Saturday, April 30, 2011

G is Grrrreat!

I must admit that I was not inspired by the letter G. I had to resort to looking online for some ideas. Even my husband made some suggestions when I was stumped, which turned out to be good ones (Goldfish and Grandma).

We started with our usual big letter alphabet project. Spenc was not interested in this project at all. He was distracted by the multicolor Goldfish treats. He glued one fish onto the G, and then kept saying no every time I prodded for more help. Needless to say, he munched on Goldfish while I finished his project.

The next project was my absolute favorite. It's the kind of project that keeps on giving. We planted Grass!! I found this neat idea online to make Plant Pals. I prepped the clear plastic cups the night before by gluing on faces. Then Spenc and I planted the grass seeds the next day. Once the grass grows, it will be the hair of the Plant Pals. Spenc very much enjoyed this project. His favorite part was watering the plants at the end. Ideally we would have done this outside, but the weather just wasn't cooperating. We didn't end up making too big of a mess, though. I'm excited to watch the "hair" grow on our Plant Pals. We'll see if Spencer grasps the concept once the grass starts growing.


Our next project was all about Grandmas. Spencer painted on a few pieces of white paper. That night I cut out flowers from the painted paper and glued pictures of Spencer's face in the center of the flowers. I added those to a piece of card stock and made a card for both of his grandmas. I used the leftover flowers to make some for our house.


On the pregnancy front, my baby now measures about 4 inches long and weighs about 2 1/2 inches, which is about the size of an apple. I am very bummed that our prenatal appointment for this week was rescheduled to next week. I was really looking forward to hearing the little heart beat. Since I am in the second trimester now and am not really having anymore pregnancy symptoms, I really don't feel very pregnant. I have a little rounder tummy, but it's not too very noticeable. I'm excited to start feeling the baby moving inside of me soon!!!  

Here is a video of one of Spencer's favorite past times:





Friday, April 22, 2011

E is for Easter



This week was all about the letter E, specifically Easter. We read from Spencer's Children's Bible everyday, learning about Jesus and how he died for us.


We started the letter project by crushing Egg shells onto the glue on a big E made out of card stock. Once the glue was dry, Spencer painted it.


We also used the Egg shells for another project: an Egg made out of card stock. He had painted the remaining Egg shells and then crushed those onto the card stock Egg, which he had first painted.


He seemed to like the projects, but would get mad when the egg shells stuck to his fingers.


We also made a trip to the mall to visit the Easter Bunny. Spencer liked him a lot from the safety of his stroller. He waved and smiled and pointed at him. But the minute he was out of the stroller and I mentioned getting his picture taken, he changed his mind about the big, furry creature. He wrapped his little arms tight around my neck and his little legs tight around my waist. He didn't want anything to do with the Easter Bunny! Take a look at the difference between last year and this year:


This furry thing ain't so bad....

Get me outta here!!!
Spencer and I also made Easter cookies. He really liked the rolling pin, but didn't have patience for the cookie cutters. He especially liked eating the cookies!!


The final thing we did was go on an Easter Egg Hunt, which he LOVED. We did it a few times before he grew tired of it. I video recorded it, but I can't get the video to upload for some reason.

On the pregnancy front, my baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee and maybe even suck his/her thumb. The baby measures 3 1/2 inches, about the size of a lemon, and weighs 1 1/2 ounces. I am officially in the second trimester!! Woo hoo!! Let's do a celebratory happy dance for this milestone!! My next doctor appointment is on Tuesday, and I am so very excited to hear the baby's heartbeat!! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

F is for Fun!!

This week we skipped over E and focused on F. We will go back to E next week. I wanted to save it for Easter week. I have been very excited to do the letter F for a while. I have to give credit to another mommy for a lot of the ideas from this week and other other weeks. Thanks, Autumn!!

We started by using a Feather to paint a large letter F. Then since Dave was home and the paints were out, we went ahead and did our Family Footprint Portrait. We painted our feet blue and then pressed them onto a piece of poster board. Once the new baby comes, we'll do it again for a more up-to-date picture.








Later in the week we made Friendship Flowers for Spencer's two best buddies, Briella and Jackson. This entailed gluing muffin cups onto construction paper and drawing the stems. Spencer colored on the manila envelopes before we stuffed the pictures inside and delivered them to their mailboxes.















We also tried playing a game of Follow the Leader, but after jumping and spinning and walking sideways, Spencer grew tired of the game.

Our last F activity was to document Spencer's Fingerprints. The only issue with this is he absolutely hates icky substances on his hands, so this was challenging and it didn't turn out the way I envisioned.

Ironically enough, the baby germinating in the Mommy Hotel has formed his/her Fingerprints now--right on schedule, apparently--and he/she is the size of a medium shrimp (3 inches).

Also this week, Spencer got a Big Boy Haircut. He has had a handful of haircuts already, but I've been hesitant to age him by getting his hair cut super short. He looks so old now!!! Even people at his school said they wouldn't have recognized him if I hadn't been with him. I thought it was easier to cut it short and not have to put Spencer through the torture of another haircut anytime soon. He absolutely hates haircuts!! He cries and screams and tries to crawl out of the chair.
Before

After

Here is a video to enjoy of David trying to get Spencer to jump like a bunny. He hasn't quite mastered lifting his feet off the ground when he jumps yet.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Growth

I started taking Spencer's picture every month with the same teddy bear on the same chair when he was 7 weeks old to measure his growth. Since he is now 20 months old, I took his picture with the teddy bear again today. I thought I'd show some of his growth pictures over the last 20 months.
7 weeks

8 months

12 months

17 months

20 months



Spencer really doesn't have the patience to sit and pose with the teddy bear, so I'm lucky to get a good shot. With the next baby, I've decided I need to use a bigger object to show his growth since this bear proved to be too small too quickly.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

D is for...

This week when we did our brainstorming list of Ds, we had to make two columns!! There were a lot of possibilities for the letter D. Unfortunately, we did not get to do them all. We started by putting stickers of Disney Dogs and Ducks on a big letter D. Spencer has a love/hate relationship with stickers. He's fascinated by their stickiness, but hates that he can't get them unstuck from his fingers.

We also Decorated for Easter. This took all of 5 minutes because I realized we do not have a lot of Easter decorations. Spencer did seem to think the plastic eggs were balls, and we all know how good an arm he has!! Needless to say, I chased quite a few eggs around the living room before I put them out of reach.

Our next activity was centered around picking up Ds I had cut from magazines and picking them up with a Dump truck. Spencer loves trucks, but this particular game did not hold his attention for much more than 5 minutes either.



His most favorite D activity was Drawing on the window!! He got window markers for Christmas, but we never actually used them until this week. I decided we'd do a test run outside since I didn't want to find creative ways of getting marker off my hardwood floor. He loved it!!



The rest of our D activities were interrupted by the nice weather and my icky tummy on Thursday. My husband informed me that I do not get sick days, yet he still was a sweetheart and came home a few hours early to relieve me anyway. Here are a few pictures of us enjoying the nice April weather....




By the way, my baby is now 20 months old!!! Here is a video of his most recent fascination:


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nanna Bread!!

Spenc helped me make banana bread and muffins this morning. I strapped on his daddy's apron (the only apron in the whole house) and propped him up on a dining room chair. We created a huge mess and the end result of the banana bread is slightly not right, but it was fun! Spencer's favorite part was not mashing the bananas like I thought (he was downright scared by the thawed bananas that were once frozen), but he thoroughly enjoyed washing the dishes. So not only was there flour all over my kitchen floor, but it was a goopy, sudsy mess, too.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Letter C

I feel like we are finally getting a routine established and I can honestly say that I do love staying home w/ my baby. It got off to a bumpy start (mostly because I was preoccupied and a bit stressed about the pregnancy issues), but now I feel we are on the right track. Before I slept until my Spencer-alarm woke me up. Now I'm setting an alarm, so I can have a little "Angie-time" before he wakes up. I set the alarm for 6:30 this morning, but that just isn't early enough apparently. Tomorrow I'll set it for 6:00. This is still sleeping in for me since I woke up at 5:15 am when I was working. Here is how our weeks go:

Monday mornings we go grocery shopping. I love, love, love Hy-vee at 8:00 am!!! There are no congested aisles or long lines at the registers. We're in and out within a half an hour! Monday afternoons we do some sort of project/activity. Monday nights we go to Evening Song, which is a parent/toddler class where we sing and dance.

Tuesday mornings we go to story time at the library and check-out a bunch of books to last us through the week. The afternoons are filled w/ projects and activities.

Wednesday mornings are usually pretty lazy since we don't need to get moving early. Wednesday afternoons we go to an ECFE-led drop-in playgroup at the elementary school, depending on what time Spenc wakes from his nap. (Who plans toddler activities from 1:00-3:00 in the afternoon?!)

Thursday mornings are usually dedicated to running errands. Thursday nights we have an ECFE class. During this class the parents and kids separate after free play and circle time, which was an issue w/ Spencer at first. Now he doesn't even seem to notice when I leave. He loves it!

Friday mornings we have another ECFE class. This one is targeted specifically for 12-24 month olds, so we do not separate. Spenc does a lot of art projects that adorn our kitchen closet door for weeks. We do circle time (which Spenc thinks is his spotlight time, where he'll dance around in the middle of the circle, hamming it up, instead of sitting nicely on Mommy's lap like he's supposed to) and sing songs. But his favorite part--which he is too antsy to sit through snack time anymore--is the gym! Friday afternoons are up in the air since David has Fridays off. Sometimes we have plans with him, depending on whether he has an appointment at the Minneapolis VA.

Last week was all about the letter C. We started the week off by making a list of all the C things we could think of (OK, so I brainstormed while Spenc colored all over the page). This list is what we based our projects and activities around for the week.

We decorated two large Cs. The first one Spenc glued on Cs I had cut out of magazines.


For the second C, I put down dots of Elmers glue and Spencer Cheerios on top.

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Miracle Baby

I think it's finally safe to announce our happy news to the world: We're having another baby!!! I am 11 weeks pregnant and am due on October 21st.

It hasn't been the easiest or happiest pregnancy thus far. It's been complicated, to say the least, very stressful and worrisome. On February 22nd (I will always remember the day!) I was at work when I started bleeding. A LOT!! My boss drove me to the ER, where my husband met me. After a million questions, some lab work, a physical exam and an ultrasound, I was told I had miscarried. If any of you have had the misfortune of experiencing a miscarriage, you definitely know the devastation and wide range of emotions I was feeling. It has to be one of the lowest points in my life. I mourned and grieved a child I had only knew existed for 2 short weeks.

Then a week later I had a routine follow-up appointment with my OBGYN. To my shock and amazement, he found a heartbeat during an ultrasound!!! As soon as I saw that little black and white thing beating on the screen, I completely lost it. My husband hadn't come with me that day, so I was alone. I was a sobbing mess. I just kept thinking that my baby is alive!!! I barely heard a thing the doctor was explaining to me, but I have learned that a hematoma or a hemorrhage caused the bleeding. Weeks later is has decreased in size and is like a bruise or a scab. My doctor explained that when I deliver the afterbirth they will probably find this gross discolored thing that caused such a ruckus in my household. The ER team misdiagnosed me w/ a miscarriage because the dates of my last period would have put me at 6 weeks at the time of the bleeding. At 6 weeks there should be a heart beat. All they saw on the ultrasound was the yolk sak, but no fetus or heart beat. It has since been determined that at the time of the bleeding I was only 5 weeks along, so a heart beat would be hard to detect.

Here is the ultrasound from the doctor appointment where I found out my baby is alive after all. He/she is just this itty bitty blob with no defining features yet. Imagine that blob beating when you thought it had gone to heaven! I am 6 weeks pregnant here.


My doctor then set up a radiology appointment for 10 days later. Those 10 days were the most stressful and nerve-wracking days I have experienced in my life. My doctor had given the pregnancy a 50/50% survival rate at that point. I was given strict instructions on what I could and couldn't do. I was paranoid about every little thing and so scared that I would lose the baby for real. I made my husband come with to the radiology appointment this time so he could ask a bunch of questions. Tears streamed down my face as I again saw my baby's heart beating.

Here is the picture from that ultrasound. I am 8 weeks pregnant here.


This ultrasound showed the hematoma had shrunk significantly, and they had declared the pregnancy normal and healthy. I could finally set up my prenatal appointments.

It was weird meeting with the nurse in what should have been my first appointment for this pregnancy to go over our family medical history, but it was also very humbling because I knew it was a good step in the right direction. My baby is fine. Yesterday we met with my doctor for our first prenatal appointment. Dave and Spencer came, but Spencer did not like the doctor examining Mommy!! He cried and would not stop until finally Dave had to step out into the hall with him. The doctor could only faintly detect the heart beat with the doppler, so he did another ultrasound. This marks ultrasound #4 for this pregnancy!

The baby looks like a baby!! There's a head and some arms! I am 11 weeks here.


As I lie on the table waiting for the doctor to find the heart beat, I got nervous and I kept silently praying, "Please let my baby be ok, please let my baby be ok." I guess it is hard to let go of the paranoia after thinking I'd lost the baby. It was so good to see the heart beating and watch the baby moving around on the screen. Dave and I kept pointing out the baby to Spencer, but he'd just point at the screen and shout, "baball!!!" He thinks everything on TV is basketball.

After all of this, I feel like I can finally breathe a little easier and enjoy the pregnancy. Celebrate the new life Dave and I are bringing into our family. I'm scared still, I won't lie, but I think I'll continue to be a little scared until I can hold the baby in my arms. Life is so precious and so tenuous. I think I'm having a boy; Dave thinks the baby is a girl. Time will tell, time I'm grateful to have.