Thursday, November 29, 2012

Advent Activities 2012

My sister and I love traditions. We complain often that our family doesn't have enough. So I decided (with much thanks to Pinterest) to start a new one with Lucy this year: the Advent Calendar. We didn't do anything like this as kids, so I've just gleaned information from the Internet and relied on my creativity. My Advent Calendar isn't nearly as beautiful as anything I've seen on Pinterest, but I did come up with 25 activities to do from December 1-25.

I wrote the activity on the red square and lightly taped the circle over it. She'll peel off the circle to see the activity.
  1. Read the Christmas story. [I got the book The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry at Family Christian for $6.99 yesterday. It's just right for Lucy.]
  2. Make pipe cleaner/bead ornaments. [Just let her string pony beads onto pipe cleaners, form into a "wreath"-type circle and let her put it on the tree.]
  3. Make peanut butter bird feeders.
  4. Pick out a toy for Toys for Tots.
  5. Go to the library and check out Christmas books.
  6. Make snowman donuts.
  7. Make Christmas pizzas for dinner.
  8. Have a birthday party for Jesus.[Here's my recap of last year's party.]
  9. Go see the trees at Frederick Meijer Gardens.
  10. Make contact paper window ornaments.
  11. Make Christmas cards. Mail them to loved ones.
  12. Unwrap your special ornament and put it on the tree. [I still haven't bought her ornament yet for this year. I'm thinking Dora? I try to do something that she loved all year. I thought about a "big sister" ornament, but should I save that 'til next year when the baby's actually born?]
  13. Date night with Daddy. [Aka - Mommy's chance to wrap presents!]
  14. Go to the live nativity at church.
  15. Make red and green play dough. [I think I'm going to try the Jell-O recipe]
  16. Play in the snow with Daddy.
  17. Drive around to see the lights.
  18. Buy Daddy a Christmas present.
  19. Make waffle cone Christmas trees.
  20. Make/decorate cookies with Presley.
  21. Watch a new Christmas movie. [I bought her Veggie Tales The Toy that Saved Christmas on Black Friday. We had it as kids. I can't wait to watch it again!]
  22. Make goodies for the neighbors. 
  23. Go bowling and celebrate Christmas with the Daddy's family.
  24. Read the Christmas story again and open one present at home [Christmas pajamas and probably a small toy] before going to my family overnight. 
  25. Christmas!      
Whew! I can't wait! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

32 Weeks

Baby is the size of a squash this week. 

How far along? 32 weeks - only 8 to go!
Total weight loss/gain: +1 this week, up 24 total (as of Monday when I went to the Dr. for my eye) -- I just looked it up: I was up 25 lbs at this point with Lucy. Bummer. I feel like I've been gaining less quickly this pregnancy. Hopefully I won't gain 18 more pounds in the next 8 weeks like I did with Lucy. <:-O 
Maternity clothes? Yes. Totally.
Sleep: It takes me forever to fall asleep. And if I get woken up for any reason in the night, the process has to start all over again. Still having wicked night sweats too. 
Best moment this week: Having a week off of work and having Justin home to help out.  
Movement: Oh yeah. I've been trying to figure out how she's positioned. I feel the most kicking on my left side, so I think her feet are over there. And there's always a big hard lump by my belly button. I'm thinking that's her butt (and spine - it's bumpy and gross feeling!). Hoping that means her head is down?
Food cravings: Sweets. I've had 4 cinnamon rolls and a brownie so far today. Lol. (Maybe I should count myself lucky if I only gain 18 more pounds . . .)
Food aversions: Vegetables. ;-) 
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: Still just Braxton Hicks all day every day.
Belly Button in or out? Out and starting to flatten. Still no linea negra though. I can't remember when I got that with Lucy.

What I miss: Being able to bend over and breathe at the same time.

What I am looking forward to: Getting this baby out of me!
Milestones: I noticed for the first time this week that I feel like I'm suffocating when I lay flat on my back. I've been sleeping on my back until this point. Really annoyed I'm out one more sleep position! 
Weekly name clue: It's the same amount of letters as someone else in our family (meaning either Justin, Sadie, or Lucy). :-)

I told Justin a couple days ago that I'm feeling better physically than I have in a while. And then I realized I had a week off of work, and he was home for a week to help me out. Yesterday I did a bunch of shopping on Alpine then came home and decorated my house for Christmas. I was pretty much hunched over the stove making dinner by evening. And today I've been limping around like an 88 year old woman. Feeling good was was nice while it lasted! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Saturday 7

1. I need to record that for the first time this week, Lucy correctly identified all 26 letters of the alphabet on her flashcards. At almost exactly 2.5 years old. Go Lucy! What do I need to teach her next? The lowercase letters? The sounds the letters make?

2. I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday. My doctor is on vacation, so I saw the P.A. Isn't it horrible that I got more information out of the P.A. than I ever get from my doctor? And I got right in and out. Usually I wait at least an hour. The morning I was there, I was feeling soooo dizzy. I asked the P.A. about it and she said I'm probably just dehydrated and need to drink more. As the day went on, though, it got worse and worse. I was so annoyed because Justin and I had arranged someone to watch Lucy and had big plans to go out to eat and do some Christmas shopping. Eventually I realized I was having Paxil withdrawals, which I already wrote about in my 31 weeks entry. It was not fun. I sat in Logan's commanding myself not to pass out, eating as fast as I could so I could get out of there without making a scene. Haha. We did do our shopping, but I was kind of in a fog the whole time. Such a pain. The good news is, it only took one dose once I finally got my refill to start feeling much better!! Lesson learned - give myself plenty of time to get a refill in case the pharmacy and my doctor's office can't get their acts together!

3. Thanksgiving was wonderful as usual. I got off easy and only had to make green bean casserole and pickle wraps. Justin helped me with the pickle wraps and we made about 500 in an hour (that may be an exaggeration, but it felt like a lot! Haha). I ran to Meijer that morning because they had Dr Pepper 2 liters on sale for 69 cents! Then we spent the rest of the day at my parents'. We had so much amazing food. I was really wishing this baby didn't take up so much room in my belly! We played cards, perused the Black Friday ads, talked and laughed a ton. I live for days like that.

4 - 5. And then came the Black Friday shopping extravaganza! I wasn't sure how much I'd be able to handle this year, but Wal-Mart was opening at 8 and Niki had a bunch of stuff she wanted to get so I decided just to go along and be an extra set of hands. She wanted a 32" TV that was on sale for super cheap, so I sat in that line in the frozen food aisle all night while she fought her way through the crazies for the other stuff on her list. I really do understand how people get trampled and die. It's actually quite scary. I didn't see much beyond the frozen quesadillas, but I heard people screaming and Niki recounted the story a few times of people jumping onto skids, throwing punches, trampling little kids, and all out brawling for what they wanted. The things we do for a deal!

My belly and I stayed far away from the brawling. It was hilarious to see the people pointing and staring at me, though. My mom said I should get a t-shirt that says, "You think I'm big? I still have 2 months to go!" Lol. The best part was that I totally saw the girl I dressed up as for Halloween. She was largely pregnant, wearing sweatpants and a dirty tank top with a leopard print bra hanging out. She had her cell phone tucked into the side of her bra and tattoos peeking out from underneath her poor over-worked shirt. It was hilarious!

After escaping Wal-Mart with our lives and our goods, we ran to Target. They had already been open for a couple hours by the time we got there, so we didn't think they'd have what we wanted - but we were pleasantly surprised! And we timed it perfectly because our friend Becky had been standing in line for an hour and was almost to the front by the time we got our stuff. We tossed it to her and had her check it out, so we didn't have to wait more than 15 minutes! Thanks, Becky!!

We ran to Kohl's and got our $3 pillows, then decided to go home and sleep for a while. I got a good 6 hours of sleep before heading back out to the mall for some more deals. I did amazingly well. I sat a lot, didn't carry anything heavy, and walked slowly. I'm definitely sore today, but it wasn't as bad as I expected. Thanks to Mom and Niki for dropping me off at the door, carrying huge armloads of stuff, and doing all the hard work so I could come along for an easy ride. :-)

6. We're absolutely broke this year (story of our lives), so we're only buying presents for Lucy. I wasn't really going to buy her that much because she gets hugely spoiled by her grandparents and aunts and uncles, but I keep finding all this stuff I know she'd love! Plus I'm getting awesome deals and hardly spending any money. Haha. The one thing she actually really wants is a Dream Lite. And she's very specific that she wants the turtle. Of course that's the one thing that has not gone on sale at all this year. It's $30 everywhere. So I was so excited to find a Groupon for Toys R Us - pay $10, get $20 worth of merchandise. When I bought it, I realized I had a $10 credit on my account, so I got it completely free! If I can find the turtle there, it'll only end up costing me $10! Woohoo! Here's hoping!

7. When I got home from shopping last night, Justin said Lucy had been complaining that her eye hurt all day. It was red and irritated. She woke up in the middle of the night crying that it hurt. And when she woke up this morning, it looked like this:

I can't find a sty. But I don't think it's pink eye. It's not oozing or anything. Her whole eyelid is red and swollen. Any ideas? Suggestions? She's been crying all morning that it hurts.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

31 Weeks

Baby is the size of a pineapple this week. (That seems way bigger than the cucumber she was compared to last week - these size comparisons are so random.)

How far along? 31 weeks - only 9 to go!
Total weight loss/gain: +4 I think since my last appt 2 weeks ago. +23 total
Maternity clothes? Yes. Totally.
Sleep: It takes me forever to fall asleep, but I'm usually good once I'm out.
Best moment this week: Hearing her heartbeat again today. 
Movement: Pretty much non-stop.
Food cravings: Chocolate. Logan's. I'm feeling really nauseous right now so I can't think of anything else.
Food aversions: Vegetables. ;-) 
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: For the most part, unless I'm sitting down, I'm having Braxton Hicks. The doctor said that's OK as long as they're not timeable, getting closer together or so painful I can't breathe through them. 
Belly Button in or out? Out and starting to flatten.

What I miss: Just being comfortable.

What I am looking forward to: Thanksgiving!
Milestones: According to babycenter, Baby is probably over 3 lbs by now. Wowza!
Weekly name clue: It's a little bit ethnic - it's actually semi-popular in a couple other countries. Not going to tell you which ones. :-)

I've been feeling pretty miserable the past few days. But I'm pretty sure I'm having withdrawals from my Paxil, and it's not really pregnancy related. (I ran out on Sunday and there was a mix-up between my doctor's office and the pharmacy so it took until today at 4:00 for me to get a refill!) I've been soooo dizzy and nauseous and hot. I had a doctor's appointment this morning and my blood pressure and everything was good, so I'm really hoping it's just drug-related and not something I'm going to have to deal with indefinitely! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Saturday 7

1. Good news: I'm finally feeling better. I slept through the night for the first time last Saturday and have hardly been coughing since then. Whew! Coughing is the worst.

2. I was feeling pretty proud of myself this week. We ate out way too much last week, so I made dinner every night (except Thursday, when I went to a Tastefully Simple party). Plus, I had at least one kid every day this week, had the house picked up by the time Justin got home from work, and had myself beautified! That's a big deal for me. Haha. I decided to quit being sorry for myself and just go to the store and pick out some make-up. My problem is I have horrendously dry skin, so anytime I rub foundation on it, it looks all flaky and gross. This time, I decided to try the Maybelline dream matte mousse. It actually works! Woohoo!! That said, if you see me in person and I look flaky or streaky please feel free to tell me. I'm such a make-up novice.

3. Here's one of the recipes I made this week: enchilada casserole. It's my mom's recipe.

Tortillas (6 or so - I only had 5 and made it work)
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
Taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 can enchilada sauce
1 small can (8 oz, I think) tomato sauce
1 can/jar brown gravy

1. Brown the meat, add taco seasoning and refried beans until warmed through.
2. In another pan, mix enchilada sauce, tomato sauce, and brown gravy until warm
3. Put a little sauce on the bottom of 9x13 pan, then layer tortillas, meat, tortillas, and meat.
4. Cover with sauce 
5. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes.
6. Cover with shredded cheese and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. 

4. I'm getting so excited for Thanksgiving! My sisters, mom, and I finalized our meal plan for Thursday. It's going to be deeeeelicious! I can't wait to spend the day together stuffing our faces and playing cards. I've also been scoping out the Black "Friday" ads, but I really don't see much that I want! We're only buying presents for Lucy this year, so I don't have a big list. I've written down a couple things from the ads, but I don't think anything is really worth standing in line or staying up all night for. This might be the first year I skip it in like 10 years!

5-6. It's been another rough week on me pregnancy-wise. Look at the difference from 29 weeks to 30:

I obviously grew a lot - and I felt it. I'm so tired and so sore. I dealt with it pretty well all week. But then last night, I had the long-awaited meltdown. Lucy woke up from her nap puking, so I had to clean all that up and give her a bath (which is increasingly difficult with this big ole belly). A couple hours later, she was standing in the kitchen and I heard her say, "Uh-oh! Went potty!" Fortunately, she was on the linoleum because there was a massive puddle. It was 5:45, Justin still wasn't home from work (because I sent him to the store for donuts! haha), I was in so much pain, and I just stood there looking at the puddle feeling the tears overcome me. Eventually, I got down on my hands and knees to scrub it, and sobbed the entire time. Lol.

By the time I got it all cleaned up, I realized the pain I was feeling was different than usual and started to wonder if I was having real contractions - which just made me cry even harder. As much as I complain about wanting to be done, it is wayyyy to early to be having real contractions. I'm still not sure if that's what it was - they weren't like timeable contractions. It was just a crampy feeling in my back accompanied by an inordinate amount of Braxton Hicks. So I made myself lay on my left side and guzzle water for the rest of the night. After a few hours, the crampiness went away and the BH slowed significantly. So maybe I just overdid it? I'll keep an eye on it and mention it to my doctor at my appointment on Wednesday. Ugh. Part of me loves the idea of bedrest. But the rational part knows it would be awful. And I have to keep working as long as possible or we won't be able to pay our bills.

7. Speaking of bedrest reminds me - does anyone want to watch Violet while I'm on maternity leave? Her mom's having a hard time finding someone. She'll be 9 months by the time I'm done working (assuming I can work until my due date), and she's a good baby! It's usually just 2 days a week from 7 am to 5:30 pm. She lives in Cedar Springs, but her dad works on Alpine, so anyone between here and there would be good. Seriously, let me know if you're interested! I'm planning on taking maternity leave January 21 through the month of February.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

30 Weeks!

Comparison pic: with Lucy at 30 weeks.
Looking like a heffalump!

The shirt alone is evidence enough that I'm bigger this time!

Baby is the size of a cucumber this week.

How far along? 30 weeks - woohoo!
Total weight loss/gain: Not sure. I'm sure I've passed the 20 lb. mark by now!
Maternity clothes? Yes. Totally.
Sleep: Not great. I'm finally almost done coughing, but I've been sleeping really restlessly. And I'm so hot all the time. You know it's ridiculous when Justin is piling on extra blankets and I'm stripping off my layers.
Best moment this week: Feeling her get the hiccups.
Movement: Always. And she gets the hiccups at least twice a day now. 
Food cravings: PB Captain Crunch. (I paid full price for it this week because I wanted it so bad.) And cinnamon rolls still. Ooh, and no-bake cookies. Mmmm.
Food aversions: Vegetables. ;-) 
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.
Belly Button in or out? Out and starting to flatten.

What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach. 

What I am looking forward to: Christmas!
Milestones: Making it to 30 weeks! Only 10 to go! (I am NOT going late!)
Weekly name clue:This week I'm going to tell you a couple names that we (ok, I) considered but ultimately decided against. 2 of my top contenders were Molly and Maggie. I'm still a little sad that I'll probably never use either of those names, but seriously when you hear the names Sadie, Lucy, Molly, and Maggie do you picture a family of girls or a pack of dogs? Haha. Plus Molly is a little bit too popular for me. Everyone knows a Molly. And Maggie is what my parents almost named Libby. I really need to be more original and think of my own name. So you can cross those two off your list of possibilities. ;-)

I was looking up nursery art on etsy today and came across this: 
Lol.  It really cracked me up. What baby wants to wake up to that every morning?? (Oh, and this is not a name clue. It's just the image that came up when I was searching.) 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Saturday 7

What a week!

1. I am still miserably sick. I just don't think it should be legal to be pregnant and sick at the same time. Haha. I need a pass from life until I can kick this cough. Really, though, I have to thank God for the energy he's given me. I had lots of kids to watch all week and despite being up for hours every night hacking, I was still able to get up at 7 and take care of all the kids without feeling like I was going to fall over from exhaustion. By Friday it was hitting me pretty hard, but I only had Lucy and RJ, and they both took good naps, so I was able to rest for a little bit. Whew! I've been coughing for 9 days now. It has to be about done, right???

2. To add to my exhaustion, Justin went on a business trip Wednesday through Friday, so I was single-momming it! It actually went really well. Lucy and I had lots of fun together. We listened to a lot of Christmas music, made cookies and French toast (complete with dropping an egg on the floor and making a huge mess!), and drank tea together on the couch. (I gave her apple juice, warm water, and honey in one of my mugs and she felt like hot stuff!) And I did a very good job of not freaking myself out about being home alone overnight. Haha. It helped that I was sick and miserable and didn't even care if anyone broke in - I just wanted to sleep.

3. Thursday night, Kelly and Presley came over to keep us company. The 4 of us polished off an entire Little Caesar's pizza. Haha. Kelly's pregnant too, and our little girls can pack it away!! I'm so so grateful for our friendship. We went to school together since like 3rd grade, but didn't always get along the best. Haha. About 5 years ago, we re-ignited our friendship. We've each lost a baby or two, had our girls 5 weeks apart, and now are pregnant again (4 weeks apart this time) - both with girls again. We live literally 2 miles apart and love watching our girls play and grow up together. Thursday night, we threw them in the bath together. They were soooo adorable. Before they even got in the tub, they took off running through my house buck naked, screaming and laughing hysterically together. Love the memories they're making. :-) (And the embarrassing pictures we're getting . . .)

4. Well I did my civic duty and voted on Tuesday - a lot of good it did. I was actually pretty shocked by the outcome of the presidential election. Hasn't our country gone down the tubes over the past 4 years with unemployment and gas prices, etc, etc? Aren't people horribly dissatisfied with Obama? Do people just hate Romney that much that they're willing to stick it out with Obama for another 4 years? I honestly am very ignorant about all things politics. I'll willingly admit that I'm a one-issue voter. One year, I decided to look at the issues and try to decide which candidate I aligned with rather than just vote for the republican candidate. But I couldn't get past the abortion issue. It's more than just a religious conviction for me. It's a moral thing. I seriously can't fathom how people can be ok with it. I came across this article a couple days ago. I don't know if the woman who wrote it is a Christian. The article doesn't really reference religion. It just talks about how her view changed from pro-choice to pro-life. It makes so much sense to me. I'm not looking to start a debate. Just stating that I was sad with the outcome of the election for this reason more than anything.

5. Lucy has been cracking me up with the cute things she says lately. I've actually started to write them down so I don't forget. I wrote a couple on facebook, but here are some more:

I've started watching a 3 year old boy once in a while. He and Lucy were talking over lunch the other day. All I heard was Harlo say, "How do you know?" to which Lucy responded sincerely, "Me know everything!"  Haha.

One day last week Lucy was putting one of her diapers on her baby. Justin asked her if the baby needed 2 diapers and Lucy replied, "No, Daddy! Baby have very small buns!" Haha. I think she gets that from me telling her she doesn't need to use so much toilet paper because she has very small buns. [Becky - I always think of you when I tell her that. ;-)]

Last night, after Justin got home from his business trip, we were putting Lucy to bed and he asked her if she had missed him. She answered, "Me thought you died!" Lol. He leaves for 3 days and she thinks he's dead. (We called him multiple times and talked all the time about where he was, so I don't think she really thought that. She was just being silly.)

6. Ok, this is really long and I can't think of 2 more so I'm just going to end with this: Next week is collection week for Operation Christmas Child. We do it every year and love it! Go to the dollar store, buy some goodies for little kids around the world who don't get Christmas presents, and throw them in a shoebox! You know you want to!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

29 Weeks

Baby is the size of an acorn squash this week.

How far along? 29 weeks
Total weight loss/gain: Nothing since 27 weeks. +19 lbs total
Maternity clothes? Yes. Totally.
Sleep: Atrocious this week! But that's just because I'm up coughing every 2 hours. Not the baby's fault. She's probably just as annoyed as I am with all the hacking!
Best moment this week: Hearing her heartbeat again today - 150 bpm.
Movement: Oh yeah. There always seem to be appendages poking up out of my stomach.
Food cravings: PB Captain Crunch. Candy. Cinnamon rolls.
Food aversions: Vegetables. ;-) 
Gender: GIRL!!!
Labor Signs: Lots of Braxton Hicks.
Belly Button in or out? Out. 

What I miss: Being able to take good cold medicine.

What I am looking forward to: Maternity leave. Haha.
Milestones: Nothing really, except I'm going to start having doctor's appointments every 2 weeks. 
Weekly name clue: I just heard of another actress with this name. She's currently on a cable show - which is why I'd never heard of her before. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Saturday 7

1. Lucy and I started our Thanksgiving Tree this week. I'm loving that she's old enough to participate in all these pinterest projects I find. :-) Anyway, I asked her what she was thankful for (or what she really loves). She thought for a minute, then said, "God!" Haha. She wanted to do another one, so I asked again what she was thankful for and she responded, "Jesus!" My good little girl knows the Sunday School answers already. She insisted on doing one more after God and Jesus. Was it Mommy or Daddy or even macaroni and cheese? No. It was Lola - the stupid cat who doesn't give Lucy the time of day. Haha.

2. We had a fun Halloween. We did costume day at the library and trick or treating at night despite the freezing cold. Lucy loved it. I got her a bumblebee costume at Once Upon a Child. It has a tutu and sparkly wings, and she kept saying, "Me a princess! Me a butterfly!" Haha. She thought Trick or Treating was the best thing ever. It's so precious how she loves to walk between Justin and me, holding our hands and smiling up at us so sweetly. The candy was just an added bonus. ;-)

3. Halloween also marked Justin's and my 10 year dating anniversary. Our first date was on Halloween our senior year of high school. We went out with a bunch of friends, but it was still horribly awkward. Haha. We went to Steak N' Shake for dinner, where I ate about 4 cheese fries thanks to nerves. Then we saw "Sweet Home Alabama." We never really started officially dating. (This was before facebook, haha.) But things only got better from there! So thankful that he has been my first and only. (And the fact that we've been together 10 years means it's been almost 10 years since we graduated from high school. Time to start planning a reunion!)

4. Thursday morning I woke up with a cold. Blech. I'm totally miserable. The worst part is not being able to take any drugs. I did a whole bunch of research on which herbal teas are safe while pregnant then went and bought some. It feels good while it's going down, but beyond that it's totally worthless! It doesn't relieve my coughing or congestion or keep my throat from burning. Sudafed is approved for pregnancy but it makes me so tired and gives me such awful restless legs that it's not even worth it. Sigh. Woe is me. Justin woke up without a voice this morning, and it's only a matter of time before Lucy gets it too. Unfortunately, one of the biggest components of this cold is an awful cough. The second Lucy gets a cough she'll start puking. Can't wait for that!

5. I'm getting so excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I broke out the Christmas music this week. And today we woke up to a light dusting of snow. Getting in the spirit!! Although one of my favorite parts of the season is Black Friday shopping. I really don't know if I'm going to be able to do it this year. I might have to get one of those motorized carts . . . beep beep! Outta my way!

6. Lucy has been obsessed with ballet lately. She does these awesome moves and tells me all the time that she's going to go to ballet class when she gets older. Anyone know how old she has to be? I'd always thought I'd put her in gymnastics over dance class, but I'm totally ok with dressing her up in a little pink leotard and tutu and sending her off to ballet instead. :-)

7. Yesterday, I had Lucy, RJ, and Violet all day. And it dawned on me that after this baby is born and I'm done with my maternity leave, there will be days that I have 4 kids under 3. I purposely spaced my kids out to avoid that kind of scenario! Haha. Oh boy.
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