God is always working to make His children aware of a dream
that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream,

a new dream that
when realized will release a new song, sung with tears,

till God wipes them away
and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts

--Larry Crabb

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tomorrow! =S

Tomorrow is the big day. I will find out whether or not I can increase my activity. This is the day that I have been counting down to for the last few months, but now that it is really almost here, I have to admit that I am a little nervous. Why? Because I have no endurance. I have an ultrasound every Tuesday and see the doctors every Friday and these appointments completely wear me out! By the time I get up, shower, get ready, crash for a few minutes, go, and get home I am drained. My muscles cramp up and all I want to do is sleep.

Many people have asked what I will do first if given the go-ahead. To be honest, probably not much! We may stop and actually have lunch at a restaurant on our way home, but otherwise I plan to spend a lot of time up and about at home. I never dreamed that there would be a day when going to a mall seemed daunting or getting groceries impossible. One thing is for sure, though. Craig will be by my side. I am looking forward to fixing meals again and doing a little cleaning that has been bugging me. (Not that Craig hasn't done a fantastic job, he just doesn't seems to have a more tolerant relationship with dust bunnies!).

My mom is coming out in a couple of weeks for a while. My sister and her family will be here and bringing Maddie over their spring break, and Craig's parents will be coming for a time also over their spring break, so things will be busy. Who knows whether or not we will have the baby yet by the time any of them are here...but we've had lots of "encouragement" to get this kid out before their arrivals. =)

On the last ultrasound they did another biophysical profile which can take up to 30 minutes to gather enough information to see how strong baby is and how well developed the lungs are. The probe was on my belly for less than 5 minutes before the tech said that baby had already passed. Breathing movements are strong and for the last few weeks baby has been described as "perfect," which I already knew! (but there may be a bit of bias coming into play!)

Overall, I am feeling pretty well. Heartburn doesn't bother me much anymore at all, I am sleeping pretty well most of the time, and baby seems to have found a "middle ground" in the last few days where it is neither constantly pushing on my bladder or invading my lung space. I can definitely tell that he/she is running out of space in there because the movements are not as lighthearted. If this kid is going to move it is like a steamroller these days. I love those wiggles. Honestly, I will not be surprised either if a foot comes poking through my side one of these days. Baby tends to pick a spot and then show it no mercy. =)

OK...that is enough for now. Happy Thursday, all!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ok, so today I feel like writing. Problem is: I have nothing more of significance to say. Therefore, this post may be a bit random. I could tell you all about the little things that I do to pass my time, but it would be boring for all of us if I wrote about how much time I really spend on my computer or honestly just stare at the wall and think. Strangely, the last 2 months have gone remarkably fast, but as the end draws near my anxiousness to be up and about makes the down time more difficult. I know that I am weak and am planning out my strategy for making my body a little less jell-o like. I plan to go on a lot of walks to start with. This may sound small, but it is a lofty goal for someone who hasn't spent much more than a few minutes at a time on her feet in more than 2 months. It is amazing how fast you lose strength.

This morning I killed a spider in the bathroom. I had just taken a shower and was sitting on the edge of the tub to lotion up when it appeared out of nowhere and tried to kill me. I hate spiders. This one was about the size of an eraser but did not survive it's unfortunate encounter with a kleenex. It is the first spider that I have seen in this house and hopefully the last. I do not like insects because they are creepy. All of them.

We've been working on a lighting project. (FYI, in case you didn't realize, when I say "we" I really mean "Craig"). We bought our house from an investor who replaced all of the fixtures that the previous owners had removed before they abandoned the property. The fixtures are nice, but the one in the dining room was annoying us because the new one evidently had a smaller base than the old one, which left a ring on the ceiling. We decided that the most efficient fix was just to put a light medallion around it. That is what they do on HGTV and they look nice. Buying it was the easy part. Craig then cut the base to size to fit the current fixture (which of course was non-standard), spray painted the medallion, and proceeded to dry fit the fixture. The screws were now too short. Trip one to Home Depot: longer screws. Looked perfect, but were slightly larger diameter than the original ones so the bolt wouldn't fit. Trip two to Depot: slightly smaller screws, but lo and behold they weren't quite long enough. Trip three to Depot followed by trip to Lowe's: right size screws, but one was a little stripped on the end and wouldn't thread. Trip four to hardware store: replacement screws of same size. Um, maybe they actually weren't quite long enough after all. Yes, trip five: Ace Hardware: Perfect screws, a little long, but easily trimmed. Light fixture wired in and installed. No sparks. No smoke, works, looks great, but at the cost of one very frustrated "that wasn't worth it" spewing husband and therefore, a slightly cranky (due to starvation) pregnant wife. No more "little" projects for us for a while.

I could tell you about how we spent Valentine's day. It was an exciting one! Craig of course had to work and is taking a class this week so he couldn't come home for lunch. After work he got home at his usual time and was bearing a gift...quite possibly his greatest v-tines gift to me of all time. A half eaten bag of cinnamon gummy hearts. I got a hankering for them on Saturday and Craig stopped at: Walgreens, CVS, Meijer, Wal-Mart, Target, Hallmark and some random candy shop looking for them on Sunday. Without luck. At work on Monday a co-worker had brought in a stash that she had found and Craig bummed them off of her after telling her of his plight.

In addition to providing me with crazy dreams, the state of my mind has entertained me in other sad ways in the last few weeks. Here is an example, one that I probably would not care to share unless I had the hormones to blame. Last night Craig was tired and ready for bed. I was not. Since I am trying to stay on some sort of schedule, I grabbed my book and headed for bed at the same time. I just started this book the night before and had accidentally dropped it on the floor before I got to the end of chapter two. I decided just to leave it there and call it a night. I shoved my bookmark in a random page with intentions of sorting it out in the morning. I didn't get around to reading yesterday, so last night I started looking for where I thought I left off. Actually, none of chapter two was sounding too familiar, so I just started over from the beginning of the chapter. I read it and thought I fell back into the story line, became tired, and called it a night. I reached for the paper that was randomly in the book and it was a different bookmark. I was so confused, but after looking at the title of the book and reading the opening lines again, realized that I had just read chapter two of an entirely different book. I am not sure how that happened or why I didn't realize it before, but now feel ridiculously stupid that I didn't catch it before I read the whole darn chapter. This baby better come soon or there will be no hope.

I am obsessed with food. Not necessarily eating it, but thinking about it. Especially meat and pasta. Hot dogs come to mind a lot. I haven't eaten one in ages and have no intention of doing so, but I do think about them a lot. Other cravings are: cinnamon gummies (anything gummy for that matter), frozen zebra cakes, mint chip ice cream, baby swiss Cheez-Its, baked potatoes, honey nut cheerios, ramen noodles, fresh fruit, spaghetti, cream cheese pickle things (again, have not eaten them b/c of the lunch meat thing), suckers, garbage salads, carrots with ranch, and my very favorite...green beans. Craig bought 2 packages of frozen green beans last Friday, and they were gone by Monday morning. It has been a long week since then...

OK, I am really done writing for now. Hopefully soon I will have something more exciting to report...it won't be much longer before baby Riedel makes an appearance...so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Smiling because....

Wow. Emotions are powerful. Sometimes I get caught up in everything and forget that good--VERY good--things are happening. It is time to make another list of things that make me happy.
  • Health. I may not have the best equipped body for carrying a baby, but I am healthy. Other than hearing loss in my left ear, I've got it pretty darn good.
  • Craig. I've said it before and I'll say it forever. He is AWESOME. I have told him over and over that there is NO way that I could get through this without him...and also that I would not be in this situation without him. =) There is a delicate balance between inflating your man's ego and excusing him from responsibility. A very fine line indeed. Don't cross it.
  • Maddie. Talking to her on the phone is uplifting. She is such a blessing to us and it is so sweet that she seems to like us too. Oh I can't wait until March when I get to love on her for a little while in person.
  • Ornery little Riedel or Riedelette. This kid is already full of spunk. (For simplicity sake, I will refer to baby as a "she" today) I told her that she needed to sleep well on Monday night because we had an ultrasound on Tuesday and it was one where her being alert would help her mother to get off of bed rest sooner. Of course, there was very little time between 4 pm Monday afternoon and 10:30 Tuesday morning that there was any stillness in my belly. Then, as the tech placed the ultrasound probe later in the morning, someone fell into a sleep cycle and didn't budge hardly at all, except to avoid a cute profile shot. Ugh. I get results tomorrow, but this kid could be grounded before birth.
  • Food. My appetite has gone haywire. Yesterday I had dinner 3 times. The amounts that I can take in at once are smaller, but I am constantly hungry, and not for just a little piece of fruit or something, but for a steak, taco, casserole, pizza, or plate of spaghetti. Oh...I need to not think about food...getting hungry again. Craig has been good about learning to cook, too, and a friend has brought over a few yummy meals that give him a nice break. Thank you so much, Julie, if you're reading out there...
  • A warm house. I told Craig that I really don't believe that we actually need to run the furnace this winter. I am so warm all of the time. Craig curls up in a wool army blanket topped with a down comforter while I sprawl out in sleeveless PJ's with a fan. My skin feels cool to the touch but this little pot belly stove thing I've got going on is cranking out some serious heat on the inside. I'm comfortable with the thermostat in the low 60's while Craig sneaks it up when he is home saying that he can see his breath in our family room.
  • My plants. I have a lot of plants and they make me smile. According to my calculations, my orchid (which I had all but given up on) will bloom about the time the baby is born. It is kind of odd because I first notice the sprout for the bloom the day that I found out I was pregnant. It really likes its home on the surround for the whirlpool tub and didn't even seem to mind when someone (not me) accidentally took it swimming during last week's watering. Oops.
  • Skype and free long distance service. It's been a lifesaver. Enough said.
  • Wii. Mario Kart is sa-weet! It is Diddy Kong on the Mach Bike all the way for me. If you are a fellow Karter and have your wii wifi up and going, send me your digits and I'll challenge you to a race on any track but Rainbow Road. You'll probably win, but I'll have fun chucking turtle shells at you.
  • Jeopardy. It stimulates my mind. I'm not half bad, either!
  • Family and Friends. The little notes/texts/calls of encouragement have been awesome. It amazes me that they arrive just when I need a little lift.
  • Our new table and chairs. We ordered a custom made Amish table with 6 chairs in December. I called yesterday to check the status and we could get them this month! So excited to get a little cherry in the dining room to complete it.
  • The mantle. It is littered with: a picture of Maddie, 2 Isabel Bloom pieces, a meerschaum vase that Craig brought home from Iraq, a small framed picture of CJ's little hand, 2 special Willow trees, a small plant, and a rhino that Maddie got us in Africa. All means a lot to me. Oh, and the Wii sensor. It's practical.
  • A comfy couch. Firm, yet cozy. I heart it but am ready to quit bonding with it.
  • Windows. We have a huge wall of windows in our family room. It is so nice to know what the weather is doing and watch the neighbor twin girls play in the snow.
  • My tongue has healed up again! After last week's episode of minor tongue swelling followed by the painful shedding of nearly all my taste buds, it is now getting better!
  • Zebra Cakes. When frozen, they are just about the perfect snack.
  • Green Beans. I never knew one could feel so strongly about a vegetable. Take them from their frozen state to slightly still crunchy, add a few bacon pieces, some butter, and voila! D.Lish.Us.

There are lots of other things that make me smile, but right now I'm not thinking of anything but food, so I'll spare you the details. Have a great weekend all! Stay safe and warm through this frigid wintery weather.