Week 23 Bump Update!

How far along? 23 weeks!  Of course this is referring to this past week :)
Total weight gain/measurements: Less than a pound gained last week, so still about 13-14 lbs. total.
Maternity clothes: I bought some while visiting my parents last week! Finally made it to Old Navy and bought my first every pair of maternity jeans. I think they are the greatest invention and so much more comfortable than trying to wear my regular jeans, especially in the car! I also bought of number of new shirts, none of which are truly maternity, but just have a lot more room, and all were on sale :)
Stretch marks? No.
Sleep: Getting better. Matthew keeps encouraging me to go to bed earlier! The first part of last week was not great getting over being sick and getting ready to go out of town, but I'm hoping to get more sleep now that things are settling down. Matthew will be out of town this week however, so that means it is only me contending with Dinah in the morning. He is usually so quick to get out of bed at 6 to change her diaper and set her up with a snack and a show so I can get a few more minutes rest.
Best moment this week: We had such a great visit to see my parents and sisters, but it is always a treat to come home and be back with Matthew after being away. So, it's a toss up between the two!
Miss anything? Not much - I love being pregnant! I have had the urge to go on a hard run or two lately, but don't actually have the desire or follow through because my body doesn't really enjoy it while pregnant :)
Movement: Yes, lots of it :)  One of my favorite parts of pregnancy!  I joke that he (or she) is tickling me, because I've felt these really soft little brushes on my left side. Pokes and jabs that are getting harder on my right side and even up into my ribs if I'm sitting in certain positions that give the baby less room.
Food cravings: Nope!  How boring...
Anything making you queasy or sick? Food doesn't excite me much these days, but nothing made me queasy or sick this week.
Gender: Don't know :)
Labour signs: Nope!
Symptoms: Too tired to think about this.
Belly button in or out? Out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy, unless exhausted.
Looking forward to: Having a baby!
My sister wanted to take pictures of me to advertise the shirts that she designed. So thanks to her, I have photos this week :)


22 Week Bump Update!

How far along? 22 weeks and 6 days! (so, yes, I sneaked this post in before hitting 23 tomorrow!)
Total weight gain/measurements: about a pound this week, so that make 13 lbs. total.
Maternity clothes: I have one pair of capris that are technically maternity. Other than that I've been making the old stuff work, especially a few pairs of shorts I bought just after Dinah's birth, so that have a little more room ;)
Stretch marks? None that I have found :)
Sleep: Not great. The nights I woke 2-3 times to use the restroom were the good nights! For about a week I was fighting some kind of infection which made my ear ache and lymph nodes sore, and took a toll on sleep. Then Matthew got sick and was up throwing up. Then two days later, I was up till 3 am throwing up! Last night I finally got a really good night's sleep! Ahhh :)
Best moment this week: Feeling more and more kicking. And finally, getting over sickness!
Miss anything? Being able to enjoy the sun and heat. It normally doesn't bother me at all. Now, I can stand it for a little while, but then it makes me feel a little nauseous.
Movement: More and more. Like I said, I really enjoy it because it's a constant reminder that the little guy is in there. It's easy to forget when things get busy!
Food cravings: I was craving sweets after I got over being sick.
Anything making you queasy or sick? Sometimes I feel a little queasy if I eat sweets after a meal. Also the extreme heat.
Gender: Still don't know :) I went for an appointment last week, but the doctor was out on a delivery. I rescheduled for this week, but then cancelled due to being sick. Next week I am out of town, so ... we'll see.
Labour signs: Nope! Oh, although I have started having the Braxton Hick's contractions. I started having them early with Dinah too, about 23 weeks. It's a good sign - makes for a healthy and toned uterus :)
Symptoms: My skin has been very itchy for a while now. I try and put lotion on a lot, but I think the slow stretching of the skin must override that! I've been nesting too. Cleaning and organizing and throwing a ton of things out, to make our tiny little space clean and enjoyable. I've done a ton of work and feel so much better already! This is funny because we probably won't even be living in this house once the baby is born!
Belly button in or out? Out.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Happy (except when sick!)
Looking forward to: Taking a trip next week to visit my parents and sisters, and also getting to meet with a doula while I am up there. Hopefully she will be able to give us other resources for birthing in that area!

*No pictures this week. I've been bad at remembering to do that!


Week 21 Bump Update!

I really wanted to get my updates started by 20 weeks since that was a good, round number, and exactly half way through the entire pregnancy. I'm currently 21 weeks and 4 days pregnant, but it has been a huge struggle to use internet, so I'm just glad to be getting something up!

How far along? 21 weeks
Total weight gain: I'm about 11-12 lbs. up from my normal, non-pregnancy weight, so that's what I'm counting. I'm 9-10 lbs. up from my actual weight at the start of pregnancy. I started this pregnancy already up 2 lbs. from my normal weight.
Maternity clothes? Some. I would be in them more if I owned more, but I'm waiting a few weeks to place an order. I can hardly wait!
Stretch marks? Nope. I use cocoa butter lotion a lot, but not just because of pregnancy. It is the same that I use normally. I had no stretch marks with my first pregnancy, so I'm hoping for the best!
Sleep: I still sleep comfortably on my back and side, and it's still comfortable. I get up a few times to use the bathroom, and at about 3:30 or 4:00 to let the cat out. A few nights recently, I've been up for about an hour around that time, just not being able to get back to sleep. Occasionally I'm quite nauseous when I wake, but usually too lazy to get up and eat something. Last night I finally got up and ate a banana, and that seemed to help.
Best moment this week: Feeling the baby move! Technically, the first time I felt it was closer to 2 weeks ago, but it was just one little poke, and I didn't feel much after that until this week. I've been feeling movement more and more. I love it! It is so reassuring to feel the little guy move around inside of me! I feel it most while eating, or just after eating. Especially if I eat something sweet.
Miss anything? Nothing that I can think of right now.
Movement: Many times it's like little bubbles popping inside my belly. The movements get stronger every day. A few days I have felt multiple pokes, and that's the best! I had Matthew put his hand on my belly last night so he could feel it for the first time too. He was out of town when I started feeling movement during my last pregnancy.
Anything making you queasy or sick: When I've been outside in the super hot temps. It's been much cooler and milder lately.
Gender: Don't know yet ;)
Labour signs: No!
Symptoms: Still a little nauseous at certain times. I'm tired, but not extremely so. I'll nap a couple of times a week. Last week I had a few days of upset stomach.
Belly button in or out? Out! Since about week 8!
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody most of the time: Most of the time, happy :)
Looking forward to: My 20 week appointment tomorrow! Although I guess it will be a 21 week appointment for me.

These photos were actually taken last Sunday, at 20 weeks, 2 days. I feel like the camera does not actually do justice to how big the bump is. I definitely think that I "popped" between weeks 19 and 20!


May I Have This Dance?

“lost dreams and forgotten pleasures,  
sold like a soul to a gluttonous world 
feeding on my frenzy and anxious activity.
but just when the old heap of bones seems most dry and deserted,
a strong Breath of Life stirs among my dead.
Someone named God comes to my fragments and asks, 
with twinkling eye: ‘May I have this dance?’
the Voice stretches into me, 
a stirring leaps in my heart, 
lifting up the bones of death."       
Joyce Rupp
(full devotional at Gail Burton Purath's, http://biblelovenotes.com)


Projects of Saturday

Since starting the Dinah blog,  I've been at a loss as to what to post here on the Juliette blog. I decided these "boring" pictures would fit the bill. By boring, I guess I mean not involving a small child  :-)

Matthew helped his cousin with a welding project today.
Can you tell what it will be?

Well, just imagine that the bottom is a cow and the top is a pig, because that's what we joked he could paint this like. (Because I think it looks like a pig standing on top of a cow, just in case that didn't make sense.)

"If you can find paint that can withstand 400 degree heat!" Daniel informs us.

Guess this smoker will remain plain-jane.

The progress of the seed cleaner is as follows.
I do not currently possess the knowledge to explain any of this to you.

Oh wait! The three rectangular shaped things in the middle, I believe, are 'length graders,' and is the part of the machine that will separate the seed by length. 

I worked on the garden.
Here's what we're looking like so far:

Broccoli and brussels sprouts. We made a border out of broken tiles.

Sherlyn Melon. Have bugs been eating it? There are a few bites and the leaves are turning yellow.

Lettuces and string beans.

Another melon. Same deal as the first.

Artistic shot trying to get the whole garden. You can see the carrots pretty clearly here - the wet line that was just watered!

Little herb garden outside the back door.

Thyme in the planter, oregano and a marigold on the ground.

The bamboo tree...my favorite color!


Date Bars Cockaigne

Yesterday, Matthew was using the computer.
At first, I thought about despairing.

I couldn't look up recipes!

But wait, I light-bulbed.  
I have cookbooks! REAL cookbooks.

So I made the trek to the kitchen, and flexed my muscles to pull down the mammoth, JOY of Cooking. I found my way aaaaaaall the way to the back of the book (man, this takes so much longer than Google...)

Index: A...B...C...D... dates!
These look right. Scan for ingredients.

Alright, lets go.

Gather ingredients:

I had everything but clover.
Not worth a run to the store.

Mix dry stuff:

Cream butter and sugar:

Add the rest of the wet stuff, dates, nuts, zest:

I tore open the dates, took out the seed, and lay them out flat. This made 'em easier to chop.

Baby is awake! So, I leave the kitchen like this:

We nurse, then set up the play station:

Back to baking.
Spread into the baking pan:

Can you see the baby foot to the left of the pan?? =D

Cookies bake...
We play!

We eat...carrots.

Beep! Beep! Beep! Done.

I'll be keeping my cookbooks.
They still work.

Only one question,
Cockaigne - what does it mean? I don't have a dictionary here.

I will Google it.


Fit for Mothering

We arrived back home Monday night after being on the road for about 3 months, off and on. I felt myself let out the longest sigh and tried to think back at where I'd been and what I'd done, but I couldn't wrap my head around it all quite yet. Knowing I will be here without too much travel until the end of the seed cleaning season is a huge relief. I know by now that this may not actually be what happens, but we have nothing in the works, and its good enough to know that I can unpack my bags, at least for a while!

The last time I really unpacked my bags was June 18th, a Friday night. Matthew had been working on the house for 6 months straight, and we finally moved enough furniture in to spend the night! My midwife, Sheila pushed to get our mattress moved into the house as she had been there since Wednesday with very little progress on my part ;) She was certain I had to be settled into my place before things would start moving. Things sure did get moving Saturday, and by Sunday night I had started into labor.

So yes, I like to be at home!

Don't get me wrong, I think there's a grace for all the traveling. I feel incredibly blessed to be able to stay together as a family and not be tied down by a job or regular commitments in one place. In fact, it is our commitments and obligations that allow us to be mobile and go where we are needed in a moments notice. And we end up getting some pretty amazing opportunities along the way.

When we were in Costa Rica a few years back, I remember praying that God would begin to "fit me for motherhood," whatever that meant. I think that traveling has been part of what he's used to do that...

Today, I went to dance class. We do ballet arm circle exercises with weights and I was amazed at how "easy" it was! For some reason, it really took me by surprise. The last time I did those exercises was four months ago or so. Back then, I had to use the low weight, and my arms and back hurt when I did them. Well, since that time I've gone from toting around a 7 or 8 lb baby to toting around a 17-18 lb baby (plus car-sear!) 

...In the same way, we've been traveling so much, that the last time Matthew got a phone call saying we "might" have to do a job in Kansas City, I said "Fine!" and started gathering my things before he was even off of the phone. We left town about 3 hours later and didn't get back for three weeks.

Sometimes I daydream about things I should get better at, as a wife/mother, you know, the yummy meals and felt projects displayed on Pinterest. And then Matthew calls and says he needs me make a transfer, research a credit line, pull down a cabinet, screw on an electrical cover. And I realize I've become a little bit more fit to be his wife than I was before. Though I have so far to go.

Since seed cleaning season ended last year, we have been to Manhattan (multiple times), Topeka, Kansas City, Arlington, Edmond, St. Louis, Seattle (Matt), Nashville (Matt), Louisport (Matt), and back home for a few days at a time. I am grateful for all the time with friends and family, and all the opportunities to grow our business, and to bless peoples' lives whenever possible.

Still, there is just something about being in your own home that can't be found anywhere else.

In Costa Rica, not yet fit :)

Briefly home at Christmastime

Took the cabinet down to rewire yesterday, took only 10 minutes. Matthew refuses to pose for pictures. 

Bananas for breakfast. First time in the high chair (which was mine). We are a mess, but we are home!