Pregnancy update: 7 Months

Baby and me:

28 weeks!

Right now:

  • Foods–Rice and almonds are still the most appealing at any time. I’ve also kept up a ton of fruit and veggies. I have caved more this past month though. I ate a fast-food burger, chocolate chip cookies and an ice cream cone. It’s still in low doses since processed/refined sugar makes me feel bad, but still!
  • Body–Getting bigger! I think it’s still mostly belly but since I can’t really see other angles, I could be blissfully unaware. I have started having pain in my lower right back area. I think it’s sciatica–mostly it’s a dull ache that occasionally turns into a breathtaking, shooting, blinding pain. Good times. Luckily, I switched to flat shoes and am more conscious of my sitting posture, which has made it better.
  • Sleep–Pretty good overall. I only wake a few times a night and have no trouble going back to sleep. I hit a wall of lethargy around 7 p.m. and sitting is too much work, lol. But the days are full of energy and I rally around 8 or 9 p.m. to finish last-minute stuff.
  • Work–I’m finding a better balance at work. I don’t come home as tired or stressed and I don’t dread going. I took a week off for our anniversary and it was nice just to have time away and with Jeremy.
  • Baby–She is active enough now to get her own bullet point! 🙂 Jeremy was able to feel her kick for the first time, too, at 26 weeks. I’m told she is approximately 14 inches long and 2.5 pounds. I feel her move daily but it’s random.
  • Other people–Many stop me and want to know how far along I am, compare to their belly size when they were pregnant, ask me if I’m planning on having an epidural, if my Mom is excited, give me exercise tips and more.

What I learned over the past month:

  • Glucose testing is not fun: Actually, I was stressing over it being disgusting but the drink is actually not bad at all. The blood draw is just a finger stick and the waiting went by pretty fast. I was feeling great until they told me I’d have to take a second one. 😦
  • I’m starting to feel like an invalid: Jeremy is tackling a bunch of home projects. Although he is adorable and I love it, not being “allowed” to paint the dining room or help to lift heavy furniture (or even questioning lifting a friend’s toddler!) is a defeating and humbling reminder. Even when I do get to do stuff, sometimes it backfires and doesn’t come out like I want or I get tired halfway through. I’m working on my stamina and flexibility. Getting a pass and not having to scrub the bathtub is a-okay though, haha.
  • Hospital tour: We took our hospital tour this past month and it was really interesting. Filled out a bunch of paperwork to pre-register. One less things to do when we go to deliver! We got to see the rooms, the nursery, the layout, etc. We also learned about the hospital’s photography policy, visitor policy, drop-off routine, breastfeeding resources, etc. I’m glad we went. The nurses were all very nice and it was quiet in the hallways–not like the crazy, moms and babies screaming scene from movies. It was, however, SUPER secured. The security measures they take are both sad and crazy. But obviously necessary and I’m glad they take them seriously. 
  • We need to pick a name. Both couples we did the hospital tour with had names chosen. I think, truthfully, we have until labor day…but we should probably at least have a few contenders sometime soon.
  • I chose a photo project! Post coming soon.
  • Pre-pregnancy clothes have hit their limit. It’s great to have pieces that you can wear to limit buying expensive “maternity” clothes. However, there comes a day that the buttons can’t take any more punishment.

I didn’t want to say it, but I knew it was true.

So, what’s going on with you? Anyone else working on projects? Or going through growth spurts? 🙂

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Pregnancy update: 6 Months

This is baby and I.

24 weeks! July 20, 2012

Right now:

  • Foods–I really enjoy ice-filled water and drink about 60 ounces a day. My diet is as non-acid inducing as possible and I started a new, baby-safe medication regiment that has done wonders.
  • Body–OK, NOW I’m showing. I think all my water drinking has kept swollen ankles and fingers at bay for now. Lotion is part of my daily routine to try to keep away those dreaded stretch marks. So far so good. But, you can only do what you can and make peace with what happens anyways, right? My belly button has been shallow for several weeks and now the top of it is just starting to turn outward.

This is my view. 🙂

  • Sleep–I’m sleeping alright. I’m used to my nights now. There’s lots of switching form side to side and I have to roll via my back, not my stomach like I used to. Luckily, I also have a pillow to place under the belly. Round ligament pain twinges if I just lay on my side without it. Have a feeling that’s going to get worse. 🙂
  • Work–We still aren’t talking about work. I’m trying to focus on it during work hours and that’s it. I don’t blog at work so it’s only fair, right?
  • Other people–People have no hesitation to ask me if I’m pregnant lately. Then proceed to tell me how I’m barely showing. Or, that I’m big. Or that I’m going to get big. I know there’s cliches and jokes about what to expect while you are pregnant, but even when you know what’s coming, it’s very odd to experience how personal you get with people and the affect it can have on you. Not always because you had any intention to when you walked by them!

What I learned over the past month:

  • Life really knows how to kick you in pants. Had quite a bit to deal with the past 30 days but we came through it and are really grateful for all of you who checked in on us, prayed for us and shared your stories.
  • Baby girl is the size of a cantaloupe. Apparently that’s just big enough to start to feel her move! My placenta is situated in front of her so they told me I would feel her later than most people. It’s a weird, swimming sensation. The first time I felt it was the middle of week 21. I thought it was my stomach growling–then I realized it was on my right side. It was a funny moment of “hey! that must be her!!!” 
  • How lengthy a registry can get! I was a firm believer that we would just get essentials for a small baby and a small house…I think we did fairly good and we still ended up with more than a hundred items. Wow!
  • Jeremy and my photo shoots are getting goofier. I give you exhibit A:

25 weeks, paying no attention.

and exhibit B:

25 weeks, paying too much attention.

So, what’s going on with you? Let’s share, and I wish you a great weekend!

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Pregnancy update: 5 Months

Well, better late than never! 🙂 And, I’ll have a 6-month report coming sooner than later now.

This is baby and I at 20 weeks.

20 weeks! June 15, 2012

Right now:

  • Foods–I still drink nothing but water, and lots of it. I did splurge on an orange Fanta–ooooo. I’m still a picky eater but am working on better control of my acid reflux. Some days are better than others but being diet conscious really helps. Luckily, I really enjoy fruits and veggies so it’s a healthy diet for both of us.
  • Body–I’m so enjoying “showing.” This is probably the least self-conscious I’ve been…ever? I feel sassy and energetic most days. I got a haircut today, which makes an amazing world of difference in attitude.
  • Sleep–I’m sleeping alright. Not like I used to, but I have system.
  • Work–We aren’t going to talk about work.
  • Other people–People are starting to give me the I-think-she’s-pregnant-but-I’m-afraid-to-ask glances.

What I learned over the past month:

  • It’s a girl!!! We found out June 6 that baby is a her. We both wanted a boy originally, but I knew it was a girl from the beginning. I just knew.  We threw a gender reveal party that weekend with our friends and it was a blast. It was supposed to focus more on our new deck, but Florida made sure that baby was the only focus with record thunderstorms the entire month of June.

So, what’s going on with you? Have a great week!

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Brain dump

Hello!

So, the truth is, I’ve felt less than inspired lately. And I laugh as I look back and think to this time last year–I was publishing a blog post 7 days a week. Even if it meant staying up until 2 a.m., I was getting a post up dammit. I had things to share!

I was also reading other people’s blogs. Almost 40 of them! Not every day, but in a week or two, I’d cover pretty much everyone.

Now, not as much…

And I’m not interested in forcing it. Even though I actually I’ve had quite a few things to share,  the timing and energy to post just eluded me. And I haven’t checked on other people either. Life just goes up and down I guess, and so fast.

So, in an effort to play catch-up and have fun sharing again, I offer you the following peek into my last month, in chronological order—–>

June 16: I hit my fifth month of pregnancy! Dedicated post coming soon.

June 19: My grandmother passed away.

June 25: Jacksonville, FL experience crazy amounts of thunderstorms the whole end of June that brought historic flooding… and lightning, which brought down my Internet connection for a couple weeks (hence no pictures today).

July 1: I tried to dye fabric. Dedicated post coming soon.

July 6: I had surgery. Put under, breathing tube, hospital socks and all, with baby=very scary. But it came out great and we’re doing well though!

July 7: I attended my grandmother’s memorial service (that was a rough, compounded day). Getting choked up is really painful when you’ve had a breathing tube down your throat less than 24 hours beforehand.

July 14: I hit my sixth month of pregnancy! Dedicated post coming…eventually, lol.

In fact, this past month has gone by so fast that I’m losing track. I can’t believe how much has changed and how much I have to do sooner than later. More changes are coming but plenty of blessings and things to look forward to as well.

I’ll post about it. If it strikes me to do so… 😉

Where a window closes, a door opens…onto a deck

After three years of talking about it, we finally did it! We found a great contractor with a extremely reasonable price (especially considering where we ended, but more on that in a minute) and scheduled the time back in April to have an exit to the backyard and a deck built.

This was the estimate and hand-drawn plan.

Here’s the thing, aside from the money investment, this project took forever to commit to because it was kind of a huge deal. Not that our deck is huge, but our house is celebrating her 60th birthday this year and here we were talking about ripping a seven-foot hole in the side of her.

I was terrified of what “side projects” would result. Our house is plaster inside and brick on the outside. Add the shifting/settling that’s inevitable and the fact that it’s an exterior, off-grade wall and maybe you can understand my anxiety. Or maybe not, because I’m just a huge wuss. 🙂

Either way, that’s why we decided to pay professionals to do it for us. Professionals who have things like diamond-tipped saw blades and three men to carry a ton of lumber. In the end, I know we made the right decision!

It’s taken me a little bit to put this all together so I’m excited to finally be sharing. Here’s how the project went.

Before:

The dining room inside.

And of course,

Outside view of that same wall.

The project was to consist of:

  • Knocking out the window and wall surround.
  • Installing French doors and handles.
  • Building a 10’x10′ deck with pressure-treated pine, including a small bench and corner stairs.

Our first purchase was the doors.

Standard French doors from Lowe’s except for the blinds, which are inside the glass.

They look far less glamorous being stored in the garage but we were in love. Since we have a cat who chewed through our plantation shutter cords the first week we moved in and now we have a baby on the way, we were smitten with this ingenious idea. Hooray for no strangle hazard/chew toy/dust collector on the new doors!

And naturally, next was the lumber:

Yay, Lowe’s! Didn’t run over my flower beds or anything either.

It sat in our driveway heavily guarded over the weekend by perfectly placed car parking until the contractors arrived.

Which, yes, I hauled my butt up on and proudly sprawled over like Cleopatra because I’m a nerd.

The contractor showed up at 9 a.m. Monday morning and I was there to talk through the project understandings one last time (before said demo began!).

Our lead guy was extremely friendly and accommodating. He answered all my questions and made a couple suggestions along the way. This was supposed to take a day or two since it was such a small deck.

I left for work and couldn’t wait to get home.

Here’s what it looked like after Day 1:

Hmmm…

Not what I thought French doors looked like. 🙂

The next day, I met with the guys again… and talked through the project, again. He informed me of a couple of things right away:

  • Our brick isn’t normal brick. I remember our home inspector calling it “Norwegian” brick. Most brick homes are either cinder block or wood covered with brick facing–not Norwegian brick. It’s a true, solid brick home.

These bricks are huge! And, that’s the back of the plaster you can see of the inside wall.

  • But basically, that meant the cute bricks I thought they’d be taking out that I was going to use to landscape was not going to happen. They killed two diamond-tipped saw blades cutting this 6’x7′ hole and everything came out in pieces.

LOTS of pieces.

  • Apparently our header above the window was non-existent so he had to come up with a way to hold that up and then cover it, too. Guh-reat.

So, fast forward a bit and by Day 4, it finally looked like this:

Ah, yes, contractor project time is like New York time, only reverse.

I was admittedly torn by this point–I was d-u-n with the chaos but oh, so grateful we hadn’t attempted this ourselves!

On day five, I came home to this:

Hooray, doors!

We thought day six was the last day…just a matter of finishing touches.

Like this adorable light that they agreed to install at no extra charge since they had the wall open anyway.

And laying down the threshold inside on the floor.

Son of a….

Trouble in paradise, people!  They had all left and the project was “completed” so I came home to this and freaked. What the what?! The lightest piece is plastic and comes on the doors so there’s nothing you can do. But that piece in the middle was custom-made by them. Our floors are oak…they used pine. They also apparently just picked up a stain they thought would work and slapped it down.

They must’ve actually slapped it, too, because there was spatter everywhere and puddling, ugh. Awful.

Jeremy and I bought a couple oak wood samples as well as a different stain and tried it. When we found a good match, we told them exactly what to do. Luckily,it worked beautifully and they did an amazing job–I have no idea what happened the first time!

Phew! Wood grain and all.

So, onto day seven (technically, consecutive day 10) and we were finally done!

Here’s the inside:

The final day…late in the evening… but completed.

(Don’t mind the bad lighting. All the walls are white, but I apparently didn’t balance, so the two side walls only look peach.)

And, the outside:

Awwww, yay!

I guess technically this one matches the before picture:

So. much. better. More importantly, it’s so much more functional!

And that’s without any landscaping or decor, obviously, so it’ll just get better. But the craftsmanship is solid, and it couldn’t have gotten more boring or dirty back there, haha.

It ended up costing us a bit more than the original $3,120 for the contractors since we added an outlet, a light fixture and some decorative trim. But the contractors kept their word on price, no matter what was encountered, which I really appreciated.

And the deck and doors are under a two-year warranty so when we realized that the exterior outlet didn’t work (almost two months after it was completed), they didn’t hesitate to come out and troubleshoot. It was a bad outlet so they replaced it. Easy peasy.

I also learned a lot. From the importance of daily conversations with your experts and workmen to paying attention to the littlest details, like actually testing the outlet during the walk-through.

So, that’s my little project wrap up. I can’t wait to seal it, put out bright flower pots and chairs, and just soak it in.

Anyone else have projects they just finished? Any that they actually completed on-time?

Memorial Day

Just a few words to offer since I had a nice post planned but was out of power for a day and a half thanks to Tropical Storm Beryl! It was a quiet, gloomy/rainy day this year–much different from the usual BBQ, boating and flags in the sunshine that I normally associate with the holiday.

I particularly like holidays like Memorial Day since we all agree. It’s not like several of our religious or local holidays that occasionally divide people. Honoring men and women who have literally died protecting people they don’t know or agree with for a greater freedom and responsibility is amazing.

I do hope that wherever you were, you had a sunnier day and were able to enjoy it with friends or family! I’ve been trying to post once a week in line with my new birthday goal for better blog/life balance (as an experiment). BUT, I have to share my trip to the Big Easy with you…so I’ll see you later this week with all those pictures! 🙂

Pregnancy update: 4 Months

Since I finally feel good enough to actually sit down and write, I thought I’d catch back up on some good blogging opportunities! 🙂 A few things to catch you up on, like a construction project and a trip to the Big Easy.

But first, I thought I’d share some more personal news I’ve been keeping to myself (and Jeremy and my Mom) since I first announced our family expansion project.

16 weeks: I don’t look quite so pregnant when I stand up straight, but Jeremy caught me goofing off and I kinda love it.

Right now:

  • Foods–I pretty much drink nothing but water, and lots of it. Occasionally, when I can’t take it anymore, I’ll have a small glass of milk or a huge glass of cranberry juice with breakfast. I’m LOVING cranberry cocktail juice. I also love apples, rice (but especially Jasmine or Basmati with just a little butter and salt-mmmm), toast and cheese sticks. Even though the nausea’s gone, I’m still a pretty picky eater thanks to the baby rules and my acid reflux.
  • Body–After a long time of nothing, then a short time of is-this-baby-growing or just-me-eating-like-it, I’m finally actually showing. I fact, everything on my torso has grown but otherwise, no changes to report.
  • Sleep–I’m sleeping better lately. Not near as much tossing and turning as the past month. I can’t roll on my stomach though or it’s uncomfortable and I still get up in the middle of the night thanks to all the water I’m drinking.
  • Work–Has been 50 times more stressful than usual and I find myself with slightly less patience and stamina than I’m used to. But otherwise, I still have a great department team and enjoy going and building relationships. Last week it was with media, which was a fun change of pace since normally my work focuses on employees and Brand.
  • Other people–From the people who know I’m expecting, I get asked frequently now if I know “what I’m having” (in my head I scoff and say, yes, a baby!) but I actually tell them I will in a few weeks. Most people are very excited and it’s still fun to tell people who don’t know.

What I learned over the past trimester:

  • Calming down–I was soooo excited in the beginning. And before I knew it I was as far as planning the first day of school! I had to quit. I’m trying to live more in the moment and accept whatever that moment brings. Especially when it’s not what I was planning but what needs to happen. Even at work, I would get so personally invested in topics. Now I try to be more reserved and only react to those things that impact me directly. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… 😉 
  • Reality check–I always loved keeping up with pregnant friends and bloggers. The adorable belly pictures, the showers, nursery decorations, the birth announcements! I totally forgot there’s so many emotions and so much work to do before any of the fun stuff and there will be plenty later, too. Planning a nursery is so fun! However, cleaning, organizing, sorting the guest room and actually planning/researching safety ratings etc. to put your nursery together is not nearly as much fun as Pinterest browsing.

Things I’m glad are over:

  • Nausea–Enough said.
  • Worry–That risky window of time where people tell you everything can go wrong, especially since it had been so easy so far, was nervewracking.
  • Ambiguity–I had taken the tests and had the doctor confirm but didn’t feel like anything was different for the first 10 weeks. Then even after I felt different (aka worse), others had no idea and I felt like it was so early that it didn’t count.
  • Patheticness–Generally and overall I was totally worthless most evenings. I’d ask Jeremy to hand me my water glass because if I had to move even an inch, it wasn’t worth it. Terrible! 

What I’m looking forward to in this second trimester:

  • Finding out the sex
  • Planning the nursery
  • Great hair and skin
  • Picking names
  • Showing even more
  • Celebrating with friends and family

So, what’s going on with you? Anybody know a good alkaline food menu or Jacksonville prenatal yoga class? Have a great week!