About Me

Hi! I'm Abby. My husband, Carl, and I are happily married since October 2007. Our little family of 2 (well, 3 if you count Chief, the dog) added one more in October 2011 when we welcomed Audrey Elizabeth, our first child into the world. Our life was forever changed. And to add to the joy and excitement, we added another daughter, Clara Marie, in May 2014. I wanted to create this blog originally to document all the milestones throughout my pregnancy with Audrey so we could remember that special time in our lives. And now I get to write all about Audrey and Clara and our life with these amazing "Larson Ladies", which is so much more fun!


Monday, November 18, 2013

Week 16

(This is as of Friday, 11/11/13)

How far along:  16 weeks and 2 days
Size of baby:  Baby Larson is the size of an avocado.
Total weight gain:  10 pounds
Maternity clothes:  I need maternity jeans!  I have some Kohl’s cash and a 30% off coupon (of course I do), so that’s where I’m headed tomorrow to get some jeans.  I may pick up some other shirts, too.  Although I feel that I’m pretty good on shirts and sweaters for right now.  I think.
Gender:  I really truly believe that we’re having another girl.  Of course I’m no expert and we haven’t seen an ultrasound that gives any indication since 11 weeks which is way too early to tell.  But I believe from the “nub prediction” – so weird by the way – that it’s a girl!  And also the Chinese gender chart and heartbeat both point to girl.  I also feel like this pregnancy is SO similar to my first with Audrey that it has to be a girl.  We find out in 5 weeks, so we will see.  And of course it HAS to be a girl because we have no idea what we will name her.  We are decided on a boy’s name, but that would be too easy, right?
Movement:  I swear now I’ve been feeling the baby.  I feel him/her really low usually in the afternoon while I’m sitting at my desk at work.  I felt enough of the movement yesterday that I put my hand on my belly to see if I could feel anything from the outside.  Of course I can’t!
Sleep:  I’ve been sleeping pretty well.  Well, that is when Audrey is sleeping well.  We’ve been having a tough go at things ever since the time change almost 2 weeks ago.  She used to go to sleep really easily.  We could walk out of the room and close the door with her in bed and still awake and she would fall asleep by herself.  Now, she screams bloody murder when we leave her room and if we close the door.  I’ve read that some children go through a phase around 2 years old.  It’s a combo of separation anxiety and not being able to tell imagination from reality.  She only woke once in the middle of the night last night and I was able to get her back to bed, but she told me to “sit” [in the chair in the corner].  She just doesn’t want to be left alone.  Oh, and she won’t sleep in her regular bed.  She HAS to sleep in her chair-turned-bed that Amber got her for her bday.  It’s on the floor between the chair and her regular bed.  After the first of the year, I would like to get a twin bed so we can put the crib back to normal.  We’ll get new bedding for the twin bed and hopefully Audrey will get excited about that and want to sleep in a regular bed again.  We will see.
Cravings:  Food.  Haha.  Still craving a lot of carbs, but that includes a lot of fruit and yogurt which is good.  Nothing else really specific I don’t think.  
Symptoms:  Headaches over the past couple weeks.
Best moment of this week:  Last week I didn’t post, but I want to mention that we went to a Blackhawks game in the Milhouse Theater Box seats.  That is the way to see a game, whether it’s hockey or basketball or whatever.  Big buffet that was open almost all game and open bar (which of course I didn’t take advantage of).  Pretty awesome.  This week on Wednesday night, Audrey’s daycare rented out Jump!zone in Mokena.  It’s a big place that has 6 (maybe 7?) big jumpy things.  Audrey loved it!  It was a great time!

No pic this week, but I feel like I'm showing so much more.  Will post a pic for week #17 or #18.

View 1st pregnancy week #16 post here.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Week 14

How Far Along:  14 weeks and 4 days
Size of baby:  baby is the size of a lemon, about 3 and 1/2 inches long
Total Weight Gain:  about 9 pounds I think; I admit, I totally binged on Halloween candy all week long.
Maternity Clothes:  Wearing my Old Navy Rockstar Skinnies almost every day and fastening with a hair tie.  Shirts... I'm mostly wearing regular shirts.  Good thing flowy shirts are in style.
Gender:  I keep having thoughts that we're having another girl.  I think it would be really neat for Carl to have a son, but we would also be really happy if Audrey had a sister to grow up with.
Movement:  Not yet
Sleep:  I have been sleeping better this week.  I only get up once (maybe twice) to go to the bathroom.  And I modified my workout routine a little bit and I think I'm sleeping better because of that.  I think I've just become a lighter sleeper.  And work can be stressful, so I wake up thinking about work and my clients.  You know when you're kinda awake, but not really, and you have a half-dream.  Yeah, I dream about my clients in those half-dreams.  It's weird.  All work-related, but still it's just not right to be dreaming about work.
What I miss:  A nice big cup of hot coffee with cream and Splenda.  I know I can make decaf, but I just don't want to make a whole pot at work for just 1 cup.  I know no one else will drink the decaf.  And I stay away from artificial sweetners, including Splenda even though they say it's safe.  I also miss having a good sandwich with lunch meat.  And it's annoying that I have to pay attention to what fish I'm eating because of the mercury-content.  I don't remember being this annoyed about watching what food I could eat the first time around.  But I am allowing myself to eat a lot more carbs and overall bad food than I would have even dreamed of before I got pregnant.  So I guess I can't complain too much.
Cravings:  Chocolate anything.  Maybe seeing all the Halloween candy at work and at our house and EVERYWHERE contributed to that craving.  My faves are Twix, Kit Kats, Snickers, Butterfingers... ok, I need to stop thinking about chocolate.
Symptoms:  Felt pretty good this week!
Best moment this week:  We bought a new car on Friday night.  We were still driving the '06 Camry that I bought back in 2005 (8 years ago!).  It was in decent condition, but this past week it started making a high-pitched noise.  And then on Wednesday night, Carl walked into the house from being out in the rain.  He looked a little wetter than he should, and he confirmed that the Camry had died at an intersection just a block outside of our neighborhood.  He pushed it off to the side, and then a nice guy gave him a ride home.  We had it towed to the auto shop, and on Thursday they confirmed what Carl was thinking... it was the alternator.  There were a few other things that would need to be replaced pretty soon.  The car had 167,000 miles on it, so it's just inevitable that things need fixed/replaced.  So we decided to replace the alternator so that we could trade it in at some point.  We went out car shopping on Friday night interested in finding a new car, but not desperate to find one.  But we did find the right car at the right deal so we bought it!  We simply upgraded... to another Camry.  But this time we went with the Hybrid.  We are so happy with it.  Definitely the right decision for us with how much we drive.  It's going to be my primary car, since I'm going to be driving more miles than Carl since he's going to be riding the train to the city at least 4 days a week now.

Week 14 pics:

View my Week 14 post from Pregnancy #1 here.

Announcing Baby Larson #2!

We are so excited that there is going to be another little Larson.  Baby Larson #2 is expected to arrive April 30, 2014.  Audrey's going to be a big sis!

We had Audrey announce the news to our family for us.  We bought a "Big Sister" shirt for her and had her wear it when my parents arrived to watch her for they day.  I think Grammy and Gramps were really surprised!

We took a lot of pictures, and that's how we told my sisters, Carl's parents, and Jennifer Larson. What fun news to tell!  I was with Amber when we showed her the pic, but Ashley was at home.  So we texted the picture to her.  She called right away when she got the picture and said, "I swear, if you tell me you're getting another dog..."  We laughed so hard... so funny.

I was supposed to have my 1st doctor's appointment at 8 weeks, but on the day of my appointment, I had a stomach bug and was up the entire night before really sick.  Like immobile from the bed/bathroom.  So I rescheduled and couldn't get in until 10 weeks.  Seemed like eternity to go in and hear the heartbeat and make sure all was ok.

But we finally went in on 10/9/13 and all is really good!  After the first ultrasound, they moved up my due date just by 2 days because of the baby's measurements and development.  (Original due date was 5/2/14.)  I thought I was 10 weeks along and they told me I was 11 weeks along.  So, there goes my first trimester... just like that.

Here are our first pics of the baby!

Heart beat was 179bpm:

I always tear up when I hear the heartbeat.  So incredible.  

My doctor that I see is not a high-risk doctor, but they do have one of the best high-risk doctors in the area in their practice.  I'm assuming this is why they have the 3D ultrasound just standard now.  I know they didn't have the 3D when I was pregnant with Audrey, just 2.5 years ago.  Here are the 3D pics.  Pretty crazy.

We then went back to the doctor on 10/23/13 (just 2 weeks later) for another ultrasound (my 12-13 week ultrasound) and to meet with the nurse.  Here are the pics, just to compare the baby's development within those 2 weeks.  The changes you can see comparing the 3D pics are really incredible!

I am going to start doing regular blog posts to journal my pregnancy.  I really enjoy looking back at my posts from when I was pregnant with Audrey, so I think it's totally worth it!

Since I'm so late in posting now, I will use this opportunity to sum up the entire first trimester (4 weeks, from when we first found out, through 13 weeks).

Total Weight Gain/Loss:  7 pounds throughout my entire first trimester.  I think it's all in my boobs... seriously.
Maternity Clothes:  I have a lot of maternity clothes from my cousin, and I also have my maternity clothes from when I was pregnant with Audrey.  But when I pulled out all my clothes, I realized they were all summer clothes (for the most part).  And I need all winter clothes now!  We had a really cold week a couple weeks ago, so I went out and bought a bunch of flowy shirts and sweaters (not maternity, though I know they'll be fine as my belly gets bigger) and some maternity sweaters and shirts.  My shirts still fit.  However, I feel uncomfortable if they're not really long shirts or if they are not flowy around my middle.  I'm still wearing my regular jeans.  I have a pair of jeans that I can still button comfortably, but I have a pair of skinny jeans that sit low (thankfully) but I have to fasten with a rubberband.  I need to buy some maternity jeans pretty soon I think.  I'm starting off this pregnancy a lot leaner and in better shape than I was last time around (to the tune of 20 lbs) so the maternity jeans/pants I have now are just way too big.
Gender:  We scheduled our "Level 2 Ultrasound" for December 17th, and we will find out then what the gender is.
Movement:  Sometimes I feel little flutters, but I don't believe it's the baby yet.  I'm hyperaware this time around since I know what to expect.  But I still don't think it's the baby.
Sleep:  Almost immediately after finding out I was pregnant, I was getting up 3-4 times a night to pee.  Seriously.  I haven't had a nice, long interrupted night of sleep in a longgggg time.
Cravings:  Early on, I had almost identical cravings to when I was pregnant with Audrey... mac n cheese, bagels and cream cheese, pop tarts, cheese anything.  A lot of my first trimester was very similar to Audrey, so it makes me wonder if we're having another girl... ??
Symptoms:  Starting around 5 weeks, I had the worst heartburn.  And it lasted about 2 weeks.  I remember having heartburn with Audrey, but not that early on.  I bought some antacids but I didn't even have to take them after I bought them because the heartburn just went away.  It makes me wonder if it was my body adjusting to the extra iron from the prenatal vitamins?  Although, I had been take the same vitamins for at least 4 or 5 months before I got pregnant.  I guess I wasn't taking them as religiously then, though.  Who knows!  Glad it's gone, though.  I had some queasiness, but never enough to get sick (except for when I was really sick... not pregnancy-related).  My motto was to just keep eating and keep a full stomach, then I wouldn't feel sick.  The first-trimester tiredness hit me HARD this time around.  I remember it being bad before and falling asleep on the couch at like 7 or 8pm after a workday, but this time it just seemed worse.  I guess I have more responsibilities this time around.  I definitely slacked on housework, and there were many nights that Carl would give Audrey a bath and put her to bed without me even getting off the couch.  But I really can't even complain.  I felt really great most of my first trimester.

Overall, I was really lucky to have such a great first trimester.  To the point that I was glad to see the ultrasounds and hear the heartbeat to believe I am pregnant!  Most days, I really just don't feel like I am.  I guess that's a good thing!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Audrey's 2nd Birthday Party

On Saturday, October 12th, we celebrated Audrey's 2nd birthday with a wonderful party.  

We chose a One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish party theme because Audrey loves Dr. Seuss books and loves this one in particular.  

Grammy Patton really put a lot of her touches (and time, resources, money, and effort!) into this party.  We keep telling her she needs to be a party planner!  We really appreciate everything she did to make this such a special day for Audrey.  

Beautiful food display.  Decorations (including handmade wreath and banner)
courtesy of Grammy Patton.  We served pizza and salad on the crates.
On the left side of this picture is a Gack where the kids could play "Ring the Gack."
That's right, we have the only Gack in town.  Grammy Patton made that Gack
with her new saw and then hand painted all the details with a little help from
her brother, my Uncle Scott, who was visiting from TN.

Guests could sign the book and leave their wishes for the birthday girl.  Sign reads,
"Stop here you see, and write a very special message to Me!  A Birthday Wish
or just sign your name, So I will never forget you came.  On the front, on the back,
or any of the pages.  It is something I will treasure for all my ages! Love, Audrey 10-12-2013"  

Here is the beautiful dessert table.  Auntie Ashley made the "2" sprinkle cake and all
the delicious cupcakes.  The cake was funfetti and the cupcakes were a mixture
of funfetti with funfetti frosting (minus the sprinkles) and carrot cake with cream
cheese frosting.  So beautiful and, most importantly, so delicious!  The carrot cake
cupcakes were my (and a lot of guests') favorites!  

The dessert table also had fish cookies from Mariano's and
fish bowls of swedish fish, colored goldfish, fish sweet tarts.
 Audrey certainly had a lot of fun celebrating with all her friends and family.  What a great day it was!  Thank you to everyone who came!  (Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of everyone who came.)

And a special thank you to Grammy Patton and Auntie Ashley Patton for everything they did for the party!!  What a special party for a special girl.

Audrey and Maci Whetstone with the Cat in the Hat

Audrey and Maci sitting in Audrey's new chair/bed from Auntie Amber

Auntie Jennifer and cousin Ross Larson

Audrey and Maci playing with baby dolls

Audrey and Derek Carroll (neighbor) playing Ring the Gack.  I'm guessing Audrey won?

Ring the Gack:  Audrey, Colby Marr, Fiona Carroll

Audrey's new car from Grammy and Gramps

I think she likes it!

Audrey and Auntie Ash

Audrey with Grammy and Gramps

Crystal and Maci Whetstone, Abby and Audrey, Colby and Cynda Marr

with Katie and Frank Baio

Audrey and Auntie Amber

Audrey with Grandma and Grandpa Larson

Audrey is 2!

Our sweet Audrey Elizabeth is 2 years old.  Here's the birthday girl!
In a pretty sweater dress, courtesy of the Marr's

Dear Audrey,

You are the sweetest little girl.  You love your daddy, but you're still a momma's girl. Which doesn't bother me a bit.  :)  You are such a good little helper.  You love to have a job to do like putting things away, but only if we make a fun game out of it.  You love to get out your vacuum and vacuum alongside of me.  You love to dump out your basket of hair bows/accessories and then pick them up and put them away.  Over and over.  At "school" (daycare), you get stickers often for being a good helper for your teachers.

You have made so many friends at school:  Karishma, Chloe, Avery, Maureen, Jack... you can name them all when we look at your school picture.  And your teachers just adore you.  Your teacher in the Toddler 2 room, Ms. Abby, just raves about you.  How you love to play with the baby dolls, and you take such good care of them by wrapping them up in blankies and carrying them around.  She told me that if she had to choose 1 child to be a big sister to her kids, it would be you.  For your birthday, Ms. Abby made you a little red cradle with a tiny baby doll for you to play with and remember her by.  She's really going to miss you now that you've moved up to the 2/3's room with your new teacher, Ms. Meghann.

You love reading books, and you certainly have some favorites.  For bedtime, we many nights read the same books over and over.  You love all Dr. Seuss books, especially The Lorax, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hatches the Egg, and Green Eggs and Ham.  You love the books I'll Teach My Dog 100 Words and Snow.  Sometimes you'll let us mix in some other stories, but those are the go-to's.  Your favorite movies are The Lorax and Despicable Me.  We have watched these movies so much, especially The Lorax, that it's not uncommon for Daddy and I to have the songs from The Lorax stuck in our heads all day at work.  (Why do they make the songs so darn catchy??)  You love watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Elmo (not Sesame Street, just Elmo), Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Little Einsteins.  You love to color.  Some days they send home 6 sheets of paper that you colored by yourself.  And you love stickers.  We have sticker books where you can stick them all, but your favorite thing to do is stick them to your face and your clothes, all over your body.  You crack up at yourself doing this.

You love playing at the park, sliding down the slides (even the big ones!), swinging, and just running around.  Our park in our neighborhood has a splashpad, and you loved to visit there over the summer and run through the water.

You are a fun-loving little girl.  You are shy around others, but you're adventurous and ready to try new things.  At school, they tell me that you are usually the first to try something out, even if the other kids are hesitant.  You have no problem sitting down and focusing on one thing for awhile.  Recently it's been a number of things... Playing with a mini-tent with mini-people when you were talking about camping at daycare.  Ms. Abby was so impressed that you sat there and played with the tent and people for so long.  You were focused on figuring out how to zip and unzip the tent, and once you figured it out you were so proud of yourself!  Also, building things with blocks... you love to build and then crash it down.  You are analytical and you like to figure out how things work.

Your favorite restaurant is Train Car Tommy's (formerly known as Choo Choo Johnny's).  We sit around a bar where a train circles around and brings you your food.  You were so excited to eat there for your birthday, and started clapping and hootin and hollerin in the parking lot even as we were pulling up.  They gave you ice cream with a candle in it (delivered by the train, of course), and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to you.  You got so embarrassed and hid your face in my shoulder.

You are a good sleeper in your big girl bed.  You transitioned from the crib to the big girl bed at about 19 months old (back in the early summer) when  you learned how to flip out of your crib.  You still can't open the door to your room by yourself, so you knock on the door when you're ready to get up for the day.  You still sleep with your paci, but it's reserved only for sleeping.  You hand it to me to put "in its safe place" on the dresser as soon as you get up in the morning.

You are quite the talker these days.  You are now putting together 3-4 word sentences.  And you've learned possessives... "Audrey's car", "Chief's leash", "Daddy's coat", etc.  Your expressions and some of the things you say and how you say it just crack us up.  One of my favorites... you scrunch up your nose, shake your head, and say "I don't like it", usually in reference to broccoli or something like that.  That facial expression is so funny.

Grammy Patton planned the most wonderful 2nd birthday party for you.  You kept saying "Audrey's birthday" for a good month before your birthday, just in anticipation of your party and celebrating.  (I think it also helped that other kids at school had birthdays, so you wanted your turn!)  The theme of the birthday was One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.  We had a lot of friends and family who came to celebrate with you.  It was such a good time!

Audrey, we love you so much!  You surprise us everyday with a new thing that you've learned or what you can do.  Even as you get more opinionated and independent, you are such a good girl.  You have such a good, caring heart.  And you are so smart, such a good memory!  You amaze us, and we love you so much.  Happy Birthday, sweet Audrey Elizabeth!

We love you more than you'll ever know!

Pictures from your Birthday Dinner:

Watching our food come out on the train

Superman Birthday Ice Cream