22 March 2013

22-23-24 Weeks

It just keeps on growing!
The bump at 22, 23, and 24 weeks:

Whoa - sorry for the crazy hair at 24 weeks.
I had just driven 6+ hours back from Houston and was frazzled to say the least!

How far along? 24 weeks and 6 days. (Nothing like cutting it close!)

How big is the baby? The size of an eggplant, about 9 inches long and 1.7 pounds.

Are you in maternity clothes? Oh, YES.

How do you feel physically? Tired. And although it is exhausting to keep up
with our little bundle of energy, I think my tiredness is more due to all the other junk
that's been going on in our world lately.

Sleep? I am going to bed at a reasonable (and pretty consistent) hour,
but I think pregnancy insomnia is starting to kick in. 
Some nights I wake and just can't go back to sleep.
Maybe this is my body's way of preparing me for less sleep when Baby Brother arrives!

Miss anything? Right now, I miss my husband. He has been working
crazy hours the past few weeks so I've been a de facto single parent.
Kudos to all the single parents out there who do this day in and day out - I don't know
how you manage! I am realizing that it truly does take a village to raise a child,
and I am SO GLAD this is one job I don't have to fly solo on...not all the time, anyways. :)

Feeling movement of the baby? Baby Brother has quite the repertoire of karate moves!
Seems like he moves a lot more than Max did, or maybe I just know what to feel for.

Food cravings? It's weird - some days I am not very hungry at all,
and other days I could gnaw my arm off and still be ravenous!
No specific cravings, but I have been drinking a lot of smoothies lately.

Gender of the baby? Boy, oh boy!
Mood/ thoughts? I am just feeling really overwhelmed.
There is still so much that needs to be done to prepare for Baby Brother
in the three short months (or less!) before his arrival
 - I'd like to attempt potty training Max, for one - 
and I've been thinking a lot about how I'm going to manage life with two boys 
(and their very different needs) and keep up with my other responsibilities. 
While I know it will take some time to find a new routine, I remember all too well 
the challenges of those first months and feeling stretched thin in lots of ways.
I am sure it will be no different this time around.
The trial-and-error (mostly error) of that transition time is not something I look forward to.
Guess I'm impatient in that way and ready to have things figured out. :)

21 March 2013

Photo A Day: February

Oh, y'all.
I am so far behind I've thought about giving up.
(Mostly just on taking my March photos,
but apparently on posting last month's too!)
So there's a good possibility this could be my last 'Photo A Day' post...
but fingers crossed I'm wrong. ;)

Here's how February panned out for us:

Let's see if I can catch up on March!

19 March 2013

What's Up, Doc?

It seems like we have spent the majority of the past two weeks 
in doctor's offices and/ or hospitals.
While my dislike of both continues to increase 
(ironic, I know, because at one point I wanted to become a doctor),
I am grateful that we have access to this kind of healthcare,
a luxury envied by many people across the world.

We started off with a visit to the radiology clinic at Cook's
to get an ultrasound of Max's thyroid.
Yes, I know what you're thinking:
"How in the world are you supposed to get a 21-month old 
to lay still for 30 minutes with a gloopy wand on his neck?"
Well, folks - somehow it happened and without many tears!
I am still in shock.

Tuesday we went for a follow-up with the endocrinologist,
who gave us the results from the ultrasound: Max's thyroid is developing normally.
Turns out Max has "unexplained hypothyroidism,"
which basically means that he is normal and healthy
but his bloodwork shows an abnormality for some unknown reason.
It is definitely good news to know that our little man
does not have thyroid disease or something more serious,
but all the tests we've had to do sure put this mama through the ringer!
We will keep him on the medication
because of the possible effects on brain development,
but most likely will wean him off by age 3.

On Thursday we had a check-up with the cardiologist
to monitor Max's subaortic membrane.
Because the membrane has grown significantly since our last visit,
the doctor told us that surgery will be necessary
within the next year - not exactly the timeline I was prepared for.
I know I see a daily reminder in his Daddy
that this surgery results in a normal and healthy life,
but I am still not super-excited about seeing my baby in a hospital bed.
We will go back in August to re-evaluate.

Then this weekend I traveled down to Houston
to visit my sister after her big surgery to remove a cancerous mass,
for which she's been undergoing chemo for the last nine months.
(You can read more about her cancer journey here.)
It was a major surgery - involving the removal of six ribs
and taking out a small part of her lung (where the cancer was attached)
to fully get the melon-sized mass out.
Just hearing about it gave me the heebie-jeebies,
but Rachel was cool as a cucumber through the whole thing.
Seeing her in the first few days of recovery after surgery
was not something I was prepared for - all those wires and tubes hooked up to her.
But I know that she is in very capable hands
and am truly amazed how much stronger she is each day.

All of this has really got me thinking about these temporary bodies we inhabit
and how much we I take their proper functioning for granted.
It is definitely stressful when something doesn't work the way we think it should,
and especially frustrating when we encounter the limits of modern medicine
to explain exactly what's happening.

But I have also been reminded that when I come to the end of that rope,
where there is no good explanation and mysteries abound,
there is a Great Physician
who knit us together in our mother's womb,
who created our bodies and all their intricacies,
and who knows just how many hairs are on our heads.
He is the One whose knowledge knows no limits, whose power knows no end.

"Look now; I myself am he!
    There is no other god but me!
I am the one who kills and gives life;
    I am the one who wounds and heals;
    no one can be rescued from my powerful hand!"

Deuteronomy 32:39 NLT

As much as I would like answers, to know fully the how and the why,
that is probably not the best thing for me and my worry-wort self.
But one thing I do know: there is a God who has those answers
and am learning to trust that He has it all figured out.

21 Months

Oh my.
This little man just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
 Someone, please stop it!

This month has been full of lots of funny moments
and we are so grateful to share them with this crazy kiddo. :)

Max currently weighs in at 32 pounds and measures 35 inches tall. 
Still toppin' the charts, this kid!
He wears mostly 24-month and 2T clothes, though I'm still trying 
to squeeze him into a few 18-24 month items. :) 
His shoes these days are size 7 and his diapers size 5.

Little man sleeps a good 11 hours at night IN HIS TODDLER BED 
and takes a 1.5-3 hour nap. I am so surprised how smoothly this transition has gone! 
We will soon see how he does sleeping in other places besides home...

Max is still eating well - not really anything new to report there.

This little dude is sprouting personality - and opinions - all over the place! 
We have begun the era of "Max do dit" for everything
from reading the bedtime Bible story or combing his hair 
to putting on his shoes or...well, it really depends on the day!
All who challenge our newfound know-it-all will surely be faced
with a full-fledged tantrum. Sometimes it just comes out of nowhere
(how was I to know he wanted his string cheese whole today and not in pieces???).
Toddlerhood is in full swing in our house, for sure.

In general, Max is doing a whole lot of testing his limits - and my patience.
If I'm not paying attention (or more likely, have taken a potty break),
I will often come back to find him perched precariously on some piece of furniture,
unloading his pajama drawer, or poised at the computer ready to send a gibberish mass email.
He is constantly keeping me on my toes!

Another fun (?) aspect of this phase is all the things Max is saying.
When we stop at a red light, he has started saying, "Wait. Green now."
He'll also say "Way! Way!" and point the opposite direction
when I'm making a turn, I guess because he thinks I'm going the wrong way. Ha!
(Who knew toddlers could be backseat drivers?!)
The other day we were sitting at the kitchen table
while Max was eating a snack when the little man let one rip.
He looked at me sweetly and said, "Mommy tooted?"
Oh dear. I had no idea fart-blaming started so early!

We count to three before rinsing his hair at bathtime,
so Max has started saying, "1, 2, 3" for just about anything.
It is really cute to hear him count: "One, one car."
(We're still working on the sequence of numbers.)
He also makes a good attempt at singing along while Daddy brushes his teeth
to the ABC song (which is pretty hilarious).
Can't blame him for trying!

Room time is getting better, though we've had some interesting developments
now that his toys are stored out in his room instead of in the closet
(I needed the extra space for Baby Brother's clothes).

He really likes to dump out all his toy bins...
and isn't so much a fan of cleaning it up. But he's learning!

I don't let Max watch much TV, but for some reason
he has really latched onto the show Dinosaur Train.
Some days he will repeatedly ask for "di-mo train" when it is nowhere near
time for it to come on. And when the timing is right for him to catch an episode,
he periodically calls out, "di-mo train" because he's so excited to be watching. :)

One morning, I noticed Max was fidgeting with his jammies
but was too busy cleaning up the breakfast dishes to investigate further.
A few minutes later he came waddling into the room 
and I noticed his legs looked strange and lumpy. 
Turns out he had managed to somehow remove his diaper inside his zipped-up footie pajamas -
then proceeded to do his morning business!
Let me tell you, it is not easy to clean poop out of pajama feet.

That incident was just a minor setback
because it seems that little man is sort of getting the hang of this potty thing.
We are, by no means, officially potty training him
though we do sit him on the toilet before bath each night.
(He has actually started going instead of sitting there for five seconds then saying, "Done!")
This past week, he has started asking for the potty when I change his diaper
and actually using it when we go sit him on it!
I realize we still have a looooong way to go, but I am celebrating these small victories. :)

I cannot believe that Max will be two years old in three short months.
He is already so big that I don't think I can stand it sometimes!
I definitely miss the cuddles I used to get from him, though I think
I might melt into a puddle when he occasionally crawls into my lap for a hug.
 He is such a sweet boy, and we are so lucky to have this 
ball of energy in our lives - even if I am perpetually worn out! ;)

03 March 2013

Big Boy Bed

Since Max and Baby Brother will be sharing a room,
we figured it was high time Max made the switch
to more mature sleeping arrangements.
So two weekends ago, he graduated to a big boy bed!

He was SO excited to help Daddy put it together,
and actually tried putting screws into the pre-drilled holes.

It was everything we could to to keep him off the bedframe
before we put the mattress and sheets on. :)

He was so very excited to try out his new bed!

Thanks, Grammie and Doc, for the perfect bedding!

That first night he did great,
though he was a bit unsure once we turned off the lights.
He did fall out of bed about 5:30am but thankfully went right back to sleep!
We have added a little star night light right above the bed
(which he calls "Max's star") that has helped make his bed area special too.

Max is so proud of his new big boy bed!
After reading stories before nap or nighttime,
he loves to announce where he's headed. :)

After almost two weeks, he is mostly staying in his bed
until Mommy or Daddy comes to get him.
I'd say two escape attempts isn't that bad!

I have a few more touches to add to the brothers' bedroom
and will post pics of the finished product soon!