Sunday, April 27, 2014

Springing Into Spring

Boing! Boing! Here's the Spring Bunny to lead you through the start of Spring, Montana-style.

 In addition to her bunny-duties, she is also a butterfly who tends to her flowers.

She's the only butterfly I think is pretty and that I'm not ridiculously afraid of.

 She also moonlights as Louis' partner in crime. Though, thankfully, she was not involved in The Easter Bunny Massacre. Two days before Easter, Jacob came home and discovered a dead bunny nestled under the last stair that leads into the living room. Inside the house. Jacob walked up and down the stairs - as I had been doing most of the day - before he noticed it and both of us initially mistook it for one of Louis' raggedy, chewed up toys (thanks to Grandma, he's received a few stuffed bunnies over the years). Easter was almost cancelled! Luckily, the Easter Bunny seemed to have hit everyone else's house before his ultimate demise at ours.

Louis being look-out.

 They asked to have a picnic.

 Patiently waiting his turn for a swipe at the peanut butter.

 How Louis picnics: regally chewing on a stick.

Gave up on the peanut butter.

Durbin is my fellow sun-bather.

 They also call him The Cleaner.

 This one, too. It's often a race but in this instance, Durbin had more interest in staying on the couch.

Watching the world go by while contemplating life's mysteries.

 Not one of life's mysteries: birthdays! This month Jacob met his 31st year. It was a low-key affair but we had a very nice day. His dad, sister, and Zoey's cousin's came to our house to just hang out and spend the day - that was all Jacob wanted. I made dinner and this, a Peanut Butter Pudding Fudge cake, in the Crock Pot no less. It turned out great. The only unfortunate part was that I forgot to buy candles so all we had was this number 3 that I forgot to put on Zoey's birthday cupcakes last year.

Jacob's dad made this awesome sign for our house with each of our names soon to follow. Of course everyone will have to wait until July to know the new little one's name.

 Gettin' all nostalgic up in here with Jacob's old Etch-A-Sketch. She loves it and it has found a home with his View Master amongst her bevy of toys.

Getting even more nostalgic with her juice in a Sesame Street mug circa 1971 courtesy of Mer who used them (we have two) when she was little. I gave Zoey the juice and she said, "I want to drink my juice like coffee."

Nothing starts the Spring in Montana like freezing your butt off on Easter Sunday. With the sun shining brighter and longer, and things starting to bloom, those spring dresses are just too hard to resist.

 We spent the day with Jacob's family, where the Easter Bunny survived his visit. (Apparently I've reached the fat-in-your-face portion of pregnancy.)

 The Easter Bunny was generous.

 Cadburry Creme egg - Libby knows where to head first.

 Ready to go hunting for eggs the Easter Bunny may have left behind!

 Trying to get a nice picture of Zoey, Layne, and Libby - especially right before an activity they're super-excited about - is like nailing Jello to a wall. But I think this is way better... :-)

 Layne and Zoey on the egg-prowl. It was a very nice day but it was extremely windy, making this activity a little more exhausting than it should have been.

 Layne and Libby.

 Libby was the absolute cutest egg-hunter ever. Every time she found one she'd hold it up and say, "GOT IT!"

 Zoey was just in the zone, snatching up every one she saw.

 All three kids wound up with quite the haul. The eggs were filled with candy that we dumped in plastic bags to take home and has since taken a pretty serious hit by Jacob and I.

 Afterward, the kids did an Easter craft the bunny had left in their basket - painting bird houses. 

 And then it was just the girls...

 And then there was one...

 Zoey's finished product.

Photographer Zoey (and her finger) taking a picture of the chubby bunny.

It's been your typical Spring so far - wet, sunny, and nice-ish weather - at least better than we got used to over the last several months. So of course it's been hard to stay indoors.

 Louis could be on the cover of Dog Fancy proclaiming that age 10 is the new 5!

 Warm weather means no pants and pretty shoes. Well, she pretty much sticks to that rule no matter what.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

EP: The Extra Placenta

McBun and I are so special, we get two! Well, one and a half.

And we're actually not that special. It's a random abnormality that usually only poses risks come delivery. Since it's in the Laws of Delivery that the doctor you've been seeing more of than you've seen your house clean won't actually be the one to deliver your baby, the main concern is that everyone is aware of my situation to ensure I deliver both placentas. If not, I would hemorrhage the "extra" one and after this last summer's bleeding extravaganza, I've had enough hemorrhaging for one lifetime. What really sparked concern with my doctor was something else they discovered during my routine, mid-pregnancy anatomy ultrasound.

In a part of my baby-full, functional womb is a small band of tissue stretching from one side to the other. After a follow-up ultrasound and subsequent discussion with the High-Risk doctor, my "band" is and will remain harmless to my growing McBun. In other scenarios, however, the band is known as Amniotic Band Syndrome, which is when the bands are attached to the baby and cause birth defects and inner-womb amputations. The High-Risk doctor was pleased to see (and report) that the baby is nowhere near the band - likely just scar tissue and not fibrous bands as a result of a partial rupture of the amniotic sac - and that as the baby grows it will be pushed aside and possibly absorbed.

While I was slightly piqued at the idea of getting special treatment these last few months, I'm more relieved to know everything is normal and progressing properly, especially since I didn't know the possible severity of the band until after the follow-up ultrasound. And now that we're assured the "extra placenta" doesn't pose any serious risks, we joke that because I have such a healthy appetite, it's the baby's mini-fridge. Otherwise, the baby looks great (according to the doctors), and is very wiggly (according to me as I sit still and watch my belly shake like Santa's bowl full of jelly).

This pregnancy is definitely different, especially in regards to the number of batches of homemade brownies and bags of Classic Jelly Beans I've consumed, and a little more action-packed. As long as McBun and I make it through unscathed, I'll be happy and thankful.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Slowly Waking from Hibernation

People are still complaining about the winter because, well, it's still winter. It's very confusing when the sun is brighter and out longer but it's still only 35-degrees out. But since, as mammals, we're drawn to the outdoors at this time of year, it feels like the world is slowly starting to re-emerge.

Thanks to Zoey, Jacob and I have somewhat of a social-life. One weekend, Zoey was invited to back-to-back birthday parties!
First up, playing Pin The Eye on the Monster at Eli's Monster's Inc./University Party.

 Child models, I think so!

 Having a go at the pinata. They really manufacture these things to be more difficult than necessary. All of the kids enjoy whacking it around a few times, then inevitably get so frustrated and distracted that an adult has to come over and beat it to death before just picking it up and dumping candy all over the floor. All of the brutality is, of course, forgiven when everyone is given the candy-grab go-ahead.

 The birthday boy, Eli, was enjoying things so much that when they brought out his candles, he stood in front of them and sang "Happy Birthday" to himself.

 Thiiiiis is what we came here for.

 He wasn't pleased in the slightest.

 Then it was over to Myla's house (her mother is my friend and Elkhorn-cohort, Debbie) for a real girl-i-fied party.

 On the way home, we spotted these fellas out for an early Spring stroll.

 We also emerged for St. Patrick's Day Craft Day at the library. This was Zoey's first experience with doing any sort of real crafting that was supposed to turn out a certain way.

 The out-poking tongue is integral as she'll discover later when learning how to apply mascara.

 She was very proud of her creation when all was said and done, and rightfully so. It was supposed to be a rainbow made out of different colored hands with a pot of gold but she wanted to glue all of the hands together, and draw and glue on "gold dabloons," resulting in the final creation of what she insisted wasn't a rainbow but a "hand necklace."

 Speaking of busting out... (21 weeks; slightly over 5 months)
This is the moment you look away/scroll quickly past if you're my dad or anyone else who doesn't want to know the gender and wants to be surprised come later this summer....Last chance....

 Our litter booger with his feet and arms up by his face. Yup, it's a boy and we're beyond thrilled! Jacob, mainly, because now there will be someone to carry on his family name and he isn't dreading his vasectomy quite so much. Throughout the last five months, Zoey has been adamant that the baby is a girl, even telling my doctor, "If it's a boy, I'm going to be so mad at it!" But about a week before we were to find out, she changed her tune, decided she wanted a brother and wants to name him Eli.

Here's lookin' at you!

It's been alternating between being warm and cold, sunny and snowy, so we've been enjoying being inside, too.

 Well, most of us... (This is Durbin's perch come 3:30pm, waiting for Jacob to get home.)

 Remember the purple trim I mentioned before?.... So long weird, mauve/purple-ish color! Soon you will be nothing more than something we spot in photo albums and chuckle at the memory of.

 We find other ways to decorate, too.

 Or just grow up way too quickly...

The squirrels in the backyard are coming out of hibernation as well, but Louis still has time to fit in some ballet.

 Or watch NASCAR while braiding My Little Pony hair.

 Otherwise, just learning and growing (she decided she wanted to make Daddy's lunch one morning).