Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trick or treat!

Holidays truly take on a new meaning with kids. We had a nice, early trick or treat outing in the beautiful Stadium district today with Bianca's buddy Ephraim. The weather was great! Bianca knew just what to do, and she had a great time.







Her favorite part of the evening might have been handing out candy at our door. She kept asking "More kids? Are there more kids?" :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Yoga

I went to what may be my last prenatal yoga class today. I'm now officially the most pregnant person in the class, and most of the other women aren't even showing. So really, it looks like a regular yoga class, plus me. My belly looks big compared to many full-term women, so next to a 14-weeker, I'm huge!

The instructor is sweet and talented, but she's never been pregnant, which is somewhat of a hindrance for prenatal yoga. She actually asked our class if the uterus grows outside of the stomach muscles. I feel bad for even writing this but--seriously? How would it ever work its way outside of the abdominals--that would be some fancy maneuvering! So, pregnancy is somewhat of a mystery to her. :) Clearly, she doesn't appreciate the logistical challenges presented by hoisting a 48-inch waist into the downward dog position. It's really pretty impossible to "step forward into a lunge" at this point. So I just do what I can. It's been fun to see my yoga practice change with my body over the pregnancy, and I'm really glad that I took the class and stuck with it.

Since Deuce isn't giving many signs of being early, I'm doing everything "natural" that I can do to make sure he or she isn't too late. My chances of a repeat-C go up as I get past my due date, so I'm ready to get this show on the road! I have "induction" acupuncture scheduled for Monday. It's exciting--I know a lot of people who've had success with it (88% success rate or something like that). It's usually effective w/i 36 hours for labor induction, so if the first time doesn't work, I'll go again on Wednesday. And, I'll spend the weekend crawling around on my hands and knees, taking long walks, doing lots of lunges, and consuming large quantities of raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil. I'm not caster oil--not that desperate yet, and it kind of scares me. If Deucey isn't ready yet, he or she can stay nice and cozy--the natural induction methods don't tend to work unless baby is ready anyway.

B's picked up on all the talk about baby getting here, so she's getting excited too. She keeps asking "When's the baby coming out?" and wants to know what the baby is doing. "Is baby taking a nap?" I told her that when the baby comes we can have a birthday cake and candles, and that really pushed it over the top--I think she wants him or her here mainly so she can have some cake. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

39 weeks...and the return of morning sickness

Nothing much new to report at my 39-week appt. Still slowly dialating, but nothing dramatic. The doctor did strip my membranes, but she said she didn't do a whole lot because I'm not effaced very much. I barely felt anything, so who knows if it will make a difference. I've been feeling very nauseated in the mornings, and it's reminding me of labor in a not-so-good way. I think I may try making some ginger age with real ginger for early labor to ease the tummy upset--the worst part of labor for me. A few strong contractions here and there and lots of pressure. I'm still thinking next week--probably no Halloween baby for us.

Bianca got her (mercury-free) flu shot today. I'm always conflicted about whether or not to do it...B has a great immune system, we practice good hygiene, and she takes a probiotic every day, so I question the need for another shot. But with Steve working in a high school (AKA a cesspool of cold and flu bugs) I feel like I need to protect her and our new little one. I have never seen someone so excited to get a shot--since she's been tagging along to my doctor's appointments, I think she was excited to have her own. She told everyone in the waiting room (loudly) "BIANCA'S GETTING A SHOT!" about a dozen times. Little Ms. Independent wanted to go back with the doctor by herself ("No mommy! All by myself! I'll be RIGHT BACK!") and when she shot was over she asked if they were going to do one in her arm, too. Then she kept putting down her pants to see her new Band-Aid. So, it wasn't too traumatic for her.

My doctor offered me the H1N1 shot today, but I declined after agonizing about it all morning. I recently got the regular flu shot, which was a little outside of my comfort level since there's so little testing on pregnant women, and I'd been advised to wait at least a month before doing the H1N1, if I chose to do it at all. I know flu can have be very serious in pregnancy, but I don't think I'm going to catch it in the next week or so. What I'd really like is for Steve to get the shot--but since he's not in the highest-risk group, he can't get one right now. In fact, my preference is to get one right after I deliver so Deuce will get the antibodies from nursing, but by then, I won't be in the highest-priority group anymore, and who knows if the vaccine will even be available. It's so frustrating--if my family members were allowed to get the shot, then I wouldn't need to--Deuce and I would be protected to a high degree. I don't believe the vaccine is unsafe for healthy adults. It's just the regular vaccine with a different (killed) viral strain. But because they can't get it, I'm asked to step way outside of my comfort level and get yet another shot with unknown implications for my baby. Meanwhile the media is totally hyping swine flu all over the place and scaring people who can't even get the vaccine. Gotta love it when things are backwards!

A couple of shots of B...playing puppy with all of her food bowls out. She asked for each of these snacks specifically, for the "puppy". Puppy is wearing Steve's childhood blankie. She's really taken off with her imaginative play and it's so fun to watch. She's also taking after her mom, taking lots of pictures. She likes to store her play camera right next to our real one.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

@#$@#$!@%

Ever have one of those days where mistakes just pile up and you feel like your goals are a million miles away? That was my day, today. I'm comfortable with an error rate of about ZERO when it comes to my work and I hate discovering a mistake...or two. Even worse when you have to inform a client that you messed up. Yuck. I try and tell myself that everyone makes mistakes--we're not robots, after all. I allow others to mess up but somehow I don't allow myself the same grace.

Off to bed...tomorrow is a new day.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pretty nice little Saturday...

This morning we picked up our last CSA box of the season at the Proctor Farmer's Market. We've been going to the market regularly since early summer, and it's been fun to see it change with the seasons, from strawberries in June to pumpkins, squash, and apple cider in October. The CSA with Left Foot Organics has been a great experience--it's gotten me out of my cooking rut and into all sorts of new produce that I never would have thought to try, from kohlrabi to kale to (purple!) Romano beans. We're become addicted to local carrots (something about our cool nights makes them sweeter--they're amazing!) and we can't wait to have enough space to grow our own. The Proctor Farmer's Market is on the small side, perfect for a toddler's attention span.


Tonight, grandma and Sarah watched B while Steve and I had our last "date night" before Deuce arrives. We went to Pomodoro and caught a movie--might be our last one for awhile!

Hopefully this is my last pregnant photo, too. I'm bigger and heavier than I've ever been at any point, and my knees aren't loving it. At least I've pretty much stopped gaining weight--now for the best part--the instant weight loss that happens right after delivery. Can't wait!

Friday, October 23, 2009

38 weeks

At my 38 week appointment today I found out I'm dialated one centimeter! Yay! It took me nine hours of labor to dialate to one last time around! Whoo hoo! Still feeling crampy and queasy--my bod is getting ready, but I think this bun will stay in the oven at least until next week. Steve went to my appointment with me today because we just realized he'd never met the doctor who will be delivering Deuce. Since he couldn't figure out how to get a one-period sub, he ended up taking the whole day off. B had her morning at Roberta's, so after the appointment we did something we haven't done in a long time--took a nap together. Bliss!

Oof--did I really just upload an image of my nine-month pregnant butt onto the Internet? B loves to do yoga with me and I'm so glad I caught it on video. The "just like mommy" phase she's in is so cute--I wonder how long it will last?

She can make even the darkest, rainest morning fun. I love her car chit-chat...I could listen to her for hours. These are the things she said to me on the way to Roberta's this morning:

"Mom, the car WANTS to go in the puddle!"

"I bet we're going to see MORE pumpkins!"

"I want to show Roberta at my new boots!"

"Mom, feets are dancing HIGH!" (She was doing a particularly funny carseat dance and she wanted me to look.)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update

I recently signed up for a stat counter service and became a little weirded out by a visitor to my blog, downloading some photos and whatnot. This is not a friend or anyone I see regularly--so don't worry, friends, I'm not talking about any of you. Anyhow, until I figure out how to block just one person's computer, I've decided to make my blog private. Sorry if this adds a step for some of you. Just a reminder to all to practice good Internet safety, never post identifying details about yourself or any photos of your house showing your house number or street name, place of employment, exact vacation plans or dates, etc. It's easy to think that it's just your friends and family reading, but the Internet is a big place.

Bianca

I'm feeling a bit better today--I imagine this queasy feeling will probably stay with me until I deliver. One of the most surprising things about labor for me was that I was extremely nauseated the entire time--it was like intense morning sickness (and my nurse had horrible onion breath--ick!)

Getting out B's baby things is making me nostalgic for her baby days. Even though she didn't give us much sleep in the beginning, she was (and is) an angel--a very spirited one! It still amazes me how much of their personality is intact from day one. I can't wait to meet our new little one and see if he or she looks like big sister. I know he or she will be a little individual and it will be a whole new adventure.

For those who don't know B's labor story, or for anyone who might learn something from it, here goes: I've since learned that I was the classic "posterior" labor--she was facing forward instead of backward, and stubborn little thing that she is, she just wouldn't turn. We had taken a Bradley class and wanted to try for an intervention-free delivery. I went into labor on my own at 41 weeks at 10am--while baking Christmas cookies. After laboring at home with really intense contrax (2 mins long, 90 secs apart--crazy!) we headed to the hospital at 7pm to find that I was only dialed one centimeter. I knew I was in labor and I pretty much refused to leave since the ride there was torturous. And this was Pullman, so we lived five minutes away, tops. :) Anyway, the nurses hooked me up to the monitor and saw how intense my contractions were, so they let me stay. I promptly got into the tub and got into my groove and dilated to six within a few hours. However, since I wasn't wearing a fetal monitor, the nurse had to monitor B's heartbeat through my contractions, even while in the tub, and she was annoyed--BIG time. So I finally decided to get out. The monitor thing totally sucked--I handled contractions unmedicated just fine, but having a monitor pressed to my belly during the height of a contraction was torture. I knew B was fine, so once or twice I asked if we could just skip the monitor for this contraction--the nurse acted like I was the world's worst mom--"You don't want your baby's HEARTBEAT?" Eyeroll. Things slowed a bit when I got out of the tub but by midnight I was at an eight and my water broke on its own. They called my doctor and started preparing for the birth--and then things really stalled. After laboring all the way until 7am the following morning, the nurse finally told me I was a 10, but my doctor said I was still at 9.5. After about 21 hrs with no fluids (I still can't fathom why they didn't give me any) and no food, I was totally exhausted. My contractions basically stopped--my body just gave out. I knew that she was stuck and not coming down any further. I also knew that without major intervention (pitocin, IV, epidural, etc.) I could not handle any more labor. My doctor was also exhausted, having been called before midnight the previous night. We decided on a C-section rather than pitocin and more labor, because my heart was telling me that we would probably end up with a C anyway. When the doctor took her out, she was wedged in so tightly that they literally had to pry her out and they scratched her face in the process--so she was born with a huge scratch across her cheek, but it healed within hours (newborns are so amazing).

So, lessons learned--we needed a different nurse, as ours really wasn't comfortable with an unmedicated labor. And, she smelled like onions. Not cool. :) I know we made her job a lot harder by not wearing a monitor, but I really needed to be able to move during labor. So it just wasn't a good fit. This time I will be wearing one, and I'll also have an IV for fluids. We also have an awesome doula to help us deal with any situations at the hospital, e.g. unsupportive nurse. Our birth plan is much simpler this time--I think (and I have been told this by many health-care professionals since) that nurses are sometimes intimidated by pages-long "natural" birth plans and don't offer help or suggestions because they don't want to offend the parents (for me, some fluids would have been really helpful!). I am a good advocate for myself and I have a great birth team, so I'm comfortable with any suggestions anyone has during labor. I can always say no! This time, I'd much rather have someone try to help me than ignore me.

It was amazing to work with my body through the entire labor, and I'm so glad that I got to experience it. Oh, and if you're not medicated--stay in the tub as long as you can! It helps sooooo much!

A day old. She doesn't even look like she's really sleeping...just squeezing her eyes shut. "This should fool them into thinking that I sleep!"

First smile, seven weeks.

Six months. She developed a habit of smiling for the camera around five or six months. Such a little sunbeam.
This is a video of B and me with Steve's parents' dogs, Sunny and Bjorn. B was eight months old and already an animal lover. I love her screams and excitement whenever they come near her! And she was so tiny!
These days she's totally cracking us up. She talks literally all the time, and she's at the stage where she has to point out every little thing she notices--Laura calls it the "constant commentary". Yesterday she saw a man with a white beard and annouced that it was Santa Claus. :) She's also very concerned about rules, order, and where things go--every morning she wants to know where Daddy is, and she's been asking where the sun went this week (then she usually says "Sun went behind the clouds!"). She tattles on everyone, including herself: if she tells me "We don't put things in the toilet!" it means I'd better go check on the toilet because she just put something in there.

I truly can't believe that we're getting ready to do this all over again. When B was born Steve and I were so overwhelmed that we wondered all the time--how do people ever have more than one child? I guess we're about to find out--and we're as ready as we're ever going to be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baby woes

I woke up this morning at 4am feeling not hungry for a change, but completely nauseated. I've been queasy for the past couple of days. I really hope I'm not getting sick, but I have no temp or other symptoms of the flu. The baby has dropped a little (B never dropped until labor so any dropping is big news to me) so I'm even more uncomfortable. I really hope this doesn't go on for another couple of weeks.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Halloween party

OK, I may be ready to pop, but I can still throw a Halloween party for my girl! We hosted a small get-together on Saturday. The main attractions were pumpkin decorating and a Halloween-themed coloring station for the kids, but they mostly just ran wild (and wore themselves out!) Here are a few photos. B had a blast.


The spread.

B demonstrates proper trampoline technique. This toy is always a hit with friends.

Decorating a pumpkin with mom.

Probably one of the most realistic pumpkins--this one actually had two eyes and eyebrows, a nose, and a mouth.

B with a pouty kitty.

The youngest partier--Molly the baby as B calls her--asleep on her mom.

Roughhousing with her pal from down the street. It's all fun and games until someone starts crying.

B's final masterpiece. We're into sparkly things at this house. Special thanks to Laura for coming and helping out--she was behind the camera most of the time so she didn't make it into any photos! Thanks a million!

Friday, October 16, 2009

37 weeks 2 days

Everything looked good at my appointment today. I opted not to have a cervical check this time even though I've been having some cramping, I didn't have time this week, but I'll probably get checked next week just to see what's up. My uterus is measuring a little big at 38 weeks, which is new for me because B always measured exactly to date. This baby definitely feels bigger. Heart rate 138 bpm...the hr has usually been slower than B's was, so if the old wives' tales are true that means we're having a BOY (or maybe a very mellow girl!) We don't have long to wait...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Folding

B's a pretty good little laundry folder (note how she uses one to wipe her nose--better than using her fingers, I guess!)

Extreme nesting

I'm officially nesting, using any and all energy I can find to cook, decorate, clean, and cook some more. I never got the second-trimester energy boost this time around (OK, that's just my excuse for being really, really lazy this summer) so I've found myself with tons of to-dos late in the game. Time for some frenzied productivity.

One of my main goals is to have a bunch of meals frozen. Heading into basketball season with a newborn and a two-year-old, I just don't see myself cooking much for the first few months. In the past 10 days or so, I've made several lasagnas, manacotti, enchiladas, chicken-red pepper casserole, baked macaroni and cheese, three quiches, and black bean, split pea, and white bean soups (I know I'm forgetting some!) The best part--I'm using foodsaver bags to freeze and store the soups flat so they freeze and defrost quickly and evenly (a trick I learned from freezing breastmilk!) and now I have my own little card-catalogue of labeled soups. This absolutely thrills me beyond words.

Halloween decs

Homegrown pumpkins from mom's garden



I put up our winter drapes and "installed" new tiebacks today. I say "installed" because it's just some neat ribbon from Dwell, held in place with some cup hooks. A nice $10 project. :)

Baby's room--when we tell people that I don't know the baby's gender, their first response is often "HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THE ROOM?" Some people seem very concerned about this. So, folks, here it is, the mysterious gender-neutral room, unveiled. :) It's the Pottery Barn Kids stuff we used for Bianca which I still love, punched up with some red accents.
So now, my remaining to-dos are:
Install car seat bases
Finish birth plan
Final meeting with doula
Buy hospital snacks and pack hospital bags
Assemble bassinet for our room--this one I'm REALLY putting off because that thing is complicated
Reassemble swing and bouncer
Locate breast pump and replace some of its parts
Locate receiving and swaddling blankets
OK, who am I kidding, I still have a lot to do.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shiltin's Pumpkin Patch


This weekend grandma, Laura, and Israel came with us to Shiltin's pumpkin patch near Lacey. Steve had a coaching clinic all weekend and couldn't join us, but we did bring our very own giraffe. :) Her costume was warm and toasty, perfect for the fall weather. Bianca loved the petting farm and wanted to visit again and again. One of Bianca's best buddies, my brother's cat Rascal, came from Shiltin's years ago--John fell in love with the kitten at the petting farm, and they said he could take it after the weekend (this was probably ten years ago). So the kittens at the farm may be Rascal's distant relatives. Bianca wasn't in her best mood, still feeling some aftermath from her cold/flu bug, but we had a good time. Oh, and our front porch is now loaded with pumpkins!

So many pumpkins, so little time!
Trademark goofy grin. Bianca is a "gooseball", as she says.

Laura and Israel find a green pumpkin.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

36 weeks

Today at my 36 wk appt, the doctor had to do the routine Group-B step test, so I had to strip from the waist down. Once I was up on the exam table covered in the sheet, B decided she wanted to be just like mommy--so she stripped down too. :) The doctor returned to the room to find two bare-bottomed ladies. The doctor thought it was really funny--she had another good laugh when she found the Elmo sticker B had put on my belly earlier that morning. I'd forgotten all about it. Bianca likes to decorate the baby's home from time to time. :)

Deuce looks good! I'm counting down the days--getting a wee bit uncomfortable.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bianca the cat whisperer

Nearly every night, we have to take a walk around the neighborhood to visit all of the local cats and dogs. Bianca has lots of neighborhood animal friends--whether she's throwing a ball for Edgar the Corgie or petting Jasper the cat, they recognize her little footsteps and come out to play. :)

Marching up the neighbor's steps to pet their cats (fortunately, we have really nice neighbors). :) She asked me to tie this scarf on her so she could "walk like a kitty"--it can be either a leash or a tail. :) We have a creative girl.

Using her toy camera to take pictures of the kitties.

Teaching Sylvie about bugs with a library book. Sylvie's not the greatest student.