Sunday, September 2, 2012


There's something psychological about a due date that makes you feel, once it's come and gone, that you're in a straight jacket.

Of course that is unless you're one of *those* moms who feel great during pregnancy. One of those moms who "glowed." Well...not I. Though I certainly wish that was the case. I'm fully aware of the wonderful miracle that is taking place and the brand new human who will be here (not) soon (enough). But he needs to be miracling in his bassinet now, not my belly. I'm ready for that transition.

As it is I wake up feeling like I spent the night being beaten up. My back is a joke - my ability to stand upright is progressively declining. My ability to smile it away when people ask how I'm doing -- oh and the "are you still pregnant!?" and "are you sure it's just one?!" -- is rapidly disappearing.

Proceed at your own risk.

Swelling: check (ever-present, no reprieve)

Numbness/carpel tunnel: check (though wearing the splint at night helps the pain)

Sleep: fitful, restless. And when I wake up, pure suffering for a few hours as I reacquaint myself with being awake.

Breathing: shallow at best.

Attitude: getting worse by the day.

Hospital bags: packed a month ago.

Baby's room: ready for baby!!

Photo: me at 40 weeks, 08.31.12

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just Around the Corner

About a week from now, we'll have our baby here.

I went to the doctor for my weekly appointment this Tuesday and he said if we don't have a baby by my next appointment (Wednesday, 8/29) then we'll discuss inducing. Which we'll likely schedule for our due date, Friday, August 31st.

38 weeks [08.17.12]

So I imagine I'll be spending Labor Day weekend in the hospital for a couple days with a brand new little boy.

I'm trying to go into the entire process - labor and delivery, parenthood - as open and blank as possible. So many people are so very eager to toss their 2 coins into the fountain of advice surrounding all new parents. A fountain we most definitely did not build and did not ask to be filled with 2 cents after 2 cents worth of advice that perhaps worked for you.

There is so much information that is in conflict with a majority of the other sources of information out there that I would rather just have a basic understanding of what I've gotten myself into and then do it the way that works for me and for Kevin. I promise, we've done 99% of the grown up, adult stuff of life for the last 7 years entirely on our own. I'm sure we'll manage.

Dinner with Kevin, full term/37 weeks. [08.10.12]
 At the same time there is still a feeling of weightlessness as we dive slowly into the unknown territory of parenthood. No matter how many people think they are helping with their tips and tricks, we are still the ones who will be living the new reality of a tiny, new boy in our house who needs us for everything. And he is not your boy. You are not me. Our circumstance will be entirely different from all the new babies out there. It will be specific to us. There will always be an element of 'winging it'.

Pretty flannel blanket from Grandma H.
 Everything is as ready as it can be. I want to vacuum (again); finish the laundry (it's never finished!), wash some more dishes. The dog needs a bath and the guest room needs to be organized. I picture myself living in dusty, un-vacuumed squalor the first weeks of his life feeling, not only the weight of managing a new life but doing so with crumbs of cat litter underfoot, unwashed dishes in the sink. What an unpleasant thought!

But I know I have a handful of people who are genuinely willing to help. They don't proffer advice like a vending machine, like a broken record. They actually care about me and Kevin and our little boy. Those are the very select few people who will be a relief to have around as needed. To make a meal or wash a dish. Or sweep up cat litter.

For now we just wait! To see when this guy decides to come. Whether he comes this week or we induce, Kevin and I will have our little boy here by August 31st.

Eight. Days. Left.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This is what full term feels like...

This past Friday I was a full 37 weeks. Full term and due in just a few more weeks. Though he could come at any time!

Here's how I've been feeling lately...

Sleep: spotty. When I do sleep its heavy and I wake up with aches and pains everywhere.

Carpel tunnel: worse than ever. I have inflammation in my hands that makes my fingers arthritis-stuff and painful in the mornings. I'm wearing a wrist brace on my right wrist to help keep the shooting pains at bay.

Feet (and ankles and legs): the swelling is never going away. I'm convinced. For a while it was bad all day everyday, even straight out of bed. The last couple of days it seems like the swelling is better when I wake up but by the end of the day it's back: elephant legs. :/

Back: my back pain has gone from mild and irksome to intense and inescapable. Now concentrated in my lower back, I can't sit or stand or bend or turn without it hurting. If I sit "too long", it hurts. If I walk around "too long", it hurts. My pelvis and lower back are in constant pain. UGH.

Baby: baby boy is still moving a lot and excels at restricting my lung capacity. His little feet are stationed under my ribs on the right side, his bottom in the middle of my belly and his head, straight down in my pelvis. When he hiccups my whole belly shakes like a big bowl of jell-o. And when he kicks, sometimes it tickles and sometimes it really hurts, depending on where exactly his feet are in relation to my ribs.

Gracefulness: out the window a long time ago. Getting out of bed means rolling over slowly (so as not to set off the almost cripling sharp lower-abdominal pain) and then pushing myself into a sitting position and then standing...on achy feet. The soles of my feet have a funny sensation whenever they touch the floor.

Wedding ring: haven't been able to wear it in about 6 weeks. I thought about going Frodo and wearing it on a chain but I just haven't gotten around to it.

In brighter news....

Baby (health): the baby is doing great. He's been head down for at least 3 weeks now and at this point the Dr said its unlikely he'll turn. His heart rate is lovely and strong. And apparently he could be quite large. I'm going to see if we can get a birth weight estimate at my next appointment. I know it depends on when he decides to show up but ... Just an idea of what I'm facing would be great. ;)

Nursery: his room is done. It needs stuff on the walls and it needs a changing pad. But it's done enough for me. And it's the nicest room in the house. And comfortable. And quiet. And pretty. I'm pleased.

Pretty new flannel blanket from Grandma H:

Little basket of toys and stuffed animals:

Hospital bags: packed last week. Mine and baby's. Though that reminds me, Kevin may need one, too. Though I want him to go home - if he wants - so he can get some sleep in our bed and not a hospital room.

Hospital tour: done. We know where to go and what to do if we go into labor anytime day or night.

Stroller: purchased! We spent a long evening with an awesome BuyBuyBaby employee last week and were schooled on all things stroller. The one I "knew" I wanted from my online research ended up not being the one I wanted after test driving. Which is why you should always try out a stroller in person before buying it. Always. So we talked about every stroller in the store, pushes around about 1/2 a dozen after narrowing down our choices and decided on the Baby Jogger City Mini.

We like all the features. Kevin and I both felt comfortable pushing it (handle is not height-adjustable like some but was a comfortable height for us and padded) and loved the compact turning radius. With the 3-wheel design it is so easy to navigate. Plus the easy one-handle fold was enough to woo us: you just lift a handle in the seat and the stroller folds in on itself. It makes a nice flat fold to fit in the car easily. Its reclines nearly flat for newborns or sleepy 2 year olds and has a 50 pound capacity. The sun canopy is crazy huge with like 4 different settings and 2 windows so you can check on baby easily. We got the Chicco car seat adaptor as well and easily snapped it onto the stroller. Even with the added weight it's still a breeze to get around. Can't wait for Bebe to give it a try. :)

Stretch marks: none. Been moisturizing like mad (Nivea is awesome!)

Baby shower news: My sweet co-workers threw me a surprise baby shower last week. I walked in to what I thought was a business lunch and found instead a baby shower: decorations, huge cake, catered lunch, gifts. What a surprise!! We had such a lovely time. I was so overwhelmed at first ... Such a sweet gesture. My guys were in in it too and had gotten gifts even though they weren't there to have lunch with us.

Jennifer's baby shower on the 4th was a hit. The food and cake were ridiculous. We had a great turn out and everyone enjoyed themselves. Just an awesome afternoon overall.

Next weekend we have a barbecue shower at my parents' house and then we are done.

I certainly hadn't planned on 4 baby showers but am so honored that people want to host these events for Kevin and me and Little Man. I've certainly enjoyed the experience.

Jennifer and me at her fabulous shower:

Me and the cake!

Erika and me at the shower:

Surprise baby shower at the office!

Meredith's baby shower at Chocolate Angel, July:

Yummy mini cakes:

My mom and me at Chocolate Angel:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

35 weeks. 35 days to go.

Today marks the completion of my 35th week and the last 35 days of my pregnancy. The first several months went so slowly; I think I judged my progress on whether or not - or how much - I was showing. Once I started showing - around 4 months I think? - it started going faster. It's just a physical way to assess the progress I suppose and makes it feel like its going by faster? The last couple months in particular have flown.

I've felt so huge and clumsy, tired and achy and crampy. But I've been excited and happy about the "big day" getting closer and closer. It's been something of a roller coaster, emotionally. From day to day I am thrilled (yay! My own sweet little boy to take care of!) and then scared shitless (I'm going to be a mom! What was I thinking?!).

It's a good thing there are 9 months to get ready. All the back and forth has finally stabilized and I feel ready. I'm confident and happy and almost completely ready for a new little human to live in my house.

He has a beautiful bedroom waiting for him and a pretty bed and comfy clothes and lots of love. I know it won't always be pretty and I know there will be days and weeks of madness and chaos and freaking out. But I'm ready for him to be here and join out little family. I'm excited to see what he looks like and to figure out his personality and temperament and his likes and dislikes.

It's just hard to believe that we have a month to go before we are "officially" parents. It seems like yesterday was December 22nd and I stepped out of a late-night shower to see "pregnant" on that test.

He'll be joining our little family before we know it!

Can't wait to meet my little guy!!

Not sure how the pets will act but ... they better behave with a new baby in the house! ;)

... We might be a different story. Behaving: sometimes.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Baby's room is almost done

Just wanted to post a few photos of some of the lovely things baby got for his room recently. It's really starting to come together!

the triangle quilt from Anne

the fish and pebbles crib bedding set from my parents

the navy fish mobile from Astrid

Friday, July 13, 2012

A New Chair for Baby

On Wednesday evening I got a call from Daryl at R + L Carriers asking me to call back and reference such-and-such PRO #. I hadn't been expecting any large items shipped via freight carrier so I thought he must have the wrong number. I quickly looked up the pro # on their website but didn't find any info about the shipper or the contents of the container.

As soon as I left work I called him back and found out:

It was our new glider!! For Baby's room!

I was so so excited! The last large piece of furniture needed to complete his room was on its way to my house at that moment! We worked out the logistics for delivery the next morning. When I got home from work I asked Kevin if the chair had arrived. He said "What chair?" ... I was not surprised by this since he loves to tease, so I went into the baby's room and there it sat. =) He easily installed the back of the chair onto the base, since it had shipped in two pieces. We rearranged the room so we could place the chair where we thought would be best and ... now the room is done! I could not be more excited!!

I had to check the registry to see who gifted us this awesome chair since there wasn't any reference on the package - my sweet friend Jennifer was the gifter; I sent her a picture of the chair in the new room right away so she could see how great it looks. What a sweet and generous gift.

Now all we need is a little bit of artwork, a couple wood shelves and to hang the new quilt and curtains. I'm just so pleased to have all the big stuff out of the way - what a huge relief!!

Here's the room in its new layout with the new chair and its pretty chevron pillow. =) (ignore the tools and junk on the dresser!)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baby's First Quilt!

I have posted previously about the small quilts my neighbor made for the baby - small, "tummy time" quilts, also great for going out, in the car, picnicing, travel. She made them in bright rainbow colors with pretty backing and trim. 

I have always liked very colorful things and wanted a full spectrum of color for the Baby and his room so these little quilts are perfect. Kevin put them on the crib after we got it set up; here is a photo of one of them:

Well, she has finished the larger, wall-hanging quilt and came over last night to give it to us, along with his little pillow for the rocker/glider.

She had shown us all the fabrics a few weeks ago and I loved the colors she chose. I had shown her a photo I found on Pinterest as my inspiration piece and she basically replicated it for me! It looks amazing.

Here is the inspiration quilt:

And MY quilt:

The backing on the quilt and pillow are a very dark charcoal gray with a pebbled pattern:

And the front of the pillow is bright orange (!) and light gray chevrons:

Kind of awesome.

Now I can hardly wait to get the chair so we can see how the pillow looks. And we'll have to figure out the final layout we want for the room so we know where to hang the quilt. *so impatient*

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DIY Project: Baby's New Room!

The last several weeks (months!) I've been working on the baby's room. I put together a "pin board" with a lot of inspirational and real life pieces that I envisioned for his new space.

The hardest part has been finding the right paint color. I wanted JUST the right color and didn't want to settle.

I knew I wanted yellow. And I knew I wanted a bright, clear yellow, not a pastel, precious yellow. Almost neon really. 

So the search began.

I would pick up a few paint swatches whenever we were out at Lowe's or Wal Mart. I narrowed it down to 4 favorites and then went to Lowe's to get samples mixed up. I had prepped the room for painting and then applied some primer to seal the old paint - mustardy tan/yellow and dark maroon. Then I painted big squares of the 4 samples onto a couple of the walls so I could see how they behaved in different lights. Then I waited.

Here's how the room looked when we first moved in - the red/maroon is on the left and right walls, and the yellow is on the window and entry walls. Very dark and enclosed...

We'd go into the room during the day, night, clouds, rain. I even went into the backyard and looked at the color from the outside! ;) I liked one of the swatches best so I painted over the other 3, enlarged the favorite remaining swatch and waited some more.

Like I says, I didn't want to settle. :)

I finally decided I officially loved the color. We left for vacation over the 4th of July week, I still hadn't finished painting. So as soon as we got back I went to Lowe's and got a gallon of the color - Sparkling Yellow Shimmer - and finished the room in a weekend, walls trim and doors.

I'm so pleased!! I love that it has a lot of cool green with the yellow, more grellow than yellow: like a tennis ball but toned down.

My parents were nice enough to outfit baby's room with a majority of the large furniture items - dresser, nightstand, crib, rug and yet-to-be-hung curtains - and Kevin built them all for me last weekend once I was done with the painting. I was pretty worthless as an assistant since sitting on the floor, getting back up from the floor and lifting large pieces of furniture are kind of beyond my capacity right now, but I did try. ;)

Here are a few photos of the room progress and how it looks now.

We still need the rocker/glider and the layout is tentative, but it looks so good! I'm really happy with it and am pleased with how my pin board came together so well in real life. :))

Here is my original pin board:

Priming the dark red beadboard paneling on this wall was a nightmare. 

The gallon of paint, ready for the walls!

Finally done painting - walls, trim and doors - and almost done cleaning up.

Cleaned up and read for furniture!!

Getting started on the dresser.

Half way there...

The crib is done and looks amazing!!

Here is the room as it looks today, as complete as possible (the cat seems pleased ;).  

We still need to ...
1. get the glider (brown leather),
2. get the laundry hamper
3. paint and hang the curtains
(I'm going to use this tutorial and paint wide navy stripes onto some of these great, simple curtains from IKEA)
4. get some art for the walls

But it looks beautiful to me, even incomplete.

We put in a lot of time and effort and the energy this room exudes now is so serene and happy and welcoming. I hope Baby likes it, too. ;)

Next up: Baby's first quilt!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Third Trimester?? So soon?!?!

Today marks my 28th week - 7th full month - of carrying around this little dragon.

He's been kicking and flailing what feels like non-stop for the last couple of weeks.


Maybe I'm just a weenie, but it's painful lately: SO MUCH pressure and SO MUCH tightness.

I have embraced the ever-so-graceful pregnant lady waddle 110% and when I get up from the couch or out of bed, my knees are the widest part of me, like a bowlegged cowboy. *Awesome*

I am starting to feel like I'll have to get all new shoes since practically every pair is now very snug. I'm hoping that's just the swelling and my feet will go back to their normal 7.5-ness, but I've heard that some people's feet actually stay bigger post-pregnancy so ... who knows. I kind of like my shoes and really don't want to buy a whole new shoe wardrobe.

Apparently little man is about 2.25 pounds and 14 inches this week. He is approximately the size of a napa cabbage. Makes me hungry for cabbage salad with steak and sesame dressing and noodles and lime juice.

With only 84 days to go, I'm definitely starting to feel the crush of duties that are yet to be completed.

Two showers are in the works. My nesting instict tells me these should have been done 5 months ago (along with having all baby's clothes washed and folded, nursery complete, hospital bag at the ready ... learning to sew) so I'm kind of (irrationally) uneasy about the timeline; but I really just need to chill out about that. The hosts are doing a wonderful job and they are giving me such a great gift by hosting these parties for me, I'm beyond honored. I just need to chill out and not be mom-zilla!!

Speaking of showers, here are a few maxi dresses I've been eyeing. I've wanted to get some for a long time and I figured being pregnant (maxi dress = best piece of clothes you can own as a preggy!) and being another hot Texas summer AND having 2 parties coming up, I might as well get something cute to wear.

Sources (l to r):

Dress: Old Navy
Handbag: Charming Charlie
Sunnies: Pinterest
Scarf: Old Navy
Shoes: Pinterest
Sunglasses: Pinterest

Dress: Old Navy
Necklace: Forever21
Handbag: Forever21
Shoes: Tory Burch

Dress: Old Navy
Necklace: Forever21
Handbag: Charming Charlie
Shoes: Old Navy

Baby's room is laughably under-prepared. Curtains, unhung (not even purchased yet, for that matter!). Walls, unpainted. We bought primer, supplies and 4 different paint swatches to try but we haven't done anything with them. I still have to make a trip to IKEA for like 1/2 the stuff that I need for his room. Really stressing me out. I've been "meaning to" get his room ready for weeks, MONTHS, but it's just sitting there collecting dust. I imagine that it looks like the nursery in my mind: complete and coordinated and clean and ready for a baby to live there. NOT EVEN CLOSE. *bites nails*

Here is a little collage I put together of all the elements I'd like to incorporate in his room. The quilt is an inspiration piece I found on Pinterest that my amazing quilting friend is going to recreate for me. She said it won't be exactly the same, but close. She's also making a gray and bright orange pillow for the glider (of course we don't have that yet either!).


Dresser: IKEA
Storage Cubes: IKEA
Pillow: will be similar, handmade
Side Table: IKEA
Quilt: similar, handmade
Curtains: IKEA, navy stripes will be DIY

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Maternity Leave Across the Globe - Prepare to have your mind BLOWN!

Oh I just HAD to share this gem!!

A Facebook friend just posted this and I am yet again awed at the staggering discrepancy between our own 'great' nation and other nations around the world when it comes to the benefits - nay, rights - provided to working families.

Being pregnant makes you aware of so many interesting things about life and existence and parenthood and all that. Most especially as a female, the fascinating - disgusting! - lack of respect for the family unit  when it comes to paid time off for mothers is simply mind boggling. (The family unit, which we as a super-conservative country seem to praise from the hilltops! What gives?!)

Take a look at the other countries around the world treat their pregnant women/new moms. In the US, we get a whopping ZERO weeks of paid leave. Yes, friends. Good ole FMLA allows us to take off something like 10 weeks of UNpaid leave. Great if you have zero debt, no car payments, 6 months of living expenses acrued and your car never ever breaks down, your A/C never ever stops working, you never ever have to go to the Doctor unexpected. Yeah, basically not so great.

For a huge chunk of average women and families, having no paid leave means no leave at all, since many can't afford to simply not generate a paycheck for 4 or 6 or 8 weeks - however long each individual woman deems necessary for her proper recovery AND bonding time with her new baby.

Of all the things we need to rectify about our great US of A, paid leave for new moms AND new dads needs to change, drastically. And NOW. This is unacceptable.

As my FB friend commented: "Pakistan? Really? Come on guys!!!" Yeah.

Good Friends

Sometimes there is a lot for me to complain about. Or I just make up stuff to complain about? Either way I seem to gripe a lot, at times; not ALL the time.

Lately I've been stressing about getting the baby's room ready, finding the right paint, getting my kitchen updated and looking decent, making sure everything in the house is perfect before he gets here - because he'll know if my kitchen floors are ugly or if there is dust behind the couch. ;)

I've had some really nice experiences lately that have reminded me how great it is to have great friends. It's nice to have new friends, but it seems for me that the old friends are the best friends. It's so great knowing people for years and years and having history and familiarity with them. They are my family.

I just spent the weekend with some of my friends/adopted family to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. An excellent excuse to get together for a proper tea with lots of Earl Gray and goodies and finger sandwiches.

And yesterday once I was back in town, I had a visit from one of my oldest neighbors - she has known me since birth. Crazy. Anyway, she has generously made some beautiful quilts for me and Baby. She is a seasoned and talented quilter/seamstress and does amazing work. Here are the two small quilts she made for Baby ... perfect for "tummy time" (tummy time is great and important but I do hate that term for some reason), in the car, picnicing, travel ... and they are so colorful! She knew I wanted lots of color for the Baby so she went with this beautiful rainbow theme with accenting trim and backing.

She is still working on one for Baby's room - about crib-sized - that will hang on one of his walls. Can't wait to see the finished product! She showed us all the colors she had selected for that and they are perfect.

Square rainbow pattern on the front with musical notes on the back. She said the backing was in honor of Kevin since she knows he loves music:

And a pretty rainbow pinwheel with blue trim and stripes and dots on the back:

I'm very grateful for the friends and 'family' who give their time and energy and love to me and Kevin, and our little man Baby. Even before he is here, I know he is loved and looked forward to by our friends.

 Another friend of mine - whose girls I've babysat since her oldest was just a few months old (she's turning 9 this year!) - is graciously hosting a baby shower for me! I'm so happy to have her do that; she will host a wonderful party.

Here are a few inspiration photos I've gathered for the party ... we're still in planning mode, but soon we'll have everything hammered out and the party will be here before we know it. Can't wait!

Today, I'm 27 weeks 4 days. Baby is about 2 pounds and the size of a cauliflower. And he is moving All. The. Time. Jabbing and punching and headbutting. And stretching and pressing. And squashing.

Sometimes it's really uncomfortable, but I'm reminding myself this is a good thing, and that he won't be able to do this forever. My next appointment is in 3 weeks then my subsequent appointments will be bi-weekly.

This Friday I will be 28 weeks and starting my third trimester! I can't believe I'm almost a third trimester mom-to-be! September will be here before I can blink.


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