22 months!

Monday, May 30, 2011
Let the party planning begin! If it's not enough that we are having another baby, our first baby is going to be two! Last year at this time, as soon as school was done, I was busy putting together a variety of things for his party. This year, I've definitely started looking, and have most of my theme/ideas saved in pictures or my head, but for some reason I feel like I have more time....but I really don't. Can't wait to be at home so I can start planning and doing it all!

Back to this month. I honestly won't be able to create gigantic narratives anymore. He does something new every day, and I just can't rememer it all, but here is a very brief synopsis.

Communicaiton: still exploding. My favorite this month was "Nooo, mama" or "Nooo, dada" when we are tickling him. He's also thrown a few 3 word phrases in lately (when using please with "more juice", etc.) and today said "Dump truck off." and "Hot french fries".  He's also understanding how to actually answer some questions. If you ask him what he ate for breakfast, he's just recently been able to accurate recall the details, and today when I asked him what he wanted to eat for lunch he replied "Hot french fries". He's been getting a little better about not always needing to take our hand and show us things he wants, but I still am encouraging him to tell us first, and it seems to be working most of the time now. Yesterday when replying "Nooo." to something, he also crossed his arms. Not sure where he learned that!

He's becoming more independent! Some things he just wants to do himself, and he has finally mastered getting most pants and shorts on (for the most part). He still needs a little help to get it over the bum.

Physically, he has just started walking up the stairs without using a hand. He's been using the rail half way up for sometime, but now on our second part of the stairs, he will just brace himself with the wall (with one of us directly behind, of course). He also is learning how to better use his Little Tikes coupe car. However, someone (and I'm not naming names because I don't know who to name) taught him that it's fun to pick up his legs and go zooming down the driveway. Our neighborhood is very busy lately with contruction trucks. Not so safe.

Eating wise is still the same. Some days he mows down every meal (like yesterday) and other days we stick to our bread/grilled cheese/french fry diet. He's at 25 pounds...pretty good, I'd say. He won't go in for another appointment until he's 2. I'm very excited to see how tall he is these days.

I think that's all I have right now. Photo below, as always. He was quite the stinker, it seemed, as I had the entire army of daddy, Chris and Kelly trying to get him to smile and LOOK at the same time. Upon uploading these, it seems I did catch a few gems, even though it didn't feel like it during the "session". 2 more months of these, and then we are officially done with the monthly photos for Henry. Yes, officially done. I will certainly still take "portraits" of him worth hanging on the wall--just not every.single.month. Exhausting. We will actually have a two month break before I start the whole process over again with Baby Claire. Expect her newborn session to last all of the first week. :)












Then, we (Chris) resorted to other measures.


Dang flash didn't fire, so it's black and white.


Finally, Henry and his neighborhood gang. Getting 5 kids under 4 to all look at the same time? Impossible.


Finally, if Henry's hair looks extremely red in all those pictures above, I apologize. I think I'm having calibration issues with my monitors. The pictures look horrible on our mac and Ryan's phone, but look great on my computer. His hair isn't THAT red. ;)

Halfway to meeting Baby Claire (20 weeks!)

Sunday, May 29, 2011
We are seriously halfway to having a second child in this house. Completely unreal. We are soon approaching the point where we are going to need to decide on room situations, meaning Henry staying in a crib and us purchasing another, or Henry going into a big boy bed. That thought almost causes me more anxiety than the fact that we will have a newborn in 19 short weeks. Either way, as summer nears, we are going to have to start making decisions.

Baby Claire is about 6.5 inches (crown to rump). After week 20, baby is measured from head to toe. She's approximately 10.5 ounces or so about now (give or take). The digestive system is busy creating meconium already (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And if she's anything like Henry was, it'll be way more than the first diaper.

I'm feeling more kicks this week from Claire! It is such an exciting feeling. It isn't consistently all the time yet, but I am definitely feeling them. We haven't caught it on the outside yet, and Ryan hasn't been able to feel them yet, but they are there. The doctor said kick counts are useful/reliable for tracking movement in the mid 20's weeks of pregnancy. Since I have the anterior placenta again, I assume that's why I'm not feeling them all the time yet.

Otherwise, I'm beginning to feel big, feel heavy, and am having more trouble navigating myself around my body pillow and under the covers at night. It is so much work after I wake up in the middle of the night to completely flip over (and I do this 25 times a night, it seems). I'm getting shorter of breath when going up the stairs or just working too hard and am just plain getting more exhausted after not a whole lot of exertion.

In other big news, I am litterally dropping jaws here at 20 weeks pregnant. Haha, not for my hot body, however, that's for sure. No, I've been making jaws drop every time I have to answer the question of when I am due. Henry's pregnancy had the infamous "Mr. Security Guard" with his "Long winter", and "You're still here." comments over and over. This pregnancy, I've found...the lunch lady.

Yes, the lunch lady at school who sits at the computer you punch your number into. I get school lunch rarely...like 1 time every 2 months. So I know who she is, she recognizes me, but I know we don't know each other's name. That sure doesn't stop anyone though. Earlier this week, I was in the teacher's lounge getting some treats (there are birthday treats in the lounge everytime someone has a birthday, and you can bet I'm in there every time checking it out). Anyway, so she approaches me with the "When is the baby due?" question and I gave my usual reply. Her jaw dropped to the floor and her eyes were as wide as her forehead was tall.

It was then followed by "Are you sure there aren't two in there?" and "Well I hope for your sake it comes early. That's a long summer."

This was closely followed by another teacher trying to shove a piece of cake down my throat because "I needed it."

I don't care how freaking big I get. I'll glady be as big as a house if it means Claire stays put until 39 weeks. And, maybe I'm just big because I don't pass up a treat, thank you very much.

At our preschool graduation on Friday, I was asked "So I see your expecting this summer?!"

"Umm, nope. I'm due in October."

(jaw drop, wide eyes, etc.)   "Ohhhh......ohh....ok."

If I had $1.00 for every time I go through this same conversation, I could buy something really nice.

Onto the belly causing all this ruckus.


 Comparison shot from Henry's pregnancy at 20 weeks.

This one was taken before Ryan recommended I pull my shirt back to show the belly. Here, I just look like a whale. And, you can see Henry's ribs. Nice juxtaposition here.


And Henry was being cute, so you get to see a bare belly shot. As you can see, there really isn't a beach ball in there.


Hello Baby Claire!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Here are the ultrasound pictures! As I said in a previous post, mommy drank a little TOO much orange juice, so our little baby girl was quite squirmy. We even saw her yawn a few times, which was so cool!

As many have gathered, the ultrasound showed a perfect, healthy baby. All parts were accounted for, and the brain, heart, spine, kidney, liver, etc. all looked as they should. With everything the tech checked off and said looked great and/or beautiful, I let out a sigh of relief every time.

Before I move onto the pictures, one huge announcement. As you can see on the blog banner, I've changed the name (for the last time). Since Henry will need to move over a tiny bit and share the spotlight, I wanted to change the name, include both babies in the banner, and get our last name out of the address (this blog comes up if someone googles me). Thus, I will soon be changing our address to:


Adjust your bookmarks accordingly. :) I'll post some reminder links on facebook when I change it.

Profile shot:


Another profile:




3D shot. A little blurry since she was squirmy, but still pretty cool!


Tiny feet!


Heart and heartbeat at 150bpm.



Yes, she's a girl! :)


Take me out to the ball game!

Monday, May 23, 2011
Henry made his first trip to Target Field last Friday (May 13th). The weather wasn't fabulous, but being without a babysitter, we decided to give him a chance and take him to a night game. I bundled him up in cuteness (a Twins T-shirt, Twins jersey, red fleece, blue puffer vest, red/white/blue pajamas under it all and the cutest Twins hat you've ever seen!). I actually bought the hat for myself (because it was kid sized and cheap at Target), but after I tried it out on Henry's head, there was no way I was taking it off. Way. too. cute.

Anyway, so for those worried, Henry was plenty warm. He was actually pretty hot throughout some of the game and we had to take off his mittens. I did well and prepared well. I brought every thing under the sun I thought we'd need (including snacks, drinks, books, color book, Joe-Joe (Mauer doll), and a few small toys).

He started out a bit cranky at first, but for once in his life, it turns out he was just hungry and mowed down a little bit of chicken strips and every last french fry I gave him. So good to see this child eat once in a while. After we found our seats, he stood up for awhile while the boys got their "bewws" and then once the game started, he was quite entertained for the first 3-4 innings. However, it wasn't the game of baseball that entertained him, it was the fact that literally every minute we could see a plane taking off in the distance, and boy does this child love his airplanes. The first 3 innings were literally "Bay-bayn!! Bay-bayn!!! Bye-bye bay-bayn, bye-bye bay-bayn!!!" over, and over, and over again with more enthusiasim than the previous airplane spotted.

After that, he still pretty much remained content. Switching laps between me, daddy and Chris, muching on popcorn and goldfish. He did awesome. He even cheered a few times, and learned his last name, which comes out sounding pretty much like "def-dough!!!" I've really got to get on a video of all this cute stuff. I think I took one at the game, but I imagine the crowd noise is too loud to hear him.

Before the game, you can text a cell photo to an email address for a chance for them to show it on the big screen. Kelly and I tried this two other times, but this time, Henry and I got on!! And, Kelly snapped a photo of the big board while our picture was up there. We are on the right!

We ended up leaving in the top of the 9th (it started to sprinkle and the Twins were losing) and Henry came home with a mini-bat. He has other bats at home, but this one is 100% wood. Don't ask me how he hasn't knocked himself a good one in the face yet or really, why this one scares me more than his others. Daddy and I had a little miscommunication. He pointed out the same bat another child had, and I replied we HAD to get him SOMETHING, which he apparently interpreted as "He HAS to have that bat." Regardless, Henry's been fine with it.

Onto the photos. Ryan actually asked me if I left my camera at home while we were driving there (because of the threat of rain). I prepared myself with multiple plastic bags...no way I was going to miss out on these. As always, thanks to Kelly for any you see of all three of us.



Hello, belly!






Henry and I had an audience during these and heard many "awwws" in the small crowd (even though we couldn't get him to smile).







We are thinking the close-by speakers were too loud for him. That's our only guess for the sudden onset of this.



Sometimes, he hams it up for me. I couldn't decide on which one, so you get to see many.


LOVE this one.




The only casualty of the night. No, we didn't lose him. After I took this picture, I didn't put him away. So for the whole game, he sat stuck hanging from between the chair underneath Ryan's butt. Then, someone behind Ryan spilled beer...all over Ryan's butt and Joe-Joe. Thankfully, Joe-Joe was compeltely saved after a trip through the washing machine.


Can't wait for our next trip there. Despite how cute the hat is, let's hope we don't need it in July.

Week 19!

Sunday, May 22, 2011
Claire is the size of a mango this week! She is approximately 6.0 inches from crown to rump, and the website says she should be about 8.5 ounces. However, the tech told us she was about 10 ounces already! The vernix caseosa, a greasy white substance made of lanugo, oil and dead skin cells (yum) now coats baby's skin, shielding it from the amniotic fluid.

For those who are wondering (because I got a lot of questions about the video), we had the ultrasound tech tell us to turn away when she was looking for the private parts. She then took that picture and put it in an envelope. Upon arrival at home, I gave the envelope along with a "little brother" and "little sister" onesie to Kelly so she could wrap up the appropriate onesie. Kelly had the balloon idea for Henry and added the little shoes and headbands. The video everyone saw was Ryan and I finding out we were having a little girl for the first time! Ryan had kind of guessed it (because no matter how much I told him to not be looking for a penis or no penis--he was), as he thought he pretty much hadn't seen anything...thus his reaction is not quite as dramatic as mine, I think. And, after we were finished, I asked the tech if she was absolutely sure of what she saw, and she answered very quickly with a "yes", so I assumed right there it was a boy. We are very, very excited to meet Baby Claire in October! (and would have been just as excited if it was another son!)

I drank some orange juice before the ultrasound (a bit too much, as she moved around a little bit too much at some points during the ultrasound) so we didn't get crisp and clear pictures like we did with Henry. I will try to post those up sometime soon, but I'm quite backlogged with client photography stuff, so I'll be quite busy working these next few nights.

There wasn't a whole lot of other new things going on this week. My legs still hurt all the time, and everything is about as it was before. And, we bought a few items for Claire...just a few :)

And for those who thought I was huge in the last picture and now, this one, not so much...remember last week's was taken at 11:00 at night...after a whole day of eating...and a night of baseball food. All other photos are taken right away in the morning. What I eat and when it comes out still makes a bit of a difference in my size.


Week 18 a few days late.

Monday, May 16, 2011
I try to get this out on time, but it is usually just too busy. Excuse the photo. For the first time in 59 weeks of pregnancy, we nearly almost forgot to take the bump photo. Thus, you see me here at 11:00pm at night after we returned from the Twins game. I look like poop. The hat had to stay on to avoid showing you my hat head.

Baby is the size of a sweet potato this week. Average height (crown to rump) 5.6 inches, weight 6.7 ounces. Baby is busy moving, yawning, hiccuping, rolling, twisting, kicking, punching, sucking and swallowing by this time.

Speaking of moving, this week I felt my first real kicks. Sometimes I feel a lot, and sometimes I don't feel anything for a really long time. It's not for quite a while yet, I think, where you are supposed to do "kick counts". When I first started feeling them, it was so surreal again, that I almost didn't know if it was the real deal or not...but after a week, it definitely is, and is just as amazing as it was the first time.

I'm gagging more this week for some reason...on everything from my toothbrush again to Henry's poop. Stinky smells have really been bothering me again for some reason.

I am big. People try to politely tell me I'm not big, but I am. I'm approaching the size I was with Henry at about 25/26 weeks or so. My belly has already gotten in the way of shaving my legs, and depending on how I'm sitting, my belly already rests on my legs. And, I just about have my ice cream bowl table again. This is just going way too fast. We'll be half way to 39 weeks in about a week. Really?? Will I really be close to double this size at that time?!

Of course, the gigantic news this week will be if baby is a boy or a girl. That comes on Wednesday. We have a little something planned and there will be a video posted sometime that night. However, as the day gets closer, I grow more nervous about the actual health of this child (I had a terrible dream the other night about the ultrasound), so I'm just praying that everything is as it should be. Somebody help me get through the next 44 hours.


Mother's Day, 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
On this, my second mother's day, we relaxed a bit, and it was fantastic.

As I was getting ready, Henry woke up, so I went to get him. I was in the middle of curling my hair, so I had half of it all messy up on top of my head with a clip, and no makeup on yet. When I stepped into Henry's room, he greeted me with a smile, followed by, "Mama, pretty!" Melt my heart. :) It was a great start to the day.

Ryan woke up EXTRA early to make homemade blueberry muffins. It apparently took 45 minutes of prep work before the muffins even made it into the oven, but man, were they good. Made from scratch and with a streusel topping. Yum! Best muffins I have ever had!


Ryan had big plans to take me (and Henry, and baby) to the Minnesota Zoo and do some flower planting later, but the weather was less than cooperative. We were all set to go, but then the rain started right as we were getting ready to leave, so we nixed those plans at the last minute. It was cold and windy and miserable, so the zoo would not have been fun for anyone.

After we waited out the sprinkles for a bit, Ryan collected a few photos of my babies and me. Henry was a bit (I mean, A LOT) cranky on this day for some reason, so we didn't quite capture a super happy Henry in many of the images, but, they are cute nonetheless.

Quick funny story. He's wearing a Spiderman t-shirt, as you will see below...why you ask, when I never cease to completely coordinate cuteness overload with outfits with these special days? A Spiderman t-shirt was surely not on my list of possible outfits.

It was this day that Henry decided he is picky about what he puts on, apparently. I tried a couple different things (a few new shirts I bought him that I haven't washed yet and were a little too big), and then I tried this one piece striped outfit he got a long time ago and I thought it would finally fit him. It was adorable, and completely matched my dress, but he wasn't having it. Wouldn't let me button the buttons on bottom and ran away at every chance he got. After giving up on that I dug around in a clean basket of his clothes (they haven't made it to his drawer, because that's how I roll), he found the treasured Spiderman t-shirt...and thus our quest for the perfect outfit ended with an enthusiastic "Spi-man on!!, Spi-man on!!" No mommy could deny that.


Tickles were the only way I could get him to smile.



I got a few kisses when I promised we would go see the birdies.


And boy, do I look a bit more happy to hug than he does.


My favorite. SO, SO glad that my husband knows how to use my camera.



Love the one on the left.


It was freaking cold, so we went back home so I could change (and just in the nick of time to discover Hershey was chewing on one of my brand new shoes I mistakenly left out). We headed to Home Depot in search of established vegetable plants for our garden (we planted the seeds the day before), and possibly a few flowers, depending on what was on sale. We left with a bunch of tomato plants and a couple pepper plants (flowers weren't really on sale yet). We planted those, the gladiola bulbs and the dahlia bulbs that I got for mother's day (complete with fences around them so that Hershey won't use them for snacks).

It was cold, Henry was cranky, and I was cranky, so after trying to recreate last year's Mother's day photo, we had a quick lunch and Henry took a 3 hour nap. 3 hours--not sure what was up with him that day, but apparently he needed it, and mommy took the opportunity to take a nearly 2 hour nap myself.

Mother's Day 2010

What a difference a year makes....


After our long naps, we ventured to one of our favorite places: Tommy's Malt Shop. Henry had already made an appearance here on Friday night with Chris and Kelly while we were at Auntie Liz's graduation. They will soon know him by name here.

Two thumbs up for Tommy's!



Helping me write his name. He sort of knows which letters come when.



Sharing our delicious strawberry, banana and pineapple malt.


Finally, we fed Henry a quick late dinner, put him to bed, and then Ryan made a delicious steak with homemade sauce. The rain had finally stopped by now, so we ate our first meal outside after Henry went to bed.

I didn't capture a photo of the steak after it was done, but here is what it looked like before going on the grill...complete with olive oil, garlic and fresh rosemary!


It was a fantastic and low-key Mother's day. I hope every mother out there had a great day!
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