Sunday, March 29, 2009

Roomies

After months of looking to find the perfect new toddler bed for Connor, I finally realized I wasn't going to find what I'm looking for without spending big bucks. Jeff has been telling me for weeks that all Connor needed was a simple twin bed on the floor, so last week we went to Sam's and bought Connor his "big-boy bed." Connor was so excited about it that he wanted to sleep on his new bed that same night.

Our only concern about moving Connor out of the crib was whether he could be trusted to stay in his room without us closing his bedroom door (his room is upstairs and ours is downstairs). So Jeff and I spent about 20 minutes explaining the new "rules" of sleeping in his big-boy bed, like stay in the bed all night, no leaving the room without calling for Mommy and Daddy, absolutely no walking on the stairs alone, etc. And with that, we put Connor down to bed.

To my surprise, Connor did GREAT! He slept for the first couple of days/nights in his new bed with the door open and he never once tried to leave the room (or even the bed). Now when we mention sleeping in his crib, he says "Cribs are for babies!" He wanted to move his bed into his new room (he'll be sharing with Kevin) but we told him to wait until Kevin came over this weekend.

Friday night, Jeff surprised Kevin and Connor by rearranging their room with both of their things. Connor was super excited to see his new bed in Kevin's room, and he even gave Kevin a gift to say thanks for becoming his new roommate. They've had to make a few adjustments in their nighttime routines, but both boys did great sharing their room. By the end of the weekend, Connor was referring to Kevin as "Roomie" and "Roommate" -- so cute! Below are pics of the transition to Connor's new bed.

Connor's first night in his new big-boy bed. We just put a twin mattress and box spring next to Connor's crib.

Connor loves being surrounded by MANY toys during his naps. Friday night, Connor came home to see his new bed was no longer in his room... Daddy had moved it to his new room with Kevin!

Here's Connor and Kevin seeing their new room for the first time.
We're so proud of Kevin and Connor for agreeing to become Roomies!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Latest Ultrasound and Pics

We had our 26-week ultrasound on Thursday, and then I met with my doctor today to discuss the findings. Overall the results were very positive. The two main things I've prayed about for this sonogram were (1) that the baby would grow well and (2) that we wouldn't find any new abnormalities. I can honestly say that God has heard and answered our prayers, because both of those prayers came true!

After talking with my doctor today, we have a little investigating to do because it appears that we are dealing with 2 different sets of measurements - one from the ultrasound machine and one from the computer system. Each is spitting out a different "percentage" for the measurements they are capturing, making it difficult to do an apples-to-apples measurement to track the baby's growth. For example, the baby's femur (leg) bone measurement was found to be in the 6th percentile last time, which is considered a soft marker for Down Syndrome. This time, her measurement on the ultrasound machine said 8th percentile, while on the computer system it was 18th percentile. Obviously there is a discrepancy there and we need to make sure we are using consistent formulas to track her growth, but in either case her measurement went up, so it's definitely a plus! But that's one thing we'll be looking into for future measurements. The baby's humerus (arm) bone measurement appeared to decrease this time from 34th percentile to 13th percentile, but we won't know the significance of this until we can find out where those numbers came from for the apples-to-apples comparison. (Down Syndrome babies typically have shorter arm and leg measurements, so it's just one of the many things they can track by ultrasound.)

Because of the baby's 2-vessel umbilical cord, we will be continuing with frequent ultrasound scans throughout the rest of the pregnancy. Most 2-vessel cord babies are fine, but it's just something the doctors (and parents!) like to track to make sure the growth is continuing as expected. We're scheduled for another ultrasound at 30 weeks, and then we'll get scans and additional tests each 1-2 weeks thereafter.

So that's all the technical stuff. I just want to thank our friends and family for the ongoing prayers on our baby girl's behalf. I'm convinced the prayers work miracles, so please keep them coming! Below are the latest pics of the baby.

Here is a frontal face view (looking smooshed!) with forehead on the left and chin on the right.
Here she is making a fist, these are her knuckles.
Here are her fingers outstretched in an L-shape.
And here's a facial profile with her nose pointing up and her hand off to the right side.
One last facial profile. The ultrasound specialist tried really hard to get a cute 3-d shot of her face, but she was being camera shy and wouldn't stay still for the picture!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Connor's Latest Dance Moves

We’ve always known Connor is quite the little dancer – no matter what, he seems to have a tune playing in his head. He can’t just walk from point A to point B; usually he is skipping, galloping, or dancing his way through life!

It’s sometimes difficult to know exactly how Connor spends his day at school, but usually he goes to Music class once a day (in a specially designed theater room) where his group listens to a variety of music, plays with puppets, dances, and whatever else the teachers have in store. I also enrolled him in a weekly Music and Movement class but I haven’t been able to ask yet what types of things they’re teaching the kiddos in there.

One day a couple weeks ago I got a call from Director Brenda at Connor’s daycare. Immediately I assumed Connor was sick or had a boo-boo. Instead, she proceeded to tell me about how Connor was entertaining all the teachers with his dance moves in Music class! I guess she had popped in while his class was enjoying some dance time, and she learned from Connor’s regular teacher, Ms. Beatrice, that he had quite an array of moves. He was shaking his little butt so fast and practicing all kinds of kicks and poses, so Ms. Brenda was calling me to ask me where he learned all that! Ms. Beatrice later told me that anytime Connor hears music, he is the first one to bounce out of his chair and start dancing. She also told me that his favorite songs at school are “Who Let the Dogs Out?” and “We Will Rock You.”

On our commute to and from school each morning, I usually listen to the Top 40 stations. Connor quickly learns the songs and often sings along to them, which of course cracks me up! Some of his favorites these days are Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies,” Britney’s “Circus”, Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face,” and the song that says, “Put your hands in the ayer, a-ayer, ayer, a-ayer.” It never fails to make me laugh to hear him singing these songs right on cue.

We recently had surround sound installed in our living room and we’ve been enjoying the XM Radio Top 20 music channel on TV. Almost every night, we’ll flip to this channel and dance in the living room to all the songs. Connor says he is taking a “dance break” and proceeds to move and groove to most of the songs, all the while asking all of us to dance with him. Recently, we started noticing some changes in his dance style. He has begun to integrate a lot more physical moves like handstands (his version) and poses, and I think it was Jeff that noticed he seemed to be pointing his toes when he kicked his legs in the air. I thought surely they must be teaching him that in his Music classes at school, but when I asked the teachers they said no. So how is it that our son learned to point his toes like that??

Of course, we often joke about how it makes us a little nervous for our little boy to be so musical and to be doing things like toe pointing. But really we just thoroughly enjoy his antics so much and never fail to laugh hysterically at his dance moves. I’ve also noticed him trying to tackle moves like cartwheels and handstands, and I’ve been wondering if he is trying to mimic some of the break-dance routines they show on the TV dance shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and MTV’s “World’s Best Dance Crew.” (Those are 2 of Connor’s favorite shows!)

Recently we whipped out the video camera to capture Connor showing off his skills, and interestingly enough, Connor was only wearing his diaper at the time. Oh, and his diaper was disgustingly full at the time (looks like there's a brick in there) but I just couldn't resist posting the video anyway.

Here's a pic showing Connor's "signature" dance pose. Notice the pointed toe.
And here are 2 videos showing off his latest dance moves. Help me out here...is this normal behavior for a 2-year-old?
video

video

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Latest Pregnancy Indulgences

  • Coke: We might as well be talking about the actual drug here because I am truly addicted to regular, fully-leaded, Coca-Cola Classic. But not just any ole' Coke from a can. No, I want the perfectly blended and carbonated fountain Coke in a Styrofoam cup with a lid and straw. Offer me a homemade brownie or a slice of chocolate cake and I will refuse both just for a single glass of Coke. OK, but let's be honest here: I've had this addiction for years and not simply because I'm pregnant. But the fact that I'm supposed to be cutting back on caffeine makes me want it that much more!
  • Hot baths: I know there are many OB/GYN docs out there that advise pregnant women to avoid hot baths. Thankfully my doctor is not one of them. I have always been a bath-taker, usually every other night or so just to relax before bedtime. But lately, my baths are becoming a religious experience. No sooner do I step in the door at home and then I begin to devise my nighttime routine, which must include a hot bath. I have been known to take a quick shower or even wash my hair in the sink, getting those unpleasant chores out of the way just so I can still take my bath at night (I did that last night, in fact.) I don’t need the Jacuzzi jets or bubbles or candles, just a bathtub full of hot soothing water where I can lay back and relax. Usually around this time I begin to feel the baby start to kick me on my left side, so I’ll press my fingers on her little feet and we’ll play a little game of tag-you're-itfor a few minutes.
  • Books: I am constantly with a book. The longer the better, as far as I’m concerned. I usually go through about 1-2 per week these days. I try to allow myself at least an hour before bed each night, and of course I’m spending a lot of time in doctor’s offices these days where a good book is a must-have. I’ll read anything I can get my hands on, but lately I love novels by Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve. My mother-in-law Judy recently recommended an Oprah pick that is over 1000 pages so that will be the next one I pursue, assuming I can make it to the bookstore.
  • DVR: What did we do before Tivo and the digital video recorder?? Since I can barely stay up until 8pm these days, I just love how I can record all my favorite shows and watch them at my leisure, usually on the weekends when Connor is napping. I am reluctant to admit that I definitely love reality TV shows. My personal favorites right now are The Millionaire Matchmaker (Bravo TV, I think) and we also just finished the last season of The Real Housewives of Orange County. (Side note: My husband is so hot for Gretchen!)
  • Starburst jellybeans: Have you ever tried these? OMG, they are the best jellybeans ever made. Of course, this might have something to do with my cravings for tangy and sour candy ever since about 18 weeks or so. With Connor, all I wanted was bread and cheese, mayonnaise (strange, I know), anything made with Prego sauce, and pickles. Towards the end with him I was craving chocolate and ice cream like you wouldn’t believe. To this day I’m convinced that’s why he was such a “healthy” baby. So far with this pregnancy, I have had the strangest cravings for crab cakes (ate them for lunch yesterday – yum!) and sour candy. Go figure.
  • CraigsList: I’ve always been the occasional Ebay shopper, but lately I’ve been obsessed with CraigsList. Every night I get home I’ll check the new listings, usually to indulge in my “nesting” instincts in order to find Connor a new bed or find something fun for the new baby (hence our new video monitor purchased recently). If I were more organized I could find a ton of stuff around the house to post for sale myself. In the meantime I’m perfectly content to play the buyer role.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby Bump and Bedding

I've been meaning to post baby bump pictures for a while now. For some reason I only seem to remember to get pictures in the morning, so my tummy doesn't look nearly as big as it does after eating a big meal. Most of you know what a miserable time I have had with my pregnancies -- mostly from the nausea and morning sickness (more like all-day sickness). With this baby I began to feel SO much better around 19-20 weeks, which is right around the time I finally started showing and actually looking pregnant. I feel like I've grown the most in the past couple weeks alone. I'm starting to make moaning noises when I try to get up off the couch, and it's definitely getting harder to walk up the stairs without getting completely winded and needing a rest! I'm at 25 weeks and have gained 7 pounds total. We have another sonogram next week so we'll be anxious to see how this baby girl is growing!

Here I am at 23 weeks.

And here's a shot this morning at 25 weeks.

I have been on a tear lately trying to get things settled for baby girl's arrival. The other day at dinner I was frantically naming off all the things on my mental list to Jeff that we need to take care of... move Connor out of the nursery to his big boy bed in Kevin's room, find a big boy bed with boy bedding, buy some new girl-themed crib bedding, buy a new vehicle that will seat 4 adults and 2 car seats (bye-bye Ford Explorer, hello Mommy-mobile), get a new baby monitor, buy a double stroller, and on and on. As I rattled on Jeff just started to smile at me. He then added, "sticks, leaves, twigs... You're just nesting!" And wouldn't you know, he's right!

I don't remember ever going through the "nesting" phase when I was pregnant with Connor. I was so distracted by getting married, finishing graduate school, and working full-time that I just didn't make time for it. Jeff is the one who ended up painting the nursery, installing the furniture, and hanging pictures.

So I guess I'm making up for lost nesting time. I used my birthday money to buy the double stroller (major sale - yay!) and I just today bought a new-in-box video monitor for half price (LOVE CraigsList!) My next order of business is moving Connor into a big boy bed that we have yet to purchase. I've been looking for him a used twin bed and can't find what I like yet. In the meantime, I wanted to find the perfect crib bedding for this new baby girl, but being lazy and exhausted all the time, I refuse to repaint the existing nursery. It's currently a cheery pastel yellow color, the crib is cherry wood, and the dresser is a bright sage green with yellow knobs. After much searching, I finally found the bedding below -- it's a perfect match with NO repainting!
Most of my friends know that I'm not much into girly and frilly things, so I thought this bedding was perfect -- not the pastel pink color that I've never liked but still enough touches to make it sweet for a little girl. I plan to find some matching wall letters in the baby's name and I'm also hoping to talk Jeff into hanging some existing white shelves that we have lying around. But that'll probably be the extent of my changes to transform the nursery.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Reading Material

Just because this picture is priceless, I thought I'd post it. And no, we didn't pose Connor for this potty shot! He has lately begun imitating his Daddy and thinks he has to have reading material for occasions like potty time and dinner time. Overall Connor is doing really well with going #1 (only when we remember to stop and take him to the potty), but he REFUSES to try to go #2 on the potty and much prefers doing his business in a diaper or pull-up. Sometimes I think I'll be changing his diapers when he's 10!


Monday, March 2, 2009

Zoo Trip

Last weekend my parents visited us in Houston and we had a great time. The primary reason for their trip was to celebrate my birthday. (Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!) But we took advantage of the time together to visit the Houston Zoo with Connor. It was a really nice day and we had a blast. Below are pics from the day. I'm not sure why I didn't take more pictures. Our favorite part was the elephants -- we saw them getting their baths and even doing some circus-like tricks.

Connor and MeMe with the giraffe in the background.

Here's one with Connor and me. You can barely see the giraffe's neck behind us.

This is as close as Connor would get to the goats in the petting zoo. He was NOT happy about getting his picture with them, as if you can't tell.

After the zoo, we rode the Hermann Park Train. It's not affiliated with the zoo but it's right next door. We had to wait in line for about 30 minutes for some reason, but it was a really neat train ride around the Hermann Park area. You can see some of the Medical Center and the Metro light rail train zooming by. They've also added lots of neat play areas for the kiddos that we plan to go back and visit.

MeMe, Grand Daddy, and Connor on the train. Notice Connor's new "picture face" in all of these shots!

Here's one of me and Connor by the train engine.
Here's a really cute one with Grand Daddy.
And finally, the trip home. It didn't take long before Connor was out!