Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Cannon Beach

We have tried to go to Cannon Beach on several occasions but by the time we know T.J's schedule all the dog friendly places have been booked up. This past weekend though T.J. knew by Monday that he'd have a 4 day weekend so we called around a found the perfect spot for a little beach get away. Cannon Beach is about 3 hours away from our home on the Oregon coast and it's been on my PNW bucket list ever since we moved out here.

Thursday night before we left we watched The Goonies to get in the zone. If you didn't know the movie is set in Astoria, Oregon, which we would be passing through, and the very last scene at the beach is filmed at Cannon Beach. Fun fact.

Friday we got up loaded the car and hit the road. Hunley of course was a ball of anxiety thinking we were going to leave him behind or leave him at the kennel but by the time we got to Astoria he had started to accept that he was going to be included on this trip. We stopped at a shopping center right by the harbor to let the dog stretch his legs, grab a bite, and say hello to the seals who were having a very lively and loud town hall meeting.
Cannon Beach is only about another 45 minutes down the road from Astoria and we were eager to get there. We had booked a suite at The Ocean Lodge and we were able to check in early. It was the perfect room for our needs. It was steps from the beach with amazing views of the famous Haystack Rock and we were able to let Hunley out the sliding door to go to the bathroom rather than having to deal with steps and elevators. It had a bedroom and then a living space which allowed us to spread out a bit and was nice to relax in on the rainy days.

(The view from our room.)

(The Ocean Lodge)
I am so glad we got to town early enough to enjoy the beach because Friday was definitely the best weather of the weekend. It was in the low 50s and SUNNY!!! As soon as we got checked in we headed out! My favorite part of the west coast beaches is how wide they are. Even though we were (kind of surprisingly because it's February after all) not the only ones out on the beach, you never feel like you're on top of one another. We let Hunley off the leash and had a blast.
Hunley was thoroughly soaked and thoroughly worn out by the time we came back in. T.J. grabbed a glass of wine from the lobby and we sat out on our porch to watch the sun set (and give Hunley time to dry off).
Then we turned on the fireplace and got cleaned up before heading out for dinner at Pelican Brewing Co. T.J. tried the local brews for both of us and then I had fish and chips and he had a burger and we split a marionberry crisp. It was really fun atmosphere and I can only imagine how busy this place gets in the summertime.

Saturday we woke up and had breakfast at the hotel (it was free and yummy) before taking the dog for another walk under more overcast skies.
Figuring we'd be getting rain later in the day we decided to head out to Ecola State Park while it was still dry. This park has great views of the coast and Tillamook Lighthouse, a bunch of trails, and a picnic area.
Of course the rain came on soon after we started hiking so we turned back and dropped Hunley off at the hotel and then headed out in search of a cozy spot for lunch. Once we got parked in town (I still can't believe how busy this beach town was in February) we found a table by the fireplace in Bill's Tavern & Brewhouse.
The rest of the day was spent snuggled up in the room reading and watching movies. We embraced the lazy vibe and ended up just ordering pizza for dinner that night. Hunley was so well behaved- I wish we had a beach to run him on every day!

On Sunday the weather was insane, pouring rain and hail. We took our time leaving but the rain definitely made it easier to say goodbye to our little weekend retreat. Even though it wasn't the best weather I loved getting to have a little taste of this beach with my boys and a baby on board.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Pregnancy Journal: Weeks 13-16

How Far Along: 16 weeks

Size of Baby: Avocado, and a rather large one at 4.6 inches according to my pregnancy app.

Weight Gain: 1 whole pound!!! Woohoo. My goal was 2 pounds before my next midwife appointment but I'll take what I can get. I am someone who has never been able to put on weight easily (not because of any emotional reason, just a really fast metabolism and good genes) and I've pretty much weighed the same amount since high school. I'm hoping by the end of this week I'll be seeing 3 digits on the scale in the morning!

Symptoms: I have felt really great lately! I've had no more nausea except for one night when I made a recipe that I had made during the first trimester and my nose and stomach remembered. I feel like my belly is just starting to pop and mostly I just feel really full, like stuffed up to my ribs, especially at the end of the day.  This has led to a lovely new habit of burping. A. Lot. Much to my husband's shock. It's pretty gross. I don't think I ever burped in front of him in the 2 years we've been married. Guess the magic is gone ;)

Exercise: I walk the dog usually twice a day unless it's freezing or pouring rain which it's done a lot of these past couple of weeks. But I downloaded a Holy Yoga pregnancy video and ordered this other dvd that I'm eager to try.

Maternity Clothes: Not really though I did buy one pair of maternity leggings that I'm quite sure I'll get a lot of use out of. And I'm definitely using the hair tie trick to keep my unbuttoned jeans semi-decent.

Worst moment of this month: Hopefully I wont have this category in every post because until this past weekend I've had a very blissful, stress free pregnancy. Saturday afternoon I started having really severe abdominal pain right around and across my belly button. I've had similar pain once or twice before usually when I eat too much too fast or twist or move in a weird way. I chalk it up to all the stretching and pulling going on to make room for our growing babe. But... this time was different because the pain was constant with no break or relief. It felt like my belly button was going to explode and any way I tried to sit or move only made it feel worse, even taking deep breaths hurt. I drank a ton water, took a shower, tried kneeling on all fours. After 2 hours of this I called the 24hr nurse triage line and she suggested I be seen. I gave it another hour to see if there was any change or relief but finally called T.J. in tears.  He was of course getting slammed on call at the hospital but he came home and got me and we headed back to the emergency department. I got seen pretty quickly which was good and after only a few moments of panic (on my end) they found the baby's heartbeat going strong and I started crying even more. Once they found the heartbeat though they didn't really have any answers for why I was still in a lot of pain. They gave me tylenol, I had blood work done, and then was taken for an ultrasound to check my appendix to rule out appendicitis. 

All this time T.J. was in and out getting paged so unfortunately he missed the ultrasound and the only good thing to come of this rotten night. The radiologist couldn't see my appendix which isn't uncommon in adults but she did give me a freebie peak at my baby!!! My baby which looked like an actual baby and not like the little lima bean in my 7 week ultrasound. It had it's little fist all balled up and it's tiny legs tucked up like a frog and it was squirming around. It was only a quick peak but basically it was the most precious, amazing, miraculous thing I've ever seen. It gave me a lot of comfort to see that baby was moving and looking good. But I still didn't know why I was in pain. The next thing they could have done was give me an MRI but since I didn't have any nausea or vomiting or a fever appendicitis seemed unlikely. So they said it was probably, maybe? just muscular pain due to a torn muscle and my baby quickly running out of room.  They discharged me with instructions to come back if any of those other symptoms appeared or if the pain got worse. Sleep was not great that night but in the morning and after another dose of tylenol and a shower I was starting to feel much better. The pain only appears now when I change positions, like going from sitting to standing or vice versa, or when I twist or reach for something. So I'm just trying to move slowly and take it easy.  Again, it's tolerable and totally worth it if it means the baby is okay. And fortunately I'm going to see my midwife tomorrow so hopefully she'll have some more answers.

Best moment of this month: Definitely seeing my baby at my surprise ultrasound!

Looking forward to in the next month: Feeling the baby kick hopefully sometime soon! Just in the past couple days I keep thinking I'm feeling something but I'm not positive yet... My anatomy scan is in 3 weeks and I can't wait to just stare and stare at my little baby moving around. And this time T.J. will be with me!! AND we'll be finding out the gender. I think that will definitely make everything really really real. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

How I found out I was pregnant.

I found out I was pregnant on Sunday, November 20th, a date I'll never forget because it's the date I found out I was going to be a mama. I went of birth control at the end of June and while we weren't exactly trying (aside from the obvious), we weren't doing anything to prevent a pregnancy. So pretty much every month since June I would convince myself that I was pregnant. I was hyper sensitive to every little thing going on in my body. I'd take pregnancy tests way too early every month sure I'd see a positive. But November was different, which I guess should have been my first clue.  I decided to chill out with the pregnancy tests because I was becoming slightly obsessed.  Turns out it wasn't that hard to restrain myself until the day of my missed period because that month I had no "symptoms" other than some light twinge-y cramping that I thought was probably just PMS. So Sunday morning rolls around and it's the first day that I could safely take a test and I tried to keep my expectations in check. I just thought you'd feel a certain way, not sure what way exactly because I'd never been pregnant before, but I'd just thought I'd have an intuition. But of course the one month I didn't have any "symptoms" or do any crazy testing is the month I really end up pregnant!

I had bought a box of those cheap paper tests on Amazon and other months I've gone cross eyed staring at those little strips of paper willing a line to appear with no luck... until that Sunday morning. T.J. was still asleep so I slipped into the guest bathroom to discretely take the test and as soon as I realized that I was not imagining that faint pink second line I immediately took a second test. And then when that one was also positive, and I was still in blissful shock,  I broke out the big guns: the digital First Response stick that says either "yes+" or "no-."  Other months I've hated those. It's one thing to stare and stare and finally admit there's only one line. But a clear, spelled out NO is kinda like a slap in the face, even when you're not exactly trying. When that YES appeared that morning I was already shaking and sweating and silently freaking out and jumping for joy and saying thank you Lord! thank you Lord! thank you Lord! over and over while T.J. was still waking up.

I was tempted to just run out of the bathroom and blurt it out right away but he was about to go in to the office to do some reading for work and I knew it would distract him (that's an understatement) so I played it so cool (not really) until he left then I paced around the house, and debated on how to tell him, and tried saying "I'm pregnant" out loud for the first time,  and literally stared out the window watching for his truck once I knew he was on his way home. I quickly made a little paper sign and attached it to Hunley and then I had to keep Hunley from eating the sign for the next 5 minutes.
Let's just say T.J. was shocked, suprised, definitely a little panicked, all feelings I experienced that morning.  But throughout the day his panic slowly turned to super sweet, gentle, and protective making sure the dog didn't jump up on me and telling me I better be taking my prenatal vitamins every day because we don't want the baby to have flippers.

I had a blood test the next day to confirm the pregnancy and that phone call saying "congratulations, you're due date is August 1st" was so surreal; it definitely took a while to sink in. Anyway... I know in my last post I said I wasn't going to only blog about pregnancy stuff but I've been keeping it a secret for so long that I have all these posts and thoughts built up that I wanted to record and share. Thanks for putting up with me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Trimester Pregnancy Journals

So I'm not planning to do weekly pregnancy updates, but I reserve the right to change my mind. Before I got pregnant, though, I didn't really like reading them (especially when that's all they'd post anymore). They seemed repetitive, and kind of tedious and boring. Of course as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went back and read a bunch of my favorite mommy blogger's old updates to compare symptoms and make sure what I was experiencing was normal.

So I think I might end up doing monthly updates. Our family lives really far away so I think this will be a good way to keep everyone up to date on our growing babe. Plus, like every other pregnant blogger before me has said, I want to remember it all, all the details, the emotions, the excitement and anticipation. So here we go....

(This was taken at 5 weeks. It will be fun to have this to compare to in the end.) 


How far along: 13 weeks. hello second trimester!

Size of the baby: Our little one has gone from the size of a poppyseed to a lemon. What a miracle!

Symptoms: When I first found out I was pregnant I was totally surprised because I had none of the early pregnancy symptoms I expected other than little twinges/ rumblings in my stomach. Around 6 weeks though is when I started to feel pregnant and the nausea set in. I didn't throw up (except for one time around 11 weeks) but definitely felt like I could. I felt especially nauseous if I didn't eat enough for breakfast (that prenatal vitamin is a doozy) or if I just didn't eat enough period, or drink enough water. I had some light cramping early on that of course is totally normal but a quick google search will also tell you it can be totally not normal. (Word of advice that I'm still having trouble following... don't google when pregnant.)  The cramping has stopped but I've been having some round ligament pain and some pulling sensations behind my belly button and around the side of my pelvis but this is exciting to me because it means baby and belly are growing! T.J. might testify that one of my main symptoms was out of control hormones...but I'll plead the fifth.

Sleep: At first sleep was really challenging because I was so keyed up and so excited that I could not settle down. I would wake up around 2 am (have to pee) and then not fall back to sleep until T.J. got up to go to work around 5. My brain was just running a mile a minute thinking about all the things. Now I can sleep pretty much through the night but before I was pregnant I would sleep on my stomach and that's gotten really uncomfortable because "the girls" are super duper sore. And I am not really a side sleeper but I know that's what is best/recommended for baby so I'm a little anxious about how uncomfortable sleep might become the further along I get.

Cravings: Nothing dramatic yet but I had a day when I really wanted BBQ chips, so much so that I texted T.J. this gem....
But for the most part I don't want anything twice and leftovers suck. If I think about making some of the same recipes I made during those earlier weeks my stomach immediately turns. We made BLT sandwiches for dinner one night and then T.J. wanted one for lunch the next day. When he was cooking the bacon I had to leave the room and ran straight to the bathroom gagging. I really don't like bacon right now...  I'm curious to see what sort of things I crave now that I'm moving into the second trimester and my stomach isn't so against me.

Best moments of the 1st trimester: I loved telling our families the big news on Thanksgiving and seeing their reactions. Everyone was beside themselves. I was also so excited to get an early ultrasound at 7 weeks and a couple days. Because I'd been having some light cramping early on, primarily on my left side, I was really fearful that it would turn out to be an ectopic pregnancy. Getting to see that the baby was growing in the exact right spot and had a little flickering heartbeat was such a weight off my mind. At 12 weeks I had another appointment and finally got to hear the heartbeat. And the midwife noticed that the baby seemed to be moving all around and that just blew my mind. What a privilege and a miracle to witness life at that teeny tiny stage. I can hardly believe that in 6ish months I'll be holding that same baby in my arms!

Looking forward to in the 2nd trimester: So many things. Oh my goodness I can't contain my excitement.   I can't wait to have an actual bump. I can't wait to feel the baby move! I can't wait to find out if we're having a boy or a girl. I always said I wanted to wait to find out the gender in the delivery room, like my parents did, but T.J. is really eager to find out as soon as possible and it didn't take much convincing for me to change sides.
I would say my belly really hasn't popped yet despite how it may appear in some photos (blame it on bloat), though at my 12 week appointment the midwife said she could feel my uterus had moved up out of my pelvis so we're on our way. Grow baby grow! Can't wait to see what changes the next month brings! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The biggest secret I've ever kept!

There's another reason why I've been quiet on the blog lately...
I mean how could I blog about anything else without mentioning the biggest thing going on in our lives??!
Our sweet baby is due to arrive August 2017!
I am over the moon excited for our growing family.  More updates coming soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

3 months in Spokane Washington

Hey there old friend. I took an unintentional leave of absence from the blogging world (both writing and reading) these past few months and now that we're well into the New Year I'm ready to return to this little slice of the internet that I've quite missed.  So where exactly have I been? What have I been up to?

You see I wasn't just absent from the blog, but from our actual physical home.  The husband had a three month away rotation at a hospital in Spokane, Washington and I tagged along. The program put us up in an apartment, I gave my job notice and we drove the five hours over the mountains to eastern Washington for all of October, November and December.

I always feel uncomfortable sharing with the internet when we're going to be out of town, especially when our house is going to be sitting empty for so long. Plus the apartment had little to no internet service so even getting on to my blog was a nightmare (I wont tell you what sort of data overage charges we ran up these past three months....).

So what did I do in Spokane for those three months? That's the question I got a lot because we had no friends or family there and I wasn't working. I admit that I always felt that question was tinged with just a teeny bit of judgment because some days I didn't have a good answer other than "enjoying that stay at home wife life!"

I spent A LOT of one on one time with the dog- seriously he's now officially scared of other humans because he's only interacted with me and T.J. this whole time. We joined the YMCA and I actually found myself enjoying going to the gym (something I'd never ever thought I'd say). I'd mostly just walk on the elliptical while watching Gilmore Girls and Parenthood on my cell phone (the gym had free wifi which was only a large part of my motivation for going) and it was a nice way to get out of the house and feel productive. I read a ton of books. I did a lot of cooking and tried a bunch of new recipes, I also joined a women's bible study at a local church. The eastern part of Washington is so different from where we live and T.J. and I really enjoyed exploring Spokane and finding new favorite restaurants. Oh, and we also got enough snow to last me 5 winters!

Most importantly, though, and the number one reason why I tagged along, I got to see my husband every single day! Before we came out to Spokane he was doing a different away rotation from July-September up in Seattle. While he was able to come home for maybe one day a week, for the rest of the time he was sleeping and staying up in the city. That gets real old after three months. His job in Spokane on the other hand had incredible hours where he was home for dinner every night and on his call days he only had to physically go in to the hospital once or twice so we had most every weekend free. I haven't had this much time with my husband ever! Not even when we were dating.

So maybe there were some days when I was really quite bored, days when I didn't speak to another human until T.J. got home in the evenings, or days when the only "big thing" I'd do was take the dog for a walk and fix dinner.  This time together just the two of us was so precious and wonderful, like a little sabbatical of sorts and it was worth all the data charges in the world.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

two years.

Sometimes I can't believe it's been two years since we said our vows. So much has happened in these past two years that it's hard to remember what life was like before him. But at the same time I can still remember how I felt when I woke up that morning two years ago. The excitement, anticipation, the butterflies as I got ready to walk down the aisle and commit my life, two years and forever with T.J. 
As I went through my pictures and tried to pick out just twelve to capture this past year of marriage, I couldn't help but feel incredibly lucky. I know it's been trendy to hate on 2016, but for me, and I think T.J. would agree, it was another year full of love and growing closer to each other. And looking at some of my favorite photos and memories of the two of us from this past, wonderful, year I am just so thankful for this life we created together. He is still the best decision I ever made!
"Oh magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together!"
Psalm 34:3