Trick or Treat 2013

It's been a rough week here at the Sides' residence.  We got a text from daycare on Monday stating that Brantley threw up and we needed to come get him.  He continued to throw up through mid-afternoon the following day, including three times overnight.  He couldn't keep anything down, not even water, and we ended up at Children's Mercy Urgent Care as we were worried he was dehydrated.  I'm convinced you haven't truly experienced parenthood until you're puked on.  Multiple times.  Poop, I can handle.  Puke, not so much.

He went back to daycare on Wednesday afternoon and acted fine all day, but got sick again Wednesday overnight.  So, he stayed home again today (on Halloween).  Poor kid.  I'm not sure who was more sad - me or him - that he missed costume day at daycare.  Oh wait, it was definitely me.  He had no idea what he was missing.

Anyway, I was hoping all day he'd feel well enough to trick or treat.  I'm still not convinced he's 100%, but he seemed well enough to venture out to some neighborhood houses.  (Does that make us bad parents?  Probably.)

I've said it before, and I'll say it again.  I'm pretty sure having a kid is so much fun because you get to re-live all those fun childhood experiences.  Like swinging.  And trick or treating.

We dressed our little lobster, then posed for a few self-timer pics at home.  The hubs and I were chefs, though I didn't get around to buying chef hats until the last minute and could only find one.  I might also add, the only reason Brantley was okay with his costume was because he thought he was Elmo.  He recently discovered a love for Elmo (or Melma, as he says) and apparently {to him} the lobster looked like Elmo.  So that's what we let him believe.

Trick or treating was a success.  Except that Brantley couldn't walk very well in his Elmo lobster costume and bit it, face first, on the concrete sidewalk en route to his first house.  So the big, red spots on his forehead and nose?  A trick-or-treat mishap.  On the plus side, they matched his costume. :)

Weather wise, it ended up being a perfect Halloween night.  The rain decided to part ways and it was near 60-degrees.  We visited about ten houses in a four-block range.   Then we came home and handed out candy the remainder of the night.  Despite the sickness and sidewalk fall, I'd say Brantley's first trick or treating experience was a good one!  Until next year, Halloween! that Halloween is over, BRING ON CHRISTMAS AND THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!!!!!  

Happy Halloween from My Favorite Little Lobster!

What's Cooler Than a Beer Fridge?

A kegarator, of course! 

Kegarater (noun): A residential draft beer dispensing device; a keg, typically of beer, is stored in a refrigerated container in order to keep the keg chilled.

Beer on tap at our house! 

Complete with frosty pint glasses in the freezer. :)

Now, what would be even better?  If only I could drink it!!!  You don't even know how much I'm looking forward to April...

Bumpdate: Week 14

Hello second trimester!  Glad to finally meet up again!  But could you please notify my morning sickness?  Because it doesn't seem to have gotten the memo that it should have subsided by now.

Still feeling sick every couple to every few days.  I guess I should be thankful it isn't every day...but that almost makes it worse.  I can't figure out why some days, like this morning, are significantly worse than others.  I haven't thrown up again, but sure felt like I could have on the drive to work this morning.  And that was after I ate a normal, semi-large breakfast.  Anywho, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'm nearing the end of this nauseousness.  And hey, and maybe the extended sickness means it's a girl? :)

Big news of the week: our screening tests came back normal.  My blood was tested for the fragile X, SMA, and cystic fibrosis genes.  Results showed that I'm not a carrier of any of those.  Additionally, the risk of having a baby with trisomy 18 is <1/5000, and having a baby with down syndrome is <1/3100.  All "great news", according to the genetic counselor.  I have to go back in the second trimester (oh hey, that's now!) for a few additional screenings, but so far, so good!

Still feeling about the same as in weeks past.  My newest symptom - I'm hungry often.  Two hours after I eat and my stomach is already growling.  Baby must be going through a major growth spurt!

I'm also pretty certain I can feel the baby moving in there!  Which is a huge change from my first pregnancy when I didn't feel him until 21 weeks on the dot!  It's that same fluttery feeling and I've felt it a couple of times when I lay down to go to bed.  Love that feeling and love that I can feel it sooner this time!

How Far Along: 14 weeks - officially the start of the second trimester!

Size of Baby: ~3 1/2 inches, about 1 1/2 ounces; the size of a lemon

Gender: Based on my recent fruit cravings, I want to say girl...but I generally crave sweet things anyway, so I don't think that means much.

Weight Gain: Same as before - about 5 to 6 pounds so far.

Food Cravings: Couldn't get enough fruit at a weekend wedding I attended.  And cooked veggies earlier tonight.  Healthy cravings??  Hmmm...

Food Aversions: Black coffee.

Movement: Yep!  And at a record 13.5 weeks this time!

Sleep: Very normal minus peeing at least once per night.

Clothing: Still the same - about 2/3 regular clothes, 1/3 maternity.  No maternity pants and no Bella Band just yet!  (Even though my bump is bigger, I seem to be carrying higher than before, which makes my low-rise pants still fit.  Works for me!)

Other Pregnancy Symptoms: Still nauseous every now and then.  Brushing my teeth finally took it's toll and made me gag to the near point of puking on Monday.  Headaches galore.  Super dry skin.  Super hungry in recent days.

Differences from Pregnancy #1: I remember feeling back to normal by 14 weeks in my first pregnancy.  I'm still suffering from nausea every few mornings and reliant on Zofran.  My baby bump is definitely more apparent, but I {somehow} still fit in my regular pants.  Felt the baby around 14 weeks, as opposed to at exactly 21 weeks the first time.

Similarites from Pregnancy #1: Most things are similar.  Just the few minor differences mentioned above.

What I Miss: Beer.  I also miss looking forward to my morning coffee.  It was always very warm and comforting, especially on these cool days.

Best Moment: Feeling the baby extra early, of course!  And getting the "normal" results back from our screening tests.

Looking Forward To: November 26's gender reveal!  I changed our sonogram appointment to a day sooner so we could go to a celebratory dinner that night (before traveling to Wichita for Thanksgiving)!  5 weeks to go! 

(A few have asked if we're going to do a gender reveal party again.  Not this time.  I feel like that's a "first baby thing".  However, at this point, our plan is to have the technician seal it in an envelope and we'll find out together, in a more intimate setting, at dinner later that night.  So excited!!)

How about a bump picture?  Thanks to the hubs for being super cooperative and taking these pictures each week!  And for helping with the chalkboard.  Usually they're my creations, but this time, the hubs wanted to help.  That prego lady is holding a beer...

And a comparison picture...

Bumpdate: Weeks 12 & 13

I started this post last week at 12 weeks.  Yet somehow 12 weeks turned into 13 and here we are, nearing the end of the 1st trimester already! 

12 weeks brought our second doctor appointment.  The baby decided to scare us when my doctor searched for the heartbeat.  Nothing.  For about three minutes.  Of course, there were about a million thoughts running through my head, but surprisingly, I remained very calm.  Something in me told me everything was just fine.  My doctor reassured those thoughts when she said my uterus seemed to be growing, but the look on her face was still that of concern for a short period of time.

She pulled in the sonogram machine, and low and behold, there was the tiny beating of a heart!  Whew!  Baby was there, alive, and well!  Just apparently hiding from us.  (We got an extra picture from the ordeal!)

Because of Brantley's hydrocephalus, she encouraged us to do some first trimester screening.  We opted not to do any tests with Brantley due to the possibility of false positives, but decided to go ahead with the tests this time.  The tests included a sonogram that measured the fluid in the back of baby's neck (nuchal translucency) - extra fluid can mean a higher risk for Down Syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities - and bloodwork that can detect genetic problems that may lead to birth defects.  The fluid in Baby's neck measured in the normal range.  It will be a couple of weeks before we know the results of the blood work. 

We also met with a genetic counselor who recorded our family history.  The only strike against us is that we had a previous child with hydrocephalus.  As she explained, this could have been a random occurrence, or due to an abnormal x-chromosome passed to Brantley by me.  If the latter is the case, that means I'm a carrier of the gene for hydrocephalus, and my future babies (boys) could develop the same condition as Brantley.  Since girls have two x-chromosomes, future girls would have a "back-up" x-chromosome and only be a carrier of the gene.  (I think I have that correct.)  We decided against having them test me for the hydrocephalus gene, since any problems will likely show up in ultrasounds, like they did with Brantley.

We also have to go for a level 2 ultrasound (at the hospital) at 19 weeks, so they can monitor this baby a little closer.  No complaints there...we'll get to learn the baby's sex at 19 weeks, instead of 20 1/2, which is when our regular appointment would fall.  The appointment has already been scheduled for November 27, the day before Thanksgiving!  Six weeks and counting!  Can't come soon enough!

Since our screening appointment was at the hospital, we got to check out the new birth center!  I am super excited to deliver a baby in this new addition!  We also ran into one of Brantley's NICU nurses.  I don't think she remembered us (or Brantley), but it was nice to see someone who made such an impact in the first couple of weeks of Brantley's life!

Here's a selfie baby bump photo taken at 12 weeks and 1 day.  I couldn't believe my eyes when it already protruded past my boobs!  Pretty sure I didn't look like that until at least 25 weeks in my first pregnancy!'s super exciting that I'm starting to show!  Who doesn't love a baby bump?!

How Far Along: 13 weeks

Size of Baby: ~3 inches, about 1 ounce; the size of a pea pod

Gender: Some days I think girl, but I always tend to refer to the baby as a 'he'.  Whenever I think about this future kiddo, I also tend to think of our favorite boy name(s), not girl.  Hmmm....

Weight Gain: About 5 to 6 pounds so far.

Food Cravings: No real cravings lately.  I have been drinking hot tea quite often and snacking on an abundance of sugar cookies I made over the weekend (but I'd do that pregnant or not).

Food Aversions: Still no coffee (unless it's a latte or macchiato).  It just doesn't sound good.

Movement: Nothing yet.

Sleep: Very normal.

Clothing: About 2/3 regular clothes, 1/3 maternity.  Mostly maternity shirts (no pants yet).  The shirts make me look more "pregnant" and less "thick around the middle", which I appreciate.  Still wearing my normal pants/skirts without a Bella Band.

Other Pregnancy Symptoms: Still sick feeling, nauseous to the point of taking a Zofran every few days, still constipated (though not as bad), sore boobs, peeing at least once overnight.

Differences from Pregnancy #1: When I was pregnant with Brantley, I had a very high self-esteem.  Don't get me wrong...I still feel pretty good about myself, but feel like I'm growing differently.  I'm feeling much wider this time around.

Similarites from Pregnancy #1: I can't think of any specific similarities at the moment...

What I Miss: Craig installed a kegarater in our garage and I really wish I could have a frosty mug of draft microbrew beer. :(

Best Moment: Even though the screening tests can be nerve-wracking, it was fun getting an extra peek at Baby!

Looking Forward To: Learning the sex and altering the nursery! (And planning Brantley's "big boy" room!)

A Weekend Trip to WI & Brantley's 1st Plane Ride

I'm finally catching up on all the blog posts that have been saved--either in my memory or as a draft!  Seems my energy/ambition is returning!  Good thing, because there are some parts of our lives that just shouldn't go un-documented!  Here's one... 

Early in September, we traveled north to Wisconsin for the wedding of one of my high school besties.  Said bestie lives outside of Madison in a quaint little town called Sauk City.  This was also the location of the wedding.  (Rumor has it, Sauk City was home to the very first Culver's restaurant.  It has since been remodeled, but still exists.)

Our plan was to split the 8-hour drive to Sauk City between Friday night and Saturday...and then make the long trek home on Sunday.  Then, the hubs realized he needed to be in Chicago mid-day on Sunday for a work conference.  That threw a wrench in our plans.  There was no way I wanted to make the 8-hour trip home on Sunday, with a toddler, sans hubby, and then go to work on Monday morning.  (While, of course, being a single mom for the next three days.  Call me a baby, I don't care.)  So...we decided to drive a rental car to Wisconsin so that we could each take a quick, direct flight back to KC.  On Sunday morning, we drove 3 hours from Sauk City to Chicago.  Brantley and I said our good-byes as we were dropped off at Midway; the hubs returned the rental car and headed for his work conference until Wednesday.

It worked out pretty well.  Minus the fact that Craig left his favorite Royals cap in the rental car.  The same cap that took 2+ years to find.  (He's picky about fit and has a large head, apparently.)  Oh, and we went through the wrong lane of a toll booth (the I-pass lane) and, consequently, didn't pay the toll.  So then there was that stress of figuring out how to pay so we wouldn't be fined.  Silly Illinois roads/construction! 

There were also some stressful moments in the airport.  I was trying to push Brantley in the stroller, keep him happy, and steer my luggage.  Which was quite the challenge.  Getting rid of my suitcase (i.e. checking it) was the best thing I could have done!  But still, the line was ridiculously long and super slow-moving.  I was getting really nervous about catching (more like not catching) my flight.

They also needed identification for Brantley.  Who knew!?  He didn't require a ticket, but still had his own boarding pass in order to be accounted for...which I guess requires ID.  Luckily, I happened to have an old immunization card in my wallet.  Not up-to-date, but included his name and birthdate, which was all they needed.  I'm not sure what they would have done had I not had ID...

After going through that ordeal, we headed for security.  Another looooong line.  The butterflies in my stomach were worsening as our flight time neared closer.

Turns out, since I had a kiddo, we got a free pass to the front of the line!!  Score!  Perhaps the best part of flying with kids!  And those passengers in front and behind us also had kids, which made the proceess a little less stressful since we were all in the same boat.  Between my purse, diaper bag, iPad, shoes, stroller, etc., I think I sent about five bins through the x-ray machine!  Whew!  Flying with a kid is exhausting!  (As is everything with a kid, I've learned...)

Once we were through security, we had about 45 minutes to spare.  Just enough time to grab some Micky D's and eat. 

Another perk of flying with a kid?  Permission to board the plane early!  And since we were flying Southwest, that was a major plus.  We chose a window seat and Brantley did AMAZING on the flight home.  I fed him a bottle as we were taking off and landing.  He didn't at all seem bothered by the pressure.  En route, we read books, watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, played games on the iPad, and looked out the window.

First flight was a success!

As we were unloading, a few passengers around us commented on how well-behaved Brantley was.  The guy in front of us said his 14-month old would never have lasted like Brantley.  The mama in me was very proud!  (Granted, it was only a one hour flight....anything more and I may have agreed.)

As for our time in Wisconsin, it was short-lived, but very nice!  We visited with old friends, swam in the hotel pool, and, of course, attended the beautiful Calhoun/Mann wedding.  The bride was gorgeous, as was the vintage decor, wedding, and reception.  It was a tad on the warm side, especially for Wisconsin.  Early September temperatures average around 70 degrees, but on this particular day, it was 90!  Not exactly what they had hoped for for their outdoor ceremony under the bur oak tree, but it could have been way worse.

This was also the weekend we shared our Baby #2 news with my parents!  Brantley was wearing his "Only Child Expiring" shirt when we got there.  On the back, it read "Big Bro".  My mom immediately saw it and said, " this a hand-me-down or are you trying to tell us something?"  "No, Mom, it's not a hand-me-down!  Surprise, you're going to be a grandma again!" :)

It was great to get out of KC for a weekend.  We wished we could have spent more time in Wisconsin.  We really would have liked to visit Madison, but I guess this gives us an excuse to go back sometime!

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. (Calhoun) Mann!  Thanks for including us in your special day!