Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh, Hello Nesting....

I am a cleaning machine.  Period.
For real though, I have done so much today and it's just barely noon as I'm typing this now...

  1. I did my normal kitchen/living room tidying (the dishes, picked up dog toys, clorox wiped everything, etc.)
  2. Vacuumed the living room
  3. Did a load of laundry (washed, dried, folded, and put away)
  4. Washed my sheets (washed, dried, and re-made the bed)
  5. Cleaned my bedroom (general tidying, dusting, etc.)
  6. Scrubbed the hell out of the upstairs bathroom (sink, toilet, tub, floor and all!)
  7. Changed out the kitty litter (we have an automatic litter box but the insert needs to be thrown away and replaced about once a month)
  8. Vacuumed the "cat room" (it's just a large closet upstairs where the cat food and litter box live - I cannot express enough how amazing it is to have a completely separate room for the cat.  The door stays open but there's a gate there to keep the dogs out)
  9. Vacuumed the upstairs hallway and our bedroom (the nursery has too much random shit strewn about and I never even open the door to the third bedroom which will eventually be an office so they didn't get vacuumed.)
  10. I even vacuumed the freaking stairs.  Which sucked.  Stairs shouldn't be carpeted.  Period.
That, my friends, is a list of 10 freaking cleaning related things I did this morning.  I am Wonderwoman.  Well, I'm not Wonderwoman, I'm nesting-woman, and it damn near killed my vacuum, lol.
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I actually had to give my vacuum a break halfway through the stairs because it was getting too hot and losing suction!

Since this crazy cleaning spree is completely out of character for me, I'm attributing it to "nesting instincts."  Parenting weekly has a great article on nesting, but I think it can be summed up by the first paragraph of the article:

Around the fifth month of pregnancy, the "nesting" instinct can set in. This is an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world.

Honestly, I'm not gonna complain about it unless I start doing something crazy like feeling the need to scrub my floors with a toothbrush (which apparently some crazy preggers do).  I've always wanted to be a tidy person, I just really hate cleaning.

By some miracle though, even after my cleaning spree, my (DIY) manicure that I just did yesterday held up completely.  It's official, China Glaze is by far superior to OPI.

But now I'm gonna go relax, do some knitting, and probably fall asleep.  I totally earned an afternoon nap!

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Oh my aching back...

I have struggled with back issues since I was 17 (in case you forgot, I'll be 24 in less than 2 months).

It was when I was 17 that I herniated two discs in my lower back.  In case you didn't know, a herniated disc is when part of the disc (or the squishy part that sits in between all your vertebrae) gets forced out of its proper place.
This usually happens from an accident where your spine gets seriously jolted somehow.  Mine happened when I was playing the Juniors versus Seniors powderpuff football game and I got picked up and thrown by two Seniors.  The real issues arise when the part of the disc that is sticking out presses up against the nerves in your spine.

My doctors advised me NOT to have surgery since my sister happened to herniate the exact same two discs (trampoline accident), had the surgery, and the discs just re-herniated.  I just did intensive physical therapy for almost a year and was able to manage the pain.

Fast forward to last year - my back was getting REALLY painful again, so I went and so a specialist.  Turns out the existing herniation lead to "degenerative subluxation" in my lower spine.  Basically a "normal" spine would look like an S from the side, mine looked like a question mark since the lumbar (aka lower part) of my spine was straightening out.
My back was in between "Phase One" and "Phase Two"
Again, I did 6 months of intense physical therapy and I was able to manage the pain.

Well pregnancy is doing horrible things to my back!  And I can't do my normal exercises anymore because, well, I'm pregnant (they're all ab exercises, basically) and my belly just doesn't do that anymore.  And I've been bad and haven't been stretching properly.  Well, it got to the point where sometimes I can't even carry my own weight (there have been a few mornings where I couldn't walk down the stairs so I had to sit and scooch down like a small child) so I brought it up at my OB appointment yesterday.

The doctor (my Old Swedish Midwife wasn't available so my appointment was with another doctor) did some basic reflex tests and turns out I have a reverse reflex on my right side (instead of my leg kicking forward, it swings back) which is a sign that the herniation is back and better worse than ever.  We want to avoid doing any other diagnostic tests (MRI, x-ray, etc) since I don't want to expose the baby to that kind of radiation so I'm just going to start physical therapy again ASAP.

Physical therapy means seeing a doctor "in town" (aka a civilian doctor) since there aren't any physical therapists at the hospital on base.  That means I'm waiting on a referral, which kinda stresses me out since we all know how well that went last time I needed a referral from the OB clinic on base!  Hopefully this referral will go smoothly and I'll be able to start physical therapy within the next few weeks.

On top of that, I need to meet with the anesthesiologist sooner rather than later because herniated discs and epidurals don't really get along.  Even though I would like to have a natural childbirth (mainly because of my existing back issues) if I change my mind the anesthesiologist is gonna have to know my spine inside and out in order to be able to give it to me.

Oh, and if I lose feeling in either of my legs I have to go straight to labor and delivery because it could trigger labor and I might not even know it.  Since The Sailor isn't here and if that were to happen I wouldn't be able to walk (or drive) I'm gonna have to casually bring it up to some of my friends on base so if I call them and say something along the lines of, "hey, my right leg doesn't work anymore, will you bring me to the hospital?" they will know what's going on.  I still haven't decided if I should warn them that if my back gets that bad, it isn't uncommon to shit your freaking pants (literally - since you'll lose control of your sphincter muscle), hahahahaha.  That could be a really fun surprise during an emergency trip to the hospital.

This is all really overwhelming.

So, has anyone else struggled with serious back problems during their pregnancy?  Did you have to do physical therapy?  What the hell do they have pregnant ladies do during physical therapy, lol?

By the way, I'm counting this as my "week 25 update" since this is really all I care about that's going on; nothing else has really changed!

Until next time...

Don't forget, if you want to see the whole progression of belly photos, you can do so here!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

My Greatest Fear that I'll turn into my Mother.

It's no secret that my Mother is unpredictable, to say the least, and I'm honestly terrified that I will end up being a mother like her.  The fact of the matter is, as horrible is she is when things are bad, she's just as amazing when things are good.  There's just no middle ground with her.  We either aren't speaking or she's showering me with love and gifts.  Exhibit A - my Christmas present from her...
Yes, that is a Coach purse.  The Madison Quilted Chevron Nylon Sophia Satchel.  It costs $368.  It is a very generous gift, and I love it.  But it's just a reminder of how unpredictable my Mother is since 2 weeks ago we weren't even speaking.

And I know that I am equally emotionally unstable, to be blunt.

My emotional state is about as predictable as the weather.  I may be able to tell you there's a storm coming, but until it's over no one will really be able to say how much snow is gonna fall.  And I'm just hoping that since I know and accept this about myself that I won't turn into her.

I don't want my kids to have to worry "which Mom" they will be dealing with on a day to day basis.  Shit, I don't want anyone to have to worry "which Amanda" they will have to be dealing with, and I've always made a conscious effort to recognize my emotional state and react accordingly to it.

The past few days have been pretty tough for me.  Spending Christmas without any family can mess with your head.  And since I'm a hormonal mess anyway, I've been crying stressing about everything under the sun.  It's Christmas and I'm all alone.  We don't have enough money and babies need so much stuff.  I don't want to become my Mother.  How can I be feeling sorry for myself with The Sailor is stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean?  What if I can't handle a baby and two dogs.  Fuck, what if I can't hand a baby, period.  I feel so fat.  Why the hell am I worrying about what I look like right now, I have way better things to worry about! ...and I could totally keep going, but I'll spare you.  Instead, I'm gonna go continue this pity party on my own with an Italian Ice!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Long Overdue - Pregnancy Update

I'm going to pregnancy blogger hell.  The last time I did a weekly update was when I was 21 weeks pregnant.  Now I'm almost 25.  Whatevs, I'm pregnant, don't yell at me.

So yeah, I'm 24 weeks pregnant.  Time has been moving quickly despite my general discomfort. My back is killing me 99% of the time.  I'm generally pretty tired (whoever said you get all this energy during your second trimester was lying). And it's at 24 weeks that a baby is considered viable, or there is a possibility he will survive if you go into labor, so that's pretty cool.

I've been making more concrete plans for the nursery, which is super exciting.  I've decided January will be "decorate the nursery" month for me.  December has gone by quite quickly with going home and the holidays, February will go by quickly as I prepare for The Sailor to come home, but I feel like January is gonna drag by.  More on that as I actually execute stuff.  I'm still not sure whether I'll show off stuff as I get/make it or if I'm gonna wait until the whole thing is done and I can do a big reveal.  We'll see!  But to get you a little excited for it, here's some pictures I plan on having printed (not sure what size yet) and then frame them:
Personal creations
Why yes, that is a Gabby, Lola, and Tom silhouette in the colors that I'll be doing the nursery in!

I also bought a used Fisher Price "Nature's Touch" Cradle 'n Swing this week.  It's very exciting to see baby stuff in the general living space of my house.  These things usually cost between $145 and $165...I got mine for $20! Bam!
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As you can see, it's in the corner in my living room.  Looks pretty damn good, if I do say so myself!

Things to look forward to on the pregnancy/baby front:

  • DIY Knit baby hat and booties (80% complete)
  • DIY Knit Balloon Animal Frog (40% complete)
  • Picking a stroller and car seat
  • Plenty of cloth diaper excitement
  • And of course, all things nursery related!
I have an OB appointment next week, so hopefully my next "weekly update" will be a little more informative/exciting, lol.

Until next time...
Personal Photos
Is it just me, or has my belly growth kinda been at a standstill?  There was a huge growth between 20 and 21 weeks (check that out here) but it really hasn't changed since then.  And yes, I did forget to take a 23 week picture...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Updates on My Crazy Family!

Okay, so last you heard here's where I stood with my family:

  • My Dad and I were getting along great
  • My Mom and I weren't talking after her disastrous trip to San Francisco
  • I hadn't spoken to my crazy sister Kate since I announced that I had eloped back in August
  • My sister Rachael and I were speaking, but not often
  • Extended family on my Dad's side are basically just excited for me
  • Extended family on my Mom's side are basically just confused
Things with my Dad are still great.  Staying with him was a little weird, honestly, (I hadn't slept at his house since early high school) but it was fine.  Plus, check out how adorable he is; every night he and his dog Amber watch TV like this:
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Now, onto my Mom.  Apparently she has just blocked are little fight out of her mind completely.  No joke.  She brought up the restaurants we went to in San Francisco, asked if I had chosen the stroller she's gonna get for the baby yet, said I needed to call her more often.  It was really weird, honestly, but I'm not going to bring it up just to start a fight with her.  I'm not going to be BFFs with her, but if she wants to ignore the fact that we had a blowout then fine.  Plus, if she still wants to buy the stroller for the baby I'm definitely not going to argue with her - those things are expensive!  And she quite drinking almost two weeks ago now, so maybe things actually will be different this time (she is/was a fully functioning alcoholic; it was a huge problem).

Crazy sister Katelyn chose the same route my Mom did.  She acted as if we're BFFs and she didn't say a whole slew of horrible things to me after I announced that I had eloped.  She kept going on about how excited she was to finally get to hold her nephew, when in reality we had never even spoken about the fact that I'm even pregnant.  But, whatevs, I'm not going to start fighting with her for the sake of fighting!  Plus, she bought The Seamonkey the cutest little outfit from The Children's Place!!!
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It's so tiny and preppy and adorable!  The whole outfit is anchor themed (even the shoes have anchors on them).  I considered exchanging it for a bigger size (it's 0-3 months) but it would be too warm of an outfit for that late.  Right now I'm hoping to get some newborn pictures of my little guy in this outfit, because seriously, it's freaking precious!

My sister Rachael was actually really cold towards me.  That might be because right before I came home we had a lovely conversation that went a little like this:
Rachael - What's you're social security number?
She had just started a new job and was filling out beneficiary information, lol
Me - XXX-XX-XXXX; Do you even know my legal name, lol?
Rachael - You changed it!?
Me - Yeah, Rache, I got married
Rachael - Oh, well, you'll change it back when you get divorced
Me - Fuck you.
::end conversation::

She was 10 when my parents got divorced, so it had a much greater affect on her than it did on me, and on top of that she's a divorce attorney.  So her outlook on the institution of marriage is bleak, to say the least.  You still don't say something like that to someone.  It's just rude.

To say that my extended family members on my Dad's side are excited for me would be a severe understatement.  It was really sweet of them.  But, it's kinda a big deal - I'm having the first great-grandchild in my family!

My Nana and I went out to lunch and she had knit a blanket for The Seamonkey!  She said she's also making him a few more things, but she'll mail them to me later.
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My Pa and his wife Judy really wanted to throw me an actual baby shower, but given the whole situation (running away, eloping, etc.) my Dad and I weren't really sure how his brother and sister (my aunt and uncle) would react so we asked him to tone it down a bit.  It was basically a baby shower without calling it that, lol.
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My Dad and his wife Karen, my sister Katelyn, my sister Rachael and her boyfriend Roger, my Auntie Gail and Uncle Mike, and my Uncle Greg and my cousin Perry all came.

My Auntie Gail (who is my God Mother) and Uncle Mike actually brought a wedding card, a Christmas card, and a baby card for me, lol.  They got us a Baby Gap giftcard and a little baby hat.
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And my Pa and his wife Judy got us a baby blanket and the most adorable musical carousel thing ever.
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And can I just say I'm in love with the carousel thing?  First of all, it's adorable.  Seriously...duckies!  Secondly, it matches my crib, lol, and they didn't even know I had painted my crib yellow.  And finally, it plays "Singing in the Rain."  I love it!

I was supposed to see my Mom's family as well, but my grandfather came down with pancreatitis so our get together was cancelled.  Luckily he's doing okay now, but needless to say I didn't see any of my extended family from my Mom's side.

So overall, things with my family are really good right now ::knocks on wood::. Let's just hope it stays this way!

Until next time...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

I never thought I would be excited about diapers...

But I am!!!

First of all, sorry for the totally rushed feel of my last post about diapers (after I bought a few Fuzzibunz).  I was in the airport and wanted to get the post up before I took off mainly to give anyone a heads up that would be interested in the sale.  But let's face it - that post sucked, and I'm sorry for it.  But now I'm gonna try and make up for it!!!

In the past 2 weeks I have bought quite a few more diapers ( I just keep finding great deals, I swear!) but before I get into that, a quick run down on the basic types of cloth diapers:
And here's my take on them:

Pre-folds (or flat diapers) - the most economical way to cloth diaper, but the least convenient.  You use either a pre-fold (which has seams to aid in folding the diaper) or a flat (which doesn't have seams) diaper which are folded and then fastened to the baby using safety pins or something called a "snappi."  There are infinite ways to fold the diaper, you just have to find what words for you and your baby.  Then you have to use a waterproof cover over it.

Fitted Diapers - instead of using a pre-fold or a flat there is an absorbent fitted diaper.  Since there isn't a water proof outer layer, you have to use a cover with it.

All-in-two or hybrid diaper - with this option you snap an absorbent layer (called a soaker) into the cover.  This is more convenient than a pre-fold or a fitted diaper since you snap in the soaker and then only have one step of actually putting the diaper on the baby.  These are also very flexible since you can use the shell as the waterproof layer with pre-folds or fitted diapers.

These options are economical since you can use the waterproof cover multiple times before washing it, you just have to change the absorbent part of the diaper.  You cannot do that with the next two options.

Pocket diapers - with this option you stuff the soaker into a pocket within the shell.  It is convenient since you only have to put one thing on the baby, but the entire diaper has to be washed after each use.

All-in-one diapers - these are exactly what they sound like, everything is there and already assembled for you.  This is the most convenient option for cloth diapers, but also the most expensive.  They also take longer to dry than other diapers since it is all one piece.

You can also choose between using one-size diapers or sized diapers.  One sized diapers usually have snaps to adjust the rise of the diaper and they generally claim they can be used from birth to potty training, whereas obviously sized diapers come in different sizes based off of the weight of your baby.  A lot of times one sized diapers don't fit newborns, and if you're using one-sized diapers you should consider investing in a bigger stash since there will be a lot more wear and tear on them then if you chose sized diapers.

Phew, that was a ton of info!

For us, all-in-ones were out since one of the main reasons we've chosen to cloth diaper is to save money.  I also never really considered using fitteds; if I'm going to have to put two different parts on the baby I may as well save the extra money and use pre-folds or flats.  So that leaves, pre-folds/flats, all-in-twos/hybrids, and pockets.

I considered using solely pocket diapers; they're less expensive than all-in-ones but still super convenient.  But, it's still a considerable investment.  And then a few weeks ago I attended a diaper party and although I didn't buy anything from them (honestly, the prices kinda sucked) it was great to get to see/touch/hold all the different types of diapers, and I was really interested in the hybrids.  They're convenient like pockets (the soaker just snaps in instead of being stuffed in a pocket) but are more economical since you don't need as many covers.  Plus, to save extra money you can use the shell over a flat or a pre-fold if you want.  And I never even really considered sized diapers; if the cloth diapers don't fit The Sea Monkey when he's first born we'll just use disposables (::gasp:: lol) until they do fit.

So, after more research than was really necessary, I decided that for our situation and priorities, a combination of using pocket diapers (mainly if someone else is watching the baby or if I'm feeling particularly lazy, lol) and hybrid diapers.

A good example of the components of a pocket diaper:
So, with a pocket diaper you have the waterproof outer layer, a soft inner layer that will pull moisture away from your baby's butt, and an opening to stuff the diaper with a soaker.

And a good example of a hybrid diaper:
 Hybrids are quite similar to pocket diapers, but instead of a pocket to stuff the soaker into they snap into place.  And there isn't the inner layer, instead you can wipe off the inside of the shell and use it again with a different soaker.

To complicate things even further, I'll probably use flats or pre-folds with the hybrid shell part time since it is so much less expensive.  I'm not sure I would ever ask The Sailor to use a flat or a pre-fold, because it takes practice (which I'll get staying home with the baby) and patience.  I also wouldn't want to deal with using a flat or a pre-fold when I'm traveling or even running errands.

Now, if I was only using pockets most sites recommend having about 24 diapers.  You can get away with having less, but you'll have to wash more often and if you have more they will generally hold up much better (so it's a good idea if you plan on using your stash with more than one baby).  And if I was only using hybrids I've read you should have 14 shells and 30 soakers.

The question is - how many diapers do I need???

Well, I'm thinking of filling my stash with 1/3 pocket diapers.  So, for a good sized, gender neutral stash (since I do plan on using the same diapers with our future kids) I'm thinking 10 pocket diapers.  Which would leave 2/3 hybrids or 10 hybrid shells.  How many flats/pre-folds and how many hybrid inserts is still up in the air but in all I'll need at least 20 of them.

Good golly, if you read through all of that, bravo!  I realize it is a ton of information, but if you're new to cloth diapering I hope it helped you understand modern cloth diapers a little more!  Next time I post about diapering I'll discuss choosing which brand to go with since there are so many freaking options and I'll explain why I've chosen to purchase the diapers I've gotten so far.

Until next time...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tell Me About Yo-self!

Elley, author of Up Above the World So High tagged me with the "Tell Me About Yourself Award!"'s how it works:
1. Thank the person who awarded you. (Thanks Elley!!!)
2. List 7 things people may not know about you.
3. Pass it on to 15 other bloggers and don’t forget to notify them

For reals though, 15 other bloggers is A LITTLE obscene, so I'm going to pass the award on to three other bloggers (like Elley did, lol).  But anyways, on to things you didn't know about me, which may be kinda tough to think of since I have a tendency to over-share on my blog, haha...

1) I went to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA and studied Information Systems Management.  It's a great field to get into and I chose it because I knew I could make good money doing it.  Now that my priorities have changed I think I may want to re-focus myself before I go back to work after having kids and staying home with them for a few years.

2) I tap danced for a decade and a half - yup, 15 whole years.  I started when I was 3 and continued until I graduated high school.  I still regularly tap around especially when I'm cooking and have music playing  or in department stores (they tend to play music that's easy to tap to, haha).

3) I had an umbilical hernia when I was little that I had surgically repaired when I was 4.  It's a hernia that gives you an extreme outtie belly button if it doesn't fix itself while you're still an infant.  Because my belly button is man-made not home grown (lol) it is REALLY deep, and I'm terrified what kind of Frankenstein-esque scene it'll be if it pops out during my pregnancy.

4) Along that same note, I don't have a gallbladder.  I started having gallstone attacks when I was 17, but doctors had no idea what was going on since it is so weird for a healthy, active, 17 year old to have gallstones.  When I was 20 I ended up in the ER because the attack was so back and they new what it was right away.  When it was removed, they re-opened the incision in my belly button (I had laproscopic surgery) and so I can only imagine what the scar in there looks like - just another reason that I don't want my belly button to pop out!

5)  I went to the same summer camp for 7 years and worked there for 2.  It's in New Hampshire and all my favorite memories growing up are there.  I hope to send my own kids there some day (Pleasant Valley for girls or North Woods for boys).
6) My first boyfriend ever was in the fourth grade.  We dated for almost a year.  He got me a necklace from Claire's for Christmas and chocolates for Valentine's Day.  Our first date was to go see Mulan (yes, the Disney cartoon), hahahahaha.

7) I drive a 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix.  It has like 115,000 miles on it and is not aesthetically in perfect condition, but I love it.  I've considered getting a new car, but every time I test drive one I don't like it.  I think I'll be really upset when it gets to the point where I have to get a new car.  I would like to get it professionally cleaned on the inside though, especially before the baby arrives!

Phew, I came up with 7 things!  Sorry if they're totally lame; I did what I could.  Now, I tag:
  1. Miss Tattoo @ Tattoos and Lace
  2. Diana @ Garden Beneath the Sky
  3. Krystal @ All My Writes and Wrongs
Until next time...

Flying While Pregnant

First off, sorry I've been totally MIA since leaving for my trip.  I had a great time at home (more on that later) and then the worst travel experience EVER on the way back to California that ended in me missing my second flight, being stranded in Arizona, feeling like crap, and finally getting home a day late.  But whatevs, I'm home now (praise Buddha) and figured I'd do a post on my experience and my recommendations for flying while pregnant!

I flew from Fresno, California to Boston, Massachusetts.  Since Fresno is a tiny airport I had a transfer in Phoenix, Arizona.  My first flight was just over one hour, the second just over five (the way back was significantly longer since it was going against the jet stream) and I left at like 9:30 am (local time) and arrived at about 8 pm (local time).  Apart from some severe turbulence towards the end of my second flight the whole experience was pretty uneventful.

Before Leaving

First of all, when you're booking your flights sit in an aisle seat.  As much as it sucks to be hit with the beverage cart every time they pass, let's face it, we pregnant ladies pee a lot, and sitting in the aisle makes it considerably more comfortable to get up and go to the restroom.  You should also get up regularly to stretch your legs to prevent getting blood clots, which is another reason to sit in the aisle.

If you have to change planes make sure you leave enough time between them.  Normally I have no problem sprinting from one end of an airport to the other carry-on luggage in tow, but at 23 weeks pregnant I'm not quite as quick as I'm used to.  And my back hurts enough just walking, never mind running with the added weight of luggage.

And don't forget to talk to your doctor/midwife.  My midwife didn't bring up wearing compression stockings or anything, but that may have been related to how far along I am and the fact that I actually haven't swollen up at all (my rings have actually gotten loose on me since getting pregnant), but your doctor may feel differently.

These next two are just good to do in general before flying, but to me were especially important since I'm carrying precious cargo, lol.

The few days before you fly, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Airplanes are dry and disease ridden places.  Making sure that you're properly hydrated before flying will make the experience more pleasant.  And, if you are properly hydrated you won't feel the need to drink as much while in the air thus minimizing trips to the gross-o airplane bathrooms.

For me, this last one was a huge one.  You see, when I was in middle school I flew down to Florida with an ear infection.  Then got water in my ear while visiting.  When I flew home, my ears started bleeding and I have been fighting ear issues ever since.  Since that experience, I've had a strict regiment of borderline over-dosing on decongestant allergy meds for the week leading up to my flight as well as using Affrin nasal spray for at least three days leading up to the flight.  Making sure that I don't have anything blocking my sinuses while I fly has minimized the discomfort and lasting negative effects that I've always associated with extreme pressure changes.

Well, I couldn't do that this time.  I don't want to take any medications during my pregnancy, even if they are considered "safe" for pregnant women.  I don't think there's anything wrong with women who do choose to take medication while pregnant, it just isn't something I want to do.  So how did I prepare my sinus cavities for the flight?  Sinus irrigation.  Yup, I neti-ed it up...
In case you were unaware, a neti pot is used to clear the sinus cavity of allergens as well as irrigate your sinuses.  This is accomplished by using a saline solution in the little "pot," then you lean over a sink and pour the warm liquid in one nostril.  From there, gravity takes control and the liquid goes through the sinus cavity and out the other nostril.
It's a strange sensation to say the least, but after you get over that, it is freaking amazing.  I didn't have any issues with my sinuses/ears during my flights!  Although it probably isn't completely due to the neti (maybe my ears are actually just getting better!) I definitely think it helped!  I "cleansed" twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening) for the week leading up to my trip, and the entire time I was gone.

Day of flight/while flying

Dress in layers.  Seriously, my temperature changes are worse than my mood swings, lol!  And you really never know if it'll be blazing hot or freezing cold on a plane.  Also, I don't like to use the little air vent to cool you off since in my mind its just spraying you with germs (seriously though - the air on planes is disgusting), and would much prefer to sit there in a tank top.  It also doesn't hurt to dress in form fitting clothes (but still comfortable) to show off your bump.  Let's face it, people in general are much nicer to pregnant ladies than they are anyone else!

Don't forget to bring snacks.  Beyond the fact that its really rare for an airline to actually give you any food on a flight, if you're anything like me you can go from fine to starving in three seconds flat.  And no one likes a starving pregnant lady!

Once you get to security, ask questions about the scanners they're using.  At the Fresno airport, they use scanners that actually use sound waves; there is no radiation emitted from them.  In Boston, however, they use a different type of scanner that does expose you to small amounts of radiation.  Is it harmful to your baby?  The authorities say it isn't.  But radiation is something that builds up in your system over time, and you'll be exposed to some of it during your flight no matter what you do.  So I'm, personally, not comfortable exposing my little Sea Monkey to any more radiation than necessary, and when going through security in Boston I asked for a pat down rather than a scan.  They had no problem with it!

Once you get through security, go buy the biggest water you can get your hands on.  You really don't know how long it'll take for the "beverage services" to start while you're in the air, plus you don't want to be harassing the flight attendants the entire flight.  Having a huge jug of water at your disposal is a must.

And I might seem kinda paranoid, but I promise I'm not germaphobic.  Airplanes and airports are just disgusting.  Period.  Wash your hands every chance you get.  There are just so many people bringing diseases from all around the world.  Not to mention the fact that the air while in flight is just recycled over and over again, meaning you're just getting washed over again and again by germs.  It's disgusting.

Finally, once you get to your final destination (wash your hands again, hahaha) enjoy yourself!  These past few days I've been a little sore which I'm attributing to being crammed in a small seat for so long so I've made it a point to stretch as much as possible, but apart from that I feel fine!

If you have any advice to add, be sure to leave a comment, and hopefully this long ass post can help someone else prep for a flight during their pregnancy!

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I know I mentioned before that I plan on cloth diapering, and I've been meaning to start building my stash soon and today the heavens opened up and told me now is the time -- Zulily has Fuzzibunz on sale!!!

In case you've never heard of it, Zulily is one of those one-day sale websites that is geared towards babies/kids (and Moms).  I checked my email this morning before I left for the airport and it turns on they have Fuzzibunz on sale today for $14 each (when they're normally $22 each).  If you're interested in buying some, you can get an invitation here.

Fuzzibunz are one size pocket diapers.  And although I plan on starting with pre-folds and covers, eventually I would like to primarily use pocket diapers, so I bought four fuzzibunz.  These are the ones I got...

These say "Does this diaper make my butt look big" on the butt:

And these say "Cloth is cool" on the butt:

I would love to use pockets from the beginning but they're more expensive and "one size" diapers usually don't fit newborns.  So to minimize cost, I chose pre-folds and covers - I'll have to start buying those soon.

If you want to take advantage of this sale, do it quick - it ends Saturday morning at 6 am (Pacific time)!

Until next time...

Guess where I am?

...Yup - I'm at the airport!  Fresno Yosemite International Airport, to be exact.  Isn't it tiny?  Haha!  But I can't really complain.  I'm lucky that even though we live out in the middle of nowhere there's an airport about a half hour away.  Plus, the inside is actually really nice, they have good wi-fi, and they have fake sequoias in the entrance...
I'm going home for a week to see my family.  As much as I would have liked to have gone home for actual Christmas, a plane ticket over the holidays would have cost about $1,000.  A plane ticket a few week before was only $275!  Definitely wasn't worth the extra cost.

I'll be staying with my Dad for the next 6 days.  I have never slept in my father's house for more than 2 days, and the last time I did that was in middle school.  Not gonna lie, I'm a little nervous.  I love my Dad, it's his wife who I'm not the biggest fan of.  If she gets on my nerves my plan is to basically tell her to shut up and blame my short tempered-ness on being pregnant, hahaha.

Saturday my Dad's side of the family is getting together.  My grandfather is actually making a pretty big deal about it, which is super sweet.  And he isn't counting this as their Christmas get together, this is just for me.  I feel special!

Then Sunday my Mom is having her side of the family over her house.  In case you forgot, my Mom and I didn't leave on the best terms last month.  In fact, we haven't really been speaking.  She did send me a text message on black Friday that said, "I hope you had a good day yesterday" and sent me another text message the other day that said, "I expect you're still coming on the 11th, everyone is expecting you."  I'm slightly terrified.  But at the same time, if I time it right and get there after everyone else and leave before everyone else I know it'll be fine.  She won't make a scene in front of her Dad and sisters.

So, overall, I'm excited to see everyone but nervous at the same time.  Hopefully everything will go smoothly this time! I'm not gonna lie though, I hate leaving the dogs.  This morning I was trying to explain to them how long I would be gone.  Lola wasn't phased.  Gabby was going nuts since she knows I'm leaving when I get out my suitcase.  It isn't like I worry about them being okay, Navy Wife Kim will be watching them, I just don't like leaving them.  At lease I won't go through total doggy withdrawals though since my Dad has a rottweiler to keep me company!

Until next time...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Puppy Love Blankie

So, I know I said my next knitting project was a hat and booties, but I lied.  I did already make the hat, but I need to get some new needles before I can get started on the booties, so I decided to make another lovey blanket similar to the Kitty Kuddles blanket that I made!
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There were a few things about Kitty Kuddles that I didn't really like.  For one, the hands.  I didn't want to tie knots for hands (like the pattern called for), but I was 100% satisfied with what I had done with the kitty blanket.  Also, I really didn't like that the head was a square.  Heads aren't squares.  Period. So, here's a breakdown of my pattern (once again, based off of the pattern found here):

First of all, I used size 8 needles for the body.

Lower Body:
Cast on 2 stitches
Row 1: knit
Row 2: knit 1, M1 (increase - a good demo is found here), knit 1
Row 2: knit 1, M1, knit to end of row
Repeat Row 2 until you have 40 stitches

Now you're at the part that will the hands.
Hand Row 1: Cast on 3 additional stitches, knit to end of row
Hand Row 2: Same as hand row 1
Hand Row 3: Cast on 2 additional stitches, knit to end of row
Hand Row 4: Same as hand row 3
Hand Row 5: Cast on 1 additional stitch, knit to end of row
Hand Row 6: Same as hand row 5
Hand Row 7: Bind off 1 stitch, knit to end of row
Hand Row 8: Same as hand row 7
Hand Row 9: Bind off 2 stitches, knit to end of row
Hand Row 10: Same as hand row 9
Hand Row 11: Bind off 3 stitches, knit to end of row
Hand Row 12: Same as hand row 11

Upper Body:
Row 1: k2tog (decrease - a demo can be found here), knit to end of row
Repeat upper body row 1 until there are 28 stitches remaining

At this point, I switched to size 6 needles

Row 1: k2tog across (14 stitches left)
Row 2: knit across
Row 3: k1f&b (increase - a demo can be found here), knit 12, k1f&b (16 stitches on the needle)
In other words, for row 3 you are increasing on the very first and very last stitches
Row 4: knit across
Repeat rows 3&4 until you have 24 stitches
For the next bit I didn't count how many rows I did, instead I just kinda played it by ear.  I was happy with about an inch worth of rows, and each row is knit across.  If you want your finished product to have less of an oblong head, I would just knit more rows before you continued on.
Row 5(? - my numbering has gone to hell, haha, we'll just call it row 5): k2tog, knit 20, k2tog(22 stitches on the needle)
In other words, for row 5 you are decreasing on the very first and very last stitches
Row 6: knit across
Repeat rows 5&6 until you have 14 stitches remaining.

Then repeat rows 2-6 again to make the back side of the head and bind off.
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Next, you'll embroider on the face on the lower part of the head.  For this project, since I wanted it to be a dog, there's no whiskers, and for an added touch, I embroidered a circle around one of the eyes.

Now, you fold the top part of the head down the back of the part which you already embroidered and stitch down either side leaving the bottom open.  Then, stuff the head with a small handful of stuffing and stitch closed the bottom.
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You're almost done; all that's left are the ears! For each ear, do the following:
Cast on 1 stitch. (Yes, 1 stitch, so literally just put a slipknot on your needle)
Row 1: k1f&b (2 stitches on needle)
Row 2: knit across
Repeat rows 1&2 until you have 10 stitches
Knit 3 additional rows
Bind off
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Your final step is to attach the ears.  I just placed them where I thought they looked best and stitched them in place.  Et voila!
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Gabby wanted to play with the puppy, lol
And now I a kitty and a puppy blanket to give to my little boy!
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If you have any questions, lemme know, I'm really new to writing out patterns (hell, I'm new to knitting still, lol) and won't be offended if you straight up tell me it makes no sense at all! It really is a very easy project knitting project!

Until next time...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

21 Weeks Pregnant

I'm not hating life as much this week as I have in the past.  I feel like getting past the halfway point was super refreshing for me.

My belly is starting to inhibit my movement.  Yeah, I know, it's gonna get way worse, but it's really just strange for me.  If I'm sitting down, I can't reach as far forward as I'm used to.  I'm more thankful than ever that we have a couch that is more supportive than cozy.  When I sit on other people's "big comfy" couches I have trouble getting up.

I've started researching strollers/car seats/travel systems and it's making my head spin.  For real - it's overwhelming.  There are so many (even in my relatively low price point) to choose from!  But that's a more than enough to warrant its own post, so more on that later!

I've bought a few onesies/outfits for the little guy (ok, I bought a bunch, lol) and I think that has definitely helped me get way more excited about it being a boy. I mean seriously, check this one out:
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It's so little and precious!!! It is Carter's brand, but I got it from Marshall's.  It's newborn size, so it's tiny, and all I can think is I want my little guy to be here already! ::pout::

And today I'm gonna go to Motherhood to pick up some more maternity clothes.  One pair of normal jeans really isn't cutting it, lol.  And, I'll be flying home to Massachusetts next week so I kinda need a jacket hahaha.  It's a little colder in Massachusetts than it is here in Central California.  If I can't find a coat at Motherhood for a reasonable price I'll probably order this fleece coat from Old Navy:
It isn't a super heavy coat (from the reviews) but it's only $29, plus if it were super heavy I wouldn't be able to wear it once I got back from Massachusetts since it really isn't that cold here.  So it's actually a good thing it's a lighter jacket!

I don't understand the people who go as long as they can without wearing maternity clothes, I've been wearing them since the beginning.  A) They are way more comfortable then squeezing into normal clothes.  B) Let's face it, you are going to need them eventually, so why not get as much use out of them as possible?  I do have a few really cute outfits, so I might invest in a full size mirror so I can show them off to you guys. (Yes, I do not have a full size mirror in my house right now.)

Did you hold off on buying maternity clothes or did you embrace them early on like me?

Until next time...

PS - my belly blew up this week. I think it might be a bit exaggerated though since that photo was taken the morning after Thanksgiving...I'm just sayin' though.  As always, you can see the full progression of belly pictures here!
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gallery Wall! (Finally...)

I know it has been eons since I last brought up putting together a gallery wall in my living room, but I promise I sorta have an excuse for not actually putting it up until the other day.

I'm not sure if I brought it up at all, but the Navy recently had a large number of lay-offs (yeah, I never thought the military did lay-offs either); it was technically called the Enlisted Retention Board (or the ERB).  This isn't the first or the last time they've done this, but it usually isn't done on this scale.  The Sailor's rate (which is basically military terms for his position) got cut by 25%.  So literally, 1 in 4 people who do what The Sailor does recently were told as of next spring or fall they will no longer be part of the Navy.  Some rates were cut by as much as 70%.

Well, needless to say, if we were going to be kicked out of the Navy at some point next year I had no desire to be hanging pictures throughout the house.  But, thankfully, we found out a few weeks ago that The Sailor is not being cut!

So anyway, back to my gallery wall.  I've had the stuff I wanted to hang up for quite a while now, it was really just a matter of laying it out and hanging it up.  So, the first step was figuring out how I was going to arrange all the frames, which I did on the floor in front of the wall they would eventually be hung up on (Gabby was helping me):
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The next step is actually super clever and unfortunately I can't take the credit for coming up with it, haha.  Basically any blog that I read who has posted about gallery walls brought up using magazine pages to layout how you want to hang the frames up before you actually hang the pieces and all of them attribute the idea to the blog Young House Love.  But yeah, so first I taped together pieces of an old Ok! magazine so they would reflect how big the frames are:
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Then I taped them up on the wall.  Because I was just picking them up off the ground and placing them directly on the wall, it ended up being a mirror image of what I had on the ground, but luckily it didn't really matter:
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Fun fact - I got lazy after hanging the magazine pages up and ended up leaving it like that for like two days, haha, so classy...

I had also marked on the magazines where the hanging part of the frame was so I just put up the hangers right over the magazine cut outs.  Obviously for any frame that had multiple hanging points I had to use a level to have the the magazine hung up precisely how I wanted the frame to hang; any frame that just had one hanging point was a lot easier.
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And then I pulled down the magazines, and the hangers were in the perfect spot!
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The wing emblem is actually super deceiving.  It looks like it's made out of metal when in reality it's made out of plastic.  And The Sailor had drilled a hole in one side of it (I have no idea how he had it hanging before) so I got to use my drill to make a hole in the other side so I could eventually nail that sucker up on the wall.  But I actually did that last.  And since I only had little gold nails, after hanging it I used a Sharpie to make the nail heads black, haha.  It worked really well though!
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The frames that are in the bottom right and all the way to the left don't actually have pictures in them yet.  The one on the left will eventually have a picture of each of the pets in it and the frame on the bottom right will eventually have random pictures of The Sailor and I (and probably the baby) in it.  Here are some close-ups of what I hung up.

On the right side we have a cartoon picture of a type of jet that The Sailor used to work on that is actually signed by the artist, his Air Warfare wing emblem, a quote about Love ("There is only one happiness in life - to love and be loved" - George Sand), a decorative quote/general words of wisdom about Life, and a random frame:
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 And in the middle we have a drawing of a bridge that The Sailor actually drew (he's so talented), a quote about Life ("Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away"), and The Sailor's "Shellback" certificate.  You become a "shellback" when you're in the Navy when you cross the equator for the first time on deployment. There's a ceremony - which I think is just a politically correct way of saying they haze the younger sailors.  Either way, the certificate is really pretty!
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I love how the whole thing turned out.  And I love that the walls in my living room aren't bare anymore.

Do you have any plans to create a "gallery wall" in your home?  Or do you already have one (and if you already have one, did you use the magazine trick)?

Until next time...

PS - I just had to share this...Every night Gabby, Lola, and Tom all try to snuggle with me on the couch, and last night I just happened to catch a picture of it.  Yes, I am under that grey blanket, lol, and Gabby is snuggling with my foot:
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