Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Announcing Madelyn Elizabeth Burckart

Madelyn was born Tuesday, April 29th at 7:28 p.m. She weighted 7 lbs 11 oz and was 21.25 inches long. More details and photos to come...



Monday, April 28, 2008

Pains Pains Go Away...

During my third trimester I have had frequent pains in my legs which I have self diagnosed to be round ligament pain. This is a pain that shoots down either leg around the groin area. They only last for a few seconds, but during that time it is immobilizing. The first few times it happened I didn't know what to do - once was at the grocery store and I literally just had to stand still and hold on to the grocery cart for dear life so that I didn't fall down. The past few weeks these pains have gotten worse and now happen almost anytime I change positions, ouch! I asked several doctors about the pain and they assured me that it was normal and there was nothing that could be done about it (except have the baby as one doctor added - NOT FUNNY!).

It has still been a fantastic pregnancy and I've had plenty of energy to keep up with walking almost daily and chasing Anna around even now. But, with today being my "official" due date, I am ready and with each pain I am even more so.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mommy's Little Gardener

No little sister yet, so why not do some gardening.



Mom2Mom web site

I saw this link to a new local mom web site in a News & Observer blog I frequently read and thought it was worth mentioning. It has resources for those who have kids, those who are pregnant and those who are trying to get pregnant. There are also lists of meetup groups, local parks and other kid friendly events going on in the area. Check it out at

Thursday, April 24, 2008

To Induce or not to Induce...

...that was the question. I went for another doctors appointment yesterday in great anticipation that they would tell me it is time to have this baby. Of course, they cannot tell from their exams when the baby is coming so once again I got the it could be any day. We talked about the importance of getting to the hospital quickly this time since Anna came relatively fast for a first baby and I was even given the option of being induced. Five days before my due date without a pressing medical reason I didn't feel it was the right decision for me (though I have to admit the idea of knowing when the baby would be born is appealing to my list making, schedule keeping world). My next appointment is May 1st and if I have not gone into labor on my own the decision will be made to induce me at that time. A May baby? hmmmm, I never even considered it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Anna and Mommy Time

Anna and I are still going strong with outings and play groups and "us" time. Today we went over to the mall to run around a little bit since it has been a little rainy here. We got to the mall before the stores opened and it was actually a very relaxed and nice environment. The vendors were setting up, sappy love song were playing through the speakers, the power walkers were doing their laps and the biggest conglomerate of people was at the Starbucks. It made for a great play time for Anna with only about 5 other kids at the play area. I wish I would have known this trick earlier. The next time we go play at the mall it will definitely be before 10:00am (especially once I have two little ones).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Could Tonight Be the Night?...

Every night as I lay down to go to sleep I think could tonight be the night that Madelyn comes? I then find it hard to go to sleep and start to feel pains that I question to be contractions. Last night we even went so far as to get out the watch and time these "pains". I do think a few of them were contractions, but they came at irregular intervals and so we went to sleep. Even though I've been through this before, I've been reading about contractions on different websites because I remember very little of how things felt before I was in extreme pain and heading to the hospital. After comments from doctors like "this one will slide right out" and stories of second pregnancies progressing much faster I want to know when labor is starting and avoid being a statistic of people who have delivered a baby in their car (or does that only happen on TV?) It's now time to start the day and see if tonight could be the night.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Anna loves bubbles. They are the highlight at the end of story time at the library and a favorite when she goes over to the neighbors house. I had previously bought a handheld bubble fan/gun of sorts that I would press the trigger and it would produce a few bubble to chase but it was nothing like the Amazing Bubbles Bubble Generator which we purchased at Target. You simply add the bubble solution, press the button - which Anna can do herself - and tons of bubbles float into the air. Anna loves to chase the bubbles around! Thankfully it comes with the 6 AA batteries that it requires and two small bottles of bubbles (which only lasted us a day). We also purchased a gallon of bubble solution so we are ready for at least another week :).

Dancing with the Bubbles

Saturday, April 19, 2008


In an effort to keep food in my house for baby's arrival, I decided to go to one of the many food prep places in our area where you make meals ahead of time and store them in your freezer. These places seem to be popping up in every strip mall in Raleigh as families try to find a balance between a quick meal and a home cooked meal. I decided on a place that was close to my home, offered a coupon that would allow me to get meals at a little over $10 for 3 servings and they offered a tasting so that I could go in and try a few of the menu selections they were offering that month. I had the added bonus of having them prepare the meals for me for free which they will continue to do for 3 months after I give birth. I came home excited with my 12 meals, put them in the freezer and thought how convenient they would be to pull out of the freezer for a "quick" meal.

My husband does most of the cooking in the house, so I decided to do this more to have the ingredients for a meal in the house rather than the ease of preparing the food and it is a good thing because I don't see these meal as being any easier than preparing the food from scratch. For example, the first meal we defrosted was salmon with pineapple salsa. We grilled the fish per the instructions and then covered it in the provided sauce (which must have been adverse to freezing because the consistency was terrible). It would have been just as easy to grill a piece of fish and put our own sauce on it (and would have tasted much better as well!). And actually the theme in most of the meals in my freezer is 1) cook the meat 2) cover in sauce. It is "easy" but I think I was envisioning these pop in the oven casseroles where little effort was required. This has made me rethink doing this for any of my pregnant friends because it's just not that convenient - and so far I haven't been impressed with the flavor of foods. Other food prep places may be different, but from my experience I probably won't be doing it again.

On another note, one of my friends has greatly blessed my husband and I by creating a "meals binder" and has organized food for our family 3 nights a week for the entire month of May! She took the binder to my baby shower and to other friends and has coordinated everything. If someone needs to change their night, etc. they call her and reschedule. Now this is the way to have meals :).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Just Waiting...

Though there are still 10 days to go until my due date, we are getting antsy around here waiting for baby Madelyn to come. Her "bassinet" is ready, the car seat is installed, and our calendar is empty. I have a feeling it will be a long few days.

Looking at Pictures

One of Anna's favorite things to do these days is to look at pictures of family and friends on the computer or in a scrapbook. She points to people she recognizes and of course loudly exclaims "dada" every time her daddy is in the picture. A lady of three kids close in age told me she got really good at reading books with one hand while she nursed her infant. I have a feeling books and pictures will become a common activity during the day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


According to the doctor, Anna should say 3 to 7 words right now and that number should rapidly increase by her second birthday. I've had several conversations with friends about how much or little our kids are talking - some are spouting full sentences, some talk only in the quiet of their own home and others, like Anna, prefer to point and grunt. Despite Anna saying only a few words, I have no doubt that she is understanding most of what I say to her and loves to answer my yes and no questions. Her current vocabulary includes: 'dada', 'mama' (which lately has become more like 'bama'), 'ball', 'juz' (juice), 'dada' (the dog), 'woof', 'hi'. There are two words that Anna uses for more than one object, which the doctor assures me is fairly normal. To the common person, it would seem that Anna doesn't know the difference between her daddy and doggie, but if we say daddy and doggie back to her she points to the correct one. The other word is 'ball' which is used for both an actual ball and a balloon - though Anna only points to the balloon when you say the correct word to her.

With these simple everyday words "mastered" Anna decided last night that it was time to take on more difficult words. She is skipping right past saying 'mimi' and 'papa' (sorry grandparents!) and moving on to her new favorite word 'backpack'. So cute.

We've also experimented a little with baby sign language. I did it when Anna was very young and then got burnt out and stopped since she wasn't old enough to do it back. She now has the "more" sign down pat. More cheerios? "more"; Do the puzzle again? "more"; and of course long after we are tired from bouncing her in our lap or flipping her upside down, "more". Anna's other sign is "all done" which we use at the end of mealtime.

It makes the day more fun to be able to carry on a conversation with my darling little Anna and before I know it I'm sure she will be quite the chatterbox.

Monday, April 14, 2008

2 Week Checkup

Lately I feel like I am always at the doctor for checkups. Today's appointment went much better. I was able to confirm with the doctor that though the baby is small, she is still healthy and within the acceptable range of growth (the range goes from 10% to 90% and the baby is at 17.8%). What a blessing! Now we just wait and finish up a few last to do's around the house.

New Accessories

At last, Anna is wearing a hairbow! Over the weekend we went to Burlington and Anna fell in love with the hairbows at the children's shop where my mom works. We finally made it out of the store with only two in our possession. It is so fun to watch her pat her head to let us know she wants the bow in her hair and it makes her look so grown up.

Anna, looking so old

We also got Anna a pair of sunglasses over the weekend - big shades are in :). She loves to wear them in the car to keep the sun out of her eyes. What a big girl she has become!

Anna in her shades

Sunday, April 13, 2008

18 Month Checkup

Anna had her 18 month checkup today. I always enjoy going to see how much Anna has grown since the last visit and to get advice from our favorite doctor. For the first time Anna got to step up on the big girl scale rather than sitting on the baby scale and she got to stand for her height to be measured. Anna also received her Hepatitis A vaccine with a followup to come at her two year appointment.

Weight: 28.5 pounds (94%)
Height: 31.75 inches (60%)
Head: 49 centimeters (97%)

The questions I had this time focused on:

- Getting rid of the pacifier: He recommended that I wait no more than 2 months after the baby is born so that I don't wait until Anna is two years old. The doctor said it just takes a day - - I imagine a very fussy day and a very long night. I don't know why I'm dreading it so much, probably because it is a security net for me when we are out and about.

- Discipline: The doctor said the main discipline issue I need to address is if she shows aggression toward someone. He recommends a minute of timeout per year of age and suggests that no emotion go into it -to simply put her in a specific chair in another room. We have not tried timeout in awhile, hopefully Anna's behavior won't warrant it anytime soon.

- Helping Anna adjust to the new baby: Because Anna is so young, she doesn't understand that she will soon have a baby sister. The doctor recommends that each day I carve out 10 minutes of just Anna and I time to "recharge her batteries". I am a little nervous as to how Anna will react with my husband and I carrying around a little baby - especially after she melted down at church today when my husband picked up one of our friend's little girls. Only time will tell :).

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Spring Fever

It's 72 degrees - the sun is shining, the birds are singing and there is a layer of yellow pollen all over the ground - spring has sprung! Everyone wants to be outside and Anna's playground was finished just in time. We spend HOURS outside each day (I now have a bench in the play area so that I can sit and watch Anna in action) and have been able to have numerous neighborhood friends over to play as well. We are all sleeping better at night from all the activity, including Cassie.

Anna sliding down the slide wth Mommy watching

Cassie stuck on top of the payplace

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Ultrasound Update

I had my ultrasound this morning and I'm still not exactly sure how to interpret the results. I guess the bottom line is that her heartbeat is good and she's moving all around which are good vital signs. From the ultrasound they could tell that the baby's growth has slowed putting her down in the 18th percentile at a weight of 5 pounds 13 ounces. The ultrasound tech didn't mention any odd measurements except commenting that her belly was measuring small - so I'm guessing everything was where it needed to be. She showed one of the doctors the results and they both felt comfortable to go ahead and send me home until my appointment next week so my assumption is that they would have let me know if anything was wrong.

While I'm eager to meet the newest member of our family, I also want her to grow as much as possible over the next few weeks - so I no longer wish her to make a speedy appearance. As a mom I want so badly to be able to help her gain weight, though the doctors say there isn't anything I can do. It's God who will grow her to the perfect size :).

Monday, April 7, 2008

3 Week Checkup

Today was my weekly checkup and I must say I'm a little frustrated. After working so hard to put on a few pounds (i.e. eating chocolate milkshakes), my weight was down from where I was last week and my measurements were "small" (he didn't give me an exact number). My frustration comes for two reasons. #1: the weight isn't sticking and #2: since I see a different doctor every week, I go from week to week with some doctors being concerned and others not, so it feels a little like a roller coaster ride. I have an ultrasound scheduled for the morning so that they can take another look at what's going on with the baby despite what's going on externally with me. I am happy to say that the baby's heartbeat is still strong and she is DEFINITELY very active - it feels like she is making plenty of room for herself. More updates tomorrow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Anna's Playground

My husband has been working hard to section off an area of our yard to create a play area for Anna. You can follow the progress on his blog.

Anna heading down the slide in her new play area

The play equipment we bought after doing a lot of research is the Step 2 Naturally Playful Woodland Climber. Anna absolutely loves it. She is able to climb up the ladder to the slide by herself and I feel comfortable with her up on the platform. If she was to fall, we have cushy playground mulch around the area to hopefully cushion the ground a little.

Anna peering through the portal on top of her playset

Hopefully the weather will get nicer soon so that we can spend more time out on the playground.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Nighttime Woes

Ever since we got back from Florida Anna has had a hard time going to be at night. At nap time she goes right down but at night she has started to cry when she sees we are getting ready to put her to bed.

Monday night: This was the longest it has taken Anna to get to sleep in a long time at an hour and a half. When Anna was younger we would let her cry herself to sleep but now things seem different - I don't know if I have become a sucker or what. I now truly feel that if Anna is tired she will go right to sleep and there is little that can be done to keep her awake. But if she is screaming and won't lay down I feel something must be wrong. After an hour of going in and out of her room reading books and trying to get her to lay down, she propped herself up against the side railing of her crib, standing, and started dozing. Whenever I would try to lay her down or leave the room she would scream, but as long as I was standing there and she was standing, she would sleep - bizarre! I don't know if it was ears, teeth, belly ache, or no physical reason at all. I rubbed her cheek with her blankie and eventually she was laying down asleep - only to wake up 4 times during the night and be completely ready to get up for the day at 6:40 am.

Tuesday night: Once again we spent an hour going in and out of Anna's room reading her books and trying to get her to lay down. After an hour we let her cry for a little longer and she was asleep within 20 minutes. Have I gone back on what I thought the previous night now that I know Anna just doesn't want to go to sleep? Perhaps. I just hope we get back into a normal routine by the time the baby comes!

Wednesday night: I read Anna 4 books and at the end of the 4th book she started screaming because she realized there were no more books to read and she was going to next be put in her crib. Tonight we let her cry and she was asleep in 30 minutes.

Thursday night: I read Anna 4 books again tonight and waited for the fuss when we were done - tonight there was no fuss. I laid her down in her crib and she never budged. I wish she could tell me if something was different the previous nights. I'll keep my fingers crossed that tomorrow night will go as well.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Bump Expanded Edition

Now that the bump is starting to get in the way of some everyday activities I thought I would take one more picture.

Here are some things that I find it harder to do with a baby belly:

- Hug my husband
- Read to Anna
- Lay Anna down in her crib
- Wash dishes
- Get items down from the top of a cabinet
- Go down the playground slide (ok, so maybe I shouldn't be doing this anyway)

I guess it could be worse; I have a former coworker who was unable to drive because she had to push the seat so far back!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Indoor Play

Here are some pictures a friend of mine sent me from an hour we spent at the play area at the local mall with Anna.

Indoor Play at the Mall Indoor Play at the Mall Indoor Play at the Mall

Note to self: DON'T go to the mall during school Spring Break when the weather has been yucky!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stroller Anonymous

I think I'm obsessed with strollers. Everywhere I go I look at what other people are pushing around and I love to look at them online and read reviews. Well.... we have now purchased two double strollers and since we only have one child at the moment, I think I need to stop looking :). Of course I haven't used either stroller yet so I can't comment on them too much, but I look forward to finding out if they are truly as great as the reviews say. We purchased:

BOB Revolution Duallie: Here's Anna trying it out with her doll. I have pushed Anna around the house in the stroller and it actually goes through all of our doorways. The stroller also folds up amazingly well for a jogging stroller though it is a little awkward to carry. We also purchased the car seat adapter which will allow us to put a car seat into the stroller so that it can be used from birth. This stroller we found for $100 off online, so it's worth doing your research.

Maclaren Twin Techno: This umbrella stroller was our second purchase and we think it will be a great addition in places the jogger is not appropriate. According to the specs, it can be used from birth as well since it fully reclines and comes with infant head rests. Once again - we'll have to wait and see if the reviews turn out to be true. We were able to find a good deal on this stroller by buying last years model (2007) online.

That brings our total stroller count up to 5 for the household, my garage looks like a stroller parade!