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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pregnancy update - 32 weeks

I had another appointment with my birth center yesterday.  Everything is still going pretty well.  Baby's heart rate is good (140 bpm).  My blood pressure is staying nice and low, which I am super happy about.  I gained 3 pounds this month, which is a nice healthy amount.  This makes my total weight gain for the pregnancy 5 pounds (since I lost so much weight in my first trimester due to morning sickness).  When I was pregnant with Mira, this was the time of the pregnancy that I was putting on the most weight, so I'm feeling really good about my modest but healthy weight gain, especially right now.  I'm eating a little healthier in this pregnancy than my previous one (substituting healthy, low fat, low sugar foods instead of giving in to every craving) and I'm also much more physically active in this pregnancy than I was in my last pregnancy (entirely due to the fact that I have to keep up with a toddler all day long instead of sit at a desk job).  So those two things combined probably account for the more modest weight gain.

I am still having ocular migraines, but they are coming on much less frequently.  I do seem to notice a correlation between them and getting stressed out.  It seems like if I'm having "one of those days", then I am more likely to get an ocular migraine.  Which is always a great addition to whatever I'm already dealing with, let me tell you.  :-/  I have had one while I was driving, which is probably the worst possible time since I go almost completely blind.  Luckily I was in a place where it was easy to pull over, so everything was fine.  But as a result of that, we are having Brian do the driving for me when it is at all an option.  I did talk to a midwife at the birth center about them, and she said it was likely due to the hormonal changes in my body but that I should get in to see an eye doctor just to make sure it isn't something else.

Now that I'm firmly into the third trimester, I am really starting to feel tired again.  Looking back on the second trimester, I realize that I did have more energy, but it certainly didn't feel like it at the time.  But by comparison, it was better because now I am plain exhausted.  But I can't just go to sleep, oh no.  I'm so uncomfortable at night, I'm tossing and turning and getting up every so often to pee.  So there's really no relief of the constant lack of energy.  And I wish that I could just let things go, sit and relax and not fret about whatever needs to be done, and I do sometimes, but other times all the things I need to do start rummaging around in my head and then I start getting anxious if I don't clean something or put something away or take Mira somewhere or run an errand.  ("Stay at home mom" is really a misnomer.)

So when I talked to the midwife about all that, the ocular migraines associated with stress and having trouble sleeping yet feeling tired all the time, she said "Well it sounds like you're having trouble relaxing.  You could try having a half glass of wine before bed every now and then."  Oh really????  Well, I took her advice last night, but I don't think I drank enough to feel any different, it was just a few sips really, not even a half glass.  And I drank it slowly, over the course of 2 hours, so I really didn't feel anything.  But it was nice to just taste.  I don't think I'm comfortable drinking more than a few sips at a time (I'm a little paranoid, despite recent evidence to the contrary), so I'm not sure I'll get the effects the midwife intended from this, but I have always liked the taste of wine, so I might try this again before the pregnancy is through.

Ellowyn continues to be quite the little athlete, despite the rapid decrease in available space.  She often moves so vigorously that I am suddenly very uncomfortable, sometimes even causing me sharp pains in the ribs or pelvic bone.  Despite the discomfort, it is kind of fun to sit and watch my belly twist and jump this way and that.  I'm trying to enjoy it as much as possible, since we're not entirely sure that we'll want a third child, so it's possible that this will be my last pregnancy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mira knows some letters.

Mira can now identify 15 letters (capitals only, not lowercase).  If you point to a letter and ask her what the letter is she can say it or if you ask her where is the letter Y (or A or L or any of the other 15 letters she knows) she can point it out on a page of words.

Recently she's also started trying to write some letters.  She's really good at writing M and I and O, but she also likes to try R and V and N.

I don't feel like I've really pushed her to learn the alphabet, she just seems really interested in it.  We'll be reading a book and she'll start pointing to the letters and saying what they are; sometimes she seems more interested in the text than the pictures.  And some of her favorite toys are letters, too.  She has a set of tub toys that are letters that stick to the wall when wet and she also has a set of alphabet magnets that she puts on our front door.  When she colors, she often brings me the crayons and asks me to draw certain letters.

I'm glad that she's shown so much interest in it.  I wonder if it's because she loves to read so much and somehow she already knows that reading involves solving this whole letter "puzzle".  In any case, she's making my goal of having her reading before entering kindergarten very attainable.  ;-)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Mira knows her colors.

Sometimes she mixes up blue and purple, but I know adults who still have a tough time with that distinction.  ;-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interactive songs

Ok, it's been long enough since I posted here.  You're probably thinking I owe you a good one.  Well, here it is, folks: not one, not two, but THREE Mira videos for your viewing pleasure.  I know, I know... it may be too much cuteness for your hearts to take.  Brace yourself.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby #2's name

A couple months ago, Brian and I came up with a name for Baby #2.  We thought we'd sit on it a while, let it roll around in our heads, and then decide if we still liked it.  Well, it's been months now and every time one of us suggests a different name, we ultimately decide that we don't like it as well as the original.  So I guess it might as well be official.

Baby #2 will be named Ellowyn Shanelle Drake.

On the name Ellowyn: This is a name that I made up.  I've never heard it before anywhere.  You may be thinking it's from "Lord of the Rings", but it's not.  There was an Eowyn and an Arwen, but never an Ellowyn.  Just like with Mira, we wanted a first name that would be original enough that there wouldn't be 3 kids in her class with the same name, but not so original that it couldn't be easily pronounced.  As for nicknames, I don't intend to call her anything short of Ellowyn, though once she got old enough if she expressed a desire to be called something different, Ellie or Elle or Ella or Wyn or Wynnie, I would go along with her wishes.

On the name Shanelle: This name is a combination of two other names: the middle names of Brian's two birth sisters.  One has the middle name Shanno, the other's middle name is Michelle.  Combine the two and you get Shanelle.  Again, this is a play on something we did with Mira's name: Mira's middle name is Lee, which just happens to be the middle name of both my mother and Brian's mother.  So with both our girls, we managed to name them after two people with one name.  What can I say?  I'm a fan of consistency.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mira is <..> this much a toddler

I'm so lucky to have such a happy agreeable little girl.  (Ok, I'm sure some of it has to do with my parenting style and the fact that I can be home with her, but I'm also convinced that part of it is her temperament, which is totally luck of the draw.)  When I ask her a question, her default answer is the most adorable little "Yeah!".  As opposed to many toddlers, who seem to know no words other than "no".  Mira has to stop and check herself if she really wants to say "no" to something.  She almost says "yeah" and then thinks twice and shakes her head "no".  Now it's possible that it's only a matter of time before I eventually do have an obstinate, negative, yelling, tantrum-throwing toddler.  But thankfully that day has not yet come.  For the most part, Mira follows directions, she is polite and sweet, and she plays gently.  She even says "thank you" (in sign) without being prompted every now and then.  Mira is mostly a dream.

Except when she's not.

It's rare, but sometimes Mira does manage to wear on my nerves.  Mostly this is in the form of whining.  Her vocabulary is expanding so incredibly rapidly, but still she just doesn't have the words for every situation.  And when she doesn't have the words, she will usually say "ah ah" or "ooo eee".  And I'm totally ok with that.  But it is also in those situations that she is more prone to get frustrated and then the "ah ah" becomes a more piercing whine.  And I think I have been somewhat encouraging the whining because I will unthinkingly respond to her whines by addressing her needs.  So now I'm starting to make a conscious effort to stop doing that.  When she starts whining I (try to) just say "I don't like that sound" and do nothing else to help her.  If she continues, then sometimes I say "I don't understand your whining; use words or show me what you want without whining."  I've only been at it for a few days and it usually takes longer than that to change behavior, so we'll see if it helps over the next few weeks.

But all in all, I realize that I don't have much to complain about with Mira.  She's awesome.  Though I am a bit worried that maybe she's spoiled me... Ellowyn may end up being a shock to my senses.