Tuesday, September 29, 2009

5 months

Wow! Little Samantha is 5 months old! After three weeks of shush/pat and pick up/put down using the methods of The Baby Whisperer, nap time and bed time have gotten a lot easier. As long as I get her to bed in time (there is a definite window of opportunity and if we miss it we are screwed), things go rather smoothly. So my little one is no longer sleep deprived and is a lot happier in spite of her bedtime protests.

We've been taking a Stroller Strides class at the park and the mall. I love it. Samantha is mildly amused at the sight of all the moms lined up doing squats and push-ups. Boy, does it ever feel good to be moving again! I attempted four miles with Samantha in the jogging stroller today and my knee told me to quit at 3, so I walked the last mile, but we did well. Samantha slept through the last half.

Samantha is so adorable. She flashes her beautiful smile (just like her dad's) at everyone she meets. Life is good.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nap Deprivation

No, I'm not the one being deprived; it's my daughter. In her ongoing quest to become a big kid, she stopped napping when she was tired sometime between the ages of three and four months. Things came to a head about a week ago when I somehow realized there was something wrong with my little girl. She was exhausted and constantly fussy, but she would not sleep during the day. On top of that, she seemed to be having more and more trouble getting to sleep at night.

Some Internet research revealed a few things. First, I discovered that her bedtime was way too late. That, combined with a lack of consistent daily structure, was affecting her daytime sleep. A baby Samantha's age needs about 15 hours of sleep each day! And keeping her up doesn't help her sleep better; she will wake up around the same time each morning regardless of when she went to bed. I also discovered that lack of sleep was bad for her brain!

That night I decided to let her "cry it out." I was so desperate for my baby to get the sleep her little body needed. So I read her a story, sang a few songs, and got her tucked in. We both cried for 90 minutes until she finally went to sleep. While I was waiting for her to go to sleep, I was still desperately searching for answers. Clearly just tucking her in and leaving her to cry was not the solution for us. So after asking for help from friends, message boards, Amazon.com, and my old pal Google, I put together a reading list.

What I came up with was a combination of knowledge, advice, and schedules from Richard Ferber, Marc Weissbluth, and Tracy Hogg. I have been following a combination of Hogg's EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) structure for our day, Ferber's gentler version of cry-it-out, and Weissbluth's plan that includes a super early bedtime to help get naps back on track. The last few days have been full of sleep ups and and downs with Samantha crying through some naptimes and sleeping through others, but we are definitely making progress. Today things are definitely looking up and right now she's playing happily with her toys instead of yelling at them! Last night she went to bed with minimal fuss and I had several evening hours free to get some schoolwork done for the first time in months!

I know the road ahead is full of bumps and crazy turns, but we are on our way.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My 16 week old traveler

Well, little Samantha is almost 4 months old, and not quite as little as she used to be. As I write this, she's laying on the bed beside me kicking away, watching the ceiling fan, and giving me a big, toothless grin every so often. We're on the bed because I'm trying to get her to nap but it isn't really working, so we'll settle for a little quiet time.
The last few weeks have seen some amazing changes in our baby girl. In the span of two weeks she learned to roll over from her back to her tummy, grab her toes, make popping sounds with her mouth, and (the best one) giggle!
I love that all of Samantha's grandparents are 100% behind us in all our parenting decisions and don't try to make choices for us. We are both so blessed with wonderful in-laws! My mom got out a bunch of my old baby items for us to use while we were visiting in Colorado. She slept in my old crib, on my old blanket, in my old pajamas. She wore my old socks because the socks I packed for her were too small (it's been too hot to wear socks at home so I wasn't aware how much her feet had grown). She played with my old toys and sat in my old baby seats. It was a great walk down memory lane (though I'll admit that many of the items I really don't remember). Can you believe that parenting books from the 1970's encourage solid foods around 3 months of age, say babies should sleep on their tummies, and are OK with parents holding their babies in moving vehicles? A lot has changed in the past 30 years.
We had a great time on Samantha's first big trip. She slept in the plane all the way there. She did wonderfully in the airport on the way back despite the four hour delay, and she slept all the way back, too. The best part on the way back was that there was an empty seat and the airline allowed me to use her carseat in it. What an arm-saver! We had to nurse when we arrived due to the delay, but it was no big deal since it was about 2 am and there was nobody at baggage claim by the time I got there! Traveling with her was fairly easy and I'm sure I have lots of vocal mothers who traveled before I did to thank for that in addition to people who are just generally kind. The airline doesn't charge for checking carseats or strollers and allows gate check of those items. The TSA allows milk for the baby to pass through security in containers greater than 3 oz. Restaurants and coffee shops happily give away free cups of hot water to mommies who need to warm bottles. Flight attendants assist overburdened moms who drop things on their way off the plane. Pilots help figure out how to unlock collapsed strollers at 2 am. And random strangers are more than happy to help entertain bored babies during airport delays. It was, overall, a great experience.

In Colorado, Samantha spent lot of time with her Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Lisa. She had a blast. She visited Dinosaur Ridge, where my mom volunteers, and saw some interesting dinosaur exhibits and fossils. She particularly liked the maps that showed continental drift (future geologist?). She spent time with our dear friend Betty at her beautiful home with a pond and several huge trees in the backyard. She met her first dog (an extraordinarily large one at that) and met some cats with hair (hers has none)! I had a great time, too. I got some great runs in while my parents baby-sat. I just ran around the neighborhood, but those hills were killer for a flatlander like me. We visited the Old Spaghetti Factory, a restaurant I went to as a baby. The trip was tons of fun and we can't wait to go back at Christmas.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

12 Weeks

Sweet Samantha has been with us for 12 whole weeks! I have learned a LOT in that time. Every morning when I greet my little girl, her smiles melt my heart. We are so blessed and I thank the Lord every day for sending us this precious child.

It's so amazing watching her learn and grow every day. She now reaches out for toys and can even grab them sometimes! She's learned to kick the kick pad on her Gymni to make it play a song, and she loves the crinkle of a half-inflated mylar balloon. She watched the Fourth of July fireworks so intently and had a ball meeting Uncle Sam at the stroller parade in the mall. There are so many amazing firsts to witness and I am so fortunate to be there to see it all.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sleeping and Mom's biggest fear

New moms are constantly checking their babies' breathing. I think they don't stop until their little ones go off to college, and maybe not even then. I've read that babies are at a higher rist of SIDS during the 2-4 month window, so I thought I'd keep Samantha in our room until four months since having the baby sleep in the parents' room at night is supposed to reduce the risk. Well, last night I laid her down in her own room just to see if she would go to sleep on her own (she usually needs me to rock her to sleep) and she did! So I turned on the video monitor and left her there all night. She slept better (maybe because the crib mattress is much more substatial than the cradle mat or maybe due to the soothing sights and sounds of the Fisher Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile), but I didn't! I must subconsciously listen for her when she's in our room, because I was awake every 1-2 hours checking the monitor! I like her being in her own room since she seems to be more comfortable and I'd love to get her to be able to go to sleep on her own. Maybe if we get a movement monitor I'll do better. Samantha's a big girl, but her mom is apparently a big ol' baby.

Here's a picture of Samantha in her big girl crib watching her mobile at one month. Her Nana made that beautiful blanket.

Friday, June 26, 2009

10 Weeks!

Samantha is a beautiful, smart, 10-week old girl! Her fussiness has definitely decreased, though she'll still let me know when she's bored and needs a different view or activity. She slept through the night Wednesday night and last night! She's noticed her hands and cracks me up when she crosses her eyes trying to look at them. She will hold on to toys that I put in her hand and watch as she waves them around. She's figured out that she can make the mobile over her cradle move by kicking and rolling around.

2 month shots were a little rough. She got a low-grade fever and slept and cried a lot for the next two days. She refused to be held by anyone other than her parents and she did NOT appreciate being hauled all over town two days after her shots to pick up her birth certificate, try out her new jogging stroller, and go out to dinner with Mommy's friends.

She's a lot of fun now that she's more interactive and I'm getting more than 2 hours of sleep at a time!

Monday, June 15, 2009

8 weeks

Aunt Lisa and Uncle Jared came to visit this weekend, and we were all really happy to see them. Samantha enjoyed snuggling up to them and she loved the seahorse toy they brought for her. Samantha had a really busy weekend. She played a new game with her daddy (she held his finger and used her abs to lift her bottom and legs up over and over again), she sat in her swing for a long time without crying, she rocked her rocker by kicking her legs and made the toys on it move, she went to REI, Chili's and Steak 'n Shake, and she went 4 hours between feedings at night instead of 2, which meant I got 3 hours of sleep between feedings instead of 1!

Things seem to be getting easier around here. She's smiling more and more every day. She always smiles at her mobile when I change her diaper in the morning. She can sit quietly and look at things on her own for a few minutes without crying to be carried around, and she actually enjoys diaper time and tolerates clothing changes (if she's not hungry). I was even able to eat cheese without hurting her tummy! I may actually be able to get some things done in the mornings during naptime and those brief periods during which she can entertain herself! Of course, nothing beats snuggling my baby girl.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

4 weeks

In three days our little girl will be four weeks old. My, how time flies when you are zombified and half asleep! It took me about a week to get out of my really thick postpartum funk, during which I'm not entirely sure what happened. I was so glad my mom stayed for a couple of weeks to help us! What a blessing!

What they don't tell you about being a new mom (Do NOT read this section unless you really want to know the awful, terrible, disgusting truth.):

1. You will not feel human again for 1-2 weeks postpartum.

2. You will likely run around in pajama pants and a nursing bra for several days and not even notice.

3. Around day three, you will cry harder than you've ever cried before. You are OK, but you need to cry for some reason. You might receive a phone call, go into the closet to take it, and wake up in the closet 20 minutes later wondering where you are.

4. Your brain will not function properly for awhile. Even the simplest of questions will be too difficult for you to answer. Do not attempt to get any academic work done during this time.

5. You will dream that you are nursing the baby only to be awakened by the baby, who wants to nurse. This will confuse you, but you'll figure it out.

6. Your nipples will hurt like hell for a couple of weeks. Read llli.org for helpful hints you didn't get in the hospital. Sleeping through nursing sessions is a bad idea, but sometimes you and the baby will both be unable to help it.

7. For a few days, you will not be completely aware of the passage of time. You need your mommy so you can get at least a little sleep.

8. Nothing goes as planned. Ever.

9. You will bleed like you've never bled before for what seems like forever.

10. Your first post-partum bowel movement will be a long time in coming, will be painful and will be difficult, especially if you've had stitches.

11. Things will be incredibly, painfully wrong for a couple of weeks. At about the two week mark, you get a little better. You will stop wondering "What have we done?" and "What were we thinking?". At three or four weeks, things are really looking up and you start to get into a good groove. You can do this mommy thing!

Do not let the above fool you into thinking I am not totally in love with my little girl. I am so happy to have her. Samantha sure is different four weeks later. She's taller and thinner and her eyes seem to be turning brown, though there is still a hint of dark blue in them. She has more strength in her neck and can lift her head up even more than she did before, though she's always had exceptional head control for a newborn. She has a few more sounds in her vocabulary: some squeaks and a couple of vowel sounds that aren't crying-related. She gives off adorable little single-syllable "warning shot" cries when she's about to get fussy.

She lost her cord just shy of two weeks and the last of the scab came off at the two week mark. She didn't like her first bath, but I made the second one warmer and that seemed to be OK with her. She seems to like having her hair washed.

We started cloth diapers when she was three weeks old and still have her in 'sposies at night because all the CD stuff is upstairs and I don't want to attempt to navigate stairs while half asleep and holding the baby. The CD's are working well and the laundry is not any more trouble than running to the store for a new package of 'sposies. I like it. It's going to save us a lot of money and it's going to save a lot of wear and tear on our homeworld.

Life is good.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Samantha Elise is here!

We did it!

After having increasingly strong Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks, I didn't know it was for real at first. Labor began around 2:45 on Saturday afternoon. I sent Andrew out with his friends since I didn't know whether it was for real and I knew he'd be back in time if it was. I knew it was for real at around 9 pm so I took a bath and called him to come home, then called our doula. Kathy arrived at around 10:30. She sat with us through a couple of contractions, we went for a walk, and decided to try to get some sleep. Kathy went home. We called her to come back at around 2 am when it became perfectly clear that I wasn't going to get any sleep at all as the contractions got stronger, longer, and closer together at about 4 minutes apart. We headed for the hospital at about 3:30 and arrived around 4:00. That car ride was not fun. I was 7 cm when I was first checked. The nursing staff was excellent and already had the copy of my birth plan that my CNM had faxed to them. I got a hep lock instead of a full IV (though it took three people three tries each to get it in), nobody asked about medication, and I was allowed intermittent monitoring so I could move around. Surprisingly, I was happiest in the bed and in the chair. I thought for sure I'd be squatting all over the place.

I labored for several hours and thank God for my doula! She was amazing through the whole thing! I don't think I could have gone unmedicated without her. Andrew was a great coach, though a little woozy at times. He hadn't gotten any sleep for two nights thanks to work and stress. When they say "you'll know when it's real labor" they are NOT kidding! Since I labored at home for so long, it wasn't long before I was 9 cm and then ready to push. Pushing seemed to last forever and I felt like I'd hit the wall. The CNM offered to break the water but I told her to wait and my baby girl broke it soon after. There was meconium so I had to push in a semi-reclining position so the CNM could suction her as soon as her face appeared. I got to touch her head. I felt like I was making no progress and was in so much pain that I thought I might not be able to do it after all, but soon she was halfway out and I had to resist the urge to push her the rest of the way (impossible) while the CNM got her suctioned. Pretty much the only thing that didn't go perfectly was that I had to be cut and I tore, and I know my CNM does not take episiotomy lightly so it really had to be done. It is going to be a long time before I do all that again, but I would do it the same way again for sure.

Our precious little girl was born at 10:22 am on April 19. She weighs 8 lb., 13 oz. and is 21 inches long. She had to have some blood sugar tests because of her size, but everything is fine. She is absolutely beautiful. She loves to look at her daddy and she loves to lay on my chest. She hates to have her diaper changed and she hates to be moved if she's happy where she is. She's not too sure about nursing, but we're working on that. Her grandparents, great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and of course her parents are all completely in love with this little one.

It took us until the end of her second day to name her. Samantha Elise is home with us now!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heloooo? Anybody home?

My ticker says 1 day remaining! I thought it would never get here and now I wonder where the time went! Today was my last day at work and now I am just sitting and waiting. If I don't have a baby tonight I have a few things to do tomorrow:

Grade tests
Clean house
Get medical paper work from the 8/27/08 accident and fax it to Mr. Insurance Man

If I do have a baby tonight I have a few different things to do tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday appointment update

Well, it looks like all the hard work I've been doing over the past week has all been practice contractions. I'm still 3 cm and 80%, but the CNM thinks the baby has moved down to -1. I was disappointed at the apparent lack of progress even though I know it doesn't mean much and I could go into labor at any minute. I guess she's comfy in there and I know I should enjoy these last few days of freedom. *Sigh* My ankles are swollen, my feet and back hurt, and there is a bowling ball in my belly that feels like it's about to bust out the bottom any second. I know I'm fortunate to have made it this far without this kind of discomfort. I work two more days and then start my leave! Hooray!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

5 days?!

Last night I started having regular contractions that felt different from the ones I've been having and almost took my breath away. I called our doula and she suggested that I eat, shower, and rest and see if they continued. They went away. This morning there were more, but then they went away again. Soon, but not yet. Maybe this weekend? Maybe we'll get an Easter miracle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A head start

I found out at today's appointment that I'm at 3 cm, 80% effaced, and -2 station. That means we have a head start on labor. Active labor is at 4 cm. All these contractions have been doing something! I just hope it keeps up and we'll get to 4 soon. This is a short week at work. Maybe we'll have an Easter baby!

Today the doula met the midwife. We went over the birth plan and everything looks great! I love my CNM. It looks like everything is going to go smoothly provided the labor works with us and everyone stays healthy.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I used to think that a contraction was "the shortening of a word, syllable, or word group by omission of internal letters." It turns out that's only part of the story.

I've had very mild Braxton Hicks contractions off and on since about 20 weeks, particularly when exercising, but they've been no big deal. A little over a week ago I got them with a pattern that started out far apart and got closer together throughout the day, but they still didn't hurt a whole lot. I called the OB's office, got sent to L&D, and got sent home. This past week they have been quite a bit more obnoxious and painful. They come in spurts, and just when I think it might be for real, they go away. I think at least some of them are doing something as far as dilation and ripening and all that good stuff, and I will find out tomorrow afternoon at my next appointment.

We got a 4-hour crash course in natural childbirth from our doula yesterday. Andrew and I are both so happy she will be part of this experience. She is really going to be incredibly helpful in reaching our goal of having a natural, unmedicated birth.

Now we just have to wait and one of these days, these contractions will be for real.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

14 days

The CNM said she didn't think Babby would wait until April 16, and I'm kind of hoping that's true. I've been crunching hard at work to get things put together there and it's all in an acceptable condition now. Now there are just a few more things to do with the house to get ready.

We have it narrowed down to a few name combinations. The first name will probably be either Samantha or Rachel, and the middle name will probably be Elise, but who knows? We may come up with something completely different when we see her.

I've been having harder Braxton Hicks contractions lately. One today made me wonder if it was for real, but there was just one. I was still 2.5 cm at the appointment on Monday, so all these contractions haven't been doing much. Soon.

More progress: I hired a doula today, and she's coming over on Saturday to teach us about childbirth. Tomorrow I will go meet a pediatrician and get that taken care of. The one I originally wanted can't meet with me until April 13, and I thought that was pushing it, so I am meeting with a different doctor in the same practice. I want to know about asthma and ADHD.

What do we still need to buy for the baby? I should get that figured out. For my personal organization needs, I will post a list here. * items are things we really ought to get before she comes home.
  • sheet savers for crib*
  • lamp
  • swing*
  • gas drops*
  • dye-free baby Tylenol
  • MOBI digital thermometer*
  • breast pump (Lasinoh manual)*
  • Lots of Links
  • monitor (Angelcare movement sensor)*
  • diaper sack dispenser
  • color change ducky for bath*
  • microwave bottle sterilizer*
  • breastmilk storage bags*
  • tubside kneeler*
  • umbrella stroller (Maclaren Volo)
  • video camera
  • Evenflo 8 oz glass bottles with sleeves
  • Medium and large cotton sleep sacks

Saturday, March 28, 2009


So I've been having the normal Braxton Hicks/prelabor things going on lately, but Thursday was kind of wild. I had "practice" contractions Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, and by Thursday afternoon they were coming fast with some slight, ignorable pain. What concerned me was that I thought that false labor contractions were not supposed to have a measurable pattern, and these definitely did. Perhaps it was the fact that I hadn't had much sleep for three nights or that I had been eating terribly unhealthy foods for a couple of days, but the light pain coupled with 5-minutes-apart contractions was enough to make me call the OB's office. They told me to go to labor and delivery, so my friend Amber took me since I was still at work. Now that's a true friend! By the time I got there and got in the bed and all hooked up to monitors, the contractions had slowed considerably and I only had 1 or 2 during the hour I was there. The nurse who checked me said "the baby is happy in there and we want to keep her in there for another couple of weeks." That sounded good to me, considering I hadn't graded the midterms or finished preparing for my sub yet and Andrew needs a good break. The whole event was slightly embarrassing, but apparently it happens all the time. I won't make that mistake again. It will probably be a different mistake next time. Pregnancy is more complicated than I could ever have imagined.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


At Monday's appointment I found out that I am 2.5 cm dialated, the baby is very low, and the cervix is thinning. While this information is interesting, it apparently doesn't mean much. Babby could be here tomorrow or, more likely, in three weeks as scheduled. Braxton Hicks contractions are a regular event and are kind of fun for now. I know the real ones won't be as fun!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Major progress

Yesterday we did some major work on the baby's room. Andrew and his dad removed all the exercise equipment and cleaned out the closet. I washed all the clothes and linens and put them in place, Andrew's mom did some major work in getting things generally clean, and we went shopping for all the things we needed for the projects like new curtains, mini-blinds, crib repair, lightbulb changing, and mobile setup. I even exchanged some duplicate gifts for a totally awesome gym mat. But how did I spend over $100 on laundry baskets, hardware, curtains, and batteries?

Lena the sphynx is not sure what's happening. The baby's room was her room when we first got her, before we let her have the run of the house. She hasn't been allowed in there for a couple of years now, so I'm not sure she remembers it, but she has been acting agitated with all the comings and goings around here, running all over the house, getting into things (like eating Rainbow Bright's hair), and generally demanding attention. I let her come in and explore while I was putting away laundry, which turned out to be a bad idea. She somehow squeezed into the drawer under the crib, where I had put all the freshly-washed blankets, and wouldn't come out until I pulled the drawer out and poked her with a hanger. This wouldn't be so bad, except that she gets a bath every Saturday and this happened on Friday night. I'm still not sure how she'll react to a baby moving in. I think they'll have loads of fun when Babby is older and can chase her around, which is Lena's favorite game, but who knows? For now, she will have to stay out of Babby's room because she loves to snuggle people and a little warm baby could be too great of a temptation. Perhaps we will get a screen door or a squirt gun for Babby's room.

As for pregnancy itself, I am so over it. Babby, you have a little less than a month. Get ready!

Monday, March 2, 2009

40 Days

That's a very, um, biblical amount of time. 40 days to go (and then some, probably)! I am so excited, but a little freaked out about how things are about to change forever.

Names: Right now, at this very moment, Andrew and I agree on our top three first names and our top two middle names. This may change, but I'm glad to have it sort of narrowed down so we have a short list to choose from when we see her.

Business arrangements: I still haven't interviewed doulas or pediatricians. It's on my list, but somehow I never get to it.

House: Apparently I have been nesting this weekend. There is still so much to do, but things are feeling a lot better around here.

Work: I stayed at work until LATE Friday making lesson plans for the long-term sub. I will probably do that every Friday from now until Babby arrives. Now about that grading...

So tired, so hungry, and so huge

I went to the doctor's office today, and apparently I've gained 6 pounds in 2 weeks. That's got to be some kind of record. I'm measuring at 34.5 weeks when I'm actually 33.5, which the CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife) says is fine. I am going to be embarassed if I have gained more than 2 pounds at the next appointment, though. My eating and exercise habits have not been good lately. There is no energy and there are Girl Scout cookies. Now I understand why people get depressed about their weight and just eat more.

Sheer exhaustion is preventing me from doing much. Yes, I know that if I exercise I will have more energy. Time to stop whining and get my butt on the treadmill.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The to do list

And boy, is it a monster. Maybe if I post it here I'll be more inspired to actually do these things. Some of them are really long-term, but need to be done eventually.

write lesson plans for sub
get copies of everything for sub
get an overhead projector for sub
have student computer converted to teacher computer for sub
bring home as much stuff as possible
give away as much stuff as possible
finish arranging field trip
conduct delayed post test for thesis
fill out required leave of absence paperwork
find out about insurance and possible resignation date, last date of work
get technology equipment ready to turn in and all in one place - find out where/when to turn it in
find a new home for the laptops

hire a doula
read more books
take childbirth class
take breastfeeding class
pack a hospital bag

Babby's room:
remove exercise equipment
clean out closet
re-hang closet door
install new screws in the crib
disable the drop-side of the crib?
decorate the walls
wash clothes
wash diapers
wash and put on bedding
install curtain rod
install new blinds
cover circular window in fabric
buy and hang curtains for closet
organize clothes, diapers
get baskets for diaper stuff
get a hamper or laundry basket for laundry
get shelves for toys and books

assemble cradle
get a trash can and wet bags for diaper pail, wet bags for travel
get a diaper sprayer

find some way of keeping the cat out while keeping the door open

House stuff
lower water heater temp to 120 degrees
find, wash, and hang curtain (needs new curtain rod)
tighten curtain installations in living room
replace lightbulbs in living room, bathroom
declutter (garage sale? - probably not)
wash windows
give everything a good scrub

Major house stuff:
repair sprinkler system
new roof
new gutters
new grass
basic yard clean-up
open pool
schedule pool chemical service
new shower door
new baseboards in bathrooms
de-wallpaper and paint bathrooms
paint exterior
refinish garage door
see to the plumbing in the guest bathroom
new deck or remove and replace with grass
new door for upstairs bathroom

TNR the orange feral cat (I haven't seen him in over a week. Maybe we are lucky and he's gone this time.)
Write a thesis
Do the taxes

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Did you know that you need baby stuff if you are going to have a baby?

It hadn't really dawned on me until recently how much stuff you need when you are going to have a baby. I mean, I guess we could make due with just a safe place to sleep, some diapers, and some clothes, but it would be really nice to have things to entertain the baby with as well as some of the baby-care items designed to make life a little easier with a child around the house. Yesterday my pal Amanda took me to Babies R Us and Target so we could both fill in gaps in our registries. Her motherly wisdom and experience were invaluable to me. I did not know that a bottle warmer would be useful, "disposable" plates and cups are great when washed and reused, and that if I'm going to get(TMI alert!) this I will probably want this, assuming Babby is OK with these. I didn't know how to attach toys to carriers and strollers, I didn't know to be mindful of the height of a stroller I'm considering, and I didn't know that baby medicines came with baby medicine droppers. It was an exhausting, informative, and productive experience. Thanks, Amanda!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Babby's name

She started out as Muffin Muffin Star (the pictures, not the words), and has also been affectionately called Blueberry, Bananas (Get it? Bananas Foster? Ha ha.), and some other things. We have more recently been calling her Babby, but in approximately 10 weeks we will be faced with the monumental task of giving her a real name - one that will fit her and serve her well, that she won't hate, and that everyone around her can pronounce and spell without too much trouble. We might have a middle name picked out (I think it's down to two), but here are some of the first names on the list, which fluctuates daily, rising and ebbing like, well, the tide.

Katherine, Kathryn

*current favorites

We won't have a final determination until we get to see her in person, but narrowing it down a bit wouldn't hurt. Here is a link if you care to vote: http://www.babynames.com/namelist/9638747 . Write-in votes, especially hilarious ones, are requested in the comments section of this blog.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tax Baby - an update

To sum up the last six months or so, we found on on August 8, 2008 that we would be welcoming a new family member around April 16, 2009. After getting a positive home pregnancy test, we went out to Subway to celebrate (that was before I knew about the risk of contracting listeriosis from cold lunch meat).

I called my sister to tell her the news and ask her if it was OK to tell our family the weekend of her wedding. We told my parents the day after the wedding by giving them "Grandmother" and "Grandfather" mugs. We flew back home that same day and told Andrew's parents by giving them a puzzle with the message on it. Then we called Andrew's sister. Later, we presented Andrew's grandmothers with cards that said "Guess What?" and "Surprise!" on the outside and cut-outs of baby-type shapes with the date April 16, 2009 on the inside. We were able to share the news with several of our friends in person and via Facebook and e-mail.

We found out that our baby is a precious girl on December 1. This thrilled Andrew's mom, who had already been collecting a few baby girl things since his sister got pregnant. She had a boy, so the girl things remained in the closet until now.

Pregnancy symptoms: I had some "morning" sickness all day from about week six through about week thirteen, but I was able to keep it at bay by snacking every hour. During the first trimester, I didn't have any cravings but I had two major aversions: pizza and french fries. After awhile the aversions went away and since then I have been craving pizza, spaghetti, and anything with tomato-based sauce. I was completely exhausted throughout the first trimester, but that went away. In addition, there are all manner of other symptoms that I'd rather not share online and anyone reading this would probably rather not know about.

Wild dreams: I have had some weird dreams. First, before we even knew she was there, I dreamt I had a baby and it was a Roomba. I had the dream where I put the baby down and couldn't remember where (fortunately they come with an alarm system to signal you when you lose them in real life). I dreamt I swam to Los Angeles with Andrew where I passed out and when I woke up I had had an emergency C-Section four months early, but there was no pain and we could tell the baby (a boy) was fine because he had a full head of hair just like his dad and was making complicated consonant combinations like sp- and sk-. We didn't have a car seat so my mom put the beautifully decorated Easter egg he had been born in back together, saying "You can never get these things back exactly the way they came." Then we put him back in his egg and about 10 family members piled in one car to go home. I dreamt I was pregnant but not married so I ran away to Europe where I met a man who was four inches tall. Weird.

I love feeling the baby move around! She beats up on me every morning and every evening. She gets especially excited when I eat sugar. We've even seen her move, which is particularly strange.

So now we have eleven more weeks before we get to hold our baby girl! It's a good thing, since there's still so much to be done!