Saturday, August 16, 2014

Soon to be a family of 5

As this pregnancy winds down, I've had many things on my mind I want to write down. And I most certainly don't want the third born to not have the blog keepsakes that the first two had :)

This pregnancy has been different for these reasons-
I'm not confident in my due date (I was charting prior to my other two pregnancies)
I have not been working full-time at the University. This means I have not been sitting at a desk most of the day- I have better circulation and less swelling to show for it. I have also had the opportunity to nap most afternoons. 
This baby is not as aggressive moving, kicking, and rolling as Eloise and Rosalie were (are!). This baby is still active, and fingers crossed this translates to a laid back personality.
We took Bradley classes and have hired a doula. That could be it's own post. 
This pregnancy will cost us thousands of dollars vs a couple hundred- different insurance.
I am seeing an OB instead of a midwife for our prenatal appointments because our insurance will not guarantee payment if the baby is delivered by a midwife. This is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard and a true example of how bass-ackwards our healthcare is in this country. 
I started this pregnancy weighing 20 lbs less than my pregnancy with Eloise, though I've gained the most weight this time. My view of and focus on nutrition changed last year, so I've been eating nourishing foods and weight gain is something I've never really stressed about. 

Here's my "before" photo. I was about 3 weeks pregnant here, and even though I hadn't taken a test, I knew! I had very early symptoms, including gagging whilebrushing my teeth and bloody nose from blowing (a random pregnancy symptom I've had every time).

And here I am yesterday at 37.5 weeks. I have hips that don't quit. I'm confident they'll translate to an easy passage for the baby!

This pregnancy has been the same, too. 
I puked through 18 weeks (20 weeks with Rosalie and about 16 weeks of "the other end" with Eloise).

A month or so ago, I was both scared to be pregnant and scared to have a third child. Now I'm just intimidated by having a third child. I am still comfortable this pregnancy and hope I can keep this strength for the remaining couple of weeks. 

I am extra irritable, however. I have explained to Rob that I am no-nonsense right now.  I'm not putting up with anything or anyone that is doing me a disservice. Any filter I had previously is pretty much completely removed. I even told two moms their conversation was too loud at a free music class the other day. They were truly spoiling my and the girls' ability to hear the song. It was effective- once they stopped talking, we could then participate. But who does that??

There are many unknowns going into the next few days and weeks. I pray that I can put my faith in God, knowing that he'll provide for us.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Eloise at 8 months

Eloise's eighth month has been a big one! She got her second tooth and started a true crawl!

Before she could crawl in the traditional sense (she was rolling all around before that) she had learned how to get in and out of sitting position. I was very impressed by this! She also sits up VERY straight.

She loves bath time! She splashes in the water and has a curious-excited look on her face. This is a surprise to us, since Rosalie is anti-bath. Rosalie does not like the association it has with bedtime nor does she like water on her face. (I get it- I was the same way.)

Eloise loves to stand. She can pull herself up, too! She wants to be running with her sister, but crawling will have to do for now.

She is a fan of crawling into "coves," such as under kitchen chairs or under our kitchen desk. She gets stuck under the kitchen chairs, so I'm waiting for her to figure out that is not where she wants to be. Come to think of it, she does get my attention and held after she gets stuck, so maybe that is exactly what she wants!

She much prefers sharing our bed than sleeping in her own. If I could only have the same preference! Yes, it is sweet and all, but I do not sleep effectively. I wake up every few minutes to make sure she hasn't been squashed and that she's breathing. By morning, my whole body is kinked up from sleeping in unnatural positions to make room for her.

She still doesn't take long naps during the day, but we're working on that.

We've been very, very slowly introducing solids through a technique called Baby Led Solids (or Baby Led Weaning). So far she has enjoyed mango, peach, avocado, banana, sweet potato, and carrot. And she has sucked on green beans, but didn't actually chew on them. We provide them to her in strips, like fries, and she picks them up, holds them in her fist, and gnaws on the end. With BLS, there is no puréed food, so that makes life simpler. She did have a stomach bug a few weeks ago, just after having banana, so she has not liked banana since. Her diet is still 99% breastmilk.

She puts everything in her mouth. Everything. She'll crawl under the table to get to the strap in Rosalie's booster chair, and then she'll suck on it like an utter.

She startles very easily. If she is concentrating hard on a toy (or strap mentioned in previous paragraph) and you say her name, she'll jump a little bit. Her little gym teacher noticed that she flinches each time we clap. LOL. She also shivers randomly. She did that in utero too. Some theories are that she does it when she pees, but I haven't been able to confirm that hypothesis.

She has a great, chill demeanor and everyone always recognizes her sweet smile.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Life is better at the beach

Here is a dump of (some of the) photos taken on my phone from the cottage this summer.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Eloise is 6 months old today!

Can you believe it has already been 6 months since Eloise made her grand entrance into our world?

We noticed her first tooth this morning! It was very clear when she started teething last week, so we introduced a Baltic amber teething necklace to ease the pain. We forgot about it for 2 days, and voila! Her bottom left tooth has now arrived!

She rolls all directions to get all over!

She thinks her big sister is the bee's knees; and vice versa :). All Rosalie has to do is look at Eloise, and Eloise will start cracking up.

She really isn't on any schedule...which brings me to...

Eloise is NOT a good daytime sleeper. She takes little 10-20 min snoozes when she is soothed by motion or nursing. She wakes up at the drop of a hat.

She does sleep well at night, though. Nurses 1-2 times, then goes back to sleep. Again, no consistent schedule. Simply on demand :)

She has very strong opinions. She shows a strong like for her Montessori toys and Sophie the giraffe. I'll try to capture in video soon. She has demonstrated a strong dislike when held by someone who is unfamiliar, and *especially* when she is unlatched from the boob. Uff-da!

Some may call it a temper, some may say she's just like her mother ;)

We aren't ready to introduce food into her diet yet. We're enjoying the exclusive breastfed diapers for as long as we can! Also, we've kept in mind that she arrived 3 weeks prior to her due date and she doesn't sit up on her own yet. Mama milk is still the best for her, anyway. Yep, we're crunchy like that.

While we won't know her exact weight and length until the end of the month, we have no concerns. She is a very joyful, thriving baby, and we are just so blessed!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Eloise Strawn is Growing!

Eloise turns 4 months old on Saturday, May 5th. So quick! She is a growing girl, and this is what is going on in her life.

-Talking all the time. You should hear her right now. Her coo-ing that started a few months ago has turned into a less-graceful squeaking and grunting.
-Grabbing her sister's attention. It is still always a huge deal when Rosalie notices Eloise. The obsession has not worn off! Rosalie is certainly in love with her sister. Eloise seems to play it cool and give Rosalie an all-knowing smile, as if to say, "You just wait until I can keep up with you, and I will definitely use this to my advantage."
-As soon as someone makes eye contact with Eloise, she almost immediately returns the smile. She has been doing this for a few months. Her cousin Madelyn has nicknamed her "Big Smiley" as a result.
-Sleeping in a swaddle. She used to be a better sleeper. She has become a light sleeper, and unless the conditions are right (access to the breast), she doesn't stay asleep long. What happened to the girl who would just fall asleep on the bed while I changed loads of laundry?
-Rolls from back to tummy and gets stuck 9/10 times. The 10th time she lasts about 5 seconds on her stomach before freaking out. She is NOT a tummy girl like her big sister! Why she still attempts, I'm not sure, but I'm glad she is getting in her exercise. She does roll both to her left and right, too.
-"Wheezing." It is technically not wheezing, but "Elo-wheezy" has been diagnosed with a soft larynx. When she is in certain inclined positions, such as her carseat, her soft larynx slightly obstructs her breathing, so she has to suck extra hard to get enough air. We've been working with a pulmonary pediatric specialist, and he is confident she will grow out of this soon. I've already noticed it happening less.
-NOT drinking from a bottle. We were way too lax about introducing a bottle, probably because we knew I wouldn't be returning to an office setting, and she doesn't even take a sip from one. Never has. Probably never will. What a beautiful thing for my child to be so dependent on me. It is also beautiful when I know she has a full belly and I can have some unattached time.
-Gnawing on fingers/blanket. We noticed that her front left tooth has poked through the front of her gum. We're not sure if this is why she likes to nosh on her fingers or a blanket, but I don't blame her. Having a tooth poke through like that can't be comfortable.
-Being ultra-cute, as evidenced by this photo from today

Her 4-month checkup is on Monday, so we'll have her weight and length then. I'm paying less attention to those stats this time around, but she is certainly growing. At least her torso is anyway :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Time Flies

Time has flown by over the past two months since Eloise's arrival. So much has gone down, and we certainly have our hands full. We go to bed (at varying times) each night, exhausted, but mostly full of joy celebrating our family of four. Here's what we've been up to...

We all traveled down to Nashville two weeks ago while Rob attended the Country Radio Seminar. He definitely enjoyed his time at the conference, and he learned a lot about how to incorporate social networking into WIXY. We stayed at Kathy's house (Rob's sister), and we are so thankful for the time we got to spend with them. As it turns out, I had strep during this week, and was so fatigued it was very hard to care for Rosalie and Eloise. Kathy was a huge help and basically played with Rosalie every day so I could focus on nursing Eloise and trying to take it easy. SO THANKFUL for her support!! Rosalie loved playing with her cousins, and is especially fond of baby Henry. She would always suck her thumb when she got close to him! So random/sweet! Here is the one picture I took while we were away (taken on my iPhone, with bad lighting):

Right now during a normal week, I wake up around 5:30am when Rosalie wakes up. (I then hope everyday for a nap, but it really never happens!) The early morning is usually full of attempts at various parenting techniques to counter Rosalie's defiance. She is absolutely the sweetest girl, but she is certainly caught up in the excitment of being a big sister and being a two-year-old! I've found that reverse psychology works the best :) Rosalie spends her mornings at school, where she is in a classroom full of 2-3 year olds. She can count to the teens (and some in Spanish!), she knows her ABCs, all of her colors, and knows some shapes. More importantly, though, she is a creative spirit, and she loves music, singing, and dancing. She frequently plays pretend and amazes us everyday with something else she has figured out or discovered a new fun way to use a toy. Her teachers at school have noted how nurturing she is. She has "reached out" to a quiet boy in the class and makes sure to give him special attention. It warms my heart so thoroughly to know that she wants everyone to be included. She also lifts up her shirt to feed the baby dolls!

Eloise and I spend the mornings together and each day is different. Some days she stays asleep in her car seat for awhile, which allows me to get work done. I've been trying to devote this time as much as possible to getting B. Lime, our new business, to launch next weekend. I also am keeping up with University-related emails and continue to serve as Volunteer Coordinator for the Illinois Marathon.

We have been so blessed with Eloise- she is a fabulous baby. She has always recognized when night is, that is, she sleeps longer chunks at night. For the most part, she has only one night-waking to nurse. Knock on wood! I have enjoyed not trying to find a schedule for her though. It is refreshing to simply nurse her on demand and not worry about how long she has gone between feedings (which is very much the opposite of how I was with Rosalie- that is a different post). She is growing rapidly, too! She had her two-month check-up this morning, and she weighed in at 9 lb 13 oz (26%) and is 22.5 in long (53%). Just this past week she started coo-ing and giving us smiles. She can also hold her head steady for longer periods of time.

*Rosalie is obsessed with Eloise.* She wants Eloise to be awake, "eyes open!", and she wants to hold her, hold her hand, poke at her, lean on her, and squeeze her. She always has to know where is Eloise and what she is doing. We have to keep a close eye on Rosalie when Eloise is within Rosalie's reach, but it is reassuring to know they have the foundation to be very close sisters in the future!

With everything that is going on, we have started a househunt. We are primarily looking for a bigger kitchen and more square footage, but we are being very picky! We'll let you all know if we find that perfect place that is worth moving into.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snow Day

Don't let the picture fool you. Rosalie did not have a lot of fun in the snow today; said she was scared. She does NOT get that from her father.