Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nature

Today's plan was to stay home. I like to have at least one stay-at-home day each week, being a stay-at-home-mom and all... I awoke to a cranky toddler demanding a trip to the park. I wouldn't consider myself a nature "enthusiast" or anything, but I've spent my time camping, fishing, and just generally being outdoors. And have enjoyed most of it. Therefore, I encourage Jillian to be comfortable with spending time outside, and even want her to enjoy it. Which means when the weather is not unbearably hot, I try to honor requests to "play outside" or go to the "park".

So we dropped by the office in Clarksville so I could try and clear up some accounts receivable issues (big surprise there...) with the promise of a trip to the park afterward. We left the office around 11am and headed to the airport park. I wanted to be able to get a walk in somewhere relatively level and try to jiggle this baby loose before it got too hot. And the airport trail (at least where we park) is nice and flat. Upon arrival, here's another big surprise, the 39 week pregnant chick (me) had to pee. I spotted the port-a-potties, turned my nose up at that idea, and decided to see if I could hold it. Don't laugh; I hate port-a-potties. Especially in the summer. And with a toddler. *shudder*

We got about a half mile down the trail and got to a little pine tree grove-like area where Jillian likes to play and pick up pine cones. I learned something awesome today. What I learned, is that even at 39 weeks pregnant, I can still squat and pee behind a tree. And get back up. I laughed extra hard later thinking that Brenna and Emily1 and I were just talking about this very subject yesterday.

Anyhow, Jillian got to learn more about cicadas, as there was an abundance of cicada shells where we were. I couldn't get her to hold one long enough for a picture, but she didn't freak out about touching one either.

Then we found a bunch of different kinds of mushrooms. I wish I knew more about the types, but I don't, so I told her that we use a stick to touch them. Of course, that wasn't totally effective... But at least none made it to her mouth.



After our little nature experience and walk, Jilly got to play on the playground for a while, then we came home for lunch. Sandwiches and a little more of that awesome ice cream we picked up yesterday at the farmers market. It's amazing how much better she eats when bribed with "a little ice cream" after lunch!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Playdate and a Party

This morning we met up with Emily1, Brooks, Brenna, and Amedeo at the scrap tire playground. The kids had a great time running around, climbing, and generally being kids. Us moms had a nice time catching up. And yes, the picture in the upper, right-hand corner is one of Jillian jumping off the slide. This activity entertained her for quite some time...little daredevil!

Since we were already in Catonsville, Jilly and I stopped by the farmers market for some yummies. We picked up a cantaloupe and some goodies from Keyes Creamery out of Aberdeen, MD. And by goodies, I mean a block of smoked cheddar cheese and a pint of cookies 'n' cream ice cream. 'Cuz what pregnant chick doesn't love cheese and ice cream? Seriously. Awesome.

We came home for lunch, had some ice cream, and "napped". Meaning Jillian didn't nap at all, but did play quietly in her room for a while. Then we headed up to my mom's house to carpool to a surprise birthday party for my grandmother, who is turning 90 years old on Friday.

The ladies in her community planned and organized the party, and it was quite the event. We're so grateful that she's found such a nice community of people in her age group; they all seem very close.

Here are some pics of the party...

Dottie arriving with Helen to the party (Dottie is my grandmother, she is the one wearing the plaid shirt)

Dottie being surprised.

Dottie and my Uncle Doug.

Dottie's cake that one of the ladies made and Dottie cutting her cake. It was a very good cake.


Jillian feeding cake to my mom (her "NiNi"), and my mom feeding cake to Jillian.


Family picture time - four generations! The amazing thing about these pictures is that none of us look terrible in them. Really, our family is not known for having the best family pictures...
Pic#1: me, my Aunt Betsy, my mom, Jillian, Dottie
Pic#2: Jillian, me, my mom, Dottie


Jillian getting Dottie and one of her friends to swing her...

And last, but not least, a picture of Jillian actually smiling for the camera on purpose!

It's been a big day and hopefully Jilly and I will both sleep great tonight!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ahhh...Back to "Normal"

One of my favorite things to do when the weather is nice is walk. Not just to get some exercise, but frankly, I like being outdoors. And if I can get some exercise while being outdoors, that's a bonus. And Jillian likes to be outside. Since my first episode of bleeding this pregnancy (back at 20 weeks) I've been restricted from doing any form of exercise. And it's been a bit of a bummer for me. Luckily, since summer started in full swing, it's been SO FREAKIN' HOT I haven't really missed doing a lot of outdoor stuff. We woke up to an actual nice day today, and because I'm completely off restriction now, we went for a walk - hooray!!

We ventured over to the state park for a non-strenuous stroll. We drove up to our "usual" parking area only to find that the non-strenuous trail we like is closed for re-paving. BUMMER.

I like it because it is paved (bonus for a stroller) but closed to vehicle traffic (bigger bonus for having a toddler that doesn't want to stay in a stroller). Jillian likes it because it runs next to the railroad tracks, so not only do we get to go to the park, we often get to see a choo-choo while we're there. Plan B. We drove to the other side of the river and parked up by the swinging bridge and took the River Road Trail. Success. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the choo-choo, but we still got to hear it when it came through.

We walked from the swinging bridge up to Bloedes Dam and back.

I usually make Jillian stay in the stroller on the way to our destination, and then let her walk on the way back. She hasn't been really excited about me taking her picture lately.

But if you take enough pictures, you're bound to sneak a couple good shots!


We found a hill for Jillian to hike.


Coming down was a bit of a challenge.

But why go slow when you can run fast? She did the downhill run on this muddy little trail over and over. I swear we'd still be there if I didn't tell her it was time to go.

So that was our exciting morning out this week. We didn't get as long of a walk in, but I guess just over a mile and a half is a good start for not having gotten any exercise in months. I will say that I am SO looking forward to fall and the cooler weather it will bring. It does look like this week will be nicer than most we've had recently, so we're planning on at least one more outside adventure, but maybe more!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Howard County Fair 2010

With this ridiculously hot summer we've been experiencing, I had pretty well given up hope of taking Jillian to the HoCo Fair this year. Then I was awakened by some pretty nasty thunderstorms this morning (who am I kidding, I was already awake...grrr). I managed to fall back asleep, and when I got up around 9am, it wasn't already in the mid-80s! Actually, it was only about 70 degrees. So I figured, hey, it's $1 ride day, let's go to the fair.

And I'm very glad that we did. Jillian enjoyed herself tremendously, and I wasn't miserable. That's pretty much as win-win as it gets right now.

Since the rides didn't open until 1pm, we started out with a pony ride (which was a bit on the pricey side at $5, but she loves riding ponies and since she's too short to ride most of the other rides - more on that later - I splurged).

Then we headed off to the Kiddie Barn with a detour to see some sheep and cows. Jilly's favorite activity here was the cornbox (instead of sand). This was my unsuccessful attempt at trying to photograph her jumping into it.

We took a play break to color a pig.

Then we saw some real pigs. I feel like this just about every afternoon. And I only have one right now!!

Of course Jillian liked the tractors.

We ate.


We supported our favorite gubernatorial candidate (if you didn't know it was an election year, you would have known it by the time you left the fair).

I let Jillian play a couple games. She really likes playing the games better than actually getting the prizes...especially the ducks. This time, it was all about playing in the water.

We saw a lot of this today. Apparently there are NO rides at the fair that a child under 36" can ride alone. Bummer for Jillian. The bigger bummer is that she really wanted to ride the choo-choo and it didn't allow adults.

We rode the carousel twice instead.

Yes, we had a nice time at the fair, and hopefully Jillian will be 36" by next summer. I'm not totally optimistic; genetics are not working in her favor on this one!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Preg Update

It sure has been an interesting couple of days...

Sunday morning I woke up not feeling great. I spent some time working outside Saturday since it wasn't a miserable, hot day, and perhaps I overdid it. Perhaps my allergies acted up and triggered a major sinus attack. Whatever it was, I had a major tummy-bug-type-issue Sunday morning. Which of course led to me being dehydrated (I found out today I lost 2.5 pounds...). Which led to what? Contractions. And when I say contractions, I don't mean a couple. I mean hours of consistent, frequent contractions. After a few phone calls with the on-call doc, spending some quiet time with my timer (thank you contraction timer Droid app), packing a hospital bag, and calling my parents to come pick up Jillian just in case, they slowed in frequency in the evening and eventually tapered off by around 9/10pm. What a let down. I know it's still early, but my body has demonstrated an issue with going into labor unassisted. So after my initial "oh, crap!" feelings, I was starting to get a bit hopeful as the day progressed. No such luck.

I slept horribly Sunday night. As in, practically not at all. I couldn't get comfortable ANYWHERE, had tummy acid issues all night long, and eventually fell asleep in Jillian's bed which just happened to be firm enough with a nice fan blowing on it. Poor John couldn't even find me in the morning.

Monday I felt like I had hit a wall. If you've ever been this pregnant, you know THE WALL. The one where you rethink everything and are totally sure you won't be able to carry as long as you wanted to just two days ago. I walked through Target to pick up about ten things and even toddler-free it took me about an hour and a half. I was just brain dead, exhausted, and sore. I was totally ready to call it quits at 39 weeks and schedule a c-section.

Luckily, my doctor appointment didn't come around until today, and after a decent night's sleep, I felt 100% better. I still feel mega-pregnant and would like to go into labor sooner rather than later, but I don't feel as much like giving up yet. So the section is scheduled officially for 9/9/10 (41 weeks) at 2pm. And despite me thinking my body won't do this on its own, I had the doc check me today...and of course I'm not a bit dilated after all that contracting Sunday. Not surprising, though a bit disappointing.

So that's what's been going on in our world. Everything else is fine. Just wrapping up some baby stuff. Painted the nursery today. I'm going to try and finish washing baby clothes and putting together nursery furniture and the bassinet this week. Another good report from the doctor today with BP at 100/60, and they're not worried about the weight loss since the baby has been measuring fine and I'm fully hydrated again. They ran some additional blood tests (of course...they're a bit alarmist) because my last ultrasound showed a "slight" increase in amniotic fluid. All tests came back negative. Which is good. But I swear I feel like I'm on a roller coaster here; some days I feel like I just can't do it anymore and others I feel like September 9th is just around the corner. One thing I do know, though, is that I will be VERY happy to hold this baby girl in my arms finally, whenever and however she arrives, since this has been a bit of a bumpy ride!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ladies...I Need Some Advice

Guys, you can chime in too I guess, if there are any guys out there that read this, but it just seemed like a chick thing to me...

Background
Over the past year, my hair has gotten increasingly grayer (imagine that, having a two year old...). My favorite solution, highlighting to blend them in, no longer does the trick, and all over dyeing is what I've had to resort to. Of course, that leads to one of my least favorite things ever. Roots.

The Problem

My hair is growing like crazy right now, and my roots are positively driving me nuts. I know I need to re-dye. Herein lies the problem. I will be 36 weeks tomorrow. If I carry long and don't go into labor on my own, I'll have a c-section at 41 weeks...and I'll have roots again. Yuck. I'd rather not have a line of nasty gray roots for those first "baby and me" pictures. Silly, perhaps, but seriously, that moment is captured photographically forever. So here's what I need advice with...do I dye it tomorrow and feel better instantly and hope that I go into labor in the next couple weeks so my hair doesn't look horrible? Or do I avoid mirrors for the next week or two and wait to dye it so that it looks good closer to the final stretch, assuming I carry until 41 weeks?

Weigh in please - I need help!!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Back To School Fun

*Giveaway Closed*

Katrina, as comment #3, won the Seventh Generation gift pack!!

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm participating in a couple back-to-school giveaways this season. One of these great giveaways is for a Seventh Generation Back-To-School gift pack which includes: includes a Seventh Generation backpack, two canisters of Seventh Generation disinfecting wipes (one for home and one to donate to your child’s classroom), disinfecting multi-surface spray cleaner, facial tissue, and paper towels!


This school year, Seventh Generation is sharing tips from best-selling author and pediatrician, Dr. Alan Greene, to help parents protect their child’s health during back-to-school season. Dr. Greene suggests taking the following precautions:

Optimize the immune system

- Reap the benefits of probiotics like those found in yogurt. A recent study showed that children who received enough probiotics daily throughout the cold and flu season had a significant reduction in the number of illnesses they had and, when they did get sick, the symptoms were both milder and didn't last as long.

- Be sure your child is getting plenty of vitamin D from the sun, from food, or from a supplement.

- Build a strong foundation. Good food, good sleep, and good physical activity all help the immune system to flourish.

Be wise about reducing unnecessary exposure to harmful germs


- Teach children the key times to clean their hands in the classroom. The most important times include after sneezing, coughing or using the restroom, upon leaving "high-risk" places (recess, naptime, play stations) and before meals or snacks.

- Sixty percent of teachers surveyed said that they request that parents donate disinfecting wipes to the classroom. Seventh Generation’s disinfecting wipes kill 99.99% of germs* naturally using the active ingredient thyme, a component of thyme oil which is derived from the herb thyme.

- Stress the importance of not touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

- Demonstrate to your children how to cover their mouth and nose for every cough and sneeze. This simple maneuver has spectacular results in decreasing the spread of viruses and bacteria floating about the room, waiting to be inhaled.

*Refer to disinfecting product labels for full details

So far, I have loved all the Seventh Generation products I've tried. My favorite has been their dish soap, though I think these disinfecting wipes are going to become a diaper bag essential. I'll probably donate my second container of wipes to My Gym, since they always have some kind of wipes out for parents and kids.

To enter to win this Seventh Generation gift pack, leave me a comment telling me what your favorite tip is for keeping your kid(s) healthy and germ-free! For an additional entry, follow my blog, via feed reader, Google Friend Connect, FB Networked Blogs, etc. and leave me a separate comment telling me that you followed (or that you already follow me). Winner will be select by a random integer generator and notified by email. If your email is not set as public, please leave it in a comment for me or I may not be able to get in touch with you. Giveaway will close next Monday (August 9th) at 10pm EDT.

**Seventh Generation provided me with the free product, gift pack, and giveaway through MyBlogSpark**

Back To School Already?

*Giveaway Closed*

Yes folks, it appears that back to school for some is just around the corner. And while that isn't a huge deal around our house, since my daughter isn't of school age yet, I love taking advantage of back to school sales! And this year, I'm participating in a couple of back to school giveaways - so that's good for you awesome readers!

Sams Club and General Mills have teamed up to help your school earn more cash through General Mills Box Tops program. Head over to your local Sam’s Club from Aug. 11 through Aug. 31 and earn cash for your school. At the Sam’s Club Back-to-School event, you can get a head start on your collection and find 6 Box Tops on participating General Mills products. With your favorite Box Tops for Education brands at a great value, Sam’s Club is your one-stop destination for all your back-to-school supplies. To earn even more cash for your school, from Aug. 6 – Aug. 13, or while supplies last, visit the Member Services Desk of your local Sam’s Club and upon payment for your Plus Membership, you will receive a certificate for 150 Bonus Box Tops!


But here's the best part...MyBlogSpark and Sams Club are offering one of my readers a $25 gift card!

I think I'll be stocking up on some paper goods, you know, baggies, tissues, etc., mostly because that's what we need right now. And donating the box tops to my step-son's school. So readers, want to win that gift card? What are you planning on stocking up for at Sams Club during this back-to-school season?

Leaving a comment enters you to win the gift card! Following my blog via feed reader, Google Friend Connect, and/or FB Networked Blogs gets you an additional entry - just leave me a separate comment! Giveaway will close at 9pm EDT this Wednesday, August 4th, so get your entries in! A winner will be selected by a random integer generator and that person will be notified via email. Please leave me your email in a comment if you don't have it set as public, so that I can get in touch with you. Good luck and take a moment to check out my other giveaway!

**The Sam’s Club Plus Membership, gift card, information, and giveaway were all given to me by Sam’s Club and General Mills through MyBlogSpark**

Congratulations to the leaver of comment #4, Jen!!