Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do

I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of October. Somebody posted last week how many shopping days there were until Christmas, and my jaw literally dropped. HOW is it almost that time of year again?! 

We still don't know anything about refinancing our house. Our original home loan is a USDA Rural Development loan, and apparently there was a special program for refinancing those loans, but the funding for the fiscal year ran out some time ago. The funding was expected to be renewed for the 2013 fiscal year sometime this month, but as of now, it still hasn't been. And that's just the first hurdle in the process! We'll see how that goes. I'm still crossing my fingers and praying about it fervently...because Lord knows that not having a mortgage payment in November or December coupled with a $200 lower mortgage payment per month thereafter would be a major blessing for us!

 Justin had his last regular season softball game last night. Playoffs start next week. I am pretty sure that most of his team is hoping that this baby doesn't make her grand appearance until after November 5th so that he can come and play. 

But I'm not sure that's going to happen. I'm starting to have some contractions and other symptoms {that you really probably don't want to know about} with more frequency than before. I woke up this morning feeling a little blah, and I'm *so* hoping that it's just end-of-pregnancy stuff rather than the stinking FLU stuff that's going around. I have another doctor's appointment this afternoon, so I guess we'll see what he has to say then. 

As I told Justin last night, I'm not sure whether to be praying to go into labor, or praying NOT to go into labor! I have a few things I'd really like to tie-up before baby (like finish editing my one last newborn session)...but I'm also just kind of at the point of uncomfortable-ready-to-be-done....but then again, I could have two more weeks, so there's that.

Some friends are coming over for coffee today. One is a sweet friend from Mom's Group who has never been to our house before...and half of me feels like I really should be cleaning and straightening the house right now, especially the bathroom. The other part of me? Is tired. And I know the cleaning is really more for me than for her anyway. But really, I should get up and clean!

Lizzy is pretty funny right now. We've been working on learning about relationships--what things like father, son, husband, sister, aunt and such really mean. But she doesn't quite get it. Yesterday at Justin's softball game, she told one of the wives, "I'm going to cheer for your dad, Jeff!" Well yes, except Jeff is her husband...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pregnancy #2: 37 Weeks (and place your bets!)

37 weeks 
And compared to 37 weeks with Lizzy:
How far along: 37 weeks. I'm now officially full-term :)   

I'd love to have you guys place your bets in the comments on when you think baby #2 is going to make her grand appearance! Just for a point of reference, my official due date is November 15th. Lizzy was due on the 14th of the month and I had her on the 10th, just for anyone who is interested in stats like that--more info about dilation/effacement can be found below! 

We're starting to get to the point now where a lot of the usual pregnancy update post that I do is pretty much the same from week-to-week, so I thought I'd update in paragraph form this time.

So, I had a doctor's appointment on Tuesday, and was dilated to about 3cm, and was more than 50% effaced. I looked back at the updates from Lizzy's pregnancy to see when I was this dilated and effaced, and it was right in between 38 and 39 weeks...and I had Lizzy at 39 weeks 3 days. That totally sent me for a loop, because I had a realization that while unlikely, I could have an October baby. Holy cow, I am both so ready and so NOT ready for that. But then again, that's assuming that things progress with this pregnancy the same way that they did with Lizzy's pregnancy.  I sort of have this tendency to think 'well, that's what happened with Lizzy, so that's what's going to happen this time too', even though I know that's not necessarily, or even probably the case, and rather than bracing myself for an October baby, I really should be bracing myself for a November 15th baby (but if one more person tells me that I won't have the baby until 'the day after Thanksgiving at least', I am liable to punch them in the face, for real).

Also, at my appointment on Tuesday, the doc did a membrane sweep. And OHMYGOD did that sucker hurt! I seriously had to breathe through it! He did a number of membrane sweeps with Lizzy, and I never remember them feeling like that! Other than that, my belly does feel lower, and is starting to poke out the bottom of most of my shirts. Maybe I've dropped? I'm not sure.

At this point, I've gained 22-25 pounds, which is significantly less than the 40 pounds that I'd gained with Lizzy by 38 weeks. But it's the end of pregnancy, and I still feel huge (I think that's just something that happens regardless of how much you gain), and sore (hello exercise ball, my new best friend) and anxious to be back to "normal" even though I know full well it'll be some time before that's really the case.

I'm pretty tired. Lizzy is still getting up early in the mornings, and I keep finding myself thinking 'I can't wait until the baby is here and I can sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours at a time!'....which we all know is crazy talk and probably won't be happening for the next six months. I don't know why I keep thinking I'm magically going to be sleeping through the night again after the baby is born! Our hospital doesn't have a nursery (babies always room in), so there's really no possibility of that happening!

Justin and I have both been spending a lot of time cleaning and organizing, but it still seems like the house is destroyed as quickly as we clean it...not to mention the fact that there is still only one coat of one wall painted in the nursery! I'm trying to let go of my expectation for a spotlessly clean house to come home to...especially since it's not like I know when this baby is coming and can just spend the whole day before cleaning, you know?

I've had a couple of mental funk days recently, because there were a group of friends that were also pregnant along with me...and they've all had their babies already, and I'm the only one left. But overall? Things aren't bad. I feel pretty good physically, and I haven't been randomly blacking out this time like I was with Lizzy, so that's a definite plus. Oh, and also? I was still working at this point of being pregnant with Lizzy, and being at home is infinitely easier, even with chasing a toddler around all day...it just is!

Here's a couple more photos from this past weekend--the first is of my mom, my dad's cousin, me, and my sister (thank you Lisa for the dress! It's probably the most versatile dress ever because it works pregnant or not!).

This one is Lizzy in the photo booth that they did at the shower/sprinkle (which was AWESOME Court and Renee!). It totally cracks me up because she looks hilarious and crazy


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some Snippets

-We have been in major clean-out mode over the past few days. Our house is 1100 sq feet, which is plenty of room for a family of 4, but NOT if our house is filled with things that we don't use or need (*cough* Justin's catcher's gear from middle school *cough*). Anyway, as we're shuffling things around trying to make space for baby, we're both finally coming to the conclusion that we HAVE to get rid of things in order to make this work. Justin usually has a harder time parting with things than I do, but he rocked it out, and between the two of us, I think I have four garbage bags in the back of my car to take to Goodwill...four bags just from our bedroom!

-This is both awesome and frustrating for me. Awesome because it totally helps make progress towards everything we own actually having a PLACE. Frustrating because in the meantime it means that the living room, kitchen, and everywhere else have essentially become staging areas...and I don't do well with visual clutter. Almost every night I have a 'please God don't let my water break tonight' freakout.

-I've been having a few freakouts in general lately...on  Saturday night, as I was standing in the baby room putting clothes away, I could just feel this wave of anxiety washing over me. There wasn't even one particular thing I was anxious about...it went something like this:

Oh my God I'll be full term this week which means Icould have a baby any time and what if Justin is working and I have to drive myself to the hospital and what if I don't get to the hospital in time and what if something happens during delivery and the baby dies and then what would we do and how would we tell Lizzy and I can't imagine having to come into this room again if that happened...or what if something happened and I died because then what and who would take care of Lizzy while Justin works and does Justin know how to cook all the family recipes that I hope our kids learn some day and should I write an in case I die letter and WHAT IF OUR HOUSE CATCHES ON FIRE WHILE I'M SLEEPING?!

(devoid of all punctuation because that's how it happens in my mind).

I'm sure hormones are playing a big part in this, but it's a little annoying nonetheless.

-I think Lizzy and I need to head to Target. Justin worked overnight last night doing plumbing stuff at Starbucks that couldn't be done during the day while they're open. So now he's jome trying to sleep, and Lizzy just does not get the concept of having to be quiet during the day.

-Speaking of Lizzy, she has recently become totally enamored witb Zaccheus. Yes, like Biblical Zaccheus. I have no idea where this fascination cones from, but she wants to talk about him and read about him all the time. It cracks me up.

-Our living room has no overhead light...only a floor lamp. On rainy days like today? It's iinda dreary.

-I have an OB appointment this afternoon. Trying not to get my hopes up for more dilation progress...but I'm afraid they already are...even though I know it means nothing.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Day in the Life--Fall 2012

I wanted to document a day in our life this fall...at least once, before baby #2 arrives and everything changes! This was Wednesday October 17th, and it was a busier day than usual! That said, we typically have really busy days at least once a week, so it's probably not that far off base. I loved Kristal's idea of documenting one busy day and one slower day, because the slower days are filled with stuff (like school time, painting our nails, and lots of reading books) that I don't want to forget either!

5:00am- I'm awake. Last time I remember seeing the clock was when I got up at 4am. Get up, go to the bathroom, and come to lay back down. Justin is now laying sideways across the bed, and after some effort, I get him to move back to his side. I can't fall asleep because I know Justin's alarm is going to go off soon.

5:40am (ish)- Justin's alarm goes off. As usual, he does not actually intend to get up at this time, and after several minutes, I finally get him to hit snooze.

5:55am (ish)- Justin's alarm goes off again. After several minutes, I finally get him to turn off his alarm. I try to get him to get out of bed, but he won't, and I'm starting to feel like I'm acting like a parent, so I give up and get up.

6:00am- I head to the living room, take some heartburn meds, and get started on homework from Bible Study. I'm so far behind!

6:15am- I hear Lizzy's door open, and she says, "It's okay for me to come out now!". I tell her yes, even though I'm not sure it's really a question, and she comes out and snuggles on the couch with me.


6:30am- Lizzy asks to watch Dora, so I turn it on for her and we snuggle ad watch. Justin calls out, "It's okay for you to make me a sandwich?!" from down the hallway, which makes me smile. I make him a PB&J.

6:45am- Justin is heading out the door, and pops his head back in to tell me that we left the dome light on in my car light night, but that he'll see if it starts or jumps it. Apparently, it starts! Whew.

7:00-7:45am- Make Lizzy breakfast, and then we dink around a little bit. I really should take a shower, but I'm too tired right now. I realize that I forgot to toss the laundry into the dryer before I went to bed last night, so Lizzy has no clean underwear, and I'll have to put her in a pull-up. Sigh. Go toss the load into the dryer for later today, and it is COLD out in the garage!

IMG_20121018_203857 IMG_20121018_203756

7:45am- Lizzy asks to watch Imagination Movers, and I let her so that I can get ready for Bible Study. I toss on some leggings, boots, and a blanket cardigan. Toss my hair up in a sock bun, add some pearls, and hope I look more Pinterest-chic than homeless-chic. Unfortunately, I think I'm skewing toward the latter, but I'm too tired and too cozy to change.

8:00-8:30am- I start getting Lizzy ready for the day. She freaks out that her white shirt "doesn't match" her brown polka-dot leggings. I try to explain that white matches with everything, but she's still not happy about it. She adds her pink cowgirl boots because apparently, they do match. I toss together some breakfast for me to take with and eat at Bible Study. I also remember to go warm up the car, which I consider a major win for the day.

8:45 am- We are actually in the car and on our way to Bible Study. Lizzy requests the same song over and over on the way there, and I oblige to hopefully avoid a toddler meltdown. Plus, she's awfully cute singing it! Baby #2 is active as can be in the car, and man...those kicks HURT! I really want to stop and get a latte, but convince myself not to because they'll have coffee and creamer at the church.


9am-11am- Bible Study. I felt uncomfortable the whole time--baby was in a weird position, and it hurt. Usually, I stay around and chat afterwards, but today I've got quite a bit to do, so I duck out quickly.

11:10am- We arrive at Wal-Mart to pick up some produce, and do a quick pit stop for Lizzy to use the bathroom. We get just outside the bathroom, when Lizzy says, "I have to go potty!". Back inside we go. It's cool. We'll spend 20 minutes in the Wal-Mart bathroom.


11:30am-12:00pm- Whew! In and out of Wal-Mart. On the way out, Lizzy sees a poster for Madagascar 3, and asks if we can get it. We swing by Redbox, and they've got it in stock, so we rent it. She's thrilled, and we talk about waiting until Justin gets home to watch it all together.

12:00pm- Back in the car, heading home. Lizzy says "Mom! Mom! Mom!" the whole way home, and when I ask her what she needs, she just giggles. The "Mom! Mom! Mom!" thing is a frequent occurrence right now, and it drives me nuts. If I ignore her, she cries and says, "Why won't you talk to me?!", but if I answer her, 90% of the time she has nothing to say...other than "Mom! Mom! Mom!" again two minutes later.


12:15pm- Home. Lunch. I eat while looking for articles for the Mom's Group newsletter that I have to send over to have printed for tomorrow.

IMG_20121018_192008 (2)
12:50pm- Lizzy's done eating now, and comes over to talk to me. We talk for a little while, and then she asks if she can go read books in her room. I ask if she wants me to come with her, and she says she wants "quiet time by herself". I head back to help her turn on her music and such, and then head back to the living room to work on the newsletter some more.

1pm- Lizzy comes out of her room and says she's done with quiet time. I tell her that she needs to stay in her room for now. She throws a temper tantrum. Awesome.

1:45pm- We've been battling for the last 45 minutes about her staying in her bedroom. She'll come out, and I'll carry her back in kicking and screaming and yelling at me. I am quickly losing patience for this. I'm still trying to work on the newsletter, but it is really slow progress since I'm going in like 2 minute increments.


2:00pm- Newsletter is finally done and emailed off. Lizzy is still screaming and freaking out hysterically, so I call her into the living room for a talk about what's okay when we're angry and what's not. I ask her if she wants to do school time, and she says no. I tell Lizzy that it's time to lay down with me on the couch for a rest. She starts screaming and yelling again. I turn on the TV to the Property Brothers, and eventually she settles down, but in the mean time she reminds me of the main character from a book that we read a lot, The Pout-Pout Fish.


2:45pm- I look down, and Lizzy's asleep. Normally, I'd move her back to her room for the rest of her nap, but we don't have a ton of time before my photo shoot later, so I slide off the couch and leave her there.

3:00pm-3:30pm- I text back and forth with today's photo client--we're up to 15 people for her family shoot today! We decide that we actually need to do a session and a half, and make plans to meet a little earlier. I'm nervous--I don't do big groups that often and feel less confident about them than other types of sessions, especially now that I'm not moving as fast as I once was! Plus, since we're starting earlier, I'm bringing Lizzy for a few minutes until Justin gets off work. The client knew up front that I'd have to bring Lizzy if we booked today, and is a friend from Mom's Group who I'm sure will be fine with Lizzy no matter what, but I'm still nervous about how Lizzy will behave.

3:30pm-4:15pm- Tie up some loose ends...change into different clothes since Oregon weather is so finnicky in the fall, and now it's hot.

4:15pm- Lizzy's still asleep, and I need to leave. Crud. I try to move her into the car, but she wakes up when I'm buckling her in, and freaks out. I swing by a coffee stand to grab a chocolate milk for her to drink in the stroller while I'm shooting. I hate to reward behavior like this, but at this point, I'm totally in survival mode and will do whatever it takes to make it through the next bit of time until Justin gets off work!

4:30pm- We arrive, and I start shooting. Lizzy alternates between being great and being a pain in the butt. I'm starting to get a little stressed.

4:45pm- Justin was working down the street from where we're shooting, and swings by to pick up Lizzy. Normally, she'd be thrilled to ride in his work truck, but this time she's not. They head off, and I keep shooting.

6:15pm- Done! I head home. Justin's got tacos/burritos started for dinner--thank you babe!

6:30pm- We all sit down to eat. Lizzy's in a super lovey mood, and wants to hug my arm the whole time we're eating. Today's been busier than usual, and I feel like she hasn't gotten a lot of quality attention today and I feel bad. I ask her if she wants to do her letters after dinner, and she says, "No, I want to watch Move It Move It! (Madagascar)" I'm looking forward to us all having some quality time to snuggle and watch the movie together once we finish.

7:00pm- Justin and I are done eating, Lizzy's still going. Justin heads outside to replace a part in his truck, I clean up dinner and talk to Lizzy some more.

7:15 pm- My parents call and ask to talk to Lizzy. We sit on the couch and they talk for a little while--Lizzy LOVES talking on the phone!

7:30ish- They hang up, and I'm explaining to Lizzy that we need to get ready for bed quickly if we're going to watch the movie tonight. It's like this flips a mischievous switch in her, and she is dragging her feet more slowly than ever. I'm redirecting her literally every other minute. Out of nowhere, she hits the cat. Twice. I send her to her room for a timeout. She starts screaming at the top of her lungs and kicking her walls. I tell her that her two minute timeout will start when she's finished screaming. She spends about five minutes screaming, "YOU DON'T GIVE TIMEOUTS TO CHILDREN! NEVER! AGAIN! I AM THE PARENT! YOU LISTEN FIRST TIME I ASK!"


7:45pm- I head back to her room to get her out of timeout and discover that she has TRASHED her room. Pillows and blankets off the bed, books thrown EVERYWHERE, clothes pulled out of her drawers. I have to remind myself to take very deep breaths. I ask what happened, and she says, "I was mad." I tell her that I'm sad she made that choice, and that I don't know if we'll have time to watch the movie tonight after she finishes cleaning up her room, and I leave the room to see how she does cleaning on her own for a few minutes.

8:00pm- I hear Lizzy happily reading books (not cleaning) in her room. Justin walks inside and tells me that in addition to the part he's fixing, there's also a problem with the radiator hose. Awesome.My dad texts me a photo of doughknots, one of my favorite splurge meals from my hometown. Now I'm craving doughknots--that's just not kind to do to a pregnant lady! I head back to supervise the cleaning effort.

8:18pm-8:55pm- Lizzy is still cleaning, Justin is still working. The movie is *so* not happening tonight. I'm trying to teach Lizzy natural consequences--that if she pulls off every book on her bookshelf, she'll have to put every book on her bookshelf back. But it's hard to follow through at times like this...because she is going SO SLOWLY, and I'm constantly having to redirect her. It would be so much easier and faster for me just to do it myself. Justin comes in about 8:30am, and we both have to continue to redirect every 5 seconds. Also? Holy Braxton-Hicks, batman!

9:00-9:20pm- We're just now leaving Lizzy's room after saying goodnight. I have grand dreams of Justin and I cuddling on the couch watching TV, but there apparently wasn't a new episode of Bones on Monday after all, and Justin is reading The Lightning Thief again, which pretty much means he's dead to the world. We are both total book nerds and have a hard time focusing on anything else when we're deep into a book we love. I feel like he and I were passing ships today, but some days are just like that. I jot down a few notes about today for this blog post.

9:20pm- I have a ton of photo editing to do, so I grab the laptop, lay down on the couch, and get to it.

9:30pm-10:15pm- Photos are uploaded to Lightroom, and I begin to cull them a bit. Justin heads to bed right as I find a cute candid moment that I love from the session. I give it a quick edit, and toss it up on Facebook as a sneak peek. Have I mentioned that I HATE Facebook for photos?! I can edit and size things exactly the same way every time, and sometimes they look great and sometimes they look crappy.  There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to things, and it drives me nuts. Anyone out there have any fail-safe magical photos on Facebook tricks? 

10:19pm- I'm so tired...time to hit the sack. I force down a half a glass of milk and hope that this heartburn subsides enough to let me sleep!

{for the record, I was up by midnight, then two, then three, then five--ahhhh, pregnancy}

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Pregnancy #2: 36 weeks

36 weeks
Compared to 36 weeks with Lizzy:

How far along: 36 weeks.

Size of baby: A honeydew melon (The Bump) or a crenshaw melon (Baby Center).  In other words, about 17-18 inches and 5-6 pounds.

Weight Gain: +22ish pounds total. Significantly less than last time, but I'm still feeling "meh". 

Symptoms: Heartburn, Not sleeping (and SERIOUS night sweats, which just started this week--weird!), lots of Braxton-Hicks (even in the middle of the night when I wake up), and bad allergies. I had my 36 week check a little early this week on Monday, at 35 weeks 4 days, and I was dilated to 2 and 50% effaced, with her head down low. I know I was dilated the same amount (maybe 3cm?) at 38 weeks with Lizzy, and walked around for almost 2 weeks before I went into labor...so I have no illusions that dilation = imminent labor. But it did kind of get my hopes up for going early. I'm hoping to hang on until at least 38 weeks, but would be good to go any time after that! I guess that the one good thing about knowing I'm dilated already is that it is nice to know that there's less I'll have to do later!

Exercise: I've been given the clearance to do whatever I want activity wise, even if it causes contractions. We've been BUSY and on my feet a lot, but no actual elliptical time.

Clothes: Yep! My friend Emily passed on the jeans I'm wearing in this week's photo, and I'm pretty sure the sweater was from Lisa from last time around! I'm thankful that the weather is finally sort of starting to change (at least in the mornings), because most of my maternity stuff with Lizzy was winter stuff, so it's like I've got a whole new maternity wardrobe now!

Cravings/Aversions: Steak. I would kill for a steak, sweet potato, and some Roadhouse rolls! The funny thing is that I remember really craving steak about this point with Lizzy too!

Movement: Yep...and it is really starting to get a little uncomfortable!

Worries: A little. I've been freaking out a bit about labor and delivery...for some reason, I keep freaking about 'what if she has the cord wrapped around her neck?!' even though I know that tons of babies are born with the cord around their necks with no major issues. I'm also a little stressed because I know Justin has some night work coming up soon, and I'm paranoid that I'm going to go into labor at night while he's working and then I'll have to drive myself to the hospital. 

Milestones:At the end of the week, I'll be full-term!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

All the Small Things

I know, I've been a bad blogger. I'm sorry. I'm just absolutely stinking exhausted, and who really wants to read about a pregnant lady complaining about how tired she is?

But I am. Between organizing the Harvest Fest at church with my sisters-in-law this past weekend (from which I am STILL physically sore), about 3 photo shoots in the span of a week (two left to go!), getting up early with a toddler who does.not.sleep (while Justin somehow ends up sleeping in nearly every weekend morning), and then just being 36 weeks pregnant and getting up almost once an hour at night...I'm just tired. And a little grumpy today.

And I feel frumpy. I want a haircut. And normal clothes. And a date night. And a steak dinner (seriously, I've been craving a good steak, sweet potato, and Roadhouse-style roll for weeks!) . And as bad as I feel for saying this, I kinda want it to rain today so that I can reschedule this afternoon's photo shoot and just sleep (not really, because it's not exactly a session that can be rescheduled, but a nap just sounds good in theory). And there is SO MUCH TO DO, and the fact that at my OB appointment on Monday I was already dilated, has reminded me that there is NOT MUCH TIME TO DO EVERYTHING I WANT TO GET DONE...even if this kiddo doesn't come for another 4 weeks.

See? No one really wants to read about that. It's obnoxious. Because really? Small things. All totally small in the grand scheme of things. And I absolutely know that, because there are great, awesome blessing things going on too...like a friend who gets to meet her baby today. Or, the fact that tonight after my photo shoot, we get to curl up on the couch and watch the episode of Bones that we recorded from Monday. Or, that even though Lizzy was up early this morning, she's been sitting on the couch snuggling and holding my feet while watching Imagination Movers (which has just about replaced Dora in this household lately) all while holding a baby doll and occasionally patting my belly. Or that yesterday, I got to have coffee and doughnuts with Kaitlin while our kiddos played surprisingly well together. Or the fact that we're being thrown a baby shower at church on Saturday (around here, showers are more like what a lot of y'all call "sprinkles" with lots of blankets and clothes, and are totally common for every kiddo), which is a tremendous blessing in and of itself!

Life is good, truly. I know that in my bones.

But also, right now? My bones are a little tired, ha!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pregnancy #2: 35 weeks

35 weeks
I keep accidentally saying that I'm 36 weeks this week. I'm not...I'm 35. Wishful thinking maybe ;)  35 weeks down, 35 days to go! 

Compared to 35 weeks with Lizzy: 
Also, at 35 weeks with Lizzy, my belly looked CRAZY from the front. 
Like seriously crazy. It's okay to laugh. I did then, and still do too: 
I'm happy to report that this time around, my belly actually looks normal from the front! Yay!
Really though, it's pretty crazy how differently I'm carrying these two pregnancies, especially since they are both girls! In fact, I was pretty sure that this little one was a boy because of how differently everything has been this time around, but she's not :) 

How far along: 35 weeks.

Size of baby: A coconut (The Bump) or a honeydew melon (Baby Center).  In other words, about 17-18 inches and 4-6 pounds.

Weight Gain: +19 or 20 pounds total. Meh. The old ladies are starting to call me "fatty" at church again (they did the same thing with Lizzy, and generally do to any pregnant woman, but it totally gives me a complex).

Symptoms: Heartburn. I'm not sleeping much--I think I average waking up at least 6 times through the course of the night either to pee, or just because I'm uncomfortable. So...I'm feeling kind of exhausted. Lizzy has been difficult this week, so I'm sure that's contributing to the tired factor.

Exercise: Between the pumpkin patch, a photo shoot, and prepping for the Harvest Fest this weekend, lots and lots of walking. I've definitely noticed that the more I walk, the more sore I am. I haven't had a pajama day in awhile, and am probably way overdue for one.

Clothes: Yep! My friend Emily passed on the shirt I'm wearing in this week's photo--it's so nice to have a few new-to-me things! If the weather would just go ahead and change here (it's still 70-80 every day) I'd have a TON of "new" things since almost all my maternity clothes from Lizzy were fall and winter stuff!

Cravings/Aversions:Nothing in particular. I'm eating way more sweets than are necessary, and probably need to tone that back a little and remember that I don't HAVE to eat absolutely everything I want whenever I want just because I'm pregnant!

Movement: Yep...and it HURTS! Seriously! A few times have literally made me gasp...which was not something that happened at all with Lizzy. I have noticed that movement has started slowing down a little, but I'm still getting plenty of movement to satisfy kick counts.

Worries: Nope, nothing big.

Milestones: The baby's hearing is fully developed now, and I've noticed she totally does respond--she was rocking out when we saw some jazz musicians this morning! At this point, physical development is mostly complete, and she's just fattening up.

The Big Sister: Lizzy is totally LOVING when people call her a "big sister", and has started really liking to kiss my belly and "snuggle" with her sister...she's gotten kicked in the head a few times while laying her head on my belly, which she thinks is hilarious. She also thinks it's funny to tell people that we're naming the baby "stinky". 

In other Lizzy news, she's back to being 99% potty trained (she majorly regressed this summer when her baby cousin was born), which I'm thrilled about. On the more difficult side of things, she's kind of exhausting right now...still getting up really early in the mornings, and she's entered the WHY? phase. It's not uncommon for her to ask the same question 10 or 15 times in a row. And man, oh man is she ever TESTING. Some of you saw this on Instagram already, but in about a 30 minute time period today, Lizzy intentionally kicked me in the face while wearing boots, spit on me, ran away from me in a parking lot, threw her hair bows in the garbage, and then when I came out from the bathroom, I found her OUTSIDE by herself (which is something that she knows is a major no-no and definitely did to be naughty). At that point, I probably yelled more than I should've, and sent her to her room. I sat and ate a caramel apple...because it's the closest I could get to wine at this point. Sigh. I just hope she naps today.
Best Moment of the Week: The 8 blissful hours of sleep I'll have tonight?! Or maybe Justin getting up early with Lizzy tomorrow morning?! {A girl can dream, right?!}

Overall, things are pretty darn good, despite the tired :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Because I loved Julia's post so much and feel like a walking zombie who can't manage anything else this morning...

I poured myself a cup of coffee this morning to find a dead earwig floating in my cup. I do not feel like this bodes well for the day.

At 1am yesterday/this morning, Lizzy loudly yelled, "I'M READY TO GET UP NOW!" I finally got her to come lay in our bed instead. Which meant that of an entire king sized bed, I had about six inches of sleeping space all night.

I'm not sure if this is largely influenced by how pregnant I am, but Lizzy is exhausting lately. I feel like she asks 685 questions per minute...usually the same one over and over again no matter how many times I've answered it.

Sometimes, being related to the pastor is funny. Justin's parents won't be in town this Sunday, so his dad sent out an email about who all would be covering services, Bible Study, etc. I was reading through the email, and then came to "Justin & Meredith will be leading Sunday morning Bible Study." Um, we are? Because I'm pretty sure that after being one of the organizers of the Harvest Fest/Carnival that's happening all day Saturday and late into the evening, this pregnant lady is going to be exhausted, and the only studying I'll be doing is of sleep ;)

When I was pregnant with Lizzy, I had an anterior placenta. I never felt big alien baby movements with her. This one is apparently different because HOLY COW. And sometimes it hurts, like take-your-breath-away style! This is new. And kinda fun...you know, when I'm not doubled over from a kidney shot.

One wall of the nursery has one coat of paint. Our next free weekend is the 27th. The thought of beginning the nursery at 38 weeks pregnant stresses me out a little. Even though the kiddo will likely spend several months in our room anyway.

Speaking of which...I also need to clean out our room to make space for the pack and play.

My mom did finish the baby quilt for #2 though, and I am SO STINKING EXCITED about it. It is adorable. And also a totally borrowed idea from Julia. Julia, I hope you don't mind me basically ripping off your life ;)  You are pretty awesome.

There's this teenager who has sort of landed in our lives lately, and I'm praying for wisdom about how to be an appropriate support system for them while still maintaining appropriate boundaries...both for them and for our family. I totally don't have the answers. I feel a little like I'm muddling through it, and I hope I do it right.

Still loving the awesome encouragement that has come from unexpected places this week. Most recently, an email from the lady we're working on refinancing our house with, who has no idea how/whether/if the hospital collections thing will affect our house refinance either. She closed her email with encouragement to "remember who is in charge", and it was just perfectly timed, perfectly said. So grateful for those little moments.

As I'm typing this, I'm realizing that Lizzy has somehow figured out how to turn on the TV, navigate to the DVR, select Dora, and play the show. She just did it right now. WHAT THE HECK?! How can she do that already?!

I'm knitting a cowl/infinity scarf. I hope (a) it turns out and (b) that I actually wear it. I feel very accomplished, because I'm knitting it in the round, which is something I totally suck at.

Happy Tuesday everyone! I'm off to enjoy my (hopefully) earwig-less coffee.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Ponies & Pumpkins

I don't know when this happened exactly, but over the last couple of days, my kiddo has seemed so gosh darn grown up. I know that us moms say that sort of thing all the time, but it really is a strange thing being a mom sometimes because it literally seems to be that one day they're asking to be lifted up to reach the bathroom sink, and then the next day you're cleaning the kitchen and think 'what is that sound?!' only to realize they've gone and turned it on all by themselves.

Anyway, this weekend was like that for me. At church on Sunday, the type of service was one that happens once a month where the same words are said and basically the exact same songs are sung each time. I heard this sweet little child singing along to all the songs, and then a few seconds later, I realized it was Lizzy. She knew every single word, and was singing along at the top of her lungs. I just hadn't heard her sing them like that before.

Then after church, Kaitlin & Jesse invited us to go to the pumpkin patch with them. PS- I have loved seeing everyone's fallish pumpkin patch pictures, but it's not fall here yet. It was like 85 degrees yesterday at the pumpkin patch and I was totally dying. But anyway, I'm getting off track. At the pumpkin patch, again I was hit with how stinking BIG Lizzy is...especially while riding the pony, she didn't look like a baby or even a toddler. She looked like a kid! Holy cow, I can only imagine how grow up she'll seem with a newborn around!


Friday, October 5, 2012

Hands & Feet

Lizzy and I were sitting on the couch yesterday talking and singing to one of her baby dolls. Randomly, she asked me, "Mom, can we take pictures of our hands and feet?" I was pretty confident that she was trying to distract me from the fact that it was almost naptime, but I decided to just say okay, and I grabbed the camera.

And then I started thinking about the Audio Adrenaline song "Hands and Feet". If you don't know it, the part that I was thinking about goes like this:

I'll be your hands 
I'll be your feet 
I'll go where you send me
I'll go where you send me 
And I'll try, yeah I'll try 
To touch the world 
Like you touched my life 
And I'll find my way 
To be Your hands.

And then I started thinking about how it's comfortable to me to be Jesus' hands and feet. It's comfortable to me to be the one giving. Advice. Money. Time. Whatever it is, I'm usually happy to give it. It feels good to be that person who sends a little letter or package to someone just because they seem like they could use it.
But this week? Other people have been the hands and feet of Jesus in our lives (which is a markedly less comfortable position--being the recipient rather than the giver-- to be in for me). Really though, they have. Many without even really knowing or realizing it. Many without having a clue what was going on with the whole OHSU drama.

After talking with the lady from the Department of Revenue this past Monday, I was feeling kind of weary. I felt like I'd lost a bit of faith in humanity in general. But God is gracious, and has gently reminded me (and us) in both big ways and small this past week that He has proven to provide abundantly, beyond what I could ever expect.

From the comments and emails that many of you left after Tuesdays post, to the random texts from people this week saying "Hey, I was just thinking about you--how are you doing?", to people calling to ask Justin if he'd be interested in some side/weekend work...to Justin being handed an extremely generous check by someone we know with the simple explanation that "I forgot to give my check for offering at church this past Sunday, and I just keep feeling like I'm supposed to give it to you instead." {I still can't really even type that last one without getting majorly choked up because it is just the amount that will make a significant difference to us this month with the unexpected way that things have turned out with OHSU}.

I am so grateful. This is just beyond....everything.

All of it, big and small, were clearly God things...and I just feel like I'd be remiss to tell you about the sucky parts of this week without telling you about the incredible ways that God has worked in spite of the parts that were crappy. Without telling you the ways that so many of you were His hands and feet for us this week. So thank you all. Really. You were balm for a soul that was more than a little weary this week. I so appreciate it, and am just blown away by all of it.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pregnancy #2: 34 weeks

34 weeks
34 weeks with kiddo #2
 (actually, this was yesterday at 33 weeks 6 days, but who's counting?)
 Compared to 34 weeks with Lizzy:

How far along: 34 weeks.

Size of baby: A butternut squash (?!) (The Bump) or a cantaloupe (Baby Center).  In other words, about 17-18 inches and 4-5 pounds.

Weight Gain:Still about the same at 18 pounds.Maybe a +1 of 19 pounds.

Symptoms: Heartburn. I'm not sleeping much, and my back is really sore. I had blood drawn for my thyroid again yesterday, but haven't heard the results yet obviously. Other than that, everything looked good at my appointment yesterday, even my blood pressure....which is a freaking MIRACLE because minutes before the appointment, Justin told me that he'd almost been electrocuted at work thanks to a power line locate that was apparently three feet off.

Exercise: Nope. I'll have the go-ahead to do whatever I want even if it causes contractions in about two weeks...so that's nice!  

Clothes: Yep, maternity. Happily, I found a few maternity pieces at a local second-hand store that I think will bridge the gap nicely for me!

Cravings/Aversions:Nothing in particular.

Movement: Yep :)

Worries:Nothing big. The OHSU thing worries me a little, but there's not really anything I can do about it either...

Milestones:During the ultrasound, we saw her open one eye, practice breathing, and wiggle all around!

What's Different This Time: Nothing really...at this point in pregnancy with Lizzy, they estimated that she was about 5 pounds and predicted a 7 pound baby. Sure enough, she was 7 pounds 3 oz. During the ultrasound yesterday they estimated that this kiddos is about 5 pounds as well, and on track to be a 7 pound baby. The only real difference is that by this time, we knew Lizzy had a full head of hair because we could totally see it in the ultrasound! This baby is head-down, facing my back, so we weren't able to really tell whether she's got hair or not yet...I guess we'll see!

Best moment of the week: Seeing the sweet little girl at the ultrasound yesterday. Also? Lizzy was just PRECIOUS during the whole thing...she kept saying, "Awwwww, that's my sweet little baby sister!"

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Isn't it ironic....dontcha think?

Well, that settles it.

OHSU was not bluffing--apparently, in Oregon, a hospital can send you to collections even if you've been making a payment every month, just because they've decided that it will take you too long to pay off your hospital balance.

We got a letter yesterday from the Oregon Department of Revenue that they now hold one of my three accounts from my skin cancer surgery at OHSU. I called to set up a payment plan yesterday. It's kind of funny, because their automated system basically says, "If your account is with traffic fines, press 1. If your account is with court fees, press 2. If your account is for jail fees, press 3. If your account is from OHSU, press 4." (You'll notice that there are no other hospitals on this list...)

Anyway, once I finally reached a person, I explained that we'd always paid on time every month, but that OHSU had turned it over  because they decided it would take too long to pay off. I said "Here's what I can afford to pay each month. Our income varies, so on months when we can afford to pay more, I'll happily send it." The nice (sarcasm font) lady at the department of revenue told me that they don't really care what we can afford to pay, that my minimum payment each month is X. I asked her what would happen if we couldn't afford to pay X, and she said she can't tell me that until November 5th, when our first payment is due. She said that they don't have any sort of financial paperwork to fill out, and that they really don't care what your income and bills look like. You pay their minimum payment or you don't, and if you don't....well, I don't know because she wouldn't tell me.

She then proceeded to tell me that my account will probably be paid off much more quickly than I expect anyway, as they'll just withhold all of our tax returns until it is paid off.

I kind of wanted to scream at her.  I know she's just doing her job. I know that technically, that's fair and that the doctors and hospitals deserve to be paid for their time. I know that's probably what we would have done with a tax return anyway.  But can I just say that it sucks? Because it does. It sucks. It sucks that no one seems to care that there's a person or a family on the other end of the line...who is just trying to balance paying for this unexpected surgery with all their other obligations...not to mention just life. It sucks that the house refinance that we were so excited about probably closing on in November? Probably won't happen now because of this. The really ironic and funny thing about all this? If we were/are able to refinance in November as we were (and still are) hoping, the entire OHSU bill would have been paid off at that point anyway.

I feel a little like I'm living in an Alanis Morisette song.


It sucks that this is something that's heavy on my heart and mind lately, but I'm not even sure that I should blog about it because I'll probably get snarky anonymous comments about us and our money, and how maybe we shouldn't be having another baby if we're so poor, or maybe I shouldn't be buying leggings or mums (which, just for the record, I haven't) if we still have hospital debt. Or how maybe I should just get a job and shut up.

I don't know if I should blog about it because it will make family and friends worry about us...and really, I'm sure it'll be okay. It's just irritating. It just sucks. I'm just venting because we're trying to do the best that we can and to live on a budget and be fiscally responsible...all while watching people we know totally play the system and get rewarded for it. All while feeling like the people on the other end of the phone line do not care about us in the slightest. It's frustrating. And irritating. And I just want to stomp my feet and scream.

And then? There are times where all you can do is laugh. Like last night, when we were working on choosing songs for a Sunday service later in October, and we pulled up the Gospel reading for that particular Sunday. Anyone want to guess what the reading was? I'll tell you. Mark 10:23-31. The first sentence?

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How hard is it for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!"

And I know what that passage is all about, and I know what it really means and how it's often misinterpreted and misapplied, but seriously, after a day like I had yesterday...being so irritated and so stressed about all things money, how can you not just laugh when that comes across the table?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Musings

So, I only have one pair of maternity jeans. They're actually a pair that I bought AFTER Lizzy was born, in a size smaller than I wore during my pregnancy with her to help bridge the gap while I still didn't fit into normal jeans. Anyway, they've fit this whole pregnancy, so they're what I've been wearing...but they're just starting to feel a little small and uncomfortable. But who wants to buy MORE maternity clothes at almost 34 weeks? With a clothing budget as nonexistent small as mine, I certainly don't.

Anyway, I was complaining to Justin about this on Sunday morning during my 'I don't have anything church appropriate to wear' rant, Justin responded, "Why don't you just buy a couple pairs of leggings to wear under dresses and with longer shirts and stuff?" It seriously cracked me up that J was advocating the whole leggings-as-pants thing....but sold.

I've not done a single bit of fall decorating this year...it is still in the 70's and 80's around here, so it doesn't really feel like fall yet. That said, I'm starting to really get antsy for mums, and yarn wreaths, and cozy warm blankets tossed over the couch. I feel a little conflicted about doing it--I've always had a hard time spending money on things like decor because they feel kind of frivilous to me when we're on a tight budget, like we always are. But on the other hand, even $20 on mums and a wreath form goes a long way towards making a house feel like a home...and surely we can find that somewhere in the budget.

So, Justin's brother Ryan is turning 30 this month. The boys decided that to celebrate, they wanted to do this burger challenge that a local restaurant has--basically, you have to eat 5.5 pounds of food and a drink in 45 minutes. The time limit used to be 35 minutes, but no one had been able to complete it, so they bumped it to 45 minutes. Only one guy has ever completed it. So, the boys went on Saturday...and if you've ever wondered what 5.5 pounds of food looks like, this is it:

{I didn't go to watch, but I think the breakdown went like this: two pounds of burger, 1 pound of bacon, 1/2 pound of cheddar cheese, tomato,pickles,onion and lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup served on a grilled 10 inch sesame seed bun along with 1 and 1/2 pounds of fries. Plus a drink}

Justin had been telling me for months that he could eat it no sweat...and while I'm pretty confident that I've seen him eat that much food before, he couldn't do it on Saturday. The only one that completed the challenge was Ryan...he ate it all, and in 34 minutes...which means that he now holds the record. Which means that I'm 100% sure that Justin is going to want to try and beat it someday ;) 

So, I did end up calling my doctor about the vision stuff that I mentioned in my last pregnancy post. He decided that he wanted me to go in for an EKG, blood work, and a few other tests, and so that's how I spent my Thursday afternoon. They said that everything came back normal, except that my thyroid was a little borderline, so they'll re-test it this week and then go from there. Basically though, it just sounds like vision issues and being kind of dizzy are par for the course for me when I'm pregnant. What can ya do? 

Lizzy has been getting up ridiculously early for the past week or so. Like 4am early. And I'm just not comfortable with her running around all through the house at 4am while we're sleeping. Sometimes, she'll crawl into bed with us, which doesn't phase Justin at all, but totally wakes me up, especially since she doesn't usually ever go back to sleep. I keep looking at those toddler alarm clocks you can buy that change colors when it's okay for the kid to get up and out of bed--does anyone have one? I'm not sure whether or not Lizzy would actually stay in her room until the clock changed colors, but I feel like it might be worth a shot!
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