Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

I've been meaning to post for a couple days now, but truth be told, we haven't really been home much.

In fact, we have been so on-the-go that Bailey woke up this morning and asked, "Where are we going today, Mommy?"
Thankfully the answer is Nowhere.

Christmas this year was even better than the last.

It was nice to not have to travel and be able to wake up on Christmas morning in your own bed. It was special to be able to watch the girls run downstairs to open gifts together in our own house. We didn't go see Santa this year (underachieving mommy) and I am not sure Bailey really knows much about the whole Santa-bringing-gifts thing. She just knew presents were under the tree and that is all that mattered in her book.

It was fun to spend time with family. There are always a lot of laughs and board games.
And food.
Big emphasis on the food part.
And even though we didn't get to spend the actual holiday with Jared's family, we saw both his mom and dad this month. And both girls are well aware of Grandma Cathy's presence, especially around Christmas-time, because she does send some very nice gifts

We had multiple get-togethers this year.

The first was with my Grandma Joyce and Grandpa Ronnie.

Weiss grandkids and great-grandkids

Every year we get together at their house and completely stuff ourselves with prime rib (like I said, emphasis on the food). We open gifts and play our gift exchange game, which b.t.w. - I scored some delicious wine. No peanuts this year!

And this picture about sums up the holiday experience for Bailey.
I am pretty sure she ate at least 20 cookies over the course of 3 days.
{She knows Grandma Sherri is a sucker.}
It's no wonder that girl never wanted to sleep.


For Christmas Eve we attended the annual candlelight worship service. And as previously mentioned, we portrayed the Holy Family.

Photos were indeed taken to commemorate the event.

Don't we look so pious?

And because Jared can't be serious for long...

However, I did keep it respectable and deleted the picture of Joseph goin' gangsta and throwing up a peace sign.

Graham did amazingly well during the service. I was able to lay him in the manger and he stayed asleep. About halfway through he woke up ready to eat. And because Mary didn't wear a nursing top back in the day, Brother had to wait. He settled for a pacifier instead.

After the service we headed back to our house with my parents and sisters and ate our usual post-church service meal of little wienies and other unhealthy snacks.

And as always we had to pose for pictures.

That brings me to Christmas Day.

The girls woke up around 8:15 and headed downstairs. Bailey knew what was awaiting her under the tree. Avery just followed along because that is what she does.

They would open a gift and play with it for awhile until we made them continue opening the rest.
We don't really go overboard with the presents, especially since they are still so young. We bought them some clothes and a book or two and some small toys we knew they would like - like PlayDoh. Presents from Grandma Cathy were under the tree too so the opening lasted for quite a while.

Jared made breakfast for us all and I sipped apple cider while the girls enjoyed their morning. It was nice and relaxed, with the exception of the occasional fight over who got to play with the new cash register first.

Mid-morning we loaded the kids up and headed to my parent's house to open gifts (and eat!) with them.

Our kids are truly spoiled by their aunts and grandparents. There was absolutely no room near the tree for another present. I must say though, our family is very good about buying things that are useful - like jeans and shoes. And also with a teacher in the family, the girls are always getting new books.

Bailey was especially liking her newest book (or was it Avery's present?) from Aunt Beaner.  She took a few minutes to read to all of us.

We stayed at my parents' all day.
I forced family members to play Rack-O with me - a game I asked for for Christmas. {Yes, those are the kind of presents I request.} I also logged in some hot tub time with Beaner and a bottle of wine.
Jared took about a 4 hour long nap on the couch.
Bailey consumed quite a few cookies while watching Disney movies on my mom's bed.  My dad enjoyed finding those crumbs under the covers on his side later that night.
Avery spent the afternoon constantly hunting down Beaner's cat.  Poor Kobe.
And Graham journeyed from lap to lap being snuggled and cuddled.

Then to officially finish up the Christmas holiday, we went after-Christmas shopping yesterday. We always like to go and get decorations and lights for next year. We truthfully don't need any of it, but I like having a festive-looking house at holiday time, and after Christmas is the time to buy more stuff.
I really do love a good sale.

Tomorrow I will probably start taking down the tree and Santa-themed decorations. But for the rest of today, I have no plans. And that is fine with me.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Getting in the spirit

We decorated for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. I wanted everything done before Baby's arrival. Same goes for Christmas shopping. All our presents were purchased and wrapped before Halloween this year.  And yep, I am bragging - I am pretty proud to have been so on the ball for once.

I seemed to remember the exhaustion that comes with a newborn and knew I would have zero energy for anything more than the necessities.

Although we put the tree up a month ago, we didn't actually put ornaments on it until last week.
And even that was probably too soon. Our decorated Christmas tree is a magnet for little hands. Bailey didn't bother it last year, but Avery is a different story this year. Slowly the ornaments have been migrating further and further north on the tree - for their own protection.

Every year we try to put the kids under the tree for a picture.
Our children are soooo not cooperative with things like this.
Bailey stayed put pretty well, but she makes the weirdest faces.
And Avery apparently thought that "cheese" meant to run as fast as possible to get as close as possible to the camera lens . However, she was always smiling - just blurry and out of focus.
Then we added Graham into the mix. He doesn't have a Christmas outfit, and we clearly planned this photo shoot so well seeing as he is wearing a duck-themed sleepsack.
Oh well. It's pretty hard for a 3 week-old to be photogenic anyway.
Here is one of the few where he isn 't cross-eyed or closing his eyes (probably praying for it to be over).

Bailey can usually be convinced to do things with food.
(Don't you just love our parenting techniques?)
She loves sweets. She goes on regular scouting expeditions to the kitchen, looking for cookies or anything else she isn't supposed to have.  So with the promise of a freshly baked cookie, she volunteered to pose for photos.
{I told you she made weird faces.}
And speaking of sweets, we are a bit late to the game, but yesterday afternoon we finally started making some Christmas goodies. I wanted to put together a plate for our sweet neighbors, especially since they cleared our entire (large) driveway and sidewalks with their snowblower yesterday. They are awesome.

I really can't believe Christmas will be here in 4 short days.
The next few days will be spent with family.
We  will celebrate with my mom's side at my grandma Joyce's house on Sunday afternoon. The highlight is the gift exchange/stealing game we play. This year I hope to not end up with the mixed nuts.  Just sayin'.
Monday night is Christmas Eve church service. We have been asked to portray the Holy Family since we conveniently have a fresh little baby in our family now.  So Graham will be Jesus and I will be the Blessed Virgin... {Try not to laugh at that thought.}
Then afterward we will have our annual meal of appetizers/horrible-for-you foods with my family.
Christmas morning will be celebrated at our house for the first time.
I am excited for the girls to wake up and run downstairs to open their presents.
(I am sure they will think all of them are from Grandma Cathy since whenever they see a wrapped gift or a delivery from FedEx, Bailey yells, "Gramma Cathy!!"  Forget Santa, Grandma Cathy already has that gig covered.)
And after that, I will be more than happy to tear down our Christmas tree and put away any surviving ornaments.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Life with Three

The days really blend into one another around here lately.

With Jared working nights and sleeping during the day, it's all up to me to manage two toddlers and a newborn. And having to sit down for at least a half hour to an hour every 3 hours to breastfeed Graham makes it a bit harder to keep tabs on both girls.
Granted, they find trouble no matter what I am doing.

I went to use the bathroom (total of about 2 minutes) and come out to find Avery on top of the kitchen table, eating an apple.

Meanwhile, Bailey took the opportunity to use the upstairs bathroom.
Which is a good thing - yay potty training!
But she decided to go #2 on her own.
I didn't even realize she was gone until I heard the toilet flush and Bailey yelled, "Mommy! Mommy! I went poop, Mommy!"
Seeing as she emerged from the bathroom fully dressed, I figured I would have a mess on my hands, but I didn't.
{Thank God for no-wipers.}
But in hindsight I wish we had never bothered with the little potty and just gone straight for the seat that sits directly on the toilet.
There is nothing I like less than using a Clorox wipe to scrub out remnants of last night's burrito supper, beans included, from the little bowl inside the little potty.
{Easily one of the least glamorous aspects of motherhood.}
Then today while I take one minute to address an envelope to put in the mail, Avery climbs on the same table to peel every single banana in the fruit stand.
And, of course, take one bite from every one.
Apparently it was snack time.
Meanwhile Bailey is attempting to unwrap the present I have sitting out to mail to Jared's mom.
And where is Jared during all this you might ask?
Taking a nap.
I am not joking.

Honestly, I didn't realize how easy I had it with just two kids.
And one kid - talk about a cake walk!

Thankfully there are some moments of calm.
Sunday afternoon was perfect:
a full belly,
football on t.v.,
a cozy blanket,
and a snuggle with a cuddly Baby.

I am trying my hardest not to become that mom. You know, the one who is always yelling.
But it is really hard some days.
Especially with Bailey.
I am not sure what it is; whether it's the change of having a baby in the house or just the continuing Terrible Twos.
It's so frustrating to have your previously (modestly) well-behaved child become a whiny little monster!

A 2 year-old is hard enough to deal with.
Adding in a curious 19-month old and a mama running short on sleep doesn't make it any prettier.

All I gotta say is that Jared better make this a very short nap...

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Super Mom

Super Mom schedules newborn photos and arrives with a cute little baby and a variety of adorable outfits. Super Mom also uses said photos to send out precious birth announcements to all her family and friends.
Not only have we never done newborn photos, we haven't even really done family photos. {Okay, we tried once and both kids were not having it.} And we also haven't sent out a birth announcement. Ever. I even gave up on sending out Christmas cards this year. Fail.

Super Mom is patient and has more than enough energy to deal with both her newborn and her older children.
Yesterday both Jared and I wondered out loud if it would be child abuse to throw Bailey out in the backyard. And then she purposely dumped her milk out on the floor at supper and we were dangerously close to just taking our chances.

Super Mom entertains her children with educational activities and fun craft ideas - ala Pinterest.
Please. Simba, Ariel, and Lightning McQueen have been our girls' besties going on about 4 weeks now. And I have not one ounce of guilt.

Super Mom's kids always look cute - from their clothes to their hair accessories.
I am pretty sure in the past week that the girls have only worn pajamas, with the exception of times they went to the doctor's office. In fact I know that's right because when I did the laundry, there was a whole lot of footie pj's and about one pair of pants. And hair? Well, taming down Bailey's fro doesn't even make the daily to-do list.

Super Mom cooks a healthy dinner for her family.
Today we had hot dogs and mac-n-cheese. Sadly it was the best the girls have eaten in days. Thank God Jared does 99% of the cooking around here.

Super Mom eats those healthy dinners and takes care to make sure those pregnancy pounds come off quickly.
Not only did I eat the aforementioned mac-n-cheese today, I also had a Reese's mini peanut butter tree for dessert. {Okay, make that two of them.} And as for the pregnancy pounds - I am just going to remain in denial, cross my fingers, and hope that breastfeeding does the trick like last time.

Super Mom makes a point to dress herself and look presentable.
The only shirts I have worn in the past 2 1/2 weeks are from Target. Specifically the nursing section. And they are the world's most boring tank tops with snap-downs. And I own one in every single color available. Oh, and to really jazz it up, I pair them up with one of two zip-front hoodies that I own.  I give myself bonus points if there are no spit-up spots visible.

I hate those women who actually are Super Mom.
I am taking a small victory in the fact that we haven't killed each other and the house is still half-way presentable.
FINALLY the entire family seems to be on the mend health-wise. I am blaming a large chunk of my lack of energy and lack of giving-a-damn on the fact that we have spent entirely way too much time at the hospital or in doctor's offices.  Since Graham was born, I think we have only had maybe 3 or 4 days where we didn't make a trip to visit the hospital. It's pretty hard to enjoy your new baby when you are doing a big chunk of your bonding in waiting rooms and super comfortable exam room chairs...

The rest of the time you can find me with my butt firmly planted in our leather recliner.
(Early Christmas present from Cathy. LOVE.)
And if it is around 3 AM, Graham and I are probably both half-asleep, cuddled up in blankets, with my boob hanging out for the world to see. {Thankfully my chair doesn't face a window!} And since Graham absolutely hates a pacifier, he uses me as one. It's all right because, frankly, I am too tired to care. Cuddly, warm little babies make it so hard to stay awake in the wee hours of the morning!

Jared's dad visited from Kansas this past week.
Since Graham's favorite time to sleep is during the day, he got lots of cuddle time in.
(Aka, like 3-plus hours at a time.)

We haven't taken nearly enough pictures the past few weeks.
With every one's snotty, swollen, red noses and nasty coughs, the last thing we have wanted to do is pose for pictures. My goal the next few days is to effectively nag Jared into taking pictures of Graham. Even though I admitted defeat with the Christmas cards this year, we still need to get some cute little baby photos.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

5 out of 5

It's been a crazy, busy week.
A newborn's first week of life is probably always busy, right? Well throw in some sick children and parents and it gets a whole lot more hectic.

Graham's bilirubin has been monitored every day since he left the hospital last Wednesday. So every day we loaded him up and someone drove him (and me) to the hospital for his blood draws. By Friday his bilirubin reached 16.0 so it was time for a bili blanket.

So for the whole weekend we had our own personal at-home glow worm.

He chilled out in only his diaper and we snuggled up together.
And of course drove daily to get labs drawn.
By Monday morning his level was down to 9.6 and we were able to stop using the blanket. Hallelujah!

Also on Monday we took Bailey and Avery to the doctor. They have been the whiniest children on the planet (or at least it feels like it) and they just weren't getting any better despite massive amounts of Tylenol, Vick's vapor rub, and vaporizers running nonstop. Turns out that both girls have ear infections as well as upper respiratory issues. So we made a trip to the pharmacy for ear drops, antibiotics, and albuterol nebulizers for both girls.

We almost needed 4-point restraints to get both girls to tolerate the breathing treatments the first night. But after a time or two, they started fighting over who got to go first.

And if you thought our trips to the doctor on Monday were complete, you would be wrong.
My surgical incision had been starting to cause me a lot of pain over the past two days, so much so I had to start taking the Vicodin again. Then I noticed it was itching and draining. Awesome.
A quick trip to my OB led to a prescription for antibiotics for me as well. Apparently if my site wasn't infected, it was on its way. Off the pharmacy we went again.

Tuesday morning rolled around and Jared was the one calling to make a doctor's appointment. He is sick too, only this time it is his sinuses. And another pharmacy run...

So you would think we would be done with all this hospital stuff, right?

Graham has been congested for the last two days. We had just been watching it and listening to his lungs, which still sounded clear. But by this morning he sounded much worse. He had a cough and it was taking much longer for him to clear all the gunk out, which was a nasty green/brown color.

So off we went to the doctor's office. Yet again. His vitals were "adequate" and he was eating great while we were there. His lungs sounded clear to the doctor, but to be on the safe side he ordered some lab and a chest x-ray. The x-ray came back looking basically fine and the labs didn't tell us much either. However, his RSV came back positive. He most likely got it from one of the girls.

Being only 10 days old, the doctor wanted to be cautious about his plan of action. He decided to call Children's in Omaha to speak with a pediatric specialist there to decide if Graham's condition warranted an admission to the PICU there.

After {literally} an hour of waiting on said phone call (and me working myself up with flashbacks to Avery being admitted to the NICU), it was determined that he is not sick enough to be admitted.
Huge sigh of relief.
We are just supposed to keep watching him closely, making sure he still is eating enough and monitoring basically everything you can monitor on a newborn. So apparently I will just continue being overly cautious and worrying about every weird little breath he takes and whether he is sleeping too much or too little.
Seriously, my mommy nerves can't take much more of this stuff!
I was hoping just ONE of our children could let us have it easy!

Thankfully Cathy (Jared's mom) has been here visiting since Saturday. With all the doctor visits and sick kids, it's been a huge help to have someone else around the house.
Plus the girls love her visits.
{Despite sick Bailey telling her to "Go home!" when she didn't get her way.}

So for now we are going to be hanging out at home (*fingers crossed*) and saying prayers for our kids {and ourselves} to get better soon. The first few weeks are hard enough without throwing in hospital trips and extra worry. There are a lot of fun things for a family to do all together... being sick is not one of them.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Graham's First Days

As previously announced, our little man is finally here!

It all started last Saturday morning when I stood up out of bed and felt a small, but distinct gush of fluid. Since my water broke with both of my previous pregnancies, I knew what it felt like. I waited around for hours but never felt anything else. The next morning the same thing happened again, and then again but in small amounts. We called the L&D floor and they advised us to come in.

Once we got there, they checked me and determined that my water probably had a "slow leak" but I wasn't dilated past 2cm. Based on my "unfavorable cervix", I was only given the option of a c-section. {the VBAC I had so badly wanted was out.} Since I already had one scheduled for less than 24 hours later and I was already at the hospital, we decided to go ahead with it on Sunday morning.

Phone calls were made to notify family and I was prepped and ready around 11:15 AM.

At 11:37 AM on November 25th, Graham Ellis Solko entered the world weighing in at 10 pounds 3/4 ounces. We knew he was big based on every single person in the room commenting on what a "big boy" he was.
[And it hurts me to admit that my doctor was indeed right.]

My mom, Beaner and Justy were outside the OR waiting to hear the news.
{Fe was at our house with Bailey and Avery.} 
Jared - in typical fashion - sent them a head-shot picture with Graham's stats but no name - further torturing them by not telling them whether Baby was a boy or girl.
Everyone was very excited to learn that Baby Solko was indeed a BOY.
And while it wasn't a surprise for us, I am glad we let it be a fun surprise for everyone else.
And while my body was still tremoring from the hormones and meds, I got the chance to hold Graham for the first time.
Delivering by c-section is such a weird thing.
One minute you're pregnant and the next you're not, and you really have very little to do with the process.
With my VBAC, it was emotional. You are working so hard to push that little body into the world and your feelings are all over the map.
With a c-section, it's like, "Oh, you're here..."
It's just so surreal to finally hold that baby in your arms - the one that was just punching you in the stomach not 30 minutes before. So while I didn't break down in to tears, I just remember feeling so very, very grateful to have him here with us.
The aunts wasted no time in arguing over who got to hold Graham next. 

Justy admits to having cried like ten times.
I am glad she got to be present for the birth - even if it was standing outside an OR. She was away at college for both of the girls' births and was excited to be here to welcome Graham into the world. And since she now lives the closest, she was able to be the aunt who visited daily this time around.
My sisters and my mom were all amazing this past week. They watched the girls at our house while Jared stayed with me in the hospital. I never had to worry about how the girls were doing because I know they LOVE their aunties. And Grandma too.
I think my dad was probably the most surprised and happy about Graham's birth, especially about his middle name. Since Papa Jeff didn't get any boys of his own, a grandson is a little extra special. Just hearing that my dad cried after learning he had a grandson, made me cry. (Make that number 11 for Justy.)

Bailey and Avery came up to meet their new brother on Sunday night. 

At first Bailey was a bit confused with all the "look at your new brother" talk. She walked over to the baby, looked at him, and then looked at my stomach, then looked back at him... It slowly started to register.
"Mama's baby?" she asked as she pointed to new brother Graham.

But within a few minutes she was planting kisses on her new brother and checking out the mass of dark hair on his little head.
Avery loves to give kisses to every baby she ever sees and her little brother was no exception. 
Since visiting in the hospital, both girls have been sick with runny noses and a cough that would put pack-a-day smokers to shame, so they had to wait to see baby brother at home.
But Baby Graham was definitely on their minds.
The first thing Bailey told Justy upon waking up the next day was:
"Justy! Justy! I have a baby brother! She's so cute!"
Our hospital stay was almost uneventful.
Recovery from a c-section just sucks. But this one went much better than I had hoped. I was able to feel and move my legs within a couple hours, which compared to around 12 hours last time - definite improvement. My pain didn't require a PCA and I got around pretty easily. Even better, my doctor didn't pretend to have any clue about how to get my blood sugars back under control after delivery, so he let me do my own thing. With some assistance from my educator, I am getting back to my normal pre-pregnancy needs pretty quickly.
Graham, being the son of a diabetic mom, had to have an IV put in to give him sugar water to maintain his blood sugars. This was new for us since neither of the girls had this done in Omaha. Because of the IV, his blood sugar was checked every 4 hours around the clock. His sugars never once dropped and we were able to get rid of the IV by Monday night - a big positive since we were told he might need it till Wednesday.
The pediatrician heard a slight murmur - also common in newborns, especially those of diabetic moms - so an echocardiogram was performed. Nothing out of the usual was noticed - just some small things that resolve themselves in a couple weeks. {But just the fact that we had to do one makes a hormonal mom extra nervous.}
And because of Avery's history of severe hyperbilirubinemia that came out of nowhere, we requested they check his bili level often. Over a period of a couple days it kept increasing, but never enough to reach a level that required more intervention than a naked nap in the direct sunlight. We had a follow-up trip to the lab today and his level was still stable. We go to the pediatrician tomorrow to recheck it again and hopefully - with all the hard work he has been doing in the baby poop department - we will find it is on the way down. Thankfully he seems to enjoy his time in the sun.
Overall, things have turned out well. Throughout my pregnancy I found myself missing The Med Center in Omaha many many times, but in the end I still have a healthy baby boy.
And I must admit that the staff at the hospital were extremely helpful. I felt very encouraged to breastfeed, which isn't always the case with all OB nurses. My delivering nurse was insistent that I do so as soon as I could following my c-section. Little things like that can make a big difference, especially if you are feeling not so great right after having major surgery. Encouragement can go a long way.
The best part of not delivering in Omaha was that more of my family was close and able to come visit. After all, that is why we moved back. It makes me smile to see the proud looks on my parents' and grandparents' faces when they looked down on Graham.
We were surrounded by people who love us and were truly excited to share in our joy. We had people gladly volunteering to stay and care for Bailey and Avery at a moment's notice. I could hear the exclamations of excitement when Jared called his family to give them the news. We are lucky to have such great family and friends.
We were both discharged yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon. It felt so good to be home.
A family of five.
(And of course Bailey has to do her best to ruin a possibly cute picture...)
So now to just enjoy the upcoming hours, days, months of new baby-ness.
I am always amazed at how much I absolutely love the smell of a new baby.
Even the diapers seem less disgusting than I remembered.
I love the snuggles.
The breastfeeding has come back easily thanks to my big boy's appetite.
Baby clothes seem so small, even on our 10-pounder.
Now I am off to give snuggles to all three of my babies.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Introducing Baby Solko #3

It's A Boy!

Graham Ellis Solko
November 25, 2012
11:37 AM
10 lbs  3/4oz
21 inches

Saturday, November 24, 2012

No News not necessarily good news.

Especially when you are impatient.

I am still hanging out. Pregnant. Large. Uncomfortable. (You get the drift.)
And getting slightly anxious since Wednesday's appointment put a c-section on the schedule for Monday morning.
Baby officially has less than 48 hours left to make its move.

We've been keeping busy though.
Thanksgiving has come and gone.
We spent Thanksgiving Day at my parent's house with my sisters. I stuffed myself on the usual Turkey Day food and indulged in an extra piece of pecan pie. Then that of course was followed by the usual food coma nap.

Yesterday we had our celebration with my mom's side of the family. We did soup and sandwiches and everybody got a chance to comment on the large butterball displayed around my middle.
(Not to mention the two hams I am passing off as my feet nowadays.)

And to add to the fun, Avery has been sick and whiny and damn-near unbearable. Tylenol seems to help for about an hour and a half and then she is back to being inconsolable.

So most of this week has been divided between tears and screams and this:

Clearly the second option is way better.

Also yesterday I forced the Christmas spirit upon our house.
The Thanksgiving decorations are down and Christmas is in full swing. We put on some festive tunes and Jared enjoyed stringing the garland around the staircase. {Which is a total lie; that is his least favorite job ever.} All the snowmen and Santas are on display and the tree is lit.

All that's left are some outside lights to hang (also falling under Jared's job description) and personalized stockings to order once Baby is here and the name is set in stone.

I love Christmas and the decorations around the house. I am excited for an excuse to drink hot chocolate - heavy on the mini marshmallows - and I would even welcome a little snow on the ground in a few weeks. After all, I am going to have a big excuse to stay planted on the couch wrapped up in a blanket with my own miniature human heater. :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

38 weeks

So my doctor's appointment yesterday went basically as I had expected. Except my doctor did say a little bit more than "too bad" to my request for a trial of labor.

As anticipated he brought up the points of me having a 10-lb baby - based on adding 2 pounds to my ultrasound last week (which honestly, seems a bit stretching it in my opinion, but I guess I am not the one with MD behind my name...) and started to spout off all kinds of scary statistics about shoulder dystocia and the risk of uterine rupture because of my previous c-section. The word "lawsuit" came into the conversation a few times, and I know that obviously is a big reason for some docs to push hard for an "easy" scheduled c-section.

I respect his opinion, but had to bring up some points of my own.
I have been doing my own research and reading the recommendations on all these topics.
{My college OB instructor Kim Riffel would have been proud.}

And he did agree with a lot of the info I brought up, which is funny because it contradicted some of his previous statements.
Overall, he tolerated me pretty well...
even if he did jokingly(?) say, "I am starting to regret ever having met you."

Oh well.
My body, my baby.
I know in the end I will have little choice in how it all goes down due to my high-risk status (stupid diabetes) and having had that previous section (darn you, Bailey!), but I am not the type to just let him essentially use scare tactics to force me into submission. I at least want to discuss the facts a bit and challenge him on some of the points that seemed a little dooms-day extreme.

So the plan:

If I go into labor on my own by next Tuesday morning, I will be "allowed" to do a trial of labor for a VBAC. This is the best case scenario. Since I had a successful VBAC last time, I have even better odds of success and a further lowered risk of uterine rupture.
(Of course this is where my doctor points out that I may not be able to deliver this monstrous sized baby I am apparently carrying around.)

If I don't go into labor on my own by next Tuesday the 27th, I will be coming in that morning for a scheduled c-section.
The only positive to this is that I talked my doctor into checking my progress that morning. If I am dilated to 4 cm or so and deemed "favorable," then he will consider the possibility of using Pitocin to advance my labor and allow a Trial of Labor. Although if it doesn't work out, I am sure the c-section suite will be there waiting for me.

So long story short - I am praying Baby comes on its own. And soon.
But either way, Baby will be here in 7 days. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Under the weather

Avery hasn't been feeling so good today.

I am sure it's just a cold, but it feels horrible when your child sounds and looks miserable and there is nothing you can do.

Hopefully it is nothing that a little baby Tylenol, a chest full of vapor rub, and a Daddy snuggle can't cure.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Still hanging on

Yep, I'm still here.  No baby yet.

The days are going so very slow, yet so very fast.

Last Thursday morning I got a call from my doctor's office. It was just a follow-up call to let me know that everything was normal on the ultrasound, but my doctor will be wanting to "discuss my options" at my next appointment due to the baby's "large size." 
By dates I was 38 weeks at my ultrasound, so an estimate of 8 pounds really doesn't seem that huge to me. My mom's smallest baby was over 9 pounds. And in case you haven't noticed, I am not exactly a tiny person myself...

So my mind immediately imagines the conversation we are going to have, which basically goes something like this:
Doctor:  Your baby is measuring big. If you don't go into labor on your own by the 27th, we are scheduling a c-section.
Me: But I really don't want a c-section.
Doctor: Too bad.

Okay, there might be more to the conversation than that... but I am afraid he will deny me a chance at a repeat VBAC. And after my experience with Bailey, a c-section is the LAST thing I want. Personally I didn't enjoy not feeling below my waist for 12 hours and being so out of it that I almost dropped/puked on my baby the first time holding her. Not cool.

So for the past four days, I have been trying every "natural" thing to induce labor on my own - or at least "prime the pump" for Baby to get things started this upcoming week. We have been taking the girls on hour-long walks every afternoon. And Jared, with some help from YouTube and Justy, has been rubbing pressure points on my feet with gusto. It doesn't seem to be making much difference, but hey - it can't hurt, right?

Aside from hoping Baby will make an appearance soon, we have been busy doing other things.
{I really need to be better about taking pictures lately. All these word-only posts are probably getting pretty dull.}

We made cupcakes Friday afternoon with the girls in honor of Aunt Beaner's birthday. Bailey enjoyed whisking the batter and Avery was content to just sit on a chair pretending to help Jared make the frosting. Both girls knew the final reward would be licking the frosting-covered beater, so they were on their best behavior.

Saturday we loaded up and went to Jolley for a breakfast of biscuits and gravy. It had been years since I had gone and the huge vats of sausage gravy did not disappoint. Afterward we headed to my Grandma Connie's house so the girls could see her and Grandpa. As usual Avery screamed upon seeing her Great Grandpa Lyle, but she eventually warmed up when bribes of food were offered.

Also this weekend:
Board game time.
    {Rummikub is where it's at.}
I finished washing some final baby clothes.
I forced Jared into helping me organize a room in the basement.
TV time. Our DVR has finally been thinned out a little. So many good shows; such little time!

Right now I suppose I should drag my butt to bed. In a week or so I am going to wish I had the option of going to bed and sleeping for a good 8 or 9 hours straight like I do now (give or take about 5 different night-time potty breaks).
I really should be taking advantage.

Say some prayers for us that this baby decides to appear on its own this week so we can avoid surgery or a scheduled induction.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

37 weeks

Okay, I am a day late.

But there has been nothing much to report on.
It's just the same old stuff.
We are anxiously awaiting Baby Solko #3's arrival.
I use the word anxious because after having two previous deliveries by 37 weeks, we seem to have it in our heads that this one will follow suit.

Jared especially seems to be on pins and needles waiting for me to call him with "the call." He has gone so far to put an old towel at my bedside "just in case" I need it for "easy clean-up" during the middle of the night. {Yeah, he is that ready.} My bag is packed, my pump is ready to rock 'n' roll, and sweet little baby outfits are awaiting a baby to clothe.

Today was my final ultrasound.
One last one to check baby's progress and weight.
Baby looks good. Weight was estimated to be at exactly 8 pounds, which is right around what I was guessing it would be. Baby gave us a lot of good looks at its sweet little face. And I am not gonna lie, Baby looks to be on the chubby side - at least looking at the little chipmunk cheeks.
On the ultrasound it was impossible not to notice the abundance of hair surrounding Baby's head. It was like a cute little halo of fuzz.
So in short - no bald babies for the Solkos.

I am trying not to be an overly eager pregnant woman who only thinks about when the baby in her uterus will be expelled, but it is proving to be hard this time around.
It also doesn't help that every time I call a family member lately, I don't even get a "Hi." 
I get, "Oh my God, are you in labor?!" or something to that effect.
Clearly I am not the only one with baby on the brain.

In other news, after my appointment today and some oh-so-wonderful grocery shopping, Jared and I ate supper at Perkins.
And it was Free Pie Wednesday.
Oh yes... Just what the doctor ordered...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Getting antsy

Another week is here. Man, did the weekend fly by in a hurry...

It was my first weekend without having to work for a while, which was nice. Jared and I haven't had a whole day off together for a few weeks. And my swollen ankles are glad for the break.

I will be 37 weeks tomorrow (or 38 by my original dates) and I am starting to really anticipate Baby's arrival. Technically, by ultrasound dating, Avery was born at 36w6d. So right now, this is the longest I have been pregnant. Since my water broke in the night with both of the girls, I am just waiting for it to happen again. And soon. Apparently Jared is as well, since he reminds me how to call him at work nearly every night before he leaves. With all this early preparation, it will be our luck that Baby will be content to hang out until we force an eviction in two weeks.

I am not truly in a hurry. I know that the longer Baby stays cooking, the better. (So spare me the you-shouldn't-want-to-go-early talk.) But at the same time I am getting excited to meet him/her. Plus, it will make the process much easier to go into labor on my own rather than being induced.

And because I am anticipating a big pop of amniotic fluid any second of every day, I am in a constant state of picking up.
Every night, no matter how tired I am, the kitchen must be spotless and the dishes must be done. And then because I am becoming obsessive-compulsive like that, they have to be put away. I find myself thinking, "My mom doesn't know where all this goes" as I am toweling dry all the dishes that most definitely could have waited until morning.
Because it is obviously a huge deal if a couple storage containers don't make it back to their properly designated location in the kitchen.

The rest of the house gets the same treatment. Laundry is getting done in record time, carpets are vacuumed often, and the bathrooms are spic-and-span if I do say so myself. I don't have much tolerance for clutter right now. So things that have been needing a home for a while are finding one rather quickly. (Now the challenge will be to find them when we actually need them in the future... Sorry in advance, Jared.)

We used the nice weather on Friday and Saturday to get some outside work done. Together Jared and I raked up and loaded 5 truck bed loads of leaves to haul away. One thing I miss about living in the country - you just blissfully let the wind blow them out of your yard. I will be happy to not have to look at another leaf for quite some time.  Then on Saturday I mowed our entire backyard. With a push mower. It really needed it, plus it mulched up some of the few remaining leaves. 
Jared joked that the neighbors probably think he is the biggest hard-ass husband on the block - making his hugely pregnant wife go out and rake leaves and mow the lawn. But truthfully it was my idea; I was just "nesting" out of doors.

Other than that, the additional car seat is installed. Our Pilot is looking a little crowded now with all 3 car seats in there.
A nice minivan is sounding better and better these days...

Right now I am just trying to enjoy my last remaining days of being pregnant. Only 15 left!
{But who's counting, right?}
And I am enjoying my girls, who at this moment are dancing around the room with their babies to the music playing on iTunes.
They are going to be such sweet big sisters.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Practice makes perfect

We're practicing up for Baby.
...even if this particular baby looks a little worm-like.

We've got a good grasp on holding Baby and patting out burps.

We've been relaxing around the house.
I've been enjoying my last days with just my two babes.

There have been lots of laughs.
And some fights over the ever-popular baby stroller.
And lots of sweet snuggle time.
{Daddy gets most of the 'uggle love, though.}
It seems I am hard to snuggle on lately.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Night

I like election night.
I am a nerd. And so is my husband. We sat glued to the t.v. and watched all the numbers come in like it was the Super Bowl.

I don't know why I even checked Facebook tonight.
I voted for Obama. And he has been declared the winner.
But if he had lost, I am pretty sure I wouldn't be online trashing our newest president elect and whining about how it is the "end of the world."
Seriously. The drama.

I am liberal.

But I didn't vote for Obama because I am part of the "47%" that needs a hand-out.

And I personally think it is ridiculous for people to think that freeloaders will be any different whether under a Democrat or a Republican. If you are lazy and looking for something for nothing, the color of the President's tie isn't going to make much difference to you.

And it's SO annoying to me to see multiple posts about how we have a leader without any "family values." And how some people are worried about the "morals that will be forced on our children."

Really?  Obama is that horrible of a person?
Is it because he supports gays having equal rights under the Constitution like the rest of the country?
Or is it because he supports a woman's right to choose?
Or - my personal favorite -  maybe it's the old "He is a Muslim!" spiel... 
{Aka - try and find a real reason to discredit him.}

Because honestly, none of those "morals" are being thrust upon your poor, unsuspecting children.
Regardless of who occupies the White House, it's your responsibility to instill values in your kids.
You can say whatever you want to your children about abortion.
You can tell your kids it is wrong for a man to be with another man.
You can teach your kids that anyone who doesn't subscribe to your religion is a bad person.
It's your choice. President Obama isn't going to swoop into our schools and brainwash kindergarteners with his "questionable morals."

As for me, I plan to teach mine that God created us all differently and that even if people are different than us (race, religion, sexuality), they still deserve respect. Sadly, I think tolerance is a way under-valued character trait these days. 

I understand people have different opinions, but the world is not ending because we still have a Democrat in the White House.

We all have different views and that is what makes this country tick. But it is also what drives it apart. I think - regardless of who the President is - politicians need to work together.
Not work against each other based on party affiliations.

And seriously, writing whiny-sounding crap about wanting to move to Canada on Facebook just makes you look like a sore loser. Put on your big girl panties and deal with it.