Thursday, August 25, 2011

B-Town Vacation!

The three of us went "home" a few weeks ago to visit my family. It was absolutely wonderful! We planned our trip around the county fair. I might be biased...ok, I'm really not...but the county fair where I grew up is the most impressive county fair of all time. It's better than the Utah State Fair. No kidding. It was a big part of my life growing up, and it was shameful that Nate and I have been married for almost four years and he had never been to the fair. It's like he never really knew me. Shameful, I tell you.

And it was the perfect time to bring Caleb, since he can identify every farm animal there is, and tell you what sound it makes. It was wonderful for all of us.

Here is what we did:

We hung out with the cousin at horse shows:
Caleb rode a horse in his very first ever horse show! He's a REAL cowboy! And the tough look on his face proves it:
This is Caleb actually showing in the horse show:
We took naps in the camper. Sometimes we took naps in the car. Sometimes we didn't take naps at all! Eek! What rebels! It felt good to have a little bit of flexibility of schedule:
Caleb got his first cowboy hat. Doesn't it look like it just belongs on him?:
We watched my oldest nephew win Reserve Champion (second place) with his dog, Belle: (he's the boy in the red plaid shirt with the black and white border collie)
We watched my youngest niece win Champion in Junior Swine Showmanship (meaning she presented her pig to the judge better than any other kid in the Junior age group. It's a very impressive accomplishment! I won when I was a junior, too. :) )
I helped my oldest niece prepare her horse, Dixie, for the horse show. This was only her second year showing horses (she's 12) so I gave her a lesson a few days before the fair, I helped her groom Dixie, and I helped her put her "look" together by bringing my show shirt for her to wear, getting her a stylish belt and jewelry, etc. Did you know that horse showing is like a pageant on horseback? It's true. It starts with first impressions and how good you look, and then it goes to real talent. If you have real talent but you don't look good, you don't win. It's pretty sad. But since I've been there, I know every trick in the book when it comes to looking just right. So I made my niece my pupil and I made myself her personal groom, and I also gave her tips on how to improve her real skill. And do you know what? She did AWESOME! She was one of the top horse showers in the whole county, and she earned a trip to the State 4-H Horse show! She's not going to go to state, because she still has a lot to work on, and it's expensive, (and she's going to take her pig to the state fair--see below), but she'll get another chance when she's older and then she'll kick some butt! (I wish I had a better picture, because they really looked good...you've never seen such a shiny horse! But I was too busy being her groom, so it was hard to be her photographer, too.) :
We watched that same niece win Grand Champion with her January Gilt (in farmer language, a female pig born in January). You can't see the girl very well, but that pig sure does look nice! These two are now at the Minnesota State Fair!:

It was a lovely vacation. Caleb's favorite parts were the Kiddie Barn where he could see the pigs, chickens, rabbits, and miniature horses all at once, and the sandbox outside of the Kiddie Barn. :) His favorite "real" barn to be in was the sheep barn. He would point to each sheep and say, "Baa, baa, baa, baa!!!" with such enthusiasm. I love my little animal lover. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

23 weeks! It's time to party!

(Please forgive the poor angle of this picture. I took it myself about 60 seconds ago.)

I have been counting down to this day for...oh...about 19 weeks (aka, since I found out I was pregnant).

If premature delivery is a problem for you, you know that 23 weeks is a very magical number. It's where the pregnancy becomes "viable." Well, some would argue that 24 is the week of viability, but a baby born in the 23rd week has a 17 percent chance of living (found on my good friend's blog, here), and that's the point at which I would feel comfortable demanding that doctors resuscitate my baby. I personally know a 23-weeker who was born shortly after Caleb, and who was in the same hospital as him. If you think Caleb is doing remarkably well, then she's doing extremely remarkably well! Seriously, that girl is amazing. It gives me a lot of hope in case this pregnancy doesn't go as long as I'd like.

(I might be crazy, but I've gotten to the point now where every day that something doesn't go wrong I breathe a huge sigh of relief. I can't shake the feeling that if something does go wrong, it will be some time in the next 4 weeks, because that's when things went south with my last pregnancy. Nate even said yesterday, "Wow, this pregnancy is going so much worse than the last one!" Yikes. Let's hope he's wrong. So, I'm trying to take it easy while at the same time enjoying the fact that it's "safe" to still do fun things. So, if you want to hang out with me some time, you might want to do it soon, just in case!)

Just in case you're interested, here is the chart from my friend's blog:

Survival Rates for Preemies:
23 weeks: 17%
24 weeks: 39%
25 weeks: 50%
26 weeks: 80%
27 weeks: 90%
28-31 weeks: 90-95%
32-33 weeks: 95%
34+ weeks: Almost as likely as a full-term baby

I still plan on at least getting farther than last time. Into the 30s would be nice. :)

So, to celebrate the possibility that Little Purser could live if he was to be born any time now, I think I'm going to have a piece of cake. Well, probably two. :)

By the way, did you know that this week my baby is almost a foot long and weighs just over one pound? Isn't that amazing? I've seen babies that size! In real life! Cool.

Monday, August 22, 2011

If I wanted to be a nurse, I would have gone to nursing school!

Instead, I get to care for a child with some odd (although not terrible) medical needs. I'm not complaining, because I'm really glad that I can take care of him how he needs me to, and I know it could be much worse, but seriously--who else has had to put a tube down their child's nose? Who else has a night time routine with their little one consisting of gauze, steroid cream, and endless supplies of q-tips? Who else has "call medical suppliers" on their to-do list? Who else has a 21-month-old with "button" and "tube" as a daily part of his vocabulary?

Nate says I'm perfect for the job, because I like lists and routines. I do things the same way, at the same time, every day, and I kinda go a little bit nuts if everything isn't perfect. I guess you have to be a little bit like that to deal with these things.

I guess I do a good job. I really don't mind it, but I certainly would rather not have to do it (more for Caleb's sake than for mine)! It's just part of my job as a mom. Not what I envisioned being a mom would be like, but it's part of the deal and it's 110 percent worth it.

And now...part of being a mother of two is giving MYSELF a shot! It must be done. I'm taking care of my unborn son by doing it. Hopefully this will keep me from needing to use my past medical knowledge (aka, NICU and feeding stuff) to care for the littlest Purser. But man, it sure isn't fun!

The shot of which I speak is 17p, the progesterone shot that must be administered weekly in order to (hopefully) prevent preterm labor. I live 35 minutes away from the clinic where a nurse could give it to me, so instead of wasting over an hour every week, with Caleb, (not to mention the gas that my truck guzzles), I have been giving it to myself. I thought, "Hey, now that I've done this, I could totally be a nurse!" My good friend said, "Hey, now that you've done that, you could totally be a druggie!" Nice. :)

So, for the second time so far, I shot myself in the patootie. How many more times I have to shoot myself depends on how long I stay pregnant. I hope it's at least two or three more months.