“You Look Great”

I hear that a lot lately.

Which is nice, right?

But it’s like people EXPECT you to be a big, fat cow when you’re pregnant, I think. They’re surprised that I evidently don’t APPEAR ‘more’ pregnant (how, again, can there be levels of pregnant…you either ARE or you AREN’T.) Yesterday, a girl at one of my accounts asked me, point blank:

“How much weight have you gained?”

I wanted to respond:
“Wow, how’s that a valid question” or “Did you REALLY just ask me that in front of the entire crowd of people in this office?” but instead I announced: “Just over 15 pounds”.

In ANY other world, I would NEVER proudly announce my weight gain (especially 15 pounds). But yesterday, and other days, there I am, practically BRAGGING about my relatively small weight gain througout the first 33 weeks of this pregnancy.

Why am I doing that? How is that even nice to do for those girls who aren’t as fortunate as me and for whatever reason, gain more weight than I have. It’s not. But, this is is also my body that is out of my own control, so I guess…I can brag it up or not in all the ways I want. But as part of this female community, I should also be a bit more cognizant of those around me and the example I’m setting. How is that a fair standard, when we’re all different?

The girl at the Hobby Lobby on Saturday said “When are you due?” and when I told her said “Oh, I wish I was as big as you, I’m due Oct. 23”. And she was, in fact, not showing the way I was. But she also was wearing the Hobby Lobby-issue blue smock over her clothes, so it was hard to tell. Did you really just tell me you wish you were bigger…like me…? Really?

So, my thought today is WHY do people want to comment on the size of my waist? I mean, of course I KNOW why…but seriously?

I’ve also decided (but don’t hold me to this, who knows how I’ll feel post-partum) that I’m going to continue taking pictures each week to track the after-baby body. I mean, I feel like that’s the part that no one talks about or shows…how the miracle that is your uterus growing to 1,000-TIMES ITS SIZE retracts to its original state in a relatively short amount of time. Or how it takes awhile to NOT look pregnant…or…whatever. I don’t know what that little adventure holds, but I think I’m going to photographically catalog it to see how it goes…and to hopefully keep me on track with my post-baby ‘operation get my own body back’ thing.

Among other things, time really does seem to be speeding up. This weekend is really my last big hurrah to try to get the house cleaned up and in order. Going to be a bit crazy running around with some last minute things at work over the next several weeks. So, this weekend is a cleaning and whatnot extravaganza. I also called Hurley today to ask about a tour of the facility. I called the main number, which transferred me to labor and delivery. The nurse could NOT have been nicer, and she said to just call whenever I have time to come in, make sure they’re not too busy, and then just head in for a tour. Thought that was AWESOME. Doesn’t really get much easier.

Changed my doctor’s appointment to this Friday instead of next Friday. I’m to see Dr. Neubeck again, which will be good. This will push me into a probably 9/19 date for my next appointment. I’m going to see if I can get the doctor to send me for another ultrasound (why not?!)…and if I could, then I’m going to shoot for Monday, 9/12 because then Jon could go and I’d really like for him to see an ultrasound before she’s born. Think it might make it more real for him.

I also signed up for a Leadership Academy in our local community which is early in the morning’s. I saw it advertised in the School Bell and it sounded up my alley, and like something I would enjoy doing ahead of having the baby. So, for six weeks beginning the week of Sept. 12, I’ll attend this morning event once each week. Pretty excited about it and what it might mean for meeting people and being involved in my community, something I’ve always wanted.

Anyway, those are things I thought today…more soon!


Dear Daughter: August 29, 2011

Dear Daughter,

I’m so excited to meet you. I seriously am growing impatient, finally, and I’m just looking forward to putting the finishing touches on ‘home’ before you get here. We’ve got some serious things to do before then — we’re having a shower so people can give their favorite gifts to you, and we need to go to a class or two to figure out how to birth you and care for you and feed you. (Honestly, I’m hoping that instincts and guidance from your Grandma Wendy and your Auntie’s will be the best preparation information I get).

Anyway, I have been thinking of writing to you for awhile now. But, I’ve been sort of waiting, not wanting to jinx anything. In lots of ways, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for you, already. In some ways, I’m overwhelmed by your pending arrival. But, I’m WAY more excited than I am overwhelmed.

More than anything, today, I wanted to write to you because it’s an anniversary, today. Not of anyone or anything per se, but of the thing that happened in my life that set me on the path to meeting your Dad, to loving him and us deciding that we wanted a ‘you’ with ‘us’.

Five years ago today, your Great Grandpa Jerry died. Not really a fun anniversary, right? It’s not. It makes me incredibly sad every year. I don’t imagine that will go away. Ever.

It was really shocking that he died just 20 days after your Great Grandma Judy did. None of us – your aunts and uncles, cousins, me – were ready for him to go. We weren’t ready for her to leave either, but she’d been sick.We were relatively prepared. But him…

Him, though. That was just cruel and unusual punishment for something we still don’t understand.

Because he died, I stopped going to Clear Lake EVERY weekend of my life. I hardly go at all any more. I started looking at things that other people did on the weekends. And, on August 8, 2008 I met your Dad. And the rest is our own little story.

But, because Grandma Judy and Grandpa Jerry were no longer there – the glue holding our family together – things sort of started slipping apart and we all kind of began to make our own way in the lives that we were figuring out how to live without them as guides. In some ways, it hurts to say this, but I’m glad that I was given an opportunity while still young enough to make my own way, to figure out how to reconcile the things I wanted in life without the pull of my heart toward them and the little haven they had created for our family. And, that road away from Clear Lake led me eventually to the friends that I have now, to your Dad, and to the life that we’ve begun creating together. I guess everything happens for a reason…

My great hope for you is that you have someone like him in your life. Maybe it will be your Grandpa Carpenter or your Grandpa Mason. Maybe it will be someone totally different, someone who hasn’t even made an appearance in our lives yet. But, I hope you get someone like him. Because in my life, he made all the difference in lots of big and little ways. I hope that someone like him makes you a priority in their life – someone who is terribly smart and challenges you; who loves you unconditionally.

Someone who believes that you are their life’s bonus.

Someone who will show you how to love and be loved.

Someone to buy you Tiffany jewelry.

Someone to teach you how to drive…and how to drive a stick shift.

Someone to buy you gummy worms and candy at the store, someone to build your imagination, someone to encourage you and scare you (but only a little bit).

Someone who makes you smarter, who challenges you, who loves you unconditionally even though they didn’t know they could.

I will always be terribly and incredibly sad that you never met them, your Grandma Judy and Grandpa Jerry. They were incredible people without whom my life in general would be very, very different. Different in an awful way.

The cool thing is that even though you won’t meet them and they won’t meet you, I get to be this cool intermediary. I get to tell you all about them, and as you grow up, I get to hear their voices in my head helping me figure out how to handle all the demands that I know being a Mom will create. I get to gift you your Grandma Wendy and your Great Aunt’s and your Cousin/UncleAunts and know that they will impart to you the same wisdom and knowledge and love of life and all things family that Grandma and Grandpa did for us.

I am waiting, waiting patiently (though getting less patient daily) for you to arrive so we can begin to tell you all about Grandpa Jerry and Grandma Judy, so you can meet all these people who already love you t o n s TONS. And today, even though I’m still sad (five years later) that my Grandpa Jerry is gone from us, I can’t even explain to you how I’m a little less sad because we’ll be meeting you so soon.

You are already loved more than you know — I cannot imagine life without you, so hurry up and make your grand entrance into our world and our lives.


Mom (that was a little bit weird to write… 🙂


Monday Morning

Is it possible to feel as though time is flying by and dragging on all at once?

That’s how I’m feeling right now.

Today’s the finishing-touches day on the nursery (artwork onto the walls) but I’ve got another week-plus to go until another doctor’s appointment and I’m hovering at this 32 weeks point, which I feel as though I’ve been at forever.

Baby Girl is doing well in there, kicking and punching and doing whatever it is that she does (paaaarrrrtttaaay). I feel like I’ve been in a hurry up and wait mode for some time now…but then, last night while scrounging up something to eat for dinner, I looked at my handy dandy calendar on the fridge only to realize that this coming weekend IS in fact Labor Day (thought I had two more weeks til that happened) and that my birthday is a WEEK from today (not two) and that our final baby shower is getting closer, when I swear it was two months away yesterday.

I know it’s going to fly by in the end, and in many ways it has and it does fly by daily. But. I’m just ready to be done talking about having a baby and actually HAVE one. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we’re mentally prepared in any way, shape or form quite yet, but I think we’re as prepared as we’re going to get and we have an infant car seat and a crib and a bassinet and blankets and outfits and socks, diapers and wipes.

I find it interesting how I keep getting struck by these ‘oh shit’ moments. Not about being a good mom per se, but as I read different books, wondering how I”ll handle certain things, how Jon and I will handle it together and separately. How I’ll manage having a job and being a mom…how I’ll pay bills and will I have more or less time than I imagine myself to have. What to do if she cries a lot – what if she doesn’t cry enough. What if she’s NOT healthy when she’s born? This is probably one of my more scary running thoughts – that something I’ve done (or failed to do) while she’s in the womb has triggered something that makes her life harder than it has to be. What if in the delivery room, something goes awry? Fatalistic thoughts in many ways, but it’s just what’s running through my head, quite frankly.

I did begin reading “The Happiest Baby on the Block” last night and I really think it had some good, useful information.

The baby name hunt continues. Don’t think we’re sold on any one name at this point in time, which is still pretty frustrating. I would love to have a name set and ready to go, but at the same time, it’s taken us this long, I hope we kind of wait until we meet her to see what kind of a name we think she’ll get. I have a few front runners, but…we just can’t seem to come to a consensus on anything. My fear is that Jon, notorious for delaying decisions until the LAST possible instant, will do the same here and we won’t be happy with the name we choose. So, I’m hoping that he’ll come on board the baby naming train with me and we’ll get this list of our narrowed down. We shall see.

Anyway, just an update of where my baby brain is this Monday morning.

More soon.

Turns Out There’s a Reason…

…that I haven’t worn tie or strap/buckle shoes in who knows how long.

I am ready to go to the Clio Country Club 50th anniversary party tonight and look like this:

However, I have on wedge heels (will debate the educated nature of this decision tomorrow I’m sure) that have a buckle around the ankle. I haven’t worn a pair of shoes that requires more than positioning them so that it’s easy to get the left on my left foot and right on my right foot in – oh, I don’t know – months.

Nonetheless, I spent a few solid minutes trying to figure out a good position in which to sit while I reached over the top of and underneath my left leg to get the damn buckle buckled. The right wasn’t the challenge. It wasn’t so much the positioning as it was being able to still breathe while buckling. Needless to say, the extra bit of strap is not tucked into the second part of the buckle.

Jon and I spent today doing domestic requirements: putting up shelves in the garage, vacuuming the downstairs and getting rid of the immense amount of cobwebs that have appeared since the deep clean back in June for the baby reveal party. Hard to believe that’s been almost three months!! But, let me tell you how icky a house can get when it’s not deep cleaned in that amount of time. I thought the odor (pregnancy byproduct: phenomenal olfactory senses) was due to my lack of cleaning. Which, I bet it is. But, I also realized that there was some RANK trash down there too. So, domestic requirement: taking out the trash was completed.

We went to lunch at BWW’s in Flint and we stopped (well, we both stopped, I went in) to Hobby Lobby and ended up finding a side table for the baby’s room for $35, which I’m pretty pumped about.

Spent some time re-arranging her room to try to see if there is a different configuration that could work out, but so far haven’t come up with it.

Had a for sure BH contraction today while driving back from lunch. Which was sort of like ‘ouch’ and Jon got one of those looks on his face…but I was explaining what it was. I also asked him if he wanted to practice saying what he is going to say when I actually DO call him and say “My water broke” or “I’m in labor”. He didn’t feel up to practicing. Whatever. I’m hopeful that he says something that will make me laugh and make for a good story…and not something totally non-freak-out’ish.

Anywho – it’s been quite the day and now we’re heading over to the party but pre-cocktails at my parents house with the Schultz’s and my aunt and uncle before the big evening event. It’ll be fun – see lots of familiar faces from over the years, I’m sure.

I also slapped a second coat of paint on the closet doors this morning, Jon replaced the burnt out taillight in my car and bought the proper size of bolt for the closet door pulls that I finally purchased the other day. So, tomorrow I’ll go and trim the mats to the right size, put the stuff into frames and we’ll have artwork on the walls. With the decal and those framed prints up, our nursery will OFFICIALLY unofficially be complete. I did order a crib skirt today from amazon.com that should be here super soon. At least I think I ordered it. Need to check now. And need to go convince Jon to hurry since we’re currently 7 minutes late for pre-party.

Til later,


32 Weeks, One Day: Status Update

Was too tired by the time I made it home from work yesterday to force myself to post to the blog. However, today’s a new day and I’m ready to play catch up (in work, in my life, in my household cleaning duties…ugh). When I look better (or at least feel like I look better) you can expect a photo slideshow posting…

Due Date: October 20, 2011.

Baby Developments: All the baby websites say that the Minnie Mason should now be head down and her butt up, getting ready for her grand entrance into this world. She’s definitely active All. The. Time. but…she is probably now about four ish pounds and her toenails are visible. How cool.

Weight Gain: Haven’t been to the doctor, so can’t say. Total weight gain this pregnancy is nearly 16 pounds, and I would venture a guess I’ve added another two pounds to that total.

Cravings:  Just drinks, water, etc. Don’t feel like I’ve had a craving – per se – other than waking up in the middle of the night this week having dreamt about McDonald’s super salty french fries. Ok, so maybe that IS a craving.

Symptoms: Back to being tired. Travel this week took TONS out of me and I have to say that I am dreading travel for the next few weeks. Ironically, this is the time when the nurse practitioner, Sue, had suggested that travel be done by. Perhaps I understand better why. It’s not my comfort level, it’s just how tired I become without doing much of anything…and the driving requires a lot of brain power and focus. Nonetheless, I plan to continue to do it as long as I can. Have had some Braxton Hicks contractions (now I’m certain of it), in fact this morning as I ran an errand. It lasted for kind of a long time, I felt like, so that was interesting.

I am loving: feeling a bit more ‘ready’ — we got lots of great stuff at the shower last weekend and I’m really looking forward to the shower on Sept. 17 at our house with my family. I also really like that our Minnie girl makes her presence known regularly — no guessing about movement or how she’s doing. She’s kicking and punching and head butting me from the inside.

Sleep: Getting comfortable has been a challenge. I want SO BADLY to sleep on my stomach and am longing for that day. I have become pretty good at positioning myself with pillows and what not but I have found that the flatter I lay down, the harder it is to sleep, so I’m trying to prop up my head, which actually makes laying down more comfortable. Good to know.

I miss: remembering what my body looked like/felt like pre-baby, feeling good about my boobs-ass-lack of back fat.

I am looking forward to: putting the finishing touches on the nursery; spending time with Jon this weekend; the 50th anniversary party of the country club with the family on Saturday night; the upcoming shower with my family; my Dad working on putting down ceramic tile in our main bathroom. Meeting Bob & Molly’s little boy in the next three weeks!!

I am spazzing about: learning more about the labor and delivery process. I had scheduled the class for Sept. 10 and I am really fingers crossed that Jon can be there that day and that I don’t have to come up with a last minute solution. We are sort of going back and forth with one another right now about how to handle that. Also spazzing about the work travel — the work load would be fine minus the travel or the travel would be fine minus the workload, but both together are quite honestly pretty taxing.

Best moment of the week: sitting on the deck at my parents house last night laughing about names. I said I liked the name Micah (as we’re back to square one on names, add that to the spaz list)…but then I said “all her presents would be “ForMicah” which made me laugh. I don’t know, we just had a good time sitting around chit chatting and enjoying a nice summer evening. Definitely reinforces all the reasons we chose to live where we did.

Milestones: Braxton Hicks contractions (legitimate ones, with discomfort/pain the whole nine yards) and getting her clothes and gifts from last weekend’s shower put away.

Movement: Our party girl ways at 10 p.m. continue but we are now partying throughout the day. I can definitely feel appendages, but can’t identify what is what quite yet. The weirdest is when it feels like she’s shaking or having what I swear is a seizure or something. (Hopefully not, right? One more thing to worry about now). But, she just moves so much all at once and it sort of freaks me out. I find it harder and harder to ignore and carry on a conversation at work while that’s going on. It feels like the whole world can tell — but I really, really love that it’s our little secret, me and her.

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Nope – I’m in need of creating a habit in the worst way.

Diet: Being on the road is never good for my diet as fast food becomes a way of life. But, feel like my food intake has been relatively moderate in the whole scheme of things. Have been taking the antibiotic for the odorous discharge for a week now and that has now subsided and have been taking iron for the slight anemia the doctor announced I had…so, those things have combined to make me feel (in theory) pretty good. But I’m still tired.

Boobs & Belly Button: I’m now pretty much in sports bras all the time, thank you. And my belly button is an innie still, but it’s like a big gaping hole in the middle of my little (ok, that was optimistic) pregnant belly.

Goals for the upcoming week: Take some pics of Andrea’s family and see how I do in my practice session; clean the house; try not to let the travel suck the life out of me.

Grateful for Sleep, Comfortable Sleep

It’s true – I’ve been sleeping pretty well lately, other than that weird thing last Friday night. I keep waking up about 7 a.m. (which Jon loves, because I have a tendency to want him to be awake if I am…) most days, like clock work, but…sleep is going pretty well.

I have to say that I feel more tired than I had in the second trimester, and less tired than I was first trimester, but somewhere in between normal and more-tired-than-normal. I read that it’s totally normal, but it’s frustrating, because there are things I want to try to accomplish and I just don’t have the energy.

Tomorrow is officially 32 weeks. I feel like eight weeks is still a pretty long time (as you can tell, I keep waffling between ‘it’s not that long at all and we’re almost there’ to ‘is this ever going to end up in a BABY?!’). I had an odd moment where I was overcome with fear…literally a MOMENT…earlier today. I can’t quite put to words what the fear was…about dressing a newborn…that was it. I have this book “The Hot Mom-to-Be Handbook” downloaded on my Kindle app on the iPad and it made reference to what to pack for the hospital when I was reading it Monday night before bed. And, it said to pack a few outfits for Baby Girl. Great, of course. But, then it made reference to how hard it is to dress a newborn so to bring outfits with snaps up the front instead of over-the-head stuff. I mean, really, you have to tell me how hard it’s going to be…in writing…dressing my child. And, really, does it change at week three or something that they’re suddenly easier to dress? all of a sudden more cooperative, having control of their motor skills/arms/legs? No. I don’t think so. So, I don’t know why they even referenced that in the book.

Here’s what I’ll say about that book…while it’s got a clever title, I don’t know that I’d recommend it. I feel like the websites out there are filled with all the info you could need. You purchase the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book (doesn’t everyone have to do this?…btw, make sure you buy an updated copy because things change CONSTANTLY). But, there is also a whattoexpect.com, which sends newsletter updates daily to your Inbox. I feel like there’s not a huge need to build a preggo library of books. And certainly not with the Hot Mom To be Handbook at the top. Just sign up for the newsletters and read the parts that are interesting/noteworthy in your mind. That’s my advice.

I’m also starting to get frustrated with our lack of a name for Minnie Mason. I have this sneaking suspicion we could just name her Minnie and be done with it. Not really…maybe…no. I don’t know, there has been a huge name game going on since Day One I think…I liked Emerson a lot. Jon, not so much.

(Aside: I just spotted the Google Maps car. This is my second run-in with the Google Maps car…once in Clio and once in Indianapolis.)

But, then Jon liked Braley, a name that I was really digging too. I had a dream that that was her name, back in the first trimester. However, I feel like that her whole life it’d go like this “Hi, I’m Braley” other person: “Bailey?” her: “”No, Braley. BR”. Which is just annoying. And that happened when we mentioned the name to one of Jon’s cousins the other day…so I know it’s not just in my head.

I spent some time late last night researching family trees for names I might like (not much). I also started just arbitrarily looking at names. I keep texting different ones to Jon to see if I can get anywhere. Right now, I feel like we’re further behind than we were 30 weeks ago.

So, if you have any name ideas, please pass them along…we need all the ideas we can get at this point!


The Successful, Beautiful Shower!

Yesterday’s shower was absolutely a hit! Jen and her mom, Janet, worked their tushes off to put the whole thing together and pull it off…all while, I swear, Jen had the worst-luck-week-ever. But, you never would have known it. The house and yard were beautiful and it was so great to have our first shower under the belt.

The generosity and thoughtfulness were incredible. From the cute, handmade bibs and burp cloths from Jon’s cousin, Laurie, to the car seat from Jon’s parents and the Little Orphan Annie framed poem that my Mom gifted…and on and on and on. It was all so special. You’ll see in the pictures in the gallery below. I tried to add in the captions so you can get some of the gist of the day that way. I have left out the pictures of the play by play…but we have filled up half a closet and about a quarter of a rather large dresser. We have the infant car seat and bases, a matching crib sheet, lots of cute, girly outfits, the bouncy seat (brown and pink butterflies, the one pink thing I’ve allowed myself to put on the list that’s a house-staple).

Anywho – here are some photos of a great day with Jon’s family at Jen and Rick’s house!

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Mason Family Shower: Anticipation

Well, today (in about three hours, in fact) is my first of two showers. This one is mainly Jon’s family and friends of the family. I can NOT believe that it’s already here, frankly.

I do feel a bit better that we are nearing completion status on the nursery, that it feels like we’ve got things on a path to be as prepared as possible (ha!) for this little gal to join us at home!

Thankfully, I have all the time in the world because the shower is just three houses away at Rick and Jen’s house. Either way, we have to cart the gifts we get back over here, so I’m glad it’s close.

I find the whole idea of a shower sort of surreal (as I’m sure I’ve noted before this), but it’s like ‘oh, hey, here’s a list of things I want…if you want to show up to my party, be sure to bring something from that list’. I know it’s an age-old tradition, and I like the tradition of it…but I would hate for anyone to ever feel obligated to gift us (this baby girl) anything…I hope that people are gifting because THEY want to. I find the most fun in giving gifts when I feel like I’ve gotten it right…so, I’m really looking forward to enjoying this time of giving/receiving/thanks this afternoon.

I’m also really relieved that I don’t have to go back on the road tomorrow. Jon is heading over to the west side of the state tonight but I don’t have to be in Indianapolis until Tuesday, so I’m really glad that I’ll have all night tonight and tomorrow to get the gifts in order (and maybe even stare down some thank you notes!). I feel like I’ve gotten pretty rested up in the last few days, so I’m prepared for another few days on the road…though I’m sure I’ll be exhausted again by next Friday.

Alright, well, I have one more (of three, total) bathrooms to clean and need to run the vacuum downstairs. Jon should really do that, though, I think. Downstairs IS his domain, after all…his ‘man cave’ area. I’m going to go see how that flies…

Can’t wait to show all the great gifts that people are gifting our Minnie Mason!


P.S. Can I also say that I’m REALLY feeling good about the photos I did yesterday of Molly? I feel like I’m getting better and better each time, which is good. I wish I had a better way of displaying the photos or going through them…but…anyway, I feel really fulfilled that I did that decently well yesterday.

Molly’s Maternity Session: Baby G

As we all know, most of my girlfriends are pregnant, too! Molly is due Sept. 20 and today was the day to make sure that we got a solid maternity photo shoot in. I feel like I’m much more ‘advanced’ in my skills than the first go-round with Andrea. So, I also spent some time getting to know the editing tools within my camera — and here’s the result. Most of these I edited, so you’re not seeing original, originals, but they’re really good if I do say so, for my amateur shooting self.

Enjoy, feedback (on the photo composition, not the subject who practically doesn’t even LOOK pregnant) is welcome!

So excited to meet Baby G in EXACTLY one month!!

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