Archive | October, 2014

Pregnancy #2 Update: 4 Months

29 Oct

I’m 17 weeks along today. I decided that with this pregnancy, I’m only going to do monthly updates. I mean, there’s only so much you want to read about cravings, aches and sleep problems.

Although I’m very fortunate to not be experiencing any of those at this point. I went on a short run the other day and even though I haven’t been running much and was also 16 (now 17) weeks pregnant, I felt surprisingly great. I’m still sleeping pretty well, my energy is back (got up at 6/6:30 all last week!) and food is appealing once again. I still don’t have many cravings but that is just fine with me. I’ve been able to keep the bad heartburn at bay too, so things are going well.

This pregnancy is similar to my first in some ways. Things have been relatively easy so far. I’m finding it interesting again this time around how you can feel as big as a house but not look that big. (At least, not big compared to later on.)

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17 weeks with #2
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17 weeks with #1

But it’s also different – mostly in that I am WAY more relaxed about everything. I think once you experience being pregnant and being a parent, you get a sense for what’s a big deal and what isn’t in terms of “what not to do” and all the preparations for a baby. (Sometimes I laugh at the completely impractical things people do in decorating the nursery – but I get it. You just get more practical the second time around.) That said, the countdown and process is still just as exciting!

I started nursery preparations this past weekend – I cleaned out the closet and built-in bookshelf. Next up is getting rid of the desk and moving the futon downstairs. Then it’ll be time to paint! I had wanted to do a mint green color on the walls but now I’m reconsidering. I have a teddy bear print from my room growing up that I’d like to hang but mint green wouldn’t go well. Now I’m thinking white, navy and coral (with maybe some gold accents). We’ll see. It’s hard planning a gender-neutral nursery!

Emma Grace: 18 Months

28 Oct

Oh man, this post is SO overdue. But whatevs.

Emma is so fun these days! And I know every parent thinks this, but she is the cutest little kid in the world. I keep telling her that if her sibling is as cute as she is, we’re going to die from cuteness overload. I mean, seriously.

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At her 18-month appointment, Emma was 23 lbs 14 oz and 32 inches long with a head circumference still in the 90th percentile. So still growing well.

She still doesn’t have any consistently used words though, so we’re getting her ‘evaluated’ by a child psychologist and speech clinician. Our pediatrician recommended it, it’s free through the school district and they come to our house, so even though we’re not that concerned, we figured what the heck. Emma understands what we say to her – we can say “Where are Emma’s socks?” or “Where is Emma’s nose?” and she’ll go get socks, or point to her nose. But then we’ll say things like “Can Emma say dada?” or ask Emma to come, and she will act like she doesn’t have a clue what we’re asking. So we’ll see. She’s kept pace in all other areas of development though.

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At 18 months, Emma loves playing with:

  • Makeup and barrettes
  • Dishes (real and play)
  • Balls (she can kick!)
  • Dog leashes (never gets old)
  • Dirt
  • Paint/yogurt/food
  • Water

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Emma also enjoys:

  • Playing in the car (but she figured out how to open the doors!)
  • Pushing buttons on remotes, coffee makers, phones, etc.
  • Drawing in her notebook (we usually give her a pencil because she is dangerous with a pen – hello walls – and still eats crayons)
  • Playing outside
  • Doggies (we went to a school festival and she squealed in delight upon seeing their Husky mascot)
  • Chocolate (girl asks for it – by waving – all.the.time.)
  • Feeding herself with a spoon or fork
  • Drinking bottles of milk before naptime and bedtime (we’re not ready for the battle yet)
  • “Brushing” her teeth herself (I think she just likes the taste of the toothpaste)
  • Putting things in her mouth (just recently realized that if I want her to not do this when we’re not at home, I can’t let her do it here either… aye.)
  • Bathtime! (this is one of the things that Emma consistently understands – when we say “Let’s take a bath,” she goes to her bathroom.)
  • People watching and playing with other kids (she’s a very social kid!)
  • Figuring out how things work

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Emma does not like:

  • Being thrown into the air
  • Mommy leaving the room
  • Loud noises, like a pressure washer, vacuum, electric drill, etc.
  • Cartoons or books (she will not pay attention to them at all! Mommy likes cartoons though)
  • Shirts getting stuck on her head
  • Wearing shoes or socks (she takes them off in the car all the time!)
  • Things in her hair (she will not leave barrettes, headbands or rubber bands in at all)E

Emma’s favorite foods are:

  • Pickles
  • Fruit snacks
  • Mac & Cheese / noodles
  • Clementines
  • Grapes
  • Pineapple
  • M&M’s
  • Cheese
  • Graham crackers
  • Licorice
  • Yogurt
  • Applesauce
  • Trail mix (we don’t give her the big nuts)

She loves water during the day, but is very attached to her bottles of milk before naps and bedtime.

We installed Emma’s big girl carseat shortly after our San Francisco trip. It hasn’t made a huge difference in her enjoyment of the car (she was fairly content before) but it is easier to pass her toys and snacks now that she’s facing forward. And I like that it has a cup holder – Emma gets pretty cranky when she’s thirsty.

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Worth Repeating {10/27/14}

27 Oct

Now that I am finally emerging from the first-trimester exhaustion and can actually do something during Emma’s naps other than take a nap myself, I’m hoping to get back into blogging regularly! It’s been a while since I posted a Worth Repeating post, so to recap, this is a weekly series where I share quotes, sayings and verses that I enjoyed and found to be worth repeating.

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While up at elk camp, I re-read C.S. Lewis’ classic book The Screwtape Letters, and loved this description of how God wants his creatures (us) to embrace who He created us to be – and even, dare I say, like ourselves. Like David said in Psalm 139, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

I think that sometimes Christians confuse the idea of hating our sin with hating ourselves. Yes, I am sinful. Yes, I have a long way to go in the process of sanctification. But God created me to be who I am, and I can only reach my true potential in life when I learn to embrace and accept all of Me, instead of wishing I were different. When I can embrace and rest in who God created me to be (sin aside), I can stop trying to prove myself. And when I stop trying to prove myself, humility and servant-heartedness become possible.

In case you’ve never heard of The Screwtape Letters, it’s a novel in which an uncle demon is writing letters to his nephew about how to win a man’s soul to their side (Satan’s).

“The Enemy [God] wants to bring the man to a state of mind in which he could design the best cathedral in the world, and know it to be the best, and rejoice in the fact, without being any more (or less) or otherwise glad at having done it than he would be if it had been done by another. The Enemy wants him, in the end, to be so free from any bias in his own favour that he can rejoice in his own talents as frankly and gratefully as in his neighbour’s talents—or in a sunrise, an elephant, or a waterfall. He wants each man, in the long run, to be able to recognise all creatures (even himself) as glorious and excellent things. He wants to kill their animal self-love as soon as possible; but it is His long-term policy, I fear, to restore to them a new kind of self-love—a charity and gratitude for all selves, including their own; when they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours” (71-72).

Elk Camp 2014

26 Oct

Life is finally returning to normal after the craziness that was September and the beginning of October. Travis and I are both so ready to be homebodies and not make any plans for a while! (Though as you know, weekends just have a way of getting filled up anyway.) It has been so nice to just chill at home this weekend though and get some stuff done around here.

Elk hunting in Colorado went well again this year, though it looked different than in past years since Travis and I no longer live there. Travis’ parents and nephew left on Wednesday afternoon and Travis had planned to meet them about an hour into the drive, but I had debilitating pregnancy heartburn that day so Travis stayed an extra couple of hours to help me get packed and drive me to Papa Murphy’s for dinner. He met up with them at the hotel that night. They arrived in Denver the next afternoon, went grocery shopping and loaded up Travis’ friend’s truck with gear. They headed up to camp on Friday morning – both to get the spot they wanted (they’re first come, first serve) and because it takes all day to set up camp, chop firewood, etc.

Meanwhile, I had driven down to Rochester to my parents’ house on Thursday after Emma’s 18-month well baby appointment. The drive is 3.5 hours, which is totally doable in one stretch – unless you are 14 weeks pregnant and have a toddler with you. I stopped a little over halfway in Minneapolis and spent a couple hours with a college friend, got coffee and browsed the kid’s section at Barnes & Noble, and then continued on my way. I arrived at my parents’ house around 7 pm. We hung out and ran errands on Friday, and then on Saturday, it was back up to the Cities for me to catch my flight to Denver. I cried as I hugged and kissed Emma goodbye, and I was a mess of emotions for the rest of that day, but after that, I was actually able to enjoy having a break. It helped that Emma did really well with my parents, and I was able to get updates from them every day, even up at camp.

My flight to Denver ended up being delayed a couple hours though (boo) so I didn’t get to Denver as early as I had hoped. My good friend Cathy drove me up the mountain to Silverthorne and my mother-in-law picked me up there. Cathy and I had planned to hang out up there for a couple hours, but she ended up just dropping me off and heading back. It was nice to chat with her anyway. We got up to camp around 7 pm and Beth got to work on dinner. Al was already back from hunting and had a fire going, and one by one, the other hunters (Travis, Drew, Matt and Aidan) trickled back in (shooting light was over by 7 pm each night). Each night followed a similar pattern – the hunters got back by 7:30, we ate dinner, hung around the campfire for a bit and called it a night around 8:30/9. But when you’re getting up at 5:30 in the morning, it doesn’t seem that early!

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20141012_125404 20141014_053956The next day (Sunday), it snowed 4-5 inches so Beth and I stayed hunkered down in the nice warm wall tent, except for a walk up and down the road during a brief respite. And we made a snowman.

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Meanwhile, Travis had shot a bull elk and they had to quarter it and pack it out in the snow. Not ideal, but he was pretty excited about it anyway.

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Monday, Beth and I headed to the tiny mountain town of Hot Sulphur Springs where there’s a resort that has about 20 pools filled with natural hot sulphur water that you can soak in. Since I’m pregnant, I made sure to not get too hot but I was still able to enjoy almost all of the pools (I sat halfway out of the hotter ones). It was nice and sunny, and the pools were outdoors, so it was very enjoyable. Afterward, we ate lunch in Granby, bought a few things from the grocery store and headed back to camp.

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Tuesday was a really nice day weather-wise – so much so that in the afternoon, we read our books outside in the sun and I even got a little sunburned. After lunch, while the guys took their usual after-lunch nap, Beth and I went on a short 2-mile hike on the South Fork Loop. The trail went along the river, so it was pretty flat – exactly what I was looking for because I haven’t been on a real hike in 2 years!

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Wednesday, it was time to pack up camp. None of the other guys in the hunting party saw or shot anything the rest of the week – but that’s pretty typical of elk hunting. We’re always happy to get at least 1 animal. We arrived back in Denver around 3 pm, took showers and headed out to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings – our post-elk hunting tradition of the past 5 or so years. It was only 7 pm when we were done eating and we all just wanted to go to bed! But we forced ourselves to stay up until 9 pm.

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Thursday morning, my flight left at 10 am so Travis brought me to the airport right after breakfast. True to form, I had totally forgotten to check in to my Southwest flight 24 hours in advance (and not sure if I could’ve even, because we were still at camp) so I ended up checking in just 2.5 hours before the flight. Somehow though, I was assigned A16 for boarding – which, if you know that Southwest only assigns boarding order and has open seating, you would also probably know that A16 is the first boarding position after their version of first class. I have no idea how I got the first position for a completely full flight that close to takeoff, but it was totally awesome!

My parents and Emma picked me up at the airport, and her face was absolutely priceless. Her eyes were wide, her mouth gaping, like she was just in shock that I was back. She didn’t smile or cry or anything – just stared at me. We ate lunch at Q. Cumbers and then played at a park for a while so the dogs could get out of the car (my parents watched them that week too). We decided to have dinner with my brother and sister-in-law so we went to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America for a couple hours. Emma played with the Legos for a while and then we took her on some of the tamer rides. I think she enjoyed them…? I tried taking a picture of her on the carousel with my dad (she rode a rooster) but they turned out super blurry. Bah.

For dinner, we went over to Chris and Meg’s and then walked to Lund’s, where we got food from their deli. I had a craving for sushi (of the cooked kind) so I got aPhiladelphia Roll. For grocery store sushi, it was decent and it satisfied my craving. I didn’t end up leaving Chris and Meg’s place until 8:45, which meant I got home around 11 pm. It was a doozy of a drive home, but we made it!

We’re still cleaning and putting stuff away from the trip (camping is so.much.work.) but we got all of our meat processed with Travis’ parents last Sunday. Between the new meat and what we had left from last year, our freezer is completely full of game meat. And deer hunting is still coming up! We’re set for the apocalypse.

Pregnancy #2 Update: First Trimester

10 Oct

Sorry to announce my pregnancy and then fall into complete silence for almost 2 weeks! I hate to use the cliche “Life has been crazy” saying, but hey it’s true.

The culprits of this craziness are many (and some are our own doing):

1) Travis has been working 50+ hours each week and traveling more than usual (3 weeks in September alone).

2) We’ve been gone for part or all of almost every weekend this summer and fall.

3) We just moved into a new house prior to the craziness beginning.

4) Emma’s been sick for over a month with one virus after the other and a hacking cough that will.not.go.away.

5) I’ve had my share of pregnancy issues, which I will get to shortly.

Both Travis and I are living thisclose from a major meltdown. Did I mention we’re going elk hunting in Colorado this week?

Anyway, that’s why I haven’t been blogging. Can you blame me?

BUT after elk hunting, we have nothing on the calendar for 3 whole weekends, then deer hunting, and almost nothing after that. Which means hopefully we will be able to discover some normalcy and routine instead of running around from here to there like chickens with our heads cut off. Yes, routine would be very nice.

So, the first trimester. Travis and I discovered I was pregnant the first week or so of August (from the get-go, things have been quite a bit more laidback than my pregnancy with Emma – I didn’t record the date of the pregnancy test…). We were and are VERY excited, and if you’re curious, this pregnancy was planned. My due date is almost exactly 2 years after Emma was born, which was the timing we were hoping for (though not nearly that accurate!).

The week after I found out, I went to the doctor and they did all sorts of tests, asked all sorts of questions… except they didn’t check that I was actually indeed pregnant. I asked about it after getting my lab results and the nurse said that home pregnancy tests are so accurate these days, they don’t retest. Ummm… ok.

I didn’t have an ultrasound until I was 12 weeks (I’m 14 weeks now), so for those middle 6 weeks I felt like we were hoodwinking our immediate and extended family by telling them I was pregnant. I didn’t feel pregnant, didn’t look pregnant… was I pregnant? The only symptoms I had were that coffee wasn’t appealing and food was meh. Other than that, I felt pretty normal. Needless to say, we didn’t tell anyone beyond our family about the pregnancy.

Right after we got back from San Francisco trip though, I started feeling more pregnant. I picked up some kind of virus or food poisoning that kept me on the couch for a couple of days, and since then, I’ve felt slightly carsick all the time – meaning food in general has sounded disgusting. When I was pregnant with Emma, I had tons of cravings in the first trimester. This time, I haven’t really had any. But considering that’s been the worst symptom until a few days ago, I have been very blessed with an easy pregnancy again.

In the past few days, I’ve had ridiculously bad heartburn. My chest feels really tight and I can barely breathe. I had that happen about 5 years ago when I was nowhere near pregnant and went to the ER because I thought I was having a heart attack. Nope, just really bad acid reflux. Turns out carrying a 23-lb toddler is not enjoyable when you have stabbing chest pains – neither is sleeping in any kind of reclined position. Hopefully Zantac and papaya enzymes can keep it at bay from now on.

Similar to my first pregnancy, I haven’t been exercising as consistently or eating as healthy as I would ideally like to be. But limited energy, lots of travel and a general ‘meh’ attitude toward food make it tricky. Once we get back from elk hunting, though, I AM getting back on the workout bandwagon. I do NOT want to be as out of shape postpartum with this baby as I was with Emma.

As for gender, Travis and I have decided that we are going to wait until the birth to find out. The anal planner in me is freaked out by that choice, but it also feels like an adventure, which is fun. I keep thinking the baby is a boy, though, so if it’s another girl, it’ll probably throw me for a loop.

And here’s a bad picture of me at 14 weeks for your enjoyment (I feel giant already):

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{Seeing as I fly to Colorado tomorrow, Emma’s 18-month update will most likely be happening after I get back. So see you in another week!}