18 October 2010

Xander is Finally Here!

All Tubes
At 42 weeks and 5 days... after coercion with breast pump, castor oil, membrane stripping, water rupturing and all... Xander finally decided to make his appearance. Labor came on fast and hard on Sunday afternoon. My contractions were two to three minutes apart (varying in length from 30 to 45 seconds) from the beginning and they were very intense. Early Monday morning, the contractions were coming at one to two minutes apart and at least a minute long each time. We called up Jill and she had us head on in to the birth center. I don't think any of us expected labor to continue on until that evening.

Holding His Hands
After 27 hours of labor... two hours of pushing... Xander was born. He wasn't breathing. Our hearts all stopped as the midwives desperately tried to get him to breath. The paramedics arrived and he was whisked away while I sat there unable to go along. I don't think I started breathing again until Ross called from the hospital to tell me he was okay.

He has muconium in his lungs, a few infections and some swelling of the brain. He is on oxygen as his lungs clear out the nastiness, but he is quickly being weaned off of it. There is some delay in his sucking and gagging reflexes, but he is making huge strides every day. In just the last week he has gone from an irritable, red-faced baby to an alert, happy little man. At birth, he was eight pounds and eight ounces. He is already up to nine pounds and an ounce. He is stuck in the NICU until he is able to eat by mouth. We've been given estimates of at least another week. I'm hoping the progress he's making will mean he can come home more quickly.

Harlequin Coloration
An interesting and rare thing popped up. It's referred to as a Harlequin Coloration... not to be confused with the Harlequin Mark. It is rare enough that they were calling nurses into the hospital to witness it. It's something, we are told, most nurses will never see in person. In fact, many had never heard of it. Jill also took pictures to show at her midwives meetings. The very little information on it said that it is from an immaturity in the hypothalamus. It usually goes away within a few days and never appears again. Leave it to our kid to be odd!

07 October 2010

42 Weeks and 1 Day Pregnant

... and still no baby. There is no way any of us would have predicted that I would still be pregnant at this point in time. I think even less would have predicted how well I'm handling the whole thing! Sure, it's a bit frustrating, but the frustration comes more from other people than from the pregnancy itself. The constant "No baby yet?!" is so annoying! Trust me... when I have the baby you will know!!!

And another phone call... have to finish this later...

17 September 2010

Still Pregnant

Officially past the 39 week mark and I'm still pregnant despite all the conviction that I would deliver a few weeks early. This is probably due to two factors: bed rest and the flu.

At my 38 week appointment with midwife Jill, my blood pressure had spiked a bit. It was still in the safe zone, but getting close to the start-to-worry point. She asked me to come back in a few days to check it again. In the meantime, I was placed on modified bed rest to see if it helped bring it down. Apparently it worked... I was back to normal two days later. So, they asked me to stay on bed rest and avoid stimulants. No caffeine, no chocolate and no cinnamon. Normally, they probably wouldn't have bothered with bed rest this late in the game, but they know I would prefer to avoid any form of induction (including stripping the membranes). My blood pressure was a little high again at Wednesday's appointment, but not as concerning as last time. This time she felt comfortable asking me to check it at a Walmart or Walgreens and call my numbers in to her. I think she has noticed the pattern... my blood pressure spikes when she checks it but is much lower when the other midwife Marijke does it.

Rosst has been sick for over a week now. On Saturday I started to pick up a few of the symptoms. We've both been miserable and barely getting any sleep. He probably would have recovered by now, but lack of sleep combined with two extra hours of work every day does not help a person get over a cold quickly. According to Jill, she has seen many women completely stall in progress when they become sick. The body knows when you are or are not ready to take care of the baby.

The timing was a bit of a disappointment for my side of the family... it meant that Xander did not come on Dad's birthday. It would have been a wonderful way to pay homage to a wonderful man, but it just wasn't meant to be. This little dude insists on his own special day!

03 September 2010

Pregnancy: Week 37

Well, we made it safely into full term. The appointment with our midwife Marijke went as well as usual. She was chatty as ever. When she checked Xander's position, she informed us that she's pretty sure he's going to come "a few weeks" early because he is well into position and has dropped considerably since she last saw me. Eeeep! Hoping we at least make it through to Wednesday. Ross would lose his vacation pay and his overtime if he misses work tomorrow or Tuesday... we'd take quite a hit. I'm really still hoping to make it to the 16th, which was Dad's birthday. That would only be a week early, though.

The pelvic pain has not been as bad and I'm having fewer Braxton Hicks. I am getting a new pain... sharp jolts in my lower back... usually a moment or two after I get a headbutt to the pelvis. Most likely Xander is hitting a nerve, but it makes me panic slightly when it happens because a similar symptom was the only reason my mom knew she was in labor with my little sister.

Should be posting baby pics any day...

26 August 2010

Pregnancy: Week 36

The final week to officially being full term. We had our first of the weekly meetings with our midwives. I love my midwives, but going in for weekly appointments feels so tedious. Yes, he's still moving. Yes, I'm eating well... except the sweets and fried foods I've been craving. No, I don't have any questions. Oh look, my BP, weight and measurements are all right on track... again. *Insert small talk here.* And, we're out the door to do it all over the next week.

I wish I could schedule that time to have them come over and do the things I've been procrastinating on. That would be more helpful. Anyone want to pack the list of stuff the require and recommend for delivery day? Ross got the suitcase out of storage and onto the ottoman at the foot of the bed. He did that a week ago. We call this progress. I still need to track down and purchase a robe... well, a robe that doesn't look like the "housecoats" that my grandma wears. And, we need to buy the snacks we'll be consuming during labor. I have this feeling we'll be dropping by the store to grab this stuff on the way to the birth center.

So, yeah... as I mentioned in a slightly more sarcastic tone in the first paragraph, everything is going well. Measurements are all right on track with a textbook pregnancy. My weight is hovering just below my pre-pregnancy weight. For someone who started the pregnancy overweight, this is considered a very good thing. It's especially impressive when I've been almost homicidal in acquiring sweet and fried foods. Xander's heartbeat is steady and strong and he is firmly in place (head down, tush against my ribs, feet under my ribs) to take on birth. A few more days and we're safely go for launch!

18 August 2010

Pregnancy: Week 35

Today is the first day of my 35th week. Two more weeks (September 1) and I'm considered full term. I have been convinced Xander is coming early, so I am anxiously waiting for that magic day to come and then I will relax a bit. If I go into labor before September 1, we lose our nice calm birth center birth and have an "emergency" birth at the hospital.

The Braxton Hicks act up if I do anything but sit around. I went shopping with Angel and Mackenzie on Monday and had to pause for a break several times. The SPD only seems to get bad at night or when I walk a lot, but basic daily cleaning and activities don't aggravate it. The nighttime issue comes when I want to turn over. The suggestion to keep your legs pressed together as you flip over seems to make it feel worse. I swear, an average flip in bed takes me about ten minutes!

We're mostly set on the baby gear necessities. We decided to go ahead and get an infant car seat even though the car seat we got is suitable for use from five to fifty pounds. The stroller we purchased has a matching car seat that fits into it and that seemed the best way to go. It's supposed to be a mild autumn, so we figured we'll get some use out of it in its stroller function also. It even comes with a bunting that matches for keeping baby extra warm.

The Wrong Color
Still waiting on the baby bedding. Babies 'r' Us messed up on the order and sent the girl version... for all three items. It was really obvious from the moment I opened the shipping box that we had the wrong stuff. It screamed pink! (It even says pink.) We have to return the wrong set and wait for them to contact us about the correct set. They have to contact the manufacturer (who did the actual shipping) to determine how and why we got the wrong set. Still waiting on an answer and I got the shipment on Friday... it's now Wednesday. The customer service rep I spoke with suspected that the set we wanted was out of stock, so the people packing figured the other set would be close enough. Not even! It is the only set Ross and I both liked, so we need to get this sorted out ASAP.

12 August 2010

Pregnancy: Week 34

I can't believe it's already week 34! Three more weeks and I'm considered full term. Mom accompanied me to the appointment with the midwife yesterday. Apparently, Xander has already settled himself quite deeply into my pelvis. To quote Marijke, "Wow! The little guy is really down there!" Well, I guess now I know why I've had that "gotta go" feeling so constantly. He is taking up every bit of space available to him... head right down in my pelvis, butt poking out my side and feet buried up under my ribs. Being short-waisted strikes once again!

After we left the birth center, we went thrifting to pick up a few more outfits and hunt down a swing and/or bouncy seat. Letting Mom loose in the infant section verges on dangerous. LOL Goodwill's selection was a disappointment, but we did well at Savers. We found about ten or twelve shirts, a jacket, four pants, crib sheets, receiving blankets (to be cut up as baby wipes), a brand new fleece blankie and a bouncer.

I have been fully enjoying complete laziness the last few days. It has been nice to really not have anything to worry about except the reading recommended by the midwives. Dinners were pretty much covered by leftovers from the shower. Even cleaning has taken a back burner to relaxation. I'm sure I'll find a happy medium within a week or so, but for now the laziness is needed and appreciated. I'm lucky to have a husband that is okay with it.

10 August 2010

Baby Shopping

There were a few major items to get yet after the baby shower. Rather than continuing to procrastinate, we pulled out the ol' credit card and fired up a secure internet connection for some shopping.

First on the list was diapers. We decided to cloth diaper for economical and environmental reasons. To keep it simplified (and to guarantee Ross' help changing diapers), we opted for one-size pocket diapers. The FuzziBunz came highly recommended over and over... plus they're just cute!

We then looked to cover all of the sleeping and travel necessities. We already have the crib, but no mattress. Well, we have a mattress Ross' mom gave us, but it is strongly smoke-odored and losing firmness so we won't use it. We found a reasonable-priced and well-reviewed Sealy crib to toddler bed mattress. For his early days, we decided to keep Xander in our room. Many people recommended the Pack 'n' Play route for those who don't want to buy a bassinet for that short time. This one by Safety 1st is what we decided on. I like the basic brown and the features... Ross likes the price. We didn't forget the car seat! We decided to skip the infant seat and go to one that works from infant to toddler and for rear- and forward-facing. Safety 1st won out here, too. Toss in a jogging stroller by BabyTrend and a Snugli carrier by Evenflo and we're set for sleeping and travel.

Oh! The bedding! We remembered that too. Our original plan had been a castle/ fleur de lis/ dragon theme, but the bedding we had originally chosen has been discontinued. Ross and I perused several sites that sold baby bedding and finally found one we both liked. It's still the same neutral browns and creams of the original set, but features teddy bears instead of fleur de lis. It's youthful without being overly cutesy.

Other than odds and ends (and a breast pump), we're pretty much set for awhile. It feels like we can relax a little bit... at least until this all shows up and we have to figure out what to do with it all!

09 August 2010

Xander's Baby Shower

Baby Butt Cake
Ahhhh... so glad this weekend is finally over! It was a crazy weekend, but the shower went very well and everyone had a good time. We had a great turnout. I got to see family and friends that I hadn't seen in quite awhile... and even met a few from Ross' side that weren't able to make it to the wedding last year.

Gifts Part One
We had our usual boatload of food and a lot of people brought dishes to pass, too. Ross was King of the Grill. He whipped out about 75 burgers (beef, turkey and veggie), 75 brats and 40 hot dogs in less than an hour! We actually had far fewer leftovers than normal, so our guests must have meant it when they said everything tasted great. The star of the show was the baby butt cake that Angel made. Too cute for words!

Gifts Part Two
Everyone was very generous with the gifts. It will definitely help us out when it comes to being prepared for Xander. The only doubles we got were the highchairs and bottle drying racks... both of which are not really bad things to have extra of. We still need some of the big stuff, but we were also given plenty in cash and gift cards to take a bite out of that expense. My favorite item was the blanket my mom made. She definitely knows my style and it will work beautifully with the colors we have planned for his bedroom. (It's the cream blanket with brown ribbon hanging over the edge of the crib.)

Gifts Part Three
Now I get to tackle the fun part... putting it all away and determining what we still need. The things that first come to mind are the cloth diapers, mattress, car seat, breast pump, pack and play (for rooming with us at night) and bedding. Ross is going to have a minor heart attack when he goes to pay the next credit card bill, but he knows that most of what we're buying is stuff that will be used for several years. The FuzziBunz diapers are one-size, so they will last until potty training. The car seat is convertible, so it will last from birth to 40+ pounds. Even the bedding will still fit when the crib is converted to a toddler bed. I just need to keep reminding my frugal hubby that the up-front cost is higher, but it will all work out as cheaper in the end.

06 August 2010


I have been hard at work all day preparing for tomorrow's baby shower. Combine nesting with a party where many of the guests have not yet seen our house and you get the psycho-nester. I've been scrubbing, wiping, vacuuming, organizing, sewing and painting. I am so going to need a week-long nap when this shower is over!

I managed to get both the dresser and the curtain projects completed...
Much-Improved Dresser

Minty Curtains

04 August 2010


I am feeling a bit better after some sleep and a well-placed ice pack. The ice helped numb the pain enough to get some sleep, which seems to be what I needed most. Walking is still a bit awkward, but not quite so painful. I even managed the stairs down to the office.

I have declared myself in a don't-bother-me lazy day. I know there is a lot I need to finish up before the baby shower on Saturday, but I also know that nothing will get done properly if I'm feeling horrible. I have a final coat of polyurethane to do on the dresser drawers, a normally unused bathroom to scrub and prep for guests,  tables and chairs to set up and other things that would involve far too much squatting and kneeling... and would aggravate my pelvis. It can all wait a day.

I'll be using my time today to read, knit, watch TV and play games on Pogo. Not exactly productive, but I don't mind. LOL

03 August 2010

In Pain and Can't Sleep

It is nearly five in the morning and I can't sleep. I'm just in too much pain and too hot. I started out the night curled up with Ross in my pillow nest. By the time he started snoring, I was already uncomfortable and needed to change positions. I spent the next hour or so in and out of restless sleep. I moved out to the couch, aimed a fan at myself, turned on the TV and managed to get a couple hours. I have now been up since three-ish.

The pain is from all the walking yesterday. Basically, my pubic symphysis relaxed far too early in pregnancy and excessive walking (especially up and down stairs) gets very painful. Mom, Angel, Jason, Nevaeh and I (Rosst joined us at Walmart) went shopping for groceries and last minute items for the baby shower on Saturday. We spent nearly three hours wandering around Sam's Club and another two at Walmart. Add in hauling it all in the house and up the stairs. Stairs are the worst! I could barely walk by the time we were finally done. Didn't help that I was having Braxton Hicks contractions too. Ugh!

I am happy that we now have everything here and ready except for the fresh fruit and veggies. I feel like I can relax a little bit more. I've been far too tense about the party. We've just had so much we wanted to get done before the party and Ross and I are both feeling like we can finally just relax after it's over... until Xander arrives.

01 August 2010


I'm having one of those days where I am very bored, yet I don't feel up to doing a thing. There is plenty I could do, but nothing I want to do. I feel like a whiny little kid on a rainy day or something. It looks like a good time to curl up with a good book and maybe doze off for a bit. I have all week to finish my project list, so I think I can afford an afternoon of rest.

Pregnancy: Week 32

I realized I have not updated in far too long. We have been very busy prepping for Xander's arrival and attending the usual Summer parties and reunions. Pregnancy has been fairly uneventful... thankfully.

Soapbox Derby
My favorite news is not baby related. It's a moment of auntie pride. My niece, Mackenzie, surprised a whole lot of people when she won the regional soapbox derby race. It was her very first time racing and she beat out kids and teens who had been participating for years. She ended up at the world championship in Ohio! She didn't win there, but she did very well and we are so proud of her and how far she got. Some practice and she just may win next time!

Completed Family Room
The flooring project in the family room stretched into a full-fledged remodel. Everything got painted, polished and redone. You would barely recognize the room from its original look. It is so much brighter and prettier! (I wish I had taken some before shots. All I have is in-progress pictures.) It has come a long way from dirty, 20-year-old brown carpet and badly painted, yellowed walls. The place looked (and smelled!) like a dungeon when we started.

The before and after photos of the door should give a pretty good idea of the change. This is one of the five doors we did... and each took three coats. All of the trim and window frames were painted white as well. We went with two shades of a sage green for the walls.

Dresser Before
Another project has been a dresser Ross' mom gave us. We had intended to buy the dresser that matched the crib, but Kris told us to save our money because she had a dresser for us. "It'll probably just need a coat of paint." Translation: "Better roll up your sleeves, invest in Home Depot stock, and get ready for a few headaches!" We figured we'd strip and stain it to match. It turned out to be constructed of some mysterious pressed cardboard-like material. It was stained, strongly smoke-scented and pretty beat up. It also had a fold-down top to be used as a changing table, which Kris showed us was a bit of a tipping hazard. There was even a nest of some kind in the bottom under the lowest drawer!

Dresser In Progress
We are not ones to shy away from a challenge... and Ross likes to save a buck when he can, so we came up with a game plan and went to work. It is not quite finished, but it has come a long way. I suspect that Kris will not even recognize her dresser when she sees it! It now has three coats of primer, two coats of paint and the first of two coats of polyurethane. (The picture shows what it looked like before the poly.) We removed the fold down part for safety and aesthetic reasons. The changing table pad fits within the indent on the top of the dresser, so we still have that function if we find we need it. I'm quite proud of how it looks and amazed we got such a close match to the crib.

The baby shower was pushed back two weeks because of Mackenzie's derby... it was scheduled for the same day. It has given Ross and I time to finish off some projects that we wanted done before the party. This will be the first time many people see our home. I'm looking forward to getting the shower over with so we know what we have and can tackle the list of what we still need. I really hope the whole co-ed BBQ idea goes over well and everyone has fun.

14 June 2010

Marathon Mom

Bellin Run 2010
I just had to post a quick little something about how proud I am of my mom. She participated in her very first marathon this past weekend. It is great to see that she has taken on such a lot of positive changes since surviving lung cancer. It was a tough walk for her, but she finished (with a time just over two hours)... and she wasn't last!

08 June 2010

Given the All-Clear

Xander in 3D
I am thrilled to announce that yesterday's appointments went very well. All signs of dilation are gone. In fact, one of the renal pelvises was so small that it was hard to measure. The other renal pelvis was the same as at the last ultrasound... which, when you factor in growth of the baby, means that it also shrunk down. They also did a more complete check on other places for possible concern. The palate is completely formed. The nuchal folds are normal (this is apparently a common sign of Down's). There are no spots or abnormalities on his heart. The bladder was filling and emptying properly. All fingers and toes are properly aligned and accounted for. (Ross was born with a crooked foot, so this was a concern.) They even confirmed that he is in fact a boy... and it was very obvious. Even Mom, who has a ton of difficulty reading ultrasounds, would have been able to make out that shape!

The cool part was getting some 3D pictures. It was not something we would have paid for out of pocket, but are quite thrilled to have. The majority of my family has never seen 3D ultrasounds before, so it has been quite the treat for them. Ross has been showing off the photos at work.

02 June 2010

Enlarged Renal Pelvis

Ross and I went to our 24 week midwife appointment expecting everything to be fine and got a little bit of a shock when Jill told us that the ultrasound tech found an enlargement of the renal pelvis (in the 95th percentile). He had told us that he didn't see anything abnormal, so it was a bit unexpected to hear that there was a problem.

We were told not to worry too much because it is very common and usually resolves itself. Jill told us that she needed to send us to a perinatologist for a follow-up ultrasound. Apparently, if the condition gets bad, we would have to go with a hospital birth... which is the one thing I most wanted to avoid. She kept reassuring us not to worry because it is so common and she has seen it many times before and only two had to go with hospital births, but we all know telling us not to worry is useless!

And, silly me, I had to go and look it up online when I got home. That certainly didn't help my anxiety level! That's where I discovered that it can signal Down's Syndrome, especially if it's very large (like 95th percentile perhaps?). Dealing with a normal, healthy pregnancy has been hard enough for two people who had intended to stay child-free, so news of a possible problem just adds to the stress. We were starting to get used to the idea of a child, but this just brought us back around again. UGH! I'm trying to stay calm and positive.

27 May 2010

Shower Invites

I really need to get to work on addressing the invitations for the baby shower. We intended to send them out early (party is in July), so that we catch people before they make other plans for the prime July weekends. I just haven't had any motivation! I look at the stack of invites that know I need to get it done... but then I find yet another way to procrastinate. You know, like writing a journal post about it!

The invites did turn out quite well, if I do say so myself. Angel sent me some sample invitations that she found and liked. There were a few that we agreed on. We started talking over how much information had to go into the invites. We both liked the invitations that had ultrasound pictures and we thought the mini-newspaper was clever. Suddenly, I was struck with inspiration. Combine all the elements and make an actual newspaper!

Front page news announced the baby and the baby's sex with a nice ultrasound picture. The second page was an "ad" for our baby shower, a Dear Baby (Abby) column, and a classified section (where I listed registries and other important info). The third page was a crossword puzzle, a word search and a scrambler. This page is serving as our door prize entry... bring it to the party completed and get into the drawing. The last page was a Top Ten list of baby songs, a recipe for babies and comics. The few invites that have already been handed out are getting rave reviews. In fact, one of Ross' friends said he couldn't give it to his wife because she'll be upset that ours is so elaborate compared to hers!

19 May 2010

Registries and Floors

Well, we determined two things yesterday...

A. Wal-Mart sucks. Well, we knew this a long time ago, but we have yet another reason. They no longer do in-store registries. This may be just a regional thing, but it is still quite a boneheaded move. Ross and I went in yesterday to flesh out our registry with some of the items that our not available online. There were several items we saw in the store that I couldn't find online. It was very frustrating. If it were entirely up to me, I wouldn't have even bothered with Wal-Mart but I know that a huge majority of our shower guests shop there. Target, on the other hand, is awesome. We even got a reusable canvas goody bag of coupons, diapers (those will be for our sitters to use if the cloth diapers scare them... LOL), samples and a book showing off their baby stuff. We added about 25 items while in the store... things we hadn't thought of or things that looked cuter in person.

Wood Laminate
B. We have finally decided on a floor for the family room/ playroom/ office. This project has been going on for about a month or two. Picking a floor has been tough, because we have plans to completely renovate the house over the next several years and eventually that space will be expanded and become the master suite. We wanted to put in a durable floor that we didn't mind tearing up in a few years. At first we considered linoleum. The word conjures up horror stories, but it's cheap and we wouldn't have been upset tearing it apart. Then Ross thought we should consider doing a cheaper stone because the area will be getting a lot of activity. Turns out there is no such thing as cheap stone. So we browsed about, chatted up a few employees, and eventually we decided on a wood laminate. We end up with a durable floor with a convincing wood look and texture at a cost comparable to linoleum. I also think it will complement the stone of the fireplace and the woods of our furniture quite nicely. It should also brighten up the space a bit compared to the odd brown carpet that was originally in the space. They will also be adding a moisture/ insulation barrier under it which should help with keeping that level of the house warmer. Can't wait to schedule installation!

15 May 2010

Baby's First Pictures

The Money Shot
We had our ultrasound yesterday. I had no idea these things could take two hours! Our tech was very thorough... checking for every major bone in the body and pointing out the ten fingers and ten toes. The coolest thing, to me, was seeing the heart beating. That was the point when Ross drew up closer to the bed and took my hand, which was so sweet. He really leaned in when the tech asked if we would like to know the sex of the baby. The ultrasound went right up between the legs from below and there was our shot... it's a BOY! We have our Xander.

Profile View
It took some work to get the profile shot. Xander was not cooperating with the plan. He had his face buried against my spine and a hand covering his head. The tech first tried poking a bit harder and running the wand in odd places to encourage him to move. That didn't work, so I had to roll on one side as the tech probed again. Then over to the other side. Still no luck. Half an hour later and back on my back, we finally got the shot. You could clearly see his heart beating, his mouth opening and closing and his hand waving (the hand wasn't caught in the picture).

11 May 2010

Pregnancy: Week 20

Our 20 week appointment on Wednesday went very well. The baby was not happy to have the Doppler poking around his domain. Every time Marijke would find the heartbeat, he would go swimming away to the other side. After a few moves back and forth, we all got a sudden surprise when the Doppler was kicked clear off my stomach! That was the first noticeable kick I had experienced... for the most part it had felt more like rolling and tumbling.

Thursday evening, Ross and I were curled up watching TV and he had his hand on my stomach. The baby seems to react to his hand being near my stomach... I always feel him move toward wherever Ross' hand is resting. This time, Ross got a good kick right in the palm of his hand. He wasn't quite sure if he felt what he thought he'd felt until I told him that it was a kick. Since then, he's been purposely taking time out every night to curl up with me with his hand on my stomach. It's very sweet.

Yes, I do keep referring to the baby as "he," but we don't know for sure yet. Our ultrasound is scheduled for Friday morning. I'm strangely nervous. This will make it all that much more real. I'll also find out if my gender-detecting instincts are right. Everyone is so convinced this baby is a boy that we'll all have trouble switching to "she" if it's a girl. We already have names picked out, so I think we'll jump right to using the appropriate name once we know the sex. Now, join us in sending baby the message to turn and give us a nice clear shot on Friday. LOL

21 April 2010

Pregnancy: Week 18

We are now at week 18... nearly halfway there. It's going so quickly! Mom is complaining that it's quite the opposite for her, but Angel (who has taken on baby shower planning) agrees that things are moving way too fast. I have been able to feel some definite movement, especially when I drank orange juice at the comedy club on Friday. I don't think it will be much longer before Ross can feel too. He tried for a bit last night, but so far it has been more rolling than kicking sensations and those don't seem to transfer well. If I do a bit of gentle poking, I can actually locate the baby's position... and it makes him move.

We have another appointment on the 5th and we'll be scheduling the ultrasound then. Should be sometime within week 20 or 21 that we'll find out the sex. We struggled a bit with the decision to do an ultrasound. It's amazing to me that ultrasounds have never actually been tested. (Who'd want to be the one to participate in that study?) It's a bit scary to see that there has been some evidence of correlation between increased use of ultrasound and some childhood conditions. We decided that a single ultrasound should be safe... it's the increased use that is showing some concerns... and we would really like to find out the sex to better prepare us. I know a woman who had six by her third month of pregnancy and she had no previous miscarriage or concerns! It's the doctor's policy to do one every two weeks.

Mom is planning on coming over today and we're going thrift shopping. When I asked what she wanted for Mother's Day, one of the things she mentioned was clothes. We both enjoy thrifting and know our money goes much further that way, so I said I would take her thrift shopping as her Mother's Day present. For the actual day of Mother's Day, we have our usual plans with Angel and the girls... Bay Beach. We've been going there every Mother's Day since Angel and I were little.

06 April 2010

Pregnancy: Week 16

Tonight is our 16 week appointment with the midwife. We should be able to clearly hear the heartbeat today. I'm going to try to record our session with the voice recorder on my phone so that I can share with everyone. It should otherwise be a pretty boring visit... reviewing my medical history and drawing some blood for the few tests we decided to do. I have had about a dozen people tell me to call, text or otherwise contact them to let them know how it went. Seems as though everyone else is more concerned about this pregnancy than Ross or I. Should we be? Are we already bad parents or something?

01 April 2010

April Fools

I'm afraid to even bother posting anything today for fear it will not be taken seriously... so I will post something that I just found amusing. You can take it seriously if you choose.

Click the photo to go to the official website.

27 March 2010

Typically Uneventful

Things have been pretty uneventful all around. It's that time of year when the weather is too weird to really do much outside and inside is just driving you crazy. I'm also in the boring start of the second trimester when illness fades and baby grows slowly.

We have an appointment with the midwife on April 6th and should be able to listen to the heartbeat then. If we decide to determine gender ahead of time, early May should be our first (and hopefully only) ultrasound. It seems like a good 90% of the moms in my "Due in September" group have had dozens of ultrasounds already. Most already found out the gender at around 15 weeks. Ross and I are both pretty much the "we'll do it if there's reason to" kind of people when it comes to ultrasounds. We had actually been pretty set on trying to go completely without ultrasounds, but now we are seriously considering it primarily for the purpose of finding out the gender.

Shaun and Gretchen had a cookout at their place tonight... well, Shaun and Schley cooked out while the rest of us chatted inside until supper time. It was still a bit chilly out, but they needed an excuse to put together the new grill. Nathanial is just as tiny as he was in the hospital and quite the sleeper. I must have held him over an hour and he never made a peep... just a little squirming now and then to snuggle in. Evie seems to pretty much be trying to ignore the fact she's now a big sister and does her own thing. Gretchen said she's been acting out a bit to get attention, but anyone with more than one kid knows that's not too uncommon and eventually (mostly) goes away.

It was finally a good day. Got through it without a nap. Something about early pregnancy made me a bit narcoleptic! I'd also been having some pretty nasty nausea since about the start of week 13, but that didn't give me much trouble today... just a single bout this morning that passed quickly once I ate a bit. I am wearing down now though. It's nearing eleven at night and I've been in the habit of getting to bed at nine-ish the last several weeks. Hopefully as the weeks progress and summer moves in, there will be more to chatter on about. Until then, I need to lay my weary head on my pillow. G'night all!

15 March 2010

Baby On Board

It's time to spread the news! This weekend we told Ross' parents about the baby. Mom was ready to burst for weeks now and was so glad to finally get to tell Grandma. With the family grapevine, I'm pretty sure everyone knows by now. I made an announcement on Facebook just to cover all my bases. The general response has been shock and happiness, but there are a few people who were upset we kept the news to ourselves for so long.

I added a counter to the sidebar to keep everyone posted on the progress. Our next midwife appointment is April 6th and we hope to get to hear the heartbeat. We couldn't hear the heartbeat at the last appointment, but it was only eleven weeks at the time.

Off to work on the baby blanket....

08 February 2010

FO: Ross' Ribs Finally DONE!

Ross' Ribs Version Two
I finally finished Ross' socks. I can't believe they took so long!

Spotting and Sickness

Had a little spotting yesterday, but it seemed to stop as quickly as it started. Nothing since.

It feels weird keeping the news from so many people. There have been a few times I almost slipped with something... and I wonder if the same as been true for my mom and sister. None of us are really talking about it. I think Mom and Angel are afraid to say too much and get too excited.

The morning sickness has been really mild. I feel a little sickish in the early morning, but it goes away pretty quickly if I hang out in bed for a few minutes before I get up. Occasionally during the day I'll get a whiff of something or move too quickly and I get a little wave of nausea... but it passes if I stand still for a minute. Other than that, it's been a little heartburn and impressive cup-size increasing.

On that note... time for some breakfast.

04 February 2010

CO: Pastel Ribbed Socks

Pastel Ribs
Still working on Ross' endless socks. I'm working on a pair for myself to break up the monotony. I promised to have his done in time for his birthday on the 11th. I've got less than an inch of foot to go, so I should be able to make it.

25 January 2010

The Business of Being Born

I was set on the idea of a midwife-assisted birth long before I saw this video (couldn't embed it, sorry), but it was still very informative for me. If you are expecting or trying to conceive, I highly recommend watching it. Being informed never hurt anyone.

24 January 2010

Spreading the News

I told Mom and Angel about the upcoming baby today. Mom is so excited I think she's going to pass out! Angel was a little more subdued about the news... but she knows my stand on the kid thing. I'm sure when it gets down to it, we'll all be a bit more excited... even Mom.

I'm planning on holding off until late March (around the 12 week mark) to tell anyone else. Mom and Angel have been sworn to secrecy until then, as well.

20 January 2010


I think I may be pregnant again. I haven't said anything to anyone... except Ross, of course. We haven't confirmed it with a test yet, but all the symptoms are there: late period, swollen breasts, heartburn, nausea, and extreme exhaustion. With what happened last time, I'm hesitant to tell anyone until we get past that three month mark (which is why this post will be private until I reveal the news). I will tell Mom and Angel once we have a positive test, because I know they would both be upset that I didn't tell them if the pregnancy continues.

It's a great thing that I had set the resolutions that I did. I'd even started taking a multi-vitamin just to make sure I was covered on nutrients. Giving up soda last pregnancy was wicked, but I think the head start this time will make it easier. I also feel stronger and more energetic with the dietary changes. That will be a plus!

I plan to maintain a modified version of my fitness plan throughout the pregnancy. Obviously, I will increase my calorie intake, but I will not be surprised if I lose a bit of weight rather than gain.

15 January 2010

Sticking to the Resolutions

Fifteen days into the new year and I'm still doing very well. I haven't had a bit of soda and I've been able to avoid eggs in pretty much everything but the vegetarian sausages I had for dinner the night we surprised Mom for her birthday. I've even ended up cutting out a lot of sweets from my diet. I didn't even have a piece of Mom's birthday cake... but I did put some of the leftover peanut butter frosting on a graham cracker. I've mostly filled my sweet cravings with fruit and juice. I survived the theater soda trap, too. They serve a sugar-free lemonade!

My workouts haven't been very consistent, but I've been busy with a family genealogy project... transcribing a story written by the daughter of the first of my maternal grandfather's family to come to America. It's been an interesting read. I'm retyping it from bad photocopies so that we can include it with our other findings. Aunt Vicki, Mom, Grandma and Grandpa have been working on it for awhile now.

Ross is thinking of trying to switch positions at work. His company is doing really well, but his department has not been affected by all the new contracts. He's bored out of his mind lately. Every night when he comes home and I ask how his day was I always hear, "Long and boring. Spent most the day sitting on a stool and playing games on my iPhone." I completely understand him wanting to move positions. I hate to sit around all day, because it makes for a very long day.

Well, when I asked Ross what he wanted for his birthday, he told me he wanted the mate to the sock I gave him for Yule. Guess I better get to work... I haven't even finished the cuff!

09 January 2010

Caffeine & Egg Free (Almost)

On day nine without eggs... day five without caffeine. Funny how giving up those are far harder than giving up meat was. I feel really good about it. I can do this. Next step is the dairy. That will probably be next year's resolution. So, my long-term goal is vegan by 2012.

I should clarify that I've given up eggs cooked straight up and in any baked goods that I make. I am still working on the purchased goods. The tough part there is always the mystery ingredients... and the hubby that thinks I'm insane and also insists that we use up what's already in the house. LOL

The caffeine has been easier to give up this time. My withdrawal headaches normally go on for days and I finally give in and crack open a Dew to relieve the pain. This time, the headaches only lasted two days. I've been drinking a lot of water and juice, which I think is helping. Tonight will be the first challenge. Ross and I are going to the theater and we always order a gut-buster soda to split. I'll have to order (or sneak in) a bottled water and have Ross keep the soda on his far side.

07 January 2010

Keeping Busy

Well, I still haven't finished those mitts or Ross' socks. All that knitting for the last several months was horrible... way too much sitting and not enough of my usual activity. I've been focusing more on not sitting around. I am keeping the knitting to just before bed... when Ross is reading.

I spent most of yesterday cleaning cupboards and closets. The closets had gotten a bit out of hand because I wasn't spending much time folding and hanging laundry... I was just putting the baskets of clean clothes in the closet. I folded and hung six baskets of laundry yesterday, while washing and drying all the curtains, sheets and pet blankets. I also reorganized and wiped out all of the kitchen cupboards and bathroom cabinets. Even my desk got an overhaul. I'll leave Ross' desk for him to deal with!

I'm also getting back to my old workout schedule. I was knitting while on the elliptical and Wii, but with the knitting set aside I can get a much more intense workout. Today will probably be the usual two hours of elliptical (one done already) and half hour on Wii Fit. I also plan to play DDR for half an hour or so.

I've quit drinking soda... again. I'm on day three and the headaches are gone already. It's normally the headaches that make me break down and drink soda again, so I am very hopeful I can finally do it this time.

03 January 2010

Funeral and Mitts

Taking a road trip tomorrow. I just wish it were under happier circumstances. Aunt Bonnie's funeral is tomorrow evening in Madison and I'll be traveling down with my mom, Uncle Pete and Aunt Phyllis. Ross won't be coming along because he has to work. If he takes off tomorrow then he will lose all of his holiday pay. It's just not worth $900 for him to attend the funeral of an aunt of mine that he met once. It has been a long time since I've been that way. It will be good to catch up with some family that I haven't seen in awhile... well, since my Aunt Marge's funeral last year at Christmas.

Brown and Blue Mitt
I'm working on a pair of mitts to go with my brown bomber jacket. I'm hoping to have them done by tomorrow. I'm almost done with the first one. Because I'm working with a hand-dyed brown and blue cashmere/wool blend, I decided to go with simple ribbing. I liked the fit of the Hedgerow Mitts that I made previously, so I am using that pattern but omitting the texture stitch. I didn't want the busy yarn to clash with the busy texture. I'll be making this pair considerably shorter in the arm, a little shorter in the thumb and on a smaller needle than the last pair to get an even better fit.

02 January 2010

Another Loss

My aunt Bonnie passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer. She was the wife of my dad's brother Pat, who also died of cancer. All of the wives of my dad's brothers died of cancer. Most of my uncles and my dad died of cancer. Actually, many people on both sides of my family have died of cancer. There's a definite trend in my family... if heart disease doesn't get you, cancer will. I intend to put a stop to this trend (while remaining alive, of course)!

Rest in peace, Aunt Bonnie.

01 January 2010

New Year, New Beginnings

I suppose this will be the usual resolutions for the new year post. This year I will carry on my annual new year resolution to get fit and healthy. This year it will involve getting serious about tracking calories and a steady workout schedule. I also resolve to stop hiding who I truly am. From now on, if someone doesn't like the way I act or think, it's their problem... I will not change who I am to match what others expect me to be. Only my opinion of myself matters. That's about it... simply a new beginning for body and mind.