Monday, November 5, 2012

"Working for the Weekend"

That song has kind of become my life song.  Don't get my wrong, I love my work.  In fact, I don't think that I could be working at a better place... God is very much in control and it shows so well!  I work full-time, but do it in four days (four 10-hours day) which is incredible. I am able to use and continue to work towards my degree, but I also get to spend almost half of my days with my sweet princess.

I don't just have a clinic placement, but I get to work with several audiologists, which means I have that many people to learn from.  I have 2 direct supervisors and work at two different locations.  I work primarily with adults so far, but am getting some pediatric experience as well.  I'm doing just about everything - some VNG experience (videonystagmography - for people who are dizzy), hearing aid experience, hearing evaluations, and I have days where I am working primarily for the ENT doctors.  Since I am still a newbie, I have been mostly observing and writing the notes for the past two weeks with some testing sprinkled in here and there.  I think this week I'll really start doing more of the case history and testing on my own. 

The hardest part is going to be the hearing aid stuff.  Not only am I least experienced in hearing aids, but there are seven major manufacturers and several smaller ones.  It'll be difficult to learn the ins and outs of the different aids, as well as learning how to play with the different softwares, but I am starting with one brand at a time.  This week: Unitron.  I'm really very excited to get into the game.

But still, as much as I enjoy work, when it hits time to go home I zip outta there because I have a beautiful, smiley baby girl waiting for me who I can't wait to get my arms around. I guess the good that comes with it is that I am making more of an effort to really value the time that I get to spend with Sophia.  Fortunately, she is in the care of somebody that I truly trust, and I couldn't ask for a better situation than the one that we have worked out.

Curry Chicken Marinade

I have started having "Indian Food" night every Monday night.  I am trying new Indian recipes, and trying to really get very good at making Indian food.  Tonight, my recipe of choice was "Baingan Bharta" which is a big favorite of mine, and something that I usually order when I go to Indian restaurants.

It is a vegetarian dish, and Chris does not count something as a meal unless there is meat with it. I decided to marinade some chicken in some type of curry marinade so it went well with the Baingan Bharta.

Unfortunately, I could not find a recipe for a marinade that I liked on the internet, so I made one up, and it turned out to be very good! I am going to share:

Curry Chicken Marinade:

2 TBSP Garlic Powder
3 TBSP Curry
3 TBSP Soy Sauce
3 TBSP Honey
1 TBSP Rice Vinegar
1 TBSP Ginger
1 tsp tumeric


Mix everything all together, and let the chicken marinade in it before baking.

Tonight's dinner was my best Indian dinner so far! Granted, I haven't been doing it very long, so it isn't really hard to be the top, but the Baingan Bharta and the chicken were both excellent!

Enjoy!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Who Says You Can't Trust Auto Mechanics?

I had such a good experience at a mechanic in Eagan the other day that I would urge anybody in the area to take their car to him for repairs!!

Chris' car needed an oil change. I took it in, and when while there the people who worked there showed me that his serpentine belt needed to be replaced.  They quoted me $130 - $65 for labor, $65 for the part.  I generally don't trust the bigger shops with repairs like this, because both my Dad and father-in-law are excellent mechanics and can handle the smaller problems without flinching. I called my father-in-law and asked him if this was a fair price, and he said no and that he would fix it when he came into town that weekend.  Well, he ran into work problems and wasn't able to fly in - but the belt was started to shred and really needed to be replaced. I called around town and found a place that would put my own belt in (I had bought a replacement belt at an auto parts store for $12) for $20! I made the appointment right away and got in.

As I am waiting for the belt to be replaced, one of the older gentlemen there was playing with Sophia (who was 3 months old at the time) and telling me how cute she was.  As you can guess, I liked this place even more.

It turned out that the auto parts place had sold me the wrong belt - it was much shorter than the part I needed (they gave me the one for a car w/o AC when I specifically said it had AC!).  Well, the owner called a parts place and had them rush deliver the part over to the shop for me while I was waiting and he told them that I had an infant with me and needed the part quickly.  When all was said and done, he charged me for the part ($20 - no mark up!!) and $20 for labor.  Saved me $100, and they were extremely friendly! 

If you need repairs and are in the Eagan, MN area, I can highly recommend Rich's Autofix & Performance, 2980 Lone Oak Circle, Eagan, MN 55121. (651) 681-0788.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Holy Poop!

I want to share something with you.

Yes, that is baby poop. All over the car seat.

And it is still just morning.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ohio

We just got back from our trip to Ohio. Chris and I really enjoy traveling, and we did our best to take advantage of the flight benefits when he worked for an airline company.

Now that he doesn't work for an airline company, there are some perks.  Don't get me wrong - I hate paying for tickets, but I am trying to look at the bright side.  For example, now we KNOW that we have seats when we get to the airport. This is a huge plus, especially when traveling with Sophia.  I thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the terminal by the gate knowing that I was going to make it onto that flight, or Delta would reimburse me. Either way, it's a win.

We also had some of the horror stories that you always hear about when people travel with babies.  I changed Sophia right before we got on the flight, and knowing that it is an hour and a half flight I wasn't thinking we would run into too may troubles.  The problem is that we were on a CRJ100. If you are unfamiliar with planes, this particular plane is approximately the size of a package of gum. My head almost hits the ceiling, and I am not really that tall.

So, we board the plane and it is just about time to take off. I prepare to nurse Sophia, and everything goes smoothly. She doesn't have any problems with the air pressure or anything because of the nursing.  Then, she has a blowout. On itty-bitty-teeny plane.  Silly me, I think that it would be best to go to the bathroom to try and change her.  "Bathroom" is hardly the appropriate word for what was available on the plane. It was more like a port-a-potty. Only half the size.  Just try to picture this. I trudge to the back of the plane, carrying an upset and messy baby who is leaking out of her diaper, and trying not to smack people in the face with the diaper bag. I open the door to the bathroom, step in, and can barely close it behind me with the diaper bag and Sophia and everything.  I finally get it shut and realize that there is about 1 foot of space between the door and the toilet and that's it!! I don't know how anybody who is a remotely big and/or tall person can use that bathroom. So I lay down her changing pad and a blanket on the toilet trying to create a sanitary and comfortable space to change her diaper. By the time I lay her down to change her, she is screaming and I am uncomfortable because my butt is up against the door and I am trying to bend over and change a diaper on a squirmy, screaming kid on the top of a toilet seat that has no safety or anything so I am trying to keep her in place as well. *Gah!!!!!!!*  At least the plane is loud... I don't think anybody heard her screaming.  I finally finish changing her diaper, and change her outfit, and make it back to the seat (by this point, I didn't even really care if I hit people in the back of the head with the diaper bag).

Anyway... once we land things went very smoothly! We had a great week visiting family, and got to witness the union before God of Courtney (Chris' cousin) and Wiley Brakebill.  We also had a BBQ with Chris' Mom's side of the family.

I wouldn't think traveling would be so easy with the baby - but Chris' grandma went the extra mile and had a crib set up for us, as well as a baby bath tub and baby soap and lotion and linens and changing pad and diapers and wipes and powder and desitin...all of the stuff that we needed to make the stay feel like home. It was very nice.  His grandparents even watched her quite often so that Chris and I could go swimming in their pool (which we did twice a day - I have transformed from see-through white to ivory white in skin color!).

The flight back was not quite as bad as the flight there.  She did make a pretty big mess in her diaper again but this time I just changed her on my lap in the seat and with Chris' help we were changed and clean in  no time flat! Lesson learned. If possible, next time we fly I am hoping to get on a much larger plane.  I think it will be larger - next time we fly will be to Utah over Christmas time and I don't think they fly the itty-bitty planes from here to Utah.

Anyway, now we are back home and I am back to writing my paper! My goal is to be done by next week and defend it in the end of July.  I think the infant swing will turn out to be a life saver. She sleeps better in than thing than just about anywhere else!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

God's gift

I went to the doctor recently for my 6-week follow-up visit. Everything was/is all healed on track and I don't need to see an OB until next summer! Praise the Lord for Sophia's and my health throughout the pregnancy and birth.

While I was at the doctor's office, he complimented my beautiful baby girl and said to me, "Aren't babies a great way to start people?" I just love that. How true, too :) she is just so sweet, innocent and beautiful. God's design is just so evident in the entire process of having children, from conception on.

Oh. My. Gosh.

I just woke up. I was lying in bed, and the baby starts squirming. Then, it happens.

I can only define it as the most terrifying sound I have ever heard.

It was so terrifying, in fact, that I am 99% sure that the baby actually blew a hole in her diaper.

And then she fell back asleep.

This kind of presents me with a dilemma: do I let her sleep and feel totally guilty about not changing her, and possibly have to change the sheets and her pajamas when she wakes up? Or, do I do the responsible thing and wake her up? You may question my parenting skills upon reading that last part, but keep in mind that it was 4-something a.m., and she was sleeping! So, I woke her up.

And wow. It was almost as terrifying as it sounded. But I am officially impressed with 'Luvs' for holding that mess in. I did not even have to change her pajamas!

It was very much worth waking her up too, because after I was done changing her she wasn't mad at me for waking her up but instead looked up at me and gave me a big, beautiful smile! What a sweetheart.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My baby is a genius.

Sophie rolled over three days ago from front to back, and I thought to myself that it was probably a fluke because she is only 5 weeks old.

And then last night, she rolled over from front to back again! I think it kind of scared her that the world flipped over, but I tried to encourage her and smile and make it a fun experience... It was really exciting!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Motherhood

Here's my afternoon:

‎1:30 pm: finish feeding Sophie, I think I'll go on a bike ride.

2:00 pm: dressed and ready to go, got my shoes on, full water bottle, I will go check tire pressure.

2:15 pm: rear tire completely flat. Crap.

2:30 pm: attempt to change tire and fail so I elicit husband's help

3:00 pm: all ready to go!

3:15 pm: problem with chain. Once again get husband's help

3:30 pm: baby screaming to eat again.

Bike ride fail.



Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!



Got this in my school e-mail account :) My Master's degree was officially awarded on my birthday!! Now to just finish the capstone and the externship...and I will officially have the doctorate! Woohoo!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Selfish

Having a child has made me realize just how selfish of a person I am.  Here is a recent example.  It was my birthday yesterday.  Normally I spend about two weeks before my birthday reminding my family members that my birthday is approaching, and this year I kept forgetting about it.  Normally on my birthday, the whole day is about  me.  I want what I want for breakfast, and I do what I want to do throughout the day.  That was just NOT the case. I had a wonderful day, don't get me wrong. My dad was here and he made me some wonderful french toast for breakfast, took me out for lunch, and grilled some steaks and scallops for dinner (so I actually did have exactly what I wanted for breakfast...but I digress). I have a wonderful family around me who came and celebrated with me and it was a wonderful day, but it was just so different than any other birthday I've ever had.  Everything throughout the day was on the baby's schedule, including my meals and the times when we left the house.  I am not complaining or saying I wish it wasn't that way... I am just pointing out how very selfish I was before I had somebody else to care for.  It is an interesting feeling. 

She has been such a wonderful baby! Starting two nights ago (which I believe was her birthday present to me...) she slept for 6 hours through the night!! Woohoo!! And she did it again last night.  I didn't quite get 6 hours of sleep, because I kept waking up to check on her, but she is sleeping just straight through. How awesome is that? As we speak she is taking an afternoon nap on my leg, sleeping peacefully until her next  meal. I'm excited to take her shopping with me next week - we are going to do my birthday shopping next Wednesday. She is a great shopping buddy. I have been told that that doesn't last long, so I might as well enjoy it while I can!

Anyway - I am off to take care of e-mails and write papers (and anything else that I can do while she is sleeping across my lap!). 

God bless

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pictures!!

Here are some pictures of Sophia's first 3 weeks:












My Beautiful Baby

So, like most parents I am sure, I think that I have the most beautiful baby in the entire world.

Only the difference between me and other parents is that I really DO have the most beautiful baby in the entire world.

And, we are hoping to use her beauty to get her scholarship money for college...because at the rate college tuition is increasing, she won't be able to go otherwise.

You can vote for my beautiful baby here:
Sophia's Sunhat

So, if you have stumbled across this blog and read this post, please go vote for my Sophia!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

First Day Alone

Well, tomorrow is the big day.  The first day that I am home alone with Sophia.  I have been absolutely spoiled to be able to have my Mom here during her first two weeks. I can't imagine doing all of this without her - she has probably saved the doctor's office quite a few phone calls!

Today I drove Mom to the airport, and as I was driving away I was crying and realized that for the first time it was just Sophie and I in the car - no Chris or Mom or anyone else with us.  So, we went shopping :) The Mall of America is about a 30 second drive away from the airport, and Sophie needed a sunhat because she is not supposed to wear sunscreen unless absolutely necessary.  I thought walking around the mall would be a good idea, because I wouldn't cry if I was out in public.  I was *mostly* right, though I teared up a bit here and there.  Anyway, we bought a very cute sunhat and then went to Paciugo (a gelato place in the mall) and bought some "Fat Tire" beer flavored gelato for Papa (my Dad) when he comes into town in two weekends.

Then we drove home, and I cried a little more - probably best just to get it all out!  Anyway, I am really looking forward both to having my Dad in town at the end of May, and having my Mom and sister come into town at the end of July. I am quite lucky to have family coming as often as they are, and grateful for all of the help that I've been given!

Tonight our small group provided a meal for us as well, which was awesome! We had Cane's Chicken (my FAVORITE!) for dinner and enjoyed some great fellowship.  The women in that group are going to be a big help to me as I take this little venture into motherhood, and I am looking forward to what I am sure will be many helpful conversations about raising children in a godly manner.  I thank God that he has given Chris and I the supportive family that we have, and that he has led us to a church with such a wonderful group of young married individuals who are such a blessing in our lives.

I will be posting many pictures soon! Stay tuned :)

Best Sad Song Ever

Yesterday, my Mom, Sophia, and I went to see the Pirates! Band of Misfits movie. Well, Sophia slept (and ate) rather than watched the movie... I enjoyed it - very cute. Probably  my favorite part was the sad part of the movie, where they played this song from Flight of the Conchords:

I'm Not Crying

So, you're leaving, aren't you?
I knew it when you said just then when you told me you were leaving
That's when I definitely knew
But if you're trying to break my heart
Your plan is flawed from the start
You can't break my heart, it's liquid
It melted when I met you
And as you turn around to leave
Don't turn back to me
Don't turn around and see if I'm crying
I'm not crying

I'm not crying
It's just been raining
on my face
And if you think you see some tear tracks down my cheeks
Please, please, don't tell my mates
I'm not crying
No, I'm not crying
And if I am crying
It's not because of you
It's because I'm thinking about a friend of mine who you don't know who is dying
That's right, dying
These aren't tears of sadness because you're leaving me
I've just been cutting onions
I'm making a lasagna
For one
Oh, I'm not crying
No
There's just a little bit of dust in my eye
That's from the path that you made when you said your goodbye
I'm not weeping because you won't be here to hold my hand
For your information there's an inflammation in my tear gland
I'm not upset because you left me this way
My eyes are just a little sweaty today
They've been looking around
They're like searching for you
They've been looking for you
Even though I told them not to
These aren't tears of sadness
They're tears of joy
I'm just laughing
Ha ha ha-ha ha
I'm sitting at this table called love
Staring down at the irony of life
How come we've reached this fork in the road
And yet it cuts like a knife?
I'm not crying
I'm not crying
I'm not cry-y-y-y-y-y-y-y-ing

Friday, May 11, 2012

Announcing Sophia Alexis Pitts!!

So, the part everybody wants to know when babies are born: 7 lbs, 10 oz, and 20 3/4 inches long :)

She was such a sweetie, letting me graduate and everything first before she was born. I wasn't sure if I would be able to walk, and I did get to walk and it was a very cool experience that I don't regret!!

Okay, okay, I am a little bit late. Once more I must warn that, as with the pregnancy, there are going to be some details about the birth that you may  not be interested in reading. Since I have warned you, it's fair game. No complaining, because you are choosing to read from this point forward.

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012 I woke up just like every other morning. I had an ultrasound in the late afternoon, as well as a non-stress test, so we could see how the baby was doing before inducing labor early on Friday morning.  Mom and I went to the Minnesota Historical Society and walked around the history museum in the afternoon, and then went straight from there to the doctor appointment.

At the end of my ultrasound, I felt my first REAL contraction around 4:30 or so. Up until this point I had felt the "preparation" pains that felt like period cramps, but this one was different. It felt kind of like somebody stepped on a full bladder... I am not sure how else to describe it. It was a sharp, actual kind of pain. Then, 7 minutes later, I got a second real contraction.  Right away, I was having contractions 5 to 7 minutes apart.  The doc checked and I was about 2 cm dilated.  He sent us home, because if it was real labor then I probably had a few hours to go until I would be at the hospital.

On the way home we stopped at Cane's Chicken to pick up some dinner :) I wasn't really able to eat much, and I had to eat in between the contractions because they were reallllllly painful and steadily getting worse.  Chris went to small group and I stayed home with my Mom, timing my contractions and watching Beauty and the Beast and reading Harry Potter (the 6th book).. I was trying to stay as distracted as possible from the pain. So about halfway through Beauty and the Beast, the contractions were so bad that I was not really able to talk through them anymore.  I tried going on a walk outside to see if they would slow down or stop, but they stayed consistent and painful and left me doubling up at various times throughout the walk.  At this point I was consistently 4 to 5 minutes apart.  I called the doctor, and we headed to the hospital!

Once there, my contractions were down to 3 or 4 minutes apart and really really painful. It was quite the experience. And the epidural could not come fast enough.  By the time they checked me, at around 10 or 11 p.m., I was 5 cm dilated. The epidural was probably the most wonderful thing in the world. The anesthesiologist warned that it might take 10 to 15 minutes to start working, but it worked immediately and was wonderful. Really truly an amazing thing.

At midnight, the nurses told me it was time to start pushing. It was weird, because with the epidural it was hard to tell if I was pushing right, but I must've been doing it pretty well because after the first push she said "You're doing great! Most women would push for 2 hours before being at this point!" Which made me think "Wow... I hope I don't have hours more of this!!" but I didn't... at 1:10 the doctor came in, and at 1:25 a.m. Sophia Alexis Pitts was born, at 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 3/4 inches long, with a 13 inch head circumference. Her Daddy cut the cord :) It was a weird feeling, pushing her all the way out. I didn't even feel a tear and I thought for sure I would. They also asked if I wanted to see the placenta, etc., which I did, and it was pretty cool. It is amazing that what kept the baby alive was that organ and cord. Right away they wiped her down and put her on my chest for the skin-to-skin contact.  She had the sweetest little cry!! She managed to find her lungs about 2 nights later when the nurse was taking her temperature in her armpit (she HATED that) and since then has kept those lungs going. What is amazing is that I have already forgotten how bad the pain was... I know it was terrible, and I remember my body shaking and crying out in pain, but I really don't remember how painful it was, which is probably for the better (and maybe Sophie won't be an only child).

What was really nice was Chris had the ability to take off 3 days of work and spend it at the hospital with me.  It was great to have him there, especially at the beginning where it was all a new experience.  He was a good sport too, because the "bed" that he was using at the hospital was hardly a comfortable one, and there were often nurses coming in and sleep was frequently interrupted by the baby girl who was initially nocturnal.  The food was quite fun though :) I loved ordering my meals, and they actually had pretty good food. I even had coconut-crusted tilapia for dinner one night!

She was immediately a good nurser, which I am very thankful for. She loves to eat and eats very well, from day 1.  The hardest part about nursing initially was the soreness, and the cramps that happened when I nursed because the uterus was contracting back down.  A few days of ibuprofen and I am all back to normal :)

She is quite a good baby.  The first three nights were kinda rough, and the 4th night we started wearing earplugs, but she has settled into a nice routine now where she eats around 10, sleeps until 2, and then sleeps again from 3 until 6 or 7 or so.  I am getting sleep in 3 to 4 hour shifts, which is very nice.  She is just a sweetheart - I swear she can smile already (or it certainly seems like it!).  She also has some great awake moments, and just has the prettiest expressions! I love my little princess.  I will have to post some pictures here.  Praise God that she is here and healthy and we are settling into our new family routine!  It is nice that she is here in time for Mother's Day :).  I think the best gift is that my Mom has been able to stay with me for the first couple weeks, because otherwise I would be at a loss with what to do with this little princess.

God bless!!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Almost...there!!

Wow. Blogger got a new look and that really threw me through a loop!!

Well, here we are for the Month 10 (weeks 37 through 40) post!

I can't believe that I've reached this week.  It doesn't seem that long ago that reaching 40 weeks felt like it was AGES away, and now my due date is fast approaching. Not only that, but this is going to be one action-packed week.  My parents are flying in in two days, the graduation ceremony is in 3 days, and the "due date" is in 4 days.  I say "due date" in quotations for all of the obvious reasons.

New for this month of pregnancy? Extreme fatigue.  Like, worse than in the first trimester extreme. I didn't even know it was possible to exist and be that tired, but I am sure it is just a *touch* of how tired I am going to be once our little princess decides to enter the world.  I would wake up in the morning, eat breakfast, and (if the day allowed) I would go back to bed for a morning nap.  Some days didn't allow me to do that, so I spent the day feeling (and likely looking) like a zombie. Then, this past weekend I came down with a nasty head cold that wiped me out, and left me with an awful sore throat, nausea, and that foggy-headed feeling for the entire weekend. I think I was only awake about 8 hours total between Saturday and Sunday. Good thing I started getting that "nesting" desire a couple of weeks ago, because if I had waited to clean until now I would probably just look at the mess and then fall asleep in it.

Braxton Hicks contractions seemed to hit with a vengeance these last couple of weeks. One night I woke up at 2 a.m. from a painful contraction, and then was awake until about 5 or 6 a.m. having contractions. I was worried that I should start timing them or something, because it was just one painful contraction (with back pain) after the other.  Then, nothing happened.  However, it made me nervous enough that I finally packed my hospital bag (something that I have been putting off because it just seemed sooo unnecessary).

A couple more nights of leg cramps too, and of course, heartburn. I am just not sure what I would do without Tums. They are sitting by my bed, in my car, downstairs, in my purse...always accessible.

The doc estimates that she is about 7.5 pounds (or, at least that is what he thought she was at last Thursday).  That would surprise me, because that is a rather small baby (considering the 'normal' size of babies in my family).  He also said that he has been fooled before.  Let's hope not - I would rather push out 7.5 pounds instead of 9.5 pounds.

Leaking has not been a problem, for which I am glad... I was worried that I would have problems with that, which could be kind of awkward, depending on if and when I started leaking. But, so far so good!

I have also had difficulty sleeping at night (likely contributing to my zombie-like state during the day).  I more often than not wake up 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night, and have difficulty falling back asleep.  I have managed to make it almost halfway through the Harry Potter series (again) and finished the Hunger Games trilogy (for the second time) during my sleepless nights.

It has been a fun month though, because it's just exciting knowing that really any moment (especially in this last week here), baby could make her grand entrance into the world. She has decided not to, yet, but that is ok.  Maybe she'll be nice and wait for me to graduate on Friday before trying to come? Otherwise, it'll make a good story 5 years from now or so...

I had a great time this month with some showers that were thrown for me.  I have had 4 showers, which is absolutely amazing.  My friends and family in Utah threw me a virtual shower, and then I had a shower at church, and most recently Chris' side of the family threw a second virtual shower for me in Ohio.  That was a lot of fun - we had my Nana in AZ and my Mom/sis in UT on the call, as well as Chris' Dad's cousin in KY on the call.  Then my classmates threw me a surprise shower, which was totally unexpected and very fun! I had thought we were going to have a Student Academy of Audiology meeting, when I walked into the room and saw pink balloons, streamers, an "It's A Girl" sign and an amazing home-made cake (I'll post pictures!).  Such fun!  This little girl has already been crazy spoiled.

We also have the nursery all put together! It looks wonderful. I will post some pictures of that up here as well.  I can't believe how well it all came together. I'm so excited to start using it!  The diaper pail, diapers, wipes, bed, clothing, and everything are all ready to go!  This next week is definitely going to be full of fun and surprises, whatever ends up happening.

Here are some pictures of the OH virtual shower:




Some pictures from the school shower:
The entire 3rd-year, soon to be 4th-year, audiology class
This is the amazing homemade cake - isn't it gorgeous??

This is from the virtual shower in Utah


Copper helping me get the diaper bag ready :)
Her already-full closet :) So excited!!

Baby crib all set up

All of her homemade blankets, crafted by people far more talented than me (the pink blanket from Lilah Donnelly, a woman from church; the pattern blanket from Chelsey Daimler who I have known since I was 5; the white blanket from Chris' Aunt Nancy; the one on the farthest right from my Aunt Lynne)

The nursery in full. Dresser, changing pad, chair, bookshelf, infant swing, giant teddy bear, crib :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Month 9

*Warning: Contents in this blog post may qualify as Too Much Information"

Weeks 33-36

Well, I have made it this far! Woohoo!! This is the month where it seems to get hard again. The middle of the pregnancy was kind of a breeze - the morning sickness stopped, the baby was big enough to feel movements, but I was stil able to breathe :)

The last couple of weeks, it has been definitely difficult to bend over, get out of my car (because the seat is low) or get out of comfy chairs and couches. The belly is also big enough that I have trouble breathing sometimes, or get really uncomfortable if I sit in the same position for longer than 20 to 30 minutes. I kind of thought that since I hadn't had back pain yet that I wouldn't get it...but that turned out to be not true also. It started one day when I was driving home, and all of the sudden I was so uncomfortable I didn't even know if I could make it all the way home - and it wasn't lower back pain, but it's pain up in the middle of my back.

What I very much dislike is the "practice contractions". Several times a day I'll get a feeling that is kind of like a period cramp, and it lasts sometimes for a few seconds, sometimes longer than a minute. Sometimes I just get one, and sometimes I get like 10 in a row. It's weird. And as we get closer to the due date, the stronger and more frequent they are becoming.

Frequent urination has come with a vengeance. I don't think there are many times when I make it longer than an hour or so without having to use the restroom...

I have been fortunate to have not swollen up like a balloon (at least, not yet) but the weather has also been fairly chilly with the exception of a couple of 75-80 degree days that were a big fluke.

In most ways, though, I am really enjoying being pregnant. I have had people let me cut in line to use the bathroom ;) and I love feeling the baby moving. It is fun to think that there is a life inside of me that I am supporting, and that she eats what I eat, drinks what I drink, and notices when I'm moving or when I'm not moving. It is kind of funny to see my belly go lopsided if she is hanging out on one side or the other.

The doctor's visits are all going well. Now I am seeing the doctor once a week (starting with the appointment yesterday). However, the bad part about the appointments is that now they are a lot more *detailed* than they were before, for lack of a better euphemism. I had to get some fairly uncomfortable scrapings yesterday to make sure that I don't have a particular bacteria, and the doc also checked to see if I am dilated at all. I'm not. But I guess you don't have to be at this stage, and as the due date approaches I'll probably start to get more and more that way. The doctor always tells me that my pregnancy is a "textbook case" and asked me this week if I could talk to his other patients :) I like hearing that - textbook is good in this case!!

It is exciting to think that there are only 4 more weeks to go. Chris and I are finishing putting the nursery together. I have been folding clothes, organizing, reorganizing, trying to plan out what I need...all of that stuff. We installed the car seat in the back of the car last week, and I have been practicing putting up and taking down a pack and play that I got at the baby shower my church threw for me so that I can easily do so when she is here.

It will be interesting to see how the end of this month plays out! Graduation is April 27th, and I pick up my cap and gown earlier that week. My parents are flying in the evening of the 26th - we'll have to see if I am still pregnant, in the hospital, or whatever else! 5 years from now this will make a good story I think :)

God bless!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Best Weekend Ever.

So a few weeks ago, the last weekend in February, the Minnesota Academy of Audiology (MAA) had their annual conference. I typically have my doctor's appointments every other Friday, and was not planning on attending the entire conference on Friday or the banquet afterwards. Chris convinced me that I should go to the banquet because "it would be a good networking opportunity" and said that he would meet me there.

At the banquet, they do an awards presentation for people in MAA that year. I was watching the awards ceremony and they named the "Outstanding Student Leadership" award to me - I was shocked! They then started reading some personal information, stuff that I have done while in school, as well as personal stories. They contacted classmates, family, friends etc. for stories. It was a really neat experience. I can't believe all the background work that went into getting the information. And after they had finished reading everything, they asked me to come up and get the award. I turned the corner, and my Dad was there! I still can't really believe he was here for the weekend. He flew in from Utah just for this and had been there all day at my in-laws house and I had no idea. It was really a very neat surprise, and such a special time! Both of my in-laws were also there, my father-in-law flew in from TN :) It was really cool.

While my Dad was here for the weekend, he decided to build a bookshelf for the baby. It was neat seeing Daddy and Papa working together making a bookshelf for our little girl! Pictures below show the story from start to finish :)





Friday, March 9, 2012

Coming down the home stretch!

Month 8 (Weeks 29-32)

Not much new to report here with our little lady bug, but no news is good news!! Everytime I go to the doctor he says "It couldn't look any better if I got it out of a textbook"...which is exactly the kind of thing that I like to hear. She is kicking and squirming like crazy. Actually, that is the fun part about pregnancy now. I love feeling the baby move, and now she is big enough that I can feel more specific body parts moving and kicking, like I can actually feel her knee or her foot pushing against my stomach. It also makes my belly go into weird shapes.

Other than that, no other new symptoms. Heartburn seems to have come back with a vengeance, so I'm doubling up on the Tums again. It is also getting difficult to ride my stationary bike - I can no longer easily bend down to get the water bottle, it's almost a workout by itself trying to reach down there.

In addition to coming down the pregnancy home stretch, I am also just about done with school :) I passed my oral examination last week, which essentially means that I have my Master's Degree now! I don't have the official sheepskin in hand yet, but everything else is done. I contacted my family and told them that they may now call me "Master Pitts"! The only things I have left to get my Au.D. are my capstone, capstone defense, and externship! I can't believe I have already been in this program for 3 years. Time has absolutely flown by.

7 more weeks until graduation, or childbirth, or possibly both...depending on when she decides to make her grand entrance into this world. I am looking forward to having my family here and celebrating all of these exciting changes in my life!

As Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us".

This verse is my prayer - here's to finishing with strength! God bless.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Graduation!!

It is hard to believe that my time with the Au.D. program is coming to an end. It feels like I just barely started it, and it has already been over two and a half years. Another couple weeks and it'll be halfway through my last semester of classes (well, class... I only have one class this semester).

Almost all of the tests that I have been dreading for the past two and a half years are over. I passed my Comps, I passed the Praxis, and now I have the HID exam next week. After that, my oral defense and then working on my capstone for the rest of the semester. Woohoo! It all seems so much more manageable now that I have starting knocking some items off of the list. The last final I will ever have to take is also at the end of April, but I have arranged to take it a little earlier in case something DOES happen early :)

Graduation is April 27th, and my due date is April 28th. Likely, because as everybody keeps telling me first babies tend to come late, I will be at graduation about the size of a whale. I am just hoping for her to come a little earlier ;) but she'll come when she feels like it.

I am just really excited for everything that is coming in the next couple of months. It is going to be a busy, fun time. Most of the time I think it's just a blessing that everything is keeping me busy - it keeps my mind off of things and forcing me to take life all one step at a time.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2 1/2 Months To Go!

Month 7 (Weeks 25 - 28)

First of all, I can't believe that I am writing the "Month 7" blog post. Where is time going? I am seeing the doctor every other week now, and starting in March I think I start to see him every week. This third trimester stuff will keep me plenty busy. It's just crazy. Last week we briefly talked about when I call him during labor, and what my options are for pain medication. I think I have pretty much decided to get an epidural - I have mostly heard good things, and I would like to birth to be a positive (or, at least not SCREAMING IN PAIN) experience so that there is a chance I'm willing go through it again at some point. But first things first - let's get through THIS pregnancy before I start even THINKING about a second one.

It has been a great pregnancy (from what I have heard). The doctor tells me when I go in to see him that "it couldn't look better if I got it out of a textbook". The baby's heartbeat looks good, as does my stomach growth and weight gain and all of that good stuff that goes along with pregnancy. I am just praising God that we have both been healthy so far!

So here is what's new over this period of time:

The baby weighs about 3 pounds now, more or less, and grew a TON during this period. And every bit of that body weight is sitting right on my bladder... Every once in a while she gets the urge to stretch her arms or something and I get a good, swift punch that will make me have to pee instantly.

The good news is that the cravings were not nearly as intense during this month. I mean, I still want my spicy foods and buffalo sauce, but I didn't make Chris go to Wendy's every night anymore and starting adding to my food repertoire again. Another good thing is that I don't seem quite as crazy anymore as I was at one point. Just about everything can make me cry still, but it doesn't seem nearly as bad as it was when I was in my really crazy stage.

I am starting to get the really sleepy feeling again. I could nap just about as soon as I wake up in the morning, which makes my Tuesdays and Wednesdays really tough because I am at clinic all day and don't actually have the option of napping...

Leg cramps hit like CRAZY! The other night, I could not even sleep. I ended up getting out of bed and putting a wrap around my leg and sticking "little hotties" (hand warmers) in the wrap because I couldn't find our heating pad. I found it the next day, thankfully. I didn't want to use all of my hand warmers for leg cramps.

I also have developed a headache protocol. I get maybe 3 or 4 headaches a week, and 90% of the time eating food and drinking a lot of water will help it go away. For the pesky, 10% of headaches that won't go away when I eat, I first drink some caffeine (maybe a little tea or pepsi, just enough to get rid of the headache). That works MOST of the time, and if that doesn't work I resort to taking a Tylenol, which I have only done 3 times during the whole pregnancy so far.

What I have gone through a lot of is Tums, and I need to go to Costco today to buy a super giant container of Tums because I am just about out of them (again) and then I would be in real trouble...

I think the weirdest thing to happen so far is that my belly button is slowly but surely disappearing. And from what I have read I may have an "outie" belly button any day now (yikes).

That's about all for new symptoms... nothing too horrible or crazy. Nothing could compare with that first trimester nausea, and I am so grateful that that is GONE.

So, over the Christmas break I did some maternity shopping, and I bought a pair of skinny jeans. I brought them home and showed Chris, and his comment was "Pregnant skinny jeans? Isn't that an oxy moron?" ...Yes, thank you, sweetie. But I still like them!

Anyway, at this point I will be hitting "week 30" already, so I will be sure to keep this updated with the further adventures of pregnancy. Chris and I are really looking forward to meeting our little princess!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Very Blessed! Chris will be here for the birth, and, it's a girl!

As you know, Chris' company (Mesaba - the Airline company) announced almost two years ago (or at least a year and a half ago.. it's been a long time) that they were bought by another company, Pinnacle Corp., in Memphis, TN. What this meant was that we would be moving to Memphis. Neither one of us knew what this would look like.. I personally didn't mind the idea of Memphis initially because Memphis is warmer, and in the Bible belt..but then we found out I was pregnant. As you can imagine this complicated matters, especially because Chris was supposed to be down in Memphis (for sure this time) by the start of February.

Yikes.

I was not looking forward to being without my husband during the entire 3rd trimester, and it is always scary to think that he might not have even been present for the birth of the baby because you can never really time that kind of thing. That, and we own our house so I would have been by myself here either getting it ready to rent out or trying to sell it. I was also not really looking forward to that. Then, I would be able to move down there starting in June, so it would have been a lot to do with a 1 1/2 month old baby.

Long story short, Chris has been looking for jobs in the area because we both thought that being here made more sense for our family, if it was God's will that we stay here. We are involved in church, own our house, and I had an externship position here already lined up (the people in Memphis are much slower at getting back to me...I still haven't heard anything yet and may not hear until the end of this month or beginning of next). Well, a company contacted and offered him a job, a supervising position, doing sort of what he is doing now (Maintenance planning) only in a supervisory role.

It was an answer to prayer. I am so proud of my husband for making the tough decision to stay here. It was bittersweet though; Chris' family (parents and brother) are moving down to TN, because Chris' Dad works for the same company. Chris was also really good friends with one of his coworkers in Memphis, making it even tougher to leave the company. It will be hard to be away from family, but God has answered our prayers by providing Chris a way to stay here. I think another hard part will be giving up flight benefits, especially because my friends out in Utah were planning a shower for me that I will not be able to attend now... if only Utah wasn't so popular to fly to! Then the tickets might be cheaper. Ah well, it's difficult to fly now anyway because I have to pee every 10 minutes and if I don't walk around I start to get that sciatic nerve pain really bad.

Second: I had another ultrasound today and it's a girl!! Not only is our little sweet pea a girl, but she also looks very healthy. The ultrasound was quite thorough and looked at kidneys, bladder, heart from all kinds of angles, brain, spinal cord, abdomen, legs, arms, etc. etc... We also got some pretty cute pictures out of it so I will post them as soon as I can.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Bucky Balls and Star Wars

Things that could entertain me for hours. I am supposed to be studying right now for the Praxis exam (THIS SATURDAY! AHH!) but instead of being productive, I am taking a brain break. All of the material sitting in front of me that I need to study is borderline overwhelming. I have made it through most of what I want to go through, but I am reaching my breaking point.

Solution?

Bucky balls, and Star Wars. I got Chris some Bucky Balls, and I have probably spent way too many hours playing with them. I'm not really sure what is so appealing about 216 little round magnets..probably the fact that they aren't in any way related to studying audiology material. As for Star Wars...well, I have always enjoyed episodes IV-VI, as any nerd does I am sure, but have recently discovered episodes I-III. I always resisted watching the first episodes, because I saw the first one and disliked it so much (thank you Jar Jar Binks). But I had to know how the other two ended, so I used some Christmas money to invest in the earlier three. (My in-laws got episodes IV-VI for me on Blu-ray this Christmas!! I can't tell you how awesome it looks on Blu-ray - such a difference). Anyway, they have been my study companion and my study break for the last two weeks or so, just watching the episodes bit by bit. There are some loose ends and some remaining questions that I have, but I am not going to go so far as to be one of those people who gets into the specifics. I.e., does it really matter if Leia says in Episode VI that she remembers her mother, but we seen Amidala die while giving birth to the twins? No... no it doesn't. And I may be nerdy, but I hope I am not so nerdy that details affect my enjoyment of the show.

Also what is kind of fun is now I can feel the baby moving A LOT more, so when I sit down to study she starts rolling around in there like crazy. I enjoy those moments.

This is my makeshift study desk for the time being...and while it doesn't LOOK organized, it is organized :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Adventures

Chris and I bought each other sports games for Christmas this year. First, we went to the Broncos vs. Vikings game at the Metrodome here in Minneapolis. Didn't really require much traveling (although, traveling to Minneapolis can feeling like going to a different country, depending on where you go), but it was really fun. Especially because the Broncos won 35-32. It was a great game, and very exciting.

For his Christmas present, we did a bit more traveling. We went to an Arsenal game in London, at the Arsenal stadium. It was Arsenal vs. Everton, and it just happened to be their 125th Anniversary game (we didn't know at the time that we bought the tickets). Long story short, the tickets to these games are in such high demand that you have to be a club member to buy them, and then there have to be enough tickets for "friends and family"... well, the circumstances worked out perfectly so that Chris was able to buy two tickets. We flew to London, and stayed in "The City" area, near St. Paul's Cathedral.

Nothing beats international business class flying (especially when it is Non-Rev so you pay very very very little). The game was awesome, especially because Arsenal won (Robin van Persie scored the winning goal, final score 1-0). The store that they have in the stadium is massive, and Chris and I were absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of shopping. On our first day, we went to the British Museum and spent time going around there for a good couple of hours and for the remainder of the time there, we went to the Churchill War Museum, which is made up of the rooms that WWII was planning/discussed in, and the rooms have been primarily untouched since the war ended. It was pretty neat. We also went to church while we were there, because we were there on a Sunday. As always, it was sad to leave London. The city is just so beautiful and surreal - seeing all of the images and buildings that you see in movies all of the time.

In between our traveling trips we spent Christmas Day with Chris' family here in Minnesota. Not really traveling... but considering the way that the weather can be in Minnesota, it could have been!! Well, ok, so we haven't *actually* had any bad snowstorms yet... and it's been above 40 degrees most of the time... Anyway. We had a lovely dinner (with probably the BIGGEST crab legs I have EVER seen...I would have hated to run into that crab when it was living) and then played Apples to Apples all night. I had to force everyone into it, but it was a lot of fun :)

Our final Christmas adventure was going to Tucson to see my family. We finally made a flight to Phoenix (well, we missed the first flight and then we got on the second one because some people got stuck in customs - yay!) and my Dad picked us up and took us on the long haul to Tucson. I love spending Christmas and Papa and Nana's house, nothing beats it! The desert is beautiful, in both temperature and scenery. We went to Beyond Bread, Eegee's, Bookman's, and all the fun little Tucson things that you have to do when you are there. We played Pay Me with my family a lot, and my Papa pretty much dominated us. My only regret is that I didn't really spend enough time with everyone, especially my cousin who is in the Navy and I may not see again for a couple of years, but I really loved every minute I was there. It was great that Chris was able to come along and see my grandparents house, too.

Now, it is back to studying for the Praxis exam (in two weeks) and the Comprehensive exam (in two weeks and 2 days). I'll be cramming like crazy for the next two weeks. But we had an awesome December, and I am looking even more forward to our little princess joining the family.

God Bless!

Pregnancy Update

Alright... I haven't written for a while, and now that it is "break" time I'll take a minute to update the blog.

Month 5 (Weeks 17-20)

So, this month was actually not that bad. I had very few (if any) crazy emotional days. A little crying here or there at a commercial or a sad song, but all in all fairly stable considering I have hormones flying about me like mosquitoes in Minnesota.

However, the crazy Frank's Buffalo Sauce craving has continued. I cannot count how many times we went to Wendy's or somewhere and I got a chicken sandwich and DOUSED it in buffalo sauce. I mean, dripping. And, I want more. I can't get enough of the stuff.

Also, I don't normally like oranges/tangerines, but lately I have been in the mood to eat them. Must be missing something from my diet that is in citrus fruits.

And, the announcement we have all been waiting for: the results of the 20-week ultrasound. Actually, this is the one story that absolutely frustrated me. SO, I went to the doctor, and I showed up for my appointment at 9:00 a.m. (keep in mind the doctor's office is 40 minutes away so I left my house at 8 a.m. in case there was traffic) and I walk up to the receptionist to check in and she says "Oh, we don't have you on the schedule"... Excuse me?? I know I am on the schedule. She looks up my name, and we find that next to my next they had written something about contacting me to reschedule the appointment, but they never actually contacted me. Great. I ask, will the doctor be in at any point today? In the next couple of hours maybe? Well, yes, he is in surgery but scheduled to finish at 11:00, and he has an opening at 11:00, so I volunteer to wait around.

At 12:30 p.m., the doctor arrives (I have been waiting for almost 4 hours at this point), and I am FINALLY able to get in for my ultrasound. I get into the room, settle down, get all situated, and the doctor says to me, "normally I refer out for the 20-week ultrasound, because I am not very good at telling the sex"... WHAT?!? WHY AM I HERE?!? *sigh*. I was NOT in a good mood at this point.

The conclusion of the ultrasound is two things: 1) The baby looks healthy!! Yay!! and 2) It is *probably* a girl. Probably. There is another ultrasound next week sometime to redo measurements, confirm stuff, etc. so that should hopefully give us a better idea.

Month 6 (Weeks 21-24)

I am *technically* still in this month but I will write about it now and update later if necessary.

Well, it happened yesterday, when I was on the plane back home from Arizona. The one thing that I said I wanted, and now that it happened I take it back!! So, this whole time I have been saying "I cannot WAIT to look pregnant..then people will understand why I am so crazy and just let me be crazy". Well, on the airplane a lady sitting next to me, who I have never talked to before or seen, leaned over and asked me "when is your due date?" Not, "are you pregnant?" or anything like "how are you?".. just "When is your due date?". And instead of being excited that I look pregnant, I thought to myself "OMG I LOOK PREGNANT?!? Enough that strangers are now just assuming that I am??"

The other fun thing. My little cousin Kendal, who is about 5 years old, found out that I had a baby in my tummy and was fascinated. She was touching my tummy, her mouth open in awe... and then she thought, well, if Katie has a baby in her tummy, maybe other people do as well. So she went around asking all of the family members (boys too) if they had a baby in their tummy. Then her Mommy explained to her, "No, only Mommies have babies in their tummies".. so she looks up at her mom and says "Do YOU have a baby in your tummy?" Oh boy... "No.. only SOME Mommies have babies in their tummies". I am just waiting for the moment that she goes up to a complete stranger who is a little chubby and asks them if they have a baby in their tummy.

Probably the worst thing ever? Sciatica. After putting the Christmas decorations away yesterday, with all the bending down and whatnot, I could barely walk. Not fun.

Probably the best thing ever? Feeling the baby move. A couple of nights ago we were laying in bed, and Chris put his hand on my stomach to see if he could feel movement. She wasn't really moving a whole lot, so he leaned down and said "Wake up, sweetie" and then put his hand back on my tummy. She gave 3 really firm kicks right where his hand was - very cool. I think she was just upset that her Daddy woke her up, but it was fun :)

After flying this past weekend, I have decided that going to Utah for my shower that my friends are throwing for me is the last time I am traveling until this baby comes. I was quite uncomfortable on the flights, and couldn't seem to get comfortable no matter what I did. That, and flying Non-Rev is so stressful. The day that we left for Arizona it looked like I wasn't going to make the flight, and I think I cried like 5 times. I cried when I woke up and it looked terrible, and when I called my parents to let them know, and when we missed the flight in the airport, and again when we actually got on the flight because some people got held up in customs (Praise God!!), but those were happy tears.

Another fun pregnancy experience. I did a little bit of post-Christmas shopping today around the mall, and in each store I went into the maternity section was next to the petites. Ouch. Like I need to be reminded that I am starting to look like a whale...putting maternity clothes next to the petites section is NOT helpful.

So, that is that. I will add more to this after the ultrasound next week. God bless!