So, about this pregnancy thing…

Filed under: doctor,photos,symptoms — by Lauren on August 28th, 2010 @ 8:35 pm

Today marks the first day of the second trimester!  The first one has been pretty rough for me, at least compared to how it went with the girls – all day nausea, food aversions like you wouldn’t believe, headaches, exhaustion, etc.  The nausea’s intensity has definitely waned, but it’s still there.  Let’s hope the word gets out that the second trimester is here.

We had an appointment on Tuesday with our amazing OB, and everything looks great.  The baby had a strong heartbeat and there was a nice amount of uterine growth.  On Wednesday, we had the scan and bloodwork done for the nuchal translucency, and the scan was awesome!  In just 4 weeks, the baby grew from a little blobby looking thing to a tiny little BABY, with arms, legs, hands, feet, a little mouth that opened and closed…  Even the third time around, it’s thrilling to see.  The measurements suggest a very low risk of Down Syndrome (though we need to bloodwork results to get a better sense), and the baby was only measuring 2 days ahead, which is tiny, given our history with big babies.  The other exciting news is that both the tech and the doctor felt fairly confident that we are going to have a boy.


It’s not definite yet, of course, but Lex and I both thought we saw the boy parts, even before the tech gave us her opinion.   I don’t think anyone will be more excited than Anya, who has insisted that this baby is going to be a boy even before we were pregnant, because, as she says, “I need a brother.  I already have a sister!”

Some pictures of our newest little one:

6 weeks, 6 days

8 weeks, 4 days

12 weeks, 4 days

Here are the previously unpublished posts:

Baby 3: 10 weeks down, 30 to go


Here we go again

ALL my children…

Filed under: news,photos — by Lauren on August 27th, 2010 @ 8:49 am

Didn’t Sierra turn 18 months…like TWO MONTHS AGO?

Filed under: baby's progress,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on August 15th, 2010 @ 10:32 am

Um, yeah…  I’m a total slacker blogging mom.  Sierra’s changed so much in the last two months, it’s almost like she’s a completely different person from the kid she was in June.  I had lots of video clips that I meant to post, but they’re all kind of out of date at this point.  Rather than detail what Sierra was like at 18 months, I’ll mostly try to recap some of what’s been going on since June 6th.

Let’s start with her 18 month well check and stats – at her appointment, she was 21 lbs, 5 oz (10th percentile) and 31 inches (25th percentile).  That’s TINY for a child of mine.  Even yesterday, she only weighed in at 22.2 lb on our bathroom scale.  How’d that 8 lb, 7 oz baby turn into such a peanut?  Though she doesn’t always eat a huge amount in any one sitting, she definitely has a good appetite – like when she starts shrieking that she wants lunch at 10 am.  The doctor pronounced her healthy and fabulous, and again commented that her verbal skills are quite advanced.  She got two shots, in her arms rather than in her legs at my request, since in the past the shots haven’t bothered her as much when given in the arms.  She didn’t even notice the first one – she was way too distracted by getting a bandaid (“Sticker!!!”) – and she cried for maybe 5 seconds after the next one, stopping as soon as she got another Band-Aid (“TWO stickers!!!”).

Shortly after Sierra turned 18 months old, she started really combining words, and now she gives us everything from single words to short phrases (“Baby fall down”) to complete sentences (“Mommy, where did Daddy go?” or “I have a dolly.  Look, Mom!”). The first completely spontaneous sentence that I noticed her saying was “Mommy, I like peppers!”  She also sings whole songs, often at hilariously loud volumes.  Some of her favorites are:

  • The Alphabet Song
  • Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
  • Where is Thumbkin?
  • Happy Birthday
  • Rain, Rain, Go Away
  • The theme song from the show “Weeds” (not that we let her watch that!)

Her articulation has improved greatly, though Lex and I can certainly understand her better than someone who doesn’t know her would.  Much like her big sister, she is pretty shy around people she doesn’t know too well and will clam up.  She’s learning how to count – currently she’s got “One, two, three, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen” down pat – and she can identify several shapes.  Though she can’t consistently identify colors yet, she can match them like a pro, especially with her Melissa and Doug fish puzzle.  Puzzles are a big thing for her, actually.  She adores them!  She also greatly enjoys the Biscuit books, Dora and Diego (and has a few Spanish phrases in her everyday vocabulary, courtesy of those two), and all baby dolls.

Sierra’s love for Anya has grown to near idol worship.  As soon as she hears Anya make any noise in the morning, she begins shouting, “Anya wake up!  Play in Anya room!”  She always wants to share with her big sister, too.  She has these two baby dolls that she likes to take with her when we go out, but she has to take both of them and not just one, because she needs “ONE FOR ANYA!”  She’s always going over to give her hugs and kisses, especially if Anya gets upset or hurts herself.  They play together very nicely for the most part, too, and anything Anya does, Sierra wants to do, too.

What else?  Let’s see.  We are continuing to work on potty training.  Sierra loves to pee both on the toilet and in her diaper equally, but she knows what she’s supposed to do, and will gladly tell anyone else who goes to the toilet that they are a big girl.  She had been resistant to pooping on the toilet for several weeks after having had some success, but in the last few days she’s been doing a much better job – and she loves getting hand stamps and stickers as a reward.  As for sleeping, Sierra is doing beautifully.  After a short bedtime routine, she goes in the crib awake and often puts herself to sleep by singing or talking herself.  Our only big complaint is that we wish she would sleep later .  We can deal with the 6 am wake up call, but when it gets closer to 5 am, it’s rough.  Sierra is still a little imp – climbing on whatever she can, standing on stools and shouting “One, two, three, jump!” (but she doesn’t jump, thankfully), sneaking up to the landing on the stairs and taunting me with, “Mommy… Up so high!” – but she’s also a total sweetheart, showering us with unprompted hugs, kisses, I love yous, pleases, thank yous, and excuse mes all the time.  I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again anyway:  I think we’ll keep her.

Sierra is 15, er, almost 16 months old!

Filed under: Anya,baby's progress,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on March 31st, 2010 @ 9:56 pm

Sierra turned 15 months old on March 6th (That’s 1 and 1/4 years!) and since we are just a few days away from her 16 month birthday, I figured it was time to stop procrastinating and actually write this post. She had her well check on the 9th – 20 lbs, 4 oz and 30 1/2 inches – kind of a peanut! She’s healthy in all respects. The doctor once again commented on both her advanced verbal skills and her rather strong will. The rest of her stats? Size 4 diapers, size 3 shoes, in between 9-12 months and 12-18 months clothes, and 14 teeth.

This child has a lot to say and is rarely quiet at home. When we’re out and about or in a big group, though, she takes a long time to warm up. Her articulation has gotten much better, but you still need to know her to understand her well. She has a huge vocabulary, including many names and a lot of short phrases. Some of my favorites: I don’t know; Hi, birdies; wash your hands; come with me; hahaha, funny; and I love you. She loves music and tries to sing several songs, including “ABC” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” – and she actually gets a few words and an approximation of the tune. “Two” is a frequent request of hers. She must have two of everything, at least according to her.

Sierra walks very well and climbs on whatever she can. She drags a stool over to Anya’s bed so she can get up there, scootches off, and then climbs up again. I am constantly pulling her off of stools and grabbing her off the stairs. She loves the little rocking chair in Anya’s room!

On the whole, Sierra’s sleep is pretty good, at least compared to how it had been just a few months ago. She can be put down awake, even for most naps, and will go to sleep on her own. The past few days she’s been getting up in the middle of the night, but before that she had been sleeping until between 5 and 5:30 am, coming into our room to nurse, and then going back to sleep with us until Anya wakes up and clomps into our room. Oh, and she’s found a “lovey” at last. Sierra has to sleep with her Spot doll. We have gotten a back up, just in case.

Weirdly enough, aside from just now forming an attachment to a doll, she has taken a recent interest in pacifiers and baby food. The former she wanted to hold in her mouth for several days, but she wasn’t sucking or chewing on them, just clenching them between her teeth. I think they helped ease some of her teething discomfort. She likes the idea of them, still, but is usually done after a few moments. The latter she will now happily eat, but only if given a spoon of her own so she can feed herself while I help. She’s pretty good at it, actually.

Sierra eats quite well much of the time now. She still loves proteins more than anything, but has become quite fond of bananas, broccoli, and of course, peas. At the time of her 15 months appointment, she wasn’t drinking much milk regularly, but she’s improving. She still nurses twice a day.

Wipes are still among Sierra’s favorite play things, but baby dolls are her current obsession. She carries them everywhere, walks them around in strollers, tells me “poop” and wants to change their diapers, feeds them, etc. She has one doll which is actually a My Little Pony unicorn that Anya got for her birthday, and frequently she insists that we take it with us if we’re leaving the house. If I mention getting her shoes, she’ll start to walk towards the garage, and then run back to the playroom with an almost frantic, “Baby! Baby!” Also high up on Sierra’s list of favorites are stickers and books. She’s constantly bringing a book over to me, declaring, “Read it! Sit!” while forcefully climbing into my lap. There are several she prefers and asks for by name.

Babies, wipes, and books are great, but Anya is Sierra’s favorite person in the world. In the morning, Sierra usually asks for Anya first thing, and you can frequently hear her calling, “Anya, Anya!” throughout the day. She often cries when I drop Anya off at school. Sierra loves to copy everything Anya does, and unprompted walks over to her big sister to give her kisses (Sierra is actually really big on giving kisses and saying, “I love you,” and I love it). They giggle, hold hands, and can be so sweet together, at least when they aren’t arguing over a toy, but they generally get along very well and I hope it lasts.

So, here’s a video that is already pretty dated since it’s been a month or more since I filmed these clips, but she’s still cute, so enjoy:

My Little Artists

Filed under: photos,the day-to-day stuff,video — by Lauren on January 30th, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

Here’s a topic I’ve been meaning about since October.  Oops.  Both Anya and Sierra love to color.  Anya started drawing some recognizable shapes (mainly happy faces) back in September that have since grown into “tadpole people” complete with arms, legs, hair, ears, hats, and whatever other feature tickles her fancy.  She still scribbles plenty as well, but her scribbling most definitely means something to her.  Sierra loves to draw, especially when she can make dots.

Anya’s first page of happy faces:

Tadpole person from October:

The girls drawing together in October:

Tadpole person from November:

The girls drawing together a few days ago:


Filed under: Anya,photos — by Lauren on @ 10:37 pm

We took Anya to preview a gymnastics class that two of her friends are taking. She had a lot of fun and I think it will help improve her gross motor development (Anya, I love you, but holy moly girl, you trip over your own feet A LOT).

Warming up:

Sierra the spectator:

Anya in action:


Filed under: family,photos — by Lauren on January 9th, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

Lex’s sister and her family came from Houston to visit us for a week and a half over the holidays. It was the first time they met Sierra, and it was our first time meeting their new(ish) baby. We managed to get one picture of all 7 kids where at least 6 of them were being cooperative:

The Perets and Friedman kids

A Year of Sierra

Filed under: photos,Sierra — by Lauren on December 18th, 2009 @ 10:45 pm

See Sierra grow:

Just born

One month old

Two months old

Three months old

Four months old

Five months old

Six months old

Seven months old

Eight months old

Nine months old

Ten months old

Eleven months old


Sierra is One!

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor,photos,Sierra,video — by Lauren on December 17th, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

(Brace yourself, this one’s going to be a doozy)

Sierra turned one (ONE!!!) on December 6th.  That’s right, one!  I haven’t quite come to terms with it yet.

She had her 1-year well check on December 8th – 19 lbs, 6 oz, 28 1/2 inches long, and a head circumference of 18 1/2 inches.  The nurse didn’t give me the percentiles, but I asked Dr. Internet, who said she’s in the 19th percentile for weight, 25th for height, and 81st for head circumference.  That’s small for a baby of mine!  (Well, small, except for her big head.  Must be all that hair!)  I was very surprised about that.  She’s got tiny feet – barely a size 2 1/2 – just like me.  She’s fitting nicely in her size 4 diapers and 9-12 months wardrobe.  I hope she grows a bit soon; I have all these cute 12-18 months winter clothes from Anya, and I don’t want the cold weather to pass without her getting the chance to wear them!  She had 7 teeth on her first birthday.  Her 8th finally broke through the gums a few days later, and tonight I discovered that she’s cutting at least one, possibly two, molars.

The doctor said Sierra is in excellent health.  He commented that her verbal skills seem advanced for her age, and then he asked if we felt she and Anya had different temperaments.  I thought that was an odd question at first, until I said that Sierra is certainly, um, strong-willed.  He said that he didn’t want to be the one to say it, but…  Yeah.  That’s definitely our Sierra.  She’s had strong opinions about the world since birth (Pacifier?  Bottle?  I THINK NOT!) and she will make sure you know it.

Sierra is still not a big fan of eating much of the time.  There are a few things she really likes (grapes, cheese, most proteins, pizza), but even then she often doesn’t eat much, and just because she ate something happily yesterday does not mean she isn’t going to throw it on the floor today (I am SO not a fan of that particular behavior, and UGH!  She can be so obnoxious about it.  Now she does it while yelling, “NO!”).

We introduced whole milk two weeks before her birthday, and she is learning to like it, though she’d rather drink water.  I also began the weaning process by eliminating her morning nursing session.  My hope is to have her down to twice a day (before bed and first thing in the morning) by the time she’s 14 months, but that would require her to sleep through the night on a regular basis.  A girl can dream!  Some nights we get a good stretch, maybe 11-5, and a few times she even slept through the night, but some nights remain difficult.

Since last month, Sierra completely mastered pulling up, getting back down again, pushing her toys around, and rescuing herself instead of getting stuck in a corner, plus she’s gotten much braver about standing independently.  She’ll push herself up to standing on pretty much anything (toys, my leg, a laptop) except the floor, and she can hold it for at least 10-15 seconds.  She even took her first steps on her birthday!  I don’t expect she’ll be walking for at least another month or two, but she’s getting a little closer each day.

Sierra’s still our little chatterbox.  She’s talking a lot now, and she also tries to repeat just about everything.   Not all of it would be understandable to someone who doesn’t know her and some things are word attempts instead of real words – like yesterday, I realized she was trying to say balloon, only she pronounced it “boppy” – but she’s getting better and adding a word or two daily. Some of the things she says really clearly are “Mommy, Daddy, up, doggie, more, baby, cheese, tickle, tushy, keys, hi, eat, happy, bye-bye, NO…” Less clear but still consistent are “bath, milk, Anya, sister, duck, woof woof, quack, one, want, all done, bubbles, pop, Dora, backpack, touch, peepee, hooray, boom boom, I love you, puzzle, catch…” She uses about 10-15 signs regularly as well, including “please” and “I love you” – two of my favorites – and picks new ones up quickly.  “More” is her catchall sign.

Other stuff – she’s a total snuggle bunny.  Sierra crawls over to me and puts her head down on my lap or shoulder, and she gives big kisses, complete with a MWAAAAH sound effect. I LOVE that.  Also, she can identify a bunch of body parts, including her toes, eyes, hair, nose, mouth, teeth, belly, and tush.  When I read her one of her pre-bedtime books – Baby Faces – she will respond to certain pages with the same things that I do (so when I say the baby is hungry, she signs/says “eat”; when I say that baby is dirty, she says, “ewwww”; for that baby is crying, she goes “wah wah” and does a crying hand motion; etc.).  She knows all the motions for “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “Shake Your Sillies Out,” and she tries to do “Itsy Bitsy Spider.”  She’s also developed a recent love for the “Happy Birthday” song.

Sierra loves putting objects into and taking them out of anything she can, dogs, coloring, toy cars, baby dolls, phones (especially Lex’s iPhone), playing with clothes (she puts them on her head, it’s so funny), and all things musical.  She also loves anything she shouldn’t have or shouldn’t be doing.   I’ve called her an imp in several posts already, but it’s so true:

That’s what I get for leaving the tissue box within reach:


The girl loves trouble. Luckily, we love her. How could we not?

Video time, hooray! Here’s a few, with clips from the last 5-6 weeks.

Sierra playing with her toy cookie jar. She’s about 11 1/2 months here:

Playing in the playroom. This was after her first birthday:

This one’s just a mix of clips from the last several weeks. She’s talking more (and more clearly) now, but of course never when I have the camera ready:

Sisterly love

Filed under: photos,the day-to-day stuff,video — by Lauren on November 18th, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

There is little I enjoy more than watching Anya and Sierra play together.  They are such a riot together, making each other laugh and chasing each other around the room.  Sierra idolizes Anya.  She wants to copy so much of what Anya does, and she climbs all over her, giving her hugs.  Anya, in turn, adores “her baby” and is usually a fabulous big sister.  She informs me many times a day that she just gave Sierra a baby toy or is sharing her own toys with her, and she looks out for her, too.  She’ll comfort her if she’s crying, often by singing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” in a comically loud voice, and she’ll tell me when Sierra has something she’s not supposed to have or is getting into trouble.  The other day, while I was setting up their bath, Sierra escaped from the bathroom and was heading towards the stairs.  I went to grab her, and I found Anya pinning her down, telling her no, baby, no stairs!

(Okay, so maybe the pinning her down was a little much, but the intention was good.)

I would love for this era of constant mutual adoration to never end, but I know as Sierra gets older there are going to be some squabbles.  Tonight they actually had their first real fight over a toy.  Usually either Anya wants something that Sierra has and takes it (despite my frequent reminders NOT to do that) without much protest from Sierra or Sierra tries to grab what Anya has and Anya moves away, complains until I remind her to give Sierra something else, or she lets her have a turn.  Well, today Sierra wanted the pen to the Aquadoodle mat, Anya didn’t want to give it up, and Sierra wasn’t having that!  Anya was yelling that Sierra should stop, and Sierra was shrieking and trying to get it from her.  This problem was easily solved by my finding the second pen, but sigh.  It starts.

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