Oct 19, 2012

Completed: The Out-of-State License Plate Challenge

Last summer Cameron and I began tracking all the out-of-state license plates we were seeing when we were out and about driving. We would leave each other one word messages with the new state when we couldn't get a hold of each other. You could always hear the excitement in our voices too.

We debated on starting over at the start of 2012 but eventually decided to just keep going until we saw all 50 states. Along the way, we saw out-of-country plates like Turkey, plenty of Canada, Argentina and El Salvador. And we didn't always note some of those on the tracker we kept on this site. And then for the longest time we were at a stand-still. All we needed were Delaware and Rhode Island. We began to think that the residents of these states didn't travel or move.

Finally, last month I saw a Delaware on my way home from work. And, on Wednesday of this week, as Cameron was exiting a restaurant with his new boss and a rep from a company he now sells product for, he saw it. Rhode Island! Of course, he called immediately and had to explain to his boss and the rep why he was so excited to see a Rhode Island license plate.

I think for now we are done with the game. Maybe we will start over in the 2013, but given it took almost a year and a half to get all 50 states, we're a bit burnt out, to be honest. The one word voicemails were fun though.

~ Sarah

Oct 18, 2012

Baby Bump Wednesdays - LATE: Week 38!

Love my husband - he will do anything to make me feel better and make me smile

How far along: 38 weeks
What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Leek/Pumpkin (my guess is she will be nicknamed pumpkin, too)
Average Size: 18.9-20.9 inches, 6.2-9.2 lbs
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney should have plumped up over the last week and all her vital organs should be in good working order. She also should have firm grasp which we will get to test out soon!
Total weight gain: 38 lbs.
Stretch marks: There is just no hope – I’m sure there are new ones and the old ones are not happy these days. I actually have had to switch to hydrocortisone 1% ointment, as my belly is itching so bad and the doctor noticed I was creating a rash because of the itching.
Sleep: If it’s not one thing, it’s the other. Between Tulley, Kelsey and London, I guess I won’t be getting much sleep until I am in the hospital. And then who knows how much I will get given I will want to be woken up for my pain meds. I will, however, take full advantage of the nursery.
Best moment of this last week: Cameron coming home and the two hour nap I got in on Sunday.
Miss anything: I just want my energy back and my body back to myself. I’m tired of sharing it.
Movement: Plenty and ready for that movement to be outside of me. It hurts! The girl wants to stretch out so badly. My bet is she will be taller than her sister at birth.
Food cravings: Sushi and sweets.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: None. 6 Days! 1 1/2 work days!
Belly button in or out: Out
Wedding rings on or off: Off - hopefully it will be back on soon!
Mood most of the time: Tired. So ready for the 24th to be here.
Looking forward to in the next week: Seeing Sydney!

It’s a little hard to believe that the day is almost here whiel at the same time I am saying FINALLY and want the day to get here as quickly as possible! I am definitely ready to have Sydney join our family outside my body. This last weekend was really rough on me, even when we didn’t do all that much physically. My energy reserves seem to be completely gone. I can hardly wait for the weekend, with my parents arriving Friday afternoon who I hope will allow me to sleep in on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe even Monday and Tuesday. The big thing is just getting through these last few days of work.

We were a little worried Sydney was planning a surprise early arrival over the weekend. It seemed my energy levels completely disappeared. Of course, we had planned activities, but they weren’t long or exhausting. But by the time we made it home each day, I was zapped and couldn’t get much of anything else done.

This was driving me nuts Sunday night so I was trying to push through. Cameron wouldn’t hear of it and forced me to sit down and relax instead. That’s when we noticed how on top of me Jake and Tulley were. And when we thought about it, Kelsey had moved to sleeping on top of me versus next to Cameron snuggled up in her favorite green blanket. We began to wonder if I wasn’t about to go into labor. 

As a precaution, we texted Lynde an FYI and called Vicki, just to keep their phones close in case there was a need for us to run to the hospital in the middle of the night. Thankfully, that has not happened and as much as I am ready for Sydney to be here, I want her to bake as long as possible and I would prefer to not experience labor this time around. Only time will tell if that becomes the case or not.

There are still things I want to get done around the house before she arrives, but I’ve come to terms that these things may or may not get done before next Wednesday, and I’m ok with it. I’d rather put things on hold versus sending myself into early labor. People are so shocked that I am still working. If I were at home I’d probably push myself too much so it’s better that I get up and go to work, where I sit and work, and get paid for it, versus being physically active at home trying to get other things done. Plus, I’ll have 4 days to get some of it done before we head to the hospital. And since Monday I have had a beautiful bouquet of flowers to look at when I’m struggling to remind me that I need to take it easy and be at work. All thanks to Cameron.
This post is a day late, as I wanted it updated with the latest doctor visit as well. Our last appointment was yesterday afternoon. I only gained 1 lb in the last week. Weight gain has definitely slowed down. I may not hit th 40 lb mark after all, if just barely not hitting it. All is well with Sydney from what we can tell. The doctor gave us a run down on what to expect at the hopsital when we check in at 5:30 AM Wednesday. She said we will probably be ready for visitors around 10:30 AM or 11. We will definitely want some time to rest once Sydney is here.

Other than that, she suggested I take a Benedryl before bed to help with my itchy tummy and to help me sleep. I've gotten puffy in the last week and between my tummy and ankles I've been itchy. The other night not only were my ankles itchy but they were swollen and red like they were sun burnt. Given Sydney is moving plenty and my blood pressure is perfect, there isn't much to worry about, its just the increased histamines in me causing the issues. I do I have to admit I slept pretty well last night on the Benedryl.

When I write the next time about Sydney, it will be when she is here. Can't wait!

~ Sarah

Oct 15, 2012

The "Joys" of Pregnancy

This pregnancy with Sydney is likely our last one I will experience. Those that know me well know that pregnancy and I don’t exactly mix well – even when this one has by far been better than the one with London.

It's not that we wouldn't mind having more children. I do prefer to keep the child to parent ratio even or in the parents favor. But the main reason we are pretty sure we are done with having children is, and Cameron and I both agree on this, we don't want to go through another pregnancy. As Cameron says, things are fine until about month 6. The last 3 months are brutal. 
So since this is likely my last, I thought I would reflect on what I will and what I won’t miss about the “joys” of pregnancy:

I will miss:
  • The excitement of taking that POSITIVE pregnancy test
  • Finding out the gender - whether at the 20 week ultrasound or birth
  • Getting the nursery, the clothes and everything ready for baby
  • No period for 9 months straight! (I know TMI, but it is SO true)
  • Holding my baby in my arms for the first time
  • Feeling the baby kick for the first time
  • Hearing the heart beat for the first time and at every appointment afterward
  • Seeing the baby via ultrasound however often we get to
  • Working from home on days I have a doctor's appointment
I won’t miss:
  • Morning sickness!
  • Associated lower back pain that starts halfway through
  • Burning hips in the middle of the night
  • Being awoken to charlie horses as a result of stretching
  • Being forced to sleep on my side only
  • Not fitting easily on my side of the bed
  • Not fitting in most of my maternity clothes at the end of the pregnancy
  • Being limited in my mobility
  • The overall uncomfortableness of pregnancy
  • Not being able to have a glass of wine at the end of a long day or week
  • Not being able to take a bath (Cameron puts the kibosh on these as he knows I can only take HOT baths – well above any advised temperature for a pregnant mama)
  • The extra congestion, especially when a cold or allergies strike
  • It taking longer to feel better after a cold or allergy attack
  • Weird, active dreams
  • Getting up several times a night to use the bathroom or just to turn over
  • Not being able to get down and play with London like I used to
  • Not being able to cuddle with Cameron becuase I am a heater and it is just too hot to cuddle (meanwhile, Cameron is snuggled under several blankets, Tulley and Kelsey)
  • The baby kicks at the end - sorry but they can hurt and are very uncomfortable these days
~ Sarah

Oct 10, 2012

Baby Bump Wednesdays: 37 Weeks

How far along: 37 weeks

What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Swiss Chard/Winter Melon
Average Size: 18.9-20.9 inches, 6.2-9.2 lbs
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney’s hair length should be about ½” to 1 ½” long – if she has any. My guess? She has black hair only a ½” in length, just like her sister did. Sydney is considered full term now so her lungs should be mature enough to adjust to life outside, but we still would prefer her to stay in another 2 weeks. She should also be gaining about a half an ounce a day (Good Grief! I swear there is no more room!). And she is practicing some skills such as inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.
Total weight gain: 36 lbs.
Stretch marks: This girl is determined to give me new ones, the way she hangs “out” literally. My belly has been itchy lately with all the growth and movement going on.
Sleep: One night I can’t sleep at all due to burning hips, overall uncomfortableness or the need to pee 5 times. The next night I will sleep like a rock I am so tired and only get up once to pee. And while I miss Cameron while he is away there is something to be said about having the bed to myself (ok, Tulley & Kelsey are up there too) with all the pillows to spread out and toss and turn without the worry of waking Cameron up. I’m sure he’s enjoying not being disturbed by my snoring and tossing and turning as well.
Best moment of this last week: Having a nice date lunch with Cameron before he left for SoCal.
Miss anything: The big ones right now are wine and running. That and just being comfortable and do what I want with my body.
Movement: Definitely there – she likes to push her feet into my ribs and scratch my hips. Not very pleasant to be honest.
Food cravings: Was having sushi cravings apparently. And then I was wanting pot stickers, but I took care of that last night.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: None. 2 weeks (14 days) to go! 8 work days!
Belly button in or out: Out
Wedding rings on or off: Off
Mood most of the time: Tired. So ready for the 24th to be here.
Looking forward to in the next week: Dinner with London’s best friend, Evan’s mom Kristin tonight, Cameron coming home Friday, and the Pumpkin Patch on Sunday!

With Sydney full term now, if I go into labor, there is no stopping her. I still don’t think she is coming early though and honestly hope she doesn’t either as uncomfortable as I am. I really don’t need to experience labor again. I like that this time around is more along my terms and more in my control.

It will be interesting to see the differences between Sydney and London, since London came a week late and Sydney will be a week early. London really was a week old baby when she was born, wanting milk, not colostrum, and she was pretty strong, especially her neck. I hope Sydney’s strength, particularly in the neck, is similar to London’s as fragile babies make me nervous.

Supposedly now is the time that the nesting instinct can kick in. Ask Cameron and I have been nesting for months now. I’m an organized-type of person, what can I say. Being organized and prepared is the only way to 1) keep me calm and 2) keep me busy or I just go stir crazy. I’ve been preparing for Sydney’s arrival for a while now and still am when I can. Her room still needs to be organized and there is still a load or two of laundry to do. Plus, there are a few projects I would like to do for her room. I’d like to get it all done before she arrives but there is no guarantee that will be the case as between my body and Cameron, I have to listen and slow down. Just a week of work can take it all out of me and this past Saturday was a testament to that thanks to no sleep and burning hips Friday night.

By Fridays I really am just a lump on the couch until bed and everyone at work can tell I am exhausted on Fridays as well. At least I get to leave early this Friday to pick Cameron up from the airport and Thursday I leave early thanks to a doctor’s appointment in the afternoon.

The good news is I should be done with London’s dresser by the end of this weekend, and then I can truly focus on my Sydney projects, though I have done a little work on the silhouettes. If I’m really productive I may even have those projects completed by the time I am off for maternity leave.

~ Sarah

Oct 8, 2012

Weekend Update: Sept 29 & 30 and Oct. 6 & 7

Looks like I’m a bit behind on Weekend Updates. Sorry. I’m slowing down even more these days and spent the last week spending as much time with Cameron and London before I dropped Cameron off at the airport this morning. He’s on his way to Ontario to ride-along and job shadow a co-worker all week to get a feel for what his new job will be like. Luckily, he’s only gone 4 nights versus 10, this time around. And thanks to all our wonderful friends I have plenty of people to call should Sydney decide to make an early debut. I still don’t think she will. She’s having way to much fun making me feel uncomfortable and kicking my ribs.

Ok, back to weekend wrap-ups. On Saturday, September 29, my mom, London and I received a visit from Vicki, Joe and Connor. Vicki and Joe had some business to take care of in Sacramento, so Connor stayed with us to play with London and Tulley. London just adores her big cousin and Tulley was definitely in need of some rough and tumble play without Cameron being around for a whole week. The poor dog knows hunting season is just around the corner and is full of an unusual amount of energy, begging for someone to throw something for her to retrieve. Just 12 more days and she’ll be in dog-heaven, especially since Cameron got a great draw at one of the best refuges around for opening day.

Sunday morning, London and I said good-bye to my mom as she headed home. I felt so bad as my mom was not feeling well when she left and when she called me on Tuesday to say she had made it home safe and sound, she had no voice left. I’m sure London carried something from daycare and gave it to my mom. Kids are little carriers that is for sure. And my mom will likely just begin to feel like her normal self just time to turn around and come back out here for Sydney’s arrival. Hard to believe but she and my dad will be here next Friday.

Early Sunday afternoon, just after London went down for her nap, my childhood friend Sara and her husband Jim stopped by to have lunch with me. They were in town for another friend’s baby shower and were kind enough to extend their trip to stop in and see me. It’s been ages since we have even talked, so it was great to catch up with them and learn how the Bay Area has been treating them since they moved back there last year from Sacramento.

But the best thing about Sunday night was Cameron coming home. And he was home much earlier than expected – 4:30 pm! The rest of the evening we just enjoyed being our little family of 3, together again. Of course, Tulley was going nuts having Cameron walking in smelling of other dog and birds! We made sure to take her out a couple of times last week for some retrieving sessions.

One of those sessions even included London telling Tulley to sit and stay, throwing the bumper into the grass, then standing next to Tulley like Cameron does and pointing her in the direction of where the bumper landed. The cherry on top was London giving Tulley the “dead bird” command to go get the bumper! So over-the-top cute! I only wish we had gotten it on film. Makes me think Cameron is going to have himself a little hunting sidekick after all, or we will at least have a little dog trainer on our hands.

This past Saturday we headed over to the Tarrs to celebrate Brayden’s first birthday! Alyssa had chosen an airplane theme and had cute little details everywhere, including a “baggage claim” where the kids could pick up their goody bags on the way out the door.

Several of our friends were there and it was good to catch up with everybody. Unfortunately for me, it was once of the worst days I have experienced in this pregnancy as I hardly slept at all Friday night due to burning hips that continued to burn throughout the day despite the Tylenol I took.

Luckily, I wasn’t alone in the sleep deprivation area – poor Kim is in her first semester of nursing school. We hardly hear from or see her these days, which is completely understandable as she says she is up until 11:30 PM studying and then wakes up at 4:30 AM to start her day. Somehow, she still has time to keep herself in immaculate physical shape which is both awe-inspiring and irritating.

It’s mainly irritating to me right now as I am dying to get back into running. Cameron has dragged me into two sports equipment stores in the last week and with the cool weather FINALLY here, all the running gear is just calling to me. I was half tempted to sign up for and walk the Run to Feed the Hungry 5K on Thanksgiving, but that’s only 4 weeks after having Sydney and figured not only would Cameron prevent me from attending it but that my doctor would also put the kibosh on it.

It also didn’t help that this weekend was the Urban Cow Half Marathon, the last half marathon I ran and one of the most beautiful runs I have been on. Several of my old SacFit friends were running it this weekend. Oh the jealousy.

At least I have asked my SacFit friends to let me know when registration for the Winter/Spring 2013 session opens up. I know I will have a long road ahead of me to get back to my old pace, and the next half marathon I will be ready for will likely be the Urban Cow next October, but at the same time I need something to look forward to with how uncomfortable I am these days. It’s kind of like being sick when your body just can’t do what your mind wants. Cameron has asked me to not push it when I do get back into it. I told him if I get placed in the walk-run group, I will be content to be there until the mid-season analysis. I know my body will have a lot of recovering to do past the normal 8 weeks when it comes to running and distance running. I didn’t start SacFit until London was 6 months old, so my body had a better head start last time.

After Brayden’s birthday we headed up to Biggs to drop London off at Vicki’s. London’s day care is closed today for a Teacher Development day (coincidence it’s Columbus Day?) and Cameron figured we could use an extra day to ourselves at home without London to get things done and get him ready for his trip this week. Vicki also hoped we could sneak in a date night.

We didn’t stay long at Vicki’s given I was quite done for the day. When we got home we watched a movie before turning in. At least Cameron and I both slept better that night, and actually slept in on Sunday.

And because of those two factors, we were quite productive yesterday, even with a two hour nap in the middle of the day! And, while we didn’t have a date night, we did have a lunch date.

First, it’s hard to believe that sleeping in is 9 AM for us these days. I used to be able to sleep until 11 AM no problem. But by 9 AM yesterday, I was ready to get going. I got to work on various things like dishes and laundry, as well as making a little more progress on London’s dresser while Cameron mowed the lawn and finished unpacking from his Canada trip.

Of course, he’s waiting on me to finish up the dresser to be able to better organize the garage for hunting season so I did inhibit some of his plans. But, the two of us did tackle some of the Sydney organization that stares at us every time we walk out of our room and look into the loft. I can’t say the loft looks better than it did before we started, as I added more organized piles, but I did finish going through the tubs of baby gear that didn’t have clothes in them. Another hour or two and I think the loft will be picked up and cleared and Sydney’s room will be ready.

Around lunch time we headed out to the Folsom Outlets. We each received a very generous amount on a Banana Republic gift card at Christmas and with a new job on the horizon, Cameron wanted to see what they had in terms of work shirts, as he needed a few more for his new suits.

But why go to just one store? First, we headed to Nike and Cameron got a few new sweat shorts and where running gear taunted me for the second time last week. Then we headed to Eddie Bauer. It’s Cameron’s favorite clothing store for casual wear. He walked out with 4 new t-shirts and I walked out with 5 or 6 new tank tops. They were $5.99 each and I am in need of some new ones. Most of my current ones I have bought at Eddie Bauer over the years and while they have lasted, I definitely was in need of some new ones (especially considering some I had and wore during the early month of my pregnancy with London! And this one!). I can’t wait until I fit in them. Now I just need to go through my old ones and get rid of the real bad ones or move them to my workout or pajama drawers. They are definitely not suitable for normal, casual attire any more.

And we were quite successful at Banana Republic, finding 5 or 6 new dress shirts for Cameron. I think he even took all of them with him for this week! Since he found so many, I volunteered my gift card to the cause as well.

After our little shopping trip we headed over to our favorite sushi restaurant in Folsom to have our little lunch date. I hadn’t realized it, but I was really craving sushi, as it was very tasty and satisfied me so much that I almost didn’t need dinner.

But the productivity didn’t end there. While we did take a two hour snooze after all that shopping and eating, when we got up, I was back at it with the dresser and laundry, while Cameron worked on his office some and getting paperwork done for the new job. Then we both set about prepping the last two giant zucchinis from our garden to be made into our favorite zucchini lasagna. We have enough zucchini to make two lasagnas that we will freeze and take out when we are too tired to make dinner after Sydney arrives.

My goals this week while Cameron is gone, are to get the lasagnas made and in the freezer, and to almost finish, if not finish the dresser. We’ll see how that goes. It all depends on my energy levels and London. Plus, we have dinner plans two of the next 4 nights that could inhibit productivity a little. Somewhere in here I also need to get the Halloween decorations up.

Here’s to a productive and successful week for you and me.

~ Sarah

Oct 3, 2012

Baby Bump Wednesdays: 36 Weeks!

How far along: 36 weeks
What Fruit or Vegetable size is Baby: Crenshaw Melon/Honeydew Melon
What’s going on with Baby’s development: Sydney is almost ready to breathe on her own. In another week she will be considered full-term. Her skin is smoothing out and her gums are rigid, plus Sydney’s liver and kidneys are working. And basically good to go are her circulation and immune systems.
Total weight gain: 36 lbs.
Stretch marks: This girl is determined to give me new ones, the way she hangs “out” literally.
Sleep: Can’t get enough of it due to being uncomfortable or being interrupted to pee or just due to my normal schedule.
Best moment of this last week: Cameron getting home on Sunday. I missed him so much.
Miss anything: The big ones right now are wine and running. Oh and just being comfortable.
Movement: Seems constant sometimes and quiet at other times
Food cravings: None right now – can’t actually eat any big meals these days.
Gender: Girl!
Labor signs: None. 3 (21 days) weeks to go!
Belly button in or out: Out
Wedding rings on or off: Off
Mood most of the time: Tired and cranky. 21 days seems like a long time from now.
Looking forward to in the next week: Dinner with London’s best friend, Evan’s mom Kristin next week.

Let the weekly doctor appointments begin! We were scheduled to see our Nurse Mid-wife yesterday but scored and got to see Dr. Gordon who will be delivering Sydney instead. Dr. Gordon was with our other doctor over at the hospital assisting in an emergency procedure when we arrived for our appointment so our nurse mid-wife was behind in seeing patients as she was seeing patients scheduled to see her as well as the other two doctors. Well, Dr. Gordon finished assisting just in time to see me, which was great as I had some questions and concerns to run by her.

With my parents in town and Vicki & Joe visiting last Saturday, we got on the subject of the delivery as well as my delivery with London. Bringing up the memories reminded me of things I would have liked to have changed with London’s delivery if I could. Hind sight is 20/20, right?

Well, one of the major changes would have been the second anesthesiologist I had during my labor and delivery. The guy wasn’t horrible but he wasn’t the nicest guy either. And I understand it was 3 AM, but all the same I would prefer to avoid him if I can this time around. Dr. Gordon is more than happy to oblige by requesting an anesthesiologist she thinks will be better suited for me to help make this delivery much smoother and better.

With London, I didn’t really have a birth plan – all I knew is I was completely open to an epidural and would not be disappointed if the delivery ended with a c-section. Now, I definitely have a few more things in my birth plan to review with both the nurses and the anesthesiologist when we arrive at the hospital early Wednesday morning, October 24. I figure I will have these requests written out and packed, ready to review when I am speaking with each that day. I have to say, knowing somewhat of what to expect helps a whole lot. You can be told so much preparing for the birth of your first, but only real experience will truly help you have a plan on action you can hope to follow the second time around.

My mom was a huge help last week as well, getting Sydney’s room vacuumed and steam cleaned, as well as getting all the clothes cleaned and folded for me. Just take a look at all the to-dos she helped me cross off:

I’ll have Cameron raise the crib mattress soon. And while all the newborn baby gear is out – I still need to sort through and put it away in the appropriate areas. I was able to get the girls’ bathroom in order over the last two nights while London played in the bath – they’ve been painting at school and she has come home covered in her favorite color, blue. Luckily, it washes off very easily.

All in all, I am ready for this pregnancy to be over and have Sydney here. I grow more and more uncomfortable as the days go by. Sydney loves to hang out literally, so I look like and feel like I have a bowling ball in front of me, throwing my balance way off. To compensate for the balance issues, my back is tied up in knots. Even lying down can be difficult as finding a comfortable position is a task in itself. Last night I literally had to get out of bed and lay my elbows on the bed and lean over to feel comfortable for a bit – not great for actual sleep.

And the 103 degrees weather we had yesterday was ridiculous. This is October! My feet have swollen up so much that I can only wear flips flops and yesterday even my hands swelled up. Today, my right hand is still pretty swollen. Dr. Gordon said my blood pressure is perfect so there is no cause for concern, just to keep drinking water as much as I can. I think these next 3 weeks are just going to get worse and worse until Sydney arrives.

Next week will be interesting too, given Cameron will be gone for his new job and it will just be London and I. Luckily, since London doesn't have school Monday, Vicki is taking her Saturday night through end of work day Monday for me and then London's best friend, Evan's mom is making us dinner on Wednesday, which should help break up the week and keep us active. And Cameron won't be gone as long as he was for Canada.   ~ Sarah