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, http://www.dalidecals.com/.  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 effect...it'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 happened...in 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 now...baby 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:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002045.  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!