Saturday, October 22, 2011

In which the cat gets a fishhook in her paw

Week: 23
Baby Size: 8 inches. She's about the size of an ear of corn, and weighs in at about a pound. 

Sleep: I'm already starting to have some problems again.  I'll wake up having to use the restroom (baby on the bladder), and then I won't be able to turn my brain off to go back to sleep.  Or else, the baby will start kicking like crazy and wake me just as I'm dozing off.  I then lie awake for an hour or so before getting back to sleep.  It's affecting my classroom performance! 

Diet and Exercise:  I got 4 days of exercise in this week.  I did 2 days on the treadmill, and then 2 days of yoga DVDs.  I really enjoyed the yoga--it was nice to stretch and relax in a different way.  I think I'm going to try and keep up this schedule as much as possible.  Diet was pretty good as well.  I'm getting better at having healthier snacks around and going to them instead of the unhealthy ones!
Movement: She's still very active in the mornings, and about half an hour after I eat.  She also moves around when I'm stressed or angry--my road rage is pretty intense now-a-days, and she always gives me some thumps.  I think she's telling me to chill out!  I did feel with my hand her move a limb (arm?  leg?  foot?  head?) across my abdomen, which was pretty cool! 

What I Miss: I don't really miss anything right now. 

What I'm Looking Forward to: 24 weeks is considered viable, so I'm looking forward to knowing that if something should happen, she'd have a fighting chance outside on her own!  Of course, I'd rather she stayed put until the end, but it will be a load off my mind come Thursday!   

Best Moment this Week: Brian's parents bringing up all of the baby stuff from his sister and brother-in-law.  We have so much stuff piled in our front room, it's kind of ridiculous!  I'm so grateful that they saved it all and are giving it to us, since I know it's going to save us a ton of money.  Not to mention I don't have to register for it all now!

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe:  Everything seems to be going well.  I got my hair cut today, and my hairdresser commented that it's super shiny and healthy.  If I could only get back to sleep at night, I might actually be "comfortably pregnant"!  I am getting more uncomfortable with bending and stretching to get things, but it's certainly tolerable for now.  I keep getting told how tiny I am for being as far along as I am.  I'm pretty sure I can thank the exercise and my very long torso for that.  I know it won't last forever, but I'm going to enjoy the cute, tiny little belly while it lasts.

Baby Milestones: Brian and I tried shining a flashlight on her last week, but didn't get much reaction.  I'm thinking she was probably asleep and didn't even notice.  She has very saggy skin right now, since apparently the skin grows in before the fat layer, but she's going to be filling that out.  By the end of the 6th month, she should be a whopping 2 lbs!  Her skin is still transparent, but is starting to look red due to the arteries and veins that are building in.

Funny anecdote:  Snowball was sitting directly on top of her today (I mean directly on top of her--she completely ignored my open lap and decided to sit on the bump instead), and Jacquizza was kicking up a storm!  She just kept tapping and tapping under Snowball like "hey, I'm getting crowded here"!  Snowball still didn't notice (or did and just didn't care), but it was pretty hilarious for me!  I'm just waiting for the day when Jacquizza gets a really good kick in, and Snowball freaks.     

Food Cravings: I haven't had Chipotle in a few weeks.  Must fix that.  And I admit to doing a silent happy dance in the grocery store when I realized that there were blackberries on sale. 

How's Dad?: The bathroom is tantalizingly close to being done.  He's installed and varnished the trim, and has painted the doorframe and the trim outside.  He has to put everything back together (light switch, plugs, hardware, toilet) and then he'll be done!  It'll be so nice to have the bathroom back.  I'll put some pictures up in the next post, because it is going to look awesome!

He's also so cute when he gets to feel the baby kick.  He always jumps a bit and says "Oh!"  He actually pushed down on my abdomen where I think Jacquizza's legs are and got several taps in return.  He was so excited.  It's nice to share that with him--I do feel bad that I'm the only one who gets to feel her most of the time.  I can't wait until he feels some of the rolls that I get now!   

Wine Making:  The proto-wine still in the carboys inside.  I think we're going to rack next week, and then wait some more

Tid Bits:  So to explain the blog title:  this morning when I got back from my haircut, Zoe was sitting on the couch and I saw something shiny in her paw.  It looked like an earring was stuck there.  I pulled on it, but it didn't come out, so I called Brian downstairs.  He took one look at it and realized it was the fishhook from the fishing rod that he stores in the exercise room closet (which I didn't know about, and he'd forgotten about).  Since the hook is barbed, neither of us felt comfortable just pulling it out, so I called the vet.  We took Zoe in, and she would not let the vet anywhere near her to look.  The vet said that since she was so skittish, Zoe would have to be sedated in order to get the hook out.  Most of you know that I had a bad experience losing my cat Addy in April, and I basically freaked out at the thought of having to put another cat in a vet's hands (different vet, but still).  I held it together, and the vet took her back.  They gave her a very short-acting anesthetic (it was actually the same stuff that supposedly killed Michael Jackson), and took out the hook.  The vet had to make an incision, push the hook through, cut off the barbed end, and then pull the rest out the original hole.  

Zoe apparently is very sensitive to anesthetic, so she took awhile to wake up, meaning Brian and I were sitting in the room for what seemed like forever.  When the tech brought Zoe back in, she was still really out of it and sleepy, which again made me think of Addy and how she looked the very last time I saw her conscious.  I cried a bit when Brian went out to pay, but it quickly became obvious that Zoe was coming around.  She was up within about 10 minutes, and we were out of there!  We put her in the office for a while until she was totally awake (her front end was fine, but her back end was flopping around a bit--it was actually pretty funny).  We got some of the litter made from rolled up newspaper pellets for them to use until Zoe's paw is healed, but really, looking it, I can't even see where the vet made the incision or where the hook was.  I know cats heal fast, but geez!  

She's doing perfectly fine now, and didn't even get any antibiotics, since it was obvious that no one had ever used the fishhook (Brian claims he went fishing about 5 years ago, but that hook was pristine).  Zoe seems to have gotten over her adventure, and forgiven me for my part in it, since she's currently sound asleep on my lap!

Overall, I feel like having a kitten is, in a very small way, preparing us for parenthood.  Kittens are insanely curious, and will get into things that you've forgotten you had.  Since getting Zoe, we've both started thinking from a very low point of view on the floor, and making sure that things she can use to hurt herself are not down there (this is also a legacy of Addy who ate the oleander leaf off of the floor).  I'm not saying we are now parenting experts and will never make mistakes, but I think we'll be a bit more prepared safety-wise than we would have been without the kitten!

Besides the scare, (which made Zacquizza jump around like she does with my road rage), it's been a pretty good week.  My classes are still going well, and I am enjoying the extra free time now that the University of Phoenix class is over.  I should hear from them sometime next week about whether or not I'm hired on as faculty.  I only got rave reviews about my performance, so I'm actually not too worried.

The semester has been going really quickly for my community college classes as well.  We're down to a little over a month for both classes (they end in early December), and I think I've got a nice groove going.  It's challenging some weeks working every single night when all I really want to do is stay home and veg out, but it's certainly worth it to know that I am contributing to the household.  I think that'll be the hardest part about not working next semester--knowing that I'm not doing my part as a breadwinner.  I know I'll make up for it by taking care of little Jacquizza and the house, but I'm really not used to being "kept"!  This is why University of Phoenix is ideal for me, since I can still work, but do so at my own pace.

So uneventful week, followed by a very eventful (so far) weekend! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week: 22, although my doctor's office apparently thinks I'm 23 (I'm going by what they measured in my 9 week ultrasound; they are still using the date of my last period, which the fetal measurements say was a week early).  I figure that just makes it more likely she'll be a Valentine's Day baby and never, ever be able to go out to dinner for her birthday.  Sorry, Jacquizza!
Baby Size: 7.5-8 inches. She's about the size of a papaya, and weighs in at about a pound.  We've reached a milestone of sorts on the baby website I post on occasionally--they give me the fruit-of-the-week size comparison I've been using on here, and apparently now instead of changing weekly, it'll change every 3 weeks.

Weight Gain:  I went to the doctor on Thursday, and I'm up 9 pounds since getting pregnant.  My blood pressure is great and I'm measuring right on schedule.  I should start gaining about a pound a week at this point, so now is when things will really start growing!  The doctor actually didn't really go over the anatomy scan with me, except to tell me that everything looked great.  I guess that's all that matters!  I did get to hear the heartbeat, which was pretty awesome.  I have another appointment in 4 weeks, and then I go to every 2 week appointments!  

Sleep: Going pretty well.  My hips are hurting now even with the pillow, but the sciatic pain seems to be gone for good. 

Diet and Exercise:  I managed 3 days on the treadmill this week.  On a sad note, it seems my running days are over.  I ran a mile on Monday, and was in severe pain in my pelvis for the rest of the week.  I think my uterus is just too big now for me to be able to run.  I'm actually very sad about it, since as I've said, I ran for years as exercise and just don't feel like it's been a workout unless there is running involved.  I am still walking on an incline about 2.5 miles, and doing the yoga DVDs on alternate days.  I actually like the DVDs, and feel like they will help me with the soreness once I start doing them regularly.  It's a cheap substitute for running, but I guess it'll have to do!

On a side note, there was a woman on the message board who posted that she ran before getting pregnant, but had to stop because of morning sickness/other issues in her first trimester.  She wrote a post saying that she was 25 weeks pregnant now, and wanted to know how she could get back into a running regimen!  4 other people and I basically told her she was insane, and needed to just wait until after the baby was born!  I tell this to illustrate that I'm not the only crazy workout person out there!

Movement: She's still very active in the mornings, and about half an hour after I eat.  She has me on a very strict urination schedule--even when I try to sleep in, she starts pressing on my bladder at 8:00 am and insists I get up and go.  She seems to have shifted down this week and is much closer to the bladder, which she uses as a gym.  It's pretty cool to feel her moving around, but not so cool to have to go to the bathroom all the time. 

What I Miss: Not too much! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Not at all baby-related, but my University of Phoenix class ends this week, and it'll be so nice to not have to rush around getting things done during the week.   

Best Moment this Week: Hearing the heartbeat at the doctor's, and feeling her move daily now.

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe:  Not much new to report--hemorrhoids, going to the bathroom a lot, pelvic and hip pain--the usual.  Although one of my baby books says that now I am "comfortably pregnant", meaning I have a belly, but I can bend over, sit, and walk well still.  Which was encouraging, until I realized it was a back-handed way to tell me that soon I won't be doing those things very well at all!

Baby Milestones: Her eyelids are still fused, but she can tell the difference between light and darkness and will move away from any bright lights shining on her--I totally plan on trying this.  She's grabbing everything she can, and can hear loud noises like my voice.  She also seems to be shifting a whole lot more (or else she's just bigger and I feel it more), and I often feel really hard areas on my left where I'm assuming she's pressing against the outside.  I just tell her she has to stay in there for a while longer.     

Food Cravings: Still very much under control. 

How's Dad?: Still plugging along on the bathroom.  He has the cabinets stained and varnished, the walls painted, and the flooring in!  All that's left is the trim and putting it all back together and he is done.  It's been a ton of work, but looks great.  I'll post some pictures when he gets done!   

Wine Making:  We moved the carboys where the wine is stored inside, since the temperature variations between day and night are getting pretty extreme.  Even with the waiting a day after pressing, there are still a ton of lees in there, and we're going to have to rack in a couple of weeks.  Otherwise, not much happening this week

Tid Bits:  Classes continue to go well.  University of Phoenix is almost over, and no word yet on how I've done.  I'm guessing there is some review process they go through after my mentorship in which I get recommended for full employment (or not).  I'm just going to enjoy the couple of weeks off from having 3 classes!

Everything else seems to be fine, and things are going well!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wine is a go!

Week: 21
Gender: Still a girl, and it's pretty cool to call her a "her" rather than an "it"!  I still slip-up and throw out "it" every now and then, but I'm getting better.

Baby Size: 7 inches. She's about the size of a large banana and weighs in at about 11 ounces.

Maternity Clothes?: I figured out that some of my regular dress pants will zip and button, but the maternity ones are so much more comfortable!  I'm actually ordering more jeans today, since the maternity ones I have are so awesome.

Sleep: I still haven't managed to yoga DVDs, but the small pillow is magical!  I have no more sciatic pain, and my hip pain has eased as well.  I'm so excited it worked!

Diet and Exercise:  Due to the wine grape debacle last week, I had a ton of grading to do this week, and therefore only got in 1 day on the treadmill this week.  I still haven't gotten McDonald's, but I'm getting over it.  I've been doing pretty well with the diet and eating fairly healthfully.  That makes up for the lack of exercise, right?

Movement: She's still most active when I first wake up in the morning, and about half an hour after I eat, but I'm feeling her at other times too.  She really hates being pressed on, and lets me know it with a good thump.  Snowball has decided that my belly is the greatest place ever to lay, and the baby pretty much constantly kicks while she's on it.  Snowball doesn't seem to notice yet, but I can't wait for the day the baby gets a really good kick in and scares the crap out of her!  Zoe likes to use my belly as a jungle gym sometimes, but she's there and gone so fast that I'm not sure the baby notices. 

What I Miss: Wine again this week.  I'm pretty sure it's due to the fact that I just fermented 300 lbs of grapes in my garage! 

What I'm Looking Forward to: I have a doctor's appointment on Thursday, and I'm really curious about the details of the anatomy scan.  The tech said everything looked good, but I'm wondering if the doctor will go into more detail than that.  Guess we'll see!  Plus, I get to hear the heartbeat again, which is always super cool.   

Best Moment this Week: Probably the endless parade of cats getting kicked while sitting on my belly and not noticing a thing.  It's just really funny.

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe:  The belly is really front and center now--there's no hiding that I've got a baby in there!  I've yet to have anyone ask me out of the blue if I'm pregnant, but I get a lot of belly glances now, and I know they're wondering.  I did go back and visit my former place of employment this week, and I had one of the profs tell me I look fantastic, so that's something, I guess!  On the negative, I'll just say that (TMI) hemorrhoids suck.  Also, baby seems to have shifted to directly over my bladder, and lets me know by occasionally giving me a good shot, which makes finding a bathroom imperative.  I know this is only going to get worse as she gets bigger!

Baby Milestones: She can taste what I'm eating now and is busy practicing swallowing and working her digestive system.  She currently has all of the eggs in her ovaries that she is going to have (although she'll lose some before birth and again at puberty).  Her neurons are now connected between brain and muscles, which means she's making more coordinated movements rather than just random jerks and twitches.   

Food Cravings: Still not too many, although it does vary from week to week.  I'm actually pretty good about  just eating a little bit of what I'm craving, and that keeps me from demanding odd foods at all hours of the day! 

How's Dad?: He's still doing great.  He was fantastic helping me with the wine making this week, and he's hard at work on the bathroom as I type.  We finally got the floor, but he wants to paint first before putting it in.  We've picked a really nice subtle yellow, which will really brighten up the space.  I'm excited to see it all put together!  We've started looking for baby room furniture as well, which is challenging, since there's so much to think about.  I'm glad we're starting early!   

Wine Making:  The must fermented all week, going from the expected high sugar levels to 0 sugar in just 6 days of primary fermentation.  Yeast always performs well for me!  The pH stayed pretty even, but I did have to add some acid on a couple of days (keeping the pH within specified levels makes adding the disinfectant we use later on easier).  Friday night, we pitched (added) the malolactic bacteria (we're using Oenococcus oeni, for those in the know) that will convert the not-very-good-tasting malic acid to the much more potable lactic acid.  This process takes several months, and I'll monitor it throughout.  

On Saturday, we were ready to press.  One of our friends came over to learn how to press (and borrow a few things from us so he could press his wine), and it took about an hour to press all 300 lbs.  We are now letting the pressed proto-wine sit for the day before putting it in plastic carboys to age up.  The initial sitting will allow the gross lees (basically, all the heavy debris that didn't get filtered out during the press by our sieve) to settle out, and then we can pump the proto-wine out and leave them them behind.  This will save some time later, as if we didn't do this step, we'd have to rack (pump the wine out of the carboys, into a large container to mix, and then pump back into the carboys) next weekend.  This way, I'm hoping we can buy ourselves a couple of weeks!

I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Brian bought me a super-duper filter mask for my birthday.  Well, this is the first week I got to use it.  I look like a total dork, but it really does filter out all of the nasty chemicals.  Normally, the disinfectant we use (SO2) makes me cough a ton, but with this mask, not a hint of a vapor came through.  It was kind of nice!

Tid Bits:  My classes are going well, especially now that all of my grading is done.  It's midterm for my community college classes, and while I'm not giving formal midterm exams, my bio class had a lab test this week, and my chem class has a test on Wednesday.  The University of Phoenix class is heading into its last week next week, and I can't believe it's been 5 weeks already!  I'm guessing that I did well, since all the reviews I've gotten from my mentor have been positive, and that they'll let me teach after this probationary class is over.  It's been very different teaching an online course, but a lot of fun.  My community college students are so cute about the pregnancy--many of them have kids themselves, and we talk about pregnancy and child rearing during our labs.

So overall, a good week, and everything seems to be progressing as it should!   

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Halfway there--and it's a GIRL

 Baby Girl's Profile + legs and bit of hand near the face

Tiny baby foot

Week: 20, the sweet, sweet halfway point (that is, if I go the standard 40 weeks and don't deliver before or after).
Gender: Girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I think you could have knocked me over with a wet noodle when the tech said that!  I certainly wasn't disappointed, but I had myself convinced that it was a boy.  Brian and I just kind of looked at each other when the tech said girl.  I'm so happy, though, especially since it means we're getting a ton of cute clothes from Brian's sister :)  And, having grown up with a much younger sister, I know what to do with girls!  Brian, on the other hand, only has experience babysitting younger boys so he's in trouble.  We really couldn't be happier.

Baby Size: 5.66-6.5 inches. She's(!) about the size of a cantaloupe and weighs in at about 9 ounces.

Maternity Clothes?: Are my friends.

Sleep: I'm starting to have trouble again!  As I mentioned last week, I think my hips must be starting to spread, because lying on my side is killing my legs.  I've also been waking up with horrible sciatic pain--Thursday I could barely walk.  I finally bought a pillow for between my legs, since all the books say to, and to my surprise it is working wonders!  My hips still hurt in the morning, but the sciatic pain is completely gone.  I'm so relieved--one of my friends mentioned on Facebook that her sciatic pain got so bad that she couldn't even walk during her last pregnancy!  I'm going to keep up with the exercise, and try to get some yoga DVDs in there, since stretching is really supposed to help.

Diet and Exercise:  I only got in 2 days this week.  I had a sore throat early in the week, and I was worried I was getting sick so I decided just to rest and not push myself.  It must have been some post nasal drip, because it never got any worse.  I'm pretty happy about that!  Diet really took a nose-dive--when I'm sick, I just don't want to eat healthy!  I was thwarted in my attempts to have McDonald's this week.  I went on Tuesday before my class, and they were closed for renovations!  I couldn't believe that the one night I really wanted those sweet, sweet fries I was denied.  I went to Subway instead and had a much healthier alternative, but I still want some McDonald's fries, darn it.

Movement: I felt her(!) moving around yesterday while standing around waiting to get the grapes (see below for more on that).  That's the first time I've felt her while standing, and it was pretty cool.  When we had the ultrasound, she was lying on her back and kind of jumping around in quick little motions (but she still held still long enough for the tech to get all the necessary measurements), which is probably what I feel when I get the good thumps.  She was also moving her legs around a lot, but kept her little ankles crossed like the lady she will be.  I've been feeling her a lot more while sitting as well.  She gets especially active when I've first woken up in the morning, and more so about half an hour after I eat (sugar rush!).  If someone has a hand on me when she moves, they would certainly be able to feel her!  Unfortunately, she still unpredictable enough that it's hard for Brian to feel a good kick.  It's still a very weird feeling, and kind of startles me if it comes out of the blue! 

What I Miss: Nothing since I got to see my sweet little girl :) 

What I'm Looking Forward to: Relaxing some after a very long day yesterday with the grapes.   

Best Moment this Week: Did I mention it's a girl?

Pregnancy Body-New and Exciting!..maybe:  
I've already mentioned my hips and sciatic.  Beyond that I seem to be OK.  So far I'm not seeing any of the odd skin things that are supposed to happen to pregnant women, although they are less likely to occur in very light skinned people.  I never thought being translucent would come in handy! 

Baby Milestones: I know it's nothing new to her, but she's a girl! 

Food Cravings: McDonald's fries!  I actually had some Burger King fries for lunch yesterday, but they are definitely not the same! 

How's Dad?: Really tired!  I keep teasing you with wine references, but he did the (very) heavy lifting yesterday.  He's currently napping to make up for it.  In bathroom news, the flooring is finally in.  Brian took the whole day on Friday off and hoped to be able to work on the bathroom, but it was not meant to be.  He was finally able to pick it up on Sunday.  That means a whole weekend lost on this, and with the front room painting and baby's room to do coming up, he's going to be home improving for quite some time.  Poor guy!   

Wine Making:  I'm going to take out the tid bits and throw in wine making!  We are making tempranillo this year after the successful Zinfandel last year.  On Saturday, we went to the winery in Lodi from which we were getting the grapes.  They were supposed to be there at 10:00 am.  The grapes were picked, but since all the wineries in Lodi were picking at the same time, the small winery we were at lost out on the truck.  So we waited for the truck to get to the field to pick up the grapes.  And waited.  And waited.  And went to get lunch.  And waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Finally, at about 3:00, the truck shows up with the grapes (this is now 5 hours later than we were originally told).  Great, we're done.  Nope--now they need to be de-stemmed.  So Brian and our friend Chris, being the good guys they are, get up and go help the winery guys with the stemmer.  Everyone else gets their bins and starts filling.  Well, I'm pretty useless with anything, so I watch a lot of people get their grapes and then leave while Brian and Chris are still on the machine.  I finally get sick of it, grab our bins, give people the "I'm pregnant, what are you going to do?" look and call Brian and Chris over to fill ours.  Please understand that it's now almost 5:00 and we've been there for 7 hours doing something that should have taken 2.  Chris and Brian go back to help out until the rest of the grapes for our group are done and we leave.  No one was very happy at this point!

On the bright side, the adjustments for pH and Brix (sugar levels) on our 300 lbs of must (de-stemmed grapes) went very smoothly, since I had to do them last year.  It really only too me 1 addition of acid and water to get the pH right.  I let the must sit overnight to equilibrate, and pitched (added) the yeast this morning.  I'll be fermenting with VRB yeast for about a week.  Despite the hassle getting the must, I think we'll have a much easier time this year!