Friday, March 28, 2014

26 Weeks

26...is that right?!

I feel like time is going by very fast!!

I think Ava had a growth spurt this week. I feel like my belly grew a lot in 7 days.

I'm definitely feeling more round - its really a challenge to get off the couch! We are starting to take my car around town for errands since it isn't as low to the ground as Chris'. For the first time, my belly made it difficult for me to get comfortable and fall asleep last night.

Ava's whole body no longer fits in one ultrasound image! I went in yesterday for a growth scan, and while it still has to go to the doctor to read, and then I won't hear the results until my 28 week appointment, I can tell she is growing just fine!


Just look at that profile. :) 

She was opening and closing her mouth and sticking her tongue out. The ultrasound tech said she was probably swallowing the amniotic fluid and letting her body practice what it will do when she is in the outside world. She was very active during this ultrasound and kept the ultrasound tech on her toes to get good images to get her measurements. She has remained in her favorite transverse position. She's a little bit crowded in that position, and she had her legs tucked up, making her look like a little froggie. One of the angles you could clearly see her belly and her knees up on either side of it, and she was squirming and kicking just like a frog. It was so cute to see! The tech said that once she gets really crowded that she would move to a different position. I'm pretty sure I have felt Ava move to different positions - the other day my stomach was very lopsided, and I'm pretty sure it was because she was rolling around and trying to change positions.

She had the hiccups during the ultrasound; the tech located her diaphragm and showed us where it was on the screen (because I sure couldn't tell what I was looking at) and we watched it contract along with her belly every 3 seconds or so. I was trying to focus to see if I could feel it, but I couldn't, although she was also kicking a bit at the same time.

My neighbor and I went to the filming of an episode of Nashville that took place at Ft. Campbell this week. I highly doubt we will make it onto any scenes on the show; between us being on the edge of the crowd and them taking multiple takes of the same scene using multiple camera angles and us leaving to go sit down randomly, I would be very surprised. If we did, it would just be the backs of our heads. 

On the left side of the stage.

The episode airs on May 7, I think.

We got to see the characters Rayna and her daughters, Juliette, Luke, and Deacon do performances. Kelly Pickler performed as well! We've been asked not to give out any plot spoilers, although they asked a bit too late - pictures were all over social media by the time they made their request. We didn't sign anything, so we really didn't know.

Here are a few pics I took from the day:

"Rayna".

"Luke" on the left, "Juliette" in the center.

"Rayna" and her daughters and "Deacon". They sang my favorite song from the show. :)


Just a stage shot while filming.

It was VERY cold that morning. Fortunately it was sunny, but we were pretty cold. We went home for lunch and naps (haha) and then went back in the afternoon. It was a much smaller crowd than I was expecting, but I don't think the crew took into consideration the Ft. Campbell schedule. The majority of soldiers were all working (or deployed) and it was spring break, so a lot of moms were at home with the kids. Plus the weather was a definite factor.

Overall it was a fun day! Something I never thought I would get to be a part of, that's for sure! Even though we were volunteers, they gave us a parting gift:


3 volumes of Nashville Soundtracks!

Chris and I went to the gym yesterday - the first time I have been since getting pregnant! I used the elliptical and the treadmill. The elliptical was definitely more comfortable for me than the treadmill; my pelvis continues to be achy. I of course listened to my body and was sure to keep my heart rate under 140. It did feel a little awkward to be going so slow on exercise equipment, but I knew it was just right for me.

Here's another great evening belly photo:



I invited Dukie to be in it.

It's also not the greatest angle, but it sure captures my round belly! I think it also looks a lot bigger because I am wearing a shirt that is NOT maternity. I feel like my belly size looks very different depending on what I wear. 

We are converting an area downstairs in the living/dining room to be an area for Ava. We plan to use the pack and play downstairs and it has a changer on it too. We will have the swing set up downstairs as well. We are down to the last few major items for Ava; I am feeling like it is going to be important to be ready for her a bit early. Who knows what she will decide to do and if she will have enough room to make it all the way to 40 weeks (which I just read that making it to your due date is technically only 38 weeks because the first 2 weeks of pregnancy don't count in baby's development, so then why do they still count weeks that way?...so confused).

Well, that's about it for this week...I don't think I did anything in her nursery this week. Chris hopes to finish the dresser this weekend, although the humidity in the weather forecast will not help the paint dry, so we shall see how it goes!


Friday, March 21, 2014

25 Weeks

25 weeks and still doing great!

I've maintained my vegetable obsession. I am eating a lot of salads! I also could probably eat my body weight in french fries and ketchup. Fortunately, I don't indulge in this semi-constant craving very often.

And I can't wait for WATERMELON to be in season! I'm too cheap to buy it now when it's still pretty pricey!

I am usually eating every 3-4 hours. I've moved past those normal/large sized meals and now I pretty much just eat small meals all day if I am at home. Especially after eating a salad - it doesn't stick with me for very long!

I like how I started this post by talking about food. :)

Now that the weather has kind of turned a corner and daytime highs are much nicer, I *try* to go on a walk almost every day. Duke gets to come with me once in awhile. The last time I took him with me, he saw a squirrel and tried to take off running, jerking me to the left. Fortunately, I always have his leash wrapped through and around my wrist, so I didn't hurt myself. But it got me thinking that I need to be careful when I walk him, even though 99% of the time he walks very nicely right next to me. When I go for a walk with my neighbor, Duke is usually not invited because he gets too excited and has a really hard time walking in a straight line, making me exert WAY more effort than I should have to on a walk.

The last couple of times I have gone walking, my lower back has ached during and after the walk. Ava is sticking far enough out of my belly that it has changed my posture, causing the lower back pain. So it's a little disappointing to feel discomfort while exercising because my goal is to be "in shape" for Ava's arrival. I hear that recovery is much faster/easier if you have exercised during pregnancy.

I do feel ligament pain occasionally, mostly in my pelvis (don't widen too far, hips!) and sometimes in my shoulders. Not only should pregnant women not lift heavy items because it could harm the baby, but because our joint and ligaments are loosening, so it would be easy to pull, strain, or even dislocate something.

The other day I got a new pregnancy symptom...pregnancy hives! It was almost unbearable for a few hours. The whole episode just lasted for about 72 hours. I believe it may have been triggered by my perfume that I wore for the first time since being pregnant. I showered right before a night out with Chris and put on the perfume. It wasn't until the next afternoon that I felt itchy, in random places on my body. The next day, I was scratching like crazy! I finally looked at the itchy areas in the mirror, and I had giant hives were I'd been scratching! My back, arms, legs, and my right hand. Not my belly, though! I was itchy first, then the hives appeared where I'd scratched. And it was a very intense itch! I started googling what it was and how to get some relief! Basically what I learned is that pregnancy causes so many hormones to be flowing through the body that sometimes it can cause skin irritation. There really is no definite cause or solution to pregnancy hives. I read that applying witch hazel and then a good lotion can help. It did, it almost had a numbing effect on the hives, but it took like 30 minutes to work. My itchy hand was the worst - it was all red and a little puffy, so I iced it. Later, my left hand started to itch and my right hand subsided. Right after I got into bed, both my feet felt like they were on fire! I got up to put witch hazel and lotion on them. Thank goodness the itchiness pretty much completely disappeared and I was able to sleep soundly. I did get a little more itching the following night, despite my thorough shower and ample application of Bio Oil and Palmer's Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks (I love both of these products - I intend to give a full review towards the end of my pregnancy). And now, a few days later, I am itch-free.

I really hope that pregnancy symptom never comes back!

We had a joint baby shower this past weekend with another couple from the troop, and Ava got some more cuteness for her and her room! I am almost ready to take some photos of her room - I've got about 75% of the wall decorations up, the dresser is about halfway done in the garage, we have a cube organizer for her toys and books that I picked out at Target that I am in love with, and the curtains are semi-hung (I have the curtain rod resting on top of the vertical blinds - that's good enough for now, right?!). We are still looking for the perfect glider chair for her room! We are selling our old couch and loveseat to make room for the new set, so hopefully we can find a chair with that cash. Her room is really coming together, and it always gives me the warm and fuzzies when I am in there. I have found myself just sitting in there for a bit after organizing. I tell Ava about her room and that I can't wait for her to be in it!

Wow, this post is turning into a novel!

We get to see Ava again next week for a growth scan. She still enjoys moving around a lot! I think her legs are way over on my right side. I feel like she has these little spaz moments where her movements make my whole belly move! On the inside, I feel it over on the right, and then down lower kind of on the left, like maybe she is moving her arms and legs at the same time. If you watch my belly, you can see when she moves! It just looks like a "bump" across my whole stomach. I can also feel movements other than kicks and jabs. I can feel when something moves across my belly, like if she were moving her arm up and down or rolling over.

I've discovered Ava can do a "disappearing act". Standing up, I have a very noticeable basketball belly:


When I lay down flat on the floor, she disappears!! Sorry for the picture quality - its a selfie!



You can't even tell I'm pregnant when I lay down flat!

Random people at stores have started to be really smiley and nice towards me. Around every corner, workers will ask if I need any help. If I have just one thing in my hands, they will ask if I need a cart. Strangers (females) give me lots of smiles.

I didn't quite put two and two together until one day I thought, oh duh, it's because it is obvious now that I am pregnant. And with this nice weather, I'm not bundled up in a coat anymore, so my bump is not so hidden anymore.

And this pretty much sums up my afternoon...



I'm playing candy crush while watching March Madness, while avoiding vacuuming.

Oh yeah, and Duke is staring at me.
As always.
:)

Friday, March 14, 2014

24 Weeks

I made it to 24 weeks!! It's a very exciting day for me personally - it's viability day! Heaven forbid, if Ava was born today, she would have a 50/50 chance of survival. Of course, I want better than that, but for whatever reason, week 24 in pregnancy has been on my mind since the beginning. I was so worried that this pregnancy would be "flawed" due to the way it started out and my bleeding at 6.5 weeks. But Ava has proven me wrong, and I'm so glad for it!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday. It was the first one after the anatomy scan. At 20 weeks, Ava was measuring in the 45th percentile overall for size. She weighed 300 and some odd grams (I forget now how many she said), which puts her at just under a pound. So now that it's 4 weeks later, I'm sure she's over a pound now! The doctor said everything looked good in her scan. She did say that Ava does have some inflammation in one of her kidneys, but my doctor said it's nothing to worry about, but simply something to watch. It may just resolve itself and not be an issue at all. That combined with the fact that I have a bicornuate uterus (which may limit Ava's growing room) led the doctor to want to do regular ultrasounds for growth scans and to be able to check up on her kidney.

That made me feel a lot better - I have been wondering if I would be monitored more closely and was hoping for it! Ava was happy to kick and move around a lot while the doctor was trying to measure her heart rate! She doesn't like those dopplers!

My glucose test is coming up in a few weeks, followed by an ultrasound, and then my 28 week appointment. At 32 weeks I can register for classes and a hospital tour. Things are picking up! I am thinking that these next few weeks might just be the last few "slow" ones.

We are making progress in the nursery - we finally got a changing dresser for Ava! We got a pretty good deal on it, and it has been a fun little project for Chris. It started out a blueish-green color. The previous owner said that it had a couple of layers of paint on it, so we decided to strip it.



And then we took a break and sat in the back of my car. It was a beautiful day. So thankful that winter is (hopefully) making it's exit! In like a lion, out like a lamb!


It's more of a weekend project, so it's hanging out in the garage, mostly stripped down to the wood - only the nooks and crannies are left now.

Ironically, it is almost the same turquoise color I'm going for in her room! It's funny to see how her room is coming together - I was originally going for mostly grey and white with a bold pink with just a little turquoise as a secondary color. But now that I have everything laid out, I'm realizing that I was searching so hard for that turquoise color that is so hard to find, that her room is going to be mostly white and turquoise with pops of grey and bold pink as a secondary color!

I still love it! I enjoy the challenge and satisfaction of finding just the right thing for her room!

I've done really good at taking what I had originally wanted and tweaking it to save some dollas. With the bigger and more expensive items, I am striving to pick items that are gender neutral so they can be used in the future if we have a boy.

I was SO bummed that I missed out on all the great consignment sales in KC, and then my neighbor told me about a local one here! I was excited to get my "new mom" pass at the last minute!

And I scored. Here's what I got:



A Baby Einstein Jumperoo (missing a few toys). Retails $89 at Babies R Us.

A mint green bumbo seat WITH safety straps (the older ones do not have these). Retails $44 at Babies R Us.

A foam changing mat for her dresser. Retails $26 at Babies R Us.

A tummy-time mirror. Similar one retails $19 at Babies R Us.

...and a 4th of July dress for around her first birthday. Retails I don't know. $10-15?


So that would put it at around $188 BEFORE tax.


You know how much I spent on it all??


Fifty-five dollars. NO TAX.


FIFTY FIVE DOLLARS!!! This is exciting stuff, people!!

Babies are SO expensive...

I think we are going to splurge and buy the 4moms mamaRoo swing with our Babies R Us gift cards here soon. We've already set up the pack-n-play (I know, I know...we are still 16 weeks away...) and moved the bookshelves upstairs to make room for all this baby gear.

I am hoping Tricare will cover a breast pump. Fingers crossed!! After that, we are down to her carseat, stroller, baby monitor, and a chair for her room.

So how have I been feeling this week?

Happy. :)

I think the weather played a HUGE part in that! We almost hit 80 degrees on Tuesday! It was glorious. We are still in that pre-spring yoyo of temperatures, but I feel like the daytime highs are going to be much more desirable from here on out.

I have felt tightening a few times in the last couple weeks. It makes me smile because I can feel her little head and the rest of her body so well. And then I drink some water to keep up with hydration. I am SO glad we ordered new couches...my back really aches by the end of the day! I am surrounding myself with 3 pillows on the couch to maximize comfort. I am anxious for the furniture to be here next week!

Last night I was getting a snack from the pantry and I swung the door open into my belly. Sorry, Ava! This is not the first time I've done this. And it makes me laugh every time! Another thing to adjust to!

My sleeping habits have gotten very odd lately. I've always been more of a night owl, but I've been getting tired around 8 at night! Or sometimes I feel like I'm not tired at all until 11. If I have to wake up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I can usually just fall back asleep. Occasionally I will be wide awake and mess around on my phone until I get sleepy again. But here lately I've been sort of roused awake while Chris is getting ready for PT, and then I realize that I have a full bladder, and after getting up to go, there is no way I can fall back asleep. Other mornings I will sleep right through him getting up and I can't seem to get myself out of bed! So either I get up a little after 5 or a little before 9 or 10. No in-between! This morning was an early one; there was no way I could go back to sleep after going to the bathroom and realizing that I was starving. I've already had my first breakfast...I'm sure I'll have another one soon!

In other random news, I hit 20,000 views on my blog the other day! It's very far from the traffic successful blogs have, but I thought it was kind of exciting! I don't do any sort of marketing or have any sponsors - it's all self-generated. Plus this blog is mainly just for me and sharing my life with friends and family who are far away.


Thanks so much for reading!

Friday, March 7, 2014

23 Weeks

Hey, I'm actually posting this on time this week! 

Maybe it's because I've been awake since 5 this morning. 

For no good reason. 

(But I did wake up thinking about a big, juicy cheeseburger. And a cup of coffee.)

And what a looooong week it's been!

We got a sleet storm of about 4 inches of accumulation followed by another inch or two of snow on Sunday night. The sleet froze into ice, basically paralyzingly the area. 

I don't think the streets had been pretreated, although I saw trucks putting down liquid de-icer about a week before the sleet came through. 

And because this area is not accustomed or prepared for such weather, everything shut down. 

All of post was shut down- not even Burger King was open. 

And even the mall closed. It takes a lot for the whole mall to close. 

And I don't know what else because I didn't leave the house until last night. 

I heard there were lots and lots of accidents. Not a whole lot of 4-wheel drive vehicles or experienced snow/ice drivers around here. 

There was so much drama on Ft. Campbell Facebook pages...folks who are from around here and to the south were in a state of panic and were begging for snow days; those from the north were basically saying "get over it". 

Facebook can be SO dramatic sometimes!

So I didn't feel it was worth it to leave the house just due to cabin fever. I'd rather have my car and my body in one piece. 

We ate dinner at Texas Roadhouse last night to celebrate Chris' birthday: the big 2-7! The roads were pretty clear, but Clarksville schools were closed again today due to unplowed parking lots and side streets. 

Those kids haven't been to school for a whole week now!

It felt nice to get out of the house! Duke and I had taken a walk in the slush earlier in the day, so that helped us both. Check out what a fun time Duke had in the snow in my post from yesterday. He's quite a character!

This week I have started to accept the fact that smaller portions of food is going to have to be the new normal for me. Not by choice, but out of necessity. I am really going to have to adjust from the 3 meals a day to 5 or 6 smaller ones. Ava is taking up more and more room each week! The other day I over ate at breakfast. 

Breakfast. How does that happen?!

And I was uncomfortable for a few hours. My skin in my belly was so stretched! Gah. So many adjustments! And these things come on so gradually until one day I realize I just can't do something anymore!

Ava continues to be transverse...I think. This week she seemed to switch over to my right side. I couldn't find her head in the usual just-to-the-left-of-my-belly-button spot. I have been feeling her kicks and jabs in different spots, too. Sometimes I will ask her, "what are you doing in there?" or "where are you, Ava?" I need to try and take a front view picture in addition to side pictures to try and show how "centrally located" she is...my roundness in my belly is very narrow...I don't really know how else to explain it! You can kind of see it in my picture from this week:

Chris was taking continuous photos without me knowing, but I think it helped to capture my "front belly". I wish I had a better way to describe it!!
I think I look rounder from this side. 
It also makes a difference what clothes I'm wearing. As adorable as those weekly photo shoots are from Pinterest in which the mommy-to-be wears the same shirt and stand in the same position in the same room, I knew I could never commit to that. So, it's a little harder to make my week-to-week belly comparisons.

STILL no progress in the nursery...I am getting frustrated with these people who post things on the Ft. Campbell yard sale website.

1. We contact them with interest in their item.
2. They ignore our attempt to contact them.
3. We hear nothing for a few days.
4. I check back on the website.
5. Item is listed as SOLD.

Seriously?

So rude.

And this has happened to us multiple times now.

And I'm pretty sure we were the first to inquire about the last item we were interested in.

We are checking out one last posting from an antique-type place hopefully today.

If that doesn't pan out, well, I give up.

I would love it if there was an Ikea nearby.

Or a Nebraska Furniture Mart. 

Or heck even an Ashley store. Of course, they have just started building one here in Clarksville; it just won't be open in time.

Shipping charges on furniture are just outrageous.

And I can't seem to find what I'm looking for.

All in good time, I guess!


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wordless Wednesday (a day late): Puppy + Snow + Tennis Ball = BEST DAY EVER

I haven't done one of these posts in a long time, but this is a good one! 

There are a lot of photos in this one. 

Sorry. Not sorry.

Duke has only been in snow a few times, and each time he realizes it is more fun than the time before. 

This time, we had enough snow (actually it was mostly sleet) to bury his toys with just a tiny bit showing. 

He dug up a tennis ball and had a grand ole time with it!

Enjoy!

There is a huge mound of snow in the high school parking lot behind the pine tree. Snow like that in this area is practically unheard of, so post was shut down for 2 days and the hubby had 3 days off of work.
"So I found my tennis ball..."
"...and it's all wet!"
"I think I'll get it!"
"It won't stay put!"
"Come back here!"
I called him over.
He was leaping.
This is the start of the "flip book" photos. Scroll down with the down arrow key for maximum effect!






















...wait for it...














Then I called him to come in. He doesn't know when he's too cold. It was pretty mild, though - about 40 degrees! It sounded like it was raining because of all the melting off the roof. What a winter it's been! I am ready for spring!