Monday, June 30, 2008

"this baby looks good"

The specialist said many things this morning, but what I keep hearing in my head is "this baby looks good."

And he does! Plump little cheeks, sweet tiny feet, all the parts where they should be. He is in breech position right now, which will hopefully change over the next couple of months, but right now I'm actually enjoying it because there are no little feet jammed up under my ribcage. He is measuring right on for gestational age (a few days ahead, in fact) and at an estimated 3 lbs, 12 oz he is right smack in the 50th percentile for size.

As of today, there are no detectable problems. I've been asked to come back each week from now until delivery for biophysical profiles - a fancy way of saying a sono and a non-stress test. According to the perinatologist they can often detect problems that way before the baby is in serious distress, so that's what we're going to do. But as of right now, well, the baby looks good.

Thank you for your continued prayers as we make our way through these final weeks.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

checking in

All is well. Been away from the house (and therefore computer) all week, so no posts. :(

Super-duper sonogram at the hospital tomorrow morning.

More to come.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

my baby knows kung fu

You all have seen The Matrix, right? (Shut up, you so have...either you watched it because you wanted to or your husband/boyfriend/ex-boyfriend/kooky buddy made you.)

Anyway, you know how Keanu Reeves gets plugged in and they download all that martial arts stuff into him and then he wakes up? And then he says, in that way only Keanu can, "I know kung fu."

It's a total Ted "Theodore" Logan moment in the middle of a much more sophisticated movie and it cracks me up every time I see it. And now I crack myself up because every time this baby pummels the crap out of my insides (and he does, oh how he other two were languid stretchers but not this one), I give my husband my best blank-faced Keanu look and use my best wonder-filled Keanu voice to say, "my baby knows kung fu."

Hmmmm. Re-reading that, I guess I am probably the only one who finds it side-splittingly funny. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

belated birthday gift

It's only 60 degrees today, which means it is cool enough for me to sew. The upstairs room in our house (it's a 1.5 story) tends to be 900 degrees all the time and is therefore not usable much of the time. Even with the windows open at both ends of the room the temperature hovers around "surface of the sun." On a nice cooler day like this it's ok, and in the winter I can sew up there with all the windows open - I'm not even kidding about that. Something in the construction is waaaayyyy wrong up there.

Anyway, I started a birthday gift for my youngest sister last month, and intended to have it finished long before now. I got the embroidery done but then it became too warm to sew upstairs and the project languished.

Finished it up today:

These are standard pillowcases with a monogram, trimmed in blue batik. That strip is actually a folded piece, so it's kind of 3-dimensional. I used french seams throughout because my serger is not cooperating, so these took awhile, but the pattern is awesome and they always come out perfect (I have made lots as gifts...really fun in novelty prints).

Yes, you can still see the embroidery hoop impression - the pencil markings I used to mark the center for the design also show, so I will wash, dry, and press these before sending them off. But at least they are done!

I had this dumb idea in late winter/early spring that I needed to load myself up with projects to make my pregnancy go by faster and keep me occupied. It would be embarrassing to actually list all the things I thought I would accomplish this summer. With only 10 weeks or so left, I can see that I will quickly run out of time before anything actually gets done. Hopefully this is the last of the handmade gifts that need making and I can just shelve all the lofty goals I had, focusing on a few relaxing items for the next two months.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

big girl bed

Well hello there! Where did another week go?

Actually, I know exactly where the week went. Last Monday Daughter's Big Girl Bed was delivered. We shopped around and discovered that we could get the best combination of price and quality by ordering the same bed we recently purchased for ourselves (but in a twin size). This is the platform portion, and this is the mattress. We have the exact same thing for ourselves but in queen size, and I cannot recommend these beds highly enough. Great price, super comfortable, fast shipping, and easy to assemble.

So we put the bed together the day it arrived, rearranged the room to accommodate it, and pretty much told Daughter the crib is now off-limits. I know it sounds really weird that we had to do that, but we have the one kid in the universe who never once attempted to climb out of the crib, and in fact has been quite happy in there for 3+ years. So we had to kind of insist that she use the big girl bed now (with a rail, and pushed against the wall for safety and security). In order to make it happen, I have had to lay there with her, chatting, rubbing her back, and singing to her. Hubs also comes in to sing some songs and make her feel comfortable.

She hates it.

At least she says she does. She keeps asking to sleep in the baby bed, but we have now told her about her baby brother and that we will eventually be needing to 'share' the baby bed with him, and now she is a big girl of 3, and big girls who are 3 sleep in big girl beds, etc, etc. So it's going ok, and though I have been laying there for less and less time each night, I still do have to snuggle with her a bit so she will not feel scared or uncomfortable.

That is not the real issue, though. The real issue is that she has figured out she can get out of bed herself now, and she has been doing so...earlier and earlier each morning.

Look, I try to keep it real on the blog, and I try to always be honest, so I will go ahead and admit that my family routinely gets out of bed between 8 and 8:30 each morning. I know that is ridiculously late to most of you, but Hubs works a later schedule than his boss so they can cover the whole office day, meaning his boss goes in at the crack of dawn, and Hubs rolls in between 9 and 10 but stays later in the evening. This is the schedule that Daughter really set when she started sleeping through the night, and it's been just fine with us for 3 years. She would always hang out in her crib, talking to her stuffed animals or whatever, until we came for her, and often would be just opening her eyes at 8 or 8:15.

Now, for reasons I cannot understand, she is waking up super duper freaking early. It started a few nights into the big girl bed experience...first it was 7:25, and I took that shift, then it was 7:01 yesterday morning, which Hubs took on, and today? Today it was 6:30. In the A.M. I haven't seen that hour since Daughter was a nursing infant, and I have been very happy with that situation. I made her get into bed with me for a half-hour, because what am I going to do with her at 6:30?!? I even pointed to the alarm clock (useless device these days) and showed her that the '6' means it's too early to get up. We had to wait for it to be a '7'.

Now I know well-meaning folks will suggest that we close her door (nope, she can open doors), or put a gate in the doorway, or just tell her to stay in her bed until we get her. Well HAHAHA, don't you think we've tried that sort of thing? The problem is she wakes up frightened to be in a dark-ish quiet house, and when she appears next to the bed, and I suggest she go back to her bed for awhile or even come into our bed, she quite literally bursts into tears, telling me the sun is up, it's not time for sleeping anymore. She begs us to please, please wake up now, and what are we supposed to do with that? Our bedrooms are on the first floor, and I can't have her just wandering out into the rest of the house we do want her to come wake us up. We just wish it wasn't so blessed early. This morning I told Hubs it won't be long till we're getting up at 4 a.m., like old people.

Oh wait, pretty soon I WILL be getting up at 4 a.m. And 3 a.m. And 2 a.m. and every hour of every day because hello, I am having a baby in, like, ten weeks. Aaaaaak! Maybe this is just Daughter's way of helpfully preparing me to be awakened from a lovely sleep on a near-constant basis. Woo hoo.

Anyway, I am not really looking for solutions here, because we don't really think there are any. I am just hoping she acclimates a bit better to the new bed and sleeps in a bit more once she is more comfortable, but whatever. If she doesn't, she doesn't. Our awesome sleep schedule couldn't last forever, I guess.

But it is my excuse for being away from the blog for a week. I've just been tired and pouring lots of energy into these bed issues (and also lots of cleaning...summer in an ooooooold house in the woods means extra vigilance about bugs 'n stuff, which requires a lot of constant wiping/laundering/mopping/etc). I continue to slog through the end of the blue shawl - 10 rounds to go, but at 1320 stitches per round, it is slow going. One or two rounds per day at best. Today is a nice, cool day, so perhaps some sewing will take place during naptime and I will have something new to show tomorrow.

Monday, June 09, 2008

heat wave

Whew! Those of you who have central air, count your blessings. It's a not-so-balmy 90 degrees here today and, of course, it is humid. That's how Buffalo works, peeps. A week ago we took Daughter to the doctor in a wool sweater, and now...yikes. IT IS WARM.

We made it through our crazy weekend of events, and my poor feet are recovering from being squished into heels (low though they were) for three days in hot weather. I'm glad it's all over, and all the events were lovely, but I find that I am feeling somewhat lonely today after all that socializing.

Anyway, it is too hot to do much other than sit still near the window A/C, so I did all the chores I could very early before it got too gross (though it was 85 when we got up so whatever), and now I'm spending naptime with my shawl.

The color is so inaccurate here - I couldn't find a place to take a photo where the color would be right. It's more of a dark, dusty denim blue. So pretty.

I'm about to begin row 164 of 189, and am almost done with my third ball of yarn. Having looked this shawl up on Ravelry (there are over 100!!!), I see that people used between 4 and 5 hanks of Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud, so I should be ok with my 5. Amazing that only 25 more rounds will likely take close to 880 more yards of yarn!

I am still in love with working on this, despite the repetitiveness of the pattern. Or maybe that's exactly why I'm loving it. At 28 weeks pregnant, I can't help but feel the "witching hour" is approaching, as we lost our baby girl between 30 and 31 weeks. There are many, many silent prayers worked into this shawl, let me tell you.

I was hoping to finish it up in time to present it to my sister at her wedding shower yesterday, but last week my hands and wrists were cramping terribly as I knit, so I had to put it aside for several days. I'd like to either give or lend it to her as her "something blue" for her wedding day. Even though it will be August, the church and reception are air conditioned, so she may need a little something for her shoulders. We'll see if I can get it done and blocked by then.

Laid out sideways, it reminds me of a squid:

Back to my A/C and 1176 stitches per soothing.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

some like it hot

I swear that a week ago we had the heat on in the house.

Now we have traded in sweaters for sunblock. It's a lovely, breezy, 82 degrees, perfect for playing outside and hanging clothes on the line. I spent the morning scrubbing the house and doing laundry and will spend the afternoon doing so as well, but we took an hour out to play in the sun.

Picking bouquets:

My daughter, Leggy McLeggersons

We have a very zany weekend coming up (thus all the cleaning today), so I'm signing off till next week. Tomorrow Daughter and I will attend a fancy birthday dinner while Hubs attends a wedding rehearsal and dinner, then on Saturday we will all attend the wedding for which he is rehearsing, and on Sunday I'll be heading to my sister's wedding shower. Ay-yi-yi. Somewhere in there we have to mow the lawn, grocery shop, and, you know, sleep.

We're expecting a beautiful weekend in the 80s - here's hoping it's nice where you are too!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

bad girl

So our budget is pretty tight these days, and I've been doing so well with careful grocery shopping, and I'm making our dressy clothes for the summer, etc......but I got caught off-guard this morning. We went to Joann's to get a piece of fabric for Daughter's flower girl dress sash, and some red clearance tags in the yarn section caught my eye.

I know, I know...I need more yarn like I need a hole in the head.

Here's what I got:

7 skeins winter white Patons Decor (75% acrylic/25% wool, worsted weight)
1 skein black Lion Baby Soft (acrylic, sport weight)
3 skeins sage Lion Wool (100% wool, worsted weight)
1 skein bright Patons Astra (acrylic, sport weight)
1 ball pink DMC crochet cotton

Here's why:

Can you read that? All of those yarns were 97 cents each. Except the pink crochet cotton. That was 50 cents. Gosh, it was like Joann's was having a garage sale! How could I leave these good basics behind? I wouldn't have bought the Astra in those bright colors but Daughter went bananas over it and she could use a new hat to match her red winter coat, so whatever. She is worth 97 cents.

I actually left quite a bit of 97-cent yarn in the bins. They had lots of Lion Wool but in colors I did not like (an ugly gray, a very weird red), and I struggled to only buy things I know I will make good use of. Now I must fight the urge to go to any of the other 3 Joann stores in our area to look for more cheap yarn! Nah, I won't. My urge to purchase has been well and truly satiated and I'm back on track for savings. We just ordered Daughter's big-girl bed and I'm determined to SAVE the rest of our stimulus check.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

there but for the grace of God go I

Thank you for bearing with me through that last post. It was a rough weekend. Sometimes Hubs and I do not work in tandem and there were a few days there where I felt we were just at odds, especially in the parenting department. We farmed Daughter out to Grandma and Papa on Sunday night because I had an early MD appointment in the city on Monday, and the break did us all good. This morning she was actually quite agreeable and we all seem to be back on track. Mostly.

Speaking of this morning, as if I don't have enough on my plate, we got to pay a visit to the premier pediatric cardiologist in our area. At Daughter's 3 year well-check the doctor thought she detected a slight abnormality in her heart rate. It was around 120 bpm at rest, which she thought was high. We went for bloodwork (which came back normal) and then had an EKG done at the pediatrician's office. This showed a very tiny blip before each beat, indicating the possibility of a problem. So they sent us to this pediatric cardiologist.

I must say upfront that Daughter is perfectly fine. The doctor said she has a beautiful heart and he sees no problem at all. The pediatrician was just erring on the side of caution and that's fine with us - and thank goodness for good medical insurance. She had another EKG and an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) this morning and I can't imagine how much that costs. We will have to pay a bit, but insurance will cover the majority of it.

I will tell you all this much: if you are lucky enough, as we are, to have been blessed with a healthy child (or children), be thankful. I have been in silent communication with God ever since leaving the cardiologist this morning, thanking Him for one beautifully healthy child and, quite frankly, straight-up asking for another.

While in the waiting room this morning we saw a baby so tiny I thought he must only be a few weeks old. Then I heard the mother say "13 weeks" and I can only imagine how small he was at birth. We saw a little girl (2 and a half according to her mother) who was obviously developmentally disabled, but very sweet and energetic, with a huge scar running down her chest (she was running around with no shirt on for some reason). Her mother said she had open heart surgery at 4 months. What challenges have they faced? What will they face as she grows up? My heart went out to them. There was also a young mother with a little boy named Jose, in process of being adopted from another country. Did they know he had a heart problem before? Or is this something they discovered after they got him? While being led to an examining room, we saw a little girl who was on oxygen. What is life like for her? What will it be like as she grows up?

It was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears in that place. Everyone was so kind - all the nurses and techs and the doctor himself - and I can't say how grateful I am that we were able to walk out of there and not look back. All those families, all those little kids whose hearts aren't functioning as they should...even now I am fighting back tears.

There but for the grace of God, indeed.