Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Growing Boy

Hey Humble Readers...

How are things where you are today?  I hope that you have sunshine and cool breezes, and time to enjoy both. 

Things on the flatland are sunny, although a bit too breezy for my taste.  This is the time of year I love.  When it's warm enough for me to have the windows open and maybe only need the fan on low to be comfy.  The only bummer at the moment is that we still haven't replaced the screen in our screen door, so if I want a good cross breeze, I have to risk letting in bugs.  Blech!

Today was a big day for our little mister.  His first doctor appointment. 

It's way later than it should have been, but it's been a scheduling nightmare because Dr. B has been away for a family emergency since just after Pip was born.  When we got to the office today we found out that Dr. B is still away (and no one called us to reschedule) so we had to see another doctor at the same clinic. 

On a side note, I wanted to smack the nurse who gave me attitude at the front desk.  When we got there, I went to check in and she started in on me (on ME?!?!) for showing up when Dr. B wasn't there, and how they had tried to contact me yesterday (big time bull-pucky, I was home all day and the phone didn't ring until the dinner hour).  When my Beloved joined me at the desk, I told him that Dr. B wasn't there, the nurse got all huffy and said that she could squeeze us in with another doc in the clinic. 

Ok, enough griping.  On to the good stuff. 

Pippin is growing like a stink weed.  He's already up to 9lb 2oz!  I knew he was getting heavier and he's been filling out nicely (no more stork legs), but I had no idea he had gained so much in the last couple of weeks.  He's now in the 75-90th percentile for weight and the 95th for length (I'm doubtful that he was measured correctly when we left the hospital, because they told us he was 19 inches long, and today he was 21.25 inches).  Dr. L, our substitute doc, seemed very happy with where our little mister is at right now. 

My incision looks really good (and no infection or yeast... YAY!), and she was pleased with my weight loss.  She agreed that the dizzy spells were likely connected to the other side effects I've been having with the metformin.  We discussed my blood sugars, and seeing as they have been so good since going off insulin and given all the side effects I've been experiencing, she said that I could go off the metformin (super YAY!!), provided that I keep a good track of my sugars and discuss it with Dr. W when I see her in a few weeks.  The only thing we forgot to do was my blood pressure. 

So, all in all, a good appointment, crabby desk nurse notwithstanding.  :)  And I promise to have a post that is not all baby or recovery related. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ginevra in May

Greetings Humble Readers...

I hope you are all doing well, and if you are of the US persuasion, I hope you are enjoying your long weekend. 
Yup... that's my milk.

Ginevra is 18 months old today.  A year and a half ago she arrived in our world and nothing has been the same since.  May has been a momentous month for our wee sweet girl, on so many fronts. 
Reading one of Mummy's books.

Of course the addition of Pippin to our little family has been a serious adjustment for Ginny.  Overall, I think she's handling it well.  She gets frustrated when I can't let her climb into my lap when I'm feeding Pippin, and she is fascinated with the bassinette that we have for the little mister.  She's learning to help... carrying empty bottles to Daddy, picking up things like receiving blankets and changing pads. 
Hamming it up for the camera, and carrying her favourite new thing... a pic of Pip.

Her vocabulary is growing constantly, thank heaven.  Ginny primarily babbles in her own language, but every day she adds something new to her repertoire.  Recent additions include shoes, alle-alle (a low German term for all gone), and go-go-go.  We've been working on the alphabet song, and she mimicks many of the letter sounds, just not in any semblance of order.  We're also working on counting... when I say 'one', she says 'twooo'.  She also likes 'fiiiiii' which in Ginny-speak means five.
Hangin' out with her cousin Oscar

Ginny has developed a particulary annoying habit of shrieking at the top of her lungs, in the highest key possible.  It almost makes my ears bleed.  She does it when she's happy, excited, upset, angry, frustrated... pretty much any emotion seems to call for it.  She started doing it around the end of last month, and it's getting on my nerves.  I have tried ignoring it, I've tried putting her in her crib when she does it.  Neither seem to have helped.  I'm just praying she outgrows this soon.
Watcha up to, Mummy?

Our wee sweet girl is also still teething the last of her one year molars, and we have no sign of her canines yet.  It seems to come in waves, she'll have a not-so good day, followed by a couple of really awful pain days, and then it will start to fade away, with no progress being made.  We went through this with her lower front teeth too.  Poor baby.
Not diggin' the swings today...

She's very active, as she should be.  She likes to try to put her foot up on the furniture (think like a ballerina doing bar excercises), including the top rail of her crib and the top of the play pen.  She's managed to crawl up on to the new couch, which is significantly higher than the old one, and she still gives me heart palpitations when she sits facing the wrong way.  I have visions of her falling backward onto the coffee table. 
... but she's lovin' the slide!

Ginny is becoming more aware of her own identity.  She has been able to identify Mummy and Daddy in pictures, and she loves pointing us out to each other.  She's also recently added 'Bay' for baby and uses that term for anything and everything that is related to him... the breast pump, bottles, wipes, blankets, the bassinette and the baby himself.  Just this weekend she began to understand that she is 'Ginny'.  When we ask her where Ginny is, she'll pound on her chest.  It's really cute. 
No Daddy, I don't want to wear my hat!

She also recognizes that Daddy and I wear glasses and that we look different when we don't have them on.  She knows something's missing.  The first time she actually watched me clean my glasses she got very freaked out about the whole thing. 
I love the camera!

Lastly, she's learning to share.  She tries to share her milk cup with me and her Daddy on a regular basis (which is hard to deal with, because I can't stand whole milk... blech!).  She's also tried to share it with Pippin, but that just resulted in a wail coming from the bassinette.  She and her little friend J at church have bonded over goldfish crackers (which Ginny tries to dunk in her milk cup through the straw). 
Ready for summer!

My girl is getting so big.  She's pushing 25 pounds now, and I have to pack up all of her super cute overalls and send them off to the consignment store because they're all miles too short.  Thank heaven for summer and not needing to wear long pants all the time.  Ginny's now rockin' the shorts and t-shirts most days.  And looking super cute in the process. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Small Victories & Minor Grievances

Howdy Humble Readers...

Oy!  I haven't gone this long without posting in a while.  I've been checking in on many of you, in a hit or miss fashion over the last few days, but I just haven't had the juice to put thoughts down on paper.  The following are just a few of my observations of our new life, with Pippin settling into our world.

Breastfeeding isn't all sunshine and unicorn farts.  Pip is getting breastmilk at almost every feeding, but for the last few days it hasn't been in a direct manner.  Although I have better supply this time, things are still challenging.  He's staying awake longer at the breast, and getting better about nursing even if he's dozing.  BUT... I took a half day break (because my nipples were super sore... sleepy baby on the boob equals not a great latch) and that ended up being a three day break due to a plugged milk duct.  Fun times.  I have been pumping constantly, and that has helped greatly, but we have only just gotten back to trying the direct approach in the last 24 hours.  We are still supplementing, but I am totally okay with that, so long as he's getting all I've got to give. 

Why, oh good heavens, why do I have to be so blankety-blank itchy?  I don't remember this at all from last time.  And it's not the incision itself that's itchy.  It's about an inch or so on either side... and it's driving me nuts!!!  I've tried all the usual itch cures... scratching another body part, scratching another person.  Nothing helps.  And of course I can't put lotion on it or anything.  Ugh!

Yesterday was my first day alone with both Ginny and Pippin.  It's gone pretty well, I think.  Considering that I'm technically not supposed to lift anything heavier than the baby, having a toddler who needs to have diapers changed, and be put into a crib for naps is challenging.  But I'm making sure not to over do it.  Ginny has been coping better with sharing Mummy's attention.  There haven't been any repeats of the bottle throwing incident, and she's actually been 'helping' quite a bit... carrying bottles and diapers, folding the changing mat I use in the living room, etc.  She still tries to steal Pip's bottles and blankets, but we are seeing some progress. 

Weight-loss contiues to go in the right direction.  As of this morning I'm down 30 pounds from 13 days ago.  This happened last time, so I'm not trying to celebrate too much yet.  Last time I plateaued at around 40 pounds, and then it slowly crept back on after I stopped bf-ing.  I am truly hoping that I will be able to continue to head in a downward direction and, at the very least, keep off what I've already lost.

I understand that I need to be on metformin right now, to help my body adjust from all the crazy amounts of insulin I was on, but man oh man... the side effects suck! Who knew that metformin's primary side-effect is gastrointestinal discomfort?  Ha!  I've been having some serious heartburn and IBS flares in the last week.  Like, wake me up in the middle of the night and spend more than an hour in the bathroom kind of flares.  I'm hoping that met is not in future long term.  My blood sugars have been great since I went off the insulin, and with a few exceptions to celebrate (I had my sushi and an iced chai latte in the first week after Pip was born) I am trying to continue to eat smart. 

I've also been dealing with some random dizzy spells.  I don't have any other signs of high blood pressure issues, and they only seem to come on when I am exceptionally tired.  I'm wondering if it's just a recovery thing, or if it's a side-effect of something that I'm on, or a drug interaction.  I see the underwhelming Dr. B next Tuesday, so hopefully I'll get some advice on this. 

Ok, it's been almost two weeks... why can't I get rid of the medical tape gunk on my arm?  I've scrubbed it every day, and it's still there.  It's just two little spots, but they're bugging me.  Any suggestions on how to get rid of them?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Firsts, Questions, & Tidbits

Hey Humble Readers,

I know I owe many of you comments and emails, and I am hoping to get back into a rhythm soon.  Please know that I am thinking of you all and am so appreciative of your support and kindness. 

Being a mummy to a little boy is different.  We had our first "fountain" incident yesterday, when the little man decided to pee all over himself and his daddy. 

Question:  To circumcise or not to circumcise?  We are leaning toward not, much to my mom's disapproval.  We don't have a religious reason to do so, and in looking at info available there doesn't seem to be a significant health benefit.  We have to make a decision soon, so I'm looking for any and all opinions and input.  (I know that this can be an emotionally charged issue, so I'm just looking for general opinions... not diatribes.  Thanks!)

Pippin snores. 

I'm feeling more like myself on a daily basis.  The staples came out today, thank heaven, and I'm weaning myself off the painkillers.  Getting from a sitting position to standing is getting much easier, although actually laying down is still challenging.  I've lost 23 pounds in the last week (and I only gained 11 pounds total during the pregnancy), and the swelling almost completely gone from my feet.  I was able to put my rings on again this morning (YAY!).  I'm itchy all over, and patches of numbness are slowly coming back to life (including some parts that should never have that pins & needles feeling).

He's up past his birth weight as of this afternoon.  The nurse who came to remove my staples gave him a check over and he's officially 7lb 13.5oz.  He's also rolled over onto his side more than once (OMG!) and he's super strong.  He's trying to hold his head up already, and when he's awake it seems like he's always in motion. 

Question:  Does anyone have any tips for keeping a little one awake while they breastfeed?  Pip, due to the lingering jaundice, tends to fall asleep while eating.  When he stays awake, he does pretty well, but mostly he's asleep within five minutes.  I'm having to pump a lot right now, and of course we're supplementing as well.

We had our first round of jealousy/sibling rivalry yesterday.  Ginny has been intrigued by the baby's bottles and wanting to play with them.  I have had to repeatedly tell her no, and have had to discipline her a couple of times for not listening.  Yesterday, I guess I had said no one too many times, and she snapped.  She grabbed one of the bottles and chucked it into his bassinette.  Thankfully, it didn't hit him too hard, but my Beloved immediately took her and put her to bed for a while.  She's been good today, but I know she's confused and frustrated. 

We had our first little outing yesterday, going to show Pippin off at my Beloved's office.  The ladies all oohed and ahhed appropriately.  As did the ladies over at the little grocery store across our back lane.  We have visitors coming tomorrow, and I'm excited to show him off.  He's getting his first really big 'debut' on Sunday at church. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Not What I Was Expecting: Pippin's Birth Story

Greetings Humble Readers...

Life is slowly beginning to resemble something akin to normal around the hobbit hole.  At least as close to normal as things can get these days. 

Not that I'm complaining one little bit!

My Beloved has been a superstar over the last several days (not that now is any different than any other time).  He changes diapers, plays with Ginny, helps me with feedings & pumping & formula, cleaning, cooking, and everything else that I can't do.  He even took the first late night shift at home with Pippin so that I could sleep.  I don't know what I'm going to do when he goes back to work. 

I'm so incredibly thankful that our time at home has been relatively peaceful and calm, considering that there is a new little hobbit around.  Our time in the hospital was anything but.  Let's just say that if we hadn't already decided that our family was done with two, there is NO WAY IN HELL I would go through that again. 

(Fair warning... this is a little bit rambly)

When I got to the L&D ward on Thursday, it was a zoo!  The place was jumping... and this was at 6:30 in the morning.  I got settled in my room, which sadly turned out to be a shared room.  Normally, the scheduled c-sections get the private rooms, but not this week. 

The lab came and took blood, and I had to get into my gown and everything.  I was scheduled for 11:05am, but they ended up coming to get me about an hour early. 

My mom walked down to the surgical waiting area with us, and then it was just my Beloved and I.  We sat, looking oh so stylish in our hospital garb.  First the surgical nurses came and talked to us.  Then the anesthesiologist came and talked to us.  Then Dr. W came and talked to us.  And finally someone came and took me into the OR. 

Before I knew it, I was up on the OR table, having needles jabbed into my spine repeatedly, as the anesthesiologist attempted to get me numb.  It took five jabs, after the local, before I felt the effects of the drugs.  My feet felt like bricks, and my legs were all tingly.  It took a little while after that for them to get me situated, and for them to bring my Beloved in. 

Just after my Beloved took his seat at my head, they started the procedure. 

And I could feel it. 

(Let that sink in a little.) 

Yup, I could feel them cutting into me.  I could feel it as they cauterized the opening (felt like an electrified metal comb sliding over my stomach repeatedly).  It burned, stung, and generally took everything I had to not scream.  I told the anesthesiologist through clenched teeth that I could feel it, and he said, 'Yes, you'll feel some pressure.'  Ha! 

That's when they (Dr. W, her assistant, nurses, etc) started telling me to not move, specifically my legs.  And that's when the anesthesiologist finally clued in that something wasn't right.  He stopped them for a minute, injected me with some sort of local freezing, and they continued.  But it was too late.  I could feel them poking, prodding, pulling, and cutting.  It felt like it was going on forever.

When they finally got our wee little man out, I was almost too freaked out to even realize it.  I remember Dr. W commenting on his hair, and calling him by name (she had asked for our chosen names before the surgery), and saying that he was a lot littler than we all thought he would be.  My Beloved got up and went to the table where they had Pippin. 

Dr. W and her assistant got to work on the tubal ligation.  I tried to focus on the little bit of our wee guy that I could see, but I could still feel it.  My Beloved and Pippin were whisked from the room fairly quickly at that point, although I did get to give Pip a quick kiss on the forehead. 

I don't remember a whole lot from when they took me out of the OR, but I very clearly remember both Dr. W and the anesthesiologist telling the nurses in the recovery room that my spinal was 'very patchy' and that I was in a great deal of pain (no sh!t).  Every time the nurse pushed on my abdomen I was very vocal.  Less than five minutes in recovery and I could feel it when she touched my navel.  Not fun.

I was on a lot of pain meds for the first 12 hours.  I felt really stoned, and the word 'fundus' started to bring tears to my eyes (the nurses were pressing on my stomach every two hours).  I wasn't able to get out of bed until after 8:30pm, and that was only to take two steps to a wheelchair so that I could go to the NICU to see my boy. 

While I had been in recovery, the nurses had checked Pip's blood sugars and discovered that he was sitting at 1.1 (very scary low).  He had been taken to the NICU immediately, and they began giving him formula and iv dextrose.  They were also monitoring his vitals regularly (due to his irregular heartbeat). 

I was able to get as good a night sleep as I possibly could, while alternating being stoned and in pain, because my initial roommate had been discharged.  It wasn't until the next morning that the psycho-biotch-from-hell moved in. 

The first thing I heard from her was an expletive laden diatribe leveled at her boyfriend as to why his parents were already at the hospital when she specifically told them not to come.  The next 36+ hours were filled with her shrill voice bickering with her boyfriend, her family, his family, and the nurses.  She also had lovely personal hygiene issues (including sucking back snot as loudly as she could, and not washing her hands when she would come out of the bathroom).  Oh, and she made more than one comment to the atmosphere at large about how it would be so nice to be able to have nurses look after her baby so she could get some rest (as if having a child in the NICU, even for a short time, is at all conducive to rest). 

On Saturday morning, when the nurses wheeled Pippin into my room, I was so happy, I practically jumped out of bed to get to him, until my incision reminded me that I couldn't do that yet.  We had a good morning and afternoon, making our first attempts at breastfeeding (I had been pumping up to that point) and spending a lot of time just holding and looking at him.  That night, I had a bit of a meltdown... I couldn't handle my roommate's obnoxiousness and all I really wanted was quiet.  Pippin was fairly mellow, only getting really upset when we had a bad go round of bf-ing.  Saturday also brought the advent of jaundice, but that seemed minor in comparison to everything else. 

And as I told you previously, we were given the all clear to head home on Sunday morning. 

It's hard to believe it's all over.  I'm so incredibly thankful that he's here, he's healthy, and that we are both able to be at home.  Our little family is complete. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

Good Evening Humble Readers...

Thank you so much for your good thoughts, kind words, and for sharing in our joy!  (And a huge thank you to Kristin for taking the time to bring our good news to all of you.
Our wee little family
Tonight's post will be short.  I'll give you details in the days to come.

Pippin and I are home, with my Beloved and Ginny.  Our time in the hospital wasn't easy, but mercifully short, given where it started.  Thankfully, I am healing on a good pace, and I think being at home will speed that along. 

Pippin & Ginny at home.

Pip spent almost 48 hours in the NICU, due to extremely low blood sugars.  There was some concern about his heart (irreguluar heartbeat) and muscle tone as well, although those were minor and corrected themselves once his blood sugars were better. 

He was released from the NICU yesterday, and even though he has a bit of a tongue tie, he is a champion nurser!  And, I'm actually producing a fair amount of colostrum/milk.  It's early days, but I'm hopeful.

We had a minor set-back late yesterday, when Pip developed jaundice.  They were concerned enough to do a billirubin test this morning, and it came back in the safe zone, so we were given the all clear to come home.
Pippin, looking a little orange.

Ginny is adjusting.  She's not sure what to make of this new little person in our world.  But she's curious, and that's a good sign for right now. 

We're taking everything, one moment at a time. 

Life is good.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Halfling 2.0 is HERE!

Sorry I'm a day late getting the post up but I really wanted to wait for the pictures from Mrs. Gamgee and her beloved. The c-section went smoothly and Halfling 2.0 is healthy. He (YES, A BOY) did have to spend a bit of time in the NICU because, like many babies born to women with GD, his blood sugar was really low. Mrs. Gamgee's beloved sounded remarkably together considering his son had just been born. I am beyond thrilled for Mrs. Gamgee and her family and am thrilled to be the one bringing you the news.

One reminder before I get to the pictures...while Halfling 2.0's name is embedded in one of the pictures, please don't mention it in your comments. Please either refer to him by his first initial (sorry Mrs. Gamgee, I can't find the post with his screen name) or simply call him Halfling2.0.
Mrs. Gamgee before delivery
Mrs. G's beloved
the newly minted Halfling 2.0
Halfling 2.0
Halfling 2.0 all wrapped up
Halfling 2.0
Halfling 2.0
Halfling 2.0's view from the NICU
mom and baby
close up of mom and baby
Mrs. Gamgee, you look amazing and your little man is such a beautiful baby. CONGRATULATIONS!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week 38: This Is It!

Greetings Humble Readers...

Hoo boy!  Here it is, my last ever pregnancy update.  Crazy town.

This week has been good.  Slower than the last few, both in how it passed and how I was moving.  Thankfully, the anxiety hasn't gotten worse, and some days I have been able to almost shove it into a box in my mind.  I've also really given up on bending to pick things up off the floor.  If it falls and I can't get it, and Ginny's not able or willing to pick it up for me, it stays on the floor until my Beloved gets home.  And I'm not ashamed of that.  :)

Ginny has been acting... different... the last few days.  I commented on it on Sunday, but her need to be next to, on top of, or touching Mummy has really gone over the top.  I'm sure she knows that something is up.   Of course, she doesn't understand that there's a baby in Mummy's tummy, but she knows that there is change in the air. 

I started pumping yesterday.  There are some concerns about pumping before baby arrives because it can bring on contractions, but given that my c-section is only two days away, I'm willing to risk it.  It was suggested by an L&D nurse that I pump and hopefully collect enough for the Halfling to have as a first feeding while I'm in recovery, to help stave off a blood sugar low (a real risk for GD babies, especially those whose mothers were insulin dependant).  My first go round produced less than a milliliter, barely enough to cover the bottom of the little bottle, but I'm hopeful for better things to come.  It was hard to relax and not watch the teeny little bit of colostrum drip into the bottle, but I confess I felt like doing a happy dance when I saw that I had something to show for my efforts.  If this doesn't work, we'll go with formula of course, but I hope that I'll be able to do this.

Good news from today's NST... my blood pressure is well within target, 132/68.  Yay!  I was a little concerned given that Ginny has been a bit of a stinker this morning, and I was having to chase after her quite a bit.  The Halfling's heartrate was running between 140 and the upper 160s.  I didn't actually get to talk with Dr. W today, as she was busy trying to turn a stubborn breech baby in the next curtain.  I will be hearing from the L&D ward sometime tomorrow about my surgery time.  If it's any time before noon, I have to be there at 6am.  I have a list of protocols for my meds for the 12 hours before, and immediately following the surgery.  I can't believe it's time.

My mom will be here in the next hour or so.  All that's left on the to do list for today is to make the bed when the dryer is done.  We have a few little errands to run tomorrow, but nothing big. 

Onto the update...

How far along? 38w0d... 2 DAYS TO GO!

Maternity clothes?  One pair of mat jeans is officially dead.  The stretchy part at the top is unravelling at an alarming rate, and even tho the denim is in good shape, I don't think these ones will be going in the donation bag when all is said and done.  I'm going to need to find a craft to do with denim, I guess.

Body Oddities? Gassy beyond belief.  Seriously, it's embarrassing.  Water retention is a bit more constant, but no other indicators of pre-e.  Very thirsty, all the time.  Blood sugars have been great, unless I do something spectacularly stupid.  And I think if I were going to be going to 40wks, my belly button might actually pop. 

Sleep? Pretty good mostly, but I'm finding that I'm having to nap during the day again.  That's a little tough to pull off with Ginny being on a bit of a napping strike, but thank heaven for the play pen.  I can at least get a little rest, inspect my eyelids for holes for a few minutes here and there and know that she's safe and content.

Intense Dreams? About my old store, about delivery, about housework.   

Best moment this week? While it's in no way a good thing, I had a really funny moment at church on Sunday.  I was talking with an older lady about the planned c/s and everything, and another older lady I only know by sight joined our conversation.  When she caught on to the subject matter she got this hilarious shocked look on her face and then said, "Oh my goodness!  I had no idea you were pregnant!"  I burst out laughing.  I mean, yes, I'm fat, very fat.  But good heavens, I should hope that at this point, even the most unobservant person could notice the pregnant-lady-waddle.  The look on her face was priceless...

Worst moment? Just a lot of moments where I can't get up from a seated position or walk when I first stand up.  I'm so sick of waddling. 

Movement? Still good.  Every now and then I get a really huge kick or knee in the spleen. I keep reminding myself to savour every one of these moments, because it's not going to be happening again.

Food cravings/aversions? Nothing in particular, and everything all at once.  I'm just hungry!

Rings? Off.  Hopefully I'll be wearing them again in a couple of weeks.  Weight gain this week has been a bit higher than past weeks, but I know that a lot if it is water retention.

Gender? Still thinking it's a girl.  If it is, I confess I will be a teeny wee bit sad because we do have a couple adorable little boy sleepers that we've never used (they were gifts before Ginny was born).  They'll just get passed on to the next little boy we know. 
Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5x a day), High blood pressure (100mg of lobetalol 3x a day), continuing heartburn (60mg of pantaloc), low lying placenta, low iron

What I miss?  iced coffee, sushi (will be my first meal at home after the Halfling arrives), real iced tea

What I look forward to? Have I mentioned I'm planning on having sushi???  :)  Honestly, I just can't wait to meet this little person, to introduce him/her to Ginny, to know that our family is complete.

Emotional State?  Oh man... so hormonal.  Bouncing between tears, laughter, anxiety, and insanity on an hourly basis.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Hobbit-ish Life List

Hey Humble Readers...

A few days ago, Kristin over at Dragondreamer's Lair posted her Not-A-Bucket List, and I felt inspired to do the same. 

You know me and lists. 

I'm not a big fan of the term 'bucket list', because of the quasi-negative, death related connotations.  And when I was in college, I had a prof who referred to this sort of thing as a 'life list', things I hope to do in this life. 

I think we all have one of these lists, in some form or another.  And I think it's important that the list keeps changing and growing, just as we should.  It shouldn't be a finite thing.  My list has changed as I have developed new interests, and as I have accomplished some of my hopes and dreams

So without further ado...

In this life, I hope to
  • Write a novel (with a beginning, middle, and end).
  • Travel
    • Visit all ten provinces and three territories.
    • Visit all fifty states
    • Travel extensively in Europe (including the UK, Russia, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece)
    • Go on Safari in Africa
    • Go on a cruise (not a Carribean or Alaskan cruise... something more interesting, like a European river cruise or a retracing of the Titanic voyage)
  • Go on a mission/service trip to Tanzania, and work with the Lutheran Masai Girls School that's affiliated with my alma mater.
  • Learn to sew.
  • Successfully grow basil and tomatoes (I'm just asking for one season's worth).
  • Take my children to Disney World.
  • Hear my heirloom violin played, perferably by one of my children or grandchildren.
  • Learn to take better pictures
  • Own a Montblanc fountain pen
  • Go to an Antiques Roadshow event
  • Weigh less than my Beloved
  • Spend a night in a castle
  • Track my family tree
  • Write a cookbook
  • Own a pug
  • Bake a cake from scratch that doesn't taste like sawdust
  • Figure out what my next career will be
I know that there are other things, but my baby-brain is a bit foggy this evening.  I think it's important to always have things to strive for, areas to grow in, and things to dream about. 

What's on your life list?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: A Whole Lot of Weekend

Howdy Humble Readers...

Well... another weekend come and gone.  It was busy, but productive.  I was able to cap off the weekend with making a family secret recipe (as in... no, it will NEVER be featured on Foodie Fridays).  Ribs with homemade bbq sauce.  I only make them once or twice a year, partly because it's a fair bit of work, and partly because I don't want it to become commonplace.  I did, however, think ahead and made a double batch of the bbq sauce, so I've got some to use on chicken  or pork chops later in the season.  Ginny had her first taste of ribs and sauce, and she lurved it!

I think we're as ready as we're going to be.  I've packed my hospital bag and the small diaper bag.  The nursery is as close to done as we can get for right now.  It's crowded, but such is life.  I keep reminding myself that people raise children in smaller places.  I refer you to this post, from a year and a half ago, for a tour of what the nursery originally looked like. 

This is what it looks like now. 
From the doorway... change table, bookshelves, and Ginny's crib
From by the closet, Ginny's crib & the Halfling's Crib
Ginny's dresser has been moved into the closet, and the change table has been moved to where the dresser used to be.  As of tonight, Ginny sleeps under the window (please let her ignore the curtains, please let her ignore the curtains!).  The new crib came with a little dresser that will do for now to hold the Halfling's clothes. 

And speaking of clothes, this wee one had better like pink... we don't have anywhere near as much gender neutral newborn stuff as I thought we did.  I'm sure we'll make do, but I was surprised.  On the up side, when I was going through the box of newborn stuff, I found one of my nursing bras.  Yay!  I thought maybe I had thrown it in a donation bag by mistake. 

Oh, and we found out that we will get to use the family cradle again.  I had thought that it had gone back to BC this past summer, but my MIL has it and is bringing it with her next week. 

This is the blanket that I knitted for Halfling 2.0.

It's the same as the one I made for Ginny, just different colours.  Basically a really big knitted washcloth.  I'm not an experienced knitter by any stretch.  But I'm glad to have something that I made for this little person. 

The pics don't represent the colours well... it's really a funky combo of purple, gold, green, blue, and pink.  Sounds awful, but it works!

We have our new couch.  It's so strange sitting on a sofa that actually has some support in it.  Sadly, the couch is a little too big, so for the moment we are having to live without one of our side tables.  I have a plan for how to fix things, but it involves moving two of our bookcases which are currently bolted to the wall.  That plan will have to wait until late June or early July before it gets put in place. 

Ginny's teething is still going strong.  Her gums are so sore, poor girl.  And I don't know if it's a teething thing or if she's finally come out of this hyper-extended growth spurt she's been on, but she's not really into napping at all.  She was super tired this afternoon after church, but just refused to go to sleep.  It makes for a long afternoon and evening with a cranky wee girl. 

A couple of cute Ginny moments today... First, while we were at church, she and I were hanging out in the nursery/playroom while my Beloved was teaching his adult sunday school class.  I was sitting in one of the arm chairs, and for the first time ever, she crawled right up in my lap.  She never does that!  She was adamant that she had to sit with me almost the whole time.  She kept getting down to get a toy or a book, but then she would just come right back to me, and crawl up. 

And, tonight after her dinner, while my Beloved and I were still pigging out on ribs, she was having her milk and some chocolate goldfish crackers.  She started trying to dunk her goldfish into her milk, but sadly her sippy cup didn't really make that possible.  I'm not sure where she got the idea... (there may or may not have been some oreos in the house a couple of weeks ago, and I may or may not have allowed myself to have a couple with some milk, but that was a while ago, and I'm not admitting anything).  It just goes to show that little ones really do watch everything we do.

Oh, and I promised the obligatory pregnancy pic... here you go!
Feeling Enormous!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Foodie Fridays: Bangers & Mash Casserole

Greetings Humble Readers...

Happy Friday!  I hope you are all well and planning a fun weekend.  Our weekend is shaping up to be a doozy, but as of Monday, I am declaring myself done with everything.  Because whatever is left on the list just isn't going to get done before the Halfling makes his/here appearance. 

Buuutttt... before all that, I've got to tell you about the recipe that I came up with for an online recipe contest.  I'm entering it into the contest tonight, so I think it's safe to share it all with you.  :)

The contest is sponsored by a particular brand of cream cheese products that's named for a large US city.  *wink-wink-nudge-nudge*  And the focus is to come up with a dish inspired by your dream destination.  Of course, I immediately thought of London... and so I spent far too long pondering what sort of dish most represented the British Isles in which I could use the aforementioned cream cheese product. 

And so, I came up with this.  I confess, it's not a diet-friendly recipe.  But it turned out really yummy, and I already have some ideas for how I will improve on it next time.  And it's a stick to your ribs kind of recipe... great for a cold wet day.  Think of it as a riff on shepherd's pie. 

Bangers & Mash Casserole

1 lg yellow onion, sliced
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 pkg English style sausage (5-6 links)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock (it's best if you warm it up a little in the microwave)
1 container Garlic & Herb Cooking Cream Sauce, divided (from that company named for a US city)
1.5 cups frozen peas
Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med-high heat.  Add sliced onions.  After three or four minutes, reduce heat to med-low, and allow onions to caramelize.  Stir often.  (This will take more than 30 minutes.  Be patient, it's worth it!)

While the onions are caramelizing, place sausage links on a foil lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until browned and cooked through.  Remove from oven and allow to rest.

Boil potatoes in salted water, until fork tender.  Drain and mash potatoes.  Add in all but three tablespoons of the Garlic & Herb Cooking Cream and the frozen peas.  Stir well to combine.  Set aside. 

When onions are dark golden and sweet, add garlic, thyme, and Worcestershire sauce.  Allow to saute.  Sprinkle flour over onions, stir in, and allow to cook through for a minute.   Stir in beef stock, and allow to thicken.  Add reserved Garlic & Herb Cooking Cream.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Slice sausages into bite size pieces, and add to onion gravy.  Pour onions, sausage, and gravy into casserole dish.  Top with mashed potatoes, spreading in an even layer.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Bake for 20 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned and gravy is bubbly.

Serve with a garden salad.

Optional: Add a cup of sliced button mushrooms to the onions and allow them to saute as the onions caramelize. 

If you try this out, please let me know what you think!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hobbit-ish Potpurri: Reports from the Couch

Hey Humble Readers...

I hope that you are all doing well today, whatever you're up to. 

Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts on my last post.  The anxiety has eased a bit, and I have slept a bit better.  I'm hoping the fact that I have another busy weekend ahead will help keep me distracted.  My mom gets here next week Tuesday, and I have planned a few things for us to do on Wednesday just to stay busy.  T-minus 7 days.

I have to get my Beloved to take a picture of me sometime soon.  I need to have one documenting the hugeness that is my body these days.  I'll also post a pic of the Halfling's blanket that I finished on the weekend, and the now very crowded nursery as soon as I'm able.

We had to go couch shopping yesterday on my Beloved's lunch hour.  My mom is going to be sleeping on our couch for a week and our shabby red couch decided this week to give up the ghost.  We've only had it for just over 4 years, but we only paid $300 for it when we bought it, and it's been through a lot (heck, it supports my sorry huge backside day in and day out... and my Beloved is a substantial guy too).  We had hoped that it might last one more year, at least through the spit up phase, but that's not to be.  Thankfully, we got a good deal on a couch similar to what we have now, and we have been able to arrange for friends to help us pick it up and get rid of our old sofa. 

My new system for keeping up with the house seems to be working well.  I love lists, and every Sunday I've been creating my to do lists for each day of the week, and I've been spreading out my regular cleaning throughout the week, rather than trying to do it all on one day.  I've been able to get all kinds of things done that would normally slide.  This week has been a bit tougher... I think I'm just running out of energy.  My hope for next week is, other than a bit of light housework, I want to watch a couple of movies (maybe an LOTR marathon... I haven't watched them in quite some time). 

Just in time for my Mom and MIL to be taking over some childcare for us, Ginny has started teething again.  Her last round was over a month ago, and now we're seeing the emergence of the molars on her left side.  The poor girl was inconsolable yesterday.  I don't like to give her too much tylen.ol, but yesterday she had two and a half doses, and it barely helped until just before bedtime.  This time seems to be a "hard and fast" round of teething.  Hopefully, when she wakes up this morning, there will have been good progress made overnight. 

I'm feeling like I should apologize for the randomness of this post.  It's just a little bit of where we're at right now.  Everything seems to be going in painful slow motion, and hyperspeed all at the same time.  I know that this time next week everything will have changed again, and all this minutea will be laughable.  It's hard to imagine. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Week 37: Full Term Anxiety

Howdy Humble Readers...

Well, here we are.  Full term.  Wow. 

I confess that I have been finding myself overcome with a building level of anxiety over the last several days.  I have so many fears for this Halfling (birth defects, chronic illness, and even the worst), for the c-section (pre-eclampsia, complications, needing to be completely put under, and even the worst for myself), and for the ramifications that any of these things will have on me, my Beloved, Ginny, and our family.  Whew... just writing all that out has made me feel nauseated, my heartrate to increase, and it's hard to breathe.

I was scared when I was expecting Ginny, but nothing like this.  It wakes me up in the middle of the night (which is why this post is being written in the dark watch of the night).  It slams into me in the middle of the day.  It stops me dead in my tracks.  The c-section is on May 10th, and really all I want is for it to be May 11th, with everything being okay.  I pray that this fear goes away. 

I know from my ultrasounds and regular monitoring that the Halfling is as healthy as can be.  There are no indications that there is anything wrong.  At my NST yesterday, the only real issue was again my blood pressure (up again over last week... and meds have been increased again).  The Halfling wasn't feeling overly cooperative, and kept moving away from the monitor, but the heartrate was strong (145+ bpm) and lots of good movement.  I've had a couple of headaches this week, but Dr. W and I agree that it was likely from changing the dosage of my meds.  I've also had some water retention, but it comes and goes.  There have been no other signs of pre-e at all. 

Enough wallowing.  On to this week's update...

How far along? 37w0d (9 days to go)

Maternity clothes?  I am sooooo sick of them.  They are so tired and worn.  I'm ready to go back to my regular clothes.

Body Oddities? other than the usual litany of discomforts, my hips have been locking up a lot.  It's been making getting up from the couch or bed very challenging.  I've had some terrible gas lately... really it's awful.  I think I lost part of my mucous plug yesterday.  Oh, and while it won't likely pop, my belly button is disappearing. 

Sleep? Some nights good, other nights not so much.  Fear and pain wake me, almost as often as my bladder does.

Intense Dreams? None that I remember this week. 

Best moment this week? Yesterday at my NST, when I went to sit up after they were done monitoring me, my stomach was in the funniest shape.  Instead of being round and huge like usual, it was like the halfling was pushing straight out from the middle of my belly.  The sides of my stomach had gone completely flat and there was this mountain right in the middle.  It was hilarious.

Worst moment? Any time the fears roll over me.

Movement? A lot more in the middle of the night.  Perhaps connected to the anxiety that wakes me up. 

Food cravings/aversions? Hungry ALL THE TIME!  The smell of red meat still bothers me.. I wonder if it always will. 

Rings? Still off.  I tried them on the other day, when I was feeling relatively water retention free and they almost fit.  I look forward to wearing them again.

Gender? Still thinking that the Halfling is a girl.  Only a few days left to get your opinion in on the poll to the right.

Medical Concerns? Gestational Diabetes (insulin 5x a day), High blood pressure (100mg of lobetalol 3x a day), continuing heartburn (60mg of pantaloc), low lying placenta, low iron

What I miss?  Sleep, iced coffee, being able to pick up Ginny easily

What I look forward to?  moving forward

Emotional State? fearful, happy, terrified, excited, anxious... oh yeah, and the hormonal biotch is still there too.