Monday, August 31, 2009

Our first baby

Although this is my first pregnancy, this is not the first baby for me and Aaron. Our first born is Ringo, our big, handsome, orange kitty. Ringo is the center of attention in our house, and is the center of a lot of the stories we tell. We have turned into "those people" when it comes to Ringo, always telling stories about him, showing off pictures, talking about his weird little quirks. Like the fact that he eats his wet food with his paw. And he always runs straight to the litter box when we get home. And he sleeps on top of the covers between my legs every night, usually with his head resting on my butt. And he gags if he smells citrus fruit, cloves or toothpaste. I am overly attached to this cat, so much so that I cry every time I have to drop him off at the vet for his kitty checkups (which I will have to do this Wednesday.) I'm sure it seems a little obsessive, but look at him - isn't he just the cutest thing???

Sunday, August 30, 2009

What to Expect: Week 18

August 31, 2009

Apparently this week, my body decided it was time to be pregnant. I felt like it happened overnight - one day, my body's feeling pretty normal, belly has a little bit of a pooch, but nothing major; within 48 hours, I can actually feel my uterus below my navel (which is totally normal during pregnancy, and natural, too, but when I told Aaron about it, he got freaked out) and I look PREGNANT! Not, "Whoa, this lady is due any day," but I am definitely rocking a baby bump. Boom!

Now I just read that my uterus is supposed to be the size of a cantaloupe right now, so no friggin' wonder I have a baby bump! And the baby is almost 6 inches long. Sleeping has started being a little bit different over the last few days. I definitely can't sleep comfortably on my stomach anymore, and I had a major freak out this week over sleeping on my back. Apparently when the baby and uterus get bigger, if you lay on your back, their weight can cut off circulation to a major vein that pumps blood to the baby. I received an email from one of my baby website updates this week reminding me of this delightful fact, and the next night I woke up laying flat on my back. Panic commenced. I spent about an hour trying to get back to sleep while picturing my baby having permanent brain damage.

Thank goodness I have access to a great nurse and mommy of two, Ken's sister, Jessica, and she calmed my back-sleeping fears! Yes, you can cut off circulation to the baby while sleeping on your back, but chances are #1: you would also cut off circulation to your legs, which would make you roll over long before the baby suffered any damage. #2: by the time the baby is big enough to cut off the circulation, you won't be comfortable sleeping on your back anyway, so there won't be anything to worry about. Crisis averted. Thanks, Jess!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Things I will make my child watch

Reading Rainbow

If you know me at all, you know that I'm a total dork and have always loved reading. I'm not sure how it started, my love of reading, but I know it had something to do with being cared for by my Nana, who would make all of the grandchildren under her tutelage study the alphabet and numbers during our days with her. (Not all day or anything, she wasn't a slave driver. But she definitely made sure we were learning.) It also has something to do with my dad reading to me when I was little. Apparently I was a little literary terrorist - I couldn't actually read the books, but I had them memorized and God forbid he try to skip a page. Not happening, buddy! We still have most of my favorite books from when I was a kid, currently being housed at my dad's with Samantha and little Sarah, but I will be stealing them the minute my kid is old enough to be read to. Sorry, kiddos! And it definitely has to do with my third grade teacher, Mrs. Densyl, the best teacher EVER EVER EVER!

I am also pretty positive that I love reading because I grew up watching this awesome show called Reading Rainbow. Looking back, I don't remember anything about the show except that #1) It was hosted by LeVar Burton, who also played some weird guy in space that wore a banana clip over his eyes and how in the world could he see with those things on, anyway? That must have driven him insane! #2) The theme song was very, very catchy #3) I wanted to be one of the kids that did a book review.

I was shocked to hear today that Reading Rainbow is being canceled after 26 years. Partially, I was a little shocked that it is still on the air. It seems like all the good stuff got canceled years ago, or just got really weird. Have you tried to watch a Sesame Street episode in the last decade? I saw the new intro a few years ago and immediately changed the channel - it's just not the same. And Saturday morning cartoons make me feel like I'm having some sort of psychotic episode.....

Anyway, apparently a major reason the show was canceled is because our government felt like educational programming should be teaching children HOW to read, not WHY to read. What the hell? Isn't that what kids go to school for? And if you really feel that way, start another show that teaches kids how to read, but don't touch my Reading Rainbow!!! And if a kid wants to read, won't they figure out how? I mean, kids figure out how to turn every conceivable household notion into a water bong, surely they can learn to sound and blend if a strong enough desire is there!

Regardless of what the Department of Education thinks about Reading Rainbow, I think it was a bad ass show, and I'm happy I live in the age of iTunes so I can (hopefully? I'm sure it's on there...) start buying episodes to store up for my kid to watch instead of the weird crap that's on TV today.

Your legacy will not die, LeVar! And my kid is going to know you are more than a banana-clip wearing crew member aboard the Starship Enterprise, because God knows as the child of Aaron Kautz and grandchild of Fran and Randy Kautz, you'll be watching plenty of Star Trek episodes........

Kirk out!

Monday, August 24, 2009

What to Expect : Week 17

August 24, 2009

This week, the baby is starting to have fat grow around it's newly hardening muscles. ( I think I read this weekend that somewhere around 2/3 of the baby's tissue will be fat when it's born.) Also, the umbilical cord is getting thicker and stronger. The heartbeat is regular now, controlled by the heart instead of just beating randomly. (I have no idea how that was even possible, by the way.) At my last OB visit a week ago, the doctor said the heartbeat was around 150 beats per minute, which is normal. She also said the baby was moving around a lot, although I have yet to feel a thing. I've gotten a little obsessed with trying to feel the baby move, but I have absolutely no idea what it's supposed to feel like, so it's kind of a lost cause. I joked with a friend today that I wouldn't know the baby had moved until it's big enoughto start punching me or something! I will let you guys know the second I feel something, though, but I won't be able to guarantee to you that it was actually the baby moving...

What to Expect: Week 16

August 17, 2009

Okay, first of all, the date above is the date I SHOULD have written this week's blog. So I slacked a little, but it was a busy week for me, plus I was bitter that it was my vacation from school, and I wasn't getting to have any fun, and the blog got put on the back burner. But I'm back! Here's a look at what was happening last week with the baby...

The ears are starting to work, so the poor kid is probably wondering, "What the hell is that????" at night when Ringo snuggles up to me and paws on my belly. Also, the baby's muscles are bulking up, helping it to straighten out a little. Eyelashes and eyebrows are filling in, and the taste buds are forming. I hate to break it to the kid, but eyelashes are not going to be one of your strongest features - one look at Aaron and I will clue you in on that one. If it's a girl, I see a lot of mascara in her future.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Baby Weight

This week, I finally broke down and bought some maternity pants. I knew the day would come, but I wasn't really looking forward to it. I mean, what's sexy about a huge elastic panel that stretches from your waist to your boobs? Plus, as a naturally chubby girl, I'm already pretty self-concious when it comes to clothes shopping. For me, the idea of needing to buy maternity pants was kind of like if I had to move from the "regular" section to the plus-size. And even though the move to maternity pants is really out of my control, I wasn't looking forward to it.

As I've mentioned previously, I haven't really experienced a huge body change yet. The last time I checked, I'd gained about 7 pounds, which is pretty much on target. And, as I'm already overweight, I am only supposed to gain 15 - 20 pounds over the course of the entire pregnancy. I think "the girls" have gotten a little larger, but I haven't had to buy new bras yet, thank goodness! (That day is coming, though, and it's gonna be baaaaddddd!) All of my pants still fit fine with a little help from by BeBands or a ponytail holder through the button hole, but both of those options had gotten a little annoying. The Be Bands have to be adjusted all day long (not that they aren't a good product, I just think I bought a size too big.) And the ponytail holder...... well, it's just sad.

My final decision was made when I went to put on my favorite pair of dark jeans this week (the super cute American Eagle Trouser Jean, which, thanks to the god-awful skinny jean trend that apparently will never die, is no longer made. Bastards.) and realized that they were just too uncomfortable to wear with either of my adjustment options.

So I bit the bullet, and headed to Motherhood, armed with a very generous gift card my in-laws had gotten me for my birthday (Thanks, Fran and Randy!!) The sales girl was really helpful, and I actually wound up buying three pairs of pants - a dark jean plus two pairs of pants for work. And the pants are CUTE! As someone who has spent the better part of a decade, even more so in the past 6 weeks, dreading putting on pants in the morning, I gotta say - I LOVE MATERNITY PANTS!!! In fact, I think that ALL girls with a little extra around the middle should wear maternity pants! The problem I have with most pants is how they fit at my waist - with low-rise jeans being in style, it's especially hard to find jeans that don't squish my midsection. And even when pants fit, we all have fat days where zipping and buttoning is a challenge. Now I don't have to worry about it! It's pretty liberating.

And not having to obsess about my weight is pretty liberating, too. I realized the other morning, when Aaron was having one of his "I feel fat!" days, that I'M NOT ALLOWED TO LOSE WEIGHT! How friggin' awesome is that? Since about 1999 (the last time I weighed 135 pounds, the maximum "healthy" weight for my height according to those BMI people) I have worried almost constantly about my weight - pretty much the fact that I really needed to lose a lot of it. But now, for the next 6 months, as long as I don't go completely crazy and start packing on huge amounts of weight (which I've never really done - I'm a gradual weight gainer) I'm home free! No weight worries for me! And when I do start getting fat and have a belly that sticks out further than my gigantic bosom, people will think I'm cute, not that I need to sign up for Jenny Craig.

Pregnancy's not bad, people. Not bad at all.....

(And as I write that, the worrier in me feels that I've just jinxed myself into a 12-pound, colicky baby and a 4-cup boob expansion. I'm now going to knock on every wood surface in my house.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baby Gear: What the heck do we need?

I've been working on setting up a registry at Babies-R-Us, and I'm
trying to register for things that are necessities. Obviously we need a crib, and we plan on co-sleeping for at least the first 3-4 months, so I've picked out a co-sleeper. Since space is at a premium at our house, I don't want to go too crazy with baby gear, but I want to make sure I'm not having to run to the store every week grabbing something I decided we didn't need and now find that we do.
For starters, I'm conflicted about the whole changing table thing. The baby's room is also Aaron's office, and it's only 10' x 10' to begin with. Do we really need to cram a changing table in there, or will using the closest available surface work? And what about all the "gear"? I've heard from some people that a swing is a lifesaver, others say they are pointless.
So, mommies out there, what are your thoughts? What things do you think are necessities based on your experience, and what things can we cross of the "To Buy" list?

What To Expect: Week 15

August 10, 2009

I know I keep saying this every week, but I just can't believe how big this baby is!!!! An orange is huge! And compared to last week's lemon, it seems to be growing much faster these days. I guess it's still especially unbelievable to me because I don't feel pregnant yet. 15 weeks, and my only symptom is my inability to button my pants. That's it. Again, I'm really, really, really lucky, but I'm worried that my lack of symptoms thus far is going to lead to a pretty ugly reality check once things start ramping up. I'm picturing myself gaining all my baby weight in one fell swoop, waking up with an entirely different body (that I think will look a lot like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory when she turns into a blueberry. Minus the blue.)

But enough about me..... This week, all four of the baby's limbs have functional joints, which is good because Aaron keeps reminding me, "Our kid is going to play a sport!" and I think joints will be pretty crucial for that. The baby is moving a lot, but I still can't feel it. Some days I'll feel a little twitch (kind of like a quick, sharp pain) that I think could possibly be a fetal movement, but I'm not sure because I have no idea what they're supposed to feel like and they're in really random places. Could just be a twitch. According to, first time moms start feeling movement between 16 and 22 weeks, so it's still a little early for me.

Aaron and I have been on a total house cleaning kick the past two weekends since I've been out of school. We even rented one of those industrial carpet cleaner things to clean up our rugs (it worked great, btw! Just make sure the suction part is working properly when you start. I almost created Lake Kautz in our Living Room, but I got it figured out.) Aaron put a lot of stuff out in the new storage shed, which has cleared a lot of space in the office/future nursery. I cleaned out both closets and have been using my new Shark steam mop thing non-stop. We've both been tackling other, smaller projects that have been looming for awhile, too, like a new baseboard in the kitchen and a new faucet for the kitchen sink. If only we could get Ringo kitty to pitch in some....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Birthday Surprise

Yesterday was definitely the best birthday EVER! I got to surprise some of my closet friends with the baby news.... Check it out :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Birthday Baby Presents

My sweet, sweet friends, have struck again!

First, allow me to backtrack: A few months ago, I can't recall exactly how, it was revealed to me that our last name, Kautz, comes from an old German word for owl. (Specifically, the screech owl, which amuses me.) So I got the idea that it would be fun to have some owl elements in the baby's room, and I told the girls about it. A few weeks ago, my friend, Elena, and I found a cuuuute owl stuffed animal by handmade maggie at a local boutique called Textures, and she insisted on buying it for what she's been calling our "little owlet." (I didn't have time to blog about it then because we were in the throes of Studio, but it's precious!!!!)

Fast forward to today: While sitting on the sofa, there was a knock on the door, and to my surprise, the UPS man had delivered a box from Vera Bradley. A surprise birthday present, and from Vera, no less! I was completely and totally shocked. When I opened the box and saw that the tag said "Baby Bag," I began to tear up. By the time I tore off the tissue paper and saw that the bag had little owls on it, I was full-on crying! Jessie and Lani had gone in together to buy me the Night Owl Baby Bag for my birthday - I didn't even know it existed! It's so cute, and it has all these pockets (11, to be exact. I counted!) to keep all the important baby essentials, plus the inside has a waterproof liner AND there's a matching changing pad. It's absolutely perfect!

I can't believe how lucky I am to have such great friends and that they're so excited for us - especially since they are all at such different stages of their lives than I am (I'm the "old lady" of the group.) I'm so happy that they share my excitement and haven't gotten tired of the baby talk - yet! Thanks, girls! I love you!

What To Expect: Week 14

Thursday, August 6, 2009

So it's week 14, but it's also my birthday week!!! YAY! The best part of my birthday will be FINALLY telling my friends the big news. Of course some of my friends already know, but this is a very important group and I've been DYING to tell them all at the same time. I am horrible at keeping secrets, plus I get no pleasure from secret-keeping, so this has been hard on me. I can't wait!

In baby news, we've got a little lemon this week, and apparently it's hairy. Yep, the baby is covered with "thin, downy hair" called Lanugo. Sounds Italian, doesn't it? It keeps the baby nice and toasty in the womb, but it will shed off a few weeks before birth.