Sunday, April 27, 2008

Miscellaneous Updates

Things have been busy but good lately. I don't really have any funny stories to share, but there are some random updates I can provide that do not correlate in any way. 
  • Michael currently refuses to refer to our baby as a "he" because he's convinced it will jinx it.  
  • I now have first-hand experience with regular heartburn and acid reflux, so all of those pharmaceutical commercials are starting to hit home. Tums with calcium is now on my list of must-have items in my purse.
  • Roxy has been doing better about not bolting to her crate. This may be a result of us letting her sleep in the bed most of the week, but who really knows with that kid.
  • Living in a college town can sometimes make you feel like an outcast when  you're pregnant. Middle-aged adults tend to look and Mike and I thinking that I'm a knocked up college student, and the college kids glare at us in judgement as if to say, "why is a pregnant lady hanging out at our spot." 
  • Michael had to break down and order a non-alcoholic beer at dinner last night. We were sitting on the patio of one of our favorite restaurants/bars, and it was the perfect evening for a "cold one" but he held his ground and ordered a Sharps (resulting in some snickering from some of our friends, but won major points with me). The waitress did ask if he was 21 which surprised  me since there's probably more alcohol by volume in NyQuil than in that beer.  
  • If you've checked out the book counter lately, you'll see that Michael has made a little progress on his expectant father book. Part of this is due to skipping ahead from the 3rd month chapter to the 5th month chapter, but he's making a renewed attempt to read nonetheless. The current chapter did warn him that I may start randomly  lactating this month which may have scared him enough to put the book down for good. 
Also, be advised that I probably won't be posting anything new until Thursday evening. I'm leaving for a business trip Monday at 5:45 a.m. (ouch) and won't have my laptop with me. I'll be driving a 12 passenger van across Missouri and Arkansas for the next four days so I'm sure there will be plenty to share when I'm back. 

In the meantime, I've asked Mike if he wants to do any guest blogging while I'm gone. He's been very busy around the house lately, fixing some damage caused by a limb that fell in the ice storm this winter and also replacing the brake pads and rotors on his car. These are two big projects he's been planning for a while (and also bugging me to post about for due credit) so I will encourage him to share the stories. Both involve minor injuries and lots of greasy hands which I think make him feel manly. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Soccer anyone?

Our son just might be the next David Beckham. At the rate he is kicking, this kiddo is going to have some serious leg muscles worked up by the time he's born. As I write this post he is squirming around like crazy. 

During my dad's visit earlier this week, he was able to catch the baby kicking which was pretty cool. Michael has been the only one to feel it up until now and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we see a foot outline poking out of my belly.

Mr. baby is still nestled pretty deep inside me so the movements haven't created any alien belly distortions just yet, but when it happens we'll try to catch it on film. 

In the meantime, Michael decided to dust off his soccer ball from the garage and place it on a shelf in the nursery. Such a dad thing to do. 

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Battle of the Bulge

Well, the much-anticipated belly shot has finally arrived. Thank you for your patience.

I'm now at the halfway point in this pregnancy journey and to celebrate I decided to share a picture of my current condition. My Grandmama refers to it as "blossoming"...which is really a polite way for saying I'm packing on the pounds.

Over the last week or two "the baby belly" (as Michael lovingly refers to it) has really come into its own. Even my go-to t-shirts (which I've always relied on for domestic lounging) have started to stretch in ways they aren't accustomed.

Oh well. Chalk it up to the next phase in this out-of-body experience.

Friday, April 18, 2008

TGIF

I don't know about you, but I am VERY excited for the weekend! We don't have any big plans which makes it even better.

The weather is supposed to be warm and sunny (finally), my dad is coming to stay with us and do some male bonding with Mike over leaf raking (while I hopefully plant some of my veggies), and Roxy has a date with the vet for her annual shots.

I'm going to take advantage of our vet appointment to get some advice on Roxy's latest behavior patterns. Our vet recently had twins, so I'm sure she can provide pointers on meshing canine kids with human kids.

Our baby hasn't even come yet and Roxy has already gone into Code Red protective mode with her crate. If I look her in the eye or walk directly toward her she'll immediately bolt into her crate regardless of where we are in the house. It's completely abnormal behavior for her (besides the fact that it breaks my heart) since she never used to hang out in her crate without us placing her there (and closing the gate).

When she's in the crate, she'll let you go over and pet her but if you try to pick her up or move her in any way she'll start growling under her breath. This typically results in hours being spent couped up beyond the time she's already in there while we're at work. Mike and I have been making a point to play ball and engage with her more so she'll be active and feel loved, but it's pretty short-lived before she runs off to her safe haven.

Maybe this is the equivalent of her teenage years when she just needs her own space. Guess I should make a peace offering and get her a stereo to crank some crazy music I can't stand.

At any rate, that's what is going on in our world. Hope you all have a safe and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Daddy's Little Girl

Before we found out that we were having a boy people would tell us that whatever the gender, the opposite-sex parent would likely have an easier time (i.e. mama's boy and daddy's girl). Well, time will tell if that's the case, but I do have a big moment coming up tonight with my own father that I think provides some evidence.

As many of you know, my dad and step-mom live in Mississippi so we don't get to see them as often as the rest of our parents. That said, my dad is retired and frequently makes the trip over to OK to visit us and the rest of his family here. He's actually in town now and we're meeting up with him for dinner tonight at my grandparent's house. This is significant because it's the first time he will see me sporting a baby bump.

Last time he was in town he knew we were pregnant, but it was too early for any physical changes. So far my mom, step-dad and in-laws have all witnessed the growing bump first-hand, but I know this will be somewhat shocking for my dad since I'm his "little girl." I think I may even bet Michael an ice cream date that some tears are shed.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Name Game

Now that we know we're having a boy, the pressure is on to solidify a baby name. Michael and I have successfully procrastinated this duty for the last 20 weeks but realize it's time to get serious.

When we first found out we were pregnant we poured through baby name books and websites to start a working list of options. Our boy name list is more than double the length of our girl list and just when we cross a name off several more get added.

To compound the issue, we're also debating if we want to make the name public now or wait until the birth. This is probably more difficult for me than Michael, as I am the chatty cathy that can't seem to hold it in (hence, why I am the blogger). To our credit, we were successful overall in keeping our wedding ceremony a surprise, but it was easier since I was living in St. Louis at the time so I didn't have to face my friends and family in person.

On the other hand, I am also afraid of blabbing the name just to turn around and change it once the baby is actually born. This stems from when we went to get Roxy as a puppy. I was dead set on naming her Bella, but once we met her and saw the spunky personality we knew it wasn't the right fit. This meant we had to spend the 2 hour car ride home starting from scratch, but we eventually landed on Roxy and it suits her well.

I'm worried that once the baby comes the same thing will happen and not only will I be exhausted and on a hormonal roller coaster, but we'll also have to start from square one on coming up with a name.

My mom says she needs to know the name ahead of time so she can bond with the baby (which she currently calls Max, even though she didn't like that name when it first made the list). My co-workers call the baby Tres (since Michael is a Jr. and the baby would potentially be Michael III). And my Uncle Sam affectionately refers to him as Baby Sam (wishful thinking). Votes have also been cast for Evan and Andrew (hint: those were also two from the initial list).

So for now we're going to keep it a guessing game (mainly because we haven't decided yet ourselves). But we are accepting suggestions and/or bets on the final name, so let the games begin!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ultrasound Pictures

Thought you might want to see some pictures from our exciting day. I could have watched the ultrasound screen forever. It was just memorizing.

The technician was having a difficult time determining the gender because the baby wouldn't move it's legs out of the way, but eventually she poked and prodded enough to get a clear shot. I was relieved that we would be able to know since we've been looking forward to finding out for so long.

She did say he's around 9 ounces and my due date (based on current measurements) is Sept. 8. I'm sure that will change several times as we draw closer.

In about 8 more weeks we can have a 4D ultrasound which will be very detailed and should also provide us with more pictures and the baby's first DVD. It's amazing how far imaging has come. Until that show, we hope you enjoy these party pics. They turned out pretty clear for being a traditional ultrasound.



The Verdict Is In...

And we're having a baby boy! Ultrasound pictures and details will be posted later tonight. I just wanted to pass along a quick update in the meantime.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Satisfying the Hunger

Snickers. It's my new favorite thing. Twix is a close second these days, but only because they come in twos. Now don't get me wrong, I'm still a BBQ chips girl but chocolate is definitely overtaking my cravings.

On the overall food front it's like the baby flipped a switch inside me this week and cannot get enough to eat. Up until now, my food changes have mainly included differences in taste, spiciness level or smell but not necessarily quantity. As a result, my belly is growing although the scale hasn't fluctuated more than a pound or so. 

I'm sure that will all change this week since I feel like I am truly eating for two now. The pregnancy books say I should gain around 25 lbs. during this 40-week process, and now I'm beginning to understand how that's going to happen. I have 21 weeks left to bulk up the baby and ultimately myself (realizing this can't be done with snickers and twix bars alone). 

On Thursday we'll see (officially) how much closer to that "goal" I have come when we have our ultrasound and regular monthly check up. I'm sure whatever the scale says will pale in comparison to (hopefully) learning the gender of our baby. 

Until then, take this as your warning to hide any food you don't want consumed by a crazy pregnant lady. Bathing suit season may be quickly approaching, but this mama isn't shy about taking that second helping. 

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Chivalry Isn't Dead

I'm lucky enough to live in a state where men are still chivalrous and boys are taught early on to become gentlemen. On my morning walk from my parking garage to my high-rise office building downtown, it's commonplace to pass several strangers that look you in the eye, smile or even even say "Good morning." 

This is one of reasons we wanted to move back to Oklahoma, and I must say it's inspiring to live in a place where ordinary strangers can put a smile on your face. Just a week ago, Michael and I were commuting to work and passed a twenty-something girl trying to change her flat tire on the side of the interstate during the morning rush. We were in the wrong lane to pull over, but Michael quickly took the nearest exit and made a U-turn to help. 

As we pulled up to help, two other men also stopped to see if she needed assistance. These were not guys trying to land a date, they were just acting on how they had been raised. It turned out the hub cap was damaged making it impossible for the girl to change her own tire, but Michael finally muscled it off, changed the tire and got her back on the road. 

I really didn't think much of the incident other than I'm glad we were in a position to help since I know I'd want someone to stop and help me if the tables were turned. But a few days later I was walking into my office building as a man was coming out. He was quite a bit ahead of me and could have easily kept walking, but instead saw me, turned around and reopened the door until I got there. 

Now that my baby belly is showing, chivalry has reached a whole new level. Strangers go out of their way to carry things for me and my co-workers don't let me get within 2 feet of the dolly for toting travel brochures, much less any boxes. My paper recycle bin barely gets full before someone offers to dump it for me. As an independent woman, my first reaction was to refuse the help and try to do things myself, but then I realized how rude that would be to the thoughtful gestures and the people expressing them. Just because someone offers to help doesn't mean they think you are helpless. 

All of this got me to thinking about our responsibility as a parent to teach our child these same manners and values so that chivalry doesn't die on our watch. I'm sure this is easier said than done, but it's something Michael and I both feel strongly about and I'm confident that there will be plenty of real-world examples to point to if we need reinforcements. 

Friday, April 4, 2008

Green Thumb

Spring gardening has totally taken over my mind. All I can think about is planning our garden and getting my hands dirty in our flower beds.

My co-workers say it's part of the nesting phase, but really I am just itching to get outside. It's been so cold and rainy here lately that I'm ready for Spring to arrive for good.

Several months back I bought an organic gardening book that shows you what vegetables are compatible with one another and when to plant them. I began making a list of all the things I wanted to try and grow this year. We have an empty stretch of dirt on the side of our house that is calling out for a purpose, so I thought this would be the perfect spot.

Well, I went back to my garden notes a few nights ago (now that I'm pregnant and realize I might not be able to tackle all the crops I was planning), and saw just how ambitious I had been. After narrowing my list by more than half, I've decided to plant asparagus, sweet potatoes, onions and tomatoes. I realize I will need to enlist Michael to help weed once I'm too big, so I threw in cucumbers as extra incentive (one of his favorites!).

I'm also toying with the idea of trying to grow an avocado tree (starting it inside of course until it warms up), but they don't produce for 3-4 years (if ever), so I'm not sure I have the patience for that right now.

I'll keep you posted on our progress. I hope to do a little gardening this weekend if the weather holds out. In the meantime, I started some seeds in a little mini-greenhouse on our windowsill. Fingers crossed they will yield great things.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Roxy's Update from Camp Green

Hello all. Roxy here.

I wanted to share with you the wonderful weekend I had at Camp Green while my parents were away. I'm not sure where they went, but it doesn't really matter because I had so much fun playing with other dogs and enjoying the outdoors that I barely even missed them.

I stayed with my good friends Rob, Courtney and Chaco (their large Catahoula which I pretend I don't like). They all showered me with attention and let me romp around outside with some other dog friends. As an added bonus, I got to chew up sticks which is one of my favorite hobbies.

Overall it was a pretty fun weekend. My favorite parts were spending time on Courtney's lap or snoozing on their bed. I even like Chaco a little better (but don't tell him that).

I knew mom would miss me, so I wrote her an email to help her not be homesick. I think it really cheered her up. Here's a picture that pretty much sums up the great weekend I had:
That's me on top of Rob & Courtney's church clothes. Don't tell mom I did that...she would have wanted me to have better manners as a house guest, but they had comforting smells and were just so soft.

Three States in 39 Hours

Well, the baby is officially on its way to becoming a well-seasoned traveler. Michael and I enjoyed a great trip to Houston over the weekend and at the (literal) crack of dawn on Sunday morning, I jetted off to St. Louis for a whirlwind trip with my sister.

I met up with Emily at the St. Louis airport and we tried to cram in as many friend visits (for me) and internship interviews (for her) as possible before we left on Monday. The only stumbling block hit me at 6 a.m. Sunday as I was getting ready to leave for the airport...morning sickness reared it's ugly head.

I haven't thrown up for several weeks now, but I think it was a combination of waking up at O'dark thirty (after my head hit the pillow at 1 a.m.) and eating some spicy finger foods at the wedding. The tasty jalape├▒os and spicy spring roll sauce seemed like a good idea at the time, but were probably something I should have kept to a minimum.

When we got back to OKC last night I was very ready to sleep in my own bed and apparently the baby was happy to be home too because it put on quite the acrobatic show. It was squirming around so much Michael was able to catch the movements for several minutes and even put his ear on my stomach to hear the baby swimming around.

Just when we thought the show was over, Michael would talk to the baby and it would move around like crazy. We tried to have it tell us if it was a boy or a girl (one kick for boy, two for girl), but no such luck. The secret is still locked inside my belly. Hopefully the mystery will be solved next week.