Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Learning New Things

Here's a little photo montage of the things Jada has picked up this week.  The only one I don't have is her getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth.  I can now say I'm ready for her to start crawling.  Miss Diva has a bit of an attitude now that she can't reach the things she wants or go where she wants all the time.  It'll be nice when she can do those things, although I'm well aware we will be doing more chasing than anything else.

Here goes:
In case we were ever in doubt as to who Jada takes after, I present evidence #1.  Note they are laying EXACTLY the same way and no, we didn't position her this way!

TIME SAVER!  Jada mastered holding her own bottle this week so now I get her up while I'm getting ready in the morning.  She eats and watches me do girly things and I get the chance to spend even more time with her.  I'm so glad we've reached this point!
Okay, she didn't learn this, she's just stinkin' cute!  I DIE for this smile!
Last but not least, the frog pose.  Who doesn't watch Sunday cartoons like this!?
We've started limiting tv time now that she's able to focus on it.  I'd rather teach her some good habits while I can!

That's all!  I'm positive we will have a little better update after this weekend because Grandma J will be here for three full days!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship

We've all got them.  We love things, we hate things, and sometimes we feel both for one thing in particular.  For me it has always been this one thing: Exercise.

I heard you gasp.  I hear you thinking, "But Renee'!  You're an Exercise Physiologist!  How could you hate exercise if you've made it your life!?"  Good question and I'll tell you.

I grew up playing all kinds of sports!  I think I started with tee ball, moved on to swimming, moved on to softball, moved on to basketball, and then added my all-time favorite, volleyball.  When I was a senior, I got a wild hair and gave track and field a try.  I hated every minute of it but I sure did love the results!  I was the "thinnest" I'd ever been!  I have a love hate relationship with sports, too.  Did you know I mostly hated basketball?  I started playing when it was still 5 on 5 for girls (God, I'm getting old!).  I ended playing when I was a senior in high school so I basically played for 12 years of my life...and I basically hated it all 12 years.  There were a few things I loved about it though.  I loved the girls.  I loved my friends, the atmosphere, spending time with these ladies who maybe wouldn't give me the time of day any other way, and the parents.  That's why I played so long, not because the sport was fun all the time or that I was very good, though some might disagree on that last point.  See what I mean?  Love/hate relationship.

When I went to college, I was extremely scared of the freshman 15, those pounds you accumulate because you can do or not do whatever you want and eat or not eat whatever you want.  My friend, Amber, went to the same school with me and lived just around the corner.  We forced each other to get up and go to the on campus gym.  Okay, she forced me more often than not; I am not a morning person!  Prior to this, exercise was something I did because I played sports.  During this, I fell in love with exercise...but I hated the pain.  Exercise doesn't always feel good!

I met a guy that year.  Nothing motivates a college girl to get fit like meeting a guy.  An important guy.  A guy you REALLY like...okay, you love!  So I started running...and I hated it.  I H.A.T.E.D. running!  The longer I ran, the more I started to push myself to do it and the more I started to love it.  The running, well that lasted ~6 months and then I stopped running so I could spend time with the guy.  The guy, well that didn't last either.  Sometimes what you love gets all mixed up with someone you love and when they don't love you anymore, you don't love that something anymore...if you're following me here.

That's when I took a class called exercise physiology.  It was an advanced course and I was a sophomore so I was intimidated.  I got an A+.  I didn't get that grade because it was easy and I didn't have to study, I got it because I fell in love with what exercise did FOR the body, not how it made a person look good.  Seriously, I am the biggest nerd when it comes to exercise physiology.  I love it.  I decided to make it my career and spent time in the professor's office asking questions.  I found a school where I could do a master's in exercise physiology, ended up suicide applying (e.g. I didn't apply anywhere else), and thankfully got accepted.  Sometimes I just hate exercise, or the act of exercise.  Yep.  Love/Hate.

And now I'm here.  I'm 28 years old.  I have a 7 month old baby and a post-baby body.  It took no time at all for me to lose the baby weight and then some but there's one thing I know I can give my baby and myself that no one else can.  A healthy, happy version of me.  I decided to pick up something I hated: running.  About 2 months ago I started to do intervals.  1 minute running, 3 minutes walking, repeated for 30 minutes.  I'd change it up over time and now I'm up to running for 25 minutes.  Sure, it doesn't seem like much to "real runners" but it's a lot to me!  I've also gone from hating running to loving it again in a short period of time.  In fact, I get frustrated when it's a hard day and I just can't force my body to run.  Even my body has a love/hate relationship with exercise!

See?  Sometimes love/hate relationships are good things.  I may have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I've been exercising nearly my entire life!  Not very many people can say that!  I'm off to plan my run today.  It's interval day.  I LOVE interval day!

Enjoy your weekend!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Do you hear that?

I hear quacking...You know, like a duck?  Hmm....

OH!  That's right!  It's just my little duckling on her very first Halloween!

The cutest duckling I've ever seen!
Come to think of it, I don't think that was quacking.
It was giggling!
Or maybe it was Daddy.  He was getting his lipid panel at the health fair and they had to draw blood 5 times to get it right!

Good thing this Daddy is a good sport!

My duckling is educating the public on the obesity eating the obesity reading material.
The pamphlet is called "Outrun Obesity," in case you didn't pick that up!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This post is dedicated to my friend, Lanie, who reminds me at least once a week that I am 3 months behind on posting anything on my poor blog!  SO, here's a short photo montage of our most recent weekend.  I'll do my best to find my creative side again and start posting more often!

Jada has been jumping and jumping AND jumping!

We helped cure a nasty diaper rash with a little naked baby time!  Jada's favorite toy, George the Giraffe, helped. too!

We went to the Louisburg Cider Mill and Pumpkin Patch.  This was Jada's first time seeing pumpkins.  She especially liked the hay.

She didn't know what to think about the pumpkins....

...but in the end she loved them, too!  Here she is in a sea of pumpkins!

Grandma J stayed with us ALL weekend!  She came to the pumpkin patch with us.  I wish we had pictures of Jada discovering how fantastic Grandma's necklace was because it made noise and went over Grandma's face!

She also taught Jada how to play Patty Cake.  She thought that was the bees knees!

And finally, one of the only decent family pictures we got of the day.  I guess this is what they'll look like from here on out but I don't mind!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Cup Runneth Over

Apparently I haven't made the time to write about all that is going on in our lives.  I have often thought about it but rarely do I come up with anything creative or exciting to share.  The funny part about that last statement is there is plenty of excitement going on in my life and I realized last night, as I listened to my 3 month old baby girl giggle a real grown-up giggle for the very first time, that my cup runneth over. 

I can't hit on everything that has been new, exciting, or even not so exciting or so fun but I can certainly tell you a few highlights.  Jada is thriving, thank God!  She eats like a champ, sleeps well at night, and is generally a happy go lucky sort of gal (she got that from her dad).  She began smiling pretty early on which probably looks more like a BIG yawn, mouth fully open, dimples on both cheeks (she got those from her dad too), and eyes alight with excitment (she got those from me)!  On June 18th, she rolled from tummy to back for the first time and promptly began screaming from fear.  Some of these new experiences are fantastic for Mommy and Daddy but not so much for our little girl!  Jada holds her head steady and wants to sit up these days.  She will still be cradled when she's sleepy but the majority of the time, she wants to see the world.  Last weekend we put her in the Bijorn and went to the Farmer's Market where she was able to see all kinds of people and new things.  We didn't hear a peep out of her.  In fact, she just rode along staring and chewing on her bib!

My favorite parts about the few months we've spent together have been watching her really learning things and those times that I get to cuddle her as she drifts off to the land of Nod.  Jada takes time to really look at things, to listen, and really study, all qualities that we could take note of ourselves.  She loves the tv (I don't know that this is good or bad just yet) and watches as the colors change and characters flit across the screen.  Rocking her to sleep brings me a lot of joy, so much so that I tend to shower her with kisses and study her face and body just to remember it for as long as I can.  I don't get to do these things as often as I want now that I'm back to working full-time and since I know just how fast time flies, I really take the time to relish in these quiet, peaceful times.  Sometimes she studies my face and in the last few weeks has begun reaching for objects.  This morning, as I sat cradling her while she woke up from her long night of dreams, she reached up to my face, put her palm and fingers on my cheek, and just stared with an awed expression.  I wish we could all look at ourselves the way our children look at us!

The most recent changes are pretty notable, too.  Jada is laughing non-stop!  She smiles a lot and we've noticed she's more of a morning person (she gets that from her Grandma J).  Last night was the very first real giggle and it was in the top 5 best sounds I've ever heard in my life.  I got so excited, I jumped up and down and clapped which scared her to death.  That still can't erase the wonderful sound of my baby giggling for the first time!  Jada is really trying hard to roll from back to tummy now, too.  She gets frustrated because she can get to her side but can't quite get that rear end to roll.  I still say it'll be any day now, though.

Aside from changes there are interactions with other adults and kids to note.  Jada has lots of friends her age because many of our friends had babies this year, too.  We've spent time with Monroe Easley, Adalyn Fast, Kimber Elo, Kellen and Rowen Roth, Lena Roth, Michael Castillo, and probably several more kids that I can't remember right this minute.  So far she barely takes notice of her pals with Monroe as the exception.  The girls have spent lots of time together so while Monroe reaches and squeals in delight trying to grab at Jada, Jada simply looks at her with an expression of "What is this fool doing to me?"  Friends are one thing.  Nothing compares to seeing your family with your baby.  My Mom is the one I watch the most.  She LOVES being a Grandma and Jada loves being a Grandma's girl!  My sister was a surprise to me.  She loved holding Jada, even changed a diaper or two, and talked and played with her as much as possible before she went home to New Mexico.  And then there is my husband.

Now that Jada is here, she is his whole world and that isn't a bad thing.  He gets right in her face and they "talk" to eachother.  She loves to cuddle on him because his chest is wide and soft, not like mine.  He also makes really strange sounds that I can't make and that always sets her off squealing in delight.  We take turns rocking Jada to sleep at night and Robin's approach is to sing her songs.  Sometimes I take the monitor downstairs and just listen in, even going so far as to turn off the tv so I can hear that sweet sound (if you're reading this, Robin, no you cannot stop or be embarassed). 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I never thought I would be a good parent, have the patience, or that I should even attempt to have kids.  Boy was I wrong.  Thank goodness I got some sense and figured that out!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Catching Up

There are so many things I could say about the last 6 weeks and I have no idea where to begin!  I could tell you a lot so maybe I'll pick out a few things and share some more pictures of our little one.  Here goes:

1)  Labor and delivery was a lot easier than I thought it would be, even though I did have to have a couple of interventions on me so that she would come a little faster.  See, our little one is a bit of a diva and she had the cord wrapped around her neck.  As she dropped through the birth canal, her heart rate continued to drop significantly and we had two choices.  C-section immediately or allow a few interventions so that I could give her a couple good pushes and get her here quicker.  Apparently I am a champion pusher so we went with option two.  She's perfect and had no issues when she arrived!

2)  The first two weeks were likely the worst I've had in years.  I was very concerned that I had post partum depression.  Between hormones, lack of sleep, extreme pain/discomfort due to issues invovled with #1, and the ups and downs of being a new Mommy, I was a wreck!  I was completely unprepared for that period and thankfully, it was just a case of the baby blues.  Week 3 came and I was just fine!

3)  Jada is a great baby, even though she had her nights and days mixed up for ~5 weeks.  She only cries when she gets her diaper changed, clothes changed, is hungry, or is in the bath.  Otherwise she's pretty laid back.  My favorite time is when she lays on her back kicking and punching.  She makes noises like she's trying to talk and now she is focusing on objects.  It's a lot of fun to see!

4)  She needs to SLOW DOWN with this growing!  She is currently in the 90th percentile for height and 91st for weight.  She weighs 11 lbs, 5 oz. and is 22.5 inches long.  She's going to be long and tall like her Mommy!

5)  Breastfeeding is not as easy as people will make you believe.  I had a lot of issues with it and finally started expressing and giving bottles in week 3.  We're all doing much better in this department.  I admire anyone who can breastfeed exclusively but this choice was better for my family.  Now others can help feed and enjoy the experience and I do not feel like the family cow all the time.  I do love being able to provide food for my child, I just don't think she has to be attached to me 24/7.

Okay, those are the few things I can think of to say right now!  Below are some pictures to share for now.  Have a great week!

Robin and I take "professional" pictures of Jada at home.  Isn't she cute!?
Leah was SO excited to hold the besties!  Jada & Monroe, April 2011
Grandma J can't get enough of Jada!  She's lovin' her some baby feet during the Tulip Time parade!
Getting a little stretch in before a diaper change.  See that little smile??
Cuddles on Mother's Day morning.  Forgive Mommy for looking a little tired...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcome Jada Jolynn Sol!

We welcomed our daughter, Jada Jolynn, on 3/31/11.  That morning, I was ready for work and stopped in the restroom before I walked out the door.  When I grabbed my bags at about 7:30 a.m., I sneezed and thought I'd wet my pants.  I thought this was a little odd because it hadn't happened the entire time I was pregnant.  Then I realized that it could also be my water breaking.  I debated for 30 minutes whether or not to call the doctor and finally did, while sitting in my car to go to work, thinking if I had broken my water, I didn't want to go into labor at work which is ~20 minutes from the hospital where we planned to deliver.  I called Robin and let him know what was going on and then called the doctor's office.  Then I called my bosses to let them know I'd at least be late.

My midwife asked that I come to her office after 9 and we'd check things out.  I didn't have any contractions other than the usual sporatic ones now and then but when I arrived at the doctor, I just knew something was going on.  That was confirmed when my midwife did an exam.  The words "You're going to have a baby today!" sealed the deal.  I can't explain how I felt but as I left the office, I told the scheduling clerk to cancel my appointment for the next day and that I was going to have a baby, to which she celebrated and congratulated me.  I called Robin and asked him to meet me at home, then called my boss.  I am so lucky; my boss was super supportive and extremely excited for us.  I can't explain again how glad I am to be working where I do.

Did I mention this was the worst possible day for the baby to come?  I had a grant due that day and Robin had the biggest, most important meeting his company had ever had.  This was the first indication that Jada would be a bit of a diva!

We took our dog to PetSmart to stay while we were in the hospital, checked in around 11 a.m., and were taken directly to a labor and delivery room.  I was pretty nervous but not as nervous as I had thought I would be.  Robin was calm and I think that helped me.  My body was already doing a great job of getting the baby moving so my midwife asked what I'd like to do.  I could let my body go for it but I may be in labor a lot longer or I could have a small dose of pitocin and get things moving.  I chose option 2.  Jeane said I'd likely have a baby around 5 p.m. and she was right!  Unfortunately I waited way too long to have the epidural and had to feel the wrath of my contractions for about an hour.  It really is the worst pain I have ever experienced.  On the bright side, the epidural was a miracle worker and for me, it was a great decision.

Finally, it was nearing baby time and the nurse noticed her heart rate kept dropping.  They moved me into various positions to see if that would help and for a while it did but the farther the baby dropped, the more her heartrate dropped.  Eventually Jeane asked the OB/GYN on call to come in and help decide what to do.  Worst case was a C-section.  Best was some sort of intervention like using the vacuum to help her move faster.  They asked me to try pushing to see how well I did and I'm apparently a champ so we went with option 2.  I won't go into detail but I will say that I had to have significant interventions on myself to get the baby out.  It didn't hurt; like I said, epidurals rock!  When her head came out, they found that the cord was around her neck, causing the heart rate to drop.  One more set of pushing and I was done.  I only had to work for 15-20 minutes total; the rest was a breeze!  I was rewarded with a healthy, baby girl.

We stayed in the hospital for 2 days and came home on Saturday.  She has been a complete joy!  She feeds very well but she likes to be awake every 1-2 hours during the night.  I'm hoping that will change sometime in the next few weeks.  My Mom has been here since Friday helping us and I cannot explain how important it has been to have her here.  Having someone to watch the baby while I take a nap after a long night or cook or clean is such a blessing.  I don't think any of these things would get done if it were just me and Robin.  Robin is also a big help.  He changes diapers like a pro now and does this before every feeding, then goes back to bed.  He also brings me water when I need it or helps me with other tasks that I'm not allowed to do.  Since I had to have so much done to me, I'm not allowed to do much but sit here, feed, and take care of myself.  Still, this has been the best experience of my life.  I never thought I'd be a good mom because it was never something I pictured myself as doing.  Thankfully, I was wrong about myself.  I'm pretty good at this!

Anywho, I have to go change a blowout now.  Please enjoy the pictures of our sweet baby.  We can't wait to introduce her to all of you!

First time holding Jada.  Mommy is a little tired and shell shocked!
Jada Jolynn
I really like my swing and I always have to have my hands around my face!
Daddy loves me SO much!  He wants to hold me all the time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

38 Weeks!!

I don't have a lot to share other than a short story that I want our daughter to know one day.  Robin, don't kill me.

Last night Robin and I were nearing bedtime and I had just finished washing my face.  I walked back into our bedroom and Robin wasn't there but I heard him singing one of our favorite Josh Groban songs.  It happens to be very lullaby-like and one that he has sung many times before.  I didn't find this unusual at all, I just wondered where he was and what he was doing while singing that song.  I peeked out into the hall and the only light on was the one in the nursery.  When I walked down there, he was sitting in the rocker singing the song.  I smiled and asked what he was doing to which he replied, "Practicing."

I know I've said a million times how lucky I am to have found this guy, but times like these just melt my heart.  I just know this little girl is going to be a Daddy's girl and that's going to be a really fun thing to see!

After I posted this the first time on Facebook, I decided I'd add the song here so you can really picture what he was singing to our little girl.

Now, here's my 38 week picture.  I am officially getting nervous.  As I'm typing this, the hair is beginning to prickle at the back of my legs and I'm getting goose bumps on my arms.  I just hope that I'm a lot more calm when the time comes!

Woah Belly!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our Cozy Nursery Nook

I had no idea that creating the perfect nursery would be such a challenge.  I didn't really have a vision going into this because I've never been the one to picture myself being a Mom.  I guess I assumed it would happen but I never really thought about it much.  This is the same thing that we went through with my wedding.  "What do you want?"  That question was purely irritating because I didn't know!  Same thing here.  What I DID know is I wanted the little room to feel cozy and comfortable for both baby and her Mommy and Daddy.  Oh, and I wanted to limit the amount of pink everywhere.  It's just not my favorite color!

The first thing we did was pick out the crib and dresser which I've told you about in posts quite a while ago.  Dresser number 2 looks great with the crib and we have the rocker recliner now, too.  All are dark browns and I have to admit I love that chair.  Good thing since I'm sure I'll spend lots of time there in the coming months! 

Then we set out to decide what bedding and wall color we wanted simultaneously.  We started by looking into gender neutral bedding.  Let's just say it was less than thrilling and when we saw how cheap we could get some of the bedding, we decided to go all out with the girl theme.  That's when we stumbled across this beautiful paisley bedding.  It was purple, white, and sage green, absolutely perfect for what we wanted.  The set was more expensive than planned but we loved it so much we thought we'd splurge.  We picked out the perfect purple for the walls, painted the trim white, and we had a beautiful little girl's room.  However, the bedding went out of stock EVERYWHERE.  I mean that literally.  Even the manufacturer didn't have it!  So, we found a cheaper option with the same colors.  Thankfully, I really like the bedding and it's really pretty with the wall color, too.

Next we had to decide on decorations.  I originally thought we could find vintage post cards online and frame them when they got here.  Think floral but not exceptionally girly.  We found some cards I loved but then we stumbled across a site,  We fell in love with this decal of a dandelion blowing in the wind and eventually settled on it as our major decoration.  It turned out to be really easy to install and it looks great!  Plus it's unique and goes along with the bedding in that the bedding has little dragon flies on it and then you have the flower plus the wind's just awesome!  Robin built me a side table to put by the rocker and this will be extremely handy, I'm sure.  It looks great and I really like the size!

After our two big showers, we finally set to work getting things organized and in place.  This took me DAYS.  I washed all of the clothing, bedding and blankets then organized them by size.  I had to have my husband help me put them away as it was completely overwhelming.  He also helped me organize all of the baby items that we knew she'd need like changing items, bibs, shoes, extra sheets, and the list goes on.  We had to purchase a book case for all of her books and a few little nick nacks but I'm not complaining.  I love books as you know and it's fun to sit there and think of all the times I'll get to read her stories down the road.  I can also imagine my husband sitting there reading with her and doing all of the character voices.  It will be a great thing to hear before bedtime.

Finally, we put up the decorations aside from family photos that we'll add when she's here and the room is gorgeous.  I don't know how we pulled it off but it's cozy and comfortable, just what I would have said I wanted had I known what that even was!  I've posted pictures below for you to see, though I really feel like they don't do the room justice.  Atlas has even taken to laying on the rug in front of her crib, just as we thought he would.  Seems like the whole family loves the room!

View from the door
Nursing/Reading Area.  This is my favorite place!
Crib and Dandelion Decal...We love how this turned out!

My Mom painted my childhood rocking chair just for the baby!

Friday, March 11, 2011

When you're 9 months pregnant...

I have learned a great deal of things during my pregnancy that I didn't know could happen.  When I share these with other ladies, most often they didn't know these things could happen either, so today I'm going to share with you a few things I've learned.  I would say this is a post for the ladies by a lady and if you're male and reading this, well you just remember I warned you first!

1)  When you're 9 months pregnant, it's a chore to walk 10 minutes to and from you car in the parking lot (which is uphill...not even kidding).  I equate the feeling to hiking uphill for hours.  My feet begin to really hurt.  My lower legs cramp.  I sound like I've smoked 2 packs a day for 30 years as I chug my way up to the car.  A turtle passed me last week (not really but it makes for a good illustration).  This week, I finally gave up and started waiting for the shuttle.  The first day I got on the bus, a woman followed me on who is 35 weeks pregnant.  She'd been riding the bus for weeks.  I guess I held out as long as I could and you know what?  I like that bus!

2)  When you're 9 months pregnant, your wedding rings and other clothings items might not fit.  I had to stop wearing my rings about 2 weeks ago.  Since then, no fewer than 5 women (WOMEN) have looked at my belly, glanced at my naked lefthand ring finger, and then looked me in the face and made it clear I was a horrible person for being pregnant and unmarried.  Too bad they didn't look closer and see the ring lines from the times I attempted to get those damned rings on that morning!  Look ladies, if you can judge another woman so strongly, don't you think that puts your character under extreme scrutiny?  These looks hurt my feelings but I defiantly smiled back...and sniffled after they were well out of earshot.

I also have two pairs of shoes that fit now.  I didn't know that could happen either!  The two pairs are my grey mocasins and my new tennis shoes.  Nothing else works!  Oh...and I had to buy another size bra.  I had no idea these puppies would grow THIS much!  If you think your maternity clothes will last throughout your pregnancy, think again.  My belly is starting to protrude from the bottom which makes me extremely thankful for layering tank tops.  Not so stylish?  Sue me.

3)  When you're 9 months pregnant, you're of one of two minds.  Mind #1 says to their doctor, "Yes, please check me out (down there) to tell me how I'm doing so I can pretend I know when this baby will be here!"  Mind #2 says to their doctor, "Don't even think about it!  I don't want to know!"  I am of the latter mind.  My reasoning is simple.  First, she's going to see plenty of me down there in a few weeks and I am in no rush to share all of that with her now.  Second, just because you're a few centimeters dilated doesn't mean the baby will come anytime soon.  Keep that in mind ladies.

4)  When you're 9 months pregnant, you waddle and don't realize you're doing it.  If you're lucky, your husband has a sense of humor, jumps in front of you in the kitchen, waddles side to side, and tells you that you are all part of a duck family now.  I'd say I made this up...except that it my kitchen...and it was my husband!  Yes, ladies, it's time to have a sense of humor.  You go on pretending you don't waddle.  The rest of us will laugh behind your back!

5)  When you're 9 months pregnant, you truly do lose all of the energy you gained in the second trimester.  For me, this happened almost immediately even though I was sleeping well until this week.  Exhaustion is the name of the game these days!  I'd love to tell you that it seems to get better but it's quite the opposite in my experience.  Between multiple late night potty breaks, leg/foot cramps, and repositioning every 20 minutes, good luck getting much rest my friend.  BUT, take this with a grain of salt.  This is excellent training for when the baby arrives.  It's like your body is the drill sargeant and you're just the peon recruit.  Do what your body tells you and you'll survive!

6)  When you're 9 months pregnant, you will have already invested a fortune in panty liners and Kleenex (with lotion).  Okay, not everyone may have these issues but I have and I didn't know a thing about them.  First came the need for panty liners.  Things are different, much different, and they necessitate a panty liner...or feel as though you wet yourself daily.  I'll take the liner, please!  Second came the stuffy nose.  I cannot tell you how many boxes of Kleenex (with lotion) I have gone through since I started this pregnancy.  It's unholy.  It's unreal.  It's an Earth saving crusaders nightmare!  Along with this, plan to have a good pocket antibacterial with you or people look at you like you've got a disease and you're going to spread it to them.  Pretty sure pregnancy isn't contagious but others might not agree.

I am absolutely positive there is more I can share.  Is there anything that has happened to you that you didn't know would happen??  Post it here!  Why not?  I sure WISH someone had told me to save up a small fortune for panty liners and Kleenex (with lotion)!

Monday, March 7, 2011

My Catch Up Post!

Week 36, just 4 more to go!!
I apologize for such a long absence.  I'd like to say I didn't have much to report but it really comes down to lack of creativity and a whole lot of exhaustion on my part.  Robin and I have forgotten to take pictures for a few weeks in a row but we remembered yesterday so here it is.  As you can likely tell, I'm 100% belly now.  The doctor reports that the baby is still head down but she seems to be lower than she had been most of my pregnancy.  I feel this daily as it often feels my pelvis is going to split!  The baby is extremely active now but thankfully it doesn't hurt, even when she finds my ribs.  It's mostly a shock sort of feeling.  I have a feeling she is going to be an eater.  She tends to be most active right after I eat or if I wait too long to eat.  As strange as this may sound, I feel like she is already developing a personality and I'm getting anxious to see what she looks like and how she acts.  I will say I'm still not at the point that I want this to be over.  I guess it's been too easy for me to feel that way!

I'll start a few weeks back.  We had my second baby shower on February 19th in Iowa.  My mom's BFFs got together and planned this all out.  It was amazing and I was not expecting it to be so big or so special.  I received a lot of really great things and I have to say this little one is already a lot more spoiled than I'd like her to be!  Haha!  As though her father won't spoil her anyway! 

That weekend was also Robin's birthday.  We celebrated both of our birthdays with my family on Saturday night since I hadn't seen them during my birthday.  I gave Robin a gift certificate for a massage.  I'm still waiting for him to use it.  He's earned a day of relaxation!  I can't tell you how thankful I am to have Robin in my life.  He does so much for me and for us to make our lives better.  Plus, he's a real handy kind of guy and I love that about him, even though he takes on too many projects at once in my opinion!  I'm very excited to see him as a Daddy, too.

In the weeks since then, we spent time organizing the baby's room and getting it mostly setup.  We finished decorating last week but I'll have to post pictures for you another time.  It isn't at all organized right now!  It turned out better than I ever imagined it could and it's exactly what I wanted.  Robin also finished tiling our guest bathroom which is going to be the baby's bathroom since it's next to her room.  He did such a great job!  I really love it and so far our guests have all said they loved it too.  I think he's very happy to now be down to just one project which is working on our basement.

That is the other thing that's been going on.  Robin started drywalling the basement in January with the help of our friend, Chris.  He comes twice a week after work, eats with us, helps with the basement, and stays overnight with us all for the cost of a good meal and some drinks.  The guys have made quite a bit of progress in such a short period of time.  I think they project that we'll have all of the drywall, taping, mudding, and sanding done my late March, possibly beginning of April.  Of course, that may get put off when the baby comes but it is still amazing to see the changes.  Unfortunately we can't afford to put in the flooring or furnishings right away but over time it will become another lounging area and adds quite a bit of space to our already large home.  We purchased a treadmill with part of our tax return and it is all set and ready for me to get back into the swing of daily workouts.  I can picture it in the bouncer, mommy walking on treadmill.  Good times!

I think that brings me to last weekend which was one of the best weekends I have had in a very long time.  Leah, her mom, and her mother in law planned a baby shower for us on Saturday.  My mom and grandma decided to come down for the weekend and they were to arrive Friday.  When they got to our house, my dad got out of the truck too.  I was surprised as no one told me he might be there.  The three of them walked in the house and we started to chat when mom said there was a knock on the door.  I went to open it and there was someone standing on our front stoop with their back to the door, hoodie pulled over their head.  It creeped me out but I slowly opened the door anyway and kept a little looser hold on our dog.  When she turned around, it was my sister!  She had secretly flown in from New Mexico and my family picked her up at the KC airport on the way to our house.  I was so shocked!  Apparently everyone was in on it, including Leah, but not one person gave me any indication.  It was a GREAT surprise!

I got to go shopping with Sarah, mom, and my grandma on Saturday morning then my best friend arrived early, making my already great weekend even better!  We had the shower which was amazing and beautiful.  I still can't believe how many people came.  I never expected such a response and I felt very humble that so many people care for us this much.  We had hours of fun getting to talk to our guests and spend time with lots of babies!  There were 7 babies there plus 4 of us who are pregnant.  I wasn't kidding when I said most of our friends seem to be having babies these days!  My sister also got to feel the baby roll over for the first time.  Her face was priceless!  I would pay a good bit of money to have had a picture or video of her reaction.

That evening we had dinner at a Chinese buffet and spent a good hour laughing so hard we were crying at the table.  I am so glad all of my family was able to get together and that my best friend, Sarah, was able to be there too.  I wish that I could see Sarah squared (my sister and my best friend) more often but it does make our times that much more special when I do see them.  I wish the weekend didn't have to end!

Finally, Robin and I went on baby bonanza shopping sprees yesterday to get the things we needed and hadn't gotten yet.  I wouldn't say it was not fun but it was a bit crunched for time so we'll have to go back tomorrow to get a few things we forgot.  If she came today though, the baby would have what she needs and that's what matters most.  Tonight my task is to wash all of the baby clothes, bedding, and blankets and get her room organized.  I actually can't wait!  I'm an organizing freak!  I also have one or two more things to get into my hospital bag and then I'm ready to go when Miss Sol decides to make her debut.

I hope all of you are doing well!  Just 4 more weeks until our due date and hopefully I'll do a better job of keeping you informed!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Written weeks ago, figured I'd go ahead and share!
I've written multiple times about the things I hope do happen for our baby but I guess I forget about those things I hope do not happen.  This week I was reminded of the one thing that has happened in my life that I have to think about and deal with almost every single day and that is the anniversary of my first major ear surgery.  Lots of people close to me know that I have had several surgeries but I rarely discuss what actually happened to warrant so many times under the knife.  I think I'll explain that here and of course hope that no one has to deal with this ever in their kids' lives.  This is the stuff I remember and it may not be in chronological order.  My Mom remembers everything, though, and that's the part I hope I don't have to do as a Mom.  It isn't fun to look back on these types of things.

Let's go way back to 1989.  I was just a little kid, enjoying Kindergarden and spending time with all kinds of friends.  I don't remember much about that time in my life but what I do remember is being at the doctor a lot.  Mom said I had ear infections nearly all the time.  They weren't your average, run of the mill ear infections either.  Mine were horribly bad, complete with brownish discharge and extremely painful ear aches.  Mom has told me that she would take me to the doctor, they'd put me on antibiotics, it would appear the ear infection got better, and within a week or two it'd be back.  Same symptoms, everything.  I'm now immune to amoxicillin and several other lower end antibiotics, probably from being dosed so often.

Finally my family practitioner referred us to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist named Dr. Hoyt.  I remember vividly the first few times I met Dr. Hoyt.  He scared the living daylights out of me!  He was dry and seemed almost insensitive.  Plus, some of what he did to get me diagnosed and treated hurt.  When you're in Kindergarden, try understanding that pain is actually going to help you in the end.  He immediately suggested that I get tubes in my ear so we scheduled the surgery for the fall.

I don't remember the surgery that I was to get tubes and I don't remember anything after it either.  Here's what my mom told me.  I went in for tubes and the doctors came out, saying that they needed to see my parents in a private conference room.  Dr. Hoyt said over and over that I was fine but they found "something."  In the conference room, he explained that he had found a coleasteatoma, a bone eating "tumor" caused from under developed eustacian tubes (the tubes that run from your inner ear to nose and equalize pressure).  He found that mine were only 1/8th the size of a normal persons.  Here's a link explaining exactly what the tumor is:  You can find pictures online too, but they're pretty graphic so I won't put them here.  Dr. Hoyt didn't know how bad the tumor was yet but wanted to schedule surgery to fix it.  It didn't have to be right away so Mom and Dad decided to give me a fun Thanksgiving, Christmas, and birthday followed by the surgery.  The date was set for February 15th, 1989.

I remember that day better than almost any other day.  Mom and Dad gave me a praying doll for Valentine's Day and I took her with me to the hospital.  We arrived and I was prepped but they didn't do the IV because I was scared of needles.  We opted to go the gas route for me to go to sleep and I will say, I never wish THAT on anyone.  I remember sitting in my hospital gown watching cartoons while the nurse hooked me up to the oxygen monitor on my finger.  It was pretty cool!  It clamped shut and had a red light!  Eventually the doctors came to take me to the operating room in a red wagon.  I remember crying and being upset but Mom and Dad couldn't come because the operating room was a sterile environment.  They did make an exception and let me take the doll, though.  I remember getting onto the gourney and seeing all of the bright lights and I distinctly remember the anesthesiologist standing over my head, putting the mask over my face and counting backwards...10....9.....8...........

I sort of remember the recovery room but I definitely remember the hospital stay.  Mom and my Grandma Mac were there.  I had the worst, most bitchy nurse on the face of the planet.  I wish she would have gotten fired.  Maybe she did.  I was hooked up to IV fluids the whole time and was sicker than a dog from the gas they used to put me to sleep.  Mom and Grandma needed to eat so they went to the cafeteria and bitchy nurse got pissed when I pushed the button to use the restroom for the third time in less than 30 minutes.  Embarassing as this is, I'll tell you because you should know this if your kid is ever in the hospital.  She came in and yelled at me after that third time, saying she had other patients and couldn't help me.  She left...and made me wet the bed.  Twice.  When Mom and Grandma came back, they were PISSED.  And trust me, you never want to see my Mom mad.  It isn't pretty!

I had to wear a weird cup over my ear for a while to let the ear drain.  I wore it at school and at Aunt Dawn's house, my babysitter.  At one point she had to call my Mom and explain that there was "stuff" flowing from under the cup and I should probably go to the doctor.  Apparently that was normal though, my ear cup didn't catch it.  Otherwise, recovery was easy...and I got to keep my hearing!  Dr. Hoyt is probably my hero and even now just the thought of him makes me want to cry.  We sent my school pictures to him every year until he retired.  He saved my hearing by building me an ear drum.  Mine isn't like everyone else's.  It's "fake."  I'm also a bit of an anomoly so doctors love to meet me.  Few people have this type of tumor and the type of recovery I have had so the doctors like to look at everything, show their students, and ask me lots of questions.  I give Dr. Hoyt a lot of credit but my Mom was a big part of it too.  Through the next 4 or 5 surgeries, she was always there.  She always made sure I took my meds, went to my appointments, took time off work to go with me, etc.  I don't remember ever having to go to the really important appointments alone.

There are some things that I can't do because there is no "cure" or "fix" for my eustacian tubes.  I can't fly very often and when I do, it's quite painful to land.  I generally do okay going up but coming down is the worst.  Robin has been there through several trips and he has helped keep me occupied so I don't focus only on the pain.  I can never scuba dive.  That is probably the most disappointing part.  I love to swim, love the water, and I love fish and coral reefs.  But I can only snorkel so I hope that that will be enough.  I also can't sky dive but I'm not at all worried about that.  I hate heights!

Moral of the story:  Don't ignore ear infections.  Tubes are not the end of the world.  You could have a kid like me!  I had tubes after all of this, too!  And if you think something isn't right, keep trying to get a diagnosis.  Even if you're wrong, it's better to be safe than sorry.  If Mom hadn't kept going to the doctor or trying to find an answer, I could be deaf right now.  Someday I might need a hearing aide but thankfully, that day hasn't come yet!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Football Season is FINALLY Over!

My football team may have lost the Super Bowl but we sure did get a cute 32 week picture out of the deal!  You likely already know that I don't care much for or about football but I do like the Steelers.  I don't watch them much but I've been a fan since I was little.  That was my Uncle Rod's fault!  He's a HUGE Steelers fan!

We love the Steelers!  32 weeks and this jersey makes Mommy look gimundus!
I'm now 8 weeks from D-Day and still feeling worried about the process.  I guess you could say it's not so much the process itself that I'm worried about, it's more how will I react to said process?  I have this issue with nerves.  When I am nervous, I make myself sick, and then all I do is spend hours on hours running in and out of restrooms.  It's similar to a flare up of my illness and let me tell you, it sucks.  For YEARS it was gone and then last year it decided to come back.  I think that is my biggest fear, that I'll be so nervous I can't even concentrate on labor and I'll give birth to this kid in a bathroom!

Speaking of strange reactions, I will let all of you in on a big embarassing moment I had last week.  We had our third birthing prep class on Thursday and it just happens that the topic was interventions if the baby gets "stuck" and pain management.  Our very good RN was very bad and didn't forewarn us of the topic.  Unfortunately, the video that accompanied the topic left very little to the imagination on either of these categories...and I very nearly passed out.  It really didn't help that she brought each of the devices of mass destruction that were being shown on the video.  I finally got up and left the room (how...I have no idea...sheer willpower I guess).  After getting some water and fresh air by the doors, I felt a little better and Robin even walked with me to the lobby and out to the breezeway during break so I could get more air.  Most people might worry about the baby.  Well don't.  She realized Mom was feeling like she might vomit...and decided to kick and punch her stomach.  What a fun game!  I don't know what it was that made me react this way.  I make no secret that if I need one, I'll get an epidural, but I guess I just didn't need to know all the gory details.  I'll also be darned if they put a pair of oversized salad tonges on my kid's head.  If she's built like her father, she doesn't need a cone head to top it off!

Our weekend was full of baby time which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Saturday morning my sorority sister, Kristin, went with me to see our sorority sister, Danay, and her baby Adalyn Fast for the first time since she was born.  Unfortunately I completely forgot to take any pictures but don't worry.  I'm sure we'll get plenty down the road!  Adalyn slept nearly the entire time we were there and we loved the little sounds she made.  I think she's going to be a Daddy's girl, too.  Saturday night we got to spend time with Kellen and Rowen Roth.  I hadn't seen either of them in way too long!  My Goddaughter is growing up so fast!  She is sitting up with minimal assistance and is super alert.  She smiles quite a bit too.  Kellen is a very energetic 2 year old.  Robin LOVES to throw him around, wrestle with him, and Kellen loves to come back for more!  I think Robin will be disappointed when our baby doesn't come out as a toddler.  We'll have to work on a boy next so they can rough house all the time!  We rounded out our weekend with Monroe Easley.  She is only 2 weeks old and just an adorable little doll!  She eats frequently which has got to be tough on mom but Kevin and Leah have done such a good job!  I can't wait until Baby Sol can spend time with her bestie!

Rowen and Renee' have matching belly's!!  We're also exhausted!

Monroe really likes her bouncer!  I'm not sure why this picture isn't showing up right side up since it's saved that way.  Ah, technology!

I'm still feeling really good though as I've said before, the aches and pains are more frequent.  I haven't had much problem with my lower back but my upper back, just under my shoulder blades, has been bugging me for a few weeks now.  My assumption is this is for several reasons, the main two being I'm carrying her pretty high and that I now have to sleep on my sides and not my back.  Sleeping hasn't been much of a challenge.  I added another pillow to my side so I now have my long curly pillow, a smaller pillow for my arms and chest, and my head pillow.  Robin hasn't said a word about me hogging the bed.  Smart man!  I have definitely noticed a decline in my energy level.  Walking from my car to the office, a 10 minute trek or so, is completely daunting now.  I told my Dad I walk like a turtle these days and he just giggled.  Probably the strangest thing happening now is any day now, my belly button will likely be an outie.  It's completely flat and looks pretty comical.  When I told Robin that it might pop, he tentatively asked, "Will it go back?"  I just laughed!  That is the LEAST of my worries but I'm glad he's a little worried about how I'll look, too.

Well that's all for now.  It's been a pretty laid back week.  Hopefully I'll have more interesting stories to tell next week, as we'll have our first baby shower, final birthing prep class, checkup with the doc, and a few shenanigans this weekend.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard of 2011

I don't know about you, but I always take the weather reports with a grain of salt.  It always seems that weather people can be wrong 90% of the time and still keep their jobs.  The weather reports started talking about this storm over a week ago and I promptly ignored them but I have to admit, this time, they were right.  We got absolutely pummeled with snow yesterday!  It was so bad that all of the schools and Universities were closed, including where I work.  Even Robin came home at 1:00 and he only works a few miles from home.  Thank goodness I wasn't worried about going into labor.  My luck, I would have if I were closer to my due date.  I thought I would share some of the pictures I took through the day to illustrate how much snow fell throughout the day.

Tree in our back yard at 9 a.m.  Note you can still see the edge of the deck.
View of our trees in the front and the neighbor's house at 9 a.m.
A squirrel that showed up at about 11 a.m.

He dug and dug for a good 10 minutes, but he finally found one of his hidden nuts for lunch!

Oops!  Robin got stuck in the drive at about 1 p.m.

3 p.m. the snow REALLY started to fall!

Back yard at 3 p.m.  Where'd the deck go??

7 pm Stiiiiillllll snowing!
Feb. 2, 9:30 a.m.  Robin scooped the deck and a patch in the yard for our picky dog!
Feb. 2, 9 a.m.  We have one lane to get out of our neighborhood and I can't see our walkway at all!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

9 Weeks to Go and 1 Trip Down Memory Lane

Since nothing too exciting has happened this week, I bring to you the post I mentioned last time.
I have been asking myself recently, "Do I live in Fargo, ND?"  Since the time I've lived in the Kansas City metro, I've never experienced snow and cold like this.  Wednesday we had snow that stretched my commute from 30 minutes to just under 3 hours.  Needless to say, I took Thursday off!

When I'd finally decided I wasn't going to try driving to work, I lay on the couch and slept a good 3 hours longer than I normally would.  I suppose my body is trying to tell me I need to slow down, that the human in there needs more rest than I'm giving her.  I finally decided it was time to be productive and chose to go through boxes of things we'd packed up from my parent's house and I hadn't touched since it landed in our big spare bedroom.  Thus began my roadtrip down memory lane and wondering if my child or children will be as lucky as I have been in the friends department.

The bulk of the boxes I worked through contained pictures from my entire life.  I started by looking through a scrapbook my mom put together for me when I graduated high school.  There were so many people in there that were important to me and most of whom are still very much in my thoughts on a daily basis.  I don't see any of them often enough but I sure do hope they're all doing well.  I followed the scrapbook up by going through tubs of photos that were just in envelopes after developing.  For those of you who don't remember, developing photos means they're in hard copies with negatives.  I spent hours looking through them and want to share with you who I saw and what I hope my kids will get to experience as I did.

The Aalbers Girls
I have to start here because much of my life was spent with and around the Aalbers girls.  I think I've mentioned them at least once before.  My "Aunt Dawn" babysat me off and on my entire life.  She isn't really my aunt but that's what we always called her and that's what she'll always be to me.  She and her husband, Mikey (I called him that too), had 6 girls.  I repeat, 6 girls!  When we fit me and my sister into their family lineup, we almost fill all 8 years, with one or two exceptions.  It goes something like this:  Michelle, Kathy, Beth, Brooke, Me, Megan, Kimberly, and My Sister.  There was never a lack of someone to play with and always something entertaining going on.  Each girl had something interesting to bring to the table.  Michelle was the oldest and she sometimes came to our house to babysit for a week during the summer.  My favorite year she brought a suitcase full of dress up clothes and we dressed up and sang silly songs on our front deck.  Kathy was second and she was probably the most quiet.  She was also a very good musician and I remember her playing multiple instruments, mainly trumpet, when we were at her house.  Beth was next and you would remember her if you met her.  Her laugh is contagious!  I can't forget that sound!  Brooke was a year older than me and my closest friend.  Brooke hated it when you "got into her bubble" which made me try to hug her all the time of course.  We spent a lot of time together and I can't even tell you how many memories I have of her in my life.  From pushing boys out of her treehouse to sharing chicken pox to walking the gravel roads around her house...the list just goes on and on!  Megan was next and she was mother hen to my sister.  She took care of Sarah nearly all the time.  I don't know what it was but Sarah listened to Megan...and Sarah didn't listen to anyone!  And a year older than Sarah was Kimberly who was one of Sarah's closest friends.  Kimberly was and still is unique and Sarah was much like her.  They got along fabulously so you'd usually find Megan, Kimberly, and Sarah together whenever we were all together.

I found post cards from Michelle when she was traveling the world.  I found pictures of all of the girls at my birthday parties.  I found Beth's wedding invitation and photos from the trip I took with her family by car to Colorado for the big day.  I found countless pictures of Brooke and I doing all sorts of things, mostly outdoors, and Sarah's room at home still has pictures of Megan and Kimberly hanging on her boards.  I guess what I hope for my kids is that there is one family or a set of friends that they find in their memories and pictures, that they can look back on and remember how lucky they were to get to know that family.  I hope that they remain good friends, even though they may not see eachother enough.  The Aalbers family is that family for me.  Many of my childhood up through high school memories involved the girls.

Peter and Alex
Every year, my family has gone and still goes to a resort in Minnesota called Cozy Cove Resort.  We started when I was 9 and over the years, other families have come with us.  The most predominant of these was Amber Scearcy (Kain) and her family, sometimes extended family.  We always went the same week from year to year and low and behold who was always there?  Peter and Alex.  Peter is 3 years older than me exactly; we share a birthday!  Alex is my age as well as Amber's.  Though we often only saw the boys when we were on vacation, we always stayed in touch via letters and later via emails.  I had a box FULL of letters from Peter and Alex only.  Alex even went to the same college as I did and Amber was there for a semester too.  Peter, on the other hand, ended up in Iowa not too far from my house.  I found so many pictures of our times in Minnesota and of the boys that I just couldn't help but include them here. 

The funny thing about the four of us is that I was always head over heals for Peter and Amber was the same with Alex.  When we all outgrew that phase, we were still great friends.  I haven't talked to Peter in quite some time as he went into the Peace Corps, got married, and is now living in DC but I still wonder about him and think about him this time of year, given our birthday is coming in just a few days.  Alex is living here in the KC Metro with his wife but again, I don't talk to him too much either.  Amber lives in Seoul, South Korea with her husband and son.  I talk to her now and again via Facebook but I haven't seen her in a couple of years.  Still, she's one of my oldest and closest friends so of course I wonder about her now and again.  Every year when the first weekend in August rolls around, I think of the three of them and wonder if they'll be there or if they're wishing they were like me.  My hope is that my kids have long distance friends like this, people they'd do anything for and always wish the best for.  Some of my best memories are vacation memories with Peter, Alex, and Amber.  I just hope my kids find a couple of friends and they feel the same.

Mike and Sarah
I met a lot of really important people in college but two of them probably saved me.  I say "saved me" because they're the two that made me see the light, so to speak, in relationships and helped me out of my shell.  I met Mike the first weekend I was in college.  Amber had met him and his roommate and we, along with Amber's roommate, decided to go to a college party.  I was nervous.  I didn't know these guys and I had never been the partying type.  However, Mike and I hit it off from the get go.  I spent the majority of my freshman year in Mike's dorm room, watching tv, talking, etc.  After classes, that's the first place I'd go, and if we were gone for a weekend, I'd always stop by to see him when I got back or when he got back.  I spent a lot of long nights talking to Mike about life, relationships, etc. and to this day, I consider him one of my very best friends.  I couldn't have been happier when he met and married his wife, Anne.  I wouldn't have picked anyone better!  And that, I think, is one of the marks of really great opposite sex friendship.

Sarah was, is, and always will be my best friend.  We met my sophomore year during sorority activities.  I don't really know how we got so close but over time, I was never anywhere unless Sarah was there.  While talking, we discovered that her older half sisters babysat me when I was little too.  Sarah is the person who got me out of my shell.  We were "bad" together which was so good!  Even today if we get together, we know some sort of shenanigans are going to happen.  Sarah is the one person that I can get into a fight with and we know that we'll still be best friends anyway.  She's the one that I listen to the most, too.  I remember a specific instance when Sarah said to me, "Renee', what are you doing??"  I didn't like it, but she was right and all that did was reinforce our friendship more.  She was my Maid of Honor at my wedding and even my husband considers her family.  We don't talk too much because we hate phones but that doesn't matter much either.  I have a picture of the two of us on my nightstand so she's the first thing I see when I go to bed and the last thing I see before I go to bed.  She's still my best friend, no matter what!

I hope that my kids have people who tell them what they think and it only solidifies their relationships.  I hope that my daughter knows she can have a friend who is a guy without anyone assuming they're anything more.  It's good for a girl to have a guy's perspective, especially on other guys.  And I hope that she has that one best friend who can say anything to her, even the things she doesn't like, and she remembers that her friend only wants the best for her.  Friends like these are rare and priceless.

I'm sure I've skipped people along the way but in my picture sorting adventures, these are the people that showed up the most and the friendships that I hope that my children are blessed enough to have themselves.
So that's the post.  Below is my Week 31 picture.  My body is now sore a lot of the time but I have no big complaints.  At the end of the day, I know I waddle but I just don't care.  My back and feet hurt nearly constantly in the evenings so I just can't bring myself to walk all that normal.  My wedding rings are also a little too snug.  I took them off this afternoon and I still have red rings where they were.  I guess I might have to take them off for a while which will make me very uneasy.  Otherwise, I'm good.  Still all belly and haven't gained a pound in 4 weeks!  Don't worry, the doctor says that's fine and I'm right on track!

Week 31, Only 9 Weeks to Go!!!
I wouldn't be myself if I didn't screw around a little bit, too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Best Early Birthday Present!

I had an entirely new entry written but I think I'll save it for later given a lot of new and exciting things have happened this week.  This entry will be short but hopefully you will enjoy!

I think I'll start with my 30 week picture.  Now, you have to forgive me here.  We almost forgot to take the picture yet again so by this time at night, I was in my Pooh maternity pajamas looking extra fine.  Looking at pictures like these, I find it hard to believe my husband would be even remotely excited to see me in "that" way.  There is zero sexy going on here!

30 Weeks and I'm ready for bed!!
Starting this week we will be extremely busy from day to day, week to week.  It began with Robin and our friend, Chris, hanging drywall in our basement.  I feel like this project has been going on for YEARS rather than months.  Robin has been doing almost all of the work himself so it's no wonder it is taking some time.  I have to admit I was somewhat nervous when he said he could surely finish this basement himself but he has once again proven just how handy he can be!  We now have framing, electrical (by a professional), lighting (same said professional), and insulation done, not to mention plumbing for the new half bath (another professional job).  Soon enough the boys will have the drywall up and that's where our budget stops for a while.  We'll have to do some saving to really finish it off.

We also started birthing prep classes which we'll have for the next 3 weeks.  I don't know if I've mentioned it or not but I'm pretty nervous about giving birth.  I've told some people I pretend it doesn't even have to happen, except that I only have 10 weeks left and little time to prepare now.  Our class was great and I think it's going to help put me at ease.  I really like our instructor, Karmen, and we were lucky enough to sit with a group of fun couples too.  We spent a lot of the time laughing and as usual, Robin was class clown.  The part I hope to remember to tell my daughter is that when we were to try relaxation breathing (not the hee, hee, ho stuff...more visualization), Daddy decided it would be funny to breathe like Darth Vader.  This made me laugh extremely hard while everyone else attempted to be serious.  I don't know that Robin has much of a serious bone in his body!

Friday night Robin prepared the nursery for paint and I prepared the baseboards.  Basically all I had to do was fill holes while he did the rough stuff like priming the trim in the room.  Saturday morning, Leah dropped Kevin off and he helped Robin paint the nursery.  It is a beautiful purple/lilac color.  It's not light like you might think, more of a deep, cheery color during the day that fades to dark and soothing at night.  I'll share a picture with you as soon as we have all the trim and furniture in its place.  However, this also began some real excitement.

While the boys painted, I spent the morning downstairs cleaning and organizing.  I've mentioned before that the nesting instinct has come on strong for me and I took full advantage on Saturday.  I cleaned out two closets, reorganized them, cleaned and disinfected the kitchen, dusted the entire living room, and even cleaned our oven.  As soon as the projects upstairs are complete, I'll move on to working on those.  Leah came back over around 2 in the afternoon and said something seemed different.  I won't go into details; those aren't mine to share!  But I will tell you that I encouraged her to call the hospital who then told her she should come in to determine if she was in labor.  By now the boys were working on a second coat of paint in the nursery and each had cracked one beer.  Kevin's reaction was to know if he had time to finish his beer and the second coat or if they should go.  After a bit of chatting, I finally told them both they needed to go, Kevin could shower, Leah could get her suitcases, and they'd both be on their way to the hospital.  A couple of hours later, we got a text from Kevin that Leah was in fact admitted and in labor.  I cannot explain how excited we were!

Yesterday was baby Monroe's birthday!  She was born just after midnight and is completely adorable.  We went to the hospital to visit yesterday and I have to say she is probably one of the cutest newborns I have ever seen!  I could be biased.  Leah and I agree that our girls will likely be great friends since they'll only be a few months apart and we all spend a lot of time together.  Plus, Monroe was born a day before my birthday.  Who wouldn't want such a great birthday present!?  Robin took some great pictures and I'll post a few here so you can see just what I mean by how cute she is!

Me meeting Baby Sol's bestie for the first time!  1/23/11
Itty bitty feet!  I love how wrinkly they are and Robin is getting really good with the camera!
Off in dream land on day one of her life!
So that brings me to today, 1/24/11, my birthday.  I think a pleasant feeling I have today is I don't feel old.  I still feel fairly young even though I'm 30 weeks pregnant, many pounds heavier than usual, and pretty tired most of the time.  I think most people think about their lives more when their birthdays roll around and I have very little to complain about, if anything at all.  I have a great husband who I feel extremely lucky to have found, I have a great house, the best family, and lots of friends.  There's nothing I really need right now which is a good feeling to have as well.  I have a baby to look forward to, too!  This year has been a full one but I'm thankful that I made it through mostly on the positive side rather than the other way around!  My mom even reminded me that next year on my birthday, I'll get hugs and kisses from my daughter and that that will be a better gift than anyone could ever give me.  I really look forward to things like that!

I received three cards in the mail today, one from each Grandma and my Grandpa, and one from my Mom and Dad.  I still love getting cards.  It just makes the day seem different somehow.  My Dad called sometime during the day but I must've missed it.  He left me a special message...him signing Happy Birthday!  It was so funny, I can't bring myself to delete it!  Robin gave me a new phone which is extremely newfangled and fancy.  Having internet and things on the phone seems frivolous...which is probably why it's special to me.  I don't do frivolous very often!  And speaking of that topic, we had a fabulously expensive dinner at Plaza III in my honor too.  We had great conversation and excellent food!  I really appreciate having the chance to do things like this from time to time and I especially loved that it really felt like a date.  I still love sitting at a table for two with my husband.  I am so lucky to have him!  Anywho, I'm finally another year older and looking forward to the next couple months of my pregnancy.  Stay tuned!