Thursday, April 26, 2012

How is it possible that she's one and a half already?!

Tomorrow, our baby big sister turns one and a half. 18 months. How in the world did that happen? She is such a little person these days, Eric & I swear that each day she learns 5 new words, understands us more and more, and knows what SHE wants more and more.

On Monday, we had the pleasure of taking both Alli and Aiden to the doctor. We were taking Aiden for his one week-ish check up, to check his progress of weight gain, check his bilirubin level, and just an overall newborn assessment. While we were there, we thought it'd be easiest to take Alli too, and have her 18 month check up done at that time. What a mess and thank GOD that Dad-E and my mom were both there to help!! The doctor's office was running behind (big surprise?), and our 9am appt. quickly turned into 9:45... with no sign of the doctor in sight. Alli was doing laps in the room, running from corner to corner, and Aiden, poor buddy, was getting hungry. I had prepared and made sure to feed him the second before we left the house, that way, we'd be sure to be full and content... but soon it had been almost 2 hours since he'd eaten and he was getting hungry. Finally, the doctor came in, we got them both checked out, everything was great, and we went home. But good lord, I was sweating after all that. Aiden's stats were great, he was up to 7 lbs 15 oz. (he had been discharged from the hospital at 7 lbs 9 oz., so the doctor was very impressed with his weight gain and said we don't have to bring him back until his two month check up!) Great news!

Alli's stats were as follows:
Weight: 24.2 lbs (49th percentile)
Length: 31 & 3/4 inches (56th percentile)
Head: 18 inches (20th percentile)
Diaper Size: 4's
Clothing Size: 18-24 months
Shoe Size: 4's - 5's depending on the brand, she has quite a few new pairs of flip flops and sandals, bring on summer time!
Food: Wakes up and has a cup of milk, Cheerios & whatever Dad-E's eating, mid-morning/breakfast #2 at school, lunch, snack, snack #2 when she gets home with me, dinner and a cup of milk before bed... we have moved her to a mini table and chair for dinner like she uses at school, she seems so grown up sitting there eating, but she loves it!
Naps: One 2 hour nap, 12-2ish
Sleep: Bed by 6:45-7ish, up by 6:30ish
Teeth: Still sixteen... at least we think that's "all" for now, she could have her other molars back there, who knows.
Play: Playing outside, running, loves the park/slides/swings, riding in her cozy coupe with Dad-E pushing her around, playing in her kitchen, rearranging everything, she's quite the little organizer, lots of dancing, lots of giggling, LOTS of talking and mimicking! And her obsession with Elmo has come to a whole new level... especially now that she can say "Elmo" and says it ALL day long.
New buddies: Her little brother Aiden!

Happy 1.5 birthday Miss Alli Ru, we love you so much, including your little brother... we know he'll look up to you and love you always too. <3

Our new arrival! - Part II

Luckily, which I would never say otherwise, Alli woke up early that morning - around 5:45 a.m. I had already been up and showered since 5 a.m. We hurried to get her ready and get dressed, as well as throw all our hospital items in a bag since we hadn't packed them yet. Just the night before, I had commented to Mommy B that all our suitcases were still in the attic. We jumped in the car about 6:30, and the contractions were about 6 minutes apart. Our first stop - Dad-E's work so he could get his laptop. It was on our way, so we stopped right in front of the building and Dad-E sprinted up four floors to get his computer and dash back down again. I think my 40 time has improved - and by that I mean my 40-stair time. Next stop - Alli's daycare. We wheeled in and out of there faster than a McDonald's drive-through. Dad-E grabbed Alli and tossed her into the first set of arms he could find. Luckily, it was Alli's teacher and she could tell that we were in a mad rush. As he was sprinting back out the door, he informed them that we were off to the hospital and that someone would be picking Alli up sometime later. I didn't know who it would be or when, but I knew someone would be back to get her at some point before they closed at 6pm.

Through all this, I managed to call the doctor's office and inform the on-call physician of our situation and to expect us at the hospital shortly. The last leg of our trip was up through Mt. Pleasant construction traffic in rush-hour. All the bumps from the construction were doing wonders for my labor pains, and I made Dad-E very aware of this as he swerved through traffic. She told me not to make sharp turns or go fast over bumps. I said, "Do you want me to get you to the hospital or do you want to have this baby in the car?" We made it to the hospital by 7:30. My doctor came into the room shortly thereafter, checked me and said I was 6 cm dilated and 100% effaced with a bulging bag of water. Yum again. Anesthesia was called to my room immediately to place my epidural, which took two tries but by that point I didn't care. I tried to watch this time, and it didn't happen. I had to turn around and look out the window while they shoved a 3/16" drill bit into my wife's spinal column in a hurry.

Fast forward three hours, and the doctor came to check again. She said I was 9 cm and to let her know when I felt "some pressure down there". Hmmm, being that I was numb from the waist down, I couldn't really feel much of anything - which was lovely, by the way. Less than an hour later, the nurse (who had been checking my progress on the monitor's at the nurse's station) came in and checked me - and informed me that I was 10 cm, the head was right there, and NOT to push because the baby would come out and the doctor wasn't there yet. She texted and called the doctor and within minutes, the doc was there. They put my legs up and said "go". Three big pushes later, he was out and screaming! Dad-E cut the cord (and double-checked to make sure all the "parts" were there) and there we were with our new baby, minutes before noon. We had only been at the hospital for about 4 hours, and it was already over. It was a great experience and I'm so glad he's finally here, even though he's just a tad early and we were a tad unprepared.

Pictures and updates to come soon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Our new arrival! - Part I

We're switching things up a bit with this blog post, Followers. We're going to tag-team this one - with normal type being Mommy B's thoughts and Dad-E's thoughts being italicized. Got that? K, good.

Well, just like I'd predicted in a previous post, our little man decided he was going to pick his own birthday, instead of having us pick for him and have to be induced like we were with Alli. Alli became a big sister on Wednesday, April 18th at 11:51 a.m. to Aiden Ringling Meibers. He weighed in at 8 lbs 1 oz and measured 21 1/4 inches long. Let's back up and take a look at how he decided to make his arrival. Yeah buddy!

This past Saturday when I got out of the shower, I realized I'd lost my mucus plug. Yum. Of course, I've read in pregnancy books that this could mean labor is days or even weeks away. Even though it was somewhat exciting, I didn't really think much of it. I was trying to not think of it at all. But, it was good encouragement nonetheless. I pulled the infant carseat bases out of storage and installed them in both of our cars. Good thing too...

Monday rolled around and during my 4 a.m. commute, something felt a bit off. Uh oh. I was having what felt like labor pains but not sure if it was real contractions as they were not being very consistent. I got to work and texted Dad-E and my mom to inform them off what had happened on the ride into work. Which meant I was glued to my phone all day at work. Of course, my mom wanted to leave right away and come down, but I told her to wait it out until my doctor's appointment on Wednesday. The pains came and went throughout the day, but the intervals where never regular. So I went and got my pedicure that afternoon, and by that evening the pains had stopped. Heaven forbid you don't have your toenails done before you go into labor.

Tuesday came and went without any pains whatsoever. I decided to press my luck and not bring my laptop home from work since things seemed to be back to normal. That evening, we went through our normal routine and went to bed like normal. Around midnight, I woke up to what I thought was just another trip to the bathroom, but when I stood up the pain hit me right away. I got to the bathroom and hung out for a while and noticed the pain was getting stronger. I tried to go back to bed, which basically consisted of me lying there timing my pain intervals on my newly downloaded iPhone contraction app. There's an app for that. They started about 8-12 minutes apart, and around 2 a.m. I told Dad-E that I was going downstairs to try and "walk it off." Just rub some dirt on it, you'll be fine. Around 3:45, Dad-E came down to check on me and the pains were consistently 8 minutes apart. So, I called into work and told them that I wouldn't be coming in and texted my mom who said she was on her way. I just wanted to make it long enough to get Alli dropped off at daycare when it opened at 7 a.m. I had no idea who we would call to watch Alli at that hour.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekends: Picture Update Style

These past few weekends have been busy and full of fun for us... and I know we've been slacking on updating. Two weekends ago now, we thought it'd be a good idea for us to paint my belly as an Easter egg. For those of you who have been following us for awhile, you know that for my first pregnant belly (aka, Alli Ru), we painted it a pumpkin seeing that we were due right around Halloween. This time, being an April due date, we thought an Easter egg would be fitting. Of course this time around, it was quite a bit more difficult to do... seeing as we had a little helper who was trying to be involved in it all. Dad-E got to be quite the perfectionist while painting the pumpkin belly, and it turned out amazing! This year, he had to hurry though the Easter egg, while I had a helper painting her own belly at the same time. It was priceless and funny to see her "helping", and we had a great time with it.

Last weekend, which was Easter weekend, Dad-E's parents came down for a visit, along with Aunt Bacon and Zack, and Bacon's friends Rebekah and Jared came over for dinner as well. It was great to have the company, but to be honest, I was just exhausted! I went to bed before company even left! I know, what a loser. We had a great time dying eggs (making a mess), finding the eggs in the back yard (I think Dad-E was more into it than Alli! Ha), and just enjoying the food (aka, us not having to cook!)

This weekend, you could say we had a "relaxing" few days with nothing really on the agenda... but it was still busy and we're both still exhausted. For some reason, Alli isn't exactly loving nap time lately (great timing!), and she's just so busy and into everything. Trying to keep up with her for either of us is just overwhelming sometimes. I'm hoping that even though it will be really tough with a newborn around, at least I won't have this huge, uncomfortable belly in the way. We've been having some progress with the "labor process" (I'll spare all of you the exact details... but things are moving along we think!), so hopefully, it won't be too long now. I mean, check this picture out... does it look like my belly could stretch any more???

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My turn

Dear Mommy B,

Thank you ever so kindly for the thank you letter. In all honesty, I don't feel that I should be thanked for anything that I've done over the last 9 months. I knew when I signed up for this whole parenthood thing that it was going to be a full-time job and there were going to be many things that were required of me. To me, it was all part of the job description - not necessarily going above and beyond.

When I read your letter, it reminded me of when I graduated high school. No, not because I had a child back then (which I didn't, Followers).... but because I was going off to college - which I had obviously applied and "signed up" for. I'll never forget when some of my friends (who were also going off to college) told me how excited they were for college because you weren't "required" to show up to class. They told me how you could skip class a few times and not have to worry about the school calling your parents. I replied with a dumbfounded look on my face, thinking to myself "You idiots... you're paying to take these classes. You applied to the friggin' school and when you got accepted, you understood that going to class was part of the deal. You signed up for this mess, so you better embrace it." I believed in holding myself to a higher standard than that. For me, going to class was not an option - it was a requirement. I can count the number of classes I missed in 4 years of college on two hands (that includes traveling for football and track).

So, it's really a matter of perspective. To me, taking care of all the things that are difficult for you to do these days is just part of the agreement - not a "nice to have", as they say in the corporate world. While some parents are satisfied with the bare minimum, they probably expect the same out of their kids. That's not how I roll. I put in the work when the work needs to be done.

It is I who really should be thanking you. You have basically sacrificed your body over the last three years for the sake of your children. Any mother knows what having children can do to a woman's body and how tough it can be to deal with. Now, let me be perfectly clear in stating that you've weathered the storm very well for being on child #2, but I can only imagine the mental toll it takes on you as well. You've had to lug a 30-lb. tire around your waist for the better part of those three years and I won't even get into the breast-feeding part of it. You've had your energy sucked out of you by the baby growing inside, and not to mention the months and months of interrupted sleep thanks to your bladder pre-birth and the baby themselves post-birth.

If I could have carried the babies instead, I would have - no questions asked. I know that doesn't make me sound very manly, but I would do anything to make things easier on you. What I'm trying to say is that I'm a little jealous of the intimacy you get to have with our children before anyone else does. So all those "extra" things I've been doing lately is really just my way of trying to even things up. And while our kids won't understand the sacrifice you've already made for them until they become parents themselves, I do. And for that I love you more than anything. You're the incredible one.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Thank You Letter

Dear Dad-E,

I know these last few months, and especially weeks, have been tough on you. You have truly stepped up to the plate and taken on a million and one responsibilities without complaining, without hesitating, and without missing a beat. It's hard being down here alone, just relying on each other for help... and when I've been exhausted, sore, cranky, miserable, or just tied up in the bathroom 24/7, you've been there to take everything on. Alli is a handful to say the very least, and you've been Super Dad. You are constantly there for her, helping her color, helping her put her shoes on and get in her car to play outside, helping her in and out of the back porch, helping her swing and slide, helping her get fed (for breakfast when it's just the two of you and you're trying to feed yourself too) and for dinner, helping her get her bath each night, helping her dry off and get her PJ's on, reading her books before bed, helping her brushing her teeth, helping me get fed.... all so you can finally sit down for a few minutes, then watch me fall asleep on the couch like I'm the one that just did all that stuff, not you. Then, you help make sure I'm comfortable at night, getting me water, adjusting pillows, moving over so I have room, anything you can. All so you can maybe read a few pages of your book, fall asleep, and do it all over again the next day. I promise that as soon as baby comes, and we're getting adjusted to our new life, I'll be back in action, as helpful as I used to be. But for now, please know how grateful I am for all that you do. You're incredible and I love you more each and every day.

Mommy B

And P.S. Baby M#2 appreciates all you do too... baby is glad that you're letting me get the rest and relaxation needed so I don't stress them out too much too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Full term... and all that comes along with it!

Well, the time has finally come! We are officially "full term" with baby M #2, and I'm so ready to just not be pregnant anymore!! Okay, I take that back. I am ready to not feel huge, be uncomfortable, hoist myself up out of bed every hour or two to use the bathroom, have to pee every time I stand up, have my stomach expanding with more stretch marks every day, be hungry all the time, have people act like I'm some kind of monster when I walk into a room/elevator/etc. every day at work/grocery/etc. and exclaim some ridiculous comment like "Wow you're just huge!" or "Oh my gosh, you're ready to pop any second!" On the other hand, I'm going to miss feeling baby move around inside me, getting the nice comments about how I'm "all baby", great discussions with patients, co-workers and friends about having two kids close together, and definitely going to miss my one on one time with Alli Ru. I'm already so nervous that she's going to be sad when the baby comes, feel left out, feel forgotten... any of those things. I think it's been especially hard on me since I'm an only child. I was raised and always had the mentality that it was all about me =) Good and bad, I know. I just want Alli to be happy and know that we will always love her so much, and I know she will be glad she has a sibling... even if it's something I can't relate to. That will have to be something she discusses and shares with her dad.

I go back to the doctor tomorrow for my weekly check up... last week was uneventful with no real news of any progress yet. Everyone I run into at work, at the grocery, at the store, everywhere, seems to think I'm lying about that... "There's no way you'll make it to the 29th", "You've definitely dropped", "You are going to have that baby any day now"... I never knew I was surrounded by so many psychics and OB experts. I'll be 37 weeks and 3 days when I go tomorrow... so definitely full term, but that sure doesn't mean anything. As we know from our little angel Alli, babies will come (or not come) on their own time. We had to give Alli an eviction notice... I wonder how long she would've stayed in otherwise?? We have talked about dates to be induced this time, but haven't set anything in stone yet. We need to make sure my doctor will be available on the dates we're thinking about, so that will be something I'll talk to her about tomorrow. Especially if again at this appointment, there's no progress.

So besides me feeling absolutely huge and miserable a lot of the time, I've really been enjoying watching Alli grow and learn new things all the time. I feel like we say that a lot, but it also just feels like each day, she is doing something new. Her new obsession is "baby".... how fitting. She has a baby doll that cries when you push it's belly, and laughs when you push it's belly again. She will say "baby, baby, baby!" over and over again, go run and grab her baby, and give it hugs and kisses. She pats it on the head, and even seems to "rock it" sometimes. She's very motherly... it makes me tear up just seeing her do it. I can only hope she will act like that with her baby sibling. She also will still run up to my belly when she says "baby" and pull up my shirt (or dress, which is very inappropriate, but, she doesn't understand :) haha), pats my belly and tries to give it a kiss too.

She loves saying "ousssside" to go out, "cup" for whenever she's thirsty, "water" for her water table, "bubbles" when the bubble machine is going.... it's just amazing how much her vocabulary increases daily. If you tell her we're going outside, go get you're shoes, she does. She runs to where her shoes are, grabs them, and brings them to us to put on her feet. When she says "eat!", we get her food ready, and tell her to go sit at her table while we get things ready, she will. She runs over to her table and gets in her chair. It's adorable. If we say, "come on Alli, let's go for a ride in the car", she runs over to her pink cozy coupe and hops in. Unfortunately, we usually mean for a ride in the real car somewhere, so, we have to do a few laps in the cozy coupe before heading out. And, have you picked up on my pattern of the "running" everywhere thing? She's a wild woman.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a million other things I wanted to blog about, but, I still have that pregnancy brain excuse to use for a little while longer, so we'll just go with that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Pregnancy Brain"

As any mother knows, your mind starts playing tricks on you the further you get into pregnancy. Most refer to it as "pregnancy brain". Common symptoms include forgetfulness, absentmindedness, and... um... forgetfulness. Did I mention that already? You forget what you were doing 2 minutes ago, you put things back in the wrong place and then get mad when you can't find that thing you were looking for, you have trouble searching for single words in the middle of a conversation. It's kind of like menopause, only it goes away once you give birth. Well, not completely... because that's when the sleep deprivation kicks in and you really start to lose your mind. But I'll give you an idea of what Mommy B has been going through (on top of growing yet another human inside her).

A few weeks ago, I opened the pantry to find an opened jar of applesauce (which once opened, belongs in the refrigerator). I nicely reminded Mommy B of this small fact, to which I received a sad face in response. On other occasions, Mommy B has placed food in the oven and set the timer... without turning the oven on in the first place. Last weekend, she got in my car (a BMW convertible) to head to the store with her car keys (a Honda Pilot).

However, unlike menopause, "pregnancy brain" can affect both parents. It's not the lack of sleep I've been getting, but more so the fact that I've had to handle more of Alli lately. As much as Mommy B still helps out with Alli, there are just certain things she can't do very well at the moment. Alli wants to be picked up and held all the time, which is very hard for a woman who's 9-months pregnant. There are also times when Alli wants us to come down to her level, which again is not as easy as it sounds for Mommy B. We've also mentioned before how much Alli enjoys running around now. Needless to say, I gladly step in when Mommy B can't.

But I have to say, there are certain days where I feel just as out of it as Mommy B does. Take the picture below as an example. No, I was not preparing scrambled eggs. Yes, I accidentally poured orange juice into my oatmeal bowl.

I'm just glad I hadn't poured my oatmeal in yet...