Wednesday, January 27, 2010

as fun as they are, vacations are a lot of work!

we leave for san diego in the morning! packing alone is a chore although i accomplished that on monday. then there's paying the bills that are due while you're gone, stopping the mail, grocery shopping for the house/dog sitter, shopping for goodies for the airplane, running through the checklist umpteen times to not forget (blankies, music, yellow doggy) anything... it's work! also, we are having pictures taken while we're down there so then it's pulling together outfits for us all. oh what else, printing out airline itineraries, car rental reservations, house codes for the rental - oh my goodness it seems to be never-ending! we are so incredibly excited for some fun in the sun. all this craziness beforehand will be worth it in 24 hours.

had my 32 week check up this morning. baby girl is still head down. she's been in the same position since 28 weeks. it's great that she is following the already paved path, but yet, i am already feeling the "waddle" coming on. i remember with jack, he dropped around 37-38 weeks, and i could feel it that morning he did. i guess before then, i thought the whole pregnancy waddle was just about being pregnant, maybe the weight gain, but no - it's because there is a head in your damn pelvis! but. the coolest part is i can actually feel the sides of her head so i can keep tabs on her movement. and actually, she does have time of awake and restfulness. she occasionally moves around during the day, but mostly at night, around 8:30-9. and not just little movements here and there, but full belly rolls where you can see an elbow or heel (or hand or foot) move across my entire belly. then there's the flop, where my belly actually shifts to one side or the other. if i'm laying on my side in bed, and ben's next to me, sometimes he can feel her kicking just from the movement on the bed! so far, she doesn't get the hiccups nearly as much as jack did, but at least she's practicing swallowing! i am measuring right on track as well. it's still hard to believe that she's going to be here so soon!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

a few from january

so cute in a bandana

jackie LOVES to be naked after baths
still playing "you can't catch me"
(fyi: he does have a weiner - i just chose to fuzz it out)

helping dada

packing up the moose meat

he says, "rock-ing, rock-ing!"

living in fear

i don't know about you, but for me, i feel this is a pretty common theme. not just being fearful but constantly worrying or having anxiety about something. these past few weeks, i've done a whole lot of thinking. usually, the best tool for me is to write out my thoughts, but they've just been so scattered, i haven't known where to start.

first and foremost, our daughter's birth has been on my mind. to the point where, in between bathroom breaks in the middle of the night, i've crawled back into bed and just laid awake, worrying about my upcoming feat. my last post, i delved into all the thoughts surrounding labor. i think back to jackie, i was so incredibly calm and secure about what was in store for me. the unknown was intimidating and yet, i felt so prepared and confident because of everything i had learned, read and knew about myself. this time around, i think my biggest problem is that it's just crept up on me! since i found out i was pregnant with jack, i had my nose in anything pregnancy-related. i must have read a dozen or so books during my pregnancy, all about pregnancy and birth. i read and reread my hypnobirthing book 3 times; i mean, i breathed, slept and ate pregnancy! this time around, life has been a tad busier (as if working full time, school part time and building a house wasn't busy!?) but with jack.... oh, boy. i don't even have bathroom breaks as a way for myself, so you can imagine how easy it is to get some alone time to read. these past weeks however, i've really turned my attention to me. the tv is off (except of course of tuesdays when biggest loser is on!) and sewing projects have been put on hold. i pulled out all the papers from our hypnobirthing class and have made my way through the first half of the book. the cds play while we're having breakfast, and i kind of get the feeling that jack remembers them. he tends to get pretty quiet and content rather than his excited and hurried self in the morning. i even uploaded the cd to my itunes so i can listen while i'm walking. quite nice.

for most people, they hear hypno-anything and don't know how to react. or, they don't know how to control the look that appears on their face! i won't get too preachy, but i will say just a few things. all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. so what i learned before, wasn't something that was done to me. ben wasn't taught these crazy tactics to have control over me or anything ridiculous like that. it's not any sort of brain-washing or out-of-this-world-type anything. the few examples that i find most helpful are: you know when you're driving down the road and you're so deep in thought that you have that moment of "woah, how did i get this far?" or when you're watching a movie/tv and you're so into the programming whether you're crying or so captivated you can't be interrupted by the phone that's been ringing? those are forms of hypnosis. i once heard someone say they didn't like the idea of hypnobirthing because people can tend to not remember what they are going through. let me just say that the hypno part of it is what allows you to effectively weather the labor part of the birthing. and as far as when you're child actually emerges, the body's endorphins will never be as high. true. so the idea of not remembering something so incredible, so life-changing? not possible. to quote the book "hypnobirthing allows for the body to work at its own pace and facilitates easier birthing by using relaxation and visualizations to speed the release of endorphins and effect an even shorter labor." i can't say i fell into that shorter labor category with jack, but i will say (and ben agrees) that once i surrendered to labor, totally giving myself over, letting my body take control, jack was born. hypnobirthing isn't a cookie-cutter tool for labor; you take the bits and pieces that you think will work for you. i used the affirmations, the 2 out of 3 types of breathing and the visualizations. i will use them again for our daughter.

another factor that has got me completely in the right frame of mind is a dvd. it's called "the business of being born." it has been out for several years, and i can't believe i haven't seen it before now! everything i have felt and believed was backed up by this movie! i have been so alone in my thoughts surrounding birth and what i feel this experience should be, and it was so incredibly amazing to watch this and feel like "yes! this is what i've been saying!" the documentary is so inspiring, especially for us women in america.

living with fear has got to be a thing of the past. if i were one to make new years resolutions, this would be it. i have spent the better part of my relationship with ben being fearful of losing him. not only is his job dangerous but on a staggering level. (ex: back in the spring, released the top 10 most dangerous jobs and his was like 6 or 7. he exclaimed, "oh, that's not bad!" and i snapped back, "it'd be better if it wasn't even on the list!") and if it's not enough to worry about him for his 10-12 hour days, i then move on to worry about him with his hobbies; getting mauled by animals, the small planes he flies in, snowmachine accidents, the weather... gosh, you name it! alaska is beautiful, but her elements tend not to be very forgiving. talking with my aunt several months ago, she practically pleaded with me to stop spending my life this way. she said she was in a similar frame of mind when my uncle spent half his year working on the slope. i can't remember what she said changed in her life to make her stop, but i realize it is no way to live.

i watch as my husband is one of the most care-free and easy-going people i've ever met. you mess with his family and that's a whole other thing, but besides that, he is so laid back. it's one of many qualities that attracted me to him. he's positive, upbeat, smiley! and you can pretty much count on him to say something that will turn your day around if it's been one of those. i read about the devastation and watch what i can stomach, but haiti - oh my goodness. and yet, i could spend my days worrying about something like that happening here. but you just can't. so on that note. i just can't worry about what might happen. the biggest thing for me (with the upcoming birth) is to trust my daughter and my body. in my daily life, i trust that my husband is safe and that when he says he's always thinking about his family before he attempts to cut a corner. i trust in God that he knows what he's doing, even when we can't make sense of it at the time. that's possibly one of the hardest things to do, but He always prevails.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

let the games begin!

tonight was our first childbirth class at the midwifery. this was ben's first time seeing the place. i have had numerous visits already, so this was his chance to see where our daughter would present herself. we started off the evening with a video. typical birth class video showcasing a few families preparing for the arrival of their first born. we both watched videos like this the first time around, but they had little or no impact on me/us, really. i guess having not experienced it yet, i didn't really know the feelings that would arise. however watching them tonight, i had to look away several times because my eyes just filled up with tears. watching these four families meeting their sons/daughters for the first time brought me right back to that moment of first seeing jack benjamin; holding him and realizing that i never wanted to let him go, in absolutely shock of knowing love at first sight does truly exist, looking at ben and knowing i loved him more then than i did 5 minutes previous. i was completely overcome with emotion tonight! and not just the birth of our soon-to-be but all that leads up to it...

i've always said that if i were dropped off in the middle of an ocean and told to tread water for say, a 2-hour period, i could. no problem. if i were dropped off with the idea of treading until the rescue boat came back, with no time indication, i would likely drown. so with that idea, i did struggle the first time around with letting go of my fear of the length of labor and that jack would be born when he was ready. it was something i really studied (through my choice of hypnobirthing), and i feel i succeeded (not just with him being born) but with feeling like i turned over my body to jack and allowed him to be in control. however, this time around, i feel as though my knowledge of birth and all that goes with it, is actually working against me! i know what to expect. i know how long it can actually be. i vividly remember pushing for 240 minutes! everyone has assured me that labors the second time around last about half the time, but for me, that's still 11 hours of intensity! i guess seeing the video tonight, listening to the midwife talk about the stages of labor, transition in particular, have just really brought this all to life again. hearing it the first time around, you just take it in and know it's all part of it. but having been there already, just a mere two years ago... is it too late to say "i don't wanna!" ??? hahaha

we are both incredibly excited to meet baby girl. we've always said that the only way jack could be cuter was if he had pigtails and by golly, we're about to see! we are praying this baby girl is healthy in every way, maybe even holds the "pass go" jaundice card unlike her big brother. but the one thing we are selfishly hoping for is a snuggler. we have been so robbed of snuggling with jackie that we would both love to have this little girl fall asleep on our shoulders for say like, just 10 minutes a day. every day. or even 7. or 5. i'd settle for 5 minutes of snuggly time a day.

fears or no fears, she is working on making her arrival. i could not be more excited to meet her, see her beautiful face and hold her in my arms. i'm elated to see ben with our daughter. i'm a tad anxious to have jack see and possibly hold his baby sister, but i have every confidence that in time, he'll be a fantastic big brother. so with all that said, the only way for all this to happen is once again release any and all fears that may work against me. that's what these next ten weeks are all about. not just nesting, decorating, and other silly stuff, but really giving myself over to her. letting go. trusting and accepting. all the tactics and cues i studied last time around. the scary stuff from last time is hard to accept but the difference this time around is that i know how incredibly wonderful it all is. my greatest joy in life to date is being a mother, so i know it is all worth it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


jackie's down for a snooze, ben is bustling somewhere around wasilla, and i have my feet up with beanie snuggling close. a mug of hot chocolate is just to my side and the hum of the house for comfort. this is what sundays are all about; a little quiet and relaxation.

we've had a productive morning in baby girl's room. ben replaced one of the mirrored closet doors. when we first moved in, one was already cracked in the bottom corner. at the time, we ordered a replacement, but it's been in the garage ever since. so nice to finally get that up. ben also hung the three shelves that he had been staining this past week. one of them is a quilt rack that i will likely hang something homemade and the others we found at joann fabrics. the one has two pegs and a heart cut out in the middle, super-cute and girly. i'll get some pictures up once the shelves are useful and have cutesy items to display. it's starting to look like a girl's room!

ben snapped some pictures of me last night. i'm 30 weeks. can't even believe how fast it's gone! ten weeks to go; that's practically the home stretch!

tuesday is the start of our childbirth classes. i will be delivering at the midwifery in town and since i did not deliver there the first time, we are treated as new clients/new parents so the classes are required. they go over all the basics; nutrition, caring for infant, the birth, etc. i guess a review is always helpful, and it gives ben a chance to be a little more comfortable and familiar with not being in a hospital setting. the birth center has three rooms to choose from. it will be interesting which one ben prefers; i already have my eye on one.

more updates and pictures to come this week. i'll have the curtain done soon which will really pull a lot of things together in the room. looking forward to its completion!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

change of plans

after penciling an array of flowers in what i like to call organized chaos around the new baby's room, i have repainted over it all and created the exact canvas that was there initially. i am usually great at seeing the bigger picture, the end result, but i think the problem was more simple: i flat-out don't have the energy! the flowers were going to create a border around the room (at my eye level) and for me nowadays, standing for any period of time is taxing on my lower back. with that being said, if i do paint it will likely be when i have not one but two kids to sneak away from...

the crib is assembled, the shelves have been lacquered and the token butterflies are already hung. i had purchased monarch butterflies for jack's room before i knew what HE was going to be. i thought, well, butterflies don't scream manly but orange can be boyish. and actually, jack has really loved them. the dozen or so monarchs are strung on fishing line and are very delicate themselves, almost feather-like. so when our furnace kicks on, the butterflies have the slightest movement, usually enough to capture jackie's attention. so while i was visiting mn (where i bought the initial ones) this fall, i thought, ok, pretty sure it's a girl... i'm going to go with the strand of butterflies in pinks, yellows, purples and blues. i really could have been jinxing myself! but i will say: a mother's intuition is usually spot-on. so butterflies are hung and i even have some uppercase living-type butterflies for the walls. might stick a few here or there. the valance is hung and the fabric is brown with flowers in pinks, oranges, yellows, greens and blues. all the flowers have the look of being hand-drawn, rather messy doodles. the fabric that will cover the window is an off-white with the same (but larger flowers) from the valance. this line of fabric has 6 or so mix and match patterns. so dang cute! i have another project that will include sewing letters (her name), and i will likely use one of the other patterns.

fabric for curtain
baby girl's closet
see? i don't need ANY clothes!
onesies, sleep sacks, got it covered!
(up until 12 months...)

i've also been busy organizing the laundry room. (gosh, can you tell i'm in nest-mode?) back in october, ben built me a fabulous "stand" for our washer and dryer. i don't know if stand is the best word for it though... we have front-load w/d that usually come with those bottom storage bins, raising the machines a good foot off the ground. well, they were an extra amount, and i didn't think i'd actually use the storage way down there with a baby (plus i had heard they tend to rattle like crazy) so we opted out. nearly two years later, and i have my completed stand. i was so impressed with ben's finish work! he used matching laminate flooring and trim pieces, stain the same color as all our trim. really turned out beautiful. there is enough room for a laundry basket underneath and a small trash bin for the other side. i sewed some panels to hide both bins, and i even sewed some mats for the tops of the washer and dryer since leaving the detergent and other miscellaneous items have scratched the surface. these days, nothing makes me happier than organization.
great hiding place too!
"uh-oh, uh-oh"
"hi, mama!"

as always, more to come...

Saturday, January 2, 2010


not only a new year, but a new decade! taking the time to reflect on the past, present and future, i come up with these shocking realizations:

- ben and i will celebrate our third wedding anniversary, with 7 years of being together
- the birth of our daughter
- jackie turns three
- ten years in february that dear grandma pat has been gone
- this is the year my father turns 60, and i turn 30

all pretty heavy bullets! the one that strikes me the most is grandma pat. i cannot believe it has been TEN YEARS. really? that just doesn't seem possible. to think of how much has happened in our world, in our family, all that she has missed... it saddens me to tears! i miss conversations with her. i miss hearing her opinions. i miss asking her questions and having her turn them back on me to answer for myself. haha mostly though, i miss sitting with her and watching the news. i miss sitting with her while she would read. i miss cuddling up to her under her afghan and just having her THERE. i miss her smell, her delicate hands that would trace circles on mine, and i miss the way she would say my name. oh, it's so hard to lose these special people in our lives! it's so not fair when they pass, but it's really not fair when they pass so young! we all got gypped!

must move onto a much lighter note. nothing has made me feel older than having jackie - but in a good way. i just mean that two years of my life have flashed before my eyes. he's already two! how can that be? i vividly remember the day he was born, i so remember our ride home from the hospital. those days and weeks of midnight feedings aka lovefests in the wee hours... it's so incredible how fast it all goes. it was possibly the phrase i was so sick of hearing throughout my pregnancy (besides the "have you had that baby yet?!") it all goes so fast. now, i'm one of them that reiterates the phrase. here i am, 3 months away from meeting our daughter. talk about fast-moving? where did the past 7 months go? it felt like an eternity with jack, where i would could the days of each week of pregnancy and be able to recite exactly how far along i was "i'm 15 weeks and 3 days." nerd. now, i have to resort to my fabulous iphone app that tells me what week count i'm in. this past week has been challenging because i've really felt that kick (pun intended) to get things in place. my goal was to focus on the holidays and really enjoy them, but i tell you what, the day after christmas, it was a good thing i was exhausted because otherwise i would have gone to town on baby girl's bedroom!

i did accomplish a few things this week though. i registered for some baby girl items and for the things i borrowed the first time around. we bought a crib, although it's yet to be set up. ben has been sanding and staining the shelves that will go in her room. and i've started to wash clothes and bedding that i've received as gifts (thank you, nana and great auntie micki). i'm picking out fabric tomorrow (since the stores had the audacity to be closed on new years' day) for the window treatments. and we're also in search of a mattress. i think babys r us will be seeing the miebs fam tomorrow. and once i find the perfect fabric, i'll be able to finalize my paint selection. i should have started with the fabric in the first place! my pregnancy brain is getting the best of me!

so papa frank turns 60 and mama annie turns the big 3-0. i can't say it terrifies me like i thought it would. i am actually open to it because what really does a girl have to lose? i will have my beautiful family around me, at my side. amazing friends. i mean, i don't feel 30 but is it suppose to have a feeling? i don't feel 20, that's for damn sure. and you know, thank goodness. 20 wasn't all that great anyway! or 21, 22. the idea of being older and wiser, bring it to me. i need all the wisdom i can get.

march 10, 2010 will be the day ben and i celebrate our 3 wedding anniversary. i can say i have never taken our relationship for granted but after struggling to find common understanding this past year, i certainly have gained respect, love, admiration and happiness in us, for us. relationships are not easy. duh. and when they get easy, it's usually because you're slacking in one area or another! any relationship, not just marriage, takes work. but that's a good thing because the rewards are so wonderful, right? things that are given to us never feel as great as when we work hard ourselves for it. i love ben. just when i think i can't love him more, i do. no one has ever made me laugh more; i've never admired someone so much for how hard they work; my heart melts when i see the way he loves our son; and it feels amazing to have someone love you when you feel at your lowest of ugliness with a big ol' belly, pimply skin and large brown nipples. (sorry, dad, if you're reading this.)

happy new year to you all! i am incredibly excited for all that twenty-ten has in store for us. i know a plethora of lucky ladies having babies and that alone is enough to make it a great year.