Thursday, December 29, 2011

This is Christmas

Another blog I frequent had a post about a week ago entitled "This is Christmas." And much as I've tried to come up with another title for this post (so as not to be a copycat), I just can't. Because around here...

This is Christmas. At least this year.

Christmas Eve after Santa came.

The girls in their Christmas jammies (which, unfortunately, arrived the day after Christmas).

This was actually a quite relaxed (although quite tiring, due to a certain little someone) Christmas. I spent the week before Christmas in the kitchen baking...gingerbread cookies for the neighbors, biscotti, granola bars, breakfast cookies, chocolate crackle cookies, apple pies, and making hot cocoa mix. I was a mad woman. But it paid off in that Christmas weekend and this week we have had lots of snacks around the house and very little difficult cooking to do. I got to bring plates of gingerbread cookies to my neighbors, and since you can't get molasses here, they were quite taken with the cookies. My apple pies were a hit at our big Christmas dinner.

Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.

Lane playing in her new kitchen (which we scored used for $20!) on Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve we went to church and had our big Christmas dinner, complete with a turkey. (I got to bring the carcass home and made turkey broth with it, plus pulled four cups of meat off the bones.) We didn't get home until almost 9:00 and by then Lane was a mess. We got her in bed and then played Santa, setting out her new toys from us, her Aunt Rachel and Uncle Lucas, and all her grandparents. I prepped cinnamon rolls for the morning. And we went to bed super, super late.

A sleeping sweetheart.

Inflatable table and chairs (so we can take it with us if/when we move again).

Sisterly love.

Christmas morning was fantastic, as Lane came into the living room oohing and ahhing over her new things. She played all morning long. We skyped with my mom for about an hour that morning, since she's in Alaska and 11 hours behind us. Shannon went to another church that afternoon and the girlies and I stayed put. I made a super easy crock pot honeyed chicken recipe that I found on pinterest for dinner. We skyped with our families in North Carolina and Alabama on Christmas evening before putting Lane in bed at about 6:30.

Lane's loot (other than the kitchen and table and chairs): an alphabet puzzle (which she's already mastered), new books and dresses from Aunt Rachel and Uncle Lucas, new books from us, a matching game, mittens, and cover-ups for art time.

Practicing cutting all that new food.

And the day after Christmas we tried to start getting back into a normal routine of a kind. Shannon's been back at work (although I have been so thankful that he works from home most of the time). We've visited with a couple of friends. We got Christmas packages from Shannon's mom and stepdad. I've taken Lane on a few quick errands with me while Noel napped (to the park, to drop off a disc of photos to a friend, to the corner grocery store, etc.). I've done a million loads of laundry. We've discussed taking down our Christmas decorations, although that's as far as we've gotten. And we've started to attempt to tackle this thing called real life as a family of four.

I'll keep you posted on how that's going.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

23 Months Old

Better a week late than never!

My baby girl will be two in 3 1/2 weeks. How on earth have I been a mom for that long already? I can't imagine what I'll be saying/thinking when she's 16, or graduating from college, or getting married...

A typical playtime in our house these days.

Anyways, I digress.

In the past month Lane has really seemed to grow up a bit.

At 23 months (and 6 days) old, Lane:

*has a blossoming vocabulary. While her pronunciation definitely needs some work, she is talking more and more. New words this month include: ball, blue, bye-bye, purple, pickle (puh-ka), more (moe), Layla (what she's named her Auburn cheerleader doll), nut (nuh), banana (neenee), grandma (mamoo), mimi, papa (baba), baby, poo-poo (bobo), hippo, bowl, ewwww, yeah, Nonna, cookie (guhgee), cracker (kaker), bread, excuse you (scoo-oo), Bible, stool (as in step stool), me, eat (eee), reindeer (dehdeh), bubble.

One of her favorite games these days: get daddy to push her around the house in his office chair.

*is learning how to be gentle with Noel. Lane likes to pat her on the stomach, stroke her face, or give her kisses. She's not big on holding her, nor is she very aware of needing to be careful around her, but that will come with time.

Helping Elmo kiss the "baybee."

*got some new books for Christmas that she really likes: Where, Oh Where is Huggle Buggle Bear and The Very Lonely Firefly.

*is getting better and better at playing pretend. She'll put Elmo's hands together for him to "pray," feed any of her Little People, dolls, or stuffed animals real or play food, have them give us "five," and so on.

Giving kitty a drink of tea.

*has turned into a "typical girl," according to Shannon. This translates into: she can't make up her mind about anything. She can't decide which show she wants to watch, which book she wants to read, or which food she wants to eat.

*loves hummus. I'll give her a spoonful with five pretzels and she'll skip the pretzels and eat the hummus with her fingers.

Mmm, hummus.

*is starting to test boundaries. For example, we'll tell her not to throw something and she'll look right at us, hold it over her head, and drop it, like asking, "is this throwing?" She does the same thing with jumping on the bed, sitting down on couches or chairs, and so on.

*is pretty much all out of her 18-month clothes and only wearing 24-month or 2t things. There are a few miscellaneous 18-month articles in her closet and chest of drawers, but for the most part...she's out of them. She's still wearing size 6 shoes. It feels like she weighs a ton.

Feeding the zoo animals (and the cow).

*is sleeping better. We put a latch-hook lock on the outside of her door and within a week she was going to sleep at a normal time and getting up at a normal time (i.e. not in the 5 o'clock hour). We don't let her out of her room until 7:00 (about the time it starts to get daylight) most days, but she seems content to play with her stuffed animals in her bed or go back to sleep if she's awake much before then. I usually lay down with her at nap time until she falls asleep, because it's just easier than fighting the fight that she puts up most days. I'd rather sacrifice 15 minutes of my afternoon to lay down beside her than to sacrifice an hour of continual door-watching/listening and repeated spankings! For now...this works for us. We'll see how long it lasts before we decide she needs to learn to fall asleep on her own at nap time without getting out of bed a million times.

*can stack blocks at least 12 high.

Now that she's mastered sorting the shapes she likes to stack them.

*is still a bit picky about certain foods (she's really not big on meat), but for the most part will still eat most anything. She loves bread and carbs. She definitely doesn't like to eat the same thing over and over again. She likes variety, so if we eat the same thing more than twice (as leftovers), she probably won't really eat it the third or fourth time.

*is definitely opinionated. She has opinions about when I can sing, what song to sing her at bedtime, if the way I'm playing with her toys is correct, how she should be helping me in the kitchen, and so on and so forth. She wants what she wants when she wants it. Like any toddler, I suppose.

Notice each animal has their own cup?

And there you have it. 23 months. My lovely, lovely mess of a girl. Golly I love her.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Noel's Birth Story

Ahh, well, it's taken me long enough to get around to this, don't you think? I want to write it down before I forget it, as seems to happen with birth stories. I'll start with the same disclaimer I wrote with Lane's birth story.

WARNING: This may be graphic in detail. And long.

Monday morning Shannon and I got up and went about our normal, daily routine, getting showers and breakfast and checking our email. Our babysitter showed up at 9:00 to watch Lane while Shannon and I left to go study language at some friends' house. We studied and I had an accountability meeting with my friend. At around 11:00 I told her, "I may be having Braxton-Hicks contractions...I'm not really sure what they're supposed to feel like since I've never had non-Pitocin-induced contractions that I could feel. It feels kind of like Noel is stretching and then relaxing." She was all excited and asked, "Do you think we'll have a baby today?" to which I replied, "No, I think they're just little Braxton-Hicks contractions." (HA!)

We left a little before noon, went to a pharmacy, and then took a minibus home. We thanked and hugged our babysitter and I got lunch ready for all of us. We ate, got the kitchen cleaned up, Shannon headed into his office to get some work done, and I laid down with Lane at about 1:10. I thought to myself, "While I'm laying here, I'll time these contractions and see how long they last." So while I was laying down with Lane (about 15-20 minutes) I had three contractions, each lasting about 30-40 seconds, none of which were painful, per se, but all of which had a definite beginning, peak, and end. I came out of Lane's room, went to the bathroom, and had a couple more while I was in there. I told Shannon that I'd had a few contractions and wasn't sure if I should go out to IKEA with my friend that afternoon. Then I went to hang up some laundry and needed Shannon's help with a sheet (you have to fold them while wet to hang them on the drying rack, and I don't like my wet, clean clothes touching the floors). While he was helping me hang the sheet I had to stop to breathe through a contraction. So at about 1:50 we called my friend to tell her I'd been having a few contractions and didn't think it was a good idea to go all the way out to IKEA with her. Then after I'd finished hanging the laundry I called my doctor and said, "I just wanted to let you know that I've been having contractions for about the last hour. They're not regular at all, but they're fairly painful." She asked me to go to the hospital to get checked.

About three hours after she was born.

So we began calling down our list of people who could watch Lane. One family was at the Emniyet working on their residency permits. Another family wasn't home (as we later learned they had just landed at the airport from their weekend trip to another city). Another friend was out at her son's school, watching his Christmas play. Her husband was at a training. We were starting to get panicky about needing to get to the hospital and not having anyone to come watch Lane when our friend decided to leave his training and come help us out. He arrived at about 2:30. Meanwhile, my contractions had started becoming painful to the point that I was thinking, "Something is wrong. This isn't right. This isn't how early labor is supposed to go. We need to get to the hospital NOW." I don't even remember what I did during that 30 minutes (I think I spent a good amount of time on the potty, as contractions seems to do weird things to your bowels/intestines), but I know that I was stopping frequently to rock on my hands and knees through contractions. Shannon was putting last-minute things in my hospital bag. When our friend showed up to watch Lane I was like, "We need to go, NOW. I don't care about what's left for the hospital bag." Our friend went and got us a taxi while I leaned on Shannon in the street, swaying through another contraction. I told Shannon I needed some water so he ran to buy me some in a store, and I got in the taxi and had another contraction. The cab driver was yelling out his window, "Hurry!" to our friend who had hailed the cab for us. (For those who are wondering, yes, we left Lane in the apartment alone for about five minutes. She was asleep and locked in her room.) Shannon showed up and we made the 5-minute drive to the hospital, our driver honking at everyone and doing a fantastic job of getting there quickly. It's humorous now to think that we had planned on walking to the hospital...

We got to the hospital and as I was getting out of the taxi another contraction hit (funny that I didn't have any on the ride to the hospital), and I put my arms around Shannon's neck and groaned through it. Someone came up behind me with a wheelchair and after the contraction had finished and I sat down, they wheeled me down the hallway, asking me (in Turkish) how many weeks pregnant I was and maybe what time the contractions had started. We got to the examining room and they checked me and announced I was six centimeters dilated. Shannon called my doctor and practically yelled, "She's six centimeters dilated!," the doctor said she was on her way, and I was yelling at Shannon that I needed a trash can because I was going to throw up. I promptly lost all my lunch, the nurses were telling me "sakin, sakin!" which means "peace," or "calm" (basically, "calm down!"), and transferring me to another bed or another wheelchair...I don't remember. I know that I got to the delivery room, got changed into the delivery gown thingamajig, and the nurses were asking me all sorts of crazy questions in Turkish, like how much I weighed, what my height was (like I can convert inches to centimeters when I'm having contractions!), and other questions that I can't remember, but I do remember that I was having a hard time translating stuff in my head, remembering Turkish at all, and answering them.

Daddy's so proud!

At this point I remember that I was on my side, laying in the bed, and holding onto the rail on the side, and my contractions were so painful that I was moaning/groaning/screaming/screeching through them. I was to the point where in between contractions my body was shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't "sakin" to save my life. The nurses asked me if I wanted an epidural, to which I replied "maybe," all the while thinking, "Uh, yeah! Stick that needle in my back and relieve me of this awful, HORRENDOUS pain!" But my doctor wasn't there yet. I really did want a natural birth. And at that point the main reason I wanted one was that I couldn't calm down between contractions and was remembering pushing for an hour with Lane and thinking that there's no way I could do that at the point where I was.

At about 3:10ish (30 minutes after arriving at the hospital), my doctor arrived. She checked me and I was eight centimeters dilated. She went and changed into her scrubs. I don't remember too much, just that she asked me if I wanted an epidural and I think I said, "I don't know." She said that the anesthesiologist would have to come down and check me and see if I was too far dilated. I asked her how long she thought it would be before we had a baby and she said she thought we'd be seeing her within an hour. I knew from getting my epidural with Lane that it takes at least 20-30 minutes before the anesthesiologist could get there, clean your back, get the needle in, and the medicine take effect. So I said no, I could do it without. So she asked me if I wanted her to break my water. I asked if it would make it go faster, to which she said yes, and that it wouldn't make things any more painful than they already were. "Yes, break my water!"

I don't remember much about the following 10-15 minutes. I remember that I wouldn't let Shannon hold my hand, because I was gripping the side of the bed so hard that I was afraid I'd break his hand. I remember my doctor asking me if I'd gone to the bathroom and if my bladder was empty. I told her that yes, I'd gone, but that I could probably go again. I asked if there was a bathroom I could use, and of course there was, but she didn't want me to use it because she said there was too much of a danger of me wanting to push while going to the bathroom, so I could just pee if I needed to. Well, I was thinking, "I don't know if I can just pee on myself!" and I had that thought for maybe one contraction, and with the next one I was thinking, "Hey, I might be able to push." So I started asking if I could push, since she hadn't said anything like, "I can see the baby's head crowning," or "you're at ten centimeters and can push whenever you're ready." So my doctor said, "Yes, you can push whenever you want to!" And with the next contraction I pushed with everything I had, screaming, "Get this baby out of me!!!!" (Yes, I was that woman.) Her head came out with that push and my doctor actually told me to stop pushing. And with the next contraction I pushed and her little body came out. It was 3:40, a mere hour after we had arrived at the hospital.

They placed her on my belly and we spent a couple of minutes just looking at her, getting photos, and marveling that it was all over. Her umbilical cord was really short so she stayed down on my belly until my doctor cut her cord after it had stopped pulsing. My placenta didn't deliver right away, so the nurses tried to latch Noel on to nurse (to encourage contractions), but at some point they had put an IV in my arm, right where it bends, so I couldn't hold her very well. We held her, got some photos, and just marveled at the miracle that had just taken place. After a few minutes the nurses whisked her away to weigh her, clean her up, and so on. I, on the other hand, had to stay in the delivery room for about 45 more minutes since the stubborn placenta wouldn't budge.

The look of relief after a 2.5 hour labor with no pain medication!

Eventually it did budge and I got to go up to my room. We spent awhile marveling over our new daughter, trying to decide if we preferred this kind of labor and delivery or being induced, and trying to get the internet to work so that we could call our families, since none of them even knew that we had gone to the hospital. At around 7:00 we got the internet working and started calling our families, who were completely shocked! Our friends brought Lane by at around 8:00 and we all visited for a bit before they took Lane home to get some sleep. Shannon stayed at the hospital with me and our friends stayed at our place with Lane.

Of course I didn't get any sleep (does anyone actually sleep the night after they have a baby?), and the next morning we started the discharge procedures at around 10:00 a.m. Shannon came home around noon to help get Lane down for her nap and Noel and I came home around 3:00 (they wanted me to stay a full 24 hours).

I do have to say that this birth experience was much better than with Lane. I'm not sure if it's because a) I didn't have any drugs pumped into me, b) it was so fast, or c) it's a second birth so my body knew what to do. I've healed much quicker this time around (no tearing!) and other than feeling like my body had been run over by a cement truck last Wednesday and Thursday, I've felt great. I'm back in my regular jeans already, Noel is nursing like a champ (when she can stay awake long enough), and we're all getting at least some sleep. I'm so glad that she came before Christmas...this has been a great time of year to have Shannon home (he took vacation through this week) and to be able to spend lots of time with my family.

And that's that! I still can't believe that I have two kids. Two!

First family photo.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Life Lately

Today I have a 23-month old and a 10-day old.

I still can't believe that I have two kids. I'm a real-live grown-up.

As seems to happen, life has just been crazy around here. Between routine 3 a.m. feedings, regular life, and preparing for Christmas, here's a glimpse into our past ten days.

Monday and Tuesday: most of these days were spent in the hospital (birth story upcoming...I promise).

Thursday: Noel and I went back to the hospital for her 3-day checkup. I did a big grocery run to stock up on things and to buy a microwave (I had been planning on doing this on Monday, but Noel decided to come and thwart my plans). A nurse came to do a home visit to check on Noel. Some men came to our apartment to replace our hot water heater.

Noel. Being cute.

Saturday: we went to church.

Sunday: I went to the local bazaar to buy produce. I walked almost all the way home (about a mile) before a bus ever drove by me.

Monday: Our microwave broke. I couldn't find the receipt. I went to the post office to track down a missing package. They couldn't tell me anything other than that it had gone out for delivery three times but hadn't been delivered. Noel and I went back to the hospital again for her hearing test, and I left her booklet at home (here they give you a booklet to keep track of that has all the baby's stats in it). I left my itzbeen there and returned an hour later only to find out it was gone. I walked home, crying the whole way, feeling like a postpartum idiot for leaving the itzbeen, forgetting Noel's booklet, and throwing the receipt for our microwave away.

Tuesday: Shannon took a trip to another post office (where our package was supposed to be located), only to find that earlier in the day they had moved the box to the post office that's only a five-minute walk away. He also went back to Carrefour with our microwave and without a receipt to attempt to exchange it. Miraculously, they let him. The hospital called and said they'd found my itzbeen, so I went back to get it and to get the hearing test lady to write in Noel's booklet.

Wednesday: we took our first family outing to a shopping mall. We had heard that they had lots of Christmas lights (for New Year's, here) out. Lane had a blast. We all survived.

Lane at the mall yesterday, enjoying a chocolate muffin and some chai tea latte.

Today: A friend watched Lane while I went back to my OBGYN to get checked out, post-delivery. Another friend came with me to a store where I had bought an ink cartridge that doesn't work and had tried to return it, only for them to call me and tell me that you can't return it without the box it came in. So I took my friend to help me tell them that's ridiculous, since my Turkish is not good enough to do that. I also went to another bazaar to buy things for Christmas dinner.

And in between all the above I've washed three loads of laundry, two loads of cloth diapers, made biscotti, hot chocolate mix, breakfast cookies, granola bars, and gingerbread cookies, cleaned sinks, and changed approximately 85 of Noel's diapers. I made two pie crusts today (for apple pies I'll make tomorrow), have almost finished Noel's birth story, and (with Shannon) wrote our Christmas newsletter to friends and family back home.

In short: we've been busy.

***Lane's 23-month post will follow soon. Tomorrow, hopefully.***

Monday, December 12, 2011

She's Here!

Elizabeth "Noel" Scarbrough

5 lbs, 15 oz.
19.3 inches
3:40 pm Istanbul time

2.5 hour labor
Mama and baby are doing great. More to follow soon!

Friday, December 2, 2011

38 Weeks (second time around)

It's almost time to have a baby around here!

I went to the doctor on Tuesday and she is finally satisfied with my weight gain (12 kilos, or 26 pounds). I'm glad to know that I can stop eating like a pig just to put on some pounds! I hate eating junk just to get some calories, but I feel like that's all I did for the past two weeks. I guess that maybe it paid off, though, as Baby Girl is measuring a bit more 'normal' sized now. So yay!

Taken this morning before I went Christmas shopping. Wearing pre-pregnancy jeans. Can't believe I can still get them on! (Although they're NOT comfortable to sit in, I didn't feel like I had 'saggy butt from maternity pants' syndrome for this photo!)

It's so interesting, being pregnant here versus in the States. I haven't had a UA since the very first time I went to the doctor at nine or ten weeks. In the U.S. you get one every single time you go to the doctor. On Tuesday, at 37.5 weeks pregnant, my doctor didn't check me to see if I was dilated. She didn't do a group B strep test. She didn't ask me about my birth plan or desires. And she didn't want me to come back in until next Friday, when I'll be 39 weeks.

As far as how I'm feeling...I'm feeling fine. That same spot beneath my sternum is killing me, just like it did with Lane. My first doctor thought it was muscles stretching. This doctor thinks it's my liver (I think...maybe it was a different organ) pressing up against my sternum, since the liver (or the other organ...I really don't remember) is a hard, not-flexible or squishy organ. My upper back hurts in the same spot as it did with Lane. And my lower back, on the left, almost into my rear-end smarts sometimes when I step funny. If I overdo it (which I seem to have done, oh, almost every day this week) the insides of my hips ache. And it's really sad, because all that 'overdoing it' entails is doing something normal, like taking Lane to the park or the bazaar, or going Christmas shopping like I did today.

I'm ready to not be pregnant anymore, at least as far as how my body is feeling goes. As far as practically-speaking'd be nice if she'd hold on for another week. I have a baby shower tomorrow. I have a few Christmas things left to buy, maybe a new purse/diaper bag, and possibly a bouncy seat (depending on if I can find one to borrow). And quite honestly it'd be nice to shop alone and not with newborn in tow. As far as my outlook on how long I think my body carries babies for...I'm planning for a 2012 baby, even though she's due in two weeks.

This past week some ladies with whom I attend a Bible study surprised me with a small baby shower. I haven't known these ladies for very long so didn't invite them to my "real" baby shower, not feeling comfortable asking them to come after only knowing them for six or so weeks. But they surprised me with pretty desserts and lots of packages to open, mostly full of practical things like diapers, wipes, and baby shampoo, which was so perfect since we will need those things, whereas we have a good amount of clothes and toys and things from when Lane was little. I was so blessed by them.

So...that's life at 38 weeks (or 1 week shy of being able to say "nine months") pregnant in the Scarbrough household. Once again, I'm going to hope there's no 40-week belly photo, but...I'm not holding my breath!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,

how much you make me smile!

I absolutely love the look of our decorated Christmas tree when all the other lights in the room are out. LOVE it.

Since last year's Thanksgiving Day experience, we decided to start a tradition while we live overseas (and don't generally have Thanksgiving Day off to eat and spend with family). On Thanksgiving Day (or evening, actually) we put up our tree and eat pizza for dinner. Then we celebrate "real" Thanksgiving on Saturday with others who had to work, or had to go to school or language class, or for whatever other reason were unavailable for a real Thanksgiving feast on the fourth Thursday in November.

This year, however, we didn't stick to tradition. A tradition that only started last year, actually, so I'm not sure if it's officially a tradition or not yet. Anyhow, this year we put up our tree on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Shannon, Lane, and I were all home sick. We all felt awful. I think I felt the worst, since I had just contracted the cold on Tuesday, whereas Shannon and Lane had gotten it the previous Friday, but still, the point remains: we were all home and all felt like doing nothing. So we decided to have our "Thanksgiving Day tradition" on Wednesday instead of Thursday. We put up our tree. We listened to Christmas music. We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas while putting the tree up. We let Lane help hang ornaments and lights. I made homemade pizza for dinner. We set out our nativity scenes, put out all of our fun Christmas stuff, and hung schizophrenic blinking lights in Shannon's office (as opposed to on the tree...our only colored lights are insane and blink and chase and altogether drive me batty. So they're not on the tree this year [by the way have I mentioned my opinion on colored lights as opposed to white lights on Christmas trees? No? Colored lights are WAY better...there you go]).

And we haven't stopped smiling since. Christmastime makes me happy. Our Christmas mugs from Poland make me happy when I drink tea or coffee out of them. Holiday candles make my nose happy. Watching Lane tote our stockings around the house makes me grin from ear to ear.

And once again, I'm ever so grateful that we paid that $200 to check an extra bag full of our Christmas things. Ever. so. grateful.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

It's the Time of Year...

when packages start coming for Christmas!

We got our first baby/Christmas package yesterday from my Uncle Matt (who's actually only three months older than me so he's more like a cousin than an uncle...) and his wife, Becky (who I just can't call "aunt"'s just too weird since they're not much older than me).

An outfit for Baby Girl, a sweater and socks for Lane, and vanilla extract, nutmeg, and cinnamon for me!

Lane loves her sweater. When I showed it to her and asked her if it was pretty she said, "Oooohhhh!!!!" in her new sing-songy voice that she does when she thinks something is pretty (like the Christmas lights on the tree, for example). She wore it all day today and didn't want to take it off when I told her she couldn't wear it to the park. I think she likes it!

One thing I love about the giraffe outfit is that it doesn't scream "I LOVE PINK!!!" Becky is great at picking out outfits that are cute but not over-the-top ruffles and pink and make-me-throw-up-it's-so-girly (she got Lane a great outfit that was also not-so-overly-girly). Granted, I love super girly outfits too, but it's nice to have things that are more neutral!

And I'm so excited to have more vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. I was on my last bottle of vanilla and my nutmeg was running low, so it's nice to know that I don't have to worry that I'll run out as Christmas baking commences! So...thanks so much, Matt and Becky, for the great baby/Christmas package! Everything will be put to use and much loved. Thanks!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

22 Months Old

Ahh, a few days late again. But what else am I to do when struck by the plague on the actual 22nd, and then with Thanksgiving following close behind? So I'm late. I'm getting used to it. I think I might as well continue the trend as Baby #2 is arriving shortly and will surely alter our lives even more drastically than Lane did.

At 22 months (and five days) old, Lane:

*has some new words! She's saying "baby" (and it actually sounds right) and a slew of other "words," most of which don't quite sound like they should, but she's trying. She has her own way of saying "Leah," "Simeon," "Judah," "Dinah" (can you name the Bible story she likes these days?), "onion," "Papa," "Nonna," "Santa," "Rudolph," and some others. Honestly most of these sound nothing like the actual word ("Leah" is "Yuhyuh," for example), but they're consistent and sound the same each time, so they count, right?

*likes to pour. She's getting pretty good at aiming but still spills a lot. I try to catch her and just let her pour water from cup to cup, but sometimes I'll be too late and catch her trying to pour her cup of milk into the curve of her spoon, or into the hole meant for a straw in a water bottle...

Playing "Noah's Ark" with daddy. She's perfectly content to sit in daddy's lap forever and play.

*is starting to play pretend. She'll bring her "guys" (stuffed horse, kitty, sheep, or giraffe) into the kitchen to give them a drink, let them eat some food, have them kiss each other or me or daddy. Today she gave one of her dolls a spanking (yes, we spank our child. Don't judge me for my discipline methods and I won't judge you).

*is getting good at putting some puzzles together. She has a Melissa & Doug numbers puzzle that she can put together on her own, as well as an animal puzzle. She's getting good at rotating the pieces to get them to fit in the slots meant for them.

*has watched way too many shows in the last week to ten days. First, Lane got sick. Then daddy got sick. Then I got sick. So between all the sickness, crabbiness, medicines, and bad sleep all around, the television has been on much more than normal. We're working it back down to an hour a day, though.

Playing with her shapes and Noah's Ark animals...carefully placing them in the "hole" in the base of the fan.

*loves dancing, but only with me (ugh...not so fun being 37 weeks pregnant and bouncing a 20-something pound toddler around to music) or daddy. She won't really do it on her own, although she does like to spin in circles and jump, jump, jump. We need to get her enrolled in some kind of physical activity...gymnastics or something. She never. stops. moving.

*knows a few more signs, although I can't think of any besides "tree" right now.

*is obsessed with our Christmas decorations and stockings. She loves the stockings, so they pretty much only stay on the hooks while she's asleep. Once she's up she's slapping her leg (the sign for "dog") for me to get down my dog stocking for her, and then she wants daddy's Aubie stocking and her snowman stocking. She hauls them around the house, putting things in them.

"Helping" hang lights on the tree.

*has started to play better by herself in the last few days. I always feel bad letting her play alone when I could play with her, but the bottom line is that she does need to know how to play by herself. And she has to learn that somehow. And the way for her to learn how to play by herself is for me to let her play by herself. So I'm trying to not feel guilty and to instead enjoy the fact that she's learning something new.

*has given us a rough couple of weeks with regards to sleep. She's fighting naps and bedtime, and waking up way too early most days. We've started putting her to bed earlier because it doesn't seem to matter what time we put her to bed: the battle is always there, and she still wakes up early, whether she goes to bed at 7:00 or at 9:00. So, 7:00 it is, at least until we get things figured out.

Not the best picture, but Lane in her new (big) kitty cat hat. She still prefers last year's hat (I can't believe it still fits her), but she'll let us put this one on her occasionally.

*loves for us to kiss her right between her jawline and her neck. She cracks up laughing so hard when we kiss her there.

*is a good helper at anything we can figure out to let her help with: carrying a plate, pushing her step stool around, putting clothes in the washing machine or dishes in the dishwasher, pouring soap into the washing machine, setting the trash outside the front door, and so on. I've been trying to let her "help" with anything I can think of to let her help with.

*asks for candy first thing in the morning. We give her a chewable vitamin that apparently Shannon has told her is candy. So she's always asking for candy now.

And there you have it. 22 months. I can't believe she'll be two so soon!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kreativ Blogger

About a week ago Barbara over at Footprints in the Sand passed on an award to my blog, the Kreativ Blogger award.

While I'm not exactly sure what the award entails (being creative, maybe?), it's always fun to receive blog awards! (Especially when you've been a horrible blogger in recent days!) So, "thanks!" to Barbara (by the way, Barbara, I can't comment on your hasn't let me in days, maybe weeks)! I'm supposed to list seven random things about myself and pass the award goes.

1) At one point in time I could ride a unicycle. Not very far, but still, I could ride it. Pretty sure that "skill" is gone by now.
2) I don't like picking "favorites" of anything. But if I had to pick a favorite movie, it'd be either The Shawshank Redemption or Big Fish. Or Slumdog Millionaire (see my point?). If I had to pick a favorite food, it'd be something Italian. Pizza. Lasagne. Fettuccine Alfredo. Eggplant Parmesan. Something along those lines...but which specific food...I have no idea.
3) I love to read but rarely have time for it anymore. The last time I read a book for fun was on our vacation back in August/September. I'm (maybe too-optimistacilly) hoping that when this baby arrives in a month or so that I'll get to read a bit on my Kindle while nursing at night. Or while I'm not going to Turkish class. You know, I'll be multitasking like any good mom does!
4) I like my hair better short, but prefer it long. Confused? I think I look better with short hair, but due to the amount of work it requires I prefer to keep it long. All I have to do is blow-dry it and it looks great (well, as far as my hair goes, anyways). When it's short I have to blow-dry and straighten and blow-dry with a specific's just a pain. I have better things to do with that extra 20ish minutes in the morning (like sleep!).
5) I hate green bean casserole. It will never make an appearance on my Christmas or Thanksgiving table, unless it has been brought by somebody else. Disgusting.
6) My dream vacation is to go to Fiji with Shannon for our ten-year anniversary. On the dream list for before then (since we live pretty close) is to go to Egypt. I want to see the pyramids and the Red Sea
7) I changed my major twice in college and still graduated in four years. And I graduated a little over ten years ago. I can still hardly believe it's been that long!

So, there you go. Seven random things about me that most of you probably never cared to know. Ahh, well. It's my blog. =)

I'll pass this award onto Kristel, Amy, and Priscilla. You three girls are truly creative, so I think you should get this award. Congrats!

Friday, November 18, 2011

36 Weeks (second time around)

Alright, peeps, this is going to be quick because it's late and I forgot that I have to make some coleslaw for tomorrow (you know it tastes better if you let it sit overnight!).

Only four weeks to go! Eeek! We have been super busy over the last few weeks trying to get things ready for this bambino's arrival! And, I think...I think we can say that we have accomplished most of what needed to be done:

*Everything in our apartment is functioning, many things better than they were just a couple of weeks ago (light fixtures, hot water heater, leak on the balcony, toilets, etc., etc., etc.).
*Baby clothes are all clean and while they're not put up (I'm honestly not sure where to put them), they are clean and easily accessible.
*We have 140 newborn disposable diapers (yes, we will switch to cloth, but probably not for the first month...I like to get in a routine before I add washing diapers every other day into the mix!), which might last us two weeks if we're lucky.
*We have a baby monitor.
*Our pantry is stocked the best I can do for now, just in case this baby comes early.
*I got new contact lenses and Shannon got new glasses.
*I've made it through 6 of 7 weeks of Turkish class outside my home.

36 weeks. Do I look giddy or what?

I went to the doctor earlier this week and am up to 10 kilos (22 pounds) gained. Baby is weighing (to my doctor's best guess) about 4.5 pounds, or a little over 2 kilos. She's still measuring a bit small, but my doctor isn't worried since I'm not a big (I'm tall but small-boned) person and neither is Shannon. I got some medicine for reflux since I've not been wanting to eat due to feeling like food was lodged in my esophagus. Now, while the medicine is nasty, at least I feel like eating and can lie down to sleep at night! Baby girl is still low, low, low, and my doctor estimates that my labor will last about six hours, beginning to end. Ha. I hope she's right, although I'm not banking on it!

That's that! I'll be back I said, we've actually gotten a lot done in the last 3-4 weeks so now I can relax some. I need to pack my hospital bag, put a towel under my side of the bed (just in case my water breaks at night!), and brush up on breathing techniques and that chapter about birth in What to Expect When You're Expecting. Not too long now!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

21.5 Months Old

Yikes. Almost three weeks ago Lane turned 21 months old. I hadn't been able to do her monthly post because the power cord to my computer was fried, but now that I'm up and running again I figured I'd update, even though we're halfway to 22 months. I tend to forget new things she can do, though, so better now when I still remember!

At 21.5 months old, Lane:

*has had a huge jump in her language abilities! She started saying some new words! "Amen" is the only one she's not consistent on, but the others are regular parts of her speech now. They are:
-okra (guh-GUH)
-broccoli (braKEE!)
-booboo (bobo)
-elmo (moemoe)
-Ava (vuh-vuh)
-Marco (gogo)

When going through a hat fetish a month or so ago...

*has learned almost all of her letter sounds and can identify all letters. When she sees letters anywhere (out and about, on a book, on a calendar, on a kitchen appliance, etc.) she'll start making the sound: "tuh, tuh, tuh!" until we acknowledge her, "Oh, you see a 't'! Good job!" It's amazing to me that she can't say but ten or so words, yet recognizes all letters and knows most of their correct sounds.

*is incredibly stubborn. She has reached the tantrum stage and often pitches full-on tantrums, throwing herself on the ground and kicking and screaming. It's frustrating.

Onto a shoe/boot fetish in October...

*knows more signs this month:
*dog, cat, friend, sorry, clean, bath, hurt, excited, feeling, grumpy, cereal, hot, cold, wet, stars, sad, cry, boy, girl, hat (signs she uses regularly)
*wind, rain, scared, boots (signs I've seen her do but not regularly)

*can do a somersault. She doesn't always make it completely forwards, but she does a lot of the time.

Her first time finger-painting.

*has 16 teeth. Her last tooth (other than her 2-year molars) popped through about a week ago.

*often points to my belly and signs "girl" and "baby" and will kiss my belly.

Lane helped Auburn to a victory by wearing her Fighting Okra shirt. This was also the day she learned how to say "okra."

*is getting better at actually brushing her teeth, as opposed to just sucking/chewing on the toothbrush.

*loves, loves, loves her daddy. She prefers to play with him over me.

And who wouldn't love daddy when he'll climb in the princess tent with you? (My belly is too big to get down that low!)

*is still picky about food. Some days she'll scarf food down and the next day she'll shun the
same thing. She still loves broccoli, bananas, rice, and pasta without fail, though.

Check out the concentration to eat (or play with) spaghetti!

*will not leave her socks on no matter what these days. After her fascination with them a couple of months ago, she now almost always immediately rips them off.

She's getting better at making intentional marks with crayons or markers.

*gets super excited when we let her watch Baby MacDonald. She bounces up and down and says "moo, moo" over and over again.

Finally, enough hair for some real ponytails! Playing with her fridge farm and magnetic animals.

*has corrected some of her animal sounds, so now says "baa baa" for sheep, "duhduh" for duck (she can't quite make the "qu" sound yet in "quack quack" and it sounds like "duhduh"). She still has the cutest "meow" on the planet.

*has learned how to lock doors (the kind with the push-button) and how to open door knobs. It's a good thing she's learned how to do them at about the same time since she's locked herself in a room a time or two!

Happy girl, playing on "the big bed" with mommy and daddy.

*hates to get her hair washed.

*is wearing mostly 24-month clothes, although some of her pants are still way too big, even when in a cloth diaper. She can still fit in a lot of her 18-month clothes, although some of the sleeves or legs are getting too short.

Snoozing soundly at nap time.

I'm sure there are more that I'm forgetting, but this will have to do for now. I'll be back in just a couple of weeks with her 22-month post. Eeek!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

34 Weeks (second time around)

I've been trying to get a good 34-week belly picture since Friday but to no avail. Here's the best (blurry) photo we could conjure up:

Friday was 34 weeks. I can't even believe that we're going to have another baby in, oh, a month and a half or so. Yikes!

The past couple of weeks have been very good for us as far as getting-things-done goes. We (finally) got a potty for Lane and a baby monitor (we haven't needed one until now because our apartments have been so small, but in this new apartment our bedroom [and where the baby will be] is so far away from Lane's room and the front of the apartment that we really can't hear crying very well if fans or noisemakers are going). All newborn clothes have been sorted and while they're not unpacked (since I'm not really sure where to put them), they are clean and easily accessible.

In the past two weeks we've gotten a light in our kitchen fixed, two lights in our living room/dining room fixed, and six light fixtures hung. Our toilet no longer squeaks when it's filling with water. Our balcony shouldn't leak anymore. An outlet that had come out from the wall has been reattached. We now have a rod in our entryway wardrobe so people can hang coats up when they come in. We got an end table to go between our couches and hold our telephone. We've gotten some baskets to organize hair bows, clips, spices, napkins, q-tips, and so on. I think the only thing left on our "to do" list as far as apartment things go is to get some blinds (which we already purchased) hung in our kitchen. It's a major load off of my back to know that these things have been purchased and that most of them are finished. Hopefully by Thanksgiving all of the loose ends will be tied up and I can spend time preparing for Christmas and Lane's birthday. It is a wonderful feeling to get things done that have been hanging over your head for months!

As far as pregnancy goes, I feel fine. I have a bit of heartburn at bedtime if I eat anything after dinner, so I'm usually choosing to be a little hungry before bed so that I can sleep...otherwise it's a bit painful to lie down, even with extra pillows. My legs/feet aren't hurting nearly as much as they did not too long ago, so I think that maybe I've finally developed some extra muscle in my legs to carry my belly around. My maternity pants are still sagging, which drives me crazy. Most days I feel pretty normal and capable of life, but some days I feel like this baby is so low that I can barely walk. I'm getting even slower at getting around this great big city.

Anyhow, that's what's up in the Scarbrough household at 34 weeks, 2 days pregnant with kiddo #2. We're doing well, just trying to get things taken care of ASAP so that we're not caught totally off-guard if this baby comes early. I miss blogging more regularly, but...I think it'll have been worth it once Baby Girl comes and I'm not stressed out trying to get things in our apartment fixed, since they'll already be taken care of!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I'm Back!

A couple of weeks ago my computer's power cord decided to start acting up, and last Friday (12 days ago) it completely quit on me. So I've been at the mercy of a friend to charge my computer a couple of times in the last 12 days so that I could check my email, but...of course I couldn't do any blogging (at least not with photos!). So, here I am. First up on the backlog is...


I know how much some of you love reading about what we get in our packages, so here are a couple that we received over the last week from my mom. The first one was sent in August at the same time as another package, but we never received this one. After a lot of phone calls, a visit to customs, and a visit to the local cargo post office, I finally managed to pick up this package, which had been sitting there just waiting on me for over a month. Why they didn't try to deliver it is beyond me. At any rate, we're so excited that it made it! Only three missing packages now!

A Little People Noah's Ark with lots of animals, a stuffed cat, peanut butter M&M's (the rest of Shannon's birthday present!), a couple of dresses, a hat, and a skirt for Lane, an alligator towel, and newborn clothes, shoes, and socks for New Baby Girl.

As some of you might recall, the last family whose apartment we lived in had a Noah's Ark that Lane loved. So the search began for one. My mom found one on ebay (maybe? I don't remember exactly) since this pictured Noah's Ark is much better than the currently-in-production Noah's Ark. Lane has already been playing a ton with it. And more newborn clothes will be great since I was pretty sure we had enough, but still might have to do laundry every day since we don't have a clothes dryer! These will give us a bit more grace in the laundry department, although if this baby's feet are as big as Lane's were...none of the socks will have a chance of fitting!

Check out that grin!

Lane loves the stuffed cat, too. She hauls it around with her, saying "me-oooowwww" and running to find it when she's left it somewhere. It's her new bedtime buddy, too.

And my mom sent another, smaller package with some winter stuff in it for Lane, which, strangely enough, made it here in about ten days while the first package took 2 1/2 months. Gotta love Turkey's postal system!

A winter coat, a hat and gloves, incredibly cute leggings/footless tights, and some shoes in the next size up (7).

It's not quite cold enough for the coat or hat and gloves yet, but let me tell you, Lane is a cutie pie in that cat hat. I can't wait to get a photo. And I can't wait to get those leggings on her, either...the giraffe on the butt is just too cute!

So...thanks, mom, for the loot for Lane and New Baby Girl! We're so glad everything made it to us (finally)!!!

***Up next, Lane's 21-month post!***

Friday, October 21, 2011

32 Weeks (second time around)

32 weeks today!

Yikes, only eight more weeks to go! I went to the doctor yesterday and all is well on the baby front. She should be weighing about 3.5 pounds by now. She's head-down and quite low. She's so low, in fact, that my doctor wanted to check and make sure I wasn't dilated and in danger of preterm labor (I'm not [dilated, that is]). I gained another kilo in the last four weeks which puts me up to 17 pounds (8 kilos) gained. I'm three pounds behind what I had gained with Lane at 32 weeks, which might explain why my maternity pants are still falling down. It's quite annoying, because they fit great with Lane. Regular pants are too tight to be comfortable (although amazingly I can still get them on and buttoned), maternity pants are too baggy. I look like a frump. Thank goodness my friend Diana loaned me some of her maternity tops this past week so now I have more than four shirts to choose from!

I'm feeling well, just tired. My doctor wants me to try to not walk more than 30 minutes each day and to take it easy, and although she didn't put me on official bed rest, I think she thinks that Baby Girl shouldn't be quite so low so early. I'm already waddling and going to the bathroom, oh, a million times a day (or at least every hour). Ahh, well. It just confirms what I've thought all along, which is that I feel further along than I ever did with Lane, and that this one might come a bit early. We shall see, though. I wouldn't be surprised if we end up with a 2012 baby, either, since Lane was so late.

Baby girl is quite the squirmy little thing, and I often feel her feet in my ribs on my right side. I also feel either knees or fists rolling around sometimes, and it's still the weirdest feeling. I am still enjoying being pregnant overall, even though I'm getting more uncomfortable. I'm trying to remind myself that it'll all be over in about two months, which is just insane. We'll have another little person to take care of and to love. I'm just trying to enjoy these last weeks of being a family of three, of being able to give Lane lots of attention, and of getting to sleep all night! Life will change soon enough...I'm trying not to wish this pregnancy away but instead to savor it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Menu Plan (almost) Monday

It's official: fall is here. The weather has turned rainy and chilly. We turned our heaters on (yes, we are very fortunate to have control of our own radiators in this new apartment!) yesterday after some clothes had been hanging up for almost 48 hours but still weren't dry. It's been raining, or at least drizzling, for about a week straight. And we're swamped with busyness. I can't believe my due date is two months from today...we have way too much to do before this baby comes!

I've been trying to get better at planning our menus for a month at a time in preparation for when the new baby comes. It's a little bit more effort, but it's quite nice in the long run. I spend 2-3 hours coming up with a menu and a nonperishables-grocery-list at the beginning of the month (or, actually in our case I do it in the middle of the month when Shannon gets paid). I try to make one big shopping trip to stock up on everything we'll need for the month that won't spoil. And then each week I can decide what we'll eat from my monthly menu and buy produce accordingly.

This month I'm trying something new. We usually eat leftovers for lunch, since Lane isn't really into the sandwich thing, and I'm not big on processed meats. I made a huge pot of minestrone soup on Wednesday for dinner that we're still finishing up (and that's after I put about two meals' worth in the freezer) and I thought that it would be nice to try making one big pot of soup at the beginning of the week to eat for lunch every day. It'll cut down on the amount of meals I have to cook (only 22 or so instead of 30 or so) over the course of the month. And it will save me time as well, since it'll just involve an extra 15-20 minutes of work when I make the soup as opposed to the time spent to make an extra three meals that week. We don't mind eating the same thing every day, as long as we get some variety for one of our meals! And if I'm making a soup with meat in it, I'll just freeze half of it and pull it out mid-week.

So, without further ado, here's what we're eating this month:

Soups (for lunches):
Tomato with grilled cheese

Baked potatoes with broccoli
Pizza (x4)

Spaghetti with salad or broccoli
Whole chicken with potatoes and a veggie (x3)
Enchiladas with Mexican rice

I'll also be making some homemade chicken broth, chai shortbread, pumpkin bars, pumpkin french toast, and hopefully an apple crumble or two. I'll get recipes up for you as soon as I can. I'm trying a lot of new recipes this month since I'm getting tired of some of our old staples. I also have a crockpot again, so I'm trying to utilize it at least twice a week. Tonight I made the whole chicken in the crock pot and it was quite easy and tasty...I will be doing it again.

What are you eating this month (or week) for dinner? Anything I should add to my repertoire?

Friday, October 7, 2011

30 Weeks (second time around)

Today marks 3/4 through! I can't believe we're going to have a baby in ten(ish) weeks!

Anyways, since I'm such a bad (ahem, busy) blogger these days and only get around to one post a week, I thought I'd celebrate being 3/4 of the way there by giving you a week in photos. Don't worry, this won't be photo least not too much so.

My week started with a trip out to an outlet mall in search of a few things for our apartment. (I still plan on posting pictures of our apartment, but I've been waiting until it's "finished." Big purchases have to happen over time, so it'll be at least another month on the grand finale for you all.) Anyhow, on Sunday a friend and I hauled our toddlers to an outlet mall. She needed pants for her kiddo, I needed some things for the apartment. I only got a couple of things, but you can only haul so much back when you have to take two buses and haul a toddler and a stroller with you!

Our new entryway mat. I'm hoping it cuts down on the amount of mopping I have to do!

Last week my friend Kecia posted on facebook about her apple pancakes with cider syrup. We eat pancakes every Saturday, and I'm always on the lookout for new recipes, so I requested hers. I made a few modifications when I made them for the second time. And Kecia, the originals were great, but I have to say...try them my way. They're even yummier. =)

Yum. Click here for my (revised) recipe.

On Tuesday, Shannon's Russian teacher stayed and cooked us all dinner. She lives about two hours away and wanted to have us all over to her place one night, but we all knew it was just never going to happen. So we proposed she cook here one day after class, and that's just what she did! Four hours of cooking (and tons of dishes) later, we sat down to some traditional Uzbek dumplings and pilaf. It was fantastic, although I have to say that I'm glad we eat more vegetables in our normal food!

Uzbek plov (pilaf) and samsas (dumplings). Mmm.

I started a Turkish class at a local language school, so I'll be going to class three days a week for four hours a day. We decided that if I was ever going to take an actual class it was now or never. My class is seven weeks long, so we should finish right around Thanksgiving. Hopefully I'll learn a bit of new grammar that my conversation partner hasn't been able to explain to me.

With my new class comes lots of homework!

I love baked potatoes. But I only like them either a) loaded with butter, cheese, salt, and pepper, or b) with a bit of the butter, cheese, salt, and pepper, and a ton of broccoli. You can't find broccoli here in the summer, so we don't eat many baked potatoes in the summer. But now that broccoli is back in season (and less than $1 a pound, even!), we're eating bakers about once a week. And I love them, because it's one of the easiest meals I can prepare. They're healthy. And Lane loves them.

Huge baked potatoes topped with steamed broccoli, cheese, and a bit of butter, salt, and pepper. Full of potassium, vitamins A and C, calcium, fiber, and iron.

Since autumn officially arrived Shannon has been complaining that the world is cold. It's absolutely hilarious to me, since it's still in the 60's at the coldest part of the day. I love it. At any rate, we changed out our wardrobes this week, putting up shorts, tank tops, and short-sleeved shirts, and pulling out our sweaters, fleece pajama pants, and fuzzy socks. And we took the quilt off our bed and pulled out the down comforter. Now the world is warm again, at least when we're sleeping.

There's nothing like a poofy down comforter and fresh flowers on the nightstand to make you want to crawl into bed!

Last week we went to the emniyet to start the process to renew our ikamets (residence permits). Thursday we trekked back to the emniyet to pick them up. Praise the Lord, this process was about a gillion times easier than last year. And a whole lot cheaper too. We got two-year permits for the three of us for less than one of us cost last year.

Renewed! And we don't have to go back for two whole years! (Well, except to get New Baby Girl's sometime in the late winter/early spring.)

After I discovered last week that Lane is a pretty good (and enthusiastic) helper in the kitchen, I've started letting her help with anything I can. She puts vegetables in pots for me, raisins or nuts in cookie dough, spoonfuls of spices or cupfuls of flour into mixing bowls. She's a great helper, and loves it.

Helping me put broccoli in a pot. (Love the winter hat she's wearing. It's hilarious, but she insisted. Gotta love toddlers and their strong wills!)

Today I came home from class to find that Shannon had bought me roses. Miniature ones. Orange. I love them. And I love him.

I love fresh flowers.

And finally, today's belly picture. 30 weeks. I'm feeling just fine, overall. It's starting to get uncomfortable to lay on my back or to sit in one position for too long. My maternity pants are still too big if I'm walking around...I have to wear a belt to hold them up, which absolutely cracks me up. My legs kill me if I do too much walking (or if I just do too much, period), but if I take it easy for a day or two and soak in really hot water, I can get to feeling pretty normal. One thing is for sure...I only have 10ish weeks left!

30 weeks today. I feel ginormous.