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!   

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