Thursday, July 31, 2014

Weeks 22-24

24 weeks, 4 days, or a little less than 6 months along!
This pregnancy is going by so quickly!  I can't believe we've reached viability day--the day that a medical team will try to save a preemie rather than just marking it as stillborn.  Not that it's going to be a problem with Artoo coming early; he seems very happy in there, kicking my bladder!  As I said last time, he's a mover and shaker.  Most of his movement is very low still.  He gets some good shots to my bladder, but it also sometimes feels like he's hitting my intestines!  He's been doing some rolling and turning as well, which makes things very tight and uncomfortable.  I'm not sure Gabby has actually felt him in a while (she's just not patient enough to sit with her hand in one place and wait for him), but when I tell her he's moving she'll say "baby brother is dancing."  She also hits and shakes my belly and say "wake up, baby brother!" when she wants to feel him.  I'm hoping this isn't indicative of what she's going to do during his naptimes!

At my last appointment, I was up 14 lbs, which is more than the 11 lbs I was with Gabby around this time.  Despite that, my OB looked at me and said "you know you can eat, right."  I assured her that I'm eating a ton, but I have tried to increase consumption since then.  This little guy still loves meat and fat, so I'm doing my best to oblige!  I'm not doing nearly as well this time around with exercise (unless chasing Gabby and walking around lab counts as exercise), since not only have I been really busy with work, I caught a cold that is just lingering.  I'm finally starting to feel better, after almost a week and a half of being sick.  Looking back, this is the time I caught my first pregnancy cold with Gabby too!  It's weird how similar things are between these pregnancies, and also how different!

Gabby is doing a bit better with sleeping.  It still takes forever to get her to go to sleep (although she'll pretty consistently fall asleep at 9:30; scant comfort when bedtime is at 8:15!), and someone has to be in the room with her while she's getting there.  But she only woke up 1 time the night before last, and slept all the way through last night!  I'm hoping that's a trend and not a fluke--sleeping through the night again was amazing!  She had no problems at all transitioning to her big girl bed.  She is absolutely in love with her new room, and now calls her old one "baby brother's room."

Here's her room with some of her furniture.  We now have curtains, and will soon put up wall decorations.  We also put up a railing on her bed so she doesn't fall out.  It mostly just serves to keep her millions of toys in bed.
I'm so relieved that so far she seems OK with giving up her old room for her new one.  I think it helps that we let her have a huge say in decorating.  Because you know I didn't want a pink room!  The next step is to paint Artoo's room a nice pale green.  I'm not sure when Brian plans on getting that started, but time is getting short!

We've had some good times this past month.  We went to the California State Fair with the Berrys and the Frasers, and had a fantastic time together.

Between this shot and the one above, I have no idea where my baby went, and who left this little girl in her place!

4 of the girls.  Do you know how hard it is to get 4 girls 5 and under to all look the same direction??

Cheesing with Mommy

Girl #5 enjoying her sippy cup in the stroller.  She wanted to join in!
 Gabby got to go on her very first pony ride.  She gave it 2 thumbs way up!

Excited because she got the white horse!

She actually gave the horse a pet!  I was surprised.

And we're off!
Despite her serious face, she was in love, and said "again?" when we were done!

She's cute, even from behind!
 The 4 bigger girls got to go on some rides together too!

Riding the boat.

Phoebe never once stopped ringing the bell.

Gabby and Phoebe riding the kangaroo.

Finally Daddy and Gabby on the Jumbo ride (think Dumbo at Disney).  All rides said no pregnant women!
We also went camping last weekend at Yosemite.  We try to get up there every 2 years or so, since it's fairly close and really fun.  Joining us were half of the Berrys, half of the Frasers, the Frickey-Lins, and the Bischoff-Schuylers (plus a friend of theirs).  The weekend started out great.

Brian's sole reason for planning the trip this weekend was the new moon, so he could play with his lenses and get some star pictures.  He succeeded.

A perfectly clear night would have been much better!
Those of us with kids went on a simple hike--2.5 miles round trip with a 500 vertical ft elevation change.  We were starting at altitude, though (I think somewhere around 8000 ft), so it was more challenging than it would have been at sea level!

We all started out together...
But moving at toddler/pregnant woman speed meant that the Berrys and Frasers left us in the dust!

Gabby actually walked about 25% of the way, even making it up some of the rocky terrain on her own.  Brian and I were very impressed!

Some food motivation was necessary, of course!

We were headed for the foot of that mountain.

Gabby got appropriately filthy.

Taking on that rock!  She always tried to find the hardest route, because it's the most fun!

Finally making it to the lake!

It was worth the hike!

Eating lunch with the rest of the group

The Frickey-Lins made it too!

Ellie hiked in style.


You can see me in the back trying to hoist myself up.  I made it on my own!

Checking out the scenery
After our hike, we went back to the campsite and hung out for the rest of the afternoon.  Brian took a nap (Gabby and I took one in the car--Gabby actually zonked out on the way back down in Brian's arms), while the other adults kept an eye on the kids.

Now the not-so-fun part.  While we were driving to the hike, we noticed some controlled burns to clear out the brush.  No big deal, and actually quite common in Yosemite this time of year (particularly with the drought).  So at first, when we saw the dark clouds heading towards our camp, we thought that's what it was.  Turns out, it was from an actual fire that had started about 3.5 miles from our campsite!  Information was really spotty because the phone lines were down.  At first, we were told that we had to pack up and leave right away (being in the path of the smoke means you're also in the path of the fire, after all).  So everyone stopped dinner prep, and started packing up their campsites as fast as they could.  I did my best to entertain the girls while everyone was busy, and mostly just stayed out of the way.  As we were leaving, we found out that it wasn't a mandatory evacuation ("yet" was the implied word), but we were encouraged to leave.  Even if we had known that at first, our group had 4 children age 5 and under, plus Artoo--we were definitely leaving when the ash started to fall!  To compound matters, our childless friends had gone on a long hike and weren't back yet.  So we ended up packing up their things and taking them with us, just in case they were unable to get back to the campsite.

It was a bright and sunny day.  This was taken around 5:30.

That's a helicopter with fire retardant or water underneath.

And heading back to refill.

In the blue sky area, the sun was shining brilliantly.  All of that "cloud cover" is smoke and ash.

It was very surreal being under the smoke cloud with the ash drifting down like snow.
We managed to get out of there around 7:00, and headed to a nearby town for dinner.  We were able to meet up with our friends and give them their stuff back, and then we all started the long journey home.  It's about a 3 hour trip from Yosemite to Sacramento, so we made it back around 11:30, took showers (wipey bath for Gabby), and crashed.  Gabby was an angel.  She had some listening issues at the camp while we were packing up (she loved digging in the dirt, but I didn't want her to get too dirty right before we left), but she loved dinner, and almost immediately fell asleep in the car on the way home.  So the ending to our camping trip was not as fun as the beginning.  And if you're thinking this sounds a bit familiar, it's pretty much the same thing that happened to us while we were in Flagstaff--we were there 1 night, then a fire broke out 20 miles away, and we cut our vacation short to get away from the smoke and ash!  Brian and I have come to terms with the fact that we may have fire powers.

Lastly, my summer class ended yesterday, and I couldn't be happier to be done.  I had a great teaching partner doing the lecture portion of the class, and I really enjoyed the semester as a whole, but it's so nice to know that I don't have to work until 9:20 three nights a week anymore!  We have a trip to St. Louis planned (hopefully nothing catches on fire, although LA was fine while we were there), and then my fall class starts on August 25.  I'm also going to start a University of Phoenix class on September 9.  It'll be a busy fall, but it should occupy me nicely while I wait for Artoo to come.  In the meantime, I intend to enjoy my time off as much as possible this month :)

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Weeks 19-21

Blurry photo from Wednesday--21 weeks, 4 days

Poor, poor second child!

Pregnancy symptoms include sciatic pain (which goes away if I don't strain myself exercising, or if I do yoga), extreme exhaustion (but that has more to do with Gabby than Artoo--see below), frequent urination, and hunger.  It's all I can do some days to get enough food in me.

We had Artoo's anatomy scan on July 2, and everything looked great.  My OB was very happy with the scan and all of the pictures we managed to get.  The first tri blood work also looked great, so we know that Artoo is as healthy as the (extensive) tests can indicate.

Here he is!!  He's looking at my bladder in the one on the bottom.

He is also a mover and shaker.  I've read that you feel more movement sooner in second (and more) pregnancies since the uterus is stretching earlier, so it could be attributed to that, but he definitely lets me know that he is in there.  I get the most movement after I eat, before bed, and at wake-up, and they are all very clearly baby.  Brian and Gabby both have been able to feel him from the outside (Gabby looked at me with big eyes when he kicked her one night and said "whoa!"--it was super cute).  He's head down right now, and most of my movements are low, so I assume he's head-butting my bladder a ton.  Even during the anatomy scan, the tech mentioned that he kept looking at my bladder.  I wish he'd get a new obsession, but I guess there really isn't that much to look at in there!

Now to Gabby

This sums up the time we've had with Gabby.  She got her very first black eye from a kid at daycare.  It was an accident, but it looked terrible!

Gabby has been having a tough time lately.  She hasn't been going down at bedtime easily at all (it often takes at least 1.5 hours to get her down instead of the 10 minutes it used to take), and has been waking up progressively earlier every day (we're now at 6:30--this from the kid who slept 12 hours straight for 2 years no problem).  We thought she might be scared of the dark, but a nightlight seems to be doing no good.  Now we suspect separation anxiety.  She has had a lot of changes lately--baby brother coming, she moved to a new daycare room with new teachers, and I work 3 nights a week--and it seems to be expressing itself when we try to get her to bed.  It's been really difficult--Brian actually stayed in her room from 10:30-3:00 one night (he did fall asleep on her floor at some point, so it probably wouldn't have been that long, but he shouldn't have to be there at all).  And another morning she woke me up at 4:30.  I brought her into bed with me, and she went back to sleep for a bit, but I sure didn't!  As you can imagine, none of us are very happy about this.  And we also have no idea what to do, except give her time to get over it.  So this is why I'm completely exhausted; and what makes it worse is working until 9:20 Monday-Wednesday.  I can nap during the day if I need to (I don't start until 2:00), but napping has always made me more tired, so I really hate doing it.  Plus, it eats into my prep/grading time (not to mention chores--our house is a mess).  I really have no idea what to do except wait for her anxiety to ease.

We have fun, too!  This is from Father's Day

Here she is driving the train at Fairytale Town.

 I assure you, she loved the zoo carousel, and asked to go again.  Despite the fear on her face during this movie!

See, I told you she liked it!

I bought her a monkey, and she insisted on getting a picture with it!  She calls the baby "monkey George" (her name for Curious George) and the mom "monkey George mommy"

We've been really busy over the past few weeks.  We went to our friend Charlotte's birthday party, and had a great time.  We actually got there as the party was winding down and stayed to have dinner for Chris's birthday.  Brian went a bit picture crazy.  You've been warned.

Kate floating along.

Gabby stealing some icing.

She's got nothing on icing-thief Phoebe, though!

Samantha and Charlotte swimming.

Gabby was hesitant to get into the water, but loved being splashed!

And she appreciated the noodle.

The birthday-sharing girls!


Phoebe showing no fear.

Gabby did eventually jump in to me.

And she had a great time.

So excited!



Floyd and Charlie floating along.

Gabby got tired of the pool and decided to take a drive.

The big boys had fun in the bounce house! First Chris...

then Lawrence took a turn!

They did have to stop when the kids wanted back in.

Gabby loved the bounce house!


She also wanted a crack at the hoop.

Almost there!

Maybe just a little too little.

It was way more fun when the other kids came in!

The Lin/Frickeys in the pool!
No one show this picture to Justin's mom; poor Karen will never hear the end of it!

We also went to LA to visit Brian's family.  We went with his mom to the Aquarium of the Pacific, and the next day joined his sister, brother-in-law, and their kids at the beach.  We don't have many pictures from the aquarium, because Brian left his camera in Sacramento (on purpose), and cell phone cameras suck.  We did have a really great time with everyone, though!  Gabby was kind of meh on the aquarium, but she LOVED the beach!  She and Brian had a great time playing in the waves and on the sand.  We thought it would actually be the other way around (love the aquarium, be indifferent about the beach), but she really surprised us.  I think it helped that cousins Audrey and Olivia were at the beach with us, and she was able to see them having fun.  The 3 of them were a riot together, and when Audrey and Olivia stayed with us at grandma's that night it was so much fun.  Gabby loves her big cousins!

On the plane ride to LA

A rare moment not in the water (and stealing my chair!).  That was a shocker, after she hated the pool!
That's more like it!

With Uncle Joe, Audrey, and Olivia
Back at Grandma Romo's house.  The older girls played Disney Princess Yahtzee.  Gabby stole the pieces.
We didn't do anything fun for the 4th of July because we are still in the middle of prepping Gabby's new room.  The room is completely cleared out now, and Brian spent the weekend of the 4th painting the walls a really light pink, and the ceiling white.  He's going to work on getting the doors painted this weekend, and hopefully we can go and buy her furniture.  We've decided to get her a trundle bed to grow into (sleepovers!), which also means that instead of recycling Brian's old dresser and nightstand, she's going to be getting brand new ones.  That was Brian's decision, not mine!  She seems really excited about moving over (although that may be another stress adding to her separation anxiety), and OK with giving baby brother her old bedroom, but we'll see how she reacts when everything is done and she really has to move!

We've also given away all of our baby girl clothes.  We are definitely 2 and through (and would have been even if Artoo turned out to a be a girl), so we have no more use for girl clothes.  Most of the baby clothes went to one of Brian's co-workers who is due in September, but the older girl clothes went to a different co-worker and to our friends Robbie and Judy for their little girls.  I also set aside a box for a friend of mine who has a son born when Gabby was born, and is now having a little girl.  She's going to send me a box of her son's baby clothes in return.  I like this giving and receiving thing where we all help each other out!  Plus, it's really nice to know that Gabby's old clothes are going to people I know and not just to the Salvation Army to be bought by a random person.  I really wasn't sad at all to see them go to such good homes.

We have more busy times ahead, with a Yosemite trip (camping with a toddler--oh boy!), and a trip to St. Louis to see my family.  After that, we should be done with traveling until (well) after Artoo is born!