Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sugar and Spice

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails
That's what little boys are made of !"

What are little girls made of?
"Sugar and spice and all things nice
That's what little girls are made of!"

It looks like we've had our fill of snails and puppy dog tails (for now) and are in the market for some sugar and spice!  Can't wait to meet our baby girl! 


Monday, October 22, 2012


As an avid book reader I was very concerned in the first few years of Whit's life that he would be far more concerned with other things to become involved in reading.  Not that being a "reader" makes you a better person or even makes you good.  I've been known to lose myself in a good book and render myself basically deaf and blind outside of the story I'm in.  But reading does have benefits.  Children who read, or are read to frequently, tend to perform higher than average in school and develop better writing and communication skills as they get older.  Plus, reading is FUN! (yes, I know I sound like a big dork when I say that).

Much to my amazement, over the last six to twelve months Whit has gradually turned into quite the bookworm. We began reading at bedtime when Whit was about 18 months old and we could barely make it through one book before he was ready to be asleep. Now we have to limit him to two or three books a night or we would still be reading well beyond bedtime.  In the last few weeks Whit has tried to negotiate and sometimes sneak additional books before turning in.  Many nights I've turned off the light with him still standing at the bookshelf.

And then the other morning I was making Whit's bed and what did I find but two books wedged underneath the pillow.  Apparently, we've been reading in bed with the lights out - an amazing feat!  I don't think I need to worry about Whit's love of books anytime soon.  And Baby Girl seems to enjoy story time well.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Week 19

October 5-11

This week we finally heralded the news to the world about the new baby making it's presence known. And making it's presence known the baby is.  

Baby is growing bigger this week.  Of course, that will be his or her job for the next several years.... just getting bigger (and being adorable, of course). Baby is over 6 inches long now and is coming in on a full pound.  Although Mama is ready to meet this baby who hasn't stopped wiggling, clearly he or she is not quite big enough to join the family yet.  For now I'll have to settle for the kicks, punches and rolls that are a little stronger every day and hope that this little one stays put through what is already becoming a very cold winter.  Mama is getting a little bigger as well although not quite big enough for it to be obvious for to strangers.  Soon enough I think, sooner if I were to really showcase the bump.  For now, I'm happy keeping the belly more or less under wraps until it's too big to hide.  You know... that whole strangers touching you thing really weirds me out. 

Whit looked at me this week and asked "Mama, where is the Baby?  Baby with Mama?"  I answered "Yes, the baby is still with Mama, here it is,", and pulled back my shirt to reveal the bump.  Whit responded "Oh! Baby! Kiss the Baby" and kiss the baby he did.  It was quite sweet.  I know it is becoming more difficult for him because he isn't allowed to tackle Mama or climb on Mama.  And Mama cannot carry him around the way she used to.  But hopefully Whit will love the baby as much as we do and as much as we love him. 

Mama is getting restless and is ready to get things arranged for this little one who's arrival will surely be here sooner than we really expect once we traverse the rapidly moving holiday times and the ever eventful transition from fall to spring semesters. Still, I should probably wait to find out if we will have another mini-version of Kirk or if perhaps this time we will get dresses and long curly hair.  Only time will tell! 

ps - here's a re-cap of where we were with Whit at week 19

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Twice as Nice - Part 2

I decided to split this post into 2 so that there wouldn't be quite so much to digest at one time!   So here are weeks 12-18.

Week 12 (August 18-24)

Baby - This week the baby is mostly formed and can now concentrate on those final weeks of development and several weeks of growing. The fully formed eyes are fused shut and will stay that way until around month 7. Hair is appearing on the head, fingernails on the fingers and toes, and tooth buds are present below the gums. The baby is moving around spontaneously and can get the hiccups and suck his or her thumb. 

Big Brother - We are still working on how to explain to Whit that there is a baby coming.  Whenever he makes a big deal over babies (Whit LOVES babies) I always say "You are getting a baby brother or sister soon."  But without a big, moving belly, or an actual baby, I know it's a difficult concept to master.  Besides, Whit is far to busy adapting to pre-school to worry too much about a sibling just yet. 

Mama - I'm finally beginning to get a little less nauseated although it is sticking around a little longer than I would like.  I have another week before we are officially out of the first trimester and at that time I'm hoping that my energy level will pick up a little and I can stop accidentally falling asleep with Whit during his 8:30 bedtime routine.  This week we had our second midwife appointment and I got to hear a strong heart beat of 160 bpm.  It was a little strange for both Kirk and myself to not have a photo of the baby to take home with us and stranger still that I don't go back to the midwife for another 6 weeks, but I continue to enjoy this more relaxed approach to pregnancy.  Why over analyze something that is a God-created miracle?  Trust in the plan.  

Week 13 (August 25-31)

Baby - This week the baby is about 3 inches long and weighs about an ounce.  All that swimming around in the amniotic fluid has created completely unique little swirls that will someday be recorded as Baby's fingerprints. The baby can make sucking and swallowing motions (preparing for those ever-yummy first meals!) and can make fists and control some movement.  The last 3 months have been a time of rapid development and the next 3 months will see rapid growth for both Baby and Mama. 

Mama & Daddy - Mama (Daddy too) is starting to feel the effects of the first 3 weeks of school.  I had a great early pregnancy, going to bed early, sleeping in, 2 hour afternoon naps.  All (or most) of that went by the wayside when school began.  I'm still trying to get the rest I need without letting anything fall... back to that balancing act again.  We've begun telling some close friends this week.  Sorry if you weren't the first, most of the tells were somewhat accidental or just because they asked.  Of course, both mine and Kirk's co-teachers were the first to realize that something might be up.  We still haven't decided when to share the news with everyone as we aren't much on big announcements that draw the attention to us (shocking, I know, for those of you who have known us through our adolescent years!) 

Big Brother - The sweetest thing I heard this week came from Whit's former Nanny.  When we shared the news with her (why not, as her husband will be the baby's pediatrician), she said "Oh, that will be so great for Whit."  This is something I fully agree with.  I think I mentioned before that I'm not one to make a decision without thinking of the effects on our entire family. Although this child surprised us by entering our lives a few months before they were planned, we still decided to have a baby in part for Whit.  He is such a caring and loving little guy.  He's going to make a great big brother and I feel so blessed to get to watch the relationship between him and his sibling(s).  Not only is Whit lucky to be getting a younger sibling to love and take care of, but this baby is lucky to be getting such a great Big Brother as we know Whit will be. 

Week 14 (September 1-7)

Baby - This week baby continues to learn new tricks.  He/She can swim around in the womb and even suck their thumb! Lanugo (that fine, dark hair that keeps baby warm) is beginning to grow and will soon cover his/her entire body.

Mama & Daddy - Or perhaps I should change this to "Mommy & Daddy" since Whit has taken to calling me "Mommy" more often.  I suppose the new baby will call me whatever Whit does. Nothing much going on here.  Mama feels so good now that the 1st trimester symptoms are behind me that sometimes I find it hard to believe that I am truly pregnant. Especially because I'm still (barely) able to button my pants!

Big Brother - This week Whit is learning to be more gentle with Mama.  No more tackling and using Mama as your personal jungle gym.  Not that I loved being climbed on before, but it's probably a good idea to use a little more caution now that my abdomen is filling up with Baby. 

Week 15 & 16 (September 8-14 and September 15-21)

Baby - Now that we are comfortably in the 2nd trimester, the baby is nearly fully formed and is working on getting bigger and stronger.  The baby is now able to make faces as he/she practices for those emotion discovery days that big brother is currently going through. The skin is still see-through and baby is still small enough to fit in the palm of our hands.

Mama & Daddy - The entire family traveled to DC this week (see more here) and both Mama and Daddy are feeling the effects.  I'm also still feeling the effects of pregnancy, working and taking care of an energetic 2 year old. Still, my energy level is creeping back up to pre-pregnancy levels and I'm hoping for continued smooth sailing throughout the 2nd trimester.  In other news, the baby bump has finally arrived.  Although I'm not quite able to fit into my maternity clothing, it probably won't be much longer.  The belly is not very big yet, but those who are in on the secret can definitely tell.  Everyone else is likely commenting (politely, behind closed doors) on how I've clearly been indulging in too many desserts lately! 

Big Brother - Big brother has finally figured out where the baby is!  When I ask him if the baby can have a kiss goodnight he toddles right over to my now slightly protruding belly and plants a kiss just below my belly button.  I'm sure the love won't last when the new baby is stealing away all of Mommy's time. Until then, I am attempting to spend as much one-on-one time with Whit as possible.  Play trucks? Absolutely.  Go outside? Sure!  Tackle? Well...maybe another time....

Week 17 & 18 (September 22-28 and September 29-October 5)

What? It's October already... and I'm nearly halfway through this pregnancy?  ....and I haven't told everyone yet? ....what is wrong with me?  Oh yeah, I like secrets and I don't love attention.

Baby - Baby is working on growing bigger.  Over the next 4 weeks Baby will more than double in size by depositing fat stores (yes, carbohydrates for dinner!) and will also begin to develop the vernix. Other news this week is that baby can now hear what is going on in the world around him or her and starts having sleep and waking cycles similar to that of a newborn.

Mama, Daddy & Big Brother - In a rare moment of alone time, not working, Whitfield asleep, Mama and Daddy sat on the couch and just spent time together.  As with Whit, as soon as Kirk began to speak, Baby started wiggling!  It's clear that although this baby is just as excited to hear Daddy talking, he or she most certainly does not have the non-stop "go" setting that Big Brother follows. Whit is finally recognizing what "kiss the baby" means although he has yet to conceptualize or verbalize outside of that endearing action.

Twice as nice - Part 1

Those of you who have been reading my blog posts recently could not have missed the love that has been floating around the Renegar house.  Is it any wonder that God chose this time in our lives, when we are so full of love, to bless us with another child?  It doesn't surprise me in the least.

If you know my history, you'll understand why I'm beginning this post on July 7th (yet again doing something other than celebrating the anniversary of my marriage to the best husband I could have) and you will not be reading it for several weeks or months. Still, I want to write as I'm experiencing rather than writing as I'm looking back as I did with Whit.

Keep in mind that it's hard to tell exactly where you are in pregnancy as all of the information is calculated in just a little bit of a different way.  Usually, you are considered X weeks when that week is completed, but if your baby was created a little later than "average" you could be several days behind.

Week 3 (June 16-22)

Baby - The embryo is going through a lot of basic growth with the beginning development of the brain, spinal cord, heart and gastrointestinal tract.  It's amazing how much is happening when the Mama doesn't even suspect she's having a baby!

Week 4 (June 23-29) Week 5 (June 30-July 6) 

Week 4 was completed around June 28th, just about the time that we headed home to VA for a long visit.  With all of the hustle and bustle, it would be several days before I realized that there was a possibility I might be pregnant.  Spoiler Alert: Surprise!! 

 Kirk, in all innocence asked me in casual conversation "Why, are you pregnant?" and my answer was "Yeah, I think so..."  What a way to break the news to your husband, right?  I wasn't sure, but I abhor lying, so I wasn't about to tell him "no" and have to change that a week later.

Baby - Arm and legs buds are visible, but not clearly distinguishable.  The heart is now beating!! The placenta has begun to form and there is movement of rudimentary blood through the main vessels. The baby (embryo) is 1/4 inch long by the end of week 5.

Week 6 (July 7-13)

So here we are at the start of week 6 as I begin this blog post.  I will most likely be updating weekly and publishing when we feel it's time to share the news with the world.  

We (mostly Kirk) put together Whit's big boy bunk beds on Thursday when we returned from VA.  The crib got relocated to our bedroom instead of the attic. It's a good thing because come March we're going to need it!  I already feel a kinship with this child as he or she is joining the family in the same way that I did.  My parents have often told me "You weren't a surprise, really... you just came a few months sooner than we planned."   I'm feeling quite good, no true pregnancy symptoms yet and a decent amount of energy.  I had a few days of tiredness as I cut the final bit of caffeine from my diet; something I started a month or so ago because I knew we were going to expand our family soon and it's not healthy to consume a lot of caffeine during pregnancy.  I think my energy level has been helped by my nearly daily run or walk which, again, I started so that I would be in better physical shape before and during my pregnancy.  I'm glad I started when I did! 

Baby - This week begins the formation of the lungs, jaw, nose and palate.  The hand and feet buds have webbed structures that will become fingers and toes. The brain continues to form and you might be able to get a heartbeat via ultrasound.  (we haven't even scheduled our first appointment, so I doubt that is happening!)

Big Brother - We have started asking Whit "... where is the baby?"  It is our intention to teach him this in the next 4 weeks so that he can be the one to share the news with our immediate family.  Tonight, the second time we've asked him, Whit replied "In the box!" and pointed to his toy box... not sure where that answer came from!

Mama - Mama is feeling so good it's hard to tell I'm actually pregnant. Of course, I don't remember having much morning sickness with Whit either so hopefully I can be as lucky this time. Obviously I am pregnant, those little pink lines don't lie, but I'm anxious to get to the midwife next week so that I can have someone other than a piece of plastic and cardboard tell me the news.

Looking Back - Here's a link to our 6, 8 and 10 week ultrasounds of Whit.  I doubt we will have as many this time around so enjoy!

Week 7 (July 14-20)

It's hard to believe that it's week 7 already! This week has been nerve wracking for me and not just because of baby.  It's been both very long and at the same time has passed quickly.  This week we met our potential care providers and are trying to make a decision, its both mine and Kirk's last week of school and our last real week home before school begins (hard to believe, right?)

Baby - At 7 weeks, every essential organ has begun to form.  The elbows and toes are more visible as the trunk begins to straighten out. The baby begins the seventh week about 4 mm and more than doubles in size by the end of the week. The brain continues to grow and brain waves are present.  Arms, legs, hands and feet become more distinguishable.

Big Brother - Whit is continuing on as normal this week, he's been very Mommy-centered which makes me wonder if he isn't more aware of what's going on with Mama than everyone else.

Mama - Morning sickness arrived this week.  It actually has not been too bad, I'm still running which is helping to stave of both fatigue and nausea.  Otherwise I'm feeling good and ready to be in the 2nd trimester! (still 6 or 7 more weeks to go!)

 Weeks 8, 9, 10 & 11 (July 21-August 17)

Baby - (8) The ears are continuing to form and everything that is present in an adult is present in the tiny embryo. The bones are forming and the muscles can contract.  The facial features mature and the eyelids develop.  Sometime in the next week spontaneous movement begins.(9) The baby is no longer an embryo and is now officially a fetus (meaning small one).  Many of the integral developmental stages are passed, all major systems are present although many are still developing and just beginning to function.  This week male or female sex organs are present although still much too small to see. (10) The biggest accomplishments this week are that the tail has disappeared (really just the end of the spinal cord) the eyes have fused shut and the heartbeat can be heard via handheld doppler. (11) This week the fingers and toes have completely separated, the taste buds are starting to develop and baby can stick out his or her tongue and swallow.

Big Brother - Whit is acting older every day.  His language continues to develop along with his physical and social skills. See more on this in my Wonderful Words series. Whit truly enjoyed his vacation weeks, first at the lake with the Brevard gang and then at Myrtle Beach with Nana, Papa and Uncle Eric (Ek-ick).  You can see more about that here.

Mama- I think these four weeks marked the pinnacle and beginning descent of morning sickness and fatigue for me.  I had a hard time hiding how I was feeling while on vacation and I'm not sure that I was successful.  But thankfully as I wrapped up week 10 I began having a little more energy and a little less nausea. My biggest pregnancy symptom?  I'm craving meat! I managed to get through all of my pregnancy with Whit and a couple of years nursing him without adding animals back to my diet. Not this time.  This baby wants protein and some days I wander around the kitchen searching for something, anything other than what my heart is telling me I really want.... A big steak or a nice ham biscuit! I've been able to substitute eggs, beans and nuts often, but the other day I craved and added a stack of ham to my mac and cheese.

....and then reality kicks you in the stomach

I'm not sure if this feeling is unique to me or if it is universal among parents.

As a little girl I often thought about being a mother.  I'm sure the majority of young girls spend countless hours playing dolls, house, etc. I surely was among them. I can recall being a teenager and talking with my friends about having kids and watching all of those TLC baby shows on the weekends with my own mother. (thanks, TLC, for the complete lack of reality about how childbirth really goes...)  I can even recall one very hazy memory my freshman year of college when I told my mother that it didn't matter what sort of career I had because all I ever really wanted to be was a Mom.

Prior to getting married Kirk and I discussed having children, the when, the how many... you know how those discussions go.  And when we had our first, and then our second heartbreaking experience the idea of being a mother seemed so very far away.  When we conceived Whit  I was hesitant to tell anyone that we were expecting and I scarcely let myself believe that I was pregnant.  The entire time it seemed as though I was pretending.  Yet my belly grew bigger and about the time the fact that I actually had a child inside of me became a reality, it was time for him to enter the world.  Those first few weeks operating on little to no sleep made the experience seem like a dream.  As Whit got older people would comment on how cute he was.  I would agree and then wonder to myself when his parents were going to show up to get him.

When my students ask if and when I want more children, I shrug, struggling to accept the fact that I have "children" at all.  Wow! I have "a child."  That must make me a grown up.  So why do I still feel like I'm 18, or even 21, and I'm playing pretend with someone else's kid?

Now that Whit is nearly 2 1/2 years old the reality is finally beginning to set in.  Still, I have moments, especially when I am away from Whit and speaking of him to friends or students, that it all seems made up.

The other night I experienced a bit of a revelation.  It was about 2 am and I was wedged in bed with Kirk on one side of me and Whit on the other (with his feet in my face).  About that time reality kicked me in the stomach. 

I had better come to terms with being Whit's mom because I'm about to become a mother of two!!