September 19, 2011

A few before and afters

With the baby around... making this house a home is a slow moving process... getting pictures uploaded is even slower.  There are many half-done projects around here, but here are a few of the finished ones:

$7 curtain panels from JC Penny - added white ribbon using stitch-witchery

Kitchen Cabinets - a gallon of paint and new hardware

Original chandelier

$10 chandelier from the Habitat Re-Store and a can of spray paint

$10 chair from the Habitat Re-Store - new fabric and spray paint

$17 Clock from Grannie's Panties - paint left over from the kitchen cabinets, scrapbook paper and scrapbooking embellishments 

August 8, 2011

Grace abounds in a home with squeaky floors

The gospel of grace calls us to sing of the everyday mystery of intimacy with God instead of always seeking for miracles or visions. It calls us to sing of the spiritual roots of such commonplace experiences as falling in love, telling the truth, raising a child, teaching a class, forgiving each other after we have hurt each other, standing together in the bad weather of life, of surprise and sexuality, and the radiance of existence. Of such is the kingdom of heaven, and of such homely mysteries is genuine religion made. Grace abounds and walks around the edges of our everyday experience. - Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel

A couple of months ago my husband and I moved into our "new" house (built in 1991) with a very pregnant belly.  A couple of weeks later we brought baby Audrey home.  Walking around the house the floors squeak and I'm starting to learn the spots.  I'm learning where to step and where not to step when tip toeing around the sleeping baby.

The baby is sleeping right now so I have some quiet time to do "me" things.  I'm working on a slipcover for a crummy old ottoman I got for $20 off of craigslist.  Walking around in the room with the ottoman I found a new squeaky spot and I smiled to myself.

This house immediately felt like home to me, and the squeaky floors are part of that.  They remind me of... home.  They remind me of the home I spent my first 18 years in and they make me want this to be the home baby Audrey spends her first 18 years in.

The squeaky floors remind me of my 5-year old self waking my mom in the middle of the night for a snack.  Sitting at the kitchen table with her, a little bit of pepsi, and some cheese crackers.  Loving that we were up while the neighborhood slept.  

The squeaky floors remind me of my 7-year old self racing through the house to the restroom in the middle of the night.  Racing, because I was scared of what lurked where it was too dark to see.  

They remind me of playing rummy by flashlight or candlelight when the electricity would go out.  

They remind me of dragging furniture from my room to my brothers room and from my brothers room to my room... weeks after he had gotten new wallpaper... now my wallpaper.  Blue, with little white seagulls I think.  They remind me of dragging the same furniture back to their original rooms months later. 

Waking up and tip-toeing to my dad's brown lazy-boy chair.  Curling up with my head on one of the arms and looking into the kitchen until someone noticed I was up.  My parents stirring their coffee and chatting.

The one window that always let in water when it rained.  At least it was the bathroom window!  I can even hear the sound of the wooden shutters that hung on the inside of that window.

Sitting on the back porch in a wet bathing suit, wrapped in a worn-thin beach towel, water dripping onto the floor from my dangling feet, eating a tomato stuffed with seafood salad, squeezed with lemon, and surrounded by triscuits.  

They remind me of my 9-year old self knocking on the shower wall, signaling my mom that I was ready for the towel that had been warming by the wood-stove.  Sitting with my back to that wood-stove to dry my long hair.

The squeaky floors remind me of my 17-year old self coming home late after everyone had gone to bed. Coming home to find a "mibb" warming the bed where my feet would go and a sweet note from mom on my pillow.  

The things that were normal and mundane have become the things that shape the memories of my childhood and they have become the things that bring to mind happiness when I look back.  

The squeaky floors in our new old house bring to mind happiness when I look back.  I pray that Audrey's normal and mundane experiences in this house become happy memories of her childhood one day.  I pray that she finds love in the ordinary things and I especially pray that she finds God in the ordinary things... that she recognizes all the blessings that so many of us tend to overlook.  

July 23, 2011

Motherhood Exposed - Buckle Up, It's Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

Granny Annie has been visiting for the past week.  We spent one day running errands with the babe.  We went to the Re-Store, I Heart New York Pizza, Michael's, The Dollar Store, Food Lion, and back home.  When we got home, Audrey was conked out in her car seat.  This is typical.  I set her down in the living room and went on about my business for as long as she would let me.  She eventually started to kick her feet and squirm so I knelt down to rescue her from this seat she had spent most of her morning in.  We usually keep a blanket on her, so I pulled that off of her first then sat down on my bottom, horrified at what I saw.  My angel was not buckled up.  She had fussed in Michael's, so I picked her up and carried her around for a bit.  At the check out I sat her back in her seat, but did not buckle her in and apparently never remembered to before we got back in the car.

Sad face...

A million what-ifs raced through my mind as I stared at my precious cargo.  More than a car accident, (which would have been detrimental, obviously, but unikely), I was freaked out about the way I handle her so roughly in the seat.  How could she have not slid out... what if she had slid out?!  I had popped her out of the shopping cart, flung her over my arm, tossed her in the car, and lugged her in the house... all the while her little bottom stayed put in her seat, no thanks to her mama.

Taking a moment to be thankful that she is just fine and thinking to myself I can't be the only mom that has done this.  Right?

July 18, 2011

Dear Audrey - Two Months

Dear Audrey -

How can I expect to remember all that has happened and changed in this last month.  You smile.  Boy, do you love to smile.  You finally wake up happy, smiling, ready to play.  You look at me like I'm crazy if I try to put you back down at 7am, sweetly demanding that I play with you by smiling and cooing... and squirming like crazy in your swaddle with big eager eyes.

You would rather lay and look at someone's face than play with the animals in your play gym.  You get frustrated in your play gym pretty quickly and start yelling at them.  I keep telling you that it's not nice to yell at your friends.

When you are anxious about something or you get startled your skin gets clammy.  Your palms sweat, your forehead beads up, and even your sweet little baby thighs feel clammy.  You can't blame me for this one, this comes straight from your daddy.

You have just recently begun to start crying a little before you go down for each nap.  I think it's because you're learning that there is fun to be had when you're awake so you're less interested in getting to sleep even though you are so tired.  You don't cry at night though.  It's amazing.  No matter how cranky your day has been, as soon as we swaddle you for bedtime we can lay you right down and you drift off to sleep.  Occasionally you squirm and I have to soothe you and put you back down, but you don't cry.  I'm amazed that you never sleep more than an hour at a time during the day, but when you go down for the night you sleep 6/7 hours easy.  Your longest stretch so far has been 9 hours.  9pm to 6am.  I'm a lucky mama!

We have learned that you're, "I'm hungry," cry sounds like, "neh, neh," and it's really fun for us to know we're accurately meeting your needs.  At least that one need... we have no clue what the other cries mean.

In the last week you've gotten much more used to your daddy and he's had great success soothing you.  You look so darn cute sleeping on his chest.  What a lovely sight.

You love to be outside, especially on the porch swing.  You and I sat out there one evening while the sky went from peaceful to stormy.  We swung and listened as the wind picked up and the sky got grayer.  We sat out there as the rain drops started softly and eventually got heavier.  We swung while the wind blew a mist in on our faces.  We watched and listened to the thunder and lightening.  You fell asleep on the swing and the thunder overhead didn't phase you.  You love to be outside, especially on the porch swing.

Daddy gives you baths regularly now and it's one of your favorite times.  If we could just figure out how to convince you to not scream your head off when it's time to dry off.  You sit in your bouncy seat in the bathroom while I try to squeeze in a quick shower shower and most of the time this works just fine.  One time you totally lost it.  Thankfully you were only wearing a diaper so I tore that thing off of you, swept you up, and brought you in the shower with me.  You loved it.  Until it was time to dry off.

Mama went off on her own without you for the first time.  First was a quick trip to Dunkin Donuts.  I was with a friend and was barely gone 12 minutes.  Hey, it was a start!  Second was a solo trip to Kroger.  I was so anxious and hurried the whole time but I was gone a good hour.  Daddy was home with you and you both did great.  It's still going to be a while before it's easy for me to leave you.  We spend all of our time together after all!

Loving learning you,

Mama and Daddy

June 18, 2011

Dear Audrey - One Month

Dear Audrey,

You're one month old today.  What a joy you are.  Your daddy and I are so blessed to be given the opportunity to be your parents.  You're a very good baby, but we would love you even if you weren't.  Some days you sleep with one eye open just to make sure I don't put you down, but other days we can lay you down when you yawn and you will put yourself right to sleep.  You're quite the Houdini; often times popping your little hand out of the top of your swaddle a few seconds after we're convinced we've finally got you wrapped up tight.  You love to have your hands by your mouth but they distract you and you don't sleep for as long when you have access to them.  Mommy doesn't like that, at least not at night.  You still don't wake up happy, but that's because you usually wake up hungry.  I look forward to when you see me and understand that you don't have to scream your head off anymore, because I will feed you.  You're still not sleeping in your crib, because you seem to be congested at night and all of your little snorts and gurgles scare your mama too much for her to be comfortable with you sleeping in another room.  It's really hard to get you back to sleep in your bassinet after you eat at 5:30/6:00 so daddy usually lets you lay with him in our bed.  You sleep fine when he does this.  Sometimes you have a hard time getting back to sleep after you eat at 4:00, but mommy won't let daddy bring you into our bed in the middle of the night.  I have to have some boundaries. 

This past week you've started to really look at things and, I think, get excited.  You're at least engaging things more than you were.

We think you look like a little cartoon bug.  Actually, your daddy makes really cute faces that I've always said make him look like a toon bug.  You look a lot like your daddy and are already making funny faces with your lips/mouth like he does.  We call you toon bug, bug, cricket, nugget, punk (short for punkin), and monk (short for monkey), along with the usual angel, beautiful, etc.

Like I said, you have your daddy's pretty mouth, and I'm pretty sure you have your daddy's nose.  You have your mama's chin (I'm sorry, blame your granny Annie) and your mama's round head (also sorry).  You even have your mama's ear ripple - weird, huh?!  We're not sure whose eyes you have yet, they seem bigger than either of ours.  The very first moment I held you, you had your left eye wide open staring at me.  So funny.  Your big, wide eyes are kind of your signature feature at this point.  They stare right at us, big as quarters, even when you're so so tired.  I'm not sure why you don't give in when you're sleepy.  Perhaps you're processing your mental to-do list like your mama does when it's time for bed.  I hope that's not the case.

Sometimes when you're dissatisfied with your current situation you move your hands like you're trying to doggie paddle.  You're funny about a pacifier.  I think it's your first love/hate relationship.  Daddy blows in your face to get you to stop crying.  This stresses mama out, because it also gets you to stop breathing!  Daddy holds you like a football and flies you around the room.  This also stresses mama out.  I will learn to loosen up.  In fact, I'm already better than I was.  We've only given you two baths.  You would have had a third one by now, but daddy is out of town and mama is nervous to do it on her own.  Daddy is actually much better at this task than mama is.  Right now Sampson and Lola still pretty much ignore you and me both, but I think they're starting to come around.  Soon enough the three of you are going to be buds.  Your daddy thinks it's so cute when you sneeze (it is pretty cute), you still get hiccups pretty often like you did in my belly, and your cough is so adult sounding!  And scary!  When you're done eating you purse your little lips together tight and pout out your lower lip.  You're a very very happy baby; so content with just about everything.

We pray that you will be beautiful, kind, and that you will have favor with God and people.  You are already making people smile and we pray that will always be the case.  Thank you so much for being such a precious girl.

We love you very much,

Mama and Daddy

June 7, 2011

I am the mother of a two-week old

**never got around to posting this last week**

I am the mother of a two-week old.

Amazing.  How did that happen?  Two weeks has passed?  And we're doing it... we're really doing it.  Never before have I felt the need to live in a "one day at a time" mentality.  But seriously, how else would you survive the pressure of bringing home 6lbs 6oz of life and nurturing her and meeting her needs... for a very very long time to come.

It feels so good to know that two weeks have gone by and we're really doing this.  I guess in actuality, "one day at a time" is more accurately lived as "three hours at a time," because that's the rough schedule we're cycling through these days.

Eat, play for a bit, sleep, wake up and scream like food may never come, eat, play for a bit, and sleep.

I'm finally beyond the anxiety I felt every time we were 15 minutes away from her next mealtime... when she starts to make little noises like she is waking up and will be screaming for my boob soon.

I was surprised at how much these two weeks were really about recovery.  I didn't feel like there were any REAL surprises with the labor and delivery (I had several mom's give me very detailed play-by-plays of their own experiences), but I really felt in the dark about so much of these past two weeks.

I had no clue I would hurt like this.  I know everyone is different, but it was a real challenge for me.  There were some days it hurt to sit, it hurt to stand, it certainly hurt to pee, and it definitely hurt every time she was hungry.  Gah!

I feel like I was so stinkin fortunate during the pregnancy, and really, during the labor and delivery.  No issues, no complications, for the most part it was pretty smooth sailing.  I know many moms don't have the pain I did during that two-week recovery period, but I feel like this was my trade off for how simple the ride has been up to this point.  Not to say I deserved to have a hard two weeks postpartum, but it helps me to manage it knowing that many moms struggle for most of their pregnancy or labor for 30 hours or push for 6 hours.  How could I complain when I've clearly been so fortunate?

How did people do this parenting thing without the internet?  How did people do this without google?  The list of random questions we've googled in the past two weeks really sums up how every little thing that happens during the day can raise the questions, "is this normal?  is this okay?  what do I do with this?"

My recent google searches:

How long does engorgement last
Blocked milk ducts
Can I overfeed my newborn?
How to get a proper latch
Keeping baby awake during feeding
How do deal with fast milk flow
Projectile spit-up
One breast seems to be fuller than the other, always
Umbilical cord bleeding
Minimum time breastfeeding
My infant won't feed for more than 10 minutes
My newborn won't go to sleep, not fussy, eyes wide open
Postpartum recovery, how long for stitches to heal
Treating belly button after cord falls off
My infant acts hungry every time she's upset
My infant eats every two hours
How to bathe an infant
Heat rash
Baby acne
How to treat baby acne
Is it safe to put lotion on a baby's face?

This has been a very humbling experience, but I am super proud of us for doing it and ever thankful that Audrey is patient with us.  I swear I can see her smirking at us when we're scrambling around clearly clueless about how to handle so many of these random daily scenarios.

But other times it's obvious we must be doing something right...

June 3, 2011

Motherhood Exposed: Our first solo outing

We had a play date last Wednesday, but a friend picked us up, so mom and babe have not been out unsupervised, until today!

Today is national donut day and the Dunkin Donuts right around the corner was calling my name loud and clear.  Because I haven't taken her out on my own yet, I also have not installed the carseat base in my car.  Here's what our morning looked like:

After she was fed and satisfied, I put her in her bouncy seat and went out to repark the car from the street to the driveway.  I peaked my head back in to check on her, she still looked happy.  I grabbed the carseat base and went out to install it.  Peaked my head back in to check on her, she still looked happy.  I grabbed the stroller frame and threw it in the trunk.  Came back in, still a happy girl.  I put her onesie on her, strapped her in the carseat, and began the task of looking all over the house making sure I had everything we needed.  I grabbed the diaper bag, the baby carrier, my wallet, keys, her sunhat, an extra blanket.  I looked all around before deciding we were done, I had everything we needed.  I grabbed her and everything else and, using my right foot, held the cat back while getting us and everything else out the front door.  I locked the front door, proud of myself for doing it and walked around to the far side of the car.  Tossed the diaper bag and carrier through the passenger window onto the seat, and set her carseat in the base.  Walked around to the driver side of the car and realized I had forgotten something.  My shoes.  I was barefoot!

I got my shoes and off we went to get a big ole coffee and a free toasted coconut donut.  We did it!

May 26, 2011

Audrey Alexandra Meitl: The Birth Story

May 16
39 week checkup at the doctor shows no real signs of progressing.  The doctor said, and I quote, "well, your cervix is up by your neck!"  I believe this was a nice way of telling me I wasn't close.  She said I was 1 cm dilated and she guessed that Audrey was 7 to 7.5 pounds.  There is not a scientific method to this assessment; she just feels around on my belly and makes a guess based on her how big the baby feels in there.

May 17
I started having cramping in my lower abdomen for the first time.  Up until this point I had only experienced sporadic tightening in my upper abdomen that I believe was braxton-hicks contractions.

The cramping in my lower belly happened about 3 or 4 times throughout the morning and mid afternoon.  Around 5:00 it started happening more often, and I decided once Matt got home and we got settled down for dinner and a relaxing evening we should probably start timing them.  At this point it just felt like menstrual cramps, more or less.

Around 7pm we began timing them and they were ranging anywhere from 6 to 10 minutes apart, most being 7 minutes apart.  Because I tested positive for group b strep, the doctor wanted me to call and come in to the hospital once the contractions were 5 minutes apart, lasting about 40 seconds, for an hour.

We went to bed at 10pm and the contractions were still about the same.  Mostly 6-7 minutes apart, but every now and then one would be 10 minutes apart.  This went on until 2:30... waking me up each time (not that I was really falling asleep in between).  Still not painful.

May 18
At 2:30am the contractions jumped from 6-7 minutes apart to 2.5-3 minutes apart.  Now it was starting to get a little harder to tolerate.  I definitely found myself groaning mildly in discomfort.  This went on for an hour so we called the hospital at 3:30am (I'm exhasuted by-the-way) and they told us to come on in.

At 4:15am they checked us into the hospital.  The staff told us that they had a large influx of babies that night, that they couldn't believe how many had come in already, and that I was probably number 11.  My mom previously predicted that the ball would get rolling on the 17th due to the full moon, and I've heard from others that more babies are delivered during full moons.  I wonder what truth there is to that.

There were no labor and delivery rooms available at first so we camped out in a smaller recovery room.  I was tired and not managing the pain as well as I might have been able to if I had been well-rested.

At 5:45am the doctor had time to check me... 2cm.  What?!  Gosh.  It's already painful and I'm farrrr from the end.  Shortly after the check I was wheeled to my labor and delivery room.  The bed was much much less comfortable.  "Purely functional," the nurse says.  Great.

At 9:25am I requested that the doctor check my progress again, because the pain was wearing on me in my fatigue.  I felt confident that I had really progressed.  3cm.  Yeesh!  This is ridiculous.  I was hoping for more, because I was ready for pain meds.  I didn't want to get an epidural too early however and slow the progress, risk it wearing off down the road, increase the chance of also needing pitocin, etc, etc.  We all agreed that 3cm was a little too early for that so I committed myself to getting through another 3 hours.

During that 3 hours the contractions continued to get more intense and began hurting in my lower back.  I was so exhausted that I wanted to lay, but that didn't seem to be the best position for me to be in when the contractions came.  I wanted to be sitting on something with a lot of support that would not engage my already sore lower abdomen the way the soft bed or a soft chair would.  Instead of gearing myself up in between contractions, I was so tired that I just hung limply and panted.  I felt so sleep deprived I just wanted to cry and I totally lacked the energy to go on.  At this point I was dreading the next contraction. Was it really approaching noon?  It definitely still felt like 4am.

At 1:00pm they gave me two pain options.  I did not get another check on my progress, because too many checks increases the risk of infection and the assumption was that I was continuing to progress at a fairly slow rate.  I opted for pain meds through my IV.  I believe they were narcotics?  I slept for an hour.  It was great.

At 2:00pm that wore off and the next contraction I felt was terrrrrrrible and I decided I did not want to feel this any more.  I was done.  I asked the nurse if I should get another dose of the narcotics through my IV or if I should get checked to see if I was far enough along for an epidural to make sense.  She said she would ask the doctor.  When she came back she said it was pretty much up to me.  No guidance, and what did I know about making this decision?!  Again, I was really hesitant about an untimely epidural and the one hour break I got from the IV drip was amazing so I said I would take one more of those and then the epidural.  I don't think that makes much sense now, but again, I was in no condition to be making that kind of decision.  As she was beginning the second narcotic drip the doctor walked in and said, "well if you are going to get the epidural anyway you should have gone ahead and gotten it now."  Great!  Why wasn't that the information that was reported back to me?  Too late now.

At 2:30pm the narcotics hadn't done a thing.  I was totally miserable and fed up and basically losing it at this point.  I called to the nurses station and told them I wanted to start getting the epidural ready.  The doctor said she would wait and check my progress after the epidural, that way I wouldn't be in any pain while she was doing it.  At this point, I figured I had to be around 7cm, and I was amazed that the contractions felt like they did.  How did anyone ever get to 10cm??  I remember commenting that these already made me feel like I needed to push!

At 3:30pm I got the epidural.  This entire process was pretty traumatic.  The nurse described the position she wanted me to get in and apparently I misunderstood what she meant so we had a little bit of a time getting me situated.  Meanwhile I'm wailing during contractions and really scared to have to manage them while holding still in an uncomfortable position.  While I was getting situated on the bed and voicing my fears with the nurse (and crying), the anesthesiologist, prepping behind me, let's me know that this is elective for both of us, "you don't have to do this, and neither do I."  He was already being a jerk in everything his said, but this really frustrated me.  I told him that I had done everything he had asked me to do and asked that he please not be a jerk.  The nurse got me situated and was amazing at getting me through my contractions.  The doctor described everything he was doing, step by step, in very medical (and scary) terms.  I remember him talking about a too-small area... and something being too close... and the possibility of hitting something... and needing to move to another area... and all of this really scary stuff while I'm bent over trying to hold still through very powerful contractions.  Yeesh.

I felt one more contraction and that was it.  I could still feel pressure in my bottom during the contractions, but it didn't hurt.  It made me feel like I needed to push still.

At 3:35pm the doctor checked me and I was 9cm!  Woops!  No fricken wonder.  She broke my water then said she would be back in 30 minutes to see if was ready to push.

At 4:25pm she made it back (she was running around delivering a ton of babies that night) and when she checked me she said, "Well, the baby's head is right there, you won't have to push long at all."  Great!!  I think I pushed through about 7 contractions, three serious pushes with each one.  This was a little stressful, because I wanted to do it right, but couldn't tell if I was or not.  I totally thought I was going to pop blood vessels in my face and I know I had to have been purple.

At 5:10pm Audrey Alexandra Meitl was born.  The cord was pretty close to being snug around her neck so they cut it as soon as her head was delivered and whisked her away.  She was a little stunned and had a hard time finding her voice.  After a few minutes I heard her make a sound.  After 10 minutes they brought her to me and I got to hold her.  She had one eye wide open staring at her new world.

Here she is... just 10 minutes old.

6lbs 6.3oz; 19in long.  What an angel.

May 23, 2011

My Pregnancy: Week by Week

week 5 - found out we're pregnant

week 6 - kidney stones!

week 7 - nausea/light-headedness and fatigue begins

week 8 - bloated!! throwing up when i brush my teeth, ack!

week 9 - nausea makes it hard to eat - i want bacon and burgers and things that have a strong smell and taste

week 10 - lots of ramen and grilled cheese

week 11 - heard the heartbeat, amazing!  told my boss and co-workers

week 12 - i feel better, just tiiiiiiired

week 13 - it's impossible for me to get too much sleep these days

week 14 - other than being tired and a little bloated here and there, i feel good

week 15 - grapefruit and citrus fruit juices seem to be my craving.  the more refreshing the better. 

week 16 - finally starting to show a little!!

week 17 - it's a girl!!

week 18 - felt the first movements - feels like blowing air into your cheeks

week 19 - i feel fantastic, good energy level.  hardly feel pregnant except for feeling the baby move, no more bloated feeling.

week 20 - low blood pressure made me almost black out while driving - had to call 911 for myself!

week 21 - really starting to pop out now - feels more like poking your tongue against the inside of your cheek 

week 22 - baby didn't move much this week - but i got to hear her heartbeat

week 23 - she's moving like a champion again!

week 24 - heart burn!!

week 25 - heard the heartbeat, passed my glucose screening, and i've gained 11 pounds... still on track to gain 25 which is good.

week 26 - baby is all knees and elbows these days

week 27 - i feel like i can start telling where she is positioned and whether i'm feeling arms, legs, head, or butt

week 28 - started noticing that my belly moves like a bowl of jelly when she's playing in there

week 29 - starting to feel when she has hiccups

week 30 - more than just knees and elbows, i can feel what i believe is her back pressed against me... like she is using the right side of my belly as a hammock

week 31 - drove to TN and back - lower back aches! - and sewed crib bedding with mama, it looks awesome.  this is the first week we began calling her audrey more than we call her baby.

week 32 - the first week i really started to be uncomfortable in my belly.  she's really filling up that space and tieing my shoes is a real chore!

week 33 - had someone ask me if i was having twins, really?!

week 34 - it's official... i feel pregnant.  very pregnant. sore feet, hard to roll over.

week 35 - baby's is head down and not likely to come up out of there.

week 36 - tested positive for group b strep.  no big deal, we're not upset.  baby has begun to drop and yet is still way up in my rib cage.  not much real estate for her in there.

week 37 - i thought i felt pregnant at week 34.  i didn't.  but now i do.  walking sloooow.

week 38 - i think i have 3 shirts left that fit me.  but i'm still in my regular jeans.  amazing.

38 weeks and 2 days - last week of work, almost finished with the nursery.  car seat still not in the car.  hospital bag still not packed.  bottles not washed.  pediatrician not picked out.  and all of this coming from a planner!

38 weeks and 5 days - my last day of work, starting to have contractions.  nothing regular, although for a little while they were happening every 7 minutes.  once i got my butt horizontal on the couch they went away.

38 weeks and 6 days - absolutely no energy.  slept 10 hours last night and still drug around the house all day.  i'm sure the extreme rest is good for my body right now.

39 weeks and 1 day - dr appt shows now signs of progress quite yet.  i've lost a pound, which isn't uncommon at this stage.  i've gained 20 pounds overall and the dr is guessing that Audrey is 7 to 7.5 pounds.  

39 weeks and 2 days - a different kind of contraction, i think.  cramping in my lower abdomen.  nothing regular or consistent.

39 weeks and 3 days - guess that cramping in my belly was the real thing, because it never went away until Audrey made her entrance into this world!

Birth story to come... :)

May 15, 2011

Moving on Up!!

And sliding down...  The stairs... On moving boxes that we've broken down...

Check out the speed!!

May 14, 2011

Roasty Toasty Artichokey

I grabbed a Boboli pizza crust the other day and made a pizza with leftover shredded rotisserie chicken, spinach, artichokes, and toma tomatoes.  It didn't take many artichokes to cover the pizza and those guys aren't cheap so I didn't want to toss them.  They've been hanging out in the fridge waiting to be used for something else.  I decided to just try roasting them tonight and it turned out great.  I sliced the hearts in half and tossed them in a small oven-safe dish with olive oil, lemon juice, sliced garlic, and parmesan cheese.  Baked them at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes and they turned out fantastic!

January 12, 2011

A little bit of drama in my life

For the past couple of weeks, and especially for the past few days, I have been raving about how wonderful, and just plain "normal" this stage in the pregnancy has been.  I'm not light headed or nauseous, my hormones are nice and balanced, I'm not bloated or full feeling even though my stomach is getting bigger, and my boobs are no longer tender (even though they are also getting bigger!).  Unless I look down to be reminded that I no longer have a waist line, or unless I feel the baby kick (which is heaven, by the way), I don't even feel pregnant.  This really helps time to fly right on by.

So, this morning on the way to work, I had myself a little drama.  It was pretty cold out this morning, a tad below freezing, and there was residual ice on the roads from a little winter storm the day before.  I generally start off freezing.  The air in the car is cold, the steering wheel is cold, I'm bundled up, shivering.  Eventually the air on full blast is too much and I get a little hot and need to make an adjustment.  Usually that just means turning the heat down and maybe taking my gloves off.  This morning, about 5 miles from work, I got really stuffy and needed to remedy that immediately.  I turned the heat down and took my gloves off.  I turned left onto Old Oxford Rd., about 4 miles from work.  I continued to feel particularly restricted in my coat (happens in general when you've got baby belly and a scarf crammed in there) and I got increasingly hot.  I started to unbutton my jacket and was in a frenzy to get my thick scarf off of the back of my neck.  My vision was starting to get a little blurry, and at first I thought it was my imagination.  I would blink real hard and try to refocus my vision on the two lane country road.  I was reaching for my phone to call Matt while I continued to unbutton my jacket.  In hindsight this was not the smartest move on my part, but while I didn't want to overreact, I did want to be on the phone with someone in case something happened.  Matt didn't answer, thank goodness.  By the time I ended that call I realized I was definitely losing my vision, and fast.  My whole face and neck got clammy and I was running out of time to find a place to pull over.  I could tell that there weren't shoulders without ditches or trees, nor were there driveways or roads to my right.  Not even sure if I was 100% in the correct lane at this point, I found a left turn and took it.  I felt like I had very little time left to get my car off of the road and call 911.  Right after taking my left turn I saw that the left shoulder was flat (whereas the right shoulder once again welcomed a ditch followed by trees).  I crossed the lane of oncoming traffic, pulled onto the shoulder, stopped, and managed to dial 911 (and get my scarf off!) in time.  I put on my hazards, and wasn't positive my whole car was off of the road, but I knew most of it was, and people were driving pretty carefully in general because of potential ice patches.

While I was on the phone with the 911 operator my vision came back and I started to feel better.  He waited on the phone with me until a fire truck showed up followed by paramedics.  They took some of my vitals and determined that my blood glucose level was lower than it should be, considering I had eaten breakfast not too long ago.  My blood glucose level read 70, and they said they would expect to see it around 110 or 120.  They took my pulse, and my blood pressure, and sat with me for about 20 minutes.  I definitely felt better and felt like I could get in to work.  They escorted me right to my parking spot.  Once I got into the office it took a couple of hours of feeling lightheaded and switching between feeling clammy and having chills, but everything eventually balanced out.

I'm grateful that I made it through this safely.  I'm thankful that I have had this warning sign and can hopefully recognize it quicker if there is a next time.   Oh what a day :)

January 3, 2011

Five Things to be Happy About: 12/28 - 1/3

1.  The first nursery project is complete!  We found the perfect nursery rocker on craigslist and I recovered it with fabric I've had on hand for a while now, just waiting for a good reason to use it.  I'm just tickled with the finished product.  I feel much less intimidated to sew the crib bedding now that this is complete.

2.  Got a few other much needed house projects complete.  Getting this place in a state where it's ready to put on the market should we decide to sell.  Matt finished the peel-and-stick tile in the guest bathroom and painted a few places where walls had been patched and were never repainted.  Next stop - tiling the kitchen backsplash and rehanging the storage door.  

3.  Finished packing up our gift boxes for friends and family.  Spent half a day making 32 cups of spicy peanut brittle and also made our own spice mix and boxed them up with pretty holiday scented candles.  What a fun Christmas project.  

4.  Reached the halfway point of the pregnancy and feeling really good.  

5.  Selling a beautiful wedding dress for $200 that I bought for $100 and never wore... that's enough to buy a crib!

January 2, 2011

Seafood salad stuffed tomatoes

Yum!!  My mom used to make this.  We'd eat it on the screened porch with our towels wrapped around us, still wet from being in the pool.  Mama would slice a tomato into wedges, fan it out in the shape of a bowl, and stuff it with seafood salad.  Squeeze a little lemon on top and put a few triscuits on the side, and we had a wonderful refreshing summer snack that I still crave whenever it's hot out, especially if I've been pool-side.

During this stage of my pregnancy, while I haven't had any specific cravings, and certainly no weird combinations, I have craved refreshing things.  Juice, clementines, grapefruits, anything refreshing.  Today I decided I would really love a seafood stuffed tomato.  My first in the winter, I'm sure.  I decided to make my own seafood salad this time just to spoil myself a little extra.  This was so easy, I highly recommend trying to make this yourself if seafood salad is something you enjoy.

Seafood Salad

1/2 c mayo (preferably dukes)
1 tsp skim milk
1/2 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/3 green pepper, finely chopped
8oz imitation crabmeat, flaked

In a bowl, mix together the first seven ingredients.  Add the celery, green pepper, crabmeat and combine.  Slice a tomato into thin wedges and serve with the seafood salad, a little extra lemon juice squeezed over your plate.  I like to alternate using the tomato as a "cracker" and putting the crabmeat on a triscuit.  This really hit the spot today.  :)