Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Rachel Lynn!

You know, this whole raising kids thing is funny...

Everyone told me to be prepared for my second to be completely different than my first, but that's such a hard concept to comprehend if all you have is one.  It's hard to think of them having a different personality than the child you've come to know and love and be able to deal with.  

And then, you wonder how you could possibly have enough room in your heart to love more than one and love them equally and as completely as they each need...

Funny, the worries of parents.

So to face the fact that my baby girl turned two today and take the time to reflect on her and her qualities is crazy.  I can't say that time has flown but it has gone quickly.  So quickly that I haven't even filled out her baby book yet - it's still in the drawer with all the scraps I've been meaning to put in there.  *sigh*  Poor second child!

I remember not feeling well for about a week when I took the pregnancy test.  We had just moved to TN and to say that I had been an emotional wreck is an understatement.  Coming to a place where I knew no one and becoming a stay at home mom to a not-quite-one-yet Elizabeth was daunting.  Our household budget had significantly decreased and my husband worked long hours, trying to claw his way as a new salesman.  

There were so many reasons behind why I might have not been feeling well...

Yet, in the end, there was only one.  

I remember Scott had been working under the house to run a phone line to a room where there wasn't currently one.  He was filthy and it was a hot July day and I walked out to him with a young Elizabeth on my hip with the positive pregnancy test.  

He looked at it, and then at me.  

And I turned and walked back in the house.  

He caught up with me and put his arms around the two of us and said, "Aren't we going to talk about this?"  I said, "No..."  I was emotionally unprepared for this news - I hadn't even gotten a period yet since after Elizabeth was born and, while I knew that the possibility was there, between Scott traveling back and forth and just being home on weekends...  Well, I just thought the odds were in my favor. 

Little did I know that they were.  

Carrying Rachel was easy.  I gained way too much weight and she was an active and healthy little baby.  Aside from that beginning bit, I wasn't sick or hurting and I was thankful to eventually be induced so we could plan for my sister to come in town to watch Elizabeth.  

My doctor broke my water a little after 7 a.m. and she was born not too long after 10 a.m. and made her presence known to the world.  Right away, she showed a demanding personality.  She wanted to eat and be held and then eat some more.  She was opinionated and loud.

And boy, was she cute...

Fortunately for us, being only 19 months apart, Elizabeth didn't show any jealously and instead loved her little sister from the start.  Rachel found Elizabeth fascinating and the bond was tight between the two of them.  As they've grown, Rachel has been quick to follow Elizabeth's lead but be strong in forging her own path.  It's not unusual to find her playing or reading on her own, almost thankful for the solitude.

She's always been an easy sleeper - even today, letting me know when she needs a nap or to go to bed.  And there's no guessing her mood or what she wants - which isn't always a bad quality, I think.  

She loves Mickey Mouse and Elmo and prefers chocolate over vanilla (my child!).  She loves to swing and will let you push her for hours (no, I'm not exaggerating!).  She sings and dances and jumps and runs.  Rachel is an easier eater than Elizabeth and will try almost anything...except for oatmeal.  She still likes being rocked and demands a sippy of milk in the morning the same way her mama demands coffee.  She could care less about learning her letters or numbers, but she talks in full phrases and understands more complex subjects than Elizabeth did at this age.  

Oh, and she loves boots. 

Rachel has been such a blessing and joy to our family.  Please enjoy the pictures and the changes.  We love you so much, baby girl!

Our first day home.  "But Dad...she's wearing a Pooh hat!!"


So Mom, as I was saying...

With her sister, the mad streaker...

Happy girl
So back to this subject of breakfast, mother...

Playing at the children's museum
Never a dull moment - and we wouldn't have it any other way!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sleep Parties

I'm not sure if I've told you that the girls' current favorite game is Sleep Party.  If I have, forgive my prego amnesia and consider the adorable pictures that follow as my apology.  

I have no idea the origin of this, but it's been going on for a little while and basically entails putting on pajamas, piling up pillows and blankets and pretend sleeping.  Sometimes they nest up in the closet, sometimes on our bed.  Although the best parties are, by far, on the days that I change sheets and they can wrangle up all the comforters and pillows at once.

Seriously, you would think we'd have zero issues getting them to go to bed, but so far the only rules I have gathered about sleep parties is that they don't count at night and certainly not in your own bed.

Here are a couple shots of parties around our house:

Back around Christmas time - this shin dig was held between the couch and footstool.

Sleep party among the laundry pile in mommy and daddy's room.

Rachel, reiterating that these boots were indeed made for walking.  This kid has a shoe fetish already - I fear her teenage years!

So, after experiencing these parties day in and day out, you can imagine our surprise when we went upstairs to check on them last night and found a real-life sleep party being held in their room.  Now, I have to let you know that this was directly behind their bedroom door and I couldn't squeeze my large belly in the room, so this picture was taken with my arm wrenched around, hoping I got both of them in the shot.  

Of course, I turned to mush watching my strong husband lift them individually and put them back in their beds - tucking them in with their individual dolls and blankets.  *sigh* 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sleeping Double in a Single Bed...

Wasn't that an old country song?

I'm certainly not sure if this was what the song writer had in mind (ha!) but it did go through my mind last night I checked in on my small children before we went to bed.  

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

33 Weeks - And Counting!

It's been a while since I've updated you on our pregnancy progress.  These last couple weeks, to me, is the hardest part because there is so much waiting.  And so much to do.  And you're so tired.  And large as a barge...

Using her little brother as a snack tray...
But the good thing is that the end is in sight and soon, we'll get to meet this little guy and that's all that really matters.

I feel good but am noticeably more tired and moving slower sooner than with the other two.  My doctor says that this isn't all that unusual with three pregnancies this close together, although it's not ideal with the two rugrats at my heels.

So if you have wondered where I am and why my posts have decreased, it's because I can't keep my eyes open.  Most afternoons, I make Elizabeth lay down with me to watch a movie during Rachel's nap so I can get 30 minutes in.  And that was the previous 30 minutes that I would spend writing to you, my dear friends. 

Working out has changed considerably in the past 3 weeks or so.  My hips hurt more to work at any kind of an incline, so the stairstepper is officially out.  Most of the time, I'll walk (about a 3.5-3.7 pace) or do the elliptical at a 1 intensity and incline.  I'm still trying to lift about three days a week, although my workouts are very basic - mainly trying to hit each muscle group once. 

I keep my reps high (3x20 on most exercises) because my weights are so light.  And I always feel better after I lift, although I have to make myself get started.  Today, this was my routine:

30 minutes walk on treadmill-zero incline.  3.7 pace
3x20 squats with large ball on the wall
3x20 lateral raises (5 lbs)
3x15 cable flies (10 lbs)
3x15 lat pull downs (35 lbs)
3x20 kettlebell swings (10 lbs)
3x 20 bodyweight tricep dips

Every other day, I do cardio for an hour and then mix it up with light routines like this.  

As I was walking out today, a guy commented that I was his hero and I laughed and said that it was all about survival for me at this point and that I certainly didn't feel inspirational.  I think it would be easy to put my workouts on the backburner at this point, and probably no one would blame me, but I really think it would make things so much harder.  

When I was pregnant with Elizabeth, I stopped working out about now and my recovery was a lot worse.  Now granted, it was my first baby and I'm sure there are not many first-time moms who are in top shape coming out of the hospital, but I really had a hard time for about a week.  With Rachel, I never stopped going to the Y and never stopped walking or lifting (mostly because I had a wild Elizabeth who needed the play time in the nursery!) and I felt noticeably better through my delivery and recovery.

My weight gain has been pretty steady - I am officially at the 30 lbs mark, which exceeds my goal, but is about 10 lbs less than my pace of gain with the other two.  About the middle of my pregnancy, it really got to me - simply because I had hoped to only gain 15-20 lbs. and when it was clear that wasn't going to happen, I got pretty down.  Luckily, my husband hasn't reminded me of that goal (another sign of a happy marriage maybe?!) and I'm almost over the fact that I didn't reach it.  Plus, I know that he'll be in my corner to get back in shape.  

Cravings-wise, I've stayed pretty consistent with my diet.  Early on, I wanted sandwiches and chips and now have ventured back into my steady need for chocolate.  Consistent in all three pregnancies though is my craving for ice.

I need it.  

I know, weirdo.

And normally, I will fix the biggest cup I can find of ice water and crunch on it so I'm sure it annoys the heck out of everyone around me.  Just thank goodness, it's calorie free!  

Other than that, I am simply trying to keep a handle on this house while nesting and getting ready for him to get here.  I've done a lot of cooking and stocking the freezer - in fact, last night we had a power outage and I tried to go to bed early, but just laid there thinking about all the food in my freezer and praying the lights would come back on.  And they did.  And everything was fine.  But seriously, this is where my mind goes!

That is my 33 week update...thank you for coming along for the ride and I appreciate you being patient through my lapses in writing!