Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic pre-schooler, my spunky toddler, and myself! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

37 Week Update

I'm trying to do these pregnancy updates just once a month.  From Week 29 to Week 33 felt SO LONG, but today I was like "Oh my gosh, it's Week 37 today and I think I'm supposed to do an update.  Can it really have been 4 weeks already since my last update?"

And, sure enough, it has been.

We are 37 weeks today, which means we are scheduled to deliver in two weeks!  It seems crazy that it's this close, but still seems far away.

I'm really happy to be this far along, though, because seriously, I don't think I could hang on for another three weeks.  I'm so glad, too, that my stamina winds down in proportion to the weeks I have left remaining.  At 20 weeks, it's no big deal to say "yeah! 20 weeks left to go!" But now it's like "oh my goodness.  I have just enough strength for two weeks and that's it." :)

So, here are my Week 37 stats:

How far along? 37 weeks today

Total weight gain/loss: +17lbs  (Based on a weight check of last Thursday.  I've chosen not to weigh myself at home anymore during this pregnancy).  Last week when I went to the OB, the nurse let me go to the bathroom first and then she weighed me afterwards.  I had lost a pound from the previous week.  She noticed and commented and I said "that's what happens when I get to go to the bathroom first!" And I really believe that.  These frequent bathroom trips in the third trimester are no joke!

Maternity clothes? Yes.  My soon-to-be-five-year-old reminds me daily "You've almost grown out of that shirt! Avery's getting big!"  So, I'm at the point where maternity clothes aren't really fitting very well anymore.  That means the end is near!  My maternity shorts are still fine, but I'm having trouble making sure dresses are still an appropriate length in the front since most of the dress is used up by covering over my big tummy.  And my shirts don't always cover over my whole tummy anymore, but fortunately my shorts have the over-belly band on them that adds coverage. 

Stretch marks?  Yes, but I do feel like I haven’t gotten any additional ones since I’ve started lotioning my belly post-showers.  Of course, I can only see what the mirror shows me, so I have no idea if I have additional stretch marks on the underside of my belly.

Sleep: It's relatively okay.  We've had a lot of things going on recently (my summer term ending, Michael's meetings for kindergarten, etc), so I dream a whole lot at nighttime about all the things we have going on, but I have been able to sleep which is nice. 

Best moment this week: Michael felt Avery move for the first time!  Noah had caught a movement a few weeks ago and his face lit up and it was just the sweetest thing.  Aaron has caught lots of movements and is always amazed by them.  But little Michael hadn't actually felt Avery kick yet.  So the other evening, we were on the couch watching a movie and he could see my belly rolling.  I put his hand right on the center of my belly where I was feeling her the most and he felt her kick!  His face lit up like the sun and I happened to catch a picture.  It was so precious!

Have you told family and friends: Most definitely, and I don't think I can even go anywhere now without random strangers asking me how long I have left, or trying to guess the gender (only one person has been right), or telling me I'm about to pop.  The joy of the American culture. 

Miss Anything? Sweets.  I've had such a huge sweet tooth this week and it's really hard to bypass the cravings, but I'm doing it.  I also miss not worrying about my own blood sugar.  I've been blindsided with some serious low blood sugars this week and that's been no fun.

Movement:  She's a wiggle worm, that's for sure!  I still feel her multiple times a day and that's so wonderful.

Food cravings: Oreos and cold milk.  Walnut brownies from a box-- so weird!

Anything making you queasy or sick: The smell of running water, and the smell of the air conditioner-- just like in first trimester.   

Have you started to show yet: Oh yes, I'm carrying quite the watermelon. 

Gender: GIRL! 

Labor Signs: Not yet. I’ve had some Braxton Hicks contractions that were pretty intense and painful, but they eventually go away, so I know it's not the real thing. 

Belly Button in or out? Out but kind of flattened now.

Wedding rings on or off? Off. :(  Still so super sad about this.  

Happy or Moody most of the time: My fasting blood sugar was 68 this morning (it should be in the 80s or 90s) and that definitely made me moody because I couldn't think right and kept dropping things as I made Aaron's lunch (after having some chocolate milk to start bringing up the low).  Most of the time I think I'm happy because we're almost done and she's almost here!  I didn't cry today when I dropped Michael off at kindergarten for his first day, so I think that's a major indication that I'm not totally moody. :)

Looking forward to: My OB appointment tomorrow.  I'll have another NST and probably a pelvic exam (but I won't be surprised if I don't have a pelvic exam).  I was supposed to have an ultrasound tomorrow to estimate Avery's weight, but the doctor wants to wait one more week to do so.  He said that there was a study done for women who were within one day of delivery (either scheduled c-sections, or scheduled inductions), and they asked all the mothers to write down the weight that they thought they're babies would be at birth, then they had the doctors write down their guesses, and then each mom got an ultrasound where the babies weights were estimated.  Once the babies were born, it turned out that the ultrasounds were the least accurate, then the doctors' guesses, and the mothers were pretty accurate.  So, my doctor says he wants to wait as long as possible to do the ultrasound-- which will be next week on Thursday.  He doesn't want to overestimate or underestimate her weight when we're still two weeks away from delivery.  He says as soon as it's safe to get her out, he's getting her out-- and that will be the 23rd.  He asked me if I thought she was bigger than my other babies, and I said I did.  He agrees.  So, we'll see.  I was looking forward to an ultrasound tomorrow, but I supposed I can wait one more week.  Next Friday (the 18th) is my last day of work before maternity leave, so I'm trying to hang in there and make myself work until then. :)

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba

Friday, August 4, 2017

Extra Things to Do

We're winding down our time before baby Avery arrives.  In these last few weeks remaining, I'm trying to make good use of my time.  Easier said than done when all I'd really like to do is take a nap every single evening.

Since my mom is a nurse, and has worked as a Labor & Delivery nurse, a Postpartum nurse, a Nursery nurse, etc, she suggested to me right before we delivered Michael that I prepare little baggies of candy for nurses who take care of us in the hospital.  We did the same thing for Noah's nurses as well.  We prepared more baggies at that time and I felt better in knowing that I really did have enough for everyone who specifically cared for us.  People remember candy.  Weeks after you've delivered, nurses will still say "Oh yeah!  They're the ones who gave us candy!"

Yes, it's the nurse's job to care for us in the hospital.  But nursing is sometimes a thankless job, and a bag of candy might be the bright spot in someone's shift!  Also, just like in tipping well at a restaurant, kindness comes back to be a benefit to the one performing the action.

We tend to wait until our first full day in the hospital (after the baby is born) for us to start handing out bags.  We try to take note of who has helped us.  Usually, you'll have a daytime labor and delivery nurse, and a nighttime one.  You might have a Tech who helps get you to your post partum room.  You'll have a daytime and a nighttime Post Partum nurse, and the baby will have a daytime and a nighttime Nursery nurse.  That's roughly at least seven bags of candy to have prepared.  Of course, sometimes, you'll have a nurse one night and not the next because it'll be that nurse's night off.  Preparing a few extra bags (or bringing baggies and extra candy in your hospital bag) isn't a bad idea. 

Last weekend, I bought some candy at the grocery store.  I chose things that I like.  I picked out a bag of assorted Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix, Milky Way, and Midnight Milky Way.  I picked out a bag of assorted Kisses, Rolos, and Reese's, and then I picked up a bag of only Reese's (mainly so I'd be sure to have some leftover for myself! No shame).  I used sandwich Ziploc baggies, and just put in an assortment of each candy.  I think I put 4 Reese's cups, and then a few Kisses and Rolos, and then 1 of each of the Snickers, 3 Musketeers, Twix, Milky Way and Midnight Milky Way.  My sons saw me assembling the bags and when I told them that they were for the nurses in the hospital, the boys instantly began referring to the candy as "hossa pills."

So, last night after their bath, they both requested some "hossa pills" for their evening snack.  I did end up having leftover candy from assembling the bags, and I had put it in my hospital bag for safekeeping ;)   I pulled out a couple pieces for both boys and still have plenty leftover for any extra bags I have to prepare, or for snacking items for Aaron & myself. 

I asked my mom if there were any other things that nurses would appreciate.  I offered K-cups, but she's not sure if each nurses station has a Keurig, so we decided not to go that route.  She did say that a fun coffee creamer is a treat, and each nurses station usually has a fridge of some sort, so I plan to pick up a bottle of creamer on our way to hospital (or realistically, the day before).  Now this is refrigerated, so it makes it a bit awkward to hand a big coffee creamer bottle to the intake nurse on the Labor and Delivery floor right when you get in a room, but it won't go unappreciated.

These are just some simple things to take up some time, and end up being a blessing to other people. 

Until Next Time,
Much Love, Reba

Little Mirror Images

As kiddos grow up, I think it's so fun to watch their personalities form and change and develop into whom they're really going to be.

As soon as we found out that our first baby was a boy, I was so excited to think about how much he might be like Aaron!  Aaron and I didn't meet until we were 20-- so it's not like we grew up together and knew each other from elementary age.  Although I've seen pictures of him as a boy, I didn't get to know him at that age and stage.  He sure was a little cutie though!  So I was super super pumped to see how much our little boy might be like him. 

When we found out we were expecting another boy, we semi-hoped he'd have more of my personality since we were sure we wouldn't be having any more biological children.

When we found out we were expecting a girl this time around, we were both over the moon because our two little boys have definitely turned out to favor their dad in more ways than one, and we're excited to (hopefully) have a little girl who exhibits more of my genes. :)

Now that our boys are age 4 (nearly 5), and 3, their personalities are pretty much set and I've been thinking more recently about how they are essentially mini versions of their dad. 

Michael is an image of Aaron in these ways:
  • LOVES video games.  Uses them as a way to relax.  Aaron started playing video games around 3 years old, and Michael pretty much did too (although it was closer to 4 years old, really).  These two love to play games together in the evenings.
  • Loves pasta dishes
  • Has an imaginary friend named “Steve” and unbeknownst to him, Aaron also had an imaginary friend named “Steve” when he was about Michael’s age (4 to 5 years old)
  • If you tell Michael to stay off the tile floor, he will hold his foot over the tile and look you in the eye.  Aaron did this exact thing when he was Michael's age. 
  • Could sleep late on most days.  Michael might not admit it (just like Aaron) but he does love his sleep.  He might fight sleep (just like Aaron) but once he gets into his own bed, he's basically immediately asleep and could keep sleeping long after his little brother (or alarm clock, in Aaron's case) wakes him up. 

Noah mimics Aaron in the following ways:

  • Tip toes on tile floor.  Aaron did this as a child, and still does it now.  So we both thought it was incredibly funny and cute when Noah began doing this.  I don't even think he's trying to do so... it just comes naturally to him.
  • Doesn’t care what people think of him.  He definitely has the personality of Aaron where it takes a LOT to embarrass him.  I'm SO THANKFUL for this, and I hope it continues into adulthood just like it has for his dad.
  • Loves spicy dishes
  • Could easily pass up sweet food for savory food.  Aaron and Noah would rather have chips and salsa over a brownie any given day of the week.  Michael and I wouldn't think twice about inhaling the brownie and wanting another one. :)
  • Dance moves that come naturally.  Noah can definitely come up with silly dance moves and makes them work.  This is so Aaron. 
  • Skin tone (able to tan and keep it—must be the Native American in him).  He was the tannest little baby, and has basically kept that same golden skin tone since birth.  Aaron has a year-round tan even though he now works in an office setting rather than construction work outside.

Aaron is such a fantastic dad.  When he was a boy and people would ask him what he wanted to be when he grew up, his response was "a dad."  How sweet is that?!?  God totally put that desire in his heart and he's a champ at it!  When Michael was born, my Nana asked Aaron how he felt.  Aaron said "Complete."  That has stuck with my Nana since that day.  He's able to explain things to the boys (like how to zip pants, or why we can't tear pages out of books) in a gentle patient way and really get his point across.  I tell him frequently that I'm always amazed to listen to him explain things to them.  He gets down on the floor and wrestles with them nearly every night before bed.  He dances with them and makes up funny moves.  He sits on the floor and throws toy basketballs or soccer balls or footballs with them and they make up rules for what counts as points, etc.  He's super fantastic as his dad role and I LOVE watching him in his element.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

God, why?

Dear God,

Today, as You know, Michael and I went to his school at morning snack time for the main nurse to learn how to use Michael's Omnipod to administer insulin for his morning snack.  Michael and I arrived at school and waited in the school office for about 10 minutes or so (it turns out the nurse was helping to bandage up a teacher who had cut him/herself).  Michael was getting restless, but was also relatively chatty with me.

The nurse arrived and Michael froze up, as I thought he might.  I had to basically peel him off of the chair he was sitting on.  He crossed his arms and only offered a grumbly "Hmpfh!" to any question that was asked of him (like "Hey! I see Mario on your shirt!  Who's your favorite character?").  Again, I wasn't surprised by this, and neither were You, Lord.

When we got into the nurse's office, she pulled up a couple of chairs by her desk.  Lord, as You saw, when my sweet boy went to sit on his chair, it rolled backwards and he fell to the floor.  He was embarrassed, and that was his ending point.  He clammed up and wouldn't cooperate fully the whole rest of the meeting.  The nurse, bless her, apologized so much for not thinking about the chair being a rolling chair, and not thinking of holding onto it as it rolled.  God, I knew in my heart today that one embarrassing moment would ruin the experience for Michael and it happened.  I saw the whole thing in slow motion.  That chair started rolling, and I reached for my child rather than the chair.  I wasn't fast enough, and as soon as his bottom hit the floor, I knew he was done.  I knew he was embarrassed-- because I'm the same way, Lord.  I held him close and told him it was okay to be embarrassed and even to be mad.  His eyes were filled with tears and it hurt my Mommy heart, God.  I coached Michael that although it's okay to be embarrassed or mad, it's not okay to be rude. 

But, probably so much like what Your children do, it went in one ear and out the other.  Michael refused to stand by me.  He went to the door and stood by the door until it was time to go.  I walked the nurse through the basic steps of administering insulin, and Michael stood beside me only briefly enough to get his insulin and then he was back at the door.  I had to convince him to eat his snack about 20 minutes after he received insulin for it.  He barely would eat it at first.  I told the nurse that this is typical behavior if he is embarrassed about something.  I told her to expect this behavior if Michael has to really carry his lunch tray across the hall from the cafeteria to the nurse's station and then back to the cafeteria.  How is a five-year-old supposed to do that, Lord?  I told her if he spills or drops his tray, this behavior is what they can expect to see.  This is why I'm asking that a nurse (there's 3 in the school) come to the cafeteria to give him insulin rather than him walking to the nurses.  At our big meeting on Monday (with the nurses, the assistant principal, and the teacher) we'll discuss this at length, amongst other things.  Aaron will come with me, but we know that if he does, Lord, it's a day of unpaid leave. 

God, the biggest struggle I'm facing today is why?  Why him, God?  Why us? 

If Michael didn't have Type One Diabetes, we wouldn't have had to go to school today, Lord.  We could have waited until next week when school actually starts.  I wouldn't have to be trusting strangers to keep my kid alive during the day, God.  Michael wouldn't have fallen on the floor and created that first impression of the nurse's station.  Why, God?  Why?

Why did You choose Him?  I know there's a bigger purpose, but some days are harder than others.  Some days, the tears cloud my eyes so heavily, that I can't see the sunlight peeking through. Today is one of those days, God.

Michael is already struggling with understanding the concept of going to school.  He is adamant that he's not going.  Aaron and I are firmly but kindly reminding him that it is not his choice and that he must go to school.  It's already a struggle, Lord, as it is in probably every house of a new-kindergartener.  There's already emotions, Lord, because this is our first child to send to school.  We would already be nervous based on that reason alone.  But to throw Type One Diabetes in the mix.... just, why?

Sometimes, I wear the badge proudly.  I think "God chose me for this.  He must know that I can make it through.  He's got an awesome plan for my kid.  All I  have to do is trust."  I see the Rosie the Riveter t-shirts that say "T1D Mom.  It's not for the weak."  And I hit the "Like" button on Facebook and think "yeah, not for the weak.  That's the truth." 

But days like this, God.  Oh, why are we here?  Why do we have to endure the pain that comes with this relentless disease?  Why does my nearly-five-year old little boy have to have such evident scars on his little legs and arms from the diabetes supplies that aid in keeping him alive? 

Why must I devise a plan for my child to receive two additional snacks during the school day to accommodate for wacky lunch times and exercise schedules?  Why must we delve out extra dollars to furnish "Low Supply" kits for the nurse's station, the classroom, the gym, and the bus?  Why must he wear a Medical Alert bracelet that we switch around on his wrists every so many weeks so that his other wrist can get a break?  Why him, God?  Can you just tell me why?

If I could see the purpose, the plan, the Promised Land, God, for my son, would I feel better?  If I could peek into the Promised Land from a distance like Moses and see Your goodness, would I my strength be renewed to forge through this earthly battle of disease?

God, we've gotten so little sleep these past two weeks.  Minimal.  A hardly functioning amount.  You know this, God, because You do not sleep.  When we're awake, You're awake too.  You see our tired eyes and the way our heads nod ever so slightly when we're trying to focus on something but we just can't.  You see it, God.  And You know.  You see us stumbling through the house when it's completely dark and we're trying to open a carton of chocolate milk to bring up a low, or we're grabbing the Omnipod bag to input a blood sugar so we can calculate how much insulin to give him to bring down a high blood sugar (and make a judgment call in the process of whether we're going to give him more or less insulin than the technology suggests).  You see us flail our arms when our alarm clocks go off in the morning.  You see us squint our eyes as we try to figure out what day it is and how many more days we  have to get up that early until it's the weekend again.

It's rough, God.

But I know it can be worse. 

I know we're not guaranteed ease of living down here.  Too much pain, too much corruption, and we're followers of You, God, which means we have a target on our back from the enemy.  We know we'll be attacked and experience sadness, trial, and devastation.

The only thing that keeps me going, God, is to know the ultimate end.  I know the ending of the earthly story.  Michael will be healed.  In Heaven, there is no Type One Diabetes.  This, I understand.  But, wow, sometimes I dream of what life could be like here on earth if Type One Diabetes wasn't around down here either. 

I know in my heart that I will not see the purpose for Michael ahead of Your timing.  I understand.  I really do.  But on days like today, it makes my heart sad.  I hurt for my child.  I hurt in knowing there's nothing I can do to fix him or repair his pancreas.  There's nothing I can do to eliminate the questions of why he has to have insulin, or why does someone have to learn how to operate his Omnipod.  I hurt when I can't fix the tears, the scars, the worn out areas.  I hurt when I think about what life might be like in several months when our soon-to-be-newborn might be sleeping through the night-- it means that Aaron & I still have reason to wake up multiple times a night and it won't have anything to do with a baby and everything to do with Diabetes. I hurt when I see people with "stuff" and I can't afford it because I have to allocate spending towards diabetes supplies. I hurt and get a lump in my throat when I have to call the diabetes supply numbers (we have two separate suppliers for different items) and reorder items.  I hurt when we have to take Michael to his twice yearly visits at the endocrinologist because it means we have to rely on a medical team to aid us in keeping our son alive.  There's so much hurt here, God.

But I know You're bigger. 

And I know You really do have a plan. Although I might not see it, or at least might not see it until it's unfolding at the right time, I do know a plan is in place.  You're a good Father who loves His children and are not going to hand them a snake when they ask for a fish, or a stone when they ask for bread.  I know this, Lord, but I'm asking you today to keep this at the forefront of my mind.  Please please please continually remind me that You are here.  We're not left alone.  Please remind me that You are awake.  You do not sleep through the lows or the highs.  Please remind me that You are rest and that we can come to You with our burdens.  Here I am, God.  I have a burden.  Please take it upon You and give rest to my soul. 

Thank You for being the reason we are here.  For without You, there's no hope and that would be just an overwhelming devastation to families walking this road we're currently on.  Without You, God, how do those families even make it through?

Thank You for letting me be Michael's mommy.  I adore the little boy so much.  Thank You for entrusting me with a child who has a broken body.  He's Your child first, and I'm just a caretaker here on earth.  Thank You for saying "Here, You can watch this one.  He's going to have Type One Diabetes, but remember, I'm here too." 

Please, Lord, let me always count my blessings.  Please let me do better at considering trials a blessing as well. 

In You I pray,

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Random Goals: Update #2

A long while ago, I wrote down some goals that I wanted to achieve before Avery arrives.  It's probably a good time to go through that list and see if I've accomplished anything else. Blue font will mark the most recent changes.
  • Nail down Baby names.  We find out gender in less than two weeks!  We found out gender (girl!) and decided on Avery Kate for her name. 
  • Hang up the pictures that I’ve been stacking in the Master bedroom (either in the Master bedroom or Master bathroom or hallway)  One afternoon, I got motivated and hung up the majority of these pictures in our master bedroom.  For the ones that I didn't want to hang (or hung and then didn't like how/where they were hung), I was able to tuck away in the trunk at the foot of our bed, so we can hang them later when I figure out a place. 
  • Having the dining room painted (either bright teal on the lower half of the chair rail, or a very neutral and very light beige) 
  • Having kitchen painted a bright white.  Obviously, with this goal and the one above it, I’ve decided the rooms in my home are too brown.
  • Get into a regular cleaning schedule at the house.  I’m pretty good with dishes and laundry and cleaning out the fridge.  But I could do better at cleaning the kitchen and the bathrooms and vacuuming all bedrooms.
  • Clean the clutter around our bed.  This is mainly Aaron’s thing and he keeps mentioning it.  I’d like to have a very minimalist bedroom.  They say “The state of your bed is the state of your head” and I firmly believe that.  I make my bed each day. It helps me feel more pulled together. If all the clutter was cleared away and the extra items around our bed were put away, I’d feel so much better and would have more room for the pack-and-play for Baby.  Aaron got motivated the day before I hung the pictures, and he totally cleared out his side of the room.  So I cleared my side too and it's so nice to see the floor again!  
  • Change the clothes in the boys’ dresser from winter items to summer items. I shopped at our Spring/Summer Consignment sale and got new clothing for the boys.  The winter things are set aside in our office to be put away in a bin in their closet. Update: the winter clothes are put away in bins ready to be sorted for the fall consignment sale.
  • Get the wide bookshelf from my mom’s house to use as toy storage in the boys’ room rather than the basket we’re currently using now. Having their toys displayed in front of them would make it easier for them to be able to play with each toy, and will hopefully cause less of a mess instead of their current “dump everything out of the basket onto the closet floor” method for finding toys.  This will also make it easier for me to see what toys they’ve outgrown so I can either store them for Baby or consign them. The bookshelf is in place and displays their toys well.  The bookshelf obviously doesn't hold as many toys as their basket did, so that's really helped reduce the clutter in their room.  Their closet floor stays pretty much spotless and that's amazing!  We still have the basket in our office (although we've taken most of the toys out of it and put them in a bin).  The boys are allowed to look in the basket and they can exchange a current toy with a toy from the basket if they choose. The goal in a couple months is to take down the bin of toys and let them really exchange all pieces for the toys that have been stored away.  This will nearly feel like getting new toys!
  • Gather up clothes I’m not consigning and take them to the thrift store (these include things with stains that won’t come out, and that the consignment sale won’t take). I have gathered up the clothes and they're in a box awaiting a trip to the thrift store which I'm hoping will happen this week.
  • Sort through my shoes and add no-longer-worn pairs to the thrift store pile
  • Inventory our pantry and freezer (refrigerator freezer and deep freezer) in order to throw out what’s expired and see what meals I can create based on what we have, so that I only have to buy basics (milk, eggs, bread, yogurt) at the grocery store and save money. I did do this, but I didn't get weeks of meals out of it like I was hoping.  I think I got a week to 10 days of suppers from things I could find in our pantry and freezer.  Now our pantry is stocked with up to date things, and we pretty much run out each week before we head to the store. I'm trying to only buy what we can use in a week. Update: I keep my fridge pretty bare these days.  We hardly make meals that have leftovers now-- which is good and bad at the same time.  (read: I hate packing lunches, so having leftovers really helps cut down the time it takes to pack a lunch, but having several containers of leftovers in the fridge looks cluttered which leads me to have fridge anxiety.)
  • Drink 10 glasses of water each day. I think lack of enough water in my day might be the source of some of the headaches I’ve had.  I get pretty close to this amount every day.  Last week, one foot started to swell, so I have been really trying to hit the mark of 10 glasses of water to help my feet not swell (or at least not swell as much).
  • Commit to either doing my pregnancy work-out DVD daily, or doing the 4-mile walking DVD that my mother-in-law is letting me borrow.  I alternate between doing the walking DVD as cardio (I most often choose one of the two 5-mile DVDs, but sometimes will do the 4-mile one), and the pregnancy DVDs (I have two different ones), as my weight training.  This week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday will be cardio and Tuesday and Thursday will be weight training.
  • Restock Michael’s prize bag for CGM changes  I'm crossing this off because I did do it, but I'll have to do it again soon.  I found some toys in the clearance section of Target that I knew he'd like and I was able to get them into the cart and purchase them while he was shopping with me, and he didn't notice!  He was quite surprised to see a re-stocked prize bag.  I'll go shopping again this weekend to re-stock again. 
  • Commit to potty-training Noah completely! Whatever needed to "click" for Noah to get potty-training has happened and he rarely has accidents at all!  He still wears a nighttime Pull-Up overnight, but he goes potty in the morning with his Pull-Up still dry!  In a couple weeks, I bet we won't have a use for nighttime Pull-Ups anymore.  If we're going to be out and about, we'll pull a Pull-Up over his underwear and knowing that he has underwear on keeps him from having accidents.  There's only been a few instances where he's had a little leak on the underwear, but he recognizes that he needs to go potty and we get him to the bathroom in time to keep it from being a full-blown accident.  At that point, we change his underwear and leave the Pull-Up off of him and he does great!  Update: Noah is totally potty trained. He sleeps in underwear at nighttime and rarely has an accident.  I put down an adhesive Goodnights sleeping pad on top of his sheet, so if he does have an accident, I can just pull off the adhesive pad and throw it away without having to wash the whole bedding set.  (Don't worry, I do really wash his sheets once a week-- and obviously more if he's leaked through the pad-- which never happens, or if he was slightly off the pad when he had the accident).  We do not put a Pull Up on Noah when we're out and about anymore.  He's brave enough to go with us to the potty at certain locations if needed.  He's been to the Publix potty,  the Target potty, the movie theater potty, and the McDonalds potty. He's also been to a gas station potty, but didn't actually go once we got in the bathroom, so I'm not counting that one.
  • Replace windshields on both cars.  Both of them have several starbursts that are connecting rapidly. I only marked off half of this since I replaced the windshield on my car, but not Aaron's as of yet.  His windshield isn't nearly as bad as mine was, so he decided to hold off on fixing his for a while. 

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Monday, July 31, 2017

NST Update

For the past 4 weeks, I’ve had weekly non-stress tests (NSTs).  I come to the OB office, sit in a recliner, and am strapped up to a heart monitor for Baby, and a contraction monitor for me.  I sit there for 20 minutes or more (mostly, more), and I press a button on a remote every time I feel Avery kick or bump or roll around in my belly.  The NST machine prints out a roll of paper with wiggly lines showing the heartrate, any contractions I have, and the dots that my beeper puts on the paper to show her movement.  The doctor is looking to see if her movements correlate with the heartrate.  For the first three weeks, the appointments were at 2:30pm.  Avery is very active during that time.  However, for last week’s appointment, they scheduled me for 1:00pm.  I thought this might end up being an issue since it could be at a time when Avery is napping.

Avery started out being active in the NST, then she fell asleep.  So, even though her heart rate was steady and I was still feeling movement—just very far apart in timing—the nurse had to wake her up with a bell.  So they inverted this little metal bowl on my belly and banged it with a metal spoon then switched to the other side of my belly and did it again.  She immediately woke up and started moving again—I’m pretty sure she was mad. 

Then the monitor started picking up the transfer of my blood to hers through the placenta (it makes a whooshing sound), so the other nurse had to come in and rearrange the heart monitor to find Avery’s beat again.  Then I had a big contraction. I was thinking “man, this hurts” and I looked over at the paper from the machine, and sure enough, there was a wave showing the contraction.  The nurse comes in and goes “wow! You had a contraction!  And it was a big one!” but it could have just been from Avery having to wake up from the bell, etc. Then she got the most intense hiccups.  I was in the NST room for over an hour (gag).  Then I got right into an exam room, but took a while for the doctor to get in there because he had other patients to see.  He said everything looks great and we’ll do an ultrasound in 2 weeks to measure her weight.

When I was checking out, a girl in front of me was making her appointment for 4 weeks from that day, which will be August 24th.  It was fun to think that I will be holding a baby by then (Lord willing!). 

I had to get blood drawn again for my thyroid, and I’m hoping that was the last time.  At the time I handed in my folder at the check-out counter, and then headed to the lab, it was about three hours since I had eaten lunch.  I was trying to get out of there as fast as I could so I could get back to my car and check my blood sugar. 

Once I got to my car, I checked myself and sure enough, I was low.  I went back inside to the little Walgreens they have in the building, and I bought a Coke.  I ate the peanut-butter and jelly sandwich that I brought for myself and drank some Coke (about a third of the bottle) and checked my blood sugar again about 15 minutes later.  I was in a safe place to drive by that time, so I was able to make it home okay. 

I am pretty much guaranteed to go low on Thursday afternoons after these appointments.  Although I brought a substantial snack with me this time (pb&j), the NST took WAY longer than normal, and I think that set the stage for me to be off kilter by the time I got back to my car.  I was trying not to bring in my big tote bag (with my meter and sandwich), but this upcoming Thursday I might just have to bring it inside with me anyway so I can eat my snack in the OB office and not have to delay leaving the parking lot for 20 minutes after every appointment.

This Thursday's appointment is at 3:00pm, so hopefully Avery will be in her active stage and not napping because sitting in a recliner when you can't take a nap gets annoying!  I bring something to read during the NSTs, but good gosh, there's only so many times you can flip through a magazine, or try to read a textbook while still paying attention to Baby movement.  It's also nerve-wracking to make sure the heart monitor stays on Avery's heartbeat instead of picking up mine or the placenta-transfer!

I am SO READY for August 23rd!  School for Michael starts next week (cue the tears) and I have medical meetings next week with the staff to discuss the care that is needed for him during the school day.  I'm also a little perturbed at his teacher for mailing us a separate supply list than the one the school provided in April during Kindergarten Registration.  The lists are basically the same, but a few extra items are on the teacher's specific list and I think it's rude to send out a list within 10 days of school starting, and after tax-free weekend has passed, and after parents have already bought items on the list they were provided with during registration!  But, I have my child's needs at heart and by golly, Michael will have everything on that list so that he doesn't have to be ashamed or have reason to cry if he doesn't have a certain supply.  He already has enough to go through each day, so I'm going to suck it up and buy the extra items on the teacher's list so my child can have confidence as he starts school for the very first time.  Once he gets into a pattern at school, I will feel more comfortable and then I'm planning on just coasting to Delivery Day!

Thanks for reading my little "mom of a kindergartener rant"!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Show & Tell Tuesday: Phone Apps

Today I'm linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals for Show & Tell Tuesday!

The topic today is all about phone apps!

Now, I'm not a very tech savvy person and actually do not have very many apps on my phone because I'm the only person in the universe whose phone acts crazy if I have more than one full page of apps.  Seriously, I've tried with the iPhone 3, iPhone 4, and my current Samsung Galaxy something or other.  Every time I think about adding apps, the phone just starts loosing battery like crazy and eventually just starts shutting itself off at random times (even if the battery was fully charged).  I'm one of those people who limps over the 2-yr contract finish line with a phone that has hardly functioned correctly in the months leading up to the contract's end.  So... I remedy this by not having a lot of apps. 

I am, however, having a blast reading about the apps that you guys are using and I'm hoping to add one or two onto my phone.

The apps that I do have on my phone are very much needed and used.

First, the Dexcom Follow App.  This is a new one to me and my husband, but it's a tremendous help!  Our oldest son (he's almost 5) has Type One Diabetes (the autoimmune disorder where his pancreas doesn't make insulin).  He wears a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) that lets us know the sugar content of his tissue cells every 5 minutes.  We still have to give him finger pricks at mealtimes to check the sugar content of his actual blood cells, but the CGM helps us monitor him in between those mealtimes, and overnight.  The CGM will alert us if his tissue-sugar is too high or too low (both are dangerous conditions-- but a low sugar is far more dangerous in a shorter amount of time). 

For two years, we had been using an older model of the CGM until the newest model came out.  The newest model communicates via Bluetooth to a smartphone, and then it transfers that data to the phones of my husband and myself. 

Can you imagine how helpful this will be once he's in school this fall???  We are so excited about it!

Another app on my phone is the Kodak Pic Flick.  This app houses all of my photos on my phone as well as on my Facebook account.  If I want to print a photo, all I do is enter this app, choose my photo and select "print."  The app sends the picture to my printer, which prints it out on 4x6 photo paper!

The second page of apps on my phone is Mom Central, I'd say.

Here's where Amazon Video and Netflix reside.  I work from home, so sometimes it's nice to pull up a mindless show to listen to as I work.  Favorites include Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, Escape to the Country, etc.  Also, if the boys (my 4-yr old and 3-yr old) crowd into our bed on Saturday mornings, I can pull up a show for them and not have to get out of bed just yet. :)

I also have Publix and Winn Dixie apps on this page.  The Publix one is by far my favorite of the two since it actually categorizes my grocery list based on what aisle the item is on.  It's nice to be able to see the sale papers from both of these stores as we're meal planning. 

My Amazon music bar at the bottom of this page is awesome because it's free music!  I'm not an iTunes fan (and I don't even know if it would work with an Android phone), so my husband set up Amazon music on my phone so I can download albums and songs for free!

There you have it! 

Not a lot to see, but apps that are important to us and make our lives easier.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba