December 13, 2012

The Final Weeks

With less than four weeks left until my due date, things are going much better than the worst case scenario we thought could happen when I first found out I had a very large uterine fibroid.

I was told I was at high risk for preterm labor, but I'm now just days away from being considered full-term. I haven't felt any contractions since I was in the hospital at 22 weeks.

I was told the baby might not be able to turn, but he's been head down for several weeks now.

I was told I might need a c-section, and I admit after seeing the head/fibroid/cervix sandwich during my most recent ultrasound, I'm not sure how I'll be able to push this baby out. But based on how well these last three months have gone, I have no reason to believe the birth can't also be as normal as any other. I may need a c-section, but I still view that as a last resort rather than the only way for me to deliver.

I'm just looking forward to meeting my son, no matter how and when he comes into the world. There are still a few things I need to do, like pack my hospital bag, but I think I'm about as ready for motherhood as I ever could be.

For now, we're just doing our best to enjoy these last few weeks before life gets a little crazier.

October 31, 2012

30 Weeks Down, 10 (give or take) to go

I'm 30 weeks pregnant today! When we first found out about the fibroid at 22 weeks and were told we were at high risk for preterm labor, I thought I might end up with a micro preemie. I'm so glad we made it to 30 weeks. It's good to know our son's chances of survival are very good at this point, and his chances of having health problems are decreasing with each week. I still have not had any contractions since I was given Terbutaline in the hospital.

Some recent pregnancy highlights:
  • The fibroid shrunk a little! Not a lot, but a little shrinking is better than growing. It was 9.5x9.5x12 cm at 22 weeks and 8.5x8.5x9.5cm at 28 weeks. 
  • Baby is growing just fine. The ultrasound tech estimated he weighed 2.5 pounds at 22w5d, so if anything he's on the high end of normal.
  • Baby's kidneys are fine. I never mentioned there was any concern about his kidneys since I wasn't that worried, but at 20 weeks they looked a little large. Now they look fine.
  • I feel pregnant. About 14-27 weeks was the good part of pregnancy for me, minus those few days in pain. Now I feel big, I have all kinds of pelvic pain, stretching at night no longer helps my restless leg syndrome, and I wake up with leg cramps. Walking the third of a mile to work has become a chore.
  • I've gained about 20 pounds now. Nathan and I weighed exactly the same on Sunday. It took so long for me to gain weight that I wasn't sure I'd even gain 25, but now I'm on track to gain around 30. (Healthy weight gain is 25-35 lbs.)
  • I did not enjoy the glucose screening. Drinking the stuff was fine, but afterwords I had a headache and some dizziness and blurred vision. Thank goodness my glucose levels were fine!
  • My iron levels are fairly high for a pregnant woman. This one surprised me since I don't eat much red meat. Apparently prenatal vitamins and spinach are enough for me. 
  • We hired a doula. I didn't initially plan on having a doula, but there are so many unknowns about how labor and birth will go that we decided it would be good to have a trained expert there to support us.
  • Baby is still flipping around. I thought he was close to head down last Monday, but he was back to sideways by our midwife appointment Thursday. Kicking my side is preferable to kicking my bladder or ribs, so he can hang out sideways for a while. I just hope the fibroid doesn't block him from going head down, like the ob thought it might.

Overall, we're doing fine. I no longer feel like a ticking bomb, worried that contractions will start back up again at any moment. Despite being labeled a "high risk" pregnancy because no one knows what issues the fibroid could cause, I feel healthy and happy. I can't say I love being pregnant, but it really hasn't been that bad.

October 3, 2012

What I Know

If you're wondering what I've learned about my situation in the four weeks since I went to the hospital, well...not much at all. I've had one appointment with my midwife and one appointment with an ob, but since I won't have another ultrasound until I'm 28 weeks pregnant (October 15), these appointments haven't been based on any new information. The ob shared her maybes and mights about what could happen with the birth, but nothing is really certain. Here's what I do know.

I feel fine.
I may not have made this clear enough in my last post, but after I left the hospital, I was really okay. I went into work the next day, and I have been walking to work most of the time. I've hardly felt any pain after that first week week, fibroid-related or not. I still have yet to experience any more contractions. People have asked if the doctors told me to relax and put my feet up or if I was going to be put on bed rest, but I haven't been told to do or not do much of anything.

The baby's fine.
I don't really know what to say when people ask how the baby's doing, but as far as I know he's fine. He's moving around. I think his heartbeat was around 150 the last time we heard it.

There's not a 100% chance I'll need a c-section.
The ob I met with said there's not a 100% chance, just more than 50%. She did say there's slightly less risk involved with the c-section if it's scheduled rather than performed after I'm already in labor, but it won't hurt the baby if I try to birth naturally. To be clear, I'm not against c-sections. In fact, since I was born by c-section and saw the photos when I was fairly young, I didn't realize for years that there was any other way for the baby to come out. However, as of now, I don't plan on scheduling one. My baby might decide to come before his scheduled c-section, just like his mother did.

The fibroid probably won't grow or shrink much.
I've been hoping for the last few weeks that the pain I felt was from the fibroid degenerating, or dying. I was thinking we might go into our next ultrasound and find out it's only half the size it was and is no longer a problem. According to this latest doctor, fibroids don't grow or shrink much during pregnancy. It was likely already close to its current size before I was pregnant. I questioned how that was possible since this fibroid is bigger than a baseball and my uterus was about the size of a pear, but she says it's in the lower part of the uterus, kind of sticking out behind it apparently (yet it could still make the baby get stuck? I need a 3D rendering of everything). The fibroid is currently 12cmx9cmx9cm, and it would have to shrink to 5cm to not be an issue. She isn't very confident this could happen.

Due to the fibroid's position, Baby's growth shouldn't be restricted.
The good news about the fibroid being in the lower part of the uterus is that it isn't really limiting the space the baby has to grow.

Due to the fibroid's position, I may not be able to have it removed.
We'll have to see how things look when I'm not pregnant, but apparently the fibroid is right on some sort of major artery, so removing it could cause so much bleeding I'd need a hysterectomy. It might not be a quick fix like I'd hoped. But had the fibroid been higher, I may not have been able to get pregnant. We're thankful I'm at least able to have children, even if they have to be born by c-section.

Like I said...just a bunch of maybes and mights. We probably won't have much new information until I'm in labor, which we hope won't be for at least another 10 weeks. Thanks to all who have prayed for us.

September 11, 2012

When Pregnancy Isn't Normal

It seems as if everything that happens to you during pregnancy is just normal. Stuffy nose? That's the estrogen making mucous membranes swell. Feeling like you have shortness of breath? That's just your body taking in more oxygen. Pretty much any weird thing that can happen to you could be attributed to your ever-changing body.

Last week, things happened to me that weren't normal. Even so, I was told time after time that what I was feeling was, in fact, just part of being pregnant. I want to share my story to encourage others that if something is happening in your body that you know isn't normal, don't let anyone convince you you're just weak. Although I don't want to scare anyone away from becoming pregnant, I also want to point out that I never thought anything like this would happen to me. I thought pregnancy complications only happened to people with pre-existing health problems or who didn't take care of themselves during pregnancy. My issue is one that I've most likely always had but never would have known until pregnancy made it worse.

It started Sunday morning during church. After feeling great for the past month, suddenly I had nausea and abdominal pain. It wasn't anything horrible, but it was bad enough that I decided we should leave. The rest of the day I just felt like I had regressed to the first trimester. I was back to feeling weak and achy like I had the flu. I felt bad all day but I figured my abdominal pain was from ligaments stretching and all my organs shifting around.

When I woke up Monday, Labor Day, I felt much worse than I had the day before. Fortunately I was able to go back to sleep several times, but each time I woke up I was still in pain. When I finally got up, the first thing I did was lie in a warm bath for an hour. Although the water helped a little, the pain never went away. Not long after I got out of the tub, I felt even worse. After lying on the couch for three hours, I decided to try some yoga to relieve the pain. I couldn't even get my body into a simple cat position before I collapsed to the floor. I crawled a few feet so I could see into the room where Nathan was and told him I thought we should talk to someone at the clinic. Surely burning abdominal pain for four hours straight wasn't normal. He tried calling but got a message that "this number is not listed."

We ended up driving to the clinic, only to find out it was closed for Labor Day, and drove on to the hospital where I plan to deliver. I didn't want to go there, but I didn't know what other options we had. The lady at the information desk told us to go straight to labor and delivery triage since the ER would send us there anyway. The triage gatekeeper was less than friendly when she heard our story. She told Nathan to wait in the waiting room and that "I don't know if they'll even take her" and passed me on to the next person, pointing out in an irritated tone that "she's only 21 weeks." I emphasized that we were only there because my clinic was closed and I couldn't talk to anyone else. I went through all the procedures and sat on a bed in my hospital gown waiting for a nurse. When the nurse came to ask me all the standard questions and a few more about what I was feeling, I could tell she suspected I just had round ligament pain. I told her I thought at first it was just round ligament pain but that the pain had been steady in my abdomen and lower back for the past 5 hours. She said she would send the midwife in, but instead it was an unfriendly and unhelpful family medicine resident. After a few more questions and pressing on my abdomen and beating on my back, she told me what I was experiencing was called round ligament pain.

"Oh, I didn't know that could last for five hours straight."
"It can. It just varies sometimes. If you were bleeding or leaking fluid we would be concerned, but this is nothing to be concerned about."

The resident told me they would go ahead and test my urine for infections, and left. I then realized that my urine sample was still there. Frustrated, I ripped off the monitor and hospital gown and put my clothes back on. A nurse came back in as I was finishing, and I told her I was leaving and apologized for wasting her time. I cried all the way home. I couldn't believe I was dumb enough to go to the hospital for something as minor as round ligament pain. How was I going to handle labor if I couldn't handle normal pregnancy pain? It never got any better that day. By Monday night, I was trying all kinds of different labor positions and trying to breathe through the pain. I stayed on the couch so Nathan could get some sleep.

Tuesday wasn't any better. I thought I might be a little better at first, then a big wave of pain would hit me for about thirty seconds. This was happening every five or ten minutes. Nathan got ahold of a nurse at the clinic, and she told us that they couldn't get us in, but what I was experiencing did not sound like round ligament pain and that I should go back to labor and delivery triage. It wasn't happening. The last trip there had done nothing for my physical pain and added emotional pain on top of it. The triage doctor had told me not to come back unless I was bleeding, and I still wasn't bleeding. I told Nathan to go to work, and I dealt with another day of constant pain. I agreed to go back Wednesday if I wasn't any better, but I thought surely the pain would be gone by then.

Wednesday came and brought no change with it. Nathan called the clinic again and insisted they get us in that day. I got an appointment with an ob. The ob listened to all my issues and told me she suspected appendicitis. In order to get the tests I needed, I would have to make the trip back to labor and delivery triage. She called the midwife there ahead of time to ensure we'd have a better experience this time. At least at this point I was officially 22 weeks pregnant instead of "only 21" like I had been last time.

When we got up to triage, Nathan again had to wait in the waiting area while I gave a urine sample, put on the gown and got into bed, had a monitor hooked up to me, and got blood drawn. They didn't have the monitor hooked up long before the midwife and two nurses could see that the intensified pain I was experiencing every five minutes or so was actually contractions. After hooking me up to an IV, they told me I would have to wait about 20 minutes for a doctor to get there. I asked when my husband was allowed to come back, and the midwife looked to the nurse and asked if there was a problem. Apparently they have to ask questions about domestic violence to make sure my husband isn't a threat, and even then he can't come back until I ask for him. At least we know that now.

 I thought I was smiling here

At one point I told a nurse I was happy to find out it was contractions I was experiencing instead of just round ligament pain since before I wasn't sure if I'd be able to make it through labor.

"You're not planning on going natural, are you?"
"Oh! Well, take what you're feeling now and multiply it by 100, and that's what labor's like. I just want you to be prepared."

And my confidence in my abilities once again went down the toilet.

I'm not really sure what happened the next few hours. Talking to different doctors...Answering questions...Getting more blood drawn...A quick ultrasound to check my fluid levels...Internal exams to make sure I wasn't dilating (I wasn't)...Lots of waiting. Finally, three doctors came back in the triage room with their answer. I don't remember all of what the one doctor said, but her main point was:

"We think what you're experiencing is just normal pregnancy discomfort. There are ligaments that stretch..."

I didn't want to hear anymore. I was pretty much hysterical at this point. Hours and hours of tests only to once again arrive at the conclusion: I just couldn't handle pregnancy. I knew I'd never be able to have a natural labor. I tried to explain my emotions. The doctor offered me morphine. (Have I mentioned I'm not crazy about doctors?) She did say that they were concerned about the fact that I was having contractions and that they were going to send me to have an abdominal ultrasound to rule out appendicitis, the original conclusion of the ob at my clinic.

We waited for what seemed like an hour for the ultrasound. I was a mess. I was sure this was all a waste of time and begged Nathan to just let me go home, but he was still convinced there really was something wrong with me. Finally, it was my turn for the ultrasound. The way the monitor was angled, I couldn't really see what the ultrasound tech was doing. When she was checking my appendix, it was much higher than the pain, which was low in my abdomen. She finished her job, wiped off the gel, and I knew we were at another dead end. Then she asked if the doctors had already checked the baby. Nathan explained that it was just a quick check to see if I had enough amniotic fluid. Deciding to check again, the ultrasound technician sprayed more gel on my abdomen and went back to work. She asked if the baby had been measuring normally so far. I told her I thought he was. She finished and left the room to consult with someone else. When she came back later, she told us she thought she'd found what was causing my pain, but she was waiting for the doctors to come see it for themselves.

Finally...relief. I was still having contractions, but the emotional pain was lifted. I wasn't scared about whatever she'd found in my uterus, just relieved that she'd found an answer to what was causing my pain. When two of the doctors came back in, I found out I had a fibroid (benign tumor) in my uterine wall. The diameter is about 9 cm, or a little larger than a baseball. I've probably always had it, but the extra blood flow due to the pregnancy made it grow. Then the doctor told me I might not be able to give birth vaginally since the fibroid was right about where the baby's head will need to go for labor. This was a letdown, but at least I know ahead of time that I might need a c-section so I can mentally prepare somewhat. The ultrasound tech showed the doctors the live image, and I turned to see the white sphere.

"This is not your baby's head," the technician said. She moved over a little. "This is your baby's head."

Side by side, the fibroid dwarfed my baby.

It was probably the fibroid that had caused the contractions. I'll be able to have it removed once the baby's born. In the meantime, we just pray that the the fibroid will shrink enough for me to be able to push the baby out. More importantly though is that the baby will be born full-term and healthy, no matter how he's born. I have a high risk for preterm labor now, which is really scary. The fibroid can also prevent the baby from growing, which is why the ultrasound tech asked if he had been a normal size up to this point. So far he's fine.

Once I was back in the triage room, a nurse had a doctor explain how to know when I was actually in labor since my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart by this point. The doctor just said to come back if the contractions felt stronger or if I was leaking fluid or blood. The doctors basically told me I was going to have to deal with the contractions the rest of my pregnancy. They prescribed a narcotic/acetaminophen for the pain, but the medicine they would normally give for contractions would lower my already low blood pressure and probably make me feel worse.

The doctor did say there was a drug they could give me in the hospital (Terbutaline) that would stop my contractions. It would probably only be effective for 30-40 minutes, but there was a chance it could signal my uterus to stop permanently. She said it would increase my heart rate and make me lightheaded. Desperate for a break, I didn't even think to ask about other side effects or the effects on the baby. Even though the doctor didn't seem confident it would be a long term fix, I decided to try it. As soon as the nurse injected it into my IV port, I felt like I was going crazy. My heart rate immediately hit 150, and I felt like my throat was closing in. Nathan had to help me with slow breathing. Once it was out of my system, the contractions were gone. At first I still felt them, but they weren't even registering on the monitor.

On Thursday, I was almost back to normal. I still felt like I had cramps, and probably will for the rest of my pregnancy, but I had no contractions. The pain was manageable when I wasn't contracting every two minutes. And now, five days after I was given the drug, the contractions still haven't come back. The baby's still kicking around like normal. I have no plan of taking the narcotic/acetaminophen or any other drugs the rest of this pregnancy. The pain is mild, and much easier to deal with now that I know what's causing it. I think a lot of my problem before was fear from not knowing what was happening to me or to my baby. It was kind of hard to relax. I still plan on giving birth 100% unmedicated unless a c-section is absolutely necessary. There's no way labor will be 100 times worse if I'm full-term and know what's happening is normal.

I can't believe how close we were to not even discovering the source of my problems. If the ultrasound technician had just ruled out appendicitis, which was all they wanted her to do, I would still think I was dealing with constant round ligament pain. Now we have an answer, but we also have more unknowns. Will I have a natural birth or a c-section? Will the baby make it to 37 weeks or will he come at 27? We don't know. We just wait.

August 28, 2012

20 Weeks Pregnant: The Halfway Point

We're halfway there!

The most exciting part last week was, by far, seeing this:

Oh, and this:

No surprises there! We would have been very happy with a girl, but it was kind of a relief to find out this baby I was convinced was a boy actually was.

I felt the first little flutters and jabs a few weeks ago, at 17.5 weeks pregnant. Aside from feeling the baby and getting bigger, I haven't even felt very pregnant the last few weeks. I had been having daily headaches, and now I don't even remember when the last one was. I've had some pretty bad restless leg syndrome since I was 7 weeks pregnant, which still hasn't gone away completely, but doing a few yoga poses/stretches before bed has helped me fall asleep.

Having no energy and not feeling well in the first trimester meant I wasn't able to do much, which was kind of depressing as an acts of service type person. I managed to find the energy to bake blueberry bread one day only to dump it directly on the floor as soon as I pulled it out of the oven. I'm much happier now, even though I'm still not doing as much as I was pre-pregnancy. The less desert-like weather has helped too, especially since I walk to work every day.

For a while I was worried I wasn't gaining enough weight. At 18 weeks pregnant, I had only gained 4 pounds. By 20 weeks, I had gained another 5 pounds, for a total gain of 9 pounds. I really don't think I've been eating more than normal or being less active, so it's just my body catching up I guess. I've tried to postpone buying maternity clothes so far, not wanting to buy too much too early, but after this most recent jump in weight, I don't think I'll be able to wait much longer!

I'm so excited to meet our baby, but I'm glad we still have another four months or so to get everything ready!

August 20, 2012

Boy or girl? The Old Wives' Tale Predictions

Who's in there?

By the time most of you read this, we will already be done with our 20 week ultrasound and have a much more accurate prediction of our baby's gender. But just for fun, I thought I'd look at some of the old wives' tales for predicting gender and see which way they lean.

  1. Carrying high with weight all over means girl. Carrying low in the front means boy. Boy
  2. Heartbeat above 140 is a girl. Below 140 is a boy. Tossup. (181, 162, 135)
  3. Sweet cravings mean girl. Sour cravings mean boy. Boy
  4. If you have acne while pregnant, it’s a girl. Girl
  5. The Chinese Gender Chart is based on how old the mother is at conception and the month that she conceived. Boy
  6. The Mayan tale adds the mother's age at conception and the year of conception. If the result is a even number it's a girl.  If the result is an odd number then it's boy. Boy
  7. If you are having headaches, it's a boy. Boy
  8. If the husband gains weight during the pregnancy, it's a girl. Girl
  9. Severe morning sickness means you're having a girl. Boy
  10. It's a boy if the hair on your legs grows faster. Girl
Hmmm...noticing a trend?

There are 3 boys and 1 girl in Nathan's family, his dad is one of 4 boys, and his brother has 2 boys. Since it's the husband who determines gender, that may mean we're more likely to have sons. However, I also read that gender is not at all genetic and one gender running in families is purely coincidental. 

I've never thought this baby was a girl, just based on intuition. I've been saying "he" most of the time. The thing is, this baby has surprised me from the start. I never would have guessed that the same week I had to pry a stray pit bull's jaws off the neck of my puppy, deal with a leaking water heater, and be matron of honor in a wedding, I would also end up conceiving my first child. It's very possible that I'm in for another surprise when I find out this baby's gender.

August 3, 2012

Pregnancy Q&A

Now that I've let everyone know my big news, I decided to write a post answering some of the questions people have asked me during my pregnancy thus far.

Have you had any morning sickness?
I don't feel like I can answer "yes" to this question since I haven't experienced any vomiting, although there have definitely been times when I felt weak, achy, and nauseated like I had the flu, just without the vomiting. The first trimester definitely wasn't a walk in the park. I'm doing better now for the most part, except for frequent headaches. I'm not quite as tired, but I'm still sleeping more than I was before I was pregnant.

Are you going to find out the gender?
Probably? Before I got pregnant, we were pretty adamant about waiting until birth to find out the gender. It turns out you can change your mind about things when the baby is actually inside you. Plus, it'll make it easier for people who want to buy clothes. 

Do you have names picked out?
We have some ideas, but we haven't shared them with anyone. Nathan's approved the girl's name I've had picked out since high school but we aren't sure on the middle name. We've had a horrible time choosing a boy's name. I think we're pretty sure on that one now though. This is part of why knowing the gender would be helpful - it's hard enough figuring out one name!

What's your theme going to be?
I love Rachel Jonat's answer to this in The Minimalist Mom's Guide to Baby's First Year : "Uh...Craigslist?" I want to try to stick with a color scheme of reds and teals for the baby gear, but if it's cheap or free, I'm not going to be that picky. Since we aren't going to have a real nursery, there's no need to go crazy with a theme.

Are you going to quit your job?
I'm not planning on it, at least for now. At the moment, I'm the one with the stable job with health insurance and benefits. I know some claim if you look at the true "cost of working" (childcare, clothes for work, lunches out, etc.) you aren't actually making anything as a working mom, but with my calculated worst case scenario, I'd still only be losing half my income. Of course, it's not all about money. If it turns out I can't bare to leave my baby, we'll reevaluate.
Who's your doctor? 
I've chosen to see a midwife. Unless I develop complications, I'll only see a doctor once.

Wait, so you're going to have a natural birth?
That's the plan, but I know things don't always go as planned. Although I'm not against using pain medications, I feel natural birth is the best option in most cases. Plus, anyone who knows of my intense fear of needles being inserted into me can probably understand why I would view epidurals and intravenous pain killers as terrifying and a last resort. I really think I'll be more relaxed without them.

Anything else you'd like to know? For those who are parents, did people ask you any unusual questions when you were expecting?

July 20, 2012

What I've Been Up to Lately

To be honest, I haven't been doing a whole lot lately. There's just this one thing I've been doing that's kind of taken a lot out of me...

Yep. There's a baby in there!
Our baby is set to arrive January 9. Now that I'm out of the first trimester, I have a lot more energy. I'm getting really excited about meeting our baby and becoming a mom! 

June 27, 2012

2 Years...Really!

Yesterday we celebrated our second anniversary!

I've found out several people (including family members who were at the wedding) thought we had only been married a year. No, it's really been two years!

Our first anniversary was also the day Nathan graduated from his MBA program, so that day was more of a celebration of him.

We didn't do anything crazy for our anniversary this year either. Nathan surprised me by sending me flowers at work, and we went out for a cheap dinner with a Living Social deal.

As cliché as it sounds, every day with Nathan is a gift no matter what we do. Two years later, I'm still excited about the fact that I get to see him every day! We have yet to experience that horrible "First Fight" we're supposed to have. Marriage is pretty awesome.

May 28, 2012

Life with a Puppy

Wondering how the impulse buy we made a couple weeks ago is doing?

He's fit in quite nicely for the most part. I think Nenya does actually like him.

She's still top dog around here.

This is my first puppy, so it's been an interesting experience with a roller coaster of emotions.

It's easy to be happy with your dog when he's being adorable sleeping on the love seat.

But when he's tearing up the love seat?

Sigh...that's a little more difficult to deal with. But I still love him.

We've had him eight weeks, and I've been doing training with him daily for the past six weeks. He's doing great at sit, lay down, stay, roll over, and has even mastered shaking. He's smart but super stubborn, so it's been a lesson in patience. He seems to be learning what's his and leaving our stuff alone, but we won't be leaving him in the house unsupervised for a few hours again any time soon. Although Adyn doesn't seem to have had any obedience training with his previous owners, one bonus is that he's completely house broken. We haven't had any accidents yet!

It was a little crazy in the beginning, but having two dogs has been good for all of us. I do think two dogs is my limit though!

May 6, 2012

An $8 date

We've made it a priority in our marriage to have a date every week. This may sound expensive, but our dates are rarely the traditional dinner and a movie type dates. In fact, the one time we did eat out and see a movie the same day, it was lunch and a matinée. 

 For our most recent date, we took a long walk downtown.

 We walked along the canal...

 watched the local animals...

had fun taking photos...

 watched part of a free concert that happened to be going on...

and saw parts of the city we'd never seen before, like the central library.

(It's pretty epic.)

And we just had fun.

We bought some sorbet at the mall, which was our only expense other than the unavoidable parking costs. 

It was one of the best dates we've had in a while!

April 5, 2012

A New Trek

One of the 12 things I want to tackle in 2012 is figure out my blog purpose. As you may have guessed by my recent lack of posts, I've been thinking a lot about that one. Here's my state of the blog address. I'll keep it short.

Wedding Trek
I started Wedding Trek not long after getting engaged as a way to document my wedding preparations. To be honest, my main motivation for starting my blog was to have something to submit to become a wedding blogger for Weddingbee. It soon became evident that there was no way I could write 3 good posts a week, so I kind of gave up on that. But I had a few friends and relatives reading by that point, so I kept writing.

Newlywed Trek
When I got married I kept on writing, but I never have had a true purpose for Newlywed Trek. I wrote some about learning to live together, dealing with our differences, and figuring out my role as a wife. While we're still learning and always will be, that initial adjustment is pretty much behind us. Does that mean we're no longer newlyweds? Possibly. But either way, I think it's time for a new name and new direction for the blog.

The new name? Our Trek
The purpose? Writing about our lives

Sometimes I skip writing about things Nathan and I do because I worry they aren't "blog worthy." This blog should be what I want to write. Although it's been fun to experiment with ways to grow my blog, my focus shouldn't be on my stats. After all, I don't make any money from this blog. I know it's possible to earn a living from blogging, but since I would rather continue to earn a living as a designer, it makes more sense for me to spend my free time building my freelance business rather than building this blog.

In short, all that's really going to change around here is the name of the blog and the way I approach it. Thanks for reading.

April 3, 2012

The Impulse Buy

We made a bit of an impulse buy this weekend. His name is Adyn.

How did this happen? Well, I normally go shopping by myself, but this
time Nathan came with me on my Saturday shopping trip.

On our way to Meijer, we drove past Petsmart, where they had dogs out for adoption. I wouldn't have stopped had I been alone. But Nathan is a total dog lover, so we stopped.

And then something crazy happened. I was the one who fell in love with a dog.
We went on to do our grocery shopping, but I was almost crying as I
walked through Meijer thinking about him.

So along with our groceries, we brought home a new dog.

I think he was a pretty good deal though.

If you read my blog post about things I'd like to do before kids,
you might remember that getting a second dog was something we planned to do soon.

So, this really wasn't a complete impulse buy. We aren't completely crazy.


I think Nenya is adjusting well. I can't say that she loves her little brother yet, but she at least tolerates him about as well as I tolerated my little brother when he was born.

She's pretty independent these days, sometimes preferring to be left alone, so having a 9 month old attention hog come into the picture isn't too traumatizing.

Although trying to walk them together by myself the first time made me wonder if I was truly sane, this change will be good for me. Knowing I would have to crate Adyn while I was at work, I took him on a walk/jog Monday morning before 7:00 am. I'm lucky to be out of bed by 7:00 these days, let alone outside running by then.

Impulsive? Yes. But also really wonderful.

March 16, 2012

Grilled Cheese Rolls with Bread Heels

We don't eat a lot of meatless meals around here, thanks to my meat-loving, anti-vegetable husband, but one meatless meal we do enjoy often is grilled cheese with tomato soup. I normally use eight slices of bread for grilled cheese, making 2.5 sandwiches for Nathan and 1.5 for me. But when I wanted to make grilled cheese this week, I realized we only had four slices of bread left. However, we also had two heels. I had recently read about making grilled cheese rolls by removing the crusts and rolling a slice of cheese with a slice of bread, so I decided to give that a try with the two heels I had.

The verdict? They were delicious! They're really more grilled cheese "envelopes" than rolls since they wouldn't fold that well, but they tasted fantastic

What do you do with the heels in your loaf of bread? Do you eat them like the rest of the slices or use them for something else. I have a few in the freezer that I've been meaning to use to make bread crumbs. Sometimes I'll put them in with the brown sugar if it gets hard to soften it up again. And now I know I can use them for grilled cheese!

March 13, 2012

My Home Office

If you've ever wondered where I am when I write my blog posts, this is it. It's been a little over two months since we moved, and my little work space is finally getting close to how I want it.

I use the term "home office" loosely, as you can see. My desk is very much out in the open! So, I've tried to make it look as nice as possible without spending a lot of money.

With two monitors, I don't have a lot of room for much else on my desk. The keyboard and mouse are wireless so they can be shoved in my desk drawer when I'm writing or clipping coupons. I keep all the papers that need to be addressed (bills, coupon inserts) in one pile that I try to go through once a week. Other than that, I only have a coaster and a magnetic sculpture on my desktop.

My brother-in-law put up this shelf for me (thanks, Tim!) that I can use for my office supplies, a few design books...and toys.

Hanging from the shelf brackets are my cork board and dry erase board. I wish I'd taken before photos of these! For the cork board, I spray painted the frame of an old bulletin board, cut fabric to size and adhered it to the cork with spray adhesive. The dry erase board was just a large picture frame that I also spray painted. It had a collage mat in it that I wrapped with matching fabric and put behind the glass.

It's may not be the fanciest home office, but it's a functional and happy office!

And unlike at my cubicle at work, I can actually see outside!

Shared at Take it on Tuesday at Romance on a Dime.