Friday, February 29, 2008

Do Butterflies Have Butts?

(I overheard Analese asking Greg this so seriously as he was helping her get ready for bed. It definitely made our night!)

Sorry it has taken me so long to post this week. All of my late studying and sleepless nights are catching up with me, and I had to take a break. I took a few days off of all things computer-related, which definitely helped me get over the feelings of burn-out that were starting to emerge. (Which is a good thing, since I just spent the weekend back on the computer, studying away!)

But I am starting to realize that I just cannot keep going on at this pace, especially as the pregnancy progresses. My workload has been especially tough, and I have to try and figure out a way to achieve my goals without completely killing myself. That is my goal over the next few weeks, and I really hope to find a solution soon. Any "free-time" I have goes to studying, and yet I feel like I just keep slipping further behind.

I feel like my whole life is falling behind, if that makes any sense.

So, anyway, my doctor's appointment went well. I knew I had gained weight this month, but was shocked to learn that I had gained SEVEN pounds! Yikes. I am not one to really worry about my weight, as I have always been underweight my whole life. But the seven pounds does bother me. I think it has more to do with me being stressed and not being able to exercise as much as I normally would. It makes me feel very frumpy, and I cannot wait for better weather so the girls and I can go walking on the trails and hiking through the woods. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it!
I also learned that I tested positive again for the Group B Strep Infection. I was negative with Analese and positive with Mara, requiring me to have antibiotics during labor. They usually do not test you until the end of your pregnancy, but I thought I had a UTI last month and was tested. My doctor told me that I would need to have meds again at this labor, but I further researched this and saw that there is a chance I will test negative later on. Let's hope this is the case! I hate the thought of exposing my baby to antibiotics right away, and wonder if this could have contributed to all of Mara's digestive issues, since it wiped out all of her good flora (but then I also have lots of different theories as to why Mara has so many food issues!)

My appointment was scheduled at 2:15, right when the girls were due for a nap. Never again. They made it through most of the appointment OK, just a few tears from Analese. Then afterwards, out in the waiting room, meltdowns began. I had to schedule my next appointment, and Analese started demanding something out of my bag....foot stomping and everything! Things like that do not embarrass me-it gave those waiting some entertainment :) The receptionists thought it was hysterical, especially when she hissed " I DON"T LIKE YOU TALKING TO PEOPLE!"

Our next appointment will be first thing in the morning.

We then had our ultrasound the next day. The girls were so excited. Our technician was new, so we unfortunately ended up being there for over an hour. One hour in a small, dark room was a bit too much for them, but they entertained themselves very nicely. At first I tried hard to just concentrate on the screen, to focus on this little one dancing around wildly. But the giggles next to me kept pulling me in, and my focus was diverted many times to my silly monkeys tickling each other's toes. It's funny, at first I felt bad about this, like I was once again putting this baby to the side. I think that is my biggest fear with adding number three into our family....that someone is going to get slighted. I worry about what kind of mother I will be....will I still be able to focus on each child and give them the attention they need and deserve? My biggest fear is that I will fail, because if I fail, I will have failed them. That is just so scary to me.

There has been a lot floating around in my head lately, and I think I really just needed to take some time and figure out what exactly I am fearing. I am so excited to meet this baby, there are no fears about that. I think it comes down to balancing it all, and being successful at it. This has been on my mind a lot lately, but this week also helped me see things a bit more clearly. I have been so worried that I just would not have time to give everyone the one-on-one they need. But then, I started to pick up the simple moments happening throughout our week. Like the time Mara and I sat and waited for the washing machine to complete its cycle. It supposedly had "one minute"left, yet we probably sat in front of it for almost 10. We giggled each time it slowed down, only to begin spinning once again. She sat in my lap, and we cuddled on the floor of our laundry room. A perfect moment.

And the time Analese and I sat whispering to each other in her room while Mara was asleep. She couldn't sleep and wanted me to rub her head...and then kept remembering that she had to tell me something.
These are the moments that remind me that it will be OK. We'll find our time, I have to trust that.

And last but not least, here is the latest shot of our baby! This little one was moving throughout the entire ultrasound, so she had a difficult time getting photos.

It amazes me just how much I can see Mara right here. I wanted to find Analese and Mara's ultrasound photos to compare, but I'll have to save that for another post!

I have two awards to acknowledge and give away-hopefully I will get to that tomorrow.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Little Sunshine

One of those nights = one of those mornings.

After going to bed around 1 this morning, the girls took turns waking up at 2, 3 and 5. Mara ended up in our bed around 6, and Analese was up for the day at 6:30.

I feel exhausted and completely drained.

I drag myself out of bed, slowly pealing Mara's little arms off my arm. Thankfully she rolls over and continues her snooze. Most days I am not so lucky!

Fortunately for me, Analese is also a slow riser. Just like her mama. She snuggles with me on the couch as she watches a show and drinks her milk. I sip on my smoothie, praying for some energy and dreading the fact that this down-time will not last for much longer.

Just as I had expected, yells from the other room let me know its over. As I go into my bedroom, I am greeted by my youngest, eyes still sleepy and fighting to stay open. As I climb into bed, she pops her paci out of her mouth and begins trying to tell me something-hands flaring and animated. Oh, how I wish I knew what she was trying to say (and for just an ounce of that energy!) Perhaps she is telling me about a dream she had, or her plans for the day....

Sister climbs into bed, and Mara greets her as she does every morning-with a loud "HI!" and a cheerful wave. Such excitement! It never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Mara is pure sunshine. Every morning. She wakes up smiling and happy. Always. This is no slow riser, as she is ready for an adventure the very second her eyes begin to focus.

Oh, she'll come and sit on the couch with us sleepyheads. She snuggles long enough to guzzle down her hemp milk, and then she is off. This morning, Analese and I laughed as we listened to our Mara in her bedroom sing at the top of her lungs to the music in her cd player.

Ten minutes later, the television is turned off and the dress-up bin is out. I no longer have two little girls, a princess and a butterfly have emerged and begin to dance.

As I started breakfast, I thought about how tired I was just an hour I sat there, dreading the start of the day.

Thank goodness for my little sunshine. Knows just how to motivate, and knows just how to put things into perspective.

It's going to be a great day :)

I'll try and post later about my doctor's appointment and ultrasound!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday and some changes

I hope everyone had a good weekend! Did you do anything exciting? I spent the weekend as I have spent most weekends...studying. This semester is really killing me with the enormous workload, but knowing it is half over already puts a smile on my face! I am not going to attempt summer classes with the babe coming, so after May 3rd my brain will get a break until September.

On Saturday we took a drive to bring bunny to her new home. I was surprised and relieved that we were able to bring her so quickly. The bunny rescue gave me contact information for a foster family an hour away, and he thankfully got back in touch with me quickly and was very willing to help us. They were a very nice couple, and they told us stories of some other bunnies they had rescued, and some that they were trying to rescue. He was surprised at how tame our little bunny was, and thought she was just as sweet as we did :) She really was, and if we could have, I would have easily kept her. Having raised two rabbits, I know all the work they require and we just do not have the time or space right now.
The girls were OK with everything until it was time to leave. As we were walking back to the car, Mara burst out crying (which in turn set Analese off as well) She kept yelling "bunny back!" over and over again. It was definitely hard for her to understand, at least with Analese we could reason with and explain why we weren't keeping her. I just kept telling Mara how happy our bunny is going to be with 4 other bunnys to play with.

I had mentioned before that we have had some changes occur in our household. I have to admit to being very stressed out lately-stressed with schoolwork, house stuff, and all of the projects that we must do before baby #3 comes. It's all been overwhelming to me. I think the biggest stressor has been the lack of sleep, since I have been up studying until 12-1 every night and then getting up with the girls around 7-7:30. Add the fact that my back has been bothering me at night so the sleep I have been getting hasn't been very, uh, restful.

So one day I decided that things had to change. For all of us. One such change occurred last weekend, when we moved Mara into Analese's room. We have always wanted the girls to share a room, as I believe that it teaches a certain level of cooperation that is important for both girls to learn. Analese has been all about "mine!" lately.."my room", "my toys", etc. etc. and while I know it is age-related, I also wanted to change this.

I was also hoping this will help Mara as well, as she still needs someone with her to fall asleep, and she does so much better sleeping with us. We then plan to turn Mara's old room into their playroom-bringing the playroom from downstairs upstairs. This will allow us to use their old playroom to store furniture and such while we renovate the downstairs. I really hope that Greg is able to start on that soon...he seems to be dragging his feet a bit, but work has also been stressful for him during the week.

Anyway-the move has been so much better then I could have expected. The girls were excited about it, as we kept stressing that we thought they were now old enough to share a room together. Analese was quick to point out how she gets to share a room just like "Mommy and Daddy do".
Here are some pics of the big move:

I still have to do a few more things to finish the room-and the playroom, so I'll post some pictures when I am finished! They are cozy, but haven't seemed to mind (especially with their playroom being just next door).

It's funny, but they have actually been playing so much better these days. Much of it is the age-as Mara is getting older and can participate more in Analese's imaginative play.
The only adjustment we all have had to make is with sleep, as one will frequently wake the other one up. Analese needs a night light and Mara needs complete darkness. So that has been a challenge! But we worked on darkening Mara's side and as much as we could and hopefully she'll adjust. Also-Mara still wants one of us in there as she falls asleep, to which Analese is now the one requesting it :)
So not much sleep-still- in the past week for me, as Analese will wake up from a dream and fall back asleep...but then Mara is now up and I find myself back on their floor at 3 am. I hope this will soon change, as a few more months from now, I may have some issues getting up and down!

So that is one of our changes...I'll try and post more later. Analese is sick with a cold and, as I have mentioned many time before, she does not handle being sick well...such drama :) Mara is currently at the window yelling for bunny. I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon and an ultrasound tomorrow. Can you believe I will be 20 weeks as of tomorrow? More on that later :)

Have a great Monday :)

Friday, February 22, 2008

We Got Her!

It's funny, I took this photo yesterday to show you how smart this little gal is! She got far enough into the trap to get an apple, but not far enough to set the trap off!

But she was in there this morning! I am so happy, as it is supposed to snow/sleet/rain the next 2 days.
Getting her out of the trap and into the carrier was a bit tough, with her escaping into our garage and Greg having to just pick her up. She is actually pretty tame, showing no fear, and I actually got to pet her.

Tonight she will go into our dog crate, and I am hoping to get to Walmart this morning for some hay and food, with the weather coming, we may have her all weekend. Greg is giving me a hard time about it, but oh well....he is impossible to understand sometimes!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

That Waskly Wabbit....

This has been a week of enormous stress for me.

For so many reasons.

This is one of them:

isn't he cute?

We first noticed him a few months ago. Greg and I were coming home from somewhere, and we saw this little white bunny hopping along the neighbor's lawn. We laughed about it, and Greg mentioned that he was pretty sure it was their bunny, because he had seen a rabbit hutch outside.

Fast forward to last week. Greg had just gotten home from work, so the girls ran to the window to see him. That's when we saw her again, hopping across our lawn.

She has never left.

The poor little gal sits under my van all day long. She (as Analese is quite certain she's a girl rabbit) stretches out on our front lawn, munching on grass and the few flowers we have/had coming up.

One night she somehow got into our fenced in backyard, and almost got eaten by Durango. Luckily, Greg happened to see the bunny as he was letting Durango out, and both ended up chasing her all around the yard as the poor bunny desperately tried to find her way out. Durango would listen when Greg told him to leave it, but would then chase her again because Greg was! What a sight that was, I am sure! Somehow, the bunny got out and seems to have learned her lesson, as she now never leaves our front.

The girls have grown quite attached-especially Mara. She gets upset and tells me that the bunny is "cold". We started feeding her carrots, apples and celery, and it's to the point that the bunny doesn't even run when we go outside....or when Greg comes home.

I have been worried about her. She is/was obviously someone's pet at one time, and I am surprised she has lasted this long on her own. We have so many cats, foxes and hawks flying around...and this little bunny just sleeps out in the grass, completely unprotected and blissfully unaware.

I know its only a matter of time before something does happen to it.

So I have been on a mission. Over the past week, I have contacted 3 wildlife rescue groups, and two rabbit rescues in hopes that someone will take this bunny once we capture her. A friend of mine gave me a live trap to use, but we really couldn't use it until we knew where to take her. With two cats and a dog, we really do not have a safe place inside to keep her, and the garage is no place for her to stay. None of the wildlife groups would take her, as she wasn't considered a wild animal...I kept saying she has been outside for months, but no. I do understand, as they are all nonprofit, all volunteer, with high demand and low funds. Just like every other social welfare group in this country!

Plus, I have the girls to worry about, as Analese keeps asking me why we aren't keeping her. It's been a good lesson, as we researched what bunnies need to be happy, and why she wouldn't be happy with us. We have talked about all the reasons why this little bunny would be happier with someone else, to the point where I feel that Analese really understands. I know its still going to be tough for them to say goodbye, but again, I feel like this has been an important lesson for them to learn.

After stressing out all week and wondering if we were running out of time, I finally got some good news. A Bunny Rescue contacted me back and said they would take her. They are 2 hours away, but are willing to work with me on how to get the rabbit to them.

So now all I have to do is catch her!

I set up the trap today, right next to the van she has been living in. She sat under there watching me the whole time. I covered it up with a towel and put some banana, celery and carrots inside. Greg later covered it up with branches in hopes that would make it more appealing.

This little bunny has been hopping all around it all afternoon, sleeping next to it, etc. Hopefully she will get brave-and hungry tonight and hop inside! Greg is out playing pool, so he will check on it when he gets home. So tonight would be perfect! (you hear that little bunny?)

I really hope we get her soon. It is supposed to snow/sleet tomorrow so it would be nice to get her in a warm place before it starts. The whole thing has been stressful for me, and as Greg reminds me, I am worrying waaaaayyyy to much about this. Hormones or not, I just cannot stand to see an animal suffer, especially one that seems so helpless. Being pregnant just brings it all to the surface, and many surprising tears have been shed over this little gal.

I know I'll feel so much better once I am able to hand her off to this rescue, knowing she now has a "forever home", and will never be abandoned like this again.

We have had some BIG changes in our household this week! I'll post about it when I have more has been overwhelming this week with 2 big projects due AND a sick hubby to boot. Hope your week is going well!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day

My two little butterflies, taking a break from searching for bees

Happy Valentine's day everyone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Chain o Links

I was tagged by Autumn for a very easy-to-do tag! Of course it still took me a few days to accomplish :)
So check some out new blogs out when you get a chance!

*Start Copying Here*
I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!)
It's real easy!
Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially!
The benefits of Viral Linking:
1.One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!
2.Increase your Google PageRank fast
3.Attract large volume of new traffic to your site
4.Build your community
5.Make new friends!
ChristiS of the Blah Blah Blog
Stephanie at Stop the Ride!
Kristin at An Ordinary Life

The last five blogs are ones I added.
*Stop Copying Here*

Sunday, February 10, 2008


So yes, Greg and I are a little behind in keeping up on the latest movies, and we are just seeing the movie "Sicko" now. The movie is directed by Michael Moore, and say what you will about him, our healthcare system in this country sucks.

There is just no denying this, and if you can, just wait until you become sick. I mean really sick.

Of course this was not anything new to me, as Greg and I are up to our ears in debt because our insurance refuses to pay for some of Mara's medical care. Why? Who the h*ll knows, as we never seem to get a straight answer. Our credit has suffered, because we simply do not have the thousands of dollars needed to keep all the hospitals, doctors and lab companies satisfied.

But listening to the stories of what some families have been through...really puts things into perspective. We have a healthy daughter. We have a home and food to eat. We'll get through this.

But the families in this film? They broke my heart.

A mother lost her 18 month old baby girl because the ambulance brought her to a hospital that was "out of network" with her health insurance, and the insurance company refused to approve services, stating that she had to go to another "in-network" hospital. Meanwhile, her daughter-who had a very high temperature- was having seizures! Can you imagine how scary that would be to have to then put your daughter in your own car and drive to another hospital?!? The mother begged the hospital to just treat her daughter but they refused, and ended up escorting her and her daughter out because they were "becoming a threat". The little girl went into cardiac arrest and was pronounce dead at the second hospital.

How is this right? How come there hasn't been a HUGE outcry about this? How come the insurance company AND the hospital were not held accountable for this? Because to me, denying care is responsible for this little girl's death-we'll never know if quick treatment could have saved her. Imagine being that mother and having the "what ifs?" play over in your head for the rest of your life.

I found myself just sobbing.

What has happened to this country, where taking care of others is no longer a priority?

When your medical care is being determined by how much money it will cost?

When your medical care is determined not by your doctor, but by the type of insurance company you have?

It is so scary to live in this country and get sick.

Let's pray that this election will FINALLY bring some much needed change. I guess I just do not understand why we have allowed this to go on for so long.

What has happened to this country?

Family Fun

We have had such a busy week, and an even busier weekend. I have been studying hard these days, staying up until 12:30-1 most nights this week in an attempt to keep up with my never-ending workload this semester.

So I am exhausted. The girls have been working hard on Valentine projects this week after we made a trip to Michael's craft store and picked up lots of ribbon, foam hearts and flowers, and oh so many stickers. I let the girls pick out what they wanted, as we do not do this often, and we are set for awhile in the art department! The girls have been using glitter on everything! Often to the point that nothing underneath is recognizable :)

Yesterday we had planned to go to an event called "Baby loves Disco"- a fun event to take the girls dancing! Analese was so excited to go, especially since Daddy could come too. I checked out tickets, which were $12.oo a piece, and decided to wait until closer to Saturday before purchasing them...just in case something were to happen and we couldn't go. Friday I went online to buy tickets and it was sold out.

I could have cried.

Analese was devastated, so it was then my mission to find something else fun for us to do. Most things were nixed by Greg, because of how crowded it would be in a Saturday, and the weather wasn't supposed to be great so outdoor activities were out.

THEN I found it. The perfect activity to make my child forget all about dancing......

NEMO!!! The Disney on Ice show was playing downtown, and had an 11 o'clock showing. It was so perfect. Finding Nemo was Analese's first big movie, and she has always loved it. It was also something that Mara could enjoy as well.

So we ended up paying a bit more then we would have dancing, but the show was great! No pictures to show, for I had planned just to use my camera phone so we wouldn't have to haul a camera around, and then forgot it in the car :(

The show was basically the Finding Nemo movie, with some added songs and dances thrown in. Both girls sat memorized the entire time. Analese would crawl onto my lap for some of the scenes, but then would climb back into her seat once it was over. The costumes were beautiful-they had a scene in the beginning where they dimmed all the lights and you could just see the fish costumes glowing in the beautiful and peaceful!

Afterwards, we took the girls to the one-and only restauraunt where Mara and I could eat. It is a vegetarian place with vegan, soy, and gluten free options. The food is amazing! Both girls were overly tired and barely ate anything. I, on the other-hand, ate almost 2 meals myself since Mara and I were supposed to split them :) Mmmmm, it was soooo good!

The girls never fell asleep on the way home, so we fed them a quick meal and put them into bed. They were asleep by 7:20! It was so nice just to have some downtime. I tried to get some studying done, but Greg and I ended up watching a movie. We watched "Sicko", and I was literally sick just watching how badly our healthcare system is in our country. But I think I will save that an entirely different post.

A great day, but an expensive one!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Growing Taller

My Analese is always thinking.

I love to just watch her face as she is taking in new information, and now that she is older, hearing her explain this new information in her own words is just priceless.

She has now come to the conclusion that taking a nap will cause her to grow. Every time.

With every nap, she grows taller.

It took me awhile to figure this one out. For the past few weeks she has been asking me to look at her and see how tall she was getting. I never connected it to sleep until a few days ago.

After her nap, she came running down the hall, and throws her hands up in the air with this "ta da!" pose. "I took another great nap!" she said proudly.

Yes, you did. That is great!

"But look at how much TALLER I got in my sleep!" she turns around in a circle so I can really see just how tall she got.

Oh-did you grow while you were asleep?

"YES! Sleeping makes me taller! See? I was standing on my bed to see. I am really tall-that good nap really helped me." She is just so proud of herself, and cannot stop smiling at her own reflection in the glass of our entertainment center.

Then she leans up to me and says "you know, soon I am going to be taller then you Mom!"

Yes, you are probably right about that!

I let out a sigh as she danced around the room. My child is growing up so quickly, in such a hurry to get bigger while I would do anything to keep her small for just a little while longer. I love the innocence that she possesses, her fiery spirit, her enormous heart. I wish I could protect her, to protect these things so special about her.

I know that I cannot. There are some things that I cannot teach her, that only she can learn on her own. I only hope that I can teach her just how important she is-that she will always know what a gift she is to this world.

I love you, my sweet Analese, and I cannot wait to see how much taller you are when you wake up!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Cold and Dreary Friday

It is a very cold and dreary day outside. We woke up to sounds of sleet hitting our windows, and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and snuggle with the girls.

But of course today would be the day where that just could not happen. I had my OB appointment this morning-the one I had to cancel last Friday, so I really wanted to go. Plus I have been having lots of lower back pain and suspected that I had a urinary tract infection.

Roads were covered in ice and schools were closed. I kept debating back and forth as to whether or not we should venture out in this mess. When I talked to Greg, he told me that the roads were fine, to just be careful.

So we went. Once we were in the car, it was fine. Analese has been having a rough week, so many tears and emotional upsets. She has a cold, but it has gotten much better then earlier in the week. Her mood has just been so, uh, moody! You would think she was the one with the raging hormones. Everything sets her off, and she has been so negative. "I don't like (fill in the blank)" has come out of her mouth so many times, I have decided that she also has to come up with something she does like about whatever she does not like. It's been hard to be consistent with it-as she says it over and over again, but it really seems to help temper her mood when I am. Brainstorming what she likes about something, like Mara's hair, has been a great distraction and helps move us forward.

The doctor's visit went better then I had expected it too. My doctor was out, so the other doctor there was stuck seeing all of her patients and my doctors. So lots of waiting, but the girls and I read books so it was not a problem. Once we got called back and finally into a room, Analese started to get scared. I kept reassuring her, as we had gone over everything that was going to happen, Once the doctor came in, she became more defiant, refusing to sit down on the chair, etc. so I just ignored her so she wouldn't cause too much of a scene.

My appointment went well. I gained another 2 pounds. They told me that I was "severely dehydrated" and that my protein levels were through the roof. I don't know if I agree with the "severely" part, but know I haven't been drinking as much as I should this week. I have an actual due date of July 16th, and I am currently 16w3days. Having so few appointments has really helped move this pregnancy along!

She gave me a slip to get the screening for downs syndrome done, which I declined and she looked at me like I was crazy. I told her it didn't matter,what will be, will be and why stress out about it now. When Mara was born, she had many characteristics of a downs baby, and we had to have genetic testing done in order to find out. It took over a week, and it was such a hard week to endure. It may have been one of the longest weeks of my life. BUT- I never had any doubts about my love for her and knew no matter what the outcome would have been, Greg and I could handle it. It is this knowledge that allows me to turn down all these tests with confidence.

The girls are now fast asleep and I am going to get some much needed studying done! This web design class is freaking me out-is it bad that I got confused just reading the syllabus? And I didn't even understand what programs I needed for this class, and had to google the word "FTP programs" in order to know what it was!

Oh and lastly, I wanted to thank Lizzy for giving me my first blog award! You are very sweet, and it made my day to read all the nice things you said about me! I started this blog as a way to capture stories about my girls and also for me to gain a better perspective about my life. I have been fortunate to also "meet" some great people and read some wonderful blogs :)
I will be passing this award on soon, just need some time to get it all together.

Have a great weekend everyone! We are celebrating Mara's birthday-again, with Greg's family, so we should be pretty busy.

Oh, and one last question....when is it just too late to send out holiday cards? Our "winter cards" are hopefully going out this weekend!