Monday, July 23, 2012

The transformation begins...

Before I give this update, let me begin by saying, yes, I am still pregnant. I am considered three days overdue at this point, and for anyone who has been there, you know it's not a fun place to be. Three days overdue is not that bad, but when there is no end in sight, it doesn't feel good. I thought maybe I'd have the baby today, but now I have no indication that could happen. I will say this much. There is no more room for this baby in me. I am so overcrowded I can barely stand it. I hope this huge baby will decide life on the outside would be better than the cramped quarters he or she is currently enduring. But once again, I have no choice but to wait and see what is going to happen.

Now, on to my update. Anyone who knows me or who has been following my blog at least since last spring and summer knows about the horrible flood that we went through last year. The flooding started in earnest in May 2011 and did not let up until some time in July 2011. Even by the fall of 2011, our water table was still terribly high and was barely below the basement floor, so we knew we were in trouble going into the winter. This spring began as a drought, but it was not enough to lower the water table in our area, and once the rains started to come (and they did), we got water in the basement again. It was not as severe as last year, obviously, and our driveway remained passable and our lawn fairly dry. But we had to use three pumps to keep the water out of our basement and we are still using two of those.

Having been through all of that, we knew we could not continue on this way. After all, we had to rip out all the drywall and insulation on the lower half of the walls in the basement last year and we have not been able to put it back in because it is still wet in there. We can't have mould like we did last year or we risk serious health problems, particularly with a new baby coming. So we are in the process of preparing to move our house. This is a huge endeavour, and a rather overwhelming one at that...particularly financially, seeing the government has determined that our "home did not flood in the summer of 2011". Wow. (I'm in the process of appealing that decision right now, but doubting I will get good results.) We have been researching and planning for a long time, and last Thursday we actually began the process in a tangible way.

The plan is to move the house from where it is onto the ridge that runs alongside our yard. We will have to build a brand new basement on the ridge and then move the house. There is a lot of landscaping that must be done to prepare the ridge for a basement (and a whole house), and also to prepare it for the actual moving of the house. So I will put a few pictures in here to show what it is starting to look like.

This first picture (above) is a before shot. It's not the best lighting, as I took it in the morning and it is a bit shadowy. But notice the line of pine trees in the middle of the picture. That can be a reference point.

This shot and the next one were taken last year. Again you can see the pine trees in the centre.

In this one, the pine trees are on the left and the rest shows the trees that go up the ridge. Hard to see that there is a ridge in these because of the trees, but you'll see in a minute...

Okay, this one (above) is an action shot of the bulldozer coming down the side of the ridge, close to the pine trees. Now you can see there is a large slope there.

The new view from our front deck. Looking very different. 

Now you can see where he cleared behind the pine trees as well. That will be a gradual slope where we will move the house around and onto the ridge. 

Here's the front view of our house right now. I have no before shot of this, but it looks much more bare on the left than it did before, as we cleared a large area for a parking area.

Here's another shot of what the ridge is looking like for the moment. That's where our house will go, eventually.

And another shot of the ridge. It's hard to tell, but it looks much bigger in real life. 

It will be many months before we actually move our house, but hopefully we can continue the process of preparation, and have the basement built this fall. We will see how we do. We are excited about the new location, and mostly we are looking forward to being able to have peace of mind, knowing our basement will not be flooding every year. That will also give us the freedom to finish it, which we cannot currently do, knowing we might have to rip the walls out again if we flood again. Right now, it is looking likely that flooding could be an annual problem, at least for the next several years. It is hard to predict, but we simply can't take the risk. And with baby number four almost here, we can't live forever with just two kids' bedrooms upstairs. The basement will give us another two rooms, which will give everyone the space they will some day need. (Though I suspect there will be a lot of room-sharing for the next several years at least!)

So that's the update on the house situation for now. There will probably not be much more to report for quite some time now, but we will see. The bulldozer operator is not finished yet, and will be back this week with a grader to make our new driveway (not pictured, but to the left of the pine trees) into a proper road. After that, we will have shale and gravel delivered and he will do more work to make it all really solid and well--built. We have never had a proper driveway, so this will be a treat. 

And now I'm off, probably to rest some more. I have stuff to do in town, but I don't know that I'm up for a trip in. Probably not. But Micah turns three on Friday and we are completely unprepared for his birthday at this point. We have been too focused on the baby and on the house stuff. Here's hoping we pull something together on time for him. I don't want him overlooked in all the commotion. Hopefully I will have a baby update soon...but it might not be until August. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Officially overdue.

Well, I'm officially overdue yet again. I will never have an early baby. I suppose that is technically a good thing. Every time I get pregnant I secretly tell myself, this one will be early, and it will be small. And every time I'm wrong. That's right, not only is this one late now, but apparently it's really big too. Shocker, right? Okay, that shouldn't surprise me. I guess I'm good at making really big babies. But my doctor kind of made a big deal out of it yesterday, as though he was worried I wouldn't be able to deliver it. Sheesh. Let's add some more worries to my mind. It makes me think this one is going to break ten pounds. I'm sure it's not ten pounds yet, but that's the thing, I could be another two weeks before it comes, and it isn't going to stop growing during that time.

I'm not going to give all the gory details or the stats from my appointment, but I will say that my body is more favourable for birth right now than it was with Micah when I was induced, which was already 12 1/2 days past his due date. So that has to be a good sign. On the other hand, I had a ton of contractions yesterday evening and some through the night, but no labour yet.

On the plus side, I had a brilliant idea yesterday. I think I'm going to pack a sponge in my hospital bag. That's right. I'm sure it could help me through labour. I figure if I labour in the tub, it would be a great tool to have with me, and if not, maybe I can just bite it really hard during my contractions. Haha. Wouldn't that make an impression on the hospital staff? Maybe it would finally satisfy my urge.

I'm going to have to think of something to do today to get my mind off of everything. Not sure what that will be. This is kind of pathetic, but I bought myself a Tomb Raider game about a week ago for just that purpose. It has been fun, but I can't play it in front of the boys. It has too many scary parts in it. So not sure what we will do today, but it is dump day, so maybe we'll start there. Haha. I have house-moving updates to give, but I don't think I'm going to do that today. I'm off for now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The insanity rages on...

My last post may have shocked a few people. That's okay. I suppose it is kind of disturbing, or just plain weird. I am only two days from my due date now. In light of that, I thought perhaps my craving would diminish. It has not. I have since purchased eleven sponges. Yes, that's right. Eleven. No, wait. Maybe it's more than that. Well, it's no more than thirteen. That's not too bad, right? And technically I gave three away this morning, one to each of my boys to play with. They were thrilled. I seem to be passing my love for sponges on to them, particularly Cody. But for him it's just a novelty thing. Mom loves sponges, so I should too. And he probably will, maybe for the rest of his life, because of this warped time in my life. Good thing I'm not craving alcohol, or something else less harmless than sponges.

Other than my bizarre craving (which has intensified to the point where sponges are almost all I think about), my day yesterday was overwhelming and definitely crazy. We suspected the night before last that Jamie might be sick again. He was napping daily in the afternoons and not wanting to wake up. He was extremely moody, and then he complained of tummy pain. The clincher was when he told me he needed another throat swab. He hates throat swabs. They make him panic. So the plan was to check him yesterday morning to see whether he had a fever. If he did, we would take him in, and if not, we'd wait and see how he was. Well, he did have a fever, but it was so minuscule that I was not even convinced it was above normal. He said he felt better. But after lunch he said his "mouth hurt" again. I decided to call the doctor. I didn't want to wait, in case I went into labour and then we ended up having to get someone else to take him to the doctor while we were in the hospital. So we took him in. Guess what? He has strep throat again. He is now on five days of some kind of intense antibiotic.

This was discouraging news at best. This is Jamie's fourth round of strep since late January. That is not normal. He is doing very well, and he only has to take medicine once a day, which is not too horrible. But he hates the medicine, so hopefully it won't get too difficult.

Before we took him in, I decided around lunch time to step out onto the deck for a moment of fresh air. It was a cloudy day with a pleasant breeze and much cooler temperatures than we have had for a while. That's my kind of day, though the humidity was still very high. No problem. I stepped outside and stood there, unmoving on the deck. For one minute. And then, out of nowhere, something big started buzzing my head. It was a wasp, and it was angry. I had not even seen it, let alone threatened it in any way. It dove at me over and over again until I was screaming and thrashing my arms around. I ran into the house, but it stayed right with me. Then it stung my face and kept attacking. Then it stung my shoulder, which hurt so badly. I just can't even believe how much it hurt. I was a thrashing mess of tears, screaming "Something's attacking me!" while my poor little Micah stood there staring at me. The other boys were oblivious, seeing they were using the iPad. Thanks guys. I had to go call Mike in the house to help me because I was scared the stupid thing might be stuck in my hair. He came in and looked for it. We found it flying around by the bay window. Mike killed it for me. But after that I was a mess. It sounds dramatic, and maybe even a little pathetic, but I was traumatized. I've been stung by a bee before, and it hurt for sure. But this was a savage attack. I have never experienced anything like it. I am now officially scared to stand on my deck. (I guess I should mention that the day before, Micah was stung by a bee on the deck. It was a bee, not a wasp, in his case. I saw the stinger stuck in his finger still, and the bee was on his back, looking very unwell. We killed that too.)

So that set me off and I had a hard time pulling myself together. Then later, Micah got into my purse. He is very difficult to monitor these days, and is into everything. Honestly, it's completely exhausting. Well, he didn't just look through my purse. He removed my eye drops. (I am still on drops once a day, and have been for over a year now. I will be until at least November. These are prescription drops and cannot be skipped.) He then removed my Mary Kay lip gloss. It's a colour I never would have chosen for myself, but I love it. The only lipstick of any kind that I use these days, if I ever wear makeup. Micah then emptied my WHOLE bottle of eye drops. Not only did he empty every last drop, but he emptied them INTO my lip gloss. These are steroid drops. So now I can't use my lip gloss unless I want to grow a fantastic moustache. On top of that, I had no drops left for my eyes. So then I had to go into town, a 40 minute drive, just to get another prescription. Wow. It was a long day.

Today has been similar, though I suppose not as extreme. Four different muffin mixes have been opened and poured on the floor. Oops, no, three. Micah, again. He did not empty them, but he was disciplined each time and still continued to do it. He also poured water all over the floor. Twice. Or was it three times? I'm losing track. And he peed on the floor. What the heck??? And so I feel as though my sanity, which was tenuous at best, has slipped away and left me with nothing. (Did I mention Mike is not here right now? This is why I am losing it.)

At this point, if the baby would just come, we could have a getaway in the hospital. It would be like staying at a hotel, only much more painful. But that's okay. I would get a break from the insanity. But I'm nowhere near in labour, so I will continue to wait. And I will hope that the maternal instinct remains stronger than the homicidal urges.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What makes your mouth water?

In recent days, I don't have much of an appetite. Often, I only want one meal in a day, and even that one I have to force down. I have tried to think of things that appeal to me, but even the most delectable of foods don't seem to strike my fancy. But over the past two weeks, I have developed one very intense craving that I simply cannot satisfy. It made me think of what it must be like to be normal, compared to the state I am currently in. So tell me, what makes your mouth water?

Perhaps if you are in a snacking kind of mood, these might appeal to you.

Mmmm. Hot, buttery movie-style popcorn.

Or a plate of nachos at your favourite restaurant. 

Yep. Those both look pretty good. But maybe you don't want to snack. You want a meal. How about these?
Nothing like a juicy Big Mac. Yum.

And who could turn down piping hot pizza?

Okay, those are more fast food type meals. You want something really mouth-watering. A real meal. How about these?

Steak with a loaded baked potato. And broccoli. That part is just a bonus, not really meant to make your mouth water. But maybe it does. I don't know. That's the point, we're all different.

Maybe you'd prefer a glorious turkey dinner complete with all the fixings, and even some pumpkin pie.

If I haven't found anything that did the trick for you yet, how about a little dessert?

A sundae on top of a huge chunk of brownie? Hard to say no to that. Wow.

Or for a more sophisticated taste, cheesecake. This one happens to have strawberry topping, but you can imagine it with any topping you like. How about it?

Here's the problem. I like every single one of those foods. Yes. They are all good...delicious, even. But not a single one of those pictures really triggers me and makes me crave them. Do you want to see a picture of what currently makes my mouth water? You may alter your opinion of me after this, or maybe it will just confirm suspicions you already have. Either way, I will share. The following is the most mouth-watering picture I could find on the internet today. 

Yes. A sponge. Cruel, isn't it? It sits there taunting me. Look how delicious I am. Don't you want to sink your teeth into me? Only I can't. Because it's not food. It's a sponge, for crying out loud. But it looks SO good. So my craving rages on, often made worse by the smell of certain cleaners in the bathroom, but I have no way to satisfy it. Well, not safely, anyway. I mean, come on. I'm not really going to eat a sponge. But I did buy myself one. A sea sponge. It's for using in the shower, in place of a shower puff. It's not really the same, and it's not completely satisfying, but at least I get to be in close proximity to a real sponge, and one that is not contaminated with household cleaners. Here are a few more pictures, but none as tantalizing as this one.
These are pretty, but just too thin. 

These are more like it, though not quite porous enough.

Again, pretty, but just too thin.

Ah. This yellow one above is a really good one. Mmmm. Look at it. 

And these ones are like the old style my mom always used. Yes, very appealing, though not the best photograph. Still not as perfect as the first one.

And so you see, it is important that I have this baby soon so the insanity will stop. That is all I have to report for today.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

On holidays!

All right, my title might be slightly misleading. We are not on a vacation, but we are on holidays in the sense that Mike is off work for the summer, so he is now home with us. We spent the weekend at a hotel, which really was kind of a mini-vacation. The boys had a blast in the pool and on the giant play structure there. We also enjoyed a family party in celebration of my grandma's 98th birthday. All in all, it was a tiring, but enjoyable weekend.

This week has proven to be quite busy. My weekend away seemed to produce some severe swelling in my feet, legs and hands, and I was worried. I was supposed to see my doctor tomorrow, but instead I went yesterday, just to make sure all was well. Everything is fine, thank goodness. So I got an outing to town by myself, not that it was a fun one, but it's always nice to take a vehicle alone somewhere. Silence like that cannot be found in this house as long as the boys are awake.

Yesterday was my grandma's actual birthday, and in a fit of naiveté, I had it in my head that I should have my baby that day. Silly. I did the same thing when I was due in July with Micah. Instead of the 3rd, he was born on the 27th, so I missed that mark by a mile. This baby is due almost a full week later than he was, so I knew my chances of having it that early (or early at all, given my track record) were slim, but you can't blame a girl for hoping. There was even a full moon, which I'm told always triggers more labours than average. (That's not just some wives' tale either. It is apparently a known fact on labour and delivery wards.) The full moon failed me. Sigh. Oh well. I'm not quite ready yet anyway, but I really thought it would be special to have this baby on my grandma's birthday, to honour her.

At my appointment, I also made the mistake of asking my doctor if my baby is big. Guess what? Yep. Another big one. As with every single one, that made me want to have this one early even more than I already did. I felt a bit sad and discouraged, knowing I will likely make it to August before I see any action from this baby. So today I am trying to simply focus on enjoying the remainder of my pregnancy and being at peace with just having a healthy baby, which is all I want anyway.

And so today, I got another trip to town all by myself. This time, it was a dental appointment. Don't gasp in horror. Those are generally not bad for me. I have never had a cavity, and thankfully, today did not break that trend. I enjoyed my time reclined in the leather chair, despite being beaten up from the inside out, and I chatted with the hygienist, who is also pregnant. Then, instead of the dentist I saw last time, I got to see my very own brother-in-law, who just graduated from dental school this spring. It was really fun.

Since I got home, I have spent approximately four hours on a sewing project and I am not nearly done yet. I'm making basket liners for five baskets I have for the baby's change table. I want to use them to organize my cloth diapers and accessories, so the table doesn't look messy all the time. I'm also making two covers for my change pad, to match the basket liners. I'm excited about it, but wow, I'm super slow when it comes to sewing. I don't have a pattern, so I have to make one based on internet instructions. That should occupy me for another couple of days, I'm guessing.

That's the update on me. Oh, and I almost forgot. Our basement flooded again overnight. We had a wicked thunderstorm last night complete with hail, torrential downpours, and strobe-light style lightning. We must have gotten a ton of rain. It was not a good night. Mike has cleaned up the water and is now running a third pump. We hope that will be all we need to keep the house dry now. Sigh. More confirmation that we should move the house? Perhaps.

Now it's time to sign off to put my older two boys to bed. Micah is already sleeping. Happy fourth of July, to my American readers.