25 weeks and counting

Filed under: symptoms — by Lauren on August 28th, 2008 @ 11:15 pm

We hit the 25 week mark on Monday; 5/8 of the way there! Things have been going very well recently. My colitis seems to be completely under control while on the extra medication, so as of next Monday I will start to wean off of it (slowly) to see if I can maintain remission without it. Woohoo!

This baby girl is as active as her older sister was in utero, especially at night, and she’s very strong. My stomach bulges, jumps, and rolls all over the place. I’m pretty sure she’s turned head down for good now, since I haven’t had any bladder or cervical kicks in several days, but my rib cage is taking a beating. She doesn’t feel like she’s sitting quite a low as Anya was by the end just yet, but give her time, I suppose. Oh, and she gets raging cases of hiccups, just like Anya did, too.

I’ve gained somewhere around 15 lbs so far – not too bad, although I did gain about half of that in the last five weeks. I’m still all belly, and it’s starting to get in my way. Squatting has become a huge challenge, and standing at the sink to wash dishes or trying to cook on the stove will soon require standing sideways or “Go Go Gadget” arms.

I went for my glucose tolerance test today. People have all sorts of different reactions to needing to drink the stuff that they give you. For me, I start to get very lightheaded about 15 minutes after I’ve gotten it down, and then about ten minutes after that I become extremely drowsy, so much that I fell asleep in the waiting room of the lab until the technician called me in to draw my blood. Thank goodness my mom was there with me! I was out of it for much of the day today, too. I’m finally starting to feel better now. Too bad it’s bedtime! I should have my results in a few days. I hope, hope, hope I passed.

Anya the Literary Analyst

Filed under: video — by Lauren on August 27th, 2008 @ 11:03 pm

This is why it can take a long time to get through Anya’s bedtime routine:

Our trip to the Bahamas

Filed under: family,friends,photos,video — by Lauren on August 25th, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

We were very lucky this summer in that we got to join my parents, my sisters Samantha and Melanie, my brother Brian, Samantha’s boyfriend Erik, and Melanie’s friend Anne on a week-long trip to Taino Beach in the Bahamas (or the ‘Hamas, as Anya called it all week before we left). Despite getting hit with the outskirts of Tropical Storm Fay for much of the trip, we still had a wonderful time – and at least some of us managed to get to the pool or beach every day.

Anya loved flying on the planes! She was particularly excited by landing (“The plane is landing on the ground! It driving on the wheels! It go fast!”). We brought LOTS of things for her to do, but it turned out not to be necessary – she spent a good portion of the air time either sleeping, eating, or poring over the in-flight magazine and Sky Mall catalog. She had a little trouble falling and staying asleep while at the hotel (vacations should NOT involve waking up at 4:30 in the morning!) but towards the second half of the trip we were able to get into a groove that more or less worked. With nine adults and just one Anya in our group, she hardly got any attention this week. Yeah, right.

Between the three cameras that were brought, we took a lot of pictures (click here to see the full album). Here is a video and some of the highlights:

Yikes, THAT’S a big belly. Baby Girl #2 was there, too!

My parents and all of their kids:

Our “Bahama Mama”:

A piggy back train:

One of the storms:

The beautiful view from our balcony:

Anya admiring the ocean:

Lex playing in the sand:

Despite the look of worry here, Anya did end up loving the ocean:

Friedman family portrait:

Anya and Lex “chill-laxing” in a hammock:

She could not get enough of the slide!

Everybody in the pool:

Me and Anya, snuggling in a tube:

There were lizards everywhere! Anya was disappointed that she wasn’t going to get to pet and kiss them, as she announced excitedly when she first noticed them, but she still enjoyed chasing them:

The whole group at dinner on our last night:

Karaoke at one of the casinos:

Anya enjoying the play area at the Philadelphia airport during our return flight layover:

It really was a fabulous trip, with a good mix of activity and relaxation. I can’t remember the last time I had enough time to read two books in one week! Since my dad has access to the timeshare for the next 30 years or so, I am sure we’ll be back again some day, and I hope we have just as good of a time – except maybe with a little less wind!

Daddy Daughter Day

Filed under: family,funny,moments — by Lex on August 14th, 2008 @ 8:01 am

This past Sunday, Lauren went into NYC to visit a friend. I told Anya that because Mommy was taking the bus to New York, that Anya and I would have a very special Daddy Daughter Day.

I had her at “bus.”

“Mommy take the bus! Mommy go to New Jork!” (Anya has an interesting accent sometimes.)

Now, spending time with one’s offspring isn’t a special event. I hate when it’s implied that because I’m home with Anya, I’m “babysitting.” No; I’m parenting. Spending an hour or a day solo with kid is part of Dadhood, and doesn’t suggest that I’ve achieved some milestone.

Still, with Lauren going away for the day, I thought it’d be fun to label the day as special and plan some activities, vs. just hanging out and playing at home. I also assumed that if we gave the day a special name, we could add it to Anya’s repertoire of stories she loves to tell and be told (e.g., “Anya Goes to Sesame Place,” “Anya Goes to the Park,” “Daddy Wakes Up Anya in the Morning,” “Anya at School,” “Anya at the Library,” and “The Great Gatsby”).

After we dropped Mommy off at the bus for New Jork, we started driving to the Sprayground. During the drive, amusingly, Anya asked me to regale her with some of her favorite personal stories — the ones listed parenthetically above. Over and over and over again. It was cute, but eventually we ran out of stories, although demand for stories continued to rage. The stories became more self-referential and less, uh, interesting:

“Once upon a time, Anya and Daddy were driving to the Sprayground at Doorbrook Park! Anya wanted Daddy to tell her stories, so Daddy told her the story of how once upon a time, Anya and Daddy were driving to the Sprayground at Doorbrook…”

Anya has a good time at the Sprayground. She’s not the most adventurous kid at the park by far, but she can have a great time. We started with one of the little mini-streams, and she pretended it was a sink. (This became a major theme of our time at the park.) After washing her hands for awhile, she suddenly became consumed with the need to find soap and ran around looking for some until I suggested we use pretend soap instead. With some of the bigger sprayers, Anya enjoyed having me swing her around, darting back and forth through the sprays. There are lots of ways Anya plays at the splash park, and it’s a joy to watch.

Note for the jealous who can’t see how we played: I decided I wanted DDD to be a day I experienced live, instead of getting tied up in taping and photographing. You lose!

We ate lunch on our blanket at the park. Said meal was eaten very nicely by Anya, and punctuated with bursts of enthusiasm from her: “The man has a dog! The dog’s walking! The man is walking, too! He looks just like Charlie!” (I assume she meant the dog.) “The girl is wearing a swimsuit!” “The baby is crying!”

Post-lunch, we drove home. I tried to keep Anya awake — it was too early for her nap, but it was also clear she was pooped. As I attempted to engage her (“What does a cow say?” “What’s Mommy’s real name?”) The answers got softer and softer and more drawn-out: “L-aurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrren.” She conked out about two minutes from the house. Attempts to rouse her — loud taking, Charlie barking as we walked in, etc — were futile, and she went down for her nap. She woke up too early, after just 40 minutes, and rather than attempt perhaps a better solution in the long-term, I went for short-term success and satisfaction: I sat in the rocker and let her sleep the next 30+ minutes on my shoulder. Good times.

Post-nap, there was book-reading in the playroom, than piano-playing in the family room. When we first sat down at the piano, Anya began plunking keys at random and singing Elmo’s Song. Hilarious. We played songs together for a surprisingly long time.

Then, when I suggested we make a project for Mommy to welcome her home, Anya thought it was a heck of an idea. She made a beautiful card for Lauren, and when we finished up, it was time to go get her!

(“Mommy on the bus to New Jork!”)

Daddy Daughter Day was great. I do regret not having enough accumulated wealth to stick around and play with Anya all day long every day. The requirements of work and needing to Get Stuff Done aren’t flexible right now. But frankly, work doesn’t pay as well as Anya does.

How Anya sits in her high chair

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on August 10th, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

This is how Anya sits in her high chair, every time:

She’ll keep her feet like that for most of the meal.  I don’t see how that can possibly be comfortable, but it seems to work for her!

Baby Blanket

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on August 8th, 2008 @ 4:27 pm

Someone in one of my December 2008 pregnancy groups inspired me to try making a fleece blanket for the baby.  I found some instructions online and got the material.  Then last night I started the blanket.  I finished it this morning!  I’m so excited about it.  I love to crochet but don’t have the patience to finish bigger projects like blankets – baby hats and sweaters are more my style.  Here’s how it turned out:

8 short stories

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on August 5th, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

I am currently sitting next to an ever-growing list of Anya stories I’ve been meaning to blog about, so I thought I should get cracking.  I’ll try to keep each one brief, but that’s always a challenge for me!

1. A few weeks ago Anya mastered the French door lever handles the previous owners of our house seem to have loved so dearly, so we finally got around to putting a few child locks on certain doors and installed a baby gate at the top of the stairs. We’re working very hard on getting her big girl room set up, and sooner than later we’ll be posting about the process of moving her to the twin bed.

2. I was sitting on the twin bed reading There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly to Anya, when she suddenly exclaimed, “Two old ladies! One in the book and one over there!” as she pointed to the Old Lady doll that was sitting on the dresser.

3. We think this was probably Anya’s longest complete sentence to date: “I go to the hospital with Mommy and Daddy to see G.G.!” We had just told her that we were going to the hospital to visit our friends who had just had a baby, and she remembered that she had gone to the hospital to visit my grandmother weeks ago!

4. Anya is starting to ask a lot of questions, the most common being “Who’s that?” when she doesn’t know someone. I had taken her to daycare and she asked it when she didn’t recognize the dad of one of her classmates. She’ll also ask it about both characters and objects she doesn’t know in a book. A cute story: She was looking at a Huggies diaper (she usually wears Luvs or Pampers Pull-Ups), and was excited about the characters on the front. “Look!” she said, “There’s Mickey Mouse and…and…and…WHO’S THAT?” She didn’t know Pluto’s name, but at least she knew how to find out what it was!

5. Apparently Anya pays attention at daycare. One morning Lex and I were talking about how Anya had been repeating the Spanish words in her Dora book around the house, and she pipes in with, “Spanish words! Siete…Seis…Ocho!” They count to ten in Spanish every day at school, but we had no idea. She’s getting better now at counting in order in Spanish and saying all of the numbers.

6. There was one morning last week when Anya woke up VERY early. After listening to her crying, “Mommy come back!” over and over and begrudgingly accepting that she wasn’t going back to sleep, I finally went in around 5:45 am or so. The first thing she said when I walked in was, “I crying! I mad at Mommy. She go away!” I don’t remember much else about that morning, since I handed her some books in the crib and promptly conked out in the rocking chair until around 6:30.  I’m glad she’s trying to use emotion words, though.

7. Anya is SO affectionate, and we love it. In the morning when Lex gets her and brings her into our room, one of the first thing she does is climbs on top of us and give us each a big wet smooch. “Good morning, Mommy!” She loves to give kisses and hugs, and she has a preference for kisses smack on the lips. Sometimes if she asks to give me a kiss and I offer her my cheek, she’ll grab my face with her hands and turn it so she can get me on the mouth. She also feels it necessary to give or get kisses on both cheeks, not just one. How European of her!

8. I was playing a silly game with Anya where I’d point to two body parts of hers and label them correctly, and then say the wrong thing for a third. She thought this was hysterical. This was the funniest part of the game:

Me: That’s my Anya’s nose.  That’s my Anya’s leg.  [Points to Anya’s cheek] That’s my Anya’s belly button!
Anya: [Cracks up]  NOOOO!  That’s Anya’s cheek.  Mommy forgot! [Lifts up her shirt]  That’s a belly button!”

More fun this summer

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on August 4th, 2008 @ 11:50 pm

I can’t believe it’s already August and the summer will soon be over!  How did it go so fast?  We still have a lot planned for the coming weeks, and we’ve been enjoying some fun family time, too.

Tonight we went out in the backyard after dinner. I got a real kick out of watching Anya just be a kid. She climbed up her slide and gleefully shouted, “I did it!” before swooshing down. She tried to run up the hill, fell, and giggled hysterically as she rolled around in the grass. That led to a fun game of being chased by Daddy, then a game of chasing Mommy, both of which seemed to require lots of Anya time on the ground. We were having so much fun, and it was a bummer to call it a night and head inside for bath and bedtime.

This past Sunday we spent some time at the township pool and had a blast. Here’s a video of Anya and Lex playing in the water:

I really like this picture of the two of them:

Oh, we also had visitors this weekend! Our friends Jake and Dana Rubin came up from Washington, DC, to visit us for a bit. Anya hasn’t seen them in a long time, but they came bearing gifts (always a smart move with a toddler) and she warmed up very quickly. She’s still talking about them two days later!

Anya had a blast walking around in Dana’s heels. Too bad Mommy only wears sandals and sneakers!

Hopefully we’ll be able to make a trip down to DC sometime soon to see them again (Maybe in September???).  It had been too long!