On Doing “It All”

I get a lot of comments about how I look like I’m able to do it all, how I’m able to get so much accomplished, how I can keep my house so clean.  I get so many comments that sometimes I start to feel bad.  If you go on Instagram and browse through some feeds of mothers, a common theme will be “keeping it honest” and making sure that everyone knows you are not perfect.  Then you get pictures of piled high laundry, toys everywhere, dishes in the sink with a caption about how you should leave it all and just play with your kids.  Instead of relieve me of need to clean it just makes me feel guilty for needing to clean instead of play.  I chose the word “need” intentionally because friends, if I don’t clean and keep my house clean then I am a moody mess of a mom and definitely no fun to play with.

Even as “clean” as my house looks there are a lot of things that are filthy! I’m really good at keeping my house tidy and orderly, keeping the floors clean and the bathrooms scrubbed.  I’m really really not good at things like cleaning windows, baseboards or walls.  So while it may look like I accomplish it all let me assure you that for every one thing I do accomplish there is a list of 5 that I don’t.

Yesterday morning I woke up later than normal but with a lot of motivation to get my house spotless and get a lot of my spring cleaning list completed (prime example of my “list of 5”).  Sunday I spent the day relaxing and honestly doing nothing.  My husband even made me supper and brought it to me in bed.  Due to my “day off” I neglected a lot of my daily rituals that make me sane and keep my house looking presentable.  I went to bed aware that my house was a “disaster” but vowing to get it cleaned up today.  Yet when I went downstairs this morning I was overwhelmed with just how much there was to do and how much I wanted to accomplish.  I quickly realized that my expectations of the day were unrealistic, but it took me a few hours to really let go of those expectations.  During those few hours I was annoyed more than I was joyful, I was overwhelmed and anxious about the state of my house and about the gardening that wasn’t getting done and supper that I hadn’t planned or thought of and preschool for Ezekiel that I haven’t started and the list goes on and on and on.  On top of that Eden’s reflux flared up pretty bad and she was irritable, Ezekiel was going on and on about going for a walk and I was quickly losing patience.  My expectations were driving me crazy and so while I was feeding and rocking Eden I closed my eyes took some deep breaths and released them.  I adjusted my expectations and I let go of my need to “get it all done.”  I became OK with getting done what I could and letting go of the rest.

Once I did that it was incredible what I was actually able to accomplish and how joyful I became.  At the end of the day I couldn’t believe how I was able to turn my day from a very bad day going worse to a great day – it’s usually the other way around.  The only reason that happened is because I focused on one task at a time instead of focussing on my never ending list of tasks.  I was even able to check off a few items on my spring cleaning list.  As I went about the day I reflected on why it is that I am usually able to keep my house clean and organized and why I’m not usually overwhelmed by it – it came down to 2 words:

Discipline and routine.

That’s really it.

Every day I have a variation of a routine I follow, it’s constantly being tweaked to fit our lives better and to try and fit more into a day (think walks, park play, craft time etc.) and it’s revised daily to fit the needs of a baby with an awry routine but it works.  The only reason it works? Discipline.  There are a lot of days I just don’t want to put the dishes away, water the plants, pick up after my family, do the laundry, sweep the floors or tidy the things that have been left laying around but if I don’t I know the next day is going to be an uphill battle for me mentally.  This is how I keep my mental stability intact always but especially in my postpartum days.  A screaming baby is much less irritating to me when I’m walking around my house trying to calm her if my house is clean and orderly.  An inquisitive and whining 3 yr old is a little more tolerable if I’m not staring at a disaster that I’m trying to clean up.  My routines and disciplines didn’t happen overnight though, they were slowly incorporated into my day.

So as a response to those wondering why it looks like I’m always getting things accomplished I thought I’d give you a glimpse into my routine. Maybe you can pick up a habit or two and overtime feel like you aren’t drowning in trying to get your house to a tidy state, or maybe you are truly ok with leaving it the way it is – that is JUST FINE.  Honestly – you do you, but I have to do me for the sake of my mental health and relationships with my family.

MORNINGS

I’ve always been an early to rise early to bed girl so my mornings are a huge part of my sanity.  I despise waking up with everyone else and have to work really hard to be in a good mood if it happens.  Thankfully Eden has been sleeping long stretches (6-8 hours) at night and will wake up in the early morning for a feed before going back to sleep for another 3-4 hours, this is my wake up call.  I change her and feed her and then shower and get ready for the day after putting her back to bed.  It’s never a specific time but if she wakes up anytime later than 4:30 then that’s when I get up.  I have found it much harder to shower and get ready if I don’t do this.

After that I go down and get coffee, take my medications, put away any lingering dishes, wipe off counters, tidy anything that wasn’t tidied the night before.  I also do a quick check on the plants and water them if they need it.  I prepare breakfast for Ezekiel and I and have it on the table for when he wakes up – it varies from eggs to cold cereal depending on what I feel like.  He’s not a picky eater so this works for us and he gets very very hangry if he doesn’t eat.  I’ve found that if I don’t have it prepared we both get distracted and it gets very difficult to get him to eat anything.  Then after doing all that I sit down with my coffee and usually browse social media (or write a blog!) until one of the kids wakes up.

After everyone wakes up honestly the day takes shape as it goes.  I usually have some sort of plan for the mornings – whether that be a coffee/playdate, the zoo, cleaning the house, a long walk but aside from cleaning day I try to get out in the morning.  Ezekiel is an outdoors kid, and he’s also a kid that wants me to be with him and play with him always so if I don’t do something fun for him in the morning he gets super annoying with asking to do something and wanting me by his side always.  Eden is still able to go with the flow and doesn’t have a set schedule so for now we use Ezekiel’s schedule to plan the day.  Eventually two mornings a week will be dedicated to school for Ezekiel – that will start in the next couple weeks.

Lunch is around 12:30 and this is when I am able to do a tidy of the house and kitchen in particular because I eat a lot faster than Ezekiel.  While he’s finishing his meal I’m checking off tasks (sweep the kitchen, fold the laundry, start supper prep, do the dishes etc.), I get as many as I can off the list.  Then we all go upstairs and Ezekiel gets to watch one Netflix episode – if Eden is content this is another time I can do a quick tidy upstairs which usually includes putting away clothes, picking up whatever has been left behind in our various trips up and down the stairs.

Nap time is usually 1:30 or 2 and thankfully it’s almost always nap time for them both so I get a bit of a break.  I always take 30-60 minutes just to sit, sometimes I read, sometimes I watch a TV episode but it’s usually with a coffee in hand.  After taking time for myself I start to get supper prepped – marinate meat, chop veggies etc. so it’s easy to actually prepare when it’s supper time.  If I’m lucky I’ll get to do a “one off task” like mow the grass or bake some muffins and I base that on what I feel like doing that day or what desperately needs to get done.

Ezekiel will wake up around 4:30 or 5 and I make sure he has a small snack and we usually check in on the greenhouse at this time.  I sit outside with him if Eden is sleeping and it’s nice out, or we’ll read books.

Supper is around 6 or 6:30, we eat, clean up, tidy the downstairs and head upstairs for bedtime.  Ezekiel will watch one more Netflix show, both the kids will have a bath, we get them dressed, give meds and put us all to sleep.

Throughout the day I do a lot of 30 second tidies and that’s the key to my house being kept clean.  I should mention that Ezekiel is always responsible for his own tidying so he does a lot of 30 second tidies as well.  I also always do at least one load of laundry a day – it keeps it manageable and less intimidating, it also ensures that the clothes get washed and put away instead of just washed.

What I struggle with and what I want to start incorporating into my day is the spring cleaning tasks.  I usually look at it as a huge thing that needs a tonne of time to get done and I just don’t have big chunks of time anymore.  I can’t take a day or two and just dedicate it to spring cleaning because I have two small children who would not cooperate with that plan – as I learned yesterday.  If I start to add a task or two to my days my list would be done in no time and I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed by it and then if I kept up with it – like spot cleaning walls, wiping down baseboards every few months etc. it wouldn’t have to be “spring cleaning” because those things would just be done always.  So that’s what I’m going to do – start adding one or two tasks a day and hopefully that motivates me to keep those things cleaner than they are now.

Whew – that was a long post but honestly this is how I “do it.”  I’m so far from perfect though guys, there are definitely days that nothing gets done and that breakfast, lunch and supper are a variation of baking, fruit and veggies and that’s OK.  We need grace daily to get through the day and we need to remember that we are human – imperfect and flawed. No one will ever accomplish it all, where they excel in one thing they’ll lack in another.  So instead of focusing on where you lack focus on where you excel and just let go of the rest.  Your sanity will thank you.

 

March – One Little Word Update and Lent

I’m entering March in amazement that I don’t have a baby to cuddle yet.  I’m at peace though, although I’m ready for this babe to come I’m ok with whenever that is going to happen.

With February gone (and boy did it fly by!) I thought I’d do a bit of an update on my one little word and what I’m doing this month to try and rest.  February I tried to incorporate meditation to my daily routine as well as a spending freeze.  Neither went perfectly but as I  was reflecting I realized that none of this is to achieve perfection, but to gradually better myself.  I did meditate over half of the days but never found a perfect routine – I’ll continue to meditate and try to get a routine going that works.  Of course with adding a newborn to the mix I’m sure this is going to take a while!  The spending freeze also was not a complete success (again) but much better than January – an improvement!  More than anything it made me very aware of what I was spending and where it was coming from.  My goal this year is to become and stay credit card debt free.  In a few days I’ll be able to officially say I have no credit card debt.  The trick is to keep it that way.  Sounds so simple but with a household on one very small (and about to get a lot smaller) income sometimes there are things that just have to be bought and the only way to do that is with a credit card.  The real challenge is deciphering wants vs needs and making sure that if I do need to charge something to the credit card that it is 100% needed.

Now for March.

I thought it was fitting that Lent this year started on March 1.  When I realized that I thought I could try and combine both my goal of resting more and of giving something up for Lent.  One year for Lent I completely gave up social media.  I thought about doing that again this year but then I realized that I wanted to do something that was actually long lasting beyond just Lent.  So I came up with limiting my phone time.  It’s a conversation I see a lot around social media and amongst my friends – the amount of time spent scrolling and looking through various apps on our phones has gotten out of control.  For me it’s really sky rocketed since being home on modified rest.  I’m often bored and to try and combat that I just look at my phone.  It was getting to the point that I would have to charge my phone twice a day just because I was spending so much time scrolling for no reason.  It was distracting me from really engaging with Ezekiel, it was making me procrastinate on things that are actually productive, it was numbing my mind.  When I was out standing in lines or waiting for appointments I’d scroll and scroll and scroll.  I had stopped engaging with the world around me as I stared at my phone engaging in the cyber world.

As I was thinking about this I tried to come up with something that would be sacrificial, encourage rest and realistic for long term.  I don’t want this to just be 40 days and then back to mindlessly scrolling my phone.  So I came up with limiting my scrolling to 3-15 minute sessions.  The first being after waking up, while drinking my morning coffee (if Ezekiel is still asleep).  The important part here is that it is not while I’m laying in bed right after waking up, it’s at least 30 minutes after waking up, giving myself time to think about my day and set my intentions for my day.  The second being in the afternoon while Ezekiel is either napping or having his quiet time.  The third being after putting Ezekiel to bed but at least 1 hour before going to sleep to ensure that my phone is not the last thing I’m looking at during the day.  Notice that all of my designated “scroll” times are when Ezekiel is not around to see it.  I don’t want him to grow up thinking that mommies phone is more important than what he is saying or doing.

I’m on day 2 of implementing this and it is actually way easier than I thought it would be and has already had such a positive impact on my day.  Yesterday I was at a long appointment that had several minutes of waiting at various points and instead of scrolling my phone I read a book.  Then I had several errands to run and while waiting in those lines I looked around and engaged with what was happening.  Again, while at home and not doing anything instead of pick up my phone to scroll, I read a book, baked an apple loaf, knitted, made supper.   It felt freeing and when I was scrolling it made me more aware of the things I was actually interested in seeing and what is important to me – there were certain people that I’ve been praying for specifically whose updates I wanted to see and so I scrolled quickly through photos and accounts that weren’t important to me to find the ones that were.  This was instinctive but was eye opening.   Today I am at home doing not much of anything because I am so exhausted from what I did yesterday, it’s a bit harder to not just pick up my phone but again it’s been so rewarding.  Right now my phone is still quite close to me at all times because I have to use the contraction counting app on it but that’s the only app I open outside of my designated “scroll” times.   I have the sound on in case I have a call or text message (which are NOT off limits during this) and then I mute it overnight.

I’m looking forward to seeing how much more impactful this is going to be in my life!

36 Weeks!


If you were to ask anybody – friends, family, all the medical professionals involved in my care – I doubt you would find anyone who could have imagined I would make it this far in my pregnancy.  It truly is such a blessing!

This pregnancy has been the very opposite of easy, but every single step of the way from conception to today has been miraculous.  It’s this fact that has carried me through without mentally hating every single second.  My body has fought against this pregnancy in a lot of ways but I owe it so much for protecting this miracle baby of ours.  I am at ease now, knowing that I will most likely be able to take my baby home when I leave the hospital instead of leaving it there to be cared for by doctors and nurses.

Despite all my gratefulness, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ready for it to be over.

I am definitely ready.

The last few weeks have been difficult.  My pre-term symptoms are increasing – most days I’ll have about 50 contractions and some sort of cramping along with it.  Recently the contractions have increased in intensity and I think my body is preparing itself for the big day (little does it know that all control of getting this baby out is going to be taken away from it!).  Half of the days I have really great mornings – like today I got up and felt pretty good – I baked, did laundry and planted some more seeds for this years garden but by the afternoon I am wiped and beyond exhausted.  The other half of the days I feel awful for most of the day and night.  The exhaustion is similar to my first trimester where I just can’t fathom getting up and doing anything productive.   So most days I spend at least half of it in bed resting.  I’m doing a lot more than I was before 34 weeks.  I now lift my toddler if I need to, I carry the laundry up and down the stairs, I walk the grocery store instead of using their electric wheelchairs, I cook supper and do a lot of baking.  It’s a start but it’s still not normal life yet.  I can only tolerate a little of each before I need to sit down and rest.  The extra weight paired with the extra relaxin makes my body ache more and more each day.  The baby is uncomfortably low making standing and walking fairly difficult.

So I’m ready for D-Day and I’m no longer doing anything to stop it from coming.  I’m daydreaming and planning for the days ahead when I have a babe in my arms and a toddler by my side.  Some things I’m most looking forward to:

  • Trips to the zoo
  • Mom and tot/babe yoga
  • Walking, walking and more walking
  • Cleaning my house in one day
  • Playground visits
  • Playdates
  • Transitioning all the rooms in the house to accommodate 2 new members
  • Exercising to gain back strength in my body
  • Gardening

There is just so much to look forward to once this babe makes an appearance.  Of course I’m also keeping myself in check and being realistic to the fact that I will be having a c-section and will definitely need to rest for a couple weeks before being able to even begin to transition to some sort of normal.  I think one blessing of being on modified rest, is that it has taught me how to slow down and take it easy when I need to.  It’s broken my “super-woman” mentality and need to prove anything (mostly to myself and no one else).  It’s taught me to know when enough is enough and it’s stopped me from pushing myself farther than I need to.  All these things will come in handy post c-section when I feel the urge to clean my house 7 days after a major surgery.

So, I’m still here and still pregnant, anxiously waiting for a clear sign that it’s go time!

 

One Little Word Check In

As part of my One Little Word (R.E.S.T.) this year I’ve decided to intentionally focus on one thing each month that will help me to dig into resting.  I recognize that this year is going to be full.  With adding two people to our household – one being introduced to Canadian culture for the first time and the other being a newborn who will need a lot of care and attention – it’s bound to be crazy and at times stressful.  So resting is even more important for me this year, it will be absolutely necessary for my health in every way.  My mental, spiritual, and physical health will all need to be nurtured and paid attention to.

January I decided I would do a “spending freeze”and not spend any money beyond groceries, medications and gas.  I wanted to be able to not stress about money and wanted to start the year off with responsible and healthy spending.  Well that was a complete and utter failure.  I brought it on myself by not planning properly.  I didn’t look ahead at the month and anticipate expenses, and so necessary (and super expensive) things like car maintenance came up and because I hadn’t budgeted or anticipated for it I ended up feeling like a failure.  After that I just threw it to the wind but at the same time I always had this nagging in the back of my head.  So instead of completely giving up on my financial goals this year I am picking myself up and trying again in February.  Today I sat down and mapped out a budget that included expenses that I could anticipate.  My knitting obsession was included in the budget so that I didn’t feel like a failure when I know for sure I would give in and just go buy yarn.  I also know that I have a ladies date day with some friends that will cost money so that was included.  Lastly this month is seed starting month and I need a few extra supplies, so I built that in to the budget.  I’m ready to be financially free this year and I am determined to make it work.

Instead of just use my January goal for February I decided to keep on going and also focus on meditation as planned.  This summer I started practicing meditation in the early mornings but once I got pregnant all of that fell to the wayside.  I know that there are so many benefits to meditation and I am looking forward to including it into my prayer life as well.  Mentally I know that I will need an outlet and a coping strategy when things get overwhelming this year.  If this pregnancy goes as predicted that stress is probably going to start soon with a babe born a bit too early (although we are trucking along very well so here’s hoping the predictions are wrong!).  I know that I am going to become obsessive over certain things like pumping enough breastmilk to meet the demands of a growing preemie and getting the house ready for two new people.  On top of that I know I will be stressed about splitting my time between home and the hospital.  I am hoping that being intentional with meditation and learning coping strategies to deal with stress will help me to recognize my stress early and take time to deal with it instead of push it aside.  I rarely feel stressed mentally but I have come to realize that although I don’t feel it mentally I am still stressed and my body eventually manifests the stress in other ways.

I am so looking forward to this year, to being able to have the capacity and time to focus on becoming a happier, healthier me and in turn becoming a happier, healthier wife and mother.

Preparing for a Preemie

 

dsc_0022Nothing is ever guaranteed in pregnancy – this is a theme that’s been prevalent in my current pregnancy.  I went into it knowing it was going to be difficult but thinking that I’d be able to power through.  I had dreams of working to at least 34 weeks and working on the floor as a nurse.  As I had to make more and more adaptations to my work I was more and more discouraged with just how hard this pregnancy was right from the start.  All my dreams of being an active healthy pregnant lady went down the drain.  Then with my admission in early December I got a huge wake up call – it was time to wake up to reality and start really playing it safe.  All my fears came rushing to the surface – not working (monetary stress and fear) and a probable preemie.  Although nothing is guaranteed there is a HUGE probability that I am going to deliver this little one early.

I’m a typical Type A person – I need organization, structure and preparation to feel sane.  Realistically preparing for a baby doesn’t really require as much as some might have you believe.  Make sure you have a place for it to sleep, diapers and a few simple outfits (think onesies and sleepers), a few swaddle blankets and one or two warm blankets, one or two warm hats, a carseat, if you are going to bottle feed – a few bottles.  That’s really it for essentials, if you can’t afford anything else those few items will get you through for a while.  Of course there are other things that will make your life easier – if you are going to breastfeed (or try to) a nursing pillow, nursing bras and tanks, an infant chair/bouncer, a carrier, a stroller, a change table, a baby monitor, a breast pump – and really the list could go on and on.  Although we own most of the essentials I began dreaming of how I would prepare for this babe right from the beginning.  Where will it sleep? Will we transform the nursery? What kind of decor should we get? Are there things that need to be done throughout the house? When should I start stocking the freezer?

Then at 24 weeks I was facing the likelihood of having a premature baby and all my thoughts of preparation changed.  Do I rush to finish my entire to do list? But now I literally can’t do half of it because I’m on modified rest.  Is it necessary to get it all done?  Truthfully whenever this baby is born chances are it’s not coming home until mid-March at the earliest anyways.  So I don’t necessarily need to have everything all set up and ready to go but I WANT to have it all set up and ready to go.

So there are things standing in my way of going all preparation crazy and I’m making myself get used to the idea that it absolutely does not need to all be done now.  In fact some of it would be much easier to do after the baby is born and I am able to be up and moving much more.  It’s just that my Type A personality wants it all done NOW! I’m learning more and more that it’s good for me to have to relax that part of my personality.  Still I want to do something – anything to feel maybe a tiny bit prepared.  I think part of it is a desperation to distract myself from the fear of having a preemie.  Although we are getting farther and farther away from the scary preemie days I know from having a 36 weeker intubated in the NICU that it doesn’t matter when this babe is born the scariness doesn’t leave until that babe is home safe and sound.  So much of my preparation has been mental, emotional and spiritual.  A lot of people comment on how calm I’ve been since this all started and I suppose I am pretty calm about it, for the most part I have a HUGE faith in our medical system and even more than that I have a HUGE faith in my God.  This babe is a miracle in every way possible and this babe has a huge story to tell and it’s unfolding even now in my womb.  More than anything I trust that regardless of what happens there is a testimony of God’s greatness that is wrapped up in this tiny life and I trust that God will bring this babe earthside safely.  Yet in the midst of my calmness, hidden in the deepest parts of my is this huge fear, and it’s not necessarily a fear for my little one’s life but a fear of what life will look like.  How much time will I realistically be able to spend in the NICU with this babe? With Ezekiel I spent almost 12 hours a day at his bedside, but now with him at home as a toddler I know that I can’t do that with this little one.  It’s true I have my mom at home to help with E but my heart will be torn to be away from either of my babies and I know there will be heartache.  I know that while I’m at the NICU I’ll be worried about how Ezekiel is doing.  I also know that while I’m at home I’ll be worried about what’s happening with babe in the NICU.  It just seems like a lose-lose situation and so I’m trying to prepare my heart and mind for the difficulty of it all.

Yet even as I try and prepare my heart and mind I still want to PHYSICALLY prepare for this baby.  Maybe it’s a need to make this all real, to have a physical token that this baby is coming as a preemie or not and so there are a few things I’ve done (and my mom) to prepare.  First I packed a hospital bag – pathetic that I didn’t have it done before but I procrastinated and maybe that’s a bit of denial creeping in.  But a couple hospital stays and multiple misunderstandings of what I needed with my husband and I realized that life would be simpler with a hospital bag.  I’m still working on a couple things but I’ll do a whole post dedicated to my bag – because we all know the internet needs yet another hospital bag post!  Another thing I came up with is asking my mom to make little preemie hats and mittens.  If this baby is born anytime soon it’s not going to be wearing any clothes for a few weeks but it will definitely need hats and mittens.  The NICU will provide those but when my first was in the NICU we would often come in the mornings and find him in pink mittens and hats! I didn’t care so much but my husband still talks about it to this day and it still bothers him, so to guarantee that doesn’t happen again I went and picked out some yarn and my mom is making a few different variations of hats and mittens.  I won’t pack a bag for baby until I hit 35 weeks when the possibility of it being able to come home/wear clothes is bigger.  I will get my pump and pumping accessories sterilized and ready, making sure I have everything necessary for when I come home.  I’m going to try and have some healthy snacks stocked in the freezer to grab and go each day to the NICU.  Beyond that there’s just not much else I can do to prepare right now and as hard as that is, I’m becoming more and more ok with it.

Any tips and tricks for a preemie mom on how to prepare? What about just preparing for a baby in general? I’d love to hear them!

Hobbies are Important

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As I sat and knit while in the hospital on Sunday evening and listened to various podcast episodes I couldn’t help but think how relaxing it was.  I mean I was in the hospital after a preterm labour scare but I was at complete peace as I put my hands to work and distracted my mind.

Then last night I attended a craft night with one of my good friends where we learned how to make watercolour pillow covers.  It was a night of socializing, eating and crafting and after we left we both stated how relaxing it was.  As we sat and painted using our hands and distracting our minds we were relaxed.

Then again today as I sat in my bed counting contractions, knitting and listening to podcasts I felt a joy in what I was doing.  I’ve done very tiny amounts of knit work in the past but have rarely finished anything and certainly have never finished a big project like the blanket I am working on.  I grew up watching my mom do every type of craft imaginable – sewing, needle work, yarn work – seriously you name it she can probably make it.  I always wished I could do those things and I tried several times but just never got into it and then lamented that I wasn’t crafty.  I do a bit of crafting and DIY here and there but I don’t have a dedicated craft “hobby.”  I think the biggest reason that I’ve never been able to really pick up a craft hobby is because I’m a doer and goer – I need to be always doing something productive usually in the form of household tasks and organization.  It’s gotten a lot worse in the last few years since becoming a momma if I’m not doing a productive household task then I feel like I’m wasting my time.  Even reading – a hobby that I used to enjoy immensely – fell to the wayside.  In the evenings I’d be so exhausted that I wouldn’t have any energy to get more tasks completed and so my solution was to just go to bed.  Sometimes I’d watch an episode of a show I enjoy but usually I’d just go to sleep – I’m talking EARLY like 7 or 8 pm.

Friends, this is pathetic!

In the warm months it doesn’t feel so bad because I have my garden as a hobby during the day and so that brings me so much contentment but the evenings are still void of anything.  The thing is that evenings is a time where I could be spending with my husband while our little one is in bed.  We don’t have a TV but he usually will watch Netflix on his computer and I rarely am interested in anything he’s watching so I just go to bed.  Since being on modified rest I’ve realized the importance of having a hobby and I’ve realized that it is NOT wasted time.  There’s something about taking the time to craft something with your hands that is going to be an item for someone you love.  As I knit this baby blanket I dream of the little one that will soon be wrapped up in it and it brings my heart so much joy.  It makes the time spent so worth it, and I know that every time I look at it I’ll remember this time spent resting and willing my body to cooperate.  The memories will be knitted into every stitch and it will be beautiful.

Today I went to a store that sells all things yarn related and as I browsed and gently touched all the yarn I dreamt of the projects I could complete.  I’m so excited to have this hobby and can’t wait to continue.

What about you? Do you have a hobby that you enjoy doing? How do you occupy your evenings when the littles are in bed?

30 Weeks


Well it’s been exciting going into my 30th week of pregnancy.  I thought I was doing pretty well, coasting along and actually feeling not to bad.  My pain in my joints drastically increased but I’ve been controlling it with a newer medication which has been working fine.  My last ultrasound was great, everything looked good – baby was growing well (although with a jump in abdominal girth which isn’t a huge concern), and my cervix remained the same.  We were even hopeful enough to schedule my section!

Then on Sunday night I went to bed feeling pretty crampy, this isn’t new so I wasn’t really concerned about it.  I woke up at 230 and still felt pretty crampy and wasn’t able to go to sleep.  Then around 3am I began to have contractions – again not new so I didn’t really worry about it but since I was awake I sat up and tracked them.  I had about 15 contractions in the first hour – definitely the most I’ve had in an hour since being home but they have always settled in the second hour.  Then about 15 minutes into my second hour of contractions I hit the “worried” mark of 6 more contractions.  The rule of thumb to go get checked is at least 6 contractions an hour for two consecutive hours.  I didn’t really want to get up and drive the 30 minutes to the hospital if the contractions were just going to settle and I wasn’t convinced it was anything to worry about so I stayed put.  By the end of the second hour I had had about 30 contractions and began to think that I probably should wake my husband to take me in.  I sat there for another 15 minutes trying to will them away, and they did slow a bit but were still coming.  So I got up, got my bag ready (very very poorly I might add – something I’m definitely going to have to work on), washed my face and brushed my teeth.  Then I woke my husband and my mom to let her know that we were heading in.  I grabbed some snacks and we made our coffees and made the drive in.  By the time we arrived to the hospital the contractions were definitely slowing down.  We got there and they hooked me up to the monitor and a doctor came in to check my cervix.  I was expecting to hear “long and closed, you can go home” but instead I heard “it’s still long but open about one cm at the bottom.”  I muttered an expletive and started to get stressed.  She did say that it doesn’t feel like a cervix in labor – it’s still firm and not ripening – good news.  The plan was to stay for a couple hours and recheck and she thought if the contractions and cramping had slowed and there were no cervical changes that I could still go.  Then she left but came back soon after because she had spoken to my regular doctor who thought it was a better idea to administer my second round of steroids and keep me overnight to ensure that nothing was happening.  I was even more concerned at that point – but eventually my doctor came in and we had a long discussion.  She was convinced I wasn’t going to deliver imminently but wasn’t sure that I would make it much farther than 32 weeks so she wanted to ensure I get the steroids now because they are good up to two weeks after administration and it’s more critical to have them now.  I felt reassured after our talk and calmed down significantly.

So I had another hospital stay, but thankfully this one was just one night and very uneventful.  I came home this morning and resumed my normal activity of sitting on the couch.  Ezekiel handled this admission very well and is even napping as I write!! I did try to nap but this little babe in my belly decided to have a dance party instead.

So onwards to 32 weeks! It’s insane to think that we are really getting close to meeting this little one.  It’s now clear that it’s coming sooner than anyone is ready for and that we will have some time in the NICU.  I’m mentally preparing myself for that and wondering how it’s all going to go with a little one at home who NEEDS consistency and a babe in the hospital who I will never want to leave.  It won’t be easy but as long as this one comes home safe and sound I know we are all going to make it through just fine.