Thursday, August 26, 2010

Baby Update: 31 weeks

Pregnancy Week-by-Week
How Far Along: 31 weeks and 3 days! Where in the world has time gone??

Size of baby: Huge. I mean a squash. I'm getting ginormous over here, people.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 11 pounds gained total. And I swear to you, it's all in my stomach. Trace is like a watermelon shoved up my shirt where as Rory was more round all over.

Maternity Clothes: You better believe it.

Gender: Trace Joseph. :)

Movement: He's apparently prepping for his first soccer season in there, kicking and diving all over the place!

Food Cravings: I am hungry for Tositos and cheese dip. I would also like a tuna melt, but I don't want to make the tuna myself because I will gag.

What I miss: We are going to my dad's company picnic at a water/amusement park this weekend and I just lately realized I can't really any rides! That will be weird! haha

Sleep: What's that?

Symptoms: I've been having sciatica issues lately. Yuck.

Best Moment this week: One of my students said "What if Trace turns out to be a girl?" We all just got dead silent. I could happen! Hopefully it won't!

What I am looking forward to: Rory's room is done!! We are starting on Trace's the weekend after this one. Yay!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rory Update

Rory is growing up in monster steps lately. I'm appreciating it, because we are getting a lot of stuff out of the way before Trace arrives, but I also do not like this idea of a little big girl running around my house! Where did time go!? :)

Yesterday, while I was at work, Dave was moving her furniture in to her new big girl room. (Yep, big girl room!) Rory was "helping" by watching and staying out of the way. He had fed her carrots and pizza for dinner and she still had a little pizza left. He put her plate on the coffee table and told her that was her snack for the night. (What a great Dad! I'm so thankful!) After a few minutes watching Dave, Rory went out to the living room. Dave spied on her, like a good parent. :) She rummaged through her tea set and found a purple plastic fork. She carried her fork in one hand and her plate, nice and flat, in the other back into her new room, perched it on the bed, climbed up and tried to eat with a fork! Dave showed her on a piece how to "stab" her food. Rory then proceeded to sit on the bed and eat every piece with her fork like it was no big thing and she'd been doing it for years.

What a woman.

Rory tells us when she has pooped, points to her diaper and tries to take it off after she has peed...Potty Training is on our horizon! She is fascinated with the toilet and always wants to "try to pee!" like a big kid.

She is growing up in leaps and bounds. I couldn't be prouder. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Girl Talk Hop: Shoes! (Brought to you by Rory :o))

My s-i-l Laura writes for a blog called "Girl Talk" and this week they are hosting their very first blog hop! This week's theme is shoes. Go join in!

(All my images are taken from Google Image Search. I own all the shoes pictured, I just don't have pictures of them. :))

I myself like shoes. I especially enjoy a good pair of black heels, the taller the better. I attribute this to my since birth desire to be a Rockette and never making it to the required height. I'm 5'5, which is certainly not short but it's not the towering goddess a Rockette is required to be! :) I like comfy sneakers and oh goodness. These bad boys...

My Nike Comfort Sole sandals. I got them for the beach because I figured my sore pregnant lady feet would need a little extra comfort. Now it's a rare day when I don't have them on my feet! They are like walking on a cloud. I paid $18 for mine at a beginning of summer sale, but next year I'll pay whatever price they currently are because they are awesome.

But there's where my shoe love ends. I'm not really very picky.

Rory on the other hand...

See that sandal? Imagine it in LIME GREEN and you've got the love of Rory's life. She has two pairs, due to a day when I thought I lost one and she was heartbroken, and wears them at least 6 days a week. They are really nice shoes, good soles and tread so Rory maneuvers nicely in them. But they are *GREEN*. I can't find a picture online of the actual shade of green they are but...imagine lime green and yellow sandals got married and had a baby. That's the color of Rory's shoes. Stylin'. I don't care. I let her wear them with everything because she never ever even tries to take them off, doesn't fuss when it's time to put them on and walks like a dream in them.

She also loves...

Her pink glitter sneakers! New to our shoe collection, these little darlings are making an appearance for fall. Rory's are velcro because she likes to "put them on herself" once I get the shoe on her foot.

And let's not forget the real star of the show!

Her tap shoes! She wears them around the studio all afternoon like she's a hot tamale. Yesterday I was teaching a beginners' class (kdg-second grade age) and she heard them tapping. Rory came FLYING in from the lobby to join in. She's pretty proud of her taps, let me just tell you. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Single Mom with a Husband...?

I was watching the Today Show the other morning, as I do every morning before Rory wakes up. There was a woman on there talking about gender roles changing lately. (And rightfully so!) She was talking about how a woman she knew described her life as being a "full time working single mom with a husband." What she meant was she worked full time and still did 90% of the housework, child rearing, meals, disicpline, bed time, baths, etc.

And that got me thinking.

There was definitely a time, at the beginning of Rory's life, where I felt that way. I was exhausted, resentful and not at all satisfied with the division of labor around this household.

Want to guess who's fault it really was? I'll give you a hint. Not Dave.

I wasn't asking him to help. I was just taking charge because I was way more comfortable around babies than he was. Why did I view that as a bad thing? It's certainly not! I just happened to have 2 cousins born when I was 12 and 15 so I had the opportunity to take care of babies. Of course I'd be more comfortable. I was assuming all the duties because it was easier to do it myself than to a) teach Dave b) watch him get frustrated and c) deal with his nerves. None of those things are bad. I don't know why I ultimately decided that I would be "in charge" during that portion of Rory's life.

It took me a good 2 months to realize if I was going to ever have a "normal" life, I needed to relinquish control and share Rory's needs with Dave. And guess what! She lived!! :) He learned that it was okay to guess your way through some things, like when to nap or if it's snacktime and I learned that Dave really desired to be an involved, active Dad. When I let him take control, he took to it like a fish to water. It was ME that was putting the pressure on myself to be the "super mom," not Dave. I backed off, he stepped in and now Rory has 2 parents who make joint decisions on her upbringing.

I wouldn't say our division of labor is 50-50, I don't think anyone's ever is. I do tend to do a little more, only because it comes naturally to me. I also don't have a lot of friends, so there's not much for me to do other than work and be with Rory. Dave is a big time golfer so in the summer, we work that in to our schedule. We aren't perfect yet and I'm sure there will be another period of unharmonious living when Trace arrives. But you better believe it won't be because I'm doing it all myself and over exerting myself.

One area we are working on lately is the fact that I do need some time to myself. We both work full time and we both need time, every few weeks, for ourselves. In the summer, he works WAY harder than I do, 10 hours days at least. It's only fair then that he gets a little down time when he gets home. That's just obvious. Around the recital and registration, I'm the one working the most so I get to pass off a bed time or meal time every once in a while to regroup. It works for us and that's what matters.

I had lots of people ask me when Rory was born if I was going to close the studio to stay at home with her.

Um. No.

Let me explain why I could never be a stay at home mom. First off, my mom worked my entire life growing up and loved it. She was an elementary teacher until I was 10, then started her own ministry business. I really valued her role as a working mom in mine and my sister's life. She demonstrated to us that women can be 100% responsible for their own financial needs, set and achieve lofty goals and still be a fantastic mom to their kids. (Not to say stay at home moms don't make the same contributions, of course!) Every woman in my family works while raising kids. I can't really see any of us giving up our careers for our family OR giving up our families for our careers. We make it work.

I crave creative outlets. I am incapable of scrapbooking (it's true! omg it's so true!) and I don't play an instrument anymore. I dance. I need to be creating dance, creating art in the form of dance, every day. Music comes on and my toes get to tapping without me even realizing it. I am at my happiest when I am dancing and creating dance for my students. I thrive on the adrenaline that comes from performance, even that of others, and would never be a happy version of myself without dance.

I also crave the challenges of owning a business. I enjoy the thrill of conquering challenges and problems. I enjoy putting the pieces together to make a recital happen. I admit that I am addicted to the "stress" of running a business. I need that challenge in my life.

Could I find creative outlets at home and challenges at home? Of course I could. Do I want to? Nope. I want to be a working mom because it's what works for me. I'll continue doing it until it doesn't work anymore. At that time, both Dave and I will reasses our situations and figure it out TOGETHER. You never know...he might become a stay at home Dad someday! :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Want to see what my husband would look like if he was blonde?

That, right there, is Charles Howell III. Also known as Dave's Doppleganger. I mean HELLO.

This is Dave...

I don't have any golfing pictures of Dave on this computer for some reason. But imagine he was golfing.

This is Charles Howell III with Tiger Woods!

Now Charles has a pointier smile (weird smile, actually) but other than that...badabing!

I also have a Doppleganger...just about as good as Dave's!

That's Lucy Camden from 7th Heaven. Prettttty much my twin!

We're a little bored tonight, can you tell? :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Me and my girl.

Dear Rory,

You're 15 months old. Where in the world did time go? It seems like just yesterday I was staring at you through hazy eyes and not believing the fact that I had a daughter. I have big dreams for you, little Rosie, but I know your dreams for yourself will be even bigger!

Tonight you and I had the best time outside. It was so simple. We drove your car around for a while then you explored the back yard, talking to yourself and touching everything in sight. You are so curious, wanting to feel all the textures and smell each blade of grass and flower petal. You are a science girl, that's for sure. I hope that love always stays with you. It's not from your mom, it's definitely your dad's influence.

You remind me every day that the simple things in life are the most magical. Today you discovered that you can get up and down the two stairs to the deck by yourself. You squealed with delight and performed your trick 15 times. I forgot how hard it is to learn to go up and down stairs. You reminded me tonight, Ro, that being able to walk easily and quickly is a skill, a privilege, not a right. It is earned and some people never have that freedom. You amaze me!

You have started singing to me every morning over the monitor. It's one of the greatest joys in my life to wake up to a chorus of "Ma ma ma dad dad dad..." Then when I open your door and Millie bounds in to the room, a resounding DOG!! fills the air. You are so simple, so sweet, so precious to me.

Your eyes are the most beautiful shade of green. (Again, that's all your dad!) Our darling Physician Assistant Jan remarked this morning that she's never seen a little girl with eyes that color. I agreed but silently my heart was exploding with pride. You are one in a million in so many ways. You have no idea the potential you have for greatness. When I say greatness, Rory Beth, what I mean is you will be great at whatever you choose to love. I hope you love to dance, but that's merely a hope. I hope you love to learn and read and gather knowledge the way I do. I hope you enjoy hard work and realize the value of physical labor the way your dad does. I hope you inherited from him honesty and integrity at work as well as respect for your superiors. See Mommy is her own boss, so you need to follow Dad's example there. Remember always that a job is, just like walking, a privilege, not a right and it can be taken away. You must choose each morning to work harder than the day before. You need to wake up with determination for the task at hand, be it walking around the house three times without falling, passing a math test or putting in a long 8 hour day at the office. You my girl are an untapped resource of potential and it is up to you to become the best version of yourself.

Lots of mommys write their little ones letters every month. I didn't. To be honest, Rosie Roo, I wanted to but I forgot. I get so caught up in our daily life, our routine that I forget sometimes how fast you are growing and changing. I look back at pictures from this time last year and you don't match the baby in those pictures at all! You are so tall, so pretty with your sandy hair and green glass eyes. Your dimples crack me up, but not as much as your "fake out kisses" and strong desire to sit on your couch whenever Daddy or Mommy sits on the big people couches. Please realize that just because you don't have a completed baby book (oops!) or love notes every month (again, oops!), I still cherish each day with you. I know, baby girl, I know that too soon I will blink and you will be headed off to school.

If there's one thing I can tell you that I hope you will remember it's this. "NO ONE can make you feel inferior without your consent." A really great woman named Eleanor Roosevelt said that once a long time ago and my favorite history teacher, Mr. Sirianni, repeated it to me when I was in high school. (I'll tell you all about both these great people someday, chicken.) It's the truth. My life philosophy, really. Remember, you are not alone in any situation. Daddy and I are here for you and more importantly, your Heavenly Father is with you, too. NO ONE has the right to make you feel bad about yourself. Don't ever allow someone to do that to you. It will happen too often, you're a girl. What I want you to do is choose to be strong and courageous and realize that you are fantastic, no matter what anyone else says. If you don't believe "them" when they tell you how inferior you are, then eventually "they" will have to be quiet because no one is listening! Try it, baby, it works. I promise.

Rory, you are named after three incredible women and I want you to learn the best all three have to offer. Kindness and humility from Grandma Ann, creativity and fairness from Grammie Beth, knowledge and courage from Rory on TV. You are the best of your dad and I combined and don't ever forget that. God made you special and it's my greatest joy to hear you call me Mom.

I love you, sweet girl.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Baby Update!

Pregnancy Week-by-Week
How Far Along: 29 weeks and 3 days

Size of baby: They tell me he's the size of a gourd.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Maybe 10 pounds? I haven't been gaining nearly as much this time around, but the big gain is about to happen here in the last 10 weeks. Always does!

Maternity Clothes: Of course! Lately, it's been so stinking hot and humid, I've been wearing comfy maternity shorts and a tank top every day. Ugh. THE HEAT is unbearable here!

Gender: Trace Joseph. :)

Movement: Oh goodness alllllll the time. Yesterday he was sticking his booty out and it was hurting me so bad.

Food Cravings: Baked. Goods. 24. 7. All I can think about is brownies, doughnuts, cookies, cake, ugh. It's a problem! Luckily, it's way too hot to turn on the oven so I have to go GET baked goods and I never feel up to it. Phew. haha

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach. I am a habitual stomach sleeper and it drives me bonkers at this stage in the game to have to sleep on my side. I also have hip problems and Ciatica so the side sleeping is painful. But I will endure and persevere! Mr. T is totally worth it. :)

Sleep: Oh. See above! :) I also get up to pee at least one time a night.

Symptoms: Just your general it looks like I shoved a large watermelon up my shirt and someone stuck an air pump in my "girls." You know, the usual. :)

Best Moment this week: We're scheduling our 3d Ultrasound for next week! That's exciting!! We didn't have one with Rory, because there wasn't anywhere around here that did it but now there is!

What I am looking forward to: getting Rory into her "big girl" room this weekend and starting to get Trace's nursery changed around. It's about time!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wee Bit of Me Wednesdays

This is a first for me! Kelly over at Keeping Up with Kelly and Co. did this one this morning and it looked like a good one. So yep. There you go! :)

{one} how would you describe your style?
Well, when I am pregnant, my style is as comfortable as I can get away with. Meaning if I am at the studio or at home, I'm most likely to be found in yoga capris or comy bermuda shorts, a tank top or comfy t-shirt. I do have pregnancy jeans and nicer tops, but who wants to be dressed up in this HEAT with a baby belly?! No one! When I am not pregnant, my style is...preppy I guess? For work, I wear a studio t-shirt, tights, leo and either capris or pants. But for "the rest of my life" I like tailored, more preppy-casual clothes. That's a really long answer.

{two} what would your perfect day look like?
Hmmm...I think it would start off with me having a spa morning all to myself. Massage, manicure, pedicure, facial, the whole deal. Then Dave would pick me up and we'd go out to a nice dinner then see a Broadway Show! Perfect, really.

{three} what would be the best workplace perk?
For my work? Well. That's really tough. I think I'd like it if the pizza shop down the street delivered me dinner every night for free and I had time to eat it! How's that? :)

{four} if you could have the starring role in one movie, which would it be?
Oh tough one! But not that tough. I'd like to be Julie Powell in Julie and Julia or Meg Ryan's character in You've Got Mail.

{five} what tv show do you wish would go off the air for good?
TEEN MOM!! That show makes me so mad. It's so unrealisitic. Do girls get pregnant as teenagers? Yes. But let's not make it out to be a soap opera on MTV. It's a hard hard hard road and it really bugs me.

I also really dislike any reality competition show where they take celebrities and get them to do something other people work their whole lives to get good at: Dancing with the Stars. Sorry, Britty if you ever see this, it just bugs me! :)

{six} chocolate or vanilla?
Chocolate! Chocolate! Chocolate! But I like Vanilla Lattes.

{seven} if you could date any celebrity, who would it be?
(Assuming I'm not married, of course) That would be really hard to choose.

Wait. I totally lied.

NEIL HASKELL. Hands down. :)

{eight} if you could have been the author of any book, which would it have been?
Hmmm...I think I'd have to say I'd like to be Sophie Kinsella. Well whatever her real name is, I can't remember it at the moment. Then I'd put my foot down on the crappppppy job they did making Shopaholic into a movie. HELLO BECKY IS SUPOSSED TO BE BRITISH!!!

{nine} what's your favorite type of flower?
I like blue iris, pink star gazer lillies and white daisies.

{ten} what do you think is your most attractive feature?
My calves. ha!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Steelers Post of the Season. :o)

So today, I'm trolling Facebook while eating lunch and Rory's napping as usual. Check my friends' updates, upload a few pictures, normal.

And I stumble upon a link to Victoria Secret's new STEELERS line! I almost peed myself I was so excited.

Don't call me crazy!

They already have a Penn State line, which was huge for me last year! I got a super comfy sweatshirt for my birthday and I loooove it. It's mad comfy and the sleeves aren't too short, even though I've washed it a lot and dried it in the dryer (by accident!) a few times. Imagine my excitment when I saw this little baby...


I'm in love. Serious love. Good thing I'm pregnant and there's no way that sucker would fit over this baby belly for at least 3 more months or it'd be on my way to my house right now.


That's a lie.

It's expensive, like 65 bucks for a hoodie. What I will do is sit here and oogle it until Christmas rolls around then use gift cards or money to buy it myself or put it on my Christmas list.

Dave pretty much has it made for my birthday and Christmas this year. Walk in to Vickie's, pick it up if it has Black and Gold on it!

Little things in life, I tell ya!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A (very) Late Vacation Post

This year, my Yancosek side of the family (yes, that's Polish!) decided to do a group vacation. My mom, dad, sister, her boyfriend, Aunt, Uncle, 2 cousins, Dave, Rory and I all rented a house in the Outer Banks for a week. It was absolutely the best way to take a 1 year old on vacation! Rosie had her own room for her pack n play to sleep in, lots of room to run around, big bath tubs for baths. We ate breakfast and lunch at the house every day, so she got her regular food for at least 2 meals a day. She was a very happy camper!

It was also the most comfortable vacation for me as well! I don't like hot hot hot days period, but especially when pregnant. Talk about uncomfy! But the house was air conditioned and I got to just relax most of the days.

We did go out to eat, hit the beach, hit the pool, go site seeing...all the good beach stuff, but most it was just nice to be with my family for a week.

So here's lots of pictures, because let's face it. My kid is pretttttty cute and you know you want to see 80,000 pictures of her. ;)

Rory examining a steamed Maryland Blue Crab. (My dad is from Southern Maryland, so crabs are a big part of the family. :))

Rory and Kaari dancing at a 50's style diner in the Outer Banks called "Big Al's." We met Al! He was not big at all!

Rory going crabbing. :)

My family! Not half bad, all things considered.

Best picture of the trip. Dave by the "No Crabbing" sign. I could use one of those signs at home! :)

Rory at sunset on the Sound.

Rory on the Pirate Ship Adventure. Her pirate name was Riptide Rory. haha

Ro being crazy on the pirate ship.

My insane family. :)

Rory through the deck slats at a crabhouse. (Thanks Hemdal Photography!)

Disclaimer, all these pictures were stolen from my dad and sister's Facebooks because I didn't even get my camera out on vacation. I was too darn tired! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Explanation of my Absence

Ugh. I'm sorry. I'm such a slacker. I haven't even managed a baby update in forever. We went on vacation for a week, which was wonderful, but of course no blogging then! That's one reason.

Here's the other.

I'm convinced that my body was not made to be pregnant. God clearly wanted me to appreciate my children so pregnancy is...rough. With Rory, I was *ill* for the first 16 weeks or so, then after that ended up in the hospital for three days, got a mysterious rash that lasted a month, had serious hip problems and ciatica and eventually ended up not being able to "go" past 6 cm. I labored fruitlessly for 16 hours then had a C-section.

That's the pretty version.

With this baby, I haven't been nauseous more than 5 days (Praise the Lord!!) but the weird pains and aches and problems have been out the roof. I've had pulled muscles, shortness of breath, itchy skin, just general weirdness.
Currently, I am having pain in my rib/back. It started last weekend, I figured I slept funny. It got worse, not better, no matter what I did. So off to the doctor I went on Monday. And Tuesday. And tomorrow I go again. I had a prescription, it was wonderful. It ended, the pain came baaaaack.

I love feeling the baby moving and grooving in my belly. But my belly does not love carrying around Mister Undercoffer. (Nor did it like Miss Undercoffer, for that matter.) Lots of my dance moms tell me if they could be pregnant all the time, they would. They loved it.

I don't want to say I hate it, I don't. I don't want to say I don't like it, that's not true. I LOVE the end result and appreciate how amazing God is to design a woman's body to nuture new life. It's astounding. But what I do not love is how hard and trying pregnancy is on my body.

I am ready for this kiddo to be here. My c-section is scheduled for October 25. It's weird to say that I'll be a better blogger with a newborn, but I will be. I'm counting the minutes until he arrives. Thank goodness it's August!