12:20 PM

36 weeks 2 days

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

First things first, a very Happy 30th Birthday to the love of my life, father of my children and better half of me. I know how excited he is to turn 30 today but he got his wish (minus 19 days) of 2 kids before he hit middle-aged (something I swore would not happen), so Happy Birthday babe, this gigantic belly is your gift from me, enjoy.

So today is the most pregnant I have ever been. EVER. I feel like I've hit some secret milestone and everything I have known up until this point in pregnancy is moot now. My body never "prepared" itself for Kaleb's birth because he came too early (thank you pre-eclampsia) and now that I am thus-far not plagued with any such condition I feel... strange.

And suddenly in a panic. Her bed isn't set up yet, I have about a hundred loads of laundry to do, a few more things to pick up, a hospital bag to pack, a Kaleb bag to pack, a house to REALLY clean and a master bathroom that has been at a stall for about 2 weeks. Brian assures me by this weekend I will have no more worries and her bed, boxes of stuff and my house will be back together.

While I feel cautiously optimistic about this goal....I am a planner and organized and NOT a last-minute type of person.

However, I do feel really good about Kaleb and his ability to adapt to the change that is about to take place. He has grown so much and his intelligence is unreal to us sometimes. He asks for what he needs, tells us when he's gone to the potty, signals for 'nite-nite' when he gets tired. He can do all the stairs in our apartment on his own and get in/out of the Trailblazer for me. How awesome is this kid?

He came to visit us at work yesterday. His Mama Kim "Muck" gave him pop. 

He cruised around the kitchen with his pop in hand. Didn't spill a lick of that pop or chew on the cup!

He sat at Mommy's desk and did "work" as he calls it (actually just ate all my M&M's)

So Daddy took him home and gave him a big bowl of soup to try and prevent any future tummy aches from the sugar overload he got at work! He even eats with a big spoon like daddy!

I have an appointment with Doc again today since he'll be out for my normal Friday appointment. On the plus side Brian gets to come to this one. I'll post some updates tomorrow.

Kaleb is 21 months, 5 days.
Our little girl will arrive in 19 days.

11:18 AM

{Baby Girl's} SPRINKLE!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Yesterday our amazing friends, Cody & Char, threw our new arrival a "sprinkle". It was so much fun and we got a ton of stuff we needed for our little girl. I think it really hit me this weekend that I'm going to have another one and this one is going to be a SHE. Being boy-obsessed for the last 2+ years really takes its toll on your "girly" side and I'm happy to have a reason to bust out the purple and princess stuff.

Kaleb is getting so big and independent. He loves his Sharrrrrrrrr and Unc Turtle's house so I really feel like I didn't see my boy the entire party. It really did "sprinkle" during the party so Kaleb had to have a bath about 1/2 way through the party because he was a muddy mess. What can I say? Boys will be boys! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the day:

Mmmm cake flavors were chocolate with strawberry filling. Amazing.

Me & Olivia

Riley & Kaleb giving some kisses :)

The little mud bucket

And we're all clean now!

Ava, Kaleb & Riley (notice K drinkin from the cup he stole from Char)

My only regret is that I didn't take more pictures of the adults at the party. I didn't even get in one with Char or Brian or our little family before Kaleb got dirty. My mission is to take a ton of pictures in the next 21 days. Stay tuned :)

Kaleb is 1 year, 9 months & 3 days old. He's going to be a big brother in just 21 days.

1:10 PM

Kaleb vs His Sister

Friday, June 25, 2010

Since this week has been all Kaleb I thought I'd drop a few more details about our sweet baby girl. I went to the doctor this morning and my BP was 119/69. Dang, that feels good. I am still hovering around a 12 pound gain for her which they don't seem to be worried about. I only gained 17 with Kaleb so I guess we're right on track with weight. I am so very thankful that is one thing I don't have to worry about with my pregnancies. And I am alllll baby. This was taken just a few minutes ago:

And if you weren't convinced by that picture. Here is one of JUST baby girl at 35 weeks, 5 days:

I know she has dropped because I can breathe again. Dr.Grim said she is head down and in position too. However, she looks so high in my belly compared to Kaleb.

Please forgive this stupid pose of B & I but it's the closet I could find to how far along I am with her. In this picture I was EXACTLY 36 weeks with Kaleb and about to be induced. My belly looks way more like a basketball and a lot less like a football {as baby girl makes it look}.

Oh and another thing my sweet little angel does NOT give Mommy in the heat: SWELLING!

My cute feet this morning with baby girl... :) and her monster of a brother that did this to me:

Our sprinkle is this Sunday and I am BEYOND excited. I even told Dr.Grim about it this morning and if you know me, I am so not a talker. Char is the ultimate party planner so I am so happy to see everything. She's kept me up to speed on the cake and food and other yummies. I am so looking forward to this weekend and then we are in panic mode.

I am having some on and off contractions which are really crazy. I never had those with Kaleb. I never dilated past a finger tip and the only contractions I had with Kaleb I saw on the monitor but couldn't really feel. When I was leaving the office this morning Dr. Grim said, "Hey make sure you give me a call if your water breaks or your contractions become regular!" I really just wanted to turn around and say, "DUH!"

Last night Brian and I we're talking about imagining what she looks like: her face, her complexion, her hair and her smell. We both agree, we just cannot do it. I can't see her face. Because how can Brian plus Ericka not equal this:

I guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Kaleb is exactly 21 months old today.
25 days until we meet our new addition!

1:38 PM

Shriners: Part II

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I know I was supposed to post this yesterday but we got really busy at work and each time I went to update I kept reading about the first part of our trip. You never imagine when you have a child HOW much your world revolves around them. I mean, how many hours did we spend playing with rocks that day? Or watching him play with that darn door stopper? Or letting him roam the halls and explore? And the thing is, most of the time, I wouldn't trade it for those fancy dinners, margaritas, concerts or nights out (before Kaleb)because he makes life worth living. That is something you'll never experience until you have a child. And I thank God every single day that I have a partner who enjoys rocks and door stoppers and hallways just as much as me. (Love you B!)

:: back to the trip ::

We (as in Brian and I) got up bright and early to shower and get stuff ready so we could have plenty of time to eat some breakfast before we got on the road. Thankfully our hotel put up the most amazing hot breakfast and Kaleb enjoyed entertaining the retirees on their golf trip. (He is SUCH a ham!)

Here we are on our way!

Thanks to Char's awesome planning our hotel was about 10 minutes from Shriner's. And thanks to Brian's GPS it was no-fuss and we arrived 20 minutes ahead of schedule. We we're directed to a huge waiting room with lots of other parent's and kids. Of course, the first thing Kaleb went for in the toy room was the Cozy Coupe car.

I had to use the zoom on our camera because he REFUSED to come back to where we were sitting. The kid sure isn't shy!

Did I mention it was the MOST amazing play area I have ever seen!?

The best part of the trip happened in that waiting room. Brian and I talked about it all the way home to Kaleb. He met Ben:

When Ben first noticed Kaleb he said yelled to his mom that Kaleb's hand was, "Like mine! Like mine!" I think my heart melted in that moment. Sure, we know people who have children with hands like Kaleb on facebook or through Helping Hands or Jim Abbott but this was the first time Kaleb has seen anyone his age, in person. We did manage to get the boys together for a few more pictures.

So... my kid was stingy and didn't want to get out of his car.

Are those not two of the sweetest faces you have ever seen?

We sat with Ben's parents for a while and chatted. They are such wonderful people! They adopted Ben from China when he was 19 months old. He's 3 now. It made Brian and I realize that although Kaleb doesn't notice his hand now, he will soon. And that means we move onto a new stage with him on understanding and dealing with being a little different. I think meeting and being in contact with people like Ben will help tremendously.

We even exchanged contact information including blogs (Brian was really excited about this- he has a hard time believing other people blog!) Read about her amazing family here: Our Adoption Blessings or I added them to my blogroll on the side. What an inspiring family!

After meeting Ben & his family we we're off on our next adventure. It included these awesome wagon's to wheel the kids around the hospital in:

We headed off to x-ray. I wasn't allowed back because I am pregnant so Brian and K went back alone. Yikes. I could hear Kaleb screaming in the waiting area and Brian singing, "BOB THE BUILDER!" at the top of his lungs. Ok, so my child HATES being held down. I can understand that. When they emerged Brian was sweating and his face was red. Kaleb was giving the x-ray tech an awful look and his eyes were wet and puffy. If I thought I could get a picture of these two without getting in trouble with them I would have!

We got to be in the Camel room after our xray. We met with a PA who took the works on Kaleb: history, diagnosis, measurements, EVERYTHING. Did I mention Kaleb weighed in just below 37 pounds!? We were told the doc and prosthetic team would be in soon so we did our very best to keep K entertained which included:

Running the halls (Aren't they beautiful?)

We lost our shoes in the wagon!

During our wait we also got to meet the PR director for Shriners. She gets 'google alerts' each time Shriners is mentioned by someone and when I wrote our entry about getting the chance to head down she read it! She even recognized the shirt I took [baby girl's] 25 week picture in because I was wearing it at the hospital. Thank goodness I updated with the date of our trip, she knew exactly where and when to find us. It was such a pleasure to meet her and it was like she already knew us. (At this point Brian is totally in shock because the blog has been mentioned 2 times in an hour- He just might get it now!)

We met with the doctor and prosthetics team soon after. We had been here for 2+ hours and Kaleb was less than compliant and kept trying to escape the room. His stickers managed to keep him entertained while we discussed everything with his doc.

Basically, right now the prosthetics on the market aren't anything worth fitting him for because he would have to take his focus off actually doing something to get his prosthetic to cooperate. She compared it to taking Kaleb's cup and attaching it to our hand. Because we cannot feel where the cup begins and ends kids become frustrated quickly and toss it in the toy box. Also, because Kaleb doesn't need this hand to do anything (unlike missing a leg) it's just a big hastle for him and often leaves the child frustrated. Most parent's chose to fit at this age for purely cosmetic reasons and that is just not us. His hand doesn't bother us one bit.

She explained our best bet is to take the next 2-3 years and figure out what Kaleb is really into hobbies, sports, art or music. Once we know what he really likes doing we can bring him back and see if they have a prothetic or even other devices that can help him play, explore, paint or whatever even better. Sometimes they can help, sometimes they can't.

What I really enjoyed was how they broke down the stages Kaleb will go through with us. What ages he'll ask questions or become frustrated or ask 'Why me?' They gave us a couple of booklets to help with this stuff and they are nice to have around. As far as PT/OT? She doesn't think he'll EVER need it, ever. He's so far advanced and such an explorer that he'll just continue along that path as long as we keep encouraging. If we get stuck on something like when he ties his shoes they will bring us back down and teach Brian and I how to do it and we can teach him (although we already did our research on this and can both tie our shoes one handed). I think it's safe to say we're ahead of the curve. Whew.

The best part for us? The mechanical prosthetics that become options when Kaleb is high school/adult age. They are very heavy right now so it's a no-go for kids but if he wants to be a surgeon or jet engine mechanic or anything he might need two hands for Shriners can fit him for the mechanical one. And who knows what they will have 15 years from now when that time comes? Simply amazing.

And because Kaleb is a lifetime patient we don't ever have to worry.

What an amazing trip. Cannot wait for our next one!

Kaleb is apparently old enough to drive.
His sister will be here in 27 days. Maybe he can drive her home from the hospital!

1:56 PM

Shriners: Part I

Monday, June 21, 2010

I am happy to report we made it to Lexington and back in one piece! The trip was amazing, from start to finish, and I am just sad that it couldn't last longer. However, we had a very busy weekend with Father's Day and my big 2-5 to celebrate so we'll have to plan another trip soon.

Brian and I left work after the lunch rush at exactly 2 pm on Thursday. {I am a schedule nut so I had our entire course planned and for the first time in our relationship Brian actually appreciated everything!} We picked up our Boogie, stopped for some last minute supplies at Walmart and we we're on I-75S by 2:25 pm.

He had his Tigger glasses ready for the ride down!

But I think Mommy's were more comfortable. He has a gigantic head like Brian and I :)

We borrowed Brian's parents Taurus so that my car's air conditioning could get fixed plus it's much better gas mileage. However, no DVD player and a 2 hour drive left Kaleb extra crabby. We had to stop for me to go to the bathroom {shocker! I know!} and then I had to ride the next hour in the back seat with Kaleb singing the Tigger & Pooh theme song over and over and over...

I was very thankful to get my Trailblazer back with AC and our built-in DVD player {Which I will never take for granted again!}

We had the most amazing hotel which was shaped like a big square with only 2 floors. Our particular room had this awesome sliding glass door that opened up to the outdoor pool. We wasted NO time getting our bug into the water!

I don't think they would've figured out the floaties if I wasn't there with them :)

Oh, how he loved the water. Don't let that tight seal on his mouth fool you. He loved drinking it too!

We had the entire indoor area to ourselves so we let K jump off the edge over and over.
Of course, he had to show us how he goes under water :)

These two :) Oh how I love them.

He has to have everything to match his Daddy. He walked for a long time like this!

Around 7 {baby girl} was telling me it had been entirely too long since our last meal so I got the boys out of the pool and we got ready to head out to dinner. We had an awesome restaurant in our hotel with reasonable pricing but the hotel clerk gave us a 20% off coupon for a local steakhouse so we headed down and it was sooooo good!

The restaurant sat us in what used to be the smoking section, wayyyyy in the back. The best part? It was booths and booths of kids in booster seats or hi-chairs. Can you guess what kept Kaleb entertained most of the time? The kids!

We could barely get his attention for a picture.

When I did get a picture I got this and I'm sure he was thinking, "Mom you are SO annoying!"

I love pickles without being pregnant. Being pregnant makes it worse. Even the boys loved munching on these!

And our sign that dinner was over and it was time to head back to the hotel!

After filling up Kaleb was in a surprisingly good mood and spent some time exploring when we got back to the hotel. {I cannot leave these pictures out- he enjoyed this too much!}

He was obsessed with this thing!

He kept screaming at it, "EASY! EASY!" when it would really get going.
{I think this is a sign we use this phrase in our house too much!}

The kid is in love with rocks. This was right outside our hotel room.

And in his pocket they go ...
{Thank you Brian for teaching him this weeks ago- I love finding them during laundry day!}

Whoops! Down he went :) He does have a bit of mommy's sense of balance!

Yes, his daddy let him bring those rocks into the bed to play with them
{and in exchange Mommy got a whole queen bed all to herself!}

They had a blast with those silly rocks!

He managed to stay awake for a little while and watch the Laker's win the NBA championship.
{I know you cannot tell but he was very excited!}

And he's out .....

Around 6 in the morning I hear, "Mama!" I sit up to see him standing in bed with his dad {who is snoring away}. "Nite nite Peeeeease!" he says to me. I grab him and tuck him in bed with me and he goes right back to sleep! Brian said that he was under him the whole night, rolling around like a gigantic dog in the bed. I guess Kaleb is used to having his full bed all to himself at night.

Part II will actually document our trip to the hospital. We just had too much to share!

Kaleb is 90 weeks old.
Baby girl is 28 days from arriving!