Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good Day Sunshine

I hadn't planned on such a long blog hiatus, but between the madness of our Portland-to-Los-Angeles road trip, securing our rental home, moving into the rental home, waiting a week to get our internet installed, celebrating Christmas and prepping for the baby, blogging fell to the wayside.

Our roadtrip down was great, but tiring. Instead of a straight 18+ hours, we split it up over a few days. We left Portland after Em's last day at preschool and headed down to Ashland, OR, which I immediately recognized as home to the famous Shakespeare Festival.
Bye, Oregon!

We arrived late that evening and awoke to a happy surprise dusting of snow the next morning. It was a nice send-off. I always loved the little bit of snow we got in Portland.
Ashland, OR snow

Before leaving town, we enjoyed a gigantic breakfast at a popular breakfast spot called Morning Glory.
Lemon riccotta stuffed french toast

Breakfast

We were surprised to see that the city is one of the few, if not only, cities in Oregon with a city-approved sales tax. It caught me off guard when I noticed it on the bill, but then I thought of it as a way to transition ourselves back to the state of sales tax.

Then we headed down to see Brent's family in Walnut Creek, CA.
Headed back to Cali

We spent one night with his aunt and had a great time with his extended family there, including the 4th birthday of his cousin's son. Em LOVES superheroes and was enamored with the Captain America & Spider-Man who came to entertain the kiddos.
At her cousin's Spider-Man birthday party. Mind blown.

It was so fun to see Em interact with all her cousins (and one of their friends).
With cousins

We then went to San Jose to visit our friends, Matt, Nicole and their son, who as sweet as sweet can be! Em had such a great time playing with him. 
Kiddos

Check out their most amazing drinks fridge! Something for everyone, and it's like that ALL. THE. TIME!
Our friends' amazing drink fridge

They also showed us this amazing holiday light display in their neighborhood -- a Santa & his sleigh, which spanned half a dozen houses! 
Ho, ho, ho

From San Jose we drove straight through to Los Angeles. I'm glad we broke up our roadtrip the way we did to catch up with friends and family, but man, oh man, are we sick of the inside of my car.

Em did great in the car, and at one point exclaimed, "What's that big red thing in the sky, behind the clouds?!"

We laughed and explained that she was admiring the sun. Between that and her complaining about how bright it is here in LA, it looks like that she was more acclimated to Portland than we thought. 

It's nice to be back, though. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bump Watch 2012: 32 Weeks

No pic this week because it's Moving Central around here and I'm a hot mess, visually. Maybe a little mentally, too, but definitely visually.

That hasn't stopped the comments from strangers, though. And I mean in a good way, like the sweet Salvation Army bell ringer who made a big "C"-shaped motion with his hand over his own belly and said, "Congratulations!" Or the packing guy today who excitedly asked if we were having a boy or a girl.

It's never wise to assume a girl is pregnant. That was always my biggest fear when I wasn't pregnant. Gah, the potential embarrassment for everyone! However, when a gal IS actually present, or maybe I'm just speaking on my own behalf, it's fun to be noticed and confirm, no, it's not just pudge, it's a BABY IN THERE!

And it's the baby in there that's causing me a wee bit o' back pain and threats of swelling in my ankles. This is about when the infamous cankles started with Em's pregnancy, which I'd loooove to avoid this time around. One can dream.

On the doctor front, I think I've found a new one. I stressed over prioritizing/ranking all the wonderful recommendations from my LA friends, and finally decided who I wanted to go with. Once my inquiries to their offices about their availability to take on new patients and if they accepted our insurance began, I quickly discovered it wasn't going to be an easy switch. Doctors apparently don't like pregnancies as far as long as I am, reportedly because they don't make as much money as they do with a start-to-finish pregnancy. Three of the four docs I called wouldn't take me because I'm too far along, and the fourth one accepted my insurance but was the only one in her practice of four who would. I had no idea how'd that work if she weren't available when I actually delivered.

So I reached out to a very highly regarded doc in my circle of friends, but who might only deliver at the not-so-convenient hospital where I had Em. She WILL take me on, she accepts my insurance, and another friend said there's a rumor she's about to start delivering at one of the other hospitals I like, not that that matters at this point, really. I'm waiting to confirm my first appointment, but otherwise I think we'll be good. That's a sweet relief and one less stressful thing I can take off my to-do list.

The movers are coming tomorrow to pick up all of our stuff, which was packed today. After Em's done at preschool for the day (and there forever, sniff), we're going to begin our roadtrip down to Los Angeles, stopping along the way to see friends and family in Northern California. Hard to believe that we'll be back in Los Angeles by early next week! And there are only eight weeks left until Mimi's due date!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Bump Watch 2012: 31 Weeks

31 weeks. Large and in charge. #pregnancy #31weeks

Brent's out of town for his new job, so it's a self-portrait week. 

I had my last appointment with my midwife here in Portland. She confirmed my suspicions that Mimi is head down, which is awesome, particularly if she stays that way for the next 10 weeks. I can't imagine that it's comfortable to be on your head for that long, though, but maybe that's just me. I've been feeling 90% of the movements at the top of my belly (her legs/feet), with just a few from her head/arms lower down. 

I was sad to leave my midwife today. She's amazing, and a local friend adores her and the delivery she did for her, too. I wasn't planning to go the midwife route, but when I made my first appointment at the practice before I got pregnant, they paired me with her instead of one of their OBs. I connected with her right away and decided to stick with her for my pregnancy.

As a result, I'm now rethinking my delivery options in Los Angeles. With Em, I went with the OB practice/hospital I'd been with before getting pregnant. While Em's delivery was fine, looking back I realize that my doc was a little fast to recommend a vacuum delivery. That part of my delivery contributed to a huge bruise on Em's head, which in turn contributed to Em's jaundice. I also like the idea of a more personal connection with my doc. With Em, I rotated through the numerous OBs in the practice and then whomever was on-call when I went into labor delivered Em.

So I've been interrogating many of my LA mom pals to find out about their experiences with docs at the other three nearby hospitals. I'm sure it'd be fine if I ended up where I had Em, especially since I'm more aware of what I want, but I'm doing my due diligence regardless.

The search for a doctor is yet another thing to pile on top of our solidifying a move date (end of next week), a moving company (the same folks who moved us up here, fittingly), a rental home in LA (getting pretty close), and planning our road trip from Portland down to Southern California. I'm trying to keep zen about the whole thing, although on the inside I'm kind of feeling like this:


It'll all come together, though, and I keep telling myself that it's better to do this with a toddler and while pregnant than a toddler AND a newborn.