Change

As this year nears it's end I find myself going through a life change I never thought I would have to experience. I am a judge's signature away from being divorced. Shockingly, I am ok. It was a long road to get to where I am with it, but I'm finding more and more that this is simply life happening. I find myself working back towards my roots and feeling the need to remember who I am. I miss the artistic side of me that has been dormant so long, I miss pressing forward, growing and achieving things in life. I feel like my only accomplishment the last few years is having and raising my kids. While that is an admirable thing, and something I am truly grateful for, I did the one thing I never wanted to do...I lost myself to my kids. It's nobody's fault but mine. This major change has awakened in me a need to be better than I am. I want to leave a larger legacy behind than my kids' achievements. I have a lot of plans...and I am getting excited about them. My girls are doing well. It has been an adjustment, but they both know they are loved by both of their parents- who are working together as much as possible to continue to raise them. Doing things on my own isn't an easy thing. I have a lot of decisions to make, things to figure out, and a new future to plan. It's a lot to take on. At the same time, it's a chance to start fresh...figure out what I want out of my life and go for it. I am setting some goals for myself that I will share here in another post. As far as my marriage...we loved each other, had a lot of good years together, we helped to give life to two beautiful girls, but now our story as a couple is over. Time to move forward, break the silence on this blog, dump all the excuses I've used the last couple years, and start getting on with my life.

(I just realized as I moved this post over, that I posted it on our 7 year anniversary)

Paige 2 Month

Paige turned two months old a week ago. She is amazingly strong but still tends to be pretty cranky. She is getting a little calmer, though. She is growing like a weed...already in 3-6 month clothing. She is starting to "talk back" on occasion and loves to watch Zoe as long as she's not on top of her. We have been busy with life, enjoying her and Zoe and trying to manage things as a larger family. Sorry such a short post, but here is a video of Paige for your viewing pleasure!

Paige One Month

Dear Paige,

It's hard to believe you turned a month old yesterday. Mommy forgot what life is like with a newborn. You have certainly made a whirlwind of our little family, and yet you're such a little blessing. Zoe adores you, and though she's poked and prodded you more than you might like, I know she just loves to be around you and to help me take care of you...even when she's acting a bit jealous. Mom and Dad are still trying to get used to sleeping less and still trying to figure out your cries, your likes and your dislikes...but we'll get there.

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Your entrance into this world was peaceful. The hospital was quiet so early in the morning and besides the doctor and a couple nurses you were welcomed by just your Mom and Dad after only a few pushes. We instantly noticed your chubby cheeks and your very loud cry. After a couple days getting to know you in the hospital, we brought you home where we enjoyed tons of help from family for several weeks. You started out as a very sleepy baby. I didn't even get to see your eyes until the day we brought you home.

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You've just begun to wake up more this last week. Unfortunately, more wake time has shown that you have some tummy troubles like your sister. Tomorrow we'll go to the doctor and hopefully find a way to help you with that so you, and Mom, can feel better. I have more to say to you, but you've just awakened to eat so I'd best be off. You are so sweet and snuggly and I'm so happy you are a part of my life forever.


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Love,

Mama

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The Equipoise Family Grows!!

Paige

Paige was born at 2:47 am July 29th. She weighed in at 8lbs 5oz and is 22in long. She is a very strong little girl with a great set of pipes and very plump cheeks. We are all in love, including her big sister Zoe, and will be spending the next little bit enjoying her. I'll try to put up a few more pics soon!

Revise

So, when I wrote that brief post about false labor when I was pregnant with Zoe...I had no idea how bad it could be. Back then I had some fairly regular, yet mostly painless contractions, and there I was calling it False Labor! Until last night, I would have continued to call it that. Unfortunately, last night I discovered what true false labor is: 3 hours of contractions 2-7 minutes apart (getting closer), full of pain all the way from my pelvis and through my back, no sleep, and a whole lot of debating on whether or not I should go to the hospital. Lucky I didn't go since they almost abruptly stopped around 6 am and Love and I still had to get up and function today. Baby Paige, let's not do that again unless it's the real thing, huh? 

Yet Another Update

I feel like all I've done lately on this blog is updates since I go such long stretches between posting. Life has been so crazy lately. At my last OB appointment I measured 3 weeks ahead and was dilated to a 3.5. I am schedule this coming Thursday for a growth ultrasound to determine Paige's weight and we'll go from there. This appointment made me realize I could easily go into labor any day so I've been busy trying to complete my to do list before she makes her appearance! As of right now I'm scheduled to be induced August 5th, so at least I have an end date for this pregnancy should nothing happen before then.

Amidst all the pregnancy chaos, my Zoe turned two a couple weeks ago. Two! I can't believe it. It amazes me how time flies. To celebrate we had a family party the Sunday before. Here are some pictures:

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Elmo cupcakes made with a confetti cake mix, Zoe's choice.

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Cute outfit and hair clips from her aunt and uncle

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Grandma and Grandpa know how much Zoe loves airplanes lately!

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Another fun toy from Grandma and Grandpa

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Crying, laughing, eating, burping, sleeping baby from her other aunt

She had a blast and it was fun to have everyone over. On her actual Birthday, Love and I took the day off and took her to the Zoo for the first time:

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Looking for monkeys

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Watching the elephants

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The new baby elephant at our Zoo

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Still watching elephants. They were her favorite. In fact, we found a little stuffed elephant named Aurora at the gift shop that we took home. She now sleeps with it.

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Some of the animals we saw

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We tried to get Zoe to do this, but she was not having it, so Love volunteered. After the Zoo we took Zoe to her favorite fast food place, McDonald's, where she had chicken nuggets, apples and milk...just like always.

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Zoe being silly at McDonald's

After we got home and she had a nap, we had a little front yard BBQ with our friends/ neighbors:

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Baby feeding set from Mom and Dad

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Zoe's attempt to smile with teeth as she shows off her fairy princess dress-up outfit from our awesome friends

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A Utah Utes football also from our friends. (Daddy's favorite gift to her.)

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Baby stroller from Mom and Dad

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Diaper changing set for her baby from Mom and Dad

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Last, Baby's very own mini Pack n' Play

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Already playing with the stroller

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Birthday Cake!

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A very worn out Birthday Girl after some cake.

We think she had a fun day. I'm so glad to have this little girl in my life. She is full of emotions from laughter and smiles to tears and screams...but she always manages to melt my heart at least once a day. She keeps us laughing and we love her dearly. Happy (Belated) Birthday sweet girl!

Baby Update

Two weeks ago I measured two weeks ahead at my doctors appointment. This concerned both me and my doctor so he scheduled a growth ultrasound for last Friday to check on Paige. It was a long week and a half until Friday. Finally the day arrived and my first appointment of the day was my Non-Stress Test. Paige has passed both of these tests so far with flying colors. This child can MOVE! In fact, she moved so much that we were there slightly longer because she kept moving away from the heart monitor. Silly girl. I did the test with an abnormally full bladder (because I had to guzzle 32 oz. of water an hour before the ultrasound) so I had a couple strong contractions during the NST but nothing to worry about. I somehow made it to the elevator to go up 3 floors for the ultrasound. What is it about ultrasounds that they are always running behind? I had to wait another 10 minutes holding my full bladder before they took me back there. (If you're wondering why I keep bringing it up, try drinking 32 oz of water and see how you feel in an hour...then imagine a baby inside of you sitting right on top of your bladder and kicking it repeatedly. It's not fun.) Finally, we entered the ultrasound room and they began to measure the baby. She measured just over 1 week further along than she's supposed to be...but still within normal range. Paige is just going to be a big baby it seems. We also had them double check to make sure we're having a girl. There's definitely no mistaking that one. After being allowed some relief I was taken back to the exam room for my weekly Dr's appointment. He was concerned that my sugars are kind of all over the place. I was concerned as well because I've been feeling like there was no rhyme or reason to them. After some talking I was put on some medication (not insulin) that helps metabolize sugar. I am hoping that this medication will help me to feel a bit more in control and keep Paige from getting bigger than she needs to be. At this point we're looking to induce around 39 weeks. So, I have roughly 5.5 weeks to go. I'm getting excited and nervous at the same time. Luckily, Love has the next week off so we are going to work on setting up and organizing everything for Paige's arrival. I think once that is done, I will feel a bit less stressed. Here I am at 33 weeks:

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Life in the Equipoise Family

Life with Zoe has been a bit of a roller coaster ride lately. We think she is getting her second set of molars. Teething has always brought out the clingy, whiny side of my little girl...but this time it's different. She has now entered the stage of throw-yourself-on-the-floor temper tantrums if she doesn't get her way or if she can't communicate something. With my emotions on their own roller coaster and my body beginning to weaken under the weight of carrying my second child, I don't always handle this so well. We've been giving her some time in her room under these circumstances for her to sort out her feelings and calm down enough to talk to us. Most of the time, though, we never really do find out what started the tantrum in the first place. Still, our strategy seems to be working. I've found that toddler emotions are just really big, and they don't have the self-control to keep them in check. I've also found that pregnancy freak-out buttons are really easy to push and I don't always have the self-control to keep them in check either. Funny how that happens. So, Zoe and I do a lot of lap cuddles and have little conversations which often end in us both apologizing to each other and giving "loves". On the upside, she makes me laugh every day. I love to watch her mimic us as she puts her bunny and frog to sleep and tells them, "Sleep Good! I love you! See you in the morning!" She will sing for us or with us when we put her down for naps and sometimes if we just ask her to. She is really starting to communicate and annunciate well and it has made for some pretty interesting conversations. She is generally a very well behaved child, even in public. We introduced her to the toddler bed about a month ago. We had huge fears over how hard the transition was going to be for her. For a couple weeks she went to bed crying, but would always fall asleep on her own. She tried to get out of bed a few times, but after telling her to stay in bed once and a few more time of silently laying her back in bed, she stays there until I come to get her...no matter how long she's been awake. We're so proud of her for this accomplishment...and happy that she loves her "new bed". Zoe loves to be outside and loves to get the attention of all the kids in our neighborhood, many of which she knows by name. While she doesn't usually want to leave my side, she has begun to venture off, explore and interact more. She likes to "go walk" with Mom and "get books" at the library. In fact, we went to the library this morning. Usually she will pick some books and I will pick some books and we will read or look through all of them and she decides which books to take home. She had a long attention span today so we sat and read most of the books and took a large stack home with us. We left the back way so she could get a good look at the flags before we headed home. As we walked we had the following conversation:

Zoe: "Hey Mom?!"

Me: "Yes, sweetheart?"

Zoe: "That was fun."

And my heart melted. These are the days that I live for- the ones that make me thank my Heavenly Father for giving me stewardship over this special spirit. These are the days that make me feel like I can parent two.

Speaking of Paige...I will be 31 weeks tomorrow. Zoe is starting to notice my belly more and more. She will tell Paige "good morning!" and give her kisses on my belly. She points out the baby things in the house (even what used to be Zoe's crib) and say "Paige's ...?" I think she will be a great sister. Paige seems to think she doesn't have enough room and likes to stretch and kick around often. Little does she know, the space will continue to get smaller! Most days I feel like a marshmallow trapped in an old lady's body. My ankles are swelling, my lower back and hips feel wrong most days, it hurts to walk, sit, stand and especially to get up. So far the Gestational Diabetes isn't making me too crazy. My sugar levels have been pretty good and I'm managing to get some sort of exercise daily...even if it's just vacuuming the whole house. I'm happy to know that I have a mere nine weeks left...but also a little afraid of what those weeks will bring. I start non-stress tests again next week. I'm excited about it just because I'll get to see Paige weekly, but also worried how I'm going to get sitters for so many appointments. No matter what, though, I know it will all work out. I have people that support me and in nine short weeks I'll be blessed with another baby girl. That makes it all worth it.

Our summer plans mostly involve playing outside with Zoe whenever possible. Love takes our only car everyday so besides that, walks and visits to the library she and I are generally stuck at home. Living with one car for two years has been hard....more so now that we live so far away from everything. But I know that we couldn't have made it if we had two car payments...at least not with me being able to work from home and be with Zoe. The summer nights have been gorgeous- which has resulted in less TV time for Love and I (for the best) and often a later bed time for Zoe. Still it's nice to just enjoy each other's company and watch Zoe collect rocks. Some highlights of this summer will be plenty of BBQ's with our neighbors/friends, family gatherings, a visit next week from my Mom and Grandma, some pre-planned girls nights with my friend, and of course, the new addition to the Equipoise Family.

So that is our life right now. I'm really trying to give myself permission to be more lenient on the to do list and enjoy the last few weeks I'll have with my family of three before we become four. I want to soak up some sunshine before Utah brings the cold again. I want to put my feet up when I can and read some great books...maybe find some more time for my music...maybe even for my writing and drawing. We'll just have to see.

EWWW!!!

Today I learned that kids can be very gross. I had just finished using the restroom and was washing my hands. Zoe came into the bathroom and went over to the toilet. She likes to close the toilet lid if it's open. Assuming that's what she would do, I went over to my towel to dry my hands. Suddenly she sticks her entire hand in the toilet water. I screamed, "EWWW!!! Get your hand out of there!" She complied, only to instantly put said hand into her mouth before I could get to her. I was trying not to gag as I washed her hands and rinsed out her mouth while telling her never to do that again. Thank heavens the toilet was flushed, but still. Today my child tasted toilet water. Gross.

Here we go again...

Today I called in to get the results of my glucose test. As expected, I do have gestational diabetes. :( While I was holding on to an ounce of hope that I wouldn't have to do this again, I was realistic and pretty much expected that I would. So, out comes all the diet info and so begins the multiple finger pricks a day. We're hoping to control it this time with diet and exercise so hopefully I won't have to give myself shots again, but we'll see. I'm also pretty anemic so I've been instructed to begin taking iron supplements twice a day. Hopefully that will give me a bit more energy. I have 11.5 weeks left until my due date. I can totally do this again. Right?

Facebook Killed the Blogger

These days I spend way to much time on Facebook. While it is a fantastic way to stay in touch with family and friends scattered across the country/world, it is also very time consuming and addicting. I've tossed around the idea of canceling my account altogether...but can't stand the thought of losing easy contact with all those people. The most annoying thing about my Facebook addiction is that I haven't been blogging. I've met so many wonderful people through this blog and I don't want to lost contact with them either. I need to find some sort of balance between the two. Anyway, while I work on balancing my life...which IS the point of this blog...here's an update:

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Taken on Mother's Day-26 weeks pregnant. I'm now almost 28 weeks pregnant. I have my check-up on Friday when I have to take the glucose test to determine if I have to be treated for gestational diabetes or not. Paige is getting big. She likes to move around a lot- I really enjoy watching her movements from the outside. Unfortunately, she tends to move the most when I want to sleep or relax. I find I'm having a lot more "fake" contractions with this pregnancy. They can be uncomfortable, but not too worrisome. She already seems to like music. Several times she'll be moving around and I'll begin to sing and she suddenly stops. I love it. Zoe seems to understand what's going on more and more. We are trying to prepare her as much as we can. Other than pregnancy, I keep busy with work, trying to keep up with the house, spend as many hours in the sun as possible, and enjoy my Zoe.

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Speaking of Zoe, she is becoming our little comedian. It's almost hard to remember all the things she does that make us laugh daily. She is really starting to remember people and will ask where they are constantly...and repetitively. These people range from friends, to family, to neighbors, etc. Sometimes she will even yell, "Mommy (or bunny, or "insert name here"), where are you?!" She always asks where Love is in the morning. When I tell her he's at work she responds with, "Playing basketball." Apparently she thinks Daddy was destined for something else? Her newest/most used phrase lately is, "I want some more!" This can be anything from repeating a song we just sang, to food, to a fun activity, etc. Her new favorite song is, "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed." I added an "ouch" after the monkey falls and bumps his head- which receives tons of giggles. Zoe always sings the last part: "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" It's awesome. She loves to watch Elmo and Clifford...I save these for when I need to occupy her so I can shower or etc. She really enjoys going to the park, the library and going on walks with Mommy. We're enjoying the warmer weather as much as we can. Also, we just switched our big girl to a toddler bed a week ago. I'll save that update for another post. She also got her first pair of sunglasses...which she LOVES.

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Love just got a promotion. He has worked so hard and deserves it completely. It took a few months to process and we haven't quite seen the raise, but everything is finalized so it just depends on which paycheck they start it on. We're excited to have a little more breathing room in the money department. He is an awesome husband and Daddy and a neighborhood favorite with the kids. Here he is demonstrating "the mean face" with Zoe. How I love my little family!

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Happy Mother's Day

I had a wonderful day filled with so many sweet small moments, smiles, pictures, laughter, surprises and relaxation. I want to wish a Happy Mother's Day to any person that "mothers" in their life: child-toting mothers, nannies, nurses, sitters, teachers, mothers-to-be and single fathers who do both jobs. The world couldn't turn without you. Today I'm grateful for my daughters- one still waiting to make an appearance, my husband, and all the wonderful people in my life who have mothered me over the years. I hope you all had a blessed and wonderful day.

Dependable?

I have always thought of myself as a dependable person. Someone you could count on. Someone who would be there for you in times of need. Over the last few years, as my priorities have grown and changed and I've become responsible for the life of another person, I feel like my dependability has decreased. I'm not quite as able to drop everything and be where I'm needed...or always available when a friend calls. I have tried to balance this more as I become more accustomed to parenthood and I felt like I was getting better. I have always been somewhat forgetful, but it was usually fairly harmless. Now I'm forgetting appointments, forgetting responsibilities, forgetting everything. This last week my forgetfulness has seriously decreased my opinion of myself and my ability to be counted on. I'd like to blame this on "pregnancy brain" but I'm not really sure that's it. These thoughts have me feeling rather low tonight and rather than lay in my bed and dwell on them, I figured I'd put them out to the universe. Hopefully I'll feel better in the morning.

Sunshine

I'm sitting here in my room listening to the dishwasher running downstairs, the breeze and the sounds of cars passing coming through my open window, and the sweet singing of my little princess- who is supposed to be sleeping- coming from the other room. I've spent the last few days outside as much as possible, trying to soak up as much warmth and sunshine as I possibly can. As I sit here, I'm thinking some of that sunshine has seeped right into my soul. (Some of you will understand that reference.) Tonight, I'm feeling incredibly blessed.

There are a lot of things going on in my life that are hard. Frustrations with money, pregnancy pains, how to manage my time, worries about the future...the list goes on. These things are always floating through my mind. There are people in my life that have much bigger worries than me, yet I can't help feeling weighed down by my own burdens. Too often I find myself just trying to get through until some future event. My days are passing me by. With that passage of time I am getting closer to meeting this new little angel who is presently kicking around in my belly. With that passage of time Zoe gets closer and closer to being two.

The past few days I have lowered my expectations of what a clean house is, I've left things for another day, I've turned off the television and gone outside. We have taken walks, blown bubbles, spent time with friends, gone to the park, watered the plants, collected rocks, been sunburned, and just sat on the porch enjoying the weather. This freedom has allowed my mind to put away the worries and live a little more in the moment. Tonight I let Zoe sing me two songs before bed after I had already sang her three. We read a few more books than we normally do. She hugged me five times on each side before she would let me put her down. I wasn't rushing to get downstairs and watch whatever was on. I wasn't in a hurry to get her to bed even though it was past bedtime. I just let the bedtime routine play on as it wanted and tried to soak up each sweet moment that I had with my first born. It was magical.

Love works so hard all day every day. Most of the time he comes home, we eat dinner, and we veg on the couch until bedtime. Lately, though, he's been coming home, changing and coming outside to play basketball with Zoe and the neighbor kids. Or sitting on the porch and talking to me or to our friends. He's busier when warm weather comes going to softball games, golfing, or basketball on Saturday mornings. Still he finds time to do the dishes and take out the trash to help me out just a little.

I've started yoga (again) and made sure to do something active everyday. I feel like this has let me ease up, enjoy life as it is now, and make smarter choices with what I put in my body- most of the time. Being more active seems to help me to be stronger, but it also adds to my pregnancy pains and that is hard, but I feel like it will be better for me (and for Paige) during delivery and as I recover. I make it a point to read (even if it's not much) every day and have been enjoying having a bit of "me" time. I feel successful in my work and that is a great blessing after many slow months.

In general, I feel happy. No matter the difficulties we face and the challenges that lie ahead for us, I know that somehow we'll be OK. I know everything will work out. I need to remember that life isn't about a perfectly clean house. Maybe it's about tiny hands collecting rocks and playing in the dirt. Maybe it's about relaxing and enjoying the movements of my second child. Perhaps it's about spending quality time with the love of my life. Or having daily porch conversations with friends. Something about the cold weather makes me forget all these things. I'm so grateful for the sunshine up above and all the little rays of sunshine in my life that fill me up and make me whole. I thank my Heavenly Father, publicly, at this moment for the blessing that is my life.

Warm Weather

Something about sunshine and warm weather makes me care less about cleaning or playing on the computer and care more about playing and soaking up the warmth! This is what we've been up to since I last posted:

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Zoe's learning to dress (and, unfortunately, undress) herself

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We had a little egg coloring party at our house the day before Easter

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Zoe thought blue fingers might be fun

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Zoe's reaction to seeing her Easter basket

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Easter spoils

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Success with pigtails!

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Zoe LOVES to collect rocks

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We've been to the park a few times

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Zoe loves to swing. She says, "Again?", over and over and when we leave she can't stop telling me how much fun she had. She also really likes the slide.

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Park Princess

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Zoe likes to prop frog up to sit with her when she plays the piano

As you can see, we've had a fun couple of weeks so I hope you'll forgive my absence. Also, while I was away, we chose to name baby number two: Paige Alexis. I'm glad to finally have a name for her! So far the pregnancy seems to be going fine, though the warm weather has brought on a bit of early swelling and I'm starting to really "feel" pregnant, which makes getting through the day a bit more difficult but still manageable. Paige is definitely stretching and kicking her legs as much as she can. I'm now 23 weeks and 1 day into this pregnancy- it seems to be going so much faster this time around. Zoe is starting to grasp that there is a baby in there...at least I think so. She likes to kiss my tummy and she's felt Paige kick a couple times. I'm not sure that she knows what it actually was, but she was sure wide-eyed when she felt the movement. I'm enjoying all these sweet moments.