Whew – okay.

Dudes, I know it’s been a while.  The tornadoes that ripped through here, although they did not touch down in our area (SO GRATEFUL), disrupted our lives for a bit.  Our internet and phones did not work for several days afterwards, and that Saturday we decided to head up to St. Louis.  We just got back a couple of days ago, and I’ve been in a tizzy doing all kinds of house-stuff since then.  I have a bunch of photos and video that I want to put up, but I have to edit them first.  So, a quick update:  we are all awesome, with some potentially new fun work stuff (Amos) and school stuff (moi) on our horizon; we tried and loved Ethiopian food, especially Hazel who sampled a bit from every dish on the table, including her Aunt Laura’s; Julia is the smiliest baby I’ve ever met, again including Hazel; and I got cleared to exercise again, which I’m very excited about.  Whew!  Ok, here’s a photo to tide you over, and I’ll be back soon with regular postings and more photos!

Smiling ❤


One Day Past

I am one day past my due date and still pregnant, meaning I’m now in the ultimate death-zone countdown.  Seriously, up until your due date everyone is very laid back about a normal, low-risk pregnancy.  Once the due date passes, though, it’s suddenly a very intense situation.  I am one day past my due date, and because of it I had to undergo a non-stress test for the fetus and an ultrasound to measure how much amniotic fluid I have in my uterus.  It’s such a weird situation that I find it hard to describe; for months now I’ve felt more vulnerable, exposed, and discussed while my midwife was really unconcerned (I mean, I had nothing medically to concern her), but literally OVERNIGHT I’ve become like a time bomb.  I don’t think it’s the kind of thing that makes sense unless you’re in that place, but trust me – it’s weird.

So, update:  Julia is fine, had over double the amount of fluid that is normal for post-term babies, and did very well on her non-stress test.  She has definitely dropped, which is awesome because Hazel was not even close to Julia’s position at the comparable time in that pregnancy.  I’m just waiting it out until next week.  If I make it to that appointment we have to do the non-stress test and ultrasound for amniotic fluid AGAIN, and my midwife will at that point also strip my membranes in hopes of bringing on labor.  That’s the plan, anyway; I am going to research that a bit more before I go in next week, but I hope we don’t get to that point.

So, we wait.  And I waddle around.  And anytime I make a noise while not in Amos’s line-of-sight, he hollers, “Are you OK?!”  and I reply, “UGH yes!”  It’s a fun game 😉

The Oven is Still On

I am still pregnant.  And I really shouldn’t be so weary about it, seeing as I still have five days before my actual due date, but holy moly if I don’t feel like a Hot Pocket most of the time.  I am FULL of baby.  And I waddle.  Things are looking good, though, according to my midwife.  She estimates Julia’s weight at about 7.5 lbs., give or take a 1/2 lb. either way, and I am choosing to look at this as a sign that maybe she will come before the dreaded 42-week mark.  Hazel was 42 weeks and 8 lbs, 2 oz, which isn’t super large for a baby that late.  I hope Julia’s around the same (although I read that the second + babies are usually larger than the first one).  All in all, everything looks to be on track and normal.  I have 5 days left until my due date, and I hope to fill them with knitting, rocking on the birthing ball, visualization techniques, and maybe some chocolate.

I’ve been drinking lots of coffee.

I'm getting busier.  It seems crazy, but I really think it's happening.  My days just aren't filled with poop emergencies, cleaning spit-up out of my hair, and fumbling for burp cloths from my nightstand in the middle of the night.  Hazel, as you may have noted somewhat from that last video, is really strong.  Hulk Hogan strong.  No, Lou Ferrigno strong.  She crawls all over.  Actually it's more like she slithers everywhere…she hasn't gotten that whole hands and knees thing down yet.  She can get up there, and rock back and forth, but when it comes time to move she gets down on her belly and does a half serpentine, half army slither business.  It's pretty adorable.  The weather's been bouncing between bearable and frigid, so when the stars align and she's fed, changed, happy, and the weather's sunny, we drop everything and dash out of the house for a walk.  Usually we go to the library, maybe stop in at Nola's for a coffee & a chat, then circle the neighborhood.  She loves to be in the stroller, which is awesome for me!

I guess not a lot's been happening lately.  Oh, I have a social life again.  But mostly we just hang out and act silly, which is fun but you kind of have to be there to understand what the hell we're talking about.  Coming up, though, will be the most fun times of the year:  our farm will start producing again, we're going to visit Alabama around June, heading to a Slavic festival with the in-laws in July.  Plus it's like the people (us included) come out of hibernation around now.  During the summer months – June, July, August and that's it – a ton of stuff happens around town.  This year it will be even better because we can take Hazel.  Even if we get bored with what's going on she won't, which means we won't.  I can't wait to take her out to the country!  

So basically we're doing a lot of the same old.  Isn't that how it goes for everyone? 
I have to say, though, that while I've been typing this post I've had a freaky weirdo staring back at me, in the form of this unfortunate little girl in some random ad:

Yeah.  She looks crazy.

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Busy Week…Doing Nothing.

This past week was hectic, except that I didn't actually get anything done.  Go figure!

I spent the first of the week just trying to catch up a little on housework.  Hazel has been getting so much better at crawling that I have to really keep an eye on her.  She now crawls around and around the living room, stopping to touch all the same stuff.  She goes magazine rack, bookcase, stroller wheel, records, my shoes, rocking chair, DVDs, my feet, and then starts all over again.  I have little tiny baby fingerprints all over the place.  I'm also considering attaching Swiffer sheets to all her onesies.

I did manage to get the house relatively clean by Wednesday, but on Thursday Amos came down with this nasty bug, so everything went downhill faster than Fat Albert on a black diamond run.  Our house was t.r.a.s.h.e.d.  I did dishes Friday morning; by that evening every single juice glass was dirty because Amos told me, "You can't reuse cups when you're sick; it just makes you more sick."  This is not true, internet readers.  This is baloney.  I contributed to the dish pile in my own right, too.  I just didn't have time to worry about those while caring for the baby all by myself, trying to keep her quiet so Amos could rest.  Hazel and I spent a lot of time out of the house the past few days.  Amos never gets sick.  Never.  He never has a sore throat, doesn't get queasy, isn't affected by headaches, so when he does fall ill it seems like it's considerably worse.  Thursday he was throwing up at school and came home, Friday he had a hacking cough and achey joints, which carried over into Saturday.  

Unfortunately he had a Lego robotics thing scheduled for Saturday and since he was the only professor, he felt obligated to go.  Fortunately, he had hired a babysitter for Hazel at the school, so I had the majority of the day free!  I was sorry he felt poorly, but was so giddy about my free time I couldn't really think straight.  I had a blast doing laundry, dancing with my ipod, then lunch & shopping with Care and Emma.  I even had some time on my own yesterday too; I read about this yarn shop closing in Manlius, close to Syracuse, so I loaded up Hazel and we went!  I found some awesome yarn, which I'm going to get my hands on tonight, and Hazel flirted with everyone there and was just adorable.

It didn't last, though.  Our poor baby woke up at 4 am with a blistering fever and hacking cough.  She's been feverish all day, hovering around 102 degrees, with a runny nose, cough, and sometimes vomiting.  Still, though, she's been in a generally good mood and hasn't cried much, which makes me feel even worse for her.  Amos stayed home today from work as well, and having him here to help out was great, even if he's not at full capacity.  Unfortunately you can't really do much for a baby who is sick like this, except try to keep them comfy and let them nurse a lot.  She's such a good baby, and seeing her sick just breaks my heart.  Hopefully it will have run its course by tomorrow, but until then I'll be too soccer-mom-from-the-80s embarrassed to come out of my house!

ETA:  It took me three days to write this out.  I started on Saturday, then got distracted by Hazel and bedtime, and the next day she was all sick and gross and so was Amos.  So pretend I wrote this Monday.  Also, her fever is gone now, and she's just kind of wimpy and coughing, but better than yesterday.

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Everyone gets like this once in a while, right?  Where you just don't feel like blogging anymore?  Things have been happening here as usual, but I guess I got out of the writing habit during our month-long holiday, so I'm going to make a concerted effort to get right back in the swing of things.

Hazel is starting to really teethe; up until the past week she would gnaw on things, but all of a sudden she got this intensity about it, started to drool like crazy, and has a bump on her bottom gum.  Nothing's come through yet, though.  I hope it does soon because the pain seems to bother her when she's trying to nap, and then at night she's so exhausted from her sporadic 10-minute naps that she passes out immediately.  She's also doing supremely well eating solid foods!  She can now have squash, carrots, peas, & cereal.  She's not too keen on peas; she'll eat them, but she makes a kind of funny face, and it works best if we alternate carrots and peas.  She'll get used to it soon though, I'm sure.

My mama is coming up for a visit in March!  We're very excited about it.  She'll be here for 4 days, kind of a long weekend during her spring break.  I hope the weather's nice when she's here so we can get out of the house for a bit.  And who knows, she might get to watch Hazel by herself while Amos and I go out to dinner or something.  This is the best kind of win-win situation!

So I guess a lot's been going on, but it doesn't seem like that much while I'm living it.  Honestly, I'm just trying to make it through to spring; that's when Hazel and I will start having some serious fun outside!!

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So, the Holidays

Our holiday trip was a master undertaking of ginormous proportions.  It went pretty smoothly, though, if I do say so myself.  We left out around 3 am Sunday, December 14th, and drove straight through to St. Louis, which took about 18 hours.  We had originally planned to stop somewhere for the night, but Hazel surprised us and slept for most of the trip, so we just kept on.  She definitely cried, this kind of wimpy, sleepy whine, but would fall asleep within 15 or 20 minutes after each stop.  We got to St. Louis in high spirits.

St. Louis is one of my favorite places.  It's a big city, which is fun for a small, small town girl like me, and I just like the vibe of the place, so I was excited just to be back, not to mention getting to see family and show off Hazel.  Speaking of which, this kid worked the crowds like Kanye.  She loves being around a bunch of people, and loves it even more when they're all but begging her to smile their way.  I hope that lasts, because it was adorable.  We had a great time introducing her to Amos's million relatives, and having quiet nights with his immediate family made me homesick for them.  

By the time we got to Alabama, though, we were a little road-weary, but still very excited to see everyone there.  My little nephews, 7 and 2, thought she was hilarious, especially in the tub, and of course my parents went bananas over her.  I was also really happy to see my grandparents with their first great-granddaughter.  
At both places we were more relaxed than any other visit, not driving all over bejesus because Hazel couldn't handle the constant overwhelming stimulation, but I had a really nice time.  For once, it was amazing to have a bunch of other people willing to hold her and help out with the daily grind; I already totally miss that.  It was also unexpectedly sweet to see her with all these other people that kind of look like her.

Her first Christmas was a blast, even if she mainly slept through all the present-opening (she's reaping the benefits now, though, as I pull out new toys!).  She got a few ornaments, too, which I thought was really thoughtful.  I've been besieged with 18 loads of laundry since, and just getting the house back in order and Hazel back on schedule has been a full-time job, but we're getting there.

Oh, and a little Hazel update:  she's now over 20 weeks (about 4 1/2 months), 14.5 lbs, and 24" long.  That's the 75% for weight and the 95% for height!  She's found her feet, started to really babble & squeal, and has started rice cereal, which she kind of likes and kind of doesn't.  I hate sounding cliched, but it's true — she's growing up so quickly.

*Photos are still to come – I mean, I took over 200!  Still editing!!

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Baby Milestones

Hazel is growing up so fast y'all.  It is just ridiculous!  She is 11 weeks old tomorrow.  It seems like she's been here forever and not at all, all at the same time.  She can hold up her head fantastically now, even pushing herself up on her arms when she's on her stomach.  She's wearing 6 month sized pants because she's so tall, and all her NB sized stuff is just crazy looking on her, if it even still fits on her.  She sleeps all night, smiles all the time, and is getting really vocal with cooing and squealing.  She also splashes in the tub!!  Adorable.

Today we tried out the umbrella stroller for the first time.  That's the one, for you kids without kids, that is small and lightweight versus those montrosities with cupholders and shelves you see people wheeling around the mall.  We had to wait until she was able to hold up her head very well, and since today I was bored inside and she was fussy if I set her down, we tried it out by walking to the library.  I had that kid so bundled up it was hilarious.  She had on a long-sleeved onesie, thick double-lined pants, socks, boots, a knit sweater, and a knit hat, plus she was covered with a chenille blanket.  She was set, lol!  But it was flurrying (is that a word?) when we were out, so I wanted to make sure she was warm.  Hazel seemed to love the weather, or at least not mind, because she was quiet the whole time, even all through the library.  She fell asleep on the way back, though.

And here's a bonus photo from the weekend.  This is just what Amos does, I guess, with the baby when he thinks I'm not looking.  

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August 4th, or 5th, Maybe 6th

So, exciting news – I'm in early labor!!

After crazy backaches and sporadic contractions all day, Amos and I headed up to the hospital a few hours ago at the advisement of my doctor.  The nurse who checked me out said I'm dilated a fingertip and that I'll be back at the hospital probably tomorrow, maybe the next day.  My contractions are still random, something like 6 to 11 minutes apart, but definitely present.  I'm pretty calm though, excited about her coming into the world, kind of hungry, kind of nauseated, kind of restless (can't you tell from this rambly post??) lol.  

Right now I think I'm going to lay down, eat a bowl of Corn Pops, let my toenails dry, and start the countdown to 5 minutes apart.

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