Thursday, April 28, 2011

How are you feeling??

I get this question almost every day; it doesn't bother me, I know it's just what people ask someone who is this pregnant. I almost always answer, "good, thank you for asking", though I could really start to rattle off a list of things that are making me uncomfortable at this point! But let's be honest-no one really wants to know the truthful answer to that question :) And overall, I really am feeling pretty good. I'm one of those annoying people who really enjoys being pregnant, despite all of the uncomfortable things that come along with it. If I had to answer the question truthfully though, these would be my complaints:

*Lack of sleep; it is a cruel, cruel irony that sleep becomes so difficult in the last 2 months or so. Shouldn't my body know that it needs to get it while it can?? I don't normally have trouble falling asleep, but I'm up at least 4 times/night to either pee or have to readjust myself (and my elaborate pillow set up) in bed. And sometimes during one of those wakings, I'll have middle-of-the-night insomnia, which is the WORST! There is nothing more frustrating than being in bed, staring at the clock from 1am-3:30am, begging your body to just go to sleep already!

*Sciatic nerve pain; I didn't have this with Jake, so the first time it happened, I was yelping in pain, having no idea what it was!! OUCH! I mean really, the baby has all of that room in there & of all the places he decides to hang out & rest sometimes, he picks such a super sensitive nerve? fortunately, he hasn't taken up permanent residency there or anything, so it's only sharp shooting pains once/day or so. This is in addition to the general back pain that I feel from not being able to get comfortable very easily.

*Shrek legs; some days are fine, other days, my legs look like tree trunks. I'm pretty much in sneakers every day at work now & just past the point of caring if it looks right with my dress clothes. At least with warmer weather coming soon, I can graduate to flip flops.

*The God, the heat!! (Seinfeld, anyone?) I am so, so very grateful that I will be having this baby before full-blown summer really gets here, I don't know if I could take it. I'm warm almost all of the time and I find that my face gets really flushed if I am the least bit warm.

To end with some positive things:

*No round ligament pain this time! I had this with Jake & it was not cool at all.

*Less Braxton Hicks; they started much earlier this time than with Jake, and they were still very much happening up until 2 weeks ago or so, but they seem to have subsided quite a bit. I still get them throughout the day, but not like what was going on before.

*Movement; this is one active little guy & it just never gets old. Brian & I will often stop what we're doing in the evening & just watch the acrobat show that's taking place in my belly. I swear, sometimes it's like he's trying to come out of my belly, it's crazy.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

34 week milestone

According to my doctors, reaching 34 weeks is a big yay for me & baby! :) From my weekly update on babies born between 34 and 37 weeks who have no other health problems generally do fine. They may need a short stay in the neonatal nursery and may have a few short-term health issues, but in the long run, they usually do as well as full-term babies.

My blood pressure was acting up again a few days ago, but after meeting with the doctor & getting some reassurance, we're pretty much at a point where we are managing expectations of what my normal will be in terms of blood pressure. My "normal" seems to have shifted lately to where it shoots up if I'm doing much of anything, but will come back down if I sit/lay. The dr. said that's the key at this point; those spikes are ok (because I work a desk job & am already supposed to be not doing much), they want to make sure that it's coming back down when I rest.

Sooo...that's the update for this week! And here is a new belly picture...a thank you to my mother-in-law for buying this dress for me!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Book Review: "Sweet Valley High Confidential" (Francine Pascal)

Sweet Valley High Confidential: 10 Years Later....
by Francine Pascal

I can remember devouring these books (as well as Babysitters Club, of course!) when I was younger. I probably read the Sweet Valley High series past the age of when it was actually socially acceptable to do so, but whatever. I loved those Wakefield twins!!

This book takes place 10 years after graduation & we get a chance to catch up on all of the characters, deceit & drama included. It was incredibly cheesy in parts (but would you really expect anything else?) but I gobbled it up. A fun, easy read & exactly what I needed after being so disappointed in the last book I tried to read.

In other exciting SVH related news, a movie is in the works---you know I'm looking forward to that as well!!

Next up: Sing You Home (Jodi Picoult)

Things I've learned as a parent (though I didn't necessarily want to)

1. Kids get weird rashes. Case in point: I now know what Gianotti Crosti Syndrome is, after Jake had a lovely case of it when he was around 16 months old. If you want a refresher of how uncomfortable this rash looked, click here for the old blog post about it. Originally, they thought it was a reaction to a vaccine, but then discovered that it was actually this weird syndrome that generally only affects kids.

2. BRAT diet; I should probably knock on large pieces of wooden furniture before I post this, but we are very lucky that Jake has never had any type of throwing-up stomach virus. *pounding fists on my desk* We have had a few run ins with other stomach issues, and I'm now well versed in the BRAT diet.

3. Pink eye is extremely contagious. I know, that one is kind of a no-brainer, but my goodness how quickly it spreads!! I think Jake has been kind enough to share it with me twice now. But, I did learn a valuable lesson the first time I got it from him; I'm actually allergic to the standard drops they give you. Jake got pink eye on a Friday & we started him on the drops that day. By Sunday, I had it too, and started using the drops. By Tuesday, it looked like a pack of wild cats had attacked both of my eyes, they looked a million times worse than they did 2 days before. After a trip to the dr's office, I discovered I'm allergic to the drops & have to use ointment instead. Super messy, but at least it worked!

4. And my most recent lesson: seeing a tick on my kid makes me feel like I'm going to pass out. I picked Jake up at school yesterday & they were in the middle of trying to get a tick out of the back of his neck. One of the women who works there is a nurse & she couldn't get it out, she was afraid she would (GAG) pop it in half & lose the head & stinger in his skin. ugh, ugh, ugh!!!! Considering the fact that I got light headed just looking at the tick, I knew there was no way I would be able to remove it myself and Brian wouldn't be home for over an hour from then.

Thank God for Med Express!! There was a long wait, but fortunately for me, Jake seemed to think that the tick somehow paralyzed him from moving. Worked out well, I didn't have to worry about keeping him tame in the waiting room.

A tip for anyone trying to remove a tick: if you take a QTip & put vaseline on it, then swab the area all around the tick's body, it will start to cut off the air supply & the little bugger should start to squirm & try to back out. Phew! Jake was a champ, he sat perfectly still while the dr. applied the vaseline, then yanked him out.

PSA-the dr also said that it's been a bad year for ticks already & that we need to be diligent about checking him every single time he goes outside, even if it's just in our own yard.

So, Jake is perfectly fine. This mama is a bit traumatized by the whole experience, and I have a feeling that ticks will be haunting my nightmares for weeks to come.....

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!!

First of all, can we take a moment to pause & think about the fact that Easter has come & gone, and it's almost MAY at this point?? Maybe it's the crazy weather we've had (40 degrees sometimes, a lot of rain/wind, 70 degrees other days) that makes it seem unbelievable that we are almost done with April.

But, moving right along...we had a great Easter weekend here! Fortunately, the weather was actually nice on Saturday so after some errands in the morning (Jake got a hair cut, Brian did some housework...yay for checking things off a list!) we headed down to my mom & dad's house, where Jake got in some outdoor time before the rain moved in.

The Easter bunny brought Jake some goodies in his basket, but his real gift will be the play set that is on track to be put together in 2 weeks (shhh!! don't tell him, it's a surprise!) After much deliberation, we finally settled on this one from Toys R Us...I can't wait, I think he's going to be so excited!!

Here he is, searching for Easter eggs, then digging into his baskets:

The rest of the day was spent hanging out with GG, Pappy, Uncle Nate & Aunt Katie...and of course, EATING!!

Larry the Pug also joined us...after some intense playing, Gracie was spent for the day. It's debatable if she'll even be able to function today, she was in a coma this morning.

We also attempted to get some nice family photos...this was about as good as it was going to get!

We hope that everyone had a very happy Easter!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Yet another update....

After that bump in the road last week, I have good news to pass along....all is well at this time with me & the baby! Since my blood pressure was acting up last week, I made a special guest appearance at the dr last Wednesday; it was still up at the office and I was spilling protein in my urine again. The dr. requested that I do a 24 hour urine catch to get a better idea about the protein level. Good times! I was to get an ultrasound the next day, too, then some blood work done on Friday.

So, Thursday I took the day off of work to do the 24 hour catch (I'm sure I could have done it at work but well, the idea of toting that around here all day & keeping it on ice just didn't seem appealing to me for some reason) Instead, I spent the day bonding with the DVR & Gracie. We went to the ultrasound in the morning and everything looked great (those were the 3d/4d pics I posted a few days ago) More on the u/s results at the end of this post....

My bloodwork came back fine, and my protein level from the catch was 176; it was 160 about 2.5 weeks before, so just a slight increase, but still nothing to worry about. They did change my weekly visits to twice-weekly, with a nonstress test each time. So while it's kind of a pain, it also provides me with reassurance, so it's fine.

I went back today for another checkup and NST, and everything looked great again. My blood pressure was 128/87, which is pretty much my normal at this point. The baby was moving around great during the monitoring session and I had lost a pound since last Wednesday; I look much less swollen than I did at that time, so I'm thinking I was toting around an extra pound of fluid :)

The dr. discussed my u/s results with me in more detail & said that she does feel they're overestimating his size (he was 4 lbs, 2 oz-which put him near the 80th percentile). She doesn't believe he's teeny-tiny, but said that all of the factors considered, she would be shocked if he's actually that size. She measured my belly & it hadn't grown any in a week and a half (it was around 31 weeks, so about 1.5 weeks behind, I'm 32 weeks 5 days)---nothing to worry about at all as it's not always the best indicator, but just something that we'll keep an eye on. I'll most likely have another growth ultrasound at 36 weeks anyway, so we'll have everything checked then.

She's still talking induction around 39 weeks, so as long as this little one can stay put between now & then, he'll be served an eviction notice in approximately 6 weeks!!! :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Review: "The Corrections" (Jonathan Franzen)

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

It's not very often that I will just quit reading a book partway through it. It really takes a lot for me to put it down & totally give up, but I had to cut ties with this book. It's a 550+ page book, and 200 pages and 2 weeks into it, I just couldn't do it anymore.

I didn't like any of the characters, I didn't like the story line and I really despised what felt like excessive detailing of various situations.

So...I am moving on to greener pastures...up next, Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later. *insert girly teenage scream here*

Jake update

I haven't done a general update on Jake lately, so here we go!

*Recent comments about the new baby have included, "How long does the baby have to stay in his room? What is he DOING in there??" (by his room, he meant my belly) and "When that baby comes in, I'll give him my pants that are too small and some of my toys. he can have my blue car, I had it when I was a baby. I don't need it anymore, because I'm a big boy". :)

*He's been doing really well at preschool, he seems to be fully adjusted to his new classroom at this point. One of his teachers told me the other day that he has been coming out of his shell a bit more there & initiating play with other kids (rather than waiting for them to play with him) YAY! she also said he's been talking a lot more (he was really quiet before) to both the teachers and to other kids. Though she did comment that he speaks so softly most of the time, they have to ask him to speak up a bit. Going to the potty there is a nonissue at this point, finally. He goes before and after nap now, with no complaints or bribing involved.

*His memory never ceases to amaze me. Example: this morning, I went to put one of his fleece jackets on him & he said, "One time, I threw up on this coat. It was when we went to Jackson's house & I ate too much yogurt, so I threw up". A gross story, but that was back in December...and every time we go to put that coat on, he re-tells the story!

*His growing imagination has been so much fun to watch recently. He's been very into playing with characters, so he'll take out all of his "men" (a combo of buzz lightyears, Woody the cowboy, some dinosaurs and knights from his castle) and they will all talk to each other and play with each other. I love to overhear him say stuff like, "NO Buzzlight year, we don't hit our friends. You need to go to timeout now!"

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can think of for now. Here he is showing off what he calls his "thinking face":

And our completed Easter Egg project:

And of course, here is the other baby, lounging on the couch:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

32 week ultrasound

After my bummer of a post the other day, I have something much more fun to talk about today---our 32 week ultrasound! He was once again going crazy in there, kicking the ultrasound wand every time she tried to put it on my belly. clearly, he was not amused to be poked & prodded first thing in the morning. He was also practicing his breathing (which I guess is something they don't do all of the time), which prevented her from getting the belly measurements that she needed right away.

So, while we waited for him to stop his practicing, she flipped over to 4D mode to give us a new view of the baby....normally, I find these things to be freaky, but since it was my own kid, I was kind of in awe once we got a glimpse. (though admittedly, still a bit freaked out by the details) These pictures aren't the best (she printed some out, so these are pictures of a picture from my camera):

I think he resembles Jake in some of those shots.

He settled down after that, stopped moving around so much & had stopped his practicing, so she was able to finish up & get the measurements she needed. the baby is HUGE! 4 lbs, 2 oz...the tech said that puts him in the 81st percentile, but then when I came home, I googled what the average weight of a baby is at this point & it said they should be around 3 lbs, 12 oz. So it doesn't seem TOO far off to me, but whatever. She said my doctor would take a closer look at the measurements & discuss everything with me once the office receives the report. But either way, it was a relief to find out that he's growing just fine in there.

Monday, April 11, 2011


I hate to turn this blog into a place where I go with negative thoughts, but at the same time, it's a nice outlet to just get it all off my chest. So bear with me.

As I've mentioned before, part of my frustration with being put on "limited activity" (which means that I'm not on bedrest or anything, but that I'm really just not supposed to be doing any more than I need to do in a day) is that I am a control freak & I can't get stuff done if I'm not supposed to be moving around a bunch. I'm not going to lie, this definitely bothers me.

I have to pause here to give a shout-out to Brian; we may have different ideas of what "needs" to be done around a house on a day to day basis thanks to my OCD ways, but he has really stepped it up in an effort to keep me relaxed. He's taken over pretty much all of the housework and he does it without me having to ask. After Jake goes to bed, he takes over with whatever needs to be done so that I can park myself on the clean up, packing lunches, picking up stuff around the house, putting in laundry, etc... I'm really grateful for this, though a small part of me inside hates that I can't just do some of it myself. But I digress.

All of the household stuff aside, what has truly been bothering me lately is feeling like I'm missing out, or going to miss out on stuff. I have less than 2 months to go of having just Jake. He is my world and I have twinges of guilt from time to time about turning his world upside down soon with a newborn (even though I know he will adapt & be a fantastic big brother---I still can't help but feel guilty about how his way of life is going to change soon). Add to that guilt that already exists, the fact that sometimes I have to tell him, "Mommy isn't feeling well right now & has to go lay down on the couch, play with daddy for a little bit" because my blood pressure is going crazy. I hate it, I hate feeling like I can't play with my own kid & enjoy the time that's left of just Jake & mommy while I can, because i have this stupid issue to deal with.

Another source of frustration is the uncertainty/randomness of my blood pressure. For instance, on Sunday, I started out the day just fine, but by late morning, it was running around 145/95. For no apparent reason, I had actually spent most of the morning just hanging out since Brian had taken Jake out to run errands with him. It came back down in the afternoon when I was banished to the couch, but after dinner, it was right back up to that range again and all I had done was sat outside (with my feet propped up even!) and helped Jake dye easter eggs. But so far today, it's been fine.

It's a vicious cycle; I feel guilty about the things that I can't do with Jake right now, then the next minute, I feel guilty for feeling sorry for myself. I have a healthy baby and I'm doing whatever it takes to keep him that way; many people have issues much more serious than mine, so who I am to complain about what's going on with me?

So, I'm trying to adapt. As I mentioned in my other post, we went to the zoo this past Saturday; I was swollen when we got home & probably overdid it (You can insert Brian saying "I told you so" here). In an effort to spend time with Jake and get the rest I needed, I asked if he wanted to watch "Toy Story 2" with me. We don't watch movies all that often, so he thought that it was really special to get to do, and I loved snuggling with him on the couch. So, it was a win-win for us. I might not be able to change what's going on right now, but I can make the most of it & enjoy the time that I can spend with Jake, rather than feeling guilt-ridden about it all.

I love these weekends.

The weekends with beautiful weather and no specific plans or obligations....they are few & far between, so we try to enjoy them as much as we can when they do happen.

Friday night, Brian was lucky to have received a ticket to a charity event that featured a roast of Jerome Bettis. He was super excited to go and was hoping he would get to meet some Steelers. Unfortunately, he didn't get to meet anyone in person, but he did see the Bus, Hines Ward (and DWTS Kim Johnson!), and Mike Tomlin walked right past him.

Jake & I had a nice evening at home, then once he went to bed, I turned on some of my favorite trashy TV shows (nice to see you again, Real Housewives of Orange County!) and decided to tackle putting together our new bouncy seat. My nesting instinct is so strong right now, it's making me twitch---but since I'm not supposed to be doing much, there aren't many outlets for me to turn to get get my nesting on. I figured I could sit & put the seat together--it's just a tiny baby seat, how hard can it be? I'm sure it's easy for people who understand directions & spatial relations---which means that for someone like me, it took 1.5 hours. I finally get the whole thing put together (in 2 different pieces, the base and the seat itself) only to discover when I go to piece them together that a major piece is broken and the seat keeps collapsing. Hold me. Add "take bouncy seat back to store" onto our to-do list! Grrrr!!!

Saturday we ventured to the zoo and had a great time, though my legs/feet were freakishly Shrek-like by the time we got home. ICK.

I took it easy the rest of the afternoon & enjoying watching "Toy Story 2" with Jake, then we spent some time outside in the evening (ahhh, grill---how we've missed you so!) Brian prepped the nursery to be painted next weekend, then did some outside work.

Sunday was gorgeous out, and Brian was antsy to get some more yard work done, so he recruited a little helper & got to work.

My blood pressure was being screwy again by late morning, so I was banished to the couch for much of the afternoon. But once it came down, I ventured back outside to dye some Easter eggs with Jake.

We ended the day with more grilling and eating out on the patio, then putting a very tired little boy to bed. :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Weekend Getaway

We made the trip across the state last weekend to visit Brian's parents; as always, it was great to see them and Jake really enjoyed himself. And we couldn't have asked for better weather--60 and sunny both days we were there meant a lot of outdoor play time!

Saturday night, we went out to dinner for Brian's Aunt Laureen's birthday; she didn't know we were coming, so it was nice to be able to surprise her! Dinner was delicious and everyone came back to the house afterward for cake (the best part of any bday celebration!)

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