Sunday, January 30, 2011

The blessings of joining such a wonderful church.

So on top of welcoming us so warmly into the church, the folks at Kendrick's Creek United Methodist Church have again shown us so much love.  Today I was approached by one of the ladies of the church and asked for dates for a baby shower.  I can't tell you how touched I was...we just joined the church and already we've been shown such love and kindness.  My only hope is that I will be able to return this kindness to them.  What a blessing it has been to meet such great people!

Working hard for the money!

So this week has been a crazy one.  We've been getting the nursery done and washing lots of baby clothes (thank you family and friends!!).   On top of that, I've been working hard on a project that has been going on a long time at work.  Then it dawned on me.  I talk about work some, but very few actually know what I do.  I think it's time for a change.

So pictured below is one of the programs I use, to find dopamine transients.  I'm able to make a template when I find a marvelous DA transient (like the one below) and match it to other files.  That way the computer is able to find other transients in the files.  I then sort through those transients it finds, confirm that it is DA, and give a nA & noise reading for each transient.

Why is this important?  Well, DA is a great neurotransmitter.  It's essential for movement (Parkinson's patients- develop symptoms after about a 95% loss of DA cells/terminals) and it is deemed a reward neurotransmitter.  So whenever you do something rewarding, guess what? DA.  So why would we care about that...well, let me put it in terms of drugs of abuse.  Methamphetamine causes about 100 fold release of DA compared to a natural reward like eating.  However, after long term abuse...DA release becomes blunted and in some cases DA terminals are retracted. Even more interesting, this corresponds to other binge eating.  After long term consumption of a high fat diet, DA release is blunted and reward thresholds are higher, which means more food is needed to achieve the desired effect.

Now that you all have fallen asleep and think I'm the biggest nerd ever, I'll drop the subject and get back to posts that everyone really wants to see...all about my kids!!  I'm right aren't I?? Or am I one of those parents?  Ha ha.  ;)

So that green-blue dot, that's a DA transient as it is being released in the brain of a behaving animal.  The other graphs are harder to explain, but let me just say, it's a beautiful DA transient!

Overdue Thank You!!

So I have been neglectful of giving some very wonderful people a big Thank You!  I can honestly say, it is partly because of the crazy amount of work we have been doing over the last month and my descent into pregnancy brain.  Also I was hoping to mail out thank you cards first before posting online how great these people are.  Well, I'm dropping the some thank you cards in the mail tomorrow, so here goes!

First thank you to my mom!  She has not only been collecting baby clothes for us (we borrowed some for Elizabeth and are unable to do so this time, so we needed some), but she has also found us a bassinet and is making Baby Girl's coming home outfit.  If you have seen my mom's previous work, you know it will be beautiful. On top of that she has given me decorating items including some curtains and a new wing back chair.  Even better she is helping conquer the sewing block I have and making diapers. I love my Mommy!!

Second, big thanks to my sister Melissa.  She is very supportive (especially during my crazy times), but also has been super nice giving us clothes not only for Baby, but for our little Nut too.  Today Elizabeth wore a new dress from her Aunt Melissa, which she has deemed her ballerina dress.  It has tulle layers and Elizabeth whirled around in them.  Also I have to say thanks in advance to Melissa for coming to the hospital.  If she is able to get there like she was for Elizabeth's birth, she will be invaluable.  Yay for Melissa!!

Third, thanks to Mrs. Crow, my mother in law.  She was able to send us more baby clothes from a friend of hers.  I really appreciate her thinking of us and her friend for being so generous.  We can't thank you enough!!

Fourth, I have to give a big thanks to Mark's sister in law, Kristin.  She also sent us baby clothes, and it is unimaginable the amount that she sent.  Needless to say, baby girl is not in need of any clothes for the next 6 months.  It was super generous of her, and we owe her a huge thank you!  Again we can't thank you enough!!

Finally, thank you to everyone else who has been sending us items for baby, there are too many of you to name individually, but know that I am very blessed to know you.  It is all appreciated, and the love everyone has shown us is so wonderful.  I couldn't ask for better friends and family.   We are so blessed to have you all in our lives!

A tale of two Kates

So I'm of two minds at the moment.  1) I want this kid out!!  2) I need more time to get my projects done.

I've gotten to the point of pregnancy where I'm constantly achy, uncomfortable, and unable to breathe.  So you can imagine, labor doesn't sound all that bad.  Plus you get the most wonderful gift in the world, a new baby to love.  So I'm ready in that respect.

However, I still haven't finished my bunting.  I'm working on the hood, and have the arms and bottom edging to do.  The rest actually looks good, but not functional yet.  I'm also still working on her blanket and would like to finish her one more hat.  I imagine this bear hat like Winnie the Pooh.  I think it would be adorable.  To make matters more stressful, Mark and I would like to get the backsplash up in the kitchen, I want to finish my curtains and Elizabeth's Valentine's dress, and there are some little projects around the house I want done before we have guests.  I guess my pride is getting me on that one.  Anywhoo, I'm working hard to finish it all, but I may have to sacrifice something...but what?!?

Oh, the great news, we've finished the nursery.  Pics to come as soon as I iron the curtains and hang them.  ;)

Potty central

So I know most of my posts have been about Elizabeth going to the potty, but I'm a mom and let's just face it...I'm proud of her.  But I will keep this post short and sweet.

This past week, Elizabeth has really become a potty queen.  She is regularly going, having long dry spells and usually only 1-2 accidents in a day.  The surprising thing, a lot of those accidents happen while we are running to the bathroom.  She tells me she has to go, and we just don't get there in time.  Even better though, we've been getting out of the house these last few days and she is going at other bathrooms.  YAY!!

We're on our way to that doll. ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

More Potty Updates

So since my last post, Elizabeth has done well with potty training.  Tuesday was great!  She got up and immediately went to the potty.  YAY!  Then she stayed dry through Kindermusik.  We went to the grocery store after that, and she stayed dry throughout the shopping.  I tried to get her to go potty while we were there, but after we saw the bathroom, neither of us wanted to use it. All I can say is Yuck!  Well, since we didn't go there she had a small accident on the way home.  However, once we got home she went immediately to the bathroom again.  So I think she was able to stop herself in the car.  I was super proud.  She stayed dry through lunch and nap, then had another success after.  We had one more accident that night, but because we weren't able to make it in time.  She told me she had to go and while running down the hall it happened. But I'm so proud of her and her progress.

Today was a little different.  Lots of success, but more accidents today than Tuesday.  I'm still happy though.  Mark was home today and she really enjoys having him go with her.  Plus she is getting so proud.  When she starts to go, her face lights up, she smiles, and she tell anyone nearby what she is doing.  We've told her so many times that we are proud of her, she has starting saying "I'm so proud of you" every time she goes.  It's so cute!!

I'm so happy that she is really getting the hang of it.  I'm sure we have lots of accidents in our future, but we're definitely progressing and a lot faster than I thought.  Tomorrow we are off to story time at the library, we'll see if we can keep up our successes.  She is still striving for that Snow White doll, and I hope that day is fast approaching too. :)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Joining the Flock

We have officially joined Kendrick's Creek United Methodist Church!  Mark and I are very excited to have found a wonderful church home.  Mark is planning to join the basketball league, and I'm hoping to join in their crochet club (crocheting for charity).  Next Sunday we hope to go to a new Sunday School class too.  We couldn't be happier, especially since we love the people, Reverend Susan, and the fact that there are other little kids for Elizabeth to play with.  I'm excited to introduce Baby Poppy to the church as well, and this will be the church that she is baptized in.  I'm sure we'll do it about the same age Elizabeth was ~6 months or so.  We'll definitely post lots of pics when that day comes.  Until then, enjoy some older pictures of Elizabeth in her baptismal gown, which is the same one that Baby Poppy will wear (Sorry it's a shameless plug of my Mom's talent, she made the gown and it is gorgeous).  :)

My mom with Elizabeth, she made the beautiful gown.

The three of us.  You can slightly see the embroidery on the hem in this picture.  It has the blessings of God embroidered on it.  GORGEOUS!

Close up of baby and the top of the dress.  The neck line was smocked and the sleeves are embroidered.  The bonnet is a handkerchief that she can carry on her wedding day.  You can also see her cross necklace, all were gifts from Grammy for her special day.

Princess Room

So since we've moved I've not posted any pics of just the house.  This is mainly because in every room there are still little decorative things I want to do before showing the world.  But I have to say Elizabeth's room is almost done.  I have two things to put up and it is finished.  The first is a netting that is going to hang from the ceiling to her headboard and the other is a vinyl wall art piece of a castle.  I got it on ETSY and am waiting on it to arrive.  Everything else is done, including her new TWIN bed.  Such a big girl!!  Anyway, I thought since I was so close I would post some pics and add others later of her additions.

Her chest of drawers, which I painted and Mark added new hardware too.  I painted the bow holder and the hooks for her dress up stuff too.  The Princess sign and Carousel horse are from Grammy.

In the corner of her room looking at the closet (which is full of toys and books).  The castle is going over her trunk.

Another view with the bed in it.

View from the door.  Mirror I painted, the Aurora photo is from Aunt Melissa, her chair is from her Ma, and the curtains we found at Hobby Lobby.

Adventures in Potty Training- Update

So since I last posted about potty training things have gone pretty well.  On Saturday Elizabeth had a few accidents, but quite a few successes.  We did go out for dinner and no successes then.  However, I have to say she was feeling a bit under the weather.  Running nose, flush cheeks, and a little cranky...which generally doesn't make for a great day, let alone potty training.   But she was a champ and kept working hard on it.

Sunday was fantastic! We got up and again she immediately went potty.  She then stayed dry the rest of the morning.  After church and lunch (which she slept through) she had one accident, but the rest of the day used the potty!!!  Even better, we met a college friend for dinner, and she asked to go potty at the restaurant.  Completely successful!  I have promised her a Snow White doll if she has a completely dry day, which we almost did.  Maybe it won't be so far away.

Today was slightly different.  Elizabeth has been letting her two year old side come out today.  So even though she has had some success today, she's had two accidents too.  Her big problem today, which I know is a big problem even for older children, is she hasn't wanted to stop playing.  But for having a little attitude (which has ended her up in time out twice today) she's done well (mommy is just a bit pooped out).

Tomorrow is another big test.  Our Kindermusik semester starts at 9:30 am.  I'm hoping we'll stay dry while we're there.  I know she can do it.  Let's just cross our fingers. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

One active little girl

So in addition to potty training, Elizabeth has been one active little girl lately.  She has added reading to Max, playing make up, and hair dresser to her repertoire.  All are pretty cute, though I'm not sure how much Max enjoys his stories.  ;)

A FEW hair bows for Rapunzel's hair.

Night Night stories for Max.

Paperwork has arrived!

So my paperwork has arrived from the editing company.  I'm filling it out and once I send it in I'll be a formatting editor.  YAY!  More stay at home work to help my family out, I'm so happy that I can do that. I couldn't be more grateful to be given the opportunity to stay home and keep a career.  It really is the best of both worlds.

My boys

You are confused by the title aren't you.  You're wondering why someone who has one little girl and another on the way would ever call anything in her house her boys.  But I do have some boys, they just don't get front and center.

Here they are in their natural habitat.

I have to say, I love my boys, particularly the one in the jeans.  Mark has always been a big help and doesn't get the credit he deserves.  So I'm taking the time to brag on him.  Not only has he been helping me whenever he is available with potty training, but this week he's helped me clean the house, did the grocery shopping, helped with the laundry and worked on the house.  Tonight he, Dad, and Mom hung the border in the nursery.  Tomorrow I know he plans to put down the shoe molding and he even mentioned the backsplash for the kitchen.  I have to say, I'm super proud that I have such a loving husband who is willing to work so hard.   That said, I also love that furry one too, just not so much when he wakes me up in the middle of the night. ;)

Adventures in Potty Training- Warning: There is bathroom talk in this post. ;)

So way back in Durham, Elizabeth showed some interest in potty training (followed other kids at daycare, woke up dry, and would sit on a potty).  Being normal parents, we were excited about the process of losing diapers.  So we bought her a little potty and some cloth trainers.  Things were going well, although eventually the cloth trainers had to go because of daycare (wouldn't let her wear them unless she had fewer accidents), and then we found out we were moving.  Well, she wasn't completely potty trained before moving.  She had some success and had learned a lot, but by no means was not going on her own (which is my idea of completely potty trained).

Once arriving in TN, things went down hill quickly.  Suddenly our happy to sit on the potty baby, absolutely refused to sit on it.  She would cry and whine if I took her.  So we decided that the move was too much change, and we should wait until she was comfortable.  Now that we've moved into our house and Christmas was over, I started to think we should try again.  We started just going once a day, after nap (she always wakes up dry).  We had some success, which was encouraging.  Then I added some additional times.  We had more success, then one day she was super cranky...she refused to do anything.  The next day the same thing.  Finally she told me "Mommy, I don't want to potty, I want to go in my diaper".  That was exactly what she hands on the hip, but the tone of voice would have matched that.  That's when Mommy decided it was time for a change.

I found a book at the store called "potty training in one day".  You're laughing aren't you?? I know I was.  But I picked it up and gave it a look.  Sure enough, I found it interesting.  Perfect for a child that simply wasn't motivated to go potty.  You see, you throw a potty party with lots of rewards.  The first part of the day she gets a new doll and you "train" the doll to go potty.  Then doll receives rewards for going, which go to Elizabeth if she "promises to someday use the potty".  Someday turns out to be that afternoon.  After her nap, you begin to take your child to the potty every 30 minutes or less.  You also pump her full of liquids.  She wore cloth trainers as I wanted to have that "uh, oh" feeling.  You aim for about 3-4 successes and know that over the next few weeks it's still a learning process (so not really potty training in a day).  I thought it all sounded reasonable.  At the worst, she would have some fun (you play lots of games while they sit) and get a new toy.  At the best, she would potty train.  So I guess you're wondering, did I give it a try?

Yes, I did, and I can tell you it's not as foolproof as it sounds.  The first half of the first day went well. She trained the doll and took her pretty much every time we needed to go.  Now I did have two instances when her two year old stubborn streak came out.  But we made it through without any tears and after lunch had her normal nap.  Then the second half started.  It wasn't a big success if you measure it by going in the potty.  We practiced all afternoon, and inevitably we would sit for 10-20 minutes on the potty with soon a she got up, she'd go.  However, she was quickly learning what it meant to have an accident.  We got to the point that she actually told me immediately and even could stop herself from going completely.  What wasn't making sense was relaxing when on the potty so she could go (that's her biggest problem).  After a long day we put her to bed, and I was pretty down hearted.  As far as I was concerned, I should just quit.  But I remembered in the book, that she said some children were more resistant and to try the second half the next day. I thought I should give it a go.

The next day, instant success.  She got up, went to the potty, and stayed dry for quite awhile.  I was amazed.  Now that's not to say we didn't have accidents.  No, we had about two accidents before our next success and more after that (though a couple I'm pretty sure was because she got so excited when she went she stopped going, then once we were done washing our hands she went- in other words she didn't finish).  But she was getting really good at telling me she was wet and going straight to the bathroom to change.  She had a couple more successes that day (met our goal of 4 successes that day), but I was just so happy to have my happy baby back.  No more fussing, and being able to tell me she had gone was fantastic!

Day three was again a mixed bag.  Plenty of accidents and several successes.  But the best of all, she went #2 in the potty!!  Just sat down and told me, "I have to push the poo-poo out, Mommy".  AMAZING!!  That warranted a big treat.  I let her play with some makeup.  I know bad Mommy, but it makes her so happy and it really drives home that what she did was special, since I never let her play with regular makeup (fake- yes). 

Today so far is another mixed bag that ended on a high note.  Good on telling us, one HUGE success before nap, and staying dry for longer periods...but still accidents.  Then after nap, she stayed dry until almost bedtime.  We threw our final potty party with Grammy and Pop because of this.  We had balloons, cow cake, and a little gift.  She LOVED it.  Even asked Grammy to take her to the potty, and another success!!  She actually had two accidents that evening, both because we need to work on some stuff.  The first she went to the bathroom and sat on the potty to go #1, only thing is she forgot to pull down her pants. lol The second she thought some gas was #2 and sat down.  Later on I guess she thought it was more wasn't. ;)

I'm really pleased with our progress.  Four days and we're staying dry for hours and telling people she has to go.   I definitely wouldn't recommend this system to everyone though, plus I think the name is a misnomer.  They aren't potty trained in a day, but they do get the concepts in a day or two.  I really feel if we hadn't started in Durham, we could have gone more slowly and without the whole party.  But the move was just too much change, and I believe she lost her motivation.  I definitely think if we stick with the cloth trainers and keep going, in a couple of weeks she'll have it down completely.  Famous last words, right??  :)  I will say, she is definitely proud to wear big girl panties and is ecstatic when she goes.  That should make any Mommy proud.

Decorated bathroom, including her new doll wrapped up.

Our party room.  Princess themed.

More of the party room, complete with protected couch and potty books.

Our dining room decorated for breakfast.  Present of big girl panties on the table.  Mark helping me get ready.

We had a tea party the second half of the day.  Tea pots not shown, but we had pomegranate juice, strawberry milk, and apple juice.  Anything to get her to drink lots.

While sitting on the potty we drew on our paper.  I would like to say that is all Elizabeth's handiwork.  But most of it is mine...which begs the question: How am I 29 and still can't draw???

New doll, named baby Huffington, going to potty on its very own doll potty.

Our potty chart today.  She got to put little stickers up for sitting on the potty and big ones up for successes.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kate vs. the Sewing Machine- Part One

So my arch nemesis and I met on the battlefield today to make curtains (an easier get back in the groove project than diapers).  Things were actually going quite well, then slowly but surely the machine got the upper hand.  Here's how it played out.

First, I was doing well getting my fabric for our curtains prepped and ready to go.  I was proud of myself.  As someone who cannot cut in a straight line, I really pulled it off.  Yay me.  Then I started sewing.  Now Mom had gotten the machine ready and had worked on it awhile.  I mean it's been sitting for about a year without any care.  She changed the needle and helped me oil it etc.  She even got the tension set and did some practice runs to make sure it was looking good (and it was).  Well, she had to leave and I was left alone...first clue that something was going to go wrong.  My first issue was keeping it straight.  I've never been good at keeping things even, other than baking...but on a whole my mistakes were sort of small and only noticeable to someone inspecting the work up close.  Hanging on the wall, not so much.  So while disappointed in myself, I thought it'll do or I'll fix it later.  I started my next one and disaster struck mid-way (and I was doing MUCH better this time).  My machine jammed.  I ripped out the seams, checked it and tried again.  Jammed again.  This continued...and continued...and finally I called Mom.  It seems something is wrong with the machine.  ARG!

Right before disaster struck.
At least I'm not a total failure, but it stopped working mid-way through curtain number two.  So now I have one valance and no way to finish until Mom can either fix the machine or let me borrow hers.  Now since she is making the baby's coming home outfit, it's looking like I need to get mine fixed.  I'd love to get a new one, as this one has been in our family for quite awhile.  It was my Mom's when she was younger, and then traveled to three more homes before reaching mine.  I'm afraid ever since reaching mine it's had some problems. But I know it's a good machine...and capable of everything I need (as a novice).  Plus it doesn't help that I can't justify dropping 200 on a sewing machine right now (I mean, I doubt I'll be sewing much more than curtains, diapers, and a few dresses for the girls in the coming months).  Or 400 for that matter, since if I was to buy one I'd want a Bernina like my mom.  Those are the Rolls-Royce of sewing machines.  You may say, 400 for a Rolls-Royce?  Sounds like a steal, right?  You are right.  That's a used one online from ebay.  A basic one brand new, no embroidery capabilities...try 800 (and boy, how cool would it be to have embroidery functions?).  Yep, it's looking like me and Mr. Kenmore need to get close and figure out what his deal is...well, really I need Mom's help on that one, but still you get the idea.

Probably the most irritating aspect of this whole thing, is knowing what I can do...I mean, 6 months ago I was performing brain surgery on rats almost everyday.  I'm a pro with a dremmel. That's right, I can pop through a skull and not bust through the dura.  To boot, I can construct an electrode using a microscope and a heat gun.  Even harder, I can cut a carbon fiber to 50 um, lodged in a micropipette without breaking the glass seal...all with a microscope and a scapel.  I can even remove a hippocampus so fast and trim it down under a dissecting microscope that the tissue survives.  But somehow, basic sewing machine care and function has escaped me.  Somewhere along the line I wasn't give the ability to cut straight...I mean, come on?!?  But I guess all these things come with practice...I mean it took me a month to cut an carbon fiber reliably.  I just hope it doesn't take me that long to remaster the straight seam. ;)  

Sewing machine- 1  Kate- 0

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Painting Paradise

So with the walls fixed, it's time to paint the nursery.  I'm not allowed to do much, but I did manage to sneak in and do some trim earlier today.  Anyway, Mark is painting away and already has the second coat of both colors on the wall.  He's finishing the second coat of trim right now...we'll see if it's as good as my job. ;)  Once the colors are on the wall he'll be hanging the border and laying some new shoe molding down.  Then it's my turn!  Cleaning the room up shouldn't take long and my dad is coming back to help with touch ups etc. on Monday.  I'm excited to decorate and will be sure to post pics of the finished project.  We're getting closer!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Crocheting addiction

I think I need an intervention.  I've got a crocheting addiction.  I'm currently working on a bunting for baby girl and that's all I want to do besides hang out with the nut.  Last night we watched the new BBC Sherlock and I crocheted.  It was wonderful!  I'm starting to collect way more yarn than humanly possible to use...and I love that too.  The worst part, is I feel like my actual work is getting in the way of my crocheting.  I think that's when I realized I had a problem.  But I'm not going to's just too relaxing and I get to make cute baby stuff.  When my babies grow up, I'm going to have to open that etsy shop.  That's the only way I could continue to feed my addiction.  Either that or I have to start making tablecloths or adult clothing... ;)

Proud Mommy moments

So I'm going to take this moment to post something wonderful about my baby girl.  Warning, this is a totally conceited post that just makes me so proud of her.  If you can't stand that stuff, turn away. ;)

So yesterday, while at the library we went back down to the children's area after story time.  I was selecting a few books for Elizabeth while she played with puzzles.  Elizabeth asked for my help with a puzzle. So we talked about the order of numbers and tried to identify them all to finish it. The lady next to us couldn't believe she was two.  She complement how clearly Elizabeth spoke and the amount of words she knew.  I laughed and told her once the talking started, it hadn't stopped.  Both of us then joked that you work so hard to get them to walk and talk, then spend the rest of your time getting them to sit down and be quiet. ha ha.

Elizabeth has also been showing interest in crafting.  She wants to make a froggie bib.  I think we have a future crocheter in the works. ;)
What size hook do I need?

Good News!

So lots of good news at the moment.  Where to start??

1. It looks like the nursery will be ready to paint tomorrow.  Dad came by and patched the holes, and except for an extra coat of spackle we should be ready to go.  Progress!!

2. I forgot to say anything, but I've got another editor position lined up. HR is drawing up the paperwork and in a week or two I'll be the first format editor they hire.  YAY!!  This will help me transition once my postdoc ends.  Though surprisingly it doesn't have an end date set yet.  I'll be taking a short maternity leave and then going right back to data analysis.  :)  So I've got two jobs...or three if you count my other editor position, but I'm going to keep that extremely low hours.  I've thought about an etsy shop again, but whenever I think about editing and data analysis....I stop myself. ;)

3. We've found a church.  We've really enjoyed the people at Kendricks Creek UMC and hope to talk to the Reverend next week about joining.  This is a big deal for us, as we've felt a little adrift without a church to call home.  It'll be super nice to know we're not moving either.  At our last two churches, we've always known that eventually we'd be definitely dampens the time you spend there.

4. My baby is the sweetest.  Ok, totally mommy moment.  I just had to throw that in there. ha ha. ;)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Best Buddies

So Elizabeth and Max are best of buds.  All day she follows Mr. Max along his kitty duties (well, not all his duties), but she can't get enough of him.  She wants him to lay with her, "pet" her (this means hit her with his head for her to actually pet him), and in general hang out with her.  Leaving to go to story time at the library or any other event can sometimes be a small Max doesn't go with us.  Plus when Max "disappears" downstairs (where is kitty box is located) she wanders the house saying "Max, Where are you?".  To boot, it seems she shares a psychic connection with him or at least that's what Elizabeth would have you think.  You see she constantly tells me about what Max thinks of various things.  Like for instance, he doesn't like to go outside (which at the moment is true, I mean it's 20 degrees outside) or my favorite, that he likes to ride on the back of the horse that lives next to us.  I laughed quite hard with that one.  I have to say, I amazed with how much he puts up with.  Now she's not rough with him, as from day one we've been strict on that.  But if I were a cat and a two year old was screaming my name...I'd be running.

Best Buddies hanging out.

One smart cookie, otherwise known as the troublesome nut.

So you probably think I'm an awful mother.  I mean, I just called my offspring a troublesome nut.  But let's be honest, you have a smart child...yeah, they're trouble.  You see, she just figures stuff out faster than I can keep up with her.  The barrage of questions is never ending, and you constantly have to watch what you say.  I mean this child can work a computer, iPhone, and the dvd player.  She wants to cook, crochet, fold clothes, help clean, hammer, sing, take pictures, read every book, and solve every puzzle.  The only problem with this, is she wants to do it all NOW, and poor ole mommy is struggling to make sure she doesn't say a word she either can't or won't explain to the said child.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm super proud that my little girl knows all her ABC's, has a great vocabulary, and good manners (for a two year old).  I'm just worried that the mom of the child she corrects at whatever said event we're at might mind a little. ;)

Elizabeth and her new keyboard & mouse.  She also got Reader Rabbit Preschool addition.  So far she really likes it!

Adventures in Cloth Diapering- Part two

So today mom and I headed to Hancock's to buy fabric for cloth diapering.  It was a big sale day, and we were able to get the waterproof fabric for the outside of the diaper for 40% off.  I am super excited and extremely nervous at the same time.  Not about whether I can handle cloth diapers, but whether I can pull off making them.  Now let me first say, that I have absolutely no doubt that mom can make them.  She is an amazing seamstress or sewing expert.  I mean have you seen the pictures of my sister and I in our handmade dresses??  Or what about Elizabeth's baptismal gown??  My mom is amazing!!  Sewing with Nancy has nothing on my mom.  However, it is my own skill that makes me nervous.  Now any day of the week, I can handle about any crocheting project you throw at me.  I can bake, cook, and make hair bows like a pro...but the sewing machine and I have had our differences.  Some days I can sew away, no issues...others I would like to throw the **** thing out the window (this happens more than I would like).  Sorry for the editing, but it's definitely my experience.  But I'm determined to master the art of sewing, hopefully that will mean diapers too and not just easy curtains or pillowcase dresses. ;)  Most importantly, say a little prayer for my mom, as she is the one who will have to deal with this crazy pregnant lady in the midst of trying to conquer my arch nemesis- the sewing machine.

My aching back...

My back hurts.  Not just my lower back, but my WHOLE back.  Now I'm sorry to complain, but this is really irritating.  It especially hurts when working at my laptop on work.  I know what you're thinking, she's typing this up on a computer now, and you're right.  However, I'm currently laying back in our huge computer chair trying to get my back to feel better.  But when working I just can't handle the distance.  I have to sit forward in the most uncomfortable position know to pregnant women or at least this pregnant woman. Not only does it cause my back to hunch some, (I know posture, posture) but it pushes baby down.  She doesn't enjoy this either.  She usually wakes up and lets me know she isn't comfortable.  The really bad part, same time Elizabeth is napping.  So right now, she's on the opposite schedule as Elizabeth.  Big boo!  Here's hoping that I can get them on the same schedule quickly once out.  Otherwise Grammy may be doing a lot of babysitting for me to get some work done once I'm off of maternity leave. ;)

Me earlier today when my back didn't hurt quite so much.  A better picture than the last, most definitely!!

Hospital Tour

So Tuesday we went on a tour of Holston Valley Hospital where Miss Poppy Seed will be born (and no, we don't have a name, so Poppy seed has to suffice for now).  Anyway,  it wasn't a big tour as we had already been there before when they thought I might be in preterm labor.  But I have to say, I'm super impressed with their postpartum or Mommy rooms, nice and large.  When we delivered at UK with Elizabeth they were in the midst of transitioning the older double rooms into private rooms and more of them.  At the time the only way to guarantee you would get a private room was to ask for the smaller one.  So that's what we did, and boy was it small.  Hard to believe Kingsport, TN has the one up on the University of Kentucky hospital, but in that case they definitely do.  Mark was especially excited to see that his sleeping area was much longer and if you know my husband you know why (he's a very tall man). 

Most importantly we found out all the information necessary for anyone who comes to visit.  I'm listing it below along with a map for any out of towners.  

1. If you are coming to visit here are the necessary steps to get into the birthplace area (it's a lock down facility).
-Upon arriving at the hospital, park in the parking garage directly across from the main entrance.
-Enter into the hospital on the first floor.  Depending on which entrance you use you may have to walk up a few stairs, but nothing dramatic.  In either case you will head to your left, following signs to the birthplace.  You will find elevators that have a sign in front saying to the birthplace.  There is also several desks to ask directions at.  If you see the gift shop, you are extremely close to the elevators, just keep heading left.
-Once on the elevators head to level 3.
-Coming off the elevator, you will see a sign pointing to the left that says birthplace.  Behind that is a phone.   You will need to pick up the phone and tell the nurse who you are coming to see, give them my legal last name (Smith), as I that is what they have me preregistered under.
-If we are in labor, head down the hall to the first nurses desk and ask for the family waiting area.  It is easy to find as it is across from the nursery and directly behind the first nurses desk.  You'll see the vending machines etc.  Now I'm sure Mark will have his phone, but it may be better to call my sister, who will also be in the room with us.  She will be better able to give updates and information.  If you need her number just drop me an email, and I'll get it to you.
-The hospital has a strict two person in the room rule.  So only Mark and Melissa will be allowed in the delivery room.  I'm not sure we'll be able to have anyone back to see the baby until we move to the postpartum room (about an hour or two after the baby is born).  However, I'm sure Melissa will be taking pictures and will rush them out for everyone to see our new bundle of joy. 
-If we have already delivered simply head back to our room.  Either Mark or someone else will be able to give you the number.  There is no limit on visitors in this area, unless Baby is having a meal, then Mommy prefers some "private" time. ;)
-Finally, when leaving the facility you will go out the way you came in.  However, you will again need to pick up the phone before the door for them to unlock it.  If you try to open it without calling, the alarm will sound.  Trust me, we've done it. ;)

2. How to get to the hospital, and yes, there is a roundabout.
hospital directions

Well, it's definitely getting closer to the big day.  Four weeks until I'm "full" term and 8 weeks until the due date.  Oh, and I promise she will have name.

Monday, January 10, 2011


So two proud mommy moments I couldn't not post.

#1- I told Elizabeth to pick up her "babies" and put them away...she did it!  I didn't even have to go into her room or anything.  She just did it, no problem.  So wonderful!!

#2- Elizabeth has learned the word understatement.  I believe I used the phrase, "that's the understatement of the year".  Not as proud of this one, mainly because it reveals my sarcastic side.  But hey, my two year old is using big girl words now. ;)  Oh, and I'm not sure she knows exactly what it means, but she has the phrase down. Ha, ha.


So Dad must have read my mind about the nursery.  As soon as I posted that things were going slow, he called and came over to get started on it. Go Daddy!!  He took some measurements to patch the hole in the wall and was going to get some supplies.  Why do we have a hole in the wall you ask? Well, it seems the lady who we bought the house from couldn't get up and down the stairs well.  So she turned one of the bedrooms into a laundry room.  Mark and I have no problem with going down stairs to wash clothes, and we'd rather have a four bedroom house, especially since this bedroom is right next to ours (perfect nursery).  So we plugged off the water lines and are patching the hole to fix the wall right.  Then nursery time!

Anyway, big thank you to Daddy for coming over to help out! Hopefully, all will be ready soon.

Three S's, Snow, Slow, and Swollen

So since my last post, things have been business as usual here.  We're working little by little on the house, but the snow keeps getting in the way of working outside, so there is still tree in the yard.  Let's hope we get one good clear day before baby comes, since I doubt we'll be doing much home improvement after she arrives.

Elizabeth is enjoying the snow, though we don't go out much as I am unable to chase her in my current condition.  That particular item has fallen on Mark. 

The nursery is going very slow.  Now I'm not complaining about work not getting done.  We went out to get paint supplies etc, it's just whenever we get home there's a million other things that need attention now.  So her room keeps being put on the back burner.  Anyway, as I stated above we did find the right paint.  It's a pretty yellow.  Very sweet.  I'll post picks if we ever get it on the wall.  I would have done pink or purple, but I wanted her to have something different from Elizabeth. 

On the flip side of the nursery going slow, I've been crocheting with record speed.  I've added another newborn hat, a matching hat for Elizabeth, a toy, and a security blanket for baby since my last post.  I'm going to try a bunting next, so I may not be turning out so many things in the next week.  I also need to get back to her blanket.  It's halfway done. 

So the title of this post includes being swollen and because it's another s word. (I'm not that witty, but I try) I'm not actually swollen.  I've been really lucky with both pregnancies, no swollen feet or anything else.  However, I do feel like a beached whale, hence the swollen comment.  It feels like baby is lower, but I haven't dropped or anything.  She's still riding high, and I'm definitely moving into the uncomfortable stage.  We are headed back to the doctor next week, and if I can get it scheduled I'm hoping we'll do a tour of the hospital soon.  Not much longer and we'll be doing once a week appointments.

Worst than feeling like a beached whale is the occasional Braxton-Hicks contractions I've been having.  They don't happen often, but when they do, it's definitely uncomfortable.  I've noticed baths and laying down have helped. 

Still no name chosen yet.  I think we'll be revealing the final decision on her name once she is born.  I'm not sure what else to do...I'm all mixed up on it.  Particularly after the ultrasound...she looks like Elizabeth.  So instead of making me better able to make up my mind, all I can think of is Elizabeth.  I doubt she'll appreciate being named Elizabeth #2. ha ha.

Speaking of Miss Elizabeth, she is having a blast being a stay at home toddler.  She is learning more each day, and I'm so proud of her.  The other day she wrote her first letters on her own M and N.  She hasn't repeated it yet, but I still couldn't be more proud.   She is also counting well and adding to her vocabulary.  I have to watch what I say constantly.  She watched a Max and Ruby episode the other day and now knows the word disgusting.  Max was making a worm cake on the show and Ruby told him it was disgusting.  When I asked her the next day what she wanted to eat, she told me "Not a disgusting worm cake".  I about died of laughter right there in the kitchen...but then I felt bad.  I hope my cooking doesn't remind her of a disgusting worm cake. ;)  She is also loving music at the moment.  She constantly sings every new song she learns.  It's very cute.  Kindermusik is starting soon, so I know she'll be happy going back.  The only other thing she loves more than singing at the moment is our cat Max.  She follows him everywhere and loves it when he sleeps on her lap.  I've got a few pics below of the two buddies.

Well, I'm off to fix lunch for baby and I.  I'll write more later and hopefully I'll have nursery picks in the next few days.  Best to everyone and enjoy the bump photo below (it's not my favorite as I HATE my hair, but it's the only side view one I have right now.  32 weeks along!)

Elizabeth and I before heading to church. 

32 weeks along.  Not a great picture, but the only bump one I have at the moment.
Movie buddies.

Elizabeth puts her "babies" to bed now, today that included the cat.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New stuff for baby girl

So I've been crocheting away, trying to build baby girl a small layette.  So far I've almost finished a yellow sweater and blanket, plus I've completely finished 3 hats (pictured below).  Elizabeth likes the hats so much, I'm making her matching ones.  I think two little matching girls will be super sweet!

Simple ribbed one to the left, white beanie with flower in the middle, and beanie with ruffle edge and rose on the right.  Lots more to come!

Doctor's visit and new ultrasounds

So first the good news, all is well in baby land.  Baby Poppy Seed is estimated to weigh a little over 3 lbs and is ranked 40th percentile.  She is currently curled in a little ball, and yes, I mean this literally.  During the ultrasound and one of the pictures I will post below you can see her grabbing her feet and pulling them up.  Perhaps this is why I am sticking far out rather than growing wider.  She is extremely active and has definite awake/sleep times, which I'm afraid are not correlating to Elizabeth's resting times.  :(  No news yet on expected delivery as it is too early to tell.  But the doctor is happy with our progress and everything is measuring correctly.

The ultrasound pictures went nicely.  She kept putting her hands in front of her face, but with some coaxing (in other words pushing on her with the ultrasound wand), she finally moved a bit for some pictures.  Of course eventually that coaxing turned her angry and you could tell (her little face scrunched up and she HIT back).  We've got several good ones, including one of her smiling.  It's pretty cute.  Now I will warn you, these are the 4D pictures (our dr offers them for free).  For myself, I've always felt a little weird about them (no offense to anyone).  There is something a little creepy about seeing your baby's face before it's born.  Not that I think people shouldn't have them or they aren't cool (or that I haven't thought other people's aren't cool).  I think the technology is great, but sometimes I'm not sure how much I really love them (it's a catch 22 situation).  I will say when it is your own baby you are looking at, it doesn't seem to matter.  You love any pictures, or at least it's that way for momma bear.  Mark is still a little on the fence about them.  ;)  Anyway, if you're like me and you're not a huge fan of this, don't scroll down.  If not, scroll down and check them out.  Leave a comment if you like telling me how silly I am for being nervous about it.

Now the not so bad, but more frustrating scanner is no longer compatible with my computer.  It seems our scanner, which has lasted us for years and years is not putting out drivers for Windows 7.  So no scanned pictures, instead I took pictures with my phone of the ultrasound pictures.  I know, this means the quality isn't great, but you can tell you are looking at a baby.  Hope you still like them, and I will try to post scanned versions when Mark comes home.  He is running XP, which is compatible with our scanner. :)

Serious baby face.  Looks like her older sister with pouty lips and all!!

Baby's foot- the marks on the side of her foot that you think are extra toes- fingers!  She's holding her feet up towards her chest.  Comfortable little ball of baby.

My favorite, a smiling baby.  Like the last ultrasound, she was constantly moving her mouth.  Mark will never get a moments rest in our house.

Brought that arm up to hide, you can still see some chubby cheeks though!
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