Wednesday, April 25, 2012

29 Weeks & April Birthdays!

Update (today):

I wrote this post yesterday but didn't get a chance to post it until today because I forgot to have Ian take my weekly picture yesterday.  And, some other exciting things happened yesterday, after I already wrote it so I had to add them here!

I got home from a horrible day at school (read below) to find a box from Carousel Designs by my front door!  Even though I was so tired after barely sleeping, I had to put everything up in the baby's room to see what it looked like - and it was SO CUTE!  I got curtain panels (probably should have ordered a wider width but they were custom made so I can't send them back), rocking chair pads, a crib skirt, a lamp shade and a yard of yellow fabric to make a pillow for the rocking chair.  I know that it's not much but it just adds a whole new element to the room.  I would have also ordered a beautiful, matching bumper for the crib but they suggest not getting bumpers now, because of a suffocation risk, so it just would have been for show.  I put a breathable bumper on my registry and those are ok for kids a little order, and the lemon will be a little older when she finally sleeps in her crib.  Now I just need to hang the closet curtains, spray paint some frames white, order some prints, order a rug, get a few more decorations and order the dresser I decided on and we are done!  Ian is officially off the hook from helping with the nursery from now on (and can move on to more manly things like painting the house), and I get to just make it look cuter and cuter.  I love the room and how it is turned out, it makes me so happy every time I walk by it.

I had dinner with my dad last night and we went to Nourish.  I had a beef short rib sandwich, on gluten free bread and it was pretty good, although my dad was not that impressed with his eggplant dish.  For a restaurant whose menu says that they meet all kinds of food allergy needs so that you don't feel like a "freak at the table" they charged me $2.00 extra for gf bread for my sandwich instead of regular bread.  It's so annoying how places do that.  I understand the bread is more expensive, but work it in somewhere so we don't have to pay extra OR get something smaller than the regular thing just because it's made gf. 

My dad leaves for Oregon this week for the summer and won't be back until I have the baby.  I hate saying goodbye to him and feel like my heart is split in different directions when he's not in the same state as me.  It is also weird to think that the next time I see him I will have a daughter and he will have a grand-daughter (it's so strange to even type it!).  It has just been the two of us, two peas in a pod, for so long, and now there will be another little girl in the mix for him to cook for and dance with and teach to say, "Hi my name is _____, give me a nickel" like he taught me when I was little.  No matter what he thinks/says, I think he will make a great grandpa for our baby.  I know he will.

Original post (yesterday):

I was reading Julia's blog post a couple of weeks ago where she shared her frustration for these weekly posts, lately I've been feeling the exact same way.  It's hard to remember to take my weekly pics, and then it just takes so long to write about our week, gather pictures from everywhere and everyone and then post them.  I know it's really not a lot to do but why does it seem like it lately?  I guess I'm just tired today.

This week I had a horrible pregnancy ache/pain in my shoulder blade/back.  It started on Tuesday and then I thought yoga on Wednesday would help to stretch it out but I think it just made it worse.  By the end of the day on Thursday I showed up in Ian's classroom to go home, in tears, because I couldn't move my right arm, bend down to pick anything up or breathe without it pinching in my ribs.  I read that it's a pretty common pain, but it was just so uncomfortable because it impacted my breathing, and every time I sneezed or coughed it was so painful.  Thursday I had to lay on an ice pack for about 5 hours straight and couldn't move, and Friday I brought my ice to school to sit with in my chair.  Ian brought me a heating pad from the nurse that I tried on Thursday but ice felt much better.  All weekend I tried to take it easy (although painting probably wasn't the best since I'm right handed and it was my right shoulder!) and on Monday it felt a bit better but I wore a ThermaCare hot patch to school just to be safe.  I happened to pick the only day that the air conditioning happened to be off upstairs and in my classroom, to wear a hot patch, so I spent the morning really sweaty trying to teach my kids.

Never in my life have I felt such aches and pains, but as my kids said, "never in your life have you been this pregnant before."  They are right I guess.  I just felt like an old person, unable to move or do anything for days, and it reminded back at 21 weeks when my hip hurt and I could barely walk.  Ian was so nice to me and rubbed my back every night and I think that is the reason I felt better so fast.  He understands what it is like because he thinks it's the same muscle that he hurt a year ago and has been struggling with ever since, thinking it was his chest at first but now working on his back.  I remember constantly being in pain with my stomach, before going gluten free, and can only imagine how he feels every day feeling like I've felt for the past couple of days.  So, since I've started feeling better, I've tried to be consistent in rubbing him every day to see if it helps like he helped me.

On Friday a few of our friends at school had a baby shower for us.  We invited about 40 people and only about 7 actually showed up, I totally felt like Little Man Tate (have you seen that movie?).  I know it was a Friday after school but I thought for sure that since it was for both of us, and we've been at our school for 13 years combined, that more people would want to come and celebrate with us.  Oh well.  The people that did come (or wrote/sent cards) were awesome and it was a great group, and our good friends, (who are coming to my other shower in a couple of weeks) Jody and Elise, did a great job of putting it on.  We were surrounded by love and had a good time celebrating with colleagues and our parents, no matter how many people were there.  I appreciate the people who came so much, it was so nice to be so supported at work, that rarely happens in life.  My mom (on her 60th birthday!) and Ian's mom and dad made the long trip out to school too (and brought gifts!) to celebrate with us so we definitely felt the love.

(My mom liked to take pictures when we all least expected it!)

(What is with my weird face?!  CJ looks cute though!)

(Me and Jody, who helped to put on the shower!)

(Mom and me)

(The other shower planner, my friend Elise!)

(A group shot - although we are cut off and crooked!)

Saturday was a busy day!  My mom took the cloth diaper class at Zoolikins, the same one we took, even though her birthday party was later that night and my step-brother and his family were in town.  I wanted her to go and see how much easier cloth diapers have become and to see how it may not be that inconvenient after all, for all of us to try out.  She was a great sport and I was really proud of her, and I think she learned a lot too.  She never ceases to amaze me with her positivity and willingness to try new things, especially when it comes to me.  I met her at the place, we bought a few things and then she was off to get ready for her party.  I went home, painted baseboards and window molding, rearranged the baby's room and then had to get ready myself to rush off and get supplies for the party.  We got to my mom's, helped set up a bit, then rushed to Ikea to get our new expedit shelf, the smaller one, since it's by my mom's house.  Came back to the party just in time to help my mom put the finishing touches on her outfit and hair, and then guests started to arrive.

(My mom and I with my niece, Amanda.)

 (Blurry pic, I think Aunt Donna had a shot of tequila before taking this!  And there were multiple cameras so Ian is pointing at the one we were supposed to be looking at, ha!  My sister-in-law, Beatrice, step-brother, Joe, Amanda, mom, Ian and my step-dad, Joe.)

(It's weird that we look alike because we aren't technically related.)

(I think my mom did about 5 tequila shots that night, and she NEVER drinks!)

I know I have spoken about my mom multiple times but I have to mention her here again.  It was her 60th birthday this week and her husband planned a big party for over 50 people at her house for her.  I have never seen such love and appreciation towards someone in my life, as I did at my mom's party in her friends and family.  You can tell how awesome of a person she is, because she surrounds herself with amazing people who just adore her.  So many friends, all of our family - came out to celebrate with us, it was overwhelming.  Aunt Donna sang her a song, Joe got her the cake she wanted, and so many people came - she is so blessed.  I hung out inside for some of the night because I just got too hot, but Joe decorated the backyard with beautiful lights and rented tables/chairs.  Ian's family came and Ian and his dad played the guitar for everyone and they were a hit!  We had so much fun but I was definitely worn out by the time we headed home.  We stopped by Leith's Titanic birthday party (Ian's brother, and yes we watched Titanic) but were too tired by that time we had to get home and in bed - what has happened to us?  We used to stay up until the sun came up and sleep all day, those days are totally over.  Who are we?

(My great Aunt Nette telling my mom they have room for her now at the senior center!)

(I said goodbye to my wedding ring before leaving my mom's house.  I am scared that my fingers are going to swell, even though nothing is puffy yet, and I will have to get it cut off.  It's custom made and soldered together so I thought it may ruin it if someone had to cut it, so I left it in her safe until after the lemon gets here.  I've worn this set every day for three years, I feel truly naked without it.)

On Sunday Ian and I built our Ikea shelf and hung the blinds in the baby's room.  Oh my gosh, it is starting to look like a real nursery in there!  I cannot wait until my curtains, rocking chair pads, lamp shade, crib skirt and pillow fabric arrive; and Aunt Donna is hemming the curtains for the closet so we can hide all of our blue tubs (full of mostly my winter clothes/accessories, I know I have issues).  I sat in the rocking chair, the same one that rocked me to sleep when I was a baby, and just imagined holding the lemon, rocking her to sleep.  This room has been unusable for years, a place for us to just throw our junk in, not somewhere we ever hung out in, and soon I'm going to be in there all the time, it's so weird!  And, so exciting, I can't wait!

I wanted to go to yoga on Sunday morning and even promised Ann, my yoga friend, I'd be there (sorry Ann!) but my back still hurt and I wanted to let it heal before going again.  I am going to miss this Wednesday because I am off on an adventure with my bestie, but will go this Sunday instead (and maybe Ann will be there too, I hope!).  Busy week this week - the twins' birthday was last night, dinner with my Dad tonight (he leaves for Oregon on Thursday until the baby comes!), Christine tomorrow night, a pontoon boat trip with my three favorite ladies on Friday and then hopefully shopping with my mom on Saturday.  I was at school for only a half hour today before I ripped the maternity pants I was wearing (right in the crotch!) and had to safety pin them.  I need new bras and underwear, badly, and just a few more things to get me through this last month of school.  Today marks exactly 4 weeks left of work, AND I CAN'T HARDLY WAIT!!!  

 (Espen and Christine with their cupcakes!)

(With one of the birthday girls, Christie!  I'm sad I didn't get a pic with the other twin too!)

Next week is exciting too because we go in for our 30 week ultrasound on Wednesday and then my best friend in the whole world, Matt, comes on Thursday and my baby shower is on Sunday.  So much fun to look forward too, I can hardly contain myself.  It's funny how I felt so blah at the beginning of this post but feel so excited now, I guess I have to live the words I type.  I AM so excited and DO have a lot of fun stuff going on - so why am I so tired and blah today?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Welcome to the 3rd Trimester!

(4 months, 5 months, 6 months and 7 months!)

Here we are baby, the 3rd trimester!!!  I feel the same, just maybe a bit bigger, but still full of energy and happy to have made it here.  My OB said I will start to feel tired and melancholy, and maybe I have, but I mostly feel just as I did a couple of weeks ago.  I'm hoping to have energy up until the end because we still have so much to do around the house!

(I finally got a good video of the baby kicking!  I've been trying for weeks and I think this was actually from last week but I just remembered to post it now!  Watch closely.)
(5am dog walks!  We did it for 4 days in a row last week and then were interrupted.  We hope to pick it back up tomorrow!)

This week I had a very humbling experience.  On Thursday, after school, I got a phone call from our Assistant Principal saying that I was not going to be allowed to return to school until my Fingerprint Clearance card was issued.  I had heard of this happening to other teachers, in the past, but I never thought it would happen to me, and I felt both sad and embarrassed when she called.  If you don't know anything about this - when you work with kids you have to have your fingerprints taken and are issued a card.  Every 5 years or so (although it has been almost 11 for me and I don't remember having to do this) you have to get your fingerprint card renewed.  This means that you have to go and get your fingerprints taken again, pay a $65 fee and then send them off to the Department of Public Safety to be checked by the government to make sure you aren't a criminal.  The whole thing is just so stupid because your fingerprints NEVER change so they should technically just do a background check every so often to make sure you check out.  Ridiculous and just another way to charge teachers/counselors/etc. a fee for nothing.

It turns out that the district notified my school on Monday morning that my card was going to expire on Tuesday and they were supposed to tell me so that I could tell my students and plan for a substitute.  However, my school told me days later, and so the district had to pay me for working because I was there even though I wasn't supposed to be.  Now you're thinking, why is she teaching without her fingerprint card?  I received a letter from the district on March 7th saying that my card would expired on April 10th.  So, a week later, I got my fingerprints done and submitted them to DPS and thought I was all good and that they would be processed in time before my card expired.  Fast forward to last Thursday and they still weren't processed when I received the news that I could not be at school the next day (and was actually not supposed to be there for the two days prior).

Any other year I would have LOVED this news, a forced vacation where I could stay at home and get things done.  However, this time it came when I am trying to save up my days (to stay home with the baby next year), and so being forced to use my accumulated sick/personal days was devastating to me because it meant that next year I'd have to pay myself, from our savings, to stay home.  I only had 16 days saved (now 14) because of our crappy year last year, and am going to get short term disability for 30 of my 60 days off  (it pays me 60% of my paycheck), so I would have only had to pay myself for about 6 days (since I would have had 24 at the end of the year, now only 22).  So, telling me that I had to stay home and use up my days freaked me out, especially since the woman at the district told me that I would probably be home for 21-28 days total, when there are only 27 days left of school!  I cried, called my mom and dad, cried some more, called DPS (they told me there was nothing they could do) and just felt crappy all night.  My dad really called it, the next day, when he said, "Allison, you know why you are really upset?  You're mad at yourself for not doing this sooner."  And he was right, I was mad at myself.  I don't make mistakes like this, I am NOT the teacher who is walked off campus for something so stupid (yep, people have been "walked off" in the past!) and I never fail to complete paperwork (or any work for that matter) on time.  I am on the most organized person I know, usually.  Who was I?  A forgetful pregnant lady, that's who.

When calling DPS on Thursday I spoke with a really nice woman named Ronnie on the phone.  She told me that if anyone could work miracles, it was her boss and to leave a message for her telling her my situation.  I did, and also sent an email to them, and called the district to see if there was anything they could do.  (I may have also cried on the phone to both of these women, because I am 7 months pregnant and because I felt so stupid and helpless and bad for leaving my kids like this.)  No one called me back and I was in a slump thinking I was going to be out for weeks, wasting all of my days off.  I really wallowed that night and Ian had to put up with me, bless his heart.

On Friday, I decided to feel better, it WAS a free vacation after all and I DID have the days to use (thank goodness) so my dad came over and we built the crib together.  I went to school in the morning, before anyone was there (I was a criminal after all) and left sub plans for Friday and Monday for my students.  I also called the woman at DPS again, left her another message and she called back in the morning, saying that she responded to my email and there was nothing she could do to expedite the process.  I told her that I heard she could work miracles and that I'm in need of a miracle and she told me she would spend a bit of time trying to find my card (my fingerprints were accepted and they were awaiting a response from state/federal before issuing me a card), but couldn't spend too much time on it.  I told her to do what she could and that I would appreciate it no matter what.  My dad ran some errands before coming over so this left me time to email our governor's office (whom I'm not really a fan of but she oversees DPS), our two senators (at Christine's advice) and to do some research on the Director of DPS, in case I needed to contact him eventually.  I thought about going down to DPS too, but wanted to give the woman some time to work on my case and not bother her too much.  My dad brought me lunch, we put the crib together (that he and my Aunt Susie bought for us!) and we even took back some 3 year old closet doors to Lowes (without a receipt) and I got a $99 credit for them!  We worked all day and then Ian came home and it was kind of fun hearing about his day after being at home without him (we work together so usually this happens throughout the day or in the car on the way home).



 (Just as we were done building it we both said, "I wish the mattress would have come today, then we could really see what it looks like."  Then all of a sudden, the doorbell rings and it's the mattress!  What luck!)

(On Friday night we went to 2nd Friday in Mesa to get some hand knit headbands, with detachable colored flowers, for the lemon.  And, since it was there, I HAD to get shaved ice!)


On Saturday I was in a much better mood, coming to terms with my fate, and my mom, Aunt Donna and Aunt Sonja came over to work on more house stuff with us.  My mom and I re-organized my bathroom, hanging up pictures that I took (of flowers/plants in our front and back yards), hanging up jewelry frames with screens inside to hang earrings and hanging necklace holders.  My Aunt Donna worked on repairing my Ikea dresser drawers, and cleaning our fridge, microwave and oven and Aunt Sonja and Ian made shelves in our hall closet for our weights and yoga mats.  Ian worked on finishing the baseboards in the baby's room and filling in holes in the new flooring.  We got so much done, and it was craziness with so many different projects, but afterwards I felt so free and organized - it was amazing!  I am so thankful to be surrounded by such awesome people, I truly am the luckiest girl to have such a wonderful family.  I just hope I can help the lemon one day when she's expecting a baby of her own, just like our families are helping us get ready for her.  :)




The weirdest thing also happened on Saturday.  At Lowes, my mom paid for our window molding and some other supplies we needed, and was looking for a penny in her change purse to give to the cashier.  She found something, not a penny but it was shaped like one, and it was this instead (below).  It was a sign to not give up hope, to keep praying and hoping, and to stay positive because something we were wishing for was going to happen.  A little mustard seed of faith, just for us.

(It reads:  "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain move from here to there and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.")

All weekend I told Ian, "I am going to be back at work on Tuesday.  This woman at DPS is going to make miracles happen and I am going to be back in time to start The Martian Chronicles (my favorite thing to teach) with my students on Tuesday."  We also have a shower planned for this Friday at school and I had to be back in time or we would have had to move it.  I really believed that I would be back at work yesterday and thought it all weekend.  Especially since the lady at district said weeks, our union person said weeks and a couple of other people were also really negative about it too; I wanted to prove to myself (and a little bit to them) that I could make it happen, despite it being my mistake.  I stayed positive and knew that something would happen, something had to work out.  I moved my mountain this week for sure, and never stopped working on this even though I was at home.

On Sunday morning Ian framed the window in the lemon's room and I washed and folded baby clothes, cleaned the kitchen, did laundry and cleaned our room and bathroom.  Then we celebrated my brother-in-law, Leith's, birthday with Ian's family and Ashley's (his wife's) family at their house.  My sister-in-law, Kelly, felt the lemon kick for the first time and Reggie, our nephew had fun running around the backyard.  We got home and were beat so we laid around until it was time for bed.  It was a lovely day, the sun was hot but there was a cool wind and we think it was the last nice day in Arizona this year, before the heat sets in.

Monday, since I knew I'd be home again (because all of the businesses I called don't work on the weekends), my Aunt Donna and step-dad Joe came over to help with more house stuff (it never ends!).  Aunt Donna and I took down our 5 shelf expedit Ikea bookcase (so I can get a 4 shelf one instead) and her and Joe loaded it up to bring to Christine's (she bought it as a room divider for her one bedroom condo).  Then we spackled and caulked the baseboards while Joe glued down some thresholds and drilled out some dowels and then all three of us worked on cleaning up and organizing the porch.  Aunt Donna also brought over the rocking chair that she glued, sanded and painted and attached a really cute note to, but I will save a picture of it for when we get the cushions!  I called the woman from DPS again in the morning, left a message, and heard back from the governor's and senators' offices (who all told me they couldn't help but would make an inquiry to DPS on my behalf).  After bringing the shelf to Christine I was worn out I had to nap on the couch until Ian got home from school  And, at around 4pm, as I was looking through my phone at some old voice mails, I saw a 000000 number who had left a voice mail at 12pm that afternoon . . .

It was the woman from DPS saying that she had my card and was mailing it out to me that day, so I had been CLEARED to return to work!!!  How did I miss her call, I had my phone on me all day?!  It was incredible and I immediately got up from the couch, rejuvenated, and we headed out to run some errands for the week.  It only took 16 days (they got my fingerprints on March 30th even though I did them weeks before) to get me cleared when other teachers have been out for weeks and are still out due to theirs still processing.  This lovely miracle worker made a miracle happen for me and I am so thankful for her.  I actually feel bad because this week she is probably going to get phone calls from the governor's office and the senators' offices on my behalf - ugh!  On Friday I think I'm going to have my students write "Thank You" cards and send them to her.  She deserves so much more but I don't want to get her into trouble in case she had to pull some secret strings or something.

I felt really guilty after I called the district Monday and told them I had been cleared to go back to school  The woman said that I must have "pulled on someone's heartstrings" to get this to happen so fast.  I felt bad for all of the other people who are waiting and who don't know when they will be able to return to work, who are using their sick days up for this too.  Isn't it strange that one minute you feel like the luckiest girl in the world and the next minute the guilt comes, thinking of all of those less fortunate?  As I was sitting in the bathroom Monday night (on one of my many pee trips) one of our light bulbs starting making a funny noise and then popped and went out.  It is one of those CFL bulbs so they usually last a long time and one hasn't gone out on us yet, so it was strange.  I felt like it was someone telling me, in the universe, that they worked a miracle for me and that I should be thankful.  Or maybe I wasted my miracle, and I may need another one later, and maybe I shouldn't have wasted it on this.  But that's silly to think, right? 

So the lemon and I headed back to school yesterday and the kids were so excited.  They were worried about me (imagine if I had been out for all 28 days!) and were happy I was back.  I told them it was a good lesson for them to learn; that if something happens, they have to be persistent and fight for what they want, they can't give up and just take what people say as the end-all-be-all.  I am happy also, to be back, and realize just how lucky I was to get back to school so fast.  Before this all happened I was feeling really down like I didn't want to be at work, like I'd rather be home doing baby stuff or house stuff and uncomfortable because I really don't have many work clothes I can still wear.  I was ready for summer and was through with the kids, the school and my job.  But, then this happened and smacked me in the face, and here I am again - excited to be at school, happy to be with my students and happy to be working and saving up more of my days.  Sometimes we need to be humbled, and this was definitely that experience for me.

It has been 7 months, little lemon, and we can't wait to meet you in July.  Time is going by so fast lately!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

27 Weeks & Easter Fun

Since I just posted a couple of days ago (I was late on my 26 Weeks post) I thought I would take some time to actually talk about this pregnancy.  I normally just post about what we are doing and a bit about how I'm feeling, but I always think of things afterwards and then wish I had written them.  Plus, if I am going to do this again, I'd like to have some tips/tricks/etc. to look back on!

So, here are some things I wish I had written about before (or maybe I did and just forgot - prenancy brain!).  At 25 weeks I woke up with a killer charlie horse.  I know this is normal in pregnancy but this one was the worst I have ever had, I actually woke Ian up writhing in pain in the middle of the night.  I asked my yoga teacher about it and she said that if you can flex your foot against something hard like the wall or your hand, when you feel one coming on, it will stop it before it starts.  Hard to think of in the middle of the night though!  But, I've tried it a few times and it has worked, I just have to remember not to point my toes in the middle of the night, that's what seems to start them!  I also have the craziest foot cramps at yoga and sometimes at home, just in the arch of my right foot.  It's so crazy that I have to stop whatever I'm doing and attend to it, it like freezes up.  For someone so flexible in the past, these cramps are so new to me!

Something that has saved me during this pregnancy is the Clarisonic Mia face cleanser.  The first time I was pregnant my skin was horrible so I made sure to get one of these before my 2nd pregnancy to see if it helped.  It totally did!  I use it once a day, in the morning, for a minute (until it shuts off on it's own) along with their Gentle Hydro Cleanser (summer) and Refining Skin Polish (winter).  I haven't had bad skin at all this time around, and I totally credit this little baby for helping me out!  Get one, it's worth it!

Food has been a total problem for me lately.  I am so sick of everything I eat, but it's good for me so I have to keep eating it.  I can't wait until after the baby when I can finally stand fish again and tuna and I will be best friends.  As you know, I can't eat gluten/wheat so for extra calories I've had to find things that were good for me and that didn't contain those.  It sucks when you can't just sit down and eat a bagel when you're hungry, and you actually have to find something remotely healthy to eat.  Every week we prepare our lunch on Sundays and I put together 5 little bags of smoothie ingredients for Ian to make me a smoothie every day at school (he has a blender in his Special Education class!).  The smoothie usually has strawberries, blueberries, spinach and Raw protein in it and I used to include greek yogurt but that made it too thick and yucky to drink all at once.  For lunch we eat corn, black beans, salsa, cheese, and olives mixed together (we call it "nachos without nachos") and I eat mine with half a bowl of brown rice (so I can get my whole grains).  Last year, before I was gluten free and pregnant, we used to sometimes eat our nacho dish, sometimes eat tuna with tomatoes and Italian dressing and sometimes eat burritos.  This year, since I can't eat any of that other stuff on a daily basis (and gf burritos are like $3.50 a burrito!) I am stuck with our nacho thing every single day.  I feel like if I have to eat it one more time I will DIE, but I have 5 whole weeks of school left, that's 30 more days of it!  

So, this is my problem, I'm bored of my food.  In the morning I eat a greek yogurt before school (THIS I am also SO sick of, I would die for a yummy Yoplait but it just doesn't have the protien!) and then a breakfast bar that we found at Costco that is just nuts and seeds (so gf) for a snack and then my smoothie before lunch.  At lunch, nachos without nachos with rice and then cottage cheese and fruit after school.  For dinner I've been craving a ot of meat so we've just been doing grass fed steaks and veggies on the grill or pork and veggies.  If I want to have something different, other than this stuff, I am stumped as to what to eat.  We don't really have anything else around the house, unless it's junk (and I could totally eat chips all day long!) and I am totally limited when I go out to eat.  So, when the OB told me I gained 7 pounds this last month, I was surprised (especially when she told this gf girl to lay off the carbs!) and just sad that I would be back on my boring boring routine of eating this next month.  But was I really surprised?  All I feel like eating, really, isn't food at all but a Hansen's Creamy Rootbeer and I have to admit I started drinking one a day when my limit was originally just one a day on the weekends.

So I am back to the rootbeer on weekends rule, and we have officially started walking the dogs in the morning (last week was just a trial run), we've actually gone two days in a row this week!  Tums are my favorite and I probably take like 4 throughout the day (heartburn is a killer).  My Snoogle and I are best friends, I sleep like a rock with it, seriously and it makes Ian so jelly (I gotta get him one!)  It is uncomfortable to lay on my back and even my sides are kind of uncomfortable unless I have something propped under my stomach; but that magic pillow makes everything better.  Sitting for long periods of time, like in the car or at my desk, hurts my butt (it's like it get sore) and I feel the need to get up and move around so that it doesn't ache or cramp anymore.  The doctor asked if my lower back hurt and it doesn't, yet, and I'm feeling pretty good physically although it is getting harder and harder to find clothes that fit.  All of my maternity stuff is boring or too small and I think it's about time to go shopping again.  I've been trying to make some of my regular stuff work, like t-shirt dresses for school, but they are creeping up in the front.  I have gift cards from Christine and my sister-in-law Kelly for a Pea in the Pod and I think I may need to spend them, it's time.  I hate to buy clothes for these last couple of months, especially since I'm just going to get bigger, but I'm running out of options.  Once school is out I will be fine, I could even lounge in a tank and undies, but since I'm still working I need stuff to dress up in.

Speaking of school, the kids are getting really excited for us.  They want to touch my belly all the time, some have even felt the baby girl move, and keep asking me when I'm due (they forget things easily).  My friends, Elise and Jody, are even throwing Ian and I a baby shower at work on the 20th, and I'm so excited!  We've been talking to the district lately about Ian's leave next year and have had to jump through some hoops we didn't expect.  I got all of my paperwork signed for my FMLA leave (I will be out 7/31 to 10/30) and we wanted Ian to be out from 10/31 to 12/14 so he could be home with the baby while I went back, but he isn't entitled to his FMLA leave because we both work for the same district (lame, I know!).  So, he has had to request personal leave instead, and with him being a Community Skills Special Education teacher, I'm not so sure they want him to be gone (he's hard to replace).  Plus, the district doesn't let you use your sick/personal days for personal leave, even if you have some saved up, it just goes unpaid.  So, we are trying to appeal to them to let him at least use his days, but aren't sure how it's going to go.  One thing we thought we weren't going to have to worry about but something that ended up being a pain!

This baby girl sure likes to wiggle!  She seems to be not only kicking but sliding her leg, foot, elbow, knee (who knows?!) all across my stomach.  I see what people mean when they say you get attached to them when they are inside of you, you totally do, it's like none other.  I will definitely miss feeling her wriggling around, it is so normal to me now.  (And when I first felt it, it freaked me out!  Man how things change!)  I cannot believe that this Saturday I will be 7 months pregnant and into my 3rd trimester.  I'm still trying to take this all in, one day at a time, one moment at a time, but we are getting there.  It seems like just yesterday I found out I was pregnant, but then again it seems like time has moved so slowly.  We still have so much to do around the house, and time is just ticking away.  It will all come together, I'm sure of it, but it does make me a bit anxious when I think of it.  My two showers (work and friends/fam) are coming up, our next appointment and ultrasound and then it's summer and baby is here.  So crazy.  I am treasuring every moment, truly I am, and still feel so happy and lucky to be experiencing all of it.

Last night, Ian must have had enough of me always saying, "Look babe can you see her?" or "Come here babe she's moving around like crazy!" because he gave me a demonstration of what I act like.  Except he was "pregnant" with Zipper and showed me how the lemon was going to eventually come out:

Alrighty, back to telling what we've been up to these past couple of days . . .

On Friday, Ian and I decided to go to the Botanical Gardens to see the butterfly exhibit and Christie, Christine and Espen wanted to come with us.  It was so much fun, I didn't want to leave the exhibit!  There were so many beautiful butterflies, and they all reminded me of my little blueberry, gliding by to say hello.  We tried to find the hummingbirds there too, because these always seem to come visit me when I'm outside too, but it was too hot and they weren't around.

(Ian and Espen found a big lizard!)

(I seriously LOVE this!)

(We got photo bombed by a 5 year old!)

(And, everyone on their phones at the end, uploading pics.  And Espen being a kitty!)

After the Botanical Gardens Christine and I met Jenny at the nail place for some badly needed pedicures (my toes looked like monster toes!).  Espen hung out with us and was SO GOOD the whole time we were there!  Ian and Einstein (the parrot) picked me up after and the rest of the night was spent watching a movie on the couch (and falling asleep at 9:30, I'm such a party animal!).

My Dad came back from his trip to Spain and I got to see him for the first time in a couple of weeks Saturday night.  Ian had a very late show to play, and I was sad I was going to miss it, but there's no way I could stay up super late and then wake up a couple of hours later to do Easter with the fam.  So, my Dad and I decided to do dinner at his house and he sent me this text in the morning:

I got over to his house and this was what he had ready for me, along with a menu posted.  He knew that for the first time, since I was little, I wasn't going to Easter brunch with my mom because I was now gluten free (and I told her it would be a waste of money to take me when I couldn't eat anything) so he made me Easter brunch - for dinner!  He is amazing, how does he think of these things?!  It was delicious and I had SO much fun pretending I was at brunch!

The next day we were off to Ian's parents' house to celebrate with my mom and Joe, Ian's parents and my sister-in-law, Ashley's parents.  We also did our annual Easter Egg Hunt but this year, since my nephew is now two, it was a little different.  (Different compared to the craziness of years past - check out my post from last year!)  Leith mixed up the eggs (some had cash, others candy and some were empty) and then threw them all over the ground and we raced to pick up as many as we could.  I got a lot of eggs (despite being pregnant and having to bend over quickly to get them) but mine were mostly empty or filled with candy.  Ian won $45, so did Leith and Ashley and Kelly won $5 each.  I am totally fine with the Easter Egg Hunt changing, and just letting the little guys do it from now on, because next year the lemon will be out there crawling around and picking up eggs too! 

Our parents took such good care of me at breakfast, making sure I had things to eat.  My mom made me my favorite jello dish and a gluten free coffee cake and Patty got me some super yummy gf cinnomon rolls from the Gluten Free Country Store in Gilbert (they were ah-mazing!).  Patty also gave us Easter baskets with a ton of stuff in them, including a super cute yellow dress for the lemon!  Ian's parents are always so sweet, such incredible hosts, and they take such good care of us.  I love them so much, they are truly like a third set of parents for me, a part of my family.

(My mother-in-law, Patty)

(My mom)
(Lining up!  It's a tradition.)

(Reggie ADORES his Uncle Ian!)

It was a lovely weekend spent with all of those we love.  Happy Easter everyone (even if you don't celebrate it and just do family stuff like us)!  It's almost Summer!!!