Wednesday, June 29, 2011

34 Weeks

I'm big. I'm tired. I'm uncomfortable. I'm hot. And I still have about a month or so to go! I had my 34 week checkup yesterday. She checked me and said that the baby is engaged. (In my pelvis, that is. Not to be married) And I'm dilated about a fingertip, so not even one cm. Which really means nothing right now. I mean, I could walk around for weeks dilated and not go into labor. Or I could be closed up tight and have the baby that same day. I think the biggest indicator will be how I progress. Just to compare though, I was a fingertip dilated and the baby was engaged at 37 weeks with Jackson. The next week I was 1 cm dilated and had him a couple days later. I don't think that I'm a week away from having this baby though. I hope not anyway. He needs to cook a little longer, I have too much to do in the next month, and we still don't have a name! Speaking of comparing pregnancies, remember when I showed you that picture of me, 34 weeks pregnant with Jackson, back when I was only 24 weeks? Well, I think it would only be fair to show me at 34 weeks now versus last time.
Wow, right? I'm so much bigger this time around! With Jackson I really popped the last week of my pregnancy.
This is a picture of me about 3 or 4 days before I had Jackson, at 38 weeks. You can see that I definitely filled out at the last minute. I'm so much fuller there. I guess I still have some room in there, although it doesn't feel like that at all!

My doctor also told me that she is going out of town for two weeks in July. Humph! How dare she? I mean, I know doctors get to go on vacation too, they just can't go on vacation when I need them! I don't even have another appointment scheduled, she is supposed to be calling me to tell me what I should do. My only real concern is that I'm supposed to be attending a blogging conference in two weeks that is out of town. She said she wanted to check me the day before I go and she'll tell me if I should go or not. Now she won't be in town for an entire week before I go. And she is our family practice doctor, so there are no other doctors in her practice that can check me. I can only assume that I'll go to her "backup" doctor at another practice for those couple of weeks.

I have a friend who was due exactly one month before me. She had her baby yesterday. It really hit home that THAT WILL BE ME SOON!!! I'm very anxious about going into labor again. I just keep telling myself that it will be okay. I made it through last time, and I'll make it through this time.

Baby's size:
About 4 3/4 pounds, like a cantaloupe, and is almost 18 inches long. That's how big Jackson was in the hospital.

Belly size:
About 40" around. Same as last week, although I think I'm looking bigger, it's just redistributed.

Cravings: S'mores have sounded so good lately, and I've been making them from time to time. I don't know if it's pregnancy related or just good sense....

Maybe a little more impatient that normal. I'm just so tired. And getting really nervous about going into labor.

Still lots of braxton hicks contractions and lots of acid reflux. I've also been getting these sharp pains really low. Like, almost in my lady business it's so low. The doctor said it's probably because he is engaged in my pelvis, so his head is pushing against stuff. My back was feeling a little better so I stopped going to physical therapy, but now it's starting to act up again. I'll probably try to tough it out, knowing it will get better when the pregnancy is over, unless it gets unbearable again. I also have to pee even more often, now that he is down in my pelvis.

Go to clothing: A lot of my shirts, even the maternity ones, are getting to be too short. I WILL NOT buy more maternity clothes, so I guess I'll just have to have my belly stick out sometimes.

I've been struggling to fall asleep and stay asleep this week. It's really frustrating because I'm SO tired, but can't get comfortable.

Baby movement:
Lots of movement still. When he moves down low it can be kind of painful (and makes me feel like I'm going to pee my pants!) The hiccups have still be frequent too.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

33 Weeks

Look at me! I'm actually posting my weekly update on the right day! (Mountain time....east coasters and central timers, sorry, it's after midnight!) I'm writing tonight from my new favorite spot in our house, the baby's new glider! It's so comfy and I'm totally in love with it, but that's a whole 'nother post. In the craziness of last week, I also forgot to mention a couple of things the doctor said at my 32 week appointment. She told me that she will start "checking me" (like, checking to see if my cervix is dilated) starting at 34 weeks and is bumping my schedule up two weeks. So stuff I'd normally do at 36 weeks will happen at 34. I think all this means is checking me and weekly exams (instead of bi-weekly) but I'm not entirely sure. I'll let you know. She isn't changing my due date or anything like that. I'm not super excited about the bump in "checks". I don't know about other people, but I find getting checked rather painful. But I get so many contractions on such a regular basis and had such a fast and high stress labor last time, that I think she just wants to keep her finger on the situation (hehe, no pun intended....okay, maybe a little pun intended) to make sure there are no surprises.

I also made a proclamation to my family tonight, and now the inter-web, that for the next six week I will be taking it easy. I've really started feeling third trimestery lately and I think my body is trying to tell me to chill. Just doing the laundry (bending over, squishing the baby, over and over again) gives me lots of contractions, along with the other housework. So I informed my family that there will be more fast food, carry out dinners, grilling and paper plates coming their way. I just can't take care of a three year old (and a 7 month old a couple days a week too) all day long, give Jackson a bath and get him ready for bed by myself, and then clean the house for at least an hour every night like I normally do. By the end of the day, I'm, like, haven't-slept-in-days kind of tired. The house will probably go to crap, the parts that haven't already, that is, but whatever. I'm too tired to really care enough to do something about it.

Oh, and as promised, I added pix to my 31 week update. But here's a little peek, in case you don't want to click on over there.

Baby's size:
A little over 4 pounds and 17 inches, like a pineapple.
I'm starting to wonder how accurate these are, given that Jackson got down to 4 pounds, 10 ounces in the hospital and was only 18 inches when he was born. Only time will tell if this little one is small like his "big" brother.

Belly size:
About 40" around. About a half inch bigger than last week.

Cravings: Last night I just had to have jamoca almond fudge 31 below from Baskin Robbins. So I went and got one. And it was soooooo good!

Eh, mood is fine. My freaking out factor has been a little high though. Yesterday I was talking to my neighbor and she said "only a few more weeks, right?". I started to correct her, that it was more like months, then I realized that I'm 33 weeks now, and if they induce at 39 weeks (if I even make it that long...I didn't last time) that leaves me......Oh-My-God-I-Only-Have-Six-More-Weeks!!!!! And then I started to panic..... Panicking about going into labor AND about having an infant at home again.

Symptoms: Tired, tired and tired. The physical therapy has been helping so my back is finally feeling a little
better. Not 100%, but better and my reflux has gone from being pretty bad every single night, to either being fine at night or ridiculously bad at night. I think it's better this way though. At least I sometimes get relief. We propped the head of the bed up a couple weeks ago (like, propped it up a lot) and that has helped tremendously.

Go to clothing: I've been a big fan of my bathing suit lately! Well, not in the way I look in it, but I'm loving Jackson and my time at the pool!

Bring it on. I can't get enough of it.

Baby movement:
I actually googled "can babies move too much" the other day. He has been out of control moving. Like big-swishy-side-to-side-makes-me-want-to-vomit-watch-my-abdomen-change-shape-before-your-eyes kind of movement.

BTW, google said I was fine.....

Friday, June 17, 2011

DIY Birthday Party

I really like throwing parties. I have a hard time not going over the top every year for Jackson's birthday, and usually do go over the top. It's something I really enjoy and I like making birthdays a big deal. Jackson turned three this week and we celebrated this past weekend with a birthday party at home. In the past, I've most definitely gone over the top, from the invitations to the party favors.

His first birthday was a beach theme. I hand delivered the invites, which was an individual message in a bottle, complete with sand and shells.
The party favors were beach sippy cups and leis. I had the cake made to look like a sand castle. (And paid an arm and a leg for it, justifying that it was his first birthday, but I swear I'll never pay that much for cake again! I don't care how good it tasted!) His second birthday was basketball theme. He was SO into basketball at the time. He still kind of is, but he was nutso about it this time last year. The invites were inflatable basketballs with the party information written on them. The party favors were custom "Team Jackson" tee shirts, with each child's last name on them. I screen printed them myself, and it really ended up being a rather inexpensive, albeit time consuming, favor. Learning my lesson from his first birthday, I decided to make his birthday cake. Of course in the shape of a basketball. This was the first cake I had ever decorated, so I was okay with any of the little imperfections there were. This year was the year of the airplane. I was determined to save as much money as possible, and do as much myself as possible. The problem I had, though, was a total lack of any airplane related ideas. I just couldn't think of any fun airplane games, airplane related food that was also toddler friendly, or airplane party favors. I started off with a boarding pass invitation that I created myself using free gimp software. I put each child's name on the "passenger" info and included all of the other important party information. As you can see, I put "Sunday, June 13th". Well, guess what? The party was actually on Sunday June 12th. But I didn't realize that until after all of the invites went out. I can totally blame that on my pregnancy brain! At least the entire cost of the invites came to exactly zero dollars! I did the work myself and printed it on card stock I already had with my home printer.

My next stressor project was the cake. I had zero energy to put into a cake this year. I called around to a couple of places to see how much an airplane shaped cake was and was getting insane quotes like $100-$150. I don't think so. And a plain sheet cake with a hand drawn airplane just doesn't fit the birthday's personality. So, I came to the conclusion that making the cake myself was the only option. I bought a Wilton airplane cake mold, normally about $13, for only $7 with a 40% off Joann's coupon. I also got a couple decorating accessories (icing bags, couplers, and tips) totaling about $10. Then I got three boxes of cake mix, for $1.78 each, and the ingredients to make the butter cream icing myself. (Butter, powdered sugar and icing coloring). All of the ingredients were about $15. So, all in all, I had about $35 invested in this cake. (Including the additional box of cake mix I had to buy when the first airplane cake tipped in the oven, resulting in an unevenly cooked and unusable cake, and a very dirty oven) All of that made an airplane cake and 50 cupcakes. Much cheaper than anything I could have bought.

For the food, I decided to go with traditional cookout food. The party was at 3:00, so not really lunch, not really dinner, but I still felt I should serve something. Hot dogs don't really have anything to do with airplanes, but I wasn't sure what else to do.

For the decorations, I didn't do much. I bought two helium tanks (using 40% off coupons from Hobby Lobby) and blew up sky blue balloons and filled the dining room ceiling with them. Then I attached a few foam gliders (that I also gave away as party favors) to some balloons with clear thread, to make it look like they were flying.

The kids were pretty entertained playing with the toys we have, and I also got a shuttle pinata for them to break open. When it came time to break it open, we let Jackson take a few cracks at it with the stick. Then his friends all tried too. After everyone had a two or three chances, we let Daddy rip it open and spill the candy out. The funny thing was all of the leftover candy. Each child just took a couple of pieces, so there was quite a bit still on the ground after wards. I guess we have all trained our kids pretty well to "only take one".

For the party favors, I got some little gliders that they can build, airplane whistles, and some "dog tags" for each kiddo. Not my most creative moment, especially after the personalized jerseys last year, but I don't think the kids minded.

All in all, Jackson was pretty happy with his airplane party this year. And hopefully next year, I'll have a little more energy to put into it!

32 week update

Wednesday was Jackson's third birthday! I didn't have time to snap my usual weekly picture, but here is a full body (kind of) front picture of us getting on the train at the zoo.

Baby's size:
3.75 pounds and 16.7 inches long. About the weight of a large jicama. (who even knows what a large jicama looks like?!)

Belly size:
About 39 1/2" around. About an inch bigger than last week. But I also measured myself on Friday instead of Wednesday.

Cravings: I think I've been too busy to crave anything this past week!

Good. Again, too busy to really think about my mood.

Symptoms: Getting ready for Jackson's third birthday party on Sunday really took a toll on my body. My back, hips and legs were killing me by the end of the weekend. My acid reflux has improved a little though, with the exception of Tuesday night when I thought I was going to be sick all night it was so bad. I'm mostly just really tired all the time. It's frustrating to not be able to do what I can normally do!

Go to clothing: Whatever I can fit into. I found this top at Target and it isn't even maternity, so that was nice!

Sleep has NOT been in issue for me! I'm tired all the time!

Baby movement:
Lots of hiccups and movement, but it seems that the kicks have become a lot more big, rolling kinds of movements. It's always interesting to see my stomach move around and change shapes and it feels even weirder!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

31 weeks

I turned 31 weeks on Wednesday, and I wrote this update on Wednesday, and took the pictures on Wednesday (and still haven't uploaded them on my computer), but we've had bigger things happening in our household since then, and I completely dropped the ball on this post. So, here's my 31 week update, just about when my 32 week update is due. And no pictures yet....sorry!

Baby's size:
Over 16 inches long and almost 3.3 pounds, like 4 navel orange. (I don't know about that....)

Belly size:
About 38 1/2" around. A little bigger than last week. I think measuring around my belly isn't too accurate. It just depends on how he is positioned too.

The other day, after talking to some friends about Mexican food I HAD to have guacamole. So I went to the store and got all the ingredients and made a big batch. And I ate all of it. By myself.

Mood: Oh, fine I guess. My mood would be a lot better, though, if everyone around me always did what I asked, the first time I asked.

Symptoms: Same stuff. Reflux. Braxton Hicks contractions. Back pain. Tired all the time.

Go to clothing: I'm glad the weather is warmer. I'm enjoying wearing dresses/skirts and shorts.

Just having to get up to pee several times through the night. Other than that, I'm so tired by bedtime I'm not having too much trouble sleeping.

Baby movement:
He's still getting the hiccups several times a day. I appreciate his little way of letting me know he's okay, but it can be a little annoying at times. Like when I'm trying to sleep or relax or write a blog post. (He's got them right now...again!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How is this possible?

Today was this big boy's first day of preschool. Well, technically preschool doesn't start until September, but his preschool has a summer program a few Wednesdays throughout the summer. I knew as soon as I heard about the summer program that I wanted to enroll him. I was a little anxious about sending him off to preschool for the first time shortly after his baby brother comes. I didn't want him to think that the baby has anything to do with "sending him away", so this was perfect! He could get used to being away from Mommy here and there, without the big, twice a week jump. We had been talking about this for a long time and he was really excited! Just a few weeks ago, I would have been a lot more nervous about how shy he is, but lately that hasn't been the case. He's been really friendly to everyone and has started coming out of his shell more and more. When we took him to his little classroom, he immediately went up to the teacher (a complete stranger) and gave her a hug. He then promptly turned to Eric and me, said "bye!" and started playing with toys. Eric and I looked at each other and high tailed it out of there before he changed his mind about us leaving. I had three hours all to myself! And I used every second of it! First I had a physical therapy appointment, then I drove through Starbucks and went to Joann's to pick up some fabric for a special order quilt someone placed over the weekend, then I went to the dollar store to pick up supplies for Jackson's birthday party this weekend, and I even had time to go to one other store to see if they had balloons for the party. (they didn't, but it was a heck of a lot easier for me to run in and find that they didn't have what I was looking for by myself, than it would have been had I had Jackson with me) Three glorious hours of errand running! For those of us stay at home moms with husbands that work ridiculous hours, you know how big of a deal this is! Just running to get more milk at the grocery store is normally a big ordeal that involves special shopping carts shaped like cars, a stop at the "free cookie" station in the bakery, a meltdown by a toddler because the cookie broke, waiting in line to ride the free pony, and yet another meltdown when it's time to leave the pony and put the cart away. And when I do get time away, say on the weekend, it's accompanied by an impatient daddy's texts asking me how much longer I'm going to be, or at the very least I feel guilty that I should be hurrying. But this wasn't like that at all. I was paying for someone to watch him and I knew I couldn't pick him up until 12:30 anyway, so I might as well enjoy my errands. By noon I had pretty much gone everywhere I needed to go, and was only about ten minutes away from the school, so I decided to be a good mommy and get there really early to wait for Jackson. I didn't want to be that mommy that was the last one to pick up her kid. When I pulled up, there were a surprising number of cars leaving....huh..... That got me to wondering. Was pickup time actually at noon? When I got to his classroom and he was the last kid there, I quickly realized that, yes. Pick up was, in fact, at 12:00. Crap! So much for my mom of the year award. Jackson didn't seem to notice though, and was happily talking the teacher's ear off. She said he did a great job. He was the only boy in the class, but he didn't mind, or probably even realize he was surrounded by girls. We left and he told me about how he had a snack, and played on the playground, and read books, and played with trucks, and colored, and sang a song, and went potty. I'm so glad that his first day went so well! We are both really excited for his next day of preschool at the end of the month!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

10 things you can do for a new mom

So, your friend just had a baby. You want to help, but you aren't really sure what she needs or wants, and you don't want to bother her. Here is a list of things you can do or get for pretty much any new mommy.

Disclaimer: Not that you need to do anything at all. If you are more comfortable standing back and letting her get back to her normal non-hormonal, non-engorged, stitches-in-her-nether-regions-free self, then that's okay too.

1) Cook her a meal (at your house) and bring it to her (at her house). Also, don't ask her what she wants, because figuring out what to have for dinner is usually harder than actually making the dinner. Just make it and bring it over, preferably in disposable containers. New moms have the memory of a gnat and the energy of a sloth and the last thing they need is to wash a baked on mess from your favorite 9X13 and then try to remember to give the pan back to you. And also, if you include dessert too, she'll probably kiss you on the lips.

2) Tell her she looks good, and not "for just having a baby". And try not to look so terrified and appalled when saying it.

3) If you are a really good friend, you could help with the laundry. But I, for one, am not that comfortable with people rooting through my dirty laundry, so better yet, just bring her brand new underwear and socks.

4) Take her older child/children out for a fun afternoon. I mean, let her know your plans ahead of time and everything....Don't just take them....She might freak out when she finds them missing....If she even notices.....

5) Clean out her fridge. If something looks old, it probably is. Just throw it away and don't ask questions.

6) When you ask her what she needs and she says "nothing" she could still use the following items: baby wipes, kitchen sized trash bags, paper towels, paper plates, toilet paper, diapers, milk, coffee, and stuff she can snack on at all hours and not feel guilty about (because she is going to still look and feel 6 months pregnant) like muffins, nuts, bagels, granola bars and fresh fruit (but not something that's just going to be more work for her, like a giant, whole watermelon).

7) Know what her favorite drink at Starbucks is and bring it to her. (Decaf Mocha in the winter, Decaf Java Chip in the summer...wink, wink) Okay, that rule applies to all friends. All the time.

8) Now this one can get a little tricky, but depending on the mom and how well you know her, you could offer to hold the baby so she can shower and shave her legs for the first time since she left for the hospital. Some moms might not feel comfortable quite yet, so if they say no, don't push it. New moms can be uber sensitive as to who is holding their newborn.

Side note: I'm
NOT one of those uber sensitive moms. Please, hold my baby....

Oh, and if it's 30 minutes into the shower and she's still in there, potentially sobbing, it's okay. Really. You don't need to go in there. Just keep holding the baby. She'll come out when she's ready.

9) Wash your hands when you come in the house, or at least use hand sanitizer. She may or may not think to ask you herself, (and may or may not feel comfortable asking you) but the last thing she needs is a sick baby, mommy, daddy or sibling. And if you are feeling under the weather, please just wait until you are feeling better to visit. (You can leave the new underwear on the doorstep)

10) If you are going to bring a gift for the baby, be sure to include something small for an older sibling too. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, (a matchbox car, coloring book or stickers....just not candy, please!) but the older brother or sister will notice if baby gets something and they don't. And that just leads to a more difficult day for mommy.

And just remember, new mommies are very fragile creatures. (much more fragile than the babies they are caring for) If they forget to thank you, or even say hi to you when you walk in the door, forgive them. We promise we'll come back around to our regular selves soon and hopefully can return the favor to you someday!

How about you? Do you have any ideas to add to the list? What would have been/was really helpful for you when you had a brand new baby in your home?

Embellished shirt part two!

Remember when I told you about DIYing my own embellished shirt? Well, shortly thereafter I made a second one. My inspiration came from this website. I had an old gray maternity tee from Target that was super soft, and I cut up another old white shirt that didn't fit me anymore. The gray shirt was one of my favorites, just because of the soft and stretchy material. I wore it home from the hospital with Jackson and never even put it away between pregnancies. It was comfy for sleeping or lounging. I figured that it had run it's course though, and I even had a stain on the front that I was eager to cover up. I liked the general look of the example shirt above, so I used that as the inspiration, but didn't follow the directions at all. What I did instead was cut 1 inch strips from the white shirt that didn't fit anymore. Like the last shirt, I was sure to use that stretchy cotton material, so I didn't have to worry about hemming or anything. Then I ran a basting stitch right down the middle of the strips and pulled the thread to make it into a ruffle. From there I just kind of placed it where I wanted on the shirt and pinned it down in sections. (See that red pin down below the ruffle? That's where my boobs are. I didn't want to accidentally draw two big circles around my boobs or anything. That's something I would totally do if I weren't paying attention!) After each section I sewed it using a small zig-zag stitch on my machine. I wanted to be sure to straddle the basting stitch to ensure it didn't go anywhere. I can tell you that these ruffles definitely aren't going anywhere! Here is a close up of the finished result, on. (It's backwards because I used the mirror to take the pic) And another view with the cardi.... In Vegas at buffet number 4.... I've since washed it and it held up well, although the ruffles are a little less fluffy....but I'm okay with that!

You might also like:

Night Owl

DIY shirt project

Baby's first gift

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

30 Weeks

I went to the doctor today. I'm still measuring right on track, so that's reassuring. No more talk of a giant baby in there! I'm a little surprised though. I feel like I'm not getting any bigger at all, and haven't gained much weight in the last month. (Okay, no weight at all) I'm sure that has something to do with carrying around a giant bowling ball for a belly 24/7.

Baby's size:
About 15.7 inches long and almost 3 pounds, like a head of cabbage.

Belly size:
About 38 1/2" around. A little bigger than last week. I think measuring around my belly isn't too accurate. It just depends on how he is positioned too.

There are things I want now and then, but nothing that I'm always wanting.

Maybe getting a little agitated a little easier, but pretty much just regular ol' me most of the time.

Symptoms: I finally gave in and made an appointment with the physical therapist today. My back has been hurting really bad and although I know the pain will go away in a couple months when I have the baby, I still have to make it those couple of months. I went in today after my doctor's appointment and it does feel better already. She's suggesting coming in twice a week, as long as it's helping.

My contractions are still contracting. My acid reflux is still....fluxing. And I'm still tired. All. The. Time.

I miss being able to bend over.

Go to clothing: Apparently this purple shirt is my go to shirt, since it's what I wore two Wednesdays in a row!

It's not too bad. I miss laying on my belly.

Baby movement:
Lots of jabs and punches. He also seems to be getting the hiccups regularly, which isn't too bothersome, unless I'm trying to sleep.