Catching up for the week

It’s been a couple of busy days around here. On Wednesday, Ava and I went to a play group for the morning. She had a blast playing with her friends and I enjoyed catching up with my friends. I learned about a great possible childcare option here in town that I might check into. I’ve been thinking about signing Ava up for a couple hours two days a week or so, so that I can work on my photography stuff during the day.

After playgroup we hit a few stores for some birthday party supply stuff.

Yesterday, despite the fact that I didn’t feel like it, Ava and I did our 3 mile walk to the lake and back. This time we went to a different park (also on the lake). The playground was deserted for a while and Ava enjoyed having free reign until some bigger kids showed up. Then she just wanted to watch them play. We started our walk for home when the clouds blew in over the mountains and it started sprinkling on us, but we never got any rain here at the house. Bummer! We could use it.

I finished proofing two photography sessions this week. Phew! I’m glad to have a little break for a few days now. One of these days I want to showcase some of my favorite pics from my recent sessions. Maybe I will do that next week. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ava has been enjoying playing outside as much as possible lately, and she cries when she can’t go out. (Poor thing.) I’m not sure what Jody and I were thinking buying her something for her birthday (the sand/water activity table) that is exclusively for outside play since that will entice her to be outside even more, but oh well. Her latest thing to do outside is dump handfuls or shovelfuls of sand/dirt on the dogs’ backs. I’m not sure why she thinks they want dirt on them, but she does. She also likes to put rocks, dirt and leaves in their water bowls and says she’s making guacamole. I might have told that story here already before. I can’t remember and I’m not looking it up. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It cracks me up though whenever I ask her what she’s making – whether it be outside in the yard or inside with her play bowls/food, etc. – it’s always “guacamole.” Actually, I’m pretty sure I did tell that story before. Oh well. Enjoy it again. ;oP

I’ve been feeling baby move more and more lately. The little fluttery movements are turning into more noticable kicks now and I’ve even felt him/her kick my hand on the outside a few times. I think it will still be a few more weeks before Jody or Ava will be able to feel it, but it’s fun for me to enjoy in the meantime. ๐Ÿ™‚

Father’s Day is coming up next weekend and I have a few creative ideas up my sleeve for presents for Jody from Ava. I just have to find the time to do them!

We’re having a new king-size pillow-top mattress and box spring set delivered to our house tomorrow. I’m so looking forward to it! I didn’t realize how uncomfortable our current bed was until we went shopping for a new one. Now my back hurts every morning when I get up. Our sleeping arrangement has consisted of two queen mattresses and box springs side by side on the floor for the past year or so, which makes up our “family bed.” We’re moving our old mattress/box spring into the basement extra bedroom (to replace the one that’s probably 30+ years old) so my parents will have a nicer bed to sleep on during their visit in a few weeks. The other mattress will go into Ava’s room for my sister to sleep on during her visit. We’re contemplating getting a twin mattress for Ava (to probably go alongside our bed) in the semi-near future, but haven’t made any decisions on that yet. I’m just trying to figure out what will work best once we have two lil kidlets in the house.

I’d like to take Ava to one of the local college campuses this weekend for a photoshoot for her 2 year pics. There are some beautiful spots on campus that I think would be great to use so we’ll see if we can fit that in our schedule. I was thinking I could do it by myself, but it’d be helpful to have Jody there with me to corral her, especially if I need to put any distance between her and the camera for some of the pictures.

On Sunday I’m taking newborn pictures of baby Trajan, which should be fun. He’ll be less than two weeks old so hopefully still good and sleepy and amenable to posing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Our temperatures continue to be unseasonably high around here – in the 90s. I just looked at the 10-day forecast and the every day is in the low to mid-90s except a couple days at high 80s. Oy. I’m hoping we can get this hot weather out of the way now, and then enjoy some cooler temps during my family’s visit and for Ava’s birthday party. Wishful thinking. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve got a topic or two I’ve been thinking about writing on lately that I hope to tackle next week. One is natural skincare products (including soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, sunscreen and bug repellent) and the benefits of going natural. The other is what it’s like nursing an almost 2-year-old – while pregnant.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

Out of the mouths of babes


I’m a blogging fool today. OK, just a short, cute story here, then it’s off to the grocery stores.

Ava has a shirt from my Cafe Press store that says “I’m going to be a big sister” on it. She was wearing it yesterday and will tell you what it says when you ask her.

Well, today I put a shirt on her that says “I’m a cute chick” and has a pic of a baby chicken on it. So she was looking in the mirror and noticed the words on her shirt and said, “I’m going to be a big sister.” So I explained that her *other* shirt has those words on it, but this shirt says “I’m a cute chick” on it. So she repeated me, “I’m a cute chick.”

A few minutes later, I asked her what her shirt said (to see if she remembered) and she said, “I’m a cute chickpea.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Hee, hee. I’ve never met a cuter chickpea. ๐Ÿ™‚

Two articles – Breastfeeding and Epidurals

Here are two totally unrelated articles, but both seem worth sharing. It’s been a while since I shared much in the birth or breastfeeding realm, so here ya go. ๐Ÿ™‚

The first is about breastfeeding and feminism and covers such topics as:
-Scant support for breastfeeding in the medical community
-Low U.S. breastfeeding rates
-Human milk and long-term human health
-History of infant feeding practices in the United States
-La Leche League steps in
-Formula companies convince HHS and AAP to alter breastfeeding campaign
-The question of guilt
-What feminists can do

It’s a very long article, but contains a lot of good information. I’d love to see feminists take on the breastfeeding cause for the numerous benefits it would have for both mothers and babies.
What Feminists Can Do for Breastfeeding and What Breastfeeding Can Do for Feminists

This second article is a story aired on Dateline on Sunday about how a routine epidural turned deadly for a new mom. It is scary that something like this could happen and that the medical community seemed to ignore all the signs that something was wrong with this poor woman until it was too late.

I know that serious complications such as death are very rare with epidurals (though epidurals are not without risks), but it certainly strengthens my resolve to avoid one if at all possible. It’s interesting because two of my friends who just had the VBACs ended up having epidurals in order to avoid repeat c-sections and it made me start to think, “well, maybe I could have an epidural too if I really wanted it.” I know there are situations where it is beneficial to have an epidural, but it still bothers me that they are so widely accepted as the norm and routine procedure in the U.S.

After reading such statistics as “รขโ‚ฌโ€ Infections contracted in hospitals are the fourth largest killer in the United States, causing as many deaths as AIDS, breast cancer and auto accidents combined.
รขโ‚ฌโ€ One out of every 20 hospital patients gets an infection. That’s 2 million Americans a year, and an estimated 103,000 of them die.”, this story also makes me wonder if a hospital birth is really the best option for me. Decisions, decisions.
A routine epidural turns deadly

The audacity of those critters, party planning and more

Mice have returned to our garage. What are they thinking? Don’t they know we had to kill all of their friends? :oP Ugh. Jody went out the day after discovering them and bought more of the poison food so hopefully they won’t last long or have the chance to reproduce as much as they did last time. They are such dirty critters. We’re going to leave the poison stuff out there on a regular basis now to hopefully deter a new crowd from repopulating the space every month or so.

We had a really hot weekend here and it doesn’t look like we’ll see a break anytime this week either. It’s in the 90s outside and feels almost as hot (since we don’t have A/C) inside.

These past few days have been really good productivity-wise for us, despite the high temps. Jody got a bunch of things (yard stuff) done this weekend that were on our “list” and I got more stuff (cleaning up the house) taken care of today.

My parents and sister will be here in a little over two weeks to celebrate Ava’s 2nd birthday with us, so we’re trying to get the house in order, plus prepare for Ava’s party.

I got the party invitations printed this weekend, but still need to do a little more work on them because I’m not happy with part of how they turned out. I also need to draw up a map with directions to the park we’ll be having the party at. I decided to go with a low-key Sesame Street theme. I figure I’ll have some Sesame Street stuff on the invitations, I’ll buy a few Sesame Street accent items – like napkins and goody bags – and then some Sesame Street helium balloons. I’m not really keen on commercializing her birthday as it is (not to mention how expensive all that stuff can get), so I’m trying to just add some accents and otherwise just have lots of primary colored stuff. But I figure Sesame Street is one thing that she really, really likes, and it’s her birthday, so I think this will be fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

(By the way, if your kids are into Sesame Street, I discovered today that there are coloring book pages you can print, games, music, and other fun activities online at Sesame Workshop. That image above is something I made using pictures from the site that I will incorporate into Ava’s invitations.)

We’re not inviting as many people this year as we did last year, so I’m also planning on serving more food – brunch and then cake or cupcakes. I just need to get started making the mini quiches and breads and freezing them now so I don’t have to bust my butt the day or two before the party.

Ava got her first pair of Crocs this weekend. They are bright pink just like mommy’s, but they look so much cuter on her feet than mine do on mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She loves them and I figure they are great shoes for her to wear this summer.

Oh, I got to meet my friend Brandy’s new baby Trajan this weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚ He’s a little doll. (It turns out he was 8 lbs., 10 oz. at birth after all – not 9 lbs., 10 oz., but either way, she’s still my hero.) I forgot how squirmy newborns can be though and I felt all awkward holding him. Ava was very sweet with him – touching his hair and his ear and foot softly. She’s a nurturer and I think she’ll slip into the big sister roll with ease.

Hope you all have a nice week and find ways to beat the heat if you are having record highs too!

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that we had a power outage on Sunday. It fried the power supply in my computer (and I was so scared it had damaged much more because you could smell something had burned in the computer), so we had to drop $60 to buy a new one. Jody installed it Sunday night and everything was fine on the computer. What a relief!! I need to get my butt in gear and backup all of my photos and other things that are important to me before I end up losing it all. Gulp.

16 weeks today :)

16 weeks pregnant today! I’m feeling great! I don’t really have a need to nap every day like I did during the first trimester, which is great because I can get caught up on other things (like proofing pics) that I didn’t have time for before.

I’ve scheduled my ultrasound for when I’ll be 19 weeks. Only 3 weeks away! It’s crazy how fast this pregnancy is going.

With Ava, I felt like she was a girl and it was no surprise to me when the ultrasound tech announced that she was. With this baby, I’m really not sure. Part of me wants to say it’s a boy just because this pregnancy feels so different from my last. But I also know from a few friends who thought they were having the opposite gender of their first baby because their pregnancies were so different and ended up having the same gender both times, that that doesn’t always mean a darn thing. The other part of me just feels like it’s another girl. I guess we will hopefully (if baby cooperates) find out in a few more weeks.

Jody and I have been talking a lot about names lately. I think we have tentative names picked out for both a boy and a girl, but those will be kept under wraps until baby arrives. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ava and I just took a mile and a half walk (each way) to that park/lake we picnicked at this weekend. I’m going to try to do that walk with her more regularly because I know the exercise would be good for me. We’ve done it once before as well. Just packed some PBJ sandwiches, fruit and water and made an afternoon of it.

I’ll leave you with a few belly pics from this pregnancy. I haven’t been nearly as good about taking them this time around, but you can still see a big difference from 7 weeks to 15 weeks (taken last week).

And one of me and Ava (showing off her baby belly too):