Monday, June 28, 2010

Adventures in Truck Driving.

Today, I drove truck.

No, not a semi, or anything commercial. Rather, my husband's 1991ish gray Chevy... somethingorother truck. Looks kind of like this:

Anyway, the power steering pump on my car went out completely, or so we figure, making it very difficult for me to drive. For example, last week one day, it took me nearly 10 minutes to get out of a parking spot because I couldn't get it to crank hard enough and fast enough to make any decent turns out of the spot, and therefore I had to repeat the process over and over and over and over and... you get the hint.

Well, I decided I couldn't take it anymore, and Jake decided it was probably pretty unsafe for me to continue driving it as is, so he told me to take his truck.

I'd never driven a truck before. I used to drive my grandma's station wagon, or my mom's giant van, but never a truck. For some damn reason, I was nervous as all heck to get in this morning and pull away. Of course, I had no brief introduction to the truck (which, by the way, sports a license plate dedicated to me (GRNEYEZ) so that's cool), and I couldn't figure out how to get the seat to slide forward, or that you had to have the key not pushed all the way in, or that the RND...blahblahblah symbols were in a strange spot on the dash. But, I eventually got the thing started and off to work I went.

Not surprisingly, really, I made it there in one piece, albeit, a little high strung.

On the way home, I realized I feel really small in the truck. It's really high up. So high, in fact, that I have a slightly difficult time getting into it, especially in the driver seat, and then reaching the door to pull it closed. Ah well. But when I was driving down the interstate and a couple of motorcyclists pulled in front of me, it reminded me of a scene on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation where Clarke Griswald pulls the family car under a semi.

I guess it's a paradox, now that I think about it. I felt small, but also pretty massive.

Oh, and the truck is kind of noisy. It scared me a few times. Not abnormally loud by any means, but noisier than I generally recall.

The biggest downfall to my trucker experience: the bumpy ride of the truck I believe is what is causing my all day nausea. Ah well, rather that than a car accident.

And in other news, I'm pretty sure the Little Ninja (our baby) doesn't sleep. I read all over that a fetus generally sleeps 90% of the day, but I'm almost CERTAIN I feel it moving at least that often. Well, maybe that's an exageration, but really, about 75% of the day I feel movement. And it still throws me off. I'm totally not used to it. Tonight, I was reclining in the chair and Wendell was relaxing across my abdomen (which he can still do, lucky him), and I could feel my heartbeat, Wendell's heartbeat, and the Ninja moving all at once. Trippy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For Her Birthday.

Today would have been my Grandmother Leora's 71st Birthday.

My grandmother was one of my very best friends in this entire world.

This year, instead of (hopefully) crying a hundred tears, dwelling entirely on how much I miss her, how badly I wish I could call her up at home and wish her a happy birthday, hear her voice saying she loves me and how proud she is of me, or wanting to call up to heaven even just to leave a voicemail, I decided to enlist the aid of my cousin and plan a family reunion to celebrate the life we all share, given to us because she lived.

All of her children, most of their spouses, and almost all of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be packing up their cars and their memories, and gathering at a park not too many miles from where she grew up, and not too far from where we all were raised, and hopefully spending the day surrounded by love, smiles, and laughter.

I think she would have loved the idea.

Of course, though, since it is her birthday, I feel like I should leave her a little note. It would read:
Dearest Gma,
I love you. I miss you, your kind voice, your amazing hugs, and your overwhelming precense in my life. I hope that your day is full of smiles. While I usually believe that you are able to watch down on us all from heaven, I'm not always certain... yet, today, I feel that you really can, especially since it's such an important day. I hope that this gathering of family is the best gift you feel you could have been given.
I love you,
Nicole Marie

Leora Mae Flesner; June 19, 1939 - February 1, 2007

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Laughing is (one of) my favorite activities.

It occured to me (today, and on many prior occasions), that I like to surround myself with family and friends who have a great sense of humor (individually, and collectively). Laughter is one of my favorite noises, and also one of my favorite activities.

Now, I don't seek out people who are funny, it just seems that I think all of my closest family and friends have moments of pure hilarity.

My wonderful husband makes me laugh on a daily basis. Often, it's fits of rolling laughter and school-girl type giggles where my voice gets really high and squeaky and I can't catch my breath.

My sister, Samantha, who is spending most of the summer living with us, is also one who can get me giggling. And Tarah, my cousin and dear friend, who lives in our basement!

I name these three in particular, because they all live in my house.

Anyway, today I got the giggles for no apparent reason, while my sister and I were driving through a parking lot. Giggling lead to coughing. Giggling lead to gagging. I rolled down my window afraid I was going to vomit all over the place, and pulled up to a stop sign. And as I did, some older lady in her car, coming toward us, was laughing and looking at me with a huge grin on her face. Glad I could spread some joy.

There's no real reason to this post, other than to say, I like laughter.

Happy Thursday.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reached the Mid-Point.

I woke up this morning (feeling sick as heck with a horrid chest cold) excited beyond my wits.

Today, I am 20 weeks pregnant.

I can hardly believe it!

I was beginning to doubt I'd ever be a mom. I've spent 20+ years dreaming of being a mommy, but at least 5 terrified I would never get that chance.

And here I am, halfway through a pregnancy, feeling nothing but optimism at the outcome.

I do believe in miracles. And right now, I'm growing one inside of me!

I will have to take a "belly photo" after work to commemorate this day!

Here's the photo! I didn't brush my hair after work, sorry. And yes, my shirt is a size too big. It was $2.02 on clearance, so I won't really complain!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Un-Revealing Morning.

This morning, Jake and I had an ultrasound scheduled. It was actually the fetal anatomical screening, where they measure... most everything.

I was looking forward to this ultrasound more than some of you can probably imagine... because... today was the day I was supposed to find out if we're having a son or a daughter!

When we started the ultrasound (and for almost 45 minutes after) baby kept putting his/her hands and feet up by the face, and was in prime position to find out the sex. Unfortunately, the ultrasound technician didn't seem to notice or care, and then she made me get up and move around so the baby would move and she could see the spine. Well, with that, baby moved all four limbs down to between the legs, and covered the area that would let me know if I should buy pink or blue. The technician tried to get baby to move, but baby refused (hey, who could blame, s/he had his/her legs and hands up by the face for a long time just waiting to give away the secret, and probably got pretty tired) to move, and we had to leave not knowing.

Now, Jake doesn't want to know until the birth, but he really wanted me to be able to know, simple because I wanted to know. So, we were both pretty disappointed, and actually pretty annoyed with the technician who should have just looked for that right away while it would have been clear as day.

The technician said I can probably have another ultrasound in a month or so and she could try again. So we'll see.

But in happy ultrasound news, everything else looks great! Tech said that baby has long legs (which isn't surprising since Jake is 6'5"). We saw both hands, both feet, fingers, and toes. Baby was yawning occasionally, which melted my heart. We also watched it kick and punch back at the ultrasound wand thing, which was pretty cute.

The heart has all four chambers, and was beating at 158 beats per minute this time. The umbilical cord, placenta, and blood vessels are all functioning properly. The stomach, kidneys, and bladder are all forming properly, and the brain too! So, baby is healthy, and right on track for growth! So that, at least, was totally worth seeing.

In unrelated news, all of Wendell and Vivian's second litter of puppies have found homes. It's been stressful, going from having 2 dogs, to 10, and then the dwindling numbers back down to 1. I had been feeling pretty emotional since not all of them had found people to love them as much as I would, but luckily, today, they all have. It's quite a relief. Hopefully, Wendell will behave a little better now, too.

Okay, I'm going to go for now. Hopefully, sooner than later, I'll have something un-related to pregnancy to talk about so you all don't get bored.


PS: Crotch is a funny word.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Burstin' My Bubble.

Today, I am 19 weeks pregnant. That's nearly halfway there, if you go by the 40 week gestation period! I can hardly believe it.

I found out I was pregnant on February 22. I was one day shy of 4 weeks along at that point. It's crazy to think it's already been 15 weeks since I took that test on a whim, and refused to believe it. It's been 15 weeks since Jake called me, his only response was the most elated, overjoyed, jubiliant, rolling giggle I have ever heard.

19 isn't generally that exciting, I guess (though I do prefer odd numbers over even, so I like it better than 20 weeks), except... I woke this morning to a wonderful surprise.

I was lying in bed, mostly asleep, just thinking about what all I had going on today, and dreading however many minutes it would be before my alarm went off. I felt this strange, bubbling sensation in my lower left abdomen, off to the side of my belly button a few inches. It was very quick, but I noticed it in my grogginess. I didn't think much of it.

Until a short time later I felt it again in the same spot. It felt almost like there was a tiny bubble-gum bubble forming and then bursting softly inside me.

Then I realized what it was. Baby had kicked (or punched) me! I laid there a little bit longer, but I really had to pee, so I didn't get to feel it again. I know it's still kind of early for any consistency, and that it's best felt lying still and relaxed, but I'm hoping to feel it again soon!

In other news, on Sunday, Jake and I got together with our friends, Robert & Jillian, who brought a beautiful baby boy into the world on May 25. Now, I always love babies, and I love watching Jake interact with babies, but for some reason, this time was more exciting than usual. When we parted ways, Jake could do nothing but tell me how he cannot wait until we have one.

And we are going to!

Grayson is the first newborn we've met since finding out we were expecting, and it seems so much more emotional now. Not only are we excited beyond belief for Robert & Jillian, but it's now also a reminder that our dreams are coming true, as well.

Oh, and unrelated to that, but my 15 year-old sister, Samantha, moved in for the summer! I'm pretty excited. I hope she doens't get bored with me in too big a hurry!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Baby Book Wedding Graduation.

Last Friday (May 28th), my best friend of over 19 years got married! It was my second favorite wedding I've ever been to (next to my own, obviously). I was the only bridesmaid (Maid of Honor (and Awesomeness)), with four groomsmen, a flower girl, and a ring bearer (who really didn't want to be the ring bearer, he even told the photographers).

I tell you what, though, on Thursday, we left Sioux Falls to head to Minneapolis, and about half an hour away from home, my car decided to die on us. Yeah. Not cool. We coasted into a small town, and sat at an auto shop for about an hour and they told us we should probably call the bride and tell her we weren't going to make it. I started crying... and well, Jake took care of things. His mom came and picked us up, and his best friend's mom let us borrow her car for the weekend.

My wonderful husband was kind enough to chauffer the bride and I to the hair appointment, and then the church, and though he didn't have an official job after that, until the reception, he found plenty to do to be helpful and keep busy.

Therefore... he didn't really take any photos. Ah well. Here's one from the bride's little sister, of Michelle and I. It'll do for now.

My dress fit, despite the pregnant belly and boobs (Jake had to pin the front of the dress to my bra, but hey, I didn't flash anyone) so that was fantastic.

The entire day was a lot of fun, but completey exhausting. I bet I fell asleep promptly at 12:05.

Saturday, we joined the newlyweds for gift opening and brunch, and following, met up with Jake's best friend. We asked him to take a few photos of us so that we had a recent one to put in our baby book. He is a new aspiring photographer, and hadn't really photographed people before, so it was a fun experience for all three of us, I think.

Here are a few of my favorites from the set (they're distorted because my drag and resize skills suck):

You can see more of my favorites by clicking this link.
After the photography session, we went out to eat at a wonderful pizza place, with our friend and his friend, and then to a one-man play called "The House Can't Stand." It was... uh... interesting. The guy played a woman telling a story about her life through her political history and past love life. I liked the first half, and then in the middle, she started to sleep with Abe Lincoln from the past brought into the future (because she was telling him about Obama)... and well, I sort of lost interest. The actor did really well, but it became really hard for me to focus and follow. Plus, my uterus was hurting, so what do you do? Truthfully, I can't tell you if I liked or disliked it.
Then the guys took us out to a wine bar.
We came back after, and I fell asleep on the couch, and eventually went to bed.

Sunday, my little brother graduated high school. Ah! He's going into the guards, and leaves in August. He won't be around for the birth of my baby! I am really proud of him, though. And at the reception, there were all of his pictures from his school career, so I got a good laugh seeing his Kindergarten picture again. It looks like he's pooping his pants.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to stay as long as I would have liked, because we had to go back to Jake's home town to drop off the borrowed car, and have his mom drive us back to our car, which was, luckily, done. The water pump needed to be replaced, and the old man quoted us $1,300 for repairs. HOLY MOLY! I about died. Jake talked to him, and it turns out he gave us the wrong quote, that was for a transmission job, and ours was much less, thankfully.
The end.
Oh wait, the internet at our place is still all sorts of crazy, despite my cousin's laptop, so I'm still not around consistently. I apologize!