Monday, June 30, 2008

27 Weeks

Today marks 27 weeks. That's like really pregnant. And despite my expanding waist line, I still have a hard time believing it. While running errands this weekend, I had a couple different people ask me when I was due. At first I sort of puzzled. Due date, what do they mean by....oh yeah. I'm obviously pregnant. They're talking about the baby. Crazy.

It was super hot over the weekend. Maybe I should qualify that statement. By super hot I mean the upper 80's. But by Seattle standards this represents a serious heat wave, especially when it is only June. Saturday I kept to my air conditioned house as long as much as possible, but Sunday afternoon we ventured out on the boat for a little fishing. We did not get so much as a bite, but that wasn't too unexpected as most of the salmon do not enter Puget Sound in route to the rivers until late July and August. It was fun to be out in the sun, although I was exhausted by the time we got home. Luckily I wasn't sun burnt thanks to my SPF 50 with the exception of my scalp, which I noticed when combing my hair this morning.

I woke up with a pounding headache at midnight and slept in the living room recliner after taking some tylenol. That was a good decision I think, as I woke up feeling much better. Not only was the headache gone, but I felt a lot less stuffy. I think the incline of the chair coupled with the Claritin is doing the trick.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pregnancy Woes

I'll be the first to admit that I've had a great pregnancy. My worst problem had been constipation, and that was nothing that a little colace and a lot of fiber wouldn't fix. Most of the time, I've felt better pregnant than I did before getting pregnant, and not a day goes by that somebody doesn't comment on how wonderful I'm looking. Hell, I even love maternity clothes and would be quite content to wear empire waists and elastic banded pants for the rest of my life. I really believe my preggo wardrobe is cuter than what I normally wear. So yes, I am the pregnant girl that all the other pregnant girls hate. Feel free to throw tomatoes at me now...just make sure they aren't the ones contaminated with salmonella.

As my third trimester approaches, there are some signs that all this happiness and cheer may be dampened a bit by my long-time enemy the bladder. You see, my bladder and I have never been the best of friends. For one, I think it must be rather small given my frequent use of the bathrooms, which leave me wondering whether all this supposedly healthy hydration is worth the nuisance. It is also rather weak, which was quite embarrassing as a kid but something that I've learned to plan for as an adult with the aforementioned frequent trips to the bathroom. Until a couple weeks ago, everything seemed normal bladder-wise. But then a sneeze on what I thought was an empty bladder would trigger an unanticipated surprise. Then I began needing to visit the restroom more frequently and more urgently, only to be shocked by the pitiful amount of urine deposited. So now I find that pantiliners have become my new best friend, and I'm seriously considering moving my office to the bathroom.

Then yesterday I awoke with a scratchy throat and stuffy nose. My apparently pregnancy induced allergies have set in again. And declogging my sinuses is made even more fun by my new-found propensity towards bloody noses. Sleeping last night was rough because breathing through my mouth would dry my throat up, so I'd get up to drink some water. But that would lead to the need to get up and go to the bathroom. Then my mouth would get dry again. It is a vicious cycle I tell you. I thought about calling in sick due to a lack of sleep, but then I figured that working while exhausted was probably just good practice for going back to work after maternity leave.

So there. You have my whiny pregnant post. And admittedly, my gripes are pretty pathetic compared to most. I somehow doubt this will be enough to get me out of being that annoyingly healthy and happy pregnant girl. Oh well. It's a role I'm happy to accept.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Plastic Bottle Carnage

Cujo has a basket filled with toys. But his favorite toy above all is...
That's right. My dog loves playing with plastic bottles more than anything. It seems that his primary mission in life is to chew the lid and ring off of them. Once he has accomplished that, he has no more use for it and leaves the carnage behind for a nap. He'll let the bottles accumulate in his toy box for days, and then one night he'll get an itching for destruction. Last night, the devastation left behind amounted to eight bottles.

Either my dog is completely bizarre or perhaps I should be marketing this toy concept to PetsMart.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Couple Smaller Knitting Projects

As I mentioned yesterday, I finished up a couple small knitting projects over the weekend too: a bonnet and pair of booties. Last night I sewed on the buttons so I could count them as truly complete. Overall they were really fun patterns, only required some leftover yarn from my stash and were quick as it took me just over a week to finish both projects (and I'm not really that productive of a knitter, despite what my recent posts may have conveyed). Here are the details:
Pattern: Marshmellow Hat from Itty Bitty Hats
Designer: Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Ravelry Link
Comments: Surprisingly this was my first project involving seed stitch, and I really enjoyed it and the end result. I left off the embellishments that the pattern called for, because I prefer it simple.
Pattern: Mary Jane Booties
Designer: Lucie Sinkler
Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Ravelry Link
Comments: I still had some yarn left over after making the bonnet, and after seeing the Mary Jane Booties Barb knitted I just had to make me a pair too. I'm sure I'll be making more in an assortment of colors.

Oh and since yesterday was 26 weeks, here is the latest belly pic for you to.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Weekend of Finished Objects

For all those who are interested in the baby tattoos, you can buy them here or here. I've also seen them on ebay, although you have to be careful because some people just sell one tattoo out of the whole pack. Oh and to answer your questions, yes Miss Jillian will be sporting some of these.

I had a very productive weekend, knitting-wise. But it was mostly because I had several small projects that were close to being finished. It is funny though, because after a month or two of having little to show for myself, I've had lots of finish objects in the past couple of weeks.

The latest was the Pirate hat that was supposed to be for my husband. Quickly after starting, I realized that it would be far too petite for his large head, so I figured it would be for me. However it turns out that it won't even fit my smaller head, so it will become a gift for some lucky child out there. It was my first fair isle project, and while I'm generally happy with how it looks, I can't help but notice all of the mistakes. I already have the yarn to start a bigger one for Jeramy, but I'm a little focused on baby knitting right now. Plus it isn't exactly hat season right now anyhow. So here are the details...
Pattern: We Call Them Pirates
Designer: Adrian Bizilia
Ravelry Link

I also finished a bonnet and booties for Jillian, but I still need to sew on some buttons. So hopefully I'll have pictures of those tomorrow.

In the meantime, I've reached the 26 week mark. My ticker seems to be acting up right now, but I think that I'm almost to the double digits now in terms of days left in my pregnancy. It seems like just yesterday it read more like 225 days left, which only left me disheartened. According to my BabyCenter update today, Jillian is now the size of an English hothouse cucumber. Now how is that for specificity!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Meet Sheldon

This is Sheldon. And admittedly he is a bit homely, but in the cutest way possible I hope. He was pretty fun to knit for the most part, although the finishing was quite tedious. Overall, I'm pretty happy with how he turned out, but if I could do it over again, I would use smaller needles. Mine is knitted loosely enough that you can see the stuffing, so I think a tighter knit would work better. Here are the details...

Pattern: Sheldon
Designer: Ruth Homrighaus
Yarn: Cascade 220
Ravelry Link

One more thing to share. When we had lunch last week Jessie gave me the most hilarious and unique baby gift: temporary baby tattoos. With a dad like Jeramy, it only seems appropriate. My favorite tats are the spiked pacifiers and pirates with the words "say aaarrghh". Check them out:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

This and That

Yes it is a pretty pathetic title for a post. But it is still the beginning of the work week, and I need to re-cap my weekend while feeling anything but creative.

Last Thursday, I had my 24 week OB appointment. Everything was very routine. Peed in a cup, weight, blood pressure (nice and low at 102/70), heart beat and belly measurement (coming in at 26 weeks but I was almost 25 at the time). I shared Jillian's name with my OB, who said she didn't think she'd delivered any babies with that name. Thank goodness. As a Jennifer, the last thing I wanted was to give my baby a common name, as I'm sure that my readership (50% of which are also Jennifers) can understand. I was also given a bottle of Glucola to drink prior to my 28 week appointment. I'm really dreading this test, as I'm not feeling very optimistic about my ability to pass it given my weight and family history of diabetes. So I'm sort of viewing these next few weeks as my last opportunity to enjoy carbs (which are pretty much all I eat), which I suppose is not exactly the healthiest attitude.

As I already mentioned, Jeramy was gone for the weekend. And while the house always feels a bit empty without him, I'm pretty good at entertaining myself. On Saturday, I got together with my long-time friend Jessie for lunch. As she has just gotten engaged, we had tons to talk about and I got to see the ring (classic and beautiful...good job Ben!). Her wedding will be September 20th, so I'll likely be quite pregnant for the event. So I guess I had better start shopping for a maternity-sized dress, although she is so laid back that she probably wouldn't care if I wore jeans to her wedding. If you've ever met Bridezilla, then imagine her polar opposite and you would have Jess (and I'm not just saying that because you read my blog, Jessie).

That night I picked up my sister and brother-in-law from the airport, which also ended my fur-niece Ellie's week and a half visit with us. Dog-sitting Ellie was fun as usual, although it is always eye-opening to see what it might be like to have a dog with energy. Here are a couple pics from her visit:
The look on Ellie's face here cracks me up. It's as if she's saying "yeah, I'm bad".

Ellie's favorite place to sleep. It wasn't particularly comfortable for Jeramy though.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Father's Day, A Little Belated

Yesterday was Jeramy's first Father's Day as an almost dad, although he wasn't around for most of it. He was off on a guys only camping trip where he enjoyed very testosterone oriented activities such as shooting and riding his quad. I suppose it was all quite fitting and called for, considering he is about to embark on his last summer of freedom (or at least that is what I've termed our remaining months as DINKS). All that aside, I have realized over the past few months what a wonderful father Jeramy is going to be. I've always believed that he will be a good dad, but as the months of pregnancy have progressed I can actually start to see him becoming that person. And watching this transformation has been one of the most rewarding times in our ten years of marriage. Sometimes it is just the simple things, like how exciting it is when he feels the baby moving or how he tells me he'll love me even with the stretch marks. Other times it is talking about the future and what our little girl might be like.

So Happy Father's Day, Jeramy. I love you.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

For All you Type A's out there

I'm a planner both in terms of personality and professionally. I started mapping my life out from a young age, and in all honestly it has pretty much gone by that plan. I did well in school, went to college, married my high school sweetheart, graduated college, found a good job, bought a house, got a dog and went to graduate school while working full-time. We held off on having kids until we were financially secure and on a good path career-wise, because although we got married young we still wanted to have a good time and enjoy our twenties. And while the whole kid thing did not go as I planned, I wasn't exactly surprised by it given my menstrual cycle history, and because I got help early and my problems were relatively easy to fix, it only set us back by a year. My whole life, I've found that I thrive the most when I have a plan, a routine, and independence. As I look forward to September, I'm realizing that my life with have none of those things and that I haven't the faintest clue on how to care for a newborn.

So being a pretty classic type A personality, I got some books, and signed us up for a class. These are the ones I bought, but if anybody else has some to recommend let me know. Obviously some things you just have to learn by experience, but I operate best when I have gathered as much knowledge on a subject as possible.

Oh and I checked out a bunch of baby knitting books from the library so that I can choose some baby projects. I've found far to many patterns that I absolutely adore. So if I ever get my head out of these baby books, I'll have enough knitting to keep me busy for 50 children.

Also, yesterday the dresser for the nursery arrived. So now we have everything except for the glider that we'll probably buy next month and the hope chest my father-in-law is working on. We also bought a camcorder, which I believe is a stable for any parent who plans to obsessively document their child's every move. This has led to a bit of a debate over filming the birth. Originally, both Jeramy and I were in agreement over not recording this event, because while it is a very special moment it is not necessarily one that I'm interested in sharing with a very broad audience. However, Jeramy has began to waiver on this position and is now leaning towards filming. So for those of you out there who have given birth, what did you decide and how do you feel about your decision now?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's Junuary

Apparently, the Northwest has been exempted from heat wave the rest of the nation is currently experiencing. In fact, it is downright cold here. You may have 90's or 100's but we've got 50's. Yesterday's low temps destroyed a record that dated all the way back to 1894, and this is now the coldest June on record since 1917. So of course our local weather forecasters have given this latest weather phenomenon a nickname, Junuary, and could not stop themselves from repeating with shock "it's June 10th" during this morning's newscast. Admittedly it does not turn consistently summer-like in Seattle until after the 4th of July, but between the snow in the mountains and chilly winds, this is getting absurd.

Yesterday afternoon, we got a call from my mother-in-law because the wind blew a tree down across her driveway. So we loaded up the chainsaw and headed over to assess the damage and clean up. This was the scene:
It wasn't actually the whole tree but a rather large branch of it. It did hit my sister-in-law's car, but luckily the only damage it sustained was a small dent on the trunk. Jeramy and a neighbor spent an hour cleaning it all up, and then we were on our way home.

Upon arriving home, we discovered our power was out. I was pretty surprised, because usually it takes a larger windstorm to knock out power in our suburban neighborhood. Luckily we have a generator for our camper, so Jeramy started it up so we could watch some TV. I was sure the power would come back on by morning, but it didn't. So the generator was turned back on and thanks to our gas powered hot water heater I still got my morning shower. Then we left the house with the generator running the refrigerator and freezer. Around the corner the road was closed and a crew was working on the lines. So hopefully we'll have power and heat (because it's Junuary you know) tonight.

In the midst of all this bizarre weather, I hit the 24 week mark yesterday which feels like a big milestone to me. For one, if Jillian were to be born today, the doctor's would actually try to keep her alive and there would be somewhere around a 50% chance of her surviving. (Not that you should be getting any big ideas about moving out early, young lady!). It also marks the last month of my second trimester. So much has happened in just a couple months time from gaining in confidence that we'll end up with an actual baby at the end of this to learning that it is a "she" to feeling the reassurance of the baby's movements. The fact that we'll go from a free wheeling couple to a family by this fall is very exciting and a little scary.

To celebrate, I'll leave you with my 24 week pic, which features my belly and double chin. I've now reached the stage where complete strangers are brave enough to ask me when I'm due, and Jeramy is growing a little concerned with how much bigger I'm going to get.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A Royal Pain in the Ass

Ever since I found out I'm having a girl, I've been preparing myself for a difficult child. By his mother's accounts, Jeramy was a sweet baby and child. I know that was not the case for me. Even though my mom is no longer here to tell the horror stories, I've heard them often enough. First I had colic as an infant. Then as a toddler and preschooler I was bossy and demanding. My little sister did not need to learn how to speak, as I took care of that for her. I would get up after spending the night at my grandparents house and demand a homemade breakfast of blueberry pancakes. There are videos of me at Christmas instructing every family member on exactly what they needed to do. Frankly, I was obnoxious.

So while I pray that my daughter behaves more like her father, I am fully expecting a daughter more like myself. But what I wasn't prepared for was that she would become a pain in my ass before she even vacated my body. Over the course of the last two weeks I've developed constant pain in my rear around my tail bone. It is fine first thing in the morning, but after a day of sitting (at my desk, in the vanpool, in front of the TV) it gets increasingly more stiff and painful. At first, I figured it would go away quickly. But it didn't. So I called the nurse at my OB's office, and she confirmed that this was a common pregnancy symptom due to the expansion of the uterus. Of course this strikes me as odd, given that my only baby bump is on the front side of my body and not my back. But I'll take their word for it. Of course I can't take an anti-inflammatory...have I mentioned how much I miss ibuprofen? Luckily the treatment of heat and tylenol seems to be quite effective. Oh and I have now officially delegating lawn mowing responsibilities to Jeramy.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Apparently I Missed a Cultural Phenomenon

All I've heard about all week is the Sex and the City movie. Can you believe that I've never even seen an episode of that show? Despite my access to all pay movie channels, I've managed to miss out on this. I'm thinking of adding the show to my Netflix queue figuring that I'll need something to keep me occupied during late nights after Jillian is born. What do you guys think of the show?

Oh and a big thanks to C. I never even thought of getting a Netflix subscription until reading her blog. Now I'm totally loving it, even if Jeramy got into the queue and changed the order of the movies. (I got paybacks last night as Hairspray finally arrived). After hearing other friends describe the assortment of informercials that air in the middle of the night, I quickly realized that I would need something a little more interesting to keep me away during nighttime feedings after this little girl is born.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Back to Work

Well it is back to work tomorrow for Jeramy after a 3 day unpaid vacation (aka strike) after his union voted this morning to accept a slightly revised contract. I suspect that the union may have also taken a few key learnings away from this experience. For example, plumbers and pipefitters like to drink. So if you schedule a 6pm contract vote after work, they all head to the bar for a couple of hours and many will show up intoxicated. This makes it hard to read and comprehend a contract of several pages that is handed to them at the beginning of the meeting. It also leads to puking in the back of the auditorium and fights in the streets and local bars. Plus it makes it much more difficult to find venues where you can hold meetings to discuss revised contracts as many of the large venues in the Seattle area will not allow you back.

In any case, I'm quite happy with this outcome as it allowed me the financial ability to purchase bedding for Miss Jillian today Here is what I ordered.

Finally, I've composed a list in my mind of things I like and things I don't like. So now seems an ideal time to get this list of rants and raves out in the open.

What I like...
  • Feeling the baby move. It has gotten much stronger in recent weeks and she seems to be most active in the evening. The best part came Sunday when Jeramy finally felt her kick. It has taken a bit of patience on his part as she likes to stop moving whenever he puts his hand on my belly. But it was priceless to see the excitement on his face.
  • Strawberries. They're in season and cheap. They're like candy, except that they're good for you.
  • Knitting girl stuff. I get all excited just thinking about the possibilities. Now I just need to find the time to actually knit something!
  • Colace and lots of fiber. I've been regular for weeks now! Just thought I'd share.
  • Comments. I love reading your guys' comments. They never cease to make me smile and often even laugh out loud. It is always just so nice to hear from you.
What I dislike...
  • Stretch marks. They've started on the side of my belly already. Boo! Right now they're just little dots but I'm sure they'll start lengthening soon. At least my hubby says he'll still love me, and sadly enough it isn't as if its the first time I've had stretch marks. At least these are pregnancy related.
  • The toilets at work. Their automatic flush is just too damn powerful. No matter how far I get from them as they flush, I still get hit with splash back. And that's just gross.
  • The rain. Apparently Seattle is not aware that June means the start of summer, which means sunshine. A sopping wet gray day in June is just cruel. Perhaps we used up our spring sun quota in April and May with those rather short lived heat waves (days where we get into the 80's).
  • Summertime television. It's all re-runs from here on out. Luckily I just started a Netflix subscription so hopefully we'll have some movies to keep us occupied.
  • Registering. I thought it would be fun, but really it was just overwhelming. It is done now and after some online editing I'm pretty happy with it. But while in the store with Jeramy, I felt completely clueless about what to do with a baby much less what I'd need to buy for it.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Officially on Strike

As of today, Jeramy is officially on strike. I think he is looking forward to a little time off, although the lack of his paycheck will limit his entertainment options. There is a new contract offer on the table, and his union will be voting on it early in the week. Given this and what he's heard about the revised contract, we are hopeful that the new offer will be approved. However, until we hear otherwise there will be serious belt tightening in our household. Less spending money, less dining out, more top ramen meals, and Jeramy will be riding his Suzuki more and driving his truck less. It's a good thing it's almost summertime, although "summer" is a relative term when you live in Seattle.

Yesterday, we watched our niece Julia for a few hours while Jeramy's sister got some shopping done. As usual, she was a bit hesitant to befriend her Uncle Jeramy at first, but after an hour or so they became best friends. I think he won her over with sugar (he maintains a stash of fun dips for such occasions) and airplane rides.

And of course we couldn't leave Cujo out...

On Friday, we got another look at Jillian (you know being the ultrasound whores that we are). This time they were taking pictures of her spine, which looked perfect, since she was all curled up in a ball during the anatomy scan two weeks ago. Here is a picture of our little girl displaying what I've deemed her little old man look.