Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Backyard shennanigans!

So it was a project that originally began mid June (with hopes of finishing it by mid-July for Button's second birthday party - ha! we know how that ended up - NOT in our new backyard!) and didn't receive the FINAL-FINAL step/process/finishing touch (grass seed!) until, oh I think last month...

DH faced pain-in-the-ass contractors, finished a lot of the work himself, and is still waiting for one contractor to come back and turn (back) on the gas line to our garage so we can get our heater going again...

but it's DONE! our beautiful backyard (the top half anyways!) is ready for lots of BBQs and playing in! (come Spring! lol)

Here's how it went (in a teeny tiny nutshell!)
Stage one we ripped out the old privacy lattice-work fence (you can see the base) and marked off where the "new level" would go...

Stage two was delivery of a LOT of materials: paving stones for patio, stones for retaining wall, gravel for (I forget what. lol) dirt for fill, etc... our yard looked like a supply/lumber yard for a long time!

Stage three involved some destruction of big railroad-tie flower beds that were against the side of our garage (see top left photo - far left pile of railroad ties!) they also left the big equipment for one night at our house, and DH brought Button out that afternoon and let him sit on it...

Stage four (which felt like it took a large chunk of time) was building the wall (the contractors left it where it ended here, the rest you see in later pictures is the handiwork of DH!) more fill was needed to level off, as well as the gravel (oh yea! that's what it was needed for!) to go beneath the patio blocks...

Stage five they completed the patio (so pretty!!!) and this is where DH started to pick up serious slack left by the contractors (the rest of the retaining wall, and the above border between driveway (which was eventually repaired and re-asphalted) and the new yard...

Stage six - we're getting there!!! DH had finished off the wall, had loaded stones around the base of our tree to protect it from moist dirt, and a fencing company came and put up our PVC picket fence (with two gates - one at left to get lawn mower down to rest of yard and one at far back right for an eventual flight of stairs to the rest of the yard - oh I guess pictures to eventually come of the back-back yard!)

Grass seed got planted, sprinkler heads and piping got relaid, and this is our new lovely backyard looks like!!!!
We had some decent sunny weather this past Sunday where we got to enjoy it with Button for a bit, but most of the play will have to wait til Spring time! Next up will be the bottom-back-yard (our property goes for YARDS past the retaining wall/fence... I'll have to take pictures to show you all!)

Now for some fun same-POV comparison shots!

Falling in love with fall & Pumpkin Raviolis!

Word and picture vomit to follow (mostly because work? well it's crazy - between there only being holyfuckingshit SIXTEEN work days left and big projects being due in addition to the wrap-up of training and "OH WAIT I FORGOT HOW TO SHOW YOU THIS!")

Here's your 2015 Halloween celebrations:

We started to get into the fall mood with some Pumpkin Ravioli!! (I had found a looks-easy-enough recipe in a magazine, but then couldn't find the required Wonton Wrappers (plus forgot to look) until recently...)
 The filling was just (if I remember correctly) half a can of pumpkin, some salt&pepper to taste, and about 1/4 - 1/2 C of Parmesan cheese... Lay out the wonton wrappers and spoon about a tsp onto each, then run a water-wetted finger along each edge to "seal" a second wonton wrapper on top...
Boil up the raviolis like regular pasta (but be really careful! they're delicate!) and the sauce was just browned butter and fresh sage with a dash of lemon juice right before evertyhing is served (get the butter to brown by nearly letting it burn before each stir!)

The raviolis were VERY delicate especially after being cooked, so they kind of stuck together and clumped - but still, OMG DELICIOUS! I'll have to buy more wonton wrappers and pumpkin (I think I have a second can still in fact!) for another batch this fall!

The next day, (Wednesday before Halloween), DH's work had a small party (last year I was actually costumed-up as a mime, Button was Scooby Doo, and DH - well I just don't remember. lmao)
This year, I was just a PG lady for halloween, lol - but DH and Button were a hit!
(DH's fBook post: "Honey, they shrunk Marty!")

Friday was Button's big day - they had a party and parade at daycare in the afternoon for which I left work after the internal ponderings of: is it silly that I'm leaving work for a two-year-old's Halloween parade? I used to scoff at the mom who took an entire day for her THIRD child's preschool graduation thinking - it's your THIRD!
but now? I think... THEY'RE ONLY YOUNG ONCE!!!

So I darted out of work for an hour, watched this Ace do his thang at the parade, and then hauled ass back to work...

Except then Button and DH showed up to visit me at work the last few minutes before we all left together! (everyone LOVED Button...)

We decided (as we frequently do Friday nights) we weren't gonna cook (and had no leftovers at home) so we stopped at our favorite all-you-can-eat sushi bar where Button chowed down on his favorite: edamame and salmon teriyaki. (He also apparently had learned to WINK at some point and was Flirty-McFlirt with our waitress!!!)

Saturday morning (Halloween!) I decided to make iced pumpkin cookies 
(I had a powder mix recently purchased when we went to a petting zoo/farm and the canned pumpkin required).

After Button's nap, we headed over to my bestie Dee's house for a "Halloween party" (in quotes because it was only Bestie+DH+17-mo-son and fBFF+DH +almost-3-yo son) followed by some Trick-or-Treating!

We were then barraged with requests from family to "stop by" which entailed us being out and about until almost 6:30... By the time we got home, Button was hungry (and so, cranky) and I was worried our house would be egged since no one was home to hand out candy (not to mention all the candy we did buy that we weren't handing out! It wasn't candy I liked, and so I had no interest in any being leftover!)

(We only had ONE batch of TOTers after we got home... so all that candy has been brought to work for my coworkers over the last few weeks... 3.5 lbs of it, now GONE!)

That night was also Daylight Savings, and so - with fingers crossed - we kept Button up an hour later than normal (9pm pre-time-change) and ...
 Sunday morning he woke up his "regular" time!!! (7:30 post-time-change, which was actually 8:30 pre-time-change!)

(That was also the Sunday that Button and I hit up Kmart for half-naked-nesting time later that night!)
What I hadn't mentioned (or didn't have the pictures loaded yet to mention) was that after we successfully conquered DST Sunday morning, and after Button's nap, the boys did some leaf-clean-up before we enjoyed the last rays of sun at a local park (at 4pm - I HATE that about winter time!)

I also finally got pictures of our completed backyard renovations!!! (and holy pictures, there are a ton - a separate post to follow!)

**Also - this past Saturday my awesome SIL, MIL, DH's aunt+cousin put together a great Sprinkle for me, which, as I mentioned, a friend had kind of ruined the "surprise" but I was still surprised, as I totally didn't expect it that day! And there were more HUGE SURPRISES in store once the party got started!!
It totally deserves its own post, so next up - Sprinkle pictures (a few, no people/group shots really...) as well as pictures from the 3D ultrasound we got that evening (it was a crazy busy exciting day!) and some comparison bump shots I've slacked in posting! (and don't let me forget to tell you how I totally lost count of weeks this week! lol)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ACK! only 7 weeks left!

  • Baby's getting ready for his or her descent—and is likely in the head-down position now. or not...   I was pretty sure she is transverse as I feel feet lodge into my pelvis and PUSH - and yes, confirmed at yesterday's OB check-up, "she definitely feels that way!" (while doc manhandled her to confirm, she totally kicked back like, "CUT IT OUT!")
  • And baby's probably feeling even more cramped.  I will agree with this - the "kicks" are now more stretches and little limbs rolling around!
  • More Braxton Hicks contractions. Are they getting more intense? um... YES.  like, alot alot. of course, these don't mean jack sh*t in terms of real labor... lol
  • Heartburn. Go ahead and pop an antacid. Actually not too bad on this - I'll get a little bit of reflux here and there (like when I vurped this morning in the car... GAG)
  • Feeling faint or light-headed can be a result of any number of things, including low blood sugar. I had more of this earlier in the pregnancy, but it's been much better recently (minus one "attack" this weekend where I waited too long to eat lunch....)
Best Moments This Week: Button is having fun looking at all the stuff coming in for "Baby Guhl" like his old jump-a-roo and bumbo (returned from my bestie Dee who borrowed 'em for her son!)
Total Weight Gain: I've plateaued the last two/three weeks, holding at 22lbs (with Button I plateaued the last month 1/2 or so...)

Maternity Clothes: yup. the paneled pants - the panels used to feel like they came to my chin, now they don't cover the bump all the way! lol

Symptoms: ok here's where we'll stop a minute... I've bitched the last two weeks of this pain and that, saying to E, "OMG I don't remember being this uncomfortable at this point with Button!" and said the same to the OB yesterday at my check-up as I complained of horrible bad low back pain (my coccyx sometimes feels like it's grinding on itself... OIY!) and take-your-breath-away RLP... and she responded, "each pregnancy is different, and of course there's pregnancy amnesia..."
meaning - you look back and think, "aw... I loved being pregnant! it wasn't that bad!" but it was 
and I realized, thinking back on these check-ins that I was all, "no symptoms really! just a little tired!" so if I were to re-read these from Button's pregnancy, it wasn't that bad...
Here's the truth : I wake up at least 2-3 times a night, and then lay awake for a solid 20+ minutes, eyes closed, trying to get back to sleep... (and like last night, just as I doze off, Button "wakes" crying in a dream and needs soothing back to sleep)
There's times that RLP (or whatever it is) in my crotch makes me gasp as I shift on the couch (which then makes E yell, "don't gasp! you make me think your water broke or something!")
Whether it's from standing, or sitting all day at work - I get lower back pain that feels like bone grinding on bone, yet it feels so good to slowly get into a position on my back, feet up on the wall and relieve some of the pain...
and I cannot.  get.   enough.  sleep - like, first-tri fatigue again. I'm falling asleep on the couch by 9pm (holy lame...)
So there's a more honest "symptoms" answer =)

Sleep: well, I guess - see above. lol
Food Cravings: (same as last check-in) : nothing really crazy - it can change hour to hour...

Anything making you queasy or sick:  well, I can have a random moment hear and there (average once a week) where I get a quick wave of nausea (probably caused by low blood sugar or a too-empty stomach...)

Movement:  performing recorded kick-counts now on this cool app - and it hasn't made me go crazy yet! (like, if I start a count b/c she kicked once and then doesn't kick anymore, giving a "Failed" count even though I started it at a random time that I know is not her usual wake time!)
She's active as I lay in bed when I first wake up, very active about 9:30 as I settle in at work, again just around lunch time, again in late afternoon, and another two noticeable sessions - once when I get home from work and again after Button's gone to bed. (that doesn't count her 2-3 minimum active sessions during the night!)

Stretch Marks:(same as last check-in) : Still just ones I had on my hips from highschool...

Gender: (same as last check-in) : Baby Girl!!

Labour Signs: yup, more Braxton Hicks (regularly irregular. lol)

Belly Button In or Out?: it's getting close to poppin' here... if I don't double layer shirts (and have full panel pants on) you can see it (and Button likes to poke it. lol)

Wedding Rings on or off?: (same as last check-in) : On

Happy or Moody?: pretty off-kilter, so happy one minute and moody the next. lol a single bad driver (or pedestrian, guy who darted in front of my car last night in BLACK CLOTHING!) can set me off for awhile...
Purchases for baby: Nothing lately - got another bag from a daycare mom (different mom this time) who was just "cleaning house" and so it was a random small bag of 2T stuff, but we'll add it to our stash!

Purchases for Momma: nothing lately... I'm wanting to get a cute sweater dress or something new to wear to the baby shower, but kind of tough since it's supposed to be a big surprise and I don't even know when it is...
Miss Anything?: this answer has not changed. I'd really like a good martini especially after a stressful day at work... and a nice cold Blue Moon while watching the Patriots play football... *sigh*

Looking forward to: yup - meeting baby girl! Her name is stressing me - I keep waiting for a sign or an indication that a certain name is the one... so we still have no name. lol

this was late last night after my nightly couch-nap on my way to bed...
(so pardon the zombie-tired-look lol)

Monday, November 2, 2015

What Nesting Looks Like...

As I've slowly accumulated a decent amount of clothing for Baby Girl (yes still EFFING unnamed...) I've realized the 3-4 plastic drawers in the top of Button's closet will be totally insufficient storage... (hello! Girls need more space!!)

So I decided to do for the nursery closet what I've done in mine - throw a dresser in the bottom of it!  (So now baby girl will have 5 plastic drawers at the top of the closer, and a 5-drawer dresser at the bottom - plus maybe a drawer in the changing table if I can squeeze crib sheets / changing-pads into storage elsewhere.)

So - Button and I ran to Kmart yesterday morning (after enjoying the fact that somehow we did Daylight Savings prep right - kept Button up an extra hour Saturday night and wore his ass out with Halloween festivities so he slept in Sunday morning until his "usual" time - even with the hour we gained!)

We picked up the dresser (which, usually I'd be a "I CAN LIFT THIS!" type, but I decided to be smart and have a sales guy help me heft the 50+ lb box into my cart...) and also got some great (i.e. cheap) frames to get up some more of Button's art work in his playroom. (will take pictures tonight!)
UPDATED with pictures! (for the first time ever after promising pictures. lol)
 The five drawers we started with, and the new dresser in the bottom (the bags that look all sloppy at the bottom are clothes that still need to be washed for BG...)

The dresser sat in my car until DH got home to take it out during Button's nap, and then sat upstairs in the hallway while we enjoyed a sunny afternoon at a nearby playground (and watched the sun set at like, 2pm. UGH!)

And so, (without pictures so please use your imagination from this description) here's what nesting looks like at 7pm on a Sunday night at 32weeks:

     me sitting on Button's floor, in sweatpants and a bra (because holy sweatiness...) while E gave Button a bath and I assembled drawers with a screw gun and hammer.

and DAMN if I couldn't sort and load into the dresser all the itty bitty pink and purple leggings, onesies and sleepers.... maybe I'll get to do that today after work as I mope about in pitch black dark, you know - since the sun sets before I even step foot out of my job!

(Also - I'm getting excited/antsy for my baby shower I found out was being thrown for me!
1 - I'd like to be dressed nice, possibly even in a new sweater dress or something flattering that I feel good in!
2 - I'm also enjoying the surprise aspect this time (with Button, I knew exactly when my shower was... and while I found out about it in general this time around, I have no clue when/where/who's coming!) but I'm also kind of glad I know it's coming - I've reined myself in a few times when I would have normally bought cute little things for BabyGirl!

32week check-in to follow in separate post!