Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week 24: Opinions Needed

Hey Humble Readers...

Greetings from the not so frozen flatland!  This has been the weirdest winter I have ever seen on the prairies.  I swear the weather forecasters are just sitting in their studios flipping coins, because they have a fifty-fifty shot of getting it right.  Either it will be snappin' a$$holes cold or it will feel like the beginning of spring.  By Thursday it's supposed to be around 7C here.  Our regular temps for this time of year are in the -7 to -10 range.  I'm not complaining... I'm just confused.  We'll probably end up with snow in May and June. 

So I had a revelation the other day.  Being 24 weeks pregnant sounds like I've still got a long way to go, but given the GD and everything, I am very likely only going to be pregnant for another 13 or maybe 14 weeks (assuming that they don't want me to go much past 38 weeks).  And that sounds a whole heck of a lot shorter.  Nesting instincts are starting to set in... I really need to be making some progress on my to do lists.  I have much organizing and cleaning to do, and rearranging in the nursery to accomplish.  I also want to have the carpets steam cleaned before Easter.  I want to get Ginny's baby book up to date, and make a few casseroles and other meals to freeze like I did last time. 

I finally got a call from my new OB's office last week.  My first appointment with her is next week Tuesday.  One of the things I'm contemplating asking about is, assuming that I will be having a C-section again, how possible is it to get a tubal ligation done at the same time?  My Beloved and I have always discussed him being the one to get 'snipped' but if they have me open anyway, wouldn't it make sense to just get it done and over with?  Our goal has always been to have two children, and given everything the last four years have brought, I don't think an oops pregnancy (wouldn't that be a kick in the pants?) a year or two down the road would be wise for us.  And I DO NOT want to be on bcps for the rest of my life.  What do you all think?

On to the update...

How far along? 24w0d

Maternity clothes? Yup...

Body Oddities? VERY dry skin, alternating constipation and IBS flares, acne, bruises from insulin injections, back ache, cracking joints, super sore & slightly leaky boobs, increased earwax, dry/itchy eyes, leg cramps, round ligament pain, heartburn is much worse, tingly fingertips

Sleep? Good for the most part.  I have been pretty tired the last few days, but I'm still mostly sleeping okay at night.

Best moment this week? when my Beloved felt the halfling move.  He was sooo happy and excited.

Worst moment? When I woke up on Thursday with the buggered up neck and shoulder.  As soon as I opened my eyes I knew that something was wrong.

Movement? Lots and lots.  He/she tends to be quiet in the afternoons, but other than that he/she is a little soccer player... kicking at my belly button all the time.

Food cravings/aversions? Still wanting milk like crazy.  This week I want chocolate milk like nobody's business.  Nausea is still showing up on occasion, but no specific foods are triggering it. 

Rings?  Still on.

Gender? Still think it's a girl.

Intense Dreams? I had one the other night in which Ginny was meeting her little sister (yes, the Halfling was a girl in my dream).  I was still worried about Ginny's lack of talking, but when she saw her sister she said "Baby ____!" (baby's name).  After that, Ginny talked non-stop. 

Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5 times a day), High blood pressure (on 100mg of lobetalol 3x daily), continued heartburn (on 150mg of zan.tac 2x daily), kidney stones, low lying placenta.

What I miss?  Sushi, orange juice, maple syrup.

What I look forward to? Meeting my new OB (FINALLY!!) next week.

Emtional State? Pretty good for the most part.  Pain makes me bitchy, tho. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Ginevra @ 14 Months

SHey Humble Readers...

So it's been a couple of months since I posted some pics of our wee sweet girl and Ginevra is growing and changing by leaps and bounds...

Like I mentioned recently, she's walking and practically running every which way all the time.  She still loves her Stanley (her stuffed puppy) and we can't go anywhere without him.  The only place he doesn't go is in bed with her.  She has a special bedtime bear for that.  One day, shortly after we got home from K-town, Ginny was in the kitchen, sitting on the floor and crying her little heart out.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong until I realized that sometime earlier in the day I had set Stanley on the counter and she could see him, but she couldn't reach him.  It was tragic!  :)  Other toys that are favourites are her talking teapot and her Leap Frog picnic basket. 

Her talking, or lack thereof, is starting to concern me a little.  She has a few words (baby, dada - which applies to everyone, bear, puppy) and she babbles non-stop.  I don't know if I should really be concerned, or just let it ride.  My Beloved, when he was small, didn't talk much at all until he was five.  His parents had just made plans for testing for him when all of a sudden he started talking.  I'm probably just worrying over nothing.

Ginevra is a good little eater, most of the time.  She's developed this new habit of taking things out of her mouth to examine them mid-chew.  She loves potatoes, rice, pasta (with sauce), peas, corn, tomatoes, grapes, meatloaf, chicken, pork chops, tilapia, scrambled eggs, applesauce, pears, bananas, plums, sweet potatoes, yoghurt, peanut butter, grilled cheese, chicken noodle soup (with lots of crackers), cheerios, oatmeal, and gold fish crackers.  She's also discovered the wonders of french fries with ketchup.  Mama (my mom) introduced her to the world of chocolate and rice pudding while we were out visiting them.  Really the only food still on the no-fly list is carrots.  I try them with her every now and then, and they just don't go down.  We're going to be attempting to let her start to feed herself (with utensils) soon. 

She LOVES tv commercials.  It's actually quite funny.  She'll be off playing, and whatever I'm watching will go to commercial and she'll come running.  Particular favourites are the coke commercial with the polar bears and the Jennifer Hudson Weight Watchers commercials. 

Ginny needs another haircut desparately, but it just hasn't worked into the schedule recently.  She has 7 teeth right now, with another three or four that are giving her grief right now.  Her nap schedule is still pretty wonky, like today... she went down for her morning nap at 10am and it's now almost 4 hours later and she's still asleep.  And speaking of sleep, she loves to have her blanket over her head while she sleeps.  Of course it freaks me out a bit, so I always move it, but by morning it's always back over her head. 

Ginevra gets so excited when we go outside, even in the bitter cold.  She still hates wearing socks and shoes so it always makes getting dressed to go out a bit of a challenge.  She loves hanging out by the window on really cold days and watching her breath fog up the glass. 

She's an adventurous soul.  She's figured out that she can stand on top of some of her toys when she's in the play-pen she can stand higher and reach farther.  Because the only stairs we have here are the outdoor concrete steps, I haven't allowed her to try climbing yet.  She has also figured out how to turn herself around and slide off the couch. 

All in all, she's a healthy happy little girl.  She's the light of our lives and I am so thankful that God has blessed us with our little honeybear. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Pain In The Neck

Hey Humble Readers...

I hope you're all well, where ever you are. 

The 'three-week' rule that has proven true throughout this pregnancy (being that I get sick/something goes wrong health-wise every three weeks) is right on time.  I woke up this morning barely able to move my neck and shoulders.  Ugh!

I have been putting off seeing my chiropractor because we only have limited coverage and it's not really in the budget.  But he's a good doctor and, even though he's always trying to get me to buy into some program or other, I trust him to take care of me.  I got a lot out of having regular adjustments last time around, and I really think it was a part of why I was able to recover so quickly. 

The adjustment tonight was just a step into getting things back to normal, but I am feeling a bit better.  Poor Ginny had to hang out in her play-pen most of the afternoon because I couldn't chase her around the house. 

Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to do a bit of a clean on the house tomorrow.  We have a babysitter coming over (Beloved and I are going on a date... woohoo!) and the layer of dust on the furniture is bordering on icky (and as much as I can look past it, I can't allow the teenage daughter of one of my church friends to see the current state of our hobbit hole). 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week 23: Feeling Fat(ter)

Hey Humble Readers...

I hope that you're all doing well this evening.  Things here at the hobbit hole are pretty mellow now, but it was a bit of a challenging day.  Ginny had a rough day, experiencing what I think was her first tantrum.  We're in an a bit of a transition stage right now, with morning naps slowly phasing out (getting shorter all the time), and when you throw in teething and a burgeoning sense of independence... well things come to a head easily. 

Today's drama involved a part of my Beloved's desk that the wee girl can reach, and the items that she likes to pull off the desk (pencils, check book, tape dispensers).  Every time she would go near it, I would say no and move her away.  Finally, I said no for the enth time and she just lost it.  She dropped to the floor, and shrieked for a good five minutes.  I didn't make a big deal about it, but she was cranky and whiny all day after that.  It made for a frustrating day for both of us.  I was never so thankful to see my Beloved walk through the door tonight. 

In other news, some of the weight I have lost in the past couple of months seems to have found me.  I'm not quite where I was at when I first found out I was pregnant, but if I have another week like this one, I'll be back there pretty darn quick.  I know that plus sized women are 'supposed to' gain between 11-15 pounds during a pregnancy, but I will admit that I was kind of hoping for a repeat of last time... only gaining 8lb, and that came on in the last six weeks.  Of course, I have slipped off the diabetic diet a bit this week, and that may have something to do with it as well.  *sigh* 

How far along? 23w0d

Maternity clothes?  Absolutely.  I've even noticed a difference in how my lazy day clothes (sweats, etc) are fitting.  But unless I specifically tell someone, they still can't tell I'm pregnant. 

Body Oddities? VERY dry skin, alternating constipation and IBS flares, acne, bruises from insulin injections, back ache, cracking joints, super sore & slightly leaky boobs, increased earwax, dry/itchy eyes, leg cramps, round ligament pain.  NEW THIS WEEK: heartburn is much worse, even with my rx meds. 

Sleep? Pretty good this week, so long as I got to bed at a decent hour.  (Made the mistake of staying up late on Saturday night playing Zuma and listening to music on my Beloved's computer.  Didn't get to bed until 1 in the morning, then I couldn't sleep)

Best moment this week? Getting a couple of hours to myself to get caught up on my DVR shows.  (I am addicted to Downton Abbey!!!)

Worst moment? losing Uncle Jack, stepping on the scale this morning and seeing that gain

Movement? Lots.  It seems like it might be triggered when I eat... like right now (finished dinner an hour ago)

Food cravings/aversions? Still craving milk.  And I've found that recently it's been easy for nausea to kick in... something grosses me out, and I end up gagging for several minutes. 

Rings? Still on, but my fingers have been a little puffy the last couple of days, so we may be seeing the beginning of the end.

Gender? Still leaning towards girl, although most of my Beloved's family seems to think it's a boy.

Intense Dreams? All my dreams are really influenced by what I watch on tv, what I read, or what I listen to just before I go to sleep.  Like on Saturday night, when I finally did get to sleep, I dreamt of Donnie Wahlberg (was listening to NKOTB) and medieval France (was reading Philippa Gregory)

Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5 times a day), High blood pressure (on 100mg of lobetalol 3x daily), continued heartburn (on 150mg of zan.tac 2x daily), kidney stones, low lying placenta.

What I miss?  Being able to get down on the floor easily to play with Ginny.  Getting back up is a challenge too.

What I look forward to? I've decided that for the first week after I'm home from the hospital, I'm going to allow myself to eat whatever the heck I want to.  Then I'll endeavor to be a good girl.  Sushi, ice cream, and chai tea lattes will be on the menu.

Emtional State? Pretty good, mostly.  When my back starts aching, and when my blood sugars are wonky (both have been happening a fair bit this week) I get grouchy.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Ups & Downs & All Arounds

Hey Humble Readers,

I hope you're all well and thawed out if you have been in the deep freeze for the past week.  We didn't get Tilly the Toyota started until Saturday because it was so freaking cold around here.  Ginny and I stayed snuggled up in the house all week, but I feel for anyone (like my Beloved's nephew... putting up/repairing power lines) who has to work outside.  It looks like we're going to get a respite for the next week, but then temps are expected to dive again.  Gotta love life on the Canadian prairies!

I (and many other bloggers) have a favour to ask of you all, or at least those of you who use Blogger and have your comment form embedded below your posts.  For the time being, can you change your settings to 'pop-up window' or 'full page'?  Google has acknowledged that there is a problem with their new comment system and because of that, blogs are freezing up when configured with an embedded comment form.  (Have you noticed that you have had a drop in comments this past week?  This is why.)  Google is trying to fix it, but who knows when it will be working. 

Ginny has been walking a whole lot more lately.  As in, only crawling when she's underneath the kitchen table or has just had a bigger stumble and is unsure on her feet.  She thinks she's all that... walking around with her arms flung wide and a big grin on her face, as if to say "Ta-da!  Look at me!"

Sadly, we lost a family member yesterday.  My Beloved's Uncle Jack, who was 85 and had been frail for quite some time, passed yesterday morning.  We knew it was coming, but his loss will be felt keenly at all our family gatherings.  He was a funny old soul, and was always getting himself (and anyone around him) into mischief.  He was one of the first of the extended family that I met when I came into the family, and I loved him instantly.  Of course, it didn't hurt that he loved my cooking.  :) 

In church news, our congregation is one step closer to a full time pastor.  It has been a long time for us to go without a regular pastor (Pastor J. left in February of 2010).  Our interim, semi-retired fill in pastor has been good, but it has had an impact on our congregation to be without full-time leadership.  The candidate will be coming early next month to preach and for a meet and greet with the congregation.  My Beloved has been on the call committee, and this has been a challenging journey.  I'll be glad if this potential pastor is a good fit, not only for the benefit to our congregation, but also because it will be one less set of meetings my Beloved will have all the time. 

I am in desparate need of a haircut.  Not just a trim, which is what I've been doing rather infrequently over the last couple of years, but a full on 'give-me-a-new-look' haircut.  The only time in my life when I have truly liked my hair was around the time when my Beloved and I me, were dating, and got married.  But at that point I had the expendable income to see my long-time trusted hairdresser every six or eight weeks.  I would get my hair coloured and highlighted regularly.  I know I can't/shouldn't colour my hair right now, but I NEED to do something.  My biggest frustration is trying to find hairstyle pics for plus sized women.  I don't want to cut all my hair off... I want it to be something easy but cute, and can still be put back in a clip or a pony for everyday.  I'm not demanding, am I?

Please stop by my friend Alana's blog and offer her some love and support.  She experienced a miscarraige earlier this month and is facing some hard decisions. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Week 22: Hibernating

H\owdy Humble Readers...

I hope you're all keeping warm wherever you are.  It is, to quote my mother, snappin' a**holes cold around here.  When my Beloved left for work this morning at 8:30, with the windchill, it was -46C.  At that temp, exposed skin freezes in about five minutes.  Ugh!  Things are supposed to warm up by the weekend, thank Heaven.  If you look out our window right now, and look past the build up of ice around the edges, it actually looks very pretty.  Clear blue sky, fresh blanket of snow... if only the air wouldn't freeze your lungs at the first breath. 

One unfortunate effect of this cold snap is that Tilly the Toyota won't start.  I still wonder at the sense of selling a car on the Canadian prairies without a block heater, although I guess it's the new trend.  We called AMA yesterday and had them come and give us a boost, and I let the car run for more than a half hour, but twenty minutes after I shut it off, it wouldn't start again.  My Beloved is just going to have to bum rides to work for the next few days until it warms up I guess. 

Ginny has been happy as a clam, these past few days, to just snuggle up on the couch with her favourite stuffed dog or playing with the cake pans she can get at in the kitchen.  She also loves blowing on the patio window and seeing her breath fog up the glass.  She's developed a fondness for chicken noodle soup (with lots of crackers).  Both she and I have been napping a bit more than usual, but she's just finished up another round of teething so I'm happy that she's getting lots of rest.

Anyway, onto the update...

How far along? 22w1d

Maternity clothes? Oh yeah.  There's no way I could get into my regular jeans now.

Body Oddities? dry skin, periods of extreme fatigue, alternating constipation and IBS flares, acne, bruises from insulin injections, back ache, cracking joints, super sore & slightly leaky boobs, increased earwax (happened last time too), dry/itchy eyes, leg cramps. NEW THIS WEEK: lots of round ligament pain

Sleep? Pretty good for the most part.  Have had a couple of rough nights, but I think that was more the cough and cold than anything pregnancy related.

Best moment this week? Sunday's epiphany was pretty awesome.

Worst moment? Finding out about my low lying placenta and getting myself freaked out about it..

Movement?  Still pretty random, but I think I feel a bit of a pattern emerging.  First thing in the morning, and in the evening the Halfling is pretty active.

Food cravings/aversions? Milk!  I can't seem to get enough, which is a problem as one cup has 12 grams of carbs in it.  Damn GD.

Rings? Still on, still loose

Gender? Still leaning toward girl.

Intense Dreams? I know I've been dreaming a lot, but I don't really remember any from the past week. 

Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5 times a day), High blood pressure (on 100mg of lobetalol 3x daily), continued heartburn (on 150mg of zan.tac 2x daily), kidney stones, low lying placenta.

What I miss? Sushi, iced tea (that doesn't taste like artificial sweetener), ice cream

What I look forward to? the end of this cold snap, getting a haircut

Emotional State? Pretty good actually, feeling content and not terribly stressed about anything.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Guilt (Wherein You Discover That the Hobbit Needs Therapy)

Humble Readers...

I have just had a life changing experience.  My heart is racing, and my mind is whirling.  I hope that what I'm about to write here makes sense.  But before you read on, please go over to Kristin's blog and read her post about the Daffodil principle.  It's what started all of this for me.  Please go.  I'll wait. 

I adore my Mom.  She is a wonderful, caring, intelligent, strong woman.  She is a woman of faith and someone that I strive every day to be like. 

And I fail.  Every day.

You see, my mom is an amazing housekeeper.  Her house is always spotless.  She has a routine and she sticks with it.  Come hell or high water, she does her laundry on Tuesdays and Fridays, towels and sheets on Wednesdays.  She cleans the whole house every Monday, top to bottom.  Dishes are done after every meal, and the floor is swept every day. 

The idea that someone, be they family, friend, or stranger, could come to her home and not find it ready for a full home tour is horrifying.

I have always fallen short of her standard when it comes to cleaning.  Always.  My room was always a mess as a kid, and while I can actually clean to her standard, I don't as often as 'I SHOULD'. 

Enter the guilt. 

Because my house is never as clean as I think it should be (read: as clean as Mom's house) I think of myself as a bad housekeeper, wife, and mother.  I want to be clear, this is NOT something that my Mom has ever said to me directly, but knowing her value on cleanliness, and knowing that I don't measure up has always been a weight that I carry. (It also means that I clean like a mad woman before Mom and Dad come to visit)

Now, here's where things get odd.

I have developed this quirk in my personality because of this guilt.  In my mind, if my house isn't clean, then I don't deserve to do things that would qualify as 'fun'.  Think of it kind of like, you stayed home from work or school because you weren't feeling well in the morning, but by evening you're feeling better and want to go to a movie.  I don't know about you, but I just can't do it.  If I didn't do what I was 'supposed to', then I don't get to do what I 'want to'. 

Clear as mud? 

The thing is, there are things in my life that I have come to regularly deny myself permission to do, all because my house isn't clean.  They are things that somehow have taken on 'luxury' status in my mind.  Some of them are simple pleasures, like taking the time to read a magazine in the middle of the day.  Or working on a craft project like Ginny's baby book. 

But biggest, and most important on the list of indulgences that gets denied is my passion for writing.  Writing has been a part of how I have defined who I am as a person since I was 7 years old.  I never feel better about myself than when I am lost in something that I am writing.  Creating characters and places, dreaming up conflicts and situations that I don't yet know how they will get out of. 

And yet, somehow over the years, the act of writing has become the equivalent to a day at the spa or that super rich dish that you only let yourself eat once in a blue moon.  There's this voice in my head that nags at me as soon as I sit down to write... telling me that I am selfish for taking time from what I should be doing to do something I enjoy.  And there is always something else that I SHOULD be doing. 

Like laundry.
Or dusting.
Or scrubbing the kitchen floor.

Today that changes.  Today I give myself permission to write, and to enjoy it, no matter the state of my laundry hamper or kitchen floor. 

I may not write much to start, especially as my writing muscles are sorely out of shape.  But every small bit of writing will add up and maybe in 10 or 15 or 20 years I might have something that resembles a manuscript. 

To quote the Daffodil Principle, "When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world."

Time X Effort = Wondrous Things


Friday, January 13, 2012


Humble Readers...

Am I the only one having issues with Blogger tonight?  Actually it started yesterday...  And this goes beyond the issues I've been having with my Intense Debate comment system. 

When I wanted to comment on at least three different blogs, Blogger freezes up.  As in I can't do ANYTHING with it.  I have to log out and then log back into my dashboard, and not comment, which I'm just getting back into the habit of doing.  Very frustrating!

I think it has something to do with the updated Blogger interface and the new threaded comment system that they've just introduced.  It also seems to be on blogs that have their comment form embedded below the post.  It's seriously pissing me off! 

I have temporarily turned off the Intense Debate account, even though I will miss the added benefits of using it.  I have grown exceedingly frustrated with the whole random switching back and forth that comments have done over recent weeks. 

I'm hoping that this is just a glitch that will be rectified soon, but this is just one more step on my road to switching to something like Wordpress. 

Dr. Google Is Not My Friend

Good Morning Humble Readers...

You would think, after all this time, I would know better than to waste my time googling medical terms, particularly how they pertain to me.  You'd think that I would have learned my lesson by now, and that I wouldn't bother, and yet...

I had an appointment yesterday with Dr. B.  My weight gain/loss is still considered a non-issue (I'm down 6 pounds from when I first got pregnant... thank you GD).  Blood pressure was good.  The Halfling cooperated nicely and Dr. B was able to find the heartbeat right away (144 bpm).  I asked about the cough that is still lingering, and he didn't seem to be concerned about it... just suggested staying hydrated and it will pass.  I asked about my new OB, at which point he realized that he hadn't sent through the referral yet... GAH!!!!  And then we got to my ultrasound results. 

What the u/s tech thought might be a fibroid is most likely some scar tissue from my c-section.  But that wasn't the biggest revelation.  Apparently I have a 'low-lying' placenta.  Dr. B didn't go into detail, just said I'd need to have another ultrasound when I'm 28 weeks, and that we'd get that booked at my next appointment.

Enter Dr. Google.

Of course, I found links to placenta previa and all the scary things that can go along with that (words like... profuse bleeding, apbrution, birth defects, premature delivery, blood transfusions, hysterectomy).  I read for about an hour last night, getting more and more freaked out.  Of course, I'm at higher risk for previa because I am over 35, I've had uterine surgeries previously (2 D&Cs) and a previous c-section.  While it was often mentioned that previa diagnosed prior to 20 weeks commonly corrects itself as the uterus stretches with the growing baby, it wasn't until the last article that I read that there is a difference between 'low-lying' placenta and actual placenta previa.  It's basically a difference of millimeters, but it is that much more likely that a 'low-lying' placenta will correct itself before the third trimester. 

So needless to say, I got myself worked up over something that is, in all likelihood, not going to be an issue.  Ridiculous!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fun and Not-So-Fun

Hey Humble Readers...

When I stopped by Mel's place this morning I was pleasantly surprised that I hadn't missed the Annual International Blog Delurking Week!  I always end up missing it... but the stars aligned this year.  Yay!

The point of Delurking Week is just what the name implies... all those people who are out there who stop by my little hobbit-hole, but don't comment (and I KNOW you're out there) are invited to delurk, even just once.  So all of you out there, step up to the mic, say hi, and let me know that you're here.  I'll return the favour!  And if you are stuck for something to say, why don't you tell me what kinds of things you read (besides blogs, of course)?

On a completely different topic, Humble Readers, I have a request... for prayers/good thoughts/healthy vibes for my mom. 

I know I have mentioned this before, but my mom is a survivor.  As in, a five time cancer survivor.  Cervical cancer (removed and treated with radiation), uterine cancer (hysterectomy and radiation), lung cancer (removed 85% of her left lung, chemo and radiation), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (removed a long strand of lymph nodes from her neck along with a good chunk of muscle tissue, chemo and radiation), and lesions on her brain (surgery). 

Her last go round, just before Beloved and I got married (about this time, five years ago), ended with a truly miraculous healing.  The doctors told her to get her affairs in order, and that even if she survived the brain surgery, she couldn't expect to survive the year. 

Two hours out of surgery, she was awake and talking and in no pain (minimal pain meds).  Two weeks later she was, while not 100% her old self, very actively working on planning my wedding.  One month after surgery, the doctors determined that chemo was unnecessary as there was no sign of any remaining cancerous cells (there had been some significant concern about her thyroid as well as a recurrence of the lymphoma).  Three months later, she was given a completely clean bill of health, which has been renewed every year when she has gone for her annual check up with her oncologist. 

Just before the holidays, my mom found a lump.  (Good heavens, how I hate that word.)  It's in the same general area as where the lymphoma started. 

Thankfully, she always has her check up in January.  She saw her oncologist today, and while the doc was generally positive (all of Mom's bloodwork came back clear, as did her annual chest xray and other tests), she was concerned enough about the lump to book Mom for an urgent CAT scan (no date yet).  If the scan shows anything questionable, then there will be biopsies and surgery. 

My mom is an incredibly strong lady.  However, one lasting effect of all the cancers and treatments has been that she deals with a lot of anxiety.  Beyond the physical ramifications of facing the "Big C" again, I'm concerned that this could do a number on her emotionally. 

Please send whatever prayers/good thoughts or vibes you can spare her way.  Personally, I'm praying that she will get a quick date for the scan and that it will show something benign like a cyst or something.  And that she can live without fear until those results come in. 

Thanks Humble Readers... I appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 21: Randomness Abounds

Good Evening Humble Readers,

It appears that winter is making a reappearance here on the un-frozen flatland.  It's been so warm lately that I was beginning to wonder if our winter was only that couple of cold weeks in November.  It's supposed to get down to -20C tonight, and next week we might even get some snow!  Shocking!  As much as I hate it, it is necessary.  I know that the farmers will be in a state in a few months if we don't start getting some significant precipitation.

On a completely different note, this week is the beginning of a bit of a new experiment for my menu planning.  In an attempt to change things up a bit, I decided that each week we will have one soup night, one sandwich night, and one meat-free night.  I want to do this partly because I get tired of the same meat/starch/veg combos, but mostly to cut back on some of our meat consumption.  Tonight was soup night, and I made mushroom barley soup which turned out pretty well, and I attempted to make some dinner rolls that didn't turn out at all (don't know what happened... my bread maker didn't mix the ingredients properly.  Odd).  Tomorrow is sandwich night and I'm making bbq beef sliders.  I'm going to have to work on my supply of meat-free recipes.  Any suggestions?

On to the update...

How far along? 21w0d

Maternity clothes? Yes, but not that I've been wearing any of them the last few days.  Pjs and sweats have been the name of the game since I came down with this crud.

Body Oddities? dry skin, periods of extreme fatigue, alternating constipation and IBS flares, acne, bruises from insulin injections, back ache (I'm going to see my chiropractor next week), cracking joints, super sore & slightly leaky boobs, increased earwax (happened last time too), dry/itchy eyes.  NEW THIS WEEK: nighttime leg cramps and the 'girls' have gotten significantly bigger (didn't happen last time)

Sleep? Much better.  I'm still tired during the day, but I think I can attribute most of that to the crud.  I don't feel the need to nap in the evenings any more and I'm able to sleep pretty much all night.  Hopefully this trend will continue.

Best moment this week? Having a small burst of energy the other day and using it to go through our coat closet and sending a bunch of stuff to the thrift store.

Worst moment? Any moment that involves a coughing fit.

Movement? Lots.  The Halfling has been doing a lot of flip-flopping.  There doesn't seem to be a significant pattern yet, with movement coming at almost any time of day.

Food cravings/aversions? Nothing specific this week.  I haven't been really hungry.

Rings? Still on, still loose

Gender? Not going to find out, although I am thoroughly planted in the she-hobbit camp.  My Beloved has no inkling either way.

Intense Dreams? Lots.  Many of them involve some sort of action (searching, hiding, running from someone, etc) or other intense situations.  Then there are the odd ones that involve fictional characters (like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory... again).  And the one that I told you all about a few days ago... where I saw the Halfling, kind of, and called her by name.  I really liked that one.

Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5 times a day), High blood pressure (on 100mg of lobetalol 3x daily), continued heartburn (on 150mg of zan.tac 2x daily), kidney stones, continuing string of lousy colds

What I miss? Sushi, my favourite wine, and bladder control

What I look forward to? Feeling healthy, making progress on my organizational projects

Emotional State?  Generally, I think I'm doing better.  I get frustrated easily, but a lot of that is based on my physical state.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Inspiration Needed!

Hey Humble Readers...

First, let me get something out of the way... Beloved, if you are reading this, STOP!  COME BACK TOMORROW!  THIS POST IS NOT FOR YOUR EYES!  GO AWAY!  NOW!!!!

Okay, back to my Humble Readers...

I am in need of some suggestions.  I know it's early to be thinking about Valentine's Day, but it's an important day for my Beloved and I (the 6th anniversary of when we were matched on eHarm.ony) and while we can't afford to do something big and splashy, I do like to make a fancy meal for us each year.  Because of our budgetary restrictions, I need to plan ahead for any out of the ordinary ingredients I might need. 

I have chosen one part of the meal, but I seem to be working backward.  Normally, I choose the main course, and then choose sides to go with it.  This time around, I found what I think will be a great special occasion side dish, but I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to serve with it. 

Warm Potato Salad w/ Smoked Salmon & Dill
Image courtesy of http://www.foodnetwork.ca/
This is what I have found.  It's simple yet elegant, in my opinion.  And totally outside of our normal menu choices.  And veggies to go along with it will be easy enough... oven roasted asparagus or broccoli, maybe with some sauteed mushrooms. 

The thing is, I can't come up with a main dish to go along with it.  The cooking program the recipe was featured on had it in a menu with penne with a lobster cream sauce but potatoes and pasta?  That's too much starch for me, even if I wasn't diabetic.  Not to mention, I have never cooked lobster, and I'm not quite ready to attempt that yet. 

I'm not sure if I should go with more seafood (and if so, what?  My experience cooking seafood is still rather limited), or if I should go with red meat (steaks, maybe?).  I know I don't want chicken, because we eat that all too often... same goes for pork. 

Ok readers, please put on your thinking caps.  I want to plan this so that I can build it into the budget over the next few weeks.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: The Road Goes Ever On and On

Howdy Humble Readers...

I'm sorry to say that your friendly neighbourhood hobbit is still under the weather.  It's still primarily a cough (a gross sounding, smokers-like cough), although I have had brief stretches of a low grade fever which has caused me a little angst (didn't get to 101F, so I think I'm okay) and the cough has made it apparent that I don't have the bladder control that I used to.  Ginny has also picked up a bit of the crud, a nasty cough and a runny nose, but that might just be teething.

Despite the crud keeping me homebound this weekend, we did manage to get a few things done.  We are officially unpacked from our trip (finally!).  We were able to get all the Christmas decorations down (FINALLY!! I normally like to have them down by New Year's Day).   Laundry is done, and we are in the process of figuring out a better storage system for Ginny's growing collection of toys.  My to do list for this month has many organization projects on it, and I'm hoping that once I'm over this round of crud I'll be able to be more productive. 

The Halfling has been jumping around like crazy, particularly whenever I drink something cold.  He/she seems to be awake more in the afternoons and evening.  Oh, and he/she really doesn't like it when Ginny decides to use me as a climbing wall.  Her little heels dig deep, and I guess the Halfling got a little pissed off because I got a pretty swift kick in return.  Is this the beginning of sibling rivalry?

I would normally hold this back for my weekly update, but I want to get this down now, before I forget more than I already have.  I had a dream last night about the Halfling.  It was more than a birth dream, although that was part of it.  I saw her (and yes, it was a her), and yet I didn't.  I have no clear picture of what she looked like, except that she was small, smaller than Ginny was at birth.  I called her by name.  She was sucking her thumb right after delivery.  I'm pretty certain that she was delivered via c-section, although I'm not 100% sure.  I just know that I was so very happy.  And relieved.  I woke from the dream shortly after seeing her in the hospital bassinett in my room, but I woke with a peaceful heart.  It was a nice change from my other recent intense dreams. 

Today is one of my 'memory-dates'.  One of those dates that is engraved on my brain.  It's not a loss, or an EDD that never came.  Instead, it's the date that this journey started.  Today marks the 4th anniversary of us beginning down the road to building our family, the day that I took my last birth control pill.  Our journey to get to this point hasn't been as long as some, but I'm thankful that this phase of our lives is slowly coming to a close, transitioning from a goal of getting/staying pregnant to something a little more future focussed.  This road doesn't end, only changes direction, with new challenges and opportunities.  As one of my kinfolk said...
The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.       - Bilbo Baggins
(as quoted by J.R.R. Tolkien in LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring, CH. 1)

Friday, January 6, 2012

20 Weeks: Halfway to the Halfling

Hey Humble Readers...

I hope that you all are having a great start to your new year.  Things here at the Hobbit-hole are still a little rough as we attempt to recover from our travels.  Sadly, and not surprisingly, I have picked up another bug.  This time it's a bug of the chest cold variety, so I'm coughing up a lung and trying not to pee my pants while I do.  *sigh*

Can you tell that I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired?

Anyway, onto happier things... yesterday was my 20 week ultrasound.  It went really well, except for being terrified that I was going to wet myself while lying on the table.  Halfling 2.0 is measuring right on track, and was sucking his/her thumb which was adorable.  Ginny was really cute, waving at the screen and saying 'baby, baby!'.  The only 'huh?' moment was when the technician asked me if I had a fibroid, which to my knowledge I never have.  I'm going to make sure that I ask Dr. B about that next week.  Here's some pics for you all...
Profile - Sucking thumb

Left Arm - sucking thumb again

Top of the head and two little arms

Obligatory scary wraith-face
And speaking of doctors, I still haven't heard from my new OB.  (For those who need a refresher, my wonderful Dr. U moved to Australia this past summer and his practice was taken over by someone new.  When I got my bfp this time around and called to book my first appointment I was informed that I would have to be referred again, and Dr. B has been dragging his feet on the matter.)

How far along? 20w3d

Maternity clothes? Oh yeah.  I went shopping at a maternity store in K-town during Boxing Week and got some great deals.  There's not many places where I can go into a store and try on plus size maternity clothes, and to get awesome deals at the same time... awesome!  And it was great to be able to buy clothes that I didn't have to make fit a dress code for work. 

Body Oddities? dry skin, periods of extreme fatigue (getting better), alternating constipation and IBS flares, acne, bruises from insulin injections, back ache (I'm going to see my chiropractor next week), cracking joints, super sore & slightly leaky boobs, increased earwax (happened last time too), dry/itchy eyes

Sleep? Actually better.  I think I might be past the insomnia!  Yay!  Now if only Ginny would go back to sleeping through the night, things would be great.

Best moment this week? Seeing our little Halfling 2.0 yesterday.  It went a long way to making me feel that this pregnancy might just be going the distance.  (I hadn't realized just how nervous I was about everything until I saw that little heartbeat)

Worst moment? Waking up the other morning and knowing that there was another cold bug taking up residence in my body.  I really hate to complain so much, but I feel like sh!t more than I feel healthy these days.

Movement? Absolutely.  He/she seems to like to do a lot of flip flops right now.  My Beloved is anxiously awaiting when he'll be able to feel it from the outside.

Food cravings/aversions? Not anything in particular, just really hungry the last few days.  I'm terrified of the scale at the doctor's office next week because I have been eating a ton lately.  Oddly, raw ground beef made me a little gaggy yesterday while I was making supper. 

Rings? Still on.  I'm wondering if I'm going to make it to the end with them on like I did last time.

Gender? I was really tempted yesterday to say yes when the u/s tech asked if we wanted to know the gender, but I said no.  I'm super strongly leaning toward girl.  I think of this Halfling in terms of the girl name that we have picked out, so I could be in for a very big surprise. 

Intense Dreams? I seem to be dreaming a lot more these days.  Perhaps it's because I'm sleeping a bit better?  Most notably there was a dream I had in which I was doing scientific research with Sheldon from Big Ban Theory. 

Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5 times a day... made it through the holidays with relatively few highs.  Pretty proud of that.), High blood pressure (on 100mg of lobetalol 3x daily), continued heartburn (on 150mg of zan.tac 2x daily), kidney stones.

What I miss? Energy, feeling healthy, my sex drive

What I look forward to? Getting the Christmas decor down from around my house, getting started on my ever growing pre-Halfling to do list.

Emotional State?  Varies depending on my energy and health status.  My poor Beloved has been so patient with me, he deserves a medal.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Journey Out of Crazy Town

Hey Humble Readers....  (if any of you are still out there)

I know it's been a while.  The last you heard from this intrepid hobbit, I was just getting home from the ER after a terrible bout of stomach flu. Much has happened in the interim, but suffice it to say, I feel like we are coming back to normal.  At least our brand of normal around here.  Let me give you the run down... (hope you're prepared for a long story)

The Wretched Stomach Flu

Ginny came down with the nasty bug around the 12th or 13th of December.  Vomiting, diarrhea, the works.  For her, it lasted about 24 hours... with a few little straggling pukey sessions that lingered into the second day.  We had a recovery day, and went for doctor appointments for both she an I... her well-baby check up and blood work results for me.  Both were anticlimactic, botched test results for me and a cursory check over for the wee girl. 

That night, sometime just after midnight, I woke up with a horrible pain in my stomach.  I got up and assumed that I would be spending some time in the bathroom with my usual IBS issues.  An hour or so later, I started puking.  And puking.  And puking.  It lasted for close to twelve hours.  I couldn't keep anything down, not even water.  I started to get a little freaked out, and I begged my Beloved to stay home from work because I was in no condition to look after Ginny.  It was around noon, after a particularly ugly round of vomiting that I decided to call our healtlink hotline.  I gave the nurse all my info (pregnant, diabetic, stomach flu, etc) and she was adamant that I go to the ER. 

Another 6 hours, lots of needle sticks, and two bags of IV fluids later I was on my way home, feeling like I had been run over by a Mack truck.  My MIL came the next day to help look after Ginny so that I could rest.  She made soup, gave Ginny a bath, and basically ran things for the day, while I laid on the couch like a lump.  (Sadly, she ended up catching the vile, wretched bug.  Since that point, no less than 8 members of our extended family have had it, altho none of them ended up in the hospital thankfully!)

The Continuing Plumbing Saga

The Hobbit-hole has some issues.  It's small.  It's old-ish.   The front north corner of the building is slightly lower than the rest due to a settling foundation after a major flood at the building next door.  But the pressing issue this year has been our plumbing.  You may recall, if you have a good memory, that we had to have the kitchen taps worked on last year.  Then came the hot water tap in our tub.  A temporary fix, followed by an expensive replacement.  Then the aging hot water tank started acting up.  Two days after the stomach flu/ER fiasco the pilot light went out on the tank.  We called a plumber, and he got it restarted but strongly recommended getting the tank replaced.  We knew it was due soon (the tank was pushing 20 years old), but were hoping to hold out until tax refund time.  NO SUCH LUCK!

The next day, I had no hot water for my shower.  It had now been 3 days since my last hot shower.  Hobbits don't deal well with repeated exposure to icy water.  My Beloved and I bit the bullet and called the plumber.  They got us on the schedule for the next day, and they came in and with relatively little fuss (and a big check that I had to sign) they swapped old for new, and I had the promise of hot water... UNTIL...

The Carbon Monoxide Scare

The guy who was doing the install on our hot water tank was just finishing up.  I had just written the check.  The plumber was doing one final check on the tank when he noticed something odd.  Where the furnace and hot water tank exhaust should have been venting, it was backdrafting.  As in venting back into our furnace room.  As in carbon monoxide was filling the space.  Pardon the expression, but WTF!?!?!  If I believed in karma, I would be of the opinion that I really pissed someone off in a former life.  Plumber-dude immediately shut down both the new hot water tank and the furnace... in December... on the frozen flatland. 

Two days and five furnace specialists later, the problem/mystery was solved.  It turns out that one of the downstairs units in our building had the furnace replaced, and the asshat who did it managed to hook that furnace up to our chimney (again I say, WTF!?).  He then ran an exhaust hose from that furnace, through our chimney to the roof, and then capped it, effectively blocking the path for our furnace exhaust.  Our furnace was venting into the wall between our unit and the one next door.  Sounds like a great idea, huh?  The particularly fun bit was when the owner of the unit with the furnace in question decided to drag her feet for half a day before she would come and let the furnace guys into her unit to check it out (her exact words to my Beloved were "how do you know it's coming from my unit?  What proof do you have?"). 

Travels with a Toddler

Two days after the whole furnace fiasco, we were heading out to fly to K-town to spend the holidays with my family.  Ginny has flown before, and she did well, sleeping through the whole journey.  This time, no such luck.  Plus it wasn't a direct flight... we had to fly through Vancouver, so add an extra hour to our flying time.  Less than 15 minutes into the flight, she somehow managed to wet through her diaper, onesie, jeans and my shirt (she hasn't had a major leak like that since she was in cloth diapers!).  I wasn't prepared for it, and we had no change of clothes for her in the diaper bag.  So, I got to sit on a plane with a very wet, very fussy baby soaking me. 

Then, on the descent into Vancouver, Ginny started to have some issues.  And when I say some, I mean major issues.  She became 'that' baby on the plane.  The one every traveler dreads.  The screaming, snotty, pee-soaked, red in the face baby.  Oh, and did I mention that I really had to pee?  The Halfling 2.0 decided that would be a good time to line dance on my bladder.  And we had to change planes... kind of.  We had to get off the plane in Vancouver, with all our carry ons and a very upset baby, only to get right back on it 10 minutes later.  The only upside was that I had a moment to go pee. 

The flight from Vancouver to K-town was considerably quieter (thank you Tyl.enol), but that was the last quiet time we got for a while.  Apparently, Ginny is going through a phase where change is a very bad thing.  Sleeping in a strange play pen, in a strange room, sharing said room with Mommy and Daddy... all added up to very little sleep for 10 days.  Other than that, it was a great trip, and I'm glad we went.  The flight home was much less traumatic, and significantly shorter as we had a direct flight.  Ginny didn't sleep on the plane, but we weren't even out of the airport parking lot before she was out cold.  She slept for the two hour drive from Big City to the South to our little city. 

I'm now in that post-trip recovery mode.  I'm feeling like I'm coming down with a bit of a cold.  I've unpacked two out of three suitcases, and hopefully tomorrow I will have the energy to do the third suitcase and start to take down all our Christmas decorations. 

Oh yeah, and I have a little thing called an ultrasound tomorrow afternoon!  Yippee!