Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The announcement everyone already knows about

I assume that pretty much everyone who reads this blog is either a facebook friend or knows me in real life. So, everyone already knows this but I'm still feeling a need to make it "official" on my blog.

We are expecting our second little nugget in late April of next year. :)

I am 18 weeks pregnant and while this time around has been fairly similar to my first pregnancy, physically, it's been quite different for me mentally and emotionally.

I am much more acutely aware of all the positive and negative emotions (particularly negative) that someone else's pregnancy can evoke in people around me. I speak specifically to those with losses or trouble conceiving. Before Julia, I was happy with our lives, thought getting pregnant was just the next step for R and I, and never really comprehended the emotional enormity that a baby-sized hole can be in a life or a marriage. I still don't, having been fortunate enough to have never experienced this, but I certainly now understand the emotional heft of a child. It's not a next step or a new job or a new house or a pet. Obviously. Of course. But I know this now like I didn't before.

And consequently, I was very public with our news about Julia. I couldn't wait until week twelve to tell the world. I was browsing maternity clothing and baby clothing and strollers and bedding WAY before remotely necessary. I kept a daily calendar by my bed and marked off of that pregnancy before I went to sleep at night. I thought every little thing was new and magical and of course no one had ever experienced it before like I was. I put belly photos up on facebook and probably annoyed everyone around me with constant baby talk.

This time around, I've enjoyed keeping it quiet. I even waited a few days to tell Robert. We're thinking this is the last time I'll be pregnant, so I've really treasured the private knowing and the quiet moments when I think, "We're all here!" with my little family. I'm a little disappointed that I've started to show (although it's nice to get out of the "Is she fat or is she pregnant?" phase) because I like not sharing the news with every stranger I meet on the street.

I also spent the first couple weeks freaking out about having two children eighteen months apart. I know people have siblings close in age, and our plan all along was to have our children close together, but... that was quick. Quicker than I expected. A blessing, of course, but... am I going to be able to handle that? I've hit my stride with Julia, but adding an infant to the mix feels overwhelming already.

So, anyways, all that adds up to this pregnancy being almost halfway through before I felt comfortable blogging about it. We do know it's a little girl, and we're excited about the prospect of sisters. I feel good and so far it's shaping up to be another easy pregnancy (knock on wood). I actually have a lot to say about it, now that the floodgates are open, but... a little at a time. I have time. Twenty-two more weeks. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Finally feeling better

Well, today was full of taking care of Julia.

We have an appointment with the pediatric dermatologist on Friday afternoon, and a double-refill of Nystatin to last us until then. I also discovered our local hospital will do the blood draws that she needs (and I've been putting off), finding a pediatric nurse to do the stick if necessary, so we can avoid Quest, which is awesome.

And her fever finally broke this evening around dinnertime. She's still running a low-grade temp - around 100.0-100.5 - but that's downright cool compared to the 102-103 she was running all day, even with Tylenol. Consequently, we spent most of today hanging out in the house. She was pretty lethargic and we actually spent a solid half hour on the couch cuddling and watching Curious George, which is very uncharacteristic of her. She was never to the point where I couldn't get her to laugh, but she just wasn't her usual perky self. Fever 7-10 days after the MMR vaccine hits about one in ten kids, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn't get the 1-in-20 reaction and break out in a rash.

(As an aside - Today was one of those days that made me super-glad I'm still nursing. I pulled her into bed this morning to nurse when she woke up like I usually do, and stripped her down so we could do skin-to-skin, which in theory helps babies regulate their body temperature better. She nursed and slept right next to me for an hour and a half. An hour and a half! I kept trying to get her up - as much as I love the cuddle time, that's kind of boring a long time to just lay there - but she wasn't feeling up to it and would just re-settle and shut her eyes again. I know bottle-fed babies are comforted in other ways, but I don't know what else I could have done for Julia and her poor hot little burning-up body this morning that would have given her what she needed to get a little more rest.  I was just so relieved to be capable of giving her the comfort that she needed this morning.)

And with that, I don't have much else to report. I've discovered the magic that is Costco and despite my newfound obsession with Etsy, I haven't made much of a dent in my Christmas shopping. My mother-in-law is going to spend some QT with Julia tomorrow, so I'll have a chance to get some stuff done. Fingers crossed I don't end up in a Costco-sponsored cookie coma in front of the tv.

And here's the babe, after the fever came down a bit, demonstrating her two new favorite skills:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday already?

Our Thanksgiving weekend was awesome, in the "now we're lame because we have a baby" way. Four days off of work for R meant that we made a LOT of progress on our basement, and R and J got to spend a lot of quality time together.

We had Thanksgiving dinner with R's family, which was lovely as always. They do such a nice job that I kind of forget that I'm not spending the holiday with my family. One of these years I'm going to make it back to P-town for a Thanksgiving. (Of course I'm envisioning what it used to be like - sleeping in, the parade and dog show on tv, shelling chestnuts all day for stuffing, and pulling out all the good china to eat in the dining room. I think any new reality would be significantly different.)

The basement is really coming along, which is super-exciting. R finished the ceiling last week so this past weekend we mopped the floors, rolled out the rugs and rug pads, put together five different pieces of furniture and storage, did some touch-up painting, and generally cleaned up and started to organize J's toys down there. We also bought new furniture for our family room, since the family room furniture is moving to the basement. This was our only in-person foray into the post-Thanksgiving shopping, and it wasn't too bad - I guess people aren't busting down the doors to buy furniture on Black Friday, but I think we still got a decent deal. On the to-do list this week is: move furniture (we HAVE to do this because new stuff is coming on Thursday), finish touch-up painting, and do another round of cleaning and organizing. And, the biggie - moving stuff back OUT of the garage and into the storage cabinets we put up. The temperatures are really starting to drop here, so I know Robert will be pretty thrilled to get his garage space back. I'm just excited to have another functional room. Progress pics are boring so I'll just take some "after" pics this week or next and do a final basement wrap-up.

Julia is doing well too. I think it was really nice for her and R to get to hang out as much as they did. She laughs and plays with him in a way that she doesn't for me, and it's really cute to watch. I've been her favorite person for so long that it kind of makes me sad to see her getting so attached to someone else, but I'm more happy for R that he finally gets to see that he has a special place in her life too. Plus, she's getting MUCH better about me leaving her to go run an errand or something, so that's kind of a relief too.

The bad news on the Julia front is twofold, though. First, I think she's having a reaction to the one-year immunizations that she got last week. Poor dear was warm all day and this evening she had a temp of 103. She's largely acting fine - a little cranky but not bad - but sleeping and eating poorly. She's never had that high of a fever before so it really freaked me out when I saw the thermometer reading. (Also, I've never done a rectal temp before either, which I felt compelled to do tonight to make sure I was getting an accurate reading. That also freaked me out a little.) Fortunately I put two and two together and figured it was a vac reaction. So we'll call the ped in the morning to let them know, but it's likely we're going to get through this just fine with some Tylenol.

Her diaper rash is also persisting, to the point where the ped is sending us to a dermatologist sometime this week. It's been almost four months of off-and-on rash, mostly on. The ped gave us nystatin last Monday and said to call if it doesn't clear up in a week, and it hasn't. I feel like I must be doing something wrong for her to have this rash for as long as she has, but I'm clueless. It's not bad, really, just persistent, so a derm seems a little like overkill. But, I'm desperate to get it cleared up once and freaking for all. Not to mention, I'm sick of doing diaper-free time in our house. Babies wear diapers for a reason.

Some non-diaper-free time this past weekend:

My mom recently mentioned to me that I ought to start pouring my sodas into a cup
instead of drinking them out of a can so Julia doesn't start to covet them....

I didn't disagree with Mom at all.

But did I *actually* do anything?

Obviously not.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Doctor Day

We survived another doctor's visit!

Vital stats are:

  • Height - 29 inches, 44%
  • Weight - 19 lbs, 8 oz, 16%
  • Head - 17.9 inches, 52%
We think her weight is low because she's coming off of three weeks of illness, but the doctor did point out that neither Robert nor I is "stocky," so maybe the poor thing is destined to be slender. She did well with the general check-up and her milestones are good. Her gross motor skills are great, although her verbal skills are a little behind, I think. (Although maybe I'm not giving her enough credit - I did answer the phone tonight and before I could say anything, Julia goes, "Hi Da!" Awesome and heart-melting.) I do need to probably talk to her a little more throughout the day. (I try, but you know how hard it is to talk to someone unresponsive all day? Seriously it's mind-numbing tougher than you think.)

She got four shots today, poor babe. She also needs a blood draw. The tech at the office didn't feel comfortable trying on Julia so she's sending us off to Quest. Neither Robert nor I has ever had a good experience there so I'm pretty apprehensive but I don't know what choice we have. I'm debating letting Robert handle that appointment but I don't think I can live with myself if I chicken out like that. (Update - R won't take Julia by himself because he "doesn't like Quest." (The last time he went they were running late and rude.) So it looks like it's up to Mom.)

We got a prescription cream for her diaper rash (the doctor seemed skeptical that it was a yeast rash when I mentioned it to her but when she saw it she immediately agreed - score one for Mom!). And we got the green light to start her back on milk again whenever we like, although she mentioned that some GI illnesses can cause transient lactose intolerance so it would be wisest to wait about a week first. We were told to wean her from the bottle soon, which we were working on before she got sick. I'm not too stressed about this part but I would like to do it sometime in the next few months. The pedi also said we can wait on bringing her to the dentist; it just needs to be done sometime between one and three years. We also need to do another hearing test sometime in the next few months; we're not concerned but it's something worth doing just in case. I'm all for painless medical procedures.

She was a trooper, especially since the appointment went long and late and it was well past her bottle and nap time by the time we got out of there. No recent pics but here's an older one that makes me smile.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Weekend wrap-up

Things are looking good here, in the Julia department - no serious GI issues since last Thursday! We still have poop in our fridge but I feel good enough about this whole thing that I'm going to hesitantly say that I think she's over it. Her diaper rash is still raging full force despite my diaper-free-time attempts (sans wooly cover - it needed to get washed and takes awhile to dry) but we'll get there.

Now I'm dreading her doctor's appointment tomorrow. I normally love going to the doctor's, but when I think about the shots and blood draw she'll need tomorrow, I get all queasy in my stomach.

We had a nice weekend. It was our first in awhile during which we were both in town without major commitments. R finished up the basement ceiling (hooray!), which looks amazing, and I spent most of the weekend catching up on sleep and working on Christmas lists. I don't know how much holiday decorating we're going to get done this year. R put up the tree for me last year, but I just don't know if it's high enough on our priority list to get it done this year. That's kind of sad, isn't it?

But I think we need to at least get rid of the pumpkins sometime soon...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Adventures in cloth diapering and a sick baby update

A diaper rash pretty much comes with the territory when a baby's been having as many GI issues as Julia has been. She's had a yeast diaper rash for awhile now. Like, two months awhile, not two weeks awhile. And I've been doing a pretty good job keeping up with it, but I just can't get ahead of it.

Having diaper-free time seems to be the #1 way to make her tush get better, but now that the weather isn't so great for it outside, and it's even pretty chilly inside the house, it's tough to let her run around half-naked. Plus there's the obvious "well what if she goes to the bathroom on something?!" 

So... enter cloth prefolds and wool diaper covers. I already had a bunch of prefolds since I was using them as burpcloths, and I already had some diaper pins because I was using them for decorations other things in the nursery. And after much research, the internet convinced me that wool diaper covers are completely magical and the absolute best in breathability. After I got over my initial disappointment in our local store's selection (the selection was fine, I just wanted a prettier color) (I promised myself that if we do this regularly I'll go get something adorable off of Etsy), I forked over the $30 for a wool diaper cover. 

We tried them out today. They are much softer than I expected wool would be and I'm even coming around and thinking they're kind of cute. The major disadvantage is that you need to change them more frequently than even regular cloth pocket diapers. As soon as baby pees once, it's time for a change, which can get annoying when you have a super-water-drinker like J. Another disadvantage is that the cotton prefolds underneath them are hard to get right, although that's hopefully user error and something that'll improve over time as I get better with them. 

Her tush doesn't really look any better tonight, but I'm going to try to spend some time each day with these, around the house, and see if that doesn't help out with the rash. I hear some people use them for overnight, and I can see how using a more breathable fabric for 10 hours a day could really help with keeping rash to a minimum. If this goes well, I'm going to look into wool longies (basically a diaper cover in the shape of pants so I can use them as pajama bottoms) (also super-duper cute) (also super-duper expensive).

I mean, you can't tell me that's not kind of cute.

On the GI issues front, Julia has been doing much better today. She's been eating much better, her body temp is better, and things are looking better overall. Her sleep is worse - and she's consequently still been a little cranky - since we've been back home but we'll keep working on that. If she's physically feeling better, the rest will fall into place much more easily.

I know! That's how I feel too, JJ!

I'm not sure if it was the milk, or maybe just two viruses back-to-back, but either way, I'm trying to resist going back to her normal schedule and diet RIGHT AWAY RIGHT NOW, which is freaking me out because I'm worried she's going to be taking formula from a bottle for most of her nutrition from now until when she starts first grade at this rate. But, I'm resisting my urge to freak out and planning to wait a week or two and then slowly reintroduce the foods we cut out (mostly dairy, for those interested). We'll also see what the pedi has to say on Monday about this whole thing. I'm assuming she's not going to tell me anything I don't already know but that's probably a little unfair of me.

Anyways, we're having a nice, low-key weekend. R and I got out for a solo dinner for the first time in a long long time, and it was really nice. We need to do that more often. We're starting to make our holiday plans and it's kind of exciting - Julia obviously will be way more into the holidays this year than last year, and I'm also calmer because I feel a lot more secure about handling a baby and holiday shopping, cards, etc. We're going to blink and it's going to be spring! Until then, I have many much things to do.

Hope everyone else is having a nice weekend too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November in Texas (We're back!)

Julia and I have been in Dallas the past week. It was a mini family reunion on my mom's side. It was lovely to see family I haven't seen in awhile (my cousins have gotten so old! when/how did that happen?!) and I'm really happy that Julia got to meet several family members whom she had never met before.

And of course, since it's Texas, we swim in November.

"Yeah I love Texas."

"I'm the queen of Texas."

"You requested an audience?"

"Finally. My subjects got me a hat for my delicate eyes."

The babe has not been feeling well. We're on day 17 of some major GI disturbances (I'll leave it at that for your imagination), plus some vomiting, a low-grade fever, and a side of uncharacteristic crankiness. At first I thought it was the transition to whole milk that preceded it, but she's been on the world's blandest diet sans milk for awhile now and no improvement. I've been holding out taking her to the doctor - she seemed to be getting better when we headed to TX for a week, and we just got back last night and are headed there on Monday anyways for her 12-month check-up. But, that's pending our next dirty diaper, so we'll see.

The awesome thing is, the dr's did say we should bring in a poop sample when we go in on Monday, but to please refrigerate it before the appointment. Gross! The things you do for your sick baby...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Petting Zoo?

So, I had two friends from high school come visit me this weekend, which was awesome! It was very cool to sit around and catch up. I love how we were able to go seamlessly from topic to topic - how ridiculous we were in middle school when we all met, what's going on in our lives now, and what we hope will happen far into the future.

I took everyone to Suson Park on Saturday, with promises of a petting zoo. Unfortunately, while there were rows of animals in stalls with "CAREFUL - WE BITE!" signs, there was no petting zoo. So we looked at some cows and horses and ducks, and we watched Julia play on the playground a little. (Fortunately, I think I salvaged the day for my friends with massages and tapas for dinner.)

I'm really thankful my friends made the trip out here, and I'm exhausted today, which I think is a sign of a weekend well-spent. :) (Well, that and maybe having a baby for the end of DST.) I also had book club today, which means I'm working on another book reviews post (working on = a list of titles on a post-it and thinking about it a little in my head). I also owe the internet some photos of our basement, which is coming along. I'm hoping if I put it up here, I'll follow through sometime this week.

The good thing about the "petting zoo" - lots of pics of Julia:

(K/ND: These are all mine - I'm saving yours for the next post. My family gets antsy if I have too many blog posts without baby photos so I'm going to dole them out slowly.)

Yes, that's a pink baseball cap with a "J" on it.

Not impressed by animals in stalls.

You wouldn't know it by her expression but she loved the swing.


She spent a lot of the outing pretty unsure of things.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


What happened today:

We got carpet installed on our basement stairs, and the basement rugs delivered. Haven't set up the rugs yet but the stairs look really nice. Ironically, when they pulled up the icky old carpet that was there, they exposed these really lovely dark wood steps. We have a baby so I think we need carpet on our stairs regardless, but they would have looked just beautiful if we repainted them. Anyways, the stairs are now new and soft and fluffy and smell like new carpet which is kind of nice.

The carpet installer guys left our back gate open (the one that I always always always keep shut so I never even thought about it being open after they left) and Scrappy took a little walk today by herself. Thank goodness we have lovely neighbors with whom we're on great terms (and whose dogs fascinate Scrappy), because she went right over to their house. Our neighbor saw her and brought her back in the rain. Whew. Also made me glad that we have a "collar ALWAYS on except when she's in her crate" policy with Scrappy. At least she had her tags with our phone numbers. No one's going to approach a German Shepherd-looking dog without a collar on but a kind soul might scoop up one with tags. Put tags on your dogs, people! You never expect them to get loose!

We had put Julia to bed tonight, and about 45 minutes later she starts wailing. We're listening to the monitor to see if she calms down, and I'm heading out of the room to go re-settle her when R hears her go, "Ahhhhh" and get quiet. I guess she lost her blanket or her bunny, and all was well once she found them. It was cute.

Update on prepping for my friends this weekend: I did about 1/3 of my To-Do list so I have quite a bit more to do. But, I made plans and reservations for Saturday, so at least we'll have something to do. And I can get them out of the house so they're not appalled at how messy everything is all the time. I swear, every time Julia goes down for a nap, the place looks like a tornado hit it, and I do damage control and maybe one other thing and she's up again.

Here are some pics from this past weekend, of her on our deck playing with this big purple ball we have.They're all I've got at the moment.

"Can't. Quite. Get. A. Grip. On. This. Thing."

Yes, that's her dad throwing the ball at her/me. Yes, it hit both of us.

She knows that on the back of my camera there are buttons you can push and a screen to look at.

So now I get fewer backwards shots and more shots like this.