Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goose Egg

We've had a toddlerific evening here.

I came home 30 minutes later than usual with a throbbing headache (thanks to the jackhammering going on outside my office window). Matt already had dinner going (thanks, sweetie!) and Kate followed me upstairs to get some Tylenol, whereupon she decided she wanted to take a shower with me. Dinner was almost ready, so I told her we would do that after dinner. Full-blown toddler tantrum ensues, culminating in her biting me on the elbow (HARD!) while I tried to eat my dinner.

So, I now have a puffy red bruise on my arm.

Post-bite discipline got her calmed down, and soon she was smiling and playing on our new couch, which finally delivered yesterday! Matt and I finished eating, and the three of us cuddled on the couch for a bit. Then Kate decided to start doing belly flops on the couch, including against the arm of the couch, where Matt warned her she might flip over. And right on cue, she did a header off the couch.

So, now she has a big goose egg on her forehead.
Within ten minutes, it was red around the edge with a purple, bruisy center. Lovely. But, of course, she was back to playing, singing, and laughing by that time. Toddlers are crazy, but they sure do bounce back quickly.
(the pic was taken after our shower, which is why her hair was wet.)

And, if you're interested, here are our new couch and coffee table. The new house is taking shape!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Seals, Tigers, and Bears, oh my!

It's been a week, but as promised, I wanted to share more pics of our visit to Louisville last weekend, including our cool behind-the-scenes tour at the Louisville Zoo.

Kate enjoyed the tour of Nala and Popi's backyard paradise...
And Saturday afternoon, we went to the local splash park with my old friend Lindsay and her son Jack. We met the new baby, Emmalea, too! Jack is now four, but isn't too cool to play with a two-year-old girl. Sweet boy!
The playground at the splash park is the newest thing in playground-design, apparently. Matt and I joked it was like Nuni and Nuni's playground--everything was so sleek and modern, and they even had a slide that you ride by hooking your legs around the outside of the track--weird.
Sunday, we went to the zoo. Since we're members of the Nashville Zoo, we got in free! Those "reciprocal zoo" deals they have going on are great (I thought we just got a discount). The Nashville Zoo's design is so pleasant, with winding, tree-lined walkways and very natural habitats, but Louisville has a lot of big animals that Nashville does not--bears, lions, polar bears, etc.

Our special tour began in Glacier Run, a new area they've created for a more immersive arctic-animal exhibit. Taking a cue from Disney, the exhibit brings visitors into a "story," namely that a far-northern town is being encroached upon by glaciers and the animals have been getting more daring in their ventures into the town.
For this grizzly bear viewing area, designed like a loading dock, they've got a pickup truck that is half inside the windows and half outside, so you can sit in the cab and actually be jostled around by the grizzlies climbing and playing in the truck bed! The reflection obscures it somewhat, but here the bears are playing with big plastic trash cans in the truck bed.
And here, the "glacier" has crumbled a road into the town, raising the visitor's sense of danger before she sees the arctic beasts!

We got to go into the backsides of the habitats to see where the animals hang out when out of visitors' view. Flash wasn't working too well back there, so these pics are blurry, but I wanted to share how cool it was to be so close to the animals. The keeper called the seal over, and she jumped out of the water and slid over to us, even splashing water on us!

We stood mere feet from a polar bear, and inches from a grizzly bear! We were definitely warned not to lean near the bars in this case!
In the tropical "Islands" exhibit (where I got spat on by the orangutan, you'll recall), we saw the tigers get their lunch, jumping up and down for pieces of meat, and Mom and Matt even got some tiger drool on them from passing under a metal bridge a tiger was crossing.
We were pretty tired by the end of our tour, but dropped in on the giraffes, lions, and elephants before going. We stopped briefly by the camels, but given our track record with spit that day...
What a fun day. Check out how much Kate's grown since the last time we put her on this bronze elephant in July 2009!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sibling Adjustment

This is the first of several "hmm... what's two kids gonna be like?" questions I want to toss out there.

How did your first child adjust to the birth of your second?

At first, I wasn't sure how much of this "baby" stuff Kate understood, beyond knowing the baby was in my belly and (according to her) also in her belly, since whatever Mommy does, she wants to do too.

Lately, I think she's starting to "get it" more and be appropriately concerned. She's kind of tired of hearing about it, and sometimes says "no baby!" when I'm talking about it with someone else. The I'm a Big Sister book she used to enjoy, she hasn't wanted to read lately. With the big changes lately of new house and new school, she's been kind of clingy lately, and I wonder how she'll adjust when another little person is getting a lot of my attention.

She's a pretty adaptable kid, and I imagine she'll be a loving big sister (though a very bossy one) once she gets used to it, but I don't want her to be traumatized in the short term!

So what are your tips for easing adjustment for the older child when baby comes on board? If you don't have firsthand experience with this, what did your mama always tell you about when you or your siblings were born?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Monkey Spit

Kate has developed a new bad habit--spitting out her beverage once she has a good mouthful.

It began in the car last week, when she soaked herself and the car seat straps with water. This habit went to a whole new level of unacceptability when she spit out a bunch of milk at a restaurant last night in Louisville, where we were visiting my parents for the weekend. She had two time outs at the restaurant (during one of which, a woman outside told Kate "Are you in time out? You're just too pretty to be sitting out on the concrete. You'll have to remind your mother one day what she did to you.")

After the first time, we were all watching Kate like a hawk with each gulp, making sure she swallowed it. "Kate, we see you..." We stared her down as she sat there with her lips pursed tightly, obviously keeping the mouthful inside as long as it took for us to relax. She gave us sideways glances of mock innocence and then let it rip, soaking her dress and the diaper bag on the floor next to her.

Today, we went to the Louisville Zoo and had a cool behind-the-scenes tour. We got to go with the keepers to the backside of several habitats, seeing the animals' "bedrooms," where they can go out of view from the public and get their food and other care from the keepers.

Kate was excited to see the monkeys, and the first primates we saw were the orangutans, big and hairy and swinging from their ropes. We watched the male do his little "this is my place, not yours" dance and call, while the female retreated for a minute to the other side of the habitat. When she returned, the keeper said "Bella, I saw that..." and then explained to us that Bella had water in her mouth and often liked to spit it at visitors.

The keeper kept a stern eye on Bella, who kept her lips pursed and gave innocent-looking sideways glances away from us. The keeper kept telling us about the orangutans and how the rising popularity of trans-fat-free palm oil is depleting their natural habitat in Sumatra. It must have been nearly ten minutes, but Bella showed no signs of having swallowed the water. And just as we were about to leave--SPLAT!--she got me right down the front of my dress.

Time out, Bella!

It's amazing how similar primates are. To human toddlers, at least.

I'll post more pics from our Louisville visit and the zoo tour later this week. We saw a grizzly bear from about a foot away, got panhandled by a charming ape, and learned that tigers have an impressive vertical jump. What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

It's a...


Claire will be her name. We're still debating the middle name. (Thought we had it, but somebody had to throw a wrench in the plan! :0)

Yep, we're having another girl, and I'm so excited. Two girls... sisters... I think it's just wonderful. I always wanted a sibling, and especially as I got into adolescence, craved a sister to kind of show me the ropes. At just under three years apart in age, I hope my girls will have a close relationship. My Kate and Claire.

In addition to showing us her little girly bits, the ultrasound showed a very healthy, normal baby, measuring on target with good-looking organs. Here are a couple of the pics--pics of pics, since I can't seem to get the digital ones off the CD and just photographed the prints they gave us.

They did a minute of 3D, so here you can see her little profile and her skinny little arm bent with her hand by her ear.

 And in regular ultrasound, her skeletal ribs, arm, and hand waving at us.
 And then her head and legs folded up in front of her.
Can't believe it's still almost five months until we meet her face to face!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Four Months

Well, I'm four months along now (as of Memorial Day, and 19 weeks as of today).

My energy level is pretty much back to normal, I think. Too bad "normal" for me still requires going to bed by 10:00 or so, rather than staying up till midnight to get more stuff put away in the new house or spend more time with Matt the night-owl or to actually write blog posts at something approaching my prepregnancy frequency. Oh well. It beats the totally-exhausted-by-7:30 thing where I got nothing done in the evenings.

I'm only getting sick two or three times a week, rather than five or six, so that's good. If this pregnancy continues like the last one (and so far, it's been similar) I really can't hope for much better than two or three times a week. And that's fine. I've been really snacky lately, so (combined with the lessened nausea) maybe I'll start to gain some weight now, rather than losing. Not that I'm complaining. I'm still kind of picky, but food in general doesn't usually disgust me anymore.

According to the cool iPad app I've been looking at--Pampers' "Hello Baby" free version--baby should be around six inches long and weigh 6.5-8 ounces. I don't feel like I've grown enough to accommodate a six-inch long baby yet--and that's just crown-to-rump, not even counting the little curled up legs! I think my stomach and bladder are feeling the space-squeeze, though.

I've been feeling flutters and tiny kicks this week, and it's always reassuring to feel signs of life from her/him--or "Herm," as I've affectionately dubbed the gender-unknown babe. Matt calls it "Cletus"--as in "Cletus the Fetus." Speaking of which, we get to find out the gender on Tuesday! After that, we'll be able to call our little one by name! I'll share the news on that later this week, and of course hopefully the news that everything is healthy and normal, since that's the real, medical purpose of this ultrasound!

Next week, we'll be halfway through this pregnancy. Hooray!


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