Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eviction Notice and a House Update

Unfortunately there's no baby news to report yet.  The ultrasound at 38 weeks showed that our baby girl was a normal size and doing well.  The large fundal height measurement might just be due to the way that I'm carrying this time around and the midwife said we can basically ignore it now that we know baby is fine.  This is a relief as I was starting to get really worried about how big she was going to be.  I even started having dreams that she came out as a 6-month old rather than a newborn...  Either way, she has completely consumed my abdominal space and when she's active I feel as though my entire body has been overtaken by an alien.

Up until the last few days I haven't been too anxious to have this pregnancy over with but I think I am officially "ready" now.  I'm 2 days from my due date and feeling a lot of cramps, contractions and back aches - which can tend to get my hopes up.  But when I looked back at my end-of-pregnancy days with the other kids - specifically Keziah and Silas - I realized that these "false labour" symptoms went on for days and even weeks before they were actually born.  In Keziah's case she had to be induced at 9 days over.  So, I could still incubate this baby for a while yet.  I always said in my mind that having a July baby was not a likely possibility and so I fully expect to see my due date of August 1st come and go... sigh.

(No this is not my belly, but I saw this picture online today and thought it seemed appropriate...)

So with no news on the baby front, I figured it was high time to give an update on the house project.  After the very visible changes that happened during the framing stages, things have felt like they've come to a bit of a standstill.  But a lot of the internal parts have been coming together: plumbing, hvac and electrical - all necessary before the drywalling process can begin.

The roof is now shingled and the windows and doors are in.  Temporary railings have been put up around the deck for some added safety.

Part of the process has been tying the old house into the new house.  We needed to have an indoor connecting point between the 2 living spaces so it meant moving around some walls to create a door and hallway.  Unfortunately I don't have any "before" pictures of this area but it really looks quite different.  The white door in the picture below is Mom & Dad's back door leading into the bottom of their new house.  Keziah is standing in the newly formed hallway, which is in the original house and used to be made up of closets and bathroom space before the walls were moved.  The doorway Keziah is standing beside leads into what will be our downstairs bathroom.  By the end of the the workday today Erik and his dad had put in a new door in this hall to separate old house from new house (or the "wood house" as Silas refers to it).

If you take a few more steps back you can see some new walls that Erik has framed in.  The laundry was previously set up kind of awkwardly with the washer out in the "foyer" and the dryer tucked away in a corner of the bathroom.  Now Erik has started to create an actual laundry room, which we'll be able to close off with a bi-fold door.

And here's the view from the other end of the hallway.  Keziah is stepping inside of a closet and the next door leads into the bathroom.

The next big change will be seeing the drywall go up in the new house.  But hopefully before all that happens we will have some baby news to report.  So stay tuned folks.  She's gotta come out eventually!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Just Call Me The Walking Water Balloon

I'm officially 38 weeks and in the "full-term, could-have-this-baby-at-anytime (but-probably-won't-for-awhile) phase"...

My biggest complaint at this late stage is definitely the water retention.  I thought my ankles were getting a little puffy a few weeks ago.  I remember sitting in the 30+ degree heat at the parade on Canada day and feeling like my feet were growing with each passing minute.  But it was nothing compared to the cankles that have developed since...

Let me tell you, until you've felt the tops of your feet jiggle when you walk, you haven't lived folks.

Last week (at 37 weeks) I had appointments with both my OB (to monitor my diabetes) and my midwife.  I've been a little concerned about the fact that I'm still packing on the pounds week to week and also the fact that I've been consistently measuring a week or 2 bigger than I really am.  It's frustrating when I know that I've been eating better than I ever have in pregnancy before and yet still growing "too fast".  I was starting to imagine the monstrous giant baby that I was going to have to push out...  Then, to make matters worse, both the OB and the midwife measured me at 41 weeks!  (That's a whole month bigger than I should've been at week 37 in case you need help doing the math...!)  In fact the OB was even hesitant to tell me the number because it was so shocking.  He didn't seem overly concerned about it since my blood sugar levels have been really good, so I was anxious to see what the midwife would say the next day.  After she measured me, she felt baby's position in my belly and told me that she didn't think baby was overly big.  But she said it felt like there was a lot of extra fluid in there, which would explain the uber-big belly.  The extra fluid is likely a by-product of the diabetes and it explains the crazy fluid retention in my feet and hands as well.  Yesterday I went back for my 38 week appointment and the measurement was 42.5.  It was enough growth in a week to warrant a late-pregnancy ultrasound, which I went for this morning.  Now I wait to hear the verdict from the midwife - depending on the size of the baby and the amount of fluid, there may be cause to induce early.

In the meantime she suggested a few natural remedies - raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose oil to help ripen the cervix and hopefully help me go into labour earlier than later, and dandelion root tea to help reduce water retention.  I have to drink multiple cups of both teas for them to be helpful, so I've created a concoction of tea and some sugar-free lemonade crystals.  When it's chilled it tastes pretty good - which is helpful since I'm trying to get through 2 pitchers per day.

As much as I would love to go into labour on my own, it's hard to keep to that resolve as you near the end and grow more and more uncomfortable.  And with measuring over 40 weeks I feel as though I'm already overdue and I can't imagine how much more my belly could grow if I go too far past my due date.  I think I'm officially ready for this pregnancy to be over.  And after seeing my big baby girl on the ultrasound this morning I am more excited than ever to meet her and hold her in my arms.  

Plus I'll be pretty pumped to get my ankles back.  

Just sayin.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


We don't have much going on by way of summer plans this year since our 2 big major projects (baby and house addition) have trumped everything else.  But when we got an invitation from James & Rosanna to spend a few days at James' family cabin in Oroville, Washington, we couldn't pass it up.

The cabin sits on a beautiful spot on Lake Osoyoos where the sun is always shining and the water is pleasant.  And with a trailer and a second smaller cabin on the property, there was plenty of sleeping space for the others in the Toews family as well as Rosanna's parents to all be there enjoying it together.  

(Silas & Keziah)

We arrived on the 4th of July and had a prime viewing location for some fantastic fireworks.  It reminded Erik, the kids, and I of our fireworks experiences on the lake at my parents' cabin in summers past.  The fireworks started before it was dark and kept going on and on and until we all decided we were too tired to watch anymore...

(Caleb, Micah & Keziah)

The number one activity and definite highlight for all the little cousins was Uncle James' famous tube rides.  Kudos to James for the many, many hours spent behind the wheel of that motor boat, keeping 4 eager little tubers quite content.

(Micah & Caleb)

(Silas & Keziah's turn)

Elissa & I watched nervously from the boat while our little ones bounced around like rag dolls on the back of that tube - we were waiting for the first spill, knowing it was inevitable.  And sure enough, one by one they all made it into the water over the course of the weekend.  Despite a few tears, they were all game to go back on - some of them even begging to be dumped again!

Uncle James had a system of how "spicy" the tube ride would be based on the number of jalapenos they requested.  After a few initial rides, the ideal number ended up being "Jalapeno 3" and the kids begged for it over and over and over again...

There were some though that requested less spicy rides.  Grandma & Grandpa took Emerson for a pretty tame ride.

Heck, they even convinced Elissa and I to get on that tube.  Our ride was probably jalapeno minus one and we still screamed like school girls the entire time.  It brought me back to all the reasons why I disliked boating adventures as a kid...

Thankfully the kids loved every minute of it.

(My blonde boys...)

On day 3, the kids got really brave.  After watching Daddy and Uncle Doug get up on the waterskis, they were begging to try them too.   

James had all sorts of contraptions for them to try out. Micah went first and had the most success.  He got up quickly holding onto this bar on the side of the boat.  

Next he tried getting up using this short rope attached to the bar. It proved to be a lot trickier - especially to keep those skis together...  

Next up was Keziah - she didn't have much success but gave it a good try!

And even Silas gave it a whirl - James gave him some special skis that were tied together.  He didn't get out of the water but I think he had fun trying :)

A few of them tried the knee board as well.  Keziah got going right away but when she stopped the knee board came up and bopped her pretty hard in the mouth.  She was done with it after that.  

(Silas getting warmed up with Grandpa after another tube ride.)

When we weren't on the boat, there were plenty of other things to keep us occupied... like entertaining 5-month-old cousin Sawyer.

Or paddle-boarding...

Auntie Elissa came up with a scavenger hunt one afternoon.

There was some great food to be enjoyed as well...

Waffles baked over a fire?  Yes please :)

Mmmm.  Bacon.

Baby Katie was a fan too...

And enjoyed being entertained by her big boy cousins.

Uncle Erik getting in some Sawyer time.  Hard to believe we'll be having another one of these little people in our family very soon...

Speaking of which...  At over 8 months pregnant, I took it pretty easy.  I could be found lounging on a lawn chair by the lake or - when I got too hot - lounging on an air mattress in the water.  I figured I should soak in these last few weeks of pregnancy where baby is nicely incubated inside and relatively easy to care for :)

All in all, we had a fantastic time.  The kids will have fond memories of our time in Oroville.

Thanks James & Rosanna for a great time!!