December 2006 Archives

Weight: 136 lbs
Waist: 38.5 inches

Cravings: chocolate shakes, mexican food, apples, chicken sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, water, water, water! The beer craving is gone, which is good because I really wanted to drink an ice cold beer.

After working six-day weeks since Thanksgiving weekend, I was more than ready for some time off. Rachele and I decided to close the studio until January 2nd to recoupe from the crazy holiday rush. This is the slowest time of the year for photographers, photo labs and our other suppliers, so we might as well take advantage of it.

Unfortunately, I caught a nasty cold and have been sick this whole week. I'm feeling better, but my sinuses are in bad shape. It's just not fair. At least, I don't have to work right now and Finnegan and I are spending all these days together because he's on Christmas break from pre-school.

Aches 'n pains: The usual; lower and middle backache with accompanying shooting pain radiating down my leg to my knees. My hips always hurt and the sciatic pain cause me to limp often.

I'm feeling really heavy and my belly is sticking our so far that women keep asking me if I'm ready to deliver or if I'm having twins. I would have liked to see them when they were pregnant! Everyone thinks they were svelte pregnant models I guess? Anyway, more and more women are saying, "Bless you," and then patting my belly. Hey, if it can get me a parking spot closer to the grocery store, I'm all for it. Instead, I'm on public display.

My hands and feet are swollen and I can't wear my wedding ring. I tried to wear it on a necklace, but it bothers me right now.

Limitations: Can't drive the truck anymore, can't reach items in the back of the refrigerator, and very difficult to pick up Finnegan. I took Finn for a walk the other day with Spoon and it was a lesson in patience. Finn wanted to run every where and Spoon, well, he was Spoon. We were gone for almost two hours and I had to take a nap upon our return.

Good things: I can sleep through the night, eat normally - just smaller portions, and I can still bathe and clothe myself.

Mood: At times I'm very emotional. I'm cranky in the morning and I don't take criticism very well. Or rather what I perceive to be criticism. I've yelled at Doug a few times for picking on me. In actuality, he was teasing me, but I was not in the right mood for it.
Ups and downs I guess.

Dreams: I've been having a re-occurring dream about being in college and not doing any of my course work throughout the semester and then worrying about graduation.
Well, this week I had the dream again, but this time I went to my professors and asked them what I could do. They told me that all I had to do was pass the final exam and I'd be set. Wow! What a concept? No more dreams.

Nesting: Doug and I have been gathering all the supplies for the baby. We went to Baby's R us and purchased many needed items and then came home to find out that we only needed half of what we got. So, I'll be returning a few things. I've also been clearing up the rest of my studio stuff to make more room for us. It's really nice to have all the equipment and supplies out of the house. My plan of purchasing items for a studio during the past eight years was a good one except that I had to store everything in my house. Now it's almost all gone.

Finnegan's room: I've been working on Finn's room trying to organize it for him and decorate it with the planes-trains & automobiles theme. It's coming together nicely and he likes it. I want him to feel comfortable in his room and take ownership of it.

Gotta go. Cinnamon rolls are calling my name.

This week started out pretty well. Doug and I actually went out to lunch sans Finnegan with some friends for a Christmas High Tea. It was a special treat and the food was really good.

Later that evening I woke up with terrible abdominal pains that just swept over me in waves and it was excruciating. After about 20 minutes of trying to get back to sleep I told Doug to take me to the hospital.

After my initial examination the doctor determined that my stomach and intestinal pains had triggered pre-term labor. So, they gave me some muscle relaxers to stop the pain which took about 30 minutes and I started feeling better. By 2:00 a.m. Doug and Finnegan went home for the night and I tried to get some sleep.

The worst part about being in the hospital is that the nurses are constantly waking you up to check for vital signs and it's hard to go back to sleep.

In the morning, I had a fever of 104 degree and they had to give me meds to bring it down because that's not good for the baby. After all my blood work came back it was determined that I had a virus that caused me to be very dehydrated and that along with the pain caused the pre-term labor.

Finally at 6:15 p.m. I met with my OBGYN and she told me that everything was looking good the baby was doing great. So, they released me and Doug picked me up to take me home.

It was great to be home and sleep in my own bed because the hospital bed was soo hard it made my back hurt.

Unfortunately, Doug has the same thing I do and he's feeling terrible. Now it's my turn to take care of him.

Hopefully we will all be healthy for Christmas.

Big Storm in Seattle

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Last night the weather was terrible. The weathermen were predicting terrible winds upwards of 60-95mph with driving rains and flooding. Well, they were right and devastation is widespread.

More than 1 million people are without power. Four people lost their lives to falling trees and flooding. We were amongst the lucky ones and we did not suffer a power outage.

However, the region was under seige and all schools were closed, daycares, no buses, the floating bridges were closed, mudslides and flooding abounded all over Puget Sound. The two major newspapers could not get the paper out and the emergency crews were out removing downed trees. It was quite a sight around here.

My business partner called me to tell me not to go to the studio today because there was no power. It was nice to have the day off so I started cleaning the house.

I scrubbed, vacuumed, dusted, polished and organized things. The main floor of the house looks really great, but now I'm exhausted. I took a two-hour nap with Finnegan earlier today.

Now that dinner is over and I'm sitting down, I keep looking at the walls thinking that they need a paint job and that I should get started on it, but it will have to wait for another day or year.

Tonight the weather is supposed to turn very frosty as a cold front moves in and makes things a bit more difficult. Like they say, "If you don't like the weather, wait a minute."

In the Northwest the weather changes very quickly.

Waist: 39 inches
Weight: 134 lbs
Cravings: hot chocolate, mint tea, fried chicken, pickles, mashed potatoes with gravy, egg salad sandwiches, mexican food and I still want to drink some beer. I saw a beer truck today and a cold frosty mug sounded really good.

I went to the OBGYN yesterday and everything is normal. My belly is getting bigger and bigger.

Baby Boy Treder is kicking up a storm these days. He's constantly moving around, especially when I shift around at night. When I move he starts scrambling around like
he's trying to get out in a hurry. But, there's no place to go yet.

I was trying to figure out why I've gained so much weight, so quickly. It finally dawned on me that when I stopped nursing Finnegan the calories were staying with me. It's not a problem and I'm not worried about gaining weight because it's normal. I was just looking for a reason and then I figured out.

Anyway, my belly sticks straight out just like Finnegan did and at times it can be really uncomfortable when I'm driving over bumpy roads.

We still haven't picked a name yet. We are definitely doing our research and making our lists. Finnegan's name gets such a great response from people that we have to have another great name for this little guy.

The nesting instinct is kicking in and we have moved all of Finnegan's clothing and toys to his room upstairs and all the baby stuff into the changing room. The crib still has some of my clothes in it, but at least there are some baby items in there. I haven't quite caught the cleaning bug yet, but every time I pass the vacuum cleaner, I want to clean the carpets and floors upstairs, but the thought of lugging it up 12 stairs dampens my enthusiasm and I keep on walking. Maybe Doug can help me out and get back onto the cleaning wagon.

Strangers: Lately, every day someone comes up to me and wants to touch my belly.
I used to be afraid of it, but it's combined with well wishing and advice so it's not a scary thing to me anymore. I think having a big belly is a sign to the world that we have enough faith in humanity to bring more children into the world and that's a very good thing.

Week 28: discomfort

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It feels like I've really grown this week.

waist: 39 inches
weight: 130 lbs

Sleeping is getting more and more difficult because I can't find a comfortable resting position. It doesn't matter how many pillows there are, it just doesn't work. My legs are really restless and I get leg cramps every night.

Last night, I woke up at 2:45 a.m. and couldn't sleep until 5:30 a.m. Then the alarm clock rang at 7:30 and it was time to start the day. I was a zombie until 1:00 p.m. when I took a two-hour nap.

My belly seems to be sticking straight out and everyone is telling me that I'm getting really big. I suppose that means everything is going along pretty well.

Food cravings: pickles, mexican food, ice cream and beer. I really want to drink some beer. Everytime I see a beer truck or a bottle of beer, my mouth starts to water and I can smell hops. It's weird. I just really want an ice cold beer.

Other than all of this, I'm really starting to feel fatigued every day. Only three months to go.

A couple of days ago, I was running my morning errands before getting to the studio and I made my regular stop at our photo lab, Pacific color. Jen, the customer service gal, was there with her friendly smile helping an athletic-looking woman clad in leggings, tennis shoes, knit cap and down vest.

I walked up to the counter and waited for Jen to return and began admiring the photos on the wall. Then Jen came back and explained that our orders would be ready in a few minutes because a different employee was doing the invoicing today. Then she told us that Denise's mother had died this morning and she was having a hard time wrapping things up before going home.

I immediately said that I was sorry to hear about her loss and asked if it was a sudden death or a lingering illness. Jen said that Denise's mom had been in hospice care for some time. I nodded my head and said that hospice care is the last step before dying and told her a little bit about Doug's mom and how she died at home from lymphoma.

At the mention of lymphoma, the woman next to me, Ann, said, "what kind of lymphoma?" "Non-hodgkins," I said. "What kind of non-hodgkins?" she replied. "I didn't know there were any varieties," I said. "Yes, there are. There are many. I have a very rare form and it's incurable."

I wasn't sure how to respond to her, except to ask her how she is feeling and how her family is handling it. She told me that her husband is very stressed and her grown children call her everyday, but nobody wants to talk about her actually dying. She said, "One day I'm thinking that I'll probably end up with alzheimer's like my mother and the next day, the doctors are telling me I have two years to live."

I shared Anna's story with her and how Doug and I were with her at the end. Then she asked me, "What's it like to die?" Nobody had told her what she was going to experience or what the hospice care would be like. I told her all about how the family helped Anna select her hospice care options and then how Anna told me everything she wanted for her funeral and how we wrote the list of all her possessions that she wanted to distribute to family members."

After telling Ann the entire story, I cried because being with Anna when she passed away was one of the most precious moments of my life. "When we are mothers we are present when our children are born, but as a dying person there's no guarantee that family will be present and we need comfort from loved ones to help us die without fear."

We were silent for several moments and then Jen came back with our photo orders. Those quiet moments spoke volumes as Ann thought about what I had told her and I thought about how self-assured she was about taking care of the little details in her life.

Before she left, I suggested that she get all her affairs in order as best that she can and to make sure that her family talk about her illness, dying and life after she is gone. "Nobody wants to talk about it, they're in denial. But knowing your wishes will give them great comfort when the time comes to make all your final decisions."

Ann nodded her head and said that she had been cleaning her house for the past couple of months organizing everything for her family. "It's helped me cope," she said.

As she walked away I gave her a big hug and wished her good luck and marveled at her dignity and courage. I hoped that telling her Anna's story would help her alleviate some of her fears of dying.

Then just as briefly as she had entered my life, she was gone forever.

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