Tuesday, December 27, 2011

34 weeks

hope everyone had a very merry and wonderful christmas! we sure did. i told craig today it was my favorite christmas i've ever had because i still got to feel giddy about it the whole time, like being a kid again, but i didn't get any of the post-christmas blues you always get as kids when it's all over. i'm just so happy for the time we got to spend with each other and family and how completely blessed i know we are. i missed my family back home and got to talk to my mommy on the phone for a while on christmas and it was such a wonderful conversation. i love talking to her every time i do but this time i realized how soon i'll get to see her again, she's going to fly down here a week after babykay gets here and that could be so soon! i'm also so excited for next christmas and spending it with an almost one-year-old baby girl, craig and i have really been thinking hard about how we want christmas with our little family to be and what we want to teach them about this time of year and we're so excited to put all our plans into action!

the rest of our weekend was spent eating and sleeping and sleeping and eating. we spent lots of time in our pajamas, and then some more time in our new pajamas. i played A LOT of video games, haha. craig's little brothers came over to spend the night after christmas and play more video games. we had christmas eve with craig's grandpa gary's posterity and the festivities just kept going from there until craig and i ended our four day weekend eating out at a new grill in town and ordering the most expensive and delicious chocolate chip cookies i've ever had. i'm still being super careful about eating sweets and dairy and i passed up all sorts of baked goods this weekend but man, those cookies. they were worth it. then we watched our favorite tv show until we couldn't stay awake anymore and everything was just so lovely and cozy and perfect.

this is the last day of week 34 of my beautiful pregnancy and after all this time i still haven't gotten better at taking good belly pictures on time. oh well, your favorite ones are the ones i take of myself in the mirror anyway, right? i knew it. the happiest thing about this week is that i am now PUPPPs free! almost completely! it's amazing, i want to tell everyone ever about it. i want to write a book about it so that no one ever has to suffer through weeks and weeks of it again. the rest of this post will pretty much be a recap of my PUPPPs experience so if you're interested, read on, if not, look at my cute belly some more, there's an adorable baby in there and she rocks.

i went in for a prenatal appointment and my doctor asked if my tummy itched and said it looked like PUPPPs. the day after it spread to my legs and just kept right on spreading for about a week, it was everywhere, hands, feet, back, bottom, legs, tummy. the interesting thing though was that while everywhere else was getting worse my belly, which has been itching for about a week and a half longer than everything else, was getting better. it really helped me feel like what i was doing was working and maybe in the not to distant future it would all be over. by my next appointment two weeks after my doctor said i had PUPPPs i bet she would've thought she was wrong and i didn't have it at all, it was that good, it was almost completely gone in just two weeks [i didn't end up seeing her, i switched baby doctors and hospitals, but that's another story]. it's been such a blessing and i can't even believe how quickly it healed. granted, that first week of spreading was torture, but some women deal with this for whole trimesters. i still get a little itchy or bumpy occasionally, my arm had a few bumps the other day and my tummy is a little itchy today, so i've been keeping up a lot of the things i was doing to heal it just to make sure it doesn't come back.

the two things i think helped the very most were apple cider vinegar and the things i did to help my liver and kidneys heal. PUPPPs doesn't have a known cause but i couldn't just sit back and accept that, i needed to do something about it or at least feel like i was doing something about it, so between my mom, my big sister and craig we figured that what it could be was just my liver or kidneys getting run down supporting me and a little person's waste after all the poor eating i had been doing after halloween and thanksgiving. nothing was "failing," my organs just needed some help and so it was enlisting my skin to help get rid of waste. this unfortunately seemed to be transitioning quite effectively into itchy, painful bumps all over my body. so the very first thing i did was change my diet. i ate strictly fruits and veggies for the first few days with lots of fluids [V8, cranberry juice, water and water and more water, lemon juice, etc] but it's hard to keep a ravenous pregnant lady full on fruits and veggies so i worked in some crazy dave's bread and eventually adopted a more open, generally vegan diet. i still more or less am eating this way, avoiding excess meats and almost all dairy and being SO good at saying no to processed sugars or flours. i still have some of these things sometimes, i don't want to feel like i'm depriving or punishing myself, but if i make good choices many more times than making a less than good choice i feel like i'm on the right track. giving my body less garbage to have to process and get rid of was how i was going to help it be able to take care of itself properly again.

the other thing i used right from the beginning was apple cider vinegar, which is amazingly good for you. it's a cure all in my family. it's the same pH level as your skin so it can help burn away anything on it that shouldn't be there. i was drinking it and rubbing it right on my skin at least once a day. for a minute it would burn and hurt so bad i would literally shake all over but then my skin would stop itching for a while and it was so worth it. it felt like it was helping pull things out of my skin and away from me. for the rest of the first week i kept sane by taking oatmeal baths until we ran out of oatmeal and then using a soothing oatmeal scrub my friend jessica made me every night. if i didn't bathe or shower in some way i just couldn't sleep a wink the whole night, so doing this helped a lot. i also bought some sarna lotion, recommended by quite a few people, it would help keep me from itching at night long enough to usually get me back to sleep again after waking up scratching. if it wasn't working i would put ice on that area until it melted and then use the sarna lotion. all of this helped keep me alive until the calvary arrived, which is what really saved the day.

when i was almost to the point that the PUPPPs was done spreading, but i still really felt like i needed something to help suck it out and heal it before it would go away, amazon.com emailed me to say that the bar of grandpa's pine tar soap that i was expecting to get there the next day hadn't even ever shipped and wasn't going to [the soap was something that might've worked but probably not, i read it helped sometimes but it was mostly just all i could think of at that point]. the same night i got an email from my sister drashell saying that her and my mom were sending me an emergency care package of things that would help heal my skin and once it got here i just watched those nasty bumps disappear. my mom gave me a big bottle of castile soap to wash with, which is SO good for you, and they sent me a giant bag of epson salts to rub all over the bumpy itchy areas. i would have never thought of that on my own and it was pure genius, it felt sooooo nice to rub salt into all the terribly itchy areas and no one [coughcraigcough] could even get mad at me for "scratching" because i wasn't using my nails and spreading infection but it was just as satisfying as scratching. i was still using apple cider vinegar but then i was topping everything off with a mixture of amazing, soothing oils that my sister had mixed up for me. i feel like that stuff is made out of pure gold and i'm considering getting a vault to keep the rest of it in.

the one last product that arrived is something i'd recommend anyone used, even someone who thought everything else i did was completely wacko and crunchy, because it's the perfect product for PUPPPs and any other itchy, painful rash infliction. it's a little container of dr christopher's sen sei balm. my mom said it was eight dollars [less than what i spent on the bottle of sarna lotion] and drashell told me to use it on areas that itched and then resist scratching for just a couple minutes and when i did it felt amazing. it was cold and soothing and super healing and it would get rid of the itch for ages, i keep it in the fridge and now if i get itchy or bumpy anywhere i put that on first and i usually don't have to do anything else. i think anyone who is having pregnant itchy problems would be happier using that stuff than any other lotions or drug store treatments, it's seriously so wonderful.

there it is! my epic PUPPPs saga. now that's it's mostly over i feel like even after how miserable it was it was still a blessing in a way, i really needed a reason to start eating better. i did really, really well eating healthy up until halloween candy went on sale and then it was all just a growing mess after that, you have no idea how much thanksgiving cream cheese pumpkin roll i ate and i will never tell you, it's shameful. i'm glad i had to make a change so that little babykay could keep getting the nutrition she needed and so i would stop building her with excess dairy and processed sugars. i'm also glad something went horribly wrong with my "perfect" pregnancy because it helped make me a little more humble but it wasn't something permanent or damaging to my baby, and i'm so grateful for that. i'm also just so grateful for no more itching! yay! now i don't need to be afraid of being induced or losing a chance at my natural, dream labor. remind me to tell you about that sometime. on paper, it sounds pretty darn awesome.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

33 weeks + natural hair + LOTR

this is what happens to the hair on my head when i don't do anything to it. most of the time i use a flat iron on it because i can't handle the inconsistency of my curls but this last week or so my hair has been at a magical length that lets it curl without getting too crazy, so now is a good time for me to show it off. it'll last for a little while longer before it goes back to driving me crazy, eventually growing so long i'll feel like it's eating me, and then in a moment of insanity i'll chop it all off again, miss it, and start the long and painful process of growing it back out. it's a never ending cycle.

i sometimes really wish the front of my hair would curl down and in rather than up and out. the wing like structures around my face always weird me out and kinda remind me of swans for some reason. which makes me think of the swan princess. which makes me want to watch the swan princess. i also really want to watch the muppet christmas carol, but that's pretty much a daily thing that i'm sure happens to everyone.

i'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this giant baby bump i have. i'm 33 weeks for one more day. tomorrow i will be 34 weeks pregnant. and as of right this moment i seriously feels like i need more time. SO much more time. i can't seriously be 34 weeks already. i thought by now i'd be achy all over, waddling, have killer back pain, and have elephant feet and be begging to get this baby out. none of those things have happened yet. my ankles look a little funny to me but craig says i'm crazy, so i pretty much have no idea how i got this far without realizing how close i am to having a baby. back  in the first trimester when i was young and naive i thought i'd have a 37 week baby and be done with it. but right now i'm telling myself i could go on like this for months if i had more than one pair of pants that fit. i somehow need to convey to this child that i know i told her she could come out whenever she feels ready but now i need her to try to wait more than just 3 more weeks. her nursery is still a mess and being used as our temporary storage unit while we continue to wait for management to finish remolding the outside of our apartments. i know she's not really going to care either way but i'd just be so sad if everything wasn't perfectly ready for her arrival. i still need to get so many baby things. like burp cloths. and thousands of headbands for her to wear. and a bunch of other cute and mostly useless things. i'm just not prepared. do your momma a favor, little squirt, and keep cooking for a couple more months, but don't get any bigger than 7 pounds. it can work that way, right?

oh, by the way, that IS a lord of the rings shirt. thank you for noticing. i love this shirt but it makes me feel kinda bad sometimes, walking around representing the white hand of saruman, but i like living on the edge. i love middle earth. SO much. so much so that i'm going to share this trailer with you. it's the new trailer for part one of the hobbit movie coming out next december. it made me cry not once, not twice, but three times. once for every time i watched it last night in a ten minute time span. no, it's not sad, just incredibly awesome. i'm not obsessed. just excited.

p.s. craig is excited too but he's mostly because he gets to see his daughter so soon. this sweet man  gets completely giddy when he thinks about how soon she could be here. he loves her so much already and it's wonderful to see. i can't wait until he gets to hold her at last.

p.p.s. from way up here my feet look like little ants. run away little feet. run while you still can.

Monday, December 19, 2011

christmas favorites

just because i knew you were wondering.

i learned this year that i don't loath christmas music. even if it's playing on the radio at work all day, every day. it doesn't make my ears melt off. i've been enjoying it! i've even done some soul searching and came up with my list of top favorite christmas songs. and now i will share them with you [just because i knew you were all wondering]. here they are:

1. christmas time in the club by spoken nerd. okay, this one isn't a classic and you won't hear it on the radio. but don't hate it until you've tried it.

2. carol of bells. craig swears this is the most popular christmas song EVER but i like it because it feels less traditional to me, no lyrics and sometimes it gets downright hardcore, depending on the version.

3. christmas cannon. a) coolest christmas song title ever and b) cute little kids choir? too precious.

and then of course there's this. this can do no wrong in my eyes. thank you david and bing.

that's all I got, kids. i hope everyone is simply having a wonderful christmas time! we sure are.

Monday, December 12, 2011

32 weeks

i'm not nearly as cheerful about bearing children as i was last week. no. sir. and i'm about to complain about it. a lot.

remember my itchy skin on my belly? well, i was dealing with it, rubbing goops on it, going along my merry pregnant way and all was fine and dandy. i didn't even mention it to my doctor, it just seemed so normal and minor, but when i lifted up my shirt so she could listen to babykay's heartbeat she asked me "does that itch?" uhm, yeah, really bad. she said it looks like i have PUPPPs. and boy, do i.

PUPPPs is a skin condition that occurs in only about one in about 200 pregnancies, usually first time pregnancies with boys or twin pregnancies during the third trimester. it starts out as small, itchy bumps INSIDE the stretch marks on your belly. my belly. making it itch something fierce for the last week and defying all dry skin, anti-itch stuff i've been rubbing all over it. that's not the best part though. what i think the best part is that it SPREADS. to your legs, arms, back, chest, etc! everything i've read so far says it always spares the hands, feet, and face. well it's been a week since my doctor saw it on my stomach and told me what it was. and now it's definitely on my hands and feet. next stop, face? please no.

the cause is completely unknown and the only cure is having a baby. let me say that again, to get rid of it you have to not be pregnant anymore. yikes. there are various things used to treat the itchiness but from what i've heard they're mostly ineffective and i'm not comfortable with some of the extreme treatments, like oral steroids. i've been told some cases are pretty minor but of course all the ones i've read about so far have been so bad that women have scratched their skin off with steel wire [or something similar], so of course my brain now thinks that's the only option. and it sounds so tempting right now.

this is so fiercely and incredible painful. i don't know when i've been so uncomfortable. sometimes it just aches and aches, sometimes i want to scratch my skin off and be done with it. the worst is at night when all i want is sleep and all i can feel is itching and crawling all over my body. the day after my last appointment [just in time for me to know what it was] it started popping up on top of my thighs. now it's down to my feet, all around my belly and waist, up and down my arms and fingers, and on my butt. my butt! where i try to SIT! i feel diseased and hideous. i feel like i have the chicken pox forever. or leprosy.

by about friday i felt like i was losing my mind. i was not being a good sport about this at all. i just sat in the tub or shower and cried, or laid in bed and cried and insisted how i definitely "couldn't" do this anymore. 8ish weeks more of this sounded like death. all my dreams for a perfect labor involve using techniques that require me to be calm and relaxed. i just wasn't sure how managing that was possible anymore. i couldn't stand clothes touching me, i couldn't stand blankets touching me, and i couldn't stand air touching me. anytime i spent at work the itching was [miraculously] slightly milder but i was going crazy trying to sleep at night. i just wanted to "quit." i'm not sure how i thought that was possible, but i wanted it bad.

i'm not quite so hopeless anymore. after waking craig up on friday night with another fit of scratching and crying and mindless babbling he prayed with me, looked up how to make an oatmeal bath, made one for me, and stayed up until 5:30 with me until i could fall asleep even though he had to be up less then four hours later. then he let me sleep in until 1:30. and after talking and comforting me and reminding me i'm a selfish worm that doesn't deserve him one bit [my words, not his] i feel much less like a victim and more motivated to just try handle this. it's been a perfect pregnancy so far and i kept feeling like it was "ruined" by PUPPPs but now i'm just trying to be glad it's something that actually goes away someday. i don't have anything that's going to last forever or hurt my baby and there's nothing at all wrong with her. she's so strong and healthy and that's such a blessing. so now i'm trying to be optimistic about this even when i really don't feel like it. crying in the bath surely wasn't very becoming anyway, and it probably wasn't just the hideous bumps on my body.

we're trying lots of things to help maybe improve my new condition, including apple cider vinegar on my skin every day [it hurts so bad i shake, that's how you know it's good for you though, right?] and drinking it every day, mild but soothing lotion, cold showers, peppermint oil, and a change in diet. i'm essentially mostly eating vegan now, which is hard when you're ravenous and pregnant, but i'm most insistent on saying no to sugars and refined flours and all the delicious things i've been enjoying over the holidays. the cause for PUPPPs is unknown but i'm sure there has to be one and my theory is that my liver is just worn out trying to take care of me + another mini person and after overloading it with halloween candy and pumpkin rolls it just can't do it's job anymore and it's enlisting my skin to help rid my body of toxins, starting with the stretch marks on my belly where my skin is the weakest. it may sound crazy but i like at least feeling like i have some sort of control over this and that if i keep at it then maybe it can get better sooner than eight weeks from now. here's to hoping. pass the V8 and cranberry juice.

i'll spare you pictures of my leprosy. instead, look at my cute baby belly.

Friday, December 2, 2011

31 weeks

this kid. this KID. she's getting so big. and she's busy all the time, it feels like she almost never stops moving. this week she started playing games with me, sticking little limbs out as far as they can go and letting me rub and play with them before sucking them back in. the last couple days she's been poking her bum waaay up out from under it's usual resting place [right under my right ribcage. ouchtown.] and if i don't rub it until she's satisfied she starts kicking/hitting me until i do. i kid you not. as long as i'm rubbing she keeps it poked up and holds very, very still and as soon as i stop she lets me have it. i like to think she just wants to know i'm there. i also like to picture her as opinionated and demanding for attention. you may think it sounds crazy, but don't burst my bubble. my unborn baby knows what's she wants, her brain is giant!

i feel so huuuge sometimes. i'm getting kinda tired of trying to find clothes that stay on my body. when do i get to stop having to be dressed every day? i want that to happen. nowish. my tummy is also starting to itch something fierce, i've been using all sorts of oils and lotions, taking recommendations, trying to make it feel less itchy and dry. i know it's a pretty common pregnancy ailment and i'm glad i went this long without itching, but man is it uncomfortable sometimes. other than that i've been having only really fond feeling towards being pregnant. the whole time i've been growing this mini human craig and i have been so eager for her to just BE here and all the sudden i'm starting to wonder if i'm really ready to stop taking care of her like this. maybe i could go on for 30 more weeks. she's easier to take care of now than she'll ever be and i know i'll be so happy when she's out of my belleh and in my arms but i know i'll miss these days of her bumping around in there. i love her a million times. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

craig's new scar, shilah's first gif

if you have any moles/a weak stomach you're probably not in the mood to be proud of me right now, but i made my first gif! oh and craig had a minor surgery recently. he was letting me practice my continuous shooting on my new camera while he took his bandage off after the required two days of wearing it. neither of us were expecting 7ish stitches. yikes. so here's the deal kids, if you have an uncomfortable mole you want to part with be willing to trade it in for a manly scar. craig's quite proud of his. we should probably get around to making up an epic story about where he got it from.

i vote shark attack.

edit: sooo...my gif only works if you click on it. fail.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


oh hello. it's been a while. and then it was a while before that. i have lots of things to talk about and document, and i'll probably get to them all at once when i'm finally through procrastinating. in the meantime though, here's some random, miscellaneous instagram pictures from my phone that just aren't special enough to have a blog post of their own. enjoy!

this happened hours before i actually had to be awake. those required nightly trips to the bathroom are just starting to creep into my schedule. also, you can see how far i've come by the appearance of my husbands clothes into my own wardrobe. and that's just the beginning. this sweater was worn for three days. i think i changed my pants though, but i can't promise you that.

a dear friend back home in washington just sent me a baby swing. craig and i taught her son's primary class at school and she just had a baby girl about six months ago. my mom and i went to visit her when i was in washington for my baby shower and i told her how much i loved her baby swing, it caught my attention because craig and i had been looking for one we liked in our price range with no luck. so she bought me the exact swing and mailed it to me. and it's magnificent. it's way nicer than anything we would've picked out. i love her, she was so generous, and i feel like this baby is already way more spoiled than she even knows. our apartment is back to normal now but the baby room is still a forced mess, so i've been building all the baby equipment to satisfy my nesting desires. craig would be much better at it but it makes me feel capable when i can put together a baby swing all by myself.

rare okay-ish hair day. usually when i gain and lose weight it shows up in my face first, my cheeks are very good at holding a chub. but that hasn't been the case with this pregnancy. i keep waiting to get squirrel-faced but as far as i can tell it hasn't happened yet. this is what we call exciting. celebratory mirror picture commenced.

p.s. i pronounce miscellaneous with a hard "c" sound, even when i'm in public. i do the same thing with the word "muscles." musk-els. my kids are going to have no idea how to talk like real people.

Friday, November 18, 2011

early present

one of craig defining character traits is his inability to wait until christmas or birthdays before bestowing gifts. one of my [many] terrible character flaws is my inability to keep myself from ruining surprises. craig had the very best christmas surprise planned for me this year. a couple weeks ago the possibility of craig surprising me with this very item popped into my head and i immediately told him to never do it, it would be way too expensive. he did it anyway. and it was way too expensive. but i love it. and as an added extra he helped me come up with a list of justifications to help fight off the guilt, and most days it works pretty well. but so far i'm completely convinced i don't deserve anything this fancy.

craig decided i needed a camera. a nice one. a dslr type camera. and that's exactly what he got. it's not thousands of dollars worth of settings and features but it is nicer than anything i thought i'd ever use. he did all the researched and picked one out for me. he originally had his eye on the canon rebel T3 since i'm a fan of cannons, mostly just because i've played with them a lot and i know slightly more than nothing about them as opposed to every other camera in the world. but in the end he rushed me to best buy this morning for a one day deal on a sony alpha A33. normally almost $800 dollars. we got an open boxed deal, returned that morning, mint condition for more than three hundred dollars off. even when that man spends ridiculous amounts of money he still knows how to save ridiculous amounts of money.

just so you know, i know nothing about cameras. nothing. i'm struggling through the owners manual to learn all the cool tricks and get familiar with all the incredible custom settings i have but for the most part all i know for sure is that the canon was awesome and this camera is even more awesome, and i completely don't deserve it. it's still a beginner's camera but it fits my need so well and then goes light years beyond. craig is so excited we ended up with a sony, he's a self proclaimed "sony whore" and he just couldn't pass up a camera that syncs up with our tv. you heard me right. my favorite difference between the canon and this one is the screen that flips out and spins/tilts all the way around. i love how slick it looks and how amazing it feels in my hands. i love the lens it comes with and the fancy viewfinder. i love that craig just beams whenever i use it. he told me he wants to have a nice camera for when our babies get here, he wants me to be able to document their growth and our lives while getting quality results. he said he wants me to have a good camera to help make my blog visually appealing and for in the future when i get my etsy shop up and running to take good, appealing pictures of all my products. he thinks this is a good investment because he believes in me and thinks that i can really make good use of it. as for me, the fact that he gets to use it whenever he wants is what makes it actually worth it.

now, just like a girl and never quite satisfied, i'm obsessing over lenses and equipment and editing software and secret photography tips. i want to get so good at this and actually know what i'm doing. i don't know if looking at all the expensive accessories out there is really the right way to go about it but i haven't been able to stop yet. if i could ask my insanely rich, imaginary benefactor for more camera things for christmas and my twentieth birthday this is what s/he'd surely get me, for i am their very favorite poor beneficiary:

The Wide Angle & Macro Lens Adapter from Photojojo! So insanely awesome and for $50 instantly cheaper than investing in either lens alone. Photojojo! has all kinds of creative camera accessories and equipment but this is my favorite because i've already decided the next lens i want is a wide angle lens. you know, when we're rich. or when my imaginary benefactor starts existing. whichever comes first.

Jo's Totes camera bags. this one is the besty in mustard and i think it's my very favorite, although the "rose" is a close second. i look at these bags at least four times a day. i have several favorite bags and purses already but now that i want to incorporate this fancy piece of camera equipment into my day to day life i really wish i had something stylish and tailored to keep my equipment safe, right now i worry about my camera bumping around in my bag all the time. i've entered so many giveaways for a jo's totes bag and i will continue to enter every one i come across. they're the very prettiest and most practical i've seen and i feel like their prices are not outrageous at all for what they offer.

what does all this mean for you, dear reader? it means that from now on all the pictures you'll be forced to look at while reading this blog, possibly by accident or while being forced at gun point, will be far more pleasant to the eye than they have been previously. i'm so excited for you right now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

christmas tree

when i moved to oregon craig drew a picture of a christmas tree and taped it to the wall of his new apartment and put our presents under it. last year as boring, lazy newlyweds we didn't even go that far. i figured we'd start getting trees and ornaments next year when there's a little baby girl to be excited about it with us. but, like most good things that happen to us are usually caused by, craig found a good deal. and we bought our first christmas tree together this week.

it came out of a box, the branches needed to be shaped by hand, and it doesn't have a smell but it's so wonderful that it makes me tear up at least once a day. we've collected a few inexpensive but super shiny/glittery ornaments and we have the cutest little string of colored lights. i love having this little tree around, i love lighting it up late at night and getting snuggly and feeling all christmassy. christmas trees just can't be beat.

we're still on the lookout for a new star. next year we'll go out with kahree and pick out a tiny little live tree to put up along with this one. i'm already looking forward to it so much.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

28 weeks, again, this time with pictures

i feel a lot more chipper right now that i have been the last couple days. whenever i get super stressed out craig tells me to "sleep breathe." it's a relaxation breathing technique we learned about in my hypnobirthing birth to help get you into a relaxed state throughout labor. i'm supposed to be practicing it anyway and whenever i'm stressed is a good time, if i can't keep my cool over little things how do i expect to get through the strenuous act of birthing my baby with a cool head, right? right...yikes.

as vain as it is i always feel more inclined to be cheerful when i feel like i don't look like a dump. today was not a dump day, my belly looks cute and therefore had to be photographed and documented. you get how this works by now. blogging is sometimes my version of being a wicked stepmother and chanting "mirror, mirror on the wall" to get positive, encouraging responses. and i try not to be too ashamed of it... anyways, lookit my cute baby bump everyone!! there's a baby in there!

Friday, November 11, 2011

28 weeks- ramblings, and no pictures

yesterday was my first day in the third trimester. my baby has eyelashes, weighs about two and a quarter pounds, and is around fourteen inches long. and i love her like crazy.

i'm having so much fun with fetal kick counts, way more than i thought i would. she loves showing off her moves and even when she's sleepy she can get ten kicks out in minutes. how much she moves now is both weird and exciting. the hours i spend at work are her most active hours and at any given moment i can look down at my expanding belly and see physical parts of her, parts of her little BODY, bumping out rapidly, like boiling water. yesterday there were times when it felt/looked like her whole body was trying to make an appearance. i'm afraid she's just gunna bust on out of there if she keeps up like this, and in the meantime it looks like i'm a pod-host for a wriggly little alien. but she's not an alien. she's a precious little girl. i keep talking up how sweet she'll be and craig knows how much of a fireball she's going to be. he is DEFINITELY her favorite, she goes crazy when he talks to her, and i love it.

i love this man and how sweet of a daddy he is. at least three times a day he'll say how soon she's going to get here and how excited he is. he's fallen asleep with his hand on my belly while she kicks away at him. he's put his face down to talk to her while she's not moving and she'll instantly kick him in the mouth. he's put his hand on her little head while its poking out and felt her move it around. he's seen her little limbs strike out all crazy across my tummy and we talk about how strange and amazing it is. after she does something funny i always ask him if he likes her, and he always says he LOVES her. he's so much better at this than i am, he is so prepared to do this, and i so enjoy watching it happen.

i have been keeping up with weekly belly pictures for the most part, i just don't feel like sharing them. i still feel really, really great, i just don't feel like i look really great. not at all and it kinda embarrasses me. so i've been hiding. i feel energetic, comfortable, well fed [ha ha] and i'm enjoying my sleep, exercise, and preparations for birth. but i look like a train wreck. some days i don't put much effort into NOT looking like said train wreck, but some days i do, and then i get frustrated about still looking like a train wreck. i feel like i'm stuck in a weird in between phase where i'm obviously pregnant but i can't just roll with it yet. form fitting clothes make me look giant and tubby and feel claustrophobic. loose clothes makes me look frumpy and feel really weighed down. craig tells me i'm pretty and makes me feel better. and i stay away from the camera.

i'm so happy about this baby girl. but i'm not happy about much else lately. i'm having a hard time with things and life and it's throwing me off considerably. our living situation after two years of no trouble has suddenly become extremely stressful and difficult. financially we keep punching in the numbers for after babykay gets here and we just have to smile and say it'll be okay even though the math says otherwise. for almost a week now our apartment has been in complete tumult due to construction happening on/in our building. everything is a complete mess and it doesn't feel like any progress is being made. i wake up hours before i'm supposed to every day to the sound of hammers right on the other side of the wall from my head. i try so hard all day not to complain and then i do way too much. i feel like i can't do anything in my own house and i just want to be cleaning and organizing and nesting and setting up my new baby swing. i can't and i don't know when i can and i've been letting myself be very grumpy and hormonal about it all.

work is slow and stressful and i can't wait to be done for a while but that income at the moment seems so vital. i feel like i get in fights with our insurance all the times, bills i don't understand or secret fees they lied about, and i never seem to come out the victor. i'm becoming frustrated with what i think i want for my birthing experience and feeling like i sound insane whenever i talk about it, even to my baby doctor. i'm becoming frustrated with our work schedule and how it affects our social situation and keeps us from fellowshipping or going to church activities like we'd like to. it's almost the best part of the whole year and my favorite holiday season and i wish i was crafty and on top of things, better at making/giving gifts, a better wife, a better home maker, a better primary teacher, a better visiting teacher and a lot less lazy than i have been. i want to get out of this rut so i can enjoy this wonderful feeling of being an almost mother, preparing for my baby and working on making a home.

through all this craig has just been the best, and i'm sure that doesn't surprise any of our family members one bit. i'm obviously the big ball of crazy hormones in this marriage and he's the kind, loving glue that keeps us together. he's so patient and so optimistic. he makes sure i get the rest i need and tries to find ways to cheer me up. if i'm craving anything at all [i'm usually not, but sometimes i do, like chicken the other night] he says it's because me or babykay must need it for something and he makes sure i have it right away. he does fun things with me, like beat gears of war 3 and ratchet and clank 4 on co-op together until our brains start melting, or take me to the midnight release of Skyrim with him, or watch the last season of the office available on netflix while eating ridiculous amounts of halloween candy with me and gaining ridiculous amounts of pregnant weight.

this week we started a strict and wonderful schedule of reading the scriptures every night and every morning, to ourselves at night wherever we currently are followed by sharing and discussion and to each other in the morning, starting with genesis and working all the way through. we've never done this before, it's been so long since i've been consistent with my scripture reading and i feel like this is really going to help us stay positive and focused on what matters. i'm glad we're reading scriptures out loud and i hope starting this habit now will help us keep a family scripture time schedule after babykay gets here. i try every day to remember i have SO SO SO SO much to be grateful for right now, even though we don't know what we're doing or how things are going to turn out, we still have somewhere to sleep, food to eat, things to make us happy, and a wonderful, young marriage. oh, and a little, lovely, busy baby thing. she is just the best, best thing right now.

even though the "future" seems mysterious and crazy, and i'm talking in three months, tomorrow, and in a couple hours even, i know what i'm doing right now. for right this minute i'm working on laundry, waiting to switch loads and trying to figure out how to avoid folding. i'm planning on eating a gingerbread poptart and drinking something warm and delicious. i'm sitting next to my husband while he plays skyrim and tells me he loves me every five minutes. i'm listening to construction workers outside tearing our walls down and laughing. i'm waiting for them to come in and take all our windows down and replace them with plastic. i'm feeling my busy baby girl push against my lower left pelvis and my right ribs at the same time. i'm a little cold, a little frumpy, a little grumpy, completely in love with these two people in my little family, and i think i'm going to be just fine.

cute belly pictures soon. i want to have these times on record to look back on, even if i'm not super enjoying them at the moment, they're important times for us.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

anniversary balloons

i finally took these down and let them go. they were the balloons that came with my anniversary present in august. on october 14th, two months later, they were still floating as high as they were when they were new. have you ever heard of balloons lasting for TWO MONTHS? these pictures were taken right after that. a few days later they started to float their lazy way down. they just started laying there sadly, a little oomph still left in them but not much. they've been part of the inner decor for so long now it's weird in here without them. how amazing is it that they lasted as long as they did though! they made me smile all the time.

Monday, October 31, 2011

this is halloween

for halloween craig and i spent the day together in salem thrifting and shopping for baby things. since we've been steadily acquiring baby essentials we've had an itch for some baby non-essentials, like baby toys. i've found that i've formed some oddly strong opinions on baby toys all the sudden. you know all the plastic toys out there with all the bright colors and noise making attachments that stimulate brain growth? i hate them. i hate the thought of plastic toys and little pieces of things scattered all over our home. i'd much rather have other things, plush toys, dolls, doll houses, puppets and finger puppets, and most of all wooden puzzles and toys. old fashioned wooden toys and blocks are my favorite. i love them. i wish we were rich just so we could spend all our money on precious wooden toys, blocks and puzzles. melissa and doug became our favorite brand today while we were window shopping at a pricey kids store in the salem mall. we also had mini anxiety attacks at the pure excitement of being around so many neat toys and games. we just wanted to live in that store. i got super nostalgic about all the things i used to own and started kicking myself for growing up and thinking i was "too cool" for toys and getting rid of them all. i had SO MANY awesome things that i would love to have for kahree now! what was i thinking? lesson learned kids, save all your cool toys, you'll need them again someday.

we talked sweetly, held hands, walked around, had lunch and enjoyed the day. we found all sorts of wooden blocks at thrift stores and value village that i can't wait to clean up and paint. we bought kahree some skippy jon jones books from the book bin in salem [most amazing bookstore ever, we love it now]. if you haven't heard of those books yet you better start listening, your life + your family's lives are not complete without them. we already have some of the classic stories but the ones we got today were hard paged books for little kids all about colors and the alphabet and that good stuff. when craig saw them he picked one up, shook it in my face, and shouted "did you know skippy jon jones could TEACH YOU THINGS??" bahaha, he's such a sweet, involved daddy. i love every minute of it.

tomorrow we're getting up early to go buy all the leftover discounted halloween candy. this is my favorite part about halloween, hands down.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

buster the bunny

all day at work yesterday i was thinking about bunnies. sometimes i think it's the next kind of pet i want. i showed my co-worker a whole bunch of pictures of these breeds of giant bunnies that really do exist. have you seen them? they're as big as dogs sometimes! go google them. you know you want too.

on our way home from work craig saw a bunny on the side of the road. we always slow down and look at road-side wildlife, especially raccoons, if any animal is exciting and in the wild we call them "creatures." so craig spotted a bunny creature and swung back around to get a good look. it was almost midnight and raining a bit, we were only going to look at the bunny until he ran off. but then he didn't, even when we got closer and shined our lights on him. so i did what every smart kid should do when they see a wild animal outside, i left the safety of the car and went to it. i just got worried about him, if he wasn't going to run away from us how was he going to run away from real danger? i wanted to spook him so he'd run back home and away from the road. but he never ran. and before i knew it i was holding a bunny in my lap and petting him.

he was small but not a baby, just not a grown up, and so soft and sweet. we thought maybe he wasn't wild because he wasn't thrashing around or freaking out, but then we thought maybe he was just in shock. he had one leg clung to his chest and i thought for a second it was missing, it was there but still covered in blood. in the dark it looked like he had hurt his paw and was going to have trouble getting away from anything he needed to run from [like meddling humans...] craig made some phone calls but the only animal control we could get a hold of told us they "don't do rabbits." it may just have been the prego hormones, but i just couldn't leave him. if we did he'd die. i know everything goes home someday, but i'd hate to feel like it was my fault when something died. besides, i love bunnies, i had been thinking about them all day, it wasn't just a random find. so i wrapped him up in my shirt and carried him to the car and we took him home with us [it was only a little illegal, as we found out later]. on the way we named him buster, because we had just gotten to the episode in arrested development that buster had lost his hand to a loose seal, and our new little friend had a hurt little hand.

he never bit or scratched me and craig made sure i washed my hands frequently and changed my clothes after handling him. even if he was a lost domestic bunny he still could've picked up some unpleasantries. the first this i did was give him a quick bath to get his paw clean. after i got all the blood off of it i couldn't find a wound and we realized the blood was coming from his nose. which was not a happy sign. but we bundled him up and gave him some apple chunks to snack on and called it a night. i felt like even if he didn't make it to the morning at least he'd be somewhere warm where he was loved. craig said if he was a domestic bunny we'd make sure we'd have his shots and then we'd keep him forever. if he was wild we'd make sure he'd get better enough to go back home.

this morning we drove him to an animal rescue/care clinic in portland. he was quite a bit more active and jumpy in the morning, which was good because he wasn't in shock but still bad because now he was getting stressed out. when we got him there they told us he was definitely a brush rabbit and that they could take care of him until he was better. i was sad that we couldn't keep him but glad that he would be cared for, she said he didn't seem in great shape but gave me a number to check on him later. i never called. i don't think i want to know. i just want to think he turned out just fine, made a full recovery, started a family, and told all his little bunny children about the night he was rescued by giants.

it might seem like a lot of effort for one tiny creature. but i know even small things that don't make a difference still make some difference. i can't end world hunger, but i can do little things to help, i can pay my tithing, i can help people i come across, i can do what i am can. likewise i can take a hurt bunny home and keep him safe, so why wouldn't i? and Heavenly Father cares about all of His little creatures. it also made me so glad to have a husband like craig, who is willing to do crazy things to comfort me and make me happy, who has compassion when i'm crying in the rain on the side of the road holding a bleeding bunny even when we both knew how silly we were being. we both had a moment where we realized that this was a scenario that we had only been through as children who wanted to bring home stray animals and we both found ourselves in the role of the parent/adult for the first time, and got to choose what kind of parent we were going to be in the face of "can i keep it?" it turns out we're the pushover type of parent, and that's just fine with us. i also realized for the first time while i watched buster huddle in the little tote we gave him that i would never want to keep a pet bunny in a cage, something better to realize sooner as opposed to later. craig promised me that when we have a house someday with a fenced back yard i can have all kinds bunnies running around out there. that's something sweet to look forward to.