Sunday, August 30, 2009

T-minus 4 days!

The hubs took a pic of my belly on Sunday. Here I am at 39 weeks and 2 days! I can't believe how huge my belly is and it feels even bigger!

It is becoming quite a job to lug this thing around. I have been having contractions constantly, but I haven't really been feeling them. I know they are there though because my belly becomes hard as a rock, then soft, then hard again, then soft again. These are the Braxton Hicks contractions. I have been having them all the time lately, but fortunately I don't feel most of them, except for the change in my belly's firmness. Although I have had some of the shooting pain down in my pelvis.

The pelvic pressure has not let up. I have realized that sitting up straight in a chair, like at work or at the kitchen table, makes it much worse. So I have been trying to get up and walk around alot while at work and sit leaning back while I am at home. It does seem to help. Also getting down on all fours and doing cat stretches brings some relief as well, if only just a little.

Warning: The rest of this paragraph may be TMI, so skip ahead if you don't want to hear it. I have been having some definite signs of impending labor. After I had my ob exam last Monday, there was quite a bit of blood mixed in with my urine. It was most likely membranes rupturing caused by the exam. After a couple of days, this went away and it was pretty much back to normal. Now, I am pretty sure I have been losing my mucus plug in pieces here and there over the last couple of days and and also having some "bloody show" (why can't they call it something less disgusting sounding?).

As gross and uncomfortable as this all is, I still get very excited when these things occur. They are signs that things are happening and each thing is bringing me closer to meeting my baby!

We didn't do much this weekend but relax. Friday night we had some friends over, we ordered pizza and watched the Cardinals game. We tried out my New Native Sling on their little baby and she really seemed to like it. She was pretty fussy at first but once she settled down into she really seemed to relax. They fed her her bottle while she was in there and it really seemed to work out great. They aren't really into the whole "babywearing thing", so they kinda blew it off, but I thought it was pretty cool. It made me really excited to try out all my wraps and slings on my little munchkin.

Which reminds me. I am going to pick up a new wrap today from a lady off craigslist. She is selling me her Sleepy Wrap for only $15. Yay!! Its alot like my moby wrap only softer. The moby wrap is a tan color, the new sleepy wrap is gray like in the picture below. It's nice to have color choices for different outfits...

After our guests left Friday night, Joe and I watched The Watchmen. I had heard bad reviews, so my expectations were not that high. But I am a sucker for super hero/comic book movies so we watched it anyway. I actually thought it was pretty good, but it did seem to drag on at times.

Saturday we went grocery shopping. This was a full-on shopping extravaganza. We had gone through all of the sale ads and picked out what we wanted on sale at the different stores. We went to 5 different grocery stores! They are all really close to each other so we didn't spend alot of money in gas or anything, but we did save alot of money and more importantly, I got some exercise in. We also found a retro version of Monopoly on clearance. I hadn't played in atleast 20 years so we decided to get it. We played after lunch and I totally won! Granted I was having some amazing luck with my dice rolling (doubles queen), but still it was fun to win. Later that night we watched Labor Pains with Lindsay Lohan. Totally cheesetastic, but it was kinda entertaining since I am so pregnant right now.

Joe has been cooking our meals all weekend. Except breakfast, I have still been doing that. I guess I have more energy first thing in the morning. Last night Joe made us some chicken out on the grill and some mac and cheese. Here is the chef in the kitchen. I sure do love this guy!

We haven't made any plans for the week before my due date, so I feel like we are just waiting for me to go into labor. The only thing I have going on is a Le Leche League meeting tomorrow night. I would like to get in one more meeting before she gets here, but ofcourse I wouldn't choose to put off her arrival if I had a choice.

I have a doctors appointment today after I get off work. I am really hoping that there has been some progress. I really feel like there has. It would really be nice if, after my cervix exam, they said "Oh you need to head to the hospital straight away! This baby is coming tonight!"

Ahhh... one can dream can't they?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I am sooooo ready to do this!

I am sooooo ready to have this baby! The last couple weeks of pregnancy are rough. The waiting game is really tough... but the closer I get, the more uncomfortable I get, and that is the worst part by far. I don't want to complain too much... but its getting hard to think of much else other then just how uncomfortable I am getting.

My ankle is really hurting bad from all this baby weight. I am okay first thing in the morning, but after a while I am limping around. And ofcourse the waddling. That is pretty much a full time thing now.

I can't bend over to pick up anything anymore. Wiping my vajayjay after I pee can be a challenge. Sometimes are more difficult then others, depending on the positioning of the baby at the time.

I love taking showers, they relax my body and make me feel so good, but I dread the end, after I turn off the water and exit. Getting out of the shower and drying myself off without falling over or passing out is not an easy task. I am usually so exhausted by the time I complete my shower and after shower activities, that I have to lay down and relax to catch my breath and center myself.

My pelvic area is what is bothering me the most. There is so much pressure on it right now from the baby moving down, it almost feels like its pulling and ripping apart. Sharp pains are constantly shooting up it. Rolling from one side to another while I am in bed has become so painful, I wonder if I am literally about to tear my pelvic area in half. Sitting in the chair at work makes it so much worse. I left work early yesterday and will be leaving early today too. I just can't handle sitting at my desk for too long.

I planned on working right up until the baby is born. After talking to my boss, I am now working on a day-to-day basis. I pretty much come in in the morning and hang in there as long as I can. Once I get too uncomfortable, I head home.

Then there is the utter exhaustion. In my first trimester, I was like a zombie. I couldn't even think straight and I was always in a fog. Now atleast, I have my wits about me. I am able to think clearly, but I am just too tired physically to do much of anything. I am so glad I already completed everything that I wanted to, so now I can just try to relax and wait for her to get here.

Enough complaining, really I just wanted to put it out there and now I will shut up about it. Like I keep telling myself, she will be here any day and all of this will be worth it!

I would also like to acknowledge my husband. He has been absolutely amazing. He has been helping to keep things cleaned up, doing the dishes, and helping out alot with dinner. He has actually been making most of the dinners, and I will help out a little. But aside from his help around the house, the emotional support he has been giving me is what has really been helping me out the most. He's like my own personal pep squad. He still tells me how beautiful I look and how I am the cutest pregnant girl he has ever seen. I don't really believe him, but it still makes me feel good when he says it. He tells me what a good job I am doing "growing the baby" and how amazing I am. He tells me a hundred times a day how much he loves me and how excited he is about the start of our little family.

He has been completely involved in "baby preparation" as well. He has read some of the books I have picked up. We have been watching a childbirth video, instead of taking the class at the hospital, and its really cute when he brings up things from the video and points them out as they come up in our pregnancy. He is taking his role as "coach" very seriously... which is good cuz I am really going to need his support with no epidural!

It amazes me that not that long ago, we were having such a hard time connecting and how different things felt. Our relationship is in such a different place now. At the time, it felt so dramatic, and it seemed so far from where I wanted us (needed us) to be. As I look back, I realize it was just a wrinkle in time, one we would have no problem smoothing out, as we both had the love and desire necessary. But it is not a place I want to re-visit, and I am going to try really hard to make sure I do my best to keep us from going there again.

It really goes to show you how you must nurture and tend to your relationship, never take things for granted and always consider the other person's feelings and how you are affecting them. No matter how strong you think your bond is, no matter how deep your connection feels, you can't forget to tell your partner and let them know that you still feel the same way. No matter what you may be going through, you have to remember that you are part of a team and that the other person still needs you. I had forgotten that for a minute, and our relationship suffered. Joe reminded me. I am so grateful that he did, and that we were able to get things back on track so quickly. I can't imagine how different and how much harder things would be right now, without him here by my side, getting through this together.

So I am ready. We are ready. We are so ready to meet this little baby and share our lives with her. Any day now... any day!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

“Where did you come from, baby dear? / Out of the everywhere into here.” ~ George MacDonald

This past weekend was rough. Oh and this post is very long..... sorry!

We went out with a couple of friends to a local festival Friday night. It was unusually beautiful weather and it was so nice to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors. We really enjoyed the company we had too, especially getting to hang out with their little girl who is absolutely adorable. We walked around alot. It wasn't so bad at the time, but I paid for it later. I think the food we ate really messed with me too. Damn festival food.

I woke up in the middle of the night to puke in my mouth. It was hot and burning and painful in my throat. I jumped out of bed (well my version of jumping... which is really just rolling out as fast as I could) and shuffled to the bathroom. I felt extremely nautious and thought I was going to start getting really sick. I sat down infront of the toilet and waited. It eventually passed. I made my way back to the bed and climbed in. After a few minutes I felt the little munchkin start to move. She was moving alot. Way more then usually. Infact, it was as if she was gyrating herself around in there. I put my hand down on my lower belly and felt her intense movements and tried to figure out what she was doing in there. After a while she settled down and then I started to drift back to sleep. Not too long after that I woke up again to more puke in my mouth. It burned my throat so badly, it brough tears to my eyes. I made my way to the bathroom again, but I wasn't going to get sick this time either. After it passed and I cleaned out my mouth I made it back to bed. I had to spend the rest of the night sitting up, laying down apparantly brought on the acidic burning in my throat.

The next morning, as I felt my belly, I realized how different it felt. It was so much firmer and the shape had changed. In a recent post, I talked about the position that she was in. I was pretty sure that from all the moving around she was doing last night that she had actually turned herself around into the anterior position. This was probably what caused all of the horrible acid reflux that I was experiencing as well. I was really glad that she had moved into this position... I am hoping she stays there!

Saturday morning Joe mowed the lawn while I got up and cleaned the kitchen. It took me forever. I was so worn out from all the walking we had done the night before and the lack of sleep I had gotten. After I finished straightening up I took a shower. This too was exhausting. I was really beginning to feel like everything I did took twice as long as usual. After my shower I sat on the couch and put my feet up. I started to feel overwhelmed from everything I had done that morning (which as you my recall, was just straightening up the kitchen and taking a shower). Joe had finished mowing the lawn and was in the living room talking to me. My eyes started to water and brim over. Joe looked at me, concerned "Are you crying?", he asked.

"Yes, but I don't know why. I just feel so overwhelmed all of a sudden."

And I was. The night before had been so long and uncomfortable (probably my worse night yet while pregnant). My calves were sore and burning just from walking around at the festival. I felt like I had spent the entire morning trying to do a few simple things which left me exhausted and already wanting a nap. I also knew that alone, these things would not normally bring me to tears, but add pregnancy hormones and suddenly I am a hot mess.

After I calmed down and relaxed for a little while, we left the house to run some errands. After we got home Anna, Nate and BBZ came over for a visit. It was great to hang out with them for a while and being around BBZ really made me feel better. We talked about the baby coming, and me and Anna hung out in her nursery for a little while. It helped me to remember how amazing what was happening to me really was, and although it was quite uncomfortable at the time, it was nothing in the grand scheme of things and it would all be over soon enough. I would have the little munchkin in my arms and everything else would be a blur.

After they left, Joe and I went out to do the grocery shopping. I kept telling myself that all of the walking would help my pregnancy progress. It was still rough. And once we finally made it home, I was done. My heels had turned purplish and were numb. My feet were swollen twice their normal size. I decided I better just put my feet up and plant it on the couch for the rest of the night.

I actually slept pretty well Saturday night. Aside from getting up to go to the bathroom every hour. And getting in and out of the bed has really become a challenge. It doesn't help that we have a really high bed either. Maybe it would help it I used a stool...

I woke up Sunday feeling mentally better, but physically I was getting worse. I now had stabbing pain shooting through my pelvic area and soreness that worsened any time I lifted a leg. I could only assume that this was things spreading and preparing for labor. Joe took me out to track down a maternity belt. I didn't want to buy one this late in the game, but I was only getting worse and any relief would be appreciated. We found one at Motherhood Maternity, I felt instant relief and I left the store wearing it. We also picked up some nursing bras and nursing camis and a new pair of comfy slippers just for the hospital.

I think I am about as ready as I will ever be for the hospital. I have my bag all packed, along with the munchkin's things. It felt good to get those last minute items purchased and all taken care of. Since I am trying to go all natural, I have lots of extra stuff packed to help out with that. Massage lotions and different things for Joe to use to help relax me and get me through it. Although he is nervous about it, I have a feeling he is going to be a great coach, infact I am pretty confident in him. I have signed up for access to a birthing ball and bar, and I will have access to the jacuzzi too if I want it. I can always change my mind and get an epidural, but I really want to try to go without... and its nice to know that I will have plenty of things to help me make it through if I am able. Joe ofcourse being my biggest weapon.

Sunday night we stopped in to visit my sister Amy and her hubby Jeremy. We wanted to ask them to be the munchkin's godparents/guardians. They seemed pretty happy with the request and readily accepted. I know that if anything every happened to us, she would be in very good hands. Although that is very scary to think about, it is reassuring to know she would be well cared for.

Monday I went to see the doctor for my weekly check up. I talked to her about the soreness, pulling and shooting pains in my pelvic area. She assured me this was normal and that it could last a few days or continue on until the baby arrives. She said my blood pressure was still perfect and that my swelling was looking really good (could have fooled me). I told her about friday night and after feeling all around on my belly, she agreed the munchkin had infact turned around! After checking my cervix, I was excited when she told me that I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. It could still be a while, but we have some progress and it only affirms that the end is just around the corner. Yay!!

After returning home from my appointment, I went to use the restroom and got a little scared when I found pinkish/red blood all over the toilet paper. I called my doctor immediately and they assured me it was normal and to not be concerned unless it started to flow like a period. I felt better and figured it was just from them testing my cervix and since it was getting so soft that it released some blood. It continued to leave blood on my tissues the rest of the night and still some this morning. It is finally starting to look like it may be done bleeding, so that's good.

After the blood scare I laid down for a nap for a while. After I woke up, my girl Toni brought me and Joe dinner. Which was yummy and wonderful and I didn't have to do any work at all for it. Thanks Toni!! Then the 3 of us spent some time trying to figure out my breast pump. It was pretty comedic actually, us all standing around, passing around the parts and trying to figure out what did what. I haven't figured it out completely yet, but I am getting closer. I plan on watching the dvd some time this week. It seems silly that it should be so complicated, but this thing is high tech... plus I have mushy preggo brain and lots of things seem more confusing then they should.

Last night, with everything that has happened in the past few days, Joe and I really started to get excited about the munchkin's arrival. It's crazy to think how close we are and how much things are about to change. It was also so wonderful to see that spark in my husband's eyes and to witness his pure joy as he talked about how excited he was to meet her and hold her in his arms. I fell inlove with him just a little more.

I am probably going to start working less. It's getting more and more uncomfortable to be at work. I have discussed with my boss leaving early on days we are slow (which is every day lately) and he had no problem with it. I really feel like things are getting close. Besides the cervix check at the doctor's office, my body just feels different, like things are going to start happening. I am nervous and excited and more then ready to meet her. Hopefully she will be coming soon!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Anna Banana

A fellow blogger, who's blog I love and adore, wrote a post the other day all about a very dear friend of hers. It inspired me to make a similar entry of my own.

I am proud and honored to introduce to you my very own BFF, Anna. Also known as Anrazel in the blogworld. Also known as Anna Banana, or just Banana, or simply Anna is fine too.

Isn't she cute? I think so.

Anna and I met when we were freshman in highschool. We played on the freshman soccer team together and after becoming friends, she joined my church soccer team as well. We actually had alot more fun on that team as it wasn't as competitive as our highschool team and we could goof off alot more. I remember we would walk onto the field (on our church team) smoking our cigarettes and getting dirty looks from some of the parents. We really didn't give a shit though. Cuz we were such badasses.

For anyone thinking ... "what? church? Laura at church?" Well, yes although I am no longer practicing, I was raised by my parents in the catholic religion.

So anyway.... we had alot of fun in highschool together. Our drink of choice was shots of Jack Daniel's chased with Bud Light. Wow that sounds so gross now... but at the time it did the job. All we needed was a 5th of Jack and a 6 pack of bud between the 2 of us and we were set for the night. I also remember one night when we sat in my room in the basement at my parents house and played war (the card game). Each round we lost we had to do a shot of Seagram's 7. After the game was over we could barely function and yet somehow we crawled out of the basement window and laid in my driveway looking up at the stars and chatting girl talk till the sun came up.

I think the worst drinking story I had was when I drank an entire pint of everclear. Anna and I were with a couple of her "work friends" (she worked at Hardee's) and her boyfriend at the time. I had never drank everclear before and we were playing quarters. I drank it so fast I had no idea the effect it was going to have on me. Lets just say I haven't touched that stuff since (well unless maybe it was in Jungle Juice:). At some point I flew headfirst into a pay phone and had a huge bump on my forehead for days, I dropped some girls head into a toilet, I passed out in the backseat of Anna's car for a few hours, and I left a trail of puke up the steps at Anna's parent's house (Sorry Anna... I still feel bad you had to clean up those stairs). But she never ever complained. And thankfully, with her help, I managed to survive the night.

Yes, we drank way too much for just being in highschool. But maybe it's a good thing that we got it all out of our systems early. Neither of us are big drinkers now, although we do still enjoy it in a much more casual way.

This may explain my fear of my karma though... what I did to my parents...

Somehow we made it through high school and graduated on time. Here's a picture of Anna at our Highschool All-Knighter right after graduation (our mascot was a Knight). Check out the pager in her pocket!

After high school we went on to college together at Missouri Valley. Ofcourse, we were room mates. It was so much fun rooming together. We even adopted a kitty we rescued from the local shelter and named him George. He tried taking his life and jumping out of the car window on our way home from the shelter with him. Luckily I reached my arm out just in time to grab him about a foot outside of our window (he later ended up living with Anna's parents and was a great cat).

Here's Anna and George taking a nap.

Our first attempt at having a pet was a local wild cat that we kidnapped from it's mother living underneath an old house down the street from our school. It was risky business... and probably not the best idea to mess with wild cats. She was not happy at all when we took her from her mom, brought her home and gave her a flee dip. Some of the other students living in the dorm were not happy at all with us when we spent an entire evening listening to the momma cat screaming and crying outside of our window 3 stories below. I can't believe she found us... to this day it still amazes me. And ofcourse we had to return the kitty to her mom. After that we rescued George.

I only lasted at MoValley one semester. I came back home to continue my education there and Anna stayed at MoValley and graduated. Although our lives were very busy and we didn't get to see each other as often as we would have liked, I would visit MoValley here and there and whenever Anna would come home we would try to hang out.

Here we are together for halloween one year. She was a grateful dead bear and I was a fairy. See my pointed ears? I also had wings.

Here we are on a girls camping trip.

The first and only time I ever took Daisy camping. It was such a miserable experience we haven't taken her again. Anna, Daisy and I took a hike around the lake where we were camping and about half way through we realized that we had hundreds and hundreds of seed tics all over us. We started picking them off of each other and realized most of them were all over Daisy. I picked her up and we started running back to camp, flicking tics off of us and screaming the whole way. I couldn't tell you how long we sat picking those little f$%&ers off of each other and from Daisy after we returned.

And here's another random Halloween picture taken a few years later.

A couple years ago was our 10 year high school reunion. Here we are with the rest of the members of our high school reunion committee at a washers tournament we put on to try to raise money for our reunion. There's me and Anna in the middle and another very good friend of mine, Toni, in my lap.

Here's a picture of Joe pinching Anna's cheek. Joe gets along with almost all of my friends, and most other people in general actually, but I have a friend or two he wouldn't mind not seeing very often. I am so grateful that Joe and Anna get along so well. He just adores her.

Anna got married a little over a year before I did. For her bachelorette party we went on a little road trip and stayed in a little town not far from us with great wineries and bars. About 10 girls went on the trip and shacked up in a hotel. We spent the day visiting wineries and the night was spent at the local bars. It was alot of fun and Anna made the most adorable bachelorette.

Here we are giving each other a smooch.. sorry boys, no tongue and this was strictly platonic. Although Toni seems alittle shocked there in the background.

About a year after her wedding Anna found out she was pregnant! Ofcourse that didn't stop her from driving me around and keeping track of me all night at my own bachelorette party. Here we are at the beginning of the night. I still look all nice and sober.

Here we are towards the end of the night.. she still looks the same, I am starting to look a little worn out. I was a dancing machine. I even had a "dance-off" with some random guy at the bar. It was straight out of a scene in a movie!

Anna was 5 months pregnant in my wedding. Here she is getting her hair done and all ready for the ceremony.

It was really neat having her and BBZ in her belly standing up in my wedding as my maid of honor.

Here we are a couple of months after my wedding at another friend's wedding. Anna is still very pregnant and I am actually pregnant too.. although I don't find out for a few days later (I also had a miscarriage).

Anna's baby was born in September 2008. Here I am holding him the first week after he was born.

He has changed and grown so much in the past year. I can't believe he's already about to have his 1 year birthday!! Anna is also an amazing mother, ofcourse I knew she would be. I feel fortunate having her become a mother right before me so I can go to her for advice as I am about to embark on this adventure myself. We have alot of similar views and ideas on parenting and it is nice to have such a close friend who breastfeeds as well.

I also feel very lucky just to have such a great friend in my life. I can talk to Anna about everything and can always rely on her to be there when I need her.

Love you Anna!

So there you have it and there you are. It was really hard to keep things under control, as I have hundreds more stories and pictures of our adventures together. This will have to do for now.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Anna and now I challenge all of you to post your own entry all about a good friends of yours!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Movement In the Belly!!

Below are a couple of videos I took of the little munchkin moving around in my belly. This is pretty much what it looks like all day long now. She is constantly moving! Today I am 37 weeks and 5 days... about 2 weeks till my due date!

The first one is me looking down over my chest at the right side of my belly.

This second video is a side view of the right side of my belly. Most of her movements are seen from this side. I can almost always see her foot moving around over there.

Her head is down into position, although she is facing out toward my belly. They call this the "posterier position" and it can make labour longer, much more difficult, with alot more back pain. There are certain things you can do to encourage your baby to turn around into the "anterior position", but I may be too far along for that (one suggestion was spending time watching tv on all fours or scrubbing the kitchen floor down on your knees). Having a desk job doesn't help either, as this keeps my pelvis forward for quite a bit of my day. Have I mentioned I am planning on delivering naturally without an epidural? This could make things much harder.

My belly button popped out yesterday... I think that means I am done! I am so ready to meet her!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Little Exposure....

I have received 2 awards lately!! And I need to acknowledge them and pass them on....

My first award was given to me by Gina over at Namaste By Day. It is the official Seal of Awesomeness. How awesome is that? Gina is a very good friend of mine IRL and I love reading her blog and keeping up with her crazy little man L and everything else she has going on.

All I have to do is pass this on to five blogs that deserve the Official Seal of Awesomeness. And they are...

Jillian at It all began with a man in a black jeep
Erin over at inkOBSESSION designs
Mike at Badass Geek
Sarah over at A Page in the Book
Emily at Yes I'm on my way

My next award was given to me from Brittany Ann over at Living in the Moment. Brittany's blog is so cute. If you have never read it, you should check it out. Thanks Brittany, I love my Superior Scribbler Award!!

I have to display this on my blog and pass it on to 5 other Superior Scribblers. And here they are....

Joanne at Espenshade's Escapades
Maggie Mae at Flux Capacitor
Myshka at My London Eye
Elle Charlie over at Sometimes a Girl Needs a Blog
Brooke at From the Canvas to the Kitchen

Then these oh-so-lucky winners go here to add your name to the Mr. Linky list at the Scholastic-Scribe's blog so they can keep track of who has won this award.

Both of these awards required little effort on my part, all I had to do was simply pass them on to others. Although I am honored and tickled pink to receive them, this has left me wanting more. In response to that longing, I am going to start up a brand new award. One that I have made up... although I can't guarantee there isn't a similar floating one around out there somewhere. Some of you may not be up to this challenge, and some of you will be all over it! Let's see what you got!

This is the "Expose Yourself" award. And in order to accept this award and pass it on, you are going to have to do a little "exposing" if you will.

Tell us 3 things about your sex life. You can make them whatever you want and it doesn't necessarily have to pertain to your current partner (or a partner at all for that matter). You can talk about your likes or dislikes, your kinky fetishes or your secret desires. You can tell us a funny story about the time you were having sex in the woods with your old boyfriend and you both ended up with 1,000 tics. Whatever you want... its totally up to you!

So I guess it would only be fair for me to start things off....

1. When my husband and I first started sleeping together, we went to a winery with a some of his friends that I was meeting for the first time. You know how it is, when you are first "getting to know each other" and you can't keep your hands off of one another. Add a really strong wine drunk to that and we were in trouble. We snuck off into the woods and found ourselves making out behind a big tree. One thing led to another, and well, yeah, we had sex. It was hot and it was steamy and it was so close to the other patrons of the winery we could still hear them talking and laughing and drinking their wine, which made things even more fun. We found our way back to our table and we were both a hot mess. Between my sweaty, disheveled hair and our now wrinkly clothing I am sure it wasn't a big secret to our friends what had went down. Luckily by then everyone was so wine drunk, no one gave it a second thought. It may have been a bit trampy, but it was totally worth it!

2. I have heard from many other pregnant woman how wonderful sex can be or how difficult it can be while you are pregnant. I have to admit, I am a little jealous of those that think pregnancy actually makes their sex lives better. For me... not so much. Things change downtown and it can make things a little harder to work with. The first trimester was pretty much a wash. I was too tired and zombie like to enjoy much intamacy. I didn't leave the hubs completely high and dry... but close enough. Things were alot better during the 2nd trimester, much to my husband's relief, I'm sure. The third trimester has been another story. This big belly gets in the way and can be very awkward to work around. Plus, I am just larger in general... so everything seems like a lot more work. Plus there's a baby there... some things just don't seem quite as sexy, if you know what I mean. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy our "intimate" time together, we just have to be patient and sometimes a little creative. I am, however, really looking forward to getting my body somewhat back to normal and really making up for lost time!

3. I have totally wondered about being with another woman. I haven't ever acted on it, but the thought has definitely crossed my mind. I have a huge crush on Angelina Jolie and if she ever gave me an indecent proposal, I may not say no.

So there you have it. Once you receive this award, expose your 3 sexual secrets, you must then pass it on to 5 fellow bloggers. I am going to pass this award on to (drum roll please)....

Anrazel at Companion to the Wind
Toni at Craw Digger
Gina at Namaste By Day
Nikki over at Flat Foot Floozy
Brittany Ann Living in the Moment

Alright.... let's get to it!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Preparation and Execution of Amy's Baby Shower

We had my sister Amy's baby shower Sunday. It went very well, considering we had over 30 woman crammed into Erin's home (my other sister).

Friday night, Joe and I went shopping for everything I still needed for the shower. We made a trip out to Sam's Club. We arrived at 8:38. You can imagine my disappointment when we realized they closed at 8:30. That seems pretty early for a Friday night! We then headed to the grocery store and then to Walmart. I hate that I have been to Walmart to so often lately... but when you are on a budget.... it sure is alot cheaper. We decided to pick up "I Love You Man" on our way home. When we watched it, I laughed out loud. Alot. It was pretty damn funny.

I spent most of Saturday preparing. The Hubs helped me bake over 100 cookies, which I wrapped up in baggies and tied with ribbons and a cute little message to hand out as favors. I wrapped the presents and prepared the food that I was in charge of.

We also ran out to get a few more things I needed for the shower, and on a whim decided to look at recliners at the La-Z-Boy store. We were thinking how nice it would be to have one in the living room to hang out in with the munchkin. They had a recliner there that matched our couches exactly and it was 50% off!! We then decided to look at another furniture store first to see if they had any better deals. They didn't. Then we realized we didn't have any money for a recliner anyway. We headed home. Oh well, it was still fun looking.

I delegated most of the food to others (my sister Erin, my mom and a couple of friends that were helping). I was responsible for a cheesy sausage dip (my husband lovingly nicknamed it "crack dip" years ago) and a pesto pasta salad. Everyone was preparing their food and whatever else they were in charge of on their own and we would meet at Erin's house 2 hours prior to the party and set everything up. I was a little worried about how everything was going to come together. I love planning parties and insisted that even at 9+ mos pregnant I would still have the honor of planning Amy's baby shower, but luckily I had started the preparations months ago and enlisted the help of others.

Sunday morning came and, thanks to all of the work I had done the day before, all I had to do was take a shower, get myself ready, pack up the car and pick up the cake before I headed to Erin's house. It sounded easy enough, but then my cousin called. She wasn't coming to the shower anymore and wanted to drop off Amy's present at my house. She showed up right after I got out of the shower. She gave me Amy's present, along with a present for myself (she hadn't been able to attend my shower either), and then she stayed and chatted for a while. Then we chatted some more. Then I showed her the nursery. Then we chatted some more. By the time she left, it was time for me to leave to go pick up the cake. I didn't even get to fix my hair! I had to leave it half blow dried and hope that it didn't look too miserable. I slapped on some make-up, threw my stuff in the car and headed to Sarah's to pick up the cake.

I had given Sarah creative freedom to do whatever she wanted with Amy's shower cake. I knew she could handle it and I was absolutely correct. I had told her we wanted a chocolate cake that was decorated in green and yellow and pretty simple. What she came up with was perfect! That girl can make a cake!

After picking up the cake, I raced to Erin's (not too fast, as I now had to be careful with the cake in the back of my car). Somehow, after all of this, I managed to still get there right on time. I also only managed to forget one thing, a large bowl to serve the pasta salad in once I threw it all together. Sarah lent me one of hers when I picked up the cake. Under the circumstances, I think I did pretty well. I was relieved. We only had 2 hours to get everything together, and that was going to be cutting it close!

Unfortunately, I was the only one there on time (besides Erin who lived there). Our friend Cheryl arrived 15 minutes after me, my mom showed up an hour late and then Michele got there 15 minutes after her. Somehow everything came together, not that things weren't extremely hectic and crazy that 2 hours right before the party. The kitchen was a huge mess with the preparations! We were slicing and dicing, boiling and mixing, hanging decorations and whatever else needed to be done. The last minute items fell into place as guests started arriving. It was time for the party to start and I was already in desperate need for a nap and my feet were throbbing in agony. Have I mentioned how pregnant I am?

The party went pretty smoothly. The food was delicious and I was a bit disappointed at the lack of room available in my stomach.

Here are the baskets of favors. The basket on the left has the cookies I made and the one on the right has little boxes with a duck on the top filled with candy. Why didn't I get a close up?

There was a great turnout and Amy really made out like a bandit! She had the biggest stack of presents I can recall ever seeing piled up for one person (well I suppose this was for her family really). It was so much fun to see her open them all!

Here's me and Gina watching Amy open her presents. Notice how puffy my face is getting!

Here are some guests crammed into the living room.

I was so happy everything turned out so well. After the amazing shower that Amy threw for me, I had some large shoes to fill! It was fun, but it left me totally and utterly exhausted. I felt completely drained by the time it was over. I sat on the couch after I got home and drifted in and out of consciousness as I tried to relax and watch some tv. I took care of a few chores, but was ultimately too tired to do much and ended up going to bed around 9:00. Whew! Now all the showers are over and we just have to wait for the babies to start arriving!

Friday night Joe took a pic of my belly at 37 weeks. I realized I hadn't posted one of these in a while.... it may be a little shocking!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I will be spending the next couple of days recovering from mine....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are we there yet?

I feel like all I talk about or think about anymore is having this baby. But I guess with only 3 weeks to go until my due date and my physical state making it impossible for me to forget that I am pregnant, what else can you expect?

I guess I could talk about food... that is something I still enjoy from my past life...

I feel a huge responsibility to take in as much information as I can, atleast when it comes to important topics, where I have to make decisions that can affect the rest of her life. Sometimes I feel like I need to just relax more and take things as they come, but I can't help feeling like it is part of my job as her mother. I don't want to give the impression that I am becoming one of those overly protective, paranoid, get-all-my-answers-from-books type of mothers, because I don't feel I am going in that direction, but I have always been a "planner" and I have always enjoyed thoroughly educating myself on something before I dive right in. I don't think that becoming a mother of all things, should be completely different. I know there are many things that will be learned as I go, but I feel that if I arm myself with some information, it will help my transition into motherhood advance more smoothly.

I am having a really hard time choosing her pediatrician. I have interviewed some, but still haven't found "the one". I have high hopes for the doctor we are meeting with on Tuesday. She came highly recommended and has a great background both in education and experience. I am hoping our search can end there. I also know she is comfortable with working around parent's vaccine concerns, and that is important. I want a doctor who is an advocate for breastfeeding and has experience helping mothers with problems (just incase I have any). I know that I will never find a doctor that has everything I am looking for, but there are a few things that are extra important to me, for my family, and I am hoping that our doctor will atleast match up in those areas.

Currently I am reading Dr. Sears' book about vaccinations. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading it, but I was relieved to find it wasn't an anti-vaccine book. I did start reading another one that was completely anti-vaccine. I think it overdramatized the facts and gave me hyperbolic reasons and examples to avoid vaccinating. I put it down and moved on. I don't think all vaccines are bad and I don't believe there is a direct correlation between shots and autism. But I do feel some may be unnecessary and I wanted a book that would give me information, both pros and cons, so I could weigh my options and make my own educated decisions, based on facts and accurate information, not on paranoid fear. I also don't feel comfortable giving her several shots at once and would like to spread them out more. I think this is just the book I was looking for. Hopefully I will feel more confident now about making decisions on the little munchkin's behalf.

I recently finished reading "The Happiest Baby on the Block" by Dr. Harvey Karp. I really liked this book. I have never felt comfortable with the "cry it out" methods, but wasn't sure about the complete opposite end of the spectrum either. This book had some great ideas and information that I believe we will actually use and be able to implement realistically into our lives. Its more geared towards families suffering from a very fussy baby with colic and my baby is going to be totally happy all the time and care free every minute, and sleep 6 hours a night within the first week, so I probably won't even need the info anyway (Yeah right!), but it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

She's not even here yet, and I am already addicted to baby carriers. I have a moby wrap, 2 New Native Carriers (slings), a Hot Sling and an Ellaroo Mei Tai. Most of these were bought 2nd hand or given to me 2nd hand from a friend, I did buy the moby wrap and the Mei Tai carrier I bought on sale for almost 1/2 off! So atleast I haven't had to invest too much into them. I am looking forward to trying them out and seeing which ones work best for us.

I am already dreading going back to work and I haven't even started my maternity leave. I have always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom. I really think we could have been able to swing it if the economy hadn't gone down hill so much while the cost of living went up. I am still hoping that things will change and get better and I will be able to stay at home most of the time at a later date. I am very fortunate to be able to have an option that I am comfortable with and that really seems like the next best thing other then me or my husband being with her. I am hoping I am able to deal with this better then I think I will. Only time will tell.

I am going to share something mostly non-pregnancy related!

A while back you may remember me having some relationship issues with my husband. It was a really sad time for me and although I never feared it was anything we couldn't work out or get through, it broke my heart that we had found ourselves there in the first place. Especially since I found most of the blame and responsibility landing on my shoulders. Well I am happy to report that things are in a very different state these days. Infact, I think our relationship is now better then it has ever been. There is something new here, brought on partly I'm sure with going through a pregnancy together, but also in overcoming our problems and finding new ways to communicate and react to one another. I couldn't be happier with "us". And having so much loving support from my husband these days has sure made this pregnancy alot easier to get through as well. I am also proud of myself for seeing my fault(s) in everything and working hard to improve them. He too, has made some changes and we seem to be meshing very very well these days. There is no room for selfish pride in a good relationship. I know that now to be true more then ever.

I have a doctor's appointment this afternoon. I am now going every week. I am going to discuss my birth plan with her today and hopefully get a better idea of how things may go down. We watched a childbirth class on dvd the other night, in lue of taking the class at the hospital, and it had alot of information on it that I hadn't known before. I have alot to talk to my doc about!

The weekend is almost here, I hope everyone is having a good week!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"A new baby is like the beginning of all things-wonder, hope, a dream of possibilities." ~ Eda J. Le Shan

I am exhausted. I am swollen. I am fat.

I feel like I am just dragging myself around the past couple of days. The heat and humidity has been in full force and the return of my cankles has been a clear indication. They are so swollen that I can feel them tingling and stretching my skin out. I feel as if I could take a needle and poke it into them to deflate them. They dont really hurt that much.. unless ofcourse I have to walk on them for more then 10-15 minutes.... then they start to throb a little. The swelling doesn't stop there. It extends all the way up past my knees.

I am waddling.

I haven't been sleeping very well at all. My belly has become so heavy that rolling from one side to another is painful. My husband now helps me up whenever he is around. I can still get up on my own, but it sure is easier when he grabs my arm and pulls. When we are laying in bed, he sticks his arm straight forward and makes a fist, so I can wrap my hand around it and use it help pull myself up. I don't even have to say anything anymore... I just stick out my hand and here comes his fist. The ab muscles just aren't what they used to be. I think back on how my belly used to look and how strong it was. Even the pics of my belly at 12 weeks makes me miss them. I am looking forward to having that back again some day.

My back is sore. So sore. It is in constant pain. The only time I feel relieved is the first couple of hours in the morning.

My boobs have reached a size I never knew was possible for me.

The munchkin has now found my rib cage and often enjoys sticking her feet up into it. It hasn't really started hurting yet, but it can get quite uncomfortable. She is really starting to fill up her room in there. Little feet pushing on my belly, is now often replaced with my entire belly being stretched and deformed into a different shape entirely. I actually find this to be pretty fascinating. I never tire of watching her move around in there. I love pushing on her feet and feeling her push back on my hand. She moves alot. I don't even bother with the kick counts... there is no point. She is constantly moving.

I am in the final month. I knew it would be uncomfortable and I knew it would be a strain on my body. That doesn't make it any easier though. And when the weather starts getting into the 90's and close to 100 degrees... everything that is uncomfortable is amplified.

Despite all of this, I am still so happy to be where I am. I am still so grateful for this little life growing inside of me and I feel as if I am overflowing with love for her already. I can not wait to meet her. I can not wait to hold her in my arms and wrap my love around her. I am excited for her to meet her daddy. He hasn't been able to bond with her yet like I have, with her growing inside of me. I am looking forward to watching him and seeing him as a father. He is so excited about her arrival and seeing his excitement and sharing this pregnancy experience with him has only made me love him more.

She will be here soon and our entire world is going to change. Not much about our lifestyle and our schedule will stay the same. But I welcome this. Although there will be sacrifices and things that I will miss, I am so inlove with this little baby and I know that everything will be worth it.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

This and That... and Some of This Too and More of That...

This weekend was supposed to be relaxing and non-eventful, but my nesting urges took over and it ended up being very busy. But I did get alot done!

We do not have alot of storage space in our home. I love our house, but it is severely lacking in that department. Our bathrooms are small and our closets are smaller. Other then the small bedroom closets and one mini closet for coats, there is no where else to put things. We don't even have a pantry in our kitchen. We do have some cabinets in the laundry room, where I store all of our laundry supplies, light bulbs, the dog's stuff, our alcohol, and all of our medicines and first aid stuff.... oh and Joe's work shoes. Yeah its quite the conglomeration, but when you have no where else to put things....

My point is, the arrival of our new addition is really making it harder to figure out where to put things. Her closet used to be where I kept all my shoes and purses and workout stuff. Those items have been dispersed throughout the house, and that closet is now filled with all new baby stuff. I really needed to put her bath stuff in the guest bath, but there just wasn't any room in there. So we headed to Walmart to get a new cabinet for the wall above the toilet. After moving my things from under the sink to the new cabinet, I now had that space to put all of her soaps, lotions, towels and washrags. One thing lead to another and I was cleaning out the drawers and under the sink in both bathrooms, the cabinets in my dresser and drawers in our nightstands, along with all of the cabinets in the laundry room. It was quite the project and it took me all weekend! But now it's done and somehow, after getting rid of alot of unnecessary crap, we have a little more space for things.

Apparently I haven't thrown away any pills or meds for atleast 6 years. After cleaning out the medicine cabinet, I had half of our kitchen island covered with expired pills and other medications, dating back to 1993. I wasn't exactly sure of the proper way to dispose of these (probably why I had been putting this off for so long), so Joe and I peeled all of the labels off of the containers dumped all of the pills in a huge cup, and threw the containers in the recycle bin. We then flushed all of the pills down the toilet. It took about 6 dumpings/flushes to get rid of them all. It seemed like the best way to handle it. I probably should have tried to sell some of them on the black market... I could have made some extra cash. How much do you think people would pay for expired vicodin and percocet?

While doing this, I was also finishing up all of the rest of the little munchkin's laundry. I got all of her diapers in last week, and the cloth inserts, which are made partly of hemp, needed to be washed six times before use. Washing them makes the materials more absorbant and if you don't, they could leak. Her laundry took pretty much all day.

By the end of the day, my feet were swollen. Huge, swollen and in alot of pain. You don't realize how big and heavy this baby gets in your belly after being on your feet all day. I feel so sorry for pregnant woman with a job like that. It must be miserable!

We did take a break to see a movie. We originally set out to see Funny People, but that was before realizing how long it was. When you are not pregnant, it doesn't matter as much, but I am, so... we ended up seeing Hangover. It was hilarious.

Sunday I went to Joe's brother's wife's baby shower (my sister-in-law). Heather's due date is about 2 weeks before mine. Which means she was having her shower only 3 weeks before her due date! It's pretty cool that we are having 3 babies so close together in our family. I hadn't mentioned this before, but Joe's sister Jennifer didn't show up to my shower, and on Sunday she didn't show up Heather's. She didn't even call to give an excuse as to why she couldn't come. It wouldn't have bothered me that badly (plenty of others did the same thing), except last June I actually threw Jennifer's baby shower for her. Planned the whole damn thing and spent alot of time and money on it. Jennifer's 12 year old daughter, Maddie and Heather helped as well, but I did most of the work. Being new to the family, I wondered why no one else wanted to throw her shower for her, and why this responsibility had some how fallen in my lap. I had become pretty close with her daughter, Maddie, so when she asked for my help, it was impossible to say no to her. I felt terrible that this little 12 year old was trying to figure out how to have a shower for her mom and couldn't get any help from the rest of the family. Now I know why. I wasn't upset that she hadn't gotten us a gift, but I admit I am really pissed off that she pulled a no show without even a phone call or explanation. I was also sad that she didn't bring Maddie, who I really wanted there and I know would have liked to have been. It made me feel like crap. And it clearly shows how much family and our friendship meant to her. As Joe said, now I know why no one else does anything for her and I won't feel bad not doing anything for her in the future.

Which brings me to another thought.... why the hell do people not rsvp anymore?! How hard is it to say whether you are coming or not? Do you not think that someone hosting a party needs a head count for food and drinks? If you are invited to a party... whether you can go or not... for the love of all that is holy.... please just f-ing RSVP!!!

Okay... I am sorry I went off on an unintended tangent there... but I do feel better getting it off my chest.

Tonight I am attending another Le Leche League meeting. I have been reading alot this week about breastfeeding and I am starting to feel alot less intimidated with the whole idea. I have had so many people I know try and fail, but armed with some information, I am feeling much more confident. Infact, I am now very excited about having the opportunity to experience it with my daughter. I know that will mean more sacrifice on my part, but it feels like the right choice for us and I can't see myself doing it any other way.

I am a bit all over the place today... thank you for hanging in there as I sort through my thoughts and unload some things. I have been keeping up with everyone's else's blogs this week and am going to try to stay on top of my own. That would probably help cut down on one's like this that end up in all directions.

I hope everyone is having a great week!