Love Notes

IMG_4702When Logan started first grade this year I started a tradition, every morning as we pack his lunch I write him a little note on a sticky note. These notes are usually simple, something on the lines of I love you, I am proud of you. Things I believe every kid needs to hear from their parent. Every now and then I will throw in a Star Wars reference for fun. As he becomes a better reader I assume the more complex the notes will be.

I don’t know if he actually gets the point in them or reads them even, I often wonder if he smiles when he does so. I do not know if they mean anything to him at this point. But I would like to think he looks forward to them regardless.

I did not realize however the impact my little tradition would have, or if anyone else noticed what I did. So you can imagine my surprise when I opened my own lunch this morning to find my own little love note hidden in among the contents. It was from my Anderson, who had somehow managed to hide it in there when I was not looking.

You Look Beautiful. Luv U

It was simple, and sweet and yet so loving. Leave it to my husband who isn’t the most romantic guy in the world to remind me why I love him. Even when the last thing I feel these days is  beautiful he finds a way to make me believe it. I immediately pinned it up to my cubical walls, in hopes to remind me that even if I don’t necessarily think I am attractive at the moment, he does. As I did so I realized why I did this for my son every day.

Maybe it wasn’t a dozen roses, and it wasn’t any fancy jewelry that most would expect in order to make their day, but really it doesn’t have to be. Sometimes all it takes to make a day great and to show love, is a simple saying on a sticky note.

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7 ounces!

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While we get monitored twice a week, we only get measured for baby girl’s growth every other week, yesterday being the latest growth measurement. I always find I get nervous during these appointments, as a parent to be, whether its your first or your fourth, you want the best for your little one. Lately, it seems like some of the appointments have only left us with a lot of fear and anxiety.

Still I say a little prayer. Please grow baby girl, please. I do not know how much to expect anymore, but I say anything is better than nothing. I do however know how much she is supposed to weigh by 29 weeks. If you read and listen to the experts, they will say somewhere around 2 and a half pounds. But I must remember, she is not your average baby at the moment and I do not know what to expect other than the hope that she grew somewhat. The tech does not say much this go around, she is usually very chatty but not today, then again we are the last patients of the day and they were running behind. I give her the benefit of the doubt and try not to read too far in to it deciding she just wants to get out of there. That being said, I do not know if I should worry or not, and so I decide to ask her.

“How much does she weigh?”

“I Ib and 15 ounces.”

Which means she had gained 7 ounces! One ounce shy of 2 Ibs! When was the last time gaining 7 ounces meant so much?  And who knew it could be so exciting?  It has been the biggest growth spurt she has had. Far surpassing the 3 ounces she had gained between visits a month ago and even the 6 ounces the last time. We aren’t the only ones that were excited, even the high-risk doctor beamed as she came in. Way to go, kiddo! Yes, she still has far to go, and she will probably remain small throughout the process, but a 7-ounce gain is incredible for herThis may not be your average baby’s normal, but this is her normal.

And we are thrilled with it.

Even more exciting, the fluid around the heart seems to have calmed down to the point she said she isn’t even concerned about it. I cannot remember the last appointment were we had such wonderful news. In fact if there is anything that was a little bit of a disappointment it would be the fact that she had decided to turn sometime in the past week and is now once again breech. But even that seems of little concern as there is plenty of time to turn herself around.

We may still have a long way to go, but I am beginning to believe everything really will be okay.

You’ve Been Boo-ed

12029622_10153665031005883_2927068277424301175_oLast night as I listened to little man read to my ever growing stomach, a knock came at our door. Normally I do not answer it, especially when I am not expecting anything. But my son immediately jumped off the couch and ran to the door throwing it open, ready to greet whomever was on the other side. No one was there. What was however, was a Halloween bucket filled with goodies and candy along with a simple note.

We had been Boo-ed.

We had never been boo-ed before. Nor had I ever heard of it. But apparently it is a thing. Logan picked through its contents and I found myself thinking what a super cute idea as I read the instructions given us a day to pass on the happy haunting thoughts to a couple neighbors of our choosing.

If you are like me an have never heard of it before, the concept is quite cute, and relatively easy. Grab a Halloween inspired bucket, fill it with some simple treats, making sure to leave no one out. Ours had some glow sticks, pencils, adult and kid candy and a little decoration. Then go to Been Booed to print out a copy of the instructions. At night, drop it off at a couple of friends, neighbors doors and let the fun begin. Those houses that you drop it off at, now have a day to do the same.

While we may not exactly know who dropped off our bucket (and that is the point) it has been a big hit of the house. Judging by the kids discussing it at the stop I suspect my household is not the only to enjoy the surprise.

I do not know if this will continue for years to come, or if it is a one time thing but either way never before has been getting boo-ed been more enjoyable!

Hello Third Trimester

Staring down at 28 weeks.

Staring down at 28 weeks.

Well baby girl, we did it. We have made it to the 28-week milestone! Which means: Happy Third Trimester!

For a while there, this milestone seemed like it was going to be hard to come to, and often seemed like it would never get here. But look at us, look at you! Technically we have 12 weeks to go (which puts me right at 28 weeks), though after several talks with our high risk doctor, it looks like we won’t be making it all the way through to the full 40. While we still do not know exactly when you will be making your grand entrance, it looks like you have become a December baby!

We continue to be monitored twice a week (and will continue to be until the end) as you are still running small. We had to do some more testing, and see another specialist at Children’s Hospital who specialized in heart conditions. She found nothing wrong at all and no heart defects what so ever, so other than a little extra fluid around the heart, which will go away after you are born, you continue to look perfect. Still, even if they can’t find anything wrong, I think this annoys the doctor more than anything. The techs who check on me however are convinced she is just going to be small like her mommy because everything else like your heart rate, your breathing, etc. checks out normal.

Did I mention we got to see you hiccup and practice your breathing during our last full checkup? We sure did. It was beautiful, apparently you had been practicing for a while, a surprise to all who said you should have only just been starting to do so when we were monitoring.

See you are no dummy, but we already knew this.

I continue to marvel at how much has changed since my first go around with your brother. The scans they can do now, the way they can show parts of the hand that you have tucked away from time to time are so detailed and a whole lot clearer now than once before. You give a lot of technicians a smile at your hand positioning, they swear you will come out dancing, as you seem to always be practicing your vogue moves whenever we check. Our favorite has been when you had your hands under your cheeks. I wish they had given us a picture of that!

I also marvel at you little one, with each passing day I swear you are getting stronger. Your kicks and the fact I am pretty sure a tiny foot is stretching to my rib cage from time to time is proof of that. Every week they ask me about your movements, and every week I laugh and reply that if I didn’t know better I would swear I am having a tiny ninja for a baby. You are active at night, and early in the morning. You have also seemed to acquire a taste for music, and yes you have your favorites already.

Soon enough we will be dancing in the living room in our socks…

But not yet, and I am OK with that. We are hanging in there. We are doing just fine. We still have a while to go, and a couple more milestones to make.

But I know we got this.

Hospital Visits and Facing Nerves

We walked in to Virginia Hospital Center last night with the other four couples. The men held notepads while their wives held their ever-growing stomach, all with one thing in mind. Touring the hospital’s maternity ward.

Most of them were new parents eager to see for the first time what would soon be their delivery room options.  Anderson and I were not new. This is not the first time we have done this, which of course led to the question, why are you touring the facility? It is not like we haven’t been in the position. Or even the hospital before.

But of course what they don’t know is that this was not the same hospital where we delivered our first. Nor is it the same situation. We had planned on a local hospital, closer to our house but when we found out that we were bumped up to high risk, it was suggested that we deliver here instead.  Add to that, the fact that back in 2011 I had two major surgeries at VHC, it seems like a no brainer.

It was an odd feeling walking through the ward, listening to the couples talk about options, about how to deal with car seats and things. Already nervous for the big day, whenever that day comes, for most it is still a wide-open and somewhat scary unknown.

Then there was Andy and I. Who do not necessarily know the exact date, but have already been told we wouldn’t make it to 40 weeks. We already know that the chances of inducing are pretty great. I wonder if this is how it feels for those that have c-sections. It is an odd feeling knowing that I won’t be mad dashing to the hospital in the middle of Super Bowl like I did with my son, trying to stay calm. It is an odd feeling to even think I will simply walk in to the hospital, get hooked up and have the process begin.

You would think this would somehow make me less nervous. Yet I am not. I am nervous. I am just as nervous as the first time, even more so perhaps. As first time parents you don’t fully know what to expect. Sure you can take classes, but it isn’t the same, not really. Nothing prepares you for it. As first time parents you aren’t prepared for it, the pain, the time it often takes, the exhaustion that follows. I thought I would be with the second. I thought oh I would totally be ok.

But they throw curve balls at you. The baby doesn’t grow as much or as fast as they want her to. You don’t expect to have two appointments a week to be monitored, sitting for each an hour at a time. You don’t expect to hear that you may not make it to 40 weeks and you don’t expect to hear we will just take things one week at a time.

No I am not any less nervous than I was when I was expecting Logan. I thought I would be. But I am not. I thought I would be more prepared. But i am not.

Never the less I smiled and walked through the maternity ward as if nothing was on my mind. I beamed at the new parents all the while looking around. I liked the hospital, even if it is a bit farther away. I liked the staff and the rooms and the care that goes in to both the mom and the baby. I focused on that.

Because everything will be all right, and my nerves will soon take a back seat to joy.

Concerning Wishes


VKWishesSpells

You think they come easy

As though I keep them buried

Between bosoms and straps

And fluffy blue outfits made from fireflies

Oh dear child

Your naivety will catch up to your

Dreams

You think you’re the only one

To have them

Looking to me as if

You expect me to be a miracle worker

I am a busy woman

Do not waste my time making decisions on

 Magic

Is not always a good thing

Power beauty money they all have a price

Temptation is not spoken of

Be careful you don’t fall trap

To a young girl’s fairytale of

Wishes

That often fall victim

To adulthood expectations

Tis the season

Do you hear that? It is the collective sigh from those of us who love hockey. Tonight is the night

Hockey is back.

I am not ashamed to admit that this one of my favorite things about fall. The start of a new season, the promise from every team around the league that this will be our year, the hope of every fan that loves any given team that it just will be our year. The eternal optimist in me fully believes this is our year.

And now that it is back, it means that on any given night you will find yours truly flipping around to find a game, often any game. Especially in the first month or so when I have missed the sport so much that any game will cure my fix.

Of course this day also means I lose my husband. Perhaps not in the same way as it used to be, he no longer has to work every game late in to the night, and if I actually think about it, I lost him right after we got back from vacation in August. But still once hockey season starts, it seems as though I lose him to the sport. From here on out until June (if all goes well that is) conversations will revolve around what players he has to configure in to programs and on boards.  He will spend a lot of waking hours at home behind his computer working on projects, upcoming events and other various happenings that the Capitals are involved in instead of spending time with family and friends. Because as much as we are important; this one project needs to get done that much more.

And let us not forget the hockey PMS. What is hockey PMS? It is exactly what it sounds like. It’s the constant mood swings depending on how the season is going. It’s the “we are doing amazing so lets go and celebrate” or the opposite of, “well there goes our season so its better to leave me a lone.” It is stress eating and drinking. It is cursing at the TV one moment and then jumping up and doing that hockey dance with little man the next. It is trade deadline so nerves, emotions and everything else you can imagine is stressed beyond belief. I have learned in the years of being married in to the organization that it often best to just leave him alone during these times. Sometimes it is best not to say anything and just listen.

And yes it lasts until June, or whenever we are eliminated from playoff contention. As much I do not like hockey PMS and as much as I look forward to having my husband back, I will gladly put up with it, even smiling and going through it on my own if need be if it means this is our year.

Bring on the season.

Twenty Six weeks.

26 weeks

26 weeks

Well baby girl, we made it to 26 weeks,  another week to go and we are officially in the third trimester. The thought is unbelievable really. It seems as though we were just finding out we were expecting and now we are quickly approaching the home stretch of things.

It has been quite the roller coaster ride hasn’t it? I don’t know about you but it is a ride I would wish to slow down just a bit.

They tell me you are running small. Smaller than they would like at this stage of things, but only by a week or so. Though by the amount of times I am running to the potty and the foot I swear I feel in my ribs every so often you would never know. We had to do some pretty scary tests, all of which have come back clean and clear, you look perfect other than being small. Still it is enough to scare them to the point we are now being monitored and checking in on you every so often. Or rather twice a week. While it is a lot and at times scary and stressful on both your daddy and I, at the same time we know that everything will work out the way it is supposed to in the end. Right now we are just taking it week by week, even day by day if we need to.

I try and look at the bright side of things, with each appointment, I get to see you, I get to marvel at watching you practice breathing on your own like you did last week and smile as you wave to us. Just as much as we do when you dance around in there. Oh yes, you dance. There is no doubt you are one active child, daddy thought you were going to jump right out the other night as you were grooving to some song that was being played on the television. If they are worried about you not moving around enough, that is one area you excel in at the moment.

Your brother talks about you all the time, he can’t wait to meet you I hope you know. He may have originally thought it would cool to have a brother but he is really beginning to get excited about you being a sister…he even promises that he will play My Little Pony or video games that are centered around little girl things. Though he is also promises to show you and teach you that you can be whatever you want to be, and like whatever you want to. This includes the fact he will groom you in to being a Jedi if you want (though only if you want he says). It is still odd to call him a brother, but exciting as well. I know he is going to be a fabulous one when the time comes.

We are in this together. You and I. A team of some sorts. I will do my part to do the best I can the next few weeks and hang in there no matter what it brings.  I love that you may be anxious to meet the three of us, but if you could do your part and hang in there with me. Grow with me and wait until you are ready…

We just may be alright.

And know this, no matter what, we love you.