Friday, January 30, 2009

I've been feeling kind of down lately (as you can probably tell from my last post, although that's only part of it). And becuz I don't feel like going into crazy details, I'm going to steal 'Chele's form of bulleting.

  • I have to go back to the doctor on Monday becuz our little Cashew is a twisty little buggar (keep on kicking and dancing, honey!) who will not lay still enough for measurements to be taken for the NT scan. And while I am not stressed out about the results, what I am stressed out about is the going-on-3rd-doctor visit within two weeks, missing work (and using up valuable sick/vaca time when I have still SO MANY more doctors visits to go within the next six months) and doing all of this for a test that I am not even sure why I need to HAVE it. If it's just to determine the chance that my baby has Down's Syndrome? Well, yes it would be sad at first to find that out but I'd deal with it. I love this baby already, no matter what happens, and that wouldn't change anything.
  • I'm still not totally enthused with my OB-GYN. While some things have improved, I still dislike the fact that I show up at a doctor's appointment (anywhere from 10-20 minutes early) to sit and wait around a half hour to forty five minutes before being seen...becuz if it's a morning appointment than (a) the doctor comes strolling into this office at 9:10 am (my appointment was at 9:00am) and (b) there are two other women scheduled SIMULTANEOUSLY for that nine o'clock slot. WTF?? And then I feel like I'm rushed through the appointment so quick that I'm in and out within 15 minutes, don't get HARDLY enough information, and that I always leave wanting more. Again, I say WTF??
  • I am getting so impatient with my job lately. With my co-workers. With the faculty who do not comprehend the stress I am sometimes under. With the clients calling in to complain for things beyond my control...like appointments cancelled due to a freaking SNOW STORM. I know some of it is hormones but a good portion of it is that I just don't care for my job. Unfortunately though, I can't afford to NOT work after the baby is born, and I certainly don't want to have to deal with job-hunting at that point in time, feeling the crunch as no paychecks come in.
  • I'm so sick and tired of this cold, bitter weather. I want it to end. I want Spring with a passion. I'm ready for the snow to melt and the sun to feel warm and to break out my tank tops and flip flops. And to be able to throw down a blanket in the backyard and sit and breathe in the air as my doggies play around me in the green grass. I'm tired of winter coats and heating bills and icy walkways I constantly am slip-sliding on.
  • I'm craving a glass of red wine. Badly. As in my taste buds are screaming for it. Yes, yes, I know, lots of people indulge in a glass here or there throughout their pregnancy. But since I'm not fully out of the first trimester yet which is my deadline to when I can sip some, I wait patiently.
  • By the way, when the hell am I out of the first trimester? Can someone/anyone please tell me that? Everywhere I read, it's different! As of Sunday, I'll be 13 weeks.
  • I'm missing my Dad SO MUCH lately that it hurts. I can't stop thinking about him. And trying to remember the sound of his voice in my head (I've still got it in there, playing like an old reel, over and over). And rehashing over and over his last days with us...why can't I focus on good memories and stop clutching at the bad ones?
  • I hate feeling this cranky when I have so much to be thankful for and happy about. Get over it already, April!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bittersweet.

This pregnancy, this child Daryl and I have created, this wonderful new chapter we're entering into in our lives...it all strikes me as so bittersweet.

Staring at this sweet baby of ours in the u/s picture, I have to swallow down a lump in my throat. As s/he gets bigger and looks more like a BABY (and less like an alien-peanut), I realize just how much I miss my father. And just how much I am angry that he'll never get to hold his first grandchild in his arms and kiss that baby's sweet cheek.

That ache in my heart, created almost seven years ago, is hurting fresh again. Like a scab I've picked off a not-totally healed over wound.

Before our appointment yesterday, I was already feeling slightly melancholy. But once at the doctor's appointment yesterday, when the baby Cashew popped up on the screen, my eyes lit up in delight.

I feigned mock-horror and cried out, "Oh look at that big nose! The baby has my 'Smith nose' My Dad would be so proud!" And almost immediately the baby rolled over, as if we'd offended him or her and we giggled as s/he showed us his backside.

"Look, "Daryl said. "You hurt his feelings!" Eventually the little one turned back around, all forgiven, flailing kicks and waving hands (future soccer player? or ballerina, perhaps?) and both Daryl and I watched enthralled as our love for each other wiggled and danced on the screen.

Today.

I drove to work this morning with tears in my eyes. There is Smith-blood running through that baby's veins. And it hurts me to think he or she will never get to meet such an integral part of our family.

How do I introduce this figure in my baby's life, a figure who is now nothing but a memory, no longer skin and bones to hug and kiss? How do I let him know all about his Pop-Pop who he'll never get to meet? Can I take my baby to my father's grave? Is that too morbid? OR will this baby see the beauty I see in this cemetery, and feel the comfort and peace that stows over me there...up on the hill, in my father's place of rest, as the breeze rustles through the tall Oaks and the warm sun smiles down on us? Do I tell him how his Pop-Pop loved peanut butter cups, black coffee and garlic bagels with strawberry cream cheese? And how his Mommy will still sometimes leave a peanut butter cup or a penny at that stone, as a gift, as a reminder that she stills thinks of him often, misses him, loves him?

I called my Mom a little while ago to tell her that I emailed her the u/s pictures of her grand-baby. She immediately clicked open her email, while I stayed on the phone, and we discussed the baby and his growth and his 'Smith nose'. I hesitantly mentioned how I was feeling sad the past two days, missing Daddy more so than usual.

"That's weird--" She replied, "--because I was feeling that way this morning."

My Mom and I often have this happen. One of us tells the other how Dad has permeated our thoughts only to find out the other has been having those SAME thoughts all day. It's comforting to me, to know that I'm not alone, and that she shares that same ache with me.

Almost seven years. You'd think "Isn't she over her Dad's death by now?"

No. I honestly don't think I'll ever get over it. I think I will continue to miss him more and more every day, especially as this baby continues to thrive inside of me, and wish he was here to go through this experience. I wish he was here, my big, strong Daddy, to hug me again. HIS baby.

I wish....

Monday, January 26, 2009

12 Weeks: Our Little Cashew


Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby is about the size of a peach and is growing rapidly. Crown to rump, your baby measures 2.6 to 3.1 inches (6.5 to 7.8cm) and weighs 0.5 to 0.7 ounces (14 to 20g).

Your baby's legs are longer than her arms and her skin is red and transparent. Her eyelids are fused together and won't open for about four more months. Her arms are long enough to reach her mouth and she may begin to place her thumb in her mouth. Her sucking reflex, however, is not yet developed.

The tissue that will become your baby's bones is being laid out, especially around her head and her arms and legs. Some ribs may be distinguished at this time. The nose and chin are more prominent now.

Your baby will begin to practice breathing in the next few weeks as her chest rises and falls in mock breathing motions. She will also swallow small amounts of amniotic fluid which will be passed as urine.

Your placenta is providing all of your baby's needs for nutrition, oxygen and waste disposal, though the amniotic fluid will become more important later on.

All major components of the body are formed and now must grow and mature. From now on, your baby's development will consist primarily of organ maturity and growth and body refinement.



P.S. Doctor's appointment tonight...I'm hoping we get to finally (ha, finally?? It FEELS like it's been forever, even though it's "only" been 12 weeks) hear our little baby Cashew's heartbeat. Wish us luck!

P.S. AGAIN: I just realized after looking at my ticker on the top of the page, we're out of the 200's!!! WOO HOO!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I've been on a total cooking-frenzy lately (which obviously means I must be starting to feel better. Phew!).

I am NOT the chief cook of the house---Big D holds that position. He likes to grill in the summertime (steak, pork, chicken, burgers, hot dogs, etc), and in the winter he likes to experiment with new and old recipes in the crock pot (some of my favorites of his are French Onion Soup, Chicken Cordon Blu, and chili. His crock pot Chicken Cordon Blu won me OVER on our third date. Good man, good man!).

I don't really like to cook (well let me rephrase: I hate the prep and clean-up that is associated with cooking. The actual cooking part is okay though.). I do like to look up new recipes but more often than not, I never make them. I would much prefer to bake.

I normally don't have time to cook much more than pasta or frozen pizza. I work until 6:15pm and get home by 6:30pm and I don't know about you guys, but the last thing I want to start at seven o'clock at night is cooking a big dinner. And then dealing with the clean-up afterwards. *SHUDDER*

But lately? Something has changed. Could it be the low, low temperatures perhaps? Cabin-fever? The (hopefully) ending of morning sickness? Food seems interesting again. In this week alone, I've made Eggplant Parmesan (all from scratch, except I DID use jar sauce, so sue me), Stuffed Peppers (click on the words 'Stuffed Peppers' to find out how i made them.) I've been craving them since K posted about making them recently! And Venison Pot Roast with potatoes in the crock pot. Although I must admit, I ended up not being able to eat the venison...even though it smelled heavenly. Since becoming preggo, I've been averse to chicken, pork, fish and obviously now venison. The only thing I can eat gladly is ground beef. So maybe the morning sickness hasn't completely gone yet...heh.

Anyway, it has felt so good to be cooking again and not relying on take-out or crappy throw-together meals in the evening! I have been wanting to get back into menu planning but held off cuz Big D didn't want to...I think he likes more of the spontaneity of not knowing what's for dinner till we get home but me being hungry every three hours? Well that's not an option anymore.

So now my request! Do you guys have any yummy suggestions of what I can make--maybe some tried and true favorite recipes? Like I said, until the m/s has completely hit the road, I need to steer clear of anything other than ground beef. And I've been totally craving Italian lately...sauce, sauce and more sauce! But I don't want to get burnt out on it. So any ideas would be great!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Letter to my unborn child...


Dear Baby,

I can't stop staring at your u/s picture. I can't stop day-dreaming about how you'll look, your features, your fingertips, if you'll be long-legged like your Mommy or long-torso'd like your Daddy. I wonder what your voice, your cry, will sound like. If you'll be a fussy baby, or easy to please (I won't complain for either!).

I wonder if you'll be a Daddy's Girl or a Mommy's Boy (just gotta hold out about 7-8 more weeks to know!!) and whether you'll be a shy little Cashew, or an independent nut!

I'm so, so eager and excited to hold you in my arms, smell your sweetness, feel your smooth baby-skin but at the same time, I will cherish this time that I carry you inside. I know it will only happen once, before you join us out in the world, and I feel so lucky that I was chosen to keep you safe and sound for nine months. I wish that Daddy could get to experience this part of the pregnancy as well, I hate for him to feel left out. So I promise to keep him as informed as possible of every little change my body goes through...and then down the road when I can finally feel you, to make sure he gets to feel you move too. We both wait excitedly, patiently, for that day.

Until then, I will continue to hold my hand to my belly and send you lots of loving, healthy energy. I will continue to dream about you and what you look like. I will continue to love you more and more every day as you grow bigger and stronger. Until then...keep growing my little Love!

Love you Always,
Your Mommy

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

11 weeks: Our little Cashew

Your Baby This Coming Week
The end of the twelfth week of pregnancy marks the end of the first trimester. Your baby is now almost 2.5 inches long (6.1cm) when measured from crown to rump, and weighs between 0.3 and 0.5 ounces (9 to 13g).
Your baby's fingers and toes have separated and are getting longer. Your baby can open and close its mouth and drinks amniotic fluid which it passes out as urine. Its head is becoming more rounded, though it is still large in proportion to its body. It has eyelids.
You can now hear your baby's heartbeat with a Doppler Ultrasound device!
Your baby continues to grow rapidly and has doubled in size in the last three weeks alone.
The face is beginning to look more human, and all body structures are present with a few refinements still in progress. Fingernails and toenails begin to develop this week.
Your baby's muscles are sufficiently developed to allow for involuntary movements at this time. The messages which control your baby's movements are sent from the spine, rather than the brain, which is not yet sufficiently developed.


P.S. Our little Cashew is now the size of a large LIME this week! S/he is growing like crazy, now!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


I have a little container of Port Wine Cheddar (YUM-MO!) at home in my fridge calling out to me from afar....it's calling to me so loudly from about 3 towns away, that my tongue is responding...by producing excessive amounts of saliva, at the mere "thought" of eating this cheese.

I want it.

I need it.

I want to dip my preztels in it.
(Ooh, that sounded kinda dirty. Heh.)


*SIGH*

And I still have two more hours of work. I guess I'll eat my Granny Smith apple with some peanut butter. It's tasty, it will do, but it's JUST. NOT. THAT. CHEESE.



.....



When did food become my life???
Oh right, almost eleven weeks ago. Two more hours to go....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009



Our doctor's appointment went great last night.




I am pleased becuz honestly, I was contemplating changing doctors, up until this point. But yesterdays' appointment was the last of the day (unlike our previous two) and neither Daryl or I felt like the doctor was rushing us out of the office. He let me ask my questions, he asked questions of his own, and he volunteered information. AND they finally weighed me, gave me a flu shot, took my blood pressure and he finally, finally started saying all the things I wanted to hear. Up until last night, I was feeling so discouraged that the only information I could really get on my own pregnancy was from books, online or chat boards. Not that the info I got wasn't good, but just that I was starting to feel like my doctor wasn't taking me or my pregnancy very seriously.




Yesterday changed all that.




And.




And.




We got to see our little Cashew again on ultrasound!




As soon as the image showed up on the screen I gasped. It looked like an actual baby shape this time, and not just a nut! And the best part of all? S/he was wiggling around like crazy, limbs moving to and fro. I remember gasping and asking in surprise, "Is that the baby moving??
I knew what it was but the image was so surreal, I think I just needed the doctor's confirmation.




And Big D was totally cute. He kept repeating over and over, in an awed voice, "Oh my God. That is just so cool. Oh my God!"




He showed us the image in 2D and in 3D as well, but the 3D image was not very clear unfortunately. I have both, just becuz they are on the same sheet and I forgot to ask Daryl to cut them before scanning them. So you get to see both.
Wow, this seems more and more real every day! That is our baby!

Monday, January 12, 2009

10 weeks: Our little Cashew

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby is growing incredibly rapidly right now. She is approximately 1.75 to 2.4 inches (4.4 to 6cm) when measured from crown to rump. She will double her length in the next three weeks. Your growing baby weighs about 0.3 ounces (8g).

The neck is developing and the chin lifts up from the chest. Fingernails are also present. While your baby's sex was already determined at the time of fertilization, male or female genitalia are now visible. Essential organs are formed and most have begun to function. The blood vessels in the placenta are increasing in number to meet your baby's increasing nutritional needs. Her ears are moving towards the sides of her head, away from the neck. Your baby's head is still not in proportion with her body. Your baby's head accounts for about half of her body length.

P.S. This little cashew is now the size of a PRUNE.
P.S. AGAIN We have our regular monthly prenatal appointment this afternoon. Can't wait!

Friday, January 09, 2009

TGIF!

I just realized I haven't posted anything at all lately on Timber! He is doing great. This dog grows like a freakin' weed, I tell ya. One minute he's smaller than Daisy, next he's the same height, and then in a blink of an eye he's shot way up past her! This long-legged boy now weighs, no lie, THIRTY ONE POUNDS, at the age of 3-4 months.

This dog is going to be mammoth.
(But isn't he SO handsome???)

He's been a handful, I must admit. There were some days at home (and in Timber's defense, I do have to say I've been so short on patience with him) where I would snap at Daryl, "This dog will NEVER make a good guide dog! He doesn't LISTEN!"

But that is so not true.

I went with Big D and Timber to the puppy class last Saturday and I was not only surprised, but very, very impressed with Timber. About 2 or 3 of the nine puppies were misbehaving a little bit so the instructor said, "Don't worry. Most puppies behave great at home and horribly in class."

Daryl and I turned to each other with widened eyes and it was all I could do not to laugh. Our puppy is an absolute TERROR at home and then behaves perfectly each week at class, go figure!
Anyway, Timber listened so well, and did what he was supposed to. And at one point the instructor said, "Okay, we're going to work on 'Stay'. Drop Timber's leash."

So Daryl dropped his leash and the class all watched as Sue, the instructor, lured him into a sit (they still "lure" the puppies into sit/down right now and then treat them with cheese and a "Good sit/down!" to reinforce the behavoir) and then she told him to 'Stay'. Knowing she had a piece of cheese in her hand, Timber dropped to a sit, barely blinking, and watched her intently as she backed a pace away. Each time she did this, he 'stayed' and was rewarded.

Sue turned to where we sat, looking mildly surprised, and said, "Have you guys been working already with him with 'Stay'?" And I modestly replied "Eh, just a little bit." Which was the truth, we really had only started doing it with him like a day or so beforehand. After that, she wanted a puppy that didn't know the 'stay' command.

This is how class seems to go each time: Sue brings Timber up front to show the whole class how to do something. He either picks it up immediately, or even already knows how to do it since we started working with him at home. Then Sue will hand him back to us and go to a misbehaving puppy to show us. It's hilarious! And believe me, I am not (nor is Daryl) taking all the credit here.

Timber is just insanely smart!

I have no doubt, he will be a fabulous guide dog for the blind someday. It makes me puff up with pride, at the thought.
Don't let this picture fool you, above. Even though it may LOOK like Timber has the upper hand, he does not. Tucker (who, by the way, is about three years old and eighty five pounds) and Timber love to play together and when the puppy starts to get too rough (which is like always), Tucker will lay the smack-down. He will either (gently, but firmly) mouth him around his neck until the puppy is laying down on his side, or Tucker will throw a big, meaty paw at him to knock Timber off of him.

What's hilarious to watch though, is Tuck is usually such a sissy (he is the submissive one in the house to bitchy, dominant Daisy, the twenty pounder) but he is finally asserting some dominance. It's like watching him "grow up".

They'll be wrestling, and we'll suddenly hear Timber squeal (not becuz he's hurt, don't worry, it's usuaully cuz he is so frustrated that Tucker is stronger and has the upper hand!) and be put to the ground, and immediately Tucker will look up at either myself or Daryl with one of his, "Oh shit! What did I do! Am I in trouble?" looks on his face. We then congratulate him and tell him what a good boy he is for letting the puppy know who is in charge (Sue told us to keep encouraging Tucker to put the puppy in his place).

All in all, things have been going well. Crazy, but well. Some days are harder than others, but then after a particularly good puppy class, or a love-fest where I get lots of puppy kisses and lovin', I realize what a good thing we are doing and how much I appreciate what this crazy little dog has brought into our lives! He helps me to appreciate the fact that I'm healthy, and happy, and I am grateful for that!

Good dog. :-)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Who would have thunk it??


That gummy bears would ease today's morning sickness...veeeeeeery interesting.


Good thing we bought that four pound bag of gummy bears from BJ's the other day (by the way...NEVER EVER go shopping at a warehouse store on an empty stomach! I'm just sayin'.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

9 weeks: Our little Cashew

Your Baby This Coming Week

The crown-to-rump length of your baby is about 1.25 to 1.68 inches (between 3.1 and 4.2cm). He weighs about 0.18 ounces (5g).

The placenta is now producing progesterone which helps to make nutrients for your developing baby.

Your baby has passed the stage when he is most susceptible to damage. By the end of this week, the danger zone for congenital abnormalities has passed.

The plan for your baby's body has been completely laid down by now. Further growth and cell division will build on this plan.

Taste and tooth buds have appeared.

Your baby has recently developed fingers and toes which are now well-formed. Ankles, wrists and the inner ear have formed. Your baby's nose is flat and his eyes are far apart. His eyes, ears, mouth and nose are all recognizable. The tail is disappearing.

Your baby is moving around the amniotic sac, and moving his feet and ankles. You still will not be able to feel these movements but you may be able to see them on an ultrasound.

Blood is circulating through the arteries and the vein of the umbilical cord.

The brain of your baby is developing at a phenomenal rate. About one quarter of a million new neurons are produced every single minute at this stage in your pregnancy.

If your baby is a boy, his testes, though they are not even clearly visible, are already producing testosterone.

Your baby is no longer called an embryo, but rather a fetus.

P.S. For those who love the fruit/veggie references, this little Cashew is now the size of an olive!
P.P.S. I feel pretty strongly it's a boy, I have no idea why. Just a feeling. And yes, we WILL be finding out and sharing with everyone whether it's a boy or a girl!

Friday, January 02, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Wow, it's 2009. I can't wrap my brain around that, yet.

I feel like as I get older, the years are just flying by in rapid succession. It's a scary thought! I'm not afraid of getting older, not exactly, but I think I am afraid of "losing time" and not feeling like I have accomplished enough in my life. With this pregnancy, one p
iece of that feeling has been chipped away. I feel like Daryl and I have made THE MOST impressive change in our lives, thus far. Am I freakin' scared as hell about where it will lead? Hell yeah! I'm not going to sugar-coat it. I'm scared shitless about being responsible for another life. I can't even pay my bills on time, or remember to grab that gallon of milk from the grocery store that we need, or keep up with the laundry (yes, I often wear Daryl's socks when I run out of my own clean socks!). But I also feel honored and eager and in some senses, ready, to enter this next chapter in my life.New Year's Eve was pretty uneventful. 2008's holidays were all really low-key this year for us. New Year's Eve night was no exception. I had fast food (healthy, I know) for dinner, watched some boring tv while Daryl broke out and used the snow blower on ours and our neighbors driveways, and I was in bed by ten p.m. I wished everyone a Happy New Year in the morning and that was just fine with me. I remember all the crazy New Year's Eve partying (drinking!!) of the past, and how much fun it was, and the crazy part is, I really don't miss it in the least! I love my quiet nights at home with Daryl. And I will love it even more when we have this little bundle of love at home to cuddle with.

After all that rambling, I guess all want to say is that I hope you all had good 2008 and now head into a bigger and better (and healthy!!) 2009!