Thursday, March 31, 2011

Third Trimester

Yesterday I began my third trimester.  I am 27 weeks, and still don’t have much of a baby bump.  This pregnancy has been different than with Elaine, and more difficult in some ways.

With Elaine I had acid reflux constantly.  Starting at 20 weeks (that’s halfway through) they allowed me to take Zantac twice a day to help control it.  With this baby I have struggled with heartburn, indigestion, and nausea in rotation.  Supper has been the hardest meal and it often puts me out of commission for the rest of the evening.

In the last few weeks I have had acid reflux on top of the other symptoms.  I am back to popping Zantac.  My prenatal vitamin is a different brand now that my prescription has been filled in NY.  It makes me feel very sick, and I even threw up after taking it in Colorado. (I don’t throw up easily).  Since Sunday I have been very breathless.  Sometimes the smallest activity sends me to the couch for a few minutes to catch my breath.  It makes it difficult to sleep at night.

This is all normal pregnancy stuff.  Basically that means there’s nothing they can do to help me.   I’m grateful that it’s not constant morning sickness, bed rest, or other complications.  Really it’s a pretty easy pregnancy.

Just like with Elaine, we are very settled on a girl name, but we still have several boy names on the table.  We like all of them and it is hard to pick a favorite.  I change my mind a lot, but I think we are getting closer to a decision.

June still sounds far away, but now that I am in the last trimester, I feel like things are really starting to take shape.  In about three months I will be a mommy of two babies under two!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ha-Ha

My husband has a sense of humor.  Let me illustrate.

I have my refrigerator pretty well organized.  Certain items go in the door, certain items in the drawer, and certain items never go on the top shelf (like leftovers).  Ben doesn’t think about this system when he is putting things away in the fridge.  In his thinking, everything goes on the top shelf.  You can dig for it the next time you need it.

So I came home from my trip to Colorado and opened the refrigerator to this:

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Yes – everything in the refrigerator, except the milk and water (which wouldn’t fit) was on the top shelf.  Ben thought it would be funny, and he said he enjoyed throwing things in there wherever they would fit while I was out of town.

Ha-ha.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Times to Cherish

One of the highlights of my trip was seeing Grandma & Grandpa (my grandparents).  They are my mom’s parents, and they always lived close by.  I grew up with them always around – at every birthday, piano recital, and Christmas Eve.  I was looking forward to seeing them again, and letting them spend time with Elaine.  This trip I got to see them twice.  We had them over for dinner on Tuesday night, and we went out to lunch with them on Sunday afternoon. 

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Sharing a cookie with Great Grandpa Paul

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Great Grandpa & Grandma Paul

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When my brothers and I would leave for college, we usually had a last Sunday lunch at the buffet with Grandma & Grandpa.  Then we took pictures on the bench out front.  This year the bench was gone, but we added Elaine.

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Uncle Scott (my mom’s brother) joined us for lunch.

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Enjoying an ice cream cone…compliments of Grandpa Godby

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The hostess gave Elaine a balloon, and she couldn’t have been happier!

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Me, Elaine, and my “big little bother brother” Wesley.  Elaine really enjoyed Uncle Wes.  She would climb into his arms every time he reached for her, much to Grandpa’s dismay (she often told Grandpa “no”)!

Elaine Goes to Sunday School

My mom teaches Kindergarten Sunday School at Highlands Baptist Church.  She also leads the department opening for the primaries.  I used to teach 1st Grade, and then 2nd Grade in the same department.  Though there were only two kids that I knew, I decided to stay for the opening on Sunday.  I kept Elaine with me.  Trouble is, she didn’t want to sit with me.  She wanted to sit with the kids.  Can you see her sitting between those two tall girls?

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She did get a little fussy and we had to go out.  Then, when I was helping Mom teach a new song, Elaine took a seat in the back row.  During the song she got up and went over to a stack of extra chairs.  She worked diligently to pull a chair into the back row next to her.  As she returned to her original seat, I realized the purpose of the effort.  Bunny needed his own chair.  There was Elaine, with Bunny next to her.  It was cute.

Elaine wore this dress to church…it was for her birthday from Grandma Godby.  It says, “The apple of my eye” across the bottom.  My mom collects apples, and she was very pleased when she found this dress.  So we had to take a picture!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Day At The Zoo

Last Thursday we took an afternoon to visit the Denver Zoo.  I wasn’t sure how Elaine would do…would she notice the animals and be excited, or be bored?  The first was true, and she had a great time!  I haven’t been to the zoo in a long time.  The weather was perfect – warm but just cool enough to make the animals active.  I saw the hippo open his mouth wide and heard the lion roar…it was pretty neat!

Elaine and Wes in sunglasses
Wes had a short workday, so he met us at the zoo.  I think he likes being an uncle, and Elaine has taken to him well.  See?  She’s already copying him!

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
When we entered the pachyderm house, the zoo keeper was just handing out snacks.  This 54 year old hippo, Bert, got two apples, but he had to open wide.  This is the best picture I could get, but it was pretty cool!

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
Quote of the day, “The rhino lives a boring life.”  --Wesley

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
Elaine loved standing on the fences, but I’m not sure she really understood or noticed this elephant behind her.  Later in the day we caught him inside, and at a closer distance Elaine seemed excited.

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
The monkeys definitely took the cake on this zoo visit for Elaine.  They were jumping and swinging all over the place.  She would point, and then look at us, and then go back to the monkeys.  These monkeys are separate from the Primate section where we saw two monkeys (with really long arms) duking it out in a hammock.  Elaine was really laughing at them!

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
This may be the first time I saw the grizzly bear moving around.  I think he was hungry…he was trying to eat leaves! 

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This is Elaine offering her cookie to the bear.

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The gorillas were really active too, and usually they are boring.  Elaine loved being able to walk right up to the glass on her level.  Here is Elaine with Grandma Godby.

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
A special treat was Elaine’s first taste of cotton candy.  While she didn’t mind the taste, she didn’t like the stickiness on her fingers or the texture in her mouth, and she soon gave up on this treat!

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The King of the Jungle – this lion was a little scrawny, but he packed a powerful roar.  When the sun went behind the clouds he told the hyenas what he really thought as he pranced around.  Then one of the Mrs. Lions (there were two) came over to settle him down…

Elaine at the Denver Zoo

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
I’ve always liked the giraffes, and the Denver Zoo has a large family of them.  There were three that were less than a year old, and they were so cute!  However, since they were inside, it was hard to capture a good picture. 

Elaine at the Denver Zoo
A funny thing from our visit to the giraffe house…there used to be a white giraffe name Bill.  I mentioned him, “Do you remember the white giraffe they used to have?”  Wesley replied, “Yeah.  What was his name?  Geoffrey?”  We had to laugh…he was thinking of the Toys R Us mascot!

Elaine at the Denver ZooElaine and Mommy with the giraffes.

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When we hit Tropical Discovery Elaine came alive.  Strollers are not allowed, so she walked.  All of the aquariums are on her level, with a little rock ledge where she can stand or climb.  She would get right up to the glass and talk to the fish or turtles, and point excitedly.  She even went to see the snakes with Uncle Wesley.  Mommy wisely chose to wait outside!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Toy Story

My mom has a whole bunch of toys that she has been saving for such a time as this – when her grandkids come to visit!  They include our favorite toys from when my brothers and I were kids.  I’ve been watching Elaine pull toys out of that box and discover the same fun that I remember having, and it brings back many memories!  I just can’t help but smile as I watch her enjoying the same toys that I played with as a child.

Mom has the original Little People by Fisher Price – the house, the farm, the castle, and more.  Elaine loves putting those people in the car or the tractor and driving around.  She stuffs her hood or her purse with Little People and toddles around the house.  She fills the barn with accessories and then locks the doors and carries it with her.

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There is also this rocking chair that was not only used by me, Kenny, and Wes as kids, but it belonged to Mom as a little girl.  It needs repair, but Elaine doesn’t seem to mind.  She loves it.

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On Monday night I went to BSF with Mom while Dad played babysitter for Elaine.  He said that she was very content to just sit in the rocking chair while he sat next to her in the recliner.  (Of course, they were watching Fox News).

I read an article a while back that listed 20 thingsIMG_2463 kids today would never understand.  One of them was the rotary telephone toys.  I agreed with them at the time.  However, Elaine has never seen a real phone – only cell phones.  That hasn’t stopped her from talking on the calculator or an ink pen, or anything else that can be put to her ear.  She picked the old Fisher Price telephone out of the toy box and immediately put the handset to her ear, and started dialing.  It was very cute!

Watching Elaine with all these toys at Grandma’s house also made me recall my visits to Grams & Gramps’ house in Oklahoma.  Grams had a long closet in the hall with low shelves that housed all of the toys for the grandkids.  I particularly remember a little doll boutique where you could accessorize the dolls with hats and other items.  There was also a wooden “work bench” with colored “nails” that you pounded down, then flipped over and pounded them back again.  When Grams & Gramps moved into the house on Edmond St. the toys went into the bottom of the coat closet in the entry way.  There were lots of games that we enjoyed at that point also, since we were older.  I remember Slamwich and Sequence in particular.  They were often accompanied by the best ever popcorn – made by Gramps.

Those are times that I will always remember, and I hope Elaine will remember these special visits with her grandparents too.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In Flight…Arrived Safely

I just wanted to post a little update about our travel and flight yesterday.  I appreciate those of you who offered advice and prayed for us.  We made our connection and our bags arrived just fine – what a blessing! 

I woke Elaine up at 4:30 a.m. in order to make it to the airport on time.  She was amazingly cheerful at that time of the morning!  There were many kind people at the airport who helped me with my bags (I had the stroller too) and offered assistance.

Elaine’s attitude changed drastically when we went through security.  She did not want her shoes removed.  She did not want her coat removed.  She did not want to relinquish Bunny.  She did not want to get out of the stroller.  Once we were through security and she had all of her accessories back, she was happy again.

The first leg of our flight went well.  The flight was not full, and we had a whole row to ourselves.  The sun was just peeking up when we boarded the flight, and Elaine loved looking out the window at all of the airport activity.  PICT0162

She also sat down in the seat and immediately tried to buckle her seat belt.  I was very surprised about this, because our car doesn’t have the latch type of seat belts, and she has never worn a seat belt. 

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Elaine did not want to sit down for take off.  This was complicated by the fact that we waited in line for the runway for about 30 minutes.  She threw a little tantrum (it’s hard to discipline in public, especially when you have to remain seated), and then promptly fell asleep…just before take off.  She slept until the wheels hit the runway in Baltimore.  Blessing!

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The second leg of our flight was not nearly as pleasant.  The flight was completely booked.  We headed to the back of the plane, hoping against hope that there would be just one empty seat.  I was not the only mother with a baby (happy and unhappy) in my lap. 

A very large man took the window seat in our aisle.  He really should have bought two seats, because he filled up one and a half.  I was actually a little grateful at first, because Elaine fit into the gap in the middle seat just perfectly.  The flight attendants were closing the bins and the aisle was empty.  The seat next to me was the only one without a body in it.  But then she came.  The lady who had missed the boarding call.  She was not exactly small herself, and she wedged into the half seat between me and the window.  Needless to say, it was a very crowded row.  I must add however that both people were very kind and helpful, and not rude at all…they just took up a lot of room!

Elaine was exhausted, but she couldn’t sleep.  She has never been one to sleep in my arms or lap.  There was a lot of turbulence so we weren’t allowed out of our seat much.  We did get one walk down the entire length of the plane.  Finally, after several tantrums (because I would not let her stand up in the aisle), Elaine succumbed to sleep.  It may have been about 45 minutes, but I’m not sure.  I let her sleep as long as possible, but this pregnant lady had to use the restroom! 

Finally the captain announced that we had begun our descent ahead of schedule.  Then I saw the snowy peaks of the Rocky Mountains and I knew we would be on land soon.  It was definitely a breath taking sight – I love those mountains, and they never disappoint me – they are always beautiful!  We arrived in Denver and were excited to see Mom & Dad at the gate.  They were granted a special pass to come down and help me with Elaine.  It was nice to be on solid ground again!

Elaine is still adjusting to the time change and the Pack ‘N’ Play.  I think a combination of the fast food in the airport, the different schedule, and the time change have messed up her system.  Poor girl has had diarrhea and a bad rash since arrival.  Aside from that, she is loving the toys, the swing, and she is tolerating Gypsy.  Stay tuned for more fun details of our visit!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Life with Elaine and Finishing the Taxes

Here’s just a random post full of random details…

Elaine loves to look out the window.  When I came in to get her out of bed yesterday (at the bright & early time of 11:30 am…she slept in late!) all she could do was point to the string for me to raise the blind.  Then she talked and pointed and watched everything on the streets below.  She would have been happy to never leave her crib!

Elaine in crib

Sometime that morning she had apparently discovered her zipper and figured out how to work it.  This is how she looked when I came in to get her out of bed…

Elaine in crib

Ben and I have been busy doing our taxes this week.  We had two states and the Federal taxes to file this year, and figuring out how to do the taxes for our home business.  Additionally, I had sales tax to file, so there were really four sets of taxes.  I feel a sense of accomplishment now that everything is done and filed.  I also feel a little surge of pride that we were able to do everything ourselves…even the business taxes…and save the expense of an accountant.  We had advice from Mrs. Shahan (Becky’s mom…Becky will soon be my SIL), and my dad’s accountant on a couple of issues.

Last night we were finishing our New York State taxes.  We kind of ignored Elaine, much to her dismay.  This is what the house looked like when we were finished.  Additionally, Elaine had gotten all of the dish towels out and spread them across the kitchen floor.  She had toys all over our bedroom floor, and we caught her on the computer once.  What a night! 

Help!  Elaine destroyed my house!

After some grocery shopping (at 9:30 pm) it was snack time.  I snagged some Kix on sale, and Elaine thoroughly enjoyed her first taste!  What is their slogan?  Kid Tested, Mother Approved.  Elaine approves too!

Elaine eats Kix

Elaine eats Kix

We have been in need of a baby gate to use across the landing from the steps.  Elaine is very curious about the steps now, and though I try to keep the doors to the hallway closed, I am often unsuccessful.  I hadn’t really even prayed about it yet – I just put it on my mental checklist to find a cheap baby gate.  Last night Ben came home with a treasure from the neighbor’s trash…yup…a baby gate in perfect condition! 

On Monday I head to Denver to visit my family for a week.  This is the last time Elaine will fly for free…in June baby #2 will arrive, and in November Elaine will be 2 years old.  I am not really looking forward to the flight, and would appreciate your prayers for smooth connections, no lost luggage (my diapers will be in the suitcase!), and an empty seat in our row.  It’s a lot to ask, but I know God can do it!  We also connect through Chicago on our return flight, so good weather would be nice.  Pray for Ben too…he will be lonely and hungry!

I may or may not blog while on “vacation.”  If not, I’ll “see” you when I get back!