Monday, December 31, 2007

Pictures

Here are a few pictures of Gage...

Mat took this one in the hospital nursery just a little while after Gage was born. He was being measured and weighed, bathed off, and warmed up in the nursery. Gage weighed 6 lbs 11 oz and was 20 1/4 inches long. His head measured 13 3/4 inches around and his chest measured 12 3/4 inches around. This kid loves his hands. They are always on his face or he's trying to shove them in his mouth. And that mouth...just look at those full lips. So sweet.


We took this picture Sunday morning before my parents left to get back to NY. I love this fleecy outfit; Gage looks like a little rugby player. Of course it's huge on him! His legs and feet get lost somewhere inside the outfit. He reminds me so much of Braeden whose body was always lost inside his newborn outfits.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

He's here!

Gage Leman Potter-Gendle was born (finally) on Thursday, December 27 at 6:50 p.m. Photos to come!

Amazingly enough, he was 6 pounds 11 ounces, the same weight as Braeden when he was born! He's 20 and 1/2 inches long and has a head full of dark, dark hair.

We came home from the hospital today around 12:30. Me Ma, P Pa, and Braeden were outside talking with our neighbors Michelle and Shaler so everyone got to meet baby Gage when he first came home. Michelle is pregnant, due in April, with a little girl.

He's settling in well to life at our house. Gage has nursed several times and slept all afternoon on one of us. Me Ma and P Pa bought us an arm's reach co-sleeper at Babies R Us yesterday; Mat set it up this afternoon so Gage will have a place to sleep tonight. The co-sleeper attaches to our bed so Gage will be right next to me at night making it easier to nurse him. Braeden slept in our bed for 6 months and it made us nervous eve though it was super-convenient. With the co-sleeper, he's close to being in bed with us but he's still in his own space, protected from us and our pillows and blankets. We should both sleep easier with this arrangement.

P Pa drives back to Rhinebeck tomorrow and Me Ma will stay through next weekend to help with Braeden.

When I have more time and energy, I'll write up Gage's birth story and post it here. It was a long day but it ended perfectly!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Poor Little Boy Braeden

His blog is really getting the short end of the pregnant stick, isn't it?! It's not that he isn't still the cutest kid in the world. And he still does adorable things all the time. And yet he can also be the naughtiest thing this side of the Mason-Dixon line. It's just hard for me to maintain two blogs, get everything done at work, and get all the sleep I need at night.

So, here's a big catch-up post to give you an idea of what's been going on in Braeden's life. (The worst thing about not posting is that I've mentally posted...when something happens, I think of what I would say about it on the blog, but then I don't actually commit the post to the blog. Bad mommy!)

Braeden got invited to his first birthday party. I didn't realize three was the magic age, but he's since been invited to a second party. Actually, I think the second party was today. Oops! Anyway, the party last weekend was for C.J., a little boy in Braeden's room at school. He's cute, not one of Braeden's bestest friends, but still cute. Mat had to go to traffic detention last Saturday morning in High Point (yes, Mat got a speeding ticket!), so Braeden and I were on our own. The party was scheduled for an hour starting at 12:30 at CiCi's Pizza in Burlington.

I had never been to CiCi's but I know now one of the layers of hell exists right here in Burlington. It's a pizza buffet that serves crappy, dry pizza; salad, if you call iceberg lettuce, shredded cheddar, and some anemic toppings and ranch dressing salad; and dessert pizzas and cinnamon rolls. Fitting the hell moniker, it was HOT, crowded, loud, and overrun with wild, out-of-control children hopped up on caffeine and video games. Braeden ate two tiny slices of pizza and a huge piece of Spiderman birthday cake. And he played in the video game room...they had these racecar games where you sit in a seat and drive the car with a steering wheel. He and Matthew, one of his best friends, had a great time (with no money involved) jumping from game to game driving the racecars. C.J. opened his presents and the whole thing was over around 2:00. I was glad we went, but I was also exhausted afterwards and convinced that I would never willingly go back to CiCi's!

Isabella's party is at the Little Gym, so I think the kids would be doing gymnastics like on the Tumblebus. And again, I think it was today, so now I feel bad for not responding to Isabella's mommy. Isabella LOVES Braeden! He likes her but she really, really loves him. To Braeden, I think she's just one of the girls in his entourage.

Matthew's mom asked me Friday if we would be having a birthday party for Braeden this year. Mat and I really hadn't thought about it. We clearly didn't get the memo that three was the magic age for the party craziness to start! I told her we hadn't thought about it (bad mommy moment #2) and she said she wanted to check because Matthew and Braeden's birthdays are so close together and she didn't want to doublebook. How sweet is that?! Anyway, they're thinking of doing a party on January 19. I assured her that wouldn't be a problem. So there's party number 3. 3 of how many??

Another cute thing I can tell you about is Braeden singing the tumblebus song. He first sang it for us about 8 or 9 months ago, but he clearly didn't know the song very well. He slurred a lot of the words together and got about half of them wrong. But now, now I think he's got it! He's so proud of himself when he sings the song for me. And I love the way he sings it, so I ask him to sing it a lot. I'll shoot video of him singing it sometime soon. I'll even try to post it so everyone else can enjoy it too!

You might remember that we had a lot of issues when we first sent Braeden to day care with state mandates for stuff. Most of the issues had to do with breastfeeding and how much the state mandated had to be in a bottle. Well, the state has stayed pretty much out of our business for the last couple years until now. Turns out there's periodic testing that the state does. If they've done it before, they haven't told us about it. But this week, someone from the state came in and tested each kid and we got a copy of the completed form when they were done. I love tests (I know, I'm weird), so I was very excited to have the results of Braeden's first test.

They asked each kid to recite the alphabet and then circled how many letters he got right in the right order. He got them all! They tested to be sure he could recognize each of them visually and he did! He was able to count to 10 and he correctly identified all the colors they showed him. He pointed to all of the body parts they asked him about except for his ankles, throat, chest, and shoulders. The weird thing here is, he totally knows where his shoulders are and points to them frequently, so I don't know how he missed those. His teacher told us he was the only one in the class to know all his letters, numbers, and colors. He can't cut with scissors but he can follow two-part directions. (Not something we see him do much at home, but it's good to know he can!) So, I feel pretty proud to have such a smart kid!

Anyway, I think this should be enough to tide people over for a while. I'll do my best to type up the posts I write in my head rather than just think about them.

To strip or not to strip, part two

Turns out I shouldn't have wasted my time thinking through the pros and cons of stripping the membranes because I learned at my appointment that there's no way to strip the membranes of a woman who is only dilated one cm.

One cm, you say? But there's no way you're still only dilated one cm. That's where you were last week.

Ahh, yes. And that's where I stayed ALL WEEK LONG. Well, to be fair, Tanya generously spotted me another half centimeter, but still. No progress on that front. She did say that last week when she touched Baby P-G's head, it sprang back up and this week it didn't. Meaning, he's really settled in low in my pelvis. He's not going anywhere.

And that's the key, he's NOT going anywhere. Not when I'm still only dilated one cm.

So, no movement, no stripping, but an otherwise fine appointment. Blood pressure was 120/70 and the baby's heartbeat was 135 beats/minute. Lower than usual, but still in the normal range.

On my way out I made an appointment for next week. The receptionist asked when I wanted to come in on Wednesday and I told her I didn't care because certainly I will have had this baby before Wednesday comes around.

Monday, December 10, 2007

To strip or not to strip

That's the big question this week on everyone's mind. Mine, mostly, but everyone seems to want to know what I'll end up doing. And truthfully, I have no idea.

I've read posts from other women on message boards relating their experiences with membrane stripping. It's no guarantee that you'll actually go into labor. I've read about women going back for a second round with still no success.

Mat was talking to a colleague about it this morning. She had her membranes stripped with her second child and was in labor in less than 12 hours. Don't you love that my husband was talking to a female colleague about this?? He's so clinical and so comfortable with all things scientific and medical, but it still always amazes me how willing he is to go there with anyone.

According to Tanya's nurse, she stripped the membranes for two patients last week and both went into labor within 12 hours.

So much anecdotal evidence, but I guess it all comes down to my gut and what I feel like Thursday when I go in for the appointment. Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Baby P-G Update

I saw Tanya this morning for my 37-week appointment. My blood pressure was great at 120/70 and the baby's heartbeat was perfectly normal at 145 beats/minute.

She checked me and I'm dilated 1 cm (which really means nothing at all, so there's no reason to get excited about that) and about 70% effaced which just means that my cervix is thinning out in preparation for labor. Baby P-G has also dropped down low into my pelvis, another sign of preparation. It also explains the pressure I feel and the really low back and hip pain I've been having for the last few days. Tanya could feel the baby's head. (Sorry if that's gross, Mark...are you still reading this?)

I've been having Braxton-Hicks contractions every day but with no regularity at all. Also perfectly normal and responsible for the hint of dilation I've got and the effacement. Actually having one right now. If you're wondering, they feel like someone put a belt around my belly and is tightening it very slowly then releasing it quickly when the contraction stops.

I go back Thursday for my 38-week appointment. Depending on what Tanya finds during the exam, I could opt to have her strip my membranes which can have the effect of bringing on labor within a few days. It really depends on my status as of the appointment and my own comfort level. I might just be ready to have this baby sooner rather than later, but we'll see what happens over the week and how I feel then.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Showers!

Baby P-G has had two lovely showers in the last couple weeks with family and friends. The Gendles threw us a shower on Sunday, November 18 (Mat's birthday) at Pete and Carol's townhome in Davidson. They served us a very nice meal and gave us lots of wonderful presents. Pete and Carol gave us the snap-n-go stroller base we wanted (like the one Emily has that I've been envying for a few months now) and a number of the supplies we need to feed the baby when he comes. Mark and Jenn gave us everything we would need to bathe the baby--hooded towel, washclothes, bath wash, and lotion. Joe gave us the mirror that allows you to see the baby in the rear-facing car seat when you look in your rear-view mirror. Such a great invention! And Chris and Jenn and Brian and Lois gave the baby the play gym mat. I can't wait to put Baby P-G on the mat when he's old enough and watch him stare entranced at the toy bar!



This past Wednesday Lisa and Melisha organized a great shower for Baby P-G at the office. They had made great food and my friend Ethel made a cake that looked like an old-fashioned pram and decorated it with lots of blue icing. They got balloons including one that had a teddy bear balloon inside. Braeden LOVED it! And Baby P-G got some great presents! Very cute clothes, a super-soft blanket, lots of supplies like butt paste, bottles, teethers, washclothes, a hooded towel, and pacifiers. We got these adorable socks too! My first Elon boss, Pat House, had given Braeden a set of Trumpette socks at my shower for him except there were a dozen pairs of striped socks that came packaged in an egg carton. Braeden wore them for more than a year, so I know Baby P-G will get a lot of wear out of his sneaker socks!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble gobble!

We had an interesting Thanksgiving. This was our first time celebrating as just our small family. It's always weird for me not to be in Rhinebeck for Thanksgiving. It's my favorite holiday, but it was nice, different to just spend the day with Mat and Braeden.

I brined our 14-pound turkey for the first time this year. Brining makes for a much moister and more flavorful turkey. Me, I like my turkey dry but Mat always complains it's like chewing shoe leather. So I gave brining a shot. It came out great! With the turkey, we had gravy, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, and cornbread. Yum yum!

Braeden couldn't wait until the turkey was ready, so he had peanut butter and jelly for lunch then went upstairs for quiet time while we had our turkey dinner. He was sooo tired! Of course he wouldn't sleep though. The nap came later. After quiet time was over, he came downstairs to watch football with me. He wanted to lay down with his head on a pillow and his blanket over him. And within minutes, he was asleep.

Mat and I ate our Thanksgiving dinner by ourselves...but with constant interruptions from the little boy upstairs who was supposed to be having quiet time in his room with the door shut.

Here's the picture of our Thanksgiving table.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Halloween

Finally! The long-awaited Halloween post is here. I finally downloaded the photos of Braeden in his bumblebee costume to the computer and I can now show you how cute Braeden looked that night.

He was the one who picked out his bumblebee costume at Target one day with Mat. And he seemed really excited about Halloween and if anyone asked him what he was going to be he very proudly replied bumblebee. He even went bzzz bzzz! Then the night of Halloween came and he would not put his costume on! My plan was to pick him up from school a little early so we could get home, get the costume on, and do our trick-or-treating before it got too dark. Best laid plans...

Braeden refused to put the costume on. The doorbell rang and a two-year-old in a dinosaur costume was on the other side of the door. Our almost three-year-old completely freaked out. He was in a panic. He pulled me over so that I fell on the floor and he was practically screaming. The dinosaur looked pretty nervous, but not nervous enough not to take a piece of candy from our pumpkin. This dinosaur didn't help our cause!

We had dinner and more kids came to the door. And you could practically see the wheels turning in Braeden's head. Wear costume...ring doorbell...say trick or treat...get candy. Hmmm...I like ringing doorbells...I like candy...I'll have to suck it up and wear the costume, then I can ring the doorbells and get the candy! It's a plan.

So, he refused to put on the black tee shirt and black pants I bought to go under his costume. But since he'd finally agreed to put the costume on, I didn't care that we did it over his Giants shirt and jeans. You'll see in the photos, it looks silly, but it's on. We finally headed out the door, in the dark, and hit the houses on our street.

We really have the nicest neighbors; Halloween confirmed that for me. Shaler and Michelle (who are expecting a little girl in April!) brought over a BIG bag of candy of Braeden because they were going out to dinner. Shaler is not the kind of guy who's going to hop up every five minutes to give out candy. The rest of our neighbors were home (except Braeden's bestest friend Tasha who must have been out doing her own trick-or-treating) and let Braeden have as much candy as we would let him take. Our neighbor Laura was the designated candy person, but when she saw that it was Braeden, she called Rob out to see him. Rob never seems like a kid guy, but he's incredibly patient with Braeden and always stops to talk to him or admire Braeden's rocks, cars, or sticks. When we finished with the houses on our street, Braeden was so impressed with his haul, he wanted to keep going but it was bedtime.

Each night after dinner, if Braeden hits all his dinner, he gets to have a piece of his candy. He absolutely LOVED those mini Hershey kisses with the candy coating. He had 5 or 6 bags of those, so he ate them for a week. He doesn't really discriminate though, he ate Reeses' Pieces, a crunch bar, a lollipop, whatever we gave him, he ate.

And now, here's the picture of our little bumblebee! Bzzz Bzzz!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Appointment update

One more routine doctor's appointment down, four (or will it be five?) to go...

I saw Tanya yesterday afternoon. Blood pressure 120/70, weight good, no protein in my urine (a positive result could signal impending preeclampsia), measuring right on target for 34 weeks, no swelling. Baby P-G's heartbeat was 154 beats/minute. Perfect. Normal. Perfectly normal.

I have felt a few contractions, to be expected at this point, but nothing that would make you sit up and take notice. But it's something different and a sure sign that we're nearing the end.

My next appointment comes the week after Thanksgiving when I'll be 36 weeks along. After that, I'll be making the trip to Greensboro once a week until I have this baby.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Long time to go without an update!

I know it's been a long time since I've updated, but honestly there hasn't been that much to say.

I've had a couple of purely routine doctor's appointments...my blood pressure is better now than when I'm not pregnant. At one appointment it was 96/70! If this keeps up, there should be no reason to worry about an induction this time around. Of course, with Braeden it wasn't until 36-ish weeks that the BP spiked for the first time so I'm not counting my chickens just yet. Everything else has been pleasantly (if not somewhat boringly) normal at my appointments.

The one blip was that I got my rhogam shot and even that was an expected ordeal. I'm Rh-negative and there's the chance that the baby could be Rh-positive. So, around 34 weeks I had to get a shot to protect baby P-G and I from killing each other if our blood should mix. Seriously, I can't remember for sure what happens but there's some concern that my negative antibodies would go to work on the baby's positive antibodies and chaos would ensue. If you're really interested, you could google it and find out the full story. Bottom line, I got the shot the first time around and there's a follow-up shot after the baby is born (for me, not him!) and that's the end of the story. The funny part is they give you a card you're supposed to keep (carry in your wallet even) for some number of years in case there's a recall on your batch of serum. Mine is sitting on the island in the kitchen. Mat will tell you it will probably sit there for months until, in a fit of abnormal cleaning energy, I throw it away!

My friends at work (Lisa and Melisha) are throwing me a shower and brunch on November 28! They're too sweet to do it again for the second baby. I'm looking forward to it because I think it will help make this baby's arrival feel more real. I know, I know, you'd think the huge stomach I lead with would do that for me. Or perhaps the heartburn (which has kicked up in the last few weeks) or lower back pain would have made things more real at this point. Or the emotion, akin to panic, in some coworkers' eyes when they ask me for the 100th time about my due date. :) But honestly, the birth still feels light years away.

Oh, and before the work shower comes the Gendle family shower on November 18. Poor Mat has to share his birthday with the baby. He's so not a shower guy...in fact, he's thrilled he has a class to teach that conflicts with the work shower because he doesn't want to be within 100 feet of the balloons, streamers, games, and cake. Mat conveniently had class or something the first time around when my work friends threw me a shower for Braeden. Oh well.

Some of you may be wondering what's going on with the nursery and why haven't I posted any photos of it? I mean, honestly, what's cuter than a baby nursery? Well, the answer is that nothing has changed in the nursery. Oh, wait, I lied and insulted my husband in one fell swoop. Last weekend while I was in Greenville for work, Mat and Braeden bought mini-blinds to install in the nursery and in our second-floor loft. I really hate mini-blinds but the roman shades in Braeden's room look sweet but do nothing to block the light during the day or early morning hours. Not great for mom and dad during nap time or sleeping in. So Sunday, when I was back to watch over Braeden, Mat installed the mini-blinds. He handled the installation fine, but my husband, holder of a Ph.d. from Cornell University, an ivy-league institution, can not operate mini-blinds. He can't pull a cord in one direction to release them and then pull it in the opposite direction to lock them. From outside (where I was watching Braeden play with Natasha) I hear him scream a string of swear words together and immediately imagined the worst. When he came out he was sweating and in a little bit of an altered state. He begged me to go inside and lower the blinds. Just lower them, I asked? That's it, he said. When I went upstairs, the blinds were hanging one side lower than the other...it took me a minute or two to sort out his issue, then I smoothly lowered them, like the mini-blind champ that I am, and came outside whistling a jaunty tune. (Well, not really whistling but I like the image of calm, cool, and collected me confronting a lunatic blind-incompetent man.) Anyway, the blinds are up, so there's progress for you.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

So much to say

Over fall break we always go to the beach, and this year we met my parents in Virginia Beach for a long weekend. Virginia Beach is about a four hour drive for us. It's always funny to me that it takes less time to get there than it does to go to Atlantic Beach in North Carolina. That's just weird to me.

Me Ma and P Pa bought Braeden a bucket and shovel so he could dig holes and fill his bucket with water to make mud pies. Braeden did not want to get wet. He loved the sand and liked having water in his bucket, but he was not interested in dipping his toes in the ocean. He did think it was funny when P Pa brought handfuls of water to him to wet his toes. That was okay, but the waves were very scary to him. The weather was great, in the 70s each day, and the water was still pretty warm so it was nice to stand in the surf.

Mat and I went out to dinner one night and left Braeden with Me Ma and P Pa. We had a great meal sitting outside on the boardwalk watching the ocean. The only downside to the evening was the fighter jets that flew overhead. In fact, they were always flying overhead. We couldn't help but think about how much money was being wasted each time one of them screamed overhead. Braeden enjoyed watching them, but they truly drowned out all conversation! We also saw helicopters and regular jets. And there was a speedboat that towed parasailers with a giant multi-colored parachute. Braeden loved all of them!

This was Braeden's third trip to the beach and each time we've been, I've made sure to get a family photo. Braeden was too busy during our big trips to the beach to sit still for a posed photo, so the last thing we did before we got in the car to leave Tuesday morning was head to the beach for the picture. Big mistake! Braeden wanted to take his shoes and socks off and play in the sand, but we knew we had a four hour drive ahead of us and didn't want to do it with a sandy Braeden. So he was pretty upset with us! It took a LONG time to calm him down. Then we got this first picture of Braeden, Me Ma and me.


When he was calm enough, I got my family photo at the beach.


And on our way back to the parking garage, I snapped this picture of Braeden with Me Ma and P Pa because I just thought they were so cute!



Last weekend we went to the Razz and Tazz Farm with Grandma and Grandpa Pete. We walked through the corn maze and played in a mini-silo full of dried corn kernels.


Braeden rode on the cow train--individual cow cars towed by a big tractor. You never know with Braeden, but he LOVED the cow train! He rode it three times.


Braeden climbed up to the top of a stack of hay bales and loved sitting up so high!


We walked through the corn maze once, but Braeden ran ahead so far I had to send Mat running after him. I was worried Braeden would cut through the corn and get lost in the maze instead of staying on the path. So we just walked the maze the one time. On our way out, we bought pumpkins for the front yard. One big pumpkin and four small ones (Braeden loved picking out the small pumpkins and putting them in the wagon).


The biggest thing to happen, though, is Braeden's newfound success on the potty! Thursday and Friday the day care put Braeden in real underpants so that he would have the motivation to pee on the potty and keep his underpants dry. He had an accident each day, but each day he also peed on the potty. But this weekend he was a real champ! He kept a pull-up dry all day Saturday and Sunday. He would tell us he needed to pee and we would head out to the kitchen where we'd put the potty. He needed a little help getting his jeans down, but then he peed on the potty. I didn't keep track, but he probably peed five or six times Sunday! He was so proud of himself...he loves flushing the pee down the toilet and picking out his three M&Ms afterwards! We're looking forward to seeing his progress continuing at day care this week. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Progress??

When Mat woke Braeden up this morning one of the first things he did was tell his daddy he needed to go potty. Mat helped him out of his PJs and diaper and Braeden went to sit on the potty. He asked Mat to read him a book and Mat reminded Braeden that we didn't read on the potty until after he peed. And then Braeden peed on the potty!

He got to eat M&Ms this morning and wear a pull-up to school! And he made his mommy and daddy so proud!

Is this progress? Too soon to tell.

Monday, October 8, 2007

What Baby Needs (besides a name!)

When people ask what we're having this time around, one of the first things they say in response to me saying boy is that we must not need anything this time around. I guess everyone assumes we kept every article of clothing, toy, blanket, washcloth, etc. Our house just isn't that big! Besides, we had so much and there are kids with so little, it didn't feel right to just pack the stuff away in case we had another boy. Over the past few years we've donated a lot of clothes and toys, so while we kept the big stuff (crib, swing, high chair, etc.), there's still some things we could use.

So, I set up a registry at Babies R Us. If you're sitting around thinking of sending the baby a gift (and really, who isn't thinking that??!!), check out the registry. I think there's some good stuff on there!

My friend Melisha (mom to Kenan) turned me on to the Bumbo...it's a molded plastic seat that lets 3-month-old babies sit up and watch the action. She would sit Kenan in it on the kitchen counter while she was doing dishes and he loved being in the middle of things. My friend Emily has the snap n go stroller which is really just the bottom of a stroller that your infant car seat snaps onto. We've got a travel system, but the stroller piece is so big and bulky it's a hassle to take it anywhere. Our stroller base is heavy which made it hard for me to lift up into my trunk and once it's there, it takes up almost all the trunk floor space. This snap n go is light and very compact and should be easier to use in tight spaces like Target or Starbucks (places this baby will LOVE to visit with me!).

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Mommy 2 Be

I stayed home Friday because I just felt a little off in the morning. Around 10:00 I got an e-mail from Spa Sublime offering 20% off massage appointments that day. Since I've been having a lot of pain in my lower back, a massage sounded like heaven. I called and got an 11:00 appointment for the Mommy 2 Be prenatal massage.

When I arrived, a much-too-perky woman showed me back to the room to change into the robe and slippers. She met me after I was changed with a cold drink made of berries including one shown to energize women post-partum. The drink had an incredibly sharp taste with just a hint of sweetness, not something you gulp, definitely a sipper. She showed me back to the quiet room, gave me a heated neck roll, and covered me with a blanket. A few minutes later, Erin, the masseuse, came to get me.

You lay on your side for the Mommy 2 Be massage supporting yourself with a giant body pillow. She started me off on my left side and massaged my head, neck, arm, shoulders, back and down through my hip. Then she finished with my leg and foot. I had explained that most of my pain was in the lower back and hip area, so she focused on that. Then she helped me flip over to my right side and did the same thing all over again. It was perfect! My right hip area had really been bothering me recently and she spent extra time working on it. It's felt a hundred times better since. Afterwards I was actually kicking myself for not having done this a month ago when the pains really started in earnest.

On the way out, the receptionist always asks if you want to schedule another appointment. I've always said no because I prefer to wait for the 20% off openings, but this time I jumped at the chance. You do save 10% by schedling another appointment before you leave, but honestly, I just felt so good, I might have agreed to anything. Of course, I scheduled the appointment for the Saturday I'll be in Greenville, so now I need to reschedule it. It's expensive, but so worth the money!

Braeden and baby

I went to the doctor Thursday. The baby's heartbeat sounded good, around 140 beats/minute. My blood pressure is still great at 110/72. My weight gain is perfectly normal, and the baby was measuring right on. All in all, a perfectly normal, ho-hum appointment. Hardly worth the drive to Greensboro. I go back in two weeks.

That night, Lisa and her daughter Kiki and Braeden and I went to dinner with Emily and Will at PF Changs. Melisha's son Kenan has a bad ear infection, so she wasn't able to go with us unfortunately. But we had a great dinner. Will is so sweet and slept through practically the entire dinner. Emily, very bravely and very discreetly, nursed him at the dinner so we could stay together a little longer. I hadn't planned to bring Braeden because I worried he would act up at the restaurant...long waits for dinner and boring sitting are not his favorite things. But he was very good. He sat next to Kiki and he really, really likes her! She was very patient with him, even when he was taking the straw out of our water and putting it in her lemonade or building a super-long straw by sticking the chopsticks into the straw. Since I knew PF Changs didn't have a kids menu, I brought him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, juice, and goldfish. He also loved the fortune cookies the waitress brought at the end of the meal.

One of the highlights was checking out Braeden watching me holding Will. Emily and I have been speculating for months about how Braeden will handle me holding another baby. He was totally fine about it. He wanted to touch the baby, so he touched Will's arm just like he would pet the cat. He was gentle and very sweet about it. I had to give Will back to Emily sooner than I would have liked because I was worried about Braeden being too rambunctious next to us. I was so nervous he would hit my arm or Will's head, or drop something on him, accidentally. But really, Braeden took it all in stride. He liked to look at Will sleeping in his car seat and he had absolutely no problem with his mommy holding another baby.

Naked weekend

I'm typing this downstairs on our couch; Mat and Braeden are still sleeping. Periodically, from upstairs, I hear a loud thump. I keep expecting Braeden to wake up since the thumping happens when he slams some part of his body into the wall, but he seems to sleep through it. I always worry it's his head he's bumping, but sometimes when we check on him we find his feet or legs resting against the wall. So I console myself with that knowledge and hope he's not giving himself a headache or brain damage.

Braeden spent most of yesterday naked and will likely spend today the same way. Mat took him for a haircut in the morning then to the grocery store. When they got home around 10 or so, the clothes and diaper came off. Mat noticed the diaper was dry. We brought his potty down to the living room and spent the rest of the morning reading books, watching cooking, and playing. I would remind him about the potty but he seemed completely unconcerned about it or a need to pee. He ate lunch (naked) and we went back to the living room. In an effort to tip his hand, I kept offering him drinks. Water before lunch, chocolate milk after lunch. Finally, around 2:30 or 3:00, four to five hours after the diaper came off, the kid peed in his potty. He was very excited and we clapped and cheered and told him how proud we were!

After his M&Ms, he asked for a pull-up so he and Mat could go outside to play. After dinner, we took the wet pull-up off. Mat had asked him outside if he needed to go to the potty, but Braeden always said no. Clearly he's still not ready to tell us and give up peeing on the go.

Braeden had his bath and took up his usual post-bath position on the potty. But this time, he actually peed! I promised him his M&Ms this morning since he had already had his teeth brushed. But I was very surprised that he peed at all. He sits on the potty every night after bathtime and never produces anything!

Sunday will be day two, naked. But whatever progress we make at home, I can't help but worry it will all be undone at school. Braeden refuses to sit on the potty at school. I honestly think some of it is obstinence. But I believe some of it is not wanting to miss out on something when he's in the bathroom. He needs to start understanding that he's going to keep losing his friends one by one as they move up to the next room. He's already lost his bestest friends Alex and Tristan. Who's next?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bad dreams?

We had a weird night last night...Braeden was in bed at 8:00, a little bit later than usual because we went out to dinner (at Red Robin!) and then called Me Ma when we got home to wish her a happy birthday.

Around 9:30 I hear Braeden's little voice calling Mommy! I look up and he's standing at the gate at the top of the stairs. When I get up there, all he'll do is whine and tell me he wants to get up. He wants to do something else (other than sleep). He wouldn't let me pick him up or help him back to bed. Mat came up and neither of us could get him to calm down. Finally I took him in the other bedroom and we climbed onto the futon.

After a few minutes, we took him back to bed and thought he was down for the night. Again. But about 15 minutes later, I heard his door open again. I looked up and he was just standing at the gate staring down at me. I went upstairs again and this time ended up bringing him downstairs with me because he agreed to get into my bed.

But first he wanted a drink of water, not from my glass, but from his own cup. With ice. Then he wanted to watch Mat brush his teeth. Then finally he climbed into bed with me and got under the covers. He LOVES to be covered up. I think I fell asleep and Mat took Braeden back up to his own bed. And this time, he stayed there the rest of the night, even sleeping later than usual.

This morning Braeden told Mat he had a bad dream then heard a loud noise on the TV and that's what woke him up. Maybe he was dreaming about the big bird at Red Robin...as we were getting ready to leave, there was a person in a robin costume walking around the restaurant. Braeden was terrified and refused to go near the big bird. The purple balloon he got on on the way out the door helped a little, but you could tell he was still stressed about the bird because he kept mentioning it the rest of the night.

Don't tell Mat, but I never mind having Braeden in the bed with us. He's so sweet and warm and it reminds me of when he was a baby and slept with us.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Dentist

I took Braeden to the dentist this morning...what a nightmare!

He seemed interested in going, was perfectly happy to climb up into the big chair all by himself, loved the taste of the grape toothpaste when the hygienist offered him a taste, and even liked it when she tickled his hand with the spinning toothbrush. The good times ended there, though!

Because that's the moment the hygienist raised the chair up and lowered the back. Braeden freaked! He was out of the chair and in my arms in a split second. I calmed him a little, then climbed in the chair myself. We tried to brush his teeth sitting up but he wouldn't open his mouth or hold still. After a minute or so, we gave up and resolved to try again after the dentist came in.

When the dentist came in, he reclined the chair again. This time Braeden was lying on top of me. It took two hygienists and me to hold him down long enough for the dentist to check each tooth for cavities. None, by the way!

When we sat up, my cheek was wet from Braeden's tears. He had basically been crying the whole time begging me to help him. After the dentist left, we tried one more time to clean his teeth, but finally I just told them to stop. He was having none of it, and I knew I couldn't take much more of the screaming either.

Braeden perked up when he realized it was over and he could choose between a Spongebob toothbrush and a Dora one. He picked Spongebob...could be because Spongebob was on the TV when he came in!

We'll try again at our next appointment in April.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Boring appointment update

I passed my glucose test yesterday! My iron level was just below (11) what they consider normal (12-16). The lab tech's advice was to eat more iron-rich food. If my midwife is concerned, I guess I'll get a call about it.

When I arrived for my 11:00 appointment I was taken back to the lab where they gave me the sugar drink. I had my choice of orange, cola, or lemon-lime. Since I love Coke I picked cola. The first sip tasted like a flat pepsi that had too much syrup. Gulping it down was a little harder, but I didn't think it was that bad. They sent me back out to the waiting room with a digital timer.

I was called back by a nurse a few minutes later for my appointment with Tanya. My blood pressure was fantastic--100/70! We listened to the heartbeat--150 beats/minute and Tanya measured me. I'm measuring right between 26 and 27, so dead on. Everything looks great. Good weight gain, low blood pressure, perfect measurement, passed the glucose test...no complaints!

After my appointment came the fun stuff...I met Emily and Will for lunch at Moe's. In my house, Moe's is a word that cannot be said aloud. We can't even spell it because Braeden still knows what we're talking about. We call it the place that cannot be named! Emily looks great and Will is perfect. He's tiny but so strong at holding his head up. He slept our entire visit regardless of my toe tickling and other tactics to wake him up! After we ate, I held him until we had to go. I told him not to have too much fun until Baby P-G gets here this Christmas!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More on Names

I've been proofing Elon's donor honor roll which is as much fun as it sounds, but it's given me a lot of time to review A LOT of names. The proofing drove my last post on names we will never choose for this baby.

There is a name I love that we won't go with, so I thought it would be nice to give my readers an idea of the direction we'll go in when we choose the name.

Gray. I love that name for a little boy. The reason we won't name him Gray is that we would then have Bray and Gray and that is way too cutesy for my taste! That's the kind of thing some parents do when they have twins, and it bugs me. So, as much as I love the name Gray, this baby will not be baby Gray.

But this should give you an idea of the kind of names I like. I think Braeden has a traditional feel without being a very traditional name. It's popular but it's not a name we hear every day.

Next time I'll post about my baby name rules...something to look forward to.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Stalled

Just a quick note to say that we've had no more success on the potty. Braeden had the flu last week (mostly a low fever, runny nose, and bad cough), but he had some higher fever spikes and was pretty uncomfortable and miserable most days. It wasn't a great time to try for more potty success.

He's also deep in the throes of the terrible two's, so he's not that much fun a lot of the time. He doesn't say no that much, he just ignores us and our requests/orders. He's truly uncooperative about picking up toys, washing his hands, sometimes even about eating. He still sticks by his "mommy do it" guns which makes everything harder for Mat.

We know he's just testing us and himself, but it's frustrating all the same. We just take it day by day and try never to take for granted the sweet moments we have with him.

A couple of his favorite things right now are stop signs and school buses. It's great that school started last week because we see a lot more buses now. We can't drive anywhere in the car without Bray asking each of us if we like stop signs. The right answer is yes. Not answering the question at all means he'll just keep asking until he finally gets an answer!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Baby names

When I was pregnant with Braeden, Mat and I had a deal that we would NOT share the name with anyone until Braeden was finally here. This turned out to be a lot more fun for us than I ever could have thought. There are few things worse (as a potential parent) than telling someone your future baby's name and getting the look. Or the long pause. Or the so obviously fake rave about your choice.

So, I will tell you a few names that won't make it onto the birth certificate...

Garth
Howard
Arthur
Roy
Archie

And of course I mean no disrespect to any reader out there who has one of these names or is related to someone named Garth. :)

I'm sure I'll write more about names as we get closer...I've got some hard-and-fast naming rules too, so that will be a future post!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Baby Will



I went to the hospital to see Emily, Kenny, and baby Will Thursday evening and probably stayed way too long. But once you get a new baby in your arms you just don't want to let go! He was just precious. So tiny. It's funny when you hold a newborn, you swear your's was never that small when logically you know he was!

The Thompson family went home from the hospital Saturday and I came in to work this morning to find a few pictures from Kenny. I think this is my favorite (and it's not just because I bought him that adorable polka dot outfit!).

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy baby news!

My friend Emily had her baby this morning by c-section, a little boy she and Kenny named William Randolph! Will is 7 pounds 7 ounces and 19 3/4 inches long. Emily, Kenny, and Will will be at Women's Hospital until Sunday.

I was thinking of them this morning at 7:30 (the time of her scheduled c-section) and checked to be sure my cell was charged. As I was getting ready for work, I moved my cell with me to be sure I didn't miss Kenny's call. It finally ended up in the pocket of my jacket and the call came when we were driving to school to drop Braeden off. The anticipation was a lot of fun, even not knowing the baby's gender turned out to be more fun than I thought, but knowing he's here and they're all 20 minutes away is so much better!

I can't wait to meet Baby T...I mean Will! :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

M&Ms

I'm almost too excited to type!

Braeden peed on the potty this morning! I was showering...I can't believe I missed it! But Mat went up this morning when Braeden woke up, helped him out of his pjs and diaper, and then read books to him while Braeden sat on the potty. (Our morning tradition) When they finished reading, Mat told him it was time to get up and get his diaper on, but Braeden told him he was peeing. Mat looked, and sure enough, Braeden was!

When Braeden was done, they went in the bathroom and flushed the pee. When they came downstairs, Mat gave him three M&Ms! I came out a few minutes later and saw Braeden holding the M&Ms I knew immediately that he had used the potty! I gave him lots of kisses and told him how proud I was. And I told him that he's like Michael now (the little boy who learns to use the potty in the book)! Braeden seemed very proud of himself too!

I told the woman at school that Braeden had used the potty at home and asked her to encourage him to do it at school too. We're just so excited!

Trip North and a Shower

We went up to Rhinebeck to see my family a couple weeks ago...first trip up since Christmas! Mom and Abi took me to the Beekman Arms for lunch (that's the oldest operating inn in America--George Washington stayed there!) and then across the street to Calico, the cutest little patisserie ever, to buy a special cake. Chocolate mocha! We went home and had a very sweet family shower...Baby P-G was truly showered with gifts!



When we got back to Whitsett, Braeden helped me cut the tags off all the clothes and I laid them out on the bed. Obviously I had to stand on the bed to get this picture and, as you can see, the clothes fill the bed! I especially love the tiny onesies and the oh-so-soft button up sleepers. So far, this baby will have plenty to wear when he finally arrives in December!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Regular Check-up

I went to the doctor yesterday for a regular check-up. It was nice not to have blood work for once. For a while it felt like I was driving 20 minutes every few weeks just to give three or four vials of blood.

The nurse checked my blood pressure (always a concern after one bout of preeclampsia), but it's still very good at 120/70. Same as before the baby. :)

Weight gain is right on track, about 8 pounds now. I'm committed to never scheduling another appointment at the end of the day because my weight was four pounds heavier than it had been in the morning. It's so demoralizing! And of course, I had to make that case with Tanya to explain. I didn't want her to think I'd been gorging myself on milkshakes (much to Lisa's disappointment)!

We listened to the galloping heartbeat--135 beats/minute. Perfectly normal.

And yup, my uterus is still right where it should be, just above my belly button now. I love that they check each visit...where is it going to go? Mat wonders if they'll find it in my leg one day!

My next appointment is in 4 weeks for the glucose test!

We went up to Rhinebeck last week, so I'll post about the trip and the very sweet family shower when I have a little more time.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Cute, cozy, and cuddly

I finally got around to taking some pictures of the clothes I bought at Carter's last week. I think I loved them even more when I got them out of the baby's closet and laid them out on the futon.

These first three outfits are all made from the softest fleece you can imagine. The polka dot jumper has giraffe faces on the feet. The middle outfit is a brown jacket with polka dots and a hood and white fleece pants. That third jumper reminds me of a rugby shirt (and that reminds me of the serious J. Crew phase I went through in high school).



These next two are teddy bear-themed outfits. The brown jumper is a bumpy fleece with a hood complete with bear ears. And check out the feet of the jumper--paw prints! The other is a three piece outfit in cream with tiny bears, a short sleeved shirt and a long sleeve shirt. ADORABLE!



And finally I thought I would include a photo of the nursery in its current state. Previously known as the second bedroom, the room holds our futon, an old rocking chair with a broken seat (seriously, mom, what should I do with it??), our old coffee table, and now the crib. Four white walls with beige carpet and beige curtains...not cute. So, I'm open to suggestions. So far, I haven't seen any baby bedding I like or had any inspiration on color.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Baby P-G

We had our big ultrasound at 18 weeks. The baby looked great, perfectly healthy. THey were able to get all the shots they needed to assess the heart, spine, brain, and all the limbs. It took forever to get the third shot of the heart they needed, so I went home very sore. But happy. The baby is perfect. He's got 10 fingers and 10 toes. And he was measuring right on target for his age.

This first picture shows Baby P-G in profile in 2-D ultrasound.



This next picture is taken in 4-D ultrasound so you can see a lot more detail in the picture. And while it looks like the baby's skull is missing on the top of his head, it's not.

Breakthrough


Wow! Finally! Braeden sat on the potty tonight! No diaper!

A while back we bought a potty book and have been reading it almost every day for weeks. Braeden loves the book and always looks really excited when Michael gets his potty. But even with the book and our third potty, he had no interest in sitting on it.

Tonight after his bath I went upstairs to help him into his pjs and I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty. And he did! But he wanted to sit on the potty with the lid on, so we did that for a little bit first. We talked about what colors his potty were, then I showed him the shapes on his seat and how soft and cushy it is. When he finally sat on the open seat, Mat and I clapped and cheered. Braeden thought that was great, but then he jumped up, closed the lid again, and sat down. So we stopped cheering. We did this over and over again until I honestly thought that was all that would happen tonight.

But we kept showing him that we were excited when he sat on the potty the right way and nothing would happen when he sat the wrong way. I asked him if he wanted to read a book. Mat suggested we read the Michael potty book, so Braeden ran naked to get it and when he came back, he sat on the potty to read it. We read four books with Braeden on the potty!

Nothing happened, but at least he was sitting naked on his potty! We talked to him about doing it again tomorrow morning, so hopefully he'll still be excited about our excitement and want to do it all again.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Too cute

I'm the first one to admit that I've had issues since day one with our day care...it's not that I worry about Braeden while he's there because I think the care is top-notch. But there are things that bug me. There's one woman in particular, actually, who moved out of the baby room and into the three-year-old room. I'm hoping she moves again before Braeden has to move up to that room. But leaving her aside, Friday the teachers in the two-year-old rooms did the sweetest thing for us parents.

When I picked Braeden up that afternoon the teacher gave me a CD with his name on it. Later that night I popped it into my computer and found that it was full of pictures of Braeden and a powerpoint slideshow of all the kids in both two-year-old rooms. Each kid got a few minutes of screen time and at the end, they included pictures of the kids enjoying the everyday stuff--popsicles, water play, etc. I thought I'd post a couple of my favorite pictures here so everyone could enjoy them like Mat and I did!

Hopefully this isn't a sign that Braeden will be into basketball when he grows up!


I love how sullen he looks in this photo.


On days they eat popsicles, Braeden is a sticky disgusting mess when we pick him up. It's nice to see how cute he is actually eating the popsicle, rather than just dealing with its sticky aftermath!


Every Thursday, the kids have water play day. We take in a swimmie diaper, swimmie trunks, and a towel.


Now that we know the kids lay out in the sun on their towels to dry off after water play day, we feel terrible that we've been sending Braeden with such a tiny towel. From now on, that kid gets a full-sized towel for water play day!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Shhh...

Don't tell Mat but I just bought $90 worth of clothes at Carter's for the baby!

I could not help myself...everything was way too cute! I forgot how addictive it is to buy newborn-sized clothes. If I get my act together, I'll take some pictures of the clothes so you can see what the cool babies will be wearing this December. I will tell you that I'm particularly vulnerable to anything really, REALLY soft.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Trip down memory lane

Remember this picture? Braeden and some of his friends were going for a walk around the day care one day and I just happened to be there to snap the picture with my camera phone. Braeden's sitting in the front with Matthew. Behind Braeden is Hudson who no longer goes to our day care. I took this in September 2005, so Braeden was nine months old.



The other day I went to pick him up at school (we don't call it day care anymore). The stroller was sitting just outside the front door and Braeden insisted on getting in. I couldn't help but take a picture to capture the moment. He's so big now and you can just see so much of his personality now.

Big time

I can't believe I haven't posted about Braeden's big boy bed yet...

Two weekends ago we bought a twin bed, box springs, and frame. We took a look at Rooms to Go Kids but didn't see anything we liked. Is it just me or is the furniture at Rooms to Go hideous? The stuff seems so cheap. We would have been fine at the kids place if we wanted to give Braeden a jungle gym bed (with a slide!) or a princess bed. Not our style, besides we want him to understand that beds are for sleeping not playing in the middle of the night.

We settled for the basic set-up and it was delivered a couple days later. Mat stayed home one day to set it up, then we showed it off to Braeden. I tried to take pictures of his first time on the bed but he was too excited to sit still! He LOVES his bed. Last night he called it his cozy bed. Too cute.

We were worried it would be tough for him to adjust, but that first night he did great. He always wakes up a time or two at night and needs one of us to come up and tuck his feet back under his blanket or wipe his non-runny nose. The only difference now is that he can climb out of bed, come to the gate at the top of the stairs and call down to us.

One night I was watching TV and felt like I was the one being watched. I turned around, looked up, and there was Braeden holding his pig. He never said a word, and I have no idea how long he was standing there. It reminded me of our trip to Charleston. The first night we were there, I woke up and felt something behind me. When I rolled over, Braeden was standing right next to the bed holding his dog and staring at me. It would be a little creepy if he weren't such a cute kid!

Baby hijinks

I'm starting to feel kicks more frequently now. Sometimes it feels like the baby has stretched its arms and legs out as far as it can and is holding that position. That's probably my favorite sensation because it lasts a little longer than a quick jab. But I'll take what I can get...it's just nice to know the baby is moving around and getting bigger and stronger.

I've been getting a little bit of heartburn lately. Last night's was bad. It might have been because I ate dinner later than usual. I had a splitting headache when we got home, so I skipped dinner with the boys. I ate pancakes at 8:00 after Braeden went to bed. At least I hope it's just that I ate late and not the crazy pregnancy heartburn setting in already.

Saturday we went to Durham to the Streets at Southpoint to shop at a maternity store. Why isn't there a maternity store here in Burlington?? Women get pregnant in Burlington. And you can't tell me all of them are content to shop at JC Penny's! Anyway, I bought two pairs of maternity pants and I've been wearing them this week. It's really nice to wear pants that don't have a real waistband! So much more comfortable.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Coke

There's an old, opened 2-liter bottle of Coke in the kitchen at work. We had a party in early June to celebrate the close of another successful fund raising year. So that bottle of Coke has been open for 6 weeks or more at this point. For some, wine gets better with age. For me, the same can be said for Coke. I LOVE flat soda. My dad and I have argued constantly about this, and he's always accused me of deliberately not tightening the cap on his diet pepsi (guilty!). My friend Lisa and I have had this same debate.

So, anyway, at lunch today I poured myself a cup of Coke to go with my lean cuisine egg roll. (Nothing like the real thing, unfortunately.) After I ate and finished drinking the Coke, I was rounding out my lunch hour reading gossip sites when I felt something. The Coke made the baby kick! I felt four or five very light, but unmistakeable, kicks. And since I know exactly where my uterus is now, I can be 100% certain I was actually feeling the baby and nothing else.

So, all in all, a VERY good day!

For the love of art

A LONG time ago an Elon senior sent an e-mail to all Elon faculty and staff asking for their help with a senior thesis project. She was a photography major and wanted to take pictures of Elon faculty and staff with an object that mattered to them. I'm sure there was more to it than that, but since this is all about Braeden, her purpose doesn't really matter. Right? Right.

I volunteered because I'm an all-around good person and campus citizen. And I knew right away that my "object" would be Braeden. I checked with Rhiannon to be sure she was up for a two-year-old boy and she was game. We chose a time on a Saturday and I took Braeden to the art studio for his close-up.

Rhiannon had a couple standard poses she was asking everyone to do (sit on a stool, stand next to a stool, etc.) and then asked if there was anything else I wanted to try. Since I had brought a couple of books with me and Braeden absolutely LOVES story time, that seemed like a natural fit for the two of us.

A month or so later, Rhiannon brought a proof sheet to me to review. I had to pick one photo for the art show and write a couple sentences to explain why I chose that particular photo. I can't remember my exact words, but I'm sure I said something about Braeden's love of books. And this is the photo that hung in the senior art show. We all went to the opening to see Braeden made famous! We ended up seeing a lot of Mat's students (and told them all to go see Braeden's photo) and a few of his faculty colleagues as well. It was a very well-attended opening and a lovely display of photos of people I knew but maybe didn't know in that particular context. Many of the others chose family mementos or photos for their objects or something that represented their personal or professional persona. It was a very heartfelt project and each of us who participated felt great to help a student and share a little bit of ourselves with the rest of the Elon community.

Oh, and because I'm a diehard Giants fan (as is Braeden!), he had to wear his Giants jersey for the photo. Always representing the home team!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Too much information?

Before I got pregnant I bought this great pair of capri pants that I lived in during the weekend. They were a smidge big because the next smaller size felt a smidge tight. The joys of shopping, right? Well, the pants still fit 17 weeks in which was a HUGE relief this morning when I put them on. The only thing was, they felt a little tight when I buttoned them up. So, I tried out an old trick I had read about on a pregnancy web site. I've got a rubber band holding my pants up today. It works pretty well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Drama

I've been remiss in not blogging about last weekend yet...we had some drama as Emily would say!

Friday night while Braeden was eating dinner in his high chair, the stupid lopsided chair finally broke. The leg snapped and fortunately Mat was right there to catch the chair before it went down completely under the weight of a screaming 30-pound kid. I ran out from the living room and snatched Braeden out of the chair to comfort him while Mat cleaned up the floor. Poor kid almost took a header onto the kitchen floor just like one of Britney Spears' kids. Surely this just confirms us as better parents than Britney! (Like there was ever any doubt!)

So, Mat and a calmed-down Braeden went to Baby Depot and then to Target to find a new chair. We didn't want to spend a ton of money, but we wanted something that would fold down like the kitchen step stool. They chose this one by Evenflo. So far, so good. It's working well for us. The tray is much easier to slide off than the old one.


And of course, we had to take advantage of the free disposal service that is a construction dumpster in the neighborhood. As long as they're still building houses here, we've got free disposal of all big, unwieldy, unwanted items. I've been trying to keep this story alive in Braeden's memory by talking about it, so I figured he ought to have the chance to see the high chair in the dumpster for himself. And of course I had to snap a photo for the blog. What I won't do for my loyal readers!

160

Nope, not my weight. That stays between me and the hundred people who work at the doctor's office!

160 beats per minute...that's how fast the baby's heartbeat was yesterday at my check-up. Everything is perfectly normal. Uterus is right where it's supposed to be. Who knew we had to keep such close tabs on where it was...and honestly, where would it go??

I had some blood drawn (sorry, mom, it was no big deal!) as the conclusion to the ultrasound they did looking for defects. They test the blood for something that could show an increased risk of spinabifida. Is that one word or two? And they'll let me know the results when they get them. I'm not worried, just routine.

Next up is the ultrasound.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Washing Dishes

Mat was washing his car a couple weekends ago and Braeden went outside to help him. For some reason, he decided he was washing dishes when he was playing in the bucket of soapy water. Braeden would run into the garage and come back with more dishes to wash. It was hot and sunny, so I'm sure he really liked playing in the cold water. And he loves bubbles, so this was a great combination!





And this picture shows what happened when Braeden started clapping his hands...he realized he could make the bubbles fly (like onto Mommy who was trying to keep the camera dry and take pictures at the same time). He's got bubbles in his hair and on his clothes. Mine too!

It's about time!

Quite a long time ago, Me Ma and P-Pa bought Braeden a little rain jacket at Sam's Club. She called me very excitedly from the store to ask if a 2T would be too big, what color would I like best, was it okay to buy him the jacket. So, when the jacket arrived, I tried to get Braeden to try it on so we could be sure it would fit. I figured I could take a picture so Me Ma and P-Pa could see it on B. Unfortunately, like he does with every new piece of clothing or shoes, Braeden freaked out about the jacket. When I came near him with it, he would start screaming and crying about how he didn't want to wear it. "No like it!" he would say over and over. If we tried to force it on him, he would struggle, scream, kick, and thrash around on the floor to avoid wearing the jacket. Instead he would only wear his brown fleecy, zip-up jacket Don and Debbie Thorpe had given him for Christmas. Well, finally, the weather got too warm for fleece and we packed that jacket away. And one day, when it was raining, we FINALLY convinced him he had to wear a jacket. This jacket. We got it on him, and he wore it all day while running errands. He even looks happy to have it on in this picture! And as you can see, it should fit him for a while. He'll be wearing it next fall as it starts to cool down.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The second trimester

I've been telling people I'm less tired, which is true, but I'm still tired. Just not as utterly debilitatingly tired as I was a few weeks ago. So yea for the second trimester.

Otherwise there's not much more to report. I've got to go in for blood work next week. And our 18-week ultrasound is scheduled for about a month from now. I don't think I'll give out the date...that way it will be more of a surprise when we start referring to the baby as a he or she. :) This is a very tiny tribute to Emily who hasn't found out at all what she's having preferring the suprise ending!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Here are the two pictures I got from the last ultrasound. I think I was 12 weeks at the time of the ultrasound (switching the due date has really thrown me for a loop wiht the counting). This first photo is a profile shot of the baby's face. If you look at the bottom center of the photo, you should be able to make out the baby's nose and chin. (body to the left)



This photo is a more direct shot of the baby's face (not in profile). Here you get a look at the alien baby I'm carrying! Those large, dark expanses staring straight at you are the baby's eyes. Creepy, I know.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A change

Since the doctor's office is using December 22 as my due date, I went ahead and changed my ticker to reflect that. Unfortunately, those two days difference popped me back to 13 weeks. And apparently 13 weeks is still the first trimester...it's a small thing, tiny, but it still bugs me! But I think tomorrow the week shifts to 14 so I won't be so annoyed for long.

I thought someone might notice my ticker moving backwards so it made sense to post about it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A-OK

I know I didn't get to post my everything is okay post, so here it is.

Everything is okay with the baby still. The ultrasound went really, really well. The point of the ultrasound was to check for birth defects, specifically down syndrome. They measure the nuchal fold on the back of the baby's neck, then pair that measurement with the result of the bloodwork they did a week before the ultrasound to determine the risk of the baby having down syndrome. The result was very, very low so we're not worried about down syndrome. :)

I got some great pictures from the ultrasound, but Mat hasn't had a chance to scan them yet. I'll try to get them up by the end of this week.

What else? Well, Mat got an e-mail from his brother saying he had found this blog and knew our secret. For whatever reason, I thought no one would find the blog. But once Mark admitted he had found it, I started to look for it too. It was much, much too easy to find the blog, so now I'm wondering if anyone else has found the blog and is just keeping quiet about it. If you've found us out, please let me know!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Charleston

We really built this trip up for Braeden, telling him all the time that we're going to Charleston. As we were packing, we'd ask where we were going and he would say "Going to Charleston" very cutely. We knew he was interested in what we were doing but that he didn't really understand we were going on vacation. The drive down went pretty smoothly. We had planned to drive straight through, but it was obvious Braeden wanted a break from his carseat. We stopped around noon for lunch at McDonald's. Amazingly, Braeden didn't insist on french fries...he ate apple slices, chicken nuggets, and drank milk.

When we finally arrived in Charleston, we took Braeden to the aquarium which is right on the harbor. It's absolutely beautiful on the water. We could look out on the Ravenel bridge which is a cable bridge that's 3-miles long and has a pedestrian walkway. Mat and Braeden ended up walking half-way across the bridge Thursday morning so Braeden could see the boats and the water. Just inside the aquarium there's a giant tank with local fish and a big turtle. Braeden LOVED the turtle and followed it around the tank. I loved the turtle because he would snap at the tails of the fish as they swam by. I got some great photos of Braeden watching the turtle.




Me, I made friends with a very sweet duck. She swam right up to me and quacked at me so sweetly. She didn't leave my side for almost five minutes.

The thing I was most worried about this trip was how we would get Braeden to sleep at night and for naps. We just had one room and we had brought an inflatable bed for him. Mat set it up that night and Braeden was happy to jump on it. After his bath, I pulled Braeden up into our bed and we cuddled under the sheet together. We both fell asleep and later Mat transferred Braeden to his own bed. Sometime later (I thought it was MUCH later), I woke up suddenly to see Braeden standing by the bed staring at me holding his dog. Since I thought it was close to dawn, I pulled him up into bed with us and put him between us. The next morning (after a fitful sleep being kicked and pushed around by Braeden) Mat let me know Braeden had joined us at 2 AM. Oops! The next two nights we did much better, so the sleeping arrangements actually worked out pretty well. Naptime was a little more interesting because it meant I got to take a nap too, but we got through it.

To save a little money, we brought cheerios, fruit, and juice for breakfast.

Thursday morning we went down to the Market and wandered through all the stalls and shops. It was a beautiful morning and so nice to be outside. There were so many carriage tours and Braeden loved to see the horses. I love the baskets locals make out of sweetgrass but I can't afford to buy one. Even the tiny ones cost a fortune! We had lunch at A.W. Shuck's then ran back to the car in the rain to beat the meter. Charleston is terrible for parking! It costs a fortune! We also played on the steps of the Customs House.



After Braeden's nap, we decided to head to Folly Beach to walk on the beach and play in the surf. Timing being what it is we stepped onto the beach just as the lifeguards were clearing the beach due to a big storm coming. As the huge raindrops started to hit us, we ran up under the covered pavilion and right into the midst of seven lifeguards. With the beach cleared, it was just us and them. They took pity on us and invited us into their tiny headquarters to ride out the storm. And what a storm it was! Thunder, lightning, wind, and rain. The lifeguards (and Mat) started shouting and jumping around exitedly when one of them noticed a waterspout had formed directly in front of us. Mat tried taking pictures, but they didn't really come out. Here's one of the storm though.



The lifeguards were great with Braeden...they really liked having him there. One guy gave him his bag of cheez-its which Braeden devoured! And he had a great time playing with the red floaty thing lifeguards use.


I spent Thursday at the conference. Mat and Braeden walked halfway across the Ravenel bridge that morning. The bridge takes you from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant, and it's a beautiful bridge! It's part of the view from the Aquarium too. That afternoon Mat took Braeden down to the battery to see the boats and play in the park down there. There were a number of gazebos (or rainbow houses as Braeden calls them) for them to play in and statues to climb on. When I got back from the conference late that afternoon they were playing in Marion Park just across the street from our hotel.

Friday morning Mat and Braeden went back to the battery to play in the park while I finished up the conference. Much to Braeden's utter delight, Mat took him to lunch at Moe's two days in a row!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Charleston updates

We took Bray to the aquarium yesterday when we got here. We had a great time and Bray really made friends with the fish.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

On the road

We are on our way to charleston now. Doesn't Bray look more relaxed already?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ultrasound today

At 3:30 I'm having a screening done by ultrasound for birth defects. It's not a fun reason to have an ultrasound, but I'm focusing instead on seeing the baby again. Hearing the heartbeat, and knowing the baby is still doing fine.

I should get a couple photos, but we're going to Charleston tomorrow morning so I won't be able to scan them until we get back. I probably won't get to post the photos until a week from now. But I will post a quick message to say that everything is okay with the baby. :)

I don't know where he picks these things up...

Braeden's got a new favorite saying. Very spontaneously, he'll look at Mat or me and say, "I've got plans for you."

Where did that come from? It's too cute! If you ask him about the plans, he's got nothing to say. But just the fact that he says it at all, is so adorable. You can't help but laugh when a two-and-a-half year old tells you he has plans for you!

Friday, June 8, 2007

On a happier note...

Braeden's moving up to the older twos room. Actually, almost every kid in the younger twos room is moving into the older twos room at the same time. It's one of the nice things about our day care...they tend to move kids in groups so they stick with their friends. Today is their last day in their current room, so they're having a moving up party. We made chocolate chip cookies and Braeden was so happy to carry the bag in this morning. It actually meant that he would walk under his own power into the day care rather than insisting one of us carry him.

Monday morning he'll move into the room next door with Heidi. Braeden already knows Heidi because she's in his current room each morning. And the older twos and younger twos play outside together a lot of the time, so he'll still to get to see his friends who didn't move. Like Makena. Her mom is very upset that Makena will still be in the younger twos room. And I'm sad for Makena that she won't have Braeden around all the time.

We got to school yesterday to pick up and Braeden and Makena was just coming out with her mom Robin. When she saw us, she got this huge grin on her face and pointed at us. I couldn't tell what she said because she had her paccy in her mouth, but I bet it was something like Braeden's mommy. She's such a pretty little girl. I hope she moves up soon so she can be with Braeden again.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Another Scare

Emily and I, two pregnant girls, went to the movies Monday night to see another pregnant girl in Waitress. We grabbed breakfast dinner (pancakes, hash browns, and bacon) at Tex & Shirley's first. The food was great, and the service sucked. The girl who checked us out was just stupid and completely unable to understand how much she was overcharging us for food. She was utterly put out when we asked for her manager's held and admitted that we were inconveniencing her. Unbelieveable!

Waitress was great, very sweet and funny, sad and uplifting. Keri Russell was great, and she was incredibly beautiful. Plus, they played one of my favorite Cake songs right in the middle--Short Skirt Long Jacket. It was great to hear that song in this movie!

The scare came after the movie. Of course, the two pregnant girls had to go to the bathroom. That's when I realized I was bleeding bright, red blood. It was a lot of blood and had made quite a mess. I never even realized there was a problem which was scary too. I told Emily what happened and we called my doctor's office. Their recording gives the number for the nurse on-call, so I left a message there. That recording says you should hear back in 15 minutes. I called at 9:05.

We went out and sat on some benches by the video games to wait for the call back. We spent 20 minutes trying to distract each other. Found out Emily has never seen Star Wars! I'm not really into sci-fi, but come on...it's Star Wars! I can't tell you how glad I was to have Emily with me. She stayed so calm and was so reassuring. With her placenta previa, she bled for weeks and is doing better than fine now. I don't think I thanked her enough for her patience and kindness. She's such a good friend.

I was just getting ready to call the nurse again when she called back. She asked a series of questions (how many pregnancies have you had, how many children at home, how long was your labor, etc.) before finally telling me to get home and get in bed. Get up just to go to the bathroom. Lay on my left side. Drink LOTS of fluids. Call the doctor first thing in the morning.

So, we parted ways and had to drive back to Whitsett in an insane downpour with lots of lightning and wind. So fitting! Got home and got right in bed with a giant bottle of water. The next morning I called the doctor's office and got an appointment with my midwife for midday.

Mat took me to the appointment where the midwife did an exam. Apparently my cervix looked great! No inflammation, no bleeding. Then she pulled out the doppler to look for the heartbeat. After a few minutes of fruitless searching, there it was. 174 beats/minute! Just perfect. My midwife thought the bleeding had to do with the subchorionic tear, maybe a clot that dissolved. Since the bleeding had stopped by that morning and we heard such a strong heartbeat, she wasn't concerned. I guess I was concerned enough for the both of us (and about 12 other people too). She thought we might be able to see something at Monday's ultrasound (like the healed tear or if there was any more blood stuck someplace waiting to rush out and scare the hell out of me).

So, all's good again. I'm just about 12 weeks pregnant now, basically done with the first trimester.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Back to the doctor

Went to the doctor this morning for blood work. I was in and out in 10 minutes. Took me 4 times as long to drive there and back!

I think the point of this blood work was to compare levels of pregnancy hormone from three weeks ago to this week. If everything is going well with the pregnancy, they should see the levels increasing over time. Next Monday I go back for the ultrascreen. I'm really looking forward to another ultrasound, another chance to see the blob and hear that great heartbeat!

Forceps

Just a warning up front...this post is going to get a little graphic!

Saturday when Braeden got up from his nap, Mat asked me if I thought Braeden had been touching his nose more than usual. He's been on a kick recently about picking his nose. I just figured it was standard procedure for a 2 1/2 year old boy, which is what I said to Mat. But Mat, the scientist in the family, thought he had observed an increase in this behavior over the last week or so. We asked Braeden if we could look up his nose (just the beginning of the gross stuff!) and he agreed. Bray very sweetly looked up at the ceiling; we had him sitting on the second stair, so we had a good position to look. Mat saw something. Me, I saw nose, but Mat was convinced he saw something. We gathered our tools--the nasal aspirator, a flashlight, and my eyebrow tweezers--and took another look with better light.

Mat's even more convinced there's something up there, and I'm just as convinced it's just nose. We ask Braeden to lay down on the floor. He agreed, mostly because I'm sure he had no idea what was in store for him next. Mat used the aspirator and sucked something down but not out of Bray's nose. We hit his nose with the light and now I could definitely see something.

"It's corn!" Mat shouted. I was willing to admit there was something, but I was not convinced it was anything that wouldn't normally be found in a nose. Mat kept aspirating, then tried to grab the object with the tweezers. Unfortunately it was too slippery and it slid deeper into his nose. And in case you were wondering what Braeden was doing all this time, he was SCREAMING!

After a couple more minutes of this torture we gave up. Mat said the thing I was thinking which was maybe this called for a trip to the emergency room. As I comforted my screaming kid, we agreed to go to the local urgent care place. Poor Braeden...we'd been telling him he could go to the park that afternoon. He did not understand how we ended up at a boring doctor's office.

We checked in at 4:15 and didn't get past the waiting room until about 6:30. A very nice nurse heard our complaint and checked Bray's vitals. If you ever wondered, he has a blood pressure of 80/60. Apparently that's normal for a kid his age.

At about 7:00 we heard lots of conversation among the doctor and nurses as they searched for a nasal speculum and forceps. This was it! A woman doctor and male nurse came in to our tiny exam room and we put a screaming Braeden on the table. I was responsible for holding his arms over his head which also served to keep his head pretty straight. She looked up his nose and saw the object, then set about extracting it with forceps. It only took about a minute, then it was out.

Turns out Mat was right. It was a kernel of corn! Now then, you're probably wondering how our little Braeden got a corn kernel in his nose...

About a week and a half ago, Bray woke us up in the middle of the night with his crying. When we got up there, we found he'd thrown up in bed. I'm responsible for changing Braeden and quieting him down while Mat takes care of changing the sheet and checking animals for throw-up. I try to spend as little time as possible looking at/smelling the vomit. Apparently, I'd served corn with dinner that night. Mat's theory is that Braeden aspirated corn into his nose when he threw up. So that kernel of corn has been in his nose for more than a week! It didn't seem to affect his breathing or sleeping. There was no loud snoring or funny snuffling to his breathing.

If you read this far, you should probably get a prize. Hopefully the story wasn't too disgusting to share on adorable little Braeden's blog. Oh, and if you were wondering about the state of my tweezers...Mat boiled them for five minutes to sterilize them. Even so, I'm a little grossed out about the idea of using them to pluck wayward eyebrow hairs. Maybe I'll have to treat myself to a new pair!