Tuesday, October 26, 2010

November plans

The holidays are right around the corner. I've actually been thinking about them for some time now, and I am excited about them. It'll be our last holiday season before our family increases by one, and it'll really give us opportunities to enjoy each other's company without (hopefully) too much stress that can come during that time of year. I already feel like November is going to be busy, but I'm looking forward to it!

I would like to participate in (and win!) NaNoWriMo again this year. I have plans to write the first draft of a 50,000+ word novel during that time. But I don't want that to be all my thoughts are about during the month! I have a lot more I want to do, so I'm going to need to plan, plan, plan and schedule out my days.

I'd also like to start getting in more exercise. I'm not feeling nauseated quite as frequently as I was before (although I am still dealing with both that and vomiting), and I seem to have at least a bit more energy when I'm awake (I still sleep a lot!). So I'd like to use the treadmill at least 3 days a week again. I don't think that should be too difficult to schedule in.

And I need to get back to work on this medical transcription program. It has fallen so low on my priority and interest list lately that I haven't done a THING toward completing the program. I am a procrastinator by nature, but I know that I can't shove more hours into a day than exist to get it finished in time. Still, I'd like to try to complete it by the end of March so I don't have to pay extra to get an extension. When I plan out my schedule, I'll figure out how many hours a day/week are realistic to work on that and go from there.

We need to get to work on getting the nursery ready. We still have to pick out paint and then paint the room. Then we need to clean the carpets (anyone have a carpet cleaner we can borrow???). And we need to keep our eyes open for some second-hand furniture and other supplies, as we are strapped TIGHT thanks to medical bills.

I may end up having my baby shower in November, but I don't know if that's realistic because the date that was thrown out there is quickly approaching. I'll have to talk to the people who offered to throw it for me and see what they think. My mom thinks it's too soon and we should just plan it for January, but I'd kind of like to know sooner rather than later what gaps we will have in baby items so we can (somehow) figure out how to budget those in the remaining months of the pregnancy.

Other than that, I can't think of much else that is or should be pressing issues. That, of course, doesn't mean something won't come up between now and the end of November, but hopefully with a plan of attack I won't feel so overwhelmed come December!


Joe and I aren't able to see family for the holidays. We also have a very limited budget thanks to medical bills and my "temporary disability." But we set goals for ourselves individually and as a couple, and we reached a goal and earned the reward. One of our goals was to pay off our credit cards. We had made some adjustments to our expenses earlier this year and aggressively tackled our credit card debt. I am to blame for a lot of it, as I didn't always live within my means as a single adult. I am glad I learned my lessons before getting married, however, and adjusted my lifestyle. I'm also grateful that Joe was willing to marry me with my debts (I just wish I could magically make these student loans disappear!) when I've heard of that being a deal-breaker for some.

So, to celebrate paying off our credit cards, we put less money than we were putting into a monthly credit card payment into a mini-vacation. Babymoons, as pre-baby vacations are being called by many these days, are increasing in popularity. And when I realized it might be a while before we get the opportunity to go on a vacation after the baby comes, the idea appealed even more. So, we booked a hotel room in Ocean Shores, WA for a couple nights and eagerly looked forward to our trip.

Joe decided to take Friday and Monday off work. I asked him if he'd like a day to just do whatever by himself since I'm always around at home now, and he (kind of) took me up on that offer. We went to Sonic for breakfast on Friday and ran an errand in that neighborhood. When we got home, I spent a few hours reading a book in the living room while he watched some movies and spent some time on his computer in the family room. Then we watched a bit of TV together. That night, we went to the Moore Theater in Seattle to see Mike Birbiglia perform. We enjoyed the show, which was more like a story-time than stand-up comedy, but which provided plenty of laughs anyway. Then we came home and crashed.

On Saturday we slept in a bit before heading to Carnation, WA and Camp Korey for their fall activities. We went through a corn maze (and found a fire pit where we roasted s'mores in the middle of the maze), ate pumpkin pancakes, sipped on hot chocolate, and took a hay ride. It was enjoyable (and cheap). Our whole drive from here to Carnation (about an hour away) was rainy, but the weather cooperated the entire time we were there, which was pleasantly surprising.

On our way home, we stopped by the grocery store to get some snacks for our trip and some other groceries. Then we headed home, packed, and made the two-plus hour drive to the coast. The weather wasn't very cooperative on our drive there either, but it was a nice, peaceful drive without too many other cars on the road once we got through Tacoma. We'd been contacted on Friday because we had unknowingly booked a room that was handicapped-accessible to see if we were able to switch rooms as it was needed by another guest. Of course, we agreed, and were told we were actually getting a room "upgrade" to the "most popular room in the hotel." We spent the weekend relaxing as storms raged outside, playing games together, watching movies, reading, window shopping, and checking out local cuisine. We even managed to get a short walk on the beach in between showers (it started raining again almost right as we returned to the car).

We headed home yesterday and relaxed at home before going out to dinner to celebrate Joe's birthday. I've realized that while I appreciate getting away from routines and creating new memories, it's always nice at the end of those trips to come home to the conveniences and familiarity of home. I'm glad we were able to enjoy these various activities relatively frugally so we wouldn't have to stress about how we were going to pay for anything. And it was nice having that extra time to spend with my sweetheart creating memories that we'll cherish.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I haven't had a huge appetite yet in this pregnancy, but I have had some hungry days. I swear, no matter what I ate on Sunday, it just wasn't enough! I had a granola bar as a snack while at church and felt like I hadn't eaten for a day when I got home about 1 1/2 hours later. I ate all day long.

Yesterday I woke up feeling just as famished, but eventually the sensation went away, more or less. Thank goodness! If I ate like that every day for the rest of my pregnancy, I could see myself gaining at least 20 pounds!

Because of my pulmonary embolisms, breathing deeply has been a challenge since early on in my pregnancy. I'd read about people becoming short of breath or whatever as their organs moved and got squished a bit, and so I think I attributed at least part of the breathing challenges to that both before & after the hospital. Still, while it seems to actually be getting easier to breathe during the second trimester for the most part, I do find myself winded when I carry a heavy load of laundry up or down the stairs. Guess I may have to start using our ghetto laundry chute again.

Yes, we have a laundry chute, but it's nothing to brag about. It was made (by the previous owners) by cutting a hole in the ground and covering it with a raised piece of wood. The chute itself is a rectangular section of a vent that was attached to the wall in our laundry room and then painted over so it would "blend in" a bit. The clothes then fall into a little squarish area cut out of the cabinetry in the laundry room. Still, that might be better than hauling clothes down the stairs and huffing and puffing, especially as I get bigger (I wish that didn't have to happen!).

Monday, October 18, 2010


I just signed on to Target's website to add one of the items from my baby registry there onto my Amazon wish list in hopes of winning The Wish & Win $100,000 Sweepstakes (a girl can dream, right?). And I noticed that several items from my baby registry were "no longer available." Crap. Guess I get to spend several more hours trying to figure out what the heck I'm supposed to add to the registry, compare that to my list to see what is still on there, and then try to fill in the holes.

And in other fun news, I learned something very frustrating on Friday about our finances and insurance. If I wasn't already wondering how to make ends meet without me having to get clearance and go back to work ASAP after the baby is born (and then wondering where she'll spend her days and what sorts of influences she'll be subjected to), this definitely would've made me. As it is, however, it's just another stress I don't feel like I need right now. Guess that answers the question as to whether or not I'll be getting this beauty for Christmas or a baby gift for myself or anything... It's going to be a cheap, cheap Christmas!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I love feeling my baby girl moving around inside me. I haven't been able to feel it for very long, but in a short period of time, I went from not being able to feel her move to faintly feeling her move from the outside. I took Joe's hand and placed it on my stomach while she was moving around yesterday, and he said he felt a small movement.

She's moving right now, in fact.

We had dinner with three of Joe's cousins and two spouses to celebrate a birthday for one of them. They're pretty much the only family on his side still left in this state, so it's nice when we can get together. One of his cousins is pregnant and due in early December, and we chatted a bit about being pregnant. She told me that while she can tell I have a baby bump now, I also look like I'm skinnier. Hey, I'll take it! I definitely feel like my belly is getting bigger, but I know that even the maternity jeans I bought recently seem a little large for me (especially in certain areas). I know I can't credit it to wonderful eating while pregnant, but I am trying to get in various nutrients daily and not just munching on chocolate (or foods garnished in chocolate). I do admit I had some chocolate milk with dinner, and it was delicious!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


While I sleep at least 8-9 hours most nights and then spend the majority of my days on the couch, nauseous and exhausted, it's not how I was expecting pregnancy to be. I love my friend Nancy for sharing so candidly her thoughts and feelings about being pregnant. Some people like to gloat that they feel so beautiful and wonderful and love being pregnant. Ugh. I want to punch those people right about now, lol.
Thursday morning I woke up all but screaming with the most intense leg pain I've had since I tore my MCL and meniscus. Yowza! I remembered all the tips I'd read on dealing with leg cramps, and I tried to flex my foot toward my knee. But it wouldn't move. I had to put my foot on the ground and kind of lean down into it to simulate the flexing motion. The pain then moved around in my leg and eventually (after what seemed like 10 minutes but was probably closer to 3-5 minutes) the pain went away. I had some soreness to deal with the rest of the day but figured that was normal.
On Friday I was up at about 4:00 am. I wanted to sleep desperately, but I just couldn't. And so, as I laid in bed, thoughts of what I *could* be doing instead flooded my head. Within a few minutes, I decided to just get up and get started. I organized one of our hall closets. I found a place to put some items that had just been lying on my bedroom floor for lack of a better place to put them. I organized the cupboard under the bathroom sink. I vacuumed the nursery. I washed (and even put away!) some laundry. I vacuumed the hall. I cleaned. I read. I wrote. I checked emails. I'd made a big to-do list and got a lot accomplished on it.
When Joe got home from work, we ended up taking a nap, as we were both sleep deprived (he more so than I, but no matter how many hours I do sleep, I often FEEL sleep deprived). Then we headed out to get some fast food and Dairy Queen blizzards (we had coupons for both) and to see Alice in Chains in concert. My leg was still sore, but I wasn't too worried about it. I did mention before bed that if it was still sore in the morning, I'd check in with my doctor's office just to be safe.
It was still sore, and so I did check in. I also followed up with the OB yesterday, per the recommendation of the physician-on-call I spoke with on Saturday. Today I will have the levels of my blood thinner checked to make sure they're still in the therapeutic range. If the blood thinner levels are fine and this soreness is a blood clot, the doctor believes it must be small since my leg isn't swollen, red, or warm, and I'm already on therapy for that, so there isn't much else to be done.
I'm over halfway done with the pregnancy. We have picked out a first name and started a baby registry, and that's about it. We need to have the carpet cleaned in the nursery and we need to paint it. We need to buy whatever furniture and other items we don't receive when/if we have a baby shower (and Joe has a couple co-workers who are giving us some "baby stuff," but we don't know what that'll be except some clothes their baby girls have outgrown). We need to tour the hospital (I'm still bummed I don't even have the OPTION of a home birth or working with a midwife because of my health problems). We would like to take a prenatal class or two but haven't picked anything out or signed up yet. We need to create wills, living wills, power of attorneys, and whatever other legal forms (I'm so worried something bad might happen when I go into labor or between now and then since I almost died already in this pregnancy). I need the flu shot still (but was denied it yesterday because I may be getting a cold). I am supposed to pick out a pediatrician before the baby comes. When it gets closer to the date, I want to make some freezer meals to have on hand for when the baby comes. We have baby-proofing to do, lots of expenses to take care of (but not the money to do so, which is a whole different worry of mine), and various other items to take care of pre-baby. Plus, there are the holidays coming up and everything that goes along with them.
Meanwhile, yes, I still have morning sickness. I throw up a few times a week, so I'm just glad it's not more. But I have such food and smell aversions that lots of the tips people have given me and those I've read just aren't working. For example, nothing ginger helps at all. I'm just doing the best I can, eating what seems like it will stay down. I've had to stop eating something after a bite or two when the nausea gets really bad on multiple occasions. And sometimes those are things I had no problem eating before. I did have really strong cravings for Taco Bell bean burritos a while back, but those are gone and the burritos have made me throw up the last couple times I've tried to eat them. I also feel like I'm running out of places on my stomach to inject myself with my blood thinner because of all the tenderness and bruising there.
I know things aren't going to get any easier when the baby arrives, and I am trying my best to "enjoy" this time I have to read and relax and sleep. But frankly, I'm not really enjoying it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cat nap

I swear, at least 5 hours a day my cats can be found here:

Apparently it's very hard work being so adorable and lazy.