Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chicken, wedding, heartburn....I need a break!

wow - the past couple days have been a tad bit crazy for me.

Thursday I went to Macey's (local grocery store) where they were having a fantastic sale on boneless, skinless chicken breasts. You had to buy the 40 lb. box, but then it was only $1.19/lb. (thanks for the tip, Jen) I decided to get 2 boxes this year, and try bottling one box. I called my mom to see if I could come to her house and do the canning - since I don't own a pressure cooker - and if I had to go out and buy all the supplies to DO the canning, it would certainly lose the cost effectiveness, if you know what I mean. I told her about the sale, and she said, "sure, come on over, and get a box of chicken for me." So I went to the store and bought 120 lbs of chicken. There were a whole bunch of 'issues' that made so we couldn't start until after Aaron got out of school, so it was 4:15 before we got started. It took us about 4 hours to get it all bottled and wrapped in freezer paper. (my mom bottled most of hers, I did half and half, bottles/frozen) Neither of us had done chicken in bottles before, but it sounds so convenient. anytime you need cooked chicken for a recipe, you just open a bottle. It wasn't hard to do, just time consuming. I was pretty tired by the time I got home. Now I have about 25 packages (between 1 - 2 lbs each) wrapped and in the freezer, plus 16 pints and 7 quarts of bottled chicken. (I confess that the bottles are still in my car, I just haven't had it in me to haul them downstairs to the storage room yet...:( )

Friday I had been invited up to Salt Lake for the temple sealing of one of my former young women. Tim's parents agreed to watch the kids while I was at the temple. They live pretty close to my brother and sister in law - the ones who just had the baby. Since I would be driving right by their house, I stayed up a little late on Wednesday and got up early Thursday morning to throw together a couple freezer meals to drop off. Baby Landon is just adorable (as you can see), and it helps me look forward to when I get to hold the fruits of my current labors. (No, I am not currently IN labor...) The wedding was nice. I was terrible and opted to skip the luncheon and reception, since I didn't really want to spend the entire day in salt lake, and to be honest, just the 2 hours I was gone were enough to wear grandma and grandpa out. On the way home, I stopped at my moms to pick up the bottled chicken (it had to process 90 minutes, then cool completely before moving the bottles, and I was already really worn out and needing to get home, so we arranged for me to pick them up on my home from Salt Lake).
By the time I got home at 5:15, I was too exhausted to do anything. I turned on a movie for Bryan & Trina, a computer game for Aaron, and told Aaron to be in charge while I rested. I instantly fell asleep for 30 minutes. While I was sleeping, the kids helped themselves to cold cereal, spilling it all over the kitchen and bedroom - wasting what I would estimate to be about $8.00 of cereal. Oh well - I'll just consider it a much needed $8 nap.

I didn't sleep very well last night, I kept waking up itching. It was horrible! This morning I got up late, but was soon all revved up and ready to get the house whipped back into shape. After being up about 30 minutes, I knew I either had pretty bad heartburn, or I was having a heart attack. I kept pushing through it - but the longer it lasted, the more I started worry that I was having a heart attack. I started to worry that the baby wasn't moving enough, so I drank some juice and tried lying down to do a "kick count." That lasted about 4 minutes before the chest pain was so bad I couldn't lie down any more. I happened to see a neighbor outside, who is a nursing professor at BYU. I went out and talked to her about what was going on, but I didn't like her counsel - which was , of course to go to the ER. I waited until Tim got home (he was over at BYU for the scout pow wow. He gave me a blessing, then I called my midwife on call to get her opinion. She said it sounded like classic heartburn and told me what to do. I'm feeling much better now, after a couple doses of Maalox. (or is it Maloxx??) Not perfect, mind you, but much better. Another complication of the day has been that I still itch ALL OVER! I've got little rash looking things all over different parts of my body and they are itching and driving me crazy! I soaked in the tub for almost 2 hours, and I felt fine. Figured I had washed off whatever the problem was, but now that I've been out of the tub for an hour, it's starting all over again!!! ARRGGGHHHHHHH!

That's about it from this corner of the cosmos. My consolation at this time is that in the priesthood blessing I was told that I would be blessed with the strength to endure this and the "other afflictions" that would come, and I would be able to deliver a healthy child. I have a great deal of faith in the priesthood, and I'll spend the next 6 weeks banking on the promise of that blessing.

Well - It's time for dinner, so I'd better sign off here and get cooking!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

good news on the baby front...

As you can see by the title of the post, I received good news from the ultrasound today. The baby is measuring at approx. 3 1/2 - 4 lbs, which is a week smaller than average size for my "due date", but nothing to be concerned about at all. Amniotic fluid measured at 12 - 13. (not sure 13 what??? exactly, fluid oz? inches?) "Normal" fluid measurements fall between 10 - 20. So yes, on the lower end of the spectrum, which would account for some of the "smallness," but nothing to be concerned about. Baby looked fine as far as they could tell. The Dr. said that if I continue 6 - 7 more weeks to full term, gaining the typical 1/2 lb. per week, the baby will be in the 7 - 8 lb range at birth. I have to say, I've felt quite calm about this whole thing (except for that first day when my imagination got the better of me), and I really was expecting to hear that I was low on fluid and the baby was a bit smaller than normal but that everything was fine, or something like that - so what did surprise me was the feeling of relief when I heard the news. I wasn't expecting bad news (or at least I don't think I was), yet as I was driving home, I found that several times I felt a huge breathe of relief.

I'm still trying to eat every 2 hours as directed. (that is much harder than it may sound. It's EASY to shovel junk food in your face every couple minutes, but trying to eat a sensible, healthy, "good-for-you-and-the-baby" food item every 2 hours has proven to be quite a challenge for me.) According to my bathroom scale, I've gained like 4 lbs in the last week. I know this is terrible, but I keep thinking," this is just weight I'm going to have to try to LOSE once this baby comes. And we all know that it is MUCH easier to FIND the weight then it is to LOSE it." Oh well - I guess I'll be checking in with Tristi's weight loss challenges as soon as January rolls around.

Other good news - okay, not really "news", but more like happenings that made my day a bit nicer... I worked really hard to get the house cleaned up before my mom came over to watch the kids, and it felt really nice to see the house clean for like 2 whole hours. (My mom is one of those great women who is a super workaholic and she just isn't content doing nothing. I always feel bad when she comes over to babysit and spends the whole time cleaning up my house. She did find the overflowing sock basket and she matched and folded socks - which I am VERY thankful for. Just this morning as I went to look for matching socks for Aaron, Tim said, "have you come to worship with me at the sock basket?") Then on the way home from the Dr. I stopped at the grocery store and on a whim I bought a fresh pineapple that was on sale. I got it home and YUM YUM YUMMY! It was one of the best ones I've ever picked. So so so yummy!

In the category of not so good news, I am having a 'fun' time around our house coping with sick kids. Katrina is dealing with a sore throat that I'm starting to wonder if it's strep, and Bryan has the bugger nose and fussy temperament. Neither one of them is sleeping well, and we all know what that means for the mom involved:(

All in all - life is good.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Birthday report

Well, yesterday was #36 for me. Aaron's school was having their "Shakespeare Faire" yesterday, and we planned to attend. It was well done and lots of fun. They had lots and lots of different Shakespeare or Renaissance related activities, including a short performance from the 6th grade orchestra, Shakespeare play by the 8th graders, stockades, making masks, making jester or princess hats, learning renaissance dancing, and 'Renaissance theatre' performance (story telling and fencing and the like) while we ate dinner, face painting, and much more.

It was a fun 'educational' activity, and the best part for me is that I didn't have to cook or clean up dinner.

Tim and the kids gave me a couple new maternity shirts and a jumper style maternity dress. The kids made a diorama for me to remind me of our trip this summer to the Redwoods and the beach. (you can see the dead looking piece of tree in the photo - that is to remind me of the redwoods.; and the sand, sand castle, shells, and cup of dirty water are obviously representative of the beach)

Tonight we are going out to dinner - haven't yet decided if we'll make it a "family" celebration, or if we'll call Grandma and Grandpa to babysit... we'll see. Tim's thinking along the lines of babysitter and dinner and a movie for us. Can I just tell you, I honestly can't remember the last movie I saw in the theatre. I'm guessing it was before Aaron was born... so like 8 years maybe... I just don't care much for the loudness of the theatre, and I'll admit it, I have a hard time leaving my kids for that long for something I consider "frivolous." If we decide to do a movie, I'll need to track down some earplugs.

In regard to my last post, I found it harder than I though to "not worry about it." That first day I decided it would be a good idea to do a bit of research and find out what it "might" be and if there was anything else I should be doing. BAD IDEA! I think I was reading about intrauterine growth restriction (an office name for small babies) resulting in brain hemorrhaging and Cerebral Palsy before I figured out that ignorance was the better route to go. There is nothing I can doing about it if there is something wrong, and worrying about it isn't going to do anything except put more stress on me (consequently putting more stress on the baby.) So, I'm much more grounded now and doing better at the "try not to worry" bit. (thanks for the stories about other people who were measuring small and everything was just fine - that helped ease my mind)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Not great news

Well, I went to my midwife appointment this morning and the first indications were good. The midwife was pleased to find that I gained 4 lbs since my last visit. Then she looked a little more closely at my chart and pointed out that overall, I've only gained like 6 or 7 lbs throughout the pregnancy, while I should gain about 20 lbs overall. (I always lose about 10 lbs during the 1st trimester when I am sick and nauseous, so I started out slightly overweight at 150ish, then dropped to 140ish, now I'm up to 157 - but they only count the 150 - 157 gain.)
I wouldn't be worried about the weight, except that on my last visit, at 28 weeks, I was measuring 26 cm (the cm measurement should equal the weeks). I tried a lot harder this past month to eat more, and while I did increase my weight gain, today I only measured 28cm. (should have been closer to 32) It is enough of a discrepancy that they are concerned and they ordered an ultrasound to see if there is anything identifiably wrong with the baby. Needless to say, that was not exactly the news I wanted to hear today.
My list of instructions are to:
* eat at least 4 servings of protein and 4 servings of dairy everyday
* eat something (not junk food) every 2 hours (i feel bloated and heart-burn'ish just thinking about it)
* increase my iron intake. I'm to take my regular prenatal vitamin + 2 iron supplements
* "take it easy" and "not over do it" (how exactly do you define that, I wonder???)
* increase my fluid intake and spend more time lying on my side resting

If anyone out there has any related tips - let me know. For now I am just going to try not to worry about it, take it a little slower, eat more, and assume that the baby is just really low in my pelvis and that's why I'm measuring small.

On a happy note, my best friend from college wrote me a birthday poem! I tell you what, I came home for the Dr. and went online to check email, blogs, etc... and found the poem. It brought back so many fun memories and totally made my day brighter! (My birthday is actually tomorrow, but I sure needed it today. Thanks Charlotte) I am going to be brave and try to figure out how to do the linking thing, so that if you wish, you can read the fabulous "Ode to Jeri," written by the one and only Charlotte the great! (It probably won't mean much to anyone else, since it is pretty much a walk down memory lane, but I think it's great!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Long time... no blog

Good morning. It has been a long time (and yet it feels like no time at all) since I last posted anything. I'm not exactly sure why that is. I know that a week ago Monday (the day after General Conference) I was all fired up and couldn't wait to post all of my glorious feelings on the joy of being a woman and the glories of motherhood, etc... However, every time I sat down to blog, my darling Katrina would see me at the computer and tell me that it was really HER turn to play, and wouldn't I please turn on her game. From there, I don't have much recollection of the week. it all seems a fuzzy kind of blur.

Since Aaron was out of school for fall break last Thursday and Friday, we took advantage of the time and spent a couple hours at the park with my friend Harmony and her boys. That was a lot of fun. I haven't see Harmony for years and years, and it was fun to let our kids meet each other, and fun to chat and catch up on the happening of the past 10 years.

In other news, My brother Mark is the proud daddy of a brand new little boy. His wife Corinne delivered Landon early Sunday morning after a long and grueling 20 hours of labor. (and NO, it wasn't her first - he just really didn't want to leave his comfy cozy womb. He was already almost 2 weeks late, so they told him he had to come anyway)

Pregnancy update - 8 more weeks to go. I have an appointment with my midwife tomorrow morning, and I'm really hoping that everything is measuring and progressing as it should. I'm a little worried that I'll get in trouble again for not gaining enough weight - which seems ridiculous since I feel like a fat cow, but I understand they are only being concerned about the baby getting enough. The trouble is that nothing sounds good or tastes good at all. I'll sit down to eat and everything is just blah! I'm doing my best to eat anyway, and I'm certainly not losing weight, so hopefully it's good enough. I'll let ya know how it goes.

As I'm sitting here, I know why I haven't posted anything... I really have nothing to post. I spent several hours outside yesterday doing a bit of fall planting. I really enjoy working outside - planting flowers and the like. I love planting spring flowering bulbs and then enjoying the delicious anticipation of watching for them to poke their little green shoots up in spring. Spring is my favorite season, and fall planting is like... I'm not sure how to say it. It's like looking forward to spring, or getting a sneak peak into spring, or something along those lines. At any rate, I had fun. I planted some more tulips, some paperwhites (narcissus), and some iris. I also put down some wildflower seeds up on my dry, hot hillside. (see photo) You can be pleased Anne, they are the drought tolerant mix. My whole hillside is done in xeric plants. Well, okay, not really the whole hillside, but all of the hillside that IS done, is done in xeric /waterwise plants:)

I suppose that's enough rambling for today. I have 3 loads of laundry waiting to be folded and I'm still not dressed and ready for the day. I'd better get crackin'

Friday, October 5, 2007

The Blogger Babes

Yesterday was the first meeting of the BEAUTIFUL BABBLING BOISTEROUS BLOGGING BABES. The gathering was spearheaded by Candace @ Dream Just a Little More and was really quite fun. I have to be honest and say that for the longest time I remained uncommitted to attending the gathering. Why? I'd have to say it basically boils down to that low self esteem issue - again!

As I read the blog sites of some of these women, I was just amazed at their wittiness, intelligence, accomplishments, etc... and I thought - what in the world would I ever have to talk to these women about. I am so NOT "in their league." I finally convinced myself that they sure seemed nice enough on their blogs - and the comments they left on mine - so what not give it a shot. So I decided to go.

Just for kicks - here are a few specs on a few of these amazing women:

Anne at Not Entirely British published author, recently finished jumping through all the necessary hoops to become an American citizen. (Can I just say, after meeting her, Anne is one CLASSY lady. I'm not sure if it's all British people, or just the few I've gotten to know personally, but the Brit's just have a sense of class that we American's seem to be lacking. Is that my imagination? Maybe. At any rate - THIS particular Brit (former) has CLASS!

Donna at Donna's Journey an amazing figure in the world of homeschooling. Here is a snippet taken from her blog, "I have an art studio in my home and am presently focusing on stained glass, engraving, and sand carving, as my main mediums of artistic-creative expression. I have spoken at several Charlotte Mason, Utah Home Educators Association (UHEA), One Sure Foundation Conferences, since 1994 I have been a presenter at the TJEd Forum three out of five years. I am the Founder, Owner, and Senior-Mentor of Moor House Academy. WOW! Tim and I have discussed homeschooling many times, and I'm thinking that now I have an "IN," should we decided to take the plunge. (It won't be this year though, I can guarantee that)

Jen at Lords of the Manor - Didn't get to know Jen very well since she was at the other end of the table, (I'm sure this will be remedied at the next get together, since she will be the spotlighted blogger) - but her blog reveals a very creative an dedicated mom. She is one of the contributors/creators (pick your term) of the "mommy what's for dinner" site which is currently ranked #1 on the "family Top 100 cooking sites."

Tristi at Tristi Pinkston LDS Author Another published author. Mother of 4, home schools her children and has her own line of bath and beauty products - Scentiments.

Candace at Dream Just a Little More Yet another published author, expert on BYU football - teams past and present, been on Phil Donahue show to defend LDS church, gospel scholar (I'm itching to hear one of her firesides), certified practitioner of Quantum Touch, and devoted wife and aunt.

Can you catch a glimpse here of why I might feel SLIGHTLY out of my league? Can't you just hear me now, "Hi, I'm Jeri, and I got two loads of laundry done yesterday." (of course, they are still in piles on the kitchen table - the only clear spot in the house at the time I was ready to fold them... but I did get them washed and folded...)

ANYWAY - I swallowed my vain and foolish pride, and went to the luncheon. What a delightful time. These women are HUMAN! I found them to be just a bunch of nice women who have amazing gifts and talents that they are using. I found them kind and engaging and it was a very enjoyable lunch. It was actually rather inspiring.

The other "babes" in attendance were:

Ali at Girl in a Whirl
Anne at Twas Brillig
Lori at Scott Smith Photography
Shellie at Random Thoughts From the Archives of a Frazzled Mind
Suzanne at Chocolate Daydreams

These ladies were also down at the other end of the table, so I didn't really get to know much about them, but after taking quick peeks at their blogs, I'm guessing I'd better budget in a bit more "blog reading time" into my schedule.

That's about it for me. I got up today with one goal in mind - to get this season's 'final mowing of the lawn' done before the storm came in. I also ended up mowing the neighbor's lawn, since I wanted to run all the gas out of the mower before we put it away for the winter. I did accomplished my goal, but unfortunately I had little energy left over to work on the growing disaster INSIDE the house. Oh well - I can always clean the kitchen and fold laundry while I listen to general conference... RIGHT???

Until later -

Monday, October 1, 2007

Good morning and happy Monday.

Today marks the 30 week point of my pregnancy. They figure the baby is a little more than 17 inches long and weighs approximately three pounds. At my last appointment I was measuring a little small, so I'm hoping that at my next visit that will not be the case. With all 3 other kids I have always measured exactly right on the mark, so it worried me just a tad, then I figured there was nothing I could do about it, so I'd just try to put it out of my mind until the next visit and just hope it worked itself out. Last Thursday they called with the results from my glucose and blood tests. Glucose test was good - I always worry about that one since there is a lot of diabetes in my family. I feel like I'm a walking time bomb for that particular disease - more a question of when, not IF I'll get it. Anyway, glucose results were good, but blood tests showed anemia. Not really surprised there. I have a tendency to get anemic in the latter half of my pregnancies, and I've been SO tired lately. They advised me to take iron supplements twice a day, in addition to my prenatal vitamin. I'm mostly listening to them. I'm continuing my prenatal and taking ONE additional iron supplement. I figure that's over 400% of the daily recommended dosage. It should be plenty. I'm also going to increase my intake of iron rich nuts and raisins. (I figured I'd be lots more willing to do the nuts (in a trail mix with raisins)- which I love, than to increase my intake of liver, leafy greens, and tofu.) 10 weeks still sounds like a long time, but next week, I'll be in the SINGLE digits countdown, so I guess it really is getting closer.

Katrina is doing really well in her speech therapy class. She really enjoys the class, and she wants to do the homework all the time. She is getting so much better at putting on the "t" and "p" sounds a the end of her words - when doing the homework - not so much in daily speech, but progress is progress. She is also starting to be able to make a couple sounds (the "K" (as in kuh) and "G" (as in guh)) that she had not been able to make previously. Still have a long long way to go, but the fact that we're seeing improvement so quickly is very encouraging.

I enjoyed watching the General Women's Conference on Saturday. It was a great reminder for me to focus on what is really important in life. That it is so easy to be distracted by all the other "stuff." I need to refocus on personal study (gospel and other), being willing to serve with a happy heart - not begrudgingly, and relishing in my role as wife and mother. The power of righteous a woman is truly an amazing thing. Sometimes I just lose sight of that in the midst of what the world (and my inner 'natural man') tells me is mundane.

What a great BYU game Saturday. For those of you who are out of the loop in this regard - it was a close game. At first, I thought BYU was going to blow them (New Mexico) away - but it ended up being a very evenly played game. At the end of the game the radio announcer was comparing the game stats for each team, and it was amazing how evenly matched it was. New Mexico turnovers ended up being the one stat that was significantly different, and that ended up turning the game to BYU's favor. Now, you should know - I really don't love games like this. They make me very nervous. I LOVE them when they are over and I know we won. I really have a hard time being calm during the actual game and I tend to get a little (okay, a lot) emotional if we lose close games. At any rate - BYU won this one and it was a good game.

Let's see - anything else happen over the weekend? Nope, I think that's about it. I've been on my extra iron for a couple days now, and I'm starting to feel a little teeny tiny bit less tired, so I'd best get up off my duff and get a little something done around the house before I have to go pick up Aaron.