Friday, December 28, 2007

37 weeks

Besides the fact that I am ginormous (well, that my belly is, anyway) it's interesting to note that although these pictures were taken just moments apart from one another, my belly looks different in them.

In the top one, it seems like my belly is lower and more sticky-outy, and in the bottom one, it seems higher and rounder. Strange.

Once again, sorry for the blurry bathroom pics...I've just found that if I don't do them there, I'll never do them.

37 weeks

Yeah, I think my face in this one is saying something like, "OMG I am so tired please get this baby out thank you."

I definitely had some real (read: painful and frequent) contractions yesterday. They lasted for about five hours and then just stopped. I was disappointed that they did but hey, every contraction helps me make progress, right?

Once again, I'm looking forward to a long, four-day weekend. Hooray! We have plans tonight and tomorrow, but otherwise, we have nothing scheduled. (Although to be honest, I'm hoping to go into labor by Monday night. But we'll see. These things seldom happen as we want them to.)

I'm particularly excited for our plans tonight and tomorrow morning. Tonight, we are going to a party for our friends Claire and Isaac, who are visiting Seattle from where they currently live in California. Claire is one of the two women I will always think of as my roommates (Daisy being the other one). Claire was Daisy's and my next door roommate when we lived on Second South Marston our freshman year at SPU, and then the three of us lived together on Second Hill the following year. After that, Claire and I lived in an on-campus apartment together.

I remember meeting Claire on that first day at SPU and going to buy our books together at the bookstore, since we were both in the University Scholars program. I actually have a picture somewhere of the two of us leaving Marston and walking toward the bookstore. I wish I had it online!

Throughout the years that followed, Claire and I and a few other friends spent a lot of time being U-Scholars together. (Disclaimer: I will be the first to admit I was a bad U-Scholar. Claire, though, was a great one. She always did her reading and was just able to think on a plane that I never have been able to get to.)

Anyway, we haven't seen each other in three years, because Brett and I were in Maine and then right before we moved back, they moved to California.

And, even cooler, tomorrow morning, she and I are going out to breakfast with...wait for it...Daisy, who is also in town for the holidays! HOORAY! The roommates, together again! I think the last time we were all together was...hmmm...well, I guess it must have been Daisy's wedding in December 2004, and before that, at my wedding in 2003. And it's not like we got to spend much time hanging out together what with all the wedding craziness.

I am very excited to get to spend a few hours with the two of them. I wish I had some of the photos from our roommate days to post here, but alas, they aren't digital. I'll definitely be bringing the camera tomorrow, though, that's for sure!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

still here, still pregnant

Sorry to update and leave you hanging for the past week. I haven't had to go to work since last Friday, and it's been lovely. I've barely even checked my email, I've been so lazy, so updating the blog kind of fell off my radar.

Anyway, I had another doctor's appointment today. The exciting news (well, exciting to me, anyway) is that I'm 1 centimeter dilated and 75% effaced. Yay! Progress! Of course, I realize that people walk around for weeks dilated to 4 and don't go into labor at all, but still -- it's nice to think that all the contractions I've been having (some painful ones, too) are doing something.

This was the appointment where we talked through the fact that this baby is ginormous and what the plan should be because of that. My doctor was great; she outlined the risks of both a vaginal birth and a c-section and said that she would let us decide. As I think I've mentioned before, I'd really like to do this vaginally, which I told her. And she said that was fine, and we'd just hope I go into labor soon-ish so the baby doesn't get too much bigger.

She said that once my labor starts, she won't treat it any differently than any other birth just because my baby is big, which was a relief to hear. Another relief was talking through the scenarios that would cause her to recommend a c-section -- severely stalled labor (like pushing for hours and making no progress) or fetal distress (the baby's heart rate dropping or fluctuating). Those are both scenarios in which Brett and I feel that a c-section would be appropriate, so it's good to know that she will recommend one if she feels that it's in the best interest of either me or the baby.

So that's the update. I'm definitely having contractions, like I said, and am starting to feel more and more uncomfortable (I mean, dude, I'm to the point where even sleeping hurts...yeah, not fun), which is a little hard to believe considering I've been uncomfortable for weeks. But somehow it's possible, and somehow I keep getting through it. Thankfully, though, this weekend was, for the most part, relaxing.

The only day that was really intense was Christmas Eve. Both Brett and I felt a little of the nesting instinct, as we cleaned the house and organized things. Brett even did some touch-up painting in the bathroom. If that's not sympathy nesting, I don't know what is!

Also on Christmas Eve, I made our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and dessert (vegetarian tortilla soup and individual chocolate souffle cakes) for us and for four of our friends who came over. After dinner, Brett and I went to church at St. Mark's, the Episcopal Cathedral, which was beautiful. There's something about the liturgy at Christmas that just touches my heart and truly makes it seem like Christmas. Anyway, Christmas Eve was a very long day and by the end of the evening, standing up and walking were both extremely challenging, but it was worth it.

Otherwise, Brett and I spent the weekend napping and playing an excessive amount of video games, both on our old-school Nintendo and on the Super Nintendo that we just hooked up. (You know that if you have a blister on your thumb and your arm is sore from pushing the jump button over and over that you've played too much Zelda and Donkey Kong Country.)

Oh yeah, I totally forgot I promised an ultrasound picture. Here you go. I don't know how much you'll be able to see unless you are a seasoned ultrasound picture interpreter, but I'll try to post descriptions through the magic of photoshop.

It says Happy Birthday Noni on it because Brett's mom's birthday was the day after the ultrasound, so we had the tech type that and we emailed it to his mom. She got a kick out of it!

I hope those descriptions help. I know it can be hard to see the face -- it just looks blobby and kind of creepy and alien-like, but then, that's the nature of ultrasounds, I guess.

If you can see the face at all, and you have an opinion, I'd love to hear whether you think it's a boy or a girl!

And with that, I'm off to bed. I have to get up early to be at work tomorrow...at least it is a short week!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

pardon me while I freak the heck out

We had another ultrasound tonight.

I'll be 36 weeks tomorrow. That means I still have four weeks until my due date.

And the baby? Is measuring a whopping EIGHT pounds, 10 ounces. That's bigger than the average baby is at a full-term birth.

Hold me.

I am seriously starting to freak out a little. I was totally fine up until today. A little nervous about how things would work out, sure, but overall, not too worried, just trusting that God is in control and this baby will be born in his time and by the method that he has ordained.

But now, I'm not having such an easy time with that.

Part of me thinks, "Oh Lord, just let me go into labor ASAP so the baby doesn't get any bigger and I can do this vaginally and avoid a c-section!" [Holy crap, I just wrote vaginally on my blog. And my entire extended family as well as some male co-workers read this. *waving* Hi there, guys! Sorry! Had to use the v-word! Can't promise it won't happen again, but at least now you've been warned! Now back to your regularly-scheduled, probably-still-TMI blogging!]

And then a second part of me thinks, "OMG, what am I THINKING!? I can't go into labor ASAP! I have so much to wrap up at work! I need at least another week and a half if not longer!"

And then the first part replies, "Do you really want to wait another week and a half? That's ten more days to get through, ten days of back pain and exhaustion and grumpiness and heartburn and cramps and nausea and your hips not working!"

And then the second part of me says, "Heck yes, I want to wait that long! I don't want my baby to be born on Christmas and be doomed to a life of anti-climactic birthday celebrations! Plus my mom is going to be out of town, and I neeeed her here to help me after the birth! And besides, I need for the baby to be born after January 1st so I can use my 2008 flexible spending election to help pay the hospital costs!"

The the first part comes back with something like, "JANUARY 1!? Are you on crack? That's almost TWO full weeks of back pain and exhaustion and grumpiness and heartburn and cramps and nausea and non-functioning hips!"

Then a third part chimes in: "You both need to shut up! What if I actually go all the way to my due date?! Oh, God, I can't imagine how uncomfortable I will be in four more weeks, not to mention the fact that the baby will probably weigh 12 pounds! All this talk of going early just has to stop, in case I don't go early and really do have four more weeks to get through!"

Then a fourth side says, "Shut UP already, you guys! The baby will come out one way or another, so stop freaking out. It's after the birth we should be worrying about, because then, I'm going to be a parent. ME. A PARENT. What was I thinking?! How in the world am I going to handle this?!"

Then I just throw up my hands and try to stop thinking about it, period, lest I start crying.

Anyway. Yeah. The u/s tech did get some good pictures of the baby's face, so I'll try to post those tomorrow. No promises, though -- work is going to be crazy so I hope I have time to scan them in. He/She has enormous chipmunk cheeks, really full pouty lips, and a cute little nose. *grin* So much fun.

I'm sure I'll be talking with my doctor tomorrow about the ultrasound. At my last appointment, I wasn't dilated at all, although the baby was low and I was starting to efface. My next appointment is next Wednesday, but she'll probably want to talk just in case before the holiday and the long weekend, I would think.

I'll keep you all posted as much as I can. Right now, though, it's late and I really need to go to bed. Carrying around an eight-and-a-half pound baby all day is hard work!

Monday, December 17, 2007

back to where it all began, and also, ginormous? you decide.

Brett's sister Rachel and his Aunt Melissa came up this weekend to bring us Rachel's car to use until the baby is born. As much as I normally love not having a car (but that's the topic for another post entirely) I have to admit I'm pretty glad we'll have one for the next month or so. Hauling my butt to the bus every day is getting old.

Rachel's car used to be their Grandma Pat's car back in the day. Brett borrowed it to take me on our first date, almost nine years ago, and it's the scene of our first kiss. A little strange to think we'll be bringing our baby home in the very vehicle where our entire relationship started so many years ago! I think it's kind of cool, actually!

Anyway, while Rachel was here, she took a belly photo of me. And guess what?! It's not in a bathroom! Yay! :p Except I totally have hat hair because I was wearing my wool hat all day since it was cold...oh well...I'm convinced I won't ever have a nice belly photo.

So here I am at 35 weeks, 1 day. You decide -- do I really look all that ginormous for 35 weeks? I feel ginormous, but I don't really have anything against which I can gauge my size.

35 weeks, 1 day

Friday, December 14, 2007

you know you're really, really pregnant when...

  • The first thing almost everyone you encounter on a daily basis (your husband, friends, co-workers, and strangers alike) says is, "Wow, your belly is huge!
  • You have a sobbing meltdown because of lentils. (My poor, poor husband. I'll spare you the details but he is quite longsuffering to put up with me these days.)
  • Your boss manages to run into your belly as you pass each other in the hallway three times in one week.
  • Your maternity clothes are suddenly too small.
  • You want to punch the next person who asks you when "the big day" is (seriously, I only wish I knew) and then, when you tell them when your estimated due date is, looks at your belly and raises their eyebrows skeptically.
  • You contemplate making a t-shirt or wearing a sign that says the following, just so you can stop repeating yourself every three seconds:
    • January 18
    • Yes, I am measuring large
    • No, we didn't find out
    • I'm feeling very tired
    • Yes, we are excited
So I'm 35 weeks today. I am really curious to know how big I'm actually measuring. My next appointment is Wednesday, followed by an ultrasound on Thursday, so I'll find out then how big my belly is and how big the baby is. The Braxton-Hicks contractions have slowed down, which I guess is a good thing...sort of...because, of course, now that I'm getting further along, going into labor wouldn't be a bad thing anymore. Another week would be nice and would probably make some difference for the baby, but basically I'm in the safe-ish zone for giving birth.

I have my first-ever load of baby clothes washing right now. :-| It's kind of a weird thought, honestly. I don't think it's sunk in at all that I'm going to have, you know, a BABY in a few weeks. A person. Who is also a baby. Who is our responsibility...forever. Yikes.

I'm feeling good about making progress on my to-do list. Here's where it stands this week. I'll start with the red things, because it's always fun to see progress:
  • Find out how to add the baby to my health insurance and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born
  • Find out how to add the baby as a beneficiary on our life insurance policies, IRAs, and my 401k, and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born
  • Decide how much to set aside in flexible spending for 2008 -- This is 100% decided. I talked to HR for a long time yesterday and we have a plan worked out that will favor me either way. Yay!
  • Talk to my boss/HR about the logistics of taking my FMLA leave -- Done! I understand what my responsibilities are in this, and HR knows to expect a claim from me. Plus, I found out that under Washington State law, if my doctor writes me out of work early, I will get paid for that time with short-term disability, and while it will come out of my FMLA leave, that time will be added on to the end of my FMLA leave with leave mandated by Washington state's FMA -- so no matter how you slice it, I'll still get my full 12 weeks with the baby after he or she is born, even if my doctor writes me out of work early. YAY! Also, the temp agency is sending someone to start 12/27...that eases my mind quite a bit. I hope we'll at least have a couple of days together for me to train the person since that's so soon.
  • Find out what FMLA benefits, if any, Brett is eligible for -- Done! We found out that he is actually even eligible for some paid leave (three weeks) plus any vacation time he wants to take (he has two weeks accrued) for a possible total of five paid weeks. He has worked out a plan with his boss to take off a week to 10 days when the baby is first born, and then more down the road as needed and after I go back to work.
  • Interview and select a pediatrician -- I'm just calling this done, because interviewing someone is sooo not happening in the next couple of weeks. And I'm fine with that. We can always switch down the road if something doesn't click.
  • Pre-register at the hospital
  • Draft some kind of loose birth plan outline
  • Decide on a girl name
  • Better organize baby's drawers/clothes -- Done! I did this last weekend and it felt really good to get things in some semblance of order.

Now, for the black (things still to-do) items:
  • Confirm our childcare for when I go back to work -- Again, still pink. But the news that Brett gets some paid leave will help tremendously here. Also, Brett's mom is willing to come up and help out for a while, too, so really, I am not overly concerned.
  • Renew our renters' insurance -- I just haven't had time to call them. I need to do it ASAP.
  • Re-activate contributions to our Roth IRAs -- Still haven't done this. Again, just need to call or e-mail but I never seem to have time.
  • Start a savings account or 529 for the baby -- Still haven't done this, either. I kind of think this will just wait until after the baby is born, probably, unless we just do it online and not at the local bank.
  • Finally finish becoming members at Mars Hill -- Still haven't been able to sit down and go through the paperwork together. Maybe tomorrow.
  • Look into purchasing or borrowing the following:
    • Cloth diapers / re-usable baby wipes -- I may just buy these. Haven't decided yet.
    • Infant insert for Ergo carrier -- Still need to run down to the store in Ballard and buy this. Maybe this weekend, or maybe I can stop there after work next week.
    • Another carrier: a sling or perhaps a Moby Wrap -- I'm kind of thinking Moby Wrap at this point. I may just buy one. I really want a Storchenwiege but don't want to spend the money right now.
    • More sheets for the co-sleeper -- C said she'd send me some, so thank you, C! But I am still going to look at the store down in Ballard and may just wind up buying a couple to supplement as well.
  • Write the most recent round of shower thank-yous for the fantastic shower my co-workers threw me this week -- I need to actually, you know, buy thank-you notes in order to do this. Crap.
  • Pack the bag for the hospital -- I'm making progress, thankfully, and will hopefully have everything I can packed this weekend. I need to buy some travel-size toiletries, though.
  • Schedule (and go on) the pre-birth hospital tour -- OK, I am going to amend this one to be: do a test-drive to the hospital and confirm where to go once in labor. Because apparently the tours are booked up weeks in advance (grr) and we also seem to have plans every night they offer them since they only offer them three times a week. So I'm just going to bag this one and be satisfied with a test-drive and making sure I know which floor to head to when we arrive.
  • Work out the logistics with our families of who is staying where and who is coming when, once the baby is born. -- Gah. Haven't even started.
  • Wash clothes, towels, sheets, etc that we've received as gifts -- See above; I'm making progress on this! I have decided to only wash a few things, so that if He/She does wind up being really big, so we can take things back if need be.
And I do have one green item for the week (Leah, you were right -- there's no such thing as no green ones):
  • Try to find a doula -- After talking to my friend Daisy and to Brett's mom (who is a doula down in Portland) and realizing that if the baby really is big and I want to avoid a c-section, I think it would be best to have a doula. I know it's a little late in the game to be thinking about finding someone, but I'd like to try. If any Seattleites have recommendations, I'd love to hear them.
That's it. I feel good about the progress I've made on my list. I hope that next week I'll have a lot more things to cross off!

For now, I am going to go lie down and read or just watch TV for a while. My goodness -- I am TIRED.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

weekend update

My mind is going in about four different directions as I try to figure out how to start this post and what to include in it -- updates about my last doctor's appointment, our weekend so far, a to-do list update, and how I'm feeling. I'm not sure where to go first. I guess it doesn't really matter...I'll just go in that order.

I had a doctor's appointment on Wednesday of this week. We talked again about the ultrasound results, she did an internal exam (still closed and not effaced at all -- which, at this point, is a good thing), and said that I'm still measuring ahead as far as fundal height is concerned.

My next appointment with her is on 12/19. She'll check me again then, and see where things are. She had me make another ultrasound appointment for 12/20. She wants Brett to come in to the appointment after that, on the 26th, so we can go over the ultrasound results and try to figure out a plan.

I've already decided that if I don't go into labor naturally by about New Year's, I'm going to try acupuncture, walking, spicy food, etc, especially if the doctor starts really seriously talking about doing a c-section instead of waiting for natural labor to start.

But what I really hope is that I go early on my own and don't have to resort to any extraneous methods.

And now, because I am lazy and don't want to come up with a subtle transition, on to the next topic on my list.

For months now, we've been talking about going out of town before the baby is born. But every time we pick a weekend, something happens and we wind up not being able to go: we wind up having to go to Portland, our families want to come here, the whole barista competition, etc...

This weekend was basically our last chance to get away. And yes, here I sit, making a blog post from home. Clearly, we didn't make it anywhere.

Early in this week, we talked about it and decided we are both too exhausted to travel right now. I'm just starting to feel better after my cold, and we've only had one weekend at home together to relax and get things done since probably about early September. (Neither of us can actually remember when the last time was.)

Instead, we decided to make yesterday a vacation day here in town. We got up, and walked to the coffee shop near our hou se and got breakfast and sat and read for a while. Then, we rode the bus downtown and walked around Pike Place, with a stop at Le Panier, the French bakery for some treats.

After that, we went and got massages at my favorite spa, which was amazing. We both felt great afterward! Then we went to Zoka and had coffee and read some more, while we killed time before our dinner reservation.

That was the only low point in our day -- when we got to the restaurant, there was a sign on the door that they were closed for the evening due to a water main problem. SAD! We were pretty bummed; we'd both been looking forward to dinner there all day. But we quickly got over that and went to another restaurant nearby that we like and had a very yummy dinner anyway.

Overall, it was a fantastic, relaxing day, and we both had a great time just hanging out with each other.

And here is a natural segue into the next topic. Today we've spent getting organized, cleaning, doing laundry, etc.

I've gotten the co-sleeper set up (the sheet is in the washer now; that's the only thing left to install -- well, except for the hooking it to the bed part, which I think we may wait a while to do, because I don't want to have to climb around it indefinitely), the drawers and cabinets in the baby's room more organized, a pile of baby things together to wash throughout the week, and the Bundle Me installed in the car seat. I've started setting things aside for the hospital bag, and have been getting the breast pump items organized, too. (Except I totally need a lesson in how the heck it works. I tried to figure it out today and I have no clue. I'm going to be using my sister's Pump-in-Style...and of course, she doesn't have the manual anymore, and I have no clue how it's supposed to work.)

It feels good to be making progress. I guess I'm just terrified I'll go into labor and have none of that stuff done, and have to pack my hospital bag while I'm having contractions, and have to come home to an un-organized house -- or at least a house that isn't organized how I want it to be. Perhaps I'm nesting? I don't know. I just know that I'll feel a lot better when the clothes are washed, the bag is all packed, and everything is ready to go.

I've been feeling much more tired of being pregnant during the past week or so. Maybe it's partly the power of suggestion, with my doctor telling me I'm measuring at term and that I probably feel now how most women feel when they are, well, at term. And maybe it's also just partly the fact that I am really big and unweildy and my belly is ginormous and my body is reaching the end of its ability to support all the extra weight.

I've had two (almost three; I managed to stop the tears in time this morning) crying meltdowns this week simply because I feel exhausted and I hurt and I'm never comfortable (sitting, standing, or lying in bed -- nothing is comfortable anymore) and I can't sleep and just putting on my shoes or drying off after a shower or getting dressed is a huge ordeal that takes about four times as long as it normally would.

I know it's only temporary, and that within a few weeks (I hope) I will at least sort of have my body back. But if I'm feeling this, shall we say, ready to be done now, I can't help but ask myself these questions: What if I don't go into labor early? What if I really wind up going another six (or, God forbid, eight) more weeks?

It's just not something I can think about at this point, or I might start crying again. (I'm only half-joking there...)

I'm trying very hard to trust God and trust that he will make this baby come in the time that is right and in the method that he has ordained...but it's getting really difficult. I've been praying a lot lately. I'm getting to the point where I think the only way I'll be able to get through the next weeks is with a lot of prayer. Because I already have a feeling that if I trust in my own strength alone, I'll be begging for a c-section as soon as they'll let me have one, just because I'm ready to be done being pregnant.

Ok, I need to go brush my teeth and get ready to go out for dinner and go to church. Yikes! I have to hurry! We have to leave for the bus in 15 minutes, and these days, it will probably take me that long to get upstairs, brush my teeth, get on my shoes, and find my coat.

Friday, December 07, 2007

lots left to do!

A couple of weeks ago I posted this to-do list of things I need to get done before the baby is born. Uh. Yeah. I've added a few items (in green), and only completed the ones in red. I think it's longer now than it was before!

  • Find out how to add the baby to my health insurance and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born

Well, I called my HR department and I have to do it afterward. There's just a form I need to fax in ASAP. So that adds one more thing on the big to-do list -- faxing the form when the baby is born.

  • Find out how to add the baby as a beneficiary on our life insurance policies, IRAs, and my 401k, and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born

Again, something I have to do after the baby is born. But at least it's on the same form as the health benefits.

  • Decide how much to set aside in flexible spending for 2008

I decided...kind of. Because now I am seriously second-guessing my decision, which is to set aside quite a lot: enough to cover the birth and hospital fees, my OB fees, and a few co-pays later in the year. This should probably be a post in and of itself, but if the baby is born after December 14 (which is the last day we can change this) and before January 1, I'm screwed because I'll still have to pay the hospital fees out of pocket and have a crapload of money taken out of my paycheck every month for the entire year in 2008. I'm trying to figure out now what to do.

  • Talk to my boss/HR about the logistics of taking my FMLA leave

No progress on this. We've been talking about sitting down soon, but haven't done anything yet. It's been crazy around work lately so we just haven't had the chance.

  • Find out what FMLA benefits, if any, Brett is eligible for

No word yet. I think they are between HR/Payroll people at his work so who knows if I'll get an answer. His company party is tonight, though, so I will try to corner someone then.

  • Confirm our childcare for when I go back to work

I feel like this one should be pink. I've made progress and talked to a few people, but nothing concrete has come of it. A lot depends on when I actually start (and therefore finish) my leave.

  • Renew our renters' insurance

I just haven't had time to call them. I need to do it ASAP.

  • Interview and select a pediatrician

I have not had time to even sit down with Brett and talk about interviewing people. This is, honestly, not a high priority for me. I called the clinic I think we're going to go with and they said we don't even have to pre-register with them -- just list the clinic as our pediatrician of choice and one of them will stop by in the hospital. At this point, I'm kind of inclined to just let it be, since we can always change pediatricians later. We'll see.

  • Pre-register at the hospital

I filled out the form this week; I am going to fax it today. So I guess I get to mark this one red!

  • Draft some kind of loose birth plan outline

I did this earlier this week -- thanks to Leah for the link to http://www.birthplan.com/, an easy site that gives you some guidelines for each area of the labor, delivery, and postpartum process. I think it's enough of what I want that I can cross this one off, too.

  • Re-activate contributions to our Roth IRAs

I haven't done this. I need to call or email and just get it done.

  • Start a savings account or 529 for the baby

Haven't done this, either, although Brett and I decided this week that we need to. It's just a matter of going to the bank in person, which is a PITA considering the bank is open basically only when I'm at work, and only on limited hours on weekends.

We have a girl name! And no, I'm not telling. Oddly enough, we have come up with both of our names while on the trip from Seattle to Portland (or vice versa). This one we came up with when we had stopped in the Azteca in Kelso (yeah, it wasn't exactly gourmet dining) to get dinner as we were driving back from Thanksgiving. We were just eating chips and salsa, and Brett said, out of the blue, "What about ___?" And that was that.

  • Finally finish becoming members at Mars Hill

Well, this one should be pink, too. We have the paperwork, and just need to complete it and schedule an interview with our community group leader, and we'll be all set. Maybe we'll get a chance to work on the paperwork this weekend.

  • Look into purchasing or borrowing the following:
  1. Cloth diapers / re-usable baby wipes -- I may just buy these. Haven't decided yet.
  2. Breastfeeding accessories (pump parts, bottles, etc) -- got these at my most recent shower. Yay!
  3. More clothes -- We got quite a lot more clothes at the most recent shower, too, plus what we brought back from Portland (hand-me-downs from my sister). I think we will be set, at least for the early stages.
  4. Infant insert for Ergo carrier -- Just a matter of me going to the store down in Ballard and buying it. Maybe we will do it this weekend. I also want to look for a couple other items there, as well.
  5. Another carrier: a sling or perhaps a Moby Wrap -- I'm kind of thinking Moby Wrap at this point. I may just buy one. I really want a Storchenwiege but don't want to spend the money right now.
  6. More sheets for the co-sleeper -- Because we only have one right now. Yeah, not gonna cut it.

And here are some new items:

  • Write the most recent round of shower thank-yous for the fantastic shower my co-workers threw me this week
  • Pack the bag for the hospital
  • Schedule (and go on) the pre-birth hospital tour
  • Work out the logistics with our families of who is staying where and who is coming when, once the baby is born
  • Wash clothes, towels, sheets, etc that we've received as gifts
  • Better organize baby's drawers/clothes

I'd love to hear your ideas on a few of those last ones, namely what to pack for the hospital (and what is completely superfluous) and also how in the heck to work out the logistics of our families. We have a guest room -- but that's it. One guest room. How in the world do we determine who "gets" to stay there? I know who I think should stay there, for fairness sake, but how do I tell the other two families that the guest room is spoken for? How did you handle that?

Ok, this is now super super long and needs to be wrapped up. Hopefully the next to-do list update will include more red items and NO green items!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

worth reading

Brett saw this article about stillbirth and infant loss in the Portland paper over the weekend. He brought it home for me to read, and I wept when I read it last night. That's pretty rare for me; sometimes I'll tear up a bit when reading something, but this was full-on, sniffly, snotty, tears running down my face kind of weeping.

The author captures the family's story very clearly and highlights the emotion of losing a baby so accurately. I think that is what struck me most about this story.

Anyway, it's a tear-jerker, and was a bit scary for me to read as I approach this baby's due date, since I hadn't really considered the idea of stillbirth and now it's definitely on my mind, but I think it's worth reading.

Here's the link again: http://www.oregonlive.com/special/baby/index.ssf?/special/baby/content/2-days.html

Friday, November 30, 2007

i is in your bellah, growin real huge

First of all, my mom deserves an award for posting for me last night!

I got home from childbirth class and hauled my sick self downstairs to the computer to do my blog post, and lo and behold, there was no internet connectivity. I think I know why (because Qwest is stupid, basically) but that's a whole other post.

Anyway, after a sick hormonal pregnant lady freak-out wherein I shouted at Brett that "*bleep*-ing Qwest was ruining NaBloPoMo" for me, I decided that I would call my sister and ask her to post. She didn't answer her cell phone so I called the house phone. She lives with my mom, and my mom picked up and said my sister was already in bed.

For that matter, my mom was in bed, too, but she is so fantastic that she got up, turned on her computer, and let me dictate a blog post to her over the phone at 10:30 at night. THANKS, MOM!

And now, what you've been waiting for...the ultrasound update. As I mentioned before, there are really only a few causes for measuring so far ahead: a big baby, polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid), fibroids, dates being off, or gestational diabetes.

Apparently, according to the ultrasound yesterday, it's the former: It's just a ginormous baby. No fibroids, amniotic fluid is normal for the baby's size, I am 110% certain of my dates, and we already know I don't have gestational diabetes.

So here's the scoop: I'm 33 weeks today, according to my (correct) calculations. The ultrasound yesterday estimates that the baby currently weighs 6 pounds, 13 oz.
Gulp.
The tech said that they calculate that using the abdominal measurement and the length of the femur. Those numbers are plugged into a formula and that gives them the weight estimate. They claim their measurements as to weight are accurate in 80% of cases...I'm not sure I believe that, but that's what they say.

Every measurement they took is ahead by at least a week-and-a-half of my due date, with a couple items (head, abdomen) measuring about 5 weeks ahead! Even the u/s tech said, "That's one chunky baby!" She also said it was a very, very active baby. (I don't think he/she liked being poked and prodded very much; he/she kept trying to move out of the way of the ultrasound wand.)

That said, I'm not really worried about the baby getting too big. I guess I feel like he/she will come when he/she is ready to come, and that my body will be able to handle it when that happens.

Really, I'm just more freaked out by the fact that now I feel like my due date is not realistic (because, let's face it, if the baby is already that big I can't see that it's likely he/she will stay in for 7 more weeks), and I have no idea how to plan when to go out of work, when to have the temp come in to train, etc. I guess that means I should start getting my ducks in a row here at work so that if I do go into labor early, I'm prepared. I should note here the Brett was 7 pounds, 13 ounces and he was three-and-a-half weeks early...so maybe that will be the case with me, too.

I think my doctor may want to do an induction or scheduled c-section, neither of which I want to do. But we'll see what she says. I'm not going to cross that bridge until I come to it. I have an appointment next Wednesday, so we'll discuss this in-depth, I am sure, at that time.

Anyway, all of that aside, it was really fun to see the baby again, even though due to how big and squished the baby is in there and how much he/she was moving around, the tech couldn't get any good photos. But we got to see hands, fists, feet, the heart, the spine...it's pretty amazing. I can't wait to meet this baby!!!!! It's really weird to think that in a few weeks, we'll have a kid.

So since I don't have any ultrasound photos, here is a consolation prize -- a belly photo of me at 33 weeks. I feel like the baby is a bit lower. (I can actually breathe again!) But who knows?
33 Weeks

Once again, sorry for the crappy quality and the fact that it's in a bathroom...I keep hoping to do some nicer belly shots but it never seems to happen. Maybe I'll get at least one or two before I deliver this baby. I hope so!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

QWest sucks

Hi! This is Kathleen's Mom. Kathleen is dictating this post over the phone because her Internet at home is not working. She had her ultrasound today and will post details tomorrow. Suffice it to say she is growing one big baby.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

giving this a try...

Our internet at home has been really wonky the past couple of days, so I am going to give this post my best try. I hope it works!

I felt totally nasty all day today, so I left work early and came home and slept most of the afternoon. I feel a little better now, thankfully, and hope that the morning brings more improvement.

I had a huge hormonal pregnant lady moment in the drugstore today, though. I stopped on my way home from work to buy kleenex with lotion in it, because I'd been blowing my nose on cheap toilet paper and industrial-strength kleenex all day and my nose was completely raw. Well, of course, the drugstore didn't *have* kleenex with lotion in it. They had a ton of the industrial-strength kind, but that was about it, because in the section marked "facial tissue," was instead a giant display of Christmas wrapping paper.

I got really upset and started yelling at one of the employees, who turned out to be the manager. I feel bad now that I yelled at her, but geesh, come on!! You're a freaking pharmacy, it's cold season, and the only kleenex you have is the $0.89 per box kind?!? Do that many people really need that much wrapping paper that you would not carry the decent kind of kleenex? Apparently not.

There's basically no point to my rant here, other than the fact that it really pissed me off and now I sort of feel bad for being mean, except I do think that it's dumb they didn't carry more kleenex.

Otherwise, the only big thing going on is that tomorrow at 4:15 we have the ultrasound. I'm both excited and nervous, that's for sure. Excited to see the baby again, nervous that something is wrong since He/She is so ginormous. But I'm trying not to think about the nervous part and just focus on how excited I am to see He/She again!

Ok, I gotta get my sick self back to bed now...I'm going to try to post this; hopefully our internet works!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

what do I even title a post like this?

In a post the other day, I mentioned that our weekend had been hard at times.

Well, that stemmed from the fact that Friday morning, we found out that one of Brett's oldest friends, Louis, had died on Thursday in a motorcycle accident.

Brett and Louis met at Cedar Park Middle School when they were in seventh grade. They spent their middle and high school years playing basketball together, going camping with each others' families (a staple event in their summer, even up until the year they graduated from high school, was a trip to Trillium Lake), going to concerts, driving around in Louis' old Impala and causing trouble, playing music together, and, in more recent years, talking about, riding, and working on mopeds.

Louis just visited us from Portland in mid-September, when he and Brett attended a concert and spent a week hanging out, drinking beer, eating steak, staying up late, and working on mopeds. I know they had a great time, and I'm really glad that they were able to spend that time together.

I didn't know Louis well; he was a quiet kind of guy, especially around women. But I do know that he and Brett had a bond that went back farther than, well, than probably anyone else I can think of outside of Brett's family. It's hard to watch my husband process this, to know he's hurting and to know that there's nothing I can do or say to make it better.

I'm not sure what else to say. The facts are this: it happened in the early morning hours (between 2 and 5 a.m.) on Thanksgiving day, the police don't think that another car was involved, it happened in an area that is at a higher elevation and at a point in the road where there is a big curve, and given how cold it was that night, there is a possibility that perhaps there was ice on the road and he just lost control.

We spent part of the day Friday with his family -- his mom, dad, sister and niece. They are, understandably, devastated, and I know they would appreciate your prayers.

I'll close with a photo, which was taken last year sometime when Louis came up to hang out with Brett and ride mopeds. (Obviously, Brett's on the left and Louis is on the right.)



In memory of Louis, 11/16/82 - 11/22/07.

Monday, November 26, 2007

sick

Ok, I'm going to whine.

Know what sucks when you're pregnant? Having a cold.

My throat is sore and my ear hurts and I can't really take much for it at all. And that, my friends, is why you are getting one more in a slew of really, really lame-o blog posts, because Brett and I have spent all evening cleaning the house since his parents are coming, and I'm exhausted and sick and need my bed.

I'm really sorry. I hope that I'll be able to get a few more long ones written this week. I have some topics in mind that I really want to cover but this week is very busy so we'll have to see. Tomorrow night we have our community group for church, Wednesday Brett's parents are coming up from Portland, Wednesday night we are going out to dinner with some of Brett's co-workers, Thursday afternoon we have the ultrasound and then Thursday evening we have our childbirth class. Brett's parents will be here until Friday morning, too. So Friday is looking like the first free day I'll have, and it's the last NaBloPoMo day. *sigh* Oh well. At least I'm posting something, right?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

aaaand, another lame NaBloPoMo post

Because it's late (Ok, it's only 9:40 but I'm pregnant and it's been a long weekend), because we just spent six hours -- instead of the usual three -- driving back from Portland, because my bed is calling me and I haven't been there since Tuesday night...this is going to be the lamest...er, shortest...post ever.

I will leave you with a haiku about how absolutely horrible the drive from Seattle to Portland is:

Always traffic jammed
Nothing much to see outside
I hate driving it

Saturday, November 24, 2007

just under the wire

Wow; I almost forgot to post today. I was about to get in bed and I realized I hadn't yet, although I've been thinking about it all day.

It's not surprising that it totally slipped my mind with how crazy this weekend has been, but more about that later when I have more time to write. It's been crazy in both good ways and some really hard ones, but I'm too tired to go into it all now.

We head home tomorrow and I am looking forward to being back in our own house and our own bed, as right now we are sleeping on twin beds, which is no fun, especially when all you want to do is snuggle with each other and one of you is eight months pregnant and the bed is barely wide enough for both of you to begin with. Yeah, not so much.

That said, I'm exhausted (but hey, what's new?) so I am going to call this a post, even though I know it is a very lame excuse for a post, and go to bed.

Friday, November 23, 2007

a fantastic grandma

Today is Brett's Grandma Dori's 90th birthday. Of course there is a big (surprise!) party for her later today, with tons of friends and family coming in from all over the country to celebrate with her. I am so happy that we're able to be here for this!

Grandma Dori is a very special lady. She welcomed me with open arms into her family when Brett and I started dating 9 years ago, and has loved me and treated me like one of her own grandchildren ever since. That inclusiveness is really special to me, especially as my own grandma passed away in 2001. I remember saying to Grandma Dori shortly after my grandma died that since I didn't have any grandmas anymore, I was glad to have her. She gave me a huge hug.


I love just sitting and talking with her, about her childhood, about the early years of her marriage to Brett's late Grandpa Big Al, about being a mom during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s, about her years of traveling all over the world with Grandpa Big Al, about her collection of recipes and household hints -- pretty much anything and everything.


Bottom line, Grandma Dori is funny, and witty, and just a joy to be around. Although she is a true product of her generation, always conducting herself as a lady, every now and then, we'll be chatting and she'll let some extremely hilarious and snarky comment slip. I love it when she does that!


She's also perceptive and intuitive. After a family wedding this year (I can't remember if it was Brett's sister's or Brett's cousin's wedding), she knew I was exhausted and still having nausea and that I needed to go home and lie down. She got a determined look in her eye, winked at me, and started making all kinds of noise about how it was time for us to get out of there and she needed to go home. It was fantastic. We've definitely been allies over the past few months since both of us get tired easily these days.


Ask anyone in Brett's family to tell you something about Grandma Dori and I am certain that one of the most mentioned items would be her pancakes. She makes the best pancakes in the entire world. I'm serious. They are incredible. Brett has looked over her shoulder time after time, trying to observe every little nuance of how she makes them in an effort to be able to replicate them. While his are good, they are no match to Grandma Dori's. Thin, and moist, and steamy, with some syrup on top...mmmm. There is nothing like them in the world.



Even at 90 years old, she still makes them for us every time we ask. We'll all head over to Grandma's in the morning, and when we arrive, we'll pull up a seat at the breakfast bar overlooking the kitchen. She'll pour us a glass of juice (usually we have the choice of orange or cranberry) and hand us a banana to eat while we wait, all the while chatting with us as we drink our juice and read the paper. Then, slowly, batch by tasty batch, she'll cook pancakes for each of us, and we'll take turns having seconds, and even sometimes thirds.


I love those times, sitting at the breakfast bar, talking to her about everything and eating her yummy pancakes. Both the pancakes and the time spent with her are truly a treasure.

I'm sure she'd probably be mortified if she knew I posted this here, but this is a photo that captures the feel of those pancake mornings. Brett took it while we were eating pancakes on the day after his sister's wedding last summer (hence his mom's Mother-of-the-Bride shirt). You can see the breakfast bar in the background.



I'm so very thankful for Grandma Dori, that she was born and that she has played the role she has in both Brett's life and in mine.


Happy Birthday, Grandma! I love you!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. There have definitely been some extremely crappy times over the past twelve months, but it seems like for the first time in about four years, our lives are essentially really, really good overall.

At the top of my list is that Brett and I seem to grow closer every day. I don't know what it is, but after almost nine years together (!), something seems to have clicked in our relationship over the past few months and I absolutely love it. We have so much fun when we're together, we fight better, we laugh more, we talk more, we pray together more. Plus, watching him get excited about meeting this baby thrills me in an indescribable way. We've come through the fire of the past couple of years and are only stronger for it. It's wonderful.

Also at the top of my list is this baby. What can I even say? After experiencing the miscarriage, every kick and every movement feels like a gift, every good appointment a relief, every week that passes a triumph. Being able to push on my belly (like I'm doing now...well, when I take a break from typing, anyway) and feel the baby's different limbs whacking me back or moving around is amazing, and I cannot wait to meet this person. Becoming a parent is a daunting and scary thing to think about, but overall I know Brett and I are anticipating this baby's birth with joy and excitement at the fore.

My third top-of-the-list item is our financial situation. I didn't talk much about it with anyone when we were going through it, but between moving to Maine, the economy there, Brett being in school, moving back, and then Brett not having a job, we've struggled money-wise pretty much since we got married, with it at its worst about this time last year -- basically right through the holiday season and into January. It sucked. There is just no other way to describe it.

A year ago, Brett was jobless, we were financially strapped to a point that I still can't think about it without practically having a panic attack, and life seemed unbelievably stressful. The prospect of not fighting about money and of having enough money to, you know, pay our bills, let alone consider having a baby, was pretty remote. So now with both of us gainfully employed, making enough money to pay down debt, save, travel, and have fun, and with Brett having a job that he loves...it's brought a whole different feeling to life. That's not to say we're suddenly rolling in the dough (not by any means) but it's just nice not to have to worry as much and to be able to do fun things if we want to.

We were talking over dinner a week or so ago about Brett's job, and how thankful he is to have it, and how much he enjoys what he does.

"God really provided amazingly with this job, didn't he?" Brett asked. "It really is the perfect job for me."

And it is. It's perfect in ways neither of us could have imagined, and I am so deeply thankful for it. I know so many people told us when he was jobless that the right thing would come along at the right time. After a while, I couldn't take that anymore. I didn't want to hear it. Rejection after rejection loomed so large in our lives; I sort of stopped believing he'd ever find something. So to look back and see how faithful God was, and how he provided this job at the perfect time (the same week as the miscarriage)...it blows me away.

Anyway, there are, of course, lots of other things I'm thankful for:
  • Our families
  • Our home
  • Our friends
  • Our church

Basically, bottom line, I am beyond thankful for God's amazing provision for us. The glory belongs to him. We haven't done anything to deserve this; it's truly through his grace that we are where we are right now. In the past year, he has fulfilled Ephesians 3:20 in our lives, doing immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine. I'm so excited to see what he has in store for us in the next year!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

it's days like today...

...that make me want to hop in the car, drive to the mountain, and ski all day. (Of course, that is so not happening, unfortunately!)

When I woke up and looked out the window of the baby's room this morning, the Cascades were silhouetted against the brightening sky. It was perfectly clear, and it's one of those mornings that just looked cold. It was gorgeous!

Now, it's bright and crisp and clear and brisk. I remember once, in my journal back when I was in high school, calling this a "fall on the edge of winter day." And although today is definitely leaning toward the winter end of things, that phrase still comes to mind.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

lame post...

...but in the spirit of NaBloPoMo, that's what you're gonna get tonight.

I don't have much time right now; we have community group tonight and have to leave in about 30 minutes and need to change clothes, etc.

So...yeah...I'm lame, and this is what you're getting.

Oh! But I will say that I scheduled the ultrasound today -- it will be next Thursday, the 29th, at 4:15. I am kind of nervous now, thinking about it. I really hope nothing is wrong.

Also, I have a good post cooking about Thanksgiving...but more to come on that in two days!

Anyway, that's about it. I have to get moving if I'm going to be ready to leave in time!

Monday, November 19, 2007

it's a bird! no, it's a plane!

No, it's a GIANT BABY!!!! Aaaaah! *Kathleen runs screaming from the room*

So, I had a regular doctor's appointment today (I'm 31 weeks 3 days today), and there's lots to report. The biggest news, though (ha -- no pun intended. Ok, fine, pun intended) is that the doctor measured my belly and I am apparently now measuring -- are you ready? -- 6 to 7 weeks ahead, putting my belly at somewhere around the average size for someone who is 37 or 38 weeks pregnant.

How is that even possible!?!?

Disclaimer: Yes, I am 100% certain my dates are not off. Without going into total TMI-land, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my due date is correct. Now, back to your regularly scheduled NaBloPoMo post.

The good news is that we get to have another ultrasound (hooray!) sometime next week. The bad news? Well, I'm not really sure yet. There could be no bad news (I just have a big baby) or some semi-concerning news. The ultrasound will determine a lot -- whether the baby is, in fact, gargantuan, or whether I have excess amniotic fluid, or whether something else could be wrong -- perhaps fibroids? I don't really know.

The doctor said we'd cross those bridges if and when we come to them, and after the u/s, we can talk more about whether I'll need a c-section (so much for those birthing classes, right?) or whether I'll need to be induced. I really hope I can go into labor naturally and that I don't need either of those two things. The only positive about a c-section, as far as I'm concerned, is that it would give me two more weeks of paid leave through my company's short-term disability plan. But is that really worth it? I don't know. Anyway -- that said, I'm going to try to heed the doctor's words and not cross that bridge unless I come to it.

One other odd thing is that I've been having pretty regular Braxton-Hicks contractions over the past few days. The doctor told me that if I'd called over the weekend to report what I told her today about how many BH contractions I've been having, they would have sent me straight to labor and delivery -- whoops...guess I should have called. She did do an internal just to check things, and my cervix is closed and firm (so that is good) but the contractions have been pretty steady since Saturday. They aren't too worried yet, the doctor said, since my cervix is ok and I'm not spotting or leaking and since the contractions aren't painful, just uncomfortable.

However, I now have a list of things to look for, and if I see them I am to call and they will have me come in if it's during office hours or go to the triage unit on the labor and delivery floor if it's after-hours:
  • If the contractions start to hurt
  • If they start to happen at evenly-spaced intervals
  • If I have any spotting or leaking
  • If I notice a decrease in the baby's movement
  • If they just feel different or weird or I feel "off" in any way
Until then, I'm just supposed to keep track of them and time them as best I can, stay hydrated, make sure to eat at regular intervals, and take it easy. I think I can handle most of that, although the taking it easy part will be a little hard --the pile of dishes in and next to the sink is calling me, and the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in forever, and I need to change the sheets on our bed and start packing for this weekend... Yeah, ok, that taking it easy part is going to be a challenge! But I know I need to try, for my sake and the baby's.

While the doctor said it's ok to travel this weekend, she did have the nurse make a copy of my medical records for me to take to Portland -- just in case. Yikes. I don't like to think about what that could imply. At least there will be both a doula (Brett's mom) and a nurse who did her internship in labor and delivery (Brett's sister) on hand this weekend...

In other baby news, He/She is head down (yay!) and the heartbeat sounds good (the doctor estimated it at about 130). I haven't gained any weight in two weeks and am only up nine pounds overall, which shocks me, but hey -- I'll take it. The reason the baby is hanging out on my right side so much is that the placenta attaches on the left, so He/She has more room on the right.

And, with that, I am going to head upstairs and try to coerce Brett into helping me cook dinner and wash some dishes. Then I am going to get in bed and start that whole taking it easy thing. It's been a long day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A few of my favorite blogs

I read a lot of blogs semi-sporadically, but there are definitely a few I always find myself coming back to. So I'll tell you about five of my favorites and why I like them. Maybe you'll find something new to read and enjoy!

1. Hola, Isabel -- I am not sure how Isabel (her online persona name) and I first found each others' blogs. It was most likely through each others' comments on Amalah a few years back. I was living in Maine, she here in Seattle, and we just started reading each others' sites, the city of Seattle providing that initial link. Then, when I came back here and began working downtown, we started meeting up for lunch. Now we see each other for lunch maybe once a month or so. It's really fun! We never run out of things to talk about and often wind up looking at the time and having to jump up and run back to work, 10 minutes late. Anyway, her blog is always interesting; Isabel can make a post about the most run-of-the-mill thing interesting. One thing I love about her -- Isabel asks her readers questions. That interaction is great; it turns this monologue into a dialogue.

2. Frema -- I found Frema through Isabel, actually, and started reading regularly during the Tragic Love Friday series, a serial wherein Frema posted the soap opera-esque story she'd written as a young teenager. I remember one day I was bored and spent literally hours reading all the back TLF posts. From then on, I was hooked and would check the site obsessively on Fridays for the latest installment. It's not only funny, but really well-written for someone who was, at the time of writing it, in her first year or two of high school. Then, although TLF (tragically) came to an end, Frema got pregnant and is due only a few weeks before me, so it became fun to read her blog to get another perspective on pregnancy from someone a few weeks ahead of me. I enjoy Frema because I identify with a lot of what she writes about, whether it be pregnancy, her adolescence (as displayed to all through TLF), marriage, writing, or life.

3. Miss Doxie -- I think I found Miss Doxie through the Snarkies, but I can't remember for sure now. Although Leigh (Miss Doxie herself) doesn't post super-often, when she does, her posts are so hilarious and well-written that I often find myself in fits of laughter. Whether posting about her three Dachshunds (hence the name Miss Doxie), her family, her crazy lawyer job, or her childhood, I can't get enough of Leigh's hilarious stories and fantastic writing.

4. Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters -- I found this site through my good friend C over at This Sorta Fairytale. It's a site for all things infertility- and pregnancy-loss-related. It was a very valuable resource to me in the days after my miscarriage, and I still enjoy checking in there. Melissa, who runs the site, has turned it into so much more than a blog -- it's really a community touchstone for those who have struggled with infertility, pregnancy loss, or some derivative.

5. The Amazing Adventures of Overshare -- Again, I can't remember exactly where I found this site but I believe it was through the Snarkies. It's the blog of an anonymous woman (aptly named Anonymous) who works with the most obnoxious coworker ever, otherwise known as Overshare. It's hilarious, and over the top, and so much fun to read, mostly because it's just so hard to believe that someone (Overshare) can be so incredibly unaware of social conventions. Plus, Anonymous has a knack for writing the stories in a dry, humor-filled way that will keep me coming back for more and hoping that Overshare keeps on oversharing for a long time to come.

I hope that gives some of you something new to enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

lazy, wonderful Saturday

We've had a really nice, mostly pretty lazy day.

All weekends, in my opinion, should be like today -- a perfect mix of relaxing and doing chores. We slept in, watched several episodes of the last season of the Sopranos (only two more episodes to go!), I cleaned the kitchen, we walked to the coffee shop down the street, had coffee and read, walked home, did some more work around the house, did some laundry, made dinner, I made a cake, and now we are going to go back upstairs and watch the other two episodes of the Sopranos.

I love spending days like this with Brett. We haven't done anything special, but we've had a good time all the same. In fact, there's no one else with whom I'd rather spend a day like today.

~~~~~~~~

Oh! I forgot to mention that I got the results of the three-hour glucose test back yesterday. I passed! HOORAY! I am really relieved. I was pretty sure I would pass, but there was always that nagging doubt in the back of my mind that I might not.

~~~~~~~~

I'm starting to compile a mental list of things we need for the baby and things we need to do before the baby is born. It's inspired by Frema, who is only a couple of weeks away from her due date and has completed nearly everything on her big to-do list. I hope I can whittle away at my list and get it all taken care of as efficiently as she has!

Here's what I've got so far, in no particular order:

-- Find out how to add the baby to my health insurance and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born
-- Find out how to add the baby as a beneficiary on our life insurance policies, IRAs, and on my 401k, and if there is a way to do this before He/She is born
-- Decide how much to set aside in flexible spending for 2008
-- Talk to my boss/HR about the logistics of taking my FMLA leave
-- Find out what FMLA benefits, if any, Brett is eligible for
-- Confirm our childcare for when I go back to work
-- Renew our renters' insurance
-- Interview and select a pediatrician
-- Pre-register at the hospital
-- Draft some kind of loose birth plan outline
-- Re-activate contributions to our Roth IRAs
-- Start a savings account or 529 for the baby
-- Decide on a girl name
-- Finally finish becoming members at Mars Hill
-- Look into purchasing or borrowing:
-- Cloth diapers / re-usable baby wipes
-- Breastfeeding accessories (pump parts, bottles, etc)
-- More clothes
-- Infant insert for Ergo carrier
-- Another carrier: a sling or perhaps a Moby Wrap

I'm sure I'll add to this list over the next couple of months, but I'm pretty confident I can take care of most of these items easily before the baby is born.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Reason #1,496 that I am glad that I am not in Maine right now

It's way, way too early for this kind of weather.

From weather.com (my bolding):

Local Forecast for Falmouth, ME (04105)
Nov 16
Tonight
Becoming partly cloudy later with any flurries or snow showers ending by midnight. Windy. Low 27F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 30%.
Nov 17
Tomorrow
Sunny and windy. High 43F. Winds W at 15 to 25 mph.
Nov 17
Tomorrow night
Clear skies. Low 23F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.
Nov 18
Sunday
Sunny. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the low 20s.

And for a comparison?

Local Forecast for Seattle, WA (98117)
Nov 16
Tonight
Cloudy with a few showers. Low 44F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.
Nov 17
Tomorrow
Cloudy. Some light rain is likely. High 48F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Nov 17
Tomorrow night
Rain showers in the evening becoming more intermittent overnight. Low 41F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 60%.
Nov 18
Sunday
Showers possible. Highs in the mid 40s and lows in the upper 30s.

As I always tell people, at least you don't have to shovel rain. I'll take rainy and 40 over 20 and snowing (with wind gusts!) any day of the year.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

just when you thought I was done talking about this...

Not to continue beating a dead horse with more talk about Coffee Fest and the NWRBC, but Brett called me this morning and told me to go look at Barista Magazine's blog entry about last weekend.

He told me to scroll down about halfway -- and, sure enough, there's a photo of him making drinks at the volunteer-staffed espresso machine in the competition area.

And, of course, he is wearing his ridiculous Meat Loaf t-shirt, one of his beloved thrift store finds that I pretty much hate but he thinks is, and I quote, "badass."

After I saw his picture and the mention of his "delicious macchiatto" and expressed the appropriate excitment that he was pictured on the blog, he said, "You should totally make this your blog post for today."

His ego, it is huge. *sigh* Maybe it will return to reasonable proportions once he experiences his first day of going to work and realizing after he gets there that he has, like, spit-up or baby poop on his pants or something. :p

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

zzzzzzz.

There is a whole list of posts I have in mind to write. But my mind is mush right now and I am so tired and unable to focus that I can't remember any of them, and I don't have the energy to go upstairs and dig them out from the depths of my bag.

So I'll just type the first, let's see, how about the first five things that come to mind and call it good.

1. I'm looking forward to being in Portland for Thanksgiving. It will be a hectic weekend with three family birthday parties in addition to the actual Thanksgiving festivities but I'm looking forward to it all the same. (My mom's birthday is on Sunday, as is my nephew Jacob's first birthday, and Brett's Grandma Dori's 90th birthday is on Friday.)

2. We have got to find a girl name. We can't seem to agree on anything, plus nothing is really standing out and striking either of us like our boy name did. As soon as we put the boy name together with the middle name and our last name, we just knew it was perfect...but we haven't had such a moment with any of the girl names we've bandied about.

3. Brett is a rockstar because he rubbed my back for about 45 minutes last night, which is about 44 minutes longer than any other back rub he's ever given me.

4. There is a pair of Brett's No Sweat shoes in the dryer right now (which is in the next room) and they are really loud in there.

5. I can't think of anything else. I'm that tired and spaced out. So I think I'll call it a night and head for bed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

fragments: dreamy, dizzy, video

I had a dream about the baby last night. It was the first dream in which the baby was a normal baby, and not, like, a cat or a Barbie or something.

It was a boy, and he had red hair, and he was adorably chubby, and so snuggly, and the boy name we have chosen fit him perfectly. (No, we're not telling the name before He/She is born. Sorry!) It was a nice dream.

The only weird part of the dream was that I couldn't remember any of the labor and delivery, and I kept asking Brett and my mom about it, but they wouldn't/couldn't tell me either. Strange.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm feeling really lightheaded and dizzy these days. It's freaking me out. I talked with my doctor about it last week, and she said that dizziness during pregnancy is really common, and to just make sure I'm hydrated and that I'm eating regularly.

I've been really conscious of hydration and eating since she said that, but I'm still having semi-regular dizzy spells -- at least one or two per day.

I notice them most when I'm at my desk, on the bus, and especially in bed at night. Every time I lie down I am dizzy -- especially when I roll over from one side to another. Plus, last night, Brett and I were watching TV (I was propped in a semi-reclining position), and all of the sudden the room just started spinning out of the blue. It was really disconcerting.

Is this just normal, or am I weird? I'm definitely planning to mention it to my doctor again (I have another appointment in a week) but it's just a little freaky to get intense vertigo without any warning. I don't like it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And finally, there's video up here of Brett's performance on Saturday, if anyone is interested. He's still riding high on the ego wave -- someone came into the roastery yesterday with a poster and asked Brett to sign it. HAHAHA!

Monday, November 12, 2007

open letter and random belly shot

Dear Child,

Please get out of my ribcage. It hurts when you're all squished up in there.

Also, I love feeling your different appendages when you move around. It's weird, but super cool. And your dad and I are sorry in advance if all our poking and prodding of you when you are moving is hurty or annoying...we just love feeling you in there!

Love,
Mama

~~~~~~~~~

So, do you ever see a picture of yourself and think, not without a tinge of surprise and embarassment, "Oh, my God, I look like that?!"

That's what I thought when I saw this photo, which our friend Joel took at the barista competition this weekend. Somehow, seeing a candid photo is way different than looking in a mirror at this point...I had no idea how much you can see my belly button. I think I need to start taping over it or something. (And I'm cracking up at our friend Dean behind me, who seems to be checking out my butt...)

30 weeks, 1 day

It's not that I'm complaining about how I look, necessarily. It's more that it is just startling to realize I'm that huge, and that I'm going to get even bigger before this is all over. I don't think of myself as being that pregnant...and then all of the sudden I get a glimpse of myself somewhere and I think, "WOAH. My belly is giant."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

fun day!

Yesterday was so much fun!

I'll start by getting to the point: Brett didn't make the finals. Yeah, it's a bummer, but he's totally cool with that. What matters is that despite that, he felt really good about his performance yesterday -- as he should! He was really amazing! I was extremely proud of him.

However, Brett's co-worker Maki did make it to the finals! We're both really excited for her and hope she does really well! She goes on this morning, actually any minute now; Brett went downtown to watch her. I decided to stay home and take a break but I am going to go back for the awards announcement later this afternoon.

So many of our friends came to support him. It was fantastic to look back and see almost the entire section of chairs filled with people we know -- Zoka people, moped people, etc. The Mosquito Fleet really stepped up and probably about 15 of them rode down to watch Brett compete. That made both of us really happy.

I could tell Brett was nervous when he was setting up, even though he hadn't really been too anxious (more euphoric and excited) all morning. As he started the time clock (15 minutes) and began his monologue, I noticed that his hands were majorly shaking and that his delivery of his monologue wasn't as smooth as it was when he had practiced it at home.

But as hie picked up the pace and got into the rhythm of his routine, the monologue got better and more natural. He was funny, and genuine, and honest with the judges. He kept talking about how badly his hands were shaking -- at one point, he uttered a true Brett-ism: "Man, I'm shakin' like a Texas storm," which prompted tons of laughter from the crowd and even from a couple of the judges.

(Side note: Brett sometimes comes up with these Brett-ism sayings that make 100% sense to him, or if you know him well enough to interpret what he means, but if you don't know him, you might be a little confused. I think he'll now be known as Texas Storm among his co-workers and the Mosquito Fleet for a long time.)

He talked intelligently and genuinely about how he chose the espresso blend he used, and about the different things he was doing with the coffee.

He got a little flustered toward the end, while he was making his signature drink, and miscalculated a few things that wound up costing him later. We watched the video last night and both agree that the beginning of the signature drink prep is where things got off track, causing him to finish about 12 seconds over the time limit, which will result in one point per second being docked from his score.

(He should be able to look through his score sheets sometime today; we're both really interested to see where he gained/lost points.)

Still, overall, he felt really good about his performance, and is excited to possibly go on to the US Barista Championship in Minneapolis in the spring.

Yesterday evening, after the finalists were announced, we went out for dinner at Presse and then went to the Stumptown Coffee after-party, which wound up being a lot of fun. All of the Zoka people just hung out in a corner next to the coffee roasting machine all evening.

People came up to Brett throughout the night and told him how great he was and how much they loved his performance. They would all ask if he made the finals, and when he would tell them no, everyone seemed surprised and bummed. I know that made him feel really good! No matter what, he's definitely distinguished himself among the rest of the coffee world after yesterday.

And, here are the goods: photos of the event. I took these; they aren't great partly because my own hands were "shakin' like a Texas storm" the entire time he was performing. There should be more online this week; his co-worker Nikki took a ton of photos and so did a couple of Mosquito Fleet people. I'm sure they'll be better than mine.

Beginning his 15-minute setup period. Notice the poster version of Brett above him! (People noticed all weekend that he was the guy on the poster, especially since he wore his pink shoes to compete yesterday.)

Almost set up. The clock is at 9:37, so he had about 5 more minutes to check the grind on the coffee and pull some shots.

Making cappuccinos. The woman with the dark, short hair was the head judge.

Giving the cappuccinos to the judges. The four seated judges were the sensory judges; in addition to those four there was also the head judge as well as two technical judges who literally hovered right over Brett's shoulder, evaluating his technical precision.

Making espressos. He was still good on time at this point.

I thought this was a neat photo. You can see not only his reflection, but also the signature drink shot glasses, which he rimmed in 71% dark chocolate. (The drink also included espresso, a bit of milk, foam, and a zest of lime on top. As Brett says, it's "a simple variation on a basic macchiato." As I say? "It's yummy.")
Pulling shots for his signature drink. He had to take the tray out of the espresso machine to fit his glasses under the portafilters, since the glasses were so tall.
Ten seconds left...and he's zesting lime, the final touch on the drinks. We in the front row (me, Lindsey, who was his coach for this whole thing, and his co-workers Rosanna and Kim) were freaking out at this point.

Placing the last bit of lime zest.
After that, he grabbed the drinks and started placing them on the judges' table right at 15 minutes, thanked the judges, and called time at (if I remember correctly) 15:12.

It was among the most nerve-wracking and exciting 15 minutes and 12 seconds of my life, that's for sure. But it was really fun, and despite how hard the past six weeks have been with him working all the time and being really stressed out, I'm very happy that he did it and I'm 100% behind him working to go to the USBC in May.

Of course, that means a whole new routine, a new drink, a new place setting and everything -- but that's the fun part. He has the technique down pat and that is the most important thing. I know that if he does compete in May, he'll do even better than he did yesterday -- and that's saying something, because I think he did an amazing job.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

fashion = pain

Dear Self,

While it was an admirable gesture to wear high-heeled, pointy-toed shoes last night in an effort to look and feel cute and possibly even a just a little bit sexy, it was also really stupid, seeing as you're seven-and-a-half months pregnant, and even on a good non-pregnant day you can barely stand high-heeled pointy-toed shoes for more than a few minutes without being in sheer agony.

So today, as your feet are swollen and your legs sore, just remember: you only have your own vanity to blame.

Love,
Me

PS -- You did look pretty awesome, though, even for someone who is a seven-and-a-half months pregnant. Now if you could just make the effort to do your hair and makeup every day...

Friday, November 09, 2007

quickly

The test was long and icky this morning, but really, it wasn't that bad. I did get to sit and read for about three-and-a-half hours, so that is cool. I should hear early next week...

In other news, it's all chaos here tonight as Brett gets ready for the competition tomorrow. His co-worker Maki went today, and she was fabulous.

The competition is being live-blogged, so if you want to check it out as it unfolds, go here. Brett is scheduled to go on around 2:30 tomorrow. He's getting really excited and after watching several people today, feels very confident in himself that he'll do a great job.

I know this is short but I have a TON of laundry to do tonight, as I volunteered to wash and iron all of the table linens, towels, etc that Brett will be using tomorrow, not to mention the clothes he'll be wearing. That means I have a lot of work to do, not to mention the fact that there is a big party tonight at Zoka for the competitors, trade show attendees, etc. So I have got to get ready to go to that as well -- eat something, do my makeup and hair, and try to find something to wear that makes me feel remotely sexy and not just, well, huge and very, very round.

I will leave you with this. It's part of the posters/t-shirts/promo materials for the competition. It was all designed by Brett's co-worker Nikki at Zoka. As you can see, Brett was her inspiration for this portion of it, right down to the beard, the hat, and the pink converse. She said it's not an exact replica of Brett, but the resemblance is definitely there. Pretty cool, huh?