Thursday, December 31, 2015

Month Two




Age: two months
Length: 22"
Weight: 9 lbs, 6 oz
Sleeping: six hour stretches at night
Eating: 3 - 4.5 oz every 3-4 hours
Likes: writhing, shouting, cuddling
Dislikes: waiting for food, being changed
Favorite food: milk
Favorite toy: Christmas lights
Eye color: dark blue
Hair color: strawberry blonde
Clothing size: newborn
Accomplishments: grabbing hair, starting to smile, getting chubby

Monday, November 30, 2015

Month One




Age: one month
Length: approximately 20"
Weight: 6 lbs, 10.5 oz
Sleeping: four hour stretches at night
Eating: 2.5-3.5 oz every 3-4 hours
Likes: grunting, pooping
Dislikes: being naked, sleeping on her back
Favorite food: milk
Favorite toy: her own hands
Eye color: dark blue
Hair color: strawberry blonde?
Clothing size: newborn
Accomplishments: being super cute, pooping a lot, trying to support her own head

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Eclampsia and an Emergency C-Section

So you might have noticed a lack of bump updates - or any updates for that matter.  For once, I have a good reason for my absence...

It all started on Halloween around 6:30 am when I woke up to use the bathroom for the millionth time that night.  The headache I'd had earlier that night had returned in full force, and I was planning to hop in the shower.  The hot water had helped dull the pain before, so I was hoping it would do so again.  I started to feel weirdly disoriented, and I felt my head start jerking to the right.  I had enough time to think to myself "I think I'm having a seizure," before I blacked out entirely. 


The rest of the day is a blur, but I can piece together some bits and pieces.  The next thing I remember is an odd sensation of floating down the stairs.  This, I later learned, is because I was wheeled down the steps on a stretcher.  The I woke briefly and was confused to find myself outside.  I asked Chris what was going on and he told me that we were in an ambulance.  I rather inanely asked him if we were blocking traffic, which we were, but he told me not to worry about it.  He said I'd had a seizure, that he'd found me foaming at the mouth in the bathroom, and that we were going to the hospital, but that I was going to be okay.  I asked about the only important thing - was the baby okay?  The EMT said we would be better able to tell once we got to the hospital.  I started to panic, but then I felt her move and calmed down again.  I remember hearing that my blood pressure was 210 over something, and then I blacked out again.

The next thing I remember was being in the hospital - I think we were still in the emergency room?  I was talking to Kylie, I don't know what about, and I felt my head start to jerk again.  I gritted out "it's happening again!" before once again losing consciousness.

After that, I have a large chunk of missing time.  I'm not entirely sure how long, but my next memory is Chris bringing our baby, Kaliel, over for me to see.  We were still in the operating room.  She was all bundled up and adorable.  I have no recollection of her actual birth or her first cry or anything like that, but at least I remember that much.  She was born at 8:57 am, so all of this went down within two and a half hours.  I later learned that I had full-blown eclampsia.  If Chris hadn't heard me thrashing around in the bathroom and jumped into action, both the baby and I would have died.

The next three days are kind of a blur due to the various drugs I was on at the time.  People came to visit, but I mostly don't remember them.  Chris stayed with me during the day and my mum stayed with me at night.  At first it looked like Kaliel was going to be able to come home with us, but she was taken away to the NICU the night before I was released.  She was having trouble maintaining her temperature and also having some irregular breathing, so she had to stay for nine days before coming home to join us.


I know, of course, that the important thing is that we are both safe.  Obviously, I am very thankful for this.  But everything about my birth experience was the opposite of what I had "planned" it to be, and I've got a lot of FEELINGS about it that I'm still trying to work through.  I wanted a natural birth - I didn't get that.  I wanted to catch my own baby - I didn't get that.  I wanted to delay cord cutting - I didn't get that.  I wanted beautiful delivery room photos - I didn't get that.  I wanted to exclusively breastfeed - I didn't get that.  Heck, I didn't even get to go to my own baby shower. 

These are things I'll never be able to get back, never be able to experience.  I'll never know what it feels like to go into labor, to feel the rush of bringing a tiny life into the world.  Instead, I'll remember the confusion of being in the bathroom and then being presented with my new baby in what felt like the blink of an eye.  Some might argue that I was lucky, that I got to have a baby without any of the "unpleasant" stuff, but the fact of the matter is that I wanted to experience it, unpleasant or not.  And now I never will.  I only wanted one child, so it's not like I get a do-over.  This was my one shot, and it was not great.

So I'm giving myself time to get used to motherhood, and to deal with all of things that have happened within the last month.  I intend to resume regular posting in January, but until then things might be a bit light.  Please just bear with me.

Monday, October 19, 2015

32 Weeks Pregnant

32 weeks down, 8 to go.  So close!


This week has been weird and introspective for me.  I keep catching myself and reminding myself to enjoy life as it is now, since very soon it will be VERY different.  I've been feeling like I'm sort of in limbo, like I'm just waiting for the next stage to start, and that seems like a horrible squandering of the time I have right now.  There's just so much prep going into getting ready for the baby right now, and anything that isn't the baby seems like a pointless waste of time.  It's weird.  But I'm making a conscious effort to take a moment and enjoy little things like being able to stay in bed on a Saturday morning, and spending a whole Sunday browsing the internet and watching Netflix. 

The trick though is to not dwell on them too much or I start to get stressed out and sad.  I know, of course, that things are going to change - and change isn't something I deal with very well.  It's weird to have such mixed feelings about something I want so badly.  Life is a strange thing.

My mum came over on Sunday and we got the new office all set up and the new nursery all cleared out.  It looks very empty without all my stuff in it, but I'm so excited to see some baby stuff start moving in.  It gets more and more real with every passing day.

Monday, October 12, 2015

31 Weeks Pregnant

So I'm officially in my eighth month of pregnancy now.  That's exciting and terrifying for the exact same reason - we're so close to the end!


We're rapidly running out of room in here (here being my body) and I don't think either on of us is happy about it.  Baby Slurm expresses this displeasure by kicking around in my chest cavity - a sensation I could have gladly gone my whole life without experiencing.  The movements are becoming more wriggly and weird now, what with distinct lumps and bumps poking out of my stomach at any given time.  It's kind of fun to guess "is this a head or a butt?"  My bump is almost always lopsided now, a lot less cute and round.

This weekend my family came over to help move furniture from my office into Chris's office, which I guess is officially THE office now.  It was very difficult for me, going through all of my stuff and trying to throw out the things I really don't need (or want, if I'm honest with myself).  I knew this was going to be the hardest room, since it contains almost all of my things.  It's kind of like I just picked up my childhood bedroom and transplanted it to this room.  And now I'm giving it away.  And I know it will be worth it, and I'll feel better when it's finished, and it's for a good (the best) cause, but that doesn't make it any easier in the moment.  That combined with having to sit idly by and watch all of my loved ones wrestle with my belongings made me feel very dumb and weak and ridiculous.  I am ashamed of and angry at myself for letting things get this bad and for making other people literally do my heavy lifting and for caring so much about the dumbest stuff.  It was a very long and difficult Saturday, and there's still more to go. 

But at least now there's a visible difference, I can actually SEE where my baby will be living, and that is a very good thing indeed.  Also, this whole housecleaning/tidying experience has opened my eyes dramatically, and I think will serve as great motivation to NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN.

Monday, October 5, 2015

30 Weeks Pregnant

I finally got my results back at this week's doctor visit - I do NOT have gestational diabetes!  So that's exciting.  To celebrate, I'll be eating all the cookies and milk I can cram into my body - which isn't a whole lot at a time because someone is taking up all the space where my stomach should be...


This week was kinda rough, or at least the weekend was.  I had all sorts of grand plans about what I was going to get done, and then I ended up getting sick and not doing much besides moping on the sofa.  It's just so frustrating to look around at this huge mess I've let accumulate and not be able to do anything about it.  It's also frustrating to see all these home improvement things that need to be done around the house and not knowing how to fix them.  I feel like the worst person in the world having to depend on my poor family to do all of this stuff for me because I am incapable of handling it myself.  In a few short weeks someone is going to hand me a living breathing human and send me on my way - and I have a hard time making food without burning it.  How on earth am I supposed to take care of a baby?

The internet tells me these thoughts are normal, but it's still terrifying.

Monday, September 28, 2015

29 Weeks Pregnant

I gotta say, I'm not really enjoying the third trimester very much.  Everything hurts, I can't sleep, I have heartburn, I gained more than 2.5 lbs in one week...  Seriously, go back and look at the difference between this week's photo and last week's.  I'll wait.


That is a HUGE difference!  What the heck is going on in there?!  I did some googling and it looks like a lot of people experience a growth spurt between 28 and 29 weeks pregnant, but I'm still alarmed.  I'll be asking my doctor about this for sure at my next appointment, which is on Thursday.  I'm sure they are quite sick of all my questions.

Speaking of my doctor, I still haven't officially heard my 3 hr glucose test results.  But I guess if it was bad I would have heard from them by now.  I'll be asking about that on Thursday also...

Monday, September 21, 2015

28 Weeks Pregnant

I'm officially in the third trimester!!!  I'm so excited - I really can't even think of the right words to express my excitement.  I just keep thinking about all the cool and fun things we'll be able to share with our child and I can't even stand it.

 

I had to go for my three hour glucose test on Saturday.  Chris came with me, which I really appreciated.  Sitting there for an hour alone wasn't bad, but sitting there for three hours would have been torture.  I had to drink more of the weird sugar liquid, which wasn't great but also wasn't really a problem.  I don't mind the taste, I just hate having to chug.  And I really hated having to fast for 12 hours and then sit there and be hungry for another three hours.  Talk about torture!  I still don't have the results back, but I saw my starting number before the sugar liquid and it was 82, which I think is pretty okay?  This page says anything under 95 is good, so I'll take it.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Baby Panic List

Okay, so I've been majorly freaking out about the state of this house and all the things I need to get done before this baby arrives.  I touched on this in my last post.  So today I thought it would be helpful to sit down and just list out all the things that need to get done.  It was helpful in that it is much easier than trying to remember things while we're at Lowes.  It is terrifying in that it is a very BIG list.  Everyone is constantly telling me "oh, it will be fine, it'll get done," but I'm not buying it.  These things will not just "get done" by themselves.  So now we've got a list and we're planning the attack.

I figure I'll type the list out here and then blog about them (if I remember to take before/after photos).  If you know me personally and see something on the list you'd like to help us achieve - by all means, don't be shy!

Living Room
  • install switchplates
  • install room divider
  • sort through books
  • sort through shoes
  • buy shelves
  • install shelves
  • do something with the swords
  • buy mirror
  • install mirror
  • buy sconces
  • install sconces
  • coffee table?
  • buy and hang curtains?
  • hang art
Kitchen
  • install switchplates
  • buy ceiling and floor moulding
  • buy corner pieces
  • install moulding and corner pieces
  • organize pantry
  • organize cabinets
  • organize hutch
  • buy stools?
  • make/buy curtain for under the counter
  • make/buy curtain for pantry
  • get rid of old cabinet
  • buy shelves
  • install shelves
  • buy and hang mail rack
  • paint basement door
  • buy and hang frame for chalkboard
  • buy and install new door grate
Steps
  • paint steps?
  • paint walls?
  • hang art
Bathroom
  • fix wallpaper
  • re-hang toilet paper holder
Bedroom
  • clean out junk
  • make valances
  • install valances
  • hang art
  • buy light fixture
  • install light fixture
Kera's Office
  • clean out junk
  • organize art supplies
  • move furniture
  • move litter boxes
  • paint?
  • buy light fixture
  • install light fixture
  • hang art
  • set up nursery
Chris's Office
  • sand
  • prime
  • paint
  • move furniture
  • set up office
  • clear out closet
  • hang art
  • install light fixture
  • buy and hang curtains
 Attic
  • clean out junk
Basement
  • clean out junk
  • move litter boxes
Outside
  • fix front wall and steps
  • clear off front porch
  • have bagster removed
  • clear out vegetable garden
  • install shed
  • prep patio for winter
  • empty rain barrel
So yeah, like I said, it's an extensive list.  I've been told that not all of these things are necessary for a baby, and I know that.  But if we haven't done them yet, what do you think the odds are that we'll do them after we also have to be taking care of a baby?  Not very good.  So I'd like to just get everything done before then and just be able to relax in my nice clean organized house that looks like real adults live in it.

**NOTES: Points with question marks are things that we are willing to bend on having finished.  Points that are broken down into "buy" and "install" as separate points are things we'll probably need more a more experienced person to help finish. Points with a strike-through are finished and may have a more detailed blog entry!**

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Last week I did something unusual.  Something I haven't done in years - I bought a new book.

 
Usually I only buy books that I have already read and know I love.  Books are expensive and I hate the thought of wasting money on something that I might not end up liking and could just as easily have borrowed from the library.  But this book was different.  A week or so ago, I started seeing some post about the KonMari method of tidying pop up on Pinterest.  After a few clicks, I learned that it all came from a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Being in the thick of a full-on "where on Earth are we going to put this baby" panic, I was instantly intrigued.  If you have ever been to my house, you'll know that one thing it desperately needs is a good tidying up.  It is, to put it kindly, a horrible mess in here.  I am one husband away from an episode of Hoarders.  Trust me - I am not exaggerating.  If I lived alone, I'm pretty sure this place would have devolved into a series of tunnels between storage crates with a clear space for a bed.  I have, for my entire life, had a really hard time getting rid of stuff.

But for the last year or so, I've been growing very sick of it.  I am sick of being embarrassed when people come over.  I am sick of coming home and feeling just as stressed out by my own mess as I am by the outside world.  I am sick of not having a house that looks nice, a house that looks like real adult people live in it.  But there is just so much stuff that every time I've sat down to try and deal with it, I just get overwhelmed and walk away.

Now, of course, I have a much more pressing reason to deal with this mess.  In just three short months, there will be another person living here.  Before that happens, I need to move my office into Chris's office, which we will now be sharing, to make room for the nursery.  And before I can move my office, I need to seriously cut down on the junk contained within said office.  But it's more than just that.  I don't even want my child to feel as stressed out by being at home as Chris and I feel right now.  He/she did not ask to be born, and we do not want to burden him/her with the mess we've created.  So it's really important to me to have this all gone by the time our child arrives.

And that's where September's book comes in.  As I mentioned, I first saw bits and pieces of the KonMari system popping up on Pinterest - and what I saw REALLY spoke to me.  The first thing I saw that I really liked was her method of choosing what to keep.  You're supposed to take each and every item in your hands and ask yourself "does this spark joy?"  I don't know why, but when I read this it just instantly resonated with me.  It really makes the decision easy (in theory).  If the answer is yes, keep it.  If the answer is no, throw it out/donate it/sell it.  Boom.  Done.

Another thing I saw in the excerpts on Pinterest was to thank your items for their service as you get rid of them.  A lot of the clutter in my house is there because I feel bad for stuff.  My mind knows that these are inanimate objects, but I really just can't get over these feelings of guilt.  Perhaps I watched a little too much Brave Little Toaster as a child?  But regardless of why I feel this way, this book addressed these feelings - and that's something I hadn't seen before.

So based on these two points (and the testimony of what seems like half the internet) I ran to Barnes & Noble and picked up a copy.  I was not disappointed.  This book is a wonderful mix of good, firm advice and wishy-washy hoo-ha.  Now, if you know me, you'll know I love wishy-washy hoo-ha.  So that's not a criticism by any stretch.  This book actually tells me to greet my house each day.  And that at their core, all of my possessions really just want to help me.  If you are rolling your eyes, that's fine, it doesn't mean you shouldn't read this book - just don't pay attention to those bits.  There's still tons of helpful information about how to tidy up your space and minimize your belongings.

So now that I have finished reading the book, I intend to put it immediately into practice.  Marie Kondo (that's the author) suggests you don't let the entire tidying process take more than six months, but I have half that time until my deadline arrives.  She also gives you a checklist to follow:

1. Clothes
2. Books
3. Papers
4. Miscellaneous
5. Memorabilia

You'll notice that these are categories of items rather than rooms of the house.  There is a reason for this.  Say, for example, I chose to do my bedroom first.  I get all of my clothes out and decide what to keep and what to discard.  Great.  I put everything back in a nice, organized system.  Then I get to my office and realize that there is a whole closet full of clothes that weren't accounted for in the new organizational system.  Oh, and look, there are some more clothes in the living room.  And more in the basement!  Now everything is out of order already.  Or here's another example.  Let's say I start in my office.  I am motivated and ready to clean.  I start going through my drawers and suddenly I encounter a box of photos.  Instead of setting them aside and continuing on, I take them out and look at them and become nostalgic.  Suddenly three hours have passed and I have done nothing except look at photos and become emotionally exhausted.  This is another one of the things about this book that really spoke to me.

Apparently the categories are organized from least emotional to most emotional, so that by the time you get to photos and keepsakes you are used to the process of letting go and are less likely to keep things that don't really spark joy.  I am not sure I agree, as I think books are going to be extremely difficult, but we shall see.

I got started on my clothes already and so far I have two trash bags full of clothes to be donated.  And that's mostly just from my dresser!  I went through my closet as well, and while I did get rid of a lot of stuff, I still am not sure I'm "there" yet.  Marie Kondo says that when you have discarded enough, it will just click, and I don't think I've felt that.  So I plan to go back through again before I tackle the giant pile of clothes in the basement.  Then, and only then, will I reorganize how everything is stored in my dresser and closet.

I gotta say, I was actually really excited to get rid of my clothes.  It felt like such a relief to look at some of my shirts and think "I wear this, but only when nothing else is clean" or "this shirt is six years old and full of holes/stains" and just toss them.  At first I was a little concerned about thinning out my wardrobe when I can't actually try any of it on, but I think it's actually very helpful.  It means I can't try on a shirt I hate and think "oh, but this does fit, it'd be a waste to throw it out." I have to go entirely on how the shirt makes me feel.

So yeah, I am hoping to come back with follow-up posts as I finish each of the categories, but we'll see how that actually goes.  This is pretty exhausting already, and I'm not even all the way through step one.  If you want to give it a try, I strongly suggest picking up a copy of book and checking it out.  Also, Juju Sprinkles has some adorable checklists for the categories, so you might want to check those out as well.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 14, 2015

27 Weeks Pregnant

Well that escalated quickly!  The difference between week 26 and 27 looks absolutely insane to me, but maybe that's just because I'm living it?

This week has been weirdly emotional.  I tried to get into a fight with a dude at Wawa (Chris stopped me - he's no fun), but I also cried because I was so sad that our baby couldn't cuddle on the sofa and watch Netflix with us yet.  It is really weird to miss someone who doesn't even exist yet, if that makes any sense?  This experience, pregnancy, is entirely unlike anything I expected. 



I had my one hour glucose screening on Saturday and got my results back today - I failed.  I guess they flag anyone higher than 140 and mine was 160.  So now I have to go for the three hour test this Saturday.  Chris is coming with me, even though I told him he doesn't have to - three hours is a long time to sit around and do nothing.  I was reading online and it looks like 180 or higher after an hour is when you really have to worry, so I'm trying to not stress about it too much, but I'm not having much success.  I mean, I just don't understand.  I eat relatively well, I got to the gym 3-5 times a week, I am exactly on target for weight gain - what am I doing wrong?

Monday, September 7, 2015

26 Weeks Pregnant

This week we finally got down into the double digits on the "days til baby" countdown.  If you go my my predicted due date (December 8), we have 92 days left to go.  If you believe the doctors (December 2), it is 85 days.  Either way, it's not very long at all.  I remember when I was excited to hit 200 days, that seems like a million years ago.  I'm super excited that time seems to be flying by, but I'm also terrified.  Not of having a baby, but of the house not being ready when the baby arrives.  But we're working hard on it, so expect to see some updates on the Hateful Hovel blog.


Monday, August 31, 2015

25 Weeks Pregnant

I feel like I can see a difference every single day, which is pretty alarming when you consider that I still have THREE MONTHS to go.  I was kinda hoping that this was about as big as I'd get, but that thought has flown out the window.  Nothing much to do except roll with it - I'm right on target for weight gain, so I'm trying not to worry about it.

The baby is moving around a lot, and responds to things like cat purrs and cold beverages.  Chris has also managed to prod him/her into activity by poking and shaking my stomach - which sounds like it should have been annoying, but really I thought was adorable.  He has always maintained that babies are pointless because you can't really do anything with them, and here he is interacting with one before it even exists in the physical realm!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Get Me Through This Week

This week is almost over and I, for one, couldn't be happier.  It started off on a sad note (the three year anniversary of Morgaine's death) and will end on another (the four year anniversary of the day I found out Kylie was in the ICU).

This is a very difficult time of year for me even though, as has been pointed out to me, nothing bad has happened during this particular time frame since then.  That is true, but it does not help to dissipate the terrible heavy feeling that something bad could happen at any moment.  If I had any say in it, we'd just skip right into autumn.  I'm so ready for it, for the chill and the colors and the spooky feels.  And I have to admit I'm a little biased this year, as every passing day brings me closer to actually having a baby rather than just a baby living inside of me. 

"Luckily" I've been sick most of this week, so that has distracted me from dwelling too much on all the negative memories.  I never thought I'd be so thankful for a cold!

Monday, August 24, 2015

24 Weeks Pregnant

I actually lost a tiny bit of weight this week. Just, like, 0.2 lbs, so I'm not super worried about it.  I went on a weekend vacation, which I had been a little bit concerned about, but it was fine.  I didn't suddenly go into premature labor or anything, which I guess was the thing I most worried about.  I should probably stop reading pregnancy stories on the internet.

It's amazing how much more movement I feel each and every day.  The baby really seems to like (or hate, it's hard to tell) cat purrs, which is a good thing since we have four cats.  I imagine the deep sound and vibration carry pretty well in there.

It's weird, but I don't ever notice or think about how large I am becoming unless I a) happen to see my reflection or b) bump into something because of my new girth.  I guess because the rest of me has remained pretty much the same size?

Monday, August 17, 2015

23 Weeks Pregnant

This morning the receptionist at work looked at me in obvious alarm and said "Daaaaaayum guuuuurl, your stomach gets bigger every day!"  Yes, I have also noticed this.


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Geek Pregnancy Announcements

I just realized that I never shared the pregnancy announcement photos that my husband and I posted to Facebook.  While traditional announcements photos are all very well and good, we didn't want to straight up steal Kim and Dustin's idea.  So we each came up with our own ideas...

Mine was pretty simple.  Since we are big fans of Dungeons and Dragons and other role playing games, I thought it would be fun to use some of our favorite d20s from our respective dice collections.  The tiny baby dice is malachite, by the way - a Christmas gift from Kyle many years ago.  They're all showing 20s because that's the best possible roll.


Chris went in a slightly different, slightly darker direction.  He got most of our friends together (Kyle and Heather were kind of busy since it was their wedding) and had everyone pose without telling them about his nefarious plans for the photo.  Then, after a little bit of editing, he was ready to make the big reveal.


I'm really happy with the way they both turned out - I think they really represent who we are as people.  And, I imagine, as parents...

Monday, August 10, 2015

22 Weeks Pregnant

Oh my goodness, there is such a huge difference between this week and last week.  I guess that's what happens when the baby goes from 12.70 oz to a whole pound in one week!


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Woman In Black


So far my renewed resolution to read again has been a huge success.  I started The Woman In Black on Saturday and finished on Sunday.  It felt good to just sit back and plow through a book again, even though it wasn't extremely long.


I really super enjoyed the book itself as well, not just the act of reading. I think it plays a very convincing gothic horror story - I had to go back and check wikipedia to verify that yes, it was written in 1983.  I've seen some reviews on Goodreads (which I love, by the way - if you read a lot, you should check it out) that say this book is predictable, and I wouldn't disagree.  It takes a lot to surprise me in a book (see The Thirteenth Tale and Gone Girl).  But I don't think the predictability is a bad thing in this case.  As I said, it is very much written in the style of an old timey ghost story, and I think most of the time those are pretty predictable.  So in that way I think it was very authentic.

The only think that bothered me was that there wasn't really ever a specific time frame mentioned for the setting.  I started off picturing it as Victorian or perhaps earlier (because it was doing such a good job of capturing that olden times feel), but then the narrator was suddenly talking about cars and it totally threw off my immersion.  I got over it pretty quickly though, so it didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the book.  Perhaps the author intended it that way, to contrast the old fashioned theme of the story with a slightly more modern-day setting?  I decided to settle on somewhere around the  1930s, just for my own piece of mind.

Another thing I liked was that the story opened on a Christmas celebration.  I don't think we see nearly enough Christmas ghost story telling in books or in real life.  Also, it made me very much look forward to Christmas, as if I wasn't excited enough already!

All in all, I would definitely recommend this book to you if you like creepy stories or gothic novels.  And if you like both, you're in for a treat.

September's book is Far From The Madding Crowd - a classic which I, somehow, have neglected to read.

Monday, August 3, 2015

21 Weeks Pregnant

I'm up 11 lbs now, which seems like an huge amount.  But the doctor says it's perfectly on target, that they like to see 10 lbs in the first 20 weeks and one pound per week after that.  So I guess I'll just take their word for it...

An exciting thing happened this week - Chris was able to feel the baby move.  He said that it was weird and felt like someone was flicking him from the inside.  I said well yes, someone IS flicking you from the inside.  And as for weird - how do you think it feels to me?!  I always thought that it would be super gross and creepy and weird.  It is creepy, but I'm surprised to find that it's not nearly as creepy and gross as I expected.  It's more... reassuring?  And exciting.  I can feel this little thing rolling around in there and know that soon I'll be holding him/her out here.  That's pretty cool.


I couldn't find my camera charger, so that's why the quality has dropped on this week's photo.  But I found it again now, so next week should be back to normal!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hobbies

I was talking to Chris the other night about what we would do if we had limitless time to do whatever we wanted all day.  He had tons of things, but I was unable to think of anything.  Besides working on my side business, browsing social media, and watching Netflix until I fall asleep, I don't really have any hobbies (if you can really call those things hobbies in the first place).

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I used to have hobbies.  I liked to draw.  I liked to read.  Why don't I do these things anymore?  Because I don't have time?  That is what I suggested, but Chris insisted that if I stopped doing the time-wasting things listed above, I could instead fill that time with these real hobbies.  And he's absolutely right.  I have, for the most part, let pointlessly staring at my smartphone eat up most of my time.

Don't get me wrong, I am not even vaguely anti-smartphone.  It is like a limb to me and I always have it around and on.  I like the ability to be in constant contact with the people I care about.  But there is no reason to spend 3-5 hours a day scrolling through Facebook and tumblr because I "have nothing better to do."  I clearly DO have better things to do.

In an effort to rectify this situation, I am reinstating my resolution to read at least one book per month, a goal that lasted exactly one month.  But I think there's still time to catch up - even now that I am 2/3 of the way through the year. The book I am picking for August is The Woman in Black, since it is still sitting unread on my Kindle.  I bought it as one of five books to read on the cruise and just never got to it.  I'll report back when I've finished.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

20 Weeks Pregnant

Up to 9 pounds total gained this week - not up too much from last week.  Hopefully it evens out for a little while, although I'm not hopeful.  The internet tells me that this second half is when the numbers really start rising.


Monday, July 20, 2015

19 Weeks Pregnant

Up to 8.8 pounds this week.  I'm afraid this baby is going to be immense!


Monday, July 13, 2015

18 Weeks Pregnant

Well now I'm up to 6.9 pounds, so that was quite a jump.  But the doctor said that judging by the ultrasound measurements (everything looked perfect, by the way), our baby probably weighs around 9 oz.  At 18 weeks, it should weigh 6.7!  So I'm just gonna go ahead and blame this one on the baby!


Sunday, July 5, 2015

17 Weeks Pregnant

So far I've gained 5.0 pounds - that's not so bad, right?  Our anatomy scan is on Thursday - I can't wait.  I hope everything is going well in there!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

16 Weeks Pregnant

This photo was originally taken on June 28th.


15 Weeks Pregnant

There's quite a large jump in weeks because of my uncertainty, but I started taking actual weekly photos at week 15.  This photo was originally taken on June 21st.


8 Weeks Pregnant

This is the first pregnancy photo I took - I waited a while to take one because, as I mentioned in my previous post, I wasn't sure that it would work out.  That should also explain the less-than-pleased look on my face.  This photo was originally taken on May 4th, for reference.


Friday, July 3, 2015

A Big Announcement

So you might have noticed that I've been gone for kind of a while.  Like five months.  Almost half a year.  Sorry about that.  I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before - I feel like I must have at some point - but sometimes I get so stressed out and overwhelmed by life that I just can't bring myself to blog.  Just thinking about editing photos makes me so exhausted that I can't even bear to go into my office.

Well, the beginning of the year was one of those high-stress times.  You see, Chris and I had been trying to have a baby.  We' been trying for quite a long time and the stress of getting super excited and hopeful every month only to be let down and crushed over and over again was just really starting to get to me.  I pretty much gave up hope, and that was very sad.  It was one of the most stressful things that I'd ever been through - which brings me to my next point: we were finally successful.

That's right, we are expecting a wonderful new addition to our tiny cat-filled family in December.  I literally could not be happier about it - I still can't completely believe that there will actually be another person living in our house in a few short months.  It seems too good to be true.

And so you might be wondering why it took me so long to come back here and share this amazing news with you.  Well, it turns out that being pregnant is just as stressful as trying to conceive- maybe more so.  Or it is for me at least.  I am, in case you haven't picked up on this by now, a natural worrier.  This was made worse by the fact that I spotted (and outright bled - leading to a very terrifying but ultimately uneventful night in the emergency room) throughout the entire first trimester.  So I spent April and May convinced that it was only a matter of time until I lost this baby I had tried so hard to achieve.  But ultrasounds and blood tests and doppler broadcasts of a tiny but strong heartbeat have finally convinced me that maybe - just maybe - this is happening for real.  I'm 17 weeks along now and, though I know there's still plenty of time for things to go horribly wrong, my doctors and percentage charts on the internet have mostly persuaded me that we're relatively safe now.

So there you go.  Hopefully I'll be able to resume posting now that I'm starting to feel a little more at ease.  And I wanted to get all of this out there in case there are any other ladies who are feeling overwhelming fear and anxiety instead of the joy and excitement they're "supposed" to be feeling.  You're not alone, other scared ladies.  This is a frightening and uncertain process at best.  Anything can happen and there's very little you can do to control it - there's every reason to be scared!  It doesn't mean you're any less happy to have finally received that positive test or that you love your baby any less.  You're just being realistic, and I fail to see how there's anything wrong with that.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

05/52

This week I:
  • cried tears of joy over the return of brownie batter donuts.
  • filled my tank with $20.
  • drank hot chocolate.
  • took a day off.
  • drank Deadly Grounds coffee.
  • make some chicken stock.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Book of the Month - Gone Girl

 Well, I kept up with at least one of my resolutions so far - I read a book this month!  I kept hearing about the Gone Girl movie on tumblr, but not in an way that I actually knew what it was, exactly.  Just a bunch of vaguely confusing collages and comments on whether or not it did the book justice.  So I was thinking about maybe making that the book of the month for February, since I already had a book in queue to be read for January.



Well, before I even got a chance to start the planned January book, a friend of mine decided to give Gone Girl a try.  She plowed through it in a day or two and when I asked her if she enjoyed it, she said "OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! (*official review)."  Something you have to understand about this friend is that she hates basically everything.  So when I heard this, I knew I had to drop everything and read Gone Girl immediately.  And so I did.

I read it in several hour chunks over the course of a Sunday and it was everything she'd promised it would be.  I had to pause in the middle to have a ten minute long ranting session at Chris about just how amazing it was.  I don't want to give anything away, because I think going into it not knowing what to expect is definitely the best way, but there is a giant twist and I 100% did not see it coming at all.  This is so unbelievably rare - I think the last time I had been so throw by a book was when I read The Thirteenth Tale a few years back.  So that would have been enough to make me rave about it, but I also just genuinely enjoyed the writing style.  The author made me care about the characters even though they were difficult to love at times.

Again, I can't really give you a plot synopsis or anything, I really think it's best to read without knowing anything ahead of time.  But I really really super suggest that you go out and read it right away.  Definitely before seeing the movie - which was good, but not nearly as good as the book (which is almost always the case, I suppose)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

04/52

This week I:
  • drank coconut margaritas.
  • found Morgaine's adoption papers.
  • watched history repeat itself.
  • admired the snow.
  • watched my grandfather receive his long-awaited WWII medals.
  • cuddled some cats.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Tunes - Shut Up And Dance

This is the song I currently cannot stop singing.  I feel bad for the cats; they have the misfortune of being my most frequent audience.



Shut Up and Dance - Walk The Moon

Sunday, January 18, 2015

03/52

This week I:
  • put up some wall liner (or, more accurately, watched my family do it for me).
  • had a very fluffy cat.
  •  saw some fish but did not buy them.

Sorry there aren't many pictures - this was a rough week.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesday Tunes - Long Way Down

I just love the sound of this one, it's really good driving music.  And I just realized it's the same guy who did Global Concepts back in 2013, which I also loved!




Long Way Down - Robert DeLong

Sunday, January 11, 2015

02/52

This week I:
  • wore the wrong shoes.
  • ate a smoothie bowl.
  • read Gone Girl.
  • ate the most delicious steak ever.
  • cuddled with some cats.