Friday, August 31, 2012

This Week

Highlights/Lowlights from This Week:


  • Charlie is our pickiest eater by far and dislikes most meat, but will eat steak on occasion. His main meat of choice would be hot dogs. (Gross!!) Anyway, I grilled hamburgers for dinner two nights ago, which isn't my normal kind of dinner, but it was easy and didn't take long to prepare. It was a nice night, so we sat outside at our patio table. Charlie took one look at his hamburger and said, "I don't like chicken." Yes Charlie, we know you don't like chicken. Ben told him it was steak, and Charlie's response was, "I DO NOT like. CIRCLE. steak." He really likes to use the phrase, "I DO NOT like..." with lots of emphasis on the DO NOT. :) Ben and I could not stop laughing - Charlie just had to have a reason for why he wasn't going to like the dinner I had prepared. He is a funny, funny little 3 1/2-year-old with a lot of confidence who IS NOT afraid to share his very strong opinions. He can be a total pill one minute, and the sweetest, snuggliest little boy the next. I'm looking forward to not having such a huge belly so I can hold him better in my lap when we read books together. :)
  • Eli continues to insist this baby's name is Trio. I wish I was that certain of what his name should be. Sorry Eli, we're not really naming him Trio.  
  • I asked him how he was feeling about starting kindergarten next week, and Eli's response was, "I'm a little anxious because I won't be with you and Charlie all day!" I had to fight the tears. Ben said Eli just knows what to say to me to pull at my heart :)
  • I've noticed Eli has been a lot more aggressive/naughty/sassy this week, I think exhibiting his stress of the upcoming changes with starting school soon. But yesterday we were out running errands and on the way home, I was having a lot of back pain and Braxton Hicks contractions that were really strong. Eli piped up from his seat, "Mom, why do you have that look on your face??" He could see me cringing in the rearview mirror. :) Especially when we went over the speed bumps in our alley. Ouch. The upside to when I don't feel well is Eli is totally sensitive to it and turns on the charm. "I'll clean everything up, Mommy!" He is a sweet, thoughtful little guy.
The Great Bathroom Remodel
  • We're ending Day 11 of not having access to a shower/bath in our house. The bathroom remodel is taking a looooong time. Demo took four days. Plumbing had issues that set things back by a few more days and caused a leak to the foyer ceiling. Awesome. The tile just started going up today and we've been promised that we can bathe in our house again by Saturday. For the first week, we were feeding our neighbor's hedgehog and fish while they were out of town, so we could use their bathroom whenever. But this week has been a little more complicated/awkward/total pain. It's not our neighbors that are awkward, it's us!! It's just not the easiest thing to go to someone else's house to take a shower. Are you with me on this? The whole project probably won't be completely done until the end of next week. That will be three weeks of workers in my house every day. They are wonderful, but I'm ready to have my house back to myself!
Baby Prep
  • The baby's room will be painted tomorrow. I'm going with Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, which I'm excited about. I'm hoping we can put his crib together and start getting things more organized this weekend. I was crazy and started sanding/painting the dresser that is going in his room late one night this week out in our dimly lit yard. The dresser needs one more coat and then I am calling it done. I finally went through the newborn/0-3 baby clothes and am relieved to at least know where they are. But they still need to be washed and placed into the dresser that is in DIY mode, hanging out in my back yard until I'm all done. The upside to the drought of 2012 - it's been hot and sunny all week, so no chance of it getting rained on. :)
  • I realized today that I've been going to the same OB/GYN for the last 10 years. I am very attached to him - he's delivered both of my babies and was all set to deliver this third baby, but he recently was diagnosed with cancer. A very treatable cancer, but he had to have surgery on Tuesday, and now the best case scenario is he'll be back to work by September 13th. My due date is the 16th. I now have a backup OB in case things happen sooner. I saw her today and she was terrific, I have full confidence in her and think whatever happens will be fine if she has to be the doctor who is there this time around. 
  • If only I felt that calm about the actual delivery being smooth and easy. Nope. Don't feel calm. :) More like dread about the delivery, but happiness that we get to hold this little guy soon! Third time has to be easier. I keep repeating this over and over. 
  • Speaking of going to the OB, I was checked at my appointment - 1cm dilated, 50% effaced, and baby is low. The doc didn't think he was coming in the next few days at least. Which is a good thing because there is still lots to do :) 
Kindergarten Tears
  • I took Eli to see his kindergarten classroom this week, and then I went to a parent meeting for kindergarteners. I was sitting on the front row and had to work really hard at holding it together while the principal and teachers talked about various logistics and explained how the school day will go. I totally lost it afterward when I was talking to a few of the other moms and had to bolt out of the room and escape out the back so I could avoid the majority of parents seeing me fall apart. ugh.
Dry Nights
  • Eli is on a new medicine that helps his bladder not produce as much at night, and it has made all the difference! We still have him wearing the underwear alarm, but he's stayed dry more nights in the last two weeks than had accidents. I am amazed and so happy we've finally reached this point. He now gets time to play an iPhone game when he's dry all night and a little more time when he's dry all day. Current faves include the free Lego game and Where's My Water? 
  • The best part of night training Eli during the bathroom remodel is that our only working toilet has been the downstairs toilet. So we've had to traipse down the stairs (that are currently covered in plastic to protect the carpet during construction) anytime he's had an accident or gotten up in the night to go to the bathroom. I will be very glad when we have a toilet upstairs again!! And it's horrible to be 9-months pregnant and have to go down stairs in the night when you have to pee. But this was my choice to do the bathroom now, so I can't complain too much.
Work Craziness
  • I've been finishing up editing the photography sessions that I squeezed in at the end and just have two more left to work on. My usual routine is to do the client ordering session in person - two nights ago I had two ordering sessions back to back and went grocery shopping afterward since we were totally out of food in our fridge. I got home at 11:30 p.m. and couldn't decide if I totally lost my mind or I just felt happy for getting all of that done in one night. Maybe both.
I need to go to bed earlier. :) Next post will actually have pictures again! And next week should be less hectic. Crossing my fingers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We've had quite the month. And have another big month ahead of us. I'll tell some of our stories interspersed with some pics I took of the boys last weekend. 

This is the face your 5-year-old gives you when he's had way too many pictures taken in his short lifetime. 
This is the face your 3 1/2-year-old gives you when you try to take his picture without any sort of bribe. Happy indifference. :)
A few weeks ago, Eli had a procedure at the Children's Hospital downtown. The procedure was more like outpatient surgery, complete with general anesthesia and a painful recovery. The point was to use a scope to look in his bladder (cystoscopy) to see if there were reasons for having trouble staying dry. We've been dealing with these issues for the last 2 1/2 years now and his urologist recommended doing this before kindergarten started so we would know what we were dealing with - whether it was a physical issue or behavioral or both. 

Eli playing Angry Birds, waiting for the anesthesiologist to take him to the operating room.
Eli handled the anesthesia amazingly well (I was very nervous about how he would do with that) and it hurt for him to go to the bathroom for about three days afterward. The hospital was a brand new facility downtown and absolutely fabulous - the nurses were great, the urologist had his team texting me and Ben throughout the hour and a half that Eli was in surgery, and even called us from the operating room to give permission to do something extra during the procedure. It's amazing to get such immediate feedback from the surgeon and staff while you're anxiously hanging out in the waiting room, hoping everything is going smoothly. There were some small reasons found for why it is hard for him to stay dry, but we had good news too. 

Here's Eli on our way out of the hospital. Still groggy from coming out of the anesthesia. But a total trooper.
Now we're working on night potty training, and that has not been a picnic. We're on our second underwear alarm (he lost the sensor in the first one) and the one we're currently using clips to the top of his shirt to hopefully wake him up with vibration, lights, and a loud alarm sound. Does it always wake him up? Nope. It wakes me up though!! :)

I think the most accidents we had in one night were three. So the alarm went off around 10 p.m., 2 a.m., and 4:30 a.m. When I got up that third time to change his sheets and help him go to the bathroom and change pjs, I thought, "This is worse than having a newborn!!" 

But on the bright side, this is helping me get ready for interrupted sleep again :) We'll keep working at it. Last night he had just one accident, so that was great. His doctor is having us cut out all dairy in his diet from lunchtime on, because apparently dairy makes you have to go to the bathroom more. He's on a medicine called Ditropan that supposedly helps as well, but I'm not totally sure it does much. I write all of this because I know there are other kids out there who struggle with staying dry, and it can be so frustrating as a parent to constantly deal with a child peeing his pants. His daytime dryness is still up and down. Some days are better than others. Today was not one of them. But tomorrow will hopefully be better.

Enough of that. The weekend after Eli's procedure, I flew to Denver to visit my wonderful friend Carrie. I got my Cafe Rio fix two times (ate the entire burrito the first time, but didn't quite finish the second time :). Oh the happiness. I had been craving Cafe Rio this entire pregnancy and was so happy to finally have some.
 We went shopping, ate more good food, had massages, stayed at a hotel in downtown Denver and had fun people watching, doing facials in the hotel bathroom, and catching up. I came home exhausted but happy. :) It was good to get away and it did feel like my kids appreciated me more when I returned! So nice. 
Fast forward to last weekend, with pictures of the boys being silly together after I bribed them to take a few pictures for a lollipop. They have so much fun together. 
It makes me smile to see their simple, lighthearted sweetness. 
Three more weeks until Eli starts kindergarten. Ahhh! I still can't handle it. Love him so much.
What is Charlie going to do when his best friend is gone at school all day??? Ahhhh! I foresee a lot of snuggling on the couch with this boy, reading books together. That is probably his favorite thing to do with me when Eli isn't entertaining him. 
Cute boys. Darling brothers.
And our impromptu photo session ended on a very silly note when they pulled this stunt. Notice Charlie's shorts are on backwards :) Goofballs!! They were totally cracking up.
In the month ahead, life is not slowing down. I hope I have the energy to make it through before this baby comes. I've had a ton of photo sessions in the last few weeks and am working until August 25th, when I have my last two sessions scheduled. This week, I have two regular family sessions and a wedding. 

Then on Monday, our upstairs bathroom (read: our one and only full bathroom) is going to be gutted and our bathroom remodel project will last for about two weeks. We have a slow leak from the bathroom that goes down to the living room that we've ignored forever and thought we would deal with it next year. But the thought of remodeling our bathroom with a napping baby in the house gave me hives, so we are squeezing this in while it's still easy to leave the house all day and shower at a friend's house or at the gym. 

Choosing the fixtures and different parts of the bathroom has been ridiculously hard this time around. We had our bathroom in our old condo remodeled, but it was more simple - we didn't have kids and we knew we wouldn't be there long term. This time, Ben and I had a heated debate over which tub to get and have stressed about the different choices with the rest of the bathroom. Some of the things in our bathroom are original to the house (built in 1925) and the update will be wonderful. Just stressful getting everything figured out in a short amount of time.

The baby's room is nowhere near ready - it's being painted about two weeks before the due date (thanks to a groupon that doesn't have much flexibility) and then we'll hopefully get our act together so it actually looks like a nursery. I have furniture I would like to paint and a million other projects that are on the list. I want to make it to Eli's first day of school after Labor Day.

And then I can have this baby. :)

Maternity Pictures

I have this wonderful friend, Liz Hansen, who moved to Evanston at the beginning of the summer and we've bonded over our love for photography and the fact that we both have kids with potty issues. :) She offered a while ago to take some maternity photos of me, and while I was a little leery about the thought of posing by myself with my very round belly, I decided to take her up on it. This is quite possibly our last baby and I am so glad that she captured this amazing time of life, five weeks before this little guy's due date. September 16th is coming extremely fast. 
 I posted some of these on Facebook, but I'm posting these on my blog for the few who don't go on FB very often :)
 My favorite comment on FB for this picture below was from Rebekah N.: "You look ready to take on anything that baby can throw at you." 
Bring on the likely long, hard delivery, the sleepless nights, and the overall exhaustion that comes with having a newborn + two other kids around. :)
 I was in Denver a few weeks ago and had my friend's dad (a jeweler) put new rhodium on my white gold ring that was looking extremely yellow before. Glad my nails were painted too :) That almost never happens. 
 This baby feels really heavy already. I'm worried about my babies getting bigger each time (Eli was 7 lb 11 oz, Charlie was 8 lb 2 oz... I'd be excited to have a 7 pounder again :)
I don't have a huge maternity wardrobe. When I look at both of these shirts (pink and the blue striped), I realize I probably wear them each once/week. And I'm realizing the striped shirt makes me look bigger than the pink shirt. 
 The image below is my favorite shot. The lake is down below and we were up on the bluff. It was an extremely gray early evening, no sun at all. But the bright (albeit gray) sky still made the silhouette pop. So fun!