Sunday, April 4, 2010

Two Steps Behind

It seems that lately I am always woefully behind in updating this blog. I think I'm just so overwhelmed with everything going on right now in my life that I cannot seem to stay on top of it all. In general, I would have to say that the past few weeks have been rough - filled with chaos, big decisions and stress. Luckily, all of this craziness is laced with good, but I'm having a hard time enjoying the high points right now.

I think to catch everyone up, I probably need to backtrack to my post on March 24. First, I'll start with a cute story about Micah. I can't remember now which night it was - I know that DH wasn't home and I was putting Micah to bed by myself. I asked Micah if he was ready to go take a bath and go night night, and he immediately ran to the stairs. I opened the gate for him, and he climbed upstairs and made a beeline for my bedroom (where we bathe him). He walked around to my side of the bed and grabbed the video monitor (he loves to play with it). I unplugged it so he could have his toy, and then I watched him as he used the doggy steps by the bed to climb up onto the bed. He was just so cute as he sat and played and talked! He also really loves bath time - he plays with his toys, he laughs, and he sticks his face in the water. I should take a few pictures/videos soon.

Anyway, Thursday, March 25, was a typical Thursday. We got up at our regular time, I did some work, and then DH and I left a bit early to take my car to be detailed (we were getting ready to trade it in, so we wanted it to look nice). We dropped off the car on the way to taking Micah to his class, which worked out well. After class, we raced home so Micah could take a nap. I have to say, Micah has been so funny lately. When he is tired, if you ask him if he wants to go upstairs and go "night night," he drops whatever he is doing, runs to the stairs and bangs on the gate. If you open the gate for him, he hastily climbs upstairs to his bedroom. It makes nap time and bed time so much easier!

Shortly thereafter, our architect showed up with the latest draft of our designs. The good news - he figured out how to give us the "bare minimum" of our request within the space/budget we had originally discussed. The "bad" news - he also showed us some designs with a slightly bigger budget that would give us everything we had hoped for (but more than we expected). Unfortunately, we are already a few weeks behind in the decision-making process, and this placed us even further behind. We could not give the architect the go-ahead to finalize the drawings until we know which design approach we want. Naturally, we need to know how the change in plans will affect our budget before we can make that decision. So, we were on hold until we could meet with our builder and discuss costs with him.

Thursday night was date night...and, once again, we decided that we needed to use our precious date time to go car shopping. This time, we headed to the dealership where we leased my car. We wanted to discuss the lease rates (and get a trade-in value on my car). We felt we were low-balled a bit on the price for my car, but we really did get a great rate on the lease. After all the car shopping we had done, we decided that leasing the same vehicle again was likely our best bet. We were torn between leasing the 2010 version of my car and the 2010 hybrid version of my car. There was a definite price difference between the two - the 2010 version of my car would have lowered our monthly payments, but the 2010 hybrid version would increase them. DH felt strongly about switching to the hybrid version (he felt the $50+ per month in gas savings would make up for the increase in monthly payments). After our meeting, we decided to call it a night, and we headed home without even bothering with a date night dinner.

On Friday, I went to have my one hour glucose tolerance test done and then took my car to be evaluated at Carmax (we were hoping to get a stronger offer to take to the dealership, but no such luck). Their offer was the same as the dealership, unfortunately. DH came and met me at Carmax after his meeting, and then we drove to the dealership. While we were there, we met with the manager on the "certified pre-owned" side of the business. He had previously been a salesman who leased me all three of my prior vehicles, so I've known him for years. We talked him into increasing the trade-in offer on my car, and while we were there, we decided to look at the 2007 used hybrids. The hybrids were in great shape, and the price was right. We test drove two of them, and we priced them both. It turns out, purchasing the 2007 hybrid would cost us less per month than leasing the new 2010 non-hybrid. We tentatively told the manager that we would like to get the 2007 used car. Unfortunately, our first choice (the less expensive option) had a deposit on it. The manager was kind, and he ended up lowering the price on the other vehicle to match the price of the first car we wanted. We test drove it, and asked him for a day to think about it.

We had a quiet evening at home on Friday night, and on Saturday I worked on decorating a cake for a friend's bachelorette party. At some point, we did call the dealership and tell them that we wanted to buy the 2007 used hybrid, and asked them to hold it for us for pickup either on Sunday or Monday. I made a slightly...naughty...cake. It was designed to look like the chest of a male stripper, and I have to say, he was designed to do some stripping. After I finished the cake, I got dressed and ready for a night of festivities. I have to say...bachelorette parties are not quite the same while you are pregnant! We went out to dinner and had a 3 course meal at a fantastic restaurant. We did head out to one or two bars, but we mostly sat around talking at a table - our days of carousing seem to be long gone! Nearly all of the women there were married (and most of us had children). It was a fun evening, but I was completely exhausted by the end of the night.

After all the running around on Saturday, I wasn't feeling well, and my contractions were getting much worse on Sunday. At some point, we did call the dealership and tell them that we wanted to buy the 2007 used hybrid, and asked them to hold it for us for pickup either on Sunday or Monday. After all the running around, I wasn't feeling well, and my contractions were getting much worse. On Sunday, DH woke up early to cook Easter dinner for 1500 people. Normally, I would cook with him, but we did not have anyone to watch Micah, so I stayed behind this time. We had a fun day together. Micah has just been so cute - he plays with his toys, he laughs at himself, he chases the dog, we cuddle together, and we read books. Especially Dr. Seuss' The Foot Book (over and over and over....). By the time DH got home, I was exhausted and really not feeling well - I had to lay down for a few hours to deal with the contractions and nausea.

I also knew that Monday night was the first night of Passover - and our first Seder. Passover is the holiday that commemorates the Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. We have a Seder (a special dinner) for the first two nights of Passover. At the Seder, we eat special foods to remember the journey out of Egypt and the hardships of slavery we suffered at the hands of Pharaoh. Our plan this year was to go to my parents' house for the first Seder to celebrate with my parents, brother, SIL and nieces. We decided to postpone the second Seder until the third night because DH's niece was flying in from a semester abroad in South Africa on Wednesday morning. By holding the second Seder until Wednesday night, she would be able to celebrate with us. When I could finally move again on Sunday night after my nap, I got up to start preparing the food I promised to make for dinner at my mother's. I started by making charoset - basically, it is a mixture of chopped apples, cinnamon, walnuts, and sweet wine, which is intended to symbolize the mortar used by the Jews when we were slaves in Egypt and building pyramids for Pharaoh. I decided I was too exhausted to do anything else, so I went to bed.

On Monday, I balanced getting my work done with cooking and getting another weekly progesterone shot in my ass! I have to say, I was quite impressed with myself - while drafting several documents and handling 3 conference calls, I managed to make a batch of kosher for passover brownies (no flour or leavening in them) and a broccoli souffle. In between calls and baking, I had my shot and got back to work. I got everything in the oven by early afternoon - just in time for the architect and the builder to arrive. We met with them for a few hours to discuss the status of the project. The builder was able to give us a price quote on expanding our project. We were pleasantly surprised that it was MUCH less money than we expected. Consequently, we decided that if we could secure the funds for the project, we felt it was worth the investment to do the expanded addition. So...that left us with a funding challenge. We had set our budget based on the current funds we had available. With the expanded project, we definitely need either a construction loan, or an increase in our home equity line of credit, or to sell my condo, or to refinance the house, and we just did not know whether that was reasonable. So, we told the architect and the builder we needed a few days to figure out the financing to decide whether we would go with the expanded project or if we would have to go with the original plan.

With that, we hastily hurried them out the door, grabbed our stuff, and dashed off to pick Micah up from daycare so we could get to my parents' house in time for the Seder. After we grabbed Micah and made our way to the dealership...I realized I'd forgotten the charoset at home! I did all that work and promised my mother, then promptly left it at home. I felt terrible - she had to mix up a batch on the fly (as if she didn't do enough work for the dinner). On our way to dinner, we decided to stop off at the dealership to pick up my "new" used car. Micah had a chance to dance to the music in the dealership.

We signed the paperwork, but it was taking too long. I started to get really annoyed, and the manager said they could finish things up and drop the car off at my parents' house later that night. We decided to take them up on their offer and raced over to my parents' house.

When we arrived, our neighbor's daughter (who was in for the holiday) stopped by to visit. Micah and his cousins showed off and played for a bit, and then we started our dinner. The Seder actually went quite well. It was extremely short, but we decided to do a child-friendly version. We explained the story of Passover and did all the symbolic parts, and we sang a few children's Passover songs. And then we ate...gefilte fish, an egg (to symbolize the start of new beginnings), brisket, turkey breast, broccoli souffle, and asparagus. We topped off our meal with brownies and mandel bread (kind of like biscotti, but made without flour for the holiday). Towards the end of the meal, the guys from the dealership showed up to drop off my car! We made sure everything was in order, and we drove my "new" used car home. I have to say, while I'm glad it is all done, I really hate that my "new" car looks EXACTLY like my old car. It kind of takes the "new" feeling away. It is a hybrid, so that is an improvement. I'm just glad the whole struggle/debate is done.

Tuesday was crazy again - I tried juggling Micah and work and preparing for DH's family to arrive. The cleaning lady was here and I had to put everything in order and work with DH to prepare the dinner (and organize the kitchen and set the table....). DH made turkey loaf and meat loaf, and we prepared roasted potatoes and we served green beans with an Italian dressing on them. Tuesday night, DH's brother, SIL and two of their children arrived, and my parents joined us for dinner. After dinner, DH's brother and SIL went to a hotel near the airport to stay, and the two kids stayed with us for the night.

As I mentioned in my last post, things turned crazy on the home front that night - we rushed the dog to the emergency room in the wee hours of the night Wednesday morning. Bright and early on Wednesday morning, my BIL and SIL picked up their eldest daughter from the airport. Somewhere during that time, I received a call from the doctors that I failed the one hour glucose test. I spent the day juggling visits to the vet emergency room, coordinating with family, and trying to cook a huge meal. Luckily, my mom had made extra briskets and chicken soup for us, so we just had to heat that up. DH made turkey, and I did the side dishes. My SIL helped me make a spinach souffle, matzah balls, an apple charlotte, and asparagus. My niece had brought us a special gourmet vinegar from South Africa, so we used the vinegar in the dressing for the asparagus. My nephew helped me make a second batch of brownies for dessert. Despite all the chaos, we managed to get everything finished and it tasted delicious. We were a bit disorganized (we were racing around trying to set the table, find the Hagaddahs, and put everything on the Seder plate). The Seder was not exactly smooth...but we managed. I cut out several of the things I had planned to make, but in the end, there was plenty of food and it all went well.

While it was wonderful to have everyone in town, I have to admit I wanted nothing more than to cancel the whole dinner and curl up in bed and cry. I realized as I was sitting down for dinner that I'd been in the same outfit for 48 hours. It was just a long and emotional day, and I have to say, I was a bit relieved when everyone left. I immediately drove back down to the vet hospital to sit with my dog...and left DH with all the mess to clean up!

While I was visiting her, she seemed okay - happy to see me, but still having difficulty breathing. They thought she was doing better and were hopeful that she would be released from the hospital in the morning. While I was there, she would not stay in her oxygen tent - she just wanted to be held. They gave her some food and she scarfed it up! The worst part of the evening...she peed all over me. Twice. The medicine she was on was intended to rid her body of fluids, and it made it difficult for her to control her bladder. It was awful, and she looked so embarrassed when it happened. So, after being in the same outfit for 48 hours, I ended up in a urine-soaked dirty outfit. Fitting end to the day, right?

I stayed with her about one hour...and watched a cat die. I was a mess - the poor cat had some kind of a bad reaction (possibly to a vaccine) and they kept working on him and working on him and trying to administer CPR, but they just couldn't get him going again. The owner came back and the whole experience was awful. It actually reminded me of a visit there at least 9 years ago...that time, I had rushed my neighbor to the hospital with her dog, who had collapsed while we were on a walk. His name was George, and he was a St. Bernard. He died that day on the same table while we watched through the glass door. That table loomed in front of me the entire time my dog was in the hospital. I hope I never have to see her that way on that same table.

I finally got home around 11:00 pm...and crashed. I didn't even bother to see if DH had cleaned up! I figured it did not matter if there was still food on the table...the dog wasn't home to steal it. On Thursday morning, we woke up to another crazy day. We had to go to my ultrasound and my OB appointment and pick the dog up from the hospital. Since DH needed to get his car serviced, he left a bit before us to drop his car off and get a rental. While it was there, the "Dent guy" was going to give us an estimate on fixing the damage to the car, too.

I had carefully packed up my phone and everything I needed for Micah. On his way out the door, DH "accidentally" grabbed my phone. I was so angry! I didn't notice it was gone until I was almost to my mom's office. She was going to watch Micah for us while we went to the ultrasound, and I was supposed to call her when I got there so she could come down. I had planned on having her take Micah then quickly run over to the dealership to have a few things fixed on my car. DH was supposed to meet me there, and then we were going to drive to the ultrasound together in his car. Since I couldn't call my mom, I had to park the car - no easy task. The parking lot was packed, so I had to park illegally. I then needed to get the stroller out, and load Micah in, and gather all his stuff together. Naturally, the accessible entrance was all the way around the front of the building. It took forever to walk around to the front, go in the accessible entrance and take the elevator upstairs. I went to my mom's office...and she wasn't there. I then went to the front desk...and she wasn't there. After finding someone who recognized me and begging to use their phone so that I could call my mom's cell phone to tell her we were there, my mom showed up and found us! I handed off Micah, borrowed her phone to call (and yell) at DH. The whole thing set us back 20 minutes, so I was no longer able to go to the dealership, and DH had to meet me at the doctor's office.

My appointment brought mixed news. My cervix shrunk another 2 mms. Twoey was doing really well! She was moving great, and measuring about 27 weeks 6 days (I was 28 weeks 2 days). Once again, my regular doctor wasn't there, so we had to see the other doctor. She really bugs me. She was totally unconcerned about the contractions, and kept saying that my cervix was good even though it keeps shrinking. I mentioned that the other doctor said he would get more aggressive about treating the contractions if my cervix dropped below 3.0, but she said she was not concerned unless my cervix was below 2.0. I again pointed out that the goal was to avoid bedrest, and she told me that I could take medicine for the contractions "if I wanted to." Well...I'm not the doctor! I felt like it shouldn't be my call. She wrote me a prescription and told me to do whatever I wanted. I was so frustrated! What I wanted was advice and an explanation, and this doctor just always seems to shrug everything off.

We went back to pick Micah up, and DH took my car and Micah to the dealership to fix a few problems while I drove down in the rental to pick up the dog. She was looking much better, and I was thrilled to be bringing her home. DH got home and put Micah down for his nap. I still had my OB appointment, and we decided that DH would stay behind with Micah and the dog while I went alone. My appointment went really well. We discussed the possible gestational diabetes (and I started to monitor my sugar levels). I have to meet with a nutritionist to talk about diet, but things look promising. So far, all of my sugar levels have been normal. We also discussed my frustration with the doctor, and the midwife said she felt that I should only take the medication when my contractions are particularly frequent/strong. I felt like she gave me some good guidance, and she said that if things start to feel like they are increasing in intensity on a regular basis (or seem to move back towards real labor) then I will go on the medicines permanently. But, for right now, the contractions are not sufficiently strong or regular to warrant aggressive medication, and while my cervix is shrinking, it is not currently shrinking at a rapid rate, so she felt we would do better to continue to wait it out a bit. She thinks I still have enough time to continue avoiding bedrest.

Thursday night, my mom came down for date night. We just did not feel like going out with everything going on, so my mom helped with feeding Micah and entertaining him, and she helped me bathe him and put him to bed. We made sure to give the dog lots of love and attention, too. My mom left pretty early, but the extra help was such a relief. She offered to help pack up and freeze the leftovers, but the kitchen was still such a mess that we did not even know where to begin. Instead, she suggested that she and my father return on Friday night to eat some leftovers and help us clean everything up.

On Friday, we spent the day trying to get all of our work done while Micah was at daycare. I spent a lot of time cuddling Nugget, too. We also managed to get in touch with a mortgage broker, and it seems that we can easily refinance the mortgage on the house and get the money we need to do the expanded renovations. So, we gave the architect the go-ahead to start finalizing the plans. Hopefully, we'll be able to get back on schedule. I ran out for an hour in the afternoon to meet a friend for lunch. I have to say, when 5:00 rolled around, I was so relieved that the week had ended.

My parents came over for dinner on Friday night. We ate some leftovers, and DH managed to get most of the dishes done (or at least in the sink). We were able to start putting things away and break down the extra table and chairs. My dad helped me put the plates and platters away, and my mom and DH cut the leftover brisket and meat loaf into single-sized portions for the freezer. We sent some brisket and soup home with my parents, and by the end of the night, we finally felt like we had control of the chaos.

On Saturday, we had a lazy morning. DH and Micah went to services, and I stayed home to do some more cleaning/organization and spend time with Nugget. After Micah woke up from his nap, we went out to meet DH's cousin for an early dinner (they were in town unexpectedly for a quick visit). After dinner, we raced home to give Nugget her medication and put Micah to bed, and then I went out to meet my friend and catch up with her for a few hours. I got home and worked with DH to finally finish the clean up from the prior week. We made sure everything that needed hand-washing was washed, and we put away all the platters. I wiped down the counters, and put everything back in its place. I straightened up the toys, and threw all the dirty dish towels down into the laundry room. I also set the table and prepared everything for our brunch the following morning (yes, that seemed like a good idea back when I set it up).

This morning, our friends joined us for brunch at 11:30. We kept it nice and simple. I had cleared the buffet and cleaned up the kitchen, and did my best to control the toys in the living room. We made matzah brie (kind of like french toast, but made with matzah), an old family recipe that we call "matzkes" (which is just a sweetened farmers cheese broiled on some matzah), and some scrambled eggs. They stayed for a few hours, and the cleanup was nice and easy - I did all the dishes and we've got just about everything put back together again. I am hoping that our cleanup for the cleaning lady tomorrow night will be nice and simple now!

So, here are some photos and videos of Micah, including tonight's "naked baby" display:

I think I'll conclude this post with a few photos - I finally got those "rock star photos" of Micah from our class field trip almost two weeks ago. How funny are these?

I still have to scan the ultrasound pictures from Thursday and post them, so I'll be back with more pictures of Twoey soon!


Chele said...

Holy Cow Tess!

You just gave me plenty of ammunition the next time you tell me my schedule makes you tired. lol

I hereby dust you with magical "ME DAY" dust and hope that you will take an entire day for yourself and do absolutely NOTHING.

Congrats on the new to you car! I despise car shopping! We are getting ready to do it again this summer for Jake.

I would never complain about your blog not being updated as I can't seem to find the time to keep mine updated.

And last but definitely not least, Micah just keeps getting cuter and cuter!

Prather Family said...

Wow, what a week. I kept wondering how long can this blog post be??? LOL. I hope your contractions stay limited and your cervix holds up. I know how scary that can be. Hopefully all will hold up and you can avoid bed rest. (((Hugs)))

Me said...

Sorry for the ridiculously long posts - and thank you for actually reading it all! I guess that is what happens when I step away from blogging for too long :).