I'm Here!

Jan. 20th, 2008 06:11 pm
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We left home at 3:50 this morning and headed to the airport. Overlooking the very early hour, the flight was awesome. JetBlue is my new favorite airline. There was free DirectTV, plenty of legroom, great snack options, we left and took off on time, and (this was just luck) the plane was practically empty. Ellie slept basically the entire flight to Orlando. From there, we switched over the Southwest which was no big deal because we had not luggage. The 2.5 hour layover was a bit of a pain with a two years old (2 accidents, which is rare; I got gum on my pants; the "fruit salad and yogurt" was about 1/8 of a cup of yogurt plus those orange and green melons with 1 bit of pineapple and 1 strawberry) but once we got on the plane, things were good. We sat next to an 80 year old woman who chose to sit by us, she said, because she thought I needed someone helpful to sit with. She totally bossed the flight attendants around (who were very sweet) and had them bringing me extra pillows, snacks, and water. Ellie spent the first 2 hours snacking and watching movies on her iPod. She was crabby for about 5 minutes and then napped for the past hour.

So, we are now at my parents' house. There is snow on the ground! Ellie had a great time playing with the snow already. She looks so cute in a jacket, pants, hat, and gloves!. I'm not used to seeing her with so many clothes on. Anyway, we made it and now vacation can begin! Baby can come any time he wants!

Last Day

Jan. 18th, 2008 09:41 am
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1. Today is my last day of work! Technically, I'm going on maternity leave, but I won't be back absent some major changes - in me, in the work place, and so on. I'm hoping to do some pro bono and/or private imigration work, but not for at least six months.

2. I've been plagued all week with dreams and worries that the baby will come before I get on the plane on Sunday. I guess it's a combination of feeling very pregnant and having *everyone* say stuff to me about looking "ready to go", "very tired", or "different".

3. My mom called me last night to tell me that it's -2 at their house. I'm so excited for winter, but, dude, that's cold!! I have a great winter jacket but there's no way it will fit over me. My mom has clothes/jacket/boots/everything else for Ellie already and I'm sure they will have something I can borrow. I'm bringing a carry-on but I might bring two since I've paid for two seats.

4. Speaking of packing, I made a list of what I want to take. We are going to try to go to the beach in the morning - sort of a "last outing as a family of 3" activity. We have a triplet 2 year birthday but they blew off Ellie's party and we are just one of many guests so we may bail if I'm feeling tired.

5. I washed the car seat cover for the baby car seat last night. Ellie, of course, delcared it to be hers (she's not wrong, I guess) and we have convinced her to share it with her baby brother. Joe was saying how nice it was to just *have* everything already. My response was, "yeah, since this baby isn't getting anything new, the least we can do is wash it for him." I feel a bit bad - Ellie's room was painted, furnished, and organized at least 3 weeks before she was born. This time, I have done nothing except make organized piles of the baby clothes people have given me. I'll organize but I just don't have the time now. Once we are back, I'll spend a few days getting stuff arranged the way I want it. Ellie's room is, and has always been, basically a storage closet for all her stuff. Other than to pick out her clothes, she's never in there. So, I'll rearrange the storage but I don't see this baby spending much time in there either.
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I'm at 34 weeks as of today and had my most recent appointment last Thursday.  I now weigh 212 lbs, which is a bit depressing, but within the range for where I started at.  The baby is growing and about the size he should be.  When Ellie heard the heartbeat, she said, "That Ellie's baby brother!" which was pretty cute.  I'm supposed to have another ultrasound next week just to be sure that the baby is properly positioned.  (This confuses me - the midwife says he still might change positions in the next few weeks, so I'm not sure what they are checking for, but no complaints here.)

I am totally counting down the days until I'm done working (about 20).  This week will be 3 days only, then a 4 day week, then two five day weeks.  I need to get moving on the dogs' flight to New Mexico as that date is coming very soon. 

I think I've decided to stay in New Mexico until the end of Feb and then come home.  I'll have just over 2 weeks at home which isn't a lot but I feel happy with that decision.

My parents are here until Thursday.  It's nice having them around and being done with all the festivities.  My mom helped me take down the tree today and put away all the Christmas decorations.  It's a bit sooner than normal but the tree was *very* dry and the trash men came today.  If not today, we would have had to wait an entire week to have the tree taken away.  Now I just have to find a place for all Ellie's presents.  I'm hoping to get my bags packed for New Mexico by Tuesday so my parents can take them with them.  Ellie's clothes are mostly already in New Mexico (they just stayed in October since the weather is so different here and there) so I just have to send the baby stuff, winter maternity stuff, and post-baby stuff.)

One cool thing about this stage of pregnancy with this baby.  It often feels like he's trying to push his way out the side or top or something.  He moves around a lot and I've really been able to feel distinct body parts this week.  Last night, I'm certain that I was putting my hand arund his little butt/back.  Very hard and way to big for an appendage.


Dec. 28th, 2007 07:38 am
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I am conflicted about my travel this next few months and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do.

Here is my proposed travel schedule for the next 6 months:

Jan 20 - Feb 28 - parents' house in New Mexico to have baby.
Mar 15 - April 15 - 4 days in Chicago with grandparents and then brother's house in Minnesota to visit family and stay with SIL when she has baby (due Apr 1).
May 20 - June 30 - parents' house again because Joe will be in Kentucky for that time

Now, I've already been feeling like that's too much time away.  Joe and I had been talking about stopping at his parents' house on the way back in April for 3-4 days but we've already cut that out and I had decided to come home from Minnesota a week early in April so I had a bit more time here.

The dates of these trips are somewhat non-negotiable.  My baby is coming when he's coming and I don't want to have him here.  Joe has Spring Break (the only real time he can leave) at the end of March and my SIL's baby is due April 1.  Joe's dates in Kentucky are set by the Army.

So, I was all set to buy the tickets at the times I had mentioned above when Joe and I started comparing calendars again.  It turns out that he has a work related trip the last week of Feb. *and* the first week of March.  This would mean that if I go home at the planned upon time, I would basically be home alone the first two weeks.  Neither of us wants that.  But, if I stay at my parents until he is done with his trips, I would have just a week back in PR and then be leaving for Chicago.  That seems like way too much travel, especially with Ellie and new baby Frisco.

The end result of all this is that the most convenient and cheapest solution is for me to leave PR on Jan 20; fly to Chicago with Joe on Mar 14; fly with the kids to MN on Mar 19, and stay until April 15.  (Makes no sense to leave MN early because Joe has another trip April 9-13).  Then, we would go back to New Mexico around May 20 and stay until June 30th.   WRT time and money, this plan makes the most sense, but emotionally, I don't want to spend this much time away from home.

When I try to figure out *why* I don't want to be gone from home so much, a few things come to mind.  I will miss my (rather few) friends here.  I want them to meet my baby.  I want to be at my home with my baby.  Our home is not cozy or comfortable (due mostly to the climate here) but it is home.  Plus, there's the whole issue of Ellie and preschool.  If we are here, Ellie will be in preschool, meaning that I don't have to watch 2 kids full time.  And, I want her to be in preschool when we come back, so I don't want to just take her out permanently, but that's $500 month we are spending just to save her spot.

But I think, more than anything, it feels unfair to me to take her out for so long.  She really likes the preschool and her teachers and friends there.  She talks about it all the time.  She has learned a lot there and they all really like her.  IN other words, she fits in well that and I feel bad taking her out for what amounts to almost 5 months.  I know her world will change when her brother is here but I wanted her to still have her own little social sphere that was little-brother-free.

Ugh!  I just don't know what to do.  It seems dumb to be here, alone with Ellie and a newborn, when I could be with family.  But it also seems like it will be work to stay with family because Ellie won't have preschool to occupy her. (Not that I can't parent two kids at the same time, but it's just that it's not actually a huge break (for me) to stay with family so long.)

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Ellie and my dad are on a plane in Houston right now, waiting to take off and come back to Puerto Rico.  Overall, this trip has been a total success.  My parents loved having Ellie there, she apparently loved being there, and Joe and I really enjoyed the break from parenting.  Also, it seems that Ellie made excellent progress towards sleeping through the night without nursing and we are going to try very hard to maintain that once she gets home.  We have all joked that home will seem boring after visiting Grandma and Grandpa, but my mom also says Ellie is really looking forward to seeing us.

It's weird - I had major misgivings about going from "never spent a night away from mom" to a week away, but it did not appear to bother her at all.  According to my mother, there was no "adjustment" phase or any crying about missing us.  As for me, well,, leaving her at the airport was very hard, but this entire week, I was very happy to know that she was having fun and trying new things.  The first two days were the hardest, but then it got easier.

I think we will try to make this a bi-yearly event - although not next spring because we will be visiting my parents in February when the baby comes and then in May/June while Joe is in Washington.  Still, it's nice to have a small break and know with certainty that Ellie is enjoying herself and being well cared for.

I did have a few insights due to her absence.  First, I knew this, but having a child is the reason our house is always a mess.  It makes me feel better to know that I can still keep a house organized and clean, but that it is the little tornado living here that makes it impossible.  It's not just that she makes messes, but caring for her takes up that time that I might otherwise use to just straighten up.

Second, being pregnant is not what it wearing me down - it is being pregnant and caring for Ellie while working full time.  I think I could do two of the three just fine, but it's that third one that means I'm exhausted at the end of the day.

Third, I was always one of those people who thought of my dogs as kids.  I have no problem with people who refer to their dogs as their kids and I can see why they do it.  However, it really hit me this week, when we had just dogs and no kid, that dogs are about a thousand times easier than kids.  You walk them, feed them, and pet them occasionally, and they are happy.   And if you want to run out for dinner or to get coffee or something, they just stay at the house.

Finally, before Ellie left, she was nursing basically just at bedtime/naptime and if she woke in the night (which happened maybe 3 nights a week).  I was very sore from nursing while pregnant and there's no milk left.  Also, my brain knows that Ellie will like her baby brother better if she's not still nursing when he comes.  Despite all that, my heart is a little bit sad that I may have nursed her for the last time.  I guess I should focus on being glad that we got to nurse for two and a half years.  When we started, I had absolutely no idea how much it would mean to me.  I thought about it a lot the week before she left, so it's not like it's unexpected for me.  I didn't talk to Ellie about it, which I now regret, but I didn't think about it after she left.  Still, my mom said she didn't ask to nurse when I wasn't there and Joe is going to take over bedtime for a week or two here.  I'm hoping it's just me that will have to make the emotional adjustment and that Ellie is ready.  If she's just not ready, she can still nurse, but I'd like to avoid that. 

Well, my dad just called - the plane is due to take off in a few minutes.  Oh the coolest part of their return trip - because of my job, I have a airport ID badge that I've never used but it's supposed to let me in anywhere in the airport.  So, Joe and I are going to try to meet them at the gate.  I can't wait to see her!


Oct. 22nd, 2007 05:54 am
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Ellie saw a few flakes when she was about 9 months old (I think) but it was so slight that it didn't really count and either way, I'm sure she doesn't remember it!


(I miss her but it's not killing me. Yet.  Still, I'm glad she's having fun.  My mom said she was great on the plane and seemed to really be enjoying the trip.)
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[x-post with Ellie's blog because I'm lazy]

Highlights from our trip so far:

The flight here )

Our time in Denver/Boulder )

The drive to New Mexico to see my parents )

Our visit so far )

I could write an entire post about the weather here, but I will try to restrain myself. The sun has been warm, but not hot. The air has been crisp and clear. Yes, there has been rain, but it’s been a wonderful cold rain that was snow at high elevations. Everywhere I look, there are beautiful golden and red trees. Ellie and have both been wearing warm jackets and sweaters and it’s been wonderful.


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