The dirty details (longest post ever)

So I'm pregnant after a loss...

And boy, that 'after a loss' phrase makes everything completely different this time around. A few days ago I finally sat down at the computer to start typing a few blog posts about the pregnancy, at nearly 11 weeks pregnant. I must have been having a rough mental day because there are four paragraphs full of doom and gloom and depressing thoughts about how difficult it's been for me to enjoy this pregnancy. But you know what? I'm not posting those four paragraphs because I'm choosing to be positive for a change. I will, however, paraphrase my rambling thoughts on the matter of being pregnant again after a miscarriage earlier this year. And then I'll get to the nitty gritty details that you all want to read anyway:)

I'm a worrier as you may have picked up from reading my blog. I worry that posting about this pregnancy will hurt the readers out there who are still trying to get pregnant---after a loss or not. I want those readers to know that I promise not to EVER take this amazing gift for granted. I am fully aware of how blessed I am to be pregnant after a loss just 6 months after my last BFP. And although I hesitate to post all about this pregnancy because I worry I'll hurt others out there traveling my same path, please know that if I didn't post about this I would be the biggest phony blogger out there and I'm pretty sure nobody wants to read a bunch of BS on this blog. Big, big hugs to those trying to conceive, too---there can never be enough hugs, right?

Also, I am definitely not one of those second-time moms who says things like, 'I just don't have time to sit around thinking about pregnancy this time, so it's flying by. I'm way too busy with my toddler to remember how far along I am, or what fruit baby is, and it's not the center of my life anymore.' No, that is basically the opposite of what I am telling you today. Because my journey to get to this pregnancy is incredibly different than most of those moms out there who don't have the time to worry. (I guess I've managed to make time, then). It's just that when you are pregnant after a loss you don't feel comfort in the statistics telling us that we have less than a 3% chance of losing this baby now that we've seen a heartbeat. I've been on the 'rare' side of stats before and it hurts. Badly. It hurt me so deeply that I can definitely say I will be forever changed by my loss, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I am painfully jealous of women who still have their innocent naivety about pregnancy. I didn't take a single belly pic until 11 weeks this time, nor did I have the courage to write any drafted posts until then. We didn't tell our parents until 6 weeks (and that was only because we needed their support in light of some complications I'll write about in a bit) and didn't tell most of our friends until much later, too. I guess I'm only telling you all of this to preface the fact that this first trimester has been mentally grueling, has landed me in some of the darkest moments of my life, and I guess I didn't expect it to be so hard. I just thought if I got pregnant again THAT was the ultimate goal and all would be right with the world. But oooh, boy---I feel like I just started the roller coaster ride of my life. It's also made me pray a little harder, a little more often, and I've found myself trusting God's plan even more than before---because let's face it, at SOME point I have to realize that I cannot control my life. Especially when it comes to getting pregnant and staying pregnant---that is all up to God's will, in my opinion. And I'm thankful that He is walking with me on this journey.

Dirty details...

After my surgery in June, my OB said we had to wait two cycles before trying again. We listened and then it was our second cycle of trying that yielded a big.fat.positive. So yes, we were trying---very hard. :) Harder than ever before because with Truman we got pregnant on the second cycle of 'half-assed' trying. With Wren we weren't trying at all. And this time we went ALL out. As I was enduring the dreaded two-week-wait before I could test I had basically convinced myself that this might not be our cycle either, and I started looking to the next cycle to plan the 'operation sperm plus egg' attack. I made a mental note that if my period had not shown up by 12 days after ovulation, I'd pee on a stick and hope for the best but I vowed not to test earlier than that. But then I started getting all psycho and over-analytical about every twinge of my body (who, me?). At 11 days after ovulation, I woke up and took my temp like I had been doing every morning and decided if it was even a fraction higher than the previous day I'd have to test then. And sure enough, it was up by two tenths:)

I went into Truman's room at 5:30 on Saturday, September 17 when he was awake and calling for me and we played a bit in the nursery while Nate slept. I was not even nervous at this point, just resigned to the fact that I would have to see a negative test because it would be either too early or I really was not pregnant at all. Eventually I decided to get it over with and dunked one of my cheapie pregnancy strips in my cup-o-pee, walking out of the bathroom without any true anxiety. For real. A few minutes later, after playing with Tru some more, I peeked onto the counter and saw a freaking second line, clear as day, without even using my magnifying glass or special infrared lights. I promptly began to cry, shake, and say, 'Thank you, God!' repetitively like a reproduction-obsessed robot. I went back to Truman and did a little happy dance with my unknowing toddler and then decided that I should probably use another test 'just for fun' because one is never enough to convince me. This was another cheap dunkable test but from a different packet all together. And guess what? Only one line. Cue the excitement slamming to the ground.

After a little confusion, wondering if that first positive test was a total fluke I brought out the big guns: an expensive digital test, reserved only for special occasions like a super faint second line that needed confirming (or a tie-breaker test, in my case). I dunked that puppy in the same cup-o-pee, capped it, and tossed it on our dining room table so I could keep a close watch on it while pretending to play with my boy. Oh yes, the crazies were in full-force by this point and there was no going back now---I willed that test to say 'pregnant' so hard I almost popped a blood vessel.

The little hour glass kept ticking away, deciding my fate as I sweated bullets next to the digital screen. And then, there it was. One word. Pregnant. It was for real, you guys. And sure enough---that one-lined test I had taken about 20 minutes before started to show a faint second line as well. Three tests all positive before 6 am on a Saturday = a pretty frickin amazing morning by my book. I was a whopping 3 weeks and 3 days pregnant which was definitely the earliest I've ever found out the big news. Sort of ridic, right? Gotta love testing early because it makes the first trimester just FLY by (sarcasm).


So my husband was snoozing away during all of this pee stick drama in the next room, mind you, and I just had to think of something half-way clever to break the news. I mean, I really wanted to run in there, jump on the bed and start screeching about second lines and digital words and pee cups but I figured that might not be the coolest thing to do to the man. Instead, I wrote on a little post it note: "Daddy, Mommy tested and it was positive! Love, Truman" and had my child hold that little note in his chubby hand until the sperm-giver was awake from his beauty sleep. Truman kept crumpling up the note so I had to keep straightening it out, but I know he was just excited to break the news to his dad.


Finally, Nate did come into the family room while T and I were watching truck videos on You Tube. I told Truman to give daddy the note and he did so with such pride that I swore he knew something big was happening. Nate just said, 'Oh, thanks, buddy,' sort of clueless and mostly still asleep. I watched him read the words and then watched his jaw drop open to say, 'No way! You tested already?!?' And then I was forced to spew out about a thousand words per minute explaining the three tests, hundreds of emotions, and overwhelming excitement over the results. And Nate totally got it and we hugged and smiled and said, 'we feel good about this one,' together. And we really did. We felt happy and confident and at peace.

Well as you might guess, that contentment feeling lasted about one day. Then the worries crept in and so began my inner turmoil. Do I embrace the pregnancy and possibly get really crushed again if we lost it, or just detach from the idea until it is 'safe' to get excited? I knew I would ask my OB to do blood work right away this time, to check if my HcG levels were doubling every 2 days and whether my progesterone was at an acceptable level, too. What I didn't know at the time is that those tests, and more specifically waiting for the results to come over the phone, were both a blessing and a huge curse. Not sure if I would do the labs again in hindsight.

My HcG did double perfectly throughout the four blood draws I received in those first weeks. But my progesterone started off sort of low, then did a dip to the 'definitely low' mark, before it came back up to an acceptable level and hovered. This was the first time I decided the pregnancy was doomed. Then the next day I spotted brown. I had a real breakdown that day and was convinced that I would absolutely have another miscarriage. But then things were going okay and I started to feel hopeful again. Until I was 5 weeks, 5 days pregnant and at a patient's home for a regular visit on a Monday. That day was probably the lowest point of the first trimester, by far.

I will never forget the feeling that, 'huh, is something dripping out of me right now? Wait. That doesn't feel right---it can't be---am I bleeding?!?!' All while in a patient's house, trying to care for another person and not totally freak the eff out about what just happened in my underwear. I somehow managed to wrap up the session and practically ran to my car where I sat in the drivers seat, unbuttoned my pants, and peeked into my undies to see bright red blood that had already soaked through my pants. 'Okay, now what?" I asked myself. I wasn't panicking at all, but it was more like, 'well, I guess this is how it's going to happen this time.' I drove to a nearby gas station and went to the bathroom to find a LOT of blood down there. Like enough that I had flashbacks to my disgustingly-prolonged miscarriage earlier in the year, which of course made me nearly hyperventilate and wish I could just curl up into a ball and get out of this nightmare. But again, somehow my rational brain took over and I just put on a new pad, wrapped my jacket around my waist, deciding that I HAD to keep working and refused to let my life stop over a possible miscarriage, and then I called my OB to inform the office of my bleeding nightmare.

The triage nurse somehow believed that bright red blood, and an absurd amount of it, was probably okay but she would have me come in to see the OB that evening 'just for peace of mind.' I was shocked that she didn't tell me flat out that, 'Honey, you are having a miscarriage' since that is what I already assumed. But I made it through the rest of my day, calmly texted my husband to say I was bleeding and would go to the doctor that night, and was sort of at peace with how it was all happening. I was sad, too, but I didn't really let myself get too worked up until we had answers.

Nate was able to meet me for the appointment, which was perfect not only for moral support but also because I had to get Truman from daycare right before we drove up to the office. I wasn't sure I could handle getting bad news while tending to my wild toddler at the same time. And I really wanted my boys there with me this time, just like they were when we had our bad ultrasound in April. We were all a team in this and we'd have to sort through the information together.

As my little family waited with me in the exam room, I laid back on the table and tried to talk to God. I wasn't in a bargaining mood, nor was I feeling particularly trusting. But we talked a bit while I stared at the odd florescent light shield that was made to look like the bottom of the ocean. It's really weird what happened next, but as I was staring at this illuminated ocean view, I imagined Nate and I as retirees someday. I thought about how we'd be 70 years old with so many stories to tell about our child-raising years, so many ups and downs that we'd forget a lot of the 'big' issues over time. I thought about Nate and I taking awesome vacations together over the next 30 years and how I want to snorkel and scuba dive with him again, just like we did on our honeymoon---and how this little ocean scene on the ceiling of my OBs office was like a sign from God. Life will go on. You will grow old with this man next to you (God-willing), with this amazing child on his lap, and who knows what the rest of the story will be. Either we will get this baby in May or not---but it's all going to be okay. We'll still look back on these years in our life and smile because they are undoubtedly some of the best I could imagine.

My OB came in and gave me a worried look, which I returned back to her. And then she brought in her ultrasound machine. I knew it would be super early to see anything at all but was happy we could at least get an idea of what my uterus was doing. My OB raised her eyebrows and said, 'Well, we have a baby....with a heartbeat. But I am worried about it.' Um, first---a heartbeat?!?! Before 6 weeks? What an amazing and unexpected gift from above! But of course it's not that simple.

She also saw a large bleed in my uterus called a subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH) that was much larger than the baby, about 4cm big. It could either be 1. The start of a miscarriage, or 2. Nothing at all. The overall message from my OB was that she was hopeful because this little baby had a heartbeat, a beautiful little heartbeat. But she had to be honest when she said that she hadn't seen a bleed this large turn out okay in the end. So we were in limbo. Again. A threatened miscarriage. And that night I did cry the ugly tears and began the grieving process for this little flicker of a heartbeat in my belly, because of course my stupid body would attack it and try to take it down. But after a long talk with Nate I came to realize that we had to hang onto the hopeful feelings. We couldn't begin to grieve yet because we had a real, living baby to focus on and we decided to choose optimism. What's that saying about how you can only control your attitude, but not what happens to you in life?

(our little baby with a heartbeat, and my dreaded bleed)
5w5d copy

You might guess what happened next. I stopped bleeding. I had multiple follow up ultrasounds. And every time they would show the baby growing up a storm, the bleed shrinking away, and that little heartbeat getting more and more pronounced. Each visit left me feeling even more hopeful and it made my OB excited enough to say, at just 6w1d (3 days after my initial bleed): "I think we are having this baby, just so you know." I wrote those words down in my journal that night and would read them over and over if I started to feel anxious. By my 7 week ultrasound baby looked like a noticeable blob, by 8 weeks it was a gummy bear, and by my 10 week scan that baby looked like a baby---one that was moving around like crazy. And my bleed was practically non-existent but still hanging around. Being that the champion baby was 50 times the size of it now, when the bleed was easily 3 times the size of the baby in the beginning, I started to feel like my child was a fighter and was pushing that bleed out of the way.

6w1d copy
7w1d copy
8w1d copy
10w2d copy

In true Julia fashion, I did a ton of research on SCH's and found a lot of success stories online, many of which had even larger bleeds than me. They don't know why some women have bleeds like this but apparently bleeding in the first trimester is not too uncommon--happening about 20% of the time, and then half of those ladies will go on to having normal pregnancies. I have a hunch that going for a run and, ahem, having some adult playtime together the day before I bled may have something to do with my SCH. And so after that scare, I've been on pelvic rest and instructed not to exercise by my OB as well. A few months ago, I would have gone crazy without exercise but it's amazing how little I care about being in shape now that I have a little baby blob to worry about. It also helps that I've felt the first trimester ickiness----no desire to run at all. And if that means I gain 50 pounds this pregnancy then so be it, I honestly do not care one fraction of a bit. Priorities are in place. And really, I'm pretty lucky that my OB didn't put me on strict bed rest immediately after the bleed because a lot of girls have to wait it out on bed rest. We all know I'm not a good bed rest patient though, considering my OB caught me in Target before Truman's induction when I was supposed to be on bed rest. :)

We waited to tell the internets on the blog and Facebook until 14 weeks because we wanted to surprise Memaw with the news in person, during our Thanksgiving trip last week. If it weren't for that, I probably would have shared at 12 weeks but I really do enjoy waiting until it's this much more 'official' to blab all about the pregnancy to my internet friends. I hope you understand.

If you are still reading this, I congratulate you on your stamina. And now you are sort of caught up on the dirty deets of this pregnancy #3 for me. I guess this mammoth post should be expected when there is SO much to explain with such an eventful first trimester, huh? Hope you are ready for more pregnancy posts in the near future!

Baby Number Two, Take Two!

Today is my lost due date with Wren. I was supposed to be having my second child today.

But I'm making this a happy, celebratory day instead of feeling sad because...

I am 14 weeks pregnant!!!

(taken September 17, 2011---pose stolen from Pinterest)

(my copy cat, a little worried about that pee stick, but requesting to get his picture taken with the same pose as mommy. And ignore the random tag taped to his shirt--he demanded to wear the tag from my yoga pants this day)

Due Date: 5.29.12 --exactly 6 months {to the day} from my original due date with Wren. Freaky and amazing, huh?

Truman and his sibling will be 27 months apart and we are all ridiculously excited to be expecting again. It's been a long/eventful journey already but oh, so worth it. Details to follow.


(and you can see why I couldn't keep this a secret any longer...)

Turkey Trip!

We are headed out of town tomorrow for our first VERY long road trip in over a year. Although we have spent the past 5 Thanksgivings with Nate's side of the family, we are making the drive to Missouri to be with mine this year! Cannot wait, although I am petrified of the 8 hours in the car to my parents house, and then another 2 hours to Memaw's house on Thursday. We are also going to make a quick stop by St. Louis on Saturday and it's been way too long since we saw all of our STL friends, so I hope we can cram in as much 'togetherness' time as possible. Praying Truman sleeps a lot for us and isn't totally messed up with big changes in his routine---we are crazy enough to also bring Henry on this trip (yes, the dog who really hates to be in cars for long periods of time). I think we have lost our minds but it's going to be worth it!

So much to be thankful for this year----I can't even list it all for you right now. I promise to be reflective on my own time while shoving my face with turkey and taters and gravy. But mostly, just wanted to post pictures of my little man at Thanksgiving last year. It's quite the lesson in how quickly time will fly, whether you are ready for it to slip by or not. How was he this small only one year ago?



Thankful, indeed!

(also, is my blog the slowest thing to load in the entire universe or what? Maybe it's just me. But it's really annoying me right now)

Indoor Toddler Fun--results from my readers

My last post about keeping toddlers entertained indoors lead to super helpful suggestions. Thanks for so many awesome ideas, mommies of the world--you rule. I tried to compile a big organized list here for everyone to read. I feel totally empowered to face winter now, I don't know about you!


-Indoor playgrounds:
I did a little research on this one and found AWESOME places here in the Milwaukee area. The Big Backyard in New Berlin is about $8 per person. There is a Gymboree at the Brookfield Square mall and I do believe they have both free and paid classes, definitely going to check this one out asap. Then there is the Monkey Joes in Waukesha---adults are free and kids under 2 are just $5! I also found a lot more playground types of things listed in this article by JS Online. And I never really considered the malls of our area but I'm sure some of them do have indoor playgrounds and Truman does love malls for the people watching. Could possibly venture into the world of McDonalds, too, if it meant fun for my babe. Sign me up!!

-Museums: here in Milwaukee we do have the Betty Brinn museum which is geared towards younger kids. If I'm reading the site right, it's $7.50 per person if you are over 2 years old. Not too bad and if we love it, we could get a yearly pass. We also have The Domes here but I'm not sure T is old enough yet to really like this place--but one commenter mentioned they do have a trains exhibit starting Jan 15 so we will be trying it out then, for sure!

And also...
-Zoo (staying indoors as able, just did this last week)
-Library (we love our FREE Rhyme Time on Thursdays already!)
-Swimming lessons (our fave for Tuesday nights at the local Y)
-Land of Nod stores--playing with their toys laid out for kids to enjoy
-indoor gyms may have a $5 day for non-members (may check out the Y for this, too)
-Lowes/Home Depot kids workshops
-Local schools' ECFE classes

-finger painting in the tub, 'tub chalk', or these by Crayola
-finger painting while on kitchen floor, giant papers taped to ground, and then a bath after (non-toxic, Crayola paints recommended, or Color Wonder Paints)
-painting while in the highchair using pudding, shaving cream, yogurt
-playdough--the homemade 'salty' kind that kids won't really want to eat
-plain old crayons and coloring books
- 'window crayons' for only $4
-making a 'busy bag' for kids--love this idea!!
-markers, especially the 'color wonder' markers
-make colored ice cubes for fun in the tub
-paint with water books (yes, I remember these and loved them!!)
-Aquadoodle travel mat
-making window clings for each season
-using cardboard boxes to make a pretend rocket ship/fort and adding stickers for decoration
-making a weekly 'theme' for focus on which activities you will do together

-building forts out of couch cushions, chairs, blankets (did it after my first post, LOVE it!!)
-old fashioned games (works best with more than one child, I'm sure): Duck, Duck, Goose; Hide and Seek; Ring Around the Rosy'; Dont' Touch the Ground; Twister
-set up play dates with other kids and mommies
-indoor egg hunts, even with empty eggs
-making train tracks out of kleenex boxes, soda cartons, legos, foam puzzle pieces, etc
-putting out a tub of uncooked black beans, or rice, etc and letting kids play in that with their beach toys---like an indoor sandbox of sorts
-making a marble run out of paper towel tubes
-bringing snow into the bathtub
-science projects at home
-baking with mom, and filling old shakers with dried beans for good 'shake effect'
-swimming in the bathtub
-for Christmas time, The Elf on the Shelf tradition

Other websites/blogs with fun ideas:
-Navigating the Mothership
-Play at Home Mom
-Frugal Family Fun Blog
-Rookie Moms
-Toddler Boredom Busters
-Pinterest --another reason to spend WAY too much time on this site

Indoor Toddler Fun

I need help, mommas of the world!

I live in Wisconsin which means it's getting really frigid outside and will likely remain this way until about May. All of my go-to outdoor activities to do with Truman are dwindling fast as the temperatures drop and I'm struggling to find fun, CHEAP things to do indoors. I mean, I can easily take up an entire morning by hopping from the grocery store, to Target, to Walgreens, etc with mister man and he does love a little retail therapy. But really, there has to be a better way to keep him entertained, out of the house a bit, and keep our budget in check.

Let me start by what we already do for activities and then I'm hoping you ladies can help me build my toolbox, so to speak.

-loves puzzles, a few of his actual toys may hold interest for about 5 minutes
-of course there are Elmo DVDs, truck videos on the computer and educational stuff on TV. But I really try to limit the amount of time we are vegging out in front of electronics if possible.
-playing at the kitchen sink, pouring wa-wa all over the place
-helping me cook (this lasts about 2 minutes before he just eats raw cookie dough or whatever we are making)
-dance parties (turning up the iPod as loud as possible and JAMMING out to techno music--a fave for sure)
-helping me with laundry (ie up and down stairs a million times)
-the library (found an AWESOME story time for babies to 3 year olds that is free on Thursday mornings. Love that time of the week)
-swimming lessons (Tues nights---his favorite activity of the week by far)
-the zoo (have a free zoo pass, but as the weather changes it's harder to keep to the indoor exhibits)
-books (but this is usually our favorite before bed activity so he's not too into them during the day, too)

Ideas I've had but cannot quite execute:
-playdough (went well for about a week then he started ingesting it by the handful)
-markers/colors (so messy!!---is there anything out there that isn't so scary? Like those 'clear' markers that actually show up in color?)
-finger paints (again, so scary! Is there a clean alternative?)

So I guess that sounds like a lot of things but it's really not enough. Being home all day Tuesday, Thursday, and the weekends means I have a lot of hours to fill and I like having things planned to help the day go as smoothly as possible. Also, evenings after work are tough---not a ton of time to play and do things, but definitely enough to do SOMETHING other than cook and eat dinner and do bedtime stuff. Any local Milwaukee ladies know of fun indoor activities that aren't too expensive? Or non-locals---what do you do with your kids inside, while maintaining your sanity? I feel like there should be huge websites devoted to this type of thing but I haven't found anything yet.

And because I might as well spice up this post with something more fun, I finally uploaded our videos from August, September, October, and the beginning of this month to Flickr. It was quite the overwhelming project, let me tell you, but it's been bugging me for awhile now. My next project is to finally begin Truman's 2nd year album---another thing on my 'list' for months now, but since I accidentally deleted all of my digital scrapbooking supplies I've sorta been dragging my feet to start from scratch. But no more, my friends! I am doing this thing soon!

Oh yes, the videos. I will just show one or two because I'm sure you don't really care about them but my child is really entertaining, in my opinion. :)

For instance, what in the heck is this 'bird dance' that his daddy taught him?? Weird!

And this one goes to show you that the kid understands SO many words, and can say a lot of them too, but just with his own 'twist' on the original. So stinking cute, if you ask me.

Okay, now please give a sister some ideas for toddler entertainment indoors! Ready? Go!

Wannabe Photog

I love taking pictures to document our lives, and obviously my favorite subject is Truman-the-one-and-only. I have a 'nice' camera but it's nowhere near a professional level. And photography has always been a fun little hobby for me, nothing more. Then when my friend Erin asked if I would snap a few pictures of their little family for Christmas cards, I got kind of excited. I mean, both Erin and I usually have our go-to-photographer Andrea to take our fabulous pictures each year but alas, she's busy snuggling baby G this year. :) I told Erin I'd do it but warned her I would be much slower, much less professional, and my pictures would be a lot worse than Andrea's and Erin patiently said she didn't mind at all. And so it was on! My first 'photoshoot' for a little family. And man, I did not expect to love it this much! It sure doesn't hurt to have one of the most adorable, photogenic families ever in front of my lens in addition to a glorious day for light. I just have to share because I'm loving so many of these images. And the pictures are sort of slow to load on this post because there are so many---but be patient (it annoys me, too, don't worry).









Then there are the pictures of 'just Henry'---the lively, precious 2 year old who is absolutely hilarious in person, and one of Truman's best buddies at daycare. Can you get over this grin?




And then we did a few maternity shots for Erin, who is due with baby #2 in February. Erin is one of 'my kind' who adores being pregnant and it obviously shows in these pictures. Talk about glowing!

(in love with the light here, the brightly lit wheat-grass stuff is so much fun and I love that the boys are randomly in the background)

(25 weeks and the perfect bump!)

(foreshadowing for baby boy's name...)



After our little 20 minute shoot, Nate and Truman met us all for brunch. And I cannot get over how painfully cute our boys can be when they hug like this! I die.




So yeah, a great morning was had by all. I got home and immediately jumped into editing the pictures because I felt like we'd gotten some really awesome shots. And now I can understand how the 'real' photographers of the world feel when they have a great shoot---it could be addicting for sure! But as I told Erin, I really don't anticipate doing this for real in the future. I guess I won't rule it out completely but I enjoy photography so much that I wouldn't want it to turn into a hassle, or take the fun out of it. So for now, I can just keep looking at these fun pictures of this sweet family and smile.

And now I guess I should think about my own family's Christmas card pictures...might need to get creative with a tripod this year...

Twenty Months

The Truman Show is getting more and more interesting every day, folks! I mean, this is the first month that he actually peed AND pooped on the potty (and holding a hairbrush makes it even more authentic, of course)

And had his first and second swimming lesson at the local YMCA.

Also, his Missouri Grandparents came to visit at the beginning of the month and he has officially decided upon their names: "GoGo" for my mom and "PoPo" for my dad. He seriously came up with the nicknames all by himself and talks about them all of the time, now. I just love it.

So he has a 'GoGo' and a 'PoPo', then a 'YaYa' and a 'PawPaw'. Lots of fun names for grandparents around here---who knows if they will stick?

My child comes up with new tricks every day it seems, including his new robot walk where he keeps his knees stiff and spreads his feet apart as he walks, like a 'bot. No idea where he came up with that one but he will do it for us without being asked because he knows we totally dig it. And this goofy grin:

Truman is saying new words each day, too, and my favorite new one has to be 'Bay-bee' for 'baby' of course. He is so odd sometimes---I saw him go into his crib, grab his blankie and pull it out, then say 'Bay-bee' and start crawling around on the ground. I asked him if he was pretending to be a baby and he said, 'Yeah!' and kept crawling on his belly all around the house. I have to wonder if this is a bad thing, maybe regressing away from the 'big boy' mindset but it's so darn cute that I don't worry about it too much now. When I say, 'Truman, you aren't a baby anymore, you are a BIG BOY!', he just says, 'No, baby.' And then he points to himself. Sigh. Maybe I need to stop calling him my baby affectionately then, huh?

One sign that he is a total big kid now is that he prefers to walk everywhere instead of having me carry him. He demands to climb our stairs all the time, but of course going down the stairs is still a little iffy, and he's started walking into Lori's house each day now instead of me passing him off to her in the mornings. Not going to lie, the first day she told him to walk in the main room to see his friends, I really had to fight back tears watching that little body trot away like such a big boy. He doesn't even look back at me now, just walks right into the room and starts playing.


But of course, it's never THAT easy. He's gone back to a phase where he cries at daycare, after a solid 3 months of PERFECT reports from Lori each day. For a few weeks (right after he had the dreaded croup---which is what I'm blaming for this change) he'd cry at actual drop-off and I wanted to die every time, but now he doesn't cry for about the first 30 minutes or so. Then he 'remembers' I am gone, walks back to the kitchen, and sits on the stairs crying for 'Mama'. When Lori tells me this again, I want to die, and we've been trying hard to think of things to help him through this phase. I know he loves it there and must just be stuck on the idea that he wants his mom NOW and cannot wait for me to return, or something. Also, I really think a lot of this is because he's so freaking tired in the mornings that he doesn't know what he wants.


He is tired because he is still waking up anywhere from 4:15 to 5:30 most mornings. I am basically at my wits end with this particular phase, too, because I feel like we've tried it all. The only thing that seems to work is pumping him full of a ton of food at night, pushing his bedtime back from the usual 7:30 to around 8, and then if he STILL gets up at the butt crack, I will give him a bowl of dry cereal and a sippy of water in his crib. This usually works (for now) to help him fall back to sleep for another hour or so, but there are definitely days when he is just ready to start his day at 4:30. Ugh. So early. I know it's a bad habit to start giving him food and drink in his crib when he wakes up but honestly, I don't even care at this point. If he can fall back to sleep until 6 then I consider it a win right now. Because really, when he wakes at 4:30 for the day he is ready for a nap by 9 and then his whole day is just screwy (and mommy wants to shoot herself in the face if it's a work day---if it's a day off, you better believe I'm napping right along with my boy).


Other fun things this 20 monther can do? Stack blocks about 4-5 high, do simple puzzles on his own, point to all of his body parts, and understand seemingly every word that comes out of our mouths. The other day I was telling him that we needed to go and buy Henry more food and he said, 'Yeah!' and ran away, coming back holding Henry's dog food bowl. I didn't even know he understood that the bowl is where Henry eats, let alone that he needed more food in there. We've learned that we cannot mention the word 'swimming' unless we are literally walking out the door to go to his class, because once we mention that word he is done and cannot stop asking for 'wa wa'. Speaking of which, the child loves to play in our kitchen sink more than anything else in the world right now. It's not quite an independent activity yet because he did take one tumble off the chair and scared the bejeezus out of me as I stood a few feet away, but mostly he entertains himself there for at least 30 minutes at a time. Which in toddler time is an eternity, right?

Temporary tattoos still rule, trucks---and specifically garbage trucks---are like the most amazing creation ever, and throwing balls/toys/other inappropriate things is a favorite past time, too. He loves to eat yogurt, Kix cereal, bananas, pizza, and peanut butter toast but other than that, we definitely struggle to get 'real' meals in the kid. He's wearing all 2Ts and some 3T clothes by now and I guess him to weigh about 27 pounds or so? All I know is this child of mine is so freaking adorable and sweet and amazing that it really hurts my heart most days. Even when I'm a zombie from the lack of sleep---I still love the crap out of my babe. When he gives me a hug (including a pat on my back) and a kiss I feel more complete and satisfied than I could have imagined in my pre-Truman days. Toddler-hood isn't easy, and there are times I want to rip out my hair, but I still have to say that life is pretty darn good. Love you, mister man!


A day late, but none the less...

Truman the dragon says 'Happy Halloween!'











Not quite as unique as the Garden Gnome from last year, but at least this costume was only $10 at a big consignment sale! And this year he could actually trick-or-treat and loved every second of it, too. So.much.candy...and didn't want to take off his 'RAR' costume afterward. I'd say it was a success!
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