNITY LEAVE.

Best moment this week?  Oh, oh!  My baby shower!!!  (Pictures and deets to come, I promise!)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Toddler Meal Planning

God love my foodie family, we spend so much time eating - some of our greatest memories are at the dinner table.  There is absolutely no question about who Lucy got her appetite from - her very proud Momma Bear, that's who!

Having a third mouth to feed has not been without it's challenges, though.  "Winging it" just doesn't cut it in this house, especially when trying to race out the door at 6:30 am.  That leads to tardy, hungry {and whiny} Sheltons.  So after several frustrating weeks, I ultimately had to increase the grocery budget, devise a separate shopping list and meal plan for daycare, and increase our trips to the grocery store from weekly to twice weekly - you know, to keep up the banana and milk supply.  Of course, tired and pregnant, my devotion to freezer friendly meals is still a top priority.  Here's a look at what we're eating these days:

Lucy's Breakfast Menu
Oatmeal & Fruit
Pancake & Fruit
Yogurt & Fruit
Raisin Toast & Fruit
Waffle & Fruit

Lucy's Lunch Menu
Ham & Cheese Roll Up
Breaded Chicken, Sweet Po & Veg
PB & J
Macaroni Cup
Naked Chicken, Sweet Po & Veg

Family Dinner Menu
Chicken Tenders & Sweet Po Fries
Salmon & Couscous
Chicken & Dumplings
Turkey Burger & Sweet Po Fries
French Bread Pizza
Cheesy Chicky Casserole
Salmon & Couscous
Chicken Quesadillas & Refried Beans
Chicken BLT Club & Sweet Po Fries
Pigs in a Blanket
Turkey Meatloaf & Roasted Potatoes
Salmon & Couscous
Buffalo Chicken Wrap & Salad
Tuna Noodle or Melt & Lemon Broccoli
French Bread Pizza

*I don't bother meal planning on the weekends, because we're either dining out, visiting family, or cooking up a tasty new recipe.   
**I am aware that the amount of chicken breast and sweet potato we eat may seem absurd to some. 

Lucy's lunch menu varies on occasion, depending on what leftovers we have on hand; but I always have these meals in the freezer.  Her morning serving of fruit is always, always, always a half of banana; and she has a second serving of fruit at afternoon snack, usually some apple or melon slices.  Our other go-to snacks include: Puffs, Cheerios, cereal bars, veggie sticks (raw and baked), cheese and crackers, fruit leather, dried apple rings, Toddler Mum Mum, yogurt, and popsicles.  When all else fails, give the girl some carbs.

And, for those who may be wondering, a "Macaroni Cup" is elbow pasta with ground turkey, roasted squash and spinach, and a vegetable marinara sauce frozen in cupcake liners.  This can be done with many different pasta dishes.  Cupcake liners are great for storing individual portions - just remember to remove the foil before microwaving...   

As for Lulu's milk intake, it has tapered off substantially over the last two months.  For awhile it seemed like she constantly had a sippy cup in hand, and as soon as it was empty, she was ready for a refill.  She currently has 5 ounces of milk with breakfast and dinner, and as requested throughout the day; apple or grape juice with lunch; and 5 ounces of water with morning and afternoon snack.  Daddy may or may not allow her to bring her sippy into the bath tub, but Mommy thinks that's just silly. 

I think that about covers us.  Do you meal plan?  Do tell!  I always enjoy hearing new recipe ideas.  Does your daycare center provide the meals for your child or do you have to pack their breakfast and lunch each day?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Willy Wonka Wannabe

Lucy and I decided to channel our inner Willy Wonka this evening.  Please enjoy.

Good God, I am THEE most embarrassing person in the world.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

28 Weeks

How far along?  28w1d

How big is baby?  Eggplant!  According to the growth ultrasound on Tuesday, Parker is measuring 1 week ahead and weighs 2 pounds, 9 ounces.  He's fattening up and his lungs are now capable of surviving outside the womb.

Physical differences from last week?  I weighed 126.4 pounds at my prenatal appointment on Thursday; which means no gain from last week, and an overall gain of 16.8 pounds.  Oddly enough, my belly measured 1 week behind, but Dr. O wasn't concerned; fundal height can vary depending on the baby's presentation.  I'm still wearing regular pants and shorts with the belly band, and maternity tops, skirts, and dresses.  Belly button is flat and no new stretch marks.  My boobs feel very full all of a sudden - helllllllo colostrum!

"Umm Momma, why is your belly out??"
How I'm feeling?  LOTS of leg cramps; sleep sucks - having a hard time falling and staying asleep; wicked lower back pain and BH contractions in the evenings.  My round ligaments were KILLING ME on Friday.  I craved pancakes and spaghetti, and had both!  Mmmm.     

What's been on my mind?  So much to do.  So little energy.  Casey picked up our second freezer during the week, so now I really have to get moving on all that freezer cooking.

What I'm looking forward to?  Baby shower next weekend!   

Best moment this week?  Without a doubt, the growth ultrasound!  Parker is HEAD DOWN.  Baby Boy, you stay put!  He also has Lucy's chubby cheeks...and hair!  He'll be the first baby born with hair between our two families!  The tech was very happy with his heart and measurements; we even saw his stomach contracting and practicing his swallowing and breathing.  The only concern was how "unusually low" he is...apparently he may actually be engaging my cervix already...  She couldn't see any cervix from above, and had to do an internal to check.  Dr. O wasn't concerned, just said to be aware of contractions closer than 10 minutes apart.