My poor, sweet Princess.

This week I've gotten a taste of what it will be like to have a sick and hurting baby/kid.  In a word: HEARTBREAKING.  It's also panic-inducing.  My sweet princess, Fiona, has been sick.   To make a very long story short, the vet thinks Fiona was bitten by a snake on her cheek.  WHAT?!?!  When, how?  We'll never know.  The treatment prescribed on Monday was stopped, and a new, more aggressive approach was taken today.  We hope to wake-up tomorrow morning to a Fiona that's beginning to feel better. 

The past three days have been awful.  Some of you may be thinking, "It's just a dog, Betsy!."  Our pets are our kids.  And look at that face.  Now imagine her eyes swollen, red, pussing, and bleeding.  No way you're thinking, "It's just a dog," now.  That's my BABY.

Fiona's wind-blown look in the backseat.

If watching my dog be sick and in pain has been THIS hard, I can't even imagine what it will be like to have a sick human baby (we affectionately refer to our pets as our "babies").   Something about this seems much harder because she so small.  Real babies are small.  She's also cute as a button usually, and a total charmer.  Obviously we won't know for a couple months (yes, I said a COUPLE months. Not a few, not several, a COUPLE), but I like to think L Bean will be cute as a button and adept at laying-down the charm.  

Josh said to me this morning (via text after I had burst into tears), "Be strong for our baby."  But it's HARD.  I'm totally going to be the mom that cries when my baby gets shots.  Maybe he'll be a total champ and not even flinch.  I still think think I'll cry.  And that first fever?  Oh man.  We'll cross that bridge when it gets here.

Keep Fiona in your prayers.  I'm ready to get my sweet girl back.

Can't we snuggle first?

I had an awesome conversation with a pregnant person whom I’d just met this weekend. She asked when I was due, and then IMMEDIATELY asked if I was having a natural birth in such an accusatory tone that I felt like I was twelve being scolded by my mom. Oh, um, hi, my name is Betsy. I have a husband, two dogs, and two cats. I like long walks on the beach and candle lit dinners. I DON’T KNOW YOU, why are you asking me this?

The 5+ seconds it took me to recover and muster-up an answer were not a big enough clue that I was a taken aback. I answer, and crack a joke (because that’s what I do when I’m uncomfortable) to the other (much less invasive) person sitting next to me. Laugh, laugh, laugh, avoid eye contact with invasive pregnant lady, and hope the conversation ends. “Well, I………..” Oh geez, I strap myself in for awesomeness. She goes on to explain IN DETAIL about how she wants to avoid a C-section (um, don’t we all?), how she WAS delivering at Henrico’s Doctor’s Hospital but NOW she’s delivering at MCV because HDH has SUCH a high c-section rate. She told me about her sucky old doctor who didn’t answer her questions and just wanted to get her in and out of his office, and raved about her awesome new mid-wives. There's more, but I'll spare you the onslaught.  After she had unloaded her unsolicited fill, she asked, “So, where are you delivering?” DROP BOMB: Henrico Doctor’s Hospital. AWKWARD.

Does she back down? NO. She doesn’t even flinch. I explain that I love my doctor, and that I trust him. I tell her about how I’ve had an ultrasound every time I’ve gone in (and I’ve only been charged for two). OH REALLY?!?! Yes, my doctor is warm and fuzzy, he answers all of my questions, and I’ve never felt like he was rushing to get through our appointment. He also said he could deliver my anywhere in the area, but we decided HDH is closest and most convenient. And then I say something along the lines of, “How I deliver is out of my hands (as in, it’s in God’s hands).” WHAT?!?! “My delivery is out of my hands.” HUH?!?! “My delivery is in God’s hands.” OH. Conversation ends.

What is it about pregnancy that makes people poke and prod and offer copious amounts of unsolicited advice? The advice part isn’t so bad. Babies make people excited, and they want to help. I get totally get it. It’s when someone questions me in a competitive (almost accusatory), I’m better than you manner that makes me ANGRY. I prefer to be wooed prior to such invasive conversations. Maybe I’m needy, but can’t we just snuggle first?

To quote one of my favorite people, “She was so NOT awesome.”

I want a shirt that says:

I’m due in September.
I feel GREAT.
It’s a Boy.
His name is Liam Axel.
My birth plan is NOYB (none of your business) because I don’t know you.
Don’t touch, my husband bites.

Mondays make me cranky, can you tell? And we stayed-up WAY too late (11 PM, crazy) last night watching a movie. It was commercial free, score! Pregnant, tried, cranky, HOT Betsy- WATCH OUT WORLD.

Homemade Baby Food

I ordered a book last week, and it finally arrived!  I've been reading (and reading) about all things baby and toddler.  The idea of introducing solid food is a little terrifying to me.  What if my kid is a picky eater?  Do I buy regular or organic?  How much will it cost?  How many ingredients does it have?  What are the ingredients? When, how much, and for long?  In what ORDER?!?!?   Some foods are not good for young babies.  Some foods are more prone to giving your baby gas.  Some foods are more likely to induce food allergies if offered too early.   Your baby has cues that indicate he's ready to try solids.  Is my baby cuing me?!?!

It's a little overwhelming.  I don't consider myself a crunchy mommy-to-be, but I think I'm going to embrace the crunch when it comes to this subject.  How?   By making our own baby food.  I've asked around, and it's not as hard as it sounds.  It's also not as terrifyingly time-consuming.  You can make in bulk and freeze.  Mr. H has even agreed to take-over in the heat of busy season. 

I'm not sure how far we'll take it.  I don't like the idea of making a separate meal for my kid, once he's old enough to eat what we eat.  Luckily, the dinners I make are pretty kid friendly (read: uncomplicated in prep and taste).   Right now, I'm concentrating on making pureed foods.  I set-out to find a book that I could use as a guide.  I found lots of books, lots of complaints about those books, and then lots of compliments about the same books.  I decided on the this one:

I like it because it's user friendly and it has pictures.  I only buy cookbooks that have pictures.  I want to know what it's SUPPOSED to look like.  It's divided by age group: 6 to 9 months, 9 to 12 months, and 12 to 18 months.  The recipes are easy to follow and contain minimal ingredients.  It also contains hints and tips for all things food-related, not just pureed food. 

There's no question that, if it's prepared correctly, it's probably the healthier choice.  I'm curious to know if it'll save us any money. 
Obviously, the prices are going to vary based on state, store, frozen vs fresh, etc.  I'm also not sure if the prices above reflect organic or regular baby food, as organic is likely to have a bigger price tag.   And I pulled this table from a pro-homemade baby food website, so who knows if the results are 100% accurate.  Either way, I do think it will save us money in the long run.  Plus, I'll know exaclty what is going in to that precious little tummy. 

Will it work for us?  Who knows.  But we're going to give it a shot. 

Stating the obvious

Picture this: It’s 8:30 am, and I’m at work. I’ve been at work since 7:15 am. I’ve had my daily cup of coffee, and I am willing my brain to shift into the “on” position. Okay, now that the scene is set, I get this: “Are you feeling okay today? You look really tired. You have bags under your eyes that I didn’t notice yesterday!”

First, thanks, dear Friend, for pointing-out the obvious. I’m going on a couple months straight of “fat days,” and now I’m self-conscious of my tired eye sacks. Its 8:30 AM on a Wednesday, so naturally I’m tired. Additionally, I’m cookin’ a BABY over here - no further explanation needed. I can literally FEEL the heavy bags under my eyes, so your reminder is unnecessary.

Second, something seems backwards to me. When I’m asked how I’ve been feeling, my response is usually, “Great. I’m tired all of the time, but otherwise I feel great.” If I get, “Oh, you’re just being prepped for the lack of sleep that ensues once baby gets here,” I’m going to slap someone (okay, not really. But I’ll picture it in my head and smile to myself). If I’m going to be a walking zombie for the first few weeks, then shouldn’t I be storing-up extra hours in my sleep bank NOW? I wish. Have I mentioned how much I love to sleep?

"They" say you get a boost of energy in the second trimester and some in the third trimester. LIES!  I'm still waiting for that boost.  I'm motivated and antsy to get stuff (anything) done, but I don't have the stamina.  I feel the need to clean, organize, and simplify everything in our house.  I suppose I'm nesting.  At this rate, though, there won't be anything left for me to nest in a couple weeks.

Here’s a pregnancy Catch 22: You’re supposed to drink more water (which hasn’t been tough because we were already a no or rare soda household and water is our drink of choice).  When you’re pregnant, your growing uterus engages in a constant game of Mercy with your bladder, and here’s a hint: the house (in this case, the uterus) ALWAYS wins. Cause and effect dictates that by drinking more water you’re going to pee more. But throw in an engorged uterus, and your bathroom trips are sent into OVERDRIVE. And P.s.: Don’t even try to gamble and wait just a little longer. I think you can figure-out what will happen.

Not that I’m complaining – Okay, I guess I am. But just a little – I love being pregnant, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I get cranky when I'm tired - just ask Mr. H (or my mom).

Ikea Success!

We went to Ikea this past Sunday, and we came home with a car-full of bounty.  Our biggest purchase was a bookcase for L Bean's room. 

More on that blue square in the background later.

The pups "encouraging" alongside Mommy.

The finished product. 

We're really pleased with the outcome.  I can't wait to see it with stacks of children's books and toys!  There are just a few things left to finish-up in his room, and then we're ready for baby!  Eeek!

28 Week Bump

Sometimes I feel like a caged animal.

Sometimes I feel like a caged animal. I walk past people at work (or on the street or in a store), and I feel scrutinized. First, eyes fall to my belly as assessments of growth take place. Second, eyes rise to my chest, and I can literally see the brains processing, “Well THOSE have certainly gotten bigger.” I just hope the third isn’t a turned head as I walk away assessing other growth that’s taken place. I’m a private person. I prefer to keep my private life private, unless I decide to let you in. Currently, my body is giving-away my secrets! Drat, Body. What are you THINKING?! It would be really awesome if, for the first time in months, people would meet my EYES first. After that, feel free to make your assessments. At least you made me feel human for .389 seconds. Or, if you can’t manage that, learn to be more covert with your stares because I CAN SEE YOU.

You know what else is uncomfortable lately? Sleeping. Yes, the time has arrived where falling and staying asleep takes a lot of work and prayer. However, I’m not waking-up as often as I did in first trimester (PHEW). It’s tough to find a position where all parts of me are comfortable. That first night of back or stomach sleep will be so delicious.

Happy third trimester, L Bean! I oscillate between wishing the weeks away because I’m so ready to meet him and asking him to stay-in longer because I’m so not ready. We had a mini-road trip yesterday (we went to Ikea!). On the way home, Mr. H said, “I find myself wishing he’d get here already because I just want to hold him, but I feel like we should probably enjoy these last couple months because it won’t be just us for at least 18 years.” GULP. Well said, Husband. I can’t pin-point the current source of my anxiety and nerves. I think it’s mostly money. Babies are expensive. And we’re the first of our friends to have kids, so friendships are changing and will change. I want to make some mommy friends, but I’m not the best at making new friends. But we also have so much to look forward to. Yesterday, on that very same road trip, we talked about what we want to do next year for Mother’s and Father’s Days. Picnics at Maymont. Trips to the Metro Zoo. Kiddie pool in the back yard. And now when I walk into the nursery I can almost picture myself sitting in the glider with L Bean in my arms. Almost. It’s still hard to wrap my head around the fact that I’m going to be a mom. Most days, I still feel 16.

Latest milestone? Hiccups! I noticed them for the first time two weeks ago in a training session at work, and I’ve felt them every day since. Now I feel them multiple times during the day (like right now and in the middle of the night last night). They last 5 to 10 minutes. I can tell when he gets annoyed by them because he’ll start to twist and thrash.

I have a funny aside to share: Occasionally it literally feels like L Bean is trying to stick a foot out of my vagina. A few days ago, L Bean made such a maneuver, and I made some sort of heavy breathing or grunting noise that got Josh’s attention. He asked if everything was okay, and I explained what it felt like his son was trying to do with his foot. He simply replied, “Maybe he’s hot. You know how you stick your foot out of the covers at night when you’re hot? Maybe he just needs some air.” It makes sense. I know that I’m hot (ALL OF THE TIME), so L Bean must be hot too. Thanks for your infinite wisdom, Mr. H.

Ikea update coming soon! I also ordered a book that I am super excited about and can’t wait to share.

You're stupid crazy, wife!

So, I’ve been hinting at some exciting projects that we have in the works for L Bean’s room (I realize that these may only be exciting for me and Mr. H, but indulge me and feign interest). I’m ready to share one with you! If I put it on the blog, my thought is that I’ll HAVE to follow-through with it, right? It has the potential to be time-consuming and annoying, but I know we’ll love the end result.

I read a blog called young house love, which is maintained by a young design couple in Richmond (when I first started reading the blog, I didn’t realize they were from Richmond. Fun surprise!). They published a post this week about a bookcase project in their guest room/office/playroom. I immediately fell in love and texted Mr. H. L Bean’s room is missing a place for books and toys, a kid’s corner of sorts. We figured a bookcase would be a great addition to the room. So that night it was decided.

I trolled the Ikea website for a bookcase and found one. I went back to the website the next day (because we all know I like to obsess) and found a better one. It’s 17 inches taller and four inches deeper. It also doesn’t have a back that we would need to remove (which removes the need to caulk the dark crevice left behind). Another perk is that the shelves don’t move, so we wouldn’t need to caulk the extra holes. Sold.

So what do we paint behind the bookcase? I was thinking stripes, but then I got bored with the idea. Maybe dots, and then I got bored again. I was cruising young house love, and I clicked-over to their dog’s blog. HELLO awesome symmetrical pattern! I fell madly in love with the two-tone blue pattern in the background of the blog. I asked Mr. H if he thought it was doable (I can’t draw AT ALL, so he’d have to draw the template), and he gave me a look. It screamed, “You’re stupid crazy, wife.” It’s true – I will likely HATE myself for choosing the pattern; but I think it will look fab when it’s finished, so I’m jumping in with both feet.

We’ll finish-off the bookcase with some baskets for toys and miscellaneous items (that I will obsessively pick-up off the floor and hide), a great vintage alarm clock (many a feeding will probably take place in the glider next to the bookcase), a lamp that matches his bedding, maybe some framed photo cards, and stacks of books. I can’t wait to see the finished product!

We both really want make the Ikea trip this weekend, but we have something Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights (I know, SHOCK AND AWE). I get tired from making my morning cereal, so we’ll see. Next weekend we’re also booked, so it would be July 4th weekend. That’s a long time to wait when you’re excited. And I want to ride this motivation train while I still can. I’ll keep you posted (HA! A little blog humor for you) on the status of the project.

Oh! Guess what came in the mail on Wednesday!

Stroller and Car Seat Dilemma

Deciding on a stroller and car seat was the hardest baby gear decision we’ve made thus far.

Being the over-planner that I am, I’ve researched and read. I’ve asked around, trolled forums, and read review after review (I’ve found that the consumer reviews are hard to rely on, as some people will complain about ANYTHING). I’ve read every pro and con available online (I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to not have the internet for this, shudder). We want something safe, reliable, and durable. And because I’m a girl, I want something that actually looks good. I realize that “good” is totally relative. Josh and I think our brown walls look good, but you may think they’re boring. So if you think our stroller is ugly, SHUSH.

First dilemma: Brand choice. We decided on Graco. They’re safe AND pretty, SCORE.

Second dilemma: Full-size or the snap-n-go. We decided on full-size. I don’t want to be limited to just using the infant seat. Plus, I get all giddy and excited when I think about pushing-around a legitimate (read: you can’t miss this bad boy) stroller. It just screams, ‘I’M A MOM.” We may come to regret this decision later-on, but we shall see.

Third dilemma: Finding a Graco full-size stroller and matching infant car seat that we actually like. Enter our first trip to Babies R Us (did you know that and will both send you to the correct website? Which is a good thing because I’m the idiot that’s been typing “babys” for months). There is a myriad of strollers and car seats on the website, but the in-store options were disappointing. As much as I wanted to touch, push, and collapse our future stroller, I wasn’t going to settle for something UGLY (I’m a GIRL. I tried, really tried, to get around this fact but it just kept coming back). So we looked at the Graco strollers, assessed what we liked and didn’t like, and then we set-off to internet land to pick our favorite. We decided on these:

Okay, so that was decided. Now, what about a jogging stroller? I added one to our registry, but do I REALLY need one? Let’s be honest here: How many times am I actually going to use it? First, I’d have to drive somewhere to use it. The sidewalk starts about a half mile away from our house, and you need to run on a very busy street to get there. And running through our neighborhood makes me feel like a hamster running on a wheel. Second, I’ll likely want running to be my time away from baby (no offense, Unborn Baby! I know you’re going to be awesome, but I also know you’ll cry, poop, and want my boob, A LOT). Third, pushing a running stroller sounds like hard work. What about good running form? And I’m not sure I can focus on that many things at once. So I’m removing the jogger from our registry.

Another stroller thought crept into my head today: What about a light-weight stroller? I blame it all on OmgMom because she put the thought in my head with this post.

When L Bean is bigger and stronger (read: he’s capable of holding his own head up), the infant seat won’t be necessary all the time. And there will be situations (like Short Pump Mall or traveling by plane) when navigating a full-size stroller will be a suicide mission (let’s be frank, folks – any trip to SPM is a suicide mission these days). I love the Chicco Liteway stroller OmgMom chose. And how cute is her daughter sitting in it with her ankles crossed?!? Triple SWOON.

So I guess the question is: Do we really need a second stroller (whether it’s a jogger or a light-weight) or am I just going stroller happy? The answer: I haven’t the foggiest.

UPDATE: I wrote this blog yesterday with the intention of posting today so you guys wouldn’t be thinking, “Holy geez, Betsy! One long blog a day is PLENTY.” Well, now I’ve had a night to sit and think (UH OH). I’m re-thinking the color scheme of the full-size stroller (read: I’m totally chickening-out of registering for something THAT colorful). Have I ever mentioned that I’m color-phobic? My wardrobe is full of solid, non-threatening colors. Half of our house is a shade of brown. Our cars are brown and white. And I just realized that even our DOGS are brown and white(ish). However, as I write this, my resolution is solidifying. I’m leaving the blue/green stroller. I AM LEAVING IT. I just can’t promise that I won’t continue to obsess over it.

Nothing comes between me and my baby

My first real experience with babywearing was at a friend’s engagement party last year. Late Enough and her hubby (we’ll call him Hubby S) walked-in with their adorable daughter nestled comfortably in a sling. Even better - her hubby was the babywearer. Husbands wearing babies? SWOON.

Let me clarify something before I go any further: I’ve seen countless moms and dads carrying their babies in a Baby Bjorn (we inherited one of these bad boys – it’s the BMW of front carriers. And I’m sure we will put it to good use!) or in a fancy backpack that looks like it should be on the trails of the Himalayas. I consider those to be more baby carrying, and less baby wearing (okay, these are MY considerations. Wrong or right, they’re mine. Not yours). For me, there’s something more organic about wearing your baby.   Of course, this becomes size prohibitive at some point.

Anywhobe, seeing Hubby S wearing little N Bean nearly caused my heart to explode. I vaguely remember nudging Mr. H and saying something along the lines of, “Awwwwwwwww.” Being the sensitive, baby loving man that he is, Mr. H replied with his own (more manly, of course), “Awwwww.” That’s all it took, I was hooked. Thoughts of “when I have a baby I’m toooootally wearing it 24/7” ran through my head for weeks. Well guess what?! I’m going to have one of those soon, so let the baby wearing commence.

The two babywearing options I’ve seen the most of are the wrap and the sling. You can buy one, make your own, are pay someone to make you one (think The one that interests me the most right now is the wrap (having said that, I want a sling too). I have a crush on the Moss Moby wrap and the Turkish Delight bb wrap (the last color square on the page). The Mody is made out of cotton, while the bb wrap is made from a woven material. I imagine the woven material offers more support, as the fabric has less stretch. But I have ever told you how much I LOVE stretch cotton (refer back to my proclaimed love of the stretch cotton v-neck t-shirt). Maybe we’ll just have to get both. The wrapping looks complicated and confusing, but others have managed to figure it out, so I have faith that we can too. For me, the draw of the sling is it just looks easier. Either way, babies like to be held close and swaddled tightly, so I’m thinking the wrap or the sling will be a hit. Plus, Mr. H and I are big snugglers. With two snuggler parents, L Bean is bound to get the snuggle gene (fingers crossed). 

What do you do when your baby is strapped or wrapped to your chest or back?  The answer is anything you want.  Do the dishes.  Clean.  Snuggle on the couch and take a nap (obvi not if you've back wrapped!).  Grocery shop.  Mall Shop.  Go to an engagement party with your hands free.  Blog.  Walk.  Just be close.  Um, sign me up!

27 Week Bump

Doing-it-myself (and encouraging Mr. H)

Happy 27 weeks, L Bean!

It’s hard to believe that my third (and FINAL) trimester is almost here. Time is flying. I’m excited to meet what I’ve been cooking for 27 weeks, but holy cow. Let me just reiterate – the third trimester is the last one. Did you know there’s only three trimesters in a pregnancy?!?!

We didn’t get much done this past weekend, but the ideas are still flowing. We have managed to start some projects, though. I’ve documented everything, of course.

I ordered these, and let me tell you how excited I am: SO FREAKING EXCITED. My only complaint is that there isn’t a zero month sticker, but I shall survive. I’m already day-dreaming of the frame collage in his room and monthly picture updates on the blog. I’m also excited to have something other than our pets to take pictures of with my fancy new camera. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE our babies. But I recognize that people don’t want to see a billion pictures of our pets. Pictures of babies, on the other hand, are universally adored. Even the snarling cartoon version of the church coordinator this past weekend (she was kind of evil, people) would enjoy pictures of a baby.

You know those fancy glass canisters with the chalkboard strip that you can buy for $15+ at Crate and Barrel or Target? Waste-o-money, my friends. We made our own. We purchased two jars from Michael’s for $3.99 each. We also got the can of chalkboard spray paint at Michael for $7.99. They will reside on L Bean’s changer and house Q-tips and cotton balls (babies need those, right?).

Josh used painters tape to mark the strip and protect the rest of the jar.  He sprayed five costs of the chalkboard paint.

I started L Bean’s baby book. I saw the idea on a friend’s blog, and I immediately fell in love. I knew I wanted to do a baby book, but I didn’t want a canned, store-bought version.  I also knew that L Bean wouldn't have a baby book if I didn't do the set-up pre-baby.  I have the template downloaded and plan to spend some time tweaking it. So far, I’ve cut the backing paper and put in the pages. It resides on L Bean’s tall dresser waiting for the template inserts and pictures. I’ll get there eventually.

A trip to Ikea is planned in the near future. I’ve made a list (go figure!) of a few items that I want:

(1) Drawer organizers for L Bean’s dressers (in white). I saw a picture on one of the MANY blogs I read (which of course I cannot find today because my brain had a pregnancy fart and can’t remember ANYTHING) and the organizational freak within did a happy dance. I picture diapers, rolled-up blankets and onesies, socks, underwear, and so many other items nestled neatly into their cubbies.

(2) Venetian blinds for L Bean’s windows. The blinds currently on the two windows are the cheap-o ones what don’t block any light. We’re not big curtain people, so nice, thick blinds are perfect.  I perfer to sleep in the dark, so I'm assuming babies appreciate it as well.

(3) A bookcase for L Bean’s room. There’s a sad, lonely space of wall that needs some bookcase love. The bookcase will be a good place to keep books (NO WAY), boxes/baskets of toys (I’m thinking the square version of the drawer organizer mentioned above), and any other random items that I will pick-up obsessively. And no, that part of me won’t go away when L Bean arrives because I’ll be too tired, numb, or could care less. Clutter makes everything (like focusing and falling asleep) nearly impossible.  It also makes me cranky, and nobody likes a cranky Betsy, trust me.

Our plan is to get there early and leave quickly for two reasons: (1) I hate crowds, and (2) the amount of time spent at Ikea is directly related to the amount of money spent at Ikea.

We’ve got a few more projects on our list that I am super duper excited about, but there will be more about that later. For a couple, I need to learn a few things first (anyone know how to use a sewing machine?). For my favorite, we need a free weekend for painting, building, and more painting. Two things that I’m not much help with right now. But, as I’ve mentioned before, I am the BEST observer and encourager around.

Random thought of the day (moderate TMI warning):

I'm going to write a book about pooping during pregnancy.  Think Eat, Pray, Love, but it'll be Sit, Wait, Hope.

And since our dogs have gotten some photo representation thus far, here's a picture of our youngest.  SO HANDSOME:

I don't want to grow-up.

I understand that I’m technically already a grown-up, with the marriage, the bills, the job, the house, and the baby on-the-way. But being grown-ups doesn’t mean that we have to GROW-UP, right?

Will there come a day when farting and “that’s what she said” jokes are no longer funny to us? Or when the underwear game (not THAT kind of underwear game. It’s a game I made up that Josh LOVES. I chase him around the house after a shower and deny him the chance to put-on his underwear) ceases to entertain? Or when I stop trying to make Mr. H (this is my new name for Josh – it’s all the rage on the blogs. See, I’m learning!) laugh, just because I LOVE his laugh smile?

Just thinking about it makes me sad. I don’t want to wake-up one morning and realize that there’s no child left in either of us. I cherish our inside jokes and made-up language(s). I love our semi-inappropriate nicknames (like “sugar butt” and “poopy”) and lying in bed giggling about nothing in particular. Maybe we’ll have to play the modified underwear game, and we’ll still giggle at farts – we’ll just have to explain that there’s a time and a place. It can be done, right?

I am reassured when I remind myself that these little things that we treasure are so much a part of “us” that they’ll never end. I want to laugh and joke and play until we’re 80 years-old. And in a more tangible future scope, I want to laugh and joke and play, just the three of us. Laughter adds so much to a home, that I don’t think a household can survive without it.

I’m thinking that if we hold-tight to who we are and what we love (even if it’s farting on each other), then we’ll be just fine. Just because we’ve suddenly realized that we’re grown-ups (of course, we didn’t suddenly become grown-ups. That’s a gradual transition. It just seems like you wake-up one morning and realize, “When did THAT happen?”), doesn’t mean we have to label ourselves as grown-up.

Thankfully, there are grown-ups in our lives that give me faith that our inner-children can survive.  Grown-ups that laugh together with their kids on a daily basis.  And we're not talking giggles - we're talking full-on belly laughter.  I want that.  And I think we just might be able to keep that.

So cliche, but we really don't care (obvi).

We didn't get many baby-related things done this weekend, but we (again, by "we" I mean Josh - have I mentioned before how amazing it is to have a husband who knows how to DO things?) did get Liam's name painted and hung above the crib.  With just the addition of those four little letters the room is already looking so much warmer.  I can't WAIT to see it with all of our little projects completed. 

The letters are from Michaels.  Josh used a glossy spray paint to spice-up the matte white finish.

I feel like I ran six miles yesterday.

I woke-up this morning to a familiar feeling.  Sore feet and restless legs.  I've woken-up to this feeling many times on a Sunday morning... just for different reasons (like RUNNING - oh how I miss thee).  What did I do yesterday that caused all this soreness?  I stood (a lot) in heels. 

Pitiful, I know.  But those heels here HIGH.  And hello, I haven't worn a pair since December.  When busy season starts-up, I retire my heels for comfy flats.  I run around the office much more and for much longer than normal during those three hellish months.  I learned quickly during my first busy season to retire the heels early (one of my bosses swears it's because I got married and comfortable.  He's definitely got the second part right, but I still deny the first).  I made it through all of the important stuff and then those shoes were OFF.  I'm excited for when I'm not carrying around all this extra weight because those shoes were fab.

We stayed-out past 10 pm last night, which quite a feat.  And let me say this:  I didn't crack first (brushes off shoulder)!  Although, I will say that I barely remember showering and getting in bed.  And I definitely don't remember laying in bed waiting to fall asleep (which is the BEST). And ever better:  We slept until 9:15 am (brushes off other shoulder).  The dogs woke-up at 6:15 and were let-out, and I thought for sure that we were up for good.  Sleep found us once again, and I woke-up to a clock that read 9:14.  Such a treat.  I don't know when it happened, but somewhere along the line we grew-up and stopped sleeping our weekends away (yeah, yeah, I should get used to it.  I KNOW.  Thank you peanut gallery). 

On a final note, congratulations to Lincoln and Natalie Mitchell!  What a great day, what a great wedding, and what a great couple. 

What's orange, 10 fl oz, and has 50 grams of sugar?

This little gem: 

At my last appointment (four weeks ago), my doctor told me about the glucose tolerance test that I would undergo the following appointment.  And because I'm a "responsible patient" (Um, do what?), he sent the sugar cocktail home with me with specific instructions.  If you eat breakfast, eat a VERY light breakfast.  My blood will be drawn an hour after drinking, so time consumption accordingly. No food or drink after drinking (which was REALLY hard.  Do you know how thirsty pregnancy makes you?!?!).  It must be consumed in five minutes.  He said, "Drink it as fast as possible, it gets a little rough towards the end."  AWESOME. 

The drink is moderately carbonated, so my plan was to drink it with a straw.

Side Note: Have you ever realized how easy it is to drink something through a straw?  A straw is perfect for making sure you get enough water during pregnancy.  A straw is not good, however, when you're at Chile's and you order a pink lemonade with free refills.  Hello calorie overload and frequent bathroom trips (well, more frequent that normal... which would be every five minutes, instead of every ten).  This is my pregnancy best friend, we go everywhere together:

We got the venti size, which is 20 fluid ounces.  The powers that be recommend that you drink 48 to 64 ounces of water a day, and this bad boy makes 80 ounces easily achievable.  We loved the first one so much that we quickly snagged another.  A third is being contemplated just in case the others break down.

Anywhobe, the straw made it so much easier.  I drank it in two minutes, and while it was bad, it wasn't THAT bad.  I told the nurse and Doc this morning, "Tell EVERYONE to drink it with a straw!!"  My blood was drawn and Doc did a quick Ultrasound (did I mention that Doc is the BEST?).  I had questions this time. He laughed gently when I pulled-out my list (Uh, pregnancy brain.  If it's not connected to me or written down, then it's gone and forgotten).  All looks well.  We're on the books for an appointment in three weeks where he'll do an "official" ultrasound.  This one will be in 3D, and since my little man is boasting some fat now he won't look like a skeleton.  Woot! 

After this appointment, we go to bi-weekly appointments.  WHAT?! You know what that means?  I'm in my third trimester.  The THIRD, as in the LAST.  Um, DO WHAAAT?!?!

26 Week Bump

It's Liam's furniture, and I helped!!

Well, I didn't help that much. Josh's mom came over to help lift and heave the boxes upstairs. She also hung-around long enough to help make our little man's bed. So cool. Here are some pictures that I snapped while everyone else as doing all the hard work (I WAS awfully encouraging, so I like to think that I did my part).

The furniture was packaged amazingly well - unfortunately, this meant they were also amazingly heavy.
The babies and I "encouraging."
All boxed-up and no where to go.
Josh said, "Fiona, I appreciate you trying to help, but you're making this VERY difficult."
Most handsome husband EVER.  He put the glider and ottoman together first and then MADE me sit.  I'm a lucky lady.
The babies LOVE their Coco!

Here is the finished product.  Right now there's only furniture in the room.  While the furniture is BEAUTIFUL, and I LOVE his bedding, the room looks a little sad right now.  It's screaming for pictures and DIY projects.  We have some pretty awesome ideas that have us wanting to work-on everything RIGHT NOW.  I'll update as we begin and complete some of the planned projects.

And just for fun, here's a picture of the babies saying, "Whatcha doing, Moooom?".  Henrik was surprisingly brave with the HUGE boxes and new additions to the room.  Fiona, as usual, just bounced happily from person to person as we moved in and out of the room. 

Letter to Liam, Love Auntie Mina

When I started this blog, I had intentions of writing posts directly to Liam at some point.  Earlier this week, our good friend, Mina, sent me the sweetest message on Facebook that contained a Letter to Liam.  Brilliant!  I quickly asked permission to post her Letter on the blog.  She sparked a great idea: If you have a Letter or note that you'd like to send to Liam (it can be long or short, sweet or sassy, sentimental or funny), have at it!  Send it to me via email (if you don't have my email address, you can find it under my blogger profile) or via Facebook, and I'll add it to the blog.  I am so in love with this idea.  Thanks, Mina:

Dear Liam,

I am your Auntie Mina and i've known your papa for a very long time. 12 years to be exact. See, I am married to one of his good friends, Joey, and they go back a loooong way. You're daddy and Joey played lots of soccer together and had lots of good times growing up together. I've also known daddy through some girlfriends. All very nice, mmm, well some...but none that I thought were good enough. Your daddy is like Joey, they both have very big hearts, give the best hugs and know how to treat a woman very well. Then comes your mommy. Who absolutely, whole heartedly loves your daddy to pieces. She would tell me how crazy she was about your daddy when they first started dating, and how she couldn't believe she was with him. I kept thinking how lucky your daddy was to have her in his life, your mama is fabulous! Then they got engaged, and she was literally counting down the days until they could say "I do." We talked about their wedding plans and even though we didn't see each other much, when we did, it's like we didn't miss a beat. Mr. Joey and I got to see your mom and dad say I do, and it literally was one of the best weddings i've ever been to. They looked SO IN LOVE. I mean, you could tell that they were mad crazy in love and so HAPPY. (I know this is so gross for you to hear now, but trust me, you'll appreciate it one day.) Anyways, after that, your mommy dreamed of being a mommy. She prayed and could not wait to be able to have a little piece of her and a little piece of your daddy to hold and love. I was so fortunate to be one of the few people to know about her amazing little secret-you! Now she is glowing, all because of you, and your daddy is so excited! You are about to meet the best parents in the world. I hope you know that. Just remember, they love you more than life, and as an outsider looking in, you are the joy in their hearts. Can't wait to meet you little Liam!


Aunti Mina

Um, LOVE her.  Mina was one of the first (like, we're talking the second or third) people that I told when we found out we were pregnant.  I don't know many young women who are pregnant or have young children, but she's one of them!  She was my rock and my guide.  I'd come to her with questions and concerns, or when I just needed to share something exciting.  She was so supportive and excited from the get go.  She is one of the nicest people that I know (and we're talking genuinely sugar sweet nice).  We're lucky to have such a wonderful friend!

I have a bone to pick with:

BABYS R US. For the most part, I LOVE you. We've spent a few weeks flirting, and we've even madeout a couple times on the couch. However, you've plucked one of my most prominent nerves. The organized, perfectionist nerve.

We started our registry (and by "we" I mean "I' started our registry and combed through every item on the Babys R Us website researching and reading reviews) a few weeks ago. I added a few different types of pacificers, as I figure Liam will decide what he likes best, and then we'll go and buy a million of those. I added these:

And being the obsessive mommy-to-be that I am, I returned to the registry the next day to continue to searching, researching, and adding. And this was on our registry:

My thought process went something like this: Wait, I KNOW I added the blue pacifiers. Right? I mean, I AM pregnant, and we all know there's an obsene amount of stupid floating around in my brain these days. Delete pink. Add blue. Return the next day.

Upon my return, what did I find? Pink pacifiers. FOILED! I deleted and added a few more times with the same result each time (picture me fuming at my work computer over my lunch break. Hey, this is a BIG deal, people). We did our registry in-store this past weekend. I saw the boy pacifiers, and thought HA! I'll get you this time! We added the blue pacifiers above AND clear pacifiers. I confidently returned to our registry the following day to make sure, KNOWING there would be blue pacificers. NO DICE. Pink pacifiers. And a Bitter Betsy.

How much is too much? It's NEVER enough!

I come to you this evening with a simple question: Is it possible that knowing less is more? My Type A personality is laughing hysterically at you if you said yes. I must know EVERYTHING! As part of my quest to over-prepare, I read this and this (I like OmgMom better, but her website isn't set-up for direct links to posts. You should hope over there sometime! She's REALLY honest, which I totally appreciate). After reading, I shared with a few work friends. I believe the responses went like this: "Omg, I'm never having children!" and "Omg, that's so gross!" MY BAD work friends. In addition to those two lovely posts, I read both of their (FOUR PART) birth stories. One was a natural water birth and one was an induced epidural (if you read OmgMom's story, then you'll totally know what this means: I'm already brainstorming awesome names for my doctor, nurses, and anesthesiologist). Thankfully, I'm less freaked-out and more thankful for the sneak peaks deep in the depths of nasty. I learned from these posts the things that no one ever tells you! The "What to Expect Books" don't mention it. And most of the women in our lives who have experienced theses nasties don't talk about. I'm not even sure I'd be given the whole truth if I asked (probably for fear of scaring me). If it's likely that I'll need to purchase a box-o-Depends along with the diapers, I want to know! P.s. I love the pictures OmgMom provides of the pads and water bottle. I laughed out-loud.

On a lighter note, I finally spent my $150 gift card (plus some) to the mall! I've officially out-grown all of my pre-pregnancy clothes; and since my closet wasn't materializing any new clothes on its own (despite morning after morning of standing there, staring, and pleading), the trip was past-due. Mt first shopping trip for maternity clothes was with my mom. We went to Hip in the Round first. There was a T-SHIRT there that said, "Due in September." It was $48. We looked at each other and ran for the door. We landed at Mothergood Maternity, where the v-neck stretch t-shirts (my bestest friend in the world) are $9.99. YES PLEASE. It's like the Target of maternity stores.

One another light note, WE ORDERED FURNITURE (thanks, Mom and Mike)!!!!! We got the tall dresser, short dresser (which will also be the changing table), and classic crib. We should get a call from Babys R Us some time this week for pick-up (I'd like to give a shout-out to Hope, the COOLEST person at Babys R Us). We also got a glider. I have a feeling we're going to log many, many hours in that chair. I can't wait to put clothes in the drawers, hang pictures, and MAKE HIS BED. Seriously can't wait to organize. I know it won't stay that way, but at least it'll start-out that way. Since we're getting-through all of our nesting tasks way ahead of baby, I often wonder: What will be left to nest when I hit the nesting phase? I can only vacuum the house but so many times.

25 Week Bump

Braxton WHO?!?!

Yesterday I MIGHT have experienced my first Braxton Hicks contraction (but how would I know, I’ve never felt one before). My stomach felt tight (tighter than normal. Things are really starting to stretch) for about 15 seconds, and then it relaxed. It didn’t hurt. It was WEIRD. It was ALARMING. But most pregnancy-related things that I had yet to experience were weird and alarming the first time. However, the tightness could also have been related to gas. Because let’s be real here – pregnancy gas can easily persist for 15+ seconds (and no, the expulsion of the gas (how very PC of me) does not last 15+ seconds. Oh, to be so lucky. Half of the time it’s all the tightness without the payoff).

Liam’s movements have gotten to the strength of being occasionally uncomfortable. They don’t necessarily hurt, but they’re rather forceful. It’s like he’s saying, “HEY, MOM! You haven’t thought about me in .25 seconds, so here’s a little reminder that I’M STILL IN HERE!” I write about this now, because he’s sending me reminders right now. Lately his movements are less like kicks, twitches, and punches, and more like he’s rolling-around trying to get comfortable. Sometimes I’ll felt a distinct pressure, and I find myself pressing against what I picture to be Liam’s butt or head. Usually he readjusts after I gently push-back at him. The pressure doesn’t hurt, it’s just weird. And like I said before, anything weird eventually transitions into alarming. At
25 weeks, he’s (based on averages) 1.5 pounds and 13.6 inches long. I should probably get used to the pressure and growing discomfort, as space is going to get more and more limited. Bring it on, little man!

We’re going furniture shopping with my mom tonight, and we are beyond excited. The nursery is painted, and the closet is starting to fill-up with baby stuff, but it still hasn’t hit me that a BABY will one day live in that room. I think furniture will really drive the point home. Plus, my initial reaction to the fully dried nursery was that the color was too bright. I’m hoping the presence of dark furniture and things hanging on the walls will soften the color; although, the color matches the green in his bedding perfectly. Personally, I think it really boils down to this: I’m color-phobic when it comes to paint. Most of the downstairs is a shade of brown or tan with furniture and pictures/paintings adding color. Our bedroom is a deep, soothing shade of green. The guest bathroom is khaki with the color being added through the shower curtain. The office will be a slate/deep brownish/suede color. And then there’s the nursery. HELLO GREEN. It freaks me out. He isn’t even here yet, and Liam is already rocking my world :)