27 December 2009

Happy Knitting Christmas!

As my long sleeve tee shirt from Santa says: I am kind of a knitting superhero!

21 December 2009

Stories of Our Happenings (With Pictures!)

Christmas is in full swing around here. Two weekends ago we had our Ertman family get together. It was kind of loud and chaotic, with four kids present. Hard to believe that come next year there will be SIX! And I am not talking about a large family. It is my family (Dave, Sylvia and me; Stepher and Joe, Rosco, and my folks) and my cousin and his wife and three sons and then my other cousin (who is single). And Great Aunt Selma, who is 93. That's it, but with kids present it suddenly seems like such a large event! We had a great time and I really look forward to this gathering every year.
And this is Sylvia with Hailey, her newest baby. I wish you all could have seen her when she opened this gift from my cousin and his wife. She ripped the packaging above her face first and began to giggle. Then Daddy couldn't get the doll out of her packaging soon enough! I thought Sylvia was going to attack him she wanted that baby so badly! For the first several days after arriving home Hailey totally usurped Babydoll, but now Babydoll seems to be the favorite again.
That same weekend we had friends over an evening. They have an eight month old son, Ryan. Ryan was seated in this bouncy seat (which has been mentioned here before). Sylvia was totally not okay with Ryan using this seat and took matters into her own hands! See that triumphant gleam in her eye (and the somewhat bedazed look in Ryans)?
And last night we had our Christmas gathering with our dear friends and neighbors, Phil and Keeley (and their son, Jack). Jack will be six months on Christmas day. Sylvia is a little over fourteen months. They are nearly the same size and most certainly the same weight. Jack is a very big boy! But he is also about as happy as babies come. He handled Sylvia stealing his toys very well; although, all her squealing did concern him a bit.

And I succumbed and took a pregnancy shot this afternoon while Sylvia ate lunch. She found this photo shoot rather amusing and laughed when I posed for my shot. (Looking at the picture, I would have laughed too, I suppose.) I am about 31.5 weeks and I really think I am considerably larger than I was last year . . . But this is probably not true. Last year I had so much water retention; the swelling was horrendous (thanks to the preeclampsia). This year I have virtually no swelling and I have actually only gained about seven pounds.

I began physical therapy today. I think it will be good. The therapist did say she is confident she can help relieve some of the pain, but not all of it. Only childbirth will give me real relief. The worst part is that my lifestyle is not at all conducive to pain management (meaning, I have a toddler). I did learn that pretty much anything that could be wrong with my hips/pelvic region is. Our focus is going to be on relaxation of the area more than anything, as almost all stretches and exercises will actually aggravate my conditions. So, my sessions will include heat wrap, my one or two stretches (which I also do at home), then some manual adjustment (OUCH!) and then heat wraps again.

Well, I need to get back to my knitting. I still have a few gifts to get done before Christmas!

16 December 2009


I am having a difficult time. I am in so much pain from this pregnancy that I am nearly in tears. The doctor prescribed muscle relaxants and I finally had to give in and accept physical therapy. I have been putting off the therapy because I don't know how I am going to manage doing it with a fourteen month old. How on earth am I supposed to control her while I am undergoing various exercises? I don't know, but I suppose we will give it a try. I have no other choice. She also told me to rest as much as possible and to not lift anything. I told her that was simply not an option (meaning I have a toddler).

While this pregnancy is technically going much better than my previous one the pain factor is through the roof. The doctor said that sometimes happens with subsequent pregnancies especially when A: I was pregnant again about half a year after giving birth and B: I have a fourteen month old who requires lifting and chasing after.

I wish I could even say that it was only one aspect of pregnancy pain that is bothering me but the truth is my sciatic nerve is pinched 24/7, my pelvic bones have shifted too far apart causing my uterus to rest on my ligament and occasionally making me collapse to the floor in pain, and my hips are in sorry shape causing me excruciating pain at night. This doesn't include the "normal" back pains and such.

I don't want to complain because none of these things are life threatening (unlike last year), but I am really about at the end of my rope . . .

AND after Lovebug is born we will need HELP. I will be unable to physically care for both of my girls. My mother-in-law is wonderful and will offer as much help as she can, but she has her own life too. My own mother has my sister (who is due five weeks ahead of me), as well as her father and my father's aunt to care for. We are relying on friends and other family to help us out for a few weeks-- until I am able to lift Sylvia on my own. So, please . . . If you can spare a day in March, let us know. (And, yes, I am beginning to get rather stressed about this.)

In other pregnancy news, I am scheduled for one more ultrasound. My last one was not my last one, after all. Perhaps I don't understand how badly everything went with the last pregnancy but the doctor said that things went quite wrong the last time and that puts me in the high risk category this time, requiring a late third trimester scan. And as we are also looking for a heart defect that may still present itself (although if it does it will be very minor and easy to fix) it is best to just do the scan.

And after all of this negative news I will at least leave you with a picture that makes me smile. Orange has a new favorite spot to "hang out:"

11 December 2009


Sylvia won't want to admit this, but she is beginning to walk. Yesterday, for the very first time, she took a countless number of steps. She kind of did one large circle because she is still real unsure of her footing, but she stayed standing! The little stinker, though, really prefers to crawl. I believe she has been capable of walking for about six weeks now, but she has just refused to give it a try.

Today there were fewer attempts at taking those steps but I did catch her twice when she thought I wasn't watching. I think she will be walking "for real" by Christmas.

And this is Babydoll. Sylvia is very much in love with Babydoll, but she is so funny. When she gets upset in her crib (because she would rather be playing with Mommy and Daddy) she will throw everything out, including her socks if she has access to them. But then she realizes that Babydoll is now on the floor and out of reach, so she begins screaming. Either we give in and retrieve her or sometimes she is so sleepy that she quickly forgets and falls back to sleep.

This morning when I went in to get her I couldn't find Babydoll anywhere. Silly me. I should have just asked the Pumpkin first thing, because when I finally did she pointed to the other side of her crib (the side between the bed and wall). Sure enough, there was Babydoll.

And this is just because every kid deserves the mohawk bathtime opportunity.

Something really sweet happened today. I had a nurse who helped me in the hospital last year following Sylvia's birth (and the ONLY good nurse I had, no kidding), contact me. She wondered if I had a surgery date set for Lovebug's birth so that she could try and get me a better room and see if her schedule would allow her to hopefully take care of me. I was happy, but also kind of sad, to write her back and say that because this pregnancy was going very well and that baby looked good (very different from last year!) I had a choice of where to deliver. I chose Holland Hospital instead of Spectrum. The friends I have who delivered there all raved about it and the couple of times I have been to visit friends in the maternity ward I have always liked the "vibes" of the place. Still, it was very touching to have this nurse contact me. She is a blessed soul and was my saviour last year.

09 December 2009

December Happenings

A lot has been going on around here. The Pumpkin is becoming more and more fun and developing more and more of her own personality. (Part of which includes being quite obstinate!) Here she is by the stereo; she was dancing to Christmas music. She loves to dance! She has also figured out how to manipulate the buttons on the stereo, so sometimes I hear music playing when I know I didn't push play!Playing with Daddy continues to be a favorite activity. She gets so excited when he comes home from work every day. I wish I could muster the same exuberant greeting for him that he receives from her every afternoon.

AND last night Sylvia stood up and took about three or four steps all on her own! She did it a couple of times again today. I think she is finally showing a real interest in walking and it should be pretty soon now and she will be running all over the house! She turns fourteen months next week.
And how can you not help but love this face?! She just makes me smile. She loves a light up Santa that I have and will insist that I turn him on every morning. She adores her babydoll and goes most everywhere with her. She can sit at her picnic table in the living room and eat her snack and drink her milk in the afternoon just like she is a real "big girl." She loves to sit by me on the couch and "read" her books. She also loves to read Mommy and Daddy books too-- and more often than not is holding them the right side up! She is stacking her blocks and trying to manipulate her toys into their slots and spaces, etc. She greatly enjoys carrying pictures around the house with her. I have a few that I am going to have laminated so they will last longer. Along this note, if any of you have a picture of yourself or a pet or something else you think Sylvia would love to look at, give it to me and I will laminate it as well.
And this is, obviously, a little bouncer seat. Sylvia loves to sit in this and she has learned how to manage the controls at the base. One switch is for the vibration and the other is for the music. She simply loves to turn the vibration on and off. Every time she turns it on she leans back in the seat and gets this huge grin on her face. I am a little worried about what will happen after Veda arrives!

Last week Monday I went in for what will hopefully be my last ultrasound this pregnancy. Lovebug looked great. She was about three pounds already and seemed to be healthy and active. She kept opening and closing her mouth and moving her little feet around. It was actually a very fun scan.
Profile shot: Face is on the right hand side.
And it looks like we may have a little thumb sucker. It is really hard to tell for sure on a 2D screen, but both the sonographer and I really thought she kept sucking on her thumb!

And this year I am handmaking a lot of my Christmas gifts for people. Not only are we poor (of course, yarn and scrapping material aren't cheap!), but I also greatly enjoy doing it. I feel like my gift has so much more meaning when I have made it. This is a little blue bird I made for my 93 year old great aunt. She will be receiving it this coming Saturday at our family get together. The next one I make I think I am going to try and add a little tuft of "hair" to the top of his head, just like our little finch, Eglantine.

That is all for now!

30 November 2009

Thanksgiving Pictures

Here are some pictures of Thanksgiving with the Pumpkin this year. On Thanksgiving day we were at Dave's folks' with my family also in attendance. On Black Friday we were at Dave's Grandma's house where we were also joined by the rest of his family and his aunt and uncle. Sylvia was such a trooper both days and stayed in really great spirits.
Here she is enjoying her Thanksgiving dinner. It was much better than last year's yucky soy formula!
And this is just a really cute shot of her with Uncle Joe. Sometimes she's not too sure around him. I think it is because he is an auto mechanic and often smells of oil and motor fumes. But she did great with him on Thursday!
Here we are at Great Grandma's decorating the tree. Sylvia loved the beaded garland!
With Great Aunt Suanne.
With Grandma and Grumpy in front of the clock, the traditional spot for family pictures to be taken.

And getting her first listen to music from an MP3 player, thanks to Uncle Brian!

In medical news: Today I go in for what will hopefully be my last ultrasound this pregnancy. I am expecting all to look well, but it will still be nice (and a bit of a relief) to hear it come from the doctor. I also have another prenatal appointment afterward. I am not expecting any surprises at this visit. Hopefully it will be a ho-hum medical day.

26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful day full of good food, friends and family.

At our family gathering this afternoon, Dave and I shared Lovebug's name. We felt it was a good time as both of our families were together and we know her name, like Sylvia's, will not be changing before her arrival in February. Also like Sylvia, we knew her name from the day we knew we were expecting. She has always been our little Veda Katherine Ertman Trowbridge.

Katherine is in honor of Dave's younger sister who passed away many years ago. She may not be with us in body but she is certainly with us in spirit and we wanted to acknowledge how important she is to our family. Katherine is a beautiful name that will now be part of two beautiful souls.

25 November 2009

Parade Day and Baby Shower

Last Saturday was the Santa Parade in Grand Rapids. We took Sylvia last year (you can look in the archives if you want and see how much she has grown and changed in the last year!). This year we met some friends of ours, including Sylvia's "friend," Alexis. I cannot believe how much these girls loved the parade. The biggest hit was the "doggies." Sylvia was just ecstatic by all the dogs she saw. She kept pointing and shrieking "dog, dog!!!"
Despite her love for dogs, she did not appreciate having one on top of her head and soon the hat was thrown from the stroller.
These are both dads in action. It was very difficult to get the girls to smile and pay attention to the camera (first time ever for the Pumpkin!) because there was just too much to see!
This is an attempt at a family picture. We did get a better one, but that one is being used for the Christmas cards.

Saturday also saw Sylvia and I going to my folks' house for my sister's baby shower. Stepher is due in the middle of January and she and Joe are expecting a baby boy. My dad is thrilled. He always wanted a son, never got one, and then his first grandchild was another girl. And as Dave and I probably won't be giving him any grandsons, it's a good thing that Stephanie and Joe are!
Here she is showing off the cardigan I made for my coming nephew. Sadly, the sun caused quite the glare but in the picture below you can get a better idea of what it looks like (in addition, you get a glimpse of Sylvia's Christmas present):
Stepher is doing a Snoopy theme in the nursery, so I also knit this washcloth. It was actually meant to only be an experiment but it turned out cute enough that I added it to her present.

Even the Little Pumpkin contributed a gift. The night before I took her into her playroom and explained that tomorrow Auntie Stephy was having her baby shower and did she want to pick out a toy to give to her for the baby. I kid you not, this girl went through her entire toybox, touched nearly everything, and then she presented me with these two items-- and only these two items. I hope her cousin will enjoy them!

And the Pumpkin is beginning to not only get into everything but is also placing items in new locations. Yesterday I found my hairbrush in my gift bag drawer in our closet. I know a cat didn't do that!

In other news, I passed my glucose test! I was told to call back for more details, if I wanted. But I figure they can tell me anything else when I go in for my next appointment on Monday. My guess is that I came back real borderline again, and will be reminded to eat my protein.

We also want to wish everyone a truly happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for-- and in the list is included all of my friends and family who have become my "devoted" readers.