Thursday, November 18, 2010

Eleven months

Dear Danny,

You are now almost eleven months old, and you're on the brink of walking unassisted.  Every day, I'm amazed at how big and independent you're becoming.  You don't need help to stand up, thank you very much!  You certainly don't need me to hold on to your waist, and will remove my hands and give me that 'I'm big now, mom... cut it out' look.  You're really just such a delightful little boy -- and though I know that every mother says that, you totally are.

Many babies have the usual first words...  Mama, Dada, kitty...  and though you mean to repeat 'Hi' it usually comes out as 'Heh'.  Your first official word was the usual: clock.  And by usual, I mean completely absurd.  Sometimes you omit the L, which is even funnier than your typical overexaggerated pronunciation of 'CuhhhLLlllockghghghghgh.'  That is a very impressive first word, Monster!  You are also very amused by clocks, which means you point and laugh and say clock.  We couldn't be prouder of you!

You sleep like a champ, and have for quite a while now.  We put you to bed around 8pm, and you stay asleep until just about 7am, give or take an hour (stupid daylight savings time.)  You wake up in a great mood almost every day, and you are the smiliest boy I've ever known.  You weren't overly snuggly for the first nine months of your life, since you were always in a hurry to do something.  But now you lay your head on our shoulders when you're sleepy and you love to lay down on me for story time.  You can sit and play by yourself for half an hour these days, inspecting every inch of a toy or a book.  You laugh hysterically at the cats, and sometimes at Mama and me.  You are just a good little boy, and we're lucky that you're ours.  In the next month or so, you'll experience your first Christmas -- exceptions allowed for last year when you were a few days old, and your eyes couldn't focus.  I'm excited to see you open presents, and I'm really excited to see you devour your first birthday cake. 


And really, we can't wait to watch you do all the remaining firsts too.  You're our favorite, Danny.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

summer, sunshine and an almost-toddler

Hello, all! It's been about four months since I've written, but fear not -- things are going very well. Just your usual busy summer. The boy is starting to cruise, he rolls over like a champ but still isn't crawling. I think he's determined to learn to walk before he crawls, naturally. He's begun to make sounds that resemble words, which is keeping us very entertained. He's got a handful so far: baba, dada, a high and screechy velociraptor noise, a soft voice he uses to talk to his bear, Ted, and the beginnings of hi! He prefers to say hi to my neice, but occassionally he'll say it to one of us. This whole talking thing is new in the past week or so, and it seems to happen all at once. Next week, he'll tell me he's ready to learn to drive.

I can't believe he's already eight months old! It seems like just yesterday that I was wondering when he would hold onto a toy, or when he would start babbling at us.

Now I'm starting to wonder if maybe he needs a little brother or sister.

I'm pretty sure he does. :)
We're still in the planning stages, which of course means I will have lots to write about. For now, all I can think to type is that I'm so excited. So. Excited.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hello, Monster!

You are four months old.  I can't believe how quickly time has passed since you were born, and now you smile and laugh and sit up (with a little assistance) and jump around in your bouncer.  You have a daily routine now, and with the notable exception of the 4:30am meal*, we all love it.  You have a mind of your own already, and you're not likely to be too shy.  Happy or sad, you let everyone know how you're feeling.  You wear your heart on your sleeve, along with lots of drool and a little spit up.  Oh, wait... that's my sleeve!

You wake up (*ahem) just before our alarms go off, and about half of the time, you lay in your crib and play with your feet while you wait for us to come and get you.  Quiet little coos can be heard from our loft, which is right above your crib, and as you are well aware, we have no door between us.  On the days that you aren't quietly playing, you have an incredible ten-syllable aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH that it takes you fifteen seconds to get out, just in case we didn't realize you were awake.  When we walk to your crib, and say good morning, you give us your biggest smile, and you wiggle your whole body at once. 

You've started eating rice cereal too, which is a nice switch from the lonely bottles of yore.  We're in week two of solid(ish) food, and for the most part, you LOVE it.  We've learned to give you a few ounces of milk first, lest the hungry monster rears his unhappy head, but after that you are a baby bird for the spoon.  Yesterday, you inadvertantly spit a mouth full of cereal in Mama's face.  I can't wait to feed you vegetables, and see this same thing happen, since all three of us were pretty amused.  You roll easily onto each side, but haven't shown much interest in rolling all the way onto your tummy, possibly because you loathe tummy time.  You're getting better, but many times when we lay you face down, you just give a frustrated grunt.  You make great swimming motions on the ground, and it won't be long before you realize that tummy time means moving time. 

Since you see half of the Grandparents every day, we spend a good amount of time in the car, where you ride quietly and happily almost every day.  *Dodging bullet noise.*  I have a mirror mounted on the back seat, so I can see you in my rearview as you play with your guys.  (Not that I'm watching that as I drive, of course.)   Between all of us, you get a good deal of attention, and it has turned you into a very social boy.  You have also mastered the social cough, which everyone knows is a talent all employers are looking for.  You gain a new skill almost every day, and this weekend you learned to blow raspberries.  I'd like to say it's on command, but half of the time you just squish up your face and laugh at us doing it.  You also like to sit upright.  You remind us of this every time we attempt to lay you down, like we did, oh...  two weeks ago.  Because, now you must sit.  You put absolutely everything in your mouth, including my hair and sometimes your entire hand makes it in.  I can't wait until you realize that your feet can go in there, because you will just love that. You drool all the time, and I swear you have a bottom tooth coming in, though I've sworn that for about three weeks, with no teeth in sight.  Yet.  Sometimes Mommy is right, but in a delayed way.  Remember that, monster.

It took us about a month of sleep training (for both you and for us) but you now go to bed with relative ease.  We lay you down with your new favorite blankey, and turn on the mobile and you put yourself to sleep.  Compared to just a month ago, that is a snap.  Since your crib is on the main level, you don't get much of a shield from noise, but you've handled that quite well.  Aside from that one dinner party, where you had trouble falling asleep (we are so sorry about that one) you sleep through Super Mario matches and company all the time.  I'm not even sure what I'll do when you and I don't share that middle of the night feeding anymore. 

Wait, what am I saying?  Don't let that stop you from sleeping through the night.  We can find lots of time to smile at each other when we're both awake, I promise.

We're sorry we are always eating your cheeks.
You're our favorite, monster!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Condo news

We had our first open house on Saturday, which went quite well.  We had five couples show up.  The first couple emailed us the day the house hit Craigslist, and were the first to arrive on Saturday.  They even came back a second time to take pictures.  They're returning tonight with her dad, which seems promising to me.

The boy slept throughout the open house, in his swing, sans clothes.
We are nothing if not classy.

In other news, we think the boy may be teething...  He hasn't been sleeping or eating like normal, and has been gnawing his fists and anything within reaching distance.  He's also got flushed cheeks, without a fever.  (Dr. Google tells me that could be teething, so we're running with that.)  I think I felt a tooth, but I couldn't tell.  It's incredibly difficult to see inside an infant's mouth, by the way; I had no idea.  Their little tongues are not cooperative at all.  He's also sixteen weeks old today, which in my brain means he's 4 months, even though he's not.  This kid-age-math is almost as confusing as pregnancy math was. 

Also, I realized over the weekend that I have acquired a new skill:
The not-quite-stopped-Stop:  (noun) At a red light or in congested traffic, the subtle removing of one's foot from the brake, just enough to make the car gently rock half-an-inch forward and then stop again, over and over, fooling the infant into thinking that the car is moving. 

I'm contacting the dictionary people to have it added. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Easter!

Okay, I won't move a muscle...
It's feeling like spring around here.  The buds are peeking, the birds are out and it's my favorite time of the year; I feel all excited, like a kid on summer break.  We did work around the condo Saturday with the windows open (gasp!) and walked to grab lunch in the neighborhood -- get ready -- without sweatshirts.  I know that it'll dip back down some before it stays for good, but it was just what I needed. 

In Danny news: he's 15 weeks old and trying to talk all the time.  Some days he's interested in rolling, though he has yet to make it over all the way.  He also thinks he can sit upright on his own, so he lunges forward, head-first on your lap.  (This is especially fun if you're not giving him your undivided attention.)  He's outgrowing his 3-month clothes, and solidly working his way through the 6-9 -monthers.  He grabs things and puts everything in his mouth, with moderate success.  He's also thisclose to sleeping through the night, with just one feeding around 5am.  I figured out that our forty-minute nighttime feedings could be cut down to less than fifteen by using a faster nipple, so I don't even mind getting up now. 

Also, I believe that Faster Nipple would be an excellent band name. 

In work news: I have made it through the first three weeks of the Return To Work and on Sunday night, didn't even get sad when I realized that the weekend was over.  Well, not more sad than the average bear, so we're making progress.  I had no idea how wimpy I would be about returning until it happened. 

In blog news: this one's really good

We have our first open house this weekend, so we're getting all the final details figured out.  I plan to do the cliché cookie-baking, and I hope for nice weather.  If you're in the neighborhood this Saturday, feel free to stop by...  Maybe I'll share my cookies with you.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A moving plan

We live in a modern loft in Tremont, which is just outside of Cleveland.  Until now, it has been the perfect spot -- close to amazing restaurants, close to downtown, close to work, near bike paths and shopping, and as I've mentioned before, our neighbors are spectacular.  The only problem is that we're about forty minutes from our families, and since the Grandparents are watching him during the day, that means a hefty commute.  So, we're going to move.  But we sure are going to miss it here...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

She hasn't written in HOW LONG?

It's been eleven weeks since Danny was born, and I was able to write one post.  One post about his birth, and I didn't even finish the story!  (As a quick attempt: he's healthy, he's happy and he poops once a day.)  It sounds so cliché, but having a baby is one of the few absolute excuses one can whip out in life. 

"You've stopped calling."
I had a baby. 

"You look exhausted!" 
I had a baby. 

"You ate all the Cheese Balls!" 
I. Had. A. Baby!!! 

Now I only read about sleep training and tummy time; I consider it a good day if I can manage to make dinner, or leave the house --  or shower.  Showering used to be the most mundane thing I did each day, and now I actually look forward to it.  Working out was something that I had to get out of the way, and now it feels a bit like luxury time.  Did you know that you can watch an entire movie on the treadmill if you time it right?   It's the little things.

On Monday, I return to work.  After twelve weeks of spending my days with the boy, (and the last six weeks of my pregnancy, watching doctor-prescribed television,) I will shower daily and get in the car before a morning nap of my own.  I tried not to think about it all winter.  Spring will be here, and then it'll just happen... 

Well, now it's spring.  Possibly time to get out of the house, Suze.

My parents and Karen's will take turns watching him during the week, so he'll be well-loved and well-coddled, to say the least.   I, on the other hand, will have to actually focus on something. 

 This could prove to be quite an adjustment.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

It's never what you think

My whole life I've heard stories about the magical wonderment of the day your child is born.  I've read articles written by new moms detailing the moment they fell in love with their baby as he laid on their chest, just seconds after the cord was cut.  I have watched countless episodes of baby shows, crying every time the baby was born, feeling so much emotion for the mothers and babies whose lives I watched for thirty minutes.  I had prepared a birth song list that would play behind us.  I had packed all new toiletries that smelled great and looked pretty for afterward.  I imagined that my son's birth would be filled with happy moments, some pain, and a roomful of family laughing and smiling, with cartoon bluebirds flying all around us. 

Danny's birth day was nothing like I had imagined.

As soon as we were admitted at midnight the night before, they had hooked me up to a fetal monitor.  We watched TV, slept, talked to family and such, all through the faint clippity-clop of Danny's heart beating.  My mother was especially interested in the fetal monitor.  She stared intently as my contractions synced with his vitals.  Prior to my epidural, she'd excitedly announce each contraction's arrival, because labor contractions are so difficult to detect on one's own.

......AAAAAAAAAHHHH...... and then there was the epidural. And the pain stopped.  With the epidural checked off my to-do list, I was already scripting the end to the most beautiful day of my life. Or so I thought.

Fourteen hours of overconfidence had passed when suddenly Danny's rhythm slowed down by about half.  All eyes in the room went immediately to the fetal monitor.  The one downside of watching the well-intentioned but well-edited baby shows on TLC is that they manage to give you just enough information to scare the crap out of you when a situation arises in your own labor.  'Late decellerations' is a phrase I'd heard just moments before countless c-sections on TV, but I knew very little about what it meant, other than the fact that it's is a sign of fetal distress.  After it continued for a few minutes, we tried turning me on one side, then the other.  His heartrate which should be around 150 didn't rise above 80.  My doctor said something about an Operating Room technician and within sixty seconds, ten masked doctors ran into the room.  Apparently, if you're already worried about your baby and you're hopped up on hormones -- both natural and synthetic -- the more worked up you get, the more your body will shake.  Karen stood by me, smiling and reassuring, while our mothers stood by trying to smile, listening very intently.  The masks began talk of an emergency c-section, my shaking turned into tears and the faces in the room were no longer smiling. 

After the the late decellerations were somewhat controlled, my labor was allowed to progress on its own, without the addition of a hormone that was strengthening my contractions.  Every hour or so, the doctors would check my progress and announce that we were a little bit closer to 10 centimeters.  Around 9pm, I felt a little uncomfortable, chalking it up to laying in a bed for almost a day.  Within ten minutes, I was in tears from the pain in my neck.  I figured that if they can stop the pain of labor, they could stop the pain of a neck spasm.  Apparently, that's not the case.  And, since it was the day for unexpected things, just as I was in the most pain I'd been in all day, it was time to push.  They had warned us that the baby was turned face up, which means that it takes more effort to deliver and can be more painful, but I still wasn't feeling much, except some pressure, so I pushed.  Karen held my right foot, my mother held my left foot, and people whose faces I could no longer see were counting to ten.  Imagine going through an hour of hard labor (back labor, at that) with a very painful neck spasm.  They also told me that I had developed a fever of 102*.  It wasn't fun, and it seemed endless, but I knew that the average first time mother pushes for 1-3 hours, so I figured that pain would stop -- even if it took three hours.  With my iPod on shuffle beside me, a somewhat inappropriate but terribly fitting song came on.  They checked my progress after a little over an hour of pushing, only to find that the baby had not descended AT ALL during that whole time.  Cue the tears again.  Now we were going to have a c-section and this time I didn't really mind.  Surely if they're doing a c-section, my neck will stop locking up or at least stop hurting.  Cue the sarcasm.

Karen told me afterward that she felt like she waited for much longer than the fifteen minutes it took them to prep me for surgery.  By the time she walked into the O.R., they had already begun operating, and she sat down by my head.  I was wide awake and probably more nervous for her than I was for myself.  It took them about ten minutes from the first cut before I heard him cry.  It sounded so much different than any other baby's cry that I had ever heard.  I remember thinking how beautiful his voice sounded, and I remember crying just like I did during the birth shows, but this time it was my own moment -- even if I didn't get there quite the way I figured I would.

We were taken back to our original delivery room to say hello to the grandparents who had been there for seventeen hours.  I can't imagine how they hung around that long; it seemed like a long day to me, but I was at least a little busy!  My mom said that watching me go through that day was harder than giving birth to me was.  They took turns holding Danny and took some pictures, and then left us to try to get some sleep after a long few days.

What happened next deserves its own post.  More to come...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Daniel has arrived!!!

12/21 11:41pm

Rough day but completely worth it already.

Story to come when we catch up on sleep a little. Everyone's perfect.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The last night

When I was five years old, I got to see The Captain & Tennille in concert on my birthday. (I know, I was a hip, hip kid.) From what I remember, I LOVED loved them and was sooooo excited to see them that I literally made myself sick. To this day, any time I'm nervous or excited, I refer to it as Captain & Tennille stomach. Every birthday, every Christmas, every vacation, my nervous stomach reared its ugly head. I'd say that right now, I might have the biggest C&T stomach ever, and we my need to rename the condition after today. We're as ready as we'll be, and in five hours, we'll be heading to the hospital.

Thanks to all who wrote or called to wish us luck!! We'll be sure to update as soon as we have news.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Induction date set

I saw my doctor yesterday, and all's well.  My blood pressure appears to be under control with the bed rest, but we'll still induce before the Christmas due date.  We go in at midnight on Sunday December 20th unless labor starts on its own before then.  That's a week from Sunday.  Commence freak-out.

I'm starting to get a little nervous about labor, but since I have no frame of reference, it's all a bit abstract.  Breathe, Susan... breathe! People have done this since the beginning of time, and everyone on the planet was born.  Bright side is we get to meet Daniel, and we have a concrete date to count down to.  We had a bit of a trial run on Friday night, when I was having minor contractions for almost four hours.  They were about fifteen minutes apart, but they stopped on their own.  Karen was doing laundry (and doing little dances around the living room) and we realized that we weren't completely ready yet.  I was more nervous than I figured I would be, so I think the practice may have helped me a little bit.  I get all anxious when I think about how I'll feel going to the hospital in ten days.  HOLY CRAP - ten days. 

On the bed rest front, I'm almost getting used to relaxing every day.  I've got a bit of a schedule down, and I'm thinking it's a good time to catch up on sleep and naps and the like, since that'll all come to a screeching halt in just TEN DAYS. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

a fun meme for a day on the couch

The Mother from Bao in the Oven tagged me on this one, and I appreciate the couch project.  :)

1. What is the color of your toothbrush? Clear and sky blue
2. Name one person who made you smile today. Karen, every day
3. What were you doing at 8 am this morning?  Sitting on the couch, just waking up.  Shocking, I know...
4. What were you doing 45 minutes ago? Wishing I had some cookies
5. What is your favorite candy bar?  Peanut butter cups, if they only came in bar form :)
6. Have you ever been to a strip club?   Once, ages ago for a friend's bachelorette party
7. What is the last thing you said aloud?  'Okay, bye'
8. What is your favorite ice cream? Cookies 'n' Cream
9. What was the last thing you had to drink?  Caffeine-free diet coke
10. Do you like your wallet? Don't have one, I stick my debit card in my pocket and I'm on my way (though I did ask Santa for a little card carrier)
11. What was the last thing you ate? Cheerios and soymilk Stephanie came over and made us a Spanish omelette with mashed potatoes, onions, eggs and fresh diced tomatoes on top.  Tasty lunch!
12. Have you bought any new clothing items this week?  Five pairs of chenille socks
13. The last sporting event you watched?  Browns game, Sunday. 
14. What is your favorite flavor of popcorn?  Theater popcorn.  In the absence of a movie, ANY popcorn will do. 
15. Who is the last person you sent a text message to?  Karen
16. Ever go camping?  Three times, and it's not really for me.
17. Do you take vitamins daily?  I have for about a year, yes.
18. Do you go to church every Sunday?  No
19. Do you have a tan? HA.  No tan.  Freckles, maybe.
20. Do you prefer Chinese food over pizza?  I prefer pizza with pine nuts, made at home. 
21. Do you drink your soda with a straw? No, straight from the can.  With a cozie.
22. What did your last text message say?  Sure :)
23. What are you doing tomorrow? I have big plans on the couch.
24. Favorite color?  Blue
25. Look to your left; what do you see?  An orange cat, curled up in a ball.
26. What color is your watch?  Silver
27. What do you think of when you hear “Australia”?  The Shins
28. Would you strip for money?  Nope
29. Do you go in a fast food place or just hit the drive thru?  Drive Thru
30. What is your favorite number? 12
31. Who’s the last person you talked to on the phone?  My mom
32. Any plans today? Finishing some last minute Christmas shopping from the couch
33. In how many states have you lived?  Just Ohio
34. Biggest annoyance right now? Not being allowed to grocery shop.  (I know, lame)
35. Last song listened to? Australia, thanks to #27
36. Can you say the alphabet backwards? Not without great difficulty
37. Do you have a maid service clean your house?  Yes, her name is Karen
38. Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time? New Balance
39. Are you jealous of anyone? People who are allowed to grocery shop
40. Is anyone jealous of you? Probably not
41. Do you love anyone? Yep, lots
42. Do any of your friends have children?  A few of them do
43. What do you usually do during the day? These days, I watch a lot of television and read.
44. Do you hate anyone that you know right now?   Nope
45. Do you use the word hello daily?  Yes.  I always answer the phone 'Hello there!' or so I've been told
46. What color is your car?  Silver
47. What size wedding ring do you wear?  I think a 7, but that was before swollen fingers.
48. Are you thinking about someone right now?  Danny
49. Have you ever been to Six Flags?  Does Cedar Point count? 
50. How did you get your worst scar? I used to jog (fine, I walked briskly) around my neighborhood and I
came across a puppy who was hanging out by some landscapers. They had him tied to a stake in the grass, and he was the cutest thing ever.  I leaned over to pet him for a few minutes, then started to jog away when he crossed in front of me, and my feet got caught up in his leash.  I went down hard on my left knee, and to this day it hurts if I even lightly brush it against the underside of a table, let alone bang it on anything.  Last time I had dinner on my parents' deck, I banged that knee on a table leg and cried.  In front of my whole family.  It wasn't pretty.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Okay, slacker...

You've been on the couch / stuck in the house on bedrest for two weeks, and we've only gotten two posts?  Slacker!  What I did realize is that there's not a whole lot to write about with no one around all day.  I've watched a hundred movies, (Don't bother with 'Knowing' -- worst of the bunch) read four books, taken a billion naps and now I just count down how many days until we meet Danny. 

Last appointment, my blood pressure was down (phew) which I figured meant that I would be released, when in fact Karen's prediction of 'The bedrest is working, keep it up' was correct.  My doctor also said that we'll likely induce in the 39th week, so that means we're looking at the week before Christmas.  Nothing like cutting a whole week off an already short, four-week countdown.  It's starting to sink in now that we'll have him home soon.  The crib is up, the clothes and blankets and sheets (oh, my) are all washed, and we have everything we should need for his arrival and the week or two after as we adjust.  So excited!  Moxy and Phoebe have begun to think that this is their new play area, which is funny since they didn't bother with it once until we put the new sheets in. 

Thanksgiving was very nice in KarenSusanLand.  We visited my family on Thursday and Karen's on Friday, and came away with enough leftovers to eat all weekend.  I even made turkey noodle soup yesterday -- I really miss our cooking Sundays, but I might've overdone it a little, because my back was killing me by 6pm.  I won't be surprised if my recent lack of weight gain is no longer lacking after all that food.   

I've been watching baby shows on Discovery Health for weeks, and here and there Karen watches with me.  Saturday, we were folding clothes and watching a typical episode where the father was helping deliver the baby.  I asked if she would be interested in being that hands-on, and she said it depends on whether she can get past the blood and guts of it all.  I paused the TV and said (innocently) that you have to look past it, and not think of it as blood or guts.  She tentatively agreed, and we unpaused...  That very moment, the baby onscreen was born, and it was the most graphic birth I think I've ever seen.  Amniotic fluid and blood and all nine pounds of baby were placed on the mother's stomach, and we both LOST IT.  I haven't laughed that hard in ages, and I don't think it did much to help convince Karen that she wants to help deliver Danny.  :)

More to come...

Friday, November 13, 2009

another week and some mandated couch time

We had an amazing weekend of shower fun starting on Saturday night.  Lots of fun costumes and great food, along with a houseful of good friends made for a terrific night. 

Sunday we had a family shower with more people, more fun and more gifts...  Our friends and family have been so generous, it's been unbelievable.  We're lucky to have such great people in our lives!

This week I felt a little run down and figured I did too much over the weekend, but when I called my doctor with my symptoms yesterday, she recommended I go to Labor & Delivery triage at the hospital...  Not my idea of a good time, but I survived.  They released me late yesterday and put me on modified bedrest, which means that I get to stand up to fix myself food and that's about it.  To quote Karen, if you'd told me that I could have a week off to watch TV a few weeks ago, I'd have gladly taken it.  Now that it means that I can't really do much, I'm freaking out a little bit.  I have another OB appointment on Thursday of next week, so I'll know more then.  Until then, I have already signed up for a free Netflix trial and have set the DVR to record any B-movie that's on in the next week.  At least the cats seem to like the company.  :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

so much to update on. so little time -- bullet-style

*Friday night: ate fries for dinner, which I heartily regretted a few hours later.

*Saturday was our labor and delivery class, which was informative and pretty much what I figured it would be. We signed up for the express version of a Prepared Childbirth class, which means we were mailed a thirty page booklet that walked us through the basics, and also gave us a code that allowed us access to an online library of videos and information sheets. The class itself was only three hours long, which was less expensive and less time-intensive, perfect for us (read: me). We learned a little about how to breathe and a little about what drug options there would be. AKA: Susan gets drugs early and often, and no one gets hurt. Interesting tidbit: the birthing coach recommended a code word, so that the partners know to clear the room of people for a bit. I like that we’re close enough with our fams that we can just say ‘Um, we really need to be alone for a few’ instead of making up a code system. 

*Sunday we decided to walk to breakfast in our neighborhood, which would’ve been a great idea a) had I not been 8 months pregnant, b) had the first two places we tried been less swamped and c) had the third place where we actually ate had a kitchen staff at all. We finally ate, and were treated very well, but my 10am idea for breakfast turned into a noon brunch.  We ended up at a local pub, that serves beers with breakfast...  While we waited for our food (probably took about an hour or so) Karen had a few beers, and by the time we walked out, she was (rather innocently) a little buzzed.  Ah, the fun of being the designated driver at 1pm on a Sunday.

*Tuesday a few of our friends at work threw a shower for us, which was incredibly sweet. Lots of people joined us to celebrate Danny, and we got lots of generous help and some awfully cute gifts to boot. Karen’s parents joined us, which was quite a nice surprise, and the hour flew by. We’re very lucky to work with such kind people, and we couldn’t have had a better time.

*Today I had an OB appointment, where everything went fine. My doctor confirmed that he’s a big boy (never saw THAT coming) and assured me that we don’t need to worry about him getting too big. I’ll take her word for it. Good news for me today: I’ve only gained a pound since my last appointment… Shocking, since he’s gaining about half a pound a week now. By my (horrible) estimation, that will put him right around the eight pound mark when he’s due. We’ll see how that pans out. My OB appointments will be bi-weekly for a bit, and then weekly. We’re getting closer to the end every time I check. We’re fifty days from our EDD, and can’t believe we’re so close.

*This weekend, we have non-stop action: a dinner with friends Friday, Saturday we shop for costumes for our co-ed costume party / shower which is Saturday night. Sunday is our family shower… PHEW. Nothing like packing it all into one weekend!

*Karen has a game she plays with Danny, where she pushes in on my belly and he pushes out, usually just after dinner when he’s very active. It’s an awful lot of fun, and I love that they get to interact even before they officially meet.

*Updated symptoms: heartburn, back pain, scary swollen ankles and fingers, still sleeping pretty well, definitely waddling, generally looking like a house like a sea lion very pregnant.  I also drop foods/beverages on my belly daily now.  It's a good look for me.

*Size at this point: 5 lbs, and about eighteen inches long. Roughly, the size of a small baby. :)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

57 days, and a few sonogram pics

The first one is his skull, which looks less than round to me.  Karen, of course, is sure that I'm a complete wacko and googled the shape of human skulls to show me pictures.  She is one patient woman. 

He is facing the upper left corner of the picture, for those of you like me who are struggling to see things now.  It was a little easier when his whole body fit into the frame at once.
The second picture is his foot touching the top of his head, which just makes him look all bendy.  The acrobatic moves I've been feeling are apparently for a reason. 
This one looks like a hookah to me, but I'm pretty sure that's unlikely.  This is probably rated NC-17, but I can't see anything for the life of me. 

:)  57 days left!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

That's still a big kitten!

Yesterday's appointment went just fine, save the fact that we waited for over two hours to be seen. The doctor placed the ultrasound wand onto my stomach and almost immediately pulled it off and asked, 'Do you know the sex?' Apparently, our boy is very proud of his anatomy, and surprised even the doctor with his immodesty. The kitten is doing well, he's head down and all looks good. He currently weighs 4lbs, 9oz, and that puts him in the 86th percentile -- he's still bigger than 86% of babies his age. Sonograms to come... I didn't grab a picture of them last night. On a few of the pictures, his foot is up by his head. I could just eat him up already, and I haven't even met him yet.

We sat in the main waiting room with a family waiting for their own baby to be born: Grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles all excited and anxious. After half an hour or so, the dad came downstairs to announce the birth of their baby boy, and everyone shouted and jumped for joy... I might have cried a bit, (read: cried quite a bit) even though I don't know them at all. I just imagined Karen walking into the same scene, with news of our baby boy. Welcome to my world.

Another week until my next OB appointment... we're crawling to the finish line, but these little glimpses make it easier to wait. Strangers ask what I'm having, and say things like 'You must be due any day now, huh?' Nope, just under two months left now. 'Oh, you'll never go that long... He'll be early.'

Whatever you say! We wouldn't mind meeting him anytime after 37 weeks. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

sixty days left and a weekend recap

I was reading another blog earlier and saw that they were only 58 days away from their due date...  'Hmm...  we must be a week or so away from that countdown,' I thought.  I was a little surprised to learn that we're a mere sixty days away from ours.  Yikes.  Time flies when you're pretending labor won't happen!

We had a fun-filled weekend to say the least...  Friday we had family game night at our place, and stayed up until past 1am, which is later than I have stayed up in months.  Brunch Saturday with Jami and Laura, who trekked a whole hour to our side of town just to eat with us (and pick up their Farmer's Market bounty).  I give them credit...  I have trouble putting on clothes and walking across the street on Saturdays.  They are a motivated bunch!  Saturday night we went to the East side for dinner with fam, and had a Neighbor Cookfest yesterday. 

I made braised short ribs for the first time, and I highly recommend this recipe.  I didn't let them sit overnight, but I swear they were amazing without the extra step.  I managed to spend an extra thirty minutes in the store, searching for a few of the more obscure ingredients (crème fraîche?) only to find that the recipe didn't even really need them (and that sour cream is a respectable alternative)...  The meat and the gravy it produced was A-Mazing and it has quickly become my new favorite meal.  (Hint: the prep was the bulk of the work, since that took me a good solid ninety minutes, the remaining cooking time of 3 hours was a breeze, aside from the first-time-braisers-maintenance as the juices overflowed onto the oven floor.)  Thanks, Stephanie, for keeping us company and helping with dessert -- we made little apple pie tarts in a cupcake tin that were SO easy and SO good, that if I hadn't made up the idea, I'd think I'd stolen it.  Before we knew it, it was 9pm and we were all in a food coma on the couch, lounging while the Amazing Racers did the opposite of lounging. 

We have our 3rd Tri Ultrasound tomorrow, and I couldn't be happier to see the kitten again.  It's been since early August since we've caught a glimpse of him, and he should be considerably bigger now...  Average size is about 4½ pounds, and about 16" long.  If he's still following their early predictions, he should weigh about thirty pounds.  We'll see tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

more crazy, please!

Last night, Karen made pizza and generally waited on me for the evening, which I loved. I figured I'd take advantage, and mentioned that I had a taste for frosting, jokingly asking if she'd whip some up for me. She immediately got that lit-up kid look, and headed to the kitchen, insisting that I close my eyes. (Cue the slapstick music.) Ever the skeptic, I followed her orders, covered my eyes with one hand and began to giggle somewhat uncontrollably while I waited for her to return with her surprise. She continued to insist (loudly) that I not peek! NO PEEKING! I MEAN IT! So the covered eyes continued, as did our laughter. She approached me and I began to worry what might be in her hands, realizing it could be ANYTHING!!! I wracked my brain to think of the contents of our fridge and freezer -- it could be fruit, milk, veggies… or it could be a mean surprise like cold chicken soup. I was convinced that I might have something to be afraid of, so I covered my mouth. We both were laughing hysterically, and in between the laughter I could barely catch my breath. I had to give in, as you’d expect, and allow her to finish her surprise, so I opened my mouth and waited for what felt like MINUTES, only to hear the familiar sound of compressed air. She had sprayed whipped cream into my mouth, and the second I realized it wasn’t soup I was as hysterical as she was. I laughed harder, she laughed harder. I stood up, and laughed even harder… aaaaaaaaand then tried to take a deep breath. Yep, not the smartest move with a mouthful of whipped topping. I began to choke only for a second and then recovered, but not before the laughter turned to terror and I began to experience some rabid hybrid of laugh-crying. I couldn’t even contain it, and this noise escaped from my mouth that sounded like a wounded sea lion, tears streaming down my cheeks, while miraculously still laughing.  (Imagine a very extended duck honk.)  The look on her face was a cross between delight and true concern, since no one normally cries, laughs and wails at the same time.  She kept saying she was sorry she tried to kill me with whipped cream, which was even funnier.  After a few minutes I calmed down, and we kept laughing and recapping how in the hell that happened.  "You're totally going to have to post a story about this tomorrow...  I wonder if it will translate," she said.  I don't know if it did, but just writing it made me laugh again.

I don’t think she’ll try to surprise me with food again, but I’m thinking that it may be my turn to surprise her, just to show her what she missed.

Monday, October 12, 2009

week 30

Ever since we found out we were pregnant, I've been looking forward to our hospital's labor & delivery tour, and I'm not exactly sure why... Maybe because it helps me visualize what it'll be like the day we meet our boy, or maybe it's because that meant that we'd be so far along. I figured it would be a sunny fall day with lots of orange leaves and fall temperatures, which I was not mistaken about. I started my day with a spring in my step, heading to the only somewhat-local Old Navy that has a maternity department, for some new tops. I learned a lot about how online returns don't work, but was able to buy some layering pieces so that my ever-growing belly doesn't peek out from below all my shirts.  (Quick lesson learned this week: just because you start out your pregnancy with shirts that you're sure will be WAY TOO BIG all through your pregnancy, maybe you should listen to all the people who tell you in that 'been there' tone that...  huh...  yeah...  that's never going to happen, and you'll outgrow everything you buy.)  We then headed to the hospital a little early so we could pick up lunch along the way, and arrived in plenty of time to make it to the tour.  What we hadn't considered is that I didn't show the hospital map to Karen, and we were navigating using my map skills.  (♫ Dun dun DUN! ♪)  We eventually made it to where we were supposed to be after a few detours and only managed to miss the first five minutes of the lecture portion.  Way to go, Suze. 

We learned that there are cameras allowed up until the birth and then immediately after, which is fine with me.  I would like to point out here that I reserve veto rights regarding all video and pictures of myself from that day, and am glad that I won't have to worry about any actual-birth-photos.  We learned about pre-registering and saw the rooms that we'll deliver in.  We also saw the post-partum rooms, which I was a little surprised to learn, were not as lavish or as large as I had vividly imagined.  But all in all, it was pretty much how I'd thought it would be.  (The one surprise: there's a 'room service' menu, that you can order from whenever you'd like.  Nicer than the typical hospital rounds of jello and chicken broth I had imagined.) 

After our tour, we made homemade pot pies with our neighbor, Stephanie, and basically lounged the night away.  Sadly, Monday morning came much sooner than I thought it would, as is often the case after a busy weekend.  Oh well, we're in the thirtieth week now, which means that the babe is about the size of a squash. 

I can say he's at least that big, since he is residing on my bladder.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

not good

So today, I feel unwell.  Nothing that won't disappear in a few days I'm sure, but I'm grouchy and foggy and I feel like I've been hit by a bus.  For the first hour of work, I pondered going home, but that seems like a lot of work.  I'm certainly not dying...  So I'm toughing it out and getting everyone else remotely sick too getting some work done.

So please ignore me as I sit here quietly and every so often scoop a spoonful of Date Bars* into my mouth. 

*really the best thing ever invented, and likely to cure all known ailments

Monday, October 5, 2009

reason #497

Every week or so, I obsess about the items on our to-do list that have yet to be crossed off; some days it's our need for a crib, others, a glider.  One day, I scanned eBay for an hour looking for a bargain on breast pumps.  You never really know what you'll get.  (Quick aside, Karen's sign language classes have had a mixed result: She occasionally makes up signs on the go.  For example, I don't believe she's learned the sign for breast pump in her class, but that didn't stop her from unwittingly acting it out at dinner with my parents.  Good times.)  So, lately I've been focusing on the fact that we haven't chosen a crib yet, and since we're still eighty days from our due date, this hasn't really been a pressing issue.  By Saturday afternoon, though, I had it in my head that we needed to go shopping to at least compare models and probably maybe to buy one.  So we looked up the nearest Babies R Us, and found it near the airport, but we decided against the trip and went about our day.  We were supposed to attend a college play that night, to fulfill a requirement for one of Karen's classes.  The play was about an hour and fifteen minutes away, which means I was on the lookout for alternative ideas...  Maybe we could find a play that's closer another night?  Maybe there's another event altogether that we could attend?  Basically, I hemmed and hawed until she changed her mind.  Of course, I immediately felt a little selfish for not being more easygoing about the whole idea, and I proceeded to try to talk her back into seeing the play.  I start to feel better when I think I've successfully talked her into it.

Quick aside, I'm HORRIBLE with geography; I once thought Detroit was east of us. And by once, I mean about two years ago.  Karen is well aware my geographical disinclination.  She finds it endearing. 
(Or so I tell myself.)

Cast your mind... We're now in the car, heading west when I think we should be heading east.

Me: "I looked at the map, and the campus was south-east of us."
Her: "Are you sure you looked at it right?"
Me: "I think so...  It was east of the main campus"
Her: "You must've looked at it wrong"
Me: "Hmm, really? 

About fifteen minutes later, we're passing the airport we discussed earlier, but I convince myself that she mentioned that it was en route to the theater.  Hint: this is when normal people would've caught onto her scheme.  A few minutes later, we're exiting at the mall that I now remember is near the Babies R Us, and I realize what she's done.  Turns out, she felt guilty that we were going to a play I didn't care about when I'd been wanting to look at cribs.  ☺

Reason #497 that we're perfect for each other.

another weekend gone...

Is it really Monday again?  I think we just need a few weeks of vacation in a row, to read a lot and better ourselves, and -- oh, fine...  I wanted to sit around and do nothing a little longer. 

We had a usual weekend, with a trip to Babies 'R' Us thrown in.  I felt a little like a celebrity, getting to use the 'expectant moms only' parking, but I soon chilled out.  We found a gorgeous crib that we both love, so we have another item crossed off our lists.  It wasn't in stock, despite the 'IN STOCK TODAY' sign, so we'll be picking it up in a week or so.  Karen almost killed the counterperson was moderately patient with less than stellar service and after waffling for a bit, we decided to get a changing table elsewhere.  Recent internet review checks have taught us that the changing table in question may not have been the best buy anyway, so it all worked out.  I can't wait to bring this guy home and set him up!  Sick, I know...
We did not get the cute monkey / hedgehog bedding set shown above, for a myriad of reasons, mainly because spending $250 on a bumper and blanket that won't be used at all cause it's dangerous seemed crazy we registered for more frugal choices at Tarjay.  I must admit, though, a huge part of me almost bought the bumper/blanket combo just to use it before Danny can roll over.  Is this how these companies make all their money?  On sappy, crazy mothers who just want the nursery to be adorable regardless of the functionality?  Shocking!
In other news, I had a crazy cooking day yesterday, that included fresh tortilla chips, a homemade pumpkin pie, a meatloaf dinner with potatoes and gravy, and date bars.  Clearly, I am suffering from some sort of psychotic break, and everyone we know will be fed for weeks.  :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

CPR Anytime

One of my facebook friends mentioned this website, and it couldn't have been more timely...  I was looking into CPR class for Karen and myself just this morning, and this website let me order a kit that is less expensive than the classes offered at our hospital...  And I figure we can pass it along to the grandparents so they can all take it.  There's also adult versions if you're so inclined...

And, look! Even the dog can learn.

☼ here comes the sun...

The sun's out for the first day in what feels like weeks...  Such a nice change!

I signed us up for our childbirth classes today and I'm getting really excited.  Last night, Karen felt Danny kick 'harder than ever before' and he's started to really roll around in there.  Hard to believe he'll more than double his current weight before we meet him. 

Tonight is also (trumpet noise) my last Bio class!!!  It's gone by pretty quickly, but it's been an amazing amount of work.  We each have a ten minute presentation tonight that I'm dreading more than I would've thought...  I used to be such a brave public speaker, but now I get very nervous.  So, I've decided to read from my script and make sure I look up often.  Even practicing last night for Karen had my stomach all in knots.  I'll be a happy girl by 8pm tonight when it's over.  I feel like I should have a tequila and hot dog party.  Probably not smart, though...  huh?

Question of the day: why is it that we feel so much better when the sun's out?  ☼

Friday, September 25, 2009

I just realized...

...that our due date is three months from today. 


Monday, September 21, 2009

there sure is a lot of stuff out there

I was excited when I realized we still had to finish our baby registry on Saturday.  We went to Tarjay and were given our very own (for an hour or so) scan-gun!  What I remembered as a 'few aisles of baby stuff' turned into an hour and a half of 'do you like this?  How about this one?  Will we need this?'  over and over again.  We spent a good chunk of time looking through furniture and strollers and crib sheets, oh my!  We even went to Walmart afterward to comparison shop for cribs.  That store scares me, for the record.  It's much too big to do any kind of focused shopping.  Groceries are on one side, baby stuff on the other; garbage can we needed was in the middle of the whole store, and then we needed to ask where they kept the garbage bags.  It felt like an episode of The Amazing Race, but with crappier views and loudspeakers.  We managed to make it out alive, just barely.  I spent the rest of Saturday making chili, which we'll likely eat for the next three months.  I might have made too much...

Yesterday started as a typical Sunday, with Karen heading out for a round of golf with Dad, Mike and Mickey...  until she called an hour later to say she pulled her back and was heading home.  She managed to plop herself on the couch and hasn't really moved since.  It doesn't look comfortable at all, and she's a much more patient patient than I would be. 
We're in week 27, which means we've just started our third trimester!*  He weighs about 2½ pounds, and should be about fifteen inches long.  He can now open and close his eyes, and will likely jump in response to sharp sounds.  He's definitely getting stronger every day, and it's fun to see him push my stomach out like something from Aliens.  I can't wait to meet this little guy...

*I remember speculating how different things would seem once fall hit, thinking I'd feel so much more mature and maternal, cartoon birds hovering as I walk, a skip in my step.  Silly rabbit, it's more of a waddle.  And rather than feeling all glowy, I tend to just want more naps.

Friday, September 18, 2009

weekend plans and the usual recap

The glucose test was uneventful, and aside from being surprisingly tired later that night, it was a snap.  So far, no news, which I am hoping means that everything is fine.  The orange stuff was actually somewhat tasty, and reminded me of that orange drink I used to get in a tiny carton in grade school.  I did get a little worried when my friend said she was instructed not to eat anything all day beforehand, if she wanted to pass.  (Of course, worrywart Susan then checked the direction sheet she was given, to confirm that she was told it was okay to eat.)  Something tells me that Chipotle isn't the meal to eat just before this specific test, but I suppose time will tell.  The rest of the appointment was easy as usual, my belly is growing, of course.  My doctor is happy with my weight gain and says that everything looks great so far, which is always nice to hear.  Apparently the B-H contractions are nothing to worry about unless they happen more frequently than 4 per hour.  Mine aren't even close to that, so I'm going to stop obsessing.  Maybe.

My biology class is a little more than half over, and I've learned a few things: dissecting a cow heart isn't the exciting experience that dissecting a frog was in tenth grade.  It's kind of like preparing steak.  And, I am not as interested in, nor am I as good at science as I once thought.  When I started this class, I was excited to learn new things (I loved my college Astronomy class, and bio in high school...) and figured I was sure to keep my 4.0 GPA (I owned a microscope that I used for fun for several of my teen years!).  Now I'm kind of happy for it to be ending, so I can read what I choose and not spend my Sundays retyping information from a textbook.  I am also right on the cusp of losing my A, which is seriously frustrating because -- HELLO -- I'm a relatively smart girl who has gotten nothing but As for YEARS.  Our program has a stricter grading scale than normal, and there are forty possible points weekly, which means I can miss 2.8 points before I lose my A.  No pressure.

Okay, venting complete.  For now.

Tonight we have dessert with the fam for G-Ma's birthday, which I'm looking forward to.  It's at Malley's, which means ICE CREAM!  (Yey!)  Other than that, our weekend looks pretty breezy and we should be able to fit in a movie.  (Hint, hint.  Karen.  Ahem.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

100 days to go, and a birthday wish

As the countdown dwindles, I start to get just a little more nervous and excited.  In 100 days, (give or take) we will have our little boy home.  I've started to have some braxton hicks contractions, which feel like a blood pressure cuff around my belly.  From what I read, they're perfectly normal, but I'll be sure to ask about them at today's appointment.  Also today, (drumroll...) I'll have the much-awaited glucose test!!!  Try to remain calm, folks.  I know that everyone secretly wants to drink flat orange soda and have blood drawn.

In other news, today is my Dad's birthday! 

Happy Birthday, Papa!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

another Tuesday

Time is flying along, and it's starting to feel a little like fall here; it gets dark earlier and gives me an excuse to wear sweaters at night.  We're in the 26th week now, which means that there's only fourteen left.  HOLY CRAP that seems close.  I started to realize that my brain needs to know that we're all set, or at least all planned for, so last night we sat down and made a little checklist of things that we have left to do before Christmas...  Crib, registries, little things, choosing a pediatrician, labor classes.  Do you have any opinions about L&D education classes?  It feels like one of those things we should do, but it also seems like it has the potential to repeat all the things I've been reading so far.  Are birthing classes worth it?

We're also waffling about whether to put the condo on the market, to see if it will sell quickly.  That might be something to check off our lists before next summer if we can.  We have always planned to move East eventually, in a year or so, but we're torn.  Cons: we LOVE our neighbors and our neighborhood.  Pro: we could be much closer to our families.  Con: we can walk to swanky restaraunts and we're five minutes from the city for games and concerts.  Pro: we will have very little time for these things come December.  Con: we love the condo now that all the remodeling is finished and I have my dream kitchen / bathroom / basement.  Con: the three-floor walk-up is virtually un-baby-proofable.   I suppose these may be moot discussions, since the housing market isn't exactly booming right now. 

The kitten weighs about 2½ pounds and about 13" long.  He definitely has some typical active periods, including 7am and 11pm (of course) and Karen can now see my stomach move from his kicks when she's all the way across the room.  I read yesterday that some expecting mothers experience some pretty serious pain, caused by feet that wedge between their ribs. 

Luckily, I've had a talk with Danny and explained that this is not acceptible behavior. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Tuesday! (and happy 100th!)

It's rainy and yucky here, but it's also Tuesday so that somehow makes up for the weather.  We had a great weekend with the fam on vacation, where we got to see our first Labor Day Fireworks show over the lake.  The weather there was absolutely beautiful, and we got to lounge and eat, which are two of my very favorite things. 
In other, sadder news, I received most of the clothes I ordered from Old Navy and found that more than half of the stuff didn't fit...  too big -- who'd have guessed?  So I have to mail it back and decide what I'd like to try in another size.  I wish a local O.N. had a maternity department so I could just try things on in the store. 

We're in the 25th week, so only 15 to go.  He should be about two pounds now, and 13.5 inches long.  His room is the size of a soccer ball, which makes it very difficult to bend over to pick things up off the floor now.

This is also my hundredth post -- YEY! It's been incredible making new friends through this blog, and letting our families follow our progress at the same time. Thanks to all who read and all who comment, it is much appreciated. :)