Friday, October 31, 2008

Minnie Mice

Violet had a Halloween parade at daycare today, and Anara and I came to help pass out candy. My mom made the girls Minnie costumes and they are pretty happy with them (as long as I don't threaten to paint their noses black). Violet gets really excited to see Anara at "school" and wants to show her everything and everyone. They were giving each other a hug without prompting.
Making the rounds

This is what happens when you tell Anara "smile"

The girls won't trick or treat tomorrow but we will stay home and pass out candy to the dwindling number of kids who trick or treat in our neighborhood. We have firmly established our reputation for being generous candy givers so we are anticipating at least a few costumeless teenagers with pillowcases.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Carving

Daddy and Violet carved pumpkin #2 last night. Nate carved the first pumpkin Sunday evening at our friends' house. Pumpkin #1 was Cinderella and last night's pumpkin was her castle. They both turned out great. The girls aren't into the carving as much as Nate would like but he says that he is establishing memories and tradition. Not only would Anara not touch the pumpkin but she wouldn't even get close enough to take a picture.

Posing with the finished product
Vi loves all things "Disney Princesses"

Baby #3

Yesterday morning I had an ultrasound and the baby is measuring 7lbs. 7oz. That sounds like a pretty good delivery weight. Too bad I am still more than 2 weeks from my due date. I am really hoping to go into labor early but not desperate enough to schedule an elective induction (yet). I am still undecided about the pitocin/epidural issue. I was so determined to do everything "natural" with Violet and we had a beautiful birthplan. Like I said before, I ended up with pitocin and an epidural that didn't really work. I would love to labor comfortably (is that an oxymoron?) at home and cruise into the hospital in time for delivery, but I have to be at the hospital 4 hours before delivery in order for the baby and I to get 2 doses of IV antibiotics. I realize that women all over the world do this everyday without medical intervention but I am pretty dependent on the "hospitalness" of the whole thing. I guess it doesn't matter as much how the baby comes into the world as long as we are both healthy and safe. I am not feeling miserable or terribly uncomfortable. I don't feel ginormous right now and somehow I lost 5 lbs. between my last two appoinments. All that said, I think I am ready anytime (maybe after I dust and sweep once more and pack a bag).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Can I caff my baby?"

The girls have been rather fixated on catheterizing their baby dolls lately (Anara in particular). It seems that all the dolls have stomas and are sporting nice bandages on their abdomens. I think it's good processing for Anara and it helps normalize things a bit. However, sometimes we have to move her on to the next activity because it seems to go on forever. Below are some pictures of the girls cathing their babies.

I missed the 1 year anniversary of her major surgery - October 19th. It was a long surgery and a longer recovery but she is perfect now. I would love to post before and after pictures but I think that might be something for her to share when she is older. If you remember, Anara was born with her bladder outside her body and her genitalia was part of the mass of organ tissue on her abdomen. Dr. Kaefer did a phenomenal job and we aren't anticipating another surgery for a few years. She will have a small procedure to create a cosmetic belly button (her umbilical cord came through the same opening as her bladder). She will have another procedure around puberty to make sure that she can function normally.

And, for those of you who aren't as familiar with Anara's cathing, here is a picture of her showing off her stoma for the camera. Anara doesn't have any remaining bladder or urethra and therefore cannot void urine through any other means. She will always catheterize herself through this little red tube in her abdomen. The red sticking out is a "Mitrofanoff Appendicovesicostomy" made from her Appendix. It connects her reservoir (her bladder is made from bowel) to the outside of her body. It is pretty amazing in the way it was made to not leak. Every three hours during the day and every 5 hours at night we stick a lubricated catheter through this channel and empty her bladder.

The redness around the stoma is irritation from bandages. It is a little puffier than usual because it was rubbing against her pajamas. Dr. Kaefer wants it to stick up the way that it does, and pink and moist indicates healthy tissue. We keep a band aid on it to keep it moist and protected - this causes minor skin irritation. The purple dot higher on her stomach is the g-tube scar. And, if you notice she currently does not have a belly button but Dr. Kaefer will fix this before she wears midriff shirts and bikinis - as if we would allow that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

A Miraculous Feet

It's a rainy Friday morning, so I decided that a relaxing bath was in order. I turned on the TV to babysit the girls so that I could bathe uninterrupted. Post bath I decided that my feet needed some attention. I was miraculously able to shave dead skin, trim my toenails, and buff my skin to a healthy, new softness at 37 weeks pregnant. I have no idea how I was able to accomplish this (other than a little breath-holding) but my feet feel great and I am ready to start the day.

Onto some not-so-deep thoughts... I was thinking about this pregnancy and noting the differences between this time and Violet. When I was pregnant with Violet I had two tiny pink stretch marks that came my last week of pregnancy; I just counted nine this morning. My belly button flattened but never stuck out; right now it looks like a pop-out turkey timer. I had severe nausea and tons of vomiting but it only lasted 14 weeks.; today marks 32 weeks of less severe nausea without much vomiting. I don't remember having terrible reflux; this time I am acutely aware if I forget Protonix for one day. Violet moved and kicked; this baby moves, kicks, and feels like it's trying to carve his/her way out of the womb through my ribs. I felt great after 21 weeks and then got pretty uncomfortable towards the end; I feel great right now and would rather have this end of pregnancy level of discomfort my whole way through. I was in a hurry to deliver Violet and couldn't wait to meet whoever had been living inside me; I am more patient and rarely feel desperate to figure out who this person is. We knew if Violet was a girl her name was for sure, Violet, but we didn't have a boys name until we were in the hospital laboring; this time I think we are pretty sure of both boy and girl names although I really have no feeling about the sex of this baby. I was absolutely determined to have Violet without pain intervention (we had taken Bradley classes and had a beautiful birthplan) - I ended up water broken, not contracting, with pitocin and an epidural. This time I feel indifferent as to how I want the labor to go. My OB thinks this baby is ginormous and would love to induce me a week early. She almost has me talked into it and I am wondering if it is too early to order my epidural. Last time I had very romantic notions about the post-partem time and ended up struggling a little with emotions and hormones and having a very difficult time getting started nursing. This time I am terrified of post-partem hormones and emotions and only slightly concerned about nursing difficulties (hopefully I figured all those out last time).

Well those are the differences I noted this morning. It's amazing how each pregnancy can be so remarkably individual. We could have only 2 more weeks if we let Dr. G. induce a week early or we could have 4 more weeks if we leave it up to the baby. I am excited to find out boy or girl and hopefully our names will stick. At different times Nate or I have had cold feet about the recently decided names but I guess that's okay since nothing is carved in stone. I have an ultrasound next Wed. to get a size estimate. I guess that may help us determine how to finish out the pregnancy. I really don't feel strongly either way. The phone just rang to say my OB started her maternity leave a little early so I guess we will be discussing this with a different MD - oh well.

On a different subject... The girls and I have had a bit of a rough week. I don't know whether it's me stressing them out or a transition back from time with Grandma. We set a spank record on Monday and have had several days of multiple spanks, time-outs, and crying. I would really like to see things calm down and have a little better training before the baby gets here. I am trying to toughen up with being more consistent so that we can nip some of the behaviors. One real struggle is mealtime. We just can't figure out how to get Anara to eat (even her favorite foods) without it being a struggle. We have to prompt her to take every single bite and she appears to be getting something out of the push and pull during mealtime. Yesterday it made all 3 meals miserable and I am out of ideas. If she weren't so skinny I would just not feed her and wait for her to decide to eat. If only she had a little reserve. Anyway, hopefully today will be better and next week even more so. I think that sums up everything on my brain this rainy day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hello Green

First, I apologize if you have been waiting with bated breath to see the finished product of our newly green living room ;) We have been without internet for the past couple weeks. This has made me realize how extremely internet dependent I am. Now that we are back online, I am going to try and exercise some self-control and set some limits for myself. It's incredible how much I depend on it to run the house and socialize.

Back to the green living room. Joel, Nicole, and Nate were able to paint the living room, stairway and upstairs hallway in one day. It was great. I took some time to pull out newborn stuff and painted a little towards the end of Saturday. The green looks great in the natural light. It is very fresh and airy feeling. It is such a dramatic change from the bold, cozy red but we like it. I had a little painting remorse the first night because it is much more yellow with our energy efficient lighting (and it was still a little wet and shiny). It reminded me more of a nursery than a living room. It looks a lot better now with a matte finish and all our of things back in place. Thanks Joel and Nicole for giving up another weekend to help with our home improvement efforts.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Goodbye Red

We have lots of warm, cozy memories in our red living room but next weekend we will say goodbye to that color and trade it for something a little lighter. Joel and Nicole are coming to help us with our home improvement project so that we can actually get it done in one weekend. I am excited to have change before the new baby comes. I painted a little when I was pregnant with Violet but I think I will leave the painting to those three and do some other nesting tasks like windows, getting out baby stuff, washing newborn clothes...

The lightest green in the middle is the one we are using. It's pretty much a cross your fingers and hope you like it. I really did love the red but almost 5 years was long enough. It's a perfect color in the evenings or winter months but in the summer you can't quite get it bright enough during the day. Thanks Joel and Nicole - if you remember back to 2007, this isn't the only home-improvement project they have helped with. They helped us finish our kitchen before we adopted Anara (painting, painting, and more painting) and they also helped renovate the playroom upstairs and the girls' bedroom.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Afternoon Date

A couple Sundays ago, Nate and I went to the Colts vs. Jags game for an afternoon date. After almost going into labor walking up to the top of Lucas Oil Stadium, we were able to enjoy the game (although the ending was disappointing), each other, some stadium snacks, and the entertaining fans around us. I was going to paint a horseshoe on my belly but we were too high up to make the fan cam anyway (uh... that was only a joke).
Pre-game pic
Trying to take our own picture - neither looking at the lens

Playing with the 48X zoom

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Violet Rode a Mile

Pedaling as hard as those little legs will go
A few weeks ago the girls went tricycling while Nate did a long run. Nina went with me to help keep the girls on the right side of the Monon Trail. Violet pedaled that little tricycle for an entire mile. Anara ended up being carried (which included carrying the trike). It was a good opportunity for some fresh air and a little bit of movement. We played at the playground while we waited for Daddy to finish up. Violet keeps asking when we are going to take her on a bike ride again.
She really wanted to keep up with Daddy

Not my favorite preggo pic.

Anara "fwinging" with Nina

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pumpkins, Slingshots, and Pinches

Anara giving the pumpkin a friendly pat.

Violet trying to determine which is bigger.
Friday afternoon we took the girls to Appleworks, in Trafalgar, to pick out pumpkins and enjoy the outdoors. Violet and Anara both picked the biggest pumpkins we have ever allowed. Neither of the girls took their naps so it was kind of a whiny adventure. We walked back a lane to the pumpkins and Anara kept crying about having to walk - I think her little legs get pretty tired. Overall the girls enjoyed themselves and we enjoyed being out of the city for an afternoon.

Violet finding the tiniest pumpkin.

Somewhere we have a picture of 6 month-old Vi riding the "cool bus".

Yesterday Anara had a checkup with our regular pediatrician. She has put on 1 lb since April and grown 2 inches. Somehow she is still on the curve but seems dangerously close to the edge. Her pediatrician isn't concerned unless she falls off the curve altogether. He would like to see more of her water replaced with whole milk. This will be tough because she loves water and drinks much more than the average kid (probably related to either kidney function or her bowel resection).

The girls both got flu shots at yesterday's appointment. I am usually hesitant to vaccinate for flu (no real good reason why) but with Violet's asthma (which appears to be getting better Lord willing) and this new baby coming, I think the flu might be too much for us to handle. Violet kept referring to her shot as a "slingshot" as in, "Is Dr. Leland going to give me the slingshot?". Anara keeps calling her shot a "pinch" as in, "I got a pinch at Dr. Leland's."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Very Violet Outfit

Here are a couple pictures of Violet in her favorite outfit. She likes to wear dresses all the time. She prefers fancy, church or holiday dresses and searches desperately for matching accessories. She did not get this gift from me. I struggle to accessorize and much to my husband's dismay, barely ever make myself "fancy". Right now I am sporting some nice, comfy sweatpants with a ghetto baby belly hanging out from under my shirt - pretty darn sexy... Maybe she got this sassy, girlishness from one of her aunts. Notice the purple sandals with a slight heel and the purple headband - that's all her.