Monday, December 30, 2013

Let It Snow!

It seems like this winter is going to be one of THOSE winters with snow every few days. I know one little girl who is thrilled about it and it isn't me! It started last Tuesday with the first few inches we received and continued with another 4-5" on Saturday. We're expected to get another storm tomorrow with a few more inches. Ugh. Why do I live in New England again?!

Alas, I will try to enjoy snow through the eyes of my child because M is thrilled by the snow and I'm on maternity leave with nowhere to go.  After Tuesday's storm she ran through the house singing, "I lub snow! I lub snow!" Over and over. Tuesday had the perfect snowman snow, so I got the boys down for their naps (finally!) and took M outside. I even got a little sad that she's big enough now her snow suit doesn't leave her an immobile statue. 

Our first snowman wasn't a bad attempt. I was informed by M that we need carrots and a hat on hand at all times now. Of course by the time I scrounged up some alternatives to the sticks I used, our poor snowman fell over. Note to self: don't put the base of snowman on our hill. She wasn't too disappointed when I bribed her out of the cold with hot chocolate. 

After the second storm, we took E out in the snow with us. He was NOT a fan. He pouted the whole time and had this disgusted look on his face. I think it was just too deep for him and he can't move well in his snow suit. I even dragged out the tobagen and pulled the kids up the snowy drive way and he was not impressed. Maybe next year when he's bigger he'll like it?!  Note: the tobagen was my mother's when she was a girl and both my older brother and I also grew up with it. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

18 months Already?!

E is 18 months old today. What?!  It seems like the last year and a half has flown by and yet SO much has changed since he was born. He isn't even the baby of the family anymore though it doesn't seem possible.  E is still little at around 22lbs fully clothed (his official stats won't be until his 18mo appointment on the 19th), but I think he's middle of the curve for height and he has a big ole noggin. He's in 18 month shirts (and has been since a year old) and pajamas and 12 month pants. I think he's long in the torso with short legs. 

After waiting for ages, E's hair is finally really coming in now and it includes some curls!  Sadly, I think they'll be gone after his first haircut which won't be for quite awhile. He still likes his bobo (paci), but we are working on weaning him from it as he bites them in half now. We have one left that is a tougher material so he can't bite through it and it stays in his crib. If he breaks it, we are screwed!!

E can say quite a few words and regularly "talks" gibberish that is so cute as he gets so serious and has the best facial expressions. He is a total jokester. His latest is refusing to call AR, Papa. He'll point at him and say "Mama" and giggle. We correct him and he points again and says, "MamamaMA! Cue another giggle. When AR isn't home he totally says Papa, so he messes with him because he knows it bugs AR! 

He's still anaphylactic to dairy and egg and his next skin test is in March. He eats a lot, but you wouldn't know it with his weight. He's also on Neocate E028 Splash "formula" to make sure he gets the right amino acids and vitamins for proper brain development with his food allergies. We also give him Vitamin D and an additional DHA vitamin. His eczema is better, but he gets patches behind his ears and on his index fingers (from sucking them) often. We had to switch up his bath routine and soaps and lotions to get to this new maintenance phase. We use original Dove bar soap and Free & Clear shampoo on him. For lotion we have Vani Cream and a prescription steroid cream and Epiceram for hot spots. 

He is a boy on a mission and gets into EVERYTHING. We had to do additional baby proofing for him. He climbs. He runs. He copies everything his big sister and older cousins do. My favorite is when he tucks his head and just runs with a big grin on his face. If you hear the pitter patter of his little feet it's usually not a good thing. It usually means he's swiped something and is running away. 

E loves outside and playgrounds and freedom. He's very dramatic when told "no" and has a ridiculously loud cry. He pinches, hits, pushes, and pulls his sister's hair already. They already argue over silly stuff and toys. I have to try not to laugh sometimes. They do LOVE each other and he always worries about her and asks for her when she's in preschool.  He's adjusting to being a big brother slowly. We're working on "gentle" a lot. He gives great kisses and hugs and his laugh is infectious. It'll always cheer you up on a bad day. 

Happy 18 months sweet boy. I hope you keep that smile and never stop laughing. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013


I'm thankful for another year of life, my husband, our three beautiful children, my job, my health, a 93 year old grandmother who got to meet and hold her THIRD great grandchild this weekend, my family (including my fabulous in-laws), being able to breastfeed all of my children, teeny tiny ballet shoes, giggles from E, the food in our pantry, the roof over our heads, that my mother-in-law is stubborn and a fighter and might just beat this cancer thing, for conversations with my 3 1/2 year old, for kisses from E and M and newborn smiles from D, chocolate, and wine. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Daniel's Birth Story

On October 30th at 5:53pm our family grew from four to five and our hearts swelled with the birth of our son, Daniel Vicente. He weighed 9lb 5oz and was 21" with Apgars of 9 and 9. Big sister is in love with her new baby brother while it took big brother a little while to warm to the idea. We are so blessed to have our three beautiful, healthy children.

I'm going to share D's birth story here as I've done with M and E in the past. I'll do a summary and then the detailed version like I did after E's birth more for my own memories years down the road. Feel free to skip the detailed version if you don't want the nitty gritty (possibly TMI) details.

The summary:
We checked into labor and delivery just before 8am on October 30th and were scheduled for an attempted version or a c-section at 9:30 if the version failed. Here's a summary of what transpired.
8-8:30 Got checked in to the triage side with blood draws, IV lock put in, and monitored baby and contractions or lack, thereof. 3cm dilated. 
9:00 Dr. Webb came by to explain what would happen with and without c-section while we waited for the ultrasound machine to see if version was still an option. 
9:10 anesthesiologist came by to go over meds in case of c-section or for epidural later should I be allowed to labor on and I signed releases. 
9:20 Dr. Webb came back and did an abdominal ultrasound to see how baby was positioned and if he was still transverse and then a vaginal to make sure there was no cord or hands/arms near my cervix for when they broke my water. She was confident we could do the version and gave is the final option. We went for it as I didn't want surgery with two kids at home already. 
9:30 water broken while version took place and I was 4cm after it was over. It worked!! I stayed in triage for a couple hours for monitoring to make sure he didn't move back and was handling contractions okay. 
11:30 moved to L&D room 610 started IV drip to push fluids
11:45 still 3-4cm and baby boy was high started Pitocin at a 1 (max dose 21)
12:07 temp of 100.3 (probably nerves as it later came down again)
12:56 still 4cm. Internal monitor fell off. Pitocin at 3 contracting regularly every 3 minutes and starting to intensify
13:45 got epi just as things got intense
15:00 pit increased to 5
15:20 break through contractions in my pubic bone brought me to tears as I feared epi was failing again like it did with Evan
15:56 epi boosted, 5cm, flipped sides. Lots of pubic pain brought me to tears.  Boost worked within 10 minutes
17:00 2nd epi boost, all over pain, flipped sides, feel him in my left rib and got scared he turned again. Pit turned off as I was starting to contract too much. In hindsight, I think I was complete at this point just nobody checked me. 
17:37 fully dilated, felt pelvic pain as he descended and intense pressure. Could feel contractions through epidural in my stomach and front pelvis. Told them to have Dr. Webb hurry because he was coming fast. I could feel him coming down and my body pushing on its own
17:53 1st push and he was born 9lb 5oz 21" apgars 9/9. No tears. 

Detailed Version:

On October 29th I had an appointment at 41 weeks pregnant for an NST and ultrasound to check on baby boy. He failed the NST, but passed the biophysical profile ultrasound. After those, I met with my OB, Dr. Webb, and she said he looked good with the practice breathing and my fluid levels were good (13.1, I think), but he was transverse or sideways.  She thought based on feeling his position during cervical check, externally, and via ultrasound pictures and due to the fact I'd had three previous births that I was a good candidate for a version. She wanted us to report to the hospital the next morning to attempt it while they broke my water and got things going since I was already a week past due. Also, due to the baby's position if I did go into labor on my own I had a huge risk of prolapsed cord or a limb coming down the birth canal first. If I went into labor that night or even thought I was in labor I was to report immediately to the hospital. If the version failed or his position changed worse overnight, I would get an immediate c-section at 9:30 the next day. 

She left the room and gave us a chance to process everything. I started crying more from fear than anything and disappointment I might need surgery. I feared he was just too big and that's why he wasn't in a good position. I did NOT want surgery with two kids at home already. When Dr. Webb came back in she went over the c-section paperwork and releases with us and answered all of our questions (would I be knocked out for the c-section if version failed, could Alexi be there for surgery, could we take pictures in the OR, etc). We were to report to the hospital at 7:30am to get checked in and figure out what course we'd take.  

On October 30th we got up before the crack of dawn (who am I kidding?! I didn't sleep a wink all night and was up basically every hour and I even went to lay with Mari for awhile in her room) and packed the kids in the car and headed to drop them off at my parents-in-law's house. We stalled there partly from fear of what we'd be facing that day and partly because we had a hard time saying goodbye to M and E. Especially, E knowing he wouldn't be the baby of the family for much longer. We got to the hospital just before 8 and checked in to L&D. They had me down for a c-section only and no version, so I panicked that my OB just gave me hope the day before when there really was none. It was just a paperwork snafu, though, since I was scheduled after 3pm the day before the paper trail hadn't caught up yet. My fears were squashed after Dr. Webb came by to say good morning and give us a rundown of what was going to happen. Everything boiled down to getting one last ultrasound to see where baby was positioned.  

While we waited for the ultrasound machine, the anesthesiologist came in to go over spinals (if I got c-section) and epidurals (if I was allowed to labor on) and had me sign the releases and answer a zillion questions. I was also hooked up to the monitors for baby and got an IV port installed. During his speech I actually had a contraction on my own and baby's heart rate deceled and didn't recover right away. A slew of people came in including Dr Webb and had me roll to my side. I'd been on my back awhile and they thought that was all it was, but Dr Webb warned me if it happened again our decision for a c-section would be made.  Luckily, it was just a fluke.  She kept asking us if we had any questions and if we were okay. We were both just nervous and quiet as we just wanted to know if I'd need surgery or not. 

Finally, around 9:20 Dr. Webb started our ultrasound to figure out where baby was. She did an abdominal one first to see general position and then a vaginal one to make sure there was no cord or limbs between my cervix entrance and baby as they planned to break my water as they turned baby in the hopes his head would settle into my pelvis and prevent him from turning back where he was. Thankfully, there was only fluid between baby and his exit!  Dr. Webb then gave us the final option. I could most definitely go for the version or do a c-section.  We opted for the version hoping to avoid major surgery. During the ultrasound, our OB was amazed at how Daniel could possibly fit inside me with his size the way he was. His back (spine) was basically parallel to the floor while his head was arched over my right leg (totally explains sciatic pain!) with his chin jutting out instead of tucked in. I wasn't going into labor because there was no pressure on my cervix from his head and he was ill positioned for birth. Dr. Webb actually drew a diagram on my chart of how he was inside me and everyone kept checking it out once they found out I was "that woman!" that avoided a c-section with a successful version. 

Next, was version time.  I'm pretty sure I held my breathe the entire time. The chief resident was going to break my water, while Dr. Webb turned Daniel, and our nurse held this special phone to alert the OR if we needed them.  The OR staff was literally waiting to hear if I was coming or not and was set up already for me just in case. That was a little freaky to know. Since I was only 3cm they tried using a tiny string like think to break my water and were able to, but only a trickle was coming out. They put the ultrasound on me and got the bigger hook (think crochet like hook) and used that to make sure my water really was broken while using the ultrasound to see baby. It was actually pretty freaking amazing to watch. We could see the Chief Resident breaking my water in the ultrasound machine and baby's head moving into position!

They asked me to cough a few times to see if more fluid would leak and we all got a laugh out of my nervous and very pathetic fake coughs. It's hard to do on demand!  I felt no pain during the entire process which I did med free. There was just a lot of pressure and some intense moments. Dr. Webb had one hand on baby's head to shift him and the other on his tush holding him so that when my water was broken he wouldn't flip the wrong way. Thank goodness it worked!!!  I was the talk of the whole L&D and postpartum floor that day being able to avoid surgery. I was given the okay to eat breakfast at this point and they wanted to monitor me in triage (closer to OR) for awhile to see how Daniel handled things going forward. I started having contractions within twenty minutes and AR brought me a sausage, egg, and cheese asiago bagel from Au Bon Pan for breakfast. I also got hooked up with a stash of cranberry juice (a hot commodity on the L&D floor!) and we just chilled and called family to let them know I'd escaped surgery so far and Daniel was safe. I texted a few people (friends and labor buddies) to bring them up to speed and then we waited after breathing a huge collective sigh of relief. 

At 11:30, I was moved to the delivery wing and even walked there on my own. At 11:45, I was checked again and was still at 4cm and contractions weren't regular or strong, so they started me on Pitocin. I started at a dose of 1 (Max dose is 21 and I'd never get above a 5. For reference, with Evan I had a dose of 18!!).  I was so hot I had them turn down the air in my room. I had a low fever and I think the rest was adrenaline and nerves as the fever went away. They opened my room door for awhile, so I'd get more cool air. I was sipping Gatorade and cranberry juice, resting, lurking on Facebook and Candy Crush, and we were watching HGTV to pass the time. I was still pretty much okay during contractions at this point, but knew it would get intense soon as the Pit dose increased with my water already broken. 
Just before 1, I was checked again as the internal monitor had fallen off (they took it out and hooked me to external monitor instead).  I was still only at 4cm, but I was contracting every 3 minutes and the Pitocin was now at a dose of 3 and my pain was picking up.  The nurse ordered my epi at 1:15 as there was a c-section scheduled for 1:30 and she didn't want me to miss my window and have to wait as I warned her that one second I'd probably be fine and then the "shit would hit the fan" as that's how my other labors were. I didn't want to suffer through the shit hitting the fan this time (for lack of a better way of saying it) and thank God she heard me. 

Anesthesia arrived and the head doctor was also named, Heather. They started going over the standard release info until they realized I'd already done it in triage. They realized I was "that" woman who had the version and were excited to meet me and checked out my chart's notes. I was prepped right away and my contractions were getting super painful at the same time. Sitting in epidural position during intense contractions is tough. I'm so glad my delivery nurse called them when she did or I would've been out of my mind in pain like I was with E in labor.  It took forever to check my epi as they thought it hit a vein and they checked twice to be sure it hadn't. I was given the all clear and they finally started the drugs at 1:45pm.  This epi hurt a bit and took longer than usual to put in as every contraction they stopped (normal).  I was relieved when it was over and I started to get the tingling in my legs signaling it was working.  After the epi kicked in, I napped for awhile and at 3pm my Pitocin dose was at a 5. At 3:20, I started having break through pain in my pubic bone which brought me to tears. I was so scared my epidural was failing again like it did with Evan. I just breathed through them while I silent cried and AR paged the nurse. He had left to get a coffee when I started to feel pain and when he got back, I was in tears and he walked in and panicked a second. At 3:56, my epidural was boosted and I flipped over to lie on my other side and thank goodness I got relief within 10 minutes.  At 5pm I started to feel break through pain all over my belly again. The nurse helped me flip again and as soon as I did, I felt him in my left rib.  I think it was his tiny tush, but it worried me that one second he wasn't there and the next he was...I thought he had somehow flipped back again.  My epidural was boosted again and I continued to feel the contractions in my belly and complained to the nurse about him in my ribs.  I think I was actually complete at this point (fully dilated), they just didn't check me yet.  

Finally, at 5:37 the nurse checked me and said I was fully dilated.  AR and I were shocked, though we suspected it with my break through pain.  As soon as she was done checking me, I felt the urge to push and could literally feel him dropping down and my body pushing.  They called Dr. Webb and I told our nurse, Shonna, to make sure she hurried because he'd be here quickly.  Dr. Webb was in the room maybe 5 minutes later (but felt like forever) and checked me and asked me to give a practice push to see about turning his head to a better position.  She immediately told me to stop pushing (my body was even doing it on its own) and got dressed in the delivery gown and mask and they converted the bed quickly for delivery and I asked for a mirror again.  I barely had my legs in position when I could feel another contraction coming and told her as such.  Dr. Webb asked if I remembered what to do and I blanked out for a minute and then AR helped hold one leg, while I half grabbed the other (the adrenaline was giving me the shakes).  Alexi turned his back for a second and Dr. Webb said, "Look!  Here he comes!!" and we were shocked and said no way.  They'd asked me at least a half dozen times how long I'd pushed with my previous births and both M and E were 20-25 minutes (longer for M), so we fully expected that.  I yelled at the resident as he got in front of my view of the mirror and stopped pushing until he moved.  Not pushing did nothing as Daniel still came and as soon as I saw the mirror again I gave a final half push and he popped out!!  He had the cord around his neck once, which Dr. Webb quickly unwound and then his shoulders and body flew out.  I literally half pushed him out the first try!!

Daniel was placed right on my chest and we were all just stunned he was there so quickly and then he promptly peed all over me.  Dr. Webb was as shocked as we were and AR later said it felt so anticlimactic because one second they said I was complete and in one push he flies out!  He expected it to take longer and have more anticipation, as did I.  I mean we went in thinking I'd end up with a c-section and instead out flies Daniel after a single half push and he was a big baby!  The nurse was so excited to weigh him, but we did the delayed cord cutting and skin to skin for a bit.  Alexi took pictures of us and then put the camera down to cut the cord, which I got to watch this time.  Dr. Webb kept saying over and over what a rock star I was and that I could totally birth a 10 pound baby easily (um, no thanks!?).  The whole room was a flutter with excitement at the fast delivery, successful version, and avoided c-section.  Bonus: I didn't tear or need an episiotomy this time.  I just had a few minor tears near my urethra, but nothing that required stitches.  Not tearing made a HUGE difference with the healing process.  Huge.  I felt great pretty quickly and within 2 days the minor tears around my urethra didn't even sting at all.  We finally let nurse Shonna weigh Daniel and get him cleaned up.  She did his length twice to be sure it was right and he weighed 9 lb 5 oz and was 21" long.  After he was cleaned up he came back to me for skin to skin and to nurse.  The kid came out starving...he was rooting the moment he was born.  He also had a lot of swelling on his face and bruising on his right cheek and eye from coming out so quickly.  Thankfully, he's nursing and gaining well.  He's got cheek dimples when he smiles and the softest baby fuzz hair.  He was nursing promptly every 2-3 hours around the clock until 3 weeks old.  At 5 days old he was already back to gaining and weighed 9 lb 3 oz and by 10 days old he was already 10 lb 3 oz.  We think he looks a lot like E as a newborn, but he's much lighter skinned like me.  
Happy birthday, Daniel, and welcome to our crazy family!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

An Unexpected Diagnosis- Food Allergic

We started E on solid foods when he was 6 months old and followed the same routine we did with M- skipping cereal and making our own baby food. E really enjoyed his meals so we began adding in new foods fairly quickly and being our second child, we weren't as careful at doing the whole "give one food and wait a few days for any potential reaction" routine. It would come back to bite us in the end. 

I started him on yogurt at 8 months and noticed he started to get red around his mouth right away. I assumed it was just a contact rash as E has had sensitive skin and eczema since he was around 3 months old.  A few days later we had pancakes for breakfast and gave E some. He loved them!  Within five minutes, though, he got red around his mouth and hives popped up on his cheeks and he started rubbing his eye.  I immediately thought he might be allergic to eggs not thinking that there was milk in the batter, too. The next day we tried yogurt again because 1) we're dumb and didn't really think one of our kids would have a food allergy and 2) he was our second and we were kind of lax about the whole new food thing and wanted to know if it was milk or egg that bothered him. Poor E flared up within ten minutes getting hives around his mouth and up to his eye and his entire eye got red and watery and itchy. We decided then to halt all new foods and wait to speak with his pediatrician at his 9 month appointment. I took a picture of his reaction just before he started screaming and pulling at his mouth and we watched him like a hawk. 

At his 9 month appointment, his pediatrician took one look at the picture I took and said, "oh no" and referred us to an allergist immediately.  He got an appointment within a couple weeks due to a cancellation and I explained everything to his allergist. She had a skin test done for milk and he failed it quite obviously. At this point we didn't test for anything else, but after a failed attempt at trying soy formula (E's slow weight gain and my milk supply being newly pregnant were concerning both my pedi and myself) I ended up taking him back in and Dr. H tested him for egg (due to the pancake) and soy. He failed both as shown in photo below- egg is bottom right reaction, soy is on the left, and controls are on the top. 
Our son was diagnosed with severe food allergies and is considered anaphylactic to dairy and egg. Dr. H gave us a ton of paperwork to read and several good websites to use as resources including where there are forums that you can chat and ask questions of other moms and allergy specialists.  It has become a life saver for me even if I still have days where I don't feel like I truly belong. My child can't possibly be THAT allergic, right?!  She also had the nurse come in and demo two different epi pens and had me chose one on the spot. That's when it really hit me that this was no joke. I chose the Auvi-Q talking epi pen and left the office overwhelmed and with Dr. H's number in case I had more questions (I did, of course, and phoned her several times).

E has since passed a skin test for soy, but his food allergies are still no joke. He had to be enrolled in daycare for several months when my mother-in-law underwent chemo treatments and while there we had an unfortunate reminder of the reality of an anaphylactic food allergic child. He had a substitute teacher in his class one day and despite all of their precautions and rules in place for the safety of kids that have food allergies, E was fed yogurt by the sub. The school called me immediately and I gave the okay to administer Benadryl. By the time they gave it, he had gotten hives and was starting to wheeze. He also had a cold, so the director hesitated to administer the epi pen as did I.  I flew to the school to pick him up and monitor him myself. I was so scared for him and incredibly disappointed that he had another reaction that I didn't say much to his teachers or the staff until the next day. In hindsight, he should've been administered the epi pen that day and I won't make that mistake again. Thank God E is alright. 

I had hoped that he wouldn't have a reaction that day and that maybe this whole food allergy diagnosis was a fluke. Seeing the hives and hearing him wheeze was heartbreaking. He was itchy and suffering and this WAS still the real deal. It's also hard when you feel half of your family just thinks you're a neurotic over protective parent. Those that have seen him react take us seriously (my mother-in-law has us check ingredients for her all the time) and panic along with us when he gets too close to something off limits (i.e. when his cousins walk around with bread and butter, chocolate, yogurt, etc). It's gotten better in that we asked my brothers and sisters-in-law to have their kids sit at the table to eat now. They've all also told their little ones that Evan can't have certain foods because it could make him sick. Its a start, but now E climbs on chairs (and tables) so we have to be even more diligent. 

Birthday parties and family gatherings with those that aren't aware are anxiety inducing for me at times. Some days I wish I could put E in a bubble to protect him. I really hope he outgrows these allergies by the time he's in preschool. Most, but not all, kids outgrow them around age 3. We carry his epi pens and Benadryl with him at all times and have extras for his daycare providers. We got two books about his allergies for him and M to learn and I have an Allermate alert bracelet for him as well. This is our favorite book so far, but it only covers his dairy allergy. 

E's next allergy test is on my birthday in March and I'm hoping and praying he passes at least one of the two remaining allergy tests. If he does, we'll do a food challenge in the doctor's office to see how he handles the food. It's a 5 hour process if all goes well. Gulp!  Until then we continue to read food labels on everything and protect him the best we can. 

More to come: Egg Allergy and the flu shot. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

10 Things I Won't Miss About Being Pregnant

I'm currently 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant and completely D.O.N.E. with it despite this being my final pregnancy.  I know I will miss being pregnant- the inside baby kicks, the belly bump arm rest, the ability to snack a bit more guilt free, and watching my current Littles kiss my growing bump and try to find my stretched out belly button.  As much as I have enjoyed, feared, questioned this pregnancy (that I wasn't quite ready for mentally) I am so ready to meet this little guy and welcome him into our family. I never thought I'd make it past 40 weeks with a 4th baby and while I should be relishing in these last few days of pregnancy, I'm quite the crabby pregnant lady and I'm ready to hold him and kiss him and hug him.  I crave butterfly kisses and newborn baby smell.

With these thoughts I bring you the top 10 things I won't miss about being pregnant whether it's the first pregnancy or fourth!

10. Waking up with numb arms from shoulder to finger tip.  It is the worst feeling to have a limp arm and it's usually the arm that's on top and not the one I'm laying on!!

9. Middle of the night calve Charlie Horses.  I know these happen to some women when they aren't pregnant, but not this girl.  God Bless you if you deal with them regularly.  I limp for a couple of days when I get them.

8. "Snissing".  If you don't know what this is- Google it.  It's a gross, but common pregnant woman occurrence.

7. Being hot all the time.  I'm still wearing flip flops and capris and it's only 55 out today and the leaves are falling off the trees.  I sleep with the A/C on, our ceiling fan, AND no covers while A.R. shivers next to me.  I think he  actually misses me putting my cold feet on him to warm myself up.  I'm so hot, my body heat makes him sweat at night.

6. Cankles. Swollen calves. Swollen fingers.  Swelling in general.

5. Lightening crotch...for those that are blissfully unaware of this sensation:  think of it like someone stabbing you or almost an electrical shock from the inside.  It's really the baby hitting/kicking/poking your cervix.  It can take your breathe away and stop a woman dead in her tracks from walking.

4.  Having to get up to pee 4 times a night at least in the last few weeks.  Once a night wasn't bad, but 4 is awful- it's basically every 2 hours of "OMGifIdon'tgetupnowI'llpeemyself" urges.  I'd much rather be up 4 nights snuggling a newborn!

3. Peeing in a cup.  Enough said.

2.  The immense pubic pain every time I get up from sitting or lying down for any period of time.  Or if I try to lift my leg to get in the car or climb stairs or roll over in bed.  It makes me gasp every single time and my chiropractor hasn't been able to help.  My best explanation is that it feels like someone is taking a hand saw to my pubic bone.

1.  The following comments:  "You're STILL pregnant?!", "OMG, you will never make it to your due date!" (guess what?!  I not only made it to my due date, I passed it.  Where's my trophy?!), "Are you SURE it isn't twins?!", "How far along are you" (This is when I admit the actual date and get a blank stare or gasp and comment #2 above.), "When is the baby coming?" (If I knew, I would have had him evicted 3 days ago!).  "Is this your first?" to which I reply no, my third and I either get a dumb stare or an "OH my, you have your hands full!"

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Absentee Blogger

Eek! Six months has passed with not a single post.  That six months has both flown and dragged by and I wanted to post many times, but just never got fingers to keyboard.  I think now that I'm on maternity leave I'll have a few chances to try to catch up or at least try to before another hiatus when baby 3.0 arrives (any day now- I'm due Oct 22 just 3 days from now) and the sleep deprivation and adjustment from 2 to 3 kids becomes a reality.  I'm terrified of that adjustment and what it will entail just to put it out there...E is still so young and the closer age gap between him and 3.0 has my anxiety high. Hopefully, my fears are unfounded since the adjustment from 2-3 wasn't nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

A breakdown of the last 6 months:

~ Baby 3.0 is a BOY!
~ E turned one back in June and started walking a month later.
~ We discovered that E has severe food allergies to egg and dairy and we now carry epi pens with us everywhere.  It's been quite the eye opening parenting experience for us.
~ I passed my gestational diabetes tests this pregnancy with flying colors!
~ My mother-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer and began chemotherapy after undergoing surgery to remove the tumors.
~ M and E had to start at daycare/preschool with my mother-in-law's diagnosis which was quite a change for them and for her.
~ I got to travel to NYC for a training session for 4 days in September for work.  It was a great break for me from home and an excellent opportunity for my career advancement.
~ We ripped up the carpet in our foyer, living room, and dining room and installed hardwood floors and then got the brilliant idea to put in window and crown molding in the formal living and dining rooms and wainscoting in the dining room.  It's still under construction 6 months later...
~ M got a new big girl princess room complete with crown, headboard canopy, and her favorite Disney princess silhouettes.
~ E also got a new bedroom (so we can recycle the nursery for 3.0) as well

I hope to elaborate on some of the above events in the near future assuming I don't take another unintentional hiatus after writing this post. :)  I make no promises, though!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chairman's Award 2012

This year A.R. was rewarded for all the hours and hard work he's put in at the office. It came completely unexpected and just at the right time to solidify he's made the right decisions with his career. He is now a recipient of a 2012 Chairman's Award from the company we work for. It's the highest award our company has. Words can't describe how proud of him and his teammates I am.

The gala was held at the Pequet Museum and we got to stay overnight at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods. It was a wonderful evening and nice to get away for a night to be spoiled and treated like red carpet guests (literally- there was a red carpet and cameras and video everywhere!). It was our first night away from E, but he did great and it wasn't as hard on me as it was to leave M for the first time.

I got a high five and a hug from our CEO's wife and we got to meet a lot of executives in the company including our CEO, some Presidents of various areas within the company, and the chief actuary (who sat at our table). We got to even see some of them break it down on the dance floor! It was a great night and we felt totally spoiled complete with a gift basket in our room and night time chocolates, too. Congratulations to all the winners!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

And Then There Was Life...

I can't believe I haven't posted on here since December.  I think about writing posts often, but just never quite get here to do it.  I even have pictures saved on my phone to make it easier to upload (via the Blogger app) that I want to share here and just haven't yet.  I'm not even sure if I have any readers left, but alas this also serves as a diary for me so I'm going to make an attempt to get better at posting again.  It won't be everyday, but hopefully once or twice a week is a feasible goal.

What has happened that's kept me from my sharing?  Not in any particular order: the boy child became mobile, I started a new job, M turned THREE, and I got surprised with 1st trimester fatigue.  YES!  3.0 is on the way...more about that to come in another post if I keep my promise to post regularly.  Alas, I'm now settled into my new job role, E is a boy on the go not to be deterred from his mission of movement, M's birthday party was a success, and the 1st trimester fatigue is finally fading.

Valentine's day love- 2013
I'll try to start at the beginning- on December 3rd, I left my comfort zone in a role in Reinsurance Accounting that I had for 6 years and joined our Reinsurance IT team as a Business Analyst.  I'm still in Reinsurance with the same company and I still work with a lot of my old teammates, but it's a whole new spin on things for me.  I'm no longer doing accounting production work and have entered the field of IT.  I am part of the IT team that supports the Reinsurance accounting system that our company uses, so I still use my accounting knowledge and my background as a business (production) user of the system for the past 6 years has been invaluable in my new role so far.
Not the best shot I have, but he sleeps with his butt in the air.

My new role has been very eye opening as to how company budget, contracts with vendors, time constraints, and a whole slew of other aspects effect what I used to see as a front-end user.  I think this role will help turn me into the ultimate Reinsurance guru for our company.  I'm hopeful for my future in this new role and what is to come.  I'm also very fortunate that my new boss allowed me to keep my 80% flex schedule.  Part of why I stayed in my old role so long was because I feared losing my 4-day work week.  I'm so relieved that wasn't the case for me.  The only down fall of my new role has been a change in office location for me.  I am no longer located in the same building as A.R., so we can't commute together and while I am closer to home, I'm farther from daycare.  It's been an adjustment to say the least.  A month or so ago we did learn that our company is actually closing and selling the location I am currently in, so I might just end up back where I started or at our other CT location that is even closer to home and would make the daycare juggle so much easier.  Of course the whole move could take up to two years, but at least I know my current work location is just temporary.

They love each other. <3>

I think the next event in my little time line was the introduction of 1st trimester fatigue.  I won't go into the details in this post, but it hit me like a mac track, a ton of bricks, and a bolt of lightening all at once.  I'm just now coming out of it and it's a huge relief.  The nausea didn't help, either.  In the middle of the fatigue, E started crawling on March 10th!  He quickly (like in less than 24 hours) went from tentative first crawling movements to full on "youputhimdownandheisalreadyintheotherroom" speeds.  A few weeks after he mastered his crawling, he started pulling up on furniture and cruising.  M is none to pleased at times with her brother's newfound mobility and ever expanding arm's reach, but at other moments I think she LOVES that she can play with him more now and seeing the two of them bent over their latest toy obsession together melts my heart every.single.time.

Baby 3.0
Shortly after our boy child became mobile, our beautiful girl had something called a birthday?!?  This (of course) entailed a princess party and being the smart, exhausted woman I am- I convinced A.R. to have it out of our home this year.  We had enrolled M in MyGym classes back in January and she LOVES it there, so we decided to have her party there.  Bonus: our five nephews would also love the gym and party play time.  The party was a huge success and a hit with all her cousins and young friends.  It was SO much easier having the party outside of our home and almost makes us wonder if we should consider it for E's 1st birthday. (Yes!  It's actually already in the works...he's 10 1/2 months old now ::sniff:: and we have to plan for out-of-state visistors for it.)

So, that's a basic recap of us since December.  I did omit some things like the stomach bug we all got (except E) on Christmas day that left us scarred for life and both 5-10 lbs lighter.  Thank heavens for my brother who was staying with us that week or we would've surely been up sh*t creek (lol, get it?!).  Okay, enough chatter...time to add some photos and post. I apologize they aren't the latest as I'm almost out of room on Photobucket and haven't decided what to do about that yet.