Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pregnancy Update - The Woes of Summer

As I have been out and about this summer I notice people looking at me with pity. You can tell they are thinking. "Poor thing - pregnant in the summer..."

I used to think I was so smart to be pregnant in the summer frequently quoting my mantra "Better to have the baby IN me than ON me!" I would hate to be breastfeeding in this heat and humidity not to mention getting a newborn in and out of a 130 degree car - all lethargic and pimply with heat rash.... but I am now second guessing myself.

Two weeks ago at my midwife appointment, I could tell that Will was not head down. I had really bad kicking really low and I could have sworn a foot was going to just pop out at any moment. The midwife confirmed this and I told her how every time I went swimming, I had really low kicking right after. She said that is really interesting that I noticed that because the weightlessness of the water often can confuse the baby and they no longer can tell which way is up or down causing them to get out of position. She advised that I stay out of the pool for a while to let him turn head down again.

Of course, since we are having this baby at home, it is crucial that he be head down. She won't deliver him at home if he is breech. So I went to work doing some "turn over baby" encouraging exercises and I stayed out of the pool. Sure enough, at my appointment this week, he was back to head down like he should be. Phew! She said I should still stay out of the water until he is head down for a few more weeks and gets fat enough that he can't easily turn again. I am fine with this because it is very important he stay head down.

No swimming - check.

A few days ago, my mom noticed that I now have a couple varicose veins popping up behind my knee. I would have never known because I rarely look at the back of my knee but sure enough right in that spot I have the leg of any 80 year old. I am pretty distraught over this but most things I read say they will go away after I give birth. The midwife told me that once they are stretched, they are more prone to stretch again - whether it be during other pregnancies or when I get older. She said I should wear support hoes at least on that one leg to keep them from getting too bad.

Nylon support hose - check.

In the past two weeks my lower back/sciatic pain has gone from bad to completely debilitating. I am now to the point that I find myself limping most of the day and my all important exercise is impossible - even walking. Last night, it was all I could to roll over in bed! I would venture to say that it is as bad if not worse than labor pains at times. Unfortunately, there is nothing to do for that besides a few exerises that I have already been doing. I also was advised at my appointment to wear good supportive tennis shoes rather than flips flops and that might help a little. I just don't understand why I am having such bad back pain. I am not old and I now weigh in at 133 pounds. I could see if I had gained 60lbs and was 40 years old. Come on!

No flip flops, only shoes and socks - check.

I would not mind all these stipulations if I only had a few weeks left but I have a little over 2 months to go! 2 MONTHS. I am doomed to a hot and miserable summer.

I am also extremely anemic so earlier in my pregnancy I started taking clorophyl and an herbal iron supplement called Floradix. Let me just say that these are the most horrible tasting liquids I have ever known. I took them for a month and had my blood tested again. It was a little better but not good enough so I am also taking a blood builder pill on top of the other two and my usual prenatal, vitamin D and DHA. All that better be helping. I am literally taking 102 mg of iron daily - the recommended amount is 18mg.

I have gotten to the point where I can't wear regular t-shirts anymore or they expose the bottom few inches of my belly. I am officially in maternity wear, although, I am quite pleased with my maternity wardrobe right now. I have found so many super cute things at thrift stores. Having fun maternity clothes makes feeling this chubby okay. I also like to wear tank tops that are long and tight. The are most comfortable and I get a kick out of the way I look.

Will seems to be coming along just fine and is not any bigger or smaller than he should be. I don't know when he sleeps because he is ALWAYS moving about so that is fun and as always reassuring. I can't wait for this little guy to come out! Hopefully not 10 days late like his sister!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Out With The Old!

What an exciting day! We bought a new minivan!

I have been keeping my eye out for a good deal for the past few months but we had to get really serious in the past two weeks because my car began dying on us at a fast and furious rate.

My little, white Saturn - poor thing. Here is it's laundry list of problems.

  • catalytic converter went out
  • back tire leaked air and need refilling once a week
  • had been in a fender bender but the hood was replaced by on ill-fitting hood that didn't match the car and was painted a different shade of white.
  • leaked oil
  • suddenly started wanting to overheat all the time which required me to blast the heat to keep the engine cool. That is really fun when it's 112 degrees out and the air coming out of the heater is hotter than it ever could be in the winter when you actually want it hot. Claire loved when this happened too. (this is what made us realize we needed to get rid of it fast!)
  • it also shook and vibrated like crazy on the freeway. I always thought it was just the road but after driving Josh's car the other day decided that no, it was definitely my car's problem.
  • started to have trouble shifting
  • the radio/cd player just stopped working two weeks ago.
  • brakes needed replacing and squeeked horribly all the time
  • not to mention it was a 2001 with 136,000 miles
We knew we wanted a van before Will is born - for safety reasons mostly, but as you can see we couldn't put it off for another 2 1/2 months.

I spotted this Dodge caravan a couple weeks ago for only $9k on autotrader at a Nissan dealership. Josh thought the price was too good to be true for a 2007 with only 53k miles but we finally went to look at it today and upon receiving it's clean carfax report, it's Kelly Blue Book price coming in at a little over $12k, and test driving it, we decided it was a great deal. Because we had amazing credit we got a fantastic interest rate which made us able to afford adding in a 3-year, total-coverage warranty, gap insurance, 5-year dent and ding repair, and scotch guard protection.
(the ONLY flaw on the outside are those little scratches on the bumper. What can you do...)

I am SO happy with it. No more cramming all of our stuff into a tiny sedan. It's so high off the ground to me, I feel like I'm floating when I drive it! This is the newest car we've ever owned so to us it is really a special treat. I can't wait to drive it to work tomorrow!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Happy Camper

Last weekend, we took our first camping trip. Not only was it a first for Claire, but it was also the first time Josh and I had camped together. I love camping but this was the first time I was the 'adult' if you will.

We went to Ponderosa Campground which is halfway between Payson and Christopher Creek. Being our first time with a child I wanted a developed campsite that I was familiar with. (my family went there all the time when I was younger)

Josh expertly packed everything into the tiny Sentra and made our way up on Thursday. We set up camp and just chilled at the campsite that first day. Claire loved running around and collecting things she found in the dirt.

Her favorite thing was to start up where the car is and yell "Momma! I something we could never make out! Watch! Then she would hop down and run from the car to the table and close her eyes as she passed through the smoke from our fire.Hours were spent this way.

At night, our lantern attracted a bunch of beetles that were pretty large and disgusting. They made hissing sounds and hurt when they flew into you. They were like kamikazes and could not land on their feet. Claire loved to look at the bugs and would exclaim "It hit me!" every time she felt one fly into her.
She was waiting so patiently to have s'mores.

I was dreading bedtime because Claire doesn't sleep if she is in the same room as us so we put her into the attached side tent. She slept until midnight but then woke up. I could hear her because I was awake most of the night due to our air mattress having a hole and deflating. My moderate back pain then went to debilitating so I was up a lot that night. I heard Claire stand up and walk around, she hit the side of the tent and then started screaming "Momma!!!" Josh went and got her and she ended up sleeping in our tent for the rest of the night. I was so proud of her. When I woke up that morning my stomach was asleep but Will was moving around like he was on a mission so I guess that is okay.

That next day we drove up the the Rim and went to Woods Canyon Lake. It definitely was not a child friendly place. I didn't realize how big the rocks and hills were you had to climb to get along the shoreline. We had to either carry Claire or hold her hand and travel at a snails pace.

We stopped along the shore in a good place and Claire threw rocks in the water. I caught a little crawdad for her but she wasn't impressed.

We left shortly after because there was just nothing to do with a toddler and we went back to the site. We tried to put her down for a nap but that was futile. It was also so hot and humid that we could barely stand it so we decided to drive to Tonto creek so at least Claire could play in the water.

No sooner did we get there then it started to rain. It was raining pretty hard so I suggested we go the fish hatchery because that was inside/covered. So we drove up the rode a few miles and by then it was raining harder with tons of thunder and lightening. Unfortunately, the parking lot was a little ways from the covered area but we were feeling adventurous so we made a run for it - just then it started to POUR and I mean POUR. I wish I had a picture but of course we didn't want the camera to get wet. By the time we reached the covered area we were completely wet and freezing - the temperature went for 100 to what felt like 60 in about 5 minutes. There were some other people stranded under the covering and they had a towel they let us wrap Claire in because she was shivering. We stayed there, freezing for about 15 minutes, then Josh ran down and got the car and drove up to where we were to get us. It was an exciting time but we were worried about how our tents back at the campsite were doing. When we got back to the site, it was completely dry but thankfully not as hot.

Claire loved to play in the tent.
She found some bugs to play with.The wind picked up a few times that afternoon and the tall, pine trees would sway back and forth. The first time that happened Claire gasped and looked up at the trees. "Don't fall trees, don't fall!" she exclaimed.

That night we tried putting her in her own tent again and to our surprise she made it through the night - only to be woken up by the people in the site next to us who had a Harley Davidson and joined in the unwritten code of motorcyclists that you have to sit on your bike and rev the engine and let it rumble for at least 10 minutes before you finally drive away. This was at 6am. So, Claire awoke to the sound of one of her biggest fears and was teary-eyed when we got her out. Poor thing.

When I was making breakfast she found another bug. She definitely does not hesitate to pick them up.
Enjoying some bread by the fire while I made french toast.We decided to give Tonto Creek another try since it wasn't raining. She LOVED it, however, the rocks were big and slippery so once again she need constant help. The water was freezing! I don't know how she could stand it. She fell in a little too far a few times and was soaked from the waist down.
She had a good time though.

We got bored there and went to the fish hatchery so we could maybe see some fish this time. She was very excited to be there and loved to look at the fish.
A guy who worked there came to feed the fish. The fish went crazy and were jumping all over the place.
From there we headed home with one, very tired, little girl.

Here are some of my thoughts on camping:

It was very fun but due to Claire's age and being the only child, Josh and I NEVER got to sit and relax. I think that we will go again - not next summer, but the following so that Will and Claire can play together.

I would prefer to not go camping when I am so pregnant. The back pain always kicks in about halfway through the pregnancy so I would go before 20 weeks. I felt useless when it came to carrying things - including Claire.

I would not recommend taking a flashlight to the pit toilet because no matter how many times you promise yourself on the way there that you will not shine it down the toilet, you probably will. Stick with a lantern.

Toddlers have no concept of not stepping on bedding with filthy, sandy shoes and for whatever reason cannot remember this even though you tell them a billion times.

Here are the things I forgot to pack:

Off! repellent - although I only got one bite the whole time and Josh and Claire didn't get any.
A fly swatter.
A can opener - that was a pain
Syrup for our french toast.

Things I didn't necessarily forget but will get before the next time we go.
Pots that can be used on the fire.
Cutting board
Pot holders
Metal pitcher for heating water
Something to wipe your feet on before entering the tent

That sums it up! It was a fun learning experience and family time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Youth Lake Trip

This weekend was the youth group's annual lake trip. I have not gone with them for about three years but this year I thought Claire would enjoy going. We bought her a life jacket (on Amazon for only $15) and drove up with the group.

We spent a few days before the trip talking about how she was going to go on a boat and swim in the lake. We put her new life jacket on and talked about how nice and pretty and special it was.

She was so excited.
We set up our little shade camp across the lake. We only had two boats this year so it took awhile to get everyone across. ( about 30 or so people)

Claire played along the shoreline while we waited for a turn to ride a boat.It was nice for me because many of the girls like Claire and Claire loves to be with them so they would watch her in the water and help her swim. Claire loved jumping off the rocks to Denisse. She played a lot with Sara too but I know Sara would kill me if I put one of those pictures up because she would not like the way she looked:)
Claire's friend Keyara came too with her family. They played in the water together and shared snacks with each other.
We finally got to go on a boat. We pulled the banana boat behind us so that was fun to watch. I so wish I could have gone on it!

Here is Claire while we raced along in the boat.

Josh got to ride on the banana and the tube. I got that tube at Savers for $9.99 a little over a year ago. It had never been used and apparently it is one of the best brands you can get.

Sporting my maternity swimsuit - well, it isn't actually "maternity" but the top was long enough that it fits like one now.

It was a fun day all in all. I must say it was so hot a muggy that even I went in the water quite a few times. I preferred jumping off the boat in middle of the lake rather than going in at the shore where the fish were biting my legs and there were all kinds of green floaties.

I'm so glad that Claire had such a good time. Because she did so well, we decided to for sure go camping this next weekend. That'll be an experience I'm sure.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

For the past few months I have been trying to make homemade yogurt. Why? Because store bought yogurt has so many artificial ingredients, colors, sweeteners, and WAY too much sugar.

NOTE: (NEVER buy light yogurt - that just means they loaded it with cancer causing Splenda or aspartame.)

So after some trial and much error, I finally came up with a recipe/method that works for me. It is really quite easy and rewarding.

1. Pour 4 cups of milk into a pot, heat over medium heat stirring occasionally until you thermometer reads 185 degrees.
2. Pour into a bowl to cool. It needs to cool to 130 degrees before you can do anything to it.

3. Once the milk is just under 130 degrees, whisk 1/2 cup of powdered milk and 2 tablespoons of store bought yogurt. After you make a batch, always save a little to be the starter for your next batch. That way you will never have to buy it.

Do not even try to stir it with a spoon, you will not be successful and later when pouring the mixture into cups you'll find lumps.

4. Now, I know you will be tempted, but DON'T try to sweeten or flavor the yogurt now. You must wait until right before you eat it to do so. I have tried several times to add sugar now and it only results on runny yogurt that doesn't set up properly.

5. Pour the liquid-soon-to-be-yogurt into your yogurt maker's cups. I know that not everyone has a yogurt maker and neither did I a few months ago but now I have two. I found them both at different Savers for under $5 and they are the same exact model. If you are serious about making yogurt I'd say they are the easiest way to go.

6. Lastly, pop on the lids, plug in your maker (which I found keeps the yogurt barely warm) and let it sit for 12 hours. I usually do all this at night so in the morning the yogurt is ready.

7. Put the yogurt jars in the fridge until you want to eat it. Here are some ways that Claire and I like to flavor our yogurt. I'm sure there are a hundred ways to flavor it, these are just the things I have tried.

a) add honey to taste
b) add sugar to taste
c) add sugar and your favorite flavor of jam
d) add sugar and vanilla

Having all that plain yogurt on hand also comes in handy for baking, or we like to add sugar to it and use it instead of milk on our cereal.

Delicious! We will never buy yogurt again!

Monday, July 5, 2010

The 4th of July!

For the 4th I made Claire a new dress. I got the fabric at Goodwill for $2. (there was about 2 yards) It's seersucker and I know that is at least $6 a yard in fabric stores.

It was extremely easy to make and I believe it is my best work so far. I plan to make a few different variations of the dress for summer.

Poor Claire, she is such a cheesy poser for pictures. When we tell her to smile she shows her teeth and makes her jaw all crooked so it is hard to get a normal looking mouth shot. I think we will need to practice smiling in the mirror.
Here is a candid one. What a goof.
After church we went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner and a swim. Then we had to leave to go see Claire's first fireworks.

Finding a parking spot was very frustrating but we finally found a place and walked about half a mile to Tumbleweed park in Chandler. The main, grass field for spectating was surprising empty considering how many people were driving around and setting up on the side of the road. We were very lucky to get such a great spot considering we didn't get there until 9pm.

Claire was frightened by the fireworks at first ......but after a bit, she grew accustomed to the loud bangs and she watched and enjoyed her candy we let her pick out from the dollar store.We couldn't tell if she was having a good time or not, she did say "That was fun!" a few times on our way back to the car so I guess that is good:)