Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Claire - 18 Months

Claire, you are 18 months old! How did that happen so fast, my darling girl? It's hard to write a concise post because you're doing so much. You're so much fun and I absolutely love this age! 
Your stats: 
Weight: 28 lbs, 3 oz - 96th percentile
Height: 33 3/4 in - 95th percentile
Head: 19 1/2 in - 99th percentile

You've had a pretty big growth spurt in height! You're wearing 18 month and 24 month size clothes, and I'm definitely leaning toward 24 months for new stuff. You wear size 5 diapers.
 Here's what else you're doing these days:

- You're talking up a storm! You can say lots of words and identify people and animals, and you're saying some short phrases ("More 'dis?", "What's dis?", etc.). You're starting to say new words more easily and with less prompting. The cognitive development at this age is really amazing. 
 - You have all your teeth except your 2 year molars. At your 18 month appointment last week, we discovered you have a pretty prominent lip tie. Pretty surprising, given we've never noticed it before, but it didn't affect your nursing and the doctor says it won't affect speech or eating. It's just cosmetic, and will be corrected when you're older and get braces. I had the same thing corrected when I was 8 or 9.
- You're a really fantastic eater! You love food and will beg for food from anyone in your presence, which can make eating out an interesting experience. A couple months ago, you were being a little picky about eating meat and veggies, but now you're pretty much eating everything again. Your absolute favorite food is fruit. You devour it, and you have the messy diapers to prove it! :)
- You're drinking whole milk. I've found that you will drink a lot more milk when using one cup in particular, made by Nuk.
- You've become a really good sleeper. It's amazing how far you've come in that regard since turning 1! Right when you turned 1 and weaned, you finally started sleeping through the night. I assume weaning played some part in that; your pediatrician says her daughters did the same thing. Now you almost always sleep through the night. We usually put you to bed between 8-9 pm and though your wake time has varied over the last few months, these days it's usually between 8-9 am. Best of all, you put yourself to sleep! We used to spend hours getting you to sleep at night, but now we rock you for a bit and then put you in your crib and you will usually play and jabber for awhile before falling asleep on your own. You take one 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon if we're at home. If we're away from home it doesn't usually happen, and even the slightest hint of a car nap before we get home can blow your regular nap out of the water.
  - You're a happy, spirited little ray of sunshine. You have a strong will at times, but also a very sweet disposition. You're so funny! Your Daddy and I laugh at your antics all the time, and find ourselves talking about how much we love you every night long after you've gone to bed.
  - You are beautiful! I know I'm biased but it's true. You have gorgeous blue eyes shaped just like your Daddy's. Your hair is golden right now like mine was when I was little. I imagine it'll get darker as you get older. 
- You're still very active! I remember thinking when we were in the hospital after you were born that you were a very wiggly little baby, and that's still the case. You never stop! You love to run, dance, and play. The other night we were hanging out with some friends who have two little boys and the mom was telling me about how active little boys are. She commented that you give her boys a run for their money, and it's true! You will play until you are falling down tired, and then keep going. You have major FOMO (fear of missing out) and you don't like to leave a social event to go to sleep.
- I think you're starting to have some understanding of your baby brother. You can say "baby" and your own version of "James", and I think you get that your brother is in mommy's tummy right now. I can't wait to see you two together. When I think of how much I love you and how much love I will feel having two precious babies come November, I think my heart might just explode! 
- You've gone through so much development in the last six months, but to me the most incredible part has been your emotional development. You are so loving. You're more snuggly now than you used to be. You kiss and hug us, as well as your dolls, toys, and pictures in books, often while saying "awwww". You started saying your own version of "thank you" (sounds kind of like "di di") completely unprompted. You have a sweet and kind heart, and that means more to me than anything!
Current nickname: Tootie...I know some day you will be furious with us about this. 
Favorite toys: You are very attached to your miniature purple Carebear, Polly. You sleep with her every night and she goes most places with us. Hands down, your favorite thing to do is read books. You also really like pushing your babies in your doll stroller, riding your rocking bunny, playing with your music toys and your Fisher Price piggy bank, and coloring. Maybe a budding artist like Daddy? You seem to be favoring using your left hand...perhaps you will be a lefty like Mommy? 
I love you so much! I could say it a million times and still never express how much you mean to us. You are a blessing from above, and we love you to the moon and back. 

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). 

I love you, 

25 Weeks

Size of Baby: Sweet Baby James is the size of a rutabaga.

Maternity Clothes: Yes. Cam's boss had a baby recently and was kind enough to pass along some maternity clothes to me. I feel like I'm wearing the same few shirts over and over, so it's great to be able to spruce up the old wardrobe!

Sleep: Okay, not great. You know when you have really vivid dreams and wake up feeling like you really didn't sleep? That's me right now. 

Movement: Lots and lots of it! Feeling more movement instead of just kicks/punches. 

Cravings/Aversions: I can't really think of anything I'm craving. Really thirsty all the time though. 

Gender: Our little prince James!

Mood: Pretty good, but then bummed out today. 

Symptoms/Medical Concerns: My ankles are swelling if I'm on my feet a lot, but it's much more manageable than my last pregnancy when I was teaching. I have typical pregnancy aches and pains, especially in my hips after sleeping, but sleeping with a pillow between my legs helps immensely. 

My appointment today went fine, but I have to go back in two weeks. I've gained weight really fast these past two months, so now I have to go back in two weeks to get my weight checked, check the baby's growth via ultrasound, and have the gestational diabetes screening. The weight gain could be gestational diabetes, but it's not super likely since I didn't have it last pregnancy and I never have sugar in my urine when they test it at my appointments. What my doctor thinks is more likely is that this baby will be another big one with a large placenta. Claire's placenta was almost twin-sized. I also need to eat better, of course. I remember during my first pregnancy, I gained a lot of weight during the second trimester, got worried about it, and then it sort of leveled out during the last trimester. Hopefully this pregnancy will follow that pattern. And while it's tempting to let it go and vow not to worry about weight until after the baby's born, the weight doesn't just fall off for me the way it seems to for so many other people I know. I nursed Claire for a year, and even with her nursing EVERY TWO HOURS until she was almost six months old, it still took me nine months to lose just the baby weight, nothing extra. However all of this shakes out, being a fatty is not fun. It takes the fun out of everything and makes me feel really bad about myself.

Best Moment this Week: We had a really fun weekend with my in-laws! It's really neat to see how bonded Claire is with her makes my heart very happy. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: We may go look at paint colors for the nursery this weekend and there's talk of a much-needed date night with my Campbell...both very good things! 

Friday, July 25, 2014

24 Weeks

Size of Baby: James is the size of an ear of corn. :)

Maternity Clothes: Yes!

Sleep: I'm getting over being sick, so it's been a little hit or miss lately.

Movement: Yes, lots of it! 

Cravings/Aversions: I'm craving cherry icees and cinnamon candy!

Gender: It's a boy...James Strutton Todd!

Mood: Is tired a mood? Haha! That's what comes to mind! Recently I mentioned being SUPER emotional...that seems to have dissipated a lot, thankfully. 

Symptoms/Medical Concerns: I was sick this weekend, but am feeling much better. Pregnancy congestion is just the worst, especially when baby's pushed everything up so high that taking a deep breath through your mouth is impossible! Claire broke out in a pretty bad rash on Sunday and when I took her to the doctor on Monday about it, her doctor said it was a virus. I guess those "allergies" I thought she was having was actually a virus. I imagine I was sick with the same thing she had. I'm feeling much better, but I'm so wiped out!! I need some energy stat!

Otherwise, just having shortness of breath and a few Braxton Hicks contractions.

Milestones: 24 weeks is when viability is reached! James still needs to stay put a long time, but it's comforting to know that if something happened early, viability is possible and those chances only improve from here on out.

Best Moment this Week: Celebrating sweet baby Claire turning a year and a half! And making progress in sweet baby James' room!

What I'm Looking Forward to: My in-laws are coming into town, so I'm excited for a fun weekend with family! I'm also looking forward to my next appointment on Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

23 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: You know what? I'm making an executive decision to cut this question from the list. I hardly ever answer it unless it's the week of a doctor appointment anyway. And since I started blogging this pregnancy, I think I've had maybe one comment. That's not to say that I blog for comments, but at this point this blog is clearly just a journal for me...and I know how much I weigh. I don't need to keep a running count on a blog. Maybe I'll update later in the pregnancy.

Size of Baby: James is the size of a large mango.

Maternity Clothes: Yep, most of the time!

Sleep: I love sleeping and I think I could sleep 20 hours/day right now if I didn't have to take care of my people. 

Movement: I'm feeling my little guy move a lot, and I love it! The other night he was moving a lot and Cam kept trying to feel it but James was playing possum. He's definitely most active late in the evening.

Cravings/Aversions: I'm craving all the bad cupcakes.

Gender: It's a boy!

Mood: I've been very emotional lately. Everything makes me cry! I saw a movie last week that was not even that sad and I cried an absurd amount. We watched a relatively harmless video in Sunday School and I cried like a damn fool. This weekend I spent an hour at lunch with someone and accidentally called them by the wrong name at the end of the meal, and I was so mortified I cried off and on for hours after we left. Yep, I'm the hot mess express. I'm quite certain I'm an absolute joy to be around these days.

Symptoms/Medical Concerns: Still pretty tired and a little under the weather. The Todd clan has been dealing with allergies all week. Feels so weird to be that kind of sick in the summer. 

Still very clumsy. It's ridiculous and pretty comical. At the moment I'm sporting a grease burn on my wrist from cooking that makes me look like I'm into self-harm. There have been many other mishaps this week, but I'll spare you the details. As long as I finish this race with no broken bones and walking on my own two feet, we will be aces! 

This is very random, but I have a weird taste in my mouth all the time. It started in the first trimester and I remember having it with Claire, but it seems to be going on longer this time. It goes away if I brush my teeth, but the minute I eat or drink anything, it's back. I'm sure it's just hormones, but weird!

Best Moment this Week: We picked out a nice crib this weekend. Buy Buy Baby had it in stock so it's already here! I'm really happy with it and can't wait to see it all put together in his room. 

It's also really fun explaining to Claire that she's going to have a baby brother. The other night we were telling her that Baby James was in my tummy and she seemed pretty unimpressed. Then we asked her to say his name and she said something that kind of sounded like James. Next we tried to get her to say "brother" and she said "bubba". Very cute! When we went to pick her up from the church nursery on Sunday, we caught a glimpse of her through the window. Some of the adults were standing over one of the baby cribs and Claire was all up in the mix peering into the crib at the baby. It melted my heart! I can't wait to see my two babies together!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Continuing to work in the baby's room and hopefully picking a paint color sometime soon. We're making slow but steady progress and I look forward to seeing it all come together! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

22 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: I haven't weighed this week. 

Size of Baby: Sweet Baby James is the size of a spaghetti squash. 

Maternity Clothes: Yep, most of the time. Still wearing some regular shirts and flowy dresses.

Sleep: It's been better this week!

Movement: I'm feeling it everyday and it's wonderful! A couple days ago I was eating chips and salsa and it felt like the baby was doing flips! Then a few minutes later, Cam was talking to me about work stuff and baby boy was flipping again! So we know he definitely likes Mexican food and the sound of his Daddy's voice! 

Cravings/Aversions: Chips and salsa (see above!) and pickles! I am such a pregnant cliche! ;)

What I Miss: I would love a nice, cold Mexican beer. What's funny about this is I hardly ever drink beer normally. I'm not even a big drinker in general, but I guess having these babies and breastfeeding said babies has made me crave the one thing I can't have! 

Gender: Our sweet little guy...James Strutton Todd!

Mood: Pretty good. If I'm being completely honest, a tad overwhelmed. Going through the closet in the baby's room and trying to figure out where to put all our stuff is overwhelming me a bit. Yes, I'm aware that this is a very first world problem! That closet was packed from floor to ceiling though! I'm a bit of a secret emotional hoarder...I keep stuff boxed up and never even look at it, but when I do eventually go through it, I have a hard time parting with stuff. Cam is the same way...we're funny like that. Also, Claire's starting to show us a little preview of the infamous two year old behavior...she's thrown fits before, but I think we're seeing the beginning of a whole new phase of it. I know we'll get more comfortable with how to deal with it, but right now it makes me feel a little powerless. She's still the sweetest little thing much so that I feel guilty even mentioning her behavior! 

Symptoms/Medical Concerns: Feeling really tired in the afternoons, much more so than a few weeks ago. Between 1-5 pm, I feel like someone has removed all the energy from my body. I'm also having some minor nosebleeding...I remember this happening right around the same time with Claire. 

And this isn't really pregnancy related, but it's worth noting. To make a very long story short, my sister and dad recently discovered they're carriers of a genetic mutation for a disease called hemochromatosis. I got tested last week and found out yesterday that I'm also a carrier. Hemochromatosis can cause your body to absorb too much iron, which can lead to different health problems, many of them involving the liver. Since we're only carriers and not what doctors refer to as "affected", we don't have the disease itself--although it's something that has to be monitored because with age/certain exacerbating factors, carriers can sometimes have elevated iron levels. Thankfully there's an easy fix: you do phlebotomy treatments to basically draw blood to remove the iron from your body. My dad is not at a point where he has to do that yet. My sister, being a childhood cancer survivor who had many blood transfusions that would cause anyone to have elevated iron levels, does have to do phlebotomy treatments. I will have my iron levels checked at my next appointment with Dr. Orth. It's unlikely my levels will be elevated. Women are actually at an advantage here: having babies, breastfeeding, and periods cause you to naturally shed iron. 

On my end, the next step will be getting Cam tested. While unlikely, if Cam is a carrier there's a chance Claire and James could actually have hemochromatosis, not just be carriers. If he's not affected or a carrier, there's a 50% chance our kids could be carriers like me. I hate that there's a chance my babies will ever have to concern themselves with this, but they're actually at a huge advantage since we would know from such a young age that we need to be aware of this and monitor it. Doctors call this the "good news disease" because there is an easy solution. The danger is for people who go their whole lives without knowing and then develop problems because of long-term iron overload. In fact, since this is coming from my dad's side, we suspect my grandfather may have been affected, not just a carrier. This could explain how he developed the liver cancer "of unknown origin" that took his life. Makes me sad. :(

Whew, that was a lot! As they say, it's always something. From broken ankles to freaky placentas and genetic mutations...we always keep it interesting! In all seriousness, we are all generally healthy and for that we are so thankful.

Best Moment this Week: Just feeling little Jamesie move around a lot! If he's anything like his sister, he will be a mover and a shaker from the get-go! Can't wait to see his sweet and precious face in just 4 months!!! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Going crib shopping this week! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

21 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: I've gained 12 pounds total.

Size of Baby: James is about the size of a carrot!

Maternity Clothes: Yes, although I'm still wearing my regular t-shirts a lot. 

Sleep: Not great...I'm having trouble getting to sleep lately. 

Movement: Started feeling it almost everyday this week...exciting! At my anatomy scan and today when my doc found the heartbeat on the doppler, he was moving a lot! I think I'd be feeling a lot more without this dang placenta in the way! ;)

Cravings/Aversions: Sweets! During my first trimester, eating was akin to a force feeding experience. Now that I'm feeling so much better, I've been enjoying having my appetite back and indulging a lot these past few weeks. Trying to reign things in a bit and work on eating less sweets and carbs, and more protein! 

What I Miss: Nothing at the moment.

Gender: It's a sweet baby boy!  

Mood: Good!

Symptoms/Medical Concerns: I had my doctor's appointment today and it went well! Baby's heartbeat sounded good and strong on the doppler. The second trimester is lovely and I'm definitely a fan! :) I've been more tired this week, but overall I'm feeling really good! I'm starting to notice new stretch marks popping up on my stomach, as well as the melasma patches I get under my eyes when I'm pregnant. 

At my anatomy ultrasound a couple weeks ago, the tech found that my placenta has an additional lobe. It doesn't sound like it's anything to worry about (although I did just make the mistake of googling it and got a little freaked out!!), but it's definitely good for them to know about ahead of delivery. Today my doctor talked to me about how they have to do something at delivery to ensure that this extra part of the placenta is delivered. She said an epidural really helps in this situation because it can be painful. If I have an epidural, I sure hope it works this time!

Best Moment this Week: Cam and I have started the process of getting James' room cleared out so we can prepare his nursery. His room has been our guest room/office so we're going to have to get very creative to find a place for all our stuff. We still have a long way to go, but it always feels good to get started! I got a couple projects done that I've been wanting to do for months. I'm definitely nesting, and it feels so good to get things organized around the house! I can't wait to get to the fun part of decorating for our sweet baby boy!

What I'm Looking Forward to: Celebrating the 4th and enjoying the long weekend!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

20 Weeks

Total Weight Gain: I'll find out next week at my doctor's appointment. 

Size of Baby: Baby James is the size of a banana!

Maternity Clothes: Yes!

Sleep: Bad, bad, bad! Between our cat acting like a psycho all night and my acid reflux, sleep has not been plentiful. Friday night I had a pretty bad acid/choking episode and slept a grand total of 3 hours between 6 and 9 am...brutal!

Movement: Maybe a couple flutters but not much else. :(

Cravings/Aversions: Craving sweets! And very thirsty - trying to drink water like it's my job.

What I Miss: Booze. Just being honest. 

Gender: Boy! Sweet baby James!

Mood: Pretty good! Nesting - I have quite a list of projects!

Symptoms/Medical Concerns: Feeling pretty good overall. My feet are sore...when I get up in the mornings my feet feel like I've already been walking around a lot. Feeling a little out of breath at times when I'm leaning down to put Claire's shoes on, etc. 

I finished off my bottle of Diclegis (anti-nausea med) this week. One day recently I forgot to take it and had nausea; but since stopping it fully this week, I've been feeling fine with the exception of a tiny hint of gagging in the morning when I brush my teeth. 

Differences from Last Pregnancy: Right now they're feeling pretty similar. 

Milestones: Reaching the halfway point! The last couple months have gone quickly, but time before that seemed to crawl. Crazy exciting to think that we'll be having a baby in less than 5 months!

Best Moment this Week: Buying some adorable clothes for my sweet boy! It's weird to be shopping for a boy...I'm so used to just automatically going to the girl section. As I expected, you really have to dig for cute boy stuff. I'm pretty picky about boy clothes...I really don't care for the trend of tons of writing all over t-shirts and fake ties. I think it's bizarre to look at a sweet little boy and see "If you think I'm cute, you should see my aunt/cousin/dad, etc" written in bold print on his shirt. Isn't our culture going to inflate a kid's ego enough down the road? Can't we just let them be babies? Anyway, I found several really sweet sleepers and outfits for James...can't wait to see him in them!

What I'm Looking Forward to: My appointment next week!

Here's a halfway point bump picture!