Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Pool Party!

I am behind on posting all of our doings.  Weekend before last, my manager hosted all of us at his house for a pool party and cookout.  Sarah Graves loves the water and fell in love with this bumper boat.  
 You can steer it and there is a motorized water gun that you can aim.  She had a great time and all of their landscaping received a healthy dose of pool water!

 Fearless as always, she tested out jumping off the side of the pool too.
As usual, we forgot to take pictures of anyone but Sarah Graves.  It was a fun afternoon and nice to hang out with people outside of work.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

What a Character!

Sarah Graves is really coming up with things that make me want to laugh, but they aren't intended to be funny. . . .  
Me: Sarah Graves, it's almost bedtime and I think you need to eat something.  Come eat the mashed potatoes I warmed up for you.
Sarah Graves: I no want mashed toes; I want something good.

Annie Fan

I think we have an Annie fan at our house.  This was my favorite movie as a kid and I LOVE that she is now enjoying watching it and singing along with the songs.  She tries to sing "Dumb Dog" to Lucy, which totally cracks me up.  The scene where all the orphans are cleaning up and singing, "It's A Hard Knock Life" is probably her favorite.  I see her trying to imitate some of their dancing and just glued to that part.  It reminds me of when my cousin, Nikki, and I would try to act out our favorite scenes from that movie.
I must admit too that it is a wonderful diversion from Elmo constantly!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Music Time

Music Together ended for Summer and she was asking for her music class, so when I saw that Ms. Jennifer was putting on a music time at a Barnes & Noble, I knew we needed to be there.  
 She was so thrilled when she saw Ms. Jennifer!  She got shy, but she kept watching her and asking me about Ms. Jennifer.
 Ms. Jennifer even led her favorite, "Trot Ole Joe!"
They took some group photos at the end and we got in on the fun with Ms. Katie.

She was so excited and keeps talking about her music class!

Aaron's Birthday

Tuesday was Aaron's birthday and we decided to celebrate by going to the Smyrna Food Truck Tuesday event.  We had never been before and it was something to behold.  The crowd took us a little off guard, but the food was tasty.  

SG enjoyed some gourmet grits.  I had some mac'n cheese with bacon.  Mom and Jeanne' tried several things, empanada, barbecue slider, and coconut chicken.  

Aaron was excited to find a food truck that had Korean tacos that he had before.  

 Excited to be in out of the brutal heat, we came home to sing "Happy Birthday" and enjoy some of the German chocolate cake that Mom made for Aaron.


Chubby and I had a check-up this morning.  It appears that all is well.  My blood pressure is low and Chubby's heartbeat is strong.  I measured at 38 cm again this week, so he may have had a bit of a growth spurt last week.  She checked his position and he is head down, but he felt a bit like he was posterior or face up.  It's not really a problem for him to be posterior, but if he stays that way, labor will probably be a little harder with more back labor.  I have been doing some of the exercises on spinning babies and have been really mindful of my posture throught this pregnancy, but he seems to have a mind of his own.  He is stilll pretty high, but that isn't a concern since he may not drop until labor. 

I was a little concerned because I have noticed some swelling in my feet that I haven't had before.  She took a look and felt it wasn't a concern, especially since it goes down over night.  I am supposed to drink lots of water, which I do already, put my feet up, and evaluate if my diet may have too much or too little salt. I don't like really salty stuff, but I don't eat extremely bland food either, so I would be surprised if it is too high or too low.

Chubby is technically full-term and no one would be concerned if he decided to come now.  However, research from the March of Dimes has shed light on how much brain development takes place in the last few weeks and how beneficial it is for babies to stay inside until at least 39 weeks.  Their suck swallow reflex is better developed and they are better able to regulate their temperature and blood sugar.  All god reasons to hope that we go a few more weeks!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Freezer

I set out to make sure that our freezer was stocked with frozen meals for when Chubby arrives. I have slowly been building up a stock pile and am finally finished. Here is what I made:

  • Chicken and Rice casserole (Talk About Good)
  • Chicken Tortellini casserole (Warm Welcomes)
  • Pork Chop and Rice casserole (similar to a recipe in Talk About Good, but Aaron found it online)
  • Baked Ziti
  • Sour Cream Noodle Bake (The Pioneer Woman)
  • Beef Enchiladas
  • King Ranch Chicken
  • Chicken and Noodle casserole (someone at our church made this when SG was born and it was perfect comfort food)
  • Strata (recipe from years ago from the Fredrick House Bed and Breakfast)
  • Stromboli (recipe from a neighbor of ours in Texas)
  • Emeril's mac'n cheese

Then, Jeanne' thoughtfully made us several meals - chicken enchiladas, hash brown casserole, and a chicken and ranch pasta dish.

Because some casseroles make a lot, I divided some to give us more variety and not have to eat the same thing for days! Hopefully, this will give us easy choices for the first few weeks when we are getting settled in as a family of four - I can't believe that time will be here so quick!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Today is Aaron's birthday, but Saturday night we took Daddy out for a special dinner in honor of his birthday.  Normally, we would
go out the tonight, but at 2 1/2 we are a little unpredictable and sometimes we just can't make it up for a full restaurant meal.  We intended to go to Pappadeaux's, but when we pulled up at 5:30 the parking lot was crazy full and people were standing outside waiting, so we decided that was more than we were willing to do.  
We headed to South City Kitchen instead and had a lovely meal.  Sarah Graves was a great eater and a pleasure to be with.  She received several compliments from our waiter on how well she did and we actually enjoyed an appetizer, entrees, and dessert.  We have been so in the habit of thinking of places that are friendly for two year olds, as in they often involve hearing a number called to tell you your food is ready, that it felt like a real treat to eat somewhere that has tablecloths and real napkins!
It's probably good that we took the opportunity now because who knows how long it will take us to have the energy to take a toddler and an infant out for dinner!

Belly Pics

Jeanne' is our personal photographer and we are so grateful for that.  No other photographer would have the patience that she does with Sarah Graves and be able to do pictures on a whim because a two-year-old is in a pretty good mood.  We supply the camera and she has the ideas.
She recently came and took some pregnancy pictures for us as a family.  We captured Sarah Graves' pregnancy in some beautiful pictures and I wanted to do the same for him, especially including his big sister in the action.

Thanks, Jeanne'!  We will love these pictures in years to come.

Belly Painting!

Friday night we had a fun time having dinner with my family and Jeanne' painted my belly!   Mom and Dad cooked for all of us and we had a nice time hanging out together.  Sarah Graves was exhausted from school and not her usual self, but she was glad to see Aunt Nay and Pops as they are often busy with work.

My beach ball!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Tender Two

Being two is tough and it is full of angst and struggle, but there are also tender moments that melt my heart.
Yesterday on our way home this was the conversation:
SG: Momma, I like Jesus.
Me: that's wonderful because He loves you!
SG: YES, Jesus loves me; yes, Jesus loves me; yes, Jesus loves me; the Bible tells me so!

Later when we were home, I told her I was going to let Lucy out. She came running to me and said, "BaBa, I'm scared!" I picked her up and asked why she was scared and her response was, "I scared you leave me." That just broke my heart!

Those moments more than make up for all the crying and frustration.

Sprinkler Fun!

She loves to play outside and this sprinkler toy made for great fun!

 I love how prissy she is!  Such a girly girly!

We had a fun time playing together!


Now that I am in the last few weeks of pregnancy, I have appointments every week.  Yesterday we had a great check-up.  My blood pressure is still good.  Chubby measures at 38 cm, which is still within the acceptable range for 36 weeks.  His heart rate was right at 140 and he is positioned head down.
I found out that my iron levels are in the appropriate range, so I will continue taking the iron supplement once a day.  The results of my beta strep test came back negative, which is great because I won't need IV antibiotics when I get to the hospital!  Needing the antibiotics isn't the end of the world, but you have to get to the hospital earlier and it means you have the IV from the start.
All in all, things are looking good right now!  Just another few weeks to go!

Belly Shot!

Your baby is gaining about an ounce a day. She now weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon) and is more than 18 1/2 inches long. She's shedding most of the downy hair that covered her body, as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that protected her skin during her nine-month amniotic bath. Next week, your baby will be considered full-term. Most likely she's in a head-down position, but if she isn't, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an external cephalic version, where she'll try to turn your baby by manipulating her from the outside of your belly.

Rough Week

We have had a crazy week!  It got started when Sarah Graves' school called me Monday before lunch to say she had an upset stomach and I should come get her.  That wasn't too much of a problem, so I walked over and took her home (love the convenience of that!)  She seemed fine, she took a good nap and Lovie was back from her trip just in time to sit with her while I went to my dentist appointment that evening.  She was thrilled to be back with Lovie!

Tuesday should have been a day like any other, but by lunch time I wasn't feeling too good and by evening I was feeling plain awful.  I had muscle and joint aches, fever and chills, and an upset stomach.  Just how I wanted to start the ninth month of pregnancy!  I spent most of Wednesday in bed and by the late afternoon I felt a lot better, but still pretty tired on Thursday.  So here we are at Friday and I am just starting to get it together!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Silly Sister Goes To The Dentist

Today I took Sarah Graves for her first visit to the dentist. I picked a pediadontist mostly because I have such fond memories of my childhood dentist, Dr. Ellard, and his gentle way of doing things. This dentist is close to us and came and spoke to her class at school.
The staff was very friendly and spent a long time discussing good oral hygiene habits with us. A diet low in sugar was high on the list, but they were pretty understanding when I explained that was a goal I had for her too but she has other ideas.
She was a little nervous when it was time for him to look at her teeth. We read about the Berenstain bears going to the dentist so that was an example for her. She didn't even have to get in the chair, she sat in my lap and leaned back on his knees for him to look in her mouth. He checked all of her teeth and she really didn't resist. He said that overall her teeth look good, but we should start flossing the front ones. He said the paci isn't interfering with her teeth and if she only has it for sleep it isn't a big deal for her to give it up (that was a relief for me). She did get a fluoride treatment and we will go back in 6 months when she is 3 for her first cleaning. Overall, it was a painless process.
She was excited about her goodie bag with a new toothbrush, flossers, toy prize, and princess stickers!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Chubby and I had a check-up yesterday and all seems to be going well.  My blood pressure remains good and Chubby is doing well.  His heartbeat was nice and strong.  He is still high, but she checked his position and he is head down.  She showed me where to put my hands so that I could feel his head, which was pretty neat.  I asked if it felt like there was plenty of fluid and she said it's hard to tell, but nothing felt like there was a low level of fluid.  I'll take that. 
I was worried about his position because Sunday night he was thrashing around and Monday morning I could feel him hiccuping up high on my right side.  I could also feel some strong kicks down low, so I got worried that he was likely breech.  Monday night I spent a lot of time on my hands and knees trying hard to get him to turn and with a few thrashing moves he must have.  I was pretty sure he was back head down yesterday when I felt his hiccups down low and more movement up high.  The midwife mentioned though that sometimes the fluid levels can make it feel like the hiccups are in one place and the baby's head is positioned in the complete opposite.  It's still my best indicator of where I think he is positioned.  She also mentioned that sometimes second babies do not drop their head into the pelvis until active labor. I have been hoping that he would drop into my pelvis because that would make it harder for him to turn from the head down position.
Although it is a relief to have him head down, I do take comfort knowing that my practice will let you labor and attempt vaginal birth with a breech baby in a time when most doctors won't even attempt it. 
I love feeling him move and knowing he is there, but I do wish that he wouldn't do so many tumbling maneuvers.  I really thought by now he would be getting too big to completely change his position.  Not only does it worry me that he won't be lined up for birth, but that the cord will get wrapped around his neck.  I know it is rarely a serious issue, but it still worries me. 
They are also going to re-check my bloodwork to see if my iron levels are up and evaluate where we are there.  I'm now on the weekly appointment schedule, so I will get those results next week. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Saturday with the Silly Sister

Silly Sister is Sarah Graves' latest nickname and it fits her pretty well.  She is very excited about Chubby, but still gets a little confused on the fact that she is going to be a sister and Chubby will be her brother!  I don't think she cares if the baby is a boy or a girl, as long as he gets here NOW.

We started our Saturday off with a big breakfast with Lovie, Pops, and Aunt Nay.  She enjoyed a pancake, grits, and even a slice of bacon!  That was after having a series of snacks before we left the house!  She was in a playful mood and loved being with her favorite people.  

We made plans to go to the library after her nap and she was very excited to go.  I had grand visions of the fun we would have looking for books that might become treasured favorites.  Before Aaron could even get all the paperwork for the library card completed, she asked to go to the potty with no success, and before the library card was even ready, she had an accident.  I was so disappointed that we didn't get to stay at the library and look for books, but she took it in stride and reminded me that she would try again.  
Feeling a bit defeated, Aaron and I decided to treat ourselves to dinner out at a Mexican restaurant we had never tried before.  She was in great spirits and even better spirits when the server offered her a large ice cream sundae!  Have I mentioned that she is a fool for ice cream and will eat it at every meal if given the chance?

Because our dinner was quite early, we had plenty of time to come home and play with her toys in the basement.  I have relocated most of her toys down to the basement because there is a lot more open space and I am feeling like the infant items for Chubby and her large assortment of toys will be too much for the den.  We are keeping her kitchen and her play table up there along with her music instruments, but the other toys are in the basement.  It's perfect to play in the basement on these hot summer days because it is seriously cooler down there than anywhere else in the house!

All in all we had a great Saturday until just about the moment I sat down to go to bed and I heard a pitiful voice calling, "Momma."  I went in to find her sitting up in bed covered in throw up.  I felt so sorry for her and she was hysterical about it.  I scooped her up to start getting the yuck off and yelled for Aaron to help us.  He changed the sheets and bedding while I got her cleaned off and in fresh pajamas.  We stayed with her for a while and she let me snuggle with her and then decided she was ready to go back to sleep.  She slept fine the rest of the night and woke up feeling great on Sunday.  I have no idea what would have made her sick.  

Belly Shot!

Your baby now weighs about 4 3/4 pounds (like youraverage cantaloupe) and is almost 18 inches long. Her fat layers – which she'll need to regulate her body temperature once she's born – are filling her out, making her rounder. Her skin is also smoother than ever. Her central nervous system is maturing and her lungs are continuing to matureas well. If you've been nervous about preterm labor, you'll be happy to know that babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Being Two

Being two is a lot of fun and also hard.  I don't think anyone realizes how hard except maybe the momma who seems to bear the brunt of the frustrations.  I have posted before about our efforts to use unconditional parenting and I recently came across this post on a website related to child care and thought that it very nicely described a lot of the things that she is going through.

If toddlers could share their thoughts on discipline, here’s what I think they’d say…
1. Make me your ally. Don’t think in terms of “getting me to do” something. Don’t trick, bribe, shame or punish me. “You against me” is scary when I desperately need you on my side. So, please tell me politely or show me what you want. And stop me kindly (but definitively) from doing things you don’t want, way before you get mad.  Your calm demeanor and the positive options you give me (“I see you’re playing, so would you like to come in to change your diaper now or after you play for 5 more minutes?”), will help me to accept your instructions more gracefully.
2. Don’t be afraid of my reactions to the limits you give me. It’s frightening for me when you are timid or evasive. How can I ever feel secure if the people I desperately need to depend on waver or tiptoe around my feelings? So, please put periods at the end of your sentences. Your directions are more welcome than you’ll ever know.  They don’t hurt my fragile spirit. They free me, help me enormously, and are essential to my happiness.
3. Tell me the truth in simple terms, so that I can feel very clear about what you want. I may need several reminders while I’m learning, so please be patient and try to stay even-toned, even if you’ve already told me.  (Really, I don’t want to be annoying.)
4. Don’t get upset or angry if you can possibly help it. Those reactions don’t make me feel safe. I need to know that my behavior doesn’t “get” to you, that you can handle my issues with care and confidence. If not you, then who?
5. If I keep repeating the behavior, it’s because it doesn’t feel resolved for me. Either you aren’t being convincing enough, or you’re being too intense and emotional. When you give me “the look”, or there’s anger in your voice when you say “don’t hit!,” it unnerves me and I’m compelled to keep behaving that way until you can give me a calmer response.  I need to know that those kinds of behaviors aren’t allowed, but I also need to be assured constantly that they are no big deal at all and can be easily handled by you. You’ll show me this by being patient, calm, consistent and giving me brief, respectful, direct responses so that we can both let go and move on, knowing that our connection is still solid.
6. Consider my point of view and acknowledge it as much as possible…even if it seems ridiculous, wrong or crazy. There are no wrong desires or feelings, just wrong ways of acting on them, right?  I need to know that it’s okay to have these feelings and that you’ll understand and keep on loving me. Let me feel.
7. Remember that I don’t want to be in charge, even though the toddler creed is to never admit that. I am convincing. I can make you believe that your simple request to sit down while I eat is pure torture. Don’t mock me or call me out, but don’t believe it. Keep insisting — with love. My strong will is going to make you proud someday.  When you give in, I feel less strong, far more wobbly.
8. Give me lots of YES time when I have your full attention and appreciation for all the good stuff I do. We all need balance.
9. Let me be a problem solver.  If our wishes are at odds, consider me capable of helping to find a solution, especially as I get older. (This post and video provide a brilliant example: Belief Behind The Behavior: Volcanoes And Cops )
10. Thank you for doing all of these really, really hard things in order to help me be the kind of kid who is enjoyed by his friends, is welcome in their parents’ homes, appreciated by teachers, and is (most of all) one of your favorite people to be with in the whole wide world…forever.

Doing these things definitely takes effort and a ton of patience.  I often think that God gave me this child to teach me about patience.  The saying that patience is love is definitely correct because only my love for this child could allow me to have the patience it takes to deal with some of her struggles.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Relaxing Fourth

We had a relaxing fourth of July. 

Sarah Graves is becoming quite the fish and loves to be in the water.  It feels good for me and Chubby too!
I love the look of joy on her face!  Such a sweet child.
We have learned to bring a few pool toys, but mostly she likes to splash around.  She was particularly enthralled to watch an older girl having a private lesson to work on her stroke technique. 

Daddy being silly wearing her toucan float as a hat!

After the pool, we headed back to Lovie and Pops' house for a delicious lunch of grilled hamburgers and corn on the cob.  Soon after SG was ready for what became her marathon 4 hour nap and Aaron and I headed off to do a little shopping to get things we needed for Chubby.  Not long after we came back Jeanne' came, SG woke up, and we spent the evening out on their deck with SG doing all sorts of little crafts while Pops grilled some delicious chicken!  It felt more like a Saturday, but we headed home in time to get a little girl into bed so that she could go to school the next day.
Fireworks would be nice and I think she would like them, but they start so late that I'm not sure we could keep her up for them.  In a few years she will be ready!