May Update

So, lots happened in the last couple of months. I’m sure many people only got bits and pieces of the story, so here it is:

Jason left on Sunday, March 13th for Denver. We thought he was leaving Monday so it was a little surprising, especially because I had a flute choir concert Sunday afternoon. So he went to church without us Sunday morning because the girls were sick, then came home for about an hour so we could say goodbye, then he left for Denver and I left for my concert. It was a rough day. Monday morning I had just gotten to work when he texted me to say he was actually flying out the next day, so I could drive up to see him swear in and hang out for a few hours. It was a much better way to say goodbye than our hectic hour the day before. Then he was able to call and text me a little during the reception week before basic training officially started. After that, it was letters only, except one phone call just before we left Colorado.

We were doing our best to find a new normal, but it was challenging. My grandma had a really serious health scare around Easter. We had been in the middle of trying to find a new babysitter when Jason left and it took a couple of weeks to get that figured out. Daisy got a tummy bug that involved two weeks of vomiting, diarrhea, and a specialized diet. Work was extra busy and I was having a hard time staying focused, especially since I had to keep taking time off to take care of Daisy.

Then on April 13th, my landlord texted me to say he needed to sell our house ASAP. My amazing mother in law Kathy was coming for a visit on the 18th, so I texted her and said “So, you may have to help me pack while you’re here.” I started doing lots of research (and math) to figure out what our options really were. We won’t know where Jason will go next, or if we’re allowed to go with him, until August. We looked into a couple of apartments, and although they have to let you out of a lease if you have military orders, that’s only if the military person is on the lease, which is difficult when that person is in another state and out of communication with you. Also, although our landlord gave us until the end of May to move out, I wanted to get most of the packing/moving done while Kathy was still there to help, which was only until April 30th. The other option was to live with my sister Karalynn in St. Louis for a while, and if I did that, I’d have to move the weekend of May 7th because that was the only time she could get off work. So we were under a really short time crunch either way. On top of that, I caught a cold that turned into strep and took forever to go away.

After looking at a bunch of apartments with Kathy, and doing a lot of thinking and praying, I decided that moving to St. Louis short-term was actually the best option, even though it involved quitting my job, putting almost everything into storage, and driving cross-country with 2 little kids, 3 cats, and 2 cars. Most of my paycheck was going towards rent and childcare, my girls were really stressed out and so was I, and St. Louis is driving distance from Jason’s OCS location, his parents’ house, and my best friend Donna in Alabama. My sister and her husband were really gracious to give us full run of their basement for a few months. My dad and sister were both able to come to CO and help me drive, and so many local friends jumped in to help pack, move into storage, babysit, bring food, and listen to my stressed out ranting.

On May 6th we threw the last of my stuff in the back of a Budget truck (always more stuff than you think it is, even after lots of “de-cluttering”), and left for St. Louis. My dad, who is allergic to cats and generally more of a dog person, volunteered to have all 3 cats in the cab of the truck with him, since I said that had worked out really well when we moved from CA to CO four years ago. My sister and I traded off driving the car with the kids in it. We made it safely to her house on Saturday, then rested a little and unloaded the truck on Sunday (Mother’s Day).

This past week has involved lots of dishes and laundry, rearranging the basement to find spaces for all my stuff (mostly kid toys, although I tried to only bring a few!), and several Target/Walmart runs. Also lots of SuperWhy and Sofia the First. Daisy is loving living at Aunt Kiki’s house and playing with Uncle Tom every day. Teresa is teething a lot, but I think she’s having fun too. She is sitting up on her own really well now, trying to crawl, and rolling everywhere. Daisy’s vocabulary and grammar have really exploded the last month or so. She is officially entering the “hilarious things toddlers say” stage. The cats are doing pretty well, although they don’t love being penned up in the basement (there are two dogs upstairs so they haven’t even tried to go up there yet). I am just relieved to be settled somewhere for a little while and not in transition anymore. Also, I’m pretty excited for Jason’s graduation next Thursday (the 26th). We are planning to visit Jason’s family in Ohio and have some cousin time for the girls later this week, then drive to his graduation together, so that will also be fun.

I’m sure I’m forgetting something. It has been the craziest month of my life so far, but every time I tried to feel sorry for myself, I just felt so blessed instead. The body of Christ stepped up and met so many needs. We will miss all our wonderful friends in Colorado, and who knows where we’ll end up in a few months, but God has been faithful to work out every little detail and provide in all kinds of ways, big and small.

 

 

 

 

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Family News

Most of you probably know by now, but we have big news. On Monday, March 14th Jason will be leaving for basic training and then OCS (Officer Candidate School) with the U.S. Army.

For now the plan is for me to keep working until we know for sure if/where we’re moving (which is probably about 6 months away). Some possibility we will stay in Colorado Springs since there is an army base (edit: post) here, but we’re not counting on it.

It will definitely be a big transition! People keep asking if we’re ready, and of course the answer is no. But I’m excited for where this will take us as a family.

Here is how he put it on his Facebook a few weeks ago, in typical Jason-ese:

Jason Benecke

February 18 at 5:14pm ·

I guess I need to announce this eventually: On March 14th, I’ll be officially in the US Army , and hopefully a few months of training later, I’ll be an officer.
The tentative plan is to get a branch after Officer Candidate School (hopefully Military Intelligence, but I’m not too picky), then after a few years, apply for Civil Affairs, which encompasses doing all the international development stuff I studied at Biola. In seven years of marriage, we haven’t had one plan go as expected, though.

I officially resigned from Trugreen today, and have to go back once more to drop off uniforms, hand in a letter of resignation, and say goodbye to everyone. I’ll spend about three weeks working out and watching the girls, then be off to basic for 10 weeks, then OCS for twelve.

FAQs
1. Barbara will be on her own for awhile with the girls, so feel free to drop in and play with them so she doesn’t go insane.

2. This has been in the works for about 7 months, and we’ve done a lot of cost/benefit analyses. Constructive criticism is appreciated; arrogant remarks that don’t consider the complexity of the situation are not (I.e. If you think you know exactly why I should or shouldn’t join, but don’t know our situation, I don’t want your input).

3. I’ll officially be committed on the 14th. The biggest risk from now to the end of OCS is injury, since physical fitness is 1/3rd of my OCS grade.

4. I’ll choose my job at the end of OCS based on how I rank, which is determined by academics, leadership, and physical fitness. Academics and leadership will be fin. If I bomb OCS but still technically pass, I’ll be stuck with whatever job is leftover, which would suck.

5. I have no idea what our future with CO is. Fort Carson is a common destination for IT personnel, so we might not actually leave. I’ll know after OCS.

6. My initial contract is 3 years plus training (24 weeks), which makes it almost exactly as long as I’ve been with Trugreen.

7. Yes, I have heard the one about how Military Intelligence is an oxymoron. I’ve also heard the one about student drivers being scary, and I’ve heard every dumb conspiracy theory about pesticides. None of those are true if the one in charge isn’t an idiot.

Little Update

Two checkups, two plane trips, and a 2-year-old’s birthday party! Ok, it’s not that exciting. Here’s some recent highlights:

At Teresa’s 2-month checkup she was 24.5 in (97th%), 11.5 lbs (32nd%), and 70th% for head size. Today was her 4-month checkup: 26 in (95th%), 14 lbs (42nd% and almost double her birth weight!), head 83rd%. At Daisy’s 2-yr checkup she was 2 ft 11 in (59th%) and 23 lbs (5th%). So basically, Teresa is catching up to her sister. She’s wearing 6-9 mo baby clothes, which Daisy was still mostly fitting into at a year old.

Teresa highlights:

  • Goes by Teresa, T.S., Thea, Seea, or Baby Seea. Still searching for a perfect nickname!
  • Rolled from tummy to back for the first time last night, and is trying very hard to do back to tummy
  • Still a “supported sitter” but loves to try to pull herself to sitting
  • Has a healthy appetite
  • Loves to smile, giggle, gurgle, and tell long stories
  • Total mommy’s girl, unlike big sister
  • Loves music, not a fan of loud noises
  • Loves the cats
  • Very tactile and loves hands-on toys, or anything crinkly

Daisy highlights:

  • Loves being a “mommy” to her dolls, stuffed animals, and little sister.
  • Very “helpful” with things like washing dishes, stirring pots, putting groceries away, cleaning, or carrying things
  • Exploding vocabulary, sometimes I have no idea what a new word means, but she is stringing together 3 or more words consistently, adding new ones all the time, parroting us, and starting to learn colors and numbers
  • Starting to be potty trained. Most nights she will take off her own diaper and use the potty when she has to go, but for some reason she isn’t as motivated during the day.
  • Loves puzzles, books, coloring, but especially playing her “flute” (humming while she holds up something vaguely flute-shaped), and writing with a pen and paper
  • Also typing: gfgaRTW3 ZF † RFT$6t vt4
  • Throws tantrums and has night terrors sometimes, but overall is very sweet and happy
  • Still a total flirt and loves making new friends and getting attention from anyone who will smile back at her

In other news, I went back to work full time in early December. Around the same time, Jason went into his off-season. Daisy turned two on October 27th, which was extra fun since my dad and stepmom were still visiting and my dad’s birthday was the 28th. We had her birthday party on Halloween. We flew to Seattle for Christmas with Jason’s family, which was the first time all 6 Benecke cousins had been together. Then over MLK weekend we flew to L.A. to visit my family, which was the first time all 4 Sanders cousins had been together. The kids did great on both trips. Here are some pictures in a terribly mixed up order:

 

 

The snowman story

Daisy’s first snowman! She was very enthusiastic… at first.

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The beautiful pre-snowman snow drift

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Daisy was very helpful in building the snowman

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Snowman selfie

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Just some friendly stick-poking

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Maybe not so friendly…

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Threatening her frenemy the snowman

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Bike riding snack break

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Video of the sad fate of snowman 1.0:

 

Snowman 2.0 was not quite as pretty:WP_20151117_125

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Playing with the snowfriend’s poor face

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More stick-poking

 

Sad end of Snowman 2.0:

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Notice the head on the left.

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Can you tell how much remorse she feels?

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2 week update

We took Teresa in on Friday for her two-week checkup. Her doctor was very happy with her progress. He said they expect babies to have regained their birthweight by the 2 week point. She was 12 ounces above it! Such a different story from Daisy’s first few weeks.

She measured 21.75 in (99th %), 7 lb 14 oz (45th %), and head 36.5cm (89th %).

Otherwise we are all doing great. Daisy is still adjusting but is sweet and gentle with Teresa for the most part. I am recovering well and getting more sleep than I expected to. Teresa does 3-5 hour stretches most nights and 2-3 hour naps during the day. We are calling her Teresa for now but sometimes I call her Scarlet. With Daisy she is baby Seea. So far she seems very sweet, more laid back than Daisy but very curious and alert like her sister.

Daisy is talking up a storm lately. She adds new words every day. The other day she was saying, “Yay, cheese!” and throwing her hands in the air. She loves stealing pens and writing on pads, and she also enjoys the crayons Nana gave her. She likes to “sing” and dance around the living room, especially if you give her a microphone (aka small flashlight). She is very bossy with Nana’s dogs but they all get along great. We are working on potty training but so far not much success. She calls water “waddy” and still sometimes says “sorrow” instead of “sorry”. She likes to steal Teresa’s pacifier but usually trades one of hers for it. She’s definitely a toddler and likes to scream “no” and “mine” at the dogs if they come too close to her food. Whenever her sister cries she looks sad and says “baby cry!” and sometimes tries to give her a blanket or pacifier.

And here are some more pictures:

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Blanket cave to block out the light

Blanket cave to block out the light

Mad because she has her first head cold

Mad because she has her first head cold

Donut loves her already

Donut loves her already

Pigtails! She calls them "ow"

Pigtails! She calls them “ow”

Best view ever

Best view ever

Snuggles

Snuggles

She loves to put that hat on herself

She loves to put that hat on herself

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Sharing her bunny toy with baby Seea

Sharing her bunny toy with baby Seea

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The swaddler works wonders

The swaddler works wonders

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Not potty trained yet, but still loves to sit on her potty

Not potty trained yet, but still loves to sit on her potty

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Welcome Teresa Scarlet Benecke!

Welcome Teresa Scarlet Benecke!

Born on Saturday, September 26th 2015 at 12:51pm, 7lb 2oz, 21 inches long, head 13 inches, by VBAC at Penrose St. Francis Hospital in Colorado Springs.

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The Name:

Teresa

Named after Jason’s paternal grandmother Theresa Viola Benecke, and after Mother Teresa, whose biography “Come Be My Light” has meant a lot to Jason. The book highlights how Mother Teresa spent most of her years of selfless ministry in a spiritual state called “the dark night of the soul”, in which God feels distant and the Christian has a sense of spiritual darkness. In spite of this, she devoted her life to serving the “least of these” in a place no one else was willing to go, and only felt this period of spiritual darkness end towards the end of her own life. This kind of perseverance in the face of great testing was very inspiring to Jason during a difficult season of his life. Now I just have to actually read the book myself. 🙂

Scarlet

The story here is that I was taking a walk with my friend Wooree (who also happened to tell me I was pregnant before I knew myself!) and we were talking about names, and the name Scarlett came up. It jumped out at me for some reason and I started thinking about some of the Biblical imagery, especially Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (ESV). I also thought of the story of Rahab and the scarlet cord in Joshua. I love how Rahab, a non-Israelite prostitute, is an ancestor of Jesus because of her faith, and how she demonstrated that God’s mercy was available to anyone who would turn to him, regardless of who they were, even in the Old Testament. Scarlet cloth was used repeatedly in the instructions for constructing the Tabernacle, and Jesus was mockingly dressed in a scarlet robe before his crucifixion. And I love the imagery that we have to be washed in blood to be clean (Rev 7:14), that our salvation is free only because it was bought as so great a cost. And Jason insisted we spell it with only one T to differentiate from a certain popular actress.

The Labor:

So part of why this little girl has such a heavy name is because she really put us through a lot in order to come into the world! I had never heard of “prodromal labor” (not to be confused with false labor or Braxton Hicks – and don’t ever ask a woman going through it if it’s just “false contrations”!). With Daisy, I woke up in the middle of the night with strong contractions that were about 20 minutes apart. They gradually got closer together until they were about 3 minutes apart, at which point we went to the hospital and they went ahead and did her c-section since she was still breech. So when I woke up at 1am this time with contractions that were forming a pattern of one big one every hour and several small ones in between, I thought I knew what was happening. That was on September 2nd. My doctor had measured me at my last appointment and said it seemed likely the baby would come in the next couple of weeks. At that point I was 37 weeks + 1 day, exactly when Daisy had been born. The contractions got closer together throughout the day until they were about 5 minutes apart, then we decided to just try to get some sleep before going to the hospital. We slept all night and the next day the contractions were completely gone.

I took the next two days off work, confused, frustrated, exhausted, trying to figure out what in the world was going on with my body. Nothing happened Thursday or Friday, then Saturday and Sunday the contractions started up again. I thought for sure this was it! I had read online that prodromal labor can take a few days to build up. Sunday night the contractions were 4 minutes apart and very painful, so we went to the hospital. They monitored me for several hours, determined it was “latent labor”, and sent me home. That Monday was Labor Day so I ended up with a 6 day weekend, which I probably needed. Tuesday I had to go back to work and I was miserable. The contractions would come and go randomly, sometimes with a lot of pain, aggravating my sciatica, making it impossible to get comfortable, much less concentrate on working. At some point that week, my boss graciously gave me permission to work from home so I could manage the pain better. I was in and out of the doctor’s office, making very slow progress in terms of dilation and effacement. Baby girl had dropped all the way down which was also adding to my discomfort.

By the week of the 21st (my due date), I was completely miserable. Sitting hurt, standing hurt worse, lying down hurt worst of all. The contractions were getting more regular and more painful but I still wasn’t making much progress. At my appointment that day my CNM Jana went ahead and scheduled me to be induced on October 1st. It seemed like an eternity away, but I knew she wanted to give the baby plenty of time to come on her own, especially since inducing reduces your chances of successful VBAC. That week I kept having to sign out of work early. Even working from home was too painful and too hard to concentrate. I was burning through my precious maternity leave sick time and getting frustrated to the point of tears multiple times a day. I was sick of everyone asking me when the baby was coming, even though I appreciated that so many people were praying for me and rooting for me.

Every day that week, from Sunday the 20th on, I had contractions that would start in the afternoon, get to about 5 minutes apart, then stop at some point in the night. I started timing them again on Tuesday, something I had given up doing since the last hospital visit, when “come in when they’re 4-6 minutes apart” had been upgraded to “come in when you can’t talk through them.” By Wednesday night I was in extreme pain and had some that were so sharp I would double over. Thursday I could barely focus enough to work. That night we once again went to the hospital, even though I suspected they would send me home again. Sure enough, days of building intensity had led to no progress since my Monday appointment. They sent me home with Ambien, which did nothing to help me sleep. The contractions stayed consistently about 10 minutes apart all night and into the next morning. I broke down and called my CNM and asked if it would be possible to move up my induction. She agreed to move it up to the 28th, but when I told her the Ambien hadn’t helped me sleep, her tone changed and she said I should come in at 2pm so she could check me, and maybe even induce me that day if everything looked ok. I called Jason and told him he should probably come home, made a couple of backup arrangements for Daisy since the family that had agreed to watch her weeks ago had come down with strep, and tried to ride out the pain until 2pm.

The Birth:

We got to my doctor’s office at 2 only to find out that Jana was at the hospital delivering another baby. They were going to have another doctor check me, but that meant the wait would be longer since she had to squeeze me in between her other appointments. We waited for maybe a half hour but it felt like forever. The doctor who came in actually remembered me from when she had tried to flip Daisy! When she checked me, I was finally 4-5cm dilated, and she said I should go ahead and check into the birth center. I wouldn’t have to be induced at all, this was finally the real thing! She recommended getting an epidural so I could rest for a while, since I hadn’t had any significant sleep in two days, then breaking my water and seeing what happened. That sounded good to me, but by the time I checked into the hospital, got all hooked up to monitors and IV’s, and Jana was finally able to see me, I was already at 7cm dilated. Jason had gone to drop off Daisy, so I sent him a text that I thought sounded calm but he read as “get here ASAP.” Jana said we probably wouldn’t need to break my water, and since I was progressing pretty quickly without too much pain, we tried Fentanyl instead of the epidural.

The Fentanyl worked great for a while, but then I started having some serious back labor. I was feeling every contraction in my back, hips and legs, and I wasn’t dilating more even though they were getting much more painful. Jana suggested an epidural after all and I did not object. By the time the anesthesiologist came, I was hyperventilating and shaking. They got the epidural in (very carefully) and I finally got an hour or so of rest. They came back to check me and said I was almost 10 cm, but I wasn’t feeling the urge to push yet. The baby’s heart rate started to go down a little, not to the point where they were too worried, but enough that they decided I should start trying to push. The epidural was the kind where I could still move my legs and feel some of the pushing sensation. I could tell when I was about to have a contraction even though I wasn’t feeling the contraction itself, so between that and the monitors we knew when I should push.

WARNING: skip this next paragraph if you don’t want the gory details.

It started ok, and I thought “this isn’t too bad.” Fast forward through three very intense hours, and I was exhausted, panicky, and feeling like there was no way I could keep going. They kept telling me I was “getting close!” and although I wasn’t trying to keep track of the time, I was “very close” for at least 45 minutes of that last stretch. I had nothing left to give and my brain kept searching for another option, but I knew at this point there were none left. Despite the epidural I was feeling all kinds of pain. Finally Jana, knowing I was just about at a breaking point, said calmly, “Barbara, do you want to feel your daughter’s head?” I reached down and there it was and that was the motivation I needed to keep going. I remember saying something like, “what’s the rest of her waiting for?” and that the nurses laughed. But there wasn’t much laughing for the next few minutes. Every push I would think “that has to be the last one” but it wasn’t. I got to the point where the contractions didn’t really stop and I felt like I couldn’t control the pushing, it was just happening whether I liked it or not. Everyone was very excited that the baby had a head full of blond hair and kept commenting on it, but I just wanted it to be over already. Finally there was an actual last push, and I heard a little baby cry. The nurses clocked the birth at 12:51am, so the whole process from checking into the hospital to when she was born was about 9 hours, 3 of which was pushing. The pain was mostly gone, although I was surprised how much was left even with the epidural. Jana told me I had torn a little (I won’t say where but not perineum, which I was grateful for) and that it wasn’t that bad but I would need a few stitches. At some point they handed me the baby and I got to snuggle her a little before they cleaned her and cut the cord.

I really don’t know what order things happened in after that. I remember one of the nurses saying something about a girl and then saying, “Wait, did anyone actually check to make sure?” then someone checked and said, “Yep, it’s a girl” and everyone laughed. At some point Jana told me with a very sympathetic face that if I had more kids it wouldn’t be that bad the next time, which was oddly enough something I really needed to hear (even though at this point we have no plans one way or the other on that).  They finished doing whatever they needed to do, took out the epidural and most of whatever else I was hooked up to, and got ready to move us all to our Moms & Babies room. The nurses had been fantastic and said they were sad to see us go. I guess it makes sense but it’s funny how you can really bond with people in a very short amount of time when you all go through something like that together!

I don’t remember much of what happened next. At some point we must have slept. I think I probably fed her a little. It was strange how completely foreign it felt to hold a newborn again. I didn’t know what to do with her! Daisy had been so different, too, because she was so small, so early, and had hip dysplasia. They weren’t worried about anything this time. There were no strict instructions about feeding her every 2 hours, no extra monitoring, no formula supplementation or pumping, no specialists coming to check her hips, no special brace that covered most of her body. Just a healthy normal baby that I could hold right away without it hurting, that I could do skin-to-skin bonding with, that I could let sleep without worrying about her blood sugar dropping too low. I was very grateful, and happy I hadn’t had to do another c-section. My pain levels were very manageable with Motrin and ice packs. By the second day, I could easily walk around on my own. We had to stay at the hospital 48 hours because I was GBS positive (I won’t explain it all here, but it’s just a routine thing they do to make sure the baby is ok), so we’d be there until Monday morning since she was born just after midnight on Saturday.

We had tons of visitors this time, which I loved, even though I probably wasn’t napping as much as I should have. Nights were a little rough since she was right on schedule with cluster feeding. Our first night home was bad, too. She wanted to eat every 45-60 minutes, which pretty much meant none of us slept for a couple of nights. At some point on Saturday afternoon we decided on the name. We had been pretty set on either Teresa Scarlet or Scarlet Teresa for a few weeks, but wanted to meet her first. We still haven’t decided exactly what we’ll end up calling her. We both love Teresa, but it seems like such an adult name for a tiny baby. I told Jason that Daisy will probably have the opposite problem so it’s an interesting contrast. Both girls are named for grandmas but also for a spiritual meaning that is personal to us as a couple.

Since coming home, we have already been blessed with lots of help, visitors, and food. Jason’s mom Kathy was able to come help out again, which has been especially great for Daisy, and since Jason is still working. She also brought her two dogs, which Daisy is loving even if the cats aren’t too thrilled. Daisy is adjusting pretty well. She isn’t always as gentle as we’d like but it doesn’t seem to be intentional. She mostly finds Teresa fascinating and likes to just smile at her when she sleeps and say “night night!” She’s also very concerned that Teresa doesn’t sleep with a pacifier and tries to give her a paci all the time. She can say “sissy”, “baby”, and will say “Seeya” if you ask her to say Teresa.

I will be on maternity leave for at least another 5 weeks. My dad and stepmom are coming out for Daisy’s 2nd birthday on the 27th, which will be fun. Jason will probably keep working until his off season, whenever that ends up being. Daisy’s “second family” are going to watch Teresa too, which we are very grateful for since they have been so fantastic with Daisy.

If you want any more details or want to come visit, just let me know!

And here are some pictures for you, in no particular order:

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Let's just call her

Let’s just call her “Fairy Godmother Wooree”

Meeting baby sister for the first time

Meeting baby sister for the first time

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Day before baby came

Day before baby came

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At Target, first time out of the house

At Target, first time out of the house

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With Nana and Grandpa

With Nana and Grandpa

Daisy wanted to work from home, too

Daisy wanted to work from home, too

40+ weeks

40+ weeks

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May Update

I had my 20-week ultrasound last Thursday. Everything looked healthy and normal! And… *drumroll*… it’s a little sister! We didn’t get any really good profile shots because this one moves like crazy! But she’s head-down which is good news since Daisy was breech at her 20-wk ultrasound and never flipped. (compare to Daisy’s ultrasound pics here)

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13 weeks

13 weeks

17 weeks

17 weeks

20 weeks

20 weeks

Daisy had her 18-month checkup last week: Height 23rd% (31 in), Weight 12th% (19.6 lb), Head size 86th%. She did great on all her developmental checkpoints and was very brave through getting 3 shots. She’s building on her list of words. Some of her recent favorites are “whee!”, birdie, Murray, meow, doggie, woof, where’s daddy, Iga (Anika), and something that sounds like “daddEEsda” that I can’t figure out for the life of me. She’s starting to wear size 18 clothes. She recently figured out how to climb on chairs and from there to the kitchen table, so we have to do some rearranging and toddler-proofing! She’s got most of her teeth now, just pushing through the last couple and probably working on her 2-year molars. We went on a trip to Tucson in mid-April to visit Daisy’s Benecke great-grandparents and she had a great time.

Some highlights:
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February Update

So we have some big news. Somewhere around September 21st Daisy is going to have a sibling! (Lord willing).

Lieutenant Little Big Head at 8 weeks

Lieutenant Little Big Head at 8 weeks

One is Jason's. He heard it's a cancer test. He is neither pregnant nor cancerous.

One is Jason’s. He heard it’s a cancer test. He is neither pregnant nor cancerous.

She's not so excited about the news.

She’s not so excited about the news.

The rest of our news isn’t as exciting. We did have a fun late Christmas in California mid-January with Barbara’s family. Daisy got to meet her new cousin Aveline as well as several other “cousins”. She also enjoyed playing with Theo this time since she was really too young last time she saw him. Sadly we didn’t get any good pictures of the cousins together, but it was a fun trip.

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Daisy has hit a couple more milestones recently, including walking and getting several new teeth. She still only has a handful of words, including Mama, Dada, Cayla, Uh-oh, and Yaya (Devin). She also does “more” in sign language, and can “snap” (right motion but no sound) and whistle (very quietly). She also had her first haircut when I decided I couldn’t handle her hair in her eyes anymore.

Now here are some pictures in no real order:

5 weeks

5 weeks

6 weeks

6 weeks

8 weeks

8 weeks

10 weeks

10 weeks

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We got about a foot of snow over the weekend

We got about a foot of snow over the weekend

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One Year and Holidays

Daisy’s first birthday party was a success. She very much enjoyed her first chocolate cupcake.

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Jason has been staying home with Daisy during his off season and took her to her one-year checkup in November. She was 2’3″ (2nd%), 16lbs (5th%), and 93rd% for head size.

We went to Saint Louis to have Thanksgiving with Uncle Tom and Aunt Kiki and also saw the Polks (Jason, Liz, Nathan, Isaiah, and almost-ready-to-meet-the-world Anna Ruth) while we were there! We especially enjoyed the Saint Louis Zoo.

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We had a nice Christmas at home this year. For the first time in 6 married Christmases together, we got a real tree. We took Daisy to our church’s Christmas Eve service then came home and opened ornaments with Daisy and our housemate/”fake son” Devin. Then the three of us had Christmas morning together and Devin’s family came over for Christmas dinner, courtesy of his mom who is an excellent cook! Devin also took some nice family photos for us. We got several inches of snow on New Year’s Day and walked through the snow to get Josh and John’s ice cream. Daisy seemed to enjoy the walk and even took a nap in her stroller. She loves watching the snow fall in the backyard.

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Some recent milestones:
– Took her first 3 steps! But hasn’t walked again since. She loves to walk with help, though.
– Has long conversations with her toys and sometimes with us
– The cats are finally adjusting to her and will often let her pet them
– Eating whatever we eat for the most part
– Loves playing her mini piano (Christmas present from Grandpa Rich and “Memaw” Lynn)
– Loves coffee shops, shopping trips, walks, going new places and meeting new people

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(Almost) 10 month update

Daisy had her last checkup a week ago, and they gave her the 10 month questionnaire even though she wasn’t quite there yet. She met almost all the developmental markers, which the doctor thought was pretty impressive. She weighed 15lb 10 oz (9th percentile) and was in the 14th percentile for height and 62nd for head size.

Daisy had fun seeing her Sanders grandparents and aunties last month! Also we moved out of our apartment into a house, and she loves her “big brother” housemate Devin.

Also, if you don’t already know, I upload a picture of her every day on Instagram! You can follow me at http://instagram.com/_mombarb_. Also, we upload videos pretty regularly to our Youtube accounts (https://www.youtube.com/user/derisory and https://www.youtube.com/user/bivbsilentb).

 

Some recent highlights:

– lots of (fast) army crawling, and just started real crawling for short stretches

– pulling herself to standing on anything and everything

– got her two top teeth first (within a few hours of each other) and now the bottom two are coming through

– curious about just about everything she can get her hands on and/or attempt to eat

– ate dirt for the first time yesterday (and hopefully the last time for a while) – she also enjoys paper, catfood, and wires. In other words, she’s keeping us busy!

– loves water, bath time, and playing in the cat water dishes

– continues to “pet” the cats, who mostly run away, although sometimes Murray will nuzzle her and let her grab his fur

– gets excited when there’s loud noises, like the hair dryer, sirens, or anything percussive

– really loves when Jason plays the mandolin; also any music with a good beat and loud bass

– enjoys playing games like “thunk thunk thunk” (where I bang on something and she copies me), peekaboo (yesterday she kept covering her face with a blanket and laughed every time she dropped it down), and “typing” on an old keyboard

– still very vocal, said her first word “Cayla” (one of the babysitter’s kids) at 8 months, and says “nini” when she’s hungry or tired and “dada” when she’s playing with a toy she really likes; also loves to “whisper” syllables and have “conversations” with us

– eating lots of different kinds of food, she is not a picky eater so far!

– still very social, likes to flirt with strangers, loves attention, loves to smile at people, does something “funny” and expects a reaction, loves going to the nursery on Sundays

– loves being outside

– likes to “help” with laundry by sorting through it and chewing on it

– finally on a sleep schedule! takes semi-regular naps twice a day, gets sleepy around 7:30 and sleeps 10-12 hours in her crib every night

– went through a short separation anxiety phase that was hopefully the worst of it (at least for now)

 

And now a few pictures:

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