Blog Archive

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bigger and Better and the Blog Status

What I see when looking down, taken yesterday.
My plan for a second baby was always that we'd try to get pregnant while I was in the editing phase of my dissertation. Of course, the universe had other plans. 

April: First my IUD was not retrievable by the local family medicine PA (let me assure you that wasn't fun) and required a sonogram to locate it.
May: Our local medical clinic doesn't have a sonogram machine so I had to go all the way to town for the scan. Once the sonogram confirmed it was still there I had to book an exam with a proper OB/GYN to have it removed.
August: And what a headache THAT was! I was warned that I'd likely require medication or a mild sedative since there'd uncomfortable prodding of my cervix. And because of that, I'd be required to have a driver come with me. So we had to organize extended childcare for Eddie so Dave could go with me to town (4 hour round trip).  All that nonsense for the OB/GYN to easily pull the IUD right out. Dave had settled down in the waiting room with all his water exam study materials only to see me emerge smiling and drug-free 10 minutes later. At least we got to go out for a sushi lunch date before coming home. My dream of conceiving right away didn't happen and I was feeling a little lousy about it. Was I too old? Suddenly infertile? Are the hormones going to take a long time to dissipate?
December 18: filed my dissertation and celebrated with a lavish sushi dinner at Livermore's Hanabishi with a complementary glass of plum wine.
December 20: discovered I was pregnant!
I was in Mountain View when I took these tests and texted them to Dave.
 He thought they were ovulation strips and didn't bother to respond, figuring I was just letting him know my status. 

December 25: started feeling really awful (nausea, extreme bloating and fatigue)
Mid-February: finally started feeling like a happy pregnant lady rather than a sleepy bloated balloon who didn't want to eat anything for fear of barfing and heartburn.

At 10 weeks I had one of those fancy blood tests for sex determination and genetic screening. I had the OB write the sex on a paper and seal it in an envelope. We have decided to not open the envelope and will just wait for the surprise come late August.

Right now I'm 23w4d along and I've gained about 23 pounds. Ouf, it seems like a lot but I'm right on track with my weight gain compared to Eddie's gestation.  In fact, I'm only a week later in this pregnancy than I was with Eddie. The baby is due August 21, almost exactly a week after Eddie's birthday.
Even my shadow is looking pregnant these days.

I've been walking a lot...and had to get fitted for proper walking shoes to accommodate my increased weight. 
And here are a few more pictures of my belly and pregnancy shenanigans to keep the post interesting.
In the last week I've had a terrible time sleeping. My entire back has been aching after just a couple of hours in bed. I posted a want ad on the local Facebook trading post for a pregnancy body pillow. A family sold me a Snoodle the wife used only once. Dave picked it up while I was cooking dinner. The dogs approve of it and so do I! I haven't slept this well in a long time. 
I bought a fetal doppler from a friend and it's been so fun to listen to the heart beat whenever I want! Especially when I couldn't feel the baby move yet. I started to feel it at only 13 weeks this time! OB says I have a posterior placenta so it makes sense that I felt it sooner.

I'm still contemplate my return to the blog--whether to keep this one public vs. private or to start a new private blog. Living here, we've lost our anonymity and that's a combination of troubling and annoying. Most likely I'll keep this one public and just start a new one. I'll keep you "posted."  Haha.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Flu and the October-December Picture Roundup

Monday was the MLK holiday so we all had the day off from work and school. My only commitment that day was an ambulance district meeting (I'm on the board). About 30 minutes before the meeting I got a cough--it was weird how suddenly it hit me. One of the other directors was there donning a face mask and gloves because he had come down with the flu. I guess it was a sign of things to come--that night both and Dave and I got fevers and body aches to add to our coughs. My FIL called to inform us that he'd also gotten the same symptoms. A couple days later he tested positive for influenza at urgent care. So I'm sort of assuming that Dave and I have the flu, too.  

Eddie was fine--totally asymptomatic--so each morning I'd drag myself out of bed to get him up and ready for school. And then yesterday we kept him home when he came down with a fever and cough. Poor kid is on day #2 and seems pretty uncomfortable, even with medication. Dave reminded me that our second day was the worst, too.  

We are soooooooooooo lucky to have our good friend and neighbor, Naomi, taking care of us. She calls or emails a few times a day to check in and see what she can do/cook/buy for us. So far it's been homemade soup (chicken noodle and pozole), popsicles, ginger tea, a face humidifier, nose ointment, juice, tuna salad from her job (which she knows is like crack to me), 7Up, Gatorade, Tylenol for Eddie, and probably more. And just now another friend of mine stopped by with some homemade carrot/orange/ginger juice. Aren't we lucky?

So....since October I haven't posted anything.  Let's see what we've been up to by skimming through my phone pictures:

October 25 we put on a pumpkin patch for the community. Although I only had about a month to plan it, I ended up getting all the costs donated by individuals, the Soroptomists, and the local grocery store (we even ended up with about $120 toward next year's event). The pumpkins were free and we sold my father-in-law's apples to raise funds for the airport.  The event was supposed to be outside in our actual pumpkin patch among the apple orchard trees but it was really rainy so we moved it inside one of the industrial buildings. Less ambiance but still fun for the kids.
It was fun to see all the little kids come to pick a pumpkin.

We made a straw bale pyramid for climbing, let the kids inside the big trucks and had a photo board painted by my friends.

In November we harvested the last of our summer garden goodies.
Whenever I harvested I took a picture with my feet in it. This time we all helped so we had 6 feet in the picture.
Later that month Edward and Jennifer hosted a whiskey tasting party at their apartment's community room.  It was awesome. They'd started me tasting whiskey several months before and it's a good thing because I didn't used to like it.  Okay...I still don't like it but I can appreciate it now.
Everyone was asked to bring a bottle. Miraculously, they didn't end up with an repeats.  I was a jerk and brought a mystery bottle (the painted black one in the middle with the orange topper) and made people guess what it was. But then I was dumb and forgot what I'd brought so poor Edward was right even though I didn't give him credit until I looked at the original bottle picture in my phone.  Oops. 

Edward's parties are always fun because I get to see these lovely people!
For Thanksgiving Dave's brother Mike and his family came up to Gualala.  Eddie and his cousins had loads of fun playing.  They all arrived while I was out delivering meals to home-bound folks through the senior center. It was a lovely, sunny, warm day and it was a nice change of pace to drive around to new neighborhoods (such as they are in the country) and meet new people.

I started cooking the Thanksgiving meal for our family a few days in advance.  Dave and I took all the dishes up to his parents' house that morning--including the brined turkey and roaster oven--and let everything cook/reheat. It was perfect: my kitchen was spotless when I left that morning and my dear mother-in-law didn't have to cook! All I had to do was make gravy before dinner.
All the Bowers (all you see of Papa is his hand and belly).
This autumn was marked by MUSHROOMS in abundance. I dragged Eddie out into the woods with the dogs several times after school. We got lucky with the abundance!
One afternoon Eddie and I went into the woods with a bucket, a latte-filled paper cup, and his school backpack (had our hats and water bottles in it).  We found SO MANY black trumpets and pig's ears that I ended up stuffing all those containers with mushrooms.
So many trumpets!
In early December I was getting oh-so-close to finalizing my dissertation. Every Wednesday I drive Eddie to school and then pick him up (rather than busing). So I get to spend a few hours in the itty bitty Coast Community Library typing away. My favorite spot is the teen section and I use some giant environmental impact reports to raise my screen to an ergonomic height.
This was my last Dissertation Wednesday in the library. (I was pretty excited about the 'last' part.)
In mid-December my dad and brother kindly came to town to help Dave finalize some of the new kitchen installation things. We're turning this giant house into 2 residences and the first step is to install a second kitchen downstairs. It's been...a lot of work. I can't wait for it to be done.
Eddie sure likes having Grandpa and Uncle around.

There was lots of reading going on while they weren't working.

And lots of snuggling.
On December 18, 2014 I officially changed my title to Doctor Mama!  My dad went to Davis with me for the day so he could photo-document everything: getting signatures from my committee, filing the dissertation with Grad Studies, etc. I'll definitely do a proper post on this soon.
This is immediately after it became official--me holding my new UC Davis alumni pin!
The next day, I collected Eddie from Dave and Santa Rosa so we could spend some time in Livermore with my dad.  Then we packed up and went camping (in a cabin) with Dyani's family and Edward and Jennifer in Morgan Hill. The kids had fun biking in the mud and horsing around.
Batiste and Eddie...gosh they used to be wee babies!

Gaudilliere-Bower-Levie-Whitney family dinner!
 I love shopping at the Asian and Indian markets of the bay area. So of course Eddie and I had to make a pit stop at 99 Ranch market before heading back up to the coast. He really wanted to have fish for dinner so we got (way too many) 2 trout and 2 snapper. Papa John was very, very happy--he loves seafood.
Happy Bowers with their fish dinner.
 Suddenly it was Christmas 2014!  We kept it small as usual, just the three of us. I am always amazed (grossed out a little?) by how many presents my friends' kids get for the holiday. Luckily Eddie doesn't know what other families do and he's overjoyed with his 3 "big" gifts.
Happy Christmas big boy!
Just for documenting, here's what we got.  Eddie received an 800 piece LEGO set (airplane, boat, helicopter), a Transformer LEGO book, and a flip-over RC car. Dave received a coffee cup warmer for his office, 2 belts...and I don't remember what else. (Mental note: I've really got to step up my gift giving effort for him.)  He gave me a Burkey water filter for my emergency supplies stash, a digital kitchen scale, and 4 types of kitchen thermometers (I'd just been complaining about how my cheese and meat thermometers go missing all the time).

The Saturday after Christmas we had dinner at my in-law's. John actually did most of the cooking, surprisingly.  Peggy said she sent him to the store for a turkey and he came home with a TWENTY SIX pound turkey! For a 5-person dinner. Oh my. The whole meal was delicious.
Christmas dinner at Grammy and Papa's.