Monday, September 28, 2009
From now on, our lovely fruit:baby size comparisons (courtesy of thebump.com) 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
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
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
Saturday, September 19, 2009
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
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
Monday, 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
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
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
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
The Point! is this GREAT children's album written, narrated and sung by Harry Nillson, about a boy named Oblio who grew up in the Land of Point. If I ever heard this album as a child, I don't remember it, but Aaron grew up with it and shared it with me. If you haven't listened to this album, you should!
As I mentioned, the story is narrated by Nillson, and great songs are interspersed throughout. (Apparently Nillson got the idea while he was on acid and realized that all the trees and houses had points, but don't let that ruin it for you.) The gist: Oblio is a round-headed boy growing up in a land where everything (trees, houses, and people's heads) had to have a point. Oblio gets on the prince's bad side, and is banished, along with his dog, Aarow, to the Pointless Forest because of his round head.
I won't tell you the rest of the story, but it really is great. And the music is beautiful! Three animated film versions of the album have been made, as well as a musical play. My two favorite songs on the album are "Me and My Arrow" and "Think About Your Troubles." Watch the video clip below - I guarantee you'll love it, young or old. Parents, you should get this for your kids. It's better than anything they're playing on TV these days, and blows those stupid Kid Bop records out of the water.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
When it comes to converting this room into a nursery, I've given the design of the room a lot of thought, especially because the room presents several challenges:
1. It's tiny! Just 10' x 10'
2. Aaron still wants to use it as an office.
3. Two doors opening into the room take up valuable space.
I've come up with a floor plan that I think will work pretty well and not make the room feel too cluttered. I want to get Aaron a new desk because his is lacking in closed storage (lots of exposed computer equipment = not so good for baby) plus it's not the most attractive piece of furniture. We already have a nice rug, pendant light fixture (that I made all by myself, thank you very much!) and Roman shade (all in nice neutral cream. And I know it's stupid for us to have a light colored carpet in a baby's room, but it was only $30, so if it gets ruined it's not the end of the world.)We also have some cubby style bookcases in the room that match our floors. The room is in decent shape! But we do need to buy:
1. The new desk (as previously mentioned)
2. A crib and bedding
3. A new closet system
4. Accessories / art
5. Additional lighting
6. A chair and ottoman
We're also going to paint the room a nice, soothing grayish blue color. Yes, I know blue is associated with boys. Sue us for gender misrepresentation. The decor part of the nursery has been the biggest source of stress. Mainly because my dear, sweet, fashion and design-conscious husband is a little hard to please in the decor department. (Translation: he DARES have an opinion that differs from mine! The nerve! Doesn't he know you should never disagree with a pregnant woman? :) I've shown him about 1,000 different bedding fabrics we could use in the room over the past few months, and he's hated every one of them. We finally came up with a solution this week that makes both of us happy, which is good, because it was about to drive me totally insane.
So, here's the (proposed) nursery design.....
I'm taking off the closet door and installing a curtain instead.
(Solves the problem of that pesky door swing.)
Wall Color: Ralph Lauren paint in "Impressionist"
(See, it's a pretty blue! And not boyish at all.)
Crib Bumper and Quilt: Pottery Barn Organic Giant Dot Bedding
It's inexpensive, modern-looking and convertible. Perfect!
Another inexpensive - and REALLY comfortable - pick. It may not fit in the nursery, but if it doesn't, we'll just put it in the living room.
Closet System: Trofast by Ikea
Also, I think everyone was holding out hope that this could be "the one," the boy that would carry on the Kautz line, the boy that my father tried to have 4 times, the boy that would start to even things up on my mom's side of the family (where there are 11 girls to 5 boys between the children, grands and great grand.) My sister wanted me to have a boy so she wouldn't inherit the pressure of producing a boy. It's been a long time since we've seen a boy.
Addison Frances Kautz
this is her alien look.
check out the hands
the 90% of a clamshell. poor kid, goods getting splashed all over the internet
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
I'm from a very small Southern town, a not particularly well-regarded Southern town, a town that when people hear I grew up there, they look at me with a very bizarre expression and say, "Really?" Or sometimes they just laugh. I grew up on a farm with cows. My dad would stick the truck in gear, and I would just drive around the field, standing in the front seat, while he threw hay out the back. I also had a very strong southern accent -which was immortalized on a tape that thank god my parents lost years ago. I, fortunately, lost my accent years ago as well.
Because I grew up as a country girl in a small, Southern town, I grew up listening to country music. I knew all the words to any song by Reba McEntire, I loooooooooved Crystal Gayle, I thought Charlie Pride was the coolest guy around. Oooh, and George Strait! I actually listened to country music voluntarily until I was about 20 (in 2000) or so, but let's be honest - it started tanking YEARS before that... Once Toby Keith got on the scene, and George Strait kinda went down the crapper, there is nothing good about country music. Well, except for hottie Keith Urban and his sexy hair.
Now, when I was little, until probably the age of 5, we actually had cable and I watched some MTV. You know, back when it really was "Music Television." I remember seeing the videos for "Ghostbusters" and "Happy to be Stuck With You." but from ages 9 - 13 or so I didn't have access to cable, and after that, it was only when I would visit my grandparents in Thomasville. I didn't live in a cave or anything, but my musical exposure was limited.
I have a really good memory, though, especially when it comes to song lyrics, so, I have many, many years of country music lyrics built up in my head. I kicked Aaron's ass at music trivia once because they kept asking country music questions. It made him afraid. There's this show on CMT called "Can You Duet" and people karaoke to country songs. Aaron stopped the tv on that show one night, and I knew every word to the song the person was singing. I think it was "Queen of the Doublewide Trailer." That made me a little afraid, but I did laugh at the look of sheer terror on Aaron's face.
Fortunately, I became a teenager in the age of Nirvana, STP and Pearl Jam - NOT the age of boy bands and Britney Spears - and the radio station I listened to would play some quality 80s music - The Cure, The Clash, - so I developed a pretty decent taste in music later in life. Decent, but not great. However, I was not really exposed to the rock greats until I met Aaron when I was 22. At the time, I could not have named a single Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones song. I think that I maybe, possibly knew a Jimi Hendrix song or two. The first time I ever heard Bohemian Rhapsody or Stairway to Heaven was when I watched Wayne's World. Pathetic.
Thank GOD Aaron opened my eyes to some really awesome music! He's kind of a music snob at times, but there's no denying his taste is pretty darn good. Being raised by ex-hippies in the 70s works wonders for one's musical prowess.
This leads me to the point of my post: My child will grow up listening to Led Zeppelin. (And other important artists that I will list at later dates, but Zeppelin is tops on my list.) I don't understand how I lived so many years of my life without having heard "Whole Lotta Love" or "Ramble On" or "Gallows Pole." I would love it if I had the only 5 year old for miles around that knows all the words to a Zeppelin song and thinks Robert Plant was a god. And has never even heard of Toby Keith. Or Britney Spears....