Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Week 22

We closed on our house yesterday! I am very excited. And stressed. And excited. We spoke a bit with the previous homeowners, who had nothing but positive things to say about the neighborhood and the house. One thing that I was thrilled to hear is that there are 24(!) kids on the block. Also, we are only the fourth owners of the house. It was built in 1927, so I think that is kind of amazing. 

The Baby: Is almost 11 inches long and weighs about a pound. The internet compares it to a spaghetti squash, but I think those are a bit bigger than that, aren't they?

Weight gain: Not sure, but it is all in the belly, so I am happy about that. I have a doctor's appointment on Friday, so I'll find out then.

I’m Feeling: I am starting to get achy in my hips, and the ligament pain is kicking in. My back is a bit sore by the end of the day, but nothing too bad. I REALLY need to start doing yoga again! Also, I can't wait to start sleeping on my new mattress.

Cravings/Aversions: Nothing in particular this week, but I am quite hungry. Maybe the baby is going through a growth spurt. (Either that or I am.)

What I'm enjoying:  Planning where everything will go in my new house.

What I'm worrying about: Where everything will go in my new house. Also: money. Closing is kind of scary. I am trying to think of it as monopoly money. Good plan, right?

Movement: The baby is MUCH more active now. (Or at least I am feeling it much more now.) It moves quite a bit after I eat and when I lie still. In fact, as I type this it is doing some acrobatics. Ben still hasn't been able to feel it from the outside, but hopefully he will soon. Despite all of the annoying things about pregnancy, I have to say I love feeling the baby move, and I am glad I get to have the experience. I know I am much more connected to this baby than Ben is. (I also know that will change seconds after it is born, if his bonding with Clare is any indication.)

Clare: Clare has been taking care of her baby a lot. I hope she'll keep it up in the fall, when she can "help" me with the baby. Right now, though, we haven't been talking much about the baby. We've been prepping her for the move to her "own" house instead. I think she is excited. 

I am going to the Brewers/Twins game tonight. Clare shows her allegiance to the proper team below:

Eh, who are we kidding. They are both terrible this year. Go Brewers AND Twins! You both need a win.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It's a Girl?

According to the internet it is!  I took a quiz, which has proven itself to be highly accurate. I took it last time, and it did indeed correctly predict that I would have a girl. And as we all know, everything on the internet is true. AND if it was true last time, it MUST be true this time. Right.

I don't think we could have found out the sex of the baby even if we wanted to at the first ultrasound, due to the baby being a stinker and generally uncooperative. Since I have to go back for a second ultrasound in June, I'll have another chance to find out. I don't know if I will. Ben says he wants to come to that ultrasound, too. He claims he wants to see the baby again, but I think he wants to make sure I don't find out the sex in a weak moment.

This quiz is a combination of all the Old Wives Tales out there, and apparently I am having the exact same pregnancy as last time. Same cravings, same warmer feet, carrying in the same place, my pillow faces north, etc. The only difference is this time I am willing to eat the heel of a loaf of bread, and apparently last time I WAS NOT. (I have no recollection of this.) 

I liked not finding out with Clare, but with everything being so up in the air right now (we close on our house next week!), I kind of want to know. Moms out there, how did you decide whether or not to find out? You know how I obsess about these types of decisions.

Speaking of girls, Clare got quite the shiner at my cousin's wedding last weekend. She was rushing off to the dance floor, tripped, and fell flat on her face. She got her grace (and her dance moves) from her mother! Another reason to enroll the kid in ballet. (The first reason is so that she doesn't also inherit her mother's tendency to slouch.)

Black eye/sad face.

Despite her finger blocking part of the shot, I couldn't resist this one.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week 20

I had my 20 week ultrasound on Monday, which was also our 7th wedding anniversary. (And the day the Minnesota Senate passed a bill to legalize gay marriage. Yay!)  After the ultrasound, we came home and ate a pizza. Not the way we celebrated our anniversary during our first few years of our marriage, but it was still a good day. It is always fun to see baby. I actually have to go back for a second ultrasound in four weeks, because the baby was not cooperating and they couldn't get a decent picture of its heart. (They assured me that this is very common, and what they could see of the heart looked perfectly fine.) The baby spent most of the time in a ball, with its legs over its head. However, we could see: two legs, two arms, two feet, two hands, 10 fingers. This all made me happy.

The Baby: Is the size of a banana.

Weight gain: About 7 pounds. 

I’m Feeling: Tired, but good. I think being tired is just going to be a state of being for some time.

Cravings/Aversions: I have been craving sour foods. I've eaten more Sour Patch Kids than I care to admit. Also, a limeade sounds pretty good right now.

What I'm enjoying:  The nice weather. Finally! Finally! Finally!

What I'm worrying about: General moving stress. I am also trying to decide what to do for Clare's second birthday, which is stressing me out way more than it should.

Movement: Yes! I am finally feeling the baby move. The first day I felt it for sure was April 26. Since then, I've felt it at least once a day, if not more. It seems like it is increasing each day. During the ultrasound, it was moving like CRAZY. At one point, it was boxing with both arms. You would think with all that movement I would feel it more often, but I know it has a lot of space in there right now.

Clare: When people ask Clare what she thinks about being a big sister, she gives them a blank look and then runs away, or changes the subject to one of her interests (slides, swings, or songs being the most popular right now). So she is still living in blissful ignorance. She does, however, occasionally notice my ever-growing belly. She thinks it is pretty funny. I am not sure if I should be offended or not.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

23 Months

Attempt 1.
Attempt 2.
Attempt 3,423. 
A few weeks ago, we were at my grandparents' house in La Crosse. Clare asked where Baba (my dad) was. I jokingly told her that he left and never wanted to see her again. I honestly didn't think she would understand what I was saying. Wrong. She did. Her lower lip started quivering and she just looked so sad. It was heartbreaking, really. She started sobbing, and I had to take her out of the room to calm her down. I promised her that Baba did want to see her again, and in fact she is his most favorite girl in the world. When he came back to the house, she squealed and ran up to him with a huge smile on her face. All was forgiven and forgotten. But I will never assume she can't understand me again.

Clare's favorite thing this month has been playing outside, on the two whole days that this has been possible. She LOVES the park, especially the swing and the slide. She'll go down that slide 25 times in a row. I am hoping for many more nice days in the very near future. We also went to the zoo. I was a bit nervous about this, because last year she did. Not. Like. The. Zoo. At all. This time, though, she had her 5-year-old friend Gavin pointing out the animals to her and holding her hand. Oh, and her mind was blown by the airplanes flying overhead on their way to land at the airport. She'd never seen an airplane before. She was having the time of her life.

Clare, Parker and Gavin. Not pictured: Baby Blake.
Is it too early to start planning the wedding?
Clare is very particular about where people should sit. If I am sitting in a chair that she believes to be Daddy's, she gets very upset. She is rather bossy about it, I have to say. Ben and I try to switch chairs as much as possible just to mess with her world view.

Her vocabulary continues to expand like crazy, and she is doing better and better with sentences. She also now says "cat" in the most authentic southern Wisconsin accent you've ever heard. Caaaaaaaat. Just like her Mommy.

We've been going to story time at the library near my in-laws house, and it has been great. Clare loves reading books and singing and dancing, all things that happen at story time. I hope we find programs like this one to do this summer, once we are finally in our house.

I can't believe my baby is almost two! Things have been so crazy, I wasn't sure if I would get this post written and pictures taken before we leave town for several days, but then I realized it is the last one before her second birthday! I had to do something. So here's to my almost 2-year-old, you cute little munchkin.

On the Stone Arch Bridge.
Swinging with Daddy at Aunt Kakie's house.
Post-bath, pre-comb.
At the Como Park Conservatory. She loved looking at the water (or yater, as she says).

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I wish I could tell stories as well as my grandpa. He could weave a tale so vivid, so clear, so entertaining - just with his voice and his words. No thesaurus. No editor. Just him.

Many of his stories centered on his experiences during World War II. He was incredibly proud of his service on the U.S.S. Helm, a destroyer that fought in the Pacific. And while he saw some horrific things, his stories were always so exciting, so full of adventure. As a teenager, when I first heard many of these stories, I never thought about how these experiences must have changed his life. After all, he was only 18 when he went to war.

My grandpa was so proud of his children. When he'd tell stories about my mom, and the, well, frankly sort of bratty things she did as a child, he would get a glimmer in his eyes, a huge smile on his face. I could hear the pride in his voice when he talked about her accomplishments as an adult.

He loved his wife, my grandmother. He enjoyed teasing her, but she was obviously everything to him. He described her as an angel sent from heaven, and for him she truly was. I know he would not have lived as long a life without her. They were married for 63 years.

He wanted a great-granddaughter. He used to tell me that. He just wanted to hold her on his lap, see her grinning up at him. I used to laugh, tell him that I couldn't control the sex of any hypothetical (or later quite real), baby I might have.  But he got his wish. He held her, she smiled up at him.

He loved his grandchildren. I think my sister was his favorite, but I know he was also very proud of my brother's athletic and educational achievements.

He was musical. He played the guitar and the flute. My sister and I both followed in his footsteps and played the flute. Katie will play it next week, at his funeral, in honor of him.

During the last years of his life, my grandpa slowly, slowly slipped away. But I'll always remember him as he was before: a great story teller, a man of faith, a man who worked hard and loved his family (and the Packers), and always did what he thought was right.

Jerome G. Bernhardt
March 18, 1925 - April 26, 2013