Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pregnancy #3: Likes, Dislikes

I am not very good at documenting things, but I really want to get better so that I can look back and remember things I would otherwise forget, and so that my kids and grandkids  can know about me and my life. Sooo... I thought I'd write down some things that I have liked and things I have disliked about this pregnancy so far. 

  • Having the "I'm pregnant" excuse.  Although I try not to abuse this one myself, it's nice that other people will use it for me!  A day or so after we told my family I was pregnant Mary insisted on doing absolutely everything for me. Too bad that's worn off....
  • Eating ice cream/chocolate banana shakes*.  I have really wanted ice cream this pregnancy, (and I'm not usually a big ice cream craver) especially early on when I was really sick.  Back then Chris made me a chocolate banana shake at least 4 nights a week.  YUM.  I want one right now..... I actually had a dream about ice cream last night.  I had a huge bowl and was in some sort of an ice cream store and kept piling in different flavors and eating a ton.  When I had had enough I was generous enough to give Chris my leftovers.
  • Listening to my kids argue over whether it's a boy or a girl.  William is convinced it's a girl.  He even told me he could feel it, and it felt like a girl.  When I asked him how a girl feels different than a boy (inside my stomach) he responded that girls have long hair and boys don't and obviously this baby feels like it has long hair! For the longest time, Isaac would look at me with huge intense eyes and tell me to "GET A BOY MOM! GET A BOY!" and then of course, William would tell him we wanted a girl...and back and forth it would go. Isaac hasn't done that as much lately, although he did tell me that he had a boy baby in his stomach the other day.
  • With all my pregnancies I've loved that Chris loves me being pregnant (he loves me not pregnant know what I mean).  He is always so patient with my moods and so loving and excited, patient and sweet about my belly, and my food wants, my emotions etc.  Don't you wish your husband was awesome like mine? :)
  • Chris and I deciding together what our "plan" for the birth is.  I think after Isaac's birth I have been overly sensitive about wanting Chris involved in every detail.  It was so hard for me that he wasn't there for that birth, that I'm sure I will be way over zealous about making sure he's here this time.
  • Being able to say, "The baby's hungry" whenever I really need to eat (read: eat this instant or be sick) and my kids want me to do something else.  They actually go for it, and I figure it's good to just get them used to the idea before the baby gets here. 
  • Seeing William's love for the baby.  He was completely enthralled when we told him we were having a baby (we told him before bedtime and he had a hard time sleeping that night!), and often wants to touch my stomach or asks me about the baby. He also likes to tell other people and I'm pretty sure he's told more people I'm pregnant than I have. Although I think he has a fairly good understanding (much more than Isaac of course) it is funny some of the ideas he gets.  For instance, he got the idea that the baby's arms are in my arms, the baby's legs in my legs etc. Guess it's time to pull out some pictures of gestation.
  • Chris writing in magnet letters on the fridge that we were having another baby and my parents being completely oblivious to it.  It was hilarious to sit there and watch them get in and out of the fridge and work in the kitchen without even noticing! We pretty much had to stand them in front of it and read it to them.
  • The look on Chris's Dad's face when we told them I was expecting! When we were first married we couldn't think of anything to get him for Christmas and since he kept bugging us to give him some grandkids we gave him an I.O.U. for at least 3.  He's been hounding us ever since, so it'll be nice to have now paid in full (not that the hounding will stop...) :).
  • My comfy pants.  It's like wearing heaven on my legs.
  •  Being sick (blah blah blah, I know).  I've been sick with all of my pregnancies so it wasn't really a surprise when I threw up the morning after I took the pregnancy test. However, this time my sickness hasn't been quite as concentrated to just the morning although that has still been the worst time of day (with Isaac usually after noon I was pretty much good for the rest of the day).  This time I've had periods of nausea throughout the day and felt pretty crummy a lot of evenings.  Although at this point I am feeling much better (foods and smells no longer make me gag) I've still had some sick mornings and I seem to have to be careful to eat about every 2 hours or I will suddenly feel terrible.  
  • The dreams.  I am not a big dreamer usually (at least I often don't remember dreaming at all) but this pregnancy (I don't remember this happening with my previous 2) my dreams have been C.R.A.Z.Y! I rarely have a night that I didn't have at least one very vivid dream, and some nights where I feel like I spent the whole night in that crazy mind state between sleeping and waking.  It can be exhausting! The dreams have ranged from the ludicrous and funny (finding one of our chickens pecking around in the refrigerator, or me being a sexy secret agent who speaks fluent Russian and has the job to put together an international football team) to the horrible (one of my children dying etc.) Luckily the horrible ones are in the minority, but I am still listing dreaming under dislikes (even though it can be quite amusing) because of how TIRED I feel after dreaming intense vivid dreams all night long. 
  • How easily my kids have been able to push my buttons.  I'm sure this is somewhat a product of being tired, not feeling great, us being cooped up inside, and Chris being gone so much between school and work, but I have been irritated SO easily and I hate it.  It does seem like my temper is improving slightly but I still find myself way overreacting about little things, just when I was feeling good about being patient and loving. Yuck. There's nothing better to make you feel terrible about yourself as a person and a parent. 
  • Growing. I'm just not a big fan of feeling huge (and I really do feel huge with this one already...maybe it's the ice cream), not being able to bend over well, having clothes not fit and all that stuff that just goes along with having a baby.  Certainly I enjoy being able to feel the baby move and all that, but I really can't say I enjoy the growing aspect of pregnancy much.  I'm sure some of it is vanity, but I think part of it just has to do with not being able to function in the way I like and am used to being able to function. 

*Chocolate Banana Shakes

Vanilla ice cream
1-3 bananas
unsweetened cocoa powder
peanut butter (optional)

Ready go.  You won't regret it.  Sorry I don't have measurements. I always just dump stuff in.  I would suggest starting with one banana if you want less than a whole blender full (2 if filling the whole thing), and maybe 3 TBS cocoa powder.  You can always add more banana and more cocoa.  Also, I don't use a lot of milk as I like mine to be really creamy, just enough to help it blend well.  I'm sure you could do a much healthier version of this shake (use frozen bananas and kefir...?), but like I said, I've been on an ice cream kick, and we have trouble keeping bananas around here long enough for them to get ripe enough to freeze, so I don't usually have frozen bananas on hand.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Looking Back, Looking On

Top 11 of 2011
 11- This year William became a Sunbeam and started attending primary, and Isaac started attending Nursery.  They both love their church classes and have had fantastic teachers.  William participated in the primary program and did a great job on his part and singing with the Primary.  They were both quite disappointed on Christmas day when we only had Sacrament Meeting.

10- At the beginning of the year I played in a recital with my friend Halsey.  It was really fun to spend time rehearsing with her, despite the hardships of doing that with 3 kids.  It's so nice when I get to spend some time developing my own talents and doing something I love.  I also continued to teach piano lessons and tried some new things with my studio this fall.  My students all worked hard and performed so well at our Christmas recital.  I love moments as a teacher where you can just sit back and watch your students live up to their potential.

 9- Chris attended school this year, and did really well, even in his Chemistry class, which he was worried about.  At the beginning of the year he was attended ISU, but because of several things he was able to transfer back to BYU-I to finish the rest of his prerequisites.  This has been a huge blessing in many ways and we are grateful it worked out.

 8- Chris, of course, caught a lot of awesome fish this year. Although his school/work schedule didn't allow him to go on any steelhead trips this fall, he was able to get in a fair amount of fishing between classes since the Teton River is five minutes away from campus.  William is turning into quite the fisherman, and we even got to go a couple times as a family.  Chris is doing quite a bit on a fishing blog he started.  You should check it out!
 7- Sunday dinners with the Cutlers!

6- I spent a lot of time running with my friend Kristel this spring/summer, and as I found last year as well, this proved to be such a great release for me.  Since I ran a marathon in 2010 I decided not to do any sort of long mile race this summer since it takes so much time in training.  Instead I focused on running a huge hill in theBone and Back Relay which was really fulfilling, but also just enjoyed being able to run out of the house, meet Kristel down the road and have 1/2-1 hour of time to unwind and de-stress. 

5- One great thing this year was that Isaac finally got old enough for the boys to really play together.  It was a really nice and noticeable change. It was especially fun this summer when they could just go outside in the backyard and play in the dirt or the water for a long time. 

4- Chris went on a backpacking trip in July with the scouts and had an amazing time.  They hiked the Bighorn Crags and went to a bunch of high mountain lakes.  The scenery was beautiful and the whole thing was a really really neat experience for him.  We hope to be able to go on a backpacking trip together sometime.

3- We had so much fun raising our chickens this year.  We raised them from baby chicks, and Chris built a luxurious chicken coop for them.  We've all become very fond of our ladies.  They seem like part of the family. 

2- Chris and I had so much fun taking our very first little vacation away from the kids. It was the first time I had ever left them over night and it was so much fun to have a few days away to be able to just have fun together and with some good friends.

1- First ever Stephen and Valerie Hall Family Reunion!  My siblings and I planned this as a Christmas surprise for my parents.  We rented a vacation home in Bandon Oregon and in August we all got together and spent a few days on the coast. It was the first time my whole family had been together in at least eight years, probably more.  It was so nice for the kids to be able to get to spend time with their cousins that they don't see very often (and so fun for us to meet Sapphira for the first time!) and just so nice to get to spend time and catch up with everyone.

Things To Look Forward To in 2012

1- Having a baby! We are expecting little Cutler #3 sometime toward the end of June. We are looking forward to this with excitement and trepidation.  You know when the kids outnumber the adults you are in trouble!

2- Chris finishing all his prerequisites and hopefully (cross your fingers for us!) getting accepted into PA school for 2013.

3- Me getting to use my new ipad2 (I got totally spoiled for Christmas) for lots of awesome stuff!
4- Chris is looking forward to catching a lot more fish and fishing mountain streams. 
5- Using the "getaway certificate" my parents gave me for my birthday.  Chris and I will definitely take advantage of another weekend without the kids before the baby is born!
6- Purchasing a vehicle that will better fit our growing family.
7- Continuing to love each other and have lots of fun spending time as a family.  We are excited to see what else this year will bring!