Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eleven Months Old!

Well, she actually turned eleven months about a week and a half ago, but you know how that goes....

We've got one month and counting until our baby officially turns into a toddler! Abigail has grown and changed so much in just one year that I simply can't wait to see how she'll develop over the next. While it's sad to say goodbye to the baby stage, I'm greatly looking foward to the next step and all that toddlerhood involves. It's just amazing to watch her personality blossom and to watch her grow into such a perfect little girl.
  • She's still gabbing away and has added a few new words to her vocabulary such as "cookie" and "book" (although that one comes out sounding more like "booka"). I will say that "dadda" is still her favorite word, however.
  • She's now walking! She still doesn't entirely trust herself so she'll often squat down and crawl.
  • We've ditched the baby food. She's 100% on table food now. She'll eat most things but HATES peas.
  • We've started weaning her off of her formula and bottles in order to transition her to whole milk and her sippy cup. While she'll drink water out of her sippy like it's going out of style, she's not a fan of the milk so far. I might try doing one bottle a day of milk instead of formula (she's down to only 3 bottles as it is) and see how that works.
  • She loves to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse in the mornings with me and is great at playing independently, especially with books.
  • She's recently discovered her bellybutton and will point to it when you ask her where it is.
  • She can recognize her sippy cup, paci, stuffed monkey, and blanket by name. If you ask her where one of those items is, she'll retrieve it and bring it back to you.
  • Most days, she'll only take one (long) nap.
  • Her sleep is improving SO much. She's slept through the night several times over the past month and, even when she doesn't, she really only wakes up once or twice and then goes right back to sleep while I rock her a bit. She's finally getting the hang of putting herself back to sleep in the middle of the night.

In case I don't post again in the meantime, I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

We've Got a Walker!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Wonderful Birthday

Yesturday was my 27th birthday. Although it started out a bit rough, it ended up being my best birthday yet. Allow me to explain...

Sunday night, I started spotting again. I had been spotting off and on since my initial prenatal appointment on Wednesday, however, it was a very small amount of brown blood so I was convinced that it was simply from the internal exam and pap that I received at that appointment. I didn't give much thought to it since it went away after a day or so. That is, until I started spotting again on Sunday. This time there was red blood and I completely freaked out. I called my OB's emergency number to see how they would like me to proceed and since I wasn't experiencing any cramping or clotting, they had told me to hang tight and come into the office the next day for an ultrasound to check on the baby.

While I was still freaking out about the spotting, we lost half (yes, only half) of the power to our house. Mike initially thought that we had blown a fuse or that a surge protector somewhere had gone bad. As it turns out, neither was the case. (Keep in mind, it was only 15 degrees outside, it was 9 pm, and our heat was not working.) We turned on the generator and called the power company. Thank goodness that it only took them 20 minutes to arrive! After several minutes, they determined that a power line that runs underground to our house is bad. Since there are two wires that run to our house, that explained why we had only lost half of our power. They created a temporary fix until they can come back (in their words, "anytime from one day to several months from now...") to fix it permanently. In the meantime, Abigail's nightlite and sound machine kept turning off and on since the power company kept having to kill the electricity and then restart it, so she was continuously waking up. Here I was, supposed to be resting and instead I kept having to run back and forth to her room to get her back to sleep until the power was restored. I thought I was going to lose my mind.

I was so stressed out by the time Mike and I went to bed that he decided to surprise me with my birthday gift a day early. He bought me the Nook Color I've been drooling over and a $35 B&N GC so that I could start adding books to it! It was a wonderful distraction to everything that was going on.

Fast foward to my actual birthday on Monday. I was nervous as all heck when we went in for my ultrasound. I had never spotted while pregnant with Abigail, especially not red blood, and had no idea what we were going to find on the sonogram. By the grace of God, the technician saw the baby's heartbeat immediately. I felt like the weight of the world was taken off of my shoulders. Seeing that heartbeat, which measured at 133 bpm, instantly put me at ease. She mentioned that the baby was measuring a few days ahead and was growing like a weed. After thoroughly checking me with the "dildo-cam", the technician stated that she saw no apparant reason for the spotting. Her best guess is that it's merely being caused by implantation of the placenta into the uterine wall and that there was nothing serious to worry about.

That news was, quite frankly, the best birthday gift I had ever received. I suppose I'm just going to be a spotter this time around and resolve myself to not panic everytime it happens unless other warning signs are present.

To top off our night, Mike took me and Abigail out to dinner at our favorite Japenese restuarant and we had a fabulous time. The food was amazing!

So, to conclude this novel of a post, here are the very first pictures of baby #2:

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Birthday Sneak Peek

The planning for Abigail's birthday party is well underway and I'm starting to get so excited for the celebration! I purchased her decorations and her outfit for the special day and I've gathered ideas about her cake.

I'm planning on sending out the invites after Christmas, but here's a sneak peak of what the theme of her party is (with our last name blanked out, of course):

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

6 Weeks & Quick Update

Well, I made it to the 6 week mark with this pregnancy. It seems somewhat surreal that it was already over 2 weeks ago that I got the positive HPT. Time seems to be flying by faster and faster these days.

Anyhow, I have my first doctor appointment tomorrow morning and I'm excited to see how that goes. Besides gathering my family history (Do they even do this for a second pregnancy? They already have all my info. and it's still up-to-date.), I really can't remember what else they do at this appoinment aside from taking a blood sample. It's funny, but last year at this time, I was practically living at my OB's office. That seems like ages ago!

I've been feeling okay, but certainly not great. I'm exhausted from the pregnancy and from chasing Abbey around the house all day. I finally broke down and ordered two baby gates with the goal of confining her to the family room during the day. I'm hoping this will help as my energy levels have been abysmal lately. I've also been attempting to nap whenever she does. It seems like no matter how much sleep I get, however, I'm still just as tired as I was when I went to bed. This is the part where I keep repeating, "This, too, shall pass....", to myself ad nauseum. Also, although I have yet to experience full-blown morning sickness, I've been very nauseous and, overall, just don't feel well. The housework is suffering and I'm hoping I get back into the swing of things soon since we'll be hosting Christmas day (read: lots of work for me).

Mike has been working extremely long hours practically seven days a week and, as this is his busiest month at work, it doesn't look to be letting up anytime soon. He was actually told that he may need to go in over the New Year's holiday when the plant is typically closed in order to get everything done. While triple-time holiday pay is fantastic, I miss my husband (and the extra help).

Lastly, I finally heard back about the interview I went on in mid-November. Apparantly, they're still trying to wrap up the first round of interviews and just wanted to let me know that they haven't forgotten about me. According to the woman I spoke with, I'm still at the top of their list and they plan to call me back shortly for a second interview. That conversation took place well over a week ago. Such is life when dealing with executives, I suppose. I'm not even sure if the job would still be plausible for me now that baby #2 is on the way. If I do get called back, I fully intend to go on the second interview and lay all my cards on the table if, and only if, I should get an offer. In the meantime, I emailed a few daycares in the area to get price quotes for two children. I'm attempting to keep all of my options open but I must admit that all of this uncertainty is unnerving considering everything else that is going on at the moment.

In short, life is crazy but we're counting our (many) blessings!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Stylin'!

I'm wayyy behind on posting this, but thanks to Kaley at Rogue Poags, I've received the Stylish Blogger award!

And now, here are 7 things you may not know about me:

1. I'm a complete neat-freak. I have a mental breakdown if the house is overly messy and clutter gives me heart palpitations.

2. I have a semi-obsession with cheese. I could cheese everyday and with every meal.

3. I never work out. I wish I could say I actually like to work out, but I don't.

4. I studied dance for 16 years (ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics) for 16 years and taught those subjects as well for several years. I really miss it.

5. I don't like other people's kids. I also hate teenagers, LOL.

6. I love to snowmobile and am extremely sad that this will be the second winter in a row that I can't ride.

7. I hate doing laundry. I don't mind sticking the clothes in the washer and/or dryer, but I loathe folding.

I now nominate Mrs. Dew @ Life After I "Dew". Congrats! :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some Thanksgiving Pics

On Thanksgiving Day, the three of us woke up early to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on tv for the first time as a family. Abbey loved listening to the music while the various performers were on. She even started dancing when certain songs would play!

We then headed off to my brother's house in Forestville, NY for dinner. My SIL is the world's best cook and made the entire dinner from scratch. As she does every year, she also made everyone at least one pie of their own to take home and enjoy later on.

My other brother who lives in Wisconsin drove in with his family for the holiday. His girlfriend had a baby born almost exactly one month before Abigail so I was able to capture some adorable moments of the two playing together for the very first time:

Here's Abbey playing with her cousin Zynnia:

And here's Abbey wearing her "big sister" shirt:

We ended up telling Mike's parents the night before Thanksgiving since we weren't able to meet up with them on the actual holiday. Mike's mom wanted us to meet her out for a few drinks that night, so we ended up having her guess why I was drinking water instead of alcohol. It took her a second as she figured it was because Abigail had been sick and I'd been up all night taking care of her the night before. Once Mike said, "No, it's because of the other baby...", it totally clicked for her. She was so thrilled that she started jumping up and down!

My family is a bit slower on the uptake, however. It took them forever to notice Abigail's shirt! Eventually, I told my mom that Abbey wore a special shirt just for her. Even then, it took her forever to put the pieces together. Thank goodness my brothers are a little quicker, they helped her out. It was a fabulous day!

Over the long weekend, we decided to Abbey to the Festival of the Trees and Santa's Castle. She was only really interested in the tree decorated with stuffed puppies, but she really enjoyed the live dance troupe that was there:

Lastly, she got to meet Santa for the very first time. After staring him down for several seconds, she decided that she wasn't a fan.

I hope you all had a fabulous holiday!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Well, We Did It!

(Pardon the pun.)

We're expecting! Baby #2 is due around August 2, 2011!

This has been a whirlwind of a weekend. Abbey was extremely congested Friday night and had us up every hour on the hour. Then, Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30 am to go on an all day shopping trip with my mom in Cleveland. I decided to take an HPT as, although my temp that morning had dropped slightly, it was still well above my coverline. At first, I didn't see anything on the test. Then, about a minute later, I thought I started to see a second line developing. I freaked out, haha! I woke Mike up by shoving the test in his face. He just looked at me and started laughing.

It was killer being around my mom all day and not being able to say anything. Plus, I tried to brush off the fact that I needed to keep sitting down since my lower back was hurting due to all the walking we were doing. When I got home later that night, I found that Abigail's congestion the night before had turned into an all out cold. She had a fever, a runny nose, and was so hysterical when we tried to put her to sleep that none of us ended up going to bed until midnight. Luckily, my mom came over Sunday to watch her so that Mike and I could catch up on some sleep.

We've decided, even though I won't be quite 5 weeks at the time, to spill the beans on Thanksgiving since all of my family will be there. I ordered this from Zoey's Attic on Etsy (personalized with Abigail, obviously):

The seller said she can mail the shirt today, so I'm hopeful that it will arrive in time. I can't wait to see how long it will take for someone to comment on it. Since it's a Thanksgiving themed shirt anyway, I don't think my family will catch on for quite awhile. We're also planning on taking Abigail over to my IL's earlier in the day on Thursday so that we can tell them then as well.

I'm so excited! I'm going to call my OB here in a few minutes to set up my first appointment!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh, the Anticipation!

Today is day 27 of my cycle and I'm currently 11 DPO. While I can't really say what a "normal" cycle is for me post-baby, when we were TTC Abbey, I typically had an 11 day luteal phase. My temps would slowly start dropping around that time and by the next morning, AF would show up. The only exception to this was the cycle I found out I was pregnant.

Looking at this month's chart, I had a pretty significant temp spike this morning that I wasn't expecting. Granted, it could still plummet by tomorrow morning signaling the start of cycle #2, but I'm feeling oddly hopeful. I keep trying to tell myself that I can't 100% rely on my chart since I've temped at different times throughout this cycle and I didn't always get 3 full hours of sleep beforehand as I was getting up during the night with the baby, but it's still difficult. Regardless, I'm picking up some HPT's this afternoon as I figure it's probably a good idea to keep some in the house again.

What do you think?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ten Months Old!

First off, I've been a very bad mommy blogger. I've been slacking lately on posing so I'd like to apologize for that. Between preparing for the holidays, keeping the house tidy, and caring for Abigail, I've been extremely busy. Not to mention that whenever I attempt to get on the computer, she stands next to me and pulls on my pant legs until I pick her up, ha!

But anyway, in two months my baby girl will officially be a toddler! Holy crap! I've been planning her party and can't wait for it to all come together. I'll be keeping things a secret until the big day, however, just in case any family members or friends happen to read my blog.

Without further adieu, here's what Abbey's been up to over the past month:
  • She can stand without holding on to objects for support. She's attempting to take some steps on her own, but hasn't quite gotten the hang of it yet.
  • She's now got two teeth and is working on a third.
  • She waves and says "hi" when prompted!
  • She can now say "ducky" and "doggie".
  • She is into everything. We desperately need to figure out what we're going to do about baby-proofing the Christmas tree this year. I can just see the whole thing tipping over.
  • At her 9 month pediatrician appointment, she weighed in at 18 lbs. 13 oz. and measured 27" long.
  • Her sleeping has improved tremendously. Even though naps are still touch and go, she now only wakes up once or twice a night. Oh, sweet relief!
  • She's still wearing a size 4 in diapers but I think I'm going to move her up to 12-18 month clothing with the start of next month. I've noticed that some of her pants are beginning to look like they're too short on her again and are starting to get a tiny bit tight in the waist.
  • She's tried just about every high-allergen food (under the consulation of our pedi as there are no food allergies in our family) and she has done very well with all of them. She's tried scrambled eggs, peanut butter, and seafood.
  • She's figured out how to signal "up" when she wants you to pick her up.
I wasn't able to capture many (decent) photos this month as my child refuses to sit still for 3 seconds at a time. I think I'm going to have to ditch the idea of taking her picture in the glider for the next 2 months. She's not a fan.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

'Tis (Almost) the Season

Last Saturday we had our first professional photoshoot as a family. We needed some pictures for our Christmas cards and since Abigail's birthday is so close to Christmas, I've decided that this will be a tradition for us going foward so that we can at least get pro pics of her once a year.

Here are some of my favorites:

I used them to make this from Shutterfly (our Christmas card for 2010):

It seems so hard to believe that I'm already thinking about Christmas. I ordered Abbey's stocking the other day to match the rest of our family's and have actually started shopping for gifts as well. I've even caught myself singing Christmas carols throughout the day. I can't wait for the holidays!

P.S. My interview yesturday went fabulously. I met with the woman who currently holds the position I applied for (she got a promotion at the hospital) and two senior VP's of Regional Health Services. I wasn't nervous at all and feel that I answered all their questions confidently. They said they still have a few more interviews to wrap up so I should hear something back within the next week to two weeks. I guess we'll just wait and see what happens from here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An Interesting Turn of Events

I have a job interview lined up for tomorrow morning.

I know, shocking, right? It's not really something I expected. Ever since I quit my job in June to stay home with Abigail, I've been casually searching job websites and those for local "big name" companies in my area simply to keep my options open. I've always maintained that if the right job comes along at the right salary, I'd go back to work.

Truth be told, I've had mixed emotions about working and being stay-at-home mom from the get go, although I'm sure you've caught on to that by now. Even though I greatly enjoy being home, I don't think those feelings have ever left me. I always feel so torn on what it is I truly want to do. There are days when I'm having so much fun with Abbey that I can't imagine working again for a very long time. Then there are those days where I've been up all night, she won't nap, and she's running me ragged. When those days strike, I find myself daydreaming about being back at work and catching somewhat of a breather from the tedium child rearing.

I know what you're thinking; I just need a break, not a complete lifestyle overhaul (again). I've made that proposition to myself several times only to continue feeling just as confused as ever. I'll admit that part of the issue is guilt. I feel guilty getting to stay home with Abbey while Mike is working ungodly hours seven days a week to provide for our family, even though he insists that he enjoys being the provider and doesn't mind it one bit. I feel guilty that we're paying on a student loan of mine for a degree that I'm not using. I feel exasperated to have worked full-time while going to school full-time for years only to decide later that, nah, I'm just going to be a mommy now and I'll go back to work "someday". I also feel more blessed than ever that I've even been given this opportunity to SAH when I never thought it would be an option for me. That just starts the cycle of guilt all over again since then I feel that I'm not truly appreciating that blessing to it's fullest at times.

All guilt aside, I'm actually really excited for the interview. It's for an administrative position in the executive offices of the best hospital in the area. In fact, I would report directly to the President of the hospital and would interact with the Board of Directors on a regular basis. The benefits are awesome and the position would pay about $6K more per year to start than my previous job. Since we're so used to living on one income now, we'd plan on continuing to do so while using my salary to become debt free (house and all) within the next few years and beefing up our bank accounts which have, admittedly, taken quite a hit this year between my unpaid maternity leave and overall loss of income. The negatives, however, would include putting off TTC #2 for the next year until I would be eligible for FMLA again and we'd obviously have to make the decision to put Abigail in daycare at least part-time (my retired MIL has offered to watch her full-time if I were to go back to work, but I'm not sure that will work for various reasons. I also don't really know how serious she was.)

I'm trying hard not to overthink this until I know the outcome of my interview, but it's proving to be somewhat difficult. I'm a chronic worrier; it's just who I am. I suppose all I can really do for now is to continue praying for guidance. God has never steered me wrong before and I have faith that he'll continue to lead me on the correct path in the future. So here I am, letting go of the wheel - and hoping I don't crash.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween!

For her very first Halloween, we dressed Abigail up as a monkey. Since day one, Mike and I have always referred to her as "our little monkey" for a handful of reasons so we felt that this costume was very fitting. Even better, we can eventually reuse it regardless of whether our future children are boys or girls - bonus points to us for being frugal!

Since she's really too young to Trick or Treat and she's typically bathed and asleep by 7:30 each night (Trick or Treating here lasts from 6-8 pm), we decided to take her around to visit our families instead.

Here she is before we got her dressed in her costume (LOL at her hair - she had just woken up from a nap in this picture):

Here we are before leaving the house:

Here she is at my parent's house:

And here is our worn out monkey once we got home:

I'm very much looking foward to next year when we can actually take her Trick or Treating. I'm sure she'll have a great time (as will we)!

Oh, and P.S., I was right. Abbey went back to waking up twice last night. CRAP!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It Has Finally Happened!

Abigail slept through the night last night!

I feel like screaming it from the rooftops - ha ha! My alarm went off this morning so that I could take my temperature for charting when I realized that I hadn't yet heard a peep from Abbey (it was 5 am by this point). She had rolled out of view on the monitor, so of course I panicked. I ran into her room, poked her, and breathed a huge sigh of relief when she wiggled (but didn't wake up). I crept back to our room with a huge smile on my face.

What I am feeling today can merely be described as a sense of euphoria after all of the sleep issues we've dealt with, and have been dealing with, for months. I'm sure she'll go back to her regular sleep pattern of waking at least twice tonight, but I'm just going to bask in the glory of this for the rest of the day.

On another note, we had her 9 month well-baby visit yesturday. Our peanut now weighs 18 lbs. 13 oz. (31st percentile) and is 27 inches long (17th percentile). I was slightly concerned that she is in the lower percentiles for size, but her pedi assured me that all of her measurements are in proportion and so there is nothing to worry about. She is meeting all of her milestones and is even hitting a few of them early. She had part one of her flu vaccine and will go back in 30 days for the second shot. She had her finger pricked to test her iron levels and is, thankfully, not anemic. Also, we'll have to take her to get her blood drawn between now and her next appointment to test for any lead in her system. It feels so weird to say that, aside from the second flu vaccine, she won't be back at the pediatrician's office until she's a year old.

Lastly, I'm not sure that I've mentioned this yet, but she has two teeth! The first one popped through last week (bottom front, right hand side) and the one next to it (bottom front, left hand side) popped through on Sunday. She's begun trying to chew on her crib so we need to now purchase a protective covering for it. There are already teeth marks everywhere on it....I'm just glad that since hers is a convertible crib, we don't plan on reusing it for a future child.

Well, my friends, I'm off to enjoy this truly wonderful day while it lasts!