Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy Holidays

I have struggled with this time of the year my whole life. Being Jewish means you feel left out of the whole magic of Christmas experience. I have celebrated Christmas dozens of times with friends, and now family, but it doesn't change the whole feeling.

So let's start with Chanukah. We celebrated every night. But it is such a minor holiday in Judaism...

For the last few months Matt and I have been taking an Introduction to Judaism class every week. And while it has not been the most fun class (the instruction method is a little dry), there have been some real gems of moments. Most of the class are young couples who are getting married or recently married. So when we started taking about Chanukah and Christmas it was very interesting for me.

I love holiday cards. Especially ones with pictures. Not so much the letter telling what everyone was up to this year. Those seem to glaze over the troubles and only focus on the positive, and that's not how the year really went. I digress.

So I was really worried that I hated Christmas. Not the holiday, but the actuality. I mean, how could you hate a holiday?

I read an article for class that... struck a chord. And then we talked about it in class and I learned a lot more about my relationship with Christmas. It wasn't Christmas I hated, but parts of it. I was finally able to compartmentalize Christmas.

I hate most of the Christmas music on the radio. And during our conversation at class I figured it out. I hate the commercialism of Christmas. All the ads on TV. The secular music that gets played over and over again on the radio. It drives me nuts and makes me feel excluded.

I love the religious aspects of it. I loved going to midnight mass with friends in high school. It was a beautiful service and a wonderful way to celebrate with family. I love sitting at my mother-in-law's house for a family meal, decorating the tree as a family, and being together. I love going to church with her and listening to her lead the congregation. I love her sermons. I love the candles.

But I LOVE the lights. Christmas lights feel like the marriage between Chanukah (and the festival of lights) and Christmas. They are a beautiful way of lighting up the darkest time of the year ands making the home feel inviting, whether for Santa Claus or visiting family. One of my favorite  holiday memories growing up was driving around Dallas to see the lights with my grandparents.

So Baby Girl, realize how lucky you are. You get to experience all of the wonderful parts of the holiday season. You have two excuses to be with family. You will get to experience all of the lights, both Chanukah and Christmas. Because we are going to celebrate a-la-carte. We are going to celebrate Chanukah with our family. And we are going to put up lights. And then we will celebrate Christmas with our family.



Marriage is a blending of two families and two sets of traditions. That means we each get a say in what we include. And I am excited that I will be included in some of the magic next year through our Baby Girl.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Things you should know about being pregnant

I have been thinking about writing this post for a few weeks. Because there are a lot of things that I have learned since being pregnant that I only learned because I am pregnant and then asked about it.

Early Pregnancy (you know, from when you find out through the half baked). Let's do this from the top of my body down shall we.
  • the smells. Oh the smells. Things started to bother me around week 7 or 8. And they were random. They still are. At the beginning, I couldn't stand the smell of bacon - which was a problem because we had more than 3 pounds of it in the freezer. And the smell of my sweet husband's sweat. Oh lord was it awful when he came home from the gym. I used to leave the room... As the weeks pass, the smells that bother me change too. My sweet husband doesn't bother me anymore. But eggs do. The smells of eggs being cooked makes me swoon and nauseous. And I thought it was just the smell, but I tried to eat them the other day and it was just as bad.
  • the mucus. From anywhere my body can create it. I thought I had a cold for the first few weeks of school (end of the first trimester). Turns out that making a baby creates more mucus in your body. So I have more snot. Regularly. At first I thought I had a cold. Or the nicest flu ever! But I was never physically uncomfortable. I never had any sinus pressure. I would wake up in the morning with a sore throat from nasal drip. And when I found out it was normal and it was baby girl's doing, the mucus stopped bothering me.
  • the boobs. Oh Lord the boobs. These aren't my boobs. They haven't been my boobs since early September. They just started growing. And they won't stop. I have gone up two cup sizes already. And I think they are still growing. Completely INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR!
  • the leaks. Hahaha, not from my boobs yet. Everyone tells you that you will have to pee. That's common knowledge. For me, the worst part is that sometimes after having gone to the bathroom, there is an extra drop. Not enough to feel like I have peed myself. But enough to be kinda gross.
  • the dogs. They are weird about this whole baby thing. Well, not Misty. Mostly because I don't think she is aware of anything outside of the four of us right now - and Colleen & Ken. But Bones???? He is aware that things they are a changing. He knew first. He kept checking out my downstairs and sniffing around. It was different first. It made me uncomfortable. It still makes me uncomfortable thinking about it.
  • the farts (not bothersome, but funny). If you don't like talking about things that happen in the bathroom... well then I don't know what you are doing on my blog honestly. I love talking about the things that happen in the bathroom. Lordy, can I clear a room. Dairy was always my ammunition, but now, I am fully loaded all the time. And there is nothing silent about them. I farted sitting at the dining room table, and the dogs ran to the front door barking to see who knocked. Yup. That's right. I am very talented.  
Middle Pregnancy (you know, the middle trimester, DUH). 
  • my belly button. Or what's left of it. I used to be able to put my pinky finger pretty deep in there. Not gross deep. But way deeper than now. At this point, there is very little depth left in my belly button. It is still an innie, but not for much longer....
  • afternoon heartburn. So much and so often. It started slowly. And I thought it was after eating fruit - which infuriated me. Also, I noticed it more at night than any other time of the day, but it gradually moved earlier and earlier. There were a few days recently where I was popping them like candy every few hours. Gross. But then I realized that when I cut back on the candy (specifically chocolate), I have less heartburn.
  • the sweat. I can't believe how much I am going to tell you, but it's true. My feet sweat constantly. All the time. It was 7:30 this morning, and my shoes were soaked. Gross. My shoes look like I have been walking in puddles. And then recently, I got sweaty palms. Not in the dripping from my fingers sense, just forever clammy. Like I forgot to wipe off my hands after washing.  
  • having to pee... when I don't. This is the most common symptom. Everyone knows about this. It's funny, I can generally resist the urge to use the bathroom until I am at least a half tank full.
  • reaching my feet. seriously. Tie your shoes right now. I can't do that the same way you do. I can't lean over my knees and tie my shoes. I have to sit on the stairs and put one foot over my other knee and tie my shoes sideways. Or, the easier way, shoes without laces.
  • my crotch. is an overshare. You remember the farts from before? This is worse. I don't know the last time I saw it. It has been awhile. It is also inappropriately warm down there. So warm. In a swampy kind of way. There are times when I thought I had peed myself. I didn't. I was swampy. Because of this phenomenon, I have to be in pants. Otherwise I chafe. Really. Gross. And uncomfortable.
Let's talk maternity pants.
Yup, this gets its own list. They are that bad. Let's talk about my murderous rage when it comes to wearing pants right now. They suck the worst. There are a few options when it comes to pant:
  • Your own pants. You know, the ones you were wearing before you found out you were pregnant. For the first few weeks, they are fine and nothing interesting to report. And then, even though you aren't growing or showing, there is pressure out of nowhere. And so I stopped buttoning my pants. Then I added a hair-tie to help hold them shut. And a D-ring belt. And then I stopped zipping them. And then I knew it was time to move on.
  • Low with a thick elastic band. At the beginning, I LOVED the low pants. The elastic was really comfortable. I felt like myself. I was in my jeans. And they had room to move. I was hoping that I could last the entire rest of the pregnancy in these pants. But I grew...
  • High with no elastic band. Then, I grew (as bellies are want to do when pregs) and the elastic started to dig into my baby. I could handle it at work, but not all day long. But the high pants have nothing actually holding the pants UP! The large elastic part is not form fitting at all and is all elastic. There is no band to actually hold the pants up. Have I been clear about this?
  • And then there are the different brands. I asked around. Everyone has an opinion, and a favorite brand. Some said go with quality since you will be wearing them for half a year, and you will probably wear them again in the future. But I was wearing Target brand pants before I was pregnant. Something about the wear and tear of my pants and the amount I was paying for brand names didn't add up, even before I was thinking about the cost of this baby. So when I was looking for pants, I bought them at Target. But I also tried some from the maternity store. And yea, that was an epic fail. They didn't fit that well. In fact, they fit so badly that the day I wore them to work, I changed after 45 minutes into Colleen's workout pants. Anything would have been better than the crap-tastic pants I was wearing.
  • So what am I wearing now? Yoga pants and leggings. They are both low pants that I can move around. I bought new yoga pants at the beginning of my pregnancy knowing that at some point I would give up on regular pants. I hope that I can find a jean that is comfy again, because I miss pockets after only 4 days. Even my pajama pants have changed a little. I am only wearing pants that sit low and don't have a lot of elastic...

Let's see here... is there anything else I want to tell you? Well yes. I am still here. ME! DEBORAH! I am not just a vessel. I am busy "converting food into a person" (shout out to my genius sister Sarah). But I am still here. I am not okay with people talking to my belly. And I am definitely not okay with people touching my belly without asking for permission. It is MY BODY. And I am carrying this baby INSIDE MY BODY. MY BODY. So please be respectful of ME. Baby Girl is not here yet. Once she is, then you can touch her and love on her. But until then? Remember this:

PREGNANT WOMAN ARE REAL PEOPLE. 
AND WE WERE HERE FIRST - BEFORE THE BABY!


And really. If you don't like how we feel about it? Then you can be pregnant next time and see how you feel about it. And if that doesn't work for you? Then stop pushing your opinions on me. I don't believe I asked for it, unless you have already had a baby and I emailed you, then I did ask for your opinion, and it has been very helpful.

Know what's coming up soon? Baby showers! In January & February! I am excited to be with people I love and who love this little Baby Girl without worrying if she is brat or not. (We all know she will be at some point in her life, but.... we are were.)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Phil & Lauren make it official!

I hope you like pictures of red heads. I know I do!

I don't even know where I should start this... Let's see... a few years ago, my wonderful brother-in-law pulled a "Reese." I don't know if you know this about the Reese boys (specifically my husband and his brother), but they like to pick their wives based on whether they are willing to hold their own in a bar. That's right. The stories for getting Lauren & I are scarily similar... in each situation both parties ended up praying to the porcelain ... and in both situations, a few years later, we were married. For Matt & I, it was tequila. For Phil & Lauren, it was car bombs. What can I say? We are classy broads! More importantly, we have classy men who know how to treat us...

And over the last few years, she has become an integral part of our family and friend circle.

Turns out, I have more pictures of Lauren than I do of Phil. Crazy.

And then, they got married!!!!! And it was wonderful! You could feel the love they have all weekend. They take care of each other in the most wonderful way. 

I felt special to be included in Lauren's life and even more blessed to be one of her bridesmaids. We spent the morning getting ready and enjoying ourselves with her friends. The boys drank. There are traditions that need to be upheld. No my husband and his brother are not lushes. Linda don't worry.



I mean seriously! Look how beautiful she looks. Radiant doesn't even cover it. And the two of them together? Beautiful. But really, Matt said it best. And he gave me permission to share it with you!!!! So here is his toast from the reception:

Good Evening. Typically my role as the older brother is to tell a few funny stories about how Phil and I used to fight all the time when we were younger or some other funny story about our youth, but our mother already had to live though that once and I am sure she would rather avoid hearing about it again. Phil instead I am going to talk about the best decision you have ever made. The decision to make Lauren a part of our extended family. 

Lauren, the person who Phil is today is completely different then the person he was before he met you. The growth I have seen in him over the last few years has been nothing less than astounding. He is more confident, happier, less stressed, smarter, he even has a swagger which was never there before. But most of all he feels so wise now, something I sometimes find annoying. I have always been more impulsive then Phil, but now he seems to know the right thing to say to let me know I am wrong. These changes are without a doubt because of your influence. You complete him in a way that is hard to describe in words, but without a doubt you are very much his other half and without you he is not whole. 

And Phil, I am so happy for you to have found Lauren. In fairy tales we read about true love and how there is “the one” out there for you. However with over 6 billion people on this Earth the odds of finding that person seem almost impossible. Fortunately, you have defied those odds because Lauren is without a doubt your true love. Congratulations on such a catch.
 

And finally to both of you, Today is only the start of the amazing future, congrats and enjoy the ride.


140?

Last night I posted about weeks 26 & 27. At 10pm. And do you know what happened overnight? 

140 pageviews today? I don't know that many people! I don't know who you are but I know where you are (shout out to Australia - hi Becky!!). But who are you in Thailand, China, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Panama, and the Ukraine?!?!?!?!?!?

But seriously!!! 140? That's crazy!

Whoever you are, I hope you are enjoying yourself and continue to check in on us. And feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself. Because trust me, I am curious. 
VERY CURIOUS!

















Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Weeks 26 & 27

Pregnancy: 26 & 27 Weeks

Weight Gain: 23 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: We had a Dr.'s appointment at the beginning of December. And they measured my belly. 25 centimeters from top to bottom of my uterus. I don't know what that means, but it sounds good to me. Also, we are at the point where if you see me one week, and then see me again the next week, you can visibly see a change in my size. Bigger each time.
 
Sleep: This sounds like crap, but I am sleeping well right now. I am sleeping on more pillows, and somehow, it means that I am sleeping better. Honestly, I don't understand it at all.

Cravings: Still nothing crazy. I just like eating. Okay, untrue. I wanted alfredo sauce. So I bought it at Sam's Club, a tad overboard, but what can I say?

Feeling: Pants still suck. Yesterday was a bad day. I got dressed twice. The first time was an epic fail so I switched pants. When I got to school, I realized I was more uncomfortable in the second pair than the first. And I felt a murderous rage coming on. Not okay in a school. Thank goodness Colleen had an extra pair to rescue me. Changing into her sweats was the best decision I made all day!

Movement: all the time. Every time I sit or lay down I feel her kick. After I eat I feel her kick. All the time. Right now in fact. She has started to do the long gliding motions across my belly. And to kick and hit at the same time; really I can feel her on both sides sometimes.
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 26: She weighs a pound and two thirds and is a big as an English cucumber (a little specific) or 14 inches. Her ears are better developed and can hear both Matt & my voices. She is also practicing to breath with amniotic fluid (gross but necessary).

Week 27: She weighs almost 2 pounds and is about 14.5 inches long. She has been sleeping (while I teach) and waking (when I am trying to be productive) at regular intervals. And her brain is very active - now I am curious (what do you think she is thinking about?) And in other exciting news, I am nearing the end of the second trimester. I only have another 13 weeks to go. That is about as long as Matt & I kept this a secret at the very beginning. I don't want to say home stretch, or nearing the end, because I am not. But this has been a wonderful first two thirds.

What's going on outside the belly: 

And what about us? What have we been up to? So many things! We went to Matt's brother's wedding two weeks ago (crazy great fun!) and a post in the works already. We have been making serious changes in the house. Baby Girl's room is painted - post on that later. Her furniture is in the state - but still at the store waiting for us to pick it up. We are getting rid of some downstairs furniture - post on that too. Oh and Chanukah came and went last week.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sarah Celeste

We have a new baby among us! Last Tuesday our good friends, Tim & Sarah,
welcomed a beautiful baby girl into their family.


We went to visit them today at home and had a wonderful visit. 
She slept the entire time and cuddled each of us.

We wish Momma Sarah a speedy recovery.
We hope Baby Celeste continues to be a well behaved and easy baby.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weeks 24 & 25

Pregnancy: 24 & 25 weeks

Weight Gain: 20 pounds. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: Pants. I hate them. Too big for the low pants. Nothing holds up the pants that go all the way up. ROAR. I could write an entire post on how much I hate maternity pants. Seriously. On a different level - how does this fit into measurements?
 
Sleep: I'm getting used to it. But I have been having problems with rolling on my back. Then I move and it hurts like hell! Leg cramps galore. So I am back to using a second pillow to keep me still. Now it is between my knees instead of behind my back. 

Cravings: Orange food. You laugh? But I have eaten an entire bag of cuties. And Cheetos. And macaroni & cheese. Not craving it, just eating a lot of it... 

Feeling: At the end of the day, my back hurts. But that feels appropriate because I am on my feet all morning.And let's talk about heartburn. I have it in the afternoon. I thought it had to do with all the fruit I have been eating, but it is unrelated. It is every afternoon, regardless of what I have been eating. So I drink more chocolate milk.

Movement: all the time. Every time I sit or lay down I feel her kick. After I eat I feel her kick. All the time. Right now in fact. 
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 24: She weighs a pound and is a big as an ear of corn. And her taste buds are developing (weird since she won't eat anything interesting for months). And her lungs are doing stuff that will help them inflate once she hits the outside world. Also my uterus is the size of a soccer ball.

Week 25: She weighs a pound and a half and is about 13.5 inches long. She has been long and lean, but at this point she is going to start growing some cute baby fat. She is starting to look like a newborn. She is starting to grow hair all over. Cute.

What's going on outside the belly: 

And what about us? What have we been up to? So many things! We went to a family wedding two weeks ago. We have been feeling and watching her kick around in my belly. Matt helped me pick out a color and then he painted the whole nursery. It is a beautiful soft lilac. Also known as a very light purple. You would wonder who we are naming her after... hint hint. Not really. Hahaha!


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weeks 22 & 23

Pregnancy: 22 & 23 weeks

Weight Gain: 16 pounds at the end of those two weeks. At some point, this information will stop being shared.

Measurements: My boobs are another size up... that's all I will tell you. They went up another size... so crazy.
 
Sleep: I'm getting used to it. My understanding is that I will sleep again in 20 years... But I have been having problems with rolling on my back. Then I move and it hurts like hell! Leg cramps galore. So I am back to 

Cravings: For the last two weeks? It's been Thanksgiving. But that's because we have been celebrating Thanksgiving for the last six weeks. So I want more mashed potatoes - that must be a little better than french fries. I have been eating more meat, which could be the reason I am not having problems pooping anymore.

Feeling: I feel really good.

Movement: All the time! She is a little mover and a shaker.
 
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 22: She is starting to look like a newborn. The face is developing!! Eyelids, lips, and eyebrows. She is 11 inches long and the size of a spaghetti squash.

We had another appointment this week too! Unfortunately, Matt couldn't make it. So I invited the Grandmothers to come with me. It was wonderful. They met their granddaughter for the first time. And apparently, while sonograms existed at the time, they were not common practice. So they didn't have sonograms with us when we were little. It was a nice thing to share with them!

Week 23: She can hear music and feel me dance. The inner ear stuff is fully formed at this point. Which was perfect for Peter & Roxanne's wedding! She is now a large mango (which feels smaller than a spaghetti squash in my head). And I should be able to see her squirm under my clothing (totally did!). Her lungs are getting ready to prepare for breathing (although that won't happen until she is out).

video
She is kicking every three seconds or so to the left of my belly button.