Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Happy Easter

I hope you had a wonderful Easter with your family. We had a great time. We enjoyed all of Easter traditions as well as telling Caroline about our risen Lord.

We started off Saturday dying Easter eggs. Last year I did a lot of the process myself while Caroline watched from her high chair. This year was much different. Caroline really participated. I had way too many colors for the number of eggs we dyed - just 7 eggs for 12 different colors. We kept it simple this year only picking one color for each egg. Maybe next year we will get more sophisticated and do multicolored eggs.

Before we dyed the eggs, we drew pictures and wrote something on each of the eggs. Caroline would suggest things like her name or a heart. When we got to the 4th egg, I suggested we write "Jesus" on the egg. She then suggested that for all the other eggs. So we had 3 eggs with "Jesus" written on them.

Caroline loved dunking the eggs in a particular color. For that reason, I quickly decided we needed aprons! Dye was splattering everywhere.

Counting her eggs.

So proud!

Lastly, we put stickers on each of the eggs. Caroline loved the soccer ball and basketball stickers.

We took a couple of pictures Easter morning on our porch. Here she is in her Easter dress. I tried to get her to wear a bracelet. She kept talking about how pretty it was, but when I asked if she wanted to wear it she politely replied "No." So I didn't push it. I also had some really pretty white dress shoes and socks, but Caroline took them off and said she wanted the other white shoes. I love this picture of her because she is showing off her pretty dress. She loves to show off and talk about her pretty dresses right now.

We are so thankful for the privilege to dress up and go to church to freely worship our risen Lord. These little traditions (dying Easter eggs, hunting for eggs, and new pretty dresses) are just fun ways to celebrate. I am so thankful for His sacrifice on the cross.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

23 months old

In just a couple of weeks, my baby is going to be 2. I've noticed that I've started calling her "baby" a lot more recently. Not sure if it's because she's getting older or because I have another one on the way and I just want her to know that she will always be my baby - so will Lucy. They will both always be my babies!

She is doing so much this month. Her new phrase is "by yourself!" I guess it's her way of saying "me do it!" I seriously never thought this would happen. I wanted it, but I didn't want it. She is still letting us do a lot of things for her, but she is trying to do sooo many things by herself. She is trying to feed herself. Usually meals are about 30/70 - 30% of her feeding herself with a utensil and 70% of her asking us to scoop it for her. Once we scoop it, she will put it in her mouth. Seriously - this is huge! She is also getting so much more adventurous on playgrounds. She still wants me to be right there beside her, but she wants to try it all by herself. Even climbing the stairs in and out of our house - she says "by yourself!" This is extremely helpful as I'm starting to get a lot bigger.

She has also started counting things and doing it correctly. Before she would say "Let's count!" And she would start to count something but always count ten of whatever it was even if there were only 2 items. But now she is actually counting the items. Adam has been working with her on this. I didn't even attempt to work on it because I read somewhere that this was a 3-4 year old skill. I keep putting Miss C in a box based on stuff I read - I need to not do that. However, we have also noticed that sometimes she "counts" in ABCs. If there are 3 items...."A...B...C!"

Also, this month, Caroline is really recognizing several of her ABCs. She recognizes: A, B, F, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, R, and T. If you ask her about one of the other letters, she will name a letter she DOES recognize that looks a lot like that letter. For example, if you ask her about Q she says it's an O. If you ask her about X, she says it's a K and W is an M. I can't believe how well she is doing on this. We have some letter blocks and she just LOVES to play with them.

Caroline has been doing this for a while, but it is so prevalent lately. She says what she wants you to say to her. For example, 1) When looking at a picture she drew, C says "Did you make that?!?" So pretty!", 2) From booster, "May I please get down. Yes you may!", 3) "What are you doing Caroline?", 4) While grabbing your hand and pulling you down the hall, "What do you want help with?"

Caroline has more and more opinions about things every day =) I love letting her express and execute those opinions when they so fit with our plan for the day. She often tells me she wants the pink cup (no coercion from me). She also has preferences on what clothes and shoes she wears. She tells me what she wants to eat for breakfast - she never gets her way on this one - we will not have rice cakes for breakfast. I love that she is coming into her own and that I'm learning more about what she likes and doesn't like. I swear she would eat rice cakes and applesauce all day long. At least it's not cake and ice cream - which is what I would like to eat all day long =)

For the first time, I saw Caroline sit down with a book we have never read and "read" it. She flipped the pages and made up the story as she went along. Her sentences were not connected and the story made no sense, but it was so cool to see her use her imagination like that. (It was a Garfield comic book that was Adam's when he was a kid.)

Caroline really loves "Ring around the Roses". She doesn't really like to play it with other children though. If you start to sing it, she will run in circles and squeal "Look at Care-line! Look at Care-line!"

We love our little girl. She is such a blessing to us. Watching her grow and learn is just about the coolest gift God has given us.

Here are some pictures. I take way too many pictures with my phone - not so great quality.

She still loves her stroller. Here she is napping in it on a shopping trip. This is one of the main reasons we will probably get a double stroller.

Biting into an apple. I've let her eat some more challenging foods this month that require a lot more chewing. She has loved it and done great!

Checking Bubby's temperature =)

Look at how physical she is getting! Seriously - climbing in and out of things has never interested Caroline until recently. She still isn't climbing the furniture or anything really high and dangerous - just laundry baskets and some playground equipment.

Blowing bubbles at Funday Sunday. Doesn't she look so grown up in this picture?

Riding the helicopter ride with Daddy. She said "Get out?" the whole time.

Feeding some kind of animal at the petting zoo. I never figured out what it was.

Loving the moon bounce. She mostly sat there and let the other kids bounce her. This was the second moon bounce of the month. She also had a great time bouncing at cousin Anthony's 5th bday party.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lucy at 27 weeks

I am now in the 3rd trimester. Woah! In some ways it feels like this pregnancy is flying. In other ways it feels like it is taking forever. I'm very excited to meet this little girl. I'm ready for her to rock our world. She is already rocking mine so we can let Adam and Caroline in on the fun too. I am quite confident that I will be reminding little Lucy that I was still getting sick at week 26 when I was pregnant with her. Mothers have to have these stories to torment their children with, right? My sick days are definitely further apart now, usually every 1-2 weeks. I keep hoping it's over. So we'll see. And let me just tell you, I would much rather have morning sickness than wake up in the middle of the night to go get sick. And my sickness with Lucy is always in the middle of the night.

Each week that goes by, I announce to Adam that it could be in X weeks - I tell him the number of weeks it would be to the time Caroline was born (Caroline was born at 36 weeks). This week I told him, it could be in 9 weeks! He is unphased, but it freaks me out a little bit. I have several things that I want to accomplish before little Lucy comes. I'm walking a very thin line between being prepared if she does come early and trying not to EXPECT her to come early. My lovely sister had her first baby at 36 weeks, but her daughter was born at 40 weeks. When 36 weeks came and went we were all surprised. By the 38th week, we were all astonished and she was starting to get downright frustrated. By 40 weeks, well she was like a normal woman at 42 weeks - miserable. I really want Lucy to bake, bake, bake. The longer she's in there, the better chance we have of her sleeping through the night when I go back to work - not to mention avoiding jaundice and all other wonderful preterm baby stuff!

Caroline is noticing my belly. This really surprised me. I expected her to never notice since she sees me everyday, but she often looks at my belly, pats it, and says "Baby!"

So far no Braxton Hicks. They started at about week 27 with Caroline so we will see.

I had my glucola test at 24 weeks. I passed with flying colors - well I actually don't know how well I did. I just know I didn't fail =) I did, however, get a call from the nurse saying my iron was low. They started me on an additional iron supplement that I take with my prenatal. I was so happy when the nurse told me I  had low iron. I had been so tired. I had even told Adam that I thought I might have low iron. I began to wonder if this is what life was going to feel like. I thought I had to buck up because someone has to do the laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc. What a relief to find out that this is not what life is supposed to be like! I have low iron! Yay!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

ENT Update

Last Friday we took Caroline back to the ENT for a follow up appointment. I was excited to tell the doctor about all of her improvements and about her remarkable recovery. She really is doing so much better than when he saw her last. She is sleeping 12+ hours every night and napping for almost 3 hours every day. She is in a great mood most of the time and her appetite is back. What a blessing! There are still a few things that aren't quite right. Her voice is very nasal sounding and she breathes very heavily.

I was eager to hear what the doc had to say and I was anticipating him wanting to take a look at her adenoid. In order to look at the adenoid the doctor has to stick a scope down your nose. It's not too painful, but very uncomfortable and Caroline hates it.

The doc was happy to hear about how well Caroline was doing, but definitely wanted to take a look at her adenoid, tonsils and ears. He wanted to get an idea of what they looked like when she was healthy. Unfortunately, all of it was bad news after that. Her tonsils and adenoids are huge. In fact, he had a hard time getting to look at her adenoid with all of the mucus that is still in there. The mucus is all clear - so no infection, but still not good. The other thing he noticed was that she still had fluid in both ears. Again, the fluid was clear - no infection, but fluid in the ears for a prolonged period of time can cause hearing loss. The fluid has likely been there since Caroline first got sick at Christmas.

Needless to say - not good. Doc is hoping that continuing her daily dose of Singulair and Flonase will dry up her ears. We go back for another follow up in 2 months. At that appointment, Caroline will be given a hearing test. If she shows any signs of hearing loss or if there is still fluid in her ears, the doctor will schedule surgery to put tubes in both ears and to perform an adenoidectomy. All of this will probably happen very quickly after that appointment.

It seemed odd to hear about getting tubes put in the ears when Caroline has only ever had one ear infection. You always hear about this procedure being done on children who have had multiple ear infections. The purpose of these tubes would be to prevent hearing loss since it seems Caroline's ears may just retain fluid. Actually, Caroline has a pretty amazing immune system to maintain all of these fluids/mucus in her adenoids and ears and to not have continuous infections.

Even though Caroline's tonsils were also huge, the doc said there is no real reason to take out her tonsils at this point. She has never had tonsilitis or strep throat (it's that tough immune system). So until she shows a reason to take them out, they are staying put. A tonsilectomy is also a more difficult recovery than either of the other 2 surgeries.

I was pretty upset after Caroline's appointment. I'm sure any parent would be after hearing about a possible surgery on their baby. We really love this ENT. We are thankful that he is a fan of the conservative approach and that surgery isn't the first thing he jumps to, but we are also thankful that he won't waste anytime if there is a real problem and that he is bold to tell us when there is.

Please be in prayer for our little girl. We are praying that the fluid in her ears dries up quickly and that her adenoid and tonsils shrink down so that surgery is not necessary.

One funny side note: This appointment was scheduled right after Caroline's nap. She was at her best - super talkative and in a great mood. There was a mom there with a little boy one month younger than Caroline. She kept asking me how Caroline knew so many words and what type of preschool program we had her in. It started to get kind of embarrassing when Caroline began counting everything in the room and then naming all the colors and then singing "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" as she pointed to each appropriate body part and then naming all the animals on the walls. I just told the lady that Caroline was a talker and that there were other things she was not so good at like climbing and physical stuff. Adam said I should have told the mom that Caroline learned all that this last month and next month her son would be able to do all that stuff too =)

Getting very lean

The Beams are cutting out the fat to get ready for Miss Lucy. At one point Adam and I lived by ourselves in a 1750 square foot house with 3 bedrooms. All 3 bedrooms belonged to us. One was our office. We kept all sorts of important things in there: scrapbooking materials, tax information, trophies from little league games and local 5K races, workout equipment, desk, computer, printer, shredder, markers, paper clips, glue sticks, etc. Another room was our guest room. In there we had bed for guests, closet full of formal and semiformal dresses, springtime and wintertime purses, miscellaenous and seasonal decor, sewing equipment, newspapers upon newspapers of Adam's written work, books upon books, etc. The final room was our bedroom.

When Caroline was born we went through a tough time of parting with a fair amount of that stuff. We had to combine as much as we could from the guest room and office into just one room so that we would have a room for Caroline. Well, now that Lucy is on her way, we are having to get really lean and really creative.

For those of you who do not know, Adam is a bit of a pack rat. He hates getting rid of stuff. This conversation actually happened:

I was sitting in the rocker while Adam went through our stuff in our guestroom/office-soon-to-be-Lucy's room. He was putting stuff in one of two piles "Keep" or "Throw Away/Goodwill". After a few minutes, I notice that he has started a third pile. So I say,

"Babe, what's that pile over there for?"

"Well, this here is the Keep pile....and this one here is the....Kinda Keep pile"

Yeah....this is going to be harder than I thought!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Who wears the pants?

The other week on the way to church, Adam declared that I had won. He asked me if I was proud of myself and what had my plan been to get my way all along. He then listed that first I had convinced him to teach Sunday School in the children's department. We have now been teaching for the last 5 years in our church's children's department. Second, I had convinced him to sing with me in the choir. It started with just singing in the Easter program in 2007, but led to singing every Sunday. And finally, I got him to sing on a PRAISE TEAM!

That's right. That manly sounding bass you heard the other week was none other than my hubby. The pews were 'a rumblin'.

Man, I'm good!