Thursday, March 31, 2011

2 Days Old

Madeline's look changes every day - here's what she looks like and what she was up to on her 2nd day of life.

Hanging out in her baby bucket on wheels.

The pediatrician detected a heart murmur so our original plan to go home today at noon has been delayed a little bit. She had an echo done around lunch time, and now we are just waiting for the results to be read.

Apparently the test annoyed Maddie, because I sent her away with a cute little outfit on and wrapped in a pretty blanket, and she came back to us with the standard nursery garb on (white kimono shirt and hospital swaddle) because she had pooped all over everything!

Updating the iPhone photo album.

Can you tell from this picture how long and lean this little girl is!? She's only dropped down to 6 lbs 5 oz in weight (from 6 lbs 9 oz at birth) which is great. But I know that I'll blink and she'll be 12 lbs and I will never remember what it was like when she was this tiny. Hence, my insistence on a naked baby picture. There will be more of these to come.

Pretty baby. My favorite of her so far!

There is nothing better than being chest to chest with a snuggly infant.

Excuse the post-prego belly. I love this one of her!

This one's for Aunt Becky...

We are anxious to get home, and I think Robbie and Ellie are ready to be reunited as a family again, in spite of how spoiled they have been by the time they've gotten to spend with Mima, Papa, Aunt Kelsey and their favorite babysitters!

Madeline meets her siblings

Wednesday, March 30th - Robbie and Ellie meet their new baby sister!

My sister Kelsey stayed overnight with me after Madeline was born so that we could send Rob home to be with the kids. He and my mom brought them over to the hospital the next morning to meet their new little sister, and we were all so curious about how the first introduction would go.

We made a breakfast out of it (munchkins) and it was so much fun.

Robbie and Ellie weren't too sure about me being in a hospital bed. After explaining that I had a big boo-boo on my tummy and that they needed to be gentle around mommy and the baby, they wanted to get closer and granted my request for hugs and kisses. They each climbed up onto the bed on either side of me while I held Maddie, and were so sweet and gentle. Robbie talked to the baby, asking if she wanted her paci (and then thoughtfully attempting to put it in her mouth for her), and Ellie looked at her and asked "Baby?" and then after observing a snoozing Maddie, said to me "Baby sleeping. Shhh!" with a little finger up to her lips.

Oh my goodness, I can't believe all three of these little ones are ours. This picture is so surreal to me.

Robbie enjoyed gently stroking Maddie's head. Too bad that is her least favorite thing, next to when her feet are touched. She got over it, and I let him do it as long as he wanted because he was being so precious, doting on his new baby sister. Maddie, you'll learn to love head rubs. They're better than getting smacked with a toy, so take what you can get (although you'll eventually be on the receiving end of both, I'm sure).

Maddie's beautiful blanket in these pictures was a gift from her dear Aunt Becky and Uncle Jeff. LOVE! It is the softest, warmest thing to snuggle up with and it has kept our sweet girl toasty in our chilly hospital room.

Ellie had a chance to love on her little sister, too. She was so curious about her, and equally gentle, although her attention span is smaller than Robbie's. I love this picture of my two girls - I hope they have as close of a relationship as I have with my own sister. It's a special bond and a gift from God.

Checking out the sweet view from our room. When did they get so old and big? I thought I kissed two sets of baby cheeks before I left for my doctor appointment on Monday, but these two big kids showed up at the hospital.

I need to give credit to Rob for what an awesome job he has done balancing his time between Madeline and I at the hospital and being with the kids at home. Look how happy they are - and even all dressed up in the special big brother / big sister shirts I had planned for them to wear for just this occasion!

And finally, the novelty wore off and they enjoyed running circles around the room, finding cute places to play and hide.

So thankful for these sweet children we have been blessed with, and their relationships with one another.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She's here!

Madeline Jane Livingston (Maddie)

...was born on March 29th at 10:42pm!
She weighs 6 lbs 9 oz and is 20 inches long. Her head is 13 1/2 inches around.
She came after 12 hours of labor (after my water was broken) and 1/2 hour of pushing, and we were able to avoid having her via C-section, for which we are so thankful. She is already a good eater and sleeper and hardly cries at all.

Here are a few pictures of Maddie's first day of life!

First moments with my sweet girl... I am a little excited

Daddy and Mommy with Madeline

Mima gets a quiet moment with the alert little lady

Dr. Hardy delivered Maddie (and Ellie too)

L&D nurse Jenna, a wonderful nurse

Getting cleaned up

Fresh from the womb

Welcome to the world, sweet Madeline! We love you so much.

Monday, March 28, 2011

This would be the narcotic talking

After a very rough morning of more contractions and a lot of pain, I have spent most of the day being monitored at the dr's office during my weekly appt, and now in labor and delivery at the hospital. Still no progression as far as dilating on my own, but I received pain medicine that is helping take the edge off (and let's be honest, is knocking me out). If I'm not in labor by morning, my dr will most likely break my water and help my body get over this hump. And then we will see how labor progresses.

That's all I've got - things could change and so we don't really know how everything is going to unfold. Hopefully within 24 hours or so we will be holding our baby! That is my best case scenario. And now I will stop typing since I just fell asleep writing this.

Creature comforts

A few of my favorite things, currently! (As always, this is just my personal opinion and I haven't received any of these items for free in exchange for doing a review.)

Thomas O'Brien Towels from Target - hands down the best towels ever at a reasonable price.

OPI's "Didgeridoo your nails?" nailpolish - my favorite color for toes right now.

Joico violet shampoo and conditioner - for blonde hair. It leaves my hair super silky but not flat, and will hopefully extend the life of my highlights!

Republic of Tea Irish Breakfast - best with a little milk and sugar.

Stila Lip Glaze in Watermelon. Love the flavor, the color is perfect over nude/beige lipstick and it lasts forever.

Bath and Body Works' True Blue Spa paraffin hand lotion. Fragrance free and keeps hands soft all day.

Marc Jacobs new fragrance, Daisy.

Shopping on Etsy and Ebay for spring baby/kids things - when leaving the house is just not an option, which is pretty often right now!

Camelbak water bottle with water filter - my reminder to stay hydrated, it's also spill proof. Very important in this house. Definitely taking this with me to the hospital!

And although I am not a fan of Calliou, I am grateful to him for entertaining my kids more days than not so that I can rest or get a few things done. If only he weren't so whiny.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On making peace with the present

I have finally felt the Lord's peace come over me in a way I've been missing for several months. After another day of painful contractions and kids who are going stir crazy and literally bounce off my belly as they play (ouch!), I have still been able to quiet my heart and see God's hand on this process. I don't know what the difference was tonight, but things are becoming a little more clear.

Maybe it was the entire afternoon/evening visit from my sweet friend Megan, who is always encouraging and comforting and loves each of us so well. Maybe it was the much needed 'this is how I'm really feeling about what's coming!' conversation Rob and I were able to have before bed, which ended with the decision that we will take things moment by moment and day by day, not looking too far ahead, and feeling so incredibly thankful that this is the man I am married to. Maybe it is the way our families have all reached out to us to offer support and encouragement across the miles, or are coming over to physically help me with the kids. Maybe it is hormones or the nesting instinct that kicks in to help prepare your body and mind for labor. Maybe it is the fact that we have finally decided on a name for our baby! Maybe it is all of the comments, texts, emails, phone calls and words of encouragement you have offered to me.

I think those things are all helping me with my present state of mind, but I believe that God is the one who is doing a work in my heart. Heaven knows it takes a miracle to get a stubborn, controlling mother to let go of her need to make plans and relax into the unknown. It all comes back to why I gave up fear for Lent, right? Behind every irrational concern and effort to make a perfect plan for the unknown future is my fear of the worst case scenario unfolding. That's not to say that we don't do our part to prepare and have foresight...

But for me, this process has really revealed the depth to which my heart wants control over my life, and how little I really trust the Lord like I ought to. So today I began to mentally surrender myself to the fact that God is in control of my life and the life of our unborn baby, including how and when the baby will come. I surrendered myself to the contractions that won't go away, and the pain that stops me in my tracks several times each hour, refusing to let them upset or discourage me as much as they have been. I surrendered myself to the idea that my new wake up call comes at 5:30am, thanks to a little boy who rises early and enjoys new freedoms that come with a big boy bed, like getting out of it! I don't have the energy to fight any of this anymore, and it's definitely time that I stop resisting what I cannot change anyways. It makes me miserable.

What I have found is that there is so much to be thankful and joyful about from this new vantage point. It's much better that God is in control of my life - he is all knowing, all powerful, and knows and loves me (and my little family) more than anyone else. It is good to progress slowly with early labor, and each day our little one remains in my womb is another day that the baby is strengthened and prepared to enter the world. It's worth celebrating that Robbie loves his big boy bed and sleeps in it all night, even though he rises earlier now. He is growing up and needs time to adjust to the big changes happening in his little world. Plus, it is great to have a few hours in the morning when just the two of us are awake - he loves the individual attention.

So although I am still hopeful that the baby will come sooner rather than later, I am not going to dwell on it. I am going to focus my energy and attention on the present moment, giving thanks for all that the Lord has provided for me and appreciate the blessings He has given to me to enjoy today.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stubborn. (Like mother, like baby)

Well I can add to my list of life accomplishments "get sent home from labor and delivery still pregnant".

Trying not to be discouraged tonight. My contractions picked up in frequency and intensity this morning, and after calling my doctor's office and explaining my condition, they recommended that I head to L&D to be monitored and checked for progress. So we asked my mom to come over to watch the kids and put my bags in the car just in case, and off we went to the hospital.

The first check showed no change in progress (still 2 cm, 50% effaced), which was disappointing to begin with after all the contractions I'd had for 4 hours already. After monitoring my contractions for an hour while I sipped the ginger ale they asked me to drink to rule out dehydration, the contractions picked up even more and were coming 5 minutes apart. I was sure that when they checked me again, I would have made at least some progress to show that labor was either really beginning or already underway. Nope.

So, you can have contractions 5 minutes apart and apparently not progress into full on labor. How annoying is that!?

It is hard to be patient at the end of pregnancy when you are ready to meet your little one, have everything ready that needs to be prepared, etc. But there positive sides to the simple act of waiting - I can just focus on enjoying Robbie and Ellie now that my to do list is pretty much done for the new baby's arrival, and soak in the time with them. The part that discourages me is the physical challenge of getting through the day with such frequent contractions, not knowing how many more days I'll have to wait for something to actually start real labor. It's pretty consuming and wears me down quickly, and that feels unfair to Robbie and Ellie.

I am trying to focus on the fact that this baby WILL be born, eventually (although there is a part of me that feels like I might be pregnant forever). That Robbie and Ellie will never remember how short on patience their mom was for a few weeks, or how upset she got each time they bumped into her big belly or kicked her during diaper changes. And the Lord knows the exact day, hour, minute, second that this little one will enter into the world and He knows what is best for all of us. It's so hard to relax into His plan but really, what choice do I have? (Any of us, really.)

So although I'm disappointed that 3/26/11 will not be our baby's birthday, I'm hopeful that it will be soon, and trusting that whatever the timing is, it will be best.

And I refuse to unpack my hospital bag(s) now. I think it's perfectly reasonable to believe that if I leave them packed up, I'll go into labor sooner. Watch me live out of a suitcase for 2 weeks...!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Things I could do without

Just wondering if anyone else has felt this way or had a similar thought...

The other day I was walking through a parking lot, and got that sense that someone was close behind me even though I couldn't be sure. When I looked back, a small hybrid car was sort of creeping on me all the way to my parking spot to take it after I left. I don't really care if/when people do this - I get it.

But seriously? Those hybrid cars are little stalker-mobiles! They are so quiet, you literally don't know that a car is rightbehindyou... I am not a fan.

Other things I am not a fan of currently:

- Ellie finds it entertaining to come running up to me, particularly when I'm squatting low to the ground, and give me a little shove from behind as she yells "PUSH!" and then cracks herself up. I almost fell forward onto my face at the resale shop this morning as I was picking up toys off the ground when she pulled this little stunt (it's not hard to topple me at this point!). What a stinker.

- The car seat shuffle inside our van, in an effort to make room for the infant seat, has currently displaced Robbie directly behind the driver's seat. And he constantly kicks the back of my seat while we drive.

- The discontinuation of my favorite lip balm by Bath and Body Works - the one with almond oil in it. It's out of stock online and not sold in stores anymore. Boo.

- Stepping on the kids' toys because it is now difficult to see my own feet and what might be near them.

- Getting a taste of spring recently when the temperature rose to 60 degrees, then getting a dusting of snow this morning and enduring more 30 degree days.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pleasantly surprised

Project keep-my-mind-off-labor continued today {as it will until we are in the car on the way to the hospital}. It was a rocky start, as I spent the first hour of my day at 5:30am with contractions, back pain and nausea. My prayers for this to be the start of real labor unfortunately went unanswered, so the babe will cook a little while longer.

Robbie decided that 5:45am was a great time to wake up, so at least I had company. I decided it was a great day for coffee, donuts, and a drive through the arboretum. That translates loosely as "I need something to keep the kids occupied until naptime that will allow me to remain sitting still and not require me to lift, carry or break up fights between two chunky monkeys."

Once the donut holes were gone and the Arboretum had lost its luster, we resorted to driving up and down the street parallel to the train tracks, hunting commuter and freight trains. I don't blame you at this point if you are laughing at me. These are desperate times and I find myself doing odd things to keep us all entertained and happy. We passed a children's resale shop that I've been meaning to check out on College Avenue, and I decided that it would be a good morning to stop in.


Wear & Share
1026 College Avenue, Wheaton
M/T/R/F - 10am-5pm
W - 11am-7pm
Sat - 10am-4pm
Sun - 11am-4pm

I chatted with the owner, Kate, as I walked through her shop, and was so surprised to find great name brands on the clothing she carries. {Baby Nay, Baby Lulu, Naartjie, Hanna Andersson, Mini Boden, Gap, Gymboree, Carters, Ralph Lauren, Osh Kosh, Janie and Jack, and the list goes on...} Her shop is clean, well organized, and has an area in the back where Robbie and Ellie could entertain themselves with toys that were for sale. She was so kind about them making a little bit of a mess but I promised her we would pick up everything before we left. She took notice of the kinds of clothes I was drawn to and pulled a few things out of the racks that she thought matched my taste and was spot on. She also has one round rack of maternity clothes and I'm excited to sell some of mine here in the future. In addition to used kids clothes, shoes, books, and toys, she sells a selection of Barefoot Books (brand new).

Apparently she just opened her shop in November, and is a Florida transplant. I was tempted to keep this little find a secret - it was like stumbling upon a treasure chest! I left with some summer clothes for Ellie and the new baby and am thrilled with what I found. Her prices are more than fair for the quality of clothing she carries. Kate is so endearing and personable, and I am really rooting for her to do well, so I wanted to let anyone local know that this is definitely a resale shop worth checking out.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


Ellie, Great-Grandma Jessie, and Robbie
(and the daffodils that nearly killed me)

This morning we went over to visit my grandmother Jessie at the nursing home for the first time. Both kids were so well behaved, thank goodness! I had 10 lbs of snacks and juice and toys packed in the diaper bag, just in case they got antsy. But they did great. Both told their great grandma that they loved her, and each gave her a kiss and hug when we arrived AND as we were leaving. I had Robbie carry in the daffodil bouquet we brought for Jessie, and as we walked into the main sitting area where she was, her face lit up. I actually wasn't expecting her to recognize or remember who we were, but I was pleasantly surprised by how alert and animated she was during our time together.

I look forward to taking the kids over on a regular basis. It was so sweet to see how much Jessie enjoyed our visit, and we really were the main entertainment for the other 20 residents downstairs as well (and thankfully not in a negative way)! Everyone came over to say hi, try to make the kids laugh, ask them questions, and just watch them play. It's amazing how much joy little ones can bring to an environment like a nursing home. I'm thankful that it's just 5 minutes from our home.

There's a little story behind the daffodils that may or may not involve Ellie sneaking away from me just inside the entrance of Whole Foods as I put the flowers into a plastic sleeve and turned around to find her gone. After checking just outside the doors near the street first and coming up empty, I ran in what felt like circles around the front of the store trying to locate Ellie while loosely keeping track of Robbie's whereabouts. I completely abandoned my purse in the shopping cart and an older woman stayed by it as she saw what was unfolding. I eventually found Ellie standing in front of the fish tank, and scooped her up and deposited her into the large part of the shopping cart, thanking the sweet woman who withheld judgement and kindly offered that everyone's been in my shoes and she just didn't want my purse to be stolen. Then we laughed about the heart attack I nearly had, and I clung to the handle of the cart and begged Robbie not to touch the pyramid of organic apples as I waited out a nice little round of contractions.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moving right along

Recent accomplishments that I'm glad to have under my belt:

- Robbie has been sleeping in his big boy bed for over a week now, both overnight sleeping and daytime naps. He was needing to be put back in his bed two or three times at night after getting out and opening his door for the first few days, but oddly enough he never tried to get out at naptime. Tonight he didn't get out at all after we put him to bed. Success!

- Today I was able to find some gently used spring / summer clothes for the kids at a resale shop in Geneva. I love buying their clothes used for two reasons - it's so much cheaper (especially since they grow through sizes so quickly!), and I feel less guilty when things are accidentally ruined in the wash, get food or grass stains on them, or holes wear through the knees. Yeah for resale shops! And yeah for not having to think about shopping for them once the weather turns warm again. We are ready.

- I have one room left in the house to clean out, purge and reorganize before the baby comes, and made some initial progress this afternoon. I hope to finish it up tomorrow, and then go into labor immediately thereafter. :) But not before I'm done cleaning...

- I was able to find a few great nursing camisoles today at Target. They are lighter weight than the old ones I had in my maternity stash from 3 years ago and were relatively cheap. I'm hoping that the third time's a charm when it comes to nursing - neither Robbie or Ellie nursed for very long for reasons beyond my control (Robbie's surgery and recovery, Ellie's milk protein intolerance/allergy). Maybe this baby and I will have better luck! I would love to avoid spending a small fortune on formula again.

- I'm finally pre-registered at the hospital for the birth! Only took me 9 months to fill out a 2 sided form with basic information, and ask Rob to fax it over for me.

- I am 100% caught up on laundry, grocery shopping, and general organization within our home (aside from aforementioned final room being cleaned out). I have apple juice, diapers, wipes, dish soap, and other non-perishable daily essentials back stocked in our basement. This is great, except now I don't have anything really to do until the baby comes. I need some short term, non-essential, non-strenuous projects to occupy my mind and pass the time. Or maybe I just need a good book. Today I emptied and repacked my hospital bag, obsessively switching out a few items, and then making a list of all the things I need to add at the last minute so that I don't forget power cords, etc.

After re-reading this post before hitting publish, I realize that I sound a bit high strung. Probably because I am - my poor husband puts up with so much from me, but never more so than when I'm pregnant. I am a mess, especially at the end. There's so much my (split!) Type A personality wants to plan and prepare for and so very little I can do about how and when labor will start and end. I get stir crazy.

A friend and I were talking on the phone today about our fears as they relate to mothering our small children, and I was reminded again of how appropriate it was for me to give up fear for Lent. All of the irrational 'what-ifs' have started to pop up in my mind, and much as I want to move forward and get this labor and delivery behind me, a part of me has begun to dread the process and the unknowns. It is a sacrifice and a privilege at the same time to take every thought captive and instead of entertaining it, lay it down before the Lord, asking Him to remove doubt and anxiety and fear from my heart and trade it for peace, hope, contentment, patience and confidence in the fact that He is enough for me, regardless of how everything plays out.

Missing from this list of things that should have been accomplished by now:

- Deciding on a baby name (eeeekkk!)
- Ordering a new bulb for our TV
- Scheduling an appointment to move forward with our will
- Scheduling Robbie's 3 year well visit
- Writing in each of the journals I keep for the kids before the baby is born

Monday, March 21, 2011

O happy day

This is a celebratory picture after finding out today that my contractions are actually doing something... I'm 2 cm dilated and 50% effaced! Although I know that I can hang out here for quite a while, it makes all the pain a little more bearable and welcomed. Hauling this almost 38 week belly around is quite a job, but news of the progress I've made since just last Monday (when I was not dilated at all) was the boost I needed to get through this last stretch. It also made me happy to see the number on the scale remain the same for the last 2 weeks. It gets a little scary at the end to grow a belly this large and think about all the work that will go into getting back in shape!

What nesting looks like... the last push to pack my hospital bag, while cleaning out my closet and nightstand and finding an abundance of missing lip glosses in the process (shocker).

Today was a really good day. In the span of just 14 hours I have all of this to be thankful for:

- both kids waking up happy (normally they start off a little crabby, like their mother)
- calling a favorite friend on the phone this morning to wish her a happy birthday, and thinking about how thankful I am for her friendship and place in our lives
- my mom coming over to help me with the kids for a few hours before my doctor's appointment
- quiet time alone in the car that allowed me to call and catch up with a dear friend who is also pregnant and just had a 20 week ultrasound showing a perfectly growing baby (praise God!) in what has been a complicated pregnancy
- all of the good news I received at my doctor's appointment (2 cm dilated, no weight gain, baby is still head down!)
- my sweet doctor telling me that she enjoys having me as her patient
- being told by my mom to stay out and run errands because she was doing fine at the house, and then returning home later to find that she had done my laundry, cleaned out the cabinet under the sink, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, organized the coat closet and napped the kids!
- getting a pedicure (maybe the one that will see me through my time in the hospital?!)
- every place I went today, a stranger had something kind to say or do - either congratulating me on the pregnancy, asking about how I was feeling and did I need any help, chatting about baby names and even swapping labor/delivery stories which I always find fun
- the warm fuzzy feeling I always leave Whole Foods with. Their employees are seriously the sweetest people, and I have yet to have a negative experience with other shoppers. What is it about that place?
- Rob coming home early from work, unexpectedly
- sharing the joy and excitement of a friend who is recently engaged and planning her wedding
- watching Robbie and Ellie color together at the chalkboard easel on tiptoes, side by side
- making it over to the dry cleaners just minutes before they closed
- the sound of thunder and rain as I tuck into bed


A few recent iPhone pictures from our quiet days at home...

Robbie and Ellie LOVE the VReader and usually fight over it, but lately they have figured out how to enjoy it together. I live for moments like this that warm my heart and remind me that having kids close together isn't all crazy!

We spent an afternoon outside when temperatures hit a balmy 45 degrees. I think the kids would have skipped dinner to stay out and play if I would have let them. Ellie loves finding airplanes in the sky, and her posture here cracks me up.

Hmmm... time to get out the real 'outside' toys. All we had in the garage to play with were shovels from snowier days. They had fun anyways, shoveling the grass and Robbie's toy trains.

This is the carnage from the sippy cup of milk I fumbled the other day.

Upper cabinets, covered in milk splatter.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Update

I feel a little like the most boring person in the world right now. My weekend was made up of nesting and resting, and gingerly walking (shuffling, waddling, whatever) around the house between projects.

More contractions? Check.
Nap daily when the kids nap? Check.
Clean out bedroom closet? Check.
Sort / reorganize the kids' old clothes in the basement? Check.
Stay up on laundry by running 2 loads? Check.
Clean out my nightstand? Check.
Add a few more items to my hospital bag? Check.

Last week my mom helped me move the car seats (and the middle row van seat) around so that the new baby's car seat has a home in our van. We removed the middle row seat and swept out 2 years worth of crumbs and trash, which was really gross and yet extremely satisfying to accomplish. Then my friend Cheryl helped me convince the recycling man that taking all of the empty boxes in my garage without first crushing them down was a good idea. I think he took one look at my belly and decided to have mercy on me. Helping my situation was the fact that he too is expecting a baby in June! That man will be getting a nice tip from us come Christmas. :)

Friday was a long day for me and the kids, thanks to a terrible night of broken sleep because of general pregnancy pains. But Rob was able to go to a few of the basketball games in Chicago with 3 other guys, and I was so glad that he could, especially since it meant a shorter work day for him. He puts up with so much with me right now, and always puts the kids and I first when it comes to how he spends his time.

Saturday we decided that he would drive up to Milwaukee for the annual March Madness gathering with our friends the Larsons and Bellitos, but that I would stay home with the kids. I knew it would be one of the last opportunities he would have before the baby comes to spend time with his best guy friends, and didn't want him to miss out. But the idea of making the trip with him and bringing the kids just seemed like more than I could handle at this point. I was thankful to have woken up that morning after sleeping for 7 hours straight (do not remember the last time that happened!). My mom came over in the morning to help me with the kids, and then again in the afternoon for a few hours. My sister traded places with her and spent the evening with me, and the day went by smoothly, even ending with some time at the park. Cheryl came over (after the kids went to bed) for pizza with Kelsey and I, and while we were sitting at the kitchen table talking afterwards, a mouse popped out from under the cabinets by the sink! Thankfully Rob caught it overnight with a trap. On the schedule for tomorrow: sanitize and clean out the lower kitchen cabinets.

On Friday my grandma Jessie moved into a nursing home nearby after living with my parents since November. Her transition has been as positive as we could have hoped for, and she seems to be adjusting well to the move. Once she's more settled in, I will take the kids over for a visit. She is literally 5 minutes away from our home! I can't wait to take our new baby over to meet her for the first time.

Today I was going to go to church with Mom, but woke up feeling so sore that the prospect of getting ready, walking across the church parking lot, and sitting in a chair for over an hour sounded like more than I could physically manage. We are missing church so much right now, but know that these days are numbered and we'll be back soon. I'm anxious to get the kids back in their classrooms and for Rob and I to be able to attend worship services together. Instead, we had a late breakfast and spent the day in our pj's - daddy watching basketball, kids playing (and occasionally fighting, of course), and mommy cleaning and organizing like mad. The two hour midday nap I was able to catch (thanks to Rob) during a light rainstorm was bliss. By dinnertime we were all getting antsy so we took the kids to Chili's. Eating out is never a very restful experience and lately that translates to an evening of contractions and general discomfort for me post-dining. Which brings me to the present - blogging in bed with my ever present companions, the heating pad and contractions and a baby that seems ready to stretch its limbs outside of the confines of my womb.

Tomorrow brings another weekly OB appointment, during which I will do my best not to hope for news that I'm dilated. And my mom will be here to help me entertain the kids beforehand, and watch them while I'm at my appointment. Have I mentioned how thankful I am for her help?! So thankful.

Friday, March 18, 2011

For the record

A few cute new things the kids are doing right now that I keep forgetting to write down... (this is really for me / the blog book.)


- she digs through the diaper bag until she finds something to eat, then pulls out her treasure, raises it in the air, and exclaims "Oooooh, SNACK!" and digs in.

- we realized last weekend that she could count to 6, and we have not been intentional about teaching her! After working more on it this week, she gets to 7 about 50% of the time, always fumbles over 8, and picks back up with 9 and 10. I catch her staring at her fingers, putting them out in front of her and counting by herself occasionally.

- when I tell the kids it's time to get ready to leave or go outside, Ellie runs to the stairs and sits down, putting her feet out towards me so that I can put her shoes on. Then she pops up and opens the closet door saying "Jacket!".

- she loves to climb up next to me on the couch or chair, squeeze in next to me, then point to my belly and say "Baby inside?!". When I answer with "Yes, there's a baby inside my belly!" she looks down at it and says "Awww", then plants a kiss on it.

- she is my cuddler, and often comes up to me and says "Snuggle Mommy?!" and then lays her head down on my shoulder or lap and sucks her thumb.

- she picked up all the words to "Happy Birthday" since Robbie's birthday celebration, and sings it to him several times a day. He loves it.


- likes hearing the song or watching the video "Baby" by Justin Bieber, and requests it often. Tonight we found it on On Demand, and he knew most of the words and even took a stab at a few of the dance moves. Hilarious.

- one of the lines in Bieber's song is "Shake me till you wake me from this bad dream", which prompted Robbie to shoot me a concerned look and ask "Mommy, what's a bad dream?". I told him it was like when you fall asleep hoping to have a dream about trains, but instead your dream is about trucks... Bummer! :) I love his innocence. Kind of like how he calls blood "red juice".

- today we ran errands and Robbie walked through our first store for about an hour and was as well behaved as he has ever been. Never ran off, didn't touch anything, just meandered next to me and the cart (which was restraining my Ellie-monster). Then we went to the library, as I was feeling brave and Robbie seemed to be on his best behavior. He picked out books and - get this - sat on a chair and read them for a while, then when we kept walking to find more books, relocated himself to a couch in another area nearby and continued to stare at his books! It was at least 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of time that he quietly entertained himself - planet Robbie, population 1. Unless you have (or have had) a 2 or 3 year old boy, you cannot understand how awesome this moment was for me. I sang his praises the whole way home!

- he is always willing to hold Ellie's hand when we walk through parking lots or across the street (of course I hold on to her other hand). He is eager to help teach her new things, from the proper pronunciation of words to how to play with his trains.


There were days that my "Baby Livington is on the way!" Lilypie ticker would make my heart race. It didn't seem possible that our baby was actually due as soon as it kept telling me it was. Now I want to yell at it - it seems like it's not counting down anymore. In fact I could have sworn the other day it said I had 22 days left to go, and when I just checked it this morning it says 24 days left! Although my guess is that I won't make it to my due date anyways (Robbie and Ellie were both 10 days early), that ticker is getting inside my head.

If it sounds like I'm starting to lose it, or on the verge of panic, or getting stir crazy, it's because I am. I don't usually blog at 4:30am... but what else is there to do when everything hurts and sleep won't come because you've run out of positions that are comfortable, even with 5 pillows?! Waking only every 3 hours to nurse a newborn sounds fantastic right now. That's bad, right? Also, I am daydreaming about my epidural. And of laying in a hospital bed for 2(ish) days.

Yesterday my pregnancy induced clumsiness hit an all time high when I knocked over Ellie's sippy cup of milk on the counter after filling it to the top but before I could get the lid on. I wish I knew how, but milk splattered all over half of the kitchen, without exaggeration. The front of all the cupboards on one wall were dripping with milk, including the upper doors. The only thing more comical than the mess was what I must have looked like as I tried to clean it up.

Good times. My goal every morning has become 'get through the day' with minimal injuries and as much consistent discipline as I can manage for the kids, while trying to keep these days fun for them. Although my track record in the last two days isn't good, since Robbie fell out of the trunk after an impromptu poopy diaper change in a parking lot and although it was a slow fall and pretty harmless, he managed to nick the side of his forehead on the shopping cart on his way down and it bled, causing him to ask why 'red juice' was coming out of his face! And yesterday I resorted to the awful parenting technique of verbally threatening discipline for disobedience, but rarely following through with it. The simple fact is that my 3 year old can move faster than I am able to right now. That will keep things interesting from here on out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In our little world...

Mommy's 36+ week belly is out of control...

...this is what the play area looks like more often than not (can you even find the kids?)...

...we make our own fun, including snacking on Nilla wafers under the table...

...we have started to enjoy the occasional breakfast out at Einstein Bagels (Ellie flirted with an old man at the next table the entire time)...

...the kids pile into the toy box when the toys themselves are not entertaining enough...

...we sneak out to the library during the dinner hour when no one else is there...

...we pick out books and make ourselves comfortable and meet new friends...

...we are learning new things every day, like how to take our pants off..

...we celebrate the birthdays of very special friends, like Luke and Ryan Bellito (far right corner, with Charlotte and Joey on the left and Robbie and Ellie in the middle)...

...we find joy in simple things like playing with droopy balloons and getting tangled up in ribbon...

...we play a LOT of GeoTrax...

...our personalities are getting bigger... umbrellas provide indoor entertainment...

...small pieces of chocolate have become a favorite treat if a well balanced dinner is eaten...

(...somebody is ALL GIRL and loves chocolate, begging for it constantly...)

...but most of all, in our little world, we are finding joy and contentment in the days we spend together, regardless of what we are doing or who we are with.