Introducing Miss Laura Catherine

laura catherine

We’re home! Please meet our sweet little girl, Laura Catherine. Everything went well with the c-section and she was born at 8:36 a.m. on June 3rd. Now I can say that all of my children were born on a Wednesday — how’s that for a strange coincidence? Everyone fully expected another big baby; after all, Jake was 9 lbs. 6 oz. and Noah was 8 lbs. 8 oz. But we all were proven wrong. Little miss is a very petite girl, weighing only 6 lbs. 3 oz. (the same numbers as her birthdate!) and measuring 19 inches long. She is tiny, tiny, tiny and absolutely charmed all of the nurses at the hospital 🙂

There were no problems with either her or me, so we were able to be discharged early, which was wonderful! I have nothing but positive things to say about my stay at the birth center, but it’s so much more relaxing at home. Overall, I feel really good. I do have some “burning” muscle pain on my right side, low in the pelvic area, but according to the nurses that is probably not from the c-section, but from another relatively minor procedure I elected to have. Aside from that, my recovery has gone very smoothly. All of my tummy functions were right back on track and my pain has been manageable so they could see no real reason to keep me there.

It’ll be much easier for me at night now, since Drew has had to be home with Jake the last couple nights. The nurses were wonderful, though, and both last night and the night before took Laura for a few hours after I fed her, which allowed me to get some much-needed rest. Last night she was feeding constantly and I was just exhausted. But the upside is that my milk has come in and she is nursing great! Hopefully that will continue.

Although I was a little disappointed I did not get the awesome birth center mug full of goodies (like coffee and biscotti) like last time, I have to admit that the swaddle wrap that was in the free tote bag is a pretty great giveaway. She loves being all “burrito’ed up” as we call it, so I can’t wait to try it out tonight. And of course, I made sure to take the rest of the bag of disposable diapers home, too. 🙂

And I just have to say how lucky I am to have such an amazing husband. The construction upstairs isn’t quite done (although sheetrock is up and it’s very near complete — and no I did not climb up all those stairs to look; I saw photos on Drew’s camera, LOL), but he really went out of his way to get things as clean as he could for me, as well as waiting on me hand and foot since we got home.

Tomorrow we’ve invited family members to visit, and I know everyone is looking forward to either meeting Laura for the first time, or seeing her again. I’m so excited to show her off!

Tomorrow is the Day!

39 weeks and 3 days

I cannot believe that this is my last afternoon as a pregnant lady! I am scheduled to arrive at the birth center tomorrow at 6 a.m. and my c-section is scheduled for 8 a.m., bright and early! I’m so glad that I am the first one. The no-drinking-water after midnight is going to be hard for me, so the earlier I have the surgery, that much faster I can have something to drink, LOL 🙂 This morning I went for my pre-surgical testing, which was no big deal. Basically I filled out a bunch of forms, was told not to eat or drink after midnight, had two vials of blood drawn and peed in a cup. I’m so excited, yet nervous at the same time. Although I’ve had two c-sections before, both of those were after several hours of hard labord. It’s going to be so weird walking in there tomorrow, feeling absolutely fine.

I have no idea if laptops are allowed at the birth center, so I might be offline until the weekend (although a girlfriend who recently gave birth at a different hospital was able to have her laptop with her, so maybe I’ll get lucky — but I’m not really going to count on that). In the meantime, I will have Drew update my Facebook status for me, since most of you are on there anyway.

The next time I blog, I will be a mom of three! Wish me luck!

Sometimes It’s Nice…

It’s a well-documented fact that I am, for the most part, a morning person. I was up extra early this morning (one of the perils of falling asleep around 8:30, I suppose) and I’m really enjoying the dim light, the quiet sound of rain outside, and my cup of tea without the noise of the TV or anyone calling for me. 🙂

Things are good. Life is good. Time is just rolling along, as I expected it would. The last couple weeks have been busy, busy and here we are, less than a week away from baby girl’s arrival! I figured I’d make this a random sort of entry, hitting on all the things going on. I hope I don’t miss anything!

Shed Dormer Construction
The dormer/upstairs reno is moving along nicely and on schedule! There are updated photos here. Everything is framed in, and yesterday was the framing inspection which was fine. Today I believe the electrician is coming to work on some things and insulation will be put in. If my timeline is correct, Monday will be the insulation inspection and then they will sheetrock everything and finish up. The only inspection left will be for Certificate of Occupancy! We’ve chosen the stain color for the house (similar to our old stain, but a bit more brown) and we have a general idea of carpet colors (a shade of grey for the kids’ rooms and the hallway, and blue for our bedroom). As for paint colors… we’re going with a shade of brown for our room, a very (very) light purple for the baby’s room, and once we get paint chips we’ll work with the boys to help them decide. I’m just so thrilled with this project. The upstairs already looks a million times better! Yes, it’s a lot of money, but in our opinion it’s well worth it. Let’s face it: with three little kids there’s no way we’re going to be jetting off to Europe or looking into Caribbean cruises anytime in the near future. As a “homebody” I would so much rather make our house extra comfy and cozy! This was without a doubt the right thing for us.

Tomorrow I hit the 39 week mark! Yesterday was my last scheduled OB appointment, and I was in and out as usual. I’ve gained 23 lbs. with this pregnancy, which I know is just fine, but… let’s just hope it all comes off quick! I’ve been so lucky that my only real “problem” has been some back pain of late. My C-section is scheduled for next Wednesday. My OB believes that there are only two C-sections that day, so I’ll need to head to the hospital for either 6 or 7 a.m. and they’ll operate at either 8 or 9 a.m., depending on who is first. My parents are coming down on Tuesday night to get the boys ready in the morning and get Jake on the bus and then take Noah to the hospital after the baby is born. Then he’s going on a “vacation” at their house until Saturday. (Thank you, once again!) Drew’s mom and aunt will be coming up in the afternoon to get Jake off the bus and take him to meet his little sister! One or both of them is also going to be available in case I need Drew to spend the night at the hospital. That one we’ll play by ear. Everything is lined up, and I’m really not concerned about going into labor early. She still feels pretty high up and I’ve been taking it easy the last few days.

I’ve not done much in the way of crafting lately. My attention span is so short, and my stuff is boxed up for the most part. I did cast on for the Sarena shrug, which I’ll bring as my  “hospital knitting” since it’s easy and mindless. I’ve also been whipping up little crochet flowers to use up scraps of dishcloth yarn. So easy and cute, see?

crochet tawashi flowers

I’m looking forward to getting back to sewing once our house is back in order! But for now, all those projects have been set aside. It won’t be much longer, though.

The boys are great! Noah cracks me up on a daily basis. He’s really into Hot Wheels Trick Tracks at the moment. He sets up the loop and the curve and various dino launchers and sees which cars work best. Totally cute. He’s also obsessed with the ABC Song, which I find funny since he refused to count or say his alphabet until very recently. He knew it, but he wouldn’t perform. My independant little guy 🙂

Jake is good, too. School ends here at the end of June, but they are already winding things down a bit, probably because the kids’ are getting antsy. His class is doing a little play, “The Carrot Seed” in a couple weeks, and there’s Field Day and lots of other stuff. He’s still majorly into arts and crafts as well as writing stories and making books. The other day he decided to make a list of all the different fish he could think of:

Jake's list of fish

Well, I finally hear the boys stirring, and this is certainly long enough! Have a great weekend, everyone!

Flea Market Find

This afternoon we decided to head over to the giant flea market over at the fairgrounds. They have two of these flea markets a year — one in the spring and one in the fall. This is the type of flea market that sells pretty much everything, not just antiques. If you’re looking for socks or knock-off purses, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for Tastefully Simple stuff or something that claims to be the best fat burner you’ll find it. If you’re looking for Pyrex or old furniture, you’ll find it. Of course, something like this is hit or miss and I was a little disappointed today. I found a few items I really liked, but the prices were (in my opnion) too high.

I did give Jake 50 cents to buy a choose-your-own adventure Goosebumps book and I lucked out at one booth and found this sweet baby dress for $3:

flea market dress - front

flea market dress - back

I love the eyelet!
flea market dress

But I think the embroidered flowers are what really make it special.
flea market dress

There’s one small stain on the back, but I am pretty sure I can get it out. The woman at this booth had beautiful stuff and it was presented well (which always makes a difference to me). The tag on it says it’s from a three piece denim set, but honestly it’s just so much prettier on its own! I actually haven’t bought much in the way of girl’s clothing (I’ve had no need to because I already have so much that has been gifted), so it’s fun to find something that I really love enough to purchase!

Keeping It Real

keeping it real

This, generally, is what my house looks like at the moment. The photo is of our dining room, but our living room is also full of stuff and the upstairs? Well, the front dormers are crammed with boxes and totes. Luckily our house is a decent distance off the road, otherwise passers-by would likely think we’re one of those crazy families that save and stash every little thing. At least the kitchen and den are in reasonable shape, so not every inch of space has been turned into what I am called “controlled clutter.” I’m trying to see it as a blessing in that I have quite a few less rooms to clean during my final weeks of pregnancy! Still, I can feel myself tense up at the thought of things not being in their place. Must. Get. Over. It. It’s going to be this way for a good month!

Monday the contractors started powerwashing our house. Powerwashing and restaining were on our “to do” list for this year regardless of the addition, but this way at least the wood will be somewhat close, even though the new wood will likely have a different look. Our siding is mahogany (which apparantly was at a good price when this house was built and that’s why quite a few new homes in our area have it), and the stain is just a clear coat, so naturally the older wood will be a little more weathered. But as for the powerwashing — what a huge difference it has made! I took a photo of the side of the house after they stopped on Monday. It’s clear what areas have been cleaned:

Getting the house powerwashed

Demolition is starting today as well — yikes! They’re cutting a hole in the back of the house so they can pass materials through, and then (if I remember correctly) they’re putting up the wall that will divide Jake’s room from what will be Noah’s room. I’m a little nervous about giant holes in the house, LOL! Let’s just hope for no huge downpours over the next couple weeks. I have a public Flickr photo set for all of the construction-related photos for anyone who is interested. I assure you that I will be taking zillions of photos of this project!

In other news, I have come to grips with the fact that I’m just not going to finish everything on my baby “to-do” list and I’m not going to get my freezer as stocked as I had wanted. And really that’s fine. Drew’s going to be home and is always such a great help to me. Plus, his aunt (who is retired) has offered to help out as well. We’ll be in good shape! Today I think I will finish packing my hospital bag. I am bringing my own comfy PJs this time (something I didn’t do either of the last two times). I remember after the first day I felt really slummy in the hospital gown. I’ve also got two possible coming home outfits picked — one in case the weather is cool and one in case it’s hot. In this area, you never know what early June will be like! I also have the requisite books, small knitting projects, and stuff to keep me occupied while I’m bored out of my mind, LOL! I have to get together my make-up, skin care products, and various toiletries. At least the hospital is close to home (all of 10 or 15 minutes away), so if I need something, someone can easily bring it to me.

Time is just flying by!!!

Home Stretch

secret crochet project Today is such a strange day weather-wise! One minute it’s beautiful and sunny, the next minute it looks like we’re on the brink of a storm. I kind of wish it would rain today and get it over with. We’re supposed to get the house powerwashed tomorrow and I need the weather to cooperate!

Anyway, I had my 36 week OB visit today. I’ll be 36 weeks on Saturday, so today is close enough, I guess! I’ve been complaining a lot lately about how big I am (or how I feel, I guess), but I was happy to learn that I’ve only gained 21 lbs. so far with this pregnancy. As long as I keep it together for the next couple weeks I think a 25 lb. gain (which is what I was hoping for) is realistic. With some luck, the baby weight will come off relatively easily just between giving birth and nursing. My babies tend to be on the bigger side (Jake was 9 lb. 6 oz. and Noah was 8 lb. 8 oz.), so we’ll see if the trend continues with a girl!

Otherwise it was your run-of-the-mill appointment. The midwife did the Group B Strep culture and gave a look-see. When she told me that my cervix is totally closed I think she thought I’d be disappointed, but then she realized that I’m a scheduled c-section. I said that since it’s all planned out, I’d rather keep it that way if possible. I’m in no rush.

Generally I’m feeling good. Like I said, I just feel huge and unattractive 🙁 I also don’t have very much in the way of patience. I’m super irritable and my poor husband is bearing the brunt of it, unfortunately. We’re also incredibly busy and that might have something to do with it, too.

Construction on the dormer should start next week. Yesterday we got the official blueprints and the guy from the hardware store came by to get information on the windows we’ll be putting in. Today I dropped off a form at the Town Hall that allows our contractor to file the building permit, etc. on our behalf. We (well, let’s be honest here — it’s Drew doing all the work) are starting to push all the furniture towards the front of the house upstairs since the demo will be at the back. This will save us from having to move everything to the first floor or the basement. There will still be stuff to be moved downstairs, though. Some things you just can’t get around!

I’m just eager for everything to get going. I’m more stressed now than I thought I would be, but that just might be the anticipation of difficulty. I just need to go with the flow. I keep telling myself that no matter what, it’s still easier to get this all done now than after the baby is here. Can you imagine a baby trying to nap with all the hammering, sawing, etc. going on?

So I think this afternoon I’ll go and take a few “before” shots of both the upstairs interior as well as the exterior of the house. I know my dad and brother will be asking to see lots of photos 🙂

Catching Up

31 weeksAs you can see from the photo, we are less than 2 months away from our baby girl’s big debut! I have reached the “tired of being pregnant” point. Generally I feel good, but man — it’s like Cirque du Soliel in my womb. I’ve had more than a few jabs that actually hurt, LOL! I’ve been able to cross off a couple items on my to-do list, so at least I’m doing something.

Drew and I enjoyed a kid-free weekend. The boys went to their grandmother’s on Saturday afternoon and Drew’s picking them up after work tonight. We had a great time and were able to both enjoy some relaxing down-time as well as get some things done around the house. I didn’t get any crafting in, but there’s still time this afternoon. I’m torn between relaxing and finishing up the laundry, LOL!

Jake is on vacation this week, and the weather doesn’t look very cooperative, unfortunately. So I’ve been trying to come up with some fun activities to do with the boys. Obviously we’ll dye Easter eggs (and I will enjoy devilled eggs later in the week – yum!). I also think I might make hot cross buns with them on Good Friday. We’ll probably decorate cupcakes for Easter dessert (I think I might skip the nests this year – lemon cupcakes sound really good to me instead.) Sandra recently made Flubber with her kids, and I think the boys would have a blast with that. I was also thinking of using cotton balls to make bunny pictures, since that’s something Noah could easily do. And finally I was thinking we could go and snip off a few stems from our forcythia bushes to force inside. They have little tiny buds on them so it should work! Aside from that, we’ll just wing it.

I’m really looking forward to Easter! We’ll be going to my MIL’s for dinner as usual. I’ve also got all the goodies for the boys’ Easter baskets (I have to remember to hide everything before they get home tonight!). We usually have them put their baskets out before bed and then the Easter bunny fills them while they’re sleeping. This way I can use the same baskets every year 🙂 They’ll be getting jelly beans, a “golden” egg, a small chocolate bunny, activity books, a Hot Wheels car, some new toys for the sandbox, and a couple other little things. I think they’ll be happy!

Oh, That’s Right…

I have a blog. It’s not even like I’ve been that busy, so I guess I just have not had much to write about. Actually, the last two days have been spent primarily in the rocking chair with a sick little boy cuddled up on my lap. Monday night around 10 p.m. Noah started coughing and just didn’t stop no matter what we did. He’d had a bit of a cough off and on since late last week, but nothing alarming. I ended up taking him to the pediatrician yesterday morning and thankfully his chest sounded clear, so the doctor chalked it up to post-nasal drip. Some Benedryl and rest have worked wonders. He’s still in no shape to go out and play or anything, but he’s got a little more life to him today. Poor little man was so pitiful yesterday. 🙁

Let’s see… what else is new. I had an OB appointment today and everything was fine. I hate seeing my weight go up, but at least it’s temporary. I’ll be happy when I can start losing it again. We’ve been watching quite a few movies lately: Klute (awesome 70s pseudo-noir flick), Punisher: War Zone (rather disappointing, read Drew’s take on it), Moving Violation (sheer 80s fun), and The Transporter 3 (entertaining, plus Jason Statham is pretty tasty!). We’ve got Midnight Run coming from Netflix today. I haven’t seen that in ages!

I haven’t done much crafting since I made the crayon rolls last week. I’ve crocheted a few rows on my ripple blanket, but that’s about it. I have lots of ideas, just not the time. Hope things have been swell with you!

Such Wonderful Friends!!!

I’ve been journalling/blogging online for a really long time — since November 1999! And over the years I have been blessed with some wonderful friendships. Today Lisanne came over for lunch and brought me a basket full of sweet baby gifts from a bunch of these great girls! Thank you so much to Sara, Dana, Christina, Laura, Ani, Jess, Shannon, Lisanne’s mom, and especially Lisanne for coordinating everything. You all are so sweet and generous — you totally made my day! Look at all the cute baby girl things!

beautiful baby gifts!

We are seriously going to have one well-dressed little lady! I only wish you guys all could have been here in person! Lisanne also brought a delicious lunch: bread, salad, and a yummy Mexican quiche. We had a great visit and it was fun spending time with her mom, too. (If you’ve never met her, Lisanne’s mom is such a great lady!) I’ll get to see them both tomorrow at Luke’s birthday party, too 🙂

Thanks so much to all of you!!!

Freezer Cooking

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a goal of having at least two weeks’ worth of dinners in the freezer, ready-to-go, as well as some breads and muffins. I’d rather prepare the stuff myself rather than rely on convenience foods because, well, it’s a lot cheaper and healthier! Some of the things I plan on making  and freezing are:

– London Broil in marinade (just defrost & grill)
– chicken breasts in Italian marinade (again, just defrost & grill)
– chili
– stuffed pepper soup
– brown a couple pounds of ground turkey to save time when making tacos
– baked oatmeal
– banana bread
– raspberry muffins
– cook & freeze a couple pounds of bacon for sandwiches, salads, etc.
– beef & bean enchiladas
– Swiss chicken
– meatloaf
– twice-baked potatoes
– homemade pre-made pizza (maybe 1 pepperoni and 1 BBQ chicken)

Those ideas are just off the top of my head, but they’re tried & true recipes and things I’ve successfully frozen before so I know they’ll be eaten. I think I’m also going to steal Jess’s idea of freezing some calzones (she mentioned it in the comments section of my last entry). That’s an awesome idea! Naturally I’ll be focussing on my nutrition and trying to eat healthfully since I’ll be nursing and trying to lose the baby weight at the same time. I can guarantee I’m not going to feel like heading to the gym and jumping on any ellipticals for a while, so I need to stay away from the junk food and make sure I have plenty of nutritious, easy to prepare, yet tasty food on hand. I think that’s going to be the challenge! At least it will be summer and grilling season, so it should be easy enough to at least throw a steak or some chicken breasts on the grill and have that with a salad. (Oh, I can’t wait for our CSA to start back up!) I figure that it can’t be too bad — after all I made it through the last two times and everything worked out just fine!