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potentially TMI, proceed with caution )

Having worked out the pain management, yesterday was a bit of a better day, and I anticipate it will only continue to improve.

I had to operate on only 1 hour or so of sleep yesterday because of the rigorous schedule of night time feedings and the difficulty in administering said feedings. But the pain meds made it reasonably tolerable anyway. Went to the chiropractor first thing in the morning, and that helped lots with the pain. Then it was rushing off to the pediatrician and dropping in on my ob-gyn. All these medical appointments meant a 5 hour feeding gap for poor Georgia, but she was a trooper and we made it through, even meeting our number of feedings for the day goal despite this gap.

After all that we ate lunch and hung around the house waiting for the test results that would either send us back to hospital, or see us returning for more tests later. Happily it was the latter.

During my stay in hospital I realized the one thing that was still missing from the nursery... a comfy chair. I've decided that the space I was going to put a diaper genie would be much better put to use with the perfect chair. Coincidentally, I'd spotted an ideal candidate at Ikea some weeks before but hadn't at the time known where to put it. Now that I've decided the diaper genie is not a useful item, the prime spot next to the window is available for a chair. I invited Jason along to confirm that this was in fact the right chair for the space, but he wanted to stay home and relax and hates going to Ikea anyway. Jason spent the afternoon feeding Georgia and giving her frequent light therapy while the girls wanted to hit the outlet mall next to Ikea, so off the three of us went.

A half-hour dash through Ikea resulted in most of the things I needed to finish off Georgia's room; the chair, a clock and a laundry hamper. I was also hoping for a white waste basket, but we didn't see those on our whirl through, and I wasn't that interested in searching for it. I can grab that next time I hit the Ikea.

After that it was on to the outlet mall where we discovered they were having a "tax free weekend". Kristi found the crocs she wanted for work (no holes in the top so you can wear them in a hospital setting) and which are apparently not sold anywhere in Canada. All of us managed to find a nice t-shirt or two at Quicksilver. I was able to pick up more dog food at a ridiculous price. It's usually $40 or so plus tax, but I paid $29 including tax (the pet store apparently wasn't playing the no-tax game). And then a final stop at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company for a box of chocolates to give to the wonderful ob-gyn that delivered me and a treat for Jason for staying home and watching all the kids.

Jason and I spent the early evening sleeping while the girls went to watch the bats emerge from the bridge downtown. The girls then brought us take-out chinese for dinner, which was awesome. We went to bed rather late, and I've been waking for feedings, or like now, hanging around waiting for pill time, but I still feel like I should be able to get some decent sleep hours in.

And that gets me to 6:30 ish, which is when I'm due for my pill, so time to pop that and back to bed for me. Next feeding is scheduled for 8am or whenever Georgia cries, and with her getting better that is finally starting to happen. I think I might ask Jason to bottle that one and get a bit more sleep for myself.
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ZOMG!!! Eleventyone!!11!!!! PAIN PAIN PAIN!!!!

Today is worse than labour. No, really, other than that one part where they increased the IV drip and the extra fluid load caused my contractions to run non-stop, today is worse. It's not just that I'm in pain, it's that it's from so many sources.

1. I am STARVING. I don't think I've ever felt hunger pains like this.

2. My stitches are killing me. There is no comfortable position.

3. I let Jason do that last feeding last night entirely with stored milk from a bottle. I can't pump to take off the pressure because then I'll just make even more. Georgia's not awake and not due for a feeding yet anyway. I mean, if she was awake and asking for it it's not too close, but it is too close for me to wake her and force the issue. I've tried ice packs but it's not helping much.

So yeah, this morning kinda blows. On the bright side, we're on-track to get outta here today. Here's hoping for sooner rather than later.
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Everything is going along as it should. Georgia is well out of the danger zone for her jaundice. We've got her down to one light blanket (either on the top or bottom rather than both), tomorrow morning if she tests well we'll go down to no blankets for 4 hours of observation and if we pass again we get to go home. The feedings are going well. Pumping is producing consistently in the 20-30 ml range. I've actually decided on the next couple feedings that we'll do breast or bottle rather than both. That way either Jason or I will wake up but not both of us. The hospital gave me a hand-pump (part of the package with all the bits that you use on the real pump that come in contact with milk) so I might continue to pump and store when we get home just so we can share the late-night duties for a bit. I'll have to see how the hand-pumping goes. I might experiment with it tonight before we leave the hospital in case I need help figuring it out.

My milk is in now and yikes but my boobs look strange. This morning they had expanded to the absolute perfect stage. If I was ever going to get a boob job, that's what they would look like. A nice, probably B-cup (I didn't have any way to actually measure), perky but still very natural looking. As of right now they look like total failed boob jobs. It's like someone got implants just a bit too large, so you can see the edges all around, and then the implants went hard. No word of a lie, it absolutely looks like bad, hardened silicone under the skin. I can't say for sure if they're a B or C right now as I am not a good judge of these things. I wonder if they will soften up or what will happen here. They're also pretty painful and leaky. I'm putting ice packs on them and I just washed up and applied my Lilypadz and that seems to be working. Then again, Georgia hasn't cried since I put them on, so we'll have to see how they hold up when that happens.

The other part of me that looks very odd is my belly. Of course the skin and muscles are all stretched and loose but now that they're not stretched over a baby they're hanging very low. I've got a binding girdle-like thingy on right now to smooth it all out and give some support so it doesn't hurt when I walk so much. When I take it off it looks like I've stuffed a basketball under my skin very low on my pelvis. I look fine from the base of my rib cage up and positively tear-shaped and freaky below that. I wonder how long it will take that to look at least half-way normal. I'm not talking freakishly well-toned abs or anything, just not bizarre pouchy thing.

The world's best life-saver of a night nurse is back on shift again tonight. Found out that we all play WoW and on the same server though she's Alliance. Ah well, we're not all perfect ;)

Lauren arrived today around 5ish. They came and hung out with me here and kept me company for a few hours, just left actually. They're going to keep the hounds company tonight so Jason is staying with me again.

I'm also super-hungry all the time. I really wish the cafeteria was still open right now. I could use some extra anything. I've sent Jason home to bring me fruit. Hopefully that will tide me over until "room service" re-opens at 7am.

Wish us luck for a speedy departure tomorrow. I know that I am eager to get out into the fresh air and sunshine again. I'm also eager to see how the beagles take to the new arrival. All signs so far point to a happy welcoming into the household. Jason brought home a hat that she'd been wearing for a few days so the beagles could have a sniff. They REALLY liked it. When he got out of the shower he found they'd taken it to bed and curled up around it. And when Jason picked it up to take it away Lizzy licked it. We plan to introduce them by putting Georgia in a crib or playpen and allowing them to sniff her through the bars/mesh. That way they can't accidentally get too rambunctious and jump on her or hurt her in any way. Not sure how long it will be until we let them get any contact without that safe-space between them. I'm sure they wouldn't do anything to hurt her intentionally, but over-excited beagles are a bit dangerous for a little one.
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Announcing the arrival of Georgia Imogen Attard. Born August 15 at 2:34 am after 48 hours of labour. Baby, mum and dad are all recovering and still completely exhausted. Will post more later.
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The e-mails and facebook postings and other communications have started arriving. I'm still over a week from my due date and all these well-meaning people are pressing me "is there a baby yet?". No, there is no fucking news. I'm still a jobless wonder, I still live in Texas, I still haven't won any lottery, it's still hot, it still hasn't rained, and I'm still pregnant. Nothing fucking happening. Every day is exactly the same.

What is with people? If there was news, I would let people know. I'm not announcing it to everyone BUT you. It's not some secret campaign to keep you in the dark. Your asking won't ensure that you're the first to know. Sometimes no news is just that, no fucking news.

Why yes, being pregnant and unable to sleep makes me irritable. Is that news?

Edit
P.S. To anyone who has just written to ask "how ya holding up?" or anything that isn't specifically "do you have a baby yet", this isn't directed at you. I appreciate the concern and the connection that the "how are you?" messages represent. It's just the ones that specifically ask what I think is a dumb question that are annoying me.
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And the ob-gyn reports that yet again, nothing interesting is going on. Skipped the pee in a cup because I'm a massive idiot and forgot about the whole glucose in blood test they always do and got up early to treat myself to french toast and a shit-tonne of sugar-laden syrup. French toast was good. Skipping the pee in a cup was also good to be honest. My BP has jumped from the 90/60 it has been for most of my pregnancy up to 120/90 last week and 128/80 this week. That's rather high for me but still within normal limits so no one is very concerned. I think it's because this is the first time that the act of getting up off the chair in the waiting room, walking down the hall and hopping up on the exam table actually gets my heart pumping now. If they waited a few minutes for me to catch my breath it would probably drop back down to something more reasonable. Ob-gyn listened to the baby, measured my tummy and sent me on my way. Let me know that she's on-call on Saturday so that would be a good day. And of course any weekday of course. I smiled and sighed because I'm pretty sure deep down that it's going to be the full term for me.

This afternoon found out about yet another person giving birth. This one due the same day as me, but I don't think I'd want her experience. They tried to induce her on Sunday and after 36 hours of labour gave up and c-sectioned her. Ick. Nothing like 36 hours of sleepless labour followed up by abdominal surgery right before having to take a new baby home.

Anyway, since it appears I still have time to kill before the birth I might as well get more shit done. Yesterday I gave the kitchen a complete scrub-down. Cleaned the fridge (not just being super-anal, someone had spilled something and it was so bad the crisper was stuck shut, so that really had to get done) and then swept and mopped the floor (which was also gross because I have one plant that seems to mist sticky stuff on everything). Beagles didn't know what to make of the floor rugs coming up or of the lime-popsicle scented cleaning stuff and damp tiles.

Tonight I have to go to the annual HoA meeting and hopefully win a vote to get them not to raise our fees yet again. We're paying way too much for the very little they provide I think. We're already paying more for our wee little park than other HoAs I know of where they have a pool, so I think another rate increase would be highway robbery. However, as the builder still has majority votes (I think) I'm sure this will just be a waste of time.

This afternoon I think I'm going to try my hand at making some cloth pads. This will be an interesting experiment...
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The Canadian government has accepted Jason's application 1.1 with new, improved non-glasses-wearing photo and returned his newly renewed passport as of this morning. That means September trip home is a go, assuming I feel up to it, and assuming the baby has actually arrived by that point.

As of this morning, we're now up to 2 people in Edmonton who were due after me but have given birth already. I'm getting mighty tired of getting this sort of news as I sit here in the Texas heat, lumbering around like some enormous beached walrus. Anyway, off to the ob-gyn for yet another "you look normal" appointment.
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Last night I had strange birth dreams. I couldn't get to sleep even though I was utterly exhausted, and when I finally did get some shut-eye, it was very much disrupted by dreams, which I could remember on waking. I almost never remember dreams, so this is pretty significant for me. Not significant in the sense that there might be meaning, but more in the sense that I am obviously not sleeping restfully, as evidenced by my yawning through my morning.

In the one that I remember most clearly the baby was very active, and pushing out even more than normal. So much so that you could see her facial features through my skin. Of course, being head-down and there being a LOT of layers of stuff this is impossible, but it's a dream right. Rhonda and Greg were over and got to see it and I called Jason into the room to catch it on film, which he did. Suddenly, instead of my hand supporting my belly, I'm holding a half-dressed baby (she had a shirt on and nothing else, don't ask why a shirt) and my tummy is back to normalish size. My brain immediately said "well that ain't right, we skipped the whole birthing part" and I got cut-scene re-wound to being in labour. Now suddenly I'm in labour (but it doesn't hurt) and all of our family is in the house. They're not exactly our family in that no one looks like any of our relatives, but in that strange way that dreams work I just know that they are. And I'm frantically trying to pack my bags for the hospital, and it's frantic because this is obviously going to be a super-short labour because just look at what happened "last time" I was just looking at my baby inside and suddenly I was holding her with no time in between! Again, dream-logic. My sister and her girlfriend are there helping me run off a checklist and I'm just not getting it all together fast enough.

I suppose the only thing this probably means is that I should get that bag packed so I'm not worrying about it any more. And yeah, I still haven't done that. Kinda hard to pack a bag since that would mean giving up a piece of clothing or two to a bit of luggage. And when you have so little to wear that fits you get a bit reluctant to do that. There's hopefully less than 2 weeks to go, so I should just suck it up, do some laundry today and make that sacrifice.

In other news... funny beagle story from last night. We had one of those odd little cloud-bursts, you know the kind where just one little cloud is raining and the rest of the sky is sunny, so it catches you a little off-guard. Well Anna was outside sleeping and it caught her completely off-guard. She came tearing into the house all damp, pawed at Jason and led him over to the back door. She then looked out the door and looked up at him as if to say "make it stop daddy". It's so cute that our beagles have so much confidence in us as these omnipotent beings that they think we can stop the rain.
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It's over 100 degrees out and I spent my afternoon slaving away in a kitchen making chili?!?! Strangely, it's not the slaving over a hot stove that bothers me, but the product thus produced. I have absolutely no interest in consuming chili in this weather. I wanted fresh rolls, or maybe a salad, or something on the BBQ. But Jason requested chili, so here I am making it for him. Who in their right mind says to themselves... "it's hotter outside than a fever, I think I could really use a nice steaming bowl of chili"??? Anyway, it's made now, so he's eating it. I'll join him today just so I don't have to make 2 dinners, but after this I'm having fresh rolls and he'll have to finish this by himself.

It occurred to me this week that my entire condition at the moment is really his fault too. I hadn't really given much serious thought to the idea of having children until his brother's wedding. I was standing on a deck, munching away on asparagus, completely smashed drunk and watching him with the wedding party on the patio below. He gave a really moving, well-written speech, which of course I can't remember a single word of. And in that moment I realized I wanted to give him a daughter so he could stand up and speak at her wedding. As I recall, the post-reception sex was pretty fantastic, though we didn't start actively trying until a few years later. So here I am, sweltering away over a hot stove, barefoot and pregnant in a kitchen in one of the hottest summers on record in Texas, and it's all his fault ;)

Time to go pick the boy up from the office so we can make it home in time to watch So You Think You Can Dance.
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I hate admitting defeat, but I'm going to have to do just that on one thing I was pretty firm on for my delivery. It's standard hospital procedure to put in a hep-lock when you walk in the door at the hospital at which I've chosen to deliver (and probably at all hospitals). I figured if I raised enough of a stink that they'd back off and leave me alone. I hate IVs. I have shitty veins and they always collapse, resulting in pain and massive bruising. I don't need to deal with that shit on top of everything else I'll be dealing with. I also don't like the convenience that they represent to the staff when it comes to administering drugs. I want to do this naturally and do everything I can to avoid interventions of any sort. I don't appreciate the idea of the staff having immediate and convenient access to my bloodstream.

Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that I tested positive for Strep B colonization. This means I have to have antibiotics administered by IV every 4 hours during labour. I can't skip it because it could really harm the baby, and I'm guessing they won't just do it by injection. So I'm stuck with the hep lock.

Why do I get the feeling that this is just step 1 of me losing all control over this situation?

In other news I threw my back out last night, so I've been utterly useless all day. All I've really done is nap and eat and do a bit of browsing on the internet. On the bright side, I found a great gift for someone. On the downside, I got nothing done and I have no idea what's for dinner.
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Went shopping for more baby stuff today. Stuff like baby wipes and diaper cream. The things you want to have on-hand when you come home from the hospital, but that you don't buy too far in advance so it doesn't get dried out and go bad. Had a real hard time with the diaper cream though. Either the ingredient list was like a chemistry class, with a zillion chemical names that I didn't recognize. Or there was only a few ingredients, but one of them was talc, which I recognize and know as BAD. To the moms out there... what kind of diaper cream do you use?

Also picked up a pack of breastmilk storage bags and a single bottle so maybe Jason can feed her on occasion if he wants to, or if something happens and I'm out of commission it isn't the end of the world. We don't plan on this being a regular thing, but at least now we have the supplies in case we want to try it. Can't see myself going so far as to buy a pump, but we'll see what I can manage by hand. Went with the "VentAire Advanced" bottle. It's BPA free plastic, which is not the glass I initially wanted, but according to my next door neighbour, bottles with this funny shape really do help to reduce gas and they just don't make glass bottles in anything other than the standard upright form. Anyone out there have bottle recommendations?

Tried to buy some lanolin for me, but of course everyone working at Wal-mart is an idiot, so that was full of fail. According to their website Target stocks it, so I'll stop there tonight. I would have just gone to a pharmacy, but I was also buying ingredients to make Chili for Jason, and ground beef isn't exactly a pharmacy item. Also picked up some of that Bio-Oil stuff to try to manage the road map that my tummy has become. I hate the smell of it. Not sure whether I dislike Lavender, Calendula, Rosemary, Chamomile or all four. It reminds me vaguely of "fly wipe" the stuff we used to put around the horses' face and ears at camp to keep them from getting bitten by the deer flies. I didn't care for the smell of that either. Still, it's worth trying and by the ingredient list it looks like it won't hurt, so I guess I can put up with the smell for a bit.

In other good news... the Halloween baby stuff came in at Wal-Mart. I picked up all kinds of adorable goth onesies in various sizes for my little one. Because as far as I'm concerned, Halloween stuff is perfectly appropriate all year. They all glow in the dark too, which is wicked awesome!

I've got 2 hours before I have to leave to pick Jason up from work. Time to go get something done...
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Everything I do now feels like I'm running a marathon. Everything hurts, I'm waddling around like some beached walrus and I get out of breath just standing up. Today my cankles really came out to play. Everything from mid calf on down is swollen beyond recognition. I put on my sandals and I swear my left foot didn't really fit in it any more. The right foot was a tight squeeze but the left was squishing and spilling out all over the place. So much for thinking I might make it through this without ankle swelling. On the bright side, I got to sleep for 5 hours straight last night - woot!

This morning I weighed in at 25 lbs of weight gain. Not sure how much of that is genuine weight gain and how much was a whole lobster and 2 slices of pie that will be out of the system in a few days. Either way, I'm at least within a few lbs of the minimum now. On the bright side I think the ankles and belly are the only thing that reveal my condition. While walking (extremely slowly) to the restroom at the restaurant on Friday I could tell the girl stuck behind me was getting tremendously impatient with my speed, but when she passed me and glanced down she gasped and exclaimed "oh! from behind I never would have guessed you were pregnant!". And I had the same run-in with someone else while leaving the restroom. Hopefully that means I'll be able to get back in shape quickly.

Today we went and bought a second TV. I've got this idea that I'd like to go through most of my labour at home since the hospital is only 10 minutes away, and Texas is a BAD state for c-sections. The earlier you go to hospital, the more likely you will be subjected to one, so I'm just going to chill at home until absolutely necessary. Jason agrees that is probably for the best and since we came to that decision I've felt a lot more confident and less scared about the whole labour thing. My idea was to finish the games room upstairs so we could hang out there and watch movies and I could move easily between the couch there and our bedroom without tackling stairs. Two weeks ago we picked up the bookshelves and TV stand to finish off the furnishing, and this weekend we got a better TV for downstairs and moved the smaller one upstairs. I now have a 37" TV on the main floor, which pleases me greatly. It totally fills the cabinet, so much that we had to remove the shelf in there and now have less storage space, but the bigger picture makes it worthwhile. I didn't need all that stuff anyway.

Tonight I still didn't feel like cooking so it was take-out burritos and a trip to the dog park to wear out the pooches. Tomorrow is OB-gyn appointment in the morning and then a trip to the chiropractor. I wonder if she can do anything to help my ankles? Hopefully I'll feel well enough to make us a meal after that.

Anyway, off to enjoy some lemon meringue pie and then to sleep.
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I went back to bed for a few hours and woke up feeling a wee bit better. Unfortunately the thing that woke us up was a courier returning Jason's passport application. They didn't like the pin-prick of light on his glasses, saying there was too much glare and that there were shadows on his face. Fucking picky bureaucrats. Despite them saying you can wear glasses in your photo, I can't think of any circumstance in which you's be able to get a photo that would meet with their approval while wearing them. Lesson learned, always take them off, no matter what the application says you can do.

As that whole process has eaten two weeks of processing time, it is looking unlikely that Jason will get his passport back in time for us to visit Canada in September. We re-took the photo today and sent it by faster courier this time so it will arrive there on Monday. It could get back to us in time, but it would be VERY tight so it just might not. I'm currently trying to decide if I should make the trip without him (by plane via Detroit because there's no way I can handle that drive with a newborn) or if we'll just wait and see if he gets his passport in time and cancel if he doesn't.

I took the car today so I could go to the chiropractor, but I guess she took today off to go to a wedding this weekend (I knew she was taking Monday morning off, but I didn't know she'd take Friday too) so I'm not getting fixed today. Looks like a weekend of soaking in the tub and taking it easy. I'm actually at the point where it's easier to list off what doesn't hurt (head, right elbow and both knees) than what does hurt (everything else, from neck to toes). Jason has been informed that we'll be going out for dinner tonight. I'm unsure what we'll do the rest of the weekend but I'm pretty sure me cooking isn't an option I want to consider.

Insomnia

Jul. 31st, 2009 03:58 am
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It's my own damn fault. I was teaching an inkle weaving class tonight (worst class I've ever taught, I swear my brain has just leaked out my ears, but everyone was patient and seemed to get it by the end, it just took longer than normal) and didn't have enough looms on hand to accommodate said class, so I spent today out in the garage frantically making a bunch of looms. Managed to get 5 looms made (I copied the mini-loom I picked up at Estrella) and sold one at the class so that covers the cost of all the materials - yay! Unfortunately, it took 7 or 8 hours to make them all. Because I spent too much time with the power tools every joint in my body aches. For the first time in my pregnancy my ankles are swollen, and my wrists are killing me. My elbow on the left side ain't great either. I think I was holding the hand-sander on that side. I desperately need a bench top sander and I've now got my eyes on this beauty, though I am also considering this model. Or if I really wanted to splurge (and believe me, I do) I think I might go for something a little more powerful. I also banged my shin against a loom while teaching my class and it feels like I may have bonked my arm at some point too. I managed to get a few hours of sleep by putting a heating pad on the ankles. How funny is that... running AC and a fan while using a heating pad. Pretty damned inefficient.

I'm still dead-tired, but I can't sleep through all the pain. I also skipped lunch today (partially because I wasn't that hungry, but also because if I stopped and went into the house I'd have to shower all the sawdust off and I wasn't finished being filthy) so I think part of why I woke up may have been hunger. I've had a bowl of cereal and now I've got indigestion so I'm not sure what I should do. I could pop some Tums and some Tylenol and try for the sleep thing again or I could give up, get something done around the house (I've already unloaded the dishwasher, but maybe I could tackle a project) and just nap later this afternoon. I'm thinking I'll stop in at the chiropractor's in the morning and see if there's anything she can do to help.

In good news, beagles were well behaved all day even though I was out in the garage and completely out of sight for most of the day. Even if they can't be with me, they seem to benefit from just knowing I'm close. It's only when I leave completely that they get neurotic. Also, it was a good day to be out in the garage. It rained in the morning so I don't think it hit 100 today. Still close, but every degree cooler makes a difference.

I'm really looking forward to the fall when the temperature will cool down enough for me to be comfy out there any day, and the baby is out and I'm all recovered from pregnancy and birthing. I can't wait to see the end of the indigestion, loose joints and bulkiness, though I'm sure I'll have lots to complain about immediately after with the sore nipples and bottom.

Well, I've been up for 2 hours now. I guess I'll finish my tea and take another go at this sleep thing. Who among us as children would have predicted that as adults we'd be so bad at something as simple as sleeping?

Busy day

Jul. 29th, 2009 05:19 pm
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Got up early this morning and made french toast for myself while Jason finished the last of the waffles. Ate it out on the back patio on the lawn furniture. We've made a bit of a routine of it and this has become about the best part of my day.

Pics of my patio behind the cut )

Then while Jason was showering and getting ready for work I ran out to Lowe's for some supplies to make inkle looms. I'm teaching a class on Thursday and rather than finish up the weaving that has been on my looms for ages and letting people borrow my good looms, I figure I'll toss together a teaching set and people can buy one if they like, or just borrow one, up to them. Makes sure my looms don't get all bogged down with other people's projects at least. They're bogged down enough with my half-finished junk.

Anyway, I got home just in time for Jason to take the car, but while I was out, he had noticed that we were supposed to have our property tax assessment today. Ooops, totally forgot about that, so no woodworking for me today. I had to drive Jason to work and come in to his office to make copies of all our evidence without having so much as brushed my teeth. I didn't mind looking like that at Lowe's, but I felt kind of embarrassed slumming around Jason's office looking that way.

Came home, put all the baby laundry away and got washed and dressed with plenty of time to make it to the hearing. Hearing was a success. Having a recent sales document on the property in question pretty much guarantees success. Apparently things like comparative sales numbers from other properties and professional appraisals don't guarantee anything of the sort though, as someone from Jason's office had tried that route and gotten no where. We were lucky to have purchased at a down time, and that it was a foreclosure. Got the value of our house knocked down 20% from their estimate, so that should take a nice bite out of this year's taxes. Also got them to revise the description of the property to remove the fireplace that we clearly do not have.

Celebrated my victory against the bureaucracy by hitting a Wal-Mart a bit further from my house to hunt for the sports bra I like. No luck on said bra, but I did manage to get some infant gowns on clearance, so that's nice. I'm not going to run a load for 4 little pieces of infant wear, so they'll just get tossed in the drawer and I'll wash them with the first load of actual baby laundry.

I've taken some pics of the nursery, but as I have to run out the door to pick Jason up from work and I haven't had a chance to edit them yet they'll probably come up in the next post.
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The baby's room is almost done. Ikea finally got the crib back in stock and it's all assembled and ready to go. I also managed to pick up a comforter at Wal-Mart that matches the room, so that will be nice to snuggle up with in the winter months. All I need to do is finish the throw pillows, put all the linens and baby clothes back in the room that are in the laundry right now, hang the stuffed animal holder thingy and some mobiles and put up one picture. Most of that stuff is easy, and everything other than putting the linens back is optional really. The picture, which should be a 30 second job with a picture hanger and a hammer, is proving to be the most difficult thing.

Growing up I had this unicorn picture hanging in my room. It happens to match the colour scheme of the baby's room, so we brought it home with us at Christmas time. However, as we didn't yet know what we were having and Unicorns are fairly girly, I agreed not to hang it at the time. This means I put it somewhere to store. Beats the heck out of me where that somewhere is. I've checked my closet, the baby's room closet, the spare room closet and the junk room. I can't see it in the games room or in the garage. It's not in my sewing room either. The house is big, but it's not THAT big. Where the crap did I put this thing? Don't you hate when you hide something so well that you've hidden it even from yourself?

If I don't find the picture it's certainly not the end of the world. It just annoys me that I can't find it. Not like it's the only thing I've "lost" in this house since the move mind you.

In other news, the beagles were bad AGAIN this morning. I didn't feel rested when I got up this morning, so I joined Jason outside on the patio for breakfast and then went back to bed. I couldn't have been back in bed 30 minutes when I heard all kinds of frantic barking downstairs. I assumed some strange animal had entered the yard or the house, threw on a housecoat and went down to investigate. As I came down the stairs one of the beagles emerged from the kitchen into the dining room with a box of turkish delight in her mouth. I yelled, she dropped it and beagles scattered. Anna slunk off to hide, Lizzy tucked her tail firmly between her legs in the "I'm soooo sorry" gesture, but was also whining and dancing around me as she was THRILLED to see me. Obviously they thought I was gone with Jason, not just asleep upstairs. The turkish delight was up on the 36" high counter and Lizzy, an animal 15" high at the shoulders, managed to jump high enough to grab it. To put that in perspective, I'm 53" at the shoulder, so that would be like me jumping high enough to grab something 10'7" off the ground. I can't do that WITH the help and extra reach of my arms and hands, and she did it with her mouth! Amazing little athlete eh?

I'm not sure if the barking was misery at us being gone, or Anna encouraging the counter surfing "there, get that! Just a little higher! You can get it!" On the bright side, I did get the turkish delight back without so much as a tooth mark on the box. And I guess we know everything has to be in a cupboard now.

Beagles when a human is home are tranquil, peaceful, happy creatures, as evidenced by the fact that they've spent the rest of the morning and afternoon lounging and sleeping around the house and yard. Beagles when they think they are alone are whirlwinds of destruction. I'm not sure if they're unhappy that we're gone, or thrilled to have the opportunity to do what they like.

I've re-planted the bits of ixora that still had roots and leaves after last night's episode. I've also thrown a bit of orchid food on it to hopefully restore some nutrients and give it another chance. Here's hoping it makes it. So far the flowers are looking droopy and unhappy, so I think I've lost those, but the leaves look okay. It probably just takes leaves longer to die though.

The hibiscus that I replanted this weekend looks DELIGHTED with its new situation. I think the baby leaves have doubled in size in 2 days. Hopefully it will start blooming again soon. The replanted plumeria is also looking very happy and pushing out new leaves.

Next door, still nothing. I wonder what they're waiting for.
norsegirl: (Default)
The construction is going slowly. Mostly because they're not really there and doing anything.

July 16th - no work

July 17th
I got my curtains hung up just in time for a dozen or so workers to descend on the site and start leveling out the sand that was dropped off two days before. They were done and gone by noon.


July 18th and 19th
The weekend. Surprisingly, no work.

July 20th
Workers show up in the morning to dig trenches for services (water, sewer and maybe electrical) and are done in an hour or two.

Greg takes me out to meet Rhonda for lunch. As we're standing around chatting after lunch there's this "pop" that sounds like a small explosive and an accompanying dust cloud appears on the construction site. The neighbour across the street hears it too and we all cautiously approach the site to figure out what it was. As far as we can figure the cap blew out of one of the pipes because the pressure changed as the air inside heated up, which is something one would expect as a summer day in Texas progresses. Below is a picture of the explosive pipe and the black cap that we figure blew out of it (Greg retrieved it from some distance away and tossed it back in the trench).


July 21st
Workers come in the morning and cover the site with black plastic. I'm not sure what purpose this serves exactly, but I have noticed that this step normally takes a few days. I'm guessing they let the sand settle and compact and maybe the black tarps help to make sure it dries out?


July 22nd
Thunderstorms loom all day, but don't produce much in way of rainfall. A bit of drizzle falls, but nothing worth noting. Construction workers do not appear and no progress is made on the site.

July 23rd
As of now still no workers on site. The next step is pouring concrete and those guys are usually around at the crack of stupid, so I don't expect there will be any progress today either. I hope that they choose to do that either Friday or Monday and don't wake us early on the weekend as it is VERY noisy, but it's not like I have any say in the matter.

In other news, Jason got up around 7:30 or so and joined me outside for nutella-covered croissants and a cup of tea on the patio furniture. This is the first time we've actually used the new table other than as a place to put the marshmallows during the July 4th bonfire. It's too damn hot to eat dinner out there, but first thing in the morning, especially if it's overcast like it was this morning, it's really quite pleasant.

Speaking of the yard, things out there are behaving unpredictably again. The bottlebrush, after shooting out all kinds of new growth and appearing to be happy with just being neglected and ignored, has suddenly taken a turn for the worse. All the interior leaves and some at the edges are curled and completely dried. At the same time as this is going on, there's still new growth at the ends of some of the branches. I'm not sure if that new growth is just stuff that hasn't got the "we're dying" message yet, or if this plant just kills off old growth regularly and this is a normal part of its life cycle. I've started watering it more regularly and I guess we'll just see where it goes and what happens.

Gotta love the spray paint all over my lawn. Like really, you shouldn't be digging here anyway, do you need to put orange and red all over everything?

Other things in the front yard seem to be benefiting from the neglect. When the daisy stopped blooming I stopped caring about it and it hasn't had any water other than what hits it when we water the lawn twice a week. It took a few weeks off to spread a little and develop more foliage and then all of a sudden last week there were blooms. I guess I should just continue to ignore it then.


In the backyard, things seem very happy. The ixora that was in good condition very enthusiastically threw out blooms for a few weeks. Unfortunately I think it also got trampled, and maybe sampled by beagles, so while it is blooming, it is kind of crushed and asymmetrical. I might have to stake it to encourage it to recover in a pleasing shape. The other ixora that was doing so very poorly before being planted is developing a nice shape (having not been trampled and having fewer leaves to support) and appears to be sprouting some buds. The buds however look orange just like the other ixora, which is interesting since the tag at the nursery claimed this one would be yellow. Ah well, the second "Meyer Lemon" I purchased also turned out to be a key lime, so I'm not really expecting much from the Lowe's garden centre any more. If you actually want to know what you're buying you really should go to a proper nursery.


It's absolutely fascinating trying to adapt my gardening techniques and figure out how to grow all these new things in a new environment.

On the indoor plant front, I'm down to only one orchid in bloom right now, which is rather sad. It's taking all my self-control not to pick up another one every time I go in to Ikea or Lowe's (the two places they are cheapest). The hibiscus doesn't seem to be doing terribly well in the pot it arrived in. I suspect it has outgrown it or that the soil doesn't retain water well enough. Jason suggested it wasn't getting enough sunlight and there were a few bugs on it, so rather than deal with the bugs I decided to toss it out on the back patio. Jason was wrong about it wanting more sun. Within 24 hours it had dropped every single leaf. I brought it back inside, sprayed some soap water on it to clear up the aphids and have been nursing it back to health. There's lots of tiny little leaves and it did reward me with one bloom, though the other buds all dropped with the leaves. Since there are no more blooms to be had anyway I might just take the time to re-pot it this weekend. I'm also thinking of picking up a spider plant or two to improve our indoor air quality. Maybe one each for the dining room, master bedroom and baby's room. Or maybe I'll just get one for the baby's room and split it as time goes by.

Yesterday morning was fun. At about 6:30am I woke up screaming (and dragged everyone else into waking with me) because I got my first pregnancy leg cramp. I managed to work it out in only about 5 seconds but it continued to be tender the rest of the day, and truth be told I'm still aware of it now. Sorry Jason and beagles. Last night I went to bed practically crying because she'd shifted into some strange position that had my whole left side tender to the touch and in agony even when not touched. I tried pelvic rocking to encourage her to move, but that just made her settle in there even deeper. I tried to manually push her out of that corner, but she wasn't going to budge. In the end Jason massaged my back until she wiggled out of the spot. I was pretty tender there most of the night, which probably explains the frequent waking and giving up on sleep entirely at 5 this morning. Today my chest hurts from the slouching and the drag from all that extra weight like usual, and the indigestion is still pretty bad, but other than that I'm better.

While I'm very aware that I've only got 4 weeks left until my due date and a lot of projects I'd like to get off my plate before she arrives, I have to say, I'd still welcome it if she decided to make her appearance now.
norsegirl: (Default)
Beagles are not at all happy with me. Yesterday morning we were all friends. We got up early and went to the dog park "before it got too hot". It was only 78 degrees, but with the humidity it was still pretty stinking hot. We were the only ones there, so no hope of getting them to play and tire themselves out with other doggies. Jason chased them around the park a bit and that pleased them greatly.

We then decided to take a quick walk down one of the walking trails just to see where it went. It really is a lovely park and I'm glad it is so close to us. It would be nicer still if we didn't have to drive there, but 5 minutes by car is certainly something we can manage.

Then things went downhill for beagles. We came home and Jason bathed them. We were thinking about it and as far as we could remember the last time they had been bathed was before my sister's visit in February. They were so scummy that if you petted them for longer than 30 seconds you'd get this grey film on your fingers. Beagles hate bathing. The crap continued when we closed their doggie door so they wouldn't go outside and roll in something and get smelly again.

Today they're put out because I was out all morning for appointments and shopping and then we had our birthing class in the evening. And not half an hour after we walked in the door, a skunk moved in to the neighbourhood somewhere (I have no idea where he is but I'm certainly not going to run the risk that he's in our backyard and let the doggies go find him) so the doggie door is closed again. There's scratching and whining and obviously stupid humans are just not getting the message.

The appointment this morning sucked the big one. Started with the usual weigh-in and pee in a cup (I hate doing that now that I can't see what I'm doing down there) which is okay I guess. Then instead of the usual listen to the baby's heartbeat and measure my tummy, we had the added yuck of a vaginal exam. They were swabbing to test for staph B, which is fine, but she also shoved like half her arm up there to feel if the baby was head-down and to see how my cervix was doing. Frankly, it was doing fine BEFORE you tried that. Now it's pretty tender and stingy. The baby is head down (duh, I could have told you that) and I am 1cm dialated (means nothing) and "there may be some spotting", or, you know "your favourite pair of undies is about to be ruined, have a nice day". While vaginal exams are routine for all future visits at this point I have the option of skipping them, and I believe that is the option I will be taking. They can't really learn anything by doing it (you can be 4cm dialated and take another week to give birth or be at 1cm in the morning and in labour by nightfall, so it's totally non-predictive) and it is horribly uncomfortable. I also asked her a bunch of questions about her birthing philosophies and her opinions about various interventions and it seems they are pretty supportive of natural childbirth there, so yay! I also asked if there was any amount of time that could be considered "safe" for me to lie on my back, just to stretch out my messed up spine. I've got this injury I gave myself in Australia years ago, it makes the spine go out of alignment right behind my belly button, which is the point where all the muscles supporting my enormous belly are bound, so it hurts pretty much constantly right now. She said an hour or so at a time should be okay, so I'm really excited about being able to take the pressure off there, even if it's just for a little.

To make myself feel better (cervix is still rather tender) I went and hunted the clearance rack at Target and bought yet more pretty summer PJs and some more baby stuff. I figure if I'm going to be in PJs most of the time right after the delivery that I should have a few pairs and they might as well be nice. And I didn't exactly have a large supply of summer PJs before I moved. Mostly because I used to have a job, so I had to get up and get dressed in real clothes most days, so I just didn't have much need for slumming around the house PJs. The only time I ever got PJs was Christmas gifts, where my parents would always buy flannel because it was winter and they wanted new PJs on us for the Christmas morning pictures. Even when I bought myself PJs it was always snuggly, warm winter ones, because Edmonton winters made me want to hibernate, so I would often stay in PJs all day on weekends. In the brief Edmonton summers I tended to get up and get dressed in real clothes even on weekends so I could get out and enjoy the weather. Here, getting out in the weather is about the last thing on my mind. So getting some PJs in which I will not melt, even inside in the AC, has become important.

After that it was off to the Ethiopian restaurant with Greg to meet up with his wife, Rhonda for vegetarian buffet. It was yummy and I utterly stuffed myself.

Rounded out my afternoon by getting *some* cleaning done in the kitchen (very little) and finishing off our passport applications. Hopefully they will be processed and the passports returned to us in time for us to go back to Ontario for our planned September visit. We've cut it rather close though, so don't be surprised if those plans get changed.

Projects

Jul. 15th, 2009 10:23 pm
norsegirl: (Default)
What have I been up to this week? Quite a bit actually. Especially when you consider that today was a complete write-off. For some reason I'm feeling nauseous. Especially right after I eat. I'm not sure if I'm coming down with something or if the baby is just kicking in weird places. She's fine, the first thing my mum asked was if she was still moving. Yes, plenty, and I'm sure that's not helping me at all. So I spent most of today in bed and all I got done was unloading the dishwasher and cleaning up all my sawdust and debris from the woodworking out in the garage.

Sunday however was fairly productive. I cut all the pieces for the first box and started the assembly. Monday I completed the last little bit of the assembly (I only had enough clamps to do 2 corners at a time, and even then I didn't have enough to do it well, so on Monday I bought more clamps). Yesterday I did the reinforcing dowels and sanded the whole thing. As of now all that needs to be done is some sort of finish. I've told Jason that this is his box, so I'm waiting on him to decide what he wants to do with it. His choices are stain, leave it as-is or I can paint something on it for him (his arms or whatever he likes) and then whatever he chooses I'll throw some urethane on it to protect it. So far he hasn't made any kind of decision at all and it might take him some time to come to one, so I'm just going to post what it looks like at this stage.



Nice looking box if I do say so myself.

There's another little project I finished a few weeks back that I'd been working on since around when my parents came to visit, so I figure I'll post some shots of that too. This isn't so much a construction project as a re-purposing. A friend of mine was using this as a medicine cabinet or something (at least that is what I assume based on the stains from the purple hair dye and the q-tips that were still in it when I got it) and she was getting rid of it when she moved. I figured I'd find a use for it, though I didn't have an idea at the point that I took it. Shortly after moving in I realized that Jason needed a place near the garage door to put his keys and wallet since we no longer had the shelf that we had in Edmonton. I could have put the shelf back up since we still physically possess the shelf, but it doesn't match the style of the room and it was messy having everything just tossed there. So I sanded down [livejournal.com profile] s4rah's old medicine cabinet, painted it to match the walls and installed some cup hooks for the keys and here we have the perfect key/wallet/passcard solution:



I'm really pleased with how it turned out. And also I like that it reminds me of Sarah when I look at it. I miss her.
norsegirl: (Default)
Pregnancy to me is very much a means to and end. I'm not one of these women who really enjoys each and every little kick as a bonding experience. Heck, when you get right down to it I'm not really that in to the whole baby thing. I'm looking forward to a little person who can talk, and learn, and play with us. It's not that I'll actively dislike the baby experience I don't think, it's just that I'm definitely more jazzed about the next stage, and while I can find other people's kids age 3 and up kind of interesting, I'm not the least bit interested in other people's babies or toddlers.

Getting back to the pregnancy thing... I'm getting the impression that this is a little like being obese. Granted it's all in one spot, so I'm sure there are more ways that being obese sucks, and of course the fact that it's obviously a pregnancy saves me from the external emotional effects of strangers being rude, but it's still enough of an inconvenience that I wonder how the massively obese let themselves get this way and it's having an effect on my psyche. If I had a choice, I'd put an end to this immediately, like if it was a weight problem and not a "having a baby, this comes with the territory" kind of thing. And I want to be clear, this is not like being a little bit heavy, or a bit above average or the "healthy BMI", I am freaking massive.

intimate stuff that may be TMI behind the cut )

And that is why there are very few pictures of me pregnant. I feel fat and useless. And please don't come out with any of the "you're pregnant and beautiful" baloney. It would be like telling an anorexic girl that she's skinny enough. What you say and how I feel are not related, and what you say isn't going to have an effect on how I feel. You saying it just makes me feel awkward because yeah, duh, I know I'm not fat, I just feel that way. I won't run from a camera, so if I happen to be out somewhere doing the tourist thing and end up in a picture that's fine. I've had pics taken when my sister visited and again when my parents visited. But I am not setting up a photo session just to capture my hugeness, so please don't ask.

Having gotten all that off my chest I think I'm off to putter around the house on some project before I get too large to be able to reach it.

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