Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I have thoughts.

+ Taking care of a baby is hard work. You think it'll be easy - all they do is eat, poop and sleep, with the main emphasis on sleep. Right? You think the hardest part will be waking up every couple of hours during the night to feed them, and then they'll drift easily back into sleep and so will you. But before you know it, you're dealing with low milk supply and a baby with a high, narrow palate who isn't gaining weight like they should and you're going to doctor/lactation consultant/therapist appointments at least two, sometimes three times a week and on top of all that your beautiful, perfect baby doesn't actually seem to appreciate sleep and you're lucky if you manage a broken 4 total hours of your own sleep at night.

+ Despite all of the above, the deep love you have for this brand new beautiful human is like nothing you've ever known before and you would do literally anything for them, including pumping after every single nursing session in order to boost your supply when pumping is the actual worst.

+ Five weeks feels like five years.

+ Five weeks feels like five minutes.

+ It's hard not to feel a little bit (okay, a lot bit) annoyed with moms who get bent out of shape when their husbands are an hour late home from work because they're BASICALLY RAISING THE BABY ALONE, YOU KNOW. Not that that's not hard, but Isaiah got scheduled to work nights for the next two months, which means I am alone literally 22 out of 24 hours of the day. All day, and all night. We get two hours a day together when he isn't either sleeping or working, and I would give my right arm for him to ONLY be gone 8-9 hours a day.

+ I got a wild hair the other day and thought I would try on my "fat" jeans from before I was pregnant. HA. HAHAHA. If you value your self esteem at all, do NOT do that at only 5 weeks postpartum. I don't know whose hips and thighs these are, but they certainly aren't mine. Supposedly, breastfeeding will just melt those extra pounds right off your body but that hasn't been my experience so far at all. I lost 10 pounds the day Imogen was born, and another five over the next week...and not a pound has been lost since then...weeks ago. I'm breastfeeding exclusively, I don't overeat and most of my food is healthy. What gives!?

+ "They" say the hardest part of having a newborn tends to get better after 6 weeks. "They" also say 8 weeks, and "they" also say 12 weeks. I'm hoping for closer to 6.

+ If you have a kid(s) and you have your parents living close to you - even relatively close, within an hour or two - count your blessings.

+ I still laugh when we get blank stares after telling someone the baby's name. A lot of people think we made it up. We did not.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Introducing our new family member

You guys. I had a baby. I HAVE a baby.

Meet Imogen Fern!!

Two hours old.

Does the eye goop make anyone else sad?

She was born on July 2nd, eight days past her due date but perfectly on time; all 6 pounds, 15 ounces of her at 6:57 a.m. Well, according to her hospital records it was 6:57. Quick side story before getting to the main story: I vaguely remember the nurses talking about how they needed to choose whether to go by the time displayed on the monitors or the time displayed on the wall clock to determine her exact time of birth. They decided to go by the monitors because they decided it would look funny if the baby's hospital records stated a different time on paper than the time the monitors actually stopped recording her heartbeat. But, Isaiah said he looked at the monitors a bit earlier and compared them to his cell phone and the monitors were 3 minutes behind.

So, although her records state time of birth as 6:57, we're pretty sure she was actually born at 7:00am on the dot, making her birthday 7/2/17 at 7:00am. It doesn't matter in the long run but it's a funny story we'll get to tell her later.

Anyway! One other bit of housekeeping, I promised to show one more element of the nursery that was previously a secret because it revealed her name. Here's a picture of her bedroom door! The weekend before she was due, Isaiah suggested we make a banner for her bedroom with her name on it, just for fun, and this is what he/we came up with. I just love how it turned out and it's a minor miracle we found all the supplies we needed at the local craft store, which is really more like 75% household goods and tourist crap and 25% fabric and actual craft supplies.

Now the part you've all been waiting for (with bated breath, I'm sure): The birth story. I'll try to make it as short as possible, but cramming 27 long, long, long hours of labor into one concise blog post is going to be a challenge.

On June 23rd, one day before my due date, I went to the doctor for what I hoped would be my last prenatal appointment. I was my mother's first born and I was born on my exact due date, so I had somewhat high hopes that Imogen would take after me and be punctual. At my appointment, the doctor checked and informed me I was between 1 and 2 centimeters dilated. I asked if I should be a little further along than that, and she said not necessarily, that it showed my body was prepping itself for childbirth and the number itself didn't matter much (which I knew but it was nice to have the confirmation).

Needless to say, my due date came and went...and went...and went. I had another appointment a few days later, and declined both a cervical check and a membrane sweep. I also let the doctor know that as long as everything was still checking out okay and the baby was healthy, I didn't even want to talk about induction until 42 weeks (which she understood and was fine with). I already knew that Imogen was on the smaller side based on ultrasound measurements, and I really just had a gut feeling that she wasn't quite ready yet, and God knew exactly when her birthday needed to be. Obviously if careful monitoring showed a problem we would have carefully weighed our options, but my fluid levels were fine, blood pressure perfect, placenta a-okay, and she looked perfect on the ultrasounds as well.

Plus, after lots of research I knew that, statistically, most women naturally go into labor by 40 weeks and 5 days, and almost all the rest go into labor by 41 weeks and 3 days. It's actually relatively rare to make it to 42 weeks, but it also isn't an automatic induction sentence.

Well, at 41 weeks on the dot - Saturday morning the 1st of July - I woke up at 4am with what felt like really bad period cramps. In my half-asleep stupor I remembered that lots of people said their early labor pains felt the same way, and I thought maybe something was finally happening, but I went back to sleep and figured if I woke up and still had them, then I'd put more thought into it. At 6am I woke up again with the same pain, and finally at 8am I got up and decided that I'd shower and see if THAT got rid of the cramping.

Spoiler alert: Nope.

Cat pjs for life.

After I showered, the cramps had turned from a constant ache to actual, time-able pains. They were only 30 seconds long and I was totally able to talk and function through them, but they were only 3 minutes apart. In my naïveté I was hopeful that that meant I'd have a short labor, since I'd heard so many people say their contractions started 10, 15, 20 minutes apart and didn't get closer together for many hours. Since they were only 30 seconds long, though, I figured I still had a little bit of time, and after making sure my hospital bag was ready to go, we went to a late breakfast (brunch, if you wanna be fancy about it).

All through breakfast I timed my contractions, which were staying at a steady 30-45 seconds long and 2 1/2 to 3 minutes apart. By the time brunch was over, I was having a harder time ignoring them (and talking to our server) so we went home. Since I planned on an unmedicated birth, I knew I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible. I really, really did not want to show up to the hospital too early for them to admit me, and I really, really did not want my labor to stall once I got there.

By late afternoon, my contractions were lasting about a minute long and were 2-3 minutes apart. I definitely couldn't talk through them anymore and it was getting pretty hard to talk or do anything in between them, too, which according to all the books means you should be fairly far along. At this point, both my mom and my mother-in-law were insisting I go to the hospital (lest I deliver a baby in the car), and even though I knew I probably wasn't in any danger of that happening, I called the hospital to see what they said anyway. The nurse seemed a little disbelieving that my contractions were actually that long and close together, but said we should go ahead and come in to the hospital so they could check and see how I was progressing.

So after a final check to make sure the cat's food and water bowls were full and the house was picked up, we headed to the hospital around 5:00pm. Let me tell you, car rides when you're in labor are absolutely excruciating and I was absolutely NOT wanting to be sent back home, because that would mean being strapped into a car seat three more times.

Long story short(er), we got to the hospital, I put on a gown, they strapped me to the monitors, agreed that yes, my contractions were as long and as close together as I had said they were on the phone, and checked to see how far along I was.

I was really, really hoping that after 9 hours of labor I would be at least four or five centimeters dilated. I even had hopes of delivering a baby before midnight. I figured there was no way I just spent the entire day pacing the house, sitting down only to eat brunch, only to make no progress.

I had made barely any progress. At my 40 week doctor's appointment I was told I was between 1 1/2 to 2 centimeters dilated. When we got to the hospital, after hours and hours of labor, I was only at 2 1/2 centimeters. Even though all my research told me that it didn't matter how far dilated I was, that your body can go from 0 to 10 in a matter of a few hours if it wants to, it was still pretty discouraging to hear that all the pain so far had been for almost nothing.

The nurse told us that since there was nobody else there, if we wanted to stay we could, even though they don't typically admit people until they're around 5 centimeters. She also said we could go home if I wanted to do that, since it would probably still be a while. I absolutely did NOT want to go back home, so we said we would stay there, I would get re-dressed, and we would walk around the hospital until something happened.

This was at about 6:00pm at this point...rather than bore you with the long, painful details of the next twelve hours, let's just say we basically wore a rut in the floor of a basement conference room at the hospital with all the circles we paced in between contractions. Finally, I couldn't handle walking around anymore (despite all my goals of staying upright until I was ready to push the baby out), and we made our way back upstairs where we discovered I was closer to 4 centimeters. Another "Are you kidding me??" moment.

To be honest, a lot of the night after I changed into that stupid hospital gown for the last time is kind of a blur. I know I spent the rest of the time laying in the hospital bed, doing my best to relax and breathe through contractions while also being in so much pain I had to yank on the rail of the bed just so I had some place to direct some energy. I also had no intention of being *that* laboring woman who makes a lot of noise, but at some point, it became completely involuntary.

Eventually, I have no idea what time, I hit transition. Let me spare you all the details - those of you who have had children will know what I mean and if you haven't and you want to know, I'm happy to share - but it is absolutely the strangest, most out of control, worst feeling I have ever felt in my entire life. I am so thankful that Isaiah and I did a lot of reading and I knew everything I was feeling and thinking was completely normal and I was not, in fact, dying - but that doesn't mean it's anything I want to repeat any time soon. I also knew that transition is the shortest phase of labor - generally between 30-90 minutes - and that gave me hope that I was almost done.

I have no idea how long I actually spent in transition. I know it wasn't an extremely long time (maybe an hour?), but it got to the point where my body was going to push this baby out no matter how hard I tried to stop it, and it is the most annoying thing in the world when a nurse is telling you "don't push!" over and over while they wait for the doctor to arrive. Through a haze I vaguely remember saying "I can't help it, I'm not doing it on purpose!" over and over like I was in trouble or something.

Finally, finally, the doctor arrived, checked me and said I was ready to push.

Thirty minutes later, the greatest blessing of our entire lives arrived kicking and crying and stretching her legs out as far as they could possibly go (explaining why I felt her knees/feet up under my ribs constantly the entire last month of being pregnant).


I can't wait until she starts smiling for real. In the meantime, she gives us plenty of teaser smiles.

Within two hours, I was up and walking myself to our recovery room, and after a mostly sleepless night full of blood pressure checks and, uh, stomach "massages", we were able to go home around noon the next day. Not a moment too soon, because hospital food is not exactly fine dining.

I can't say we've slept a whole lot better since coming home (ha), but at least I don't have to wear a hospital gown anymore and at least the food is better. 

I have a lot of other things I could say relating to unmedicated childbirth, and if that's something anybody would like to read, let me know and I'll write something up. I hesitated to talk a lot about it in this post, because I never want to make anybody feel like not getting an epidural makes me think I'm a better person (it doesn't), but I would absolutely recommend it to anybody, any day of the week. 

There are a lot of things about having a newborn I wasn't expecting and a lot I wish I had been told or warned about ahead of time, but overall, it has been the sweetest two weeks. I know I'm biased, but this little girl is pretty perfect. Life is definitely better with her in our family.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

FFR (Fully Finished Room) seeks TLBG (Tiny Little Baby Girl)

I've been procrastinating writing this post, even though the baby's room has essentially been completed and ready to go for quite a while. Mostly just because there are two small projects that I just can't seem to get my butt in gear to finish and I feel like the room isn't really DONE until *I'm* done, you know? But, the projects are nothing that can't wait until after she's born and heck, maybe they'll give me something to do while she's napping.

Our original idea was to create a very outdoorsy-forest animal-mountain themed nursery, one that was somewhat gender neutral but had a few girly touches thrown in should we find out the baby was a girl - which she is. We mostly stuck to the plan, and there are a few things I would have liked to do a little bit differently but when space and lighting are a major issue, some adjustments have to be made. Overall, though, I really love how the room turned out!

I'll leave some links at the bottom of the post (none affiliated, of course) in case you want to snag something you see in these photos. There is one other DIY element to the room that is not pictured, but I'll definitely show it off after she makes her arrival - it displays her name so it'll have to remain a secret for a little bit longer!

Also, I took these photos with my iPhone and the lighting isn't great (as mentioned already) because the room is on the back of our house, up against a cliffside, with zero sunlight during the day...and I did try and edit them a little bit...and I'm a terrible indoor photographer regardless...but you'll get the idea. It's a little bit cave-like (when the brightness isn't bumped up via the magic of Photoshop) but I'm choosing to call it "cozy" instead.

Welcome! Here we have the view if you are standing in the doorway of the nursery. Huge, right? Good thing babies are tiny. But seriously, it's small and cozy and perfect for a tiny person. A hobbit hole, if you will.

To the left of the room we have one bookshelf (from Target, years ago), that used to hold the majority of my yarn and craft items. I decided to sacrifice it to a greater cause. It didn't originally have that lift-open cabinet door on the top of it - that was a contribution from my extremely handy husband. We don't have a ton of room in the rest of the house, so we added a cover to the top two cubes of both bookshelves so we could still store a few items that aren't baby-related, but not have to actually look at them all the time. One contains some adult books (not adult themed books, ya perv) and one contains some office-type supplies. 

Same basic bookshelf story, but on the right side of the room. This one holds all her currently-owned books, a few decorative items, and a few more of our things hidden underneath the cabinet door up top. We went back and forth and back and forth between either a crocheted floor pouf (like this one) or a furry cube-shaped ottoman/pouf, and finally decided on the fur when it went on a sale too good to pass up. 

Standing in front of the crib and turning around, we have the other side of the room. This is what I like to call the feeding nook. I wasn't originally a huge fan of this style of nursery glider and I really wanted something a little bit more retro looking (a.k.a. not obviously a baby chair) but 1) none of the ones I liked would actually ship to Alaska and 2) most of them were big bucks even if they would ship. So, we settled on this one, but I ended up not hating it. Plus, it's pretty comfortable, and in a color I like. We didn't buy the matching ottoman, because I'm not a matchy-matchy person, hence the fur ottoman. 

Swinging to the right a bit more (any further right and you'd be looking back out the door to the room) and we have the changing station/dresser/closet area. We took off the closet doors and toyed with the idea of hanging curtains to hide the closet, but eventually decided that they'd just get in the way and probably end up making the room look even smaller. The dresser holds a lot of her clothes and all her cloth diapers, and the bins up top are all stuffed with clothing sizes bigger than 6 months. You can also see a basket or two of my yarn up in the top left, because I literally (and I use that word literally) have nowhere else to put them right now. The wet bag hanging on the back wall is one I ordered from an extremely nice Etsy seller based in Anchorage, and once she fits into them, it'll be used for dirty cloth diapers in between laundry days.

From the beginning I really wanted one of those metal IKEA carts, but they don't ship to Alaska. I was pretty thrilled when I randomly stumbled across essentially the exact same thing on the Target website, and almost immediately ordered one. It's currently being used to hold her swaddle blankets and zip-up swaddles, changing pad covers and crib sheets, and a few pacifiers/teething toys up top. I'm not quite sure she has enough swaddles and blankets so I might need to order a few dozen more of each.

Everyone needs a place to hang their hat coat and diaper bag, right? I painted that little "Take a Hike" piece up above, and the two vintage floral postcards were randomly sent to me by a client at my former job, along with their monthly payment. I need to stand on a chair and hang them properly - they're currently just stuck up there with tape and aren't very even. 

This art print is, I'm pretty sure, the very first thing we picked out to put in her nursery. I found it looooong before I was pregnant, showed it to Isaiah and he loved it too, so it's been bookmarked on Etsy for probably at least the last year and a half. I'm so happy we finally were able to order and hang it!

Obviously none of these items will actually be staying in the crib while she's sleeping in it, but we couldn't help sticking some of our favorite stuffed animals in there. The bunny is from Isaiah's parents, picked out by his stepdad. The watercolor/floral crib sheet is one of the things we picked to make the room look like a girl lives there.

Every forest has gnomes, right? I made this mobile and while I'd definitely do a few things differently next time, I still mostly like how it turned out. I think one of the main things I'd change is not using black and white twine to hang the gnomes and mushrooms. I think it's distracting and I still might change it out for fishing line or something, like I need another project to work on.

Speaking of gnomes and little forest animals, you can't have too many, right? The little gnome figurines were picked up on a whim at a local shop, we've had the little fox lamp for several years (but we did replace the black lampshade with that gray one), the feather trees were purchased on an after-Christmas clearance sale at a store in town, and I painted those mountains using cardboard cones I found at the craft store.

Books! And a baby book! For some reason we've gravitated toward things with bunnies for this baby, hence the Peter Rabbit baby book and the multiple books about rabbits...Peter Rabbit boxed sets, Pat the Bunny boxed set, the Runaway Bunny, an original publication of Leo the Lop that my sister found on eBay and ordered for us...the list goes on.

She has to learn her alphabet somehow...and fun fact, it took quite a bit of research on my part to figure out what the "I" stood for. Because that's a lemur, right?? Nay, not just a lemur, it is an INDRI - a large species of lemur found only in Madagascar, apparently. Let's just say I ordered this print from an Etsy seller based in iguanas in this alphabet!

Finally, some of my favorite items from the room: The wooden nightstand we found, and a Peter Rabbit toy from one of my old coworkers, and one of the cutest board books ever. That tall white thing is a nightlight/sound machine, and the more I play with it, the more I love it. The sounds on it are great, you can customize the nightlight color or program different colors to go with different sounds, and you can control it all either on the unit itself or from your phone. It's pretty spiffy.

So there you have it - now all we need is the baby!! The baby that is currently five days overdue and seriously welcome to come any time she wants...

And here's a list of items from the room (again, no affiliate links!), if they're still available. If I didn't list something and you want to know more about it, let me know. Thanks for visiting!

crib + dresser (Target)
glider chair (Babies R Us)
metal cart (Target)
cream shag rug (Amazon)
fox lamp (Target)
gray lampshade (Target)
metal coat hook (Anthropologie)
shaggy stuffed animals (Restoration Hardware)
The Quiet Book (Amazon)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

I wish due dates were concrete just like our new countertops.

Happy due date to me! Well, I guess happy due date to this baby girl is more accurate, and if she wants to make it her birthday too, that would be fine.

No impending labor signs yet that I'm aware of, other than occasional Braxton Hicks which are nothing new - I've been feeling those off and on for like two months now. I haven't been checked by the doctor yet, so I don't know if/how much I've dilated. So far it hasn't mattered - babies come when they come and I trust my body will know when it's time - but if I make it to my appointment next week we'll definitely need to make sure things are moving along. I was informed last week that they "don't like" to let moms go past 41 weeks, which I think is a little silly if everyone's healthy (and wealthy and wise, as my mother would say), so I'll be asking for 42 weeks at least. I really don't think I'll still be pregnant then, so I feel like it's a bit of a moot point.

We did decide that last weekend was the perfect time to rip apart our kitchen in order to redo our countertops and backsplash and I was semi-hoping that would jump start labor, being on my feet all day every day but no dice. I've been wanting concrete countertops for ages, so for my birthday, Isaiah surprised me with all the supplies to cover up our ugly, pale yellow laminate counters with a concrete overlay.

It actually worked really well, and they're 95% finished and will be 100% finished this weekend (assuming this baby doesn't interrupt the plan). They're technically done, but we wanted to go the extra step of adding a wax layer on top of the sealant to make them extra stain and scratch-proof. I've been using them the last few days without the wax layer, though, and they've been great!

You probably saw these pictures already if you follow me on Instagram, but here's the before (ew), during, and a couple of after photos - one with the counters still empty and one with everything put back. Not bad for only a 4-day project, if I do say so myself!

Ew. Just ew.

Mid-concrete application. We used 3 thin layers of Ardex Feather Finish. Messy, yes, but fairly easy.

New wooden backsplash and finished countertops! We sealed them with Cheng's Concrete Sealer and followed a YouTube tutorial we found online (since the reviews mostly said the instructions on the bottle were outdated and didn't work properly).

So fresh, so clean clean. And a furry photobomber. And a big plastic tote I forgot to take out of the sink post-wash and pre-photo. Can't win 'em all.

Remember when I said I was hoping to make a bunch of freezer meals for under $150 for after the baby's born and neither of us want to cook? The grand total of my shopping trip, not including the cost of the ingredients I had on hand at home already or the things I'll need to go with the meals, came to $160. I was pretty proud of myself. I bought enough to make five freezer meals and a bunch of pre-portioned smoothie packs, and I figure each meal will feed us at least twice, with possibly a bit left over. Add to the cost the extra side dishes (rice, quinoa) and necessary serving vessels (tortillas, for chicken tacos) and I bet it'll all come in at right around $200 total. I still think that's pretty outrageous and anywhere but Sitka I could do all that for a lot less, but $200 for 10-15 meals around here is about as good as it gets, especially when there's any kind of meat involved. So I'm satisfied.

I do have to say, one thing I am getting tired of being asked is what we're naming the baby. For some reason, even though we have had months to get used to the question, I cannot for the life of me figure out a way to answer that doesn't come across as super awkward.  I guess part of me finds it odd that strangers legitimately expect us to tell them the name we've chosen, and part of me feels awkward telling them we're not telling them. "Uh...well...we do have one but aren't really telling anyone until she's born..." Unfortunately my bumbling response isn't usually met with a happy, understanding face. It's usually met with a blank stare and an "Oh, okay..." And then I feel like I have to have a darn good reason, like we still can't decide between a few names (not true) or we want to make sure the name fits her looks before we finalize it (also not true).

At least we're running extremely short on the amount of time we still have to feel awkward about this situation. I hope.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Still cooking, both figuratively and literally.

38 1/2 weeks.
Also, I legitimately thought this mirror was clean until I looked at the photo. Whoops.

Well. I just realized it's been a minute since I last blogged. I feel like a lot has actually happened in the last couple of weeks - is this what it feels like to actually have "blogging material" for a change!?

The most notable occurrence is that I quit my job! Technically I turned in my 6+ week notice way back in April, but last Friday was officially my last day. It was a really, really crappy final week, if I'm being honest. I wish I could say I was able to float through with lots of goodbyes and I'll miss yous on my way out the door (skipping, of course), but it just didn't really go down that way. It's funny how people suddenly realize you're actually leaving and suddenly come up with a million and one emergencies they need you to handle. And, I know - lack of planning on their part doesn't constitute an emergency on mine; I'm well acquainted with that phrase. But it's hard to actually put that into practice when you're the kind of person that, no matter how much you wish you could mentally check out early, you can't help but feel an overwhelming need to make sure everyone is set up for success before you leave.

That said, I was reminded exactly why I was leaving (other than the having-a-baby part, of course) when, an hour before I left, the CFO actually asked me if I would be willing to work "just one more day." I resisted the urge to start maniacally laughing and crying at the same time and managed to politely say sorry, but no.

After I finally left (!) I made my way over to my 38 week doctor's appointment, where I expected to be told the exact same thing I've been told at every appointment thus far: Baby's heartbeat is perfect, your measurements are perfect, your blood pressure is perfect, see you in a week. Whomp, whomp, nope. I was informed that my fundal height, which is supposed to be approximately the same number of centimeters high as you are weeks along in your pregnancy, was only 34 centimeters. He said that low amniotic fluid was a concern or, worse, restricted fetal growth (which can also be caused by low fluid). He immediately sent me for an ultrasound, just to see what might be going on, so I headed over to the hospital.

On the bright side, we got an unexpected ultrasound and we were able to see our adorable little girl's face for the first time. It wasn't 3D or anything, but it was good enough to get a photo and give me a little boost of motivation to power through these last couple weeks of pregnancy. The ultrasound tech also confirmed that she is absolutely, without a doubt, truly a she - which is nice, because now Isaiah and I can stop agonizing over a middle name to go with our backup boy's name.

Unfortunately, the ultrasound tech was not very encouraging and informed us that indeed, my amniotic fluid was lower than doctors like to see, which sparked a weekend full of furious Googling, a lot of praying, and the chugging of multiple gallons of water just so we could rule out dehydration should I need a follow up ultrasound the next week.

Thankfully, praise the Lord, when I went back to talk to the doctor on Tuesday, he told me that no, the tech was actually wrong, my fluid levels look perfectly fine and although the baby is measuring about a week on the small side, she's still within perfectly normal range and I'm still on track for a June 24th due date with not a thing to worry about. I asked why he thought I was measuring so small and he said that it was likely just a combination of her having dropped down into my pelvis (and boy do I feel that!), the way she was turned, and the fact that she's just a hair on the petite side. He said he's more of a safe than sorry person, hence the rushed ultrasound, which I actually appreciate even if it did cause some undue worry in the meantime.

He also told me that based on the ultrasound's cervical measurements, not a lot is happening down there yet. Which is fine - I'm still a week and a half away from my due date and it sounds like she needs a little more time to plump up anyway!

Having some time off before the baby does come has been really nice. My hips have been progressively hurting more and more, but there is still a lot I want to get done around the house so it's been really convenient to be able to be up and around being productive but also be able to sit down whenever I need to. I'm still exhausted by the evening one way or the other, but at least I have the majority of the morning and afternoon to do what I need to do so I can relax in the evenings without feeling guilty (whereas before I was getting home from work and basically dragging myself straight to the couch, lucky if I even managed to unload the dishwasher first). On tomorrow's to do list: Grocery shopping and prepping five or six freezer meals. I'm hopeful each meal will feed us at least twice, and I'm hoping to do it all for less than $150, which sounds outrageous to most of you I'm sure, but remember where I live - a block of Tillamook cheddar is almost $20. Alaska may be a dream destination for a lot of people but you definitely pay the price, and the Last Frontier is effing expensive.

One last thing - I made this sweet potato bread today, and it's freaking delicious. It's probably something that would taste even better in the fall/winter, but I had a potato I needed to use, and it's been rainy and in the low 50s here so it might as well be October. Add a cup or so of chopped walnuts or pecans to the batter - you won't regret it.

I guess that's the downside to being at home all the time now...I have to stare at things like sweet potato bread and use all my willpower not to just devour the whole thing in one sitting. Time to go distract myself with a deep cleaning of the bathroom...