Thursday, April 30, 2009

WHY is it, that people feel like they can make comments about your weight (when you are pregnant) that they wouldn't normally make to your face otherwise?

I am not one who gets all bent out of shape usually over these comments. Yes, I have focused on my weight a bit but I have not been obsessed with it like I originally thought I would be, when I first got pregnant.

I'm actually pretty proud of myself and my big baby belly.

And I've heard quite a few things so far (and let me just state, none of it is malicious in any way..I'm certainly not insinuating that people are purposely trying to be mean) and I've been okay in letting these comments bounce of my (rather large and continuously growing) chest:

Are you sure you are not carrying twins in there?

You are that big
already?

That shirt you are wearing makes you look EVEN BIGGER than usual, April!

Wow, you look like a house today--ha, ha, ha!

Yup, I've heard those and some others. I've just brushed them off with a laugh. Although I admit I've often felt the need to reply a tad defensively to these same people "Hey, I've only gained 15 pounds in six months. I think I'm doing pretty good." (and actually that may be more like 20 pounds now...I'll find out at my next doctor's appointment on Wednesday).

These comments all came from people I know. People who know me.

Well today marked my first comment from a stranger. And again let me stress, she wasn't being mean in the least, but, after I left I felt kind of annoyed. I went to the pharmacy to pick up my prenatal vitamins today.

The woman ringing me out gestured to my belly and said, "You're due soon, huh?" And funny enough, I didn't know what she meant at first, then I looked down at my burgeoning belly.

"Oh, heh, heh, no not soon enough. I'm due August 10th." I smiled back at her.

Her eyes widened and and she nodded knowingly before asking, "Are you having a boy?"

"Wow, yes! How did you know?" I asked. Thinking maybe it had to do with an old wive's tale or something....some of my friends think I'm carrying low.

"I had two boys, myself. I got huge, too, early on when I was pregnant."

Um, excuse me? Did you just insinuate I was "huge", bitch?

Yes, I'll admit it, I'm never going to be one of those cute, petite preggo's with their perfectly shaped basketball bellies...but damn it, I'm almost 5"8, I'm a larger girl to begin with, and I'VE ONLY GAINED 15 (20) POUNDS!!! WTF?!?!?!?

I basically just laughed it off with her, collected my shit, then scurried my FAT ass away from the counter. And immediately got mad at myself for letting this get to me.

For goodness sakes, I'm carrying a life within me, a life that my Big D and I created together, out of love. Why does it have to be about weight? Why does it have to be about "Ooh, she gained how much?"

I talked myself down from the annoyance and made it outside where I had to cross the parking lot. I passed exactly four men--three walking and one in a car---all of them checking me out. I started to swing my bags a little higher.

Obviously, "huge" or not, even with my big 'ol pregnant self---I still look good. Heh heh.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Hunter,

Thank you so much for kicking me so hard my right boob flew up and off my belly. Twice. It was the funniest moment I've had in days (besides seeing the image of myself in pictures, running through a sprinkler. Yes, that was the first time Mommy brought you through a sprinkler...granted, you were in my belly. But you get the idea!).

And thank you for the Ninja punches and stretches and elbow-jabs (throwing 'bows this early, son? I know we live in the Ghetto but come ON! Cut your Mama some slack!) that you have bestowed on me. I constantly tell your father (and you won't be reading this until you are older) "Your child is punching me in the Vag again. For real. Doesn't he realize we NEED that area so he has his escape route in three more months?"

I am so looking forward to you strengthening as you grow (and squish tightly) in my uterus. I have a feeling you are going to be a very strong, very physical boy. Try not to hurt Mommy too much, m'kay?

Love you bunches!!
Mommy

Monday, April 27, 2009

This weekend went by super quick...and *HOT*.


Typical New England weather. It could be cold one day, and the next? 90 degrees.


Friday I got home from work and ate a dinner of frozen pizza while Big D got ready to go to his new part time night job. He started on Thursday. While he was gone, I watched endless episodes of House until I finally fell asleep around eleven.


Saturday we were up and about early. Big D ran to the grocery store to get the ingredients for the potato salad he was making. We had a picnic later that afternoon to go to. The potato salad was the BOMB! Yummy! After he threw it in the fridge, we headed out to Timber's Fidelco class. There are now two litters in the same class, so lots of doggies doing their thing. After class we stopped for iced coffees then headed home where I proceeded to whip up a batch of brownies, also for the picnic. Quick showers, and fed the doggies a SUPER early dinner, and then we were off! I ate a ton at the picnic but it was delicious! I spent most of the time on the sun porch though...this house was in Litchfield county, up in the woods, and the bugs were HORRENDOUS. I also got to hold another friend's totally adorable (and happy!) 7-month old baby boy a good portion of the day. The guys attempted a bonfire but between the smoke and the bugs, I chose to stay on the sun porch with most of the girls until it was time to head out. One of Daryl's friends wife gave us our first "official" baby gift! She is too cute.




Sunday was a fun day. We started off with bagels at Panera (where we asked the general manager if we could bring Timber in the next time. We explained he was a guide dog in training and that he'd be wearing his vest, and on leash, and the manager was more than eager for him to make his debut! So maybe next weekend...) and then after that ran to D's Dad so Big D could get his waders. He was going to go fishing and i had visions of me, in a camp chair by the water's edge, book in hand. It sounded SO nice! Until we realized that D's waders were gone. And his dad had "no idea" where to. Argh.


So after that we drove around a little bit. We made a stop at Cabela's where I panted my way around the ginormous store (but I DO love going there!). Went to lunch at Smokey Bones in Manchester (yummy...I loved pulled pork sandwiches! Big D got baby back ribs) and then hit up a couple stores along the way home.


Once home, I began my project! Painting Hunter's letters for the nursery! It was freakin' hotter than hell outside so along with Timber, I decided to cool off. Have you ever seen a fully-clothed pregnant lady (in a too small non-maternity tank top) running through a sprinkler? No? Well, you're in for a treat.Yes, I admit it, I'm insane.But even more amusing than watching my huge ass jump through the spray? Was watching Timber's first experience with a sprinkler (and water from a hose). Priceless!!





It was a day well spent. I came in afterwards, showered and put on pj's and vegged out the rest of the night on the couch with my honey. Aaaahhhh....

And here is my blossoming (heh) belly). Not the greatest shot. In my pj shorts, covered with dog hair, but you get the idea.

25 weeks: Our little Hunter


Your Baby This Coming Week


Your baby weighs just under 2 pounds (850g) and could possibly survive if delivered now. Your baby measures approximately 9.2 inches (23cm) from crown to rump.
He is growing fast and gaining weight now. His skin is less transparent and is becoming opaque as fat builds up.
Your baby's heart is beating 120 to 160 beats per minute, as you have already heard at several doctor or midwife visits.
Until now, your baby's eyes have been sealed shut, but he reopens them this week. The eyes are almost fully formed and the retinas contain all the layers they will have when your baby is born. Your baby's eyes are blue right now, no matter the ethnic origin or eye-color of you and your partner since eyes do not acquire their final color until months after birth.
Your baby is lean right now, but is getting fatter all the time as fat is being deposited. Your baby's skin is getting thicker and paler and is becoming less red and wrinkled as more fat is deposited.
Your baby has eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails, though all are short and need to grow more.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I went to get my hair done (color and cut, woo hoo! followed by a desperately needed eyebrow wax) straight from work this evening.




I didn't get home till about 8:30 pm.





"I finished putting up the chair rail in the baby's room." Daryl casually told me. "Come see."




He led the way and opened the door to Hunter's nursery, ushering me inside. And in I walked to see....




He put together the crib while I was gone!!



I was momentarily rendered speechless as I stared at this piece of furniture. And then a note caught my eye...


I peered in closer to read what Daryl had written. And my eyes started to well up.






And he's not kidding...seeing this crib put together in our house really DOES make this all seem so much more real!


And after the insane day I had today at work (more on that to follow in the next post. It really deserves a post all its own! Let me just say it involves a crazy guy and the cops. Oh yeah), this was the best moment of my day. :-)



Oh and last night I ran to Kohl's with my friend Jessica. I had a $25 gift card burning a hole in my wallet so I bought a couple of items for little Hunter. Kohl's really has some adorable stuff!



Monday, April 20, 2009

Busy and fun weekend. And Big D was super productive in the nursery!

Friday I took the day off from work becuz the guy was coming to refinish the floors. My BFF, April #2, stopped by and we had coffee and bagels and got some good quality chatting in for a few hours. My mom came by later in the day to view the progress that D's made (he painted last week, I just hadn't posted the pics yet. Pics to follow at the end of this post!).

Saturday I was busy, busy cleaning the house while D ran a few errands and picked up some food at the grocery store. We had company that night, Sarah and Brian with their two girls, so we grilled and stuffed our faces! This was the first time Brian had seen me preggo since relatively early in the first trimester, and Sarah had not seen me in months, so they were BOTH pretty impressed with my belly. Heh. Sarah seemed to think I'm carrying low; with her own pregnant belly (both with Julia and then Sophia) she felt like her belly erupted from right beneath her boobs.


Sarah and Brian's youngest daughter, Sophia, is now 7 weeks old (holy crap, WHERE does the time go???) and Daryl and I got some baby-holding time in. I literally could not put her down the whole night.

At one point I was standing up, rocking her, when it dawned on me that I was rocking TWO babies at once. ;-) That made me smile!



And the weather was gorgeous ALL weekend so I had lots of outdoor time with the dogs. They frolicked around the yard while I loafed in a lawn chair, catching some rays. Even my belly got a little bit of color! ;-)

Sunday I was up and out early meeting up with Michele, Keri and Julie to go to a huge flea market. I got a good hour and a half of walking in there, and by the end, I was spent! Low back hurting a bit, and I was panting, but it felt good getting the exercise! Then after that I literally dove into more housework. I KNOW I'm not nesting yet, it's too early for that, however I can't seem to stop cleaning the house! I swept, vacuumed and scrubbed the floor in the kitchen, knocked down cobwebs, wiped down walls (I NEVER do that!), scrubbed the muddy paw prints off the back door...for three hours straight! I was like a freakin' machine. Afterwards, I was spent, and my feet ached, so Big D ran out and got my favorite, pizza! Spent the rest of Sunday night curled up on the couch watching TV and reading. Heaven!

Okay, here are the most recent pics of the nursery work in progress. The only thing I haven't uploaded yet is the painted trim, chair rail and baseboards that Big D put up yesterday. He is doing an AWESOME job.

(This shot above is from a couple weeks ago.)


Big D taking a breather (and a beer break!) after working his hiney off!


The green going up!! We both LOVE how it looks in the room. So bright and crisp!


Mister Meticulous. He is good at it! :-)


This is what the floor looked like before we refinished (the white is just from the dust from Daryl sanding).


Taking the tape down!
The brown paint going up. Again, we LOVE the color!

Here is George, the floor guy, sanding the floors on Friday morning.

And the finished product! I love the coloration of the wood!!



24 weeks: Our baby Hunter


Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now weighs around 1.5 lbs (700g), and measures about 8.8 inches (22cm) from crown to rump, but this varies from baby to baby.

Your doctor should be able to hear your baby's heartbeat, using a stethoscope or Doppler ultrasound device. If your partner puts his ear right on your belly in the right position, he might even be able to hear it unaided if there is no background noise.

Your baby sleeps and wakes in a more regular pattern now. You may notice that your baby is particularly active when you are resting.

The center of your baby's bones are beginning to harden.

If your baby is a boy, the testes will start to descend into the scrotum now. If your baby is a girl, the vagina will begin to hollow out and mature now.

Your baby can make a fist now and may already have a preference for the right or left hand.

With modern medical technology, your baby would have a chance to survive if it were born now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Insomnia really sucks.

It's 3:25am and I am sitting here in bed, wide awake, listening to the sounds of Big D lightly snoring, Tucker's small dog-breaths and whimpers and growls as he "runs with the pack" in his sleep, and the rough whisper of one of the cat's tongue as she patiently grooms herself in the hallway.

With perfect clarity I hear the whir of the lap top, the almost silent clicking (that I normally don't notice) of the cable box in our bedroom. The glowing sickly green light of the numerals on the alarm clock, normally blissfully ignored as I slumber away, now seem to be an annoyingly penetrating beacon of light in the bedroom. And my throat and eyes are dry as bones. That really has nothing to do with anything except for the fact that becuz I'm awake, I'm super aware of my itchy eye lids and my intense thirst. (excuse me while I gulp down half a glass of water!)

*SIGH*

I don't normally suffer from insomnia. Before getting pregnant, I hardly ever had trouble sleeping. as a mater of fact, it was almost the joke between Daryl and I. He is a pretty light sleeper and often wakes up if a dog scratches too loudly, or a cat hacks up a hair ball, in the middle of the night. It takes him a lot longer to fall asleep whereas I am one of those people who lays her head on the pillow (often certain I'm going to read or watch a little tv) and is instantly unconscious. so we would joke about how I could sleep easily while poor Big D often was lucky to get enough hours of sleep in a night to carry him through a long work day.

Well, situations have now seemed to reverse. I know waking up a billion times a night to pee is one of the culprits--hell I wouldn't be awake to have freakin' insomnia if I hadn't gotten up to pee! But the problem now, often, is once I'm awake, I'm AWAKE and can not fall back asleep.

Unfortunately, tonight is one of those nights.

And when this happens, it's like my brain is on auto-pilot. Thoughts, worries and ideas whip rhythmically around and around in my brain and I can't seem to shut them off! Money stress, excitement over the baby, thoughts of what I need to accomplishing the next day/week/month, and most recently added is job stress. Not the typical job stress of course. This is all related to me having a child. My maternity leave, coverage, hours when I come back--there has been a lot of shit hitting the fan lately at work. And while I've done my fair share of crying and worrying about it lately, I finally feel like things are on the upswing. I don't want to jinx myself so I'm just going to leave it at that for now, until/if anything changes. But keep your fingers crossed for me!

And now to hopefully get my mind off work at fucking 3:30am in the morning, I'll leave you with a cute story about Daryl's cousins!! Both girls, the oldest Rian is ten years old, and the youngest Shayne just turned four. They were out shopping with their mom the other day--shopping for Hunter!!--when little Shayne threw a penny in a fountatin at the mall and made her wish.

She told her mom what her wish was, that she wished Baby Hunter could be born TODAY! But then, she immediately told her mom, so Rian reassured them that becuz Shayne told her her wish, it wouldn't come true.

So no worries! Baby Hunter will NOT be making his grand appearance....TODAY.

Damn, those kids crack me up!

Okay, I'm going to switch off the computer so wish me luck that I'll catch that elusive Zzzzzz-train. G'night, all!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

So, no new pictures to post yet (even though I did take some of the freshly primed walls the other night, but just haven't had a chance to upload them from the computer) but progress is being steadily made on the baby's nursery!


I'm psyched.

Big D is my hero. After our long weekend in NY, we got home Sunday around 3:30-4:00ish. After a quick run to Lowe's for a few supplies (and to pick up two cans of paint!), Big D was back in work-mode and sanding his little heart out while I made dinner. After quickly eating dinner, he put two coats of primer up on the nursery walls while I watched Twilight, for the second time, on my lazy butt. When it was all done, he proudly showed me his handy-work.

It looks great!

Big D had even painted a quick swatch of the new green paint we just purchased--one of our two colors...we're doing one color, emerald isle (if you click on the color names, you can see a link to each on the Valspar website. They look better in person!) on the top of the walls, and another color on the bottom, sumatra blend, and then a chair rail in the middle--and BOTH of us were so excited by this little happy green square of color! It made it seem more real...kind of like "Oh my God, we really are putting together a nursery in here!"

We decided to hold off on painting the walls until the hardwood floor is done, only becuz I had horrible visuals in my head of clouds of sand from the floor sticking to our freshly painted walls. Big D had all intentions of doing the floor himself (even though he's never sanded and re-finished a hardwood floor himself before! Not that THAT stops him. Until this, he'd never put up, taped and mudded drywall before either!) and today he called the store about renting a sander. The sander can only be rented for a 24 hour periods of time (before they charge you another fee) so he started wondering about time...when he could get it done, considering he works full time all week. The weekend was looking like the soonest to start the floor, which meant the paint would be taking a serious back-burner.

Then when he started pricing out the other supplies to re-finish the floor, just for ha-ha's he called a local company who does it. While our job is not "big enough" for them to warrant making the repeated trips out to do it, the man said he could come out this Friday (ooh, ooh! I just so happen to have the day off on Friday!) and sand the floors down and do everything else (staining and first coat of the sealer) BUT then Daryl could finish himself by doing the next couple coats of sealant within the next couple of days. His cost for this is pretty much EXACTLY what we had figured out we would be spending for Big D to do the work himself, AND it will get done quicker! Yippy!!

That makes Ms. Impatience, ME, very happy!

So Big D is hoping to maybe have the floors done by this weekend (not necessarily including drying time of the last coat of course...I don't remember if he told me how long it takes to dry. We are going to be using the water-based sealant--which in addition to being less smelly than the oil-based--which will dry quicker!). Then next week the color-painting extravaganza can begin!

Once floor and walls are all set, I'm looking forward to the crib being set up. And we need to put in some new wire rack organizational system in the closet so I can start putting stuff in there. I don't have a ton of baby clothes yet, however my good friend Carsa has given me two huge bags of clothes (onesies, socks, pj's, outfits, etc.) from 0-12 months that I'd love to start putting away SOMEWHERE.

And I'm thinking next month, May, we'll be ordering the matching dresser/changing table and I can't WAIT! Slowly but surely, it seems like everything is coming along!

And can I get an "AMEN" for having such a handy husband? I am so thankful for all the hard work he's been doing...I will be able to tell Hunter some day that his Daddy built his room with lots of love (never mind the blood, sweat and tears)!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I am getting freakin' HUGE!


Today, before leaving for home after a relaxing and fun-filled visit at my MIL's and step-FIL's house in NY, I decided to take a few preggo-belly shots. I was in the middle of packing mine and Big D's stuff, in the guest room we stayed in, when it dawned on me that I really should make use of the big 'ol mirrors in the room!



If I look this big now, at a mere 23 weeks, it scares me to think of just how monstrous I'll look at 38-40 weeks! And you'd think I'd packed on a bazillion pounds, right? But I don't feel like I've been out of control eating (well not including this weekend...ha!). I'm at about a 16 pound gain right now.



And still growing.



Holy. Crap.

But, I can't knock it. While I definitely am growing, on the inside, I feel as if I'm glowing!

My body is going through all these changes for a very specific (and beautiful!) purpose...one that, despite the ever-growing fatigue, horrible heartburn, frequent welling up of the eyes (oh yes, the crying is back, people!) and increasing girth, I am so thankful for!


Our baby boy! I feel him more and more every day and when I'm concentrating on his movements, I can't help but stare off into space and smile. Even today, as this little muffin laid on my bladder (that I had JUST emptied!) and made me run to the bathroom again, I couldn't help but laugh about it.


Last night, as Big D and I laid quietly in bed in the guest bedroom at his mom's, after a very fun and tiring day, he nestled up close beside me, our bodies making two parentheses that curled protectively around our baby boy within. He laid his hand on my belly and without a word, we both listened and waited. It was Hunter's quiet time and I figured Daryl wouldn't get to feel him as the baby had seemed to settle down a while before.


But, as if he knew Daddy was waiting, Hunter started moving again! Daryl's voice was laced with awe and love, as he said, "Wow! I felt him that time....it felt like he rolled underneath your skin!" Both of us content and happy, we drifted off to sleep.


All of these moments, so quick in time, just reaffirm how terribly lucky and blessed we are. I could not be happier.





23 weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby is now about 8.4 inches from crown to rump (21cm) and weighs about 1.2 pounds (530g).

Your baby's face and body now look more like a full-term baby. He now looks close to how he will look at birth.

The eyes, though they are still closed, are now close together on the front of the face and the ears are in their final position. Eyelashes are fairly well-developed and hair is growing on your baby's head.

Your baby's movements are becoming more restricted now as he fills up the uterus more. Cartwheels and somersaults inside the amniotic sac are no longer possible, but he can still hold the umbilical cord and touch and feel around him. Though your baby is already living in tight quarters in the amniotic sac, he will soon have even less room to move around.

His vital organs are now quite mature. However, since the lungs are not yet fully formed, your baby would have breathing problems if born prematurely at this stage.

Your baby is becoming increasingly conscious of the world outside and may feel startled when you are startled.

Your baby may alternate between having very active and very calm periods.

Your baby may have facial expressions such as frowning, squinting and pursing of the lips.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Let me introduce you all to...my dog Tucker...otherwise now known in our home as...


...HOUDINI....

He looks like the face of innocence, does he not?
But with a face that cute, you KNOW he is sometimes up to no good.


Exhibit A:
For those of you without children OR dogs, this is the view looking down on a simple metal baby gate. Pretty self-explanatory, right? The gate is in the locked position.


Exhibit B:


Said dog from above, standing on the other side of a locked metal baby gate, in the kitchen. For those unfamiliar with this contraption, in order to open the gate, you need to simultaneously push that little tabby-button-thingie towards the wall with your thumb, while also lifting the door of the gate itself UP and then pushing it out.


Sounds like something you need to be pretty dexterous with (possibly with THUMBS) to accomplish, don't ya think?


Unsolved Crime:


If that is the case, can someone PLEASE, please tell me how this dog--with nothing but paws, claws and a wet nose--is able to open up the gate and greet either myself or Daryl at the front door each night after work???


Is he really Houdini? Is this simple, sweet yellow Lab working magic here, people? And before you say he is a one-trick pony, he has managed to open this gate not once, not twice but at least THREE TIMES so far.


That's talent. I'll give him that much.

And I have no friggin' clue how he is doing it.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Sometimes my hubby just gets it right.

He'll say something, completely out of left field, that practically takes my breath away.

Last night, as we were teasing each other and acting like the 12-year-olds that do live within us, and I think I was going on and on about how tired and haggard I looked and felt (but making it sound very funny at the same time) when Daryl blurted out with, "I think you're gorgeous!"

Here I was, expecting something totally different--something most likely bratty about how I did look tired, and I was ready with a snappy come-back--left with my mouth hanging wide open. I quickly closed it and a huge, dopey grin took over my face.

"I mean it, you know. I think you're gorgeous." He said seriously, with his back to me as he continued to sand the walls in the nursery.

I am not one who is good at accepting compliments...especially genuine ones. It has taken me years to not stutter and turn red and try to deflect the comment off by making some sarcastic reply. And I've gotten better at it.

All I could say to my Big D, as I watched him sanding, sanding diligently away in our baby son's nursery was "Thank you, honey." And then I quickly moved on to some other conversation.

But inside all I could think of was, "God I love this man."

So, Big D, I know you'll be reading this. I just want to say thank you for you, thank you for all you do and for making me feel beautiful on a regular basis...and....

I LOVE YOU, TO PIECES!!!

Oh...and I think you're gorgeous, too. :-)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

My little Ninja is definitely getting stronger every day.

Yesterday as I sat hunched over my desk, writing something down on a piece of paper, I felt a simultaneous (roundhouse kick? Maybe I have a future UFC fighter on my hands? LOL) kick to the upper belly and a punch to the lower belly that made me bolt upright in my chair and burst out with a surprised "Oh!!"

Then I couldn't help but laugh out loud. I think Hunter must not like when his Mommy is sitting all hunched over, cuz he always seems to smack me around till I straighten up! Silly boy.


And now I just have to brag a little bit about our Fidelco foster puppy, Timber! If you remember, he had a special walk in West Hartford a couple of weeks ago, where a trainer assessed him while Daryl and he walked. This was his first time being walked in such a busy area (for those of you who know West Hartford center, picture it on one of the most glorious spring days we've had so far! It was PACKED!).

I'm proud to say that Fidelco informed us that Timber did THE BEST out of his whole litter! He showed absolutely no fear whatsoever as joggers brushed by us, strollers wheeled bumpily along the sidewalk, little kids squealed and jumped, fire trucks raced by with sirens wailing as loud as can be and people walked all kinds of dogs, (very) large and small, some barking.

Timber was so focused on Daryl and his commands (and his treats, of course!) that he barely glanced around him at some of the people going by. I really think that when his red vest and his Gentle Leader go on, that Timber knows it's "time to work".

He's definitely still young and STILL an easily distracted puppy, but I can see his potential as a future guide dog and it makes me so happy!

I am impressed! As time goes by, I grow more and more attached to this dog (although I have to admit, Daryls' attachment waaaaaay surpasses mine...I think I have kept it in the back of my head since the very beginning that "he is not my dog. We will have to give him back after a year." and that has helped me not to bond with him as I normally would with my own puppy. But for Daryl? He was completely and 100% smitten from Day One). Now the thought of giving him back does bring tears to my eyes but at hte same time, I'm so excited about where he will be going in his life. The powerful change that this dog, who we will have raised for a year-ish by then, will have on the life of a blind person.

Timber will give someone his or her independence and possibly give them "their life back" and that gives me happy and pleased goosebumps. So despite all thefrustrated tears (just my own! LOL) and pee stains on the carpet and chewed up items in the house and smelly raw food diet that we have to feed him--I know it is all worth it in the end! :-)

Monday, April 06, 2009

I came to work to relax!

My weekend was crazy-busy. Friday night, Big D had an interview for a second job, a part time job, so I went with him and waited outside in the truck since we had to go pick up the crib afterwards. I must have been in the truck for about an hour, jamming out and singing to the tunes. Baby boy Hunter was moving and shaking for a while and then he must have been enjoying his private concert becuz he settled right down. An hour later, when Daryl hopped into the truck and began recanting his interview experience to me, I was totally delighted to realize that Hunter had started moving all about again in my belly.

"He recognizes your voice, Daddy!" I told him excitedly.

After that, we headed to pick up the crib and after paying the balance, the stock-dude comes out wheeling THE largest, craziest box I've ever seen. My first thought was "Holy Shit!" and my second thought was "How the hell is Daryl going to single-handedly get that into the house????".

So on the way home I frantically tried to scrounge up some fellow muscle to help out and since it was already quarter to nine on a Friday night, we were not having much luck. Daryl ended up backing the truck up almost to the front cement stairs of her house and I helped him guide the box up one step (as he strained all by himself to bear the weight of it!) and then we slid it on a sheet the rest of the way into the house. Now, my hubby is NO sissy and lifts tons of heavy objects during the course of day at his job, but this box was so heavy...it was a monstrosity! I'm just glad we got it inside. ;-)

Saturday we were doing an early Easter dinner with my mom, Daryl's Dad and his Grandma so we ran out to the store (nothing like waiting till last minute, huh?) to get all the food items we needed and then I cleaned and scrubbed the house for a couple of hours. Big D was not available to help cuz he had to bring Timber to his puppy class, so I was on my own! I threw the ham in the oven at noon, threw myself in the shower at twelve thirty and my mom arrived at one, followed by D's family at two. By the time dinner was over, and the dishes cleaned up, I was practically crying for the couch...my back and feet hurt SO bad! And then D's family didn't end up leaving till SEVEN so I was feeling like I was wasting time just sitting around on my ass while they watched UCONN basketball (I'm not into basketball at all) so I started doing laundry. Argh! I think I crashed into bed Saturday night.

Sunday, the puppy had us woken up and out of bed by six thirty. Little bratty. We had a Fidelco trainer coming over at eleven to work on some issues with us so in the meantime I did more laundry, and then we went to Starbucks where I got a deliciously yummy decaf Cinnamon Dolce latte and Big D got an Espresso Truffle Latte. Mmmmmm.... After our training session (where the Fidelco trainer proceeded to tell us that Timber behaved MUCH better than we made it sound like, at home. That little shit is always proving us wrong! LOL) we took the two big dogs out to the lake for a walk. The walk did NOT go well. Ha ha! Tucker is not very good with walking on a leash...he's a dragger. We had purchased him a Gentle Leader once before and he chewed it up so I'm sorry to say we'd been very lax about walking (he does get plenty of exercise in our backyard with us though. We run him ragged out there!). So Daryl took Tucker's leash and I took the "good walker", Timber's, leash. Uh, yeah, he drove me insane. I don't know if it's becuz he wasn't walking with Daryl like he usually does, or if Timber wanted to be near Tucker, but that puppy pulled and pulled and pulled on his leash--even while wearing his Gentle Leader. That's sixty three pounds of "puppy" pulling along this lady. And I'm embarrassed to say, I started to get VERY frustrated. Between both dogs pulling, Tucker whining (who knows why!), and Daryl and I snapping each other's heads off...it was bad. By the time I splashed through a mud puddle and it leaked into my sock, I almost lost it and wanted to call it quits right there. Then on the way back to the truck, I was practically panting with the exertion of it all (I often times "forget" I'm pregnant, when I try to do things like I normally do. Uh, yeah, your body reacts differently when you're pregnant, April. Remember that!) and the last time Timber tugged and Daryl tried to tell me how to correct him, I bit his head off and said I just didn't care anymore, and wanted to get back to the car. I held back tears at that point. So Big D took BOTH dogs and I panted, gasped and wheezed my way back to the truck.

And you'd think I would have rested once we got home, right? Wrong. We took the dogs outside and let them run themselves like crazy out there, while we talked with our neighbor/friend Brian for about 45 minutes. My low back was starting to throb by this time so did I go in and lay down? Nope! We went out for pizza! But after pizza, I slid right into my pj's and planted my tired, aching body onto the couch. Big D and I have recently discovered House and LOVE the show so we watched a marathon of like 3 or 4 shows in a row.

Can you understand now why I came to work to relax today????


22 weeks: Our baby Hunter


Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now weighs almost 1 lb (450g) and measures about 8 inches (20cm) from crown to rump. (Hello, big boy!!)

He is becoming plumper as his fat is being laid down at a high rate, but his skin is still wrinkled and reddish. The wrinkled and loose appearance of his skin is due to the faster production of his skin than the fat that fills it out. The reddish appearance of his skin is due to the deposition of pigment as his skin loses its translucent appearance.

Your baby can kick and punch vigorously by now, but he may also be gently feeling the umbilical cord and rubbing his hands and face against the inside membrane of the amniotic sac that holds him. (Awww! As weird as this sounds, it also seems so cute!)

He is still swallowing amniotic fluid (which provides an important nutritional supplement to the nutrition he gets from you via the placenta) and is passing some of it as urine. The swallowing of the amniotic fluid may cause your baby to get the hiccups and you may even be able to feel this as his body jumps inside yours. (I still haven't felt any hiccups yet, although I think I might have experienced Hunter 'stretching out' this morning. THAT was crazy!)

The lanugo hair on your baby's body may turn darker at this time.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I had kind of a morbid conversation the other day with Big D.

About death.

I don't know why, but I seem to think about it more and more often.

I know I'm getting older (and yes, yes, I know at 32 years old, I'm still considered "young" by some, but you must admit as you age, our own mortality just kind of jumps up and smacks you in the face, doesn't it?) and that is one part of it. But I think there may be more to it than that.

I was laying in bed one night, having trouble falling asleep, staring at the ceiling and feeling my thoughts whir crazily around in my brain.

I was thinking about dying.

I've had this thought before, it's nothing new, but this time was different.

I was thinking about dying, and I don't mean at a young age. I was visualizing my death at a nice, ripe old age--and it scared the ever-loving shit out of me. WHY? I started thinking "Oh my God, I'll be gone. Gone forever. But where will I go? Will I see my father? Will my family be heart-broken? And will I never feel/see/smell again?"

The more questions I asked myself, the more anxious I felt. Heart racing, sweat inducing, panic. Normally thinking about death doesn't have quite this reaction. Yes, it seems so large and scary and unknown but I've always been comforted by the fact that (for me and what I believe in) when people I love die, they are still "here" in a sense. But I couldn't hold onto that comforting thought like always, and instead imagined myself just ceasing to exist, like erasing a letter permanently off a page of paper. Would I be erased?

I told Daryl the next day or so about my crazy, new fears of death that night, and he nodded casually and said, "Oh I haven't stopped thinking about dying since the day you got the positive on your pregnancy test!"

"Really? You think my new-found fear is related to the fact that we're going to have a child? Is that how it is for you now?"

Big D explained that for him, it was. He said how it's such an exciting time in our lives, bringing a child into the world, and yet at the same time all he can think of is "Someday I'll die and leave this child, and he will have to deal with that painful loss. And that bothers me."

And immediately I'm taken back to the day my father and I had the best and worst conversation of our lives. The day that he told me how proud he was of me. The day he told me that his regret was that he would not get to hold his grandchild in his arms. And see me (and my brother) live out our lives. And enjoy his retirement with my mother. And finish living his life. And I was sitting there telling him how much I would miss him. How much of a wonderful father he was and had always been. That I would never let him "die" in my eyes and memory and most importantly, my heart. And wishing I had done "more" and been a better daughter (this I kept to myself).

As I remember back to that day and his words, and as I even write this post, I think I'm coming to a revelation of sorts. I am starting to think that I don't need to fear death, as much. As Daryl pointed out, yes it will be so sad to leave our children some day and leave that stain of grief upon their hearts, but at the same time, I hope and pray that it's after a very, long and fulfilling life with them. But if it's not, if it's only after 51 years on this earth, and only (I say only, but yet I know some of you never even had this much time with your parent/spouse/child/loved one, and for that I'm sorry!) after 25 years with my child, I will still remember that I've had a good life. And hopefully I will have given my child the best years ever.

This is my hope.




And now I have a question or two for all of you (if you've made it this far through my rambling): Are you afraid to die? And if, GOD FORBID, you died tomorrow--would you feel like you have lived (and loved) your life to the fullest?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

How I spent my night between 6:45-11:00 p.m. last night:

1. Making dinner (as soon as I got home from work) for me, Big D and my mom who came over to watch a movie with us.

2. Cleaning up endless piles of watery, and sometimes foamy, dog puke/bile (how can one 20-lb dog have so much IN her?? I'm talking oceans of it, people!). I lost track of how many times I was down on my hands and knees with paper towels (went through a whole roll) and Nature's Miracle.

3. Cleaning up the dinner dishes. ( i.e. dumping all the dirty dishes into the already-full sink to deal with another day).

4. Chasing after a puppy who doesn't always listen, trying to get him in his crate, only to have him jump up on the couch where he is not allowed, and then proceed to excitedly pee on said couch.

5. Cleaning puppy pee stains off of the damn couch.

6. Swearing at Daryl, who got annoyed that I had an "attitude" (hmmm...go figure? LOL) and slammed himself into the bedroom to watch TV, alone.

6. Yelling to my mom (who had so graciously paused the movie during my many puke-cleaning-runs to the kitchen, where I had Daisy segregated) to "Just play the damn movie! I'm not going to be able to see it anyway, at this rate!". But what a good mom, she waited for me anyway.

7. Inhaling large quantities of salty, buttery popcorn after believing I was way too full from dinner to eat another bite. And getting the first damn kernel wedged uncomfortably deep within my tooth and gums.

8. Sobbing hysterically on the couch as we watched the end of Marley and Me, while black-mascara tear tracks zig-zagged down my face. (I cried just as much while reading the book, too!)

9. Crawling into bed, realizing I am not even tired and watching the stupidest shows ever known to man (i.e. Keeping up with the Kardashians...why??) while Hunter danced an insane tango in my belly at 11:00 p.m. at night. And wondering, "How the hell am I going to sleep through that?" but yet smiling to myself anyway.

10. Listening to the chain-saw sounds of Daryl snoring and trying to pry the blankets out from underneath his dead-sleepy weight. Finally saying, "F*ck it!" and waking his ass up to move off the blankets, so I wouldn't be cold during the night.

11. And despite all of that (or maybe becuz of!) actually getting a full night's sleep (minus only 2 pee breaks).

And it's only Wednesday....