Sunday, August 25, 2013

Baby #3

By the time most of you read this, I will probably already know and will have revealed the gender of Baby #3...but I'm feeling very convicted to get this post written before my ultrasound appointment tomorrow morning!

Anyway, I'm sure most of you know already that we're unexpectedly, but very happily, expecting Baby #3.  I found out I was pregnant right after my May trip to Annapolis, while Chet was gone on his field exercise.  I was too busy in Annapolis to suspect anything, but the day after we got home I was suspicious.  I had to be very sneaky about buying a pregnancy test during a shopping trip to Walmart with my dad and the girls in tow -- especially since we were sharing a buggy and we were each buying our own things.

As I'm sure you've concluded, the test was positive, and I was a little shocked (I feel like that sounds ignorant to say, but I was).  Chet wasn't scheduled to be home for at least another week, and his ability to communicate was limited.  I didn't really want to tell him over the phone anyway, so the waiting game started.  I was bursting to tell someone, but thankfully I held my tongue.

I can't remember exactly how many days I had to wait, but it ended up being a little less than a week.  Five days, I think.  I had no idea how I was going to tell him, because, like I said, this was unexpected.  When I found out which day he was coming home I really started trying to formulate a creative plan, but, honestly, I had no idea how the news would actually get shared.  I decided to play it by ear.  The day before he got home the girls and I made signs for him:

I didn't photograph it, but after I took the picture I wrote under Lorelei's name "and ?" in "Love, Ashley, Sydney, Lorelei, and ?"  I thought if the girls were awake (not napping or in bed for the night) when he arrived home, I would use the sign to tell him.

Well, he arrived home during nap time, so I had to come up with a different idea (because showing him the signs without the girls seemed a little lame, and I couldn't wait for them to wake up).  I thought about just blurting out the news, but I had taken a picture of the positive pregnancy test before I threw it away.  The picture was on my phone, along with lots of pictures from Annapolis, so I gave him my phone and insisted he look at all of the pictures.  He had only been home for about 20 minutes, so this was definitely strange behavior on my part.  When he got to the picture, it only took a split second for him to realize what it meant -- he was thrilled!

Fast forward about 15 weeks, and here we are!  There's not much to report between then and now.  I can't remember being very sick, but I think there were a few days where I felt more nauseated than I would have liked (not even close to tossing my cookies though).  I don't remember feeling as tired as I did when I was pregnant with the girls.  The varicose veins in my legs returned almost immediately and in full force, so I'm sporting the compression stockings with pride in the hot, humid south Mississippi summer weather (yes, I wear them with shorts -- I decided not suffering from heat stroke was more important than fashion at this point in my life).

I started taking belly pictures at 14 weeks, apparently the start of the 2nd trimester (why did I always think 12 weeks was the start of the 2nd trimester?  Can I not do math?).  Poor Baby #3 is already learning its place as third in line:
14 Weeks

15 Weeks

16 Weeks

17 Weeks
Chet left for deployment before it was time to take the 18-week picture, so I attempted to do it myself.  Never again, I tell you.  I wasn't in the mood to try taking the picture of myself in the mirror, so this is what I came up with:
18-Week Attempt
Yikes, right?

So, my poor neighbors are in charge of my belly pictures from here on out.  Or family, if they are in town. 
19 Weeks
Yes, I'm wearing the same shirt as the 17-week picture.  And both pictures were taken right after church.  Pregnant women get away with a lot.

20 Weeks

Tomorrow is my big ultrasound, and I can't WAIT to get it done.  Not only am I always anxious to see if the baby is healthy, but I'm dying to know the gender.  I keep having dreams about finding out if its a boy or girl, and they are long and confusing, so hopefully the weird dreams will stop after I have some resolution.  And since all anyone wants to do is hear about other people's dreams, here is the most recent one (as written in an e-mail to my friend, because she too wants nothing more than to hear about my dreams):
We ended up having this huge gender reveal party, and Chet was there and not on deployment for some reason. The giant cake was in one of those thin white cardboard boxes, and the box was closed, covering the top of the cake, but we still had access to the side of the cake for some reason. Chet felt the need to test the icing (it wasn't time for the actual cake-cutting reveal yet), and he exposed some of the cake, but didn't notice. But I noticed, and I saw a hint of pink, so I thought for sure it was a girl and urged Chet to go ahead and cut a huge piece of cake in order to reveal the gender.
But then we cut into it (the lid was still closed) and the inside of the cake was pink, purple, blue, green, red, orange, yellow, etc... I was freaking out because the baker obviously didn't understand what she was supposed to do.
Chet finally had the bright idea of lifting the box top and exposing the top of the cake (I was inconsolable and unable to think), which is where the gender was revealed, but in a really long message. And it was confusing. It didn't just say, "It's a girl!" or "It's a boy!", but something long, and there was even both "boy!" and "girl!" written within the message, and finally after reading the entire message word for word it was understood that we were having a boy.

Ahh, dreams.

Speaking of gender reveal parties, we're not having one.  BUT, a friend of mine who recently had a baby at the same hospital where I'll deliver had such a party.  At her ultrasound appointment, she had the ultrasound tech write down the baby's gender and put it in an envelope, and then my friend gave the envelope to the bakery to make the gender-reveal cake.  My friend suggested that I also have the ultrasound tech write down the gender and put it in an envelope, and then wait to open the envelope until Chet and I are able to talk on the phone.  This means we will find out the gender together, rather than me finding out alone and then simply telling Chet.  It's the perfect solution, because I obviously want Chet to be the first to hear the news, but I was afraid of letting it slip until I was able to talk to him (or bursting).  Now I can be truly ignorant! 

By the way, we think Chet will be able to call pretty much right away, so hopefully I'll be able to open the envelope within a few minutes.  It will surely be burning a hole in my diaper bag.

I guess that's all there is to report at this point.  What's your guess: boy or girl?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Monday, Monday...I Mean, Tuesday

So, how am I doing at my challenge to blog every day?  I'll let myself off the hook for Sunday, but yesterday I didn't have a good excuse.  Wait a second...I was busy yesterday!  Here's the rundown of our Monday, and I'll let you decide whether or not to forgive me for letting the blog slide:
  • 8:25 a.m.: Drop Sydney off at preschool
  • 9:00 a.m.: Report to Toyota dealership for 10,000-mile service appointment
  • 9:00 a.m. - 10:10 a.m.: Entertain Lorelei at Toyota dealership
  • 10:15 a.m.: Swing through McDonald's drive thru for a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit, because I am starving after keeping Lorelei entertained at said Toyota dealership
  • 10:35 a.m.: Arrive home, plug in the crockpot, and resume trimming the bush I was trimming Saturday, before a wasp stung me on the palm of my hand (um, ouch)
  • 11:00 a.m.: Serve lunch to Lorelei
  • 11:15 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.: Call USAA to see about lowering our car insurance payment while Chet is on deployment
  • 11:50 a.m. - Pick Sydney up at preschool
  • 12:15 p.m.: 2:30 p.m.: Nap time/Ashley puts her feet up for at least 30 minutes (Sydney only sleeps an hour a day, so don't get all huffy thinking I have 2 hours and 15 minutes to myself in the middle of the day ;-))
  • 3:00 p.m.: Rush to the grocery store as quickly as possible in the blazing August heat (yesterday afternoon felt more hot than usual during our grocery store run; it made me cranky)
  • 3:45 p.m.: Arrive home and begin cooking dinner for the friends I am having over to eat with us
  • 5:00 p.m.: Start serving dinner to Sydney and Lorelei/first friend arrives
  • 7:15 p.m.: Friends depart and I finish cleaning up the kitchen/toy mess (Sydney and Lorelei have vital roles in cleaning up toy messes)
  • 7:30 p.m.: Chet calls via FaceTime and gets to witness the girls acting like heathens and Lorelei falling off the couch (she was perfectly fine)
  • 8:00 p.m.: Usher the girls upstairs to change them into their pajamas and put them to bed (no way was I expending any more energy on bathing them -- a little grime is good for the soul)
  • 8:30 p.m.: Close the girls' bedroom door and walk downstairs to 3rd friend popping popcorn in my kitchen in preparation for our "Downton Abbey" date (we are starting the series from the beginning, and it gives her husband a guilt-free evening to play video games to his heart's desire)
  • 10:00 p.m.: BED
Honestly, it's more tiring to type it than it was to actually go through it.

So, here I am on Tuesday, blogging about what I did Monday.  What to write about for today?  I'll just say that Sydney and I dropped Lorelei off at the CDC this morning, and proceeded to Target.  We had a lovely, relaxing Target outing (we rarely go to Target since it's so far away), where Sydney was an angel and allowed me to look at every since clearance clothing rack.  Sydney thrives on alone time with Mommy and/or Daddy.  After Target we ate lunch at a sushi restaurant, where she impressed the waitress (and me for that matter) by writing her name and Lorelei's name on the back of the sushi order form.  It was a great morning for both of us, and I don't think I would have felt any more rejuvenated had I been by myself.

Since every blog post needs a picture, here is a picture of Sydney that I'm actually posting for the second time.  The first time I around I posted from my phone, thus not giving you the full effect of laying-on-the-garage-floor-while-petting-the-cat glory:

Saturday, August 17, 2013


In case you didn't know, Chet is safely on deployment, and has been for two weeks now.  He told me it was okay to post this picture on our blog:

He is the Officer in Charge of all of the NMCB 11 personnel in Djibouti, and we are very excited about the experience he will gain in this position!  If you click here, you can read the article detailing the change of command ceremony held last week.  This link will take you to the homepage of NMCB 11's blog, in case you are interested in all that his battalion is doing over the next several months.

Friday, August 16, 2013

21 graces

Disclaimer: This week's list sounds particularly exciting, and it was.  However, staying busy (especially in this extremely hot and/or thunderstorm-y summer weather) is essential to surviving deployment.

1. Sydney's first day of preschool

2. Friday night dinner out with other single-due-to-deployment friends
3. FaceTime with Chet (technology amazes me)
4. A Saturday morning trip to the coffee shop and splash pad
5. A successful Saturday (Saturdays and Sundays are the hardest for me during deployments)
6. An evening trip to the park
7. The fact that the girls enjoy their Sunday School classes, allowing me to attend my own class and church
8. A successful Sunday (see #5)
9. An evening bike ride/walk
10. Going to the gym with Lorelei as soon as we drop Sydney off at preschool (the preschool and gym are within five minutes of each other)
11. Lunch at the Walmart Subway with L (did I mention I'm a huge fan of not cleaning up breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner messes at home?)
12. A post-dinner trip to the FroYo Shop...where Sydney and Lorelei both danced their hearts out to the music playing over the speakers

I didn't get a good action shot of Syd dancing, but here she is in all her accessorized glory.

13. A morning to myself
14. Scoring great deals at the consignment shop***
15. An evening trip to the mall to run off some energy on a drizzly evening
16. A post-nap trip to the local children's museum
17. Sharing a delicious pot of homemade soup with a neighbor (whose husband is also deployed...she made the soup, not me...I just ate it)
18. A great catch-up conversation with a dear, dear friend
19. A late afternoon trip to the pool, thanks to a break in the summer storms
20. Half-price cheeseburger day at Sonic
21. Not having to clean up a dinner mess due to aforementioned half-price cheeseburger day at Sonic (!)

***I have to share how good of a deal I got at the consignment shop: 1 pair of practically new maternity jeans, a dance leotard in the next size for Syd, three pairs of footed tights for Syd, a belt for Syd, 1 pair of pajamas for Syd = $9.03.  Granted, I had a little over $11 in credit at the shop, but I would have happily paid $20 too!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Excuse

Seriously, I have no excuse for not blogging.  I have been reading a ton though, and the best opportunity to read is in the mornings, before the girls wake up, which is also the time I usually prefer to blog.  So reading has won out over blogging lately.  Probably because I know that when this baby is born, I won't have a chance to read for quite a while.

Anyway, when I take an unexcused blogging break, it always helps to get back in the saddle by challenging myself.  So, tomorrow I will do the 21 graces post, and then for the next six days I will blog about something.  I won't say what, because I'm going easy on myself and refuse to set myself up for failure.  ;-)

Here is a random picture of Lorelei and a random video of Syd.  These events both occurred when Papa John was in town, because I would never give Lorelei a bite of a fresh jalapeno (I don't do anything that might result in diarrhea) and I don't play the guitar.  So.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Snazzy Sydney

Sydney has been wearing some awfully snazzy outfits lately, mostly courtesy of Didi.  Lorelei hasn't received any new clothes, THANK GOODNESS, because she has enough clothes to outfit all the children in China.

Sydney loves dresses.  She likes skirts too, but she definitely prefers dresses.  I have to force her to wear her other outfits.  However, she would wear pants and long sleeves and a winter coat and gloves and a beanie if I let her.  The child is obsessed with cold-weather clothing, and since one of my duties as her mother is to make sure she doesn't suffer from heat exhaustion, I have to forbid her from wearing such articles of clothing outside this time of year.  But she would if I let her.

She's also willing to pose for pictures these days!  Hallelujah!

She got these shoes for her birthday, but they just now fit her.  She and Lorelei both love to wear them (Lorelei loves wearing Sydney's shoes; she has to wear this particular pair with socks to keep from stepping out of them):

Oh, yeah, she is also obsessed with headbands now.  I used to wish she would wear headbands, but now I realize that they're always falling off her head and her hair looks a fright when she wears them.  Go back to the bows, Syd!

For some reason she calls this one her Hello Kitty dress.  I think because she has a pair of Hello Kitty pajamas that are also pink and gray.  Ignore the creepy face she is making:

She wore this dress to church yesterday:
I asked my dad if his mother (my grandmother) used to wear dresses like this in the late sixties/early seventies.  He said yes, but they were shorter and she wore them with tall white boots.  I love when clothes come back in style 40 years later.  I'm just itching to wear spandex shorts and scrunch socks again.

And since my dad is in town, we had the rare occasion to take a picture with me in it:
Lorelei refused to cooperate, and Sydney is in her "dog" pose.  For about a week now, she prefers to walk around on all fours, barking.  Thankfully she quit licking me after our stern talk.  I think my dad made it worse when he gave a name to her dog persona: Queenie.  I can't really blame her behavior though -- I think she inherited it from me.  Allegedly I used to pretend like I was a horse, rearing back on my hind legs and neighing loudly.  In public.  Sydney has yet to act like Queenie in public, thank goodness.  And I will say that she is better behaved when she acts like a dog (less fighting with Lorelei over toys).  Hmm...

Happy Monday!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Sydney and Lorelei at 21 Months

This is so incredibly random, but there is this little window on the right side of our computer screen that flips through all of the pictures that are saved on our computer.  One came up the other day that prompted me to open the folder labeled "October 2011", when Sydney was 21-months old (Lorelei's current age):

My first thoughts were: "Those pajamas are still way too big (well, long) for Lorelei!" and "Lorelei, if Sydney let me put two bows in her hair at 21-months, surely you can handle just one!"

Anyway, here's Lorelei's current picture, for comparison:
This picture is a little blurry, and excuse the fact that she is wearing Sydney's cold-weather Elmo vest while eating chicken nuggets, but this is the most recent picture I have of her.
What do you think?  Do they look alike?  Sometimes I think so, and sometimes I think not at all...