May 24, 2012

Higher Edumacation

It's been another busy week around the Collins' house!

Today is Kevin's 2nd birthday!

Unfortunately, we aren't getting the chance to celebrate it just yet. 
Do you see that little red bump in his arm pit?
Do you see it now? We noticed it a couple of weeks ago. He also had his two year check up last week, so I pointed it out to the vet. She said it was a skin tumor- which can either be completely benign or cancerous. And that's just plain scary.

So we had an appointment to get it removed today.

My dad came with me to pick him up in case he was too lethargic/out of it to get into the car or up our stairs. (If I wasn't about 8 months pregnant, you know I would have lifted him like a champ.)
He was able to jump up into my car all by himself, and other than some slight crying, he's been doing very well!
He even posed for some pictures after we got home!
It's a pretty gnarly wound and he has to go back in two weeks to get his stitches out. But he's doing well in general. Much better than I was expecting. And we should get results back within a week.



I finally graduated with my masters degree in Kinesiology!!! 

I wasn't going to walk at first. I just wanted to be done, and I knew it was going to be hot outside, and I was going to be all big and pregnant, and I didn't know anyone else graduating. Boo.

When I graduated with my bachelors degree SIX years ago, I had this huge clique of friends and we were rowdy and excited and on the brink of beginning our lives. 
This time, there was only one masters candidate that I recognized from one of my classes two years ago. We sat next to each other and spoke for a bit, but it was a totally different vibe. 

Our friend Ashlee (the one that introduced me and Brian ♥ ) was getting her bachelors degree in Kinesiology, so Brian and I found her and hung out for a little bit.

But we had to part ways to line up, so that was relatively short lived.

Long story short, I got three hugs from my favorite professor, I got the satisfaction of walking after years of work, and I got to share it with my family- even the baby!
That is one proud husband/dad! I love him!!!
Mom and Dad

Brian, me, and mom and dad
Me, Brian, and his mom and dad
I snuck out as early as I could (7:30!) and we met up with my brother and his girlfriend for some dinner. 

It's kind of awesome- I finally feel done-ish... I'm waiting until I actually get my diploma in the mail. As soon as I do, I'm recycling SOOOOO many journals and studies and drafts of my paper. 

Regardless, I have been able to focus on baby crafts and finishing the end of my teaching school year. (Only 5 more work days, by the way! Then I'll have my biggest hiatus since I started teaching- with a little bit of baby thrown in for good measure!)

Please keep Kevin in your thoughts- we need this guy around and healthy for awhile. He's really looking forward to being a big brother and I'm looking forward to hanging out with my two healthy babies this summer! ♥

May 18, 2012

Top of the third

Warning: I'm going to be kind of all over the place with this post. I haven't written in a long time and there is A LOT of catching up to do.

First, I'm at 32 weeks as of Wednesday- that means 8 WEEKS LEFT!!! Give or take 2 weeks, of course. (Crap, that means it could be 6 weeks...)

This is what the beginningish of the third trimester is leaving me looking like:

Yup, it's attractive. 

Week 7 was the first week we took a picture. That was around the time I was thinking I was about 20 pounds overweight. Ha!

Week 13 was the last week of the 1st trimester. I was bloated, but still weighed the same.

Week 28 was the end of the 2nd trimester (about 2 weeks after our San Diego trip) and I was up about 17 pounds.

Now, I'm up 19 pounds, but definitely feeling HEAVY. I attempted push ups yesterday and although my upper body strength has always left something to be desired, I used to be able to do 25 at a time. Yesterday I could do 2 sets of 5. And that belly was getting close to the ground!

Working Out
Why yes, I've still been going to the gym. I stopped recording my workouts on here, but I'm pretty much in the same routine as before- elliptical 3 days a week, classes 3 days a week. I have had to tone down my intensity and I've been having to take a lot more water breaks, but I'm still working. Brian and I have been going on nightly walks with Kevin too, and that's been nice and relaxing.

MY BODY- the good, the bad, and the ugly
I'm going to go out of order here and start with the ugly because- knock on wood- there hasn't been much ugly. Sure, I'm gaining weight, but it's pretty much all in my stomach. My group ex instructor keeps telling me that you can't tell I'm prego from behind, so that's nice. But that weight in the front sure does make it difficult to bend over. And get out of bed. And slouch. So then onto the good...

It's still early, but no stretch marks or weird lines yet. My innie belly button has remained tucked in- again, nice. Especially since it's getting HOT and I'm planning on wearing a bikini still. I will say this though- my belly button is stretching out a bit, so it's bigger. But that just makes it easier to clean! Overall, I've been having a pretty mellow pregnancy. Until 2 weeks ago. So here's the bad...

Gestational Diabetes
I will admit that I don't always make the healthiest food choices. What, there are donuts at our meeting? It doesn't matter if I just ate breakfast at home. Oh, you say you want chocolate chip pancakes? Right-o. Should we order dessert? Why, of course we should. Dumb question.

But I have always been healthy. I exercise, my blood pressure has always been stellar, I've never had an overnight stay in the hospital. I am aware of what I eat, but I have never enjoyed counting calories or paying attention to my carb vs protein intake.

Well, on May 4th, I got a wake up call. 

Let's go back to November. I had to take a routine glucose test. You have to drink a sugary orange drink and then your blood gets drawn an hour later. The result has to be under 130 mg/dl. Mine was 111. Good.

In the meantime, I've been eating my standard food. I didn't really even have much of an appetite until maybe a month ago. Around week 28, they want you to go back to test again, just to make sure. No problem.

I should have known something was different. The first test, I felt fine. This time around, I felt gross. My head hurt, my stomach hurt. I had to put on my little sea bands that I got for our cruise to prevent motion sickness. (I've kept them in my purse this entire pregnancy.) I haven't had to use them since the first trimester. (Still not sure if they work, but I never threw up, so I'll take it!)

Anyway, Brian said it's probably because I needed to eat. He was probably right because as soon as I did, I felt better. I should have taken that debacle as a sign, but again- I've never had any major medical problems and my last test was fine.

Well, my results came back- 160! That's 30 mg/dl over the limit. No good.

So I had to take a 3 hour glucose test. And yes, that's about as miserable as it sounds. 

You drink another sugar drink with even more sugar. You give blood once before the drink is consumed, and then once every hour on the hour after that- 4 blood tests total. 

I was mostly worried about being bored, but it was the day after my final defense, and I had some editing to do, so I sat in the lobby of the hospital, editing my thesis, waiting to have my blood drawn.

My test scores came out like this:
ComponentYour resultStandard rangeUnits

Not so bad, right? Wrong. That first score of 95- that's not good. They want you under 95. I was right at 95, so that means I was 1 point too high. And that left me with a diagnosis of borderline gestational diabetes. I'll go into more detail about all this in another post. 

Here's the quick version though- I'm on a pretty strict diet, I have to pee on a stick every morning to check for ketones, and I have to prick my finger 4 (FOUR!!!) times a day. But again, more on that later.

For now, here's a picture of Kevin cuddling his future baby sister...
 He's going to be an excellent brother.

I'll be back soon with more updates!

May 3, 2012

San Diego Babymoon Day 1

Now that it's almost been a month, I figured I should recap our little "babymoon" vacation. We debated where to go. Ideally, we wanted to go to Hawaii. It's one of our favorite places to visit, it's not that long of a plane ride, and who knows when we'll be able to make it back after the baby is born.

But it was still a little nerve wracking to be so far from home at 26 weeks. Plus we were planning our vacation for spring break and it would have been more expensive to go for a couple of days than it was to go for our honeymoon.

We decided that San Diego was a perfect location for what we wanted to accomplish (relax) and what we wanted to spend (not much).

On the drive down, I asked Brian if we could stop in Temecula for a couple of hours. That's where I went with Alexis and Rachael for my bachelorette party, and I thought Brian would enjoy it there. 

I was right! We had some awesome cheeseburgers for lunch and walked up and down Old Town antique shopping. We found a gift for my brother and some awesome old Golden Books (remember those??) for 69 cents each! Baby has quite the book collection started! Then we were on our way.

It was kind of like coming full circle because our first little vacation together was in San Diego.
San Diego Zoo, April 2010
The last time we were in San Diego, we went to the zoo, Little Italy, some museums... it was awesome, but we wanted to do some different things this time around.

We decided to spend more time in the downtown area- the Gaslamp District. So that's where we stayed! We spent the first two nights at the Gaslamp Plaza Suites Hotel.
Our view

It was an awesome location, right in the middle of the downtown area, within walking distance to all kinds of restaurants and shops.

The hotel itself was a new kind of experience! It's a historical site that was built in 1913 and at 11 stories, it was the city's first skyscraper! It used to be an office building and it was converted into a hotel in the 80s. Each room is a suite with a little kitchen and living area. They served breakfast each morning on the rooftop. It was quaint and unique!

After we checked in that first day, we explored the hotel and then decided to go for a walk around the city. We made our way down past the convention center and over to Seaport Village to explore their shops. 

I got really excited when I spotted a duck and her ducklings. Motherly instinct kicking in?

We walked, shopped, and people watched. Some of our favorite things to do!

We walked back towards the hotel and we passed Petco Park, where the Padres play. We had tickets for later in the trip, but it was cool walking around the stadium. It's so much more fan-friendly than Dodger Stadium. (Another reason not to like the Dodgers??)

We started discussing dinner. We were both still pretty full from lunch, but we had noticed a Ghiradelli chocolate shop near our hotel. So we split a chocolate banana sundae. Perfection! By this point, it was past my bedtime after 8:00 and we were tired from walking around all day, so we decided to call it a night. 

We had an early wake up call the next day anyway... Sea World!

To Be Continued...

So this thesis thing...

I had my final defense this afternoon. Basically, it's a presentation of everything that I've been working on for the last 5 or so years in front of a committee of my former professors (but it's actually open to anyone interested), and they have to decide if my work is good enough to be published and my degree granted.

I was really close to finishing before Brian and I got married. Like, I was done with all of my classes, but I still had writing to do. Well, obviously planning a wedding is a lot more fun than writing a thesis, so I took the 2010-2011 school year off to focus on wedding fun. I jumped back into it this last Fall, ready to be done once and for all.

I finished writing it last semester, and only needed to have it read by my adviser, make some edits, and them have my committee approve it. Easy. We all thought it would be done by January/February. Somehow, it still all got pushed to the last minute- like the deadline for submission is next FRIDAY! 

Believe it or not, 8 days early is actually pretty good for a master procrastinator like myself. That's assuming that my committee passed me, of course...



So that's all pretty much over! I was stressing about today too. I don't mind public speaking, but it's pretty intimidating to present years of work to professors in the field. Professors that hold my future in their hands. Professors that could potentially cost me more time and money if they make a lot of demands.

I spoke to quickly. I said "um" maybe 86 times. I stumbled over some words. I was dripping sweat.

But I was passionate about what I was talking about, I was able to give strong answers to each of their questions, and I had some pretty awesome visual aids. 

I am going to sleep well tonight!

May 2, 2012

I'm writing on my lunch break right now, so my time is limited. I just wanted to check in (if anyone is still reading) and let you know I'm still alive and well and very pregnant!

I have a lot of fun stories and pictures to share, but first things first- I'm defending my thesis tomorrow evening, so most of my concentration has been on that recently.

In short, I'm still going to the gym as often as I can (usually 5-6 times a week), work is going very well... so well, in fact, that I may have a happy announcement soon, I'm finally getting a rounder baby bump so it doesn't just look like a fat-guy belly, and I've been starting to "nest" but I don't feel like I can really concentrate on the nursery/house until after tomorrow!

I still need to post about our babymoon, update some pictures, and show you what the finished book case looks like! Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow night with some good news! :)