Friday, June 24, 2011

Blueberry picking

This morning the girls and I went to a nearby farm to pick some blueberries.  We were supposed to meet some friends, but that didn't work out.  I was worried that blueberry-picking by ourselves would be boring, but I was pleasantly surprised at what a nice time the three of us had.

It was so hot and humid already by the time we arrived at 10, that the lens on my camera kept fogging up.  We all started sweating, and usually in those kinds of conditions, I'm looking for an exit in about 5 minutes.  But instead I found myself not minding the sweat running down my face as I concentrated on finding the nicest-looking blueberries to drop in either Delaney's or Annie's little bucket.  Delaney loved the job of filling her bucket up, and she did not limit herself to the blueberries that were blue.  She preferred berries of all colors. and now on our counter, we have berries in every stage of ripeness.  Annie enjoyed it for the most part, but whined a little every time she heard an airplane pass over us low, or a truck rumble by on the highway, or when -- oh, no! -- she got dirt on her hands.  She is my girly-girl, that's for sure.  Delaney said, "I'm not scared.  I'm smart."  In the video below, you'll see my little harvesters picking berries and Delaney sharing her reflections on the task at hand, and on her feelings.  She has so much to say about everything.  It's cute.

We wound up taking home a grand total of 2.5 pounds of blueberries -- not enough to make a pie with, probably, but enough for either muffins or crumb cake.  Or they might just eat them as is.  

Remind me next time to bring a grocery bag to put their filthy shoes in.  I must have been somewhat dehydrated, hungry and not thinking straight because I let them climb in through the back, and they made a trail of dirty footprints all through my car.  I hate having a dirty car, so we wound up spending an hour-and-a-half at the car wash this afternoon, getting it cleaned inside and out.  I would have had to do that in a couple weeks anyway, but this is what took the place of a much-needed Target trip.  And the carpet still has dirt stains.:(  Time to trade the car in, it's not new anymore.  I don't know what I'll do when my kids start playing sports -- probably make them drop their nasty cleats in a trash bag before they get in, and maybe beat them with a broom to get any other dirt off.  I hate having a dirty car.  Did I already say that?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Grandma and Auntie Karen visit

Tim's mom and sister came to visit for just a few days, and it was like a breath of fresh air around here.  It was a busy, productive and fun 3 1/2 days.  We did everything on my little list of things to take care of, plus another thing or two not on the list.

Here was my original list:

1) Lower my bed frame so that the co-sleeper will fit next to it.  This was on Tim's to-do before deployment list, but he somehow never got around to it (I don't resent him for that, but Saturday night we were all resenting him for that).  We had no idea what this task would entail. What a crazy two hours that was, the three of us trying to disassemble and reassemble that big bed with all those adjustable parts!  We had no manual, so we had to figure it out, step by painful step.  At one point, I stood in a half-crouch, holding two parts of the bed together, looking all determined, when Karen said, "You stop standing like that!  I don't like that posture!  You look like you're going to have a baby!"  When we were done, we had a good laugh (and all of us wished for a drink!).  If only we had on video the moment where we stood there and watched the rails fall and then the footboard collapse with a whump! that sounded final.  We almost gave up.  But we persevered, and now we are experts on the disassembly and reassembly of a bed frame.  It's actually quite easy now that we've done it!  But no part of the process was intuitive for any of us.  It took us 20 minutes just to figure out how to detach the rails from the headboard and footboard.  I was the one who bumbled into the answer to that, and it seemed like such a victory, but little did I know that was just the beginning..  Tim told me he laughed out loud at the idea of the three of us struggling with that bed, but I think we were a good team.  We did it!

2) Move the giant suitcase full of bags to the attic.  That was just something that was taking up space in my closet, and it had to go.

3) Cover the half moon-shaped window in the girls' room so the sun doesn't wake them up quite so early anymore.  This was accomplished by Karen tracing the window with paper, and making a cover for it out of foam board.  I'm hoping for this to just make a difference of about a half hour every morning.

4) Go shopping for new bathroom towels and rugs for my bathroom because they were getting old and worn out; and I've washed and set aside most of them for the birth.  They helped me pick them out.  They're chocolate brown and very deluxe.  It's so nice to finally have new towels and rugs.

Here's what was added at Carolyn's suggestion:

5) Clean up the floor of the back porch, set up the table, and put in an outdoor rug.  I was glad she brought this up because our back porch has been nothing but a graveyard for hornets ever since we moved in, and there is no good reason for that.  I was thinking I'd wait until the end of summer when the patio furniture would go on sale, then buy some things and set it all up then.  But after Karen set up the patio table and chairs we already had, I wondered why we hadn't done it before!  With a clean floor and the addition of a rug, we now have a functional space instead of a wasteland.  It's very welcoming now, saying to me, "Come on out and have a seat." At my mom's suggestion, I got a real plant to put in one of the corners.  I will do my best to keep it alive.  It's supposed to be low-maintenance, so we'll see.  I have one other houseplant that I've managed not to kill for over a year, so maybe I'm getting better.  I was completely dazzled by the selection of plants at Lowe's, and I hope that one day I have the time and energy to plant and tend to flowers in my front and back yard.  For now, baby steps.
I LOVE this rug.

Here's what I added reluctantly after facing the reality that it was time:

6) Convert Annie's crib to a toddler bed.  Gulp! I've long been dreading this transition because of  this and this.  These days I need the rest every afternoon in such a bad way that I've been reluctant to change a single thing about Annie's sleep routine, even if it doesn't quite make sense to keep everything the way it is.  As Carolyn pointed out, she already gets in and out of her crib herself anyway; this will only make it safer.  That is true, but it seems like as long as she had the crib she could be relied on to sleep in it every afternoon, even with the capability of getting out anytime she wanted.  Now that she has the toddler bed, and it's so much easier to get in and out, she may decide to just get crazy at naptime instead of going to sleep.  And then I'm in real trouble because I need the nap even more than she does.  I get scary tired every day after lunch -- can't see straight, can't think straight, and I even get lactic acid burning in my leg muscles as if I've been working out and not just putzing around the house.  I can skip my nap every now and then, but the thought of kissing it goodbye altogether scares me to death.  But what can I do?  She's growing up and I can't keep her a baby forever.

Annie likes her bed the way it is now, and she slept soundly last night, even through a loud thunderstorm.  Now we will wait and see how naptime goes..
I worked them to death while they were here, especially Karen, who did most of anything that required taking apart, putting together, hauling of things in or out of the attic, washing the floor of the porch, and probably a few other things I forgot.  I was completely spoiled, hardly allowed to do anything.  I also enjoyed a pedicure Friday afternoon with free babysitting.  We also did about two weeks worth of shopping in two days.  They need a vacation after this!

But it wasn't all work and no play.  On Friday morning we went to the beach and had a great time.
On Saturday we went to downtown New Bern, where we had dinner, went walking, and had ice cream at the girls' and my favorite, Cow Cafe.  We had lots of good eats, and a couple of giggly little girls to entertain us.

"I see you, Mama."
On Sunday afternoon, once Annie's bed had been converted, that was it for home improvement projects and shopping trips.  It was finally time to just relax and hang out and enjoy the 95 degree heat.
Isn't this the cutest little kite?  It's a colorful little gecko that Karen got for the girls while we were at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
It was hard to see them go this morning, but for me, looking around at what's been accomplished around the house in such a short time makes it a little easier.  I am grateful to them both.  We'll be seeing them again in September (Karen) and October (Carolyn).

Now we start counting down to the next visit, which will be Tim Sr on July 14.  About two weeks after that, Timmy will be making his appearance.  We're going to do our best to fill this next month with as many activities as we can handle.  Delaney starts a little preschool summer camp tomorrow morning.  It is Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9 to 12.  I can sign her up for just one week or all of them.  I'm going to take it week-by-week and see how it goes.  The theme of the first week is baking, of which Delaney is definitely a fan.  If they let her break an egg she'll be really happy.  If she brings me home something she baked, I'll be happy.:) 

Besides that, I'm thinking that spending time with friends and going to the pool will make these next few weeks go by fast.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

To Tim

Happy Father's Day, honey!  Your girls are missing you lots, and can't wait for the day we can all be together again.  We love you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

It's official:  our backyard is off limits for the girls to play in until December -- or at least until we have this ant problem figured out once and for all.  The ants attacked again yesterday morning, two days after the Orkin man came to treat the yard.  Annie got bites all over her foot, and I only got three on my toes when I went to rescue her, but my whole foot is swollen and itchy.  Even the bones in my foot are sore.  At this moment, I have my foot submerged in ice water to keep from itching it.  The After Bite and Rite Aid bite and sting remedy, which helped so much yesterday, won't even touch it today.  The itch is so insistent that I can't stop thinking about it.  This itch is pure hell.  And it's a crying shame I have to tell my two little girls they are not allowed to play in their yard.

The only good news is that the ant bites don't seem to bother Annie one bit.  Thank God!  If I had what she has on her foot, I would be in such misery.  And I do not think the reason she hasn't complained is because she's being a "trooper," as her daddy supposes.  I wish he could have seen the way she carried on yesterday over a tiny scrape on her knee that barely drew blood!  I think that for whatever reason, the ant venom does not trigger the same histamine reaction in her that it does in me.

She has some on the bottom too -- eek!  By the way, aren't you glad this isn't a picture of my foot?:)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

32 weeks

I am becoming quite cumbersome as I progress through the third trimester.  I look down at my belly and can't believe that the baby who now weighs about 4 pounds according to Babycenter, will more than double his weight by his due date.  I feel huge enough as it is, but if I forget just how big I can and will get, I don't need to look back too far for a reminder.
5/1/09: 37 weeks pregnant with Annie.  Pay no attention to the hideous green headband.
It's been very hot here, in the 90s for several weeks already.  Doing anything outside the house causes me to tire out quickly.  I'm ready for my nap by 10 a.m., but have to wait 3 hours.  Besides feeling big, awkward and tired, I have no complaints.  I can still eat well, sleep well, and still don't have much swelling.  One time after eating one of my favorite meals, enchiladas, I woke up in the middle of the night with a vaguely unpleasant feeling in the back of my throat.  It took me a few moments to realize that it was a mild case of reflux.  Even mild is still yucky, though.  I'm going to have to be a little more careful about what I eat, how much of it I eat it and what hour of the day I eat it from here on out.

I am now down to appointments every two weeks with the midwife and the OB.  I probably mentioned that I was planning on quitting the OB by now, but for some reason I haven't.  Then when my midwife asked me if I could get my ultrasound report from their office, I was glad I hadn't already left them.  It would have been awkward.  So I don't know if I will ever officially leave the practice.  I'll just keep needing to reschedule appointments as it gets closer to the end, because I'll just be too busy.

Sherry paid a home visit this last time and that was a nice change.  I was really glad I had made my bed that morning because she wanted to do the exam there.  Once again, my fundal height measurement was right on for how many weeks I am.  I weigh 135 according to my bathroom scale, so that's a total of 26 pounds gained so far.  Oh, and then I went to the OB just today and weighed 136, so 27 altogether.  A pound a week is normal at this stage.  Half a pound for the baby, half for me.

Sherry brought up something that many women experience by this point in pregnancy, and that is cervical spasms.  As soon as she described them, I said, "Oh my gosh!  That's what that sharp, stabbing pain was!"  While I was in Florida, and even for a few days before that, I would have a pain in my cervix that would stop me in my tracks.  It felt like a sharp kick.  I blamed the baby.  He is partially to blame.  As the baby's head gets bigger, it puts more pressure on the cervix, causing it to contract, and to begin dilating and effacing a little.  At least that's how I understood it from Sherry.  She said the first few times it happens, it can be quite painful.  So I wonder if that means it continues to happen without my feeling it quite so much, because other than the smallest twinge, I haven't felt anything like that since Florida.  I'm sure it does continue to happen, because the baby's head does not get smaller as time goes on.  This was something new for me that I had not remembered experiencing with either of my first two pregnancies.

This month I am making a real effort to get prepared and organized for Timmy's birth.  I have a list and I'm slowly checking things off.  A homebirth takes a little -- no, a lot -- more advance preparation than does a hospital one.  But I'm getting there.  A lot of the things I need, I have already.  I just need to organize.  Also on the list are things like, "Install infant carseat base and move Delaney's carseat to the third row."  I'll wait until the last minute to do that.  I dread having to climb to the back to buckle her in her carseat.  She can buckle it herself when she wants to, and then I just give it a yank to make sure it's tight enough, but she can be lazy about that too.

We've finally determined that he will be Timothy Francis III.  For the longest time, Tim had said he didn't want to have a III because he thought it was too stuffy.  But it grew on him over time, and it definitely grew on me.  I told him it was up to him, but then when I brought it up again recently, he said he thought we'd already agreed on III.  Funny.

Right now the girls and I are counting down the days until Grandma (Tim's mom) and Auntie Karen come to visit on the 16th.  Can't wait!  I think the month of June will go by fast.