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Monday, February 28, 2011

17 Weeks

This pregnancy seems to be flying by! I was very sick with both Dylan and Lexie, but it seems like I'm even sicker this time. It doesn't feel real yet. I mean, I have all the symptoms, I've seen the baby, heard the heartbeat twice, and I can feel Nugget moving around, but I don't have a baby bump. I can see a difference, but people that don't know I'm pregnant have no clue that I even am. I can't wait until it's noticeable!

DATE:
February 28, 2011

How far along:
17 weeks

Total Weight Gained:
All loss so far.

How big is baby? Nugget is 5.1 inches from crown to rump and weighs 5 ounces! He/She is about the size of a turnip.

How baby is growing: Nugget's skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone, and the umbilical cord is growing stronger and thicker. He/She can move his/her joints, and the sweat glands are starting to develop.

Maternity Clothes: No, my regular pants are still loose.

Sleep: I can't complain! I'm sleeping well right now.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Feeling my little sweet pea move around more.

Movement
: The movements are getting stronger!

Food Cravings: Nothing.

Food Aversions:
Everything. Still eating to survive.

Morning Sickness:
I still have hyperemesis. I'm really hoping I start to improve, at least a little bit, soon!

Gender:
Unknown, and not finding out! We've had the names picked out since I was 6 weeks along.

Symptoms:
Nausea morning to night, gagging, vomiting, extreme fatigue, stretching of the round ligaments (I keep pulling them!), and braxton hicks contractions.

Exercise: I'm going to start back this week, once my cold goes away. I took a break all last week to get better.

What I miss:
Enjoying my meals!

What I'm looking forward to:
Seeing Nugget at our big ultrasound next month!

17 Week Picture:

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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Party Time!

This Saturday, our family and friends gathered at our house to celebrate Lexie's 4th Birthday!

As usual, the house was crowded and loud, and kids were everywhere. That's how we roll! At the end of the night, the house was trashed, but it was worth it!

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Lexie is very serious when she opens presents. She doesn't like it when all the attention is on her, so Grant had to assist! Lexie was thrilled with all the wonderful gifts!

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Lexie loved spending time with some of her favorite people! (There were plenty more, but mommy is too lazy to edit pictures!)

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She loved her cake this year! My mom makes the birthday cakes, and this year she made tiers of Disney Princess cupcakes and Lexie's very own Princess Aurora cake.

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One of the favorite gifts was a Disney Princess pop up tent, big enough for all the kids to play in!

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Lexie had a great time with her family and friends. She is blessed to have so many wonderful people in her life!

We love our special girl!

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Today, she had a birthday party hangover! I think we all did!

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

16 Weeks

I'm only a few days late! ;)

DATE:
February 21, 2011

How far along:
16 weeks

Total Weight Gained:
All loss so far.

How big is baby? Nugget is 4 1/2 inches long (head to rump) and 3 1/2 ounces; about the size of an avocado.

How baby is growing: Nugget is growing toenails and his/her heart is pumping about 25 quarts of blood each day.

Maternity Clothes: No, my regular pants are still loose. I actually need smaller pants, but I refuse to buy them!

Sleep: I can't complain! I'm sleeping well right now.

Best Pregnancy Moment of the Week:
Feeling Nugget's kicks get harder, and seeing the stockpile of diapers and wipes in our attic. We may not be able to buy anything blue or pink just yet, so we've been focusing on the necessities!

Movement
: The movements are getting stronger!

Food Cravings: Nothing.

Food Aversions:
Everything. Still eating to survive.

Morning Sickness:
I still have hyperemesis. Luckily, that should be downgraded to just morning sickness in the next 3-4 weeks! I'm counting down!

Gender:
Unknown, and not finding out! We've had the names picked out since I was 6 weeks along.

Symptoms:
Nausea morning to night, gagging, vomiting, fatigue, frequent use of the bathroom, stretching of the round ligaments (I keep pulling them!), and braxton hicks contractions. My belly is rock hard, and starting to round out!

Exercise: Yes, power walking 4 days a week, although I'm taking a break this week to get over the flu.

What I miss:
Enjoying the taste of food and feeling normal.

What I'm looking forward to:
Feeling better, and seeing Nugget at the big ultrasound in a few weeks!

16 Week Picture:

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Sleeping Beauty and the Prince today:

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday, Lexie Bean!!!

To my beautiful baby girl on her 4th Birthday:

Dear Lexie,

Today you turned 4! FOUR!!! How is that even possible? I can still vividly remember the day you were born, but when I looked at you this morning, you seemed so grown up!

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I know I say it all the time, but time really does fly. You went from newborn to little girl in the blink of an eye. Time, please slow down!

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This morning you did not wake up to a room filled with balloons, like you usually do on your birthday. You can blame mommy's flu, pregnancy forgetfulness, or bad weather, but you really didn't seem to mind. You did, however, get your own snow storm!

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You woke up in a fantastic mood. I immediately ran to your room and sang "Happy Birthday" to you. You looked up at me with your big brown eyes and a sweet smile, and said, "It's my birthday? Today?!?"

I made you what you wanted for breakfast: a waffle and strawberry milk. It was your special day, so you got to pick whatever movie or TV show that you wanted. You decided to start the day with "Homeward Bound." It is one of your favorites!

The roads were so bad this morning due to the storm, that Dylan's school was canceled. He got to spend the entire day with you! The first thing he did when he woke up was greet you with a hug. You are so blessed to have a big brother to watch over you, and he is blessed to have you.

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Dylan wanted to give his present to you right away, and you were more than happy to open it!

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You spent the day watching your favorite movies, playing with your new toy, and playing with your brother. You got a special phone call from your Grandma, and many birthday wishes from aunts, uncles, and friends. You also had a special visit with your Nina and Papa. They couldn't miss your birthday, and just had to bring you a little present. They love you so much, Lexie. I hope one day you'll realize just how much.

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At 4:16 PM, you turned 4. Dylan and I sang "Happy Birthday" to you at that very moment.

When daddy came home from work, we went to the restaurant you chose for your birthday dinner. You decided that you wanted to return to the Burger King that we had gone to for your third birthday dinner. I think the indoor playground was the deciding factor! It must have been your lucky day, because the room was empty. You, Dylan, and even daddy got the entire playground to yourselves!

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On the way home, we stopped at Dunkin Donuts. You decided that you wanted a donut with sprinkles instead of cake.

You almost fell asleep in the car, but perked up as soon as we mentioned the word "presents." You tore into them as soon as we got home!

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You were happy with everything you got, but we had a special big girl present for you! You loved it!

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Finally it was time for donuts! The traditional blowing out the candles picture sums up your personality perfectly!!!

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By that point, you looked very sleepy, so we knew your special day was coming to an end.

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Daddy, Dylan, and I posed for a birthday picture with our beautiful, smart, funny, adorable little girl.

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You fell asleep so quickly, so I'd say your birthday was a success!

Lexie, you captured my heart the moment I heard your little heartbeat. I fell even more in love with you the moment I saw you. I didn't think it was possible to love you any more than I did at that moment, but I do. Nothing you say or do will ever change my love for you.

I am so proud of you. You are beautiful, inside and out. You are full of life and seem wise beyond your years. You are so sweet, loving, smart, funny, and sassy. You are strong and determined, and not afraid to let the world know your feelings. There are times when I'm overwhelmed by your incredible spirit. There are times when all I can do is sit back, with tears in my eyes, and think, "That's my girl."

You once asked where you lived before mommy had you. I explained that you lived in my heart until it was time for you to come into the world. Such a simple explanation, but not far from the truth. I can't even remember what my life was like before you were born. It feels like you've always been here with me.

You have many big changes coming your way in the next few months, which are going to force you to grow up. You aren't going to be the baby anymore. You are going to become a big sister, and you're going to start school. I have complete faith in you. I know you're going to be an incredible big sister and an incredible student. I know you're going to continue to learn, grow, and thrive. Four is going to be a big year for you!

Lexie, you may be a big girl now, but you will always, always, always be my baby girl. Happy 4th Birthday to my best girl! I love you forever!!!

Love,

Mommy

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lexie's Birth Story

Last week, I found an old journal, and one of the entries was Lexie's birth story. As I read it, all of the emotions from the day came flooding back. It is so hard to believe that my baby is going to be 4!

We weren't planning on trying for our second child until September 2006. On Father's Day of that year, Grant convinced me to try just that one time. We never expected for it to actually work! A little over a week later, I swore I had food poisoning, after eating at a new restaurant. When the "food poisoning" lingered, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I took it right after Grant left for work, and just laughed when I saw the positive result. As soon as Dylan woke up, I told him he was going to be a big brother!

That night, Dylan told Grant the news with the Big Brother shirt he was wearing. We shared the news with our families by telling them that I had gotten a tattoo. When I lifted up my shirt, the words "Baby Inside" were written on my belly. Everybody was so excited!

My pregnancy with Lexie was very similar to the one I had with Dylan. I had hyperemesis until 20 weeks. Thanks to the combination of a nasty cold and morning sickness, I had to go to labor and delivery and get an IV during the first trimester. The morning sickness improved, but didn't completely go away until I delivered. Due to all the preterm labor issues with Dylan, my doctor immediately put me on limited activity. All I was allowed to do was light walking and prenatal yoga. The contractions started around 14 weeks, and got stronger as the weeks went by. Before long, I was on partial bed rest. All that meant was that I had to stay off my feet as much as possible, and make sure to put my feet up for at least 20 minutes every hour. By 28 weeks, I was already 1 cm dilated.

All of the doctors in the practice were certain I was going to deliver early. My contractions were frequent and painful, and I just kept dilating. I was monitored frequently, and each time I left the office, they informed me it would be soon. I should have realized then that my baby was going to be a stubborn one!

At my 38 week visit, I had two strong contractions before the doctor even examined me. When she did the exam, I was 4 cm and 90% effaced. She told me that she knew the baby was coming soon, but could tell I was exhausted after weeks of contractions. She decided to schedule an induction 36 hours later to get things moving.

I spent the following day with Dylan. All day, I experienced really painful contractions, but I wanted to make the last day with Dylan as an only child a special one. My dad picked him up around 7 that night. I kissed my baby boy goodbye, and got ready to meet my new baby. Despite the fact that the induction was scheduled, that was meant to be her birthday. I had contractions all night, but stayed home, because we were leaving for the hospital soon anyway.

By the time Grant, my mother-in-law, and I arrived at the hospital at 5:45, I was already 5 cm and almost fully effaced. The nurse started the pitocin, but returned to the room in about 20 minutes to turn it off, because I was contracting strong enough on my own.

The contractions started to get unbearable, so the doctor ordered the epidural. I was really nervous, because getting it with Dylan was incredibly painful. The anesthesiologist broke two needles while trying to administer it. This time, I explained what had happened to the current anesthesiologist, and he assured me that that had never happened to him before. Two broken needles later, he declared that I had a spine of steel!

I should have known that I was having a girl, because at that point, all the drama began! A few minutes after the anesthesiologist finally got the epidural in place, my blood pressure dropped drastically. All I remember is feeling completely relaxed, hearing a loud beep, and then getting stabbed in the thigh with a needle. That alone, hurt more than the epidural, and left a bruise that took weeks to go away! As if that weren't enough, apparently getting really itchy is a side effect of the epidural. I began scratching my arms like a lunatic, and the nurse had to give me another injection. Finally, all was well, and the pain was completely gone.

By this point, our family members and friends began to arrive. The morning flew by, thanks to their companionship. At one point, I looked at the clock and realized it was 11 AM. My doctor was supposed to break my water at 9, and she had never showed up. I later found out that she was stuck in the OR, performing multiple c-sections. Although my labor would have probably progressed quicker if she had broken my water, it did end up breaking on it's own before noon.

Everything had been going well since the epidural incident, and the early afternoon hours were ticking by, but we were soon surprised by an alarm going off. The nurse ran in and strapped an oxygen mask to my face, and kicked everybody out of the room. She pointed to the monitor and told us that the baby's heart rate was in the 200's, which was a sign that the baby wasn't tolerating the labor well. For the next hour and a half the alarm kept going off every few minutes, and the oxygen mask stayed on.

Finally, my doctor was able to leave the OR, and examined me. I was fully dilated and effaced, and she told me I only had about 45 minutes to push the baby out. If the heart rate kept increasing, I would need an immediate c-section. We were planning on my mom, mother-in-law, and friend staying in the room during delivery, but the doctor only allowed one person other than Grant to stay, due to the baby being in distress. My mom ended up staying with us.

I was desperate to get my baby out. I wanted to make sure he/she was okay. I wanted to avoid a c-section. Most of all, I wanted to see if it was a boy or a girl. Grant and my mom coached me, but I was in my own little world. I had an oxygen mask strapped to my face and a washcloth over my eyes to help with the low grade fever that I developed.

I remember whipping off the washcloth, and catching the reflection of the baby crowning in the TV. I pushed with all my might, and it worked!

After a few seconds of silence, the doctor declared, "It's a girl!!!"

Those were the best words I've ever heard! I wanted a girl so badly! I immediately began crying tears of joy, along with Grant and my mom. That moment alone was worth all the waiting!

Lexie was wailing, and I just knew she was okay. Just as it had been with Dylan, though, the doctor quickly handed the baby to the pediatrician before I could hold her or Grant could cut the cord. The last thing she said before handing her off was, "Wow, she's really big. Wow!"

Alexandria Elizabeth was born at 4:16 PM. She weighed 9 lbs, 1 oz (after being estimated to be 8 lbs even!) and was 21 inches long. After a thorough examination, she was given a clean bill of health, despite a low grade fever.

I fell in love with her the moment I laid eyes on her. When they finally put her in my arms, I felt as if I had known her forever. It's been almost 4 years since she was born, and she continues to melt my heart every single day.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Down For The Count

On Friday night, I noticed a little tickle in my throat. It had been a really busy day, and I didn't think much of it. Yesterday morning, my throat was sore when I woke up, but I felt okay. I decided to sleep in so I could get some rest.

I was still feeling okay that evening, so we decided to go ahead with our plans, and hang out at my best friend's house. As the night went on, my morning sickness seemed to get worse. We ended up leaving a bit early, because I didn't want to get sick at her house. On the short drive home, I began to get chills and body aches. Sure enough, when I got home, I had a fever. I headed to bed, but the body aches were so bad that I tossed and turned until 6 AM.

I was miserable today. I had a high fever, chills, body aches, a sore throat and cough, and a bad headache. I honestly think I have the flu! It's been years since I last had it. I forgot just how nasty it is.

Here's hoping the rest of my family doesn't catch it. I know the flu shot doesn't cover every strain of the flu, but they all got the shot (I didn't because I just kept putting it off), so hopefully I have a strain that the shot covers. I'm not skipping my shot again!

I'm going to give my doctor a call tomorrow to see what I should do. I typically would just use the wait and see approach, but I don't feel comfortable due to the fact that I'm 16 weeks pregnant and still have bad morning sickness. I'm just worried about little Nugget!

I'm hoping it goes away soon! I need to get better ASAP, because Lexie's birthday is on Tuesday, and her party is on Saturday. Dylan's off of school tomorrow, so I'm going to spend the day resting!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Day We've Been Waiting For

Today was a great day! We paid off our SUV, and Grant picked up his brand new car from the dealership! The warm weather was icing on the cake!

When Dylan was a baby, we traded in our sporty car for a new, family-friendly SUV. I was a recent stay-at-home-mom, so we decided to save money by only having one car until it was paid off.

We knew it was going to be difficult at times, but Grant worked nearby, so we made it work. It worked well for years, but the past year has been the hardest, due to our schedules becoming busier. We knew we couldn't last much longer without a second car, but we stayed strong, and our determination paid off!

I made the last payment on our SUV today. It was a huge feeling of accomplishment! It's still in fantastic shape, because we took great care of it. Grant had his car custom built, and it showed up at his family's car dealership before it was even scheduled to be built, thanks to his wonderful uncle! The paperwork finally arrived today, so he got to pick it up!

Grant decided to forgo his dream car (a Camaro) for now, and opted for a 2011 Chevy Cruze RS. He picked every option: the color, leather interior, sunroof, remote start, heated seats, and turbo charged engine. It is a beauty! I must say, I'm slightly jealous that I won't be driving it around!

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The SUV is all mine, and he now has his own car to drive around. We are so excited to finally have two cars, but only one (lower!!!) car payment!

The weather was so gorgeous today. Dylan was excited to wear a t-shirt with no coat on, and even more excited that he got to play outside at recess! As soon as he got home, we all went outside to play!

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We are really looking forward to the weather warming up for good, and super excited about having the freedom to go wherever we want, whenever we want!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sleep, Baby, Sleep

At the age of 6, there's not much baby left in my Kindergartner. He's a big boy in so many ways. He can read, he rides the bus to and from school, he is a Lego-building pro, he showers alone, and he now insists on wearing boxers.

It's difficult to remember the days when he was so young, but when he sleeps, I catch a glimpse of the baby that he once was.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits

Tuesday Tidbits is my way of remembering all the cute and funny things my kids say and do!

{1} Lexie loves to color, paint, and draw, and is proud to display her artwork. Her most ingenious way of displaying it? By gluing it to the wall.

{2} Dylan takes off all his clothes when he has to, ahem, use the bathroom. He just started doing that about a year ago. The other day, I asked him why he did that. His response was, "Just because I like to poop naked!!!"

{3} My I-Have-To-Wear-A-Dress-Everyday girly girl told me, "I love cats and I love frogs and I love snakes." When we went shopping on Saturday, I promised her a treat from Target's dollar spot. She picked out a giant cricket.

{4} Dylan loves to play Wii, and even likes to watch Grant play games. That's what he's currently doing!

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{5} The other day, Lexie got mad at Dylan and my nephew for excluding her. She looked at them, and shouted, "Hey! I am cute, buddies!!!"

{6} Lexie was annoying Dylan with her constant talking the other night. Dylan told her, "That's disturbing! It's in my brain!"

{7} Lexie loves lip gloss, and is constantly trying to steal mine, too. My mom gave me a plumping lip gloss that I can't use, so she happily took it over. She calls it her spicy lip gloss!

{8} When we drove past a local bar the other night, Dylan told Lexie, " That's a beer house where you go drink beer."

{9} Tubby time is still a favorite in this house.

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{10} Yesterday, my sweet boy grabbed Lexie's hand, and told her, "I am so glad you are my sister, Lexie. I love you so much." He then smooched her hand!