Sunday, August 19, 2012

Life in the NICU: Part 2

In response to my previous commenters, I am 100% grateful for very capable doctors and nurses who made sure my baby was ok.  I feel so blessed to have had them and even though it was so hard for me, would not have wanted Lincolnto have come home a second earlier than it was save for him to do.  This is just a record of how I felt throughout my experience.

So after being told he had to go back in the heat for 2 to 5 days we really didn't know what to do.  I really couldn't live at the hospital anymore and we certainly didn't want to drive back and forth to Idaho Falls every day or a couple times a day.  It was then that the doctor finally mentioned the possibility of transferring him to Rexburg and something about the hospital paying the transfer costs! Could that really be true?

The doctor didn't want to get our hopes up because they usually only did it if the patient would be staying for at least a week more and Lincoln might not need to stay that long.  But he said he'd contact them and do what he could.  This was day 5 in Idaho Falls and even that long was hard to manage when your home is a half hour away.

Meanwhile the social worker/insurance lady came by to talk to us about the financial side of things and what our insurance will and will not cover.  As hard as it was to add financial stress I'm so glad we knew where we stood.  In my opinion it's always better to know than wonder.  She told us there was no way our insurance would pay for a transfer because it was not medically needed.  So we really needed to make a decision without getting our hopes up.  I told her I would talk to Doug about it.

The next thing I knew she was calling me, with this sweet cheerful voice, saying the other hospital will pay!  I was so relieved I just broke down crying.  This was an amazingly huge blessing.  They had already dispatched the ambulance and he would be transferred within a few hours.  Doug was home teaching lessons, so my mom came to pick me up!  We were so happy in the midst of everything bad there had been so much good!  And I think this good news gave me what I needed to get through another few days in the incubator.

The next thing I knew we were at the new hospital settling into a new routine, space, doctor, and nurses.  I was able to come when I needed to do feedings and be home for meals and sleeping.  It felt like heaven to be in my own bed!  But it was still so heartbreaking leaving Lincoln in the hospital over and over.

Still on Day 5, when we arrived they asked about the feeding tube he had in.  I proceeded to tell them about one nurse who insisted on having the feeding tube.  That she had to know how much Lincoln was eating and that I couldn't just trust he was getting enough with nursing.  It was this same nurse who didn't notice his IV had blown in is little arm and tried IVs in both feet and blew one in his head befor finally getting one to take in his head.  It was so traumatizing for us! Luckily I was not there a this all took place, but Doug was.  then once she got the IV in place she put the feeding tube down and did a gavage feeding but was too impatient to wait and just shoved the food through the tube.  This resulted in Lincoln vomiting it all up just seconds after she did it.  Oh my poor baby!  It is a good thing I wasn't there!!  I think they would've had another patient on their hands!  Needless to say we did not see that nurse gain after talking with a supervising nusre.

Anyways, it was the one and only time he used the feeding tube, and we really didn't think he needed it.  All he did was pull on it.  The doctor didn't see a real need in it either so the first order of business was to pull that sucker out!  It has got to be so nice to have something 

Days 5-8 consisted of incubator time, feedings, kangaroo care, and sponge baths.  I think my favorite thing was going in feeding then closing the curtains, dimming the lights and cuddling my little guy skin to skin for a whole hour!   They had a great reclining camp chair thingy from cabelas and it aw some of the best nap time I got!  Lincoln was so tiny he hardly needed to be held.  He would just cuddle up in a ball with his little hand resting on mine or Dougs chest.  Such sweet time that I would probably have missed out on at home.  It was so special and peaceful. for both of us.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Life in the NICU: Part 1

You never expect your child to be in the NICU, and you certainly hope that if they are there, they won't have to stay long. Here are the ups and downs we experienced with Lincoln in the NICU for 13 days.

 For some reason it never crossed my mind that I should be worried for our little guy. When my water broke I didn't once think that anything would be wrong or what a 34 weeker could have problems with. I guess I was just a little naive, braindead,unrealistic....uneducated? I don't know what to call it haha. But I really didn't think to expect anything bad. (I suppose that was a wonderful blessing so I could focus on getting our baby here as relaxed and quickly as possible. If I had been freaking out about how he would be once he got here...well I'm not sure things would've went so well.)

 When the Nurse Practicioner asked me whether I'd like to speak with the pediatricians or the neonatologist I was kind of taken aback. She told us that he would definitely be taken to the NICU and that we had the option to choose who would see our baby. Even then I was kind of in denial that he would need to be there but of course we wanted the best for our baby so let's go with the neonatologist. The neonatologist came to talk to us and even as she was telling us all that we should expect and things that could go wrong I didn't feel any trepidation. I'm so thankful for the spirit and it's guidance in my feelings through this all. I'm not sure how Doug was feeling, but as I think back on it I should have been freaked out!

 When little Lincoln was born he was whisked away very quickly and the next time I saw him he was hooked up to all kinds of monitors and sitting in an incubator. Even so he looked so perfect. The nurses who took care of him were so impressed with the little guy.  He was doing so well they seemed very surprised and of course optimistic.  Here's a little warning for those who have NICU experience n the future.  Ask everyone to be as realistic as possible.  Even downright pessimistic! In my experience being pleasantly surprised its time for you to take your baby home is waaaaay better than the alternative, which is what we experienced.
From the beginning I feel they were too optimistic, too misleading, getting our hopes way too high.  The nurse practitioner was saying things like, "As long as his blood cultures come back fine, you're out of here.  In like 4 days and that's amazing for a 34 weeker!".   That is where I started expecting things.  Where I began putting so much weight on the 'So when do you think he'll go home ' answer.
Looking back, that was the most horrible thing the nurses and doctors could have done for me.  5 times I was told a date he would be out of there.  5 times I was told sorry, not yet. 5 times my heart felt like it was being ripped out because I was leaving the hospital once again without my precious baby.  It was truly the most terrible thing I have ever experienced.
But I must also look for all of the wonderful blessings along the way!  Lincoln  seriously was doing amazing and gave them every reason to be optimistic.  While we were at EIRMC we made the walk every 3 hours to feed him.  He was soo soo good about nursing right from the beginning.  Most 34 weekers or even NICU babies never establish nursing.  By day three the only thing we were waiting for was a good result on his blood cultures.  That means there wasnt a single thing wrong with him at that point.
Well the blood cultures came back looking great, but wouldn't you know it, the jaundice hit hard right before we got the results.  So into the uv lights he went.  Lincon sure rocked those sunshades :) He had a wonderful time hanging out in the lighs for two days.  At the end of day 4 his bilirubin levels were dramatically decreased and he came out of the lights.  I was living at the hospital at this point, while Doug and my mom were back and forth from Rxburg to Idaho Falls.  I just couldn't go home without Lincoln!
Wouldntyou know it!  After spending so much time under the eat of the lights our little guy got a little lazy and stopped regulating his own temperature.  I was devastated at this 2nd time of being told he wouldn't be going home but that he would need to go back in the incubator for anywhere from 2 to 5 days!  It was then that I felt I had reached my breaking point!  Could we really stand even one more day?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Introducing Lincoln Douglas Hansen

*Disclaimer-This post is all for me! It's very long and pretty detailed, so it's there for you to read if you wish, but if you get bored halfway through....I don't blame you :)* 

 Yes, It's true, Lincoln is here. He's been here since June 8th at 3:01 am. Yes, he came 6 weeks early. He was just ready to come I guess :). I was totally not expecting to go early...and especially not 6 weeks early! I definitely wanted to record his birth story much sooner, but due to his time in the NICU this is the first chance I have gotten. So here's the story. 

 Wednesday June 6th I was working on getting the nursery all prepared to be put together. We had finished painting the cubbies, but still needed to seal them. I had sewn 3 of the 5 lines of letters on my alphabet wall hanging, almost finished the crib set, and still hadn't gone through any baby clothes because I had a shower coming up on Saturday. But my sister was flying in for the weekend just to help me make the nursery awesome. So I was doing my best to get things as done as possible.

 I didn't get to bed super early and I didn't sleep very well. I just chalked it up to the anticipation of my sister coming. When I got up for my 5 am potty break, I noticed I felt like I had peed my pants a little. As I laid back down I continued to feel that sensation and realized I couldn't control it. That's when I figured out that I wasn't peeing my pants, but I was leaking amniotic fluid. It was just a tiny leak but continuous.

 I woke Doug up and told him what I thought was going on. He said, "Well lets call the doctor right now if youre worried.". But the doctor office didn't open till 8 am and I knew there wouldn't be much we could do at that point. Plus I didn't feel any sense of urgency or fear. I knew there could be a small tear in the outside membrane and nothing too big, or it could be a big problem. Because I felt ok about it, I didn't worry too much about it. I called the doctors office right at 8 and they told me to come on in. Doug decided to stay home rather than go to Idaho Falls with me. My sisters flight was due to arrive at 8:45 am. So it worked out perfectly! I would pick up Briitany at the airport then swing by the drs. office. Of course Logan wanted to go to pick up Brittany so I stopped to pick him up then we headed out.

 We got Britt and they dropped me off at the Dr. I told them to go to breakfast while I waited to see the Dr. on call (mine had left on Monday for vacation). So I'm sitting in the waiting area with about 4 other pregnant ladies. And as I'm waiting I have the tiniest cramp and then...a gush all down my legs soaking my pants. I'm sure the look of shock on my face was way better than the lady sitting across from me. So I stood up and walked right back through the door to the nurses station just as reality hits me and the tears start to come. "I need to be seen right now! My water just completely broke.". That's all I had to say to get priority service from the nurses :). The Doctor checked me and proceeded to tell my my membranes were completely ruptured and that I needed to go to the hospital right away. All I could think was, "I need to call my husband." 

 So I called Doug while the nurses found some old scrubs to bring to me to put on (as my pants were completely soaked). I told Doug something like, " We are having a baby today, my water completely broke and the Dr. wants me to go to the hospital right now.". All he could say was "Are you serious?". :). Then we continued to talk about getting a bag of stuff together, dropping burley off etc. My next call was to my little brother. I informed him that my water had broke and he needed to take me to the hospital. I'm sure they were so shocked and not expecting to be part of Lincoln's birth at all! So they took me to the hospital, where I got all checked in and comfortable :). At this point I still hadn't had a single contraction so the nurse started talking to me about an IV and pitocin....I just wanted to wait until Doug got there to make any decisions. So he finally showed up and we proceeded with the pitocin. Little did I know I was in for a contraction every 2-3 minutes, Yipee! 

 I had wonderful nurses who respected my desire to use hypnobabies techniques to relax. As things progressed I had wonderful results that allowed my body to really relax. I wouldn't say that hypnosis made it easy or pain free, but my body ws really able to respond naturally to the contractions and stay tense free. Honestly, the hypnobabies was the most mentally exhausting thing I have ever done, but soo worth it. If you ask my husband or brother and sister (who came back to bring Doug dinner and a few things for me) how I looked....haha they actually thought that I was sleeping. HA! I had actually been talking myself through contraction after contraction as they sat there and ate. 

 Fastforward to 11:30 pm. I had been on the pitocin since 10 am and both Doug and I had continuously used the scripts and CDs provided by hypnobabies. We were both so tired and I needed to know where I was at and how much longer I might need to talk myself through more contractions. The nurse didn't act like I should expect to be dilated very far at all, but to her surprise I was at a 4 and completely effaced! It still meant that I could have 5 or 6 hours to go so she offered me my medication options saying an IV med would be very minimally invasive and lasts for 2 hours so I could make my decision on what to do next rather than just jumping to the epidural. So I thought, yeah I just need a little time to relax, rest and regain my focus.

 If you ever think you just want to take the edge off and then get back to laboring....DON'T get the IV meds! That is the worst thing I've ever done! All it did was make my head crazy hyped up on drugs! It did nothing for the pain. It just made me crazy enough that there was no way I would be able to focus through contractions like I had so beautifully been doing. Argh! I wish the nurse would have told me what the medication would really do. So at this point I couldn't relax one bit through contractions and my brain was in la la land between each one. So I just made the best decision for me at the time, which was to get an epidural. Not my first choice....but then again I never expected to be induced 6 weeks early due to my water breaking. Had I not been on pitocin I know things would have been very different. So around midnight the epidural was in, I'll have to dedicate another post to my crazy memories from being on the IV meds :). 

 Just about 2:30 I woke up feeling much more alert and very different, not physically but more like deep down I knew it was time. The epidural had cut off all feeling to the point that I only knew I had contractions by looking at the monitor. I woke Doug up and asked him to say a prayer with me, I just felt different and like it was time. The nurse finally came in and checked me really not expecting too much change. Boy was she surprised again, because she was like, "Call the Doctor NOW". They wheeled us back into the OR around 2:40 and we waited for the Dr. to get there for about 5 or so minutes. 

 By 3:01 am Lincoln was born! I can't imagine trying to push a bigger baby than him out! It would have taken forever but this went so quick! He came out with a beautiful head of hair and looked so beautifully perfect! Even if he was only 4lbs 10 oz. Doug cut the cord just moments after he was born then he was whisked away. It was the hardest thing to be wheeled back to my room to wait until the epidural wore off enough for me to get into a chair. But it was just about an hour and a half and I was holding him in my arms again, taking in his beautiful eyes, his perfect little face counting fingers and toes and even being able to nurse him. Even with all of the probes and wires he was simply perfect! 

 We were so incredibly blessed with such a miracle baby who was so strong from the beginning! His lungs were perfect! No need for respiratory assistance. He established a great latch and had already mastered the suck, swallow, breathe coordination so many preemies have a hard time with. Heck he even was doing well with his temperature regulating. I felt so so blessed and grateful to have him doing well. For coming 6 weeks early Lincoln could not have had a better start! 

 Things don't always go the way you plan or even want them to. I have always wanted to have a natural birthing experience. I had always imagined holding and cherishing my little one during the first hours of his life. I had always thought we would come home happy and healthy just a few days after his birth. None of these things happened, and yet it was still wonderful, empowering, and life changing. Yes it has been the hardest thing I have ever done...Actually, dealing with the NICU stay was the hardest thing I've ever done. It has been worth every moment! I'll post about his NICU stay soon:)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

2nd Trimester

Ok so my picture taking was horrible the 2nd trimester!!  I really tried but had too many problems with my camera.  It didn't work for a little bit, then I left it up at Doug's  parents and couldn't remember where it was, then it got left in Nevada!  So yes I was horrible.  Here are my few preggo pics I haven't posted yet.
21 Weeks

24 Weeks

Things I want to remember about the 2nd Trimester:
-Tons of energy!!  I didn't think I was all that tired the first trimester, but I definitely have had lots more energy the past few months.
-Big kicks and tons of movement!  I love how the baby had plenty of room to move around and he definitely did lots of somersaults during the 2nd Tri.  I notice now that I'm getting bigger he is staying in one position for longer amounts of times.
-The cute belly.  I love this middle time, where I'm still not too big to feel huge, but my belly is definitely sticking out and looking pregnant.  It was easy to still feel cute in the 2nd trimester.
- Good sleep.  I got a ton of good sleep throughout this last trimester.  Near the end I noticed a lot more awake times where I was uncomfortable and bathroom trips began increasing.  But for the most part I enjoyed easy sleeping!
- Finding out it was a BOY!!  I am so super excited for a Momma's Boy too!  I can't wait and have had so much fun dreaming and planning and doing little projects!
-Getting to start working on the nursery!  I love it and can't wait for it to be finished. 
-The only thing I didn't enjoy was the heartburn I would get once or twice a week.  So not fun, but really so worth it!!
- I guess there's one more thing I haven't enjoyed :) trying to pick out a name that Doug and I can agree on!  So we decided to wait till we meet him and are both happier with that decision!

Getting Ready for Baby!

So after finding out we were having a boy I have been all consumed with finishing little projects, working on the crib set, and accumulating baby stuff.  I must say I'm pretty darn good at finding a great deal on gently used things.  Here's what my baby findings have included:

A beautiful all wood crib, but with a pine finish (my least favorite look!).  Normally it was $400.  I found it on craigslist for much much less (think hundreds less) and my sweet parents bought it for me.  We did a little work to it and this is the finished product, which I love!  Here's your sneak peak of the nursery stuff.

A baby swing, barely used for a few months.  $30 and it is like new!

Baby bouncer for free!!  It was a pretty big mess when I picked it up, but with some stain remover and laundry soap it cleaned up really nice.  I love that it has a net for outside, especially since I'll have the rest of the summer to enjoy!

Baby clothes, gently used and $.25 a piece.  Can I just say I love Mommy n Me!!  I didn't want to go out and buy a ton of clothes before I had a baby shower but I just couldn't handle not picking some things out myself.  I spent $7 total and my Mother-in-law spent $2.25? and here are my spoils!  Pretty Good!!

An Ergobaby backpack carrier for our hiking adventures.  Normally $160, bought new @ $89.  We decided we would really use this much more than a stroller and would rather put our money into the backpack.  And I love it!

Speaking of strollers, I had decided not to worry about getting one.  Well a friend picked up a bunch of free stuff including a stroller.  She decided to buy a new stroller and gave me the free one.  Still needs some clean up but hey, it's FREE!!

A Medela double electric breast pump, normally $300ish.  I found it used for $125 and will just buy new membranes, tubing etc.  It's in great condition and was used for just one child.  And this is my Grandparent's gift.  They love to gift money so that you can just get what you need.  Thanks Grandpa!!  I will definitely need a pump with all of my Let's Play Music classes and piano lessons.

Oh and way back when we were on the adoption list I found a great pack n' play gently used, with the bassinet and mobile for $50? I think?  It was quite some time ago and almost forgot I had that.

So all of these big item things that can really add up have been great finds!  I'm so excited to have actually need baby things!  I can't wait to use them all and am so happy I've kept more money in my pocket.

Man I'm Bad!

Yes I fell off of my good blogging streak.  Can I come up with any excuses?  Most definitely.  Do I think it is sad I only got 3 consecutive weeks in a row?  You bet!  But sadly the time is gone and I can't get it back so I will just start again and try to be more diligent :).

As for my goals, they are still going good.  Not as well as they could go but I'm giving myself a break.  I've had so many things going on I feel good that I'm still very conscious of the kind of exercise I'm getting in, our finances, and I have a to do list every day!  So I'll have a few posts of catch up and try to continue on with my accountability posts :).  We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

20 Weeks and It's a.......

Oh we are so excited!!  I think we both secretly were thinking how awesome it would be to have a boy!  I had the big ultrasound yesterday and it was so much fun to find out what we were having.  Doug wasn't able to come to the ultrasound so I came up with a cute way to tell him.  I'll see if I can get the video to work on here.

Here is my bump at 20 weeks!  I wasn't able to take pictures the last few weeks because I didn't have a camera to do it with.  

Here are some of my favorite things about this pregnancy as of late!
- I've been feeling this baby for about 2 1/2 weeks now and it never gets old.  I'm always finding myself smiling and amazed that such an amazing thing is happening to me!!  I love all of the little punches and kicks he gives me, even if he loves to do it at 5 in the morning (something that has been a common occurrence!).  
-I'm loving food and yet not the sweets!  I'm so happy that I don't crave greasy food and sugar all of the time.  I always worried that I might run into that problem and then turn into a blimp.
- I have felt so great!  The tiredness is wearing off and I feel the need to be active and doing things.  Everyone asks how I'm feeling and I truly do feel great.
-I have the craziest vivid dreams.  They have nothing to do with baby boy or the pregnancy but they are crazy!  I have never dreamed so much or remembered my dreams so much in my life.  I had always heard you have super strong dreams when pregnant and now I know its true.  Some I remember are things like Burley turning in to a tarantula (weird?), my mom dragging me out of sacrament meeting to discipline me - yes I was still a grown woman and it made me so mad for her to embarrass me so!! I woke up with such angry feelings!, and me and Doug dating as if we weren't married and trying to figure out if we were right for each other.  Ha!  I know crazy and I'm sure there will be more to come.
-I rented a doppler off of the internet and am so happy I did.  My family has been able to hear the heartbeat and I can always check on him.  It was super cheap $20 for the month.  I'm glad I had it because yesterday I slipped and fell on the ice.  Hard.  I landed on my backside and was really worried something might go wrong.  He's not really active at night and I kept worrying that I wasn't feeling him.  So I check the heartbeat off and on all night.  Everything is going fine and he was moving like crazy again this morning.
- I have another check up on Monday because my cervix is thinner than the Doctor would like.  I'm hoping and praying it will thicken up on it's own so that I will not have to have a cerclage done or be put on bedrest.  I still have all of my students to teach and besides that I think I would go crazy being on bedrest.  I have too many fun things I plan to do and work on!!  So we shall see.

Valentine's Pics

Here are the pictures of that cake I made for Valentine's Day.  I finally got my camera back and working!!

It was white chocolate cake with chocolate mousse, fresh strawberries and chocolate ganache filling.  Then the outside was frosted with chocolate ganache and drissled with white chocolate.  Yumm!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Girl or Boy?

In exactly one week from tomorrow we will know if we are having a girl or a boy. We don't feel strongly it is one or the other and will be excited no matter which it is! So what do you all think? You better put your bets down now! :). I really just want to know what everyone else thinks it is haha!

Week 3

Goal 1 - To tell the truth I was horrible at exercising this last week! Ugh I don't know what happened....Ok....Well I guess I know exactly what happened. After cross country skiing last Saturday, a drive to and back to Twin Falls Sunday, and a good housecleaning Monday... let's just say that I lost all energy to exercise! Then it was Valentines so I made the excuse not to exercise. I did get 2 days in last week and took burley for a long walk around the park for about an hour. So I guess I'm being a little hard on myself but this week will be much better.

Goal 2 - I'm still going strong with my lists. I now want to do better at adding something more each day. I haven't worked on projects at home lately and put it off, because I know I will probably go sewing Wednesday nights and very often on Monday mornings. But I find I have time that I'm wasting still. So my first project was to finish the two books I was reading. Got them both done and now Im all caught up for book club. Next project, finish that puzzle sitting upstairs!!

Goal 3 - Still doing lovely with being mindful of the budget. Unfortunately unexpected things always have to happen. Like our white car breaking down and having problems! So we are assessing the damage it will do to us this month. We are doing so good I had no problem telling Doug, 'Sure! Go snowboarding! We can afford it!'. after he said, 'Well I'd love to go, but you know it is $50.'. And the even better part? He ended up getting a lift ticket for $25 because someone had an extra and Doug happened to be in the right place at the right time. So I'm still feeling good.

- Valentines! Oh I do love valentines day! My husband is too sweet, we get to much yummy chocolate, and I love celebrating our relationship. Doug got me beautiful flowers, not red roses, but a mixed bouquet that I loved! Unfortunately my camera is up at the in-laws and I can't post our pics.
- We got to drive and see our beautiful niece blessed. She is growing too quickly and we miss them so much! It was totally worth the 6 hours in the car in one day drive. Yes my back was mighty sore and stiff (the skiing the day before didn't help too much). But like I said totall worth it.
- Monday I deep cleaned our kitchen cupboards and drawers. Everything got disinfected and reorganized. And it is clean! Im so glad I accomplished this big one! I figured after living in this house for 5's about time that was done!
- We found out our awesome cousins who have been waiting and waiting, were able to have their son born on Friday 10th, just before we went to Twin. They flew to NY to wait for their birth moms doctor to give the go-ahead for the birth. And their son is beautiful!! We were so happy to hear that everything went well, baby is healthy, and birthmom is doing great, and they were able to come home this last weekend. It is a wonderful miracle and blessing in their lives and I can't wait to see him at her shower!!
- Another highlight to everyday is feeling my own baby a little more and more! But I'll give this topic a whole post to itself!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Week 2

1- I must say I am going to be the most in shape I've been in years!  And all while I'm pregnant??!  Haha I am loving it!  I didn't exercise my full routine everyday this week because my back was killing me on Wed & Thursday.  But I did exercise everyday! Woohoo!

2- Still loving and rocking my lists!  I was talking to my dad and mom the other day on facetime.  I told them about my new To-Do list kind of living and my dad said, "A goal not written down is just a dream."  So true.  And I do find that when I don't make my list 1st thing in the morning I rarely do what I have already thought through.  It just helps to write it down.

3- Finances are looking better all of the time.  We decided to cancel a few things that we have been paying that we really don't use.  We cut almost $100 out of our monthly spending and it's gonna help savings so much!  We did decide to go out to dinner for V-day and I bought some yummy stuff to make, but we are still sitting good on our budget :).  See we can still have such fun AND save money!

- I got my blinds cleaned this week!  It was one of the big things on my long list of bigger To-Dos!  It took a while (and may have been the activity that set off my achy back) but I was so happy when I got done!! I'm glad, glad, glad to have clean windows and blinds to look out of.
- I had tons of fun sewing with one of my besties!  She is only about a month farther along than me and we sew almost weekly.  I made a bunch of reusable wipes a few weeks ago, and this week we worked on making reusable nursing pads!  She had all of this super absorbent fabric and we mostly got the circles cut out.  So I'll update when we finish them this week.  I'm excited :).
- Doug and I started celebrating Valentines this weekend.  I decided to make him something special every day of the weekend, including today and tomorrow.  He has a young mens thing on Valentines so we decided to do our 'Go-Out' date on Friday.  We ate yummy food and I made a fancy cake (I'll post pictures later).
- Saturday we decided to go cross country skiing.  It is a little tradition of ours I guess you could say.  Normally we rent a little cabin somewhere in Island Park, stay one night and cross country ski the next day at Harriman.  But we decided we should save money.  So we just took a drive Saturday after a yummy breakfast.  And we got to bring Burley with us (another plus to NOT staying in a cabin).  Burley loved it.  It was beautiful and sunny, and unfortunately I forgot my camera.  Boo!  Oh well we had a blast!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Week 1

So this week actually turned out really well in terms of my goals! Here's how I did plus a few highlights of my week.

Goal 1- I exercised everyday (except Sunda)! And I am really feeling great! I find that when I exercise I have a better nights sleep, and I tend to crave the more healthy foods. And that's always a plus!!

Goal 2- To Do lists are my new best friend. I have been so much more organized each day. I find a lot more satisfaction in he daily tasks that need to be done when I make them my purpose. And I don't end up beating myself up at the end of the day when I feel like I accomplished nothing! My house is so much more clean and organized, and it doesn't get to the overwhelming stage when everything needs to be done and I have no idea where to start. I am doing better at little goals I set because they get put on the list and I love to do them just to cross them off!!
It was interesting in R.S. this week someone shared a comment. We were talking about finding our purpose in life and using our Agency to accomplish our purpose. And about how Satan tends to put road blocks in our way, one of them being that we get bored with the daily mundaneness of our tasks as wife and mother. Then this sister shared a comment that went something like this. "When we have daily tasks to accomplish I find that making the task at hand my purpose in life at that moment keeps me motivated, happy, and I even find joy in the task. We talked about finding our bigger purpose in life, but I think we accomplish that bigger purpose by making our scope more focused in smaller purposes throughout our day.". I loved how that applied to my to do listing and found I have been so happy to accomplish tasks this past week. The dishes werent daunting any more. My bed was made every single day! And in the morning right when I got out of it! I'm just loving this Goal number 2!!

Goal 3- Ohh we are doing so good! A week into Feb and we already found three things to cut out of our budget to save money. Plus I did my first of two shopping visits under budget and with full lists. Our household items were written down and purchased along with grocery shopping! That's a first! Haha but I have felt so good and in control with our finances.
We also did our taxes, which ended up not to be as big of a blow as we expected. With both of us teaching lessons we always find we owe the government so much and we didn't do as well setting aside money for taxes as we would have liked. But with all of our medical expenses, plus business expenses we find we owe less than we even expected. So we have a new goal to add into our planned shopping visits and snowballing payments. Our new goal is to pay taxes quarterly for our music lessons. Then we won't have a big chunk to pay when taxes come around, and who knows we may even get a return with a new child entering our family. That'll be a first! So we are saving saving saving!

Our weeks highlights!
- It was a busy week with almost something every night for Doug, so I worked hard to get dinners ready early and we had some good meals together. I love at least having the time to sit down at dinner and talk, even just for a half hour. Meals were a highlight this week.
- Doug had parent teacher conference which means he had Friday off! I had a Let's Play Music meeting Friday morning, but then we stayed in all afternoon and did our taxes! So fun I know haha.
- We played games with some friends Saturday night and had a blast! We love getting together with friends and I always wonder why we wait so long to do it again. So I'll try to plan the next game night over at our place!
- Burley got a bath and turned into a beautiful smelling puffball! Haha his hair is so long and he is always so fluffy after I dry him, I just love it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Looking Down!!

I looked down today while I was getting ready and realized I had to lean forward a little before I could see my feet!  My belly always looks so much bigger to me, probably because I look down on it, than it does to other people.  Everyone keeps saying I don't even look pregnant :).  I'm sure they are being nice.  I think the bump has really started to pop out this last week and I can't suck it in anymore ha!  So Here's what I saw today at 16 & 1/2 weeks....
It looks way bigger from this view!!
And here's the side view.

My bloating has gone way down and so all thats left is real baby bump.  It almost feels like I was bigger in week 14 and 15 than I am now at almost 17 weeks.  Or maybe its the button up shirts that make me look so big :) Here's the proof.
14 weeks and 15 weeks.
I don't know what do you think?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trying to be better!!

Lately we have had a lot of focus on Goals. What with the New Year and resolutions, and a whole month dedicated to the topic of goals in Church, I began feeling a little guilty. A lot of the time my goals tend to fizzle out after a day or two. I mean I am feeling pretty good when I can say I did something every day of the week! Then I usually let it drop soon after! I know I am not the only one who has this problem, but sometimes I wonder why I can't find the motivation!

Well today in church, one of our Bishopric members shared a quote that stated we needed to be accountable to someone for our goals. And the light popped on! I have such a hard time because yeah I know I should try harder.....but sometimes it's just so easy to pretend like I didn't even have that goal! So here is me being accountable :). I have three goals that I am going to report on every week. It will help me be a better blogger, and even if no one is reading this, it will help me to report to someone!

Goal 1 - Exercise! I would really like to have a healthy and fit pregnancy. I want to feel good and stay active. Of course I don't want to gain numberless pounds that will be so hard to shed!! Exercising will help me feel better throughout my pregnancy, have a smoother delivery, and whip back into shape more easily. I have a lot more time in the mornings and did pretty darn good for about a week and a half. I know I can do it, I have done it, so I have no excuse! I have a prenatal pilates program that I love, love, love too! So I will report back weekly on how my morning exercise routine went.

Goal 2 - To Do Lists! I have found that I am so productive and manage my time so well when I make a little list. They help me accomplish my tasks so efficiently that I can't imagine why I don't use them more. Plus lists should help me accomplish other goals, right? So every day I want to make use of my to dos! I'll let ya know how it goes :).

Goal 3 - Become More Money Smart/Debt Free! Doug and I have made this goal together and really come up with some great ways for us to be more conscientious of how we spend our money. I wouldn't say we are bad with money, or rack up the credit card debt like there is no tomorrow. For the most part we are pretty frugal spenders. We talk to each other before we spend money and have a budget that we rarely go over. But we aren't making much progress in the long term savings or becoming debt free area. So we have come up with some ways to make it happen rather than just talking about it.
We are going to balance our budget every week so we know where we are at. I don't check whether I am under budget for household items before I run to Walmart for shampoo, or vacuum bags. I never make a list of household shopping items, which means we usually run to the store when something pops in our heads, which results in mindless purchases that can rack up the total amount we spent. So in order to be more on top of knowing where we are at, we will look each week at the budget, and make a list for things we need or are running low on. That way I will get those items with my bi-monthly grocery shopping trips. Cuts down on gas, time, and mindless spending.
Another thing we are going to try is putting the credit card and debit card away when we reach our limit on the budget. We never use the credit card without paying it in full each month, so in a lot of ways it is just like using our debit or checks. However we both said that we never think twice about pulling it out to swipe it, even when we have no idea if we are over or under our allotted budget. So in the spirit of the cash system, Its gone when it's gone! We may even find that we never have to put the cards away, because we are more mindful of our budget.
And the last thing is the snowball effect. Many people use some variation of this technique and it really is the most effective for debt reduction. After all of our bills are paid, tithing is separated, and savings are transferred, we will use whatever is left over to pay extra on our smallest debt amount. Once that debt is paid off we will snowball its old payment amount into the payment of our next lowest debt. And before you know it you slash your debt with a power payment plan from hades!
So with being more conscientious of our spending habits, we should be saving more per month, and having extra for debt reduction! We will see how well the plan goes and I am super excited to get started. I feel empowered just thinking about knowing better where we stand with our finances before I run to the store. And knowing that we will always have that savings for a rainy day or emergencies is a wonderful thing!

So my little bloggy world, here's to keeping me accountable! I'm sure you will help to keep me in check and my goals on track!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Through the 1st Trimester!

Whoohoo!! It seemed like I'd never make it this far, but this week I am officially done with the 1st Trimester of my pregnancy.  I wanted to keep a journal of sorts for myself so here are some things I have experienced in the past 13 weeks.  And a little baby bump tracking too!
I missed taking pictures a few weeks but the bump is starting to materialize!  I'm sure I feel way more huge than I look to other people, and I'm going to need to start looking at maternity clothes before I know it!

Things I've experienced that I want to remember:
-The shear nervousness of waiting after our embryo transfer.  I get anxiety over several other things as it is, and this was the most consuming anxiousness I have ever felt.  I remember feeling totally positive one minute and then consumed with fear and sorrow that it didn't work the next.  But it was definitely worth all of my analyzing and agonizing!

-The pure joy and elation of seeing a positive pregnancy test for the first time in my life!!  I wanted to tell everyone the minute the line showed up.  At that moment I had such a peace and calm about the pregnancy.  I think it's probably the only time I didn't have one ounce of fear about things not working out.

-The terror I felt as I cramped and cramped at 7 weeks.  I felt so sure that something was wrong and to my dismay the next day after the cramps had subsided...bright red blood!  I was so scared I would loose the baby but at the same time so sure that everything would be alright. My prayers were definitely answered when everything turned out to be fine.

-Up until 10 weeks I had to take progesterone.  Unfortunately only the very expensive (like $350 for 2 weeks expensive) stuff had no side affects on me.  The oral progesterone guaranteed dizziness for at least 3 hours a day.  So for weeks, because we just couldn't afford to do anything else, I dealt with being so dizzy every day that all I could do was lay on the couch with my eyes closed!  Am I complaining?? :) No Way!!  Haha I would do it all over again and compared to other peoples pregnancies this was nothing!

-I made it through the whole 1st tri without one ounce of morning sickness. Once in a while I felt a little queasy, but only very mildly!  I have been so blessed to be able to still enjoy eating and being completely active!  

-Several food aversions :).  Not to the point of feeling sick if I ate the food, but just something tasting so off that I didn't even want it. Sadly the list includes Turkey Gravy (which is a favorite at Thanksgiving), anything too sweet (not a bad thing I guess), mayonnaise/miracle whip, soda, anything fried and probably a few other things I should have written down!

- I guess you could call them cravings.  I never have sat at home just dying for weird combinations or loved things I haven't loved before.  My cravings have been more like I could eat the same thing every day because it just tastes soooo good!  We went out to Craigo's Pizza one night and I ate 3 slices of their potato pizza and nothing else.  I didn't even want my favorite bbq chicken one (and they have tons more flavors I love).  Another time we went out to eat with my brother and I just wanted waffles or yummy baked mac n' cheese.  So those have been what my cravings are like.  I have eaten a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch probably 5 times a week for the past 3 weeks :)  Hey if I don't get tired of it, that's ok with me!

- Heartburn!  Oh my lands!  I have never experience heartburn with such a vengeance!  I cannot do anything fried or I suffer the consequences.  That means no hamburgers, french fries, chicken strips, chinese food, or any other breaded yumminess.  Which makes me a little sad, but I have been eating a lot healthier due to that fact.

-I haven't experienced too much fatigue.  It has been great!  Once in a while I have a day where I am just exhausted, but for the most part I have felt great and had plenty of energy!

-But oh have I mentioned the gas?  Noone does gas like a pregnant woman and I wish it would just go away.  It doesn't seem to matter what I eat I am always feeling the urge!  So I just I'll have to deal with it and hope it will ease up as I get farther along.

-I wanted to remember our last ultrasound at 10 weeks.  The Babes (my little nickname until we find out gender) was so much bigger and totally putting on a show!  Had the hiccups, was waving little arms, and bouncing around like he was in a little bounce house. (No I don't think it's a boy more than a girl but I have to say something so we will go with he.)  It's funny we have three pictures taken within a second and he is totally floating in one, then touching the wall of my womanly organ, and then bouncing back off with only part of his back touching the wall :).  Very entertaining and amazing!!  I'm sure we are just going to have a spazz for a child!

So those are just some of the things I want to remember.  I'll have to  do another post about the weird and wild dreams I have already started to have :).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Christmas Vacation!!

I'm trying to get caught up on blogging!!  Especially because I know it will never happen once the baby is here.  So here are the highlights of our Christmas 2011!

-We spent time with Doug's family the week before Christmas.  We were able to eat tons of good food, play great games, have good conversation and of course do the annual Hansen Family Nativity.  We forgot our camera that night but have some pictures on the rest of the families cameras that I will need to get!

- We then drove down to Logandale to spend Christmas with my family!!  It was a long drive but totally worth it.  And Burley was pretty fantastic on the way down.
- On our way down we stopped in Salt Lake to see Temple Square and all of the lights!  It was fabulous and my favorite part was seeing all of the unique Nativities they had set up.  As we were parking a light snow was falling which just added to the experience!

- Christmas Eve we enjoyed a wonderful feast!  It was followed by playing games like the Carol game and a new favorite Sardines!  We turned out all of the lights and played in my parents small house haha!  It was a blast and we played until midnight!!

- Christmas Day!  Burley was so excited to see what was in his stocking and now enjoys a wonderful squeaky toy Nana and Grandpa bought for him.  We were spoiled beyond belief and it was so fun to watch others open the gifts we picked for them.

- Our Present Scavenger Hunt!! Doug's family has a tradition of hiding clues around the house that eventually lead to a present.  We decided to do this for Logan (Doug did one for me and I one for him like usual).  But this was Logan's first time and he did pretty good!  I don't think he was expecting it at all because we tried to trick him with a gift card to his favorite burger place Five Guys.  He didn't know that wasn't his real present!! And it was so fun!

- Shooting with the family!  Dad got a new hand gun (which he cried over when he opened :)) and we just had to go shoot.  I'm not a huge fan of shooting big guns but I love 22s and would say I'm a pretty good shot!  My mom and I had little contests shooting empty pop cans and I hit more than I missed :).  Doug got to shoot my dads hunting rifle for the first time and I think he felt more empowered than he should have with that huge thing Ha!

- We went to Vegas to do a little shopping and see Sherlock Holmes 2.  It was a lot of fun and we enjoyed pampering ourselves a little at The Cheesecake Factory (definitely a favorite!)  

- We played more games than we could count.  Had endless Fruit Ninja wars on the Ipads.  Let it be known that I am THE ULTIMATE Fruit Ninja, even though Logan believes HE is.  

- I helped my mom get the binding put on her quilt so she can finally get it finished!! Last time I was there I started to put it together and on the quilt but I was so sick!  By the time I got finished putting the strips together I realize I had sewn every other one on backwards and was going to have to pick it out.  At that point I just laid on the floor and cried.  The flu was not fun to have then and I just told her to put it away and I'd do it some other time.  Well that was a year ago and now she can actually try to finish it and get it on the bed :).

- I got to go to a close friends baby shower right before we left!  It was so good to see her and they had great snacks :)  Yes a pregnant lady will always remember the food first!  We played a lot of fun games and enjoyed seeing all the cute girly things she got.

- Then we drove to Utah for New Years.  Of course it was just about dark when we started the drive which spells disaster for Burley.  He hyperventilates and wigs out when its dark and we are on a long drive.  The only thing that would calm him down was me to hold him tight and sing.  Since he falls asleep everytime I have a Let's Play Music class I thought I'd give singing a try.  Well I was singing for just about 4 hours!!  Once we got there we had a big party with the family.  Once again there was tons of food and games!  I was definitely wilting by 11:00, but we stuck it out and had our drink of sparkling soda and kiss at 12:00 on the dot!  Then we woke up early to drive home.