Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The One Day Hat

Well, before I could justify buying some cute soft yarn to make something for Nicky I had to actually complete a project using the yarn I've got. SO I sat down on Sunday and made a hat! I think it's pretty cute, but the funny part is it looks NOTHING like it was supposed to! I have no idea how I went soo wrong, but it was supposed to be a regular stocking cap kind of thing. Well, here's a few pictures to show you what it ended up looking like! Oh, pay no attention to the wild bangs, I finally gave up and trimmed them myself after seeing the pictures! I need a haircut in the worst way!

Here's me with hat:

AND here's Benjamin modeling the hat! He's soo cute! :D

So now I'm working on a scarf to match. It's harder than it looks too. I wonder what that is gonna end up looking like?

Monday, November 28, 2005

What the heck?

So this morning, right before I'm going to eat breakfast (Tom was in the process of fixing me a turkey sandwich), I am in the bathroom getting ready when I cough (which I do a lot these days) and then my mouth starts watering like CRAZY! And then, well you probably know what happens next... I totally puke! What the heck? This is only the second round of actual puking during this pregnancy, for which I am grateful, but at 5.5 months? Weird.

It hasn't repeated during the rest of the day, so hopefully it was just some weird anomally. Oh, and the turkey sandwich went down great! I love leftovers!

Speaking of leftovers, we finally finished the rest of the turkey and green bean casserole today. The pooches have been feasting on the turkey stock Tom made (leftover from when he made his gravy) and we pitched in the last of the stuffing bits this morning. Now we're down to mashed potatoes and gravy, and probably only 2-3 servings of that! Wow! Thanksgiving lasted 5 days this year! I wonder how many days we'll get out of Christmas? ;)

I heard from the pulmonologist's office today. They want a chest x-ray before I see them, and they don't think they'll be able to get me in until end of December or January. Um, huh? I'm sick now and having asthma and bronchitis issues now. Sheesh! And a chest x-ray when pg? Not sure how that will go down. They're calling my OB's office for more info so we'll see what happens. I don't think I better hold my breath on that one.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Left over Turkey anyone?

Well I haven't gotten to the point of having perlo* for dinner yet, but I have had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole and cranberry sauce every meal for two and a half days. And you know what? I'm still not sick of it! I love holiday food!

I had my first definite Braxton Hicks contraction today. Just one that I noticed. It didn't hurt at all, everything just got tight. I've probably had more, but this was the first one I really noticed.

I can feel Nicky kicking every day it seems. Sometimes he kicks more than others, but I've pretty much felt at least a few little ones everyday. It's very reassuring to feel that. I can't wait till they're harder and everyone can feel them. AND then I want to SEE them too! I don't know if the anterior placenta will interfere with that or not. I would think I could see them sometime in the third trimester, which isn't too far off now!

I'm 22 weeks and 2 days today, I think the start of the third trimester is officially at 28 weeks. Dad got me a Bebe Sounds monitor which is kind of like an electronic stethoscope with headphones, which is a LOT more comfy than those stupid earpieces on Tom's stethoscope. I don't know how doctors can stand the pain of those things. Maybe I just have a huge head, but they kill my ears! We pull it out and try to hear the baby a few times a week. So far we can hear a lot of wooshing, probably from the placenta, I can hear how much my finger joints creak as I hold it, and I can say that I have pretty loud intestines, but that's it so far. We'll keep trying though.

I don't think I updated this on the blog, but I went to the OB on Wednesday for this pesky chest cold. They wanted to see me before the holiday. My OB actually listened to me, and agreed that I should see a pulmonologist. He set up a referral and the pulmonologist's office called me the same day to confirm my info. They'll set up an appointment with me next week. FINALLY someone seems to care enough to actually DO something about this bronchitis/asthma crap! WooHoo!

On that note, I'm actually finally starting to feel better too. I went all day yesterday without medicine, although I did it last night to let me sleep. Weird how it always gets worse at night. I've gone today without meds too, so we'll see if I need it tonight or not. So far, so good.

Dad's coming to see me tomorrow on his way home to Georgia. I'll show him the video of Nicky's ultrasounds. That should be fun. I like showing him off already and he's not even born yet!

*Perlo is a traditional southern dish of whatever meat you have and rice. This was the closest reference I could find online. It was a notorious dish in my house growing up and my dad hated it more than just about anything. Funny, but I don't remember actually every eating the stuff. I think we just had turkey sandwiches for a week after every holiday. Yum!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yay! Turkey Day is finally here!

Tom's been up since 6:30 cooking the turkey. He also made cranberry sauce from real cranberries and mashed potatoes and gravy. Yummy!! I made a double batch of green bean casserole. I can't wait to eat!

We're heading over to citra where we'll feast with Tom's dad, JM, his mom, and his sister. I can't wait! We're all spread out this year, I called up Jessie, she's feasting right now with her friend's family, and my mom, Liz and Jodi are no doubt feasting up a storm with Jodi's parents. And my dad is feasting with Gwen's family down south at one of her kid's houses.

Enjoy your feasting everyone! Cause next year you're all coming to my house!! BwwaaaHaaHaa!!

Hope you all get lots of yummy food and good company. And not too much of a tummy ache!

Just wanted to let you know I updated and added a new belly pic! Yep there's a little guy in there for sure!! My OB said yesterday that my uterus is now about 3-4 inches above my belly button. Wow!

Monday, November 21, 2005

A little research goes a long way

Well, within about 3 hours of that last post my bronchitis stuff was back full force. There were a few people at the Habitat for Humanity worksite (not students, but people with HFH) who were smoking and I was exposed again. I guess that's all it takes for me, especially since I was just starting to recover. Have I already expressed my, um, FRUSTRATION with smokers yet? I suppose so. For a refresher feel free to go back a few posts to my major rant.

Since I was in bed anyway, I had the laptop here on the ironing board by the bed and I spent the rest of the weekend researching secondhand smoke to see if I'm the only person affected by it so badly. Turns out I'm not!

So here for your reading pleasure I'm including links all about sidestream smoke and stuff. Hopefully you'll take a look and not be too upset or weirded out by how militant I'm going to be about keeping the baby (and myself) away from smoke. I hope I won't be obnoxious about it, but I will be militant about it.

Limiting Exposure to Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand Cigarette Smoke Worsens Symptoms In Children With Asthma
Cigarette smoke worsens respiratory infections in infants
Your Home:Secondhand Smoke
Secondhand smoke: Protect yourself from the dangers
Facts You Should Know About Second Hand Smoke
Secondhand Smoke - Risking Your Child's Life
Secondhand Smoke and Its Risk to Children
Ways to Reduce the Health Risks of Secondhand Smoke
What is Passive Smoking
Second Hand Smoke and Ill-Health: Allergies & Immunity
Passive Smoking During Pregnancy
Taking Action Against Secondhand Smoke Toolkit | TIPS
"What You Can Do About Secondhand Smoke"
"Fact Sheet: Respiratory Health Effects of Passive Smoking"
Secondhand Smoke: Irritating Annoyance or Serious Health Threat?
Myths and Truths of Secondhand Smoke
IAQ Fact Sheet: Environmental Tobacco Smoke
Secondhand Smoke: What It Is, How to Avoid It, Who's at Risk
Secondhand Smoke
Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A Hazard to Children

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Volunteer work is hard!

Well I just got back a bit ago from taking my students out to do their service project. And about all I have to say is "OUCH!"

We did about 4 hours of hard labor for Habitat for Humanity. Most of it was moving and leveling topsoil, laying sod, carting off trash and moving boards and metal stuff around. It was cold in the morning, and never really got too hot, but we sure warmed right up doing all that work! So now I can barely move, my back is killing me and unfortunately I got way too dehydrated out there. I'm drinking now and had a lovely hot shower. Oh, and some tylenol. So far I've only found one tick on me, and it hadn't bitten me yet, but as soon as Tom gets home I'm making him check me over really good! I hate ticks!!

Tom's off selling all our DVD movies. It's painful, we had a lot of great movies and we really watched them, but we need the money right now. Paying for Abbey's surgery, all the doctor visits and medications Tom and I are on, gas, and making the downpayment on the house has really tapped us lately. Now we have to find a way to pay our monster phone bill, cell bill and electric bill. Luckily we've already taken care of the car and the car insurance so at least we don't have to worry about that. Fun stuff.

On to the good stuff!

On Tuesday night Tom felt Nicky kick! It was so wonderful for him to feel those little movements. They weren't really hard ones, but enough to let Tom know he was there. I've been feeling him a lot more also since Tuesday. I seem to feel him best when he's feet down and kicking my bladder and stuff down there. Pretty entertaining! He does it a lot when I'm in the car wearing my seatbelt. I don't think he likes the seatbelt much. (So of course I'll wear it all the time! I love those kicks!)

I'm getting much better and was able to work two half days and two full days last week. Tom is about 3-4 days behind me, so hopefully he'll be well enough to do school and work the three days we have next week. Turkey day is just around the corner and we've got to be well for that!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Baby Nicholas is doing just fine!

Ok, this morning Tom and I went to our second Level 2 ultrasound. We got another video of it too. First off, he's looking very good. He wasn't moving around as much at the start of the ultrasound, but by the time the doctor was looking he was moving around quite a bit. He's grown a lot, nearly doubled his weight in the last three weeks! He's now weighing 14 ounces and his growth is all right on time. By my calcualation (from ovulation date) he is 20 weeks 5 days and he's measuring at 21 weeks today. Looks good! They went to measure the choroid plexus cysts and the one on the left has already resolved, it's gone, and the one on the right is smaller which is all good. The doctor rechecked everything to make sure there were no other markers for trisomy 18 and there aren't any. Hands, feet, face, head, spine, abdomen, heart, kidneys, cord insertion are all good!

We had the option of doing the amniocentis, but we decided not to for two reasons.

One, I've been sick for over a week now, my immune system is already compromised and with this coughing stressing my abdomen and diaphram I was worried about the cough itself causing complications after the amnio. The doctor said that while there is no specific research on that he thinks it is a good idea to consider it, since if we did have complications we'd always wonder if the cough caused them.

Two, everything else looks so good on Nicholas that we'd really not be able to consider terminating the pregnancy anyway, even if the chromosomes showed a problem. It might be different if he had spina bifida, severe heart and abdomen defects and hydrocephalus, but he doesn't. The choroid plexus cysts show up in 3% of all healthy pregnancies and just aren't a problem. They resolve naturally by 25 weeks and cause no issues with learning or anything. So there really wasn't a reason to do the amnio. (Whew! Cause I mean come on! Big needle in the tummy? OUCH!)

So now Tom will be working on making new DVDs of our second video for all the grandparents. I still haven't figured out how to do a darn screen capture though! But we did get two more pictures from the ultrasound today. The both are pretty awful though! If only I could get some still shots from the DVDs! Aw well. It'll be fun to research later. I'll get the new pictures up soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Still Sick, and now Tom is too

Ugh, I feel so icky! Tom is now sick too. Since we're both pretty much big babies when we're sick it's pretty pathetic at our house right now. We're trying to take care of each other as much as we can, but mostly just whining to each other.

We've got our next Level 2 ultrasound on Tuesday morning. So hopefully we'll get another video. Tom figured out how to transfer the video into a DVD and we've got DVD's to send to all the grandparents. That will be fun for everyone to see! I still haven't figured out how to do a screen capture though. I thought I'd just have to do a printscreen and paste it into paint, but it didn't work. Bummer! Hopefully I'll figure it out soon.

We just found out my godson Colin has type 1 diabetes. It was so scary Friday when he had to go to the hospital! But his mom was great and noticed he wasn't being himself and was too thirsty all the time. I'm just so happy she got him in to see the doctor so fast! He's going to be just fine now. He's going home today and according to his mom he's doing really well with all the shots and stuff. He's a brave sweet little boy and I'm very relieved he's going to be alright.

Liz is doing her first craft show this weekend. Hopefully she sold lots of her flower fairies and got some good experience at the same time. That would be so neat if she can turn her hobby into a side business! You should see her fairies, they're soo cute! I have a few photos here on the web of some of her earliest creations. If you can believe it they're even more detailed and beautiful now!

I think that about covers whatever I can think off. Preggo brain and benadryl are making my thinking all fuzzy. Think I'll go take a nap. Ugh! I hate being sick!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I hate smoke (Warning...this is a major venting session!)

Well, here it is, Thursday. I've been sick since Sunday morning and have missed out on work all week except for the 2.5 hours when I came in to teach on Tuesday. I'm sick of being sick! I've called into my OB again to see what, if anything, they can do. I'm already taking Robitussin DM, Sudafed, Benadryl, and my albuterol inhaler every four hours in addition to my normal regimen of baby aspirin, metformin, zantac, and azmacort. All these drugs can't be good for Nicholas! They're all on the approved list, but taking so much all the time still doesn't seem like a good idea. Unfortunately without all of it I can't seem to breathe or sleep at all, which isn't good either. My OB just called and they're calling in a prescription for an antibiotic for me. They're worried this is going to turn into a sinus infection and bronchitis. Great. More drugs!

AND I just have to take this opportunity to vent about the reason I'm sick in the first place! Saturday and Sunday I walked around the Micanopy Fall Festival. Exercise, fresh air, what could be better for me and the baby? WELL apparently SOME people think that any outdoor venue gives them the RIGHT to smoke whatever they want. Now, I understand it's outdoors. BUT it was really very crowded. A lot of people in a relatively small space. Everywhere I went I was always catching a whiff, and sometimes a lot more than a whiff of cigarette smoke. Even cigar smoke a time or two! YUCK! Of course I tried to get away from it every time I caught the first whiff, and I'm very attuned to that odor so I'd usually smell it before Tom or JM could. But it was still getting into my lungs.

I'm so sick of having to dodge these smokers! They hang right outside of buildings on campus, walk the sidewalks in their stinking clouds. Congregate in common areas, walk around like it's their RIGHT to smoke as long as it's outdoors. Now, I'm completely grateful that I live in a state that restricts smoking in all public buildings, including shopping centers, malls, and restaurants. It helps me to be able to go places I would otherwise have to avoid. BUT I do have to walk into the mall, past the crowd of smokers. I do have to enter and exit my workplace and the other buildings on campus, through a crowd of smokers. I have to walk on the sidewalks, stop at the corners for traffic and stop at traffic lights, often in the company of smokers! It's insidious! I can't get away from it even though I personally not only choose not to smoke, but I'm very sensitive and desperately allergic to it! I've been sick for an entire week this time! Usually this keeps me out of work or school for two weeks, and even then the cough can linger all winter!

Why do I have to suffer because some people CHOOSE to kill themselves with tobacco? I understand that they think they have the right to choose to smoke. If they want to destroy their own bodies (and the bodies of the people they live with) FINE! Go ahead! BUT I really resent that their CHOICE is killing ME! AND endangering MY loved ones! I can tell you right now I don't want my child getting so much as a whiff of tobacco smoke. How am I going to protect him from it? Should I, and others who choose not to smoke, have to go around in plastic bubbles to avoid it? I suggest that the ones who are doing the smoking should have to be inside a bubble, then they can have all the smoke all to themselves and not pollute the air the rest of us are trying to breathe! Smoke in your own house, in your own car (with the windows up!) and keep it to yourselves.

I just don't think smokers know how much their habit is affecting others! Yesterday, on the way home from my glucose tolerance test, we had the windows down driving home. It was a beautiful day. There was some traffic on Archer road, as usual, and we ended up stuck in traffic passing and being passed by this same guy in a huge black pickup truck. His cigarette in his hand, hanging out the window, right by me. Tom saw it and rolled up the windows on my side of the car. He knew to do it because even though that guy is in his own vehicle, the amount of smoke that comes out of his mouth and window, and off that cigarette that was hanging about 3-4 feet away from me was too much smoke! People either just don't know how much their smoking is affecting others, or worse, they just don't care! I understand that they are addicted and feel the NEED to smoke. But give me and others who aren't a break! When you smoke in your car with the windows down in traffic, every car you pass if their windows are down or their air vents are on, you're exposing them to your cancerous habit. When you live in an apartment complex and smoke outside, or heck even inside with the windows down, you're exposing your neighbors to your smoke if they are sitting on their porch, coming out their door, or have their own windows open. If you're outside in a public place, walking on the sidewalk, strolling in the park, standing outside a building's entrance or exit, you're affecting every person walking by you. I can't even tell you how hard it is to hold your breath as you pass every smoker in public.

And this is only talking about relative strangers. I remember vividly, many times being in the backseat of the car with a relative who was smoking. The window right next to the smoker would be cracked just enough to let them tap out their ashes and keep the car from completely being so filled with smoke that you couldn't see. But I remember being in the back seat, my lungs and nose burning, my eyes watering, trying to sink my face down into my collar so I could try to filter some of the smoke out with my clothing without drawing the attention of the adults in the front seat. I knew they'd be angry if I complained about the smoke, think I was being 'smart' with them, or disrespectful. I can't even count the number of hours of this torture I had to go through as a child. It kills me now when I see someone smoking in their car with a baby or young children in the car with them.

Anyway, I just needed to vent a bit. I can't be at work right now because I'm so sick and I'm sooo bored of being at home! I don't see why my life has to be so impacted by people who are choosing to destroy their own bodies. I can only say that I'll be doing everything in my power to make sure Nicholas doesn't ever have to deal with tobacco smoke. I hope he never chooses to smoke himself. It will definitely be one of those things we teach him constantly from the time he's little. The same way you teach them about washing their hands after they go to the bathroom, brushing their teeth before bed, and being kind to animals.

Do they even realize how much their habit affects others? I have to be careful in everything I do because of my sensitivity to smoke, but if I can be affected then others are being affected to. Maybe not to the same degree, but if smoker's residue in a hotel room, in an apartment, in a used car affects me, there is something left behind long after the smoker is gone. It's horribly insidious. It gets into everything. One of my horrible 2week coughing episodes was brought on by nothing more than having a smokers clothes in a closed closet in the room where I was sleeping! I wasn't even able to stay in the room the entire night. By 2am I was up coughing and had to try to sleep sitting up in the living room.

Anyway, I don't know that I'm trying to accomplish anything with this rant. (Yep, what started as a vent has definitely turned into a rant.) But I just suffer so much from being exposed to tobacco smoke, and I'm not the only one out there affected this way. Maybe someone will see this and think twice about starting smoking, consider quitting, or at least consider those around them when they choose to smoke. I actually smoked myself for about two years total when I was a teenager. I must not have been addicted that badly because it wasn't that hard to give it up for me. I understand that others can have a harder time getting free of their addiction. But I still look forward to the day that cigarettes are outlawed, or at least only allowed where they can't affect others. It amazes me how they seem to take breathing for granted.

Every time I get sick like this and I see a smoker I can't help but think "I wish they had to struggle for breath, coughing so hard that every chest muscle is sore, and every labored breath feels sharp, like breathing razorblades." But then I remember that that's exactly how they are going to feel. Lung cancer, black lung, emphysema... it's not a pretty way to die. So, I actually don't wish it on anyone, but I hope that maybe if they knew what it is really like for someone like me, maybe they'd quit that much sooner. Before they DO know what it feels like.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

First kicks!

Today Tom and I went walking over to the Micanopy arts&crafts festival and walked around. I'd already had a good time doing this yesterday with JM and I wanted to show Tom a few neat things I was thinking about for the baby's room. When we were first entering the fair grounds I went "Whoa!" and a few seconds later "whoa" again! I am pretty sure I felt Nicky kick me twice, hard! Wow! It was just to the left and just below my navel. Pretty high! It was just those two kicks and then I'm sure he probably fell asleep while I was walking around. But that was really neat!

The bad thing was that there were many people walking around the festival smoking! I tried hard to avoid them both days, but I woke up Sunday with a bad case of asthma. I've taken benadryl, tylenol, sudafed and my emergency inhaler, but it's still bugging me. I'll call up the doctor tomorrow morning if it's still here then.

Let me show you how Abbey's doing:
Here's how she's been a lot of the day, just resting:

Close up of the $800 boo-boo:

Now to give you something more fun to look at for the week, Tom and I are already approved for a home loan, and now they're just trying to see if they can get a better rate or higher amount. So Tom and I are picking out a few different models in different sizes so we can have a model in mind depending on what price range we'll be looking at. Here's the website of the company we're dealing with. They have pdf files of all their models. Knock yourselves out! ;) http://www.pchomecenterinc.com/

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm the luckiest OB patient in the world!

I had another little ultrasound today! It was my regular monthly OB appointment. I think he was just curious as to whether he could see the choroid cysts on his machine or not. (He couldn't really see them.) I didn't get any pictures, I wasn't even supposed to get an ultrasound, but I got one anyway! That means I've had a total of 5! YAY me! I get another level 2 on the 15th, and then I finally get my "big" ultrasound (the one where they usually get to tell you the sex) on Dec. 6th. So I will get two more in the next month! HA! Am I lucky or what!
AND at both of the next ones I will get either a video or DVD of it! Three baby movies before Nicholas is even born! What a lucky duck I am!

Anyway, we're just as happy as can be about it. (In case you couldn't tell.) We haven't heard about the house financing yet. I called them this morning and they said they'd called in late yesterday and they were working on it right then. Hopefully we'll hear good news either today or Monday.

Abbey is doing pretty good. We took off her bandage last night and the incision looks pretty good. Not red or icky. Her leg is a bit swollen and somewhat splotchy, but I think that's all to be expected. Poor girl has to wear the elizabethan collar now to keep her from licking it though. I hate leaving her home with it on, but what else can you do? Hopefully she'll just lay down and sleep for the day. Tom's home with her a good bit of today working on his research paper, and I'm going home a little early today too. So it won't be too long. Her follow-up appointment is next Wednesday so we'll see what the doctor says then.

I think that's about it. We're actually staying home and relaxing this weekend. Maybe we'll head into Micanopy (you know, across the street) and see the art festival. I think it's this weekend. Maybe I'll even WALK there! HA!

I think I'll put a little plug in here for JM. She's my other mother-in-law (I know it, I'm just lucky!) and she does photography and photo restoration. You just have to see these cute pet photos she's been doing! Those puppies are sooo cute! AND she has a funny picture of Benjamin and a sweet Abbey photo too. I'm going to see if she'll do some maternity photos for me when I'm all big and about to pop! That will be fun! Especially since she's a digital guru who can make me look REALLY good! http://www.jmmott.com/

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

My poor puppy dog in her purple bandage

Well Abbey is back from her surgery. My poor little girl! She's still really sore and tired, probably all groggy from the pain and the pain meds. I just want to squeeze her but I think I better just let her rest. Poor puppy!

The vet said the surgery went pretty well, but he did have to suture her patella tendon. He said that was not a normal thing to see with an ACL rupture, and hopefully it will heal up well. I hope so!

I found out yesterday that I'm NOT getting my big ultrasound at my OB appointment on Friday. I'm SURE it was supposed to be that day, but they said I'm not scheduled for that and that we'll make the appt for the big one at Friday's appt. Whatever! It could just be my preggo brain, but I'm pretty darn sure this was supposed to be it! Grrr! Aw well, I've gotten a tape of my level2 and I'll get another level2 on Nov. 15th. I don't think it will be any trouble getting video of that one as well. Then we can get the DVD whenever my OB gets around to doing the big ultrasound. That's 3 movies! AND Tom and I really want to do the 3D/4D ultrasound for our Christmas present to each other. That will be really cool!

We still haven't heard anything more on the house financing stuff. Hopefully we'll hear by the end of this week!

Found a new ticker. Thought it was kind of neat. I've added it to the bottom of the blog. :)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My poor Doodle-bug!

Well Abbey went in for surgery this morning. They had a cancellation and decided to do it today. Hopefully she'll be feeling a lot better a lot sooner. I believe we actually have to leave her there overnight too. Poor puppy!

We also just began the financing process for buying our new house. They say they will be able to have it ready by mid-February! I hope so! AND I hope Nicholas doesn't decide to make an early appearance!