Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day

Becca has been hearing a lot about this election, as her mama is VERY interested in it and on maternity leave. Local schools are out today, so I have the pleasure? of taking both James and Becca with me to vote. Becca is totally excited about it.

She was really bummed when we told her that she didn't get to vote, so John made her a voting booth. She voted for Barack Obama (a step up from the Broccoli Obama guy she was originally voting for).

Daddy had to take a turn, too. And Sasha, out champion photo bomber, He voted for Becca Hill! Just don't tell her that she isn't old enough to be president, either...

Sunday, October 14, 2012


One less stop to make while grocery shopping - blood pressure was 117/79 at my six-week appointment! Officially fully recovered from the pregnancy-induced hypertension!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I know I am a crappy blogger these days, but I have got to pop in really quickly and tell you that my little girl, you know, the one who was born at 28 week and weighed less than a pound and had a life expectancy of 2-3 MINUTES, today played in a soccer game AND competed in a horse show. Take that, prematurity! Granted, she is a 4-year-old playing soccer in the 3-year-old league and the horse show was with her therapeutic riding program for kids with special needs, but I am going to go out on a limb here and say that her quality of life has turned out to be pretty damn good. I think everyone who was/is a part of team Becca deserves a standing ovation on this one. So our dear nurses, doctors, therapists, teachers and caregivers - take a bow. John and I will take one, too - quickly, before we have to get this super kid to her next activity.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Upside of Oversupply

Lots of milk. The downside? Difficulty latching, engorgement, plugged ducts, mastitis, and lots of pumping and ice packs. It has been a roller coaster...the glorious life of a breast feeding mom. With super boobs.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I can't seem to find time to write (surprise!), but here are some shots of our cute kids together, and a bonus of each of them. Enjoy!

(Okay, I am posting from my phone and can't figure out how to caption these, so here is the run down:

1. Baby James...can't you just hear him saying, "Oy vey...what have I gotten myself into?"
2. Becca ready to go on an "animal hunt" with Grandma. And, BTW, "hunting" means finding animals and looking at them through your "telescope." Please don't tell her that people kill animals for fun. Diego would be traumatized.
3. Looks like she is trying to nurse him...not sure if that is it, or I'd they are just cuddling.
4. Bonus picture of my brothers meeting me for the first time. They look happy to see me. Don't be fooled; it didn't last long.
5. The first time they met - so sweet to hold both of my babies. Hopefully I will convert and post the video soon.
6. Dad and kiddos on our first family outing - to Target, of course.

No promises that these captions are in order; you can probably match them up.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

See Ya!

Hey, did you know that sometimes they let you take your baby home WITH YOU?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Baby James is Here!

Sweet Baby James was born this morning at 8:26, weighing in at 7 pounds and 19.25 inches long. He is doing great, as is Mommy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

38 Weeks, 5 Days

A picture of the ginormo belly. Apparently, if you stay pregnant long enough, even your maternity shirts start to get small. And I am pretty sure this is what it looks like right before your stomach explodes. Geez, my skin is tight.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

An Open Letter to My Uterus

Dear Uterus,

You have been amazing.  You have done a great job sheltering and nurturing this little boy for nearly 10 months now.  You have performed admirably, and I am very proud of you and your buddy, the cervix of steel.  Even while the rest of my body has tried to work against this pregnancy, with blood pressures rising and all, you have held strong and created a safe home for this booger.  While so many women with prior pre-term births constantly have to worry about contractions and whether this or that twinge is the beginning of early labor, you haven't tensed at all.  You are one calm, cool and collected uterus, you are.

But here's the deal: you're about to get sliced open.  Like, the doctor is going to cut you.  Open.  And pull a baby out of you.  And it won't be pretty for either of us.  (But then again, what way of extracting a human out of another is actually pretty?)  It will do, and the designated butcher is quite a good surgeon who will be very gentle with you and the other layers of me that have to be cut through in order to get to you (7 layers in all, I believe), but still...you gonna get cut.  On Monday.  That's five days from now.  Sliced.

But you have an out!  We are 38 weeks, 2 days pregnant now.  That's a lovely time to have a baby.  I know 39 weeks is better; I've seen my March of Dimes graphics and everything.  I know Baby James' big old brain could use another few days cooking inside before he meets the big, wide world.  So I'm cool waiting another few days.

But if you don't start doing SOMETHING soon, there's going to be no way for you to avoid the big c-s.  I mean, something!  You've been so mellow this entire pregnancy that I have never even felt a single contraction.  Some uteri are gettin' all busy by now, at least with those Braxton-Hicks contractions.  But you, no, you are one cool cucumber.  Or maybe more like a very mellow hollowed out watermelon at this point.  I mean, I know I'm generally in the business of asking uteri NOT to contract so as to keep their precious contents safe, but, really, it's about time for you to pep up.  So c'mon, give me a squeeze or two, just to let me know there's a CHANCE you might decide to pop this baby out on your own before Monday.  Seriously, if you and Ms. Cervix of Steel show us a little action, we might be able to put off the surgery in hopes that you will end things on your own terms.  But right now, you're giving me nothing.  So we are set to be sliced.

And if that's how we have to go, that's fine.  But I'm just saying that I *think* you'd probably prefer to avoid the scalpel.  I mean, I could be wrong, but who wants to be sliced open at 7:30 in the morning?  I mean, really.  Still, I can't complain about you.  Even with Becca's clusterf*&^ of a pregnancy, you performed admirably.  So we're cool.  Buuuut...I want you to go into this process fully informed.

Ball's in your court, uterus.  Quite literally.  How you gonna play it?


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Visit to L&D

I had an appointment on Monday, and after looking at my blood pressure numbers from the weekend, Dr. Sizemore decided that it was time to send me over to labor and delivery for some more extensive monitoring.  I was officially admitted to Williamson Medical Center for the first time since I broke my pinky finger in 1990.  :)

They hooked me up to the monitors (tracking contractions - none - and Baby James' heartrate - perfect) and took my blood pressure every 10-30 minutes for a few hours.  At first, when I was lying flat in the bed, my numbers were ridiculously low.  Like making me look like a hypochondriac low.  One of the readings was 116/66.  WTF?  Then I sat up in bed - not even all the way, something like 45 degrees - and the numbers bumped back up where they had been, somewhere around 140/mid-80's.  I at least felt validated then, like I wasn't totally crazy.  :)

They checked my pee for protein, still negative.  They ran bloodwork again, still fine.  At the moment, we are dealing with a diagnosis of gestational hypertension (similar to pre-e, but without the protein indicating that my kidneys are failing).  It may yet end up being pre-e again, but who knows.  There's not that much longer in the pregnancy for pre-e to develop!

After seeing my blood pressure level out, even though it was still up, they decided that I could go home, but I have to be stricter about my bedrest.  I'm still only on "modified" bed rest, meaning that I can get up to go to the bathroom, to shower, to move from the bed to the couch to the kitchen table (sitting in a chair, not lying on the table, silly), but I really don't need to be taking care of Becca on my own, and it was time to officially go on maternity leave and stop trying to work from home.

So that's where we are now.  Sitting around.  But that's okay.  Church has been great with my leave time, so with the vacation time I've saved up, I should still be able to spend James' first 3 months in the world at home with him, which is good.  We have decided to go ahead and bump up his delivery to 39 weeks, assuming he doesn't decide to come before then and that I stay stable enough that we don't have to take him before them, just so that I don't use up another week of my leave waiting for the possibility of going into labor and attempting a VBAC, especially since there is no indication that I would even go into labor before my due date.  (Cervix of steel, I've got.  One complication we don't worry about.  :) )  So I'm a little sad to probably have to let go of the possibility of a VBAC, but it wasn't like my life depended on it or anything.  In fact, my life may depend on not holding out for one.  It did last time around!  :)  It would have been nice to possibly have that experience and labor not be something else that prematurity took away from us, but, wow, we've gotten to experience SO much more normalcy in this pregnancy that I can certainly deal with not having to deal with contractions, etc.  I hear they aren't much fun, anyway.  :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Just a Girl and Her Daddy

Being cute on what might turn out to be our final adventure as a family of three - dinner at Puckett's Grocery in Leiper's Fork a few days ago.

First Day of School!

We might have overdone it on the smile. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Update - in John's Words

It's actually still me typing, but John sent such a lovely and concise update to the church staff after our appointment yesterday that I thought I'd let him do the talking for once.  Here's what he said:

Hi everyone,
Just wanted to give you a quick update on Nancy. Her blood pressure is elevated (150s/80s), but her labs came back normal and there is no protein in her urine (sorry for the detail). This means that, as of now, she does NOT have pre-eclampsia (yay!), but the elevated blood pressure is still worrisome. It could be the result of the steroids she is taking for her lungs, it could be a pre-cursor to pre-eclampsia, or it could be that she will just have elevated blood pressure near the end of her pregnancy.
The doctor has placed her on modified bed rest (shouldn’t work or do anything strenuous, but doesn’t actually have to stay in bed all day) at least until her pressure comes down. We will continue to monitor it closely at home and go to the doctor twice a week now for testing. If she develops pre-eclampsia or her blood pressure gets higher (into the danger zone of 160s/100s), then she’ll be admitted to the hospital and likely have a c-section soon thereafter.
So, right now, we are more or less in a holding pattern to watch and make sure she doesn’t get any worse (and hopefully even gets better!).
Thanks for all the prayers and support!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

36 Weeks + A Little Excitement

As of yesterday, I am 36 weeks pregnant!  We haven't measured him lately, but Baby James should be about 6 pounds now.  Becca was around 6 pounds at her first Christmas, at 6 months old.  You could say he's got a head start on his big sister.  I'm not going to know what to do with this giant kid.  Bizarre. 

I am feeling appropriately uncomfortable and perfectly happy to be sore, tired, worn out and achey.  James has dropped, so he's in position, head-down, to make an arrival in the next few weeks.  I'm dilated a centimeter, which apparently means nothing, but hey, at least something is happening.  One more week, and we're full-term!  Even at this point, though, we are likely to avoid the NICU.  Woohoo!

But this week is not without a little bit of excitement.  Last week, Becca passed her cough on to me, dear child, and with my asthmatic lungs and pregnant immune system, it has hit me harder than it did her.  By Friday, I was ready for a trip to the pulmonologist, and picked up a round of antibiotics and steroids (prednisone) on the way home.  By Saturday night, my blood pressure, which has been really good lately, had bumped up to the "you're not going to die but you should call the doctor" range.  I gave it until Sunday morning, and called the doc during Sunday school.  He said to keep taking it and let him know if it went up further.  He thought the steroids *might* be to blame but didn't want to initially blow it off. 

Sunday afternoon, I rested, took it again, numbers were about the same.  I probably should have called the doctor then, but that night we were going out for our anniversary, and Super Dad had a Super Date planned for us, complete with a night at the Union Station hotel, where we spent our wedding night.  Knowing that my numbers weren't dangerously high, just possibly heading that way, we went on our date and had a great time.  By Monday morning, after a night off from work and parenting, they were down again.

Monday afternoon, at work, they bounced back up, so I went in to have the nurse run them.  Now they were up to 151/82 - highest I've seen since my pregnancy with Becca.  They considered keeping me overnight in L&D, but I convinced them to let me go home and rest.  They ran some lab work (which came back okay, thank goodness) and set me up for the super-fun 24-hour urine collection.  I'm nearly done with that now, and have spent the day at home on my butt (mostly).  Blood pressure has come back down to the 130's (sometimes upper) over 80's (sometimes upper), so we are still watching it.  I'll turn in my pee jug tomorrow morning, keep checking numbers and sit on my butt until I see the doctor tomorrow afternoon, when they will have results from the 24-hour collection.  (They are looking to see if my kidneys are spilling protein in my urine - the other classic indicator of pre-eclampsia.) 

If they don't like the results from that, or if my blood pressure bumps up too high again, I'm guessing they will put me on bedrest for the duration of the pregnancy.  I don't know how long that will be - I'm guessing they would wait until at least 37 weeks (next Monday) to take him (unless I get really sick, of course), so that he would be full-term, but I don't know if they will want to give him until 38 or 39 weeks or what.  At any rate, none of those weeks is very far away, thank goodness!

There's still a good chance that the urine test will come back negative and the blood pressure will normalize as I finish my run of steroids.  (It's a 9 day run - 3 days on 60 mg, 3 days on 40 mg, 3 days on 20 mg - and I'm on day 2 of the 40 mg.)  In that case, I'm back to the plan I outlined in my last post (I think). 

So, like I said, a little excitement, but we are so so so so so so so so happy to be looking at these issues at 36 weeks and not 26!  Such a world of difference! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Soccer Girl

Becca went to Tiny Tots Soccer Camp a few weeks ago and LOVED it!  I think we're going to try a season this fall.  I gotta say, I'm a lot more comfortable becoming a soccer mom than the dance mom from last year, tomboy that I am.  And she's pretty adorable in her shin guards!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Are You There, Readers? It's Me, Nancy.

Soooo...it's been nearly a month since my last post, and I'm happy to report that not much of anything has happened, baby-wise.  I am 33 weeks and 3 days pregnant now and, looking back, absolutely in awe that I'm pregnant at all and, well, oh-so-pregnant in fact.  33 weeks?!  That's crazy!  Crazy awesome!

I believe at my last post, I was freaking out about what it meant to be on "light activity" and feeling guilty for everything I did and didn't do.  Recently, I've just decided that being a mom means feeling guilty no matter what you do.  There are always choices to be made, always something you are leaving left undone or someone left unattended to.  For example, John was supposed to have a meeting last night, but it got cancelled.  So I suggested that we go on a date.  Called the babysitter and confirmed that she was up for staying late.  Easy peasy.  But I immediately felt guilty that I was going to choose to spend time with my dear husband instead of rushing home to see the girl child, whom I had seen for all of 10 minutes that morning.  So there's the dilemma.  John and I need time to relax together, and Becca was in more than capable and loving hands, but I still felt like I was choosing John over Becca - and had we chosen to skip the date and go home, I would have felt guilty about choosing Becca over time with John.  Such is life as a mother.  And it's really similar to life as a pastor.  So we clergy moms (who often have an overdeveloped sense of guilt to begin with) are really good at wallowing.  I'm open to advice on this issue, by the way.  I'd like to think it doesn't *have* to feel that way.

But I digress...back to the pregnancy.  So, I wasn't clear what I was expected to do/not do.  I hit up Dr. Google for a little advice and came across a patient education handout from THE Ohio State University Medical Center that outlined "light activity" in pregnancy thusly:

  • [Light Activity] is the least restrictive [prescribed level of activity modification]. You can do some activities, like walking, but not others, such as playing sports. Balance each activity with time for rest.  
  • Get 8 to 10 hours sleep a day. 
  • Rest one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Lie down on your left side while you rest. 
  • Do light household chores only for 15 or 20 minutes at a time. Get help for heavy cleaning or activities that involve bending, stretching, lifting, pushing, pulling or standing on your feet for any length of time
  • Take short walks (2 to 3 blocks) if desired. Talk to your doctor about other light exercises you can do. 
  • Go on short errands or shopping trips, but pay attention to the amount of movement for the activity. Use an elevator or escalator instead of the stairs. Find activities that involve sitting, such as going to a movie or dinner, instead of walking. 
  • If you work outside of the home, talk with your employer if you doctor recommends decreasing your hours or working part-time.
I showed it to the good doc and he agreed that this is about where I needed to be.  Once the expectations were more clearly defined, I could relax and live into the plan a bit more.  I don't follow the above 100% - I usually don't get to rest an hour in the morning AND an hour in the afternoon, but have been known to take a quick nap in the youth room at church, and heaven knows I don't get 8-10 hours of sleep a day, mostly because it is taking me, on average this week, about 3.5 hours TO FALL ASLEEP after going to bed.  (Not that I'm *complaining complaining* - it is lovely to have a third trimester, even with its discomforts, but, wow, it would be nice to get some sleep.)  I am still working full-time (and the doc is good with that), but, thankfully, church life (at least for everyone except the youth ministers) slows down a good bit in the summer.    Definitely no 12-hour days lately.  I have learned that I can basically work a full day and come home and have to crash for the rest of the evening or I can work a shorter day and have some energy to take care of things (like, oh, Becca and prepping baby's room) when I get home - so I'm doing a mix of both.  And I will say that until a few weeks ago, I was not aware just how physically demanding one of my massively famous Target shopping trips can be; I'm usually so caught up in the bliss of the bullseye that I don't notice how it wears me out.  

My blood pressure has still been bouncing around a bit, but it has never stabilized at pre-eclamptic levels, thank goodness.  I take it every morning and try to forget about it the rest of the day, unless I'm feeling particularly gross, then I watch it more closely.  It is interesting how just a somewhat small difference in blood pressure can be reflected in how I feel - I can definitely sense a difference between something like 128/78 vs. 135/85.  I don't know if the numbers go up because I feel gross for some other pregnancy-related reason (there are lots of them, I'm learning :) ) or if I feel gross because the BP is up, but whatever.  When I feel gross, I watch it more closely, but so far it's always gone back down by the next day or after a nap or something.  I am certainly tired and achy.  Any of you who have been this pregnant before can probably understand why I've been posting less frequently - both because I'm exhausted and there's a lot to do, but also because we moved the computer upstairs to the play room, so posting means walking up a flight of stairs, which suuuucks these days (and since everything else is on the first level, I can avoid it otherwise).  Like I said before...I hurt in places I didn't realize I had bones...bones that are now separating and painful.  Also, it turns out that while he appears human on ultrasound, this baby is actually made of flames.  Even though it's hot as the dickens out there, Becca requested today that I not turn on the "air 'ditioning" in the car because it makes her ears cold...because apparently I blast it in order for me to stay moderately comfortable.  But again, I'm happy to have an uncomfortable third trimester.  

Now that we are well into the third trimester, we are starting to make plans for the end of the pregnancy.  As in, the birth of the babe.  At this point, if I were to go into pre-term labor, they wouldn't do anything to stop it.  (I'm not particularly at risk for pre-term labor, any more than anyone else is.)  If I develop pre-e (still a distinct possibility - in fact, most people who do get it, develop in in the 30's, week-wise), we will try to manage it with bedrest (the hospital version, likely), but once we hit 34 weeks (on Monday), we're clear to deliver at Williamson Medical Center (the local hospital where normal women have their kids :) ), so as much as I love our Vandy folks, I think we'll be missing out on sharing this moment with them.  I'm getting steroid shots on Monday and Tuesday (the last possible chance to have them) just to help the little Booger's lungs should he need to come early (before 37 weeks), but it's just a precautionary measure due to my history, nothing he's shown us he necessarily needs.  

We're also working on dropping some of my medicines in anticipation of delivery (that is hopefully still 5+ weeks away).  I've been on 100 mg of Zoloft for anxiety and depression for the duration of the pregnancy (down a bit from my non-pregnant dose), but I recently dropped to 50 mg, with hopes of dropping another 25 mg in a couple of weeks.  Zoloft (despite the scary lawyer commercials you see) is a pretty safe drug in pregnancy, but the babies do tend to become dependent on it, so it's best to be at as low a dose as possible at the time of delivery, just to save the kiddo some withdrawal symptoms (nothing that really affects their health, per se, but it can make the restless, jittery, irritable, etc...much like the drop in dosage is making me this week).  Sometime over the next few weeks (week 37, perhaps?), I'll stop giving myself the Lovenox shots, since it's a blood thinner and, well, you don't want your blood excessively thin whilst delivering a baby, whether it's a vaginal delivery or a c-section.  And Dr. Sizemore told us yesterday that if you have taken Lovenox in the past 48 hours when you go into labor, you can't have an epidural...which makes me want to stop taking it, like, yesterday, just in case.  Bring on the drugs.  

Assuming I don't get sick, I am a candidate for a VBAC (a vaginal birth after Cesarean section).  Even though they often have to do what's called a "classical" (or vertical) incision in an emergency c-section (like Becca's), one benefit of her being so darn small and sitting so low was that they were able to do a transverse incision, which qualifies for a VBAC attempt (unlike the classical incision, which indicates a repeat c-section before mom goes into labor because of the high risk of uterine rupture).  I can definitely see pros and cons to attempting a VBAC vs. scheduling a c-section, and I don't really have a strong opinion one way or the other, so we've decided to wait and see what my body does leading up to delivery.  Dr. Sizemore will let me go one day past my due date (and only because my due date is Labor Day), but no further.  So, thinking backwards, the last possible day this kiddo will come into this world is September 4.  We've tentatively scheduled a c-section for August 31, the Friday before Labor Day.  If I haven't gone into labor (or developed pre-e and been delivered by c-section already), we'll go in the day before for a cervix check.  If there are no signs of progress, we'll go ahead with the c-section the next day, since it's unlikely that I'd go into labor that weekend without any signs of being ready by Thursday.  If I'm starting to dilate, etc., we'll hold off and see if I do go into labor and attempt a VBAC; if not, he'll slice me open on Tuesday.  If I were queen of the world, or at least queen of my body, I'd stay the heck away from pre-e and go into spontaneous labor sometime in week 38, when little man's lungs should be good to go and our dear Miss Becca (the older, not the young miss she watches) goes back to college.  But Lord knows I am NOT the queen of my body.  :)

I think that about catches you up on the little guy, who, by the way, should be just over 4 pounds now and nearly as big as Becca was when we brought her home from the NICU 5 and a half weeks after her due date.  Crazy.  We're not scheduled to check his growth again because he's been tracking so darn perfectly - 50th percentile again at last check - but sometime in week 37 or so, we'll measure him just to make sure he hasn't turned into a real gigantic baby, which would point us toward a c-section rather than a VBAC attempt. (Not because I'm skeeered, but because once a baby is over about 8.5 pounds, the success rate for a VBAC drops significantly, making a scheduled section safer...but who am I kidding?  I am skeeeered of labor.  Who wouldn't be?)  Oh, and I guess you can start calling the booger by his name...James Douglas.  That's right; he's our sweet baby James!  Becca has even (usually) taken to calling him that instead of Nemo...except that her J's sound a little funny, so it's usually "baby Dames," which is, of course, even cuter.  Love that girl.  Love that boy.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


I just put my 3-year-old to bed for the last time.  In the morning, she'll be a 4-year-old.  Bittersweet.

Three seems to get a bad rap.  I think I've mentioned on here before than when working with other people's kids, I have found 3 to be one of my favorite ages.  Numerous friends assured me that it would be different when it was my own child being ridiculously stubborn and emotionally (and physically) out of control.  And we definitely had plenty of awful 3-year-old moments.  Becca is not a mellow kid.  :)  But 3 has also been, by far, the most entertaining age.  Her little mind is so busy making connections, and you never know what she is going to pop out with next.  For example, on the way home today, she said, "When boys come to my house, I'm going to punch them."  What what?  She's a trip.  If I'm wearing black, she pretends that I'm Ursula (of Little Mermaid fame) and runs away.  Obnoxious, yes.  Hilarious, yes (for a while).  Tonight after John got her out of the bath, she ran around the house naked and hid in the pantry.  Dripping wet.  Crazy kid.

Anyhow, Becca's third year has been a good one for us.  She's done pretty well health-wise, she's made a LOT of progress on eating, she's grown fairly well, she's made progress in school, and she'd getting close to being fully pee-potty trained (not so much with the poop).  Considering where we were 4 years ago, praying for a few wonderful minutes with our sweet girl, I'll take every single one of the 2,101,290 minutes she's been in this world...even the obnoxious ones.

Some recent shots of 3 in all its glory...

Sleeping in her humongous big girl bed, passed down from another Rebecca at church!

Modelling her Big Sister shirt she made with Miss Becca

Tinker Becca

Ready to swim!

Strawberry pickin' with Grandma
First braid!  Her hair is finally long enough!

Becca and Daddy pretending to be Lady and the Tramp.  That's amore!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pouches for Parents

Two posts in one day...craziness, I know!  But this one's not about me and my little family.  Well, not directly.  But y'all have heard me complaining about the discomforts of hospital life more than once...and while we are staying far away from hospitals this summer (so far, so good), thousands of kids and their families are taking up residence at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, otherwise known to Becca as "MY hospital!" (BTW, the current Vandy Children's marketing campaign - totally ripped from Becca's brain.)  And Vandy is great, but no hospital is actually comfortable, especially when you end up there on short notice and without the personal niceties of home.  So my friend Allison Glasgow, whose niece is often a patient at Vandy, is doing something about it.  She's a 31 consultant who's running a very special deal, outlined below. Basically, she's turning a staple 31 item into a care package for parents of kids in the hospital.  It's a brilliant idea (and one that I hope NOT to be on the receiving end of this summer).  I'll let her explain the rest in the flyer below, but let me also say that the Large Utility Tote she mentions (which you can buy deeply discounted as a bonus) is my FAVORITE 31 product out there, and I'll be completing our family's set when I make my pouch donation and buy one for baby boy, just as soon as his name is solid enough to be monogram-able.  Also note: the flyer says that she has to have your order by June 22, but she's willing to leave it open until June 29 - but that's a firm deadline so that she can get the orders in by month close.  To order, use her contact info in the bottom right of the flyer.  (You may need to click on the picture to view it larger.)  Thanks!

p.s. I'm not getting anything from this sale - except a great deal on baby boy's bag when I donate 3 pouches.  I just think this is a great idea, and one that hits home with our family and many of your families.  And if you ever find yourself heading to the hospital with your kiddo for an extended stay, I highly recommend taking your own toilet paper.  Theirs sucks.  :)

Stuff and Things and Nancy Rambles

I'm officially more pregnant than ever!  On Monday, for the first time ever, I got to say that I was/am 29 weeks pregnant!  Wohoo!  So that's awesome.  But the blood pressure is still bouncing around, so I'm trying to take it easy, etc.  But it's a total mind warp.  Take today, for example.

I got up and immediately feel gross.  Nausea is back, generally felt icky.  I take my blood pressure, and the systolic (top number - at least I think that's the systolic) was 138.  (Remember, 140 on the top or 90 on the bottom sustained warrants a call to the doc, a visit for monitoring and possible admission/bed rest.)  I lie back down for a while, take it again, and it's 142.  So I call John and tell him that I'm taking a sick day rather than wrangle our precious and oh-so-cooperative nearly 4-year-old into clothes, into the car, into the office to work alongside me (as our super babysitter is out of town this week).  Becca and I spend the day playing some and watching a lot of movies.  Sorry for rotting her brain today.  My pressure comes down below 140 (hence no call to the doctor, whom we are seeing tomorrow anyway), but hangs out in the high 130's.  At last check, it was down all the way to 131/81 - much better apparently, though really not all that different...but I guess 9 points below the magic number is better than 2 points above.  And Becca's taking a nap at this point, so that probably helps.

So then my mind starts going...if you haven't already picked up on it, I've got issues with being "enough" - good enough, a hard enough worker, etc., so I tend to carry lots of guilt around because apparently being "enough" is the same as being "perfect" - which I'm obviously not.  So I start thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't have taken the day off.  Maybe I'm just being lazy.  I keep wanting the doctor to tell me to take it easy...maybe that's because I'm so slothful I just want to lie in bed and watch t.v. all day long.  Maybe this is all in my head.  See, my blood pressure is better.  So I should have gone to work, right?"

I wear myself out taking it easy.  I mean, first off, my logic is flawed.  You can't use the afternoon's good reading to say that I should have gone to work.  Sure, I might have just been running high because I wasn't feeling good (Zofran helped that), but what if - this is crazy! - taking it easy today actually did what we intended for it to do and helped lower my stress and blood pressure?  Perhaps I made the right choice and was seeing the positive consequences from it.  But, no, I must have made a mistake and everyone at work thinks I'm a slacker.  (The last bit of which, I can tell you when I'm in my right mind, is not the case.  They like this kid, too and want him to stay put.)

But I do want the doctor to keep telling me to take it easy.  Is that because I'm lazy?  Is it because of residual issues from my first pregnancy, when NOBODY told me that I should stop working my crazy, stressful and physically demanding schedule (which, we all now agree, I should have, hindsight being what it is and all)?  Is it because I want to check out of all responsibilities?  Well, probably a little bit of yes to all of that and definitely some yes to the second reason.  Yes, because of the guilt I carry about (unknowingly) screwing up Becca's pregnancy (or at least not doing all I could have to unscrew it up), I want to make sure I am doing EVERYTHING possible this time to keep the kiddo cooking.  So maybe I am overreacting, at least some.  But maybe I'm okay with that.  Whatever happens, I don't want to look back and regret anything.

And that's probably why I keep wanting the reassurance from the doctor that I *should* be taking it easy...because I don't want the choices we make in this pregnancy to come from a place of (somewhat false) guilt surrounding Becca's pregnancy.  Now, Dr. Sizemore seems to be happy to provide that reassurance - he agrees that taking it easy does seem to be helping, and there's certainly evidence that it can help...but I guess I still worry about whether I'm being selfish because we can't *prove* that I need to do it.  I mean, there's no control group on me.  We're seeing what happens when I do take it easy, but we can't see what would happen if I kept running at full tilt...'cause I'm not.  Know what I mean?  But I feel like our families and friends and the world is judging me for being lazy...as if the world doesn't have other things to worry about.

I think where all this emotional neediness comes from is a need to justify inaction or inactivity in our society.  I mean, in my circles, it's easy to justify some amount of "self-care," downtime, contemplation, etc...but not a command or an inclination or a neurotic hunch to really, do less.  I guess in particular because when I do less, other people have to do more.  Super Dad has been (predictably) awesome (though sometimes I think he thinks I'm crazy), we've got someone coming tomorrow to clean the house, I've got an awesome assistant at work, and my biggest work task at the moment is being handled by some stellar Vacation Bible School chairwomen.  Some of what I'm *not* doing didn't really need to be mine to do, anyway.

For example, the weekend that my doctor first told me to "take it easy and only do what you have to do at work," I was scheduled to attend the church softball games on Friday night (as a function of my being married to one of the players and enjoying such activities, not as part of my job description or anything), participate in CPR and First Aid training all day Saturday (a good thing for a children's minister to have but not ESSENTIAL to my function at work), go to a Sounds game (Nashville's minor league baseball team) with a group from church that night, and participate in/lead all my normal Sunday morning activities.  In talking to my doctor, I realized that all I really *needed* to do for work was my Sunday morning stuff.  Sure, I was *expected* at the other bits, but they could proceed just fine without me.  (And to that point, if I needed to *not* be at church Sunday morning, folks would have stepped in and made do just fine without me.)  So all I did was my Sunday morning routine.  Oh, and I attended the softball games after making sure some other (very special) spectators were willing to chase the #1 Cheerleader around while I sat.  

Anyhow, I don't know where I'm going with all of this.  I guess I'm just trying to process.  Out loud.  Get surprised.  So I guess I'll just leave it there.  That's the update.  Baby boy (who I think has a name!) is doing well, still, growing and moving and all.  I'm doing okay-ish, growing and trying not to move more than necessary for day to day functioning.  We go back to the doctor tomorrow and will do bloodwork again.  Hopefully we won't be back in the business of collecting 24 hours of pee.  Ew.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pretty Boy!

Guess who is already THREE TIMES HIS BIG SISTER'S BIRTHWEIGHT?  This sweet boy:

(Okay, yes I know he is sideways, but I have to go to a church event now; I'll try to rotate him later.)

Appointment today was great.  Blood pressure was down; I've been instructed to keep doing what I'm doing.  Wohoo!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I'm a lazy blogger.  I feel a little badly about that, but not too badly.  Sorry.  But here are some quick updates.

First kids first: Becca had her EEG last Tuesday, and while it definitely wasn't the easiest procedure we've been through, we survived.  They put 22 electrode probe things all over her head, wrapped it in gauze and told her to lie still for an hour.  And we were supposed to get her to sleep.  At 8:30 in the morning.  Right.  So after keeping her up late the night before and waking her up early, she never did fall asleep for the test.  Apparently it was not essential, though (wish they had said that to begin with!), and they got enough data to determine that her brain functions perfectly normally (even with the missing bit).  We'll talk with the pediatrician tomorrow-ish (he was out of town, but a partner gave us the results), but I anticipate no seizure meds and no follow up with neurology - just a heightened awareness that she is prone to seizures when she is ill (and not necessarily just febrile ones).  She's probably grow out of them.  In the meantime, we won't let her drive while she's sick.

Second kids second:  Baby Brother is a big ole fatty.  We haven't done a growth scan in a few weeks, just quick peeks on the ultrasound to make mama happy, but we'll get another size estimate on Wednesday.  He should be somewhere around 2 pounds by then, probably a bit more.  And definitely a lot bigger than his "big" sister was at this point - or for a couple more months.  All seems to be well with him, so that is AWESOME and a bunch of steps ahead of where we were with Becca at this point.

And this point is (as of Monday) 27 weeks.  With Becca, I was admitted at 27 weeks, 1 day, and she was delivered at 27 weeks, 6 days.  I don't anticipate meeting this little booger in the next week, thank goodness.  Unfortunately, though, we are starting to see my blood pressure trending upwards and teetering close to pre-eclampsia range. Blech.  I haven't hit the magic numbers yet (140/90 sustained), but I've bounced pretty close to them a few times.  So after talking with Dr. Sizemore on Friday, we decided that I would drop some non-essential work tasks (a.k.a. spending all weekend at church-related functions at which I was expected but not really necessary) and sit on my butt as much as possible.  I'm still full-time but will be watching my activity level and spending a lot of time preparing my FABULOUS assistant to take over any given day.  Of course, we're still hoping that day is not until sometime in August, but, hey, if she's prepared a few weeks early, what's that going to hurt?  So, church folk, if I look lazy, it's 'cause I'm actually trying to keep working as long as possible (with the goal, of course, not so much being about the work as it is being healthy enough to keep working and growing Mr. Fatso).

Speaking of Mr. Fatso, I am super big and LOVING it.  I'm definitely bigger than I ever was with Becca, which makes sense because there is twice as much baby in there.  And it's really fun.  Even if we don't end up with a full 39/40 weeks, I'm enjoying being/looking/feeling more pregnant than ever, even though some of it is definitely not comfortable.  I'm having pains in bones I previous did not know existed, for example.  I'll leave it at that.  :)  But it's so worth it to have a kiddo who is big and strong, even though he might also be an early bird.  Like I said, way ahead of where we were this time last time.

I'm actually not more pregnant that I've ever been - that will happen on Sunday after 3 pm-ish.  I'll try to give the blogosphere a shout out for that milestone, but remember if you don't hear from me - no news is good news.  If I'm sitting in a hospital bed I'll have wireless internet and plenty of time to update - so be happy for me if I leave you hanging.  :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Seizure Update

Becca has continued to be...totally fine.  I just talked to her pediatrician, and he wants to do the EEG before we call neurology.  If the EEG comes back normal, he's ready to chalk it up to febrile seizures and manage from there.  (If that's what it is, there's not much managing to be done - just watch her fevers, treat with Tylenol, and be prepared to handle a few seizures here and there.)  If the EEG shows some areas of abnormal electrical activity and connectivity, we'll see neuro to see what they think.  So that's that.  Don't know when it will be scheduled; I'll let you know.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Back at the Hospital

I know I've been a crappy blogger lately, and I'll try to fill you in on all kinds of goings on, but I wanted to go ahead and tell you what happened this week with the little Boo.  The Big Sister Boo, that is.  The formatting is weird because I'm copying and pasting from another webpage, but I'm sure you'll manage.  :)  I'll let you know what the docs decide to do next week.  (And briefly: me and baby boy (definitely a boy) are doing fine and go back to the doc this week.  So far, so good there!)

[Background: Becca has had 2 other seizures in her life. One was clearly hypoglycemic-related (blood sugar was 45 at the time), and the other was related to an illness, though not necessarily febrile, as by the time the ambulance arrived (I was driving down the interstate at the time - awesome), she didn't have a fever. That time, they kept her overnight, gave her antibiotics for the underlying illness (which we had been at the doc for that afternoon), and sent us home with a med in case she seized again. That was over a year ago and probably related to a tick-borne illness.]

Becca came home from school at noon on Thursday (normal time) and told the babysitter that her tummy hurt and she wanted to lie down. She felt feverish, so the babysitter gave her Tylenol (I told her not to bother with a temp b/c I trusted her judgement that she was feverish but not crazy hot), and they had a lazy afternoon sleeping and watching tv. 

I came home at 6:30, and she ran to the door, jumped up and down, etc to greet me. So she definitely had some energy. She still felt warm, but I planned on giving her Tylenol at bedtime (just an hour later). She still wasn't crazy hot or anything.

So by 7:30, I'm getting her bedtime stuff together while she's watching baby videos of herself (so cute). I'm assembling her feeding tube stuff in the kitchen and hear her making some whimpering-type noises from the couch. I check it out; she's seizing. I get her rectal Diastat kit prepped; we're supposed to give it to her if a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes. It lasts for at least 4 minutes (assuming it wasn't going on TOO much longer before I noticed), and then she stopped shaking but was still out of it and not really responding for another few minutes. After about 15 minutes, she's responsive, but kind of drunk and -- this was the scary part -- unable to talk. She would answer questions by nodding or shaking her head, but couldn't get words out. If you've even seen someone who has had a stroke trying to talk, that is what it looked like - sticking her tongue out a lot, trying to form words with her mouth, but not being able to do so -- or even get any sounds out. Then she vomited - yellow, bilous-looking stuff. I took her temp after the seizure, and it was 104.3. Blood sugar was 173. Breathing was fine, didn't appear to desat at all.

The on-call ped said that she "absolutely needed to come in and be seen," so I got our stuff together (sad how quickly I can pack a hospital bag for me and her these days :) ) and waited for DH to get home (5 minutes away). If John hadn't been close, the ped was going to have us call an ambulance so that I could watch her during the ride. 

So we drive 40 minutes to the kids' hospital, are immediately triaged (never given Tylenol because at that point she wasn't even feverish - at all). She started talking (slowly) on the ride in, which made me feel better. In fact, her first verbal response was her Simba "ROAR" when I prompted her with the line from "I Just Can't Wait to Be King." Pretty adorable. So - we go through triage, and they send us to the waiting room. For 3 hours. By the point, she's pretty much herself, though still her sick self, and she pretty much laid in a chair and slept. She's 3 hours behind on her tube feeds (not having had anything since lunchtime), so I start bugging the nurses to get us back to a room so we can start feeding her, or we are going to be looking at a hypoglycemic seizure on top of the first one. We even considered leaving because I felt like what she needed most was to sleep and get her feeds, but I was afraid insurance wouldn't pay if we left without being discharged.

Finally, we get back to an ER room. The nurse checks her out; vitals are fine. After about an hour, we see a resident. All is well. I'm lying on the cot with her, and John is miserable in a crappy chair. After we had been in the room for 3 hours - now it's 3 am - we still don't have her hooked up to feeds b/c the nurse needs the docs to order it, and we haven't even laid eyes on an attending yet. I mean, I'm glad we weren't in the trauma room keeping them all busy, but, really, 6 hours later, I would have thought an attending would have at least heard about us. So I go out to the nurses' station to remind them that we are here, and one of the nurses is quite surprised to hear that we've been waiting in a room for 3 hours. Yes, and 6 total, thank you. And at this point, John is "sleeping" on a sheet on the emergency room floor. Ew.

After that, things start moving; we see the attending, he orders a strep test. I remind them about tube feeds, and that *eventually* gets started as well. Becca was a super champ, of course, even "roaring" again so that the nurse could perform the strep test. The attending also wants us to get a urine sample. Right. Get the not-potty-trained 3-year-old away from home to pee in a cup. We give it a couple of tries, but give up, not wanting to traumatize her to the whole peeing on the potty thing, which is *finally* kind of getting the hang of. We ask if they have to have it (the only other option is to cath her - ugh), and the docs says that basically, he wasn't looking for anything in particular, so never mind. Phew. Feeding pump alarms every 2 minutes (literally), so John and I take turns sitting by it and restarting it every time. The nurse doesn't know how to use it - we had to teach her. (But really, she was wonderful...we have just dealt with a lot more pumps than she has.) Strep test comes back negative. Docs don't know what else to do; nurse suggests they send us home. Great idea. So we are out the door about 5 am (after arriving at 9 pm), with a *suggestion* to call neurology to set up an EEG and consult. 

We drive through Krispy Kreme (which just happened to open early on Friday mornings - thank you, Jesus :) ) and get home about 6. We all sleep until 11 and proceed through a normal day and weekend, albeit on the lazy side. By the time we got home, she was COMPLETELY FINE. That's the oddest part to me, and kind of nerve-wracking. I mean, if the seizure were really related to the (brief) illness/fever, why/how could she bounce back so quickly? I mean, the fever was COMPLETELY gone by the time we got to the hospital, and she was herself the next day, even without sleeping much. So that concerns me that there might be some underlying seizure disorder that we are just now seeing. The good news is, though, that if there is an ongoing condition, it appears to be mild, since we've only seen 1 seizure a year (though who knows if others have happened during the night, etc - but still, if so, she bounced back quickly). I doubt that she'd have to go on full-throttle seizure meds, but it's another thing to watch for, I guess. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Absolute Last Call on Shirts!

Here's the final design - don't you love it?  Shirts are available with a donation of $15, made payable directly to me, and I've got to have your order by 5 p.m. CDT TODAY.  I'm compiling and sending the order in tonight!  Leave a comment with your size(s) and an e-mail address, and I'll get back to you!  Thanks!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bits and Pieces

I feel like there is a lot to update you on, but my mind is not at all organized at the moment...so you'll get bits and pieces.

First off, I am now 17 weeks and 4 days.  17 was a bad, bad week for us in Becca's pregnancy.   In fact, it's the week that they told us she was going to die.  So even though we weren't scheduled for a visit this week, I called the doctor to see if we could come in and get a glimpse to make sure everything looks good.  Fabulous doctor that he is, he worked me in, and we saw him on Wednesday. 

I am beyond thrilled to say that this week 17 is going much, much better than our last one.  The baby is measuring right on target, though the head is a little bigger than the legs (which just makes the baby a Hill - have you met my short genius of a husband?).  At this point, Becca was already 2 and a 1/2 weeks behind.  There was a 4 cm fluid pocket already; when we went for our amnio with Becca in week 18, they couldn't even find a 1 cm pocket and almost weren't able to do the amnio.  Dr. Sizemore said that they could amnio this fluid all day long; I told him that I'd prefer that he not.  The baby was moving - dancing, really, which was adorable.  And we think we saw some bits and pieces...

...as in, little boy bits and pieces!  It's still pretty difficult to tell on the office's super basic ultrasound machine, but we're pretty sure we saw his little penis, and when he started grabbing at it, we decided it was definitely acting male...already sticking his hand down his figurative pants.  But - we're not painting the nursery blue yet or anything (actually, we're not painting the nursery at all because when we moved in and painted we went with a gender-neutral green, smart kids that we are), but the doc is 85% sure it's a boy.  We ought to know for sure at our full anatomy scan (at the high risk doc with the better machine) the Tuesday after Easter. 

So that's that.  I feel so so so much better after this appointment.  Oddly, it's nice to be where things started to go wrong.  I had thought that my anxiety would only increase as we got further along, and I'm sure it will some, but it feels great to be at this point and be reassured that what happened last time is not happening this time.  I'm still at high-risk for complications, and there is still a very good chance that I will develop pre-eclampsia, but whatever happens now, I know we're not experiencing a total repeat of last time with the double whammy of super-severe IUGR AND severe, early-onset pre-eclampsia.  Again, the kiddo could stop growing at any time, and my blood pressure could shoot up, particularly as pre-e is an unpredictable disease, but we are ahead of where we were last time.  Phew.  In CPE terms, I think it's helping me differentiate this pregnancy from my first one.  I really am starting to believe that things might be different this time.  Like I said, it feels good. 

[Sidenote: as I talk about my first pregnancy, I want to be clear that I don't regret a minute of it.  Of course I would have chosen for it to go differently, but in the end, we got the best kid in the world, and I love her just the way she is.  I would do it all over again in a second to have her.  Or to have this itty bitty boy.  But we're open to an easier ride for everyone this time.]

Okay, I got so busy writing about the little boy booger that I forget what the other updates need to be...so...um...don't forget to donate to our March for Babies team and/or order your t-shirts (I'm sending in our order on Monday!)...and if you want to buy some Usborne books AND save some babies at the same time, shop at www.myubam.com/HOS216155.  I'm giving my entire commission on purchases made through this link to our March for Babies team.  And I haven't forgotten about the second Disney post.  It will come.  Eventually.  :)

Oh, and some adorable Becca sayings as of late:
  • I'm da wine weader!  (while running to get in front of everybody)
  • Her name for the baby: Kolkai Booger
  • I'm Madewine!  I'm Madewine!  I'm tall!
  • Actuawawy... (translation: actually)
  • I want to go on adbentures!  Yet's go on [pauses while she counts her fingers and raises them] five adbentures!  (Adventures = errands or anything else we can come up with to do away from home or church)
  • Awl da something or other (As in, who was your favorite character at Disney?  "Awl da charawcters!"  Who do you want to invite to your birthday party?  "Awl my fwiends!"
  • I will give you a kiss to feel you better, Mommy.  (and)  I'm sorry you're sick, Mommy.  (and) I'm gwad you're better, Mommy. 
Okay, that's all the randomness I can reign in at the moment.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Disney Pictures!

I keep saying that I'm going to post pictures of our Disney World trip...so I'm finally going to live up to my word.  Only took, what, 3 weeks?  First, a few thoughts on planning a Disney vacation with a little one:
  • Free Dining Week - Hell to the yes.  The week we went (and a few others during the slow month of February), if you stayed at a Disney resort, you got the Disney Dining Plan for free.  Staying at a moderate resort, we got one table-service meal, one quick-service (counter) meal and one snack a day each.  That adds up to a lot of food, especially when one of your group is primarily g-tube fed.  This is by far the best deal Disney offers, which is why they do it in their slow times.  This is such a good deal that I figure we'll do it at least one more time, pulling the kiddos out of school, even though the Boo will likely be in elementary school the next time we go.  We also decided that whenever we go outside of free dining week, we'll bit the bullet and buy the dining plan ahead of time so that we aren't stressing out every time we eat, 'cause it ain't cheap.  Most of the food we had was delicious, but, yeah, you pay for.  (Unless you don't.  Like we didn't.)
  • Everybody told us we should stay "on property," meaning at a Disney resort, and I'm so glad we did.  We went back to our hotel most every day for naps for Becca and me (some days more me than Becca!), and it was so much easier than making a commute that locked us into our plans for the day.  And with the dining deal, it was probably even cheaper that way.  We stayed at Coronado Springs, which was fine, but next time we'll probably stay at a different moderate resort - not that there was anything wrong with it, and I'd recommend it, but there are so many fun-looking ones that it would be nice to try another one.  When I'm rich, we'll stay at the Polynesian.  It was really cool.
  • The "park hopper" option on the tickets is a must.  It's pricier than you would think, but it was definitely worth it to have maximum flexibility.  We often spent half a day at one park, went to the hotel for a break, and spent the evening in another park.  It also enabled us to see most of the parks in the day and at night, which is cool because they are all different at night. 
  • Character meals were a BIG hit with Becca.  That's where most of the pictures below were taken.  Becca LOVES anything in character, so it was truly magical for her to get to chat with the princesses, hug on Mickey, and counsel Eeyore ("Eeyore, don't be sad!  It's okay!).  Since we were on the dining plan, we did several character meals - otherwise, we probably would have scaled back since they seem to be more expensive than the regular table-service meals.  It was so nice to see the characters this way instead of waiting in long lines to see everyone.  We still waited for a few characters, but all of our must-see's were covered with our meals.  Some of our favorites included breakfast at O'Hana (with Lilo, Stitch, Pluto and Mickey) and the princess lunch at Norway in Epcot.  (The other princess meal option is in Cinderella's castle, which would have been cool, but it counted as TWO meals for each person - no, thank you.  We got lots of time with Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel and Sleeping Beauty at the Epcot one.)
  • We made sure to make time for swimming.  Our hotel had a little pool near each building and one big pool in the center of the resort.  I had read something about how when you ask kids what their favorite part of the Disney vacation was, the majority of kids say swimming at the hotel.  I know that can drive parents crazy (hello, we can swim at the rec center 2 miles from our house!), but Becca loves the water, too, so we made sure to swim 3 times or so.  The pools are heated, but even so, in the first week of March we had to watch the weather to schedule our trips to the pool.  Once it was so cold that Becca's lips turned blue, but she still refused to get out.  (We went all responsible parent on her and made her get out anyway.)
  • One of the beautiful things about going to Disney with a kid Becca's age (3.5) is that if we didn't tell her it was there, she didn't know - so if we knew we weren't going to do something (ride the Teacups, for instance - I wasn't going near them nauseous, and John's no fan either), she didn't know what she was missing.  That mindset also freed us up to take it slowly, since we didn't have to do everything. 
  • Don't believe people who tell you to skip Epcot with little kids.  Of course, Becca is our little scientist, so it was no surprise that she'd be into things like Innoventions and the Imagination Lab at the end of Figment, but Epcot turned out to be her favorite park.  We rode Nemo 3 times, Figment 3 times and Spaceship Earth (in the big ball) 3 times.  She loved Fantasy Land, of course (with Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and It's a Small World), but she picked Epcot when she got to decide where we were going. 
  • We downloaded (and actually paid for) an app from touringplans.com - it was awesome.  It gave us real-time wait-times for every attraction in the parks.  That made it really easy for us to avoid disappointment - instead of telling Becca we were going to such and such ride, getting there and finding that the line was too long, we were able to check the wait times and give her options.  (And yeah, she definitely didn't understand the concept of going to a ride to check the wait time - if we walked to it, we had to ride it). 
Okay, enough words.  Here's a Disney photobomb!

Okay, this post is getting ridiculously huge, and I'm only halfway through the pictures, so I'll save the rest for another post.