Thursday, March 27, 2008

Everything's Bigger in Texas (including baby bumps?)

We're headed down to the Lone Star State this weekend for a family wedding. This is the first of many upcoming plane trips which take on new meaning now that I'm pregnant. I'm SO very thankful we are not making the 7 1/2-8 hour drive to Houston (typically driven after a full workday), but am curious to see if my body reacts differently than normal (like the car sickness I've been experiencing from our daily commute).

At any rate, over the next few months I'm cramming in as much travel for work and pleasure as possible. This includes trips to Chicago, NYC, Mississippi, Minnesota, Las Vegas, likely Houston (again) and many more in-state trips I can't remember at this time. Yes April-June will fly by because of this, which means I need to get my act together making some decisions (like pregnancy classes, baby registry, home improvement projects and more).

The great thing about traveling is I only have about a week's worth of maternity clothes at the moment, so packing is a breeze. I just wash it all and throw it in the suitcase. Since I have one nice maternity dress, it makes planning my wardrobe for the wedding a snap!

Now that I'm pretty much wearing maternity clothes all the time, I realize I need to expand my selection, but I just haven't had time to shop lately. Plus, all the stores have cute summer clothes, however our crazy Oklahoma weather isn't consistently warm just yet.

But enough about that...I'll let you know how the trip goes next week. And for those of you worried about Miss Roxy, we're not boarding her this weekend. She's staying at Camp Green (aka our thoughtful friends Rob & Courtney who have agreed to watch her and will likely spoil her even more rotten).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rocking Chair Saga

We've been researching nursery furniture for months and have made decisions on the crib, dresser and room theme (which is basically a "non-theme," but will incorporate different animals, framed Helvetica number wallpaper, original artwork/prints from Mike, and oversized, metal mid-century letters that spell our yet-to-be-decided child's name). 

One decision we keep getting stuck on is a chair for the nursery. We really don't care if it's a rocker or a glider as long as it's comfortable enough for late-night feedings and somewhat modern-looking. There are all kinds of ultra-modern and minimalist rocker/glider chairs available if we want to spend $1,000 or more, but for something that's going to endure baby spit up, eventual toddler climbing and who knows what other adventures, we just can't bring ourselves to spend that much.

We've come up with two alternative options that include:
1. Scouring antique and used furniture stores for a cool, vintage/mid-century rocker/glider that could work (even if it needs to be recovered)
2. Biting the bullet and buying an ugly, more reasonably priced chair that we won't mind getting rid of in a few years (but can endure the looks of now)

Now, you all know that Mike is a graphic designer which means that option #2 is not something he's willing to take lightly. We've spent many a weekend afternoon in every antique and used furniture store within the OKC/Norman metro areas to no avail (not to mention countless websites). If we do stumble across something cool, it's either so modern it would be uncomfortable at 3 a.m. or is so ridiculously priced we walk away in disgust. 

If any of you have suggestions, we're all ears! I'll keep you updated on new developments or discoveries we make. I'll also post pictures of our nursery once it's actually transformed. At the moment, it's just a half-emptied office with random baby artifacts peppered on the shelves. More to come on that front once the gender is identified...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Bunny Surprise

Well, I hope by now you've all enjoyed a nice Easter weekend. We hosted my family for lunch on Sunday and afterward enjoyed a nice visit with our neighbors and their newborn, so all-in-all it was a fun day. 

That said, it didn't start off on the best foot. Mike and I woke up to get started on our list of house chores and cooking, but first had to tend to breakfast. I wasn't in the mood to prepare anything so Mike decided to go out and get donuts. The donut shop is only about a mile away so I was surprised when it took him 30 minutes to get back. That's because he brought home more than I bargained for...a dog.

He found an escaped Beagle (Maddie Mae) wandering a nearby residential street and decided to stop and pick her up before she crossed Main (a busy four-lane street). She did have on tags which included her phone number and address, so he went to her house and knocked on the door to no avail. Instead of sticking her in the backyard (since she is an apparent escape artist), he decided it would be a good idea to bring her to our house until the owners could be located.

Of course, I'm already stressed enough preparing for the holiday meal but she was a cute dog and I was just thankful she had on a tag. We're famous for getting roped into picking up strays that have no ID or microchip and need hundreds of dollars worth of medical care. 

So we stuck Miss Maddie in the backyard where she proceeded to run across our pool cover numerous times, not realizing that she's too heavy and therefore sinks down to the water level getting soaked in freezing water. She then peers in our back door window and starts scratching away as if to say, "I belong in the house!" Mike dried her off and luckily she fit in Roxy's crate since I wasn't about to let her stay loose in the house without knowing if she was potty trained. After about an hour of barking, yelping and whining she finally relaxed in the crate.

Roxy seemed somewhat interested in Maddie, but only from a distance. She wasn't very thrilled when the dog went inside her crate, but Roxy was later rewarded with a freshly washed bed cushion (one of her favorite things). The owners finally returned home around 1 p.m. and came to pick her up. Apparently her escaping is a regular event (not surprising since our old beagle, Bailey, was also a Houdini and could find a way out of any yard or crate). Maddie was a smart girl, I swear I caught her using her tongue to try and open the latch on the crate. 

So that was our small adventure for the day. Roxy and I are thankful the Easter Bunny didn't bring us a dog for keeps. I'm just not sure I have the patience or the hormones to deal with that right now, and Roxy for sure doesn't have the desire to share her crate or toys. 

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Daycare Shopping

My  mom and I just ended a long afternoon of visiting daycare facilities. Suffice it to say I'm mentally and physically exhausted. 

Our plan is to have in-home care the first few months after I return to work, but eventually we will need to find a daycare. I'm quickly learning this can be a competitive venture since, of course, we want our child to get top-notch care. This world involves waiting lists and deposits which sometimes don't even result in getting a spot in the facility (which is why we're starting 6-9 months out).

After researching accreditation levels, star ratings, and dozens of other criteria, we compiled a list of about 10 places worth checking out in person. The afternoon got off to a seriously rocky start. The first two places had smells that I still cannot get out of my nose. Now, my very first job was at a daycare so I know there can often be some funky smells, but this was a whole new level of funkiness. I tried giving them the benefit of the doubt thinking that my heightened sense of smell was contributing to the awfulness, but judging from how quickly my mom turned to bolt out the door it wasn't just me.

As we were driving to the third facility, my mom reaffirmed her offer to retire early and move to Norman if it meant her grandchild didn't have to experience those places. Luckily, things started looking up at the next few facilities, two of which I would be confident in watching our baby. 

Overall, I'm just so shocked at how terrible some of the daycares were, yet they were filled with babies and older children. You'd think once the kids were old enough to talk they would ask to get the heck out of there. Anyway, I'm just so thankful that we found some places that don't give me nightmares. 

Next up, I'll get Mike's opinions of the short list daycares so I'm sure that will be interesting blog fodder. I can only imagine some of the comments he would make if he had gone into the smellyville facilities. Maybe I should send him to one or two just for the entertainment value... 

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Top 10 Lists

Top 10 Things I Miss
10. Zippers (none of my maternity pants seem to have them)
9. Sushi
8. Painting/home improvement (mainly the satisfaction of crossing something off the to do list)
7. My old energy level (this is getting better, but still not 100%)
6. Thoughtlessly picking up heavy objects
5. Waking up and not being famished
4. Lying on my stomach
3. Having well-moisturized skin (I just can't seem to apply enough lotion these days)
2. Ice cold beer (didn't see that coming)
1. Dr. Pepper

Top 10 Things I Enjoy
10. Not having to rake the leaves (sorry Mike)
9. Reading my Pregnancy Day-by-Day book to see the baby's development 
8. Back rubs
7. Not worrying if the scale goes up a little
6. Peacefully sleeping without a dog under my legs (sorry Roxy)
5. Knowing my jewelry, shoes and purses will always fit
4. Watching Mike's creativity in planning for the baby (names, nursery ideas, ways to capture our child's life)
3. Hearing the baby's heartbeat 
2. BBQ chips (closely tied with guacamole at the moment)
1. Feeling the baby move

Monday, March 17, 2008


I've been experiencing some writer's block lately because when I think about what to post next, I realize it's pretty insignificant compared to some of the things our friends are facing these days.

Since Friday alone, several of our close friends have had to deal with (in no particular order):

1. A building fire which resulted in their apartment being declared a total loss.
2. An in-utero blood transfution for the baby of my friend who is about 25 weeks pregnant.
3. A jaundiced newborn who is losing weight and won't eat.

All of this makes me realize how lucky Michael and I are in both our pregnancy and in life. Some of these friends are nearby and we can personally help, while others are states away which makes us feel helpless. Keep them in your prayers and count the blessings in your own life!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A day to remember

Wed., March 12 was a big day in our world for a couple of reasons. 

First off, our neighbors welcomed their daughter Eva at 10:26 p.m. She weighed in at 7 lbs. 5 ounces and is 20 inches long. We went to visit the tired, but happy parents tonight after work and introduced ourselves to this adorable bundle of joy. It was a front row seat for the hospital experience we will participate in just five short months from now. 

Mike opted not to hold Miss Eva since she was less than 24 hours old, but I couldn't get enough of her. Mom Nancy is quite the trooper and decided to have a natural birth without an epidural (an experience she recounted in full detail so I could make an educated decision). I can safely say I am opting for the epidural as quickly and as high a dose as possible. 

We are so excited for Jack and Nancy (and for ourselves since we daydream of Eva and baby Vidrine being the best of friends). 

On this same day, I had my four-month check up. I got to hear the heartbeat again which registered a strong 153. Everything was pretty routine, but in light of last week's incident I have to still take it easy for two more weeks as a precaution. The highlight of the appointment came at the end when I scheduled my ultrasound. Mark your calendars for April 10 and say a little prayer that we'll get a good enough angle on the baby to tell the gender. 

Monday, March 10, 2008

Squirming in my belly

We hit a fun milestone tonight. I was able to feel the baby moving around inside me. At first I wasn't sure if the movement was really the baby or just dinner digesting, but the feelings came back several times the same way. Mike was drilling with a power tool and the baby seemed to keep responding to the noise. When Mike or I tried to feel it from the outside the baby proved elusive, but I'm sure one of these days we will catch it. 

Controlled by a 4 inch superhuman

Fine, I admit it...I've lost all control. Is that what it takes to begin recovery? Hitting rock bottom before improvements can begin? If so, this morning was hopefully the catalyst for postitive change.

After surviving the ER visit on Friday with my sanity in tact, I was looking forward to a restful weekend. Michael was very accomodating and catered to the majority of my whims, but things seemed to come to a head this morning.

First off, I was having a difficult time getting out of bed. This was for several reasons: 1) For only losing an hour this weekend, the time change always seems to get me. 2) Roxy managed to position herself underneath my legs or back and refuse to move throughout the night (causing me to wake up no less than 12 times). When I went to physically reposition her she looked at me and sighed like I was a horrible inconvenience.

After the fifth or sixth snooze alarm attempt, I pulled myself out of bed to face the day. Things were going well in my normal routine until I brushed my teeth. Morning sickness hit me out of nowhere and once again Mike was in the shower during the episode. He popped his head out to ask if I was okay and then afterward offered insightfully, "Wow, that was a long one." Helpful. Really helpful. (Like my dry heaves and cramping stomach muscles weren't enough to tell me that.)

I finally got that situation under pseudo-control and managed to rebrush my teeth without incident. The last straw came when I was completely ready except for getting dressed. Yep, that's right, I still had to battle the closet which is difficult enough even when I'm not preggers.

All of this has led me to fully own up to the fact that I am totally being controlled by a person that measures about 4 inches long. I realize this has been going on for a while, but was trying to convince myself that I still had a shred of say in what happens to my body. Not so much. I'm hoping that by admitting this truth will somehow set me free and welcome the energy spurt and calm stomach that I've been promised in the second trimester.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Small scare

Let me start this post by skipping to the punchline...everything is okay. We did have a scare this morning that landed me in the emergency room.

It all started late yesterday afternoon when I arrived home from a business trip. I began having some cramping which I thought may have stemmed from riding in a van for 3 hours. I thought it might go away once I was able to walk around a bit, but the pain just kept getting worse throughout the evening.

I tried a number of things to help ease the pain and decided to go to bed early. I was able to sleep through the night and the cramping let up a bit by the morning, but was still consistently there. I was also bleeding a little so I called my OBGYN's office and they told me to go to the ER where we could have an ultrasound and run some tests.

Mike took me to the hospital and tried to keep me calm, but of course I was a nervous wreck trying to hold back bursts of tears. Once I got admitted they started with an ultrasound, which was the first time we were able to see the baby. It was, of course, incredible. Everything looked great and the heartbeat was still fluttering strong and normally, which meant we were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

It wasn't one of the new, detailed 3D ultrasounds, so the doctor had to point out the legs, face, spine, etc. As he pressed around to get different views, we could see the baby moving about as if to say, "What's with all the poking?"

As a precaution, they also did some blood work and a pelvic exam, both of which had normal results. I go back to my OBGYN next Wed. for a normal check-up, but I'm glad we were able to get peace of mind before then. In the meantime, we're relieved to report a happy ending and we're excited we got to see the baby.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

You might call this a craving

Well, my morning sickness may not be completely gone yet, but I think I can safely say it's getting better every week. I still have some food and smell aversions (like red peppers), but I am also experiencing my first craving -- BBQ kettle chips from Jimmy Johns.

I've always been a fan of BBQ and kettle cooked chips, but for some reason the ones that Jimmy Johns sells are all I can think or dream about these days. It began last weekend when Mike and I ate there for lunch on Saturday. I then requested it two more times before the weekend ended. The sandwiches are great, but the chips are what I crave most.

Instead of sending Mike over to Jimmy Johns multiple times a day to fulfill this need, he was proactive in his last visit and stocked up on my new favorite thing. He ordered 6 bags of chips along with our sandwiches. The college kid behind the counter asked him to repeat the number for clarification and Mike did so like it was completely normal. When he got home I asked if he explained himself by telling the kid it was for a crazy pregnant lady, but he didn't (I think Mike wanted to keep the Jimmy Johns staff talking).

Now, I realize this isn't the healthiest of cravings so I try to limit myself (rest assured I haven't consumed all the chips...yet). I've been on a business trip the last few days and seriously considered packing some of the chip bags in my suitcase, but decided against it. While it did force some self-control, I would be lying if I said I didn't question my packing judgment a time or two during the trip.

Luckily, this evening I was welcomed home by my excited doggie, loving husband and a stockpile of BBQ goodness. What more could a pregnant lady ask for?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roxstar Makeover

After a month-long countdown, Roxy finally got to enjoy her day at the groomer. This isn't a fancy doggie day spa, but they do treat her like royalty. In addition to the usual bath and haircut, they give her a puppy massage and a little extra attention. We even get a report card of the day's events.

I know Roxy enjoys these days because when we drop her off in the morning she doesn't look back and runs into the arms of her groomer. Today, she was probably thinking, "Thank you for saving me from this wretched haircut and unkempt paws!"

When I picked her up she had a little extra bounce in her step and pranced around like the diva we know and love. Here are a few pictures of her new do. While this may not redeem us as neglectful parents, Roxy does still hold a special place in our hearts.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Prom Night...Maternity-style

I bet you never thought you'd see the words "prom night" and maternity in the same headline (at least coming from me)....

Well, Mike and I didn't time travel back to high school but we did have a prom-like experience last weekend at a black-tie event. It was an awards dinner/banquet for the OKC ad club and Mike's company was a finalist in several categories.

Now many of you have never seen Mike in a suit, much less a tuxedo, so I thought I'd share photographic evidence that he does clean up nicely. At the same time, you're probably wondering what halfway decent dress do I fit into these days?

It turns out that the dress I bought for this event last year just happens to have a somewhat forgiving waistline and flowing front area. So I committed the ultimate fashion faux pas and wore it again (please don't report that to the fashion police).

This dress solution sounded easy enough until I went to try it on (just to be sure it fit) the night before the event. Mike was helping me zip up the back and when he couldn't quite get the zipper to the top he thoughtfully suggested, "Suck it in!" Unfortunately, I could not.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending and we were able to close the zipper without busting any seams, which means I didn't have a total meltdown and we were able to enjoy the evening like a non-hormone raging couple. Here are some Kodak moments from the evening.

See, Mike does own more than T-shirts...

My boss was there too. My agency took home some gold hardware as well...

Dressing up can be fun!

The entire Ghost Design crew reveling in their multiple wins and Best In Show award.