Saturday, September 29, 2012

Math and spelling bee

C did the math and spelling bees at the county fairgrounds this morning and D did just the math bee.  We cruised by there for results before dinner and learned that D took second place in his age category in the math bee and C is invited back to the fairgrounds for the final round of the spelling bee next week.

As is customary locally, the kids were showered with loot for participating.  We got two fair passes for the kids, some parking passes, Starbursts, Snickers bars, drawstring backpacks, temporary tattoos, and all manner of free stuff.  This was all for just paying $3 for entry and showing up.  They also offer savings bonds for the math and spelling bee winners.  

A note from D

I've just been sorting and filing some papers from the beginning of school.  Here's D's note that was on his desk for parent education night:
Dear Mom and Dad, I have been haveing a great school year.  fank you for puting me in this school.  Love D

37 weeks

Here's some of what's happening:

  • I'm at 37 weeks (C was born right around this time, by the way).
  • Baby has dropped and is head down.  The sciatica seems to have lightened up, although I'm still sticking to a very light schedule of physical activity.    
  • Thanks to my gestational diabetes and previous history of delivering a 10+ pound baby, my OB has booked me an induction for very early 39 weeks.  I have rather less than two weeks to go.  
  • I'm supposed to have an ultrasound early this next week, mainly to determine probable size, followed by a chat with my obstetrician later that week whether I'm going to need a c-section. 
  • I'm 50% sure I won't make it to my scheduled induction (I've never gone all the way to 39 weeks before), but I'm actually really warming up to the date my doctor chose.  It's a school day, my husband's not teaching, I could take a taxi to the hospital before the kids leave for school and then my husband could join me after school drop-off and maybe we'd be all done before the end of the school day, with no need for babysitting help, I'd presumably have my very own doctor rather than potluck...It sounds really very civilized.  I like the idea a lot, but I'm trying not to get too attached to it.
  • Oh, and we went through some boxes of infant equipment and toys last night.  The vibrating bouncy seat that was so essential to D's comfort in early infancy has been unpacked, assembled, and filled with the appropriate number of batteries.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Last week at the doctor's office

Here's a bit of a conversation from my 36 week appointment with my OB.

Me:  I've been reading about [a particular complication]

OB:  Why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Late pickup

I seem to have developed sciatica (i.e. a pinched nerve) and my husband is taking on driving responsibilities.  He came later to pickup today than usual.  The kids were looking expectantly at him.  C said, "Has anything happened?  For instance 'waaaaaah'?"

Nope, not yet.    

Saturday, September 22, 2012

C's room

Surprisingly, we did do some work on C's room this afternoon.  With assistance from C, my husband straightened her small bookcase and I worked on organizing the sewing supplies, markers, pens, pencils, etc on the bottom shelf of her big bookcase.  Here's what remains to be organized in C's room:

  • the top of C's small bookcase
  • the top of C's dresser
  • two closets
There is probably two more sessions' worth of work left in C's room, although I may be being too optimistic, not having worked on the closets yet.    


Here's some of what's happening:

  • C had her first volleyball game Thursday.  The fifth grade girls still have trouble getting the ball over the net when serving, but they are getting very good at going for the ball and making contact with it.  As always, the kids loooove concessions.  
  • My husband and I ordered a play yard from Target late last night--we had a generous gift card from some friends.  My grandma has sent us a check to buy a new crib (we had one up until last year, but it was recalled for two different safety hazards).  Buying a new crib is the last major purchase we need to do, but it doesn't need to happen right away.  The plan is to squeeze the play yard (with bassinet and change table) into our bedroom and put the crib into my husband's office for when baby sleeps in longer stretches.  
  • D was home sick yesterday. 
  • C isn't feverish or anything, but her temperature is 99.1, she has a headache, and she seems a little off.  My husband has been feeling off and I don't feel that great myself.  We're skipping C's horse riding and the annual school picnic and I shelved my plan to work on C's room.  The kids are crushed by the cancellations, especially by not getting to go to the picnic.
  • My husband and D cleaned out the car and installed the car seat into our 2004 Ford Taurus.  It's going to be a bit of a squeeze with three kids in the back and my husband warns me that from now on, D will need our help being buckled in his booster seat.  I'm hoping, though, that when D sheds his booster seat in March 2013, he will be able to buckle himself in again.            

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Here's some of what's happening:

  • I managed to do my baby shower thank yous this morning, I disposed of all the packing materials, washed up all the cloth items (bibs, booties, tiny newborn mittens, embellished burp cloths, infant leg warmers) and stored some decorations from the shower and some of the more presentable gift bags for reuse.  C was blown away by the cuteness of the items.  
  • D is making excellent progress on reading the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of the Ancient World.  He is half-way through.  His 2nd grade class will be spending a lot of time on this material in history, with special attention to the Egyptians.    

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Here's some of what has been happening:

  • We had a new babysitter yesterday (a high school senior) and we collectively made some progress on C's room.  It is the last room to be officially unpacked.  We probably need a few more hours to finish the job.  
  • C started her therapeutic horseriding yesterday.  We were very lucky to snag a Saturday slot this time.
  • I just learned that my pregnancy buddy had her baby!  This is very exciting.  Just last weekend, she was helping to throw my shower.  That was a very near thing.  And speaking of near things, I'd better do my shower thank yous before it's too late.    
  • There was an adorable 1-year-old in the pew in front of us in church today.  C engaged with the baby and enjoyed interacting with her, but was at the same time squicked out by the drooliness of the baby.  C has been very pleased about our expanding family (patting my tummy at every opportunity), but of late, she has been thinking about the downside of the situation.  We have reassured the children that while toddlers can be difficult, their rooms will be provided with the best baby gates and latches we can manage.     
  • The kids' go bags and sleeping bags are packed and ready near the front door.  My hospital bag is still a work in progress, but as packed as possible right this minute (I'm waiting for a couple clothing items and I also have a last minute list--cell phone, charger, keys, wallet, etc.).
  • Our weather is suddenly cool and rainy.  It's 67 degrees right now and it's fantastic.
  • My husband took the kids roller skating this afternoon.
  • We got C a chemistry set a couple years back, but we are only now starting to use it.  (Once mixed with water, the chemicals have a short shelf life, so the clock is ticking.)  C's 5th grade class will be focusing on chemistry this year in science and she is suddenly very excited about working with the chemistry set.  Today, they were doing work with mixtures and solutions.
  • At bedtime tonight, the kids were watching Born Free.  C was initially not interested, but the adorable lion cubs won her over.   

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dead battery

Here's some of what's happening:

  • I had my baby shower (first ever!) on Sunday.  The hostesses were two female graduate students and a grad wife and the guests were ditto, with the exception of a non-philosophy affiliated mom friend.  There were pink balloons and pink and mauve paper roses as decorations (C had helped make some of the roses and claimed them all after the party) as well as bibs hung up on a clothesline on the wall.  There was a nut-crust cheese cake with fresh raspberries.  I had a slice of it and my blood sugar was fine.  Since we are mostly well-supplied with major baby equipment and clothes and our bibs had nearly all vaporized over the years, I had asked for bibs, and got lots of them, a couple of them handmade.  One of the next things I need to do is to thank all of the attendees and organizers.
  • Our car battery died this afternoon, just as I was trying to start the car to meet the kids at school.  I called school, they sent D to aftercare (C was in Spanish already) and I tried several different ways to contact my husband.  He was able to get a ride to school from a colleague to pick up the kids and then once home, he and the colleague jump-started our car.  We left immediately for Walmart (our battery was still under warranty) and a new battery seemed to do the job.  In our brutal climate, car batteries (or at least Walmart batteries) seem to last just over a year.              

Saturday, September 8, 2012


Here's some of what we've been doing:
  • We went to the grocery store and I bought a bunch of stuff for my hospital bag (crackers, nuts, tiny toiletry items, etc.).  My husband pulled out my suitcase for me and I have started to assemble my bag.  The kids have also had a go at putting together their go bags, but I will of course need to have a look at the contents.  (It is my understanding that the main item in C's bag is a large Hot Wheels set with tracks.)
  • My husband and I sent out our emails to prospective host families for the kids for when I go to the hospital.  We requested blackout dates, cell phone numbers, updated addresses, promised that the kids can work very hard and noted that when D was born, my labor took only 4 hours (but that past performance is no guarantee of future performance).  When all of the responses come in, we'll put together a calendar (a copy for me and my husband) with the name of each family available on each day, along with all vital phone and address information.  
  • We worked on C's room.  Her stuff has settled into drifts on the top of her dresser, bookcase, shelves, and practically all horizontal surfaces.  We need to sift her stuff, tidy up her room and finally get to the closets.  I get winded pretty fast, so the job requires C and both me and my husband.  It's probably been at least half a year (probably even longer) since C and I last did the job properly.     
  • We packed away some maternity stuff in storage.  I *sniff* am too big for the maternity jeans and pants that I wore when pregnant with C and D.  I'm hoping my current pants are up to the challenge of my expanding tummy--having to buy clothes just for the last 5.5 weeks would be aggravating.    
  • I freed up one shelf and two drawers for baby clothes, linens, diapers, etc.
  • My husband and I went through our storage boxes looking for 0-3 month infant clothes and baby linens.  There's a lot of stuff, but I'm not totally sure that the mix of sizes and seasons is appropriate.  However, our Texas weather changes so radically from day to day during the fall, winter and spring that we may well be able to use everything.  (The summer, on the other hand is totally predictable, except for thunderstorms--it's always hot and even hotter.)  The blue stuff is so cute that I am inclined to use it.
  • I started washing up everything.  
  • My baby shower is tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hospital Tour II

I'm totally wiped out.  I did a cruise through Kids R Us and Burlington Coat Factory with a friend and her 1-year-old, then went briefly to the playground with them.  In the afternoon, I got afterschool snacks for the kids, collected the kids, dropped them and the snack off with my husband, had a meeting at school, went to dinner at the cafeteria with the family, went to the first night of CCD at our parish with the kids, sat through the beginning-of-the-year meeting for CCD, we all returned home, we unloaded the groceries my husband bought while I went to the CCD meeting, the kids had bedtime snacks, C did some homework, and right now she's taking a bath.  Sometime later this evening (if evening is quite the right word), I need to launder PE clothes and uniform for D and my husband and I need to do a light tidying up for the cleaners who are coming early tomorrow morning.  So tired.

Oh, and what was I planning to tell you about in this second post on the hospital tour?  Well, while we were all touring the hospital last night, the nurse doing the tour was talking about how we can have our babies with us as much as we like!!!  Finally, one of the expectant mothers (I think a repeat customer) asked the question we were all thinking, but afraid to ask.  If we'd like the babies to go to the nursery, can they take them away?  Please?  The nurse replied that yes, indeed, at night, the nursery is chock-full of babies, and the staff understand perfectly well that mothers need to rest up before going home.  That was music to our ears.      

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hospital tour

After dinner tonight, we all four went to an evening maternity tour at our shiny new hospital.  It has a level III NICU, which is fantastic.  We saw triage, a labor and delivery suite, a mother-and-baby suite, and the nursery.  Most importantly, we learned where to check in and we learned that because of a change in the registration system, it would be advisable to re-register within 30 days of the expected due date.  C patted my tummy with great enthusiasm.    

Monday, September 3, 2012

Gestational diabetes

I've been managing gestational diabetes since the end of July, doing four blood glucose checks a day and getting pretty good numbers.  Here's what's worked for me:

  • I check my blood sugar when I get up in the morning.
  • I have one egg and a microscopic quantity of oatmeal with one packet Splenda just about every morning for breakfast.
  • I check my blood sugar two hours later and have a snack.  My snacks always have some carbohydrate, some protein and some fat:  Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, crackers and big glob of peanut butter, cheese and fruit, whole wheat mini bagel and walnuts, etc.  I eat a lot of nuts and I go through jars of unsweetened peanut butter very rapidly.     
  • For lunch I have a salad at home with baby spinach and chicken (my husband bakes chicken for me in large quantities).  I have been growing sprouts at home again, so I might add some combination of alfalfa sprouts, walnuts, sliced almonds, chunks of avocado and dressing.  
  • I check my blood sugar in two hours and have another snack.
  • Dinner is more varied (we generally eat at the cafeteria), but should be of a similar formula:  some meat and some green veggies and the tiniest suggestion of carbohydrates. 
  • I check my blood sugar two hours later and have a snack.  And then I probably have one more snack before bed.   
  • My doctor's office gave me some handouts.  The serving suggestions were very helpful.  The model menu, however, was super-carby and I think that if I had taken it literally, my glucose numbers would be absolutely terrible.  Their suggested breakfast (which I've been griping about to anybody who will listen) consists of a burrito made from a tortilla, egg and fried potatoes.   
  • I'm probably eating half as much as usual, and for carbohydrates, no more than a mini-bagel at once.  I always have at least a token amount of carbohydrate at each meal or snack and I always have a protein/fat item, too.  I've lost 5 pounds over the past month or so, which I find kind of freaky during the third trimester, but my doctor says it's OK.    
  • I was very pleased to discover that restaurant salads work just fine.  I can recommend Panera's avocado Cobb chicken salad and their Greek salad.  Rosa's Tortilla Factory's taco salad is also fine, if you skip the taco bowl, of course.     
  • I've also been happy to discover that no-sugar added Blue Bell ice cream, sugar-free jello, and no-sugar-added Starbucks Frappuccinos (from the grocery store) are also safe, in moderate quantities.    

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Here's some of what we did yesterday:

  • Got me a new phone.  I forget how long I've had the old one (my very first web-able phone), but it was based on some sort of Microsoft platform (or whatever the terminology is) and had started to get very unreliable and crash-y.  Given that we don't have a landline this year, that was unacceptable.  My new phone is a Samsung identical to my husband's new phone.
  • We got me Croc flip-flops for going to the hospital.  I figured I should have a pair of unwreckable shoes.
  • We tried to drop my Birks off at the shoe repair place, only to discover it closed at 1 PM on Saturday.  We will try again.   
  • We returned library books.
I'll eventually be writing a post about gestational diabetes.  I've been managing it for over a month now, and it's been a very educational experience.