Uh Oh, It’s Almost Christmas

Where does the time go, seriously?

I don’t think I’ve posted a photo on here in AGES, so in reverse order…here is how trying to get Christmas photos for our Christmas card went:

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Jon looks like he’s skeptical at best, Elle has completely melted down and I’m trying to hold my chin up (to look my skinniest) without appearing to completely look down my nose. How’d I do?

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At this point, we were hoping one of THESE would turn out. These photos were taken AFTER we’d gone to the orchard and had family photos taken in October. That didn’t go how we’d planned.

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And then of course, just like the camera battery in the middle of the photo shoot, Elle needed a recharge. This was probably somewhere in the midst of Elle pulling the stockings off the mantel and the beautiful stocking holder onto her head, miraculously only skimming the edge of her noggin.

🙂

We also attempted family photos with a local photographer. I will say that the final edited photos came out better than I would have thought they could, but they weren’t what I had hoped. It really is hard to find great photographers, because so many people (hello, self) stumble into the photography market thinking they can be photographers. There’s way more to it than a digital SLR is all I can say…

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We also hosted Elle’s first birthday party back on October 13. Here’s what it looked like…

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Damn Pinterest – it always looks better in the pro shots, but this was definitely the over-the-top monstrosity I was going for. Minnie themed without being TOO Minnie Mouse-y.

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My Aunt-in-Law, Laura, did all the fabulous desserts, including Elle’s cake. She is a master in the kitchen and this all was just as easy as paying her — which is how I like to do parties these days!

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The Minnie cupcakes are amazing. Here’s an uber-close up.

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Elle may in fact have an Oleg Cassini cake server in her hands, happily stabbing her cake. She wasn’t THAT into the cake, I have to admit. I think us adults did more damage on her behalf than she actually did. Which is amazing, because I feel like she tears everything ELSE apart.

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We worked for weeks and weeks leading into her birthday for her to hold up one finger when you asked how old she was. And here she is, holding up one finger on both hands. She’s advanced and ready for ‘two’ I guess.

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The only picture of the three of us that day. Well, the only one where at least 2/3 of us are looking in the same direction. There was a lot to be distracted by.

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Elle’s Uncle Trevor got her her very first Tiffany’s, carrying on a family tradition that my Grandpa began. It was overwhelming to me – but Elle thought it was fantastic (so did I, but it made me tear up, I’ll admit).

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Did I fail to mention that I got Elle and I matching outfits? Except I didn’t wear red pants? Yup, totally matched. Sort of dweeby, but there’s only so long you can actually pull that off…so…I did it. It kind of made me want to puke, but I kind of secretly liked it, too.

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Did I mention the distractions…err…how I may have invited 80 people…

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…and then…

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This was Elle’s actual birth-day. What you can’t see by my selective posting of photos is that the outfit she’s in in this photo is the SAME ONE we put her to bed wearing the day before. You can obviously see the tired-ness in my face and general appearance here. It was a big night the night before.

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My Mom and Dad got Elle a baby jogging stroller and a baby, Abby. Elle can be seen here sitting on the box it all came in 🙂

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I took these the day before the big party and had them printed at Meijer as 5×7’s and used self-adhesive magnets that Jon’s Mom, Karen, gave me. It was PERFECT. I just stuck them around the house on different magnetic surfaces or on fridges and people could take any that they wanted. It was kind of a favor, but whatever…and the magnet was thin enough that you could still put the whole thing in a frame without ruining the picture itself.

Here are a few others I printed for that day:

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A few days later, we took engagement photos in the park here in town with Jon’s brother and his fiance, Jen. I thought I did an alright job!

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Not too shabby, right?

Anyway, that’s pretty much where we stand at the moment. Or at least the goings on in October.

And to think that I began this post to complain about how I have no Christmas shopping done. And then got distracted…which is why I have no Christmas shopping done.

Well, if you were planning on having a present from me and this blog is any indication, you can expect your gift sometime in February.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the pics and tonight’s catch up post.

 

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Wait, THIS Is My Life?

I was supposed to have a baby named something like Payne (after Payne Stewart, the late, great, knicker-wearing professional golfer). Or maybe a Peyton (played out, by the time my time came around). Or Maddox (after Ford Maddox Ford, because, you know, I WAS an English major) but then Angelina and Brad started their family-building initiative and that name went off the list.

I figured I’d have a dog named Comma, or maybe Fitzgerald (F. Scott, anyone?). Again, I’m an English-major-dweeb.

I was going to host dinner parties with placecards and over-planned menus.

I thought I’d take cooking classes and be a wine snob.

I was sure I’d be married and have birthed all my children (all five of them) by age 27 because, well, that’s OLD.

I’d be one of those annoying, slender, skinny Pilates-doing women with a perky ass, perky tits and arms that Michelle Obama would want.

My house would be my dream house, all the rooms ready for their photography moments and set to be featured on the pages of Pottery Barn-House Beautiful-Restoration Hardware.

I’d be THAT neighbor who had a plate full of sugar cookie cutouts because, as everyone would know, I have an ever-expanding cookie cutter collection. Said neighbors would thoughtfully pick-up obscure cookie cutters on their respective travels and I’d send nice thank you’s on personalized stationery.

And then, last night, I realized, I named my child a name that was NEVER on the short – or the long – list of names I had selected for my children two decades ago.

It was weird. This flash of recognition that my life is different because I didn’t end up choosing a name for my baby that was on my original list (yes, gentlemen, lots of us gals have lists of names we are intent on naming our children years before we cross your path).

Turns out, I still have never had my own dog because, unlike children, you NEVER have to stop picking up their poop.

I haven’t hosted a legitimate dinner party with placecards in my life — though I’ve had parties and I’ve had dinners. I don’t even know anyone who wouldn’t find me incredibly stuffy if I actually thought to make a seating arrangement for a dinner. I have good friends and smart friends and I’m pretty sure they’re capable of choosing their own spot at the table (or in front of the tv, as the case may be).

I’ve wanted to be a wine snob. I know enough about wine glasses to know what is allegedly a good glass (when they’re one piece instead of having a ridge at the bottom and/or top of the stem). But, I drink less-than-$10-a-botttle wine. Michigan wines, wines purchased at Meijer and various grocery stores. Domestic wines. What can I say – just one more way this isn’t the life I envisioned at some random point in my history.

And, as far as having my FIVE children (HA – RIGHT!) by the time I was 27. Well, I didn’t even meet Jon until I was 27 and we’re not approaching marriage any time soon, so…I don’t know exactly WHEN I thought this one up, but at some point before I was 27, I assume.

The last time I did Pilates was, well, I can’t even remember. The last time I did something truly aerobic with a nice, solid sweat was too, too long ago. My arms are flabby and the thing standing between me and being a jogger is that I don’t have a ponytail that swings. Seriously, I’m growing my hair out so I have a better jogging ponytail.

I can’t make this stuff up, folks. This is who I am.

I have the house I loved when I was small. It needs a lot of work. Parts of it I love. Parts of it I abhor. Parts of it I can see coming together. But one – ONE – room in the house is complete and that’s Elle’s room. Ugh.

I haven’t had the energy to make cookie dough, create the mess and clean it up, let alone decorate cookies, and then willingly walk to the neighbors to deliver cookies. Which means, no thank you notes to write for cookie cutter gifts that never arrive. But at least I’ve got boxes full of thank you notes at the ready – just in case. Heck, I can barely get the dishwasher unloaded and don’t get me started on how many times, on average, I wash a load of laundry. I put it in, it’s clean, and then I forget to move it to the dryer. So, it gets re-washed. Current average: 2.1 washes per load. NICE and environmentally friendly.

So, this is my life. My kitchen counters constantly need to be wiped down and Jon and I leave our coats anywhere that’s convenient throughout the house. I haven’t done more than dust-mop the wood floors in way too long. The vacuum is sitting out in the basement, but it hasn’t been run. The laundry is probably still in the wash, waiting for the day, some day in the future, when I finally remember to transfer it to the dryer. Folding it before it’s wrinkled is another story all together.

I have a lived-in house that’s been full of friends and family. I have a PHENOMENAL daughter and a wonderful partner who’s an awesome dad. I have 800+ cookie cutters that I can brag up as a collection of my own. Jon’s painting the bedroom this week — so maybe it’ll be ready for its close-up soon!!

So yeah, THIS is my life.

Not what I planned – but the one I prefer.

Except, I’d still like a perky ass and a good jogging ponytail.

Reflections on Pregnancy

With just 40 hours remaining before I begin the process of becoming unpregnant, I thought I’d take a moment and reflect on BEING pregnant and share the thoughts I wished I’d known at the outset.

You know, for the rest of you people out there just starting this rather-cool journey.

 

MATERNITY CLOTHES

I have a new found appreciation for pants with buttons on them. While I found them constrictive in many ways pre-pregnancy, when I found out I’d ‘get’ to buy maternity clothes, I was pretty pumped about the elastic waist band phenomenon. Now, I’m looking forward to pants that do NOT have elastic waist band. The grass IS always greener, isn’t it?

Seriously, though, I wish I would not have gone ape-shit at the outset and worried about having ‘options’ in my wardrobe. If you have all kinds of money to spend on a maternity wardrobe that you may or may not wear, go for it. If you’re looking to be a BIT more frugal, buy what you need AS YOU NEED IT. I have a pair of cute pants that I bought early on, because they were on sale at Target, that I haven’t worn through this entire pregnancy. And I won’t now. They still have the tags on them. I bought a denim skirt that I thought I’d get a ton of use out of. Turned out that the way I carried this Minnie girl, I didn’t need the pregnant version – my denim skirt worked just fine.

Pants/Bottoms

If you’re pregnant over the course of the summer and you can get away with it, but a few pair of crop pants. White, gray were staples in my closet.

I will also say this about pants while pregnant. You may think that the full coverage tummy thing is cool when you’re not totally showing yet…but as your belly gets bigger I found that I felt pretty constricted by the full coverage thing. I ended up often pulling the coverage band down so it was like where a more-normal pair of pants would sit and it was more comfortable. However, it also meant that it might hang out and be seen when you sit down. It’s hard to find maternity shirts that will be long enough…

Jeans were something that I tried two different versions of. I got the full banded jeans from Motherhood Maternity and they’re ok. I also got a pair of the low-rise band from Target. And the Target pants are my favorite. I wish I could have these in real-person pants. I really enjoy wearing them and they’re the most comfortable pant I’ve found. And the wash is dark enough that I can wear them to be casual or to dress up an outfit. Perfect.

Tops

Target and Liz Lange were my go-to’s initially. The t-shirts (long and short sleeved) are great and budget friendly. Wasn’t as big a fan of the Liz Lange tank tops, however. But the t-shirts. Loved them.

That is, until I stumbled upon a Gap Maternity store in Indianapolis on a work trip. I shopped the clearance rack and got Gap t-shirts, maternity style, for cheaper than I could get the Liz Lange tees at Target. SCORE. And they hold up better though the wash and look like they cost more money. If I had it to do over again, I’d have started my shopping at Gap Maternity for its combination of buget-friendliness and cute styles and cuts of pants, shirts, skirts and dresses.

Sweaters/Sweatshirts/Cardigans

I didn’t end up needing to purchase anything that was a sweater – I was pregnant mostly when it was warm out…or at least that’s when my body was most showing that it was pregnant. I wore my zip up hoodies a lot. I wore a few zip up hoodies of Jon’s. I wore a few of those comfortable, classic wraps that are popular right now. For work, I didn’t need to be in a suit that often, but when I did, I just wore dress pants with a cute top from Target, fun jewelry and put on my regular suit jacket and just didn’t even attempt to button it. I mean, don’t you think people look terribly silly when they have a HUGE belly and try to button their jackets? Well, I did. So, I didn’t invest in any type of suit jacket for the pregnancy.

Bathing Suit

I bought one bathing suit from Sears, which was really cute and I got some use out of this summer at Jon’s parents’ pool and on the lake a few times. If you are going to be pregnant in the summer and don’t feel comfortable with your linea negra showing (that dark line on your belly) or if you just don’t want to show belly-skin anyway, invest in the preggo bathing suit. It was worth the $20 or so dollars I spent on it. If you’re only a ‘little’ pregnant (i.e., not totally showing) just go with your normal suit.

Work/Business Wear

Keep in mind that I travel for work, so I can get away with wearing the same clothes over and over again and no one is the wiser. However, I invested in two pair of nice work pants – one were from Motherhood Maternity but were clearanced “A Pea in the Pod” pants that I got for about $50 and the others were from Target. I actually preferred the Target pants at the end, though Iiked knowing I had something in my closet that was A Pea in the Pod. I got over the brand name thing pretty quick, though.

I found that wearing bigger, eye-appealing jewelry often got me compliments on it rather than on whatever top I was trying to make look cute on my growing frame.

Casual/At Home

I wore my work out/yoga pants a lot, with t-shirts from Gap and Target (the maternity kind) and sports bras. That’s sort of been my go-to outfit for the most part when I’m at home.

The Dainties

I don’t know why anyone would need to buy pregnant person underwear…but everyone carries differently, so you may find that it works for you. However, I just stocked up on comfy cotton undies from Target when they were on sale. I actually slept a lot in these undies and t-shirts…trust me, regardless of time of year, your hormones are going to go crazy and you’ll be HOT often.

I found purchasing a good-fitting bra was the most challenging part of outfitting my very-different body throughout pregnancy. It’s why I went with sports bras a lot. But, I did try to purchase a few bras here and there, but my boobs seemingly changed size on a daily basis. I was just reading a book that said it was worth it to go to Victoria’s Secret, get measured, and get their bras. And when you move on to needing nursing bras, to order them online. You may find, like I did, that people are going to tell you not to get nursing bras until your milk comes in. That could be very different times for each of us, and not being prepared for nursing seems like a poor trade off for bra purchases. Anyway, I just bought nursing bras this past week. We’ll see if the timing was proper for that. I still think that I’ll go and get measured at Victoria’s Secret and order a nursing bra from them online. I think having your boobs properly supported during this time, and feeling a little fancy under your clothes, is worth the extra dollars spent. At least, that’s my opinion.

 

The Stores

Target

Worth it to shop there as often as you can, see if they have anything new. Their clearance/sale rack changes often and you can often find a wardrobe staple discounted. I found that purchasing things here was the best bet I came across.

 

Motherhood Maternity (Outlets)

These stores are pretty damn overwhelming, I have to admit. There is a TON of stuff in there, and it all seems cute. I don’t know that it’s the BEST quality for what’s out there, but you can go there and find what you need if you’re looking for a specific outfit. They also have a wide selection of on-trend outfits, nursing bras, tanks and pj’s as well as some baby gear. They have all sorts of sales-y partnerships, so you’re going to get signed up for all sorts of coupons. It’s actually better if you go in each time and don’t give them your phone number to look you up – you end up getting more and more shutterfly free codes and other great coupons.

 

Gap Maternity

As I mentioned earlier, I wish I would have gone here first. This is the best store I came across for finding a good selection of the types of clothes I was looking for, that I could make work in a lot of different settings. I guess the main thing is that you want your maternity wardrobe choices to be versatile, so Gap is a good go-to. Start there, if you can. It’s worth the drive if you can find an actual store rather than shopping online.

 

Online vs. Store

Here’s how I feel about it: I love online shopping. Clothes are hard to shop for online, but if you go to any of the stores mentioned here or any others, you can try stuff on and then go online and see if you find anything you like better. I will say that if you can find a way to order through sites with free shipping, all the better. Or, wait for a Motherhood Maternity free shipping coupon code/search for one. Motherhood doesn’t always offer free shipping which is TOTALLY annoying. It makes it not worth it to order online.

 

 

Assess Your Fickle-ness about, well, everything…

I trust that I made a good choice in doctors at the outset and have let them guide me, not carte blanche, but for the most part through this pregnancy journey. I trust them. I like the office staff. If you feel like you’ll be more picky than that, definitely do your research. I like that I go to the same doctor as a friend of mine, and she had her baby about 4 months before I’m due, so she could sort of clue me in to what to expect and we could talk about how we felt about the different doctors in the practice and their personalities.

 

Molly’s doctors did a pelvic exam at EVERY appointment. My doctors only did a pelvic exam at eight weeks, 37 weeks and 39 weeks. I was comfortable with that. If you want updates every visit, ask that question.

 

Know that every question listed on thebump.com or other similar sites doesn’t need to be asked…only IF it’s important to you. I think that there’s a lot out there that feels to be in the business of scaring us all into some weird misogynistic submission about being pregnant. Remember, it’s natural to be pregnant and labor and deliver a baby. So, if you’re comfortable, don’t let someone else’s ideas or questions drive you crazy.

 

I stayed off the message boards of all those random sites and instead have sought out blogger Mom’s (which, if you like to blog, I highly suggest…and even if you don’t). The thing about the message boards is that you never know the person in any way behind the posts…with a blog, you can stalk them a bit more and get to know what’s important to them and then take their stance/opinion/insight with that in mind. I also find that there are, frankly, a lot of uninformed idiots trolling message boards who like to preach about what choice you SHOULD make regarding:

–         Caffeine intake

–         Eating lunch meat

–         Exercise

–         Travel

–         Labor & Delivery choices

–         Breastfeeding

 

Look, I don’t know why we all get preachy about a woman’s body and the ability to make decisions on the health of that body on our own, but then all of a sudden feel cowed into an opinion based on nameless, faceless people on websites. But, we do. I do it too. Know that it’s okay to feel like others are more strict with their choices…and just live with yours.

 

On the above topics…

Caffeine

I didn’t cut it out of my diet. I enjoy my Diet Coke each morning. I did cut out coffee for the most part – though if it sounded good, I’d have some. I didn’t notice a difference in baby’s activity if I did/did not have caffeine. When I spoke with the doctor about it early on, he said that there was more caffeine in all sorts of foods that they don’t tell you to stay away from, so…all things in moderation.

 

Deli Meat

This one I didn’t know you were supposed to stay away from, then I realized that some people recommend it because the chance of contracting listeria. Which led me to research listeria. There isn’t a greater chance of contracting listeria while pregnant…your chances are the same. It can be dire for the fetus if you get listeria and if it goes unchecked. However, the odds of you getting STRUCK BY LIGHTNING IN YOUR LIVING ROOM RIGHT NOW are greater than your chances of contracting listeria. Not kidding. I did the research. But, don’t eat foods from shady restaurants and don’t eat deli meat if it seems suspect. Just use good judgment.

 

Breastfeeding

There will be La Leche Leaguers who insist that breastfeeding is the only way. There will be girlfriends who bottle feed. There will be those who are conflicted. Some women will struggle with breastfeeding, will not produce enough milk, etc. The battle of breastfeeding has been going on for centuries (think wet nurses) so don’t let yourself get caught up in it. Do it. Don’t do it. Try it, or don’t. But, most importantly, make the decision that is BEST FOR YOU. There is no empirical data that says that breastfeeding is best. The research that is out there can NOT be empirical because it is unethical to do a proper study of breastfeeding (it would require women to be assigned to NOT breastfeed, which is the sticky point). I wasn’t going to do it. Now, I’m going to try it. And see how it goes. But, I’m doing what I want, because I want it. I hope you do, too.

 

 

Most importantly, know that your journey will be different than mine, but we all share together in the fact that we have this unique ability to grow another human, and do it in 10 months of our lives. It requires some sacrifice, though not much. It will be fun and funny and enlightening. But, make it YOURS and navigate it with the help of friends, family and this wide, wide blogging world.

 

Time Flies

I just re-read some posts of mine from the last few weeks.

I’ve felt for the last four weeks that the end was near.

I got sick of hearing about the end, so I’m going to stop talking about it.

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I awoke this morning to the following headlines in my Gmail Inbox:

“Your Healthy Pregnancy: Week 39”

Living Social Deals: “Two Hours of House Cleaning”

“Foods That Induce Labor”

“Bottle Feeding Your Baby”

Groupon: 80% OFF JCPenney Portrait Package

“Your Breastfeeding Questions: Answered!”

Just thought I’d share these. Don’t they seem like they all go together somehow? Like, I need baby pictures of our Minnie and I need a clean house for her to call home, and we’re at the end – so here are some foods that induce labor and some tips for breast and/or bottle feeding, since I never did take the breastfeeding class.

 

Baby Shower Hangover!

Well, the final installment of baby shower season happened this past Saturday.

It was a beautiful shower and I truly have to say that I felt like it was a great mix of people I TRULY cherish in our lives. I didn’t feel like there was ONE person there who I had to, you know, talk about the weather with. Everyone was a close friend. I stepped back and reflected for, like, a split second on the shower day and was fulfilled…I love having our house filled with people we love and it was overflowing with love on Saturday. Love and baby presents. Minnie Mason is one lucky girl – and so am I – and so is Jon (well, he’s a lucky boy, but you get what I mean).

We had just over 30 people here – friends and family – and a few folks sent gifts that weren’t able to be here. The majority of photos are on my Aunt Jenny’s camera and the camera my Mom was using, but at least I can give you a teaser here.

My aunts – Jenny, Julie, Jody and Jill – were responsible for the shower. My Aunt Jody, as always, came through on the food. Delicious ribs and chicken, this Asian noodle salad that was the rave of the party. My favorite were the yogurt parfaits and then of course the watermelon carved into a baby carriage. Too freaking cute.

We had mimosas, lemon lime water and soda selection…and the delicious cupcakes and cut out sugar cookies made by my Aunt Julie in the shape of hands and feet, an ode to my Grandma Thick.

My Aunt Jenny and Mom helped the night before and morning of with finishing cleaning-up touches to the house. And Aunt Jill got all the dishes cleaned up after the party wound down.

I have to say that I was OVERWHELMED by the generosity. Tons of outfits and toys and necessities and nice-to-haves. I mean, really.


I also will whole-heartedly endorse hosting the shower in your own home if possible. While it was a lot of work to get my house cleaned up and in order, it was really neat that everyone got to see the nursery set up and ready to go and it was nice that after getting all those gifts, that we didn’t have to lug them into our car, and unpack them into our house, and then put them away here. I had everything pretty much put in a place by Saturday night.

My body certainly ached yesterday and at my doctor’s appointment today, Dr. Perry (first time seeing him) he said I really need to take it easy and rest a bit. He said that my blood pressure is up a little bit and I just need to rest. So, rest it will be for this girl. Am slowly and steadily putting together the hand off package for work so others can cover while I’m out and feel good about that.

Dr. Perry also said he feels very comfortable with the Oct. 20 due date and that Oct. 27 seemed late to him. Woohoo. Love it.

Had gained three pounds at the appointment today – that’s a grand total of 22ish or so…somewhere in there. Not awful. But, I also have not been very good about trying to watch what I eat. Have too much else on my mind. I will regret it if I let myself get crazy now, so I guess I should get back on the bandwagon.

Did go and make a few exchanges yesterday at Target and Babies R Us. And made a few purchases off the amazon.com registry for the remainder of things. But, on the whole, we got nearly every single thing on the registry. It is insane. Such a lucky girl.

I mean, Minnie got a jewelry box.

And earrings, too (both courtesy of Aunt Linda).

Jon’s Mom, Karen, got her a ring that has each of our names engraved on either side and then all three of our birthstones in it. Thought that was a good, unique idea.

And Annette and Skyler got her a little silver bracelet. I mean, seriously, this little girl is well on her way to a full jewelry box already!

We got the stroller…THE stroller, I should say. My Mom and Dad got it. It’s the Baby Jogger City Elite and I have struggled with it’s price tag, but knew it was the only one I wanted. And my mom, in addition to the leg warmers and the other wonderful, thoughtful gifts, got us the stroller, too.

As soon as I get photos, I’ll have to update who got what. But, it was so lovely to see Karen and her daughters, Angie and Gina (Gina’s preggers too and due in February…and having a GIRL!). My best girlfriend Andrea and her mom Shirley (they dragged Drew along, the only boy allowed!). Sally and her daughter Katie. Gail, my mom’s friend Clapper and her daughter-in-law (also preggers, due in February!!) Hol-Leigh, Kathleen (my dearest friend from Alma College days) and her eight month old daughter Anna, Cheryl (our next door neighbor). Debi, my friend Jay’s mom. Annette and Skyler. My Grandma Carpenter (soon to be Great Grandma Carpenter!!), Aunt Julie and Lucy. Aunt Jill (who hand-painted a Time Out chair that Jon and I are threatening each other with :). My Mom, Trevor’s girlfriend Ashley (she’s a good listener, by the way ;). Jon’s Mom. My Aunt Lori and Matt’s girlfriend, Megan. My Aunt Jody (freshly back from D.C.). Aunt Linda. Aunt Jenny. My cousin Sandy, who brought bumper pads she made for the crib to match and lots of stuffed animals with bows made to match. And she made lots of custom-made embroidered burp pads. And Molly, just days from her due date, and her mom Deb too. It was such a full house and great day. We had gifts sent from my Aunt Maria in Utah, Grandma Carrell in Missouri, cousin Amy in Florida.

Anyway, it was a jam-packed day that I finally feel as though I’ve recovered from…Now on to the thank you notes!

L

 

23 Weeks: Status Update

Ok, Baby Girl aka Minnie Mason is 23 weeks tomorrow. So – another status update is in order. (I feel like I’ve been writing about things other than HER and the PREGGO experience…so I’m back on track with this update).

Without further ado, a Week 23 status update.


Due Date: October 14, 2011. The sonographer told me that the due date is October 14, and I’m going with her. October 27 was off by my count anyway. I said October 19 all along and the 14 is probably even more accurate (this due date is based on Minnie’s size). She was 10.4 inches long and 365 grams at the ultrasound two weeks ago.

Baby Developments: Watch what you say — baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby’s starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out when — just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.

Weight Gain: Will have a much better gauge on this one after today’s appointment. Keep in mind, I don’t weigh myself. I’m still saying that I’ve only gained 2.7 pounds or whatever that number was through 23 weeks…I can say that for about another hour.

Cravings: Food. In general. Well, not even really. I guess I just have a bit more of an appetite. I wish I were eating just a wee bit healthier. But, pizza is back to sounding REALLY good. Fresh fruit still sounds good, but I am not eating enough of it. In general, though, I haven’t had a craving per se. I am certainly loving my sweet treats these days though.

Symptoms: Tiredness. I have started taking just one kids vitamin a day to see if that helps and it seems to have made a slight difference. I think I really wore myself out getting ready for the big party two weeks ago and spent last weekend recovering.
Oh, last night was the first real leg cramping I’ve experienced. It woke me up (not cool). I went for a walk this morning and that seemed to help. But, I hope that these don’t continue all the time. I’m ok with from time to time. I guess the leg cramping happens because you have so much more blood and fluid in your body as a result of cooking a baby. Whatever – I could do without the shooting pain of the leg cramps.

I am loving: having my best girlfriend in town, Jay. She’s here with her kids until later this month and she came over this a.m. for coffee with her 18-month old, Stella. It’s just so nice to have her around. I miss her when she’s not here. I’m also loving that my local bestie, Andrea, asked me to take infant pictures of her baby Drew after he’s born (he’ll be here June 27). I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on the how-to’s of newborn photography. I can’t wait to get started. I’m also really, really loving the time I seem to have these days. Not having to work on my Master’s frees up a lot of space in my head and in my life to do other things with.

Sleep: Great. Lots of it. Spent a lot of time napping last weekend, but I think that was more because of wearing myself out the week prior.

I miss: looking like my regular self. Seriously, someone should have told me I looked this pregnant.

I am looking forward to: Drew’s arrival, spending time with Jay and her kids while they’re in town and shopping with my Grandma for Minnie tomorrow.

I am spazzing about: Now that the crib and glider were delivered yesterday, the really other big thing is to figure out a childcare (yikes!) situation after Minnie’s arrival. I don’t really like thinking about it – buuttt I have to. So, that search will start in earnest very soon. I swear.

Best moment of the week: Lots — it makes me smile when she kicks. And she kicks a lot. I realized yesterday that she has taken real issue with her neighbor, aka my bladder. Have had to pee a lot. But, I LOVE feeling her move around and get a bit weirded out when I don’t feel her like I think I should. I’m really trying to pay attention to how often she moves and when she moves. Current status: sleeping.

Milestones: Lots of kicking. Jon even felt it! Yup, on his 36th (holy crap he’s old) birthday, I had him lay his hand on my belly and he was like ‘I don’t feel it’ and I said you can’t feel THAT and he was like, I feel things moving, but… So, I was like ‘that’s HER’. I think maybe he thought it was going to be like karate kicks and chops or something…but it’s just little (getting bigger) all the time. But it’s cool that he felt her…and he’s getting more likely to touch my belly to see if he can feel her. Not a lot, but he’s done it a few times and I really like that.

Movement: Lots. I try to figure out which part of her is where…but can’t really tell or am not paying close enough attention.

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Brisk walk this morning. Nothing when I’ve been on the road. But, we’ll see how the weight gain is going when I head to the doctor here shortly.

Diet: The sweet treats have been my undoing. Being on the road makes it hard to eat very well and I find myself over-indulging and over-filling myself which is uncomfortable. But, can’t say it’s too too bad.

Goals for the upcoming week: Not specifically baby-related, but get the electrical done in the attic so that we can get the insulation done so we can concentrate on getting Minnie’s room ready. The crib is here, the glider’s here, the dresser/changing table is here. I have the paint picked out. Just need to pick up the frames for the artwork, purchase the wall decal from tradingphrases.com and get moving.