Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happy Birthday MaMa!

We'll see you when you get home!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

BellyWatch2 | 30 weeks

Gestational diabetes affects about 4% of all pregnant women - about 135,000 cases of gestational diabetes in the United States each year. Well, last week we found case #135,001. Yep, V was unfortunately diagnosed with the condition, and much to her dismay we've since been doing what we can to adjust her diet to compensate for her sugar imbalance. In all, I guess her case is not that severe since they didn't put her on insulin, and she seems to be maintaining her weight just fine. But we are signed up for a class this Thursday (the start of week 32) that should detail what we need to be doing from here on out. She also hasn't gained a single pound since our blog entry about her weight gain this pregnancy and that was over a month ago (actually, I think she has lost a pound or two since then) so chances are, she'll be able to regulate her sugar levels just fine with a few significant changes to her diet (whole wheat bread, Crystal Light, and sugar-free ice cream... hooray).

As for what gestational diabetes is, here's a short summary I came across on the web: The placenta supports the baby as it grows. Hormones from the placenta help the baby develop. But these hormones also block the action of the mother's insulin in her body. This problem is called insulin resistance. Insulin resistance makes it hard for the mother's body to use insulin (which functions to maintain sugar levels). Without enough insulin, glucose cannot leave the blood and be changed to energy. Glucose builds up in the blood to high levels and can lead to an overweight baby. So now the pregnancy has to be monitored so that we don't give birth to a toddler. So the good news is, we get a "free" ultrasound soon to check the baby's status (yeaaaa! we've been sooo ultrasound deprived this time around... one measely picture in 30 weeks). But overall, I'll close by saying that V is still doing well. A little frustrated by the adversities of this pregnancy (heartburn, nausea, constipation, and now gestational diabetes) but hanging in there.

In other news, we attended a Family Life marriage conference here in Hampton Roads this past weekend. V had been wanting to go for about 3 years now and I finally ran out of excuses to miss it, so we went this year. In short, it was excellent. We had a great time, learned a lot, and endured our longest Justin-less span of time since his birth (we dropped him off on Friday and picked him up on Sunday morning). I got the look of death when V asked me on Saturday, "Do you miss him?" and I said "Miss who?" [d'oh!]... but by Sunday I had to admit to feeling the separation (of course she started feeling the separation about 3 hours before we dropped him off)... And by Sunday afternoon, our quartet was reunited and all was right with the world again. Good weekend for everyone.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Playground Pt. I (Dizzy)

After about 10 turns and 72 hand clips...

Obviously, he was fine after the spill... I guess he was just practicing his "Jerry Maguire" moment. Always so dramatic.

[note... to watch this video in high quality, click the up-arrow in the bottom right corner, and make sure that HQ is selected (red)]

Playground Pt. II (Slide)

99 seconds of Justin Alexander just running around... A video only a grandparent could love...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Los Poppos

About a week ago, I was on a step ladder with socks on my feet when I felt a swift tug at my leg and had to catch my balance. It was Justin. Apparently he disapproved of me being barefooted and was insistent on putting shoes (actually, mommy's flip flops) on my feet. You should've seen the intensity. Hilarious. So, yeah... Justin's "new thing" is putting on shoes. And it doesn't necessarily have to be his shoe... or even his foot. He's just got a thing against naked feet these days. Here he is making a valiant attempt at clothing his own feet.

Poppos, by the way, are what he calls "zapatos", which means shoes in spanish. And speaking of which (because I've been meaning to work this into the blog)... raising him bilingual is taking a lot more patience than I thought it would. Not because of my weak command of the Spanish language; but simply put, the words are just harder! One syllable words that he can master in a day become multi-syllable words that leave him tongue tied. For example, here's a list of one-syllable basic words in English, along with the number of syllables in the Spanish equivalent.

eye (2) nose (2) mouth (2) ears (3) teeth (3) hi (2) bye (3) foot (2) leg (3) knee (3) juice (2) milk (2) stop (2) eat (2) food (3) bath (3) drink (2) up (3) [three syllables for a two letter word... good grief] down (3) hair (2) book (2) hot (4) cold (2)...

I simply never realized the lack of one-syllable words in Spanish. And that's just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are dozens of others that I'm forgetting... including a few more that translate to 4 or 5 syllables. So you tell me, if you were learning to speak, which would you rather say: "knee"... or RO-DIL-LA? .... "bye"... or A-DI-OS. I think if Justin had his choice, he'd be saying "adios" to this bilingual experiment altogether. We'll see what happens.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Procrastination Expert

At my job, we have an evaluation portfolio that is due every year about the same time. The creation and submission of this portfolio is usually quite an ordeal as it essentially summarizes my efforts in 4 key categories (teaching, scholarly activity, professional development, and university service) over the previous calendar year. 

Well... my portfolio is due today in about 12 hours (at 5pm, to be exact). Which of course means that this weekend I took it upon myself to gather all of my supporting documents, pile them on top of my desk at home, shut out the rest of the world and... replace the bulbs in the garage door opener... then borrow a ladder to re-attach the vinyl siding that had come undone on the back of the house... strip & re-caulk the sink area and bathtub in the master bath... and complete our tax return paprework for 2008. 

And of course a reminder was sent out about a week ago concerning the due date of these evaluation portfolios. And so naturally I did not wait until the last minute to get started! Instead, I spent last weekend... re-organizing 3 of the 4 closets upstairs as to maximize our storage space and make additional room for Justin's growing collection of toys and clothes.  And as for Superbowl Sunday... with a portfolio due who has time for football?! No, sir! I had to turn the television off, buckle down and... take my family to the mall so that Justin could run around in their new activity play area... and also do some light shopping for his sibling to come. And with so much work to do, who has time to cook, do dishes, clean the kitchen, etc.? So naturally we went out to dinner afterwards.

And with so much "accomplished", I could barely keep my eyes open last night through what appears to have been a pretty good football game. And so I went to sleep. As for the portfolio... well, that's why God invented "the last minute". Because 4:51 am on a Monday morning is when things like that are supposed to get done.