Monday, December 23, 2013

Peanut Post: 22 Month Update

Dear little Peanut,

I can't believe that in 2 short months you will be celebrating your second birthday.  Going through pregnancy for a second time and looking so forward to the due date makes me remember just how quickly your birth came and went.  It's so funny how being a parent works - on the one hand, it seems like just a few months ago that you were in my belly, but on the other, you've been a part of my life forever.  Daddy and I still joke about how it feels like we're missing a limb when we go out without you (which isn't too often, but we try once in awhile).  Looking at you now just amazes me.  You are truly your own little person and becoming more and more independent every day.  On the one hand, we embrace this with the hope that you will fall into your big sis/big girl role happily and willingly.  Then again, it scares me to death.  My baby is growing up.... <sigh>.

A few milestones this month (and probably a lot more that my tired, pregnant brain has already forgotten):

- 3 new teeth!  Yep, all three of your remaining eye teeth decided to cut through at once.  Poor girl!  They are starting to work their way down and that will complete your baby teeth (at least til the next molars come).

- Climbing out of your crib - yep, as of the other night, you figured out how to swing that little leg up and over what I once thought of as the deepest, sturdiest, safest crib ever.  Aw, beginners.  Your motivation?  To snuggle.  For whatever reason, you insisted all night long that we should rock and snuggle as opposed to sleep.  So much that you climbed out of your crib to protest.  And the world changed forever.  You are no longer "caged" and Daddy and I are stuck deciding whether to put you in your big girl bed (which seems crazy since the one in your room now is a queen) or keep you in the crib as long as possible.  I guess we will see how it plays out...

I don't know why we were so surprised,
you basically climb everything lately!

- Wanting to sit at the table - For awhile it was enough to push your highchair up to the table, but lately you want to sit on a chair (a booster seat is also acceptible as long as it's on a big chair).  Too bad your not a little taller, because it would make this transition much easier!  But it is super cute and definitely easier to just plop you in a chair.

- Carrying on conversations - The past few months your talking has really taken off and now you're talking in fairly long sentences of 6-8 or more words.  You come up with ideas on your own and respond to questioning with sometimes surprisingly thoughtful answers.  That being said, the world is still pretty black and white to you.  But you have thoughts and wants and feelings and by golly, you aren't afraid to voice them!  Some of your favorite sentences lately are:  "I want a big sister, Mom!" "I want to watch baby videos on Mama's phone."  "I'm sitting on the table."  "I want to dance with Daddy"  "I want to put shoes/hat/shirt/pants/socks/slippers/etc. on/off"  and "I trust Dot-dot" (our older dog, I'm sure you heard us say this at one point, but not sure why you like to repeat it so much)

I want to dance!
(Cinderella is also a popular dance partner lately)

- Counting - You will now count on your own, always 1 to 6, and sometimes all the way to 10, but more likely it goes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 5, 10!  Hey, it's a start though.

- Basic shapes - this is a new one, but you are beginning to recognize basic shapes like circle and square.  Circle is definitely your favorite because you love rings, bracelets, circular pretzels (which also make good rings), etc.

- Reading to yourself - You've always loved books and loved for us to read them to you, but recently you've decided you like to "read" them, too.  We love listening to you tell us what's happening on each page.

- Learning (a few) manners - This has been/is still an ongoing battle, but you are finally learning to say please and thank you.  We have been trying hard to teach you table manners, as in don't throw your food, but this has been a battle.

- Helping - This isn't super new, but you've started to really like to help Mama and Daddy around the house with things like cooking, emptying the dishwasher (even when the dishes are dirty... unfortunately you can even open it on your own), vacuuming, and washing anything.  We're still working on picking up after yourself - of course, this is your least favorite chore to help with.

- Playing dress-up - This is a definite favorite since Aunt Lindsey got you a few princess dresses for Christmas!  A few days, this has pretty much been all you will wear.

This is definitely one of the most fun yet challenging stages you've been in.  With more independence comes more disagreements, more fits, and more challenges to just how far you can push us.  But we get to know you better and better each day through all your crazy/cute stories, expressions, and reactions to the world around you.  I am trying to treasure each day with you, even the difficult ones.  We can't wait until your baby sister gets here, but we also can't imagine not calling you the baby.  So let's just soak up every minute of just the three of us and you being the only center of our world.  What a wonderful world it is with you!  Love you like crazy, little Annalyn!



Tuesday, December 17, 2013

About Aboo: Gender Reveal!!

Thanks to modern technology, we were able to find out the gender of our little one earlier than if we'd had to wait for the mid-pregnancy ultrasound.  I had decided not to until I discussed it with my doctor, realized my insurance paid for at least part of it, and just couldn't help but want to know!  Basically the test works by analyzing fetal DNA that crosses the placenta into the mother's blood stream (it's a simple blood draw, completely non-invasive to baby - read about it here).  It's able to screen for numerous genetic/chromosomal abnormalities as well as X/Y (gender) with extremely high accuracy (>99%).  But that's enough of the science lesson for today... back to my kiddos!

As I've mentioned before, Annalyn has decided that tummy baby's name is Aboo or sometimes just Boo.  We've decided to go with a name we've loved for a long time, but figure it will make one cute nickname!  Annalyn was very excited when I told her baby Aboo's gender, so I decided to let her break the news to everyone:

We couldn't be more excited to meet our little one this spring.  Feeling so blessed to have another healthy baby in the making!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 Christmas Card Letter

Happy holidays, everyone!

It's that time of year again - writing Christmas cards, preparing for the upcoming holiday celebrations, and reflecting on the past year.  To be honest, 2013 has had a lot of ups and downs for our family.  It's been one of those years that I won't be sad to say goodbye to come New Year's Eve.  Don't get me wrong, we've had our fair share of joyous moments this year, too.  We'll try to focus on those.

For instance, who can resist these two ladies celebrating their first Eddie-Niedermeyer New Year's celebration?!  I remember thinking at the time, "they're just growing up so fast!"

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dear Baby: Week 14

Dear Baby,

Well, we are officially onto the second trimester!  So feel free to stop the nausea and hurling at any time now.  For some reason, my kids never seem to get that memo...  Mama is definitely starting to show, which seems crazy this early.  I also swear I have started feeling you move already.  Call me crazy, but at night when I'm laying super still, I can feel those first little flutters low in my abdomen.  According to BabyCenter, you're about the size of a lemon now.   Bye-bye seeds and legumes, on to the fruit comparisons!

Daddy and I have already started daydreaming about what you'll be like.  We wonder if you'll be as strong-willed and active as big sis, or more laid back and chill.  We still don't know your gender, so we have a lot of room to speculate on that, too.  I think we've picked out the names either way (definitely if you're a boy), so as soon as we know we can stop calling you tummy baby and start getting used to your name.  I just can't wait for that!  Call us crazy, but we like to name our little tummy babies as soon as we can.  You are already a little person and a part of our family, so we like to treat you as such.  I even have the main part of your stocking ready, just waiting to see if I'll be putting red or blue felt at the top for next Christmas (so your mama plans ahead a little). 

Let me think, what other milestones have we hit?  Well, we announced your existence to the world just before Thanksgiving, that's a big one.  Everyone's excited to meet you this Spring and see how Peanut deals with being a big sister.  Don't worry, we have high hopes that she won't toss you around like her baby dolls.  To be fair, she does kiss/hug them first.  Oh, and I can no longer button my pants, despite the fact that I've lost weight.  On to the elastic for us, kiddo!  Looking forward to lots and lots more milestones in the coming months and years.

Love you like crazy,


a beautiful snowy morning,
just 6 more months until your due date!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Harmless but Hurtful

I've been wrestling with how and whether to write this post for awhile now, but decided to attempt it anyway.   Even if you can't relate to this specific topic, I'm sure everyone has experienced those well-meaning but oh-so-gut-wrenching remarks that you just wish you could block out.  Over the past several years of struggling to get pregnant, first with Annalyn, then with baby #2, we've sure had our fair share.  The topic of kids seems to be one that nobody thinks twice about bringing up.  Working with the public, I get a double dose of questioning, prodding, and down-right rude remarks.  Since when is it ok to TELL (not ask) someone that it's really time to start having kids, or another kid?  How is that not one of the most personal, private decisions ever?  Call me sensitive, but after nearly a year of trying for each of my kiddos, the last thing I want to hear is, "Well, isn't it about time for another one?  You don't want to wait too long, you know."  Gee, thanks for clearing that up for me...

Even though I am pretty much an open book when it comes to most aspects of my life, I am very private about this one.  Not because I am ashamed or embarrassed, but because it's just hurtful to talk about.  Either you tell everyone you're trying and get constant questions about whether it's happened yet, you tell no one and bear the burden between the two of you, or you tell a select few and hope that they have the respect and kindness to pray for you, send happy thoughts your way, all the while not asking a thing.  I'm glad to talk to close friends and family about this stuff - on my terms.  On the flip side, I will never ask you (or I hope I won't!  I'll admit that I've made this mistake before.  I was just as ignorant before kids, too.).  I am always excited to talk to people about babies, the prospect of babies, and even the struggles of waiting for babies.  But I have absolutely learned not to ask.  Not because I don't care, but because I've been there.

So next time you're wondering why your friend, relative, neighbor, or co-worker hasn't started having kids, or had x amount of kids (as if there's a perfect number?), stop and think for a second that a.) the timing isn't right for them, b.) they are trying and it just isn't happening yet, and c.) it's just none of your darn business until they share that information.  Don't judge people for having one or two kids - maybe they were thrilled to be blessed with the ones they have.   Don't judge people for waiting to have kids - why rush something that will change your life forever?  If you get nothing else out of this post, please just think twice before tossing out these seemingly harmless but potentially very hurtful questions.  Show some compassion and awareness that infertility affects more people than you think and even your closest friends may not be ready to share that part of themselves with you.  Modern medicine and the gift of adoption allows so many couples to get their miracles, but it still takes time and resources, and unfortunately heartbreak and disappointment along the way.  God takes longer to make some babies than others.  His timing is perfect, but good luck convincing parents of that before that little miracle arrives.  In the meantime, it feels like everyone on the planet is getting pregnant before you.  And as genuinely happy as you are for them, each one feels like a little punch to the gut.  It's nothing personal against them, or towards you, but it hurts just the same.  Please don't be offended if I can't express my joy like I'd like to - assume I'm on some fun new medication that makes me crazy/angry/irritable/emotional/sick/you name it.  Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.

I don't want this to sound like a rant, I'm just trying to express to you all something near and dear to my heart with the hope that it will spare even a few people's feelings by keeping those harmless but hurtful remarks to yourself.  If you are still in the middle of your infertility journey, I feel for you.  Mine is nothing compared to that of some friends, patients, relatives, and strangers.  Just have faith that miracles and science are happening every day and yours is waiting.  And the heartbreak and frustration you endure to get there makes you appreciate pregnancy and parenthood more than you can know.  Even if pregnancy kicks your butt, too, it's amazing how appreciative you can be of every meal you don't keep down, every backache after a long day, and every worry that will absolutely plague your mind throughout those 9 months of more waiting.  But it's worth it.  Believe me, friends, it is so worth it.

With lots of love and happy thoughts,


Convos with Peanut: Tummy Baby

Mama - Annalyn, where's Mama's tummy baby? <she points to my belly>  Do you like tummy baby?

Peanut - hug, kiss...  aww, so cute!  <whilst patting/hugging/kissing my belly>

Mama - Anna, do you think tummy baby is a baby girl or a baby boy?  (granted this answer changes about daily)

Peanut - Baby booooy <smiling>

Mama - What should we name baby boy?

Peanut - Giiiirl!!!  <she says with lots of excitement>

Mama (looking at Daddy laughing) - Well, Johnny Cash might approve of a boy named girl, but we might want to think of some other options...

This was a couple weeks ago, she now insists that tummy baby's name is "aboo" or just "boo." Again, I have no clue where she came up with it :)