Filed under: photos — by Lauren on January 7th, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

We made a somewhat last minute decision to go on one more family vacation before the baby is born, since we don’t anticipate we will be traveling much for the next two years.  We decided that going on a cruise would be the best option for our family and found a great deal through Carnival, and so in the beginning of November we headed down to Florida with my mom and my sister Samantha, met up with my grandmother, and headed out on a 7 Day Western Caribbean cruise.  It was a fantastic vacation, and everyone had an amazing time.  You can see a full album of pictures here, but check out some of the highlights:

The rainbow that wished us “bon voyage” as we left the port of Miami:

Checking out one of the towel animals that appeared nightly in our room:

The girls dressed up for the first formal night:

Anya at Royal Palms beach in Grand Cayman:

Sierra, exhausted from a day at the beach:

Lex and I were picked to participate in the Marriage Game one night:

Our boat, the Carnival Valor:

Anya and Great-Grandma Shirley, waiting for our excursion to start in Isla Roatan:

Lex and Sierra at the beach on Maya Key, Isla Roatan:

Dressed up on the second formal night:

The girls loved the glass elevators:

Cozumel, Mexico – we spent the day at Playa Mia:

Having a relaxing morning in our room:

If there was a stage and music to go with it, the girls were ready to dance:

What’s the best kind of buffet?  A CHOCOLATE buffet:

No child left behind:

Halloween 2010

Filed under: photos — by Lauren on January 6th, 2011 @ 11:07 pm

Some pictures to enjoy:

Pumpkin picking with Anya’s class:

Family pumpkin picking:

Trick-or-treating at the Municipal Center with a friend:

Pumpkin carving and Halloween baking:

The princess and the poodle:


Baby Boy Friedman

Filed under: baby's progress — by Lauren on @ 10:23 pm

Yes, that’s right, we are officially expecting a baby boy (in only two more calendar months, no less)!  We had our Level II scan back on October 19th.  The baby looked perfect, with everything exactly where it should be, measuring right on target, and some long feet.  The technician said she likes to take all the pictures she needs first and then goes back to show the parents everything, but about 5 seconds into the scan she said she had to show us the image because she didn’t know if she’d get as clear of a shot later.  Definitely a boy!  She basically said, “Well, there are no guarantees with ultrasounds, but if you’re having a girl, you have a problem because she’s got a penis.”

Little feet:

Profile shots:

It’s a boy:

This pregnancy has been pretty routine so far.  Currently, I’m seeing the OB every two weeks, I’ve gained 25 lbs, I’m measuring right on track, and the baby’s heartbeat is nice and strong.  He’s a little maniac in there; so strong and often bordering on violent.  Both of the girls get a huge kick out of feeling him “boop” their hand (Sierra’s words).   It feels like he must have 8 legs or something like that. I just don’t see how he can kick me in so many places at one time.  I did fail the 1 hour glucose tolerance test again, and I’m actually writing this while sitting in the waiting room of the lab during the 3 hour test (Oh, how I hope I pass).  I’ve been finding myself extremely thirsty recently during this pregnancy, which is not a symptom I recall when I was pregnant with the girls.  We’re starting to work on getting things ready at home for Baby Boy, but it’s probably time we pick up the pace a bit.  That first trimester went so slowly, but the rest of the pregnancy has flown by.  He’s going to be here really soon!

Anya is 4, and more

Filed under: Anya — by Lauren on @ 9:19 pm

Adorable Anya Haley turned 4 years old on October 19, 2010.  We celebrated her birthday with a princess-themed party at our house, with Princess Belle in attendance.  Anya had a wonderful time.  We also celebrated her birthday with family and at school.

At 4 years old, Anya continues to amaze and challenge us every day.  She is so bright, so funny, so passionate about everything both good and bad – I am so lucky to be her mom.  She loves school and learning anything she can, and has gotten quite good at writing her letters since school began in September.  Anya adores princesses, Fancy Nancy and Pinkalicious, and anything pretty (according to her), but she still loves Dora, Diego, and of course, books.  Her favorite color changes often, which is amusing to me.  It’s currently yellow.

Anya is an amazing big sister to Sierra.  That’s not to say they don’t have their fair share of arguments, but they play together so nicely the majority of the time, and there is nothing like listening to them make each other crack up and giggle.  I nearly burst into pregnant, hormonal tears when Anya, completely out of the blue, said to me, “Mommy, Sierra isn’t just my sister.  She’s also my friend.”

At Anya’s well-check, she weighed 38 lbs and was 39 3/4 inches.  We voiced our continued concern about some of Anya’s motor skills, specifically her difficulty jumping, to the pediatrician, and this time after having her try to jump for him, he felt that we should take her to be evaluated by a physical therapist.  The only other area of concern during her exam was that she didn’t pass the vision screening, and it was suggested we take her to an eye doctor for a full exam.  Everything else was wonderful (well, other than Anya’s fear of doctors and shots making some of that appointment a screaming struggle).

So, we took Anya for an evaluation with a pediatric physical therapist at the local hospital’s rehabilitation center, and the therapist found that her strength and balance on her right side, particularly when her hip is involved, was notably weak.  Her abdominal strength was also weaker than was to be expected for her age and she was fatiguing quickly, turning out her leg to compensate.  She was leading with her left leg for almost all gross motor tasks involving her legs.  She started going to physical therapy twice a week in the middle of November, and since then we have seen incredible improvement, enough that in the middle of December she was reduced to going once a week instead of twice.  Her therapist, Angela, is fabulous and so creative.  Even though Anya is completely aware of why she goes to physical therapy, she has no idea she’s actually “exercising” while she’s there – to her, it must seem like one big session of fun where she gets to climb, bounce on balls, ride on scooters, and run through obstacle courses.  It’s such a good time that Sierra loves going there, too.  Anya now can jump forwards and backwards with two feet, maintain balance on her right leg for longer periods of time, climb up a step with her right leg without turning out her hip…  It’s really exciting for us to see.  I think she will continue for at least another month, but she may be discharged from physical therapy altogether very soon after that.

The need for a vision exam came as a big surprise to me, though it probably shouldn’t have, given the history of early vision problems in both my and Lex’s families.  It seemed to me that maybe Anya wasn’t being fully cooperative when the nurse wanted her to read the eye chart at the pediatrician, but it was still strongly recommended that we take her to have her eyes checked just in case.  Well, it turned out Anya really needed glasses.

Her prescription is stronger than mine.  The doctor said she’s technically farsighted, but according to the testing she couldn’t see particularly well up close or far away.  We picked up her new purple glasses in the middle of November.  The first week she had a hard time adjusting to wearing them full-time; she needed to be reminded frequently to look through them instead of over or under them.  The second week, we stopped having her wear them full-time and tried introducing them more gradually.  She’s doing much better now, although she had a follow-up appointment with the doctor again yesterday and she wants to change Anya’s prescription slightly.

I love my girl.  LOVE HER!


Filed under: thoughts — by Lauren on @ 2:34 pm

It’s been many, many weeks since I have blogged.  The last post was written in October about Sierra’s 21 month birthday in September.  It is now January.  Sigh.  I feel some guilt about my ever-increasing slacking.  When I was pregnant with Anya, I posted practically every time she kicked, and then when she was born, every new thing she did went on the blog.  When I was pregnant with Sierra, I posted every now and then, covered most of her big milestones as an infant, but as she got older I took more of a summary approach.  Now I’ve been neglecting both girls on the blog, not to mention this pregnancy.  I have no excuse other than I have been so busy living life that I haven’t been taking the time to document it.  I want to say I’m going to do a better job in 2011, but will I?  The new year is going to bring even more excitement and busy-ness/chaos into our lives – most notably when our third child is born – and though I want to be able to have a place to come relive all of those wonderful moments, I just don’t know that I will take the time to write about them.  To my dear children who many read this blog one day and want to know where all the posts went:  Please know that it was because I picked enjoying the time with you over writing about it… and because I was TOO FREAKING TIRED at night to blog!

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