enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Mar. 30th, 2009 12:19 pm)
I'm feeling much more ready to purge my closet than I was the last time I made the attempt. Last time I hung on to way too much, because I just wouldn't have had more than four everyday outfits if I'd given it all away, but I have to accept that I must buy new clothes that fit me!

I'm going to get rid of everything that doesn't fit within one size, up or down, of my current post-pregnancy body; maternity clothes will go in to the attic for three or four years and if I don't get pregnant (or have not yet begun further fertility treatments) within that time, then they can go to the Goodwill (or a needy pregnant woman), too.

I'm happy to report I can actually jam my wedding ring on to my finger, although I can't yet wear both rings again. Progress!

Post-Op Update )
enduringplum: (Gush)
( Sep. 24th, 2008 01:34 pm)
Here are a few of the pictures my mom took, including one during which I was just waiting to dilate further; at the time I was probably dilated to seven or eight centimeters, which is what is considered the "transitional" phase of most labors, but which was basically painless for me aside from some building pressure in my hips and lower back, which was caused by Miranda moving down the birth canal.

Pictures Behind the Cut )
I was a complete emotional wreck last night, although I didn't become totally overwhelmed until Carl forgot to get me a chocolate milk shake when he went to Burger King. I try to recognize when I'm being unreasonable and I didn't do any yelling or throw a tantrum; instead I refused to eat and sobbed on the sofa for thirty minutes, then again for thirty minutes in the shower, after which I proceeded to mope pathetically on the sofa until about two in the morning. I told Carl I wasn't really upset with him, but it's difficult to accept what someone says when their actions seem to say the complete opposite, so I apologized to him this morning when I was finally feeling better.

Thanks to my mom the house is looking really great! She has given us the awesome gift of hiring Rick to work around the house for a week! He's already finished painting our baby's room, priming the bathroom, and he's gotten started painting the kitchen this morning. Yesterday installed a bathroom cabinet above the toilet for us and a medicine cabinet, which has been a huge improvement to our storage space. He also finished mowing and weed-eating our lawn (Carl was mowing it this weekend, but it began raining), so now it just needs to be edged to look as nice as our neighbors' yards. My mom has also been helping me sort through things to give away, put away, or throw away, as well as just general cleaning, because I can only be on my feet for a few minutes at a time before they begin to swell badly; she still makes me crazy when she'll get fixated on a small task I'd rather handle myself, but I do immensely appreciate all the help she's been giving me and also her overall (mostly) helpful and positive attitude.

My mom was sure I'd have the baby last night, on the full moon, but instead my feet, knees, and hands just swelled up a lot and I made myself and Carl miserable. My joints are still sore and I'm still sensitive, but overall I feel much better today.

I have an appointment with Esther tomorrow afternoon, so I'll get to see if my body is making any more useful progress toward labor. I've definitely still been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions, but I haven't felt any more "real" contractions of which I'm aware, so I have no idea when I should expect to deliver.
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enduringplum: (Gush)
( Sep. 10th, 2008 11:20 pm)
Pre-Labor Progress )

I bought the newborn stroller and carseat system today after going out for a softshell crab lunch with my mom. Our lunch at R&O's was fantastically good and it satiated the insane softshell crab craving I've been having - now I don't have to keep fantasizing about them! In fact, the softshell crab at R&O's was even better than I imagined they would be.

There's still so much to do around here to prepare for our baby's arrival that I'm feeling a little crazy, but all the important stuff has been accomplished since I bought the carseat today.
Tags:
My mom came with me to my appointment with Cathy this morning, then we went shoe shopping for a little while. Because my feet are so swollen, I was reluctant to buy anything, but I did buy a pair of super-squishy, bright orange, sort-of platform flip-flops that feel good on my fat feet and on my back and hips; it's also nice to have another pair of shoes to wear aside from the pair of plastic thongs I'd stolen from my mom.

Today's Appointment/Possible TMI )

I'm thrilled to see that we probably won't need to evacuate! This also means that we'll actually be able to celebrate Triple_Phoenix's birthday and I won't have to worry so much about having this baby away from home.
Tags:
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Aug. 25th, 2008 11:59 am)
The shower went well, thanks entirely to my lovely helpers: Triple_Phoenix, Miss Stacie (Triple_Phoenix's mom), Jodi, and my mom and dad. The only thing that could have improved the shower would have been if it wasn't hot as Hades, but that's August in New Orleans, after all; it was great to be able to get off my feet and in the pool after most of the shower guests had gone!

I was impressed that everyone brought some food or drinks! I expected it from the older guests, but honestly not from our friends who are our own age, but I'm glad I was surprised; we would have run out of beer and soft drinks early if they hadn't brought anything, so I'm especially glad that they all planned ahead and demonstrated their good manners.

We got a lot of wonderful gifts and all I was hoping for was that people would show up, because it was most important to me and Carl that our friends and extended family just come to celebrate with us. It was very touching, too, because all the gifts seemed to have had a lot of thought put in to them. The most adorable gifts were definitely the hand knit baby sweater and socks from Jodi and the hand knit baby hat from Jenae (please correct me on the spelling of her name if you know it, because that's just my best guess), but there wasn't a single gift we received that I don't love and know we can use; I'll have to post pictures of the knit gifts later, because they're just too cute. Linda and Joe Nelson bought us a book that is basically an idiot's guide to Baby's first year, which we should certainly get a lot of use out of - I feel that we need all the instruction we can get!

Speaking of instruction, Carl and I also completed our birthing class this weekend. The instructor covered a lot of material, but focused mainly on the different stages of labor and coping strategies that may help during each stage. She also spent a lot of time working on getting the men/partners to understand how to connect with their women during labor. Of course not all of the information she provided will apply to us, but I think that some of the exercises we did certainly helped us to connect on a deeper level on which we usually only "meet" during sex and Carl feels better now that he has a clearer idea of what to expect during each stage of labor, both physiologically and emotionally, from me and from himself. He also didn't even flinch when we watched a video that included the delivery of the placenta, so I think he'll do well with any blood he might see during our baby's birth, which was something I had been concerned about before; he doesn't have a problem with other body fluids, but seeing blood - spilled or being drawn - just gets to him.

I enjoyed hearing about her experiences working as a doula in local hospitals, including Touro, which is where we plan to deliver under Esther's care. Apparently New Orleans' hospitals are still very set in their ways when it comes to taking the newborn to the nursery for testing, rather than performing the tests in the labor-deliver-recovery room or in the postpartum room; I would much rather not be separated from my new baby just a few hours after birth, so we may have to struggle with the nursing staff over that, but hopefully Esther and Cathy (the other midwife at her new practice) will be able to help us gain leverage on that.

I need to sit down to write some "thank you" notes now, then I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store before the rain picks up again; Faye doesn't seem to have much steam left, however, so I'm not really worried.
enduringplum: (Blush)
( Aug. 22nd, 2008 04:58 pm)
I've been blissfully doing laundry since last night, thanks to Mischa and Carl! Mischa muscled the washer and dryer in and out of their closet and helped Carl connect all the vents and tubes. There are no leaks and the washer and dryer both work beautifully and are actually much nicer than I anticipated; I'm very happy with my Frigidaire stackables!

My mom and I did some running around together today in the hot, hot sun, mainly to pick up food for the shower tomorrow. We got some snacks, meats to grill, and bottled water; hopefully some other people will actually bring other things to contribute, since it is potluck, and I know that at least Triple_Phoenix will be bringing some soft drinks, Jodi will bring something (because she's a good Catholic girl with good, Southern manners), and Cathy is planning to bring some paper goods and home made cookies.

There's so much still to do around the house before tomorrow that I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed, which my mom's visit didn't help (even when she's being nice, she's extremely judgemental and will repeatedly offer unhelpful, unconstructive criticism), although she is coming over later this evening with my dad to help with some things. I haven't been able to vacuum the pool because of how much my feet and knees have been swelling up (standing for long periods seems to be the main problem), so my dad is going to take care of that while Carl mows the lawn, then assemble the grill my mom bought us today. I'm trying to get everything that is still out-of-place (or which doesn't have a place) organized, so that hopefully all my helpers will have to do tomorrow is sweep, mop, clean windows, set up the cooler and grill, and sequester the ferrets and cats in our bedroom.

Carl and I won't be here to help out with the last-minute preparations tomorrow because we've got our childbirth class, to which I'm looking forward. I'm thanking god that he won't have to vacuum the pool in addition to everything else he's doing (at the last minute, admittedly) tonight, because otherwise I think he'd be too worn out to pay attention tomorrow! The ferrets' cage also needs a good scrubbing, because the house is somewhat funky because of it, but that's another thing Carl will have to do, since ferrets have the potential to carry toxoplasmosis.

I sent Conrad home with my mom after she dropped me off and we unpacked the groceries. Hopefully he won't think he's been abandoned; he was perfectly happy to go with her (and kept jumping in the open trunk), but after a few hours he may begin to get panicky and whiny, needy thing that he is.

I have at least gotten a good start on getting things more in order for the party, as a large portion of our mess was our unorganized, mixed-up dirty and clean laundry, and I also got the crib bedding washed and put on the crib, so that's out of the way. What I really want right now is to get off my feet, a nap, and someone to take care of all this crap for me.
Tags:
enduringplum: (Default)
( Aug. 20th, 2008 09:57 pm)
It's great to have my own computer back. Funnily enough, a former co-worker from Borders was the one to repair my computer. He returned fairly recently from two years in Japan, which is where he also got married! I always liked him personally, but found him irritating to work with, but I'm sure plenty of people felt the same way about me, too, and he seems like he's in a job that actually interests him now and which he can enjoy, unlike the bookstore job in retail hell where we met in the first place. I'm not going back to retail unless our circumstances become desperate; I think I would go in to fast food service first and definitely try waitressing before that, despite my questionable ability to balance a tray!

My feet have become very swollen over the last couple of days, probably because I've been so busy. Now that my gallbladder doesn't feel like it's killing me I can't sleep and have to get things done around the house! It must be the "nesting" urge kicking in that everyone talks about.

Our washer and dryer were delivered yesterday, but the cords and vent tube are too short to be installed in our closet, so I have to stop by the hardware store to get longer versions. Mischa has agreed to help Carl muscle the stacked washer and dryer in and out of the closet tomorrow night, so Carl can get behind them and connect everything; even with longer hoses, Carl's the only person slim enough to squeeze in and out of that space.

I will be practically beside myself once I can do laundry without leaving the house!
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Aug. 19th, 2008 08:39 am)
My mom is arriving in New Orleans this evening, after having spent the summer performing her music at the Ascona jazz fest and at a cabaret in Berlin. I know the cabaret was stressful for her, because it's been years since she's done a production that required costume changes, line memorization, and so many new songs, some of which were not at all a part of their genre, but I'm sure she also had a good time. From what she's said in her e-mails, it looks like The Pfister Sisters will be spending next summer in Europe, too, and she says she plans to enjoy it more.

Everyone's Dragon*Con plans are going ahead!... without me. I really can't complain, but the kid in me still really wishes I could go this year. Hopefully everyone will have an extremely nerdy, fun time while I enjoy the peace and quiet of home.

Our baby shower/barbecue/pool party is going ahead for this weekend, or at least that's the idea. There's still a lot of stuff that needs to be done. I don't think Carl's looked in to getting a keg and I really don't have time, so I'll have to remind him or delegate the task to someone else; I don't think we'll actually need it, though, because very few people have RSVP'd. Actually, I have no idea how many people are coming, so it could be a big group with not enough food or a small group with plenty of leftovers - or it could be perfect! Whatever happens, we'll just grill some burgers, I'll make some chocolate pie, and it'll be fine.

Carl and I also have a childbirth class to attend, led by a local doula recommended highly by my midwife. It was the last possible class available before my due date, so there's no way we can miss it; Carl and I both need a better idea of what to expect in general, how to cope, and what to expect from each other. Even if the delivery turns out completely differently from every one of our preconceived notions, at least we'll be going in to the event with some feeling of preparedness.
I brought my MacBook in to be repaired, but it probably won't be looked at for a few days. I told them to call me to give me a time estimate before they begin working on it, because their hourly rate is ninety-nine dollars, so I obviously can't afford ten hours of work; frankly, even three hours of work will be difficult enough for us to manage right now, especially when we also have to cover the cost of any replacement parts. From now on I'll always buy the extended warranty on any Mac or other laptop I buy - argh! PC desktops are easy enough to fix with the help of my friends or dad. Hopefully the problem with my Mac is just the back light, but according to Misch it could be the LCD, the motherboard, or both. :/

My gallbladder has been much, much better for the past week (although I'm having a bad flare up at the moment), so much so that I've been able to function almost totally normally! It's been nice, because I've been able to get things done around the house (although no heavy lifting) and out and about. I saw the surgeon again a few days ago and he said that as long as there's not another period of extended, severe pain or any fever, I should just get in touch with him six weeks after I deliver; however, if my pain subsides totally after I deliver, then I probably won't contact him unless I have another pain flare later, because I would prefer to completely avoid surgery and there's a slim chance that I won't experience any more trouble from it unless I get pregnant again.

Our washer and dryer are supposed to be delivered and installed tomorrow, which I'm very excited about: it will be so much more convenient to be able to do laundry at home, rather than having to haul it to either my parents' house or the nearby laundromat, then wait there until it's done; however, all that waiting on the laundry did allow me to get a lot of knitting done, so it wasn't all bad.

I finally got in contact with a local WIC office. After calling all the different numbers I found online and in the phone book for the last several months, I finally found an accurate number with staff who answer the phone today, although I had to call a homeless shelter to get that information; the New Orleans government really doesn't make it easy to find the assistance that is supposed to be so readily available to their low income citizens. Today I drove all over town trying to find two WIC office locations that supposedly opened after the hurricane, but which simply don't exist anymore: one address is an empty lot on Tulane Avenue and the other is an empty, boarded-up building. Someone from the office I managed to reach by phone should call me back with an appointment time no later than Monday, but I won't be holding my breath. At least my determination finally put me in touch with someone at a WIC office, which is a step in the right direction!

Birth Plans, Et Cetera )
enduringplum: (Babydoll)
( Aug. 3rd, 2008 11:14 pm)
Well, the surgeon's verdict is that I need my gallbladder removed, but he's unwilling to risk pre-term labor by performing surgery, although the risk of that is relatively low. I have to see him every week now to re-evaluate my gallbladder's condition, because it's so inflamed that he is concerned that it could make me very ill very suddenly, but he still thinks it's best to wait to remove it.

It hurts constantly and there's very little I can do to get any relief from it. When the burning pain is the biggest problem an ice pack helps a little, but usually I have intense stabbing pains through my upper right abdomen to my back, just below my right shoulder blade. Movement and pressure make the pain worse, so I'm pretty much out of commission and spend most of my time trying to lay very still. I'm used to dealing with chronic pain, but I rarely have to deal with such intense pain sustained over so long a period of time; usually I have pain that hangs around at a low to mid intensity with flare-ups of intense pain that last a day or two, but this is much worse simply because it never stops and it's totally unpredictable. My abdomen also itches constantly over my gallbladder, which seems like a ridiculous complaint at this point, but it bothers me. I think I've finally hit disgruntled.

I was prescribed Tylenol 3 with codein for the pain, but pain pills always just make me throw up and then immediately fall asleep, so I've only taken one so far; I'm also hesitant to expose my baby to an opiate in the womb, although I'm not sure how much would cross the placenta. I couldn't find any useful information for gallbladder pain relief online, because surgery is the recommended treatment. Unfortunately my gallbladder doesn't seem to respond to changes in my diet, because it hurts just as much after every meal, regardless of how unseasoned and low in fat the food was.

I'm extremely unhappy and irritable because of this, but I am pleased that there's no problem with my pregnancy, but just a problem with me that is due to the pregnancy; I'd much rather have it that way.

Carl has been wonderful through all of this. He's been doing all the cleaning and looking after the animals, he's fixed me meals, run to the store for me a hundred times, and taken me to my surgical consultation, all without once complaining.


She couldn't give me an official diagnosis, of course, but the ultrasound technician did see a number of gallstones in my gallbladder. Fortunately, I don't have an infection, but there's always the chance that one can develop the longer I have stones in there. I haven't spoken to my doctor yet, so I have no idea what sort of treatment he'll recommend; I want to do what is best in the long run and safest for my pregnancy, which may mean an open-style surgical removal of my gallbladder, but I'll just have to see what my doctor recommends. Honestly, it's just good to know that what's been causing my pain and dizziness isn't a bigger problem.
enduringplum: (Come Hither Gaze)
»

>:(

( Jul. 27th, 2008 09:23 pm)
Apparently my computer is broken in some bizarre way that Mischa can't properly diagnose. The screen won't come on, but the monitor display also won't display on another monitor when the computer is hooked up to one. However, my machine is apparently still working, because Mischa was able to eject my Sims 2 disc from the disc drive and transfer music from my iTunes to his own computer. Mischa thinks it may be the motherboard, which doesn't make me any happier than if the LCD needed to be replaced, which it may. I'm going to call a local computer repair shop tomorrow to get their rates, then bring it in if I'm able.

I might not be able to bring it, however, because I've been having horrible pain in the upper right portion of my abdomen all weekend. I'm used to dealing with chronic pain, but this has been so bad that I haven't been able to function. It's especially bad about a half an hour after I eat anything, so it may very well be my gallbladder, as Esther suggested when I first complained about it a couple months ago. I eat a very low fat diet under normal circumstances and that hasn't changed since I became pregnant, but apparently enough has changed in my body to cause a problem.

It could also be the pain of my abdominal muscles splitting, but it's not in quite the right place and I haven't heard that pain described as intense or persistent as this has been. Whatever it is, I'm calling Esther about it in the morning, because I've very nearly reached my limit with it and nothing I've been doing is able to relieve the pain when it's at its most intense.

I'm not feeling particularly perky, but things could be worse, so I can't complain too much about the few problems I have to handle. I have to be honest, because overall my life is very good; I always have Viva Pinata to play when I have to stay stationary and there's always a kitty nearby to cuddle.


Exciting Gallbladder Update )
enduringplum: (Babydoll)
( Jul. 21st, 2008 11:33 am)
We met tiny, baby Jude yesterday, but we didn't stay long at JP and Catherine's place. Both of them looked pretty exhausted after their first night at home with Jude, but fortunately Catherine's mom and sister were there to help out. Jude looks just like a miniature JP, but he has reddish-brown hair and blue eyes; his mom has blue eyes and JP has pretty light eyes, too, so they may stay blue.

Afterwards we went over to Jodi and Germaine's place for a late lunch and then games. I only stayed for Cthulhu 500, because it was too hot and Carl was ready to go, anyway. I liked Cthulhu 500 and would like to actually play through an entire game, because I felt like I had just souped up my car the right way when we stopped playing!

Today I'm twenty-nine weeks pregnant and, other than feeling tired and somewhat sore, everything is going well. I think my second round of morning sickness is fading, because not everything seems disgusting to me anymore. I have an appointment with Esther on Wednesday and in a couple more weeks I should have another appointment with an ultrasound.

I think I'm going to cast on for the Ulysses the Unicorn dishcloth today!
enduringplum: (Blush)
( Jul. 14th, 2008 01:28 pm)
I went to a childbirth education/yoga class yesterday at Wild Lotus. Both the yoga instructors who took us through the routine during the second part of the class were personable and well-educated, although I do think they should have made it clearer that none of the women should push themselves to the point of discomfort, as a couple of the women in the group seemed to have a lot of trouble with some of the postures.

The doula who conducted the first half of the class, which focused on the process of labor and the various positions that may make labor easier, quicker, or more comfortable, also made a good impression and has even worked with Esther, my midwife. She had brought a hand knit model of a uterus, complete with cervix and a representation of the amniotic sac, but I didn't get a chance to ask who had made it for her.

I enjoyed both portions of the class, but I would have liked it if they would have discussed possible interventions in greater detail, why they might be necessary, and how we can respond when they are offered both out-of-necessity and unnecessarily. The doula did hand out a lot of pamphlets on that topic and others, but I think would be more beneficial to discuss it in class and then read up on it at home later.

I discussed the student class rate with one of the instructors after our class had wrapped up and they offered me the student discount, so I think I'll sign up for regular pre-natal yoga classes with them; I'm not sure what position helped, but the tightness and pain beneath my right shoulder blade loosened up completely sometime during our yoga routine. There were a couple positions I couldn't ease in to completely, because of my enlarged left ovary, but overall it was a great routine for me.

The only thing around the house I've felt really motivated to do since I got back is cook. I've been eating great and bringing food to my dad, too, so it's actually working out well. When I'm not cooking, I've been thinking about cooking or baking. Tonight it's black eyed peas, brown rice, fresh kale, and corn-on-the-cob. Tomorrow I'm making chicken soup with escarole and, if I get crazy, I'll make biscuits, too (but hoe cakes are way easier). I made some tasty peanut butter cookies a few days ago, but they don't keep very well.
Pregnancy Chatter )

I finished the bib I was making for JP's baby (a boy who is due in August) and I'm preparing to begin a matching dishcloth/spit rag/washcloth to go with it, because I have plenty of yarn left over. I think it's very cute and I hope they'll like it.

I'm making good progress on the new bib I'm making, but I'm making it bigger than the pattern instructs, because it just seems like it would be too short to be useful at just three-and-a-half inches long. I like the pattern and the Garn Studios yarn is beautiful. I want to put a crochet edging on it with some of the pretty, red yarn Six_Bells_Chime sent me, so I'll have to dig up my copy of Beginner's Knitting or see if any of the Stitchin' Bitches can show me the technique. I'm going to have more than a ball and a half of this yarn left over, so I may also attempt to get some baby socks and a hat done before my due date.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Jul. 3rd, 2008 08:53 am)
It's always very sad to say "farvel" to Bedstemor and I always look forward to my next visit, but I am glad to be home and to have had a good night's sleep in my own bed, beside my husband, with my dog on the floor beside me.

After a long, annoying flight (kid who would not stop drumming/kicking the back of my seat and whose mom could not say "no" to him more than twice; each time he would whine for something the third time, she would give it to him) and the airline losing my baggage, I'm home! I'm waiting for them to deliver my baggage to me, but fortunately I had put some of my clean laundry in my dad's suitcase (to help him cushion a big bottle of mead), so I'm not without underwear.

I'm still exhausted and sore today, so I'm just going to take it easy and maybe do some light cleaning around the house. The swelling in my feet went away, but I had some terrible Charley Horses in each calf last night and my calves are still sore from them this morning.

The house looks mostly great! It just needs a good sweeping, a bit of a dusting, and the counter tops need to be cleaned; I already shined my sink this morning! The yard looks incredible because Carl paid some guys to mow it who happened to already be working in the neighborhood, but they also weed whacked and edged everything.

During breakfast I took care of all the bills and mail that had built up while I was gone, since Carl's not much of a house wife and didn't open any of it. :)

Happily, the pool is still blue! All I'll need to do to it is add more water, slightly adjust the chemicals, clean the filter basket, and backwash the pump.

Conrad, of course, was thrilled beyond belief to see me and, according to Carl, is now able to relax for the first time since Carl got back. The cats are cats, but a couple of them seem to have noticed that I was gone. The ferrets are always happy to see anyone who seems likely to let them out for play time.

Our baby was moving very vigorously last night when I finally got a chance to lay down for the first time since I woke up at four in the morning in Denmark (their time), so Carl finally got to really see how active our baby can be; he seemed sufficiently impressed and amazed. I have an appointment with Esther for ten-forty-five on Tuesday; if anyone would like to join me for some mi doson at the Doson Noodle House afterward, let me know and we can try to make arrangements.
Freezer Meals, Prepared Meals, and Staples )

I think about food almost constantly on any normal day, but I think my list-making is developing in to some form of "nesting."

I've done a good job of lowering our food bill by making cheaper meals and making them in bigger batches, but the cost of fruit is still way too high. I've never had any success growing strawberries (they have either rotted due to too much moisture, been devoured by "potato" bugs, or I have let them dry out too much between waterings), but growing blueberries sounds a lot easier and we get so much sun in our front yard that I think I'll order two or three blueberry bushes when I get home, then have Carl stick them in the ground by our front window and the office windows; I know I need at least two for cross-pollination, but they don't need to be of the same variety, so I think I'll get all different types, which should create some fun (or possibly terrible, but that's part of the fun) hybrids over time.

I want to plant some citrus trees, too, but Carl's right when he says we'll never get to harvest them ourselves if we don't fence in the entire front yard, so we'll probably do just that. I know I want at least a Meyer lemon tree, a tangerine tree, and a grapefruit tree; I prefer tangerines to oranges because they're easier to peel. I'm considering trying to grow a fig tree from cuttings of my mother's big fig tree, which was grown from cuttings of one of her grandmother's fig trees, but the only place to plant it would be on the side of the house, right on the street. That probably won't be a problem, because when they eventually do produce figs, this variety makes more than any one family can possibly eat; in fact when I get home, I'll probably have plenty of figs to harvest and freeze from my mom's tree, because it's just about the right moment of summer!

I have the perfect spot in our backyard to plant banana trees: right between the small drive way and the pool patio. They would be completely surrounded by cement on all sides, so they won't be able to spread all over our yard, turning it in to a jungle. I won't plant any shell ginger or bamboo in the ground, however, no matter how thick the concrete may be, because I've seen how both those plants grow in our subtropical climate and there's just no stopping them: my mom's shell ginger was never even planted, she just leaned it up against a patio railing and it took root right on top of the cement, never to be moved again; now it's taller than a one story house and at least eight feet wide and five feet deep, despite freezes, hurricanes, and our best attempts at murdering it.

I'll never grow apples, the climate just isn't right for them, but I know I can get easy citrus, figs, and bananas. I'd like to grow pecans, too, but I don't have nearly enough space for two full grown pecan trees on our little lot. I bet I could also grow a mango tree somewhere around our pool, so I'll have to start trying to sprout mango seeds whenever I buy an especially tasty fruit.

I've gotten several of Bedstemor's elder tree (hyldeblomst in Danish) recipes since I've been here and I'll be excited to try them out when I get home. There should still be plenty of blossoms on the trees all over our neighborhood when I get back, so I can make the elder flower tea right away. I also got a couple recipes for the berries, although Bedstemor has never tried those herself: one is for an elder berry drink of some sort and the other is an apple and elder berry marmalade; the apples are no doubt included because elder berries are so awful-tasting on their own (yes, I was one of those children who would just eat berries off of any old bush).
I started having frequent Braxton-Hicks contractions yesterday after eating crawfish with my mom and dad; they were delicious, but extremely salty, so I think I dehydrated myself and dehydration can apparently contribute to Braxton-Hicks contractions. They went away when I laid down to go to sleep last night, but when I started doing stuff (making pancakes, actually) around the house again this morning, the contractions started again, so I'm going to hang out in bed and drink a lot of water, and if they haven't diminished either totally or mostly by this evening, I'm going to call my midwife to let her know. I'm not freaking out, because Braxton-Hicks contractions occur throughout pregnancy, but it's not normal to notice as many as I've been noticing. I'm also reassured because Karen, one of the women who sometimes sings with my mom's group and who happens to have seven children, said she's had frequent Braxton-Hicks after eating salty crawfish, as well, which is reassuring, and that I should just keep doing what I'm doing until they go away.

I've got plenty to read, so laying on my left side and drinking water shouldn't get too boring and it couldn't possibly be as maddening as strict bed rest (I have deep respect for women who spend weeks or even months on strict bed rest!).

I was so nervous about the Braxton-Hicks last night that I had dream after dream that there was something wrong with the pregnancy, which had me feeling stressed out as soon as I woke up. I feel a little better about it now, but I always feel off balance and just out-of-sorts when I wake up feeling disturbed.

Reminder: tomorrow is my dad's birthday!
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enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( May. 25th, 2008 07:56 pm)
I didn't have time to do any quilting this week, which was extremely irritating, but I just got caught up with everything else... you know how it goes. I did make it to my knitting group, however, and I'm looking forward to going this Wednesday, even if I just continue knitting my zigzag scarf; the meringue yarnis fun to work with.

I had started a baby blanket, but I can't find it since moving; I hadn't completed much of it at all, but it's still on the circular needles, which I really do want to find.

I also can't find my beginner's knitting book, which I want to find because I'd love to make a simple baby sweater or cardigan. I found a pattern on Ravelry that looks pretty simple, but I don't know how to make things like button holes, so I'd love to have the book handy to guide me through those techniques. There's no telling where it is at this point, though. It may be packed in a box somewhere, forgotten somewhere in our former closet at my parent's house, or buried in a stack of books in our office.

I would also like to knit some baby socks, but I think I'll need some devoted instruction from someone knowledgeable about socks. I could be worrying about it too much, but socks just seem tricky. Baby socks might be a project Bedstemor and I can work on while I'm in Denmark for a few weeks; a quilt isn't exactly an easy project to travel with, after all.

I know it's okay to fly in the U.S. with knitting needles, but I'm not so sure what the regulations are like abroad. If anyone has any idea or can point to a website where I can find out more, I would really appreciate it; I can't sleep on those long, international flights, so it would be wonderful to be able to knit while everyone else snores.

Baby Clothes )

Now I've got to put away the baby clothes I've sorted through, freeze my leftover red beans and sausage, and clean out the 'frige; there's a mysterious and slightly funky odor the origin of which I haven't been able to determine, so all the drawers and shelves are going to get a good washing down.
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