TMJ and Two Week Visits.

17 Oct

I’m counting down the weeks in single digits now! Gulp. It’s so close. My OB-GYN visits are now every two weeks, and putting on any form of shoes that require being fastened in any way is damn near impossible. So is shaving. Funny story: I shaved “down there” last week before my appointment, and realized later that I missed a spot. A big spot. As in my whole vag was bald except for this one tuft of hair. I still haven’t bothered to fix it. My new rule is, I only shave the night before I see my doctor. That way, when she decides to go “Ok! Today we’re going to do your GBS test!”, I’m not like “Shit, my vagina resembles a jungle and I have man legs”. Sorry, M. You loved me enough to put a baby inside me, you must love me enough to not mind my legs scratching yours when you’re trying to sleep.

Other fun pregnancy related things I’ve noticed recently:

– My nipples are flaking. I’m not sure if they’re just really dry, or if it’s from leaking, but yeah. Flaky nips. Sexy!

– I have worse than normal gas, and it smells. Bad enough to make ME leave the room. Not cool.

– I’ve sprouted a few more skin tags. Still in the groin area. WHY??? (Note: I know this not because I can see them, that’s just ridiculous. I felt them while I was shaving last week.)

Aaaaand something that really sucks. My TMJ pain has been constant for a week and a half now. It used to bother me for a day and then disappear for a few weeks, but not anymore, apparently. I’m barely sleeping, I have to force myself to suffer through eating, and if I didn’t have to, I wouldn’t talk, ever. I’m trying to take as little tylenol as possible for it, but some days it’s hard. As I type, I’ve got a heating pad stuffed under my chin and around the side of my face so that I can actually swallow without wanting to die. I’ve found some stretching/jaw strengthening exercises that have been helping somewhat. On the chance that there are others reading this that suffer from TMJ pain, here are the exercises I’ve been doing (three times a day) and a few other tips I’ve found to make a difference. Please note, I am not a doctor, and these may not work for everyone.

Sleep on your back. This sucks when you’re pregnant, because you’re not supposed to sleep on your back. So I’ve been propping myself up so my upper back is on an incline, and sleeping like that. It takes me a lot longer to fall asleep, but I’m guessing it’s helping me to not clench my teeth together so much when I’m sleeping since I’m not waking up in excrutiating pain anymore.

Avoid crunchy, chewy, or otherwise tough foods. If unavoidable, cut into reeeeaaaaally small pieces, and chew slowly and gently. No huge sandwiches that require you to open your mouth really wide either! (Boo)

Moist heat is best for helping muscles to relax, but if you don’t want to sit around with hot, damp towels on your face, a heating pad does offer some relief as well. You can also try a flexible ice pack and see which one helps you more.

Always keep your teeth slightly separated. This has been hard for me. I am a habitual clencher. If you catch yourself clenching, relax. Stop what you’re doing for a moment, relax your jaw muscles, and when you go back to your task, pay attention to your teeth. Don’t let them touch! Placing your tongue softly behind your upper front teeth can help.

Maintain good posture. This is also tough for me, I don’t slouch with my shoulders so much but I have noticed that my head tilts down a lot, especially when on the computer.

Exercises:

I repeat these three times daily; morning, noon, and night. I find they are most effective when I apply heat for 20 minutes beforehand, to loosen everything up.

–  Neck rolls. Roll neck to the left, hold for 10. Roll back, hold for 10. Roll right, hold for 10. Roll forward, hold for 10. Repeat 5 times.

– Open your mouth slowly, and with hand turned sideways, insert 2 or 3 fingers. Do not let your bottom teeth touch your bottom finger, but rest your upper teeth on your top finger. Hold for 10, slowly close mouth. Repeat 5 times.

– With your hand flat against the side of your face (fingertips by ear, heel of palm on your chin), apply gently sideways pressure to your chin. Gently push back against your hand with your jaw, so that your chin is in proper alignment. Hold for 5. Repeat 5 times on each side.

– Without tilting your head up, jut your lower jaw forward as far as you can, hold for 10. Then, without tilting your head down, bring your jaw back in (basically, you should be giving yourself an extra chin), hold for 10. Repeat 5 times.

After I’ve done my exercises I usually rub some lotion or massage oil in my hands, and gently massage from beside my ears, down my jawline, and down my neck in long, smooth strokes.

I also like to massage my temples and just under my cheekbones slowly with a little pressure. Something that helps take the pressure away temporarily is to stick my finger just inside my ear, and push forward on that little flap, I don’t know what it’s called.

And now I pray, in hopes that this will all be a thing of the past once Jaxson has arrived. If not, I don’t know what I’ll do. Go crazy? It’s likely.

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving and other things.

9 Oct

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever. I keep telling myself I’ll get on here and post, but then I forget. Or I get lazy. I’m a slacker! Sorry. This will never change. I have kept this going a lot longer than I thought I would, so there’s that.

Thanksgiving was this past weekend, and my parents came to visit from 4 hours away. It was a big surprise for the kids, since M and I decided not to tell them, just in case they couldn’t make it. As always the weekend flew by way too quickly, but we had a good time. We took a trip to the pumpkin patch, and Mom and I did some shopping for the baby before our Thanksgiving feast. Our house is small and it was crowded, but I’m always happy to have my family around, whether we’re right on top of each other or not. They are most definitely at the top of my list of things I am thankful for. Also: Coffee, snuggles under the covers, online shopping, chocolate, leggings, and angry whoppers. Booze would be on the list, but right now I can’t drink, so I decided to leave it out. But I’ll be thankful for that in a few short months, I’m sure.

Speaking of a few short months… holycrapIcan’tbelieveI’mhavingthisbabyin10weeks. That’s pretty much my brain on a daily basis. As of this Friday, I’ll be 30 weeks pregnant and Jesus Christ, even just typing that makes my heart rate pick up. I’m ready, but I’m not ready. I’m so nervous, moreso than I was when I was pregnant with T, and I was only 17 then! I feel like there is so much left to do, but really, all the major stuff is taken care of. I’ve got my shower coming up in just over a month, and I sort of wish it was sooner, because I feel like I need to know, NOW, what is left to buy. I’m borderline OCD about making lists and checking things off, and my shower not being until 35 weeks means I only have 5 weeks (assuming Jaxson doesn’t make an early appearance) to make my final list and clear it. Oy. This weekend I have my 3D ultrasound, which I am mega excited for. Will he look like me, or M?  I hope he has M’s eyes, they’re so deep and the most perfect shade of brown. Mine are a nice color, but I have a slight lazy eye that M loves to tease me about, and I really don’t want to pass that down. It’s not one of those “is she looking at me, or at the wall?” lazy eyes, but it’s there. Most people don’t even notice it, but I do, and it bothers the shit out of me. Oh well, what can I do?

I’ll have to make a more detailed post soon, but right now I need to get my butt off the computer and make stew. Procrastinating, again!

Ciao for now!

The First Day of Fall!

21 Sep

A cheerful post today, because it’s Friday, and officially FALL, and it’s been a really good day for everyone here!

I had an unexpected day-date with two of my sisters-in-law today. It was supposed to be a coffee date, but somehow we ended up at Burger King for Angry Whoppers, and then we decided to drive out to M’s work and surprise him with coffee, gifts, and cards, since today is a very special day for him. I won’t disclose exactly why since it’s extremely personal, but it marks his 15th anniversary of the day he turned his life around. Obviously I didn’t know him at the time, but he’s important to me and so today is too. So, hooray for M!

T had a fantastic day at school. A “two-thumbs-up” day, as he calls it. He even received a medal, which we hung up on display in his room. He is just so proud of himself and that medal. I won’t lie, I had tears in my eyes when he rushed to show me. I need to think of some kind of special treat for him tonight. It’s been so downhill for him at school lately, and I really want to encourage him as much as possible.

B made the track and field team, so she’s throwing herself into practicing that. I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but I didn’t know she was into track at all. I know she wants to try out for volleyball when she’s old enough, and obviously she’s huge into cheer, so this came as a surprise. Nonetheless, I think it’s awesome that she made the team and I know she’ll do well.

All in all, it has been a fantastic Friday. Oooh, alliteration. This weekend brings the Wainfleet Fall Fair, and hopefully I’ll be able to twist M’s arm into going shopping for a few more maternity pieces. I need sweaters and layering shirts!

I hope you all have a great first weekend of Fall!

Struggle.

18 Sep

So about 10 minutes ago I got a call from T’s school. T had been “targeting” another child on the bus this morning, and this afternoon at school had been very aggressive towards others, was refusing to do his work, and being completely uncooperative. His teacher, and other support staff, were concerned about putting him on the bus home (for good reason), and asked if there was any way he could be picked up from school. I don’t drive, and his school is 20 minutes out of town, so of course I had to call M, and he has to leave work to go and pick him up. I just can’t do this for another year. We’re 3 weeks into school and already the phone calls have started. He’s going to lose his bus privileges, and then how is he supposed to get to and from school? I don’t drive, and M can’t leave work every morning at 8, take him in, and then leave again at 2:30.  I just don’t know what to do. More than anything I think I’m mad at the association and the doctor who is supposed to be helping T, yet won’t return my calls. M has even been into the office and spoke with them, and for what? It didn’t make a difference. Short of going in there myself and throwing a complete hissy fit until the doctor speaks with me right then and there, I don’t know what else to do.

I don’t want T to be labeled as a bully. I don’t want him to be the “bad kid” that no one wants to invite to birthday parties and playdates. I want him to do well in school, and have friends, and get to be a part of things. My heart aches for him because he wants so badly to be good but he just can’t. He needs help and I want to get it for him, but the only people who can help him don’t care. I’m so frustrated and I feel so alone. I just can’t do this anymore. I’m supposed to be strong but I just don’t have it in me anymore. I don’t know what to do.

Money, money, money.

17 Sep

I’m feeling a little stressed out on this beautiful, sunny Monday. Why?

Money. Chunks of metal, pieces of paper. It sounds so insignificant when I put it that way, doesn’t it?

The fact of the matter is, we are accustomed to our way of living, and it’s got us in a little bit of trouble. M has an electronics fetish, I like to shop, and we live in an area where there is precious little to do with kids that doesn’t cost money. Now with a baby on the way, we’re feeling the crunch. It’s not that we’re in danger of having our hydro shut off, or worrying how to put food on the table, it’s just that we can’t throw money away on frivolities like we used to. A well padded savings account is more important than the latest game console or a pair of designer stilettos. It doesn’t sound like a tough lesson to learn, but it’s really hard to say no sometimes.

Since I am at home presently and not making money, I feel it is my job to figure out how we can best cut back and save money. I’m listing some of my money saving efforts here, both so I can see where I could improve, and so you can put some of these to use yourself if you don’t already.

– I coupon, price match, and stockpile non-perishables (I watch for sales like a hawk!)

– I only use major appliances (laundry machines, dishwasher) at off peak times and only do laundry with cold water. I also skip the rinse cycle on my dishwasher and let them air dry. Our appliances are all Energy Star as well.

–  I’m obsessed with making sure things are turned off and unplugged when not in use (seriously, you should hear me when the kids leave the lights on in their rooms)

– I cook and bake from scratch instead of paying the extra for premade.

– I think I have finally persuaded M into getting rid of the home phone, which will be a savings of $25 a month for us. That may not sound like much, but it’s $25 that can be put into savings or toward bills.

– …and I’m working on convincing him to cut up some credit cards as well. As it stands right now, all of his credit cards are in my possession, so he can’t impulse buy.

– I buy used when I can. Furniture, clothing, books, etc. I L.O.V.E Value Village.

– I am brushing up on DIY skills and techniques. M is already pretty handy but I’d like to learn too. My biggest accomplishment recently is the rocker in the nursery. The chair was a vintage find for $35, and the fabric cost $50. Really, we overspent on the fabric because we bought too much, but still, $85 for a beautiful custom rocker is fantastic compared to the $200+ price tag you see in stores, and I saved all the excess fabric for another project.

– We don’t turn the heat up quite so high in the winter months, and instead wear thick socks, sweaters, and cuddle up under blankets.

– To cut back on laundry, we will wear jeans and sweaters twice before washing, so long as they haven’t got dirty or stinky.

– I shower every other day as opposed to daily. It saves water, energy, and my hair and skin.

– I cut my family’s hair. There’s absolutely nothing to cutting a boys hair, and trimming girls hair is easy too. Even my own!

– I shop AFTER the season. Halloween decorations… AFTER halloween. Christmas decorations… AFTER Christmas. I sometimes take advantage of the post-Christmas sales too and stock up on a few unisex toys to send the kids to birthday parties with.

I’m sure there’s more, but I just can’t think right now. The kids are running in and out and slamming the door every time. I think I may have a meltdown if I hear my windows shake once more. If you have any tips you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments!

The Nursery!

12 Sep

The nursery is finally painted! I am so over the moon. The rug is in, the furniture is put together, and my ugly chair has been reupholstered. It is gorgeous, it is serene, I want to sleep in there. I’m sort of jealous of the baby, actually. It’s not 100% complete, but all that’s left is to find shelving for the closet, hang some shelves on the walls, find crib bedding that’s not themey, and all my other crafty/decorative “stuff” as M would say. Here’s a glimpse at where my little prince will be sleeping:

Nursery
The Nursery – Before

nursery2
Stripes!

nursery3
Jax’s beautiful, beautiful crib.

nursery4
Little baby pajamas!

nursery5
Dresser and “stuff”

My super handy husband produced this masterpiece for me last night. I can only take credit for having faith in an ugly ass rocking chair, and choosing the fabric.

Ugly Chair!
Ugly Chair! (a $35 thrift find)

Pretty Chair
Pretty Chair!

Comparison
A side-by-side comparison. You’d never guess it was the same chair.

I’m beyond thrilled with how it all came together. M and I are a great time when it comes to home improvement. I have the vision, he has the skills to bring it to life. Now that the basics are there, I’m so ready to start crafting. Speaking of, I’ve procrastinated enough so far this morning… I need to get my housework done so I can spend a lazy afternoon finding projects on pinterest.

Back to school, the first week: Success!

7 Sep

 So, I thought I’d have more time to blog now that the kids are back in school, but it just hasn’t worked out that way. I’ve been on a mega cleaning kick, maybe I’m nesting early?

The kids first week of school has come and gone, and it went well for both of them. Here they are before heading out in the morning.Image

 

We hit a few speed bumps on T’s first 2 days, regarding transportation now that he’s going to school out of town. He hasn’t been assigned to a bus yet, and since this is due to the school’s fuck up, they’re paying for him to be cabbed there and back. Fine with me, except for when his cab driver on the first day of school is not only late getting to our house, butalso  fucking 100 years old and brain dead. I actually stood in my driveway arguing with him for 15 minutes about how to get to the school. Then he argued with dispatch because they were telling him the same thing I was. Eventually he got it through his head that I was right (of course I was, I always am. Clearly Mr. Cabbie doesn’t know me), and off they went. I did call the school though, and complain about the driver that was sent, and requested a call when T signed in. He didn’t start his first day of school until 10:30. Jesus Christ.

Then the second day, the cab came 15 minutes early. Thank god I didn’t decide to sleep in an extra 15 minutes.

Since then, everything’s been smooth sailing. It’s Friday already, and I’m 25 weeks today! I’m coming up on my third trimester way too quickly. Also, this little one seems to take great pleasure in kicking me in the crotch, and I’m like buddy, you’re gonna be doing enough damage down there in 3 1/2 months, lets ease up on my nether-regions, mmm’kay? I managed to yoga him out of his feet down position this morning after a full day of vaginal kickboxing classes. Hallelujah.

M and I are getting to work on the nursery this weekend. I lit a fire under his ass the other day by telling him I want it finished before we hit December. He’s going to finish mudding and sanding, then he’ll primer, and we’ll both paint. I’m refinishing a dresser, and we’re going to set up the crib. Ok, M is going to set up the crib. I’m going to take pictures and laugh at him when he can’t figure it out.

Also, I’m hopefully going to find reasonably priced maternity jeans that don’t make my ass look saggy. Shudder. Wish me luck! If I find some, I’ll try to throw together a fall outfit post. I’m so excited for chunky sweaters, jeans, and boots!

Until next week!