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Friday, February 27, 2009

36 Weeks=Baby No Name

Today we are 36 weeks pregnant and all of a sudden I'm starting to stress over names. I was really worried about this with William's pregnancy also and we ended up just pulling names out of a hat at the hospital. I was hoping we'd go in a little more prepared this time (and with double the names since this one is a surprise!). So, if you're waiting for me to tell you this name of this baby, you're just going to have to wait. We still don't know the name of this baby....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

Well, it has happened. I turned 30 today and survived. It wasn't maybe the thirtieth birthday I was planning on having ten years ago, but it was still a very very nice day.

William slept in this morning a little bit - which is a great gift! I considered trying to teach him the "Happy Birthday" song again, but thought that might be weird. You know, to be singing Happy Birthday all by myself to myself. So, I didn't.

I had an OB appointment this morning (I party hard, you know?) in which I had my strep B culture taken, my first internal exam and then an ultrasound. The good news is that the baby is continuing to move further down and my belly size is getting a tiny bit smaller. Also good news is the baby is head down. Other than that, there is nothing exciting to report.

John came home early today and we spent a few minutes together until William woke up from his nap this afternoon and then we left William with the neighbor while we went out on a date. Together. Alone.

John took me to The Melting Pot for dinner. I've always wanted to try this restaurant, we just never had. It was wonderful and amazing - although it took a little longer than we had anticipated. We had wonderful food and it was great to hang out and chat with each other. However, there is strong evidence that we are getting Old as we spent most of the time discussing what projects we are going to try and tackle at home this weekend. Old and Boring here we come.

The only bad news out of today is that when we got home, I was too full to eat any birthday cake. Which was chocolate cake with chocolate chips, chocolate frosting and strawberry filling. It smells wonderful! But, it will have to wait until tomorrow!

Mama and William
All of us (or the top half of us)
This is the face of a trouble maker
The cheese course with John's Yin &Yang drink.
Our entree course cooking up. Surprising? The broccoli was okay. I ate more than one piece - go me!
The dessert course - chocolate, chocolate. chocolate!

Look! We went out for dinner! Without one of our two kids (for the record, I considered leaving the youngest at home, but decided against it).

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Only....

a few more minutes in my 20's....and I can't even think of anything wild and crazy to do. Must be a sign I'm getting old and ready to be 30?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

John's Doctor Appointment

Time for another guest poster!

I had my follow-up doctor's appointment today. I went in and he had me make a fist, and he was very surprised. I guess people usually don't regain the range of motion in their injured finger as quickly as I have.

While there I asked him about the fingernail on my left ring finger as it has fallen off and now is kind of....odd appearing. He said that he wasn't surprised that it fell off, and that only time will tell how things will come back. He said he wouldn't be surprised if it came back. I asked him whether the bump on the nail bed would pose a problem (deformed fingernail), he said we'll have to wait (by waiting he means the 6 months it'll take for the fingernail to regrow. )

What is there right now? It's not a bare nail bed (thankfully!). It's stiffer than skin but softer than a normal nail. The doctor said that although the shiny part of the fingernail grows from back near the joint, the nail bed reinforces and adds to the nail. That's the stuff I have for a fingernail right now.

I also asked him about a bump I've had on the inside of my finger, at the joint near the pinky finger. It's hard and I think it can move, but he couldn't get it to move at the appointment. He figures it's either part of the bone, the bone callus (thing that forms to repair the bone) or perhaps a tendon sheath fluid bubble (although he was most skeptical of that possibility.) If it turns out to be bone and it's annoying, I may be back to get it taken care of. Again more waiting required.

He was exceptionally pleased with my healing and said that I'm free from any restrictions in use of the finger. Furthermore, no more checkups!

After that was a physical therapy appointment. The first thing the therapist did was check my range of motion. Like before I basically made a fist and she measured the angles my joints made. At my last appointment three weeks ago, the sum of all the angles my joints made was 205 degrees. After heat was applied for about 10 minutes, that sum was increased to about 218 degrees. Today, without any heat I was able to get to 255 degrees. Normal range is 260-265 degrees. So, that was good.

The next step, is to work on strengthening. I can really tell my grip is not what it used to be. The therapist measured my right hand grip strength to be about 125 lbs. My left hand came in around 50 lbs. So, she sent me home with some exercises and some stuff that reminds me of Silly Putty. Basically, I'll use the putty in different ways to improve the strength of my hand. More good news is I don't need to come back! She said I'm doing better than 99% of the people she's seen with this type of injury.

Overall, my left ring finger is much better. When I wake up it's pretty stiff and I need to work it a bit to get it to loosen up. It also gets pretty stiff in the cold, and it doesn't take much, a cold room will stiffen it up. The doctor and therapist said this should go away over time.


The fist. I think the middle joint of my ring finger is sort of over bending to compensate for the few degrees that my end joint is missing. Maybe with the strengthening those last couple degrees will free up.

Side view. Compare this with the day after pin removal and a week after pin removal.
Click here



Shot of the top of my fingers. You can see the scar on the middle finger. The ring finger is missing the nail - but the big scar on the middle finger really takes people's attention away. At trivia night, people were thinking my middle finger was the one that was partially severed one.


Another shot of the top of my hand. The bump on the ring finger I was talking about earlier is on the pinky finger side of the joint outermost joint. This is also where the scar is on this finger. The scar runs along the joint and then forward (toward the end of the finger) and runs into where the nail should be.


____________________________________________________________________

Can I tell you how proud I am of my husband? I couldn't be more happy with his results from today's appointment! No more therapy and no more doctor appointments (for the hand anyway!). All of his hard work and dedication have really paid off - which is just in time for all of our hands to be on deck (pun intended!) for our new baby to arrive!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Trivia & OB

We had a busy weekend. Our (okay, my) to do list of Very Important Things is growing by the minute. I won't bore you with the details, but it is safe to assume that our house is cleaner now than it was before this weekend. However, it still isn't Clean Enough. More work needs to be done. Again, I won't bore you with the details - but it is safe to say that I/we have a lot of work to do. The general updates are these:

1. The OB visit on Friday was uneventful. I am proud to announce that I managed to not gain any weight in the last two weeks. The only other piece of interested news is that my belly measurement was smaller this week. My OB believes this is probably due to baby moving lower down into my pelvis. Based on the feeling of a large weight sitting on my hip bones and tailbones, I would have to agree. The doctor is confident in predicting that this baby is not going to wait for its due date. I say wait and see - I'm not buying it this time around (she said the same thing last time, but I went almost to the due date). Everything else was normal and unexciting. I go back on Thursday for my 36 week appointment which is also my birthday. In celebration of my 30th birthday, I will have an ultrasound to determine if the baby's head is facing down, an internal exam, and a strep B culture taken. Woo hoo!

2. We played on trivia teams twice this weekend with some friends. It was a lot of fun - although expensive once we paid the sitter, the table fees and bought ourselves some raffle tickets. But, it was a great way to spend one of our last weekends without a newborn in the house!

3. John sees the hand doctor again tomorrow. He promises an exciting update complete with pictures.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

35 Weeks

Tomorrow we will reach the 35 week mark of this pregnancy. I'd like to offer you some sort of dialog to demonstrate how gracefully I am taking this late stage in the pregnancy, but I don't really have anything to say. I'm feeling huge. I caught a full length view of the belly while exiting the shower earlier in the week and was completely startled by the....the massiveness that is my stomach region. I'm up several times a night to go to the bathroom. I cannot roll over without assistance. My feet are unreachable (as well as a few other body parts I'll leave to your imagination). Bathing William, changing William, and finding room on my lap for William are all becoming very difficult.

However, I don't have time to dwell on all these things because I have a list as big as my belly that needs to be accomplished. I am unable to complete simple tasks anymore. Emptying two garbage cans today took over 45 minutes to complete because once emptied required bleaching, then scrubbing. The oven and refrigerator are clean. Under the oven is clean and our pantry is now sparkling and organized. The decorative items on top of the kitchen cabinets are calling to be cleaned. The tubs and showers have been scoured. The car seat cover is washed as is the bouncy seat cover and swing. The basement windows are clean (inside anyways). The baby quilt is finished as are almost all of my baby related projects. Several still loom, but will be tackled this weekend. Today alone I made 12 different lists of things that need to be accomplished. Soon.

It is safe to say that I am nesting, and full force.

One of the items on the list was to post here with a few details that need to be tied up.

1. Big Boy Bed: Sleeping is going well. We have been successfully sleeping in the big boy bed for all naps and overnights with very few problems for almost a month now. I confess I feared we would not ever reach this point, but after a very rough first few nights, we have had smooth sailing ever since.

2. Baby Arrival: Nothing is happening that would make me think this baby is going to arrive anytime soon. Although I'm uncomfortable, I'm more than happy to keep this one inside for awhile longer to enjoy sleeping, showering, and eating. I'm also working very hard to try and enjoy these last few weeks of this pregnancy. The kicks, the wiggles, the hiccups. Soon, enough those will be gone along with my ability to sleep through the night.

3. Announcing baby Arrival: We plan (please note plans sometimes do not work out) to take our laptop with us to the hospital with us again. There is a list of family members that will receive a phone call when the baby arrives. After those family members have been reached, we will post here on the website all the important information from the hospital.

I will keep you updated as things progress up to the due date, but probably will not be able to tell you when we leave for the hospital. My OB has made it clear that when labor starts I am to get myself to the hospital as quickly as possible. From start to finish, labor with William was 4 hours. Seeing as we prefer to deliver at the hospital, not enroute, I probably will not take the time to update you once things start.

4. Medical Updates: John sees the hand doctor again next Tuesday. He continues to progress with with physical therapy and we are seeing huge improvements. Over the weekend, the fingernail fell off, which has left some question about whether or not he will be able to regrow a fingernail again. Good thing I wasn't in our relationship for the fingernails. I see my OB tomorrow. William had a recheck for ear infection on Tuesday and the ear infection has cleared up. However, we found he now has a virus - which of course needs to just work itself out.


The end

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Made for you with love!

We had a pretty low key day here (as usual for us). I thought I would just share some of the Valentine's craftiness William has made for us (and you!) this year!

William made Mama this heart while he was hanging out with our friends on Friday.
What a cute bear!
It has a hug for you!
And as tradition calls for, John created a wonderful fondue for our dinner! Yummy!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More from the old Video Files


William loves to dance. Especially with his Daddy!



Daddy's shoes are hard to fill...

And learning to jump!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Old Videos...

Here are two videos from a few months ago. William is loving letters; especially his letter puzzle. We do this puzzle together at least 2-3 times a day. Of course, that doesn't especially apply when the camera is on. Enjoy!



Sunday, February 8, 2009

Caught on Video

Updated: I forgot to put this in the origional post. Grandma is the only one caught on tape, but I know that both daddy and Grandpa were both guilty of the same just before Grandma came up the steps.....





Here is Grandma caught on tape....giving away cookies right before lunch!

Night Swimming

I've been sitting on these pictures and video for awhile now. They've been hard for me to look at and deal with - although there is nothing outwardly upsetting about them (although they are terrible quality). Less than 24 hours from when these pictures were taken, we would be in a car accident that would turn us upside down in many ways. These pictures are one of the last times John would hold William for more than a month and are the last picture of his hands fully intact without injury. And that bothers me. We had no idea what was to come (although, in all fairness, who does know exactly what is coming?).

But, I had been planning on blogging these pictures and our evening swimming when we arrived at Grandma and Grandpa's house that evening. So, I'm still going to do that.

In December it felt like we were a whirlwind of activity with getting ready for the holidays, attending holiday parties and getting ready to move William to his Big Boy Room soon after we returned from the holidays. During our whirlwind, wrangling William was a full time job. He required a great deal of energy and creativity to keep busy during our frequent errands and tasks. Every night we had something going on and we were tired by December 19th. Tired of dragging William (and ourselves) around. So, we decided to take William to the pool at the community center for some swimming time with daddy. Mama doesn't have a swimming suit that fits, so she went with to take video/pictures and work on a Christmas gift she was sewing. We thought the pool area would be pretty quiet on a weekend so close to the holiday. We couldn't have been more wrong! The parking lot was PACKED and there were kids all over in the pool area.

Turns out the community center had set up their video projector in the pool area and was getting ready to show the movie, Elf! What a fun idea! They also had out all the floaty toys and inner tubes so kids could float around with their friends and watch the movie!
Here is the video screen set up on the left side of the picture. The lights were low so most of my photo quality is poor.
William kicking with Daddy
Hugs for Daddy in the pool.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Helper



William loves to be a "helper" whenever the need arises. Here he is being a big helper to Grandpa!

Also, we're not sure where the "door shut"/"door open" comes from, but in the middle of a temper tantrum it tends to be the primary complaint. Even when there are not doors to open/shut around us and clearly not involved in the set off of the tantrum.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Big (not baby) news

Lots of little things going on around here and one biggish thing. We are finally calling our basement project complete! Hurray! When we started working on our basement it looked like this:

One big cement box. Four cement walls and wooden rafters overhead. We officially started working on our basement in July/August of 2006. I thought we would have it finished before William was born (this goal was completely unrealistic, like most of my home improvement timelines).

Two days ago it looked like this. Still cement-y, but a lot more homey.
And this




Now it looks like this:

And this
The big change? Carpet. Beautiful carpet all over the floor and professionally installed. Which means we are ready for furniture, toys, and decorating (but probably won't be happening until this spring when the finances are in better order)! YAY!


I am so proud of us for finishing this HUGE project. We have almost doubled the square footage of our home and did almost all the work ourselves. From the cement box to livable space has been a very big undertaking - but I'm proud we completed it!

A big THANK YOU goes out to my dad (and mom) who have helped us tirelessly during every single visit over the last two (plus) years without much complaining. I think the next time you come to visit you'll find your feet will be a little warmer and we can go out and DO something (or we can work on my next project if you would rather!).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The 1 Week Post-Pins Post

Today we have a guest blogger!

I went to my first physical therapy appointment today since the day the pins were removed a week ago. Basically, they check two different positions for my hand. Whether I can straighten all the fingers out, and what the fingers look like when I make a fist. Apparently, I'm doing exceptionally well. The therapist was really surprised how well the joint (left ring finger, joint closest to the fingernail) was functioning. In fact she thought I was doing so well, that she canceled all my following therapy appointments until after I have my next check-up with the doctor (one month after the pins were removed). An interesting part of my appointment was she put my hand under some heating pads for about 15 minutes, and after that I was able to bend that joint another 10 or so degrees. She expects that when we get the go ahead to do some more rigorous stretching on the finger (actually pushing on the tip - right now it's still sensitive) that I'll probably return to a normal range of motion.

A fist one week after the pins were removed. You can see the ring finger is still peeking out from the other ones.

Bending the joint the best I could (1/28/09 - day after pins removed). The skin is REALLY dry/weird on this hand after wearing the protective splint for the last month and not being able to wash it.

Bending the joint today (02/03/09). Sorry that the angle is different.

Shot of my hand. The scabs are mostly all off. That scar on the middle finger is a little more pink than it has been since I've started scar massage as part of my home therapy. I've noticed the skin there getting looser, and more like what my other fingers are like. The middle finger also has some bumps and sensitive spots on it still. I don't know what is going to happen with the nail on the ring finger.

Kelly also asked me to talk about how they were able to get my ring off in the ER in Iowa without cutting it. Well, to be honest I didn't really think about the ring on my finger until the orthopedic doctor who was coming in to look at my finger and determine whether amputation was necessary mentioned taking off the ring. Of course, he had just applied a large amount of local anesthetic right where the ring sat, and that caused my finger to swell. First, he asked me to try and move it. When that failed, one of the nurses suggested some vaseline. That didn't work either. They started talking about cutting the ring off, when another doctor walked through and said that he has pulled off rings by putting some sutures around them and pulling. The doctor asked me whether they should try that or just cut it off. I told them I'd like to keep the ring. The biggest reason is because it was the ring that my wife gave me at our wedding, but for another it was the ring that was lost down a sewer grate near the Notre Dame subway station in Paris and was successfully retrieved. If we can get some French subway worker to come and fetch my ring out of a grate during a subway strike on New Year's Day, I wasn't about to lose it by having it cut off my hand. We've been through a lot, my ring and I. So, the doctor looped a suture around the ring and pulled. I didn't watch because my head was strapped down to the table and they had placed my hand out of view. After it was all over, the doctor said "Well, it was probably a good thing you were numbed up for that."

Why did my ring fall down a grate in Paris? I had lost some weight since our wedding, and it was cold the day we spent in Paris. So when I took my glove off to get my subway ticket out of my pocket and reached down to my pocket it fell off my finger. Unfortunately, I happened to be walking over a sewer grate at the time. Fortunately, it made enough of a racket that I noticed it. The struggle getting the ring back that time is a story for another day. Please note: when we got back to the US we went and got the ring resized.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Argh!

Blogger is making me mad. I have several new posts up, but you'll need to scroll down to see them. Also, check back tomorrow night for exciting news (no, not the exciting baby kind of news).