20 wk belly
Love this photo
First day of school and such long limbs!
She’s serenading me while I’m on the toilet…
Sickly girls watching boob tube. They’re feeling a bit better here 30 minutes after Tylenol! Ha! And then it wears off, and Lily says, “mama, I thought I was better, but I’m not.”
Sickly girl nap.
Walked to a bagel breakfast this morn with Val and Twins in our pjs… Good morning!
As you may have gathered from my last post, we’re having our third baby! For those of you that have the RSS feed and instantly receive the blog via e-mail, it may interest you to go back and look at the captions. I uploaded the photos through an app on my phone and then I went in and edited on the computer to add captions… Without them you may have been wondering why I was cupping my belly!
We’re not great surprise keepers over here, so although I did not post to the blog or other social media until 20 weeks (halfway! For those of you who are less week-by-week conversant;)), most of our family and close friends knew well before. I know that sometimes the details of baby number three aren’t met with the same enthusiasm as the blow-by-blows of baby number one, but I’m also conscious of this blog as the only baby book or family journal through which I’ve faithfully recorded milestones and family news. And, of course, we’re just as excited over this pregnancy and the addition of a new family member as we have been each time, so with that in mind, I’ll just continue the updates!
Getting Pregnant (Too much information ;))
The gap between Lily and Lu is two years and three months, and when that window came and went with no sign of a period, we decided it might be time to wean. I had gradually been decreasing the number of feeds with Lu, starting with night weaning in November and then dropping down to twice daily in December, but it really did take fully weaning to regain my period. I wasn’t quite ready to wean, and it made me quite sad to do it, but I also felt like my time as a stay at home mom is limited and I’d like to get at least a year in with baby number three🙂 Lu ended up nursing 19 months, and we loved our time together (and we both still miss it! Lu asks occasionally, the sweet girl. Especially when she sees her little baby friends nursing). It’s funny how different that experience was with Lily and Lu. I nursed Lily for 21 months, regaining my period at 14 and then nursing through the whole first trimester. I didn’t really feel ready to wean her either, but I was receiving quite a lot of advice about when I should wean before the next baby… Who knows? Maybe I’ll never really feel ready? After those first two brutal months, nursing has emerged as one of the most wonderful things about this stage of parenting. I do love it.
Anyway. Just like the other two girls, it didn’t take long to conceive. I took a negative pregnancy test in March, and then I took another negative pregnancy test on April 21st, but then on April 23rd when I was cleaning the bathroom, I noticed the faintest of pink lines on the cheapie Wondfo pregnancy tests I had been using… What?! I immediately took another one and after five minutes, another faint line popped up. Well, I wasn’t used to these cheapies with their faint lines and long wait times, so I piled the girls in the car and ran to Target to get a real test, which I then peeled open and took in the bathroom of Target. And it was immediately positive.
The girls and I eagerly waited for Joshua to get home from his run, and when he did, I could barely contain my excitement showing him the tests. Funnily enough, we both had the immediate intuition that this little one would be a boy. I felt like I was on cloud nine for the rest of the day, just beaming and so happy.
Initially, I wanted to do things a little bit differently with this pregnancy. For a while now, we’ve been fairly certain (Joshua is very certain; I’m fairly) that our third baby will also be our last baby. Seeing as this was our last chance, I wanted to try a couple of things that I we hadn’t before. I wanted to try keeping it a surprise until 13 weeks, and from the beginning, I also said I wanted to try keeping the gender a surprise until the very end.
Well. As I said, I’m not much of a surprise keeper. Five days after we found out, I turned thirty, and I was just bursting with my good news and feeling like it would be a fun birthday present to tell some of my family. So I did😉 And then by six or seven weeks, I was already dying to know what the gender would be, thinking of names and bins of hand-me-downs in the attic. So when the 20 week ultrasound rolled around, I was already a hundred percent certain that I wanted to know. Joshua just rolled his eyes at me from the get-go, knowing me well enough that I would a) want to tell everyone and b) want to know the gender.
How everything’s been so far…
Lordy. Though I’m just as excited to be pregnant this time around, some of the novelty – and therefore the patience – has worn off. I’m no longer quite as zen when it comes to accepting the debilitating exhaustion and nausea that accompanies the first 13 weeks. While this pregnancy was practically identical in terms of how I felt the first 13 weeks, there were a few differences. The first difference was that I didn’t have to wake up at 530 am each morning and then stand in front of students, no matter how awful I was feeling. If anything, that made things a bit easier. But I was still absolutely worn out by midday and then again at night. I napped almost every day with the girls (bless them for napping at the same time!), and I was asleep by 9 each night. Like before, I was very picky when it came to food, and I felt nauseous a lot of the time. I’m forgetting if I had any early cravings, but at the moment, I’m loving toasts with cream cheese, tomatoes, and onions, and everything veggie on the grill. I’ve also really been wanting pho and Ethiopian. For some reason, whenever I’m feeling nauseous it’s fruit, carbs, and sweet that goes down the easiest. And I’ve almost completely gone off coffee. I didn’t touch it while we were trying to conceive or during the first trimester, and I’ve had it a few times since then, but I rarely finish a cup. I’m back to my weakling status when it comes to caffeine, and it almost always gives me a headache. I have, however, been loving iced tea and fizzy water.
Another difference is headaches. I’ve been getting a lot of them in the second trimester. I’m not usually someone who gets many headaches, and while I wouldn’t say these are migraines, they contribute to me feeling tired and drained by midday. I also think that’s why I’ve been a bit disappointed with the second trimester. Where’s my glow?! I’m not feeling nearly as easy-breezy as I did with the first two.
The last really unglamorous difference is chin zits. Ew. I’m clear at the moment, but those suckers keep popping up! I’ve had such clear skin throughout the other pregnancies and nursing that this was a very unwelcome symptom.
My varicose veins and my swollen purple left leg is coming back. I can’t remember when it was really full force last pregnancy, but I wouldn’t say it’s full force yet.
I feel like I started showing at around 10 weeks but it stayed about the same until 16 or 17 weeks when I started getting bigger. Now at twenty weeks, I can still wear normal clothes (with a few exceptions) and I’m not noticeably pregnant unless I’m wearing lycra. Haha! In which case, I definitely look pregnant🙂
I started feeling the baby move a little bit at 16 weeks. I remember thinking that I felt Lu move at 14?! But that can’t be right… But maybe it is? In our anatomy scan on Friday, we saw that I have an anterior placenta (belly side), which I’ve never had before, and sometimes that means you feel the baby move less.
I’ve switched my midwives this time around. While we went to the same midwives for Lily and Lu, I loved the setting of Bierstadt’s birth at the unattached birthing center, and I’ve always wanted to try to have a water birth (which is not available with the midwives I went to before). It’s a bit of a trek, but that’s less of a concern for me because even if this labor is half as long as my last labor, I’ll still have 8 hours🙂
I had an early ultrasound to get a due date, and per usual, I working with a five week cycle so it was later than I had expected. January 2!
The 20 week anatomy scan was on Friday. I love seeing the little baby up on the screen. It occurred to me that it was a bit abstract for the girls and they might think that their newest sibling is a skeleton, but there’s just something so special about seeing the baby move and all of it’s little parts. The tech estimated that baby was 11 oz and said that all of her organs and proportions looked wonderful. She was already head down (like Lily and Lu were at their 20 wk scans).
We asked the tech to keep the gender a secret from us and then write it down at the end on a folded piece of paper. She obliged, and then we gave the paper to Melanie the next day. Neither of us looked! We swear!
The Gender Reveal
We bought a pinata and some food for the grill, Melanie stuffed the pinata with colored confetti and treats (pink for a girl), and we had some friends and family over. We all dressed in either pink or blue, according to our predictions.
Joshua had long since changed his mind and determined that we were having another little girl. The two sisters have been adamant about adding to their single sex crew, and I had held onto my early intuition that we were having a little boy (although I not-so secretly wanted another girl :)).
After food, we hung the pinata. Stacy’s family contributed to a line up of children, and all six kids took turns walloping the pinata. I was so nervous that someone was going to get hurt, that I sort of lost track of the purpose. When L (the oldest at 8) finally smashed open the pinata, it took me a few seconds to register the pink confetti.
When I did, I just started grinning. I am the luckiest woman in the world to be raising girls, and I always think of that quote: Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. I know there are great men in the world – my husband is one of them – but I’ve always most admired the relationships that women form, and I’m so happy to be surrounded by a pack of women! Plus, girl names are awesome😉
So we’re having another little girl! Three sisters! (I’m wondering who’s the squash, the corn, and the beans ;))
We’ve not settled on a name yet, but you know me, I’m not much of a surprise keeper, so it’s likely you might hear it before the birth.
The day of Lu’s second birthday at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Sherpa dad at Denver Botanic Gardens 6/30/2016
Snuggling my girls at the Botanic Gardens
Silly sisters cuddling on the couch
This one is actually from late March. Photo credits Brittany🙂
Another one from Brittany. At the Audobon Center in MN.
Pretty roses in Edgewater
Most amazing photo ever. Love this woman’s grace and poise. Photo credit by Jonathan Bachman.
Another photo by Brittany. Love this guy🙂
The day it was 106. Oh man. Soooo hot.
I’ve been coveting this linen jumpsuit. Unfortunately, it’s like $100 and from Lithuania.
I make yummy salads, guys.
Walking to the P’s and these girls holding hands. So sweet.
The three girls go rodeo in from the the Children’s Museum.
Another of the three girls on the gondola in front of the Children’s Museum.
These sweeties holding hands and baby wearing🙂
All the flowers for Lu’s birthday party.
A picture of the two girls at the same age side by side. Lily on the left and Lu on the right.
Close up of Lu. So sweet. I miss her long hair! At the end of July, Lily took a pair of scissors to Lu’s bangs😦 I ended up snipping off the rest and giving her a little cap. She’s adorable, of course, but I loved putting little piggies or top knots in her hair! And the girls’ hair takes SO LONG to grow!
Will with the twins! Super dad🙂
Lily living it up in the mud. #waldorfchild
Lu gives Bierstadt a hug/headlock. Aggressive love❤.
Lily selfie in the chariot with Mama’s glasses🙂
Lu and Bierstadt. This girl loves this little boy🙂
Mom and I went to see Lyle Lovett at Fiddler’s Green… Actually, we went to see Emmy Lou Harris, but she was sick! Bummer, but still fun🙂
Another one of my salads🙂
A beautiful sight.
Anniversary night… I’m 15 weeks here. Oh hey! By the way! I’m pregnant! Haha. I suppose this is the first photo or announcement on the blog…
Baby butt at Lu’s 2 year check up.
My pretty dress for David’s wedding. $7 at the thrift🙂
My dad requested a crew cut the first night of their visit. I obliged, but felt jealous of his thick curly hair the whole time! Yo, dad. Where were you in the genetic pool on that one?! On another note, the crew cut was meant to make my dad’s epic bike trip back home from CO to MN a bit easier… It must have worked, because he finished yesterday – a couple of days early😉 Nice job, dad!
A shot of Joshua at mile 50. This is his Never Summer 100k race. He had a wonderful first 55 miles and then he tanked out for the last 8. But he finished and with a 45 minute PR!
Ellison and Lu hanging out in the tent in Never Summer. So cute!
Joshua has been working so hard on our place at Osceola! Poor guy. He’s had, like, one day off in the past 3 weeks.
Selfies in the car because my hair was doing good things😉
These girls playing ALL the time🙂
A Whole Foods treat. Although I kind of messed up the cooking of the trout😦
Another day, another salad!
She’s a wonderful one.
The damages, but still cute🙂
The wedding party!
Mom, David, and me. Somebody tell my mom she looks gorgeous because she’s been second guessing herself ever since, the loon. David looks quite dapper, I think🙂
Love Lily’s little leg pose here, haha.
They all look so lovely!
David and Melanie with the flower girls🙂
Melanie is lovely! Such a wonderful woman – my bro is so lucky!
The happy couple
My hair did good things. I documented.
More documentation of the good hair day. People. It doesn’t happen, but when it does, it must be documented.
Hollyhocks at night.
More nail polish. And my fab Himalayan Salt Lamp🙂
The girls have begging to go on a run with me in the evenings. So cute🙂
I adore Lily in her running outfit! She’s great. She’s been doing about a mile with me🙂
Woops. I guess this one is a screen shot, but nice photo!
More selfies. Red hair from Henna with Hannah😉
Could they be lovelier?!
19 weeks on the wedding day🙂
The only presentable photo of the four of us😦 Guess we’ll have to try to get another one before the holiday card comes around.
Grandma and the girls.
Lily loves pushing Lu in the stroller.
Palisade Peaches are for Lovers.
My little Puck
Eating ice cream
Fish tacos. This time I nailed the fish.
This girl is on nap strike. It’s horrible. Two weeks of battle. And, of course, hand down the shirt, silly girl.
It’s been ages since I’ve posted. Luckily, Joshua has been picking up some of my slack with his fun videos, but it’s definitely time for an update. I did begin writing another post at the end of June, ut I never finished it. Here’s the news from last month:
June 28th, 2016
Last time I wrote, I was bemoaning our cool spring. Well. Summer has arrived. Today it’s nearly 90, and we joined our friends at the park and splashpad. Lily ran off and played hard, only coming back for snacks, and Lu hung nearby, occasionally following the older girls, but mostly wanting to be held or near mama.
June has been pretty amazing. Joshua wrapped up the school year in the first week, and he was even awarded the Golden Apple Teach of the Year Award! When he told me, I was so proud of him, I started crying. Sometimes I feel like his workplace is evil and thankless, but I was heartened to see that at least they can recognize quality and devotion when they see it. He’s also one of a very small number w
ho has been in the network for five years, making him one of the oldest and most veteran teachers on staff! Haha! At the ripe old age of 30… Might tell you something about how rewarding it is to work there…
After a long weekend, we packed up and headed to Capitol Reef, a National Park I’ve never even heard of. A couple of hours past Moab, this place is full of the red and tawny canyons and rock walls we’ve come to love. With a river running through the valley and fruit trees all around, we set up camp and took turns hiking and dipping in the water. Lily and Lu loved it, and with the exception of one very, very hot and sleepless afternoon and a nasty cough both of the girls had at night, we had lovely time.
In Grande Escalante, we hiked out a mile to a desert oasis with a 70 ft waterfall and an ice cool pool. We jumped in, but mostly we hung out by the edge feeling pleasantly chilled and admiring neon blue dragonflies.
We drove from Capitol Reef to Bryce Canyon after nearly a week of camping. On the way, we stopped at a coffee shop along a remote scenic highway, and there we ran into a girl Joshua and I had gone to high school with… Very bizarre. Fun, but generally I hope to have bathed within the past seven days if I’m about to see someone I haven’t seen in over 10 years.
When we finally got to Bryce Canyon, we held our breath as we looked for a campsite. The chances of nabbing a site in a National Park on a Friday at 2 pm were not great, but we got the last one! Hooray! And it even had a bit of shade🙂
Bryce was beautiful. The hoodoos, if you’ve never seen them, are rock spires clustered in a canyon. It’s a strange sight, and we enjoyed quite a few hikes admiring the park. I was also a fan because there were showers less than a mile away and it was about 15 to 20 degrees cooler than in Capitol Reef.
We stayed for over a week, hiking and exploring the surrounding area, including Red Canyon, Powell Point and Reservoir, Kodachrome, and another day in Grande Escalante where we had the best hike EVER. And we’ve hiked a lot, folks. It was just amazing. We drove out on this remote and not terribly well maintained road. I was feeling a bit dubious by the time we got to the trailhead, but it was AMAZING. The trail followed a small creek through a narrow slot canyon. The girls loved it. We loved it. So much fun.
On our last weekend, K and Stacy showed up with their kids. We had a good time playing in the dirt and some water we found, and on Friday, we packed up to crew for Joshua’s second hundred mile race. Unfortunately, the first aid station was a bust, and so by the time we finally saw him, he was at mile 41 and completely wrecked, ready to quit. With not a cloud in the sky, the heat compounded by some nagging injuries and tummy troubles made continuing pretty unappealing, and we all drove back to the campsite feeling a little bit sad. Hundred milers are crazy races, and I really have no desire to ever attempt one (maybe a 50!), but it’s still sad to put SO.MUCH.WORK into something and not finish. That being said, Joshua was not the sad-sack I expected. He had a good attitude about the whole thing.
On our last day, we packed the P’s shade tent and found a spot in the river to set it up. We sat in the cool water, shaded and munching on snacks. It was a great way to end our trip.
We made the long drive back, waving goodbye to the Ps. They were heading further west – all the way west, actually. And while part of me wanted to go back to California and see the ocean and eat all the food, the other part of me absolutely refused to do the driving. Nervous nelly driver/passenger over here, kids. Cartwheeling down I-70 will do that to ya.
Once we got back to Denver, Joshua jumped into our latest project – the Osceola basement. Usually, it’s really hard to give him up for those long hours of hard labor, but this time, it’s felt a bit more manageable. He’s got help (and just as importantly, company!), and coming off of a vacation makes everything feel a little bit less of a grind. We’re really, really hoping that this renovation will take a bit less time. Right now, the goal is to have it finished and ready to rent by August 1st. We’ll see! The other funny thing is that now we have a garage?! Haha! That seriously happened in the blink of an eye. We had been talking (and I had been resisting) for quite some time and then I realized that garages increase property value at least dollar for dollar, someone else does ALL the work, and with one we might actually be able to make our yard look presentable, rather than the scene straight out of rural Appalachia that it looks like right now. So yeah. That took less than a month.
And then the big news (well the first part at least) is that Lu turns two on Thursday! Don’t ask me how. I can remember the weeks leading up to her birth and then her delivery and those first few days like they were last week. To me, she still looks like a little peanut, but then I get her around the crew we have going here in Edgewater, and she’s the third oldest and the second biggest outta six, so that kinda blows my mind.
So let me tell you about the girls and life with them right now. Because it’s sort of the best. As far as I’m concerned, Lily at four years old is freaking amazing. Tantrums are at an all time low, and most of the time, she’s just the sweetest, most pleasant little girl. She’s funny, chatty, and full of energy. She’s a phenomenal hiker and a great big sister. She’s caring and loving, imaginative and playful. I love her to bits. Also? Somehow we brought back the nap? And both of them are napping RIGHT. NOW?! Because life is just that good, you guys. We’ve had solid napping with only two or three misses since school let out three or four weeks ago. HALLELUJAH. Because these days, the only tantrums we have are borne of pure exhaustion or severe hanger. So mostly they’re preventable. It’s a huge shift, emotionally. Tantrums began right around Lu’s birth, picked up speed over the next year, and then began tapering at about three and a half. Throughout the rest of Lily’s threes, we experienced weeks of reprieve interspersed by weeks of renewed tumult, but as we progress further into four, the tantrums have really begun to fizzle out. It is an enormous relief. After long stretches where we would have big meltdowns at least once a day, it’s nice to have a little girl who can express herself with words and who is much better at asking for what she needs and responding to reason. There were times there when I felt all wrung out and the toll of another meltdown was steep. I realize that the language I use surrounding these episodes might be confusing. I’ve often used the term tantrum, but it could just as easily be described as a meltdown. The reasons were as varied as the wrong dress, pants with pockets, sudden hunger or thirst that couldn’t immediately be met or wasn’t met with the desired food or drink, exhaustion, or of course, the myriad of little things that were simply a masquerade for the real issues like jealousy and changes in routine. The nature of the meltdowns varied too. They could last half the day and consist primarily of whining, whimpering, and short crying jags, or they could last anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes and entail copious amounts of tears, headsweats, and snot. The common thread was that there was very little I could do to extricate her from the meltdown. Offers of hugs and kisses, peaceful time, or eventually my exasperation did little to lessen the outbursts. It was an exercise in non-reaction – on of my first – and I met the challenge with varying degrees of success. Reading The Conscious Parent and trying to see Lily as my little spiritual gangster was the most helpful thing I found. Knowing that, yes, Lily is sensitive and so she perhaps experienced this phase for a longer period of time with more meltdowns than average BUT THAT THIS BEHAVIOR WAS STILL WITHIN THE REALM OF NORMAL, was also very helpful.
(Anyway, I go into this because I do feel like we have come to the end of a phase, and I am grateful for the end as well as the lessons I learned. I also go into this because I’ve been thinking about those lessons and also how I’ve portrayed them on this blog. It’s my hope that by being vulnerable I am also normalizing the behaviors and struggles that can be so challenging for a parent. I have often felt alone or worried that I am the only person experiencing these challenges, but I have also been reassured by many parents that they are going through the same things. From fewer parents, I have heard that these behaviors are NOT normal and that by describing my daughter’s tantrums and my responses to them I am not only injuring my daughter’s privacy but also disclosing my incompetence as a parent. From those people I request humility, compassion for my own vulnerability, and perhaps the understanding that judging other parents – specifically mothers – is an exercise primarily undertaken to assuage your own insecurities. )
All this is to say that we’re in a sweet spot. Lily and Lu play so well together, and they clearly love one another. I see their sisterhood more and more as a gift rather than a challenge. I’m alternately touched by acts of inclusion, generosity, thoughtfulness, and gentleness, and in the time we’ve spent with other children, I see these behaviors carrying over. Yes, we still have our moments of grabbing toys and naughty behavior, but it also feels like those moments are easily outweighed and outnumbered by the time spent happily playing. It’s a good, good place.
Hello! Narrator moment again. Back to July 30, 2016. I haven’t gotten to Lu, but I’ll do that now, plus a few updates from the last month:
Ha! Lu’s update may have been unadulterated praise a month ago or even a week ago, but the past week has been a bit of a doozy. Such is life with a growing babe. I never know if it’s a transition that’s setting them off or maybe a mild fever, but every once in a while we regress to a state of constantly wanting to be held, lots of tears, and me reminding myself that my children will only want to be held for so long and that some day I’ll miss it (and longingly wishing to eat a meal without a babe in arms and fantasizing about a 15 minute power clean without a sobbing child tugging at my knees). Anyway. Before last weekend, Weston (our neighbor) and I were talking about how chill Lu is. So calm, low drama, one of those kids who’s totally at ease in a crowd but not much for the spotlight. And to top it off, she’s gentle and generous. She’s so sweet with our friends’ little twins, and she loves her little cousins, Bierstadt and Ellison. For some reason I thought she might be a bit of a brute because she’s so tough when it comes to her own play and pain tolerance, but she’s really quite gentle and sweet. These days, whenever I ask Lily for a kiss or a hug and Lily coyly refuses, Lu hurries over and plants one on me. I love too how when I tell Lu that I’m disappointed in a choice she’s made, she’ll voluntarily stroke my arm and say, “sorry, mama.”
Lu’s other big development is all language. She’s stringing together words more and more these days, and I’m even realizing that what I used to assume was nonsensical babbling actually turns out to contain the discernible sentence or two?! For example, the other day she’s babbling along and all of a sudden I realize she’s saying, “go roll down the hill!” We had our two year check up two weeks ago, and she’s doing well. The only surprise is that she’s a bit of a mini: she clocked in at just the 6th percentile for weight, even though she’s 60th for height. Overall, it’s a fun age full of talking and more communication. Her personality emerges more each day, and it’s so fun to see her grow.
And now! I shall never get a post up unless I leave it at that. Lu is currently sobbing for my attention, and there isn’t even time to tell you about the awful hair cutting episode this morning or my dad, Mandy, and Hannah’s visit this week…. More later😉
(Viewer discretion is advised. As Lily would say, “Daddy-O said a bad word.” Actually, I said many of them… Perhaps view this video not in the company of little ones.)
Last year I completed my first hundred mile race. It was a fun and challenging experience. I did really well. I tanked for a bit. I walked a lot, but I still managed to finish under 30 hours.
We (I) chose Utah for our summer vacation so that I could run the Bryce 100 and give another 100 miler a go. I went into the race with high hopes. The previous three races I’d run this winter and spring had gone really well, and I’d set PRs at all of them. So, I went into the Bryce 100 hoping for another great day.
I also went into Bryce thinking that I’d make a Mark Watney style mock-umentary of my experience. After my 100 mile last year I had just two pictures of me on the course. I felt that such an experience should have better documentation. So, I set out with my camera hoping to catch something entertaining on film.
It is with great trepidation, humility and embarrassment that I post this video. My high hopes for the race were dashed when I succumbed to the heat and ended up dropping out of the race. I’m pretty disappointed that I didn’t finish, but I’ve learned a few lessons about myself from the experience. I also had fun making the video.
I’d say more, but hey just watch (without small children).
And thank you K for that sensual sunscreen application.