19 WEEKS PREGNANT WITH BABY #2!

Posted on January 24, 2017 in Mommy

I never kept up any weekly pregnancy updates (or any updates for that matter) when I was pregnant with Emeline and now I wish I had! I have recently re-discovered a pregnancy blog that I found when I was first pregnant and I really like the way she did her weekly pregnancy updates. For memories and for my friends and family abroad I think I am going to start blogging my weekly updates too starting now with week 19!

(As a note, I don’t have an official due date because I have three different dates according to my period, my 12 week ultrasound and my 19 week ultrasound, so I will be doing these every Saturday. Personally, I tend to follow more of a due period rather than a due date because baby is considered full-term at 37 weeks and can come at any time between 37-42 weeks!)

How far along? 19 weeks!
Total weight gain: To be honest I am not completely sure. I believed I weighed somewhere between 130-135lbs before I got pregnant and I haven’t weighed myself since! I know I have gained weight much too fast on account of moving, really bad PGP and feeling horrible during the first 4 months! I am back to working out again and eating healthier!
Maternity clothes?  Yes, jeans! I have been wearing maternity jeans since 15 weeks! I showed much earlier with this pregnancy. With Emeline I never even bought maternity clothing! I am still fitting into many of my tops.
Stretch marks? No
Best moment this week: Feeling some serious baby kicks on Wednesday and seeing baby on my ’20 week’ ultrasound on Friday!
Miss anything? Liking and being able to eat all different foods and proper working out!
Movement: A bit here and there. I started feeling this baby at 13 weeks and I got so excited. Then it sort of went away.  Since then my placenta has gone from fundal to anterior (again) and I will usually have one or two days where I feel movement maybe 5 or so times and then 4 days with nothing or maybe one possible movement.
Food cravings: No, unlike in the 1st trimester!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Eggs often make me feel sick for some reason.
Gender: BOY! It was confirmed on Friday! They did the nub test at the 12 week scan and she was certain it was a boy because he was in the perfect position and lying still, so she was able to get a perfect look!
Labor signs: No, THANKFULLY!
Symptoms: Heartburn, crying very easily, gas/bloating (every day at 4pm even if I haven’t ate anything), PGP, extremely tired
Belly button in or out? In!
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy 🙂 (and tired)
Looking forward to: Getting my letter in the mail, so I can schedule my midwife appointment! I need to go see the midwives where I am going to give birth. That is how it works in Norway.
Compared to 1st pregnancy: With my first pregnancy I felt amazing at 19 weeks. The only complaint I had at was little to no movement (anterior placenta then too) and sometimes a metal taste in my mouth!

Stay tuned for my 20 week update on Saturday!

🙂

(There isn’t a place in our cabin that isn’t full of stuff, sorry!)

11 Month Baby Update!

Posted on April 25, 2016 in Mommy

So, in pretty much one month my little bean will be a year old, but until that time let’s check out what has happened over the past month!

Height/Weight:

We actually had Emeline’s one year review yesterday, so as of March 15th she weighs XX and is 72cm (2ft 4in) tall. This is the first time we have gotten a length/height measurement. In England they don’t do them until the one year review.

Daily Routine:

Since it is getting lighter out earlier Emeline has gone from waking at 7 to waking between 6 – 6:30 every morning. We don’t have curtains on one of our windows and so we might get some. Once she wakes up she plays for about 30 minutes and then we have breakfast. We try for a nap after that, but sometimes nap isn’t until 10. She normally takes two naps a day, but they are never longer than 40 minutes and she is ALWAYS really tired after waking up from her second nap. It is impossible to get her back to sleep or have her take a third nap. Because of this she still goes to bed early, anywhere from 430 – 630. If she isn’t sleeping she is eating or playing.

Sleeping:

Sometimes she is exceptionally difficult to soothe to sleep and other times she drops off in minutes. She wakes every hour to two hours until we head up to bed and then she will either sleep through or wake only once in the night or early morning to eat. However, the past three nights this is simply NOT the case and she has woken at 3am or 2am and takes 2 hours to get back to bed. We are zombies.

Eating:

Emeline MUST feed herself, so everything is pretty much finger food. I am terrified of her choking and so it is all pretty small bites. This past Saturday she snatched Alvin’s egg sandwich at a friend’s birthday party and ate it! Her favorite foods are broccoli, strawberries, cheese and mushrooms. She loves to much on large bits of celery, cucumber and apple. We don’t eat fluffy sandwich bread really, but if Emeline gets a hold of it at a party or something it is the best thing in the world. It’s pretty much cake.

Size:

Emmie really does have a baby body, big tummy, little feet, double chin, the lot! She is in the 50% percent for weight and only 25% for height and head circumference. We are still able to get away with some old onsies, but we buy 1-2 year clothing.

Personality:

We are certainly at the age now where personality shines through, a LOT!
Here is a little bit of what Emeline is like. She is the kind of baby who likes to observe and learn. She is not as interested in getting from one place to another as she is in learning about every detail of everything. She is not afraid of anything per-say, but she certainly gives people a good once or twice over before giving them anything other than a nice hard stare.
She likes to do things in her own time. If you try to give her a toy she won’t play with it until you ignore it. This is also the same when it comes to milestones. When she wants to, she will, not before she is ready. She thinks about consequence more than any baby I have been around before. For example, she will stand without support as long as she doesn’t realize, but the moment she sees that you are not holding her she falls. She will tell you exactly what she wants in any way she can and for being raised bilingual she has a good amount of words already.
Emeline isn’t serious all the time because she does love to laugh and she loves a good game of hide and seek. She prefers to play and be with mommy and daddy, but she will certainly entertain herself if left to her own devices. Books are the best, but cats and dogs are the greatest things in the history of ever.

Milestones:

  • Assisted walking and unassisted standing (sometimes). This started about a week or two ago I think.
  • Throwing a ball back to you overhanded or sliding a car on wheels back to you.
  • More words: we can add ‘book’ to her vocabulary
  • TWO TEETH!! She got her bottom front two teeth just after she turned 10 months!
  • Waving hello and goodbye
  • A much better understanding of all sentences phrases we use
  • She has very good fine motor skills and problem solving skills
  • Giving cuddles or kisses, but this is only seldom. Most of the time she wants nothing to do with this kind of stuff.

Stop Inappropriate Urination: Why Your Cat May be Peeing EVERYWHERE!

Posted on January 30, 2016 in Life

While I am certainly no animal behaviorist I am a life long cat owner. Does that make me an expert, no. Do I believe myself to be an expert, certainly not, but it does mean that I have been tried and tested on most matters cat. I also like to think of myself as a responsible cat owner. The first thing I do when I notice an issue is admit that the root of the problem probably lies with me and I pull out my animal behaviorist literature and start testing and trying until the issue is resolved. I am a firm believer that a pet is for life unless I find myself in some sort of horrible circumstance. In that case, if no friends and family will babysit my fur baby I would find that fur baby a home myself, but this post isn’t about that. This is about peeing, so lets get to it.

Litter Box Woes:
Is the cat box too dirty/too small/in the wrong place?
They say have one litter box for each cat. In my house, we have two and we empty them twice a day. My mother always said to me growing up, ‘Would you pee in it?’ Cats love cleanliness, so be sure their toilet is clean! Make sure the box isn’t too small and it is also important that the box isn’t near their food/water. Litter box placement should be about convenience and security for the CAT. It shouldn’t be in an area that makes kitty anxious or feel trapped.

Have you changed kitty’s litter?
If you have, they might not like the change. It would be best to go back to what you were using before.

Do you use a covered box or a liner?
Our cats will simply not use the litter box if there is a cover on it. It wasn’t always like this, but one day that was just how it was, so goodbye cover! I will just simply say many cats don’t like liners for many reasons I won’t write. Also make sure you put enough sand in the box!

Are you using something too strong to clean the box with?
Cats have very sensitive noses and their sense of smell is much stronger than that of a human. Your cleaning product may be leaving a strong smell on the box. We use diluted dish soap to clean our box.

Other Possibilities:
Is kitty sick?
Have they been acting strangely and how are their eating/drinking habits? If you kitty is sick it might be causing them to pee where they shouldn’t. I know this is common when kitty has a bladder infection. If you think your cat might be sick take them to the vet.

Is your cat in heat or sexually mature?
Unfortunately, our Chelsea went into heat on the early side, so we hadn’t gotten her spayed and my how unfortunate that was. We had to endure a week of no sleep, her bugging the crap out of our neutered male Hemingway and her peeing on EVERYTHING! She peed on the bathmat, the bed, the laundry and she even jumped into my purse one night and peed there (we didn’t notice this until we arrived at the hospital for an ultrasound smelling like cat pee)! Get your cats spayed/neutered by 6 months and if you forget and find your cat in heat or mature call the vet and schedule the surgery. Since it isn’t recommended to spay/neuter while a cat is in heat (female) I wish you good luck while you wait it out.

Have you added a new family member?
Be it fur or human both can be stressful for cats. When it comes to introducing a new fur baby check this link out for the best way to go about introducing a new cat into the house. I will go over how to stop inappropriate urination when a new baby is added to the family in another post later. For now, my best advice is to go slowly. Let your cat smell something of the baby’s first. Then let kitty approach your new baby and make sure you are supervising! You don’t know how your cat will react and always remember that a cat is an animal not a human. It might also be worth getting your kitty ready for baby by letting them smell and explore the new baby items or creams. I have even heard of some people playing a baby’s cry before the baby comes. The most difficult thing when bringing home a new family member (fur or human) is that kitty will get less attention from you, so be sure to play with your cat and spend time with them when you can. Maintaining their schedule is important too if you are able. The less stress the better.

Have there been any changes in the house that might be causing kitty to feel stressed?
This could be as simple as rearranging the furniture or not so simple such as a divorce. If you are feeling stressed your cat might also be feeling stressed. It is important not to make any major changes in their routine. Take some time to relax with your cat by playing with them and giving them attention. Also, I hate to say it, but it does happen; make sure no one is treating kitty badly when you are not around.

Kids wanting to be with kitty too much?
Being grabbed at can stress kitty out. Cats usually don’t want to be told what to do. When I was a child we were not allowed to touch the cats unless they came to us. Give your cat a high perch, so they have a child-free space and be sure to teach your kids why it isn’t good to grab or force an animal.

Another cat on the block?
Sometimes there might be another cat or animal hanging around outside of the house that is making kitty feel the need to mark its territory. I have never had to deal with this situation, so I don’t have any advice from experience. I will let you enlist the help of an expert when it comes to this one.

A Word on Discipline

Cats are not humans and if you come downstairs in the morning and see a big wet spot on the rug grabbing your cat and rubbing their nose in it does nothing. Cats and dogs need to be taught or shown something in the moment. You nee to catch them in the act, but you shouldn’t be violent or rough (aka no hitting). So, if I see Hemingway squatting on a blanket I tell him no, pick him up and bring him to his box. Then I think about why he was doing that in the first place and I consult the list above.

If you punish a cat for peeing in a location you object to the cat might become afraid of you and think they are being punished for peeing even though you are trying to tell the cat that their location for elimination is not a good one. You have to remember, cats aren’t misbehaving if they are peeing outside of their litter box. They simply feel like they can’t use it and your job is to figure out why.

Will it happen again?

Unfortunately, once a cat starts peeing in a place they will likely pee in it again unless it has been immaculately cleaned and the underlying issue fixed. My advice is clean the mess as soon as you can and clean it like you mean it. When Chelsea was in heat I spent the better part of every day washing pee out of things, like our bed. I sprayed the mattress with a ton of vinegar (I don’t remember if I used soap first), pressed to soak some of the vinegar out, sprinkled with baking soda, opened the window and let it sit for 4+ hours. Then I vacuumed it off and, presto, stains and smell gone forever. It took a long time, but it worked. She never peed there again while in heat.

Sometimes the issue takes longer to resolve leaving you with reoccurring peeing, so there may be times where you need to keep the object away from the cat. We have a few baby items which Chelsea will ALWAYS pee on and so we need to keep them shut away at night.

Final Thoughts

Over time we have learned that Hemingway only likes certain types of litter, an open cat box and lots of sand. Chelsea, on the other hand, needs an immaculate box and had some issues when our daughter was born. It isn’t always down to the cats though. One morning I woke to POOP on the floor. I could NOT figure out why it had happened, so bizarre, poop?!?! As it turned out the litter box was inaccessible over night. Fortunately, my better half opened the door to where is was in the morning.

If you have issues with your cat peeing outside of his/her box keep working with them and don’t give up. Eventually, you will figure out what is going on and if you really can’t do it on your own call an animal behaviorist before the shelter. Cats with urination problems are often deemed un-adoptable and are put down. I recommend keeping a savings fund of 300 for each cat. This can be used if you need a behaviorist, if kitty does pee on the rug/couch, or if kitty gets sick.

Here are some more tips if you are struggling with this problem.

If it happens, in our experience, any episode of house soiling is generally a single occurrence, but there have been a few times where it has lasted longer. Do I ever think our lives will be completely free of cleaning up pee where it shouldn’t be? No, I don’t, but I do know we have been fortunate enough not to have any peeing on the couch or rugs and I hope it stays that way.

The Best Tool During Labor!

Posted on January 26, 2016 in Mommy

Labor and delivery is a very unique experience for every woman. It can be peaceful, terrifying, funny or shocking. When you are in labor it can be difficult to think or focus on anything other than what is happening at the moment, but sometimes decisions will need to be made. If and when that time comes this is by far the best tool you can have in your hospital bag. My hope is that it helps you and your birth partner maintain control of the situation and keep a level head. I think this is a MUST HAVE for anyone wishing to have a natural birth or who wants to avoid medical interventions as much as possible.

B.R.A.I.N

Before any procedure or when faced with a situation apply the acronym B.R.A.I.N.
(This can be applied in many circumstances, not just child birth)

Benefits – What are the benefits of the procedure?

Risks – What are the risks involved?

Alternatives – What are the alternatives and other options?

Intuition – What is your intuition/gut telling you?

Nothing – What happens if you do nothing?

Seems obvious, but you might not  remember it at the time, so write it down or print it out, but certainly have it in your hospital bag!

*In the photo I was not in labor. They were doing some routine checks after a growth scan because I was carrying small. 

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