in response

My child is five months old. But I can't write about that because I feel the need to say something else. 

If you bring up the massacre of children in front of my child, I will ask you to stop talking. I want my child to be nervous on her first day of Kindergarten because she's nervous about Kindergarten...NOT because she's worried someone might come into her school and shoot her (I can't believe that is a possibility and I even have to type/say that). Please don't talk about this in front of small children. PLEASE. 

If you have guns in your home, I'll ask you to lock them up or remove them before I'm comfortable bringing my children there. Sorry, that's my way of adjusting to the new normal.  

If you think the answer to violence with guns is MORE guns, I'm making more than mental notes this time. 

If you feel the need to post thoughtless videos/pictures/comments on "ways to stop massacres"....I will remove traces of our friendship (online, in person, whatever...wherever). 

If you think that your right to guns is more important than my child's right to live, I've got a problem with you. 

If you think that it was God's will that led to children being murdered, you're delusional. 

If you think that prayer in school would stop murderers from busting in and killing people, sadly, you're wrong. On that note, also, if you think there isn't prayer in school, you're wrong and need to look at the REAL issues in our schools: EDUCATION. 

In a perfect world, there would be no need for guns. But since we live in a world where they do exist and bad people exist and bad things happen to good people who need to be defended....there is a need for guns. There needs to be laws and regulations and rules for those guns to exist in our society. Take a class. Do a practical exam. Give character statements. Meet certain health requirements. Do it all again in five years. Have a criminal record? No gun for you. Meet all the requirements? Own a gun? LOCK IT UP. 

In the words of my GENIUS husband: "I really, really, REALLY love soccer. But if people started using soccer balls to kill people? I'd be the first to start advocating regulation or banning of soccer balls. Nobody's life is less important than my right to own a gun." 

I've heard several people say that "Guns aren't the issue. If he hadn't used guns, he would've used bombs." If guns aren't the issue...then mental health is. Let's all agree that there is a discussion that needs to happen there. Over the decades, there have been improvements in the ethical treatment of those with mental illness...let's not overlook those, but let's do better. If a person is struggling with a psychotic disorder, say something. Let's get systems in place to protect sick people as well as their potential victims. Let's get a treatment plan together that works. But also, for the record, I'm anti-bomb as well. 

If I seem angry, you're right. I am. I'm angry because I know there will come a day in my child's life when she asks me "why?" And I'm angry that I'll have to EXPLAIN school shootings. I'm angry that on my child's first day of public school...I'm going to be worried about her safety. I'm ANGRY that this isn't the first time a person used a gun to kill children in a school and there's nothing being done about it. 

Friday, I was sad. So sad that I curled up in a ball and wept until I fell asleep. I couldn't look at an adult without wanting to hug and sob on their shoulder. Saturday I was in shock. I didn't want to believe that Friday happened. I ignored the television, the internet, and the newspapers...until I tucked in my kids. Then I read the children's names. I felt sadness again. Today, I woke up angry. I signed petitions. I type with fervor, urgency, and the need to see things done. My hope lies in Monday. 


Scoutings

Oh, my Scout. You're my little laugh-a-minute. 

Last week, we were visiting Texas. I took you and your aunt Allie and cousin Maddie, and of course Sloane to eat at the Salt Lick. Some good 'ol fashioned BBQ before we returned to the land of Baja. We enjoyed a nice meal and then piled back in the car, full of smokey and savory meat, cobbler, cole slaw, and sweet tea. 

Sloane sat in the middle carseat, while you were behind the driver, and Maddie was on the other side. Your sister was having a rare moment where she felt like screaming in the car...the entire way home. So, you went about your Big Sister duties. You tried singing (because it usually works). You tried laughing (hoping that she'd catch on and laugh, too). You tried crying (hoping to "outcry" the baby). You tried giving her a lovey. You tried a pacifier. I think at one point you even offered your own hand for her to chew on (her very favorite thing ever). 

When none of these things worked, you gave up and decided that she was just going to cry for a minute. I turned back and saw you holding her pacifier. You said "it's not working!" I told you that it was fine, that sometimes babies just cry for no reason other than to cry or that we couldn't fix the problem right then. 

The next thing I know, you were laughing...and a in a mischievous voice I heard: "I'm using her slobber to paint her face like an Indian!" 

I'm not sure your sister appreciated it at the moment...but this story will make her smile in years to come. Like, a lot of years. 

Fourth month






You've entered your fourth month. Everything is a dream. You've started rolling. I was showing you off to my sweet friends over Thanksgiving break. I told them you were rolling from back to tummy but then getting so frustrated because you couldn't figure out what to do next. As soon as I put you down on their blanket...you rolled....back to front and front to back and back to front and front to back...straight off the blanket. You're a nut! 

As soon as we get a handle on you and your ability....you throw us for a loop! It seems like every milestone is at an inclinate pace (but you are right on track). You're working on sitting up by yourself. You prefer sitting in the bumbo chair. You think your sister is hilarious. You can focus on things across the room. This morning, I took you on an emergency trip to Whole Foods (out of diapers) and as soon as I opened the back hatch to get your stroller out, you saw my face and started giggling. It's hard not to break eye contact with you when you do things like that. Your smile is contagious. You are starting to warm up to strangers. Up until a few weeks ago, you were not impressed with other's attempts at getting you to smile. You are very stoic that way. Now, you'll smile at the waiter, the cashier, Scout's teachers, other kids, animals, etc.

You met more of your extended family this month. We went to Austin for the Thanksgiving holiday and to see your Bepaw who returned from Tanzania to spend time with his four grandchildren (two of which are new to him). You were quite surprised by the familiarity in his face and the difference in his voice. But then, you charmed him with your smile. He admitted to us that if the two grandkids had been on their way before he left, he would have had a hard time making his commitment to the Peace Corp a reality. We are glad, however, that he has had this opportunity. We are so proud of him and all that he's doing. It goes to show that you should never give up on dreams...no matter how "out of the norm" and difficult they may seem. I hope that you will learn that from him and other people in your life.

You also met two sets of your great-grandparents. You are one lucky and loved little lady. You received your Texas state seal baby rattle (a family heirloom item that all the babies have on my side of the family) and your knitted-by-hand Christmas stocking with your name on it (something everyone has on Jay's side of the family).

You have found your toes. You love reaching for them every chance you get. You've managed to get them in your mouth a few times, but still prefer your thumb. I thought I'd never encourage a thumb sucker, by the way. But funny...it has nothing to do with wether I've encouraged it or not. You were born sucking your hand (actually have ultrasound photos of you doing this in-utero) and you will be a thumb-sucker, regardless of all the times we offer you a pacifier.

I can't wait for this next month. You will meet more of your extended family as we travel to Texas.  I can't wait to share your first Christmas. I can't wait for you to try new things (food! sitting up! starting to crawl!). You are truly amazing babe.

elephant

brave girl

3 months old

You technically turned three months old on Friday. Here it is Tuesday, and I'm just now getting around to writing this post. To say you've been keeping us busy would be an understatement. For such a tiny person, you sure want to get up and going! Your Marmee came to visit this weekend, and said it perfectly when she noted that if you could get up and run, you'd be out the door already! You are a wiggly baby, and I fear what that means for your future. You will probably be fiercely independent...which is a sure way to break a mama's heart with a bittersweet mixture of pride and melancholy. But for now, you are still our tiny one. You've rolled over twice, but have shown no interest in doing it repeatedly...yet. You laughed for the first time today. 

You have a high-pitched squeal that is so adorable when it shows up in the midst of your crying, I can't help but smile. It is also omnipresent in your daily babble and now those sweet giggles. I love starting our day with a chat session....and when I listen to you goo and guuuh, I imagine you are telling me about your dreams and how much you love being a part of our family. You are grasping for everything now...intentionally. You are quite enthused about playing with your rattles and various toys. You have learned to soothe to sleep with the help of your "lovey baby," as Scout calls it. I never believed in babies having an attachment to such things this early on (your sister did not attach to her ducky until probably 6 months old or so). But, oh my, how you've proved me wrong. You're a scooter. You've started propelling yourself across your crib and playmat using your feet. We've since relocated your playmat from the couch or bed to the floor and your crib bumpers are now off (caught you trying to chew on one the other night, and your daddy quickly removed them--no fun for you, I know). 

You are still waking up once or twice during the night for feedings...but call me crazy, I don't mind it. I'm not trying to get you to cut back. With your sister, we had her on a schedule by now...but with you...we've let you decide your own schedule. Call it "2nd child ease," or whatever...but I'm noticeably more laid back with you. I think it's good for us.  

We took you to the beach for the third time this weekend. You didn't sleep the entire time we were there, as you have the previous two times. You sat up and listened to the waves that your sister splashed in. You seemed to enjoy it...you were happy for the two hours we were there. I can't wait until you are also splashing in the waves with your big sister. You guys are going to have so much fun. 

We also took you to the pumpkin patch at Underwood Farm in the Simi Valley. We went there last year with your sister, and looking back at the pictures, it's hard to believe how much she's grown. And how you are here. And we are all a family of four, together. We love you so much and are so thankful for you, our silly girl. 

kids, talking, jealousy, etc.

Scout was in the dining room and yelled "GOOOO" to which Sloane replied (from the living room) "GOOOOOOOOOO." That thing about kids having their own language? Apparently it still applies if they are four years apart.

Sloane's been using inflection, volume and Guh's and Goo's and Gah's lately to express herself. At times, she really seems to be holding a conversation with me or her sister. She will say "guh" and then wait for your response and then answer back "guh." The other day, this happened no less than ten times in a row. 

Scout reads to Sloane when she is upset. She helps make tummy time more fun by getting on her tummy as well. She helps me get dinner made because she entertains her sister by dancing, singing, talking, tickling, etc. 

She also has startled her sister into crying by jumping out from behind the couch with a "boo!" or two. She's becoming a little bit jealous of my time spent with Sloane, especially on Mondays. That or she really knows how to work it in order to get Menchie's dates with mom. Either way, I'm happy to oblige when I can. 

Jealousy is definitely part of our day, but it isn't the part we remember before tucking in at night. We talk about our favorite parts of our day...the silly parts, the fun parts, the exciting things. The cplayful times and the love are the things that stick. 


tumblr/instagram photos

for those interested, i post all of our instagram photos here: http://someblogiread.tumblr.com/

Parenting, 2.0

So you think you want to have kids? There are a few tests to see if you can hack it. 

1. Can you discern words from toddler babble?
2. Can you wipe a four year old while burping an infant?
3. Can you spend 45 minutes of your day making a rainbow wand out of paper? Using only a glue stick, safety scissors and a cut out from DisneyJr.com? Without cursing? 
4. Can you read maps drawn by a four year old that are supposed to lead you to a park?

to be continued....

Two months.

Two months ago, you were born. Your life has brought so much joy to ours. I watch you sleep (yes, you do that a lot still) and wonder what we would have ever done without you. I try not to dwell on it, but yes, you are our miracle. Your soul was meant to be realized. You were meant to be in our family. We are so lucky to have you. 

You started smiling this month. Actually smiling, and not just in your sleep. I wake you up every morning, lift you up in the air and you smile. I wipe your face with a cloth and you smile. Your sister talks to you in her high-pitched voice and you smile. Your daddy comes to your rescue and you reward him with a smile. Thank you for that. It makes all the hard work SO worth it. 

You got to meet your "aunty esmy" this month. I've said it before, and I'll say it again...there is nothing like sharing your child with your friends and family for the first time. It amplifies everything. Every emotion you have for both people comes into clear focus and then is made bigger. When you see them together, it speaks so loudly to your heart: "this is the good stuff." Of course, your sister was excited to share you with Esmy and Esmy with you. What a special thing for you girls...to be loved so much by so many people. 


I didn't think it could happen, but your sister loves you more every day. She is always saying how "adorable" you are. Everything you do is adorable. Messing your diapers is adorable. Spitting up? Adorable. Crying? SUPER adorable. She shows you off to all of her friends at school. She shows you off to her teachers...she especially likes showing them what outfit she picked out for you on school days. She loves showing you off to random strangers at the LK Swim Academy. She is so super proud of you. And that is adorable. 



Keeping it REAL in here

So I was talking with a sweet friend today about our postpartum experiences. It can really be night and day, can't it? I mean, I knew that already...because of the differences between postpartum Scout and postpartum Sloane....but I had no idea how different they really are. 

So, we were talking about sleep, the lack of, our bodies and how they are different now, healing, mental clarity, hormones, family visiting, and life changing experiences....and I thought I'd take this time to document something I didn't really care to even talk about after Scout was born: my body image. 

I've never been a super skinny girl...well, I'll take that back...I never thought of myself as a super skinny girl...but I look back and I was pretty skinny for a figure 8 shape....in high school. So, after having a baby, I realize my body is not exactly the best it's ever been. Naturally. And I didn't really care about it after Scout's birth as much as I do this time. Maybe because I'm thirty. Maybe because my husband is totally smokin' hot right now with his weight loss and I want to look good, too. Maybe it's because we live in LA. I dunno. Whatever it is...I wanted to document this as my starting point because I honestly feel like I'm ready to get in shape, and I've got the energy, the time, the means to do so. Also...my husband is smokin' hot and I don't want to be his frumpy housewife. Have I mentioned that yet? 

So here it is: photo proof...I've still got a little belly...7 weeks postpartum. It's a little jiggly. It's gross if I try to squeeze into my pre-pregger's pants. It's got stretch marks and it compliments my lovely child-bearing hips. and thunder thighs. So these are my problem areas...and the places I want to see some 
shrinkage. 
No, I'm not sucking in. 

No, I didn't make the bed today.




Stats: 
5'4"
153 lbs
6 weeks 5 days postpartum
Size L/10 (it's not attractive/muffin top action)
Not really fitting into anything non-maternity on bottom
Some maternity on top, mostly pre-pregnant tops
Exercise: VERY mild. Talking walks with my 4 year old at this point. 


on having kids.

I think I've said this before, somewhere on this blog...but I want to preface this entire post with the disclaimer that I don't think I'm better than anyone because I've had kids. There. I said it. And with that...

You think you know what music is...then you hear the first cry of your newborn baby. 

You think you know what life is...then you bring one into the world. 

You think you know what birthdays are about...then you experience a birth. 

You think you know what love is...and then you see your four year old kiss her baby sister on the head 12,000 times a day. 

You think you know what serving others is...and then you care for a newborn baby 24 hours a day. 

You think you know what selflessness is... until your sole purpose for eating, drinking and breathing is to feed a child. 

You think you know what tired is...until you've been woken from a deep sleep at 3 in the morning by the grunting and groaning of a 3-week-old who is hungry. 

You think you know what fear is...until you fear for the safety of your children. 

You think you know what pride is...then you see your happy and thriving children traversing through this world. 

So much changes when a baby is born. It's not because you change as a person...because you always held the capacity to BE the person you are now. But when a helpless child is your responsibility, you look at the world through a new lens; a sharper, clearer, magnified focus. I feel so much love on a daily basis that my heart has grown larger than my self...larger than this house...larger than this city that we live in. With all that we have gone through for the last four years....to get to this place...this destination that is "the rest of our lives".....parenthood...I just...the words fail me. "Blessed" is too vague. "Lucky" doesn't even touch it. "Fortunate" is too cheap. 

Thank you, to the man who loves me...who helped make all this possible...who shares the job, duty, and pleasure of being parents to two(!) amazing little girls. Isn't this the best? 



A name.

People always ask 

Ada.
German- "nobility"
Hebrew- "adornment"
As I'd mentioned in another post, we had picked out a name for our second daughter when Scout was still a baby. We also knew that we wanted to do the same naming scheme that we followed with Scout--meaning, something more traditional for a first name to go with her more contemporary middle name. We also leaned towards German names or spellings in homage to Jay's surname and heritage. I was always a fan of Anna and Adelaide. Jay has always liked Elizabeth, but also liked the sound of "A" names with two or three syllables. 
We came across Ada on a name list and put it on our short list. Then, signs began popping up everywhere for us. Ada is often used in short for Adelaide or Adeline. Adelaide is the name of the street directly behind our first California address...a historical street in Santa Monica that offers great views of the Topanga Canyon and Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, and Malibu beaches. 
Ada was the name of Lord Byron's second daughter...Ada Lovelace, who is often credited as the first computer programer. On our honeymoon in Switzerland, we visited the Chateau De Chillon on the shore of Lake Geneva. Lord Byron's famous "The Prisoner of Chillon" was inspired by Bonivard's captivity in the dungeons of Chillon from 1530-1536. Lord Byron also carved his name into one of the pillars in the very dungeons where Bonivard was held. 
Her initials are ASH...the same as the first three letters in my name and also the same initials as Scout. 

Sloane. 
American English- "fighter, warrior"
Sloane is a name that Jay has liked since he was introduced to the Canadian rock band (Sloan). 
Also, the name of Ferris Beuller's girlfriend in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." 
Also, the name of E's girlfriend in the HBO show "Entourage." 
But the thing that solidified the name for me, was a coincidental conversation I had with my mom a few years go. She was working for a home healthcare company, and ran across Sloan as a surname. She mentioned it to me for use as a baby name, not knowing that we had been in love with the name for a couple of years. It's those little signs that point to "yes" for me. I remember when we were thinking of names for Scout....I mentioned that we really liked "Scout" for a girl to my parents. My dad said "I don't care what you name her, we'll call her Scout." Haha. 


Forgive me.

I've been M.I.A....preoccupied...busy...

You see, on July 12, 2012...our lives were forever changed. Our world was rocked. Our experience enhanced. Our bounty increased. Our fruits were labored. 



Our sweet Ada Sloane came into the world at 3:49 pm. She weighed in at 6lbs 14 oz. A tiny package, ready to meet her family. She measured 18.5 inches. She was almost 2 lbs smaller and 2 inches shorter than her sister's birthsize. She was also 17 days earlier than her sister...delivered at 38 wks 5 days. 

She has wasted no time gaining weight and growing inches. By her two week appointment, she was weighing 7lbs 8oz and measuring 20.25 inches. 

We are all doing very well. Delivery and recovery were much easier for me with this one. I almost literally bounced back immediately. I ran off of very little sleep and lots of adrenaline for the first week, and family stepped in to help out so I could rest. 

Life is good. Amazing.


Funnies

Our little smarty pants keeps us laughing...enjoy. 



Scout: Hawaii? That's where my friend goes to eat dinner all the time.
Jay: Scout, do you know where we are from? 
Scout: MEXICO! 
Jay: Not quite....
Scout: ARIZON-I-A!
Jay: Getting closer. 
Scout: CALIFORNIA! 

At the dinner table (eating pesto pasta with shrimp and cherry tomatos)
Scout: Mom! Is this DEAD? (holding a shrimp)

Me: I know you don't quite understand, but mommy is exhausted. 
Scout: Don't take another nap! Just...read a book and pretend you DON'T like sleeping! 

This just happened...




As Jay is walking out the door to go to the post office:




Me: Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey! 

Jay: I know. What flavor? 

Me: ummmmm

Jay: You want both flavors? 

Me: No, just the chocolate with peanut butter.

Jay: But you want two of them? 

Me: That should last me the rest of the week. 

Jay: uh...huh....

Me: love you! 



So much.

On the day she was born, our lives changed. I didn't quite grasp the magnitude of it at the time, but a few short hours of her existence in this world later...we were different. We were parents.

I remember when the family and friends left the hospital that night, and it was just Jay and Scout and myself left in the hospital room. The nurse came in to take Scout to the nursery for a check-up and recommended that  I get up and do some walking around. Jay and I took a stroll around L&D and as we rounded a corner, there was a nurse pushing a bassinet towards the nursery in our direction. As she walked by with another little baby, it struck both Jay and I at the same time..."that could be our baby, and we wouldn't know it yet because we don't know her cry or her face well enough yet." We hadn't memorized the sounds and the sights of our little girl yet. That is a really strange feeling. 

I'm not sure when that happened...somewhere over the next few days. I studied her. I soaked in all the little gurgles and the crying and the sighs and the sleeping noises that she made as a newborn. I memorized her face. I learned her schedule and her timing and her signs and signals. I learned what she needed. I became her mom. 

For the next few years, as I watched her learn and grow and change...I struggled with the thoughts of having another baby. I wanted to give her someone to share her childhood with. I wanted her to have a built-in best friend and playmate. I wanted to see her as a big sister. But at the same time, I wrestled with the guilt. How could I change her life and routine and her everything? How could I love another child as much as I love her? How could I split my time between Scout and another child? How is it even possible to possess twice the amount of love that I have for Scout? 

As time went by, of course, I put these thoughts to rest with the reassurance from friends and family that "you just do." I know now what they mean. I still look at Scout and get awestruck. She says things and does things that amaze me. I can watch her while she plays or learns something new and feel such a deep sense of pride that I didn't realize was there before. I love that kid. 

Jay and I were driving in the car one day a month ago or so...and Scout was in the back seat, being beautiful and charming and adorable as usual...playing at something...lost in her own world of imagination. I looked at Jay and said...."sometimes when I look at her, I stop breathing. She's just so perfect." I asked him if it was like that for him. He reached over and squeezed my hand. So much love in our hearts for this girl...I can't wait to feel that way with the next. 

35 weeks 1 day

Thirty five weeks I've been carrying you with me. I've been feeling you move and twist and stretch and kick with such amazing strength. You are usually calm and at peace during the day, especially when I'm up and moving. Around 8 pm, when things start slowing down here, you start moving. You are very active for the last part of our days, and early in the morning. 
You respond almost always to your sweet sister's voice. She hugs you and tells you she loves you every day and is very protective of you already (and your things). I'm going to miss her little arms wrapping around my belly and your gentle movements in response to her voice. I know she is excited for your arrival, but I also feel like she is starting to get a dose of reality as to the way things are going to be changing. She seems to understand her role in almost everything.
I'm sleeping, though not very well. You have me in training for the sleepless nights and fuzzy days. I awake at night from dreams of your arrival. I'm reminded quickly that you are not here yet...and get anxious about all the things I still want to do and the projects I need to finish before you get here. I know you won't mind if the curtains aren't hung, and certainly won't wait for the dresser knobs to be painted if it is time for you to come. I've hit "the wall" and don't have to remind myself to slow down...you are helping remind me of that with every step. 
You are reportedly about the size of a cantaloupe and the doctor thinks you weigh somewhere around 4.5-5 lbs. I've had contractions the last three days (none today)...which has sent your father and me into a bit of a panic...making lists of things still left to do and packing hospital bags. 
4 weeks and six days until we meet you, sweet baby. 
33 wks 6 days

Happy Father's Day.

To the man who does it all for his little girl and the one on the way. 

oh hi.

Remember that time I promised I would be posting more...and posting sneak previews of the nursery? Myeah, me too. 





fun bits of pregnancy

We always hear about the hardships of pregnancy. What about the fun bits? 
*nightly ice cream, no excuse needed.
*perfectly okay to send sig-oth to store for cheetos. even if he/she is in the middle of making dinner. or if it's 11:00 at night. 
*usually can cut in any line. bathroom? check. grocery store? check. DMV? maybe?
*accidentally fall asleep while making a grocery list? No worries. Take that nap! 
*instant table or big belly? all depends on the use. 
*guilting strangers into putting out that ciggy in your general vicinity. especially if you're eating. 
*get to hog ALL the pillows. always. 
*and the bed too. 
*need help carrying things? no problem. thank you, random stranger! 
*a valid excuse to hire movers, painters, cleaners. 

Oh my word.

It's been what?? A month? Two? Since I've posted. I don't know. I've lost all track of time. The days are flying by and then they are weeks and then months. I've wanted to write, but have been too busy? Too tired? Too baby-brained? Oh man, all the above. I'm feeling spritely today, so here I am...babbling away. 

So much is going on. In February, of course...our sweet girl turned 4. I still can't believe it. That's why this current explosion of interest in spelling and writing words has knocked me on my rear. I look at her and think "she shouldn't be asking me how to spell 'box,' she's a baby!" But then, no...she's not. I think when H2.0 gets here, we are going to really see the contrast of ages. For her birthday, we had a wonderful long weekend with family. Dylan and Sue (Memaw) came in for a visit. We took a trip to Disneyland (of course) and outfitted our princess to the max. Had a fancy dinner complete with princess cake. 

What else is going on in our world? Oh! We're moving! Not a BIG move, just a few miles over to Mar Vista. We are really excited about it. We started house-hunting a couple of months ago and were lucky enough to preview and enter into negotiations with a great house. And boy, did we negotiate. It all worked out in the end, and our move-in date is this week. As you can imagine, we've been organizing and packing...since this past weekend. ;) It's a great 3/1.5 in Mar Vista. There's a great little back yard and a huge garage for parking. It's in a sweet neighborhood and there are great views from the street. If you look to the West, you can see the ocean....and if you look to the East (on a clear day) you can see the Hollywood sign and downtown Los Angeles. Another important factor is that it's also in a really great school district for elementary/kindergarten. Pretty neat. Another thing I'm excited about? Decorating the nursery. Yep. It's getting to be that time! 

I'm officially 24 weeks and 2 days pregnant. This little bean is growing, growing and moving, moving. Scout and Jay can now feel her movements. Scout is SO excited and ready for her little sister to get here. She tells everyone about her impending arrival. We shared the name with Scout....and she was a little disappointed. She said she wanted "a character name." And wouldn't you know it, she had Ariel in mind. In fact, she thought we should name baby sister "Ariel Positive." We had a good chuckle about it...but decided that "Ariel Positive" wasn't the best fit for this one. Maybe next time? ;) So no, we aren't naming the baby Ariel. Or Ariel Positive. Or  Positive Ariel. Though, I've been hearing that "it's actually kinda awesome....especially for a Los Angeleno name." 

I'm going to start giving updates with Nursery decor....and of course more pregnancy updates. Be on the look out for that!

4 years

(Scout turned four on 2-20-12) You're four. I can't believe it. I know I say that every year, but it's true. I just can't believe that you are four years old. And that I am the mother of someone who is four years old. And that that four year old is you. You are so funny, and so caring, and so energetic and talkative and SMART. I won't deny that every parent thinks their children are smart, but you really are. It seems that everything is easy for you. You love to tell us about the things you are learning at school. You practice writing and spelling words, identifying letters and numbers, counting in Spanish, and singing songs about the days of the week. 
You can't wait to share things and teach things to your little sister. I am so excited that you are going to be a big sister. It is a role that I know you will take on with 100% dedication and love. You are so great in this family already, I can only imagine how well you are going to fill the role of big sister. I couldn't see it any other way. 
Your favorite things include: bike riding, playing Mario Party, reading books, Disneyland, drawing/painting, snacks, the park, helping out with indoor chores (who knew!?), and of course, dress-up. You have experienced some new things this year, and in true "Scout fashion," you've grown excited about each of them. We moved across the country this year. While that might seem like a hard transition for anyone to make, you handled it pretty well. You do still ask for your "green house" and "white car" sometimes, but overall, you really love living in California. Of course, you always miss your cousins and grandparents, but luckily everyone has visited and we've been able to spend quite a bit of time visiting Texas as well. 
You took your first trip to the beach this year. Since then, we've gone quite frequently. You LOVE the ocean. You love collecting rocks, shells, sea glass and sand. You've build about 13242934 sand castles. Your favorite thing to do after building them, is to smash them with your "bobom." You think it is hilarious and we all have a good laugh when you do this. I couldn't believe how sunbleached your hair was after this summer. I can't wait to take you and your little sister to the beach together.
Since moving, you've started a new school. It's amazing. I was so worried that you would have issues with detachment since we kept you home for almost nine months. However, you have TOTALLY proved us wrong. Not only do you have no problem saying goodbye in the mornings you are at school...you wake up on school days and ask us "is today a school day? YES!!!!!" You have enjoyed your teachers, Ms. Joanna and Ms. Dominique. You are currently transitioning to the next room up (the last room in the preschool) and you love those teachers as well. I can't believe how big you are getting.
I love you so, so, so, SO much, sweet Scout. You make my world brighter, my days happier and my heart bigger. Thank you for being such an awesome kid. 

19 wk check-in

Hey there! Long time, no post! I know, I know. I've been a little busy...ya know, growing a human. :D My days lately have consisted of resting, eating, resting and eating some more. Throw in the park visits on Monday and Fridays, school drop-off and pick up on T-W-Thr, celebrating Scout's 4th birthday (post on that coming soon), Disneyland with family, Valentine's day and you'll understand why I'm sleepy and hungry all the time. I've finally got my appetite back, but still have the occasional day of nausea. I've run out of Zofran and am trying not to fill my prescription again.

The baby is growing, I believe the "cute fruit" comparison is mango this week. So silly. I've been feeling a LOT more movement in the last couple of days. I think she is going to be a wiggly little thing, like her sister. Scout is getting so excited about having a new baby in the house. This morning, as Jay was leaving for work, we had an impromptu family hug, and Scout said "I love you two." Then she moved around to the front of me, squeezed my belly and said "I love the baby!" Such a sweet thing!

We have the middle name picked out for our little girl. Truth is, we've had this name picked out since we were pregnant with Scout and are thrilled we get to use it! We are going to do the same thing we did with Scout and call this one by her middle name, and give her a more traditional/formal first name.

Other than that? Not much happening here.


It's a....

Week 16/17

SO, I'm currently in my 16th week....today marks 15 weeks 4 days. Whoop! I'm definitely showing more and more these days. I've been experiencing some of those pregnancy symptoms you forget about like nasal congestion and extreme dry sinuses, sternum pain, and oh, those ligament pains. I'm still struggling with nausea at least once a day...but the occasional zofran is still helping with that (though I'm trying not to take it). I've been working on gaining some weight and felt like I was on track until Sunday when Scout got a stomach bug. Something about being up all night with a sick kid that makes you not want to eat very much.

Here's a pic of my beautiful baby belly at 16w4d. About that gaining weight thing...yep, right on track. :D



Family

Lately, Scout has been informing us about her definition of "family." She says things like "I'm a great big sister" already. I've found this is a great way to get her to help out with chores around the house. I'll say, "Hey, your job as a big sister is to pick up your toys and take them to your room." Done! 

Other views have been a little less helpful. She has been experimenting with "talking back." I'll say "You need to listen to me" and the little bird will chirp back "YOU need to listen to ME." One afternoon (after quite a bit of this), I sat her down and said "You are not to speak to mommy or daddy that way. You are the child, I am the mom. I make the rules. (CRINGE!)" She got real sad for a minute and cried out "BUT WE ARE A FAMILY!" What a great moment that was. 

Another night, we were getting ready for bed. Usually, I am the one who tucks her in and stays with her until she falls asleep. I've been trying to tell her how things might change when the baby is here. I might have to feed the baby or comfort the baby when he/she is crying at night and daddy might have to put her to bed. Most of the time when I've mentioned this, she says "yeah, when the baby comes," as in, "not right now, mom." This night, however, she climbs in my lap and says "but what about our time together, and I won't get to hold you and be your family?" I think Jay and I both got a little misty-eyed at that one. 

It's amazing how our family dynamic is going to change in a few months. We are all feeling the same, but dealing with it in our own ways, I think. We are excited, and scared, and worried and thrilled with the expectations of a family of four. 


Music I'm Into

I know you are all hanging around waiting to hear what music I'm listening to lately....sarcasm. Oh, but here it is: I've been digging some Gotye, Of Monsters and Men, and of course Black Keys.

First: this dude is awesome. All of his videos seem to have an artistic concept to them, and he's just a pretty neat kid. This video (for "Somebody that I Used to Know) is no different. It's kinda the perfect "break-up" song. SO, if you're going through a rough break-up, or you just did...and you want to sing about it...kinda softly at first and then with a lot of emotion....put this on REPEAT. But, the great thing is, that you don't have to even have a recent break-up in mind because it is just so relatable. I love his side/her side stories and songs...so this one is great for that. I like how the song works around the story...you hate the girl, and then you get to hear her side and you're instantly like, "wait...a....second..." SO, enjoy.


Then, there's Of Monsters and Men with "Little Talks." This band snuck onto my satellite radio a few months ago...and the song is just so good. Again, it's all about the duets. This one however is a sweet song. Love, love, love how the boy sings "my dear." I may start requiring Jay to sing this song to me. It's one of those sweetly kinda sad songs. Again, lots of emotion in their voices and (one of my favorite things in music) an occasional "HEY!" You can't go wrong with the studio version of this...but I wanted to post the acoustic one, because it proves how talented these Icelanders are. And it's great to hear them count off in Icelandic? Indulge.


This duo is no stranger to my playlist....but I love that Scout loves this song. She calls it "Hang from the Ceiling." ...which might be more appropriate. Anywho...they need no introduction. This song is one of those that will get stuck in your head. 


An article worth reading

THIS is exactly why I could never recommend Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. In fact, I told my parents (who asked if it was supposed to be good) to NEVER go see it. EVER...and if they did, not to talk to me about it. I haven't even seen the American remake of it...but I've heard it's practically exactly the same as the original Swedish version.

Though GWDT is brutal, I have to say that I think the line for me was drawn while watching "A History of Violence." I didn't understand the usage for the scene at that time...and, ever since that movie, I couldn't watch films that included scenes like that. Now, after YEARS of discussing that movie, I've finally come to understand the usage and can appreciate it for that. But, I'll never watch it again or recommend it to friends or family.

Drew writes a very articulate and well-written article that says exactly what I've been trying to verbalize for the past few years. Go see movies, by all means! I'm a fan of most of them... but if you know nothing about GWDT, and you plan on seeing it....then, please inform yourself.


Weird dreams

When I was pregnant with Scout, I remember having some crazy dreams. This pregnancy is no different. So here's one: I dreamed today (during valuable nap time) that I was going in for surgery prep (not sure what my surgery was for) and they put IVs in my ankles. (Do they do that?) I had to get the IV and then I was free to leave until my surgery the next day. Well, when I left the hospital, (this is so gross, I can hardly type it) the IV port got bent the opposite way. SO, I had to go back and get another IV in the other leg. It was truly painful. And no one was there to support me. I woke up with leg pains...apparently I'd been sleeping with my ankles crossed. 

Here's another dream: I had one over the holidays that I was on a date with Nelly (the rapper, circa 2000). I asked him if he could start calling me his "girlfriend." If you know me at all...you know I'm not a Nelly fan. Strange. 

Tomarrow for Emma

When I was a freshman in college, on of my besties from the dorm introduced me to her friend, Sean. I met this teddy bear of a human being who had so much enthusiasm and excitement for life. I've not spent a lot of time with this person in the last 10 years or so, but what time I did spend left a very positive impression. He was always smiling. My friend and Sean dated for some time, and that meant I would go on trips with her to his parent's house or to Dallas or Ft. Worth to meet up with him and some friends.  I'll never forget that Sean took us to eat some of the best TexMex I ever ate in his hometown of Waxahachie.

Sean is now married to the lovely Sarah, who I've not had the pleasure of meeting, but have enjoyed getting to know her through his Facebook feed. He owns a t-shirt printing company that prints garments and other things for churches, schools, and other organizations in the Dallas area.  Another person in Sean's life who I've come to know through FB is his gorgeous daughter, Emma. You can look at that 3 year old's face and basically see that she shares the same enthusiasm and excitement that Sean has always possessed. Which brings me to the sad news. Emma was diagnosed with Leukemia this week. Lots of us have been keeping up with Sean's status updates as they've been going through the testing and trials and when that diagnosis was made public, my heart sank. 



She started her first round of chemo last night and is doing "awesome." She never stops smiling, according to her parents. There is something to be learned there. If you have an extra $20 laying around on your dresser and aren't sure you want to spend it at Buffalo Wild Wings or on something more, let me encourage you to make a donation in this little girl's honor. They are going to need help with medical bills and other expenses. Or, think outside the box. Do you need tshirts?Place an order through 4 Story Graphics. To support them emotionally is also greatly appreciated. Say a prayer. Think a positive thought. Send positive energy. Meditate on healing thoughts. Send a card. 

Here's their story so far:


"Emma came down with a bad stomach virus. After she had somewhat recovered from that she came down with an unknown virus. While we were fighting this virus she broke into a full body rash. We were preparing for a Christmas vacation at the end of December and were getting ready. On December 13th she began to have fever and trouble swallowing. We took her in for antibiotics and a booster injection. On December 15th she began to have swelling on her lymph node. We took her into the emergency room at Children's Medical Center of Dallas and were sent home with a 10 day antibiotic. It never really did anything so on January 4th we brought her back and were immediately admitted for three days. While they were trying to treat her lymph node through IV (which had to be replaced 7 times in 7 days) they found out she had no neutrophils (white blood cells which fight infection). So she underwent many treatments and after a bone marrow biopsy they found out she has Precursor B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She has had a port put in, a spinal tap and a second bone marrow biopsy. We know God has a plan for our little girl and refuse to allow anything to take away from our Lord receiving full glory for her healing. 


She loves the color pink and anything to do with Disney princesses. She loves breakfast food and anything that comes from a chicken. She always has some Disney movie playing or music from any of those movies. She loves her action bible that her Aunt Sarah bought her and loves to dance every chance she gets. 

Our daughter has truly shown us how to look past current troubles and find joy in the small blessings God has given us. She is only 3 years old and she has been through more in a week than most people experience in a lifetime, and yet she smiles without ceasing. Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts. God bless!

Emma was born October 18, 2008. She has been a purely healthy child and has never been sick except for the occasional stuffy nose until the beginning of November."

I believe that miracles happen every day. I believe in the kindness of strangers. I believe in paying it forward. I believe in helping those around you when they need it most. I believe in healing. I believe in everyday kindness. 

Sport's Debut

Without further ado: 

EPSON003


Dr. T said baby was looking great this morning. He/She was VERY active...in fact, we couldn't get him/her to sit still long enough to get a good profile picture. But I think the one above turned out very well. Pure joy. 

Baby is measuring over 13 weeks...which is consistent with the big measurement we got last time. I've lost a little weight, and doc says she'd like to see me gain a little before next time. When do we ever hear that? I remember when I was pregnant with Scout...the nurse would take my weight and bp at every appointment. The month I had finally gained weight, she said something along the lines of "It's about TIME!" In other words, I didn't gain any substantial weight until the third trimester. And BOY did I. ;) 

Anywho...she suggested a protein shake every day in addition to my smaller, more frequent meals should do the trick. I just wish CA had some Blue Bell...then I could show them how it's done. 

Surprise!????

I'm going to jump right into this one. When I got back into town, Jay and I had a serious discussion. What if we waited to find out the sex of the baby until he/she makes his/her debut in July? The problem with this is that I am not good at surprises. Well, that's a first of the many problems I have with it. I like to prepare as much as possible. And in pregnancy...as many of you well know...there is not a lot of control to be had on the part of the pregnant. Decorating a nursery and shopping for baby clothes...that's one of those things that takes your mind off the fact that you are going to give birth in roughly 28 weeks. How hard is it going to be for me to pick a pattern if I don't know what this baby is? Well. This is the part where I start weighing all the supposed "pros" and "cons." Of course, many have decorated a nursery without the knowledge of what the baby has going on in the southern hemisphere. I know that. Obviously. So. This is me *actually* considering this crazy plan. 

Jay was nearly convinced by a complete and total stranger who knew nothing about us other than the fact that we are expecting our second baby. He asked Jay if we were going to find out and then proceeded to tell us (J) why we should wait. He made a pretty convincing case. That, and Jay loves surprises. Either way, I found myself having this conversation with Jay while we were unpacking our suitcases from the holidays. The stranger pleaded with Jay to not find out because it is truly one of the ONLY true surprises left in life. How often are we presented with a chance like that?

So if we are to do this (I'm not convinced yet, but keeping an open mind)...here's a little list of things I figure we'd have to do:
*choose gender-neutral decor (easy peasy)
*choose names for both a boy and a girl
*resist using said names...because what do we call "it?"
*not look when the tech is doing "the" ultrasound. I've seen too many...I know what to look for. I knew Scout was a girl a full 10 minutes before Jay did because of the way our previous tech did the ultrasound.
*be that annoying pregnant person who tells people "no, we aren't finding out"....this includes the nurses and doctors at our OB's office. I'm sure I'd have to remind them. Right? Do people actually do this? I imagine they have to.
*drive myself crazy with all those old wive's tales...and gender predictors....and chinese calendars....and moon charts.
*that's pretty much it.

What are the benefits of finding out? Basically the exact opposite of all the things I just listed. Right? Sure. But here's some of the other things that might influence our decision: We are renters. We can't realistically paint a room pink or blue. So, chances are, it would actually be pretty easy to choose some gender neutral decor. Also? We already have SO much girly stuff that it would be easy to add some girly baby things after the fact. Little details we've kept from when Scout was a babe. I've already been keeping a list of names, so that wouldn't be a problem. We've also sorta nailed it down on the girl's name already. SO. That should be easy.

Also? I'm 12 weeks, and don't feel like I'm DYING to know. I remember with Scout, the only thing that got me through the morning sickness (all day) was the promise that at 16 weeks, I'd know what was making me so sick (a boy or a girl). This time? I can't believe we could already find out in a few weeks. Have I mentioned how much my husband LOVES surprises? I have to admit, it's kinda worn off on me...a little. I look forward to his surprises. This could be the surprise of a lifetime that we could give each other. Also, remember all those movies from the 80s and 90s? Like "She's Having a Baby," "Father of the Bride 2" and all those other ones I can't think of? Remember that amazing moment when they announce "it's a boy" or "it's a girl?" How REAL does that moment feel? And that's just a movie. Imagine that in real life. I dunno. Call me a dreamer...but I'm starting to really want to do this.....starting to.

*Oh my god. Just remembered another movie: Little Women. When John comes upstairs and Meg has just given birth and Marmi turns around and says "It's a boy." And then Hanna turns around and says "And a girl." BEST EVER.

AAAAAAAAND we're back.

It's been a whirlwind for us these last few weeks. We spent three weeks in Texas celebrating the holidays, but more on that later. We are back in Santa Monica and getting into our routines. I love the rush and craziness of the holidays almost as much as I love the re-organizing and re-routining of the new year. Scout starts preschool tomorrow. I'm excited, and a little nervous. But most of all, I'm looking forward to her gaining some social/intellectual experience while I'm getting some time to myself to take care of doctor's appointments and cleaning house and errands and such. 

I'm feeling much better these days. For weeks in November/December, I was too sick to do much of anything...including writing posts. When we left LAX on December 19th, I was armed with my Zofran and a prayer. I stuffed my purse full of granola bars, peppermint tea, candy canes and crackers. Scout and I flew in a week earlier than Jay, so I was on my own with her. She is a great travel companion, and I made it safely without getting sick or embarrassing myself. Over the few weeks we were in Texas, I was able to eat more and even go into restaurants without gagging. It was a very welcome improvement! 

I'm currently 12 weeks 2 days pregnant. Your "cute fruit comparison" for baby's size is a lime. I'm definitely showing earlier this time than I did with Scout. I'm still kind of at that "is she pregnant or just carrying some extra weight" stage. It's alright though, I don't mind. I am absolutely not complaining in any way. Maternity clothes are more comfortable than regular clothes. Besides the few pieces I had that I can wear now, I've bought a few new things and am able to stay dressed in style and comfort. I am loving my sweater dresses/tights/boots look these days. It is my favorite go-to for winter, and this season is no exception.