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 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.  :)