Highlights of Late

I've slacked on taking photos lately, so I don't have many pictures to post. And since I've sent Greta to daycare and I lie on the couch most of the day and sleep, I don't have super great stories to share. Here's what I do have.

Miss Greta. The soon-to-be big sister. Each day, she does something that surprises me. We've sent her to a daycare full-time while I've rested for the past two months. Daycare sucks because it's a cess pool of germs and she constantly has a runny nose. But day care rocks because she's learning so many things that I'd never even thought of teaching her.

She sings songs. And it's the cutest thing you've ever seen. I'm standing in the kitchen the other evening, and Greta just breaks out into, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." She doesn't have the words down exactly, but she knows the tune. I sure hope she gets her daddy's talents in the singing department and not mine.

Greta calls Mimi (her grandma on Eric's side) Schatzi. And she calls her that because that's what Mimi calls Greta as a term of endearment. (Schatzi is a German phrase, meaning darling or sweetheart or treasure).

When Greta wants to be held, she says, "doo-doo, doo-doo." That means "hold you" as in "hold me." Other words in her version of vocabulary: bobby is strawberry; gog is dog; fee fee is love you. And some things she says clear as day. Like "no-no," which you just KNOW that is what she is saying because she's either shaking her head violently from side to side or she's waving her little pointer finger at you.

Greta is still addicted to her blankie, otherwise known as her KEE. We still have four of them, and I wash them ALL THE TIME. They get pretty grubby after all the toting around they get. She's recently started an obsession with her light-up sea horse, and oh-good-God some mornings it's a battle between her and her daddy. She wants to take it to daycare, and he insists on leaving it. The whining that ensues almost always wakes me up, but I don't mind. I always want to see her and give her kisses before she starts off her day and goes to "school."

Greta is in love with her daddy. Head over heels. They are buddies, it's adorable. She still comes to me for comforting, snuggling, boo-boo-kissing, but otherwise -- it's all Eric. He's more mobile than I, 8 month pregnant woman; and he likes to play and wrestle and have fun. And he teaches her the days of the week and other things like her first complete sentence, which was BUH-BYE, POO POO as she bid farewell to her poop flushing down the toliet.

Greta will point to my belly and say, "baby." And she'll kiss it. Freakin' adorable. I only worry that once I'm no longer pregnant and STILL have a pooch, that she'll still be calling that a baby. Hmmm. Maybe that'll be extra incentive to do some crunches and work on those flabby abs?

Favorite little memories of the week: Greta snuggling in bed with me one morning (which she RARELY does) and looking up at me and smiling big like GOOD MORNING, MAMA. Greta swinging and smiling HUGE as I watched her from our deck. The swing is attached to the bottom of the deck, so she'd swing under out and under and out; and each time she swung out from under the deck and saw me, she just giggled and grinned. Picking up Greta from daycare, it started pouring rain, and Greta was elated when she saw the rain. She was screaming, RAIN! WATER! RAIN! And it just made me happy that something so little made her so happy.

Ahhh... Other highlights of my week.... Wednesday marked the 34th week of my pregnancy, which was a HUGE date I'd marked on my calendar back when I was in my first trimester. I'd had Greta at 33 weeks, 6 days, and I really really really wanted to make it further with this pregnancy. And I have!!! My blood pressure was 120/76 at my last doctor appointment, and if things keep going the way they have been, I'm expected to have the baby on August 26 via c-section @ 38 weeks.

I'm obsessed with crab rangoon. Still. And now I am really craving crab legs. Not as in imitation crab meat, but as in the kind where you wear a plastic bib to protect your shirt from all the juices and hot butter. Oh, yum.

Eric. Husband who sleeps in the spare bedroom since I sleep like crap at night. (And because his snoring wakes me up). And he makes me breakfast many mornings, as well as dinner most evenings. And he rubs my feet and legs for me every night even though I know he's completely exhausted from work. We've gone to dinner two Saturday nights in a row, and I'm happy to know that we still love to chat with each other and enjoy each other's company.

But before you think I'm claiming to pretend that we're this perfect, happily married couple, let me assure you we're not. I'm cranky as heck when pregnant, and some days I think it's best that we keep our distance from another. He tries his best to get what I'm going through but some things he just won't. Like he doesn't quite get why I am TERRIFIED of another c-section, and he doesn't understand why I DVR the stupidest shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and So You Think You Can Dance. And while I completely appreciate his willingness to do the grocery shopping and other errands, he doesn't understand that I'd rather go to the grocery store myself to pick out my own bananas and strawberries and chicken salad just because that's what I like to do. He doesn't understand why I don't want to download his Pearl Jam CD onto my iTunes even though I explain to him that I'm putting RELAXING music on there for me to chill out and listen to when in the hospital. And he will never get why I get my nails done and feet pedicured when I rarely leave the house these days. I had overgrown French-manicured acrylic nails when I had Greta, and with this pregnancy, I'll admit that I have a minor obsession with keeping my nails filled and polished. He thinks it's absurd that I'd want to have my nails done "just for the doctors and nurses," and I must make sure I'm not drinking a beverage at that moment as to not instantaneously spit it all over him as in WTF. I try to explain that I get my nails done to make MYSELF feel better, that they make me feel pretty when I don't feel pretty in so many other ways. Ahhh. Some things he will never get but thank God he tries.

Like just now, he saw that I bought more guacamole from the grocery store, and he commented that he "sees that I like that guacamole, huh." And that's fine and it's cute that he notices what I like to eat, but then he insists on following it up with, "do you want to try it with a jalapeno from our garden?" And I'm all JALAPENOS were soooo TWO YEARS AGO. Ughhhh. (I ate jalapenos by the handful when I was pregnant with Greta).

He says I'm like a pregnant Napoleon Dynamite, with all my sighing of "gosh-es" and "ughhhhs." I think that's his nice way of saying YOU'RE PERSONALITY-LESS AND MEAN. Sadly, as I approach my ninth month of being cranky and tired and pregnant and anxious, I agree.


Celebrating Greta

Yesterday, wrapped up the two-week celebration of Greta's birthday. On July 6th, our little bug turned two! We started off with fireworks on the 4th of July weekend and ended with her two-year check-up with her pediatrician.

We kicked off the festivities with family. My oldest sister came in town from Chicago, along with her three children. Greta loves spending time with all her cousins -- she seems to think they were purposely put here on her solely to entertain her. They chase her and play with her and love on her, and she just eats it all up.

For the 4th, we went downtown to Eric's work to watch fireworks from his office. We all bring snacks and treats and spread out in his firm's conference room. His office building is right near the Arch, so it's a perfect view of the Fair St. Louis fireworks show. And, since we're inside, we bypass the crowded mixture of families, concert-goers, drunkards and all others who have interest in having their bodies continuously come in contact with the sweat of other strangers.
Given the circumstances of me being 8 months pregnant, etc., this year's affairs were a bit tamer than last year's. We didn't do a big party, and as much fun as that sioree was, it was fun, too, having the birthday girl mostly to ourselves. We spent the day before her birthday going to Monkey Joe's and out to lunch. This was Greta's first visit to Monkey Joe's, and she seemed to enjoy running around willy-nilly and strutting her stuff on all the bouncing apparatuses.

Afterwards, we ate at McDonald's -- as in INSIDE the restaurant, sitting at an actual table. (I couldn't remember the last time I had actually been INSIDE a McDonald's). We chose fine dining because lately, Greta loves french fries. Loves as in sometimes it is all she will eat.
The next day, she took cupcakes to her little friends at daycare, and that evening, we celebrated with family with a dinner of salad, cheesesticks, pizza, and, of course, cake and ice cream.

Because she'd had a four-hour nap that afternoon, she was in the best of moods with the exception of one tiny incident, which I cannot help but recalling again and again because I cannot help but smile when thinking of it. Greta was sitting in her high chair and was finished eating her "main dish" of cheesesticks. We figured that since she was finished eating, we would let her down and out of her chair. We figured wrong. As soon as we got her out of her chair, she ran to the counter and banged on the box where the cake had been. SHE WANTED CAKE. She is sooo my daughter.

Greta loved opening birthday gifts: one, because she's curious and wants to know what's inside the wrapped package; two, because she loves having all the family looking at her.
We wrapped up the celebration with a birthday dinner at her Mimi and Poppy's. Tradition is that Mimi makes the birthday boy/girl their favorite meal. And, since no one else wanted french fries, applesauce and yogurt tubes, we instead had yummy chicken and dumplings. And, of course, MORE CAKE.

Ahhhh, how time flies when you're having fun! Our sweet little bumpkin -- the one who once weighed 4 pounds? -- she now weighs 27 pounds and 5 ounces! And she's just an inch and a half short of three feet tall.


Belly Love

This is Greta, kissing my belly. You ask her where mama's baby is, and she insists on lifting my shirt to point to my baby bump. You ask her where her baby is, and she points to her tummy.


Two Years Ago

Happy 2nd birthday to my sweet Greta Laine!
You've come a long way, baby!


Compilation of Random Thoughts

I don't have any brilliant stories to tell or amazing life events to share. That's why I haven't written lately. I'm doing the semi-bed rest thing. Sleeping and resting lots during the day while Greta's at day care, seeing the doctor once a week. I'm 30 weeks pregnant. Blood pressure has remained steady, and Iam only three pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight. Knock on wood, but I have had no swelling elephant feet yet! I had my first biophysical utrasound this week, and the baby passed with flying colors.

I'll say this now, before you waste your time reading further -- the following lacks continuity. And I'm fully aware of that. So don't read on if you're looking for something to fluidly entertain your mind. That there's my unofficial disclaimer. :-)

While lying around, playing human incubator to sweet baby boy, I've been watching A LOT of DVDs. I've reached the end of the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy. What? Your side hurts? I'm pretty sure I could diagnose any illness from appendicitis to cancer. Okay, maybe not.
Earlier in my pregnancy, I craved orange juice. Lately, I crave crab rangoon. Let me just say that I love crab rangoon so much right now that I've briefly contemplated wrapping up some cream cheesy goodness in a wonton wrapper and frying 'em up in a Fry Daddy. Now, mind you, I don't own a Fry Daddy, and I have no desire to own a Fry Daddy, so kaposh on that plan. (Thank God). Also, if I made my own crab rangoon, I'd surely miss the polite banter I have with the cute little Chinese Lemay Wok worker. God love him. He puts ONE fortune cookie in my to-go bag. Does he really think that only one person will be eating 12 crab rangoon? Well, he's right. But still...

My mother-in-law? She is amazing. Right now, I've got a sofa piled with neatly folded laundry, homemade canneloni left-overs in the fridge, and last night she helped me wrangle the resident 2 year-old wild woman. And she listens. She truly listens. To the rants and the ramblings but to the important things, too. Like when I'm sad and upset and just need an ear. Mimi, when you're 101 years old and on your death bed, I will make sure your gray hairs are covered and that your hands and toes are always well-manicured. With ANY color or design you like. I'm forever grateful for you.

Although I often claim my husband is on my recent shit list, right now he's everything but. The other morning, he served me pancakes while I soaked in the bathtub. He may not remember all my quirky wishes and wants, but he's grasped the most important: in the majority of life's situations, kindness will always win me over, especially when it involves food.

Looking forward to celebrating Greta's 2nd birthday next week. I'm trying to not beat myself up for not having a big party for her. I'd wanted to, but with my current taking-it-easy situation, it just wasn't an option. It drives me nuts that I didn't make her special handmade invitations and decorations, and I so wish I had the energy and endurance to make her a special cake iced with buttercream frosting. I ordered her gift too late and am crossing my fingers that it makes it here in time for her birthday. I'm continusously trying to remind and reassure myself that birthdays aren't defined by crepe paper streamers and bright party hats or cake and ice cream and gifts. Birthdays are about spending time with the people who love you. And THAT, I can guarantee her.

Feeling guilty for not being a better friend to my friends and for not keeping up with e-mails and phone calls but so grateful for those who are understanding and forgiving. I assure you that you haven't missed much in Andrea's world, and what you did miss -- it's all babbled about above. Be thankful you didn't have to follow THAT incohesive conversation via telephone!

Oh, yeah. One more thing. It's now July. That means I AM HAVING A BABY NEXT MONTH. Holy schnikies.