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Big Sister Update

**This post was written a several days ago; I am just now publishing it**

I am going to try and write this post while little girl makes laps around the downstairs entertaining herself with my flip flops, an empty box, and the dog's lips. I'm in ultra-quiet stealth mode, as usually any peep or change in position from me and she detects it and comes over to me and demands to "help" with whatever I'm trying to do. She even hears when I press the home button on my iPhone. She's crazy. We'll see how far I can get before I am detected this time.

Finally we are 2 DAYS away from seeing little peanut! I could be as far along as just shy of 11 weeks and we still don't have a clue what little baby is up to in there! I have been experiencing lots of nausea - round the clock this time. With Ava, it was only in the evenings and I barely ate anything because I hated almost all food! This time around, nausea hits me at all times of the day and I try to power through it and eat something substantial, which most of the time I can accomplish. The only thing I WILL NOT eat is broccoli and cauliflower. Just thinking about it makes me want to gag! I already have cravings - nothing consistent, just desiring comfort food mainly, if I had to categorize it.

While half of my brain is focused on little baby growing inside my belly, the other half is obviously focused on Ava. She is blowing my mind with how much she is learning and what she can do. Her vocabulary is exploding! If I ask her to go find her bear, her baby, cars, books, or her train, she will go and find it. On bath nights, I will ask her if she wants to go take a bath and she will stop whatever she is doing and walk to the stairs. I can ask her if she wants to go upstairs and read books (which is how we transition to naps) and she will do the same. I am so thankful I taught her to sign "more" and "all done" because now she is applying it to things beyond mealtimes. We can ask her if she's all done with an activity and she waves her hands to say all done. It's great! She did it at the splash park this weekend so we knew she was ready to go. She loves to ask for more snack - she was quite happy the day she really made the connection and finally got these grown ups to give her more Cheerios! After we came home from Kansas, I got out all of Ava's new things she had been gifted. One of the gifts was a little backpack and she walked over to it, picked it up, and carried it over her shoulder. I turned to Chris and said, "do you see what she's doing?!" He said, "well she probably sees you carrying the diaper bag" (which is a backpack). I couldn't believe that she had picked up on what to do with a backpack already! She did it without any hesitation and that is how she carries it any time she plays with it. She will find her play phone and sort of hold it up to her ear (more like her neck) and then hand it to you to do the same! I've seen her play with it alone and she'll say, "eh-doh? eh-doh?" (hello)! It is the cutest thing ever. She tries to imitate everything we say!

Ava likes to crawl up the entire flight of stairs. I try to let her do it at least once a day to work on her large motor skills. Plus, there's usually a kitty at the top of the stairs waiting for her! I let Ava do a few things on the iPad. I found some Baby Einstein videos on YouTube and I found a baby app where she has to tap the screen for a puppet to appear and then it will do silly things and make silly noises. It always makes her smile! I'll let her watch it for a few minutes if she's been fussy and nothing else has helped to "reset" her. Sometimes I turn on Sprout on TV to see if she is interested, but she never is. The only thing that really ever catches her eye on TV is sports! I still don't want her getting a lot of screen time, but there are a lot of educational options out there and I don't see anything wrong with her learning something from a screen once in awhile. Technology isn't going anywhere; iPads are used in schools now!

Ava likes to keep track of what mommy and daddy are doing in the house. She's a really fast walker and we have to be sure to close ALL doors and baby gates behind us immediately because she's always right behind us! She really likes to dance. She has a singing tea pot and she loves all the songs! She loves all of her toys that play songs or that let her explore cause and effect.

We had her urology appointment at Vanderbilt last week. She is still showing signs of hydronephrosis on her left kidney on the ultrasound. But she is still having no symptoms, so we will continue to check on it yearly as long as there are no issues. Her doctor said it seems to be improving! He was talking to me about potty training with her and how we will not want to force it. I probably had a shocked look on my face because potty training is not anywhere on my radar with Ava! Potty training?! Are we for real talking about this?! My baby?! My tiny baby?!?! I can't possibly think about these "toddler" things; she's still just a baby! She's growing up so fast!

And now we are going to have another baby!

Another crib!

Another changing table!

Newborn diapers!!

Another c-section. blahhhhhhhhhh

I'm really not looking forward to that part. I hated recovery. I have seen so many photos of new mommies in their hospital beds sitting CRISS CROSS or sitting with their knees bent underneath them. That makes me jealous!! I wish I could do that...but that could literally tear me open. Plus I will be anchored to my bed with those compression wraps squeezing my legs every 10 seconds (how come nobody ever told me that was a reason you would get NO SLEEP that first night?!) with my catheter and blood pressure monitor and my IV and morphine button. I will never forget the night my nurse came in and asked me if I had made it to the bathroom yet to put on some of the fancy mesh underwear..."um, no, I can't get up with all of these cables and wires coming out of me". I can't believe how nice my verbal response was because inside I wanted to smack him! I feel like he should have been fired on the spot. I'm sorry, have you cared for a post-surgical new mommy before?! Do you know what you are doing?! Idiot. (I laid it alllll out on the survey I got in the mail from the hospital. There were other things we were less than impressed with, too.)

The thought of being cut open again is less than exciting, for sure. It's really hard to walk upstairs and impossible to get out of bed without help. I won't be able to pick up Ava or drive for 6 weeks. But at least with a scheduled c-section we can avoid the scariness of the emergency c-section that happened with Ava. My recovery should go more smoothly since they won't be literally ripping the baby out of me to save her life. I was told they were being a little rough because of the hurry they were in. I guess I am glad I was knocked out for it!

I feel ready for this baby, even though we aren't even out of the first trimester yet! I have learned so much with Ava and I know that the hard times will be over and done with before I know it. I will definitely be sleep training the next baby should s/he need help with sleeping. I will be doing Baby Led Weaning (even if the pediatrician doesn't agree, haha) because I have now seen it start to finish with Ava and I am so happy we skipped over baby cereal and jarred foods. I know now not to worry about the small things and that happy and safe kids are better than a spotless house.

Ava just walked up to me and said "eh-tee" (eat) because she wants to go eat lunch! This girl!!! That is the first time SHE has told ME that it is lunchtime! I guess I'll stop now and go see if the water is boiling for the mac and cheese yet!

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