Thursday, January 30, 2014

valentine's day toddler art.

i think valentine's day is a fun holiday. i know it's a "made up" holiday in a lot of people's opinion, but hey, i will take any excuse to eat sweets, buy festive decor, and tell/show those i love that i love them. adding a toddler into the mix makes it even more fun to embrace holiday fun. i was inspired by a blog i follow to bust out the non-existent crafty side of myself and attempt an art project with ben this year for valentine's day.

i tend to avoid art-type projects because i think about the mess and want to spare myself the extra work. but honestly it doesn't typically end up requiring all that much extra effort and bennett and i have fun doing something different. plus it makes me feel like less of a lazy stay-at-home mom when we have done an activity like this. win-win, right?

toilet paper roll heart stamps

in the end, bennett liked scribbling with the pen more than stamping. he kept taking his paint-covered hands and reaching out to me saying "sticky" and making a disgusted face. apparently he doesn't like the mess either... that's my boy. also we had a finger-paint-in-the-mouth incident that pretty much brought art time to an abrupt end with crying and gagging involved...

i think our next valentine's activity will involve baking. that way gagging is sure to be avoided. at least i hope.


so we have a new baby joining our family in less than seven weeks. seven. yikes. we don't have a nursery put together, car seat installed, or hospital bag packed. and honestly, i'm starting to panic a little. we have to prepare the downstairs bedroom that bennett will be moving into (paint the walls and install an actual door instead of the weird accordion door that's there currently), move him down there, and set up the nursery (which involves painting a dresser, too). we have to find, assemble, and organize all the baby stuff. good thing time and energy are two things we have an abundance of. oh wait, no. we have neither.

i'm nervous (surprise, surprise) about transitioning bennett to a new room. i'm not sure how he will respond. i mean, i'm sure he will be fine. after all, we made it through the loss of the nuk (though, did i tell you that he now picked up a finger-sucking habit? perfect.). we are keeping him in a crib; he is still little and i just don't think he's ready for a big boy bed yet. or maybe it's me who's not ready. but regardless, in a crib he will stay. til he's seven. teen. we decided to keep bennett in his same crib, rather than giving the "nicer" nursery set to the baby. bennett is facing so many changes: new room, new brother, new need to share everything; i want to at least allow him one constant by letting him keep his same bed. the baby won't have a preference either way and if it gives bennett a little sense of normalcy, then it's worth it. plus, let's face it- we will need bennett to sleep well more than ever when the babe comes.

we have the second crib. we are painting a dresser and glider we have and my mom is making slip covers for the cushions. we have the nursery bedding. the whale theme didn't happen. we decided on a gray, white and light blue color scheme based on a cute lion sheet we found at pottery barn kids.

i had already bought this gray and white bumper, so i bought the matching crib skirt.

i also bought a solid blue sheet and some blue changing table covers.

we need curtains and blinds for bennett's new room. we also need some wall decor for the nursery. i want to do these zinc letters from anthropologie to spell the baby's name over the crib. but at $18 each, i think instead i'll attempt to diy them based on a tutorial i found on pinterest. i want to do a gallery-style wall with photo ledges and want to include one of these adorable lion mirrors.

so at least we are getting there, right? i really wanted to get some new stuff for bennett's room, but we will hold off until we are ready to put him in a bed and get some new bedding and decor at that time.

my mom and i chose a date that she's going to come help me put together the two rooms, so now we need to get going on the painting so things are ready by then. 

i ordered a breast pump this week and we bought our double stroller. i've also been picking up clothes for the baby here and there. yesterday at my appointment the doctor asked me if i was getting prepared for labor. my response? "umm, not really. but i suppose i should, huh?" so, with encouragement from my mom, i am working on a to do list for myself (including things like making the "zinc" letters, washing baby clothes, organizing baby items, packing the hospital bag, taking things to sell at once upon a child, etc.).

let the countdown begin!


i think my pregnancy hormones have hit an all-time high. the waterworks seem to start at the drop of a hat and won't stop. i have little patience to spare and it unravels quickly. anxiety comes on strongly and irrationally, difficult to talk down.

last week i cried during the episode of parenthood (normal), then started crying again 20 minutes later about the episode and how unfair and cold joel was being toward julia (not normal).

the brush part and the handle of our broom were separated when i went to sweep the floor on sunday. after two failed attempts at putting them back together i screamed out loud, threw the handle, and proceeded to sweep the floors with the brush part only on my hands and knees. 32 weeks pregnant. i was home alone, so no help was available (but also no one to scare by my outburst, so that's a plus).

joe left for a business trip to memphis this morning. i cried last night anticipating 3 days and nights by myself. and i cried again this morning. all morning. joe, ben and i went to brueggers quick to grab bagels and a coffee for me before he had to leave for the airport. i dropped my coffee in the snow and burst into tears.

ben and i went to the library for a while this morning. naturally he didn't want to put on his coat to leave the library and i practically had to wrestle him to the ground to get it on him. nothing like making a scene in the quiet library to make you feel like an epic failure of a mom. then my car got stuck in my snowy driveway. and there it sits.

it's been rough. i don't mean to complain, but i also have to be honest. some days (weeks) are like that. fortunately God is willing to meet us where we're at.

"rejoice in the Lord always. i will say it again: rejoice! let your gentleness be evident to all. the Lord is near. do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. and the God of peace will be with you." -Philippians 4:4-9

 i'm praying for peace and patience today. and a looooong nap out of bennett.

playing with snow (making "soup") this morning.

packed and ready to join dad in memphis.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


this has been the first week of the made to crave bible study. honestly, i haven't put much effort into it up until this point and have just been feeling blah about it. i'm 31 weeks pregnant, feeling like a beached whale, not sleeping well, sensitive and emotional and just over it. i've found myself doing a lot of rationalization of poor choices lately. "i'm pregnant so i deserve a blizzard." "i'm just gaining weight anyway so i may as well eat as much as i want." the problem is, i feel terrible afterward- both physically and emotionally. it's not worth it, but i feel stuck in this cycle of defeat.

i really resonated with this on page 28 of made to crave: "...this wasn't really about the scale or what clothing size i was; it was about this battle that raged in my heart. i thought about, craved, and arranged my life too much around food. so much so, i knew it was something God was challenging me to surrender to his control. really surrender. surrender to the point where i'd make radical changes for the sake of my spiritual health perhaps even more than my physical health."

really the only thing that changes when i'm pregnant is that i am no longer attempting to lose weight. it's certainly not an excuse to eat poorly, and the emotional and spiritual battle that crushes my self-esteem and robs me of my joy remains, and wages even stronger in many ways. while weight gain is an inevitable part of pregnancy, overeating or eating unhealthy foods in excess has the same effects, pregnant or not, which include [extra] weight gain, physical discomfort, and a fueled emotional and spiritual cycle of defeat.

maybe pregnancy is the perfect time to really dive in and work on this issue because it forces me to take weight loss out of the equation. i can't measure my success by a number on the scale or the size of my jeans. well, i certainly can, but i would have to be a major glutton for punishment as both those numbers are likely to continue increasing over the next 9 weeks. instead i have to focus on and gauge my success by the food choices i make, the exercise i do, and the way i feel.

the word of the week for the made to crave bible study is empowered. i can't truly claim to have felt all that empowered lately, but that doesn't necessarily mean i'm not. empowered means given the authority or power to do something. in this case, whether i feel it or not, God has empowered me to conquer this stronghold. my job is not to muster up the strength or power on my own; rather, my responsibility is to tap into the power God freely gives. while it still requires action on my part, it sounds less daunting to just utilize the power offered to me rather than trying to find it in my own strength, which fails me regularly.

i am empowered. i just need to trust God and take him at His word, which says, "i can do all things through Christ who [empowers me]." -philippians 4:13

Monday, January 20, 2014


we had our appointment with the high-risk OB last friday. i was nervous, but looking forward to hopefully getting some answers to all the "what ifs" that had been spiraling around in my brain since my ultrasound at 28 weeks.

when i called to schedule the appointment, the referral sent to them by my OB said i needed a level 2 ultrasound and genetic counseling. i wasn't really sure what the genetic counseling was for so that made me slightly more nervous, but i hoped it was just precautionary.

joe met me at the clinic for the appointment and we first met with the genetic counselor. what a bizarre meeting... she looked at our records and said we are "pretty boring" and that it doesn't appear there are any major red flags in our case. that was reassuring. but then she proceeded to educate us about genetic disorders, chromosomal abnormalities, prenatal testing options, etc. she went through a thorough family history, making notes regarding any familial health concerns. finally, she said that the doctor would make his recommendations regarding further testing should he determine any were necessary once i had my ultrasound and met with him.

at that point i was just trying to stay calm. my regular OB had mentioned that fluid in the kidneys has been noted as a [very weak] marker for down syndrome. but she had assured me that in my case there were no other signs and that my chances of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities based on the kidney fluid issue only increased from 1/700 to 1.5/700. now this genetic counselor seemed to be implying this was a more likely possibility because she mentioned it multiple times...

next, we went back for our ultrasound. the tech was young and had 2 boys of her own so she made me feel at ease. it's always fun to see the babe and he was active as usual that day. she conducted a thorough ultrasound, measuring and looking at him head to toe. we got a few shots in 3D which was really fun!

 he looks just like his big brother!

after the ultrasound was completed, the doctor came in. he had a nurse liaison with him, which made me nervous at first, like she was there as a witness to what he had to say or something. he had a thick indian accent and spoke quickly and softly so i had to focus hard to follow what he was saying.

he explained that the excess fluid around the baby (1 of the 2 reasons i had been referred there) is not a serious concern right now. he told me it was just slightly above the normal range and that amniotic fluid levels typically peak around 30 weeks, decline until 36 weeks, and then stabilize through to term at 40 weeks. so basically i am at the peak. he said the only concern is that as baby gets bigger, sometimes the pressure from extra fluid can cause stress on him. so the doctor recommended weekly non-stress tests (NSTs) and ultrasounds called biophysical profiles (BPPs) starting at 32 weeks to keep an eye on baby as he grows.

next, we discussed the baby's kidneys (the 2nd of the 2 reasons i was referred there). the doctor told me that the right kidney had resolved itself and was no longer a concern. the left, however, still had a higher level of fluid than normal. he told us he was able to eliminate chromosomal abnormalities as a cause for the kidney fluid based on everything else he saw in my ultrasound. he said that the valve that drains the kidney into the bladder is wider than normal in our little guy and that fluid is refluxing back into the kidney when it's draining because of the width and the angle at which it's laying. as the bladder grows, the valve, which currently enters the bladder at the top, will curve around to the side, which will likely stop the reflux and resolve the issue. he said he recommends that we meet with a pediatric urologist prior to birth to consult. then they will examine the baby after he is born and determine a course of action then. he said the primary concern is kidney infection, so they may put baby on antibiotics to prevent that until things resolve (most likely on their own with age).

the doctor assured me that the baby is very healthy and that the kidneys and bladder are anatomically correct and functioning properly. what a blessing! the nurse liaison was in the room to assist us with a referral for a pediatric urologist. also she will help communicate with my OB and the urologist when i deliver so that our baby gets the care he needs in monitoring this issue.

all in all, i felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders when we left the appointment. my weekly appointments may be a challenge childcare-wise, but i will take that over all the other things that could've come from that appointment! and now i feel free to focus only on my excitement to meet this baby in 9 weeks! we have a lot to do to get ready! thanks for your prayers- God showed up and answered our prayers for health for this sweet babe. continued prayer that the left kidney issue will work itself out would be appreciated!

big yawn :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

that which shall not be named.

[with great hesitation] i am happy to report we are pretty much out of the woods. i'm of course referring to life without the "n-word." ok obviously not that n-word... it just seems risky to even say it. but i will. nuk. we are sooo over it.

ok that might be overstating it, but i think it's safe to say the worst is behind us. now that i'm on the other side, here are my reflections on losing the nuk cold-turkey:

1) the anticipation is worse than the real thing. but only a little.
i seriously dreaded this change. we kept putting it off because i just didn't want to mess with bennett's sleep, which wasn't always great. i didn't trust he would sleep well if we messed things up by taking his nuk. but i wanted to get this out of the way before baby #2 came and let's face it, we are running out of time. oh boy. anyway, i anticipated it to be rough. and it was. looking back now it wasn't that bad, but it certainly wasn't fun.

2) kids are more resilient than moms.
there were a lot of tears in this process. and some of them were bennett's. but seriously, it had to have been harder on me than it was on him. i felt guilty for taking something away that he's used to comfort him since birth, especially since he's too young to understand. i'm fairly certain that ben didn't even remember why he was mad at nap time and bedtime within a day or two. he never asked for the nuk or looked for it anymore. i think he just knew something was different. but after a few nights, his crying at bedtime and nap time only lasted a few minutes and then he was fine (minus some middle of the night fiascos, which i'll get to...) 

3) transitions are tough but you get through if you persist.
i didn't really struggle with giving in when we let ben cry it out at 6 months. maybe it's because i was exhausted. maybe it's because i heard it would only take a few days. maybe it's because i'm heartless. hard to say. but with the nuk, there were a few times i legitimately considered just giving it back. if i hadn't committed myself by writing it on this blog, i might have. i also might have were it not for the fear that joe might leave me if i abandoned the mission i myself had spearheaded in the first place. so by persist i, of course, mean get scared.

4) 3am is not the time to go rogue. or criticize.
joe and i agreed we wouldn't go in bennett's room when he cried in the middle of the night during this endeavor. we know our kid and our presence only makes matters worse. if i am not going in for a purpose (i.e.: giving him a nuk, giving tylenol, etc.), then it's better to let him figure it out. night 3 of operation: no more nuk bennett woke up crying at 3:30. an hour later, still crying. in my sleep-deprived stupor i convinced myself that i could magically induce an instantaneous, deep sleep for bennett by my mere presence alone. so i crossed enemy lines, confident that i would return a hero. i sulked back to our bed minutes later completely deflated, the sounds of much louder cries ringing in my ears, mocking me. i made a comment to joe like, "well that didn't work..." to which he so kindly responded, "well i just don't get when the plan changed..." fair? probably. ill-timed? duh. cue tears. i picked up my pillow, muttered "obviously i am just trying to help," and retreated to the couch downstairs. there i cried and listened to my child cry for 45 more minutes until we both fell asleep. woof.

5) i will do this all over again.
as much as it sucked to go through these [nearly] two weeks, i will give baby #2 a nuk if he will take it. they are lifesavers. plus, you can eventually take the nuk away, unlike a thumb. sure, it's horrible when they lose the nuk 10 times in the night and cry, so you go in there, pop the nuk, and pray it'll stay in... 10 times over. but that moment when you see them grab their own nuk and put it in their own mouth: priceless. when bennett did that, i immediately went to target and literally bought like 20 nuks and scattered them around him in his crib so he could find one at any time. we affectionately nicknamed his crib "the land of 10,000 nuks." around 12 months we restricted nuk use to the crib and car seat only, which was a relatively easy feat. that will happen again with this next one. then around 14 months we restricted it to the crib only. he would throw it in his crib when we got him up from a nap or in the morning. it was a good system and bennett understood that nuks were for sleeping only. i think those small adjustments probably helped ease the full transition because he wasn't used to having it all the time.

we still are dealing with some residual effects of nuk-lessness. ben used to go down for bed tear-free and happy. now it's met with opposition and tears. luckily this only lasts a minute or two and then he happily chats to himself until he falls asleep (which usually is in under 5 minutes, just like joe). also, we still have some random crying in the night some nights, but, again, it usually just lasts a minute or two and he's back to sleep. he's resumed his 3+ hour naps in the afternoon which is heaven. i'm hoping nap time and bedtime can soon return to a pleasant time, but that may take a while. i can deal.

you'd think i would feel relief. and i do. except now i am dreading the crib-to-bed transition (which, by the way, i am putting off as long as possible). it's always something with me, right?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

stay-at-home mom-hood.

being a stay-at-home mom is honestly better than i had even expected. obviously at less than a month in, the honeymoon period likely hasn't yet worn off. regardless, i feel confident that i'm right where i should be. there have been some rough days already, but even then there's nothing i would rather be doing.

here's a little glimpse into our daily routine:

6:30ish: i wake up, have a cup of coffee and read blogs or a devotion.
7ish: bennett wakes up (no nuk has meant early wake up time).
7-8: bennett has milk and we watch a show (mickey mouse clubhouse has been the favorite lately) and  read/play.
8: breakfast.

8:30: bennett gets dressed, i get ready for the day while ben plays.

9-12: various activities (usually involves leaving the house)- gym, errands, music class, play date, children's museum, etc.
12: lunch.
12:30-1: read/play.
1-3:30 or 4: nap. during this time i often take a little nap myself, read, prep dinner, clean up the kitchen, do a load of laundry or two, etc.

4-5:30: read/play and try to get dinner together. joe gets home typically sometime within this time frame and plays with ben while i finish making dinner.
5:30ish: dinner.
6-7: dishes, read/play, bath.
7: jammies and snuggle watching an episode of bubble guppies.

7:30: nighttime diaper, read a bible story, pray, night night.
7:30-9:30ish: joe and i typically catch up on the dvr, read, play on our iPads, etc.
9:30 or 10ish: i'm usually falling asleep so we head up to bed and watch an episode or so of friends in nick at nite (to which i usually fall asleep).

and that's our glamorous little life... intermixed of course with plenty of toddler meltdowns (primarily over putting on shoes and coat or having to leave wherever we are) and reminders to change our attitude (to which ben says "ahhh- too"). it's far from perfect, but i'm learning to find joy in the small things- giggles, snuggles, yelled out "y, zeeeeeee"s to help me finish singing the ABCs, etc. i'm also learning (though this is a much slower learning curve) to cut myself some slack and not define my "success" as a mom based on bennett's behavior on any given day. fortunately i have a husband who supports and encourages me on tough days and works hard to make this stay-at-home mom thing possible. i am blessed, and very grateful.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

18 months.

bennett james is 18 months old. i just can't handle how quickly time passes. not to mention that i'm now less than 3 months from having 2 under 2. yikes.

honestly, i am loving this stage with bennett right now. he is literally a sponge, soaking up his environment and repeating/imitating EVERYTHING. it's amazing to watch. also, i'm not sure what the difference is but he has mellowed out a bit even in just the last couple weeks. maybe it's a slower pace with being home with me full-time, but whatever it is,he just seems overall less "fragile." bringing him to target or a restaurant doesn't induce a blood pressure spike for me anymore because he just kind of goes with the flow for the most part. obviously bennett is still strong-willed and he is typically either hot or cold (not much for middle ground), but let's face it: he's a toddler and he's my child. he comes by it honestly.

favorite things: 

books, books, and books. seriously he reads all. day. long. he wouldn't need a single other toy, as long as he has his "buuuts." he brings books to joe and i and rubs his tummy (the sign for please) and says "peeees." who could say no to that? other times he will flip though books on his own, making the sounds of the animals on the pages or saying "oh no!" during appropriate parts of the stories. it's adorable.

milk. this kid would subside on milk alone if we let him. he drinks probably 32 oz of whole milk a day i average. he eats a lot too. some favorite foods include: cheese, yogurt, bananas, peas, peanut butter, mandarin oranges, "cack-ahs" (crackers), pancakes, noodles, turkey, fruit snacks, etc. bennett eats what we eat for the most part- lasagna, tacos, whatever. he still struggles with some foods, though, because he only has 6 teeth (2 aren't even all the way in yet...). slowest teether ever.

bubble guppies and curious george. we try not to let bennett watch too much tv, but an episode of curious george in the morning and an episode of bubble guppies before bed are fairly typical. he loves dancing along with the bubble guppies songs and making monkey noises with george. the cuddles during shows are worth any potential harm we are causing by allowing screen time...

"tuts" (trucks) and "choo choos." i swear boys have some gene that allows them to make realistic-sounding vehicle noises. the novelty is lost on me but i'll play anything with that kid...

brushing his "seece" (teeth) and taking baths. glad to have a kid who's into good hygiene.

singing. bennett has always loved music. we go to an ecfe music class every friday that he loves and now he's becoming familiar with many of the songs. at home we sing the ABCs to him and he will occasionally chime in with a random "y!" if he's having a meltdown in the car or on the changing table, singing the ABCs will completely calm him down 99% of the time. he also loves singing elton john's "rocket man" with joe. who knows...

babies. i have several friends with little babies and bennett is a fan. he loves giving them hugs, putting in their nuks, etc. he's a little rough, so we are working on being gentle. bennett is also loving rubbing mama's belly and saying "hi, baby!" hoping the feelings of affection last after the baby moves in with us at the end of march!

george. the feeling is not mutual, but bennett loves our dog, george. joe put it best when he said that george and ben are like shrek and donkey. donkey loves shrek and thinks they are best friends while shrek tolerates donkey at best and mostly just wants to be left alone.

least favorite things include diaper changes (though it has gotten better in the past few weeks), hearing "no," and lately, going to sleep. with his nuk, nap time and bedtime was tear-free. unfortunately now it's a little rough. i'm hopeful this will pass soon...

we are just so in love with out little guy and i am loving getting to spend my days with him now that I'm a stay-at-home mom! can't wait to see him as a big brother soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

a nuk-less existence.

life without the nuk has been pretty rough on mr. bennett, which means it's been rough on all of us. to be fair, it's actually gone somewhat better than i anticipated, but i expected the worst...

night one he immediately began crying when we put him in his crib and he didn't get a nuk. he cried hard for about 35 minutes and then fell asleep. about 15-20 minutes later he woke up and cried for another half hour or so and then fell asleep again. joe and i slept downstairs on the couch and didn't hear him again until 8am. all things considered, not too bad.

nap one bennett again began crying immediately when he wasn't given a nuk when he got in his crib. he cried for 10-15 minutes and then fell asleep. we thought we were golden. 20 minutes later he woke up and then proceeded to cry for the next hour and a half before joe got him up (I was at a prenatal yoga class during this, thank goodness).

night two came with quite a few less tears. ben cried for about 10 minutes and then fell asleep. victory. unfortunately he woke up at about 6:30 screaming... he had his binkies (blankets) when i went in to check, but he wouldn't calm down. joe went in his room at about 7 and held him and rocked him for about 40 minutes. he slept for most of that time. then bennett went back in his crib and fussed a bit and then i went and got him just before 8. all in all, we can't complain too much.

i am feeling really guilty. he's so sad and we have the one thing that will make it all better but won't let him have it. it feels so mean. he's been using a nuk to help him sleep for his whole life and now it's just gone. i'm sure he's so confused. at the same time, i know this had to be done sometime. i can't imagine it would be easier 6 months down the road, especially when he has a new brother and a new room downstairs that he's adjusting to.

i am also anxious about the length of time it may take for him to adjust to no nuk living. i don't know how many hours of tear-filled nap attempts i'll be able to manage on my own this week. those 3 hour naps are my sacred time during the day, and are the key to him being well-rested and happy. i am [semi-irrationally, i know] afraid he won't take long naps ever again.

bottom line is that transitions are hard for everyone involved. at this point all we can do is hope that we are past the worst of it and that things will only improve from here. i guess only time will tell!

Friday, January 3, 2014

28 weeks.

as of wednesday i'm 28 weeks pregnant. and as of monday, bennett will be 18 months old. time goes by so quickly! originally i had hoped to do more regular pregnancy updates on the blog, but honestly my focus is so often on other things that i forget how far along i am. in some ways i feel badly that i don't pay as much attention to this pregnancy as i did to my first, but i can't help but think that's normal. i have an active toddler who needs me all the time, and that just doesn't allow a lot of mental energy to spare on things like what size fruit the baby is this week.

don't get me wrong, i'm so excited to be having another baby and to meet him, hold him, and watch him grow. in some ways it's more exciting the second time around because i know [mostly] what to expect and i don't have all this "i don't know what to do!" anxiety. i've experienced firsthand the sleepless nights and the different transitions, and have made it through them, so i feel i'm able to just look forward to the baby without all the first-time mom fear. i'm excited to watch bennett and the baby interact and see them form a bond that only the 2 of them will share.

yesterday i had my 28 week appointment. i passed the glucose test with flying colors, so no gestational diabetes concerns. i also had a growth ultrasound to check the baby's size because at my last appointment i was measuring ahead. they also needed to recheck the baby's kidney fluid to see if it had gone down to the level it should be.

unfortunately, not only has the fluid level in the left kidney gone up rather than down, the fluid level in the right kidney is now above the level they like to see too. also, there is a higher level of fluid around the baby in general than normal, which is why i'm measuring 3 weeks ahead. on the positive side, the baby's growth looks completely normal (59th percentile), so there aren't any concerns about that.

because of the higher levels of fluid in the kidneys and around the baby, i now have to go see a high-risk OB to have the situation evaluated. my doctor said that the common cause of the kidney fluid is a narrowing of the valves that drain the kidneys into the bladder. because they're narrow, fluid gets backed up. she didn't say (and, at the time, i didn't think to ask) whether or not the excess fluid around the baby in general is related to the kidney issues. i plan to clarify that when i see the high-risk OB.

i am obviously feeling anxious about all of this and will definitely be looking forward to meeting with the high-risk OB to see what he/she has to say is going on and to find out what's next. i should hear from them today to get my appointment scheduled. i'll keep you posted as i know more. in the meantime, we would appreciate prayer!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

it's time...

ok, we are for real getting rid of the nuk this weekend. we originally said we would do this at one year, but then that came and went. so now, here we are, almost 18 months and it's time. and i am d.r.e.a.d.i.n.g. it. bennett has been sleeping like a champ lately and i'm nervous that taking the nuk out of the equation could derail that completely. but i don't think that waiting another X amount of months would eliminate that fear. if it's going to be horrible, that will likely be the case now or 1, 2, 3 months from now. plus, if we don't do it before baby #2 comes then bennett will probably wind up having his nuk til he's like 16 because goodness knows i'm not doing it while i have an infant up multiple times a night.

so, now's the time. bennett is a little young, i think, to fully grasp what's going to happen, but we have been talking to him about it. "only X more sleeps til we have to say bye-bye to our nuk, buddy." he pretty much just looks at us like "yeah, yeah, gimme it." today while i was changing him before his nap he said "nuuut" (nuk), so i gave it to him and said "ok buddy, only 3 more sleeps and then we have to say bye-bye, nuk! the new baby will need nuks, don't you think?" he said "yeah" and then patted my belly and said "baby." if only i believed he meant it...

i'm thankful that he's attached to his binkie (his little packer blanket) so he still will have a comfort object. also ben falls asleep in the car without his nuk all the time so it's not like he can't sleep without it. can you tell i'm just giving myself a pep talk here?

pray for us. i think i have built it up in my mind that this is going to be such a nightmare that i'm hoping to be pleasantly surprised at how well it goes. naturally joe is like, "it's no big deal." ughh, joe and his stupid half-full glass...