Friday, July 31, 2009
Mom and Dad were here from Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon. They were here to watch Nora while I went into surgery, and Dad drove me to my OB appointment that was on Tuesday. Mom totally buffed up my kitchen (it looks all shiny in there now), and really helped pick up the house (after Nora had completely trashed the place). Dad took Nora to a local park on Tuesday, too. I think she had a blast with them. (Thank you for being here for us, guys.)
Mary Brown (my mother-in-law) came on Wednesday to help out. She gave Nora a bath, took us out to lunch, and entertained Nora all day while I did some work (for work). She got Nora outside some (which I think Nora appreciated: she's not been a fan of me not taking her outside as often as I usually do). I think Nora had a blast with her, too. (Thank you for being here for us, Mary!)
Thursday, a good, old friend of mine from high school, Bethany (Gerber) Johnson, came with her little girl. Nora and Emily got along really well (and I got some cute pictures of them playing that I'll have to upload eventually). Emily wore Nora out, and Nora napped incredibly well for me that day. Bethany helped pick up my living room, and she brought some food with her to share for lunch (and she left some goodies behind when she left, too). Bethany also lifted Nora up for me every time I needed, and that was really, really appreciated. I was also able to take a shower and get some work done that afternoon. It was lovely. It was so nice to catch up with Bethany, too. She's such a nice girl. (Thank you so much for coming to help, Bethany! It was good to see you after such a long time!)
Today, my best friend from high school (and probably the longest running, closest friend I've had) came 1.75 hours to be at my aid. She brought her sweet, little Cora Belle. They were not only pleasant company (that baby is seriously sweet), but Lena also managed to do, like, three loads of laundry (including washing our bedding) while she was here, she dusted for me, and she totally picked up my living room before she left. She also brought us presents. I should be bringing her presents! She was an amazing help. She also lifted Nora up for me every time I needed to lift her. What's sad: I had totally intended to do this for her when Cora was born, and here she was doing it for me! (Thank you, Bean. It was so nice having you and Cora here.)
Right now, Roomba (I will soon have a name picked for him) is vacuuming my bedroom. I love him. Seriously.
Thank you, guys! It's so awesome to be so blessed with such kind friends and family (and robots).
Willi will be here in just a few minutes. Then, we intend to take it seriously easy this weekend. I hope to not need any extra help next week.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
In light of the fact that I'm, like, somewhat useless around the house at the moment, Willis decided to give me my birthday present a bit early (to help ease my mind). Check. It. Out.
It's an iRobot Roomba 560!
I'm so friggin' excited, I can't even contain myself. This thing has got to be the coolest thing I've ever seen (or owned).I've always dreamed of having one of these things (as long as I've known about them, anyway), but I always figured it was just that: a dream.
He must like me or something.
This thing is so cool: you can program it to clean your house at specific times and everything. We got a little trigger happy tonight and tested it out for ten minutes. You wouldn't believe how much dirt (and pet hair) this thing picked up in that time. I just vacuumed a week ago, too.
My life is about to be a little easier, I think. (And a little bit cooler, too.)
The cat and dog are utterly freaked (muahahahaha!). I hope Nora doesn't try to ride it (she was asleep for the test run).
Thank you, Willi! This proves that you not only read my blog, but you also, like, listen to me talk sometimes. That's neat.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Willis and I cleaned up the remainder of that mess (they had left a huge, initial mess, cleaned up some of it, and left some behind) from our property about a month or two ago. It was a serious undertaking.
Frank and Dolores had a ton of wood, brush, and grossness left behind that they weren't going to be able to remove by themselves (plus, the alley way that goes back there is blocked off by some guy's car). Dolores has been working for several weeks on getting the stuff organized into piles so that Frank can mow that area. I've been feeling so bad watching her work (she typically would work on it during the week and during the day), and I wished I could go over there and help her (baby belly and Nora kind-of made that impossible).
Dolores was doing all this cleaning up around the time that we got our trees cut down (and we had a bunch of wood laying in our yard because we knew people wanted the firewood). Then, I got the idea to put their wood (and maybe any wood that we might have left if we had any left—but we didn't have any left) on my Freecycle list. There's always someone on there that's willing to do some grunt work to get something for free (some guy came and shoveled our sand pile into his truck when we built our patio awhile back). So, that's what I did.
The guy I chose (there were several taker wannabes) came over here with a truck and a trailer ready to go and grab all the wood (he even brought help). (Incidentally, this guy wants to use the wood to heat his house.) Unfortunately, his first attempt was unsuccessful because that guy's car was still blocking the alley way. The man that owned the car said that he'd have to change his tire to move the car, and he said that he'd call him when it was moved. I had a feeling this could go on for months (or forever). I was bummed.
Today (just two days after the first attempt), the man from the Freecycle list stopped by my house with his car and trailer utterly loaded with wood. He came up to my door to tell me that the man had fixed his car, moved it, and called him this morning. I was stunned. I seriously could not believe that the guy (who owned the car) was nice enough (and motivated enough) to actually, like, change his tire and move his car so this guy could get some wood. That was really cool.
So, the wood is gone! Frank and Dolores won't have to worry about ever having it moved, and that makes me feel so happy. They help me out so much and so often, I was so glad to be able to do this for them. (And the timing couldn't be better for a boost of feel-good action.)
And now, I spread the feel-good action onto you. Have a good weekend!
 NIPSCO is seriously evil. Seriously.
 I learned from the man who picked up the wood that La Porte has apparently abandoned all of its alleyways. So, technically, the man parked in the alley probably has the right to do so (or half the right). Possibly. Maybe he moved it because he was afraid that, perhaps, he didn't? That's a possibility, too. Even if that's the case, a lot of people still wouldn't be motivated to move a car that's been sitting for months (or even years). So, I'll give the car-owner the benefit of the doubt. I'm starting to like this town more and more.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Nora was a bit too cranky to get in on the first photo.
She decided she wanted in on the second one, though.
Here are some other pics of Nora from this morning:
I couldn't find her for a minute, and then, this is where I eventually found her.
She's a serious monkey.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Another thing she has been doing is trying to move her riding toys up and down the stairs (and across rooms and into different rooms—especially the bathrooms). That's actually a bit scary (she threw her rolling/riding toy down the stairs a few days ago, and it freaked me out because it was so loud that I knew she had to be falling down the stairs with it. Luckily, she had just pushed it). It's all part of this toy movement obsession, though. She's such a strange one.
I did, however, find out that when they told me that I have to fast for my surgery, that also includes water. How stinking harsh is that? They may not need to even put me under with that business. I can definitely complain about that, but on the whole, it's been a decent day.
After talking to the technician at the surgeon's office, calling my OB, and reading up on the internet a bit, I think I'm finally at peace with the decision to have the surgery on Monday. An article that really put things into perspective was one that Willis found and sent to me this morning. Here's the link to that article.
The most important part of the article that has helped to set us both at ease is this:
"Despite all of these potential problems, the workup on a palpable mass during pregnancy and lactation should not be postponed, as delayed diagnosis is one of the greatest dangers in this population. Because hormonal changes continue to progress during gestation, deferring diagnostic studies is not beneficial. If the patient plans to breast-feed, it is essential to establish a diagnosis as early as possible preferably before delivery. This approach avoids the risk of increased exposure to potentially detrimental high estrogen levels, may improve prognosis by detecting malignancy at an earlier stage, and reduces the risk of operative complications."
Monday, July 20, 2009
There are a lot of questions that I need to ask in the next few days to clear up some confusion. For example, I'll probably ask about how they will biopsy this thing once it's out and how long it will take. I plan to double-check to make sure that there's no other way to biopsy this thing before actually, like, going under the knife and general anesthesia. I've got some other questions, too. I'll get some answers.
We ran over to the hospital for some blood work this evening (in preparation for the surgery). My blood work from May apparently wasn't recent enough. (Yay for getting poked and prodded one more time during this pregnancy!) This is the first time I didn't leave with a huge bruise in my inner elbow region. That lady really knew how to stick a girl, I guess.
When we came home from the hospital this evening, we chit-chatted with our neighbors, the Bergrens (Pam was outside watching "Paul Bunyan," also known as Bill, cut some tree limbs down—a popular activity in our little neighborhood this summer). Pam noticed the cotton on my arm and asked me if I had blood work done, and then she asked what was happening. I brought her up to speed, and then she asked me what surgeon we were using. I said, "Dr. Cornwell."
Pam responded as though she knew Dr. Cornwell, and I asked her more about him. Apparently, Zach (their son) is a good friend of Dr. Cornwell's son. So, they interact with that family a lot. She said that they are really good, kind people. That made me feel so much better about things. I had a hunch that Dr. Cornwell was a good guy, but it was nice to see that reinforced by someone out in the community who knows him on a more personal level (and it was nice to hear it from people that I know and trust as well).
Pam also mentioned that a relative of hers requested him for a surgery (I believe it was putting a stint in for chemo therapy treatments?) because she trusts him. That was nice to hear, too. It's fairly clear that this guy isn't trying to make some money off of a pregnant lady 'cause he can. I'm glad that I was accurate in my gut assessment of that guy. (I know I'm shamelessly tooting my own horn, here, but I feel like I've got a good 'dar' for judging character.)
We've got an interesting week or two ahead of us. We'll take it one day at a time, I guess. What else can we do?
I'm rather tired, and I'm never, ever up this late. It's been a helluva day.
He mentioned that my arm tumor is not a lipoma (which I thought was a good thing until I read about a lipoma on Wikipedia). He also basically said that it's irregular and kind-of scary-looking, and he said it needs to come out, like, soon.
I asked him how soon "soon" is, and he said that it could probably wait about a week, but he does not think I should wait until September.
I told him that if it's something he thinks needs to happen, I'll be cooperative, but I want to be sure that it's okay for me to do this while I'm pregnant (they need to put me to sleep—full anesthesia). He is currently trying to get in contact with my OB to talk about it. I assume I'll be hearing something back at some point today. I've read up on it on the internet a bit today (I've not had a lot of time to read as much as I'd like, though), and all things I'm reading basically say that, depending upon the type of anesthesia used, it's fairly safe. I'll be interested to see what Dr. Ellis says. I was surprised to find out that it was actually okay to get an MRI (what they've said is that they haven't done extensive testing to find out if MRI causes issues—which is kind-of unsettling, but they also have not found any evidence that has incriminated MRIs that were used during pregnancy).
So . . . we'll see.
This is all pretty weird.
I'll post something if I know something.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Height = 32.25 inches
Weight = 24.2 pounds
Here's what Baby Center says about those numbers.
Based on the data you submitted, your child falls into the following percentiles:
Length = between percentile 50 and 75
Weight = between percentile 25 and 50
I don't think I know what all that means. So, now, it's time for pictures.
Yep. She climbed up there with her toy all by herself.
She randomly decided to take a mini nap on the guest bed today.
She woke up when I went to go snag the camera (and the dog got all excited
thinking that we were going downstairs to play or something).
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
She is a serious, hardcore climber, and it's probably going to kill me. Or her. Or both.
My appointment to follow up after the MRI was supposed to be for Monday morning, and we all know that the results of the MRI won't be there by then (since my MRI was going to happen at 3:30 p.m. this Friday).
I explained to her that total disarray of the whole situation, and she was irritated. I could tell. She said, "Let me make some calls."
A little while later, she called back and said, "Jennifer, they can get you in at the clinic right now if you want."
I told her I had to talk to my husband because I have an 18-month-old toddler (they do not accommodate children). Luckily, Willi was able to take off and meet me. So, the MRI actually happened today.
The woman from the surgeon's office even answered my questions about insurance (whether my insurance would cover it, etc.), and we got that all cleared up right then and there. Now, that wasn't so hard. What the heck happened, I wonder? Weird. Totally weird.
In other news, I did learn today that if I do end up in Hell, I know exactly what it will be like: laying in an MRI machine—while eight months pregnant. Man. I do not want to go to there.
And yes. You read that right. I said, "I do not want to go to there."
Monday, July 13, 2009
So, at this very moment, I'm on hold with the scheduling department trying to figure out when I'm going to get this stupid thing done. (10 minutes.)
Okay. Hold over. It looks like I have the option of going at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday or 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Willi is on his way home at the moment, and I need to talk to him before I can make a decision (because he's coming to meet me at the appointment for moral support and to watch Nora). So, now, I have to call back. Yay.
I don't understand how this actually happened. The woman who scheduled me talked at length with me about why I needed to be scheduled at the clinic in Michigan City. Apparently, since I'm pregnant, I'm, like, too big to be comfortable in the MRI machine at La Porte. Then, she went ahead and scheduled me for La Porte. What the crap, people?
So much for getting this thing done ASAP like the order originally said. My appointment (where the doctor told me I needed to get one of these) was on July 2nd. There's also a chance I may have to reschedule again (or not have this thing at all) if I find out that my insurance doesn't cover it. The doctor's office was apparently supposed to, like, figure that out when they scheduled this the first time (I didn't fully understand why the doctor had to figure that out about my insurance as opposed to the place where the MRI is happening).
What a friggin' mess. I almost wish they'd have let me schedule it myself in the first place. Criminey.
Again, I'll say that I'm thankful that healthcare isn't socialized yet. This little mishap may have cost me six more months before I could get that MRI (which I hope and assume will come back clear).
Aaaaaand I'm done.
She's moving to West Virginia the first week of August.
I'm so bummed. She's the only midwife around here, too (and that's largely why she's leaving: she is too busy with work to have a life, apparently). I can see why she needs to go, but . . . dang it, man. Deliver my kid first, will ya? Then you may go and have your life. (Can I get any more selfish?)
She said that she's strongly urged my OB to hire at least two midwives in her place so that things can go more smoothly. I sure hope he hires at least one. I really, really like the midwife thing. It'd be sweet if he hired one before this baby arrives (but I know my odds for that are not good).
So . . . yeah. I'm not sure what to do about that. I'm still in stunned mode for the moment.
In other similar-ish news, I have an MRI scheduled for the armpuff on Wednesday. So, that's still happening.
Friday, July 10, 2009
See what I mean?
Today, Hobbes was doing his usual baying in protest as people were walking by our house, and Nora ran over to the window and stood next to him. The both of them were baying and howling at the people in the street, and I about peed my pants laughing. Why is my camera always upstairs for stuff like that? Two peas in a pod, those two are getting to be. It's pretty funny—and completely in spite of me. That dog really does seem to love her, and she absolutely adores him. They've even gotten to a point where they "play" together. He chases her around sometimes, and she giggles so hard. It's so funny to hear. The fact that he's so good with her makes me gain a little more respect for him (I don't always have much respect for that poor dog).
Each day, Nora throws a few tantrums, but every time, they get a little more manageable. She's able to communicate a little better each day, and I think that helps. Plus, I really try to talk to her to see what it is that's making her angry. A lot of times, she's just mad because she can't clasp the snap on her high chair (I think she gets this OCD tendency from me—she always has to snap the clasps closed after she's done eating), so I tell her to say, "Help."
She says it now.
Most of her fits are about that clasp or other similar things (a toy won't do what she wants it to do, etc.). Maybe I can diffuse those fits so easily because I think I was a lot like that when I was little. I don't know. All I know is: she makes this hilarious horse noise whenever she gets good and mad (it's a pfft-noise). It cracks me up. She's not going to like that soon when she realizes I'm laughing at her.
Each day, we're getting closer to having a real conversation. I know it'll be happening soon, and that is going to be so weird. She's already too grown up for me as it is. It continues to amaze me how fast kids grow. I remember thinking that babies are babies forever, and they're really only babies for, like, five minutes. I'm not kidding.
Happy 1.5 years, ya little rat!
Tomorrow, my little girl is going to be 18 months old. I can't even begin to fathom where the time went.
I sat watching Nora play today (she's quite good at playing by herself—almost too good. I want her to play with me sometimes, too), and I couldn't help but to get a little bit choked up. And yes: I'm pregnant, and I'm possibly more emotional than normal (although, some might argue that I'm less emotional than usual—I blame that on the boy factor in my belly). However, I think the thoughts that flew through my head were thoughts that would jerk tears out of me at any time.
I started to think about my biggest fear, and how throughout my life, the status of my biggest fear has always been changing. When I was a kid, I think my biggest fear was of death—just death in general (my aunt Cindy died tragically when I was about 9 years old, and that marked me. My grandma Dill died the year after that). Maybe I was afraid of losing my parents—I'm pretty sure that was right up there with my own death, but as a kid, I think I had a pretty selfish view of life.
When I got older (old enough to know I wasn't a great swimmer), my biggest fear was probably drowning. When I was driving, my biggest fear was dying in a car accident. That one stuck with me until I met and fell in love with Willis. After that, my biggest fear was losing him. I realized I'd rather die than have that happen.
Then, Willis and I had Nora. My world is so different now.
Now, I have so many fears that are on that worst fear list. They are so freaking crippling to think about because I now have so much to lose.
I can see why some people never settle down, get married, or have kids—it's so safe. One can live a life on a little island away from pain and connection, and he/she can be okay. I can see the value in that, I suppose—especially when I think about what could happen (and I really, really try not to do that, but not acknowledging some of it would be naive, I think).
However, I think if I were faced with the choices all over again, I'd still pick the same things. Life just wouldn't be life without my family. I just hope that we're lucky enough to be together for a long time. Every day that we get to be together is a gift, and that's a fact.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I guess I should be glad I even took this many.
Here's the belly at 32 weeks. Nora's just two days shy of 18 months here.
Wheeee! I'm huge!
Oh, and here's a photo of the preggo Dills (minus one cousin, Tricia, who was not present):
We're almost in order of due dates, too.
(I'm actually due before all these ladies. That partially explains my hugeness.)
(Trace, I linked to your photo from Facebook. I hope that was okay.)
Thursday, July 2, 2009
I thought that was pretty cool.
She's actually sitting on her potty again right now (I'm letting her have a bit more half-naked time again before nap time). I have her potty in the room with us with her toys, etc. So, she sees it all day long and sits on it occasionally.
Nap time for a little one! Catch you kids later.
The surgeon was a bit more alarmed about it than I thought he'd be (so far, nobody has been overly alarmed about it—which is fine by me). (I went to this surgeon not long after Nora was born because I had an "issue." He actually didn't want to do surgery on me for that "issue," so when the MD was referring me to a surgeon, I requested this guy. I felt like he wouldn't cut me if he didn't have to.) So, now, I'm waiting for a phone call to make an appointment (obnoxious) for an MRI. I'm not sure when I'm going to be hearing from them. I'm supposed to call the surgeon's office if I don't hear from them by Tuesday morning. So, that's a bit frustrating.
I'm lucky that this is happening right now instead of when we'll have socialized health care. It'd be really scary to have to wait six months for that MRI (over in Chicago instead of Michigan City). That's all I'm going to say about that.
I've never had any weird "health things" happen to me in my life, so this is pretty strange. I'm trying not to be worried about it, but I'm finding that a bit challenging. I probably wouldn't be concerned at all if I weren't about to be the mom of two. You know? Okay. Maybe I still would be a little bit, but I'd be able to shrug it off a little better, I guess. I suppose if I had an appointment made for this MRI, I'd be less anxious. So . . . one thing at a time. Baby steps to the phone call to make the appointment. Baby steps.
I forgot to mention the fact that the surgeon wants to remove this lump no matter what the MRI says. The MRI is basically a precaution (he feels that the ultrasound doesn't really give a good enough look at the situation). The plan for now is to remove it after the baby is born (outpatient-style). I'm not looking forward to that.
I've never had surgery for anything before. I had two of my wisdom teeth cut out one at a time (I didn't even get put to sleep for that). That's about as severe as I've had it. I'm such a wuss.
Nora's cryin'. Gotta go.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
* Before I had kids, I never understood why they always talked ages in months. I remember hearing conversations that went like this, "How old is he now?""37 months."I remember struggling as I'd try to do that math in my head (I'm really bad at math in my head).Honestly, once you get past, like, 24 months, it's time to start using years. I understand why people use it, though: there are a lot of milestones that happen in short month increments. Plus, doctors visits are supposed to happen at certain months during the first two years. Also, clothing sizes are broken up by months when kids are under the age of two (or at least sized for under the age of two).