Sunday, May 30, 2010

Starting to Settle In

Boxes are slowly getting unpacked. We are exploring the town a little at a time (which isn't much of a's a small town).

My overall conclusion? I hate the weather. When we arrived, it was 50 degrees colder here than in Texas. That's a shock on the system even if you like the cold, and I most definitely do not. I had to unpack the winter clothes first, which was completely unexpected, but I sure am glad I bought some things on clearance before we moved here! Thankfully, there are baseboard heaters throughout the house and it's been very comfortable inside. BUT, I like the town a lot more than I thought I would. It's a different mentality for shopping--you go to the hardware store for maintenance stuff, the clothes store for clothes, the candy shop for get the idea. There are a few "big box" stores here, but the biggest is a small K-Mart and a good ol' thriving small town main street will meet most of your needs. The farmer's market is awesome and just made Josh and I shake our heads (as we've been doing for years) that the one in B/CS isn't bigger. There is ample opportunity to eat out at places where the food is made right there, from local ingredients and is healthy enough that you don't have to feel guilty for skipping a meal at home.

I have three big tasks on my mind right now....unpack everything, find space for decent food storage, and finish those quilts I started.

I am feeling A LOT better this week and I think I'll be making quite a bit of progress. I "cheated" and went shopping at the Wal-Mart in Missoula this morning after we dropped Josh's brother off at the airport---I stocked up on everything I need to make 9 recipes from the Fix, Freeze, Feast cookbook (roughly 4-6 weeks worth of dinners). That will go a long way towards filling the freezer and easing the dinner rush as we settle in.

Hopefully I find the time to also start updating regularly again!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warning, Extremely Long Post!

I has a happy….and a sad…and a happy…and a sad.

My baby girl graduated Kindergarten last Friday. She was SO excited and had a blast being the “grown up kid”. She loves telling people she’s in first grade now. Her official “diploma” is a fairly lengthy evaluation by the teacher and she’s just learned so much in the last couple years…it’s amazing. She’s ready for the next step and I think I might have a hard time getting her to take a summer vacation from school work!

Then my hard working, brilliant husband graduated with his PhD on Saturday. He started graduate school two months before Sierra was born and it has been a long, hard journey. It was very rewarding for both of us to have him stand up on stage in front of a packed auditorium while his name and the title of his dissertation were read and his advisor placed his hood. These graduations are not like the typical (at least at TAMU) undergraduate graduations…each graduate actually got their time on stage to be recognized, which was nice.

In the midst of all of the graduation celebrations, we were fast and furiously packing and loading the Uhaul for our move to Montana. Okay, so I was working a little and resting a lot, and the guys (Josh’s brother came to help us with the move) were working their tails off. We ended up getting a late start on Monday because there’s just only so much you can do in 24 hours. Our original plan was to stop in Amarillo the first night. Around dinner time, we figured we could hit Amarillo around 11pm or a little later and we should just go for it. Little did we know a massive storm was sitting over Amarillo spawning tornadoes and large hail. We avoided the tornadoes (thanks to the truck drivers who stopped and blocked the road outside of town), but drove right into the hailstorm and flooding. Then the hotel (where we didn’t have reservations) was all full for the night. We finally got into a room at 1:30am.

The second day was going pretty okay…we took our time getting out and the plan was to drive to Denver. Things were great until Sierra got extra fussy about 2 hours from our destination. I reached back to feel her neck and sure, enough, she was hot. Pulled over, dug out the thermometer and she had a 102 fever. This was interesting mainly because we had taken her to the emergency room late Wednesday night because she was screaming and crying with ear pain. So, by this point, she had taken nearly a week’s worth of Amoxicillin and was still occasionally saying her ear hurt and now had fever. Thankfully, this momma has learned her lesson and we never travel without a box of meds available anymore. Got her some advil and she was good to go. We made it to Denver at a reasonable time, go to bed early and let the kids swim a little the next morning.

The third day was looking up until Sierra’s fever came back around 10am. I knew the ear infection was going to get way worse as soon as we stopped the Amoxicillin. We called her pediatrician back in Texas to ask for something stronger, but they said they couldn’t call in a prescription in another state. So we called our insurance and found an in-network urgent care provider. Got a great doc who checked her over, and then finally looked in her ears again. Sure enough, that same one is red and bulging. So she got stronger antibiotics plus antibiotic ear drops. We hit the road (late again) and headed for Billings. Josh’s brother had left ahead of us with the Uhaul (not knowing the doctor visit was going to become necessary) and ended up several hours ahead of us, so he did the whole day by himself. We pulled into Billings around 11:30pm.

This morning, we got up and got a relatively early start. Sierra still had fever this morning, but she’s only 2 doses into the new meds, so no worries. Stopped in Bozeman and had lunch with an old friend at a cool local cafĂ©. Hit the road again with the guys in the Uhaul and me in the van with both girls and both dogs. Montana is a bit like Texas---you drive forever without seeing anything. So, of course, I get sick. Several stops later, I’m finally feeling better, we finally get to Missoula (last big city before Hamilton). Sierra complains her throat hurts, but it’s VERY dry compared to what we’re used to and she’s not drinking a lot, so I hand her water to drink and she’s fine. We made it to Hamilton, started unloading and Sierra walks in (about 7 hours after her last Advil dose) looking like crap. She’s up to 102 again. I finally look in her throat----completely covered in white patches. Who the heck develops strep while currently on antibiotics?? I double checked and both her old antibiotic and her new one are effective against strep, plus the dosages for treating ear infections are higher than what you give for strep. So I’m thinking it must be viral or a secondary fungal infection? She definitely has the ear infection too…..not thinking there’s a point in visiting a doctor because what else would they do? Doing the ol' benadryl and maalox trick we learned when she had the flu last year and going to get her acidophilus today in case it's thrush.

On the good side, the house we rented sight-unseen is a lot bigger than I pictured. It reminds me of the houses in Salt Lake…it’s all old hardwood floors and the really old doorknobs/locks on the interior doors (new stuff on the outside). We can see mountain peaks on both sides of us from the house. The town is tiny, but also bigger than I was imagining. Missoula (the nearest Target, Cosco, Petsmart, Barnes and Noble, etc…) is further away than I thought, it’s an hour drive and 5 miles of that is currently dirt road. While unloading tonight, a neighbor came over to introduce himself—he works in lab very near the one Josh will be in and has a 2 year old and 12 year old. He’s already given us the scoop on docs for the kids, what restaurants are good and which ones aren’t and where to get free wi-fi……which is what I’m going to do right now so I can post this!

Monday, May 17, 2010

One More Week

All the moms at a going away party that was thrown for us this weekend

I know, the blog updates are few and far between. That would be because we are moving across the country in one more week. I'm infinitely better than I was, but still sick (and very nervous about this whole "3 (or 4?) days in the car" thing), and our to-do list is shrinking, but still mind-boggling long.

There have been lots of tears over us leaving, which I get, I really do, because I'm not exactly eager to move either. But as much as I complain about leaving EVERYONE I know and the hot, humid Texas weather (who's going to love the weather for me when I leave?? I seem to be the only one who appreciates it!), there is an awful lot to be thankful for with this move. In the middle of an uncertain economy, my newly graduated husband has been offered a fabulous, well paying, great benefits post-doc position at a highly regarded lab. Since it IS a post-doc position, it is by definition temporary, but in a flexible sense--he will have a chance to take time looking for a "real" job when he's done while he's still on the payroll up there. And with any luck at all, that "real" job will be right back here where we started. All because I just happened to make a facebook status update at an opportune time, we have lined up friends to rent our house here so we don't have to worry about it being trashed and we still get to keep it. Most importantly, we're all healthy (well, okay, I'm healthy aside from my baby induced tummy troubles) and we're setting out on a short-term adventure that will give all of us the opportunity to get out of our rut and see parts of the country none of us have ever seen before.

We will most definitely miss everyone, but in this age of technology and internet, we know we will be able to keep in touch and we know it won't be too long before we see everyone again.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Very Very Thankful

I'm pretty sure I've never felt as bad as I did a few weeks ago. At the very least, I haven't felt that bad for that long. So comparatively, I'm feeling downright wonderful now. It still takes me a while (too long, really) to get out of bed in the morning. Someone still has to bring me food before I sit up or I start heaving. I'm still taking more zofran than I'd like. I'm still spending quite a few afternoon and evening hours in bed. And all of this is absolutely wonderful. Every day, I mention several times that I'm SO glad that I feel SO much better than I did.

These days, I can take the girls to the splash pad for a few hours. I can go through a drive-thru and pick up lunch (which is good, because I still can't stomach actually preparing food). I can run one or two errands as long as I keep a Luna bar in the car to snack on along the way. I even taught a lactation educator training this weekend--I had to apologize for sitting on the couch the entire time, but I got through it. (And just as an FYI, 17 twizzlers contain 500 calories and 64 grams of sugar...slowly snack on them throughout a day and it's almost like having that dextrose IV drip back).

On my midwife's advice, I started using a free website called to track my food intake. It's been a HUGE help and lets me see how many calories I'm eating (versus how many I need) as well as how I'm doing with the specifics like protein, iron and vitamins.

We've got an incredibly long to-do list to get through and 13 days to do it, so it's good I'm feeling well enough to at least help a little bit. The next month or so is going to be incredibly busy as we work on transitioning. It's all a bit daunting, but I just keep focusing on the significantly larger paycheck at the end of the tunnel ;-)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ooof....We're Moving

I had my first official appointment with my midwife today (don't worry, we'd been in touch--a lot--and I'd seen the backup doctor--a lot). Big difference between the care I got from my OBs and the care I get from my midwife: Initial OB appointment for pregnancy? 15 minutes, tops. Oh, plus an hour in the waiting room. Initial midwife appointment for pregnancy? TWO HOURS (and no waiting room). Two hours to thoroughly discuss any and all questions that had been weighing me down. Two hours to discuss the importance of nutrition and what my goals will be as I get back to eating normally. Two hours to rehash how the other pregnancies and deliveries went and how this one might be similar or different. And none of this was unusual, all initial appointments are scheduled to last 2 hours. All other appointments are a solid hour. If you don't have concerns and you're ready to leave after 15 minutes, no problem, but if you have things to discuss, the time is scheduled without anyone else waiting to make everyone feel rushed. Love. It.

Until we got to the end. Normally, appointments are once a month this early in pregnancy, but since we're moving, Toni asked me if I'd like to see her again one last time before the move just to be sure things were going well (keep in mind, there is one global fee you pay for the entire pregnancy and delivery, she's not getting any extra money for more appointments, just giving exceptional care). I said sure, we're leaving in 3 weeks, so it'd almost be a month anyway. She scheduled the appointment, wrote it in her appointment book, and wrote it on a reminder card for me. Then she pointed out that we are most definitely moving in LESS than three weeks. That was harsh Toni. Way harsh.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"I'm not dead...I'm getting better"

Any Monty Python fans out there? I'll admit, it's kinda just "eh" to me, but Josh loves it and pulled the above quote on me the other day. I'd say it's a fairly accurate description of how I'm feeling. If I had just been normal preggo sick all this time, I might be thinking I feel pretty yucky right now, but compared to how I WAS feeling, I'm doing fabulous. I'm not dehydrated anymore and I'm snacking in the night. Josh has been secretly tracking my calorie intake periodically and it's still pitiful, but getting better...I'm probably around 1500 calories a day, which is "only" about 1000 short of where I should be. I'm throwing up more, but I feel better. This is more of a regular "I'm pregnant and feel yucky" thing--yesterday I threw up, but then ate a whole roast beef sandwich. I keep saying next week will be better, but I really think next week will be better. I need to focus on gaining weight now (healthy weight, which is always harder than fast food and ice cream weight!)....I'm down 11 pounds, so I need that back plus some. Since I'm already at risk for preterm labor/delivery and being underweight and having inadequate weight gain may be a factor in early or low birth weight babies and it's something I actually have some control over, a good diet is definitely going to be one of my focuses just as soon as I can push myself to eat normally again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Winner! Yoplait Greek Yogurt

I closed off comments and picked a winner for the Yoplait and My Blog Spark giveaway (I move fast when I'm too sick to do anything but lay in bed with the computer!):

Comment number 7 was the winner:
Luvdaylilies said...I'd love to try the Honey vanilla, sounds delicious! Thanks so much=)

I will be sending an email to the winner and they have until 6pm CST on May 5, 2010 to respond before I will pick a different winner.

Stay Tuned! I have another giveaway I'll be starting as soon as I get the post written!
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