Friday, February 28, 2014

(Almost) Done

Other than wanting to vacuum the entire house two or three times in a row, there's one thing left on my list of "things I must finish before the baby arrives."

I have to finish the blanket Laura is "making" the baby.  I put making in quotes, as she drew the picture, but really I'm making the blankie while she watches...  

I finished the blankie for Laura.  She's not expecting a blankie, but she was so sad to know I'd made blankies for two of her cousins but not for her.  So I pulled out all the stops, designing this special blankie.

And I refinished the blankie I had made for Gavin after he was born, adding a back and some border stitching.  His is much smaller than Laura's or the one for the new baby, but still handmade with love by mommy.

So now I'm down to this:
I now have all but two peacock wings scribbled in with stitching, and need to finish the last band of the rainbow.  I need to trace and stitch Laura's note to her new brother onto the back, then put it all together.  It'll take 3-4 hours of work...

But then?  I'll be done.  D-O-N-E.  DONE!  Done with my must-finish projects.  And beyond "over" being pregnant.  I'm not quite 39 weeks, and I know I should prepare myself for potentially three more weeks of baby growing.  But I can't.  I've gone, almost overnight, from "I'm actually feeling great!" to "OMG one more random contraction with no other action and I might cry."  I'm tired, enormous, in a constant state of Braxton-Hick ball of tight, queasy, short of breath, and starting to swell.  My lips are buzzing from lack of oxygen, and I'm just exhausted.

Come on baby.  I'm ready.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I'm over it.  So over it.  I am so not ready to have a newbie at home... But I am so ready to be done with work for a little while.  And also to not be pregnant.  Because here is what 37 weeks looks like:
I'm totally over work.  I'd rather be on the couch snuggling my little buddy.  I'd rather be eating all the cookies.  I'd rather be wallowing in my last few weeks of sluggish, clumsy, pregnant walking.  I'd much rather be napping...

I'd rather be working on special projects. Like this blankie for a special big sister.
And turning this drawing of a peacock with a rainbow into a blankie for a special littlest brother:
Hell, I'd rather be vacuuming and mopping.  Let's be honest.  The nesting urge has kicked in (though has not been activated upon).  

The baby clothes are all washed.  I found my stash of nursing bras and shirts.  I packed my favorite shampoo in my hospital bag.  The infant seat is stowed in the van (not yet installed... Tips on packing three kids in carseats in a minivan??).  Stuff is ready.

And I am so, so ready... To not be working anymore!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

We've just had nearly two feet of snow, and my blizzard preparedness is awarded zero points, and my God have mercy on my soul.  I bought a box of Fruit Loops, a gallon of milk and some raspberry lemonade.  We had plenty of toilet paper, so what else would we need?

Oh, maybe something to eat for dinner??  Oops.

So we made homemade pizzas last night (with yeast that was miraculously still active!), but I have absolutely nothing planned for dinner tonight.  Going out for Mexican sounds so amazing... until I think about how crowded every restaurant will be tonight.  Especially following such a big storm.

I'm at work today (why, I'm not sure... no one else is).  And I should have a chance to stop by the grocery store on my way home.  I can still scrape together some sort of yummy dinner!

In the meantime, my kids are snug at home enjoying the tiny Valentine's gifts I picked up for them.  Plates, forks & spoons, and a book for each of them, plus a cute dress for Laura.  I threw some dollar store stickers on some dollar store doilies as Valentine's for each, and called it a day.

Laura's class Valentine's were made similarly.  Laura adorned the doilies with tons of stickers, and I taped a dollar store heart-decorated pencil to the back of each.

Gavin's were a little more fun, but he wasn't actually involved... Thank you PicMonkey and Photoshop!  I filled some dollar store heart-covered zipper bags with stickers, then stapled the following picture over top (yes, the writing is upside-down on purpose - sticker tags!):
It was a dollar store holiday, for sure!  But seriously, where else can you get hundreds of stickers for so cheap??  Laura and I stayed up late on Tuesday making our Valentine's, and had so much fun chatting about all the kids in her class.  Valentine's Day might be a little silly or forced for some, but I love that it gives my daughter a chance to reflect positively on all her little friends.  She even found something nice to say about the one child likes least of all!

And just to be cute, I made these little Valentine's for our closest family members:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Defy Gravity

I mean seriously!  That's not a beach ball under that shirt... that's a baby.  A baby due in less than four weeks!!  The rest of me looks shockingly normal (minus some weird puffy lips I have, but don't really show in this selfie).  I've only gained around 27 pounds, which is fabulous.  Less than the other two pregnancies (I think), and physically I'm feeling pretty good.  I mean... as good as one can carrying around a 27 pound basketball in her stomach.

I have had lots of little teeny contractions here and there, usually when I'm thirsty, hungry, tired, or in need of a bathroom.  I tend to ignore them, since they don't really mean anything.  The baby's swift jabs to the ribs, bladder and hips are far more annoying!  But I have also had a few REALLY strong, really long contractions too.  My breath was taken away last night by a few really awful contractions that had me leaning against a wall for support and wondering how soon this baby plans to arrive.  Thankfully, I realized that a combination of Mexican and a huge glass of milk (I'm lactose intolerant) were probably making some tiny yawn contractions that much worse.  A few tums and an early bedtime settled things right down.

That said, even the teeny boring contractions are doing something.  I am 2.5 centimeters and 60% effaced.  Last week I was 1 cm and 0% effaced, so things are progressing.  It's my third pregnancy so obviously I probably walk around 1 cm dilated even when I'm not pregnant at this point.  So the progress I made in the last week isn't getting me too excited for anything.  Also, I'm GBS+ again.  Which means I'll have to have four hours of IV antibiotics as soon as I head into L&D before I can get anything really going.

Which, of course, assumes I'll have a similar labor as the other two: my water will break but I'll end up being induced.  I was not GBS+ with Laura, but my water broke so violently and was so very damp and yucky to sit around in, we rushed to L&D immediately.  I was GBS+ with Gavin, so when my water broke (in a far more manageable amount), I didn't have the option to stay home at all.  With both labors, I accepted Pitocin (and the epidural), but still had to have my water RE-broken hours and hours of no progress later.

So this time, assuming my water breaks again, I'll scramble to get someone out to our house in the middle of nowhere to watch the older two, hop in the car for almost an hour to get to our preferred hospital in the city, and beg for the IV of antibiotics as soon as I arrive.  After four hours of nothing, when they ask if they can give me Pitocin, I'll ask if they can instead re-break my water first.  See if that jump starts anything... if it does, maybe I can have a med-free birth!  I labored (with Pitocin) without an epidural with Laura for way too long, so I can know I can do that part.  And I delivered Gavin with an epidural that had worn completely off, so I know I can do that part, too!  Maybe I can do the whole thing?  Or not.  This whole pregnancy has been so completely go-with-the-flow, I'll just let decisions happen as they will.  And hope that when the baby decides to make his appearance, I have a loving grown-up at the ready to snuggle the other two.

See you soon, little guy!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


I had this all typed out and hit "publish" last Tuesday... Apparently it did not, in fact, publish.  So it's a week later and things are fine.  I'm fine.  Cheerier post to come.

Everything has always come so relatively easy for me.  I mean, I work hard... But things also just seem to, sort of, just work out perfectly.  And I know I've been spoiled - incredibly spoiled - by my good luck or karma or the Grace of God. Whatever.  So I had kinda sorta been wondering when the shoe would drop.  When I'd face a trial.

You recall I became surprise pregnant in July.  Days later, I had a new job with a pay raise that would enable me to work from home three days a week, etc.  And that shortly after that, Nate agreed to start looking for a new house... A house which we found very quickly.  A beautiful, wonderful house that I wanted desperately enough to agree to a sort of weird financing situation.

We moved in October, with our old house on the market.  And that's where the trials start.  

The house is still on the market.  We pay two mortgages each month, while keeping the heat as low as possible and our lights turned off.  We have had to pour additional momey into this and that random thing at the old house, while getting used to increased expenses at the new house.

Just before thanksgiving, the upstairs heat went out.  We were a little chilly at night, but we just threw some extra blankets on and waited for the heat to be fixed.  It took three tries.

During the first round of polar vortex, the pipes in the sink froze.  We couldn't find anything burst, so we just waited for the pipes to thaw.  I washed dishes in the bathroom sink and used paper plates as much as possible.

A week or two after the pipes thawed, I realized the dishwasher wasn't actually washing anything... It just sort of ran constantly and never shifted cycles.  I turned it off, washed the dishes by hand, and kept forgetting to call anyone to fix it. Well, I finally made that call only to find that the dishwasher had also frozen and had cracked.  It's currently laying in severed pieces in the garage, while we wait for the floor to dry before installing a new dishwasher.  

And just yesterday, a neighbor came frantically into the house to let us know the garage was on fire.  She had 911 on the line and grabbed my barefoot kids to take to her house.  Nate ran barefoot into the driveway to start throwing snow onto the fire, and was joined by several neighbors with extinguishers.  I joined the kids, and watched as our street filled with fire trucks.  

Thank god, it was a trash can fire, outside the garage.  The corner of the garage needs some reframing and all new siding... But there was no structural damage.  The fire was contained before it got to the roof.  None of the electrical caught.  No one was hurt (though Nate's feet were fairly cold). 

We are so, so lucky.

But at the same time, I am so, so upset.  I'm 35 weeks pregnant, tired, shaken, sore and crampy.  I have been praying since August for our home and family.  I hadn't really ever done that before.  But here I am. Praying and hoping and begging.  Bad news comes in threes?  Please let the fire be our third.  Please.  

I have been tried.  And I just don't know what else could go wrong.  I am just waiting for the next bad thing.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Good Mom Karma

There are many days when I am at my worst.  Before I had children, I could hide out on those bad days.  Take a long hot shower, sip a cup of tea, read a book in the corner, hide from my woes in the aisles of the grocery store...  But these days, I can't always hide.  And sometimes my irrational, irritable side seems to take over.  I snap, I roll my eyes, I avoid.  And that's not very fair to the two (nearly three) people who just want a little affection and attention.

There are other days, good days, where I feel like a supermom.  I cook the dinner!  And put away the laundry!  And tidy!  And I even play and read and snuggle and enjoy and encourage.  I spend these days hoping that my good mom days add up in some sort of brownie point karma system that I can cash in on those bad days.  That the good mom days outnumber my children's memories of the bad mom days.

That my children remember the days we covered ourselves in stickers.

The birthday parties where I went completely overboard, because a fancy (boxed mix) cake is one way I know I can show my love.

That I worked very hard to recreate Elsa's fancy, diagonal french braid.

That I rolled my eyes with a HUGE smile on my face as I said, fine, the wagon can be an inside toy (till Spring).

That instead of heating frozen nuggets at home, we stopped at that beautiful restaurants with slides and milkshakes (Chick Fil-A) in the middle of the Polar Vortex for nuggets and slides and milkshakes.

And that, even on my grumpiest days, I always found room on my lap (even a 35 week pregnant one) for my sweet children for snuggles, hair fluffs and stories.