Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Few Milestones....

Goodness, life is nuts.

I had plans to post on Caroline turning a month old, but things got away from me. Anyway, it still happened, whether or not I posted about it. Here she is - all cute and lovable - on the one month anniversary of her birth:



She's all curled up, sleeping sweetly, and doing that adorable smile-while-you-sleep thing. Things I will remember about this first month include:

*Adjusting to no sleep for the first time in about 10 years
*Caroline always having to have her hands by her face
*Those beautiful blue eyes that can't totally decide to be blue or hazel or .. . . will they turn brown in the end? Who knows!
*The screaming... haha
*The lovable cuteness even when she's screaming
*The finger sucking... mine, not hers
*Spilling formula everywhere when she eats
*The drama that has been trying to nurse
*How TINY she is
*Her dainty little fingers that are so very girly
*Sucking her pacifier until she is almost asleep, then spitting it out, yelling, and falling asleep
*Her cute little nose
*Her huge feet that we like to call her flippers
*Spitting up everything and causing me to have to bathe her in the middle of the night
*Many doctor's visits
*Chicken legs
*Watching Soren and her....... they are ADORABLE together!

We headed off to the doctor again today for another weigh in. She has officially reached and surpassed her birth weight! Hurrah! She hit 6lbs 10oz today! We need to keep her on the super high calorie preemie formula until her 2 month appointment. Hopefully she will be able to transition back to nursing after that. That's what I'm hoping.

So, that's where we are at on the Caroline front. Now I really, really, really need to get Christmas together.

Well it's almost 10pm. And I'm ready for bed time! Hopefully we won't all freeze tonight - we had a storm on Sunday and another is supposed to come through tonight. Snow! Weeee!

I shall leave you with another picture of our princess:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recap of Life in Bullet Points

Because my time is short:

  • Caroline has gained weight, but still is not up to her birth weight. We are at 5lbs 15oz as of today. We are now on a preemie formula and I am pumping until further notice.
  • Soren has something called Sever's Disease. Basically, his feet are growing too fast for his ligaments and muscles and tendons and all those funny body parts to keep up. The good news is that once his feet are done growing (they are the first thing to reach full growth apparently), it will go away. The bad news is that it will be rough for him to do a lot of physical activity until he slows down.
  • Slows down? Ha! Soren has grown 1/2 an inch in the past 3 weeks. So I have one kid who won't stop growing and one who won't start!
  • Caroline loves her hands and yells a lot when we try to tuck them into a blanket or hide them under little mittens. She must have them out - always!!
  • I have been having a really hard time with nursing, so I am sort of grateful for the break I'll be getting. However, I really would like to see it work. However, there is concern that, even though I finally have my supply under control, that my milk doesn't have enough calories to get her to where she needs to be. Now my mom and I are joking that I only produce skim milk!
  • We bought a new van. It's our Christmas/Birthday/Every Holiday for the next forever present. Our family just would not fit in our little car anymore - not when Soren has legs that go on forever and Alan has legs that go on forever and I am not short and car seats are big and bulky. So for the first time in 6 years we have a car payment. Yuck! But it's worth it - we love the van and are so happy for all the room it is giving us and the freedom I now have to go and do what I need to do without worrying how to get there.
  • Soren gets to be the judge in a mock trial with his EXCEL class (also known as the highly capable program or 'gifted'). He is so excited and has loved the unit they are doing on debating. Maybe he'll be like his mommy and be in Speech and Debate! Woot!
  • It's time to feed the princess, so I'm off!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Where did November go?

I'll tell you where.....



We are still working through feeding issues (possible breakthrough - will update if that pans out), but with the supplementing, she is doing really well and just gets cuter everyday.

Life is still revolving around making sure she is eating. It's throwing off my ideas of a quick recovery, but we'll get there, too.

We'll get settled eventually. Who knew one little person could disrupt life so much? In good ways, I mean . . . she is such a joy!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another Sad One....

Don't worry - I am not all post-partum depression-ing. I know what depression feels like and I am perfectly happy. However, I am beyond frustrated/sad in regards to Caroline's eating situation. Yesterday I pumped quite a few times while I fed her a bottle. You know what? I don't make enough milk to feed an ant. So that's fun.

I took her to the doctor's today and she is down another 2 ounces. This puts her one ounce shy of being down an entire pound since she was born. This has me very sad. I cried at her appointment. I know it's not my fault, I just feel bad for her and I want to fix it. Plus, ya know, after being infertile for almost 10 years I didn't need any help feeling like I wasn't 'woman enough.' Now I have crappy milk supply.... so first I can't make a baby and then I can't feed a baby? That is really frustrating.

I know there are ways to increase milk supply and I am trying them. However, I also have to deal with the fact that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and that can effect milk supply because it messes with all your hormones. So it may just be that I am simply unable to nurse. But I'm giving it my best. I'm just sad about it is all.

Really, that's been consuming my world - well, that and staring at my little princess. She is such a doll. See?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not so happy post.....

Soren was not a screamer. I remember one time when he was brand new that he screamed so much that I was in tears in the rocking chair. And our first 3 days of trying to nurse were filled with screaming as well. I know it was 10 years ago, but I really don't remember middle of the night screaming that went on for hours...

Last night was very.... long. Caroline screamed and screamed even after I'd fed her twice. I had Alan get her a bottle (supplemental feeding #2 for the day) and I rolled over in frustration and went to sleep. When she woke up for her next feeding I was determined to have a positive, relaxed attitude. So she ate (with me staring at her making sure she was sucking AND swallowing) and fell asleep. Okay, I thought, fantastic. I went to lay her back in her crib and she started screaming and rooting again. What the heck? So I tried to soothe her and get her to go back to sleep. After about 30 minutes of screaming, I tried to feed her again. Same thing - she seems to eat off both sides and then crashes. Long story short, she screamed for almost 3 hours. I was in tears, not knowing what to do and, of course, blaming myself for not giving her enough to eat. This is the second night in a row it has been like this.

I really want to nurse. But if we have many more nights like this, I'm afraid I'm going to throw in the towel. She needs food and I don't know if I'm making enough or what is going on. It's hard to think that I could be starving her (not on purpose, of course - but we moms like to blame ourselves for everything, don't we?).

I'm not afraid to bottle feed. Soren was basically 100% formula fed, bottle baby. And he's turned out just fine, thank you. It's just... I think all women feel the pressure of nursing when they have a baby. And I feel like I gave up with Soren because I was young, busy, and didn't want to deal with it. Bottle was easier. I've said to myself that I would work at this with her since I am a lot more able to this time around. But I'm getting pretty frustrated. And if we are both going to be in tears in the middle of the night, is it really worth it? Right now, I don't know.

This weekend I'm going to see if she can take formula for the day and I will pump. Then I will compare how much I'm getting out to how much she's eating. And maybe that will help my supply a bit as well. I'm in the process of finding an electronic pump via Craigslist. I hope we can work this out.... I'm just tired and frustrated.

But I love her. And she is so worth every tear I might shed over this. And she is even worth every minute of sleep I've lost.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

But I Need A Chubby Baby!

Princess is down 2oz instead of up. So, we are back to supplementing with formula until she picks it up. She's supposed to be back to her birth weight by Tuesday, so hopefully we can pack on the pound.... haha... I was going to put pounds, but she actually needs just under a pound to get back up there. So now I've got to pump twice a day while she bottles it. I am not a fan of pumping, but she's worth it! I am hoping to get a little more out in the future. . . . or just not have to pump haha!

I'm feeling pretty good, considering . . . tired. Trying to get a nap or two during the day, but that's not always possible. I've got to run Soren around to his activities since my mom is out of town until Dec. 2nd and my dad and Alan are at work all day. I'm probably overdoing it everyday, but I'm trying not to... it's just hard. After 3 weeks in the hospital sitting on my butt, I'm just wanting to get out and do things. But when I'm out doing things, I get tired and just want to come home and sleep!

My biggest problem right now is food. I got so spoiled while in the hospital. I could just order what I wanted when I wanted it and someone brought it to me. Now I've got to find something to eat, make it, and then eat it! Haha! So I've got to work out some quick and simple, yet healthy, things I can have for breakfast and lunch. I've got dinners taken care of through this weekend and then I'll need to start thinking about those, too . . .

All in all, though, I am slowly getting back into the routine of life. I am hoping to ease back into work after Thanksgiving, barring any problems at the doctor. I have an appointment for me on Tuesday and for Caroline. We have to make sure the Choleostasis and the PIH have run their course. Then I will have 4 more weeks of taking it easy. I should be cleared for all normal activity by Christmas, or just shortly thereafter. Yay! I am looking forward to taking walks up to the park and registering for water aerobics.

No new pictures today.... too tired. And the camera is upstairs. And it's time to feed her again. Next time!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

One Week Old

I can't believe it's already been a week with our sweet little miracle! And what a week it has been! We are all pretty exhausted, the normal result of bringing a baby into your home. I think it's been extra hard for Alan because he is not used to interrupted sleep. I'm a little more used to it, especially after that time in the hospital where I was poked and prodded in the middle of the night. But we are adjusting! Slowly but surely, we'll get there.

Caroline is very teenie, so we're having to take her to the doctor a little more and watch her weight gain as well. She was 6lbs 2oz at birth and has dropped to 5lbs 8oz as of yesterday. That was a gain from the hospital, but she still needs to put on a few more oz (at least 10) in the next week. We are working on getting her to eat more often, especially as that will help with her jaundice. While she weighs next to nothing (I swear my purse weighs more than she does), she is LONG. This creates a small problem with preemie clothes. Her feet are too big for the footsies and her body is too long for the outfit. But if I put her in something bigger, she drowns in it! She is such a cutie, though.

I've uploaded all the pics we have so far of her (I think). You can check them out here. That will also be where I'll be uploading other pics as they come in. Captions will come in time . . .

Here's a sneak peek of her and her itty bitty cuteness:



Soren also had a doctor's appointment yesterday. He's been having trouble with his feet, so we are in the process of working out what could be the problem. Luckily, he has a distraction:



Ok, I need to go grab a snack and feed the princess before we take an afternoon nap. I'll do my best to keep things updated, but we are all going through an adjustment having a screaming, cooing, sleeping, peeing, adorably cute princess running things around here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Presenting Our Sweet Caroline

Today at 7:47am we finally welcomed our little miracle, Caroline Eirene Tullis, into the world weighing 6lbs 2oz and measuring 20 inches! Here she is:



Yeah, that's what I felt like, too, sweetheart!

The following is her birth story - you may skip it if you want, but it's here for posterity! Hee hee!

It all started on Sunday night. Because I was delivering 3 weeks early due to our many little complications, my body was - of course - not prepared at all. The doctors decided to start me on a drug to get things going. It would take about 12 hours to do it's job and, if it didn't do what it was supposed to, they'd give me another dose. So, around 7:30pm, it started. Within a few hours I was feeling contractions. It was fun. The nurse gave me an Ambien so I could sleep and - surprisingly - I did. Until about 4am when the contractions were getting pretty uncomfortable. Ugh! At 7:30am, the medication was removed and I hadn't made a huge amount of progress. However, my contractions were pretty regular so there was a debate about whether to start the lovely Pitocin or do another dose of the other drug. We found that moving onto my side caused the contractions to stop, so it was another round of the other drug. Once that was given, the contractions started up again. However, each time they checked, I hadn't made much progress, so we waited. And, after two doses of pain meds, I gave up and got an epidural.

Here's a pic Alan took of me hooked up to a lot of my drugs:



At this point I think I was on 2 monitors, a blood pressure cuff, a saline drip, the epidural, the pitocin, and had a catheter. I was getting ready to go on magnesium as well because of the blood pressure issues, so I had all kinds of nonsense hooked up. I was trying to hold off on getting the epidural because I didn't want it to wear off . . . *insert forshadowing here* . . . but the contractions were getting really strong and, if you've ever been induced, you know they come faster and stronger than if you get to do things the normal way.

Anyway.

After the epidural, we waited until 11:30pm to remove the second dose of the original meds. Then I was put on the pitocin. Then things started to get uncomfortable and I had to ask for more of the epidural meds. I slept off and on during the night but was interupted frequently by the nurse to check my vitals, check my progress, adjust my meds, and make sure I was doing ok on the magnesium. Magnesium can really mess with you, give you flu like symptoms, and just generally make one miserable.... I said a prayer before they added that to my IV drip asking to avoid feeling like crap and managed to get by with only hot flashes (and they are finally taking me off of it in less than an hour! Hoorah!).

Now, before I proceed I should mention that our nurses work 12 hours shifts from 7am - 7pm or 7pm to 7am. I've had a great bunch of nurses and was starting to get some of the same nurses I'd had earlier in the week until Sunday night. I had a new nurse who got me through the night (she really was great - so kind and sweet and gentle) and we were getting ready for the shift change . . . .

However, just before 7am... my water broke. I called my nurse in and she said that yes, it sure looked like that was what happened! Hoorah! She checked me and I'd progressed. Joy! She then said - are you feeling any pressure? I thought for a sec and assessed my situation... no, I was feeling fine. So she said goodbye and told me a new nurse would be in to check on me soon. And she was off. And I swear to you the second she walked out the door that pressure she was talking about? BOOM. And all of a sudden, I was feeling OUCHIES like WOAH. I called the nurse station and was like - EPIDURAL FAIL! FAIL FAIL HELP ME OUCH! Haha, although I was quite nice about it. You know, between my pathetic moaning.

The new nurse came back in and I was like - uh, yeah, um - ouch? And then the worst thing ever happened. My IV with the epidural drugs started beeping. Yeah, it was empty. EMPTY!!!!! And the contractions I was having? Holy FREAK. I couldn't talk, breathe, move, nada. I felt like someone was tearing my insides out. It pretty much sucked. So they called the anasthesiologist type people. This nice lady came in and tried to talk to me. I was like - yeah, hi, no time to chat, DRUGS NOW, KAE???

She hooked me up. You know, except where she said (just shortly after 7am) that the drugs should start working around the top of the hour. I knew at that second that our princess wasn't waiting for the top of the hour. And thus I would be delivering without the epidural. Luckily I managed not to hyperventalate or mention this to anyone.

Oh, did I mention how many doctors I've seen since my doc has been out of town? Yeah, the doc on call today I had not met. She came in around the same time as the anasthesiologist, checked me, and was like - oh wow, baby.

I was like OH HOLY FREAK OUCH DANG BABY COMING NOW.

And then the nurses and doctor left the room between contractions. Then another contraction came and I turned to Alan and said - just like in the movies - get the doctor back in here now. And being the dutiful husband he is... he did as he was told. Doctor came back in and was like ... HOLY COW BABY!

For those of you who understand baby delivering talk.... in the space of 45 minutes I went from a 6 to a 10 and delivered a baby.

I love my little girl... but OUCH.

So, that sums up what happened to me today between 6:45am and 7:47am. But I think something like this makes all of that worth it:



She is such a cutie and we all love her already. Here she is with her mommy and daddy:



(Don't I look stunning???)

And here is he is with her big brother:



Words can not express how beautiful that moment was right there. Seeing my sweet Soren finally holding his baby sister - finally being a big brother..... ugh. Tears to my eyes. He didn't want to let her go at all - but my mom was there, so he did have to share. But we kept our promise - he was the first non-medical staff type person to hold her after mommy and daddy.

I am now very exhausted. I need to feed our little angel and then try and take a little rest. After they disconnect me from everything, of course. Hoorah! There are more pictures to post and more stories to tell, but that is all from me for now.

Oh, ok... here's one more picture:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Decisions???

Looks like decisions have actually been made!

I am still in the hospital and will stay here just in case, but as of right now I am behaving and that is making the doctors happy. Our little bean is still looking great each time she goes on the monitor. So, the decision to induce is in full force and, as decided before, they are not letting me go beyond 37 weeks. The doctor scheduled the induction for Monday. Woohoo!

The best news? The nurse just came in a few minutes ago and took out that icky IV junk so I have full use of my hands again! Woohoo! It's one less thing the nurses have to deal with each day (flushing my IV and wrapping it up when I need to shower), so that just makes their job that much easier with me! I feel like a bit of a waste of space here, but I know it's safest for me to be here.

It's nice to have a plan. Of course, nothing ever seems to go as planned in my life - haha - so, we'll see how the plan goes. I am excited, though, that I will get to see my baby boy tomorrow. I haven't seen him since before he went to school on Monday and I miss him and his hugs and kisses and silliness. I can't wait to see him and give him a huge hug and then kick his toosh at Mario Kart. Oh yeah, baby, I am so having Alan bring the Wii on Friday so we can play on Friday night! Woooooot! That means I will have to practice all day so I am ready when the boys show up . . . . hee hee!

So, there it is. This will probably be my last update until our angel is here. Unless, of course, things change. So look forward to pictures! We can't wait to meet her and then proceed to show her off!!!

Oh, and I updated my little baby ticker.... 4 days to go!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Still Kickin'

Just wanted to update. I'm still here and our little angel is still tucked safely inside. Or as safe as she can be inside my silly body! My protein levels are up again and things seem to be stable with my liver right now - though that could change at any minute, so we've got to just keep an eye on things. And by we I mean them - the doctors and nurses and all of that.

The most frustrating thing I'm dealing with is the different doctors every day. Monday the doctor I saw wasn't sure what to focus on - the PIH or Choleostasis. Yesterday the doctor was all about the Choleostasis. Today the doctor is focused on the PIH. And where is my normal doctor? Vacation. Until the 17th. And I will have delivered the baby by then. Ugh! So I am a little annoyed about that, but trying to be vocal with what I want and stuff.

I did get to do another 24 hour urine test! Woot! That was super fun. I'm pretty sure I won't have to do it again - thank goodness. I get to have my blood drawn twice a day - though yesterday it was FOUR times! So poked and prodded!

Here's the result of the failed IV from last week:



Pretty, huh? And that's my hospital bracelet. It has a barcode on it. They scan it whenever they take blood, take my vitals, give me meds, or monitor me and the baby. I feel like I belong in the grocery store. Hee hee! I'm guessing our little one will get her own barcode, too! What a way to enter the world!

So that is pretty much it. Tomorrow morning the doctor should have more info for me. Maybe we'll start the induction tomorrow night. Maybe not. As always, you shall be kept informed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I just can't stay away.....

Well, my time at home was short lived. I'm back in the hospital again. Looks like this time it is for good - well at least until I deliver this little cutie pie (who I got to see again today on ultrasound!). She is doing fine, by the way. Quite the trooper while her mom's body is falling apart around her. We have a semi-official diagnosis of cholestasis of pregnancy with a possibility of PIH. The doctor(s) that I saw today are really not sure what to do with me. One of them wanted to induce today. The other says we can hold off until the liver tests come back super yucky. We are going with the 'holding off' doctor. But the longest we can hold off is until Nov. 10th. She won't let things go further than that because if it is cholestasis, that is when it can start causing problems for the baby. Forget mom and the insane itching..... hahaha! No, really - keeping the princess inside for as long as is safe for both of us is the best course.

There's not really much more to say at this point. They'll come in and monitor me again in a couple hours and then take blood again in the morning. If the liver tests come back the same, I hang out another day at the hospital. If they rise again, they could start induction. We'll see what happens. Once again, I'll update when I know more.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bed Sweet Bed

There isn't much to say at this point!

I am home. I'm either in my bed or on a makeshift recliner-ish thingie in the family room. There's a TV to watch, a computer to poke around on, books to read.... but no running around for me. And I just keep thinking - how long can I put up with this? Haha! I admire anyone who has kept their sanity while on bed rest. Since I haven't had my sanity for a long time, I figure I am not at risk of losing it. I am anxious to see what the perinatologist says tomorrow so I'm glad my appointment is early in the morning. Don't worry, I'll keep you posted as well!

Now, the purpose of this post is to share pictures of my baby boy! Yeah, I know he's 10. But he'll always be my baby boy. In fact, it is so strange to think of having another baby sometimes because he's been my one and only miracle for so long! And I sure love him. Anyway, even though this week was crazy, we did manage to carve a pumpkin on Monday (yikes! I don't have pictures of our awesome R2D2 pumpkin!! Must get some!!!) and he was able to go to a church Halloween party as well as the normal trick or treating on Halloween night. What did he go as? Why his favorite TV character! Doctor Who!

How many of you just raised your eyebrows in confusion? Or squished your face up in confusion? I know some of you know who Doctor Who is, but I also know a lot of you don't. So here's a quick link to give you some more info. Soren adores this show and has for a few years. Yes, he's a nerd - but we are a family of nerds and proud of it! Woot! So without furthre adieu, I present to you - my baby as the most recent incarnation of Doctor Who!!!



The only thing we were missing was the red converse shoes, which I looked for like crazy, but then ended up in the hospital . . . so never got around to looking more. Well, and the fact that he didn't want to wear his dress shirt. But I'm not going to go there. So, he looked awesome. And I love the suit. Thank you, Goodwill, for providing an amazing suit for $25. And he's already promised to wear it when his little sister is blessed at church. Woot!

Ok, that's about all I have for the today! I will update once there is more to be told! Wish us all luck at the perinatologist tomorrow!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Home!!!!

Yes, I made it home! Basically on total bed rest - doctor removed the 'walking around' option, though. Due to the insane amount of itching, I'm popping a benadryl and heading to bed. Well, sleep anyway. I'm already in bed.

Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, well wishes, finger crossing, etc. etc. Tomorrow our new insurance officially kicks in - so our little princess is welcome to join us anytime now. However, we'd all prefer she hold off for just a bit longer!!!

I will either be updating a lot out of sheer boredom or not at all because there is nothing to say! However, I do have pictures of Soren from Halloween that I will post. He looked awesome!

Ok, that's it - I'm going to SLEEP!!!! In my BED!!! Hooray!!!!!

Too good to be true?

The discharge papers are sitting with the nurse. I have to have one more round of blood work to check my liver function and then I get to go home. If the blood work comes back and says that nothing has changed. If they've spiked . . . ugh. They are not spiking though - even though the itching started again last night - they are not spiking. Because I want to go home!

Once I am released (optimistic thoughts!), I am on bed rest. I am allowed to walk around the house once a day, use the bathroom, eat, and shower. Otherwise I'm in bed or reclining somewhere. The doc said I am not in the full stages of toxemia, but I am so close he is worried. He is also leaving town until the 17th. And he says he wouldn't be surprised if I delivered before he got back. I gave him a grumpy face when he said that. I really want him to deliver the baby, but if that doesn't happen I will just have to live with it. As long as she is healthy and I make it through everything, then it's all good.

On top of all of this there are the complications with my liver, which to my understanding are not related to toxemia (PIH, preeclempsia... whatever we are calling it today). I don't want to even start worrying too much about that unless things look bad. They just came to take my blood and it should only be about an hour before the results are in. And then hopefully they'll be like - woot! Go home! Right? Right.

I have some visitors coming, so I am going to try and take a quick nap before they get here. I'm sure another update will be forthcoming soon! That is, if there is anything to update!

Oh - and Happy Halloween!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here's the latest!

So, I'm still in the hospital.

Once again, I am hoping for release soon.

Why am I still here? Hehe . . .

Well - the good news is that I am off the iv (though I've still got all the junk shoved into my veins in case they have to put me back on) and I am no longer being monitored. The nurses are still going to monitor Princess once every 12 hours, though. I had an ultrasound today and everything looked great. We got to see our little angel and she did everything she was supposed to. We were even able to see her hair! How cute! We got a great shot of her profile and watched her yawn and stretch. Awwww - she is so cute! No pictures this time, but it was fun to see her wiggle, squirm, and just know she is ok.

That leaves me. The antibiotics for the bladder infection have kicked in, so that's good news. However, the doctor wants 24 hours of urine. Who wants that? I mean - eww! What a yucky present! Haha! Anyway, once they have that (by mid-morning tomorrow) they will be testing all that lovely pee for proteins. If the protein levels have leveled out, then we will know they were caused by the bladder infection and not the Pregnancy Induced Hypertension. If the protein levels have not resolved, then ... well we don't want to think about that.

As it is, the doctor wants to induce early. He'd like to see me get to 38 weeks. We all agree 40 weeks isn't going to happen.

Overall, things are looking up. I'm feeling good, I have a new bed (woohoo!), and am hoping and praying to be home by this time tomorrow. I miss my TiVo. Haha! But seriously, I want to be home, in my bed, able to be with my family - even if I have to spend most of my time in bed. At least I'll be at home.

I will update again once we know more! Thank you again for your love and support! It's time for me to order another round of food and get ready for bed. Which involves turning off the light and rolling over . . . hee hee

The Latest from Room 302

What an exciting 24 hours it has been!

After throwing up a grand total of 6 times yesterday (including on the way to the hospital! I've never had to stop and throw up on the side of the freeway.... haha!), I was sent to the triage of the labor/delivery ward at the hospital. They monitored me and the baby - who was doing fine - and I was having pretty regular contractions. I also was pretty dehydrated. They did some blood work and then, much to our surprise, we were told they would be delivering the baby.

Alan and I were pretty stunned.

We were sent to a labor/delivery room and admitted. The whole time we were like... uh, totally not ready for this! I didn't even bring the camera or pack a bag or anything! Ugh! Plus it is nearly 5 weeks early and that's just scary.

Luckily, the doctor came in and minds had been changed. It looks like I have a bladder infection. My blood pressure has been stable - even low. It was decided to hook me up to an IV and get some fluids in my body - they think the contractions were happening because I was dehydrated. Also, they wanted me to try and eat. I ordered up some 'room service' (haha), got hooked up to the IV, and spent the night trying to get comfortable in a horrible bed not designed for sleeping.

Now the doctor has checked in with us, I'm on antibiotics, and we are waiting to find out if we get to go home. Either way I will for sure deliver early. How early is still in question. I am guessing I will be on bed rest if I get to go home. They are still worried about Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (even though I've only had one high reading since we got here) because of some liver tests.

So, while there are things to report, I feel like there isn't much to report at the same time. We are in a holding pattern and hoping we can go home today. Soren is slightly disappointed that he doesn't get his sister yet, but he also says he knows she is where she needs to be. And I have promised him he will be the first to hold her (after the doctor, nurses, mommy, and daddy of course!).

Once there is more info - I will pass it on! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers! They are so appreciated! And now I must sign off before the battery dies on the laptop. Yeah, we are that prepared . . . . hee hee!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Change of Plans

Heading to the hospital.

Will update when I can.

And the results are in!!!

I know, I sound all excited, but I'm not! Haha!

I officially have PIH - Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (aka toxemia or preeclampsia). Fun, huh? I know, you want it to, but you can't have it cuz I'm not sharing! The strange thing is, I know all the signs to look for with PIH because they were concerned when I was pregnant with Soren that I'd develop it and I never did. So I'm like - uh, where's the symptoms? Haha! However, I'm not going to argue with the doctor. I like him too much to argue. Of course now I don't even know if he'll deliver me because I'm being sent to a high-risk doctor type person on Monday for a consultation.

As for my liver, 2 of the 4 tests they did came back abnormal. I am waiting to hear what THAT means for me. Luckily the itching has decreased signifigantly, so hopefully that is a good sign. I also managed to get an ok night of sleep last night without Benadryl. Of course my hips are sore because of all the laying about I've had to do the past few days, so that caused some problems. Yeah, it's all just one big complaint after another, isn't it? I *must* be getting close to delivery, right?

Oh - and I threw up this morning.

Rude!!!

So now I feel like I'm back in my first trimester, nibbling on saltines and sipping water. I don't want saltines, though. I want a big ol' hamburger. Oh well!

Anyway, that's the update. I'll see my doctor on Friday and then the Perinatologist on Monday. I'm sure there will be more juicy news to share after that. For now I'm going to try and get comfortable on the couch and play some Mario Kart and maybe watch a movie while trying to fall asleep.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Itching Update

So, I'm back from the doctor.

Yeah, he's concerned.

1 - I lost weight. This isn't exactly bad, but it's not exactly good. Baby is growing fast now and I should be gaining. He wasn't pleased and reminded me that I need to eat even if nothing looks good. Just shove something down my gullet.

2 - My blood pressure was stupid high. I credit this to worry/stress and total lack of sleep. He is concerned about it turning into toxemia - which is a valid concern. So I have to watch that this week.

3 - The itching is not good news, like I thought. I had 4 vials of blood drawn - and my vein - my super strong vein that has given the medical world so much blood - GAVE OUT after the second vial. RUDE! So we had to switch arms and get the last 2 vials from the other arm. I am having my liver function tested. I do not know when the results will come, but I'm guessing sooner rather than later.

4 - I am on partial bed rest - I need to spend 50% of my waking hours all comfy and cozy in a bed or a cozy chair. Seeing as sitting up fails me (Bean has taken up residency on a nerve if I sit against anything - including pillows), I shall be spending half of my day in bed. FUN! (April - I need you! Haha!)

5 - I have a prescription for a topical thingie to help the itching and have been instructed to take Benadryl every 6 hours to help with the itching as well as help me get some sleep.

See, the itching thing isn't normal pregnancy itching. The thought process here is that my liver is currently leaking bile into my bloodstream which is, in turn, manifesting itself through my skin. Apparently this happens in... oh, about 1% of pregnancies. Haha! I have such luck. Worst case scenario? Bean will come 3 weeks early instead of 1. Best case scenario? My liver function isn't too bad and the meds help the itching stop. I'd be more comfortable either way if they took her at 37 weeks (the usual protocol if you have this problem). I don't want anything to happen to her. That's what makes me the most nervous.

So, I may not be posting here so much for the next little while. I dunno. Apparently I need to go be all buddy buddy with my bed. Bleh.

Going to pop a bendaryl, rub on some of the lotiony stuff and see if I can get a nap in. I am beyond exhausted.

Death By Scratching

Is it possible to die from itching?

I ask this because I am wondering if it would be better for me to just chop off my arms and legs in order to avoid death or if I will make it until my 10:30am doctor's appointment. Because as of right now (at the lovely hour of 2:20am), I can not sleep due to intense, annoying, frustrating, and most of all irritating itching.

The advice of my son? "Stop itching, mom." And then he handed me anti-itch cream. The advice of my neighbor? She is so sweet and gave me some Vitamin E oil. The advice of my husband? "Stop itching." After which he grabs my hands. However, he can't hold my hands all night long because he does this thing called sleeping. I'm not exactly sure what that is right now, as I haven't experienced much of it in the past few weeks, but he manages it very well. I'm almost jealous. Oh, ok - I AM jealous. I was also very displeased tonight when I realized he was starting to edge over to my side of the bed with his feet again. He used to sleep diagonal until I invaded the bed with the Pillow Mountain. Now I think he is trying to go back to it again! I didn't have the strength, energy, or desire to kick him hard enough to make him move because I was too busy itching.

So, I gave up on sleeping altogether after crying, whining, and almost screaming. I am very grateful to be seeing a doctor today, but less grateful for my internet search abilities and the information that is floating around the web. It has me very paranoid about why the itching is happening. Not for myself, but for Little Bean. Who is not so little anymore.

In other news, my baby was stung by a wasp yesterday! We were outside taking some photos for a photo project he is working on for school and he screamed. Soren doesn't scream. Then he started crying. Soren rarely cries. I went over to see if he was ok and he had an ouchie on his finger! I'd seen some bugs flying around, but didn't realize they were wasps!!!! Ugh! So I brought him inside to take care of it and he screamed again! A sneaky wasp had gotten inside his hoodie AND tshirt and stung him again!!! So he was quite upset. And I was upset for him. Luckily it is healing fine, he's not allergic, and that wasp that snuck inside? He is SO dead. Kudos to Alan for catching and killing that evil critter!

Ok, I am going to go find a few distractions to keep me from itching myself to death and/or chopping off limbs. Goodnight and I hope everyone else in the world sleeps better than I have/will/etc tonight!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tag - You're it!

I was TAGGED by my sweet sister-in-law.... and while I usually ignore tags, I can't ignore my sister-in-law - especially now that we live so close to each other! Love it!

I was also TAGGED by my sweet friend Emily, and since she's all the way in Africa, I thought I'd humor her, too.

Tag #1 = Quirks

1. I hate toys that make noise. I am a mean, horrible, boring mother that won't put batteries in a toy if it means I have to sit and listen to it be obnoxious all day long. For this reason I am grateful that Soren is old enough to generally not have loud, annoying toys. And anything that makes noise at this point in his life can have headphones added so I don't have to listen to it. Of course this is all about to change . . . and then this quirk will come back to the forefront of my life.

2. Feet, unless they are baby feet, disgust me beyond belief. I do not want to touch anyone's feet - and only rarely my own. No one is allowed to touch my feet or they will get kicked (sometimes really hard) and I will scream a lot. I do not know where this aversion came from or when it happened, but I just hate them there feet.

3. I have a very hard time sleeping when it is not night time and when I'm not in my bed. For this reason, I do not generally nap. I will lay down and rest, but actual sleeping in the daylight hours is extremely hard for me to do. Which is probably why I am exhausted every night right now. Again, I see this changing for me soon . . .

4. When I find a new CD I like I must listen to it until I have every song memorized. Then and only then will I take it out of the CD player and listen to something else. If I do not take the time to do this with a new CD, I will generally not listen to it much, if at all, in the future. Along those same lines, if I am working on something while I listen to a CD and have to stop working on it, in order to begin work again, I must put the same CD in if I'm going to get anything done. Because of this, almost every website I've designed has it's own 'soundtrack.'

5. I love to organize things. LOVE it. Be it my own stuff or not, I could sit and organize and actually have fun doing it. My movies are all in alphabetical order. My books are as well, separated by genre. My CDs, too. I love to organize cupboards and closets. I love to PURGE things from said cupboards and closets. I love to give everything a place. And once it has a home, I am obsessive about making sure it stays that way. Eventually, though, it all falls to pieces (especially when I'm working a lot) and then I get to organize it all again! Since moving in with my parents I have organized the pantry, a few kitchen cupboards, a portion of the garage, and helped with some drawers/cabinets. There is still plenty to be done. . . . now if I could only find the energy!

6. If I start a book, 99% of the time, I have to finish it or I will go crazy. Even if I don't really like it - I have read it to the end. There have been very few occassions that I have put a book down and not picked it back up - sometimes even years later - to try and finish it. I can count on one hand the amount of books I have put down and have no intention of picking up at a later date.

Tag #2 = One Word

Here are the rules: I have to answer the following questions with one word answers and one word only! Then I must pass it on to seven others.The questions are as follows:

1. Where is your cell phone? Nightstand
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Brown-ish
4. Your mother? Loving
5. Your father? Silly
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Baby
8. Your dream/goal? Theatre
9. The room you're in? Bedroom
10. Your hobby? Computer
11. Your fear? Heights
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Bed
14. What you're not? Regretful
15. One of your wish-list items? House
16. Where you grew up? Washington
17. The last thing you did? Eat
18. What are you wearing? Pajamas
19. Your TV? TLC
20. Your pet? Nada
21. Your computer? Lovely
22. Your mood? Sleepy
23. Missing someone? Jen
24. Your car? Mazda
25. Something you're not wearing? Shoes
26. Favorite store? Wegmans
27. Your summer? Insane
28. Love someone? Alan
29. Your favorite color? Purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Yesterday
31. Last time you cried? Today

Now, I am not a tagger. So, if you would like to do this - feel free! Or just enjoy learning some quirkiness about yours truly.

It's been a long week........ and it ain't over yet. I'm ready for some relaxing, but that won't be happening anytime soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thin Does Not Equal Healthy




(if you can't see this go here to view what I tried to embed!)

And in other news - looks like Nov. 24th is a go! Woot!

Friday, October 10, 2008

It's Picture Time!

I know I said (over) a week ago that I would get pictures up and I failed miserably. It's not because anything exciting has been going on - on the contrary! Life has been pretty mellow. I hope that after the baby comes I will have more to report, but for now it's just the same stuff everyday. Soren goes to school, Alan goes to work, and little ol' me stays home, pokes around on the computer, watches some TV, tries to get a few things accomplished, and just generally wanders around like a zombie who has not gotten enough sleep! I feel like such a boring blogger lately that I almost want something exciting to happen! But I think I'd really just settle for a few more calm weeks before the storm (aka the baby) takes over.

I did have some fun yesterday, though! I got my hair done! It has been ages since I had it done - almost a year, really. So it was about time. And I decided to go a little crazy, with the help of my friend who also likes to go a little crazy sometimes. We make an exciting pair when we decide to be really crazy, let me tell ya! So here I am:



No, you aren't seeing things. I went lighter. A LOT lighter. Like, I'm nearly blonde in the highlights. It's so strange, but so fun! And I know I can go back to her right before the baby comes and get touch ups or go a completely different direction. And the great thing about it is - we trade. So I do web design stuff for her husband or I babysit her kids and I get my hair done! I love that! It's all going to take some getting used to - I looked in the mirror quite a few times yesterday in confusion - but I am pretty sure I like it. My parents (even my DAD who HATES it when I cut my hair) really like it and Alan does as well. Even Soren does, and he's a boy of routine and structure - he is not a big fan of change.

And now for the belly pics. The quality isn't great - I was using my web cam (just decided to try it out for the first time yesterday haha), but you get the general hugeness of it all.

32 1/2 weeks:





Some people have said I don't look like I'm 6 or 7 weeks away but trust me when I say - I FEEL 6 or 7 weeks away. I have my first doctors appointment since the move today and am kinda nervous - which is going to do wonders for my blood pressure. I am going to asked to be induced simply because of how far away the hospital is from us but also because I'm a chicken and need my drugs. I say need not for the pain, but for my reaction to people bothering me in that area of my body. It will be better for everyone involved (including the baby) if I just don't really know what's going on. Some people might wander how I ever got through any of the infertility procedures we did, but the truth of the matter is, I thing Heavenly Father had a huge hand in that because in normal circumstances I would not have been able to do it. So here's hoping for an induction date of Nov. 24th!!! I'll keep y'all posted.

Ok, time for me to get some food and get ready to go meet my new doctor! Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October is Finally Here!

I love October. I love the cool, crisp fall air that begins creeping in. I love the leaves that begin to change to brilliant shades of red, orange, and green. I love watching them fall from the trees so I can rake up big piles of leave and watch my son play in them. I love the promise of Halloween at the end of the month, one of my favorite holidays ever!

Yesterday, October 1st, I encouraged my mother to pull out any Halloween decorations she might have floating around (not nearly enough, if you ask me!) and put them out. I also went out and bought some apple cider and donuts. Then I went to the video store (which I haven't done for ages!) and picked up a fun Halloween cartoon: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.



After we'd had dinner and were all settled, I surprised everyone and we sat down for some tasty treats (though a few people chose Hot Chocolate instead of cider) and watched the cartoon. It was so fun to hang out and celebrate October with my family! Admittedly, I did steal this idea (thank you NieNie and Cjane), but it's such a wonderful idea and I finally have time to sit down and do silly things like this with my family. I think everyone had fun, even if it was a bit silly, but what can I say? I just love October!

I also was grateful that Oct. 1st ended up being a Wednesday because that is one of the least busy days at our house.

Today was relaxing for the most part - until the evening when we had to juggle basketball practice and curriculum night at the school. But we made it through, Soren is tucked into bed, and I'm already starting to fade.

I shall be posting pics of me and my baby belly soon! I know a few people who are anxious to see them!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Officially Official

Upon moving to Virginia, I tried really hard to be all legal and get myself a VA license fairly quickly after we moved. This, for me, was quite odd because even though I had lived in Washington, Ohio, Idaho, Utah, and then Washington again, I had never had anything other than a Washington license. I had pretty much refused to get an Ohio one because I heard I would have to take the drive test again. No thanks! And in Idaho and Utah I considered myself a student (because I was!), so when I went back to Washington to visit my parents, I just renewed my license there . . .

Anyway, I digress.

Well, I did not know how difficult it would be to get the appropriate documents that VA demanded in order to get my license. It took me almost 2 years of living there before I finally bothered, and that was only because my WA license was about to expire! But now, after less than 2 months being back in WA, I am officially a Washington Resident once more. I've got my license and I'm registered to vote and everything! Go me! Plus I got my old license number back, which makes me super happy because I've had it memorized for years. Now all that is left so far as paperwork and what not goes is registering the car. It's strange to have such a short list of "things to do."

As far as everything else goes, things are pretty much the same. Soren is busy and getting settled in his new routine. The only thing he doesn't like is the early bed time and early awake time. He's like his dad that way! Alan is still truckin' away with his commute and working hard for us. And I'm here at home, taking care of my web design stuff as well as all of the odds and ends that are a result of moving across the country. It's odd having time. It's even more odd being able to spend an entire day at home without needing to leave the house for one reason or another. I've still not adjusted, can you tell? Haha!

Hopefully one of my future posts will include some pictures of the beautiful place we are living. Maybe I'll even have my mom take a pic of me doing something that is now everyday for me - COOKING! I have to say, I miss Alan's cooking a lot.... but we are somehow surviving on what I dig up for dinner each night.

Ok, the clock is ticking and Soren will be home soon. This means I need to steal myself an afternoon nap before the afternoon is gone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Failure to Update

Why is it that when you have no time and life is crazy, you find time to update blogs/journals/etc. but when life is a little slower paced, you just feel like there is nothing to say and/or you don't bother to update even if fun things are happening?

Well, that might not be YOUR problem, but it's certainly mine!

If I am in the throngs of chaos, I have to sit down for a few minutes and update my blog. When things are moving at a slower pace, nothing gets done. Maybe that's why I enjoy chaos so much? It motivates me to get things done!

So here's the latest:

-Soren is enjoying his new school, new teacher, and new classmates more each day. He is doing well in school, has decided to join the school band (playing trumpet), the school choir (they have a music festival in mid-November), the chess club, the safety patrol, and was accepted into the EXCEL program, which is like a gifted program but they don't call it that. On top of all of that, he will also be resuming piano lessons soon, starting basketball, and continues to be involved in Cub Scouts as a Webelos this year. Is he busy? Yes. Overprogrammed? Probably. But right now I want him to involved in as much as possible so he can figure out for himself what he likes and what he doesn't. Also, it will assist in making friends. However, this does mean we need to get him to bed much earlier each night as his days will be long. The good news? Thus far he has had practically nothing for homework in comparison to what he came home with in Virginia.

Aside from all of that, he is getting more and more excited for the arrival of his little sister. He talks to her everyday and tells me how much he loves her and how she is HIS baby. I laugh and remind him he is much to young to have his own baby and that this is his baby sister. And she will only ever have him for a big brother and she is so lucky!! He has also had the chance to go on two field trips for school already! Both of them involved the beach - so that was awesome for him. Today, however, he is home sick with the first school-germ-generated cold of the year. And he has sweetly passed that on to me. What an angel....

-Alan is still working and commuting. We get to spend a little time with him each night, but we have become early sleepers in comparison to our late nights we'd have back in Virginia. Now it is pretty unheard of for us to be up past 10:30pm - unless it's a basketball night! Alan is looking forward to joining the community rec center here so he can go play ball whenever he wants! Soren and I agree that this would be awesome because while daddy plays ball, we can invade the pool! And our Little Bean will be able to have the chance to swim, too - just like her big brother did when he was a baby!

Alan is also our Mr. Fix-It. He's had lots of projects since moving in with my parents and will continue to have more since my dad had surgery last week and is out of commission for 10-12 weeks. So Alan has become the lifter, mover, fixer, and all-around awesome guy to have around! I'm sure lucky that, in the end, he's mine!!!

-And then there was me! I'm trying to take it easy while I can, but it's hard to sit still sometimes. Ok, it's hard to sit still MOST of the time! I do have a 7 month pregnancy belly slowing me down a bit, but I am not fond of all the sitting I've been doing lately. Once I'm over this cold I am going to start walking everyday, especially since the beautiful fall weather is settling in. I can't wait for some nice little rain showers!

I finally found a doctor that I think I am going to be ok with! I have my first appointment with him in a couple weeks (he's really booked!) and am looking forward to meeting him and having him check on our Little Bean. I have heard fabulous things about this doctor and the recommendation comes from one of the few people in the medical field that I trust and love (yes, I said LOVE!). My next big project is getting a in-state license and getting the car registered. I think that will just about wrap up all the paperwork and nonsense we have had to do to get settled.

So, life is good. We love it in the Northwest, but continue to talk about and miss our friends in Virginia. Some good news? Alan is working for an airline. Yes, his company is considered an AIRLINE company. Do you know what that means? Oh yes, my friends, it means perks. Which means that I will for sure be flying out to Virginia in the spring to visit my sweet friends and show off our little princess. Until then, though, I am grounded - third trimester travel isn't exactly encouraged and there is no way I'm getting on a plane with a newborn. Nope, we'll be waiting until the spring. And then after that? Well, goodness.... we have a lot of options opened to us for vacations now! Any recommendations? Hee hee!

I'm off to nap now. I so need to get rid of this cold!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Settling In

I am sitting here in our 'new' room. On MY bed. Watching MY TV. With MY TiVo box. I have been sleeping much better - in fact, I think we all have - and it's wonderful! I did have some trouble night before last because I was worried about Soren's first day at his new school, but (aside from the frequent visits to the bathroom) otherwise sleep has been much better. I love my bed.

As you might be able to tell, sleep is very important to me and my sanity. I didn't realize this until I stopped getting a fairly normal night of sleep. Hopefully I'll be able to manage through the first few months of a new baby without growling at everyone around me because I didn't get a full night of sleep. Soren was sleeping 5-6 hours straight when he was 6 weeks old. I doubt I will be that lucky twice!

It's all worth it, though. So I will do my best to keep from complaining when the lack of sleep increases! And I will cherish the mostly uninterrupted sleep I'm getting now!

In other news, Soren started school yesterday and he was very nervous about it - even if he didn't want to (and may never!) admit it. After 4 years at his old school, he's having trouble with the idea of a new school, new friends, new teachers, etc etc which makes sense to me. So I'm trying to be sympathetic and understanding, but also telling him to suck it up and deal a bit, too! Yesterday went ok - he seems to like his teacher, he's met a few kids that he seemed to get along with, he really enjoyed a science forum they had . . . but he talked a lot about the differences, as well. He misses his old school, but I'm hoping in a few weeks he'll have settled into the new routine and be ok.

Alan's new job continues to be challenging, busy, different, but good. He's learning a lot and feeling confident in his skills. While the commute isn't a dream for anyone in the family, he's handling it fabulously. I will admit, though, I miss having him cook fabulous meals for me almost every night. I hope my family survives on my cooking. One thing I think Alan is enjoying is the amount of projects there are to take care of around my parent's home. While he needs to rest for a while after work and I don't mind at all letting him sleep in on the weekends, it's nice for him to have things to work on. Alan's always loved to work with his hands, so these projects are great for him! It's also prepping him for when we move into our own place and I have a nice list of things for him to do! Haha!

As for me, I am trying to adjust to a less -busy schedule. Truthfully, it's just strange right now. I'm watching way more TV than I have in years. I'm getting all the laundry done in one day instead of dragging it on for days and days. I've even managed to make my bed a time or two. Boredom is going to set in soon - I already feel it nipping at me. But I know that in a few months, I will be anything BUT bored. Luckily I have all of my scrapbook stuff here at my mom's, so I will be able to do some of that while we wait for Little Bean to join us.

Speaking of Bean, she is hungry. So I'm off to find something to munch on.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back in the Northwest

I've lived in the Northwest US for 2/3 of my life. I don't know if anywhere else in the world will ever feel like home the way the northwest does. Nothing says home to me like driving down the street and seeing this:



This is seriously what I see when I turn the corner to drive almost anywhere. And when I'm not looking at that amazing mountain (Mt. Hood), I see this:



I know, not quite as beautiful, but that's what happens when you lose part of your beauty in a volcanic explosion. Yes, that's Mt. St. Helens. I did not realize how amazingly lucky I had been my entire life to be able to see such beauty every time I walked out my door, but having it all back has made me grateful.

Aside from my mountains, I also have my gorgeous Evergreen trees, my amazing family, fabulous friends, and a lot less stress. With school starting next week, I know that things will get a little crazy. We've got to find a soccer team for Soren, get him a piano teacher, Scouts will start again, but for the first time in 2+ years, I get to enjoy his schedule instead of trying to work around it and make sure that someone is here for him! Hooray!

Do I miss Virginia? Of course I do! I wish I could scoop up all the things I love about Virginia (including the people!) and move them here with me. But, truthfully, I think this area will always be home for me.

Our pod is here and we are heading over either tomorrow or Thursday to get our bed (OH PLEASE, BED, I NEED YOU SO MUCH!) and a few other things to help us feel more at home while we live with my parents. I'm excited to get my bed (CAN YOU TELL?!?!) . The bed we are in is too small for the two of us. Or rather two and 2/3 of us. Little Bean has already begun complaining about things. She woke up way too early this morning (I know, this is just the beginning!) and would not stop poking and prodding me! She calmed down a little after Daddy came and talked to her, but then he had to go to work and she ignored all of my requests. I can't complain, though. I'm grateful she is active and let's me know she is there. Frequently. Haha! I know the days of getting a full nights sleep are behind me and will be for a while. But it's worth it.

In my sleep - deprived delerium, I think the point of this post is - we are here. We made it. And hopefully by the end of the week we will be settled here at my parents house. Then we just wait for Bean to make her appearance while we decide where we want to live and when we want to move there. We are keeping busy, but I feel like my life is much more relaxed than it has been so saying yes to a musical number at church and babysitting a friend's kids? No prob! Helping out with the music for the kids at church? Bah, I've been doing that for years - no big!

Biggest concern for the week? Getting Soren's school clothes and supplies. He's all registered and ready to go otherwise.

I think I'm going to go take a nap now!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning.

So.

This is it.

My last night in Virginia.

Almost all of my errands have been run. I said goodbye to people from my old job. It was so nice to visit with them! I said goodbye to my wonderful ob/gyn and his assistant (whom I love to bits!) and got my records. I ran to the store to pick up a few last minute things. I dropped off my mail key and the last few things to finish up checking out of our townhouse. And I made a few phone calls as well. So a lot got done today! I still need to do another load of laundry in the morning and do the final packing job. I will also need to ship myself a package or two to accommodate all of the adorable things Little Bean received at the baby shower that was given to me by my sweet friends Jen and Alison. It was so nice to sit and visit with friends and to be able to say goodbye. Or rather, "see you later." Cuz, let's face it, saying goodbye sucks.

I'm sad to leave so many good friends who have been there for me in so many different ways. But the good thing is that I know many of them are forever friends, not just right now friends. One in particular I know will be there for me for the rest of my life - and beyond as well. And that is a good feeling. Except it makes the leaving that much more difficult. Ugh!

Instead of focusing on that (I'm not in the mood to cry right now!), I will focus on the friends and family I am going back to! I am so excited to be close to my brothers again. I love them and their families so much! I'm also glad to be close to my parents (very close for a while!). I worried about them both a lot and when they were both very sick a couple of years ago I was a mess not being able to be there to help them. Of course I hope that doesn't happen again, but if it does, I want to be there. Then there are the many wonderful friends that we get to go back to! I can't wait to get hugs from them, play games, and go on outings together again. Trust me when I say, I've had to focus on all of these things to keep myself from crying for the past 2-3 weeks.

Now I just need to make it through a long evening of travel tomorrow before I can curl up (as best as I can with 6 months of baby inside of me! haha!) next to my sweetheart and sleep tomorrow night. That is unless Little Bean decides to wake me up in the middle of the night. Again. Twice. Haha! She's an active little one, but I'm ok with that . . . she's worth it. All this exhaustion (and the loads that is forthcoming) is all worth it.

So, Virginia.... it's been a great (mostly) 4 years. I'll hopefully be back in the spring to show off my little blessing . . . . anyone who wants to come visit the gorgeous Portland metro area, let me know! I love visitors! Just not during the first week or two in December. I'll be recuperating from giving birth! Ha!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Another Suitcase in Another Hall . . .

The house is packed.
The pod was picked up on Monday.
The house is clean.
The boys are currently in Nauvoo.
The house is empty.
The girls (hee hee) are staying with an awesome family that we all love.

So that's really the latest.

For the first night in I'm not sure how long I actually slept and slept hard. I didn't get out of bed until 9:30am! That is unheard of for me! I am usually up by 7:30 at the latest - regardless of what time I go to sleep. This was also the first morning in quite a while that I didn't have to get up at some ridiculous hour to send boys off, go to the airport, or stress because of how much packing/cleaning had to be done. I am so grateful to my brother in law who came all the way out here to help us. I am grateful to friends from the ward who helped us clean last week. I'm so grateful for good friends who helped us pack and clean. Basically, I'm just grateful for everything and everyone that has helped us get everything in order so we could move as quickly as we needed to. I'm aslo grateful for good friends who take care of my boys. It's always amazing to me how Heavenly Father watches over us when we are doing what He wants. How else would I have packed and cleaned my entire house in such a short amount of time? I really have no idea.

I leave Virginia on the 19th. I really can't believe that is less than a week away. I also am having trouble dealing with all the emotions that are coming along with this move. It's such a mixed bag of excitement and sadness that my brain is confused! Ugh! I'm sure pregnancy hormones aren't helping, either. Two weeks ago at church I couldn't stop crying all through the first portion of things. I'm hoping I can pull it together for my last Sunday, but I doubt it!

We are lucky to have been able to have fit everything in our pod. And by fit I mean just barely cram everything into every possible crevice in the entire thing. There is not a drop of extra room. And our car? It was so loaded down it was crazy. But it all fit. That's what is important. Except that I know my boys are less than comfortable driving across the country. I wish I could fix it for them. I tried my best (with the help of my friend Jen as well as Alan) to get everything in without squishing them, but I know they are not so comfy.

I am now staying with friends, helping with a new baby, and trying to tie up the loose ends of our life here on the east coast. What is left to do?

*Carpet Cleaning - they are coming today
*Final Inspection of the house - that's tomorrow
*Final Dr's appt - that's on Friday and I have to try not to cry - I am going to miss my doctor so much. I get so attached to doctors I actually like!
*Baby Shower/Goodbye Party - On Saturday from 2-4 pm - if you are local, email me for more info if you want to come! I would LOVE to see you!!!!
*Return last cable box - need to do this today if possible

So really, there isn't much. And I'm glad about that because the past 3 weeks have been a whirlwind.

Now I just need to go shower, throw some clothes on, and head over to the house to do some weeding while they clean the carpets. I also need to check to see how much of our trash they actually took yesterday. There was a LOT!! Haha!

I'll update when there is more to report. That's it for now!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Stuff, Stuff, and More Stuff!

I am very grateful that 6 or so years ago I was introduced to Flylady. Seriously. This is our third move in the last 4 years. If I still had some of my old habits (aka "Keeping Everything Just In Case"), this move (and the 2 others we've made) would have been much worse. I'm guessing we are going to wind up having extra empty boxes because I've overestimated how many we actually need. Also, I'm very optimistic that we'll be able to fit everything into our pod. Had I still been in my other mindset, I'm not sure we'd have enough boxes and I'm positive a 16ft. pod would not be enough.

That being said, we are getting closer to completion. What is left?

*The game closet
*The 2 upstairs bathrooms
*Bits and bobs from the living room
*Bits and bobs from the kitchen
*40% of the master bedroom
*The back porch area
*Cleaning on the main floor and top floor

Today my goal is the game closet, the bits and bobs from the living room, and working some more on the master bedroom. Alan's last day of work is today, so he'll be home all day tomorrow to help. His brother is flying in tonight to help as well. Last night we had a friend from Alan's work come over and help, which was so wonderful, and he is coming back tonight as well! His wife will be joining him after that and we'll all have dinner in the mess and chaos. It should be fun, though!

We would like to have 95% of our belongings snugly inside the pod by tomorrow night. I need to cancel our second pod soon if we don't need it and that will leave me with plenty of time to clean. Woohoo! I do believe one of the last things to be packed will be our wireless router. We are such internet junkies!

Well that's all I have time for today. I must keep up with the packing. I also need to brush my teeth and freshen up for lunch with my friend Nancy. Yay!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

My Baby is Double Digits

In the midst of all the packing, organizing, and other craziness, my baby turned 10 years old. TEN! Can you believe it? I can't. First off, I can't believe that I have a ten year old. Can I really be old enough for that to have happened? Secondly, I can't believe my baby is ... not a baby anymore.

I don't have many pictures on my computer right now and a lot are simply packed away, but here are a few of my angel:

Here he is at the ripe old age of two:



He's always been such a happy person - smiling so much all the time. He has his drama moments (don't we all), but overall he just is a joy to be around. One of the many reasons I love him.

And here he is again at age three:



This picture captures his personality so much. Cute, happy, fun, and a little mischievous to boot! But so freakin' adorable, no?

I can't be bothered to upload a recent one of him. Go back a few entries, you'll find one. I'm too tired and the camera is all the way downstairs. Rest assured, more will come. Especially after his little sister joins him. I can't even begin to tell you how sweet it is to see him so excited for her arrival. It literally brings me to tears when I think about it because he is just so thrilled for her to come. He can't wait to be able to feel her kick and actually was close to crying the other day because I could feel her and he could not. It is too precious for words, truly. He is going to be a phenomenal big brother, I can already tell.

Update on the packing front:

Basement is cleared out except laundry stuff.
Main floor continues in the same state - mostly packed (aside from the kitchen) with bits and bobs to shove in other locations.
The office is about 80% complete. Everything is out of my desk (finally) and out of the closet as well. I am estimating 3-4 more boxes to wrap it all up here.
The bedrooms are generally the same.

Our pod arrives on Monday. Then the real task begins - fitting everything in a 16ft. pod. I am hoping and praying that we can do it, as the cost will drop in half if we only have one pod. Right now I am optimistic. I just hope we can sell our entertainment center and desk prior to our move, as that will free up some space if we don't take those things.

We continued to be blessed and know that this is the right thing for our family to be doing. We were given another batch of boxes today from a friend at church - just the right type and sizes we needed. What an amazing blessing.

Soren also had a few friends over today for a pool party and cake and what not. Aside from the visit of thunder about halfway through our pool adventures, it was a good time. And now his birthday celebrations are officially over and we now shift our entire focus to finishing up with packing and beginning the cleaning process. We've already had help with the basement - so grateful for that - and have more help coming on Monday. There is still a bit more in the basement and then we have the main floor to tackle. That will be a little more tricky considering there are still boxes piled everywhere. Maybe by the time help shows up I will have the office emptied out. Here's hoping!

So that's the latest. And now I am exhausted, sore, and needing a long sleep.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Things you learn

This week I learned that:

*Our townhouse is actually 2100 square feet. Including the basement. Which, luckily, we didn't occupy much of or this packing nightmare would be worse

*One closet can hold a LOT of stuff

*One bookcase can hold even more

*Boxes can multiply on their own

*No matter how many boxes you estimate it will take, it is never enough

*Having your dishwasher break doesn't motivate you to pack up the kitchen (even though it should)

*It's hot in the summer. Especially upstairs.

*Inevitably, there is always a box or two with the label: Misc.

*Babies like to kick at night when you are trying to sleep

*Showers are overrated during moving; teeth brushing is not

It's been a long week. The basement is almost finished, the dining room is finished and full of boxes, the living room and powder room are basically done, just a few odds and ends. The only thing left on the main floor are the kitchen (ugh) and the hall closet. I have slowly been working on the office (double ugh) and last night began packing up clothes that won't fit me for quite a while thanks to our little princess (but I am ok with that! She is worth it!). There is still at least half a house to pack. It's all coming so fast I'm not sure what to do. Part of me feels like we are on track and the other part of me is losing my mind.

I'd really like to dedicate next week to cleaning, so hopefully we can keep up the pace and pack, pack, pack!

After a trip to the Cheesecake Factory. After all, it is National Cheesecake Day! If you go today, you can get a piece of Cheesecake for $1.50, too! Yum!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

As if it wasn't crazy enough...

Now let the insanity REALLY begin.

We have an official offer letter in our hands. Alan is faxing an acceptance tonight. We are moving back home.

I've made progress with the packing. It may not seem like much but, between babysitting my friends boys all day while she had her new baby boy, I managed to pack 2 boxes, organize the dining room as our official "shove everything that is ready to go" area, and empy out what we lovingly call "Harry's Room" (aka: the large cupboard/closet under the stairs). None of those items from Harry's Room made it upstairs (it's in the basement), but they are all out.

Only a BILLION more things left. That's ok, though. We'll get there. Tomorrow I need to list some things on Craiglist and start packing up books and DVDs. Maybe I'll even start to tackle the office. I do need to list my desk (again) and see if there are any takers, so it might be good if it was empty.

As is tradition in our family, we are doing a rush move. When we moved to the east coast we accepted the job on July 28th, 2004. We had the truck packed and pulled out of the driveway of our home (which we had managed to sell in 19 days) on Aug. 15. We were in our new place on Sept. 1. Our lives changed drastically in one month. It was crazy. This time we are accepting the job on July 24th, 2008. We will have everything packed up and off (hopefully) on Aug. 11. We'll be in our new location by Aug. 22 and staying with my parents for a few months while we get settled and figure out what in the world we are doing! I could name at least one other move that took place almost exactly the same way. Why yes, we are crazy! Thanks for asking!

On top of the insanity, I'm going out of town this weekend. I'm heading down to North Carolina with my former 'cellar dweller' (aka Marie who lived in our basement until a month ago) for 2-3 days to help her move the last of her things and to visit with her one last time before we depart from the east coast. This means I lose 3 days of packing. Does this worry me? Yes. Will I get through it? Yes.

We are excited to be moving, but sad at the same time. We love the DC area. We love the friends we have made. We have loved the amazing experiences we have had here. But the feeling has been coming on slowly that our time here is complete, and when the Lord starts poking. . . well . . . we listen. And now things are falling into place for us to go back to what we all feel like is home.

I don't want to think about all the dear, sweet, amazingly wonderful people we are leaving. I know that I will remain in contact with many of them (some of you can read this as YOU) via email, phone, Christmas cards, etc. But I don't want to cry right now. So I am trying to focus on the family and friends we will be returning to as well as the new friends I'm sure we will make. Focusing on that makes it a lot less emotional for me. And right now my emotions are already working overtime!

I will most likely be in town until the 19th of August. So don't try and rid yourselves of me just yet! Although I really hope they can release me from my calling soon. I need to pack up all of my singing stuff! Hee hee!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Look What I Found!



Awwww! Can you make out the nose and lips and chin and PERKINS CHEEKS??? And the little hand? And the ear?

Isn't SHE precious?

That's right, I said SHE. And if she doesn't pull a Soren, she'll still be a she when she shows up in a few months! Actually, we had the tech check quite a few times from many different angles. We are 99.9% sure that it is accurate this time.

Alan is already in love with her and can't stop staring at the wonderful 3-D shot we got. Soren is thrilled beyond belief and even more excited to be a big brother. I am not surprised and am excited, though I think I'm just thrilled to have a baby. I would have been happy either way! But my boys both really wanted a girl, so I'm glad she ended up being a girl for them!

So that is our big news. Our other big news is that Alan will be getting a job offer before the week is out. They are putting the paperwork together and deciding on a start date for him as we speak. We'll see what the offer ends up being, but unless it is ridiculously low, we will most likely be taking it unless God tells us otherwise.

Lots of changes ahead for us! I've got to start packing the house up which will begin as soon as I can round up some boxes. I got rid of all of mine 3 years ago when we moved in here. It's off to the liquor store for me! To get boxes, silly. They have GREAT boxes. And they are FREE. I still have some from when we moved into our HOUSE in 2002 because we lived right around the block from the liquor store and I would just go grab a handful everyday for a few weeks. I still store my Christmas dishes in one.

I'm off to go find cute purple clothes for my (already spoiled) little girl. Purple is such a great color!

Fun!

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember--it can be funny, weird, awkward, random, etc.!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Safely Home

Aside from being so sick I want to curl up and sleep all day (but can't because I can't breathe haha), our trip home was a success and we are safe. And SO glad to be home in our own beds and in our own house. JOY! There is no major news to report except that it is hot and humid (per usual for Washington, DC this time of year). I am not sure at this point whether I prefer hot and humid or hot and dry. I thought I decided that I liked the dry after landing in Nevada and driving to Utah. However, after spending two weeks in the dry, I am now undecided.

I have nothing new and glorious to report, except that I want this:



How freakin' adorable is that?!?!?! But I'm not sure I want to fork over $18 for a onesie. However..... I am being sorely tempted. Haha! Not right now, though. I just spent I don't even want to actually know how much money on this little vacation of ours. Maybe in a few months.

That's really all. I need to go pop another sucky candy and blow my nose. Oh, and find a sub for church tomorrow. No one needs to have me there hacking, sneezing, and blowing my nose around them. It's already bad enough that I am hosting a baby shower today. I'm sorry to anyone attending if I infect you!!! But, hey, it's at the Olive Garden. No infection shall stop me from going there!!! Hee hee!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Arizona + Nevada - The Final Stretch

My time in the Phoenix area with my sister was quite relaxing! We did a bit of shopping (still no maternity swimsuit to be found! ugh!) and I was able to find 3 pair of maternity capris to get me through the end of the summer. I also bought a shirt even though I didn't really need it. We took the kids to a rec center where they rock climbed for an hour or two (Soren loved it and did really well!). We also took the kids to a local pool for most of the day on Tuesday. They all slept really well that night! On Wednesday morning it was laundry and packing time and thus ended the Phoenix portion of the trip.

Alan's interviews went well. There is one job that is working on an offer for him for sure and one more possibility. We'll see what the offer is and go from there. He had a great time being back in Vancouver, though, and I am jealous that he got to go! Hee hee!

On Wednesday afternoon we headed out of Phoenix towards Las Vegas. It was a long drive, what with all the potty breaks and food emergencies. I have noticed I am hungry a LOT more than usual lately, so I have to eat way more frequently. This is especially frustrating as I seem to have returned to the "everything looks disgusting" stage. So the drive was long and we pulled into our hotel around midnight. And there was a HUGE line at the check in desk! I could not believe it and then I remembered we were in Vegas and people don't sleep here so much as gamble all night. Haha! We finally got settled and into bed (after getting lost in the hotel a few times haha) about 12:30am. We all crashed hard and didn't get going until around 10am the next morning.

Thursday we took it easy and relaxed. Really. There was nothing we wanted to go out and do in 100+ degree temperatures, so we didn't. It was fabulous.

The only drawback to this entire trip is that I am coming home with something nasty. Something I almost always come home with after visiting a dry climate. Bronchitis. I'm almost certain that's what it is because I've had it so many times, but hopefully I'm wrong. Either way, I'm so sick and anyone who has flown on an airplane while being sick knows how much fun that is! Ick! So I will take my big, comfy pillow, a box of tissues, and lots of water and sucky candies on board with me today and hope to fall asleep and ignore the flight home.

Oh, home! How I have missed you!

Two weeks is such a long time to be away. I am looking forward to going home but already missing all the family we've been able to see. However, I am so ready to NOT be living out of a suitcase!

With that (and a ginormous sneeze that just about tossed me out of my chair!), I am off to return our rental car and head to the airport.

Back to the East Coast we go!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Utah + Arizona

*yawns*

Exhausted does not even begin to cover my current state. But it's all been worth it. Right? RIGHT???

Truly, though, it has.

We were able to have good visits with Alan's brothers who live in 2 different parts of Utah and in Mesa, AZ. It was great to see them, chat with them, poke and tickle all their kids, and reconnect. My family reunion was crazy, but great. I loved seeing all of my family all together. 31 1/2 of us. So many hugs, kisses, tickles, squishes, teasing, chatting, and silliness. Great fun. The Grand Canyon was good - the weather was perfect. And as long as I stayed a good distance from the railing, I was fine. Me + Heights = Bad News. I wish I had more energy, but my family got what I was able to give.

Not much quality sleep has happened, but I'll be able to catch up when I get home, right? RIGHT???

*yawns again*

Right now I'm in Phoenix and Alan is up in Portland. He has 3 interviews lined up and 2 more possiblitiles. Hopefully by mid-week he'll have had enough interviews for someone to offer him a job. Otherwise we are going to be looking for housing out closer to work. Either way, I've got a lot of packing ahead of me.

My brain is fried. I will try to update more later with pictures and what not. I am alive, functioning in minimal capacity, and hoping my sister will let me do a whole lot of nothing for the next day or two. Haha!