Sunday, December 27, 2009

What to Expect: Week 35

First of all, I am not going to write any more about how close D-Day is getting and how much I'm freaking out about it. Just assume that every day that passes adds to my freak-out level. For the past few mornings, I've developed a delightful new habit - I wake up at 5:00 thanks to Ringo Kitty's morning feeding, and I can't go back to sleep because I'm thinking about all kinds of things related to the baby. Things like, "Where are we going to keep the stroller when it's in the house?" and "What if my water breaks while I'm at school?" and "Should I buy the stupid changing table or not?" It usually takes about 2 hours for me to fall back to sleep. It is a shame that pregnant women can't take anti-anxiety meds. Or at least have a cocktail....

So, I know no one wants to hear about all of these freak outs, thus I will only continue to share them with Aaron, because #1: He's having them, too. #2: He helped get us into this mess! If I stop freaking out, I'll let you know, but don't hold your breath. (And just for the record, I'm really, really, really excited about the baby, but when I'm really excited about things, I get nervous. So basically this is the most excited I've been about anything EVER!!!)

I've added a poll to the blog for a little entertainment. Feel free to guess honestly (I won't know if you're the jerk that votes "after February 14th" :) what day the wee one will make her arrival and later on, you can see if you were right! I've already voted, and I'll even tell you what I've picked - February 8th, because that will be the 7th anniversary of when Aaron and I started dating. Wouldn't that be sweet? If you want to share what day you've picked, you can leave a comment on this post.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What to Expect: Weeks 33 and 34

That's a honeydew, people! A friggin' giant melon in my belly! Which means that baby time is closer and closer and I'm just waiting for the total freak out to begin. (I'm currently in about a constant Stage 7 freak out, but I expect it to ramp up to full on Stage 10 as the weeks go by.)

I know it's been 34 weeks, but deep down, I still really can't believe I'm having a baby. A real, live, human being that is currently the size of a honeydew melon (and is going to somehow have to exit my body! We can talk more about that later.)

I am pretty sure that it is the great "unknown" that is causing me to get a little crazy right now. I am a planner. It is in my blood. I will draw a plan of how I'm going to come up with a plan. That is no lie. Now, usually I never actually complete the plans (except in the case of my great IKEA adventure last month) but I must make them! And I must believe that they are, in fact, executable and logical and if I wanted to, I could follow those plans down to the letter and everything would work out perfectly and that gives me peace. However, you can't make a plan for a baby. I don't know what day she'll get here, I don't know how long or painful labor will be, I don't know what kind of temperament she'll have, I don't even know what the weather will be like when we bring her home so I can pick out a cute little outfit because we live in North Florida and GOD FORBID we have seasonal temperatures here! It could be 80 degrees in February or it could be 12. And all of this is making me CRAAAAAZY!!!!!!!!

...and just now, I'm so crazy, that I accidentally published this post before it was ready. I'm taking it as a sign that I should just stop and take a few deep breaths. And maybe go to and see what average temperatures are like in Tallahassee for February 5th......

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What to Expect: Week 32

Week 32, and we're still a squash. The big day is much closer now, so my doctor's visits have become more frequent - currently every two weeks. Everything is going perfectly, except for the tiny issue of my gestational diabetes. But even that is going well - I started my special diet a week ago and my blood sugar levels have been great ever since. Even the finger pricking isn't that bad, and it's nice to know almost immediately that I have chosen my food wisely, unlike with a weight loss diet where you have to wait weeks to see any progress.

I have had some swelling, mostly in my feet, but a little in my hands. It's not a constant thing, but one day my right foot all the way up to my calf was noticeably larger than my left. I'm talking a freak-show type difference. It looked like I had Hobbit feet! Aaron just kept staring at it and saying, "That can't be good. That really can't be good." However, the doctor has assured me that as long as there's no redness or pain, that swelling on one side or both is normal.

I'm at the point where I could start experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions (or "practice" contractions.) So far, I haven't had any and it's possible that I won't have them at all, but I kind of hope that I do just so I have some sort of idea what I'm getting into. For now, the only activity going on in my uterus is baby gymnastics. My mom and my sister were FINALLY able to feel the baby move last weekend after months of Melissa stalking my belly. I was glad the kid finally performed for her Auntie M, and she definitely made up for lost time by not just giving her a little kick, but a crazy, full body somersault kind of thing. She made me proud!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Easy as 1,2,3....

This week we started our childbirth preparation classes, but I need to backtrack to our first baby class that we took about a month ago, called Baby ABC's. The class description said it was designed to teach us how to care for our newborn and includes information on diapering, swaddling and bathing. I was a little nervous going into it because it was our first class, and I didn't know what to expect - not just from the class, but from Aaron and I as a team. It was the first time we'd been in a learning situation together, and I'm kind of a dork, so I didn't know if our classroom styles would match up. (I pictured me feverishly taking notes and raising my hand to answer and ask questions while Aaron tried to hide and act like he wasn't with the totally nerdy, overachieving pregnant woman.) Plus I didn't know how enthusiastic he was going to be about having to sit in a 2 hour class.

I don't know if Aaron was nervous, but right off the bat, they made us take a 20 question quiz. It was multiple choice, and we had to identify things like meconium, millia, vernix and stork bites. I knew some of the terms from my obsessive pregnancy book reading, but a lot of them were unfamiliar to me. We went back and forth on a few answers, but in the end, we wound up getting all of them right. And Aaron was on the ball in the class, throwing out answers, helping me take notes, making sure we wrote down important information. He made this dork proud!

At the end of class, we got to practice diapering and swaddling, which Aaron excelled at. He'd probably tell you he's better than me at both things (and he's probably right.) Of course, swaddling and diapering a lifeless doll is a lot easier than a newborn baby, but at least we're on track.

The class made me feel more confident, not necessarily in my baby caring skills, but in our skills as a team. Aaron is definitely going to be a hands-on dad, and I'm really, really lucky to have such a supportive husband. I love you, babe!!!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Shower for Le Petit Owlet

***UPDATE: I originally uploaded the wrong invitation copy - it had the baby's name spelled incorrectly. I hope no one has gotten confused by the spelling. The correct spelling can be seen in the invitation below: Addison Frances

The invitation. Owl drawn by Elena.

From the the minute I told my gooAlign Leftd friend / fellow grad student, Elena, that I was pregnant, she started planning a baby shower for me. She has been calling the baby "le petit owlet" and me "mama owl", so it was only natural that she chose an owl theme for the shower. All of my friends and faculty from the Interior Design department at FSU were invited. The location was Lucy & Leo's Cupcakery / Texture's Handmade Market in midtown Tallahassee, honestly one of the cutest places you could possibly find.

Elena (with the help of her mom, Andrea) went all out, bringing in china, crystal, gold-plated flatware and silver for us to eat and drink from. (Elena doesn't mess around when it comes to party planning! This is why she's become my partner in wedding coordinating, first for my friend, O'Hara, then for my sister's wedding and again in November for our friend, Noelani.) I can't even imagine all the hard work that was put into making the shower happen, but it was absolutely beautiful.

The cupcakes were Vanilla with Buttercream, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese, and (the biggest hit of the evening) Vegan Chocolate/Espresso/Coconut. Melissa, Fran and I demolished one of the Vegan cupcakes in about 30 seconds flat. They were AMAZING! We also had coffee and sparkling apple juice to drink, out of china cups and saucers and crystal champagne glasses, of course!

We got a lot of cute gifts, including a handmade blanket, a precious handmade stuffed dog toy, and some onesies that I cannot wait to put on the baby! Everything was absolutely perfect, and I felt really special and loved. Thanks to Elena and all my sweet, sweet school friends that helped her make it all happen!

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Sparkling Apple Juice

There's a bottle of champagne hidden in this diaper cake. Makes me love it even more....

Fran, Noelani and Dr. Waxman. Fran actually taught Dr. Waxman's daughter in elementary school.

Party favors.

With Fran, my Tallahassee mother-in-law, and my sister, Melissa. I had to have my real family meet my school family!

Getting love from the best party planner ever!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What To Expect: Week 31

I hope you guys are relishing these "What to Expect" entries , because there are only 9 left after this! And thinking about that kind of makes me sick to my stomach. Don't get me wrong - I am really, really excited about seeing the baby for the first time, and how wonderful it will be to spend those first weeks as a family, even when Aaron and I are ready to fling poop-filled diapers at each other out of sleepless frustration.

What I'm not looking forward to so much is the labor. Reeeeaaaaally not looking forward to that part. But, maybe I'm making such a big deal out of it in my mind that when it finally gets here, it will be much easier than I had envisioned. That could happen, right?

As of this week, the baby is about the length she'll be when she's born (around 18"), but she will still gain 3-5 pounds before the big arrival. For some reason, this kid has been ROWDY since about Friday. Moving around a lot, not so much kicking as she is doing these weird roll things. And she definitely likes the right side of my stomach better than the left. No idea why, but it's like she's always curled up over there. It's probably that her head is on that side, and since it is surely the size of a canteloupe by now, that's why I feel like that side is bigger.

I'm actually happy that she moves so much because, as a professional worrier and pessimist, I freak out when she hasn't moved for awhile. All the movements are a nice little gift, like she's saying, "Here, mommy, don't worry! There's still plenty of things for you to turn into a completely neurotic mess over later. You'll see!"

We have a TON of stuff going on this week (including my first baby shower and our first two childbirth classes) so stay tuned for some good blog entries.....

Monday, November 23, 2009

What to Expect: Week 30

November 23, 2009

Week friggin' 30.

Seriously? Only 10 weeks to go? How did this happen? It feels like just yesterday that we were buying pregnancy tests in bulk and obsessing over fertility windows, and now I'm as big as a house and I'm waddling. (Yes, I'm waddling. Aaron said that yesterday, and I tried to argue with him, but then I realized today that I have a subtle, yet distinct, waddle to my gait. You were right, honey. And you suck. :)

Last week was a bit of a doozie. I had the pleasure of enduring the 1 hour glucose tolerance test, failing it, then sitting for the 3 hour version two days later. And then I found out I failed that one, too, which means that I officially have gestational diabetes. (Click the link for more info.) Basically, all of the hormones being produced by the placenta are interfering with my insulin's ability to control my blood sugar. The plan of attack is to modify my diet to control my blood sugar levels.

I'm going to take a class next week and see a dietitian to develop a new eating plan that involves a lot less sugar and a lot fewer carbs. I'm not really worried about the carb part because I've read that they'll just tell me to eat whole grains, which I already do exclusively. However, I am worried they're going to take away my ability to eat fruit which is NOT going to be pretty - I'm basically addicted to apples and oranges. The worst part is that I'm going to have to check my blood sugar levels throughout the day, which means I'll be pricking my finger. Yippee.

The good news is that my body should go back to handling my blood sugar normally after the baby is born. There is a slight chance that I'll develop Type 2 diabetes later in life, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't the greatest thing to happen, but it's definitely manageable, and it's far better than other problems I could be having. And, hey, I'll only have to deal with it for 10 more weeks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Twitter Account

I just sent this out as an email, but I wanted to add it to the blog in case I missed anyone.....

I know there are a lot of people who are going to want to know what's happening when the "big day" finally arrives, and I've been trying to figure out the best way to pass along information to everyone regarding Addison Frances' arrival. Something that doesn't involve 1,000 phone calls a minute or carrier pigeons or some sort of radio broadcast. I have decided to set up a Twitter account that I will use to pass along information when I'm in labor. I am new to Twitter, and I'm sure many of you are, too. Here is some basic info about Twitter:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications.

Someone (probably my sister) will be updating it for me - I'll have much more important things to do - but this way everyone can get updates (without all that pigeon poop!) We'll let you know in the week or so before she's due how things are progressing, notify you when I'm officially in labor, and we'll give you updates on contractions, dilation and effacement. If this makes you uncomfortable, then this Twitter feed is NOT for you!!! We will post some pictures along the way, and when she finally arrives, we'll give you all the stats (time, weight, length) and a picture of her cute little face.

To see my Twitter updates online, go to

If you would like to follow my Twitter account and receive all of my Tweets as a cell phone text message, you will have to sign up for Twitter (which is easy to do, and you can always cancel it later) and then follow the instructions here:

More info about getting Twitter updates via text can be found here:

Please let me know if you have any questions or have any trouble accessing my Twitter feed. I won't be "tweeting" much until it's closer to the due date, but I do hope that if there are any kinks, we'll have them worked out by then, so let me know if you're having a problem. 76 days and counting........

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What To Expect: Weeks 27 and 28.... and now 29

November 17, 2009
I started to write a blog entry last week, and this is how far I got:

As of this week, the baby is weighing in at around 2.5 pounds and is around 16 inches long. She's definitely become a mover - one night last week she was kicking so hard that Aaron and I could see my stomach move.
Yep, one whole paragraph, people. My brain is not working these days. Well, it's not working at full capacity, and any of the brain power I do have has been reserved for things like writing a thesis and assembling 1,234,000 pieces of IKEA furniture (blog about that to follow sometime this century) and thinking about (ahem, freaking out about) the fact that I have to give birth in 11 weeks - or less!

However, one part of my brain that is working is the part that gets annoyed. For example, a girl in one of my classes yesterday asked me if my baby was planned, and when I told her that, in fact, she was, this girl began to question my judgement as to the timing. Because it apparently didn't make sense to her that if the baby had been planned, why I had picked what she felt was a bad time to have her (the middle of the semester - GASP! ) Because you can pick the exact time you have a baby like you schedule a haircut. Because my life decisions should be based on what a casual school acquaintance thinks.

I thought I was going to have an aneurism right in the middle of class! I did wind up asking her, "Well, when exactly do you think would be a good time to have my baby?" but besides that I kept my cool in front of her. Then called Melissa and two of my friends to bitch about it. I want to call that girl's mom and tell her that she failed at raising a child with acceptable manners.

So, it's another week later on the blog entries, and now our little kicker is the size of a squash. And not a summer squash, people - a 2.5 lb to 3.8 lb beast of a squash. She's definitely quite mobile, and sometimes I'll jump when one of her big moves catches me by surprise.

I haven't gotten really huge yet, so I'm still enjoying the baby belly. In fact, every day at least 2 or 3 times I'll think about how sad I'll be when I'm not pregnant anymore. The times I really notice that my body has changed in a negative way are when I try to do things that were once easy for me and have now become difficult. Example: two weekends ago, I was involved in coordinating a wedding for my friend, Lani, down in Winter Park. I'm used to catering and doing weddings, being up and on my feet for 18 hours straight, no problem. However, by 3:00 the day of the wedding, I thought my feet were literally going to fall off - and I hadn't even been doing the manual labor that I usually wind up doing! It was a tough realization.

Getting up and down is also kind of a chore. When I go from sitting or laying to standing, it usually involves a grunt or two. This provided Aaron with never-ending enjoyment when I was up and down, up and down, up and down, assembling furniture this past week. He thought it was hilarious and started imitating my huffs and puffs and groans. Needless to say, I did not find his imitations amusing. (When our friend, Dan, asked him if he was going to do that in the delivery room, too, Aaron responded, "Absolutely!" I think we all know that's not true, but it was funny that he thought he could get away with it!)

Here are some pictures from the wedding weekend so you can see how the belly is doing!

Monday, November 9, 2009

IKEA preview

So, this is what I did yesterday.... Full story to follow.

(That's two flatbed carts FULL plus 1 shopping cart, btw. Approximately 900 lbs of furniture.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Registry Excellence

I have to say that registering for baby items has been one of the more challenging aspects of planning for the baby. It's one thing to register for wedding gifts - you know how you live on a day to day basis, so you just pick out stuff that you need to be able to do what you normally do, except now you'll be doing it with another person that you've known for awhile and really, really love. And you have to decide if you want to do what you normally do on china with a silver band or with the trendy blue pinstripe?

A baby registry is an entirely different situation. All of these things have to prepare you for an entirely new life with a brand new human being that you have never met and that YOU HAVE TO KEEP ALIVE!!! NO PRESSURE! It's just that the cute little high chair that you like so much in the store?Well, it could kill your baby.

While registering for things that are vital to human survival, you also have to think about what these things look like - what kind of image do I want to impart on this brand new human being? This is important! This is the stuff that, years from now, your kid is going to complain about in therapy! (Example: The hideous mullet haircuts my mother gave us when I was in 2nd grade. Now, that statement will make her furious and she will insist that those were cute haircuts. Mama, I'm sorry. And you are wrong.)

The final trial you face in registering for baby gear is the fact that there are so flippin' many places to register! Target, Babies-R-Us, Amazon, babyGap, Pottery Barn Kids, and about a million other places. Then there are places that don't have registries at all - all of the sellers, DwellStudio, Ikea. So what do you do when the crib bumper you like is at Pottery Barn, the sheets you like are at DwellStudio, and the mattress you need is at Babies-R-Us? Well, for the past 6 months, I've been obsessively trying to figure all this out.


Thanks to Real Simple Magazine (thank you, you beautiful, life-saving people) I found out about a website called This site allows you to create a registry with items from anywhere online. ANYWHERE! (well, almost anywhere. I wasn't able to add the stuff I want from IKEA, but it's a small negative.) Now all of my registry items are in one location, so it's not confusing for me or for people wanting to buy baby gifts. PLUS it's a really user-friendly layout. PLUS it allows you to take contributions for pricier gifts. PLUS there's a fun little widget you can add to your blog! (You may have noticed all of the delightful items scolling on the right of your screen - those are items on the baby registry!)

I could probably go on for two or three more paragraphs about this, but I'm sure that would be boring. I will just say that I am in looooooooove with this website. Registry problems? Solved! Well, except for having to make sure my bedding choice won't emotionally scar my child.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Bump

As of last Sunday, October 11, Week 25-ish.

What To Expect: Weeks 25 and 26

October 26, 2009

This entry is lumping weeks 25 and 26 together because (clearly) I missed posting last week. After 6 semesters of a blissful relationship with my computer, my hard drive decided to crash last weekend. And I found out that the lovely people who I have been paying for the past two years to back up my data online decided not to back up any of my CAD files. Who needs those anyway? Each one only represents about 400 HOURS OF MY LIFE!!!!

(Okay, deep breath......)

In news that doesn't make me want to beat my head against a wall, the baby is now over a foot long, and is weighing in between 1.5 to 2 pounds. Her lungs are forming, and she's taking practice breaths through her nostrils which have recently opened. I feel a lot of movement during the day, but it's still not really powerful movements. They actually kind of tickle sometimes. I had been trying to come up with a way to explain what the movements feel like, and was having trouble. A few days ago, my arm had a little twitch, and then the baby moved, and I realized that the two basically felt the same - her movements basically feel like an involuntary muscle twitch in my abdomen.

I have been having some trouble sleeping, largely because I'm sleeping on my side, which makes my hip hurt. I spend a lot of time rolling over from side to side. Every once in awhile I'll lay on my back just so I can have a break from the hip aches. I've had two nights when I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep. One was about two weeks ago, and I laid in bed for about an hour and a half before I got up because I was hungry, which of course woke Aaron up because he's a light sleeper. I went to the kitchen, ate a bowl of Cheerios, came back to bed, and immediately started to cry for no reason. I finally went to sleep another hour or so later. Good times.

This weekend, Aaron was gone camping, so when I woke up at 4:15 Saturday morning and couldn't go back to sleep, I just watched some TiVo'd Oprah for a few hours before dozing off again. The good side to all this is that I'm finding it easier to wake up in the morning than I usually do and I'm not exhausted all day long or anything. I know that things are all downhill from here as far as sleep is concerned, so I'm not too upset about my sleep problems. For now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What to Expect: Week 24

October 11, 2009

Okay, okay, I'm late posting this week's update. But I have a really good reason! I swear! This week I got to go in for another ultrasound (or is it sonogram? I still haven't figured out the difference) and I wanted to wait to post until I had fresh new pictures of the baby. I also had my monthly OB appointment, where they informed me that I gained 6 pounds last month. Guess which of these things I'm more excited about.

The jump in weight is actually not a big deal, since I hadn't gained too much weight so far, and until last month I barely had a baby bump. Now the stomach is LARGE (and I will post pictures of it soon) and I really think that's where most of the extra weight gain happened. (If you have any other opinions on the topic, you will keep them to yourself.)

The ultrasound went great and everything is looking how they want it to look (I had this ultrasound to make sure my placenta had moved safely away from my cervix, which is important because if it was too close, I could wind up having placenta previa, being put on bedrest and going into early labor. But potential crisis avoided.) The Dr. repeatedly called her various anatomical parts "perfect" - perfect heart, perfect brain, perfect head. I also had the sonographer check the private parts again so we could be positively sure we're having a girl. Unfortunately she didn't snap a picture, but OH WOW is it a girl! No doubt about it now.

Having an ultrasound is one of the most surreal and bizarre things I have ever experienced. Yes, I know I have a belly. Yes, I feel a baby kicking in there. But it still doesn't seem completely real until you see it, you know? And even with the first ultrasound pictures, she looked more like an alien than a baby. This week, she definitely looked like a real human being. And it is a TRIP!!!! There are things in life that you experience that you had no understanding of before and have no way to communicate about effectively once they've been experienced. I have no way to explain what it's like to know that there is an actual human being floating around inside you, growing hair and eyelids and fingernails and slowly becoming the child that you're going to spend the rest of your life with. I just know that it has been totally amazing for me.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What to Expect: Week 23

October 5, 2009

Since we will not be getting fruit updates on a weekly basis, I thought it would be nice to have an internal view of the baby's progress (courtesty of The baby should be weighing in at over a pound now and over 8 inches long. My stomach is definitely becoming a force to be reckoned with, and I think I'll only have an "innie" belly button for another week max. This morning, Aaron noticed that the linea nigra is starting to show up, but it's still pretty light.

I told Aaron this morning (then I knocked on wood about 1,000 times) that I'm actually really enjoying being pregnant. I've been lucky to not have any terrible side effects and symptoms, and it's pretty fun to look down at a big fat belly and think, "Hey, that's pretty cool!" not "Hey, I am the fattest person on the planet." I feel far cuter pregnant than not. I know that's weird, and I know there are at least 1 billion women that would want to kick me in the face if they read that, but that's how I feel. Come back in about 10 weeks when I can't see my feet and I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune and then those 1 billion women can laugh and say, "I TOLD YOU SO!!!!" But for now, I'm absolutely loving it.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Kickin' It

The coolest, coolest thing happened last night! Usually, the baby will kick sporadically, and never in the same place twice, so I haven't tried to get anyone to feel it because it would be pointless. But last night when Aaron and I went to bed, she started kicking, and they were all around the same spot. So I told Aaron that if he put his hand in the right spot, he MAY get to feel the baby move, but I couldn't promise anything. I figured that as soon as I got him to move, she'd stop, but it was worth a chance. But apparently it was our lucky night! After about a minute, there was a really strong kick right under Aaron's hand! He got to feel his first kick! It was amazing........

What to Expect: Week 22

September 28, 2009

From now on, our lovely fruit:baby size comparisons (courtesy of are only updated every 4 weeks or so. And there are only 130 days left until my due date (a little over 4 months.) Things are starting to get serious, people!

The baby is now able to hear sounds from outside the womb. My sweet, sweet husband sent me for a massage last weekend (Thank you, honey!) with a friend of ours, Chris. Chris is a masseuse, but he's also getting his degree in Child Development. He told me that they've done studies that show if you read to a baby while it's in the womb, after it's born it will be comforted by the voice that it heard, and specifically if that person is reading the same thing it got used to hear prenatally. This will work with more than one voice, so Aaron can get in on the action, and it doesn't matter what you read, just that you stick to the same thing. Now we just have to decide what we want to read aloud for the next year. I'm thinking that we should both read a Harry Potter book to her - something that we both love. Plus there's enough substance there that we wouldn't have to read the same 10 pages over and over again like we would with a smaller children's book. So the first book was written for 8 year olds? I think it's never too early to start learning about the magic that is Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Definitely Not in Chicago

The cold I've battled this week has been vicious, largely in part to the fact that I can't take any of the cold medications I usually rely on. (I am a firm believer in the magic of any product with the root "-Quil" in it's name.) I took Tylenol for a day or two to help ease my fever, but I had sworn off cold medicines until things got really bad on Tuesday. I had tried as many home remedies as I could, but to no avail. And I really, really missed breathing. That afternoon, I decided that I would buy some Sudafed and finally relieve my congestion. I've taken Sudafed plenty of times in the past, and it's on the list of approved medications provided by my OBGYN, so I had no qualms about it. And after I took the first dose that afternoon, I could breathe! It was amazing. I took another dose that evening and then again Wednesday morning.

Now, in the meantime, I had noticed that I was having weird heart palpitations once or twice during the day. I had first noticed it on Friday while sitting at work, just a quick jolt that felt like a really strong heartbeat or something. Odd, but it wasn't happening that often, so I didn't give it much thought. Tuesday afternoon, I had them a little more frequently for about two hours. I looked it up online, and read that it was perfectly normal for pregnant women to have heart palpitations because of all of the extra blood their body is filled with. And the palpitations stopped after a few hours, so I didn't think too much about it. However, on Wednesday, I started having heart palpitations probably around 4:00 that afternoon, and by 7:30 that night, they hadn't stopped. At one point, I counted that I had 33 heart palpitations in five minutes. I was worried, so I called Urgent Care, who told me to call my OBGYN (who doesn't have an after-hours on call service - useful information to know in advance.) I called my friend/doula, Leslee, and she and I both felt like I would be okay to wait to go to the doctor the next day, but if I really started freaking out, then I should go to the ER.

The next morning, the palpitations had slowed significantly, but I called my OBGYN to see what she thought. She thought I should go to the ER and have an EKG done just as a precaution. When I arrived, they had to send me to Labor and Delivery Triage first to make sure the baby was okay (which she was - HUGE relief.) After that, I got wheeled over to the ER, where they had separate waiting areas for "well" people and for people with "flu-like symptoms" - cough, congestion, sneezing. Well, I had all of those, but I also knew that I didn't have swine flu, and NO WAY I was exposing my pregnant self to the swine flu people, so I sat on the well side. I spent about two hours sanitizing my hands approximately every two minutes and trying to not look too sick so I wasn't exiled to "Swine Flu Corner."

After my EKG, they sent me to a room in the back, hooked me up to a heart monitor, and did some blood work to make sure I didn't have a potassium deficiency or a problem with my electrolytes or thyroid. By the time I was taken to the back, the palpitations were back to happening every 10 seconds or so. All of my blood work came back clear, so the only apparent reason for the heart palpitations (technically, they were PVCs - Premature Ventricular Contractions) was because I'm pregnant, and it was probably exacerbated by the Sudafed. And the palpitations aren't dangerous - just really, really annoying. I'm still having the palpitations off and on throughout the day, but not as bad as they were on Wednesday and Thurday.

I know this is a really, really long story, but it was a really, really long week, especially Thursday. And I could be really upset about it all - I didn't get to go to Chicago, I've had a miserable cold for over a week, I had scary heart palpitations that caused me to spend all day in the ER. But I'm actually okay - not upset, not dejected, not miserable, and actually pretty darn happy. I'm fine, the baby's fine, and today I've only had to blow my nose 15 times. Things are pretty great!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kitty Bath

Our first baby, the one and only Ringo, my little sugar lump, giving himself a bath. Tell me this is not one of the cutest things you've ever seen. Just try not to say, "Awwwww." I dare you!

All clean!

Quick Thought about Labor

I'm watching one of those baby shows on TLC where they follow a woman throughout her delivery, and it made me think: when I'm in labor, I really, really want to NOT sound like a dying cow.

Decisions, Decisions

Aaron and I have officially had to make our first tough decision as parents. About two months ago, Fran and Randy offered to take us to Chicago for a long weekend. Of course, we jumped at the idea! We went to Chicago on our honeymoon and had an absolute blast, and with a baby on the way, there was no way we could afford to do something like that ourselves. It was going to be a great trip - spending time with Fran and Randy and Jeannie and "Uncle" Hanzhi, seeing the new Modern wing at the Art Institute, taking the river cruise, eating a TON of good food, visiting Vosges, enjoying the beautiful weather...

About two weeks ago, Aaron and I discussed the whole swine flu issue in regards to our trip (pregnant women are one of the high risk swine flu groups), but decided that things would be fine. I'm on a huge college campus every day, so we felt like the swine flu risk at an airport wasn't that much worse, especially when you consider that they are taking a lot of precautions and preventing sick people from traveling.

So, our trip was on for the 24th (Thursday) throught the 27th (Sunday.) We were excited and ready to go! Then Saturday night, I got a sore throat. All day Sunday, I was in bed with a major head cold and the sore throat continued, plus I had a low grade fever. Yesterday, I went to the doctor, who ruled out strep or a sinus infection or H1N1. But when I mentioned Chicago, she was extremely concerned. Traveling while I was well was one thing, but traveling when I'm getting over a cold with a fever - she felt that was just asking for trouble. (Swine flu complications for pregnant women are intense - they're more likely to be hospitalized, more likely to die, and can have complications like premature delivery and stillbirth.) She felt so strongly about it that she offered to write a letter to the airline saying it was unsafe for me to fly.

I was really upset about it because I was really looking forward to the trip, but I was also really, really concerned about getting sick. When Aaron got home, we discussed it again and decided that staying home was the right thing to do. He called Fran and Randy for me (because I was crying so hard at that point, they wouldn't have been able to understand a word I said. I've been crying over even little things lately, so the disappointment of having to cancel a trip like this when it was affecting so many other people was definitely cause for a major cry-fest. Pregnancy hormones are a BITCH!) And of course they were totally understanding and wonderful about it. Aaron could still have gone on the trip with them, but he didn't want to leave me alone when I'm sick, plus the trip wouldn't be the same if he had to go without me. (His words, not mine!)

So, we will be staying at home this weekend, not reliving our honeymoon in Chicago. But it's the right decision, it's the safe decision, and I feel a lot better knowing that we're not putting the baby in danger. And this morning, when I was sitting straight up in bed after waking myself and Aaron up at 4:30 because I couldn't breathe through my extremely stuffed up nose, I felt the baby move about 1o times in a row - that's way cooler than anything we would have done in Chicago!

Monday, September 21, 2009

What To Expect: Week 21

September 21, 2009

By now, the baby actually has functioning taste buds, and she takes little gulps of amniotic fluid throughout the day. This means that she's getting a taste of the foods I eat throughout the day. According to, "Studies show that after birth, babies are most interested in tastes they've already experienced through amniotic fluid." Lately the menu has consisted of a lot of egg whites, cheese, grapes and apples. And brownies. (I can't drink alcohol, and I can't eat sushi, sandwich meat, soft cheeses and about a million other things. The brownies stay!!!!! The end.)

My tastes have changed in one tiny area since I got pregnant - I am able to enjoy spicier foods! Now, for me this means that I've been buying Medium salsa instead of Mild, but it's an improvement! Hopefully this means the baby will be more tolerant of spicy foods. But I also hope this tolerance will stop far short of her father's and Uncle Ken's habit of eating as much of a spicy food as they can without vomiting. No trip to a sushi restaurant is complete without those two fools shoving increasingly larger balls of wasabi in their mouths, then crying from the pain they've caused themselves and also crying from the laughter of watching the pain of the other. (They really are soul mates, those boys.)

So far, I've gained 10 pounds, which is right on track, and I should gain about 20 more pounds between now and February. Most of the weight has gone to my stomach, and the rest has gone to the bosom. Shocker. I think the rest of me looks pretty much the same. And Aaron is smart enough to not say anything to the contrary! I had asked Aaron recently if people realize I'm pregnant or if they think I'm just fat. (I don't think he answered that question. Again, he's really, really smart.) On Saturday, I actually had a woman in the grocery store ask me when my baby was due, and then say, "But you're still so little!" It was the perfect confirmation of the baby bump combined with a compliment so I wouldn't feel like she was calling me fat. The lady was good!

Here's what the baby bump is looking like at Week 21:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Things my kid will listen to

Jim Croce

My relationship with Jim Croce goes back a looooooong way. He was my dad's favorite, and when I was little I apparently ruined his Jim Croce 8-track (yes, I'm that old.) And later on in life, I bought him Jim Croce Greatest Hits on CD, so I made amends. But oh, my gosh, did I hear about it in the years between....

I grew up listening to "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown," "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," "Operator," and "Time in a Bottle." My dad's favorite was "I Got a Name," and we danced to "I'll Have to Say I Love You in a Song" at my wedding.

Jim Croce's story is really sad - he died young in a plane crash, leaving behind his wife and young son (named Adrian, coincidentally.) Every time I hear his music, I think about my dad and how much I love him and how lucky I was (and still am) to have him around. I know, I know, it's kind of a downer, but his music means a lot to me, and I want to pass that down. And everyone needs to know that "you don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't spit into the wind" - it's vital information!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Checking out the Equipment

Ringo's gonna be an excellent big brother.

What a Hoot!

As I've mentioned previously, I'm scooping up cute owl things for the baby. About two weeks ago, I found that Graco has a new pattern available for their gear called "Little Hoot." They have a travel system (stroller/car seat combo) a travel play pen and a high chair in the pattern. Plus it's got a hint of blue, which matches what we're doing in the baby's room. Clearly Graco has been stalking me. I was so excited that I called practically everyone I know to tell them about it, and the minute I went home I started a Target Registry just so I could add these things to the list. I even went into Target on Monday with my sister specifically to show her the cuteness that is the owl pattern.

Monday evening at about 6:00, Aaron and I heard someone clomping up the stairs to our house, then a loud knock on our door. It was the UPS man, and since neither of us was expecting a delivery, and what he had dropped off made a very loud "THUMP" when he sat it on the porch, we were very anxious to see what had arrived. We opened the door to find a giant box containing........ THE ONE AND ONLY Graco Little Hoot Travel System! Courtesy of Fran and Randy.

It's sooooo cute in person, and the stroller was really easy to unfold and then collapse (after I made Aaron figure out how to collapse it. I mean, he's the Papa. That's his job, right?) Ringo even gave it his kitty seal of approval - it had been out of the box for about 5 seconds before he curled up in the bottom basket. (I have really cute pictures as proof, but I'm having trouble getting them downloaded, so I'll have to add them later.) Everything's back in the box now to prevent the inevitable onslaught of kitty hair, but I can't until we get to use it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sleepy Owl

Elena just made this for me in Photoshop. How cute is that??????

Monday, September 14, 2009

What To Expect: Week 20

September 14, 2009

First of all, let me remind you that this whole fruit this is a LENGTH comparison. If there is a cantaloupe on the planet that only weighs 10.6 oz, I wanna see it! SPOILER ALERT: Next week's comparison is a banana, which you think is MUCH smaller than a cantaloupe, but that's because you're thinking weight. And I would much rather think that I have a banana in my uterus than a cantaloupe. It's only week 20! If there's a cantaloupe in there now, there's gonna be a Honda Civic in there by the time week 40 rolls around!

This week is the midway mark of my pregnancy. This summer in my Studio IV class, our professor brought in this board every day that had the number of days we had spent on the project at the top and below it the number of days remaining. Everything seemed manageable when the top number was smaller than the bottom number, but when that top number started creeping up and the days remaining started dwindling away, it felt more and more like a pressure cooker in that room.

Well, from here on out, that's what's happening with this pregnancy: that bottom number is just going to keep getting smaller, ticking away the days until the end of this "project." But this time, I don't have to complete 8 marker renderings and lots of detail drawings and product spec boards. I'm going to have to squeeze out a human being! Does it suddenly feel like a pressure cooker in here?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What to Expect: Week 19

September 7, 2009

Mango! Yummy! This week, the baby has got this delightful stuff called vernix caseosa all over her, which is a "slippery, whitish protective coating on the skin of a fetus; believed to have antibacterial properties." Not yummy, but apparently it serves an important function.

If you noticed that I called the baby "her" instead of by her name, this was intentional. I am a worrier. If it can possibly be worried about for even one minute, I will worry about it for hours on end. This is what I do. This week, I freaked out about what we're going to do about the fact that we live in a crappy school zone, which is going to require that we move to a better school zone, which will require that we buy a new house, which will require that we sell the house we have now, which will require that I FINALLY get the bathrooms remodeled like I've been promising Aaron. And the baby isn't even out yet! (Aaron was actually worrying with me about the school zone thing, but probably not as psychotically.)

So, I'm a worrier, and for this reason, I do not feel comfortable referring to the baby by her name. Maybe I will later on in the pregnancy, but for right now, I feel like it's tempting fate to just start referring to her as if she's a human being, out and about in the real world, because I know just how far we still have to go to get her here. I know people who have thought they were home free, with every reason to think they had nothing to worry about, who lost their baby late in pregnancy. I have been a really, really lucky pregnant woman with a really healthy baby, and I don't want to take that for granted. I know I'm weird, but I really, really can't help it.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Birthday, Samantha!

Four years ago today, my sweet baby sister, Samantha was born. Four years ago, I was still living at home and back in college, so I actually lived with Samantha for the first 3 months of her life. Today, I'm married, finishing Grad School, and about to have a baby of my own. I can't believe how quickly time flies!

Over the years, Samantha has turned into an absolutely beautiful, hilarious and really smart kid. She's fluent in English and Spanish, she loves watching SpongeBob, and loves playing with her Barbies. She's a wild woman, and will run around for hours. I don't know if she's keeping my dad young, or if she's going to kill him from all of their horsing around, but he's loving every minute of it.

If you had asked me about 6 years ago, I never would have guessed that today I would have two more little sisters, or that I would be so happy about it. But how could you not love this kid to pieces? Just look at her! And just ask Melissa: hearing Samantha say, "I love you, Sissy" is one of the sweetest things in the world. I am a lucky, lucky girl to have such wonderful little sisters.

Happy Birthday, Pigga!

2 months old

3 months old and so fat I was afraid she would eat me. Gotta love a breastfed baby!

6 months old, and much less chunky

Around a year old at Money Bayou. She looooves the beach!

Around 16 months old. Isn't she beautiful???

Around 2 years old, swimming at St. George Island.

3 years old, taking Oscar for a walk.

3 1/2 at Melissa's rehearsal dinner

After the wedding with her feet in the pool. I'm totally jealous of her tan.

All 4 of the Sissies together