August 24

I’m not even going to try to catch up. 

My New Year’s Resolution to “be a better blogger” is failing miserably. I should have resolved to lose weight – I’m actually doing that. 

After a random summer of Jon working out of town, having John Emerson “Jay” arrive in June, enjoying maternity leave over a summer that saw my parents buy a cabin at Clear Lake, I’ve got just two more weeks of maternity leave (ahh, the unpaid part finally begins). 

Today we just hung out around the house after a full day yesterday of running the Crim 5K and Elle running the Teddy Bear Trot. She ran THE WHOLE WAY! She was awesome. I did NOT run the entire 5K, but ran my fastest average pace since I started running just 3 weeks ago, so I feel pretty darn good about that. 

Elle is a wonderful big sister to “Jay Baaabbaaayyy” (what we call him) and hasn’t had too much in the way of adjustment issues. Some here and there, but nothing to write about per se. 

Jay is SUCH a good baby. I don’t know how we got two great babies in a row. I think Jay is even easier than Elle was, which is really saying something. So. Stinking. Cute. 

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With two weeks to go and a 34th birthday to celebrate in between, I’m just focusing on getting our lives organized before I hit the ground running going back to work. And I’m also excited to be signing up for a great bootcamp three nights a week. I feel like at the very least I’m making my own health a priority. While I was running the 5K yesterday, I just liked the fact that it felt good that my daughter was WATCHING me, ACTIVELY participating in something. It made pushing to go just a bit faster, just a bit easier. 

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Here is my brother Trevor, his girlfriend Ashley, me and Elle at the Crim yesterday! 

When we stopped to Jon’s parents yesterday, the first of what will be many identity swaps happened. You see, John Emerson – the baby Jay – was born this year. And my husband Jonathan – Jon/Jonny/Jonathan – is a J-O-N. And his Dad is JOHN Lee. So, yes, certainly room for confusion. It’s why our John E. has been Jay since day one. But somehow – and this has happened to my Jon for years – but Jay Baby got his first AARP solicitation letter. Seriously AARP, get it together. How do you even come up with this stuff?! 

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Just look at these kiddos – and Jay sitting up in his Bumbo at just 9 weeks old. What a big guy! 

 

Week by Week Pregnancy: In Case You Needed Proof

I have taken photos every week throughout this pregnancy – I didn’t even do that for Elle.

In case you needed proof, here you go…All 35+ weeks in all their glory.

 

 

Week 7

Week 7

 

Week 8

Week 8

Week 9

Week 9

 

Week 10

Week 10

 

Week 11

Week 11

 

Week 12

Week 12

 

Week 13

Week 13

 

Week 14

Week 14

 

Week 15

Week 15

 

Week 16

Week 16

 

Week 17

Week 17

 

Week 18

Week 18

 

Week 19

Week 19

 

Week 20

Week 20

 

Week 21

Week 21

 

Week 22

Week 22

 

Week 23

Week 23

 

Week 24

Week 24

 

Week 25

Week 25

 

Week 26

Week 26

 

Week 27

Week 27

 

Week 29

Week 29

 

Week 30

Week 30

 

Week 31

Week 31

 

Week 32

Week 32

 

Week 33

Week 33

 

Week 35

Week 35

Week 35, Day 6

Due Date: June 22, 2014 (but have lobbied to be induced earlier, which is reflected in the days to go!)

Baby Developments: Baby’s the size of a honeydew melon! Your due date is just four weeks away. Hasn’t time flown? Your once-poppy seed would probably be able to breathe on his own if he was born right now. (If not, he’d probably need some TLC, but he’d likely be okay.) Most of his systems are in working order at 36 weeks. Since baby really could decide to make his arrival any day now, try to put in a little prep work. For example, if you took a child birth class a few months ago, you might want to reread any materials you were given and practice some of the breathing techniques you learned with your partner. Go over your plan for getting to the hospital, and all the what-ifs (like, if you go into labor while you’re at work, will you go home first or straight there?). You might also want to remind your boss and colleagues of the status of all your work projects, so they know exactly where to take over if you’re suddenly out of the office. Week 36 is also a good time to enjoy a date with your partner. We’re guessing you won’t be up for dancing, but a nice dinner might be just what you two could use.

Weight Gain: Pretty much standard for my weight prior to getting pregnant. Somewhere in the 25-30 pound range, which I’m ok with. I have been S.I.C.K. sick for the last 2 1/2 weeks, so eating hasn’t been the first thing on my mind. Especially after waking up to Elle puking Tuesday morning and to myself puking this morning. Ugh.

Cravings: To stop feeling like general shit and to be able to feel like a human in good health. I just got worn out with a sinus infection gone wrong, and now this battle of the stomach flu. So, I CRAVE an ending to feeling like absolute crap.

Symptoms: Not sure what to note here…no swelling in feet or ankles, not much else to report. Feel like my boobs have gotten a lot bigger lately and that this baby has grown exponentially in the last two weeks. Which, of course, he is supposed to be doing.

I am loving: The days when I have felt well in the last few weeks, because I’ve been uber-productive at work and gotten just a ton of stuff done. It’s helping me feel a little bit more prepared to go out on maternity leave.

Sleep: I’m sleeping pretty well, not having to pee a lot yet, but it’s hard to get comfortable to GET to sleep.

I miss: My husband. About the time I started to get sick, he went back to work after having been laid off for several weeks. It was a good break for him, after he had worked crazy hours all winter. And then he goes back to work working 84 hours a week, plus 3 hours of drive time a day, just when I hit my weakest point health-wise. I feel like I see him and talk to him for all of 4 minutes each night, and that’s about it. He’s my best buddy, and I do miss talking to him and knowing what’s going on in each other’s lives. I feel like there is so much going on with both of us independently of one another right now, and I just miss him, quite honestly. (For the record, this is the first time I think I’ve ever done a weekly update in my life where drinking wasn’t the thing I missed0.

I am looking forward to: the growth ultrasound in a week and a half where we’ll get the 3D ultrasound pictures. I’m also looking forward to narrowing down the names for this poor child. We just haven’t been able to determine a name we really both like.

I am spazzing about: Feeling like complete junk. Today is the first day that I have NOT gone into the office at. all. since I started feeling like crap. I did switch MOD days with a co-worker last week, so I had Saturday off. That was after the ER visit on Friday, but I had still been in the office in the morning and filmed a TV segment before going to the ER. I feel like we’re pretty ready. I was worried about not having enough pajamas for this little guy when he arrives, but Carter’s baby sale this week helped that feeling subside. I went a bit overboard on jammies…

Best moment of the week: Last night, when Elle wrapped her arms around me, kissed me and I said “I love you SOOOO much”.

Milestones: The quilt has been delivered and the nursery is nearly complete. I’m very happy with how it’s all come together. I also think I’ve ‘dropped’ a bit. Or the baby has, whatever. They actually commented on it at work (people who I don’t mind commenting), and I had actually thought that myself in the morning. So, I think it’s true. Baby’s getting ready to join the world!

Movement: Lots. and lots. and lots more. I keep thinking with the way he’s moving he’s got to be ready to just come out already — but feeling as crappy as I have the last few weeks, I wouldn’t have wanted that to happen anyway.

It’s a….: Boy.

Exercise: Not much.

Diet: Fairly decent. Except that I can’t keep track of what I’m actually eating or how often. I just have felt so crappy. Thought I turned the corner Wednesday – only to be slapped with an unsettled stomach all day yesterday.

Goals for the upcoming week: Prep for maternity leave. Make a plan with daycare for Elle once the baby arrives. Buy Elle’s Big Sister present.

Letters to Elle: Two and a Third

Dear Elle,

You, my dear, sweet, funny, wonderful girl, are two and a third. Plus a little bit.

It’s amazing, after having been gone for two nights for work, to come home and see how you’ve changed, how your vocabulary has grown. You talk.

A lot.

I mean, a lot.

And most of the time, I understand everything you say. But then there are times you just devolve into a mumbling mess — those are the times when I feel like you are absolutely 800% my daughter.

I see me in you. In pictures, in behavior. And it’s incredible.

When I say “I love you” you say “I love you too”.

Or, sometimes, you’ll question “you love me?” or sometimes just state it. You’re getting better at your vocabulary though, so those are becoming fewer and farther between.

You LOVE Sherriff Callie’s Wild West, a show on Disney Junior. I stumbled upon a cowboy hat at a meeting I had at Cracker Barrel last week. Paired with your pink cowgirl boots from Aunt Jill and your lasso (mainly anything that you can fling – a pom pom, a Greektown Casino Players Club card with the springy attachment cord thing, a broken princess jeweled necklace from a dress up kit), you say that you are Sherriff Callie. Sometimes that you are Sherriff Elle.

You know your letters – most of the time. You learn so much at school. It’s truly incredible. You know A is for Apple, B is for…I’m not sure what the song is, C is for Cat, E is for Elbow, etc. You know the letters on sight. You can count consistently to 13, though not every single time. You can even go as high as 20 if you aren’t focusing on what you’re doing and just count. It’s repetition, I know, but it’s damn impressive to me.

The other night you tried to climb onto the back of the couch and your Dad said “No Elle” and you turned around, pointed at him, and said “No, Daddy, you don’t tell me!” to which I buried my head in the pillow in immense laughter, looked at your Dad’s face (priceless!) and composed myself before ultimately reinforcing that you shouldn’t climb on the back of the couch.

You are an INCREDIBLY terrible eater. I mean, really bad. We’re not good at family dinners, but you don’t really care to eat too much. You’re very much like your Dad that way. And I REFUSE to battle on food. I feel like we have this huge focus on finishing your plate, etc. and I just think that you know when you’re hungry and you eat when you’re hungry. And you’re not a person who eats just to eat. So, you eat a lot of fruit and yogurt and vegetables, cereal, some chicken fingers or nuggets, macaroni and cheese. But you like veggies and fruit. So I don’t worry too awfully much. I know we could do it differently, but this is the way we do it.

You are funny about your ‘brudder’. This afternoon you told me that you ‘hear him’ and sometimes you tell me that you need to tickle him, which requires lifting my shirt and tickling my belly. I’ve tried to get you to sit still and feel the kicks and punches he throws, but you’re not good at sitting still for that long unless it involves Octonauts or Sherriff Callie.

I mean, you still like Doc McStuffins (you give Dad and me check ups pretty often, including some pretty vicious ‘shots’) and Sofia the First. But, Octonauts are who you talk to when you pick up the phone and Sherriff Callie is your FAVE.

Speaking of the phone, evidently the few days I was out of town for work, you began picking up the phone in your play kitchen, walking around, calling Papa Scott, and telling him that your Dad is grumpy. Which both your Dad and I think is funny. And that I think is true. He is grumpy sometimes.

You always compliment me on my jewelry. You say “I wike you eawwings mumma” or “I wike ou neckace” and then you touch it. Today, I put the necklace I was wearing on you and you said it was your amulet (like Sofia’s).

You love spending time with your Grandma and Papa’s.

Last weekend you went skating on the ice at Great Grandma Rosemary’s for the first time with Amy while she was in town and Steven. You were very good and not scared at all.
We also welcomed your first-ever baby cousin — Max — too. He’s your second cousin, but you loved him. You held him and you kissed him and then you went on your way. Hopefully that’s what it’s like when your brudder comes.

YOu went through a tough phase where you refused to take baths because you were afraid your toys would go down the drain. So you took showers with me, which has led you to talk frequently about ‘you boobies’ (my boobies). We are past the fear of the bath, but you still like showers sometimes. So, it’s a nice change of pace either way.

Well, I know it’s been a long time since I wrote one of these, but seriously, I’m tired and it’s tough keeping up around the house when you destroy it all the time!! 🙂

I continue to be amazed how smart you are, how much you seem to care about other people and how shy you can be though you don’t ever strike me as a shy person. You’re this perfect blend of personality, really. You’re just incredibly you – and because I see me in you, it makes me want to be better too. I can’t wait to see what’s next for you, my girl. I just love you so much, you just have filled me up.

Love,

Mom

Disney Trip Ahead

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’re headed to Disney!

I knew several weeks ago that we would be heading to Orlando for work and Jon and I discussed the possibility of making it a family trip and he and Elle flying down on the Wednesday when work meetings were done and spending the balance of the week there. But, he was working on a big project that was going to be going through a shutdown and the work and hours would be too good to pass up, so we agreed that the money/hours were worth skipping the Orlando opportunity.

But, then Jon got laid off earlier than anticipated from this particular job, so I thought I’d see if I could still extend in Orlando, etc.

I started looking at rates at Disney through their website. Holy, freaking, moly. I was not anticipating costs of $500 per night. I mean, I wasn’t expecting it to be cheap but to stay in Disney I guess I just never knew what it cost. So, I asked if it was still possible to extend at the hotel where we’re going for work, the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. And it was. And the rate is so good I’m not sure I can even brag about it. Suffice to say that I would pay more than that if I’d booked in Frankenmuth for the weekend!

Anyway, now I’m reading all sorts of blogs about toddler-friendly Disney and Orlando. The good news is that kids under 3 get into the parks for free, so it will just be $100 tickets each for Jon and I (yes, that’s how much it actually costs…who knew?!).

So, the plan is that I’ll fly out on Monday, then Jon and Elle will fly down Wednesday morning and rent a car and drive to the hotel (did you know that the shuttle service from the airport to the hotel is $100 every time you take it. Orrrrr…we can rent a car at $50 per day and have a car at our disposal for the same cost. So yeah, Jon will be renting a car. I’m planning on packing all the warmer weather stuff with me to take down there, that way Jon will have less to cart around with him. That way he’ll bring a carry on and Elle’s car seat and should be good to go. I’m honestly very, very nervous about Jon flying with Elle on his own. Not so much him with her, because he’s awesome with her. But more about the logistics of all the things he’ll need to be able to manage all at once…making sure he remembers all the stuff (I’ve made lists to remember to remind him of…) and that he doesn’t lose track of her in the airport while trying to keep track of whatever else he might have…her freaking out on the plane…not even sure all the things I’m anxious about. I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I just want it to be a great vacation and want his trip down with just her to be seamless. Wish that her first time on an airplane wasn’t going to be without both parents, but…it is what it is. It’s a way for us – who rarely take trips – to actually take a trip. So, I’m going to look forward to it.

The challenge is that I’m out of town this weekend for work for the entire weekend and will likely end up having to work next Saturday so that I can be gone for vacation for the few days and not have to work that weekend…so, I have a very, very limited window of time within which to find summer clothes for Elle, for pregnant me, to make sure Jon’s stuff is ok. I’m sure it is…he’s going to be the easiest one in this whole thing.

So, anyway, we’re working on it. I think we’ll go to Magic Kingdom one day, hang out around the hotel one day, maybe drive to Legoland if we’re feeling up for it, or maybe we’ll go to Universal. I’ve read some interesting things about Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the only thing with that is that the only super toddler-oriented thing that I know Elle would love is the Disney Junior stuff. Not sure. I’m going to get a better plan together in the coming days, but what a thing, to have something fun to look forward to!

Week 25, Day 3

Due Date: June 22, 2014

week25Baby Developments: You’re 25 weeks pregnant and it’s probably dawned on you that soon you’ll actually have to deliver this baby. (A little scary, but exciting!) What’s cool is that most hospitals will let you preregister, which means you can put in your paperwork early, so the day you go into labor, you don’t have to stand around filling out a bunch of forms before you get admitted. Maybe you’re getting nervous about delivery, or maybe it’s your haywire hormones, but you might start to have trouble sleeping around week 25. This is a common complaint of many moms-to-be. Some people will tell you that’s just your body’s way of prepping you for sleepless nights with baby, but those comments won’t help you get the rest you need! Experiment with different strategies for getting some sleep. One idea is to drink extra water early in the day, so you can start tapering off your intake as you get closer to bedtime. That way, you might need less bathroom breaks during the night and can keep sleeping. After all, now that baby’s crowding your bladder, you’ve got to pee. A lot.

Crazy that it’s just 14 weeks to go – just over three months!

Weight Gain: Ehh. Not terrible. Not good. I had a really down in the dumps month there in January into my last appointment. And then when I went back most recently, at my 23 week appointment, I realized I’d only gained a total of 15 pounds. So, not as awful as I’d thought, but just gaining weight in TOTALLY different places than I did with Elle. My ass – like I needed any more there – and thighs this time. Whatever.

Cravings: Still nothing really.

Symptoms: General ‘yick’ feeling. Dizziness sometimes. Thirst, inquenchable thirst.

I am loving: How quickly this is all flying by. And, that we just booked our first every legitimate family vacation in two weeks! We’re headed to Orlando/Disney, so that will be fun. I’m going to Orlando for work already, so this was just a natural dovetail with all of that. Jon and Elle are flying down on the last day of my meeting and then we’ll get four+ days to play in the sun and see Mickey Mouse (or Mickamouse as Elle refers to him). When I asked her today if she wanted to go for a ride on an airplane she responded “Roarsome” which is Henry Hugglemonster-speak for “Awesome”.

Sleep: I’m really uncomfortable when I sleep. I now have three of the four regular pillows on the bed (Jon requires just one) and the body pillow that I’ve added into the rotation. Getting comfortable to sleep seems pretty impossible, but once I fall asleep it typically is ok and I sleep for awhile.

I miss: Feeling like I was in some type of physical health. Got out for a walk with Elle on Sunday afternoon and walked two miles and I was winded and just generally out of shape. I feel winded too often and I just am welcoming the warmer weather (though 6 inches of snow is on the way tomorrow night!) and the sunshine and the longer daylight hours later in the day.

I am looking forward to: FLORIDA!

I am spazzing about: Nesting…I can feel it setting in. I think all day about all the things I’m going to get done when I get home from work, and by the time I walk in the door, my energy level is sapped. I feel like our house is out of control – not entirely but I just feel that way. And that I haven’t done great grocery shopping that keeps us stocked up. Winter us and summer us are very different…wish it weren’t so dramatic 😦

Best moment of the week: Walking outside with Elle.

Milestones: Not sure…the nursery is nearing completion. That’s exciting.

Movement: To the point it takes my breath away. I feel like the kicking/punching is significantly harder and placed differently than with Elle. I feel like Elle rolled around and had big dramatic movements more and this child just continues to beat on me from the inside.

It’s a….: Boy.

Exercise: Not much.

Diet: Better, and all I really want is water. I feel like it settles my stomach.

Goals for the upcoming week: Muddle through the week – I was in Traverse City for a work conference Sunday-Tuesday and then in Grand Rapids this Friday-Sunday. In an odd turn of events, Jon was laid off last week, so he’s now home for the time being. I think until after we get back from Florida. I’m SO SO glad that we’ve got a trip planned. I feel like this will be a great few days just the three of us.