Sunday, August 30, 2015

Life as of Late

Summer is wrapping up, and we are getting ready for Chris' last semester of classes! He has done an awesome job focusing on this year's BYU animated film and getting pieces for his demo reel ready for job applications. He is a hard worker! His demo reel is completely different from the beginning of the year and his new reel shows how much he has stretched himself and grown over the last several months.

Nate is all moved into the Provo ward now! This past week it has been fun to have him around-he even invited us over for a leftover feast when he got a huge stack of Rumbi leftovers from his training at his new job! Sick! (the good kind of sick. Said in Nate's unique way)




We've really enjoyed the weather, so this is us gorging ourselves on watermelon out on our porch. We compared the watermelon to Riley's size. They were pretty close.



Here and there Chris and I would mention how much fun it would be to find a piano and play for a little bit. However, this little side comments hardly materialize into actual plans. Until Sunday. We were looking at some sheet music Chris has and listening to it, and we got all psyched up and went to the church to play for a bit. It was a lot of fun! We should turn our little ideas into plans much more often.


Ever since we found out we were expecting, Chris has been making solemn detours on our grocery shopping trips to the diaper aisle. He claims it is for research purposes, but as he stares defeatedly at the price tags, I wonder if this research has a more detrimental effect than a helpful edge...





Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday!

Today is my LAST SATURDAY at work! ...at least for awhile. My jobs have held fairly steady in their work load (that is to say, minimal) but while before I was feeling somewhat bogged down by my work and my schedule, it is now almost exciting to be taking in the last moments of work before Riley shows up. I'm able to see what I have learned and the friendships I have made and be genuinely happy about the work that I have been able to accomplish.
Just the idea of having a change of routine for at least a few weeks feels like a breath of fresh air.

After work, we went to a sushi place with some animation folks. Even though we had to choose our fish with discretion, it was SO GOOD! We even got Gyoza to have the whole experience. Chris has a good bunch of people he works with-we really enjoyed talking with them.



Friday, August 28, 2015

Dropping


Lately my most common conversations have been generated by emphatic acquaintances who energetically comment how I have or have not dropped. Interestingly enough, it seems like every other person rests on the opposite conclusion. To someone I am carrying the baby high and they wonder how I could be so close to my due date, and to another I have dropped so much this baby is coming any minute. Riley seems to be a fairly indecisive child ;) 

I am enjoying these new conversations I am rapidly becoming well-acquainted with. They are evidence of friends and strangers who are kindly showing interest in my life and my daughter. They must intuitively know that talking about my daughter is a subject I am very obliged to continue with them :) 

When we were travelling to California a couple weeks ago, I was amazed at how considerate and thoughtful people were about me being pregnant. One gas station I went into I couldn’t find the bathroom, so I went to the cashier lady and asked if they had one. She hurriedly responded that they did, but they were outside. In the middle of responding, she looked up, noticed that I was pregnant and her demeanor completely changed. She hurried on to say that she would grab a key for me really quick and let me in the back way to the bathroom so I wouldn’t have to walk around. Although I am fairly certain I could have made it around the building with no incident, I thought it was very nice of her to serve me like that. The hotel manager allowed us to stay a little longer before checking out so I wouldn't have to be out on LA streets for as long. This and various other incidences warmed my heart. It was very sweet. 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Moving Along


I had my 38 week doctor’s appointment today. It looks like we are 2cm dilated and 70% effaced, which is great! I know it doesn’t predict when Riley will come, but it is nice to know my body, as always, seems to know what it is doing and getting ready on its own accord.

You know how on a previous post I talked about how we were happily back on the patience track?
I spoke too soon.
After LA, we both had an not-well-contained excitement that she could come at any time, so although we both tried to keep calm and be ok with her not showing up, we were talking about her constantly (‘what if today is the day?! What if we get to meet her tonight?!’). Our excitement is so uncontained it is leaking out of our ears. I’m working on looking on the bright side-if my body can get more and more ready before going into active labor, who am I to complain?!  Bring it on!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Derailed from the Patience Track

Things since the Vegas hullabaloo have settled down considerably. For a little bit there it felt like we had overextended ourselves and the exhaustion was going to be incurable-a permanent fixture in our fast track lives. But, thankfully, we have focused this week on relaxing and it has done wonders! We made a rule that we would do one significant errand each evening after work, and then focus on relaxing. It has been wonderful!
On Monday, I woke up at 4am with a contraction that lasted for two hours while I restlessly walked outside and quietly found little things to do around the house. Around that time I was also consistently having cramping feelings whenever I would get up and walk around. But as the week has gone on, these signs have tapered off and I have felt quite normal again. It was bittersweet when these signs began to disappear-having the Vegas experience has made my patience non-existent as it seemed she was soon on her way! Feeling more normal felt better, but also made me re-equipt myself with the patience I so happily discarded. However, I think I am back on the patience track! I mean, even if she stays in there as long as she can, we will still be meeting her in less than a month's time :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

LA Was Great, But Riley Prefers Vegas

After sleeping rotisserie chicken style-constantly turning in place-we woke up ready for what the day held. We pounded out the details of what I would be doing while Chris went to SIGGRAPH, since I could only stay at the hotel until check-out at 11am. And we weren't sure what to do with our car. Any day parking would get expensive really quick. Thankfully our awesome staff man allowed me to stay until noon, and he said we could leave our car in the hotel parking lot until we left after the convention. He saved us! We are so thankful to him and his kind generosity.


After fixing himself up and looking quite handsome, Chris braved the LA streets to get to the LA Convention Center about .75 miles away, and I got to work relaxing in the hotel room all morning.

Pixar at SIGGRAPH

Then I hit the streets to meet up with Chris for company. It ended up being a good deal-I didn't feel completely scared for my life as I walked the streets, the weather was beautiful, and everything was so close! Once I got to the convention center, I easily met up with Chris & co.-he had found 2 BYU alumni who he knew who came with us to eat.



The nearby restaurants were saturated with SIGGRAPH groupies, so we ended up going a little further for food. Honestly, it wasn't that much farther, but let me tell you, by the time we found a restaurant and sat down with some water, I was SO happy!! After eating and cooling down, the boys headed back while I loitered around the restaurant and a nearby shopping center to wait for them to finish their escapades. There was this neat circular pit that served as a strip mall. It looked really small, and so when I started exploring the Target, I was awestruck at how expansive the inside was-It was bigger than any other Target I have ever been in! It had everything you could ever want in that store. As much as being in downtown LA isn't my favorite, I had to hand it to city people-they know how to do this shopping thing properly!

A bit later Chris was finished and met me up by the shopping center. We were headed out of LA! ...in the traffic, in all its glory. Chris did a great job navigating our way out, and before we knew it, we were out on the clearer freeways burning rubber. We enjoyed discussing feedback Chris had gotten for his demo reel and goals we would like to have this semester. It was fun to see Chris pumped up for his career.


The rest of the journey passed fairly uneventfully until about 8pm that night. We were about an hour and a half outside Vegas, and I think our talk about seeing the city lights made Riley want to share in the experience.

That was when she tried to make her escape.

I was driving at this point, and started to feel uncomfortable. I felt like my pants and underwear were too tight under my belly. Over time the discomfort turned into feeling like Baby Waz's head was pressing more prominently in my lower abdomen, and then it felt like her head was bearing down really hard against all my muscles and ligaments down low. I felt like I needed to get up and walk around, so we pulled into the next rest station and I got out of the car. More like I fell-gracefully!-from the car.
Getting up and moving around felt right, but it also felt like my pelvic bone was going to split apart, and I couldn't walk properly because I felt like her head was in the way. I had my arm around Chris' shoulders as we walked at about .005 miles an hour, and every once in awhile I felt like I needed to bend over and grab a bench or a garbage can to support myself. After awhile of this (I'm really not sure how long we were there-keeping track of time didn't seem like my brain's first priority) as much as I didn't want to sit down again, I also was ready to get to our destination so our car ride would be over. So we got back in the car and I worked on relaxing and talking to Chris to make sure we were both awake.
We thankfully got to the A.'s after grabbing a quick smoothie from Mickey Ds for dinner. They are the nicest people! I actually half enjoyed talking with them, even with everything going on. I just hope I was able to come off as congenial as I concentrated on keeping my face from contorting into a grimace.


They showed us to a cute little room and I immediately got onto all fours for relief, leaning over a little footstool for the bed. It felt SO much better! I wanted to stay there the rest of my life! ...but then my knees got tired and I gave in to lying down in the bed. When I couldn't take lying down anymore (about 1:45am) I got up and got on the bed footstool again. I alternated between this position and stumbling into the bathroom to pace for about an hour. I knew I couldn't be in that position forever, and not knowing what to do, I decided to text my mom for advice. I figured she wouldn't get it until the morning, but at least later that morning she would be able to help me figure out what was going on before we drove the rest of the way home. But I was in for a fortunate surprise-my mom texted me back!! I was SO happy to have someone there that I could consult with! I gave her the details of what was going on, and she had some suggestions that I was more than willing to try. Very true to my mom's character, one of the adamant suggestions was to drink water. That sounded like an awesome idea, and since my mom suggested it, I felt more comfortable with Quasimodo-slouching downstairs, rummaging through their kitchen for a glass and getting some water. Not sure why I didn't do it earlier... it just seemed like it would be more credible if I was caught by our kind hosts if my mom had insisted that I do it (My mom told me to do it! Promise!).

I think I drank the equivalent of a small kiddie pool in the next hour, and the pressure began to subside by degrees. It eventually got to the point that the pressure wasn't all consuming on my  mind-I began to feel tired. That was an awesome feeling!! I would pick tired over distress any day! I let my mom know I was going to try lying down, and she made sure I was alright before letting me go. I am so grateful for my mom-she had been eating cereal so she could stay awake, and she was ready to hop in the car at my word to be here to help out. Love my Mom!!  I carefully went to lie down. If I held really still the discomfort was minor, and I was able to fall asleep by 4am. I woke up at 8am the next day feeling so much better! I still felt sore, and due to twinges of stretched muscle I moved slowly, but really nothing that would give a hint of how last night had went. And we didn't have a Vegas baby! Hallelujah!

So I guess that is why people suggest not travelling when you are very pregnant.

Noted.

But really, let Chris come out to California and miss out on all the fun?! Not a chance!


Despite being a bit on the tired side, we were able to make the last leg of our journey without much hullabaloo.

We finished this book on the road, and it was good! I love its tone and humor

My mom had said I should let my doctor know what happened, and I was curious as to what his diagnosis would be. Unfortunately, my doctor wasn't in the office, but after some phone tag we were able to relay our events from the previous night to the nurse. She said she would talk to one of the doctors in the office and get back to me. Chris and I had minimal conversation at the end of our journey; mostly bedraggled speech about how we were really looking forward to rest after the trip. We had just decided that we would definitely be taking a nap when the nurse called back. She said we should go straight to the hospital just to make sure everything was alright.

But! ...fine.

At the hospital they set up the fetal monitors, checked my vitals and checked to see if I was dilated or effaced. Turns out I was 1 cm dilated, but no effacement yet. The nurse was surprised I was dilated at a one, since this is my first baby and we are still 4 weeks out. After about half an hour of monitoring we were allowed to go. It was good to make sure that the baby was OK. But is was sure nice to pull up to our blessed house. and our blessed bed. And to blessed sleep.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Drive

After our doctors appointment for Baby Waz (who is doing great, btw), we hit the road to LA!

California road signs at their finest

It's amazing to me that no matter how much I have talked to Chris in the past, the opportunity to sit side by side with him for hours on end is still thrilling. I love talking to that Man! I tried to really just enjoy the time because it won't be just the two of us travelling for much longer. Babies aren't known for being the best conversationalists or road-trip partners.

St. George Temple Break
One memorable moment on the car drive up was at a rest area. I was washing my hands at the sink, looked up at myself and decided to look at myself in profile.

I haven't really done this a whole lot. Usually I just look at myself straight on. You know, like a normal person. But I turned to the side and what I saw had me staring incredulously at my reflection for several moments.

I'm big.

Like, BIG.

I know people have been saying this for awhile, in all its creative variations (my personal favorite being 'You've really blossomed!' What does that mean, really?) but it is one thing to have people tell you that and nonchalantly smile and brush it off versus really seeing it. How in the world is my body still balanced anyway?! Only cartoons should be able to contort like this! And the mystery of my back aches was instantly solved right then and there.

Quite the strange discovery to have a random restroom somewhere in between Provo and LA.


We were able to find our hotel without much incident in the middle of downtown around 9pm.

We slept at Americas Best Value Inn. Not Thai Asian Food

We hadn't had dinner yet, so we scoped out what was nearby. After weighing the pros and cons of driving versus walking down the street to Jimmy Johns, we decided we would drive just because it felt safer. Getting dinner went from being a simple task to becoming a perilous adventure as we scavenged for parking and found it to be scarce and expensive. We plotted such daring attempts as dropping one of us off to run in as the other circled the premises, or getting it delivered to our hotel and just stuffing the extra cost. By some miracle, after dropping me off, Chris found a parking spot not too far ahead, and we were able to triumphantly walk over together and get our precious reward of Jimmy Johns.

It was amazing how busy the streets were! So many hoards of people out so late at night. I guess that is when city life begins, but it definitely felt different from the Provo night life we have become accustomed to. Who would have guessed? :)


The best part of our hotel was the staff. The room... was sufficient for our needs.



When we chose the hotel, we decided it would be the best if it was located as close to the LA Convention Center as possible, while staying affordable. What worried me the most were the hotel reviews stating that it was a bad part of town and they didn't feel safe. I was happy not to have a lingering feeling of impending doom as we got ready for bed, and so overall I was very grateful for our hotel. Even if we did sleep on beds with sheets that felt like diapers (they crackled like crazy!).

Sunday, August 9, 2015

ThrowBack...Saturday?

There is nothing like coming home from work and having your husband cheer you up.

With Pokemon.

Chris and I have been wanting to find some original Pokemon cards (original meaning not all these crazy made-up ones-the REAL ones!) and play with them for a ThrowBack Thursday Date Night. Unfortunately, we're not sure where to find these pure, yet admittedly out-dated, cards.

So... Chris decided to find the Pokemon Red game on the computer instead.

This man is a genius
As worn out from work as I was, I was amazed (and somewhat abashed...) at the pure joy this game brought us.

Nothing brings happiness quite like reminiscing about Pokemon

We had some fun with some cousin rivalry



Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fruit Snack Barricade


Chris has some crazy self-control. That man can have a full bottle of Nutella in the pantry and not feel the need to test-taste it every night, and he can even say no to sugar if he ‘isn’t feeling like it’ (which is an obvious lie-everyone knows that is not humanly possible).

So when we went to the store to pick out little snacks for when we will be in the hospital, it was like pulling teeth trying to get this guy to buy anything for himself. He couldn’t feel good about buying something for himself that we didn’t essentially ‘need.’ But then, I spotted something that I knew even Chris W. couldn’t turn down. Fruit snacks. As soon as Chris saw them, his face lit up and he bashfully, yet eagerly, began perusing the different options. It was an easy sell.

When we got home, we put the hospital stuff in a separate place in the pantry and hastily put it out of our minds to ease our need for self-control. Last night I heard Chris remark that we needed to put the fruit snacks somewhere else because they were tormenting him every time he caught sight of them.

I woke up this morning to find this:

The most protected fruit snacks in all of Utah

No one would dare getting through this protective barricade.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Job Rollercoaster


Monday we got an unexpected email from a gaming company Chris applied to. They informed Chris that there would be an opening in September, and wanted to know his thoughts. They had told us when we weren't able to take the job in July that they would be keeping us on the list for future positions, but it was mind-rattling to actually have them contact us again! We talked and talked and talked about this, and by the end of the day we felt like there would be a 90% chance that we could work around getting Chris’ classes done and the baby.

Tuesday Chris set out to settle how he could get his two mandatory classes taken care of from California. With every professor he met with, the possibility looked more and more dim. While he looked into quite a few options, the chances looked slim that this could be figured out. So by the end of the night, we were thinking it wouldn’t be a possibility, and Chris was going to turn down the offer.

 And then Wednesday came. Chris was upfront with the HR woman that he was having complications in getting his classes figured out, and that with the baby’s due date, the earliest we could be out in CA would be the end of September. Again, she surprised us by quickly responding that it looked like the dates they needed us were moving on her end too, and that they would still like to move forward with the team interview.

 Talk about a roller coaster! Navigating ‘adult’ jobs is fun stuff J

 Chris will be having the interview on Monday, and from there we will better be able to decide if this is a job Chris really wants or if we want to hold out for a different job that would be offered at a more convenient time.

 We feel very blessed that the decision we are making is between two good things. Both have considerable pros-a job now or being here for Chris’ last semester. We can't go wrong!

Chris brought me lunch at work. And I have stumpy legs and a weird expression

Monday, August 3, 2015

Victory


You know those things that you could put off indefinitely? Not because it isn’t needed, but because you just don’t want to do it?

We have needed windshield wipers for ages now. And by ‘needed,’ I mean that when it rains and we use our wipers, it is more difficult to see through the windshield than it was before you used them.

 Safe? Not exactly. This is probably not the best thing to put in the ‘put off indefinitely’ category. But for whatever reason, that is where Chris and I have shoved this errand. No amount of nervous driving in the rain or determined, “we need to get wipers!” conversations could convince us otherwise.

Until we found ourselves in Wal-Mart gathering hospital bag items (can you believe we are getting the hospital bags ready?! 5 weeks!) and realizing Wal-Mart sells everything. They HAVE to sell wipers too.


Victory.

video
Skulking away in embarassement...

video
Then he did it properly

Foiled


 We tried installing the carseat into the back of the car for FHE tonight.

 
 


…let’s just say, thank goodness Parenthood isn’t based on a pass/fail system of whether we can put a baby in a car properly. Who knew that gear for such a little human being could be so complicated…?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Music


I love how quickly music can get you in a specific frame of mind. I was able to study some of the hymns on Sunday morning, and really think of the words. I was able to have a poignant spiritual experience from seeking the spirit while the sacred music played. I am grateful we have so many means of inviting the spirit into our lives.

He loves noodling on his Uke

Kryptonite


That moment when you are eating at Break the Fast and KNOW you should stop.

But you don’t. And you pay the consequences.

And you really don’t care because the joy that food brought at that moment was totally worth it.

Future Self: Just know that slow cooked BBQ pork sandwiches and fresh watermelon is your personal kryptonite. Do not share this knowledge with enemies.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Aunt Favorites


My favorite parts of being an aunt so far: 
  • Seeing my mom cradle a new little granddaughter on her shoulder. She has always been cute with babies
  • Seeing my sister and her husband naturally become cute, loving parents
  • Holding a sweet little girl that is of my own blood ;)
  • How it has brought our family together in a common purpose (everyone loves Elizabeth. They don’t have much choice in the matter-she’s too cute to resist)
  • Receiving pictures of her so that I can handle work for one more hour :)
Getting a massage from Ray AND Chris! Pregnancy has its perks!