Baby Greene Update

I realize it’s been more than a month since I shared with everyone about baby Greene coming in May. I know also some of you are curious how the pregnancy has gone so far and how baby is doing? So I’ll give you an update.

I had my first ultrasound and initial appointment at 14 weeks. We found out I was pregnant much earlier, although we suspected pregnancy at 6 weeks by 8 weeks we knew for sure. But we decided because of the move to wait until we had one hospital and doctor to work with. Everything went well at those appointments. Blood work came back fine and baby was moving around a lot in the ultrasound ( I had just eaten before we came).

First trimester I was a little nauseous (like car sick) but honey ginger drops and banana chips helped. Other than that I was exhausted, warm at night, and super hungry. I was eating like crazy, sometimes more calories at one sitting then even Luke. I think it was quite an adjustment for me since I had been following a low calorie diet.  I was still teaching so I had to pack more food at lunch then I was used to and eat before and after class.

By the second trimester, after Thanksgiving, the hunger slowed down and nauseousness went away. I wouldn’t even realized I needed food until my energy level dropped. I had my first meeting with my OBGYN in December and all went well.

As of my last appointment and ultra sound at the beginning of January everything is still going well.  We decided to have blood work done to check for genetic issues and all tests came back normal. At the last ultrasound (20 weeks) they did extensive pictures of baby’s organs and spine. I was surprised that they were able to use color imaging to determine the umbilical cord and other body organs. Measurements of baby’s body showed all within a week of each other in terms of development in all areas and average age lined up with the due date. We also found out gender, which I will share with all of you soon.

Overall I have been feeling pretty good, some muscle aches and pains from body shifting and growing and depending on what I eat acid re-flux and heartburn. I have learned to stretch after exercise and before I go to bed to prevent cramps in my calves in the morning and sore hips and that balancing my diet better, and with plenty of milk, sometimes I can prevent the heartburn.

Right after the holidays I started to feel baby kick and move. It was only occasional and sometimes I wasn’t sure if it was me or the baby. But now I have gotten so used to the kicking and movement that when it doesn’t happen for a while I am surprised. I am now relying on my longer stretchier clothes (like tank tops under flannel shirts), and my new maternity shirts partnered with cardigans and scarves.

Baby is 24 weeks today which means I am now steadily in the 6th month of pregnancy (eek!) We have been talking about names, looking into birth classes, our baby registry is complete, and shower dates are set.

Moving Forward Part 2

On Monday we signed up at the local gym. Yes, we did the January gym sign up, but this is not just a new-years resolution. With only one car right now I’m doing exercise at home with the Zumba Fitness Core xbox 360 , but we need Luke to have a place to exercise before or after work.

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Thorbeckes is pretty nice. Membership gives you access to the work out equipment, several exercise classes, indoor track, and the pool. They also have several locations all with the same membership fee. Thinking ahead they offer child care for 2 hours of exercise for a low monthly child rate (much cheaper than babysitting). They also offer children’s classes and activities including swim lessons. Best of all, once a month they host a Parents Night Out where you can drop of your child at the gym for several hours of activities while you go on a date (again a whole lot cheaper and more fun than a babysitter).

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This gym is in the same parking lot as Borst Park, for more see: Borst Park Christmas Lights.  Luke took Kira to the dog run awhile back and she loved it. Each dog run features a picnic table, a fire hydrant, and a tunnel. Even though she had only been one time before she  went back to the fence where she had seen a squirrel the last time she was there.

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That night we decided to go to Mcmenamins Olympic Club downtown Centralia to catch a movie and have dinner.  This location has a restaurant, bar, movie theater, and hotel all restored to older glory days of the building (an old gentlemen’s club and saloon) but with Mcmenamins flair. We have been twice now to get dinner with my parents; they have great food, drinks, and a room for free pool and shuffle board. But this was our first time going to the movie theater. They show second run movies only 4$ for adults and have two show times (6pm and 9pm).  It’s a lot of fun to be in a comfortable atmosphere and eat dinner (you can order off the full menu and bar) while watching a recent movie.

After all of these activities, and more,   finally feel like we are settling into our new home.  Living so close to a nice park, good gym, good movie theater, and not far from a larger town with specialty shops and food we like; it is a major blessing. Although the past few months have been challenging: living in a rental, going back to one car, new job for Luke, no work for me, preparing for a child, this past weekend reminded me of why it is worth the effort, sacrifices, and adjustments.

Moving Forward part 1

Two weekends ago we started moving forward with life in Centralia. After three weekends with family we were ready to get better acquainted and adjusted to environment we are now living in.

Saturday we signed up to check out growth groups at church. Also we got confirmation of baby Greene’s gender so we ordered gender announcements gifts and cards  (more on this to come).

On Sunday after church we drove to the suburbs of Olympia. We were overdue for a Costco trip (and samples).

Then we went to our nerd store: Luke discovered Olympia Cards and Comics when he visited the area for job interviews and couldn’t wait to take me. Walls of games and plenty of room to try them out, a generous variety of comic books including many independents, plus a knowledgeable staff on both games and comics, I can see why he likes it. Now we go once a month after our Costco trip to look at comics, and think about future games we want to play or expansions to buy.

If you didn’t know this already Luke loves games, especially complicated ones. We have learned over time to find games that are challenging but also allow us to play on the same team (co-operative).  I am still learning strategies of more complex game play and we are often playing just the two of us. Fortunately now there are many co-op games out there.

And yes, the comic book interest is new(ish). Luke and I started reading comics about a year or so ago when we bought a few comics that continued the story lines of characters we enjoyed in a few TV shows. Then we branched off from there, mainly into the Marvel universe, and now? This store has a much better selection of comics including many independent and creative options. So since moving to Washington we’ve started to branch out to new ideas and stories. It’s hard to find unique story lines right now in movies, TV, and books right now it seems independent comics are where the creativity is. We know, we are major nerds.

After our errands and shopping we ended our day with Pho and bubble tea. It’s so nice to live back in the land of good Asian food.

But this is only part of our weekend. More on moving forward to come in part 2.

 

 

Preparing for Baby

Now that the holidays are over, everyone knows about our growing family come May. Still minus a few doctor’s appointments and reading ‘what to expect’ we had not moved forward on much, especially with the holidays and moving to a new state.

A few weekends ago my parents came to visit and help us move forward on preparing for baby Greene. On Saturday morning my mom, Luke and I went to my 20 week ultrasound. My mom loved the experience and at the end the technician told my mom not to look as she typed the gender onto the screen. The technician printed us lots of wonderful pictures, and gave us an envelope with the one picture that revealed the gender for us to share with everyone later. (More on this to come I promise).

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Later that day we drove up to Olympia to go to Babys R Us . Nowadays with almost all shopping online, it’s difficult to find products in stores. When it comes to strollers, car seats, swings, and highchairs, you want to pick them up, fold them up, see how they break down, and how easy they are to clean.

Even though I had done some extensive online searching, I was overwhelmed walking into a store of all things baby. It’s still a new world for us. We were grateful to have my Dad and Luke there as they pushed buttons, lifted everything up, tore everything down, and saw what clicked into where. Also the store’s department manager was extremely helpful providing us with the most recent laws on car seat safety along with which items were rated higher and why.

After looking at the larger items we wandered the store. My parents mentioned a few smaller items I had not thought about that they found helpful.

I felt confident after that trip to make some changes to our online registry, and just in time too.  My mom and I started talking about shower dates. Since I can only travel via plane up to a certain date, we needed to plan out a SoCal shower quickly.

Before the holidays I still fit into my normal clothing without problems. I had lost so much weight last spring that I had clothes that worked  with gaining a few pounds. But right around the holidays I started noticing a baby bump and knew by January I’d need to make wardrobe changes.

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I appreciated my mom’s help that weekend in looking at nursing clothing, and basic maternity layering items. We were surprised Target  was our greatest resource for basics as  other stores have great selections online but very little to try on. Fortunately we discovered my size for most items. Now I can go shopping and feel confident even online that I am getting what I need. After that trip I went through my closet and looked at my shirts differently: how long are they? Do they stretch? And for dresses: could they turn into nice blouses?

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We haven’t set up an nursery, any items we got for Christmas from family have gone into a box. We are hoping to move into a more permanent home before setting up a place for baby Greene. We received a few special items at Christmas including gender neutral: blankets, pacifiers, and clothing from both families. Can you guess our nursery theme from these items?

More on how Baby Greene is doing to come.

 

 

House Hunting Update 2016-2017

We started looking at places to live as far back as October when we found out where we were living. We have looked at quite a few places since while living in a rental home downtown Centralia.

I feel at times we have taken our realtor on a wild adventures trying to narrow down just what we want and need. Looking for homes this time is different than it was in Wayland. We are at a different place in life and are looking at the place as a longer term location, where our children will possibly be living with us through elementary school. So we are asking questions about safety, clear play areas, school districts, and how close the home is to Luke’s work, the grocery store, as well as church and town activities.

We’ve learned we want a rural suburban home. I know it sounds strange. We like the idea of a quiet house with a few acres but that is within 20 minutes or so from the gym, church, school, work, restaurants etc.

Fortunately around here that is possible to find but it does take some compromises. Many places have a lot of property and a house that needs major work. Or a house that is great but a property that is not. Or both are great but the drive is longer than we want and could be difficult in the winter time. Luke and I are willing to get a place that needs work down the road, a  place we can update. What we cannot do right now is a major overhaul before baby comes, that’s too much stress and a huge time crunch.

One of the beautiful presents we received over the holidays was that our house in Wayland went under contract with a buyer! The day we left for my parent’s house we got news of an offer. Over the holidays we negotiated and finalized a decision. I was shocked, I never suspected our house to sell in the dead of one of the coldest winters and especially over the holidays.

Since then we have been signing paperwork and scanning in files to all the right parties. Several steps of the process have already been completed and we are hoping by the beginning of March we will have our house sold.

So we are really ready to find a place to live, and now we are starting to feel the time crunch of a May due date. We’d love to be at least semi-moved in by the time baby comes. Even if a nursery is not set up and painted we would like to bring our child from the hospital to the home they will be in for at least the first few years of their life. The baby will be in our room in the cradle at first anyways so that would give us time to get a Nursery set up if necessary.

So that is the house hunting and selling so far, more on this to come as we move forward.

 

New Years in review

For New Years we headed to my in-laws house to celebrate our second round of Christmas and New Years together.

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Thursday night we treated like Christmas Eve, which at the Greene house means we each opened a present. This year the one gift per person rule seemed to have an exception: I opened two, one for me one, for baby Greene.

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The next day was “Christmas”. In stockings this year we gave  grape jelly from Naple’s Grape Festival and bags of dried apple chips dehydrated from our fall crips bought at the Fall Foliage Festival. Also I placed herbs I dehydrated from summer herb collecting, in bags with a few of my recipes. And of course there were all of my baked goods. John enjoyed a sampler of Christmas cookies and Diana a box of her own organic, gluten free, not white sugar oatmeal cookies.

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Kira enjoyed her Christmas gifts too. Diana gave her milk-bones and Grandma dental chews. But I think her favorite gift was a few old socks Diana gave her to wrap around her toys, and the chance to play with them in the nice warm basement.

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New Years Eve Grandma joined us to ring in the new year, and it was gift giving all over again as we gave her her presents. She especially enjoyed the peanut brittle I made her.

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That night we had the Greene traditional New Years meal of Prime Rib, potatoes and salad, it was delicious.

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And for dessert: I had a new baking success for this holiday season: cheesecake. I made an organic, no white sugar, gluten free cheesecake for Diana and a traditional one with graham cracker for everyone else to celebrate the new year. They turned out perfect, no cracks, not too sweet, and wonderfully creamy.

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I will confess, this year I almost did not make it to midnight. We decided to play Yahtzee to pass the time and I sat their struggling to stay awake. Finally I was told to go lie down, I woke up barely in time to ring in the new year with toasts and kisses. We walked out into the brisk air to see fireworks in the distance and yelled “happy new year” to the neighbors.

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The next day was sluggish for everyone. Then there was me: I slept until late, ate breakfast for lunch, then proceeded to take a nap on the couch. I’ve never slept that much in one day in my life (and I blame it on a baby growth spurt).

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In general this was a laid back celebration weekend, which is probably what most of us needed after getting over colds at the end of a busy holiday season.  In between the presents and meals we played games, and sat around the living room, sharing stories, drinking tea, and listening to John and Luke play the guitar and sing.

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How did you ring in the new year?