Sunday, December 28, 2008

Baby Shower!

My two beautiful sisters, Meredith and Megan, threw me the most wonderful baby shower yesterday! I got to visit with so many people I hadn't seen in so long and had the best time! And there were cute little baby things spread all over the living room when we were done - just got me so excited to change the baby's outfit 10 times a day! 

The shower was at my parent's house in McKinney, Texas, which was all dolled up for Christmas. Before the shower, I went and enjoyed a prenatal massage, which my family had gotten me for Christmas. It was so heavenly!!! I felt all relaxed and beautiful before the shower, which is a tall order these days. Here I am with the hostesses and my mom (also known as the fourth sister) right before the shower:
Two of my cousins made the shower as well - Jason who lives in Dallas and Kim, who lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico! Kim and my Aunt Judy, who had been in El Paso with my Nana for Christmas, flew in the night before the shower and it meant so much to have them there. I am blessed to have such a loving family. 
Brad's grandmother, Nanny, was in town for Christmas from Fayetteville, Arkansas visiting Aunt Mary Alice and Uncle Doug (not pictured - probably watching football!). We were so happy they could come and luckily I didn't completely block Nanny out of the picture with my ginormous belly!! Mary Alice brought me the cutest gift - this big wine goblet, painted with the words 'Mommy's Sippy Cup'. Heck yeah!! I think that belongs in my bag that's going to the hospital!
I don't mean to brag, but can we talk about how fabulous my dress is? After weeks of frustrating shopping trying to find something cute to wear at an event I knew there would a paparazzi level of photography going on, I finally found this adorable dress on Friday. I should have known to just wait and go shopping with my mom, who is like the Mall Whisperer. The cutest clothes and accessories just want to be found at deeply discounted prices when she enters the store. We went to Japanese Weekend, a maternity boutique that only has 4 stores in the whole U.S. and one of them happens to be about 15 minutes from my parent's house. The clearance rack was beckoning when we walked in, with many items screaming 'pick me! pick me!'. I found a couple of dresses and this particular one was 83% off. I just pulled up the calculator and checked. Moral of the story: if you get a chance to shop with my mother, do it! 

Here is my favorite pic of myself, as the angle makes me look slightly less large. There were a couple of pics of me and Brad, where he looked all svelte and handsome and I look large enough that maybe I could swallow him whole if I wanted to. So yeah, not posting those. 
All in all, it was an awesome time and a really memorable day. Thanks Mer and Meg and Mom and Dad for such a fun visit and an awesome shower!! I love you!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

We are having an awesome Christmas here in McKinney, Texas! Brad and I flew in Tuesday night to spend the holiday with my parents and sisters. We spent Christmas Eve getting pedicures, accidentally showing up at church an hour early and eating yummy lasagna. The Crains have some Christmas Eve traditions that include new ornaments and pajamas. My mom found me these awesome lavender maternity/nursing pj's from Japanese Weekend, which she almost gave to me a night early because the ones I wore on Tuesday night were so hideously ugly she said. LOL

My sweet family also found me lots of comfy nursing clothes for after the baby comes and the baby got his first stocking! It was full of little goodies like socks, bibs, toys and a Beatles lullaby CD. Brad got some of his very favorite beer, Alaskan Amber, which has to be shipped from the Northwest, from my sisters and I think that will be cracked open later today!

Now we're lazing around watching Christmas movies while my dad smokes meat on the smoker in shorts and a t-shirt - his ultimate dream come true since moving from Indiana. We're having all of our favorite Christmas foods like Monkey Bread, migas, good potatoes and blueberry banana cream pie. Yum! Megan was sweet and got me some sparkling apple cider to make mock mimosas too. So sweet.

We took a bunch of pics before the Christmas Eve service and this is Brad, sizing up the goods. 

Tomorrow starts my 32nd week and the baby is the size of 4 navel oranges. Finding a pic of exactly 4 oranges grouped together is almost impossible. I think they must have left the interns in charge over at Baby Center again.

Well I hope everyone is having an awesome Christmas, good food and lots of fun. If you're short on fun, remember the online after-Christmas sales have already started!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I am a beached whale

And I have a distinctive waddle. 

I've been trying to go shopping lately and it's been very, very depressing. This is a recent occurrence - maternity shopping was a blast as recently as 3 weeks ago and I had to stop myself by remembering I only need clothes for a couple more months. I've been trying to find a couple of cute outfits to wear to my showers so when I look back at the pictures I can say yeah, some whale-like qualities, but what a cute dress! Now I think I'll just try to take pictures of everyone else.  But realistically there's no WAY Colleen's going to let me get away with that!

I went to the two trendy maternity boutiques in town thinking for sure they would have something - anything - that would be flattering. I'll throw some money at the problem if I have to and problem solved, right? Not so much. I find a cute dress or tunic, put it on, looks ok from the front and then turn to the side and that's when the whale beaches itself. Anything that simultaneously hugs the belly and the kaboose (which is really the only fair name for it right now) goes immediately back on the hanger. Tunics are completely out of the question because my legs are giant tree trunks so any slimming qualities they might have once had are negated.

9 1/2 weeks to go (and not the exciting mickey rourke kind) and all this waddling whale wants is a good pair of yoga pants. Seems too early to be waving the white flag on maternity fashion, but I'm pretty sure I'm too tired to care. 

The sponsor of this whale, Baby Spooner, has grown to the size of cabbage, which in all honesty is healthier then anything I feel like eating lately. That may explain my dilemma. 

Well I'd better get back to packing my small assortment of clothes I don't feel like wearing for our trip to Dallas for Christmas. Still takes me two hours to pack, even with limited selection, compared to the 5 minutes Brad just spent. And the sleeping poodles laying on my bed just makes me want to curl up and go to sleep. The one sport I'm good at lately - especially now that I'm done reading the Twilight books. =)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holy Baby Belly Batman!

I've been meaning to take a bump pic for about 3 weeks after I realized my last one was at 25 weeks. But then I got busy, we went out of town for Thanksgiving, I thought my camera broke, etc. Brad figured out the camera thing in 5 minutes and so I had him take these pictures at 30(and a half!) weeks in front of our Christmas tree. Of course Zoe had to jump in and be a part of it - that is why she is the princess. I have definitely gotten bigger since that 25 week picture. I've gone from house to subdivision. 

A few short weeks ago I was taking everything for granted, working the cute bump, enjoying the maternity clothes, taking long walks, saying things like I feel great!  All of the sudden everything is an effort. Sitting up, for instance. Rolling over in the middle of the night. Getting in and out of my car. Making sense when I talk. Remembering things for 5 minutes. Convincing myself some of these maternity tops still fit. Telling people who comment that actually, I am not due this month, I have 2 months to go while sounding like I don't mind they just said that.

I had a doctor appointment on Tuesday, which was fairly uneventful - in a good way. My weight gain has slowed down some, which makes sense because I'm really not as hungry anymore.  I go back for another appointment right before New Year's. I mean, I have various pregnancy symptoms I whine about to Dr. D (who probably hears them 10 times a day, but is very nice not to let on so my heartburn can be 'special'). But in the grand scheme of things they aren't so bad - just tiresome. When I'm feeling really grouchy about being uncomfortable I think of that line Steve Martin has in Father of the Bride right after his daughter's wedding is over - They tell me I'll look back on this one day with great affection and nostalgia. I hope so.

Anyways, the baby is about 3 pounds by now and 15 inches long, which is about the size of my favorite squash!! The butternut!! Which contains neither butter, nor nuts - discuss. It's one of the 5 vegetables I can get Brad to eat (green beans, salad greens, sweet potatoes, corn):

Ok, so am I the only one or does it feel like preparing for Christmas just beats the Christmas spirit right out of you? Shopping, cooking, wrapping, ordering, planning... all on top of working and regular life. If I cry Uncle can I stop now? Homegirl here needs a nap! I've only got 2 months to nap! The Christmas season is also really interfering with my addiction to the Twilight series. I'm on the 4th book, which is awesome so far and making very slow progress due to my current campaign for Elf of the Year. If 'number of ginger cookies baked' is a criteria, I have this thing wrapped up. Pun intended!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Week

What a sad week. It was really hard on everyone at work, just trying to accept the news about Dwayne and support each other. I came home every night exhausted and it was gray and rainy almost every day - hard to concentrate on work or really get much done. Unfortunately, part of what has to be done is to take over the things Dwayne was working on. Seeing emails he just sent, completing projects he hadn't finished yet and making sure people he worked with in other areas of the company knew are not easy tasks. It's what he would have wanted though - he was fanatical about making sure everything got completed on time and even had a hard time taking vacation without worrying if everything was running smoothly without him. So I certainly can't let the ball drop on anything for him.

Dwayne's funeral was Friday and it was a beautiful service. The sun had finally come out and there were lots of good stories and memories exchanged between his friends. I spoke to his mom and sister after the service and they are of course heartbroken. There is very little to comfort them right now in their continued state of shock. I drove some of my friends from work to the service and back - it was an hour and a half away, towards Dwayne's home town of Deltaville. Kristen had made a CD in honor of him that was a mix of things that made me want to laugh and cry. So we skipped over Freebird and played Drop it Like its Hot more then once. How do you not smile remembering someone dropping it at work??

Brad and I also went to a couple of baby classes last week in the evening. Or as I like to call them 'Babies for Dummies'. This week there were videos and slide shows to give that visual je ne sais quoi to the class experience. Especially the breastfeeding video - wowzers! The lady teaching that class started things off telling us she breastfed her second child for 3 1/2 year and planned to go at least that long for her youngest who is almost 3. The lady in front of me turned towards her husband and gave him the 'She did NOT just say that' look. I'm kind of with her - that's a really long time!!

I have an appointment with Dr. D on Tuesday morning - I am a little over 30 weeks! My next ultrasound isn't until 36 weeks I think, which I bet is really exciting because the baby will be so big! He is about 3 pounds right now and 15 inches long. He moves and wiggles all the time and when I feel around my tummy I can usually find his cute little tushie stickin' out somewhere. 

It is also Christmas party week at work - my team will have a get together on Tuesday afternoon with a white elephant gift exchange and our department event is Wednesday. We put together care packages for the elderly and bikes for kids and have some sort of entertainment. I need to get all my little homemade gifts ready for everyone over the next couple of nights because they have to be delivered by Thursday or Friday at the very latest. A lot of people take the last 2 weeks of the year off. 

So that's what's going on with me. While pregnancy hormones and life itself have been slapping me around quite a bit lately, I know there's a lot of hope to be found in both Christmas and the little muchkin we have on the way. So I'm going to hang on to that and know 2009 is going to be awesome.

Monday, December 8, 2008

In Memory of Dwayne

I lost a good friend from work today. I met Dwayne when I was interviewing at Capital One and have worked with him on the same team the entire time I was there. He had worked there 13 years and was loved by so many people. We had so much fun together and he always made me laugh. He was the type of person who always had your back, gave you his honest opinion and would do anything to help you out. He was about to move to Dallas for work at the beginning of the year. He had always wanted to live outside of Virginia and have some great adventures, try some new places out. He was anxious about leaving, though. I told him my parents were going to adopt him so he didn't have to be homesick and how he was going to love my dad's barbeque. He has a dog that was like his kid, a black lab named Jager. His whole plan to move was designed around making sure Jager was ok and didn't get too scared with all the changes. Such a wonderful, caring person and too young to lose him. 

I think I must still be in shock because I can't fathom not seeing him anymore. I see him every day. He sits by me and makes fun of me about stuff and we post things on each other's Facebook pages. We go to lunch and happy hour and meetings together.  How can he just quit showing up? I keep thinking as I write this that maybe he isn't really gone and boy is he going to be ticked when he sees his picture on my blog. That would have embarrassed him. 

One thing is for certain - there are a lot of broken hearted people in Virginia tonight. Dwayne, we're all going to miss you terribly, more then you could have ever realized when you were here. Actually more then any of us probably realize yet. I'm grateful for the time I got with you, but just incredibly sad there was not more of it. 

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sick Twilight Obsession

UPDATE: Brad read this and said I failed to describe how I am keeping him up late at night while I read these books. Sigh. Edward would never complain about such a thing.

I've been bitten. By a book series for teenagers. It's really pathetic. You know, I had heard of the Twilight book series a long time ago and wrote it off, even telling a friend, nah I don't think those are for me. Now I hear people say that and I laugh. Oh silly, silly girl.

Clare and I were at TJ Maxx a while back and they had all the books marked down really cheap so we said what the heck, let's give them a read, see what the big deal is. This was around the same time my friend at work Leslie was dragging herself into the office each morning with bags under her eyes because she couldn't bear to put down the books to sleep at night. I even caught her sneaking a read under her desk one day! That is now me. I couldn't even wait patiently for Clare to finish the second book - I had to borrow Leslie's copies and now I'm halfway through the third and plan to also read the unpublished and unfinished version of the first book from the vampire's point of view that's on the author's web site. I can already tell that when I am all finished and there is no more to read that I am going to feel sad. That happened to me with Harry Potter. It was just so disappointing there wasn't going to be any more time with the characters to enjoy! Like a sort of mourning. And the movies are no consolation. I hear the Twilight movie is not so great (and none of the Harry Potters were either) and it's just not the same as being wrapped up in a book.

Sick, sick, sick.  But hey, I know when I go into work tomorrow Leslie will be asking me which part I'm on and we can act half our age gushing about all of it. And then send each other a bunch of Twilight related flair on Facebook. Pathetic! Oh well, it's keeping me occupied during the third trimester, so I guess that's something. But I really really need a recommendation for something of a page-turning nature to read after - anyone have any ideas? I've got 11 weeks of pregnancy to kill people and I'm obsessed with a teenage vampire love story. Help me!

Santa Baby!

It's gotten all Christmas-y around here! I've been decorating the house, coercing Brad to help me where I can, playing Christmas music, enjoying fires in the fireplace and it even snowed some last night! I do have to admit, I face decorating the Christmas tree with a certain amount of dread, but after it's up, I just love it. The house feels all cozy and it's been so cold here - a very nice winter so far. 

I was going to take a very seasonal cute picture of the wreath on my front door to decorate this blog entry, but then my camera stopped working! Just out of nowhere! Oh well, it was 5 years old - about the most you can expect from any electronic device these days. It was a gift from Brad for our first Christmas together after we got married. =) Anyways....

We've had a pretty fun weekend. Friday night was pretty blah though - by the end of the week I am usually done for and just need to go to bed early. Saturday we nursery shopped a little and took care of things around the house. Saturday night was our neighbor Jason's birthday and we went over to their house for a party, which was very fun. Baby O saw us and said Yi Yo! Yi Yo! I guess Brad, Zoe, Ringo and I have one collective name now! Clare came over after her tennis tournament and helped me decorate the Christmas tree and spent the night. We met up with Art and Sue for breakfast this morning at Baker's Crust and then did some more stuff around the house. Our friends Karen and Mike came over for dinner tonight and we had a great time! They have a cute little four month old baby boy who stayed home with a sitter as we plied Mom and Dad with wine and lasagna. Now we have the remnants of a fire and the Christmas music on - nice relaxing way to wrap up the weekend. 

Last night at our neighbor's party I was talking to someone and realized that there are just 2 weekends left after this before Christmas. Yikes. Per Usual, even though I started Christmas shopping in October, here we are at the last minute with gobs left to do. As a special gift to myself, I have left the more difficult people to shop for last. But just 2 and a half more weeks until we are in Dallas - I just knew December would fly by - and after the holidays we have less then 2 months before the baby gets here!!!

In other news, Brad already has the dresser put together in the nursery. It looks so good! I need to finish up the impossible changing table painting project and get it up there. Crib arrives in January and I think the chair will too. Speaking of the chair - I just noticed that the name of the model we're getting is Braxton. As in Braxton-Hicks contractions. Who on earth would name a chair sold in baby stores the Braxton?? It was a tough choice between that chair and the the Heartburn. 

Oh Yeah! Baby = Chinese cabbage. You've never felt a chinese cabbage boogie like this though! There is always some sort action going on in the baby belly. We are breakin' it down right now.

Well I'd write more, but I really have to go read some more of Twilight now. =)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

State of the Uterus - Week 28

I had an attack of the pregnancy stupids yesterday and went to my appointment a day early. Dr. D isn't even there on Mondays! It wouldn't have been a big deal at all, but I had already downed the orange glucose liquid for my test. The orange drink wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be! Just a touch of carbonation made all the difference! So anyways, I waited in the waiting room with the most recent Better Homes & Gardens and then they took my blood and I passed - which I celebrated by eating 2 pop tarts! And then I went back this morning for my actual doctor appointment.

The visit was fairly routine, but I would say the highlight was having Dr. D tell me what position the baby is in so I can tell whethere it's a hand or foot or what. She told me the baby is very low and is head down facing my tailbone. His little behind is pushing out a bit to the left of my belly button and she said when I feel movement on both sides of my tummy it is probably him arching his back and his little shoulders and behind pressing simultaneously on my tummy.

We also listened to his heartbeat, beautiful as ever, talked about pediatricians and of course I had to get weighed. Sigh. I hate that scale. Another 7 pounds this month. The doctor said she's happy with my weight gain and not to worry. But I am really starting to feel like a cow. I'm measuring at 28 weeks so my cow-ness is not related to the baby being big or growing to arrive early or anything. Just puuuuuuure cow-ness. Moo.

On that note, you have reached the 'It's My Blog and I'll Whine if I Want To' portion of this posting. If you are currently living in a no whining zone, you may want to skip the next couple of paragraphs.

Ok, so I went to the dentist before I went a day early to my doctor appointment and can I just say OUCH???? Oh. My. Gosh. If I knew it was going to hurt that bad I would have cancelled the appointment and said see you next spring. I guess my gums are all sensitive and she's scraping and cleaning and I'm wincing and gripping the arms of the chair and thinking of all variety and combination of profanity. It was that kind of hurt that makes your eyes water. She kept saying well if you flossed every day it wouldn't hurt this bad. And I kept thinking look lady, I am not adding any activity to my life that will make it MORE uncomfortable at this point so let it go. She also told this really long story about her daughter trying to find an after school babysitter on Craig's List and how 2 out of the 3 final candidates ended up having criminal charges that came up on the background check. But that Craig's list is such an awesome place to find child care. Ummm, sure.

My other topic of whining is my back. Oh my aching back! Upper back, lower back, whatever - it hurts. I was up for 2 hours last night because of shooting pain down my hip. Sitting in my chair at work all day is no fun. Don't even get me started on flying in a plane. Or days when I'm on my feet all day. So it hurts and my sleep is no good and then I feel icky the whole next day. Like today for instance - my ick factor is a solid 8 out of 10. Kind of feel a sore throat coming on and all achy and such.

Ok that's all my whining. Next doctor appointment is December 16, which I am writing here so I don't go on the 15th!!!