Saturday, April 28, 2012

Baby Update - 12 weeks

Tuesday I had a doctor's appointment to check the baby for any potential delivery complications. This involved an ultrasound that was not supposed to be "very exciting". It turned out that the baby was not in the correct position to get the measurements they were looking for, so I got to basically just got gooped up so that I could watch him or her move around for about a half hour. BEST. ULTRASOUND. EVER!! :)

The heart rate checked in at 166. The baby measured 3 inches from head to rump. There's not much gong on with the little "legs" yet, but the hands were waving around a lot. They spent a lot of time trying to get him or her to turn so that they could get a good measurement, but they were unable to get an ideal one.

Here are the pictures I got:

Full body shot, head to the right.

Head and hand shot.

I have been feeling good. I had some stomach pain last week that freaked me out, but ended up being nothing to worry about. I think I am starting to get out of that first trimester sickness and tiredness - it's kind of come-and-go at the moment. I haven't gained weight consistently this time around like I did last time, and I attribute that to the high amount of Levothyroxin they have me on. I had bloodwork for both my thyroid and hormone levels on Tuesday as well, and I assume that both of those were normal because I didn't get a "bad news call". (Whew!) That's about it! Until next time . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

House Update - The Outside

Since we moved in to our home about 5-6 years ago, the focus has been on fixing up the inside of the house. This year we figured we would go ahead and start on the outside!
This is our house when we moved in. The front yard landscaping was never finished. The thing about this picture that makes me laugh is how small the bushes were back then! They definitely have grown since we took that picture.

This is our house now, in preparation for landscaping. The bushes and shrubs are gone. We are going to pour concrete and replace the entire front porch because it sank just a little! Check out the front step in this photo - not only is it very un-level, but it amazes me because you can see the line where the porch used to be.

Our porch railing is cheap and if the wind blows too hard, it falls out of socket. We are going to try an open wooden porch with a step all the way around.

This is a trouble spot. It's under a tree (YAY!) that produces a lot of acorns (BOO!) One year we collected 32 gallons of acorns off the ground from this tree! So landscaping with rock or mulch is out of the question because both would require a LOT of maintenance each year at acorn-time. So we decided that right here we would try a half-patio that is loosely based off of this photo here:
The wall will likely extend all the way to the corner of the house, and possibly even in front of the house to hide where the mud used to be. This kind of patio can just be swept off each year, making acorn maintenance easy-peasy. Also I am going to experiment with potted shade plants on the patio - something that I can move when necessary. We are also going to put a few chairs here. All in all, it should turn out really nice and very practical.

Now, the backyard plans! Our back yard is large, sloped, fenced-in, and has a very sunny and unused porch that we throw all sorts of junk under.

It also has lots of weeds under it, and very little grass. I have always thought it looked pretty bad, but I was unsure what to do about it.

We have decided to take off the back porch. We will create a landing and stairs coming down from the back door to a small 10x 10 concrete patio - possibly with posts for some sort of shade plan (a trellis, sun shade, or any other idea that we come up with). We will then fix the grass around the patio.

This weekend we will be changing this corner of the backyard. We purchased a used shed for a steal-of-a-deal, and Cory will be setting that up right here.

The final phase of the plan is a swing set. We are getting Nora a swing set for her birthday this year, and it will go somewhere around here, or likely closer to the shed. I am in the process of narrowing down the one we will purchase.

So, that's the yard plan! What do you think?

Until next time . . .

Monday, April 23, 2012

Nora's 32-Month Update

Well, I thought I would do a little update on Nora since we have been so busy and I haven't for awhile!

The biggest news for her is that almost all of her teeth are IN! YAY! We are still waiting on her two-year molars, but all the front teeth have FINALLY made their debut. :) It's made for one great-looking smile:

She's just getting so BIG! She ends a lot of her sentences with the word "remember?", which is really cute (i.e. "Daddy's at work Mommy, remember?") She's also starting to walk by herself at the grocery store, which is a huge relief for her pregnant mommy who should not be lifting her! She's enjoying "playing sports" outside, and she's actually pretty good at it for her age. She plays t-ball and soccer with Mommy, Mimi, and Daddy, and is definitely more coordinated than I would have thought she would be. Her favorite thing to do outside is play with bubbles or in her sand table. Inside she likes to play with Legos, trains, Fisher-Price Snap-N-Style Dolls, Barbies, and blocks. When we are downstairs she enjoys "cooking" for me, playing with her tool bench, and jumping on her trampoline.

Almost every day she will come up to Mommy or Daddy and sing a song she learned on Wonder Pets:
"Little Pig, Little Pig, let me innnn!"
"Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin!"
"Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house DOWWWWWWN!"
"Please don't!!"
(And then she takes a deep breath and blows!)

Right now she likes watching Dora, Diego, and Pocoyo when she gets to watch T.V. She is also learning to play with her friends a little more. Her and one of the girls I watch will often play the 2-year-old's version of Hide-N-Seek that goes something like this:
1.) One girl will tell the other to go hide.
2.) The one who was told to hide will go hide her face and start counting: "One . . . Two . . . Three! Here I commmmmmmme!"
3.) The other girl will realize she was supposed to be hiding and instead run around and say "AHHHHH!"
4.) They "catch" each other and start all over again. :)

Nora likes to have her friends play "chase" with her. She is also pretty bossy to her friends! We are working on that.

Nora is trying to figure out this whole "baby/big sister" thing. When we went to the airport a few weeks ago, I let her play with Dora's baby brother and sister toys, and caught her trying to push them into her belly:

She's still confused, but we read books about it daily so I think she will figure it out eventually. :)

That's about it for now! Until next time . . .

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Brother or Sister (the long DETAILED version!)

(Written on 4/3/2012)
I thought that today I should start to document this pregnancy! This baby is 10 weeks and 1 day old today, so I need to get on it. Here's what has gone on so far:

This time around I used an ovulation test. I have never done that before, but my cycles were so off that I figured I had better! I was really nervous about it because you take a test everyday for seven days, and mine was not positive until the very last day. But it did help to see where I was in my cycle, so I do recommend it. After the test, well - you know the rest. :)

Finding Out
About one week after the possible conception, I was "sure" I was not pregnant already. I had gotten this odd, 5-hour "flu" one Saturday morning and I felt a little nauseated from it, but I determined that I had NO pregnancy symptoms. So, on day 28 of my cycle I decided to take a pregnancy test so I could "put myself out of my misery" for the next few days until my period started. Imagine my surprise when my early prediction test had two little pink lines!! One line was faint, but it was certainly there. I was in absolute shock. First I was really happy . . . then I completely panicked. My thoughts were along the lines of "What do you mean I'm pregnant? I don't have any symptoms?!"

By this time, rationality took over. I had never had a positive test at 28 days before, so that was encouraging. I also realized that my strange 5-hour "flu" was probably me feeling pregnant for the first time, and the short pangs of nausea I had since then that I had attributed to the "flu" were also probably early signs.

I immediately thanked God for this baby, and I also prayed that this pregnancy would come "with a vengeance" - all the morning sickness, sore boobs, and whatever other signs and symptoms He could throw at me. I prayed for this because I believed it would set my heart at ease. One thing I did not pray for was "no blood", which is usually my first prayer! I don't know why I didn't instantly go there, but as of yet I have had NO BLOOD AT ALL. (*knock on wood*) This is the first pregnancy I have had with absolutely no bleeding. I have had nightmares about bleeding, and they sometimes end in me waking up in a panic-attack. I am just thankful that God knows my heart and has given me something to feel confident about, particularly for times when I feel like I am not sure about what's going on in my body. He has helped me see that only HE is God, only HE knows what will happen, and I do not. It has given me loads of comfort and peace!!

So, I'm pregnant. And I found out at 28 days! Sheesh. I found out so early that I wanted to wait a little bit before I told any of my doctors, but I knew that was stupid. My thyroid doctor has to know immediately for one thing, and if I miscarried again I wanted it documented at my OBGYN. So I only waited two days and then called.

I went in to my OBGYN for my first blood test, and they immediately did a qualitative test (to determine if I was pregnant) and also a quantitative test (to determine what my hCG levels were). Ever since I miscarried the first time, this is the drill with me and I was expecting it.

My initial hCG levels sent me spiraling into hopelessness. They were not critically low, but they were low. With my last miscarriage this happened initially, so I was crushed. I thought for sure it was going to happen just like it did before, and I prayed (and sulked!) a lot about it. This is when God started to gently remind me who He is.

I shouldn't have doubted - my levels went up immediately. I started to feel sick, my breasts changed, and I was extremely tired. And once I had confirmation that my hCG levels were going up, I called my thyroid doctor.

I was at the time taking one 25 mg pill of Levothyroxin (thyroid hormone replacement) every other day. When I told them I was pregnant and things were going well, they scheduled blood work immediately and told me to take my 25 mg pill each day instead. After my thyroid blood work, they called back and increased the dose to 50 mg each day. I have to get more blood work in 2 weeks to check and make sure all is well, but thyroid-wise I feel really good. I think things are where they should be at the moment.

Telling People
Initially I told my husband (of course) and sister, and a few days later I told a friend of mine and a cousin of mine, but that was about it. My sister is pregnant as well, so that was a lot of fun to tell her. I waited a few weeks before telling anyone else, and I have been telling people a little at a time. I told my mom when she was having a bad day in order to brighten it for her (it worked.) I told my dad and stepmother earlier than I intended to tell them because we were visiting with them, and I thought I should explain why I was sick and tired. That was a lot of fun as well - I gave my dad a birthday card that he had to read twice to really "get it". It was nice to tell my dad for his 60th birthday because we told Cory's dad about Nora for his 50th birthday. :)

I also agonized over when to tell a friend of mine that is having some major troubles trying to conceive. She was due to get the results of her first IVF the day after my first ultrasound. I wasn't sure if I should tell her before or after she got her results, and I eventually after much debating decided to tell her before since only God knew what would happen after. I am satisfied in my heart that I told her then, painful as it may have been, but in reality there is never EVER a good time to tell a friend that you got what they want so badly.

Early OB Ultrasound
I had an ultrasound scheduled at 8.5 weeks to check for a heartbeat. I am so glad that my doctor's office does this - really you have no idea how much it puts my heart at ease. I was a little nervous because the last time we did this I had a lifeless baby inside, but this time I thought it should be different.

Cory and I went in and the tech started by scaring the CRAP OUT OF US and saying "Oh, there's two things in the uterus . . . " !!!!! WHAT??!! After she realized we were freaking out, she explained that "only one of them is a baby". Oh, OK! lol Apparently the baby has a large yolk sac as well. (For the record, twins would have been OK with me, but there is nothing like that shock!)

Even though I knew it was probably there, seeing the heartbeat made me cry instantly. "Thank You Jesus for that heartbeat!!" It was very fast (176), and - to quote the tech - a "rockstar heartbeat". The baby measured a little small - Nora did too at first - and so they may move my due date back a few days, no surprise there. Right now I am due on October 29th, but they may move it to November 1st. I love that this baby is due in the fall!! :)

Telling More People
After the ultrasound I told a few more folks, my mother-in-law included. I really wanted Nora to have the experience of telling her since I knew her reaction would be an awesome experience for Nora to be a part of, so I bought Nora a "big sister" shirt and had her practice saying "I'm gonna be a big sister!" It took her awhile to get it out for my mother-in-law, but it was great when she did. I am glad Nora got to do that. :)

Two days after the ultrasound my biggest pregnancy symptom - the nausea - went completely away. No other pregnancy symptoms went away, but this was still cause for panic for me, at least initially. When I look at it now, I think it was not a bad thing - it happened to go away right as my allergies started to get really bad, so I only had to deal with one thing at a time. However, I kept watching my body closely in a state of alarm until I was sure this symptom wasn't disappearing because I was losing the baby.

A lot of people have been asking me if Cory is excited. Cory doesn't really get excited initially, and even less so this time because I put him to work right away and begged him to paint the baby's room already! :) (He painted it last weekend while Nora and I were gone in Texas.) I wanted to get a head start on things so I can space out what I am making and what I am organizing and what we are purchasing, so that was the first thing on my list. I honestly can't believe it's done already! Cory seriously rules. :)

This allergy season has been very bad for me, even causing me to wheeze badly. I am miserable with eye itch and I look a mess from it. In the long run this won't matter at all, however right now I am suffering through it as best I can with as little medicine as possible for the sake of the baby - although I have had to take some Benadryl or Chlor-Trimeton when the wheezing has gotten really bad. Poor Nora's outside time sure has shortened, but she's surviving too! Hopefully in a few weeks this will be over and I won't have swollen, itchy, red eyes; a constantly running nose and cough; wheezing, especially at night; and an itchy mouth and nose. Ugh. I should buy stock in Kleenex right now, I have gone through so many boxes!

. . . . .

That about brings us to today! I have a doctor's appointment in 8 days to make sure there is still a heartbeat and to meet with the doctor for the first time this pregnancy. After that I will tell everyone that doesn't already know, and this post will go live.

I am so thankful for this pregnancy, and I would appreciate everyone's prayers that everything continues to go smoothly. After all that has happened, continuing to have a "normal" pregnancy would be great, but only God knows what will happen. It's in His hands!!

Until next time . . .

UPDATE 4/13/2012:
We had a doctor appointment on Wednesday, and it was good. One of the best parts was the reaction from the doctors and nurses, who were obviously as happy as I was that I was in the office for a GOOD REASON. :) Dr. D greeted me with a big thumbs-up, and the nurses chatted on about how exciting this is for me.

Then . . . I went in to the room and they started looking for the heartbeat with the Dopplar. It took four minutes to find it - a very LONG, SILENT four minutes. I started to hyperventilate while on the table, but I really should have known better. It always took a long time to find Nora's heartbeat at first too. Anyway, he DID find it, and it was 170 - still good and strong. :)

With that scare over, we discussed if I wanted to do a VBAC or not (NOT!) and he determined that we could talk about it more in the third trimester. He told me my new due date: November 1st, as expected! He also scheduled me for an ultrasound on the 24th to check for any potential delivery complications. I got some more bloodwork, and that was it! Dr. D is the BEST. He has always been so good at making me feel comfortable and I just don't know what I would do without him as my doctor.

I posted the announcement today on Facebook and on the blog. So now the news is "live". (I debated doing this later, but I am already showing, so what the hey.) This is what I posted:

I posted it on the day of the Cardinals home opener, so a lot of people really liked that. :) Cory thinks I am a huge dork because I got the idea for this while he was at work and wouldn't be home until late, so "Cory" in this photo is actually my mom! lol Only one person has noticed so far though (as far as I know). :)

Right after I posted the announcement, I got (what I thought was) a huge scare. My doctor's office called - and they only call when something is wrong. I freaked out because I missed their call and had to wait for them to return it. After 15 minutes of waiting, I called them and bypassed the message line to talk to an operator because I was such a wreck! "What could be wrong??"

Turns out: it was only that my vitamin D levels were low and I have to take a weekly supplement. WHEW! So basically I freaked out for nothing. Big surprise there!

And now, we're up to date again! :)

Until next time . . .

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter 2012

We just got back from our third trip in three weeks, and I'm pooped!! I mentioned that we went to Nebraska and Texas, but this past weekend was Easter and we spent it out of town as well in Valparaiso, IN at Cory's aunt and uncle's house. It was a great time, but I dealt all weekend with these horrible allergies. IT. HAS. BEEN. AWFUL!! This year truly is bad allergy-wise - poor Nora is inside more than I care to admit. She has seen the inside of every PlayPlace in the Midwest while all her friends are out enjoying the nice weather at parks. This weekend she finally got in some decent "outside time" with daddy, Nana, her cousins, and some new friends. It was GREAT!

I wish I hadn't forgotten my camera, but I did snap a few pics with Cory's iPhone of the Easter Egg Hunt and some other fun moments. (This was officially Nora's first Egg Hunt!)

Riding verrrrrrrrry slowly on the tiny 4-wheeler with Uncle Mike.

Pre-Egg Hunt CHEESE!

Pretty girl! (This is probably only the fifth time she has ever worn a nice dress like this. Mom fail! lol)

Annnnnd, we're off on the hunt!

Looking . . .

Getting some help from daddy . . .

She got the hang of things quickly.

Nora brought home her body weight in candy and also added a lot of change to her piggy bank. She was so excited to open every egg, even though she is not a fan of jelly beans or chocolate. She did end up randomly eating part of a peanut butter/chocolate egg, much to my surprise! But of course - in true Nora fashion - she swallowed 3/4 of it and then wanted to spit out the rest. What a goofy girl! :)

Until next time . . .

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Been Awhile . . .

Yes, it has been awhile since I have updated! Sorry. I have been traveling a LOT. We went to Nebraska to visit my dad in March, then Nora and I flew to Texas to visit a friend this past weekend. For Easter we are headed away as well, and there is also one more trip coming up for my mom's 60th birthday! Combine all the traveling with all the nice weather and being outside, and you have very few blog updates. It's a crazy spring around here.

Anyway, here are a few pictures I have been meaning to share with you! I am also behind on the picture-taking, but what can ya do:

Until next time . . .

Nora's Latest "Update"

Things to remember about Nora at this age:

"smarshmellows" instead of marshmellows
She makes up her own songs.
favorite color: "aquamarine" :)
loves her bunny scarf from Grandma Pat
loves snowmen

"My fingers are too little to stick in the toilet. And this finger is too little. And this finger is too little too."
"mommy, I'm thirsty! Tengo hombre!"
"who's crying? the purple?"

Me: Nora, let me play with your hair.
Nora: no.
Me: pleeeeeease?
Nora: no.
Me: I just want to play with it.
Nora: it's not a toy.

Nora just told me her soccer ball has "1, 2, 3, 4 polka dots and 1, 2, 3, 4 octagons." :)

"OH NO! The purple one fell on her bump!" :)

Me: Nora do you know what you want to be when you grow up?
Nora: Ummmm . . .
Me: A doctor?
Nora: Nope.
Me: A teacher?
Nora: Nope:
Me: Well what would you like to be?
Nora: I just gonna be a Nora.

Nora: I want some chocolate.
Me: Really? (She doesn't like chocolate, and will tell you so!)
Nora: Yeah.
Me: You sure?
Nora: YEAH!
Me: OK. (I give her a Hershey Kiss. She licks it, makes a face, and gives it back.)
Nora: It's too chocolate.

Nora just told me she wants to help me at "making flour" (baking). :)

i just asked Nora what she wanted for Christmas. Her response: "a star, and a moon, and a snowman." she aims high! :)

i made toast with Nutella for breakfast this morning. Nora asks me "Mommy, what you eating?" I said "Toast, you want a bite?" She says "No, it's too muddy." :)

Nora sees that daddy is watching football.
Nora: "Baseballllll! I wuv baseball! Yay baseball!"
Cory: "It's football Nora."
Nora: "Football!! Yay footballlllllll!" :)

We went to her first concert: The Fresh Beat Band!