Raising a Blended Family

Welcome to the family

We found out today at 13.5 weeks that we are expecting a baby GIRL!!!! Wahoooooooo!!!!!!! Talk about the best news ever to kick off second trimester!

Her name is Shiloh Michelle- Michelle, after my mother, though we won’t be telling my mother this until Shiloh arrives.

I can’t believe we’re having a baby girl. I’m so excited! Shorty is also thrilled, which is a relief because I know she wanted a baby boy. When the nurse called with our results and told us she was a she, we both cried and jumped around and hugged (and I told her “I told you so” about a million times because, well, I am not that big of a person and I DID say it was a girl about a million times). It was an amazing moment.

The kids don’t know yet- Thing One will be tickled pink and Pax- wellllll, he won’t know any better (yet) but I can’t help but feel a little bad for him because he already has two moms and now he will have TWO sisters. No boys in sight!  I think we officially need to get him a male cat- or goldfish- or something. Poor boy. Haha!

Anyways, along with sex we also found out that we are low risk for having conditions such as down’s, trisomy, etc. Big sigh of relief there- I truly was a little bit worried (because I’m me) but now I feel free to enjoy the happy anticipation of meeting our little girl.

Can’t wait to meet you, baby Shiloh! Here we go into the second trimester. 🙂



12 weeks and MOVEMENT

That’s right… not only are we right on the cusp of the second trimester (already?!), but for the past week Shorty has been reporting that she can feel the baby moving! I was surprised because it is early, but she has a tilted uterus and she says it always feels like little flutters or bubbles, right in the spot where we’ve been finding baby’s heartbeat with our home doppler. So, I believe her!

I will admit to a little bit of jealousy over this though. Last pregnancy, it was ME feeling the baby flutters and kicks… this time around, it will all be her. It makes me a little sad not to get to experience that side of things, and feel the baby moving inside me… but then, I guess I also don’t have to experience labor pain this time around and all the fun-ness that comes with that. So, I guess it balances out.

Shorty is doing really well! She’s only gained about 5 pounds or so, and can still wear her larger pairs of jeans, though the smaller pairs are all too tight now! She’s been steadily shopping for non-girly maternity clothes and building up her wardrobe for when that time comes. She’s found some good stuff. Morning sickness still comes and goes, though it seems like it has “gone” more than it has “come” lately. She definitely has more energy now- she helped me clean the entire house tonight, whereas a few weeks ago, she’d have been on the couch sleeping through it all. Ha! It’s nice to have my wife back and to be able to spend (nonsleeping) time together again in the evenings.

Finally, we had our 12 week doctor appointment yesterday. They did a blood draw to screen for fetal abnormalities, but- get this!- this test will also tell us if baby is a boy or a girl!!! I’m so excited! We’ll know in about a week and a half, which is obviously far far earlier than the standard 20 week time frame. So awesome! We have our names picked out already, now we just need to know which one to use!

There’s an updated pic on the belly page. Check it out!


Will the Real Two-Year-Old Please Stand Up (and stop throwing things)

I realized it’s been awhile since I updated y’all on Paxton stuff, so here goes. This post will be all about the Tiny Terrorist we have living in our house… also known as, our two-year-old.

  • Paxton weighs approximately 26 lbs right now. He is in 2T clothing, size 7 shoes, and is about 34″ tall. He uses every inch of that height to his advantage to reach previously-unreachable items on previously-toddler-safe countertops. Favorite steals include mommy’s coffee (sad, sad mommy) and mommy’s phone/keys/wallet.
  • Paxton eats very little. Sometimes I’m not sure how this kid survives! Of course, his peckish ways only occur at home or with moms… his daycare reports that he frequently eats second helpings at each meal, and then scavenges for leftovers! This leave us in the awkward position of explaining, each and every time they mention how much he ate that day, that yes, we really do feed our child, we swear! Favorite food is “yodirt” (yogurt), as well as cheese and fresh blueberries. His least favorite food is any kind of meat (he will sometimes even shun that ever-ubiquitous toddler food, the hotdog).  Another favorite food is ketchup- as a main dish, not a topping, preferably (not that he ever gets this, but you can bet that every last ounce of ketchup will be scraped off/licked clean when you serve him a hot dog or hamburger- and of course, the actual entree itself will be left untouched and shiny with toddler slobber.)
  • Paxton sleeps in his bed for half the night, and in moms’ bed for the rest of the night. We keep going back-and-forth between full nights in his bed, and the half-and-half arrangement we have going on right now. Currently, he goes to bed at 7pm, wakes up around midnight for his nightly migration to moms’ bed, and then sleeps until 6:30am or so. He also takes anywhere from a 1-2 hour nap every day around noon. Sometimes when he wakes up at midnight he will wake up hungry (probably because he didn’t eat his dinner), and will eat a small snack before going back to sleep for the night.
  • Paxton plays pretty well with other children. He has great socialization skills. When we were out to eat the other day, he and a little boy about three tables down were playing peek-a-boo by ducking their heads to look at each other under the tables. He also likes to play with others during group activities at daycare. His sister is probably his favorite playmate, however. She and he will play for hours, playing hide-and-go-seek, coloring with chalk, or playing other big-sister invented games. Sometimes he gets the short end of the stick with these games, but is generally a good sport and thinks it’s all in fun. He’s just happy to have someone to play with!
  • Paxton’s favorite toys are choo-choo tracks and trains. He has both the v.tech smart train with the plastic tracks, and the classic wooden train tracks, and he plays with both equally. He can generally get the pieces together himself but sometimes needs help with harder pieces like bridges. He also likes his lights and sounds puzzles, his firetruck/ambulance/big truck vehicles, and the nice wooden xylophone my mom got him for Christmas. He loves elmo’s world dvds, and likes his Thomas powerwheel as well, but sometimes the house is so overrun with with toys he has nowhere to ride it! Finally, he also enjoys books, though he frequently will choose to “read” to himself now rather than have us read to him.
  • Paxton speaks a combination of English and Toddler. He has things he says very clearly, like “choo choo train” and “bus” but there will be other times where he says something and it comes out as “hfpirl2rnjlgqkjrg2” and you have NO idea what he has said. He used 2, 3, or 4-word sentences now (“I up!” “I eat” “we go byebye now” “byebye park” “no nap!”) and he gains new words every day it seems like (even though it sometimes takes us awhile to realize what he is saying because of his “toddler accent”). For example, he has one word he currently says that sounds like “bubbadoo”- which I think means “w” and also think he thinks it means letters, in general, rather than being one specific letter- because he will frequently point to letters and say “bubbadoo.” But who knows.
  • Paxton counts! He can count up to ten, though he is most reliable just counting to three. He will spontaneously pick up or point to objects and count them: one… two… FWEE! He will also count on his fingers when prompted.
  • Paxton is working on colors, shapes, and letters. For colors, he can name all of them but gets them mixed up when asked “what color is this?”. For shapes he knows heart, star, and triangle, but is working on rectangle, circle, and square. Alphabet letters are hit-and-miss. One day he will point withe confidence to the letter “a” and name it correctly… the next day he will identify it as a “bubbadoo”. But, it is a start and we are getting there! His daycare has been a huge help in this and I freely admit he would not be as far along as he is without their help.
  • Paxton acts very much his age! He is generally a happy, sunny guy but when he gets frustrated at something he is apt to throw that something (train tracks that don’t fit together, a puzzle piece he can’t place, etc) and whine/tantrum. He is learning how to ask for help before he gets too frustrated, but we aren’t all the way there yet. He will run from you if you tell him it is night night time or time to change a diaper, and if you tell him no or uhuh, chances are he will do it anyways with a sly sideways glance at you like “now what, mommy?” His worst offense is hitting, which is most likely to when he is frustrated/crying- he will walk over and hit you and then stand there and cry, because he’s so totally overwhelmed with his emotions. We are doing our best to name his emotions for him and teach him how to say what he’s feeling, but it’s a process and he still often gets frustrated. I feel bad for him during these times because it’s so obvious that he is overwhelmed. Finally, he is firmly in the “no” phase and will say no to anything and everything, even when he means yes. He also won’t take no for an answer, and will ask you the same question over and over (often in ascending volume) hoping to get the answer he wants! Really, all of this is typical toddler behavior though, and he is generally a friendly, happy, smiley guy. He has never met a stranger and will happily greet anyone and everyone with a “Hi! howoo?” (Hi, how are you?).
  • Last but not least, Paxton is getting ready to potty train. He is very interested in the toilet now, and will watch us use the restroom and say “mommy potty? mommy go?” He will ask to sit on the toilet himself and will even sometimes attempt to go (pushing, farting) but has yet to succeed. Afterwards, he will flush the toilet himself and then help me wash his hands (though he usually just wants to play in the “bubboos’). We talk to him all the time about the potty and he tells us about half the time if he’s gone poop or if he’s wet. So, we’ve bought a few packages of toddler underwear and a case of night-time pull-ups and are working up our courage to begin the process. Hopefully soon!
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forgot to add- If you haven’t seen, I’ve put up a new baby belly page on the side tabs, so you can go and keep track of our baby belly progression with Link. 🙂

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Ten weeks, life, and other things

We reached double digits today. Ten whole weeks pregnant, 25% of the way there! It feels amazing, actually. Considering we found out at 3 weeks, and then it took “forever” just to reach five weeks, and another “forever” to get to our scan appointment at seven weeks… ten weeks feels like a pretty nice accomplishment!

It is also nice for another reason- it seems we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding unpleasant first trimester symptoms. It’s very hit-or-miss, but I swear there have been days where Shorty’s energy levels have returned almost to pre-pregnancy levels! There have been days where she doesn’t immediately collapse when she gets home from work, days where she has energy to stay up after the kids go to bed, even days where she has had energy for adult time again. It’s amazing (both the energy and the adult time 😉 )  It also seems like she’s been much less nauseous- I’ve been able to cook things that have spices and flavors again. 🙂
Shorty has reported that her pants are getting tight as well. She’s had to move up a size, and in spite of her protestations, I went ahead and ordered her some of the soft-waisted maternity pants. She initially complained, and then spent the rest of the day lounging in them, happy as a clam. Silly wifey.

We have our next appointment on the 20th, at just about twelve weeks. At one point, we had appointments at three different doctor’s offices! That would be my fault- I called and made them because we couldn’t decide which doctor/hospital combo to go with, and since all the doctor’s offices around here book so far out, I didn’t want to miss out on one. We figured it out though, and now we have our initial intake appointment with our new doctor that we will hopefully keep for the rest of the pregnancy!

So, that’s pregnancy news. The rest of life is going pretty smoothly as well. I start school back on Tuesday- something I am both looking forward to and dreading. Dreading, because it has been nice to be lazy for the month that I’ve had off, nice to spend time with the kids and Shorty, and because I know that is the last winter break I will ever get and I am cherishing every last second of it! But, I am also looking forward to going back and learning more- which is how I know I’m in the right program for me. I want to go back, and I want to learn more. Ironically, I have clinical rotations this semester in OB/maternity nursing. I will be doing clinical rotations in the same hospital and same floor that Link will be born in! Talk about getting a hospital tour. 🙂 I also told Shorty that thanks to her knocked-up status, I will have my very own home-grown patient model to practice on. Ha!

PS-Started doing a little bit of shopping. I’ve been holding myself back but found a clearance sale and couldn’t resist. Bought a lot of clearance Christmas outfits and also found this adorable knit elephant hat! Newborn pictures, here we come.

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How the rest of Christmas went

So besides telling my family on Christmas, everything else about their visit went great as well and the actual day of Christmas was a blast. I love it when they are here visiting; it fills in the blank spots left by the geographical distance between us and makes me feel completely whole for the short time they’re here. I miss living near them!

We made the most of the time they were here, going to museums, hiking in the frozen winter landscape, seeing Christmas lights, and just hanging out doing nothing together like families do. We bought and played Cards Against Humanity (it’s like a dirty version of Apples to Apples, a little awkward with parents and your little brother but hilarious nonetheless), watched movies, and my family spent lots and lots of time playing with the kids. My mom was absolutely enchanted with both grandkids, and it felt good to see how very loved they were and to watch them all interact.

Saying goodbye was a hard thing to do but it had to be done. Shorty and I are dreaming of the day we can move back to my home state of California and be near family;hopefully sometime in the next few years but until then, we’ll just keep on making the most of the times we see our family, one week at a time.

And now, pictures:

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So, we told the world.

But first we told our family on Christmas day. Which is, in fact, why this post is delayed, because I have a video of how we told them and the moment they found out, and my mom’s reaction is priceless…. but YouTube hates me, apparently, and in spite of many, many attempts it will not upload my video. So instead, I am left to (rather lamely, in comparison) tell you about it rather than showing you.   I got the effing thing to work, finally. Posted below.

So, first things first… It went well! I wrote a silly poem about a snowman mom (snowmom) who wants to build a family, so she builds a snowwife and snowbaby, and then they build another snowbaby (Pax) and they’re all very happy, and then finally they decide they want another snowbaby and Santa brings them their wish at Christmas time. It was very cheesy and silly [I am not a poet by any stretch of imagination], but it got the point across. We wrote the poem down on the back of some wrapping paper and had our family read the lines one by one, without unfolding them ahead of time. Their reaction was priceless (minus my dad, who was pretty nonplussed. But he’s always that way, lol)

Thing One got it right away as well, but her only reaction was to threaten us: “It better be a girl, moms. Or else.” [what, exactly, “or else” entails is unknown to me].

We mailed my grandparents and aunts a Christmas card with a copy of the snowman poem and an ultrasound picture inside… they seemed happy when they called to tell us they had gotten the cards, and each wanted to know who was carrying. (That’s been our most popular question so far, plus the one person who asked if this was planned… and no, they weren’t kidding. We just stared at them until they realized.)

So that left the telling of the rest of the world… aka, facebook. A simple ultrasound picture and a onesie with some baby booties, and that job was done as well. So now we’re out and public! It feels good… I suck at keeping secrets anyways.

Below, our reveal video. Excuse the jammies and the mess (Christmas morning), the toddler with the train whistle (misguided stocking stuffer), and my father.