Archive for January, 2011

  • Crafty Sisters

    Date: 2011.01.31 | Category: Family, Me, Pregnancy, Style | Response: 13

    Working in graphic design, I often find it difficult to use my creative energy outside of work.  I have great plans to make and design things, but rarely see them through. My youngest sister, however, has great creativity and energy. However, she spends most of her time away at college or heading up some new summer camp or organization. So when she told me she had Saturday free and wanted to hang out, I knew just the thing we could do together!

    You see the baby’s room is in desperate need of new wall art. Right now the stuff from the guest bedroom is still hanging. And while scenes from New York are lovely, they aren’t exactly nursery material (well, not this particular nursery anyway). So I showed my little sister some stuff I liked online and she quickly whisked me into her car and took me to Hobby Lobby for supplies. After a little shopping, we came home, drew up some sketches and got to work.

    It’s a good thing my sister was there because as my energy level started to wane I kind of went brain dead, so she cut out all the really hard stuff like branches, the birds, the turtle, the sun, the letters… and really everything but the flower and a few bird beaks. But I’m proud of that flower dang it!

    MC Sketching.
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    My pretty flower.
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    MC doing all the cutting…
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    Laying it all out.
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    All done!
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    Oh, I also painted the canvas. It’s poster sized and I think I’m going to hang it either over the rocking chair or the changing table in the nursery.

  • 30 Weeks

    Date: 2011.01.25 | Category: Baby, Pregnancy | Response: 9

    1/25/11

    30 Weeks

    We’ve reached the point where we only have 10 weeks left. 10 weeks! I can count that on two hands! I’ve already done that three times over, which is hard to believe.

    This week has marked pain in my pelvic bone. So much pain in fact, that it’s added to my inability to sleep. I think you must be sitting low indeed. I’m going to ask the doctor about it when I go back in a week.

    This was also the first week I saw you move like a giant wave across my abdomen. It was so strange. Some days you are so wild that I feel like I’m getting beat up, and other days you’re so quiet that I think something is wrong. You must alternate between a couple of days wearing yourself out and a day sleeping.

    My incurable desire for strawberries still persists and we’ve been going through gallon after gallon of milk. Cookies are also one of my favorites right now. I think even your dad’s awesome metabolism is having trouble keeping pace with the influx of calories that he refuses to let me eat alone.

    My stomach feels so stretched and at nighttime sometimes it feels so sensitive that I don’t want to move. And I’m not even very big! I can’t imagine what those poor women with big pregnant bellies must go through.

    I think we’ve got your pediatrician picked out now, which makes me feel better.

    So many things to plan and do for your arrival! I can’t wait!

    Love, Mama

  • Still Fighting It

    Date: 2011.01.23 | Category: Me, Pregnancy, Weirdness | Response: 9

    Cassie recently posted about her pregnancy insomnia. As I’ve mentioned several times on here, I too have struggled with getting any kind of decent sleep. This is due to four main causes:

    1. The inability to get comfortable. Even if I fall asleep with pillows all around me, I inevitably end up on my back and in pain, or awakened by an elbow to the pelvic bone (OW baby!)

    2. Having to pee ALL the time. I can now step over the dog, stumble to the bathroom and get back in bed all with my eyes closed in less than one minute.

    3. Getting too hot. The pillows are comforting, but they overheat me. And Leela has taken to sleeping on my feet.

    4. The vivid DREAMS, which are apparently a common pregnancy phenomenon.

    And what am I dreaming about? You would think I would be plagued by dreams of the baby’s arrival, fears of getting things right, labor and delivery… but no. I dream about being killed. And no ordinary killings. Thus far I have been attacked by zombies, pirates, zombie pirates, velociraptors and my best friends and co-workers ala Hunger Games style. Oh yes, and the black plague. And in all these dreams, I am begging them to save the baby if I’m killed. What the heck does it even mean? And the dreams are so real.

    I’ve also, for the first time in my life, had a few lucid dreams. Dreams where I realized in my dream that I was dreaming. And that is a whole nother level of messing with your head. Half way through the dream, I will pause and literally say, “Wait a minute, this is a dream isn’t it?” And then proceed on with it knowing that I’m dreaming. Most of the time I wake up shortly after I discover this.

    This, as you can imagine, has led to very little decent sleep which has made me cranky and overly emotional. Well I’m sure the pregnancy has something to do with that too. But, I’m actually starting to get used to it. Maybe this is all part of the process of getting ready for little girl’s arrival?

    Let’s just hope tonight I don’t awake from another fight for my life.

  • Beware the Tale of Slimy Jake

    Date: 2011.01.21 | Category: Family, Friends, Life, Nostalgia, Weirdness | Response: 6

    As little girls, my sister Shannon and I were terrified by tales my dad told of “Slimy Jake.” He was a swamp and woods monster of sorts who lived in the great woody expanse that was our friend Katie’s farm.

    Katie’s dad got in on it too, and every time we went there, our dads would fill our heads full of the terrifying adventures of Slimy Jake. If we spent the night there, then we better hide from the windows because he would surely be peering through them at us and scratching to get in. If we wandered around the farm, we better not go alone because Slimy Jake would be waiting.

    Now I was a child with a very active imagination and it didn’t take much to get Slimy Jake wrapped up in my mind. When the three of us would wander together, we would swear that we saw him just around that tree or bush and work ourselves into a fright. We would pick blackberries and dad would tell us he just saw him and we better hurry up and get in the truck. This was an ongoing scare, and it’s really amazing we wanted to go to the farm at all.

    Well one night, we went to a slumber party at Katie’s house. There were about 10 little girls there, all between the ages of 6 and 8. As part of the party, they decided to take us on a night ride in the suburban around the farm. Katie’s parents loaded us up and began the drive. All the while, Katie’s dad started telling the tales of Slimy Jake. Before long, he had the whole car full of little girls simultaneously hiding their faces and eagerly wanting to know more.

    As her dad reached the point of the story where Slimy Jake lives in the woods, we rounded the corner and Slimy Jake himself came tearing out of the woods and started beating on the windows and growling at us.

    Now, we later found out that “Slimy Jake” was my father wearing all black and a glow-in-the dark green slimy mask, but you can imagine the very real effect this had on a car full of scared little girls.

    There was LOUD screaming, lots of crying, flailing and gnashing of teeth. Katie’s mom, who was not in on this little gag by the way, was simultaneously cursing, crying and beating her husband about the head. She was, after all scared and now in charge of calming down 10 little girls for the duration of the evening and explaining what happened to their mothers the following day.

    The dads, of course, were thrilled with their success and laughingly congratulated themselves on making 10 little girls cry. Katie and I, being the oldest, dutifully tried to calm everyone down. As I’m sure you can imagine, no one slept much that night.

    But when it’s all said and done, it is one of those life moments I will never forget… though I think I would kill my husband if ever pulled a stunt like that on my child who was younger than say, 12.

  • The Nursery Project

    Date: 2011.01.19 | Category: Baby, Pregnancy, Style | Response: 15

    When we originally bought this house, I knew right away which room would be our nursery one day and chose the paint color with that in mind. It’s a pale yellow, an improvement over the grimy, booger-covered white that was there before. The room became our guest bedroom/ catch-all room for over a year. And it was a mess.

    This is what the “nursery” looked like when we started this project.
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    Two days and many back pains later, it looked like this:
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    But I couldn’t bare that awful blue carpet.  Plus, there were boogers all over the walls. Who knows what was IN that carpet?

    So we replaced the carpet, which made the room look much bigger.

    Then we started moving things in…
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    The pictures on the wall are left over from the guest bedroom and will be taken down and replaced with more nursery friendly things. That folding chair will move out and the big tupperware bin will too. The swing will probably find its way into the living room. Eventually we hope to fill that little cube shelf up with children’s books.

    We have been very fortunate in securing everything in the room.
    The Bed: $75 courtesy of Re-runs, an annual, local consignment baby sale.
    Dresser and changing table: We bought them both second hand from Susan’s sister-in-law.
    Cube Shelves: Target. I bought them five or so years ago.
    Rocking recliner: Inherited from my great uncle Mix.
    Bedding and swing were gifts from my co-workers and grandparents.

    Her closet is full of mine and my sisters’ smocked dresses from when we were babies. I’m so glad mom kept all of these in great shape!
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    Some of the details.
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    The bowl and letters are both gifts from my aunt and came from Anthropologie. I love that the pattern and birdies tie in with the pattern of the birds and leaves on her blanket. The blanket came from Amazon.com and all the clothes were donated from my friend Jill.

    There will be many more details to come, I feel sure. I’ll keep you posted as we continue to nest. We are so excited!

    Leela, however is still not sure what to think about all this.
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  • 29 Weeks

    Date: 2011.01.18 | Category: Pregnancy | Response: 7

    1/18/11

    29 Weeks

    Only 11 more weeks and your mama is starting to panic a bit. I want everything to be so perfect for your arrival and the prospect of being responsible for another life is intimidating. Your daddy, however, is completely unconcerned and keeps telling me everything will be fine.  But he isn’t going to be the one breastfeeding, so easy for him to say.

    This week has marked an intense craving for all things strawberry. I’ve been cleaning out pint after pint of strawberries, eating my way through cartons of strawberry ice cream and begging your dad to let me spend all our money at FruitiYogo where I can load up on low fat yogurt and strawberries. Maybe we can find a flat of them at Sam’s?

    Sleep and I have also had to part ways. All night I toss and turn, unable to get comfortable. When I do sleep, the dreams are so bizarre and intense that they wake me up. I’ve also started having Braxton Hicks contractions, which occasionally wake me up. And when I wake up, you wake up, which makes it difficult to go back to sleep. Usually I end up just getting up and finding something to eat, laying down for about a 30-45 minute nap, and then getting up for the day.

    I’m also experiencing this fun little thing called shortness of breath. Sometimes walking 10 feet will make me breathe like I just ran a mile. Heck, even laying down a certain way can make me breathe like that.

    I had a checkup at the doctor’s office yesterday. Besides my complete and utter despair over the long wait during lunchtime while smells of food wafted down the doctor’s office hallway, everything was fine. My fundal height is 29, which is apparently pretty long. But you have snuggled yourself down in the bottom of my uterus and look like you’re making camp there. Your heartbeat was a healthy 138. I was instructed on how to monitor fetal movement, which kind of made me laugh. I should feel you move four separate times in a 30 minute period. Usually I can count that in a five minute period. We’re going to the doctor every two weeks now.

    Only 11 more weeks, holy moly.

    Love, Mama

  • Hell Hath No Fury

    Date: 2011.01.14 | Category: Me, Pregnancy, Work | Response: 10

    Hello, my name is Crankypants.

    That’s how I’ve been feeling the past week or so. I think it’s a combination of bad sleep, painful body changes and hormones.  The bad thing is that I’m pretty sure this won’t be changing anytime soon. I try to stay upbeat, but honestly I just want to crawl into bed at the end of the day with my book and be left alone. Just a bundle of fun, that’s me.

    Yesterday the crankiness was at a high. But I was calming myself by dreaming about those Cheddar’s crescent rolls with the honey butter, knowing I would be able to eat at least one at our work lunch that day.

    I ordered the Caesar salad with said roll. The salad came out, but the roll did not. After much agitation, I flagged down the waitress who assured me that I would in fact be receiving my bread shortly. Content, I ate my whole salad. Still no roll. Then my soup came out. Still no roll. A few other things went wrong and the manager came to our table.

    I again reiterated my deep need for this crescent roll. He then assured me he would check on them for me and make sure I had THREE rolls to make up for my missing bread. Somewhat happier, I continued eating.

    But then he came back and told me that they couldn’t get the bread to rise. There apparently wasn’t enough humidity in the air.

    Now folks, I know that 99% of the days of the year we have intense humidity in the south and we just happened to be there on the 1% day where we didn’t, but come on! Stick them in a low temp oven for a bit. You can help those things rise.

    My anger began to boil. Margie, my coworker who was sitting next to me, whispered four crucial words to me then: “Play. The. Pregnancy. Card.”

    So I then announced loudly to the manager that I was pregnant and had been craving those rolls all day. In fact, it was the whole reason I went to Cheddars to begin with and then began to get upset. The manager kind of freaked out at that point and asked if there was anything he could get me instead.

    And that, my friends, is how I ended up with a free Cookie Monster, i.e. a cookie on a skillet covered in ice cream and chocolate. And while it was no crescent roll, it was still chocolate and ice cream, which brightened my mood considerably. Lori and Margie pitched in to help me eat it and I felt much better.

    Margie then said, “I’m so glad you told him that.”  I don’t know how my other co-workers felt about the scene, but that’s ok, because for 11 more weeks I can still blame it on pregnancy.

    And while I’m still not sleeping well (though the pillows have helped, thanks Cassie!), I’m kind of hoping my body will just adjust to it. After all, having a newborn isn’t going to be nights full of sleep.

  • 28 Weeks

    Date: 2011.01.11 | Category: Baby, Health, Pregnancy | Response: 7

    1/11/11

    28 Weeks.

    It’s official, we’ve entered the third trimester: the beginning of the end.

    And your mama? Is stuck somewhere between being absolutely exhausted all the time and frantically reorganizing the house and cleaning the kitchen.

    This is going to work out well for you as we have the basics of your nursery set up and ready to go. You now have a bed, bedding, dresser, changing table, rocking chair, bookshelf, swing and enough fashionable hand-me-down clothes that you will probably never wear the same thing twice your whole first year and a half of life. I think your Aunt Kelly will approve.

    Speaking of Aunt Kelly, she and your other aunties, Susan, Becki and Angela, have thrown themselves into planning the end all and be all of baby showers. You are going to wrack up little gal! But they are making sure that your mama enjoys herself too with all the cute décor and smorgasbord of food.

    Speaking of food, my sweet tooth has gotten out of hand. I’d like to thank the overwhelmingly large stash of Christmas chocolate and my never-full appetite for contributing to this. And while my weight seems to not have been affected, I need to exercise more caution. After all, in 12 weeks this mad eating frenzy will have to come to an end so I don’t end up the size of one of those Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade floats.

    Currently you seem to have wedged your butt and feet under my right ribs and have been moving non-stop all day long. While this is reassuring and amazing, it is also slightly uncomfortable. It can also make it kind of tough to breathe at times. I know things are just going to get tighter in the next 12 weeks, but don’t worry little bit, we’ll work through this together.

    Only 12 more weeks!

    Love, Mama

  • The Other Bump

    Date: 2011.01.09 | Category: Me, Pregnancy, Weirdness | Response: 11

    You know the one that’s growing out of my mid section and consuming my every-waking (and sleeping) thought these days. Or really I should say the lack there of.

    You see I’m growing and the baby is kicking, but my “baby bump” is not really all that round and smallish for a 7-month pregnant woman. This is not to say that I think any thing is wrong with me. On the contrary, the constant kicks this little girl gives me reassures me that everything is just fine.

    But in the past two weeks in particular, when people learn that I have only 12 weeks left, I’ve been met with a variety of reactions. From, “Wow, that must be a small baby!” to incredulous looks and questions about my eating habits to congratulations on my relatively small pregnancy and ability to “carry the baby so well.”

    I feel like I have to defend my size to people by telling them it’s just because I’m tall. Though really, I have no idea why.

    I have been having terrible back pain and, upon recommendation from my doctor, went in search of a pregnancy support belt. When I went in the maternity store, the lady was very helpful, but quickly directed me to the first trimester clothes. When I told her I was starting my third trimester she told me she couldn’t believe it and the other girl working with her rolled her eyes.

    Now folks, I have never been considered small for ANYTHING in my entire life. I’ve always stood out at 5’10,” had to dig to the back of the rack for my sizes and even get shut out at the shoe section where most sizes don’t go above a women’s 10. To be considered small for anything is a very new and weird experience for me.

    I brought this issue up to my doctor after becoming paranoid over people’s reactions. My doctor laughed and said, “This is a girl child right?” She said, “It’s not scientific, but I’ve found that women tend to carry boys out front like basketballs and little girls all over.” She then told me my weight was right on target and the baby was exactly where she needed to be. Every pregnant woman is different, after all.

    And even though my belly may be smallish for where I’m at in my pregnancy, my bra size is continuing to grow at a startling rate. I’m not going to tell you the size, but let’s just say I have to order online now.

    But that’s ok. Because let’s face it, baby girl is safe, sound and comfortable and I’ve experienced minimal stretching. What pregnant woman wouldn’t give her eye teeth for that?

    And three months is still a long time to grow.

    28 Weeks Pregnant

  • The Bump

    Date: 2011.01.05 | Category: Health, Life, Me, Pregnancy, Weirdness | Response: 12

    About a month or so ago I noticed a giant bump in my mouth. At first I thought I had probably done something to scratch my gum, causing it to swell all up. So I dismissed it and forgot about it.

    Then, about two weeks later I bumped that spot and noticed that it was still there and, was it my imagination, or had it grown?

    After talking to my mother, who told me when my dad had those it meant he had a tooth abscess, I began to freak out. But wouldn’t I be in more pain? So then my mind started to wander… maybe it was cancer? At which point I had promptly reached the point of freaking my own self out.

    Fortunately, one of my dad’s best friends is a dentist, and a patient dentist. So when I called him on a Friday night in a moment of, um… unrest, he dealt with me kindly and coolly.

    After giving him a full description of said lump he thought for a moment and said, “Oh, you’re pregnant aren’t you? I bet it’s a pregnancy tumor.”

    TUMOR?! Alarm bells going off.

    Before I could even mutter the word aloud, he calmly said, “These things usually go away on their own once the baby comes. It’s nothing to worry about, but if you want I’ll meet you at the office in the morning and take a look.”

    A kind man indeed to agree to meet me on a Saturday morning just so I can get some sleep at night.

    Well, when I climbed into the dentist chair that Saturday morning he looked in and said, “Oh, that’s not a pregnancy tumor.”

    Panic again began to well up.

    “It’s a mandible tori,” he said

    “Huh? Is it deadly?” I said.

    He laughed, “No it’s a bone growth and part of being a grown up. Some people just get them. And really, there’s no point in removing them because they’ll just grow back. You should Google it.”

    So here I am at 26 years old suddenly growing new bones in my mouth. WTH?

    Maybe I shouldn’t have Googled it, because there are some nasty photos out there, though they did make me feel better about what I have. I also learned that they think they are caused from prolonged teeth grinding in one’s sleep, which, as my former roommate Susan can attest to, has always been a problem for me.

    So now I know. It’s not cancer, it’s not a tumor, it’s just strange bone growth.

    Relief? I guess. Or maybe I’m really just a freak of nature.