Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My First Midwife Appointment

Well I finally got to meet the midwife group and it was a huge success. Daniel was irritable. He doesn't like change, doesn't like that I switched and didn't like that the walls and floors of this hospital building looked more worn than our other more shiny and redone hospital. But I'm not going to this hospital because of how it looks or doesn't look. I'm going to it for the care Zoe and I will receive. More on him in a moment.

Anyway, it was kind of strange going into this and having it play out like a first prenatal workup (minus the pap and pelvic exam) since I'm about ready to deliver! I got a little bag of pamphlets and information. The midwife gave me her birth plan and I gave her mine. She actually sat down with me (on this cool, hippie looking bed instead of a regular exam table) and went through each point. The only thing on there that she had to change was the water birth part. The hospital no longer does them. So she crossed out water birth and wrote "hydrotherapy" (labor in the tub). Her birth plan mirrored mine. It simply went through what to expect for a hospital birth versus a midwife birth and I could check what I wanted for each category (for example, for the "Fetal Monitoring" section I could choose to have constant monitoring as a regular OB would do or I could do it the midwife way and they just use a doppler intermittently).

Then she whispered to me that if I have my baby at night the night nurses usually don't care what the midwives do and if a woman has her baby in the tub then they still mark it as vaginal delivery. They're not as strict and stingy. And she also said there's nothing they can do if a baby just slips out while the woman is laboring in the tub (yeah, I want my baby to just slide right out... that sounds nice!), which has apparently happened before. If they notice a mom pushing in the tub they just have her stand and deliver out of the water, then let her sit back down in the water with baby.

She felt Zoe, who is head-down but not engaged. She estimates that she'll be around 8.5 lbs like Abigail was but remember I'm the skeptic when it comes to estimating baby weight prior to birth so we'll have to see. It was so neat because she felt around for Zoe's body and told me what all the body parts were. It was a lot more laid back and down-to-earth but not all fruity and tree-hugging, you know?

I also got to weigh myself and check my own protein/sugars (urine test they always do). Then I just report to her the findings and my weight. I thought that was pretty cool and I felt more private about it.

What else? I can eat and drink in labor. She gave me a list of recommended foods. A lot of them are fruit and protein snacks, which give you energy. She told me many women will eat in early stages of labor but once active labor hits they're not hungry anymore. And then she told me that when I don't feel hungry during labor is when we should head to the hospital (she definitely recommended laboring at home as long as possible and hopefully arrive between 5-7cm).

I'm guaranteed a midwife at my delivery unless there are complications. Then there is a "sponsoring doctor" who will take over. The midwives' c-section rate is LESS THAN 3%! You read that right. I said THREE percent! So she said if they recommend a c-section they really mean it and it is best for mom and baby.

They delay cord clamping and cutting. Skin-to-skin contact is immediate and can last 1-2 hours before the nurses weigh and clean baby up, do the eye gunk and all their other state-mandated procedures. By the way, when they put the stuff in baby's eyes, you can request that they immediately wipe it off and if they won't you can wipe it off yourself. It doesn't have to stay on there, gooping up their eyelashes and eyelids.

I can move around and use all sorts of fun gadgets (squat bar, birth ball, labor tub, etc.). Basically, labor at home. Arrive for 20 minutes of fetal monitoring and cervical check for dilation. Then get up and labor, use the tub, have a baby, hold them for an hour and... yay!

The hospital also offers a VIP package. For $150 you get three meals a day for you and your spouse including candlelit dinners, a pizza party with cake for 10 guests, a gift basket, baby blanket and a bunch of other stuff. Dang! Set me up! Ha ha! It's actually too late for me to get in on that deal and I wouldn't want to spend the money anyway.

The absolutely best part of all?! As I was checking in I noticed a letter at the front desk stating that my previous doctor (the one who broke my sweet Abby's collarbone and wouldn't help me during my last miscarriage) has moved to another practice and will not be delivering at this hospital. HUGE sigh of relief that if one of my midwives isn't available then I won't have her as a backup. WOO!

So how do I personally feel about the midwives? They're so open and friendly. They're women, they understand, they know birth and babies. I feel like I could ask them anything and they won't make me feel stupid and if I question something they won't push me into anything or make me feel uncomfortable.

There are three midwives. I was meeting with one when the other two popped in to say hello and said, "You're the new momma who switched late!" I guess I'm the talk of the office! Ha ha ha! Daniel and I thought that was pretty funny. It wasn't said in a bad way but in a way that made me feel like they were proud I was standing my ground and switching, no matter how late, almost awe-like.

Some helpful tips:
-They want me to drink a quart of raspberry leaf tea a day! Apparently this helps with blood clotting and is very beneficial to pregnant women. She told me she has her patients drink it their entire pregnancy but to have me start now would be great, too.
-There is also a tea to help with milk production. She gave me some samples! I don't have a milk production issue. I have latch issues with my babies (hopefully not this time) but I'll give it a whirl.
-A sheet of different birthing positions and how they help/don't help.
-A list of what makes contractions MORE painful and intense (like fear and wasting all your energy in early, early labor worrying about when active labor will hit).

Daniel seemed to visibly relax while the midwife was in the room. He didn't say much and still hasn't said much, which is a good thing. He's a pretty passionate and expressive guy. If he doesn't like something he doesn't hesitate to say so! I know part of him is worried but I hope God gives him peace over these next days and weeks.

Okay sorry for the novel! It was a lot of information all at once and there's probably more I'm forgetting. Oh, I do have a couple other things I want to add, for posterity-sake.

I love this hospital's pre-admittance procedures. You actually set up an appointment to pre-admit with a nurse. You fill out ALL your paperwork and even get started on your baby's birth certificate (minus their name and birth stats). You sign consent forms, you get to ask questions, you let them know your birth plan preferences, etc. So they get to know you before you actually arrive. We are going to do this on Thursday next week and hopefully tour the birthing unit. I'm one busy bee this month, don't even get me started... more on that tomorrow. This post is long enough!!! PHEW!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Full Term and BIG news!

I am 37 weeks and things are still going so well. She could come at any point in the next 3 weeks!!! I just ordered a Melinda G nursing bra off of that website! These bras are usually $40 and I got mine for $18.40. Booyah! I still want a Bravado and will be getting one soon. But I have to have at least one bra available come D-Day!

Speaking of which, I have some big news. I never blogged about it but I have actually been searching for a new doctor and hoping to transfer from my current doctor. I know, I seem so fickle. But what started out as an exciting and wonderful doctor-patient relationship slowly turned sour the moment I turned in my birth plan and started advocating for myself. I don't think my doctor liked it. He liked it when I said, "Yes sir!" and did whatever he told me to do.

You guys have read the underlying tones in past posts where I felt completely unsettled and raw. I kept trying to tell myself I was just being hormonal and my husband told me I was just getting cold feet. The more I saw my doctor, the more nervous and stressed out I became. That is no way to feel after seeing your doctor. I'd be fine and then once I'd see him I wouldn't be able to sleep for days.

First, he has lied to me many times. He'd tell me one thing to my face and then write down the complete opposite on my birth plan or chart. He told me I could have fluids by mouth and a Heplock, as opposed to an IV line. On my birth plan he wrote a big fat, "NO!" with an arrow pointing to that particular line on the plan. What the heck?! And of course he never talks to me if he changes his mind. I only see it because it's sticking out of my chart.

Second, his attitude has changed. Once I expressed I didn't want a late sonogram to measure Zoe he seemed flabbergasted with me and sternly said he needed it done so he knew how big she would be (predicting a "big baby" is not a reason to induce or give a woman a c-section based on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). My last appointment I asked him when internals would start and if they were considered mandatory or if I could decline them and you could see his entire body react and tense. He wasn't liking that I was educating myself and saying NO to certain things.

My first attempt to find a new doctor didn't end up happening. I was almost 9-months pregnant and the hospital she delivers at wouldn't take my insurance. I was really hoping to have her as she seems to really follow the Midwifery Model of Care (which should be the model of care for ALL low risk women but some OBs can get their panties in a wad and refuse to do that).

My second attempt was today. I found a midwife group and decided to call them today. I called with the mindset that it was way too late to transfer and I'd be rejected. But she didn't hesitate at all and said, "Yes, we take late transfers! Many women find that the birth they're envisioning isn't going to be respected by their physician and we're all about women just coming in and having babies. Most of our women don't even have IVs during their labor and delivery."

I think I swooned.

My first appointment with them is Wednesday!

The only downside is that one of their backup doctors is my previous doctor (the lovely one who broke my daughter's collarbone during her birth). I'll definitely make it clear that I cannot have that doctor anywhere near me for liability reasons.

They offer water birth, non-intervening hospital birth options (such as IVs), alternative pain relief (non-medical), father-assisted birth, VBACs for previous c-section mommas, no episiotomies, very low c-section rate, etc.

I can't tell you how much lighter and less stressed I feel! I think I'll feel even more better once I get to meet them and get a better feel for what to expect at this different hospital. And I think I'll finally be able to sleep tonight!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

And on the 7th day God rested...

Technically Saturday is the seventh day since it ends the week. And being a pastoral family we don't exactly rest on the Sabbath. So today I decided I would not do anything. Not a darn thing. I was feeling really feisty and under-appreciated... if my house was going to be destroyed by two little girls and a grown man, so be it! I wasn't going to do anything.

I got up with the girls this morning to eat breakfast but once Daddy got up *I went straight back to bed and didn't get out of it until 2:30.

My girls got to watch Saturday morning shows (Hannah Montana, of course) and their dad made them mac-n-cheese for lunch, ketchup on the side like their mom! I woke up from my drool-wet pillow to find two munchkins climbing into bed with me for nap time.

*To be honest I hadn't even meant to fall asleep when I came up after breakfast. I was laying there, resting and petting Beckett. Next thing I know everyone is trampling up the stairs for naps! But it felt great!!!

I didn't clean up any messes today, except for a few dishes. No laundry, no vacuuming, no nothing. I didn't even make dinner. I plopped leftovers onto dinner plates, un-showered with my pajamas still on. And it was refreshing. THIS is what a Saturday is meant to be.

My personal advice to you under-pressure mommas who feel this need to always run a tight ship with perfection: let it go once in awhile! I'm glad I did. I feel awesome (and yes, I have showered now and changed into clean jammies). In fact, my husband just made me a strawberry smoothie.

Life is good!

And P.S.- my house isn't even trashed! The girls cleaned up their toys and I had Daddy do a lot of cleanup after meals. We even played a couple games of hide-n-seek past the girls' bedtime, which was delightful. Daniel is such a big kid sometimes and I love him for it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

You know it'll warm up again...

... now that I've packed away my kids' summer clothes! Okay so packed isn't even the word for it. I have a box that I keep in their closet for off-season clothing. I just kind of threw everything in there instead of folding it all up nicely. I figure at some point my out-of-control nesting self will wander in there and make it all neat and perfect but today I was feeling pretty breathless.

And Zoe dropping probably won't help because as it is now she seems to be in my lungs and down very, very low. I'm talking LOW. I constantly joke that she's trying to claw her way out and if that description puts you in pain, trust me! It can be quite uncomfortable... I'm just really short and she's got nowhere to go.

We were in the car heading to Toys-R-Us the other day and I had to recline my chair all the way back and stretch my body to give her room. She was trying to stretch and it felt like her butt was in my stomach while her head grinded my cervix. Yeah, it wasn't pretty. I also told my husband no more driving for me!

So speaking of TRU we went there because they're having this mega sale. They have certain brands (Little Pet Shop, i.e.) that are Buy 2 Get the 3rd Free. Um, Christmas! I spent only $60 for nine toys (three of which were FREE). I had planned on doing the girls' Christmas shopping in October but couldn't pass up this sale. I didn't get anything for Zoe bug since she'll be so little. Sale ends Saturday if you're interested for your own shopping...

I have my GBS (Group B Strep) swab tomorrow and I'm soooooo looking forward to it (*eye roll*). I shaved for the occasion. It was quite a sight! I wish my husband would help me with shaving but alas he will not for fear of cutting me. Daniel had used the last of the shaving cream (we just buy the mens shaving cream because it's cheaper) so I got to use my brand new tube of B&B Works body wash instead. I smell so freaking good right now. Seriously! And my legs may not be perfect and I probably missed a ton on my thighs... but I SMELL good. That's what matters to me.

I have plans to shave every Thursday, before every appointment just in case. Then I won't be a prickly cactus when the time comes. Honestly I probably won't notice or care while in the throes of labor but it's the thought that counts. I care about the nursing staff and what they have to put up with.

*wandering away to find something else to clean, organize or toss in this nesting frenzy*

P.S. I GOT MY DIAPER BAG THE OTHER DAY!!! And I started packing it only to get overwhelmed because I can't remember what the heck to pack in a diaper bag. Ha ha ha! How did that happen?! Any little things I might overlook (other than the obvious diaps, wipes and extra clothes)? I need a refresher!

This diaper bag is absolutely amazing and the craftmanship is top notch. I'm so used to bags that have uneven seams and fall apart at the drop of a dime. I'm never ever satisfied with the bags that I've bought in the past but I have no complaints with this bag so... if you know me you know it's good! If you're wondering what I got I did write about it just a few posts back. It's the Fluerville Lexie Tote in Botanical Azure (and no, I did not pay the price that is on their website)!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

36 Weeks and Some Changes

So I finally found a background I liked, though I was looking for a fall-inspired theme. Oh well! It works and I like it. I'll be working on my sidebars soon. It takes quite a long time for me to fill it all back up. Let me know if it's easy to read, since that can be a problem for some people.

Anyway, I'm 36 weeks. Holy cow that means I'm in month 9 of pregnancy! And I'm feeling large and in charge. And crazy thing is that the swelling I posted about not long ago? No more swelling (other than my fingers feeling it a bit). I'm shocked. But very happy! I thought my feet would be blimps and able to carry me off!

This week's appointment is my GBS swab. Fun times! GBS = Group B Strep
I assume that also means they check for dilation but I'm not sure. Not that it would matter this early on.

Today is also the official start of fall! I absolutely love this time of year. It is my favorite, as it is for most people. There's just something about the beauty and the smell of change. The air feels electric. It's as though people are getting themselves all revved up before the winter blues hit.

My sister sent a box of baby clothes to me from when she had her third daughter (yes we both have three girls and no boys!). It was awesome to go through and bonus, she sent me my favorite B&B Works lotion/wash! I already washed all the clothes and put them in Zoe's drawers after getting the box at dinner last night.

My MIL and SIL have volunteered to throw Zoe a little party before her arrival! This is more of a celebration party than "showering" the mother with gifts, since I have pretty much everything. Some people feel weird about showers after the first baby but each baby deserves some sort of celebration before they're born or shortly after their birth. It's a celebration of their very first Birth Day! It's always small and intimate so I'm looking forward to good food and relaxing with people who are just as excited as I am to meet my little girl! (*Decided to do it before she was born since flu season is coming up and I don't want to play "Pass the Baby" at a get-together.)

Now I'm off to take a nap. Just thinking about all we have left to do makes me sleepy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I've been messing around with changing my blog background but I can't find anything I like and I really liked having 3 columns because I have so many blogs on my blogroll. Phooey! Any suggestions for sites that offer free layouts (other than Lena and TheCutestBlogontheBlock)?

Elaina told me today that she kissed a boy in her class. I asked if he was her boyfriend and she laughed and said, "No he's my sister! I kissed him on the cheek." Whoa, okay!

The farm field trip we went on the other day was fun but difficult for my 8-month pregnant body after the hayride. Oh yes, I braved a hayride. I was fine the way to the tomato field but when we drove BACK to the main farm area I thought I was going to give birth. Phew! And the bus ride to the farm and back to the school was terrorizing. I am a nervous passenger (I've been in a few wrecks as a passenger) and this lady was just nuts. I was praying to my dear, sweet Jesus the whole time!

Elaina also had picture day and got her first progress report from school this week. She's doing really good and didn't have any bad report. We do have some things to work on, but I've already been working on them with her so I'm glad we're all on the same page with her teacher. There were a couple things I felt she excelled at but was put as "meets expectations" but I have to remember she's a lot more free at home and more reserved at school in some respects. Hopefully she comes out of her shell some more during the year and really show the excellence that I know she has in her!

Today we took the girls to a Sibling Class at the hospital. It was... interesting. It wasn't anything different than what I've been talking to the girls about (how to hold baby, to wash their hands before touching her, etc.). The only difference was that we got to tour the maternity units and we saw a poor little baby in the nursery window crying his heart out. And the girls got cookies. Oh joy, that was the best part of the day they told me! Ah, well, whatever!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I Have Left to Do

I am one of those people who has to have lists and journals to keep my head clear of all the madness. And lately I feel like my head is going to explode with trying to keep up with what I have left to do. I just feel so unprepared right now.

-First and very importantly, I got my reimbursement check from the crib company already! They told me 4-6 weeks (which runs into my due date) and I got it in what? Less than 2 weeks?! Maybe they could feel my seething anger through my emails... ha ha! Just kidding.

-One thing I was hoping to get before baby arrived was a diaper bag. I am so sick of the boring diaper bags I've used in the past (I always stuck to just black or brown but I want COLOR as I've always loved color and sparkle and pizazz). I was lucky enough to get the buzz that Mama Bargains was selling Fleurville diaper bags for over half the cost. So if you are looking for an amazing diaper bag GO CHECK IT OUT before they're sold out! They have pink, blue or a botanical bag (I got the botanical one). It is definitely more pricey than I wanted but I plan on using it as a purse AND diaper bag, so that justifies the cost for me.

-Another thing I need to get before, or right after Zoe arrives, are nursing bras! I plan on buying one Bravado to try out. I've only heard wonderful things about this bra. I've tried Ta.rget and Mthrhd Mat.ernity and they do NOT cut it for a busty diva like myself. I only have one bra that I can wear right now and it is a Bry.ant, which won't work for nursing.

-Need to pack a bag for my girls for when they're at the in-laws' house! Probably pack some extra clothes, diapers for Abby and wash/lotion in the event they need to be bathed. Who knows what state of stink they'll be in when labor hits!

Things that I have gotten done:
*Installed infant seat
*Packed hospital bag
*Typed care sheets for my in-laws for when they watch my kids
*Nursery (minus the crib)
*Washed baby clothes

I've had a lot of contractions lately and have been chugging water like a madwoman. And, as gross as this may sound to some, I feel like I may be dilating already too. Of course if you're a birth junkie you know that dilation doesn't mean squat until you hit 5cm. You can remain dilated for many weeks preceding labor! And I genuinely hope that's the case for me (that I'm dilating but still don't give birth for several more weeks).

I'm off to dye my hair! With the recent purchases and stuff I have left to buy I don't want to spend the money to get my hair cut. Instead I'm going to dye it (right now)! It's been quite a few months since I have so it's going to be refreshing. If I think of it, I'll post pics!

Monday, September 14, 2009


Hello dear friends! I've been reading blogs but haven't been updating my own. I've been a cleaning machine here at home. Today I cleaned out the fridge, packaged up a huge box of clothes to ship to my sis, did the dishes, folded and put away the laundry, scrubbed the bathroom, bleached the toilet wand (seriously, that thing is so nasty! I need to get the throw-away kind), showered.

Phew! And tomorrow is a full-day field trip and grocery shopping.

I am now 35 weeks pregnant with 35 days to go (35/35)! It makes my heart skip to think it. One more week left in month 8 and then I'll officially be 9 months pregnant.

One of my SILs is going to start having a scrapbooking night at her house once a month. I'm really stoked and looking forward to it. I need to get something to lug all my stuff in as I do have a lot! I haven't kept up with scrapbooking since Abby was a baby because there is so much stuff and I hate dragging it all out and making a mess. It's always more fun to scrap with others too!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's the Climb

So of course when the Hannah Montana movie came out we bought it, since you all know my husband is a major fan of Miss Miley. Well my girls are equally obsessed and I often overhear them singing her songs.

Anyway, when Miley starts singing "The Climb" in the movie Abigail's eyes get all starry. And she just starts belting out the words (or tries to anyway!). She'll even wave her hands above her head in slow-motion.

But don't you dare try to sing it to her because she will glare at you and say, "That's MY song! Don't sing-a my song!" I have GOT to catch her singing it on video sometime. Especially when she starts singing, "It's the Ci-iiiii-iiiiiiiii-iiiii-iiiiiiiimb!" over and over and makes her voice move up and down.

I have been teaching Abigail her colors and we just started talking about 'light' and 'dark' shades of the colors since she knows all her colors now. Well yesterday I grabbed a dishrag to wipe her up after lunch and she said, "Yook, Mom! It's DARK black!" Ha ha! Is there any other shade of black but dark?

Abigail recognizes the letter "H" with no problem. That, again, is thanks to Hannah Montana.

I went on a walk, in the rain, with Abby yesterday and it was amazing. It felt so good even though we got soaked. And she kept saying, "I takin' a show-uh! I washin' my hawr!"

Speaking of getting soaked... our van's belt decided to fall off AGAIN yesterday. Yesterday was a big day apparently. Anyway, we got it fixed properly and when Daniel got home his arms were black (or dark black, in the words of Abby). And his clothes were soaked all the way to his skin. His shoes are still drying! My poor honey! He later told me that considering the work they had to do on the car, he could've lost a finger. Great! Hopefully the belt never falls off again.

And since a few people have asked me recently- no we still don't know Zoe's middle name. I keep bugging Daniel every single day. He's also put some new names in the mix that he will NOT tell me about. So it's a waiting game. I told him he'll never name her before she is born at this rate! Commit, please!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

34 Weeks and Home Births

So our little peanut has grown into a honeydew melon! She's probably about 4 lbs, give or take some ounces. I have this weird thing, though, that I have to ask you guys about. Usually when your baby gets the hiccups it gives you a good idea if your baby is breech or head-down. Well... I feel hiccups down L-O-W and up by my ribs at the same time!!! I'm so confused. I think she's head-down and it's just her bum up top moving with the hiccups.

On a different note: I have always been a person that respects home births, but never ever felt that I'd be comfortable enough to actually have a home birth. I've watched the videos on Yo.uT.ube, read the birth stories, talked to midwives and always thought, "That's so nice... but not for me!"

Just this past week or so my tune has changed. I really feel like I am in a place where I could comfortably and safely give birth at home. Problem is that it isn't going to happen since Daniel does not like the idea whatsoever. But it was a nice thought and I hope that he changes his mind in the future. I actually know people who've given birth at home, in real life, and I admire them greatly.

So why, you may wonder, have I begun to think about this? I think it's a multitude of things that changed my mind. Some of it is pretty intense and I won't go into that (mostly with hospital policies and regulations, defense medicine, etc.). But I began to think, "What if I was in the comfort of my own home, not having to rush off to the hospital in fear and anxiety, hoping I get there 'in time'?" Being able to labor and do what I need to do, stare at our family pictures, bring my baby into the world, and then rest in my own home without people rushing in and out of my room and all the noise and rough hands handling my baby!

A lot of my research in home birth has also led me to this conclusion- "Home birth is actually safer than hospital birth for low-risk women, with a health professional present!" (ONE of my resources HERE). Beforehand I didn't think it could be that safe. Now I'm finding it is as safe and even safer than a hospital birth.

But again, as I said before, Daniel is not on the same page as I am. And that's okay. I think a lot of what he feels is fear, mostly that his wife might die in delivery (which he feels at a hospital birth, too). Much like what I used to feel when thinking about home birth and feeling it wasn't for me.

Instead we plan to labor at home as long as possible instead of going in when those first real contractions hit. The moment you lay down to be monitored at the hospital, your contractions can ease up and your progress can slow significantly. So it's important to me to stay home for a little while instead of spending hours on monitors and slowing progress.

We are also praying for our doctor, whoever that may be since this practice has quite a few, and for the nurses that will be present when we deliver. We believe in the power of prayer and we're praying they'll be knowledgeable, kind, respectful, peaceful and joyous. We'd appreciate adding us onto your prayer list about this specific situation. For some reason I feel more apprehension prior to this birth than the birth of my other two. Perhaps because I know all the things that CAN go wrong and have more knowledge in this area than I did back then.

So 1 1/2 months and she'll be here. My TO DO List has dwindled considerably. Just this weekend we installed the infant seat in our van and packed the hospital bag (with a list of last-minute items to grab with us, such as pillows and my eyeglasses). Not much left to do!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

It's a Full Moon Tonight (*UPDATED*)

Just an FYI to anyone who is in their last few weeks of pregnancy: tonight is a full moon. I'm not superstitious. I believe there really is a scientific reason more women go into labor on a full moon night than other nights. I'm just too lazy (read: tired) to go look it up right now.

This past week I've had a lot of contractions. Some take my breath away but they don't hurt. I feel like my stomach is in a tight bear hug and I feel all crampy during one. It's kind of exciting because I hope that when the time comes, I go into labor on my own.

I've gotten a lot of little projects done at home. But once I complete one little project, a dozen other ones seem to pop up! I've made 3-4 trips to the thrift store the past two weeks alone to drop off stuff we don't need/want/use. I always feel so good when I do that, like I'm unburdening myself of junk.

We cleaned out all of our clothes. I've cleaned our 3rd story and organized our holiday stuff. I've hung things that need to be hung but I had put off. I cleaned my laundry area (the shelves, wiped down the washer and dryer, etc.), reorganized the kitchen cabinets, found a place for Zoe's dishes and bottles in the kitchen. Phew!

I'm still trying to find a crib. I've got our old one boxed up and waiting for UPS in the foyer (cannot wait for them to pick it up because I hate clutter!!!). And I realized that I don't have a diaper bag. I mean, I do have a diaper bag but I'm getting tired of it and it's not very functional. So I found one I really like, but it's about $60! That's a lot, for me, to spend on a bag. I can find it cheaper on Ebay so I am going to go that route one of these days. I think it's about $20 cheaper via Ebay.

Blah, blah, blah. Such a boring post. Thanks for putting up with me!

***Updated to Add***

My belly button is now inside out! Ahhhh! It's so weird and feels weird. I don't like it. I don't remember my belly button actually becoming an outie when pregnant with my other two but Daniel says it did. Amazing what we forget in time, when we feel we'll never forget it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Holiday Spirit!

We are definitely getting into the holiday spirit in this house! Last night I dragged out what few fall decorations I have and spent today cleaning and putting them up. Mmmm... my house smells like cinnamon and fall now. This is my favorite time of year, by far! You can tell because most of my house and decorations usually look fall-ish or are at least those colors.

So anyway, yesterday I went shopping. I started Christmas shopping. I found a plastic bowling set on clearance, a wooden train on clearance, got some charms for necklaces, a Barbie for Elaina and got the girls some clearanced shorts/pants.

I couldn't help looking at all the baby clothes and wound up finding these adorable pajamas! Since the girls need warmer jammies as it is Abby and I picked out one pair for each girl. Abby wanted the kitty cat one for Boo and she wanted the pumpkin one for herself.

And then I was wanting to find some comfortable pajamas for the hospital or to wear home. I couldn't resist this very festive set, though I don't think it's going to fit me right after birth. It's a little snug as it is (not maternity-wear and band is NOT stretchy!). Looks like I have a pumpkin under my orange shirt (also not a maternity top)! My poor husband isn't good at taking pics, either but never mind that:

33 weeks

So the other day I was feeling really domestic and womanly so I decided to try to bake some bread. I used part of the dough to make pizza! The bread was a dud. I killed the yeast by using really hot water. Oops! But it still made some pizza that wasn't too bad. The bread was just heavy and thick:

And lastly, we went on a walk the other day. It was bedtime but so gorgeous out! So the girls and I went on an adventure. Luckily my in-laws live 5 blocks away because as soon as we were out I had go pee... again. On our walk, we found the largest leaf I've ever see. It's about half the size of Abigail. It's kind of wilting in the picture but DANG! Look at how big it is:

Are you already getting into the holiday spirit?! Christmas shopping? Decorating for fall? Do share! I'll do another post this week on my decor and some fun, easy tips.

Remember that guy I told you about on my Facebook? He wanted his baby to come super early! Well they had their baby and I'm relieved to say it was after her due date. YAY! No preterm baby there!!!

Keep our really good friend in your prayers. His 9-year-old cousin drowned last week. While playing in a creek with his friend after school, they got sucked under by a current. The other boy lived. You can read the story here if you care to. Please say a prayer for the family as they grieve over such a young life lost especially in such a tragic way.

DIY and Some Fall Decor Ideas

So let's talk DIY. Today I went out to run errands. I was going to BRU to get baby shower gifts for Daniel's cousin but they weren't open yet and I had an hour to kill. Jump across the street to Ol.d Pot.tery. I got this awesome 5 FOOT Scarecrow (you'll see him in a pic below) for only $4.99 on sale!

Well I got in trouble because after that I gravitated toward the dollar store next door. I knew I'd find fall decor there. Here's what I found at the dollar store: glasses, little plastic pumpkins, bag of silk leaves, candy and silk leaves on stems (not pictured).

So what the heck did I do with $12 worth of stuff? I decorated THREE rooms of my house, that's what. Dining room, front room and foyer. The next picture shows what I did with the clear glasses and candy. And now that area of my house smells like a Trick-or-Treat goody bag! (Ceramic pumpkin was something I already had.)

We keep our plates on the table due to lack of cabinet space, on a dark wicker charger (enormous plate thing). I really wish I could do a pretty and elaborate centerpiece because the table is the first thing you notice walking in. Instead, I used what I had and sprinkled the silk leaves around the base of the plates, right on the edge of the charger:

Next I took my decorative glass and my crystal-looking plastic pumpkins and put them together...

Then I stuck in my bouquets of fall leaves for a quick, yet somewhat glamorous vase:

I had tons of silk leaves leftover so I sprinkled them over tables, as though fall was just blowing through our house. The lighting in my house STINKS majorly but you get the idea:

Another table (ignore empty frames!). Notice the candles sitting on the ceramic leaves? I also got those at the dollar store last year. So check the candle aisle!

Another shot of my candy concoction. I'm sure Daniel and the girls will be snacking on that particular decoration as I do NOT like those candies.

You don't have to go overboard everywhere. Here are just two simple ceramic pumpkins resting on my bookshelf:

My mantle was easy. I didn't move stuff around but instead put some wicker pumpkins (found for $.99 each at Ol.d Pott.ery last year) on my red candle holders and I placed a cute, fabric pumpkin smack dab in the middle of it all, with pretty pine cones adorning each side. Click to enlarge.

Speaking of pine cones, I got these awesome cinnamon-scented pine cones on super clearance at the end of the season last year (I think it was $1 or less for a huge bag). They still smell amazing. The cute box the pine cones are sitting in is a wooden box, imprinted with fall leaves, from the DOLLAR store! The pumpkin and leaf votive holders on either side were given to me and they're really nice and heavy metal. Freebies rock! The other leaf votives were from my mom's house, so more freebies.

My $2.99 find of the day, hanging on a door in the foyer:

The stairs to the right of above door adorned with orange ribbons (looks better than what the picture shows) and my brand new inexpensive scarecrow chilling out until I find a home for him. I really want some fall garland for the stairs and I saw some inexpensive ones but am waiting for the end-of-the-season clearance.

This picture is dark but wanted to share this awesome pumpkin my MIL knit/crocheted for me. I don't know if she'd make more and sell them or not. She made this one to sell and it didn't sell so she just gave it to me. This particular one was around $20, I think, because of the yarn and her time:

You don't have to spend a lot to decorate. Here are some Secrets of a Shopaholic tips:

-Check the dollar store! But compare prices because some dollar items are not worth $1 and can be found cheaper somewhere else.

-Go free! That is, you can find your own pine cones and fall leaves right outside your front door... and you don't have to spend a dime! You can even find acorns, pine needles/branches and walnuts to place in a really large glass piece for an instant (and inexpensive) centerpiece!

-Fabric goes a long way for a small price! I don't have any for fall, but I want to get fabrics to drape over little tables and buffets around my house before putting decor on top. Check the scrap bin for even more discounts (that's how I got my Christmas tree skirt- I found large, red, silky fabric in the scrap bin for about $1).

-Be patient and wait. When the season ends, hit up the stores for some major clearance (50-75% off, sometimes even 90% off!). This is when I like to stock up on all those wonderful holiday platters and ceramic bowls that are always overpriced. And you can find all sorts of other goodies like holiday-scented candles, ornaments, dishes and garland!

-Think outside the box! You don't have to decorate with the typical stuff found only in the seasonal aisles. For instance, I used regular old wine glasses and filled them with Halloween candy. I also filled old, unused plant pots with some of my cinnamon-scented pinecones. Maybe you have vases or an orange-tinted fabric lying around somewhere you could incorporate into decor!

Share your tips if you've got any! I hope this inspires you and happy decorating!