Monday, March 31, 2014

Ice Skating

Little Miss had her ice skating assessment in Snowplow Sam II (she passed Snowplow Sam I with flying colors about a month ago).  She passed all of Snowplow Sam II and is even proficient in one of the items in Snowplow Sam III.  She now has the option of going forward with Snowplow Sam III or Beginning Hockey.  She notified us that she wanted to learn hockey and be the "girl Ryan McDonough" (a player on the New York Rangers). 


She is also signed up for baseball which hasn't had one practice or game yet because of the weather, but hopefully this week, we'll kick off the season!  She's gotten quite good at playing catch so we'll see if she takes to it.  After she suffered through soccer, it's nice to see enthusiasm for an activity outside of school.  There is a slim to no chance that this will lead to a professional career, but we do believe team sports are important (especially because Little Miss hates to lose).  It's always fascinating to see what sparks kids' interest and makes them light up.  It's sometimes a big gamble but we just ask that she tries and finishes out a season or lesson before moving on to something new. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Late Blog - One Smart Cookie

In the beginning of March, Husband and I went to Little Miss's Parent-Teacher Conference.  This is on the heels of the trouble at school and a whole mess of snow days.  The teacher said all good things about Laura.  Even her constructive words had meaning and certainly didn't contain any new news for us.  We were surprised to hear how smart she was though.

Level 4 Reading is expected when you leave Kindergarten for First Grade, and she is at a Level 12.  Of course, we have to work on reading comprehension so there's no rush to skip grades or anything.  Hearing she's a great reader isn't new either.  Ever since she taught herself to read, she works to become better and better and pretty much reads everything.  Her reading comprehension has noticeably improved in the last couple of months, too.

In terms of handwriting, she started the year at Level 1A.  Most kids progress to Level 2A at the end of Kindergarten, but she was at Level 4A.  She still has some issues with some letters and numbers, but she can recognize when something is incorrect.  It frustrates her knowing something is wrong which just motivates her to do better.  She definitely doesn't get any of her motivation or determination from us.  I suppose it's an offshoot of stubborness which she may get from both of us though.

For the math section, she got an 87%.  This is misleading because there weren't many questions.  She got 10 of 13 correct.  Of the 3 questions she had incorrect, the entire class got wrong.  This was mostly due to the massive amounts of snow days and disruption of teaching.  The other area of weakness was money and change which she has been working on everyday since.  She just hates to be wrong so she has been determined to understand money.  She's almost there, but she second-guesses herself.  

Last weekend, she wanted to learn time so we spent all weekend working on that, and she asks to be "quizzed" at every possible second of the day.  It's great that she has such motivation, but it's so tiring on my brain.  I hope she never stops her quest for knowledge.  We try to encourage it even though it puzzles us because we are lazy humans.  She's the type of girl who does the week's homework on Monday and then asks to do it again every day during the week and/or during the weekend.  I mean, seriously, who does that?

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Week 34

Not much new since last week (and really the changes week-to-week are small from this point forward), but you can find out more here.  Lots of movement and some contractions, but nothing alarming.  I seem to be more uncomfortable than last time, but I don't feel the heartburn is as bad as last time.  That said, I drove to work so the activity and train-riding adds a different aspect this time around.  Also, as Husband put it, I'm not as young as I was which was annoying but true


I officially hate all my clothes.  I can fit into very few things, but I'd be in better shape if the weather would be nicer.  I have some dresses and khakis from the last pregnancy (where I was pregnant during much warmer weather), but it's been cold.  For instance, right now it's snowing. 


I have a pretty good list of things needed for the baby.  There isn't too much thankfully.  Also, thanks to my gift card hoarding, there shouldn't be too much we have to physically purchase.  Husband has strong feelings that the little guy is going to come early, earlier than April 28.  We'll see.  There was no indication that Little Miss would come early so you never know.  I'd like to get through Easter at the very least, but as with all aspects of parenting, there's not as much control as you hope.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Champion!

I picked up Little Miss from school yesterday.  She was playing Connect 4 against an older boy.  I came up just in time to see her win.  The boy's friends cheered her and then told the boy that he "just got beat by a KINDERGARTENER!"  The older boy didn't seem upset, but he did walk away.  Little Miss did say that he played easy, medium and hard, but she won 4 games.  Poor kid was probably trying to be nice and got hustled.  That said, it took some time for Little Miss to become proficient at Connect 4.  She lost a lot of games before she learned to anticipate moves and see the entire board. 

Weekend Update - Making Progress

Last Saturday, we all got up and packed up 2 carloads of stuff to bring to my parents' house. We're hoping to sell all of our girl items from Little Miss or at least donate or at the very least clear our apartment. While there, Sister's friend took some for her little daughter. On the way home, we stopped at Carter's where I bought the first items for the baby, a little something for Little Miss and presents. It was a long day. Plus, when I got home, I realized I forgot a whole bunch of things from my parents' house. It's ok because I'll be out in a couple of weeks anyway.


On Sunday, we mostly hung around the apartment until ice skating. Little Miss has been learning a lot and doing well. She didn't stay too long at Public Skate, but she came home to practice some baseball with Husband while I napped. She's been anxious to play baseball but, because of the weather, the fields have been closed every practice date so far. It's not looking good for this week either.


We've done a great job keeping the apartment clean, but I haven't gone through the DVDs, CDs or our room yet. It shouldn't take me long. I just keep procrastinating. I just cleaned out the DVDs so that shouldn't take long at all, just a matter of straightening. The CDs haven't been touched in quite some time, but I can't seem to get rid of them. I'll purge at least a handful at least. Our room is more daunting. It was just completely purged so it shouldn't be bad, but it's a matter of moving things and organizing. Our previous form of organizing was throwing everything in the closet until we can shut the door.  Either way, once that's done, we'll be able to maintain and just do actual cleaning.   

Friday, March 21, 2014

Week 33

33 weeks! Where has the time gone? Of course, this last month is the longest. I no longer care what fruit or vegetable the baby resembles because he's huge. I get shortness of breath. I had a bit of swelling last weekend, but that's rare for me, and I haven't had any since. My leg cramps have even lightened up. The baby has been pretty active as he has been the entire pregnancy - rolling and kicking and what seems like head butting me.


I have weekly doctor appointments now to check on movement and amniotic fluid. It's not a full ultrasound, but it's nice to take a peek inside, see he has enough fluid to swim and still has a heart and brain and all the important stuff. We're definitely in trouble because I've never captured a still image of him. He's always moving - or he's super camera shy.


As for the home front, we've made progress. I made a strict schedule and the hard dates have been made so far. It's a three-leg process and the first was completed. I have limited time to complete the second leg, but I'm confidentish. Once we have the next two weeks done, we'll be in good shape to see what we need even though I have a small list set up already of things we need and things I'd like. So, it's coming together. Now, if the baby would just be patient and 1. not be born on or before Easter or, even better, 2. wait until April 28, the scheduled date for his birth. That would be great. Or he could take cues from his sister and come whenever he darn well feels like it. *g* UPDATE: The doctor visit went well. It was the first weekly visit so it was abbreviated as I was just there. I gained a pound from last week which pleased the doctor and is creeping me out. I got a nice view today where there was little movement which was nice. It was also a clear visual that it is, indeed, a boy growing inside. We are having a repeat C-section which is being scheduled today unless he is as impatient as he feels. So, April 28 is the big day (6 months after Little Miss's birthday to the day) if he makes it that long. I hope he does!

Recipe

I've been baking.  A lot.  Although, any baking for me is a lot.  I baked a batch of Williams Sonoma sugar cookies.  We made them green for St. Patrick's Day and Snow White because that's the cookie cutter Little Miss chose. 




Then, we had a billion bananas so I made chocolate chip banana bread last night.  The recipe is below:


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 tablespoons milk
  •  ripened bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • About 1/2 bag chocolate chips (totally your preference on how much you like)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a large bowl, combine the sugar and the butter.  Use a mixer on low until combined.  Add eggs and blend.  Add milk and the bananas and mix for about 1 minute.  The batter may look at little lumpy – that’s ok!  Add the flour and the baking soda and mix until blended.  Stir in the chocolate chips.


Spray 2 loaf pans with non-cook spray and divide the batter among the two pans.


Bake for 45 minutes. You should be able to insert a knife into the middle of the loaf and the knife should come out clean.


I baked mine for a bit longer as the blogger did.  Also, as with every new recipe, I messed something up.  I read 1 1/2 CUPS of sugar and then 1 1/3 TBS of milk as both cups.  I poured the milk in and was like that seems like a lot.  So, I strained out the milk and figured the batter was moist enough and kept going.  It was cheaper to continue on than it was to start over.  I tested a piece out of the oven, and it came out fine if not a little too moist.  *g*  I froze one loaf and kept the other out to snack on this week.  I may not like baking, but I'd like to do it more.  Also, when they told new moms to have a lot of food in the freezer, I don't know if chocolate chip banana bread was the original intent.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"Teaching Responsibility"

Little Miss is learning about money - its value and meaning.  So, we've let her know that she can earn money by doing chores.  We haven't made this a mandatory action.  She is responsible for a lot and time is limited.  We expect her to help and do as asked though on a daily basis.  The rules were that if she did a job that she normally doesn't do and it's not something fun (aka "helping" me bake cookies), she can get some monetary reward.  Last Monday, during the snow day, she folded all the laundry.  Originally, as with other chores in the past, she was just going to do it for all the change in my wallet.  This is a gamble because it can be $5 or 18 cents.  This past Monday, it was 18 cents, and she was still excited.  She did such a good job, Husband gave her a dollar.  Yesterday, he gave her another basket and gave her another dollar.  She's now a money-hungry monster.  In the meantime, we get lazier.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Weekend Update - Nesting

Do not get the idea that I'm nesting.  If anything, I'm anti-nesting.  That said, we needed to clean and purge.  This past weekend, Little Miss spent the weekend with the In-Laws while we cleaned out our storage unit.  We had a lot more items than we thought.  Some were for the new baby and some were kept in case we had a girl.  Because we are not, we now have quite a bit of things to sell or donate.  When we got home, I started to clean Little Miss's room.  My goal was to take out all of the toys from her room and put them all in the living room and also purge quite a bit.  We've also used her closet as storage of sorts so I wanted to make the closet for the kids.  I made progress although I had a giant headache so I didn't make as much progress as I had hoped.

On Sunday, the In-laws came to watch Little Miss skate and do the hand-off back to us.  Then, we came back home, and I finished up Little Miss's bedroom and went through all her toys.  I didn't finish putting the toys away, but her room is complete - for now.  Because she was tired from her sleepover, she was a little sensitive, and she was was upset that there were so many changes.  We talked them through, and it's all good.  She even handled the purging of her toys well.  Mostly her biggest issue was placement so we worked with her where could.  Because everything is tidied, she also has a lot of toys she hasn't seen in awhile which is like getting all new toys so she didn't miss the things we are getting rid of as much.

This week, I need to finish up in the living room - all the odds and ends.  Most importantly, I need to clean our room specifically our closet.  It shouldn't be that bad, but it's the room I've been putting off.  Then, it's just a matter of going to my parents' house, getting the last of the baby items from them and getting everything ready for the tag sale because I don't anticipate having time until after it's over.  It'll come together.  My plan shifted, but the big steps have been met.  I'm thankful for a snow day today though because I stayed up late to finish Little Miss's room.  It looks so good.  It hasn't been this clean since before she was born.  I have all the baby items put away (though not cleaned yet) and a fairly good stash of diapers and wipes started.  Of course, this is before we added actual baby items which will change everything, but there is more room than there used to be for them!

Weekend Update - Busy Weekend

The second weekend in March is the only weekend I did not plan on cleaning or tidying - and for good reason.  I decided to get a manicure to use up some Groupons that I had.  Then, we had dinner with the In-Laws, Brother-in-Law, Sister-in-Law, Nephew and Mother-in-Law's cousin and his wife.  Little Miss took an instant liking to them both.  It was a yummy restaurant at a place near to us that we have never visited.  I think it's safe to say we may be going back.  After, we went back to the In-Laws for awhile so the kids could play, and we could visit longer.

On Sunday, we were all a bit slow-moving after a late night.  I had book club and met the girls at Clyde's in Alexandria.  We talked about the book which was really good and had brunch which was excellent.  The waiter was doing us a favor and left us alone, but it made me late to see Little Miss ice skating.  I still got to pick Husband and Little Miss up at the rink though.  

Meanwhile, I had a lot of cleaning still to do and there was a lot little anxiety over the growing list of things to do. 

Weekend Update - In Like a Lion

March started with a busy weekend!  I had slowly started cleaning - mostly easy things like tidying the closets and desk.  There wasn't anything challenging being done.  I also organized under the sink in my bathroom.  All the things needed to be done, but they weren't the most pressing.  However, we do try to put Little Miss's activities first if we can.  So, on Saturday, we woke up and met a bus stop friend and her mother to visit the National History Museum.  It is the last month before the dinosaur exhibit is closed for 5 years.  It turned out the kids didn't really care.  They were happy to just run around and hang out.
She was so brave at the museum though!  She held the biggest beetle that I've ever seen and some sort of green insect.  She got nose to nose with a tarantula (didn't hold her because she was busy eating though). 

We stayed at the hotel straight through lunch and then hit up IHOP on the way home for a quick but late lunch.  Then, I dropped off Little Miss and got ready to go out for the evening.  I met some friends for some Mexican which was delicious.  I bet it tasted better with a margarita, but I did not have one.  The guacamole was delicious though.  On the way home, I stopped across the street to bring home some homemade pop tarts and a chocolate donut for breakfast.
On Sunday, I woke up with Little Miss, and we had a delicious sugar-filled breakfast.  Then, after lunch, we went to the first ice skating lesson of the next level up.  Husband went to play golf and met us there afterwards, but Little Miss and I had a good time.  There were only 2 kids in her class so she got a lot of attention and really learned a lot in one lesson.  

In the evening, Husband and I settled in for a nice dinner while we watched the Oscar ceremony.  It wasn't the best program and we saw very few movies, but it was still a nice evening.

Weekend Update - Everything is (Not) Awesome

I had grand plans to start cleaning this weekend.  My "official" cleaning schedule hadn't started yet, but I had no plans so I thought I would get a little out of the way.  I did not.  I did nothing.  And it was glorious.  Little Miss woke us up early in the morning sick to her stomach in bed, but she was a champ.  We all kind of just sat on the couch all day.  In the afternoon, I dragged myself out to go grocery shopping before dropping Husband off to play poker.  Little Miss was starting to feel better so I took her out of the house for some fresh air.  Unfortunately, because she was sick, Little Miss missed out on her last week of ice skating lessons and a playdate and sleepover with her cousin.  

On Sunday, to make up for the missed sleepover, we met Sister-in-Law and Nephew at the movies.  Little Miss loved The Lego Movie.  It perked her up, and the weather was beautiful.  It was a good afternoon.  In the evening, Husband went to a friend's house so it was just the two of us.  All in all, a good lazy weekend.


Weekend Update - President's Day Weekend

As we almost always do, on President's Day weekend, we went to my parents' vacation townhome. It snowed all weekend long. ALL. WEEKEND. LONG. I had just twisted my ankle the week before so it was a whole lot of nothing, but it was a fun weekend. Little Miss went out to play in the snow (and found a huge icicle - below). She played a bit with Nephew. Sister and her boyfriend also made the trip. Husband took her, in the snow, to go ice skating. She stayed out there for hours. The girl so loves her ice skating. She found an adult woman who also was on her skating level and accompanied her around the rink.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Catch All

Here is a Friday catch all:


  1. Over a week ago, Little Miss got in trouble.  She has rarely gotten in trouble.  She gets chastised and there are some small punishments here and there as with any child, but there have only been a couple of serious infractions.  So, she had her television severely restricted for almost 2 weeks.  Worst of all, she's had to TALK to us and discuss feelings and actions.  We ceased the punishment a day early after one final talk for various reasons, but talking about how she disappointed us and others and how we have seen her exhibit better behavior and know she can do better still makes her cry so the lesson is getting through short-term.
  2. I gained 3 pounds in 2 weeks which is a lot for me.  The benefit of having gestational diabetes last time (versus not having it this time) is that it really limited my weight gain.  It'll be interesting to see how it goes this time.  I'm still on the low side in terms of weight gain based on charts, but we'll see.  I'm measuring typical to 35 weeks regardless of the fact that I'm only in my 32nd week.  Baby is moving quite a bit and often.  Blood pressure is still very low.   Plus, we have an approximate date for the C-section.  Of course, many things could change before then - the hospital may not have an opening, the baby may decide to come earlier.  If all goes to plan (babies and life have a habit of throwing a good plan out the window as we all know), he'll have a birthday 6 months apart from Little Miss.
  3. The weather is ridiculous!  It's cold.  It's warm.  It's freezing.  It's slightly warmer.  All the rain and snow melt has delayed baseball considerably.  Little Miss is taking baseball and ice skating this Spring.  She has loved ice skating so far so we want to foster that as much as possible.  She's super excited to start baseball, but we'll see how she likes it.  It's twice a week and will definitely make things challenging.  It'll be worth it if she likes it though.  She is coordinated enough to do well if she wants.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Week 32

Let's see. Week 32 (and really the coming weeks) won't have too much differences. The baby is the size of a squash though it doesn't say what kind according to this site. Based on my size, I'm going to go a freakishly-huge, prize-winning-at-the-county-fair big. You know, technical term, of course. The site goes on to say that the baby is moving to head down, but mine has been head down for quite some time with very active arms and legs.


I finally had to give up and go all maternity pants which is unfortunate because I really only have a couple of pairs. My pre-pregnancy shirts (if long enough) mostly fit, and I have a handful of maternity tops, so that should carry me through. Just last weekend, I just started to feel huge overnight. Just moving is a challenge. Plus, now I get those looks of sympathy though still not always a seat on the train which is fine as long as I have room to read.


We've made a little progress with the apartment. I'm still just barely on schedule. No one in the household is sleeping well which is making us all a little grumpy. I need to finish up Little Miss's room this week and then our closet. Once that's done, toys and miscellaneous items can be sorted through next week. I've found doing a little during the week is actually easier than leaving it all to the weekend. Of course, once I finish all this tidying (and then subsequent deep cleaning), it'll be time to start doing it all over again. Still, I'm happy with the progress. Well, satisfied at the very least.


My next doctor appointment is Friday as I'm every two weeks now. We'll see if we can do better with the non-stress test and continue to stay ok with the amniotic fluid index and all the other check-in points. I feel like I keep eating my weight every day so hopefully, my weight hasn't reflected that. A woman at the grocery store said I was bigger with Little Miss yesterday which made me feel a little better though I don't know if I felt bigger with her. I don't remember my measurements with her, but I know she (and, therefore, I) measured large with her, too.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Week 31

Week 31 has no big changes from Week 30. According to this site, the baby is the size of a pineapple, 15-16 inches and a little over 3 pounds. So, basically, at this point, he'll be packing on weight from this point forward.


I feel like I've hit a plateau in terms of size. I haven't had a ton of swelling, but I was on my feet a lot last weekend. My feet were a little swollen on Sunday, but it was hardly noticeable. I fell again on Saturday so that may also result in a little swelling of the ankle from aggravating the sprain a bit. Either way, it was fine by Monday. The movement hasn't been as routine, but the baby is definitely more active than Little Miss at least at this stage. Obviously, at this stage, there's a discomfort level. I'm getting around ok, just a lot a little slower. I'm sleeping ok, but I find if I stay up later, I sleep better for consecutive hours.


We've started doing a full Spring Cleaning. I've done two closets, the bathroom and the majority of the living room. I know it doesn't seem like a lot. I don't purge often, but when I do, I go through everything and reorganize everything so I picked through make up, coats, broken hangars, everything. I consolidated bottles of liquor and organized all of Little Miss's arts and crafts. It's an undertaking. The biggest tasks still loom though - Little Miss's bedroom and our closet. I just purged most of my things last year so that shouldn't take long, just some straightening. Husband is on his own with his things. Plus, I recently reorganized the kitchen which is coming in handy at this point. I plan to do all of that within the next week. Starting next weekend, we're doing actual preparation which shouldn't take long - just a trip to storage and then we work on what is out at my parents' basement and then the finishing touches. All should be ready by early April though so I can figure out what needs to be purchased.


We have generous family and friends and co-workers though so some of the gifts have been coming in which helps curb my buying. I've not bought anything yet. Little socks are killing me! They're just precious. If they weren't so impractical, I think I'd have a billion tiny socks.