34 Months

It's been a good month where I feel more settled into a routine. I actually feel like I have a lot less time with them now, but I think that's a combination of them having their drop-off classes and the fact that they're playing together so well that I'm able to do more of my own stuff when we're at home. They really like both of their drop-off classes, the one in the Presidio and the art class by our house. Wednesdays have been our free day and we've tried to go on adventures with Papa to a different park or a museum. Thursdays after swim class, I've had my mornings packed with doctors appointments or taken advantage of my mom being with them and planned meetings, lunch with friends or other appointments. Fridays we do our outdoor class together, which is even more fun now that two of my twin mom friends are in it with their kids.

Art class
Preschool update: I was a bit nervous when we got called back in for a second playdate at Calvary but it was explained when we got there that they didn't feel like they got to talk to G much and weren't sure if it was because he doesn't talk much, or he's not comfortable in the large space, or what. Well, within the first few minutes of being there, the director had a long conversation with him (he talked to her the whole time) and came over and said they had no concerns. I was assured everything had gone well and despite a mix up (our acceptance letter got put in another family's envelope!), we are in and just turned in our paperwork so we're totally decided now that that's where they'll go. We feel really good about the decision and I continue to meet families who go there and the parents only have great things to say. They will do summer school there too, so they'll start the middle of June. We'll hear from the other 2 schools we applied to the first week of March, but one has about zero spots available and the other I wasn't totally sold on so I don't think anything would change regardless of acceptance.

Highlights from the month:
  • Sharing the news with everyone!
  • The boys seem very excited about becoming big brothers.
  • London and Preston's Circus birthday party
  • Superbowl party with friends
EAT: Overall I'm not worried, but I guess more annoyed at their deteriorating eating habits. Every once in a while one of them surprises me and it makes me so happy when they decide they are going to eat the fish and rice for dinner, or an entire steak like G did last week, but despite my best efforts and our continued approach of 'if you don't want to eat it, then don't, they seem to be trying fewer and fewer things.
  • Breakfast used to be their best meal of the day and W still does pretty well here, though many days it's over the course of a few hours before he's finished. G has been eating one single cheese many mornings and that's it. Otherwise he'll eat like 5 scrambled eggs, literally. And then ask for more.
  • Lunch is pretty balanced, especially when I pack their lunch box and I do have a rule that if we're out, I'm not going to buy more food unless they've finished what's in their lunch. They don't have to eat everything if they're not hungry but I'm also not going to buy anything else.
  • Dinner is the biggest struggle. I've stayed true to making one dinner, though I generally have some simple options around for nights when we have fish or something spicy that isn't even worth offering -- this included grilled tofu or chicken legs.
  • The attitude towards dinner is what is really getting to me, before G even walks in the kitchen (and hasn't seen what we're having) says, 'I want something else'. I feel like Dave and I have been good about maintaining our simple, 'this is what's for dinner' approach but at least I'm starting to question it when W says he's done after not eating anything but then is waiting for figs (their latest obsession, of which they get 2 for dessert). Dessert is the area I still can't seem to figure out. I don't want dessert tied to dinner as I want them to have control over what and how much they choose to eat, but I also refuse to feed my kids dessert every night if they're not eating dinner. Luckily 'dessert' usually consists of yogurt with a little honey or a couple of figs, but it's still the principle of the matter that bothers me. 
My bowl-licker

SLEEP: Has been pretty good.

  • The main issue we've had is that G hasn't napped a few days here and there and it becomes a cycle that we try to put them to bed early, G falls asleep pretty quickly and luckily W is good about just reading books. But then W wakes up at normal time and G keeps sleeping, sometimes until 7:30 or even 8am. It throws off the day because I think it makes him less likely to nap.
  • What seems to be working with G is that I tell him he can choose -- if he's not tired and doesn't want to nap, that's fine, but that means that he will have to go to bed before W. I make this sounds terrible by saying that we'll put him to bed and then W can stay up and play with us a little longer... it's worked like a charm and he's napped every day since ;) But clearly he's still tired then if he's able to so I don't feel too bad.
  • Bedtime has seemed to be dragging out a little bit and G is more likely to need one more hug, some water or something else despite our best efforts of giving all of that before we leave.

PLAY: This has been SO good lately.

  • They play together constantly and yes, there is the occasional battle here or there, but things are generally really good.
  • There never seems to be biting anymore, but hitting is the new thing. A big bonk on top of the head usually. Ugh.
  • Since the baby news, they seem to be more into playing with their baby dolls so we ordered some bottles for them to feed them. There was also a day of diapering them over and over and Papa even brought over my old doll high chair for them to use.
  • Building forts is high on their list, taking all their bedding, pillows, books and toys and putting them under the kitchen table. Blankets aren't hung, it's really just a big mess but it's so much fun to hear their stories under there. Today it was a train for a while and I heard, 'Train's leaving in 5 minutes, better hurry up!' and 'We're going to San Diego on the train!'. Then moments later it was 'Wee-oooh, weee-oooh' and they confirmed that they were now a fire truck off on a rescue.
  • Their other favorite activity is pretending to be a garbage truck, again, collecting all the pillows and loading them up on the guest bed. The garbage truck they have is still one of their top toys and they're constantly filling it up and emptying it, usually with abc blocks.
  • My mom brought over some fire station and rescue vehicle pieces she had found at the thrift store for their upcoming party and those have proved to be a hit.
  • We've been reading so much lately, at multiple points throughout the day they want to read books. Current favorites - W: the nursery rhyme book and Three Little Pigs, specifically London Bridge. I also finally pulled out these personalized books the boys got when they were born. G, loving letters and his name, is obsessed. He always has to look in the book to see if he sees W's letters or his own. They both also love reading 'ipad books' with Daddy.
  • Luckily we've reeled it in on the shows a bit and they're back to having them in the morning with Daddy but don't even bother asking with me.
  • They're loving going down fire poles and across this rope bridge at Alta Plaza. They're great on it and I don't worry at all, though G often calls me over to be by him.

  • There has been a lot more stomping and running off when frustrated instead of saying what they want. I just continue to tell them that I don't know what stomping means, but if I can help them with something, they can tell me. It usually works okay. 
  • G is in a big question phase and not just 'why?' 'why?' but specifically repeating what I just said, but starting it with a why. Then when I answer, he asks why .... about what I just said.

POTTY: Ironically as we hit the 1-year mark of potty training, G has been having more accidents than ever. I'm not sure I'd even call them accidents as they never go through to his pants, but he does still wear thick underwear so that helps. Basically he's good about stopping for #2 but never seems to initiate #1. By the time we get him to go, his underwear have a little wet spot. Apparently this is totally normal for his age and a stage a lot of kids go through as they get more distracted, don't want to stop what they're doing and want to be in control. It still annoys me and one day he did end up in a pull up (which just led W want to wear one too...) He did well with the pull-up and we talked it up that only big kids who wear underwear get to do things like x, y and z so that helped. I've also threatened that he'll need to start wearing thinner underwear if he can't take breaks when he needs to go. I did order some as I think that may help him. His accidents will likely go through to his pants which is annoying but a few accidents in thin/non-absorbent underwear could possibly do the trick.

William continues to do fine with the potty.

MOM: It's been a really fun month sharing the pregnancy news and now that I'm well into the second trimester, I'm feeling good all around and not so tired. Having the preschool decision made is huge and a big weight off my shoulders.
  • Their birthday party: All the major decisions are made and I probably won't start doing much more until the end of March.
  • Summer camps: I got some good advice from a friend who is currently 35 weeks pregnant to make sure the boys are in some kind of care during that last month of pregnancy. I'm glad Calvary has summer school for 6 weeks and I've filled in with a week of art camp and several week of outdoor camp. All the camps are mornings at most so I hope it won't be a huge change for them. On the one hand, I think I may want to savor those last weeks with 'just two' but realistically, schlepping them to different museums and activities every day sounds exhausting too. Most of their classes won't continue as they turn to camps in the summer so I think it's a good decision for all.
  • I've been so busy with a long list of little things to check off the list but I'm finally getting through them so I'm really looking forward to getting back to work on some of my projects to finish before baby #3 comes, like their baby books.
  • Jessica gave her notice several weeks ago that this week would be her last week. It was a combination of things, but since she moved north in November, her commute to her daytime family down in San Carlos has been horrendous and has made for very long days. She was trying to work something out with them, but in the end, it sounded like the mom was going to take some time off with her new baby so that put Jessica in a position to find something new, and she found a full-time gig right near her house. The hours are much better for her as she'll now be home by 5:30 and get to spend the evenings with her husband. We understand but are totally bummed. She's been so great for our family and it's difficult to find someone who's that experienced and committed, but available during the times that we're looking for. I've had a really hard time the last two weeks I've been looking and only one candidate has seemed like a potential option and now she's had a family emergency so sort of waiting to see where that goes. It's been very stressful not having good candidates and the uncertainty of who we'll find, but we're lucky that we don't absolutely need someone, at least right now. As we finish our last week with Jessica, unless I come across someone great this weekend, I expect that we'll have a few weeks on our own without help and it will either work out with this great candidate or I'll come across someone else. It's been a huge time suck to still not have it figured out, but my standards are pretty high when it comes to care since I want someone to not just watch them, but be able to successfully manage (discipline, etc) them even when we're home. I want all this set up and in place by the time the baby comes so hopefully it will come together soon.
  • So fun seeing the girls at book club this past month and the book we read, How to Raise an Adult was really interesting.
  • I've also been busy planning the consignment sale for SFPOM (I'm in charge of all the volunteers) and have my final two JLSF events coming up, as I wanted to make sure all was wrapped up early in case there are any issues with the pregnancy.

Looking forward to...
  • Tahoe trip with my brother and his family next weekend!
  • Monterey weekend with Chip and Julie

To my boys...

It's been another great month of you two playing together, lots of imaginative play. It often leaves the house a disaster as you gather every pillow in the house and every 'friend' from your bedroom, but it's totally worth it. You're both having a blast and I'm able to take care of some stuff around the house. There is some hitting involved here or there but that happens more frequently when you're playing with actual toys and is rare when you guys are in one of your pretend games like driving the garbage truck. You two are so lucky to have each other and despite how tough twins are in the beginning, this definitely makes everything worth it. I wouldn't say you're in a mommy phase right now, but probably as close as we get to one. I may not be higher on the list than Daddy, but there are definitely times you want me and I appreciate that.

  • You loved having breakfast for dinner when we were out one night, we let you choose anything. G had cheerios, W had oatmeal.
  • We had so much fun hiking outside in the rain, at one point G went off a different trail and W started calling to him ‘George! George! come back!’ G stops and turns around and says, ‘I’ll meet you on the other side’. 
  • You had so much fun at London and Preston’s Circus birthday party. You loved riding the ponies, petting the chickens and rabbits, and the puppet show. You both loved the cake and ate every crumb. 

  • We had so much fun at the Exploratorium with Papa. You're at a great age for it now.
  • You did not like the fancy grilled cheese from Cowgirl Creamery as it had chopped grilled onions but I said you could only have the baguette if you finished the sandwich and your tummy was still hungry. You ended up eating it!  
  • At Miles’ party during the puppet show,  G loudly asked, 'where did the house go?' W said, 'the wolf blowed it down Georgie! 
  • Now you tell me 'you do your thing!’ when you don't want me asking you to do something (this is something I've told you guys to do when I'm trying to finish something ;)
  • You love turning your beds into garbage trucks and loading them with a million books (the trash).
  • You both loved going on the toboggan swing at Julius Kahn Park.  

  • You had so much fun watching the drill on the digger right by Glen Park Canyon.
  • For once, I let you have your lunch in the back of the car and you thought it was so funny to throw little bits of all your food into the trunk area. I made you clean everything up and you didn't get any more lunch. I think you learned your lesson!
  • You had lots of fun with London and Preston at Gott's and Exploratorium. Lots of sharing milkshakes :)

  • You had a fun day with Dad while I was at her baby shower. You took the 3-wheel bike all the way to Rossi, then took the bus home!  

William. You have been really into the baby ever since we shared the news. You like to talk to my belly, asking the baby when it's going to come out. You're also very conscious about not smooshing the baby when you climb on me and that's all on your own accord. There are times I say things like, 'I can't lift you' or 'I can't move the tower' and you always say, 'because of the baby'. At least at this point, it's not in a disappointed way, just a matter-of-fact way. You've been more interested in helping lately too, well, at least when it comes to cooking. You're actually pretty funny when it comes to helping otherwise, you'll literally put one block away... very slowly so it appears that you're actually helping.
  • You love to play rescue the kitty 
  • You loved eating popcorn at Preston and London's party, you ate so much!
  • You sometimes have the funniest manners at dinner - 'Thank you for making this, I like it!'
  • Same thing with manners at other times,  'I like this book, thank you for choosing it Georgie!' or when you fell, 'Georgie, I fell, help me please!!' 
  • While you're a great swimmer, you haven't been doing great at swim class. You won’t just grab the wall, you love to be underwater. Now you're also able to take breathes, which is great, but your feet don't keep kicking so you're actually not swimming as far. 
  • You were reading a Jungle Book book with dad and on the page with the lion with sharp claws, you said 'he needs to trim his nails!'  
  • You were at a birthday party and were not happy about having one mini cupcake, you definitely wanted another one.
  • A mom stopped me after art class to tell me how lovely you are, so polite and always wait your turn :) 
  • You love the story of the Big Bad Wolf and the Billy Goats Gruff, among other similar ones. G gets scared by these but you can't get enough.
  • I was telling you about going to a meeting that night and that I wouldn't be at dinner and you said, 'you're going to eat with Ashley?'. I said, 'I already went to lunch with Ashley today' and you said, 'did you have a nice time?'
  • You and G were in JCC childcare and you had a little transformer guy when I came back. You ran over and in a voice did ‘hello baby, are you in there?’ to my tummy.
  • You had a huge tantrum at JCC when I wouldn’t let you get an ice cream like G & I did after we ate our lunch and you decided you didn't want any of yours. Dad couldn't believe I didn't give in!
  • We had a parents night out at church where the kids stay at the church and have pizza. We came back and saw you standing up watching Little Mermaid, the end. Presumably you had walked in hours ago and never moved :)
  • You had fun making pizza and called it 'the best pizza ever!' but then refused to try it...

George. You are mommy's little helper and though sometimes you outright refuse, usually you'll be my great assistant with almost any task. You still love doing stuff yourself and that's a battle we definitely have stopped fighting... if you both want to do something like close the garage door, fine. One will close it, then the other will open it and close it again. You've been a bit clingier at night over the month or so, asking us to stay in the room, or calling for one more hug long after we thought you were asleep.

  • You told me ‘I don’t like you in my life’  - you weren't mad or anything, just said it. Oh well! 
  • When we filled up the water in the pasta pot, you asked if we use sparkling or regular water.
  • You're in a ‘why’ phase and asks about everything over and over again.
  • You ate a whole hot dog at the birthday party... and then wanted another.
  • You've been saying, 'I want something different' when coming to dinner, before you've even seen what it is. 
  • I asked you to put a few sand toys in the back of the car as we were going to the park after outdoor class. You put every single sand toy we have in the back...

  • You were so happy when you got your orange water bottle back after leaving it at Super Cuts.
  • I told them you would get a treat after the park and G says, ‘hmmm, maybe a crossiant'
  • At the park, some mom was trying to take something from you and you kept telling her, ‘I’m still using it, I’m still using it'.
  • You're very particular about the toilet, always watch as it flushes down. If there's any spec of anything, you jump at the chance to get the brush out to clean it.
  • I asked you what 'an awning' is and you said, 'it's like a roof'. I asked Daddy, Jessica and Dedee and no one had told you that! 
  • You told a story at dinner, asked me if I could not come to the park with you anymore. You said W would carry the bag of toys, take them to the park and then come back and get his scooter and you’d ride together. I asked you how you’d cross the street and you said you’d wait for cars and then say 'stop! stop!' and then you’d cross to the sidewalk. 
  • One day you told me you wanted to go straight not left as in straight to your toys and not left into your room for nap. 
  • You are so independent and one day when I came out from putting W down for nap, I say you all set up at the table with your digger and playdough

  • You've been referencing 'a week ago' and using it accurately.
  • You fall down and without anyone asking will say 'I'm okay'.
  • You love climbing trees at our outdoor group.
  • You like to show me your 'trick' jump right before bedtime. 
  • You told me the story of how you came out of my tummy. Well, you said you came out my legs and that Dad had the stroller waiting and you fell into the stroller and Daddy quickly buckled you in. 
  • You made a 'G' when painting! (totally randomly I'm sure)

  • You basically disagree with W for everything just to be difficult. If W says he wants to go to Clay St., you immediately say you don't.  
  • I got your brown 'summer' shoes out that we only used for FL, and then not since last summer. You got really excited and said, 'yay, now we can get big corns because it's summer!' (I keep telling you that corn is a summer food).
  • You had so much fun helping me pack the bag for Tahoe. You loved putting all your toilettries in. 

And Baby Makes Five

Looks like I may need to find a new name for the blog. Although I was so sure that we were done after finding out we were having twins, just as Dave predicted, I eventually changed my mind. For the first 2 years of their life, there was never even the slightest inkling for another child, no consideration whatsoever. I was always happy for friends who announced their pregnancy or enjoyed celebrating at others' baby showers but that was it. In fact, as happy as I was for them, I was glad it wasn't me. I've always been good about getting rid of their stuff as soon as they've outgrown it so we literally have zero baby gear and only happen to have clothes from about 18 months up just because I was putting it aside for the Parents of Multiples consignment sale that ended up never happening last year.

So I'm not exactly sure what changed my mind, but last summer I started thinking about the possibility of another child (again, that had never even been a thought before) and as Dave knows, once I start thinking about something, that's pretty much it. So I shared my thoughts with him and he was excited as well. So here we are. So thankful to be halfway through the pregnancy.

We are not 'going for a girl'... we talked a length about the chances of having twins again, and of course the chances of having a boy. I think for me, the fact that I knew I'd have more spare time come fall when the boys started preschool definitely influenced my decision of wanting another child. I also think I had a desire I didn't realize until recently to have the experience of 'just one'. I'm not a baby person and I think having twins only exasperated those feelings of just doing what had to be done for everyone to survive; I really didn't enjoy much about those early months. I know the newborn phase isn't all about cuddling and holding a sleeping baby anyway, but I really hope I get to experience a bit more of those precious moments one-on-one. I've been told that having one after twins is a cakewalk, but I'm not convinced quite yet...

We were both terrified at the first ultrasound. Yes there was a heartbeat and yes, only one. It was a stressful first trimester as I had some ongoing spotting that made me sure the pregnancy would not be viable. I had hcg checked at 4 weeks, ultrasounds at 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11.5 weeks and each time things seemed to be trekking along (often to my great surprise). We left for Florida the day after my big first trimester scan which was at about 11.5 weeks. Everything looked good yet we were still several weeks shy of the magic second trimester mark so I still wasn't ready to joyfully share the news.

I swear I started feeling movement in Florida, which would've been before 13 weeks and when I mentioned it to my ob she said it was highly unlikely. Once back from Florida, I had surgery to have the cerclage placed again with Dr. Katz. It was a precaution and there was no way of knowing whether it was really necessary, but as he put it, the length of my cervix at 20 weeks with twins (when I had the emergency cerclage placed) could likely be what my body would encounter at 26 weeks with a singleton, but that's way past the 20-ish week mark when it's still safe to do the cerclage. Dave and I were totally on board and luckily the surgery went well. Oh, and Dr. Katz no longer believes in bed rest...

Pregnancy so far...
This pregnancy definitely has felt different than the boys'. Not a total 180 change or anything, but still different. My early pregnancy signs weren't the same that I had with the boys. Last time, I had zero pregnancy signs in that first trimester and this time, I at least had a few.
Symptoms: From about 7-9.5 weeks I just felt off. I'm not sure how else to describe it. I wasn't nauseous, never got sick, but nothing sounded or tasted good, yet I could still eat normally. There were definitely times I had to eat though, I just got starving all of a sudden. The biggest change was that I was exhausted. By about 12:30, I was counting the minutes until William was in bed and praying G would nap that day too because I need to take a nap most days. This continued through the Florida trip (with 2 hour naps just about daily). Right at 14 weeks when the second trimester started, I felt much more rested and didn't need naps anymore. The days following the cerclage left me exhausted again but luckily that has subsided and I only need the occasional nap here or there.  I also had several episodes of full-on mommy brain this time. I had strategically hidden the car keys in the back of the drawer we usually keep them in when we went to Florida. Well, when we got home, we couldn't find them anywhere and I had no recollection until I actually came across them that I had put them there. Another day, in Florida, I packed up all the stuff for the beach and completely forgot to bring the boys a change of clothes so they had to go home in wet swimsuits (or naked? I can't remember;). This was definitely not like me! The other tell-tale symptom is dry mouth at nighttime. I have to have a water bottle next to me and still need to drink during the night.
Cravings: I still don't think I've had any cravings this time around, but fruit tasted really good in the first trimester and I'm still loving eggs. Every morning I have 2 eggs and they always taste so good! I did have a few aversions... sparkling water was out for a period of the first trimester (conveniently right when we finally got the sparkling water dispenser installed) but luckily I'm fine with it now. Also, after buying like 10 boxes of pumpkin O's from Trader Joe's in October thinking they wouldn't have them past Halloween, they tasted gross to me and I couldn't eat them. And I think they're still carrying them at the store now...
Appetite: Appetite-wise, there have been a few moments where I've eaten a lot, but overall I haven't noticed much of an increase (though I have a big appetite naturally). I just think back to what I was eating on a daily basis with the boys and I'm nowhere near that amount of food. At 19 weeks I had gained just 5lbs (versus about 18 with the boys at that same point). I feel like I'm definitely eating enough but am not hungry for any more than that. What's funny is that I literally couldn't button my pants by about 9 weeks pregnant, much earlier than with the boys, yet my bump didn't 'pop' until about 18 weeks. It's been so nice to continue to work out so I've been swimming, doing some pilates and trying to get to a prenatal yoga class here or there.
Sleep: Luckily sleep is better now, but in the first trimester, I had to wake up to go to the bathroom and some nights I just couldn't go back to sleep. Or one night G woke up at 4:30 and needed a hug and I couldn't go back to sleep. It's the worst when you get so tired during the day already.
Movement: Though I thought I felt flutters as early as 12/13 weeks, I noticed it more around 15.5 weeks and knew it was definitely something about halfway through week 17. I think this is about the same time I felt movement with the boys, but I was more sure about it this time. The baby is very active at night when I'm laying in bed after putting the boys down. The baby has also been super active during our ultrasounds so it's been hard to get measurements sometimes.

Now at 21 weeks, I'm feeling really good. I've been staying up later than I should, but not feeling too tired during the day. I don't get as winded during workouts as I used to, but it's amazing that an easy yoga class can still leave me tired. I've been in maternity pants (except for a few that seem to be extra stretchy) since about 15 weeks. I can still wear regular shirts but the bump is definitely popping out more and I'm to the point in the last week or so where I think people would assume I'm pregnant and not that is-she isn't-she stage. I've been trying to take it easy on lifting the boys and only do so when absolutely necessary. I have some pain under the boobs/above the rib line already... this came later with the boys, but mostly happens when sitting down. On days when I've been standing a lot and running around all day, my lower back hurts by the end of the day but a heating pad and sleep have been a great remedy so far.

Sharing the news... 
Always my favorite part!

We told all of our parents before we were through the first trimester but wanted to hold off sharing the news with others until we were a bit further along.
I think I was about 17-18 weeks when I started sharing with other family and friends. I've been saying, 'So Dave and I decided to go for another baby!' Since I was always so adamant about us being done, I knew if I just said, 'I'm pregnant!' that I'd get lots of questions about if it was planned or an 'oops'. I wanted to be clear that the decision had been made and we were lucky to be where we were.
We did get the boys the Big Brother shirts so for a few people like Jessica and my brother and Elizabeth, we just put the boys in the shirts and waited until they noticed. Jessica didn't think much of it, but by the time we did it a few days later with Jon and Liz, the boys were good about showing off their shirt. Everyone has been pretty surprised but of course thrilled. It's been especially fun to tell my twin mom friends. To be honest, most of them are in complete awe and would never consider going for a third, but I have a few who are in the boat of let-me-know-how-it-goes and are possibly considering the same for themselves.

Telling the boys...
We debated about when to tell the boys and initially just gave them their Big Brother shirts around 17 weeks but when we told people, we also mentioned that we hadn't told the boys yet. They started picking up on things but not really making a connection... though it was weird that they oddly got into babies shortly after I got pregnant. Stuffing babies in their shirt, talking about when they lived in my tummy, etc. Maybe they did sense something. I considered bringing them to the big 20 week ultrasound but decided against it. I'll have plenty of ultrasounds later in pregnancy that I'm sure we can bring them in for a few minutes to one of those. On the day we took them to the park to get the photo of them in their shirts with the announcement (above) that I could send to a few friends, I think it was 19 weeks, we decided to tell them I had a baby in my tummy.

They've actually been really into it. They're conscious of the baby when I say I can't lift them or something, they know it's because of the baby. They go up to my tummy and say, 'hello baby! are you in there??' They're also into feeling the baby kick, but we haven't timed it right yet. William is even careful when he crawls on my body for snuggles saying, 'I don't want to smoosh the baby!'. I never made any reference to that myself. We've talked about how they'll be good helpers and G has claimed he'll change the diapers, even 'wiping the butt' and W will help with bottles. We'll see! It's been really fun and though I know this will be a big transition, I think this is going to be one of best parts of having another child, see how W&G interact and love this baby.

On not finding out...
It's crazy how early you can find out now. We had a basic genetic test done at 10 weeks and we had to specify that we did NOT want to learn the gender. Dave thinks he heard Dr. Katz slip when he came to talk to us after the cerclage procedure at 15 weeks but I think it was just a generic pronoun used if anything, he did a 10-second ultrasound just to make sure there was still a heartbeat right before the surgery so I doubt he had seen anything there. Nothing would've been noted down at that point. At the big second trimester ultrasound, we were very careful and the ultrasound tech turned off the screen when she was going over the genitals. We warned all other doctors that we didn't want to know. Dave is not too thrilled with this but I think it will be so much fun to find out on the day. I also know that if Dave finds out, he can't keep a secret, which is why I'm so adamant about him not finding out. Luckily I don't think there's any reason for him to come to my monthly ultrasounds moving forward, so I'll be the one that needs to stay on top of the doctors and make sure they don't say anything. Dave thought it would be better if it's a boy to have some time for me to adjust to the idea. I actually feel the opposite. Though I feel I've fully prepared myself for this one to be another boy, I'm convinced I won't be disappointed if I have a healthy baby in my arms and that's the first time I'm finding out the gender. I think a big part of not finding out is about other people unfortunately. I'm sure everyone is wishing for it to be a girl. Honestly, Dave and I will be thrilled either way, but I feel like I won't have to deal with that disappointment if I just reveal after the baby is here. I don't want to listen to, 'are you gonna go for a girl?' or 'another boy, wow.' Whatever it is, even if the words are positive, I feel like tone says a lot and I think that may start to make me feel sad, if it is a boy. So right now I am so excited to be waiting. I'm not the least bit concerned about not having boy or girl stuff. We'll move the boys downstairs in May or June and much the nursery will stay the same. The gray striped curtains are here to stay, as is the gray and white crib. So I'll fill in with another color and buy new sheets, etc. once we find out.

Before baby...
So the boys changing rooms will be a big transition. It's definitely not ideal not to have them on the same level as us, but what can we do. It's also a bummer to lose our guest room when it's used 3-4 nights a week by one of my parents, but again, we're lucky to have 3 bedrooms in SF anyway so we'll manage just fine.
I really hope I can get their yearly books done before the new baby. Between being exhausted the first trimester and everything I have going on right now, including searching for a new nanny, that big project has fallen by the wayside for months now.
I've made a list of things I'd like to do before the baby comes, mostly activities that include several trips as a family -- Tahoe, Monterey and (hopefully) San Diego but that last one we'll see how the pregnancy is going early in the third trimester. Dave and I are hoping Zika doesn't disrupt our plans for a week in Hawaii for his 40th birthday, but will go somewhere else if it does. I also have several date nights planned for Dave and I -- dinner at Michelin-starred Manresea down in Los Gatos and I'm hoping to get up to Napa for dinner later in pregnancy when further travel isn't advised. I'm thinking an overnight across the bridge at Cavallo Point would be lovely, but know much of this has to be played by ear and that anything can change at any point. I'm also trying to book a spa day with Megan and Ashley and get some girl time in.

Pregnancy can be so touch and go and while I don't think I can ever relax and enjoy it, Dave and I are so thrilled to be on this adventure again. Yes, it will change everything. We were on our way to easier days, having gotten through breastfeeding, diapers and all that constant attention needed. But of course you forget about that stuff anyway when you decide to have another child. I definitely picture our family as a family of 5 now and can't wait to meet the newest addition! The due date has ranged from June 29-July 6 but the most consistent seems to be July 3, our anniversary. At my next ob appointment, we'll schedule the c-section, which I assume will be the last few days of June. With a previous c-section and the fact that the cerclage has to be removed (which requires a spinal anyway), it was an easy decision to make and I only hope everything goes as smoothly as it did with the boys.

What We've Been Eating | January

It was nice to get back into the swing of things after returning from our Florida trip. It's always fun to get back to your own stocked kitchen and back to a healthier diet than when traveling. But Dave had several trips over the last month so while there were some new dinners, there were also lots of nights of leftovers. Again, I wasn't great at remembering to get photos of everything but it's still fun to keep track of the new recipes we tried.

Lime coconut curry chickpea soup with tofu

Crockpot mojo pork with cuban style beans and cilantro lime rice

Indian-Spiced lentils and lamb

Moroccan-spiced Pastisio with feta and lamb

Bangkok Coconut Curry Noodles

Paella, based on this recipe but with lots of bell peppers
BBQ Salmon BLT Salad (added black beans, bell peppers and corn)
Cinnamon and spice sweet potato bread (made muffins, so good!)

And Chocolate Oreo Cake for Crusoe's birthday!