Thursday, August 29, 2013

35 weeks & Naming #3

Choosing a name this time wasn't very hard.

With Audrey, it was pretty easy. I was meant to have a girl named after my idol, Audrey Hepburn. That was a guarantee, not open for discussion (but thank GOODNESS Chris was on board, lol.) Her name fits her so well; she's only 4 years old, but she's a classy little lady. She even says things that an older woman would say, like, "Oh, dear!" and "You startled me!" Her name means "noble strength." It fits her well; she's generous, honorable, and incredibly genuine. I love my timeless girl! If she had been a boy, we really liked the name Jack. Therefore, we called her "Jaudrey" for 9 months :)

With Abigail there was more discussion. Chris brought up the name Ben for a boy. While I still liked Jack, I started to like Ben more and more. Easy. With the girl name, not so much. I listed a bunch of names and Chris rated them on a scale from 0-10. I found that list the other day! I had Anna, Annabelle, Jacqueline, Lauren, Olivia, Abigail, Claire, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Sophia. My favorite was Anna and I fought hard for it, lol. But Christopher's favorite was Abigail. I did like the idea of her having the choice of going by a formal name or a nickname. I was reluctant to give up on Anna, but I did get my Audrey, so it was only fair :) I think Abby's name fits her perfectly. She's ridiculously cute and wonderfully sassy. Her name means "Father's joy" and that is certainly accurate!

With this one, the boy's name was going to stay. I really like Ben much better than Jack. Chris suggested Christopher Jr, but I like having only one Christopher :) So we compromised on Benjamin Christopher. For a girl, I was determined to make him like Anna. This time Audrey put her two cents in; she really wanted to name the baby June! I think she got it from Little Einsteins. I have to say, I did briefly consider it. I thought Anna June would have been perfect! But Chris just could not get on board with Anna. He did, however, like the name Anne. Now, I've always loved the name Annie (ever since watching Father of the Bride to be exact!) So sweet and innocent...and of course I really like that she could have a formal name AND a nickname. Chris wasn't completely sold...he's wanted a Kate for a long time. I do love that name- but we say Audrey Cate a lot, so that didn't really work for me. We tossed around Kaitlyn/Katherine, but I wasn't feeling it. I had already fallen in love with Annie (and since I am so sure we are having a girl I come to think of the baby as Annie a lot!) Anne means "full of grace" and so that pretty much solidified my choice. As for a middle name- that was super hard! We'd already used Catherine (after my MIL) and Mae (after my Nana.) It was difficult to find something that flowed well AND had meaning. None of our family names really worked, so I spent some time testing out some classic, timeless names. I ended up liking Elizabeth the most. It has such a regal sound to it...Princess Anne Elizabeth, lol.

When people ask about our names they (understandably) wonder if we're deliberately going with all 'A' names for our girls, lol. It just happened that way, but I kind of like it :)

So those are the names! Sometimes we refer to the baby as BenAnnie :) I am so excited to see which one it'll be!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

34 weeks and restless

I'm starting to feel uncomfortable. Every time I get up, my stomach tightens. I started to have some rib pain a few days ago early in the morning and it hurt to lay on my right side. My fingers are constantly sore. I can't really sit in one position too long. This baby really loves hanging out on my right side! Luckily there's not too much to do around here. The big things need to be set up (swing, PNP, co-sleeper) but that's basically it! I find myself chilling out on the couch more and more. I'm definitely taking lots of breaks in between getting things done.

At my appointment on Tuesday I saw a different doctor who suggested adding a fast-acting insulin at breakfast. My morning fasting and breakfast numbers are too high. My doctor poked his head in halfway through (he'd come from the OR) and agreed. So I'm up to 48 units of NPH at night, 48 in the morning with 10 units of Novolog. I will be soooo glad when I can stop! Baby is 5 lbs (perfect!) and aced the BPP and NST. We got a couple of pictures, including this creepy one of the mouth and nose!

My teacher friends are getting back to school early and working on their classrooms...I am a little jealous! I love this time of year. Working allows me such great balance as a mom and teacher...I can be my absolute best at both jobs. Chris asked me if I was going back next year, and I just looked at him like he was crazy, lol. He pointed out that I'd better enjoy this year, because when am I ever going to have this much time with them again? He's right...I know that I'm very lucky to have this opportunity. So I'll just have to settle for Pinning school ideas so that I can rock it next September :)

Our Middle Child

One of the things I worried about the most with being pregnant is that Abigail would become the middle child. I majored in Psych and I remember studying Adler's theories on birth order. It was pretty interesting how birth order and sibling relationships contribute to personality traits and self-esteem. I started reading all I could about "middle child syndrome."

The first step to avoiding it is to be aware...done! I know that having 3 kids will mean less individual attention. But I think this is where being a teacher is going to be so helpful; I'm used to not only dividing my attention, but being able to pinpoint who needs what (and quickly) is a strength of mine. Within the first few hours of being in a classroom I can spot who needs what. I love the saying that fairness isn't giving everyone the same thing; it's giving everyone what they need. My babies are going to need different things...that has been apparent with just having 2 (very different) girls! I can say that I am very in-tune with their needs and I feel very confident that that will continue.

The second issue I read a lot about was how to avoid favoritism. This is a little tricky, because I identify more with Audrey at this point. I basically like 4 better than 2, lol. I empathize with Audrey more when Abigail does something to piss her off. I try not to take sides during an argument...I now simply separate them and that usually does the trick. I talk to them after we've all cooled down. After all, they are learning to get along but they're at two completely different stages in their cognitive development. Again, I try to give them what they need, whether it be reassurance, a shoulder to cry on, or a stern talking-to :)

I think sibling rivalry is going to be the hardest issue to tackle. Sometimes when I'm snuggling with Abby and telling her how much I love her, Audrey will say, "Do you love me, too?" HA! As if she really has to ask...but I completely understand where she's coming from. I know they're going to have different strengths...all I can do is foster those and never compare them. They will compare themselves enough on their own. It's important for us to encourage them to support each other, teach each other, and cheer each other on.

After all my reading, I feel much better about Abigail. I'm "forewarned and forearmed." My babies will absolutely not live out the negative stereotypes of their birth order (for example, this last baby will NOT be spoiled rotten!) Middle child syndrome stems from parenting that falls short. And that will certainly not be the case for us.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

33 weeks and progress

I am determined to have everything done within the next 2 weeks! In just the past few days I've put together the new bouncer, ordered the new play mat, cleaned out my closet, washed all bottles and milk storage, and checked to make sure the breast pump is working and that we have spare parts.

It's starting to get real up in here!

I started packing my suitcase. All I need to do is throw in the last minute things like make up and the camera. The nursery is pretty much done- just have to wash the crib bedding and Boppy pillow covers. I put all the girl clothes away in the drawers, but the boy clothes are ready, too :)

I took the girls for a walk last Sunday morning. It was the first time we've gone without a stroller, and Abigail held my hand the entire time! We walked at a snail's pace, but it was so nice to get out and get some fresh air, no need to rush. On the way back it started to rain. I picked up Abby and carried her for part of the walk home. The girls loved running the rest of the way!

My bi-weekly appointments are going well. Baby looks fantastic each time. My doctor gave me an actual induction date! We'd go in on 9/23 and have the baby on 9/24. I don't know much about inductions, so I'd love to hear people's experiences! I am weary, but I do like the idea of knowing exactly when this baby would be here. Just a little over a month. Wow :)

I have a crazy bad case of carpal tunnel. The middle and ring fingers on my right hand would stay completely bent for a good 15 minutes each morning. All my other fingers were just sore and it would hurt to move them. Throughout the day they still feel sore. I started wearing a brace on my right had at night and that helps a lot! My fingers are still sore, but they're not stuck. I may have to wear a brace on my left hand as well. It just keeps getting more sore and harder to move in the mornings. I really hope this goes away quickly after the baby is born- I can't imagine trying to prepare a bottle or change a diaper with this!

I've been loving the time with the girls. The weather has been gorgeous, so we've been taking advantage!

After Abby's last swim lesson we went to the playground, then for cupcakes in Central Park!

As much as I love being home, I do have moments of NOT wanting to be home. Hormones have a lot to do with it, but there are times when I just need a break. Chris is so amazingly supportive during those times. We are so lucky to have him! This would be my last week of summer vacation and I'm really sad to be missing out on all the beginning of the year excitement :( But then I remind myself that I have some pretty exciting things to look forward to here at home, lol. And I'll be back to school before I know it!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Newness! And 32 weeks

August has brought a lot of new things so far...a new nephew, a new vehicle, a new preschool!

Our sweet nephew was born last Friday (3 weeks early!) "C" is beyond adorable and soooo tiny (weighed 5 lbs 15 oz at birth.) He is just a little ball of cuteness. We got to visit him and the new parents at home on Tuesday. He slept the entire time :) I held him the majority of the time, but I did hand him over briefly to Chris, Audrey, and even Abigail :)

I hope she's this excited about our new baby!

Abigail was a little hesitant at first, but later she asked to hold him! I am so curious to see how she'll be with her little brother or sister!

We are so happy to have him here safe and sound!

Soooo, we bought a van! I never thought I'd be driving a minivan, but I am soooo loving it! We'd been talking about it for awhile and Chris was hesitant- he wanted to switch vehicles, but to me the SUV would have been too crammed for 3 across and the features of a van really appealed to me (lots of space and automatic doors to be specific.) Chris started to check them out online and saw one he liked. We went to check it out on Wednesday after our dentist appointments. We dropped off the girls with Grandma, grabbed a quick dinner and headed to the dealership.

When we got there, the salesman pulled the van around and opened it up so we could take a look. I was NOT impressed. It was a 2012, but it looked older and worn on the inside. It was very basic and I just could not see myself driving it around for the next few (MANY) years. Chris wasn't feeling it either, so he suggested looking at other vans on the lot. The next one we saw...WOW. First, I loved the color (dark metaLlic gray.) And then I noticed how pretty it was on the inside; light gray leather seats (leather is so much easier to clean!!) There was a large flat-screen tv that folded down and PLENTY of space in the 2nd and 3rd rows. He showed us how to slide and fold down the seats (super easy.) I was really excited about the automatic doors and trunk (lots of storage!) Then I got to check out the front...and I was pretty much sold. Very spacious, clean, and a moon roof!! The Beetle had one and I have missed it SOOOO much. I keep that sucker open all the time, unless it's raining! Chris thought it was all ridiculous, lol. I really didn't think he'd go for it. But he wanted to take it out and I had him drive first so I could check out the controls. Those were a bit overwhelming because there's a back up camera and navigation system. When we switched, I felt very comfortable driving it. I could definitely see us all in this van for a long time to come!

When we got back to the lot I played with it a little more and we decided to go for it. A couple hours later we were headed to pick the girls up. They were super excited and liked running around in it. I wasn't going to show them the tv, but Chris borrowed a DVD from Aunt Sarah and put it in for them, lol. Needless to say, they were zombies the whole way home! I didn't figure this out until later, but it came with wireless headphones so that they can watch a video while I listen to the radio (thank goodness!) I explained to Audrey that we're only using the tv on long trips. She gets it- Abigail still asks for the tv, but doesn't get upset when I say no. And there's no food or drink allowed. For now...I'm really trying to stick to that! They are used to it with Chris and his SUV, but in my car they got juice, milk, snacks, french fries, whatever! And when tey took the car seats out of my Fusion...ugh. It was straight up disgusting with crumbs!

So, needless to say, I am super happy with it. It's already made my life easier. I love all the space and getting the girls in and out is soooo easy. I'm so happy we got it before Baby arrives- one more thing checked off the massive to-do list!

That brings us to preschool! I had given up on the idea because all the schools were either too far or full-time. But one evening Audrey and I went for a walk through town and we saw a huge sign in front of one of the churches advertising for Fall sign up. It was like a sign from the Heavens :) I called the next day and it sounded perfect- 3 days a week, mornings only. Yay! We went to Open House this morning and both girls had a blast. The teachers are very nice and I feel good about it! I am so excited for Audrey.

Abigail started swim lessons last week and she is a natural! A little too brave, though :) I love having that time with her and she has so much fun. Audrey even encourages her from the benches, lol. In Grandma's pool she swims with just a ring. She also tries the noodle, but isn't as steady with it. I have to stay next to her every second!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

31 weeks comparison...

with Audrey (it looks like I'm holding a bowling ball!

with Abigail (what a difference!)

with Baby #3

Duck lips!

I had an appointment with the peri on Monday. I measured at exactly 31w 5d. The baby weighs 3 lbs 15 oz. and it's head down (yay!) We saw him/her practice breathing and he/she brought his/her hand up to its face :) The stress test was great, the baby moved around A LOT.

On Tuesday I had the same thing done with my OBGYN. First I had a sonogram and the baby scored 8/8. Then I had the NST which was perfect-o. I was in and out of the office within an hour and I left feeling elated. I will never take for granted the fact that we have a healthy baby in there! The baby kept putting its fist up to its was just so cute! I made sure I had a little bit of coffee definitely got him/her moving around!

Today I am 32 weeks and I'm starting to slow down a lot! I'm really hoping this baby stays put for awhile :)