Sunday, December 12, 2010

Aspen Visits Santa


video
We had some practice to prepare us for a future toddler who is afraid of Santa yesterday when we tried to get Aspen to visit with Santa for a picture. Our local feed store was offering free pet pictures with Santa, but Aspen didn't like it at all. If she was a toddler, she would have been crying but she settled for cowering. Even a treat wouldn't make her perk up. Not sure that photo will turn out :).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's a Boy!

Our doctor's appointment went very well today, and we found out we are having a boy! Baby Boy Pierce currently weighs only 12 ounces, but he's healthy and growing well. We are planning to name him Jackson Marlow Pierce after our grandfathers. We'll call him Jack for short, but Mike called him Jack-in-the-box earlier today, and I don't like that nickname at all, so its been banned. Here's a video of the ultrasound:


video

So that means both Lesa and I are expecting boys. I think mom was disappointed. She really wanted a granddaughter. Mike's parents, on the other hand, are happy because they have only granddaughters so far. We are all excited nonetheless and glad the baby is doing okay.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving and enjoys lots of good food. I spent the day making fresh bread, pumpkin and chocolate cream pies, appetizers, and a brine for the turkey in preparation for our day tomorrow. I'm looking forward to my sister and Colin arriving tomorrow. It should be a fun weekend. Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baby news

I had a doctor's appointment Friday and everything is looking good. Baby's heartbeat is 150, which is good. I've only gained 2 points so far, but my tummy is beginning to round out quite a bit. I've had to start wearing maternity clothes recently. Baby is apparently resting on my right side because I'm all out of alignment. I generally feel like I have a pulled muscle from hip to knee and lower back pain on that side too. I find that I favor that side when I walk now, which is adding to the problem, so I've been consciously trying to shift to my left side. The doctor recommended I start seeing a chiropractor. At my next appointment in 4 weeks (first week of December), we will finally get to find out the gender through an ultrasound! We are very excited about that.

I've made it 1/3 of the way through the school year too and since we are on trimesters, report cards are due Tuesday and then the second trimester starts this week. I'm counting down the days to Thanksgiving as I really need a break right about now. Two more weeks!

At home, things are as hectic as every, but going well. We spent two hours vacuuming leaves yesterday, and then today the wind kicked up and it looks like we never cleaned leaves at all...sigh...Maybe again next weekend. I'm starting to think about the holidays and gifts for everyone too, but not much time for homemade gifts this year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Mike and I had to come up with some last minute costumes for a party our neighbors threw...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A Little Craftiness


I made this cute sign with my Cricut as a fun and quick project. It took me about 40 minutes and is the only decorative concession I've made to Halloween. It's all I've had time for! We did get our candy purchased over the weekend, so we are ready to go!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Update

Sorry for the long silence. I'm finding it hard to keep up with everything these days. Let's see...everything is going well with BABY. I've officially graduated from the specialist in Denver, and now I get to visit a regular OB in Loveland. On the one hand, it's nice to have graduated into the "low-risk" category. And of course, our major goal is to have the baby be healthy. However, the one benefit of the "high-risk specialist" was that I got to see the baby on Ultrasound every visit, and I was there every two weeks to ask questions and get extra attention. Now, I don't get all those high tech views. I won't have another ultrasound now until Week 20, which is when we can find out whether it's a girl or boy too. Also, I now only have to go to the doctor every 4 weeks for the time being. Health-wise, I am still using medication to control my all day "morning sickness," and I'm feeling very, very tired. Still, I'm doing pretty well.

People often ask me, "What has baby taught me so far?" Let's see...Lesson #1 is never take the freeway to work in the morning when you are pregnant. You never know when you will need to quickly pull over, and the back roads are much more convenient for this purpose :). Lesson #2--the scale may say you haven't gained weight and in fact have lost weight, but your clothes still won't fit right. Lesson #3--once you tell your students you are pregnant, they get very opinionated. I finally told them last week, and I now have lists of names they like for baby, very firm opinions on whether I should have a boy or girl, and several kids running campaigns to convince me that I should name my baby after them :). As one very cute kid told me, if I name my baby after him, "there will be another person in the whole world who has my name!" He does have an unusual name, but still it's a little dramatic!

I'm looking forward to our 3-year anniversary on Wednesday. We won't do much since it's on a weekday, but we are planning to go out for dinner at least. And we have a 3-day weekend this week because it's fall break, so that's exciting! We are hoping for a good weather day so we can get out and about and enjoy our day off. I'm also gearing up for Halloween at school. I'm not sure whether to be excited or to dread having to do the costume and treats thing. Oh well! It will all be over in two weeks! And, we don't do much at home for Halloween, but I'm starting to think about plans for Thanksgiving and the holidays.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Update

It's been a rough week, with Mike's car getting rear ended and me throwing up all the time and working extra. I'm glad it's the weekend! We have to do some yard work tomorrow, and the usual chores of laundry and groceries, but there should be some time to relax too. We have to take out our garden, and we also have to cut up and haul away the giant branch that fell from our willow tree during a wind storm last Monday.

I have my next doctor's appointment on Monday. I think I'm doing pretty good, but struggling with some of the symptoms. I'm having a hard time working with 24/7 nausea, throwing up 2-6 times a day, and also headaches. But, we are hanging in there, and I'm hoping this phase will be over in a few weeks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby has a heartbeat!

video

Here's the 115 beats per minute of him or her, and everything's healthy so far! I was disappointed for about a second that we didn't get multiples, but it was so exciting to see our baby and hear his or her heartbeat, that the disappointment didn't last at all!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

My New Workspace

I won't write much because I'm exhausted, but I've been trying to get something here for days, so I'll settle for some pictures to show you where I'm spending time these days. This is my new classroom space, which is much different from my old one! The first few days of school have gone pretty well. I'm generally completely worn out by the end of the day, and I often feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, but then I also have moments where I'm really enjoying it too, so I'm not regretting it yet. The kids are cute for the most part, though a few are certainly challenging, and it's also refreshing to be doing something new. I am also enjoying getting to teach all the different subjects though they, too, present a challenge since I don't have any materials built up yet (can't use many of my old teaching materials these days :)). On a personal note, our next Dr. Appt is Sept 7, so we should have some updates after that.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Visit from California

We had a lovely visit this past weekend from Mike's parents. We enjoyed a brief trip to Estes Park Friday, and then went on an overnight trip to Colorado Springs Saturday/Sunday. We enjoyed wandering around old town, had a fun dinner at the Flying W Chuckwagon Dinner and Show, and then a fun ride on the Cog Railway to Pike's Peak on Sunday. The trip up was great and had some wonderful views, but then a storm rolled in just as we reached the top, so we didn't see much up there. It reminded me a lot of our visit to Alaska. Still, it was worth the experience. Then, Monday, we poked around in Loveland and Fort Collins and Marie and I spent an hour poking through my favorite scrapbook store. Unfortunately, our visit was cut short Monday when the doctor's office called and told me I needed to immediately return to Denver for a new medication because my Estradiol levels had skyrocketed. We were supposed to have dinner and play some games, and I was about half finished preparing dinner, when the phone rang, so we had to dash off...Still, the visit was fun overall. Here are a few pictures from the weekend:





Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And the winner is....

Highest Salt Content in Chips:
Boulder Canyon Malt Vinegar and Salt Chips at 490mg salt for a 1 oz serving.

2nd place in chips, Cheetos at 290mg of salt in a 1 oz serving.

What has even more salt than chips? Beef Jerky has 590mg per 1 oz, and the overall winner...cup of Noodles at nearly 700mg for a 1 oz serving.

Why do I know this? I was literally walking through the grocery store looking for foods with high salt yesterday. My doctor wants me to eat a high sodium diet right now. I feel gross eating these types of foods, which I don't normally buy, but there's some absurd humor is salt shopping. It helped me to laugh instead of crying as I walked down the aisle reading the backs of the chip bags.

I have to eat salt because my Estradiol levels are extremely high! They went from 900 to 2000 from Saturday to Sunday, then shot up to 5427 by Monday morning, putting the whole deal in jeopardy. I had to stop all my meds and start taking another medication called Certrotide last night to stop a danger of ovulating early through my meds. I have to get my Estradiol levels under control or they won't complete the transfer, and sodium is all I can really do myself, so I've been eating salt. I must have eaten 300% of the usual salt intake yesterday and today, but it seems to be helping because today my levels were back down to 2500! I feel really ill and unhealthy with all the salt, but I've also been drinking gatorade, Pedialyte, and lots of water to counter balance as best I can. In addition, I have aches and pains all over, but it's coming time...

I've been directed to do my trigger shot at 2am tomorrow morning, which means my retrieval surgery will be at 1:00pm on Thursday! Hopefully, my Estradiol will be back to normal by then too so that we can continue with the day 5 transfer. After yesterday's scare, things seem to be going much better today.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Craftiness

I've been working on figuring out how to do a pop-up card today. I made this one for my dad. This is the front of the card:
And, here's the inside of the card:
It was a fun card to make. And, I'm sure my dad will get over the 5" tall announcement of his 50th birthday!

It's hot out here!

Aspen takes some time to cool off in her swimming pool, which she's decided she likes.






Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Update

It's been a hectic week. I've been working to get ready for school to start by designing math lessons and getting my classroom all set up. I'm starting to feel like the summer is winding down and school time will be here before you know it.

In addition, I've been doing my acupuncture twice a week in Fort Collins. The sessions aren't bad really. The only needles that hurt are the ones they put into my feet. The rest I don't really feel. However, I'm not sure I feel much different afterward either. I'm having more trouble with the injections, which are producing a whole list of side effects, including muscle aches and pains, headaches, itching feet, and an inability to sleep through the night. And, my sessions with the doctor are starting to pick up pace. I have one Friday, and then next week it will be Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon...and on daily until it's over. Of course, don't really know an exact date yet.

It hasn't been all work and medicine of course. I've been doing some scrapbooking and lots of cooking too. I'm looking forward to a visit from Mike's parents next week as well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cherries!

I spent the morning making jam out of the sour cherries in my backyard. It takes forever because the cherries are smaller than grapes and have to be pitted one by one. It only took 15 minutes to pick, but it took 2 hours to pit them. And, that's just to make one batch of 7 seven jars! I made a batch over the weekend and a
nother today, so I have a good stock of jam, but I haven't used even half of the ripe cherries out there. Some of them are hard to get to because they are in the area of our yard that we refer to as "the jungle," but maybe I can make another batch next week or get a friend to come take some.

On a less exciting note, I've got the means to open my own pharmacy now. I wanted to sit down and cry when these two big boxes of drugs arrived today. Can you believe that all of this is for the next 3 weeks! It's overwhelming to see it all at once. I didn't give in to the urge to cry, but I did ignore the box for about an hour before I got the courage to open it and explore what all was in there. My first injection starts tonight. I keep having to remind myself that it will be worth it if it works!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Visit with My Parents

Despite almost constant rain, we had a nice visit with my parents and grandma this week. We tried to go to a band concert and 4th of July fireworks, but both were canceled due to heavy rain. Then, we spent 2 days camping at Dowdy lake up near Red Feather. It was beautiful the first day, and we really enjoyed it. We even got Aspen to go for a ride in the canoe! It started raining again the 2nd day, so we were all a little cold and wet and ready to go home by Wednesday morning. Then, we did a tour of the Budweiser plant, some shopping, and went out for dinner, all while it continued raining. Thursday, Mike and I had to go to a doctor's appointment, so the family had to entertain themselves in the morning and then we spent the afternoon just relaxing and visiting at the house. Here are a few pictures from the non-raining day:

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ISTE 2010

I spent the last four days attending the ISTE Conference in Denver (International Society for Technology in Education)! It's a huge event about all things tech and how to use them in education. It's been a fun time, but I'm also very tired. I have a new appreciation for those people who commute to the city every day for work. I wouldn't last a week!

I learned some great ideas for my classroom and saw some amazing technology. I also got the chance to do some more training with SMART and met some other SMART Exemplary Educators (SEEs), which is a program I spent last year working toward and am now a member of.

These pictures are of the Blue Bear, a famous statue called "I Can See You," which is outside the convention center peering in the windows. It's such a fun, whimsical art piece.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Camping at Big Creek Lakes

We headed up to Big Creek Lake (lower) on Thursday afternoon. We saw some great scenery on the way, and stopped to view a gorgeous valley where even Aspen liked the view.


After a detour caused by a GPS that directed us to a dead end in a cow pasture, we found a better route and arrived at our campsite. Big Creek Lake is very isolated. It's about 30 minutes outside the tiny town of Cowdery, CO and not far from the Wyoming border.



The lake is very pretty, but the area has been hit hard by the Pine Beetle so there are dead trees everywhere, and the forest service is currently cutting them all down because they pose a threat. There are signs everywhere warning of the dangers of falling trees. Thursday night, we had just enough time to set up camp, have dinner, and take Aspen for a walk.


Friday morning, we started out fishing and canoeing. Mike caught one fish (a small one about 7 inches) before breaking his pole accidentally, and since we didn't have an extra, that was the end of that.

Then, around 10:30 we heading out to hike the trail to get to Big Creek Lake (upper), which can't be reached by car. We hiked for about an hour to get to this lake. From there, we saw a sign to Big Creek Falls, so we kept going and hiked up into the mountain canyon to see the falls.

We hadn't seen any other people for a couple of hours, so we let Aspen off her leash and she enjoyed running around. She also had to walk through every creek and patch of water that we came across and there was no shortage of water.
We didn't see much in the way of wildlife, but we did see some moose tracks crossing our hiking trail. We finally made it to the waterfall, which was pretty neat. We paused for Mike and Aspen to wade in the water and for some pictures, and then we had to hike all the way back.
In total, our trip ended up taking 5 hours, so we were all tired when we got back! Mike and I spent our afternoon in lawn chairs, and Aspen was so tired she decided a rock would make a good pillow and went straight to sleep.

We had a good time, but the nights were very cold (near freezing) so it wasn't very pleasant in the tent. And, the day after our hike Mike's back was hurting, so we ended up coming home Saturday evening instead of Sunday. Still, it was a good escape and a way to relax after the news of our latest doctor appointment, which we had Thursday morning before we left.