Friday, November 27, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ADDISON!

Happy Birthday To You, Addison Hope!! We can't wait to have a whole weekend of celebrating with you. We love you so much, little angel! You have made our lives so rich and full of happiness just in the short 2 years you've been with us. YOU ARE SUCH A BLESSING!!!!!!!!!!

MANY MANY MANY more birthday details to follow.....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

26 weeks

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy 26 weeks to my baby boy! This will be a short update because 1) it's a holiday and 2) I am so stuffed that I can hardly breathe. Yet I continue to eat and that won't be ending anytime soon. I loooooove Thanksgiving. I especially love being pregnant on Thanksgiving because I have a good excuse for eating so much. I was pregnant with Addison over Thanksgiving 2007 (she surprised us with her presence 5 days later) and I would recommend it to anyone! Speaking of....tomorrow is my baby's 2nd birthday. Unbelievable. More on that later. The princess angel deserves her own post!

My sister, Beth, measured me (or more specifically, my uterus) today, which is what reminded me to do my weekly update. It's okay, we're not weird - she's an actual OB.

Okay, so maybe we're still weird....

I have only been measured once before and that was just this past week. So, I am a uterus measuring novice, I suppose. This makes me curious and I wanted to get Beth's professional opinion. My doctor said I was measuring just right as of last week and today (after Turkey and all, which Beth said wouldn't affect the size of my uterus) I measured 24 1/2cm and 25cm (because I had her take a second measurement as our method of using string and ruler is probably not the most accurate.)

I feel like I should be measuring at 32 weeks. In other words, I feel BIG!

No belly pictures today, sorry. Turkey makes me lazy. :) There isn't really a difference from last week.
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How your baby's growing:
The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you're having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.
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Well, the English hothouse cucumber and I are going to sign off now and eat some more. Have a great day, everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wildlights

Thursday was the premier of Wildlights at the Columbus Zoo, so my sister-in-law and I headed over with the kids. You never have to twist our arm to get us to the zoo. The lights were really neat and though we had to leave just when all the real activity was beginning, we did manage to see a short Disney music and light show and snag some complimentary candy cane hot cocoa and pumpkin bread! We even fed the kids dinner in the dark as they sat in the wagon, hoping to take in everything we could before we had to get them home and into bed.

It was a great time and, with the exception of Aaron and Addison arguing whether we were going to see the Penguins or the Manatees first (that's the first toddler argument Addison had ever been involved in and it was hilarious to listen to - Aaron won), the kids enjoyed themselves.



Chillin' with the Penguins.


This is Colo. At 54 years old, she is the oldest gorilla ever to live at a zoo AND the first gorilla ever to be born at a zoo. Pretty cool.
We're going to have major issues with getting our picture taken with Santa this year. Addison didn't even want to sit in his sleigh. Ay ay ay!




Chuck E. Cheese

Addison had her first Chuck E. Cheese experience this week. We have 5 November birthdays (out of 8 kids) in our playgroup, so we thought it would be fun to hold our weekly get-together there this week.

Addison looooooved it. She enjoyed every single ride she got on and thought the games were just as cool.






We won most of our tickets on the bopping game and the water game (where you have to shoot at a target). I'm proud to say Addison won a majority of them on her own. video
She had enough to get 4 stickers and a small rubber snake, both of which she picked out completely on her own. Prizes well worth the $10 worth of tokens we used to get them, of course.


I was excited that she took to the rides so well because although they don't even compare to what she will see at Disneyland in a month and a half, it is a little preview of how much she will like the place (fingers crossed). She even rode a horse (and enjoyed it), which is great considering her dislike of the carousel!

video
We spent a lot of tokens on this weird clock ride. She just kept going back to it. We also spent a lot of tokens on the machine that takes your picture and then sketches the image. We came home with 3 sketches. It would have been 4, but she gave one to her friend.
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She is obsessed with school buses, so this ride was perfect.
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OB Update

Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first? Okay....good news it is!

The baby looks great (I had another ultrasound....I'm so lucky!) and I am measuring right on target. My weight gain is right on target, too.

The bad news.....

I failed my Glucose screening test! I was not expecting this, so I was pretty shocked, as was my doctor. I was down in the dumps about the results for an hour or so, but I'm fine now. First of all, it could be WAY WORSE. I unfortunately know this from experience. Second of all, IT IS WHAT IT IS! I've done everything that I should be doing to have a healthy pregnancy and beyond that, it's out of my control. If this pregnancy is causing my insulin not to do its job, what can I do about it? Ya know?

Of course I don't want to have gestational diabetes and will be bummed if I have it, but if you think about it....how amazing is it that medicine can determine this so a woman can be properly treated in order to avoid any severe and/or life-threatening side effects for herself and the baby? I just have to thank God for that one!

Many women fail the 1 hour test that I had today and pass the 3 hour test (that I will have in a week in a half) with flying colors. There are so many factors that can play into a false positive. So, until I hear the words, "You have gestational diabetes", I am going to try not to give it a second thought. In the meantime, if you wouldn't mind keeping me in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

25 weeks

I had to look back at my post from last week because I couldn't remember if I was 25 or 26 weeks now. 26 would have been nice, but that's okay, there is still pleeeeenty to do to prepare for this babe, so the extra week won't hurt!

It was during the 26th week (this week) of my pregnancy with Addison that I received my last chemo cocktail of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, the last chemo I would have until Addison arrived. I needed to take a chemo break prior to my mastectomy, which occurred just less than a month later. By that time, the nursery was painted and most of the finishing touches had at least been planned, as we didn't know if Addison would be making her grand appearance during that surgery and what exactly my recovery would entail. It's weird to think back to that time, only 2 years ago. I don't really remember much of it.

Like I was just telling a friend the other day, I really think I was so deep in survivor mode (for myself and Addison), that my mind just blocked out all of the "bad stuff". It's amazing how the body has a convenient way of doing such a thing.

I remember my shower and my "pre-mastectomy" (aka last wearing a swimsuit with both original breasts) vacation to Florida with my best friend, Emily. I remember my baby shower prior to surgery. I remember bonding with my unborn child. I don't remember the chemo or the anticipation of surgery or the fears that I would have a baby born at 29 weeks. I just remember the good.

With this pregnancy, there is nothing that my mind needs to forget. It's all good! I haven't had any nausea. My aches are minor. My fatigue is very manageable. My mind is lucid. My fears are at bay more times than not. I have a lot to look forward to and a positive outlook on my future with my children. And it feels darn good.

It's been a great 25 weeks and I look for the next 15 to be just as wonderful. I thank God every day for putting me in this better place; for allowing me to experience a healthy pregnancy filled with ALL joy. No fear. No sadness. Just innocent, carefree joy. The chance to enjoy all of my children to the fullest...Dustin and my fur-guy, Bubba, included. :)
Addison brings more joy to my life than I ever imagined and I can't wait to see what this one brings. I think my heart might burst from happiness!

Addison remains to be absolutely adorable with her soon-to-be baby brother (whom she has named "Rella", after Cinderella, and told the man at Home Depot was going to be her sister). At music class a couple of weeks ago, she asked for an extra set of sticks for the baby in mommy's belly. (She is really into making sure everyone is included these days.) She is just a riot and is so sweet.

I think this babe is going to be just as animated and outgoing. His kicks and movements just tickle me (quite literally!). I never experienced Addison's kicks tickling me. It's weird!

Almost every single time I am reading to Addison with her on my lap, he moves. I think he just wants to be a part of what his mommy and sissy are doing...and we don't mind! I say this now, curious about how much she will mind her brother being so involved in our daily activities in about 3 months! But for now, we are really enjoying our peaceful time together. :)

Tomorrow is my glucose test. I can't wait to drink that delicious, sugary, orange drink that has been staring me in the face every time I've opened my refrigerator for the last 3 weeks. Mmmmmmm, yummy! I am showing no signs of gestational diabetes, so am sure all will be fine...but please wish me luck, anyway!

Maybe I'll get lucky enough to see the baby again. Remember a few weeks ago when I said I wasn't sure what to expect at my appointment because I had never before been to the OB without having an ultrasound? I was totally expecting for that to be my first time. Well, it wasn't. I think my OB is ultrasound happy. He loves showing me my baby and I won't complain! Granted, it's just a quick viewing on his little laptop screen, but it's still fun! Who knows what tomorrow will bring. I'll let ya know.

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How your baby's growing
Head to heels, your baby now measures about 13 1/2 inches. Her weight — a pound and a half — isn't much more than an average rutabaga, but she's beginning to exchange her long, lean look for some baby fat. As she does, her wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and she'll start to look more and more like a newborn. She's also growing more hair — and if you could see it, you'd now be able to discern its color and texture.
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I decided to take pictures with the belly both covered and exposed to give a general idea of what I look like on a daily basis. You know, since I typically don't go in public with my shirt pulled up. Not in the winter months, at least. Summer months...crop tops all the way. Haaaaaa - LOL (at myself)!

One of these days, I think I'll have to stop posting pictures of the bare belly, but I don't think it's reached that "Ewwww, gross, I didn't need to see that/must look at the pictures with one eye closed and the other barely open" point yet. OR has it???



I barely look pregnant in this picture. Must be the lighting.


Cookie decorating

Yesterday, we headed over to a friends house for some cookie decorating with my moms club. Jen made dozens of turkey shaped sugar cookies for the little ones to decorate (and in my case, for the Mommies to share with the little ones!). Not that I wanted a cookie or anything, I just know all that sugar isn't good for a toddler. :)

Addison had a blast decorating the cookies.
A little taste test part-way through
She determined it needed some chocolate sprinkles!
And not just a few!
After some play time, she was back for round 2.


Smiling with her masterpiece.


Just a little taste to start.


She clearly enjoyed the fraction of a cookie that she had before it was snatched away.




And I can't for the life of me imagine in whose tummy the rest of that cookie ended up!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time out

I had to introduce Addison to "time out" for the first time this week. She's usually such a good girl and really doesn't act out in a way that warrants anything but a stern "no" + explanation. This week (and maybe towards the end of last week), she began purposely throwing her food on the floor, after being told not to. Then she laughs and repeats "Addsin funny" over and over again. It's become a game to her and she knows better. So, I thought maybe time out would solve the problem. I mean, what kid likes time out?

::raises hand:: Mine does!

In fact, she asks to go to time out. She throws a piece of food on the floor and says "Time out?" I say, "Do you want to go to time out?" and she cheerfully replies, "Uh-huh, yes!"

I have been trying to explain to her that time out is NO FUN and that she can't talk to anyone or play when she is in time out. She doesn't get to have her babies or her toys or any more food. Even Bubba has to stay away. I keep her there for 2 minutes and don't talk to her or look at her. She usually watches what I am doing and sings.

Yesterday, while in time out after dinner, I could have sworn she was saying "Time out so fun". Actually, she was chanting this for the entire 2 minutes. When I went to get her from time out, I came with the camera so I could catch her antics on video. Upon further review of the video by myself and Dustin, it appears that she might actually be saying "Time out no fun", which makes sense. Not that she means it, she is just repeating what I have been telling her. She still enjoys time out and even asked for it this morning when she accidentally dropped something off her tray.

So, how do you discipline a child who enjoys their punishment? And why does she have to be so darn sweet, even when she is in trouble???? :)


video

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

OSU vs. Iowa - 27-24 (W) in OT

Saturday was a big game day for the Buckeyes. Dustin went to the game (lucky duck) and left Addison and I home to cheer for them through the television. We think it should have been the other way around. ;)
Rather than sitting home alone, we headed over to visit with Addison's cousins (Aaron and Logan) and Grandma and Grandpa, while Damon and Kathy were also attending the game.

Kathy is an Iowa Alumni, which made the occasion even more fun. That's my competitive spirit coming out. And yes, I know they're just toddlers. :)

This was an especially big day for Addison because she was finally going to be meeting her new cousin, Logan. Every opportunity we've had to take Addison over to visit Logan, she has been sick, so we were excited that she was well.
She fed him


And kissed him
And then was back off to play trucks and cars with her older cousin!


They also had some time in the sandbox. It was a gorgeous day in the high 60's!


Addison was so gentle with Logan.
And intrigued, of course.
She couldn't wait to hold him, herself. She was so sweet rubbing his head and giving him kisses.


Snuggling with her baby cousin!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

24 weeks

No boring you to tears with my ramblings today. Aren't you lucky!?!
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Your baby's growing steadily, having gained about 4 ounces since last week. That puts him at just over a pound. Since he's almost a foot long (picture an ear of corn), he cuts a pretty lean figure at this point, but his body is filling out proportionally and he'll soon start to plump up. His brain is also growing quickly now, and his taste buds are continuing to develop. His lungs are developing "branches" of the respiratory "tree" as well as cells that produce surfactant, a substance that will help his air sacs inflate once he hits the outside world. His skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
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Getting big. Feeling big, too.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bonjour!

Addison is very proud of the french braids that she's been sporting all day and wanted you to take a peek!



Taking "cheese" to the extreme!


Admiring herself in the mirror.


Yup, that's our Christmas tree Addison is looking at. No, no, these were just taken today...not last year. What? Christmas is still a month and a half away?? Yes, yes I know. But our family pictures are this weekend and we had the manpower last weekend to help get it up. We have a rather large 12 foot tree that is not easy putting up with just 2 people. Trust me, we did it last year. Not. Fun. It's nice to have it up, actually. Don't worry, we aren't illuminating the neighborhood with it. Yet. :)
Au revoir!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Asthma update

Thanks for everyone who threw up a little prayer for Addison. She is doing great - she's made almost a complete 180 since yesterday! Other than a little cough once in a while and some breathing that is just a little "off", you wouldn't even know anything was wrong! Those breathing treatments make such a difference. Whew!

In other news, Addison pulled another de-robing during her nap today. I wasn't here to witness it as my mother-in-law was watching her, but apparently she took her pants and diaper off and peed in a corner of her crib. I wasn't planning on transitioning her to her big girl bed anytime soon, but I have a feeling it's not going to be long before we will have to do so. She really seems to be taking this "keeping her pants dry" thing very seriously! She's kept them dry for days now (except during sleep times) and is getting better at telling me she has to go, which she usually indicates by pulling her pants down. Plus, she seems to be consistently holding it longer, which is a huge step in the right direction. Go Addison!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Asthma

Remember back in May when we had to take Addison to an out-of-town hospital because of difficulty breathing? Here...this might jog your memory. Well, when we got back home and I reported this to our pediatrician, we talked about the chance that the episode could have been asthma related. Being a preemie and having been born with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), Addison did have a much higher risk of developing asthma early in her life. Dr. B said the following about that first, isolated episode: "First time it's a fluke, second time it's a coincidence, and third time it's asthma."

Well, for the last 2 months, Addison has been sick more than she's been well. Addison rarely used to be sick, so this has come as a surprise to us. It started with the flu in early September and since then has been what we assume were colds. All of these colds (4 to be exact) have been rough on her (and us), especially in the breathing department. They've all gone straight to the chest. I'm not one to rush to the doctor with every sniffle or cough, so I've just nursed her back to health on my own. The symptoms last 7-10 days and then seems to return within the week. I have been dumbfounded as to what is going on with her immune system. The last bout at the end of October had her coughing, wheezing, and struggling to breath. I told a number of people that I thought Addison had cold-induced asthma. (For those who don't know, I have a really good track record at diagnosing.)

3 days ago, after only 3 days in a row of good health, she came down with another cold. As usual, it went immediately to her chest. I decided I would call the pediatrician first thing this morning to have her looked at.

Addison has asthma. Cold-induced asthma (we believe), to be exact. This basically means that when cold air enters the lungs, histamines are released which triggers asthma symptoms. Even more so, viruses (especially those spread in the winter) such as influenza and RSV can trigger asthma. What might pass through a non-asthmatic toddler with that child exhibiting little to no symptoms, turns into what appears to be a full-blown, bad cold for Addison, resulting in an asthmatic episode that lasts for days or weeks.

So what happens from here? Well, my sweet baby girl will be on daily breathing treatments (Pulmicort) indefinitely (at least through this winter), regardless of whether or not she is asthmatic at the time. If she is asthmatic, a second medication (Albuterol) gets thrown into the mix and is given to her as needed (via the nebulizer), as it was today.



Her airways are currently so tight and aren't contracting as they should. The idea is that this medication will expand her airways, therefore allowing her lungs the ability to prevent such severe reaction to cold air and viruses. The long-term hope is that she will eventually outgrow this, which seems likely given no family history. Thank goodness!

This diagnosis is almost without a doubt due to her premature birth. Though it is painful to see my baby suffer from this unfortunate circumstance, I say that if this is the worse side-effect that comes from her losing out on 9 weeks in utero, we are blessed!

Addison did great with her first breathing treatment. She enjoyed reading the book about Bubbles, the fish with asthma and kept telling me (muffled) "I big girl, Mommy. Doctor gim me mecine. All bedder."


Because she is currently displaying moderate asthma symptoms, I immediately followed the Pulmicort with a dose of Albuterol. One of the most common side effects to this medication is trouble sleeping (along with nervousness, tremors, headache and nausea, to name a few). Addison was due for a nap about an hour later and I didn't want her to lose out on more sleep, but knew she wouldn't sleep well without the treatment. What's a mom to do? So I gave it to her, thinking an hour would be enough time to give her lunch and hopefully avoid any side effects. She asked me to hold her during this treatment and about 2 minutes into it, she was out. I put her down for a nap and she woke up shaking and starving. POOR, POOR girl.


If you would please keep Addison in your prayers, we would really appreciate it. I know she will be fine and I thank God for modern medicine. I just hate to see her like this and don't want her to have to deal with this too far into her sweet, little life!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Welcome, Max!

We'd like to welcome Max Adam to the world. One of my friends and her hubs are responsible for this miracle. Congratulations, Ashley and Grant! We hope to someday meet your precious little man.

I love this picture. The caption I would put with it is, "You look vaguely familiar. Have we met before?"

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I am my mother

When I was in first grade, I went to school without underwear on. I was wearing my school uniform (a very thin, plaid jumper). I remember first noticing my lack of underwear during my morning music class when I went to sit on the hard, metal chairs and noticing the already cool chairs felt quite significantly colder on my bottom than usual.

I was mortified and prayed all day that one of the boys wouldn't lift up my skirt (as they often did, which is why we typically wore shorts under our jumpers as extra protection!), or that it wouldn’t fly up during recess. I didn't bend over at all that day and slid into my chair at my table in the classroom ever so gingerly, as not to reveal anything.

My mom picked me up from school that day and remembers me bawling on my way to the car. I quickly got in and closed the door behind me. When she asked me what was wrong, I cried, "Mommy, you forgot to give me underwear this morning!" She felt horrible. All of my clean underwear was in the laundry and she meant to grab a pair out of the dryer before leaving the house for school. I can't blame her now (though I did that day and maybe the few days or weeks or months following) for forgetting...she was a single mother of 3, after all! The fact that I was even dressed is quite the accomplishment in my eye...and I only have one child...oh, and I am NOT single!

My mom was superwoman.

So, this story has gone down in history with my family. Somehow, everyone got wind of my embarrassing day and teased me…siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, probably even my dear old grandpa. To this day, I am asked if I remembered to put on my underwear. Obviously, I can now laugh about it but for a long time, it was a very sensitive subject. And I think my mom still feels bad about it.

Last Friday, Addison and I went to our weekly music class. It’s an early morning class and we were rushing around to get ready. I didn’t have underwear/pull-up/diaper on Addison that morning because that’s just how we’ve been rolling around our house lately with this whole potty training business. (It’s much easier to get her to the potty every 30 minutes or so when she’s bottomless!)

I had my OB appointment immediately following music class (which added to the morning chaos) and a friend of mine, who also attends class with her little girl Addison’s age, was going to take her home for a play date while I was at my appointment.

After class, I took Addison to the potty before sending her off. I pulled down her pants and realized she wasn’t wearing anything underneath them! I couldn’t believe it! After briefly laughing about it with my friend and then thanking God that Addison hadn’t wet her pants (because I didn’t have an extra pair with me), my memory flashed over to my mom. I was becoming my mother. I am my mother!

I sent my daughter to school without her underwear! And music class, of all places!

Oh, the irony….or genetics, perhaps.

Love you, Mom!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

23 weeks

Veintitres. That would be 23 in Espanol (which is Spanish for Spanish). :)
There isn't a whole lot to report since last week. My back has been aching AGAIN (darnit) so I figure we're going through another growth spurt. Baby Boy is moving A TON , which is wonderful and reassuring. I am peeing A LOT and am hoping it's just the baby pressing on the bladder and not another UTI.

Addison seems to be gaining more and more understanding of what "the baby in Mommy's belly" means, which is very fun. Yesterday she was pretending to cry and said that she was "crying like baby in Mommy's belly". Since she knows that babies cry, that statement seemed to me like she is starting to put 2 and 2 together. She has been kissing the belly more and the other night when I asked her for a back rub (haa), she said she wanted to "rub baby belly." It's very sweet. She is a charmer. :) I definitely think it will be quite the shock and adjustment for her when the baby actually arrives, but I am thrilled she is showing positive signs already.

I was on a big kick of designing the new nursery for a couple of weeks and fell off the bandwagon. Addison's 2nd birthday invitations took over...and boy did they ever. Those things took me a week to make! I'm happy with the turnout and have received a number of compliments so far (thank you, thank you, thank you), so it was worth it. I hope to pick up the nursery planning again soon so we can get a start on it after the first of the new year. Or maybe before, if the holidays and Addison's birthday don't become too time consuming. Yeah, right!

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How your baby's growing:
Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb.
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And the belly....


Mommy and both of her babies. One is just hiding a bit....hopefully for another 17 weeks!


Addison pulled up her shirt wanted me to take a picture of the baby in her belly, too!
Then she just rolled around on my bedroom floor looking too incredibly cute not to take a picture or two.