Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Eve

We spend Christmas Eve every year at my grandma and grandpa's house. This year was no different, and Emily wore her Christmas jammies to celebrate in style. She opened her presents from Great Grandpa and Great Grandma. She got a baby doll (we're hoping she can use it to practice for when her baby brother gets here), a super cute outfit, and a purse that has all kinds of goodies inside. Here she is playing with the purse and its contents:

One thing that Emily loves to do is stand on boxes. Rather than simply opening them, she enjoys giving them a good bounce first, to make sure they are quality boxes.
She finally went to bed around 9:00, just missing Aunt Jen, Uncle Jason, and Isabelle. But, we knew she had a big day on Christmas, so our tired little elf had to sleep.

Rocky Ridge

We went to Rocky Ridge to see Christmas Magic this year. Last year Emily liked it, but this year she absolutely loved the lights! She had so much fun with Grandma Sipe, Great Grandma March, Dan, and I! The only part she didn't like this year was Santa. Dan tried to sit her on his lap, but she immediately began reaching for Dan and crying. So...Dan and Emily both got to have their pictures taken with Santa.

In a sleigh there, we sat to have our picture taken. Since my mom was the one in charge of picture taking, it took way longer than it should have :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Busy, Busy

This week was crazy busy. On Monday, I got a call from Diabetes Management; it was time to begin insulin shots. So, I picked them up, gave myself a pep talk, and got started. I can't say it's's definitely easier to take the oral meds...but it's not torturous. The only problem I seem to have is bruising on my one side...I must stick the needle in differently when reaching across my growing expanse of a belly. I also had an ob appointment Monday night, which was worrisome since my blood pressure was way high. I've never had an issue with high blood pressure, so the doctor was a bit worried. After three tries, it did go back down, but the issue scored me another appointment on Wednesday for another blood pressure check. Luckily, that day it was just fine, so I'm off the hook for my blood pressure. The doctor did mention that while my due date is in April and the goal is to schedule the c-section at the beginning of April, I should be aware that they may push me earlier.

Thursday I had my ultrasound and echocardiogram. The baby looked great! His heart is perfect, and he is growing just fine. They are estimating his weight at one pound twelve ounces right now. It sounded big to me, but the tech told me it's right on schedule. He's very active in there, and at one point he actually kicked the probe off my belly! My next ultrasound is on January 19, so we'll see how he's coming along then.

The big news is that Dan has chosen a name! Like last time, we are not going to share. There are a few reasons for this. First and foremost, we want the option to change our minds if we need to :) Also, I have been around too many pregnant women who have gotten negative reactions to the names they've chosen. I figure once he's out, most people will just be so enthralled with him that they won't need to comment on his name. Plus, we like to have a surprise for everyone, and since everyone knows the gender, this is our secret we're keeping. I will say that I am very happy with the name, and I think that most people will like it. Dan did a great job!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby Bedding

After the fiasco that occurred when Dan and I bought new bedding for our room, I was determined to give up some control over what the baby's nursery would look like. I chose Emily's bedding pretty much by myself. I showed Dan what I liked, he agreed, and we bought it. This may be part of the reason why the word "dictator" was thrown around when we were arguing about which bedding we should put in our room. So, this time I allowed Dan to choose. Sort've.

I found several bedding options I liked. Two had ships on them. One featured whales and monkeys. I was purposely staying away from anything sports related for a few reasons. First, I don't really like sports. I've seen some events in person, and they're actually fun, but to sit around and watch ESPN and listen to those announcers? It's like nails on a chalkboard to me. Second, I think it's sort've expected that if you have a boy, he will have a sports related room. While I don't think that's a bad thing, I did want to do something a bit different. After all, that's part of the reason why Emily didn't get a pink room. Third, I kept thinking that subconsciously, we would be setting up expectations for our son to be an athlete. Why put that kind of pressure on an infant? What if he's artistic? What if he enjoys ballet?

So, Dan looked at my "pre-approved" options. Then he chose this:

Yep...our little guy will have a sports room after all. And that's okay...because this dictator promised to accept the choice that Dan made.

Monday, December 8, 2008

21 Week picture

I absolutely hate having my picture taken while pregnant, but I didn't want to feel guilty for not having any pictures this time around. So...this is me at 21 weeks. I feel much larger this time around, even though technically I don't weigh more. Maybe it's because it's a boy, so I'm carrying differently.

Quick Stats Update

Emily had her 18 month appointment last week. For those of you not in the know, at her last appointment (15 months) the doctor was concerned about her weight. As in, she wasn't gaining enough. Yeah, I know, tough right? Anyway, I knew that she had to have made some progress because the girl shovels food into her mouth like it's going out of style (like Mommy, like daughter). Also, when looking at us side by side, you have a hard time guessing which one is carrying a baby in her belly (I'll post some pics at a later time).

Emily now weighs a whopping 21 pounds, putting her between the 5th and 10th percentile for weight. The doctor was happy about this, since she did gain since last time. She is now officially heavy enough to flip her car seat to forward facing, although our pediatrician recommended we wait on that since she's still "on the small side". She is 31 and a half inches long, which puts her at almost the same height as her Grandma Sipe. Those two will be trading clothes in no time! Actually, she's in the 50th percentile for height. But what is really growing on this girl? Her head, which is in the 60th percentile. So basically, if you have a kid who is in the 5th for weight and the 60th for head size, you can sort've picture her by picturing a lollipop with feet.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Anniversary (Part 2)

I ordered tickets for us to go to the top of the Washington Monument at 4:00 P.M.  I'd never done this before, even though I'd been to the monument numerous times.  After a very fast geography lesson from a park service guide (he seriously said everything so fast, I only caught a few words), we were shepherded inside to the elevator.  The elevator took 70 seconds to reach the observation deck, which was at 500 feet.  The pictures were taken through the glass windows, which is why they're a bit fuzzy, but you get the idea.  It was really cool to be able to see all over the city.  The first is of the Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pool.

This is the Capital Building
After a slower descent on the elevator (it slowed and opened the windows so you could see all the stones that were given by states, countries, and organizations) we headed toward the World War II memorial.  This hadn't been completed the last time we were in town (way back in 2003 when Dan and I first began dating).  We wanted to see it and get some pictures for his parents, who were with us the last time.  This is Dan standing in front of the fountains and water in the middle of it.
I'm in front of the Atlantic side.  It's actually really huge and beautiful.  
We were going to try to walk to the Lincoln Memorial after that since Dan wanted to see that again, but by this time we were both tired, sore, and getting cold.  We decided to head back to the hotel.  I got this picture of the White House on our walk back.
Saturday night we went for dinner at McCormick and Schmick's, a seafood restaurant I'd wanted to try in Baltimore.  I will admit a large part of the reason we decided on that restaurant was its close proximity to our hotel.  My feet, legs, and back were killing me from walking around for over 7 hours during the day, and while Dan was a bit better off than I was, he was feeling some pain as well.  We had a good dinner, then like losers, went back to the hotel to simply hang out.  I think we were asleep by 10:15 (which was our late night!)  It was a far cry from the days living in Waldorf and just getting out to the clubs and bars at that time!   I think we both enjoyed two nights of sleeping without hearing every sound and movement on the baby monitor will be awhile before we enjoy that luxury again :)

Happy Anniversary (Part 1)

Over Thanksgiving weekend, Dan and I went to Washington, D.C. to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary.  With a toddler and a new baby on the way, we knew it was going to be awhile before we got a chance to get away again.  Plus, I couldn't even remember the last time we'd had dinner without anyone else!  So, Friday afternoon we dropped Emily off at mom and Ron's, and we headed into the city.  

We stayed at the Capital Hilton, which I have to take a minute to highly recommend.  When we checked in, the woman at the desk noted it was our anniversary and upgraded us to a 2 room suite.  We had a separate living room with a wet bar and fridge, two televisions, three phones (one in the bathroom, which baffled me), and a huge king size bed.  She also gave us vouchers for appetizers each night of our stay and the breakfast buffet each morning!  After checking out our room, we decided to take a walk and see what was around.  We found the White House 2 blocks away:

After seeing some sights, we decided to stop for dinner.  We spotted a gaudy red and yellow place called Ollie's Trollies which was touted as a "Washington, D.C. landmark".  Um, not even close.  It smelled funny inside, but we braved it anyway.  Dan got the famous Ollie burger...see how much he's enjoying it?

I think the funniest part was when a woman brought her two little boys in the restaurant to use the bathroom.  She took one look at it, turned them around, and said, "We'll go across the street to Barnes and Noble!"  Yep, it was that classy of a restaurant.  I couldn't complain though...they made a yummy BLT!

Saturday after breakfast, we decided to go to the Washington Zoo.  I hadn't been here since an eighth grade field trip, and I wanted to check it out.  Who knew it was so big?  It took us hours to get through, which was fine, but I didn't realize it was so extensive.  My favorite animal, by far, was the panda bear.  Only one was out, but after some creative acrobatics on my part, I got some decent pictures of her eating.  

Dan was more impressed with the Big Cats area.  There were two lions playing, but I think Dan's favorite was the tiger.

After the zoo, we hit a little place in Adams Morgan for lunch, then hopped on the Metro for our Washington Monument tour.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Photo shoot

Here are some shots from our last photo shoot! We had Emily's 18 month pictures taken last Saturday, and this year, Dan and I decided we'd have a few of the family taken as well. It was certainly a lot easier to get Emily to do what we wanted when she couldn't walk around. Every time she was left without a present or without one of us holding her, she'd get up and run out of the room!

It's a boy!

We went for the ultrasound yesterday, and the big news is we're having a boy! It took me the night to get used to the idea (I had really thought I'd have another girl), but I'm excited. Things looked fine, and I am scheduled to go for another ultrasound on December 18 to check growth and have an echocardiogram of the baby's heart.

Monday, November 17, 2008

One More Day!

Tomorrow is the big day...the ultrasound that will hopefully tell me if Emily is having a baby sister or a baby brother! If you would like, take a guess on the poll to the right. Some people have reported that they can't guess accurately without seeing how I'm carrying. Too bad. No one but my husband sees this belly right now :) However, if it helps, I will say that I've been sick, but not as sick as I was with Emily. I also am not getting as seems my belly is out more. However, as I have seen time and time again, that really doesn't mean anything. So take a have a 50% chance of being right, which is pretty good. I will update Wednesday to let you all know what we're having!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Princess Puddinghead

Miss Emily's first encounter with chocolate pudding :)

The Great Bedding Battle

After taking most readers' advice (and going with Dan's favorite), I ordered the blue and tan comforter. I wasn't too jazzed about having the blue and tan, mainly because that seems to have been my bedroom color scheme for years and years. But, I figured, majority voted and chose that one, and as Dan said, why do I even ask if I'm going to just get what I want? So it came, and right away I was appalled. The blue was not the pretty light blue in the picture. It's was sort've a dirty looking light blue, and the tans and greys were all blended together. Still, I figured I'd wait until we had the bed, then I'd see how it looked.

Dan and his friend Joe used last Saturday to pick up our new bed and mattress. I was out running errands and getting my hair turned brown, so I was gone most of the afternoon. I came home to an empty house, and I headed upstairs. Dan, trying to be a thoughtful husband, had made the bed up for me. I cried, not out of gratitude, but because the bedding was so much more hideous once in our room. The tan walls and carpet made the entire room look like a dirty tan cave. I hated it. Dan chose that moment to return home, and I lost it. I now blame it on a combination of pregnancy hormones and two very bad days leading up to it, but I was not nice to him. I cried. I yelled. I pulled the bedding off the bed. Then I pouted.

Instead of asking for a divorce or the papers to commit me to a psychiatric facility, I must say my husband handled the entire thing very well. We went out that night and found some new (and unfortunately much pricier) bedding that we both really like. See what you think:S

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yay for new furniture!

So Dan and I have an issue: we can't seem to share a queen size bed. I know a lot of this is my fault; I'm a total bed hog. But in my defense, at this point I do need more room. I mean, I'm sleeping for two! I do like to have my body pillow in there with me now since stomach sleeping has become impossible, and I'm not supposed to sleep on my back at this stage of pregnancy. There is simply not enough room for me, the pillow, and Dan. Since we are losing our last spare bed to the new baby and its nursery, we decided to get a new bed for us. Last weekend we bought a king size bed (the exact duplicate of our bed now, just bigger) and a new mattress and boxspring. I am so excited for it to arrive! anticipation of that, I need to get a new comforter as well. I have two choices that I can't seem to decide between. Our bedroom walls are currently tan, although with option #1, I'd probably like to switch them to a light blue. Who am I kidding? I'd probably repaint with option #2 as well, but I wouldn't be in as big a hurry to do it. So which one?

Option #1

Option #2

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Emily celebrated Halloween at daycare with a special party. Then we got her dressed in her costume (she was a lion this year) and headed to Great Grandma and Great Grandpa March's house. After a quick stop there, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Sipe's house where she helped hand out candy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It's officially fall now!

Now it feels officially like fall! The leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, and today we went to the York Parade. We took Emily last year, but being only 5 months old, she fell asleep halfway through the parade. This year, she had so much fun. My mom and grandma came with us, and Emily had a blast sitting on everyone's laps and watching the parade go by. Her favorite seemed to be the baton groups (probably she knows instinctively that her mommy was a twirler), and she loved dancing and waving to everyone going past. She also had her first taste of Bricker's french fries, which anyone in this area knows is the best french fry ever!

And update on my situation...sugars are mostly controlled during the day, but I'm still having problems with my fasting numbers and breakfast numbers. I email my first week's results to my case manager tomorrow morning, so we'll see what they suggest.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Appointments, appointments

Yesterday was my day of appointments. First, I had a meeting with my diabetes counselor and dietician. The counselor went over everything I remembered from last time - how to use my meter, how to code it, how to check it every week, etc. She also reinforced all the terrible things that may befall both me and Baby Bilodeau if I don't get a handle on my blood sugars. The dietician was more positive, and she helped me set up an eating plan that limits my carbs and sugars. I left feeling pretty good about using diet to control my numbers (rather than insulin or other medication). However, after three high readings today, I'm not so positive. Actually, I'm rather annoyed. I followed my food plan. I wrote in my food diary. I'm not ingesting more carbs than my allowance. So why the high numbers? Guess we'll find out when I email numbers and food diaries to my counselor Monday morning.

After that appointment, I went to my regular baby doctor appointment. I got to have both my favorite nurse and my favorite doctor (okay, technically she's a certified midwife), so that perked up my day. We discussed labor. As in, did I want to try for a normal, vaginal labor, or did I want to go straight to another c-section. Um, another c-section, please! I know not everyone will understand this decision, but after the horrific time I had with Emily and the relatively easy recovery I had from the c-section, it was a no brainer for me. Plus, the gestational diabetes complicates things even more, making my chance of actually being sucessful at delivering a baby vaginally unlikely. The c-section will be scheduled no sooner than April 3rd, unless Maternal Fetal Medicine thinks there's an issue, and I need to deliver early. My only goal? Not going into labor before that. She took my weight (down about 11 pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight thanks to all the "morning" sickness) and my blood pressure (excellent). Then my favorite part: the heartbeat. Baby's heart was beating nice and strong, the rate was somewhere in the 150's (which I happily noted was right about where Emily's was when she was in there).

My next appointments don't happen until mid-November. An ultrasound is scheduled for 11/18 where I'm hoping I'll find out if Baby Bilodeau is a boy or a girl. Then, I go back to my regular doctor on 11/20.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yesterday I was innundated by phone calls from my doctor's. My o/b called to tell me I failed my glucose test; I am officially diagnosed, again, with gestational diabetes. Next, Diabetes Self Management called to set up my two hour meeting with their office. Next Tuesday I get to go in and get reaquainted with my good friend, Mr. Blood Glucose Monitor. I'll also get my dietary restrictions, which, I will be honest, I'm dreading. After that appointment, I'll go straight back to the o/b for follow-up, although I should be able to hear the heatbeat now on the dopplar machine. I also got a phone call from Maternal Fetal Medicine telling me I am now on an extensive ultrasound schedule. The next one is November 18, and the upside of this is that I should find out the gender at that ultrasound.'s now a game of trying to get off work, make it to my many appointments, and begging for the latest appointment times possible (never late enough, though).

Land of Little Horses

On October 4th, we took Emily (along with my mom and Ron) to the Land of the Little Horses. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but as you would assume, there were little horses everywhere :) I didn't realize they'd be just walking around, but they were. Here are some pictures of our time there.

We also took a hayride to a pumpkin patch, which was fun, but by that time, Emily was ready for a nap.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wish Me Luck

I go tomorrow morning at 7:00 for my 3 hour glucose screening. I feel like such a baby complaining about it and dreading it so much, but I really remember being in total misery last time. Maybe something miraculous will happen, and I won't feel bad at all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sugar, Sugar Everywhere (But Not a Drop for Me)

After having gestational diabetes with Emily, I knew the chances of me getting it again were good. What I didn't count on was having issues this early in pregnancy. My sugars were tested this summer since it was recommended that I do a follow-up test one year after having Emily. They came back high. My family doctor was running more tests to determine if I'd developed Type II diabetes when I found out I was pregnant again. The tests were now invalid. However, my OB wanted me to keep a record of my blood sugars for a few days. Once again, I carted my handy little device with me everywhere and endured four needle sticks a day. The result? I had high numbers almost every time.

Yesterday I had an NT scan, which was new to me this time around. But, since it was an excuse to see the baby in there, I happily took the day off work and headed into Maternal Fetal Medicine. My grin was quickly wiped away, however, when they let it slip that my OB had already contacted them about suspected diabetes...I was now being labled as a "high risk" pregnancy. While it could mean ultrasounds every four weeks (which is a good thing, since I love seeing a baby in there moving, kicking, punching), it also means some not pleasant things. The first is a three hour glucose tolerance test scheduled for October 11th. I had to take this the first time around after I failed my one hour test, and it is torture. Because I don't process the sugars in the orange drink correctly, it ends up making me feel terrible. Last time I swung from extreme nausea (and if you throw up, you have to do it over again) to extreme fatigue. I also alternated between excessive sweating and chills; it basically felt like I was going to die for those few hours. Thankfully, the good people at Westgate Lab set me up in a private room with a cot so I could suffer without the stares of all the elderly waiting to get their weekly labwork.

Anyway, the gestational diabetes is usually diagnosed after week 28 in a pregnancy. That means I had to cut out carbs and sugars (two of my most favorite things) for only about 10 weeks last time. It was still tough, don't get me wrong, but I knew there was an end in sight. Now it is looking like I'll have to say goodbye to plates teeming with pasta, bread, and cake for an indefinite amount of time, and that is making me very nervous and sad. While I know I shouldn't, I am secretly having a goodbye party for the next week and a half, where I bake and cook everything I already have that I won't be able to resist after the test results come in. Tonight's guest of honor: Pillsbury FunFetti cake...highly recommended!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Public School Is Not For Everyone

A lot of people ask me about my job. Specifically, they want to know if it's really worth giving up my summer vacation ("You only work 9 months a year, right?") and salary ("Teachers are overpaid!") to find something not in education. First, let me assure you that I work, contractually, 10 months a year. I also have to do classes over the summer, I spend my weekends grading papers and preparing for class, and I am still here at work most nights long after my contractual time ends. As for the salary, I guess I can't complain, but when you factor in all the extra out-of-school time I spend doing school related stuff, it's really not as much as it seems.

That being said, I will relay an incident that happened in class today so that those who still feel I'm living the good life can get a glimpse into what I deal with.

A senior (fifth year, since he couldn't do high school in four) has been a behavior issue since Day 1 this year. I will admit that I'm not a huge fan of his, but I do try to be fair, and I do try to tolerate him when he's not acting like a jackass. This student asked, in the middle of class, to go to the bathroom. Actually, asked is not the word...he held out his passport and told me to sign it. Since we were in the middle of something, I denied him. He wasn't happy with me, but I went on with my lesson. Twenty minutes later, he interrupts me while I'm talking to ask again. Again, I say no. Now he's really upset, and he's threatening to "piss on my floor". I told him that when he was finished doing that, he'd have to stay to clean it up. Then I went on with my lesson. At the end of class, the students were walking out, and what do I discover this prize specimen of a child left me? He spit...yes, SPIT...on my floor in protest.

So please, when you ask if I am really sure that I would like a career change, remember this story. Because I guarantee you, some summer vacation is a small thing to trade for a job in which I don't have to deal with the likes of these kids 180 days of the year.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Emily has a secret

Our Big Girl

Here she is...walking all by herself! Ignore the gansta one sock style she's got going on.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Late Bloomer?

Emily has always been what I like to dub a "late bloomer" when it comes to physical milestones. She didn't crawl until 11 months. Instead, she preferred to roll across the room, and she was actually pretty good at it. In fact, I am ashamed to say that at times, it seemed she could roll faster than I could walk.'s no surprise that as her little friends have all gotten brave and
begun to take their first steps, Emily has chosen to continue crawling. At
first, people would ask, "Is she walking yet?" and I'd say no, and they'd
say, "Oh, wait until after she turns a year old...she'll be walking everywhere!" Her first birthday came and went, and no walking. She tricked us a few times; in July, she took a few steps between Dan and I, and we thought, "This is it!" But, those few steps were all we got, and she was back to dusting the floors with her hands and knees. We tried everything...we encouraged her to push just about everything across our floors. She loves doing that, but will not let go of whatever she's pushing. We tried bribing her with snacks (hey, it works with the dog)...nothing. When she went back to daycare, the director said in two weeks she'd be walking. She predicted that after Emily saw all her little friends walking around, she'd want to do it as well. But that was a false hope.

Then this week came, and all of a sudden, some little girl was taking steps! At first I didn't get my hopes up; I'd seen this trick before. But she would walk almost the entire length of the living room between Dan and I with a big goofy smile on her face (pictures will come soon, I promise). I knew we'd mastered the walking. It was done! Tuesday I picked her up from daycare, and I heard a familiar voice saying, "come on Emily, you can walk!" I proudly walked into her room and announced, "She started walking yesterday!" I called Emily, who was busy climbing into other kids' cubbies, over to me. This was our big moment. And of course, she dropped to her knees and did the fastest sprint crawl I've ever seen.