Life as we know it

Our family adventures

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We can take Allie home from the hospital

Doug and I spent our anniversary buying Allie’s car seat. What a difference a year makes. We were laughing about it. Last year we went to the restaurant we ate at the night he proposed and a movie. This year we bought our daughter’s car seat and had dinner in front of the TV. At least it was our special anniversary steak dinner. I started clearing the table earlier, but ran out of energy to finish. That seems to be a recurring theme.

So we have the car seat. We just need to take it somewhere to get it installed correctly and then we can take Allie home from the hospital. While we were at the store, it happened that they were giving a car seat presentation, so we stuck around for that. I didn’t know there were so many kinds of car seats and that kids have to stay in boosters up to age 12! I don’t remember being in any kind of car seat that long.

After dinner we took the car seat out of the box and spent about a half hour just looking at it. We had no idea what to do with it. I’m glad we can get someone to install it for free.

So Allie’s room is pretty much ready. We have a place for her to sleep and we can take her home from the hospital. We can dress her, once we get all her clothes washed that is. We can feed her. I think the only real need we can’t cover yet is changing. We have a place to do it, just no supplies. I’d say if Allie came today we are decently ready, though we would have to scramble to get the last few necessities. But I am sure those will be much closer to taken care of after the shower this weekend, which I am so excited about!

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Can’t believe its been two years

Two years ago when I married Doug, my life changed for the better. I’m sure he feels the same way.

It seems like those two years have just flown by. We’ve had a lot of great times, but we’ve also had plenty of tough times. And we’ve made it though because we have each other. I can’t help wondering how different my life would be without Doug in it.

For all my talk of how my journalism degree is basically useless now, it did have one good purpose. It led me to my first job in Carbondale, where Doug and I met.

And it seems fitting that on our second anniversary, we’re on the cusp of another big life change. I can’t wait for what’s next.

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34 weeks… she’s running out of room

Her pokes are starting to hurt me! I think it must be because she’s running out of room. She doesn’t really kick any more either. Its all pokes and squirms. My belly is sore from the inside because she just pokes out really hard. Its not constant, but starts to feel that way sometimes.

I am starting to notice that I get less stiff at night when I have gotten a workout that day. Too bad its so hard to motivate myself to work out some days because of the discomfort! I always feel good when I’m done. I’ve never come home from the gym and thought “geez I wish I hadn’t worked out today.” So I’m not really sure how to get and keep that motivation.

My latest gripe, besides the poking, is that my hands really hurt. My finger joints have hurt for awhile, but overnight the other night, my palms started hurting. My hands are more swollen too. Sore hands are less tolerable for me than sore feet.

But I’m tired of being negative, so I’m trying much harder to focus on the positive. The main positive is that within six weeks or so, I will have my daughter and this will all be well worth it.

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A milestone

Yesterday, Friday, Sept. 25, I made my FINAL car payment! After 60 months, I now own my 2001 Nissan Altima. It was a significant day for me.

I suppose it was somewhat appropriate, though quite exhausting, that I spent a lot of yesterday in the car that I now own.

It was a fun day. I drove down to Rockford for lunch with an old friend from high school who I haven’t seen in two years. It was so great to see you Sheri!!

Then in the evening, Doug and I went to our final Brewers game of the season. It was a great game. I only wish they had played that well two months ago when it mattered!

I’ve driven this car for five years now, putting almost 100,000 miles on it. It looks kinda beat up, but its a great car and I hope I can get a few more years out of her before she bites the dust. It will be nice going for awhile without any car payments (Doug paid off his car three years ago), though I know we will eventually want to buy a better car for driving around with Allie and all the stuff that will have to go with her. But for now, I’m basking in the glory of paying $0 for a car payment every month!


Allie’s room is (almost) complete

Allie’s room turned out so well. Its way better than how I imagined it.

We got the mobile and second valance today, so her room is almost complete. Money has been tight, so we’ve had to delay some purchases. A gift from Doug’s parents helped us get the valance and mobile.

Now the only things we still need are a table, lamp and glider and probably a few odds and ends I don’t know about yet. And of course, the baby. Oh yeah, and I still need to finish the wall hanging of her name.

The room looks so different than when we started. My sister-in-law, Julie, painted the ceiling, walls and artwork, put up the ceiling fan, put up the curtain rod and made the curtains. Doug and I tested our patience in putting the furniture together. I love this room.

I love the curtains, they look like they came with the bedding set. The green is a great complement to the blue. And the white has a star print. We had to order a second valance because the window was too wide for the single one that came with the bedding.

I don’t think I posted a picture yet of the other half of the artwork. Unfortunately I can’t get a picture of the entire wall.

When I put the mobile together this afternoon, I wound up the music box and I cried. I want Allie to be here right now!

I am seeking opinions on the couch. It has to stay in the room because we don’t have anywhere else to put it. There’s no other red in the room. Up close, the couch does have little specks of blue in it. Doug and I are trying to decide if we need to buy a slip cover to make it match the rest of the room. Or is it OK to leave it? And what color slip cover should we get? Please everyone leave a comment with your opinion!

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Glad thats over

I had my second glucose test yesterday and I passed! I had to be tested again because I guess I barely passed it the first time. The nurse didn’t say this time if it was barely passing or not, but I still passed that test not once, but twice! I’m glad thats over with. The glucose/gestational diabetes issue was something that made me nervous during pregnancy just because of family history. But thats over now!

They also checked my thyroid again yesterday, and thats still a little low. So my dose of the thyroid supplement is going to be increased a bit.

Other than that, things are looking good. I’m still measuring ahead, but the rate of growth has slowed. Yesterday I measured about two weeks ahead at 36 cm, and its supposed to be 34. I was two weeks ahead at my last appointment two weeks ago. But at the appointment before that it was about five, which is why I had the growth ultrasound. So overall I’m not worried about the measurements because I’ve read that the margin of error on uterus measurements can be up to plus or minus 2 cm. Oh, I guess I should mention that the measurements I’m talking about are the size of my uterus.

I’m still gaining weight like its going out of style, but instead of being upset, I’m just looking ahead six weeks to welcoming my baby into the world and then losing this weight.

I go back to the doctor again in two weeks and after that I’m weekly until Allie comes out. I’m ready for her to come out, but I know she won’t be ready for at least three, and preferably six weeks. We can’t wait to meet you Allie!

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Can’t wait to go back

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Maybe it wasn’t the vacation to Miami or Myrtle Beach Doug and I talked about before I lost my job, but Minneapolis was the perfect place for a mini-vacation before Allie comes. Its just a shame we didn’t have enough time (or money) to do more.

Doug and I loved Minneapolis, though the interstate system and driving there in general was very confusing. I’m not sure what we would have done if we didn’t have our GPS.

First thing on Friday, we headed to the Mall of America. We wanted to go to the aquarium there, which was supposed to be the largest.

Well, it wasn’t the largest aquarium itself but the largest of with the walkways through the water, like at Sea World. I guess I should have realized that, since its called Underwater Adventures. That was fine, but for the price, we were kind of disappointed that it only took about 45 minutes to get through it.

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We did see a lot of cool things though, including display of seahorses, which I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen before.

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Also pictured above is a stingray and a sawnose shark, at least I think thats what it was called.

After the aquarium, our mission was dinner. We couldn’t believe all the restaurants there were to choose from in this mall. We had a pamphlet listing everything in the mall and there were so many stores to choose from for just dessert! There were three Starbucks and many other multiples. We chose a place called Kokomo’s Island Cafe for dinner.

And after dinner we did a lap around the mall, on the third and fourth floors. It was just one lap total, thats all we had energy for. The view from the third floor was really neat. Check this out:

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At the Lego store, they had a bunch of huge lego creations hanging from the ceiling.

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They had small planters of grass lining each floor in some places. That wasn’t really something we were expecting to see.

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In the middle is the theme park, Nickolodeon Universe. We knew about the theme park in the middle of the mall, but it was quite a sight to see. There were a lot of rides crammed in this space! Doug tried telling me the mall wasn’t that big, but he finally changed his mind.

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Unfortunately I wore my flip flops to the mall on Friday night. Here’s what walking a lap around the Mall of America does to feet wearing flip flops that are already swollen anyway!

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It was nice to get off my feet, for sure.

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On Saturday morning, we started with a sightseeing and lock cruise on the Mississippi.

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The highlight of the cruise was that we actually traveled through one of the locks. The Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam is the largest lock on the river. It took us down and then up 50 feet. It was really cool and made up for the disappointment of the aquarium.

092209 078This picture was taken from the bottom of the lock. The boat went into the lock and was tied up, doors closed and then the water drained out of it to take us down. The line at the top of the picture above was the water line where we started.

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Once the water was drained out, the doors on the other side of the lock opened and the boat sailed out. The cruise took us a little farther down the river, then we turned around and went up back through the lock.

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There’s this big old stone pedestrian bridge that is part of a network of recreational paths through the Riverfront District. People stood on the bridge to watch boats go through the locks. The water fall behind the bridge is part of the lock and dam.

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Here’s a view of the skyline from the cruise. We drove around downtown on Sunday morning.

After the cruise, Doug and I used the recreational path to walk down to the other end of the Riverfront District, where we had lunch and did some more walking around. It was exhausting but also very cool. We walked a total of about three miles.

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Part of the path was on a little island, called Nicollet Island, very picturesque.

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Below are a couple pictures from the Riverfront District. The umbrellas are part of the restaurant where we ate lunch. Doug and I enjoyed relaxing outside on such a nice day, though I did end up with a little sunburn. Who worries about sunburn in late September?

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Minneapolis was so pretty and there’s so much to do. Doug and I are looking forward to going back, and bringing Allie with us!

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Looking back, looking ahead

Yesterday was the Fox Cities Marathon. I ran the half marathon there last year and shattered my expectations. It was a month later I went down with a pelvic stress fracture. I suppose I could say that race was partly to blame. I decided to ditch my run/walk intervals and ran most of the race. In my enthusiasm to train without walking, I did too much too soon.

Early this year I thought yesterday’s race might be my first full marathon. Now I’m hoping next year’s Fox Cities Marathon can be my first full marathon.

I’ve said it over and over again here, but this has been a tough year. There has been a lot of disappointment. But no matter how rough this year was, I will not call it a bad year. Our lives are improving for the better. As hard as that has been to say sometimes this year, its true.

There is just so much to look forward to. Just as my life has changed dramatically in the last year, I know by the time I get to that race next year, my life won’t even resemble the one I’m living right now.

I’ve been in this holding pattern for a few months now. I can’t get a CNA job yet. I can’t lose the weight I’ve been gaining, can’t run. I even decided not to go back to band for the fall season.

I’m stuck, but the end is in site. Cheesy as it sounds, I really do see the light at the end of the tunnel. Allie will be here in about six weeks. Until she does get here, there’s plenty of stuff to keep me and Doug busy. Within three months or so I can apply for a CNA job and I can hopefully start running again. I can train for my goal races and I can lose the weight. I will go back to band.

I will find the new normal.

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Now its all about Allie

We’re back from Minneapolis. We had a great weekend that I will write more about later. I didn’t want to come home today, but at the same time I did. This was a great retreat for me and Doug, but now its all about Allie. With just over six weeks to go, I’m becoming a regular at the doctor’s office and we will start learning in class how to take care of our little bundle of joy. Its time to make the finishing touches to Allie’s room and get everything in order before that great day we get to welcome her to the family.


I am a CNA!

Despite my nerves, which made my mind go blank a few times, I have passed my state certification test. I am a certified nursing assistant in Wisconsin!

My name will be on the nurse aide registry online within two days and I’ll get my card within two weeks. I am so proud. I have several goals and this is only a small part of the biggest one.

So I could actually pursue CNA jobs now, but I won’t. No one will hire me less than two months from giving birth and I couldn’t do the CNA job right now if I wanted to. Its very physical work. Even the limited amount we did in clinical, which was two months ago, wore me out.

Its too bad the timing worked out the way it did. I wouldn’t mind having a job sometime soon. But we will make it and the end is in sight. I am pretty confident that I can get a CNA job fairly quickly once I start applying. There are plenty of positions to be found.

Time is starting to seem a little faster, though still slow. So I know Allie will be here in no time and then it will be time to go to work.

So tonight I’m enjoying the fulfillment of achieving a goal. And tomorrow Doug and I are off to our vacation. Life is good.

Today reaches the 33-week mark, I have seven weeks, just 49 days to go! I’m getting bigger. I have more stretch marks and my belly button is starting to become an outie. Its just another month and a half! Last night at childbirth class we toured the hospital birthing center… just another reminder of how real this is and how close its getting.