Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kancles

If Victoria Beckham can have kancles, I can too... right?

Those sure look like (the beginning) of some kancles to me! I'm sticking to that theory too...


Although, I have to admit, my swelling has gone down quite a bit. I'm only slightly swollen, until the end of the day - or if I stand/sit in one position for too long. Thank the Lord.


Less than a week until Petal's due date! Yay! Hoping she comes sooner...

Weekly Update

How far along? 39 Weeks
Total weight gain: I plead the 5th – or, the fact that I haven’t gone to the doctor this week… we’ll see this afternoon! Can I take a “Christmas excuse” if I’ve gained a ton???
Maternity clothes? Yes.
Stretch marks? Nope. C’mon skin – you can do it!
Sleep: almost non-existent.
L Here’s the last few days: Christmas Eve 6-9:30 AM (due to Hank’s arrival), Christmas day, 11 PM-1:30 AM, 3-5:30, 6:30-8:15 AM, Dec 26 10:30 PM – 1 AM, 4:30- 6:15 AM… ugh!
Best moment this week: baby Henry “Hank” James’ arrival, December 25th at 4:01 AM. Another girlfriend telling me she’s pregnant!
J SO excited for her and her hubby. AND, another girlfriend stopped their birth control pill and are now trying for a baby! I wish they were closer to Petal’s age – or – lived closer. Maybe some day?
Miss Anything? Sleep… sigh
Movement: She’s trying to get out of there, I swear!
Food cravings: Sushi, frozen yogurt with fresh fruit, a really great surf ‘n turf meal!
Anything making you queasy or sick: I don’t know if it is the flu going around (I hope not!) or maybe imminent labor, but I’m super nauseous the past two days. Annoying.
Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: I’m dilated ?cm, the baby has dropped and I’m ?% effaced! I head back to the doctor this afternoon, so we’ll hear more then!
Symptoms: aches and pains, up half the night two nights ago with terrible cramps and random painful contractions. Sadly, it didn’t progress into anything more...
Belly Button in or out? Flat.
Wedding rings on or off? I actually took both off over the weekend while cleaning, then didn’t attempt to put either back on. I wore my emerald ring from Jeremy on Christmas since it was my Christmas gift last year...
Happy or Moody most of the time: tired of waiting mostly because I’ve been feeling so sick.
Looking forward to: Petal’s arrival. New Year’s Eve! This will be Jeremy and my 5th NYE together. Seems unreal. Looking back at all those years ago – how we connected on our first date – it seems like a lifetime ago, especially considering all we’ve gone through, learned, endured, grown and such… I’m thankful for where God has brought us to and where we are headed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2 Centimeters - Life Changing

Two centimeters doesn't mean much in your life (especially in the States) ... until you're pregnant. 9 months pregnant. And waiting on baby to arrive. To hear you've progressed in a week, is always a lovely remark from your doctor. Let me tell you, at first - it doesn't seem like much, but then when you start to think - that's about an inch, an inch opening inside of me? Makes me want to cross my legs for fear that my water will break at any moment! How could it not?! Sitting 2 cm open below it, exposed, in a weakened state... (let's hope it does - just not in public).



How far along? 38 Weeks – just waiting on Petal to decide it’s the day!
Total weight gain: 25 lbs, PTL! Wish I could work out... a good, strong run sounds absolutely AMAZING right now!
Maternity clothes? Yes.

Stretch marks? My nurse said she doesn’t think I’ll get any on my stomach, at least. PTL. I <3 you vitamin E!
Sleep: restless, deep, restless, non-existent, restless, snoring? – I’ve had a stuffed nose this week which SUCKS and mostly, just missing.
Best moment this week: Enjoying having Aubrey and Jess here. She’s an adorable baby. Let me tell you, trying to hold a baby on your big belly – is not an easy task! Petal isn’t a huge fan of me holding other children as well… she begins to maul my insides should I hold a baby.


+ Having J re-rearrange the nursery back to what I originally had it designed as. It looks great. He even admitted that it looks best that way. Embroidery hoops are hung. J Almost set!


++Emilie finding her Christmas present under our tree... unwrapped! Staring at it in awe (it's a jewelry making kit) and adoration. Asking 1000 questions about it and whom it could possibly be for. Nonchalantly saying she wouldn't want it, at all, yet staring at it for another 20 minutes before I convinced her to wrap it (for Jeremy's sister, haha).
Miss Anything? Snowboarding. Snow for Christmas. A good night out on the town!
Movement:
I think she’s a dancer!

Food cravings: Sushi, frozen yogurt with fresh fruit (wishing we had a Pinkberry in MN!), rotisserie chicken salad and corn bread from Red Stone in EP. <= SAME.


Anything making you queasy or sick: Not at the moment!
Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: Dilated to 2+, 95% effaced, bleeding off and on, the random contraction, cramps pretty regularly… nothing too exciting quite yet.

Symptoms: OMG – I woke up Saturday morning to the MOST disgusting thing I’ve ever seen on my body. Sausage feet and kancles. YUCK. Sadly, I really – really hate to admit that, but it’s true.
L I wouldn’t let Jeremy look at them. They were SO bad, I almost cried and went back to bed. I really wanted to send them away, put them in time out or cut them off. … ugh. At least my toes weren’t swollen, right? Right?! C’mon Petal…
Belly Button in or out? Flat.
Wedding rings on or off? Band – on. Belly ring, still in.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Decent. I’ve been exhausted, so
Looking forward to: Christmas. Petal’s arrival. Spending more time with Jessi, and Aubrey’s before they leave Monday. Giving the gifts I bought to those I love. I love the giving part of Christmas. It fills me with joy... even the smallest of gifts I had to buy this year, it's still a joy to see



I'm a bit more dilated and effaced this week. Petal is completely dropped and ready for birth... so am I. I think...? One moment I'm like "Bring. It. On." Then next moment, I'm like - Oh $#!+! I've gotta, what?! Hopefully the moment I go into labor it's the former.


Monday, December 19, 2011

A Want, or A Need?

Ooh my goodness. I can't decide if this is a want or a need. I feel like I need this because I really want it...I know what you're thinking, it's a girl! I know that. But Petal could totally rock this with some cute pants and a bright, pink, massive bow/headband!! Plus, she and Jeremy could wear matching shirts. I bought him this one a while ago:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Giving With Purpose

As we draw near to Christmas, Jeremy and I have begun to discuss our thankfulness for how blessed we are; Christ’s birth symbolized through Christmas, our fabulous families, our home and all of the crap things we cherish inside of it, friends who help us enjoy this life so much and one of the most important things for us at this time, Petal’s arrival. J We’ve also begun to talk a lot about the future and how Christmas will be so different, just a year down the road. We will celebrate one year of Petal’s. She will get to enjoy all of the aspects of Christmas; we can’t wait to teach her so many things – about Jesus’ birth, about thankfulness and giving to others being more important than getting and very importantly, not touching the Christmas tree… lol.
Side note: Jeremy and I were discussing our friends who don’t decorate the bottom half of their Christmas trees or put gates up around it… we have decided we do not want to parent like that. If that’s your style and it works for you – go right ahead! We want to learn our children what they can and cannot do, without just placing obstacles between them and their… potential “naughtiness”. We feel that just teaches them to go around the obstacle to get to what they want to. We want to teach them to enjoy their Christmas tree and all of its beauty, without lacking ourselves.

Anyway – we have been talking lately about Christmas presents and the cost and how little much (it’s not about the value, but the act of giving to others, right?) we can spend this year. We have talked about how a few different families we know give gifts to their children. Many give as many gifts up to the price point they’ve allotted per child. Some give everything the child asks for or needs.

Others, they give with purpose. By that, I mean we have several friends who give purposed gifts which celebrate the excitement of giving and receiving at Christmas, yet have purposed reasons for the item the child receives. I think we are going to consider this greatly next year when planning gifts for Petal as we begin our family traditions.

Here is what I mean:
Family One: each child receives three gifts – one they want, one they need and one for the family to share (be it an activity or item to share)
Family Two: each child receives five gifts – one they want, one they need, one representing Christ/religious, one educational and one just because (keep in mind – there are five kids in this family = 25 presents!!)
Family Three: children receive two gifts (need and want) but they also participate in “Christmas Culture” or something along those lines… whether it be the Holidazzle, Macy’s 8th Floor Christmas display, a performance at a church or theatre – it’s something to celebrate the Christmas season.

One of the blog writers I follow, Gus and Lula’s Britt discussed this very exact item today! She and her husband are celebrating their first Christmas season with their two new babies Gus and Lula adopted from Africa. She and her husband are purposing their gift giving and also adding a giving back element to their Christmas season. I really enjoyed how she voiced their thoughts. Here is what she said:




Well, that's what we're planning on doing. We're trying it out this year, and I really like how easy it's made shopping. Each gift has a purpose, and our kids are also not going to get overloaded with toys. I like that they won't grow up expecting to get tons of "Somethings they want" -- they'll know they're limited to one. And so they'll have to think hard about what it is they really would enjoy and won't end up with tons of things they'll forget about in a week. Also, this will make it OK for us to give them underwear (need or wear -- oh, the possibilities!) Hopefully this will simplify gifts for us.
While I like this concept, it bothered me that there was still an emphasis on gifts, and not so much on giving. Of course, when they're older they can help with the gift-giving part, but I want giving to be an even bigger part of our Christmas. So to go hand-in-hand with the gift jingle, I came up with this:
This one might need a little more explaining.
"Bring some joy" might be caroling or passing out goodies at a nursing home, or inviting neighbors to Christmas Eve service.
"Give a toy" -- I had either Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, or the Salvation Army angel tree in mind for this one. Basically, it's giving toys to children who are in need.
"Show our thanks" -- this one will hopefully make us more aware of the many people who work to keep us safe or who serve us. It could be taking a plate of cookies to the ER or fire station, making a special appreciation gift for our pastors, or sending care packages to our troops.
"Share our banks" -- When the kids are older, I hope to use one of my friends' traditions to help them raise money throughout the Christmas season (more on that later). At the end of the season, they can choose where to gift that money. Our friends like picking a gift out of the Compassion gift catalog (or something similar). Gifts include farm animals, mosquito nets, and Bibles.


I really enjoyed the four types of gifts she talked about. I think I will discuss with Jeremy for next year. It’s simple enough, yet the child receives four presents to open. J



This has helped me continue to ponder and relish how my parents raised us to enjoy and be thankful for whatever we received. These are the questions I’ve been asking Jeremy and myself: What traditions will we start with our family? Have we thought about what Christmas really means to us and how we want that portrayed to our children? How can we celebrate the fun of Christmas without losing Christ in the midst of it all?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Progess

How far along? 37 Weeks – full term! J Eeeek!
Total weight gain:
27 lbs, damn…
Maternity clothes? Yes.

Stretch marks? Nope. Praying my skin holds on the short time until Petal is born!
Sleep:
terrible, as per usual of late.
Best moment this week: setting up the Christmas tree last night, cuddling with J and talking about our baby’s arrival and life with her… life before her.

Miss Anything?
Not much has changed – sushi, good red wine,
Movement:
All day and night!

Food cravings: Sushi, frozen yogurt with fresh fruit (wishing we had a Pinkberry in MN!), rotisserie chicken salad and corn bread from Red Stone in EP. Sigh…
Anything making you queasy or sick: all of the venison my husband has brought home/processed in our house – for a second time!
Gender: Girl
Labor Signs: I’m dilated 1+cm, the baby has dropped and I’m 75% effaced! Eeeeeeek!
J ANY DAY! C’mon Petal (well, any time after Wednesday, I’d be happy).
Symptoms: Lots of aches and pains at this point, feeling slightly swollen in general.
Belly Button in or out? Flat and weird looking! My stomach hasn’t grown or changed too much, which is a good thing.
Wedding rings on or off? Band – on, engagement ring – off.
Happy or Moody most of the time: pretty even keel this week, with the exception of my meltdown towards Jeremy about not helping me clean the house, hanging out with his buddies instead.
J
Looking forward to: Christmas. Petal’s arrival. Jessi, and Aubrey’s arrival in two days!



A couple things I should note:



1. I cut my hair. 3 inches gone. Feels very strange, but it was needed. (baby prep!)


2. I’m exhausted. This lack of sleep, pain in my hip (thorn in my side, Paul?) is terrible. It is adding up. It’s strange, but I feel like I sleep best from 4/5 -10 AM. Wish I could sleep these hours daily to catch up on good sleep – starting to feel delusional. I laugh at just about anything, especially Jeremy (who gets super annoyed – he told me I was going to put myself into labor two nights ago… I began laughing because I scared him. Then, I thought about teaching Petal to scare her daddy in a couple years which brought me to laughing again… I suppose it’s been than me crying about everything?)


3. I’m dilated!! YAY! 1+cm


4. I’m 75% effaced!


5. Petal has “dropped”. She has little space to go any lower (I’m not waddling – yet – so people tell me. Thank God!).


6. So, that means I could have Petal anytime… or still go another 3 weeks. I’m aiming for Thursday and beyond. Tomorrow I have a baby shower given by my coworkers AND I just got passes to an advanced screening of Mission Impossible. Could this be our last movie without kids?? That’s how our conversations revolve nowadays – is this our last night without a baby? Is this our last weekend before we have kids? Is this our last…? It’s not a sentencing, or anything. Although, to some it might feel like it! We’re excited for the change ahead – beit a big change.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Update

How far along? 36 Weeks


Total weight gain: 25 lbs
Maternity clothes? Yes.

Stretch marks? Nope. Still thanking God every morning/night when I inspect my large (and growing and stretching) belly!
Sleep: terrible. I’ve begun to have a lot of pain in my… low abdomen – pubic bone/hip bones (I feel like I’m OLD or obsese!)/vajayjay area (not in there, but just my tendons, bones and muscles in that general region), so any movement made is quite difficult and painful.
Best moment this week: making exchanges/returns to Target and Babies R US with all my duplicate shower gifts. Feels fabulous to have that taken care of and to have purchased our final “needs” with that money! Here’s to hoping we truly have everything we need for the first few weeks of Baby M’s life!

Miss Anything? I miss wearing footie Christmas pajamas. I was at Target with my mum and I had sad moment seeing their women’s footie pajamas (I clearly) cannot rock. Or maybe I can… Snowboarding. We got some awesome snow this past Sat and I can’t really enjoy it!
Movement:
all the time. Thanking God for this! She’s healthy!
J
Food cravings: Does sushi still count? Good thing I’m getting a crab crunch roll at 5:15 PM tonight. Bring on Happy Hour with two of my favorite ladies!
Anything making you queasy or sick: all of the venison my husband has brought home/processed in our house. Just the thought of it right now makes me gag! Yuck.
Gender: Girl-o! It better be! With all the girly crap clothes and d├ęcor in her room, she better not turn out to be a boy!
J
Labor Signs: Lost my mucus plug, random contractions… just waiting on the real deal now!

Symptoms: Lots of aches and pains at this point, feeling slightly swollen in general. Possibly retaining water… or just getting FAT. But really I can’t complain a whole lot. I’m not dealing with wetting OR pooping my pants (like someone I know just did!!),
Belly Button in or out? Flat and weird looking! I had a terrible dream that my belly ring ripped out this weekend… yet I still haven’t taken it out. It’s not sore or bothering me… so I figure why not leave it in?
Wedding rings on or off? Band – on, engagement ring – off. Yay to retaining water the last week! I don’t quite have cankles and I’m praying they don’t come on!
Happy or Moody most of the time: ups and downs. Just need to get my life prepared for this child and I’m good to go.
J
Looking forward to: Christmas. Petal’s arrival. Jeremy’s sister, Jessi, and little Aubrey coming in town – Dec 15! Getting a Christmas tree and finally decorating our house for Christmas… I only have a wreath on the front door. Nothing else has been done! (too busy with the nursery, I suppose)


Friday, December 2, 2011

An Interesting Day

Let me just say, today has been an interesting day.


*Semi graphic details ahead.



6:30 Am – I woke up (exhausted, although I went to bed at a decent hour!) – okay, didn’t really wake up. Snoozed my alarm.


6:50 AM – I succumbed to the alarm’s repeated requests for me to haul my large @$$ out of bed. I turned on the news and rubbed my Petal-belly. (Dang, that makes me sound like a fat, couch potato!)


6:55 AM – I finally lugged my ginormous belly, rear-end and thighs from the bed, to go to the bathroom.


6:57 AM – I stared at the toilet paper trying to get my still sleepy eyes to focus. Blood.


(Let me share my initial thought: “Dang it, Jeremy! I told you not to go out of town! If I go into labor and you aren’t here, I’ll be pissed.”)


There’s enough blood that it looks like I am just getting my period, but it’s a mixture of blood and clear… stuff.


6:58 AM – I stand up. Blood down my legs and on the floor. Thank God I’m pantless. Now, my mind is racing through possible scenarios, yet I’m extremely calm. “Ugh, I cannot do this today,” I think. Am I a bad mom-to-be??


7:10 AM – After cleaning up the bathroom and myself… I have paced my bedroom – office – bathroom about four times. Sasha is staring at me from the bedroom door, as if I’m nuts. I’m debating calling Jeremy or texting him with an I told you so update. I text Jeremy. Surprisingly, he responds quickly.


7:20 AM – I’m trying to get dressed. What should I wear? What if I really start bleeding? Of course, I am not prepared for labor; I don’t have any pads or anything in my house, I don’t have a bag packed… and I still have a long list of To-Do’s before the baby is born. Brilliant.


7:30 AM – I let Sasha out. Stand there and debate whether I should text my parents and sister… or, if I’ll be the annoying first-time-mom-false-labor-cries-wolf-woman.


7:35 AM – I text my parents and Cari.


7:50 AM – Finally, leave for work. I feel like I’m crazy because I truly don’t know what’s going on. How can I not be in control in this situation?


8:00 AM – Figure out my doctor’s office doesn’t open until 8:30 AM.


8:15 AM – Tell my co-workers I have to go to the doctor. They all freak out – saying I have to be in labor or close to it! Thanks, that isn’t helping!


8:30 AM – Call my doctor’s office to schedule an appt. My doctor is booked for the entire day. Other doctors at closest office are out in delivery, c-section or have the day off. Of course! Schedule appt with nurse practitioner I’ve seen before.


8:45 AM – Talk to Jeremy on my way to the doctor. Still feeling nuts for scheduling a seemingly unnecessary appointment.


9:00 AM – Doctor’s office. Weight – yuck. Blood pressure – ridiculously good 120/80?! Seriously? Petal’s heart rate – 138, the lowest it’s been yet. Sign we’re getting closer to delivery.


9:15 AM – Meet with NP. Measures my belly – 36 cm holy large!. On schedule. Insert speculum in my vajayjay – yuck. (I guess I’m SO not ready for birth!!) Looks at cervix. Shows normal signs of 9 months of pregnancy looks like hamburger? WTC?! . NP completes Group B Strep test, to which I’ll receive the results next week. NP feels cervix again, this doesn’t feel so great 9 months pregnant not dilated. NP concludes that I have lost my mucus plug. Advises me to “lay low” this weekend and keep myself from going into labor before Dec 6.


9:40 AM – I head back to work. Sit. And. Wait. For. Anything. Else. To. Happen.



I guess my body is welcoming me to 9 months of pregnancy.



Awesome.