Monday, January 30, 2012

... of selling out to the stroller "man"

Update: I've found my perfect stroller. But I can't have it. Or can I?

I am the world's biggest bargain shopper. I'm the kind of person who receives a compliment on an article of clothing and responds with, "I got it for two dollars!" (You know, instead of just taking the compliment). So anytime I've had to make a very large purchase, I do A LOT of research, and then I scour the internet for deals, check craigslist in every major surrounding city, stalk ebay, wait a year and finally find something that ends up being non-returnable and not quite what I wanted. Needless to say, bargain hunting can be a good trait, but it can sometimes override common sense.

I've done a lot of research in the last day on double strollers. You read my last post. I had it narrowed down. I thought. Then I took Abram out to a few stores, strapped him in a few strollers, and lamented how every double stroller would just end up being something we would want to get rid of in the next year because we wouldn't want to push a limousine if one of the kids just wanted to walk. So I did more research. And I found this:

It's the Baby Jogger City Select (and here's a video)

You may know about it. You may have pined over it as well. But for those of you who don't know, it's a regular sized single stroller that you can buy a second seat and/or car seat adapters for which attach to the bottom and it becomes a double stroller. And not only a double stroller; a double stroller that can hold a newborn, two toddlers, reclined, facing, not facing, both forward, both backward with a telescoping handle, large basket underneath, hand brake, rubber wheels, easy fold up, and is maneuverable, not too heavy, good for walks and light runs, and good for years as a single or a double.

Deep breath.

So great, right? But they know it's great. And they know they can charge for that greatness. The stroller: $500. The second seat: $170. The car seat adapter: $60

So what do I do? Do I stick to a big, heavy, long double stroller that won't last our family for as long? Or do I ask for this from every single family member and friend that I have for Selah's birth present? Is it worth it? Tell me I'm crazy.

... of dreaming about strollers

Actually, I did dream about strollers last night. Double strollers to be precise.

Until yesterday, I had this subconscious delusion that I didn't need a double stroller. I have a great, lightweight, compact Peg Perego Aria stroller and a fantastic Beco carrier that could carry either my 17 month old on my back or my newborn in the front. That's all I needed, right? Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I needed to be able to just put Selah's car seat into a stroller for the first few months at least. You can go anywhere when they are that age because when they're sleeping, you can just take the car seat out of the car, slip it into a stroller without waking them up and be on your way. Abram is getting so much better at walking right now, so by that point he's going to be wanting to walk more, but not all the time for sure. So as much as he likes to ride on my back, I don't think he or my back could handle regular backpack rides.

But, finding a double stroller just isn't that easy! There are soooo many options out there, you'd think I could find one that fit all of these qualifications:

-Under 25 or so pounds.
-Compact-ish fold
-Able to hold one infant car seat
-An actual seat for a toddler (not just a bench)
-Able to fit through standard doorways
-Maneuverable (not crazy long)
-Relatively easy for airplane travel (we will be doing a lot of that)

But I can't.

Also something that seems like common sense would be that the older child would not be facing the child in the car seat - able to kick, wiggle, touch, scream or spit into the car seat.

This is my solution (which I will tell you right now, doesn't exist). The sit and stand strollers (Baby Trend and Joovy) right now only accommodate the car seat in the front seat. The only real seat. And it requires a car seat adapter (included). Then the toddler has to sit on a bench or stand in the open area in the back. The not real seat. I think my 17 month old would benefit from a real, strapped down, temper-tantrum controlling seat. So why, oh why, couldn't they make a car seat adapter for the open area in the back with the bench? Then the toddler can face out in the front, mom can watch and attend to the baby in the back and everyone is happy? When they both get older, the younger one can have the front seat and the older one who is more self sufficient could use the bench/stand feature in the back. Am I being crazy here or doesn't that sound like it would be possible?

Of all the strollers I have found, these are the top contenders at the moment:

Baby Trend Double Sit n Stand:

-32.5 lbs (heavy)
-Car seat can go in back
-49" long
-Not a very compact fold
$150

Kolcraft Express Rider Tandem:

-26.5 lbs
-Car seat goes in back
-One hand fold
-49" long
-Fairly compact fold
-$130

Kinderwagon Hop:

-21.5 lbs!
-Cannot fit car seat (but back seat lays back almost completely)
-Umbrella fold (foot and hands)
-40" long
-Very, very compact fold
$300

I have to say that the Kinderwagon Hop seems like a really great stroller for two kids once the younger one is at lease 3 months or so. I would love to have it a few months after Selah is born when she is older and we are traveling more. But then I would need another stroller for those first few months! So it doesn't really seem that practical.

I don't know!! Anyone else out there have a great stroller that I'm missing that fits my needs? Oh, and not being $1000 dollars would be great. Sheesh, strollers can get expensive!

Anyway. That's been my last night and this morning. I'm trying to decide because that will probably be our only "big" purchase for Selah, so I want it to be the right one. Abram and I might be taking a trip to Babies r Us today to do some stroller testing. Hopefully he'll enjoy that :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

... of papas, noises, and repairs

My dad just left this afternoon. Actually, I think he's left. He was flying standby on a 2:30 flight. I haven't heard from him, so I'm assuming he is on his way home. He was here to repair/replace a few doors in our house, install a new stove and microwave and put some backsplash behind it where there was none before.

If he had not been working near his very cute grandson and his talkative daughter, it all probably would have taken two days. It took three-ish all spread out. We did a lot of Home Depot shopping and some shady used appliance store shopping with Abram. The door changes aren't too noticeable to the untrained Smith house eye. Some added pieces to the old front door were pulling away because of the heat and looked pretty bad. So he just put in a pretty basic looking new front door. He also replaced our garage door and fixed a jam on our laundry room door.

The stove/microwave was pretty easy. We had to find the right replacement for our super old, joined together unit that still worked great, but looked pretty bad with all of the rest of our fairly new stainless appliances. After pricing stuff and Lowes and Home Depot, we went to "Shady Appliance Store" (I don't know it's real name... Austin Appliance Outlet or something of the like) and were lucky to find two stainless options - one of which was only a few years old and in good shape for less than half the price of Home Depot. We got a new microwave. I liked the old one, actually. The handle was broken and everyone was always afraid they were the ones who broke it. So I guess it's good that that won't happen anymore.

Here is a kind of picture of our old one:


This is what was behind it.

Yuck, yuck.

Here is the all new stuff!


So that's done now. We're only midway through the repairs that need to be done. We are having someone come over and fix some water damage from an old toilet that went through to our living room wall and fix some ceiling damage in our room. It was supposed to happen this week (which is why we were going to go to Colorado), but it's been postponed until Valentine's week, so we are going to visit my parents that week.

Abram will get to see his Papa so much this month! What a lucky guy. He really liked my dad.

He especially liked all of the hammering and tool noises he got to hear. I guess it's good that I have a kid that loves the sound of the vacuum and the blender and drills. I'd rather that than have him crying every time he heard a loud noise.

Speaking of noises: here is Abram's newest noise. He started doing it whenever I would bring him a cookie. It's pretty funny. We walked through Walmart the other day and there were Valentine's balloons everywhere. Abram pretty much made this noise constantly and vigorously signed please to my dad the whole time. It was adorable.




Ummm... The end.

Friday, January 27, 2012

... of a tough guy

Abram has looked extraordinarily cute recently. No, it's not because of the constant flow of snot running down his face or his new haircut or the fact that he is finally kinda fitting into 12 month pants (the pair of Levi's he had on yesterday were too super adorable), it's because of this little guy on his nose:


Maybe I'm crazy, but this little scratch makes him look so tough and grown up to me. Now, I probably shouldn't take away from this illusion by telling you that he did it to himself while he was sleeping (what are you, a newborn?), but regardless, I think it makes him look too cute.

He's been wanting to play outside a lot more recently.


He's even trying to say "outside" when he points to the backyard and his swing. At least, I think he's trying to say "outside". It sounds like "ah die", which sounds a lot like his "all done" ("ah duh") and his "and that" when he points at random things ("ah dat"). But there are definite differences in each babble, so I think he's trying to say those different things.

When he finally looses interest in "ah die" because Mommy keeps saying "Not right now, buddy", we move on to a rousing game of peek-a-boo with the curtain.






What a funny kid. Love him.

Oh! And Abram and I are going on a last minute trip to Colorado next week to visit Nana (and Papa, who is here doing housework right now and gets extra Abram time). We are having some things fixed in our house including water damage in a wall in our living room that could reveal mold and the whole process is going to be pretty loud and nap-disturbing. So we got buddy passes from my uncle who flies for Frontier for $60 and we leave Sunday and get back Thursday if we can get on the flights we want. It's actually kind of fun to be able to be that spontaneous.
We just found out that Abram has bronchitis (again) and will be on antibiotics for it, so hopefully the plane ride won't cause him to get different sick because his good bacteria count is down. Yo Baby will be our friend these next few days, I suppose.

Hope you are all more well than us. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

... of craft-nesting

I haven't had much time to do any sewing or knitting or crocheting for awhile. Or maybe I did, but I didn't have too much of a desire. But perhaps my "nesting" instinct is kicking in and instead of cleaning and organizing, I'm making stuff. Which is ironic, because when I make stuff, the house gets messier. Poor Quinn. I bet he wishes he had a more traditional nesting pregnant wife.

But here I am: recovering car seats, knitting diaper soakers, looking up baby girl dress ideas, not showering, and making messes.

The latest project is the diaper soaker. I actually bought a pattern, half made it, figured out how to do the stitches I needed to to make my own version, made one that I messed up on, and finally ended up with this little guy:

I am not going to do cloth diapers (I am not that brave - or disciplined). But I know that Selah will be wearing things that may be revealing her un-cute disposable diaper hiney a lot more than Abram did. I don't know if this will fit, so I don't want to make a ton yet. But they are pretty easy and quick to make, so I could bust out some different colors after she arrives if I need to. I also thought it might be cute for newborn photos. I probably won't do the contrasting stitch on the sides like on this one. The stitches have to be too perfect and I'd rather have them more hidden. But you craft and learn, right?

Like I said, my next project idea is a little dress - made out of the same fabric I used on the car seat to match this diaper soaker - for newborn photos. Let me know if you've seen any cute patterns or pictures I should check out!

Happy Thursday :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

... of sibling rivalry

I mentioned it a little last post, but this video I took this morning contributed to my slight worry about what might ensue when the baby girl gets more demanding is born.



On the bright side: at least Abram is wanting to read and being polite by asking please. You can hear how sad his mucus filled little voice is. I can usually get him to cough to break it up, but he did so much coughing last night, I just kind of left it alone this morning. Poor bug.

Anyway, here's to hoping he won't be throwing books on Selah when we are taking videos of her in a few months. But I guess I shouldn't be surprised. One of the most famous stories in my house growing up was how excited my parents were that my 16 month old self seemed to like my little sister the first few days she was home. Until the day I marched up to her surrounded by adoring fans, looked at her, and said, "Bye bye baby". So I really shouldn't put it past my 17 month old to have some attention withdrawl.

But, as Quinn likes to say: "I guess we'll burn that bridge when we get there" (he's got a little metaphor confusion, but it makes me love him more).

Monday, January 23, 2012

... of 26 weeks

Here we are at nearly 26 weeks. That doesn't feel like very much, actually. The fact that I could have 14 more weeks to go seems daunting. 14! But I already feel so huge!

The funny thing is that I remember having that exact same thought with Abram at this same time. The reason why I know it was the same time is that the picture I have of me and Abram at 26 weeks is in a yellow tank top. I remember thinking that I couldn't get any bigger and then I took a picture of me in the same outfit at 35 weeks and I had definitely gotten bigger.

Selah is a still a good mover and shaker. She is starting to protest when I carry Abram around too much. If he starts sliding down into her "space" she starts kicking him. Of course, he really has no idea, but it's making me worry that as she starts to get even bigger I'm not going to be able to carry Abram as much. Luckily, he's walking more, but he still doesn't prefer it to crawling or being picked up and carried. It's the first instance of sibling rivalry I have to look forward to, I suppose.

So here are Selah and I at 26 weeks.

Compared to Abram and I at 26.

Still looking about the same. I don't seem to be carrying them differently at all. She may be a tiny, tiny bit higher, but not much. Otherwise, pretty much the same everything. The stretch marks are happening already with her and they didn't appear til the end with Abram (very, very sad face).

So there you go. I'm sure you were all dying to get that update, weren't you? :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

...of some Selah stuff

"Who cares about Selah! I'm here and I'm cute!"

This poor girl. She is going to have little to nothing of anything that I hand made for her. I just don't have the time (or the energy) that I had when we were waiting for Abram to arrive. Abram got all of these things like blankets (which he doesn't have any interest in now), and name pillows and toys that I made for him. And of course all of the things we got for him were very boyish. There is a bit of a double standard when it comes to baby boy and baby girl things, you may have noticed. Like, it's totally acceptable to put a girl in blue, but you would never put a baby boy in pink... right? Sisters can wear brother hand me downs, but I know my husband would not allow out son to wear "girls clothes". What's that all about, huh? Not that I think that girls need to be girly and pink, but why isn't it socially acceptable for both genders to be put in anything, not just girls?

I don't really know where or why I am going on about this, except that that's what got me thinking about the first project I completed for Miss Selah. I've already sorted through all of Abram's clothes and found everything that she could wear and we are obviously just using all of Abram's old gear as well. His car seat and pack n' play are the Graco brand both have this blue and brown design on them. I don't really care about the pack n' play. She's just going to be in our room in it. But I started thinking that if she's wearing boy clothes and she's in a blue car seat of course people are going to mistake her for a boy!

Side note: Humongous flower headbands are not the solution to that for this mom. I'm all for the occasional headband maybe with a small bow, but I'm just not a fan of the big flower kind. No offense to anyone who is, I'm just not inclined to want to put them on my own little girl.

I didn't want to get her a whole new car seat... so I started looking for car seat covers on etsy. There were a lot of cute ones, some for as low as about $40 (not bad). The people who made them looked like they made a lot of them, so I started thinking, "How hard could it be just to make my own?" Famous last words. I found someone on etsy selling a car seat pattern for $4. That was much more reasonable and I like buying patterns from people who have already figured out the ins and outs of everything instead of trying to do that myself as I go along. I wish I had read the description of the pattern a little more carefully, only because I essentially paid $4 for someone to tell me, "Just pick apart your old car seat cover, cut out the new fabric, and resew it all up!" Needless to say, I skimmed through the pattern once, before I just went for it and that's the only time I looked at it. I wish I'd taken more pictures along the way, but they may have just ended up being boring.

I did remember to get a quick picture of Abram's original cover before demolishing it.
Here's a picture of the whole thing when he was a few days old.

Here is the new basic cover:
That took me about 5 hours yesterday.

Here is the whole thing (seat cover, canopy, and infant insert)


It all took me a total of about 10 hours. I got it all done this weekend and now I have successfully made something for the baby girl! I guess I didn't technically make it, I remade it. Quinn approved of the fabric choices and helped by spending a lot of boy time with Abram this weekend.

So there you go! Abram is very interested in the car seat and he really wants to sit in it and play in it. Seeing as he is sick and very snotty right now, I'm trying to minimize that happening just in case. I will probably wash it before she's born again anyway, but just to be safe.

Next on the list: A car seat blanket - I'm debating between knitted/crocheted or sewn with minky and satin. Of course Abram had at least one of each, but I just don't have time for that with this one, so decisions have to be made. I'm also thinking about making one of those car seat hanging covers, you know, for when they are sleeping in there and you want to completely enclose them? I bought a pattern for one from someone on etsy (who ended up being a friend of mine from high school who lives in... Ohio... now, I think - crazy). So we'll see if that gets done.

For now, I am just going to admire my one weekend of hard work and hope it holds me over until I have enough time to tackle something else :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

... of Quinn-oh-ah!

I had never really thought of how to pronounce "Quinoa", but Quinn had. And he thought it was pronounced Quinn-oh-ah, of course! When I finally thought about making us some (because of Abram) and found out how to pronounce it correctly, Quinn was a little sad that it didn't even sound like his name. But saying "keen-wah" makes me feel much more sophisticated, so I'm ok with it.

I had found this recipe for "Cheesy Quinoa Cakes" on pinterest and thought I would try it for Abram. Nice and full of protein and cheesy to boot?! Sounded like the perfect Abram recipe. I finally tried it today.


I made a few changes. Namely, I used the less hoity toity mozzarella and I didn't make the aioli. I'm not sure Abram would have liked it. But it definitely needs some sauciness (as they are a bit dry by themselves), so I made a carrot vanilla yogurt puree. I think he may have eaten that by itself if I had let him. But the whole thing was a big hit with this bug. At first he didn't seem so sure.
But then he signed "eat", so I knew he was interested.

This is what the rest of the process looked like:




He ate one full one and then actually said, "Ah duh. Up?" (!!!) We'll see if that's the start of something new or if it was just a fluke. I sure hope it's the former.

I brought them to Quinn for a late lunch because he had a dentist appointment that took longer than his lunch break and he didn't get to eat. I've been trying to call him to get his take on them for the report, but I can't reach him. So I may be back next time telling you to only make them for your kids, depending on what he says. I didn't eat them because I had an earlier lunch while I was preparing them during Abram's nap.
Update: This was the
phone conversation I had with Quinn later today:
Me: Did you like your lunch?
Quinn: Yeah! I don't know what those things were made out of but they were good!
Me: Really, you're not just saying that because I made them?
Quinn: No! I was wondering why I only got three. I needed, like, five.
Me: What about the "spread".
Quinn: Yeah, those things didn't seem like they would go together separately, but I spread it on there and it was like they were meant to be together.
Me: You're just being nice.
Quinn: No. I'm not.

So that's that :)

Selah's doing somersaults right now, maybe trying to prove to me that she is all of her 25 weeks (even though they say she's a little small). She sure doesn't feel small! Strange to think she's only about 1.5 lbs right now. As quick as this seems to be going, it feels like we have quite awhile left to go. 15 weeks! That's like forever :)

I did realize yesterday that if Selah is exactly 2 weeks early (Abram was 11 days early) and born on April 17th, she will be born exactly 17 months after Abram's birthday of November 17th! I don't know if I really want her that early, but if she was, I guess that would be pretty cool.

Ah the musings of a pregnant mom. So very, very interesting...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

... of a beautiful day

After yesterday's complaining, I thought I would do a quick little optimistic post.

I got some good benedryl sleep with only a little break from about 3-4am when I realized that Quinn had forgotten to bring the monitor in from the living room (and shut/lock the front door!) I still feel pretty yucky this morning, but much, much less tired.

Then, this morning, my very sweet little baby toddler marched over to the back door and started reaching for the door knob. I tried to get a picture of that, but then he just starting signing "please, please" over and over. I tried to get a picture of that, but I ended up with this:


I just couldn't turn him down. So we went outside - both of us in our pajamas (boy am I glad we have a privacy fence now) and he enjoyed his swing for about 20 minutes.


I thought that he would freak out and not want to stay out there since he was facing directly into the sun, but he just averted his eyes and watched the ground and me most of the time. It was so nice outside! I was expecting it to be a little chilly, but we were both very comfy sitting in the 9:30am sun and the mildly cool air.

I wish every morning were so lovely. Who knew we would get one of the prettiest mornings we've had in awhile on this 17th day of January. On Abram's 14 month birthday!! Wow, 14 months. In a way they've flown by and in a way Quinn and I can't even remember our lives before this sweet little bug. I'm ok with that. We only have a few more months with Abram as an only child. I want to savor them as much as possible before we can't remember our lives before Selah :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

... of a non-sick day

I know this may sound insane without some explanation (which will come, don't worry), but the thing I miss about having a "job" are the sick days. Sound crazy? Don't get me wrong; there are a lot of things that I do NOT miss about having a "job", but sick days were one of the few perks.

The reason why I put "job" in quotes, as you can well imagine, is that being a stay at home mom is, by most definitions, a job. The only thing that doesn't make it a job is that you don't get paid in money. I like to think I get paid in other ways: Kisses, pictures, smiles, milestones, high fives, and nap time, to name a few. But my day consists of a schedule that someone else is holding me to and I have to function accordingly, like most people with a job. Unlike people with a "job", however, I do not get the benefit of sick days.

If I were really, really, really sick... like absolutely-can't-get-out-of-bed sick, Quinn would have to take one of his sick or personal days to stay home. But when I'm just I-don't-feel-like-I-can-do-my-job-without-falling-over sick, I still have to take care of Abram. On his schedule, not mine.

Also, when you add being pregnant on top of being sick (with a cold/flu like something), you also get to add already horrible insomnia and some other unmentionable issues on to the heaping pile of fun. So instead of being able to nap (which I tried and failed at, thank you very much), I am telling you all about it.

But I will conclude by saying that Abram has been very helpful with his schedule today. He's like a little employer who senses that you don't feel well, but really need you there so they can't send you home but they go a little easy on you that day. So he slept until 9 this morning and I put him down at 10:45. He fell asleep at 11:30 and just woke up at 2:45. I really shouldn't be complaining. That's like the best schedule ever. And now I'm looking at what will be the worst part of this non-sick day: preparing lunch and entertaining a very well rested 14 month old for the next 3 hours.

3 hours. That's not so bad... right?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

... of a soup peddler


I didn't really know what to call this one. I almost called it "...of something about soup", but then I remembered the Austin company called The Soup Peddler. I've never gotten soup from them, but I always thought it sounded like a cool idea. Everyone loves soup. These people make it and then deliver it on bikes to neighborhoods around Austin on certain days. Pretty awesome, right? I used to live down by their "headquarters". I wish I had tried it when I lived in one of their neighborhoods. Those of us east of I-35 suffer sometimes and not being able to have soup delivered on a bike to my house is just one of those ways. Another is the sad lack of a near by coffee shop, but I won't go there because we do have a lot of great breakfast taco restaurants and trailers, so it sort of balances out.

Anyway...

My spontaneity got the best of my today at the grocery store. As I saw a mom ask her son to pick her out a butternut squash I thought, "I've never made butternut squash. I should!" So I bought one thinking I would make soup. How hard could it be, right? It's like blended up butternut squash. And Abram used to like the butternut squash baby food... Soup is like grown up baby food... He'd love it!

I was right that it is relatively easy. It will be easier the next time I make it. I learned some things. But overall, it was pretty easy and oh, so tasty. Here is the recipe and documentation of my initiation into soup cheffery:

Ingredients
  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Cut squash into 1-inch chunks.

(Probably the hardest part for me. I had to do it with Abram strapped to my back in the Beco because he really wanted to be held this evening. So next time, hopefully not so hard.)

In large pot melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8 minutes.

Add squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook until squash is tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove squash chunks with slotted spoon and place in a blender.

Puree.

(This regular blender stunk. I ended up transferring it to my Magic Bullet Knockoff, which worked a lot better.)

Return blended squash to pot. Stir and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

(Maybe doesn't look all that beautiful, but it was tasty - trust me)

Serve.


I made some changes because of lack of ingredients. Like, my squash was about 2 lbs uncut. And I only had 4 cups of broth. So mine turned out to be about 3 servings. But 3 oh so good servings. I am a big fan of butternut squash soup and I can only hope that, tomorrow, Abram will discover the same thing. I'll let you know.

Did I mention that I made this at about 8:30pm because I had already cubed the squash earlier today? Quinn said he wasn't hungry and he wanted to go to bed early, so I finished my soup at 9:30, he went to bed, and I am enjoying my soup, The Office, and some quiet blogging time alone. I need to go to the pharmacy to pick up Abram's pink eye medication in hopes that his two little very, very red eyes will start to feel better quicker. Better do that before midnight, I guess.

To soup!

... of one cute baby girl

We finally got to meet our little girl face to face! I mean, kind of. We got to see her face. She didn't get to see ours. She is having to settle for our voices at the moment (which apparently she can hear well by now).

Now, I am a tough baby cuteness critic. I really am. When Abram was born, I had to keep reminding myself that he would get cuter as his face and head returned to their normal state and as he grew out of baby acne and Milia and all of that. Not that I didn't adore him from the moment he was born, I just wasn't completely gushing over his cuteness. I do now (I mean, obviously). But one disappointing picture we got of him was from his 20 week 3D ultra sound. He was pressed up against the placenta and refusing to cooperate and I kept thinking. "Is it wrong that I don't really want to show this to anyone?" I thought for sure it was just the picture, not him, but I was a little worried about his cuteness at that point. (I did share the picture in this post).

Maybe it's the fact that Selah's 3D picture is from 24 weeks (not 20), maybe it's because the placenta is on the back this time, maybe she's just a little more cooperative, but based on these pictures, I am not worried about this little one's cuteness.

She was kind of trying to block her face with every single one of her limbs at the same time, but she was only mildly successful. What do you think, does she look like her brother? Wow, it's weird to think of Abram as a brother.


So everything looks good! Here are pictures of tiny hands and feet (looks like all the digits are there).

Her brain, heart, spine, stomach, kidneys, etc all seem to be in the right place, the right size and functioning properly. The worry about my "low-lying" placenta is a thing of the past, as it is now clearly out of the way. So all signs point to awesome! She is measuring about 1 lb 5 oz and a week behind - meaning she's just a little small, but maybe we will have a May baby after all... She feels like an April girl to me, but we she see.

And here's a more "Oh yeah, she's pregnant" 24 week picture of me:
Maybe it's the fact that I'm trying to stretch a regular shirt over my soccer ball sized stomach.

On an Abram note, he is walking on his own initiative now! This morning Chelsea and I watched him stand up on his own (without me telling him) and walk over to something that was on the floor a few times. Up until this point, I've had to say, "Abram, stand up! Can you walk?!" every time he's done it. But I think we've turn the corner, people! Now we have to tackle tile and hardwood floors.

Oo. Quinn and I are going on a date tomorrow night. Any ideas about how we should use our 3 free hours on a potentially cool Austin winter night? I just don't want to end up at the Chuy's right next to our house like we do every time we go on a date. I think we are wanting to do something a little more special for once than my husband watching me gorge myself on chips and endless creamy jalapeno and then say I can't eat any of my main course because I'm so full. Wow, I'm a catch, huh?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

... of another false start

While no penalty is being assessed, it is making this mommy a tiny bit annoyed. You may have seen this video of Abram on Christmas, seeming like he was going to start walking.

Well he didn't. "Start" walking. He's taken a few steps here and there, but still not favoring two limbs over four.

Then, last night, we were watching a Baby Einstein "First Moves" that we watch every once in awhile. We got to the walking part and he just started walking toward the TV! I got so excited. He made it all the way there and so I brought him back a few feet and he walked there again! Quinn was about to get home and I really wanted him to see it, but just in case Abram decided to stop walking before he got home, I got this video:



That was 15 steps (for those of you who wanted to know). And it was his third trip to the TV. So you'd think that would mean he would be walking now, right? Wrong. Quinn got home a few minutes later and had to settle for the video as proof that his son has walked minutes before, because Abram was refusing.

I was joking with Quinn last night that maybe our kid will pick one random day every few weeks to walk for the rest of his life. He told me not to say that. I also said something to him about Abram's life as a biped. As I said the word "biped" I had two instant and simultaneous thoughts: 1) I've never used the word biped in my life and 2) I bet Quinn uses the word biped all the time. I knew my second thought was true when he laughed. I said I never use the word "biped" and I don't know why it just came out and he said he uses that word all of the time. As a character artist for video games that have ranged from sci-fi alien stuff to monkeys, I guess he probably would be distinguishing with people often whether something was a bidped or a quadriped.

Now, when I think about Abram walking, I imagine him in a video game deciding whether crawling or walking would be the best mode of transportation to take while chucking toys at orange cats who block his path to the banana at the end of the level (because Abram loves bananas just as much as Donkey Kong does).

Let's see... what other news for this (almost) 14 month old?

Well, he's actually letting me "read" to him recently. Like sit on my lap and listen patiently to the words. But only one book. A five page mini Sesame Street book from a collection of about 10. He always brings me the same one to read.

This is the pile he has to choose from:
This is the one he always brings me:
This is my favorite page:
I thought this would be a good sign of him starting to understand the concept of sharing, but he's still being grabby with me and shaking his head when I ask for him to share things with me. Maybe we have to read it another couple of hundred times before it sinks in.

He also has pink eye. It's pretty sad looking. His eye is all swollen and red and watery and he keeps touching it. I think I may be on the verge of getting it from him as my eye is starting to feel gooey and itchy and looking a bit pinkish. Let's hope not. I am really tired of him being sick. Since October, when he caught something in the day care we had to put him in in Arizona, he's had one thing after another. I can't think of a time that he hasn't been snotty, coughy, limping, feverish, gooey, red, swollen, throwing up, refusing to eat, etc. I'm embarrassed to go to the doctor any more and so I may ride this one out for a bit longer and keep praying that God will heal him, since I know he's able. I keep trying to figure out what He may be teaching me in all of this. I think two things are clear:
1) Don't take good health for granted and seek out all the fellowship and community I can when my baby is finally healthy enough to be around other kids and me around other moms;
2)Rely on God as healer and sustainer before doctors and medicine.

On that note, I think I need some time to Read and pray as I wait for that silly baby to fall asleep. So I'll stop there.

Tomorrow is our big sonogram with the baby girl, so expect a Selah centered post in a few days :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

... of 24 weeks

I thought I would capture myself and the Selly Belly today since we are freshly showered and even have some make up on (what the what?!)


And for fun, even though I am still a few days away from exactly 24 weeks, here's Abram and I.

Comparable! It is a little harder dressing for pregnancy in the winter than the summer, I think, but we're making it work. I do feel a lot more stretched out with this girl and don't think that my tummy is going to fare as well with her as it did with Abram. Oh well, this time I am fully aware that the pay off at the end of the body disfigurement is completely worth it :)

Well, Abram has woken up from his 2ish hour morning nap and is staring into the monitor camera with those beady eyes... so I better go. Hope all is well in your world!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

... of walking and Christmas photos.

My last post shared with you how Abram had started walking on Christmas Day. Quinn had made an off hand comment that he thought it would be cool if Abram started walking on Christmas and our friend Nancy had told us that she thought that he would be walking by Christmas. It's like Abram heard both of those comments and thought, "Ok, I'll give you what you want, but then I'm done", because he hasn't really walked since. He's taken one or two steps, but nothing like that day. Now we are back at our house, which is full of floors that aren't conducive to sock walking (which is what I think he feels comfortable with right now), so we'll see how long it takes for him to actually start walking.

So we were gone for 11 days. Abram started out roughly, not sleeping on the plane or in the airport and not sleeping well at night or taking good naps. Then we started putting him down earlier at night and he got sick and then we couldn't keep the little Bug awake. He got some kind of stomach bug and had a fever and diarrhea and vomiting the last half of the trip. He was also refusing to eat. But he got some good sleep, so I think that helped him get through it a little faster. Oh, and the prayers of his daddy who always prays in faith that he will be healed when he's sick and he almost always gets exponentially better the next day. I think he's on the mend!

My new year's resolution is to do everything we can to keep Abram well. My list of tactics includes:
1. Prayer
2. More hand washing
3. No nose picking (his cousin "taught" him how to pick his nose and then stick his finger in his mouth while we were in Idaho... Thanks, Silas.)
4. Stricter about not putting things in mouth
5. Regular sanitizing of plastic toys and washing of fabric toys
5. Continue with healthy eating habits which fell by the wayside a bit during the vacation and sickness.

Anyway, let's get to the pictures before you loose interest and/or Abram wakes up from his "morning" nap (at 2pm).
Christmas Day at Grandma Gae and Bopa Scott's house. Yes, he's wearing a vest :)
Short visit with Aunt Jan and Uncle Dave in Sweet, Idaho. Their grandson, Parker was visiting and Hilary, Todd, Alex, Lizzie, and Silas dropped by, too. Quinn was taking the picture.

Fun in McCall. This is one of Abram's new favorite games: face squishing.
On a cold, icy, kind of snowy walk in McCall in our new Beco carrier. We all love it already!
Checking out the view of Payette lake from the back window with Daddy.
Some McCall landscape.
Playing the piano at Great Grandma Smith's with Grandpa Dan and Grandma Barbara.
On a quick trip to the Idaho state capitol on New Years Eve with Grandpa Dan.
It was pretty impressive.


Bowling with Daddy on New Years day with the Smiths.

The Smith great grandkids on New Years Day.
Kirsten (5), Makiah (12 months), Abram (13 months), Landon (22 months), Silas (3)
The Smith grandkids, their spouses and kids. So far we each have one, but two of us are due with our second with in a few weeks of each other :)
Back row: Rhonda, Jared, and Landon Smith, Quinn and Abram Smith (with me in front), Barrett, Kirsten, and Rhonda Smith
Front row: Tayler, Makiah, and Katie Smith, Me, Hilary, Silas, and Todd Heist.

We got other pictures of other gatherings on other people's cameras (Sister Hilary has to send me some :) and will try and share those later.

Overall it was really good to get to see everyone for a pretty lengthy amount of time. There's a lot of people to see in Idaho. Abram was a trooper overall, but I think we are all happy to get home and settle back in to our routine. I have a lot to do to get back to normal - including lots of laundry - but I'm enjoying sitting here feeling my second born dance to the music from the live stream of Passion 2012. She's really diggin' it. I think tomorrow will have to be our big work day.

Sorry for the mishmashyness of this post. It's what happens when there's a lot to catch up on and I'm listening to Francis Chan, Charlie Hall, and Louie Giglio and typing at the same time.