Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Some of Everything

April 27th has come and gone, and no baby yet. When I had my last ultrasound, at 28 weeks I think, the tech told me my 'new due date' was April 27th because of the size of the baby. But my doctor knows a thing or two and said she wasn't going to change my due date and we're sticking with the original date in May. I just figured I'd be ready anytime after the 27th. Well, I'm ready, come on baby!
Accomplished Checklist:
-car seat installed
-bouncy seat and play mat put together
-bags packed for the hospital (which, why did it take me so long to choose clothes for the baby to come home in??)
-Evi's room and closet re-organized to make room for two (although the baby will be in our room until she sleeps through the night. That's the plan at least...we'll see)
-Baby clothes washed and put away
-Bathroom cleaned (ok, has nothing to do with bringing a baby home...but I need cleanliness and order!)
-double jogging stroller put together (not like I'll be jogging anytime soon, but it's our double stroller, PLUS it can hold the car seat)
-Some diapers and wipes are purchased and ready to be used!

Need to do:
-Put together portable crib/bassinet, baby's home while she's in our room (but it takes less than 5 minutes, so I'm not too concerned with that)
-Pack Evi's bag for her stay at Grandma's while I'm in the hospital
-Get head pillow/cradle to put in carseat to keep small baby's head in place. Borrowed one from Erin last time, but in her declutter zeal she got rid of it!
-Sell darn desk to make more room in living room for baby swing/stuff (come on craigslist buyers, buy my desk!!)
-GET SWING (have you ever just wanted something specific and another wouldn't do? Such is the case for the swing I want. We sold the one we had for Evi, knowing I wanted a different one and to save space)
-Continually clean my house. You know when you have a small house, when anything is out of place it looks messy again? Well, that's what we have and it's an ongoing thing to clean. But at least a few days ago I vacuumed and dusted everything, so I just have to clean up what gets displaced during the day.
-Sell more stuff on craigslist or ebay. Not super high on my priority list, but would still be nice to clear out the pile of "to sell" stuff. Now if only people would BUY all the things we list, we'd be golden!
I know there are probably a million more things to do to prepare, but my body is definitely ready for her to arrive. It'll be more cramped in our small space for sure, and I have no idea how our family dynamic will change, but the time is right around the corner and it's time to figure out what life as a family of 4 will be like!

In other news.....
Ron's grandmother generously bought Evi a bed for her birthday in February. She asked us what would be a good gift, and being the practical people we are, we figured a bed would serve her better in the long run than a really cool toy. We headed to IKEA and decided on the "reversible" bed that can be put at two different heights (so it can be used as a low bunk bed or just a loft bed). We figured it would be a space saver, eventually, as we could put a toddler on the bottom 'bunk' and in the mean time, fit the crib perpendicularly (is that a word with the -ly on the end?) under the bed before she's ready for the "toddler bed" space saving bunk.
We (READ: RON) got it all set up and first of all, Evi looks so tiny in her new giant bed (pictures to follow because I haven't taken any yet). She sure is growing up. We put it up high already (it's got high walls to prevent kids from falling out, plus it's only about 4 feet high, not like a normal bunk bed), and for days afterward she would always say, "I like my new bed" as she climbed the 3 step ladder. She sleeps well in it and the BEST part is that she's napping quite well again! Yahoo for the change in the bed! I'll take a small and cramped room for regular naps :). Plus, I'm quite pleased that she can use the cool sheets I saved from my teenage/college years. Right now, awesome clownfish sheets adorn the new bed. I have to go to Ron's mom's attic to get the remainder of my cool sheet collection to share with my daughter! I knew they'd get used again :).
Secondly, what were we thinking about putting the crib underneath? Part of it would stick out, which would be fine if I wasn't worried about a toddler throwing things into the baby crib! I realized this as I was arranging the room. It's just one little thing we didn't consider. But we'll see how it all works out--they won't even share a room for a while anyway. So now it's just cramped in there with the big bed, the full sized crib/toddler bed still there (do I really want to take it apart to put back together in a couple months?), and a big toy shelf. Ah, the joys of living the college life--tiny housing and little money :). One day this will all be a distant memory :).

Moving along...
-The poison ivy mostly gone, thank goodness. I still have itchy episodes now and again, but the worst of it is over (I hope). Now I would just like all my skin to heal, and not scar. Thank you poison ivy, but I am finished with you!
-I really haven't enjoyed cooking while pregnant, and some local businesses have really benefited from this lack of desire. Wendy's, Jason's Deli, and Chevy's are a few that might just be grateful for this pregnancy. Too bad we're not closer to a Cafe Rio or Costa Vida (CV benefited from my pregnancy in Memphis!)! It's a good thing I'm super frugal and low maintenance in most things I do, because my food spending in the last few months has not been so frugal.
-Speaking of Memphis, I've really been missing it lately. I think it's because we had Evi there, so my thoughts and memories of having a baby all take place there. I guess in years to come, we'll also be able to look back fondly on our time in Maryland for being the place we had baby #2 (who has no name yet!).

There you have it. A little bit of everything that has been happening. I'll put up some recent pictures of our happenings.

Picture from Evi's Easter egg hunt in our yard. Evi made the color with food coloring for that egg herself, so I had to take a picture. If you look above the egg, you can see the massively overgrown Holly tree that was tainted with poison ivy vines. The tree is trimmed and the ugly brush pile next to it is now GONE.
Kisses for Daddy

Evi and Mia on Easter Sunday

This is the only picture I got with Evi in this cute dress from my Grandmother, and she was loving driving this car by herself. When I saw it, I was a nervous wreck and had to go in the house and let Daddy continue on letting her enjoy herself. This was at Ron's Uncle's house.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Coincidence or deliberate word choice?

Earlier today, Evi crawled up into her bed and said in sort of a sad voice, “I gwieving”. I said, “You’re grieving?" She said yes, and I asked, “who are you grieving?” She said, “Grandpa”.

Hmm. I generally don't use the term "grieving" with her. Maybe she picked it up in observation? It may mean nothing and may have been a coincidence of her word use, but I still found it interesting. She also usually calls my dad, "Papa", but it made too much sense for her to not be talking about him. Just thought I'd record that little moment.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It might just be time.... do away with naps. I thought everything was put away securely for Evi's naptime, but I was mistaken. I only had ONE side of the closet locked, the other side has never been a worry. But I suppose she figured out how to squeeze her little body to wherever she is determinded to be, and that might just be where a small bottle of baby powder is hidden. I didn't mind her just having quiet time in her room rather than sleeping, but it was a shock to be greeted with this face:

Nice. Just in time for a new baby to show up! Of course it would happen that way!

Quick update on the whole closet situation anyway: the doors have been broken so I thought I would train/trust her to NOT empty all the clothes out, and took off one of the two sliding doors. I got a curtain to cover the opening and continually reminded her she was not allowed to empty anything. One time she did (JUST as soon as I had folded and organized all the baby clothes and had everything fitting nicely) and I scolded her pretty badly, and it seemed to work for awhile. Two more times of that over a few weeks and I didn't put anything back in the closet until our landlord could get the closet doors fixed. This just happened, but I only have the hook and eye lock on one of the doors. SHEESH. That'll teach me. If you lock one side, get em both. Or just stop mandating quiet time in her room when she only wants to explore....

Steroid Update

Poison ivy is the pits. Last night was nice though, I only woke up one time with an itch attack, as opposed to previous nights with several times. That might also be from the wonderful spray I used for the first time last night--it burns first but then basically numbs the area and it doesn't itch. Golden.
My doctor's visit was Monday and I got the OK for the steroid on Tuesday. Ron went in on Wednesday and he was in bad shape. His entire arms from biceps to wrists are swollen and red and cracked and just bad. He started his steroid treatment on Wednesday, but hasn't seen a lot of improvement, so we went back to the doctor for him today. We called to ask if he should be seen before the weekend or if he should be on something stronger (because it basically looked like acid was dumped on his arms, they looked terrible) and they suggested he come in for a steroid shot. I thought I'd tag along to see if they suggested anything else for me.
The doctor--well, physicians assistant actually--suggested we both get it, as long as I could get the OK from my OB. I called, and got the approval and Ron went first.
Almost instantly, he was laying back on the table, breathing heavy and clearly not well. I called in the nurse and with the doctor they gave him some ice and helped him through it and thought maybe it was because Ron doesn't do so well with needles and figured I'd be alright. Ron didn't think I should get it afterall, and I talked with the doctor about that, and she thought I'd be fine. She even said that I was getting a lesser dose than him because of my weight and pregnancy. After 10 minutes or so, Ron was much better, with only a hurting arm, but it was a strange and worrysome experience.
My turn came and I experienced everything he did. It was AWFUL. I instantly felt incredibly hot, dizzy, nauseous, and other uncomfortable things, and no position helped ease the discomfort. The arm it was injected into felt like it was hit with a bat by someone like Reggie Jackson and no amount of ice helped that feel better. AWFUL. Yet, just like Ron, after 10 minutes or so, I was all cleared up and ready to go. As I was laying/sitting there, I was thinking about the fact that I have to GIVE BIRTH in a few weeks, yet I barely feel like I can handle a shot in my arm (packed full of crazy side effects though). Yikes. It was such a strange experience.
Now that it's been several hours, I think it's working better on some of my spots. She told us we should see a difference tomorrow, and if not, we can see a dermatologist next week. Super. But I have one spot on my arm that's been swollen all week and just this afternoon it's finally starting to go down. I still itch, a lot, but I'm going to keep some good faith in the fact that it'll get better and run it's course and, fingers crossed, that I DON'T have a baby with nasty red bumpy dried leather looking arms.
That's the update for now. I figure I might as well keep a record. Oh, and Ron said today that he isn't doing any more yard work until we OWN a home and we HAVE to, and with no bare skin exposed.
He has a point.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who is due first?

Taken at 35 1/2 weeks! However, Ron's "baby" came right out after the picture...I'm still carrying mine!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hopefully, some relief

Fortunately I had a regular check up today with my OB (since I'm now 36 weeks!), and she told me it's perfectly safe to take the steroid for the poison ivy. I learned something new, though, about the pains of poison ivy. I knew you could only get it from the oils of the plant and recently learned that it is not spread from the oozing sores. However, you can also get a "general" poison ivy which means you can break out ANYWHERE and everywhere, regardless of whether or not the oils touched you in a particular spot. My OB knew that since she had the experience a year ago and broke out all over, and said the steroid will be the only thing to fight it. My worry? On Monday at the doctor, I only had it on my forearms and one small spot on my stomach. Right now, in addition to the spots from yesterday, I have it on my forehead, eyebrow, eyelid, below my nose/upper lip, left shoulder blade, right shoulder, a bit on my knee and chest. I KNOW that darn vine didn't get me in all those places and am not really comfortable. After a lot of calls and messages, I finally got my prescription filled for the steroid that will hopefully help. I might have even convinced Ron to go to the doctor tomorrow so he can get the same medicine, assuming they can see him last minute too.
So I'm hoping for a little relief in the very near future, cause this is lame! I've got some indoor nesting to do and I'm not real comfortable moving in general, so lets get this thing kicked!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Why nesting should be contained to indoors only

Since we've lived in our current house (almost 2 years), there has been a giant pile of sticks, brush, leaves, thorns, and who knows what else in our back yard. We know bunnies hide out in there, but we were pretty sure it was also a breeding ground for other things that might not be as cute as bunnies. Lately, Evi has enjoyed going back there and climbing around, so we thought we'd be safe and get rid of the pile. Thanks to all the snow in February weighing it down and smushing it, it wasn't as big and seemed managable. Of course, this was all my idea; Ron was completely content letting it be (smart man).

On Saturday we borrowed some gardening gloves and a few tools from some friends and went to work, and got it all taken care of. I forgot to take the before picture, so I didn't bother with the after one, but it looks great now. We're not even sure if we're going to use the now open space for anything, but the yard looks much better. HOWEVER, later that day, my arms were itching and I told Ron that I might have poison ivy or something. Not once in any of our work did we see any leaves or anything--yet there were lots of vines. He just encouraged me to wash my arms and said it was probably nothing. Well, the next day his arms started itching too and he believes me now that we both got stuck with poison ivy (or oak or something??)! Apparently we got the oils from the vines or something. Both of us only have it on our forearms, and a few small spots here and there, as our clothes kept us pretty protected. But as Ron was super supportive to me, the very pregnant wife, he did more of the heavy duty stuff, and his arms now look far worse than mine. Evi was with us out there but I wisely had her in long sleeves and pants, and so far she seems unaffected.

I went to the doctor for it today cause it's pretty miserable and I wasn't sure what I could take at this stage of my pregnancy. I got some topical stuff and she's checking on another oral medication and will call me tomorrow. In the mean time, Ron and I are resisting the burning and itchiness as much as possible and keeping our calamine lotion fresh!

The moral I learned?? Keep the nesting inside. It's much safer and I think everyone will be happier in the long run!

Friday, April 9, 2010

This time last year

At this time last year, I was visiting my dad. We had gotten the news that things didn't look so good, so the three of us who don't live in Utah went in for a last visit with him. Unfortunately we couldn't all coordinate to be there together, but maybe that was better anyway, to stagger the visits with Dad. When I was there, he wasn't great, but still, he was ok. He still would walk around the house sometimes without his oxygen tube (which he wasn't supposed to do, that rebel), we still did a couple of family outings, and I still got to hug him and sit with him and laugh with him and be with him. Leaving for the airport to come home was the hardest, because we both knew it would likely be the last time we'd see eachother. He had planned to go to the airport with me, but then decided it would be too hard, and I kind of agreed. We had a wonderful visit, we had a sweet goodbye and wonderful embrace. Less than two months later, I was back in Utah for his funeral. That disease came hard and fast and it seemed that in an instant, he was in bed more than he was up, simply because he didn't have the energy or lung capacity to support any effort.

I've really been missing him lately and have been so sad that he is gone. But I also have tried to look at some of the positives, such as: He would have absolutely hated living in any kind of senior living center; nursing home or assisted living or anything. Add to that even a hospital. He got to go out on his own terms and in his own home thanks to Hospice care. Another thing positive is that Evi will randomly bring him up which brings a smile to my face. She'll use my phone to "call Papa" or she'll talk about "Papa's rocks" or say"Papa called me a mess." I hope to be able to help her remember him as time goes on.

I have lots of things to be grateful for, but sometimes, I just miss him.

Dad and his big brother, 4/2009

The tour

Ron and I toured Holy Cross this week, to get ready for the baby delivery. Evi was born in Memphis, and it seems like it was almost in a different world. Here are some of the things that I took away from our tour:
*You have to PAY for parking at the hospital!? Maybe that's not new to some people, but I was shocked. We barely made it out having to pay our $2.00--we had about $0.20 to spare as we paid in change (I had used all my cash at Rita's earlier in the day, yum). I guess the good thing is that your "support person" can have parking validated, although visitors are out of luck. Oh, but if I deliver over a weekend, anyone can visit on a Sunday and not have to pay!

*I can bring any type of electronics I want with me into the labor/delivery room, but I can't plug them in. Too much other stuff in there and they don't want to chance anything with the power.

*The phones in the labor/delivery room dial out, but not in. And we're not allowed to use cell phones in there. Yet we can use their wireless internet?

*The phones in the recovery rooms dial out and in, and they still say you can't use the cell phones there. BUT, our tour guide said that everyone uses them there anyway, because it's too hard to police and not a big enough deal I guess.

*The fold out couch/bed that Ron will get to experience does not feel very comfortable.

*We were warned ahead of time to bring all the pillows we want, because the hospital pillows are thin and plastic and not comfortable. It's nice to know ahead of time!

*Since I'm already pre-registered, it seems that check in will be easy. They say they won't be full, even if they are busy, so that's good news. In Mempis, they were pretty busy the night I went in and had to wait for 30-45 minutes before I could even get in a bed for them to check me.

*They have lots of options for "clear liquids" for me to have if I want when I'm in labor. Including italian ice and popsicles.

*If I heard them right, I can order food at anytime. I do believe I heard our guide say that "it was like room service".

*I hope to go into labor at off-peak rush hour. It only took us 15 minutes to get home on the beltway after the tour, but if I need to head over there around 5pm, that'll be another story and we definitely won't be on the beltway.

*The tour was informative and I'm glad we took it. I'm looking forward to having our baby at Holy Cross, as Ron and I were both born there. Evi is our stand alone, hailing from Memphis, Tennessee!

Some of the differences from having a baby in a smaller city of Memphis:
*It took us about 20 minutes to get to the hospital, but that was it. It wouldn't change during rush hour and we could always plan on that.

*Free parking, come and go as you please (although, who knows? Maybe it has changed there too in the last 3 years).

*Cell phone use anywhere, although I don't recall if there was wireless internet or not.

*One day in recovery, I had nurses who were just helping there and didn't know all the in's and out's of labor/delivery recovery. They were so busy (I guess I wasn't the only one who got excited over the super bowl that year--since my labor started a few hours after the game ended) and they were short staffed.

*Much of my hospital stay was a blur since my world had changed so much in an instant. I didn't leave the room much and didn't need half the stuff I packed from the "must pack for the hospital" lists.

*The only thing I was allowed to put in my mouth after I got there was ice chips, "just in case I needed a c-section". I checked in around midnight and Evi wasn't born until 12:50pm. I was pretty hungry, but still had to wait until the kitchen opened for dinner because by the time I was allowed to eat, the kitchen was closed. The nurses brought me juice and crackers, because that was about all they had, but I think Ron might have had to go get us some food from a restaurant nearby.

I think the hospital experience may be a bit different this time around, but will hopefully have a similar result: a beautiful baby to bring home with us. I look back at Evi's birth and love the memories and wouldn't change it. Everything I experienced there brought me my sweet baby girl. Small town or big town, I'm grateful for the experience.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

a parking spot, and much more

Today was a busy day, starting with dying Easter eggs. Last year Evi did get to "hunt" for eggs at Ron's aunts house, but we didn't do anything in our house because I thought she might not get too much out of it at 2 years old. I figured she's old enough now at 3 to enjoy the process, so we boiled our eggs and had some friends over for some dying fun! Sadly, no pictures to show (as is often the case when toddlers and possible messes are involved), but I hope to take some tomorrow with her holding up some of the eggs. She actually got quite into it and loved to pick the color and she really tried to carefully put the egg in the cup once I urged her to do it that way rather than dropping it! Evin brought her daughters and 14/15 year old (?) niece Kara and I just need to add that I absolutely love my time with Evin. I was doing dishes and she helped me dry and we just talked and were girlfriends again for a few minutes without having to worry about the kids (since fun cousin Kara was playing with them). Distance is always hard, and phone and e-mail just aren't the same as face to face, so I love times when I can see my great friends.

After a short nap, we headed to the Patriot Center to watch the CIRCUS! We went with Ron's Grandma, Uncle and 2 cousins and enjoyed our time! In the first act/half, Evi would say every now and again, "I want to get out of here", and I would encourage her to stay and point out something cool to see. She sat on my lap the entire first half, pretty timid about the surroundings, yet curiously watching everything. At the "brief break", Evi turned to me and said with a bit of excitement, "it's over??". I guess the first part didn't make too much of an impression, but Ron took her to walk around and look at the goodies, and when we settled in for the second half she was much more relaxed. We saw some pretty cool things, and Evi really ended up enjoying herself. She says the elephants were her favorite part! Three really is a fun age. Difficult at times, for sure, but she's growing up so much and I'm really enjoying watching it all.

I got a picture of her with a cardboard elephant and she is saying "taa-daa", then she ran to the costly photo op elephant to climb on. Well, as I took my own photo op, the woman told me I couldn't take pictures, as you can see her hand up motioning to stop. She didn't make me delete it, so here it is!
After the circus, we were all hungry, so we headed over to the nearby Outback for some dinner. Ron stopped the car in front to let us out and after a few minutes, I saw a man walking to his close spot to leave, so I walked over to claim the spot so Ron could get the car there. The lot was packed, and cars were hunting, so as we were in the hunt too, I wanted Ron to get the spot. So I'm standing in the middle of the spot as Ron is getting the car in position when an older gentlman in a mini van and who I assume was his wife in the passenger seat, starts to pull in the spot. I said we were waiting for this spot and he said, "no ma'am" and wasn't stopping the car--approaching the supersized Michelle. I said, "so you're going to hit the pregnant lady over a parking spot??" He just kept shaking his head and saying, "no, no, no, ma'am, sorry" as he's inching forward; his car was within a foot of my body. I said, "so the fact that he's waiting right there for the spot and the fact that I'm standing here means nothing to you?" Again, "no ma'am" with the head shake. I gave it up and just thought it was pretty cruddy of him and just walked away as both Ron and his grandmother were both glaring at the guy. I turned around and gave him a thumbs up and said, "great example to the kids." Well, I'm not actually sure what happened when my back was turned, but by the time I was back sitting by Ron's grandma, the older gentleman pulled out of the spot and Ron pulled in. They walked by us (after parking in what seemed to be an equally close spot) and Ron waved and thanked him (which I was quite impressed with, actually). I felt bad after for arguing with an old man about a parking spot, but I was also appalled that the whole thing took place. I thought that he pulled out once he saw that we were with Ron's grandmother and not just some young punk kids, or maybe his wife said something to him. That, or he could have caught the look Ron's grandma gave him--I've never seen itbefore and I'm glad it wasn't aimed at me! Not sure the reason, but it was nutty. And really, over a parking spot? Not necessary on either of our parts, but like I said, I was just shocked that it could elevate so much, especially that he would actually put his car that close and chance hitting me. I'm glad we had a little bit of a wait outside because the kids ran and danced and played and I could unwind a bit and just enjoy the kids and move on.
I thought it'd be a great time to take a family picture, maybe one last one of all three of us before we are four, but Evi was absolutely not having it! Below are the attempts at pictures! Since Evi wasn't interested, Ron and I did a self portrait that I was quite happy with. In our one family picture, I think even Ron's eyes are closed, but I couldn't resist adding it, as it captures the essence of the attempt with our squirmy child (and you can see the evidence of my massiveness)! After dinner, Evi smiled for one with me! The bottom right picture is a chance shot I got, just after she was saying, "don't yook [look] at me" and burrying her head in the bench. I got her to look up for a second and I took it not even knowing if her head was in the frame.

We had a quite a full and busy day, but it was lots of fun all around (well, minus the parking space incident!). I dearly miss my family that is spread all over the place, but I love Ron's family and glad we had the chance to have such a fun afternoon with some of them today!

From the mouth of my 3 year old

When encouraging Evi to eat her cucumbers or carrots (which she normally loves), I told her they would help her to grow big and strong. Her reply, "I don't want to grow big and strong". Hmm, she's getting too smart for our simple psychology.

Awhile ago, I tried to put on her shirt that says "super star". I said, "do you want to be a super star?" The reply, "no, I want to be super NAKED" and she proceeded to dance and jump on my bed singing, "super naked" over and over. Aahhhh.

Upon seeing a baby somewhere, Evi excitedly turned to me and said, "We have a baby in your tummy!"
Upon seeing the bras on display at target, Evi ran over to them, grabbed one and said, "I have one of these at my house."

I had some more to write, but my mind is now drawing a blank. If I remember I'll start writing them down as they happen to post all at once from time to time.