Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Oh Baby! (30 weeks)

I'm 30 weeks along - AKA 3/4 of the way there! In one way it feels so close, and in another I feel like I still have a long way to go. I feel bad too because with Owen I loved being pregnant. I thought it was so great and had very few complaints. I remember thinking that I didn't care if he came a week late because pregnancy was so great and I wanted to enjoy every minute of it and let him grow as long as he needed. This one is SO different. There are still a lot of joys I get out of being pregnant, but I have a lot of miseries too that I can't wait for them to end. The worst (as I've mentioned before) is the carpal tunnel. It just keeps getting worse. I rarely sleep through the night well (even on my Unisom) because I wake up with numb and tingling fingers and hands. And now it has become a regular occurrence during the day. The middle finger on my right hand is almost always tingly/numb down to the second knuckle. It gets far worse when my hand is at an angle above my forearm. I'm also swelling quite a bit and feel like my fingers and toes are so puffy. Oh, and my sciatica bothers me most nights when I sleep on both sides. The best way for me to sleep is on my back. I know...scandalous - I'm not supposed to sleep on my back. But I asked the doctor at this appointment and she said if I can breathe ok, then it's fine.

So of course the first thing Dr. Savage asks me is, "How are you feeling?" I responded with, "Do you ever feel like pregnant women just come in here and complain all the time?" She laughed. (Code for, "Yes. All the time. They won't shut up.") After going through my complaints she said, "I wish I could say you've just got a couple weeks left and hang in there, but...." So basically, time to buck up and deal with it.

Since I've been attending my HypnoBirthing classes, I had some questions to ask her about my labor and delivery (Can I have no monitoring or at least intermittent monitoring? Do I have to have a hep-lock IV? etc.) She said I have to have intermittent monitoring every 20 minutes. She also said the hep-lock IV is determined by the doctor and she would prefer I have one. She said that if for some reason they have to get the baby out quickly, it's better not to deal with getting an IV on top of everything else. I attempted to counter this by saying that people get IVs done quickly all the time in life and death situations. She said I might be able to convince her to not have one by the time the baby comes. Then she remembered that earlier on I had tested positive for Group B strep. So she said, "Never mind. I would want you to have one because you'll need antibiotics." I then countered by saying I didn't have to have them (since a friend of mine opted out of them). At this point she got super feisty and said, "If your baby gets Group B strep, she could get pneumonia, meningitis, and possibly die. I think it would be very foolish not to get them." Honestly, I've never seen her really care that much about something. She obviously feels strongly about this. I hadn't really made a decision about it, but I was just wanting to talk through the options with her. While she said it was still my decision, I could tell she would strongly disagree with me if I didn't choose to get them. So I let it drop. After doing some research, I think the actual chances of something happening to my baby are so low, but at the same time, I don't know that I want to take the gamble.

Anyway, everything else looks good and Owen and I got to hear baby girl's heartbeat again - always a good thing to hear. The exciting part is that now I switch to appointments every 2 weeks! I'll do that a few times then be down to weekly appointments. I think this will also start making it feel as though the time is flying by! I had a woman ask me if I am ready to be done or still trying to get things ready for the baby. I told her both. I really do feel conflicted in my emotions. I'm so excited, but at the same time I know it will totally change our lives and our nice little schedule we have going for us. But change doesn't have to be bad - just different. And I can't wait to meet this little girl!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another one bites the dust

Another couple has left the state and along with it a hole in our hearts. Our good friends, Mark and Natasha Simonsen have moved on to bigger and better things. Mark is a chaplain and just got stationed with the Navy in CA. While they had moved from Provo a while ago, they were still living nearby (Sandy area) so we still had the option of seeing them. In fact, here are some photos from a few months ago when we got together for breakfast and a little play time.

I love that Miles and Mark were giving Owen and Lincoln juice through the mesh wall. It's like they were feeding the caged animals.

Here is a picture of Mark at the shooting range with Miles the last time we got together - they had to go do their "manly activity" while Natasha and I watched the kids. Although, let's be honest...Mark does look pretty tough!

And one last picture of all of us shortly before they left:

Mark and Natasha are awesome people. They are both so open and kind. They give thought to all they do in the way they live their lives and how they can be a positive influence and help to those they come in contact with. I know that Mark will be such a great chaplain in the Navy, and Natasha will be an extraordinary help and support to him as he fulfills that role. The people they will live near and interact with are incredibly lucky to have them. We will miss them a lot, but hope to see them again in our future!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Old Roommates, Rock Broadway!

Not too long ago, I found my very first college roommate on Facebook, along with two other awesome ladies that lived on our floor/in the same building. They were all from my first term at BYU. I started college only about 2 weeks after I graduated from high school. I got accepted on the premise that I would come for summer term first. I remember being devastated that I had to leave Santa Rosa and all my HS friends behind so quickly. However, my college days in DT (Deseret Towers) proved to be fun, exciting, and incredibly enjoyable. I attribute 90% of that to these awesome ladies, and other friends I met that term.

Moving forward...Susie Sweetland was my very first roommate. She is awesome. We hit it off pretty quick. She's from Oregon, and has such a laid back, chill, non-judgmental, friendly demeanor. We also had a similar love of good music. She introduced me to writing more poetically in a journal/notebook. And of course, we had numerous star-gazing nights together with our respective boyfriends. I love that she's just so authentic and real. I don't question who she is and know that she'll give me 100% honesty.

Kierstin Olson is also awesome. She is so much fun. This girl cracks me up. I feel like she's someone you peel layers with. She is bubbly, happy, and has infectious laughter. But then there's so much more to her. She is deeply devout, and yet also surprises the socks off you with her real, true, non-pious sense of self. She's also very smart and responsible.

Lastly, Jessica Weiss...who is what? Oh yeah...awesome. This girl is pretty much brings a party wherever she goes. She brightens the atmosphere and is so hilarious. She is fun and goofy and so great. When I think of Jess, I think of her driving us to Park City (with the other girls as well), getting lost on our way back, nearly ending up in Wyoming, and singing Nada Surf's "Popular" at the top of our lungs. And yet, she's also someone who is more than meets the eye. I think she is sensitive, kind, and completely loyal.

There's the background. These are three awesome women I had the pleasure of getting in touch with again through the lovely Facebook. We all got to talking and thought it would be so great if we could get together again. Jess, Kierstin, and myself are all still in UT, while Susie has returned to Oregon. However, it was just our luck she was coming through here on her way to/from a wedding in Idaho. We all worked it out and made a plan to see each other. Jess made the awesome suggestion of attending the Deer Valley Music Festival she was volunteering at. So we all met up one Saturday evening for some fun.

We went up for the "Broadway Rocks!" concert. Since Jess was volunteering she was able to get us a decent spot on the lawn for viewing. We all brought some treats to eat, and after many, many years apart, we were able to catch up. The concert was so much fun. Some of the songs they performed were:
"The Wizard and I"
"Come Sail Away"
"Seasons of Love"
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"Proud Mary" (btw, I learned the name of this song that night - never knew!)
"Hey Jude"
"Phantom of the Opera" and "Music of the Night"

That's only about half of them. It was great because people were getting up and dancing, singing, and totally enjoying themselves. I'm pretty sure all of us were recorded on the video camera of this gay couple sitting in front of us, being dancing fools. We were happy to oblige them with our ridiculous moves. (Ok...so mostly it was just the large, pregnant woman who likely looked ridiculous.) And of course, we had so much fun talking and catching up on each other's lives.

Here are some pictures from the evening...

Kierstin and Jess:

Susie and me:

And Kierstin gets a gold star for going up to this awesome guy who was dancing around with his golden cape, and asking him for a picture: 

It was a blast, and I'm so glad I had the chance to get away for some great music, good food, and the best...catching up with long-lost friends! Love you girls!

HypnoBirthing Part II

Today was my second class. Miles did not come with me today since he has a lot of work to do. While Cara said it would be ok for him to miss some classes, there's a part of me that would also like him to be there so he can be on the same page as me and hopefully be a good support during the birth. I'll just have to fill him in really well.

Since my last class I've been reading the book I was given in the first week, HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method. I'm only about 40 pages in, but I am really enjoying it so far. Here is a quote that really encouraged me and made me feel more positive about this choice I've made to delivery my baby naturally.

"I could not believe that a God who had created the body with such perfection could have designed a system of procreation that was flawed.... Why are the lesser animals blessed with smooth, easy birthing while we, the very highest of creatures, made in the image and likeness of God, are destined to suffer?"

I couldn't agree more. Every birth that I have witnessed (three others besides my own) has brought me to tears. I find the whole experience so beautiful. Why should bringing life into this world be something so terrible, painful and awful? I should state here, that I also appreciate that in the book she reiterates that this method is most useful for women experiencing a normal pregnancy without any special circumstances. I felt this was important as I know many women who have had extreme difficulty and life-threatening problems in their deliveries. Obviously, HypnoBirthing cannot prevent or change those circumstances. Anyway, I've been enjoying reading the positive stories and experiences of women (and men as their birthing companions) in birthing their babies.

So today this is what we covered in class: Prenatal bonding, Working as partners, Slow Breathing, Deep Relaxation, birth videos, Touch Massage, and Scripts.

We talked about the different types of breathing to help produce a feeling of relaxation. I must say, I often enjoy these different practices we do because it helps me to feel very relaxed and nearly fall asleep! Luckily, Cara doesn't get mad when I get too sleepy. :) In fact, today she read through a relaxation script while having a nice waterfall-like sound playing and diffusing Serenity herbs. It was so great to just lie there and listen to her while I encouraged my mind and body into a relaxation state. We discussed afterwards that it is also positive to have affirmations read while doing this because when you are in a relaxed state, your mind is less likely to retort back with negative thoughts or contradictions. I also think it is helpful to have those positive affirmations embedded into your subconscious so you hopefully start believing them before you even realize it.

I liked the discussion on "breathing the baby down" and visualizing the baby coming down. One of the affirmations Cara said she liked (and I agree) is, "Each surge brings me closer to my baby." I think that will be helpful to imagine each surge as a positive thing my body is doing to help my baby enter this world, rather than something negative that is just causing me pain. It was also interesting to think about how we are told to push our babies out, when in reality, if we just waited and did nothing, our body would do it on its own. I know this is true, because when I was in labor with Owen and practiced my pushes, he started crowning after just three sets of pushes. The nurse told me to stop and not do anything (laugh, sneeze, push, etc.) and to wait for the doctor. But I could tell with each contraction surge I had, that he was coming out anyway. So back to what I was saying...rather than just holding my breath, pushing, and forcing the baby out in a way that isn't as productive, I can help breath the baby out in a manner that works with my body.

I feel like so much of what I am learning makes sense to me. Our bodies truly are made to do this. It's no accident in how we were created and meant to bring life to this earth. I also liked watching a birthing video of a woman who does an *amazing* job of using HypnoBirthing and hardly utters more than a few moans while delivering her baby. Crazy awesome. I don't know that I'm expecting everything to go just as perfectly for me, but why not aim for it and visualize a positive experience?

More to come next week....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mid Summer in Midway

Summer time brought a few trips to Midway this year. We had a few draws. Megan was working up there; my friend, Kaela Wheeler and her little guy, Bennett, were staying at her in-laws place in Midway; and Bridget was at her Grandparents' home a couple of times (in Heber). Some weeks it felt like we were going up there more days than not!

Megan was working at the Zurmatt and was involved in their event planning. She told me that for the 24th of July they were having a little party outside she thought Owen would enjoy. I headed up early to see both of my friends before the party in the evening. We first went to see Bridget in Heber.

Owen had a blast playing in their huge yard with Paige, Claire, and some of their other cousins who were there. They raced, jumped on the trampoline, rode in the mini Jeep, and watered the flowers. 

Once I had sufficiently tired Owen out, I went to see Kaela and put Owen down for a nap. After Bennett and Owen napped, we went to the Homestead for some festivities.

They had someone doing face painting, but we thought the boys might enjoy having their arms painted so they could see the results.

Owen got a snake:

Bennett got a baseball:

They also had a bounce house and some llamas for the boys to see. Afterward, Megan invited us over to the home she was staying at for dinner. As usual, it was absolutely delicious. And their place is so much fun!

The boys enjoyed swinging:

Playing in the playhouse:

Loving on the dog:

And feeding the horses carrots:

That night I was trying to decide if I wanted to keep Owen up to see fireworks. I had skipped out on it for the 4th of July, opting for a good night's rest for Owen instead. Part of me felt badly that I hadn't let him stay up. As I was driving home, I noticed it was getting dark and tons of cars were parking along the reservoir to see the upcoming fireworks. On a whim I decided to pull over. We had to wait about 30 minutes or so for it to start. Owen didn't mind sitting on the railing and eating a snack.

It's a bad picture since it was dark, but I tried to get one of us.

It was actually really beautiful to see the firework explosions reflected in the lake.

About half-way through, Owen was looking pretty tired, said he was cold and asked if he could go in the car. I put him in his car seat, covered him up, and took the headrest off the passenger side seat so he could keep watching. He started to get this glazed look come over him, so I figured it was time to go. He was a zombie on the way home (I was actually surprised he didn't fall asleep!) and crashed as soon as his head hit the bed. I think he enjoyed it though, and we weren't much worse for the wear the next day. It was a fun day celebrating Pioneer Day.

And here are a few more photos of some fun we had with Bridget and her girls, and Kaela and Bennett over the summer.

Playing with the toys they got in their meals from Dairy Keen. (Yum!)

It was so great to see Bridget a few more times before she officially moved to Kentucky. I'm going to miss her a LOT.

Kaela and Bennett came swimming a couple of times. Since I was rather large with child, Kaela did the honors of throwing Owen in the air and motor boating the boys around.

We had some great summer fun with them!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

HypnoBirthing Part I

I finally started a HypnoBirthing class. I chose to take this class for a few reasons. First of all, I decided that for this delivery I'd like to go "natural"/sans medication. I know that for me, I would need some support and guidance in making that happen. I don't want to go in there saying, "Oh, I'll try to go natural and if it doesn't work out I'll just get an epidural." I think going in there with that attitude, there's a 99.9% chance I'll just end up with an epidural. I figure the more determined I am ahead of time will help me remain so during my actual labor and delivery. I have a number of friends who have said good things to me about the HypnoBirthing ideas and program and have had positive experiences with it themselves. My doctor was also very supportive of me taking the classes and said that they have really great information and ideas in them. And a friend, Cara Dahlquist, from my old ward said that she was going to start teaching the classes, so I decided to jump on it and sign up. Here is a link to her website.

A friend of mine said she wanted me to blog about my experience with the classes, and I figure this is a good way to remind me of what I'm learning and solidify my birth plan. So here it goes...

There are five classes, each 2 1/2 hours long. Miles attended the first class with me. The basic ideas that were covered were: Physiology of birth, Fear/Tension/Pain Syndrome, What Hypnosis is and is not

I thought it was interesting to learn about how your body works during delivery and understand better how each organ functions. Apparently the uterus has multiple muscles that work in conjunction with each other to help bring the baby down and into the birth canal for delivery. It was interesting to learn how different medications, such as Pitocin, can be counter-productive and actually work against your uterine muscles.

We also discussed letting go of preconceived fears that you have regarding labor and delivery. The HypnoBirthing program suggests using different words/phrases for commonly used words/phrases in birthing, to elicit a more calm/peaceful imagery. For example: use surge instead of contraction or special circumstances instead of complications, etc.... There was a long list of terms. Initially I thought this sounded kind of silly to me. When I hear the term contraction I don't immediately think of something negative. To me it just sounds like a medical term. However, as she read through the two different lists of terms, the latter (HypnoBirthing terms) did sound more gentle and calming. And while I do think I've heard a lot of wonderful birthing stories, I also think there is some residual fear/tension that is brought up at the idea of delivering a baby naturally.

Along these same lines, HypnoBirthing also suggests to not hear a lot of negativity regarding births. Again, I thought this was kind of silly since it is what it is. I mean, really, no matter what you plan for, you can never say with 100% assurance that things will go according to plan. However, as a therapist with past experience and understanding regarding behaviors in connections with thought processes, I can also see that filling your mind with positive words, experiences, imagery, and visualization can really make a difference in an outcome.

Overall, it was a good introduction to HypnoBirthing and in getting me to think about how I want my baby's birth to go. I thought Cara did a great job and was not overly pushy and crazy eccentric about these things. She expressed how it has worked for her, but also displayed no judgement toward mothers who use epidurals or don't deliver their babies naturally. I'm excited to learn more and work on preparing my mind and body for a wonderful birthing experience!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mothers and Women of Today

I'm going to touch on a sensitive subject...because I just have to get it off my chest. About a couple months ago, a spark turned to a flame in the hearts of women across America when Hilary Rosen stated that Ann Romney, as a stay-at-home-mother (SAHM), had never worked a day in her life and therefore was unqualified to speak about the current tolls the economy has faced. SAHMs everywhere cried out that this was hideous, blasphemous, and absolutely wrong. I admit that my first reaction was confusion and disbelief that someone could make such a statement. It should be obvious that rearing children and taking care of a home is not a luxurious job that requires no daily work. It is hard, and can often be physically, emotionally and mentally taxing. However, after watching this flame burn across the media at large and through social networking and blogs, I started to feel frustrated, and even annoyed with the venomous lashes toward Hilary Rosen. Did she say something absurd? Yes. Is that precisely what she meant? No. But beyond that, I was suddenly ashamed of my fellow SAHMs who were suddenly pitting against working women, and even working mothers.

A few people mentioned that true feminism would allow for and accept any woman's choice in how she wants to live her life. That SAHMs should be respected equally for their choices, as those women who choose to work. I appreciated this statement, but was surprised then, at how so many wonderful women were suddenly showing pride in their position as a SAHM while looking down their noses as their female counterparts.

My friend and I got talking about this whole situation. We were both a bit frustrated with the reactions we were seeing and hearing. We both agreed that women should respect one another and show support for each other in whatever roles they are playing. Some women choose to stay home at a significant cost to their livelihood and financial well-beings. Others choose to work because they want to do something outside of the home. Then there are others who have no choice but to work so that they can help their spouses or partners cover their basic needs. And what about the women who don't have any children (whether by choice or inability/infertility), but have chosen to make a substantial career for themselves?

After talking with another friend of mine who is a working mom, it reignited my desire to do this post. We were discussing her home and work situations. She goes to work around 6 each morning and works until 3 PM while her husband stays home with their son. Then they swap the baby in the parking lot while he heads to work from 3 PM to 10 PM. They rarely get to see one another, they're barely making ends meet, and they are both working ALL DAY by being a parent and working full-time outside of their home. She said that she thought she had gotten used to the schedule until her husband recently called her one day from home. He said, "Someone wants to say hi to you," and put their son on the phone. He cooed in the background and she said she just burst into tears. She said it made her want to run home right away and be with her son. Now, being a full-time SAHM can be hard work, but I would readily and easily accept my "job" over dealing with the emotional sadness of not being able to be home with my child(ren).

Like I said, each woman makes choices for themselves. Sometimes they are able to do what they want and other times they are pushed into their positions. But I get so tired of the fodder sent back and forth from women on different sides of the field. Since I initially started this post, I've read two other articles that bring up more anger and hostility toward women, from women. The first was an article by an unmarried, working, woman who has no children. She stated that the working moms of today that are not putting in full-time work are killing feminism and encouraging a war on women.

Here are some unbelievable quotes from the author of the article, Elizabeth Wurtzel:

"I am going to smack the next idiot who tells me that raising her children full time -- by which she really means going to Jivamukti classes and pedicure appointments while the nanny babysits -- is her feminist choice."

"...being a mother isn't really work. Yes, of course, it's something -- actually, it's something almost every woman at some time does, some brilliantly and some brutishly and most in the boring middle of making okay meals and decent kid conversation. But let's face it: It is not a selective position. A job that anyone can have is not a job, it's a part of life, no matter how important people insist it is (all the insisting is itself overcompensation)....something becomes a job when you are paid for it -- and until then, it's just a part of life."

Obviously, this got my blood boiling. Then I read another article discussing the new CEO of Yahoo! and how she is pregnant, but made a statement saying, "My maternity leave will be a few weeks long and I'll work throughout it." Apparently this is just the kind of woman that Ms. Wurtzel would appreciate in the face of the war on feminism. To me, it just sadly encourages companies to expect that kind of behavior from other working moms - minimal to no maternity leave and a quick return to work.

And of course there is the talk that goes on at playgrounds, bookclubs, lunches out with the girls, and whispered between friends, that requires no article. The talk between women and often moms that shows complete and total judgement for how someone parents. I'm not talking about judging someone for beating their child or neglecting them or causing severe emotional, mental or physical distress and abuse. It's the judgement of women making snide remarks of how a child is reared: breastfed vs. bottle-fed; co-sleeping vs. sleeping on their own; cry it out vs. soothe the child; processed foods vs. homemade organic foods; backward facing car seat to age 2 vs. car seat to 20 lbs.; immunizing vs. not immunizing/doing it on a different schedule; homeschool vs. public school...the list goes on and on. And there is no shortage of moms willing to voice their opinion and quickly tell you what is the right way to do it and provide harsh judgements either to your face or whispered behind your back.

I guess what I'm getting at is that there does seem to be a war on women and mothers. Sadly, however, it seems to be coming from within. Who needs powerful, domineering men to tell us we aren't good enough when we do such a good job of it ourselves? And of course when we hear all this negativity from the intelligent, strong, compelling women that we look to for support, why wouldn't we start to believe it's true? Why can't we all support one another? Aren't we all trying to do our best in whatever life circumstance we are in? There are so many amazing women in this world who work in both high-powered and modest jobs; women who stay at home with their children and take care of home and family needs; women who serve and love those around them in whatever forum they can; and women who are just getting by doing all they can to survive. We all have talents, skills, and wonderful characteristics that are unique to each of us. We should be praising each other and recognizing the good rather than looking to tear each other down. I'm tired of the negativity and emotional cuts that go around. Let's all (myself included) work a little harder to be loving, supportive, and build each other up rather than judge and tear each other down.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh Baby! (28 weeks)

First of all...I'm in my third trimester! What?! Yes it's true. I have less than 12 weeks left. It feels like a long time, but also feels so close.

On to the appointment...I've been anxious about this appointment since it was my follow-up ultrasound with the perinatologist to see if my placenta has moved. The very first thing they checked was my placenta in relationship to my cervix. And...placenta previa NO MORE! Yay! The tech said that it was measuring at least 2.3 cm away. Later the doctor again clarified and said that according to the old standards, 2 cm was the minimum to continue with a vaginal delivery. Now, they will sometimes let you do it with it slightly closer, but there would still be concern of bleeding. But as far as I'm concerned, there really is no worry at this point because it's only likely that as time goes on, it will move farther away. I was very pleased with this news.

Both the tech and Dr. Schemmer did complete measurements of baby girl, all her body parts and organs. She was moving around a lot and kicking back on the US wand. It was pretty awesome to see AND feel her give little kicks and hits. Sadly I didn't get any pictures, but I did take a video of the tech doing the US. I should have waited though because there was a freezer in the room that was being loud, so it's hard to hear. But when the doctor came in, it had stopped it's humming.

Anyway, everything looked good with her and she is approximately 3 lb. 3 oz. right now and measuring about a week ahead in the 70th percentile. But I'm pretty sure all that is subjective and who knows how big she'll actually be when she is born. Oh, the tech also said at first she thought baby girl was breech. But then she changed to say she's transverse (her head is high up on my right side, with her bum high on my left side and feet down below), so there is a chance she could easily turn head down. I sure hope so! I'd rather not have to deal with a breech baby now that I don't have to worry about my placenta!

I'm curious to see what my doctor will say at my next appointment in two weeks regarding exercise and what not. It would be nice if I don't have to be totally lazy. Although now with the lack of exercise I've been doing, it'll be interesting to see how much energy I have now that I'm into my third trimester.

Other complaints or MOP as Dr. Schemmer said (Miseries of Pregnancy)...
My carpal tunnel is the biggest. UGH. It is getting worse. I used to only deal with it at night, but now it affects me during the day. All morning my hands feel tight and swollen. It's hard to grasp things or pick up heavy items with one hand. When I make fists, all my joints ache. If I hold my phone up to my ear for longer than a few minutes, I start to get numb and tingly in my hand. Or, even if I just have my hands up to do simple things like eat a bowl of cereal, I sometimes get numb. It's ridiculous really. And even now, I'm having some pain in my hands and wrists. I'm bummed because within only a few weeks it has totally gotten worse. This just makes me worried that by the end of my pregnancy I'll be completely unable to do anything with my hands. :( I guess I won't worry too much right now, and just take it a day at a time.

And this heat? Oh my goodness. I am ready to die. I fear to see our AC bill since I've been pumping it all day and night. I was not meant to be pregnant in the summer. I'll have to plan better next time.

Ok, enough whining. It's wonderful I'm even pregnant to begin with. Baby girl is moving like crazy and I love it. I love feeling boney little parts of her body sticking out and crazy spastic movements. I'm so glad she is healthy and growing as she should.

And I'll end on a funny note and with some pictures of Owen since I don't have any of baby girl.

A few days ago, I was wearing a silky top that kept slipping up to show part of my belly. Owen was pulling on it and said, "It's too tight!" Then he got it down and said, "It work!" Within just a moment, it came up again. He frowned and said, "It's broken." Ha! Me and my huge growing (broken) belly!

Also a couple days ago, after I spent time in a different room attempting to clean and organize, Owen takes me by the hand, says, "Show you...diapers..." and leads me to this disaster. Pretty sure all my efforts to clean have been thwarted. Thanks, bud.

And lastly, hopefully this will not offend anyone.... If you don't want to hear about private parts from the perspective of a 2yo, then stop reading. Owen really likes to copy what I do - put makeup on, put clips in his hair, put lotion on his legs with a leg up on the toilet (as indicated by the pictures)... :)
And while I think he believes we are fairly similar and don't have a lot of differences, I think he's starting to notice we aren't exactly the same. I have taught him the anatomically correct terms for his body parts. He often talks about and refers to his penis when I change his diaper. However, the other day after I got out of the shower, he looked at me, pointed and said, "Penis!" I told him, no...I didn't have one. He then said, "Oh penis! Where are you?" It was awesome.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


While Owen obliviously lines his cars up in front of a mound piled high with little girl clothes given to me by my friend Bridget, he's completely clueless as to what is coming his way in just a few short months...

Saturday, July 14, 2012

First Sewing Adventures

After our family reunion, my Mom was in town for a little while longer. I think she was feeling bad that all her time was being occupied in Salt Lake, so she offered to come down for the day and help me make a maxi skirt I had told her I wanted her to make for me while she was here. We started out at Joanne's looking for some material and other supplies. All of their knits were 50% off! I found one that I thought would be a good weight knit for me (not too clingy, while still not too heavy). It was a nice khaki color I thought would be good for the summer, and also for upcoming family pictures.

We came home and got started. My mom gave me a little rundown of how my beautiful machine works (I've forgotten a bit since the class I took in CA last year). We looked through my friend's tutorial, and got started on making a pattern. We just did a pattern for a quarter of the skirt (or one half of a front/back piece) and cut the fabric that was folded in half. It worked out well. Once all the pieces were cut, I got to sewing. (My mom wanted to take pictures along the way. I think she was so proud her daughter is finally taking up with her love of sewing! Please excuse the quality of photos as most were taken in bad lighting with an iPhone.)

Owen wanted to get in on the action. He was pretty excited about the sewing machine, noises, and all the buttons.

I think it was a really good project to start on since it was just straight lines and really simple.

Here is the finished product. It's awesome because it's stretchy and will grow with my expanding belly, but I'm also hoping to be able to wear it after my pregnancy too. Yay for versatility!

One showing the yoga waist band. There's a little bit of puckering because it's smaller than the hips of the skirt, but it's really not as bad as this picture makes it look. 

And one more for my mom:

I love it so much that I want to make more. So I went back to Joanne's (sale was still going on) and bought two more colors in the same fabric - a heather grey and pretty, dark red. This time I want to make them with ruffles. My mom is super excited that I want to make more and use my machine. I do hope this is just the beginning of a long relationship with my sewing machine. I think I could really enjoy making different clothes or decorations for my home. However...I'm just going to have to figure out how to keep Owen out of things. My silly little goose is just far too curious. Especially with the shiny, sharp, magnetic pins...

Monday, July 02, 2012

Oh Baby! (26 weeks)

I wasn't supposed to go in for my next prenatal appointment, but I've been having some tingling/numbness in my hands and forearms at night which has led to pretty bad pain in my right hand and wrist during the day. I thought I'd call and see if I could get in before we leave out of town for the week tomorrow. Luckily my doctor was available, so I just decided to do my normal appointment.

I started with the glucose test. Blech. I went in early to grab the drink so I could be at home rather than sit around the office for an hour with Owen. I hadn't told him where we were going, but when we drove up to the office, he said, "Doctor!" I thought that was pretty cute and astute of him to remember. When I started the drink I thought, "Hmm...it's really not that bad. It's kind of like a strong orange soda." Then as I kept drinking, the strong sugary content started burning my throat. Shortly after, it led to nausea. I've been feeling pretty nauseous ever since I finished it about 5 hours ago. Ew.

Owen and I returned to the office an hour later. When they came in to prick my finger, Owen got really upset. I had to tell him a number of times that it wasn't for him and it was for Mama. He still seemed concerned that they were going to hurt me. And when he was playing in the office, he tripped and broke open a scab on his knee that had been healing. Dr. Savage gave him a band-aid and he said, "Thank you," although he was still pretty bothered and kept talking about how his knee hurt. :(

As for me, I started by asking about my self-diagnosis that I did last week. I told her Miles calls me an "internet hypochondriac." However, she said I was correct in my assessment and she would also say I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel. Yippee. (Sarcasm) She gave me some braces for my hands/wrists and said to wear them at night and I can also wear them during the day if it's bothering me. (Luckily at this point, it hasn't been too much of a problem during the day. I hope it stays that way.) She also said it usually goes away after delivery, but in some cases it doesn't. I am seriously dreading that. I do NOT want to live with this forever. Oh, and apparently the extreme itching I've been having in my arms is likely due to swelling as well (which is what causes the carpal tunnel). I haven't noticed a lot of swelling, but I guess it's just enough to be a problem. Lucky me.

I also told her when I sleep a certain way I sometimes get a sharp pain going down my hip and butt. She said it's sciatica. Yay. (Sarcasm again) She said that the uterus/baby are sitting on my sciatic nerve and causing that pain. If just moving makes it go away that is good. But she said that hopefully that's all that it will be, since some women have it all the time. Ugh. Again...I think I would die. Oh the things we do for babies!

Besides that, my glucose levels were great and all was well there. I also asked some questions about Owen (his lisp, pacifier use, potty training, a swollen lymph node he has on the side of his neck, etc.) It's nice to be able to ask questions about him every time I go in since at this point he only goes in once a year for his well-child check-ups. Plus, if I take him in when he's sick, those other types of questions aren't always on my mind.

So besides some discomfort I have to deal with, everything else seems to be good and baby girl had a good, strong heartbeat. I love that sound. It always makes me happy. And I also love all the kicks she gives me. She's starting to get pretty crazy and do some strong movements that make my belly jerk around. I definitely am already in love with this girl.

And for your viewing pleasure, here are some gratuitous shots of me in my awesome wrist braces as requested by Miles and Megan...

Wannabe Gangster:



Sunday, July 01, 2012

Saying Farewell

It's been a rough few months of saying goodbye to a lot of really good friends. It seems like it's been a constant stream of people moving away. It's usually to be expected around the end of a school year or semester, but some came as surprises.

The first to go were our friends, Danny and Rachel O'Brien. I got to know Rachel through being her visiting teacher. She is such a fun, kind, and genuine person. She is from the south and exudes this sweet, southern charm. I adored her from the moment I met her. I loved getting to see her each month, but enjoyed even more when our friendship was something more than a monthly visit. She and her husband moved down to Arizona at the end of January. Her husband will be going to school in the fall, but they went down early to get jobs and save some money. I'm happy that they are in AZ, close to Miles's family, so that hopefully we will see them when we go down for visits.

We had a going away party at the Gunnell's home before they left. We made homemade pizzas and pazookies (huge, doughy cookies with ice cream on top).

Then we played a fun game that included some awesome charades. 

Here is are a couple pictures of Danny and Rachel. The first was the best lighting and focus, but Danny is smiling in the second one.

And here is Owen just being a goof.

And of course we had to take a group picture. Goofy pictures first (the O'Briens were not aware we were being silly), and then a normal shot.

The next friends to leave were Chase and Christy Gunnell, who are pictured above. They left at the end of April after Chase graduated from BYU Law School and got a job as a JAG officer in Washington DC. Sadly we didn't get any pictures at our "farewell dinner" at the park. But we've had a lot of fun adventures with them throughout the past couple years. We first met them at a gingerbread house making party that our good friends, the Roses (also friends who have moved away), invited us to. We got to know them through different functions we were at together and eventually found that we adored them so much and wanted them all to ourselves. ;) Honestly though, Miles and I both really enjoyed our time with them. They are so much fun, always making us laugh, and genuinely care about us. And I can say for myself that when I am around them, they make me want to be a better person. Christy is one of the most Christ-like people I know. They have left a big hole in our hearts...and social life.

Shortly after the Gunnells left, Zack and Katherine Olsen decided to move to Germany. Ugh. While we hadn't spent as much time with them as we would have liked, our time together was always quality. I am pretty sure there was never a 10-15 minute period of time that we weren't laughing hysterically over something or other. Both of them have so much personality and are a joy to be around. I feel like we automatically fit together and connected. It was a friendship that didn't take much effort. (Except to find time together...which was always hard with Katherine's demanding schedule!) ;) Not to mention, they were always super willing to babysit Owen for us, and did on a few occasions.

For our farewell, we went to Pizzeria 712. None of us had been before (except Miles for a business lunch), but I would definitely go back. Yum! 

Owen thought it was hilarious when Miles and I would squeeze his head/face between our hands.

Before we headed back to our place to hang out for a bit before they had to return to packing, Zack swung Owen around outside. Owen was in heaven. 

Then Owen sat and flirted with Katherine on the bench. 

We sure will miss them, but are also happy to know we have such an awesome contact to go visit in Germany. We are already making tentative plans for the end of 2013... :)

Lastly (Oh wait, never mind. There are still plenty of friends planning to leave in the near future...) Anyway, as I was saying, our most recent friends to abandon us move away are Ben and Bridget Reed. This one hits close to home for me because Bridget has been one of my long-standing best friends.

I first met Bridget when we were both living in Wymount back in 2001. A friend of mine needed someone to come visiting teaching with her. We went to see Bridget. Ben was deployed at the time. Not too long after that, we became good friends, and our friendship continued to build over the years. We've been through a LOT together. When I went through my divorce, Bridget was a constant support. Poor Ben. I'm sure he felt like he had an extra wife (that he didn't ask for) around all the time. Either that, or that his own wife was being taken away all the time. Each night after work I would call Bridget and we would make plans for dinner. Most often she would cook, but sometimes I would too, or we'd discuss if I needed to pick something up from the grocery store. Then in the evenings, she would come over and watch trashy TV with me to keep me company. It was awesome. Oh, and we lived in the same building, so it wasn't hard to see each other All.The.Time.

She has also been there to throw me TWO important showers in my life - my wedding shower for my second marriage, and my baby shower for Owen (with Haley). She has been a huge support to me as a friend and in the last two years, as a mother. I rely on her advice constantly. She was so good to let Owen and me drop in at any given moment for random play dates. And she is always available for a 5 min or 2 hour phone conversation.

One of the best things about her, is that she laughs at my jokes. Always. She definitely makes me feel like I'm funny. We seem to understand one another too, and even though we are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, it has never once caused contention for us, and typically we just end up making jabs at the other person and laughing about it. Some of my most incredible recipes are from her. I seriously am a better cook because of her. And of course I am always eager to steal her creativity and use it to my advantage. A lot of times she seems pretty perfect to me, but is so awesome because I never feel like I'm less of a person, woman, wife or mother when I am around her. Also, she accepts my "dark" side without question or judgement. I'm pretty sure I could go on for multiple paragraphs, but I'll stop for now.

Ben was in school studying to become a chaplain. He graduated and got stationed with the Army in Kentucky. Boo! I knew it was coming, but it was still really hard. One of the last times we planned to see each other, I was waiting to hear from her. She hadn't gotten back to me, and I knew they were really busy with family in town and getting ready to leave. Miles came home and asked where Bridget was. I started to cry. I told him I wasn't sure if I was going to get to see her again and I was so sad about her leaving. Not just one of my best friends, but yet one more friend in a long list of people I loved who was leaving. He told me to just call her, but I didn't want to bother her. About 1 minute after we finished the conversation, she called me to say she was on her way. Of course Miles mocked me relentlessly in front of Bridget. Gratefully, she said she was feeling similarly. Now that's a good friend! :)

Currently, she and her kids are staying in St. George with her parents while Ben is in training back east. And I may get to see her not once, but twice more this summer before they head off into the blue yonder. That has eased some of the pain, but it's still not easy.

I think this was most apparent to me when my friend, Haley Molyneux, came back for a visit. They moved the end of last summer up to Canada for Braden to go to school. He since has decided to forego school and work instead. They stopped in UT for a visit on their way to Colorado until he gets a job. Anyway, she mentioned that he might get a job in Wisconsin. I started crying when she talked about them moving. She said, "Kendra, we're already gone! We're just here for a visit." And while I knew that, having one of my best friends return was just a reminder of what I was missing out on and how many people have moved out of my life.

I know I'll make more friends, and that the friendships I have can develop into something deeper. But in the meantime, it's hard to lose so many close friends at once. If we were the ones moving, it would make more sense and would be obvious that I needed to start fresh. Now I feel like I'm starting fresh in a place I've lived in forever. I told Miles we just need to move - before anyone else can leave, we leave first! Ha. I know. I'm being ridiculous. Anyway...I do love all these people, AND all of the wonderful people who are still in my life.

And as my Mom always said...

Make new friends, but keep the old
One is silver, the other is gold