Sunday, July 26, 2015

Abigail's Kindergarten Year

Abigail was adorable and so excited on her first day of Kindergarten. As a special treat, we visited our local library branch and got her her very own library card. She has enjoyed visiting and selecting new books, and we have enjoyed the variety of reading outside of Pinkalicious and Fancy Nancy which are two of her favorite book series.
Since the school was in our neighborhood, I took advantage of nice weather days and would go for a run before picking up Abigail from school. Isabel would often fall asleep riding in the BOB and I usually got 3mi of training in before the mile walk back home. I would bring Abigail's Razor Scooter and she loved riding it home. How she always had so much energy after 8hrs of school is beyond my comprehension.
Abigail was introduced to Pete the Cat and Splat the Cat books. These selections added a little non-girly variety to our bedtime reading. We were introduced to the joys of The Book Fair this year too. I think I enjoyed it more than Abigail because most books that you can only buy as hardcover were offered as paperback at the book fair for what seemed to be way too highly discounted for a school fundraiser. Let's just say I stocked up in the Fall for Christmas gifts.
Field Trip to a Nature Center to learn about senses in the Fall.
Confidence grew throughout the year and Abs started reading books to Isabel.
In January Abigail was awarded the Certificate of Citizenship.
It seemed like each week had a new topic or theme. On our way home from school I would always ask, "So, what did you learn about today?". I would get a variety of answers from "I don't remember" to overly specific details. Most of the time she couldn't remember everything and it would turn into a guessing game. Some themes were simple and not new or overly fascinating like underwater creatures, plants and planets. In January, she learned about Martin Luther King, Jr ("the man who is dead but can we make him a birthday cake?"). She learned about Washington DC and the presidents. Abigail could never remember the name of any presidents but she remembered"the man with the crazy white hair", "the one with the big black hat" and "the rock obama". She absolutely loved that The White House had different color rooms. She also was very fascinated with some of the details she learned about bugs and had a song about the different body parts of ants.
Field Trip to Legoland
Mother's Day Artwork
Pippi Longstocking was the start of our chapter book reading.  I might be enjoying these books more than Abigail since  we are reading books that are new to me as well.

First Grade Let's Go Song

Kindergarten Awards

Abigigail with her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs Joseph

While there were plenty of painful homework afternoons that seemed to drag on (for both of us!), her Kindergarten year finished just as quick as it started. Abigail had a wonderful year making new friends and learning new things. I know she's anxious to begin First Grade.

For me? I am completely baffled at how much she has seemed to grow and change from August to May. Her personality radiates like her smile. She can be so outgoing and enthusiastic then turn inward and shy. She is independent and helpful and can wear her emotions on her sleeves when her feelings are hurt. I am looking forward to this next year for her. She will be starting at a new school, for a third straight year, and she will become a big sister again around the same time. While sentimental and teary-eyed at the thought of how fast this next year will fly, I am excited to see how this amazing girl will continue blossoming into a smart and beautiful young lady.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pregnant: Week 33

Weight gain: This topic is scary. Since I got pregnant before losing my baby weight from Isabel, my starting weight was higher. At my 32wk appointment, I was still inching closer to the maximum weight I reached with Abigail and Isabel. While I'll still be growing another 7wks, most of the time I feel much smaller than with previous pregnancies.

Maternity clothes: All the maternity tops and shorts I purchased last year are getting reused. I had a really hard time, mentally, spending money on maternity wear with Isabel because it seemed so expensive for clothes that would only be worn for a couple months. I am thrilled to be getting more use out of the khaki maternity pants I wear for work since they were priced even higher than other maternity items I wore daily. Most of my casual wear is my INKnBURN capris and skirts, they don't get too hot during hotter temperatures and are still comfortable.
Stretch marks: As soon as I got my pregnant "diagnosis", I started applying lotion religiously. I found Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and have it set up to be delivered monthly through Amazon's Subscribe and Save. So far I haven't noticed any new stretch marks. 
Sleep: I tend to go to bed soon after the girls but get up a good few times a night to pee. If Matt works late, most of the time I'll wake up when he comes to bed since I'm already a light sleeper. I've been working 5x/wk and my alarm goes off at 3:30am so there are plenty of days I try to nap when Isabel takes her afternoon nap.
Best moment of lately: Switching from every 4wk appointments to every 2wks, this started at 30wks. I started posting downward and side view photos on Instagram of my growing bump at 30wks also. This was not something I did with Abigail or Isabel, weekly bump photos. 
Miss anything: I really miss the occasional glass of wine. 
Movement: AugustBaby is quite active. I think he/she is more active during the day than Abigail and Isabel were and just like the big sisters, AugustBaby gets the hiccups quite a lot. 
Food cravings: No cravings. With Abigail I seemed to crave all things garlic. During Isabel's pregnancy, I ate a lot of sweet potato fries and milk/yogurt didn't seem to taste quite right. During my first trimester, in January and February, I did crave soda (Coke, Dr Pepper) which was odd because I'm not a soda drinker. I wouldn't even drink the entire thing, just needed a few sips. This soda kick seemed to mellow out mid-second trimester. Most the time I know it's meal time and I should eat, but nothing sounds good. 
Anything making you queasy or sick: There are food smells that really smell off (bad), like a few breakfast items we serve at Starbucks. I am fully aware it's me and not the sandwiches.
Have you started to show yet: There's no hiding it, I am pregnant.
Gender: Baby's gender will be revealed on his or her BIRTHday. Matt and I really enjoyed the surprise last year with Isabel so we're doing it again. Honestly, there isn't much you need that is gender specific either. And names, we didn't even start that discussion until after Isabel was born so it's likely that's when AugustBaby will be named as well.
Labor signs: I had solid Braxton Hicks contractions starting at 18wks with both Abigail and Isabel's pregnancies. My belly would get as hard as a basketball for 20-30 seconds then relax. With Isabel, the Braxton Hicks seemed to be slightly more intense. Now with AugustBaby, for weeks I thought I could be having Braxton Hicks but they just felt different. With Abigail, my induction led to a c-section. I've heard a medically induced labor doesn't have the same effect. Since my body went into labor on it's own and progressed through delivery with Isabel, I think my body is just reacting differently. Over the last week or so definite Braxton Hicks have really kicked into gear. 
Belly button in or out: Not an innie or an outie.
Wedding rings on or off: My rings are still off. They never really made a regular return. I'm not supposed to wear my engagement band at work and since it became habit to not wear my rings, it hadn't become habit to wear my wedding band again to work before finding out I was pregnant again.
Heartburn: I have occasional heartburn but nothing severe. Tums Smoothies became a new food group when I was pregnant with Abigail (probably due to high consumption of garlic). With Isabel, I seemed to narrow down the heartburn cause to dairy and tea. This time around, I get heartburn if I eat meals too large so I tend to graze more and eat smaller meals. I have also started eating a larger lunch (instead of dinner) and that helps a lot too.
Swelling: So far so good. I remember being so uncomfortable with Abigail in my third trimester, but I don't remember when it started. I didn't have much swelling with Isabel, even being pregnant during the heat of summer. I'm hoping to avoid the swelling again.
Looking forward to: Maternity leave! I was really hoping to take a few extra weeks before AugustBaby arrives but I recently learned I'm supposed to work until 38wks unless medically necessary.
In reading over my pregnancy comparisons, do you have a gender prediction for August Baby?

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Surprise AugustBaby

Daily life looks a little different for us. Isabel was born June 16th, I returned to Starbucks on July 28th and Abigail started Kindergarten on August 6th. A lot of changes for our family in a short time span. My opening shift begins at 4:30am so I would wake up at 2:30 to nurse Isabel, then I would pump and get ready for work. Matt would get the girls up and fed before dropping Abigail to school at 8am. There were hiccups, I would forget to leave the infant carrier, Matt's alarm would go off late or a school lunch/snack had to be delivered after school started. We did our best with our crazy schedule. As soon as we seemed to get use to our current life schedule, Isabel had a rough bout with the four month sleep regression (something Abigail did not experience). Then once Isabel seemed to move beyond that she started sleeping terrible again around the holidays and we knew teeth were on their way. Matt and I weren't getting much sleep due to the teething and with my extra early alarm I always seemed to be exhausted. I started napping during Isabel's nap time before we would pick Abigail up from school (Missed Clue #1 - exhaustion, classic pregnancy symptom for me).

Around the same time as Isabel's sleeping issues started arriving, I can look back and realize  pregnancy symptoms were present and were dismissed. Some mornings I would be starving, at 3am when pumping, and I started stashing granola bars in my breastpump bag so I could have a snack option (Missed Clue #2 - crazy hunger, another classic pregnancy symptom for me). I started to analyze my eating habits, trying to make sure I was eating well enough to continue nursing while also not overdoing it. With my big runDisney challenge at the beginning of January I was trying to be conscious of my food intake and decided to forgo my creamy lattes that also started tasting funny (Missed Clue #3 - this was a pregnancy symptom with Isabel too). Each morning on my way to work I drink an Orgrain Protein Shake. I remember enough mornings when it didn't taste just right and at some point I wasn't making it daily (Missed Clue #4). The shake has 21g protein and would help keep me full until I ate a real breakfast. Instead of my Orgrain Shake, I started drinking a crazy concoction at Starbucks so I could get a little caffeine and still have the filling protein. My morning beverage of choice? Six shots of Espresso, 2/3 Decaf mixed with two scoops of vanilla bean powder and three scoops of protein powder over ice with non-fat milk. This beverage looks very odd and isn't super tasty but it satisfied my need for a little caffeine and protein. It was a pain to make so I refused to be "that customer", not wanting to be a pain for another barista.
Life continued on, we spent Thanksgiving week with our Florida family then celebrated Abigail's 6th birthday and Isabel's first Christmas here with our Georgia family. As usual, the time from Halloween to New Year's Day seems to speed through in FastForward.
One happy 6yo at Snow Mountain.
I ran runDisney's Goofy Challenge in early January as a St Jude Hero, raising over $2000 for St Jude Children's Hospital. From Mile 14-26.2, I seemed to need a potty break ever other mile (Missed Clue #5). It was frustrating and confusing. I chatted up mom friends who run to see if anyone had similar frustrations. Since I didn't start running until 2012, I didn't have a comparison of what to expect of my body after baby. Throughout January after the race I started craving soda, if we were at a restaurant I *had* to order a Coke or a DrPepper (Missed Clue #6). I am normally not a soda drinker. I wasn't even drinking the entire beverage but it was as if I needed to just have a few sips.
With Isabel turning 7mo on January 16th, we decided it was time to stop the 2:30am feeding. Her two bottom teeth arrived at the end of the month and she started sleeping better. I continued pumping before work for her breakfast bottle and very slowly started noticing a decrease (Missed Clue #7). I attributed it to her dropping that early AM feeding and eating more solids but it made me nervous. I nursed Abigail without issue, never supplementing and she never took a bottle. Internally I started to panic about my supply and my internal stress started showing itself very publicly on my face, through my Rosecea. I turned to my mom friends who nursed for advice and support. I increased my calories and water intake to make sure I was giving my body enough fuel so my supply would return. My supply continued to slowly decrease. Internal panic hit an extreme high. Formula and bottles were unchartered territory for me and the thought of it stressed me out even more. My Rosacea was out of control, a massive flare I couldn't control triggered by stress and anxiety (Missed Clue #8 - I also had a massive flare when I was in my first trimester with Isabel).

I was trying to increase my supply with supplements but was having no luck. I was researching online, trying to find a link to Rosacea and breastfeeding issues. I wasn't ready to stop nursing Isabel. The stress of it all wasn't helping either of my problems. I didn't want to discuss it with many because I didn't want to hear the complacent "it's okay to stop nursing". I went for a check with my Dermatologist. I had a few conversations with the specialists at Nortside Lactation. I was driving myself CRAZY. At some point I read about how breastmilk supply can decrease during second trimester and I quickly dismissed that as the cause. 

Finally, as a last ditch effort to rule one more thing out before calling my primary care physician (thinking something had to be really wrong with me) I took a pregnancy test before work on January 12th. That positive line popped up SO FAST. Honestly I was immediately excited knowing there wasn't anything seriously wrong with me, I was *just* pregnant! I remember being in a crazy good mood at work that morning. I called my OB office after work and scheduled an appointment for the same day because we were heading out of town the next day for Abigail's Winter Break. 
I met with the physician's assistant, who I badgered earlier in the week about any crazy correlation between low breastmilk supply and Rosacea. She confirmed I was in fact pregnant. The ultrasound proved I was way more pregnant than either of us guesstimated, at least 13wks! I got lots of August Baby photos to shock Matt with later that evening. I kept my secret until after his important meeting that afternoon. He took the surprise quite well, he had been feeling the affects of my internal stress and knew something was going on with me. 
We drove to visit our Florida family after school on Friday. On Saturday we planned to have dinner with immediate family and decided since I was already out of the first trimester that we would share our news. We have lived out of state our entire married life and were not able to make pregnancy announcements in person, that alone made it extra special. It was Valentine's Day so I made Abigail a fun little card she could read and make the reveal herself.
Abigail read the card with the help of my sister-in-law. I think Abigail immediately knew what the card meant. Hayley was a bit confused, not understanding that the ultrasound photo was another baby (not Isabel). Her confusion turned into astonishment and excitement. I remember my grandfather trying to hold back tears of happiness and Matt having a verbal freak-out moment. Matt's comments made my grandmother laugh so much she was crying too. Both my parents are the youngest of three siblings (my father-in-law is one of four) and no one in our generation has more than two kids, so we're heading into unchartered waters. 

It was such joy sharing with my family and friends face-to-face. Some were confused when Abigail told them she was going to be a big sister. Some even brushed her off thinking she was referring to Isabel, until they saw my face or Matt's. Nope, another baby was on the way! 
After announcing I was pregnant (again!) to my running family before the Gasparilla 5K.

We spent a day of Winter Break at Magic Kingdom and decided to stage a photo with Mickey Ear hats to make our big social media reveal. It turned out perfect!