Thursday, December 23, 2010

Like a Watched Pot Belly (and Kitchen Update)

Guess what!  I'm not in labor.  I've been "practicing" a lot.  I'm not sure who to blame - me or the baby - but there was a lot of practice contractions all night long.  I promised a kitchen update earlier, but decided to use the time to have a little more fun with my girls before my "lying in" time.

  • Since I was not in labor on Monday, I did a ton of house-cleaning & had/helped girls clean the playroom. That night I was up at 1:00 a.m. scrubbing the bathroom floor.
  • Since I was not in labor on Tuesday, I decided to bake Christmas cookies.  That night we took some to our neighbors & sang a few carols (well one carol - Jingle Bells - several times)
  • Since I was not in labor on Wednesday, I decided to make a meal plan and go grocery shopping. That night I completed an embroidery project for the baby's quilt.
  • Since I'm not in labor today, we are headed to the zoo and museum.
But before I leave, I wanted to show several pictures of the kitchen renovation. 

When we bought the house, there was approximately 17 inches of counter space to the right of the stove. Most of this whole kitchen renovation has been to expand counter and storage while still having a small eat-in area.

Orientation: The stove is still in the same place. The refrigerator was moved to the opposite wall.

New counter tops. By the way, we didn't purchase laminate counter tops, Pete purchased the thin board and then cut and glued and routed, leveled and basically created counter tops.  I'm pretty impressed.

This photo was taken this past weekend.  Oh and you might want to check back with the oldest photos to get the full feel of the transformation of the kitchen.
Last Christmas it looked like this.

 Because of the age of the house, there is a huge likelihood of lead paint.  In addition to completing the counter tops, Pete chiseled the old "what color is this?" ceramic tile off the back splash so I could paint.  Then he smoothed the uneven places and damaged spots with putty, then sanded it down evenly.  To protect me, the girls and the baby, he rigged up some major plastic sheeting.  I reminds me of a scene from ET.

I was allowed to come take a peek at the progress...with the proper safety equipment of course.  :-)

Ta-da!  We'll be changing out the hardware and freshing the white on the cabinets.  And not to forget - the cork floor - yay!

Still quite a project - Pete is building a new cabinet for over the fridge and there are some floor evenness issues that have to be resolved before the cork can go in.  And the old cabinets that are seen here on the bottom right - Pete will be making new door faces so that all of them will match the original kitchen.

Hope to have some baby news soon!

Love, Carra

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Tub and the Timetable

As promised here is a picture of the birth tub.  Yes, that's a Foosball table behind it.  Actually that's a good indicator of the the size of the birth tub.  The Foosball table was a surprise early birthday gift for Pete (He just doesn't get excited about slipper socks like I do.).  I was out at 3:00 in the morning on Black Friday and that table was among my top five items to get.  See I took a picture of my prego self by the clock to show the fun insanity of shopping at that hour :-)

Yesterday really, really seemed like it was "the day."  Contractions were two minutes apart. (yes I said TWO).  But they were only lasting 30 seconds long and never intensified.  I had a few that took my breath a bit, but nothing like the sustained "real deal."  I called my midwife who suggested I eat, drink water, sleep if I could and see if anything changed...nope.

After a sleep (a few hours later) they contractions waned.  The rest of the day they would start up again, I'd get sleepy, fall asleep and they would quit.  So that is my story so far.

I do think the birth is close because I am losing my mind.  I was so tired yesterday but Pete put the stove back in place and the last coat of paint was on the walls of the kitchen.  I cleaned the items off the dining room table that belonged in the kitchen, loaded the dishwasher and then cleaned the bathrooms.  Yes, I was on my hands and knees wiping the bathroom floor at 1:30 a.m.  So I had every reason to believe that today would be the day.  But apparently not :-)

I do have a funny prediction - doubt it will come true.  I sure I'll laugh if it does... Both Gracie and Faith started their journey down the birth canal on each on a Monday morning.  If you've read Gracie's birth story, you know she did not complete her journey until the next day!  However Faith was in a better position and she was willing to make the exit about 11 hours after she began.  Both Monday mornings my water broke in the area of 5:00 or 6:00 a.m..  I'm due Wednesday and tomorrow is Monday.  I'm going to bed early just in case.

If you are looking for baby news (labor, birth, etc.), pay attention to my Twitter feed (on the left side bar).  This will be the most updated because I can text a tweet from my phone.  As you know I won't be involving my computer to produce an entire blog post during my resting time.  I'll see if Pete will post a picture as least - otherwise, check facebook profiles, etc.  So I hope there won't be any new posts from me for a little while.  But in case this baby is shy like Faith, I plan to post some kitchen pictures tomorrow.

Love, Carra

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Belly & Birthroom

As requested, here is my rather large belly (although I am smaller with this pregnancy than either Gracie or Faith).  I'm totally excited about the birth.  Right after I had Faith, I said - any future babies - if God allows, I will definitely have them at home in a birth tub!  I am at 39 weeks and after these last year(s) of being pregnant, losing the two babies and now at the end of this pregnancy - I am soooo ready to be holding this baby in my arms!

So getting ready for a home birth is definitely more involved than just packing a bag for the hospital.  It's interesting that I'm preparing for the birth, the rest time and the actual care of the baby all at the same time!

I have been gathering items for a couple of months.  Some are things that are specific to my midwife, others are things that I noticed I'd like to have from Faith's birth (like books and a TV in the laying in room).  I won't bore you with the details, but I found a list on a random midwife website that has quite a list - peruse it - you'll get the general gist of what I'm talking about.

And here is a snapshot of the room I'll be birthing in and sharing with this little one for it's first three weeks outside my womb.  The birth tub is fairly large (I'll snag a shot of it once we set it up) so we won't bring any more items into the room until after baby is born and the tub is taken down.  I have a co-sleeper that we really love.  Pete will bring it down and set it up soon after birth.  The baby and I will be sleeping in the bed together for the most part, but I love having a place I can reach him or her and still have the bed to myself on occasion.

One more comment on the bed.  This is a mainstream futon mattress so the first thing in preparing the room was wrapping the mattress.  After that, lots of soft cotton bedding, and then a painters drop cloth.  On top of the drop cloth some older (but clean of course) bedding for immediately after the birth.  It is a water birth so I'm pretty likely to be wet and there are some other elements that might soil the bedding LOL.  So after I get dry and situated, Debbie or Pete will take off the top layer of bedding and the drop cloth and the baby and I will be all snugly down in the fresh, clean bed for a good long rest!

Love, Carra

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I've been meaning to share my top books for raising little people.  As I ponder the life change that is coming sometime in the next three weeks,I pulled my "baby sleeping book" off the shelf to re-read in my "spare time" LOL.  But I will because the info in it is sooo good.  Not only that, it has helps and guides for grade schoolers and even a chapter on teen sleep needs.

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child By Marc Weissbluth
Trust me, Gracie and Faith have been sleeping through the night since they were a few months old and still sleep 12 hours every night!  This book is my friend!

While I'm at it, here are my two favorite child rearing / discipline books.

Shepherding a Child’s Heart
by Tedd Tripp
This is tough teaching. It challenges you to focus more on the ultimate outcome (your child’s standing before God and her rebelliousness) than simply behavior modification. I find this hard to live out daily, but I am always blessed when I take the time to deal with confession, repentance, consequence and restoration.  I'm reading a second book by Tripp called "Instructing a Child's Heart."  It is really convicting and fantastic, but I need to finish reading it before fully commenting on it.  But I'm about 99% sure it will end up on my "essential" list.

Don’t Make Me Count to Three
by Ginger Plowman
This is the practical side of Shepherding a Child’s Heart.  It has great structure to living out the “big picture” offered in Tripp’s book.  She challenges you that how you allow your children to respond to you is ultimately how they will respond to God.  Do we want them to obey God the first time or delay until the last possible minute before consequences?  (i.e. counting to three instead of requiring immediate obedience).  Our girls know the phrase well:  “God wants us to obey right away, all the way and with the right attitude.”

And yes, I am three weeks away from the "big day" and I promise a "belly picture" soon.   I will be setting up the birth room with all the "stuff" right after our last student gathering (this Sunday).  I'll post a tour with a nice round belly-ed tour guide. ;-)

Love, Carra