Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween from the NW




An owl sat watching in a tree,
Just as wise as he could be,
Watching tricksters from door to door run,
Trick or treating and having fun.
After he had watched the whole scene,
He said, "Whoo, it's Owl-o-ween!"

Happy Halloween from the NW

*I am now ready to take the blame for NHV's owl obsession.  
I think perhaps it's MY obsession.  
But you must admit, this jack-o-lantern is pretty cute!

Found the template here.

Friday, October 30, 2009

All About MEme Prompt: 11/2

Ready or not ... we're kicking off November
with a great meme prompt, courtesy of SupahMommy





This week we want you to either ... 
a:  feed us some good life details about you and your significant other's life together


or


b.  take a load off and hand over your assignment to someone special


CHOICE A.   Inspiration Point
  * all wink wink emoticons!


Tell us about:
1. A time you got 'caught' in the midst of inspiration point


2. What is it about your significant other that makes your emoticon wink wink?  (push through the irritation over the dirty socks on the couch- u can do it!)


3. Do you have a funny story about a time when your saucy-time .. went array? 





CHOICE B.  
Inspiration Points


Back in her college days, SupahMommy joined a sorority - which is a blog of tales all in itself. One of the great things we used to do was an exercise called Inspiration. Everyone would write down something uplifting/ complimentary about you on a piece of paper.  No matter how tough as nails you were -  reading what people truly enjoyed about you... was uplifting.


So that's where we want you to go this week.
Ask ... your significant other or your BFF (OR someone who knows you) to finish some, one or all of  these questions about you.  Their choice.


See if you can post it without reading it.  So that it can be a inspiring surprise for next Monday.


1.  I admire you for...


2.  Your laugh is ....


3.  It makes me smile when I see you ...


4.  I love that you ...


5.  Your heart is...


6.  I hope that you know...


7.  When we first met I ...


8.  You are...


Come back and link up on Monday.  * you can choose both too.. your choice.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Alive and ...


... I am not so sure I would go so far as to say, "well."  But we are alive and we are better than yesterday or even earlier today.

NHV suddenly spiked a low-grade fever (~101) on Monday evening and it hung around until late last night.  I was up every two hours to rock her, get her milk, dose with ibuprofen (as needed), and empty my bladder.  At one point, I thought, "Oh, shit, this is what my life is going to be like when BGV 2.0 arrives."  Except my bladder should be able to hold more, right?! 

Aside from  being really tired on Tuesday, I actually liked having my two-year old need me.  I liked being able to comfort her.  She's gotten so independent; always telling me that she wants to do it, "self."  This was a nice change of pace, especially since it only lasted one night.

Her fever kind of hovered all day, and we just played and snuggled and spent the day in our jammies.  Her fever was 102 at bedtime, and I was beginning to think a call to the doctor's office in the morning would be necessary.  However, before heading to bed myself, I checked on her and found a big sweaty mess and a clammy forehead - my mom always said that means, "The fever broke."  And I didn't hear from her again until 9:00 this morning ... woo hoo! 

She's been fever-free but a little whiney all day.  And what is it about Ibuprofen that makes poopies so awful?!  After much success with BMs on the potty, Natalie has been crapping her diapers for the past two days ... and the contents are disgusting!

Today, I feel like one of those diapers.  Can't think of a better way to describe it; I just feel crappy, and my contractions started super early today ... after cleaning three toilets and two vanities ... go figure!  Those two loads of laundry probably didn't help either.  I even had to take a dose of terb this afternoon.  Of course Natalie didn't nap; she hung out in her crib for more than an hour and got quiet a few times but never fell asleep.  This momma on the other hand needed a nap in the worse way.  Once that terb kicked in, I was a mess ... shaking, dizzy, weak.  Curious George - the full-length movie - to the rescue!  (Thanks, Aunt Missy!)  I dozed on the couch and Natalie lounged on the love seat with a cup of milk, a handful of puffs, and her current favorite ... George!

By the time CPV arrived home, I was nearly in tears - just feeling lousy.  Thankfully he brought dinner, which meant no cooking or worrying about clean-up.   You'd think a sandwich from Jimmy John's would make me feel better, but I couldn't - gasp - even finish it.  I did muster up the energy to carve the pumpkin ... because really Halloween is just days away!

Anyway, I think I am done complaining and rambling.  And I know I am ready for bed.  I had a great Wordless Wednesday post, but it just didn't happen.  I have tons of photos from the pumpkin patch and pumpkin carving ... hoping to get them editing and up tomorrow ... after a doctor's appointment (NST) and a Halloween play date, NHV's first chance to wear her adorable costume :)

Good night!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Good News, Two Funnies

Truly Fabulous News:  BGV 2.0 did make a growth gain in the past two weeks!  It was by no means an impressive growth spurt ... more like a little growth sprinkle ... but it was enough to get us out from underneath the dreaded 10th percentile ... we're now somewhere between the 10th and 15th.  Seems she is going to fall into that "little peanut" category.

Stupendous News: Non-stress Test (NST) results looked super again today.  BGV 2.0's heart is reactive beyond her gestational age.  Contractions were few.  The ultrasound also showed that my placenta, umbilical cord, and fluid levels are all looking good! 

Excellent News: Talk of induction is on the back burner - for now.  As long as she keeps making small gains, hopes are high that we'll make it to at least (my doctor even used that word) 36 weeks!  The goal is for baby to weigh 6 lbs. (which is like double her current weight) before delivery, so the longer she bakes the better :)  I was surprised that such a small gain had my specialist singing such a different tune ... perhaps she read my blog and knows the stress she caused me?!

Great News:  Can't forget the cervix!  My delightful "cervix of steel" is holding true to its name.  While it has shortened to around 3 cm, that is a completely normal measurement at this stage in pregnancy ... just past 31 weeks, if you're counting :)

Bearable-but-Not-Delightful News:  My preterm symptoms coupled with baby's small size still require me to be very closely monitored.  We will continue with twice weekly NSTs, weekly ultrasounds, and a growth scan every two weeks.  Ugh!  Seems like I've been to enough appointments for three pregnant mommas!

Two funny stories:
After so many ultrasounds, I actually have a favorite ultrasound technician.  His name is Phil, and I was so glad to see him today.  My anxiety level was a little high after all the stress of the past two weeks, and he immediately put me at ease!  Well, BGV 2.0 wasn't cooperating for the head circumference measurement, and we needed a cervical length measurement, too ... so Phil decided to "go vaginal,"  his words, not mine.  I was cracking up as he stepped out in the hall to ask a nurse to come chaperone the procedure - that's standard when "going vaginal."  Anyway, this whole sequence of events gave me the giggles, and then seeing BGV's head from that perspective struck me as so funny.  I was trying not to laugh ... and instead made these stifled giggle noises.  Phil, the guy with the wand up my vag, turned to me and said, "You better stop making all those little noises; you're going to get me in trouble!"  (And I bet he never expected those words to be posted on a blog within hours of saying them ... hee, hee, hee!)

At the end of our discussion,  I mentioned to my doctor that I was tired of people telling me I don't look "pregnant enough or pregnant at all."  I explained how I feel about that ... and added at these third trimester hormones are making me take action I normally wouldn't.  So I jokingly said, "There are days when I want to bust out my boxing gloves on some rude people."  (Obviously thinking of this recent post.)  Her response totally shocked me.  She said, "Well, I wouldn't blame you.  However if fistacuffs are going to ensue, I'd rather you let your husband take care of that."  First of all, she actually said, "fistacuffs"  and I am not entirely sure if she was joking!  Ha, ha, ha!  Guess I better follow doctor's orders ... watch out rude people, I am sending my baby-daddy after you!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All About MEme: Tales from My Darkside





So I am a scaredy cat.  That's such a ridiculous understatement!  I am afraid of just about everything.  I have a huge list of Darkside Tales from my childhood, - enough to fill a novel at least. But I've decided to share with you a story from my adult years ... one of many.

My husband was a pilot for 8 years, which presented the opportunity for me to spend a lot of nights on my own - while he flew to cities and hotels all over the east coast.  I hate sleeping in an empty house.  A house without another living soul in it.  A house in which I am alone to face all the scariness.   I have the hardest time settling down.  My heart races.  My imagination works overtime and invents all kinds of crazy scenarios.  I hear - single - every noise.  And imagine it into something much larger and ominous and awful and likely to kill me ...

It's a wonder I was able to function for those 8 years.  The sleep deprivation was not only self-imposed and widespread.  But, boy, did I sleep well on the nights that he was home!

I tried all kinds of things to ease my nerves and get a good night's sleep.  I slept with the TV on to drown out all those noises.  I left lights on.  I slept with a large butcher knife between the mattress and box springs of my bed. (Supah still gives me crap about that one.)  And once I envisioned that knife being used on me - by my attacker - the knife went back to the kitchen.

I had an escape plan that involved always keeping pepper spray, my glasses and my car keys on the mattress next to me.  The plan was to flee ... I had not intentions of sticking around to see how the imagined scenarios played out.  I am not the chick that goes to investigate.  I'm the chick the runs the other way.  In fact, I had a few friends - like Mel from NightLight Stories - who I'd call in the middle of the night - when I worked myself into a terrified near -panic-attack - and ask if I could come sleep at their house.

Yes, I coped.  It wasn't pretty, but I managed.

Well, this story actually takes place in the early morning - after a good night's sleep.  It was still pitch black outside.  My husband and I were both up getting ready for work.  He was ready before me, and I was drying my hair when he kissed me good-bye and headed out the door.

Within a few minutes I thought I heard a noise - but with the dryer running it was hard to tell.  But it was one of those times when your senses prick up - like a warning - and your heart races, and I just couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right.  I told stone-still clutching the now quiet dryer.  Straining to hear that sound again  - above the thumping of my own heart - in the hopes that I would be able to easily identify it and calm down.  Didn't hear it again.  But it seemed too quiet, and I couldn't pull myself together.

I summoned every ounce of bravery I could muster and stepped out into the hallway.  And there it was.  That awful feeling was right.  The front door wasn't latched.  It wasn't wide open, but it was cracked.  Immediately I conjured up visions of someone in the apartment.  I did a quick look around, behind open doors, and around corners.  My eyes locked on the coat closet - near the front door, and I felt a certainty and a strong fear.  My mouth was so dry.  Every sense heightened and stretched.  In an unprecedented show of boldness, I put my hand on the knob ... it felt stuck, and I immediately decided that someone was holding the knob from inside the closet.
 
I bolted for the front door.  No keys.  No plan.  Just panic and a strong need to get the hell out of there.  It was 6:00 am.  There I was standing at the top of the stairs of the second floor of the apartment building.  With an intruder hiding in the closet just inside.

What could I do?  I ran down the stairs like a lunatic and started pounding on the door of the girl living below us.  Pounding again and again and again.  Eventually my disgrunted, bed-rumbled, hair-mussed, half-asleep neighbor answered her door.  I recounted the whole story.  She stared back at me wide awake and wide eyed.  Thankfully, she had a plan.

Did she suggest calling 911?  Or a beefy bouncer-sized boyfriend?
Did she grab an extra large can of mace or a tasor?

Ummmmm ... no, no, and no.

We were standing in her kitchen, so her first was to grab a knife.  Feeling somewhat clear-headed, I explained my theory behind knives and struggles with intruders and likeliness of being stabbed yourself.  The knife was instantly tossed aside, and we each grabbed a utensil from the crock on her counter.  She was armed with a spatula.  I choose a ladle.
 
Not another word was exchanged as we made our way up the stairs and through my front door.  An exaggerated nod toward the closet door and we fanned out to either side.  She raised her spatula, and I mimicked her movement.  I grasped the knob, gave it a quick twist, and threw open the door.


Coats.  A bag of golf clubs.  A few pairs of shoes.

No intruder.  No boogeyman.  No figment of my imagination.

My trusty sidekick and I snapped out of our adrenaline-induced trance and started laughing so hard - I am sure at least one of us peed our pants!

The sense of relief was tangible.  The embarrassment and hilarity of waking up my neighbor to help me pummel - with kitchen utensils - a non-existent intruder ... that's just priceless!

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Now it's your turn to play along ... my favorite part of all this mayhem!
  • Put together a post that remotely resembles an answer to the prompt.
  • Be sure to copy/ paste/ post our super fabulous button thingy (at the top of this post) on your post somewhere! (That's how we'll grow and we THANK YOU 100X for helping!)
  • Come back here and link up with Mr. Linky! (If you can't see it at the bottom of this post, hop over to Supah's place and link up there.)
  • Visit the 3 blogs above your name if you have time and leave them a comment!!(This is the secret to growing a blog!) ... and if you're first, ... well then aren't you special! You'll just need to visit the 3 below your when name when they appear and leave a comment!
  • Look for a comment from SupahMommy and MommyBrain; we've made it our personal mission to visit and comment on all of our meme links ... that's how much love we have for you all :)


Meal Plan - Week 17


Last week's spotlight dish: Chicken Tortilla Soup II

I added a can of black beans because ... well, I like black beans and it upped the protein content.  This soup was so yummy!  We had it for dinner on Tuesday, a lunch potluck on Wednesday, and again for lunch on Thursday and Friday ... keep in mind I don't usually like leftovers!  I am tempted to make this soup again this week!

After seeing the non-sale price of ham at my local grocery store, the baked ham idea was a no-go.  I did make pork chops one night and even attempted to make my mom's famous gravy ... that was also a no-go!

----------------------------------------------------------------
And the (tentative) meal plan for week 17 ...

Sunday - Late Lunch followed by snacks and helpy-selfy
We had Jimmy John's sandwiches at 2:00, took a nap, and then snacked through the evening.

Monday - Ground Beef Enchiladas
Avocados have been so cheap this past week, and I have three to use before they go bad!

I've made this one many times.  It's hearty and yummy and easy to prep.

Again, this is a stand-by.  Can't wait to try out my "new" crock pot with this recipe.

Thursday - Dinner from Friends
This is such a treat!  I have a group of friends providing dinners for us every Thursday through the rest of my pregnancy.  What a blessing.

Friday - Pasta and Sausage

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Looking for more great meal plans ... plans that are perhaps a bit more creative than mine? Click here to see the looooonnnnggg Linky list at The Organzing Junkie.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Two Wrongs ...

... don't make a right.  I know, I know.  But I kind of couldn't help myself.  And it did feel right ... you know good ... at least for a minute or two ... and then I felt a little bad.

While out running errands, I crossed paths with a fellow mom that I know (but don't really know) through a mutual friend.  We exchanged greetings and made comments about how much our two-year-old girls have changed since last time we saw each other.  Blah, blah, blah, ... pleasantries and what-not.

And then she glanced down at my adorable baby bump and  asked, oh-so-sweet-and-innocently with a slightly bemused look on her face, "Are you pregnant (pause) or not?"


Wow! That's tactful, huh?  Because I've been hearing this kind of crap a lot lately, I recovered rather quickly.

My reply ... "Yep, due in December.  And I can't believe so-and-so (our mutual friend) didn't tell me that you're expecting, too!"

She's not ... pregnant ... and I totally knew that ... but I just couldn't resist. As far as I'm concerned, "Thems fightin' words!"



Must Have ...

... can't bake!  What's a girl to do?!



Dream about them.  Think about them.
Hope someone else makes them and likes to share :)

If that someone is you, click here for the recipe and directions ...
I gave up after the "making dough ropes" step.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Comic Strip: Outtakes & Overalls



Click to see a larger image and read the captions.

It took some coaxing but at least I got a few pics with her looking at the camera. I love capturing those baby blues!

And, oh my gosh, is it just me or do little girls 
look so stinkin' cute in overalls?!  I got these at the consignment 
store for like $2, and I'd be happy if she wore them everyday!

She remembers everything!

A dream ...
As I do every morning, I asked, "What did my baby girl dream about?" Her answer is always so interesting and has gotten more elaborate in the past two months.  This morning she said, "Dreamed bout Keeds Quess."  (That would be our local children's museum, Kids' Quest.)  I was hoping she wasn't asking to go to KQ because a rainy Friday is likely to be pandemonium.  But that wasn't what she was thinking. Instead she was remembering a past trip. 

She said, "I puwsh gurl at Keeds Quess.  Gurl steeled mice (my) food.  Puwshing meeeen.  No puwshing.  Sorry, gurl."  That's pretty much a blow-by-blow account of a run-in she had with a little girl over an entire bin of play food, an incident that happened about 4 weeks ago!  How does this little two year old brain hold onto such a vivid memory like that?!  And what made her think of it again - after a month?

Hoping to be Old ...
We braved the rain for a trip to Fred Meyer this morning.  Not because I enjoy shopping trips in the rain but I was completely, 100% out of milk.  How does that happen?  Perhaps it's time to reconsider my opinion of the milkman?  Anyhoo, Natalie was great.  She sat in the cart - with three baby dolls on her lap and read them stories and put them to sleep and woke them up again.  Very entertaining stuff.  As we approached the check-out, she started to get quite insistent about being old.   Natalie kept saying, "I'm old."  And I was like, "Old?  Do you mean you're a big girl?"  She'd say, "I'm old."  The lady in front of us - who was in her own right truly old - smiled at Natalie and said, "Oh no, sugar, you aren't old.  You're just a wee little thing."

It wasn't until we were headed for the parking lot that I put it all together.  Toward the front of the store is a little drop-your-kid-off-while-you-shop area.  It has Little Tike playhouses and a TV playing some cartoons.  It's not a big deal by any means, but NHV wants in on that action... in a bad way.  I keep telling her she's not quite old enough because I think they prefer potty-trained kiddos. We don't go to FM very often - once every two weeks at most.  But, boy, does she remember! And she is right; she's technically "older" than the last time we were there. 

Can you see why I am going to be in trouble with this little smarty pants?!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

All About MEme: Sc-urrrrr-y Prompt for 10/26

Man lives in the sunlit world of what he believes to be reality. 
But, there is, unseen by most, an underworld, 
a place that is just as real, but not as brightly lit …
a DARKSIDE!




And that's where we want you to go this week.

Go to Your Darkside and bring us back a scary tale.

Get it?  Tales from Your Darkside!

------------------------------------------


Looking for a little inspiration?  Start here.
Or if you're feeling brave, look on YouTube for old Tales from the Darkside clips ... it's not something I would do, but it's sure to get you in the mood for spooky!

Need a little guidance? Try these:
  • Tell us the scariest thing that has ever happened to you.
  • Make a list of things that terrify you.
  • Write about things from your childhood that still haunt you today.
 ------------------------------------------

And please know that this self-confessed scaredy cat will only be writing my post and reading your posts in broad daylight.  Once the sun sets, I can't go to any Darkside - yours, mine, or otherwise!

-------------------------------------------------------
 
Be. A.  SUPAH STAR

Study the prompt
Turn some ideas over in your head.
Author a post.
RETURN:   on Monday.

A Pillow, Some Paint, and a Big Girl Room In Progress

Just had to give you another glimpse of the A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E pillow ... made from an old shirt and some new fabric ... by a wonderfully talented friend of mine.  NHV loves her pillow so much, and I almost wish I had one, too ... it's that cute! Click here to find out how you can have a custom, snugly keepsake made for your little one.




This owl pillow also represents the first big step toward moving my two-year old from her beloved crib into a big girl bed ... and a new room.  The fabric was chosen to coordinate with new bedding.  While the room was supposed to be painted over Labor Day weekend, a mere 6 weeks ago, our project list grew to epic proportions ...because my husband is a perfectionist, which isn't a bad thing ... but it's also not very efficient.  In the meantime - while I've been waiting ever-so patiently to move NHV into her big girl room, (and using the guest bathroom) my husband has not been slacking; in fact, he has managed to accomplish much more than I intended ...
  • paint the master bedroom - walls, ceiling, door trim, doors, 
  • paint the walk-in closet, closet ceiling,  door trim, door
  • paint the master bathroom (including throne room) - walls, ceiling, door trim, door
  • remove the gigantic, character-less bathroom mirror (with plans to cut it down and frame it)
  • remove the old grout and re-grout the bathroom countertop

In addition, my talented husband also ...

  • designed - with inspiration from Pottery Barn and Land of Nod - and ...
  • built from scratch - with this own two hands and a two-car garage full of every wood working tool you can imagine - a beautiful twin-size headboard, frame, and footboard!
I thought it was the pregnant lady who did the nesting ... looks like my hubby is showing major signs of sympathy nesting!


After this weekend - as we creep toward November - that custom-made pillow and hand-crafted bed will have a new home.  From the crib and the garage to a newly-painted yellow - with lots of owl touches - "big girl" room

I can't wait to show you the projects I've been working on to make the new room special ... if I'm crafting you know there are good stories on the horizon!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WW: Mailbox o' Plenty

Wow!  I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened my mailbox.

No bills.  No junk mail.  No unwanted catalogs.  Just this ...



Count 'em ... 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 packages
Of various shapes and sizes.
From various senders.
From locations all over the world - no exaggeration!
My arms were full.  My face smiling.  My heart bursting.



First off, a package all the way from Ireland.  That's right, folks, I've got a friend who lives on the other side of the world, and he sends me NHV presents!  This delightful owl book and hand-written note came from Quince of The Speks.  If you haven't heard their awesome, kid-friendly music, then a) you're missing out and b) you haven't been reading ToddlerBrain!  Quince capitalized on Natalie's owl obsession, and she can't get enough of this book!



Then I opened a very fun note from a second grade classroom back in IL.  Seems we have a visitor here in the NW, and I have a deadline to take photos and write about the beautiful NW.  Homework - for the teacher - you know I am loving that!

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My hands trembled as I opened the next two because I was expecting them ... like a kid expects Christmas morning. I knew what was inside but I didn't know what they looked like.  Both were sent from WI.  Both came from a talented, creative, super thoughtful friend of mine.  I've never actually met BJ_Mama - or even heard her voice for that matter.  Our friendship formed over blog posts, comments, and emails.  I can't tell you how glad I am that we found each other!  And we will meet in "real life" someday!

You really should visit her two blogs:

Inside the third package was my custom-designed handbag ... created by BJ_Mama just for me!  And she can do the same for you ... just ask!

She sent me a form.  I came up with some color ideas.  She drew up a sketch, shopped for fabrics, and with her magical sewing abilities, created a gorgeous bag - way beyond my expectations!  The outside if soft grey corduroy, the inside and details are a sophisticated stripe with bursts of yellow ... cuz I've got sunshine on a cloudy day!  I absolutely love it!

 

And, finally, a package for my girls (both of them) that completely melted my heart!  It's sure to illicit a few aaaaaahhhhhs from you, too!

 

I had this old t-shirt of NHV's from last fall.  It had an owl on the front, and I got an idea to take that owl and put it on a pillow.  One - big - problem, I have no sewing skillz what-so-ever ... beyond like, buttons.  That's where my talented, awesome friend, BJ_Mama, comes into the equation.  She offered to make the pillow for me!  I braved a fabric store (sc-ar-y) to find the brightly-colored flannel and sent it - along with the shirt - to Wisconsin.  BJ_Mama added the yellow fabric (it's perfect!) and the circle detail to frame the owl.  Is she good or what?!  Natalie is over the moon!  Smiling, hopping around, and saying, "Mice ooowwel peeelow!"

As if the tears weren't already welling up in my eyes, there was another little bundle inside the package.  A blanket - made from the same circle fabric - with a note from Natalie to her baby sister!  How sweet is that!? 




That little blanket will be traveling with me to every ultrasound appointment from here on out!

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I love, love, love getting good mail ... especially package with such wonderful, thoughtful, fun contents!  What is the best thing you've received via USPS?

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You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday
posts
here and here and here.

You've Gotta Try This ...



My meal plan this week is fairly uninspired ... admittedly.  However, I stumbled upon a recipe for Chicken Tortilla soup that is worth mentioning and recommending.  It was easy and scrumptious!

A few notes from the kitchen:
  • Based on a review of the recipe, I skipped the "saute" step, poached the chicken in 4 cups of chicken broth, and just dumped everything in my new super fabulous ($1) crock pot.  
  • I did find that the amount of broth listed in the recipe is twice as much as I needed.
  • I added a can of black beans because I like them and appreciate the added protein.

The Truth

Last night's post wasn't easy to write.  Or maybe it was too easy... because I held back an "elephant-in-the-room" emotion and instead masked it behind a whole bunch of other stuff ... including what may have appeared to be self-righteous feelings about induction.

Allow me to clarify that induction is not a lesser form of childbirth. - that is not my belief in the slightest.  Nor is having a baby via c-section, for that matter.  Growing a life and bringing him/her into this world - in whatever means necessary - is nothing short of amazing and beautiful and miraculous.  My views on induction are based - not on my judgment of moms who have been induced - but on these three things ... 
  1. My first experience, which resulted in high expectations for future births.  Setting high expectations (realistic or not) - and then being disappointed is a recurring theme in my life.  I am afraid that I won't weather the storm of an induced labor with the same sense of calm.  While I trust my specialist, I don't want her to induce me unnecessarily.  I can see myself getting very stressed and anxious and scared during a process that is out of "my" control.
  2. Which leads me to the second thing.  I am grappling for some control in this situation.  It's a total head game, and I know that.  But relinquishing my body's right to tell me when it's time for this baby to be born represents a loss of control that is really hard for me, a self-confessing control freak.  For some reason having my water break at home seems like something that is in my control ... I realize that doesn't make any sense :)
  3. From what my specialist indicated, if induction is needed it will be much sooner than later.  I could be bringing a baby into this world after just 33 weeks of "baking."  The possibility of such an outcome, the complications of a premature birth, (although I do know that babies born at 33 weeks have been known to thrive, too) are very real and scary. 


Stomp!  Stomp!  Stomp!
And here's that elephant in the room ...


I am scared.  Very, very afraid that despite all the well wishes and positive thoughts, this all isn't going to be okay.  So many other times in my life, it has been okay ... after some worry and concern and endurance, it all ends up fine ... I look back at the moments spent worrying and just smile and shake my head.



I can't help but feel I've run out of my supply of "okay." I've used up all my  "it all worked out in the end."  I can't shake this feeling that it's my turn to experience something awful.  This has plagued me since early in my pregnancy.  I read so many blogs and hear so many stories from moms I know of pregnancies that don't end happily.  I wish ignorance were bliss, but I know what I know ... and heartbreaking, awful things happen in what should be the most joyous of circumstances.  And that's the truth.



Oh, it is so terrifying to let those thoughts out of my head.


Do you ever do that?  Feel like things in your life are so good that lightening is sure to strike.  That your blessings are too bountiful? That you're due a big dose of hardship and heartache ... because that's the only way to have balance?

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Please know that the comments left on yesterday's post are very reassuring and help to make this dark cloud seem less ominous.  I just wanted to finish what I started and try to dig deeper toward the truth of what I am feeling.  (Thanks, Chitown Momma, for the nudge I needed.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grow, Grow



Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it 
and whispers, “Grow, grow.”
 ~ the Talmud

This quote made its way to my inbox yesterday - at the height of my anxiety over the thought of another ultrasound - from a good friend and fellow blogger, Not Just a Mom. Along with the quote, she sent this message ...

If every blade of grass has it's own angel, just imagine how many BGV has! I know it's scary to not know what's happening with your baby and wish this pregnancy was easier for you, but just wanted to pass on that bit of encouragement. I hope your appointment tomorrow goes well and we'll be thinking of you guys. If there's anything we can do to help, please just let us know!

... it brought me a lot of peace and gave me a beautiful image of tiny angels encouraging her growth and BGV thriving in the sunlight of much love.

Thanks, M!

P.S.  There's an update on BGV just below this post ... 

Quick Update & Thoughts

Today's ultrasound was uneventful, and I am currently in the frame of mind to think no news is good news.  Placenta looks good.  It's anterior, which means it's in the front ... but we already knew that.  It makes clear images a bit of a challenge.  Apparently "shooting" through amniotic fluid makes for much better images.  My tech seemed a little grouchy about this, and I felt like sticking my tongue out at her and making truly juvenile noise ... but I resisted the temptation :)  Umbilical cord looks good.  Blood flow looks good.  And Baby Girl 2.0 even took a breath for us, which only happens like once every 30 minutes ... so it was exciting to catch her in action!

Highlights:
  • While waiting for the tech, I felt 2.0's hiccups for the first time ... so cute and rhythmic!  (Apparently feeling those hiccups is tough with an anterior placenta.)
  • The tech took a few minutes at the end to capture Baby Girl's face in 3-D.  Seeing her little nose and lips just made me smile and then cry (like I am right now).  My little diva had the back of her hand pressed to her forehead in a gesture that spoke volumes ... "Enough already!"   I second that emotion, BGV!  Just precious, I tell ya!
  • Baby Girl 2.0 passed today's "wellness" ultrasound and non-stress test.  And no new "red flags" popped up.


This appointment did not include measurements of baby's growth; that's scheduled for next Monday.  I am still trying (more like forcing myself) to stay out of my head and off the search engines.  I wallowed and panicked for several days last week ... after hearing the word "induction" from a fetal specialist - at just 29 weeks into my pregnancy - I was sad and worried and stressed.  And I think I need to dump a few thoughts here now ...

Thoughts about Size, Last Week: Hearing that BGV had slipped below that all important 10th percentile was devastating.  I immediately wanted to know what I had done wrong or what I should've done but didn't.  Despite what I was hearing from the specialist and my own doctor, I fought that blame game to no avail.  I also wanted to know what I could do to improve her chances of a growth spurt in the next two weeks.  Feeling powerless isn't an emotion that sits well with me.

Thoughts about Size, Now: I've made peace with the idea of a small baby ... mainly because my mom reminded me that I am/was a late bloomer.  And I am the runt of my family.  Perhaps my little 2.0 will be just that, little ... my little peanut.  And, well, as I've heard from so many other mommies, there's always the possibility that the measurements are off ... that without any other indications of a problem, perhaps she's either taking her time growing big and strong or she's not as small as the doctor's predict.  I am also feeling bigger this week, and her movements seems "bigger," too ... like elbows and knees coming through my abdomen! That's a good sign, right?!

Thoughts about Induction, Last Week:  I hate the idea of having my labor forced induced.  My first labor was empowering; I did it without drugs and without fear.  I trusted my body, and it felt incredible to be able to do that.   After 8 weeks of contractions and bedrest, my water broke at home, my cervix dilated to 7 cm before I even got to the hospital, I was able to focus and breath through the contractions, and my healthy baby was born in about 4 hours total.  It was MY labor not my doctor's; she was simply there to catch the baby and stitch me up.  The decisions were mine, and my body didn't let me down.  After that kind of experience, it's tough to consider the opposite ...  induction. 

Thoughts about Induction, Now: Induction is an option that I hate to consider.  However, if it's decided - with adequate evidence - that's what is best for my Baby Girl 2.0, then so be it.  Perhaps it won't be as awful as I imagine.  It won't be easy for me to let go of the expectations I had for my second labor experience, but ... I either will or I'll grieve it later.

Thought about IUGR: Intra-uteral Growth Restriction is not a term my doctor's have used, but it's what keeps turning up every time I google, "pregnancy + fetal growth below 10th percentile."  The causes and consequences of that diagnosis are overwhelming and scary.  But until I have next week's growth measurements and an actual diagnosis (if there ever is one), I am not going there ... my sanity won't let me.

Thoughts about my Pregnancy:  This hasn't been an easy 30 weeks.  And I am trying really hard not to wish away the remaining 10 ... or however many I get.  Even with 8 weeks of bedrest during my first pregnancy, I remember being pregnant with great fondness.  This is a very special time in a woman's life ... a time to nurture another life.  With daily (sometimes painful to tears) contractions and more appointments than I can even count, I am having a hard time being fond of this experience, which makes me feel selfish and guilty.  But none of that changes my love for this little girl.  My intense desire to do what is best for her.  My hope that I can get her closer to term before she makes her way into this world.

Appreciation:  I cannot thank you all enough for the support you've offered me during this time.  You've encouraged, listened, shared your own experiences, and helped me get through a tough time.  Most comforting is knowing that you'll be here for me if things do get worse ... and you'll help me celebrate when things turn out just fine :)


Sunday, October 18, 2009

All About MEme: I've Never ...

Welcome back to another delightful Monday edition of ...


Today's mind-boggling topic ...


click here if you need more details on this prompt.

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There was a time in my life when blending in - being part of the crowd - doing what I could to prevent standing out - seemed like the best idea evah!  Yeah, and then I turned 11, and I was so ovah that crap!


Basically, I'll try anything once ... I'm not necessarily talking about crazy, out-there kinds of things ... but as far as the crowd is concerned ... I've been there, done that on my fair share.

However, I can honestly say that I've NEVER ...


been arrested - and I've only had one traffic violation.  I ran a stop sign when I was 16 years old ... and I refused to cry for the pompus-arse cop that pulled me over!  For the record, if I am ever arrested, I will be a big blubbering mess ... crying like a distraught two year old, asking for my mommy, pleading for mercy, ... it won't be pretty or dignified ... but you'll want YouTube evidence cuz it's sure to be a riot!


had a cup of coffee (or more than a tiny sip for that matter) - it is the most foul-tasting liquid on the planet!  I don't even really enjoy the smell of it;  it always annoys be to walk out of Starbucks smelling like a cup o' joe.  So what am I doing at 'bucks if I don't drink coffee?  Drinking a tall chai tea latte ... delicious!


done any type of recreational drug - mainly cuz I am all kinds of scuurrrr-d and always have been. Seriously terrified.  Between being scared and never having the money to waste on that crap, I just said NO!  I don't feel like I missed out on anything, but it does shock me to find out just how many people - I know - have partaken of ... the good stuff, the giggle weed, the wacky terbacky, the righteous bush, ... I totally just googled "slang for marijuana" - how resourceful am I?!


smoked a cigarette - My parents both smoked when I was growing up.  Our house, the furniture, and my clothes smelled somewhat ashtray-esque.  I inhaled their secondhand smoke while riding in the backseat of the mini-van.  I had absolutely no desire to ever put one of those "death sticks" in my mouth.


been to Las Vegas or New York City - of all the traveling I've done ... and as the wife of a former pilot who had flight privileges for seven glorious years, I've done a lot of FREE traveling ... those are two destinations I've never visited.  But I know that I would have an awesome time in either place ... once I wean 2.0 off the teet ;)


kissed a girl - I had an offer once ... okay, twice.  The first time the chick just wasn't hot enough, and the second ... totally kidding!  The opportunity never presented itself, but I know a lot of girls who "experimented" in college - while I dated (and ended up marrying) the same guy all four years.  No regrets but a tiny bit of lingering curiosity ;)

Okay, it's late, and clearly I am getting a little slap happy ... all for your enjoyment, of course!


Now it's your turn to play along ... my favorite part of all this mayhem!
  • Put together a post that remotely resembles an answer to the prompt.
  • Be sure to copy/ paste/ post our super fabulous button thingy (at the top of this post) on your post somewhere! (That's how we'll grow and we THANK YOU 100X for helping!)
  • Come back here and link up with Mr. Linky! (If you can't see it at the bottom of this post, hop over to Supah's place and link up there.)
  • Visit the 3 blogs above your name if you have time and leave them a comment!!(This is the secret to growing a blog!) ... and if you're first, ... well then aren't you special! You'll just need to visit the 3 below your when name when they appear and leave a comment!
  • Look for a comment from SupahMommy and MommyBrain; we've made it our personal mission to visit and comment on all of our meme links ... that's how much love we have for you all :)
Sidenote: I will be at - yet another - ultrasound appointment early in the day.  As long as my world doesn't get further rocked by this quirky pregnancy, I will be checking in with all of you in the afternoon.  Please send good, healthy baby vibes my way :)


Meal Plan - Week 16

Last week's spotlight dish: Slow-Cooker Hearty Beef Chili
I added a can of Bush's Baked Beans and a big squirt of barbecue sauce.  This was a tasty chili!  And the $1 garage sale Crock Pot ... did not disappoint; it works great and cleans up easily :)

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Adorable NHV story:  As we were sitting down to dinner, my hubby told Natalie that we were having chili for dinner.  After a brief pause, I heard Natalie ask, "Mommy maked cold fur dee-ner?"  How's that for synonyms from a two year old?!

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And the (tentative) meal plan for week 16 ...

Sunday - Leftovers: Pizza, Potstickers, & Salad
Not a very creative way to start the week, but we'll survive :)

This one earned high-praise a few weeks ago.  I had planned to make it last week but didn't get around to it, so it's back on the menu this week.

I love the Chicken Tortilla Soup at our local Red Robin restaurant.  I did a search to find one like it, and hope it's close.

Thanks to Chitown Momma, I am going to give this a try ... I'm a little apprehensive, but I know she's just a phone call away if I need help!

Thursday - CPV's Favorite Tacos

Friday - Ham-n-Cheese Pie
According to Chitown Momma, this is the perfect way to use all those ham leftovers (after ham sandwiches for lunch).


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Looking for more great meal plans ... plans that are perhaps a bit more creative than mine?  Click here to see the looooonnnnggg Linky list at The Organzing Junkie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

All About MEme: Prompt 10/19



I am quite certain that you already know that SupahMommy is pretty freakin' fantastic.  I mean you read her blog, right?!  Yeah, she's awesome and talented and funny and thoughtful and caring and creative and well, supah!  She takes good care of me - all the way from PA - and I love her for it :) 


It was my week to come up with the All About MEme prompt, but I dropped the ball ... I allowed my fetal woes to put me in a funk ... I lost sight of some really important aspects of my life ... but I am finding my way back ... until the next ultrasound sends my world spinning again ...


Enough of that ... we have a SUPAH prompt for this week's All About MEme. 


A prompt that will provide for some introspection and a chance to get to know each other better.  It also kind of reminds me of a drinking game ... or spin the bottle ... or something fun and crazy like that :)



All because of SupahMommy ... with a little help from her friend at Letters from Valentine ...




Letters from Valentine


See how she did it; be inspired!


Here's Valentines' lead in:


"Do you ever feel like you get lost in the crowd?  That there is very little that distinguishes you from the person next to you?  Yeah, me too.  So here are some things that set me apart from millions of people..."


And the PROMPT:
I've NEVER ... 5 Things (or more or less)
that distinguish YOU from the crowd.


And the delightful Photoshop handiwork of SupahMommy:







Be. A. SupahSTAR

Study the prompt
Turn some ideas over in your head.
Author a post.
RETURN: on Monday to get all linked up!
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