Wednesday, December 30, 2009

It's a boy!

We had the 20 week ultrasound this morning (at almost 21 weeks actually). There was no mistaking it - definitely a boy. The tech said everything looked good. She estimated he weighs about 14 ounces at the moment. When she switched over to the 3-D view we got a perfect shot - we saw the evidence before the tech even mentioned it - most definitely a boy. He was moving around quite a bit, so we didn't get any particularly good head-on or profile facial shots - but she was able to get the measurements and see the organs and such that she was looking for. And I'll see my regular OB on Monday, so we'll get the full report then.

Now I get to start shopping for boy things!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Nearing the end of 2009

I haven't posted in almost a month. A few things have happened since then of course. Leah turned 22 months a few weeks ago. We celebrated Hanukkah. Leah's vocabulary and grammar and such increase daily. It's really amazing the things she says and the words she puts together. She will now point to a picture and say, "Who's that?" Today she started saying "mine" and "yours."

Shafi returned today from 2.5 weeks in Bangladesh. In the middle of his trip, Leah and I spent 9 days in Fort Worth with my parents. We weren't sure how Leah would view Shafi's absence. She did ask for him daily, but she seemed pretty content with the answer that "Baba is in Bangladesh visiting Dada and Dadima, and he'll be back soon." Not sure what she actually thought of all that of course, but if you asked her, "Where is Baba?" she would tell you "Bong-jesh" - which of course was very cute. She did get a bit upset when we returned from Texas and got home and Baba wasn't here. I had told her that it would be a few more days before he came back, but obviously that hadn't quite sunk in. But she only cried for a minute and then was easily distracted as we put on her coat and shoes and went out to dinner. Then I did a countdown for her - Baba will be home in 4 days - Baba will be home in 3 days - Baba will be home in 2 days - Baba will be home tomorrow. Again, we're not sure what concept she has of the passing of time, so I don't know if she even understood yesterday when I said "tomorrow" but I think putting a time frame on it was probably helpful to keep her understanding that Baba was coming home soon.

This morning when Shafi did come home, Leah and I were sitting at the table eating breakfast. She looked up as he walked in the door and said, "I eating oatmeal. I have own spoon." She continued to describe her breakfast as he gave her a kiss and told her he missed her. Once breakfast was over, she was glad to hug and kiss and cuddle with Shafi, of course. The rest of our day continued fairly normally - she seemed to have little reaction to his having been away or having come back.

We had a nice trip to Texas. Leah was sick for a few days at the beginning, which was a bummer, but she stayed in pretty good spirits, as usual. Once she was feeling better, we had fun going to the zoo, feeding ducks, going to McDonald's (Leah's first time), and going to the science museum. She also had fun singing with Grandpa while he played guitar - Bim Bam, Sim Shalom, Taxi song, Dragon (Puff the Magic, of course), Twinkle Twinkle, and ABCs.

Leah was pretty good on the plane both directions. I got a portable DVD player and some Sesame Street DVDs - all worth every penny. She pretty much just watched Sesame Street and snacked the whole time both directions.

Leah got lots of Hanukkah presents from Grandpa and Grandpa and had a good time playing with them at their house. The zoo might have been the highlight of the trip for Leah, though. This was the first time she seemed to really watch all the animals. The zoo is small enough that you only have to go a few steps from one to the next. She yelled excitedly each time she saw one - "zebras!" "elephant!" "monkey!" Feeding the ducks at a small lake was also a lot of fun. We were able to get right down to the water's edge, close enough that Leah could throw the bread into the water. She was mesmerized by the many quacking ducks and geese just feet away.

But after over a week away and lots of fun with Grandma & Grandpa, it was also nice to come home. And now she's been enjoying playing with her new toys, reading her new books, drawing with her new crayons, and using lots of stickers.

We lucked out and had an empty seat next to our assigned seat for Leah to occupy. She curled up, cuddled with puppy and watched Sesame Street. This was the way to Texas, but the way home didn't look much different:

Leah loves zoos. She wasn't actually all that keen on holding the birds, but she did hold the stick with a bird on it for a minute - long enough to get a great picture:

I love the way Leah looks in this picture...but it doesn't quite portray Leah's focus on throwing the bread to the ducks in the lake:

The McDonald's Playland was lots of fun...and sitting on Ronald McDonald's lap was too:

Back at home, Leah has been particularly fond of bath time, playing with her new Sesame Street bath toys and pretending to swim in the tub:

Back to the usual routine, asking Baba to read book after book, Leah was definitely happy to have him home:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

She's Havin' a Baby Again!

In a few short months this blog will be needing a bit of an overhaul. Leah will have to make room to share it with her new little sibling. Baby #2 is due to arrive on May 13, 2010. That will make Leah a big sister by 27 months.

All has been well with the pregnancy so far. I did have a bit of spotting around 6 weeks that turned out to be nothing to worry about. And I've been getting one cold after the next, making for some frustrating coughing, runny nose, throat irritation and sore ribs. But no morning sickness to speak of. And while I've been quite tired, I actually feel like the exhaustion might have been worse with my first pregnancy. Although a very plausible explanation for that is that pregnancy exhaustion is really nothing in comparison to the sleeplessness of the first few months with a newborn, so I just have a new benchmark now.

Overall I would say being pregnant while chasing an active toddler around is much more physically challenging than it was while sitting at a desk. Although I think the activity level is helping me to gain weight at a much slower pace...definitely a good thing. And while I would say that this pregnancy is certainly no less important than the first, it definitely gets a lot less of my attention. The first time around I was constantly looking at pregnancy websites and books and talking about it. This time it's a bit more of a background topic - I think I may even be a month behind on What To Expect When You're Expecting. But I think all this is pretty normal. I am busier than last time around and the novelty just isn't the same.

I'm now just shy of 17 weeks. I have my next OB appointment tomorrow, but we've entered the phase where each appointment consists of waiting around to be seen for 45 minutes or so, having the doctor measure my belly and feel for the fundus (top of the uterus), and listening to the heartbeat. Of course I never get tired of hearing that heartbeat. But the appointments are fairly routine...although I do of course hope they remain that way.

The big 20 week ultrasound ought to be right around the end of the year. Hopefully we'll be able to schedule it after Shafi's return from Bangladesh but before he is back at work in the new year. And we will be finding out the gender stay tuned.

I haven't yet scanned in the previous sonograms, but I will post them as soon as I have them. Not a whole lot to see in a 12 week picture, but it was very exciting nonetheless. Leah went with us to the appointment and sat on Shafi's lap. She behaved pretty well. She seemed to understand when we showed her the baby's head, and at one point the baby lifted a hand and we told Leah that the baby was waving to her, to which she responded "Hi baby."

We've been telling Leah about the baby and that she's going to be a big sister since the very beginning. We're not quite sure how much she understands. I have had several friends have babies in the last couple of months, so I think seeing them go from 9 months pregnant to actually having a newborn might help. She does pat my belly and say hi to the baby. She'll even try to share her water or her puppy (the lovey she sleeps with) with the baby by holding it up to my belly. And if you ask her where the baby is she will point to my belly. But she has also been known to say "baby" and pat her own maybe she doesn't quite get it yet.

We made the big announcement to my family over the Thanksgiving holiday. We thought it would be fun to wait and tell everyone in person. So on Wednesday we put Leah in a "big sister" t-shirt. My grandmother noticed the shirt right away and was very excited for us. My parents, however, did not notice the shirt, but when I walked into the room my mother gave me a quizzical look and said, "Are you pregnant?" Good thing I am! Alan and Rachel were away for the holiday but came over on Friday night - they both noticed the bump right away.

We're very excited to be adding to our family. And we have no doubt that Leah will make a great big sister.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Leah is 21 months old!

Oops - Leah actually turned 21 months a week ago. But I've been very neglectful of the blog lately. So here's a belated post.

Leah is doing great. She's quite a parrot. She will repeat almost anything you say...luckily I've been very careful about what I say! And she's speaking in longer and longer sentences. Although one of the newest is a bit confusing..."No I want it." She's been getting very good at saying, "I want it." And I can understand her logic. You can say more or no more. You can say book or no book. So she says "no I want it" instead of "I don't want it."

She had a bit of spill and scraped her knee and has been saying, "Leah boo boo hurt" - don't worry, it's really just a scrape. But it seems to have given her sympathy - she can relate to someone else's boo boo now and express, "Mommy boo boo hurt?"

We had a great time on Halloween. We hit the Brooklyn Heights Parade and the Dumbo Parents Organization event in the morning. Then we did some trick or treating in the afternoon on our way to and again after the Cobble Hill Parade. Leah got a bag full of candy. She loved the lollipop we let her eat on the way there, the Hershey mini she ate while trick or treating, and the Smarties she ate on the way home. And since then we've been giving her a piece of candy for dessert every other day or so. She didn't care for the Three Musketeers but everything else has been a hit so far.

Leah still loves bath time:
She plays dress up with Mommy's clothes:
She is getting very good at drinking out of a "big girl cup":
Her trampoline jumping is getting bigger...she really gets air now:
We went exploring on the High Line on a warm fall day - she loved looking down on the traffic:
Just like Mommy and Baba - Leah can now eat cereal for breakfast (although eggs are still the favorite):
And Leah's love affair with Avery still holds strong:
Leah the butterfly on Halloween:And just like she loves riding on Mommy's shoulders or Baba's shoulders, Elmo (shown here) and Baby like riding on Leah's shoulders:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Leah is 20 months old!

Since I haven't posted in a month, I figured I should add something today. Nothing really new to report though. Leah's vocabulary continues to increase daily. She's putting longer strings of words together - "all done mommy shower", "more potatoes please", "leah shoes off".

Leah is now counting to 13 - yes, she's added 2 numbers in the last month. She's very proficient at identifying colors now - red, blue, green, yellow, orange, pink, black, purple. Her repertoire of songs is growing, as well. She sings her ABCs and Twinkle Twinkle very well and also gets parts of Itsy Bitsy Spider, Ali Galoo, Elmo's World, Old Macdonald. And she frequently sings along with a few words of various songs from the "Kids Music" playlist on my iPod.

She's doing many many animal sounds - she seems to remember pretty much everything I've taught her even when we haven't practiced in a few days - I guess I ought to think about adding some more animals. She now loves elephant sounds. She tries to do it and it comes out more like a raspberry - and she frequently requests that Shafi and I make an elephant sound, "Mommy elephant" or "Baba elephant". I told her I don't like being called an elephant but she persists and I give in.

She's also doing many body parts now - I guess it's time to add more of those too. She'll point to what I ask her to or sometimes she'll just randomly point and tell me what the body party is - we've mastered head, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, teeth, ears, cheeks, chin, shoulders, belly (also tummy), belly button, arms, elbows, hands, fingers, legs, knees, feet, and toes.

Identifying her belly button (with no prompting - she's become a bit of a flasher):
Eating her favorite lunch (peanut butter & jelly sandwich - which she just calls "jelly"):
Clapping along with Elmo - she loves this book:
Playing with stickers - apparently it's really fun to put stickers on her belly and knees:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Leah is 19 months old!

I haven't posted in several weeks...lots to report. Leah's 19th month of life was one of big leaps and bounds - especially in her vocabulary. She's combining words more and more these days. She asks to play with the "George puzzle" - which is a Curious George puzzle in the nursery at the gym. The tells us to get out of bed by saying "Mommy down. Baba down." She tells us when she's done with whatever may be going on - "all done draw" seems fairly self explanatory - and also when she wants whatever we have - "Leah bite" or "Leah sip" - or sometimes when she's cold - "Leah jacket."

More exciting than all of that - she counts to 10 - and sometimes 11. We were stuck on "two three four six" for quite awhile. Then we added five in the right spot. Eight nine ten came soon after. Finally we got her to add the one. But the real holdout was seven. Of course we didn't want to pressure her - the counting was really all on her own - but when she kept saying "one two three four five six eight nine ten" we were just terribly frustrated that we couldn't even get her to say the word seven. Then all of a sudden she said it when asked - and added it to the sequence. And if she's in the mood she'll even perform her one through ten skills when asked to count.

Leah now loves carrying on pretend phone conversations on her play phone - she can really go on for awhile when she feels like it. She's very into her crayons and sidewalk chalk and requests "draw" several times a day. She also likes for us to draw things for her - I'm getting pretty good at drawing Elmo - Leah even recognizes it without my telling her what it is.

Leah's playground skills are continuing to improve - running faster, climbing better, she can even go up a few steps without holding on. And she's mastered the spiral slide - no more getting a foot caught and spinning around head first. She also loves hanging from a bar overhead and swinging back and forth - although she hasn't quite mastered the drop - sometimes falling a bit awkwardly and bumping an elbow or head.

She's also got an expanding palate - she now identifies and requests bacon - and she's eaten shrimp a couple of times - although she never wants more than one in a sitting. And her flair for dancing continues. She dances at home with her baby doll, at weddings, at the playground - pretty much any place that there is any music Leah is happy to break into a little hip shimmy. And of course we all love watching her move.

But the most exciting new development for me - she says "I love you." And today she even added "I love you Mommy" (see video below).

Showing off her hanging skills:
Just being so darn cute at the playground:
Climbing - already halfway up before I can even get there to make sure she doesn't fall:
Mmm - bacon is good:
Showing off her dancing skills at Water Taxi Beach on Governor's Island:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Leah's 18 month check-up

Leah had her 18 month check-up today. She got a clean bill of health. She's 34 3/4 inches - still off the charts - or the ">97 percentile." She's 26 lbs 12 ozs - 80th percentile. And her head is in the 85th percentile. She was a bit better with the doctor today than the last few visits. She screamed a bit while being checked out - but Dr. O'Connor was able to distract her for much of the time with her tape measure. She got one shot today - she handled it pretty well - cried when the needle went in - stopped after about 30 seconds of hugging and soothing.

Not too much else to report. We are going to experiment with not giving her milk before bed. Two reasons behind that - try to stop the overnight diaper leaks that have been almost nightly these days - and also cut the calories from milk to try to get Leah to eat lunch. So now she'll be getting 8 ounces of milk mid-morning (11ish) and 8 ounces of milk mid-afternoon (4ish). I was not sure whether she'd protest the lack of bedtime milk, but tonight went smoothly. Following a large dinner - 4 ounces or so of chicken, lots of broccoli, a little rice, half a kiwi, and a dozen or so grapes - we had a bath and read several books and she went right to sleep. Now we just wait to see whether the 8 ounce reduction in pre-bedtime fluids will mean no leak.

And the next well-visit isn't until she's 2!

Leah found some sunglasses at the playground last week - after I rinsed them off she very much enjoyed showing them off:
Enjoying a hot day in Central Park with friends on Sunday:
I like to call this Leah's SI Swimsuit Edition pose - very sultry and dumping water on her head:
Having lots of fun playing a little hide-and-seek at the Children's Museum yesterday:
Ahh - that check-up was well worth it for the lollipop afterwards:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Leah is one and a half!

I have nothing major to report on Leah's half birthday. I got her a tee ball set. She wasn't all that interested in it...but we'll keep trying. I also got her a see and say - the thing with the animals around it that you pull the lever and the arrow spins and tells you about the animal - the cow says moo. That she's excited about. It took her a little time to figure out how to pull the lever all the way - and it doesn't work if you only pull it part way. But after about 10 minutes of frustration she became a real pro.

I took her out to breakfast. She had silver dollar pancakes...and ate most of them. And for the first time she seemed to like the OJ...usually she has one sip and doesn't want more. Today she drank about 1/3 of the glass...although the glass is probably only about 4 ounces.

Otherwise it was a pretty average day. This morning we hung out in Cadman Plaza with Leah's friend Avery (girl Avery). And after naptime and lunch we hung out with Leah's friend Asher at the playground. juice:
Leah likes to take a bite or two of several pancakes rather than just eating one at a time...she goes back to them eventually:
Leah and her friend girl Avery having fun with some sidewalk chalk in Cadman Plaza:
And then at the playground this afternoon...loving the sandbox..."shovel. shovel. shovel.":

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sightseeing in DC

Took me awhile to get to posting about our trip. We went to Washington DC last weekend for a friend's wedding. We made the trip Wednesday night to Sunday morning so that we could have plenty of time for sightseeing. It was actually Leah's 3rd trip to DC but the first time she was old enough for much sightseeing.

We drove Wednesday night around 7 p.m. - and Leah managed to keep herself awake in the car until 10 p.m. She didn't fuss much - mostly played and sang and such. We turned the music off - didn't make a difference. We tried ignoring difference. Of course once she fell asleep it was only about an hour until we arrived at Uncle Howard & Uncle Charlie's house. She fought going back to sleep in the pack n play but of course eventually she did.

Thursday morning we went to the National Zoo. She loved the lions, elephants, panda bears and gorillas.

Leah and Baba watching the mommy gorilla nurse her baby:
Leah and Mommy watching the panda bear have a snack:

Thursday afternoon we went to the National Mall - we only had time to see the Washington Monument up close. But Leah's favorite part was the flock of Canadian geese nearby.
Leah sitting on a bench in front of the Washington Monument surveying the scene:
Uncle Alan (my brother) took off Friday to hang with us. We went to the sculpture gardens at the Hirshhorn and the National Gallery of Art and also took a stroll through part of the Hirshhorn's collection.
Taking a rest in the Hirshhorn:
Leah telling Uncle Alan what she thinks of one of the sculptures:

Then we spent the afternoon at a nearby playground before having a tasty German meal at Old Europe.

Saturday morning we had a nice brunch out with Howard and Charlie and strolled around Georgetown by the water a bit. And then we went to Lisa's wedding. We all had a great time. It was a short sweet ceremony followed by a tasty BBQ meal and a fun band and dancing.

The wedding was about an hour outside of DC - beautiful surroundings:Shafi and Leah went to explore the grounds...Leah absconded with my friend Jamie's purse:
Leah got her very own dance with the bride:
And also with some of the groom's family:

Sunday Aunt Rachel and Uncle Alan joined us for a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Leah enjoyed the fish and butterflies and stuffed animals. But despite being an obvious princess, she showed little interest in the hope diamond.

Leah in awe of the enormous whale on the ceiling:
Leah loved the fish...would have stayed there watching them all day:
And of course she was mesmerized by the giant butterflies:
And it seemed she didn't realize a giraffe was so big!:

Overall we had a great trip and the drive home went well. We had a nice lunch at Cracker Barrel and then Leah took a nice 90 minute nap. We're already looking forward to our Thanksgiving trip.