Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's been a good week.

Most definitely a good week. It started off with a birth trifecta, which is rare at the birth center. We had 3 women all dancing around the idea of going into labor, and then they ended up all being at the birth center in active labor at the very same time. I went on call half way through this, so I attended one birth in the afternoon and stayed well into the night waiting for the next. I got home around 5:00am (I think this was on Tuesday to Wed) so Wednesday I was a tired lady. However, we had fun things planned at work for one of my coworker's 40th birthday. We had an office meeting combined with a surprise birthday party, cake, decorations, etc.That night, one of the not so pleasant moments ocurred. It was the middle of the night and I was up for one of my 234 bathroom trips. I try to keep my eyes closed and the lights off so I can stay asleep... but I think this next part proves our need for a night light. Not only does it take a full two minutes for me to find my way across our bedroom to the bathroom without tripping, I go in expecting to have to lift the toilet seat because I always keep it closed. Well someone in our house apparently doesn't always keep it closed because I reached down for the seat and ended up dunking my hand in the toilet. Gross. NOT my favorite place to wash my hands. I stumble to the sink to wash them, and since I can't see a thing (my night vision is horrid!) I grab onto our tootbrushes rather than the soap. EW. I had to then locate new toothbrushes fearing that I'd forget to do it in the morning and someone would be brushing with toilet water. Ugh. Definitely time for a night light. Especially since I'll be up in the night with a baby soon, I can't be stumbling around like this.
Thursday Eric and I went to a breastfeeding class taught by my friend Sarah, breast/lactation extraordinaire. It was very informative, and a lot of fun. I'm very confident there will be no breastfeeding problems around here as long as she's around!
Friday was absolutely wonderful. Such a special day. I had a couple of hours at work (not the special part) and then went to my baby shower! It was unbelieveable, how much work went into this shower. My friend Jen also planned a blessingway ceremony as part of it, so we had a great mix of that and baby shower games and such. There was delicious food, and a beautiful cake...
For those who don't know what a blessingway ceremony is, I will tell you what I know. A group of women get together and it's just another form of baby shower. Whoever is running it (Jen) makes a beautiful box for the pregnant woman, and inside it everyone there places a candle, and a card with a piece of mother wisdom, advice, a hope etc. The candle is for me to burn while in labor as a reminder of all the women who are supporting me. I then gave them each one as well to burn if they're in a place where they can when I'm in labor.
They also brought 2 beads, one for me and one for Henry, and went around telling me why they picked that specific bead. Jen gave me wire to make the beads into a bracelet as another reminder. Essentially, they provide tons of support and reminders of that, and then we all told our favorite birth stories which is really fun to hear from a bunch of women who have had so much experience with birth.
I was given tons of wonderful gifts for Henry. It was completely overwhelming and I'm so thankful! We got a breastpump, a stroller, a sling, so many great books which is wonderful since we didn't have any, some finger puppets, outfits, bottles from a game we played, etc.
Speaking of the games, they were so clever, and so much fun. We played pin the sperm on the egg, which was creative if you ask me! Felicity had this large box, and being a midwife she was sure to include all of the necessary parts including a felt vagina in the front. Have to be anatomically correct! :) Inside the box she had drawn an egg, ovaries, tubes, the whole shabang... So you had to reach your hand in the hole, and pin your little paper sperm somewhere on the back of the box. When we were done, she cut the box open to see who had won, and this is how that turned out...essentially no one's little swimmers had a very good sence of direction.
We used baby bottles and filled them to see who could drink the bottle the fastest. I think I made the mistake of putting milk in mine, because everyone who drank water drained the bottle MUCH quicker. It was a little surprising how hard it really is to drink from a bottle. I'm thankful that I take my liquids from a glass now a day. Or I may thirst to death.
We did a babyfood tasting, where we had a list of flavors, and then we passed around jars trying to guess what flavor they were. The first one happened to be one that made everyone nearly gag, but luckily the rest were not quite as bad. We also played a game of questions that led everyone to dropping coins in a piggy bank for Henry, it was all so clever and such fun. I love my friends! Eric and I found ourselves up late that night sitting in Henry's room (Finn too) just soaking it all in and chatting about this little one who will be on his way soon.
We had another birth class yesterday (next week will be our last) and then I finally got to the dog park again. The sun was shining so I wanted to get out, but the wind was brutal and cold. My legs were raspberry colored by the end of the walk, but it felt nice to get out and move, and Finn certainly appreciated it.
David and his girlfriend brought a giant fruit pizza to our house last night and Bekah, Ted and the kids came over to share. It was so delicious, I forgot to eat dinner.
So that brings us to today, and today is a day for housework around here! Eric has been painting the downstairs laundry room/bathroom, and I have been painting the guest room upstairs since Eric's parents will be here this week, followed by mine!
For anyone who read the post about the kitchen paint screw up, it's funny because we found that when we opened the paint we bought months ago for the laundry room, it was essentially the exact color we had been wanting for the kitchen. Who knew we already had it in the garage. Oh well! I'm loving the new colors going up on the wall, I think fresh coat of paint just changes everything.
We are now 36 weeks along... hard to believe. One week from now I'm considered within range to deliver, so the waiting game begins. I'm trying to let go of all expectations so that Henry and my body can just decide when they are ready for what's ahead, and I'll just wait for the surprise. This is not easily done. I just want to know what day it's going to be, how it will go, etc.
I've been feeling well, though I'm definitely feeling the changes. I'm so very tired, and my hips have been very sore this last week. I've noticed more frequent braxton hicks contractions (I've had noticable ones for half the pregnancy, they just are now starting to make their presense more obvious) I need to start stretching again, getting back to my long walks when I can, and most importantly I need to remind myself to rest. Because this is something I don't always make time for, but swollen legs and aching back just beg for it by the end of the day.
I have started drinking a few cups of red raspberry leaf tea each day, which is supposedly meant to help tone the uterus, therefore making labor easier, and help your uterus behave after delivery. I don't know if there is any truth to it at all, there are so many factors that it's impossible to know if tea helps or not. But I figure it sure can't hurt to try, so that's something I'm doing.
Off to do a second coat of paint (no worries, we are using the no VOC paint) and then hopefully we can get out for a park trip with the furry one!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Hello Monday

Another sleepy week has started, this time with me sleeping through my alarm. Hopefully I don't make a habit of that! Our nights have been late, which I suppose we should get used to. Tonight I have more motivation to get things done and hop into bed at a good hour. My body is tired.
Being productive tonight means stopping at the store on the way home, driving back to work because I can't be without my water bottle and I forgot it. Getting home, cooking dinner, watching our shows while relaxing for a bit, and then cooking round 2 so that I have lunch for the rest of the week. I have managed to accomplish those things, although of course I had hoped to fold laundry, scrub floors etc. I have unloaded and loaded the dishwasher twice, so that's something, right?
Our house smells of sesame which makes me very excited for lunch. I've been meaning to make my broccoli/tofu for a few days and it's finally happened.
The weekend ended in a nice way for us-- we decided yesterday evening after a nap that we wanted to go out and do something together. After all, we only have a couple more weeks to be just the two of us--and it'll never be the two of us again. In two weeks Eric's parents get here, followed by our SON, followed by my Mom and Den... So very exciting, but that gives us two weeks to get some dates in. Eric looked up movie times and we decided we'd take off for the 8:45 showing. We get up and head out, go to the theatre and walk inside, only to find that he had mixed up the movie times and the movie we wanted to see had started at 7:25. Woopsies. So we headed back to the car and our date only went as far as the parking lot and back. Ah, the romance. At least we held hands on the 60 second walk.
Actually, we went to Blockbuster and rented the social network, and we watched it in the comfort of home with Finn boy and bowls of vanilla bean ice cream with strawberries. It's a good sign if dates at home feel just as good I think.
Eric had made a quesadilla with gree chilles in it for dinner, and I ate a slice of it... a tad spicy, but just right. Sweet baby must take after his Daddy because he was hyped up on the spice. He was so so very active and just rolling and squirming all about. He's big enough that when he moves like that he makes quite a presence... Not the small "oh I can feel the baby how sweet" movements. It's like the "holy cow he just stomped on my privates" kind of movement.
Give this boy a spicy quesadilla and watch him go!
We also had our maternity photos yesterday which I hope went well. I'm looking forward to seeing what they look like in the next few weeks. I know the puffy face was at its fullest, but perhaps it's time I embrace it because luckily it should be gone soon. The good news is I had bought a new concealer this weekend for my sleepy eyes-- and it's one I would reccommend! It's by M.A.C.--prolong wear. The woman at the counter said since I'm tired now (and I think it's safe to assume I will be for the rest of my natural life) that the long lasting concealer was the way to go. I certainly don't have the time or desire to be reapplying makeup in the middle of the day. So it's working out so far.
I wasn't feeling the best this morning at work, but luckily that resolved. A bit of time and water helped-- I think I was just exhausted. Before work I was perfectly happy, as I came downstairs to have breakfast, logged on to facebook and was greeted with new pictures Rachel had added of all the nieces/nephew at the zoo last week. Can you believe it? The ZOO in February... Iowa has the weirdest sense of humor when it comes to weather. The pictures were so precious (no surprise) and I just obsess over the pictures of Syd, Macy, True and Emerson. They are just impossibly cute. They are the tickles in my belly must show the whole world kind of cute, so you get the idea. I think everyone at work would have no problem identifying any one of these children if they saw them randomly on the street because I have showed off so many photos. It was hard to be at work because Eric had the day off, and he spent it doing things I would love to do. Yesterday was overcast, so we didn't make it back to the beach/point to walk about again. But today he was able to go take Finn to the park and then to the point for more ice walking. Essentially he got to do everything I have been craving. I was sad to be stuck inside, but am very glad they got the day to play.

Thinking of our Monday routine of dinner while watching the Bachelor kept me surprisingly excited through the day. I know I know, the Bachelor is kind of an embarassing addiction, and yes I realize it's a trashy television show. But in the interest of not hiding my shameful secrets, I love to watch it. It's just one of those things.

It's 10:10 and this mama is ready for some sleep.
I'll tell you a can't-go-wrong recipe for a good dinner before I go--
Wheel of brie cheese (I like to say round of cheese but Kate tells me it's obviously a WHEEL)
Enough said. Delicious. Gourmet. Can make it myself.

Sweet dreams to all.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Don't shove your feet where they don't fit...

That's my advice for the week. Some brilliant and not so brilliant things took place at work this week. Maybe not exciting to anyone else, but surely exciting for me so I think I'll share! As I think I've made clear, getting dressed in the morning is becoming more difficult, more frustrating, and yes. It can create very grumpy moods and perhaps bring on a tear or two. Well I decided I just couldn't handle finding some ugly pair of maternity pants that I wear to work, and wasn't in the mood to squeeze myself into some ill-fitting non maternity outfit. Just one of those mornings where I couldn't deal with it. I decided to be daring and sport my prana yoga pants to work, hoping no one would notice if I wore a really cute tunic with it. So on went the brown pranas. I figured that if I was going to wear yoga pants, I should try to step it up a notch and wear better shoes than the duck-like birkenstocks I've been sporting the last month because of swollen feet. I thought what the heck, one day of the danskos won't hurt. WRONG. Let me say it again, do not shove your feet into places (such as shoes) that they don't fit into. They hurt to put on to begin with, so I suppose that should have been my first sign that I shouldn't wear them. But who listens to that rational little voice? I wore them anyway. And by the time I got to work I had elephantitis of the foot which made for a very uncomfortable day. So that's the not so brilliant part, but the good news is that I couldn't keep the secret about my yoga pants so the moment I got to the office I went running up front to tell everyone "I wore yoga pants to work, don't judge me!!!!" and they all said they never would have known and that it was fine that I was wearing them. Great news, I have them in black too so we'll see if they ever catch me in work pants again. I do believe I was told by one of the midwives that I could start wearing slippers to work at 36 weeks. I have nice black wool slippers so you wouldn't be able to tell... but that seems like I may be pushing it a step too far. I'll at least keep wearing real shoes. I'm excited for some day soon when my feet fit into normal shoes again and I can pick whatever I want to wear.

Yesterday I enjoyed a productive day, of sweeping the floor that was dirty approximately .03 seconds after I finished cleaning. I then took off for a few hours of errands which I was proud of. I got shelves for Henry's room, some frames for his room, and some makeup. (Maybe that part wasn't productive per se, but it felt good). Today I got up early and went to aqua aerobics which felt lovely as always. Afterwards I rush to Starbucks and then head to work where we are taking our next childbirth class. I was almost to work today, and the 20 ounce coffee I was bringing to Eric decided at a red light (out of no where) to just topple off and fall all over my lap. Of course. Why wouldn't a huge burning hot coffee just fling from no where and land directly on my leg? It was drenched, smelled like stale coffee almost immediately and made a gross little pool on the bottom of my car. Eric and I decided since the sun was out and bright, we would enjoy the last hour before it went down so we headed to the beach near our house. It is deep with snow and a very interesting slushy texture where the saltwater has frozen. We walked along while the wind intensely smacked us in the face. It was hugely entertaining, and although freezing and hard to walk it was fun to be somewhere different and watch the sunset. Finn had a grand ole time too. We were wishing we had brought the camera, so if the sun shines tomorrow we will bring the camera there and take some photos.
It hit us on the drive, that these are the last few weeks of being pregnant with our first baby, and we need to get out and capture the moments! Tomorrow we have maternity photos at our house, but we want to capture just daily life in the last few weeks with this little one on the inside. I say it every time I write, but it's just wild that he's going to be here so soon. In a way it feels like I've been pregnant for so long and we are anxiously waiting for him to be here, but at the same time we wonder how I could possibly be this far already, and how could he possibly be here in as little as 2ish weeks?!
I don't think he'll be here that soon, but that is when we're "legal". This tyke will be fully baked at 37 weeks and we are safe to go into labor and deliver at the birth center any time after that. TWO WEEKS. How did that happen? It's just wild.
I have been chatting with Henry this week, telling him how I'll take care of him and do anything he needs. I am also asking that he comes in his own unique way but is kind to his Momma. I really want him to come at the birth center, and I want it to be a good experience. I'm so very confident in it happening, and I have vowed to do my part so I hope he does his and we can work together. I can think of nothing other than seeing him and meeting him. I'm craving it so badly.

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things- wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities."
-Eda J. Le Shan

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Many a Thought

I keep having a craving to write, and then the day goes to quickly and the next is here before I get a chance. So now here I am with plenty of thoughts to share, and wouldn't it be nice if it was delivered in some sort of organized fashion? Well, I can't promise that will happen, and in fact can almost assure that it won't, but oh well I'm sharing anyway.

I'll start with recent news. Tonight Eric and I had our last basic childbirth class. We have been going and enjoying it for 5 weeks and it's hard to believe we're done! Last Saturday we started another class called birthing from within, which is very different and I think a really great experience for us. All of the classes have kept us busy, along with visits to meet our pediatrician, prenatal visits, errands for home improvements and baby things, etc. We can hardly keep up but it's nice to have the weeks go fairly quickly. Last weekend Eric worked on the flooring, finishing up the edging which is wonderful. This weekend he'll finish that as well as change the lights in the upstairs bedrooms. Our poor pup Finn had a rough night on Saturday. Something happened to him in the back yard while he was out there with some other dogs and he came in with a deep gash in his side. Eric and I took him to the pet emergency center to have it looked at and they decided to give him a sedative and fix it up. They cleaned it out and put 5 staples in, and sent us on our way with painkillers and antibiotics. He was so so very out of it for the first night, he whined all night long so we were up most of the night with him. He was very confused from the meds. He's doing much better now, we are just laying low until his staples get taken out. He'll be so anxious to get back out and be active!

I had a bit of a painting disaster, but I painted none the less and therefore I think I was useful. Our kitchen has been this apple like green for the past year and a half... It was a very harsh, bright, yellowy green and although it was definitely a pop of color it was not the color we were hoping for. We wanted more of a blue/green, peaceful color. So we went and got paint, the swatch was perfect, the little sample was perfect... the paint? Not so perfect! I got the entire kitchen taped, started painting, stood on the counters trying to reach up to the ceiling (pretty impressive I think!) and the kitchen? Well, it's blue now. BLUE. Not peaceful green blue, just blue. At first I was extremely disappointed thinking we had a baby blue kitchen, but it's more of a gray/blue. It's calmer than the last color, but it's too cool now, and leaving us equally eager to repaint. So there is a bit of a disappointment. Before trying again, I'm going to get the upstairs bedroom painted and turned back into a bedroom before all of the parents get here next month! I'm actually really excited to work on the room. I should work on our room too but for some reason I just have no idea how to turn it into the vision in my head. This is what I have in mind, though I'm so so very bad at transferring ideas to reality in this way.

In the world of pregnancy, things are going well, but are always changing. I have noticed significant changes in the last week. For one, I'm looking noticably rounder, and I certainly feel it. When people ask me what it feels like to have a belly like this, I always reply that it feels surprisingly natural. Just a natural, comfortable extension of my body. This week it feels like more of an adjustment. I find it considerably heavier, and it feels more uncomfortable to walk around. It's official, I am huge. I have noticed my hips and low back finally starting to hurt again ( I had so enjoyed the break from that) and I feel the little love moving in different ways. In the last few nights he has started something new. When I sleep or rest on one side, he squirms and pokes at the side that is flat against the bed. If I turn to the other side thinking oh he doesn't want that side squished, he just starts doing it on that side as well. Odd sensation to get used to. I feel lucky for every movement of his that I feel though, so I remind myself of that.

Speaking of things I'm lucky for, I have been spending some time reminding myself of the things I'm thankful for during the end of this pregnancy. I have had such a smooth pregnancy, and a very very calm baby. I have never felt pain while he's moving. Discomfort here and there, but I love the way the movements feel, and I always smile when I feel him because while he kicks here and there, most of his movements are slow fluid stretches and rolling, and I love them. A most WONDERFUL husband, who has been beyond wonderful from the very instant I told him I was pregnant. I could never be more thankful for that. We are so so anxious to meet this little guy now. The anticipation is just really hard but so exciting.

I've had some funny obsessions recently, and I don't know if it is just that I'm really enjoying finding some time to do things I'm into, or if it's the pregnancy or a need for distraction or what. But things that currently make me tick:

BLOGS. I. Am. Obsessed. I have a number of them that I read every day, and I could spend hours doing it if I had the hours to do so. I just keep telling myself soon I won't have much time for them, so I might as well do them now. There are so so many blogs that I connect with, and it feels like I'm with company talking about something I'm into when I read them. I also love writing on this one. It's a nice outlet. I follow some pregnancy blogs, parenting, photography, cooking, some writers who are into all of those things, some who do artwork and sell on Etsy... which leads me to: Pretty sure I've mentioned my tendency to surf around this incredible website before. They have the most amazing selection of shops and hand made crafts I just could never describe it. So best thing would be to go take a look :)



Home improvements.

Oatmeal with banana and agave nectar. (with some milk)

Bananas in general.


Fruit in a can. (This has started in the last week and a half. Something is oddly appealing about fruit from a can unfortunately, and I'm hopeless against it. It started with one night when I had this desperate need for canned pears. Not sure I've ever eaten canned pears but I tell ya, I sure do now!)

Drive through coffee shops. (Delicious and also reminds me of chatting with my sisters, which is another thing I have been doing a lot of. Nothing beats sitting in a coffee shop, but driving through and having one on the go is fun in another way.)

Broccoli, Tofu, Sesame Oil on top of whole wheat angel hair. (Not sure why, as I make this in the most bland and boring way, but I want it every single day. I can't explain it, I just go with it. Yum.)

Pixiwoo. These sisters are makeup artists who do online tutorials, and although I'm not into extravagent makeup, I still enjoy it and have fun with it and even though I use nothing that these women show, I still have so much fun watching the tutorials. Weird, I know.

All things baby. Naturally. I daydream all the time now, wondering what he looks like, imagining our days together, thinking of things I'd like to get or make for him. I can't wait to hold him, to smell him, kiss his little cheeks and get to know him. Not much longer.

I'll write again this week, hopefully a more clear minded post. I'm exhausted today, hence the randomness that was this post. I'm off to re-heat my neck wrap for my back. It's wonderful.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

2 blogs in one day, that's right...

I'm not entirely sure if this means I'm productive and awesome for writing twice in one day, or if it seems I have no life.
But the following must be shared:
Something has happend to my husband. We got home from some errands tonight (he was kind enough to come to the birth center to clean with me... by clean I mean sit on the couch and watch bike videos, keeping me company while I clean) but when we got home the cleaning bug got him. Quick tell me now, how do I make this happen more often!?
It's so lovely, I sit here blogging and he is running around the house purging junk and papers we don't need, arranging frames, DUSTING!! He even requested I turn off the computer screen so that he could see the dust he was wiping away. I didn't ask, I didn't drag him by his hair, he's just doing it. I think because we are having people over tomorrow but if there is some way to get him to do this on any regular day-- sign me up! Me running around cleaning is not motivation enough, so maybe I should record the superbowl and play it a couple of times a week to try to inspire this motivation again. Maybe that would work?
A+ for great husbands yea?

Face Comparison:

I just have to show an example of what I was talking about in my last post about my pregnant face being so full it won't let me smile the same. It's a little funny you must admit-- no one pretend you can't see it!

Old Face/Smile:

New Face/Smile:

That's pretty much it.

Who needs a weekend for sleep?!

Ah Saturday mornings... one of the very few days where one who doens't have children yet (on the outside) can possibly sleep in... or not. I apparently wake up now at 5am on the days I can sleep in, and on days I need to get up it I practically have to slither out of bed onto the floor with my eyes tightly shut due to pure exhaustion. Then I fall asleep prematurely on the couch in the evenings, but hey, who needs sleep when you have the opportunity? Apparently not me. And not Henry either, he was awake too.
Being awake when it felt just a tad too early to get up and start doing things (and holding onto hope of falling back asleep), I decided to take the opportunity to stay in bed and obsess about all of the things I want to get done before baby time. For future reference: This is not a good idea if you hope to fall back asleep. But it's a fabulous mix of pull my hair out stressful and also lots of fun because I got to make a list. And I love lists. A lot.
There are so many home improvement projects I want to do, both large and many small... So I am hoping some of those get accomplished. A lot of the bullets on my list though are things that we need to buy. And that is just a lot less fun because we are trying out this new world of strict budgeting. Which means, I can't go running out today grabbing the millions of things at Home Depot I want to buy. New paint for the kitchen, handles for the cupboards, new light/fan for the living room because the current one looks ancient. We need more plates and bowls, shelving for the bathrooms, scrub brushes so I can attack the bathroom floors, new frames so we can finally put up some wedding photos before it's time to put up baby photos...A new couch that doesn't have half of the stuffing ripped out(this is top priority for sanity reasons), new throw pillows to liven the place up. Eek--I'm really convinced these things WILL happen in the next few weeks, maybe not all, but some. It's difficult though because while I want to exercise patience I am really being consumed by this absolutely overwhelming urge to get things clean, tidy and extremely comfortable by March. Rachel White, lovely sister of mine-- if you are reading this, please come to Alaska and fix me. Decorating extrodinaire, save the one who has no clue what she's doing and just come do all the work for me :) Feel free to bring children, and I'll play with them while you work. Sound like a deal?? Oh, I forgot one thing on the list, but this goes on today's list of projects-- DUSTING. I just got distracted by a tiny little dust bunny connected with dog hair that fell from who knows where onto the computer screen. Where does all of this dust live?! I hate it. I now see every little speck of it and I don't know where that obsession came from. As anyone who has previously lived with me knows, I don't usually care THAT much about things being tidy. My room in high school would have proved this, right Mom? Well not anymore! I think I am becoming my mother. And Mom, this is a wonderful thing but I have to say a little frustrating because now I too, sit there lurking, watching for the moment someone lifts their plate so I can spray and wipe underneath it before it is even lifted off of the table.
Does anyone with laminate flooring have brilliant ideas for how to clean it effectively? I sweep it, vacuum it, then swiffer... and I still see all the little hairs floating around. C'est la vie I suppose. I swear I'm not crazy, I think this is what we like to call nesting, and also still after years of being out of the house, adjusting to the fact that no one is keeping our home up for us, it's only us. And there is a lot to do. Thank you Mom for taking care of it for so many years!
It would be nice if it were spring and the weather was turning lovely and we could open all of the windows and do some of the projects outside. I keep catching little glimpses of spring, and then I realize it's February. And it's Alaska. NOT close to spring. In our office, the window are extremely high and so you cannot really see out of them, especially while sitting at a desk. So generally it's dark when I get to work, and dark when I leave and I forget the sun exists most days. My skin also forgets the sun exists. But every day during the middle of a hot flash we open the windows in the back office and it never feels cold in there. It feels like beautiful spring air coming through the windows and so every day I am fooled into thinking it's spring like outside. Then I walk out after work into the dark and snow and look at my frosted windows and realize once again... definitely not spring. What a tease. Yesterday although much colder than it looked, the sun was shining brightly and I was off of work by 2:30 and took off immediately to meet a friend at the dog park. We got an hour long walk in with sunshine, and it was so wonderful. I'm hoping for the very same thing today. Perhaps tomorrow as well but we'll have to see where the day takes us after the superbowl festivities end. (Go Packers!)
We had our 32 week check up on Wednesday, which went well. Very uneventful. I freak out about my blood pressure every time and cause it to get higher than it really is, but I was able to keep myself under control on the first try this time, so that's good. I have always hated having my bp taken, and now it's just this weird response I have and I cannot stop. It makes me sweat practically. Now there's something else at the end of it, because you cannot have a birth center birth with dangerously high blood pressures. I've never had one that high, but I just have this fear that it's coming for me. No use in having those fears, I'm planning for complication free. Anyhow, we measured my uterus, which goes back and forth all of the time just depending on how much I've grown in the weeks and who's checking it since everyone is a little different. 2 weeks ago I measured about a week bigger, this week about a week smaller. It should be within 2 cm either direction of how many weeks you are, and we are definitely in that normal range so yay. Barb (the midwife) took a feel of the little man, it's so strange you can just push down and practically grab ahold of him. He is still head down so looks like he'll be staying that way (Good boy!) and she says he feels like a pretty good size, but not huge. We all tease me at work and joke about him being huge. Since we have pretty good sized babies in our family, and since I looked a lot bigger than most when he was sitting breech with his head up at the top of my belly we joke he's the 12 pounder. Well this has become less funny as the time comes closer and I think of how unpleasant pushing out a 12 pounder would be. Of course that's not really what he weighs, but they are able to make pretty good guesses by taking a feel.
At this point, she says his head doesn't feel that big just a good size, but he feels very long. So this guy might be tall like his Daddyo. Definitely not picking up the long legs from me! You can tell he's long because you can feel where his head is, he has his back and tush sticking out right across the middle of my belly, and then his feet are draped much further down so he takes up a lot of room in there. I'm so very anxious to see how long he is and how much he weighs! There is a lot of growing to do in the next few weeks... right now we think he's just shy of 5 pounds most likely. Unbelievable!
I feel like I look a lot fuller these past few days but it fluctuates as he moves around. He sometimes sits really far out front, and sometimes a bit further back so it just depends. At the gym the other day I packed a tshirt that has been fitting just fine, and it was tight as ever, leaving my belly sticking out the bottom. I think I looked a lot rounder that day, but I'll show the picture here and you can be the judge! Mind you, I had also eaten an enormous cookie earlier in the day, because all I can think of is cookies. :) Speaking of which, Eric and I had a comfy night at home last night and we baked oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies after dinner with the really yummy dark chocolate bars that Mom gave me for Christmas. They made for really rich cookies rather than overly sweet which is really nice. I'm going to try to limit myself with them, but I guess it depends on who you ask when considering how many a day is "limiting", right?? I tend to be generous at this point. I feel spoiled as Eric even watched (his choice) The Back Up Plan with me. It's a chick flick about a pregnant lady (It's Jennifer Lopez so he really has nothing to complain about!) and it was very fun to watch while eating cookies and milk. I could go for many more nights like those! Now if only Taste of China from Iowa City would appear in Anchorage so I could have takeout, I'd be a happy lady. Finn was really adorable while we were watching the movie. He was sleeping with his head on my lap and he kept scooching to get himself perfectly wrapped around the belly. He then lifted a paw to hold onto the top of the belly (I guess it's a convenient place to rest a paw?) and was just very sweet looking. It was comfy for me too, a warm pup with his head against the belly. Henry was moving under his paw, so all together it was a moment I really enjoyed. Finn looks pretty comfy too, don't you think? Eric joked that he has no clue there's anything in me, he's just using it as a contour pillow. (This could be true, but I like to think he can tell there's someone comfy in there.)
In pregnancy world, I'm feeling well. I have been wearing nothing but slip on clogs since I got back from Iowa, and it's helping a lot with my swelling. I also wear Eric's socks so they are looser on my foot. Not my favorite feeling, baggy socks... but better than swollen feet. Sitting at work is getting a bit tougher and yesterday one of the midwives walked in and saw that I was sitting with a coffee mug shoved behind my back. I have trouble because my desk is small so to reach the keyboard and mouse that won't move I have to hunch forward while my belly runs into the desk. Every once in a while I sit back and put something like a mug behind my back to make it feel better and still attempt to reach the computer. She asked what I was doing, and quickly ran to Best Buy to buy me a wireless keyboard and mouse (that idea had definitely not ocurred to me) So it made a world of a difference! They all told me to go pick a more comfortable chair when I have time, so maybe one of these days I'll do that, and then I can actually sit back and possibly put my feet up under my desk. Other than that, I'm feeling well... The energy comes and goes, some days I feel like getting so much done, while others I just wander around half with it and half just in some other space. Hot flashes continue and I find myself occasionally out of breath, and some days I feel just fine. I hate to say that I've been struggling the last few weeks with some of the smaller things that come with the end of it. I'm starting to just wonder if my face will go back to looking the same, if I'll feel normal again when it's over etc. My face is so much fuller that my smile has completely changed-- it's the weirdest thing. I used to show all of my teeth when I smiled, and now my face will hardly let my mouth open. It ends up looking wildly fake and just plain odd on my face if you know what my giant mouth used to look like. It's part of it all, but I really don't like seeing my face like this, it hardly looks like me. I'm also driven nuts by the feeling of my hair, and I am thinking I will cut some of it off shortly. These are all very surface things and don't matter in the grand scheme of it all, butdifficult adjustments none the less. And I think a normal part of the process. I feel fine about the fact that it looks like I have no waist, that I'm wider all around, that my clothes don't fit and aren't very comfortable. I love the belly and the job that it's doing. Every single bit is worth it. But it's weird to look in the mirror and see an entirely different face and not know how to get it back. Time will tell I suppose!
I will leave you with both a request and a recipe to share. My request is for books any of you have read that you'd reccommend, as I'd like to read a new one. The recipe is one that was made for us at our office Christmas party and was delicious. It turned out much thinner than a pudding but I loved it even more that way.

Orange Pudding with Pomegranate:
41/2 cups orange or tangerine juice, freshly squeezed
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c corn starch
3 large oranges (yum, now I want oranges....)
seeds of 1 pomegranate
To serve: 1 c whipping or heavy cream, whipped.

Bring the orange juice to a boil with the sugar. Dissolve the corn starch into 1c water and pour into the simmering juice, stirring vigorously. Continue to stir in one direction only, until the mixture thickens , then continue to cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
Peel the oranges and remove the white pith. Cut each orange into thick slices, and each slice into 4 pieces. Remove the pips.
Let the orange mixture cool, and pour into a glass serving bowl. Stir in the orange pieces, cover with plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for a few hours (or outside would probably work at this time of year)
Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over the pudding and serve with whipped cream.

YUM. That's all I have to say.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy Wednesday

The week is not going nearly quick enough... but what better way to pass some time then to write! I am spending this week trying to avoid the bugs and viruses that seem to be plaguing everyone around. There is a stomach bug and the flu as always, and I am just desperately trying not to get sick . Anyone who knows me well (or has even just spent time around me for one day) very likely knows how I fear the stomach flu... I am surprised I don't spend my days rocking in a corner fearing the outdoors because of the germs. I'm not a constant germaphobe, just the germs that cause the stomach bug. You can see the fear all over my over-washed hands.
Anyway, that's the goal for this week, and pretty much forever. Never get the sickness again. That's that.
I hope you're all staying healthy and avoiding it too!
We are spending our week adjusting to our new living situation as well. David and his dog Allie moved to a house across town, so Eric, Finn and I are on our own. We have just been cleaning and organizing some things, and this weekend we'll work on some house projects. Neverending house projects. I am having an extreme craving to scrub the floors, so I think I will hit the bathrooms with bleach this weekend, pick a paint color for the 3rd bedroom, and hopefully one of these days rent a rug doctor to take care of all of the carpets upstairs. That is one thing on the must do before baby list. And let me tell you, baby is coming soon.
32 and a half weeks now, so we are full term in 4 and a half weeks. Yes, I'm now counting half weeks because every single moment counts! In a few minutes, we'll be that much closer.
Hard to believe it's February, and I can now say we are having a baby next month. Next month?!? I hardly know how that happened, but I know that I'm so thankful it's that soon. There is a ton to get done before then, and I'm sure as I grow huger and more uncomfortable and anxious the time will slow down, but next month is really not so far away.
I have made a mighty lengthy list of things to do/get before he arrives, that looks a tad overwhelming. I remind myself and Eric though that it's really not an overwhelming list, I'm just a good list maker and include even the tiniest details so it just looks longer. My new symptom of the week has been hot flashes. Lovely. I open the window to let the freezing cold air in while I'm sleeping, and periodically through the day I just get red and start sweating. It's a good thing I'm living in Alaska and pregnant during the winter I guess.
We had our 3rd child birth class last night, and I have discovered that I'm terrible at visualization. I don't know if it's because I'm at work and I was distracted by looking down the hall at my coworkers going back and forth from the birth center, or if my thoughts wander just too quickly. I cannot picture myself on a beach sipping frozen drinks relaxing on a normal night, so I'm a bit worried since I probably won't have an easier time while in labor. On to the next relaxation method I suppose!

I have run out of the wonderful hot fudge that made every night so great, so I've been a bit bummed about that. Hopefully mom will be sending more soon, because until then dessert is just not nearly as exciting. If hot fudge (or lack of) is the most of my concerns, then I would say we are doing pretty well :)