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Week 21 - 24: Viability Day!

Week 21:

Guys, I'm real tired. Being pregnant with a toddler to care for is no joke! I'm thankful Ava can navigate the stairs by herself (I hold her hands on the way down) because carrying her up and down is seriously tough! I'm always winded when trying to read her a book right after we get upstairs! Daddy has taken over bath time so I don't have to do that, thankfully!

I've been having some round ligament discomfort as of late. Those are the ligaments that kinda hold all your organs in your belly in place, and they get stretched during pregnancy. I didn't really notice it too much with Ava, but I think I feel it on days when I'm trying to do too much.

I walked 3 miles the other day, and when I got out of the car, I didn't know if my legs would support me as I took a few steps. My pelvic bone hurts!! My pregnant body is obviously doing what it is supposed to by widening my hips, but my goodness it really hurt! Just an achy feeling that I'm feeling more and more.

Constipation has been more of a battle this time. I've discovered that having a cup of decaf coffee daily really helps!

I've begun the cravings for cold, juicy fruit! Apples and oranges are what I'm wanting right now! And milk! I drink about 3-4 glasses per day!

Ava can do so many things! She loves to go through her basket of shoes and she will bring us a matching pair to have us put on her so she can parade around the house in them! She's working on building a block tower with some help; she loves to knock it down! Independent spoon feeding is coming along, still messy as ever, and we give her bigger pieces of food to manage on her own instead of tiny bites. When we run errands I'm starting to have her walk to the car instead of being carried - carrying her around is getting to be more of a challenge as she gets heavier and Liam grows in my belly! She's not much for holding hands yet, so I have to be ready to grab her if she wriggles free and tries to dart away! Her new dresser has pull handles on the drawers, so now she likes to open ALL of her drawers...we are teaching her to leave the clothes alone! Hopefully we will be successful! Ava's favorite thing in the kitchen is the drawer with the sandwich baggies in them...she would pull them all out if we let her! She also enjoys playing with my abandoned feminine product drawer in the bathroom! She likes to wear her sunglasses (as in, take them on and off)! Some days she will keep a bow in her hair, but most days she finds it and rips it out. She has ONE show that she likes to watch on Sprout - Ruff Ruff, Tweet, And Dave - nothing else will keep her attention! She'll watch contentedly for just a little bit and then she's off to play, but will still look up to watch every few minutes.

She loves bedtime! If you ask her if she wants to go to bed or take a bath or brush her teeth, she literally drops everything and heads for the stairs! She looks forward to getting into her crib to snuggle with "sheepy" (her little sheep lovey). She hugs him and says "ohhhhhh" every time! I think she got that from us saying "ohhhh that's so nice" when she hugs her stuffed animals or her baby! I keep waiting for the day when bedtime means throwing a fit, but until then, we enjoy every second of her bedtime routine! We still do bedtime jointly and take turns who puts her in her crib so we can both have some of her rare snuggles she only gives out at bedtime! But now you can ask her for a hug and she'll give you one, even though it is only about 2 seconds long!

I am doing some "introductory" potty training awareness with Ava. I used to never let her in the bathroom when I go, and then I realized, well how is she ever going to know what happens in a bathroom besides taking a bath? So I keep the door open when I'm downstairs and she watches while I talk about what I'm doing. And that's all for now - potty training is nowhere on the radar but it occurred to me one day there's no reason we can't talk about it now!

Week 22

I had Liam's check up and the anatomy scan showed everything is normal! He is breech, with his head on my right side. He is pretty snug with his head in the right horn of my bicornuate uterus. It's kind of neat to be able to see that on the ultrasound. She had the doppler right over his head to the right of my belly button, where you can see his head is sandwiched by my uterus, and then she moved over to the left of my belly button, and that horn is empty. The doctor reiterated that there is no reason I can't go into labor naturally and deliver vaginally, I am just not allowed to be induced. But with Liam being pretty wedged in there, it's going to be a major feat for him to get head down, in my option. I mean, we still have 18 weeks to go but based on Ava's non-repositioning and Liam being wedged, my mommy gut is telling me I will have another C-section. I had an external version with Ava to get her head down (fortunately for me it was pain-free and I actually felt a little better once she wasn't sideways in my belly) and then at delivery her cord prolapsed. I've done reading and I've been told that cord issues are unpredictable and nothing necessarily causes a prolapsed cord, but I can't help but wonder if things were just right in my uterus, and then Ava was turned, and then things went awry. My mommy gut is telling me to just let this baby be, no spinning babies this time!

My next appointment will be around Thanksgiving, and then after that we will begin the monthly growth scans like we did during my pregnancy with Ava.

Ava had her 15 month checkup and was in the 40th percentile for weight - she's grown considerably! I think she was in the 20th the last time we were there! 22.7 pounds and 80 cm! She got 4 shots, including her flu shot. She only cries for a short time after her shots and then she's over it! I've learned she doesn't like bandaids on her legs- last time she picked them all of by herself and this time she pointed to them and signed "more" so I took them off for her, haha!

She's really into dancing to any kind of music she hears. She enjoys moving things in and out of a container or bag. She loves to climb on her baby slide! She gives hugs when you ask and then she wants you to kiss her forehead immediately after...totally melts our hearts! She can say "love you" (although it sounds nothing like it) and it has been sounding lately like she's saying "get down" when she wants off the couch. "Kitty" has been sounding a bit more clear lately and she can say "up", "bubbles", "elbow", and "apple" pretty clearly, too! She sure babbles in her own language a lot! I especially love when she goes over and talks to Duke!

She loves the "ABC" song and "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"! She is starting to do the actions to a song I've sang her since birth: "What's the Weather". There's an action for 4 types of weather, and it's so cute to see her do it! She points out body parts on herself and on mommy and daddy. Eyes, ears, mouth, nose, elbows (I know...that's a weird one), feet, knees, eyebrows, earrings (she's obsessed with my earrings), forehead and chin. She's taking an interest in her clothes and putting her hands in her pants...and her diaper!! She likes her socks and shoes a lot and the snap on the top of her pajamas.

She loves to play "hide and seek" (which mostly is just us chasing her and peeking around the corner to surprise her) and she loves to drag large things around the downstairs (hampers, her tunnel, laundry baskets, her whole playhouse...) She's been needing a lot of physical contact lately, which means dinner prep turns into meltdown city if daddy is not home to help out. She prefers to play in my lap or she will bring me toys to hold while she plays with them. It's pretty sweet but poses a challenge if I actually have something to do! We enjoy our library visits and play dates at church. She loves the park and trips to the commissary...she throws a fit when we take her out of the shopping cart!

Sometimes I wonder what Ava senses about Liam. She often times will want to face me in my lap and she pats my belly and hugs it. I mean she is really into the hugging and kissing phase and patting her teddy bear and baby doll and snuggling her sheepy, so it could be just that. Sometimes I tell her about brother in my belly and I know she doesn't understand, but I think she at least notices that my belly is getting bigger. A month or so ago she was really into lifting our shirts up to find our belly buttons!

Chris finally had his promotion ceremony and Ava might have stolen all the attention! She ran around the room checking everybody out until it was time to eat!

We have started the house hunt. Let me tell you, this is difficult and frustrating to do from out-of-state. All the realtors ask if we want to schedule a no. Not until we are actually serious about a property would we even consider a quick trip! Some listings do not even provide photos or a description beyond how many bedrooms and baths it has. I have contacted over a dozen listings because we need to clarify the pet policy to see if any are deal breakers. My inbox is already flooded! It would be so nice if someone could do this for us! I can't keep all the properties straight!

Week 23

Halloween was super low-key in our house. Ava is still so young so we didn't bother doing anything else with her besides decorating her pumpkin and then taking her trick-or-treating. She "painted" her pumpkin, which lasted probably 90 seconds at most! She liked to dip her fingers in the paint, and then she started to get a little messy (and I mean like barely messy at all) and she decided that she didn't like it and was all done! She liked to check out the pumpkin guts while Chris was carving ours. I think she was having more fun patting her belly since we had stripped her down! I think her favorite was the tiny pumpkin we got for Liam! She liked to carry it around and then chuck it once in a while!

Trick-or-Treating was pretty fun! She had a simple minion costume that was like 2 or 3 sizes too big, so I used safety pins to make it look a little better. We drove to a different neighborhood on post because ours is like a ghost town...nobody lives here! We took her wagon, but by the time she understood what we were doing, she preferred to walk! She loved the houses that had barking dogs - she didn't want to leave! And of course, she had to stop in her tracks to dance the moment she heard music! We couldn't stop laughing at her! She kept her minion hat on for awhile and held daddy's hand while we walked! She eventually wanted to carry her bag by herself and seemed to be having a lot of fun! We didn't Trick-or-Treat for long; it was her dinnertime and she already had plenty of candy for a 1 year-old! We got 50 cent corn dogs at Sonic and Ava got to have a piece of candy! Then it was bath and bed for little minion. It was a fun night!

Daylight Savings time went pretty much unnoticed in our house. I had been shifting Ava's whole schedule a little bit each day, to the point where she was sleeping in until almost 8:30! So once the time changed happened, she was back to her 7 a.m. waking as normal. She has come a looooooooong way - she used to wake for the day at about 5:15! Over the months she's been gradually adding on time so now she wakes between 6:30 and 7.

Liam is a very active baby! He has periods of activity and then quiet times, too. He must be in a weird position because I feel uncomfortable a lot of the time like I did toward the end with Ava. I wonder if his head is pressed up against my stomach because I seem to have that "full" feeling a lot. He finally makes strong kicks that I can see on the outside of my belly! I can't believe that in just a few short weeks I will be in the 3rd trimester!! What?!?!?

I'm so thankful Ava craves independence. It kind of goes against that mothering feeling of always wanting your child to be a baby and to need you, but it is coming in handy! Even when she was a young sprite, it was apparent that independence was a strong trait in Ava. She was holding her head up at just days old, bearing weight on her legs before 2 months, always wanting to see and explore everything, and was walking by 10 months. She never wanted to nurse for comfort, and loves sleeping in her crib. Now, she requests to walk up and down the stairs by herself - she doesn't want to be carried, she tries to buckle herself in the car, booster seat, and shopping cart, she's working on putting her shoes and socks on, and she will clean her tray after meals if I give her a wipe. We've already talked about how after we get this move behind us that we will just scoot her up to the table for meals and quit using her tray completely - we think she's ready! We walk together in parking lots, holding hands, which has been great! Trick-or-Treating was a turning point it seems; now she understands holding hands while walking somewhere and she doesn't hate it! Plus my back is getting more achy and I really need to stop hauling Ava around everywhere; Liam already weighs a pound!

Ava had a fabulous library play date the other day!! We've gone 4 or 5 times now, and she's come SUCH a long way from running out of the room constantly! This time she was SO excited for the songs with her eyes glued on the leader and signed "more" after each song was done! She'd look at me and smile and clap! She's interacting with other children and approaching the other moms (although she just stands and stares without offering any smiles) and engaging in parallel play, and even sharing a bit! These are experiences that I cannot provide for her at home. I am hoping to find similar programs at Ft. Gordon for Ava - she is really thriving! She still eyeballs that open doorway and then smirks at me, but she didn't leave the room at all this last time! Its kind of nice that I can finally just sit and watch her!

Week 24:

We made it!! It's Viability Day!!! Now stay in there, Liam; we have SO MUCH to do before you arrive!

I was supposed to go with Chris to a wedding in Nashville today...but little girl woke up sick! I was excited to get dressed up and get out of the house and enjoy an evening with just the two of us, but I guess this is mom life! So just a normal photo of me in the living room for this week's photo!

Chris is going down to Georgia tomorrow to check out a few houses we are interested in. I'm pretty sure that one of the three will fit our needs - they're all in the same neighborhood and are in an ideal location for shopping AND a short commute for Chris. The pet fees are lower than we could have hoped for, and they all have 4 bedrooms and fenced yards and are easy on our budget! I'm so excited that we can (hopefully) cross finding a house off our list! YAY!!!!! We have about 4 weeks until we are outta here! I'll update more in the next post - this one is long enough already!


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