Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Here are some photos from last weekend's trip to Lakeside Amusement Park.

Gracie & Roan - love those looks on their faces!

Audrey & Gracie on the merry go round

Roan, Gracie & Audrey - 3 little buddies out waaay past their bedtimes.

And here how things are shaping up for me this week:

Still growing, but feeling good. The belly is quite a wonder to behold, in a carnival side show sort of way. I'm really enjoying it! I keep thinking if this is what July looks like, just wait until December...

Baby's been quiet this week. A little kicking but not much. I've been focusing this week on clearing away mental clutter, being realistic about my commitments, and experiencing a sense of clarity and tranquility. It's been good! Even though there's lots going on at work, lots to do around the house, and we're on pins and needles waiting to hear back from the bank about the new house, I haven't been too stressed out. My secret is the new prenatal yoga class I started going to. That hour and a half I spend there I really take with me throughout the week.

Roan's doing great. She's been very into her babies lately, which I guess is nothing new. Sometimes she just bowls me over with how sweet or sensitive or funny she is. And then other times here lately I can't seem to come to grips with how stubborn and independent she can be. I think on Monday "No" was about all she said to me all day. After hours of whining, crying, recalcitrant refusal to nap she eventually collapsed in exhaustion, face down on the tile stairs. I guess it's tough being 3.

Sometimes I think I just can't face one more toothbrushing negotiation. And then the next thing you know you're laughing about "burrito toes" and happily brushing teeth away. Sometimes she won't let me comfort her when she's tired or mad, and other times she curls up happily in my lap and drifts peacefully off to sleep. You just never really know what you're going to get from one day to the next, or even one minute to the next. You know who's amazing when she gets into those stubborn spells is Arwen. He aways seems to get her laughing her way back to cooperation. He makes it look easy. I'm trying to take notes from him.

This morning just when we were walking out the door I noticed her hair had already managed to get un-fixed. I just needed to put two barrettes in it real quick before heading to the car, but she would have none of it. "No!" she stubbornly declared, arms crossed. I felt this heat flame up in my face, just plain frustration at being late, needing to go, and not having the time or patience for this. But I remembered a trick. I told her, "Instead of saying 'No', Roan, say 'How about this Mommy,' and tell me your idea for what you want to happen." She came back with, "How about this Mommy. How about we go get in the car and then do barrettes." Fantastic! Problem solved, crisis averted. Smile restored to my face. And no children were beaten to within an inch of their lives in the process. It was a miracle.

If you haven't already, don't forget to cast your vote for what we're having. Just one more week till we find out (hopefully)!

Monday, July 26, 2010

week 18

Here's the latest belly photo. I've decided that in the interests of modesty and decorum, I will no longer be posting any "shirt up" belly photos. Just too scary!!!

This week it feels like things have accelerated a bit. I think the baby had a growth spurt or something. Because for a couple of days I found myself panting, trying to catch my breath, even while sitting at my desk. It's pretty common for me to breathe hard when going for a walk or climbing the stairs or something, but I hadn't had that happen while sitting still until this week. And I felt like I was suffocating every time I laid down to bed. So I had to prop myself up with a boatload of pillows and sleep sitting up. I also had some swelling and edema in my legs a couple of nights. Thank goodness I don't work on my feet - I'd hate to see what my ankles would look like then. I probably wasn't drinking enough water. I've been trying to be better about that.

I also felt the baby move big time one night. At least I think I did. It's possible it may've been a dream. The baby kicked me so hard it woke me up, and it was really down low. It was quite uncomfortable. When I put my hand to my belly it felt like my spleen was coming out of me! I pushed back and the discomfort and pressure subsided, and then the baby started doing what felt like somersaults in there! I felt these fluttery motions on the right, on top, and on the left over and over again. It was wild. I haven't felt anything like that since.

Other than that, things are pretty quiet around here. We're waiting to hear back from the bank about whether our offer has been accepted. If they give the green light a flutter of activity will begin. So I'm enjoying the calm before the storm.

Roan is doing great, keeping us laughing as always. At this moment she's got herself and Baby Sarah dressed up in their matching ballet outfits and they are sitting inside in her stroller "having a picnic on the beach." She's really been into using her imagination lately, playing everything from babies to giants to dinosaurs. Yesterday we took her to Lakeside amusement park to ride the kiddie rides as a reward for a whole month of brushing her teeth. She got to go with her buddies Audrey and Gracie, which was a big treat. Truly I don't know who had more fun - them riding the rides or us watching them. It was so great to see the joy and delight in their faces as they spun around and went up in the air. And Arwen got tickets for the (grown up) ferris wheel for the two of us. Molly and Annemarie kept an eye on Roan while we stole a few minutes way up high in the air. I enjoyed it, even though I was gripping the safety bar with white knuckles.

This Thursday will be 19 weeks, and then just one more week till we get to see the baby again!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Logan sighting

Sunday morning Jen and Logan came over to cook breakfast for Roan and me. How did I get so lucky, you ask? I'll never know!

The little bugger was so dang cute I just had to snap a few pictures and a video of him.

Hopefully you should actually be able to watch this video. I *think* I figured out the security settings.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week 17

Here's this week's belly photo.

And this is how things looked like last time around at week 17, with Roan.

No takers so far on the poll guessing the baby's sex. Come on you guys! I know everyone has an opinion on this subject.

I'm feeling good this week. I have a little more energy. My belly button has gone outie on me (can't believe it!) and I did have to invoke the Fortress of Pillows last night to get comfortable sleeping, though. When Arwen came to bed he was concerned. "Are you ok? Is the baby ok? What's up with all the pillows?" "Just getting comfy honey. No worries." He's such a concerned daddy-husband.

So we kind of had a big turn of events yesterday. We got a phone call from a realtor informing us that the contract from the winning bid on that house we wanted fell through. Seems that by the time the bank came back with an acceptance of the terms (in a record short 30 days), the seller had already found something else they liked better: a condo. So strange. This house is the antithesis of a condo. And they wanted it so much they put that escalation clause in? And then just walk away as soon as it's within grasp. I don't get it.

So we immediately signed a new contract an got it in. The seller's realtor turned it into the bank yesterday afternoon and is expecting to hear back within a week, since our contract has identical terms to the one that was already accepted. We're keeping our fingers crossed.

It is a really special house, and it seems just MADE for us. There are certain impracticalities about it that are not for everyone: it only has one bathroom and it will be a challenge to baby-proof. But it has great light, is highly energy efficient, and the interior is engaged with its wonderful outside spaces. It's perfect for solar panels. The master bedroom has enough space for a crib and changing table for those first few weeks. The kitchen is well suited to having little helpers around. It's painted funky colors that we love. It has incredible gardens with xeriscape plants, veggie beds and fruit trees. It has a wonderful patio just made for relaxing and entertaining. And a hot tub!!! It seems filled with joy and love of life.

It's far from a sure thing at this point. First we have to get the contract signed by the bank. Then come the inspections. We know it needs a new roof and has had at least one leak. And who knows what else will come up. If we get past that point the next challenge will be getting everything lined up for closing by the end of August. If we don't make that deadline, then the seller goes into foreclosure. So we're excited and hopeful, but we know we have a long way to go still.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

oh baby

I promised a baby update, and here it is. Tomorrow makes 17 weeks! Just 3 more to go before we find out what we're having. Yay!

Here are a few photos I thought you might enjoy. Here is me at 13 weeks with Baby #2. I looked much smaller in the picture than I felt at the time.

Compare that with Week 13 when I was pregnant with Roan. Not a huge difference it seems.

Here is me last week, at Week 16. What the heck happened in 3 weeks? Must have been all that good food in Texas. And what is going on with my hair? Lordy.

Compare that with Week 16 with Roan and the difference is noticeable.

The joke around our house that I like to make is "I think this thing is getting smaller honey. Yep, I'm getting skinny!"

It seems to be true, what people have told me about having baby #2. That things sort of slide a little more than they did with the first one. I'm a little less organized, less consistent. Here we are nearly halfway through this pregnancy and I still don't have my act together yet on taking photos. Not only are they sporadic, but I'm not even facing the same direction in all of them. And ya know, I'm ok with things being a little more helter skelter this time around. I may not be checking off all my to do's methodically, but I do feel like I'm cruising through this pregnancy with more of a sense of ease and less anxiety than last time. I'm not keeping a food diary this time around. I try to eat healthy but I don't give myself too much grief if I really need some emergency chocolate. I just try to focus on the basics - staying hydrated, taking my multivitamin, and getting regular low impact exercise.

And I just feel really happy. Really fortunate. Every day when Roan tells me "I love Mommy. I love Daddy. And I love baby!" I know we are so lucky to have each other.

Now for some photos of the baby. Here he/she is at 8 weeks. Not much to see.

And then here he/she is at 12 weeks. We got a first trimester screening done (detects Down's, Trisomy 18 and neural tube defects. I'm happy to report we got a clean bill of health! And we got these photos of the baby to boot. It's starting to look like a person...

This one is from what they call a 4D scan. It's 3D in motion. It is really weird looking to me. Sort of looks like the baby is encased in silly putty.
Last thing- Not sure if you noticed but I added a new Poll in the upper right. Cast your vote for what we're having. Our 20 week ultrasound is set for August 5th, so just a few weeks to find out if you were right!

Monday, July 12, 2010

what's new

Wow, could it be that I'm actually starting to get caught up with this blog? Maybe sort of... I can't believe I'm already 16 weeks pregnant and I've hardly uttered a peep about it on here. I guess being preggo has been one of the contributing factors to my lackluster showing on the blog though. I have been tiiiiired. Chasing after a 3 year old really cuts into my nap time. But it's starting to get better. I have far too many hobbies and interests for sleep to take up such a big part of my day. But things must be turning around, because I'm starting to cook again, knit again and garden.

Our garden isn't exactly rocking yet, except maybe in the lettuce department, but we have managed to harvest a few odds and ends as companions to our dinners.

And we did get a really nice big batch of snap peas. Roan loved those!

For sure the highlight of the garden this year is that the sour cherry tree we planted last year actually flowered and bore fruit. It wasn't a ton, but it was enough for a decent sized batch of sour cherry freezer jam.

We also have been enjoying a lot of summer fun in the neighborhood. BBQs, First Fridays, trips to the zoo and the pool. 4th of July weekend we checked out the neighborhood bike/scooter/stroller parade. The kids decorate their chosen implement of transportation and proceed about 5 blocks with balloons and much fanfare, to be greeted at a neighborhood park with all the hotdogs you can eat, a bouncy castle, water balloons, sack races, and more. And did I mention all of this fun was free? It was a good good time. One of those days where I think to myself, Dang I love this neighborhood.

Soon some belly photos, and yes even an ultrasound photo or two are coming.


Here are the videos that go along with my last post about our trip to Texas for Uncle Johnny's wedding. I hope these videos work for you. I'm switching to a new system. Feel free to leave feedback in the comments as to whether viewing them this way (through YouTube) works better or worse than the old video provider.

This is from our stroll down the creek at Great Sand Dunes National Monument. It sure makes you feel good to watch your child so exhilarated!

Here are a couple from us camping. Roan was really excited about the fire. Notice how utterly filthy she is, and also how at peace she is with that.

Maybe it was the time in the wilderness that did it to her, but Roan seemed exceedingly thrilled to return to civilization, especially to the rather posh comforts of the Sheraton downtown. Otherwise everyday objects and experiences were somehow transformed into something special.

Here are the bride and groom arriving at the reception after the wedding. Don't they look amazing!

Roan danced danced herself silly all night with her buddies Madison, Makayla, and Logan.

... and so did Uncle Johnny. Here he is dancing to Soulja Boy

Thursday, July 08, 2010

happy wedding john & angela!

A couple weeks back we took a road trip down to Texas for my brother John (Uncle Johnny to Roan) and his now wife (!) Angela. We took our time and did some camping in Colorado and New Mexico along the way. Jen and Micah caravaned with us for the first few days.

Here are some photos from Part I: The Road Trip

We spent the first night and next day at Great Sand Dunes National Monument. That's a lot of sand!

Breakfast together, my favorite camping meal of the day. Sausage, eggs, cheese, hashbrowns, yum!

Here's Arwen being Mr. Mom wrangling both kids

Logan was ridiculously adorable in his swim outfit!

A closeup of Logan's adorable feet.

Some photos of us playing around in the creek there...

Then we headed to Taos. On the way we saw this kooky house in the middle of nowhere.

Arwen went for a run and the rest of us went for a walk by the Royal Gorge Bridge. Gorge-ous!!

The Longs are so stinkin cute

We stayed at our friends' Conrad & Jennifer's earthship in Taos. We love that place. Here are a couple photos of some earthships.

Then we went our own way and did some camping outside of Taos. It was so picturesque.

This was on Father's Day. I really can't think of a better way to spend it with Arwen than out in a beautiful spot camping in the Little Guy.

Roan and Sasha were both in heaven. Thank goodness they love camping as much as we do.

The big highlight of the evening for Roan was making a fire with her Daddy. She helped collect kindling and rocks for the fire ring. She watched, rapt, while he got the fire going. Cooking up hot dogs and s'mores was icing on the cake.

We arrived in the DFW area on the Tuesday before John & Angela's wedding. We got to enjoy a few days hanging around the house with them, swimming in the pool, and eating at their favorite Mexican restaurant. And then the wedding festivities got cranking.

Here are photos from Part II: The Wedding

John and Angela have such a beautiful home, and they were so gracious to share it with so many of us.

We took some time out and did a girls' spa day. Fun!

We relocated to the Sheraton downtown, where the reception would be held. It was an awesome hotel, and quite a step up from camping in the Little Guy! Roan was excited to have a queen bed all to herself.

Before we knew it, it was time for the rehearsal.

Roan had a blast getting to know her fellow flower girls and ring bearer. They were all so cute!

The rehearsal dinner was so gorgeous. I can't believe I don't have a single picture from that night! It was at this incredible restaurant in a room surrounded by glass, with fountains everywhere you looked, all lit up in the night.

Here are a couple shots of us getting ready for the wedding. Angela has such a fun group of girlfriends.

Roan was *REALLY* into being a flower girl. And I guess who could blame her? She got a pretty new dress, fancy new shoes, she got her hair done special for the day, her toenails painted to match Mommy's, and Aunt Angela gave her a beautiful rhinestone "R" necklace to wear. She was pretty much in heaven.

Here she is with Logan, the ring bearer.

Unfortunately I have no photos from the beautiful wedding ceremony. Since I was a bridesmaid and Roan was a flower girl we had places to be and jobs to do. Even Arwen had a role: he was an usher. Wish I had a picture to throw in of him. He resurrected the tux jacket he wore when he took me to senior prom, velvet collar and all! The ceremony was in a gorgeous Methodist church in downtown Dallas filled with light filtering in through huge stained glass windows.

I did tear up a few times-- it was so hard not to cry! For so long Angela has felt like a part of our family. It made me so happy for my brother and so happy for all of us to be making it official. It's funny. A lot of times with young couples getting married the "older and wiser" people around them offer a lot of advice on how to make a marriage work over the long haul. In John & Angela's case, honestly I think even as young as they are, they have things to teach the rest of us. There is a wisdom and a beauty in the way they are to each other. I hope that stays with them always.

And then the party began! Here is the Long Family. Logan was so cute in his tux with wing tip shoes!

I love my little nephew!

Gramps & Logan, both in tuxes

John & Angela, their first dance

The newlyweds!

Here comes the airplane

Jen, Mom & me

They had a "candy bar" - self service bags of candy - as their wedding favors. Fun!

Roan got chocolate AND vanilla cake. Legendary.

Mom & John


The cake

The garter

The boquet

Angela dancing with her girls

Roan dancing with Uncle Johnny

Twirling with Madison

What a party!