Saturday, August 28, 2010

The end is in sight

A week and a half.

That's all I've got left until Mattias makes his grand entrance. To say I'm ready for this little guy to be born is like saying... you know, I don't even have an analogy. I'm THAT ready.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled beyond belief to be pregnant, it's just that this pregnancy has been a tad difficult. Let's take a look back...

In January, I find out I'm pregnant. I also find out my thyroid gland has gone nuclear on me. A normal TSH should be between 1 - 5. Mine was 75, meaning I was severely hypothyroid.

Then the barfing stared. Like, every day. Not as much as with Elise, mind you... but still. Consider that one of the indicators of being hypothyroid is gaining weight, and I managed to lose 10 pounds in my first trimester.

Then there was the strep throat. 'Nuff said.

At the end of trimester #1, just as I was feeling like food was not my enemy, I got food poisoning. I did not leave my bed for 33 hours and lost 6 pounds in two days.

The second trimester was amazingly low-key. Except that Texas decided to ramp it up and have one of the hottest summers since we moved here. Seriously... I almost forgot what outside looked like.

I got to experience the joys of carrying low and the fact that it wreaks havoc on your bladder. It's not that I don't enjoy visiting the bathroom every 45 minutes, it's just that I do have a lot of other things to do.

In the third trimester, I caught a stomach bug, ended up getting very dehydrated and had to be admitted to the hospital for about 7 hours to get an IV and some shots to stop labour. That was all sorts of fun.

The last two fun events, I haven't written about yet. Last Monday we went to the Rangers game. On the hottest night of the year. When temperatures at 8:00 pm were still hovering around 100. Let's just chalk it up to pregnancy hindering my judgement.

I started having a few contractions and by the end of the game, they were 2 minutes apart and getting to the point where I couldn't talk while I was having one. I seriously thought that this was it. I called the on-call doc, who gave me a bunch of suggestions on what I could do at home to try and stop the process. Thankfully it worked... but I had visions of rushing to L&D at 11:00 pm with Elise in tow.

Then today... as I was making Elise's dinner, I dropped a big dinner plate and as it shattered, one of the pieces sliced into my foot. Copious amounts of blood and screaming ensued. It finally stopped bleeding after pressure and elevation, but WOW does it hurt and it's pretty hard to walk on.

Hopefully during the last 10 days I will avoid getting hit by a car, contracting SARS, or anything else that would be that proverbial cherry on the top of this pregnacy sundae.

But again... thrilled to be pregant. And even more thrilled that it's almost over.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I may just need an intervention

If you know me at all (or read this blog from time to time), you know I LOVE a good bargain. From my rather unhealthy obsession with CVS, to my affinity for the red stickers at Target... nothing gets my adrenaline pumping like getting a good deal.

A few weekends ago, we decided that it was time to update Fred's work wardrobe. I don't think the poor guy has bought new clothes for himself in a couple of years. So off we went to Kohl's for a little shopping action.

I had a 15% off card, and we were able to get out of there for just over $200. Now that sounds like a lot of money, but we brought home a huge bag o' stuff including:
-4 polo shirts
-2 dress shirts
-2 pair of khaki pants
-1 pair of dress pants
-a robe for me
-a swim suit for Elise (for next year)

All in all, a pretty good haul, wouldn't you say? As I sat down to go through my Sunday paper the following week, my stomach dropped. Kohl's was doing their spend $50, get $10 in Kohl's cash promotion. Meaning, I lost $40 in cash back. Stuff like that GNAWS at me, so I decided to call Kohl's to see if I could just bring back what we had bought, return it, and then buy it all back again.

To my amazement, the girl told me to just bring the receipt and they would do the price adjustment that way... YEAH! Plus, my 15% off card was still valid AND it was tax-free weekend!

After they did the price adjustment, it turned out that almost every item was priced cheaper than the previous week, so I also made money back that way. Between that, the 15%, and the tax-free; I saved about $40. Then on top of that, I received $30 Kohl's cash to spend at a later date (instead of $40 because my total was just above $150 now).

I know that probably seems dorky to many of you, but I swear... deals like that make me swoon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The VP of Awesome

I've been meaning to write this post for almost a week now, but you know... life. Finally I've found some time to brag on my husband.

Fred is a pretty amazing guy. Now, I know a lot of women say that. I mean, who wants to admit that they married someone who is less than awesome? But in my case, it really is true.

On August 12th, we found out that Fred had received a huge promotion at work. And seriously, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving guy (again, I know I'm his wife, but hear me out).

Fred started working for his company back in 1996, when we were living in Vancouver. When it was bought out by an American company, he was offered a job with the company in San Francisco. When it moved offices to Dallas, he was again given the option to move as well.

Anytime I come to see him at his office, his co-workers constantly tell me what a great guy Fred is. The women in his office threw me a baby shower (at his work, no less) when I was pregnant with Elise. It had nothing to do with me, but rather reflected how well-liked Fred is.

The same can be said about his clients and vendors. All you have to do is look at the donation page for Team Elise. A majority of the donations have come from them.

I don't think they make people like Fred anymore. He is one of the hardest working people I have ever met; willing to go the extra mile no matter who asks him. "That's not my job" is not part of his vocabulary. I've touched on this before, but since we moved to the U.S., Fred has been the sole income earner for our family; due to visa (immigration, not credit card) issues. That would put huge amounts of stress on anyone, but Fred has never, not ONCE, complained about it. It is because of him that during these tough economic times, we are doing fine.

And now he has finally been given a job that reflects his work ethic. And I could not be prouder of him. Well done, Mr. Vice President!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank you Chick-fil-a!

So what do you call something that far exceeds your expectations into a whole new realm of awesomeness? I call it Team Elise Night at Chick-fil-a.

Tracy Matlock and the Southlake Chick-fil-a went above and beyond for us and I am so thankful for their support. Even more amazing is the number of friends that came out to "Eat Mor Chikin" with us. Some people drove 45 minutes to come see us. Some I hadn't seen in almost three years. Everybody came out eager to eat some good food and support a worthy cause while they were at it.

At last count I think we had over 120 friends (kids and adults) come join us. And that's not counting friends that went through the drive-thru, or friends of friends. I'm not sure on the exact total of what was raised, but we should have that number in the next few days.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to see us. You have no idea what it means to Fred and I to be surrounded by so many people cheering us on. I think Elise said it best today during a conversation we had:

Me: Did you have fun last night with all your friends at Chick-fil-a?
Elise: Yeah... I loved all the people. Why so many people come to play with me?
Me: Well... I'd have so say it's because they love you... you are one very loved little girl, did you know that?
Elise: Yeah, that's amazing!

It sure is Elise.

Here are some fun pictures we took of the event... enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Update on baby Mattias

I went in for my 36 week appointment today. Hard to believe that in three weeks from today, we'll be welcoming our baby boy to this world!

I'm still hanging out at 3 cm... thankfully, no change since they released me from the hospital last week. The doc thinks he's about 5 pounds at this point, but I remember she said Elise was going to weigh in around 6 pounds and a bit and when she was born she was 7 lb 13 1/2 oz (the 1/2 is VERY important).

She also doesn't think I'll make it to September 7th (my scheduled c-section date). Dear Lord, I hope she's wrong about that. Because I'm still having contractions, she told me to take it easy and rest a lot. Ummm, I pretty much aim for that EVERY day, but I don't really know what "take it easy and rest" means anymore.

As much as I'd like to have this baby sooner rather than later, it would not be the best plan for us. So pray that Mattias decides to stay put for a little while longer!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Don't Forget to come Eat Mor Chikin with us on Thursday

This Thursday from 6 - 8 pm, the Chick-fil-a in Southlake is doing a fundraiser for Team Elise!

Just come by the restaurant, located at 2301 E Southlake Blvd, Southlake, TX 76092, eat some yummy food, and hang with the cutest little Chick-fil-a fan there is!

A percentage from all sales during that time will go to Team Elise, which is already 50+ members strong for this year's Walk to Cure Diabetes on September 25th. Speaking of which... have YOU joined yet? Just go to to sign up or make a donation
. Thank you so much for all your support!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Welcome to the United States of America

So said the two letters Fred and I received yesterday.

They then went onto say that our Permanent Resident Status had been approved. Meaning: after 8 (possibly more, I've actually lost track), years, our Green Cards were APPROVED!

I don't swear often but, holy %&#*, are you #@*&^%#! me???

For those of you unfamiliar with our story, here's the Reader's Digest version:

Fred and I are not from around here. I am from Canada, and Fred is Portuguese. Together we make one very lovely melting pot. About 9 years ago we received a letter from the good ol' American government telling us we had 30 days to vacate their country. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. And definitely do not let the door hit ya on they way out.

We were being deported.

Fred and I had done nothing wrong, rather there was an issue with our visa becoming invalid due to some things that had happened with Fred's employer. When the CEO heard of our plight, he hired some lawyers to work on getting us new visas. Our hopes were not high, for various reasons that I don't want to get into on my blog.

I don't remember how long the actual process took, but after a lot of agonizing, filing of papers, prayers, and emailing with lawyers; we received the new visas. This either was due to some fancy-schmancy lawyer-ing, or it was a total "God Thing", because it shouldn't have happened. I'm going with the "God Thing".

Because visas aren't forever, we had to start our application for a Green Card. For those who don't know, visas are only good for a set number of years. When they expire, you have to leave the country and cannot apply for another one for a year. I believe we started our application in 2002.

What followed were 8 years of uncertainty. We had no idea if we'd be approved. Or when. Do we buy a house? Should we start a family? This process made our whole lives crazy. Things like investing, travel, moving, or purchasing our a home were made painful. In fact, Fred wasn't even allowed to LEAVE the country for 9 years!

(When I say allowed, it was HIGHLY SUGGESTED by our lawyers that Fred not try to cross the border because there was a chance that an overly-zealous customs agent would not let him back in, even though he has every right to be here - it's complicated.)

To make a very long story short, the long-awaited Green Cards were approved and we received our letters yesterday. To say this has been a long time coming is a HUGE understatement. Someone once joked that when we actually got our Green Cards, we should throw a huge party in celebration. Unfortunately, it's way too hot, and I'm way too pregnant to want to do it.

But feel free to send presents anyway.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

May you live in interesting times

Apparently, I have a flair for the dramatic when I'm pregnant. With Elise, I fell in the bathtub at 32 weeks and went into labour. I had to say in the hospital for a weekend, but they managed to stop the labour and send me home.

This time around, I caught a nasty little stomach bug that, despite my best efforts, dehydrated me severely. When I called my OB's office on Wednesday, they became concerned when they heard I hadn't been able to keep anything in me since Saturday, and told me to go to L&D (labour and delivery) to make sure everything was okay.

Upon checking in and being hooked up to various and sundry machines, they discovered my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart, and I could definitely feel them getting stronger. I was also dilated to a 3, and at 70% effaced.

It took 3 shots of Terbutaline, and 3 bags of saline; but they finally stopped the contractions about 7 hours later. As an added bonus, I was also diagnosed with a UTI and reflux.

But, I'm at home, taking it easy, and little Mattias gets to cook for a little while longer. One thing I have to mention is that my husband is a complete and total ROCK STAR. He has done an amazing job of looking after both Elise and I. While working from home this morning, he wrangled Elise, managed all her diabetes care, and even cleaned the whole downstairs.

All while I slept blissfully upstairs (at least one of the drugs I'm taking knocks me out). What can I say, I married well!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Daily Picture Reject #13

I have no idea what she's doing in this picture. It looks like she's swooning. Or about to recite Shakespeare...

"O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?"

I haven't posted one of these in awhile, so here's the official explanation:

For those of you unsure what the Daily Picture Reject is: Fred and I take a daily picture of Elise. Rather, I do. This is not because we are prepping our daughter for a life as a super model. It is simply a way to hold onto memories as time slips by at ultra-sonic speed. It's also pretty cool to see how much she has changed in 1069 days. After I take the picture, I email it to Fred, who then posts it on his website. It usually takes about 10 to 15 shots to get just the right picture. I am not what you would call a stellar photographer, so about 25% of those are completely unusable. Then there are always one or two that crack me up, but aren't suitable for the daily picture. Hence, the Daily Picture Reject!

Yes we are still taking her picture every day. No, we don't know when we're going to stop. Yes, Mattias will have to endure the same torture.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Team Elise LOVES Chick-fil-a!

If you live in the DFW area, here's your chance to eat some YUMMY food, and help support Team Elise!

The Chick-fil-a in Southlake is doing a fundraiser for Team Elise on Thursday, August 19 from 6 to 8 PM (a percentage of the proceeds from that two-hour block will go to Team Elise).

Fred, Elise and I will be there and would love to have all of our friends in the DFW area join us for dinner at the Chick-fil-A in Southlake at 2301 E Southlake Blvd, Southlake, TX 76092.

A big thanks to owner Mark Guilbert and marketing director Tracy Matlock for helping us raise funds to find a cure for diabetes!

If you haven't already, you can go to to get more information about type 1 diabetes, make a donation or join Team Elise for the 5K JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Saturday, September 25 at 9 AM at Granite Park in Plano, TX .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

State of the Pregnancy Address

I am at 34 weeks.

I have 5 weeks left to go.

I am only sleeping about two hours a night.

I am uncomfortable.

I have some sort of crud (but it's not serious crud, I saw the doc today).

I have to pee approximately every 45 minutes.

It is 106 degrees today. It was about the same temperature yesterday. And the day before.

Apparently it feels like 110.

The 7 day forecast calls for temperatures above 100 degrees every day.

One thing you never want to hear a weatherman say in regard to hot weather: "no end in sight."

I never want to be pregnant during the summer in Texas again.

Despite all my complaining, I am blessed and thankful for this pregnancy.

That is all.