Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Weekending: Fall Family Fun

This weekend was for fall family fun.

We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with a visit to the local nature center for day 2 of their 4 day Halloween celebration. Every year they set up two short trails through the woods lit only with jack o' lanterns and luminaries. It is a non-scary, family friendly experience. It was my sister and my almost 4 year old nephew's first time at this event, whereas my dad, step-mom, and I have been many times before.

On Saturday, in keeping with the theme, I enjoyed a bowl of pumpkin soup for lunch and then my husband and I were off to a big family party in honor of the twins' 12th birthday. His family throws big parties for each kid's birthday, attended by all the aunts, uncles, cousins, family friends, etc. that live within a two hour radius. They do this all the way through age 21! It's very different from how my family did birthdays for us as kids. We had small, casual kids parties and small family gatherings with just our grandparents. There was already discussion of us having to compete with one of the cousins for future party dates because their younger son has a birthday at the end of March, just a couple days after our due date. Apparently, it has never even occurred to any of them that I might have no intention of hosting birthday parties for 30-50 people every year (or any year). I'm starting to worry about the number of people that will descend on us in the hospital after the baby is born (or worse, while the baby is being born?).

Speaking of the baby, I cannot get used to having my abdomen be the focus of everyone's attention. It freaks me out when people demand to see my "bump." I wore a loose shirt to the party and was asked multiple times to pull it tight across my stomach to show off the true size of my baby bump. I realize it's done with good intentions. Everyone is SO excited about the new baby in the family. It's really sweet how thrilled they all are.

Linking up with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pregnancy: Some things that have helped so far

The all-encompassing nausea I mentioned in the last post has really affected life over the last few months.

Although I haven't had any of the infamous food cravings, I have plenty of food aversions: ice cream (what??), french fries, avocados, hummus, and garlic. I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting one, but my brain is mostly mush these days.

I am feeling slightly better, but there are still a lot of dicey moments each day. Earlier on, I spent every second of every day with my teeth clenched and every ounce of energy focused on NOT BARFING. I think because of the extreme effort that required, I had nothing left for anything else. When my phone dinged to notify me of new emails, etc., the sound made me physically ill because it meant that I would have to divert some of my not-barfing energies to checking my phone. I got seriously behind in my emails. I gave up reading blogs (all caught up now, thanks). I scrolled through Facebook in brief spurts and dropped Twitter altogether. Every time I opened a book, I'd make it only a few lines before I had to set the book back down and shut my eyes to attempt to regain the little control I had over my nausea.

The prescription prenatal vitamins I was taking were a daily source of trouble. It became more and more challenging to get the giant horse pills down my throat successfully. When I mentioned it to my nurse, she advised trying some OTC gummy prenatals. I left the office and went immediately to the store to buy some, but I've always disliked gummy candies (seriously, what is the appeal?) and the gummy prenatals quickly became another trial. So now, again at my nurse's recommendation, I'm taking two chewable Flintstones daily.

Here are some other things that have helped me so far:

Sea-Band Mama! These look silly and make me feel like I should be playing tennis, but I've been wearing them every single day since week 10.

Preggie Pop Drops. I carry these in my purse everywhere I go.

Ginger candies. I hate ginger. Hate. But my sister-in-law got me some of these and desperate times call for desperate measures. So I carry these in my purse too. I think they work mostly because they distract me from the nausea with their vile, horrible taste and texture.

SweeTarts. My nurse also suggested sour candies, specifically Sour Patch Kids, but ugh, gummies. No thanks. So I tried SweeTarts, which do seem to help, at least in the moment. Of course, they may also cause my teeth to fall out, but whatevs.

Although not for nausea, another essential I've found so far is what I call my "boob tube" for sleeping. It's a skin tight spandex tank top with a built-in shelf bra, which provides support when I'm tossing and turning, trying to find a comfortable position at night. Because tender doesn't even begin to accurately describe the situation.

It's also imperative that I eat almost non-stop, which I need to address immediately. Time for an apple!

(These are not affiliate links, just random things that have seemed to help me.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Check In: 16 Weeks

Yes, I'm still here. I'm just struggling to keep up with life.

As the title of this post indicates, I am 16 weeks into this pregnancy. My first and much desired pregnancy. I've spent my entire adult life dreaming about not just having kids, but being pregnant. I imagined I'd be one of those perky women wearing cute clothes and basking in the glory of pregnancy.

Ha! Reality, you suck. In truth, this has been the single most unpleasant experience of my life. I have no idea how or why anyone would intentionally do this more than once. And that's coming from someone who never, ever had any interest in having an only child. The constant nausea, the exhaustion, the getting up to pee all night long, the extreme burping, and now feeling like an over-filled balloon about to pop. I'm well-aware it only gets worse from here, so don't feel the need to educate me.

And on top of all the physical discomfort, there's the emotional loss of self. I can't do many of the things that made up my daily routine: reading, writing, and walking. Nope, no can do. Every time I try going for a walk, I end up feeling a thousand times worse later in the day. Plus, I'm short-tempered and demanding, or as my husband says, mean.

I hope that after the baby comes I remember who I am beneath all this yuckiness. Of course, then I will be so sleep-deprived that I probably won't care who I am.

(Please don't lecture me on how I should feel blessed. I am 38 years old. We tried for 10 cycles before one took. This is just where I am at mentally and I think it's OK for me to admit it's not all sunshine and roses.)

Oh, and it's a BOY.

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Fall Camping at Eighth Lake

This past weekend we returned to our favorite campground, Eighth Lake, for a relaxing getaway. We didn't plan any specific hikes or activities; we just enjoyed the lovely fall colors and perfect weather. Our campsite was waterfront, so we had gorgeous views across the lake. Our new sling chairs made lounging by the fire even more comfy. All in all, a delightful weekend.


Check out: why we love Eighth Lake.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Owl's Head & Olympic Ski Jump

I'm still working my way through our camping trip to the Lake Placid area in early August, so this post will cover two activities: our hike up Owl's Head and our visit to the Olympic Ski Jump Complex.

I wasn't up for any major hiking (and my husband never is), so Owl's Head seemed ideal. The trail is 1.2 miles round trip and the summit provides lovely views of the surrounding High Peaks. Our first attempt was thwarted by giant road construction vehicles using the road to the trail head as a staging area. So we went back the next day and were able to squeeze past and find a spot to park. The trail is quite popular and we saw lots of other hikers, but we managed to have the summit all to ourselves. The hordes arrived just as we were heading down.

We've been meaning to make it to the Olympic Ski Jump Complex for the last couple years, but bad weather has caused us to put off our visit. Not this year. We got to watch some young ski jumpers jumping into swimming pools (crazy!). Then we rode the chair lift up to the base of the ski jump and then took the elevator to the top. It boggles my mind that real people intentionally propel themselves down those jumps. Good grief.

This will probably be the last of the posts from this trip, but is you haven't done so yet, you can also read about our visit to Ausable Chasm and our Ben & Jerry's Factory tour.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Exploring Ausable Chasm

While we were camping at Wilmington Notch State Campground, we spent a day at Ausable Chasm. We'd seen advertisements and flyers for the place for years and decided this would the summer we checked it out.

As we drove there through regular looking small towns and farm land, I was confused about where a chasm was going to fit into the landscape. The very idea was incongruous. And then as the signs indicated our near-arrival, a deep gorge opened up as if out of nowhere.

We elected to do a "float tour," which meant we'd have access to the walking trails and go for a short raft ride. It was pretty crowded, even though it was a weekday, so it was hard to get pictures without a bunch of strangers in the frame. And, of course, the pictures fail to capture the drama of the place that was felt in person.

We drove and walked over this bridge.

Elephant's Head


narrow gorge

rafts being lowered by cables to launch pad below
The raft trip was short (~1 mile long), but it was definitely my favorite part. I'm adding going rafting again to my must-do list.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Ben & Jerry's Factory Tour

Even though it was a long drive from our campground in Wilmington, NY we decided to spend one of our vacation days driving to Vermont for a Ben & Jerry's factory tour. We are both huge fans of Ben & Jerry's (who isn't, right?) and have long talked of visiting the factory in Waterbury, VT. It was a lovely scenic drive and may well have been my first visit to Vermont.

The tour itself was nothing special. We watched two videos, one on the history of the company and a shorter one on the production line. I was disappointed that, although it was a manufacturing day and after noon, the production line was not running, so we didn't get to see any ice cream being made. The highlight of the tour was the sample of cotton candy we got to enjoy at the end.

Not surprisingly, it was an absolute madhouse, even though it was a week day. I'd hate to imagine how much longer the lines would be on a weekend. I'm glad we did it, and now I can cross it off the list and never do it again. Once was definitely enough.

On the way to the factory we missed the turn off for the ferry (plus, we'd not done any research on times, locations, or cost). Before heading back to camp, my husband hopped on his phone and GPS and found the best ferry across Lake Champlain for our route. It cut many miles and lots of time from our return trip. And best of all, it was super cool. I enjoyed the ferry ride more than the factory tour!