Thursday, August 29, 2013

2 years old!!!!

Two years ago, we welcomed Meredith to our family and have LOVED every day since.

She is so funny and makes us laugh all the time!  Between her facial expressions, her phrases and her actions, she is hilarious. 

She LOVES her big sister and copies her any chance she can get.

She's very independent, but will eventually ask for help - "helpy me"

She's very active - much more than I recall Mackenzie being at age 2, so she keeps me on my toes all the time!

But most of all, she is so sweet and still loves to cuddle sometimes!  And after two weeks in the hospital, I am very excited about cuddling with her.  Hopefully she'll appease me! ;)

Happy 2nd Birthday Meredith!!!!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Welcome Miranda Kate!

We welcomed Miranda Kate yesterday afternoon at 12:54pm.  Sorry for the grainy photo, but we only have the one photo so far from Brandon's cell phone.  Maybe tomorrow I'll take better photos when I'm in the NICU. 

She weighed 4 lbs 4oz and measured 18" long.  Since she is 6 weeks early she is in the NICU, but she is doing really well.  Apparently she is really feisty and has made her voice known when she doesn't like something...like laying on her back and side.  She now sleeps peacefully on her tummy! ;) 

Yesterday, they showed her to me just after she was born while I was still in surgery, but I could only see her face since she was all wrapped up.  Today I got to see (and touch) her in the NICU!  She has really long fingers just like Mackenzie did, but her face is like Meredith.  I haven't seen her with her eyes open, but the nurse said her eyes are light blue, so they could stay blue like Mackenzie.  She just might be a good mix of the two girls.  I guess we'll find out soon enough. ;)

That's my update for now...I'm sure I'll have more to say later as I get to know this little "feisty" girl!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Guesses and Predictions

Mackenzie was born with light blue eyes and reddish brown hair.  Her hair eventually turned blonde and her eyes were so light that I knew they would stay blue.  The blue eyes were a surprise because we believed that Brandon's brown eyes would dominate my blue eyes.  As it turns out there are a lot of chances for blue eyes to be passed down - me, my mom, Brandon's mom, my grandfather and I want to say Brandon's grandfather (not sure about that one).  Plus, my hair was blonde until I was about 2 or 3, so that passed on too.  Mackenzie's skin coloring matches me, in that we are fair skinned and burn easily in the sun.

Meredith was born with brown hair and the typical dark blue eyes that eventually change.  They are now brown, but not as dark brown as Brandon's.  Meredith's skin coloring matches Brandon and is more olive and tans VERY easily!

Since Miranda arrives in less than 24 hours lets make some predictions!

blonde hair or brown hair?
blue eyes or brown eyes?
fair skin or olive skin?

I'm thinking she'll be another Meredith, but who knows?! Any other predictions???

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Things to do...

So, while I sit here on bed rest I've been trying to do things/tasks on the computer that I would normally feel guilty about if I was home with the girls.  Some days are better than others when it comes to being on the computer.  Monday for instance, I could only be on the computer for a little while before my headache was too much.  Today I caught up on my 365 blog since I hadn't updated pictures since the middle of July.

All of my labs are doing great, so it looks like I will be able to hold off on delivery until Monday.  With that said, I have 3 more full days here in the hospital where I can work on different projects:

  • finish 2011 blog book.  I have been working on this blog book FOREVER.  I finished the layout a couple of months ago, but need to edit and spell check it.  After working on it some on Monday, I think I'm on page 95 out of 240.  I'm hoping to work on it tonight or tomorrow and possible finish it by Sunday evening.  I would love to be able to finish it, upload it to Blurb and order the completed book by Saturday or Sunday. 
  • make a picture book of Meredith's first 2 months.  When Mackenzie was 2 months old, I compiled a small picture book for us and the grandparents of my favorite photos up to that point.  I had planned on doing the same thing for Meredith, but 2 years later, I still do not have a book from her first two months.  I'd like to do this while I'm here in the hospital, but I'm not sure it will happen.
  • finish my last 3 continuing education units for my Architect's license.  I have 3 more articles to read and little tests to take by the end of the year.  The good news is, I had already printed the articles at home and I can take the tests online.  So, now all I need is Brandon to bring the articles to me so that I can complete those in the next few days.
  • make 1st day of school signs.  Mackenzie starts preschool on September 3rd and eventually I'll be doing school with Meredith at home.  Since I will be taking pictures of the girls on these particular days like I did last year, I figure I can make the signs now so that all I have to do is print them at home when I'm ready.
  • finish our will.  I know this sounds kind of morbid, but months ago I bought a computer program to help Brandon and I set up our will and we have yet to complete it.  I figure since Brandon and I are here every night by ourselves without the kids, we might as well work on this in the next couple of days, so that we don't have to worry about it anymore.
  • read my library books.  The morning before I was admitted to the hospital, the girls and I went to the library and I checked out a couple of books I had on hold.  I have finished one and have another one to read.  Reading has been a nice task to do at night when they have the baby on the monitor and I have to lay still.  I'm not sure if I'll finish the other one before Monday, but at least I can try.
Now that I've looked at this list, I've realized I'm still the same person who puts too much to do on her list...even when I'm in the hospital! Ha! I guess we'll see what the next few days bring.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Week

It's been one week since I was admitted to the hospital.  One week ago today, I woke up, got the girls ready and then we went to the library, Michael's craft store, lunch at Double Daves, followed by a quick trip into a small store to find my mom's birthday gift.  Of course after all of this, was "the" doctor's appointment that landed me in the hospital.  My items from Michaels are sitting somewhere in my house and I still haven't given my mom her gift.  I told her we'd have a big birthday celebration when Miranda comes home and celebrate her and all three girls' birthdays.

I'm feeling much better than I was on Sunday.  Monday was not great as it was filled with a headache for most of the day, but yesterday was a good day and I didn't have to take any Tylenol for headaches or any other pain.  yay!  My mom even picked up dinner to go from Saltgrass, so that was awesome!  In fact, I just ate a loaf of Saltgrass bread as I wrote the above paragraphs! ;)  My doctor has said that we'll stop "playing this waiting" game on Monday and deliver Miranda.  She will be 34 weeks and 2 days gestation, so hopefully we won't have to spend too much time in the NICU. 

A lot can happen between now and Monday, but for now at least I have an "end" to my bed rest...only 5 full days left!  My blood pressure is still so sporadic even with medicine, so who knows what it will do.  My labs are being redone today, so we'll know a little more than just blood pressure readings by tomorrow morning.  The good news in all of this is that Miranda has been great.  Every monitor reading she is moving around and her heart is beating at a great speed.  The ultrasound we had on Monday was good and all of her fluids were perfect.  I told Brandon this morning, that she's says, "what's up momma?  why aren't you walking around and jostling me to sleep more?  All you keep doing is sitting or laying down.  I guess I'll just kick you till you turn blue instead!" ;)  That last part is just about true.  Just like Meredith, she can get to the very back corner of my ribs and just kick and kick when I'm laying down.  It feels oh so great! ;)

The girls have come to visit several times and seem to enjoy their time here even if I am in a hospital room.  Yesterday was the first time they actually got in the bed with me, so that's progress.  I usually have to move to the couch when they come, but since they were ok with the bed we just sat together.  Mackenzie's been bringing her library books that we checked out last Wednesday so I can read them to them and Meredith gets pretty excited about drinking out of my large hospital cup.  Luckily, leaving isn't too hard on them because Brandon goes home with them for the remainder of the day and plays with them until bedtime.  So, even if I'm in the hospital all day, every day, at least they are getting extra time with daddy and are loving it!  I'm so thankful that Brandon's job (and my mom and mother-in-law's) allows this kind of leave for him to take care of our family.  Without this steady care of my girls, I think this would effect them much more differently.

Anyways, sorry for rambling for so long.  In short, I'll be home by August 29th (Meredith's birthday) and hopefully Miranda will follow shortly after.  Here's hoping all is well in the next 5 days and that they go by very very very quickly!  Keep the prayers coming!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bed Rest

I've been in the hospital since Wednesday afternoon...almost 4 full days.  I have a big window in my room and get to see the blue sky and trees across the way, but I haven't been outside since I parked my car at the doctor's office at 1:25pm on Wednesday.  I've seen the girls for a total of 4 hours in the last 96 hours - that's hard when you are a stay at home mom and see them 24/7 typically.  That's probably been one of the hardest things.

I'm allowed to sit up and read or watch TV, but my blood pressure has been sporadic, so when it's a little high, I have to lay down in bed again.  I've been lying down A LOT.  Sometimes it's nice - I've gotten quite a few naps - and other times it drives me crazy.  I'm not one to just sit and chill for days on end.  Sure, the girls and I have pajama days at home where we stay in all day, but I still get to move around, play with them and do other things around the house.  I don't have those options here.  I have my computer and some books, but even that can be a little too much for me and my crazy blood pressure.  And let's not forget that hospital beds are nothing like your own bed or couch, so that adds to the annoyance. Lying down too much has always caused me to have headaches, so I've had my share of minor headaches in the last 4 days.  Luckily I'm in a hospital and they will gladly give me the medicine I need to get rid of the headache, but they are still annoying. 

I've had several friends message me and tell me that they've been where I am and have had hospital bed rest too with their pregnancies.  A couple of them have had to be in the hospital for 3 weeks!  I don't know how they did it!  I'm at day 4 and it's driving me crazy.  I'd like to say that I'm "happy" to be doing this for Miranda and her growth.  I'd like to think I'm not selfish at all when it comes to my children and their needs versus my needs, but this bed rest makes it hard to believe that.  Every hour I go back and forth with thoughts like this:
  • I'll do this for as long as Miranda needs me to
  • She's 33 weeks, she'll be fine in the NICU for a couple of weeks
  • Miranda needs this time
  • I need to go home
  • Oh good, my blood pressure is down, Miranda has another few hours
  • Oh good, my blood pressure is up, the end is in sight.
It's HARD.  It's hard laying here.  It's hard thinking those thoughts.  It's hard being selfish.  But most of all, it's hard knowing I can't do anything.  I mean, I know I can lay still and do bed rest, but I can't make it all better.  My body has a disease that is going to continue to progress even with medicine and so all we can do is play risk assessment between my health and the baby's future health.  We are on a see-saw right now and I guess when we final level off, then we'll get to meet Miranda.

I spoke with my doctor a little while ago and we have a plan for the next couple of days while we wait.  Tomorrow, I get an ultrasound to make sure Miranda's fluids are all ok and then Wednesday we start all of my labs again to check my health progress.  In the mean time, we just wait and check my blood pressure every couple of hours.  Wait, pray, wait, pray.  That's all I can do...so I will.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday Flashback: August 2009

I was looking back at past Friday Flashbacks and decided I needed to start those posts again.  For this week, I decided to go back to August 2009 and pick a photo of Mackenzie just before she turned 1.


My girls have hardly any hair when they are little.  They are typically at least 18 months before they need their first hair cut and almost 2 before I can do any kind of pig tails, which are still super short.  At 11 months I was able to slide a clip in Mackenzie's hair, but it didn't have any function other than looking cute.
Several things about this photo make me smile.  One, this was when her hair had a slightly red tint, like a strawberry blonde.  Two, she was clearly eating enough carrots seeing as how her nose looks orange!  And lastly, she's just so darn cute, I can't help but smile! ;)

"my pregnancy is going great"...said the ingnorant momma!

My last blog post was all about how my pregnancy was going great and that I wasn't have any issues.  When I wrote it, I was being truthful as a far as I knew, but my doctor's visit on Wednesday proved me ALL wrong!

Wednesday was like any normal day for us.  The girls and I ran a couple of errands, at lunch at yummy Double Dave's Pizza and then went to my friend's house so that the girls could play there while I had my doctor's appointment.  This has become our staple visit with the Smith's every time I have an appointment.  They get to play for about a hour or hour 1/2 while I go to the doctor for a quick visit.  I got to my appointment right on time and had an ultrasound where I got to see cute little pictures of Miranda growing and moving around.  The technician estimated her weight to be about 4 1/2 pounds and right on track.  After getting my newest picture print outs I went to be checked by the nurse and doctor.   They were not happy about my blood pressure and sent me next door to the hospital to be monitored for a little while, hoping rest would help all my numbers to come down.  I of course cried a little because A - I'm me and B - I'm pregnant. ;)  I did settle down, though because I knew crying wouldn't lower my blood pressure and I really wanted to be able to leave after an hour of observation and get back to the girls.

An hour later, they said I had early stages of pre-eclampsia and I was being admitted to the hospital.  This was not how my day was supposed to go.  Brandon was still in San Antonio for the day, the girls were at a friends house, my house was a mess and I of course had a ton of things to do on my to-do list that I had made that morning! ;)  But of course, everything came together - my mom and dad just happened to be eating an early dinner on this side of town and came straight to the hospital and Brandon was able to come home from San Antonio and pick up the girls to take them home.  Apparently, Mackenzie told Brandon that she would explain to him the steps he needed to take to get them ready for bed!  My little helper! ;)

As of yesterday morning we were just monitoring my blood pressure all day and waiting for a c-section early this morning to deliver Miranda about 7 weeks early.  However, since my blood pressure was staying under control with medication by mouth, the doctors decided yesterday afternoon to delay the c-section and let Miranda "cook" a little longer.  I'm officially on hospital bed rest while we monitor my blood pressure.  Right now, my blood pressure is staying low as it should while I take medicine, but once it goes us again, Miranda will be delivered.  We are officially in a waiting game!

The bad news is I'm in a hospital bed with an IV and compression/anti clotting leg things on that compress with air every few minutes.  The good new is, yesterday I had those to items, plus the blood pressure cuff, a finger/pulse monitor and the baby monitors around my waste.  I'm feeling much better now.  And of course the greatest news is that baby Miranda has some more time to grow.  Every day that she can stay utero longer, is one less day she'll have to be in the NICU, so here's hoping my blood pressure continues to stay down!  Keep those prayers coming!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

32 weeks...

So, I'm 32 weeks pregnant and will deliver baby Miranda in less than 7 weeks!  As soon as I get past the girls' birthday party in a couple of weeks, I'll be able to actually nest/concentrate on Miranda's room, not to mention all of the baby supplies we still need to buy.  We've received a lot of "new to us" stuff from other people, but there are still some items we HAVE to buy...you know like bottles and diapers and pacifiers! ;)

Everything is going well with this pregnancy.  The only complaint I have is my hip issues that always come up in the second half of my pregnancies.  Thankfully, I've always had great pregnancies and this one has even been a little better than the first two as I've gained less weight this far in and I haven't had to be put on iron pills, as of yet.  I've had a decent amount of energy, I think, especially since I'm home with a 4 year old and 1 year old all day!  There are days when I over do it - cleaning or running errands, but then again, I did that when I wasn't pregnant too!  I just have to adjust my daily tasks and realize that things take a little longer to do when I'm this far along in my pregnancy.

I finally broke down and cut my hair the other day.  I couldn't take the length any longer and I didn't want my hospital pictures with Miranda to look even worse than they will because of my long, frizzy hair.  As I sat there getting my hair cut, I realized it hadn't been cut since May of 2012, so it was definitely needed! It's not pony tail length which means I'll actually have to fix it every day and that will make me feel much better every day, not to mention cooler when we are outside.  By the time Miranda arrives, I should be able to pull it back occasionally if I want to, especially in those first few weeks when I won't want to fix my hair.

Anyways, as far as my updated belly shop, here it is:

I missed taking my 28 week photo and I was going to take a 30 week photo, but then that didn't happen either.  I decided to create a progression from 12 weeks to 32 weeks.  It's weird to think I'll only be adding 2 more photos to this time line (36 weeks and day of delivery).

The only comparison photo I have is with my pregnancy photo with Mackenzie.

As I said before...less than 7 weeks! I can't wait!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Lalaloopsy Unit

A few weeks ago, my favorite blogger posted a Lalaloopsy preschool pack!  Mackenzie was very excited to look at it, so I printed it for us to work on one week.

Meredith joined in too, by using magnets on the dot marker sheets.  Magnets are perfect for things like this because the sheets can be used for both girls and can be saved to use again another time.



Simple line tracing to match the doll to their pet.
Shape matching which also included pictures of the real life animal to match the dolls' pets...
What's different...
Letter maze...
Meredith matched the dolls we had to the dot marker sheets.
Our favorite - roll and graph...
We also matched the dolls to their name.  For this, I didn't expect her to know how to spell the name, but I would say the name out loud and she would figure out what letter it started with.  This was perfect since the five dolls on the sheet did NOT start with the same letter.
This was a very similar task to the one above, but with quite a bit more dolls.  We were also able to learn a few names of the dolls that we didn't know.  (Despite having 12 dolls total, we don't have 30 dolls!  And that doesn't include the sister dolls.)
This last task was just a simple counting activity.  She was very particular about what picture went in what square.
This pack was very large and there were quite a bit of activities we did not do as well as some that I didn't take pictures of.  If you have a kid that loves lalaloopsy like we do, I highly recommend this preschool pack!  It's these them packs that Mackenzie really likes.  She talks the entire time we do them, telling stories, talking about a TV episode and anything else she can think of.  This next year, we will definitely be incorporating themes into our weekly learning.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Butterflies!

On Tuesday we went to the butterfly center at the Museum of Natural Science.  I had been avoiding taking the girls there because I was worried the "rainforest" type atmosphere would be too much for this pregnant momma.  However, when our playgroup arranged a visit to the butterfly center, I decided it wouldn't be too bad...and it wasn't.  It was actually much worse outside than it was in the center with all of the butterflies.

Mackenzie was pretty excited to see the butterflies and really wanted one to land on her hand.  I told her she could stand really still with her arm out and maybe a butterfly would come to her, but she never had enough patience.  Plus, when one almost landed on her foot, she practically kicked away because it surprised her!  She also batted a couple away that flew in her face, but then again, who wants things to fly in their face, even if it is a butterfly?! ;)

It was very lush and beautiful inside...
and we saw lots of beautiful butterflies.  Mackenzie and Meredith both really enjoyed looking at the placemat looking thing to see what types of butterflies we saw.

This poor butterfly was one of the first ones we saw and it's wings were torn, but it still seemed ok.  I'm assuming this is one of the reasons they tell you not to chase the butterflies.
I tried to take a picture of the picture guide thing, but they didn't turn out very well, so I don't know the names of any of these butterflies, so below is just a bunch of pictures of the butterflies we saw.  I love all of the different patterns and had never really known there were that many different butterflies.





 The girls looking at different butterflies around the center...
This was some sort of moth  that was very unusual looking...

For those of you on facebook, these are the fish that Mackenzie said were her favorite thing of the exhibit when I asked her at lunch.  Hundreds of butterflies and one fish tank, but that was her favorite! Silly girl! ;)  When I laughed at her answer she did add "butterflies" to her list of favorites, but it was too late for me...it's gone down in my history of her favorite sayings.
 

We went back to this beehive several times.  Both girls were fascinated with it, especially since the bees were behind glass and couldn't get out! ;)


This particular butterfly was laying eggs (the little yellow dots) on this plant.  There are going to be A LOT of caterpillars on this plant eventually! The museum volunteer said that every butterfly lays their eggs on particular plants that are for their specific species. 
Once back inside the museum part, the girls wanted their picture taken among the "butterflies" flying on the wall.
I'm glad I went because it was pretty fun and not expensive at all.  I think we'll definitely go back next spring or summer before Mackenzie starts Kindergarten.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Fourth of July

There's nothing like posting about our Fourth of July activities a month after it's passed!  Oh well, I want to document it, so Happy 4th everyone! ;)

The morning of the 4th, we all went swimming at the neighborhood pool.  When we got back we finally painted the different crafts I had wanted to do earlier in the week, but hadn't gotten to.  First up was using star cookie cutters to paint red and blue stars.  Both girls liked this activity.

Mackenzie used a pipe cleaner star I made to paint fireworks.  She wasn't too impressed with this, but I thought it was fun. :)
 And lastly, we finger painted and made a handprint flag (Mackenzie only).

The finished work by both girls, plus I think there are two other sheets on the other side of the stove top.
Meredith's finished work on her high chair!  Luckily all of it is washable paint and cleaned up very easily.

And because it doesn't really matter when we do the 4th of July unit, we even did some of the preschool pack from _____ the next week (it could even been that Saturday - I don't remember).  While Mackenzie was using star stickers to do a roll and graph,

I gave Meredith star stickers to put on a sheet of paper.
Eventually, she tired of the paper and started putting the stickers on her hand and arm.
The preschool pack from 3 Dinosaurs that we were using also included this math sheet that corresponded to the roll and graph sheet.  Mackenzie enjoyed answering questions about how many rolls each object had received while rolling the dice.
I filled in the numbers for most of the math problems on the bottom half, but we added the numbers together.  The last two she requested to fill in on her own, so she did.
The only other sheets we did were an ABC and number fill in the blank sheet out of the same pack.

I had great intentions of completing the majority of this preschool pack the week of Fourth of July, but time got away from me and we just didn't do it.  Oh well, at least we did some of it! ;)  Maybe next year!
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