Thursday, February 17, 2011

Harper Update

I didn't post about our appointments last week mostly because I was discouraged and emotional and I tend to get a little dramatic when I'm like that. Harper didn't grow as much as we were hoping and I really took the news hard. I was just really, really scared. I know what it means when a baby doesn't grow inside of means they have to grow outside of you and this is a scenario that I am really hoping to avoid this time around. So when Harper had dropped back down to the 10th percentile and growth wasn't what it should be, I panicked a little bit.

I've just been treading along the last few weeks and months almost ignoring what the very near future holds for us and now it is almost time to face it...and I just don't feel ready. I'm not physically ready, I'm not mentally ready, and I'm certainly not emotionally ready. But that's the thing about life doesn't care if you're ready. And I've come to learn that the ability to adjust is much more vital than always being ready.

But I went ahead and drug out a carseat and thoroughly washed it because that's all you really need to take a baby home from the hospital anyway. So now I'm officially ready.

Nevermind that we have one bathroom completely gutted down to the studs, that because of the construction there is a layer of dust so thick covering every inch of our house that you could play tic-tac-toe in it, we have an unpainted baby room stacked to the ceiling with unready baby stuff and unassembled furniture, and the only reason we have blankets for this girl is because I cried to Nemo the other day that Harper didn't have any blankets and of course Nemo has since then purchased eight beautiful, pink baby blankets. Seriously, Amy? Crying over blankets? 

And I went back to the doctor today, knowing that they wouldn't measure her again becuase they do that only every other week. But Dr. Killeen, my very calm, very reassuring, very optimistic doctor told me that he wasn't worried. And I told him, "that makes one of us." He says that as long as her blood flow looks good, that he feels good about it.

So I went downstairs for my next appointment and they did a sonogram and guess what...her dopplars (cord blood flow and brain blood flow) looked the best they have yet. They were all in the normal range meaning she is getting just what she should. Blood flow through the cord is directly related to growth, so I'm optimistic that she's growing. In addition to that, her fluid levels are great, her kidneys are great, her liver is great, her heart is good (ish), and she's very active. So today was a better day.

I knew there would be ups and downs along the way. It's just that I had gotten so spoiled with constant positive reports. I'm 32 weeks tomorrow. (How did that happen already? I'm pretty sure I lost a week somewhere.) Every week further along we can make it is a huge victory to me! We'll just continue to pray that Harper grows and stays inside as long as possible!

Here are a few pictures of me and Harper from the last few weeks:

(29 weeks pregnant)

(30 weeks pregnant)

(31 weeks pregnant)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Holidays are so much more fun with Eli and Landon! Let’s just say that there is someone who lives in this house (who shall remain nameless) that is less than thrilled with decorating, baking, and crafts. But that’s the beauty of children…you can force your fun on them. So the week before Valentine’s day, Eli, Landon, and I started gearing up with homemade valentine cards for some special people in our lives and baking and decorating cookies.
Then on the morning of Valentine’s Day we ate homemade waffles, went to our party at the library, had lunch with Dad, all crawled into bed together for an extra long nap, and played outside. It was a most wonderful day celebrating all things “love”…and that is something worth celebrating. I am blessed with the three cutest valentines a girl could ever ask for!

We helped mom by eating the sprinkles -

Off of each other's fingers no less...

We traced and glued all by ourselves!

Our cookies to share with all of our friends at the library -

Valentine's Day with Anna, our sweet friend from church

Here we are with Miss Jacki, the children's librarian.

And here we are checking out all our goodies. We got a LOT of candy!

Snow Days!

You might have heard that it snowed a little here in Texas...and the rest of the world. We did all of the snow day things like sleep in late, eat a big breakfast, stay in our pajamas and watch movies, turn the heater up, all crawl into bed together and nap all afternoon, bundle up and brave the cold weather to play in the snow, drink hot chocolate, and try to stay sane as we were cooped up in the house for almost two weeks. One thing is for sure...we LOVED having daddy home more than usual!

I can recall this time fondly because it's over and I've already repressed the craziness that not leaving the house for days on end caused me. It's wonderful to be forced to slow down and do nothing but spend time with your family, but we were all going a little stir-crazy by the end of the cold weather.

Here are a few pictures:

Playing in the snow -

And enjoying some hot chocolate immediately after -

We don't do finger paint around's just way too much for me to handle. But...we do draw shapes and letters in shaving cream. It's so much easier to clean up and I'm pretty sure Eli and Landon have just as much fun with it...but who would know because their scrooge of a mom has never introduced them to finger paint.

We tried to make the best of the ridiculous cold, but I am personally SO, SO happy that the days of playing outside are back. It makes me one, very happy mommy!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Adventures in Potty Training

Warning: this post is totally dedicated to all things potty. It's gross.

I am going to attempt to write about our recent experiences in potty-training. It's been crazy, frustrating, funny, and totally disgusting all at the same time.

I was totally overwhelmed at the thought of potty-training Eli and Landon, but once we got going, I realized that it's just like every other skill they have to teach it to them and then practice, practice, practice. I would love to say that they are potty professionals by this point in time...after all, it has been over three weeks since we started. Unfortunately, we aren't quite there yet and it's still a work in progress, but we've come a long way and I'm glad to have the worst of it behind us.

I waited until after all of the holiday traveling was over when I knew we would be home for several weeks in a row and able to really concentrate only on this. We started on a Tuesday morning and we basically just threw the diapers away, put on "big boy underwear" and started potty training boot camp in the living room. We watched a LOT of Handy Manny that week. We brought some toys and books in the living room and just camped out there all day. Eli took to the whole idea pretty fast, but Landon started out begging me to put a diaper on him. When I told him that we didn't need diapers anymore, he sat down on his little froggy potty and refused to get up. And guess have 100% success rate when you never get off the potty! I was totally okay with this approach, but after about an hour, he decided that Eli was having too much fun playing and he would join him.

That first week is kind of a blur. I checked the boys every 15 minutes to see if they were "dry" and praised and rewarded them if they were. Then we sat on the potty and if they went a little, we went crazy celebrating. I loved the way they encouraged one another and celebrated each others' successes. We did this for four days straight. It was completely and totally consuming. And of course, we went through a ton of clorox cleanup and papertowels...there were lots of accidents. I've never been so thankful for wood floors! When they did have an accident, I would just act disappointed (and try to hide my mounting frustration) and keep repeating that "tee tee/poo poo goes in the potty."

I got a lot of good and practical advice from friends, which we implemented. One piece of advice that I haven't been able to make myself follow is to take away the diapers and never go back. While we haven't gone back to diapers, we have definitely used pull-ups at times (which is just a glorified diaper anyway). Because I'm going to doctors appointments so often, Eli and Landon spend quite a bit of time in someone else's care, often in someone else's home. And I just can't do that to anyone...especially someone kind enough to keep my kids for me. I think this might be a lot of the reason they haven't done quite as well as I think they could do, but I'm totally okay with that.

I think the thing about potty training is this: you just have to do what works for you. You learn really fast what is going to work or not work for your kids and you just go in whatever direction that takes you. It's a really big deal when you're in the middle of it, but it's not bad as I thought it would be. It's just a really good thing that I have such a higher tolerance for nastiness coming from my two sweet children than I do in other areas of life. Motherhood is so glamourous!

So I know that's not helpful or all that detailed, but that's kind of where we're at. Here are just a few funny things for the record book that I don't want to forget from the last few weeks:

* While Eli and Landon started getting the hang of going tee-tee on the potty, it was five days before they went poo-poo on the potty for the first time. We finally had to sit them on their little potty, leave the bathroom, and shut the door. Turns out all they wanted was a little privacy to do their business.

* When Landon goes poo-poo on the potty, he takes a deep breath, raises his eyebrows, and says "here it comes, Mommy". Then he puts his hands over his eyes until it's all over. SO funny!

* Trying to maneuver the whole public restroom situation with two year old twins is downright impossible! They want to touch EVERYTHING, pull all of the toilet paper out, crawl on the floor, look under the stalls, and I'm told they are very intrigued by urinals. It is my fervent prayer that we make it through this time period without any restroom-related diseases. SO gross! And it just so happens that Landon has to go poo-poo every single time we use a public restroom...leaving Eli to roam about unattended. Please ask Dustin about his recent experience in the Lowe's restroom while I was at the's hilarious.

*Tonight, when the boys were saying their prayers, right after they asked God to help them not fight, they asked for help to "tee tee and poo poo in the potty." What a coincidence...I'm praying for the exact same things!

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