Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wanted: Weekend Baby & Trillium Event Reminder

Seeking: Good vibes for a weekend delivery. It doesn't have to be just wishful thinking!

Mark's mom is up for the weekend, so for that and a few other reasons, it would be just swell if Helena put in her appearance this weekend. I'd like to first attend the Trillium fundraiser for Larkin's Place at the Y on Friday May 1st, which is from 3:30 - 6. I figure, if we can get enough people thinking about this, and thinking 6 o'clock on Friday specifically, just maybe it could happen. If you're local, make sure to stop on by Bella Mia Boutique, Shoppes of Knollwood for the fundraiser. If you're not local, visit the links below for more information.
Address: 227 South Neil Street Champaign Illinois

RSVP here

Previous post about the fundraiser here Amy's post here

Image below of the cut tiles that will be available as Trillium necklaces, starting tomorrow. They turned out so beautifully.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spread the Word 3.31.09 Slideshow

The University of Illinois College of Education did a great job reporting on our local Spread the Word event. Click here.
I am so proud of the dedication and efforts of all the people involved to make this such a wonderful event. Together I know we made an impact.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weeks 37-39

Day 1 of week 39. We are officially full term Baby and have made it longer than with Sophie! (full term is 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after the due date) I had a prenatal appointment this morning and my doula came too. Things are moving along with another 2.2 lb gain in 10 days (despite curbing my sweets intake). Dilated to 1 cm, 50% effaced, and still at stage minus 2.

Things that help me during pregnancy:
  • red raspberry leaf tea (twice daily, infusion method) with honey
  • Medela Maternity Support belt (to help hold up the baby and ease back pain, Braxton Hicks contractions, and lesson trips to bathroom)
  • Knee pillow to ease hip and back aches
  • Prilosec when Tums and Pepsid no longer cut it
  • Occasional Tylenol PM when insomnia kicks in (and don't think you can get away with half decaf coffee in the AM)
  • Water aerobics with other pregnant women for: camaraderie, escaping the house, relief of extra weight for 1 very short hour, great exercise, pull excess water from where it should not be, ease aches and pains, especially back pain
  • Medicine/exercise ball (the big kind) for sitting on or even exercising, is comfortable and creates good positioning of pelvis, and is helpful during labor (from previous experience)
  • Neti pot for allergy or cold sufferers who cannot take meds during pregnancy
  • One banana a day for potassium and reduction of leg cramps

We did a plaster of paris belly and breast cast on Saturday night as we have done for all 3 kids now. It's really a cool experience and bonding time for me and the hubs. You can buy kits (usually $25-$40) or just go to Hobby Lobby and get the plaster of paris strips for $9 and a small tub of Vaseline for under $3. Google decoration ideas and 'how-to' videos.

I've nearly done all of my self assigned chores to prepare for Helena including making a picture book of the hospital for Alexander and Sophie. The rest that are left to do are really not a big deal if they don't get done. I'd really like to make it to the Trillium event on Friday, May 1st, but the only other date on my mind is Mark's last day of teaching on May 5th. I've already got a pedicure scheduled that day just in case I'm still pregnant and need a little help getting started. Can you tell I'm hoping NOT to go all the way to the due date of May 10th (or gasp - later!)?

So I think it's time to set up a pool. If you care to wager a guess, leave a comment on her birth date, time, weight, height, length, or whatever you feel like. As a reminder, Alexander was born at 39 weeks plus a few days at 9 lbs. Sophie was born at 37 weeks 4 days at 6 lbs. 10/12 oz (never could get a straight answer as she was born in the ambulance).

And now for the belly shots. all pics can be enlarged by clicking on them

Week 37

Week 38
Week 39


Bare belly shots below complete with unedited stretch marks and gall bladder surgery scars. Can't handle it? X out now.

Week 37

Week 38

Week 39

Sunday, April 26, 2009


On our way home from the water park on our mini Spring Break get away, we stopped at a railroad museum. As Alexander and his dad are borderline obsessed with trains, it sounded like a great plan. Except that they didn't open for the season for another week and the gates were locked tight. A staff member drove up just as I was about to break the bad news. I did my best impression of a silver tongue devil and voila, we had permission to enter. The same weekend our local little mall had their annual model train show, which we of course attended, both days. This slideshow is for you big 4 year old boy!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring Break

Last month we decided to get out of Dodge and spend a few days in an indoor water park resort. The water park itself was complete sensory over load, even for Alexander. So, we spent most of our time in the regular pool and had a lot of fun, but not before I went down the dark and scary-fast raft tube slide. The very young life guard explained that they were not supposed to allow pregnant women down the slide and then before I needed to conjure up a response or look, said "but I'm not going to stop you." Good plan. I know my head is all tied up in childbirth right now, but dang, that's what the ride reminded me of. It was a fully enclosed, completely dark tube, full of water, twists, and turns and at the end was a bright light and a strange new world. Sophie loved the pool best. Alexander loved the arcade, especially air hockey. Good times.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Trillium Fundraiser for Larkin's Place

Please come to a Trillium Fundraiser
for Larkin's Place

Trillium Pendants will be available with words of Mothers'
of children with special needs.
Larkin's Place will be a multi-generational all-inclusive
play & community center for all - especially those with special needs.
The facility will be co-located with the proposed YMCA in Champaign

Date:Friday, May 1st, 2009, 3:30pm - 6pm
Location:Bella Mia Boutique, Shoppes of Knollwood
Address:227 South Neil Street Champaign Illinois
previous post here, Amy's post here

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today I celebrate the one year anniversary of this blog. I've learned a few things in the last year:
  • I've surprised myself in how many technical tricks I've picked up along the way. Certainly not enough to be an IT person, but enough to be happy about.
  • I've been surprised at who has become a loyal reader of this little family blog.
  • I've learned so much and my world has been opened by the blogging community. Many of you out there are friends, though we've never spoken in person or even on the phone. You have inspired, educated and supported me in ways I am so grateful for. I promise to post about the blog awards that I have been given as I have not forgotten about them.
  • Blogging has been so much fun and has been a creative outlet that I really need. Somewhere along the way as I grew up, had a career that I loved, left it to stay at home, added the titles; wife, mother, mother to a child with special needs, I've felt that I lost who I am outside of those roles. This blog has helped me rediscover many things about myself.

I think too that it's fitting that my first ever post was about Sophie's birth. As I type this, those darn Braxton Hicks contractions have increased in length and severity. I really hope to make it to May to go into labor, as it would be best for Helena, but I'm getting more and more signs that she may make an early appearance, at least earlier than her due date of Mother's Day. Then again, she could surprise me and hang on for a few more weeks. So, as her birth could happen anytime in the next couple/few weeks, I'm adding Twitter to the sidebar, just to be prepared.

Anywhozill, thanks to all of you who stop by and comment regularly. I really appreciate it and look forward to the next year in blogland.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Help Support the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was passed on July 25, 2006—20 years after Adam Walsh's Abduction. The act established a National Sex Offender Registry law, but recent news reports reveal most states will not be in compliance with the law by the upcoming July 2009 deadline. If senators and state representatives don't comply with and fully fund the act, it will expire. Act Now!

It's time to bail out our kids. Make your voice heard by imploring your senators and state representatives to comply with Adam's law and give it full funding.

Don't know what to write? click here for a sample letter

To contact your senator: Go to to find contact information for the senators in your state. Search for your senator by name or state by clicking the arrow from either drop-down menu. Contact information will be provided. To send an e-mail, click on Web Form below his or her name. E-mail your letter to make a difference.

To contact your state representative: Go to and click on Write Your Representative in the upper left-hand corner. Select your state from the drop-down menu, and enter your ZIP code, including the four-digit ZIP code extension. Contact information will be provided. To send an e-mail, click on Send a Message. On the state representative's page, click on E-mail the Congressman/Congresswoman, and e-mail your letter to make a difference.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ear Tube Follow Up and Audiology

Most importantly, it was a good visit. In and out in 1 hour to ENT and audiology is a world record. Sophie's ears look good and the hearing test went well. The results are pretty much the same as in October. Her hearing is pretty good with a mild loss in the low pitches. Follow up in 6 months.

The trip, however, was another story. We got into town with a smelly engine and without a stroller with which to haul our stuff. While I took Soph to the appointments in a borrowed hippo shaped wagon from the hospital, Mark and Alexander found a shop within walking distance of SLCH. Appointments were done by 12:30 but the car hadn't been checked out yet. We spent the day between the 2nd floor entry way with the trains that are mounted around the perimeter of the ceiling and in the cafeteria.

We heard from the shop that the AC compressor was bad and they did not recommend trying to drive it home. If the belt broke, it would possibly cause serious damage to the engine and we would be stuck on the side of the road. Mark's dad concurred. They couldn't get to it until today, so we had to decide if we would be staying overnight or renting a car to get home. Staying would have meant rescheduling ST, the tub surround repair (major leak into the basement from the main floor) and Mark missing 3 classes. That and we had no supplies or Sophie's meds or extra food out for the cats. Thankfully, RK and Julie came to the rescue and drove in from St. Charles. We are borrowing RKs car and returning it, probably Wednesday, which meant that we were able to drive the 3 hours and be home last night. Thank you RK! On the way home, driving through the rain, Alexander had a potty accident and he ended up with a brand new pair of St. Louis Cardinals pjs. I was fully convinced that my water would break (as we're not technically supposed to be travelling out of town) and well, it would have fit the theme of the day.

I spent the day hysterically laughing to the point of tears, which is dangerous given my near full term pregnant status. The car could have broken down in the rain on our way, causing us to miss our appointment and stranding us, who-knows-where. It didn't. We thought the over due oil change may have been the problem and were planning to just get an oil change. Had we done that, instead of taking it to a shop, it would likely have broken down on the way home. Had we remembered the stroller, Sophie might not have had such a good nap in the cafeteria, in the bed we made for her in the hippo wagon. She doesn't nap well in the stroller. Had we left right away after the appointments, I would not have had the yummy onion rings that I love. As our little comedy of errors continued to develop, I couldn't help but see quite clearly how much worse it could have been.
2nd floor entry, trains
Cheesy post-nap grin
Alexander working hard on in cafeteria

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sophie's Baptism Anniversary

Happy 1 year baptism anniversary sweet Sophie and to your baptism buddies Silas and Sofia! You have changed so much in one year's time, yet many at church know you by name and love to watch you grow. You are amazing and thriving and I am so proud of you. I know you'll be a wonderful big sister. I love you!

During the service we sang 'Borning Cry.' I cannot sing this hymn without getting choked up. Click below to enlarge. The side ribbon came off one of your cakes and the cloth was used to dry your head after your baptism.
Here is your candle, your baptism banner made by a member of the church, and your certificate.

some information edited for privacy

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter Lily, Highly Toxic to Cats

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but trust me on this one. I know from personal experience that this is true as our beloved cat Tommy nibbled (JUST A FEW NIBBLES) of an Easter lily leaf, a plant that I brought into our home without knowing it would kill him. We had him in the hospital and tried all the known remedies, but he had renal failure and left us the day before Easter a few years ago. Please read below and pass along to all of your cat loving friends.

Easter lilies and other lilies can be toxic to cats, causing kidney failure and death. All parts of the lily can be toxic, and eating just one leaf can result in severe poisoning. After eating a portion of an Easter lily, a cat will generally vomit and become depressed within 2 hours. The vomiting may subside, but the cat will not eat and continue to become more depressed.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you know or suspect your cat has eaten any part of an Easter lily. Treatment includes causing the cat to vomit by giving an emetic, administering activated charcoal and a cathartic (stimulates bowel movements), and giving subcutaenous or intravenous fluids. A cat must be treated within 18 hours of ingesting the plant, or the damage to the kidneys will be irreversible.

Other lilies which belong to this same plant species and are also toxic include tiger lilies, rubrum or Japanese showy lilies, and various day lilies. Many other bulb plants are also poisonous such as daffodils and hyacinths.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weeks 34-36

What can I say? Its been a very busy past couple of weeks. (click the pics to enlarge) So, to catch up, weeks 34-36:

Belly Shot, Week 34

Belly Shot, Week 35
Belly Shot, Week 36
Alexander gave me a very endearing lesson on child birth. He knows the baby is a girl and he's informed me that after Helena is born, we're having another baby boy.

ALEXANDER: Come help me Mom.
ME: Just a minute. I have to sit down. This baby is moving around a lot. You know we're going to have another baby at home soon?
ALEXANDER: Yes, you'll go to the hospital. The baby girl will jump out of your mouth. Then a baby boy will jump in your mouth and go all the way down (to your belly).
ME: Is that what will happen?

We had our 2nd Level II ultrasound and everything looks great with no need for any more USs. She's weighing exactly what she should if not a little more. At this rate, she'll weigh between 7.5-8.2 lbs full term. That would put her nicely between her brother of 9lbs. and sister at 6 lbs 12 oz. The doc said she has just a small amount of hair, so we'll see. We weren't able to get a good profile picture as she was hiding her face, so here's one of the little feet that kick me all day and night long.
Braxton Hicks contractions continue to strike every day, some pretty intensely. It's harder to breathe and I'm tiring quickly these days. I'm nesting big time, including scrubbing walls. I also started a prenatal water aerobics class. I did prenatal yoga with Alexander and water aerobics with Sophie. There's just something quite healing about water pressure, but both classes are great. I'm pretty much ready to have Helena, though there are 3 weeks left until I'm full term (and could go as long as 7). On the other hand, I find myself cuddling more with the kids, knowing that our lives will once again change very soon. I can't wait to see Sophie in the role as big sister.


Bare belly shots below complete with unedited stretch marks and gall bladder surgery scars. Can't handle it? X out now.

Week 34

Week 35

Week 36

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fun with Family

Spring Break for my sister's family was a week earlier than ours. They came for a visit for a few days over St. Patty's day and we had a wonderful time. They were days filled with freeze tag, board games, grilling out and beautiful weather, painting pictures, green shirts and a visit to campus on St. Patty's followed by Wii American Idol. AI has become my new stress buster. Hey, it's better than vodka or 2 buckets of ice cream a day (I'll stick to just one bucket thank you).