I feel like I'm a bit overdue on a house update. I checked on the last house update I posted 6 months ago to see where I last left off, and it was a bit unpleasant to see the part about installing programmable thermostats, since we did accomplish that task, and then our house promptly caught on fire because of it. So most other projects were put on hold for a couple months while we dealt with insurance, cleaning, and repairing the upstairs. I guess on the good side, we replaced the carpet with something we like much more than the previous carpet, and I decided to switch paint colors for the guest room (now the same blue as the living room, rather than the same cream as the other rooms upstairs), which I also like much better. We're currently working on finishing the guest room though, so pictures will have to wait for that one for now.
[The remains of the old thermostat]
[And this was after being professionally cleaned]
Besides that, we finished the basement. That was both a bigger and more time-consuming project (in some ways) than we'd thought it would be, and somehow less stressful (in some ways) than expected. Regardless, it's done now, and Ryan's youngest sister is now living down there :)
The guy we had doing most of the work down there (Narciso, who Josie still calls for whenever she hears hammering :) ) also extended the sidewalk around the side of the house to connect to the patio, and enclosed the area under the sun room to serve as our shed.
[While the shutting-in under the sun room was in process]
After all that, Narciso tackled the attic. Ryan had put more insulation in, built a catwalk and platform, and even carpeted one half, so Narciso did the same for the other half.
Believe it or not, the painting is still not quite done. I'm in charge of that project, and it's been delayed a few times due to pregnancy and courses I've been taking (and some laziness and lack of motivation too). Before all that happened, though, we painted the stairs to the basement/garage. Since we're the only ones who really ever see that space, we wanted something that would amuse us.... so we went with orange :) Ryan and Narciso also built niches in the hallway for coats and shoes, which Ryan later added tile to as well.
Ryan also has the fire pit functionally done now, with the next step of that project being to build out a patio around the pit, and maybe eventually adding some stonework over the cinderblocks.
Other upcoming projects include:
Finishing the painting inside (it's really just doing a second coat of orange in the basement hallway, painting the garage, and then miscellaneous touch-up)
Planning and getting the garden started (which Ryan should be starting work on the fence this week, and I'm narrowing down on the plants and layout now)
Fixing the driveway (we apparently had a "base failure", and the newly-asphalted section is pretty badly buckled already)
Finishing setting up upstairs (adding the office stuff that's currently downstairs to the guest room and unpacking the last of the boxes in the sitting room)
I had been fighting off a cold for the last couple of weeks, and this week I finally lost that battle. I now have a sore throat and stuffed up nose, and this makes me even more nervous about this winter. We all normally get illness after illness for several months, and with a compromised immune system now, I can't imagine that this winter will be that fun for me on that front.
On the positive side, the nausea appears to have finally gone away! And then going back to the negative side, my sleep has gotten even more miserable. I'm back to waking up each morning between 3-4am and then barely sleeping the rest of the night. I even got my pregnancy pillow out of the attic in case some subconscious concern about sleeping on my back was disrupting my sleep, but that didn't help either.
I also had an appointment with the midwives this week, which went well... except for the fact that I managed to wash my hands with lotion while I was there, and I put my keys where my sunglasses go in my car and then was about to leave with my sunglasses when I got back to work. Sigh. Anyway, I was measuring right at 19 weeks, new baby's heartbeat was about 150bpm, and they were quite impressed with how much it was moving around. Like, to the point where they could barely get the heartbeat on the doppler since new baby was kicking and moving away from it so quickly :)
Hopefully I won't jinx things, but it looks like the nausea is finally lessening :) About mid-week, I started to just have a few passing waves of nausea after I ate or later in the evening, but that was it. My stomach is still a bit sensitive though, and there a few things that without fail are turning my stomach: Ryan's peanut butter, pickles, and new car smell.
This week's episode of ridiculous crying happened when I took a terribly unflattering picture of Josie, and every time I looked at it, I laughed harder and harder until I started crying... but these were not pleasant tears of mirth, but instead more of the "I'm an emotional mess and I don't know how to stop crying" variety. Lovely.
This week I finally started walking on the treadmill again (after taking an, oh, almost 6-month break since the fire in March), and also started yoga classes at the birth center. As happened when I started pre-natal yoga with Josie too, it quickly reminded me both how pathetic my muscles are and also how much stronger and more capable I am than I think. I tend to get very overprotective of myself when pregnant, and we were doing all sorts of stuff I thought were off the table (or wished they were - plank is still not fun to me).
The baby is still kicking away, although there were a few days this week when I didn't feel much movement at all. But for the most part, there have been a few little popcorn kicks each day, although new baby has gotten in some harder kicks now a couple of times too - enough to surprise me :) I also got some double-takes from a couple of people at work - apparently the belly is getting more noticeable :)
This week we knocked another big item off the to-do list: replace Ryan's 2-door Civic with a 4-door car. After mulling it over for months - and with a sudden burst of intensity/stress right at the end - we finally bought a new Honda Fit. And while the new car does technically replace Ryan's car, in actuality I ended up with the Fit and Ryan got my old Corolla - for the record, he did get first dibs on the new car, but I'm fine with his decision :)
[Bye, Civic :( ]
[Hello, Fit :) ]
Besides that, this week I also went away for a couple of days to work at a horse show. I was a bit of a mess, though, so I feel like I wasn't as useful as normal. I had some issues with nausea each morning after breakfast, but luckily was surrounded by some wonderful ladies who plied me with plenty of water, crackers, and pretzels. I also teared up during the speed events, which made no sense and was slightly embarrassing that I was about to cry over horses running around a couple of poles.
Sleep is still an elusive, frustrating exercise for me. I was looking forward to sleeping like a rock while I was at the show, but instead I woke up around 4:30am each day and then struggled to get back to sleep at all, so I came back more tired than when I left. I should also be getting out the pregnancy pillow sometime soon since I should probably stop sleeping on my back, but I can't bring myself to do it quite yet since that torture device doesn't help my sleep at all either.
On a happier note, I was taking a break at some point where I went up in the stands to watch a hunter under saddle class. As I was sitting there (aching to be able to ride/show again), the baby was kicking away, and I actually felt it kick from the outside too :)
Well, the nausea and fatigue didn't go away this week either, so much for that. Smells were also getting to me more this week, and for some reason Ryan eating a spoonful of peanut butter turned my stomach (even though I eat peanut butter every single day with no problems). I've also been more forgetful lately. I've now forgotten to put deodorant on twice in the last 3 weeks (at least I have a spare at work now), and forgot to put makeup on yesterday too (for I believe the first time in all of the nearly eight years I've been at my work).
When I was pregnant with Josie, we had put together a list of all the stuff we needed to research and make decisions on so that we wouldn't have an overwhelming amount of things to work out right at the end. I did a similar list for new baby, and while Josie's list was apparently 84 items long, new baby's is at least only 44. This is still longer than I thought it would be, but I guess it's not as bad since it includes some stuff we need to do for Josie to prepare for new baby too (e.g., get her some new furniture, move her to a big girl bed to free up the crib, etc.). I'm a bit behind schedule so far until my finance class finishes up (hopefully I'll get my final done next week), but so far I've done a stellar job crossing off items during any week other than the one I had assigned them to.
Regardless, the first big project was to sort and put away all of Josie's old clothes, which took many, many days. It turns out she had a lot of clothes. Once that was finally finished, next up was stripping and prepping our cloth diapers. Obviously we don't need those for a while yet, but I wanted to sun them while it was still nice out... unfortunately, we apparently had a pocket of rain that occurred pretty much just in our yard, so they didn't get to sun for too long, but the one sizes are all snapped down now for a new little baby, the pocket diapers are stuffed, and everything is ready to go when it's time :)
[The state of new baby's nursery not too long ago]
[All of our diapers and inserts shortly before they got rained on]
Josie is getting to be such a little helper now... so much so that we may have to start hiding when we're cleaning since her "help" kind of derails the process. She loves washing the dishes (except for when they're done, which has led to some of her biggest meltdowns lately), and also will happily dust everything she comes across.
Josie is also continuing to get more vocal (with real words, at least). Her vocabulary still seems to be very good, but she hasn't been too quick to start talking in sentences, telling stories, or asking questions.... and, as has happened every other time so far, just as I was starting to get a bit worried, she seems to be going through a developmental leap again. She's getting pretty good at possessives (e.g., Mommy's phone, Mommy's camera), and is starting to say "please" and "thank you" unprompted now, which is awesome, since she says it when Ryan or I would be saying it to her - so she'll thank us for taking her toys away :)
Josie is recognizing several numbers and letters in print now, and is able to fairly consistently identify purple, black, white, and orange so far. She's actually learning colors and letters partly through playing pool with Ryan though - she likes to help him by collecting whatever color/number ball he asks for :)
She's also starting to ask us questions - not the infamous "why" yet, but she asks "what doing?" and "uh-oh, happened?"... usually when nothing really has happened. She's also making her mind known with communication a little more complex than her usual "No, stop!" When we were at the playground the other week, she called Ryan over to a different slide, he sat down where she asked, and then she promptly ditched him to climb up the other slide where he had been sitting. I found this very funny until a couple weeks later when she banished me to the other side of the playground from her too, with the directive "Mommy, sit truck!" :-\
Josie is continuing to draw more deliberately, with closed-off circles, definite lines, and some rather detailed, complex drawings. She also still likes to have us draw the things she asks for, which usually starts out as her requesting an object (say, a shark), which becomes many requests for a "daddy shark", "mommy shark", and "baby shark", until the whole page is filled up with a various assortment of sharks. She seems to be using "daddy", "mommy", or "baby" to sort things by size, so these classifications have been applied to everything lately: "mommy deer", "daddy booger", "baby robot", and so on (yes, these are all real examples, just from the last week).
[Are these fish? I have no idea since she wouldn't tell me]
[Gibberish, drawing, talking on the phone, and her own special way of tracing her hand]
For outings this month, she went to Ryan's summer work gathering again. She didn't get to eat her weight in watermelons this year, but she did get to bowl :) There was a lane set up with a ramp and bumpers and Ryan said she must have rolled the ball down it 100 times. We actually went back to the same place last weekend and just played a few games in the arcade, and she was thrilled beyond belief with everything. She helped by handing us the balls for skeeball, and actually hit the puck a few times when I played air hockey with her (and I'm ok with the fact that I scored against a 2-year-old, since she decided to leave her goal wide open to talk and gesticulate wildly about.... something).
We also went berry picking with my mom, brother, and sister-in-law, and Josie picked her own apple, peach, and blackberries. She seemed to especially enjoy picking the blackberries, and was remarkably good about not trying to sneak any into her mouth :)
[This brush is one of her favorite non-toy toys currently (a flashlight is the other)... and now my hair tends to look rather fluffy like hers now, since she likes to brush my hair into my face (and then ask me where I am)]
[I think I had just told her that she had dusted everything there was to dust]
[She takes after her dad]
[Including mainly because of the adorable way she says "yes" and "daddy" at :17 seconds left]
[Including mainly because the way she runs is awesome (starting at :23 seconds left)]
The good news is I've felt just fine most of the week, without any recurrence of the pain that landed me in the E.R. last weekend. I've been able to feel new baby kicking around nearly every day this week, which has really helped with getting me to calm down and start feeling like it's ok for me to enjoy this pregnancy. It's feeling much more real now, and I'm getting more excited now that I'm slightly less anxious about losing this pregnancy. I even got all teary-eyed looking at the products for new mamas/babies at Wegman's, since I'm just so happy to be pregnant again (and then I went home and cried while watching a comedy, so maybe I was just having a weepy day).
The fatigue is supposed to lessen during second trimester, which I was really looking forward to.... and actually, I still am, since instead the fatigue has gotten worse. I'm pretty sure I was asleep when I did my last assignment for the finance class I'm taking right now, and despite swearing off naps, I was back in bed by 10am this morning (crossing fingers that I won't be up all night tonight now). The daily nausea went away around 15 weeks with Josie, so I was hoping that would be about done too. I had one day when I didn't start feeling sick until the evening, but every other day I've still felt just a touch sick all day long. I also gave up on my regular clothes much faster this time around. I've been using hair bands as button expanders for my work pants the last couple of weeks, and I've already packed up all of my non-maternity jeans and most of the shirts too.
Sleep is still not going that well for me. Last night was the first time I've slept through the night in at least several months, since I'm normally still waking up at least once in the early hours of the morning. I'm also still having crazy dreams every single night. Here's a sampling from the last week:
Dreamed that we had a little boy (with skinny little legs)... and we kept forgetting about him during our next trip to the lake (but luckily Ryan's family was there to pick up our slack)
Dreamed that I was actually pregnant with twins (I'm definitely not), who were born around 36 weeks.... one hour after I had competed in a horse show, and then I went back to work the next day (this dream actually stressed me out so much that it woke me up)
Dreamed that I called Justin Bieber out for being an annoying little punk, which then segued into me being at Custer's Last Stand