Hopeful Thoughts

23 Weeks and answers to FAQs


1) Weight gain? I’ve gained 12 pounds since I started counting at week 5. My midwife wants me to stay as close to 20 as possible and not go over 25, but with 5 pounds gained in the last 3 weeks alone, I’m not quite sure I’ll make this goal. Thank goodness Ryan and I were both under 7 pounds at birth!

2) Cravings or aversions? I haven’t really had any experiences where I have to have one thing in particular or I’m going to go crazy. I was talking to my friend about rubber bands the other day and said “watermelon” instead. I have enjoyed watermelon recently, but may fruits have been favorites. Grapefruit was a desire in the first trimester. I like sweet tea from Chicken Express (it would be Bojangles if I was home!) Early this morning I dreamed about the Pancake Combo with New York Style Cheesecake pancakes at IHOP, but I ate a bowl of cereal instead!

Coffee hasn’t tasted right to me in months, although I did have quite a nice cup yesterday. I’ve drunk it off and on, but yesterday was the first time it tasted like I expected since I got pregnant.

This wasn’t due to a craving so much as the great 50% off after Easter sale, but here’s what I cam out of the drug store with on Tuesday!


There were some purple Peeps when I left the store, but they didn’t make it into the photo. Let it be known that I did NOT eat the whole box by myself. Diane helped!

3) Boy or Girl? Name? Most people already know that we are having a boy. I joke that I’ll believe it when I see it in August! However, we are indeed planning on a baby boy. Our current plan for a name is Grayson (or Greyson) Parker. We maintain that we reserve the right to change this at any time, but at the moment we are pretty set on this. The only point of discussion is whether to use the “a” or the “e”.

4) Is he kicking? YES! I started noticing it shortly after my 16 week appointment, but it was just the little flutters that are often confused with gas. It reminded me of the sensation you get when you run your tongue along the inside of your cheek. Around 20 weeks I started to notice patterns. He seems to be more active beginning around 5:00 PM and responds to food, especially sweet things. About 2 weeks ago he kicked hard enough that Ryan could feel it with his hand on my stomach. That sort of behavior wasn’t consistent until a couple of days ago. This morning he was squirming enough that I could actually see my stomach moving!!

5) Maternity Clothes? I’ve been in them since early February. I was only able to make it about two months with unbuttoned pants. Pretty much the only thing I wear from my regular wardrobe now are t-shirts and PJ pants.

6) Belly button? I still have one, but it’s getting more and more shallow by the week.

7) How am I feeling? I had what felt like motion sickness for the entire first trimester. It was really bad in the car. However, I only actually threw up 3 times during the first 13 weeks. I came pretty close a few weeks later after eating at a favorite chicken sandwich restaurant, but I think my body was not reacting well to peanut oil. A different location almost made me sick a week later, and it’s a place a eat at almost weekly with no problems. So, I’ll just avoid it until delivery.

I felt really good from week 14 or so until about 3 weeks ago. With the faster weight gain, I’ve had abdominal pain off and on as I stretch. It gets worse if I walk too fast. That seems to have subsided some this week, but I’ve moved on to back pain. This is especially bad if I have to sit for a long time, which I do twice a week.

8) What are you doing with the baby’s room? Nothing! Well, at least nothing any time soon. Grayson will stay in our room for a while since I’ll be nursing, and we’ll set up a crib in the second room if we need to. Really, we’re just not sure how long we are going to be in this house. It could be anywhere from 5 months when our lease run out to years if things work out just so. There’s just too many unknowns to move forward at the moment.

9) How are you sleeping? The more pillows I have, the better! I really only sleep badly if I have to be up early in the morning, and that’s simply because I’m not used to getting up early anymore. I think I worry too much that I will oversleep.

So, there you have it!

Is it time to say "hang on" or "good-bye"?


This is my car.

Almost exactly 9 years ago, I bought this 1996 Toyota Camry. It was my first big purchase as a “real” person after I started my first teaching job. I was so proud of it! Even at 5 years old, it was still gleaming white and ran like a dream. I was so proud to have a “new” car. It was the nicest car I had ever driven, and nicer than anything else my family had at the time. I was living in North Carolina back then, only about a mile from my parents house. I would pick them up for choir practice on Wednesday and church on Sunday just to enjoy driving my new car. I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt a few years later when I mailed the last check to the bank and received the title.

Now my baby is 14 years old and showing signs of it’s age. The paint is chipping, the front end is dinged, the dash lights don’t work, the brakes are bad, the CV joints creak, the timing belt is wearing down, there’s a crack in the wind shield … I could go on and on.

We’re at the point now where it’s going to cost us money to keep it. I finally broke down and took it in to the repair shop today because the brakes are so bad that it’s no longer safe for me to drive. (Not cool since I’m pregnant). It’s going to set us back almost $300 to fix them. That’s a car payment! While they had it in the shop, they ran into several other issues, all of which I was already aware. They told me that we could get them all fixed for around $1500!! Ouch! (Boy do I miss living 1 mile from my daddy!!)

At this point, the brakes are the safety issue, so that’s what we had fixed. The rest we are just going to have to live with for awhile longer until we decide what to do next. It’s just a struggle to know when it’s best to “fish or cut bait”. If we spent the money, the car would probably last us a few more years. If we have to spend $300 a month on a car anyway, we might as well have a new one. Neither choice is a bad one, but it’s a choice that we have to make for our family.

Have you ever been in this situation? I’d love to hear what influenced your decision.

Another Knitting Project Complete


With the successful completion of my sock project, I decided I was ready to take on something else knit. My sister recently decided she wanted to try wool soaker diaper covers with her 3 month old son, and it occurred to me that this might make a good next project. It’s a piece of clothing stitched in the round, but not nearly as daunting as a sweater might be. So, I went on a web search for a good free pattern. I sent a couple of links to my sister for approval, and we wound up choosing this one. You can see my finished product in this picture.


There were points where I worried I may have bitten off more than I could chew with this project. I’m fairly certain that the pattern writer did not have quite such a newbie in mind when she wrote her directions. Fortunately, their are sites like knittinghelp.com with great video tutorials. This got me through most of the difficult areas I ran into. I really only hit two snags that I couldn’t figure out how to get around. The first was in the area of short rows.

Short rows are created when you turn around mid-way through a row of knitting to create some extra height in the middle of a piece. In this case, it causes the back of the soaker to have a bit more room than the front, which is good for chunky baby bottoms! It’s a pretty easy technique if you are just knitting a flat piece or in the round, but it’s quite common to wind up with holes on one end of the short row. I found solutions to this problem for the common situations, but I was knitting in the round with ribbing. I have been searching Google for a solution, and all I’ve been able to find are other people complaining of the same problem. I’m hoping to work it out for future projects. Here is a photo of this part of the work. You can see two small holes just to the right of the middle line of the picture. They are not obvious unless you know to look for them, but I wish they weren’t there!


My other issue will be easily resolved the next time around. The short rows are supposed to be in the back of the diaper cover. For the majority of the pattern, there is no distinction between the front and back. The hip markers are evenly spaced around the piece. So, when the pattern said to create short rows from one hip marker to the next, I assumed that it meant to start at the first one and go to the second. This ended up putting them where the front was supposed to be, as the “start of round” should have been the back. This meant that when it came time to shape the leg openings, I had to snip the yarn and move to the other side, when I should have been able to keep working around from where I was. In the process, I didn’t get something pulled tightly enough, and I ended up with a pretty big hole smack in the middle of the back of the soaker. I didn’t get a picture of the hole, but the next picture shows the repaired spot. Next time I will start my short rows at the second marker and I think this will be avoided!


I’m sure some of you are wondering about wool diaper soakers. This is not a route Ryan and I intend to take with our baby, but I can see why many people would choose to use them. You can check out the benefits at Green Mountain Diapers.