Friday, March 31, 2017

We are Rich

   I haven't been stressed about money since we did our taxes, but with it being that only $23 extra is being taken out out of his paychecks now (nowhere near the $200 I was dramatically estimating last month!), everything will be perfectly fine. I think a lot about how "rich" we are -it helps me be thankful- by being able to do things like getting a massage, going out to eat or stopping to get fast food, living in a beautiful four bedroom house. Obviously there are very many times that we do not have to stress or be worried about money. Michael and I are a lot alike when it comes to money. Last week he was stressed about spending on products (pants, boots, leather) for the Star Wars costume, but a couple days later asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. I think I have been in charge of our budget since summer 2013 when we needed the rest of our savings to last more efficiently during our remaining months living in California. (It's still pretty cool to say we lived "in" LA!) It makes me feel good when he says I'm good about budgeting, but he still has access to the credit card so I have to tell him when to pay that or tell me how much is on it. There is a Christian song quote by Francesca Battestelli that I really like, but don't think about it enough~ "In the middle of my little mess I forget how big I'm blessed." I need to paint that on a canvas. 

   Reasons to be GRATEFUL every second of every day~ we dont have cancer, full use of functional limbs, two working cars, a fancy new house, great full time jobs, can afford (a lot of) unnecessary stuff, go out to eat a lot, sponsor three poor kids/ families, we have our sight and hearing, two savings accounts..
   On Monday I sent Michael a text letting him know that Sasha is giving us too much baby practice. (First being how I have had to get up most nights since November to take her out.) After she had been outside for a little bit, I cupped my hands around her neck so she would give me a kiss. When she walked away I saw I had something on my hands- it was poop! Groooooss! I used at least six dog wipes and got it off of her neck and around her ears, then washed my hands a bunch and later gave her a bath after I found what was in the grass. Michael thinks it was probably from a possum? 

   Later that day while driving to pick up the enrollment package for daycare, I got emotional, mainly because the song "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman came on the radio. That's the song that I danced to with my dad at my wedding, and although Michael doesn't want us having to pay for Emma's wedding, he'll get to dance with her. Maybe it was a "growing up too fast" thing, or hormones, but I usually tear up every time I hear that song, and that's why I picked it as "our song" a year before the wedding. I ran a couple more errands because Sasha needed more flea medicine and then Michael needed me to pick up some FX products at Reynold's. When I got home I made a mini scrapbook to put Polaroid pictures in that we will take during the baby shower in a few weeks. Exciting times with a bunch of fun plans in April! 
   When we got home we had two big packages waiting for us that were sent off the registry from Michael's parents: Emma's stroller with car seat and high chair. We also bought the filtering baby tub at Buy Buy Baby on Wednesday. Michael put those items together while I "fed the baby" (AKA ate dinner). A few great things he has said lately is how lucky he is to have "his three girls" and how it was such a great a idea for "him" to decide that we should have a baby. He also watched our wedding rehearsal video at work- the one with baby pictures of us growing up with videos together while at Full Sail. He said one of the students had asked to see some of our wedding pictures but he only had the video on his laptop. 
   After a bunch of us at work got a free ten minute chair massage on our breaks by a therapist from a hospital last month, I booked a prenatal massage at Aveda and got that service done yesterday. It was soooo wonderful! (90 minutes for $45.) The student therapist, Shelby, told me she had not given a prenatal massage before, but had learned how to do one and I think she did a phenomenal job! Sadly at the end she told me that she graduates in two weeks. I stayed very comfortable with the two soft pillows they gave me as I laid on my left side most of the time in the "flamingo" position; how I have been sleeping the past month when I'm not on my back. She did a great job massaging my neck and shoulders while I was on my side and my favorite was probably the scalp massage (oh my goodness) while I was mostly on my back with a pillow to prop up my side and a roller bolster under my knees. A couple times Shelby's instructor peeked in and I heard her whispering things at the beginning about not touching my ankles because it could be a trigger point for early onset labor, and then something about my ovaries. Another time when I opened my eyes a second girl was sitting along the wall, shadowing so she could watch a prenatal massage and how I was supposed to be adjusted. It was a great experience and one I had put on my "pregnancy bucket list" since I worked at Massage Envy in 2014, but next time I get a regular massage I'd prefer the full force on my back and not have her worry about pressure points.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Side notes

As a bit of a continuation from the previous post ~ I would like to mention how my dress from Cotton On that I wore to the zoo (which I got at Plato's Closet for $10 because the mall stores are too expensive) is super comfortable. I am so glad I bought it even though I wasn't really in a shopping mood when I tried it on, but needed some "maternity" dresses since T-shirts and shorts are looking a little bummy on me right now with the bump. **Emma is 26 weeks +1 day today, the size of a butternut squash at an estimated 9.2 inches and weighing about 2 pounds now.

I have to admit that one more thing I look forward to about going places with Michael and Emma, is that we will take turns using the Canon so we both get to be in pictures (and a few family photos using the timer), rather than me rarely having pictures of myself at each event aside from a couple taken on phones. But I do really like these few pictures that my parents got:
Baby Turtle Face! (aka Helena Rey)
  What I've been eating lately: Chocolate carnation breakfast with vanilla wafers, or peanut butter on a raisin English muffin on my way to work. Less cereal than before, but I keep the pantry stocked with options, always having plain Cheerios on hand. I was eating a lot of bagels (plain, everything, oat) a few weeks ago, but am tired of those now.

   My stomach is getting bigger as our baby is continuing to grow. She is around two pounds now (making me 122) and maybe a smidge over 9 inches long. In this picture (below) "we" look huge, but that was after I ate spaghetti, garlic bread, and Oreo ice cream on Thursday. The picture under that shows how my stomach looked (tighter, full of just baby) the next morning. After that night I learned that in order for my stomach to not be uncomfortable and feel really stretched out all over, I have to eat less than I normally would and to stop once I get any hint of a full feeling. Also it's a good reminder to keep walking to keep myself healthy and so the weight I gain is all for Emma and not in my face or arms. On Friday morning I walked 2.5 miles with Jackie and then 3 miles with Alana in the afternoon. I didn't even need a nap in between! I squeaked by with 1.8 miles yesterday, but felt good doing so. While walking with Alana I said something that made me bust out laughing. She said, "Wow, that was a really big laugh. Did you just pee in your pants a little bit?" A fair question, but no. Luckily that hasn't happened (yet).

I was very excited to learn this morning that the girl at work in the "baby line" before me (Whitney) had her baby girl early Friday morning, four days before the due date. The baby was born at 3:54AM and she was at work the whole shift feeling fine on Thursday! One of the supervisors told us that Whitney had to have an emergency C-section, but she and baby Avery are both fine as of 3:54AM Friday so that's good. So I'm the next one to have my baby! 14 weeks/ 97-ish days to go. Unless the girl who is due one or two weeks after me (Valeska) happens to have her boy first. The "baby line" has been numbered since November when I announced that I was pregnant. Yesenia had her baby girl right before Christmas (and just returned to work two weeks ago). Priscilla had her baby boy about two weeks ago. Also Kaitlin (who switched from 911 to Records) and Andrea (a call taker who moved to New Jersey with her husband a couple months ago) are both due in August. 
   Some questions I thought of today that I would want to ask Whitney, but will save to ask myself in a few months: 

-- When will it get to the point that the kicks hurt? When will sleeping become less comfortable? Will I have back or leg pain? Will I get Braxton Hicks?

-- How sweaty will I be in May and June being even more pregnant? Am I sweaty all the time or only when I'm outside? Will my hands and feet swell up even when I'm not exercising? Will we have to turn the AC down inside?

-- After she is born how will the first week be? How tired will I be? Will I be crying a bunch because my hormones are out of control or will it be as easy as Jacquie makes it seem? And how much harder will the second week be after my mom leaves and I'm doing everything by myself until Michael gets home from work each day?

-- How easy will it be to motivate myself to exercise? Because I always hate how gross I feel when I lounge around the house and don't get outside or run errands. Don't forget: taking a shower & brushing my teeth works wonders! 
Snuggling while I filtered through all the zoo pictures on Saturday night.
   One question I can answer now that I had wondered before: What does it physically feel like to be pregnant? It didn't really feel like anything until I started feeling kicks at 19 weeks and 4 days. I sometimes said in the early months (especially since I barely ever even felt a twinge of sickness - sorry Lindsey) that I sometimes forgot I was pregnant and that made me sad. But I knew that I was and had the sonograms to prove it! It was a weird thing seeing the sonograms each time, like "Is that baby really inside of me? Is this still a dream? Is it our turn to be that lucky?" I think for me and Michael, once we could start feeling and seeing the little kicks, it was like, "Yeah we really are having a baby and it is alive and moving!". That's when I noticed he started getting more excited, talking about doing the registries and was fine looking at day cares after that point. It was no longer a "well let's just wait and make sure everything stays good". The kicks became the point of being officially good and safer with less worry, especially by the halfway mark. But right now with her getting bigger and my stomach stretching and really probably needing to wear my anti-stretch mark oil every day now, being pregnant feels like how it does after you eat at Olive Garden. (Not all the time, mostly now just after I eat too much. Definitely felt like this in the window reflection. But I imagine it will feel like this in most of June when I'm the "biggest"? Maybe even in May, or will it happen slowly enough that it's not uncomfortable too often? Another question I will have to follow up on.**) You save up your appetite so you can fill up on those warm bread sticks, salad, and soup. Maybe even an appetizer if we're splurging, and then keep the entree for lunch the next day. But that point where you tell yourself, "I should probably stop now or I might get sick." But then you still also feel sick and have to sleep it off because you feel more full 15 minutes after you're done eating and your brain finally realizes that you're done. Not counting the sick feeling, but the "wow I am really stretching my stomach out for this and should probably only eat celery tomorrow".. You know, in the best, most exciting and joyous way possible! =)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Jacksonville Zoo

   Yesterday I left at 10:30 to head to Jacksonville to meet my family at the zoo. I really enjoyed when we went to the Florida Aquarium in September and thought this may be a similarly fun experience. I was supposed to leave at 9:30, but then realized that I had left my keys in Michael's car the night before and he was out running errands with Brian. (They are working on their Benthic and Edrio costumes - characters from Rogue One - for the Star Wars Celebration convention next month. Fun fact: Michael and I went to that convention in August 2010.) Luckily, remembering a hilarious article I read the other day about "not caring so much"/ wasting energy about little unimportant things, I didn't let the time delay bother me and wrote thank you cards to people until Michael and Brian got home an hour later.

   I narrowed down the pictures from 448 to 181, and filtered once more to 124, then picked my 48(!) personal favorites to post. I quickly switched from the regular kit lens to the zoom lens since a lot of the animals were farther away and think it gave my pictures a bit of a National Geographic look with the depth of field.  
 ^^ The Giraffe Hyena as Daddy called it.
   The lunch we had at the zoo was super good, including a Cuban sandwich, which might be a "pregnancy craving" since I have been eating more than usual and pick that option anytime it is available. Something about the great bread, salty ham and pickles. I could go for one right now. ;) We also all shared a churro which I could have eaten five more of all by myself!
 ^^ Waving to Peyton on the carousel.
 She didn't like the goats or want to pet them. That's the closest she would get, and even clung to me the first minute because Zach and my mom were too close to the goat.
 She loved running into her grandpa's arms!
 Exploring the playground and being patient when all the bigger kids ran up the stairs past her, so she waited her turn.
   I always like spending time with Peyton because I want her to remember me and love hearing her call me "Raysh", but am also very interested in hearing her say new words and see how her communication has progressed. This time saying "yah yah" and clapping her hands for "yes" seemed like a new thing. And would say "bye bye" to a lot of the animals (giraffe, "turto"/ turtle, "drayon"/ dragon) and a whispered "pengmmm" for penguin as if she was embarrassed that she couldn't fully grasp that word yet.
 In the next updated grandparents photo, who will hold Emma? :o
 ^^ Doing the robot? =) She still likes being held a lot and kept reaching her arms out to us, but also seemed to enjoy running around freely this day. But not as freely as she may have liked.
  Also since I complained about the weather last week when it was abnormally cold for a few days, I should mention how glorious and perfect the weather was at the zoo. I'm not sure of the temperature, maybe 78-82, but we were able to stand in the shade a lot of the time. The park also had a water pad play area for kids.