Monday, November 24, 2014

Something Changed!

Before:

After:

{It looks a bit different, don't you think?}

It doesn't look "prettier," but that was not the goal. Here's the back story:

When we first moved in (11 years ago), we had a small leak above the garage. Since our home was under warranty, we called the builder to fix it. Ha. What a joke! We didn't follow up, and years later a small leak had become a big problem. Of course when the housing bubble burst, many people went out of business (including our builder), so by the time we realized we had a big problem, there was nothing we could do. This year we decided to pursue our options and found out about several types of HUD loans. We qualified for one, and after months, we were able to get the work done. I thought that once we got 13 inches of snow on November 10th that it meant we were out of luck until spring. In reality, contractors these days work all winter long. We had a "warm" (relatively) weekend this past weekend, so he took advantage of it. We opted to completely remove the peak above the garage since its only purpose was decorative and the seams were the cause of the leaks (well, the poorly done seams...seriously we have no idea how the roof passed inspection the way it was done originally).

Our next project is to insulate the garage. The reality of having a heated garage is getting closer!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

28 Weeks Pregnant, ultrasound, and more!


Can we be sure I'm not 38 weeks pregnant??  The temperature outside (and the snow cover) sure does make it feel like January already. I mean...could it be possible that someone looked at the calendar wrong and it's 1/20 not 11/20?

I saw the doctor yesterday. Here are my stats:

Weight: 161.0 (8.6 lbs gained in 3 weeks, 36 lbs total...seriously, this is just too much for me)
Blood Pressure: 100/62 (it's a wonder it wasn't higher after my experience on the scale!)
Baby's Heart Rate: 140's
Fundal height: 28.5 cm
Other:
I had my "Glucose Challenge Test" yesterday. I learned that it is different from the Glucose Tolerance Test in the amount of sugar one is subjected to. I was not required to fast (per se) for the GCT, but they suggested I not eat anything for an hour before I came in and to avoid having a lot of sugar before hand. I had a glucola drink that was 50 g of sugar. After an hour my blood sugar level was 86, which is really good. I'm thankful that I don't have gestational diabetes (selfishly because I can still enjoy cheesecake next week for Thanksgiving/birthday).

My hemoglobin was down to 10.7. I knew it had been falling, and this is very typical for me. I've seen it much lower, so it wasn't a shock or a surprise. In the third trimester the baby needs much more iron than previously to support its rapidly developing brain. I will suck up my pride and take my prenatal vitamin along with an iron supplement (I had been avoiding that prenatal in a boycott party-of-one on vitamins).  I *know* that the iron will work...even if I'm not convinced about everything else thrown in the vitamin.

On Tuesday I volunteered to do a training ultrasound at the local technical college where Micah is enrolled. I have a love for learning and education, plus I couldn't wait to get another glimpse of the baby. It was so much fun and I got much more information that I may have otherwise!  Here are some fun pictures:

 {Arms up by her face}

 {Arrow is pointing to her round, chubby cheek...squeal!!}

 {For a while she was even sucking her thumb...no, Mitch, that's not a Pinocchio nose, that's her knuckles!}

{The back of her head/spine}

Stats from the ultrasound:
Baby girl (yep, still a girl!!) was very active at first, and it was hard to get some measurements and pictures.
Her estimated gestational age based on the following:
Femur: 28 weeks 4 days
Head: 30 weeks
Abdomen: a whopping 31 weeks!
Estimated due date: 1/18/15 (hogwash...I am going to have this baby in February!)
Estimated weight: 1,500 g or 3 lbs 5 oz (chunky monkey)
I was at the upper end of normal for amniotic fluid--measuring 22 cm (it was 19 cm at 20 weeks). But we saw that her stomach, kidneys, and bladder all looked normal. My doctor said, "Someone has to be in the 97th%!" It's interesting that while I have so much fluid, my fundal height was measuring pretty much right on.
She was lying slightly transverse, but moved a little more head down after a while. She has plenty of room (in all that amniotic fluid) to move around.
My placenta is on my front left, closer to the top. I usually only feel kicks on my right side, but she's getting stronger so now I do feel kicks on the left too occasionally.

How I'm feeling:
Ok. I'm feeling ok. I sometimes have quite a bit of pain from my SI joint. Last night I was majorly sore and it continued all night long. That was pretty tough. I'm waking up about 2 times per night just to pee (lets not count the times that children may wake me up also...let's just not even talk about that). Other than the SI joint pain (which is at least partially to blame on rapid weight gain and partially to blame on age), I don't have any other major problems. It's a pretty much typical pregnancy and yes, I have plenty of the normal symptoms that you would expect at 28 weeks.

In other news:
This past weekend Mitch and I got to be a part of a friend's wedding. I was the photographer (unprofessionally) and Mitch was the best man. It was a lot of fun!


I have been using 2 hours on Wednesday nights (while 5 of the kids are at church events) for scrapbooking. I'm working on Tirzah's baby album. It's actually really hard because I always get mixed up and want to call her Mercy, even though they look quite a bit different. Last night I completely took over the kitchen table and did a real Power Layout (this blogger has a cool how-to for power layouts). It felt sooooooo good to do that. Now I can think straight! And I can get stuff done quickly! I really miss having workshops and all those wonderful days with Creative Memories...now I'm relegated to buying whatever I can find whenever I can find it at the thrift stores. ::sniff, sniff::


We have enjoyed dehydrating apples and bananas, and I've also made an apple crisp (or three) this fall:

 {Zeke is excellent at cutting the bananas for the dehydrator. Since he loves eating the finished product, it's a great job for him.}

{I like this recipe, though I think 3 lbs of apples is plenty.}

In other news, my camera memory cards have been misplaced, and along with them 3 weeks' worth of pictures. ::cry:: I'm sure that Mercy helped me misplace them. I even went through all the garbage trying to find them. I hope they turn up. 

I am about to miss lunch time so that's it for now!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

24-25 weeks pregnant

I am currently 25 weeks pregnant. Last week for 24, I had Eden snap another pic...


My doctor appointment got postponed until this week, however, so my stats are for week 25.

Weight: 152.4 (gain from last 5 weeks: 9.6, total gain: 27.4...ick!)
Blood Pressure: 92/64 (low but 100% normal for me)
Baby's heartbeat: 156

I ate a bite of chocolate before I left the house for my appointment. By the time we got to listening to the heart beat, baby was wide awake and moving like CRAZY. It was so funny that the practitioner was laughing as she chased the baby all around. The baby kicked the doppler several times, making very loud static noises. :)

I have been feeling pretty "normal." But it is definitely harder being pregnant now (at almost 38 years old) than it was even just a few years ago. My SI joint is giving me a bit of trouble (I'm sure the fast weight gain doesn't help). There are a couple exercises I can do at night that do give me relief (see video here if you're interested), but sometimes I'm just falling into bed and have zero motivation, even for stretches that feel good. This was a problem during my last pregnancy too.

I've been having increasing braxton-hicks contractions, which are more annoying than anything. They are more noticeable the larger my tummy gets. But I've also been having normal round ligament pain, which can cause me to pause what I'm doing and need a break. Baby is growing!! Oh and of course don't forget the middle-of-the-night leg cramps and bathroom trips.

I have some really good days where my energy is high and I can keep up with the to-do list. Then there are other days when I know as soon as I get out of bed that it's just not going to go well. I feel weak and tired right out of the gate. It's hard to push through and have stamina on those days. Naturally I end up feeling short-tempered and also discouraged. I hate those days.

Baby is moving really, really well. She gets the hiccups often. That's one of my favorite pregnancy symptoms because it reminds me that she is practicing breathing--getting ready for doing it for real. Tirzah got to feel her kick on Monday. The look on her face was priceless. She is the first person (besides me, of course) to feel the baby kick.

I volunteered for a training ultrasound at the local tech college. That is coming up in a couple weeks. I'm excited to get another look at our little girl.

We are still hunting for the right name. I've had plenty of suggestions but nothing that I love. I printed off lists of women in the Bible, places, cities, virtues, and even Puritan names. Some of those Puritan names are wild! "Tribulation" didn't make our short list.  Ha!



I have some kitting and crochet projects in the works, but nothing finished yet. I visited a local yarn store, where I was surprised and amazed at all I have been missing. The store had many varieties of yarn that I had never seen before, and I would say for good reason--most that I saw were imported. There were baskets and baskets of yarn from Germany. Oh I was in yarn heaven! Now I know why Patrick's grandma makes socks. ;)  The prices were a little too expensive, but I managed to bring home a couple of my favorite finds for small projects.



Ok, I'm off to find my motivation to serve snack to the kids and finish up school with my boys this morning. Today is a low-energy day, and I just can't afford it!!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Family Pictures (Take 2)

I had my eye on the weather forecast, hoping it would line up with our family's busy schedule. With a licensed driver in the house, having everyone at home at one time (especially on a nice day) is nearly impossible! I declared Wednesday would be the day. Thankfully, we were able to nail it this time. This post will be heavy with pictures, but here are my favorites:




Mercy
18 months
 Mercy wasn't very cooperative, so I'm glad we got a cute one a few weeks ago. :)

Obadiah
3 years





Tirzah
5 years
Kindergarten






Malachi
7 years
2nd grade




Josh
9 years
4th grade





~Intermission~

Zeke
11 years
5th grade






Caleb
13 years
8th grade






Eden 
15 years
10th grade







Micah 
17 years
11th grade




Steph
37 29 years
23 weeks pregnant

Mitch
38 years
3rd grade
Almost 18 years married!