your papa and i are just so in love with you. you are so darn cute! those little mouse squeaks and sighs. your fussy face with furrowed brow. your fists of fury that punch wildly when you are frustrated or leaving a little something for us in your diaper. your yogi frog legs. your bicycle kicks. your fingers and toes. your wild eyes. your sweet smirk. we are in big trouble, little lady.
by the way…your papa is pretty amazing with you. such a natural. he is taking such good care of us. and hearing him call us “his girls” is my new favorite. i sure do like our little family. and i know that it will just get better and better as we continue to learn about each other and find our groove.
i feel like i am slowly getting the hang of you. at least enough to know that there is really no getting the hang of you. you love to surprise us. sometimes you are a grumpus and sometimes you are just a doll. sometimes you want to be all bundled up and rocked and sometimes you want to enjoy some tummy time, straining to prove that you can control your own head and move about with ease. just when we settle into a nap schedule, you decide that napping isn’t for you and you would prefer to remain awake and alert.
you are always curious. you love to observe, eyes darting around to capture your surroundings. and all the while, God is using you to teach me. i am learning how to be more patient and soft and nurturing. i am learning when to take action and when to be still. i am learning how to protect and put your needs ahead of my own. i am learning how to perfect the swaddle. i am learning how to maximize our feedings. i am learning how to pray. i am learning how to savor the moment and fully engage in the present. i am learning how to be flexible. i am learning anew how much i need a savior and very present help.
here’s to exploring and growing and learning – together – with God’s help.
cravings & such: taking in a bunch of good stuff, one bite at a time. i am trying to get the most nutrition packed into the smallest package since big meals can be a bit much these days. bang for my caloric buck, people…sausages, hamburgers, and fries notwithstanding. and i am really trying to steer clear of sugar since it makes me feel icky after i consume it. but sometimes i just have to break down and indulge that sweet tooth because it does taste pretty darn good while i am consuming it. think sour stuff and super rich chocolate and milkshakes. yum.
the bump: it is just there. my ball of baby. enough said.
cool & cute things: baby’s kidneys are fully developed and her liver can process some waste products. yippee! getting ready to fill those itty-bitty diapers. basic physical development is now mostly complete. her job in the coming weeks is to just put on weight. home stretch. quite literally.
new things: things are getting tight in there. baby girl is over 18 inches long and weighs about 5 1/4 pounds. because she is so snug in my belly, she doesn’t have as much space for those dramatic somersaults anymore. but, as she gets bigger and stronger, those kicks and punches are feeling more intense.
meaningful moments: this was one crazy week. somehow, in my genius, pregnancy hormone-addled, placenta brain, i scheduled a whole lotta action for this week. i mean, i crammed it all in. we went on our hospital tour, we met with the pediatrician, and we had another doctor appointment complete with ultrasound. ooohhh…she is a cute one! a cute one who really likes to suck her thumb and nibble on her fingers. she even blinked for us and we saw her eyelashes. eyelashes! but i must say, in spite of the crazy scheduling, we do feel much better after this week. more settled and resolved. a bit more a peace. and more eager than ever to meet our little girl!
the countdown: 35 days. woah, folks. that is like, a month!
current size: a honeydew melon. awwhh…my little honeydew.
cravings & such: at this point, i am just trying to eat as much good food as possible. i am sneaking in veggies whenever and wherever, upping my protein intake, consuming plenty of healthy fats, and trying to take it easy on those carbs…but i gotta have my granola and my super seeded, grainy bagel on the weekend. yum. in addition to the everyday menu, ben and i are scheduling out some fun date nights for the next few weeks leading up to elinor’s arrival. we are going to hit all of our favorite spots to savor the flavors for a last time as just the two of us. so crazy that the next time we visit those locations, it will be with our baby girl. i plan to bring her to all of our haunts so she can get acclimated.
the bump: oh yes, it is a-growin’. and let me say, the belly veins are giant and blue and kinda freaky looking. hurray for preggo circulation! the belly button still hasn’t popped yet, but it does look awfully goofy.
cool & cute things: the little miss weighs a little over 4 pounds and has passed the 17 inch mark. and according to my sources, she is also [quote] “losing that wrinkled, alien look”. well, thank goodness!
new things: her skeleton is hardening but the bones in the skull aren’t fused together which allows them to move and slightly overlap. this makes it easier for baby girl to fit through the birth canal. these bones don’t entirely fuse until early adulthood so they can grow as her brain and other tissues expand during infancy and childhood.
meaningful moments: at 17 inches long, i’m pretty sure that she is awkwardly folded up in there so she violently flails about in a sassy act of aggression. it is getting serious. her favorite position seems to be curled up with her head in the lower-left portion of my belly, with her bottom in the lower-right. this allows for her legs to curl upward and tuck in right under my ribs. i think that she alternates between kicks and fist jabs, using my ribs and diaphragm as her target. eek. i must say that it feels pretty crazy…but i know i will miss that feeling once it is gone. so, i am savoring every kick-punch session with my wee little kung fu boxer.
the countdown: 49 days. gaaahhh! under 50. i can’t believe it.
hello, little miss. would you check out that funny little moose? it is the newest addition to your room and should be arriving any day now. consider it a swanky and hipster nod to my canadian roots. a gold glitter encrusted moose! we have named her matilda. and she will be watching over you from the polka dot wall. don’t worry, we will make sure to have plenty of practical items in your room too. things like diapers and onesies and wipes.
we are getting pretty excited for your arrival. and you seem to be getting excited too, as evidenced by your kicks. serious jabs, little lady. and i have been getting some in the ribs too. that is pretty unpleasant, i must say. but, i do like that you are getting bigger and stronger. keep it up. we have another doctor appointment this week and i am hoping that we can get another ultrasound scheduled so that i can see your little face once again. hopefully there will be some chub and round little cheeks this time. i must say that we can’t wait to see all of that in person – very, very soon.
cravings & such: this was a much healthier week. barely any ice cream! with the exception of one yummy bowl of so delicious chocolate ice cream [made with coconut milk]. self control, folks. i am still sucking back those smoothies and mucho coffee. trenta, iced, decaf coffee. yum. i think i have consumed more coffee in the past three months than in all my pre-preggo months combined. it tastes so yummy. and, really hits the spot when it is hot, which is currently every. single. day.
the bump: it feels huge. and it moves and rumbles a lot these days. little miss likes to use my internal organs as punching bags these days which can cause quite a ruckus. so strange to have my midsection completely taken over by another person.
cool & cute things: miss elinor measures over 16 inches long and weighs about 3.3 pounds…and is apparently heading for a growth spurt. oh boy, get ready belly. things are about to get serious.
new things: baby can turn her head from side to side and her arms, legs, and body are beginning to plump out as fat accumulates underneath her skin. by all means, take all the fat you would like.
meaningful moments: hearing her heartbeat again. getting kicked in the ribs for the first [noticeable] time. that was an interesting feeling. i’m pretty sure i audibly responded with “ugh! you little monkey…” buying our not-so-diaper-bagdiaper bag. putting sheets on her crib mattress.
the countdown: 63 days to go. [gulp]we are talking two months. and, i have now entered the doctor-appointment-every-two-weeks phase of the pregnancy. then, at 36 weeks, it is every week until baby girl arrives. if i do my math right, that means that we are as few as 5 appointments away from go-time!
cravings & such: still loving cheese. and yes, the weekly ”cheese plate for dinner night” idea is going strong. no complaints here. i also down a bowl per day of cultured coconut milk greek-style yogurt with mounds of gluten-free, fiber-and-flax-full granola. yum.
oohh, i haven’t had a burger in a few weeks.
that needs to happen soon.
is anyone else hungry?
the bump: growing and growing. baby girl is playing my belly like a drum these days! my sweet little ringo. and, when she does flips in there, the bump changes shape completely. sometimes, i can even make out her head. and it is one cute head, let me tell you.
cool & cute things: baby girl is sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking on her fingers. oh, those tiny fingers! i can’t wait…
new things: baby weighs almost two pounds and is about 14.5 inches long with her legs fully extended. her brain tissue is rapidly developing and her brain is very active now. the lungs are still immature but they would be capable of functioning – with a lot of medical assistance – if she were to be born now.
meaningful moments: assembling a crib! we have a crib here, people. a crib. oh yes, and how could i forget the consumption of the ever-so-scrumptious bright orange liquid for my glucose test this week. horrible stuff. you’d think that a sugary concoction would taste somewhat decent. nope. gross.
cravings & such: nope. still boring. i am going to have to start faking cravings just so i can give hubby a thrill. we have started a new weekly cheese plate dinner, though. i think that should count for something…
the bump: getting bigger and itching like crazy as my skin works to accommodate the growing baby. the bellybutton hasn’t popped out but i am sure it could happen any day.
cool & cute things: baby girl continues to put on fat. come on…cute little leg chubs! she now weighs 1 2/3 pounds and measures 14 inches from head to heel. knowing our combined family genes, i would be shocked if she were to grow much taller than that in the next few months.
new things: baby is inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid. these breathing movements help to develop the lungs and are good practice for her first gulp of air. the network of nerves in baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive. she may now be able to hear both my voice AND ben’s voice as we chat with each other.
meaningful moments: painting her room. buying her outfits. NESTING. NESTING. NESTING. her kicking show for papa that he was able to watch as my belly moved.
the countdown: 98 days to go! we are into the double digits, people. we are also nearing the three month mark. [cut to rachel doing the happy dance]
current size: length of an english hothouse cucumber
cravings & such: not much here. gosh, i am boring. pretty much the usual suspects… crisp salad, plenty of cheese, and meat. i have enjoyed a caramel apple or two but i think that is more vacation related than baby related. i know. yawn.
the bump: definitely growing. i feel like i wake up to a bigger belly every morning. baby is in the “packing on the pounds” phase. she has about 6 to 7 more pounds to gain. [oh. my. goodness.] come on collagen! stretch, stretch, stretch.
cool & cute things: head to heels, baby girl measures about 13.5 inches and weighs in at about 1.5 pounds. she is also beginning to exchange some of that long and lean look for baby fat. so cute!
new things: baby is growing more hair. if i could peek inside the belly, i would be able to see the color and texture. what do you think? brunette or blondie?
meaningful moments: all of the tumbling and kicking. i can feel her all the time now with big bursts of movement after breakfast, around 3 in the afternoon, and before bedtime.
cravings & such: again, not much going on in that department. i have been wanting cold and crisp food which i think is more about the 100 + degree weather than the baby.
the bump: yeah, i have one. and it does not like constricting clothing.
cool & cute things: baby is growing steadily and has gained about 4 ounces since last week. she is over a pound and is almost a foot long! she is pretty long and lean at this point but will begin to plump up and fill out proportionally soon. good thing, long and lean just isn’t our style, baby girl.
new things: her brain is developing quickly right now. eek! more placenta brain for me… and her taste buds are developing. those little guys will come in pretty handy around our house, let me tell ya. the lungs are developing the respiratory tree that will help the air sacs inflate once baby girl is here. her skin is still thin and translucent, but that will start to change soon.
meaningful moments: feeling her move and understanding her routine more and more. she is one crazy baby.
the countdown: 112 days to go! holy moly…we are almost under the 100 day mark! 24 weeks means we have four months (or less) to go!