Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Helena at 20 months


I've been meaning to write this post for the past 3 weeks.  Here's some details (I hope I don't forget too many) of Helena at 20 months.

23.4 pounds
33.5 inches
46.8 cm head

The biggest milestone as of late are two word phrases.  The most common one is when she hears the garage door open she immediately says "daddy home".  And "thank you bath" when she tells daddy thank you after her bath.  Her vocabulary is still increasing daily.  She picks up new animals super easy, and recently learned giraffe and penguin.  She's also great at actions, she knows how to put on lotion, and tries to wash her hair, along with clip her finger and toe nails, and brush her hair.  She's getting better at using utensils.

Her biggest 180 as been in the eating department.  I remember around the holiday season I talked about her not eating at all.  And now she seems to be a bottomless pit.  I feel like I can't keep up with her.  She still isn't a big fan of eating in her booster seat and she usually only goes in there for dinner time, but she eats none stop.  She'll eat big bowl of Cheerios for breakfast and some egg or bread.  For lunch she'll have a orange and two pieces of turkey.  Once she wakes up she'll have some yogurt and cheese, and usually before dinner she'll have another snack.  And she'll eat whatever we have for dinner.  Last night she loved the White Chicken Chili I made.  Per her pediatrician I've cut her milk intake in half, so she now only has about 16oz of milk a day.  She loves peas (thank goodness, I loath peas) and green beans.  Any bean really.  Apples, oranges, and bananas.  She now knows that an orange is not an apple and for that I'm thankful.  Definitely a growing baby girl.

She went to the dentist the week of my birthday.  And now she loves to point out her teeth and say dentist.
She also loves to go meet "new friends".  And when she says train it is "choo choo train".  I've also recently got her attached to watching Curious George.  She'll now come up on the couch and say "George George".

She loves her baby brother.  I have ultrasound pictures of little dude on the fridge and she'll point to them and say "baby baby" and I'll respond "that's your baby brother" and she gets super excited!  She'll also check on the baby about once a day by lifting up my shirt and kiss my belly, or owl will kiss my belly.

She's getting a little better at letting me drop her off at daycare when I got to my MOPS meeting or for church.  It's hit or miss.

She has learned her name, and will say "Lena".  It's super cute.  She can sorta say "I love you" it sounds like "wuv you".  She absolutely loves to read and knows which book is which.  We've started having her repeat the ABC's when we are in the bath.  Along with sitting her on the toilet right before the bath.  We've only done this a few times and she just says "no no no".  I don't think potty training will be happening any time soon.

She's a great listener when she wants to be.  She really enjoys doing something she's never been asked before.  But just yesterday she was getting into Chris' nightstand and I just had to tell her once that there was nothing in there for her and to close it, and she did it.  The biggest struggle is when I sit on the floor to change her diaper.  I'll say over and over again "Helena please come here so  I can change your diaper."  "Mommy asked you nicely to come here.  Please come here.  Please listen to mommy."  And she stands just within reach.  It's super annoying, and once I grab her and advise to have her listen to me she is smiling thinking it is a joke.  Not too sure how to stop that behavior.

She is in size 4 diapers now, and still 18 month pants and onsies.  But if it is an actual shirt 24 months or 2T fits her best.  And dresses are also a 2T since she's so tall.

She gets up in the middle of the night about 2 or 3 times a month.  She has different screams and sometimes it is the horrible gutwrenching scream, and I know to get up and comfort her.  Majority of the time I just need to hold her and put her back down.  The other noises she makes I know she'll be able to selfsooth and put her self back down.  She still takes one afternoon nap.  It's around 1pm, although twice this past week she didn't take a afternoon nap, that was brutal.

She loves to dance and be outside.  And overall just a gem.  

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pregnancy Weeks 15 - 26

baby BOY!  12/9/15 20w3d

profile 12/9/15 20w3d

beautiful face 1/7/16 24w4d

profile 1/21/16 26w4d

3D image of spine 1/21/16 26w4d

I'm not doing as good as keeping track, but I guess that's what happens with baby number two.  
Week 15: 11/1 - 11/7 (apple)
Moving week.  Got into Alamogordo Monday 11/2, did a TON of unpacking over the week.  Definitely feel like I over did it.  I hope baby is ok.

Week 16: 11/8 - 11/14 (avocado)
I feel like I might have felt some movement at the beginning of the week which was super exciting.  Drove to ABQ for some family festivies on 11/12, for the weekend.

Week 17: 11/15 - 11/21 (turnip)
Met with the new OB this week.  Again relieved when babies heartbeat was a strong 157.  Doctor seems ok, and is supportive of my vbac, but advised that they will not induce me.  It's either go into labor naturally or have a C-section. 

Week 18: 11/22 - 11/28 (bell pepper)
Thanksgiving week.  Had a 3-hour glucose test at the doctors.  This was different since I never did this test with my previous pregnancy.  Got the results that I passed "with flying colors".  This should make me happy, but it makes me cautious of how this doctors office does things.  So now my pregnancy is considered "normal" with no high risk factors, so I'll be going for the "normal" one hour glucose test at around 25/26 weeks.  I wish I could go get a second opinion but there is only one OB in town. 
In other news, I've been feeling baby move.  Not very consistent, but I definitely feel this little baby.

Week 19: 11/29 - 12/5 (heirloom tomato)
I feel like I've been an emotional wreck this week. 

Week 20: 12/6 - 12/12 (banana)
Had the big ultrasound on Wednesday, we are having a BOY!  I'm still in shock.  Shock because we actually know the sex, and shock because baby is a BOY!  Everything else looked great.  Strong heart and heartrate at 158, good looking brain, SO much movement.  This office even does a 3D ultrasound of the face!  We got to see perfect little lips, nose, and chin.  Helena went to a new friends house, and Chris was there, it felt great to focus on this little baby and nothing else!  The u/s tech couldn't get a good look at the spin, so I'll go back for another u/s on 1/7!  Baby is measuring at a big 14oz (normal 20w is 10.5oz), he's also measuring at 21w and in the 78% percentile.  Helena is going to have a baby brother!

Week 21: 12/13 - 12/19 (carrot)
I'm super anxious this week.  When I wake up at night to use the restroom I can't shut my mind off to go back to sleep because I'm having thoughts of having two kids, and questioning how I'm going to do it.  I know I'll be fine, but I'm still anxious about it.  I've been feeling baby kick more and more and it's such a comfort for me.

Week 22: 12/20 - 12/26 (spaghetti squash)
This baby is so different.  Unlike Helena this baby doesn't move as much, and I'm trying not to be too worried.  When this far along with Helena I was able to see her move, not this baby.  I can still feel this baby, but he is not consistent.  Helena was extremely consistent.  I pray everything is ok.

Week 23: 12/27 - 1/2/16  (large mango)

Week 24: 1/3 - 1/9 (ear of corn)
Had another ultrasound and got a much clearer 3D view of baby boys face.  Baby boy measured 1lb 10 oz, but still wouldn't show his spin, so we'll go for round 3 in 2 weeks.  He's adorable!  My mom came and I read the consent form I would need to sign in order to attempt a VBAC at this hospital.  It (of course) is super scary, and like my previous pregnancy I have a lot of praying to do in regards to how this baby boy is going to be brought into the world.  

Week 25: 1/10 - 1/16 (rutabaga)
Felt hiccups this week!  And some pretty strong ninja kicks which was fun for me since his movements previously haven't really been that strong.

Week 26: 1/17 - 1/23 (green onion)
Back for another ultrasound this week and baby was in the perfect position (finally) to measure his complete spin.  And we officially have the full report of a happy and healthy baby!  I feel so blessed!  Little man is 2 lbs 4 oz with a heartrate of 156!  I love seeing his heart and movements!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

this pregnancy

baby boy Sweat @ 20w3d 12/9/15
since this is only my second pregnancy i'm prone to compare it to my first, and they are nothing alike.  i definitely want to get out all of the details, but the big difference between these babies, is this baby boy doesn't move like his big sister.  once i felt helena at around 19 weeks she was extremely consistent.  i was usually guaranteed movement after every dinner, and then at around 20 weeks chris could feel her move, and by 21 weeks i could watch her move. this baby not so much.  i started feeling movement with baby boy around 17 weeks, and since then it's all over the place.  the week we found out baby was a boy i went to the doctor two days later because there was a full evening and night where i felt no movement at all.  baby was fine, but then a similar scenario happened christmas eve and christmas day.  i specifically remember telling chris on the drive to albuquerque on christmas eve that if i didn't feel this baby soon, we'd be spending christmas day at an urgent care in albuquerque.  i did eventually feel baby, but this babies sporadic movements keeps me on my toes!  and not in a good way.  chris has only felt baby move a few times and i've only seen baby a few times too, and i'm now 25 weeks.  chris constantly says that the baby is relaxing, so now when he askes how baby boy is doing and haven't felt a lot of movement i'll just saying "he's relaxing" because it sounds so much better than "i don't know".  my only hope is that this laid back nature he seems to have inside will be a glimpse into what his personality will be like once he is on the outside.

let's move onto the whole "he" thing.  it feels really weird knowing the gender of this baby.  chris left the decision of knowing the sex or not to a coin toss the night before the appointment.  i arranged for helena to be watched by a new mom friend so that chris and i could enjoy the whole big ultrasound and focus on our new baby.  it was really nice to have it just be the "three" of us without chris being distracted by helena making sure she wasn't getting into anything she shouldn't be.  chris told the ultrasound tech that we would be finding out the sex, and the first shot the tech did was dead center in-between the legs, and i knew it right away.  all boy.  the tech could tell i knew what it was but chris was looking at the monitor wondering what in the world we were looking at.  so i clued him in that he was getting a son.  he immediately cheered and i started crying.  i don't know why, but i really thought i was having a girl.  i totally pictured raising sisters.  the day before i found out that my friend andrea was having a girl, and i thought the chances of us getting one of each right away was slim to none.  i remember a conversation andrea and i had right after both of us found out we were pregnant.  we went on a walk and she made a comment like "what if we both have girls, and grayson is the only boy?"  i totally pictured telling andrea "well grayson is going to be the only boy."  my first thought about having a boy is i have no idea what to do with a boy!  i'm super excited and i'm thrilled to be having one of each!  when i do feel him and get to see him at an ultrasound i feel that feeling of love and my heart growing to be fulfilled with this little boys love and the love and joy he is going to be bringing into my family.

next up is the care of this baby.  there is only one OB medical office in Alamogordo.  my plan for this birth has always been a VBAC.  and the doctor that delivered Helena was on board with a VBAC.  then we moved.  at my first appointment they asked why i had a c-section and how i wanted to birth this baby.  the doctor seemed on board with a VBAC, but advised me that they would not induce me.  so immediately it was either go into labor by 42 weeks or end up with a c-section.  the next time i went in i met with the one female doctor at this practice who is from bejing, china and as an extremely strong accent.  her respond to my VBAC wishes?: you have time to change your mind.  that's when the red flags were raised.  At my next appointment the doctor gave me the consent form I would have to sign in order to attempt a VBAC at the one and only hospital in Alamogordo.  It basically says they don't have the appropriate staff on hand 24/7 to ensure your safety for all things that could go wrong when going for a VBAC.  ...after the fact I also realized that means that they don't have the resources to even support a normal laboring woman which is something I plan on asking about at my next appointment.  I asked where the nearest hospital is that could support a VBAC birth, and the doctor advised El Paso, 90 minutes away.
This is completely foreign to me.  I'm used to the world at my finger tips.  Which I knew was a huge plus to living in Denver.  Unlimited resources for almost anything, endless food options, all the shopping would ever need right outside my door, a direct flight to London if I wanted to get out of the country.  Now I have one hospital, only a couple of chain restaurants to feed me, Wal-mart for my shopping needs, and flying...well that's out of the question, let alone going somewhere out of the country, unless of course I want to go Juarez, Mexico.
Like my pregnancy with Helena I'm at a crossroads in this pregnancy.  Do I birth this baby here?, Chris and I have both decided and agreed that if I were to have this baby here, it would be via repeat C-section.  Or do I start my search from scratch?: look at options in Las Cruces, El Paso, or even Albuquerque.  When I first moved here it seems common that mom's birth their babies elsewhere.  At the time I thought that was strange, because why would have your baby someplace different from where you live? The idea seemed crazy to me.  But now I get it.  The hospital doesn't even have a NICU.  To my surprise Chris recommend I go to ABQ to have this baby, just because Helena and I could go to ABQ have a place to stay and lots of help.  I don't know why, but I just really hate the idea of interrupting my families routine so I can attempt something that in the end may not even happen.  And plus what does that even look like?  When would Helena and I go up to ABQ?  How does that work with the end of pregnancy?  Obviously I have research and work to do, this is just the cloudiness in my head right now.
Aside from the whole VBAC thing lets talk about the care I'm receiving.  At my first OB appointment at the end of September in Denver they drew blood and just like my first pregnancy my A1C (blood sugars) was just slightly elevated.  So I predicted the same exact treatment for my blood sugars throughout this pregnancy.  Well then we moved.  I've mentioned my blood sugars at every single appointment.  I started testing my blood sugars when I was around 16 weeks pregnant with Helena.  I never took the glucose sugar test because they based my treatment off of my blood sugar results that I was getting 4 times a day.  ...Granted the doctors didn't really start paying attention to my numbers until I was around 30 weeks.  And of course, by the end of my pregnancy with Helena I was on insulin.  This time around they haven't even mentioned testing my blood sugars, and instead they had my take the 3 hour glucose test the week of Thanksgiving, which I surprisingly passed with "flying colors" as told me by the nurse.  She even told me to have that extra piece of pie during Thanksgiving dinner.  And now I'll be doing another 3 hour glucose test the first week of February when I'll be 28 weeks.  It's just weird to me that from the very beginning of my pregnancy with Helena I was categorized as "high risk" because of my elevated blood sugars, and so far in this pregnancy I'm considered "normal" because I passed a 3 hour glucose test when I was 18 weeks.  I wish I could go get a second opinion without having to leave city limits.
All of these things are constantly on my mind.  Over and over I'm asking myself: what to do?  I'm not gonna lie I see appeal in just have another c-section here.  Keep my family and routine intact, take the question about when this baby is going to come, and just schedule it.  Part of me feels selfish for for this whole VBAC because I know it would interrupt my family and our routine, and of course I'm scared that I could do all of these and end up in another c-section, so then what would it all be for?  Just to displace my family for no reason.  I truly have no clue what to do.
They say every pregnancy is different, no kidding.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Nighttime Routine

she loves to be tucked into the blanket
I've been meaning to keep track of Helena's nighttime routine as of late and before it changes because it is such a fun and cherished time.

Helena loves her bath.  She always gets so excited when she hears the water running and isn't the best helper putting all of her toys away as we await her bath.  Once the bath is done I'll tell her to go lay down infront of the bathroom so I can get her changed.  She goes and lays down ready for me to take off all of her clothes.  Once I stand her up to take off her diaper she's full of excitement.  I'll take off her diaper and say: "Naked baby!!!"  She'll take a couple of steps into the bathroom then turn around and come cuddle me!  It's so cute!  We go back and forth like this sometimes 5x's!  She just loves to give me love while being naked I guess.  Her little bum running back and forth, it's not an image I want to ever forget!  Once we finally convince her to run to Dad to get in the bath she enjoys bath time with Dad.
When bathtime is just about over I'll go in and we'll sing our ABC's, this is something we've been doing since she's taken baths in the bathtub, so now we have her repeat us.  Say "A", she says "A" etc...  And she's completed the whole alphabet!  She's a smart one!
Then Chris hands her to me while I hold the towel and we go into her room where she immediately grabs owl and like to run around naked with her towel on her head, she'll eventually run to me and give me a big hug while I dry her off and try to rub her hair.  I always struggle getting her to lay down so I can lotion her up and put on her diaper.  Chris wears a panda blanket we have and dances like the panda from "Jimmy Fallon" to keep her laying down.  Once she is lotioned up, PJ's are on, and hair is brushed, she'll pick out the books for Chris to read.  Lately it always includes the Bible (which she says by name), Pajama Time, and a couple of waiting on baby books we have. She'll sit in the rocking chair and loves to be tucked in by the blanket while holding Mr. Owl.  I love the quiet moments I get to just seat on the floor and observe and watching Helena with her Dad.
reading with Dad: photo taken 12/27/15

Update: so I started writing this post after Christmas when this was her routine, and now it's nothing like this.  Over the past week or so, she wants nothing to do with Dad and will not sit in the chair with him, and she now pulls on me while I'm on the floor saying "up up up" so that I'll get up and go in the chair.  I'm hoping that soon she'll go back to her Dad.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's Eve 2015 & 2015 Year in Review

New Year's Eve was low key.  We stayed home.  I made a yummy dinner of Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas and brownie sundaes.  We even let Helena in on the party.  She didn't take a bath and stayed up with us until past 9pm.  It was a lot of fun.  We flipped channels between year in review stuff and Dick Clarks Rockin' Eve.  We climbed into bed at around 11:30pm and cuddled, and kissed as the ball dropped and rang in 2016.  I'm pretty sure this is the first year Chris didn't fall asleep on my lap and it was a special experience to have him awake throughout the whole duration of New Years Eve!

Year in Review: 2015
What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? Move somewhere I didn't want to move.

What moments from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory? Returning from Florida to have Chris tell me he lost his job.  Going into my bosses office 4 weeks pregnant to find out I'm getting laid off.  That Friday morning reading Andrea's text announcing her pregnancy and feeling sad I wasn't pregnant, just to find out 3 days later, I am indeed pregnant.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Trying to be as relaxed as possible through so many unexpected life changes.

What was your biggest failure? Being inpatient with my husband.

 Did you suffer illness or injury? My horrible back sprain over 4th of July weekend.

 What was the best thing you bought? A "Love at First Sight" sonogram frame for baby boys room.

What were your favorite 3 photos of 2014?

Helena and Chris' Baptism ~ January 2015
Helena's First Birthday party ~ May 2015
Playdates with Grayson ~ October 2015
What did you get really, really, really excited about?  Being pregnant.

 What song will always remind you of 2014? "Hello" by Adele.

 What do you wish you’d done more of? Blogging.

What do you wish you’d done less of? Not communicating.

 What was your favorite new TV show?  I didn't watch anything new.

What was the best book you read? I definitely want to read more in 2016.

 What did you want and get? To be a stay at home mom.

 What did you want and not get? I didn't want to move.

What's something you fell in love with? My son.

 What was your family's favorite kid's book? The Bible.  Any Pookie book.  Tickle Me book.

What kept you sane? My husbands patience, my mother-in-laws food, my mom's cleaning.  And texting with Andrea. (this is the same as my 2015 answer).  I'm thankful that some things didn't change!

 Who was the best new person you met? Probably new Alamogordo friends.

 What was a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015? I plan, and God laughs. 

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015

I got this little jumper for my God-daughter Katherine when she was almost 2, now Helena gets to wear it!
Christmas morning
hanging with Grandpa
Smiles with Grandma
Christmas Eve
Christmas Eve



Christmas as come and done, and I feel like our celebration this year was sorta a waste.  I did a lot of work, and I find myself questioning what it was all for.  Last year after the holidays Chris and I decided we would be staying home (Denver) for the holidays.  I had really looked forward to that.  Once we moved and I knew it would be different, I just felt different.  About a week and a half before Christmas Chris and I laid in bed and discussed what to do for dinner.  I knew I didn't want to spend Christmas in Alamogordo.  What I really wanted was to erase time and spend our holiday in Denver.  The next best thing (I guess) was to drive the 3 hours to Albuquerque and spend it with my family.  
Christmas Eve eve Chris and I opened presents and put out the rest of the presents for Helena under the tree.  I made biscuits and gravy in the morning and Helena opened her gifts while we FaceTimed with Grandma and Grandpa Sweat.  We left around noon.  That afternoon/evening drove to my Aunt Patti and Uncle Jeff's house.  They have a beautiful new house in Corrales that has an amazing view, it's breathtaking.  It was a fun to see a lot of family and just hang out.  Helena looked super cute in her Christmas dress.  I made a gender reveal cake for my family to tell them the news that baby is boy, and it turned out ok.  The family got the idea and are thrilled the family is getting another boy! Our family seems to have a pretty solid pattern of alternating boy girl boy girl.  
Christmas Day was sorta boring especially since my family doesn't socialize.  My dad watched basketball all day long, Chris watched work videos, I'm not too sure what my mom did.  That morning Helena and I went to my friend Michelle's parents house to hangout for a little bit.  During Helena's nap time I cooked a pizza appetizer thing and some guacamole.  For dinner we had tamales.  This is something I want to drastically change for my family, especially now that we are a family of four.  I want to actually create memories and traditions for Christmas Day.  Growing up in my family Christmas Day has never really been that exciting.  The big day as always been Christmas Eve.  So any fun traditions you have for Christmas Day please share!
By that evening the big news was the massive snow storm coming into southeastern NM.  My big fear was the state highways, specifically highway 380 which takes us east before heading south to Alamogordo.  In my ideal world we would have just stayed in Albuquerque until Monday, but the bigger problem was Chris didn't pack his correct amount of pills.  So we had to be back in Alamogordo on Sunday, at the latest.  So we decided to leave on Saturday.  On Saturday there was another family get together, which we missed.  And that just sucked.  So the one full day we were in Albuquerque (Christmas Day) we didn't even really do anything.  
Who knows when we'll live in a place that feels like home again for me to really feel like I want to create traditions and memories but I honestly want to get there already.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 2015

Christmas Festival Downtown Alamogordo
1st time seeing Santa after a 1 year absence, she wasn't too thrilled.
She loves these blow-up figures
She did pretty good with the ornaments, we had to fatalities this year!
She warmed up nicely to Santa at the El Paso Mall.
So focused helping with the Gingerbread house.
Our mantel, Helena loved the lights!
3rd Santa visit was a success at the Alamogordo library!
Checking out the largest pistachio in the world!
She had a blast helping me make sugar cookies!
I made her, her very own felt Christmas tree!
Dad put up Christmas lights and got an owl!

Who knows if I'll ever catch up on blogging, I really want to blog more, document more and remember more.  I miss my blog, I miss a lot of things, and I feel this is one thing I have control over.  That I can easily incorporate back into my weekly schedule.  
We've been busy this month.  
At the beginning of the month there was a little Christmas Festival in downtown Alamogordo.  Downtown exists of one block, but we had a good time.  There was a live Nativity, Santa, and hot chocolate.  This was her first experience since last Christmas meeting Santa, and she was scared.  Over the course of the month we saw Santa two more times, and by the third time she was ok with him.  She'll now say Santa and is fascinated by his hat.  
In the middle of the month we took the drive to El Paso for some shopping.  The drive is about an hour and half and it was crazy.  I don't see us going back anytime soon.  The mall was insane.  Just crazy.  We did get some shopping done, but the experience wasn't pleasant.  I made a reservation for Helena to have a sit down with Helena and brought her Christmas dress and everything.  Upon arrival for our reservation the whole camera and computer system had gone down.  It was beyond frustrating.  I had made a dinner reservation for an hour after the meeting with Santa so we didn't have time to hang out.  Thankfully Santa came over, and that gave Helena the opportunity to warm up to him.  He gratefully took a selfie with us, so it wasn't a total waste, but I'm sad that we won't have an official Santa picture this year.  
Closer to the end of the month Santa was making an appearance at  the Alamogordo library.  So we checked that out.  This was a success, and had I known Helena would be good I would have brought her Christmas dress.  But we got a somewhat decent picture!