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.


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.


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...

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.


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.


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).