Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Family Are Still People

The last few days have involved quite a bit of anxious energy for me. I think it's the fallout from the holidays and all the extra socialization and travel. Since we've been back home I've been achy and sleepy and resting up a lot but my mind has been going a hundred miles a minute. Thinking over to-do lists for the next couple months before baby comes and even staring at holiday decorations that need packing away wondering how I'll manage it all. Feeling so drained makes any errand seem monumental!

Add to that emotional frenzy a proposed visit with my aunt/cousin that has caused so much anxiety in the past and I was downright loony yesterday! The poor hubster had quite a fury on his hands. Being in a vulnerable state already made me feel like my skin was crawling and made me distracted and irritable but the added stress triggered my guilt/shame reserves and low self-esteem so I started spouting off at the hubby right and left.

It was bad. I was like a mean comic that doesn't know when to stop, harping on him right and left, even shocking myself with the impressive barrage of teasing criticism. It was awful. He was hurt and confused and angry and I was off my rocker spiraling out of control but somehow we made it to a place where we could talk it out and I woke up today feeling much more stable.

Our talking it out involved a bedtime chat like usual and the hubster made a good point about family. Family isn't always something special or a free pass, family is just people.

With all the cliche, lovey dovey idealism around family units sometimes we lose track of the fact that we're all just humanoids mucking along the same territory. I get so wound up and guilted about "being there" and "being enough" and "doing the family thing" that I end up getting the spark sucked out of me instead of being nourished and supported by my family, and the hubbo pointed this out very well last night.

There comes a point where we can't just keep giving ourselves away and interacting in one-way relationships. There comes a point where it's okay to just be, just take care of ourselves and let the soul-sucking forces exist outside our bubble. It seems a bit cruel distancing from family that way, but the way it laid it out for me it made a lot of sense.

Unfortunately this seems to be a common theme in relationships for me. I've realized lately that my aunt and my cousin and even my best friend are pretty one-way; I give, they take. I'm tired of it. I sacrifice too much heart and energy to the worry and guilt. A few days ago I wrote a note to my bestie (we haven't texted much or really chatted since October I think) and I realized how many times before it's been me writing or texting or calling to reboot the relationship. And don't get me started on that last visit... Ugh.

With my aunt and cousin they don't initiate contact either. I also feel guilted, especially by my aunt less so by my cousin, for the state of the relationship and my lack of presence. For years I've felt so saddened by the entire thing and my aunt's poor health and negativity (not to mention the discomfort caused by her smoking) that visiting lost most if not all appeal.

Anyways. Today's visit with my mom, my cousin, his hubby and I went well. Sure, a little awkwardness and I sensed quite a bit of sadness with my cousin but I didn't feel guilted and I didn't come away totally drained. Although the visit to the mall with my mom was pretty exhausting for me! I think I underestimated the changes being 8 months pregnant brings, all that walking was quite the workout!

Me, my bump, and my bran flakes.
Favorite cereal, hands down.
Also, cute shirt Mom got me for Christmas. 

In other news, Fio's head wound is healing well though his butchered topknot makes him look like some Halloween character or brain transplant/implant experiment. Millie has been quite the busy miss patrolling the bathroom and butting in whenever the hubster or I are in there and bogarting my body pillow whenever possible. Iroh is doing well. Still has his rough days when his arthritic hips flare up but still hauls ass for any treats!

Taking it day by day and trying to give myself some leeway :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Now For My Next Trick.... Recuperation!

I would say that "Christmas is done" but seeing as I'm sitting here typing away surrounded by my holiday decorations it wouldn't be quite accurate. For the most part, Christmas is finished and we're entering the recovery phase that usually lasts into mid-January :)

The holidays went pretty well for us although I overdid it a little bit and by Christmas Eve evening I needed to isolate and nap to avoid a full blown emotional overload.

I think having the family exchange Sunday, work on Monday, cleaning and packing and then a hellish drive on Tuesday before baking rolls and making lasagna Wednesday-all with late nights and early mornings trying to ward off biley barfs-really wore me out. Add to that the social interaction and feeling upset and stressed by my sister's health, it was no wonder after the exchange Christmas Eve I was losing traction.

I sat myself down in a dark corner and tried to figure out what I should do, knowing that watching a movie or trying to join in the games with guests was just too much. I was in that overwhelmed stupor where sitting and staring into the abyss is about all I can do! My mom and the hubbo were tuned in to my sudden decline in mood and eventually they encouraged me to go get a nap in and come back in an hour or two. It really helped reset my emotional balance and I was able to enjoy the rest of the night.

Overall the visit south and time with my family was fun and relaxing though not without the family stress and concern that all too often arises during extended visits. My sister's ongoing diabetes scare and her poor health choices wear on me. I see that she is scared for her future and understand that it's a process to cope with such news (nothing has been confirmed but there is certainly lots of talk) but feel very frustrated watching her food choices and how she lashes out.

At multiple points she complained that if anyone was going to get diabetes it would be Dad, then Mom, then Cody, then her. I found it upsetting that somehow it's acceptable for the family to get a horrible disease as long as she's last? Funny how I didn't make the list despite being the fattest of us all!

I know it's a passing storm and that no one knows what the future will bring but it was a major weight on me during the visit. Otherwise we had a pretty good time with lots of games (Ticket to Ride was the undisputed favorite) and lots of cheer. I didn't listen to as much Christmas music as I usually do this year but I think we made up for it during our trip haha

In other news, Fio has had an ongoing knob/scab situation on his head. We think a cat knocked him over the head and it got infected but we didn't really notice until it had scabbed over and turned into this huge lump o' nasty. The vet tech said it was fine, just keep it clean and clear and let the healing continue. That's all fine and dandy but he sure is a sight with half his top knot missing and a scabby lump on his head!

Millie and Fio seemed to have fared well during our absence, though Iroh pulled a lovely patch of hair from his left shoulder and Millie left us some barf as a welcome home gift.

Happy to be home and recovering, looking forward to regaining some sense of routine and refocusing on my well being!

Happy holidays to everyone :)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Still Chuggin Along

Last couple days of ornaments before Christmas and I'm so thankful the workload is slowing down! Just going in for a group(ish) makes me fidgety. I enjoy the challenging ornaments but I'm getting sick of the sheer volume stuff.

In other news, the hubby got a "thanks, but no thanks" from the interview he had last week. We were kinda bummed, kinda relieved. The idea of new baby, new job, relocation all at once was a bit overwhelming.

We've launched our baby shower invites and FB page and I'm excited :) We're doing a coed Bunco party and even though I'll be ~35 weeks pregnant, I'm excited to see friends and family for a good time.

My mood has been pretty positive despite frustration with the ornament scene and a bit of family drama/stress. There always seems to be a transitory fallout when we return from a visit, I just need to catch on and remember what's coming next time!

Funny tidbit.... I never ate strawberries before I was pregnant, and I actually craved some earlier this week! Kinda proud of myself for eating berries in their natural form-even raspberries earlier on in pregnancy-times are a changing!

Starting to prepare for the birth, feeling the end is near!


Sunday, December 14, 2014

30 Weeks

Today marks 30 weeks for me and Inchy. I'm feeling purty darn preggers!

I've been warned that once 3rd tri hits many of the 1st tri symptoms can make a resurgence. While I haven't been puking or nauseated a lot (yet) I have felt fatigue coming over me. Took my first nap in a long time yesterday and I've been needing to sit down more. Of course, I haven't been sleeping as well during the night which could also contribute to my overall tiredness (not to mention carting around this baby belly all day!).

Between the advancing pregnancy and the increased iron supplementation my constipation has gotten worse. I've been using fiber powder daily but I think I'll need to do that more. We also got a bag of prunes (surprisingly delicious) and I'm hoping I can get into some regimen that will help me out. The whole hemorrhoid thing makes the whole constipation thing a bazillion times worse (or vice versa? hell, it's an infinity loop of suckiness).

Thankfully I've been holding a relatively even keel emotionally. Ornaments are stressing me out and there is the ever present family drama of the holidays but being aware of my sensitivities and having the hubbo talk things out with me usually keeps the crazy cup from running over.

 I have definitely been more.... outspoken the last couple months. Whether it's asserting my feelings or picking fights, I've found myself saying things I wouldn't normally get out! In some ways it's nice, in other ways I feel like a cranky teenager mouthing off. Good thing the hubster understand where it's coming from and we can talk it out.... for the most part :)

In other news, we spent the end of the week/part of the weekend at my parents' down south. Driving in the storm Thursday night was a little dramatic (not as dramatic as the neighbor-friend getting stuck at a casino during a fire and evacuation with her elderly mother) the windstorm knocked down quite a few boughs and trees but we made it through just fine. Of course, arriving to a blackout wasn't the best but with the power on by the next morning everything was fine.

Friday the hubster had an interview in Oly so we all met up for lunch at a favorite sandwich spot downtown (5th Ave-it's awesome) and then Mom, my sis, and I toodled around town and did some shopping. My sis an I did some baking (PB cookies, gingersnaps, and fudge) and our uncle got some Christmas treats shipped his way. My fudge making is improving every year and I was actually really happy with the results this year!

Saturday was the Half Price Books bag sale. Lots of books and BO stank. Also hit up Buffalo Wild Wings for the first time and watched the hubster burn his face off (but the mango habanero was pretty scrumptious!)

Mix in some card games, tea breaks, some good book reading, and movies and we had a dang good weekend. Though I will say my ass seems to going through some fallout and all that sitting in the car was pretty uncomfortable! Today will be as comfy a day as I can possibly make it....

Had a dream about Iroh dying. Was pretty emotional and sad. I couldn't remember his name! It was tragic. As I type he's sitting by my legs in the morning sunshine. Love this cat :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

I Said "No!"

Today I left work at ye olde ornaments gig before I hit the wall and got too uncomfortable or distressed. It definitely felt odd and I was pressured to stay and do more work or take work home with but I made my decision and stuck to it!

It's put me in a weird mood, a mixture of pride and "stickin it to the man" with guilt and anxiety. The hubbo says being pregnant has made me stronger (and sassier) and he likes seeing me stick up for myself.

Even though I left "early" I still spent quite a bit of my afternoon glued to a heating pad and reclining. My lower back and round ligaments have been achy and I haven't been sleeping as much as I would like. I'm hoping to stick with my self-care goals and prevent further fatigue and physical/mental breakdowns by cutting back on my ornament time and trying to be more active. I may not be going for hour-long walks or rigorous hikes any time soon, but a bit of time outdoors certainly helps my mood and resilience.

Considering I've had several breakdowns/episodes/backslides already related to ornaments and the extra stress or overworking, I think it's time I put my foot down and set some more serious limits. There's really only 2 weeks left or ornament season, but I figure late is better than never and I feel like it's a worthwhile endeavor.

In other news, my gestational diabetes screen came back negative (WOO HOO!) but my iron is low and I have to take more supplements (BOO!). It was a bit upsetting, one more straw on this camel's back ya know, but I think once I establish a routine with my meals and supplements I'll be able to move on and not be so overwhelmed.

There are so many things to worry about and do during pregnancy the constant suggestions and "it's also a good idea to do this" tips are just too much. Maybe it's because I'm so guilt-ridden and perfectionist that I try to do everything a person in authority suggests when it simply isn't realistic? I definitely feel more confident and better about myself when I simply write off some of the advice.

"That ain't gonna happen" or "I think not." A flash of shame and inferiority complex usually complicates my attempts at easing up on myself but I think letting go of perfection and that endless list of recommendations is the only way to maintain sanity!

So I may not be perfect, I may not "do it all," but I'll be good enough and that's good enough for me.

Especially if it keeps the full blown episodes and panic attacks at bay!  ;)

Bump shot below-we went for a hike at the Big Four Ice Caves. No, that ain't Violet Beauregarde turning into a blueberry, it's me!


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Yeti Sighting

AKA Bump Shot ;)

It's a flocking yeti!

Had a good time with my mom at local nursery's Christmas blowout. :)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sometimes Isolation Serves a Purpose/PG Update

When I was working in banks, part of the robbery training was to isolate the victim following the crime. This was to avoid cross contaminating stories or influence as far as I understand it. I was reminded of this training earlier today when leaving ornaments work.

I've always been a youngin' in the ornaments room with most of the other ladies being 30-something mothers and older. Unfortunately, instead of becoming a role model/nurturing relationship during my pregnancy this atmosphere has become a negativity minefield. I've ended up trying to avoid talking about my pregnancy (which is kinda difficult with my rather obvious bump and need for extra breaks) just to prevent the onslaught of sarcasm, war stories, and negativity.

This afternoon I couldn't avoid it. I got trapped by a question about my sleep. My first impulse is always to tell the truth so I replied that I wasn't sleeping well. Cue the deluge. Not only were there war stories of pregnancy sleep but the obvious sarcasm about "you'll never sleep again" and "you've never known tired until you've had a newborn" which I understand is a reality but I'm sick of the negativity. It's a wonder anyone reproduces anymore with how horrible motherhood and childbirth is portrayed (on the flipside there is the overly rosy, positive portrayal of fulfillment and joy that leads people to feel guilty for negative feelings or hard times-basically, it's all out of wack).

So, back to isolation. I've been struggling with loneliness (not out of the usual for me) but find myself treasuring isolation when it protects me from such negativity (a huge reason behind not doing childbirth education classes). It's a double-edged sword. In order to protect my experience, my "story," I feel the need to isolate but that defensive tactic leaves me lonely. Add to this social safari the fact that I am often shamed or belittled when I'm honest about my pregnancy experience so far ("it's only going to get worse" or "that's nothing...." or "be careful what you wish for!") and I'm often left with the conclusion that not talking is better than talking.

Thankfully there is one lady at work (also pregnant) that I'm able to commiserate with but also share positive hopes and views on motherhood, but I would like more positive ladies around me. One gal that I see intermittently and don't really see outside of work doesn't quite fulfill my need for positive pregnancy interaction!

SIGH. Nothing worth doing is ever easy, eh?

I supposed this would be as good a time as any to give a pregnancy update :)

I'm 7 months now and feeling the baby weight. Only 13 lbs gained so far but my pelvic floor is sure feeling that engorged uterus every time I stand or roll over in bed. The pressure is building and I'm still riding the good ole donut pillow nursing my 'roid, Arnold, and peeing more often than I would like.

I suppose stretch marks are a notable change but with my history of weight fluctuation I don't particularly notice or care about stretch marks (old news!), more noticeable is my ever-shallower belly button. That fascinates me. Can't wait to see how it looks when labor starts.

My face has been interesting.... I'm enjoying some marvelously clear skin except for the odd pimple or two but dry skin has made me run for the moisturizer like never before (lest I look like a leper). I'm letting my hair grow and it's nearly to my shoulders now. The long hairs straying on counters and clogging my brushes isn't pleasant but the hubbo likes the new look and I'm enjoying the feminine feel. Quite a change from my pixie cut!

I've been really enjoying baby's movements and the hubster continues to be amazed every time he feels baby with his own hands. There are times when it feels like my bladder is getting assaulted but so far it hasn't been that uncomfortable. I'm sure further along that will change ;)

The heartburn still sucks. I have to be very careful when consuming sweets (especially chocolate) and consuming more than a small portion leads to the worst chest-wrenching heartburn of my life. Other discomforts include the pelvic pain (pubic bone, hip joints) and back pain (low back and lately between the shoulders and, of course, my perennial shoulder agony). I'm not sure if the back pain is a combo of ornaments work and bigger boobs or one alone, but either way the massages sure are a blessing as is my heating pad.... and the miracle salve BENGAY.

Emotionally I've been dealing with more rough waters of late. Anxiety has perked up and being the over-thinking, contemplative type that I am thinking about pregnancy and my experience and others' experiences and weighed heavily on my mind. Trying to be gentle with myself and acknowledge my struggles and pains without feeling shame or guilt or "whiney" and also staying positive overall. The hubby has been a good listener and tells me that he appreciates it when I finally come clean and lay out all the dirty details of how I'm really doing. He's come to have a new appreciation of pregnancy and what I'm going through, that's for sure!

I've noticed that when I'm tired or achy my perspective is much different; I feel overwhelmed and unprepared for labor and motherhood. But when I'm energetic and relaxed I feel confident and blessed. It's quite the roller coaster! I feel stressed by the lack of confidence during the down spells but most disheartening is imagining the little baby in my gut as I have these "what have I gotten myself into?" thoughts. I know I'm not alone in this though. I know it's natural. I just feel so bad about myself and sad for baby-but no matter how stressed I get I always feel love and attachment to my baby, so I don't get too upset.

I'm hoping to increase my positive thoughts and confidence after ornament season is over when I have more time for self care and can better manage the input I receive about pregnancy/birth/motherhood. When I'm in good spirits I'm really confident and excited about labor and motherhood, so I think my last couple months will be focused on nurturing those good feelings and getting closer to the hubster and preparing our little two-person birth team.

In other news, the hubbo and I got a new mattress for our mutual Christmas gift this year. Who would've thought replacing a 17 year old mattress would make such a difference!? It's awesome! Still dealing with pregnancy sleep but I can feel a difference despite the short term pains I'm going through.

Whew. Got eye strain? ;)

Christmas Tree 2014

Little different this year, we've got an artificial tree. Also, I burned out my last string of green lights so we went with a red/white tree this year at the hubster's request. 


Every year we name our tree and while this tree will bear it's name for multiple years, it gets a name nonetheless. For the first time we went with a female name, Agatha, for our pencil tree. Behold! Agatha!


It's a special Christmas with our first baby on board and I found this stork ornament on clearance at Hallmark. It was originally blue and boy-themed but I painted it up more Christmas color-y and now it's our "waiting for baby" ornament :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Historical Hypothesis

The hubster and I were "fighting" earlier (it's kinda like a pout-off with spurts of commentary followed by heavy silence before a confession and some tears, growth and moving on) and as I angrily brushed my teeth in my bunker (the bathroom with the door shut) I thought, "This is why women used to go into confinement when they were pregnant, just so they didn't have to hear their husbands ask "Why are are you so cranky?" over and over and over! It's called pregnancy! Get with it!"

This pregnant lady be cranky. I don't think that's totally unwarranted or unexpected but it sure goes over his head sometimes.

Pfffffft.

Thanksgiving-Done!

Been feeling busy lately so blogging has fallen by the wayside a bit. Between ornaments and self care and trying to get quality time in with the hubbo the days have been coasting by pretty quickly-and now it's nearly December!

Last week things got a bit rocky for me... I mentioned before how the personalizing has been getting to me and last week I started out weak. Monday I came to work with a load of anxiety which was only made worse by the atmosphere that day. By Tuesday I was feeling pretty fragile and the infant CPR class we attended that night seemed to put me over the edge.

I think it was partly the instructors nonchalant, sarcastic, "your efforts are futile" attitude but also the fact that we shelled out twenty bucks for what I considered a disappointing and offensive class. What kinda guy thinks talking about dead babies to a room full of about-to-pop moms-to-be is a good idea!? We're already tweaking!

Even though I was rationally aware of the anxiety inducing pitch of his presence and the frustration I felt regarding the money (as nominal as twenty bucks is, you know me, a nickel on the wrong day could be a trigger) I couldn't prevent the excruciating slide into panic mode. That night I was crying and anxious and overwhelmed.

I didn't work that following day and even opted to work from home the day after that. The time away from additional stress definitely helped though I hated to raise alarm bells and have people worried about me (though in my mental state it seemed they were just worried about the workhouse disappearing and not so much my well being). In the end I'm glad I isolated and healed up a bit before returning to work. Thankfully that Friday and the weekend was pretty slow and this week was a short work week since we left for Thanksgiving at the in-laws Wednesday morning.

The drive to Pasco wasn't quite arduous but definitely uncomfortable and slow going. I needed 4 pit stops on the way (North Bend, Ellensburg, Yakima, Prosser) and 3 on the way back (should've taken more, by the time we got home I loony and achy and done for!). I'm glad we weren't planning to make the drive for Christmas this year, I'd be crying already!

I wasn't a huge fan of sitting elevated on the donut pillow the entire drive but it really did save me. It couldn't save me the aggravation and pain of Fio's psychotic barking at every stop. I was starting to go dog-crazy he was so piercing and noisy.

Overall our visit went well though I was definitely low-energy. I spent a fair amount of time with a heating pad battling shoulder and back ache and a noticeable amount isolated in cooler areas because I was burning up in the heated house. At one point I sat outside reading with Fio on my lap to cool down and at others I shut myself up in the guest room we stay in with the window open. I thought I was running hot but nothing like this!

Baby is definitely getting bigger and stronger, kicking against mugs of tea and rolling around in there like some Cirque do Soleil act :) I'm feeling the increasing weight and pressure though my overall weight is still on a very slow incline (I'm at about 13 lbs gained overall).

Emotionally I've been feeling more ups and downs. When I'm tired and achy I feel overwhelmed and not ready for baby but when I'm energetic and relaxed I feel excited to meet him/her. My baseline anxiety is still up but recognizing it as a pregnancy symptom helps me manage the waves of negativity.

Getting excited for the holidays but also wary of the next 3 weeks of ornaments. A short burst of craziness but I feel vulnerable this year and I'm already balking under the pressure and Cyber Monday hasn't even hit. Guess I'll just have to take it one day at a time... Those weekly massages sure help.

In other news, Millie didn't take our Thanksgiving trip too well. She was upset (crawled in a corner and mewed, shying away from pets and treats) when we left and took a while to get back to normal when we returned. Iroh, of course, was totally fine. Munching kibble and rubbing legs as we left and when we returned.

Fio. Well. Fio and I aren't exactly best friends at the moment. Maybe once my ears stop ringing I'll be able to enjoy his company more ;)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Aches, Pains, Progress

As I mentioned before, ornament season has arrived and I've been personalizing about 4-5 days a week. That's a lot less than usual for me and a lot fewer hours (I stay about 5 hours instead of all day) but my body has been complaining.

I'm not sure how things will shake down after Thanksgiving when orders really pick up. I'm physically incapable of doing the workload that I have in past years and it stresses me out thinking about "slacking off." In reality, I ain't slacking one bit-I'm just baking a baby!

Not only have my shoulders been aching, my pubic bone barking, and my back sore I've felt my jaw grinding kick it up a notch. My baseline anxiety has been increasing and while the midwives said that is totally normal for this stage of pregnancy it makes alarm bells go off in my head-I don't wanna devolve into "Unhealthy Hannah" again just in time for the birth.

***On this note, I did have a panic attack last weekend but it was precipitated by a specific event and dealt with pretty efficiently. I'm a little more wary now but not quite freaking out that I'm losing my cool entirely. Overall my mood has been pretty stable and good. Was pretty dehydrated afterward but the aches and days-long hangover wasn't as bad as usual, I bounced back pretty quick!***

Thankfully, the hubbo and I are a pretty good team with an established coping strategy. Talking about "issues" is nothing new to us (even though some of these troublesome pregnancy symptoms are) and being able to share what I'm struggling with has helped. More than that the hubster helps pick up the slack around the house when I'm flagging and reminds/encourages me to treat symptoms. He's helped make sure I'm taking baths, using ye olde donut pillow, heating pad, Bengay, and massage therapy and somehow he still has the gogetum to ask me "what's bothering you?" when I'm fidgety.

While I'm not feeling stellar, it certainly helps to feel like I'm fighting back to some degree-though some days I'm totally walloped and end up doing oodles of couch and heating pad time! Which probably explains why I was able to complete my stocking project so quickly....


I was so happy to finally find this kit after dead-ending at oodles of online shops where it was listed as in stock but actually not. I got my share of "We're sorry, this kit is out of print" emails but when it popped up as in stock on Amazon I pounced and got my dream stocking! Barely a month later I had the thing stitched!

Now it's back to working on baby's stocking, which is much more difficult. Smaller aida grid and way more color variance but it'll be worth it when it comes together.

In other news, Fio finally got groomed and Iroh has become quite the couch czar. If he isn't sitting on the right side when you approach he'll come up and try to take the spot by force after you sit down! I think it's warm for him or something... Millie has been bogarting my body pillow and still loves the foam mat in the bathroom. Such a classy broad.

6 1/2 months down and I'm feeling the baby weight! I've only put on about 10 lbs overall but must be in all the right places because my pelvis is feeling it!



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Don't Jinx Yerself!

I finally caved and had the hubster buy me a donut pillow.

My "little 'roid" finally became a big problem for me. Never having had to deal with hemorrhoids I tried to ignore the issue and hoped extra fiber would fix the issue but sitting all day doing ornaments was driving my butt crazy. The hubster even got me some TUCKS pads and hopefully I'll be less symptomatic soon enough.

It took a lot of discomfort to finally make me acknowledge the problem and do something about it. Hemorrhoids don't exactly have a wonderful public relations record. But it feels better to be addressing the issue and I figured, "if this is as worse as it gets, I can't really complain."

But that's old news now.

Just when I thought I had enough embarrassing, uncomfortable pregnancy business tonight happens.

Exactly? I couldn't sleep, felt slightly hunger-barfy then next thing ya know I'm barfing up a ton of crap from 5 hours ago, peeing my pants as I lean over the toilet, and watching drips of blood swim among the debris as a nosebleed erupts.

The hubby started laundry for my pissy pajamas and the poor bathroom towel/rug while I hopped in the shower. I was barely able to finish a quick rinse/wash before my gut began rumbling.

After hastily toweling off I sat on the toilet while goosebumps and shivers overtook me before a massive bout of diarrhea. One for my record books (not that a barf/pee/nosebleed hadn't already made the record books-this was just a cherry on top!).

When I finally got around to redressing and looking in a mirror my face was splotched with red dots around my mouth in a clowny goatee of what I assume were burst capillaries. Just when I was cozying up to less attractive pregnancy symptoms, the universe goes and ups the ante!


Surprises and shockers. Pregnancy is full of new experiences. Hemorrhoids and what I can only call "mass exodus" being some of the more exciting incidents-more colorful than I expected!

Can't wait to see what 3rd trimester holds in store....

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Geekin' Out Withdrawals

At the Calgary Zoo we got to see wood bison (as opposed to plains bison) for the first time. Having had no idea there were different subspecies of American bison I felt my head implode a little bit.

Another implosion moment occurred when I was surfing Wiki and read the scientific name for the plains bison, Bison bison bison.

Seriously. Gotta be the best scientific name ever.

It also reminded me of this trivia from high school, I think a history teacher brought it up? But maybe my lit teacher? I don't recall, but I certainly remember "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo."

After using one word that many times it ceases to resemble a word at all, don't you think?

I suppose I'm withdrawing from the vacation and missing the beautiful blue skies, chilly air, and gorgeous mountains-and apparently the zoo visit ;) The withdrawals got me thinking of Iceland again and that beautiful landscape. *lesigh*

I think I've spent too much time indoors since we've returned, the rain has been so gloppy! Now that my sinuses are clearing up and my back is almost back to normal (tweaked it hardcore Tuesday or Wednesday, lower back has been agony) I should be able to resume some walking this next week. I hope the time outdoors will satiate my need for scenery!

In other news, I finally got around to tuckin' in the balcony for the season. It was a little dried out but still wet so many of the pine needles clung to the surface and it's not pristine by any means, but I did empty out pots and planters and such. I'm saying "good enough!" and letting it go for now. I'll be on my hands and knees scrubbing algae off this spring regardless.

I did get more thyroid pills and the visit to my ND went better than expected. I think I'm doing a better job of separating myself, creating boundaries and realizing that other people are just doing their jobs. I pay her for her opinions but that doesn't make them law and I don't have to feel bad about myself for not adhering to every bit of advice. I do the best I can and make my own judgement calls as life rolls on, and that's that.

And really, I'm doing loads better and I need to appreciate that!

November already and 6 months pregnant tomorrow! Time is flying. Welcome to the holiday season everyone! I can't wait to put up the Christmas decorations, feeling very festive this year and savoring it already. Too many "ho-hum" Christmases in the recent past ;) And on that note, I'll get back to stitching my stocking.... !!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

My Bad

Little stressed this week as I discovered a little too late that my thyroid script was expired. The ole "3 refills out of...." with the "until 10.24.14" on the other side of the bottle where I didn't see it. Whoops!

I've been scrambling to get more pills but due to the fact that I don't want to see the doctor that prescribed them I've got myself in a bit of a pickle. Add to the anxiety over "scary doctor lady" that I'm pregnant and don't want to screw up my body chemistry with too many missed doses and I'm a little hair-brained at the moment.

Thankfully I was able to get an appointment with the ND (a lady that I actually like) this Friday and hopefully will be able to get more meds then. Even though I like my ND I was struck with some anxiety over seeing her again, namely because I'm nearly 6 months pregnant and haven't updated her. Whoops?

I guess it slipped my mind, or it wasn't a priority or (actually) I have been harboring some shame and have been avoiding the interaction.

Why shame? Probably because I saw this woman while I was at my worst in the throws of bipolar depression and pretty dang crazy and a bit of me feels guilty for even being pregnant, like I'm not qualified. It's been over 8 months since I've been in to the ND's office and a lot has changed. Mainly, I'm pregnant, but also I'm doing my own thing, managing my health and not needing to go to the doctors' every other week! It's awesome. But I still feel ashamed that I'm pregnant when I was so sick and dysfunctional not so long ago....

My darling husband said something very sweet while reassuring me that I wasn't "one of those people that shouldn't ever have kids." He said, "You're not one of those people who shouldn't have kids, you're one of those people that needs to have kids because you have goodness to share. You mind may be a troubled mind but it's a beautiful mind too."

The hubby was kind enough to remind me that it doesn't matter what others think and that most of the mean thoughts I'm afraid others' are thinking are just my thoughts about myself. I weakly mentioned maybe my low self-esteem has affected my ability to validate my decision to become a parent and he agreed that I need to "go your own way," promptly cuing up Fleetwood Mac to make his point.

He also emphasized that I've made a lot of progress. Sure, I still have episodes but I'm coping much better, rebounding much quicker, and not succumbing to as many as I have in the past. I'm also off of all psychoactive drugs, the only scripts I take right now are thyroid and folic acid. I haven't lost all my "depression weight" but I have been eating better and exercising more, taking my Vitamin D and the prenatals. I'm not a health nut but doing pretty well.

It's difficult for me to feel good about myself and where I am. I constantly look for what needs to be improved or where I'm falling short, but when I really try I can see that I've made a lot of positive changes and that I'm not in the same place that I was. I am healthier and I am allowed to decide when I want to have children, and the hubster and I made the decision and we're happy with it. Doesn't matter a lick what anyone else thinks!

So, I will navigate this speed bump with the extra stress of shame and anxiety, hoping that on the other side I'll have a little more self-assurance and pride than I when I hit the bump to begin with! I'm going to try and maintain some pride and self-love while combating that shame during my appointment Friday... Guess we'll just have to wait and see how it goes.

In other news, I'm becoming more frustrated with the cloud of negativity that seems to surround pregnancy. Maybe it's just the women I'm around or the current culture? Either way it seems like a lot of criticism, fear, and pity-not a pleasant cocktail. I've been trying to find positive birth stories and influences but it seems the best medicine is avoiding media and uncensored input (not that that helps deflect the years of memories and associations in my brain). Mindfulness and enjoying the present helps, focusing on my baby's movements and how well this pregnancy has gone so far, just being joyous and grateful seems like a bit of non-violent protest!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Babymoon-DONE!

We've declared our babymoon a success, though I must say we took things a lot slower than we anticipated, mostly due to me coming down with a cold shortly after arriving in Canmore :/ Despite traveling with masses of tissues and phlegm we managed to see most of the things we planned for and found some fabulous dining (my taste buds weren't totally defunct).

Our favorite food spots included Trough and OEB with the Trailhead Cafe in Lake Louise a surprising lunch success. Trough and OEB were straight up, best of the best, making it on the list of our favorite food spots ever. The hubster enjoyed a brew at Grizzly Paw but we didn't eat out all that much (well, we've discovered Canadian A&W to be vastly superior to the American version). Instead we managed to eat quite a few meals at the condo and save some cash, which was nice and worked out well with my low energy/food motivation.

We really enjoyed Cave and Basin but the Banff museum was closed for renovations. The scenic drives around Tunnel Mountain and the Icefields Parkway were awesome (a low-flying eagle may have scared the bejeezus outta the hubster at one point) and the mountains blew our minds. They are beyond big up there, as are the ravens (another bird that the hubster was not enthused by-but I sure did!).

The hubster found the teddy bear he wanted for baby in Banff and I found a cute board book with adorable bear illustrations. Otherwise we sent some postcards and snagged some Kinder eggs while the getting was good but opted out of most souvenirs.


Broke in our new camera (we may still be getting the hang of it) and managed to do the Peyto Lake/Bow Summit hike (I was wheezing, I tell ya what), toodle around the Marsh Loop at Cave and Basin, and walk around Lake Louise a bit but not a full trail journey. Between the congestion and general fatigue I was experiencing things were pretty laid back. It was pretty chilly for us too so viewing sites from the warmth of the rental car was a natural alternative!


We found the golden larches I so wanted to see and learned a lot at the Ammolite Factory tour, even saw some new species for us at the zoo in Calgary. All in all, it was a lovely trip with amazing views, only a few hiccups and a lot of pleasant surprises. The hubster seems to be coming down the cold I had during our stay and I unfortunately barfed on two of our three flights but the good definitely outweighed the bodily fluids.


On a side note, we got rather wrapped up with the Canadian news of the week. Sadly our trip coincided with two horrible attacks; our anniversary involved a hit-and-run of two Canadian soldiers and then a couple days later the shooting at Ottawa. Being American we are a bit desensitized to that sort of violence but the fact that it was on Canadian soil really struck us and it was fascinating watching the news coverage and how CTV handled things as opposed to how American news handles such occurrences. I was very happy to see many of the guest speakers and hosts refrain from sensationalizing too much (it still happened but was kept pretty well in check) and focus on positives and national pride more than fear and reactionary statements. Stay classy, Canada.

In other news, I am shocked at how long my hair is! And how pregnant I'm looking.... Starting to sink in! And here is photographic evidence with a lovely grimace...


I'm not a huge fan of head colds or creepy Halloween decorations. It's a double whammy grimace.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Anniversary

This afternoon the hubster was being a little evasive and this is how it went....

"I might need to go run an errand later." He said, avoiding eye contact.

"Like what?" I asked.

"Well, I might need coffee."

"You're outta coffee in the house? What about instant?"

"I'm out."

"You're out of instant!? Did you throw the container away?" (I use instant in recipes and wanted to keep the jar)

"No, no no. It's not coffee."

"What?"

"It's-um-anniversary related." (Referring to buying an anniversary card before we leave for our pre-trip trip tomorrow)

"Oh shit, can I come?" (I had forgotten as well)

Mind you, all this took place while I was sitting on the toilet peeing and he was washing he hands in the bathroom sink beside me. We started laughing to so hard we cried. Our 2nd anniversary and it's come to this!

We leave Monday flight-wise but we are leaving home base tomorrow to spend a couple nights with my parents and to settle the pets there for the week-so anniversary errand time is running short. Adding insult to injury, I make about 40 cards for other people every year but never make my husband's anniversary card (not just wedding, any cards really). So here I am, a card mistress caught without a card!

Life's little jokes...

:)

Intersections


Lately I've been thinking a lot about how we each have our own journey to make. Often our paths parallel or intersection people around us but we're never truly sharing the same experience, the same path. To each our own.

That sounds simple enough but it gets complicated when those closest to you find themselves on rocky sections of their path. If you're like me the urge to help and to fix the situation is overwhelming. Almost like a sneeze I'm overcome with the impulse to plot a detour or give them tools to ease their journey but it's not really my place.

I've tried to help others along their journeys before and it rarely helps anyone, only causes stress for all involved. Pressure, grief, invalidation, disappointment, frustration for all involved. Very rarely have I been able to truly help someone and I think the reason is that very rarely people actually ask for help-it's thrust upon them.

Recently I gave my sister advice about supplements and lifestyle changes for mental health and I found myself swamped with feelings of frustration and disappointment. She wasn't asking me for advice because she was ready to change or truly wants to help herself feel better, she was asking because my mother had pressured her to do so. I knew that it didn't matter what I said, without my sister making the decision to improve her life no advice could help her, and it made me sad.

There is unfortunate pattern in my family that seems to enable mood disorders. Not only do we overall lack the skills to live a healthy lifestyle conducive to our mental health, those lifestyles prompt cyclical breakdowns. Instead of coping with the root of the issue my family seems to bury the issue until these breakdowns crop up and then respond with a characteristic "rescue response" instead of addressing the harmful patterns.

This happened once again with my sister this week. She didn't take care of herself, was driven to a breakdown and my mother drove across the state to perform her classic rescue. It seems to have gotten my sister in with a college counselor and addressing her overloaded schedule but it strikes me as a bandage and not a turning point. This crushes me.

I hate to see my sister struggle over and over. I hate to see my mother struggle over and over. My brother and father seem to have established routines to maintain their health and it makes me wonder about the differences in the sexes as well as the female heritage of my family and patterns of self-punishing behavior.

On a similar note, my best friend's journey remains rocky and a sister-in-law seems to be wayward. Seeing these people struggling to find their happiness haunts me with sadness. I fight the urge to help and fix but ultimately realize that their journeys are their own and solely their responsibility.

Having been lost on my own rough trail before I recognize the self-defeating patterns but maintain hope for the ultimate turning point when they decide to take care of themselves. Sadly some will go their entire lives without committing to this self guardianship and will maintain their patterns of sadness and breakdowns for the rest of their lives. I hope that this won't be true for those I love, but I recognize that it's not my burden to carry. I have my own journey to manage, my own commitment to honor and my own changes to make.

Some people's journeys are more winding than others, so while it breaks my heart to see those around me in pain I am at least grateful that I have found the light in my own life and am walking in brighter days. I still have a ways to go but I finally feel like I'm on the right path and with a heart light with anticipation any terrain can be traversed.


In other news I've been listening to a birth webinar conference all week and it's been giving me a lots of ideas and "ah-ha!" moments about pregnancy and birth. I hope to have another full post about those ponderings soon.

The cats and dog are getting another round of wormer right before we take off for the babymoon (time flies!) and we've got a busy few weeks ahead of us. I've started doing ornaments again and thankfully my pace has picked up and I'm feeling comfortable again. I do have to be careful about sitting for too long or my pelvic pain flares up and I have to be mindful about bringing good snacks and drinking lots of water while I work so it'll be an interesting year.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Fruit Salad Weekend or Straight Up Rotten Fruit?

Weeks ago my best friend and I were texting/emailing and figuring out when I could pop down for a sleepover and some girl time (she recently moved to OR, south of Portland). We had decided this weekend would work for both of us and it would be my last chance before ornament season really kicks up so we made tentative plans. 

All seemed well. I don't think I'd seen my bestie since last year or at least several months so there were some nerves about meeting again but for the most part I was excited. Then I texted just this week to confirm the plan and she dropped a bombshell. 

She's got a live-in boyfriend. 

Totally made my gut flip and put me out of my comfort zone. I had the impulse to pull up stakes on the plan and evac but decided it was more important for me to see her than to take the comfortable route. I did however shorten the trip from 2 nights to an overnight. Little did I know I would appreciate that decision to no end!

This is how my trip went.

Friday morning I woke up and scrambled to get food, shower, and pack an overnight bag. I managed to take the dog out for a break and get my stuff (including a big pile of pillows) in the car and hit the road just after 9:30 am. By 11:00 am I was in Olympia enjoying a pitstop with my dad. The lunch break and short walk downtown was a big help for my building hip pain. 

Took about 2 1/2 hours from Olympia and I was pretty sore and hungry by the time I arrived, but I got to my bestie's apartment right around 3:00 pm. We went into the apartment and I nervously awaited introduction to the new boyfriend. How'd that go? Well, we gals walked in chatting and she said something like, "Oh yeah, this is Hannah!" and I'm not sure if he looked but I certainly did get any eye contact and he didn't get up from the couch or turn down the blaring Netflix program on the TV. Overall, I was beyond not impressed. I was so sad for my friend and disappointed. 

Unfortunately, my Friday didn't get any better from that point on. Instead of girl time I found myself in the back of a sedan plummeting down the freeway while the boyfriend drove. Weaving, zooming, braking, and generally being a crazy driver by PNW standards. At one point I saw an SUV's ass looming ahead of us and felt primed for a high speed crash. He veered right at the last moment, narrowly avoiding a collision and changing lanes (if you can call it that) as I felt my breath catch and a well of emotion knot in my  throat. "I'm gonna cry." My motherly instincts kicked in big time. I was terrified for my baby's well being; imagining myself in a broken car on the side of the road telling EMTs that I was pregnant. I began sobbing. 

They tried to find me tissues but there were none. I wiped my flood of tears on the fleece sleeve of my jacket while we waited at a clogged stoplight off the freeway (blissfully stuck in traffic). And where to? The tobacco store so the boyfriend could buy cigars. Thankfully there was a stationery store nearby that the bestie and I could visit. While we wandered the small store I asked if she could drive and made sure that he wasn't going to smoke in the car (at that point, who knew?)

We went on to Walmart for their grocery shopping and I was starting to feel sick from hunger so I sipped a chocolate milk while walking the aisles and bought some trail mix for the ride home. I had a tangelo when we got back to the apartment and enjoyed the enchiladas she made for dinner but generally felt like a 3rd wheel and wondered why I had come at all. The boyfriend impressed me further by asking about my air mattress in order to clarify that he didn't need to help set it up. Classy.

After he went to bed, she and I got to chat a little more and we made plans to go to an outlet mall nearby the next day. 

Cue morning.

I awoke around 8:20 am for a potty break and an apple (baby needed brekkie ASAP) and while I tried to go back to bed I couldn't sleep. Over the next 3 hours I ended up pacing the living room to relieve some pelvic pain and kill some time, trying to be quiet but secretly hoping to "accidentally" wake up my hosts as I tried to find a towel so I could shower (found one in the dryer), microwaving my leftovers from lunch with Dad for a much needed though not quite big enough breakfast, packing down my mattress and even loading the car (I really thought opening and closing the slider would do the trick and wake them up, but no luck), and eventually doodling while considering whether or not I should just leave and go to the outlet mall alone. They finally awoke at 11:30 am just as I was finishing a doodle.

Maybe I should've knocked on the door but I felt really uncomfortable. I had made up my mind to leave by 11:00 am if she hadn't woken up, go to the outlet mall and stop by on my way home, but I was enjoying my doodling and they woke up before I felt compelled to leave. It was so out of character for my friend to be such a lackluster hostess, it felt like this guy had corrupted her. About 2 hours into my morning wait I had the thought, "she just does everything by his book, so she ain't coming out til he wakes up and that's that," and wouldn't ya know it, that's how it went. It feels like my friend has been totally swallowed up by this guy!

Eventually she got her coffee made to go, got dressed and we took off for the mall around noon. I went directly to Arby's for breakfast-er, lunch-as I was getting sick-hungry again and then we stopped by her bank so she could get some checks to pay rent. Once we finally hit the mall it felt like old times (but with my concern over her choice of boyfriend looming in the back of my mind) and I found a cute sweater for the baby and we walked through several other stores. After shopping, I gassed up the car then dropped her off at the apartment. Since it was a quarter to 4:00 pm at that point I said I really needed to get going. I kept the car running and we said our goodbyes and hugged in the parking lot. I opted out of going back to the apartment to say goodbye to the boyfriend. 

The ride home went speedily enough but my pregnant pelvis didn't enjoy the hours of driving and the knot in my shoulder (already inflamed from doing ornaments on Thursday) was causing me grief nearly the entire drive. Around 5:30 pm I stopped for food in Centralia and stretched a bit and I managed to get through the stormy Seattle weather and home around 7:40 pm. There was some nice lightning and impressive rain storms but traffic moved pretty well. I was pretty dang tired. 

Thankfully the hubster was aware of how rough the trip was for me and had hot lasagna waiting for me when I got out of the shower. I was so glad to be home!

All in all, I'm glad I went but really disappointed and sad. At least now I won't feel guilt for not having visited but I will never ride in a car with that guy driving again. I certainly don't think I'll be spending any nights there. 

The transformation in my friend is sad and scary. Instead of a tidy, welcoming home that she usually prepares, her apartment is dirty and reminds me of a college dorm. She claims that her boyfriend is sweet and helpful but he seems antisocial and incredibly unimpressive to me. I am so sad and frustrated that she seems to have wound up with another loser. While the whole experience made me very appreciative of my hubby it made me nervous for the future of my friendship with my bestie and for her future relationships. Oh, and that slice of "afraid for my baby's life" that I'll never forget. 

So. Bad trip. Enjoyed visiting Dad, enjoyed the few hours of girl time I actually achieved with my gal pal, but overall, bad, bad trip. Definitely going to plan future pregnant road trips with more pitstops and stretch breaks and food, been underestimating my body's burden lately. Speaking of which, I am definitely bumpin' out!

Selfie alert!
That's as cute as I get on a lazy, recovery Sunday!





Thursday, October 9, 2014

Feeling Motherly, Falling Further in Love

The hubster and I went to have our 20 week ultrasound yesterday and now I find myself daydreaming about meeting baby more and more. Even though the fluctuating black and white images don't paint a literal picture of my baby, just "seeing" baby makes me feel more motherly, possessive, and in love.

Baby was pretty stubborn, laying on his/her front the entire time but the ultrasound tech did a great job and when baby flipped over right at the end of the appointment she snapped this glorious shot!



Everything looks good and baby is measuring in the 56% percentile, so "very average" and right on track.

I was a bit nervous before the appointment but had a really good time and loved sharing the experience with the hubby. I think the starlight ceiling lights in the fancy ultrasound room set the mood. I found myself thinking, "I hope we get to come back to this place next time!"

In other news, my hip pain has been better lately though I'm still not back up to speed. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go on my walks everyday anymore but I'll try to get back into the groove and keep up the yoga within my limitations.

Got the call for ornaments and go in for the first time today. A little nervous because I haven't practiced at all but hoping it comes flooding back to me!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ah! My hip!

Last Thursday I walked to the library and sort of over did it. I wasn't speed walking but the distance of the walk was a bit more than my usual route and I didn't appreciate how loose my pelvis had become. I expected pelvic pain later in pregnancy, once baby engages near my due date, but not at 20 weeks. 

As I've mentioned, I have had some hip issues upon waking which I related to side-lying and being out of alignment but now I have more to consider. Apparently I'm one of those lucky women whose pelvis starts to loosen up earlier in pregnancy (thanks to an amazing hormone called relaxin) and this causes the muscles and ligaments and bones to become out of alignment and often causes aches, pain, and difficulty walking among other things. 

After my long walk on Thursday I found myself hobbling, bending over to try and find a position where the pain in my pubic bone wasn't as bothersome-it was very crone-like. At one point I was doing the dishes and leaning over to put them in the dishwasher was so uncomfortable I started tearing up. I was so frustrated with myself and the sudden limitations to my movement  (and I think the pregnancy hormones helped coax the tears out easy too) I started crying and the hubby rushed into the kitchen to see what was the matter. 

I explained the situation and he encouraged me to call the midwives. I had been tempted to call earlier that day but had dismissed the thought knowing that pelvic girdle pain is just a fact of pregnancy and while the discomfort can be treated it's something I'm just gonna to have to deal with until baby arrives (and, you know me, I err on the side of "suck it up"). I did end up calling the birth center and it did feel good to hear someone tell me I wasn't crazy or alone. The midwife recommended seeing a chiropractor or a physical therapist, which I've yet to look into, but more important to me she reassured me that I was totally normal, that I can still exercise but not to push through the pain and listen to my body. That I can do!

So the rest of the weekend was pretty slow going for me as recovery time. Friday we had standing plans and went south to an outlet mall in OR to shop for maternity clothes (the hubster was an awesome shopping buddy, I have to admit) and then carried on to visit my in-laws in the Tri-Cities. I walked slowly, had to be extra careful sitting down and getting up, and even getting in and out of the car was a bit uncomfortable. It was a long day. We didn't get to bed until after midnight and I was achy and hobbly from pelvic pain. I tried to take it easy the rest of the weekend and even Monday I couldn't quite walk at my normal pace. Thankfully today I felt a lot better though I'm very careful not to overdo it again! 

It was an okay visit to my in-laws, though being in pain definitely brought my mood down. I also felt a lot of stress from my mother-in-law and that negativity on top of my bodily aches sapped my patience and made me a little grumpy. I think she was anxious or upset about family stuff and I sponged up the feelings. Normally I might be able to inject some positivity, but this weekend I just kept to myself. It was really nice when we finally made it home (utterly exhausted) and I consciously appreciated the comforts of home, I tend to take those fore granted!

In other news, the cats and dog are being treated for roundworm. Not fun squirting gunk into cats' mouths but Fio took it like a champ. They all get another round in a couple weeks and we're hoping not to have to do this again for a long, long time...

Friday, October 3, 2014

I knew it! I KNEW IT!

I tend to overreact to neighborhood woes; graffiti and trash mean that the neighborhood is slipping into the "slum zone" when it's really just a part of urban living. So when I started getting concerned with the junk around our apartment a part of me ignored the suspicious thoughts and ruled them out as the ravings of a neurotic woman. What are the chances some kids would try to light up a pile of furniture, I mean really?

Well, walking the dog this morning by the piles of furniture abandoned at our complex (and left in piles for months on end by the management) I noticed a box of half-used fireplace matches around the furniture. Perhaps some hoodlums attempting to light up a pile of junk? Eh? Eh? Maybe this crazy gal ain't so crazy!

I've been contemplating calling the city on the complex in regards to the junk and after seeing that today I was pretty well convinced but being the not-so-confident chick that I am I still had doubts. I decided to call the office and see what they had to say about it. I got a canned answer, "We have it on our to-do list but other emergencies have come up and we only have 3 maintenance guys working but we'll investigate those matches, thank you for calling." I am not impressed. Sounds like other people have called, the management has established a routine answer, and the piles will remain.

The other pile.
Pile with matches.


It's not a huge deal, it doesn't directly affect me daily, but I am concerned about the vandalism potential, housing loose animals, kids getting tetanus, that kind of stuff so I'm still considering reporting it to code enforcement. But is that too much? I feel like a tattle. Like I don't have a good enough reason to complain! Or is it just my low self-esteem negating my opinions again?

I've mentioned before how frustrated I am at this complex and this episode builds on that frustration. I feel like it's the complex/management vs. me. Is it just me, or is that wrong? Shouldn't it be a complementary relationship? Maybe it's too much to ask for a positive rental relationship? I don't know and the hubster doesn't care, so I'm stuck in an uncomfortable limbo of self-doubt and angst.

Speaking of uncomfortable.... Pregnancy has thrown me another curve ball and my hip pain has become more than just a morning affair.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but occasionally upon waking my hips would throb and sometimes pop as I turn over. Even turning over in the night was problematic. Well yesterday that pain left the bedroom and followed me through the day and eventually I lost it.

Doing the dishes I was aching and having a hard time bending over and I became frustrated with the pain, next thing you know all the tears I'd been trying to shed the past week came flooding out. I can handle the pain, I just couldn't handle it all day and feeling like I couldn't do anything! The hubster was a little blindsided but afterward told me that I had to call the midwives today even if I have appointment next week. Pain that prevents me from doing my daily activities or affect my bottom line is just too much pain. I knew he had a point but I grew up with a "suck it up, buttercup" approach to pain and nearly always err on the side of "stop complaining and carry on." So I have a message in at the midwives' and we'll just have to wait and see what they say.

In other news, Iroh seems to have worms. So the pet saga continues with more poo and vet drama to come. So delightful!

Not.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Tough Tuesday

It's been a tough Tuesday. I was so tired this morning (I think I overdid it yesterday with the walk, yoga, cleaning, etc.) and I think it really set me up for a bad fall this afternoon. The trigger? Some kinda worm crawling around Iroh's furry ass. Lovely, I know, but that disgusting stressor pushed me over the edge and now I'm swimming in negativity and loneliness.

Initially I was angry about the worms thing, as if Iroh has some sort of maniacal plan to mess with my life! Then I was freaking out because I'm pregnant which turned into a Google session which turned into a cleaning session when I should've been having a snack session. Next thing you know I'm lightheaded and crawling around the bedroom floor to fetch Saltines from my nightstand.

The Saltines didn't exactly do the trick so I wobbled out to the living room. The hubbo was doing his own thing, intermittently checking in on me (he later claimed "what more could I do") while I felt neglected. He did fetch me an applesauce but that didn't help much. Eventually I managed to get enough gusto to stand up and make some ramen to hold me over til dinner.

It was upsetting feeling so ill but I think the communication breakdown between the hubster and myself was most upsetting. I knew from the moment he got home (in the midst of my WORMS! freak out) that he felt neglected but in my panic I thought he would understand if I didn't ask about his day as I got caught up in frantic vacuuming. While he was holding that against me I was holding his lack of sympathy for my panic against him which shaped up to a horrible climax of mutual frustration and neglect by dinner time.

We talked, or tried to talk, but didn't really resolve anything. I still feel lonely and upset and we ended up spending a lot of the evening "alone" in the same room. I went to bed early but couldn't sleep and now I'm out in the living area with a case of heartburn and sadness. I tried to cry but couldn't. It really feels like a depressive episode I just don't know how bad it will get. I seem to have acknowledged it which may help head off complete meltdown but it doesn't always work that way...

Tomorrow I will have to get back on the self-care bandwagon and really police my thoughts (I've been having lots of isolation/loneliness mulling and put downs) and see if I can head this off. I really don't want to have to deal with a really dark episode just when I start to feel my baby kicking (Yes! I feel little Inchy for certain now, quite the swimmer!). Funny how pregnancy is such an amazing, life-affirming time yet can be riddled with such darkness. Did I mention that I've never thought about death more than while I've been pregnant? And that's counting the suicidal episodes!

I'm still working in my thoughts from the birth, another impact on my mood I'm sure. Everything went "fine" but there were some things that didn't sit well with me... I guess between the mental impact and the physical impact it's no wonder I'm feeling vulnerable.

Tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bouncing Back From a Birth

On the walk today I started getting tired pretty quick and nearly threw in the towel, but somehow I managed to finish the walk and do yoga, laundry, and bathe the dog! 

Considering I'm usually a zombie for 3 days after any birth I attend, I was pretty proud of myself for getting right back on the good habits wagon so soon. That said, I definitely hit the wall this afternoon when the hubster came home. 

He talked about a roast in the fridge for dinner and then commented "Hun, you are looking pregnant." I argued that I had always been fat and that I was just pudging out slouched on the couch, but he said, "Having a pooch is one thing, being baby shaped is another." Well cue the pregnancy hormone symphony because shortly thereafter I found myself tearing up saying, "I can't wait 2 hours for a roast to cook I need something now. I want Chinese." *whimper*

A trip through the Panda Express drive-thru and a couple episodes of "The League" later and I promptly passed out on the couch in a huge, satiated pregnancy blob.

In other news, I've been a bit of a hazard lately in the kitchen-to myself that is. Earlier this week I burned my left forearm on the upper heating element of the oven and today I burnt my left forearm on the oven door panel! Add that to the scabby blister on my left heel and the rash of bruises all over my body and call me a dalmatian. 

Still a bit tired but will try to post my reaction to this birth (my first attended as a pregnant lady) but for now I'm gonna suck down some water and finish some laundry!

Friday, September 26, 2014

How you know....

How you know you walked the dog the right amount... Like a timer poppin' outta the turkey! Dog flops, you done good!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Yippee-More Rage!

Tonight was rough and I'm blaming pregnancy hormones... and a touch of weak mental control. Have you ever heard yourself blathering on, spewing negativity over and over but just let the tsunami of bad attitude roll on? That was me tonight.

Things really kicked off with a bad bout of second hand smoke. It wafted in from the front window (we usually get it from the back windows) so it took me longer than usual to find the source and cut off the flow which left us with a cloud of hovering smokiness in the apartment and a fuming pregnant me stomping around in a rage.

"We shouldn't have to live like this!" I was so angry I was clenching my fists and wanting to punch walls. I ended up calling the office and asking if there was anything that could be done about the smoke. The chatty substitute for our regular office staff let me know that we can submit a complaint in writing if we identify the apartment responsible but that smokers are allowed to smoke in their apartment and on their patios, just not in public areas.

I was a little appalled that apartment complexes still let smokers smoke inside! How disgusting! How expensive! I would never want to clean up after a smoking renter, yikes... Anyways.

It didn't make me feel much better. I asked the office to contact animal control because of loose cats starving away around our apartment and nothing has happened to help the cats, so I don't expect much help for us. That sounds pathetic and I feel like such a wimpy loser but I really feel trapped.

Renewing our lease this week was a sad experience. I consider us good tenets. We don't litter, we pick up after our dog, we take good care of our apartment but it was as if the office would've rather had us move out. What kind of business sense is that?

Ugh. At least we didn't renew for a whole year, but the next 9 months already feel like 9 months too long here.

Oh, and the cherry on my lovely, rage filled night? I saw one of the aforementioned abandoned cats licking up water from a oily puddle under a carport. How sick is that? I can't even type the violent thoughts I have toward the so-called "owners" of those poor animals. If I weren't preggers I'd take it to the shelter myself, but I can't risk catching something from a street cat. So sad. So idiotic.

In other news, the hubster put forth a valiant effort to better my mood but it just didn't take. He bought me some new shoes since I've worn out the old tennis shoes with my near daily walks of late and I was very grateful just too swept up by my anger. I feel bad for making his night unpleasant. I hope that he gets some better sleep tonight, last night didn't go so well as I was tossing and turning well into the morning hours.

Sigh. So that's me today. Frustrated, angry, agitated, and a downright terror at times. Maybe I'll try some meditation tomorrow, some loving-kindness for those freakin' assholes... er, fellow human beings.

That'll be an uphill battle, but I'll give it a try if only for my own sake!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Snail!

Had a couple of rainy days lately which changes the scenery for my walk in little ways. The most notable change are the snails. Slugs are pretty common regardless of the weather it seems. They try for the shade on sunny days but still slug about, whereas the snails seem to stay hidden until rainy days.

Today, Fio and I were walking home and his paw caught a snail's shell and flipped him over. I thought, "Oh no, Fio! Snail!" and we stopped to check on it. I was so impressed watching it flip itself back to rights. It wasn't a fast, ninja flip, it was so sneakily slow I wasn't quite sure what happened but I thoroughly impressed.

A couple days back I had seen a black snail and my curiosity was piqued. The shell was the same as the rest, a kind of yellow with stripes, but his gooey bits were black whereas the other snails were a yellowy-mucous color (like the thick snot ya get with the flu). I've been walking past snails around the lake for years and have never been bothered to look them up but seeing that black snail prompted me to jump on Google and look up snails.

Turns out we have a European snail that has been introduced in the Puget Sound called the brown-lipped or grove snail. It's a pretty common little mollusk but they were a rare find in my childhood yard, so while they've lost a bit of novelty having so many roaming around up here I still find them enchanting.

I noodled around the internet reading about snails for a bit and it seems like the black snail is just a natural variation, maybe not as common as the yellowy folks but I don't think it's a different species or anything. I haven't seen him again but I'll keep my eyes open as the rainy season ensues.

I have been enjoying the walks and think it does help with my mood though I still have bouts of pregnancy hormone craziness. Last night I had a fit about a plate! Never ever been that passionate about a plate before... Thankfully haven't had much depression just cranky, moody, teary, angry type of outbursts. Poor hubby has been caught off guard a few times but he's aware of the hormone issue so we usually work things out, even if it involves some arguing and tears on my part before things are resolved!

18 weeks. Gonna be getting that ultrasound in no time! Kinda nervous as I find those images to be pretty creepy looking. The hubster is really excited and already talking about sharing it on FB. Not my cup of tea but since it's close to Halloween I find it more appropriate. "Take a look at our little ghoul!" Ha!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Banff Babymoon Ideas

Well, our flight is booked and our rental car reserved! Babymoon Banff is in officially in-the-works.

We've got a rough itinerary penned and I thought I would share some of our plans, no guarantees that we'll do exactly as planned (especially if there are some early snowstorms) but I figure it might come in handy to know some cool things to do around Banff if any readers are in that neighborhood.

1) Geek Out

The hubster and I are avid parks visitors. No, not the swings & BBQ pit type of parks, the National parks and monuments type parks. Basically, we like to geek out with all the educational displays, interpretive exhibits, museums, and historical factoids we can find and they usually have some killer views.

We've never visited a Canadian park of this kind but we're looking forward to it and have high hopes for Banff National Park. Things get a bit tricky for us traveling in the off-season (another one of our favorite things-avoiding crowds) and late October in Banff is the beginning of restricted hours for many facilities, so we have to make sure we hit certain facilities later in the week when they're actually open!

On a similar geeking out note we hope to visit the Calgary Zoo. I have a complicated relationship with zoos... While I love visiting them and seeing all the animals, I really wish that the animals didn't have to be there. Sometimes they don't, most of the time it's humans' fault that they are! But I love going to the zoo. Politics aside our first major date was a visit to the Oregon Zoo, so it's kind of a romantic excursion for us.

The Glenbow Museum and Heritage Park are intriguing, though I think the Glenbow is more our style. Not sure if we'll have time for either, but they are noteworthy.

2) Pig Out

Oh yes. One of the first things we look at when planning a trip is where we should eat and our babymoon is no different. We were surprised to find so many great options in Calgary, Canmore, and Banff and we've got a few "must see" places we hope to visit.

For our anniversary we're planning a special dinner at The Trough (funny name, right?) though they won't be open on our actual anniversary, we still really want to check it out. I get a little uncomfortable at "fancy frufru" places but we try to go at least once a year and enjoy some "class."

I stumbled across a place called OEB on TripAdvisor and was immediately intrigued. Maybe I get it from my dad, but breakfast places usually make me very happy and this one seems like a must. We're planning on hitting it more for lunch on our way home the last day, so I'll be looking forward to it all trip.

We also keep our eyes open for local brewpubs and there are a few we may stop by if the hankering arises. Banff Ave. Brewing Co. is on the pricey side and fancier than we usually go for, but maybe a brew (for the hubby) and some poutine will do the trick? There are also Grizzly Paw and Iron Goat and The Drake Pub not too far from our hotel. Not sure how much we'll eat out or where we'll end up visiting, but I'll make sure and post reviews ;)

3) Hiking

Having different skill levels, knowing that I will be preggers, and understanding that October is an unpredictable time in the mountains choosing hikes for our trip is a tricky proposition but I think we've found some winners.

I had never heard of the "tea house hikes" but now that I have I'm a little sad that our trip is occurring in the off season. That said, even though the tea houses (yes, we mean cabins with a limited menu and hot tea for hikers that make the trek-and pay-it's awesome!) won't be open during our visit we're excited to explore these famous trails.

Another easy-moderate hike with great views in the area is the Peyto Lake/Bow Summit trail and viewpoint. We're planning to combine this trail with our drive up the Icefields Parkway. There is also a Bow Glacier Falls hike that piques my interest and we may explore that as well. I'm a sucker for waterfalls.

There are lots of other hiking trails but we don't want to push it and try something too difficult while I'm preggers. We'll also be looking at pamphlets and brochures as we go and may happen upon some other local gems.

4) Scenic Drives

The hubster and I love going for drives and lucky for us Banff has a lot of great drives to take! We're hoping that the weather won't be too hellish and we'll feel safe going for drives, but only time will tell.

Right now we're planning to do the Icefields Parkway and Tunnel Mountain Drive but we could add in other routes if we feel like it. We like to leave a little bit of wiggle room in our itineraries for lazy days and impromptu adventures :)

5) Hunt

Not actually hunt, what I'm talking about is a very concentrated souvenir quest for a children's book (our preferred souvenir when traveling) and maybe a stuffed bear for the little one. The hubster is very adamant that our child will have a stuffed bear. Not an elephant, not a dog, not a seal, nothing but a bear. He's very into this stuffed bear thing. It's just a fun little "mission" that weaves itself into our trip in funny ways, gets us into stores and places we might not otherwise venture into and I like having "goals." Totally optional and a little obsessive, but there ya have it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

For Shame

This weekend has been hell for walks.

Saturday I got a late start after a rather fun Skype session with sister and my mom. They were in Cheney moving my sister into her new apartment for the school year. It was fun and some much needed socialization but it put off my schedule and a delayed walk means warmer weather and more chance of seeing other dogs and walkers. Cue the psychotic unsocialized dog rage Fio is famous for displaying.

By the end of my walk I had worked up a good sweat but I was also upset and frustrated. Embarrassed about my dog's behavior and my inability to whip him into shape. He's a wonderful walker when it's just the two of us, but if there are any witnesses it all goes to pot.

The rest of the day was difficult for me mood wise. Feeling very lonely and isolated. I got a bit paralyzed several times (staring into nothing, not able to communicate or make expressions) and eating was difficult. All I wanted to do was lay on the bed, in the dark, seeping. The hubby persisted in his caring efforts and eventually we got out of the house and shook me up a bit, but all in all it was a poor day.

Then this morning on my walk I happened upon a woman with 4 or 5 dogs (seriously, I have no idea what the story is there, they weren't even little guys they were lab mutts!) and then coming back into the complex one of neighbors (she's already on our "list") was standing around with her unsocialized dog. That got ugly fast.

Fio barking and snarling and that dog barking and lunging. This lady has her "baby" on one of those stupid, chintzy retractable leashes that the catch fails when the dog starts lunging like mad so in short order we had a large terrier mix charging us and the neighbor spouting "oh she won't do anything." Well Fio will! Your dog ever had stitches?! You wanna go there?

I didn't actually say that but I was bitter and upset. Worse than the embarrassment of my dog's poor behavior was my hypocritical bashing of my neighbor's pet ownership. I'm ashamed of myself, a little for Fio's horrible behavior problems but more so for my defensive delusions and internal monologues; building myself up by tearing others' down. It just makes me feel worse. I want to be "the bigger person" I want to be caring and considerate and understanding, I don't want to be angry and bitter!

*le sigh*

It's be a rough weekend. Hoping that roasting a big ole ham and having a nice dinner with the Seahawks game will makes things better.