Saturday, December 26, 2015

Week 29 - 30: A Georgia Christmas

Week 29

So we are still settling in. We've been here long enough now that it's time to dust and vacuum already, but we still have so much stuff lying around that we have to make a conscious effort to keep working on finding a home for every little thing.

I think I can finally say...there are no more boxes in the house!! I have unpacked the last of it! The decor might not all be up on the walls yet, but the house is definitely feeling more like a home! The crazy part is, is that we do this ALL OVER AGAIN in about 6-7 months.

yayyyyyyyyyyyyy

(that is a sarcastic "yay", by the way)

I've enjoyed this week of finally getting to get in the Christmas spirit and put up the Christmas tree! And a few decorations...but we aren't doing a whole lot this year because honestly it's just more work to put things up...and then to have to take them down in a few weeks! Plus I don't have a whole lot of places for decorations where Ava cannot reach. However, she has really surprised me with the fact that she has left the Christmas tree alone - almost entirely! She doesn't pay any attention to it, really! She has touched a few of the ornaments, but that's about it! (I think she was actually trying to hug them - the ones down low are mostly soft kitties and teddy bear ornaments that we don't mind if she touches.) She has tried to run off with one of the presents underneath, but I caught her before she got very far! We have a little nativity set next to the tree in front of the fireplace that she can play with, so that might be satiating her curiosity.

Ava seems to have settled in well. She knows her way around the house and loves all of her freedom! She has access to the whole house, except we have the master gated off (it is NOT baby proofed in there...we own items she does not belong near) as well as the guest room (this is the kitty room too, so we need to keep her AND Duke away from the litter boxes). She has really amazed me with how much she is NOT getting into! She loves to run around in the kitchen and go into her room to dig through her dresser! Only once in awhile does she come out with some of her clothes! She does play with Duke's food...but at least she leaves his water bowl alone! She likes to go get her sheepy and bunny from her crib and follow the cats around.

The cats have really settled in, too! As soon as the furniture arrived it was as if this has been their house forever. Zorro enjoys his space in Ava's play room on the cat tree in the front window. Duke is across the way near the back door, so there is plenty of space for them both. Pearl typically ends up getting "locked" in in the master - she's too fat to jump over the gate, and we can't keep the little pet gate open because Ava can crawl through it! The gate on the guest room door is raised so the cats can get under, but Ava can't!

Despite the fact that Ava has adjusted well, it has been a really long 2 weeks with her, not because of the move - but because of her teeth! This last set of molars was really hard on her! 10 days of a low-grade fever, daily crankiness, decreased appetite, and loose diapers. We gave her pedialyte to help keep her hydrated, and then she ended up with a horrible diaper rash! She was raw and crying; we felt so bad! This was unlike any other rash she'd had, so I started googling, wondering if there was a connection to the pedialyte. AND SURE ENOUGH, diaper rash is a common side effect of pedialyte!! Here we were, thinking we were helping her, when in reality, we just added one more issue for her to deal with! Obviously we immediately trashed the pedialyte and changed her hourly, air dried her completely at each change, and slathered her in Triple Paste. We gave her oatmeal baths for 2 nights and tried to give her some time with her diaper off. Of course, she peed both times; at least we were in the bathroom! It was interesting to see her reaction each time it happened - she was upset and clutched one of us after she peed, and kind of cried about it! She didn't like it at all! I reassured her and she watched me clean up her mess. It makes me curious to see what kind of a potty trainee she will be! And then, she got bit up by some aggressive ants in the backyard! She got about 10 bites on her little hands! Besides the initial biting, they didn't seem to bother her much. She left them alone and they are healing and should be gone soon. Poor girl couldn't catch a break!!

Liam is active as ever! He feels like he may have rotated; I'm anxious for my next appointment to see how he is laying! I don't crave milk nearly as much as I used to, and I for sure don't crave jalapeƱos anymore. I'M SO EXCITED to cook massive amounts of food for Christmas!!! I have maintained a healthy appetite, but now there is less room so I have to stop eating before I am truly full at each meal. I get pretty uncomfortable by the end of the day, and it gets to a point where I just need to go to bed, not necessarily because I'm tired, but because my body is done! Laying down in bed at night is becoming one of my favorite parts of the day!

Week 30

Time sure is flying by! We have been looking for Christmas things to do during the day as we are all feeling a bit of cabin fever since we don't know anyone here yet. We found a little Santa event at the Harley Davidson here. Santa and Mrs. Claus were there, as well as the Grinch. They had appetizers for the adults and a few fun craft stations for the kids! It was a nice little free event that was perfect for Ava's age - it was all at your own pace. Ava made a Christmas card with foam stickers (she only picked out the circles) and decorated a cookie. She shared a few snacks with us and got to eat her first candy cane! We haven't found any other age-appropriate activities for her; we arrived about a week too late. Most of the events in the area were happening as we were moving in. We made some Christmas cookies here at home and Ava like to press the dough and eat the sprinkles!

We had an appointment with my new doctor here, and he is totally on board with a repeat c-section! And my suspicion about Liam rotating was right - he is head down! A total surprise! And no external version this time! But since we are electing to schedule a c-section, it's not that important this time.

Not that it's anyone else's decision but ours, here are the reasons we want to do a repeat c-section:

1. The MAIN reason: Ava was not exactly head down when I was in labor; she was slightly to the right. The doctor who performed my c-section said when she was closing me up, she noticed my cervix wasn't centrally aligned with my uterus. So Ava's head was aligned with my cervix, but my cervix was not aligned with the birth canal. She went on to say that I would still be eligible for a VBAC. However, I personally feel that's putting a lot at risk for another unplanned c-section or even an emergency c-section, something that we DO NOT want to repeat. It was terrifying to hear Ava's heart rate plummet; I never want to hear that sound again! I would love to have a non-scary delivery this time!

2. Breech. A breech baby is an automatic c-section anyway...except Liam has flipped on his own! He must want to one-up his sister already!

3. Risk of rupture. With a VBAC comes a risk of rupture. Although that risk is small, it is still present and really freaks me out. Ever since my last c-section I have had visualizations of my incision tearing open. It's just something I can't get out of my head!

4. Scheduling. If this were the only reason I had to do a c-section, then I wouldn't choose it at all. But it is another factor to consider in our situation. Chris's career course starts March 6th, and he is not allowed to miss any days...even for paternity leave. So if I left it up to my body to go into labor, we would be risking Chris not getting full (or any, if Liam was late) paternity leave. Not to mention we need help this time around - at a minimum, we at least need someone to stay with Ava while we are in the hospital, and since we are so far away, a scheduled c-section will make it much less stressful for family to get out here to help in time.

I really don't want to choose major surgery, and I was always hoping to deliver vaginally at least once, but it just doesn't make sense this time. I want Liam here safely. And to me, there is too much at risk to do that vaginally. At least I know what to expect for recovery, and hopefully it will be a little easier this time since it will have been a planned c-section instead of rushing to cut me open and yank little Ava out.

I have finally started bi-monthly appointments, so I will go in again just after the first of the year. We are considering permanent birth control for me at Liam's delivery; we feel that 2 little minions is just the right number for us! We have yet to make a final decision, but we want to make sure we have 100% decided, or else we won't do it at all.

Christmas was...different this year! I cooked up a storm; we feasted on Christmas Eve! I made a ham in the crockpot (which I overcooked!!), funeral potatoes, sweet potato souffle, creamy corn, green bean casserole, stuffing, cherry fluff, crescent rolls, a pecan pie, and wassail!!! We found the only LCMS Lutheran church in Augusta and went to an early candlelight service before the feast. Ava has only been to church a couple of times in her life, so I was a tad worried about how she'd behave. Being contained is not her strong suit right now! She loved the music and was in awe any time we'd sing a hymn. She kept looking around, trying to figure out where the organ music was coming from! When the congregation stopped singing, Ava would sign "more" and get upset if more music wouldn't play! Chris ended up taking her out for the sermon and prayers; she had no interest in any of the toys I brought for her. She loved singing "Silent Night" by candlelight at the end! We had busted out the snacks by that point. It was pouring rain and storming once church got out. She did great for an hour and a half service! We came home and ate lots. Ava was picky, which didn't surprise me. Too many new things on her plate and she rejected almost all of it. We changed into jammies and opened presents! She liked to tear the wrapping paper and had her own commentary along the way: "ohhhhhhh" and "oooooooo". She liked looking at what she had unwrapped for about 2 seconds and then she was onto the next! She loved her new baby dolls the most, and her fake iPhone. There was so much to look at that night - I think she was overwhelmed by it all!

Christmas morning we had a big breakfast (again, I cooked wayyyy too much - french toast casserole, bacon, hash browns, and eggs) and opened our stockings! And then we played. The plan was to stay in jammies all day but it got too hot - 80 degrees!! What?! I have never in my life worn a tank top and flip flops on Christmas...and taken a picture in front of a palm tree! I forget we are just a couple of hours from the east coast! We went to the park after Ava's nap so we could all burn some energy! It was a nice, relaxing Christmas. I'm definitely glad we decided not to travel (I had NO desire to get on a plane at 8 months pregnant with a toddler), but it was hard to be away from family!

We are trying to enjoy these quiet moments before things get crazy again with a newborn! I'm trying to remember that, even in my uncomfortable moments. This may be the last pregnancy I have, so I'm trying my best to not wish it away! It's tough trying to meet all of Ava's demands. She's been especially attached to me lately, so I feel kind of bad when I have to tell her I can't pick her up. Braxton Hicks contractions started up right after the move, and it is especially hard when she wants to climb on me and I'm having a BH contraction! She was having rough bedtimes right after we got here. Not like really bad, she just had a hard time being laid down in her crib at the end of the bedtime routine. She'd cry and want out immediately after being laid down! Normally she'd let us tuck her in under her blanket with her sheepy in one arm and her bunny in the other. I knew I had to stay consistent with her, especially after a big move - consistency was probably exactly what she needed. It was hard to walk out with her standing and crying for me in her crib. But after 2-3 weeks, we seemed to have turned a corner. I no longer tuck her in, I just set her on her feet in her crib and blow kisses to her from the door before I close it. And she smiles at me and then lays herself down! Maybe she just needed a tweak to her routine; she is growing up, you know! So hard for momma, though! It's hard to know what is the right thing to do.

See you in a few weeks! Only 8 weeks left!!

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