E @ 2.5 Years

As of September 2, my sweet, stubborn, intelligent, opinionated, lovable little girl is 2.5 years old!  She’s so big now.  It’s bittersweet.  (I’ll likely say that ad nauseam every time she has a birthday or reaches some kind of milestone.)  I miss her little baby self (though we’ll be going through the itty bitty baby phase again soon with the new one!) but this age is so fun and delightful.

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At 2.5, E loves: bubbles, her baby dolls, books, climbing, her sparkly shoes, dresses and skirts (especially very frilly ones), yogurt, her grandparents, fruit snacks, helping mommy and daddy with everything, our pets (though she isn’t always as gentle as she needs to be), macaroni and cheese, jewelry, kisses and hugs, playing with her friends and watching the ladies make pretzels at the Amish market, among other things!

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E’s communication skills are incredible.  She talks in full sentences almost all of the time and her speech is (for the most part) very clear and understandable.  Watching as her language skills have developed has been so amazing.  From signing to small words here and there and to putting one to two words together to this language explosion.  She talks and sings all of the time now.  I love hearing her little voice.  It’s just so cute!  And the things she comes up with (both through memory and on her own) crack me up.  I can’t help but laugh at some of the things she says!  For example, we were in the car in the post office parking lot the other day waiting to pull onto a busy road.  When I finally had the chance to pull out into traffic, I hit the gas and from the backseat I hear E say, “Woah. Easy, killer.”  Too funny!  Just yesterday I asked her to leave the bathroom (as I was trying to make use of the facilities) and she said, “No, I’m freaking out!”  Haha!  What?!  She truly is a little sponge and absorbs everything she sees and hears.  You never know when she’s going to recall something and spit it back at you!  Thankfully she hasn’t picked up any truly bad words (yet) but there have been a few things that have popped out of her mouth that made me think “oh dear,” such as yelling “Shut up!” at the dogs.  Of course, things like that just mirror bad habits mama and daddy have…  Oops!

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Since she turned two, we have been working on potty training with E.  We’ve had the most success in the last two months and E now wears underpants full-time when we are at home (excepting, of course, for nap and bedtime).  She’s very good about using the potty and often doesn’t need to be reminded.  Having a reward system in place really helped us get potty training established.  When she successfully uses the potty she gets a very small piece of chocolate and gets to put a sticker on her potty chart.  I’m currently in the process of phasing out these rewards but continue to praise her and tell her how proud we are of her every time she uses the potty.  I usually still put her in a diaper when we leave the house but I know I am going to need to bite the bullet and put her in underpants outside of the house soon.  I know that’s going to mean more accidents (she’s only had a few accidents at home, perhaps about five) but that’s all just part of the learning process.  We have had one diaper-free trip out of the house (to visit one of her friends) and that actually went really well, so it’s probably time to take that next step!

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She says she’s excited about becoming a big sister.  We talked to her about our baby a lot and she has come to all of my prenatal appointments.  She seems to understand (as much as any 2.5 year old can).  We are really doing our best to prepare her in order to make the baby’s arrival as easy a transition for her as possible.  She will often hug and kiss my belly and say that she is hugging and kissing the baby.  She declares that the baby is happy after she kisses it.  It’s actually very sweet.  I’ve started talking to her about what’s going to happen when I go to the hospital to have the baby in hopes of preparing her for that.  I know it could be a tricky and confusing time for her.  I think she is going to be a great big sister.

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That’s not to say that she can’t be trying at times.  She certainly can be.  She’s at a point where she likes to tell me no and blatantly ignores any instructions that we have given her.  It can be frustrating, to say the least!  But we deal with those incidents as they come along and are trying to teach her appropriate ways to show/voice her displeasure and, when necessary, she gets put in time-out.  Just like any other two-year-old out there!  I think part of the difficulty is due to the fact that E has lots of little quirks right now and can be very particular.  E is very independent and wants to do things on her own (like put on her shoes) a lot of the time, which is usually fine but sometimes tantrums happen when she can’t get her way.  She often wants things just the way she wants them and any variation just won’t do.  She definitely has her own opinions on things!  Though she can be trying and so very two at times, it’s more likely that her sweet, lovable, agreeable side is on display.  We’re very lucky in that she generally is a good little girl.

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E can be very silly.  She pretends to pick bugs out of daddy’s beard and then eats them.  She plays pretend a lot these days.  It’s so fun to see her imagination at work!.  It’s fantastic to see that as she is learning things like the alphabet (she knows most of the letters by sight now), colors and numbers, her creative side is also developing.  She is also growing emotionally.  E is such a little sweetheart.  She likes to have her boo-boos kissed and will voluntarily kiss other’s boo-boos.  She says I love you often and is free with her hugs and kisses.  She has taken to saying, “Mama (or daddy), know what?  I love you!”  I love it!  Speaking of which, she has also reverted back to calling me mama much more than mommy.  I do not mind at all as it sounds so cute coming out of her little mouth.  She can call me mama as long as she likes!

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Happy 2.5 years, E!

30 Week Bump Date

10 weeks to go!  10 WEEKS!  Great googely-moogely…  Of course, baby could come a little earlier or later than that but I’m going to go with 10 weeks, otherwise I just won’t know what to do with myself!  (That’s 70 days, FYI.)

30weeksSurprised that I am already at 30 weeks?  Perhaps.

What’s happening with baby:  Baby’s eye sight is continuing to develop is still rather poor.  Even at birth babies do not have very keen eyesight and can generally only make out objects that are a few inches away.  Baby spends most of its time asleep in there.  Baby continues to be super active, which I’m still enjoying.  It’s reassuring to have such an active baby because it lets me know that baby is doing okay in there.

What’s happening with mama:  I can hardly believe that we’re so close to baby being here.  I can’t decide if 10 weeks seems like a long time or not enough time.  Maybe both!  I know that it’s likely to go by so quickly.  We’re looking forward to meeting this new little one but I am also feeling some anxiety about our family dynamic changing.  We’ve got things down as a family of three and I know eventually we’ll have things down as a family of four but I am worried about how that adjustment period will go, mainly for E’s sake.  Thankfully we have a lot of support from family and friends!  I know that’s going to be invaluable.

I’m still feeling good physically but I’ve been very tired this week.  It’s kind of funny because the midwife warned me last week that I might be feeling a little extra tired in the coming weeks because baby is doing a lot of growing right now.  I’ve taken a few naps this week, which isn’t really like me as I’m generally a terrible napper.  I usually wake up from naps feeling worse than when I laid down!  However, I must have really needed the naps because instead of waking up feeling horrible afterward, I’ve woken up feeling pretty good.  And, knock on wood, my sciatic nerve hasn’t been bothering me this week.

I still get Braxton-Hicks contractions all the time but don’t find them bothersome.  They’re not painful to me but do make me sometimes feel like I really need to pee!  I’ve not had any issues with swelling in my hands or feet and still no stretch marks.  All of that is pretty much exactly like it was when I was pregnant with E!

We did not make a lot of progress in terms of baby preparations this week but I did at least wash a few little clothing items.

Recent appointments:  We had another ultrasound with maternal fetal medicine on Tuesday.  Everything is looking good with baby.  My amniotic fluid levels are good and the blood flow to baby is still looking great.  They estimate that baby weighs about 3 pounds and it is still measuring a week.  Great news all around!  Baby was moving a lot during the ultrasound, which is so fun to see.  It had its hands in front of its face and was sucking its thumb.  We go back to MFM in three weeks and then we’re on to weekly ultrasounds after that point.

Weight gained:  18 pounds, which is four pounds ahead of where I was at this point with E.

Baby is the size of a:  large cabbage.

Where Does the Time Go?

Kind of funny that I am saying that now, before the arrival of Baby #2, eh?  I am sure it’s only going to feel 10 times more true after baby arrives.

Of course, hopefully by then all of these other projects and such are done and we only have to deal with daily life as a newly-formed family of four.  Might be as that is wishful thinking…

Between all our traveling of the last few months, home improvement projects that we’ve decided to try and undertake before baby arrives and Una’s surgery and the complications that have arisen in its aftermath, the blog has been severely neglected.  I’ve kept up with my weekly pregnancy updates with the odd post here, and there (generally once a week) between but that’s been it.  Very limited, unfortunately.  I admit that I have been failing a bit as a blogger and I frankly haven’t truly been making the blog a priority.

I’d like to say I am sorry for that, and in a way I truly am because I am missing my blogging community, but I’m kind of not sorry.  While I am sorry for being a kind of absentee blogger, I’m not sorry that I have been making my family, home and health my first priorities.  It’s difficult to put something that you truly do feel strongly about (like blogging) on the backburner but the simple reality is that sometimes it’s necessary.  I’d like to say that my blogging habits will improve from here on out but I can’t actually promise that.  There are a lot of projects that are still only half-way done (or half-way) planned, a toddler to care for, a dog who still needs a lot of attention and care, and a baby to prepare for.

It’s just the way life is right now.  I’ve had a post started about E officially being 2.5 that has been open for a week that I have yet to finish.  We spent the entire weekend visiting ReStores and secondhand shops (as well as spending ungodly amounts of time in Lowe’s) searching for the materials for our bedroom project.  Thankfully, we found the materials we wanted but the entire project became much larger (in actual finished size, not in scope) that we’ve had to step back and reevaluate.  Once we determine if we need to make changes to our plans or we’re just going to keep on keeping on we’ll be able to get started, so this is just a minor hiccup.  Of course, we likely won’t be able to do any actually building until the weekend because PB isn’t going to have the time to work on it in the evenings after work.  In the meantime we did finish up one side project – a toy storage shelf in the living room – and thus far that is working out great.  It’s wonderful to no longer be storing E’s toys in a laundry basket, makes it easier to pick up and just looks nicer in general.  Hopefully we can get the rest of the house in similar order soon!  Lofty goals and nesting go together well, right?

And then, of course, I had to take Una back to the vet today.  (She’s fine but she needed some inflammatory fluid drained out of her ear again.)

So, you know, maybe I’ll get that post about E being 2.5 up sometime before the baby is born…  Definitely before E turns 3.  But as to everything else, I’m not making any promises!

29 Week Bump Date

I have so many posts I’ve been meaning to write but we were (once again) out of town this past weekend.  We traveled to New York to spend time with family for Labor Day.  Despite having to rearrange our plans a bit to accommodate Una (We had to take her with us due to her stitches/wounds, whereas we would normally board her along with Gage.), everything went smoothly and we had a wonderful time!

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What’s happening with baby:  Baby’s muscles and lungs are continuing to mature and its head is growing to accommodate its developing brain.  Baby will be doing a lot of growing in the next few weeks and will need a lot of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium and iron.  Baby is still moving round a ton in there.  Its back used to be more towards my right side but I told Papa Bear this weekend that I thought it had shifted and the midwife confirmed on Tuesday that baby’s back was to the left at that time.  I think it might have switched back to the right though, given some of the movements I felt yesterday.

What’s happening with mama:  Feeling pretty good!  I’ve had some issues with headaches and sciatic nerve pain lately but nothing out of the ordinary.  Honestly, most of the time I feel pretty much like my normal (non-pregnant) self, both physically and mentally.  I’ve had a little bit of difficulty sleeping this past week.  I’m still not waking to pee during the night but I guess I am just sleeping extra lightly.  I wake all the time for seemingly no reason.  Unfortunately this means I am extra tired by the end of the day.

I think that nesting instinct is kicking in (maybe it has been for a while).  Lately I’ve really felt the urge to get things around the house organized and get rid of clutter and things we don’t need or use.  That’s definitely a good thing!  I also have the urge to get rid of a number of large pieces of furniture, replace things with more functional/better items and rearrange rooms.  While that would be fun, it’s not really feasible because it would cost too much.  That being said, I do think we’re going to sell our current bedroom set (headboard, footboard, giant dresser with mirror and two side tables) and build ourselves a new headboard and two matching armoires (with hanging space and shelves).  Armoires will be much more functional for us than our current dresser.  (It’s huge but the drawers are so small and there is so much space between each drawer that we can’t even fit all our socks and underwear in it! Ridiculous for the amount of space it takes up.)  Having these armoires will allow us to empty out our walk-in closet to turn it into a mini nursery!

We’re hoping to start that project this weekend and, trust me, I’ll be taking a bunch of photos.  Expect a post!  We’re excited about it!

We also managed to check a few things off our to-do list this past week.  We talked to our parents about their plans for when the baby is born and started to get that ironed out.  It’s nice to know what everyone is thinking so that we can make sure everyone gets some special time with us, E and the new baby.  I also spoke with one of my best friends locally about E staying with them while I am in labor.  Thankfully, she was willing to care for E at that important time – what a relief!  Her daughter is E’s very best friend and it will likely be their very first sleepover!  I am so thankful that she (and her husband) are willing to take care of E for us.  It’s nice to be getting things figured out and have a game plan in place!

We eve talked about baby names this weekend!

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Food cravings/aversions:  I wouldn’t say that I’ve had many cravings this pregnancy.  In fact, I routinely drive PB a little crazy because nothing sounds good to eat.  I still don’t tend to get that feeling of hunger but know that I need to eat because my stomach will hurt i I don’t and I’ll end up feeling rather lousy.  Quite the opposite of what most people expect of a pregnant woman!  I actually I’ve not had a ton of aversions either, though that is perhaps more common for me.  Lately it has been eggs.  I just can’t stomach the thought of them!

This week’s appointment:  Tuesday’s appointment with the midwives went well.  I got the results from my glucose intolerance test (I passed!  Woohoo!) as well as an update on my vitamin D levels (they were low at the beginning of the pregnancy but are doing well now).  My belly is measuring at 31 weeks but the midwife said everything looked good.  She referred me to a chiropractor if the sciatic nerve pain continues but encouraged me to try to get back to yoga more often as well.  We are now on to appointments every two weeks.

Baby is the size of a:  butternut squash.

28 Week Bump Date

Welcome to the third trimester Baby #2!

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What’s happening with baby:  Growing, growing, growing.  According to my books, baby websites and apps, baby is basically busy filling out and continuing to develop at this stage.  The baby’s brain is growing and is forming the grooves and folds seen in mature brains.  It is likely that baby has settled into a sleep schedule in 20 to 30 minute intervals.  Baby also has eyelashes!

What’s happening with mama:  Same old, same old, I feel like.  Growing right along with baby!  I’m still feeling good, both mentally and physically.  The last few weeks have been a little bit stressful with Una’s surgery and subsequent complications and trips needing to be rescheduled, so that’s not ideal.  However, we’re hopefully on the other side of that and stress levels will start to go down.  We all know undue stress isn’t good for the baby.  I made it to the gym a couple of times in the past week (not as much as I would like but trips to the vet and other appointments have been stealing my free time) – hitting up spin class again and even doing 1 min. run/walk intervals on the treadmill.  I fear my running is now relegated to intervals from here on out but that’s okay.

Last week I had my one-hour glucose tolerance test.  The lab was a total circus and the other patients there were totally crazy.  (The lab was short staffed and so the wait was very long, even for those with appointments.  I got to see some people really go off on the poor lab tech while I was sitting there for the required hour for the test.  Thankfully they got me back and drinking that lovely drink fairly quickly so I wasn’t there for a hugely long time.)  I’ll get the results at my midwife appointment next week.  Fingers crossed!

Thoughts on being in the third trimester:  It’s kind of crazy that we’re here already.  This is basically the home stretch!  But at the same time… we have three months left!  Or, really, 12 weeks.  Three months seems longer than 12 week, doesn’t it?  Still, that’s a decently long time – though I’m sure it will pass quickly.  The weeks really do seem to be flying by now.

I definitely don’t feel like we’re at all ready but at the same time there isn’t really a lot to do.  It’s very strange.  We have all the basic things we need.  In fact, just this week I washed and prepped all our newborn cloth diapers and this past weekend we organized E’s closet, which contains many of our infant items.  So, our bassinet, swing, tub, activity mat, diapers and pack-n-play bassinet are all together and ready to go.  That’s all great and I am glad we’re started to get our infant items organized and ready to be set up but at the same time we’re no closer to agreeing on a name (Papa Bear and I just can’t seem to agree on any names this time – even making a list of names has been very difficult!) and we’re no closer to getting care plans in place for E for the time that I am in the hospital.  I’ll probably feel much more ready when we get those things figured out!

Another thing that has been on my mind a lot lately is that at this very point in my last pregnancy I was just being released from the hospital after suffering a large DVT in my left leg.  That single event change not just the rest of my pregnancy but the rest of my life.  I went to the ER with the blood clot at 27 weeks 5 days.  If that were this pregnancy, that would have been two days ago.  Every day I make it without issue from here on out is one step further than I made it last time.  I’m not particularly scared that I’m going to develop another DVT because I am taking steps to prevent blood clots from forming, whereas with my last pregnancy I was completely unaware of my clotting disorders and was doing nothing at all to avoid a blood clot.  My fear of developing a blood clot that would impact the baby is higher than my fear of a DVT for myself but even that I’m not greatly worried about because I am doing all that I can.  The rest is kind of out of my hands.  It’s just something that has been on my mind a bit now between weeks 27 and 28.

Baby is the size of a:  large eggplant.

Una and the Saga of Her Ear

The past couple of weeks have been a little rough here in the MBB house.  Right after we returned from camping we discovered that my first baby – our dog, Una – had developed a hematoma in her ear.  Basically a blood vessel had been broken in her ear but the skin was not punctured or broken in anyway and her ear was filling up with blood and fluid.  Not a good situation!  An ear hematoma can be caused by violent head shaking or scratching.  We have no idea what happened in this case because it occurred when she was being boarded while we were camping.  Fortunately we were able to identify it as soon as we saw her ear and hustled her to the vet A.S.A.P. because, unfortunately, we have been through this with her before.  It has been quite the ordeal this time.

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Here’s how the last couple of weeks have looked for us:

Monday, Aug. 11 – I take Una to the vet to have them check out her ear.  I know they are going to tell me she needs surgery to have the hematoma drained.

Wednesday, Aug 13 – Una has surgery to drain the hematoma.  She comes home totally doped up with her entire head bandaged, stitches all throughout her left ear and sporting the cone of shame.  We cancel our planned trip to visit family in New York.

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Tuesday, Aug 19 – Una gets to have her bandage removed.  Yay!  Everything looks great with her ear and it seems that all is healing wonderfully but she has to continue to wear the cone of shame, which at this point is looking rather dreadful because it’s been broken and repaired with duct tape no less than three times.

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Wednesday, Aug. 20 – In the evening I noticed that Una’s ear is filling up with fluid again between the stitches.

Thursday, Aug. 21 – Back to the vet we go.  Yep, her ear is looking worse.  They drain the fluid and tell us to keep and eye on it.  She gets a new cone due to the terrible condition of the current cone.

Saturday, Aug. 23 – That night before going to bed I notice that, once again, Una’s ear is filling with fluid between her stitches.  At this point I kind of want to cry.  PB and I were able to gently massage her ear and drain most of the fluid.

Sunday, Aug. 24 – Fluid continues to gather in Una’s ear.  It’s super disheartening.

Monday, Aug 25 – Hey, here we are back at the vet.  Again her ear is looking much worse.  They want to keep Una, sedate her again and open the ear back up.  They send her home that afternoon with the cone but no bandaging.  She has an open wound in her ear from drainage purposes and we’re to put warm compresses on the ear three times a day and keep it clean.

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And that brings us to today.  Una is doing well.  She has truly been a trooper through all of this and while she isn’t terribly found of being forced to wear the cone of shame, she has dealt well with everything.  She hasn’t seemed to have much pain throughout, thank goodness, and tolerates all our poking and prodding.  It’s been a very difficult situation for me because we’ve dealt with so many complications.  I just want her to be well and healthy and it tears me apart that she continues to have to go through all this crap.  Hopefully we’re nearing the end and all of this will soon be behind us.  Since they opened her ear back up, the fluid is no longer gathering in her ear because it as a point it can drain from.  We’re hoping that her ear heals well from here on out and we don’t have any more issues with the hematoma recurring.  If all goes well, we go back to the vet in a week and, fingers crossed, should be able to have the stitches removed at that point.

Please keep my girl in your thoughts!

27 Week Bump Date

Holy geez – This is our last week of the second trimester!  Eep!  I can’t believe it.  The weeks are flying by this summer with how busy we’ve been.  I’ve been doing my best to enjoy and be mindful of this pregnancy as much as possible.

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What’s happening with baby:  By this point baby is waking and sleeping at regular intervals and its immune system is continuing to mature.  Though baby’s lungs still need to continue to develop until birth, they should now be functional.  Otherwise baby should just be putting on weight and growing right along.

What’s happening with mama:  Physically I am still feeling very good!  I do get pretty tired by the end of the day but that is likely my own fault as I really ought to be going to bed earlier.  I really don’t have anything to complain about.  I do sometimes get round ligament pain and Braxton-Hicks but that’s totally normal.  I pretty much ignore them at this point.  Since last week I have made it to two yoga classes, walked 2+ miles Saturday and hit up a spin class.  I was worried that spin class would totally kick my butt and I wouldn’t be able to keep up but I actually was able to do the entire class as instructed and I felt great! It was awesome and so, so sweaty.

Mentally I’m starting to feeling like we really need to kick it into high gear in terms of getting ready for this baby to be here!  We’ve kind of done… nothing so far.  We have a lot to do!  We need to narrow down our name choices, figure out a plan of action for when I go into labor (namely who is going to care for E), pull out and wash our gender neutral newborn clothing (as well as burp cloths, receiving blankets and the like), decide if we want a double stroller and which one, make a new linen sling for baby wearing and talk to our families about what their plans are regarding baby’s arrival.  Of course, we’ll also eventually need to pull out and ready the bassinet, swing and another car seat.  I’m sure there are a million things I am forgetting and there are a few small things I want to do but that aren’t strictly necessary (like look for a new diaper bag).  We really don’t need much for this baby as so many of our things with E were gender neutral and still in very good condition but there are a few things we think we might want.  I was thinking about starting a registry (not sure where) just to keep track of the few things we do want.  Might be worthwhile if only for the coupons/freebies.

Weight gained:  16 1/2 pounds.

Recently:  I went in to do my glucose tolerance test for gestational diabetes this morning.  You drink 8 oz. or so of this glucose drink (think super sugary, flat, orange soda but… not as tasty), wait an hour and then they draw blood.  I don’t recall it being too bad last time and I didn’t have any issues passing it.  The test itself wasn’t bad this time but the lab was extremely crowded and running way behind.  Because of the wait some of the other patients were very rude and I couldn’t believe how they were acting.  (Barging into the back and into one of the rooms while the technician was with another patient.)  I let them know I had an appointment and had to do the glucose test and they got me back for the drink fairly quickly.  Of course, then E and I had to sit and wait for an hour.  E did pretty well most of the time but was starting to get a little squirrely the last 10-15 minutes.  I can’t really blame her, it is boring to sit and wait like that.  My stomach started to feel a little yucky about 15 minutes before my blood draw time but overall I felt fine.  Unfortunately the blood draw didn’t happen until 10 minutes after when it was supposed to due to how busy the lab was but hopefully that won’t negatively impact the test.  I feel pretty confident that I will pass and not have to take the 3-hour test.  At least, that’s what I am hoping for!

Baby weighs as much as:  a head of cauliflower.

Knitter Knatter

Right before we left for our camping trip, I reached a knitting milestone.  I finished my first sweater!

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For non-knitters, this might not seem like a huge accomplishment (or maybe it does…  I don’t know!) but having never branched out into full-fledged garments before, it was a big step for me! Of course, my first sweater had to be for E.  Would you expect anything less?  Tackling a toddler sweater was much less daunting than taking on an adult-sized garment but now that I’ve got that under my belt I do feel like I can take on bigger sweater projects.

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Perhaps an oversized cardigan for mama…  Hmm…  Sounds pretty nice!

Maybe I should also knit up a cute little newborn pullover or cardigan for the new baby.  How cute is this one?  Oh, and then there’s this one!  So many possibilities!

And you know I’ve already bookmarked a ton of things that I would love to make for E.  I really think she needs this hoodie.

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For my first sweater, I followed a Taiga Hillard Designs pattern – Phryne.  I used Patons Classic Wool DK Superwash yarn in sea green heather.  Phryne was a very easy pattern to follow and knit up quickly and easily.  I never had any issues understand the directions and I’m extremely pleased with how it turned out!

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I haven’t been doing much knitting since I finished this sweater (though I did cast on a project last night).  I’ve actually been spending a lot of time spinning and, really, I can’t wait to do more!  But that’s a subject for another time!

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26 Week Bump Date

I missed last week’s update because we were off camping but we made sure to bring the camera along and snap a photo for our weekly photolog!  So far we have taken a photo every week since 4 weeks!  I also took weekly photos when I was pregnant with E, so it’s fun to have that comparison.

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What’s happening with baby:  Baby is continuing to put on weight and practice breathing.  According to BabyCenter.com, babies weight 1 2/3 pounds on average by this point in pregnancy.  However, according to our ultrasound on Tuesday baby is around 2 pounds.  It should also be able to begin to detect light and dark via the optic nerve because it can now open and close its eyes.

What’s happening with mama:  Much more this week than previous weeks I feel like my belly is really out there.  Obviously it has been growing right along and I have noticed it getting bigger and bigger but I suddenly feel as if I am smuggling a basketball under my shirt.  Somehow that feeling kind of snuck up on me!  I’ve got quite a ways yet to go so I can only imagine how big this belly is going to get.  I am thinking I am going to end up feeling huge but hopefully I’ll still feel great regardless.

I’ve felt pretty good lately, no more aches and pains since we returned from our camping trip and resumed sleeping in a real bed.  Unfortunately I also feel like I haven’t gotten a decent workout in in ages.  All the traveling we did in July and now August has shot my workout routine in the proverbial foot.  I did a lot of walking while we were camping but no “real” exercise.  I’m hoping to change that soon and I have high hopes of getting back to the gym and yoga and spinning and running… not sure that’s all going to happen.  I’ll definitely be getting back to the gym and exercising – don’t get me wrong – but I may have to adjust my expectations about just what the exercise is.  And I am okay with that.  As long as I stay active and fit through pregnancy, it’s not so important how that is accomplished (even if I really did want to be one of those pregnant women that ran until the end).

Baby continues to move like crazy and I continue to find it surprising.  I can feel this little one moving so much and so often.  My belly jumps on the regular now and Papa Bear has felt the craziness himself (even while I’m sleeping).  Future Judo champion?  And If I rest anything on my belly, like a book, you can watch it bounce as baby boots it.

So far no stretch marks anywhere, so that’s nice.  I never got any with E, so maybe I will be that lucky this time around too!  I did, however, notice a little spider vein appear about an inch away from my belly button.  Not too happy about that but at least it’s small!

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So much bigger this time around!  What the what?!

Recent appointments:  This week (Tuesday) I had both a midwife appointment and an ultrasound at maternal fetal medicine.  Funnily enough my fundal height was measured at about 25 weeks and per the ultrasound measurements baby is measuring at 27 weeks.  Both appointments were very routine and baby is looking good.  We did not get any good photos of baby’s face because it had both its hands and its feet in front of its head.  Baby was head down and facing my back, which was one of E’s favorite positions when she was in utero as well

Baby is the length of a:  scallion.

Camping With a Toddler… While Pregnant

Eight days is a long time to go camping – particularly when you are six months pregnant and are bringing your 2.5 year old along!  But we made it AND had a great time!

Now this isn’t any ordinary camping trip.  Papa Bear and I are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism  (SCA) and every year since 2005 (excepting the year we were married and the year E was born) we have attended Pennsic War, a huge SCA camping event.  This is a hugely nerdy hobby where members research and recreate medieval cultures, a sort of living history.  Pennsic is the biggest SCA event, with over 10,000 people attending annually.  Campers dress in medieval clothing and armor, camp in period canvas tents, and can take classes on any number of subjects pertaining to the middle ages or the SCA.  It’s amazing!

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Prior to leaving for our camping trips, I was only worried about one thing – the heat.  Camping in Pennsylvania in August can be a very hot and humid affair and being pregnant I find that I overheat much more quickly than normal.  We did have to deal with a couple of pretty hot days (as well as some rainy ones) but thankfully E tended to nap through the hottest part of the day, so I was able to relax and put my feet up during those hours.  Thank goodness!  I also made a point of staying out of the sun as much as possible and drank a lot to avoid dehydration.  PB also tried to step in and take over with E and anything else when he saw I was getting overwhelmed by the weather.  The heat ended up not being as much of an issue as I was afraid of.

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I wasn’t sure what else to expect from camping while pregnant because the last time I did so I was only about two months along.  Camping at six months seemed like a much more daunting prospect but in the end it ended up being (mostly) great!  PB did most of the heavy lifting when it came to packing and setting up our camping but I helped as much as I was able.  Team work!  Being pregnant didn’t hold me back and we enjoyed many of our normal camping activities.  I was exhausted by the end of every day but I think that’s kind of to be expected.  Especially since I didn’t really sleep well as night.  I woke up a lot most nights and had a hard time getting comfortable.  A thin, hard futon mattress on a wooden bed frame does not a comfortable bed for a pregnant woman make.  By the last few days I was waking up achy and both hips felt almost bruised from sleeping on my sides with very little padding under those pressure points.

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E did great with the camping.  She was generally well behaved and happy.  Unfortunately she was had a very runny nose and was congested almost the entire time.  I’m not sure if that was due to allergies or the weather (hot most days but then chilly at night and a couple of days of rain).  It didn’t seem to bother her too much (though she was having some trouble breathing while sleeping the first night) but just meant that we were constantly on nose patrol and wiping, wiping, wiping.  I think E was over camping by about day five or six.  It was around then she started asking to go home and to see our dogs.  Though she was sleeping well at night and napping each day, she still wasn’t getting as much sleep as she normally does and I think it was catching up with her by then.  She toughed it out like a champ and I think she did really well for her age.

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All in all, camping with a toddler while pregnant for eight days wasn’t as crazy as one might imagine!  It actually went really well and we had very few complaints.  I think key for us was going in with very few expectations and telling ourselves before we arrived that if things started not going well, we could leave early.  Thankfully that wasn’t necessary.  I would tell any other experienced campers who were considering a camping trip while pregnant to go for it!  Even with a toddler!

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Have you gone camping this summer?

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