Thursday, April 26, 2012

37 and counting...

I had my 37 week checkup and ultrasound today. Ella is measuring great, weighing in at 5lbs 10oz. She had the hiccups the entire time the ultrasound was going. It was so funny to watch the ultrasound wand bounce with each hiccup. It is definitely getting close to time for her to come. During the non-stress test Josh noticed that my braxton hicks were regular. I am dilated *almost* to a 2, 75% effaced and 100% thinned out. Her head is in a -1 position. To give you an idea, with Rora I was dilated *almost* to a 2, 50% effaced and 100% thinned out with her head at a +2 position during her 37 week checkup. She came exactly at 38 weeks and I hadn't been having regular braxton hicks at 37 weeks. I'm hopeful, but not too hopeful, that Ella will make her appearance soon! I guess I should get the hospital bag packed...nah, I might just wait and let Josh do it moments before we go to the hospital. ;) Have a great week everyone! We're headed to the circus!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The healthiest person I know...

So my friend Jenny made a comment to me about a month ago that has stuck with me enough that I feel like I should clarify. We were talking about health and weight and how the two don't necessarily go hand in hand. Some people that eat extremely healthy aren't the 'perfect' weight and then there are those that eat mostly junk who are 'super-model skinny.' She mentioned that someone who is 'the healthiest person she knows' falls into the obese category and we were talking about how the guidelines are sometimes ridiculous. Her next comment however, threw me off guard. She followed up her "healthiest person I know with ...aside from you of course." And I have to ask, really? I know I don't eat the best all the time. Quite often I've been known to slip and eat things that aren't healthy. I have my fair share of foods that I have a hard time saying no to, I sometimes get fast food, or eat processed foods, binge, etc, etc. So I just want to clarify that while it is flattering to think that I can be viewed as 'healthy,' I know many people who are much, much healthier than I. Please don't ever think that I am some uber healthy person. Just know that I am only trying and I too have a long way to go on my health journey. One day I want to join the ranks of the healthiest people I know. For now, I just keep learning more and trying. We can keep trying together!

36 week appt.

I'm feeling very blessed right now. This pregnancy has been a whirlwind of emotions. Many have been wonderful, and just as many have been full of fear, sadness and heartache. I have been going to the Dr for non-stress testing on top of my regular appointments for the past week. Today was my 3rd NST and I can't say that I like going to them. The chair is excruciating to sit in (as most chairs all...yes, I'm still cursing the drunk driver who hit us 2 years ago...) the bands around my waist were uncomfortable and there were many things I could have been doing instead of sitting there. BUT, my baby is healthy! She has passed the last two NST's and everything is looking great. It is so nice to have that peace of mind and know that she is still thriving inside me.
I am so grateful that I live in a time where I can have peace of mind about my child's well being. I know that she is ok because I have been able to hear her heartbeat and even see her on the ultrasound. What a miracle! With how this pregnancy has gone I can't imagine having been pregnant 100 years ago when the medical field had so little knowledge. What a blessing it is to live now!

I now weigh 144, so I've gained 11lbs this pregnancy. I will be 36 weeks on Wednesday and can't wait for one more week when I am past the point of major worry. Ella weighs 5lbs 4oz, she gained 1lb exactly in the 12 days since my last ultrasound. She hates the NST machine because the wraps are so tight on my belly. She kicks and kicks at them trying to get away. It would be funny if it wasn't so uncomfortable! I had over 10 braxton hicks during the test that I didn't feel, as opposed to the ones I do feel, it's nice that my body is practicing for labor and it isn't painful! That's about all I have to say about today's appointment. I am feeling very, very blessed to have the Dr I have and the access to medical miracles. Have a great night!

Oh, and sorry I look so awful in this picture. I figured it had been a while since I put on a pregnant picture so I had Josh snap one just before I sat down to write this. I think the skirt makes my belly look larger than it is, so next time I'll have to try for a more accurate picture.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Isn't he amazing?

So I feel like I complain a lot and want to take a minute to let everyone know that I truly did marry the best man in the world. You see, by the time Josh has his days off I have used up all of my reserve energy. I usually take Sunday (he has Sunday through Tuesday off) to soak in the tub, take a nap, and stay off my back. Josh is amazing. It's his first day off and he usually makes dinner, entertains the kids with games, stories and playtime, plus he does his schoolwork. WoW!
Monday's and Tuesday's he is catching up on yard work, gardening, tackling my 'to do before Ella comes' weekly task(he cleaned the base boards, painted the house, etc.) and squeezing in as much time to play with his girls as possible. To top it off he has to deal with my short temper.
So Josh, thank you for being superdad, superman and superhusband. I am so grateful that you not only put up with me, but that you lift me up. You are always the one to say "I'm sorry" even when it isn't your fault, you are constantly bettering yourself and I am not sure why I got so lucky! Thanks! I love you so much!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Perspective on Pain

So this post is going to be all over the place...that's just where my brain is right now. Ok, what I have left of my brain anyways :)

I woke up this morning and my body hurt. It hurts all the time now. Between the pain in my back, the growing pains from the baby, arthritis, herniated stomach, etc, etc I pretty much hurt all the time. Yes, I am complaining a little bit, but I promise, this post isn't a place for me to do a 'woe is me.'
A few months ago when my back pain started to get worse (there isn't much that they can do during pregnancy to help it...and if last pregnancy is any indication then I should feel much better as soon as she comes!) I was taking tylenol #3 when my pain scale was at about a 5. I would be lying flat on my back barely able to take care of my kids.
Now here I am, today I would rate my pain as a 5 and I didn't take a tylenol. I spent the morning walking around the botanical gardens watching my girls just being kids. I watched them run through the grass hand in hand, walked carefully around the pond counting the fish, ask me the names of every plant and flower we crossed (thank goodness they have information tags by most vegetation!) We came home, ate lunch and then when the girls went down for naps I layed on the floor with my heat pack under my back. That's the extent of my pain management. So what changed?
My perspective. That's it. Just like the pain in my body, any pain is the same. When you first have it, it's unbearable. And then you become accustomed to the new stress. I asked my Mom on many occasions how she was able to deal with the pain from her cancer. She always responded that she just did.
Just like her cancer, or the pain in my back (at least I know when I can get relief,) the Lord wont give us any trial that we can't handle. Even if it leaves me sobbing in the beginning. Isn't the human experience, both physical and spiritual, amazing?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Final post on our kits...promise ;)

So I know I've spent a lot of time posting about our 72 hour kits and i'm sure you are wondering what else I could possibly cover. Yes, there is a bit more to cover. Just a couple points that I haven't made yet.
First off I want to spend a couple moments on water. Water is the most vital item in your 72hour kit. If you have dehydrated food, MRE's, etc you need to make sure that you add extra water to your rationing. Water rotation is by far more important than food rotation. Water can get stagnant and needs to be replaced yearly. If you are using 2 liter soda bottles (like I do) then you also need to replace your bottles yearly. The plastic starts to break down around 18 months in storage and can leak harmful and potentially toxic chemicals into your water. This process is sped up if your kits are stored in a hot or constantly changing environment, or if they have to much exposure to sun. (Back of your car, garage, shed, etc.) If your kits are stored in such an environment then make sure and replace the water & bottles every 6 months. Better safe than sorry!
The other topic yet to be discussed is storage. The main point to consider when picking a place to store your kits is the ease of retrieval. If your kit's are stored in the attic behind etc, etc, etc. then it will be much harder to grab them and evacuate in case of an emergency. We keep our kits on our hall closet. They are easily retrievable if necessary and the temperature is as close to constant as we can make it. We have them on the upper shelf so we still can use the closet. It works out well for us.
I think that's about it. Good luck getting your kits ready. It's much better to be prepared and never have a need for them than to be scrambling and without because you chose not to prepare!

Josh's 72 hour Kit!

It's been a crazy week and I finally have a few minutes to post. I'm just going to list the items in Josh's kit and if any explanation is needed I'll place it next to the item on the list. Easiest way for me to do it, and believe me, there is a lot in his kit! I'll go picture by picture, so sorry if each item isn't in it's proper category. Let's get started!

9 snack cracker packages - his crackers and half of Ella's
2 packages gummy snacks
Swedish fish - Daddy's need a treat too!
comb - because I forgot to photograph it with the other hygiene products
2 packages peanuts
2 squeezable applesauce
1 crackers and cheese
2 packages ramen noodles - his and Rora's
2 monster slim jims - his and Rora's
2 granola bars
1 water bottle with a high quality filter

4 2 liter water bottles - his, Rora's, Ella's and one extra 'community' water.
1 16.9oz water bottle
crystal light flavor packets
Spark flavor packets - these have caffeine and sometimes Daddy (and Mommy) can use a jolt!

2 soup at hand - his and Rora's
1 cooking fuel
2 spaghetti and meatballs - his and Rora's
2 spaghettios - extra for everyone
3 cans of corn - His, Rora's and Ella's
3 cans of fruit cocktail (small) - his and Rora's
1 can of fruit cocktail (large) - extra for everyone

first aid kit including:
1 poncho - 2 more will be added but the last time I went to the store they were out
antiseptic wipes
alcohol pads
band aids
burn cream
cold compress
latex gloves
chap stick
iodine drops and iodine neutralizer - these aren't the safest way to sterilize water, however, the point is to keep you alive in the short term. The benefits of clean water to me outweigh the risk of possible complications in the future. Especially since they take up such a small amount of space in the pack.

10 diapers - size 2. Rather have them to big than to small!
wet wipes
change of clothing for Josh - don't forget the long socks!
2 sleepers for Ella - again, it's much easier to cut fabric off if it's hot than have double clothing, or go cold. These are size 3-6 month so I will need to change them out in the fall...along with changing out the diapers.
1 wrap - 6 yards of fabric. This is one way I carry my babies. I put the fabric option in the kit for a few reasons. It's the most inexpensive option and since I am not using it on a daily basis I don't want to spend a lot of money. It also adds an extra layer of closeness as the swaddling keeps baby close to Mom. There is extra warmth in the winter with the extra fabric that can also be used as a blanket if necessary. I can also carry Rora with it and have multiple carrying options. Front, back (2 back options) and hip carry.

flashlight & batteries
pocket knife
waterproof matches
toothpaste & toothbrush
3 emergency candles
money - 1 $20, 1 $10, 2 $5's, 10 $1's and a roll of quarters
bullets for both guns - rather than having to make sure you have bullets it's easier to keep extra in our kit. That way if we ever needed to leave all Josh would have to grab extra would be our 2 guns.

Not pictured:
Copy of my Patriarchal Blessing
Copy of insurance cards & drivers license
Contact information for family out of state (Including a list of family members who have a ham radio, their call signs and where they are located.)
Family picture

Josh also has a seperate small bag with all of his emergency communication items. The portable ham radio, extra batteries, etc.

As an extra note, remember to pack each item in a waterproof bag or container so in case of wet weather it is still usable.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Conference and Smoothies

In between conference sessions yesterday I was talking about how I love conference. Kira was very thoughtful and we had a great discussion because I mentioned that conference is so good for my soul. She thought a lot about that comment and a few minutes after we had grown silent she blurted out, "I know Mom! Conference is like a smoothie! Smoothies are really good for our bodies and conference is really good for our soul! Everything in it is a super food, just like a smoothie!"
I just love this analogy that she gave. It's true, unlike other shows or music that are good, conference goes above and beyond that. It truly is a super food (yes, she did use that term without prompting) and recharges my soul. Thanks Kira for putting it into perspective! I sure do love you!

Oh, and here is a picture that my friend Jenny took of her son Covey and Kira. I just love how beautiful she looks here.