Tessa makes 3!

The adventures of a young couple starting a family, teaching each other and learning as we go, and having fun doing it!

October 24, 2010

Random thoughts over the past week

Seriously folks, bed rest is not all it's cracked up to be. It's not terrible, but it's quite boring. Each day I wake up and hope for contractions and signs of labor, and then I watch TV, do puzzles, sit in the nursery and look around, and hang out. I've also started overthinking and rationalizing very random things!  For example:

October 20, 2010: This would be 10/20/10. My thoughts included what a great day it would be to have a baby. It's an easy date to remember, it's an even number, and it was my great grandmother's birthday, as well as my cousin Tyler's birthday. Well, that day came and went. Ok, no big deal.

October 21, 2010: This would be a great day to have a baby. We'd be able to get out of the hospital on Saturday and then we could have visitors over the weekend, Joel would be off, and we'd get to watch football. No such luck on this day either.

October 22, 2010: This would be a good day for a baby. We'd get out of the hospital on Sunday, Dr. Turek would most likely still be able to deliver before he took off for the weekend, we could spend Saturday entertaining visitors and I could entertain the nurses by yelling at the TV during football games. No such luck.

October 23, 2010: This would be 10-23. Being the wife of a police officer and the fact that I work in an emergency room has made me all too familiar with 10-codes. So, of course, Joel and I laughed about the prospect of Tessa 10-23'ing (which would be arriving on scene in 10-code language)  on 10-23. Yes, we're dorks, but it was funny and cute. But alas, I'm still pregnant.

October 24, 2010: That would be 10-24. For you 10-coders, that would be "assignment completed", hmmm... yes you know where I'm going with this. I could complete my assignment, or, "10-24", on 10-24. But so far, nothing. No contractions today, nothing to indicate a little munchkin might want to come out anytime soon.

October 25, 2010: This is tomorrow. I'm still holding out some hope. This is her due date, this is the day that we told her she was supposed to come. If she's anything like Joel and I, she'll arrive right on time. If she's anything like my side of the family, she'll be late, but it could be anywhere from 20 minutes to days late, depending on which family member we're talking about here. If she takes after my dad, she'll take the scenic route, if she's anything like my mom, she'll have to plan out her escape, including lists, and if she's anything like my grandma, she'll come bearing gifts and be super early.

If she's anything like Joel's family, she'd be early or late. Joel's dad would have made her be here by now, Joel's mom would have her be running just a couple minutes late, and Joel's uncle would have her in about 4 months. But, she's in control and we're just waiting here!

Now do you see what I'm talking about here? This is what I do with my free time!!

October 20, 2010

Week 39

So as it turns out, bed rest won't kill me. I was sure that it would, but lo-and-behold, I survived the first week. Granted, I could still be pregnant for 12 more days before she comes out (doctor will induce at 41 weeks). But the first week went by surprisingly fast, given the fact that I was parked on my tush for 90% of that. Now, had I just taken a week off and been lazy, that would be different. I hate that he told me I can't do anything.

Luckily, my famiy is uh-mazing! Joel has been great all week helping me do things and he cleaned the house! Saturday my parents came up to visit and brought me some things to occupy my time. I got 5 boxes of old stuff of mine to sort through, a box of old pictures from middle school and high school, a bunch of puzzles to do, a giant box of old magazines to read and get decorating and food ideas from, and of course, food! My mom made lunch and dinner and we watched football all day! My dad helped fix our stupid new computer that already is messed up, but alas, we had to take it back to Best Buy to get sent in to the manufacturer.

Then Sunday, Joel's parents came up and visited! They also brought a wonderful meal since I'm not allowed to be on my feet long enough to cook a decent meal. We had another great day hanging out and watching football. On Monday, we had to go to Ames to take back the aforementioned stupid new computer that is already broken. I needed a change of scenery so I rode along and walked around the store a little. It felt good, but I could tell I overdid it a little so we went home after that.

Yesterday was my week 39 doctor's appointment. My blood pressure was the same as last week which was higher than the previous weeks, but it hadn't gone up any more, and most of my other symptoms had subsided so the doctor wasn't too concerned. I am progressing a little towards delivery, but it sure would have been nice to be dilated to like, 5 yesterday, and then I could just go upstairs and deliver! No such luck. But, we're getting closer.

In other news, I'm an aunt again! My nephew was born Saturday morning, bright and early at 2:57am. He's a healthy boy, they named him Noah John, and he looks almost identical to his older brother Jaxon! Congratulations Luke and Jen!

October 18, 2010

Can I whine?

I am going to take this opportunity to whine a little. Just a little, then I'll be done and back to my optimistic self, I promise!

The OB put me on bedrest for my safety and for Tessa's safety, and I get that. But then he says, "but if she would just come on her own sooner rather than later that would be the best." Ok, then let me do all these fun labor inducing activities that may or may not actually work but would actually give me some hope. Let me take walks around the block (but then my blood pressure may rise and the swelling would certainly return). Let me do SOMETHING to get this labor going. I have been having sporadic contractions for days, but just when I have 3 in a row, they go away for hours, only to return and taunt me later.

I still have a week until my due date, which means up to 2 weeks of being pregnant still, but c'mon, the doctor can't tease me with this stuff and then say, "ok, see ya next week." You're killing me smalls. Especially since my brother and the wifey have had their 2nd baby, at a week early, all eyes are on me. And I feel so helpless and powerless, and with my type A personality, I need a little control over the situation, or at least the feeling of a little control.

I can't sleep anymore because she thinks its funny to use me as a punching bag and she's a great kickboxer already, I wake up constantly because it's such an effort to roll over, I have terrible heartburn because I am confined to the couch or bed and can't stand up and let digestion take its course, and I'm bored.
The End, at least for now. Here's to hoping she's coming sooner rather than later!

October 16, 2010

Arts and Crafts

I received a couple of headband/flower bows from friends for Tessa to wear, and loved them! They are so cute. But then, Joel and I went shopping for a couple she could wear on game days and realized how expensive they are! After speaking with my good friend Mr. Google, I determined that I could make these adorable little guys for a fraction of the cost. Plus, this activity was bed rest approved so I was sold.

We stopped at Hobby Lobby one day last week after the doctor's office and got all the supplies. All it takes is those little headbands, which are 99 cents. For the thicker ones or the beanie hats, they are a little more expensive, but still, a small investment! We bought alligator clip hair clips, 1 roll of ribbon, some jewels to go in the middle of the flower, and some of the single stemmed daisy flowers. What I love about Hobby Lobby is the sales. All of these things happened to be 50% off that week, so it was even cheaper! You just have to disassemble the flowers and then glue each layer of the flower together. I used a hot glue gun. Then, glue the gem to the center of the flower, wrap the ribbon around the alligator clip and glue it on so it's a softer surface, and then glue the clip to the back of the flower. It's really very simple.

My first couple left a little to be desired, but after about 10 of them, I was a pro. I even started mixing and matching flower colors to get some fancier ones! I tested them out on my headbands and on a crocheted hat I had, and they look uh-dorable. Not too bad for a non-crafty gal like myself!

I'll have to wait until spring for more colors, since they had all the fall stuff out. hopefully I'll be able to get some cute pastel colors for spring!

October 15, 2010

Diary of a Mad Pregnant Woman

So in case anyone was wondering, bed rest is NOT all it's cracked up to be. Sure, it's nice being home and spending time with Joel before our family of 2 becomes a family of 3. But I can't sit on the couch for days and days. I want to go on walks, reorganize things, and clean the house before Tessa comes. But, I can't. I feel bad that I sit on the couch or bed while Joel finishes the things on my lists. So, I've done as much as I can while sitting down.
My first project was making homemade laundry detergent. Some of you probably think I am crazy, but it was very easy and extremely cost effective. Here's the ingredients:

3 Boxes of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (55 oz each, it's a box like this)
2 boxes of Borax, which are 76 ounces each.
 This recipe also requires 1 bucket of Oxi-Clean, which is 96 ounces

You'll definitely want a 5 gallon bucket for this mixture. It filled up my 5 gallon bucket to more than 3/4 full. Mix all of these ingredients together until well mixed and there is your cloth dipaer detergent. You only use about 1 tbs per load, so this stuff literally lasts a lifetime. I bought all of these for less than $20, and will probably last us more than a year doing diaper laundry.

To make the laundry detergent for regular clothes, you use the exact same recipe and simply add soap. So I purchased bars of plain Ivory soap. I laid out the bars of soap to dry for a couple days, then grated it. Then, I let it dry on cookie sheets for another day so it would be very dry. I just used my hands to make the pieces as small as I could. The EFF Blog recommends using a food processor, but we don't have one of those so we did it by hand.
 Since I wanted to be able to use this recipe for both our cloth diapers and our clothes, I divided the recipe to fit our needs. The full recipe for the laundry detergent is the same as the recipe for the diaper detergent. Then, you just add 24 bars of soap. Yes, 24. Well, I knew we didn't need that much detergent, so I did 1/6 of the recipe. That includes 4 bars of soap + 68.333 ounces of the detergent mix I had already made. This made a jar of regular clothing laundry detergent, as seen below. I also bought another jar (5.99 at Hobby Lobby) for the regular cloth diaper detergent. I then stored the rest of the 5 gallon bucket detergent so I can refill as needed.
 It takes a while to mix the bars of soap flakes in with the rest of the detergent, but I've already done 3 loads of laundry with it, and it works great, plus smells wonderful!!

Another of my bed rest projects was reorganizing the laundry room area. Don't worry, I sat on the ground while Joel got on the step ladder and moved things around how I wanted them. I won't show you the before pictures, but the after pictures sure make me feel good! There's just something about a clean, organized space that warms my heart.
Of course I had to put labels on my jars so if Joel or anyone else would do laundry they would know what to use. I use 1/8 cup laundry detergent per load, and 1 tbs cloth diaper detergent per cycle (I will probably run 2 cycles, 1 hot and 1 cold for the diapers). This makes it super easy for anyone to figure out, and it's much more fun to look at than a box of Tide.

We also got all of Tessa's bath stuff ready and got her bathtub down and ready to go! I can't wait to see her in it with her whale tub and pink rubber duckies!! Bed Rest won't get me down, but I am trying to figure out a way to pass some of my extra energy onto Joel, who seems to be losing his at a rapid rate! Hopefully a weekend of relaxing with family and watching football will rejuvenate him.


October 13, 2010

Bed Rest: the First few hours

I really, really, really, am trying to follow this bed rest thing. I have some serious cabin fever,even on my days off, so I'm hoping I will be able to entertain myself. So far between last night and this morning, I have done the following things. Keep in mind this was less than 24 hours:

Made 6 headbands/flower clips for Tessa
Spent $79 at Oldnavy.com
Played 15 games of online bingo
Played 3 games of online pinochle
Talked to my mother 4 times
Drank 1/2 gallon of water and 4 cups of coffee (decaf of course)
Taken 3 baths
Slept 9 hours
Watched 2 movies and a disc of Friends (Season 6 Disc 2)

Joel challenged me to see if I could fill the collection bottle for the 24 hour urine collection I have to do. He thought it was impossible, but I am doing oddly well at this challenge. Hence, the 1/2 gallon of water and coffee. It's like a game. A really creepy game. He also bet me 50 bucks on this deal. Little does he know that I already spent that 50 and an extra 29 on Old Navy stuff!

Now, what to do with the next 2+ weeks? Any ideas?

October 12, 2010

Week 38 Appointment

Well, I should have known that this pregnancy wasn't going to be as easy as I thought. Throughout every appointment the doctor has said, 'You make my job too easy. Everything looks perfect. I wish I had 50 of you a day." Well thanks, doctor. I really appreciate that. Until today, when I went in for my routine 38 week appointment.

I had noticed some random swelling in my feet and hands over the last week, but didn't think anything of it. Then, I noticed a few times I would randomly see spots, be dizzy, or have double vision. I didn't really think anything of that either, until I realized that those two things together could mean trouble. When I went in for the appointment this morning, I figured I'd mention it and see what he said. So when I mentioned it, he got kind of serious faced (which is so not typical for my doctor) and said, "oh." Suddenly I got very nervous.

He said with those symptoms, plus the fact that my blood pressure had spiked 20 points higher than what it had been for the previous 37 weeks, and the protein in my urine, he was putting me on bed rest. He said that bed rest won't make the problem go away but it will at least give me a chance to take it easy. I had labs drawn and have to do a 24-hour urine collection and depending on the outcomes of those, we may be having some decisions to make. If all of those come back ok, I'll be taking it easy and we can let her come whenever she's ready to come. If something comes back abnormal, we'll be discussing the dreaded I-word.... Induction.

I'm hoping things come back great so we can let her come on her own. Not that it would be all bad to know when she's coming, but C-section rates double when someone is induced. For now, the labs are ok so we're just waiting on the urine to see if everything is ok or not. Until then, I am hanging out in Webster City trying to relax but not get too bored. I welcome all visitors!!

October 11, 2010

The Apple Orchard

Saturday afternoon J and I went out on an adventure to Fort Dodge. I'm in Fort Dodge basically every day, but  it's more fun when I can convince Joel to come with me. Well, since we were heading to the apple orchard north of Fort Dodge, we stopped in Fort Dodge so I could feed my need to check out Hobby Lobby, just in case anything had changed. Nothing had changed, but I naturally found some things I needed to have! This trip, it turned out to be all the ingredients for making my little soon-to-be munchkin headbands/hats with those fancy little bows on top.

We also went to Dollar Tree just to look. Apparently J was a dollar tree virgin, and was very intrigued by the fact that everything was $1. He just kept looking at stuff, throwing it in the cart, and saying, "Eh, it's only a dollar, who cares if it breaks next week." Ah yes, dear, you've been bitten by the dollar tree bug. After we left Dollar Tree, it was, "I can't believe we got all that stuff and it was less than $20." Yes, honey, that is the beauty of Dollar Tree. I have a strong feeling we'll be back.

On to the apple orchard.
 This place is just north of Fort Dodge. It's a cute little place with lots going on. We didn't do many of the activities they offer this year because I'm 2 weeks away from giving birth and it was 85 degrees in October. I even had a cute little outfit picked out to wear, but when the weather wasn't going to be 60 like I thought, I had to scrap that idea and pull out my less than flattering capris. Oh well.
 My endearing husband had me pose here, and then when we both sat down he made sure to comment about how I made the bench go down. Well, honey, I'm carrying a pumpkin around. Deal with it.

  So, we wandered around all the pumpkin-ey things, skipped the haunted house, skipped the hay rack ride, although he promised to bring me back and take me on it if I get desperate for this baby to exit in a couple weeks. There was  a cute little playground area, but I didn't want to be the only adult playing on the playground so I skipped that too. We decided to be adults for this trip so we went inside to pick some apples and buy some jam.
 I love apples.They had tons of different varieties and gave out samples so we could decide on which ones we wanted. We decided to get a peck of the Haralson apples, which are a great tart, crispy apple. I like that I can use them for baking and eating fresh, and they are delicious! The more crisp the apple, the happier I am when eating them!
 Yep, I beat the pumpkin in the size competition. This picture was not supposed to be a creepy model shot with my hair blowing in the wind, but the wind wouldn't stop!
 I'm still not sure how I convinced him to pose next to the pumpkins. This is so not him!
And, one more shot before leaving. We had fun, but definitely look forward to future years when we can bring Tessa and show her all the fun things to do!

October 7, 2010

My favorite time of year

Fall is, by far, my favorite time of year. I love watching the leaves change from green to yellow, orange, red, and eventually brown. I love the weather and how you can wear jeans and a hoodie for almost any event. I love that I get to watch football 4 days a week, which could be 5 days a week if we went to the local high school games. And yes, I could spend all day on the couch watching football Saturdays and Sundays. The smells all around, the cool, crisp evening air, the abundance of activities you can do, and the coziness of the impending doom of winter all make my heart smile.

More than a month ago, I marked on our calendar a day to go to the apple orchard. Last year was our first year, which was dampered by rain. But this year, I have a list a mile long of things I want to do/see/take picture of/eat/smell at the orchard. We are trying a new orchard this year since we are up north now. So Saturday, we are heading to the Community Orchard just outside Fort Dodge. I can't wait to take in all the sights and smells of the orchard. From the beautiful trees to the apple goodies; from the excitement of everyone around us to the many activities they offer for families, everything about this day makes me giddy, almost child like. Now, if only my emotion-free husband would get as excited!

Oddly enough, I have distaste for all things Halloween. I hate cats, mice, all things spooky and scary, skeletons, ghosts, goblins, everything about Halloween. Except the candy. But it's not the candy's fault that it is associated with Halloween. So instead of dwelling on Halloween, I like to focus on the fun things of fall, which lasts all the way until the day after Thanksgiving. Then, it's Christmas time. For now, though, all things fall are amazing! Today I decorated a little for fall. I would love to be courageous enough to go all out for each season, but I'm not. Someday I will have the guts to do this. Her creativity is uh-mazing!  Someday folks, somday. So, I add bits and pieces, mostly to the living room and front of the house.
Here is what I've done so far. We'll carve the pumpkins this weekend and add some sweet candles to the inside of the pumpkins.

 Yes, I reused my planter stands for pumpkins. :-)
 I also learned a neat trick to shining your pumpkins and making them last longer before they start to rot. Check out this creative chica for what she does. It definitely cleaned them well and shined them up, and I didn't even use the Vaseline on mine since mine are outside.
 I am not satisfied with this, but I wanted my front step to be less boring, so for now, it'll do. I'll figure something out that will make me want to walk in that door.
 Had to pimp my team. This is our front yard flag.
 This is the TV stand. Tried to pimp my other team, who is playing right now (the NY Yankees!), but they missed the shot.
Just a little fake flower/leaf thing. 

What are your fall guilty pleasures?

October 6, 2010


At my 37 week appointment yesterday, I asked the doctor what to look for as solid signs of labor. He chuckled and said, "you'll just know." Ok, great. Thanks for that. I had my first internal and he said, "Hey, you're a whopping one centimeter, see ya next week." So, probably no baby this week. I am ok with that though, I would be more than happy to have her in there at least another week or two until it gets closer to the due date. There is a possibility that she could come anytime, but usually no progress means no progress! So, until next week.

October 4, 2010

Week 37!

It's official, I am full term. That means that even though my due date is 3 weeks away, if Tessa decides to come, she will be able to thrive in the world with little to no medical intervention. I would still like her to stay in at least another week to give her lungs a chance to fully develop, but at this point, she shouldn't have any complications at birth. She's gaining about an ounce a day, which is almost a half pound a week.

Oh, and it seems that she's the size of a watermelon, which makes sense since I feel like that's exactly what was implanted into my stomach.  I mean seriously, I feel like I have to put a lot more effort into swinging my whole body around to roll over in bed or get up off the couch. It's quite a production. Joel makes fun of me often.

I have gained 20 pounds, but still feel pretty good overall. The heartburn is still terrible, but I know there's an end. My back and hips hurt, but again, there's an end in sight. I think I decided early on to take the attitude of "IT'S NOT THAT DARN HARD", because I'm certainly not the first person to be pregnant in this world, nor will I be the last. Anything I've had, someone has probably had it first and worse. That's not to say that parts of this pregnancy haven't been frustrating and annoying, but I figure whatever I have to do, it's worth it to meet Tessa!

October 1, 2010

Old Wives Tales

One thing I've noticed throughout this pregnancy is that everyone has an opinion about this or that. Everyone seems to be an expert in pregnancy and babies, whether they are mothers, grandmothers, men, single women, etc. Seeing a woman with a belly is somehow an invitation for anyone and everyone to give unsolicited advice! Usually, I'm pretty cool about it, but sometimes random strangers try to tell me everything about my pregnancy and unborn child like they are my doctor.

Having said that, I've decided to check out some of these old wives tales that everyone tells me and see if any of them are true.

If you look more beautiful while pregnant then you're having a boy, but if you look worse during pregnancy you are having a girl because the girls steal all your beauty.  
I have no idea if this is true, but it sure sounds funny. I don't think I've gotten significantly uglier, and I'm definitely carrying a little girl!  

If you put your hands above your head it will cause the cord to get wrapped around the baby's neck.
I have a very hard time believing this one as well. My baby book said 1/3 of all babies have the cord wrapped around their necks, so I have a hard time believing that the same 1/3 is the mothers who put their hands above their head.

If you don't drink enough water, your baby will come out dirty.
Um, WHAT?! Last time I checked, all babies come out covered in goo, regardless of my fluid intake.

I'm not supposed to take baths because germs can get into my vagina and be passed to the baby.
Again, WHAT?! Anyone with any sense of anatomy would know that this is ridiculous. Baths are good for pregnant women, it just shouldn't be too hot because then, apparently, you can "cook the baby", or cause it to overheat. 

If the baby's heartbeat was 140+ BPM, then it would be a girl, and if it was less than 140 BPM, it was a boy.
This one was true for us! She's had a heartrate of at least 140 at every single appointment, and usually it's even above 150. 

If you eat spicy food during pregnancy, your baby will come out mean. Also, it will have bumps on its face.
This one just makes me laugh. How exactly does my food choices influence my daughter's personality traits? I'm pretty sure if she's got a mean streak in her it's probably because of who her parents are! And, almost every baby I've seen has bumps on its face at some point in its first few days of life.

If you carry high, it's a girl, if you carry low, it's a boy. Well, I've heard this one both ways.
This one can't be true because I've heard both versions of this. I've had random people tell me I must be having a boy because of how I am carrying and others say that I must having a girl because of how I'm carrying. The best is when they argue with me about it. They tell me it's a boy, I tell them, "no, it's definitely a girl." They say, "oh, just wait, it'll be a boy." Nope, I've had 4 ultrasounds, they all say my baby is beans and wieners free.

If you crave sweets, it's a girl. If you crave salty foods and meat, it's a boy.
This one has been true for me! I've had such a sweet tooth during this pregnancy!

If you have heartburn, the baby will have lots of hair. Also, if your belly itches, the baby will have lots of hair.
Well, I've had terrible heartburn and terrible belly itches. I am thinking this one might be a little true, or at least a weird coincidence. I had lots of hair when I was born, and so did Joel.

If you watch action/scary movies, it will be a boy. If you watch romantic comedies, it's a girl. If you cry during romantic comedies, it will be a girly girl.
HAHA. Really!? My movie tastes cause certain parts to develop? Just for the record, I've hated action/scary movies my entire life. I can only remember crying at 2 movies: Titanic and the Notebook, and haven't watched either of them during this pregnancy.

And my personal favorite, actually asked to me by someone:

If the man was on top during conception it would be a girl, but if the woman was on top, it would be a boy.
I'm not going to answer that, mostly because I can't remember. I guess we weren't keeping good enough track  or we could've started buying baby clothes the day I found out! HAHAHA.