Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Friday, July 31, 2009

::side eyes the universe::

Okay. Enough already.

I get the whole karma thing. What goes around, comes around and all that. I also realize that while I have done some incredibly selfish and awful things in my life, I have also had my share of the shit storm. I think my cosmic checkbook is balanced, so why am I being tortured like this???? Seriously, bad things come in threes but this is ridiculous...

Allow me to explain... I have had an ache in my rib cage for months now. I told my doctor about it and he said it was most likely from baby pushing up and there wasn't much we could do. So, I tried to deal with it as best I could and not complain (too much) but it kept getting worse. I didn't bring it up at my appointments because I thought I would come across as whiny. Over the last ten days or so, the pain has gotten exponentially worse and the pain seemed to be coming more from my skin and not deeper down at the bone. This past week has been excruciating - I'm in tears at least once a day because it hurts so bad and nothing helps - heat, cold, Tylenol, aloe, we tried it all. Last night, it woke me up at 3am and I wanted to claw my skin off... It's like being continuously burned with a hot poker but there is no evidence of my suffering on my skin (which is maddening). I called the doctor this morning and they had me come down to get checked. The nurse looked at the area that was hurting and immediately went to get the doctor. So I'm left there thinking, "Oh great. What now??" Turns out, I'm developing shingles. EFFING SHINGLES!!! Since I don't have blisters (yet) they can't prescribe me any medication so I just have to suffer and feel like I'm burning alive until A) the blisters appear or B) my immune system fights it off. Neither options sound appealing to me. At least there isn't any danger to baby and I can't give shingles to Derek or my parents.

So when I'm not in pain from contractions, I'm suffering from nerve pain. Awesome.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

32 Week Update (8 Months!!)

No picture this week... I haven't gotten out of my PJ's in 6 days, there is no way I'm standing for a picture!

How far along? 32 weeks... wait - that's 8 months!!??
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? None yet...
Sleep: Sucking this week :( I'm getting used to getting up to pee every two hours but it's the insane pain over my rib cage that is keeping me up lately. I can't explain it but it's awful - I feel like my skin is about to rip open. Nothing helps and laying down makes it worse... ugh.
Best moment this week: Getting to go to a friends baby shower and see lots of friends... being stranded here sucks.
Movement: Same as usual but she seems to be trying to turn into a head down position each night - which we want very badly. However, when she does that it hurts like hell... plus my tummy gets all lopsided and I look deformed. :)
Food cravings: I'm still waiting on my fried chicken but this week my focus has been on fresh peaches with a little bit of sugar - I can't get enough!!
Gender: GIRL!!
Belly Button: Flat - which looks really strange!
Labor Signs: Same as always - contractions when I do too much.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, horseback riding, and my skinny jeans.
What I am looking forward to: My mom being here next week and my baby showers next weekend!!
Weekly Wisdom: This too shall pass. Thank God.
Milestones: I completed my first week of bedrest... and it sucked. Only 4 more to go...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

State of the Uterus (Update)

I went back to see Dr. H today... here's the deal...

Cervix: Didn't get checked today - assuming it's still doing what it's supposed to.

Contractions: The meds seem to have them under control when I'm home doing NOTHING. If I go out or am up and around the house too much they come right back. After a morning trip to Zillah on Monday I suffered with almost constant contractions for the rest of the day. I got the okay to go to my baby showers but that's pretty much it. No chores, no water aerobics, no nothing until after 36 weeks.

Tests: No tests today but we listened to her heartbeat and she's happy as a clam in there. We have an ultrasound scheduled for 8/31 to check position and baby's size.

Verdict: Bed rest until September 1st (36 weeks) and continuing the pills until then. Before I start bitching, let me just say I'm thankful she's still in there and I'll suffer through anything if it means keeping her cooking longer... that being said - I'm miserable. I'm lonely and bored (I do get company next week, so there is a bright spot in my future) but for the most part I lay on the couch and play Bejeweled on the computer. I have lesson plans to do but I've been procrastinating because I'm sick of working on them. Add to that the fact that my pills make me feel icky and I have the most excruciating rib/underboob pain that you can imagine. It brings me to tears at least once a day and nothing helps. I've asked doctor and he's got no idea... it feels like I'm being burned and ripped in half at the same time. I hate complaining to Derek because I feel like such a cry-baby but it's enough to drive a person insane.

Baby's Position: Still transverse, although she tried to move to head down last night and I thought I was going to die from the pain... it could be a really long two months.

Next appointment is in two weeks...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

::scratches items off big to-do list::

Yesterday I ventured out into the world and interviewed a potential daycare provider. She was super nice and I felt really comfortable with her which made the decision really easy. Thankfully, Addison now has somewhere to go when I go back to work!!

I also found out that while I am on bedrest I qualifty for my short term disability benifits so I need to get that paperwork started - it would be great to be able to stash some extra cash away before she gets here!

Annnnd... for the grand finale - we ordered out stroller today (I found a place with free shipping) and it should be here within a week or so!! Now we just need the carseat adapter and the Pack-n-Play and we'll be ready(ish) for this kid to show up!! Horray!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

31 Week Update...

How far along? 31 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? None yet...
Sleep: Well, I'm ALWAYS tired but not sleeping very well. Sometimes it's a full bladder that wakes me up, sometimes it's contractions, and sometimes it's the crazy monkey in my belly.
Best moment this week: Laying in bed with Derek playing with Addison. She kicks if you shine a flashlight on my belly :)
Movement: She moves a lot but instead of the fluttery kicking it's more like knees and elbows are being dragged across my tummy... sometimes it really tickles!
Food cravings: I have two that have yet to be satisfied... supreme nachos (the heartburn there will kill me but they sound SO good) and home cooked fried chicken and mashed potatoes... mmmmmmm.
Gender: GIRL!!
Belly Button: Flat - which looks really strange!
Labor Signs: ::sigh:: you have to go down and read my "State of the Uterus Address" to fully understand that one. Long story short - I'm on medication and bedrest to prevent contractions.
What I miss: Sleeping on my stomach, my ankle bones, and horseback riding.
What I am looking forward to: Finishing my work stuff (lesson plans and sub plans). I'm sick of working all summer!
Weekly Wisdom: If you know something isn't right, make an appointment to see your doctor. DON'T let the nurse talk you out of it.
Milestones: Our weekly countdown is in the single digits now!! Only 9 weeks until full term!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I have the cutest dog e'vah...

She was watching Derek paint the shed and knew she couldn't be over there... I love my pup :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

State of the Uterus Address

I feel so presidential...

For the last week I have continued to have contractions despite being pretty much confined to the couch and consuming insane amounts of water. I made an appointment to see Dr. H this afternoon because all I could get out of the evil weevil nurse was that if I was having contractions I needed to go back to Labor and Delivery. My insurance would boot me (I'm guessing) if I showed up at the hospital every day so I decided that having a face to face with Doctor was my best bet. Turns out I was right... here's the scoop.

Cervix: Still closed up tight like it should be - thank God. I'm not a fan of cervical checks but it does give me a lot of relief to hear that there is NO progress down there.

Contractions: For the most part I'm having 2 or 3 an hour but every day there is a window (an hour, sometimes more) where they are a lot closer together and more painful. It kind of feels like getting a charlie horse in your gut - if you can imagine it that way.

Tests: Good news on both fronts here - I passed my glucose test for gestation diabetes and all of my mid-pregnancy lab work look great (Horray! No three hour test!).

At my visit today, Dr. H decided to do a swab test to look for a protein that shows up in the weeks before delivery. It was more like a pap smear that I would have liked but I survived. The protein test came back negative, which is good. If it had been positive I would have been in a very high risk category for delivering in the next few weeks. Our goal is to cook this kid until at least 35 week - she would live if she were born now but she'd be in the hospital for a while and that's something I really want to avoid. So, in a few weeks we will test for the protein again but at least we have that negative test working for us.

After my appointment, Doctor sent me over to the hospital for monitoring to see what my contractions were doing. I got there around 2:30pm and was hooked up to the monitor until about 5pm. I had several contractions and as the time wore on they got more painful. Doctor came to see me just before I left and said that there were enough contractions that he wanted to start me on some medication to help relax the uterus. They gave me one pill at 4pm and had me wait an hour to see what the effect was. I still had some contractions but they weren't as painful or as frequent, so that was good.

Verdict: I have a giant bottle of pills in front of me (Nifedipine) and I am to take one every 4 hours. They are supposed to relax my uterus and keep the contractions to a minimum. I just took my second one a few minutes ago but the first was was kind of unpleasant. I got really flushed and shaky and my head started hurting on my way home. I don't know if it's because I haven't slept well or because I went without lunch (didn't expect to spend 3 hours at the hospital) but I haven't felt great tonight. We'll see how tomorrow goes...

I'm also on "limited activity". We aren't calling it bedrest because I'm allowed to be up and about a bit - just no lifting, exertion, or being on my feet all day. Derek is giving me 15 minutes of active time a day to do whatever chore I can't live without. I think I *might* be able to clean one room (barely) a day to keep up on my housework. Other than that - I'm officially a couch potato.

I've been changed from appointments every three weeks to weekly appointments from here on out.

Baby's Position: She's transverse (laying sideways) and after my exam today doctor didn't sound too optimistic of her changing to a head down position for delivery. It sounds like I need to start preparing myself for the strong possibility that I'll be having that c-section that I've been dreading...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Putting two and two together...

Warning: This is a random one...

When I got engaged the wedding plans consumed my life - I was obsessed. I wanted everything to be perfect and ready right down to the tiniest detail. Things went wrong... caterer backed out, the linens were the right color (oh the horrors) and the ballroom almost ended up being too small for the number of people who RSVP'ed. I cried, I screamed, I had bridezilla fits that could have gotten me my own TV show. When I wasn't crying or screaming, I was obsessing. I meticulously filled 200 tiny glass bottles with dried lavender (NOT an easy feat, let me tell you) and tied itty bitty cards and ribbon onto them.

Then, the big day came. Things weren't exactly as I thought they would be but I realized then that I didn't care. I was lucky enough to be marrying the one person on the planet I knew I couldn't live without and that was all I needed.

Now, I find myself in that same obsessing, crying, tantrum throwing stage with baby stuff. It's not nearly as bad this time (okay, maybe we should ask Derek on that one but I don't THINK it's as bad as the wedding planning was) but I still get caught up in projects and tasks that, in the grand scheme of things, don't matter that much. After looking back at all the stuff I've had Derek doing, I realize that the shed having painted trim really (REALLY) has no impact on the arrival of our daughter. I guess I just feel like so much is out of my hands (having contractions all the time when I don't have a fully operational nursery - or even a carseat for that matter) that I grab hold of the stuff I can control and run with it like my life depends on it. So I know that having a perfect nursery won't ensure me the labor and delivery I want, it won't ensure that my daughter is healthy, it won't ensure that the way I envisioned my family being together will actually happen - but I guess it helps me focus all that nervous energy that has been building up in me while I sit on the couch and grow larger and larger...

In a few short weeks, we'll have our daughter here, in our arms - and none of this other stuff will matter. But for now, the people who love me most have to put up with me being extra OCD and I have to remind myself of what really matters - Addison and Derek and our little family. Everything else takes the back burner.

Poooooor Derek...

I know in the beginning he thought this nesting crap was a phase... then he realized it was here to stay and he decided to roll up his sleeves and help out... and now, I'm useless and on the couch and the only way for me to nest is vicariously through him. That poor man has been working his butt off for weeks and everytime he finishes one project, I "suggest" another one and he's off and running. He's being the best sport ever about it - no complaining and when I change my mind mid-project, he just goes with the flow. I couldn't have married a better man... Here is some of his handywork from the last few weeks...

First we have our new TV stand/dresser in our bedroom... We got it from one of Derek's aunts and it was in pretty sad shape. Derek sanded it, restained it about 100 times to get it to match our currect bedroom furniture, and put on new knobs... pretty spiffy, huh?

Addison's dresser (which, 28 years ago, started out as my dresser). It had to be sanded and repainted but the knobs are the original ones...

The glider for the nursery is still under construction but the main part is done. The foot rest still needs to be painted and the cushions are going to be recovered in fabric that matches the nursery (although I haven't picked it out yet)...

The deck is almost done!!! A few weeks ago Derek put up the decorative beams and we hung the sun shades before his birthday BBQ... now all that's left is one railing!

There should have been a "before" picture to make you appreciate how much has been done in the garage. Derek and I built a work bench a few weeks ago and we're going to add a few more shelves in the future but for the most part it's finished and (when there isn't a glider in the way) we can fit both cars in again!!

The shed is done!!! Last night Derek put the last pieces of trim on it and was out painting until after 9pm. I think it looks awesome!

Friday, July 17, 2009

30 Week Update...

How far along? 30 weeks
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? None yet...
Sleep: Eh, I'm having a lot of trouble getting comfortable and the contractions keep waking me up in the middle of the night... that, and my over active bladder.
Best moment this week: Derek's 30th birthday celebrations :)
Movement: Her movement has been different lately - she's running out of room so instead of kicking all the time I find that I have a butt or an knee sticking out of my side. It's different, that's for sure.
Food cravings: I've been a bit disappointing in the craving department - there hasn't been anything that I can't live without. Plus, the heat has killed my appetite so I'm not eating nearly as much as I would expect...
Gender: GIRL!!
Belly Button: Flat - which looks really strange!
Labor Signs: We've been at it again - I started having contractions on Tuesday afternoon and we ended up in the hospital. I'm still having strong contractions but not as frequently...
What I miss: Being able to pick up and go to Seattle - all our summer travel plans have been grounded for the summer because of these contractions.
What I am looking forward to: FINISHING THE NURSERY!!!!!
Weekly Wisdom: Drink water. It sucks, it tastes lame (especially when you are dying for a Mai Tai) but it makes the swelling go down and surprisingly helps with constipation :)
Milestones: We're in the 30's now!! Only 10 weeks to go!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Labor and Delivery... AGAIN.

Yesterday started off as a pretty promising day - I went and got my eyebrows waxed, picked up Derek's new video game, and perused Borders for a while looking for a good book. I headed home and cleaned the guest bathroom and then settled down to do some work on my school stuff. At about 1pm I started having Braxon Hicks contractions. They weren't awful but they were enough to make me stop working a few times during that first hour. By three they were getting pretty uncomfortable and starting to get regular so I grabbed my book and a bottle of water and went to lay down in bed. They didn't let up, even when I laid down and drank water - the two things you are supposed to be able to do to ease them so at 4pm I started timing them. They were coming about every eight minutes and by 5pm I had had seven contractions. I called Labor and Delivery and the nurse said to try taking a hot shower to relax but if that didn't work I was to come in for monitoring. So, I called Derek and filled him in and got in the tub. I think I stayed in the water for about 30 minutes but I was still having the stupid contractions. I asked Derek to make something quick for dinner (last time we went to the hospital we STARVED) and I got dressed and ready to go.

We headed for Memorial and got checked in around 7pm. They hooked us up to the fetal and uterine monitors (it's sad - Derek has seen them do it three times now and he can run the machine on his own). Addison was doing fine, her heart rate was in the 140's and 150's the whole time and she was moving all over. During the first hour, my contractions were coming every two to three minutes. The nurse decided to do a vaginal exam to make sure I wasn't dilated. Thankfully, everything is still closed up tight. I did a pee test to see if I might have a bladder infection and the results came back negative. We don't really know what to think because the lab found blood in my urine, so there could be a bladder infection/urinary tract infection that hasn't fully shown up yet or I could have a kidney stone. By about 8:30 the contractions were starting to spread out and get less regular. The nurse spoke with my doctor and they gave me a 600mg Motrin and instructions to take it easy and drink insane amounts of water.

Now, twelve hours later, I'm still having random contractions but so far nothing like last night. I'm going to set up camp in the recliner and work there today (instead of at the dining room table) in hopes that keeping my feet up will help a bit.

::sigh:: Never a dull moment around this house - that's for sure!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Derek's 30th Birthday

On Sunday we had a little BBQ here at the house with family and friends to celebrate Derek's impending "oldness". His mom made him an R2D2 cake just like the one he had when he turned five. It was super cute and really good!!

On Monday (his actual birthday) Derek and I had dinner with Mike and Heidi at Gasperettis. He got a great beer sampler for his birthday present that I'm sure he is anxious to try out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Support Staff at Dr. H's Office,

I feel like I have stewed for the appropriate amount of time and I am still peeved at my experience in your office, not only today but at every one of my visits.

My first job was in customer service. From the age of 15 until I was 23 it was my job to make customers happy. I have accomplished this feat in a variety of settings - retail sales, medical services, etc. I learned from the beginning that it was my job to make sure that customers were satisfied with their experience so that they would come back to the business again. It only took a few "bad days" on my part to learn that I had to put the crap that I was dealing with in my personal life on the back burner when I was behind that desk or on that phone. My customers didn't care that my horse was lame or that my dumb-ass boyfriend had gotten arrested. Those were MY problems, to be dealt with later. So, I plastered a smile on my face and did my job like it was the best thing ever. Even when it wasn't. That is how I expect customer service to be. I should like coming to your office, I should even feel welcome and appreciated (and maybe even remembered) when I walk in the door. I don't believe that I should feel like checking in for my appointment (which your sign instructs me to do) is inconveniencing you. I don't believe that it's too much to ask for a smile and pleasant comment. I think it's downright rude to be scowling EVERY time someone walks in the door. When I come up after my appointment to schedule for the next month/week whatever, it would be great if you could look me in the eyes instead of just at your computer screen. Maybe even smile and say something like, "See you in a month." or whatever pleasantry you can manage.

Once I survive the hostile atmosphere in the waiting room I am then subjected to "the nurse". I don't know if she has a name, she certainly has never introduced herself to me. She is notoriously known by Dr. H's patients as "the mean, brown haired one". That's saying something. I'm sure that it's not very exciting to call my name, send me into the bathroom, and analyze my pee - but guess what - it's your job. So pretend you like it. I don't love teaching every day, but I do my best to make sure my students don't know that. Same goes for you. Then we get to the room and my least favorite part of the entire visit ensues - the scale. Now, I realize there are guidelines for gaining weight during pregnancy and you must be frustrated by all the women who go over that magic 35lb. mark along the way. But stop for a moment and ask yourself - did she gain all this weight for the SOLE purpose of pissing me off or is she doing what she can to manage it. And if that is too much to ask, then just remind yourself that some of us have struggled TREMENDOUSLY with eating disorders and listening to someone who obviously doesn't care about you make snide comments about your weight isn't at all productive. Yes, I realize that I gained 8 pounds this month. In fact, every time I look at the scale (or carbs for that matter) I hear your voice in the back of my head - belittling me and making me feel like a fat cow. I am struggling with this weight gain - not only because I've gained more than I wanted to and I worry about being healthy getting it off the "right way" but also because now I wait too long to eat and I don't eat enough and then I lay awake and worry that Addison isn't getting the proper nutrition because I'm not eating right. So thank you, but no thank you. I selected Dr. H to be my doctor and he maintains that my weight is fine and I have nothing to worry about. Please let him be the one to tell me if there are issues with how my pregnancy is progressing.

Once I survive all of this, I get to spend my 15 minutes with Dr. H - the reason I chose this practice in the first place. He is kind, understanding, supportive, and through - everything the support staff has proved NOT to be. So because I trust him and want him to deliver this baby, I will continue to suffer through the rest. In case you think I'm being irrational (or hormonal) please understand that I have spoken to countless women who share my opinion on these matters. In fact, there is a whole group in my swim class who believes that "the mean, brown haired one" is out to get us all.

I am pregnant. This is a happy time for me and for my family - it disappoints me when that happiness is ruined by my office visits. Please consider what I have said and try to understand how big of an impact a kind gesture or word can have on someones day. Also, consider what a snide glance or cruel comment can do to someones week.

Thank You.

Love and marriage...

I was laying in bed this morning (procrastinating because I didn't want to wake up and get ready at 7:30am...) thinking about how much life can change in a few short months or years. I don't know if I got an overdose of the happy hormone when I got pregnant or if Derek is just being extra great because I'm slowly morphing into a helpless, super sized version of myself, but I have never been happier in my marriage than I am right now. Things are just the way I would want them to be - we have our alone time, we see our families, we're going through this miracle of pregnancy together and it has brought us so much closer than I could have imagined. We had our share of rough patches in the last eight years and we've both made mistakes that we regret but I don't think we could be in the place we are now without the bumpy road that brought us here. I'm not disillusioned, I know that once Addison gets here it's going to be tough - no sleep, no money, no time... but I can go into that without doubts when I know that at the foundation, we have something this strong and this great.

I <3 my hubby... "oddles and oddles" as we say in our house...

Friday, July 10, 2009

29 Week Update...

How far along? 29 weeks

Maternity clothes? Yes

Stretch marks? None yet...

Sleep: I wish... I have to pee 3 or 4 times a night and I have trouble falling back to sleep once I've gotten up. I've given up my walks in hopes of an hour of extra rest and I'm still exhausted all the time.

Best moment this week: My favorite moment of the week happened this morning... when Derek came in to kiss his still 90% sleeping wife goodbye before he left for work, he rubbed my belly too. It was just a sweet gesture.

Movement: Every day... she's started kicking way over in my sides and it tickles like crazy...

Food cravings: Nothing exciting... I did however discover that I am no longer capable of eating tomato sauce - holy heartburn batman!

Gender: GIRL!!

Belly Button: Flat - which looks really strange!

Labor Signs: None but I'm having strong Braxon Hicks contractions a few times a day.

What I miss: My wedding ring... or any ring for that matter - my hands are so puffy!

What I am looking forward to: Derek's 30th birthday BBQ this weekend

Weekly Wisdom: They were right about summer pregnancies - they are tough. I miss my ankle bones.

Milestones: We are done with our childbirth classes... Does that really mean someone thinks we are qualified and ready to have a newborn????

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bad idea of the day....

Getting the thought into your brain that, at 7 months pregnant, you should try to put on pre-pregnancy jeans. There isn't a reason good enough on this planet to suffer through that...

Friday, July 3, 2009

7 Month Update (that's week 28 for you math nerds)...

How far along? 28 weeks/7 months
Maternity clothes? Yes
Stretch marks? Nope - but I'm watching for them!
Sleep: Not too bad during the last week but I'm up by 5am every day... lame!
Best moment this week: Seeing parts of the nursery start to fall into place...
Movement: Daily, she's able to move my whole belly now - it looks strange!
Food cravings: Cheese, Olive Garden, chocolate torte...
Gender: GIRL!!
Belly Button: Flat - which looks really strange!
Labor Signs: None
What I miss: Sleeping in...
What I am looking forward to: 4th of July celebrations tomorrow...
Weekly Wisdom: Put your feet up... swollen ankles SUCK!
Milestones: Hello third trimester!!

Making Progress...

I may complain a lot about things around here being half done all the time, but in reality, my to-do list is shrinking rapidly. This morning, Derek and I were in the garage by 7am building a workbench and storage area for his stuff in the garage. It's not 100% finished, we need to add one shelf and tomorrow morning, before the heat gets unbearable, we'll organize and sweep the rest of the garage. Over the weekend, my parents worked like slaves to build one of our two deck railings and to sew curtains and crib bedding for Addison's room. We are also waiting to put on one last coat of varnish on a dresser/TV stand that Derek has been refinishing for our bedroom, will be painting Addison's dresser tomorrow, and this week we'll be painting and cutting the trim to put on the shed. We've made a lot of progress and I wanted to post some pictures as proof :) I promise to post more as the jobs get finished...

A small, but organized corner in our garage!!

The nursery is a work in progress... we have curtains, a bed skirt, wall letters, and the crib bumper is under construction as we speak...

One of the two deck railings that my dad is building us....

Addison's dresser... being repainted since it's 27 years old and started it's life in MY nursery...

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