30 September 2009

I Wanna Be a Toddler!

Sylvia does not suck her thumb. There was a time when we would have given anything for her to figure out how to do this (those days when she was so cholicy and she couldn't keep a pacifier in her mouth), but she never did learn how. Instead, she sucks her finger. It is her right pointer/index finger, and she sucks it with her palm facing up. Very strange. This is her tell-tale sign that she is getting tired or that she is "out of sorts" (like falling and hurting herself). I was lucky enough to finally get a picture of it this past weekend. I think it is such a precious shot.
Sylvia is also quickly entering into "Toddlerville." The other night Dave was feeding her dinner. She ate all her food, but when Dave began to clean things up she got very angry and threw her spoon at her daddy! Apparently, she wasn't ready to be finished eating. This afternoon she was upset and wanted nothing to do with me, so she crawled down the hall, rounded the corner, and sat outside Lovebug's room to cry. She also refuses to wear her socks and often pitches a royal tantrum when she needs to get into her car seat. Yes, joyful days are ahead of us!
The upside to these new advances into independence is all the fun we get to have. She truly loves to play with her Mama and Daddy and her new abilities and problem solving skills are quite impressive. I love going in to get her in the morning because she is always ready to face the day with a smile on her face and is eager to begin playtime with Mama. She also loves people. This past weekend we went to ArtPrize in downtown Grand Rapids and as we wheeled her around she would smile and wave at strangers, she would flirt with the boys, and if someone was not paying attention to her she would begin to make noise and flap her little arm harder. I truly wish that each and every one of you could spend just a little time with our Pumpkin. I promise she would make you smile and love life a little more.

26 September 2009

What I Do

I most generally post about what is going on in our family life, and particularly regarding our children, but I thought that for this post I would share a little of what I do to relieve stress and have fun. (As I certainly don't partake in my hobbies to keep busy!) I like to knit. I love yarn and patterns and creating something before my eyes. I also heard on a news program that knitting makes you smarter and wards off dementia. I enjoy it so much that Dave asked to learn a few nights ago, and has even managed to knit a tiny little bit each evening since then. (Although he did "learn" once by me several years ago, it was only a one time occasion.)

The above is a little teddy bear in a sweater that I did this week. I think it will be Sylvia's birthday present. Given that Sylvia does not understand birthdays and presents and surprises yet I already gave the bear a test run with her to-be-owner. She was met with big smiles. While I am not entirely pleased with my end product, she is still pretty cute. And below is my current project. Sorry, but I cannot reveal what it is, as it is a gift for a frequent reader.

18 September 2009

The Amnio and A Confession

Yesterday was the amniocentesis. The ultrasound before the procedure was a lot of fun. Lovebug was very active and the sonographer had a difficult time even getting a heartbeat, baby was moving around so much! The procedure itself went well. And the actual insertion of the needle was far less painful this year than last, so that was a pleasant surprise. There was one point when I got a little anxious. Lovebug had been so good and was staying very still but toward the end got a little antsy and began to squirm-- right toward the needle. Lovebug wasn't punctured and the sonographer checked the heartrate to make sure there was no distress present, but Wow! did that terrify me!

I felt pretty good afterward, with only some cramping and discomfort around the insertion site for the rest of the day. Immediately following we went out for lunch and then to our favorite coffee shop while we waited to make sure there were no complications from the procedure. After that we went for some very leisurely shopping. I needed a few more items to keep me clothed this winter, so we casually walked our way through the mall and I would look in one store. Then we would head to the bookstore where I could sit for twenty minutes before heading to the next store. The shopping was successful as I did find a few items.

And our "confession":

For the "visually impaired" (translation: my mother), the wording in this picture is "It's a Girl!" Two weeks ago our sonographer said to us, "They told you it was a boy? It looks like a girl to me." We did not want to say anything until we could be sure, and yesterday we had the same sonographer who looked and said, "It still looks girlish" and added the message to the defining shot. She did say that it is rare to get a boy reading wrong, even as early as 13 weeks, but in this case, they did.
While at work, Dave got a call from our genetics counselor and the initial chromosome count is in. There are no signs of any major abnormalities (like down's sydrome), so this is wonderful news and we rejoice in that. And the baby girl status was confirmed. Dave is tickled pink (pun intended) to have "his girls." And I'm pretty excited too.

And just a reminder: Results for Von Hippel-Lindau Disease will take up to six weeks. While we certainly hope and pray that Lovebug does not share the same disease as daddy and sister, we will love her all the same and cannot wait to meet her.

16 September 2009

Playing and My First Word

This past weekend Sylvia was having so much fun in her playroom that I just took out the camera and snapped several shots. She has all these little games she likes to play now. She will make a sound and expect you to mimic it. She will hold up a large plastic container to her face, stare through it at you, and hollar into it. She loves to destroy all our Duplo creations. Her grandma gave her a sit and spin, and while she is too little to use it, there are four buttons on top of this toy that she loves. Each button plays a different little song. She will stand up by the sit and spin and pound one of those buttons and then move her little bottom in "dance." She loves to try and come up behind you and "surprise" you. She is an active, playful, and marvelous little girl.
And this is what is so hard for me to believe: She is becoming a little girl. Friday morning after finishing her bottle she held it up to me and said "bottle!" She did this twice. I wish you all could have seen her face; she was so proud of herself. This is her first word (aside from mama and daddy). She will be eleven months tomorrow and I am having kind of a difficult time acknowledging that my baby is almost a year. I fold her laundry and get a little misty eyed as I see how "big" her jeans have gotten. And then I get really saddened when I realize how quickly the next several years will fly by. She is so precious to me.

Tomorrow I have the amniocentesis. I am very nervous about this, especially as they will most likely have to go through the placenta. While they are experts and know what they are doing, this idea just scares me. Dave is coming with me for support and because he wants to be there (I can't drive myself for the procedure anyway). I am glad to have him. He is a great husband. He's an amazing father too, but he is such a wonderful husband for me.

03 September 2009

Ultrasound No. 4

We had our first visit with the high risk doctor today. This is always a very long appointment and today was no exception. First, we met with the genetics counselor. Then we had the ultrasound. And finally, we met with the physician. We were there for about two and a half hours. We opted to not do the amniocentesis today, as we would prefer to wait until we have prior authorization from the insurance company. We are currently scheduled for the procedure two weeks from today.

Lovebug looked great! The sonographer was able to get some good measurements. (This, however, was a great struggle to do and at one point she actually jiggled the transducer on my belly and told the kid to "Move!") But in the end, her measurements were achieved and we were told that right now, from what they can see at this gestational age, baby looks perfectly fine. Yay!!! Also of great news is it looks like the placenta is moving!

There have been some changes at the office in the last year. This year they have all new ultrasound equipment and included with this equipment is a monitor mounted on the ceiling, so Mom can watch without having to use a mirror. This was wonderful and it was the first time that I have been able to see an entire ultrasound. They also no longer print pictures for the parents. Instead they put them on c.d. This is quite convenient.

Okay, pictures this time are kind of difficult to decipher, but I will do my best. The first shot in the post should be pretty easy to see. You are looking at another face picture. Below, the easiest thing to do is to look for the legs and feet at the bottom left hand side of the frame. If you can do that then you can follow the leg to the right and then see the body curve upward. An arm protrudes, going to the left. And above that, buried in the placenta, is the little face. Faces at this gestational age do not have much dimension so it is very difficult to get a true "face shot."

This next picture is very similar to the one above. Again, look for those legs and move upward. The face is actually, I think, a little easier to see in this picture. Also of interest, across the upper thigh and moving across the belly in both the last picture and this one, is the umbilical cord. (It looks like a little ripple.) And to confuse you even further, I believe the other hand is resting on the right side of the head (left in the picture).
This is a rear shot of Lovebug. Perhaps the easiest way to see this one is to look for those little butt cheeks on the bottom right hand side of the frame. Legs (scrunched up) are to the left, body moves upward and ends with the head on top. The little arm is extended upward in this shot. And, once again, the umbilical cord can be seen.