Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Try Not to Make This ALL About Pregnancy.

But, well, I AM pregnant. And Andre is making his/her presence known more and more each day. Not only are the movements so strong you can SEE my belly jump from across the room, but I'm a shitton bigger than I was with Luca. People say that's 'normal' for a second pregnancy. I remember feeling like my body was a science experiment with Luca...this time I feel like I should be covered in wax and placed in Ripley's Believe It or Not on the Sunset Strip.

Here's the thing: my boobs grew. I know, I get no sympathy from my small-boobed friends. I'm ok with that. But I REALLY don't need bigger boobs.

Here's the other thing: I have new stretchmarks. Oh, don't be fooled....I've had stretchies since middle school, when suddenly my body was all, "Hey, wouldn't it be AWESOME if we broke out like crazy, our hips spread, and we gained roundabouts 15 pounds pretty much overnight...and all in the boobs and hips?". But with Luca I didn't get a single stretchie until 37 weeks, when she dropped. And they were little and almost...cute. Ok...not really cute, but not BAD. This time, I swear to you, I will feel an immense pressure for an entire day on ONE area of my belly, and within 24 hours I have a new stretchie there. I shit you not. I'd provide photographic evidence, but (a) I don't want to scare all your currently childless, thin, tan, beautiful readers and (b) I have my pride.

Anyhow, yesterday I was reading something a friend sent me, about her waffle maker she got for Christmas, and suddenly had the overwhelming urge for a Belgian Waffle. So when Darrick asked what I wanted for dinner (because we have NO groceries in the house and therefore knew we'd be going out) I told him I wanted one. He acquiesced, and off to IHOP we went. I had every intention of ordering that lovely Belgian Waffle, when the temptress of a waitress presented us with the 'specials' menu, where I was greeted by a picture looking something like this:

See that lovely little confection on the left side of the picture...the lemon blueberry dream of a desse- - - er, breakfast??? It was CALLING my name. But, I reasoned with myself that if I ordered THAT instead of the waffle, my husband would have shot lasers from his eyes. Why? Well, because he had asked if we couldn't just get Chinese food instead of IHOP, and I said no, we couldn't because *I* am the one creating life and my craving MUST be respected. And so changing my mind and choosing a NEW craving at the 11th hour would not have been well-received.

Fear not, though. I have great plans. Remember that gestational diabetes test I mentioned before? The one for which my ANGEL of a midwife suggested I gorge on carbs instead of drinking polyurethane orange juice? THOSE lovely, sweet, prefectly divine 8700 calorie pancakes will be my pre-bloodwork meal!

Ahhhh....compromise. Isn't it a lovely thing?

Monday, December 29, 2008

More Pictures.

I warned you that this new camera would be a sick addiction, resulting in my posting waaaaay too many pictures. Deal with it.

First, some Christmas pictures from the family Christmases. These first ones are from Darrick's family. As you can see, Luca was adequately spoiled (and then some!):

Ready to open gifts....every good gift opener knows that stretching and warming up is key to not getting injured.

Her Christmas dress, and the boots she insisted on wearing with it.

Dancing Queen, Young and Sweet, loving month 19....

Our stockings (the one on the end is for Andre the Giant...aka the fetus in my belly who may or may not be a boy)

Happy Christmas Kid.

Yes, she is THIS spoiled by her Grandparents!

There's a sea critter on her head!

Looking for more gifts to open.

The next are from Christmas with my family, where she got so many presents I had to lug them home in a 10 gallon garbage bag. We didn't get as many pictures there, since Luca was pretty exhausted by that point:

Unwrapping a present in gold paper.

Last, here are some pictures of her (almost completed) big girl room. She's slept in the big girl bed the past two nights without any real issues. She's been a bit scared when we first put her down for the night, so we've had to sit with her and rub her back until she starts to doze off, but I really think she's doing amazingly well, all things considered. Especially when you factor in her recent attempts at potty training which, though slow-going, have been impressive thus far. We'll share more pictures when the room is complete, but this is it for now. We need to add some wall decor, a dresser where you see the play kitchen below the framed art, her easel (thanks Grandma!) between the bed and bookshelf, and a bedside table and lamp between the wall and bed. But it's soooo close to done!

Her new easel (thanks Gramma!) will go on that wall.

Toy storage.

Luca got confused and thought I was taping an episode of Celebrity Cribs. This was her 'Thanks for coming, now get the eff out.' shot.

She LOVES this bed! It's from Ikea, and converts lengthwise from toddler to twin.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Work in Progress.

Work began just yesterday on Luca's 'big girl' room. We bought things awhile back for decorating, and also got her big girl bed, but this weekend we cracked open the paint and my mother-in-law got to work. She LOVES painting, so it's a perfect compromise since I'm not really 'supposed to' paint right now and my husband is nowhere near detail-oriented enough to do it.

For your viewing pleasure, the old room (this was NOT our doing...the people living here before us had a little boy who occupied this bedroom):

And here you'll see examples of our stellar parenting (toddler climbing ladder) and some sneak peeks of the paint job:

And, Luca helping Daddy assemble the big girl bed:

More to come once the painting is complete and the furniture and decorations are in place!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!

I sure hope Santa treated you all as well as he treated me. He brought me this:

So now you can expect more (and better quality) of these:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The final rush.

I SO suck at Christmas this year. No tree still. Lights barely hung a week ago. Just started really shopping today. Lame, lame, lame.

On a brighter note, I did get about 2/3 of my shopping done this morning at the mall. The mall with a 19 month old is not what I consider fun, but we HAD to go there to drop off our Christmas Angel gift. We've created a tradition of choosing a Christmas Angel about the age of Luca every year. For now, we chooses girls, since she's a girl, but with baby #2 we'll choose another one of his/her age and sex as well. So Luca and I picked an Angel from the tree 3 weeks ago and THAT VERY DAY we went and bought her gifts. She wanted a doll. That's it. A DOLL. She is 18 months old. I cried when I read her card. Luca looked at me funny. I ended up getting her two pairs of pants, a shirt, and a doll set (doll, blankie, diapers, baby food, etc. all packaged together). Anyone who knows me, knows what a shock it is that I went that SAME DAY I picked the Angel and bought her gifts. These same people won't be one whit surprised that it took me until today (AKA the deadline) to get the gift BACK to the mall. I live 3.5 minutes from said mall, and I avoid it like the plague.

Anyhow, we took our gifts and dropped them off, and then we did some shopping. I bought gifts for Luca, my mother and father in law, and my brother and his wife. I also bought something for my brother in law, but when Darrick saw it he was all, "Meh." so it looks like I need to go back to the drawing board and get him something else. Or send my husband to get something, since he seems to be the one with some sort of idea what is a good gift and what is not.

So here it is...5 days shy of Christmas, and lots left to buy. Oh, and cards still to address and send. I am the queen of procrastination.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogged Down and 19 Months.

I am so behind, and with no good excuse. Life has been full of Luca and baby prep and work lately, and Darrick and I haven't had a lot of time for much else. The GREAT news is, his break starts next week, so he'll get lots of Daddy-Daughter time in, though this will probably be his last break alone with her. I can't believe I am due in 3 months, which means about the time Darrick's on spring break we could possibly have a new baby at home. It's almost surreal to think about it that way. Three months seems like a LONG time to me, especially given how big I feel already, but it's going to be here before I know it. Once the holidays are over, I imagine it's going to FLY by!

Speaking of the holidays, it's taken some work for me to get into it this year. I am usually the annoyingly hopped-up-on-holidays person, but this year has been so busy I haven't had much time to even think about it. I finally put up some lights inside the house (on the banister, and a wreath over Luca's little table) this past weekend, and we hung our stockings. We need a new one for Luca, since the only one she has is a "Baby's First Christmas" stocking from last year. She's obsessed with the lights. She'll point to them and say "Pretty", and then ask us to "Turn on". She does this the most with the wreath above her table, which I think she views as 'her' lights. It's pretty stinking adorable. We still need to get a tree (our plans of doing it last weekend were nixed by holiday parties, rain, and football), so that needs to happen this weekend. Darrick tried to talk me into a 3 foot artificial fiberoptic one on sale at Walgreens. Lucky him, my sense of humor was intact that day and he didn't lose a limb for suggesting it. And, yes...he WAS serious. Back off ladies - he is MINE.

Baby is moving a lot more these days, and the other night Darrick felt him/her kicking for several minutes straight. He was in awe over how strong the kicks are. I am in awe of the fact that this baby seemingly enjoys bouncing off one hipbone, up into my ribs, and back off the other hipbone. Over. And. Over. I've also started to experience what I believe are Braxton Hicks (practice) contractions, though I'm not sure how anyone's ever 100% sure that's what they are. The aren't painful, but they do take my breath away for a few seconds. Several friends suggested I feel my belly to see if it's hard when I get the possible BH contractions, but I think that's a conspiracy by the skinny pregnant people of the world. I have a bit too much extra padding to feel if my uterus is tightening, TYVM. I've also started listening to my Hypnobirthing CD every few days. I should listen to it every day, but I find it makes me fall asleep, and it's not every day I can get a chunk of quiet time to lie on the couch and listen to the CD and possibly fall asleep.

In other news, our friend Meredyth was in town last weekend, and she and Luca finally met. I was starting to worry the first time Mere would meet Luca would be at Luca's high school graduation, but turns out I worried over nothing. Luca and Meredyth took to each other immediately, as two beautiful blondes are apt to do. And once Mere shared cookies with Luca, the deal was sealed. They are friends forever now.

We also had some professional pictures taken by a friend who's starting up her own photography business just this past weekend. The focus was on Luca (because why WOULDN'T it be with how stinkin' cute she is?!?!) but we ended up in a few. The pictures turned out great!!! If you're looking for a photographer for baby, family, maternity, etc pictures in AZ, I encourage you to visit her blog (http://noyanphotography.blogspot.com) for some samples of her pictures and her contact information. Here's a sampling of some of my favorites:

Finally, in Luca news, our 'baby' is 19 months old and more a kid every day. She is so lucky to be able to spend 3 afternoons a week with her Grandpa Rick and Grandma Cyndy, which has been awesome. They pick her up from daycare and play with her for a few hours. She's learned to sweep and rake up leaves (thanks, Grandma!), as well as helped back cookies, sorted shapes, and discovered that she loves cats. Her Grandpa in particular adores her, and she adores him in return. It's been really amazing watching them bond, especially since Luca doesn't really have much of an opportunity to bond to my Dad, who has dementia and doesn't really know how to interact with her. We are SO fortunate that Grandma and Grandpa S. (who both, by the way, are known by Luca as 'Grandma') are able to spend lots of time with her.

Luca has also finally decided that mommy doing her hair is fine because she's 'pretty' when we give her a ponytail. It's really rather adorable, and you can see evidence of this in some of the pro pictures above. One random thing that the ponytail causes, however, is strangers commenting on how she looks like, "Those Olsen twins when they were on Full House!". I guess I can see it, can you?

Luca's language has also taken off in leaps and bounds. She's always had a pretty good vocabulary for he age, but it's getting better by the day. She comes home from daycare knowing new words and phrases ("Beep beep" for the sound a car makes, "Turn on" for toys and lights) which I always thought would sadden me, since *I* didn't get to teach her those new things. Instead it makes me really happy and proud that my kid is thriving and learning so much. She's also getting more and more independent, wanting to dress herself and feed herself. She's started eating Cheerios out of her own bowl, with her own spoon, which goes well most of the time. ;)

We're feeling very blessed this holiday season, and hope you all are too!!


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