Monday, September 29, 2014


How Far Along: 31 weeks & 3 days.

I am Feeling: Excited, and a bit emotional just thinking about our D-Day (delivery day) coming so soon, and meeting Jellybean for the very first time. A bit sad in knowing that it won't be just us, and Forrest anymore, and I remind myself that we are giving Forrest a huge gift of having a sibling. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a Pineapple! At this point, Jellybean is getting a bit crowded, and as result of that, I am feeling the weight of the baby, especially around the rib cage area. Jellybean is somewhat done growing in length, however, he/she is continuing to pack on the weight. The baby is entering a longer period of REM sleep (it's a sleep cycle), and Jellybean may have more consistent waking/sleeping times. There may be a distinct pattern of Jellybean being active, and sleeping from this point on. Jellybean's brain is hard at work at mapping sounds, lights, and experiences that are being filtered through the womb. 

Movements: Jellybean is starting to be more active at the evening/night, and sleep a lot in the morning. This baby may be a night owl just like me!! 

Gender Prediction: Team Blue. I suspect that Jellybean is a boy based on the heart rate of 150s (Forrest was in high 150s when I was in 8th month of my pregnancy with him). On the other hand, Stu thinks we are having a girl. 

Symptoms: I have occasional flashing in my vision once in while. I've discussed it with Mbah, and she is not overly concerned about it. If my blood pressure suddenly increases to unsafe point, then that flashing in my vision would be more concerning. Right now, my BP is perfect. I suspect this is more related to my GT more than anything else (I've had that with Forrest as well). I can start feeling the weight of the baby when I lay down to go to sleep, or rest. The weight  puts a strain on my diagram, and the muscles will end up sore. It's when my handy pillow comes in handy to prop up my belly to balance out the weight. Viola, problem solved! 

Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks are happening. It has been happening for a while now for about a few months. It's basically practice contractions. It doesn't happen very frequently. I forgot to ask Mbah if Jellybean is head down or not. Oh well! Next time! I think Jellybean is head down based on the location of the hiccups. 

Best Moments of the Week: Completing two projects for the nursery room: the quilt, and cloud with rain drops! I am feeling so accomplished about those two. Spending the weekend with the family up north, and seeing Forrest having a wonderful time with his cousins. Enjoying beautiful autumn days. Having my mom come up for a visit! Harvesting even more tomatoes to be eaten, and some left over to be frozen to be used at later date!

Looking Forward To: October! It's my FAVORITE month! Making DIY teething guard rails. I'm thinking about going with yellow to mix up the gray and white theme in the nursery room.

Next Appointment/Updates:  October 6th. It is also when I begin the dreaded blood draw. I remember that from being pregnant with Forrest. I hope I get good nurse every time for blood draw! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Keepin' Up With the Russes

It has been a while since I've last written about what is new with our family. The truth to be told, it has been really hectic ever since we found out we were pregnant with Baby Russ #2. It has been a really wonderful year thus far, and I feel that we have a lot to catch up! My blog has become a bit of baby oriented these days, mainly because it's the only topic I have time to write about on a weekly basis, and I want to make a baby book from weekly blog posts regarding my pregnancy. So I am taking a quick break from baby oriented posts that I normally post (don't worry, another one is coming next week), and let you guys know what is new with us!

We went through a series of weddings this summer. It involved a lot of traveling, and visiting family. Thank goodness for blogging, because otherwise I would not have remembered much of what happened over the summer, because it has been such a whirlwind ride, and of course, being pregnant doesn't help my memory very much! It was a really wonderful time. However, to throw in the craziness, Stu got a new job, and that required us to move about an hour and half up north from where we were living. We spent our free time of looking at the houses, and duplexes for about two months. It was very stressful, because we felt that with every place we looked at, it didn't really exactly fit our needs somehow, and there was something about it that we didn't like. We could not quite commit ourselves to the house we had looked at. In meanwhile, Stu was commuting from work to home on the weekends, and I played a single mom to a zany wild toddler during the weeks. We kept faith that things were going to work out. 

It was really hard. It was probably one of the hardest experience I have done, and that definitely gained a lot of respect from me toward single parents (not that I didn't have any before, it was just that I had no idea how hard it was until then). I was constantly tired, and had very little energy. Thankfully, my mom did come quite often to relieve me, and help me to pack up the house. Oh yeah, I did a lot of packing on my own with help from my mom, and Stu on the weekends when he was able. It was a humbling experience. I was glad that I was out of first trimester by then, because it would have sucked even more if I was sick with all that stuff going on the top. By end of July, we were feeling a bit pressured to find a place, because we had to be out of our duplex by end of August. Well, we got lucky. 

We secured a beautiful ranch home from wonderful sweet elderly couple that we got along with fabulously. They were willing to rent it out to us, and eventually, sell it to us if we wanted to buy it from them in a year from now. It had everything we wanted. I fell in love with our huge beautiful kitchen, and the fact that we had first floor laundry! I felt spoiled, actually, by all this! We grabbed the chance, and thanked our lucky stars. We ended up moving in mid-August. I was really sad to leave Ripon (and I still do get occasionally home sick for Ripon, I won't lie), yet at the same, I was excited to start something new with my family. 

We all adjusted well to living in a new town closer to Green Bay area. Stu ended up really loving his job, and it was a perfect fit for him. Things really did work out for us in the end. 

Then shortly after the move, Forrest turned 2 years old! We threw him a birthday bash party a few weeks after his birthday. We were really thankful to have our family come up, and spend the day with us. Forrest continued to do so well with his language development with both signing, and speaking. He learned his alphabet, and numbers! No lie, I was pretty impressed with his learning. Kids were definitely sponges, and absorbed everything they put their hands on! Forrest weaned from his pacifiers with no problem. It went better than I thought! 

Forrest, and I ended up meeting with a new allergist, Dr. Warpinski, and he was absolutely heaven-sent. He was incredibly amazing. I really had no idea that there was even a better one out there than our former allergist (she was also wonderful). We learned in depth about severity of Forrest's allergies to peanuts, dairy, and eggs. Peanut allergy was pretty severe, which we had anticipated, dairy allergy was mild--so there was a very good possibility of him outgrowing it at one point in his life, and he had no reaction to eggs at all. That was good to know. Forrest continued to have eczema issue with his skin, despite his diet being managed, and daily skin care. He tended to have bad flare ups on his cheeks in winter time, which led me to suspect it was somewhat seasonal related, and it was something I needed to discuss with Dr. Warpinski, if this ever turned to worse. Anyway, Dr. Warpinski wanted to hold off on food trial for tree nut allergies, even though we had a clearance from our former allergist, until next September. That meant Forrest will end up getting another blood draw (poor kiddo), and have his blood tested for tree nuts. 

Aside from Forrest's allergies, Forrest is one very healthy boy. He is pretty tall for his age, which does not surprise us, and loves being active. He enjoys getting into things! Forrest brings so much joy into our lives. Related to the baby news, Forrest does not quite know what he will be getting into this come December! It will be wonderful to see Forrest, and the baby bond. 

It has been a long time since I presented Miss Layla, AKA Turkey, on this blog. She has not been forgotten in our family! She is one spoiled Diva. Matter of fact, she has just turned 9 years old today! Actually, we don't know her true birth date, and her rescuers, along with foster parents, have no clue when her birthday is. So, we dubbed her adoption day (today) as her birthday! Anyway, it makes her 60 years old in human years. What an old grouchy lady that she is. Turkey has been really good with her behavioral management. She has truly come a long way from when we first got her. Her food aggression with food dish has apparently faded away, and has been gone for a very long time (since she learned that she's a part of our family, and is not in a foster care so she's home permanently). It helps that we manage how we deal with food around her. We don't taunt, tease, or mock her with human food. We simply refrain her from sampling human food directly from our dining table. She can calmly lay on the floor by the dining table, and has learned not to bother Forrest when he is eating at the table. 

We feed Turkey dinner first, before we eat dinner, so her stomach won't be as empty. It is usually recommended that we feed dogs AFTER we eat dinner to show our dominant position over them, but it doesn't work with Layla. It feeds into her anxiety, and makes her food reaction worse. It is better to feed her about 10 minutes before we eat, then Layla feels full, and is less inclined to bug us while we are eating. We've taught her to sit, or lay by us while we eat dinner. She has been pretty good with that. Turkey struggles a bit with Forrest walking around with food, especially Eggo waffle, and wants to eat it. She snatches it from Forrest. So we are working on that aspect. Turkey is generally pretty good with when Forrest is snacking, and Forrest loves sharing food with her. I don't stop them. 

Turkey still struggle with leash aggression. The more we walk, and the more she gets familiar with the new neighborhood, the better she gets with reacting to other dogs. We've always known that Turkey's socialization skills are poor, due to her history prior coming to our family, and we continue to work on that. Turkey is great with other dogs while she IS NOT on the leash. On the leash, not so much. As result of that, we use chest harness, and inform other dog walkers not to approach us. I am looking into buying neon colored harness that warns others to leave her alone while walking. Turkey loves to be petted, even on the leash, from others. She enjoys people, and having them lavish on her. 

There has a point in Layla's life when she was scared of having people approach her. Not now. Matter of fact, she whines, and hams up attention from other people when they visit! It is amazing how much 3 years can change a dog for better with a lot of tender loving care. We wouldn't trade her for anything else in the world. 

As for us, we are doing wonderful. Like I had mentioned earlier, Stu is loving his job, and I'm loving being a stay at home momma. Stu is going to turn 30 soon! Hard to believe that we will be in our 30s soon...and to be parents of 2 kids! I've been so busy these days preparing for fall season; harvesting, pureeing, cooking, and baking, along with taking care of Forrest, and growing a baby in my belly! Of course, you can always keep up with what is going on with us with my weekly pregnancy update, because I do sneak in here, and there about what is new. 

Monday, September 22, 2014


How Far Along: 30 weeks, & 3 days. In 10 to 12 weeks, Jellybean will be here! I can't believe it. It feels like this pregnancy is flying by so fast. I guess that is what happens while life is keeping us busy. 

I am Feeling: Pretty good. Dealing with a lot of heartburn these days mainly because we have a ton of tomatoes, and I've been eating them. So they cause heartburn. It's nothing that Prevacid, and some Tums can't fix. I've been dealing with sore lower back too. I contribute it to being so close to the end, and carrying Forrest around. I'm excited that I am 30 weeks, because that means we are even closer to meeting Jellybean, and finding out if I am right about Jellybean being a mister. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a cucumber in length-wise size. Jellybean is still taking a full advantage of the space, even though it has been slowly running out, by laying sideways, upside down, or any position that tickles his/her fancy. Jellybean's fingernails are nearly at end of the fingertips. He/she may need his/her nails trimmed shortly after birth! Jellybean is continuing to plump up. Laungo, a fine hair covering the skin, is slowly disappearing especially with fat filling up underneath the skin. Jellybean's bone marrows now are taking over the production of red blood cells. 

Movements: Jellybean goes through periods of being really crazy with movements, then going quiet, and being gentle. Sometimes, Jellybean tries to burst out so hard that it hurts! It's nuts--Forrest was never like that when I carried him. Silly Jellybean.

Cravings: Same old, same old. I've been wanting refreshing food lately--I am getting sick of all the food I've been eating!

Aversions: None at this moment. I'm not a big foodie with this pregnancy. 

Gender Prediction: Team Blue. 

Best Moments of the Week: Working on Jellybean's Sunshine quilt, setting up the room--slowly, but surely, spending time with Forrest during some beautiful warm autumn days we've been having lately, harvesting a bunch of tomatoes from our garden, and making meals out of them! Getting my camera charger in the mail--I lost my old one, and HAD NO idea where it went. I was kind of bummed until I got a new one! Yay. Getting started on Jellybean's baby book--I did that for Forrest, and they were awesome books. It's why I blog weekly with picture of me being pregnant. So it goes into the book through Shutterfly! Here's an example of what I did for Forrest:

Other best moment of this week is having Forrest listen to the baby's heart beats!! 

Looking Forward to: More leaves turning colors. It is such a beautiful time of the year, and I love it. I am also looking forward to meeting up with some of family over the weekend since there is a mini-family reunion, and somewhat of a "meet the baby" party (Stu's cousin had a baby and she's currently living overseas so she is here for a visit. It'll be nice to meet her daughter). Making freezer meals out of our tomatoes, and meals from our apples that we got from our neighbor. 

Next Appointment/Updates: I've been diagnosed with Gestational Thrombocytopenia so I will be having blood draw every time I go in for my appointments. Oh joy. I look forward to that...NOT. The baby's heart rate is 154-158ish! I'm measuring right on time now. Jellybean must have made up for it by going through a recent growth spurt!

Next appointments are: October 6, October 22, and October 31st (I get to dress up on that day)! 

Monday, September 15, 2014


How Far Along: Week 29 & 3 days. It is nerve-racking to think that as soon as I hit 30 weeks, it means that Jellybean will be here in 10 to 12 weeks!!! 

I am Feeling: Forrest, and I...and Stu are all dealing with a cold. Fortunately, Forrest is pretty much back to himself whereas I'm still slowly recovering, even after a week of dealing with it. Stu just started his cold, and he's doing just fine despite it.

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as an acorn squash. How appropriate, especially with fall's arrival these days! Jellybean's lungs, while the organs are fully developed, are still working on increasing more branches to gather oxygen for the pending birth. It will take Jellybean, and Forrest 8 years for the lungs to reach an adult capacity. Jellybean's movements will decrease around week 30 due to the fact that the home is becoming more cramped. Along with this, Jellybean is plumping up! 

Movements: Jellybean is starting to hiccup more now. It's funny, because Forrest did the same thing while I carried him.

Cravings: The same old, even though I've been wanting a big plate of Nachos.

Aversions: I've noticed that my sense of smell has gotten stronger. I can't stand anything that smells funky. The other day I walked past Subway, and thought I would puke. I usually enjoy the wafting odors from the shop...well not this time. I've noticed that turkey, and chicken tastes gamey to me for some reason! No interest in beef, or any red meat. 

Gender Prediction: Team Blue. 

Best Moments of the Week: Getting a big pot of Mumm flowers--they are my favorite fall flowers, and a shout out of thank you to Bobbie for getting me that! Knowing that Jellybean checked out great. Getting a package from Mom with Care bears socks (there's a story behind that), and $50 Amazon Prime card for the baby expense. Awesome! Packer's game at the stadium was a blast!

Looking Forward To: Fall soups, getting to check in on Jellybean more often, and knowing that I am getting closer to meeting him/her.

Next Appointment: Monday September 22nd. I start every 2 weeks appointments now! I love that, because I get to check in more frequently with Jellybean. It's also a bold reminder that Jellybean is due very soon!

Update from my appointment last week: Jellybean's heart-rate was at 138-140, and it felt really quick on the doppler. Still measuring a bit off--not that it warranted any concern, and it continued to confirm my feeling that Jellybean was going to come into the world past his/her due date. I had a Glucose test, and T-Dap shot. As it turned out, it was a fairly new thing to vaccinate pregnant women, instead of waiting until after they deliver their babies, to pass on antibiotics, and protection to the babies against whooping cough. I passed my Glucose test! So no diabetes! Yay. However, the test result showed that my platelets are once again low at 130 when it should be between 140 to 440. It looked like GT with Forrest was not my last rodeo, and I fell into the lucky 25% of women developing GT with their subsequent pregnancies.

Monday, September 8, 2014


How Far Along: 28 weeks & 3 days. We are officially in third trimester!

I am Feeling: Pretty good to be in third trimester. I remember what it is like to be in a third trimester with Forrest, and how hard it is physically. It is hard to get comfortable, and sleep restfully with all the weight in my belly. So far, this pregnancy has been fairly easy with sleeping. This baby doesn't feel as quite heavy, or as tall as Forrest was. Jellybean is pretty easy to move out of the way when his/her foot is up in my rib, and all I have to do is nudge the baby. Then Jellybean will move down. Thanks, baby! 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as Eggplant! Jellybean's brain is busy at work. It is changing from a consistency of being soft like jell-o with smooth surface to becoming firm with groves, and indentations. Hair is still sprouting on top of Jellybean's head, and the studies have shown that if mother suffers from heartburn, then the more hair the baby will end up with! I am not sure if Jellybean is going to have a lot of hair, or end up bald, because my heartburn has been almost nonexistent these days. However, I am predicting that Jellybean will have some hair like Forrest did. 

Movements: Jellybean likes to make his/her presence known. My belly shakes, and jump around quite often, especially if the baby hears Forrest, Stu, or anyone the baby recognizes. There has been days when J.B. is quiet as well. 

Cravings: Sweet food, carbs, and fruits.

Aversions: Not anything much so. It's more of disinterest in particular food than an actual aversion.  

Gender Prediction: Team Blue. I had another dream that Jellybean is a boy. Is my dreams trying to tell me something? 

Best Moments of the Week: Finally ordering  things for Jellybean, and getting them in the mail! It was great to finally start setting up J.B.'s nursery. Stu setting up a crib! Also, we just set up my sewing machine so I should be able to start sewing projects soon! This is more for Stu's best moment than it is mine, we recently got a basic cable TV, and now we are  back to having Packers games in our household once again! PSL drink after today's appointment. Yum yum. 

Looking Forward to: Finding out how Jellybean is doing. I want to see if Jellybean is in a correct position (head-down), and finding out the result of my test. 

Next Appointment: My appointment is today! I wonder if I am going to start 2-weeks appointments from now on, or still meeting up every month until 8th month (next month)? 

Monday, September 1, 2014


How Far Along:  27 weeks & 3 days. I'm drawing to the very end of the second trimester! By this time next week, I will be officially in 3rd trimester. EEK. It doesn't feel like that, but here we go...the last 3 months! It's a crunch time to start freezing food, and prepping Jellybean's nursery room! 

I am Feeling: While I am still having an easy time with this pregnancy, I find that I struggle a lot with catching my breath, and feeling short of breath along with dizziness. I just can't seem to get a refreshing deep breath that I want. Fortunately, I know this is a very normal part of the pregnancy, and the baby is getting plenty of oxygen. I am also dealing with an itchy skin these days! Nothing that an anti-itch lotion, and using Vitamin E lotion can't help so far. 

Weekly Milestone: Jellybean is as big as Rutabaga, which is a vegetable in the cabbage family, and it just means that Jellybean is about 13.6 to 14.8 inches long! From this point on, Jellybean can be measured from heels to the head, even though I am not sure how this is possible seeing that I won't be having another ultrasound, and this shows that Jellybean is no longer curved in, but rather stretched out. Jellybean continues to fill out with fat. Retinas in Jellybean's eyes are matured, breathing reflexes are continued being worked on, which can lead to hiccups, and Jellybean is able to self-soothe by sucking on thumb or patting on the head. My bellybutton is now all way out. It can get irritated by my shirts, which is annoying.

Movements: Jellybeans move like crazy when J.B. hears Forrest babble, and speak words. I find it somewhat neat how the baby is already responding, and recognizing his/her brother's voice! Sometimes, Jellybean likes to move so much that my whole belly shakes. It is a party going on in there!

Cravings: Pumpkin anything! 

Aversions: Strong-scented lotions. It sends me into a itching fiend. I have no idea why my body reacts so strongly. The weird thing is that if it's on my body, then I'm okay, but if it's on someone else, then I get really itchy. Weird body hormones! 

Gender prediction: The feeling of having a girl is more of knowing that I WILL have a girl at some point. Like I mentioned last week, I am just uncertain if this baby is a girl. So I am still leaning to team blue.

What I Miss the Most: Being able to breath. Having an itch free skin. 

Best Moments of the Week: Getting wool dryer balls in the mail. I love ordering things online, because then it is almost like I am getting a present for myself in the mail! Forrest's birthday party/housewarming party. Loved having my family over, and having Forrest be happy. Accomplishing Elmo cake! Forrest learning signs to all animals in his animal vocabulary book. The look of accomplishment, and pride on his face is just so rewarding, and especially so, when he makes connection between real life animals to animals in the books. 

Looking Forward To: Pumpkin patches! I found at least 3 within a half hour to 45 minutes driving distance. I am thinking about going on an impromptu trips with Forrest to check some of them out to see which is the best for family outing. I also want to buy some pumpkin pies (actual pumpkins named pumpkin pies, not food pie) so I can start pureeing the pumpkin for storage, and some for baking pies in October/November months. I also am anxious to start shopping for Jellybean's nursery room, and I finally can start this month! I am planning on making a quilt for Jellybean. A pumpkin latte drink! 

Next Appointment: September 8th. I am looking forward to finding out the result of the test, and hoping for a healthy remainder of my pregnancy!