Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Week 28 -- The Best is Yet to Come

I'm officially in my third trimester, and I'm happy to report that with this new stage of pregnancy, I've also experienced some fun new "symptoms" (for lack of a better word), including burping, nose bleeds and extreme stupidity.

The burping and nose bleeds aren't enjoyable, but besides being embarrassed because I giggle every time I burp (I've never been ABLE to burp before so now I find it highly amusing) I can deal with these little annoyances.

What I can absolutely NOT fathom is my newly found extreme stupidity. Extreme. Sure, I've complained of "pregnancy brain" -- the forgetfulness that comes with having a baby (and which leads my husband to tell me that the baby is sucking my brain) but I had an experience this Sunday that later led me to wonder if perhaps Baby E really IS sucking my brain, and will I have any brains left to work with after she is born?!

Chances are not good. Because on Sunday morning, I woke up in a fog and rolled over (ungracefully -- got that big ol' belly, remember?) in bed to ask my husband "What is today's date?" to which he told me it was December 28 and I realized I had forgotten my Dad's birthday the day before (December 27). FORGOTTEN. I felt awful. I felt like an ingrate. My father is such a doting, caring and loving guy, and I had just basically wiped my feet with his special day. I spent the morning mentally head slapping myself and generally feeling like I was the scum of the Earth. But it didn't end there.

As the whole Edelbrock clan loads up in the car to head to church, Ben announces in the car that I've forgotten my father's birthday (okay, maybe he didn't "announce" or "point fingers" but at that point in my guilt-ridden morning I was fairly certain that he had just told my in-laws that I was the worst daughter on the face of the planet). And with that, the guilt multiplied because not only was I a bad person, but people KNEW I was a bad person now.

And to top things off, when we get to church the priest starts talking about the theme of that Sunday which was family, and how important family was and I swear in less than 30 seconds I had tears ROLLING DOWN MY FACE. Pair extreme guilt with pregnancy hormones and a normal person doesn't have a chance -- Hell, SUPERWOMAN wouldn't have a chance.

I was a wreck.

But as I slowly pulled myself together, the TINY part of my brain that hasn't been taken over by the baby started to struggle with why I was upset. Because that TINY part that can still think rational thoughts is reminding me that I've never been in town to celebrate my Dad's birthday with him over the Christmas break. And that is because my Dad's birthday isn't on December 27 at all.

Let me repeat that.

My Dad's birthday is 100% NOT on December 27, but on December 29, the NEXT day. I had NOT missed my Dad's birthday.

I HAD however, been completely and utterly convinced that his big day was on the 27th. Despite 28 years of knowing this date the EXTREME STUPIDITY of pregnancy made me absolutely SURE that his birthday had been the day before and I had missed it. And in turn, my husband's ENTIRE FAMILY would soon know that I was suffering from extreme stupidity.

So I did what any self-respecting person would do and willed myself to forget what I had just realized. I sat through church quietly, praying for God to return my brains and didn't tell Ben what I had realized until about SIX hours later when we had driven back to Dallas and he was pestering me to call my father. I tried to make it into a big joke "Isn't this funny Ben?" but he just looked at me sideways and turned back to the basketball game, which made it pretty clear that this episode had surpassed pregnancy brain in a BIG way.

So joy to the third trimester and all it brings us this New Year.

My week 28 picture from Sunday night. I also had a doctor appointment this morning, although besides gaining an unheard of EIGHT pounds in four weeks it was fairly routine -- she called me a fatty (albeit nicely), suggested I eat more veggies and less pie, and sent me on my way.

Monday, December 29, 2008

We call him Snow Leopard because he was a sassy cat

I'm finally back from the holidays in Houston, and what a joyful Christmas it was. The Edelbrocks (my in-laws) are a great, loud, boisterous, funny group. Ben has three siblings, and while each sibling has a distinctly different personality, everyone is extremely smart and witty, which means when you get around the family, you better watch out. Being a slightly sarcastic person myself (NO, really?!!) I feel like I fit right in, but you had better be on your game or chances are the joke of the holiday will be on you. Because if there is one thing we Edelbrocks love, it is a good joke at someone else's expense (see -- I fit RIGHT IN).

The winner this year is Ben's youngest brother Adam. At 21, he is the baby of the family and in his senior year at Notre Dame. While sitting around and chatting with the family, the unfortunate phrase "We called him Snow Leopard because he was a sassy cat" came out of his mouth when describing an alley cat that he and his roommates feed. And naturally, we all jumped on it like wolves. SASSY CAT? Do tell Adam, how did he show his sassiness? Did he swish when he walked? That certainly IS sassy Adam.

And then of course, the joke goes on to be used in every aspect of our weekend together. As in, "OOOOOOO, Adam, that touchdown was certainly SASSY, wasn't it?" Or, "Dinner was great Michelle, the green bean casserole was especially SASSY this year," and so on. Then, when Adam left to meet his girlfriend for a ski trip, the rest of the siblings were quick to upload photos of him to Facebook with one particularly adorable childhood photo captioned with his sassy cat quote.

The moral of the story? Outside of the lesson to never use the word SASSY in normal conversation is how much fun we all had together. Because its true, the family that laughs together, stays together (I've just made that saying up, but it makes sense to me). It is so neat to be part of this big family that truly likes and enjoys being around each other. Who can tease and joke with each other and enjoy every moment we spend together. And THAT, is why we had such a happy, joyful and SASSY Christmas.

*Post edited to include the sassy photo of Adam, per my husband's comment that I simply can NOT post this without a photo.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Say cheese!

A few pictures from our new camera. Not sure if you'll be able to tell how great the quality is online, but take my word for it... the quality is GREAT. I can see every single gray hair on Jack's head and you can actually tell Dexter's fur is turning brown, unlike our other camera that makes his coat look like one black blob, not individual hairs. Which brings up an interesting point. This camera makes our cute dogs look even cuter. Chances are it will make our ADORABLE baby look even more adorable. But I'm pretty positive it can magnify UGLY too, so you won't be seeing many pictures of me with this thing. No sir-ree, I'm a behind the lens type of gal from now on. Or at least until I have the baby, lose 40 pounds, and have the energy to wear makeup again.This is Dexter's best side. He told me so, won't let me photograph his other side. He is so vain.
Still learning how to use the camera, but at least Dex's nose is in focus...

Jackson loves playing with his B. A. L. L. Which we have to spell around the house lest he hear us and have a coronary thinking he gets to go the the P. A. R. K.
Jackson does NOT appreciate being woken to the sound of a clicking camera. He prefers the sound of the opening refrigerator, but I was feeling feisty. Pretty sure if he could talk he would tell me to go F-myself for waking him up for no good reason, luckily he can't and I just assume he is thinking how pretty I look this afternoon.

And now, I'm assuming everyone reading this post can't wait for Baby E to be born so you can stop being assaulted with photos of my dogs. Because we all know, assault by baby photo is just SOOOO much better.

Yeti sighting? Nope, just me.

Christmas with the Entwistles was a fantastic affair this past weekend. Without going into extreme detail, Ben and I were blessed with some really good family time, too much good food (including PIE -- yummy), an exciting pregnancy announcement by my cousin and more gifts than we really deserve. In fact, as a joint Ben/Liz Christmas, anniversary and probably birthday gift, we received a Nikon D60 camera, something we've been saving and searching for this past few months. I was overwhelmed by the gift, but extremely excited to start using it.

At first I was a little scared to even touch the thing (for fear my clumsy self would drop it on the floor), but after awhile I got over my fears and we spent Sunday after the family left testing and playing with its many features. And, of course taking photos of the best subjects we currently have (the pups). The camera came with not ONE but TWO instructional DVDs, which I plan to watch on our drive down to Houston on Wednesday for Christmas with the Edelbrocks.

I'm hoping to actually sign up for photography classes at one of the local schools here, as I've always had an interest in and passion for photography. And with Baby E on the way, I assume I'll have lots of fantastic moments to capture through the lens. And, maybe I'll suck at it, but I promise you that you will be forced to look at nearly every damn picture I take.

The one drawback to this rose filled weekend I've just described was the part where I'm almost sure I gained at least 4 pounds in three days. At least. And I'm supposed to only gain that much in FOUR WEEKS. My doctor is going to be SO FREAKING PISSED. I don't know what happened. I don't feel like I ate much more than anyone else, but I can literally feel my stomach expanding, and where last week when I posted photos I was like "Oh, look, my belly is kinda cute" I looked at myself in the mirror last night (sans clothes, an absolute NO NO when packing on pounds. I nearly had a stroke) and was literally SHOCKED by the growth over less than one week. I mean, sure, the baby is like 15 inches long, but she is only about two pounds or so, which means the rest of it is ALL ME BABY.

And to make matters worse, people don't seem impressed when I say I'm 27 weeks along. I had a client tell me "Oh, so you have a long way to go" last week. I nearly jumped through the phone receiver to strangle her. A long way to go? I'm entering my third trimester missy... DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH I'VE GONE THROUGH TO GET HERE? My hair hasn't been highlighted in over six months, my skin is pasty and mottled looking, I have acne, heart burn, and some new cellulite that just appeared to taunt me, my wedding ring is tight enough to make my finger look like a sausage, I'm retaining water, have a craving for PIE and can't stop farting in bed, something that is surely scarring my husband for life. For what I've seen my body go through, I think 27 weeks is PRETTY DAMN IMPRESSIVE.

Hold on, that rant caused me to run out of breath -- I get winded easily now. Think I might go have some pie.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

On the first day of Christmas...

Today marks the official start of the Christmas holiday in the Edelbrock household. This week, my family is in town to celebrate the Entwistle Christmas a week early. Then, next Wednesday, Ben and I will go down to Houston for an Edelbrock extravaganza. Two whole weeks of Christmas, it just makes me giddy with excitement -- Presents! Santa (for my niece Lily)! Family time!

And, even though both Ben and I are stretched thin with work, school, pregnancy, etc., we made it a point to get into the holiday spirit. We FINALLY finished decorating our Christmas tree, we've been listening to Christmas carols for a few weeks and we spent last weekend boosting the economy and shopping our happy little butts off for family gifts. In fact, Ben even found time to put up the Christmas lights on our house while I was squeezing in a little nap. Last, but not least, we ordered our Christmas cards, although it will seriously be a holiday miracle if we actually get them in the mail by December 25 (we probably should have gotten the "Happy Holidays" themed card instead...).

So, to everyone out there, I wish you the very best holiday season (a little early). Ho, Ho, Ho!Yep, we know our tree is tacky, and we really, really like it that way. Our (REAL) tree has a little lean to it, we have an odd assortment of non-matching ornaments that have special meaning to either Ben, I or both and the colored lights are those big, garish bulbs that can light up an entire room when they are on. All we are lacking is some tinsel (maybe by this evening I'll have added that to the tree) to have a true eyesore, but to Ben and I it feels homey, comfortable and truly joyous.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Week 26 -- The Doggie Edition

To make up for going an entire WEEK without a post, I've taken some week-appropriate photos. See the amazing expanding belly, step right up!

Me, in all my "haven't showered yet, but really need to take a photo" glory and my shadow Dexter. I swear, I go into the bathroom and Dexter has to follow me in to make sure, I dunno, I don't climb out a window to escape him? I just can't shake him, no matter what I do.

Jackson on the other hand, the dog I've had since college, who has been with me to three cities, nearly a dozen different houses/apartments, and who I truly believed was the only "man" who would never leave me (until I met Ben that is) has 100% abandoned me.

He wants nothing to do with me. He has replaced me as his #1 human, now totally in love with my husband. Seriously, he makes googly eyes at Ben now. They have a napping bond that can not be broken.

Sure, it hurts a little to have lost my Jack to Ben, but I guess I can imagine I am giving off weird hormone-y smells and the second heartbeat coming from my body may freak him out a bit. I'm changing, and apparently, Jack doesn't like change. A friend of mine had the same experience with her long-time dog when she became pregnant -- her dog became a faithful follower of her husband, and avoided the nursery at all costs. When they first brought the baby home, this same dog urinated on the floor and went outside to sulk. My feeling is that when you've had a dog that has ruled the roost for some time, no outsider is going to get a warm welcome.

Plus, I've got Dexter (aka bad dog) to keep me company for now. Sure, he is a pain, but he loves me and I'll take every bit of cuddling I can get. Plus its really cute when he lays his head on my belly bump. Here is one last picture from Week 26 (post-shower), and while it may seem my shadow has left me, you can actually see his tail in the lower left corner. He is never far away...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Photos galore

So I haven't been very good about taking photos of myself throughout the pregnancy -- which my Mom reminded me of this morning. Usually its because I've thought about doing it right before bed I climb in bed and I've already gotten "ugly" for the night, or while I'm in the car or at work or just one of those times that make it near impossible to get a photo. I know some people who take photos week by week to measure their growing girth, which I'm sure is magical to look back on "look how FAT I got in week 23 honey!!" so I'm going to make a promise here and now that I will TRY HARDER to get and post photos for the last third of my pregnancy.

As a stand-in for now, please see some of our fun family photos from Thanksgiving.
Getting ready to watch OU play OSU (as in Oklahoma, not Ohio). Luckily, Ben and I are impartial so we just got to eat good food without the stress of the game.
A little after Thanksgiving dinner at one of my favorite Tulsa restaurants, Bodean's. Apparently it is a hot spot because not only did we run into some family friends, but also my cousins!
Being silly at home -- they never did get to feel Baby E move... apparently, she feels it is rude to kick anyone other than me.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Week 25

Apparently, my "What to Expect When Expecting" book and TheBump.com are NOT on the same page when it comes to my pregnancy. Because The Bump says I'm just now starting my sixth month, and WTEWE seems to think I'm halfway through my sixth month. And I feel like I'm in my eighth month, so something seems to be off.

And, maybe I'm just knit picking here, but if you are a pregnancy Web site or the Encyclopedia of pregnancy, don't you think you should maybe GET ON THE SAME PAGE? I'm no scientist or mathematician, and frankly without a calculator I can't do long division, but I CAN estimate that if I'm 25 weeks along, and there are approximately four weeks in a month, I'm 6 months and one week along. Which makes BOTH MY PREGNANCY RESOURCES WRONG by at least a week.

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!! (typed while stamping my foot in true tantrum style)

I know -- not a big deal, calm down Liz, have a slice of pie and chill. But when each and every week is one step closer to having a baby, and each month milestone feels like you've done something amazing like climbed Everest or run a marathon, having confusion about where you stand is irksome.

So this week, Baby E is (according to TheBump.com) the size of an eggplant. But, that could be a dirty lie, so just imagine a cute little baby, smaller than a watermelon and larger than a cantaloupe.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree...

Typically, I'm a sucker for the holidays. It starts in October when the air turns all crisp and Fall-y smelling, signaling three months of un-paralleled fun that includes my birthday, our wedding anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas parties (and more Christmas parties) and then of course, the piece de resistance.... New Years.

This year has been a slightly different experience. And while people keep telling me that I'm lucky to be pregnant in the winter instead of in the heat of the Texas summer, I'm thinking the next time I climb on the pregnancy pony, I'm going to time it so that I am 100% NOT pregnant during the months of October through December (yes, despite all my crabbiness and whining on this blog, I DO plan on Baby E having a sibling... someday... sigh).

Because, after this weekend, I've learned a few valuable lessons.
  1. Decorating a Christmas tree is less fun when you fall over every time to you try to reach the bottom half of the tree.
  2. All holiday parties are less fun when drinking cranberry juice or spritzer.
  3. Drunk people WILL touch your baby belly more than if they were sober. A lot. And sometimes they will talk to your belly, which is uncomfortable when they can't stand up straight and keeping bumping their noses into your belly button.
  4. Dressing up for parties is less fun when you only have a few clothes that fit because chances are you are wearing the same thing for the NINE HUNDRETH time.
  5. People will say "You don't even look pregnant!" which is code for "Oh, I thought you were just fat," especially since I am compelled by cravings and hormones to set up shop at the buffet table.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still loving the holidays. It is just a completely different beast this year, and with less energy and more... heft... to get around, it feels like all the things that need to get done take more time than ever before. And, with poor Ben in the middle of finals, my natural instinct for putting everything on him so I'm stress free isn't going to fly.

Last night, Ben and I got our tree from Home Depot, and instead of rushing home to put on Christmas music and decorate like we normally do, we got the tree in some water and then spent a few hours on the couch. Eventually we (Ben) put the lights on it and we both called it a productive day. Hopefully, we can get the tree finished by the end of the week (I don't even HAVE high expectations for myself anymore) so I can post a pic of the tacky beauty it will become.

Shameless product promotion

I'm in PR, so I know a shameless product blog when I see one... and this is about to be an extremely shameless plug. For the product that CHANGED MY LIFE.

Ben finally got tired of my whining about how uncomfortable I am at night after my last post, and went on a mission to find a pillow that could work wonders. And what he found made me weep with joy after the first use.

Introducing... the Snoogle. Now, while it may appear to be some sort of odd torture device or maybe an ugly Christmas stocking hanger, the snoogle is actually a pillow for pregnant folk. Or, now that I've discovered it, a pillow I will use for the rest of my life. You kind of just snuggle into it and loop it around your body. I can't quite explain the feeling, but its like being hugged by an angel all night long.

Seriously. An angel.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sleep, where are you??

I haven't been sleeping well lately. I wake up constantly to turn over or readjust the 3-5 pillows I'm using at any one time to TRY to find a comfortable position.

News Flash: There IS no comfortable position when you are 24 weeks pregnant. And this morning, as I tossed and turned I came up with a new realization... its only going to get worse from here (aren't I a ray of sunshine when I've been up all night?)

At my appointment yesterday, it was pretty routine -- Baby E's heartbeat is strong and healthy. I'm doing fine except that I've gained too much weight (darn you Thanksgiving seconds!! Darn you!) and am on track to gain the total weight of a toddler or a very small person during my pregnancy if I don't get it under control. I also had to drink a very sugary drink and they took MORE of my blood to test for gestational diabetes, so I should find out in the next day or so if there are any issues there. All seems to be a-ok which makes me really happy and sort of nervous.

Because I've had a pretty painless (comparatively) pregnancy. So does that mean I'm really going to "get it" when I deliver? Seems only fair, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed for better luck. I was reading a book this morning with essays from various women talking about their transition to motherhood. In TWO of the essays, both women (in great detail) shared their gruesome birth stories, which included lots of ripping/tearing, bleeding, delivering AFTER the epidural had worn off, etc.

Seriously, THIS is supposed to inspire me about my near transition into motherhood? Maybe I should have waited to read this until AFTER my own personal delivery experience so I wasn't so out of my mind terrified at this very moment. With very limited experience of friends/family with little ones, the birth stories I have heard up until now sounded like a day at the spa in comparison with what these few women had to say about the "miracle" of birth. I knew it wouldn't be a picnic, but always felt that with modern medicine... and drugs... it would end up being fairly... um... well... easy? (Snickering can be heard from all the Moms who are reading this right now I'm sure).

It's true. I had completely deluded myself into thinking that the whole birthing process would be a smooth and painless process. In fact, I've avoided reading any of the sections of my pregnancy books that deal with birth just so I could keep up my happy, go-lucky avoidance of the subject. But pretty sure the bigger she gets, the more she kicks, the more real this all becomes -- the more I realize that she has to COME OUT OF THERE at some point. And now I've been reminded that it is NOT going to be pretty.

Oi.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Caution: The nest has landed

So, I've heard all about this nesting thing that expecting women go through, and I'm pretty sure its starting to rear its ugly head at me. In fact, I am 100% positive that it is, because in my right mind, I would have never had the INSANE urge I had this morning to get down on the floor of my bathroom to sort out the junk under the sink. I literally had a 60 second internal debate about how much time it would take me to clean out all the old medicine in cabinet and organize my hair appliances so that we had more space. And then, as I'm promising myself I can do it TONIGHT but not right NOW, I was thinking ahead to how the next thing that MUST be cleaned out is the office closet, and how I probably should take a trip to the Container Store to see what kind of organizational products they have because I just can't live with the way our closets are jammed together now. And have you seen our refrigerator lately? There really is no organization to the way our food is arranged, and it would be so much easier to find things if we did it alphabetically...

Whoa. There I go again.

Nesting is definitely rearing its ugly head. And the worst part is that these nasty nesting urges have NOTHING to do with the space the baby is going to occupy. The nursery closet is filled with stuff, but nope, I have no urge to go through that just yet. But our bookshelves are filled with paperbacks that we should probably get rid of, and our coat closet doesn't have any COATS in it, so may want to rethink that situation...

I want to smack myself. I even started looking at real estate online this morning, thinking how much easier it would be to get organized if we moved because then I'd HAVE to go through everything and toss a bunch of junk. Yep, pure genius. To make birthing a baby less stressful, why don't you go through the stress of BUYING AND SELLING A HOME when NO ONE IS BUYING OR SELLING HOMES!? I'm clearly not fit to make any decisions right now, and yet my employer still lets me talk to clients on a regular basis, and my husband still lets me out socially in public. Foolish, foolish people.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Thanksgiving Edition

In honor the Thanksgiving holiday, I've come up with the top 10 things I'm most thankful for this year. I know, the post seems obligatory and a little trite, but since this year is truly a year that I've got so many things to be grateful for, I can't help it.

Top 10 Things I'm Thankful For
  1. Pie. I'm not going to lie, I know it's sad that pie is taking spot #1, but I can't tell you the joy that a nice slice of pie has brought into my life. When people ask me what I've been craving, I can finally tell them that without a doubt, I crave pie. During my pregnancy but NOT INCLUDING THIS WEEK, I've gone through a French Silk pie, a Pumpkin Pie and a slice of Pecan pie. During the week of Thanksgiving, I obviously ate my fair share of pie, again, Pumpkin, Pecan and just to mix it up a little bit, Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake pie.

  2. My parents. I can't help it -- Greg and Connie (aka Mom and Dad) give me the warm and fuzzies all over. It was so great to spend a few days at home with them. They are so excited for Ben and I, and just head over heels for little Baby E already, that I can't help but feel I won the lottery in terms of parents.

  3. Our financial stability. When the whole world seems to be falling apart, and good people I know are being laid off, I'm so thankful that both Ben and I are employed with a good nest egg just in case. What a blessing to feel safe and secure in our home and our lives at this time.

  4. Elastic waisted pants. Do I need to explain this one? I ate more than anyone else at Thanksgiving dinner and I never felt the need to unbutton my pants -- not ONCE. New Liz record.

  5. My husband. Who just keeps getting better. And despite the fact that I yelled at him last night for putting the butter in the refrigerator with the lid off, he knows its just my hormones talking and STILL loves me. Whew.

  6. Pottery Barn Baby. I've always been one of those people that browse at Pottery Barn, but don't buy... things just always seem a tad bit too expensive for me there. But ah jeez... Pottery Barn Baby has the cutest wittle things that Baby E just HAS to HAVE, like that bird night light, the owl stuffed animals and the little pillow that will go so sweetly in our rocker. What, you need all my life savings AND my first born for this purchase? Why, of course Pottery Barn Baby... please, take everything I own just give me those adorable sheets and we'll call it square.

  7. Friends and family. I'll just keep saying it, but I'm so lucky to have such a great extended family and such wonderful friends.

  8. Jackson and Bad Dog for Sale. I love 'em. Both of them -- every single dirty, furry, cuddly, belly-rubbing minute I spend with them, I'm thankful for their devotion and companionship.

  9. Work holidays. What can I say but thank God for time off from work. You may be stressed, tired, angry or apathetic, but when you have a few days off from work, it is much easier to come back to the grind with a new perspective.

  10. Baby E (of course!). She keeps getting more and more active and I love to watch my tummy jump with every kick, twitch and roll. This is truly what I am MOST thankful for this holiday season.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Week 23

This week (and last week) Baby E was about the size of a Papaya. Which means nothing to me, but if you are a big exotic fruit fan, I'm sure this is very impressive. What is impressive to me is how crazy it is to not only FEEL her move around in there, but also actually see my stomach jump with every little kick, punch, spin and summersault. I'm pretty sure she is practicing Tae Bo in there (I know, that reference is like, SO five years ago, but yoga or pilates just doesn't fit with what I'm feeling so go with it.)

I was talking to a co-worker yesterday and she didn't want to offend me, but mentioned that the whole idea of something growing inside her and moving around totally creeps her out.

No shit it's creepy. I mean yes, miracle of life and all that, but when you lose all control of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, and your body starts to feel like it is housing a troupe of acrobats, it feels just a little unsettling. Don't get me wrong, I love the little squirt and every movement she makes gives me that warm, happy feeling, but when you get right down to it, being pregnant is an odd experience.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mommy needs a cocktail

So, abstaining from drinking while preggers hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be. And, kind of like enduring anything that you absolutely hate, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and for me, BIRTH was that light. Nine months? No sweat. I'm on it.

But then, there is the whole breast feeding thing, which I know I really want to do -- for all the reasons I should (good for baby, bonding experience, blah, blah, blah) but also (excuse me for being selfish) because how else can you burn a crap-load of calories while sitting still (not counting diet pills or lipo). Thousands of calories a day? Sign me up!

So I figured we'd add a few more months to my sentence and then I'd be scott-free to imbibe (responsibly of course -- sheesh guys, I'm not a lush here -- talking about a glass of wine with dinner). But, while reading my newest book (Baby 411) I learned that some group of doctors or something recommend breast feeding for a WHOLE DAMN YEAR.

Hell.

I've had people tell me I can "pump and dump" but that just seems a little wasteful. And how do you know that all that yummy wine is out of it, that you've dumped enough? Well, ladies and gentleman (or, okay... ladies and Ben) I give you the Breast Milk Alcohol Test, an invention you KNOW came from some really smart scientist LADY. Who was NO WAY skipping happy hour again. Basically, because we all metabolize alcohol differently, this test strip will tell you how much (if any) alcohol is left in your breast milk, so you never have to worry about harming baby.

Genius!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

He shouldn't have told me...

One pregnancy related issue I'm terrified of is stretch marks. I've heard horror stories about women who have huge red bands on their skin after giving birth, never to return to normal. Forget about bikinis (please GOD let me not have worn my last bikini), these folks are one-piecers for the rest of their lives. And I'm not ready to throw in the beach towel just yet.

So one of the things that I've begged for from Ben is a good belly rub every night, with a "lotion" that has a consistency of hard wax and leaves a really nice body imprint on the sheets. If you've ever seen "Coming to America" and remember the part where several family members get up off a couch and leave an imprint of their hair from the Soul Glo they use? THAT is what my belly is doing to our bed. Its YUMMY.

So anyways, I'm feeling all good about myself, about how I'm taking care of my skin and NOT going to get any of those pesky stretch marks, when Ben remarks casually one night, "You know, its not your stomach that is getting stretch marks, its your back."

Excuse me, my WHAT?? I nearly killed myself making a run for our mirror and spent a good five minutes trying to get a look at these "stretch marks" he was speaking of. I just ended up turning in circles looking over my shoulder like a dog chasing his tail (I am pretty sure I was whimpering too) but never got a good look. And while this is going on, Ben is just sighing and repeating, "I shouldn't have told you."

No shit Sherlock. That's like saying "Yes, those pants make you look fat," and then being SHOCKED that your lady has lost her marbles and is curled in the fetal position on the floor.

So now, every time I get my rub down I keep saying... "Did you get my back? Did you get the stretch marks?" And Ben keeps sighing like the poor, devoted and slightly beat down husband he is and saying "I shouldn't have told you."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two years of AWESOME

Today is our two-year wedding anniversary (Ben did great -- gorgeous flowers delivered to my office and all) and while it feels like we've been together FOR-EV-ER, its also shocking how quickly the time has come and gone. I think part of the reason life seems to fly by is that we have a tendency to live in a constant state of change and flux. In two years, we've been married, purchased our first house and moved, I've changed jobs, Ben started his MBA program and we got pregnant. And, because Ben travels on week nights and is in class every other weekend, we only see each other probably half of the days of the year! Sometimes I look back and can't believe another week or month has gone by, but I can mark time by the fun we have together, from spending an afternoon in the hammock, to drinking too much while sitting poolside (pre-pregnancy of course) to our great tiling adventure in the guest bathroom.

And we have so much to look forward to. With the new baby on the way, I don't imagine life will slow down in any way, shape or form. We'll just keep flying by the seat of our pants as we navigate life together -- and luckily -- I think that is the way we both like it.

Last night as we sat on the couch watching TV, we were reminded just how real this whole Baby E thing is. I've been feeling her move for some time now and Ben can feel her slightly if he is very patient. But she hasn't been big enough, or powerful enough, for us to SEE her move. And last night, we got our first visual sign that there is SOMETHING IN THERE!! We realized that if we poked at her (yes, we are mean, mean parents, poking the baby) I could feel her shift around and last night we could see the movement!! My belly button (which is nearly flat at this point) would do the wave as she moved around -- it was weird, and amazing and a little like a stupid human trick to see my skin moving on its own. But WOW. I mean...

WOW.
It was very, very cool. And she just keeps getting bigger, and stronger, and a little more like the young lady we will meet in just a few short months.

I keep thinking today about how fantastic these last two years with Ben have been. Sure, there has been times of trial, and stress and worry, but I've been happy, and lucky and in love. But I just can't imagine how amazing the next few years will be as Ben and I start growing our little family. We've had two years of AWESOME, and I feel blessed we have many, many more in store for us.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bad dog for sale

I'm a worrier. I think I've mentioned that previously, and for those of you that know me really well this comes as no surprise, but if there is something that could potentially POSSIBLY happen in the near future, there is a good chance I've already imagined it, stressed about it, and have an emergency plan just in case it all goes down. This is just a little bit of what my husband calls my crazy. And this isn't my "it's my hormones" crazy -- this is flat out, born with it, not going to go away unless we invest in a really good shrink, crazy.

I'm okay with it by the way. Makes me feel prepared, like an uber Boy Scout or something. But in times of high stress or high emotion, I worry more, but about the most inane things imaginable. Such as; Did I lock all the doors? Did I unplug my hair dryer? Did the garage door close ALL THE WAY? Because if not, we could be robbed, our house could burn down and someone could steal Ben's golf clubs and our nail gun!! In fact, in these times of stress, I actually will be driving down the street to go to work and start to worry that all the things have NOT been taken care of, so I have to turn around and drive back to ensure house and home are a-ok. See? Little bits of crazy.

But then, there are the things I don't stress about that actually HAPPEN and make me CERTAIN that if I don't worry about things than BY GOD they are a near certainty and we should all just get in the emergency fetal position RIGHT NOW.

And this weekend, Dexter (aka bad dog for sale) proved my insane theory right. There are things I do to ensure the dogs are safe when we leave. For example, all doors to the "off limits" parts of the house must be closed (and checked -- repeatedly) before I leave the house. All shoes must be off the floor, all food/edible items must be off the low tables, and the door to the pantry must be closed tight. They must have a full bowl of water and the doggie door must be open. In fact, I even ALWAYS remove the iron from the ironing board after Ben's dragged it out, because I'm afraid they will be playing, run into the table, knock the iron off the table onto their fragile little heads (I know. Crazy). I spend probably 3/4 of my mornings making sure they are all set before walking out the door. Baby proof? Shoot, our house is PUPPY PROOF.

Or so I thought.

Because the one thing I hadn't thought to do is make sure all the chairs around the kitchen table were pushed in. And I left a bag of chocolate goodies on said table. FOOLISH ME. In the time it took us to go to church and the store, Dexter had climbed on the table and dragged a treasure trove of chocolate into the backyard. And eaten it. ALL. In total, there were 15 or so Hershey Kisses (and their wrappers) missing, a half a giant dark chocolate bar, and a package of sugarless gum. When I came home and saw the damage. I lost it.

LOST. IT.

We spent the better part of two hours forcing our dogs to swallow hydrogen peroxide to make them throw up. It was horrible. Jackson just kept looking at me with his sweet, loving, sad eyes like, "Why are you doing this to me?" while Dexter just fought tooth and nail to keep anything from going down his throat. Turns out, Jackson is still a saint, and had not eaten ANY of the goodies Dexter bagged and Devil Dog (aka Dexter, aka Bad dog for sale) threw up all kinds of goodies, like foil wrappers, chunks of gum and other treasures.

So now, to add to my morning routine, I have to push in all the kitchen table chairs and imagine what other heinous crimes my dog will think up to try to thwart those as well. My mother-in-law was in town for all the excitement this weekend, and advised me that kids will get into the same kind of situation (eating things they shouldn't, playing with things they shouldn't, etc.) and it was nice to know at least I'm getting SOME practice for being a parent. I just hope our little girl isn't quite the determined evil genius that this dog is.

Friday, November 14, 2008

We have a winner!

My Aunt Marie is the official winner of the BlaBla Big Bird Mobile hunt! She found it online when no one else could... I now dub her "The Queen of the Internet." Sadly, when we found it for sale online, we also found out how much it costs... so for all those BARGAIN HUNTERS out there, if you can find it for SALE (hehe) you will get the great, warm fuzzy feeling that comes with helping me be a cheap skate.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Week 21

I'm officially one week into the second half of my pregnancy, and this week Baby E is the size of a banana. Which I find really confusing, considering the fact that last week I was carrying around a baby the size of a melon and now all I have is a wimpy banana? Maybe when my book says she is the size of a "large banana" they mean a "giant, space-alien/growth hormone banana" because THAT would make more sense to me.

So this week, Baby E is apparently starting to swallow amniotic fluid and can actually taste what I'm eating. Studies show that babies are more interested in trying foods that they recognize from the womb, so if this week is any indication, my daughter will crave cheese fondue, mini-bagel pizza, pears, Mandarin oranges and any of the ingredients in the chicken noodle casserole my husband made on Sunday that I'm STILL eating for dinner every night (he doubled the recipe and then went out of town to eat on the company card. Punk.) You'll notice a lack of veggies and protein in that line-up, which guilted me into having a salad with grilled chicken today for lunch, something I loathed the entire time I was eating.

However, something in my eating habits and cravings needs to change and FAST. Because at my doctor appointment last week, she made sure to point out that not only is baby size hereditary (no babies in my family or my husband's family under 8 pounds, I kid you not) but also a direct correlation to how much weight I gain, which means that I'm headed towards having a 15 pounds baby if I'm not careful. And for you newbies to the baby world, that is FREAKING HUGE.

My parents are currently on a health kick and Mom keeps sending me great tips about healthy recipes and eating less carbs (and cheese) but if Ben put a grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies on a plate in front of me, I'd excuse myself to the restroom and hop out a window to make an emergency McDonald's run, I kid you not. It isn't me, its the hormones, and while I like to think I'm strong willed... the hormones are stronger.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baby E is a GIRL!

We found out on Friday that Baby E is a girl -- and couldn't be more excited! I had to go to blog radio silence these last few days mainly because I wanted to surprise a few folks and found that I couldn't write a single sentence without gushing about "her" or "she" or any other female descriptor that would give my secret away. This is the ultrasound photo that mystically told our technician that we were having a girl. She even labeled it for us, although that doesn't really help me, and if you asked I couldn't tell if it was a boy, girl or monkey. They also changed my due date to approximately March 22, although according to them it could be "any time between the 22 or 25" or, hey, I mean, a few weeks before or after that, right? Sooooo, basically they've told me I'm having a baby in late March or early April. Whew, glad we figured that out.
All in all, the doctor appointment went great and it was so much fun to see Baby E. I had been advised to have some caffeine before I went in -- people said it would be the best way to see her move -- but I must have overdone it a bit because she was having a major dance party down there and we got crap photos because she wouldn't hold still. It was amazing to see her though. Also, it was great because my Mom came to the appointment with me so we got to share a pretty freaking special moment.

Anyways, as soon as Mom and I found out it was a girl, we knew what we had to do and booked it out of there. And we shopped. It was what we were born to do.

And OMG it is so much fun to shop for a little girl. The first thing I did was go out and purchase the bedding I've had my eye on. I just fell in love with this pattern and I knew, deep in my heart of hearts, that Baby E wouldn't sleep or thrive in a room decorated with any other bedding. Thank goodness I got the LAST SET. I may have had a full-on brain meltdown right there in the store if they had been out of stock. Not that I'm going to be crazy about my little girl or anything. NOOOOOOOOOOO. Just that, you know. Baby E needs to sleep and thrive and stuff, right?

Here is a picture of the big-girl bed set up (same quilt/sheets/pattern) but a better photo than what they have online for the crib set. Pretty darn cute -- right? So here is the skinny -- there isn't a mobile that goes with this bedding, so if you are Web surfing out there with little to do, we (and by we, I mean me, b/c seriously? Ben doesn't really have the passion for this bedding that I do) are seeking a kick-ass mobile with either birds, owls or trees (or other outdoor creatures) in this color palatte. Person who finds the winning mobile gets my eternal love and gratitude, and if the stock market picks up, a $10 finders fee (OOOOOO!) Special marks to the person who can find the "Blabla big birds" mobile on sale somewhere.

Kisses!



Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Hitting the Halfway Point: Week 20

The big week is finally here, and by big I mean OH MY GOD the baby is the size of a cantelope... which is a melon... which is in the watermelon family... which means I have a HUGE MELON in my body.

This also marks the halfway point in my pregnancy. Amazing that it has flown by so quickly. Only a few short days (TWO after today to be exact!) until the mysterious baby E makes his (or her) next appearance. Get excited for that beautiful ultrasound photo.

What else is going on with Baby E? According to The Bump: Baby's digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth.

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM. Hope Ben is around to change that one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Why Ben and I will be great parents

Or wait, maybe the title of this post should be "Why Ben and I should NOT be parents yet" -- because while funny, what does it say of our maturity that we took these photos of Dex enjoying a nice cold one this weekend?
But seriously. If you had this dog that had a tendency to sit on the sofa like Al Bundy from Married with Children, what would you do? I like to think that the urge to stick a beer under his paw and take photos while laughing hysterically is a totally normal, adult reaction.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Baby's First Friend

Recently, my parents went to New York City for a business/vacation trip. But imagine my suprise on my birthday when we received a package at our door from FAO Schwartz for BABY Edelbrock (not Mommy Edelbrock? Kid is ALREADY stealing my thunder!!)

After a call to the Entwistle household I learned that it was a main priority on the trip for my Dad to make it to FAO to get a gift for the baby... because that is the kind of Dad he is -- you know, the awesome kind? When at the toy store, they chose a giant stuffed Panda because earlier this year, Ben and I got to have the experience of a lifetime and travel to China for two weeks. Where, might I add, I got to see REAL LIVE PANDAS and they were breathtaking... stunning... adorable. So not only is this bundle of cuddly softness too cute for words, it is a great, meaningful gift for our kiddo. (Real LIVE Panda, photo courtesy of Liz Svadlenak).
When we were in China, Ben was traveling with his MBA program a lot, and I was with my travel companion (another Liz) who is married to his co-worker and classmate Jeff. When the four of us first arrived in Beijing, Jeff and Liz had a small stuffed panda in their room which they immediatly adopted as their travel mascot and named Gao Gao (or "Big, Big"). I don't think I can get into the whole Gao Gao saga, but lets say that his hijinx included a trip to the Great Wall, an outing to see the real pandas, and then some tears, a little hysteria and then a lot of wine and some snacks. Here is Gao Gao celebrating a victorious day in Beijing.(photo courtesy of Liz Svadlenak -- again)
So, in honor of Gao Gao, of the real pandas that we were lucky enough to see and in an effort to make some of you that I KNOW read this blog actually use the comments section, I'd like to open the floor for voting on Baby E's first friend's name. These names below are suggestions based on the Giant Pandas at the San Diego Zoo, but feel free to offer your own suggestions. Please vote on one of the following options by leaving your selection in the comments section.

Zhen Zhen -- means "Precious"
Shi Shi -- means "Rock"
Bai Yun -- means "White Cloud"
Su Lin -- means "A little bit of something very cute"
Hua Mei -- means "China/USA"
Mei Sheng -- means "Born in the USA" or "Beautiful Life"

And now, just because I'm on a roll about how much I LOVE these creatures, click here to watch the San Diego Zoo's Panda Cam (super cute).

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Warning: I'm pregnant and listening to Norah Jones... this post is bound to get sentimental.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a fantastic day. I took the day off from work and only had to spend ONE hour on a client call, which is pretty good considering the track record of my "days off." Then Ben sent me on a spa day, a treat that happens every year on my birthday and for which I become more grateful for each year as it feels I have less and less time for myself. For two hours, I was massaged and rubbed and relaxed and painted and buffed and paraffined, and I left feeling like a million bucks. And to top off the day, Ben came back from out of town (it really is exciting when I get to see him after he has been gone a few days, as silly as that sounds) and after dinner we shared a few Sprinkles cupcakes that he bought as a surprise. I went to sleep feeling extremely loved from all the gifts and well-wishes that my parents, husband and new family sent -- a feeling that I don't think will ever get old.

When I was little, I used to hate going to sleep overs because I worried about my parents. I'd get anxiety in the middle of the night and would need to see them RIGHT AWAY... and looking back I attribute this to the fact that I was an only child. A VERY loved only child. My family was my whole world, and I always knew that if something happened to my parents, my whole world would go away. And while I still feel the same (maybe more) love for my parents, I also feel an intense comfort and gratitude in the family I've adopted through my marriage. While I feel this way all the time, special days (like birthdays) remind me just how lucky I am to have parents who love me as much as they do, a husband who loves me as much as he does, and an extended family who has accepted me with such open arms and open hearts.

I can't wait to bring Baby E into this family.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Welcome to the Crazy Train

One of my favorite blogs for daily reading since I became a mommy-to-be is by a woman going through her second pregnancy. I liked this blog for a few reason, including the fact that she seemed smart, sassy and posts pictures of her really adorable son. But the main reason I enjoy reading it is that she seems a nice, normal person who every so often is THIS CLOSE to LOSING HER SHIT, and you just know that she has no control over it. Maybe its cliche to blame it on the hormones, but by reading her blog you know that it IS her hormones making her crazy, and dang it if I don't LOVE to see another person's hormone-induced crazy sneak out and bitch slap the nearest person.

Why? Because it makes me feel better for being a little crazy myself. I was watching "Where the Heart Is" yesterday during my lunch break, and I cried THREE SEPARATE TIMES in a 45 minute window. Hell, I cried the last time I watched "School of Rock" because dang it if I didn't feel a strong surge of emotion at the end during the battle of the bands scene... I was just so proud of those little elementary school rockers, especially the nerdy Asian kid who rocked the wicked mohawk.

But the crazy isn't limited to crying by myself while watching TV. I find myself being shorter with co-workers (What?? You couldn't read my mind that I wanted this YESTERDAY??), less interested in seeing anyone socially (If I can't wear my PJs and have to wash my hair, I think I'll skip it, thank you), and worst of all, scaring myself and my husband with odd moments of what I think we can classify as hysteria.

The first time this pregnancy-driven hysteria happened was towards the very beginning of my pregnancy. We'd recently found out about the baby and while we were extremely excited, we were also just getting used to this whole situation. I was sick as a dog with heart burn, nausea and bloating and felt like an alien was taking over my body (Which movie is it where the alien jumps out of some guy's stomach and starts singing "hello my baby?" Yeah, it felt like that.)

So one night, Ben and I are getting ready for bed, and...well, there is no nice way to put it. I farted. I did. I was gassy and bloated and everyone does it but even more so ALL THE BOOKS SAY IT HAPPENS TO PREGNANT WOMEN MORE so if you are acting all grossed out now, get over yourself.

But poor Ben, he hadn't quite acquired the nonchalance needed for having a pregnant wife yet, so he makes a few gagging noises and a few jokes about it and I laugh good naturedly and that should have been the end of it. But instead I laughed good naturedly for a second, and then laughed a little louder. Then, I started laughing hysterically in the "I can't breathe I'm laughing so hard" sort of way and then all of a sudden I have tears running down my face and I'm no longer laughing, but literally sobbing. SOBBING. And. I. Can't. Stop. And every once in awhile, I start to get a hold of myself and I start LAUGHING again which then descends back into sobbing. And Ben is just looking at me, trying to soothe me but feeling WAAAAAY out of his element. This goes on for a good 15 minutes (in which I'm alternating between cackling like an escapee from a looney bin and bawling like a baby) until he finally says, in the most loving and Ben-like way possible, "Honey, you are scaring me."

Frightening my significant other was never in the plan, so I excused myself to the bathroom where I turned on the faucet so he couldn't hear me and started mentally instructing myself to GET A FREAKING GRIP! I was able to calm down fairly quickly then, but I'm pretty sure I scarred Ben for life. The same laugh/cry crazy started to happen one more time a few months later in the pregnancy but I recognized it for what it was heading towards and put the kibosh on it before I could scare Ben again. If you do however happen to walk into a room where I'm laughing and crying... back out slowly and pretend you never saw me... I'm just showing my crazy.

And, since I don't have any pretty pictures for this post I did a little research and found (for your viewing pleasure) the alien scene from Spaceballs.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week 19

This week, Baby E is the size of a mango, and nearly 8.5 ounces. What a porker. He (or she) is currently being covered in something that one of Ben's books calls "a white cheesy substance". Yes, that is the technical term Ben's book gave it, but then this is the same book that taught Ben what to do should he be confronted by a BEAR while carrying our NEWBORN and how to make a diaper out of a gym sock and masking tape. You know, those skills that every Dad MUST have.

Anyhoo, the cheesy coating protects E's skin from amniotic fluid. Also, the baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch. But, probably the most exciting thing about week 19 is that its only ONE WEEK until we find out if E is a boy or a girl!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jelly Belly

As promised, here is the next round of photos documenting "the great growing belly." I actually promised beer belly photos in week 16, but I'm lazy and therefore you are instead getting an eyeful of my "Whoa -- where the heck did that come from??" genuine baby bump belly from week 18. And as an added benefit you get Dexter, our six month old mutt who isn't quite sure why he is posing for a picture, but is pretty damn sure he looks cuter than the tubby woman who puts food in his bowl every day.

Here he is again, looking at me and thinking "Lay off the Kibble lady..."
Actually, I've decided it is kind of fun to have enough of a belly to feel a little pregnant -- makes it more real and makes my complaints seem more valid, i.e. My back hurts (see my huge belly I'm carrying around?? There is a reason my back hurts) Wicked heartburn? Yep, its all because of THIS (gesture to expanding waistline).

I am still sort of sensitive about it though. Take last night for example. I ran into an old co-worker from a past job, someone I hadn't seen for nearly two years. We were in an ice cream shop (stereotypical, I know. Prego lady craves ice cream) and he was there with his young son. As soon as my co-worker saw me, he jumped up and gave me a big hug and we starting catching up. But... what did he say for the first five minutes of our conversation? I have NO IDEA because all I could think about was how to bring up that I was pregnant because I didn't want him going back to work on Wednesday and telling all our co-workers that I had "let myself go... gained a lot of weight... had acne like a pre-teen..." THE HORROR!!

So finally, a break in the conversation and he asked me how I was. And, with none of the grace of a true PR professional (or just the grace of a NORMAL PERSON), I screeched "I'm having ONE OF THOSE!!!" (gesturing wildly at his son who now has ice cream from the tip of his nose all the way down his neck) I felt like I had no control over myself. It wasn't normal. I didn't say, "Oh, I'm great. Work is good, actually -- fun news, we are having a baby" like I'd practiced in my head. Nope, I pointed out the man's son like he was a pastry in a delicatessen, "Yes, and I'd like one of THOSE for dessert please" as I smacked my lips and basically mumbled "MMMMMM, baby" like some crazy lady.

Yikes. Social grace is apparently one of the things to go when you get pregnant.
Luckily the man's son interrupted soon after and I got to escape back outside to where Ben was waiting with the dogs, where I literally head slapped myself and promised that when we got home I would spend the evening practicing my announcement techniques until I got it right, or at least until I didn't find it embarrassing to be around myself in public anymore.

MMMMMMMM, Baby.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Week 18

Yesterday was the start of week 18, or for all of you who don't measure time passing in days or weeks (like Ben and I now do) it was the start of my FIFTH month! That means (drumroll please) only FIVE more months to go!! I can't believe how quickly this is all happening, yet at the same time it is taking FOREVER for certain milestones, like finding out if our Edelbrock is a boy or a girl (for those of you counting, I only have 3 weeks until I find out on Nov. 7)

So this week, Baby Edelbrock is the size of a sweet potato. Not exactly the cutest of images (all wrinkly with those weird potato spots all over it) so imagine baby Edelbrock WAAAAY cuter.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Hard Days Night

Since I've been pregnant, I've found that my world revolves around two things: food and sleep. Which leaves little time for much else. That said, once I get off work and get fed, guess what time it is? Time to sleep, which my husband should know at this point but sometimes forgets because he is gone all week and I take four hour naps on the weekend so I can stay awake and "hang" with him until at least midnight.

So last night I got an extra special treat and Ben took me to one of my favorite restaurants, Fireside Pies. Now, the food is good, but that isn't why I love it. I love it because it has this fantastic patio, which is all enclosed and private, with outdoor heaters and a fireplace and the entire outdoors smells like roasted garlic and OH MY LORD it is a little piece of my own personal heaven.

So we have a lovely dinner and I am full, and toasty and not just a little drunk with happiness when Ben announces that we are going home and putting the crib together. I gave him a look to warn him he was ruining my buzz but he seemed to ignore it. All the way home, I kept hoping for some extreme sense of laziness to hit him (trust me, it happens sometimes) but before I could have my pants unbottoned and shoes off after we stepped through the door, he was in the nursery. Which is RIGHT NEXT TO OUR BEDROOM. And we have VERY THIN WALLS which meant I knew I wasn't getting any sleep. So I humored him and sat on the floor with him in the nursery for a good 15 minutes. And by this point, the glow I had at dinner was a distant memory and after being told to "STOP SCREWING THE SCREW I JUST TOLD YOU TO SCREW" (I'll show you screw you buddy...) I told him I was going to bed and to BE QUIET or set up the crib later.

I mean, lets be fair -- the baby isn't going to be needing it for another FIVE months anyway, was it too much to ask that I get some peace and quiet at 10:00 at night? I'm making a baby here people, its not like it is an easy task like folding laundry or filing my nails (both of which I don't really do, but it looks easy). So I lay in bed and thought evil thoughts until the crib was assembled and then pretended to be asleep so I wouldn't voice those evil thoughts, because lets face it, he was actually doing something useful and I don't want to discourage useful when so many other times I'm begging and pleading for useful.

All that said, when I saw the crib this morning I was definitely glad I'd kept my mouth shut the night before because it looks great. See for yourself -- Tada!

Also, for my own personal enjoyment, please see the huge amount of TRASH we now have in our home from the packaging the crib and dresser came in -- Tada! This guarantees we can't even put furniture in the right place in the nursery until the next bulk trash day. Sigh.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We have a nursery! Almost.

Well, exciting news. Ben and I have always been overachievers, so now we've gone ahead and purchased our nursery furniture a full FIVE months early. But hey -- the crib we wanted was on sale, and anyone who knows me knows that I don't easily pass up that tempting word. And not only did we BUY it, but we already RECEIVED it, as in, it is sitting in our house right this very minute.

Which, would be great except for that we can't put it together because, ahem, the manufacturer is apparently a huge cluster f*ck who routinely forgets to put instructions in their boxes. Their boxes containing CRIBS, which BABIES SLEEP IN, so, yeah, I mean -- lets just throw that shit together, who needs instructions?

Ben was so frustrated he got online to find instructions, which only fueled his anger when he found OTHER frustrated parents-to-be online complaining about the manufacturer not remembering to put instructions in THEIR boxes either (head slap).

We've requested instructions and have been instructed that they may or may not be located in the box labeled "springs" instead of the box labeled "instructions and parts" so I'll post pictures of our beautiful crib tomorrow if the "springs" box pays off. In the meantime, see below these beautifully shot photos of the crib we hope to put together some day.

One Sheep, Two Sheep, Red Sheep, Blue Sheep

Its ironic, the one thing I think about doing all day long is sleep, and when it comes down to it at night, I just can't seem to do it. Going to sleep isn't the problem, its the waking up and then staying awake that gets me... every time. Generally, I wake up thinking about work (go AWAY work!! I've dealt with you for TEN HOURS today, can't I just have a few hours for me time??) and then can't get my mind to shut down long enough to go back to sleep.

It is always worse when Ben is traveling - because then I actually have the option of not staying in bed. Tonight I played Bejeweled on my phone for a few rounds and then decided to get up and grab my laptop. That is when I took this picture of Jackson at the foot of the bed giving me the "you have got to be shitting me" look when I turned on the light. Please notice his scruffy appearance - I spent the evening brushing him, but he only gave me access to the right side - his left side is still all scraggly making him appear to be half Yeti. And don't say anything about his weight -- we are sensitive about that.

I guess I've always had issues with hitting dreamland. I would like to categorize myself as fairly chill, but I had issues even as a child. I don't remember what age I was, but I have been stressing since I was at least in middle school, if not earlier. Back then, I remember it was about doing something wrong and being sent to the "Trojan Pride Room" aka nice word for detention. Which would make sense if I was the hellion child of the fourth grade, bringing smokes to school and flipping teachers the bird, but I was a fairly mild mannered kiddo. I think even back then, my brain just needed something to chew on regularly, especially when I really just wanted to go to sleep.

I met with a nice lady who tried to reason with me (silly lady) and eventually decided that since I was holding on to my fears of the Trojan Pride Room like a dog with a bone (sorry, but Jack is still giving me the EYE from the bottom of the bed) she would teach me some relaxation techniques to help me sleep. Not counting sheep (which for the record, visualizing sheep only wakes me up more b/c I have to concentrate on exactly what the sheep look like, the movement, how many, why one sheep may be smaller than the others, etc.) but what she called "organizing my closet." It is a simple exercise where you visualize a closet with lots of shelf space and hanging areas, and you slowly but surely think of everything on your mind, and put each item in its place in the closet. And when you are all done emptying your mind, you close the closet door and walk away. In theory, you should be asleep before you shut your closet door or soon after, but sometimes it takes me a few tries. Especially now that I'm older, and I still use the technique, I come up with things that I didn't even realize were on my mind, but once they are fully OUT THERE I have to mull all of those issues over before I put them on their shelf. Sometimes I end up more stressed than when I was having a hard time sleeping, but those times are few and far between.

So there is something that I learned in the fourth grade that I'm still using today. Although not tonight, because instead I chose to turn on the light and anger my happily sleeping dog. And, I did that because I'm a little afraid to think about what might be lurking in my mind that I need to organize in my closet. To date, I've spent my entire pregnancy just bouncing through life feeling thrilled with the knowledge that we are going to have a baby. A sweet, cuddly, loving and sometimes irrational baby. A really well-meaning and caring friend recently sent me a subscription to Parents magazine, and the first two issues I sat down with and devoured immediately. There were so many tips, so many products, so many warnings. And this magazine had it all, from pregnancy to school-aged children. And in the back of my mind, I think I'm starting to realize that I'm not having a baby - no, I'm having a baby, that will grow to a toddler, that will eventually go to grade school, that will soon be a teenager and HOLY SHIT WHAT DO I DO WITH A TEENAGER!?!?!?!?!?!?

I'm still thrilled that Ben and I are having a baby. He is going to be an amazing father, and I don't think I'll do too shabby of a job either. I can't believe how lucky I am that I have a life growing inside me. I'm just starting to realize the weight, not just the joy, that comes with this little package.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy News!

Happy news - blood tests are back and everything is looking good. This fairly routine test at 16 weeks looks for markers that would raise the risk for neural tube defects (such as Spina Bifida or a missing brain and skull). Additionally, they tested for levels of hCG and estriol, giving me my personalized risk factor for Down syndrome, which is low for my age range.

All in all, I have a less than 1 in 5,000 chance of having a baby with Down Sydrome, and a less than one in 3,300 chance of having a baby with Spina Bifida -- which are both really really good news. Yeah for a healthy baby Edelbrock!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sweet Mr. Edelbrock

Because I was trying to not publish about my little secret until I was "out" I didn't get to share any of the funny, shocking or sweet things that happened in my first trimester. We'll be revisiting some of those stories as we go, so try not to get too confused when all of a sudden you are reading a post and it happend THREE MONTHS AGO. Just go with it.
So this post is about my incredibly sweet Mr. Edelbrock. Who, poor thing, didn't get credit for his sweetness when it happend. First - he bought a book. And even better, he read the thing. Despite being busy with work, travel and school, he found time to read "The Expectant Father" (or at least skim it and let the rest happen by osmosis). Here he is mutli-tasking and making me proud:

The next very "good-husband" moment (there are tons, but just highlighting a few) was when I got a suprise delivery of roses to my office. They were bright pink and lovely - lasted for probably two weeks which is unheard of since anything I touch immediately dies (in the plant variety that is). So, I'm ooh-ing and aah-ing over how sweet Ben was to get me flowers, but when I talked to him I was floored.

Liz: Thanks for the flowers honey - they are beautiful!!
Ben: Did you notice? There are eight flowers, for eight more months until we get to meet our baby.
Liz: (Picking up jaw off floor) That is the sweetest thing I've ever heard... and of COURSE I realized that there were eight rosebuds... (er, had no idea, didn't count the roses or look for any kind of symbolism in the flowers. It was then I realized my husband was much deeper than I am, despite his love for Family Guy and burp/fart jokes).

As evidence, please see exhibit A: Eight beautiful flowers:

Week 17

We had our third appointment last Thursday with the doctor. Last time we went in, my doctor was delivering a baby, so I met with the other guy in the practice (who I actually liked a lot). So a few nights before the appointment, I had this weird dream that I would go in and they would introduce me to a third doctor who clearly just DID NOT KNOW JACK about having a baby.

I wasn't too far off. I just skipped seeing a doctor at all! Both doctors in the practice were doing a c-section, so I was there on my own. The nurse practictioner, who Ben and I both like a lot, told us that we didn't need to wait, this was just a routine "check my weight, my blood my pee" and go. So we ended up asking her a few questions and then scheduling our next appointment and heading out. Ben and I joke that we will want Mary (our nurse practitioner) in the delivery room because we know her best, and if she wants to bring along one of the docs - that would be okay too.

So no really big updates from the third appointment. My blood work is to determine if we have genetic markers for any of the scary diseases such as cystic fibrosis, and we should hear in a few days. The fun news is that in just a few short weeks - Ben and I will get to know if baby Edelbrock is a boy or a girl!! Now THAT is going to be a fun appointment.

Oh - this week baby Edelbrock is an onion. And is doing lots of cool stuff.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Photos of myself. Fun.

So I haven't posted any personal pictures on here yet because, well, I'm not really feeling "photogenic" at the moment. Sure, being pregnant is a beautiful thing, your body is great, blah blah, but instead of feeling like a bountiful, beautiful woman, I feel like a frat guy who spent one too many nights at a keg party and have a lovely beer belly to show for it. Plus, I'm too lazy to be one of those folks who takes a picture every week. I'm lucky that I'm 16 weeks in, and I have TWO (count 'em) TWO photos of myself (gasp). I'll have Ben take an updated one this weekend, but here are the first two.

This is at around 4 weeks with my natural little belly that I have because I AM A WOMAN dang it.

And this one is 12 weeks. You'll notice, belly a little bigger - chest grown to freakish proportions. Lovely.


You'll see what I mean by beer belly when I post the 16 week-er.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

16 Weeks

Well, baby Edelbrock is doing some cool stuff this week. Not just moving its ears into place like last week, but some heavy lifting, like building muscle and starting to wiggle around a lot more. OH! I also just read that it is starting to be able to hear our voices, so if you talk to me, only say nice and loving things. If you have to say something snarky, please IM, email or text me.

I haven't felt "the quickening" (baby moving) just yet, but sometimes I wonder if I have felt it and I just didn't know it. You always wonder how women can be pregnant and not know it until they deliver the baby? Well, apparently movement at first can feel just like a little gas, so I could have DEFINITELY felt him/her move already and I just didn't know it. My lucky husband.
So, here is a pic of baby Edelbrock this week - the size of an Avacado. He/she is also doing these things: Ttiny bones forming in baby's ears mean the little one can now pick up your voice. Eyebrows, lashes and hair are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. And, if you're interested, an ultrasound might be able to determine gender.
My next appointment is tomorrow, and I don't think we get the ultrasound to figure out if baby is a Mr. or Miss until 20 weeks, but if anything cool happens tomorrow, I'll be sure to blog it.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

15 Weeks



Baby Edelbrock is a naval orange now - I just want to see the little bugger again. I don't think I get to do that for another five weeks, so until then, I'll just continue to visualize my baby as this week's fruit.

What Baby Edelbrock is Up To This Week: Continuing the march towards normal proportions, baby's legs now outmeasure the arms. And, finally, all four limbs have functional joints. Your fetus is squirming and wiggling like crazy down in the womb, though you probably still can't feel the movements.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I don't look pregnant, just fat

So, I'm in this really depressing stage where I'm definitely fat (up 8 pounds in three months - gotta slow it down or I'm going to be a whale when I give birth!) but not looking like I have a bun in the oven. It is miserable. Plus, I'm only a third of the way through my pregnancy and have already burned up nearly half the weight I'm supposed to gain. I'm only supposed to gain 25 pounds. Really? Is that realistic?? Lets analyze:

I've been dieting and/or watching what I eat since puberty - so for a good 15 years, I've tried to limit my intake of sugar, fatty foods, etc. (minus a few years for college - of course). Now, all of a sudden, those diet drinks are off limits, my body is constantly asking for carbs and cheese, no veggies thank you, and suddenly, I'm inexplicably drawn to anything with a high sugar content.

Add that to the fact that I rarely want to do anything but sleep and exercise is low on my list of "to-dos" and there is a possibility I'll tip the scales at 300 pounds come the joyous birth.

I had all of these weight realizations this morning, after which I ate two pop-tarts and had a breakfast burrito (don't judge me). Then I went to lunch where I sensibly ordered a salad, and ate the chicken, cheese, tortilla chips, ranch dressing and avacado and picked around the lettuce. I gave myself an "A" for effort.

Friday, September 26, 2008

2nd Trimester - Here We Come!


I'm officially 14.5 weeks and counting - and baby Edelbrock is the size of a lemon! This is the official start of my second trimester. I'm magically supposed to feel a zillion times better and have more energy and feel better than I ever have in my life.
Truth? I'm feeling much better, but still having heart burn nearly every time I eat. I read that heartburn is a sign that a baby will have a full head of hair, but since Ben and I were both baldies, I'm not putting a lot of stock in that prediction.
I finally told all the folks at my office - it was fun to have everyone so excited for me. Now I can finally just let my belly hang out and not feel self-concious that people think I'm just getting fat! I had one person tell me that they knew I was b/c I was wearing a bunch of baggie clothes, so I'm apparently not as sly as I thought. But I'm really excited that now it is common knowledge. The very last step is telling my clients, so I can post on my facebook and make my blog public. Just a few more weeks now and I should be totally out of the closet! :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I've been busy - OKAY??

So I know, I send out an email to friends and family telling them to check the blog a few times a week, and that is officially the last time I post for TWO WHOLE WEEKS. I've been properly chastised by myself, plus there is a good chance no one actually reads this, so who is missing anything anways?

Work has jumped up and kicked my rear these past few weeks, and I've been in Chicago and New York for various activities with only one day between to wash the two dresses and one pair of pants that actually fit me. I'm exhausted and at some point during the last two weeks, broke out in a mysterious rash on my arms, which I either attribute to cheap hotel soap or stress - either one, its a pain.

Add the rash to the heart burn and bloat I'm currently sporting and I am LOVING pregnancy. I had lunch with my boss today and she mentioned that she had a really good pregnancy -- no heart burn, no morning sickness, and she hadn't even gained that much weight! I wanted to kick her under the table or drop food in her lap -- I guess you could call me a bad sport.

Excuse me, I'm going to eat a few Tums and get back to work now.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Week Twelve

This week, baby is officially the size of a plum. I have my second Dr.'s appointment on Wednesday morning, but I think it is going to be a pretty short visit. She asked us to come up with a list of questions about the pregnancy so she can answer them, and Ben and I have been beating our heads trying to come up with intelligent quesitons. So far, all I have is:

1. Will my feet grow? I've heard some people's do, and I don't want to spend $200 on a cute new pair of boots if they won't fit in a few months.

2. Can I really not sleep on my back now? Because I really, really like to sleep on my back.

That is it. I wonder if my Doctor will be worried about my abilities to be a parent since my biggest concerns run towards fashion and napping, but we'll see if I can come up with some other intelligent questions in the meantime.

For a more scientific outline of what baby is up to this week, see BabyCenter's update: The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby's brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be.