Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our Christmas / New Year Card 2012

Note to Self

Next year, everyone is getting gift cards.  I can't deal with the stress of getting gifts wrong anymore.  Especially when we spent so much on people and we have no income now to pay for it.

That is all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas and Uncertain Times

It's Christmas evening...

Today was a wonderful day despite my pain and the insanely cold weather :-)

Dec 13th (yes, the day after 12/12/12)  Gage lost his job.   I'm honestly not sure if they could have picked a worse time to lay him off.

Now we have all of the uncertainties going into the new year...

How are we going to make enough to pay for our new mortgage?

How on earth are we going to pay for insurance or pay for the birth of this baby in Feb (up to $15,000)?

Is Gage going to find a job that suits him or just another job to pay the bills that may or may not work out (like 2 out of the last 3 jobs)?

On the other hand... it has been a blessing having him home every day.

I'm no longer able to walk like a normal person... sometimes I can't walk at all.  Just getting to the bathroom (every 5 minutes) is a challenge.  Therefore I can't do laundry, dishes, or just about anything that involves any walking.  Gage has been able to take over a lot of the normal household chores and keeping Zoe entertained while I am stuck on the couch.

Now on top of the pain from walking/sitting/standing... I now am dealing with all the normal things that come with the 3rd trimester, including incredibly sore ribs and an aching back.   I'm constantly wondering if I'm having contractions or just painful braxton hicks contractions, or just really bad round ligament pain that comes and goes for an hour or two at a time.  Stomach aches, feeling faint just about every morning until around noonish, and incredible fatigue are a few other trials I'm trying to deal with.

I'm 31 weeks today.  Just 9 more super incredibly long weeks to go until I reach my due date! ;-)

We're hoping and praying that Gage can find a job before then.   Until then... we just have to wait and see how it all works out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top 12 Moments of 2012 (On 12/12/12!)

Shaina's Top 12 of 2012

1. By far the most memorable moment of this year for me was seeing the positive pregnancy test on June 29, 2012.  I actually put off taking the test 9 days... I was in tears while taking the test because I "knew" that it would be another negative.  After 3 years of hoping for another baby and 2 years of trying... I had pretty much given up on having anymore children.  I saw the positive and I just about fainted.  Happiness doesn't even begin to describe what I felt!! I truly believe it is because Zoe started praying for a little sibling that same month.

2. Buying our first home!  I never in my life thought I'd own a house before 30.  In CA most people just don't buy homes until they are in their 40's...  That has been one of the biggest blessings that has come out of moving to South Dakota :)  Affordable housing!  We have a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom  house with a potential 4th bedroom and another room that could be an office, a good sized laundry room, and a very nice finished basement!

3. Amanda and Charles' Wedding on October 6, 2012!  Amanda and I have been friends since 1991 (21 years!).  I met Charles in college and introduced the two of them in 2005 (Oct 12th of that year to be exact haha).  Their wedding in Escondido, CA was absolutely beautiful.  I was a brides-matron, Gage was a groomsman, and Zoe was the flower girl!

4.  Showing Gage and Zoe where I used to live in Danville, KY almost 7 years to the day after my Mom passed away.  The trip itself was tough for me because I was in my first trimester and feeling VERY sick the whole time but it was still amazing to get the chance to drive by my old house, show them my old high school, go to visit some old friends, and show them the nursing home where my Mom passed away.  They were also able to meet a few of my family members that they hadn't met before - my Mom's Aunt Jane (my Grandma's brother Stanley's wife) and her Aunt Nancy (my Grandma's sister).   During that trip we also were able to visit with our friends Ryan and Kacey in St. Louis, MO!  We love St. Louis... we even talked about moving there.  Maybe someday we will :)

5. Buying our Camry!  We had a small 2 door car for the first 5 years of our marriage. We finally bought a 4 door last year but then found out in the summertime that it had no air conditioner.  It wasn't broken, it just didn't have one! I didn't even know they made cars without them anymore.   We couldn't have survived our trip to St. Louis in a car with no air conditioner so... we traded that Chevy Aveo for a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid!  We made it from St. Louis, MO to Sioux City, IA on ONE TANK OF GAS!  It's awesome.  Unfortunately thanks to that trip we took right after we got the car I now can't STAND the smell of it (one of the many joys of pregnancy).  I hope that I can learn to tolerate it someday...  but for now whenever I get in the car I feel a little sick.

We put down about 1/3 of the cost with savings, paid $4,000 with the money we got for the Aveo, so we were left with about $7,000 left.   For the first time ever we now have a car payment, but it's actually not bad! Only $135/month.  Our plan is to sell our 2005 Hyundai Accent to get more money to put towards paying off the Camry.  Hopefully that'll be paid off by the end of next year!

6. My Two Ultrasounds - I LOVE ultrasounds :) Even if they are uncomfortable.  I was able to get an earlier ultrasound this time around so that was amazing getting a chance to see the baby at around 12 weeks. Then at 21 weeks I had the ultrasound where we found out the gender - a GIRL :)  That was such an amazing moment!  We've decided on the name Avery Rose (and we do have a backup boy name just in case the Ultrasound techs were wrong..haha) I'm hoping she's born 4 days early on the 22nd of Feb - that would have been my Great Grandma Rose's 100th Birthday!  Wouldn't that be awesome?  :) haha.

7. Spending time at the beach :)  I've really missed the beach since I've lived here in SD... we were able to go out to CA twice this year so it was nice to be able to spend time relaxing at the beach.  Going to Konos and Pacific Bean at Pacific Beach and going to Oceanside Harbor and to the Pier a couple times was so nice!  Going to the Oceanside beach is always a major highlight of my year.

8.  Watching my beautiful daughter Zoe be a 4 year old.  4 is a very fun year and a very challenging year as well! She definitely has a mind of her own now.  She's had so much fun as a 4 year old though and it's been so fun to watch her learn and experience so much this year.  She got to spend a total of 4 weeks in California visiting friends, family, and the beach! She enjoyed the Missouri/Kentucky trip. She had a lot of firsts this year, including her first time bowling (just a few days ago).  I tried to make it as fun and eventful as possible... considering that she'll be starting Kindergarten next year and this was her last school-free year for a while ;)

9. The Hunger Games!  I read all three books in about 3-4 days and from then on I counted down the days for the movie to be released! I even followed all the fan sites...haha. I LOVED these books and can't wait for next Thanksgiving when Catching Fire will be in theaters!

10. Furthering my photography business - I finally have a website, a brand look, the right software, a nice pro lens... now I just need the pro camera and a couple more lenses before I can start working on my in-home studio! I don't know if the studio will happen until 2014, but in 2013 I'll at least get the camera and get a little more equipment.  It's a long process getting this business going on your own (without taking out a loan first) but I know it will pay off in the end!

11.  Gage playing drums at the Orpheum Theater here in Sioux Falls with Rachelle Hope! That was his last show with the band and it was probably their best show up until that point.  His work schedule got to be pretty crazy for a little while back in Sept so he wasn't able to really keep up with practices so he's no longer playing with them.  It was a good 2 years though and playing the show at the Orpheum was definitely a highlight and a good ending to a fun little chapter in his life :-)

12. Reading Harry Potter Series!  I finally read them!! This is a little strange for this type of list but I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of these books and I had wanted to read them for years. It took me about a week and a half to get through all 7 books. I then went online and purchased the 8 Film Collection and watched all of those!  I'm so glad I was able to finally get back into reading fictional stories again this year. For the last several years I've been focusing solely on non-fiction books.  I'm so glad to be *excited* about reading fiction again!

Ok watching the Olympics this year was fun too...but that would make this a Top 13 list and that just won't do! ;)


Friday, December 7, 2012

Third Trimester {28 Weeks, 5 Days}

  • Right now baby girl is now about 2.5 lbs and about 15 inches in length.  About the size of a butternut squash (says one of the apps on my phone).   I'm currently at 28 weeks and 5 days (the photo above was from 21 weeks and 1 day).  
  • Baby kicks a LOT now but both Zoe and Gage have yet to really see her move much.  She seems to be awake most of the time between 11pm and 2am.   
  • We DO have a name picked out but I'm waiting until she's born to really announce the name.  I've told several people and even posted it online in a few places (Pinterest...Facebook...) but no big announcements just in case "she" turns out to be a "he".   That happened to a friend of mine recently! They were expecting a girl and they had a boy instead.  I will say though, that the name begins with an A. 
  • Since this pregnancy has caused quite a bit of pelvic pain, most of my days recently have been spent sitting on my brand new couches with my laptop.  Thankfully I have my website Shaina's Deals that I can work on to keep myself busy.  Most of our unpacking in the new house will have to wait until baby is here.
  • One of my goals over the next several weeks is to get the girls room done.  Zoe and baby girl A will be sharing a room in our new house :)  We still need to get the crib up and get the baby's clothes washed and put away, get a diaper changing area ready, wash the bouncy seat and the baby swing, and get the bassinet all ready for when baby arrives!

My Doctor Doesn't Know Who I Am

Beware.... this post is a rant.  ;)

A lot has happened in the last couple months.   We went to CA for my best friends' wedding, we bought and moved into our first home, and in the meantime my pain from this pregnancy increased more and more to the point where I had to basically put myself on "bed rest".

My doctor doesn't even know my name.   I have gone to her for 5 years and she still has no clue who I am every time I am in there.  I tell her about my pain (and also about my near-fainting spells!) every time I'm in there and she hands me the same pamphlet on *back pain* (which is so NOT the problem) every time. I didn't think I would care so much with my second pregnancy but I should have switch Doctors in the beginning.  I was thinking that since this was my second pregnancy I wasn't going to have as many questions and I wasn't really going to need much advice from my Dr this time around so I didn't think it was all that important. Unfortunately I was wrong... there are different problems with this pregnancy than with my previous one (and I know, every pregnancy is different).  It is very frustrating to be in this much pain and not have a Doctor that cares or even shows any indication of knowing what is wrong.

Exercises don't help the pelvic pain (in fact several of them make it worse), I can only walk for about 20 minutes before the pain becomes too much to bare, and trying to do any sort of maneuvering to stand up from sitting or laying down is nearly impossible.  I can't lift my legs on my own so getting dressed is one of the worst parts of my day.   I know there is nothing the Dr can do other than send me to a physical therapist (which would be a waste of time and money) but I want a Dr that at least knows me and knows what is causing the problem.

I know what the problem is but it would be good to hear it from her to show me that she actually knows something.

I'll be switching to a midwife as soon as possible.  I really hope that things get better from here on out.

Until this baby is born I will be sitting on the couch every day.  In the mornings I can usually walk around for a little longer than 20 minutes so I try to get as much cleaning/housework done during that time as possible  Laundry is totally out though... that is all up to Gage now.   I can fold clothes.  That's about it.

Just three more months! It sounds like an eternity but I know that February will come... eventually.

Finding Joy in the Winter Months

For our family, this time of year is full of two things: celebrations and a slightly overwhelming sense of cabin fever. Both Gage and I cel...