Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Because I felt I needed to accomplish something

I am not incapacitated even though I'm exhausted from no sleep.  So I thought I should get something done at home today.  Nope, not laundry.  That would be too easy.  No, I decided to start decorating the garland at about 8:45 tonight.  Yes, I'm a night owl. 

Now I have to pack it up for tonight and get ready for bed.  *rolling my eyes at myself*

Heartburn Hell

Yes, that is what I've been dealing with the past 24 hours.  I'm at home today because I got NO sleep last night thanks to the early Christmas gift of heartburn. 

I can't really complain too much since I have only had to deal with intermittent heartburn starting about a month ago.  It usually goes away after 24-36 hours.  I take some Tu.ms, as recommended by the pharmacist, and it usually improves.  Well, I don't know what happened yesterday but WTH?  Baby must have been pushing up on my stomach with his feet all night.

I didn't eat too much for supper or too late, went to be early, had the light off before 11 feeling nothing wrong.  Then at about 2:30 I woke up and felt it.  Oh my!  And then I just couldn't fall asleep again.  When my alarm went off at 6 I decided this was too horrible to deal with ... not the heartburn but the lack of sleep.  And because of medications and such that I need to take either on an empty stomach or nowhere around calcium I couldn't take any Tu.ms.  Lovely.  I feel better now but it still hasn't gone away.  I'm wondering if this doesn't have more to do with baby's position.  I don't feel his feet over on the side of my belly today so I'm thinking he's got them lodged under my stomach.  And what is with feeling heartburn and hungry at the same time???

Anyway, I expect I'll get a break sometime in the next 24 hours.  Hopefully.  I will have another post about my shower at work yesterday sometime soon.  I have one tiny bag of stuff to move home and photos to take of it so I can share here.  ;-)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

36 weeks

Yes, I've become that poster, the one with the boring weekly updates and apparently no thoughts other than 'this is where I am'.  lol

My latest m/w appointment went well even if it had to be postponed a day because of a birth.  Not mine, obviously.  I met another m/w in the practice and it could be one of the 2 who will attend my birth.  We went over a few items, will do the GBS test next week, and got a requisition for an u/s.  She was certain his head was down but because she felt his feet and legs in a weird spot, running across my belly, she wanted to make sure what she was feeling was a head and not a bum.  His h/b was in the 140s but spiked to the 160s because he got annoyed when poked by the m/w.  His heart was fairly low in my belly so the m/w was sure that his head was low.  She was unable to get a measurement past 34 weeks because I'm so short in the body.  My uterus is growing as my photos can attest but it has gotten to the point where they can't feel it past a 34 week measurement.  Just another oddity about my body. 

I had the u/s on Friday.  Baby is measuring on time, exactly 35w6d that day.  His h/b was in the 130s that day.  He was busy practice breathing which I couldn't really detect on the u/s screen so I just took the tech's word for it.  The u/s did confirm that he is head down (yay!) and that his legs are in a bit of a weird position.  He seems to keep them in a jacknife position or sort of like an Olympic diver's pike position.  That would likely explain why my belly doesn't protrude an awful lot for 36 weeks and why the m/w thought it felt like he was sitting across my belly.  Baby's estimated weight was 5lbs 1oz on Friday but I know that is notoriously unreliable so I'm trying to pretend that this number really isn't important especially since his measurements land him exactly on time for his January 7th due date.  I was a typical 7 lbs something and the donor was too so maybe he'll be just the same.  Or maybe he'll pack on the fat between now and delivery date and I'll end up with a 9 pounder.  Who knows?  This is one thing that is hard to guess. 

I'm starting to feel the fatigue a little more now.  If I sit down and don't get up after supper I just don't get up.  Suits little T just fine since he gets lots of cuddling time in but I'm not getting much done.  I already warned my parents that my house may be disorganized and in need of a good cleaning and I'm really sorry about that.  I'm doing my best but there are things I just can't do any longer. 

I did manage to get the garland and lights up the banister and complete it last night.  Took 2 days' worth of work spread over 2 weekends to do it but it is now done.  That takes the place of a tree this year.  I want to decorate it up a bit but if I don't get that done it isn't the end of the world.  At least the lights are woven into it.  It took a lot longer than I thought it would.  I had to twist strands of garland together to make it fuller, then twist ends of others in to connect them (~36 feet in total), hang it, then put the lights in.  The steps on the staircase make for good seating to do the lights.  lol  It ended up running a couple feet short upstairs but very few people will see that so I don't care. 

Okay, that's it for now.  I am supposed to have my shower tomorrow so I'm sure I'll have updatable info at that point.  And info on my shopping trip to Ik.ea for baby room stuff.  My life is so exciting this month.  lol

Sunday, December 4, 2011

35 weeks

Eeek!  How did that happen?  I've now officially reached the 'do not fly without a medical certificate' weeks.  Well, that's how it is most relevant to me, anyway.  lol

I haven't been online much the past little while because when I get home from work I just don't want to turn on the computer. When I do I get distracted from other things I need or want to do and I end up staying up way too late buzzing around on the internet.  And the past few weekends have been jam packed full of errands even though I've taken Fridays off.  Even Sunday mornings when I usually make time to connect and check out blogs and tend to personal email.

Since it has been a couple weeks since I provided an update here is what I can tell you.

T hanging out on a new rug in the foyer.
T is continuing to settle in.  He still gets anxious when I disappear and he doesn't know where I am.  It is particularly bad when he's using the litter and I go behind a closed door.  His litter problems have settled down.  I thought I had a nasty mess to clean up this past week but it turned out to be a major vomit dump beside the litter.  Poop or vomit?  Which is better?  I'll take the vomit any day, thanks.  He is still interested in scratching the furniture and took to scratching the other chair which, thankfully, was mostly covered up.  But I added some more carpet tape in empty areas and covered it with some throws very thoroughly so he can't damage it.  My living room looks ridiculously silly at the moment thanks to all the covered furniture.  But the good news is that he is using the upright sisal scratching post and the same on his cat stand by the window, more than once a day.  I'm hopeful I can redirect his scratching but I think he's always going to prefer the furniture.  So, some of it will likely be covered in some way as long as I have him.  I don't care if he claws the crap out of my front entrance mats.  They're probably not good for his claws but if he wants to take those on I don't care.

I'm still feeling really well and can't complain much about that.  I did have some red bleeding a couple weekends ago but thankfully was able to page my midwife and she determined it was likely one of those freaky late pregnancy things since it stopped.  I had an appointment just 3 days later and baby was doing fine with a h/b in the 140s.  The student's measurement had me 2 weeks behind and I was a bit panicked at the time but my midwife came in and showed her how she measured and it turned out I was right on time for 33 weeks.  Relief!  And the student had a hard time finding his head.  I suspect he's head down as his heart beat was really low down and when she was feeling for his head she was way down in the pubic area.  I just hope he stays there.

I'm feeling a bit more tired and have trouble getting up in the dark in the morning but I think part of it is just the fact that winter is coming.  I love being able to sleep without the sun waking me up but I'm really loathing getting up in the dark this year.  I'm taking as many Fridays off at the moment just so I can get things done.  It has really helped my energy levels.  I'm pretty much done errand running now so I can focus on stuff at home.  It doesn't mean I don't go shopping ... of course I do!  I just don't have to buy any more Christmas gifts or a huge supply of baby items.  I do need to get some more prefolds and a few covers for the next size up from newborn and I'm still without a travel system.  But worst come to worst I do have a 3-in-1 car seat that I could use if I needed to.  And if I need extra diapers to start it isn't like I live some place without stores that sell disposables.  I'm skipping a lot of laundry since my sister gave me suitcases of clothes.  I know they aren't dirty since she would have washed them before packing them away or giving them to me.  One less thing to do.

There are a few small things that I'll still need but I'm really hoping that I get them soon.  I've been told to be at work on December 12th which must mean that I'm getting a shower that day.  Good thing too because I'd been worried nothing was going to be done.  Not that I want a gigantic party with a bunch of games that I am not interested in playing or that I want a bunch of gifts ... no, I was just worried that since I might only get to do this once I might not get a shower and that would totally bum me out.  Yes, very eloquent, I know.  lol  So, I'm waiting to see if I get actual items and whether any come from my registry.  My parents are still the only ones to have purchased anything from it.  My co-workers might just end up getting me a bunch of gift cards, which would still be good, but it would be nice to get some actual stuff so I have less to shop for.

I haven't had any bouts of swelling and my plantar fasciitis has improved since I got the hard soled slippers.  It still flares up when I overdo activity, such as spending many hours on my feet shopping, but it is much better.  The little guy is starting to feel heavy now but he isn't overly active.  He's buzzing around right now which he loves to do when I have a lazy morning.  But since I've been very busy the past month and the available free space in there is shrinking I've expected him to quiet down.

And the belly finally popped a couple weeks ago.  It does depend some on what I'm wearing but since I take my photos in the same cut of T-shirt you can really see the difference now.  Here is a bit of a progression over the past little while so you can see the change.  Sorry some of the photos are a bit dark.  I don't have tons of light in the front of my town house and with all the errand running I've been doing I haven't always gotten the photos done early enough in the day.

30 Weeks

32 Weeks
T wanted in on the action
33 Weeks
The belly really popped this week.
34 Weeks
A bit bigger but not by much.
35 weeks
Nowhere to go but out from here.
And that's about it for now.  I've got more stuff to get done today.  A tiny bit of shopping and lots of laundry.  ;-)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's Been a Month!

Holy cow!  I know I've been busy but a month has gone by since my last post.  This one is going to be short. 

I've been super busy these past few weeks.  I completed my last 3 business trips.  It was supposed to be 4 but the one at the beginning of November was cancelled with 48 hours notice.  I didn't mind staying home but I really missed going back home as I had things I had planned on doing.  And I'm going to miss the $7-800 overtime (take home) that I didn't earn on that trip.  :-/ 

My Pam.pered Ch.ef party didn't go forward since I couldn't get more than 2 people to commit. So I turned it into a catalogue party with my mom and sister buying most of the purchases.  lol  I got a good deal on what I purchased so it worked out in the end.  But it was a lot of work to deal with all that when I was in and out of town.

And to top it off, at the end of October while I was out of town my cat P died.  We have no idea what happened.  When I left for work on the Tuesday morning she was fine.  My friend said she came running down the stairs that night when she arrived but wasn't happy to see it was not me.  Wednesday morning she was fine but by Wednesday night she was in some type of distress.  I could hear her meowing on the phone and I thought it sounded like a really bad case of constipation.  I told my friend she could take her to the vet in the morning and I'd call them to let them know she'd be in.  I worried about her all that night hoping I made the right decision not to send her to emergency care.  And in the morning there were messages waiting for me to call my friend.  She had died overnight.  My friend sat with her for an hour the night before and while she didn't really get better she didn't get any worse.  My friend put a little blanket on the floor for her and she moved to put her head on it to rest.  When my friend returned in the morning my cat was still on the floor beside the little blanket. 

The vets were really surprised to hear about this.  And it was horrible having to make arrangements over the phone and not being able to say good-bye.  I really didn't want to have to make the decision to euthanize her but I also didn't want her to just die while I was away.  The receptionist at the vet's office said she thought she probably died in her sleep given the position of her body when she came in.  And my mom reminded me that it must have been something very acute that happened because she went from being fine to dead within 24 hours.  I try to remind myself of this but it still doesn't make me feel any better.

P a few years ago
I carry a great deal of guilt over being away.  I know that even if I'd been home I would have waited until morning to take her to the vet.  I wouldn't have been downstairs with her all night either so she technically would have died alone but if I had been home she would have at least known she wasn't alone and that I was in the house.  And I really feel guilty because I feel that even though something serious happened my cat just gave up because she knew I wasn't going to be there in the morning.  Little P was a great cat, almost completely perfect, but she could be very sensitive at times.  Not in a sulky way because she never did that, not once.  But she could be very emotional and get upset easily.  I kept promising her that my travel was almost over and that we'd have lots of time to snuggle after I finished my last trips.  I did my best to spend lots of time with her this fall after she got sick again.  But I feel like she just gave up when she knew it wasn't me looking after her and I feel so horrible about that.  I may not have been able to save her but I could have at least comforted her and taken her to the vet to have her put to sleep in the morning giving her one last pet and saying good-bye.  But I never got that chance. 

I dreaded coming back home and had a really hard time keeping it together on my flights and just lost it when I walked in the door.  And the next few days didn't get any better.  I couldn't stop crying even when I was emptying out her litter.  Who cries over getting rid of dirty old litter?  Obviously I did.  I saw myself heading down a very bad path with no end to the crying in sight.  And that wouldn't have been a good thing for me or the baby.  So, I made the decision to get a new cat.  Please do not lecture me on cats, cats in pregnancy, toxoplasmosis, etc.  We've had cats for years and I've been taking precautions while cleaning the litter since long before I got pregnant.  As my vet, who had 3 cats during both her pregnancies, said if you clean the litter within 24 hours there is no risk of infection.  It is far more likely that a person will get the infection from undercooked meat than a cat.

I debated about when to get a new cat and I decided sooner was better than later.  If I waited until the spring it was going to be difficult to settle a new cat before I headed out west for a visit.  Who would want to be uprooted to a new home and then be left behind or sent to a kennel for 2 weeks?  That wouldn't work.  And to wait until I started mat leave wouldn't be good either.  That would just be asking for trouble.  Christmas was an option since I will be home for about 10 days straight but my parents are arriving and all the last minute prep might drive a new cat batty.  So, I had to do it now or wait until next August or in the fall.  And I couldn't wait that long.  I took a look at the cats available at the local humane society's website and noticed a few older cats.  I ruled out almost all of them because they either needed to be in a quiet home or didn't get along with other cats ... I'd love to get a 2nd one for a buddy in a couple of years once I stop traveling for work for good.  I noticed a 5 year old black medium haired guy who had been at the humane society since mid-August.  Knowing that people don't like adopting older cats or black ones I thought this guy really needed a home. 

T - my new cat
I went down to check him out and he was sharing an apartment with another male so he obviously gets along with other cats.  He came in as a stray so they didn't know much about him.  He likes to be picked up and he loves to cuddle.  So, I put a deposit on him and went to buy a few things for him.  I spent that night cleaning and doing laundry to make the home a bit nicer for his welcome. And it made it a bit easier to clean up after my old cat.  It felt less like I was getting rid of her and more like I was just preparing to welcome a new cat.  Much better.  And the next night I went and brought him home.  He had spent some time in foster care because when he came in he had to have his two top canines removed - one of them was cracked down to the root.  I have no idea what he was doing while roaming around as a stray downtown.  He tested negative for feline leukemia and parasites multiple times.  While he developed a sneeze while there he didn't actually develop any respiratory issues. 

He didn't like being in his carrying case especially on the way home and desperately tried to claw his way out actually shattering one of his claws but the good news is that it didn't cause any permanent damage.  We did have some litter issues to start off with but that was my fault.  I thought he'd just use the same brand my other cat used but he hated the recycled newspaper stuff.  I had to go back to clumping clay litter which I don't like but he does.  And after a little setback this week, which was my fault ... again (I thought I'd go 24 hours without cleaning his 2 litter boxes), we're back on track.  He just seems to be extremely picky about his litter.  So, I'm cleaning litter twice a day and am slowly moving the litter boxes from the family room to the storage room.  I have 6 huge bags of the other litter which I can't return since I have no receipts but the humane society will gladly take them (and I get a tax receipt) if he never adjusts to them.  They give it to foster homes or use it for their post-surgery patients. 

He has a clawing issue which we are working on and it is slowly improving.  My house looks bizarre because I have my furniture covered in blankets and double-sided carpet tape.  But it is working to divert his attention elsewhere.  He's got 5 scratch box/post options and he's finally starting to get it.  He still likes clawing the entrance mat but I don't care.  As much as I like it I can always buy another one next year at Cos.tco if he destroys this one.  I did get a cheap (but very nice) 5x7 rug to put in the front area of the house since he loves running up and down this storey which just leads to damaged hardwood.  I'm doing my best to avoid declawing him and if a few cheap rugs will help do that I'm happy. 

He is, indeed, a snuggly cat.  He just snuggled up right beside me.  He loves to snuggle up on me or right beside me but is happy to sit in P's favourite chair (which he started to claw to bits before I covered it up - ugh!).  He does like being held but not carried.  And he talks a lot, sounding much like one of our old cats who was super intelligent and entertaining.  He's adjusting well but still getting used to things.  He is still skittish at certain sounds but thankfully no longer afraid of flushing toilets.  And he seems to have been allowed outside in the past because he figured out what the sliding doors in the dining room were for without me showing him.  He's going to have to adjust to being an indoor kitty but if he is stubborn he's going to be trained to go outside on a harness and leash.  No free range kitties in this house. 

Despite some initial frustrations he's adjusting well and I'm really glad I got him.  He's a really nice cat and I can't believe that other people may have passed him by because he was 5 or because he was black.  That's just sad.  We're still getting used to each other but I'm hopeful that he's going to continue to settle in well and adjust to the upcoming changes. And to think that if I had gone on that canceled business trip I might not have adopted this little guy.  Fate works in mysterious ways. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just dropping in

I've been super swamped after my week away.  It was great to be gone for a week and start that week off with 2 days where I could sleep in.  Awesome!  But the subject matter of my job does exhaust me and I'm feeling the fatigue creeping up on me now that I'm into my 28th week.  I flew back on Saturday which made a huge difference.  Much nicer than arriving home at 3 am.  :-)

I've been very busy this week too.  I've been busy at home tidying and organizing the main floor ahead of what was supposed to be my Pam.pered Ch.ef party this Friday.  Everyone seems super busy this month so with only 2 rsvps it looks like I'm going to have to reschedule.  So, I've stopped my baking projects and didn't stop to buy wine today.  Imagine the looks I'd get at the LC.BO with my cart full of wine bottles!  No really, they're not for me.  I'm drinking plain old lemonade.  Anyway, I got a bit bummed by this and the fact that the only person who has purchased anything from my registry is my parents.  Um, okay.  I know something will happen at work but being a long term planner it is driving me nuts not knowing what I need to add to my list of things to buy this close to baby's arrival.  I think I've got all the absolute essentials for the first month or so but I don't like the thought of having to do a bunch of shopping the first month my little guy is here. Not to mention I'm rethinking the whole stroller thing ... *hanging my head in shame* ... I might actually buy a bigger stroller for everyday use.  I can't envision myself using the little one to go for walks or shopping trips.  I got a tip on a better store with more selection and less expensive pricing so I'm going to check it out and see what options are available.  I really didn't want the infant car seat thing since I have a good 3-in-1 car seat but if it comes with the stroller at a good price I might just end up with one.  It might be helpful for things like grocery shopping when he is little.  We'll see what I can find.

And in totally non-baby related news I scored a great deal on Den.by dishes today.  I checked the Ameri.can site to register my new email address in the event my pattern is discontinued and discovered that the American factory ships to Canada now (instead of from the UK with its less favourable exchange rate) and that shipping to Canada is currently free!  I scored some awesome seconds for $5-7 each.  Mugs usually cost between $35 and 40 so getting real Den.by mugs that might have a small colour flaw for only $5 each is making me super happy.  And I found a casserole dish that is being discontinued so I got it for 50% off.  And the free shipping?  I managed to save $130 on that.  That makes me so happy ... I love it when I get a good deal on housewares. 

I'm so boring.  lol

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Low Iron

So, I got some of my blood work back today.  The stuff my nurse practitioner ordered.  My TSH is still within normal at 1.84.  But I don't like that it is still trending up.  I do best with a TSH below 1 but I know no one wants to fool around with my TSH through meds too much during pregnancy.  The nurse I spoke to today said that normal is up to 5.  Um no.  The new international standards go from 0.35 to 3.5 (or 3?).  A 5 is too high.  Why are Canadian medical professionals so behind the times?  So, I stay on my current dosage for now. 

Unfortunately, my iron level is too low.  So back on the supplements I go.  I brought them along with me on my trip so I started today along with an orange to help absorption.  Unfortunately, most of the things the nurse mentioned for dietary iron are out of bounds.  Dried fruit?  Sulphites are used for preservation.  A no-no for me.  You really don't want to see me after I've had a reaction to sulphites.  Not pretty.  Leafy greens?  Totally a no-go zone during pregnancy for me.  (I can't believe I didn't vomit up the cabbage I ate last night ... nasty ... and I know it isn't a leafy green.  That was an example of what veggies are doing to me.)  The only one that is okay is legumes but my body doesn't like vegetarian options much.  If I eat vegetarian choices I have to eat them at supper time otherwise my insulin gets thrown off.  I'm pretty much a master at organizing my menu and meal and snack choices but this is getting ridiculous. 

Oh, and I still haven't gained more than 5 pounds.  The only one who was concerned was the student midwife I saw last time.  I'm perfectly happy not to gain 20 pounds or more.  As long as baby is growing fine, and he is, I'm quite happy not to have a ton of weight to lose after.  With PCOS and a thyroid problem there is no way extra weight would be coming off after pregnancy.  None.

My niece came over this afternoon for a little visit.  My sister was happy to get out of the house since my nephew was fussy today.  Likely another tooth.  My niece took one long look at my belly and said 'the baby is growing fast'.  I wasn't sure if she meant my baby or her brother since he's growing fast too.  She meant me and my belly.  lol  If she can see he's growing fine I don't know why the student midwife is all out of sorts.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Long Weekend

Just dropping in to let my readers know that this was the Thanksgiving long weekend in Canada.  I left on another business trip Saturday night allowing me to sleep in 2 days in a row without having to do much of anything.  Okay, I had to pop 4 pumpkin pies in the oven over at my sister's place but that was about it.  And if the AC flight attendants strike Thursday or Friday there might not be enough time for the feds to pass back to work legislation before my Saturday flights.  So at this point I'm not quite sure if I'll be getting home this weekend or not.  We'll just sit on it and wait.

I met a due date buddy from FF on Saturday morning.  We signed up to do a 'virtual' baby shower but it turns out we're in the same city so we were able to meet up in person.  I don't have my personal computer so I can't share the photo of M and me or the lovely things she put into my gift bag.  Future post.  ;-)

A couple weeks ago I noticed that my bra was really uncomfortable.  The rubbing me red under my breasts type of uncomfortable.  Nothing I did to the bands or the straps has helped.  The little boy seems to be keeping his feet really high contributing to inner organ squishing.  This is definitley not helped by asthma issues which flare up when I go back west.  Nothing wrong with my parents house (even though my mom constantly thinks her house is always filthy, dirty and somehow stinks like cat litter ... um, I have a super allergy sniffer extra ehnhanced by pregnancy and I don't smell any such thing ... and the house is NOT dirty at all - *insert eye roll*).  Nope, this is just run of the mill exposure to allergens from the first 27 years of my life.  And since I have a short torso this is contributing to shortness of breath this week.  I'm used to getting this when my asthma flares up and I can deal with it through using some meds but this is more difficult because it won't just 'go away'.  I've got to figure out how to deal with this for 3 months.  It just freaks me out because it feels very much like a bad asthma problem even though it isn't. 

And for the first time today I had difficulty bending over to dry off after a shower.  I was able to dry off my left leg just fine but the right one?  Nope.  The boy likes hanging out on the right side and takes up too much room for me to bend over correctly.  I'm going to have to figure out a way to do that or, as my mom said tonight, let my legs air dry.  I predict my legs are going to get to gorilla stage levels of hairiness any time now if this keeps up.  Or, at least the right one will be gorilla-like and the left will be fine.  Now THAT would be one attractive pregnant lady right there ...

Monday, October 3, 2011

3D Ultrasound

I tried to post ahead of today's 3D u/s but my work computer didn't get along with blogger.  Something about an outdated version of IE.  *sigh* Why can't the IT folks at work get with the program and allow us to use the newest version or figure out that other browsers out there are better?

Anyway, I got my 3D scan done today.  I haven't planned on pregnancy photos so I felt this was an extra I could definitely afford.  He was as stubborn as ever sticking his hands in front of his face regularly.  The tech had to try to get his attention a lot in an attempt to get him to move his hands.  Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.  And my mom got to watch live from across the country.  That was pretty cool!

Here is the little guy, as best we could get him:

3D scan of the little guy at 26w2d

My mom says he looks like I did when I was little.  That is a bit of a relief.  I did spend some time worrying about what he will look like, not because I think he's going to look like an extra-terrestrial, but because I worry about him wondering who he looks like and having no one to compare his features to until he is 18.  If he looks like me and our side of the family it will be a lot easier for him to identify with us and spend slightly less time wondering where he gets his nose from.  lol

He's now sitting head mostly down hanging out on the right side of my uterus.  His feet are up by my bellybutton.  This would explain the high kicking I felt this weekend and his activity when I am on my right side.  I'm not sure if he is complaining when I roll over to the right or if he's happy.  No idea but he definitely gets more active.

Not much else to report.  Work is still busy.  Thank god for one of our analysts who is tackling my files for next week.  I still didn't have any of them in hand when I got in this morning.  A week before my hearings!!!  One of our admin assistants has a serious time management problem but thinks she can do all this by herself and refuses to allow anyone else to help.  That's changing now that we're getting more admin help.  We need our stuff in order to prep.  I can't read through a file in 5 minutes and then be ready for a hearing.  Sheesh!  Anyway, the analyst is taking a swing through the next 4 files which will help to relieve my stress immensely.  I have a midwife appointment tomorrow, an appointment with the security system installer Wednesday morning, I have to vote Thursday, deal with life insurance Thursday night, and then hop on a plane late Saturday for another week away.

But I do get so spend Thanksgiving back home and will get some quality time with the niece and nephew.  Yay!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pure Exhaustion

(warning - nephew's photo at the end of the post)

Sorry, nothing fun today.  My connecting flight in Toronto was late last night.  Way later than normal.  The way AC organizes their schedule makes everyone scratch their heads.  But when the only option to get back home on Fridays is to take the 00:15 flight (okay, technically Saturday) you take it.  Then the 00:15 flight is delayed until 1:10 am.  When many models of the same plane are sitting at the gates totally unused.  *sigh*  I ended up walking into the house shortly before 3 am last night.

The power went out at some point this morning.  A friend said it was about 7:30 am.  I didn't care.  When I went to the bathroom I just knew it was early and I was getting back into bed afterwards.  When I checked my watch again I thought, okay 10:30 time to get up.  Except ... I hadn't changed the time on my watch last night.  It was still on SK time which is currently 2 hours behind.  So my 10:30 was actually 12:30.  I never do that!  But apparently my body and the baby think I needed to be in bed that late.  I've been lazy all day and I just don't see myself going anywhere, not even for groceries tonight.  I've got enough stashed in the freezer that I can find something tasty and healthy to eat for supper.  Tomorrow is another story.  I've got to figure out lunches for the week.  And I'm going to visit a friend and her little guy who will be a year old when my baby arrives.

The trip was good but it felt long.  My hearings have been going long lately, mostly because I've had newer adjudicators who even a year of doing this work seem to take forever to cover what the more experienced ones do.  Plus I had two 3-hour driving trips tacked on to longer days.  The OT is nice but I'm flat out tired.  I would love to schedule my next trips for return on Saturdays but I don't think I'm going to get lucky.  I think kitty will have to spend time with the vets for my next 1-week long trips.  She's going to be switched to prednisone soon and she absolutely cannot go without those meds.  She did okay this week with my friend but at the end of the week she wasn't eating much.  I expect that was because she wasn't feeling well.  I found a couple of large po.ops upstairs in one of the bedrooms (lovely, kitty, just lovely) so she's definitely having some constipation problems.  But since she actually passed solids more than once this week she's doing okay. But I'm worried about her so I need to check with the vet office.  They're only open until 12 on Saturdays so I'd need to take that late flight back on a Friday night to get back in time to pick her up the next morning.  I don't like leaving her there but if she gets the meds she needs she's happier in the end.  And the vet staff love her and love having her there since they don't usually have pets stay with them.  Not the worst place she can stay.  I am looking forward to stopping travel so I can give kitty her meds regularly.

Other than all of that the trip was good.  I did a little shopping.  I picked out the fleece and flannel for the blanket my mom is making for the little guy.  I also picked up a pattern for curtains which my mom now said she'll sew when she's out here.  Um, okay.  I picked up a few things for things I have to fix sewing wise and some stuff for Christmas crafts I make.  And I when I go shopping with my mom we use her membership card so I get a discount.  ;-)  Otherwise I'd buy stuff here.  I picked up a couple more baby clothing items on sale but in bigger sizes since my house is overflowing with clothes for baby.

And I got to spend time with my niece and nephew.  My niece gets a bit wingy in the afternoons after school but she wasn't too bad this week.  And my nephew is getting more interactive every day.  He has been teething for almost 2 months and it appears one of his teeth has come through.  But he's still a bit fussy lately because of it.  Overall, though, he did quite well.  And he had his first foot bath and pedicure because of his chunky toes not getting along too well with his toenails.  

3.5 months
My niece declared that he looked like a country bumpkin that day thanks to his Jo.hn De.ere onesie, the green overalls and matching hat.  And the next day I saw him? She declared he was a gnome thanks to his green jacket with pointed hood.  She's nothing if not imaginative. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

25 weeks

I hit 25 weeks today and as much as my belly is starting to grow some people still seem to think I've just eaten too much recently.  ;-)  Anyway, I planned a fun post so here it is.  It will be very photo and baby content heavy.

My new leather club chair
But first, here is one of the 2 leather chairs I got for my living room at Ho.me De.pot yesterday.    I've been wanting to buy something for the living room to add to my 2 seat leather sofa bed from I.kea.  I looked seriously at a couple chairs from I.kea because they had removable, washable covers you can change when the fashionable colours do and because they were $149/ea.  But I still had reservations about fabric - cat and child.  Then, this week's HD flyer came out and low and behold my chairs, in brown leather, for $199/ea.  I went to the store yesterday and was sold.  They're as comfortable as the I.kea ones but the back leans away from the body rather than a straight back with the I.kea ones.  Much better.  And when I ordered the chairs and arranged for delivery I discovered that the chairs were NOT $199/ea but $129/ea!  Talk about excitement.  I am so happy to have saved $140!  They arrived today and I attached the legs.  Kitty has already checked out the one hopping up a couple times.  It isn't her favourite chair yet but if I put a blanket on it she'll love it.

Okay, on to baby related matters.  Since I reached 25 weeks today and it has been a while since I posted a belly pic here you go.  Please ignore the super busy cotton lounging pants.  I picked them up for $4.97 a few months ago to use around the house as I get bigger.  They still sometimes fall off my waist no matter how tight I tie them.  Oh, and ignore the little bumps on the belly.  That is not the baby doing anything interesting like pushing up against the outside.  Nope.  That is a combination of a rogue elastic band inside the waist and the tie that are all sort of bunched up in the wrong spot ... making me look a little oddly shaped around the belly button.  But if you want to think it is something more interesting than a sewing accident go ahead.  ;-)

And now on to baby stuff.

I don't think people believe me when I tell them I really don't need clothes.  I tell them I literally have suitcases full.  Honestly, I do.  See. 
A suitcase full of baby clothes

This is one suitcase full of newborn and 3 month stuff from both my niece and nephew with the odd thing from 6 months on.  But then there's all this other awesome stuff I have ...

Baby's fleece winter suit
My mom found this cute winter 'snow' suit for baby to get us through the first 3 months of his life.  I still have my fingers crossed for a reasonable winter.  I can hope.

New onesies
New onesies for winter.

Terrycloth sleepers - 3 mo
Terrycloth sleepers I picked up at Car.ter's in the U.S.  I couldn't resist these.

Cotton Pek.kles - 3 mo
Cotton Pek.kles available at Cos.tco in Canada.  Some are from my sister, others from my mom and some were purchased by me. ;-)  These are 3 mo sized.

6 mo summer outfit
A cute summer outfit with matching hat I picked up at Zel.lers.  Soon to be replaced by Tar.get up here.  I must say I wasn't too impressed with my stop at Tar.get.  Did I expect too much?  And why does it look just like a Zel.lers inside, product, decor and organization wise?

Carter's onesies
Car.ter's onesies I picked up at a great price in the U.S.  Same with the next pic.  I picked up a set of 2 pants that go with these.

12 mo Carter's onesies
And I even have some handmade stuff given to me by my sister.  I feel bad that it ended up in my hands largely because people gave her seasonally inappropriate stuff.  My niece was never able to wear these because she was born in summer.  But I guess it is better that someone get use out of them than have them sit in a box forever.
Stuff made for my niece
There is more, much more.  Way more clothing and some non-clothing baby items too.  But since this post is getting a little long and really picture heavy I think I'd better leave it and wait to post a part II.  Unfortunately, I'll be away from my home computer over the next week so you'll just have to wait until next weekend.  ;-)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm alive

I've just been busy.  I left on a business trip on Tuesday straight from work.  Then I had to deal with kitty on Saturday and pick up my car seat.  Yes, I chose one and bought it ... 15% off!  Okay, not the best deal but certainly better than full price.  Then stuff around the house demanded my attention.  I needed to get my registry mostly finished as the gender guessing game at work is coming to an end this week.  People want to start shopping but they'll know it is a boy as soon as they see the registry.  Too, too busy right now. 

And I'm feeling the stress of prepping for 5 full hearings next week including one file that has 1000 pages of medicals to go through.  Thankfully one of our analysts loves doing that stuff and she has some time this week.  Plus I had to prep 2 sets of final arguments for Thursday.  One is done and the other just has to be tweaked.  And we have to request a review of a decision and I have to get the draft of that done this week.  And somehow fit in the 5 files to prep.  I feel like I'm going a little bit crazy right now. 

We now know what is wrong with kitty.  She has a nodule on her thyroid that the vets could feel some time ago but since her thyroid results always came back normal it wasn't considered an issue.  But it turns out she has a parathyroid problem which is causing her high calcium levels.  Her calcium was completely fine last year so this is definitely new.  Dr. G. said this is likely responsible for her weight loss, lower appetite and her constipation issues.  My kitty is definitely special, though.  Dr. G. says that he's only seen 19 cases of this documented in the literature.  The options are (1) surgery to remove the growth and which is highly likely to fix the problem but carries with it a risk of complications like hypothyroidism not to mention issues for a 16/17 year old cat, and (2) treament with prednisone.  She might have to go in for kidney function tests with the prednisone but I think that is the option we're going to go with.  I can't justify the stress and cost of surgery on kitty.  And if the medication can keep her happy and comfortable for another 6 months or more then I'm good with that.  I'm not ready to say goodbye and totally not in a place to make a permanent decision about her.  She's doing much better, eating more, playing more so I think she's feeling much better.  I can't just let her go right now.  If the prednisone does the trick and makes her comfortable then I'm good with that.

I still have to post that fun post I promised on all the stuff I've received/purchased.  My house is overflowing with clothes ... okay, not my house, more like suitcases.  ;-)  I don't think I need anything for the first 6 months.  It is a bit overwhelming but it is a great way to save money.  Hopefully I can find some time to take pics and resize them and get them into a blog entry.  Soon!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A More Productive Weekend

Thanks for everyone's comments.  My mom and I agreed that I'm just hormonal and that things aren't really outrageously out of control.  They just seem that way right now.  My mom said that I should just get done what I can before the little guy arrives and they'll help with whatever else needs doing such as hanging curtain rods.  That's low on my list of priorities right now.

Heather - I joined the online group but haven't had a chance to check in and read the old topics.  I don't think I have time to pop in to the gathering this upcoming weekend but I'm sure there will be others. 

First, an update on kitty. We're still not quite sure what is wrong with her hence the 2nd more specific calcium test.  It has to be sent to the US so we might not get results until next week.  I spoke to the other vet, Dr. G., who is a specialist in small animal care.  He's always able to give much more in depth info than Dr. T. even though I'd take kitty to see either of them.  Kitty's elevated calcium could be idiopathic, i.e. no known cause, and it would be treated with prednisone.  High calcium can cause muscle problems which could be part of her constipation issue.  But it could be as far as cancer.  We just don't know.

But in the meantime kitty is going to the vet's tomorrow morning to stay there while I'm away.  She doesn't like it but if she needs medical attention she'll get it.  She refuses to take pills from my friend who usually looks after her when I'm away and that's not good.  She had another enema on Saturday and that one actually worked and it was done sedative free.  She pooped twice (I'm already talking about poop - ha!) and she showed more interest in food.  She was more active over the weekend and just seemed to be happier.  But I'm worried she'll backslide while I'm away so off to the vet's it is.  I know she could be very sick but I'm relieved that for now she seems to be feeling okay.

I got some other stuff done this weekend most importantly baby shopping.  I had to put off a trip to TRU until Sunday because of kitty and household stuff.  Crazy sale on this week (well, 2 weeks but that sounds sort of stupid to type) and the store was super busy 15 minutes after it opened ... on a Sunday!  Anyway, I picked up this booster seat in place of a high chair for $29.97.  It was the one I'd decided on and it was on sale this week.  My parents used a similar one for my niece and it worked fine.  My dining area is not very large and I just don't have room for a full high chair.

I looked at car seats and got all the info from a staff member on the 3-in-1 seats.  My car isn't very large so we had to abandon considering 4 options in favour of a slightly different style.  She showed me this one which fits in my car rear-facing, adjusts in size and height in the back as the child grows, is easy to adjust from the front without getting frustrated AND it will be super easy to install with the latch system in my car. She told me not to bother buying it that day as it would likely go on sale before Christmas.  I want to get into a car seat clinic (must have car seat installed even if crappily done to get in) before that just in case.  I went to the baby expo here in the city on Sunday after the TRU experience and got the seat for 15% at the BRU booth. And they covered the provincial part of the HST.  Yay!  Seat ordered.  I'm relieved.

The baby expo?  I knew going in there weren't many booths but for a city this size I expected more ... other than just financial institutions looking for business.  There were about 4 cloth diapering booths - great!  Some chi-chi poo-poo stores that set up booths.  Nice stuff but I'm not paying THAT much money for something.  No thank you.  And a lot of this and that which just wasn't of interest to me.  I stopped at the one cloth diaper booth and asked questions.  I learned that vaseline is a no-no with cloth (no one told my mom that and she did fine with cloth for 2) but I can use coconut oil instead.  Okay.  I stuck around for the cloth diapering presentation and it reconfirmed my thoughts - prefolds + something else.  I really liked the idea of an AI2, an all in 2 because I can use prefolds in it too. I could use some prefolds in the pocket designs but for some reason I like the AI2 concept.  I don't think it is hard to get or do.  Sure there are extra steps but I grew up putting pins on little babies' diapers (and they weren't really safe safety pins) so I think I can do an all cloth version with some fasteners involved.  And I love the cost savings.  If I stuck to a basic number of prefolds and covers I could cloth diaper from newborn to potty trained for less than $400 plus washing costs.  That's a crazy savings and I'm all excited about that.

I'm planning on heading down to the one store to check out the options in a less frenzied environment.  Plus, I can ask them all the questions I want and get all sorts of feedback.  And I can set up a registry there too.  This all came at the right time because I was able to pick up some supplies online at 2 different deals site offering 50% off.  I ordered some Rea.rz Ind.ian prefolds after I read some comments online that were very favourable.  People have had really good luck with these.  I got nailed a bit on the shipping cost but I figure they're quite heavy to mail.  But because they're a Canadian company and I think they're manufactured up here under NAFTA I should not be paying any duty.  Then on the other site I picked up 4 newborn covers.  I think that will be good enough until the little one grows.  The colour options weren't that great but I don't really care.  And if baby grows out of them very quickly I will be able to sell them without trouble.  I got these ones because they have special notches for the umbilical cord stump.  Pretty important to start.  And the postage on these was only $3.26 ... yes, that precise.  lol  But I think that was because these weigh a lot less than the actual prefolds.  Very basic purchases but they make me feel better in terms of prepping.

I still have way more to do and I'm also looking at other stroller options.  The one I've picked out will be purchased because it is great for air travel.  But I'm looking at something slightly bigger for everyday use.  And I have tons more small stuff to add to my registry but I'm going guerilla on Thursday with my mom and most definitely without the niece and nephew so I can get as much done as I possibly can so I can start sharing the registry info with everyone at work who is pestering me for it.

Oh, and the front grass I gave up on last night thinking it was never going to germinate.  Well, got home from work tonight and low and behold there are little green shoots all over.  Not uniform, which is too bad, but it is at least growing in places.  I might just have to give it a small watering tonight to keep it growing.  Good thing it is supposed to be cool while I'm away.

Friday, September 9, 2011

In which I have an emotional breakdown

Things came to a head Thursday when I spoke to my cat's vet.  Some of her blood work is better than last year but one of the tests is not good but we don't yet know what is wrong with her.  It could be a continuing kidney issue, a new thyroid thing or cancer.  She already has a major constipation problem that is causing her more trouble every year.  Our necessary trip to the vet cost $500 on Saturday and the vet said the tests her partner would like to perform to figure out what is going on would come to $1000.  I don't have that kind of money.  Yes, I have a good job and I get great OT pay when I travel but I had planned on having a certain amount of money in my account when I go on leave.  I've barely put anything away for retirement this year (we get a nifty tax break until we turn 71 and have to pull it out) and I want to make sure I have something set aside for things like putting up the fence and unexpected things while on mat leave not to mention next year's retirement savings.  I have issues with money, well not actual issues, but fears about not having enough money.  Always have and I'm sure I always will so I freak whenever something like this happens.

Kitty is 16 or so we think.  We don't actually know.  I've had her for 8 1/2 years so I'm not sure where she was before I got her from the shelter but for those 8 1/2 years she's had a good life.  I can't justify putting her through crazy treatments if she has cancer.  She's 16!  Maybe if she were young like my sister's cat. I think he was about 4 or 5 when he was diagnosed and treated for stomach cancer.  The vet college used a novel treatment and he went into remission.  He's now 16.  But my cat?  I don't want to torture her.  She gets so stressed out when we go to the vet.  She went to our current vet at Thanksgiving last year because she was very sick and I had to work away for a week.  Turns out she was horribly constipated and the meds the previous vet had ordered weren't really working.  We also discovered some kidney and pancreas issues as well as past hepatitis.  And she had to board there for a week to get medical care while I was away.  So, kitty gets super upset when we go to the vet now.  I cannot put her through what would be sheer torture for her only to appease my desire to keep her alive longer.  If it turns out she has cancer I want to know the prognosis and figure out how to make her as comfortable and happy as possible until it is better that she leave us. But I still can't help but feel that I'm somehow betraying her by not trying to treat whatever it turns out to be, even cancer.

She had follow up tests today, urine and a calcium test that is supposed to be more definitive.  She had to stay with the vets all day and needed another enema because she is still constipated.  She hasn't used the litter yet.  That set me back another $400.  I'm hoping this test shows something because I'd like a diagnosis and treatment plan before the vet wants me to add another $700 to the bill.

I just lost it last night.  My good appointment with the midwife seems to have gone out the window.  I know that she'll work with me to find out what is best for me and what I want to plan for.  I'll still be responsible for all the decisions but at least I'll feel like I've got someone to lean on.  Then I still have my horribly messy house that is still horribly unorganized.  I feel so behind on that.  Every time I walk into the baby's room I cringe at how much I have to get out of there and organize.  I had trouble adding items to my registry last week.  So much was scanning wrong.  No, I did not add pink anything thank you.  And no, I really didn't add the hooded towel with cars.  I chose the one with the ducks on it for pete's sake.  And I didn't get down there until it was my niece's bad time (mid-afternoon) so she was freaking out.  My mom and sister were wandering around somewhere else.  I wanted their help and I was totally overwhelmed.  How am I supposed to know what to add to my registry, especially breastfeeding gear?  My mom didn't BF us and my sister is the only one close enough for me to ask.  I wasn't going to ask the teenager stocking the shelves what she recommends.  I don't know what else to add but I know I'm missing things I should probably get.  And I have no idea how I'm going to pay for everything.  And that doesn't even include choosing the car seat ...

I'm ticked off at the city for their stupid water main failure and repair earlier this year.  Necessary?  Yes.  Badly timed?  Absolutely.  It rained heavily all of April but then went completely dry just in time for a 3 month water ban while they fixed the water main.  My lawn looks awful, it is embarrassing really.  I'm trying to get new seed to grow in what was supposed to be a cool wet week.  Rain?  Not a single drop all week?  Cool?  Not bad until today when it hit 25 and 29 with the humidity.  I feel like stopping my efforts and just ripping the whole stupid thing out next year and sending the bill to the city.  I'm going to have to move up my perennial transformation plan for the front yard to next year and dump a bunch of decent soil in there to counteract the stupid beach I have under my dead grass.  *sigh*  But I think some decorative stone and succulents like sedum and chick and hens should be easy enough to plant and they'll be fine in the searing summer heat. No matter what the grass at the bottom of the front yard is coming out next year.  Period.

I just lost it last night.  I'm feeling so overwhelmed.  I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing.  I need help but have no one to help me and when they are supposed to they don't do it.  Were I living near my parents I would have been on the phone late last night an emotional wreck.  I was even willing to pay to have my mom fly out just to be here to help for a week. 

The good news is that baby is measuring on time.  The MW broke out the measuring tape for the first time and she said I was measuring 23 weeks so right on schedule.  Baby's heartbeat was in the 150s and was easier to find this time.  And my urine test strip was clear of glucose.  So that was positive. As well as the philosophy of the practice.  I want the least amount of intervention possible while still recognizing that things happen and if I need a c-section so be it.  Just don't ask me to stay on my back during labour, thank you very much.  The midwives won't make me do that, thankfully. 

Even so I just lost it last night ... completely.

Okay, I have to add this new blogging format is really ticking me off.  I managed to delete 3 paragraphs of this entry with a single mistype.  WTF?  This new format doesn't seem to save automatically as often as the old one did.

How did this turn out to be more like thought vomit than a coherent post?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Midwife appointment Thursday

This wasn't the fun post I thought I'd be making but I got hold of the midwifery practice this morning and I'm meeting my midwife on Thursday afternoon!  Well, the one who is currently filling in for the midwife who will be there for delivery.  I feel a bit odd developing a relationship with a midwife who isn't scheduled to be there for the birth but this is a large, joint practice so it isn't unusual for more than one midwife to be involved in a mom-to-be's care. 

They didn't balk when I told them my health issues during the initial screening phone call many months ago ... I think I called within a week of being released from the RE and I still ended up on a waiting list because my due date falls at the end of the Christmas/New Year's vacation period.  I've got my fingers crossed that my PCOS, which seems to have taken a temporary hiatus during pregnancy (yippee!), holds off and doesn't give me the usual potential complications such as gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia.  I really want to remain under the care of a midwife until baby arrives.  But I guess I should look at the bright side.  If I do need to be under an OB's care at the end the midwife is supposed to follow me through right to post-partum check ups.  She doesn't just pass me off to an OB.  She is supposed to be there for delivery just as much as if she and her partner ('cause apparently they have 2 in the room at the crucial moment) were caring for me alone.  At least that is what the website says.  I'll get more info at my first appointment on Thursday. 

I still don't have a huge appetite but notice that I'm enjoying the carbs more this week which has resulted in a severely distended belly.  I don't think the PCOS agrees with the carbs even in pregnancy.  So, I think I've got to manage that a little better.  I refuse to gain 50 pounds during the last 4 1/2 months of pregnancy because I got lazy.  But before I started this carb fest I could tell that the belly was finally starting to pop albeit not that much.  (Just don't count today which was severely affected by post-carb absorption PCOS gut reaction.)  Here is a shot from Sunday at 22w1d.

Belly at 22w1d

Kitty wanted to be in the picture too ... especially after the vet drama.  lol

Next post?  Can't promise I'll be able to update you on the midwife appointment Thursday because I have a meeting that evening.  I do hope to update everyone about it as soon as I can plus add a post about the fun stuff that I've received or purchased ... and the niece and nephew.  ;-)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I'm back ...

Back from another week on the road, that is.  When I disappear like that it is usually because I've been away for work.  I don't have much time to post today as I'm trying desperately to get stuff done this long weekend. 

I got screwed out of the last one by the builder when it forgot to organize contractors to do the necessary work to address outstanding items in my 1 year old home.  Now that almost all of that is finished I can move stuff back into my bedroom.  I was pretty zonked yesterday - arrival home at 2 am, a sick cat who cost me $500 in care yesterday and grocery shopping.  Kitty is fine, she's just old and has a major constipation problem that flares up from time to time.  And yesterday she needed fluids and an enema ... lucky her.  We're getting blood work done again to see if anything with her thyroid, kidneys or pancreas has changed this past year.  But I'm thankful it wasn't worse.  The vet originally told me she would likely need fluids and an enema each day over the long weekend at an emerg clinic.  Kitty would not be happy and my bank account would be livid.  Luckily for her the single enema worked and she was able to come home with me albeit in a very drugged state (sedative required).  I woke up to a much changed and happier kitty today.

I slept in this morning since I couldn't do it yesterday and haven't gotten as much done, volume wise, as I'd like but I've made good progress.  I got the master closet completely cleaned, as well as my master bath and a quick cleaning of my very empty bedroom.  I can now start moving my stuff back into the master area and start working on the baby's room.  I have another book shelf to put together and then move the 2 of them into my room so I have a place for books.  I need more book shelves but I'm waiting until I put in another order with I.kea before I get them.  I do have to take one more stab at removing the kitty urine smell from my bedroom carpet.  Yes, she has accidents and sometimes she gets lazy ... I've purchased another litter hut for her but she has been banned from my room for months now.  My mom suggested trying vinegar first as (1) it is natural and (2) it should work.  So I'm going to try that on the carpet.  And she didn't even pee much there ... it is potent stuff. 

I also got a bit of yard work done today.  I started it a couple hours early and I'm glad I did.  Thanks to this year's water ban my lawn is horrible ... dead horrible.  The parts that got shade are okay now as they are coming back thick and green, greener than the neighbours' who obviously didn't fertilize.  But there are huge patches of dead lawn.  And I know they are not coming back.  I picked up some lawn seed yesterday and after cutting the lawn attacked the front one with seed.  The forecast is for rain tonight and cooler temps most of the week thanks to a cold front that (yikes!) brought snow to parts of Ontario yesterday.  Nothing like that for us but with me being home a week and a half before my next trip + cooler temps I thought this would be a good time to try reseeding.  I spread the stuff out on the front lawn and watered it to help it stick.  I'll be out there every night for a week to water it if we don't get much rain.  I still have to reseed the backyard but at least I cut the grass.  Oh, and I discovered a creature burrowed itself into  my little flower bed in the back.  No idea what it is since I haven't seen a single gop.her out here. That would normally be my first guess.  The stupid thing pulled out one of my sedum pieces.  Luckily I've got 3 plants going strong so it isn't much of a loss.  But I'm still not happy. 

Tomorrow I've got to tackle some cooking so I have lunch for the week and stuff to add to my collection in the freezer.  And get ready for the work week.  And address more stuff around the house.

I'll provide a better update asap but just a warning that it will probably be quite heavy on the baby and child content as per usual after I've been home for a week of work.  I just wanted to provide fair warning for my readers.  Until then, I hope you're having a good long weekend ... for those who get one!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goodbye Jack

Today was the state funeral for Ja.ck Lay.ton.  Of course, I spent 2 1/2 hours on and off in tears but I have to say that the funeral was one of the best I've ever seen.  Truly a celebration of life ... as he wanted it to be.  There were tears, of course, but lots of laughter.  And the whole thing ended on a very high note when Lorr.aine Sega.to sang Rise Up bringing everyone in the hall to their feet, clapping along.  Now that was nice to see.  And through it all, his wife and family managed to maintain a composure that has earned them the greatest of respect.  Absolutely amazing.

I had the privilege of seeing him off on The Hi.ll on Thursday.  I work only a block away and wouldn't have missed it for the world.  Yes, I have to make up some time at work but how could I not be there?  My dad met and worked with him way back in their municipal politics days, Jack representing the city of Toronto and my dad the mayor of our home town of 5000.  My dad knew there was something different about him.  Jack never forgot my dad and as he transitioned to federal politics he approached my dad to run ... more than once.  It wasn't the right thing for my dad but eventually my dad found his way to the provincial secretaryship of the ND.P in Saskatchewan.  That meant regular meetings of the wider party and that meant working with Jack.  I felt it was important for me to be there Thursday since no one else from my family could be.  And I'm glad I was. 

Leaving Parliament one last time
The day started out looking to be a miserable one.  It was cool and grey and it looked like it would rain later in the day.  Then by noon the clouds had been pushed out to be replaced by a nearly cloudless bright blue sky.  The ceremony was sombre and dignified but uplifting at the same time.  The second song played on the carillon in the Peace Tower was Jo.hn Lenn.on's 'Imagine'.  The last song played was one Lay.ton's own great-grandfather composed.  The crowd of ~2500 was quiet until they started to drive and then it broke into applause. 

Now that the week of mourning is over for the public we are left with his accomplishments, those things he had yet to change, and his final letter to Canadians.  These are the final two paragraphs he left with us:
And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity. We can build a prosperous economy and a society that shares its benefits more fairly. We can look after our seniors. We can offer better futures for our children. We can do our part to save the world’s environment. We can restore our good name in the world. We can do all of these things because we finally have a party system at the national level where there are real choices; where your vote matters; where working for change can actually bring about change. In the months and years to come, New Democrats will put a compelling new alternative to you. My colleagues in our party are an impressive, committed team. Give them a careful hearing; consider the alternatives; and consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together. Don’t let them tell you it can’t be done.
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.
It is now up to each and every one of us to determine what kind of country, what kind of world we want to live in and create for our children, our grandchildren.  It is now our turn to step up and do our part.  We can make a difference, each and every one of us.  I know it because I've seen it.

Thank you Jack.  Merci Jack.

The flag at half mast atop the Peace Tower

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Level 2 U/S Results

Back to our regularly scheduled programming ...

I think I was a bit worried about the u/s today because I totally missed the ear.thquake.  Either that or the area I was in just wasn't affected even though it was noticeable in the city.  I left Virg.inia on Sunday and am happy to report that my friends are fine.  But you didn't come here to read that, did you?

This u/s was far more in depth and I had the same tech I did 2 u/s ago.  He was great about explaining everything and exactly what was on screen which was really nice.  He clearly pointed out a 4-chamber heart so I knew that part of the scan was fine.  When he was done his bit I got to go to the bathroom (and wipe masses of extra gel off the belly - this guy is crazy with the gel!) and then the radiologist came in to peek at the heart.

The echogenic focus is still there but the good news is that seems to be the only issue.  The IPS screening came back negative and all the measurements are normal and all match timeline wise.  There is nothing to indicate limbs that are behind schedule, which can be a marker for Down's.  The radiologist says that the heart is normal, which I had expected, and that this doesn't need further monitoring as it will resolve on its own.  Okay then ... I was hoping to get one more u/s to check on its resolution but if this means there is no problem then I'm okay with that. 

The baby wasn't completely cooperative this time either but thankfully baby was more active.  At one point the tech was moving the probe over my belly and just at that time we got a look from below right when baby decided to spread the legs.  It is most definitely a boy and he showed off the boy bits ... and probably not for the last time.  LOL  The tech went over that a couple times just to make sure he saw what he did especially since baby seems so stubborn.  He said that if he hadn't seen that he would have guessed girl.  So, I'm relieved to know the first tech was right and that there is absolutely no doubt this is a boy.  The issue is settled and I'm good to shop now.  ;-)  The stuff I bought down south is more gender neutral that a lot of other people would pick but it is nice to know I don't have to give any of it away to my nephew. 

For now I'll sit tight until my next OB appointment on the 12th.  If there had been a major problem I'm sure the radiologist would have said something.  Instead he said I don't need further monitoring.  And since I'm not doing any more testing between now and the next appointment I shouldn't have any surprises waiting for me when I see him next.  Yay!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A Very Sad Day

No, this isn't about me.  I'm fine and I'm heading to my level 2 u/s tomorrow afternoon so no updates on that yet.

Nope, this is about the absolute, sheer waste and loss that cancer creates.  I've been in tears off and on all day today over the loss of J.ack La.yton, the leader of Canada's opposition.  After years of struggling, working hard every day in the trenches, fighting for everyday people, finally to become leader of the opposition (a huge feat for the N.DP as it was the first time they reached that goal) in May 2011, he was snatched from us by cancer ... at 61. He spent just 3 short months as the leader of the opposition unable to truly enjoy the fruits of his labour. 

He was a man of principle who never backed down from a fight even when it looked like it was a losing battle.  He was always optimistic but also a serious pragmatist.  While he certainly wanted to win over voters he never shied away from a principled position even if it made him deeply unpopular.  He was a great debater but never maligned anyone in his rise to the top.  He talked to everyone and ignored no one.  He inspired people of all ages but most importantly young people who had turned away from voting and the traditional political process.  He truly believed that Canada is great and that we could make it even better, so much so that 2 days before he died he wrote a letter to Canadians which is truly inspiring ... he thought of others right until the end.

Our country is in mourning, a truly deep and heartfelt feeling of loss has gripped this country.  RIP Jack, you made this country a better place for everyone.  You will be greatly missed.  Those of us who remain will continue the fight with renewed vigour.

And my last words on this post, which I think are entirely appropriate ...
"Courage, my friends, 'tis not too late to build a better world."  ~ Tommy Douglas

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I Need a Level 2 u/s

My 100th post and I never thought I'd be writing about this. 

I got home from my business trip at 12:30 last night and had a message waiting from the OB.  I've been scheduled for a level 2 u/s on Tuesday afternoon because they saw an echogenic focus in the heart on the u/s last Friday.  The OB said this is very common.  My research said this shows up in 3-5% of pregnancies and with some ethnic groups as high as 30%.  But he said it is a soft marker for Down's.  Cue the panic and tears.  He said he isn't really worried because my IPS screening results were so good.  From my research it looks like 1% of these = Down's which is really, really low.  The risk jumps with bad screening results but I didn't have that.  The risk jumps if they find something else on the u/s.  The OB didn't mention anything else in the message but I think they'll be looking really in depth at the u/s next week.  I'm just praying they don't find any other indicators.  The risk also jumps if you are AMA, and I'm 37.  The risk doubles. 

There are no worries about an actual heart defect as this is a calcification and for some reason that seems to happen.  It generally resolves in the 3rd trimester and if not then certainly after birth.  So I'm not worried about that.  I'm really worried that this is an indicator for Down's.  IPS screening catches 90% of Down's cases.  And this indicator + my age = a 2% risk.  Yes, I know that is still really low but someone has to fall into that 2%.  No one wants to be that 2%.

I thought I was out of the clear but now I feel horrible. 

I'm going to try to focus on the small risk factor so I can enjoy my weekend away but it is going to be really, really hard. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Holy kick, batman!

I just felt the first kick from the outside.  Cool!  Either that or it was a serious bubble of gas in entirely the wrong spot in my abdomen and that wouldn't be such a good thing.  ;-)

Passed the IPS Screening

I saw the OB today and got great news:  I passed the IPS screening and do NOT have to go for amnio.  I am so relieved.  I understand that IPS does not catch everything as it looks at risk for very specific issues.  There is always a possibility that something was missed and I have a false negative.  But I'm going to consider myself as falling into the true negative category and be happy and content with that. 

Baby was fine today.  A little quiet all day but the heart was fine.  The OB had no trouble finding it at all today.  The h/b was at 151 today so pretty consistent with Friday and about 5 weeks ago when I saw the NP.  I go back in 4 weeks and at that point will get a requisition for thyroid testing and the glucose tolerance test.  Yuck!  I always get sick when I have to do a 2 hour GTT so I'm not looking forward to having to take a day off just for this test, again. 

In the off chance that the tech wasn't able to get the measurements she needed at Friday's scan I will get a call in a couple weeks to go back for another try.  I won't mind getting another peek but I'm still convinced I've got a bit of a stinker in here and I'll still need a specific gender determination scan.  I'm still seriously considering it, though.  The worst I can do is make an appointment and cancel it because I have another diagnostic before that. 

Other than that, nothing new.  I'm feeling more activity overall and it mostly feels like popping bubbles or popping corn in the popper.  Best way I can describe it.  Baby was pretty quiet today, as I mentioned above, but there were a few movements I could feel. 

I'm off to deal with the garbage and pack for an overnight business trip.  My flights back had better get me home because I'm set to head out on another flight Thursday for a girls' long weekend trip in the States.  Fingers crossed I don't run into any problems or I'll be really, really angry. 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Gender Abmiguity

Okay, I'm now officially paranoid that the scan on Friday wasn't accurate.  Without a completely cooperative baby I am worried the tech might have been wrong. 

I walked out of the appointment thinking it was a boy and was settled on it being a boy yesterday.  And now I'm worried it isn't a boy.  I am great, happy with a boy and don't want this to be a girl now that I've got my mind set on a boy.  My niece would have other ideas.  lol 

So, I think I'm going to go for an elective u/s.  I am sure my OB will not order another one at my appointment tomorrow just for a gender peek.  And thanks to a helpful poster at FF I now know that there are clinics that do elective gender scans and u/s in Canada.  Who knew that was even legal up here?  I didn't.  She told me to search for 'non-diagn.ostic ultr.asound'.  I found 2 places in the city: 1 way out in the east end and 1 not a far drive from my place.

The other option is to book a scan in the US when I'm there this weekend.  I could get one done on Saturday morning which offers pretty much everything the Canadian ones would.  Except the cost is $100 and the Canadian ones range from $169 - $200+.  For the same darned thing!  Grrrr!  The benefit of getting it done at home is that if the baby isn't cooperative, yet again, they'll have me come back for the gender determination for free.  The US clinic offers it too but because I'm there for such a short time I wouldn't be able to go back a second time. 

I'm going to call the place nearer my house tomorrow after my OB appointment and see what their availability is.  If I can get in over the next couple of weeks I might just do that.  Bite the bullet cost wise, anyway.  And I'll see if I can book it during baby's busy period which seems to be between 11 am and 2 pm.  That is certainly when I feel more 'kicks' and popping in my belly. 

The worst that can happen is that I'll have spent some money only to get the same answer as I was given Friday.  But if we get a better look it will be worth the peace of mind ... I think. ;-)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

19 weeks ... It's a ...



I'm totally flabbergasted.  Now, I had a feeling right from the start this was a boy.  I think my IUI timing was perfect for a boy so much so I thought this one was horribly mistimed.  I had a feeling that since I had girl names all sorted it would, of course, be a boy.  lol  And when I started feeling kicks, albeit intermittently, 3 weeks ago I was sure it had to be a boy as I've heard that boys kick harder than girls so you might notice their movements earlier.

I told the tech at the scan yesterday that I was interested in finding out if the little bean was cooperative.  I even had a glass of orange juice before hand to try to get the bean to move but to no avail.  I think the bean was snoozing or in deep rest ... or something else that equaled chilling out.  lol  He was on his side with the knees tucked up to his chest and his hands tucked behind his head.  His butt is literally sitting right on my cervix in perfect breech position so that would explain the cervical pressure and pain I've been feeling.  He was content to sit like that the entire time even when she moved the probe around.  The tech showed me his developing brain which is developing on both sides, his 2 kidneys, bladder, etc. and he has everything they look for at this stage.  The heart was working well and the heartbeat came in at 147 beats per minute so nice and strong again.

Halfway through the scan she was covering the nether regions and couldn't get a good look so she zoomed in and pointed out the protrusion to me on the screen.  She said that was a boy.  She continued on with the scan and at the end tried to get a better look but he would NOT cooperate.  She did point out the bottom of the butt and all I saw was baby butt.  However, she is trained and pointed out something that must be a scrotum.  She told me that had she not seen that and the protrusion she wouldn't even have guessed.  So, I'm going to trust her and believe this is a boy.  Girls don't come with protrusions between their legs.  LOL  Although if she is wrong my mom is going to have an awful lot of boy clothing she purchased today to return.

I'm sort of at a loss about this.  I'm not disappointed.  That is definitely the wrong word for it.  I think I'm just really surprised because I've never imagined myself as a mom to a boy.  Never.  I always thought that if I had one or more kids it would be all girl.  I'm used to being around little girls even though I have a bunch of nephews.  Three of those nephews are overseas and I've only met the oldest one.  Most of my cousins are girls and they are a lot younger than me and my sister.  I asked my mom today, "What do you do with a boy?".  Really, I just don't know once they get past baby stage.  My mom was like that too but the complete opposite.  My mom had a younger sister and brother but 2 nephews so she was used to boys and didn't quite know what to do with a girl.  And my mom isn't super girly either so I can only imagine being surrounded by pink. 

There are positives to both girls and boys.  I was thinking it would be easier to have a girl in a very practical sense ... when out in public I never have to worry about her being too old to use the same washroom as me.  I'm not quite sure when I can trust my son to do that and be safe.  My job makes me slightly paranoid.  I'd also love to be able to give my niece's wardrobe another turn as would my sister.  She had so many lovely girl things and as the first grandchild on both sides she had a LOT of really cute stuff.  But I've asked my mom to tell my sister not to get rid of anything yet.  Just in case ...

Boys?  I've heard they're actually a lot easier in many ways after you get past the hard spots when they are young.  The massive appetite as teenager does scare me a bit but maybe that is because I lived with a family with 3 teenage boys who are all now 6'2" and over.  lol  One great thing is that since boys don't have ovaries they can't get PCOS.  That is a huge relief.  I did have a bit of a breakdown last night and started crying because I got sad over the fact that my son won't have a father in the house to be a role model.  But I know that this will affect a little girl as well just in different ways perhaps.  No matter what, any child of mine is definitely wanted and will be loved and he will know that.  I just wish I lived nearer to my family.  My dad is great: he's respectful of everyone, especially women, smart and incredibly funny and great with little kids.  We'll just have to make due with visits and hopefully quite a few business trips home from age 13 months to 2 years when he can fly free on my lap. 

I still have no intentions on going all blue with the baby room or with the clothes.  My mom said she found lots of really cute non-blue 'boys' clothes at Cos.tco today and I'm happy with that.  I'm leaning towards primary colours since I found some really cute vegetable garden theme curtains at Ik.ea. 

I'm a bit stuck on a name and will have to spend some time researching that one to find just the right one.

Other than that I'm feeling fine.  I've had a headache for 3 days now and nothing helps so I think this is just a hormonal shift thing that I've had before with this pregnancy and just have to wait for it to go away.  Hopefully sooner rather than later because I've done nothing all day except sit on the couch.  Kitty may be happy but I'm not.  I've got way too much to do to be sitting around all day on a Saturday. 

Anyway, if you've made it this far and you don't already know Shannon please head over to her blog Chasing Rainbows to give her some support.  Her little guy was born in May and she just received very difficult news about a tumor found with an MRI scan.  I just can't imagine going through what she did only to get this diagnosis.  She has a good support system but I think there is no such thing as too big a support system.  It sounds like this was caught very early so I'm hoping for a good prognosis.