Monday, August 29, 2011

Well, Here We Are This Week

39 weeks pregnant

Still enormous, still pregnant, still thankful that things are healthy and uncomplicated and as we'd wish them to be. I'm now within a week of my due date. At my midwife appointment on Friday, I was 1 cm dilated, which is something, right? I am having contractions pretty much all the time, although just a few an hour usually and not super intense. We had a wild thunderstorm come through Salt Lake late last night and I had a LOT of much more intense contractions while it was storming. I really thought I might be going into labor and started timing my contractions and everything. However, when the storm passed, my contractions did as well and I fell asleep. Dramatic changes in barometric pressure can supposedly bring on labor or make your water break or whatever, so that was a funny thing to experience.

I will admit that every time I have Rob take my picture, I kind of hope it will be the last one of me before going into labor. On the other hand, now that I've made it this far, life would be easier if I don't have the baby until we get through this week and Grace gets slightly settled at kindergarten. If I went into labor today, for instance, I'd still be in the hospital when Grace is supposed to have her first day at elementary school. We'll see! I sort of no longer believe that I am having a baby at all anymore and just figure this will be the way life is FOR ALL TIME.

In the peaks and valleys of energy and motivation and all that, I am in a bit of a valley. I have no attention span to speak of and am having a hard time concentrating on anything or finishing anything, even a thank-you note. It will be some kind of miracle if I finish this blog post and publish it. I am glad that I had lots of nesting energy in earlier weeks and months and got many projects finished. I finally got around to photographing my new and improved pantry to show off.

Pantry make-over

Sadly, I have now realized that my "before" pictures have been lost in a memory card mishap that we had, making my "after" picture rather pointless. Oh well, I guess you'll have to take my word for it that it is much better. It is a very deep closet-type pantry and it was very easy to lose items back in the far recesses. Our sellers had the shelves spaced differently (in a way that seemed inefficient to me) and it was dingy and dirty. We painted it a nice scrubbable shiny white and bought new white laminate shelves (they did have deep enough laminate shelves at Home Depot for this closet that could be cut to the length we wanted). The wire mesh drawers are from the Container Store and are almost the depth of the shelves; I can fit a few seldom-used things behind the drawers. The drawers vastly improve the functionality of the pantry and make it much easier to keep track of things, and the space is so much more efficiently used that I got the slow cooker and toaster off our counter and into the pantry. Those two bins on the floor hold our glass recycling (Salt Lake doesn't do curbside recycling for glass -- LAME -- so we have to keep it separate and drive it somewhere) and for the microfiber cloths I use for cleaning instead of paper towels.

Taking pictures in our kitchen is a challenge as there is no good light and it is awkwardly shaped/sized. I had to use the FLASH-- OH, THE HORROR. Anyway, while I was at it, I took one of our new refrigerator.

The miracle of modern refrigeration

I lurrrrrrrve it. Although it does make me want to remodel the whole kitchen to go with it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Which Comes First?

This past Friday afternoon we walked up to the elementary school to find out all the details about Grace's kindergarten class. They post all the class listings at 4pm and we discovered upon our arrival that this is an EVENT as the school was noisily packed with students and parents and teachers, milling around and saying "hello" after the summer and finding out who will be in whose class. The more interactions I have at our neighborhood school, the more I like it; I hope that it proves to be a good match for us. Grace was placed in a morning class of 20 total kindergarteners, all of them half-day. That was what we ended up requesting, after all my hemming and hawing on the issue. When we had an orientation up at the school a few months ago they wanted me to put down a preference, and the kindergarten teachers said that the morning classes tended to be more calm, to get through more material, and to be more focused so I picked that. We peeked in her classroom and met another little girl who will be in her class and picked up more papers and whatnot to get ready. I tell you-- the papers! Grace is already officially all registered with all the district-required paperwork, and there were things the school wanted, but now I have another little pile of things from her specific teacher. I won't complain, not really, because these are sweet little about-me activities that they are going to do at the beginning of the year. They make me think that her kindergarten teacher is being very deliberate about easing the transition into the new year and making all the new little people comfortable.

I am supposed to bring the finished papers to yet ANOTHER kindergarten assessment. I guess the one we did a few months ago was to determine which class to put kids in (to spread out the kids who will need more help and those who are well-prepared) and this one is more for the teacher's benefit to have more info before class starts? Grace's is this Thursday and supposedly it is going to be 45 minutes long; that's almost as long as the official testing for the gifted program that we did back in February! This is... good, I guess? That they want so much information? I guess? Anyway, we have that this week and then next Wednesday is the big day as Grace leaves behind preschool and starts elementary school.

In baby news, I am now within 2 weeks of my due date and I look like this:

38 weeks pregnant

My most recent midwife appointment was also on Friday and things are still healthy and uncomplicated and looking as they should. Everything looks good with the little man's heart rate and how much fluid is there and my blood pressure and all those things they keep an eye on here at the end. He is head down and I am GBS negative (yay! no IV!) and I think he may have "dropped" recently, as two separate people yesterday at church said that my belly looks about 6" lower than it did the week before and I do feel like there is a lot more room in my upper abdomen. The midwife checked my cervix for the first time at this appointment and she said it is softening and not totally closed anymore and all that, so yay! With Violet I was dilated to 1 cm around 38 weeks, but I'd had that UTI that made me have a LOT more intense contractions than I have had yet this time. And of course with Grace I made it all the way to 41 weeks without dilating one tiny bit. Anyway, I am not really feeling like I am likely to go into labor immediately and if I were wagering, I would imagine that I make it to at least my due date this time around. Grace was born 7 days after her due date and Violet was born 2 days before hers but of course we cheated a bit with her so I don't know if that really helps at all in trying to guess when this might happen. (I just this morning realized that I've been telling people Violet was born 2 days late, which is wrong.)

So now that we've gotten down to it, we'll see how this whole kindergarten/baby thing shakes out. And to sum up, here is a gratuitous picture of two of our chickens.

Looking very chicken-y these days

Saturday, August 13, 2011


taken by our super-talented friend Mike Friberg

Today is Grace's half-birthday and she perches exactly halfway between 5 and 6. In less than a week we find out who her kindergarten teacher will be and whether she got a morning or afternoon class, and about 10 days after that, she will start kindergarten.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And So the Summer Trudges Along

Here we are, approaching the middle of August. How do I feel about this? Meh, mixed, I guess. I have said this about a million times, I know, but summer is not a time I naturally enjoy. It is worse this summer as I think I am running about 10 degrees hotter than everyone else. (Seriously, I would like to keep our thermostat at 68 degrees if that were practical. This would be hampered by the fact that our AC has had diva-like issues lately and it must be coddled to keep from freezing up and not functioning.) However, there are things about summer that I like and so I shall enjoy those while I can. First on the list is probably swimming, especially given my heavily gravid state. Going to the pool is sooooooo nice and feels so wonderful and really makes a difference in how I feel the whole rest of the day. We went on Tuesday and Violet fell asleep cuddling with me in the pool as Grace went back and forth in front of me, figuring out how to take a breath-- idyllic. Second on the list is probably summer food. Oh, food of summer, you are so amazing and wonderful and delicious! And we haven't even really even gotten to full tomato season yet.


Red currants

And we have done very fun things this summer. My mom came to visit a few weeks after my dad did and the girls got to enjoy lots of time with Nana:

Out for an afternoon snack

We've taken a couple day trips up into the mountains, one with our church and one with Rob's work:

Rockport State Park

Utah is still very lovely, in case you were wondering. Both trips involved lakes (reservoirs? I don't know-- man-made both of them) and the girls waded at one of them and went on wave runners with Rob at the other one.

And we have made two VERY LARGE but also fun purchases. Our refrigerator broke after hemming and hawing for a while about whether it was going to remain a functional appliance and we replaced it with a lovely bright red vintage-style model (after a month of renting one waiting for it to be delivered); I will see if I can photograph it soon. It is super adorable but also! It keeps our food from spoiling! I am still a bit excited about this aspect of it, after several rounds of throwing away milk and putting everything I could in our chest freezer and so forth.

The second big purchase was a piano. Hoooooooooooray!

We (I? if we're being honest?) have been talking about a piano for a while now and this past weekend we found a good deal on buying a used one. A non-profit puts new pianos in the Salt Lake public schools every year and then sells the 1-year-old ones to the public at about 50% of retail as a sort of fundraiser. Then 40% of what you do pay is tax deductible because it goes to support the school district. Nice, right? I think it is a really good way to get a lovely piano at a good price. I haven't had a piano at home since I moved out of my parents' house and I am SO SO SO happy about this. I am still playing piano at church so this gives me the chance to practice a bit and attempt more ambitious things than what I can do just showing up and playing music without ever seeing it before. More than that, though, now I can play just for fun! So far I've just been pulling out things that I played back in my serious days but eventually I hope to work on some new music. And also! Piano lessons for the children! Both Grace and Violet are smitten with the piano and our house is full of, um, melodious banging. Seriously, you should hear the racket they make.

So two very large purchases, both of them fun. They did use up the money we had saved to xeriscape our front lawn, though, so I guess we will keep our environmental-resource-hogging lawn for a while yet.

If you haven't noticed, I haven't been blogging very frequently lately. This is a reflection of the inside of my head, which is S L O W and lacking in having much to say and just sort of blank a lot of the time. I am feeling blank inside.
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It's not always a negative feeling exactly, just sort of fuzzy/dull lack of creativity and energy, which stands in stark contrast to the normal state of my mind, which usually feels like a double-time CLICKCLICKCLICK of processing and thought and spark. GAH, pregnancy is just so disorienting sometimes, in the drastic physical/mental/emotional shifts, the unfamiliar gravity of one's own body and the strange idiosyncrasies of one's mind. I could really use some energy back at this point, though. My nesting energy has evaporated into the ether and I have gotten nothing done in days. I have been meaning to vacuum for, oh, 5 days at this point-- I mean, the vacuum has been actually sitting in the middle of the living room plugged in for 5 days. What have I done instead? I can't even tell you. Nap? Consume a lot of ice from Sonic? I remember feeling this way in my last trimester with Grace, which was even less ideal as I had a JOB where I was supposed to, you know, do original research and stuff. Not a lot got added to our understanding of the universe during those months due to my efforts, let me tell you.

Whatever bleary stasis I may feel like I'm in right now, the reality is that I am coming down to the very last bit of this pregnancy. I am 36.5 weeks pregnant now and I'm having weekly midwife visits. Weekly pants-less midwife visits, no less. We have moved beyond the months of quick pee/weight/blood-pressure visits to ones where we talk about actual labor and she does tests and checks me (so euphemistic) and whatnot. Whether I believe it or not, a new baby is coming, right?