Thursday, November 29, 2007

Story Time

I had the idea tonight to do something crafty with Rachel tonight. I had hoped to do something more Christmas-y, but couldn't find any Christmas-y magazines, so I had to settle for a Newsweek and two old Consumer Reports. For the first story, we cut out and named some people (most of whom she didn't use) and then tried to find photos to match the story she was creating, with limited success. For the subsequent stories, I cut out a lot of photos ahead of time and let her use the photos to help determine the course of the story. She had a lot of fun with the glue stick (it goes on purple so you can see where you've applied glue) and I at times I had to encourage her to think more about the story.

I asked leading questions like

  • What is their favorite color?
  • What do they like?
  • What don't they like?
  • What's happening here?
  • What happened next?
to get her to think. Since there was nothing but a blank sheet and some pictures, it forced her to really think. I think she had fun. Click any photo to enlarge. The bad handwriting is all mine.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How's That?

"Glo----o----o----o----o----oria, you make Chelsea stand away."

"Frosty the snowman, was a holly, jolly soul."

(And these are not one-time occurrences -- these are the correct way to sing it, and if you don't sing it this way, she'll correct you.)

Monday, November 26, 2007


Rachel still has a few pieces of her allowed 10 pieces of Halloween candy. She just had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and then we had this exchange:

Rachel: "Mommy, can I have a little bit of a Dot?"
Me: "You may have one Dot."

Rachel heads into the living room and says, "Grandma, I have a Dot! Success!"

Apparently something she picked up from the show Dragon Tales, but it was pretty cute that she used it appropriately.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sixteen Questions

List some of the happiest people you know:
Emily, Jacob, Clifford my Favorite Friend Dog

Other words that mean "happy":
Abby and Emily and Jacob

How do you feel when you're happy?
(Rubbed balloon on face and hair and laughed)

What does "happy" mean?
I love you.

Are you happy today?
Yes. I love Emily. She's my big sister.

Have you ever had a problem?
No. "You've never had a problem?" No. I've never ever had a problem!

Have you ever felt lonely?
No. I haven't ever felt lonely in a long time.

What do you wish you were able to do?

Have you ever felt like crying?
No, no daddy. Yes. I felt like crying. "When?" When I watched Calliou. I was crying after Calliou went off. "How come?" Because I feel like it.

Does anything make you angry?

What is as big as you?

What vegetable is like you?
Karen. The one on Veggie Tales. (Laura) "What kind is she?" She's a carrot. She's like me because she's a girl, daddy. She's a girl like me.

What if you lived in a castle?
I would be a princess.

What if you were a sneaker?
What is a sneaker daddy? "What if you were a shoe?" I would walk people.

What if you were a giant?
I would stomp the whole ground. (Stomping around.) I would shake the whole ground. What if I was a tree, daddy? (Repeated 3 times until I responded.) "What if you were a tree?" I would have fall leaves on me.

Showed her two pictures - a boy, smiling, in a small sailboat; a boy on a small island waving a flag and yelling.
He got lost and he loved it (pointed to first picture as she said "loved it"). He needed help because he was lost at an island and he didn't know how to get back to his family. Daddy, I need the pen. "Why?" I need to draw clouds behind his boat.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Psalm 23

from Leticia

Girl, 4, calls OnStar to Help Mom

When her mother passed out, Ariana Evans sprang into action and got help

Nov. 1: Ariana Evans tells TODAY’s Al Roker how she used OnStar to help her mother, who passed out while they were in the car, and how she comforted her little brother.

Ariana Evans clearly couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about. All she’d done was push a button on the dashboard of her mother’s car and told the lady who answered that her mom needed help. More...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Smartie Pants

Rachel and her Grandma Jan are playing volleyball with a balloon in the living room. Rachel told her Grandma "You crack me up!" So I went in and asked her "Does Grandma crack you up?" "Yeah," she replied. "Sometimes I crack myself up!"

She cracks us up a lot, too :)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I Can Feel It!

Rachel is getting more and more curious about and interested in the baby now and will sing to my tummy. Yesterday, she wanted to feel where the baby was, so I put her hand on top of my abdomen. She said "I felt it move!" and looked happy. I can only imagine how excited and surprised she'll be when she actually feels a tiny foot or hand pushing into her own hand.

As for me, I've felt pretty decent. I've definitely been way more tired this time around than with Rachel 4 years ago, but I suppose that's to be expected. I also was taking progesterone supplements that wiped me out, and now I'm done with those, so I'm not feeling as tired.

I've had more food sensitivity than last time. I've also had the increased gag reflex, but so far I've only actually thrown up about 3 times. Last time, I probably got sick 4 or 5 times a week from brushing my teeth or using mouthwash. Hopefully my average continues to stay low in that area.

We've already had 4 ultrasounds with this baby and it looks like we'll be having several more before we actually see him or her in person. 2 of the ultrasounds will be for the 2-part screening they're doing, and 3 were from my doctor's office (confirming the pregnancy, dating it - it was too early the first time to date it, and checking in at 10 weeks to make sure all was well). We'll do another ultrasound at 18 weeks to determine the gender (yay!) if the baby cooperates (and he or she had better!). Plus, we had a 3D ultrasound with Rachel and would really like to do that again with this one.

It's so reassuring to be able to see the baby developing on track and looking like they should, and it helps me to feel like something is really happening - other than my already-growing-bigger belly. At 7 weeks, I was starting to outgrow a few pairs of pants because my belly just poked right out. And I haven't gained any weight, so I know it's not just pounds from eating. Just my body recognizing what's happening and giving up the fight on any muscle retention, apparently.

Our next appointment is a week from Friday, when we'll be 14 weeks, but that should just be an exam and basic checkup. Then 4 weeks after that is the exciting one!

Don't Tell Me About Anything Else, Please

Sometimes information is a good thing, sometimes it's a bad thing. In the case of pregnancy, I think we sometimes err on the side of being overly cautious at the expense of causing ourselves anxiety for weeks or months on end, until test results come back or until the baby is actually born and we see for ourselves if anything truly is wrong.

Come to find out that I apparently am a carrier for one of the 1200(!) gene mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. I had no idea I was a carrier, and we didn't know throughout our pregnancy with Rachel, therefore we didn't worry about it. I wouldn't say I'm truly worried about it because I think this baby is going to be born healthy in all aspects, but now that I know the possibility *might* be there, there's a slight undercurrent of anxiety. Now James has to have his blood tested and, if he's also a carrier, that means we have a 25% chance of having a child with CF. The odds of a person of European descent being a carrier of one of the gene mutation is around 1 in 22 to 25, so the odds are great that he will not be a carrier. And I'm choosing to operate on that assumption. We should find out in the next ... I don't know, week? It took about 8 days total for me to get my results back. He had his blood drawn 8 days ago, but we don't know if they sent it to the same place or not, just that they were sending his sample to California for testing.

The other thing my doctor suggested is a 2-part screening test that's done with blood tests and ultrasounds. I knew it checked for Down's Syndrome but didn't realize they were also checking for open neural tube defects (like spina bifida) and a scary thing called Trisomy 18, which I'd never heard of before we showed up for part 1 of the test. Trisomy 18 occurs when a child has an extra gene, and it's a fatal disease. 90% of babies born with it don't live past their 1st birthday.

Trisomy 18 wasn't something I even knew about a few weeks ago, and CF isn't something I thought could be a risk. Now the awareness is there, and a little bit of fear along with it. Honestly, I don't think I'd ever want to get tested to find out if I have a gene for breast cancer because I feel like I'd live my life in fear of getting it or would take radical steps early just in case it should ever develop.

I'm thankful for medical technology and for how much safer it is to give birth now than 100 years ago, but sometimes information can be too much of a good(?) thing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

For the baby...

So Rachel's known about the baby for some time now. We even designed and created a shirt for her that says "Big Sister in Training."

We've been showing her ultrasounds and drawings in books since Lori's not quite big enough for it to make sense to Rachel yet. But she's been singing to the baby and talking to the baby.

And last week when we did a stuffed animal purge with her, we pulled out a few toys that would be good for a baby (stuffed rattle, stuffed duck with teethers for feet and wings) and she pulled out another one and put in our room with the others and said it was for the baby.

And then yesterday when shopping for clothes, she chose a tiny, tiny pair of beige boots. Pretty unisex. Said that we had to get them for the baby.

Of course, at other times she's said that her friend baby Nicole was going to come live with us and be our new baby.

She's pretty confident that she's having a sister. Only occasionally does she say "sister or brother."

We're feeling like it will be a boy. I'm hoping it will be a boy. Though I'm limiting my prayers to health and development. I'm not going to pray that we have a boy. I will be extremely overjoyed either way. I am already extremely overjoyed.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Parents: Beware Premium Text Messages

MSNBC.COM -- A guy was recently surprised to open his cell phone bill and find a $10,000 bill, all because of text messages, despite the fact that his daughter's phone had unlimited text messaging. Turns out it didn't cover "premium" text messages that can cost $1 or more per message. And your phone company may not even help you block them, or warn you that someone's running up your bill. More...