Monday, July 30, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 20 (+2) Weeks Pregnant

Halfway there!
...assuming this baby comes when she is due, which I'm not really counting on.  I think a 12.12.12 birthday would be super cool (especially as it would be a nice complement to The Bean's 1.11.11 birthday), but I tend to think that this little one is more likely to be a Christmas baby. 

It's been a pretty good week.  I'm still up and down tummy-wise, but made a huge effort to get more water this week, which I feel helped a bit.  I was also able to get a few naps in, which was wonderful since nighttime sleep hasn't been the best.  It seems I have at least one hour every night where I'm tossing and turning.  A lot of times I end up on the couch, which seems a lot more comfortable than bed for some reason.  My sister loaned me a wedge, which has helped a lot more than I expected it to, but it's still not a fix-all. 

The midwives confirmed (via the radiologists report) that we are expecting a girl.  I've joked with Jen that I hope she's a tomboy since she'll have to wear all her big brother's hand-me-downs, but I'm thinking she'll probably do okay clothing-wise.  I picked up a few little things at Goodwill this week.  For $1 a piece I figure you can't go wrong.  (The Bean even got a new shirt and a few potty books.)  A friend who's given us a ton of boy's clothes for The Bean told me we could have anything she's still got from her daughter, so I'm sure there will be a few cute things coming our way from her.  Ashleigh from 2moms2dogs2babies also offered to loan us some of her girls' stuff and I'm hoping my highschool friend who had (boy/girl) twins back in February will do the same.  Between all that, any gifts we may receive, and the gender-neutral clothes we already have we should be set for a while. 

Now that we know the sex we've started talking about names a little more seriously.  We had two girls names we really liked with The Bean, but one is completely out since it's the feminine version of his name.  The other we still like, but aren't as sure about as it's quite common and I've since had a student with that name and it's hard to break the association.  Jen isn't crazy about most of the names I've suggested, stating that they're "too girly", she tends to go for names that can be shortened into more boy-ish nicknames, but I don't really like many of those.  I guess we have a while to come to an agreement. 

And, we did manage to get a belly shot yesterday, so here I am in all my 20 week glory:

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, July 27, 2012

{this moment} belly kisses

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
Inspired by SouleMama.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My Family! Giveaway

Quite some time ago now we received an email via the "Contact Us" on the blog from a woman, Cheril Clarke, asking for our feedback on a commercial she had produced for television featuring "healthy, 'normal' same-sex families". 

You can veiw the commercial on YouTube.

The email was really nice, and I was happy to give feedback.  I also thought that the company, My Family! looked interesting.  They are publishers and online retailers of books, music, DVDs and (forthcoming) games for children with LGBT parents. Their goal is to build a strong and diverse community of parents, teachers, journalists and bloggers who care about the upbringing of children with same-gender parents, their overall representation and access to content that positively reflect families like theirs.  I wrote back to Cheril and proposed the idea of hosting a giveaway on our blog to help promote her company to other LGBT families.  She was all for it! 

So, I'm happy to annouce our very first giveaway: a copy of Freddy and Frieda's Travelling Tales: Meet the Families by Claudia Eicker-Harris.  

How to enter? Visit My Family!, browse around and then come back to here and let me know which product you think looks great.  One comment per person please.  The winner will be chosen randomly.  You'll also have to leave or send me your email address so that I can contact you if you win, and the winner will have to be willing to share their name, address and phone number with Cheril so she can get the book to you. That's it! (Value of print is $9.99 USD.) Ends July 31st.  Open to U.S. residents (or people with a U.S. shipping address) only. 

Here's a brief Q&A with Claudia Eicker-Harris, author of Freddy and Frieda's Travelling Tales: Meet the Families.

Who are these adorable mice, Freddy and Frieda? What was your inspiration for the characters?
The characters had to be small enough to fit in my luggage when I travel the world so that I can write about the people that they meet as we journey around the globe. I started off with Pat the Pack Rat, but, quite rightly, my clever publishers said that a rat might not go down too well with parents! Freddy and Frieda also had to be cute with a dash of mischief so that children would relate to them and field mice were the logical choice. They’re cute, but they can be quite naughty too.

We understand that “Meet the Families” is the first in a series featuring Freddy and Frieda, can you tell us a bit more about the book? What kind of families do they meet?
Ah, you’ll have to read the book to find out everything, but suffice it to say that just about every type of family, from gay to straight, from single parent to step parent, from mixed race to mixed culture is represented. The objective was to put all families on a level and say, it’s ok – you’re normal too.

How did you start out writing books for children?
It’s not very unique, I’m afraid. I’ve always been a writer, but until my wife gave birth to our baby girl, Eva, I hadn’t ever written for children, only for corporate companies and for theatre. I started telling Eva stories at night and I realised that they had an effect on her. When her friends started listening to the stories and enjoying them too, I decided to start writing them down.

When did you first realize that you wanted to write an all-inclusive family book for children?
I think it was when I got tired of trying to find stories that Eva could relate to and feel comfortable with. I wanted to see all of Eva’s generation represented between the covers of one book. It’s easy for society to say that they’re accepting and inclusive, but go to a mainstream bookstore or look at parents’ bookshelves and you’ll see a different picture. Parents, as much as children, need to be taught that sometimes being different is just as normal as being ‘normal’!

How many books have you written? Are they all LGBT-inclusive?
I currently have three books out. Morty and the Selfish Elf, Meet the Families and City Rooster.
Morty and the Selfish Elf is a tale of friendship, forgiveness and inner beauty. Sometimes it takes an unexpected act of kindness from an unlikely source to make someone realise that true beauty comes from within. This is what happens when Morty, a not-very mean monster, meets a very pretty, but very selfish elf. By saving her from a dreadful beastie, Morty teaches the elf that all pretty creatures aren’t necessarily good and all ugly ones aren’t bad.  The story aims to teach children that, in a day and age where outer beauty has almost become an obsession, it is inner beauty that really matters. The book also has an underlying anti-bullying message.
City Rooster will be going into schools across South Africa because it is being published by Heinemann, South Africa’s foremost educational publisher. It is the story of how the Hadeda became the rooster of the city. When Crowsfoot the Rooster wakes up one day to find that his farm is being encroached upon by a quickly-developing city, he decides to leave and find another farm to live on. But, he’s worried about who will wake the people of the city every day. He holds auditions and after some fun and funny incidents, chooses the Hadeda because of her raucous and cheerful laugh. The book teaches children about a few of the many different bird species that are found in Africa, what they look like and their calls. It also introduces an awareness of urban development. 

How has the reception been to your LGBT works in South Africa? Have you ever traveled to America to meet your publishers?

South Africans are very open minded, in general, so they respond well to LGBT work. I think that, once Meet the Families is more widely available here, I will be able to give a more accurate answer. I have been to America a few times, but that was before Dodi Press was in my life. I’d love to meet my publishers face to face, but I think (and hope) they’ll probably come to South Africa before I get over to the States again.

How did you find out about My Family Products?

I do a lot of research into LGBT-friendly societies, companies, publishers, churches, schools etc and, when I was looking for a publisher for Freddy and Frieda, I came across them online.

What is your perspective on the rapidly changing industry of publishing? Do you think children will quickly take to e-books and apps as opposed to traditional books?

Sadly, yes. Although I think technology is amazing and wonderful, I’m going to miss the printed word. I think children are incredibly adaptable. A friend of mine says that you can see how different kids of the new generations are because they walk up to a TV or open a magazine and start trying to move things around on the page or minimise and maximise things with their fingers! It all gives new meaning to the words ‘the world at your fingertips’! I think children are already very comfortable with e-books and APPs (more comfortable than their parents in many instances!).

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I spend time with my wife, daughter and our three dogs. We love being outdoors either walking the dogs, cycling (my wife is a tri-athlete so we all have to try and keep up!), going on picnics or gardening. If we’re indoors, we’ll usually read or spend time doing ‘art’ together. We spend a lot of our free time with family and friends. Our parents and siblings are very involved in our lives and we love being with them, as does Eva.

What’s next for Freddy and Frieda?

They’re off on another adventure, travelling the world and meeting disabled children who come from all sorts of families.

Good Luck and don't forget to check back and see if you won next week!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ultrasound Update

Okay, okay, I know (some of) you have been waiting for this...
The ultrasound yesterday went well.  It was long.  We were in the office for more than 2 hours and had three different techs checking Sprout out.  Seems she was pretty comfy in there and didn't want to move so they could measure her arm and heart properly. 

Did you catch that?

It appears we're going to be having a girl!  However, I still need to confirm that with the midwives as the techs made it clear that they weren't allowed to say anything.  The one that we spent the most time with did try to give us a view of the "bits" but neither Jen nor I could tell what was what.  The reason we're thinking girl, is that when showing us the close up on the sex, the tech pointed and said, "That is the cord you want to look here" and pointed again (Jen and I shrugged at each other).  Then later, when trying to get arm measurements, said something like, "I can't get her arm", whereas, like the other techs, up until (and following) that she had been very careful to say "the baby". 

While my mother's intuition may have been off, I am beyond happy.  As I would have been if we found/find out we're having a boy.   

So, do you want to see her?

Our beautiful baby: 

Marketing to Babies and Toddlers

We were, once again, very kindly gifted a number of hand-me-down clothes for The Bean.  I love this because not only is the life of these (perfectly fine) clothes extended, but it also saves us some money.  Kids' clothes aren't cheap!  Especially if you consider most of them only get a season or two of wear. 

I'm certainly not going to turn down generous pass-alongs like the ones we just received, but something I've noticed before struck me again with this batch, which was the number of "characters" depicted on them. 

As I'm sure I've mentioned before, The Bean watches next to no television.  I know he sees an occassional video on rainy days at daycare, sat on Grandpa's lap watching golf while we were in PA, and will stare intentely at the Julia Child DVDs when we're double checking how to prepare artichokes, but screen time is something we conscientiously try to avoid with him.  While at times it would be lovely to have a 20 minute break while the TV babysat for us, we know it's of no benefit to him, and worse, has shown to be detrimental. 

That said, of his 50 or so words, one of them is "Thomas".  Like many toddlers, The Bean loves vehicles, and I'm sure the word Thomas is something he picked up while playing with friends at daycare or at the drop-in centre rather than from a TV show, but still, it made me cringe a little when he was able to identify what we normally refer to as "the blue train" by name. 

It doesn't bother me when he calls his baby doll Jean Luc because I know he is never going to see a Jean Luc t-shirt in the store and beg me for it, or a Jean Luc book, or fruit snacks with Jean Luc on them.  With the beloved blue train, I cannot be so sure. 

So, when folding and putting away this newest batch of hand-me-downs I thought about whether we should keep the Thomas, Cars, Elmo or Spiderman ones.  Will having these characters' images plastered across his torso make him favour other items brandishing their faces?  Is this even something we can avoid, or will he end up favouring these items marketed to the youngest subset of society anyway?  How young is too young to start thinking about media awareness? 

I know that these characters are not something we can avoid, but we have to decide to what extent we will allow their presence in our lives. I do think that with many of them the programming around them holds lessons that can be of value. 

To be honest, it's not just the characters that get to me.  I'm not thrilled with the idea of my child being a walking advertisment for Gap while wearing their logoed hoodie either.  But he has a Gap hoodie and I still put him in it.  It's warm and cozy and it looks cute on him.   

It's hard to know where to draw the line. 

I want to be able to read him a Curious George book without him wanting us to buy him the Curious George doll.  Or Harry Potter without needing a wand, or iPad app, or all the DVDs (although, admittedly, I would like those for myself).   

I want him to be able to take a toy, character or not, and use his imagination to make up his own voice and story for it, rather than feeling like he needs to rehearse a prescribed script based on a show he's seen.  My heartfelt belief is that the best toys for children are the ones that lie there until the child makes something out of them.  Blocks.  Playsilks.  Sand.  While we have many toys that encourge imaginative and creative play, truly open-ended toys only make up a small fraction of The Bean's collection. 

I'm compelled to start looking at organizations like Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood to gain furthur insight on this issue.   What about you guys, do any of you think about this when buying your kids stuff, and if so, what are your thoughts?

Monday, July 23, 2012

*Navalgazing* Nineteen (+2) Weeks Pregnant

Once again, I feel like there's not a whole lot to update on this week.  I've been anticipating the ultrasound this afternoon and feel like once we get the results from it, that will be the update. 
This past week ended up being a good bit busier than I had planned, and I thinkI got pretty tired out as a result.  I'm not usually one for napping, but I think I've had at least three good naps in the past week.  I've also continued to find that being out in the heat is not a good thing for me right now.  I end up feeling really sick.  Hopefully it starts to cool down a little over the next few weeks, though it's often quite warm through September here. 

I thought I was over the worst of the pregnancy sickness, but this morning it hit me.  Hard.  For a long time I wasn't able to drink my morning cup of tea, but in the past month or so have started to enjoy it again.  I don't know if that was just too much this morning or if I ate something that disagreed with me yesterday, but I was in the washroom with a not-good feeling stomach and all of a sudden just threw up.  All over myself.  All over the floor, and toilet, and even the walls.  I wiped things up and got in the shower and feel much better now, but that was a pretty unpleasant way to start the day.  

In much cuter news, this weekend The Bean started pointing to my stomach and saying "baby".  I still don't think he really understands what's going on, but it's really too adorable not to make note of.

We missed taking a photo again last week, and are late with this week's.  I intended on having Jen take one this morning, but all three of us slept in and it didn't happen.  I can't figure out the self-timer on the camera, so hopefully it happens tonight.  I'll update when it does.  (The camera battery also died about 3 shots in to The Bean's 18 month photoshoot, so those are still coming too.  Hopefully before he's 19 months.)

Predicting Baby's Sex

So, today is the day of our ultrasound.  Neither Jen or I are good with keeping things a surprise, we're also both fairly type-A and like to be prepared, so we didn't even really have to think twice whether we'd find out the baby's sex.  (We'll tell you as soon as we know. ;) )

I've gone back and forth in thinking of this baby as a girl or a boy.  Right now I'm leaning towards thinking it's a boy mainly for two reasons:
1) It was explained to us by another lesbian mother that the way they time IUIs, the chances of conceiving a boy are higher.  (They are timed to happen AT ovulation, and XY sperm swim faster.)
2) The heart rate is low, and it's an old wives' tale that low heart rate = boy.  Sprout's last check up had him/her clocking in a 144bpm, and according to lore below 140 indicates a boy, but to me 144 seems close enough. 

Just for fun, here are some other old wives' tales for predicting sex: 
-If you're carrying low, it's a girl.  If you're carrying high, it's a boy. 
I think I'm carrying high.
-If your linea nigra only goes up to your belly button, you're having a girl.  If it goes up above your belly button, it's a boy.
No line yet.
-If your left breast is larger, you're having a girl.  If your right one is larger, you're having a boy.
I refuse to say. 
-If you break out, you're having a girl.  If your skin is clear, you're having a boy.
I've probably been slightly less broken out than usual.
-If you are experiencing severe pregnancy sickness, you're having a girl.  No sickness, you're having a boy.
I felt pretty wretched for a while.  Medication helped.  The past few weeks I haven't been taking any pills and don't feel 100%, but certainly don't feel as bad as I did before.  Except for this morning when I vomited all over myself.  It was about as lovely as it sounds. 
-If you crave sweet foods you're having a girl.  If you crave salty or sour foods you're having a boy.
I'm probably craving more sweet than salty foods, but that's usual for me.
-If you pee on baking soda and it doesn't fizz you're having a girl.  If it fizzes, you're having a boy.
Didn't do this one.
-Take a ring, attach it to a thread and have someone hold it over your belly.  If it swings in a circular motion, you're having a girl.  If it moves back and forth, you're having a boy.
Or this one.
-A Chinese Calendar will predict the baby's sex based on your age and the month your baby was conceived. 
Or this one.

I think I come out neutral based on those "predictors", but either way, I'd have a 50/50 chance of being right. 

So, what to you guys think, is The Bean going to have a little sister or a little brother?

Friday, July 20, 2012

{this moment} Grandma

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.

Adventures in Granola Making

I love granola. 

I'm not exactly sure when the idea first struck me, but I've had plans to make granola from scratch sitting in the back of my mind for a long time now. 

Today, with a bit of a break in the heat and nothing else on the to-do list, I decided to give it a go.  There are literally hundreds of recipes online, but I decided to start with a source I know well, and gave this recipe a try. 

We only had a few of the ingredients on hand, so I had to make a quick try to the grocery store to pick up the rest.  I'll admit I became a bit overwhelmed at the store.  I wasn't sure which oats to buy and the selection of nuts and seeds had me filling up my bulk food bags and then emptying them as I found something I thought would work better.  (I ended up going with raw and unsalted.)  At nearly $7.00 for a cup of pumpkin seeds, I chose to leave them out and I didn't find sesame seeds until after I had checked out (they were by the sushi stand, naturally). 

In the end I used:
-large flake 100% whole grain oats
-sunflower seeds
-whole wheat flour (I couldn't find whole wheat pastry flour)
-sea salt
-coconut oil
-maple syrup
-apple juice
-pure vanilla extract
-pure almond extract

I'm happy to say that I would consider my first foray into granola making a success.  I wouldn't mind if it were slightly sweeter, but a handful of raisins seems to do the trick.  Jen and The Bean seem to have enjoyed it too.  It's a good thing, because I doubled the batch! 

Note: For anyone who's interested, I would guess that the total ingredient cost was about $10 for about a gallon/ four litres of granola.  I haven't done a price:volume comparrison, but granola is pretty expensive, so I'm guessing that I probably saved a little by making it myself. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Quick Health Update

Just a quick update on my midwife appointment from Monday and The Bean's doctor's appointment from yesterday.
All is good on the new baby front.  This was a pretty brief appointment.  My urine test came back fine, and my weight gain (16lbs!) was also not a concern.  They were able to find the baby's heartbeat easily.  144bpm, which has me thinking "boy" though I'm not sure how accurate that is.  We should be finding out for sure next week. 

The Bean had to go in for his 15 month immunizations yesterday.  We must have overlooked them in the schedule, so we're a bit behind.  We're going to do his 18 month ones next month as there's a slight chance of ferbile seizures in doing these two together.  He was a champ for the shot.  Not a single tear.  They also weighed and measured him.  Here are his stats:
weight: 21lbs (2.3%)
height: 33in (60%)
weight for height: 0.4%
head circumference: 19in (49.7%)
We were excited that he is on the charts now!  Looks like he's just going to be a slender kid. 

We also got his pelviectasis ultrasound results from back in May.  It looks like there's been improvement.  I don't remember the exact wording, but our peditrician said they used the mildest wording possible without saying that the issue has resolved itself.  We will do another ultrasound as soon as we can book one, and hopefully it will show that it's not a concern anymore.  Not that we've been too concerned about it, but still. 

Other than that he seems to be meeting all his developmental milestones, most of which I think I mentioned in his 18 month update. 

In other words, everything is looking good for both/all of us. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at Eighteen Weeks (+2) Pregnant

The good news this week is that my headaches seem to have have subsided.  Maybe it was just the heat last week.  Maybe I needed to drink more water.  I don't know, but I'm glad they have let up.
My pregnancy sickness also seems to be almost entirely gone.  I can't eat as much as I once did and I'm finding that I'm getting some indigestion after dinner, but it's a far cry from the constant nausea I was feeling before. 

It's likely that this is at least partially due to the hotter weather, but I have noticed that my veins are bulging out quite a bit (arms/hands and feet).  My feet have also been getting a bit swollen in the evenings, especially if I've been doing a lot of walking.  I'm trying to make sure I put them up and rub out my legs and feet. 

I've been feeling some discomfort on the sides of my stomach just in from my hip bones.  My guess is that it's just the muscles stretching.  I can also feel some pressure on the underside of my stomach (there's an underside of my stomach!) when I'm out walking longer distances.  It's not the most comfortable, but I think it's important for me to keep active.

Sleep is becoming increasingly difficult.  It feels like I'm often up from about 4am onwards just tossing and turning in bed.  It's been a bit of a challenge to break the habit of sleeping on my stomach, but that's just not possible anymore.  I've been wedging a second pillow under my stomach, which makes things slightly more comfortable.  I can't imagine what I'll feel like in another 18 weeks. 

Later this afternoon I have a midwife appointment.  They said there's not much to discuss at this one, so I imagine it will be rather brief.  Next week we have the ultrasound where we shoudl be able to find out the baby's sex.  I'm excited to know! 

Finally, last night I could really feel the baby moving around so I had Jen put her hand on my stomach and she felt it too!  So cool!  (It also happened to be our 6th wedding anniversary.) 

Photo update later today or tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Eighteen Months Old!

Today The Bean is eighteen months old!

It's hard to believe that our baby is already one and a half.  I'm amazed at all the changes in our little guy, especially when looking back at his last "milestone" monthaversary when he turned one. 

Here are some things he's been doing the past month or so:

-He now feeds himself quite adeptly with a spoon.  He also loves forks, but we limit his access to them as I'm afraid he'll stab himself.  His breakfast most days is a bowl of applesauce and some toast, and he'll do most of the bowl of applesauce on his own.  He has trouble scraping out the little bits at the end and also seems to get frustrated when he's really hungry and wants to eat more quickly.  He also regularly feeds himself yogurt out of a bowl and likes to do baby food from a jar, but we don't like him handling the glass containers.  One more reason I should get back to making more of his baby foods.

-I feel like he's started to put a lot of non-food items (most notably stones) into his mouth lately.  We're not sure the reason, maybe teething, but we are trying to discourage it. 

-He's had a lot of practice going up and down stairs at Grandma and Grandpa's for the past ten days or and has gotten very good at it.  (He was quite good at it already, but he's definitley honed his skills.)  He likes to walk up and down the stairs, rather than crawl, but still needs some assistance (a hand or railing) to do so.  He also usually likes to go foot-over-foot rather than step both feet onto the same stair. 
-He still LOVES to dance.  He got a monster truck that plays music from Jen's grandparents and Jen taught him how to air guitar.  It's pretty frickin' adorable.  He also figured out how Grandma's radio works and will point to the remote to request music so he can dance.  Spinning counter-clockwise is still his signature "move".
-Cars continue to be a favourite toy.  Jen's parents have a few matchbox cars and he's been zooming them around all week.  Grandma even bought him a few to take home at the store today.  He's such a spoiled little boy. 
-He's also had a lot of fun the past little bit throwing golfballs around the yard and chasing them.  I think he likes how they bounce.
-Peek-a-boo/ Hide-and-seek and Chase are still favourite games to play. 

-We noticed him doing this before our trip, but since we've been on our own schedule, it's obvious that he is ready to move from two naps a day to one longer nap.  He's typically up around 6:00am, and ready to go back down around 9:30am and will nap for three hours or so.  He often seems more tired/cranky in the afternoon so sometimes we'll put him down for another nap around 4:00pm, but this usually ends up being more of a short "quiet time", which seems to improve him mood.  He's not a kid who knows how to slow down, so a mama/mommy-imposed quiet time is probably not a bad thing for him at this point. 

-His language reallys seems to be exploding lately and it seems like he's picking up new words every day, often repeating a word that has just been said to him.  He started saying "Mo" (our cat's name) and "Go" when he's playing cars.  He's also started saying "eye" and "ear" and is beginnging to identify some body parts when we ask him where they are.  He seems to point to his mouth when we ask him where his nose is, but can find other people's noses and the noses of various characters in books.  He's also using the few signs he knows (like "all done" and "more") in new contexts, which I think shows how clever he is.  His jibber jabber is sounding more and more like actual words and I swear there are times when he's saying a sentence because the sounds sound so much like words and what it sounds like makes sense in context.  Honestly, I'm not quite sure what to make of those instances.  He definitely has said his first two word sentences, pointing to my glasses on the table and saying "Mama's glasses".

-This month also brought a long bought of illness and his first visit to the ER.  He came down with some diarrhea a few weeks ago.  At first we thought it was some squash we gave him to eat, then when it didn't clear up we wondered if he was teething.  About a week into it he got a fever.  At that point we were in PA.  His eating and drinking went off (it had previously been fine) and we started to get concerned, so we took him to the ER.  This was right in the middle of a heat wave and the doctor seemed mildly concerned that he would become dehydrated, but in the end decided against IV fluids (which we were grateful for).  He was diagnosed with a stomach virus and we were told to keep pushing the fluids.  While we were there we also picked up an antibiotic for an infected hangnail that seemed to be getting worse rather than better.   The hangnail is almost cleared up now, as are the stomach issues.  The fever broke the next day and his appetite is back to normal.  Now we have to get his eating back on track because he was getting some pretty junky stuff from Grandma and Grandpa to begin with and then that really went downhill when he got sick and we just wanted him to eat something.

-At the ER visit they took his weight, as of last week he was 21lbs, 5oz.
-We bought a potty and I am considering starting a very relaxed introduction to potty training.  He seems somewhat aware of when he has to go and I've read that 12-18 months is a sensitive period for this, so I thought we would try it out.  It would be pretty awesome if he were able to use the potty, at least during the days, before the baby got here, but I'm not ready to do full-on potty training yet. 
-He is super-interactive, but will also play very nicely on his own for short periods of time.  He has the absolute best laugh, brightest eyes and sweetest smile.  As I mentioned last month, temper-tantrums have begun, but we are usually able to ignore them or distract him and they end fairly quickly.  I'm hoping the language explosion will help him express his needs/wants more and reduce some of the tantrumy behaviour. 

We love this little guy to pieces and are enjoying as more and more of his personality shows.  He is affectionate, and fun-loving, and clever and willful.  We are so lucky to have him as our child.

Wordless Wednesday: Moraine

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Being Pregnant Meme

I don't nomally participate in memes, but The Bean is napping and I was tagged by 2aussiemammas participate in the “Being Pregnant” meme (started by the curious Trinket of Treasure), so why not?


We are a very nosey curious bunch, so please answer the following questions in depth. YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE ANY DETAILS OUT (only joking). But, please do write as much as you want, keeping in mind the joys of life are in the finer details.

Invite three or more women and link them to your blog post. As I don’t know many mothers or pregnant women, I’d appreciate it if you could invite as many mothers/ expecting women you know to participate. But please remember you don’t have to be invited to take part. THE MORE THE MERRIER!

Leave a comment about what you think of this meme and a link to your blogpost
For lovelies that have been pregnant more than once, answer the question in regards to your first pregnancy.

What was your first reaction when you found out that you were pregnant and why do you feel you reacted in that way?

I was very excited, and also felt quite cautious. We, of course, were hoping for our IUI to have worked but I think after our first BFN I was trying to prepare myself for another disappointment.

What major changes did/does being pregnant bring to your life?
I wouldn't say there have been too many "major" chages. I was very tired and ill throught the first trimester and my pregnangcy sickness just seems to be easing up now at 17+ weeks. We did swap bedrooms with The Bean to prepare for when the two kids will share a room (still at least a year away, I would guess), but considering we already have a little one I think most of the major changes have already happened!
What did/do you like or enjoy about being pregnant the most?

I like noticing my stomach growing because it is a reminder of the baby in there.

What are your overall thoughts and feelings on being pregnant?

It's been more difficult physically than I thought it would be --fatigue, sickness, and now starting to feel more limited in my movement and also having to be more cautious about certain things and more aware of others, but I am also really enjoying it. The weeks seem to pass slowly, but at the same time I can't believe that we're already approaching the halfway mark. Despite the challenges, I'm a little disappointed that I'll only experience pregnancy once, though not (really) disappointed that Jen and I agreed to have two children.

I'm not going to tag anyone, because I don't particularly like the idea of making someone feel obligated to do something they wouldn't choose to do on their onw, but if you would like to particiapte, please feel free to leave a link to your answers in the comments!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at Seventeen Weeks Pregnant

This week was fairly uneventful as far as the pregnancy goes.
We're in PA so it's been a busy time visiting with family, but we've also had a lot of help watching The Bean from Jen's parents.

I guess the biggest (potentially) pregnancy-related update is that I've been getting some pretty wicked headaches.  It's also been 100+ degrees here, so the heat could definitely be playing a contributing role.  I've had to take Tylenol a few times and even napped a couple of afternoons to try to keep the headache at bay (which worked while lying down, but not so much once I got up).  The weather is supposed to break soon, so hopefully I get some relief. 

Of course, I looked up "headaches in pregnancy" on Google and then proceeded to panic about high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes and the like.  Rational-me has tried to calm panicy-me and seems to be doing a doing a pretty good job for the time being.  Hopefully I get some more reassurance after the next midwife appointment (a week Monday) and ultrasound (the following Monday).

I've been thinking about the ultrasound quite a bit.  I'm excited to find out if the baby is a boy or a girl.  There are positives to both situations, so I will be happy either way.  I'm also a little bit anxious.  It was at this ultrasound that we got our first concerning news (the spina bifida scare) when Jen was pregnant.  Fortunately that turned out not to be an issue, but it still caused a lot of stress at the time.   And then there were the concerns about The Bean's growth and the subsequent ultrasounds and early induction.  Anyway, even though everything turned out just fine, I'm finding myself worrying that something will be wrong and we will have to go through a similar situation with this pregnancy.  I don't want that.  At the same time, it is weird to think that this may be our last ultrasound if everything is okay and proceeds as hoped for. 

I know that probably sounds crazy.  I blame the hormones. 

Now for this week's belly shot, which was actually taken at exactly seventeen weeks!

Friday, July 6, 2012

{this moment} PA

Friday ritual. A single photo* - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

*Sometimes one photo isn't enough.  There have been lots of memorable moments this week.  :)

Inspired by SouleMama.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

2 moms in Pittsburgh

Back when we were first discussing a summer visit to PA to see Jen's family we talked about leaving The Bean with her parents for a night so that we could go into the city and have some time alone together.  As we expected, they were enthusiastic about the idea and we began discussing what we would like to do.  Dinner out was a given.  Going to a movie was a potential.  Getting together with friends was discussed.

Last week we finally organized ourselves enough to book a hotel.  We took a risk and made a reservation on Priceline.  We eneded up at the Sheraton in Station Square, which would have been a top choice anyway, for about 30% of the cost of a regular booking.  It got even better when we checked in and were able to get upgraded to a room with a king bed and view of The Point.  (Where the three rivers meet.) 

I think Pittsburgh is an amazing city, but unless you know where to go and how to get there you will probably be underwhelmed.  Fortunately I've always had a very knowledgeable guide.  Jen knows most of the different neighbourhoods and can navigate the bridges and tunnels without seeming to give it a second though. 

We decided we would spend Monday afternoon in Lawrenceville, a small artsy neighbourhood, and then head over to Squirrel Hill for dinner at our favourite Thai restaurant.  After dinner we met up with Jen's oldest friend for tea at an idependent coffee shop in Shadyside.  Then it was back our hotel in the South Side for the rest of the evening.  Tuesday morning we walked around the South Side and enjoyed breakfast at a little hole-in-the-wall diner before making our way over to The Strip District to pick up some lobster tails at Jen's dad's request. 

I feel guilty saying it because I feel like it makes it seem like I don't like spending time with our child, but it was so nice to spend some time just with Jen.  We've had date nights, but to have enough time to be able to walk around leisurely and not worry about when we were getting home was wonderful.  It also helps that we completely trust Jen's parents and knew that The Bean would probably be too busy and happy playing with them to even notice we were gone.  (Mostly true... he's been sick and a little out of sorts, but he was still in very loving and capable hands.) 

This is definitely something we'll have to do again. 

*Notes on the photos:* One of the things I love about Pittsburgh is the history of the city.  For many years I have wanted to spend a day taking photos around the city, and this little getaway provided the perfect opportunity.  Rather than trying to capture everything, I focused on looking for old brickads, also known as ghost signs.  I was surprised by the number we were able to find, and didn't even photograph all of them!  Some street art also snuck its way into my photos.  None of these have been edited yet, and truth be told, aside from the occassional crop I don't do much editing of my photos, but may end up trying to tweak the colour a bit or apply a filter or something because I think they'd look kind of cool in an old fashioned sepia-tone.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 16 (+1) Weeks Pregnant

I feel like there's been a pretty significant change this week as to how pregnant I'm feeling.  As in: I feel quite pregnant now. 

I feel like I'm actually showing now.  Well, sometimes I feel like I'm showing and other times I feel like I'm just getting fat. 

I've also started feeling some pain on the lower sides of my stomach.  I imagine my muscles are stretching.  Jen assures me she remembers feeling similar discomfort.  Oh, and I've been getting itchy skin on my stomach and boobs. 

It's not all so glamourous this pregnancy stuff. 

I do enjoy noting the changes though.  It's kind of exciting to see some physical signs of the baby growing inside of me. 

I bought my first maternity clothes on Thursday --two pairs of shorts and two tank tops.  Hopefully I won't have to buy too many more as I have quite a few hand-me-downs from both Jen and my sister.  I didn't have any shorts though and my in-laws had warned us that it'd been really hot in PA and we should pack accordingly for our trip.  I am still wearing non-maternity clothes too, but the new stuff is nice to have. 

Earlier in the week I changed our room with The Bean's.  It was a lot of work.  I tried to be careful about not lifting anything too heavy etc., but still probably did more than I should have.  I really wanted the majority of it to be done before The Bean got home from daycare.  I got all the furniture and closets switched around, and got The Bean's room mostly set up.  After The Bean went to bed, Jen and I were vegging on the couch and Sprout was going crazy flipping around.  I actually got quite freaked out that something was wrong, but things calmed down and everything has seemed fine since then.  It was actually kind of a good reminder that I shouldn't be doing as much as I normally would.

Movement since then has been minimal, as usual.  I'm looking forward to when I feel things more consistantly and especially when Jen can feel the movement too. 

We haven't done a photo yet, but we are going to.  I'm making a priority this week.  I'll update this post when it happens (hopefully tomorrow morning).

Update: Photo from 16w2d