Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, Neck Scar!!

Yesterday was my neck scar's 1st birthday.

Last year, I headed to OHSU to get some nodules removed.  I was TERRIFIED to have surgery.  Beyond scared.  And it ended up being fine.  I remember waking up from the surgery feeling ABSOLUTELY relieved.  Incredibly grateful.  And extremely happy.  Even if the nodules were cancerous, they were GONE, out of my body, and we were one our way to knowing for sure if it was cancer.

It was the beginning of a crazy year.  I am SO GLAD it is behind us.

And to celebrate the fact the fact that the neck scar has been with us for an entire year, Phil and I took it out for dinner (after a celebratory 6-month blood draw).

{I've got a thing for salads with beets}


We didn't get the neck scar any gifts or anything.  And I could get super deep about all of the things I have learned from the neck scar (or rather the cancer that came out of the neck scar), but I won't.  Ok maybe I will say one thing...

It is unfortunate that it takes big things happening to us for us to put things into perspective and realize how wonderful our lives really are.  Many people realize that fact too late.  If you're healthy, you need to stop stressing so much, let the small stuff go, take off your blinders and look around.  Love your life.  Hug your family.  Help those who are hurting.

There.  Those words are my neck scar's gift to you.

Happy Birthday, Neck Scar!  Stay healthy!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

An Older Brother

I always wanted to have a boy first.

I LOVED having an older brother growing up (well sometimes I didn't love it, but for the most part I did).  Ok... I loved having ONE older brother.  The other brother was kind of mean to me growing up.  He and my older sister (she's the oldest, he's next in line) would gang up on the other brother and I.

My brother is 6 years older than I am.  When I was in kindergarten, they accidentally let us out for recess at the same time as the sixth graders.  I went to get on the "big toy" and a 6th grader yelled at me that little kids couldn't get on the toy.  My brother came up right behind him and said, "Leave her alone! That's my sister!"  And the boy left me alone.

And he'd comfort me when my sister made multiple threats to do bad things (it's a long story).

Sure, he wouldn't open the door for me when I broke my finger.  But that was just once.

He did help motivate me to learn math as soon as possible because I got tired of him saying "Natalie... Do YOU know how to do Algebra?  I do!"

And he used to let me build a LEGO house when he did lego towns.

He'd let me play on his SEGA with him.  And because of him, I know ALL of the words to Wayne's World and "Bohemian Rhapsody". ("I don't even own A gun, let along many guns that would necessitate an entire rack.  What am I going to do with a gun rack?")

Eventually he started dating a really nice girl (who I didn't like at the time because I NEVER got to see my brother anymore) and they got married.  After they were married, they would let me spend the night with them occasionally and I thought that was the COOLEST thing EVER!!

He's always been a great example of being responsible, financially independent, motivated, a caring spouse, and a great parent.  And I think having him and my dad in my life are a main reasons why I ended up with such a great husband, because I knew that men like that existed and I shouldn't settle for any less.

And now I have an awesome sister-in-law (who is basically my sister since she's been in my life since I was 12) and two awesome nephews and they have Phil and I over every month to play cards and hang out.

I LOVED having an older brother.

Hopefully Baby Janney is that kind of an older brother.



PS - Don't get me wrong, I love my other brother too.  :)  But this brother and I were MUCH closer growing up.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boy or Girl? Spilling the beans

Because we're super cruel, we decided we didn't want to just tell our families if Baby Janney was a he or a she.  They needed to work for it.



Phil took the little jar to Virginia for his parents.  The big jar was for my family.

The only way to find out... figure out if there are more pink or blue jelly beans.

They each contain 5 more of whatever color Baby Janney is (blue for boy, pink for girl).



It went over real well.  Phil's mom kept telling him he was evil.


And we made the little boys figure it out at my parents' house.



Since you all can't count beans, I will just go ahead and show you the extra 5 beans.

Ready?

Are you sure?


Baby Janney is a BOY!!

He was quite cooperative during the ultrasound and made sure we had several excellent peeks at his junk.  Hopefully we can teach him a little more modesty when he's actually ex-utero.

We are SO EXCITED!  As cheesy as it sound, it didn't matter to us either way as long as the babe was healthy.  But I think Phil is already figuring out which fishing pole he wants to get the little guy.  :)

Now if we could only figure out a name...

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Bump

Merry Christmas Eve!!  My gift to you on the wonderful day before we celebrate the birth of Jesus... \

a picture of me!

You probably should have done a Christmas List.

{18 weeks and 1 day}


Once again, I am very timely in my bump picture posts.  This picture is from last week.  And I just realized since I did do a little editing of this picture, I should have added text on it to indicate the number of weeks.  Live and learn.

My last bump picture post was actually quite liberating.  I appreciated all of your comments and words of encouragement.  I have decided to give myself a definite body break.  However, I did crop out my butt.  :)  It's not totally because my butt is big (which is has always kind of been) but more because for some reason I was WAY arching my back in these pictures and stickin' it WAY out.  Not attractive.  Neither is the second chin... or the hunchback (hi bad posture) but whatevs.  I like to have room for improvement.

I think the back arching caused my bump to stick out a little more than it really does.  False advertising.

If you wanted pictorial proof of the back arching, here ya go:



It's a little blurry. But gives the general idea.  At least I only have one chin in that picture.  And quite the pleased expression.


You get the jist.

Yes this is an entire post about my bump again.  Deal.

Phil and I did MUCH better taking the pictures this time.  I was pretty proud of us.  But we did get in a little tift later that night... totally unrelated to the photo taking and more related to my commenting on his driving.  He doesn't like a backseat driver.  Go figure.

Anyway... I read this past week that one of the reasons I have been able to feel Baby Janney move so much is because I have such lax ab muscles...  Like I needed another reminder I am out of shape.  I got that message yesterday when I worked out for the first time in too long.  I managed to survive 30 minutes on the elliptical, but haven't been as eager to return.  Maybe later today.  Maybe.



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Cookies

Maybe I mentioned in before, but a couple of weekends ago I got the hankering for some Christmas cookies.

So I made some.








Actually I made like 70.

I used this Sugar Cookie Recipe and this Sugar Cookie Frosting Recipe.  Of course the frosting recipe had to be multiplied by 5 to work with that many cookies (probably could have just multiplied it by 4).

We made quite a mess.



And in case you were wondering, we did not eat them all.  Between cards at my brother's house (who knew little boys could eat so many cookies) and the office, I honestly probably only had like 6.  No exaggeration.  But they were SO GOOD!!

So if you are looking for a good sugar cookie recipe, I'd go with those.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Hormones

The beginning of this week was rough.

Let me explain...

I have so many things to be happy about right now.  We know the gender of our baby and we found out that everything else with the baby is alright (which reminds me that I need to do a post about what happens when you ACCIDENTALLY expose your unborn child to radioactive iodine).  I am so SO excited to be pregnant and feel incredibly blessed.

But I've been feeling a little off.  Hopefully this helps explain my lack of posting and almost COMPLETE lack of pictures.

Tired.  Unmotivated.  A little blue.

People keep saying, "Well you're supposed to feel BETTER in your second trimester!" which really just makes me feel worse about how I've been feeling.

Do I have more energy than I did during the first trimester?  I must.  I can stay awake past 8:30 which is a huge improvement.  But I definitely don't feel energetic.

Then Phil reminded me that this is how I was after my second surgery, before they had my thyroid medicine figured out.  And then everything made perfect sense.  Every 4 weeks, my thyroid dose gets adjusted.  It's partially because I don't have a thyroid of my own to help regulate things and partially because increased hormones and weight gain.

But I think the constant change in my lady hormones plus thyroid hormones has me a little... off.

Thankfully, my husband understands.  Thankfully he recognized it.  I'm lucky to have a husband that is observant and can put those things together.  And I'm lucky that my husband is understanding enough to make me dinner, let me go to bed at 9 o'clock at night because he knows I need a good night's rest, and be ok with the fact that the laundry is still sitting in the baskets unfolded.  He also brings me Shock Tarts and lets me watch Sister Wives because he knows they cheer me up.

I'm hoping that as my body adjusts to the newer thyroid dose, my energy levels will pick back up.  Most likely just in time to adjust my dose again.  :)

PS - If you know someone with chronic thyroid issues, be nice to them.  You don't really realize how important thyroid hormones are (at the right levels) until they aren't right anymore.  And from my experience, most people aren't super empathetic when it comes to thyroid issues.  They suck.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ultrasounds

I like to have my insides looked at.  All at once.  All in the same month.

Or at least that would be how it seems the last couple of weeks.  My neck ultrasound was last week and the baby's anatomy ultrasound was yesterday.  One of those was definitely more enjoyable than the other.  Any guesses?

Honestly... I've yet to have a FUN experience with a diagnostic ultrasound.  I kind of wish my first experience with ultrasound would have been pregnancy because diagnostic ultrasounds are kind of terrifying.  And because that had been my primary experience with ultrasonography, it made the first couple baby ultrasounds kind of nerve racking for me.

But I am happy to report that Tuesday, I found out that my neck ultrasound was fine!  No sign of anything weird growing up in my neck.  That's what I like to hear.

And yesterday, we found out the baby's anatomy looked good!  They couldn't get one picture they needed, so we didn't get totally an all-clear for the anatomy.  But we'll get that looked at when we go back for the growth ultrasound in 4 weeks.

From here on out, we will have ultrasounds done every 4 weeks.  This is to make sure the baby is growing properly, since I accidentally exposed the baby to radiation (via radioactive iodine).

Oh... and we found out the baby's gender.  :)


So far I think Baby Janney is still pretty cute.  But I may be biased.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Maternity Clothes

It has always seemed to me that there was some badge of honor associated with not wearing maternity clothes when you are pregnant.  Like you get a medal or something for not wearing them or putting off needing them as long as possible.  It kind of baffles me.

Sure I get the idea of not having to buy a whole new wardrobe.  Believe me... I get it.  However, starting in like the 8th week, my bloating and constant need to pee made it almost impossible to sit wearing regular pants and not wet myself.  It wasn't long before I began unbuttoning my pants by 2 in the afternoon.

But you know what the problem is with the whole rubberband trick?  There's nothing really holding the zipper of your pants up.  And the belly band thing kind of works.  Sometimes.  As long as you don't mind adjusting it every time you stand or move.

Not to mention, EVENTUALLY you're going to need maternity clothes.  So it seems weird to put off the inevitable.

For what I have seen, the women who advocate for not wearing maternity clothes either work from home, are housewives, or haven't been pregnant (I had two friends suggest I just buy bigger clothes rather than maternity clothes... yeah it doesn't work like that).

Here's what happens when you don't wear maternity clothes:

-  You stand up to get something from the copier and realize once you have walked past three of your coworkers (one of which was your father) that your fly is COMPLETELY open.

-  Your non-maternity tank top and t-shirt keep riding up OVER your belly.  Constant readjusting them DOWN over the belly only causes the every growing chest region to make some inappropriate appearance.

-  Because you try and zip up your pants to avoid flashing your underwear at everyone in the office, your pants dig into your stomach, causing you to have to pee every 5 seconds.  And when you aren't peeing, you're just plain uncomfortable because you feel like you're going to explode out of your pants.

-  Your unbuttoned, unzipped pants constantly fall down in the back.  Thank goodness for the long sweater because the tank top and t-shirt, which would have been long enough to cover your backside pre-pregnancy keep trying to camp above the bump.

I'm not saying all of those things happened yesterday when I wore regular skinny jeans, a regular tank (long tank) and a regular t-shirt (also long), and a long (maternity) cardigan.  Ok... they ALL happened yesterday.

Worst part... I had a night meeting that was filmed for television broadcast.  I'm hoping I didn't show the entire City (cause you know the entire City was watching) my underwear.

I think I'll be sticking with mostly maternity clothes from now on.  At least for shirts and pants.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Weekend

Well... it's Monday again.  And this weekend proved to be just as short as any of them.  I thought I'd share a little of what we did as well as some random thoughts I have been having.

Saturday night, we found these:



Leading from the back door.  Taylor, of course, is a saint and ALWAYS waits to have her feet wiped before coming inside.  Cotton hasn't learned such patience.  He apparently has also not learned that he shouldn't dig in the backyard, since that is what caused his paws to be so muddy.

{Yes, one of our shower curtains is a map of the world.  It has all the countries AND their capitols.  
It is functional and educational}


He was so ashamed of himself, it was hard to scold him.  We were kind of cracking up laughing while trying to say in a stern, serious voice, "No digging!"  I'm sure the message came across loud and clear.  So far, Cotton is teaching Phil and I that as long as our kids are fine at being laughed at, our parenting skills will be top notch.

After we cleaned up the pup and the kitchen floor, we headed out for some ice cream.  Because nothing says DECEMBER and FREEZING COLD OUTSIDE and IT'S RAINING like ice cream.



And what goes together better than Candy Cane ice cream and Cookies and Cream?  Nothing I tell you.

How did I convince my husband to go out in the freezing cold and rain to get ice cream?  Well, the random crying fit in the afternoon about absolutely nothing at all helped.  I think you can officially say I'm a touch on the moody side.

Sunday at church it was time for the Children's combined Christmas program.  It was a combination of the choir, the high school youth group and the elementary kids that included a skit with the usual nativity scene.  Let me start off by saying one of my LEAST favorite things in church... skits.  Mediocre acting does very little for me.  Last year, the skit included the adult actors and they played couples at a Christmas party.  But the people in the couples weren't couples in real-life.  So I got pretty skeeved out when one of the men put his arm around his "wife" for the closing Christmas carol.  Except it wasn't his actual wife.  This is church, people... You don't need to get that into it.

Anyway... it really isn't the best idea for a hormonal formally infertile pregnant woman to watch the children's nativity.  When they brought out the 4-year-old in the sheep hats, I almost lost it.  And I REALLY almost lost it when a 6-year-old boy sang a song called "Happy Birthday, Jesus" (not the birthday song) PERFECTLY on cue in the sweetest little boy voice I have EVER heard.

Even thinking about it now makes me want to cry.

MOVING ON...

We finished off Sunday night by going to the Blazer game.  And they won!



If you are thinking to yourself, "Man... those are good seats..."  I would have to reply "HECK YES THEY ARE!!!"

And then to bring us back to reality this morning, Cotton pooped at the top of the stairs.

Happy Monday!!  I kind of want to sleep until Wednesday when we have our next ultrasound!!  And I'm doing my best to not be bitter that other pregnant bloggers who have practically the same due date as me have ALREADY had their ultrasounds.  It's going really well.  Not really.

Don't forget to VOTE!!  --------------->  BOY or GIRL?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time to VOTE: BOY or GIRL

Most of my family (excluding my mom and Jeffrey) are CONVINCED that Baby Janney will be a girl.  My coworkers think Baby Janney is a girl.  My best friends think Baby Janney is a girl.

What do you think?

To help educate your vote, here are the answer to some very important questions (aka Old Wives' Tales):

- Carrying baby HIGH or LOW?  Heck if I know.

- Heartrate ABOVE or BELOW 140 bpm?  The baby's heartrate has been consistently ABOVE 140.

- Morning sickness after the first trimester, YES or NO?  I never really had morning sickness, so NO.

- Do I lay on my LEFT side or my RIGHT side?  I can lay on both, but prefer my RIGHT side.

- Craving SALTY or SWEET?  I just made a million cookies last week, but I am going to go with SALTY.

- Have more headaches, YES or NO?  YES, unfortunately.

- Are you MOODY or HAPPY?  Phil would probably say MOODY, but I think probably BOTH.

- Is your skin SOFT or DRY?  DRY, but nice and oily which is weird.


That cleared it all up for you, right?  Now go VOTE!!  The poll is in the top right.

Phil and I find out (hopefully) next Wednesday.  But because he leaves the next day for Virginia, we probably won't be telling anyone until after he gets back.  It will be torture I think and I'm not sure if I can do it.  :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Baby Janney: Finding Out


Remember this post where I went on a rant about how I was super tired but there was NO WAY I was pregnant?  Guess I was a little wrong.  Although I would have been just barely pregnant, so I don't think that is why I was tired.

They say you know that you are pregnant before you really know you're pregnant.  I totally had that experience.  I got my blood results for my cancer test on a Tuesday.  And by Thursday, I was convinced I was pregnant.  I had shared my feelings with Phil, who didn't really want me to get my hopes up.  He kept telling me, "If you still think that on Monday, then go ahead and take a test".  One of my fertility challenges was that I had a pretty short luteal phase, so he was just excited that at the very least my luteal phase was longer.

I couldn't wait until Monday.  I came home on Friday at lunch to take care of Cotton and decided while I was home I might as well take a pregnancy test.  I had a bunch of the cheap strip tests left over from before the thyroid cancer stuff started, so I figured if nothing else I would be out the ten cents.  It came back a faint positive.

I'll spare you the photos of my pee sticks.

Slightly freaking out, I did what any sane person would do... I sent a picture of it to Joanna and then went back to work.

I figured Jo would text me back right away, sharing in my freak out.  But apparently Joanna has more to do during her day than stare at her phone (the nerve, I know) so it took more like an hour for her to call me back.  By that time, I was in a meeting.

When I was finally able to call her back, she and I devised a plan to find out for sure if I was pregnant or not: take a digital pregnancy test.  I tried to leave work early so I could run to the store and get home to take the test before Phil got home.  But as I went to say good-bye to my dad, he suddenly got very chatty.  By the time I reached Target, I figured Phil would be home.  There was no way I would be able to get home and sneak the tests into the bathroom without Phil catching on (cause you don't usually take your purse into your own bathroom).

So with Joanna on the phone (via bluetooth of course), I bought the digital tests and went into the Target bathroom to take the test.  I peed with Jo on the phone.  And about 10 seconds after I peed on the stick, the word "PREGNANT" was clearly visible.

Joanna and two random women who were also in the bathroom were the first to know I was having a baby.

Phil forgave me pretty quickly, since I'm carrying his child and all.  :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Season of Anxiety

Sorry for the silence on the blog the last couple of days.  Scheduling issues with our ultrasound (which we finally got worked out yesterday) plus the scheduling of my next neck ultrasound (totally routine 6-month check) has had me in a bit of an anxious mess.

I know everything should be fine with the neck ultrasound, but the last one was a bit nerve-racking since I ended up needing extra tests and all that jazz.  Everything ended up be fine.  Really great news, actually.  I really would rather NOT go through that again however.

If I am being totally honest, I'm still kind of mad about even having to go through this cancer stuff.  And it's never over.  I guess since the experience is still so fresh and raw in my mind, I'm not really over it yet.  It hasn't even been a year since my first surgery, so I guess it is to be expected.  But I keep trying to tell myself that I can't find out good news if I don't go get these check-ups done either.  And I'm all about good news.  :)

I feel like this month has been really stressful so far.  I thrive on a busy schedule.  And November was a REALLY busy month for us.  Once December hit, we had pretty much nothing on the calendar.  Phil was breathing a sigh of relief.  I was kind of freaking out on the inside.  Then my anxiety started kicking in.

We had to make decisions about where we would spend Christmas (Phil will be in Virginia, I will be here.  It's a long story).  Since I hadn't felt the baby move yet and I was hearing horror stories of women miscarrying at 16 weeks, I started getting anxious I would lose the baby (we had a doctor's appointment yesterday and everything looks great).  We had a rough time scheduling our ultrasound and I almost went into a deep depression when they told me it wouldn't be until January (we got it moved up to 2012).  And then throw in the neck ultrasound for good measure.

I have to keep reminding myself to lower my shoulders.

Meanwhile, Cotton has become more technologically advanced.  I came downstairs this morning to leave only to find that the television in the office was turned on.  It wasn't on when I let him out an hour earlier.  So he must have turned it on, all by himself.  I bet that scared the be-jeezus out of him.  Can you even picture that?  Kind of makes me laugh.

Plus I saw this the other day...



I guess all those days and night of watching me type taught him a thing or two.

Wish me luck/say a prayer for me today if you get the chance.  My neck ultrasound is this afternoon.  And as I may have mentioned, I'm a little anxious about it.  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Flexing Asians, Vodka, and Quickening

So far, today has been a weird one.

I can definitely say that the pregnancy dreams are in full force.  Unfortunately, Phil's student schedule has us on slightly different sleepy patterns, so he isn't awake in the morning for me to share the strange and sometimes concerning things my mind comes up with.  But maybe that is a good thing.

Like maybe it is a good thing I couldn't share the dream I had last night where two skrawny (not sure how you spell that?) Asian women who didn't speak English were flexing for Phil while our friends, who never play games that don't involve ping pong balls and beer, played a board game I have never actually seen in real life. And for some reason in my dream, every time Phil bent over (which seemed to be a lot) he pulled down his pants in the back, completely exposing his butt.  And then when he stood back up, his boxers had... bunched in a way that made them look like bikini briefs.  And they were leopard.  And this was done all in front of our friends playing the weird board game.

Apparently my role in the dream was merely to observe.

I didn't get to tell him that one.

Then, in my hurry to get out the door and get to work on time (which I was on track to do), I reached into the freezer for an ice pack for my lunch when an almost full bottle of vodka fell out of the freezer and smashed all over the floor.

Phil then woke up, came down stairs and became my knight in shining armor by cleaning the whole thing up so I could get to work.  This was after we discussed how thoroughly the floor needed to be cleaned so that Cotton wouldn't spend all morning licking it and get drunk.  I was 15 minutes late.

At least the floor is disinfected by Stoly.  A little more expensive floor cleaner than Lysol.  Sometimes, that's how we Janney's roll.

And finally, to complete the randomness that is this morning, I have been spending the last ten minutes having a mental pleading session with Baby Janney.  I don't know what the heck "quickening" really is and I know it is still a little early to be feeling it, but if Baby Janney could just make me feel it's movement I would really appreciate it!

I'm actually pretty sure I've felt it already, I just haven't realized that's what it is.

This was a weird blog post.  Now go secure the alcohol in your freezer!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Bump and Body

It's a couple of weeks old, but here's a bump picture:

{14 weeks, 5 days}

It's my attempt to be artsy as well as less self conscious.  Getting this picture only took 30 tries and about 3 arguments between my photographer (Phil) and I.  Let's just say it was a learning experience for the two of us.  We haven't done one since, but hopefully this weekend we will get around to it, since I will be 17 weeks.

I'm going to try to post regular bump pictures on here, but I'm not going to lie... I'm a little on the self conscious side these days.  Losing my thyroid and dealing with the stress of cancer has not been super kind to my body.  Ultimately, I know it doesn't matter.  I'll get back in shape after the baby is born.  But one thing I will not be doing is listing how much weight I have or have not gained.  I don't think that kind of information is helpful to anyone.

Don't get me wrong, I am over the moon excited to be pregnant.  Words can't express the relief, joy, excitement, elation, and gratitude I have for being pregnant.  And I've been more than shocked by my vain and ridiculous feelings regarding my body.  In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter what happens to my body because I'm going to get a baby.

But I feel a little sorry for my body.  It's had a rough year.  Cancer and then swinging thyroid hormones followed a little soon by pregnancy.  It never really got a break.  Never got a chance to find an equilibrium.  And next year won't be too much kinder to it either.  Phil keeps reminding me that I need to cut myself a lot of slack regarding my body.  He's totally right.

For now, I will do my best to accept that while my body may not look exactly the way it used to or how I might want it to, it's pretty amazing.  It had cancer, was assaulted with surgeries and radiation, and now it's growing a person.  That's nothing short of remarkable, no matter what it looks like.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ornaments and Antlers

Enough annoying stuff happened yesterday to just make it laughable, honestly.  I came home, thinking I had had my fill of crappy day only to find that our travel insurance claim had been denied.  Awesome.  Word to the wise: NEVER buy travel insurance.  It basically covers death and sudden illness (i.e. the flu).  That's it.  TOTALLY not worth the time and hassle.

But you know what else was in the mail?  My ornament swap!



Melanie from ohslowdown sent me these gorgeous ornaments:


The pictures don't really do them justice.  I love them!  I love the way they reflect the Christmas lights and they go perfectly with my tree.  It's like she knew me.  :)

My new ornaments along with my pot of chamomile tea helped calm me down.



That and this:


It's not the best picture and it's definitely a little blurry, but if you think those dogs were going to sit still for long with antlers on their heads, then you give them too much credit.  :)

Chamomile tea is like magic.  So is Christmas.


Monday, December 3, 2012

A Case of the Mondays

I had lofty plans for this past weekend.  It was the first weekend we didn't have any plans and I didn't have to spend hours writing.  I thought for sure I would get so many things done around the house.  I wanted to wrap my Christmas presents, scrub the kitchen floor, and organize the office.

I did none of it.

I did manage to buy some maternity clothes because the things I can wear are becoming increasingly small.  I have gotten the impression from the blog world that the cool thing to do is go as long as possible without needed maternity clothes.  Not totally sure why this is.

One day last week, my pants were so uncomfortable that I had to actually COMPLETELY unzip them, while at work.  And then I accidentally flashed our receptionist my underwear.  I decided that would be the last day I didn't wear maternity pants.

Turns out all the pants I bought are a little on the large side.  However, I do believe by the time the babe gets here, they will probably fit just fine.  Oh joy.

Onto Sunday... I thought for sure I'd get a ton of stuff done.  Laundry for sure if nothing else.

Nope.

Church.  Grocery store.  Lunch.  Headache was coming on.  Two hour nap.  Then it was time for Phil to call his parents.  And that was about six kinds of frustrating.  By the time we went to my parents house for dinner (hooray for my mom keeping me from having to cook), my trusty friend Tylenol was doing little for my head.

Long story short, my headache woke me up twice, made me late for work and still won't go away.  Plus, I spent the morning calling my endo's office because they haven't called me back about my blood test (turns out the wonderful lab I had it done at didn't send it to him so now I get to call them), calling my perinatologist's office to get my ultrasound scheduled even though they were supposed to call me to schedule it.  Their next available is two weeks after we were hoping to have it done.  My hormonal self almost lost it after that.  

The day is only half over and I'm just sure things will get better for me.  Or I will cry.  It's definitely one or the other.

I need this guy to cuddle with me tonight.  



He did cuddle with me this morning.  He was the big spoon (arm drapped across my arm and everything).  It was really cute.

Friday, November 30, 2012

50,560

29 days.  50,560 words.



I'm done.

I went from being like 8,000 words behind to finishing a day ahead.

Oh man... I am so glad to be done.

Don't get me wrong... my novel is NO WHERE near finished.  Some time this weekend I realized that while my plot was all in the document, I had things laid out in the document in a completely weird way.  There will be some major cutting and pasting when I get around to editing.  But before I can edit it, I will need to finish writing it.  There are some holes that need to be filled in first.

But none of that matters now!  I did it!

I wonder who is more excited?  Me or Phil?  He left me alone last night for like 5 hours so I could write my last 5,000 words and just get the dang thing done.

Now he has his wife back.

Here are some of the things I am looking forward to doing now that I have finished my 50,000 words:

- Thoroughly clean my house.

-  Write like a million blog posts, almost entirely about Baby Janney.  You're welcome in advance.

-  Get serious about doing something with the nursery.

-  Do all the baby blankets I had planned to do last spring before and after I became radioactive.  I already have the fabric, so I need to just do them.  And now perhaps I'll just keep them all.  :)

-  Finish my nephew's birthday present.  Did I mention his birthday was in February?

-  Cook meals

-  Go to the gym.  I love paying for a gym membership and not using it.

-  Get back to training Cotton.  He's not going to become a Champion Show Dog on his own.  He's not that self-motivated.  Lazy bum.

-  Prenatal yoga.  Cause I'm guessing my totally inflexible hips aren't going to make childbirth any easier.


Obviously this list isn't all inclusive, since I didn't list naps on there.  I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant.  Naps will be a must.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Cooking Instead of Writing

{Totally unrelated photo, but I think it is hilarious that Cotton keeps sitting like a person}


So there are just a couple of days left to get my novel fairly wrapped up and exceeding 50,000 words.  There's no way it will be a finished novel by the end of November.  It was never my intention for it to be a completed first draft because I kind of wanted it to be more than 175 pages (which is what 50,000 words kind of ends up being).  But I figure I will have the basic plot laid out, with just some holes needing to be filled in.

As of yesterday when I got home, I had 7,930 words left.  I wasn't too worried about running out of plot for the remaining words because I still had some major plot elements I needed to wrap up.  I am feeling pretty confident it will take more than 8,000 words to get there and I already know how I want it to go.

But then I was hit with a sudden need to make Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Shells that JD mentioned.  And then a massive chocolate craving hit.  But it wasn't something that a piece of chocolate would satisfy.  It needed to be like a cake type of thing.  So I decided to make the Bob's Red Mill Fudge and Sour Cream Cupcakes.  So I spent like an hour and a half in the kitchen, cooking.  In reality, it wasn't that bad because I was able to multi-task and do both at the same time.  And I managed to not put chocolate in my cheese shells, so it was a success.

Both were excellent, by the way.

And then after we ate, it was 8 o'clock and I had just started writing.  And the instead of working on my novel, I wrote a blog post.  :)

The whole evening was proof that I am excellent at procrastination.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Normal DNA

I was so excited when I found out I was pregnant, it took all of my will power to not shout it from the roof tops (and all over the blog).  Extreme exhaustion helped a little with this, as I haven't really had the energy to do much shouting at all.

Now that we have gone public with our news, I have barely blogged about the pregnancy.  I blame NaNoWriMo (is it December yet?) and my own laziness.

Personally, I found the first trimester to be slightly terrifying.  It was so hard to get pregnant, I was constantly worried I would have a miscarriage.  Through on top of that all the concern over the radiation exposure the baby had because of my radioactive iodine ablation and then the regular discussions of first trimester screenings and it constantly felt like the baby was doomed.

But as it turns out, the baby is most likely not doomed.  And after the genetic counselor and the perinatologist told us it was a good time to start sharing our good news, we were very relieved.

I was not relieved last week when I was waiting for the last part of our first trimester screening tests.  As I mentioned, we qualified for a higher level screening test that used my blood to extract some of the baby's DNA to check for some chromosomal abnormalities.  And because of the timing (being so close to the anniversary of my biopsy results), I was starting to freak out.

But then last Wednesday, the genetic counselor called us to let us know that everything looked good.  The results are 100% like an amnio, but they should be better than traditional first trimester screening.  Baby Janney and I exchanged a high five (through the stomach obviously).

And it was getting a little weird that I had put out on the blog that I was nervous but hadn't shared the good news, so I needed to do that.  Only a week late.

I'll get to the pregnancy details (and a bump picture) after November is over.  Until then... 3 days and 8,153 words remaining.

Monday, November 26, 2012

5 Days and A Smart Husband

After my desperate plea to just be able to throw in the towel on my novel the other day, I decided to just buck up.  I had just a little over a week left.  And if I took the wonderful advice you guys all gave me and just focused on doing a little more at a time, it was possible for me to still finish on time and not lose my sanity.

So I am buckling down... 5 days left.  I have to be done on Friday night by midnight.  And currently, I have 11,321 words left.  It kind of feels like a lot, but not really when I think about the fact that I have already written 38,679.

In an attempt to get as much writing done as possible, I decided I am cutting out all things extra this week and spending a little extra time on the couch and at the coffeeshop, staring at the computer screen, typing away.  I had roped Phil into going with me to the coffeeshop yesterday morning when he told me that he didn't really want to go.  Instead, he showed me the list of things he wanted to do around the house.  And it was a LONG list.

Then, since he is learning the ropes of this whole having a pregnant wife thing, he asked me if it was ok that he stay home and get those things done.

Oh smart man... Of course it is.

So I headed to the coffeeshop and he stayed home with the dogs to whip the house into shape so we could decorate for Christmas tonight after I got home.  I managed to bust out over 3,600 words in just under three hours.  If I can keep this up, I will finish the 50,000 words by Friday night.  I am not sure my story will be done, but I will have 50,000 words.

And Phil managed to get A TON of stuff done while I was gone, so we were able to get the house totally decorated.


There's a little more than the picture shows: some details on the bookcase, garland on the stairs, candles, etc.  But so far, I like it.  I'm not too willing to put a lot more effort into decorating, since we won't even be home for Christmas this year.  But thanks to Phil, it was a pretty painless process.

He is super smart.

5 days.  11,321 words left.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Not sure why, but it's a long one

I know I still haven't done a post with all the fun details of how far along I am or whether or not we will be finding out the gender.  When we would be finding out the gender.  And sharing the delightful story of how many doctors you can freak out when you haven't waited the proper amount of time to get pregnant after having radioactive iodine treatment (and this one needs to be shared if for no other reason than that when another woman gets pregnant after radioactive iodine ablation she has one more resource over the current 5 on the entire internet for some info).  HELLO longest sentence E.V.E.R.

Right now, I am sitting in my beloved coffeeshop, attempting to do the impossible and catch up on my word count for my NaNoWriMo novel.  And I have to tell you... it feels a little impossible.  I finally peaked over 30,000 words (which I should have done like SUNDAY) and the thought of putting down another 20,000 kind of makes me want to cry.  It would probably help if I printed my story out, so I could visualize it a little better.  I am having a hard time remembering where things are exactly (an outline would have been a good idea).  But the other thing is... there are so many other things I REALLY want to be doing instead.

The main thing:  EXERCISE

Let me explain... I've never really been one to have weight issues.  Or at least, I didn't think I did.  After Phil and I started dating, we both gained some weight.  My mom referred to it as "happy weight".  After we got engaged (and I was the biggest I had ever been which really wasn't that big), I kicked my fitness into high gear and worked out A LOT.  I mean, we are talking minimum 15 to 20 hours a week.  While working.  I'd get up at 5 to go in before work.  And then still sometimes go after work.  And spent like 3 hours there on Saturday morning, taking back to back spin classes.  I actually think I may have caused my body to shut down and stop burning calories, because I was working out so much.

Anyway... I lost my happy weight and felt great about being in my wedding dress.  It was actually a smidge on the too big side, come my wedding day.  I had really wanted to keep going on the whole weight loss thing and lose another like ten pounds.

But newlywed life happened.  Then Phil's dad got sick.  Then we decided to start trying to have a baby.  And I had read all of these things about how you shouldn't be dieting and working out too much when you are trying to get pregnant, so I cut back.  And I put a few pounds back on.

And then the infertility came up, which as you know led to the cancer stuff.  And my exercise regime went completely in the drawer while I had surgeries and healed and went through the ablation and stuff.  Ever since, every time I tried to kick my exercising back into gear, I failed miserably.  I'd go a couple of times and then not for a month.  It was frustrating.

But... I managed to really not gain too much weight during the whole thing.  And from what I have hear, losing your thyroid and not gaining weight it pretty impressive.

Then I went and got myself knocked up.  Ironically, before I found out I was pregnant, I had been doing my best to get BACK in the gym.  You may recall my lofty ambitions of running two half marathons and I was serious about that goal.  Not so much anymore.

So now that I am pregnant, I have gained some more weight.  And I know it comes with the territory.  But partially thanks to the wonderful land of blogging, I am able to see how much weight OTHER pregnant women have gained.  And finding out that someone in their third trimester has barely gained much more than me?  Depressing.

This crazy long explanation is really just to explain that I must be growing the baby in my face and thighs because that is where I have expanded thus far (along with a baby bump).  Again... I know this is normal.  But I'm really not a fan of the pudgy face.  And it all came to a head yesterday when Phil was trying to take a picture of me for Grace's What I Wore Thanksgiving Edition.  After several screams of "Why would you even take a picture that makes me look like that?" and "Is that REALLY what my face looks like?" and "Do I have jowls?" and "Is the double chin always there or just when I put my head a certain way?" I was traumatized.

You wanna know what day isn't a good one to have a sensitive weight day?  Thanksgiving.

Top that off with the fact that some of the men in my family decided yesterday would be a good time to tease me about my weight.

There were definitely some tears shed.  Phil did he best to console me, tell me I am beautiful, and lecturing me that I really needed to cut myself a lot of slack.  And he's right.  It hasn't been a normal year.  A little extra weight gain is to be expected.  And I'll lose it all after the baby is born.

I felt really stupid crying over feeling fat when last Thanksgiving I was crying because I had cancer.  I blame my hormones, which seem to be raging these days.

Anyway... I think exercising would help me feel better about the whole thing.  So it needs to be done.  And it is starting to feel a whole lot more important that this novel.

There is one week left.  Do I just hunker down and try to suffer through it?  Or do I throw in the towel and start doing things I actually want to do?  I feel bad being a quitter.  But Phil keeps reminding me that this is something that is supposed to be fun.  And I think I lost the fun feeling a little while ago.

Anyway, I probably shouldn't have spent the time writing the LONGEST blog post ever and actually spent it working on my novel.  Whatever.  Procrastination wins again!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

I am a little overwhelmed with how thankful I am that it isn't this time last year. If I make it through today without crying, I will be amazed.
Today is the anniversary of getting my biopsy results. And Thanksgiving last year was tough. I remember the weekend being spent with Phil and my parents, doing anything we could to distract ourselves with how scared we were that I had cancer, how bad the cancer could be, whether or not it had spread, and what I would need to do to get rid of it. Sometimes, we did an ok job of being distracted. But I also remember bouts of random crying too. I found myself saying that I was thankful that they had found my nodules and that we were going to get rid of them.
I don't think it was anyone's favorite Thanksgiving.
Now it is a year later. Cancer is gone. And we have a baby on the way, which is what started the whole thing.
It feels completely different this year.
This dichotomy of holidays reminds me of this: Sometimes your blessings are a little hard to find. And sometimes they smack you in the face. But they are always there.
I hope you can find something in your life to be thankful for today. I promise there is something.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

:)

Wow...  That's pretty much all I have to say about your guys' reaction to our news.  Keeping everything a secret was definitely harder than I thought it would be.  And I am so glad that we are past the first trimester and able to share with everyone.

Your words were especially nice since the last two days have been kind of a rough.  I'm a hormone casserole.  My anxiety is getting the best of me these days.  Tomorrow is one year since I found out my biopsy results.  Although last year, it was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, so that would have been last night.  I thought it would be like any other day, but we are currently waiting on some test results for Baby Janney.  It's an optional first trimester screening test using my blood to put together the baby's DNA to check for some chromosomal abnormalities.  It wasn't like the test was recommended.  But because I am a high-risk pregnancy (more on that later), it was offered to us so we decided to do it for the peace of mind.  I'm sure everything will be fine, but I just don't like having to wait for results the same way I did last year.

And to top it all off, there's been some stuff going on with Phil's dad and his health that is making life a little more complicated than I would like.

Top it all off with the fact that I have been really busy and really tired.

I wanted to follow up Monday's post with a post about the details.  Not ALL the details.  That would be a major over share.  But, you know, some of the details.  That post will have to wait.

Until then... I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!  If you are feeling like you don't have a ton to be thankful for, just wait...  You never know what you'll be thankful for next year.  :)

Case and point:


Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Grateful

This last year has been quite the adventure (a little ode to the blog name, if you will).  It was hard, filled with fear and anger and tears, an taught me more about myself and my life than I could have hoped to learn in a decade.

Since Thanksgiving is in a few days, I thought I would make a short, abbreviated list of the things we are grateful for here in the Janney household.

1.  In the last year, we found out I had thyroid cancer, had two surgeries, the low-iodine diet, radioactive iodine, whole body scan, a new endocrinologist, a neck ultrasound, a change in medication, some more low-iodine diet, more tests, and another whole body scan.  Long story short, I found out I had cancer, got rid of it and am cancer-free.  I've got the neck scar, the hospital bills, and the 300 (slight exaggeration) blog posts to prove it.

I am so grateful that my cancer was found early and have (for the moment and hopefully forever) kicked its ass.


2.  We got our little furbaby.  He's crazy and I love him.


3.  And then there's one more thing that we are CRAZY grateful for... something of a miracle to us and completely unexpected...


Due May 18, 2013



Thursday, November 15, 2012

1st Real Show

Remember how I mentioned Cotton was all signed up for his first, real show?

Well it is tomorrow.

Last night, we went to his conformance training class.  It is filled with people who have either trained dogs before, breed dogs, or have owned multiple dogs.  Since I have never owned a dog before (Taylor is technically Phil's dog.  That's what she'll tell you), I look like QUITE the novice.  The classes are pretty much just as much about training Cotton, as training me.

After his class, the owner of his nephew (who is over a year older than him) trimmed up his ears.

We also found out last night that Cotton's mom's sister is pregnant with puppies.  The father of the pups?  Cotton's father.  Sleeping with sisters... what a cad.  It was an accidental breeding because Cotton's dad can't keep it in his pants.  What does he think he is?  An animal?!?  :)

We got a lot of great advice last night for his show tomorrow.  His dad and his mom are champion show dogs, so it is in his blood and he is learning pretty quickly.  He has learned that holding still and letting me move his legs means he gets LOTS of treats.  Who wouldn't go for that?  I'd sit real still for a minute if that meant I got some peanut butter or a cookie.

He only meets the minimum age for the show by 3 days, so our expectations for how he will do are pretty low.  But hopefully he will have fun.  And I will learn lots.

He gets his bath tonight with the Whitening Shampoo (did you know that is a real thing?  It's not like white stripes) and then he will be ready to go!

Wish us luck!  Hopefully I don't make a fool out of both of us.  :)

PS - We know we are crazy and need some real hobbies.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Almost 1/2 way

Be prepared for a collection of randomness.

I stayed up a little later than I normally do last night, working on my novel.  I am happy to say that I am on track with my word counts, which is pretty much the best thing I can say about it.  I like the idea of my book, but I am no longer in love with it.

It's probably just because I am tired and the deadline of 50,000 words by November 30th is feeling very daunting.  When that is combined with prepping Cotton for his show, Phil working away like a mad man at her project, trying to keep up on the house and cook decent, healthy meals, and catching up with family and friends... life feels a little crazy.

Novel writing is not at the top of my list.  And on more than one occasion, especially this last week, I have thought about totally dropping out of the NaNoWriMo project.  But I really hate that idea.  Too many times I say I am going to do something and then stop.  And the fact that I want to give up really just means I need to push through.  It will help with my other goals as well as in the future, when trying to write another book or finish up this one.

My hope is that I will stay on track until tomorrow.  It will be the half-way point.  25,000 words.  After that, it is just a matter of finishing it.  Plus, the week 2 slump is a fairly common thing I hear.  So I am hoping I can push past it and finish strong.

It doesn't help that my writing buddy was looking at me like this:



That's his "Momma, will you play with me?" face.

So we played.  Then he did this:


If he's not asleep on my keyboard, then he must fall asleep on my arms.  Makes typing a breeze.  Don't pay attention to the fact that I'm looking at Facebook.  I was taking a break, ok?!  Geez.

And since he slept all night on my lap, he didn't eat dinner until 11:30 which meant he woke up at 2.  And then again at 4.  And then again at 6.  Good thing he's cute.

Tired of looking at pictures of my dog on the couch?  Well... that's all I've got for you.  And if you don't like pictures of puppies, I suggest you ask Santa for a new heart.  Or a ticket to Who-ville or something.  I'll say a Bah Humbug right back at you.  Dogs are cute, ok?

I'm tired.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

6 months old

My sweet little furbaby is 6 months old today!





















And I think he is just as cute as the day we brought him home.

Actually cuter.  He's cuter now that he recognizes that I'm his Momma, HAS to snuggle with me on the couch and first thing in the morning, let's me kiss the sides of his face and carry him like he's a baby, doesn't bite me, and hangs out with me while I get ready in the morning.

Plus I think it's cute that he sits like a person.

Now that he's six months old, he's officially registered.  And he has his first REAL dog show coming up.

My boy's growing up.  :)
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