Ahhhhh…That Feels Good

With a sleeping baby (hello “Sleep Pillow” iPhone app – white noise is the answer, at least for tonight) before 7:30 p.m. – in jammies, in her own bed – I opted to make myself a tasty dinner.

I’ve been really REALLY trying to watch what I eat – not just watch it flow past my lips and onto my thighs, but making smarter choices before that taste hits my lips. And, so far, I’ve been doing pretty darn good. The scale shows me down about 4-5 pounds depending on the time of day, so I feel pretty solid about that, too.

I made myself whole grain linguine (and just one portion, not my usual 18 1/2 for me and my thighs and mid-section) with shrimp scampi (got conned into that one on a Saturday sample-day at Sam’s Club), a Caesar salad with a few grilled chicken strips and some Italian dressing. And oh, there it is, in the shadow, in front of the books on the coffee table, a big glass of Red Wine.

I lit a candle.

I turned on the TV to PBS, to Antiques Roadshow. (helllooo guilty pleasure-normally I fall asleep to the first five minutes of it on the iPad in bed).

I sipped my wine, I twirled pasta on my fork.

I enjoyed that all the toys were put away, that there was a candle burning, that the dishwasher was running, that my baby was sleeping – SLEEPING! – and I was enjoying a relatively healthy meal in a NORMAL manner.

I even laid on the couch and for a split second thought ‘this must have been what I felt like BEFORE I had a baby’.

And, whatever you might think of me…




I felt like I was firing on all cylinders today.

I spent some time thinking long and hard about a new approach to swim class. And, I found it in our trusty stroller.

I simply loaded up our swim bag, the stroller and Elle (ok, wrapped in a Snuggie, because I forgot a blanket – I lied about firing on all cylinders – maybe like 5 of 6 or something.

Anyway, Elle, the stroller, the swim bag and the Snuggie and I make our way into the Y.

I ask if there’s an elevator that goes to the women’s locker room (there’s got to be one, right) and the directions resemble something akin to pointing west and saying ‘GOLD!’. So, yeah, didn’t find the elevator and didn’t want to waste time, so I just picked up the stroller (yea for lightweight Baby Jogger strollers!) and walked down the two flights of stairs to the women’s locker room.

Not kidding.

And I wasn’t even winded. (Not exercising and watching what I eat have me in great shape ALREADY!).

I chose to bring the stroller, because I was honestly kind of grossed out about the floor of the locker room last week. So, I figured that I could load up warm fluffy towels in the stroller, I could load the stroller up with a bottle, a binky and my own flip flops and camera, and I would have a nice little carryall.

She's in there, I swear. Just hanging out with the towels and her toes.

See, not kidding - that burgundy thing is a Snuggie. And when I keep saying 'swim bag' I really mean, the 99 cent TJ Maxx shopping bags - but they work.

Elle ROCKED swim class this week – despite that turd of a teacher being back.

I actually kind of want to punch the kid in the face, but I’m not very violent, so I won’t.

He began our interlude today with, “Well, we’ll see if she likes the water any better this time,”

And my cool response was, “Do NOT fire water at her face this time and we should be ok.”

Sheepishly, he replied, “Yeah, that wasn’t a very good idea.”

I feel like he may be trainable some day in that he can recognize his foul behavior.

Ok, I know I’m just being a bitch now, but seriously, mr-junior-in-high-school you’ve never even INTRODUCED yourself and you can NOT remember the words to songs that you are singing THREE nights a week. I can’t handle you, but I want my daughter to love the water, so I put up with you.

It is a great character flaw of mine that I believe that myself or my brother can most certainly teach small babies how to swim better than, well, at least this guy. I have a tendency to believe that, in general, I can do a lot of things better than others — I recognize this as a flaw, so at least there’s that.But this kid, this kid is just – complacent and dweeby and doesn’t think he is – he thinks he’s the SHIT because he teaches Baby Swim at the YMCA. (Ok, rant, over.)

Anyway, swim class was a raging success. We got there and into the pool AT 5:02 p.m., and we swam and opted out of the final five minutes of ‘free swim’ and instead we made a beeline for the locker room, Elle in her stroller under a pile of warm towels.

While she chilled out and had a bottle (which I expertly propped beneath a duck robe), I quickly changed into dry clothes and hoped that she wouldn’t melt down before I could get myself put back together.


Wasn't kidding about the bottle propping. Heck, we're still on the pool deck in this photo, making a run for it.

Got her dried off and clothed, etc., and headed for the car. Fed her the rest of the bottle in the car and then headed toward home.

Managed to get in some FaceTime (yeah, new iPhone) with Jon and got a tour of the place he’s staying over in South Haven. FaceTime is so cool – I know, I’m late to the party.

I got the bottles washed, the kitchen cleaned, even fed Elle some extra cereal to try to help her sleep (that’s my Dad’s idea and I’m entertaining all ideas that end in more sleep for the mom). I gave her a bath, picked up then made myself a dinner that wasn’t totally frozen to begin with.

Anyway – firing on 5 of 6 cylinders, while I wrote this diatribe (is that even the right word?!) Elle woke up again. I gave myself  four – now three – more minutes to have this post done and up and getting myself into bed.

But man, tonight felt good – and so did that glass of wine!


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!



Really? Really.

So, I got a great new book from my cousin, Amy called “Baby Bargains” and it’s awesome. I’ve started with the chapter on strollers, because I’m just not convinced that putting a $399.99 stroller on our list of things to have is a reality I can live in. My girlfriends have all said that the Baby Jogger – City Elite – is the best way to go. Worth the price, they say.

This is what the thing looks like:

I am looking at the red or black as my options.

Yes, that little thing you’re staring at is $400. But, thankfully “Baby Bargains” assures me that this is one of the top brands and strollers on the market for the price and for the functionality. That Baby Jogger gets it right. So, ok. I did my homework. I’m feeling like I can be okay with this ‘all-terrain’ stroller. Losing the guilt over not putting a travel system on my list of things to get for baby.

However, as I’ve been doing my online research laying in this hotel room bed tonight (I’m in Indy this week visiting a few accounts before a client meeting in Chicago on Thursday morning), I stumbled across this:


What. The. Fheck.

I seriously had to save the image and post it here, because I couldn’t understand what it was trying to do or be. It’s a blanket with legs…the sleggie? Like the snuggie except for legs? I just don’t understand. Who thought this was a good idea?

Like someone sat around and said, oooh, I know. Let’s sell this blanket that I sew legs into…

It really is meant to be a baby snuggie. It’s so you can strap the baby into the infant carrier/car seat without removing the blanket. For the record, the baby in this blanket photo pose is topless, so how they’re touting it as something you use as you put the kid in the car seat, it escapes me. But — I just had to share.



5 Weeks, 5 Days

Working from home today – I’ve been at it for four hours already. That’s what happens when you’re up and at ’em at 6 a.m. (out of character for me). But, at least work is getting the better end of that stick. At least for the time being.

I had a freak out moment last night. I don’t FEEL pregnant. I’m not sick or nauseous for the most part. I’m not overly bloated. I’m incredibly thirsty and don’t have the big appetite that I think is something I always have. But, other than that, I don’t feel different. I certainly don’t look different. By giving up pop and alcohol, I think my pants fit better than they have in a long time. And I haven’t gone to the doctor for bloodwork to make sure that everything’s ok. So, though I’d taken two pregnancy tests, and I had gone to my family doctor and she had confirmed that I was, yes, in fact, pregnant, I still took another pregnancy test last night (what?! wait, why?). I just had this horror show going in my head that I was walking around, telling people I was pregnant when I had mis-read the test or that it was a false-positive or something else. So, yes, I peed on another stick a week and a half after I first peed on a stick.

It was positive, in case you were wondering.

Yesterday, my Mom and I stoppd at Babies R Us for a brief moment. She had laughed when I told her that I’d started a registry online. Not because I want people to go look at things I’m in want/need of for the baby. No, it’s for my own benefit. If you looked at it right now, you’d see that I have five cribs, three strollers and a few different car seat attachments for strollers listed. I do NOT need five cribs or three strollers, even. I just am narrowing down the things that I like, that have solid reviews, that are within the price range I’m willing to pay for the various products. My mom thought it was all funny until we walked into Babies R Us and it’s the most overwhelming experience you can imagine. I mean, I can’t take Jon into that store without having narrowed things down to a few items. He’s not going to do the research, and I know him. He’ll just say ‘let’s do it a different day’. So, I can ease him into the whole process, get his opinion, and move forward by shopping online and building the registry, adding and deleting things as needed. And, it takes like two weeks to do justifiable research on one thing.

Is the stroller a good stroller? Do you want a jogger/three wheel stroller? Does the stroller have an infant car seat attachment? Do people who have that stroller like it? Are the amazon.com reviews strong? What about on thebump.com? In general, what does a google search reveal about the stroller. Is it worth it to pay $$$ for a stroller or should you go cheap on the stroller and spend high somewhere else?? Do you want to have to invest in another stroller when/if you have a second baby or do you want one that grows with your family? How often am I going to really use a stroller? (See what I mean, overwhelming). So, I’m doing one item at a time, that way I’ll feel good about all of my choices. With two weeks per major item devoted to research, I feel like I’ll definitely have 20 items on my registry by the time the baby comes. Success.

The one thing I do know — I’m getting black. So, there’s that. Color – chosen. Now, to fish for the rest of those answers.

SLEEP. I got it last night, at least. Jon, however, didn’t. For whatever reason, I must be moving around a lot more than usual. He’s slept on the couch the last two nights. He says that I sleep in the middle of the bed, and he wanted to let me. What a guy, what a guy.

Only 10 more days until my first appointment with the nurse at my new doctor’s office. I feel like those days are going to go slowly by. But, looking forward to that. That’ll put me at 7 weeks, 1 day. And then I’m supposed to meet the doctor the following week. Hopefully that’s the heartbeat appointment and the one where they give you pictures of the mini Mason (that’s what I’m calling it for now).

Ok — that constitutes my lunch break today. Good thing I just ate breakfast.

Week 5, Day 4

Holy moly — last night was a NO SLEEP night. That’s getting old.

But yesterday was a day — McGee died. McGee has been the best kind of dog, a kind of stop-gap in my family’s world. When my grandparents died 4 1/2 years ago, the dog survived and my parents became McGee’s new Mom & Dad. By proxy, he was my cousin/brother. Admittedly, I felt a little bit Mormon. But, it was on McGee’s back that our sorrow and loss rode for the last 4 1/2 years. I feel, a little bit, like maybe he waited until he knew we had something else (a baby!) in our lives before he let himself succumb to whatever was taking over his body.

But, in the last two months, McGee just wasn’t himself. He lost five pounds — 25% of his weight — in two weeks. He couldn’t control his bladder. The vet said it was diabetes and there was organ damage. My Mom and Dad were with him when they said good-bye. I said good-bye in the morning at my parents’ house. I was sad all day. I’m still sad. McGee was quite seriously someone I looked forward to seeing — and he to me. I called him “Bubby”, my pet name for him. I’m so sad that he’s gone.

I’ll admit that I was more glad than ever that there is this little life growing inside of me. Not that it can be equated to the dog, at all, but it’s the continuity of life that brings me peace. It has always made me sad that my Grandpa Jerry, Grandma Judy, Grandpa Carpenter, Grandpa Carrell, won’t meet my children. And now, no pictures of cute McGee with the cute baby. But, it means that life continues (thankfully) and that there are great things to look forward to. Also, this means my Mom gets  a break from taking care of the dog before she goes on Grandma-babysitting duty 😉

So, back to being pregnant. Last night, it was like period cramps. But, can’t take Pamprin, so had to just battle through it. It’s been a looooonnnngg time since I had cramps that I couldn’t take anything for. So, I got in the shower at 2:30 a.m. (this after researching and googling ‘cramps, six weeks, pregnant’ for about an hour). What else is a girl to do? It helped and by 4 a.m., I was finally asleep. However, that was short-lived. I was up by 7:30 a.m. ready to go and get my homework done by Noon MST. Ran to VG’s, got donuts and coffee and milk and oj for ‘breakfast-in-bed’ for Jon. Man is he lucky.

Anyway, began researching some strollers last night. What a big decision that is. It can be a purchase of $200 or $500, plus all the attachments. You can read great reviews on them all — and opposite opinions on them all. The only friend I have who has a semblance of what is good/bad is Jay and she’s in Florida (not the same needs as someone in the snow all the time). So, right now the frontrunners are Phil and Ted’s Explorer and the BOB Revolution. I like the idea that it can work as a jogger/walker, can navigate smaller spaces and, the Phil and Ted’s can be adapted for both an infant car seat and as a dual stroller. I feel like, though the initial price tag may be steep, it will be a good long term investment. However, if I’m dissatisfied with the stroller, it will have just been a huge waste of money. What a big decision.

I also started looking at cribs. Another overwhelming experience. I’m pretty committed to a 4-in-1 crib that can go from a crib to toddler bed to a double bed. BUT — what color? What style? Do I even bother purchasing the whole kit and kaboodle (dresser, etc.) or just wing it? See — lots of questions.

Oh, and gliders. The ones that don’t look like your typical Babies-R-Us purchase, that look like a piece of furniture that is intentionally in your home, but not for babies specifically, are pretty pricey. I haven’t done justice to shopping those out.

My goal: to have all of the stuff I’m putting on a list-of-things-I-need/want chosen (boy-specific and girl-specific) so that in 14 more weeks, when we know what it is, we can be raring and ready to go on making choices and getting stocked up. Actually, that 14 week mark will be the same time I’m finishing my MBA! Woohoo!!!

Ok – enough rambling for this a.m. I’m feeling better now that I’m upright. Hopefully, sleep comes my way tonight!