Tuesday, January 29, 2013

24 Weeks and Counting

I think a pregnancy update is long overdue, so let's get the stats on this baby already!

This week marks my 24th with this pregnancy. There are definitely a lot of similarities between this pregnancy and my first, but now I am starting to notice the differences. Here are the things that are different between the two:
  • I had very little back pain with my first pregnancy. This time, back pain is the norm, not the exception. Some nights I beg for bedtime to get here because I ache around my entire trunk. My belly hurts because it is stretching, so I lean forward to ease the discomfort, which makes my back ache, so I lean back to ease that discomfort, which makes my belly stretch and hurt more. Its a nasty, hurty cycle.
  • I couldn't wear my wedding ring past 20 weeks the first time, but at 24 weeks, I'm not only still wearing it, but its not even tight.
  • I have only gained just over 14 lbs so far. If I keep this up, I will gain less than 30! I gained 38 with Little Bean.
  • I swear I am more tired this time and sleep a lot more. 
  • This baby likes to sit on/kick and punch my bladder. Little Bean never did any of that.
  • I ate a lot of cookies the first time (as in I would cook and eat a dozen in one night on a regular basis), and this time it is rice crispy treats (as in I make a pan and eat 1/3 of it in a night). Although I think between the two, rice crispy treats is the lesser of two evils.
The things that are the same:
  • The itchy, stretchy belly is starting.
  • I'm going through Tu.ms like I own the factory. Can anyone say "heartburn"? I would, but just saying the word gives me reflux.
  • I've already gotten to the point where I have to make donations to the porcelain god in the middle of the night because of the reflux. I can no longer eat past 6:00 at night and keep my food down after bedtime.
  • I'm carrying this baby high.
The first of my baby gear has arrived. The new carseat cover I ordered came on Saturday and absolutely love it.
Courtesy of carseatcanopy.com
Since this is most likely our last baby, and she's a girl, I want to go all out girly. With Little Bean we took the safe gender neutral route, and I always hated it. So this time I get to buy everything purple and frilly.

I picked this as our nursery theme:
I ordered the blanket for this theme so I could pick paint colors, and it came this weekend too. Again, LOVE it!

Getting all of these other baby things got me in the mood to sort through the clothes my sister sent back last year and get them sorted by age. Then I dug out the baby carrier so I could install the new cover.

Since I'm not gaining as much weight with this pregnancy, my pants from my first pregnancy look like clown pants, so Hubs went with me to get a new pair of jeans. While we were at the store, Hubs picked out a bunch of new outfits and a couple of dresses for Little Bean (awwwww!). We even got a couple outfits for the baby. Then Hubs, being the sweetheart that he is, bought everything!

I think the best thing we got for the baby this week was a middle name. Hubs and I have had such a hard time coming up with a name we both agree on, so this was a major feat. I kind of annoyed him into looking with me, and within an hour of his joining the hunt, we finally decided on a middle name.

One thing I wish I was doing as well on with this pregnancy as I did with the first is not drinking any caffeinated soda. I don't drink it often, but I never drank it with my first pregnancy. I suppose if that is the worst thing I do, I'm doing pretty good. At least I'm not getting 2-3 chocolate shakes a week from Chicf,il.a this time! (No wonder I'm not gaining as much weight!)

The baby is still sitting in a transverse position with her back along the top. Little Bean and Hubs got to feel the baby move for the first time the weekend before last. Little Bean loved it at first, but now she seems to be over it. She says she would rather hear the heartbeat, although she rarely passes up a chance to feel the baby move.

I think that's pretty much it. My next OB appointment is next week. Not only will I get my monthly sono, but I'll also get to take the 1-hour glucose test! I don't know about you, but I'm really only excited for the first part of that sentence. Hopefully we get some good pictures, and not the creepy looking ones that look like an alien face.

Until then, that's all I have!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Ugly Truth

My life was in a really awesome extended honeymoon phase when I got pregnant with Little Bean over 4 years ago. I had just started a new job, moved to a new state, moved into a new house, got a new dog, and after 2 years of TTC, we finally got pregnant, all within a 4-month period. It was all so wonderful and perfect and more than I ever could have asked for. So of course when I got pregnant this time, I expected to be as blissfully happy. Why wouldn't I be?

The ugly truth is that outside of this pregnancy I am just plain cranky. It took me a while to figure out why unicorns aren't farting rainbows this time around, but when I really thought about it, I realized my life is in a set pattern now. There is nothing new and exciting going on.We have nothing to look forward to vacation-wise. Life has just become... life. The only thing I have to be excited about is the baby growing in my belly. 

I thought when we finally got home from London a couple of weeks ago that I would be so happy to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground for the next few months because I was sick and tired of flying. But you know what? I find I am actually kind of depressed that as of right now, there is no vacation planned. No Mexico to look forward to this spring because that vacation usually falls when I will be on travel restriction and when the baby will be born.

Not only do we have no vacation planned after going on three last year, we have nothing planned. At all. It got to the point where I had to ask my husband if we could plan something, anything. Even it if is only to go to the farmer's market this weekend, or the renaissance festival this spring (which is when I will be hugely pregnant and close to Sweet Pea's birthdate, so it won't be comfortable walking around for hours on end).

Of course I am over the moon excited and happy to finally be pregnant again. One would think that would be enough to get those unicorns going, but its not. I'm happy if I think about the baby. If I'm not thinking about the baby, I'm cranky. So cranky.

When I was pregnant with Little Bean, I got weekly prenatal massages from the beginning of the second trimester, right up until she was born. I loved it. I couldn't imagine being pregnant without that luxury again, so I made sure it would happen again. Now here's the (not so) funny part, the massages are making me cranky. I can't find a therapist I like this time. I've been to about eight or so now. Trying to book an appointment is such a pain because I can never get the days or times I want. The massages I do get are so lacking I don't want to leave a tip (I still leave one though). I really wish I could just be done getting them, but I have to keep going or lose a ton of money.

Everything seems to just get under my skin too easily. I go back and forth between being cranky and apathetic. Honestly, I prefer the latter. I wish I could spend more time in the apathy department.

When I was pregnant with Little Bean, I would smile at everyone and was very social. I was always happy. This time, I would rather people just leave me alone. I find being social quite bothersome and I worry about how this is affecting the baby. Little Bean was exposed to all happiness all the time. Sweet Pea is exposed to a lot of cranky.

I am hoping this will be relieved in part by starting to prepare for Sweet Pea's arrival. I have ordered a few things for her online that should start showing up this week. One of those items is a blanket for the nursery theme I have chosen. I am going to use it to pick paint colors. I am also going to go up in the attic this weekend and start sorting through baby stuff so that Hubs can bring it down and I can start getting it all washed up to figure out what we will need to buy new for this baby. Last week I started our baby registry because there are always things you wish you had done our bought differently with your first pregnancy, so I put those items on my registry.

I am hoping all I need is something tangible to look forward to. Of course, I think pregnancy hormones play a role in this too, but all I am looking for is a little less cranky.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Our Last Day in the UK

Every day but one of our trip was cloudy and drizzly, so it was pretty typical that we would sleep until 10:00 a.m. or later. Mostly because the hotel room simply never got light enough to indicate it was daytime. Usually one of us woke up and checked the clock, then opened the curtains to wake up everyone else. On January 2nd, my friend Liz had the honor of waking us up by calling at 9:00 to see what time we wanted to head out. I was a little embarrassed that we were still in bed and that I had thought she was calling much earlier. In the hour it took her to drive to our hotel, we got up, got dressed, and had breakfast at the hotel.

Just as we finished eating, Liz called and asked us to meet her at the train station nearby, so we borrowed an umbrella from the hotel, and went to meet her. We wanted to make the day easy on her and minimize her driving, and so asked to go see Caerphilly Castle a short drive away. She had never been either, so it was exciting for all of us.

The castle, as you will see, was pretty incredible.

Little Bean inside the castle
Little Bean has taken to posing for pictures on her own
Liz and Little Bean
Posing on her own again
We had originally wanted to go see another castle that was very close to Caerphilly Castle, to minimize the driving for Liz, but while we were in the gift shop, she showed me the cover of a book about Tinturn Abbey and asked if we wanted to go there instead. I told her I was sure Hubs wouldn't mind, so our plans were changed.

We all hopped back in the car and began the drive through the countryside, which was absolutely breathtaking. On the way, we stopped into a quaint pub for lunch. It was everything you would imagine a countryside pub to be. Little Bean even had fish and chips, which weren't half bad.

A short jaunt later, we arrived at the Abbey. Words and pictures just couldn't do the abbey justice, and we commented on it the entire time we were there. We could take pictures all day, but we would never be able to capture the magnitude and just how amazing and beautiful the abbey was. I could have spent hours there and still not had enough.

I took this picture to try to show the sheer size of the abbey

This is the countryside right outside the abbey walls
It was just too gorgeous to pass up a picture

At 4:00 as the sun was going down, the caretakers came around, ringing a bell to tell everyone it was time to leave. I tried to take a picture of the sun setting through the ruins, but it couldn't do the beauty justice.

All too soon, we were back at the hotel and telling Liz goodbye. It was by far my most favorite day of the trip. It is impossible to beat meeting a longtime friend in a foreign country, and then spending the day with them seeing the countryside and historical sites. Apparently Liz liked being in our company too because when we looked at a map that night, we saw just how far we had traveled that day.

The only thing left to do that night was pack up all of the suitcases, arrange transport to the airport the next morning, and then tuck in for our last night in the UK.

The next morning we left the hotel by 9:00, and began a two-day (40-hour), extremely frustrating journey home full of long flights, overnight layovers, and flight cancellations. By the time it was all over, I was so happy to be home where I belonged. There was nothing like that first night back in my own big, soft bed with no Little Bean kicking me in the back all night long, and with my dog curled up by my side while the other slept at the foot of the bed. It was simply delicious.

Our trip was made more wonderful by the fact that we had Little Bean. She never got jet-lagged, she never took a nap, she stayed up late every night, and she loved almost every second of it. She told us constantly throughout the trip how much she loved London and Cardiff, and tells us on a regular basis that she wants to go back again.

Of course, if we ever go back again, which it will be a long time because we are kind of UK'ed out, we will do things a little differently. Still, I'm glad we went and had the experience with Little Bean before she becomes a big sister.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cardiff Castle and Market

Somehow I actually lost a day of our trip while trying to chronicle everything. Oddly enough, it was the day before New Years, and the day after we had dinner with my blog friend. So I am going to slip this one in before my last post about our trip.

On December 31 we had a day around Cardiff. We walked down the street from our hotel to Cardiff's very own Cardiff Castle. While it wasn't Tower of London with crown jewels and historic displays in glass cases, it was still entertaining to Little Bean.
This section of the castle was added during the Victorian era.

This part of the castle had a section that was open to tour, and what we were allowed to see was gorgeous.
The ceiling in one of the towers
This room goes with the ceiling in the picture above.

Hubs and Little Bean climbed these stairs. We had to climb a million stairs to get up to these (shown below), so I wasn't interested in climbing more.

Little Bean did amazing climbing so many stairs and dodging puddles that threatened to come up to her ankles

After touring the castle, we found a street market on our way back to the hotel, where we bought some bananas, new gloves, and chocolate covered honeycomb.

This was the night that Little Bean was asleep before midnight, and that also happened to be New Years. So if you already read the last post, you know. If you didn't read the last post and want to know what we did the next day, start with the part where I said it was the only sunny day.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dr. Who and New Years in Cardiff

My husband is a big Dr. Who fan. Not so much the old doctor, but the most recent batche. When we were planning our trip to the UK last spring, he got really excited about the idea of going to Cardiff where Dr. Who is filmed. As I have gotten into enjoying the show with him the last few years, I was kind of excited about the idea too. So for Christmas, I bought Hubs tickets to the Dr. Who Experience in Cardiff.

When we woke up on our first day in Cardiff, December 31st, our first task was to find something good to eat for breakfast. The concierge recommended this great pub called The Yard, so we bundled up and headed out. The atmosphere in the pub was modern and cozy, yet spacious with an old time picture of some Duke. We ordered two traditional Welsh breakfasts and sipped hot chocolate while we waited for our food. When our plates came and we dug in, we couldn't get enough. The food was sooooo good. Eggs, sausages, baked beans, mushrooms, toast, and tomatoes. It was so good, it deserved this whole paragraph to memorialize it for time and all eternity.
Little Bean playing with British currency while we waited for breakfast

After breakfast we had some time to kill, so we walked around the town and explored the area before heading back to the hotel for a bit of a nap. When it was time to go to the fabulous Dr. Who Experience, we dropped off a bag of laundry with the concierge, and then rented a cab.

In some ways, the Experience was better than we had imagine, and in others, it was a letdown. The first part of the tour was interactive and took place in several rooms that were designed like various sets from the show, including inside the current Tardis, and included enemies like the daleks and weeping angels. It was really cool, and even Little Bean enjoyed it, especially when she got to fly the Tardis. Then we were let loose on the exhibit that featured actual props and sets from the show all the way from its inception in the 60s to now.
Hubs and Little Bean in front of the old Tardis
Little Bean and me in front of the current Tardis
Hubs and Little Bean with a horrible, not at all life-like sculpture of the current Dr Who
The costume of the 10th Doctor, when I started watching Dr Who with Hubs
The set of the old Tardis, before it exploded
The Silence (bad guys)
The Silence close up
The door inside the Tardis
Hubs, Little Bean, and a Cyberman (they will assimilate you)
Weeping Angels

Tree People
Daleks (Exterminate!)
The Evil Snowman from this year's Dr Who Christmas special
Costumes from this year's Christmas special
When we got back to the hotel, the laundry we had dropped off earlier that day, which included knickers, was returned, all cleaned and folded. I don't know why, but it makes me laugh to think that someone else folded my knickers.

As if going to the Dr Who Experience wasn't fantastic enough, I had something even better on our agenda for that night. When I started blogging clear back in the fall of 2007, I "met" lots of fabulous women from the UK. Over the years, I have lost contact with all but one of them, my friend Liz. When our trip had been officially booked, I immediately contacted Liz, who lives about an hour away from Cardiff, and told her we would be coming to visit. Like us, she probably didn't think we'd make it to the UK either, but was excited at the idea of meeting. Well, the day to meet had finally arrived!

My friend had taken the train and called to let us know when she had arrived at our hotel. After 5 years of being blog friends and chatting online (we had even talked on the phone once), we got to meet. The four of us headed to one of her favorite places to eat and had a wonderful evening. She was as genuine and lovely as she had been online. I found conversing with her very easy, and because we had talked so much over the years, it was like catching up with an old friend.

Without going into all of the details, my friend offered to take us sightseeing one of the remaining days of our trip. I was excited to not only be able to see sites we wouldn't have otherwise seen, but I was even more excited to spend an entire day with Liz.

After dinner we headed back to the hotel for bed. That was the only night of our whole trip that Little Bean was asleep before midnight, which was kind of a bummer, considering it was New Years. She was out like a log when the fireworks over Cardiff started going off. Hubs and I watched them, and then watched the celebration going on in London right next to the hotel we had just left.

The next morning was the only sunny day of our whole trip. We were excited about that because we had plans to go see a living historic farm and museum. After getting to the bus stop and finding the buses weren't running (despite what the concierge had told us), we rented a cab to take us to the farm. When we got there, we were turned away, because the farm, like everything else in Cardiff, was closed for the day. I won't tell you how mad this mad Hubs and the things that came out of his mouth all day, but suffice it to say, he was NOT happy. We spent the beautiful sunny day in our hotel room. However, Hubs got tired of sitting in the room and took Little Bean for a walk while I took a nap, and they found a winter festival to occupy a couple hours of their time.

Now, if you thought all of the pictures up to this point were fantastic, just wait until you see where Liz took us the next day!