Archive | December, 2012

Pregnancy Update: 26 Weeks

31 Dec

26w 1d 002I’m working from home in my PJ’s today!

I had my most recent prenatal checkup last Friday morning and completely expected it to go exactly how the others have – the doctor says everything looks good and I come back in a month. Well, this appointment was a little different.

For every prenatal appointment until this one, the same very nice lady brings me back and weighs me, takes my blood pressure, all that good stuff. I got a different lady for this appointment and she was a little more gruff/disgruntled. Their computers were down that morning, so maybe that contributed to her attitude. Anyway, she sent me to the bathroom for a urine sample, then weighed me. After taking my blood pressure (and not telling me what it was), she ran her pee test and remarked numerous times about how much sugar was in my urine – ‘just a crazy amount.’ She asked what I had eaten for breakfast and feeling sheepish (since I had had 1/2 bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats and a big bowl of Rice Krispies), I just said, “Cereal,” and then added, “Probably not the most healthy breakfast ever.” To which she replied that ‘in her opinion, all cereal is just sugar.’ Because of the sugar in my urine, she pricked my finger to test my glucose level and when she got the result, said “Well, that’s not horrible.” And then sent me on my way to an exam room.

The doctor came in after a few minutes and asked if I had taken my gestational diabetes test (with the sugary drink). No, I had not. (Apparently, that was something they forgot to prepare me with at my last appointment.) She said I could come in before my next appointment and have my blood drawn after drinking the drink. Then she asked if I had any questions. I did have a few and after each, she quickly said that they were very common symptoms and nothing to be worried about. Once I was done with my questions, she reviewed my chart and said that my glucose level was 122, which wasn’t horrible but they liked to keep it below 140. Also, I should watch my weight gain since I had gained 9 lbs in a month, putting me at 22 total lbs gained with 14 weeks to go.

Say what?!?!?

My mind reeled with this information, since according to my own calculations, I had only gained 2 lbs in 4 weeks. At the time, I could only think to tell the doctor that on my home scale, I had only gained about 17 or 18 lbs total, not 22. She brushed that off and gave me the speech about hidden calories in juice and soda, how carbs can add lots of calories, I should add in light intensity exercise, yadda yadda. I brushed her off because I know all of that. What’s more, after going 2 weeks with gaining nothing (or so I thought?), I had been intentionally eating more.

It was like a twilight zone.

That appointment has bothered me more than I like to admit. I actually cried on my way home. There are several reasons why this bothers me – One, because I don’t think it’s true. Two, because I identify myself as a healthy person and this undermines that. Three, I had felt like I was eating healthier and being more active than earlier in my pregnancy and this made me feel like even that wasn’t enough. Four, I had finally gotten into the groove of intuitive eating and this situation has made me hyperaware of everything I’m eating and rife with guilt anytime I consume something sugary.

To get to the bottom of the situation, I weighed myself Saturday morning and my scale said exactly what I expected it to. I have gone around and around trying to figure out how our figures could be so off – not that I really care about the discrepancy of 5 lbs total but how in the world did they calculate me gaining 9 lbs in a month, when I only calculated 2? Maybe I stood on the scale weirdly and it read incorrectly? Maybe keeping my shoes on skewed the results? Maybe it was because they used a different scale this time? Maybe my scale at home is broken, even though it seems to give me accurate readings and has showed me gaining 2 lbs in the past 4 weeks?

I can think of a lot of explanations for the total lbs gained being off, but I can’t for the life of me figure how it could show me gaining 9 lbs in a month. It boggles my mind. For now, I’ll let it rest and hopefully my next prenatal appointment weighing will show that this scale was on crack on Friday.

As for the blood sugar, I am going to take the gestational diabetes test this Wednesday morning so you can be praying about that. I am going to let this whole situation encourage me to not eat as much sugar (I was going a little overboard there for a bit…) but I’m not going to freak out and start counting calories (because it makes me miserable).

The other interesting development this week has actually been in the works for the past several weeks. My inner thighs constantly feel like I’ve done 500 reps on the adductor machine. At first, it was only noticeable when I walked. I assumed that my Pilates video worked my inner thighs more than I realized, and that I was also more out of shape than I realized. But then Christmas came around and after 4 days of doing nothing much, my inner thighs still were really sore. They have gotten increasingly more sore over the past couple of weeks so now they hurt when I walk, get up from sitting, squat, pull pants on, get out of the car. I can’t even close a drawer with my leg anymore. I can’t say I’m excited for another 14 weeks of this. BUT once again, I’m thankful that my pregnancy has been fairly uneventful, and that my baby girl is still healthy and kicking up a storm.

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My workouts this past week were on the light side, due to Christmas and me not sleeping well:

Su: 1.15 mile walk

W: 12 minute walk

Th: 20 minutes prenatal Pilates

Sa: 1.7 mile walk

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Symptoms: Inner thigh/pelvic soreness, acne

Cravings: Chocolate

Weight Gain: 17 lbs total (o gain this week – according to MY scale)

Favorite Moment: Finishing up my nursery sewing projects (which I’ll post about soon)

Least Favorite Moment: Prenatal appointment

Looking Forward To: Our childbirth class in a week and a half!

 

A Christmas Wreath

30 Dec

Back when my parents were out visiting and my mom and I sewed the curtains for the nursery, we were standing in line at the checkout at Joann Fabrics and I saw a yarn ball wreath on the cover of Martha Stewart Living. It was ridiculously cute (of course) and it looked totally doable. I quickly paged to the tutorial, saw that they had just used a styrofoam wreath and balls, wrapped in yarn and glued together and knew it was something I could do.

So when I drew my sister-in-law’s name for Christmas, I decided that I would make her a wreath (and me as well, while I was at it). I didn’t want to actually buy the magazine for the tutorial so I looked online and found this tutorial, which suggested using crumpled up newspaper instead of really expensive styrofoam balls. I also saw on Pinterest a suggestion to use pipe insulation instead of a styrofoam wreath. Initially, I had planned on just going with the Martha Stewart way – it just seemed better. Well, the prices of styrofoam balls and wreaths are ridiculous. Seriously, it would cost just as much to buy a yarn ball wreath already made as it would to make it myself that way. So newspaper and pipe insulation it was.

The pipe insulation ended up being the perfect length, and I just taped the ends together into a circle. I covered it with white yarn and then was on to making the balls. I had chosen white yarn, red yarn and twine (inspired by the blog tutorial I used, above, and the colors my SIL likes) for the balls, and also bought some sparkly little balls to use as well. I discovered how much newspaper made what size of ball and tried to make a variety. Once I had about 15 balls, I started hot-gluing them on the wreath. After that, I made the balls as I needed them, so that I could make the perfect color and size for the spot.

Once all the balls were glued on, I affixed some beading wire across the back (like you do for a heavy picture frame) so she could hang it easily.

Voila!

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I LOVE how the wreath turned out and would totally have made one for myself like I had planned, except that the whole wreath took forever to wrap and glue. So I made one for my sister-in-law, took pictures and called it done.

Maybe I’ll get ambitious again in another life?

Christmas 2012

27 Dec

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Our Christmas was very enjoyable this year (but how can you not enjoy Christmas?).

I worked from home Monday and we left around 2:30 to drop our dogs off at a friend’s and head up to Estes Park (about 90 minutes away). It started snowing as we got into Estes Park and snowed 4-5 inches over the course of the night. We were sharing a condo with our friends and their 2 kids, so we talked for a while, cooked dinner, played Ticket to Ride (love that game!), and watched Elf.

The next morning, we opened the gifts we had brought (Travis and I brought our stockings that his mom packed to the brim) and then ate breakfast. After breakfast, we packed up and headed out into the snow.

blendsgiving 020 (Large)

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blendsgiving 021 (Large)We went to pick our dogs up and ate some cinnamon rolls with our friends. Then we headed home. We unpacked, tidied up, put our Christmas dinner in the crockpot and then opened presents. I got nice new headphones, baby bath stuff (hooded towels, washcloths and soap), $50 for a mani/pedi and… a Keurig coffee maker!

20121226_084005The coffee maker is for both me and Travis. We are really excited. We’ve already used it twice and love it. We used to make so much extra coffee (to get the blend right) so I think that even though the coffee will be more expensive than our Folgers, it’ll taste better and we’ll end up wasting less.

After presents, it was time to bum. We watched The Tourist and the rest of Downton Abbey Season 2, while enjoying the awesome surround sound and Blu-ray player that my parents gave us for Christmas. We are fans.

By then it was dinner time, so we ate our chicken wild rice soup and crescent rolls with some sparkling grape juice. Then we tried calling our families (unsuccessfully, though we did talk to mine a few hours later), started a puzzle and then watched The Bourne Legacy. I tried to stay awake but it was way past my bedtime.

We missed being with our families, but it’s really hard to not enjoy a relaxing Christmas just the two of us!

Pregnancy Update: 25 Weeks

24 Dec

25w 0dI finally caved and bought some more maternity clothes. I found another pair of jeans at the used maternity store and then found a bunch of stuff at Ross – I got 4 shirts, 2 tanks, a pair each of pants, shorts and leggings, and 2 sweaters for just under $90. It’s nice having some more options. And the maternity shorts I found for our Florida vacation were only $3! I love finding good (cute) deals.

This week also made me realize that my workouts will not be the same until after this baby comes. I did 20 minutes of Pilates on Saturday morning and could barely move that night! It didn’t feel like I was working out that hard, but I guess I was? So I’m thinking that my running jogging days might also be behind me. My morning exhaustion hasn’t made me want to go out jogging anyway. I’m perfectly content doing a video in my nice warm living room.

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My workouts this week:

Su: 1.55 mile walk

T: 20 min aerobics video + 10 min prenatal Pilates

W: 1.15 mile walk

Th: 1.15 mile walk

Sa: 20 minutes prenatal Pilates + 1.15 mile walk

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The most exciting thing about this past week has been that Emma is finally kicking up a storm! I feel her kick a bunch while I’m at work or sitting around, and Travis can even feel her kick from the outside. So fun! It’s a much more enjoyable feeling than the stomach churning I had before (though I’ve heard being kicked isn’t very comfortable the farther along you get).

I’m still having trouble sleeping – I don’t know if it’s that I’m not comfortable, or having weird dreams, or a combination. But it’s no fun. I am a complete zombie for the first couple of hours that I’m up each day.

Symptoms: baby kicks, acne, weird/random aches and pains

Cravings: CHOCOLATE. I have been wanting to eat sweets like there’s  no tomorrow.

Weight Gain: 17 lbs total (1 lb this week)

Favorite Moment: Feeling Emma kick!

Well, we’re off to Estes Park with some friends. Have a very Merry Christmas!!

 

Christmas Festivities

23 Dec

A couple of weeks ago, I got together with some friends from church to make Christmas ornaments. It was a lot of fun to see what everyone created!

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blendsgiving 002 (Large)My ornaments

blendsgiving 004 (Large)This past Thursday night, we went to Travis’ work Christmas party. He works for a really small company (there are 5 employees) so we had dinner at a nice restaurant. Since my maternity wardrobe is pretty limited and I didn’t really want to buy a dress just for this occasion, I just wore one of my typical work outfits. I also convinced Travis that since the dress code was semi-formal, he couldn’t wear jeans. He cleans up nicely. 😉

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My department at work didn’t have a Christmas party this year because there has been a lot of layoffs in the past couple of weeks and no one was in the Christmas mood. There hasn’t even been any treats in the break room! Very Grinch-like.

Then on Friday night, we had a Christmas party for leaders at our church (we lead the projection/lights team). We met at the church for hors d’oeuvres and then went to Too Hot to Handel in downtown Denver.

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I had been to Handel’s Messiah before and decided it wasn’t really my cup of tea, but this was a jazzy modern version of it and it was really good! We had a good time.

This morning, we had our Christmas celebration at church. I always enjoy the break from routine and hearing the adult and kids choirs sing. So fun!

Other things we’re enjoying this Christmas are our tiny little tree:

blendsgiving 005 (Large)It’s only 3 feet tall. Our ornaments don’t even all fit on it anymore!

downton abbeyMy boss let us borrow her copy of Downton Abbey Season 2. We’ve already watched 5 episodes. This show is so addicting!

What are you enjoying this Christmas?

Choosing Joy in Exhaustion

19 Dec

snoozeMy blog has kind of turned into a weekly pregnancy update and nothing more. What can I say? I would love to blog. I have time to blog. But I have nothing to blog about. The only reason why I blog once a week is because of the whole “counting down the weeks” thing. Otherwise, my brain is useless.

I partly blame being tired. For the past week or two, I get up early enough to spend some time reading the Bible but my mind just won’t engage. I zone out in front of my open Bible until I concede that it’s useless and either start getting ready early or use that time to take a mini nap. (Usually the latter.) I finally understand what it feels like to not be a morning person. You stumble around in a half-conscious daze for the first three hours you’re out of bed. By noon, you feel mostly normal.

When I’m tired, I let everything slide. Making the bed sounds like too much work. Cooking dinner – too much work. I have energy for one thing and one thing only: doing nothing. Even the things that I enjoy doing and am always glad for doing later, are still thrown out the window with the excuse, “But I’m sooooo tired.” 

I know you’re probably thinking, “She’s totally screwed when she actually has her baby.” I’ve had that same thought. And that has spurred me to the realization that I need to learn how to live tired. Not survive tired. Not make it through another day tired. LIVE tired.

As a human, I love comfort. I love ease. I run from struggle, challenge and difficulty (unless its one I have intentionally chosen, like running a marathon). Being tired brings this all into the forefront because it’s a constant “I don’t like this!” feeling. My natural tendency is to focus all my available energy on wishing I wasn’t tired and to heck with the rest.

But I don’t want to look back on any time in my life and see that I sacrificed all of my priorities because I was tired. I don’t want to wish away the first months of my daughter’s life with longing to not be tired. That’s allowing my circumstances to dictate my response. It’s me playing the self-pity card and refusing to contemplate anyone else’s needs but mine. It’s a waste of life.

As I thought about this Monday on my way to work, I was brought back yet again to this:

“Life change happens when we accept life with thanks and ask for nothing to change.” (Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts)

I can acknowledge that operating with insufficient sleep is challenging. It is challenging. But like with any other circumstance, I can rise above it and refuse to let it have the final say. I can determine my attitude instead of allowing my circumstances to do so. But it won’t just happen – I have to be intentional. With every moment, I have the option to choose ease or to choose joy.

I CHOOSE JOY.

And maybe an afternoon nap.

Pregnancy Update: 24 Weeks

17 Dec

20121216_092827I’m 24 weeks – only 16 to go! (FOUR MONTHS!)

I’m tired. ::said in a whiny voice:: My attitude hasn’t been the greatest recently. Being tired brings out the worst in me. Despite my amazing night of sleep on Thursday, the past couple of nights have been very un-restful. I wake up a lot, have weird vivid dreams and just generally don’t sleep well. But I am trying to look at this as a way to practice being joyful and thankful even when circumstances are challenging. It’s a lesson I definitely need to learn (and will use a lot when the baby comes I’m sure)!

I am grateful for all the stuff I got done this weekend. We finished Christmas shopping/present making and Travis shipped all of our gifts today. I printed our Christmas cards and should be able to finish addressing them tonight or tomorrow. Travis put up our icicle lights outside. We had an impromptu lunch with my cousin and cousin-in-law who happened to be visiting from Minneapolis. And we picked up our nursery glider!

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20121216_145759Travis approves. I LOVE how the chair turned out! It’s dark gray and SO comfy. Can’t wait to spend many, many hours in that chair. We also got the nursery arranged with all of the furniture, so I was finally able to get some of my stuff organized. That feels good.

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I stuck to my workout plan last week but didn’t run at all. I’m more motivated to go on a walk with the dogs after I’ve showered and woken up a bit.

M: 1.15 mile walk

T: 20 minutes prenatal aerobics + 10 minutes prenatal Pilates

W: 1.15 mile walk

Th: 30 minutes strength

F: 1.15 mile walk

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Symptoms: Poor sleep, linea negra, feeling out of breath a lot

Cravings: I really want frozen yogurt sometime soon. I still love potatoes. And I really like rice too.

Aversions: I really don’t like red pasta sauce right now.

Weight Gained: 16 lbs total (1 lb this week!) I intentionally ate more this week and it worked!

Favorite Moment This Week: One night, as I was laying in bed, Emma kicked me several times in a row – with very noticeable kicks! That was cool. I’m looking forward to that happening more.

What I Miss: My old wardrobe. I need to buy some maternity tanks, since my long pre-pregnancy ones are finally getting too short.

Looking Forward To: A relaxing Christmas! Childbirth classes in January. And the month of February – between a baby shower and our trip to Florida, it’s going to be a fun month.