2012 Ups and Downs

2012 is over and done.  It wasn’t a bad year.  Lots of good things happened with the bad and I’m thankful for all of it.

Probably the biggest thing that happened was figuring out my soy allergy/sensitivity.  Call it what you will, but I’ve been doing fantastically since cutting out every last little bit of the nasty substance.  Only once in a blue moon (I’m talking really only once every 2-3 months) will I have an episode and only after eating things that I know I shouldn’t eat!   I’m really glad that Darling Hubby was able to figure it out and that it wasn’t milk.  Despite the friendships I lost during the whole brouhaha, I feel I’m better for having the whole thing happen.  I’m feeling better overall.  I don’t wake up feeling like crap every morning and don’t go to sleep in pain every night.  And, it was all because I simply changed my diet.  Who’d have thunk it?

Another good thing that happened was that I learned how to knit socks.  I’ve made 14 pairs of socks since the start of March.  They are all pretty simple socks, but I love them simple. I’m not a real fancy lace and pattern girl.  I even challenged myself to do some unusually constructed socks like the carousel socks and the sideways socks.  Unfortunately, I didn’t finish the Owlie socks my friend Barbara and I started as a knit along.  I just had a bunch of other projects come up that took precedence.   I wear a knitted pair of socks practically every day and most members of my family have received a pair of socks at some point.  The only one who hasn’t is Fidget…

Another good (and bad) thing was that I opened my own shop on Etsy.  It’s been open since April and I’ve only had one online sale and that was a custom order for a friend…but, the recipient of that custom order Cthulhu hat is delighted with it, so that’s what really matters.  I will admit that most of my sales have been off etsy to friends or at the craft fair I did in September with some of the girls from the library knitting group.  I made 3 blankets for a friend from back home for her to give for Christmas gifts.  I also made another blanket for someone at the knitting group at the public library after she fell in love with one of the 3 that I made.  I haven’t had much time to do my own knitting lately because I’ve been doing projects for the shop.  I’m still excited to have the shop open…I’m just a little disappointed that it hasn’t done as well as I’d hoped.

Another good thing is that I went to Rhinebeck for the first time for the Sheep and Wool Festival.  It’s where I got bitten by the spinning bug.  I came home with a drop spindle and taught myself to spin yarn on it.  Of course I couldn’t just stop with that.  I’ve fallen in love with wheel spinning.  I’ve been getting better by leaps and bounds and just learned how to Navajo ply and I might even list this most recent yarn in my etsy shop (if I can talk myself out of keeping it!)  I’m hoping to save up enough money to buy my own wheel at some point.  I’ve tried a Kromski Sonota and an Ashford Kiwi and so far I really like the Kiwi, despite the nasty creak that it has in one of the treadles.  But, I’ve heard that Ashfords have a tendency to creak…lol

The bad was, thankfully, few and far between.  Things didn’t really start to get bad until November, which seems to be a pretty crappy month for many people.  Darling Hubby was off for the week of Thanksgiving and we woke up that Monday to a very cold house.  Despite the fact that the furnace was running all the radiators were stone cold.  Turns out the circulator pump blew and a day of waiting for the technician to come to fix it and $700 later we had a warm house.  Thankfully we have the wood fireplace for back-up warmth…then, Darling Hubby had to have his car inspected and that needed $400 worth of work…so in 2 days we’d spent over $1100…and we hadn’t even started to buy Christmas presents.

Probably the worst and absolute last thing that happened in 2012 was that on New Years Eve around 9:30 pm, our little dog Spiral passed away peacefully in her box.  It’s something that we’ve been expecting could happen at any time due to her age and health, but it was pretty sudden how it happened.  Literally it was she was alive one minute and gone the next.

We came home early from a New Years party, Darling Hubby walked the dogs and I started ushering the kids upstairs.  I filled the dogs water bowl (both dogs were happy and dancing around) and headed upstairs to do the bedtime routine while Darling Hubby went out to plow out the bottom of the driveway, thanks to not 1, but 2 plows coming through right after we got home.  Anyway, Fidget left his new Buzz Lightyear downstairs and wanted to sleep with it, so I went down to get it.  I noticed Spiral was laying with her nose down in the blanket and not on her paws like normal and I got no response when I called her name.  I’d seriously only been upstairs 10 minutes.

It came as a complete shock to both me and Darling Hubby as to how sudden it was, but like I said it was expected.  We’d had her for over 9 years and she was estimated to be around 2 when we adopted her.  She had bad teeth and a severe heart murmur that had progressed into congestive heart failure where she was constantly coughing, but she was still active, ate well and seemed happy.  I’m thankful that she seemed to go peacefully and that she’s in a better place and has hopefully been reunited with her best friend, Grace, who passed away nearly 2 years ago.

So, the bulk of 2012 was good (oh, and I should add that we didn’t die in the apocalypse that didn’t happen!)  I can only hope that 2013 is even better!

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36 Week Update

Week: 36 weeks

Weight gain total: 32 lbs…as of 36 weeks 1 day…So not happy with this, but I think part of it is that I’ve been eating crappy things and snacking a lot because I’m hungry (probably because the baby has dropped and my stomach has more room…and I also think Baby Fidget is packing on the ounces cause he’s had the hiccups constantly lately and from experience, every time Bug had the hiccups, he had a growth spurt.

Cravings/Aversions/What I’ve Been Enjoying This Week: I’ve been kinda in a funk this week, so my eating has been off.  Lots of junk food…trying to be better today!  I made some homemade banana bread Tuesday, so I’m eating a couple slices of that for breakfast, drinking more water (to ward off those pesky Braxton Hicks contractions that I seem to be getting a little more) and trying to not snack all day…

Sleep: My sleep has still been hit or miss.  Monday night I couldn’t get comfortable no matter what.  My lower back was killing me..pretty much everything below my waist was hurting.  Even with the big body pillow, I just couldn’t settle down.  I’m pretty sure that because of my lack of sleep my mood was pretty sour and I was snapping at everyone most of the day (so not loving those pregnancy hormones!)  Tuesday night I actually got a decent amount of sleep, waking twice to go pee and once just to roll over.  I woke up feeling refreshed and my mood is much lighter.  Hopefully it stays that way.  The body pillow really made a difference last night, too.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get more sleep tonight.

Belly Button and Stretch Marks: Well, my belly button has started poking out a little more.  I think there are the same amount of stretch marks…I haven’t really been paying attention to them…lol

Baby: Baby Fidget is still wiggling around like crazy and often has the hiccups.  Add to the fact that he seems to have shifted lower into my pelvis, I’m in pain quite often, esp when standing/walking.  I’m at the major waddling stage.  I feel like I’m walking like a wounded penguin!  lol

Nesting: This week seems to be my “nesting in full force” week.  Saturday I scrubbed the entire upstairs bathroom…and by scrubbed, I mean got down on my hands and knees with a sponge and cleaned all the nooks and crannies.  It took me pretty much all day to accomplish because I had to take frequent breaks, and I took an extended (7 hour) break when we went to a friends house to see about taking their old TV and TV stand for our living room since they want to get an new one, and so Bug and his best buddy, Little A could play.  Since we decided to take the TV and stand this Saturday we’ve been doing some major rearranging of our living room and office.  In order to put our old TV stand in the office we have to completely move everything around, including take out some wall shelves to accommodate taller pieces…this means I need to completely rework where things are, but the good news is, I’m dusting!  lol

Appointments: I had my weekly appointment this past Monday.  I was, once again, supposed to see Dr. Vu, but, once again, she was over at the hospital delivering.  I saw Dr. Wallingford who I really like.  He’s like the grandfatherly dr and just has a good bedside manner.  He told me he thinks Baby Fidget is about 5.5lbs and probably by the time I deliver he’ll be in the 7lb range…anything below 8.5lbs and I’m happy!  I have another appointment for next Monday with Dr. Vu (again).  Hopefully the 3rd time will be the charm!  lol  I also get to be the recipient of the Group B Strep test…fun!  I may also have her check me to see if there is anything going on that might give me the early delivery date.  We’ll also schedule my weight check ultrasound for the following week (38 weeks).  I’m getting excited that I’ll be full term next Wednesday.  I’m still hoping for an early delivery, esp since Baby Fidget is sitting so low…fingers crossed.

Preparing for baby: I haven’t done much preparing for the baby specifically.  There are things we still need to get…maybe this weekend we’ll go out and see about finishing up the last of the tasks.  It is supposed to be a rainy weekend anyway.  Why not go out looking for a touch lamp…lol

Other stuff on my mind: My raging hormones!  I swear my family thinks I’m a homicidal maniac or something.  I can go from perfectly fine and happy to royally pissed off to having a complete and total crying meltdown in seconds flat…and I know in the back of my mind what I’m getting worked up about is totally not worth getting worked up over…I just can’t help it.  At least I’m not making jello for anyone this pregnancy (there’s a funny back story about me making jello for Darling Hubby when pregnant for Bug…)  Anyway, I’m hoping that the next few days are better…I’m really not liking myself when I get like that and I’m sure my family is pretty sick of me, too…At least I laughed this morning when I dropped the tv remote and it busted in half…maybe that’s a good sign…

I was also getting a little worried about finding someone to watch Bug for us when we need it and thankfully our friends (Little A’s parents) have offered to watch Bug whenever necessary, even if it’s in the middle of the night.  It’s actually a load off my mind and Bug would really be happy hanging out with his best bud.

Theoretically, my ideal delivery would go something like this.  I go into labor in the morning (a Friday would be good), say around 7am.  We get ready and drop Bug off at school by 7:45 and head over to the hospital.  I labor for a few hours, deliver naturally (probably with an epidural and no tearing!) around lunchtime.  Darling Hubby then goes out to pick Bug up from school at 2 and we have our first family of 4 gathering before dinner time!  I know that’s not how it’s going to work, but a girl can hope, right!  lol

Here’s this week’s picture, taken by Bug. Please pardon my hair…I’d been cleaning and rearranging the office most of the day and hadn’t hopped in the shower yet.  Does Fidget look lower from the last 2 pictures?  He does to me, but I’m having a hard time telling.

36 Weeks Pregnant

36 Weeks Pregnant

I Got A New Way To Walk…Walk, Walk

Walk way that is!  Darling Hubby and I finished redoing our front walk this weekend and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  The old one was a crumbling concrete mess and looked down right terrible.  Here is a picture that was taken in early 2004 (before we sided over that hideous yellow color) that shows an already crumbling mess…add 5 years to that and you can imagine what it looked like a couple weeks ago before we broke it all up.

Before walk way

When we first moved into this house in 2003, there were 3 very large stone slabs laying between the driveway and the neighbor’s fence.  They served no purpose, aside from giving the old neighbors ramshackle fence a little more stability at the bottom…lol)  I don’t even think I have a picture of them…they were that insignificant to us.  When Darling Hubby and I started discussing options for repairing the front walk way, I made mention of the 3 stones and when we took measurements, we found they were practically perfect for the space.  They were a little smaller width wise, but it was only a couple inches and we decided to take out the bricks and other stones that made up the side walk way that led from the driveway to the main walk way since it wouldn’t match up well.  We’d planned to just lay the stone slabs flat and basically replace the front walk, but my friend Rose gave me a good idea to make them into steps.  It actually turned out better to make steps since the last stone was a bit longer than the concrete slab the construction guys poured when our sidewalks and curbs were replaced in 2007.  We had no good way to cut the stone slab to make it even so overlapping worked out well.  Plus it will keep the rugrat kid from down the street (who can’t be but a year or 2 older than Bug), who often has no adult supervision, from riding his wagon down my walk way…he attempted that once but quickly moved on when he saw me watching him from my front door…he hasn’t set foot on my property since.  Anyway, we ended up using the bricks from the side walk way area to make the steps…nothing goes to waste around our house!  lol

Here’s the finished product!  We added top soil to make things even and planted some grass seed.

Bottom view, trellis

We will eventually get some new solar lights to put along the sides.   The new steps look nice next to our newly redone flower bed.  There were some scraggly looking roses there before and we took them out last month and planted some mini blueberry bushes and some irises.  It looks so much nicer.

Side view

Here you can see the side walk way area.  This used to have bricks laid out there, but it was starting to heave, even after I relaid them a couple years ago.  We reused the trapezoidal stone block that was there previously and plan to get some stepping stones to place there rather than making a full walkway.  I’m thinking something along these lines.  They are made from recycled rubber.  I like reusing and recycling!

side walk way side view

Here is a picture of the fence area where the stones used to sit.  I cleaned it up and extended the brick lined flower bed that we put in after the new neighbor replaced the fence last year.  I planted some wild flower seeds and some cosmos seeds that I got free in the mail from somewhere.  You can see my container garden with my potatoes, carrots and spinach.  The wooden post that has the bamboo wind chime hanging from it was once part of the overhang that extends all the way back to the garage.  We only use it for storing our garbage can, some firewood that’s drying and as the uprights for the “fence” that I put across the driveway to contain Bug and the dogs to the yard.

New flower bed

In addition to finishing the walk way and creating the new garden and planting seeds, we replaced our outside water spigot.  Shortly after moving in we replaced the old existing water spigot with a frost free one.  Last year it started spurting water out of the top whenever it was turned on.  It wasn’t bad, but this year it started getting really bad.  It made a huge mess when you needed to water anything and I dreaded using it.  Of course, it wasn’t an easy fix.  There was a lot of grumbling at it and some quick fixes, but in the end we have a spigot that works and it no longer wastes water!

You may be wondering what Bug was doing the whole time we were working.  He was either inside playing or  in the yard playing while the stones were moved and he did help a little when we were putting down the dirt and grass seed.  For some of the spigot work he was running around shoot the dog with a water gun.  Don’t worry, Max isn’t mad that he’s getting all wet…

Water gun 1

In fact, he LOVES getting sprayed and shot with water!

Water gun 2

Water gun 3

He even waits patiently while Bug pumps the water gun back up.

Water gun 4

We didn’t let Bug help or be around much for the moving of the stones.  Since we didn’t have much in the way of equipment that could easily lift and move three several hundred pound stones, we improvised and didn’t want him getting hurt accidentally.  For the first 2 stones we employed the Egyptian pyramid building method of putting the stone on a sheet of ply wood and using rollers to move it down the driveway.  It actually worked pretty well, considering.  For the 3rd stone, we borrowed our neighbor’s father’s dolly which was much easier.  lol  It’s actually great that we have neighbors who will let us borrow things.  For this job alone we borrowed a sledge hammer, a pry bar and the dolly…all of which we returned, promptly.  Good neighbors always return things quickly! lol

Overall, I’m very happy with how things came out.  I only hope that our grass starts growing soon.  It’s done nothing but rain and rain and rain (severe thunderstorms nightly) and it’s starting to wash away some of my dirt…I shored it up with some bricks today.  Hopefully it will help keep the dirt in place.