Friday, May 29, 2009

Things I am THANKFUL for!

Okay, I'm tired of even listening/reading/feeling my own whiny, stressed out, angry thoughts (and posts) so I am giving myself a kick in the ass.

I have to try to propel myself up and OUT of this damn funk. I smiled today for the first time this week where I actually "meant it" and it felt good! So here goes, just a quick list of a few things that make me happy and thankful...

1. Watching baby-Hunter-body-parts undulate beneath my skin. Last night, while sitting on the couch, I couldn't take my eyes off of my belly as it twitched and jiggled and rolled and trembled. Every movement this baby makes feels like a miracle to me. I couldn't stop smiling at my belly.

2. Colored flip-flops. Today I'm wearing pink, and they make me happy.

3. Decaf Iced Tea. I have had SUCH a craving for iced tea the past week or so but any drinks with caffeine in them have really been taking a toll on my belly. So Monday night when I saw that container of Decaf Iced Tea mix in the grocery store I scooped it right up and ran home to whip up a pitcher! Delicious.

4. Fruit!! I'm definitely back in summer-mode (even if the weather here is NOT. Ugh to the rain and chilled air.) becuz all I want to eat now is fresh fruit (and veggies). I'm thinking today I might run out and buy some blueberries and strawberries.

5. Daryl's sense of humor. I swear, that silly man has been trying to make me laugh something fierce the past week or so! Sometimes I just wanna roll my eyes at him, but even when he annoys me, I can't help but laugh at him!

6. My stretch marks. Yes, you read that correctly. I'm thankful for my stretch marks. Some days, I do flinch at the sight of them (hell, you would too, it looks like a wild animal clawed it's way across my lower belly!), but most of the time it's a part of this whole pregnancy process that inspires me. My belly is stretching and changing to continually make a comfy and safe haven for Hunter for the next ten weeks or so. And I appreciate that.

7. Pizza. I'm thinking tonight is a pizza (no cooking/no dishes) night in. I could love on pizza.

8. Netflix. Daryl and I have recently gotten hooked on the tv show House, MD. We are netflix-ing it and currently are halfway through Season 1. I love being able to "catch up" or start watching shows that I never saw before!

9. Clinique's tinted moisturizer (with SPF). I hate wearing foundation...I break out easily and when I used to wear any type of foundation I felt like I was glopping on a layer of spackle or something. And often times it made me break out, especially in the summer. For the past 2 years or so, though, I have been using my tinted moisturizer which goes on light and airy-feeling with just enough of a tint of color to even out my blotchy face. And on the weekends with my moisturizer and a little lipstick on, I feel like a million bucks!

10. Daryl rubbing my bare belly. His hands are so warm and strong and it relaxes me! And I like to imagine that Hunter can feel his Daddy's love!

11. Sweat pants. I have been living, at home at night, in my drawstring sweat pants. They sit so comfortably beneath my belly. My favorites are a pair I bought back in November from Old Navy. SO soft and comfy!

12. My backyard. I may not live in the nicest neighborhood, or in a big fancy house, but gosh darn it...I love sitting outside in a lawn chair in my fenced-in backyard just breathing in the fresh air and watching my dogs run wild. It is very peaceful.

13. My friends. They keep me sane.

14. My Mom and Mother-in-Law. They love us and no matter how old we may get, I still love that feeling of being "taken care of". When one of us has a bad day, and we call our Mom's, they always know the right words to say to make us feel better!

15. Daryl changing the litter boxes throughout my pregnancy. Heh. You laugh but after changing litter boxes for going on like 8-9 years straight, this 7 month reprieve so far, from that dreaded chore, has been wonderful!! Thanks honey!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

How is it that something as simple and DELICIOUS as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups can make a crappy day (week) so much better???
Still in a funk.

Not much to say.

I'm tired of crying and tired of feeling like I need to stab my finger tips into people's eyeballs (who piss me off). Really, this is not like me.

I just mentioned to my Mom that maybe I'll tell the doctor about it on Tuesday at my next appointment. Knowing I have dealt with depression (and anxiety) in the past, she wanted me to be upfront with her if I felt like that again during the pregnancy. I think becuz of the chance of Postpartum Depression.

I don't think what I'm feeling is depression. I have had a couple of moments of intense anxiety within the past couple of weeks...but I've been able to sort of talk myself down from it. Or at the very least, distract myself enough to start thinking/talking about something else.

Hopefully it's just typical preggo-hormones kicked up a notch by me not being able to handle one dilemma at a time.

Whatever it is, people are starting to notice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Okay, just a warning.

This post is going to sound very whiny. So if you aren't in the mood for my
bitching/moaning/complaining, then you might as well stop reading now.

Anyway, I'm spent.

First and foremost, we are so busy. It's not really by choice. There is just so much going on in life right now and now that summer is here? Well the tempo has picked up. Birthday parties, picnics, outings with family and friends...the list goes on and on. And can I ever say "no"? Why, of course not. Cuz my guilt gets the better of me! And the sad part is, I really WANT to do the things we have planned but I am going to feel worn out after every one.

Every single weekend day in June we have something planned.

Every time I look at the calendar, I shudder. Mind you, one of those days at the end of the month is our baby shower so that is awesome, but there is just so much else going on. For instance, I haven't seen my cousin, Jenn, since the beginning of this pregnancy. With our different work schedules (she's a nurse) and her busy life with hubby and 2 kids and me being preggo and either sick in the beginning or too tired or already having plans, we could never seem to coordinate to get together. She left me a v/m the other day and I know it wasn't meant to sound mean, I think she was just going for slight sarcasm, but basically "joking" around that we need to hang out and I need to stop "blowing her off". After listening to it, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. That is NOT what is going on, and I'm upset if that seems like the impression she is getting. So then the guilt starts to eat away at me....*SIGH*

And on top of that, lots of baby stuff is not getting done quickly enough for my (nesting) liking. We still haven't ordered the dresser, nor have we put up the shelves in the closet yet, and I have stacks of hand-me-down clothes sitting in the crib. I also got a hand-me-down swing and extra car seat, as well as an Exersaucer, all of which that were sitting in someones attic/basement and slightly dusty...and I have yet to clean them and find a home for them. Right now it all sits in the middle of the nursery floor. We STILL haven't tackled the crown moulding, or put up the new closet door in the nursery either. And the rest of the house? It's a mess! I have so much I want to do/organize/clean and don't know where to start, or when I'll have the energy. I'm feeling anxious, overwhelmed, worried that there will be so many loose ends, so many unfinished projects left hanging. Daryl keeps saying, "Don't worry. We have plenty of time." while I keep saying, "I'm worried! We are running out of time!"

Now onto my job. Oh yes, my J-O-B. It couldn't have just been easy, right? Maternity leave, hopefully changing my hours down from full time to part time, a blissful and easy change and adjustment for a new Mommy and her baby. But, no. Instead, after months of being (what I consider) "strung along", I finally put my foot down on Wednesday and stated I needed clarification. I needed to know if I was coming back to FT or PT after Hunter is born and I needed to know more about who/what/where was covering my maternity leave. I feel like the training I've done thus far has been spotty (not my fault, by any means...things have been so sketchy here!) and I was inwardly freaking out about what would happen when I step out the office door and start my maternity leave.

Anyway, needless to say, things did not go to my liking at the meeting on Friday. I was told that my job is full time, plain and simple, and that there was absolutely no way I could work part time. Oh, and yeah, in addition to that, April? We're adding on more work to your plate!

Surprise! WTF??

And I was already told a few months back by a boss (before we knew for sure if I was going to be working FT/PT) that lots is changing due to the new ownership. And that even though I'm going to be preoccupied and overwhelmed with my newborn (her words, not mine) after coming back to work, that I would really need to "focus" as we were going to have to pull together as a department and really "buckle down" as these new tasks were given to me and changes happened throughout our department.

Again, I say, WTF??

ADDITIONAL SIDENOTE: My other irritation with all of this shit at work? The only people that should know about my maternity leave/coming back should be the managers I've spoken with. And yet HALF OF THIS PLACE seems to know my freakin' business! Where the hell is the professionalism in this, people? Stop gossiping about my personal life like it's the next reality show on television!

So this bomb was dropped on me Friday afternoon--an hour before I left for my long, relaxing and much-needed stress-free weekend in Maine. Yes, an hour before. I held in my frustration and tears, and then once home with Big D, I exploded.

I mean, really exploded.

First came the angry tears. Then the ranting. I can't believe the words that came out of my mouth, words that I NEVER use. My Big D attempted to diffuse the situation simply by saying, "Don't worry, Honey. It's all going to work out. We'll figure it out! Let's not let this ruin our weekend away." And then next came his laughter when he heard the words I followed up with. "Whoa. You're really mad to be talking like that." His laughter in turn was just what I needed cuz I giggled through my tears and finished packing our bags so we could leave. I squashed down my anger and locked it away and enjoyed every moment of our weekend with nice weather, delicious food, relaxing times, silly pictures with great friends--and a fabulous glass of Merlot on Sunday night.

Then this morning came. And that anger reared it's ugly head again. I feel like I just don't' give a shit about my job anymore. And that is not like me. Even when I'm not happy somewhere, I NEVER let that reflect in my attitude (or at the very least, I keep a tight reign on it it).

I am at a crossroads right now. I have no idea what I'm going to do. Well, let me re-phrase, Big D and I have ideas. I won't be going into detail here, unfortunately, but I know we'll work it out. I have to have faith in that! Things WILL work out as they are meant to. I gotta believe that. Or else I'll lose my mind. I'm pregnant with my first child, one of THE happiest moments of my life...I can't let this dumb shit take anything away from that.

Anyway, enough of that crap. Onto the fatigue. I. AM. SO. FUCKING. TIRED. I'm sorry to complain, I really do love and appreciate everything about being pregnant. I don't want to sound like a whiner or like I'm not enjoying myself. But I wish I could nap during the day, I really do. I wish I could take more breaks and rest. That's not possible with my full-time job though. I took a nap this weekend, on one of my days off, and I couldn't believe it...I slept for an hour. Me, the non-napper. Even when I'm sick as a dog, I can not sleep during the day. But now? I start to fall asleep while sitting upright on my lunch break, reading a book. The sound of the book falling off my lap today woke me up, thankfully, becuz I only had like 10-15 minutes left of my break. I wanted to cry. To just let go and cry it all out.

And when Big D just called to say a quick 'hi' before, I reminded him, very glumly, that we need to go food shopping tonight. We have nothing in the house, we are out of even the most BASIC necessities! We were going to go yesterday evening but after driving the four hours home, unpacking and doing laundry, neither one of us really felt up to it. So back to today, when I was moodily mentioning that we have to go, no matter how tired I am, and he said, "Don't worry about it. Just write me a list and when you get home, I'll go do it myself." I almost cried in relief. And gratitude! I definitely don't know what I'd do without my Big D. There are some days I'd like to punch him in the mouth, oh yes, (love you, honey! ha ha!) but then there are other days like today, and FRIDAY, when I get all misty-eyed as he calms me down and think to myself, "What would I ever do without this man????"

Okay, I think I've complained enough. If you've made it this far through my post, I'm impressed!

Sorry I just spewed all of this on you guys, but I REALLY needed to get it out. I'm going to---TRY---to end this post on a happier note. Here's a picture or two from our trip to Maine this weekend. Oh and if you haven't checked them out already, I also posted a couple belly shots (29 weeks) from this weekend in the post before this one. Enjoy.

Carsa, her husband Allen, and moi. Yes, holding my empty wine glass. It may have taken me an hour and a half to drink it that half a glass of Merlot, but I savored every single drop of it.

The boys went fishing Saturday morning. This is Braeden. He did catch a teeny, tiny one.

And cute little Chayse, enjoying his Smores by the bonfire in their backyard. Aaaaahhh....

Braeden, Chayse and Daryl carting over more wood for the fire.

Me and my Big D. He took great care of me this weekend. And of course teased me quite a lot, something he does well!

Being silly with one of my BEST girly friends, ever, Carsa (who I've known since I think it was 3rd or 4th grade?). Love this girl!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Belly Shots at 29 weeks

We had a great weekend in Maine...but I'm way too tired to blog about it tonight so for now, here are a couple of belly shots taken this weekend. Almost to 30 weeks...crazy, crazy!

Sorry about the blurry quality of this second shot...I didn't realize it came out like that. Oops!

29 weeks: Our baby Hunter

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now weighs about 3 lbs (1400g), measures about 10.8 (27cm) inches from crown to rump and measures about 17 inches (38cm) from head to toe.

Your baby is probably aware of your Braxton Hicks contractions, which you experience regularly, even when you do not notice them.

By this time, your baby is very active and you feel its movements frequently.
Your baby is still practicing breathing movements which have now become rhythmic.

Sometimes your baby gets the hiccups when she accidentally swallows amniotic fluid the wrong way.
She is getting fatter and plumper. On an ultrasound, you can see your baby's activities quite easily.
Your baby has periods of rest and periods of activity now. Your baby is probably most active when you are trying to rest.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I had a totally crappy day at work yesterday.

After my blissful morning at the doctor's office, I excpected to continue my day on a high note.

Of course, that didn't happen.

Between a couple of sh*ts hitting the fan at work, stress over me STILL not knowing all I need to know regarding coverage for my maternity leave (in regards to me training someone) and not knowing what I'm coming BACK to--let's just say I reached my boiling point.

And annoyingly enough, what do I do when I'm angry? Yup, you guessed it. I cry. I locked myself in a friend's office and "ROAR!" just let it all fly. I needed to vent to someone outside of the situation and she in turn gave me some feedback that not only made me feel better, but helped me figure out how to continue to address the issues at hand. (sorry I can't go into details!)

I want to have a good day today. I can't go into work in a foul mood, or moody about the uncertainties with my job, so I'm putting it down on paper ( right now.

I WILL NOT HOLD ONTO THIS TODAY. I have a meeting set up for Friday with some managers. I have a plan for another issue. I am dealing with the problems so I can NOT dwell on my anger/uncertainity/fear or it will freakin' consume me!

And besides, it's almost Friday! I'm leaving work two hours early, at four, on Friday afternoon. Big D will be home when I get there. We're heading to Maine Friday night! I'm so excited.

We're going to visit Carsa, hubby Allen and her two cute boys, Braeden and Chayse--I miss my Mainiacs! We really only get to see them a couple of times of year, one of which being an early to mid-summer trip every year. Since Big D and I can't take a ton of time off from work, we opted to use the holiday weekend to go up there. We'll leave Friday night and come home late Monday afternoon. This is the first time Carsa will see my preggo-belly in person!

And this will be mine and Daryl's "last hurrah" before the baby is born. :-) No dogs, no work, no stress---just relaxtion and some fun around the bonfire in their back yard!

Granted, no margaritas for me, DAMN, but I'll survive. Heh.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Woo hoo! My placenta is kick-ass! It did exactly as it should--traveled the correct road and hitch-hiked north, just like we wanted. :-)

I just came back from my doctor's appointment and ultrasound a little while ago and I'm excited to say things are going great! In addition to checking on the placenta's location, they measured the amount of fluid. I'm in the 50%, just a tiny bit on the higher side of average, but still good.

I'm packing on weight like a champ. I gained--eek--4 more pounds. But whatever, I'm still damn proud of my gain so far. I didn't want to go overboard, that was my goal, and so far I'm keeping to it!

And our baby boy is growing like crazy! Hunter is now.....DRUMROLL PLEASE...3.3 lbs!! The doctor said that is great. The ultrasound tech said, "I think you're going to have a big boy!" Big and healthy works for me!

Also, Hunter is also now breech, no biggie considering he has plenty of time to get into the correct position. But man does it explain some things! I started thinking to myself earlier this week (possibly late last week) that my belly felt different...on the right side it had gotten harder and stuck out more. I kept telling everyone, "Look! My belly is lopsided now!". Well, turns out that's where the little stinker's head is poking out!

I love having Daryl along to some of my appointments...he is always full of questions for the doctor, taking such an active role as Daddy. It makes me smile to hear him asking the doctor questions and to know how excited and interested he is in Hunter's growth and the changes going on in my body.

My next appointment is in two weeks and then once I hit 35 weeks, I'll be going weekly. Yikes! My, how time seems to be zipping by us now. It's almost scary! Oh, I do have an ultrasound shot of Hunter's profile, however, I haven't been able to scan it yet so I'll be sure to post it when I can! We also got to see him yawn big and wide during the ultrasound, and watch his little tongue move, and man, how that enthralled Big D and I both! His chest/belly looked like it was pumping in and out and the tech said, "Great! He's practicing breathing!" It's so amazing to me to know how far this little man has/and still is advancing inside of me.

I meant to post this on Sunday when I hit 28 weeks, but got side-tracked. So here it is at 28 and a half weeks, better late than never:

28 Weeks: Our boy Hunter
Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby now weighs about 2.7 lbs (1.2kg), measures about 10.4 inches (26cm) from crown to rump, and is around 16.7 inches (42cm) long. He is plumper and rounder, and his head and body are beginning to be in proportion.

Your baby now uses all of his senses. He can see, taste, recognize touch and the sound of your voice.

During the last trimester, your baby will receive antibodies from you through your placenta that will provide immunity from many diseases.

Your baby's adrenal glands are producing androgen-like substances. Androgens are normally male sex hormones, but in late pregnancy, when they reach the placenta they are turned into estrogen which in turn stimulates the production of prolactin in your body. Prolactin is the hormone needed for milk production. In this exchange, your baby is beginning to stimulate milk production in your breasts so that when he is born there will be food waiting for him.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Saturday was Fidelco's Annual Fundraiser Walk. Daryl and I threw on our sneakers and sunglasses and put Timber into his red "Puppy Guide Dog in Training" coat and gentle leader and off we went!

There were over 1,500 people and dogs, not only Fidelco fosters and current or retired guides, but tons of family pets as well.

The walk itself was a mile-long and afterward, the dogs (and pregnant lady!) got some rest and plenty of water and ice cubes!

Below on the left is Timber's litter mate, his brother Tango, and on the right is Timber.

Then it was time for the demos. First up, the fosters! I'm proud to say, Daryl's SHORTS (from the waist down) and Timber's happy grin were on the Channel 61 news that night! I saw the flash of his green shorts and then our pup, and thought to myself, "Wait a minute, is that Timber?" So, now I can say he's semi-famous. Heh.

Here I am, the SUMO WRESTLER---er, I mean able-bodied walker.

Even after walking (and a slight belly cramp) I was still smiling!

And then it was time for Timber's first canine massage!
He absolutely, positively loved the pampering and melted into the table like a stick of butter. The MT who worked on him kept commenting how he was the BEST dog on the table all day!

When it was time to hop down from the table, Timber so enjoyed his experience of canine massage that he tried to jump back UP on the table! LOL

And on the ride home? A happy, exhausted, SOUND ASLEEP puppy dog. Aaaaaahhhhhh.....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Anniversary, my love!
It's been a year since our wedding. A fabulous, miraculous, emotional year.

Another year gone by that I continue to be thankful to have you in my life.

You are my partner, my best friend, my confidante. You make me laugh, you make me feel safe, you support me and honor me and I can't say enough to thank you.

I will continue to cherish every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every year that long as I have you in it. I will continue to hold your hand, and walk this crazy path called Life with you. I will continue to rub your feet after a long day, and scratch your back and enjoy every cuddle we share. I will continue to love you, care for you and be the best wife I can be.

I love you, my husband. Forever and Always.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Call me weird, but, I can't stand scratching (bare nails on skin) against my newly formed stretch marks. I think it's the feeling up the upraised skin? Who the heck knows. I TOLD you guys, I'm weird.

But, I just can't do it.

Even though it itches like freakin' HELL.

So my darling hubby--often seeing my face contorted as I futilely try to rub at the itchies through my shirt--now offers to scratch my stretch-marked-belly for me.

If THAT isn't love, people, I don't know what is.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A couple of questions for all the Breast-Feeding-Mama's--who have been there/done that or are currently BF'ing...

1. How do you feel about utilizing a used breast pump? My friend has generously offered to let me use hers. She has used it for her three children (but really only religiously for one child. She is a SAHM so she didn't have a huge need to pump), and her sister (also a good friend of mine) has used it very briefly for her baby. She currently has it lent out to a friend of hers, who I don't know. I don't' really have an issue with using it--she will be sterilizing it before it comes to me--however, Big D is weirded out by the thought of it. And now a second question, is there a way to buy new "pieces" for the pump and yet still utilize the "motor" of it? (hopefully that makes sense).

2. While breast-feeding, when did you first introduce a bottle to your baby? I've heard mixed things about this. I know a couple of friends who swear that the reason their child never wanted to use a bottle was becuz they waited too long to have him/her feed from a bottle. What is your experience/take on this?

3. I'm currently updating my registry and I'm unsure if there is anything else I should be putting on the registry in regards to breast feeding. I have only put on there Disposable Nursing Pads, so far. Any hints, ideas would be appreciated!

4. How did you store your breast milk after pumping? I'm pretty sure I want to use the milk storage bags, as it seems like it would work easier for compact storage in my freezer, but what did you use and how did it work for you? What brand?

5. Also, after talking repeatedly with some BF'ing friends, I've removed the bottles from my registry. After first doing some research, Big D and I had put on the Doctor Brown's bottles, but since a few of my friends children are not happy with the bottles/nipples they have, I wonder if I should just wait till I'm at that point and try a couple different brands to see which Hunter may like? I do have a friend giving me a bunch of her Dr. Brown's that her second daughter will NOT use (yet her first daughter loved them) so I will at the very least have something to start out with.

6. When you breastfed, and if you had "troubles/issues" at first, how long did it take you to really get into the swing of things? I'm just curious. I will be returning to work after my 12 week maternity leave (hopefully to part time, but that's still up in the air) so I'm pretty eager and hoping if we are successful, that it won't take forever to get into the "groove" so to speak. I want both myself and Hunter to be comfortable by the time I do have to go back to work. Oh, and I guess this is a kind of double-sided question as well. When did you start pumping? I would love to start as soon as I can, so that Big D will have the experience of getting to feed the baby as well. I don't want him to feel left out, ya know?

Okay, I feel like I had a couple of more questions but my brain is fried--I'm drawing a blank on what they were. I'll update this post if they come to me.

Any information you give me is appreciated! Please don't' feel like you will sound like a "know-it-all" or something...I want to absorb as much info as I can since I know it is different for everyone. Oh, and if you have any additional thoughts you want to add, even if it doesn't have to do with any of my questions, feel free!

I am going into this wanting to breast-feed Hunter but I do realize that it's not entirely up to me. I've had enough internal dialogue with myself to remember that if it doesn't work out, it doesn't make me less of a Mom. ;-) But I'm certainly going to try my hardest to be successful with breast-feeding!

Thanks so much for your help, ladies!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sidenote: Ummmm...this post was supposed to go up TOMORROW, cuz I had already written about my Mother's Day for today's post--and I didn't want to inundate you guys by double-posting in one day. But now this post is STUCK here and it's showing up with tomorrow's date anyway. Weeeeeeird! So sorry for the double-posting! Hope you are able to read BOTH! :-)

27 weeks: Our baby boy Hunter

(As of this past Sunday, we hit the 27 week mark. WOO HOO! And I know it's figured out differently everywhere I read, but on the website I get my info on, it says I'm officially IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER!!! So exciting.)

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby weighs about 2.5 lbs (1.1kg) and is about 10 inches (25cm) from crown to rump and 15 inches (38 cm) long from head to toe.

At this time, the baby has taste buds which allow it to distinguish between sweet, sour and bitter tastes. (I think Hunter enjoyed our delicious Mexican this weekend!! Mmmm....beef burrito!!)

Brain tissue and brain development increases at this time as your baby grows the folds and grooves needed for a developed brain.

Eyebrows and eyelashes are probably present and the hair on your baby's head is growing longer.

Your baby's body is filling out, getting a bit fatter as fat deposition continues, but it is still somewhat red and wrinkled.

Your baby is big enough for his presentation to be determined. That is, your caregiver can probably tell how your baby is oriented in your uterus. He may be breech (bottom down) or head first. If your baby is in a breech position now, there is no need to worry as there is still plenty of room and time for your baby to change positions.

Your baby can feel pain and respond to it in the same way as a full term baby.

What else is going on in the baby-getting-ready-department?

The nursery is coming along FABULOUSLY. I'm so freakin' impressed with my husband's handiwork that I want to hug and kiss him often, to thank him. I go into Hunter's nursery on a regular basis and sit on the shiny hardwood floor and just stare. It's still pretty barren in there, with just the crib, BUT we added one other piece. This past Saturday I bought a shelf thingie...ugh, I'm drawing a blank on what you call it...wait, a BENCH! Sorry, preggo-brain kicked in there. Anyway we got a cute wooden bench that has, below the seat part, three little square cube-shaped spaces. After we paint it (or if we decide to stain it, still undecided) I will buy three little baskets to put in each square. Extra storage space is always appreciated. So right now it's in the baby's room and just has some random stuff in it (diapers a friend gave me, a couple of frames waiting to be filled with adorably cute baby pictures, etc). But still no dresser ordered yet (which is slowly driving me insane), and no blinds on the windows or area rug on the floor. I'm feeling anxious to get these things done, little by little. I don't know if it's the nesting mode kicking in or what, but the more I have hanging to get done, the more stressed out it is making me!!

We did however buy the wire shelving unit for Daryl to install in the closet. Once he does that, I can start putting away SOME of the adorable hand-me-down clothes I've been busily washing from friends.

We put up some super cute decals that match the bedding we'll be using...cute little safari animals. There was an elephant, a giraffe (my favorite), a lion, a zebra and some monkeys, amid little green tufts of grass and leaves. I contemplated taking some photographs of them up on the walls, but I figured I'd wait to share pictures of the FINISHED product with you guys when the nursery is done. If you are too impatient to wait though, let me know, and maybe I can snap a couple of shots tonight. The decals look wicked cute against the green paint. I'm so in love with it!!

I finally emailed the hospital about signing up for birthing classes. And a tour of the birthing center. I'm really looking foward to the tour! So I should be hearing back from them sometime this week, to get me and Big D all signed up.

And our Baby Shower-BBQ is coming up!! June 27th!! The invites are going out soon from my Mother-in-Law. We opted to have a Family Shower (spouses and children welcome) becuz Big D and I are just really big on family. And since the shower will be at Daryl's aunt's house, there will be fun stuff for the kids to do: a giant playscape, a jumping house, and plenty of games in their huge yard. And lots of BBQ-pot luck food for all of us adults to indulge in. ;-) I can hardly wait to see my friends and family and to have a great party!

And last but not least, I go in mid-week to do my glucose tolerance blood work. And then the following week we go for an ultrasound. I'm SO eager to see my boy, again!!

On a non-baby front...mine and Daryl's wedding anniversary is coming up next Sunday! Can you BELIEVE it's been a YEAR since our wedding? And like TWO years since the utter-craziness that was wedding planning??? Time has just flown by for us.

We aren't going to be making a huge deal out of it, only becuz technically we've been married now for about a year and a half, but it still holds a sentimental value for both of us. Becuz of the utter craziness that is our upcoming weekend (and also the fact that we have so much baby-STUFF to spend money on), we are going to keep our celebration low-key and go out for a nice dinner together on Saturday night, and probably just exchange cards but not gifts (our actual anniversary day is Sunday but his Grandma just called to say, "I KNOW it's your first anniversary BUT I wanted to have your Father's birthday dinner this weekend. Do you mind?" Ugh. Well, yes, we do mind, but I'm too nice to say that. So we'll be spending our actual anniversary with his grandma and Dad. Super romantic. Heh.)

So, that's what's going on in our lives right now! Busy, busy, busy! The training with our Fidelco foster puppy, Timber, has kicked up a few notches. We were told AGAIN this past weekend that he is going to make a superb guide dog. I laughed to the trainer and said, "That's funny becuz he acts absolutely BONKERS at home, but acts like a saint during classes and his walks." She told me the craziest dogs at home, make the BEST guide dogs. So there is a fabulous life awaiting our sweet-faced seven month old puppy!

Monday, May 11, 2009

I love my Mom!

We had a very nice, relaxing Mother's Day yesterday. Big D and I picked up my Mom early, around 7:30am, and went to a local diner for breakfast. My Big D gave me two Mother's Day cards (one funny and one very, very sweet!) and my Mom gave me an unexpected a surprise...a gift! An adorable camo onesie that said "Major Cutie" on the front. And then the card, my favorite part of all!

The card was "From Your Little Boy" and when I realized she was giving me the card, from Hunter, I broke out into a smile. And inside, not only had she written "Love, Hunter Richard Cashin xoxoxoxox" but then on the inside of the card was written: "Mommy, Even though I'm just inside you, doesn't mean that I love you any less. From your tummy-boy, Hunter".

And I had to fight back the tears! My Mom is so damn cute.

We gave her her Mother's Day gift, then afterward breakfast we headed to a nursery to buy vegetable plants for our garden. Daryl has been chomping at the bit to get it started. Once home, Mom and I sat on the back porch drinking ice water and enjoying the warm rays of sun, as Daryl planted away. We spent about a good hour or two just relaxing outside.

Afterward, I brought my Mom home so we stopped at Dairy Queen on the way and got ice cream cones. I popped in with her to visit my grandmother for a bit, who has been dying to see my belly. I was momentarily in shock at how skinny my Grammie has become. While the cancer had gone away, she has since been going downhill and very ill. She is suffering from other ailments, including some after-affects of the chemo and radiation she went through. She has like no saliva in her mouth and can barely swallow without the aid of water or mineral oil. She's tired all the time and even when she is not sleeping, she is "resting" in bed. She was in bed when we got there. And I think the sight of her was what hit me the most...she is so, so skinny and her face has become almost gaunt. My Grammie has always been an attractive woman, and I remember back when I was 16 years old, when I was with her, people often confused her for my Mother, becuz of how young she looked.

Well, she doesn't look young anymore. :-(

SO that was an eye-opener for me. I'm glad I gave her some joy as she put a hand on my belly and reminisced about her own pregnancies of the past. We drank tea, three generations of grown women, and I said a silent prayer to myself that she will continue plugging along to see her first great-grandchild after he's born. When it was time to go, I kissed her soft wrinkled cheek and silently wished her strength. I kissed my Mom good bye and wished them both a Happy Mother's Day.

It was a good Mother's Day. Whether you call it for me a Pre-Mother's Day, a Bun-in-the-Oven Day (Daryl's favorite) or simply Mother's Day, I enjoyed it and spending time with the other Mom's in my life as well as my husband.

It was a good day.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

So, I'm home today trying to relax.

I was not feeling well this morning.

I actually started feeling crappy last night. After I got home from my OB appoinment (off topic..I unknowingly drove by a murder scene! There was a shooting in Middletown at Wesleyan University...and when I was driving home, I passed the library where there was yellow tape everywhere. It didn't dawn on me THEN that it was CRIME SCENE tape. Anyway, I joked to Daryl--who I was talking on the cell phone with--that I might be on the news. I drove right behind where the local news stations were filming. I still wonder if my red truck showed up on the six o'clock news. And I think they still haven't caught the shooter, who was the boyfriend who shot his girlfriend. What a scary world we live in!!!)

Anyway, after I got home, I started to feel kind of yucky. And I was ravenous becuz I had barely eaten much during the day, at least not much protein. And suddenly I realized something was different with my belly. It was going through brief periods of tightening and hardening and feeling slightly uncomfortable. No pain. After the second time it happened, I mused aloud to Daryl, "I wonder if I'm having Braxton Hicks contractions? I have no idea what they feel like."

I was already drinking water at this point but I went inside the house (cuz I was outside with the dogs and Daryl) and refilled my glass and attempted to lay down on my left side on the couch, with a small pillow between my knees. I was SO uncomfortable in that position, and found it slightly hard to breathe so I ended up sitting up and reclining, feet raised. I was so hungry by this point and all we really had in the house was pasta and I seriously was jonesing for PROTEIN. I told Daryl I wanted Taco Bell. I think I surprised even him with how much I consumed.

By this point, the belly contractions were going on for about an hour and a half to two hours, but maybe only like four or five or total? I wasn't quite sure when they started/stopped and if it was a NEW one or the same. And like I said, no pain, so I wasn't concerned. After a full belly, and two more glasses of water....relief!! I started to feel better! For the second night in a row I got a very decent night's sleep. Only woke up once or twice.

Anyway, this morning I woke up feeling fine. Hours later, fully showered and dressed, I took the puppy outside on his leash and felt a bout of dizziness while out there. I brought him in and put him in his crate, then when I bent over to latch Daisy in her crate, I felt another wave of dizziness accompanied by nausea. I was not comfortable with hopping in the truck to drive at that point so I called work to tell them I'd be about a half hour late so that I could sit down and breathe for a few minutes.

I wasn't feeling any better so I finally opted to stay home. I have to say, after eating a second breakfast (I ate first at seven a.m., then again at about 10:30am) I started to feel better but not great. I continued to hydrate with water. Then at noon, I realized I had to eat AGAIN cuz I was ravenous. Once I had lunch, and some ginger ale, and after spending most of my day reclined on the couch, what a difference!! I feel a lot better now.

So obviously this is a big lesson to me. LISTEN TO MY BODY. Continue to eat when I'm hungry and stop worrying about "eating too much" and drink water often. And REST. Something I don't do enough of.

Lesson learned.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Went to my doctor's appointment this afternoon. Things are looking good.

Granted, I've gained six freakin' pounds in the past four weeks. I asked the doctor if that seemed excessive but based on my weight gain thus far, she wasn't worried about it. However, when it came time to measure my fundus height, she said, "Well you are measuring big."

I am measuring at about 30 weeks. I'm only 26 and a half weeks (I'll be 27 weeks on Sunday). While this concerned me a bit, again my doctor didn't seem worried. She said at my next ultrasound in two weeks, we'll check the fluid and make sure there is not too much. Has anyone else measured 3-4 weeks ahead like that? Does it mean anything? I mean, I read it could mean absolutely nothing, other than the fact that I'm measuring "big". Just curious.

Also, at that ultrasound we'll be checking the location of my placenta to see if it has moved up (as it should). Let's keep our fingers crossed that this bad-boy-placenta has hitchhiked up north!! I'm really hoping for a vaginal birth, and not a c-section, if I can help it!

I was also given the go-ahead to have my 1-hour glucose test done. I got my bottle of orange-flavored yumminess (that was sarcasm, in case you wondered) and I'm not looking forward to that, at all! I've heard too many stories from other ladies about how sickeningly sweet it is (and you're listening to a girl who doesn't like normally sweet drinks as it is, never mind something that will probably taste over-the-top grossly sweet to me!). And then exactly one hour later, I have to get the bloodwork done. So I'll probably do that one morning this week. Since I have to fast three hours (after my meal) before I can drink it, I'll have to do it on a weekday morning. We already have plans for 10:00am on Saturday, otherwise I'd just do it then.

Anyway, we listened to baby Hunter's heartbeat and it sounded perfect! And my doctor cracked me up. While we were listening, she said, "Hello there, honey!" You can tell she is a Mommy, herself. ;-) My blood pressure as well was "great". So for the most part, things are looking up!

After my ultrasound appointment, we go to appointments every two weeks. In the words of Daryl, "Holy moly!" Time seems to be speeding up now. Just more reason for me to feel anxious about all the unfinsihed items on our to-do list!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Wow. It's been seven years, Dad.

Where has the time gone?

Some days when I think of you, it's as if I just saw you yesterday. My memory images often alternate between your last days with your sparse, graying hair (you never had any gray before the chemo) and your thin face. You talked less and less the sicker you got and I remember missing the sound of your voice. Even if what you said made no sense, from the morphine, I still relished every second. And when you couldn't really speak much, between the oxygen and not having the strength, the depth in your dark brown eyes told endless stories.

But more often than not, I picture you healthy. And strong. Your broad chest and muscled arms, your dark brown hair so much like my own. Our matching Smith noses above big toothy grins. Your skinny "chicken legs" poking out from your red shorts. Your voice, so deep and smooth, as you belted out with reckless abandon, the songs you loved the most. I still can't hear "Benny and the Jets" without your voice playing in my head.

We weren't a family that said "I love you". We showed it more than said it. But I remember on my 21st birthday, after a long lovely weekend of celebration with my family and my boyfriend at the time...I was resting in my bedroom, watching Mtv. That dreaded Mtv that you hated so much.

But despite whatever silly program was on, you came in and perched on the edge of my bed, looking slightly out of place.

"Did you have a good birthday?" You asked with a knowing smile. I reasusred you that it was great, one of my best.

"Good, I'm glad." You patted my leg and stood up, as if to leave. Before you walked out, you said, "Happy Birthday, April. I love you."

And I think I almost melted into a pile of mushy, emotional goo. Once you walked out of the room, of course. That is one of my most favorite memories, Dad. So simple. But so unforgettable!

I know I say it all the time, and I definitely think it every day, but here it is again. I miss you with all my heart and soul. And I love you!

And I'll end this with one of my favorite quotes that always makes me think of you:

"Time is too slow for those who wait,
Too swift for those who fear,
Too long for those who grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love,
Time is not."

Monday, May 04, 2009

26 weeks: Our baby Hunter

We're almost out of the second more week until the third tri!!

Your Baby This Coming Week

Your baby weighs more than 2 lbs (1000g), measures 9.6 inches from crown to rump (24cm) and its total length is about 15.3 inches (34cm). If your baby were born now, he would have about an 85% chance of surviving. Nonetheless, your baby still needs another 13 weeks of in utero development to be considered full term. (Hearing the statistic of him having an 85% chance of surviving if born right now, I find SO comforting! Not that I WANT him to come yet, so keep on cooking in there, little man!)

Your baby's eyes, no longer fused shut, are now open. (I often wonder what the world looks like to a baby in utero!)

Your baby's skin still has a very wrinkled appearance, but it is protected and nourished by the covering of vernix, a waxy coating that keeps the skin supple.

Your baby looks almost like a full term baby, but is still much thinner and smaller than he will be at birth. (Yay! Happy growing, little string bean!!)

My weekend was pretty much a bust.

Between a cold I've been fighting off (which I now think may be the "symptoms" continue to come and go) and a MEAN stomach ache (think debilitating, bend over as sharp shooting gas pains pierce your belly...THAT kind of stomach ache. I get them too often now if I overeat. Which I can't quite figure that out...I mean I only had--ahem--(almost a whole box of) macaroni and cheese. Go figure.), we ended up canceling almost all of our plans.

I did end up getting a good portion of cleaning done when it was only the "cold" holding me back, but yesterday during my tummy ache? I spent all day on the couch. No shower. PJ's all day. Feeling so blah and tired and worn out that I could just cry. But thankfully I didn't, once my belly started to feel better (around 5pm), Daryl tickled the heck out of me till my frown turned into an unwilling, but much needed, smile!!

And now it's Monday. Gloomy. Blah again. *SIGH*

Saturday, May 02, 2009

We did it! Daryl, Hunter and I are in the home stretch.

99 Days to go (till estimated due date)!!!

Why is it that seeing that triple digit number go down to double digits makes it seem like time is going to WHIP by now??

Maybe becuz we still have so much to do?


Since Big D started his second (part time) job, time has been a little hard to come by, to get stuff done. We still have to finish:

1. the crown molding in Hunter's nursery along with one wall's chair rail
2. putting up a closet door (and finishing emptying all MY crap out of his closet!)
3. ordering the dresser/changing table that goes with his crib (it takes 2 weeks to come in, so we're not in a huge rush for that...however...I have NO WHERE to put anything in his room right now since Hunter's closet is still full of my clothes!)
4. calling the hospital to sign up for the birthing classes, as well as a tour
5. finish organizing the REST of the house in preparation for all the schtuff that comes along with this little person in my belly!
6. washing all the sweet little baby boy clothes we have (I obviously won't be able to do that with the stuff from the shower till July, but in the meantime I might get cracking on what I've got so far). I also have a ton of cute hand-me-down's from Carsa's two boys, and since those have been sitting around gathering dust in our unused finished attic, I will re-wash those as well.
7. putting the second coat of paint on Hunter's letters so that I can hang them up over his crib.
8. solidifying some things at work regarding my Maternity leave and hours coming back afterward (more on that in a future post)
9. find a pediatrician (do you guys have suggestions on this? I have two recommendations from friends but what do I DO? Do I set up to meet with each one? And what questions should I be asking? Help!)

I know there is much more, but my brain is shot right now. It is looking more and more like our kitchen renovations will be on a looooong standby, at least until after the baby is born. With everything else going on, we just don't have enough time OR money to get it done before that. I'm really bummed out by that, cuz the disarray (especially when I enter into Full-Fledge Nesting Mode) is goign to drive me batty!! And I am not looking forward to the dust flying when little Hunter is in the house to be breathing it in! I'm thinking when it gets to that point, I'll have to hang a sheet up or something to try to contain most of it in the kitchen. *SIGH*

Life is starting to get crazy now with summer approaching. Plans have been materializing left and right and our calendar is already filling up! This weekend Big D has orientation at his new job (8am-5pm Saturday and 9-1pm on Sunday). So I will be going by my pregnant self to my friend's Jess's daughter's communion Saturday morning. Then in the evening we have a friend coming over for dinner (although SHE is making it for us! She is a chef. Mmmmm!!). And Sunday we are probably going to be going out to dinner with Joe and Erin. And then next weekend is just as crazy with plans with friends, Mother's Day breakfast with my Mama and just lots of general running around.

I'm getting tired already, just thinking of it all.