Monday, December 27, 2010

Pregnancy Insomnia... one of the joys

And so it begins... again. Early on in pregnancy I had sleep troubles which was an adjustment for a bit. I've always been a heavy sleeper, though because of the jobs I had in college I've been very good at being woken up in the night and being tired and still functioning fine (this will serve me well in the future as a mom) And working at the birth center certainly keeps me nicely conditioned. But then I had a second trimester full of deep sleep (still waking up tired), not waking up to pee until morning etc. which I happily welcomed. It seems those days are over. I am back to waking up, and now the real treat is, I can't fall back asleep! This morning I made it until 5:00 which is great, and then I tried reading, relaxing, and other techniques to fall asleep for the next hour... but no luck. So here I am at 6:30 and doing something semi useful with my time. I got excited that I had hit an appropriate breakfast hour so I couldn't even relax in bed anymore, I was in the cereal cabinet in no time at all. Maybe this will be the start of a new productive time for me, we'll see! I'm thinking after I write a bit I may have time to clean the downstairs quickly before going up to get ready for work.
The rest of the long weekend was lovely up here. No snow fall, but the snow remains all around us, and the cold has felt very refreshing. The best part is, I've come out two days in a row and my car has been perfectly clear in no need of scraping. Perfect! Christmas was wonderful, and we had no babies on the day so everyone was able to enjoy Christmas. Christmas at the birth center would have been wonderful too and I'm always happy to be called in, but it was nice to follow the plan we were sort of hoping for. I woke up Christmas morning and Eric made me french toast (not part of the plan but instead a lovely surprise). I claimed I wanted one piece and one piece only, but that of course did not happen and I stuffed myself on the deliciousness. I chatted with Kate, chatted with Rach, and then we opened gifts at our house. Eric got me the most wonderful bag that I have been wanting for over a year. I found it on ebay last month and after my first ebay bidding experience-- more of a bidding battle, I won and bought the bag while Eric watched the scene I was making at the computer. I think he is hoping I won't become an ebay regular after that. I made the house fall quiet while I tried to outbid everyone in the last 6 seconds... I then proceeded to do a happy dance and I tracked that package every day thereafter. Finally now it is here, and I never thought I'd be so excited about a bag. Those of you that have seen me often for the past 3 and a half years know my wonderful tote bag that I have used. It was $12 and recycled and wonderfully perfect, but it now has holes from all of the love I (and my 13 pounds of crap I haul around) have given it over the years. So it is retired for the time being and I'm surprisingly excited to have something different. I was also surprised with a pair of brown leather keen boots that I saw at REI and loved. I have wanted some new boots for a very long time and I'm so excited to have them! Mom was happy when I showed her on skype, to see that they are flat... so hopefully no more slipping pregnant lady. Although I can't make any promises as far as that goes, because I do recall the woman in the REI shoe department telling me that those boots are slick even indoors... and she's not kidding. I put them on in the house and pranced about for a bit, and sure enough slid on the carpet and spilled Eric's coffee on the floor. In my opinion the coffee shouldn't have been there :) but I guess I'll be wearing yak tracks with these boots as well! We have carpet at work so I hope I don't slip there. I also got a set of 5lb weights so I can do some of my exercises at home, earrings, and David bought me something fabulous and useful. It's an ivory hat that has earflaps that are actually a scarf-- does that makes sense? The sides of the hat extend down far enough to go around your neck as a scarf. It's really neat and will be great for going out because sometimes I forget a scarf and then regret it when my nose starts to freeze off. Denny bought me some funky and very cozy gloves and earrings that I love, and I felt at home when opening the stocking mom sent me. I'm so excited to try all of the things that came in there! I threw laundry in the machine right away and tried out my new dryer balls :)
I surprised Eric with cross country skis, which he has been wanting so badly and he was able to take those for a long ride during the afternoon. I'm very happy he's so excited about them.
Last night we spent a few hours at one of the midwives' house, Barbara, with her husband, her daughter/my friend/coworker Claire and Claire's boyfriend Mike. We were fed the most delicious dinner of salad and cioppino (tomato based soup filled with seafood-- mmm!) We then had dessert and chatted for a long time and then decided Barb should feel which way our little baby is facing because he is no longer sitting breech (yay!) we could feel his little tush but it was hard to tell where his head was, so we are thinking he must have turned head down like a good boy, but we decided we'll take a little peek this morning on u/s at work.
As far as our little Henry goes, he seems to be doing very well! They are guessing he's about 2 pounds now, and I feel him every day though he seems to be a calm boy for now. I feel him rolling around bed time, and when I wake up, and if he is truly head down then I am feeling his hands tickle under my waist band every day. I haven't been getting the usual kicks under the waistband, but it feels like a tickling/squirm so we think he is doing that with his hands. He doesn't seem to love the band of my pants but there isn't much I can do about that. I'll probably continue to wear pants for the duration of this pregnancy :) Mostly I feel his tush push out and then some little kicks on my right side.
We are in the last week of the second trimester, next week we reach the home stretch! I'm anticipating many new changes and looking forward to them (minus the less fun ones but those are part of the process) I was happy today to look at my legs and see my ankles looking normal. I should just only look at my legs in the morning, 5 am is a great time for them as opposed to late afternoon when it looks like I have consumed my weight in salt that day.
Well, I have 15 minutes until my alarm goes off which is just enough time to do a quick sweep of the downstairs... it's amazing, I JUST deep cleaned this place. You would never know by looking 2 days later.
Happy Monday to all, let's hope the day goes quickly for everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hello all! Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate it, I'm having a pretty cozy one so far. More about that later, first of all I have some backtracking to do! Not that I have such overly exciting things to do, but there is something unsettling about leaving things out so I feel like I should cover the last few weeks. The past few have gone by pretty quickly... My guess is because Eric and I were able to get away for a few days last weekend, and also because between then and now I have done 4 births and that makes the weeks very busy. They make for long days, but when you sit at the end of the week and think back I can hardly find where the time went. I feel very very lucky to have gotten the births and now is the big question-- usually I like to put birth money towards big things like buying tickets home. I have been planning to make one last trip home in January before I our little man comes in the spring, because I want to see the family and meet my new niece who will be here soon! I'm having trouble deciding if I should go however. I would still really like to but I know it will be a long few flights for a short few days while I'm 31-32 weeks pregnant and swollen. It's still really important to me thought, that I see everyone and meet this new person, so I hope it works out. It's amazing how fast everything is changing, and in such exciting ways that every day I look forward to the next exciting moment and stage, but sometimes I wish I could have a tad bit of extra time to do some things like go visit home!
So my wonderful husband planned a weekend trip for us as a birthday gift to me, and since my work Christmas party (which was extremely fun!) was the weekend after my birthday, we had to go another weekend so that ended up being last weekend! We went to Girdwood, AK which is about 45 minutes away from here. It is nice and close, and somewhere we've passed through many times but we have never really explored the area. It's a small town, and a ski town so it's easy to explore the whole thing in not much time, but that makes it extremely relaxing. And it is so very beautiful! I tell you, when I picture living life in Alaska, Anchorage is really not what thrills me. But the minute you get out of Anchorage, even 5 minutes down the highway, everything changes into the beautiful place it is. The drive was gorgeous, we drive along the coast the whole way, surrounded by mountains. On the left people are ice climbing on the side of the road, and on the right is the ocean covered in ice chunks with snow covered mountains alongside. Really not a drive to complain about so we were off to a very good start! When we got to Girdwood, we stopped at a little restaurant right next to the skiing action so we could see them come down the hill, and the brunch was delicious! I most mostly in awe of the space-- it was a large house and the seating area is in the large 4 season porch area. Huge windows that let all of the light in, surrounded by snowy trees, and it was really beautiful inside. I kept telling Eric I want a house with a room like that!! It was then that I decided, (though I've thought of it before) that when we get our new couch set I want to turn one so that it faces out our back window. We have an interesting layout where there is only one windown downstairs and it goes straight to the back yard. I personally like to see out onto the street but even so, I just want to be able to sit and look outside so we will be doing this soon I hope :)
After brunch we walked into an adorable shop that had fun jewelry, clothes, little knick knacks, and baby things. We bought Henry a little onesie that seemed perfect because it reminded us of Iowa. And though this babe is going to be born in Alaska, he'll still be a little Iowan. It's a onesie with a big ear of corn on it. I'm sure that will seem a lot cuter when you see the photo of him wearing it, but really it is very cute. Eric bought me a really great hoodie as another birthday gift (feeling spoiled). It was so comfy, and FIT me! A really unique dark redish color, and on the back there are white dandelion prints going across the back. Hard to explain, but it's really lovely and it kept me so warm. We then went to the "downtown" which is one street that took us about 5 minutes to get from one end to the other. I love towns like that! We stopped in the coffee shop where a little group was playing music and we sat there relaxing for a couple of hours. I told Eric while we were there, that it's funny we feel like we don't have time to do that kind of thing anymore. We used to go to coffee all of the time together when we were dating, and now we rarely do... It's funny because we still could but it sometimes takes getting out of town to really feel like you have free time, even if you could make some while at home. It felt great, and we were entertained the whole time by a fluffy 4 month old puppy named Joe. It was easy to tell he spends the day with his person at the coffee shop every day because this 4 month old can put on an entire show of tricks. Very impressive. The man making our coffee told us they have a lot of time on their hands :)
We then checked into the bed and breakfast which was amazing. So beautiful, comfy, perfect, and we'll definitely be back there. To Mom and Denny and Mike and Ruth: I think you guys would REALLY enjoy it and I would strongly encourage you each to spend a night there sometime during your visit up here in the spring!
We had dinner at a restaurant called the Double Musky which is famous nationwide for their huge steaks. Huge indeed-- we at 16 ounce steaks at this place which were amazing. Every night of the week the restaurant is STUFFED full, both in bellies and in overall space. It's hard to even walk in there it's so busy, but so worth it. We spent the rest of the night watching movies and being cozy, and then enjoyed the wonderful breakfast and company of the owners at the bed and breakfast the next morning. Back to Anchorage, and we went straight to pick up the nursery furniture that had come in!
Eric wasted NO time putting it together, so it was done a few hours later. Over this last week the painting has also taken place as we decided to change the color of the room from yellow to a nice latte color with one green wall. So it's starting to take shape, but there is a lot of work yet to be done.
We ordered this wonderful wall decal that is a tree with an owl sitting on it--brown and green. It's perfect! I ordered it on Etsy of course, because I am thoroughly obsessed with that website and have been a little "etsy happy" recently. It came quickly and yesterday we put it on and it looks fabulous I think!
That essentially brings us to today-- it's been a busy week of trying to get Christmas shopping and such finished. We are going all out with Christmas together this year, I'm not sure how that happened but it looks like Santa hit our house with gifts. Usually that isn't how it goes, but I think it's just a special year for us and I like to justify it by saying that in the following years it will be about our little guy so this year we're spoiled.
It was so lovely to be able to sleep in today on Christmas Eve, not that I really slept in that much... I hopped out of bed at 8:30 to get ready, and Eric and I headed out for some last minute things, a trip to the grocery store etc. I had planned to put away laundry then, but instead I fell asleep for over an hour which was lovely! We spent the evening at the UU service, then came home for some homemade soup. Bekah/Ted made oyster stew, and Eric/I made cream of chicken and wild rice soup. I tried to replicate the Panera soup, but this was a little funkier. Still very good though! Eric and I took Finn on a walk afterwards which was chilly to be sure, but felt so good. I really like to get a walk in each day, but it's harder to keep that motivation when it's bitterly cold out. We had to get out one of Finn's "christmas presents" early... His feet have been getting really cold when we go out and walk on ice, and sometimes he gets balls of snow caught in his pads so I bought him booties. Of course this led to the funniest walk I have ever seen in my life which gave me a great laugh, but he caught on soon and didn't mind them at all. It's funny, it's as if the minute something warm and cozy, however unusual, touches his feet his limbs no longer work. He was walking on three legs with one back one hiked way way up, and then was wobbling the front two all over the place and he just looked plain ridiculous. But look now, he's a natural in his booties! We are home now, I'm comfy in my sweats and my big slouchy grandpa sweater :) Another thing I got during the birthday weekend. I wear a lot of slouchy sweaters usually but now that I have a belly my big sweatshirts are like spandex on me so I bought a maternity one and it looks just like something I would have before, but now it fits! Long thigh length brown sweater with toggles, I love it!
(These last 3 pictures are from tonight), I like the last one because Eric's mustache froze on our walk.
I'm thinking I'll go put the laundry away and head to bed, I just now realized it's already 11pm and I go on call at 6am... I would love another birth this weekend but I'm hoping for Sunday because I really don't want to miss Christmas! Whatever you do this weekend, I hope everyone is safe and happy.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Birth, Guitars, and every day things!

I have tried multiple times to learn to play acoustic guitar... never once has it worked for longer than 2 days when I forget the chords I've learned all over again. This time, I am determined to learn, and I'm going to make that my project over the next 3 months until there's a little man in my life and there is less time for guitar playing! I want to learn how to strum which I'm horribly terrible at, and I want to learn a few songs by my three very favorite artists-- Brandi Carlile, Jeffrey Foucault, and John Gorka. Good thing I like slow mellow music because I can already tell you, I slow down even those songs about twice as much. At least.

Tonight Dad and I skyped for about an hour, and we both tinkered on the guitar and listened to music and I'm feeling inspired to try again! Eric, David and I played a few songs after that and after looking online I realized I really could learn to play some of my favorites, and that would make me extremely happy. So here I go!

My weekend turned out to be entirely unproductive. I made crappy pancakes because we had 2/3 of the ingredients and in a sleepy stupor I decided it would be a good idea to try making them anyway. Ew . I watched movies instead of doing laundry, but it felt nice. Eric and I took a trip to Blockbuster on Friday night, and watched a movie that night, and then Sunday we woke up and had coffee and watched a movie together. I don't know when the last time we had time to do that was, and it was great. Saturday I dusted off the cross country skis and headed out with some friends from work, Felicity, Sarah, her daughter Maddie, and Kasey. It was so rejuvinating! So Sunday we headed out again and this time brought the dogs which was extremely fun, and we went about twice as long so I got a really good workout in . I love the feeling of skiing even though I'm not an efficient skiier by any means. It will be a regular weekend activity, as I don't like to go out alone in the dark and it's dark well before I get off work. On the weekends, we caught the daylight and went during sunset around 3:30-- beautiful . Another fun activity of the weekend was going to an Irish pub to listen to a blue grass band play. My friend Kasey's boyfriend plays the bass in the band, and it was great music and great fun. I ate my share of delicious snacks which made it easier to stay out past midnight-- I was quite proud! Midnight used to be nothing for me, but now I start craving bed around 9... There are nights like tonight where I fell asleep on the couch before 9, but I bounced back and woke up for a walk with Finn and Eric and then here I am, still awake! (Not for long)
While we were skiing yesterday, I got a call saying that our nurse/friend Jen was in labor. We have been waiting for her little girl named Story to arrive, and knew she'd be here soon!

I rushed off the trail and to the birth center, and it was a beautiful night. She had quite a few of us from work there, which was different and fun. She did beyond a wonderful job, and brought a very small and gorgeous little girl into the world! Jen is a childbirth instructor as well as a nurse, she has tought hypnobirthing and now teaches birthing from within, and I knew she'd handle the experience gracefully. She sure did and it was wonderful to be a part of. We were up late, and back to work early in the morning so I am exhausted, and on that note I'll head to bed now.

Have a wonderful Tuesday. It's trash/recycling day here, always exciting! :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful Stepdad, Denny.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Non Working Friday!

I really shouldn't act so excited, like it's been oh so long since I've had a day off. With the holiday week being a week behind us, it really hasn't been that long. But who doesn't love a day off!
I work M-Th and every other Friday, and so today is one of those Fridays where ideally I get some things done. So far, I have accomplished snoozing in bed a bit longer, then thinking of getting up, and deciding not to... Then I came down for some cereal and strawberries, watched a show and pet Finn for a while, and here I am. So far, obviously a productive day. On the agenda for the day, laundry, cleaning the house, lunch with Eric, and I may go look for some paint colors, followed by a trip to the dog park. We want to paint the stairwell, laundry room and Eric and I are going to paint our bathroom. There are constant house projects in the works, which I love. Eric and David put new kitchen flooring in which is great, and we are going to do that in the laundry room, as well as our entryway. Eric and I found a new living room set last week, so we may order that in the next couple of weeks. VERY exciting, as our current couch just must go. It's not in the greatest shape, and we're trying to make changes for a comfier cleaner nicer place before baby Lindeen gets here.
We picked nursery furniture, and that will be ordered Monday. Such exciting changes, it feels great to get moving on a few of these things. Rachel is our designer from afar, so she'll be helping us to find some curtains and other things and we'll get this little man's room rolling .
Yesterday we had a baby shower at work for our nurse Jen, who is officially term today! She'll be having a little girl any time now :) Eric's work Christmas party was also last night, and it was actually really enjoyable, and I was able to find a dress that fit, so that worked out nicely.
Off to make myself productive, let's hope I get some things done today!