Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WEEK 13



How Far Along: 13 Weeks & 3 days.

I Am Feeling: With this weather warming up, I am feeling pretty good, and enjoying our walks. There has been days when I don't feel as great, and it is usually because I am tired. Nothing that sleep can't fix. I'm so glad to be able to get my feet back in the water with my sewing projects. I had to stop for a while there due to morning sickness, fatigue, and wanting to sleep all of the time. Because my blood pressure is once again low with this pregnancy, I do battle with dizziness, fatigue, and have to take it easy sometimes. Thankfully, I'm nearly out of icky first trimester, and am starting to get my motivation back! Just one more week until I am in second trimester! 

Weekly Growth Milestone: My uterus is about the size of a grapefruit. I definitely can vouch that I feel like I have a grapefruit inside me, especially after eating a meal. Jellybean is the size of a small peach! Jellybean is working on the vocal cords for the day when he/she is born, and we'll all hear his/her first cry. Currently, Jellybean is slowly being covered in a fine layer of hair, and "waterproof" skin sealant to protect the skin from being too soggy, and wrinkled from floating in water all of the time. Jellybean's brain is mapping all the network connections, which means the muscles all over the body is being coordinated, and Jellybean is able to move freely with brain's signals to the body. 

Movement: Sometimes I think I feel Jellybean moving. Sometimes, I'm not as sure, and think it could be just my abdominal muscle twitching. I definitely can tell the difference from the gas, and those little twitches, but I can't determine if the twitches is Jellybean, or my muscles expanding. 

Cravings: The biggest thing lately is cheese. I can't seem to get enough of cheese. Along with cheese, it's still the same old stuff; sweet food, and pineapple juice. I try not to overdo it with pineapple juice, because I am not sure if it's wives's tales that drinking pineapple juice can bring on contractions. Better be safe than sorry. I find that I am eating cheese quesadilla with cherry Greek yogurt as a side dish for lunch everyday, and I absolutely love it. Yum. There is not a strong craving, aside from cheese, that I've been experiencing so far with this pregnancy. 

Aversions: I am still iffy with Oscar hot dogs being fried up. I'm okay with it being microwaved, and giving it to Forrest as an occasional lunch meal. There is not much that I find that I turn my nose up to. I still have no strong desire for meat. 

What I Miss the Most: Coffee. I know I can drink a bit of coffee while pregnant, however, I've pretty much sworn off strong form of caffeine for my pregnancy. I did the same for Forrest when I was pregnant with him. I find that I feel a lot better with less caffeine in my system, and it is also better for the baby. 


Best Moments of the Week: Long daily morning walks with Forrest, and Turkey. Wishing Aunt Ro a very happy birthday! Grilling. Visiting our friends. Forrest enjoying his brand-new plastic pool that I picked up on a whim (10 dollars for the win, by the way)! Seeing my friends yesterday, especially one of my wonderful friends, who is slowly getting better from battling her breast cancer. Yay for hair growing in, right, friend? :) 


Looking Forward To: My cousin Beth's wedding in Illinois, and seeing non-immediate family members again! Road-tripping. I love to road-trip, even if it's through Chicago, and traffic is insane down there. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

WEEK 12




How far along: 12 Weeks & 2 Days.

I am feeling: I am not as fatigued as I was in the first two, and half months. I still feel tired, but at least I'm not going to bed by 7:30 pm, and be out by 8 pm! Well, there still has some nights when I am out by 8:30 pm...yay, a half hour later than usual! It has been a huge struggle with morning sickness with this pregnancy. Fortunately for someone who is a bit phobic of vomiting, I have not thrown up *knocks on the wood*. It's a lot more to do with a lot of gagging sensation in the back of my throat, which is alleviated by sucking on lifesaver candy...it is literally a lifesaver, get it? Ha ha. I'm being a dork. Anyway! Nausea is  hard to deal with, because it feels like I have a flu hanging over my whole body non-stop all day, and all night until I am fast asleep. A good thing is that I am finally seeing the light at end of tunnel. The nausea is starting to fade away. I still do have my tough days, and at least, it's starting NOT to be an everyday thing. Heartburn is other tough thing. It's bad with this pregnancy if I eat too much spicy food, and it makes this mama sad, because I love spicy food. I either have two options: carry tums by my side all of the time if I want to eat something spicier than usual, or stick to bland food. I suppose Jellybean isn't a fan of spicy food. Lastly, I am pretty glad that the bloating has gone away, and feeling like I'm back to semi-normal! 


Weekly Growth Milestone: Jellybean is as big as a plum. This week, Jellybean can suck its thumb, wiggle, and dance around. It is also evidenced by our recent ultrasound; Jellybean is a mover, which is very much unlike Forrest when I was pregnant with him, however, Jellybean is still too little to be felt on a frequent basis. Also, week 12 to week 18 is a critical period of brain development for Jellybean! 

Movement: While Jellybean is still too small to be felt all of the time, I can feel the flutters, and the best I can describe it as is as if it is a butterfly flying around inside your gently closed hands. It is a pretty cool feeling to be able to feel Jellybean this early. Of course, I have to really, really, really concentrate, and catch this at the right time. Otherwise, I don't feel Jellybean.  

Gender: Stu, and I have decided that we DO NOT want to find out the sex of this baby until birth. There is a few things left when you are an adult that genuinely takes you by surprise. Not finding out the sex of the baby, then going into labor is like the morning of Christmas, and waiting to open your gifts. The anticipation will be so much fun! We already have a lot of stuff for this baby from when we had Forrest, and only need to buy few things. So we are basically set for either a boy, or a girl...well, if Jellybean turns to be a girl, then I will go clothes shopping a lot! If Jellybean is a boy, then I am all set with clothes, and Forrest will have a little brother to play with! We aren't hoping for one gender, and will be happy with either a boy, or a girl. 


What I miss the most: With Forrest, I craved so badly for deli meat, sausage hot sticks, and cured meat that cannot be consumed with a pregnancy. However, with Jellybean, I don't have much desire for meat. It leaves pretty  much everything open for me to eat. I suppose I do miss eating spicy food without getting a heartburn! I also miss coffee. I've given up on coffee, and haven't gone back to it since I've gotten pregnant. 

Cravings: Pineapple juice. It's so sweet, and yummy! I notice that I've loving sweet food with Jellybean. I try to limit how much I eat of sweets, because I don't want to develop gestational diabetes. However, I find that I like fruits that are sweet, and well, bad junk sweet food like nutella, chocolate, cupcakes, and all that. On top of this, like Forrest, I am craving for cheese again. I think it has to do a lot with me not drinking cow milk, and my body wants more calcium in my system for the baby.

Aversions: The smell of olive oil, or vegetable oil frying. It makes me sick to my stomach. It is exactly the same issue I had with Forrest. I also can't stand the smell of Oscar Hotdogs cooking, or frying. I've officially banned it from the household. Sorry boys! While I do eat meat with not much issue, I don't find that I am gravitated to meat as much as I did with Forrest.

Best moment of the week: Stu graduating from Marian College with a degree in administration, and getting a second-tier interview with Waupun high school for a possible job position. Awesome for him!

Looking forward to: Memorial Day. Warmer weather. It appears like it should be warming up this week, and *STAYING* warm for a change. Going for walks with Forrest, and Turkey with the weather becoming warmer. Summer is just around the corner!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Here We Go...Round #2!

When Stu, and I started trying for our second; our jellybean didn't come to us as quickly as Forrest had. With Forrest, he was conceived almost right off the bat when I went off my birth control, and he was a HUGE surprise, mainly because of the timing. Since Forrest had come to us rather quickly, we figured that the second should come to us with no qualms, and how wrong we were. We skipped a couple months here, and there to avoid from being so heavily pregnant, or delivering around the weddings (there was no way I was missing ANY of the weddings for my BFF, and siblings this summer). 

Months came, and went by with no baby. It was hard to deal with, because Forrest happened quickly, and this baby was not happening as quick. Fortunately for my wonderful TTC (trying to conceive) support groups, I was able to learn a lot about tracking ovulation, timing, and changes throughout the month. It was a work! It was when I really started understanding fertility issues among my friends, who were struggling to conceive, and it opened my eyes to their struggles. It had helped me to gain some understanding, and to spread awareness for those who were struggling with fertility. It made me appreciative of having Forrest, and of the strength found in those men, and women who were facing infertility of any kind. That definitely made me pause a bit whether I should do my second pregnancy saga publicly through my blog, and Facebook, because I didn't want to impose more struggle for them. With a blessing, and understanding from several of people, I have decided to go ahead with this anyway, and with more sensitivity along with understanding this time around with my posts.

By the 6th month, I began to worry that there was something wrong with us, and it was not fun worrying. I went through several tests. At first, it looked like I had a thyroid condition, since the first test came back terrible, and fortunately, the repeated tests showed that everything was okay. Then there was a few other tests that were taken only to show that everything was good. My doctor told us to keep trying for another 6 months before we worry. Easier said than done. Despite all of this, I told Stu that I had a strong inkling that March was going to be our month. It was a strong gut feeling that I've had the whole time, and I was kind of repressing that, out of fear, that I was going to end up disappointed that it didn't come true. 

March rolled around, and at that time of the month, I decided to bite the bullet, and take a HCG test. Alas, it was another day of disappointment. I had spent good 5 minutes squinting at the test, and thought I had seen a faint line, but decided that I was wanting it so badly that I had imagined it. I tossed it in the trash, and began packing for the trip to visit my family. An hour later amidst the packing, I had a strong inkling to recheck the cheap HCG test, and retrieved the tossed strip from the bathroom trash bin. To my shock, it was clear as the day that I was pregnant! After so long of trying, this day finally came, and I won't lie, there was a lot of tears. 


I had a wonderful way planned on breaking the news to Stu, however, I was such in shock that I just emailed the picture to Stu. Stu replied in confusion, and asked me what it was, since it was a non-traditional pregnancy test, and something he had never seen before! I explained to him that it was a cheap pregnancy test, and it was positive!! The poor guy was unable to focus in the conference for the rest of the day, because he was so excited. 

I wanted me to take a digital pregnancy test to prove that the cheap test was accurate. With Forrest, I was never able to get a positive word digital response, and to this day, I had no idea why! I suspected it was why I tested weekly with Forrest, ha ha, until our confirmation doctor appointment. However, with Jellybean, it came up as clear as the day. 


The next step was breaking the news to our families about Forrest becoming a big brother! It was quite exciting to share the news with our family that there was going to be a newest addition coming this winter. Stu, and I had to laugh about this, because this year was going to be a BIG year with all the weddings, events, a possible job change for Stu, and now the baby! Oh boy, how we were going to find the time? 

On April 21st, we finally saw my doctor, and had an ultrasound to check on our little Jellybean. The baby was found right away. The heart rate was beautiful, and the baby was doing quite well. Once again, I was on time with my guess; 8 weeks 2 days along! 


At our second ultrasound appointment, all showed that the baby was thriving, and doing well. The measurements were in accordance to what was appropriate for the baby's growth. Our estimate due date had changed once again from December 1st, to November 29th, and now to...

Our Jellybean is due on November 28th, 2014

Yes, it is going to be a very BIG year. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Stock Epinephrine Law


My 1.5 year old son has multiple food allergies. He is currently allergic to dairy, peanuts, and cashews. It is not a great challenge living with someone with multiple food allergies. The current challenge lies in educating people how to interact, and properly handle food for Forrest to prevent anaphylaxis shock from occurring. It is amazing to discover how much everything is processed with peanuts, tree nuts, and made with dairy. 

At first, it is overwhelming to make a transition from eating everything with blissfully ignorance, and not knowing what lies in the food ingredients, and what has been processed with food. It is easy to go out to eat, and not worry about possibly dying from what you've consumed. I buy cookies, candies, and breads from bakery without blinking my eye. 

All of that changed when we learned that Forrest has allergies. I become more aware of what is processed with this, or that. I make food from scratch quite frequently these days. I read ingredients on the back of food, and search for allergen warning. I come up with creative meal dishes to make every week. I stock up on safe food for the lazy days when I don't feel like cooking. I do research before heading out to a restaurant with Forrest to ensure that they are allergen-free of this, and take precaution to prevent cross containment. I carry epipens with us everywhere. 

It is easy to become sheltered, and be afraid. I choose not to go down that path. I am not going to keep my kid in the bubble for rest of his life. He has to learn. He has to fend for himself. Forrest has to learn how to survive real-life situations. I've been dismayed to learn that some children, living with severe food allergies, and intolerance, have absolutely no clue what the allergen look like, because their parents have sheltered them. Some parents blog about how terrible their children's allergies are, not that I am dismissing the importance of being aware, and careful for your children's outlook, and scare new parents treading into food allergy territory. I refuse to be one of those parents. When I have a chance, I educate our friends, family, friends, and coworkers about our life with food allergies. The more I talk about this, the more awareness is being spread, and the more people understand the issues that lies with having multiple food allergies.

While it is easy to manage Forrest's multiple food allergies now for the most part, because Forrest is barely 2 years old, and has not been exposed to a lot of issues yet to come. The issues I can think of are: birthday parties--he can't have a cake from the bakery, because of cross-containment with peanuts, and nuts, dealing with kids with more freedom with eating whereas he is more restricted, having to bring his own safe meals, saying no to his friends to share meals, having to be more careful with washing hands, and having to give up a bit of that carefree childhood indifference in order to be vigilant toward his own health. This does make me a bit sad. It is not something you wish on any kid. At the same time, he will be stronger because of it. 

Nonetheless, the idea of sending Forrest to school used to be somewhat intimidating. I knew there is a 504 plan, under disability section, to create a plan, and have plan set in the place to protect Forrest. But that didn't feel "enough" for me. 

Recently, my aunt sent me an article about states passing Stock Epinephrine Law in the schools. 

On November 13, 2013 President Obama signed into law the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act, which encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors.

How awesome is that? That means any child, especially if he/she has not been diagnosed with a life-threatening food, latex, or bee sting allergies, have an access to get help faster. For children with life-threatening allergies, they have a back-up access in an event of emergency. This means the school staff is trained to use epipen, and use it on the child with a life-threatening reaction. It prevents a possible death, and puts a lot of ease in parents' minds when they send their children to school. 

Since the article my aunt sent to me was a few weeks old, I had to check on the internet to double check whether Wisconsin had caught up or not, because in that article, Wisconsin was in the yellow zone. Now, yellow zone meant your state had not passed the bill yet, and has been reviewing it to prepare it into a law. If there is a red zone in your state, then unfortunately, it meant the bill has not been submitted. I checked the latest epipen stock law, and found that Wisconsin had passed the bill. Great! 

That made me feel a lot better about sending Forrest to school beyond the safety of our little home. 

If your state is either in yellow, or red zones, then fear not. There is a way you can contact your state senator to introduce the bill to stock epipens in schools. 

The more we are aware about food allergies, and intolerance, along with other allergies such as dairy, bee sting, latex, medications, and other causes; the more we are able to take preventive measures, and make the world a safer place for those living with allergies. 


Friday, May 9, 2014

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy Busy, & It's Not Even Slowing Down!

I had a really crazy busy week starting last week Friday. It felt like the days were in a blur, and everything whizzed by really fast. Stu, and I had guests over last weekend; Stu's mom, B, and Stu's friend, Mike, since he needed to finish up a course at school nearby our house. It was a full house for a bit there!

Stu ran 1/2 marathon on Saturday morning, and he did amazing! He shaved 10 minutes off this time, and he was pretty pleased about it. B, Forrest, and I rooted Stu as he started race, and were there at the finish line when he came back. Stu did great, and we were proud of him. He was placed 3rd place of his group. Pretty impressive, huh? 



Since Stu had to supervise Prom again this year, he asked me to be his date, and attend with him. I gladly went. It was much-needed child free date. As much as we loved our kid, it was good to get away by ourselves for just a few hours, and reconnect. This year was much easier for me to get away from Forrest. Last year, Forrest was only 7 months old (time flies, doesn't it), and it was hard to leave him behind. This year, Forrest was more independent, no longer nursed, and liked being around other people other than just his mommy. I was able to get my mind off motherhood for a bit, and relax. 

Bonus: I even had a great hairstyle that I DID myself! I found this on Pinterest, and tried the tutorial. It turned out amazing. I was pleasantly impressed with myself, and how easy it was to do this hairstyle. It was so easy that I was able to recreate the same style again. It was definitely something I planned on having more often over the summer! 


Stu, and I had been meaning to buy a new sofa for some time now. We had a ratty old green sofa that was losing its seat firmness (it was second-handed, and gently used when we got the green sofa). We had another sofa in the basement that was outdated, and uncomfortable to sit on. Cats have long taken over it, and possessed it to be theirs. We wanted a sofa of our own that was brand-new, and durable. However, we didn't go out right away to buy a new sofa back in April. Life got in the way, and we were too busy with other things. Finally, this past Sunday, we had time, and decided to venture out to shop after Forrest's nap. 

Upon entering the store, Stu, and I saw the same sofa, and immediately agreed that we both had liked it. Now, this never happened to us before! Ha ha ha! We had a tendency to hassle, bicker, and debate, then finally compromise on something. For this sofa, we just agreed that it was what we wanted, and liked. The great part was, it was already marked down due to a HUGE sale. It went from a crazy expensive price to much affordable price. While we liked the sofa, we still wanted to look around, and make sure that the first one was exactly what we wanted. It was. 

Stu wanted an old Grandfather type of recliner. It did not match the sofa, but I relented, and agreed that it was fine for him to get that chair if it was what he really, really, really, and really wanted. Besides, it was in the clearance section, and it was the last one in the stock. It was silly cheap, and Stu was really happy with the recliner. I shrugged, and told him to go for it. Whatever, you know. He was graduating soon, and I felt he deserved it after all the hard work he had done in the past 2 years. 

We bought our sofa, and the grandfather recliner. We were told that it was going to be delivered on June 10th. I was kind of sad with how FAR away it was before we could get our new sofa, and recliner. At the same time, anticipation of waiting made it sweeter to get something, right? And...the exciting part was, they were going to pick up our ratty old green sofa, and take it off our hands! So we didn't have to worry about disposing of the ugly sofa. Yay. It was also JUST IN TIME, because just three days later, we had a wedding to attend, and won't be home to receive our things. Whew!

In the meanwhile, here's a crappy quality photo of our new sofa. *I sort of snuck in that picture because pictures were not allowed in the store....so I snapped my phone camera really fast* I will get a BETTER one once we get the sofa in June!  Stu isn't crazy about the pillows, so I am thinking about sewing new covers for the pillows to go with the sofa. 


Then Forrest, and I had a lot of family time beginning of the week. We came back just in time to enjoy beautiful weather of 75 degrees! Unfortunately, there was a lot of clouds, and little of the sun, but I was not complaining. It was 75!! And, the best part? The temperature didn't drop back to it being chilly. It remained nice, and warm. I checked the weather over the weekend--there was a lot of rain expected to come, but hey, it was above 65. So...I'll take that. Maybe summer is FINALLY here???

Fortunately, this weekend is going to be somewhat relaxed, and I will be able to sit, relax, and READ great books. I'm currently reading Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz, and it's pretty good so far! 

Then next week, my mom is coming up on Wednesday to watch Forrest as we have a lot of exciting things to attend such as Stu's graduation, to name one! I'm so glad my mom will be watching him--I think 3-4 hours of ceremony would be too hard for Forrest to relax, and stay still for. So it's nice of my mom to step in, and help. 

I am SO ready for the summer. Bring on weddings, showers, and a lot of FUN things yet to come!!! I'm just so excited. Stu, and I booked a hotel room for a weekend in June for Teri's wedding (almost a month away), and it will be our mini-getaway without a toddler present. While I am going to really miss my kid, I am also kind of excited to be by ourselves for 2 whole days, and spend our time in a great company!!