Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weeks 31 & 32

Pregnancy: 32 Weeks, have come and gone. CRAZY!

Weight Gain: Actually, and this is weird... I didn't gain any weight the first week. I was still at 27 pounds. I was higher at one point during these weeks, but then I had a few great poops. But now I am at 28 pounds. No worries. The Doctor said my weight gain and plateau was fine. And nothing to worry about.

Measurements: The uterus is measuring 31.5 cm. But I am feeling mighty round. Look how big I am compared to 5 weeks ago. Craziness. Serious. Craziness.

Sleep: I remember it. I used to be good at it. Recently, I wake up in the night because my legs are falling asleep. And it doesn't feel good. So I get up and stand up. Then go back to bed.

Cravings: I like to eat. But still nothing weird.

Feeling: My legs hurt. And I need a haircut. Bad. Does that have anything to do with how I feel?

Movement: all the time. She has this one trick she likes a lot. She likes to push her back up against my stomach so my whole uterus feels hard. It is a little bit uncomfortable. She likes to do this a few times a day. The first time, it was seriously painful. But I learned a trick - GRAVITY! If I lay on my back for a few minutes, she settles back into my body.

What's going on inside the belly:  

Week 31: 
She weighs 3.3 pounds (about 4 naval oranges - only awkward because I ate so many this week). And she is about 16 inches long. Good thing she is folded in half still. But we are moving in for the final growth spurt.

Week 32: She weighs 3.75 pounds (about the size of a jicama - not that I know what that means). And she is 16.7 inches long. Oh and PS - this is when she has toenails, fingernails, and peach fuzz on her head.

What's going on outside the belly:  

We had our first two Baby Showers this week! They were wonderful. My department at work hosted the first one. And my best friend Colleen hosted the second. They were so much fun and I felt so loved.

I think it is time to show you our to do list before baby girl gets here. We realize that this list is not complete by any stretch of our imaginations, but it's a start.
  • purchase furniture
  • pick paint color
  • paint baby's room
  • reorganize the closet
  • assemble furniture
  • throw away things we don't need (I actually did this!!!!!!!!!)
  • decorate the room
  • hang photos
  • find a pediatrician
  • find a lactation specialist
  • get clothing (we got a lot at the Baby Showers)
  • get diapers and diapering supplies
  • wash everything
  • get a mattress pad for our bed (gross)
  • tour the hospital
  • sign up for a class (maybe)
  • pack a hospital bag (for me, Baby, and Matt)
  • find a dog-sitter for Misty & Bones who can stay on the fly
  • clean out the freezer
  • test recipes 
  • fill the freezer with ready to go meals - no prep work left.
  1. Lentil Soup
  2. Pot Roast

Baby Shower #2

I have some amazing friends. I knew that. But you didn't, or maybe you did... hmmm. Anyway, I digress.

Colleen and I have been friends for a long time. But when became very close a few years ago. I think it probably started when she and I started going to country concerts together. I don't know if she knows this, but at one of our first concerts I got sick from not eating, drinking, and the insane heat. I think I must have passed out in the shade, because I remember strangers bringing me water.  But again I digress. Now we are lucky enough to work together. I look forward to that part every day.

So Colleen hosted a Baby Shower for me and Baby Girl at her lovely Mom's house. No matter how many times I asked if I could do anything to help out, she shot me down. She made a diaper cake that I am still amazed by. I refuse to take it apart. 

No lie. I was nervous beforehand. I had friends coming from college as well as local and work friends. I was overwhelmed by the number of people who love us. Not the worst thing in the world to be nervous about. But in the end, it was perfect. I was surrounded by people I love and who love Baby Girl & I. 

The whole shower was my idea of heaven. From the games to the food. We played Bingo, trivia, categories, and they all put bets on when Baby Girl will arrive and how big she will be. I hope they bet small and early. I mean, a girl can hope right?!?!?! And let's talk food! Macaroni & cheese, sandwiches, fruit, and butternut squash!!! My Mom made it for us! And unfortunately, there weren't any leftovers. Sad face. And Jen made CUPCAKES!!! I love POPPYCAKES! Dark chocolate with salted caramel buttercream and fudge icing. And champagne cupcakes. How could a girl complain at all?! I loved eating them for the last week!

The best present we got? All the BOOKS! I know you thought we had enough books. But we don't. No such thing! 

Check out the original list of books we had. And here are the new books!!!!
  • Pat the Bunny
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama
  • Sammy Spider (2)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (EN)
  • Barnyard Dance
  • My Little Pony Throws a Party
  • Where the Wild Things Are (SP)
  • Eric Carle Books (2)
  • Good Dog Carl
  • I Ruff You
  • Belly Laughs (Jenny McCarthy)
  • Snow Day for Jingle
  • Too Purple
  • Dr. Suess books (ABC & Sleep)
  • Love You Forever
  • Going to Bed Book
  • Caterpillar & Butterfly book
  • Baby Care Bible
  • Cat & Butterfly book
  • Good Night Gorilla
  • Classic Storybook
  • Terp book
  • Winnie the Pooh stories
  • The Bro Code for Parents
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
We also got a lot of other very useful presents. I think we are set on bath time supplies. Almost. And we have a few diapers now. I should do a show and tell on our diapers. We did at the shower. And we got some amazing homemade quilts. They are getting their own post. No worries. But I know that there are two more in the works, so I thought I would wait on that post. 

So THANK YOU!!! To my friends and family! We feel so very loved!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Baby Shower Numero Uno

I have a very clear policy with myself. Don't talk about work on the blog. I never mention them at all. This blog is not about my job. For a few reasons too. First, the blog is about my husband and I, and we don't work together. Second, this blog is not a forum for saying negative things. I feel like everyone goes home and complains about work. But that is not why you are here. And most importantly, talking about work is completely unprofessional. I don't like talking about work in writing ever. Not in email, not in text, and definitely not here.

But today. Those rules are gone! I work with 10 amazing people. 9 women and 1 man. And we have a lot of fun. They surprised me big time and threw my first Baby Shower this past week! We went to one of my favorite breweries, Dogfish Head, for lunch and had a wonderful time!

We played some great games - they each had to make a baby out of clay, a trivia game, and the poopie diaper game.

Okay let's talk trivia. They were asked 11 questions about the Baby, Mattl, & I. And I thought I would share some of the answers with you. Some of these answers are right and most are funny.

  1. Nursery theme? Baby animals, books, reading, Disney characters, turtles, quilts, bears
  2. Food cravings? Beer, salami, chocolate, peanut butter, pizza, fried food
  3. Strange rituals during pregnancy? rubbing the belly, "there's a lot of strange things about Deb," crying, washing hands tons, going to bed
  4. Zodiac sign? Aries, Pisces, Aquarius
  5. How many times do I pee? 15, 13, 8, 9, 10
  6. # of kids we want? 3, 2, 17 (thanks Joe)
  7. Where did we meet? at school
  8. Favorite pregnancy restaurant? Dogfish, Founding Farmers, Chili's
  9. I didn't like this question. SKIP
  10. My favorite part of pregnancy? Boobs, gas, food, crying on demand, taking pictures of my tummy, baby kicks
  11. My least favorite part of pregnancy?  Sweaty feet, getting dressed, gas, heartburn, morning sickness, feeling fat, not drinking enough beer

I could not work with a better and more caring group of people. They are very supportive and loving. It was also just great to be out of the building with them for food and drinks. And yes, I did have half of a beer. And a large glass of water and a ginger ale.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

I love birthdays. But I am AWFUL at remembering other people's. Regularly. I forget to call. I called my best friend two days late, because I wrote her birthday on the wrong day in my calendar... and my mom? This year I facebooked her and then forgot to call. I am seriously awful. Especially when my family and so many of my friends are so great about contacting me.

It makes me feel awful.

And then there are my siblings. They are too funny.

Take my brother. He and I have the same sense of humor. And he has the best way of wishing someone a happy birthday without making you feel old and fat. I mean. Yes. I mean. Ummmm. No just kidding. This note sums up our relationship. Love and teasing and love.

And then switch gears. Get a box of tissues. And get ready for this card from my sister.

The 30 Best Things About My Sister
In Honor of Her 30th Birthday
  1. My sister refuses to quit.
  2. My sister doesn't fight when it isn't worth fighting for.
  3. My sister has a smile that lights up her whole face.
  4. My sister is loyal.
  5. My sister thinks things through.
  6. My sister loves deeply with her whole heart.
  7. My sister hates letting people down.
  8. My sister laughs often.
  9. My sister is funny.
  10. My sister lets you be different.
  11. My sister respects others.
  12. My sister lets go of the past.
  13. My sister teaches me.
  14. My sister worries about other people.
  15. My sister lets others make mistakes.
  16. My sister gives great advice.
  17. My sister teases without insult.
  18. My sister tries.
  19. My sister protects others.
  20. My sister enjoys other people's happiness.
  21. My sister cooks.
  22. My sister understands the power of a cupcake.
  23. My sister calls because she hasn't called lately.
  24. My sister allows others to work things out on their own.
  25. My sister is always there for you if you need her.
  26. My sister makes you laugh so hard you cry.
  27. My sister fixes problems.
  28. My sister offers solutions.
  29. My sister goes out of her way to take care of you if you're sick.
  30. My sister goes for it.

  • My sister converts food into human
  • My sister built forts
  • My sister gives great hugs
  • My sister warns you to leave when she farts
  • My sister does her best.
  • My sister blogs.
  • My sister lets you babble about things she doesn't care about, because you do.
  • My sister is honest.
  • My sister has a great bitchface.
  • My sister doesn't judge often and when she does, it's funny.
  • My sister includes.
  • My sister trusts you to get your shit done.
Mostly, I'm blessed to have you as my sister.  You're the only birth sister I'll ever have, and damn, did I get lucky.  Hopefully, I can be half the sister to you that you are to me.  Happy thirtieth birthday to my amazing, inspiring sister.

Okay - it's me again. I cried when I read that email from her. I mean, how could I not. Sarah & I have a relationship marked by roller coasters. We love and hate and love and love and hate and love again. I screamed at her two nights ago because I had to update the OS on my computer (which is still a very old OS by today's standards) and therefore I lost my programs and can't download new ones because my OS is still too old. She took my screaming in stride, and then told me I was scaring her, but came up with a solution for me nonetheless. 

While my brother and I coast through life experiencing whatever is in front of us, and enjoying most of it; my sister is a completely different person. She is beyond thoughtful and insightful. Especially when you don't want her to be. 

And back to the topic at hand... how am I ever going to live up to this email? My brother? I can call his ass at midnight and wish him a Happy Birthday. In fact, I was surprised he didn't do that this year. But grateful. Very grateful. But my sister? How will I ever be able to live up to her standards?

So I make a resolution. For my 30th birthday, the only present I want, is one that I have to give. I want to make the people with who I surround myself to know and feel cherished in the way that I actually cherish them. I want you to know that I love you. And that even though I haven't called recently, or emailed, or sent you a card in who-knows-how-long, I love you very much. 

I guess this isn't really a birthday post at all is it?
Here is the traditional stuff someone might write...
I did have a wonderful birthday on Monday. I spoke to my Grandparents the night before, always a treat! And made our first plans for this summer with Baby Girl. On my actual birthday? I received cards from two of my wonderful friends at work, as well as flowers and baby unrelated items. Shout outs for cupcake related gifts!!! After school, my Chanukah present for Matt came - a cleaning service. It was awesome! And my husband both made my favorite sandwich (meatball sub) and then cleaned up! I got a card that mentions farts. And roses. And sappy cards. And gift cards. And 3 beautiful pairs of earrings. A box filled with randoms. And a back-rub. I spent time putting things away in the nursery.

I didn't expect to freak out about turning 30. It's just a number. And it's not a very big number at that. I mean, imagine 75. That's a really big number. And this is the first birthday that I did not make a HUGE deal out of. I didn't do a countdown at all. Not because I was dreading it. But because I haven't really had the opportunity to think exclusively about myself in about 7 months. Everyone says having a child changes your life. But it also changes your perspective. It's weird and refreshing. 

So Happy Birthday to me. May my life be filled with family and friends. And love. And may I have make lots of opportunities to share that love with the people that I cherish. Which will be really easy this weekend! Expect a post on that next week! Yay showers!!! 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Thoughts in the Freezer

We are in the process of getting ready for Baby Girl. Duh! Current project on my mind (stomach) is cleaning out the freezer. We have lots of staples in there, but they still need to be cooked into something. And lots of times, that is not what we want at all. We want to take something out and cook it and move on. And when she gets here? We won't have real time to cook anything. At least me and my boobs won't.
Southern Living Fix It & Freeze It/Heat It & Eat It: A quick-cook guide to over 200 make-ahead dishes
So I found this cookbook from Southern Living. And I bought it. The reason? Because let's be honest, I don't need more cookbooks. The reason? It tells you how and when to freeze it as part of the recipe! Idiot proof!

So the plan? Spend the next few weeks testing recipes and making sure that we like the food before I freeze it. 

So far we have tried three recipes. All need to be modified for our tastes. But they are great starting points. I will share our recipes in the next few weeks.

So get hungry!

A Literary Genius

All of the people who have seen the nursery in person have commented on the fact that Baby Girl has a lot of books. Now, to be fair, she really doesn't. You should see my parents' house. They have a ton of books. Stashed all over the house! But I guess for someone who isn't here yet, she does have two full baskets of books.

My sister suggested that I make a master list of books, so we don't get too many duplicates. In fact, we already have 1 set of duplicates... and I think I bought the second one. Strange. The first was from my childhood.

Here is our current list of books:

Books in English
  • My First Chanukah
  • Biscuit's Hanukkah
  • Goodnight Moon
  • Green Eggs & Ham
  • The Giving Tree
  • Pinkalicious
  • Oh, the Thinks you can think (2)
  • The Story of Ferdinand
  • The Baby Unicorn
  • The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash
  • Horton Hears a Who
  • Llama Llama home with Mama
  • Betty Bunny loves Chocolate Cake
  • The Three Little Javelinas 
  • I can Name 50 Trees Today
  • The Lorax
  • McElligot's Pool
  • An Aussie Night Before Christmas
  • Ten Little Fingers & Ten Little Toes
  • Gallop!
  • If You Give a Moose a Muffin
  • If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake
  • If You Give a Pig a Party
  • If You Take a Mouse to School
  • Wynken, Blynken, & Nod
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Corduroy
  • My Treasury of Stories & Rhymes
Books in Spanish
  • Muu, muu dice una vaca
  • Moncho y la Mancha
  • Donde viven los monstruos (Where the Wild Things Are)
  • Katy no tiene bolsa (Curious George)
  • Jorge el Curioso encuentra trabajo (Curious George Finds a Job)
  • Buenas Noches a Todos (The Going to Bed Book)
  • Don Caballito de Mar (Mister Seahorse)
  • ¿Donde esta Spot? (Where is Spot?)
Bilingual Books - text in both languages
  • I want my banana - Quiero mi Platano
  • I'm Too Big - Soy demasiado grande
  • The Sleeping Beauty - La Bella Durmiente
  • Cinderella - Cinicienta
  • Jack & the Beanstalk - Juan y los frijoles magicos
  • The Little Mermaid - La Sirenita
  • Goldilocks - Ricitos de Oro y los Tres Osos
  • Little Red Riding Hood - Caperucita Roja
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar - La Oruga Muy Hambrienta
  • Ten Little Fingers - Tengo Diez Deditos
Currently, they all reside mixed together in two wicker baskets on the floor in between the rocker and the crib. I can easily grab them from the basket to read to the dogs or myself. There is also a bookshelf behind the rocker, not so accessible from the rocker. Once we are closer to the end of the pregnancy and the beginning of babyhood, I will separate them by age appropriateness (and what I want to read to her). And from there, books will rotate from the bookshelf to the baskets.

So there you have it. A literary genius in the making. Can't even read, and she has almost more books than she kicks in an hour.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Week 30!!!

Pregnancy: 30 Weeks

Weight Gain: Nah just kidding. I was thinking about this after last week's post and thought, "nah I want to continue keeping track of this information." Because I am curious! Currently? 27 pounds.

Measurements: Hmmm. Nothing has changed this week.
Sleep: Sometimes I can't sleep at all. Last week I was sick with the really bad head cold that was going around. I couldn't sleep because I couldn't breathe. But I found that if I drink an entire glass of water right before climbing in bed, I fall asleep faster. Not fast by any means. But faster counts. And after I wake up to go to the bathroom? I repeat and drink again.

Cravings: I like to eat. But still nothing weird.

Feeling: Achy. Still. There are times when sitting is the most uncomfortable feeling in the world, because she is squishing up into my ribs. It is just frustrating. Sitting in a car for more than 45 minutes is no longer comfortable. That's why we have only one big trip left. Not telling about it. Going on a mini baby-moon with the hubs!  

Movement: all the time. I noticed last night that when I can't remember the last time I felt her move, all I have to do is put my hand on the belly, and she will move for me. Anyone else's hand and she says NO THANK YOU! But for Mommy? Okay!!!!
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 30: She weighs 3 pounds (like a head of cabbage). And she is 15.7 inches long. I looked at that on a measuring tape - and that is tall! And she wasn't going to fit inside... But then I folded it in half (like she is) and she fit so much better!

What's going on outside the belly: 

Over the next 6 weeks we have lots going on to help us get ready. We are gearing up for Baby Shower season. I can't wait to see so many of my friends and family!!!

Also... I had another ultrasound this week! In 3D. CRAAZY town!  I have a ton of pictures, but these are some of my favorites! She made so many cute faces, but most of them were covered by her hands. She is definitely our baby - STUBBORN. It felt like she was trying to tell us something the whole time...  "get out of my face" or maybe "NO PAPARAZZI!!" Who knows...

In the end, she was very clear on her message to us...

I think it is time to show you our to do list before baby girl gets here. We realize that this list is not complete by any stretch of our imaginations, but it's a start.
  • purchase furniture
  • pick paint color
  • paint baby's room
  • reorganize the closet
  • assemble furniture
  • throw away things we don't need (this won't ever be crossed off my list)
  • decorate the room
  • hang photos
  • find a pediatrician
  • find a lactation specialist
  • get clothing
  • get diapers and diapering supplies
  • wash everything
  • get a mattress pad for our bed (gross)
  • tour the hospital
  • sign up for a class (maybe)
  • pack a hospital bag (for me, Baby, and Matt)
  • find a dog-sitter for Misty & Bones who can stay on the fly
  • clean out the freezer
  • test recipes 
  • fill the freezer with ready to go meals - no prep work left

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cloth Diapers

Oh lord have I read and talked to a lot of people about this.

Reasoning? It is not about saving the planet at all. It is a happy bonus coincidence. For me? The cost of diapering a child is too much. And then how about a second child? Forgetaboutit! Not happening! I want to save money (for college). Once we have the diapers, we won't need to buy more. Duh. And we can use the same diapers for the first and second (and maybe third) kid. Only the elastic at the legs might need to be replaced. Not so bad.

Current plan:

Newborn diapers?
We are going to try to use our diapers as soon as they fit. But I am not buying more cloth diapers than we can use. I am not buying any additional extra small sizes - mostly because I bet our kid won't be small at all. Have you seen Reese babies? They are bigguns!

But before our baby fits into our diapers - we are going to use disposables. Because in the beginning, it is just about survival. Parent survival. Making it through each day and each diaper. 

In order to get Matt on board, I had to keep diapering as simple as possible. So I did some research. And I found Bum Genius freetime. I can't wait to have one in my hands to play with. What I know at this point? There is a waterproof outer layer. It is adjustable to three different sizes in terms of crotch length. And four different waist sizes. It also has two absorbent layers attached and permanent on the inside.

Know what else we did to get Matt on board? New fancy washing machine for Chanukah. Front loader. High efficiency. All the bells and whistles. No seriously. It has bells and sings each time you press a button. I wouldn't know about it because I don't know how to use it. He hasn't showed me how to use it. But Matt told me it plays music.

I originally was completely against cloth diapers with inserts because of the extra step. However, for traveling, I think a disposable insert would make the most sense. So I'm thinking about GDiapers. The outsides are reusable and the inserts (while expensive) will make diapering on the go easier. And you can use the outside over and over again and just change the insert. So yea. That's my thought.
Cons? They are not all-in-ones. So we will need different sizes. Which makes me think that they are not the one. That makes it less easy. And less affordable. EPIC LOSS.

So I went back to Bum Genius. Crazy right? And brand consistent? What is that about? So pocket diapers. They are the same on the outside as the other ones. The difference? Instead of having two absorbent layers that are attached, it has a pocket. And it comes with an insert. It shoves right down into the pocket. The reason I am thinking about these ones? Honestly? It is kind of gross... but you can change the insert and reuse the outside diaper. Imagine, just one outside diaper and changing the insert. You could even use the disposable inserts. The only reason for changing the whole diaper? Poop. Chunky stuff.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Break 2012

So what did we do over winter break? Oh geez! So much. It is amazing how much we can cram into 10 days!

So we got out of school on Friday... and we went out to happy hour and then out to dinner. We found a new favorite restaurant. And if you are ever in the DC area, you have to eat there! We have actually eaten there 3 times since Thanksgiving! Founding Farmers is just amazing! That's my fried chicken, waffles, and macaroni & cheese. There were more beans at the beginning, but I had to eat them first to make sure I ate all my veggies...

On Saturday, we had a big day! We worked on Baby Girl's room all morning. We finished what we had.  The painting is done. The plugs are updated. The furniture is where it should be. There will be a separate post on this with photos and everything. Then we had a bigger afternoon. We went to IKEA. Matt's idea... for organizational stuff. There is a post on this!

Sunday, Matt went to Drew's and had a boys day watching football. I was left to make things work. I assembled the bookcases we bought and started moving things around and into their new home. 

Monday was Christmas Eve, and I finally got my blood work done for the glucose test. Then we headed to Linda's. It was the first time we got to see her new house and church. Her house is beautiful. It feels more like her and like home than her apartment did in Manchester. We had a lovely dinner, all of Matt's favorite foods - a Thanksgiving meal in fact. I love Christmas Eve services. But you know that. You read my post on the holidays.

Linda gave a wonderful sermon. There were a number of different parts. She talked about how this year was different. We were all there together for the first time. Which was true; there were people missing from years past and new people in the pews (us) and on the pulpit. She also talked about the lenses we wear. I could completely relate. After taking the Intro to Judaism course, and because I am pregnant, I am seeing a lot of the same things from different and new points of view. It was very interesting. I don't remember how that part related back to the story, but I took stuff away from it, and that has to count. Right?

Then there were presents that night because Phil & Lauren were spending the night with us and they were spending the morning with her family. We had breakfast together and then took a tour of the church. It was beautiful! Then we spent the day doing what we do on Christmas day - we went to the movies. Matt, Linda, & I saw "Life of Pi." It was beautiful and wonderful. And the 3D was to die for!

That night, Matt left me at the train station. No worries, I had a ticket. I took the train from MD to CT to spend a few days with just the ladies. We woke up the next morning and went up to Canyon Ranch. Three days of relaxing by the fire, watching the snow come down, eating healthy food (I think I learned that meant no preservatives more than anything else), and getting massages. It was a wonderful way to spend almost three days with just my mom & sister. And, as per the usual, we were talking about going back before we even left.

While I was away, my husband stayed home and worked on the house. Yea that's right. I went and had massages, and Matt painted the master bedroom. And yes I know that we have painted every room in the house since we moved in (except the guest room, living and dining room) and that maybe we should inhale less pain fumes, but we are looking for the right colors. And the colors I liked when we moved in, don't do it for us anymore. He also "had to" play video games and drink beer - I put that on the list also.

Friday, we went home to CT. DUH - it was Shabbat! And Matt was coming!! And Dan was coming!! And Dan was bringing his GIRLFRIEND!!!!!! Holy cow! (Hi Emma!) There were so many happy things all coming together in one house!  So Friday night, Shabbat, Matt got stuck in tons of traffic... eeks. Stupid Delaware turnpike. Stupid New Jersey construction on the turnpike. We hate you both! So we had a late dinner, which was appropriate because we were also having a late Chanukah. We celebrated Chanukah the first time at Thanksgiving, but we didn't get a chance to eat latkes (Matt's favorite part), so we had them for Shabbat. Then we opened presents.

And I know you are wondering what I thought of Emma... well she brought me cupcakes! I guess they were really for everyone, but they were chocolate with peppermint frosting. So clearly they were really for me! I am so easily won! Does that make me easy? When it comes to cupcakes - I am OKAY WITH THAT! But honestly, she is a sweetheart. And my favorite part of her? Aside from the part where she makes cupcakes? She likes my brother, and he likes her back. And they make each other happy. Also, she had no problems handling the Stones - which was really impressive. And she learned how to play Settlers without complaining. So Matt is 100% on board too!

Saturday? We had a ladies morning at the nail salon. All 4 of us. No longer 3. And soon to be 5. Crazy counting skills right there! And then we got snowed in. All day.

Misty was in heaven! It is the only time she acts like a dog!

And the boys had a great time! Snowballs. Snow angels. Dan. Emma. Matt. Andy.

But no little dogs. It was too cold for their little legs... They maintained control of the porch, with Sarah.

I love my family. Biological. Extended. In-laws. ALL of them.

"I almost farted everyone out of the house! I was sad-face because then I was lonely." ~~ Matt wrote this for you, no worries, its still about me.

We played games. And sat in front of the fire. Some of us picked fights (gotta do what we do). and we watched movies. Lovely.

Sunday. The snow had stopped and the plows had come. And Andy's keys were missing... we spent an hour searching in the house before we thought about the outside... and we had been playing all over the front yard and driveway. And then they plowed... but not worries - they were in the SNOW ANGEL!

And then it was time to go home. We decided to drive through PA instead of down through Jersey. The drive was so much prettier! And smelled so much better!

Then it was New Years Eve. Crazy to think about it being 2013. We dropped off my car at 7 in the morning for some recall work. Want to hear how stupid it was? If the front seat passenger side airbag was off - so was the back seat. That's no good. Especially with a baby on the way. So that was dealt with. Then I ran errands and Matt assembled the baby's furniture. When I got back, he was mostly done. I couldn't believe it. And standing there in the doorway, it was beyond real that this Baby Girl is on her way, and soon!

For NYE, we had friends over. A lovely pajama party. I made dinner. And then we played games all night. The ladies helped me with the Baby's room and helped me see what I was missing. We all stayed up until the ball dropped, and then I dropped. Why should I stay up any later?

New Year's Day, we always go to Matt's Great Aunt's house in Baltimore. Ann Louise has been hosting an afternoon lunch for as long as I have known the Reese's. It is always nice to be with family around the holidays and it is a great time to catch up.

So that is our "break" in review.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The home stretch

It's official. We are in the third trimester! We have less than 12 weeks left. And after 28 weeks, 12 doesn't sound like that many at all.

All Baby Girl needs to do is gain weight at this point before we can meet her.  Crazy that in 3 months I will be able to talk to her face and kiss her cute button nose.

Pregnancy: 28 & 29 Weeks

Weight Gain: This is the moment that I stop sharing... I found it. I still have about 10 pounds to gain in this last trimester. But most of that is her.

Measurements: We had a Dr.'s appointment this afternoon. And they measured my belly. 29 centimeters from top to bottom of my uterus. And still wearing the same size pants as I was before I was pregnant. My butt is the same size!!!! But my belly is HUGE! It surprises Matt most mornings, but he sees it without a shirt on... and it is much bigger without a pretty shirt on. But good to know - I didn't know this shirt was see-through. Good to know.
Sleep: I received a fancy pregnancy pillow for Christmas. I thought it would make sleeping more comfortable. I was wrong. My assortment of little pillows tucked around my body works so much better. Crazy. In fact, over break, I missed all my pillows. I only travel with the little one that my belly sleeps on. But I missed my head pillows and knee pillow.

Cravings: I like to eat. But still nothing weird.

Feeling: Achey. That's not how you spell it. But that's how I feel. Different parts of my body at different times of the time. My lower back hurts a wee bit. There are times when my legs ache. And sometimes I feel like I have been punched in my vagina. But my doctor said it's fine and not to worry.

Movement: all the time. She kicked the doctor today. How great is that? He was listening to the heartbeat, and she kicked him right in the doppler... He had just asked about her movements too, and then he chuckled.
What's going on inside the belly:  
Week 28: She weighs 2.25 pounds. She is going to spend the next 12 weeks getting plump and squishy. And is 14.8 inches long. She is blinking and has eyelashes! She responds to flashlights by either kicking or blinking. And her brain is developing billions of neurons to outsmart her parents.

Week 29: She weighs 2.5 pounds and is about 15 inches long. She is the size of my favorite vegetable - a butternut squash!!! She has increasing nutritional demands at this point, so I need to eat more calcium, vitamin C, and iron... gross. She is hardening her skeleton and pushing to make space for her growing body. Boy, do I feel it. 

What's going on outside the belly: 

Glucose test? Done! And PASSED! At this point, we are going to the doctor every other week. Crazy. We are actually in the home stretch. All our doctor's appointments are scheduled from now until the week after her due date.

I think it is time to show you our to do list before baby girl gets here. We realize that this list is not complete by any stretch of our imaginations, but it's a start.
  • purchase furniture
  • pick paint color
  • paint baby's room
  • reorganize the closet
  • assemble furniture
  • throw away things we don't need 
  • decorate the room
  • hang photos
  • find a pediatrician
  • find a lactation specialist
  • get clothing
  • get diapers and diapering supplies
  • wash everything
  • get a mattress pad for our bed (gross)
  • tour the hospital
  • sign up for a class (maybe)
  • pack a hospital bag (for me, Baby, and Matt)
  • find a dog-sitter for Misty & Bones who can stay on the fly
  • clean out the freezer
  • fill the freezer with ready to go meals - no prep work left

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year's Resolutions

I want to make a resolution. It is a small one. But yea. It is my resolution to make.

This year I want to make time. 

Simple as that. 

I want to make time for the people and activities I love. 
  • to call the people I love (more than just my family)
  • to spend time reading every night - even if it is just 15 minutes
  • to quilt every month
  • to walk the dogs, because they want me to (but once it gets warm....)
  • to cook dinner for fun
  • to clean up (and make time for Matt's happiness)
  • to put things away after I use them, not a week later
That's all. 

Baby Girl's Room

We have been working on Baby Girl's room for a few weeks now. Slowly but surely. Actually, I can tell you that it has been about 9 weeks to be sure. We started by picking out two colors right before we found out she was a precious girl.  And to be honest, I wanted the purple regardless of her gender. The green, was just green. But the purple felt right.

So Matt started painting. I did the swatches and that was about all the smell I could handle. Thankfully, my husband is wonderful and understood that this meant he would be handling all the painting. Both coats. 

And he is a wonderful painter! The purple is GORGEOUS! I adore it!

Once the painting was done, Matt started to change the outlets. He found safety plugs that we are slowly replacing throughout the house. They have something in them that prevents kids from sticking anything but a plug into the outlet. There is some kind of plastic behind it, and all the holes need to be depressed at the same time.

Then it was on to the closet. We bought an organizer. All we had to do was decide where the shelves were going. Sounds easy right? But we figured it out. And then we figured out that the ceiling was really sloped... not level at all. Seriously like whoa.

Then we started putting things in their place. I tried a number of different arrangements. We knew that the dresser (with changing pad on top) would go underneath the shelf that Gerry made along the wall in front of the door. But everything else was debatable. I tried the twin bed in a few different places, but it made the most sense in between the dresser and window.

Then it was on to decide about the books. Baby Girl has a lot of books already - and she can't read at all! I had a bookcase, a shelf, two wicker baskets, and a set of cloth baskets. Misty decided that I should wait and make that decision once the rocker glider was there so we could see how it would all fit.

Fast forward a week or so and Matt was very productive! Our furniture came in!!! And then he had the whole thing assembled before I came back from running errands.

The crib? Assembled!

The rocker glider? Assembled!

The baby's room? Almost done!

What's left? You know, the stuff we don't have yet.
I need to:
  • put photos up on the walls
  • sheets in the crib
  • fill the dresser/closet with clothing, blankets, diapers, diapering stuff
  • getting rid of Ernie & Bert (see above photo). They were from school; the students made them for homecoming and I didn't know where I was going with the room, so I figured we could try it for now and then change our minds. 
And all the other things that I don't even know about yet because I don't have a baby yet. But no worries - I have great friends who are helping me figure things out. (Thanks Lesley for pointing out that we will need a laundry basket in here too.)

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A desk catastrophe

Over the last five years (since we moved in) I have had 5 different desks. And every time, I have not used it. The first desk I bought when I moved to Maryland (8 years ago) and I used it for the first 3 years, in the apartments. Then it didn't matter how messy I was, because Matt was only there from time to time and it wasn't ever for very long. But I didn't use it effectively. It was for storing stuff.

When we moved in together, Matt stole that desk. Really quick. He used it for years. I had a table in the extra bedroom (the room where stuff went to die) that I didn't use... then I inherited Gerry's desk. I tried to use it. I tried really hard. For a year I tried and held onto that desk. But it never worked for me. The laptop was too big, the desk was too narrow. And it was a desk...
I kept going back to working at the dining room table. It is a large space and I can spread everything out. 

So Matt had a brainwave. We found a desk solution that should have worked for us. There was a desk at IKEA with a bookcase in the middle. Matt's major complaint was that I used all my desks as storage. So this solution was perfect because the two desk areas were separated by a bookcase. Storage and a large workspace. 

Which brings us to current day. I have been using this desk setup for a while, but not effectively. And not the way Matt intended. My side was always full. Matt's side was always spotless. I drove him nuts. I drive him nuts. I am a mess.

Matt is very solution oriented. He wants to be able to solve my mess. He wants to fix my obvious lack of organization. He came up with another solution recently. New solution???


I mean, it is a genius plan! I am being demoted from desk status. And rightfully so. Why should I have a desk if I don't ever use it? I mean, it makes perfect sense. So, we got rid of one side of the desk. And are putting in a bookcase. Almost floor to ceiling storage. With doors to hide all the storage away. And there is so much storage that things were able to be moved from stupid places to more intelligent places.

My stuff is being stored behind closed doors. And both of the bottom cabinets are completely empty so we can store toys for the baby out of sight.

And because I have moved things out of the dining room, half of the bookcase in there is empty again too! So I am using two shelves in the dining room to house my "desk" paraphernalia, including my laptop. Let's talk about genius!

The best part? There are so many empty spaces right now! Everything will keep moving around until we find its ultimate home. Not that I want to fill them all in. In fact, I am loving all the empty spaces because we are adding a person who will bring her own set of toys and stuff to store.

"Final" Pictures? Yes please!

Yea, we know the colors aren't the best. Because the light wood doesn't match the desk. But really, everything in our house is a combination of these two colors. So it happens. And in person, it really isn't that bad. Is that because I am used to it? Nah...

In between the wall and the cabinet, I have storage. From the bottom up, I have my sewing machine. And hanging on the wall above it, I have wrapping paper in a plastic bin. This way I can't purchase too much wrapping paper. If there isn't space in the bin, I can't have it. 

In the cabinet? From the top down:
On the left side, I have the rest of my wrapping supplies (bags, tissue paper, bows). Underneath, and on the top two shelves in the right cabinet, are the fancy things (ice holder, vases, place mats & napkins, Jewish paraphernalia - menorahs and candle sticks). The bottom shelf on the left holds random stuff that I haven't figured out what to do with...

The second row of cabinets house the rest of my quilting supplies. 
The bottom row of cabinets will house the baby's things. Toys, a downstairs changing station, and who knows what else.  

And here is the matching cabinet in the dining room. All the fancy things moved from here to the other cabinet. And the shelf above is coming down and getting thrown away. The top two shelves house the bowls and platters. The bottom two shelves on the left house the Kitchenaid mixer (and extras) and the pressure cooker. They get used the most so they live closest to the kitchen.

On the right, the second shelf down is my "desk." I have the cutlery basket that holds plastic silverware, salt & pepper, paper napkins, and pens. The dogs use the shelf underneath for treats and cookies. And the last shelf holds the rest of our bowls and trivets.

So there you go. Doesn't this make so much more sense? Notice in that last picture I am using the computer on the table. When not in use? I put it away on the "desk" shelf. In fact, I think I am going to get out the place mats and let them live on the table to maintain the "table" parts of the table. That is the only thing Matt wants - to be able to eat dinner with me at the table without making me clear space for him. I think I can make work. Love it!