Tuesday, July 26, 2011


No images from the ultrasound this morning... I guess the baby is so large that you can't get the whole baby in one image so a close up shot of say the head isn't really that interesting... They usually give me an image or two but they were all business today. BabyBee is currently measuring about 6lbs 6oz which is just a little on the large size (I think a typical fetus is just below 6lbs at this point), she should gain about an once a day from here on out so if I go to full term she will be about 8lbs.  Not too bad. Colin was 8lbs 14.5oz so I can deal with 8lbs. I will see the ob later this week so we'll see what they say about inducing..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Favorite Things- Young Preschooler

I've come across a few new things recently that I wanted to share. Just a disclosure reminder, I get a small (pennies) commission if you click on the amazon links and put the product in your cart and then check out. However, this commission does not effect what products I add to these posts (I've never actually made any money through this program, I think they have pay out minimums that I haven't exceeded).

Kidco Peapod Plus: When Colin outgrew his pack and play I wasn't sure what the next option would be while we were traveling. At the time he was still in the crib so I wasn't sure a bed at a hotel would be appropriate. So I took to the internet and found the peapod! After reading dozens of reviews I choose this color combination which came with an inflatable mattress and pump and sleeping bag. I originally thought I should go with the self inflating mattress but others said it was less cushioned than the pump up mattress and that kids seemed to really like the sleeping bag. Colin just loves this thing and it is SO much easier to pack than the pack and play. I think it probably weighs about 5 lbs and folded it fits in a round bag about the size of the circle you make with your arms when your hands touch in front of you. Awesome. This would work great for an infant too, although I imagine a crawler/new walker might try to use it for support and cause some tipping.  Colin of course can operate the zipper but has never gotten out without permission, I like that it has the mesh sides along with the fabric flaps that can be tied open to let air circulate or zipped up to keep light out. I highly recommend it even if your little guy/girl hasn't outgrown the pack and play, it is SO much smaller to pack when you travel, even if just to grandmas house.

 Kid-Tough Travel Doodler with Light. If you know this blog, you know I'm not a fan of Fisher Price but this little product is an exception. I picked this up along with some other random things right before we drove to Myrtle Beach. Turns out I didn't really need much for the car ride (two teenage aunts were entertainment enough for the time he was awake). However, this was a huge hit in the hotel room regardless, and not just with Colin. Some of the older kids really enjoyed writing silly messages on it, and even a few 'adults' got in on the action. Colin still pulls this out at home and just this evening was drawing "dinosaurs" and "strawberries" (actually just scribbles but I appreciate his imagination!). The light while pretty unnecessary most of the time, adds one more aspect of fun, Colin likes controlling lights so pushing the button to make it go on and off is entertaining for him.

Matchbox Pop Up Playsets Ours just happens to be the Handy Manny version, but they have so many different types I made the link general. This is another random toy I picked up to have something new in the car. Colin found it one afternoon while we were in the hotel and we didn't hear a peep from him for about 25 minutes (four hours in toddler time). The key to this is limited use for us. This isn't a toy Colin has free access too, but when we need it we pull it out (like the other day while I was waiting for a blood draw at the lab. A 45 minute wait can be pretty miserable with a toddler, but between this and a bagel Colin was an angel. The best part about it is it is compact and all folds up for storage and travel. The picture shows a few cars but there is only one in the box and that is fine with us. There are just enough moving parts to keep him entertained for long stretches. It also helps that he is really getting involved with imaginative play now, he will occasionally add some dialogue so you can hear what he is thinking and it is pretty adorable. Love this toy.

Parking Pal Magnet. If you have a toddler or preschooler, you need to know about this! It is such a simple idea, I wish I had thought of it! It is a magnet you put on your car and you teach your child to put their hand on it and keep it there until you 'release' them. Colin took to it like a duck to water. No more trying to squeeze hold him between my knees while I reach back into the car for whatever random item is left behind. In NYC where we have to park on the street this is amazing... I'm actually really surprised it hasn't been stolen yet to be honest. This is going to be even more helpful with Baby Bee makes her arrival and I have to juggle getting two kids (and all our stuff) in and out of the car. I love it, and Colin thinks its fun and is so proud of himself when he uses it properly (for 3 he takes this responsibility very seriously). Obviously this is not a replacement for supervision but it isn't like I ask him to put his hand on it and then I walk away from the vehicle. Plus its a magnet so I can move it to whatever side of the car I need him to be on (depending on which side of the road I park on).  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

34/35 Week Baby Bump

 I finally took this picture at around 11:00 last night, you'll have to excuse me if I look a little tired. To me it looks like I'm evening out a little more, size wise with P1. I still have less weight in my face but the belly appears more similar (although I guess I am really a week further ahead in the P2 pic compared to the P1). I'm not sure if it is visible in the photos but little baby bee has definitely dropped since the last photo. I looked down one night last week and all of a sudden my belly was much further away than it had been earlier that day. I am still having frequent contractions but overall I feel pretty good. I'm just getting to the point where I'm starting to feel 'done' with this pregnancy but obviously I have a thesis to deposit before I really want to be done.  "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" (Colin just got "The Little Engine That Could" in the mail as his first free book through Dolly Parton's Imagination Library I'm honestly not sure how widespread the program is but if you want your preschool age child (0-5) to get a free book every month check and see if your community is registered.) 


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

35-week Doctors Appointment

I'm way behind on the baby bump picture but I will try to get it tonight. I had a doctors appointment yesterday and I am 1cm dilated! So things are starting to move forward. I was 3cm with Colin for a while and still didn't go into labor on my own so don't get too excited. Because of Colin's size they are sending me for an ultrasound next week to check her weight and presentation (which reminds me I never scanned the 20 week ultrasound images.. maybe you'll get a two-for-one!).  Everything looks normal, they took blood for a coxsackie test since there is a small chance I was exposed this past weekend (not a big deal), and Colin and I also traveled down to the lab so they could take more blood for the genetic test. Needless to say after 6 vials of blood drawn I was exhausted (or maybe just because I'm 35 weeks pregnant) so one of us napped after getting home, Colin just played quietly in his bed (more on that later). I am now up 33lbs and I'm at the once a week visits to the OB stage! Generally I drop Colin off at the playground across from Sean's office and Sean takes him while I'm at the appointment that will likely get trickier if we have to do it every week, not to mention it is getting rather hot outside.

The revisions are going well but I still have another week and a half of work to do on it. Once that is done I'll have more time to post.. lots of pictures are ready to go up I just have no time to do it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Doctors Appointment and Weigh In.

No internal exam today much to my surprise, I had a different doctor because mine has finally left for maternity leave and got the bomb dropped on me that she isn't returning until September. Needless to say I am very disappointed as my entire reason for considering delivering in the same hospital was how much I loved MY doctor. I do like two of the other doctors in the practice but one I don't like at all and this new one definitely did not make a good first impression. Going to my OB was like visiting a close personal friend, I'm pretty bummed to have to deliver without her. Of course I want her to spend time with her baby but she was so sure she would be back that I'm feeling a bit blindsided. I'm thinking about switching practices but it doesn't feel like the best time since I only have about 7 wks left and sometimes the enemy you know is still less scary than the unknown. I'm still mourning.
Everything with the baby is normal, this dr was totally unconcerned about the contractions. I have to go to a different lab for some special blood tests due to a recent discovery of a gene mutation in my extended family, this doctor also seem very unconcerned with this but I kind of insisted on the test anyway. (At one point she said, its so uncommon that unless you have family history it isn't necessary, to which I responded 'I just told you I have family history!' duh...) I think I might have intimidated her or something by coming out with technical gene mutations first thing that she clearly wasn't familiar with (I didn't really expect her to be it was just a code after all). She just didn't rub me the right way...I guess I have high expectations that a new doctor to the practice would take some time to review her patients charts before walking into the room. Colin was with me and she asked me if he was delivered by the practice. Now this seems like a normal question except clipped to the inside of the chart (as in the inside cover right smack in your face) are all the xmas cards I've sent them! Seems like the obvious conclusion, but maybe she was just trying to make conversation.

ANYWAY.. what you really want to know...+29 this week, compared to +46 in P1. Comparing overall weight (not weight gain) I am -10 lbs lighter compared to this point of P1.   

A tale of two graduations.

A few weeks ago was Colin's preschool 'graduation' (technically he is not graduating since he will be back next year but they only have one ceremony so kids who are moving up and graduating were all together. Then the following Saturday was Lauren's high school graduation. Here are some of the photos from each.

Colin during the ceremony. They sang three songs and Colin certainly seemed to know all the words! I was sitting on the opposite side of the church so my pictures didn't come out very well. I have a short video but that is for another time. 
 Colin and his buddies Leo (center) and Kip (left). We tried very hard to get a picture of the three of them holding their certificates but this was the best of over 15 photos.
 Colin and his beloved Ms. Mary Ann

 Colin with his head teacher Ms. Jennifer.  All told, Colin did very well at graduation. I fully expected him to get upset at some point because it was such a different experience, dropping him off in a weird place having lots of different people around. Honestly I thought he would be carried in by a teacher instead of walking but he did everything just like the other kids and was happy as a clam the entire time. Go Colin, you've come a long way kid!

Moving on to Lauren's Graduation. Unfortunately without an external flash my pictures did not come out very well of the ceremony. 

But we did get a lot of good pictures outside. We stated in the shade, but no one but me liked this location because it was too close to people exiting the building.

Katie and Lauren

So we moved out into the sun.  Here is the graduate with her proud parents.
Lauren and her boyfriend Jeff. (before you ask, yes we do like him!)

Two generations of Berry kids. Katie, Sean, Lauren, Chris and Colin in the front.

Katie and Lauren with their grandfather. 

Colin celebrating with a cupcake...

Colin and I made some special treats for the occasion. I got the idea from Bakerella, like the cake pops we made for Colin's Halloween party. The high school colors are actually red and white, but frankly milk chocolate just tastes better, particularly when you melt down dove promises instead of using candy melts. (They are a little harder to work with because they are more melt-y but the end result is a much better taste)

Colin enjoyed the cake making part but beyond that once the chocolate came out it was more about how much he was allowed to eat than any kind of participation. (Which was fine with me, he kind of slowed me down and we didn't have all the much time)

I am actually very proud of how well he waited until the party to eat one. I thought for sure he would have had a fit about it but he was totally cool.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Baby Bump 32/33 Weeks

This should have been a 32 week bump picture, but that photo didn't get taken. I figure I get a pass on this one since 1) I defended my dissertation (and passed) 2) My parents were in town and 3) We were doing some major re-organizing so the wall that I usually take the photo on was blocked by lots and lots of boxes. This was the point in P1 when I really started to feel exhausted by life. While I am exhausted this week I can't say if it is the recovery from all the excitement of the last month or if it is the pregnancy (likely both).  I'm not completely done with my dissertation, I still have to make all the suggested corrections which should be completed by the beginning of August, just in time for the little ones arrival. However, thanks to all my parents help we are now much more prepared if she makes an early appearance. The clothes I have are all washed and put away, Colin's room is re-arranged (and the new bedding washed by not put out yet) to prepare him to move into the twin bed on his birthday (his request).  The closets have been completely stripped of all non-essential items (xmas decorations, luggage, winter clothes, china, coffee table etc) and we are now renting a 5x5x8 storage unit to house the overflow. We have some new cube storage shelves in the living room for toy organization. The kids room closet also has a new upper shelf to help add more usable space. We were very busy! Thanks Mom and Dad for all your help and hard work, I could not have been an easy person to deal with last week, stress makes me snarcky.  Anyway, here are the photos.

I am certainly noticing more facial fullness now, but comparing it to P1, I'm still doing okay. No real water retention to speak of, my feet and legs are still normal and I can still fit into my wedding ring (not a fair comparison, remember it was sized) although it is noticeably tighter first thing in the morning. It is really just starting to get hot now, I got lucky so far with a fairly mild summer. I'm sure that will change but so far so good. The biggest issue is just contractions, they are frequent and annoying but not painful for the most part, and certainly not the kind that are productive. I have a doctors appointment late this week, I'm sure they will want to do an internal exam because of the contractions so I'll let you know if anything has changed. I took over 600 pictures in the last week so hopefully I'll be able to post about other topics soon!