Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Well, It Was Inevitable...

I am starting to gain weight nowadays. :( Thankfully, it's not a lot, fluctuating between 3 and 5 pounds so far. Some days it's up, others it's back down. Of course, it could be due to the funky digital scale I have...

But the baby is fast approaching 2 pounds herself, so I know it's not all body fat. In fact, I can still fit into my "medium fat pants" comfortably, AND bend over to tie my shoes. Heheh I can tell it will only be a matter of time, though, before baby will expand beyond these pants' waistline.

Yes, I am planning a trip out to the maternity store at some point to buy clothes. I'm tired of looking merely fat rather than pregnant. I need more shirts with an empire waist! LOL I look OBVIOUSLY pregnant when I wear those maternity shirts, but when I just wear a big t-shirt, it's "Yup, there goes a fat lady." :P

I'm a little bummed the weight has started to creep up on me. Hopefully I can keep it down to a marginally acceptable amount. I expect I might gain another five or so just due to the baby's weight. SIGH

I've thought about getting into my exercise regime again, doing my walking videos, but the problem is my feet have started to swell to epic proportions from just doing normal, everyday things. I think I have varicose veins in my feet, seriously. My mom has spider veins in her feet, so I think it's hereditary. It's sooo bad, though, like a hundred times worse than what Mom ever had. Friends freak out and think I have some kind of broken foot because of my large purple-ish "bruises". Ever since my blood volume has increased during this pregnancy, one of these bruises has just been swelling and aching. I can barely get through my house-hold chores without having to take frequent breaks and prop up my feet. It's getting worse the farther along I'm getting.

Even my Diabetes doctor said I should see a vascular specialist for it. I have some discoloration on my legs due to Diabetes, but the "bruises" aren't caused by it. It's so bad, I've considered getting an Ace bandage to wrap up my foot to keep pressure on the spot so it can't bulge out. Gross, I know. And probably TMI. But hey, all this talk about my "cadaver foot" (as DH likes to say) is leading up to the point that I'm not sure I could do my exercise video now without being in deep hurting for the rest of the day. Even just sitting is painful without propping my foot up. :(

Hopefully there is a light at the end of this tunnel. After I have the baby, I might just see that vascular specialist. If they can inject something, shoot a laser, or just plain cut it off, I'd be happy. Seriously. I should have DH take a picture just to gross y'all out. LOL



Originally uploaded by jimgoings
Simone loves Sophie!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pregnant Bellies

Beck and Val
Originally uploaded by jimgoings
Here's a pic of me and my good friend Valerie Howland. We're both pregnant with girls, and we're both due on or around the same day (but she's getting a c-section before the end of the year). We're comparing bellies in this shot, and I thought I'd share it, as it's a cute one. :)

We were at the Portland Pirates Festival, which was held last weekend in St. John's Park, I believe. It was a lot of fun - my son was in HEAVEN with all the pirates walking around. We were severely under-dressed, however, and felt out of place in our normal "street garb". Next year, we'll know to dress like pirates. AARRHH!

Highlights of our experience was the fat and flabby King Neptune (*shudder*) and the leather-clad Dread Pirate Roberts, both of whom were merely attendees, not paid performers.

Oh, and the guy with the real bird on his shoulder was cool too. Let my son hold his bird. On his head. While telling his bird to take a shite. LOL But it was a good bird. No poop on my son's Privateer Press 'do-rag, however, Mr. Random Pirate did indeed have some crusty old bird nasties on his OWN hat. Har har har!

Enjoy the pic!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More Pics From My Booksigning

Another one of my friends took some pictures with his iPhone and sent them to me. I thought you might get a kick out of seeing me looking like I actually know what's going on. LOL

You can see Meljean sitting behind me in the chair with the sweater draped over it. The woman standing with her back to the camera in the blue-grey shirt and red hair is my good friend Joleine. On the other side of her is my other good friend Val, however, you can't really see her except for a small bit of her head. heheh She's my "pregnancy buddy", who's also due around the same time as I am. However, she's talked her doctor into doing a C-section for her by the end of the year instead of waiting until January 10th. Lucky ducky. She's had her other two children via C-section, and I guess they really frown on VBAC's these days. (Vaginal Birth after C-section) Pretty much if you've had one, it's guaranteed you'll have another unless you're very vocal about it and you don't have a complicated pregnancy.


Anyhow, I thought you'd enjoy these pics. Too many books on the table in front of me. LOL


Sunday, September 21, 2008

My Latest Booksigning

Well, my latest booksigning, held on Fri. Sept. 19th, was a success! Due largely to the fact I wasn't alone in my endeavor. :P There were a lot of other authors present, and I sat between two sweeties, Lacy Danes and Megan Clark. There were hoards of ladies swarming the tables, and I had a few good talks with some of them. My friends showed up for support, and I talked with them for awhile. They took some good picks, both of me and of my books on the shelf.

I was surprised by the amount of books they had of *mine* on the shelf. They had at least 10 copies EACH of the entire series of The Legends of Mynos, not to mention about 10 copies of my latest book, CURSED HEARTS. Here's a picture one of my friends took from the rack of books written by all the authors at the signing:

All the other authors had like one or two books on the shelf. The only other author's books to rival mine was, of course, the lovely and beautiful Meljean Brook. :) She came over to our side of the signing (the tables were set up like a horseshoe and she sat on the other side from me) to say hi to her friend Megan Clark. Megan then showed off my awesome cover for CURSED HEARTS to Meljean, which Megan said she thinks is the best cover at Samhain to date (that was cool). While they both were drooling over the two men on my cover, Meljean decided to buy my book! :D So awesome.

So, I signed her copy, then bought myself a copy of her latest book DEMON NIGHT, because we were all drooling over her cover model as well. :P Haha!

Then, after all the hubbub, the booksigning coordinator for Powell's Beaverton came over to me and said, "I don't know if Minnette told you (Minnette Meador, my great friend who makes sure I'm in the know about local events), but we've chosen THE WOLVERINE AND THE ROSE as our October book for our book club! If you'd like to come in on Oct. 17th and maybe give a reading, you're more than welcome!"

At this point, I think I fell out of my chair. Well, metaphorically speaking. They chose MY book for their book club? POWELL'S BOOKS?!?

Sure, it's not the *same* store as Powell's City of Books, the big-ass bookstore in downtown Portland, but it *is* an offshoot. In fact, these same ladies I signed with the other day are doing another signing around Valentine's Day (not sure where, though).

On top of another signing I'll be doing at this same Powell's in December, with just Minnette and myself.

Dang, I feel like I'm going on a book tour! Too cool for words. Now I just need to write a book for New York and have my books sold in super markets and Wal-Marts across the country! LOL


Friday, September 19, 2008

6 Months Pregnant!

Well, I'm now officially six months pregnant. :D Cool thing is, I still haven't gained any weight. My doctor is impressed and doesn't seem to be concerned. In fact, she says losing weight right now wouldn't be bad either, since I do have a lot more to lose in the long run.

I found a website that states adequate weight gain for a woman my "gestational age" is about 5 pounds in the first trimester, and one pound per week for the rest of the pregnancy. That would make me at about a 17 pound gain. Since I haven't gained at all, does that mean I'm losing weight as fast as I'm gaining, and therefore it's canceling itself out? Is my "true" weight 17 pounds lighter than what my scale reads right now?

Here is a breakdown of where the weight on a pregnant woman comes from:

* Baby = 7-8 pounds
* Increased breast size = 1-3 pounds
* Increase is uterus = 2 pounds
* Placenta = 1-2 pounds
* Fluid surrounding baby = 2 pounds
* Increase in blood supply = 3- pounds
* Fluid build up = 2-3 pounds
* Storage of fat = 6-8 pounds

Of course, this weight breakdown is when you're ready to give birth, as seen by the 7 to 8 pound baby. Right now, Sophie is only about a pound to a pound and a half, and about the size of a ruler from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet. :)

But even so, I'm still impressed at the lack of poundage on my body. I blame it on not being able to eat as much as I used to, due to squished stomach in my abby-domen. :P Seriously, I get FULL by eating just a scant amount of the foods I used to eat. I sometimes have to force myself to eat my snacks in order to keep my blood sugar up, because I'm just not hungry.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are things I used to love that I just can't do anymore. I can no longer have a tall glass of milk for any reason. Even drinking all the milk from my cereal bowl spikes my sugars like there's no tomorrow. It's the carbs. I can't (or shouldn't, because I do from time to time) have a whole bagel, as again, the carbs spike my sugars. Even just a scoop of rice can do me in. I have to be careful how much I take. I've even passed up the corn and refried beans on some meals I make for my family, because I just can't have too many carbs. It makes me sad because carbs are(were) my best friends. LOL

Despite not gaining any weight (yet), and despite crowing I could still fit into my small "fat" jeans, today I found out the bebe is a'growin'. I won't be able to wear my medium "fat" jeans for too much longer. I'm going to have to break down and buy some maternity pants. I bought some online, but one pair was out of stock (lovely) and the other pair was made by Omar the Tent Maker. :( So I have a couple of maternity shirts, but no pants. The store I can go to (maternity clothes for fat people) is in our local mall, but that's about 15 miles from here. UGH. Just don't want to drive that far! At least by myself. Maybe I should convince a friend to go on a shopping spree with me. Val? lol

Anyhow, just wanted to give you a baby update. Things are going fine for me, aside from the random Braxton Hicks contractions and ligament pain I get from time to time. I bought some yarn a couple of weeks ago to make the bebe a blankie, and I just finished crocheting that today! I was inspired, I guess, as it usually takes me longer to make an afghan. But it's made with a purple-ish pink-ish fuzzy yarn and accented with white. It was hard to work with due to the fuzz, but it's so beautiful. :) Maybe I'll post a picture of it at some point.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Daughter's Gunboats

Today, I earned my "Best Mom of the Year" award. My daughter, pathetic as she is, came to me today to show me her flip flops, the ones she's worn every day since sometime in June. They're dirty, disgusting, and look like they're ready to fall apart at any given moment. Unfortunately, her regular tennis shoes are now too tight for her, because children have this annoying thing called "growing" that unfortunately, they cannot control. GRR

With puppy-dog eyes, she asks if I will buy her new shoes.

Upon examining all my kids' feet and tennis shoes, I've come to realize they all need new shoes. Wonderful.

Like a moron, I wait until Payless Shoes has run to the end of their "Buy One Get One" sale (@$&*!), however, they do have a "few" items on sale. So we go, and I find out my eldest child (who is 9 years old, btw) wears a size 6 1/2 in WOMEN'S shoes! That's only a size and a half away from what *I* wear! I was so taken aback, that when I regained function in the speech part of my brain, I announced to all and sundry how EPIC my daughter's feet are.

Of course now, being in women's sizes, no longer can she pick the cutsie "Hannah Montana" shoes or anything remotely pink and princess-y. :( What she did pick, however, are a pair of black sneakers with bright pink shoelaces and pink stitching and whatnot. They're really cute. My other kids rejoiced that they all got new shoes as well, my son with his Ironman light-up shoes, my daughter, with her Dora the Explorer light-up shoes, and my other daughter, with her silver and pink shoes.

Even at a store like Payless, I still don't get out of there for cheap with four kids to shoe. I really really really should have paid more attention to the BOGO offer at Payless. That is, AFTER I realized "Bogo" wasn't some fancy designer shoe after all and actually stood for "Buy One Get One". Dang stores and their dang new-fangled acronyms... >:(


Monday, September 15, 2008

First Day of Art Class

Today was Simone and Levi's first day of art class at the Cultural Arts Center here in Hillsboro. My two older girls will start their classes next week.

It's funny, the Arts Center is actually a converted church, and I've driven by it a few times. It's closer to my house than my kids' doctor's office, and I never even knew! Funny thing is, the building is actually fairly new, I have no idea why the church sold it to the city, but it's awesome. They hold concerts in the "sanctuary" and all the art classes go on in the rooms downstairs.

The place is actually pretty good size, despite the fact they have a relatively small parking area. It's inconvenient in a way, because all the streets are one-way surrounding it, so I have to drive past it and go around in a circle to get there. But the place still kind of has that church smell. I don't know what it is... perhaps it's in the carpet? I don't know.

You know how you go into some traditional church, like Lutheran or Episcopal and they have that "smell"? It's not a bad smell, just a church smell. More contemporary churches, such as Calvary Chapel, don't seem to have this smell about them, I've noticed. Very odd.

But the kids had a lot of fun today, considering the teacher chose -- dinosaurs as today's subject! They all love dinosaurs, and it just happens to be my son's subject of choice. The class was 4pm to 5:30pm, and Levi was still drawing away. In fact, I had to wait about ten minutes until he finished. I'm thinking he really likes this class!

My older girls are sooooo excited to start! They have classes for adults as well. I'll have to check out what they offer. Art class used to be my very favorite subject in school. :)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's All About the Suit

I could have come up with a catchier title for this blog post - "Pick Your Suit" or "What Suits You?" or "That Suits You" or "More Than an Empty Suit" LOL.

But I have an honest question.

Why does every important man wear dark-colored suits? Seriously, look around the media, politicians, actors... everyone is wearing a dark suit. Now it's probably not black, as that's usually reserved for tuxedos, but I've seen a few black suits in my day. But I'm talking about the tan suit, the light grey suit, rather than the varying colors of navy blue.

Is it because it's considered more professional? Are you taken more seriously? Are lighter-colored suits considered more "casual"? Or do they not photograph well on TV?

Occasionally, you'll see politicians (like the ones we've been closely watching) wear light-colored slacks with their white shirts and sleeves rolled up when they're giving a "less formal" speech and/or press conference. But you never get the blazer in there. It's more of a dress casual look, I guess.

Perhaps I'm answering my own question with the tan/grey suits, but honestly, I'm getting tired of navy blue and smoky dark grey, aren't you? It's like... every man on TV is wearing the same suit! I've got to wonder seriously how many ties these men own, because that's really the only splash of color in there! Sometimes you might see the random yellow shirt or light blue shirt that vetos the white button-up for the day, but to me, that's not enough of a "change".

For all I know, these guys could be picking up these suits at the dry cleaners and wearing the very same suit every day of the week! How do we know? Only the ties change!


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saw the Doctor

Just in case you missed my comment on my last post, I did go and see the doctor. Baby seems to be just fine, with 150 heartbeats per minute and measuring at 23 cm on my belly. :)

As far as my medication, I've been switched off the Metformin to a medication called Glyburide. My doctor put me on a low dose, since this medication is known to make you go hypoglycemic, and it's better to start out low and go higher if you need to. So far, for the past two days, it's kept my sugars down under 95 in the mornings with a decent reading after breakfast. Perhaps that's just what I needed.

"Bad" thing is this medication gives me side effects. It's giving me headaches, stomach aches, and making me really foggy/tired. Well, I guess I don't have to take it "forever", and it's better to keep my sugars down than harm the baby.

My doc did mention the ultrasound showed the baby looked very good, however, the placenta is only 2 cm away from my cervix. This is bad news for a vaginal delivery. BUT, I'm still early enough in my pregnancy that it might float away and I'll be perfectly fine.

Because of this little complication and my diabetes, they are going to be giving me two more ultrasounds, one at 28 weeks and one at 36 weeks to monitor both the size of the baby and the position of the placenta.

You see, if I go vaginal with the placenta so close to the cervix, the placenta will deliver first. This is NOT good, as the baby is still attached to the placenta, which is what they get their nutrients and oxygen from. And because the baby hasn't come through first and stretched things out, the placenta would have one heck of a messy delivery (ew, I know), and endanger the life of the baby, as for that few minutes after the placenta is "destroyed", the baby will be without oxygen and nutrients in utero. Bad news!

After a normal birth, the baby's umbilical cord is clamped and cut and they take their first breath and they are no longer connected to mom. But the baby has to be OUTSIDE the mommy in order to be out of harm's way.

Anyhow, if the placenta doesn't move, it's likely I'll have a c-section. Or if the baby gets too big, I'll have one. *sigh* Darn high risk pregnancy! I've had four kids and haven't had to have a c-section yet. It kinda scares me, to tell you the truth. I hope all goes well in the months to come.


Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Life as a Pregnant Diabetic

I'm just now finding out how difficult it is to be pregnant and a diabetic at the same time. Now, I don't have gestational diabetes, I have the real deal, I just so happened to get pregnant. I was first diagnosed in January, so I haven't known long. I'm on 500mg of Metformin every night at dinner time, which is also when I take my prenatal vitamin, along with my fish oil pil (which actually looks like a HORSE pill) that my doc suggested I take for brain development of the baby. You know, Omega 3 fatty acids and such.

Anyhow, doctor told me how later on in my pregnancy, it's possible my diabetes might get "worse" due to the placenta releasing sugars into the bloodstream right along with the pancreas. They're going to be closely monitoring the size of the baby to make sure it doesn't get too big in there. Some babies of diabetic moms have fat deposits on their bodies that make them "bigger" due to all the sugar floating around in there, thus making the chest and shoulders the biggest part of the baby rather than the head. If you deliver the head and can't get the rest of the baby out, you're in deep hurting.

So, if they baby gets upwards of 9 1/2 pounds, my doc isn't going to take her chances, she's going to give me a c-section.

Throughout this whole pregnancy, my sugars have been normal. You need to be under 95 in the mornings after you wake up, and one hour after you eat, no more than 135. If you test at two hours after you eat, no more than 120. Been nailing that no problem.

But recently, my morning sugars have been about 10 points higher than they should be, fluctuating between 101 and 109. This causes my after-breakfast sugars to spike to the 140's/150's. Not good. But then, what happens is, somewhere between breakfast and lunch, my blood sugar crashes, and I've GOT to find something to eat and quick. Despite my high number, I must eat a snack or risk going hypoglycemic. And that's not fun.

It's happened to me a couple of times. You get a raging headache, you feel like you're going to puke, nothing can stop you from shaking, and you feel like there's a brick in your stomach. DH has had to make me eat even if I don't want to, because it can get really bad if you don't. It kinda scares me, actually, because I'm not sure why I'm swinging both ways so drastically in the span of an hour.

Now, my after lunch sugars and after dinner sugars are both normal. It only seems to be my morning and after breakfast sugars. This means I'll probably be prescribed a higher dose of Metformin.

The doc did mention its possible that by the end of the pregnancy, the diabetes could get so out of control that I have to inject myself with syringes. I hope it doesn't come to that. When every woman goes into the doctor once a week in their last month, I'll have to go twice a week for a non-stress test. They'll strap me into one of those fetal monitors that goes on your belly and leave me be for about 30 minutes, monitoring the baby's heart rate when I have Braxton-Hicks contractions. If they get dangerously low, they'll have to induce me.

I'm seeing my doctor within the next few days, so I will definitely be talking to her about what's been going on. And not only this, but the ligament pain and the back pain - I'm telling you, this pregnancy is already "miserable" and I'm only 21 1/2 weeks along. I'm actually dreading the months to come.

Because seriously, if I'm out and about too long, like at the store walking around, not only do my feet swell like balloons, but I get this weird feeling like I have a brick in my stomach and I'm going to hurl at any given moment. I'm getting to the point where I might have to carry sweets in my purse because I can tell when my blood sugar crashes. It's not quite as drastic as Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias, but it's enough to be a bit scary at times.

Good news is, I'm still maintaining my weight and fitting into my "small" fat pants. They're getting tight, though. I'm going to have one heck of a jelly belly when this baby finally does come out. LOL


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I've Been Tagged - *sigh*

Donica Covey tagged me in the comments section of the post below, so I guess I'm "obligated" to do this blog meme or something. *sigh* Here are the rules:

This is an Unspectacular Meme. Here’s the details: First, the rules: 1) Link to the person that tagged you. 2) Post the rules on your blog. 3) List six unspectacular quirks you have. 4) Tag six bloggers by linking them. 5) Leave a comment on each person's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

1. I homeschool my kids. Might have already known that, but some people don't. I have four of them, aged 9, 8, 6, & 5, with one on the way (obviously). So far, it's still pretty easy. We'll see how it goes when they get into the higher grades.

2. I taught myself how to crochet about 10 years ago, and now, I'm teaching my three daughters how to crochet. My oldest is really good at it, making hair bobbles, pillows, scarves, etc. My second daughter is still trying to get the hang of it, while my third daughter mastered the single crochet just this weekend. Found a lot of cool tutorial videos on You Tube recently. Might have to check them out! But I hold my hook over-handed like a steak knife, not under-handed, like a pencil. Those of you who crochet by holding your hook like a pencil, how do you do that?!?

3. On sunny days, I go out and sit on my deck for a little while, spending some quiet time outside with my kitties, who also love to bask in the sun. It's a great time to think without any interruptions.

4. I hate sneezing. I don't know why, but I get really annoyed when I have to do it. Probably because my sneezes come in twos, and once I sneeze, I'm destined to sneeze again, so having a conversation whilst sneezing is no fun. Really, doing anything while sneezing is no fun. I just can't stand it!

5. I'm pregnant, and three of my girlfriends are pregnant as well! Valerie and Karen are both the same gestational age as me - all three of our babies are due on either Jan 9th or 10th of '09. Monica is just recently pregnant and is due in April of '09. The funny thing is, all of our hubbies are best friends and have been for years. Kevin, Chris, Jim and Damon all used to work at Disneyland back in the day. Now none of them do, but I think we've all retained our Partners Federal Credit Union accounts. :P

6. I love cats. When I was a kid, I used to be a dog person. I had three of them and played with them all the time. But as I grew up, something changed, and I now like cats more than dogs. In fact, if I wasn't married with kids, I'd probably be the "Crazy Cat Lady" in my neighborhood. LOL As it is, we have three cats and only one dog. We recently rescued a cat that nobody else wanted from DH's work. I figured it's better she come to us than go take her chances at the shelter. Her name is Penelope, and she's an all white cat, just like our other cat Spike. But she's a LOT fatter (lol) so it's not hard to tell them apart. It took her a while to acclimate to us (I don't think she'd ever seen a dog before, and our big dumb dog trying to chase her for fun probably didn't do much to bolster her courage...) but now she's pretty social. She's still skiddish, but she's a good kitty. But I've got to be careful, though. If I actually *go* to the shelter, I want to adopt ALL the babies! :P

I'm actually breaking the rules of this meme and not forwarding it on to anyone. Why? Because it's effort and I'm lazy and I don't necessarily like sharing memes. :P I guess that's #7 on my mundane list.