Saturday, May 31, 2008

Belly Button Evolution

Before I became pregnant I used to see pictures of other expextant women and always thought it was kinda cute when their belly buttons changed from an inny to an outie the closer they came to giving birth. It reminds me of an oven timer going off or how you know when a turkey is done baking.

Well, I really hadn't thought much about that actually happening to me until I looked in the mirror this morning. I was going through my daily aftershower ritual of applying anti-stretchmark cream to my belly (so far so good in that department) when I realized my belly button is about half as deep as it usually is.

My belly button is shaped in a way where I've never actually seen the bottom. It just kind of tapers off into a dark abyss. Over the next few weeks, I have a feeling I'm going to finally uncover the lifelong mystery of what lies at the bottom of my belly button.

It's amazing that 24 hours could bring such dramatic physical change to such a small body part. I guess this is yet another sign that the baby is growing at a very rapid rate these days. The books say the baby is around 2 lbs. and can even open its eyes now. Kinda creepy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sin City Blues

Friday morning I depart for a six day stint in Las Vegas. It may be safe to say I hate Vegas more than any place on earth, especially now that I'm pregnant. 

I realize this is a bit dramatic, but I just feel dirty being there. All the hotels are smokey and I feel grungy just walking through, much less actually touching a slot machine. 

In preparation, I've been stocking up on sleeveless shirts, books and magazines to help endure this desert oasis. I plan on spending most of my free time by the pool (even if it's in my maternity bathing suit) instead of some smoke-filled casino or bar. At least I won't care who sees me in my swimsuit, since they will all be strangers (and most likely drunk strangers at that). 

I'm already counting the days until my homecoming (even though I haven't left yet) because there are some exciting updates in the works. Our pool is scheduled to be opened, two new living room chairs are set to be delivered (3 weeks early) and Mike has promised to make serious progress on the half-bath remodel while I'm not around to smell the fumes. 

I'll try to post again from the road. I should have plenty of time to myself while my co-workers are living it up in the evenings. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Welcome Back Miss Roxy

I am so pleased to report that the old Roxy we know and love is back. The dog bed intervention has been a success and she even entertained our houseful of guests all weekend without incident.

She seems to have completely forgotten about wanting to protect her crate and is back to her friendly, cuddly self. This is a huge relief since we were growing increasingly worried about the situation going from bad to worse once the baby arrives. She still may have some transition issues, but at least we'll start from a better place.

Here are a few recent pictures of the dog we missed so much over the last few months, but are now welcoming back with renewed love and hope...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Third Trimester

Today marks the official first day of the third trimester. I wouldn't call it the home stretch just yet, but time is passing quickly and it seems like there is still so much to do.

Things like our partially finished half-bath remodel or taking down wallpaper and painting our master bedroom just haven't seemed to make it to the top of the list lately. Between working late, traveling and hosting company, Mike and I have been in survival mode. 

We've had a lot of fun going to Mississippi and having some of his family up from Houston, but the weekends come and go so quickly and all of a sudden it's nearly June!  

Now the 90-degree weather is staring to set in and I'm growing bigger by the day which makes the energy boost I enjoyed briefly in the second trimester a fond memory. In the end, the things that seem so important now will probably make us laugh as they are replaced with figuring out how to work in a daily shower much less tackle some home improvements. 

So I'm pledging to buck up and try to take this last trimester in stride. I may hate what the scale says and am toting around a uterus the size of a soccer ball, but there are so many wonderful things to look forward to (like baby showers, a 4-D ultrasound, seeing Mike endure lamaze and breast feeding classes, and oh yeah, the arrival of our son). Somehow I'm sure all the pesky details such as finishing the nursery or picking out a name for our child will somehow work themselves out. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Roxy's Intervention

I'm happy to report a breakthrough in the recent troubles we've been having with Roxy.

For the last couple of months, she's been growing increasingly protective of her crate to the point where she's skittish around everyone if they pay her any attention (not just strangers, even Mike and I aren't immune). This weekend when we were in Mississippi visiting my family was the worst it's been. Roxy spent the majority of her time in her pet taxi (voluntarily with the door open) and when she finally decided to come out, if any of us acknowledged her or even said her name she would immediately bolt back to her crate. 

We tried to coax her out with treats and toys which would work temporarily but always resulted in her going back to the crate. If you approached the pet taxi while she was inside she would start to growl under her breath and then get more aggressive the closer you came. The attitude hit rock bottom when she actually snapped at my grandmother and aunt -- two people who have shown her much love and affection in the past. 

Mike and I discussed the situation on our car ride home and were about to call in some kind of dog whisperer or puppy counselor, but first wanted to try one last thing. A while back we received a cushy dog bed from our friends and put it in Roxy's permanent crate. As some of you have witnessed, she has an affinity for dog beds and we thought that may be what she was "protecting" with this behavior. 

So Mike distracted her last night while I frantically hid the dog bed and replaced it with some old soft towels like she used to sleep on. So far, this has resulted in a completely different dog. Roxy hasn't bolted to her crate once in the last 24 hours and she's even snuggled up next to me as I write this post (something she hasn't done in a very long time). 

Her pet taxi also has a cushy dog bed (her favorite one in fact, which we lovingly refer to as Mattie), which may be another reason she was protecting that space when we were away. 

Only time will tell if the doggy bed intervention actually worked, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed the old, lovable Roxy will stick around. We have a group of Mike's family coming to visit this weekend so hopefully our adorable pet will not revert back to her mean streak.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


So it's time for me to fess up about potentially being a bad mama already...

As you know, we had our ultrasound in April and captured our baby's first pictures. Well the photos have been missing for almost a month and I couldn't admit it to myself, much less tell anyone else.

After searching the house high and low, I finally told Mike that I couldn't find them and that I was already a bad mom. His loving response, "You lost the first memories of our child?" Just what I needed to hear.

I went on for several more weeks thinking they would turn up under a magazine or in a purse I'd swapped in the closet, but no such luck. Finally, as we were packing to go to Mississippi this weekend I was determined to stage a last ditch effort to find the "lost memories." Mike helped too and we discovered them in the nursery closet inside a Hard Rock Cafe bag (my dad and Susan brought the baby a cute "my first Hard Rock" t-shirt from a recent trip to New Orleans).

The night we received the t-shirt, I also showed the pics to my dad for the first time and I guess I stuck them in the bag afterward so I wouldn't forget them. At any rate, I was just so thankful they turned up and I could stop feeling guilty. Hopefully (for the baby's sake) this incident is in no way a reflection on my parenting skills.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ultimate Courage or Stupidity (you be the judge)

Last night I bit the bullet and bravely went where no woman likes to go (much less a pregnant one)...swim suit shopping. 

I was innocently perusing the maternity section at Target when I  ran smack into the bathing suit section. I have been successfully avoiding those racks for a while now, but the time is quickly coming where I'll actually be stepping foot into a swimming pool. 

We're visiting my parents in Mississippi this weekend (whohoo!) and my dad spent this week opening their pool. I'm not sure it will be warm enough to swim yet, but our pool will be opening shortly and I'm also going on a business trip to Las Vegas in two weeks. Since most of the Vegas entertainment involves drinking and/or smoke-filled venues, I'll probably be occupying much of my downtime by the pool (much to the dismay of the other hotel guests I'm sure). 

After combing through the suit racks, I decided I didn't have the energy to go with a one piece. It's just too complicated when you're wet and have to quickly pee plus I don't think it would be as forgiving as I grow larger. Nobody wants to see spandex stretch in such a way. 

So I opted for a "tankini" style suit with a halter top that can adjust as I grow. Optimistically I headed into the dressing room and was pleasantly surprised at my reflection until I caught a glimpse of my backside (thanks to a mirror behind me that I didn't know was there). Wow, I'm now fully aware of where all that extra fat storage has been thighs. 

I tried to stay focused on the front view and quickly put my regular clothes back on before I talked myself out of swimming this summer altogether. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Gotta Hitch in my Get Up

No I have not been riding a horse lately, it just looks like it from my walk. The last few days I've been sporting a sexy new walking style that fully resembles the soreness and stiffness usually reserved after hours of horseback riding.

I think this pelvic pain and odd gait is due to my hip joints loosening in preparation for birth. Ah, fun times. If I stand up too quickly it feels like my joints are off their hinges. 

Last night I finally broke down and took some Tylenol to see if that would help. It's difficult to say whether that or the Hershey's bar I ate provided more comfort. Either way, I was briefly placated. 

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

I hope all the moms that read this blog have a wonderful day of pampering and relaxation! I know one mom who is in labor probably as we speak, but in the end will be one happy mama. 

I've been meaning to post the last few days, but there has been so much going on that I'm exhausted by the end of the day. Here's a rundown of the latest and greatest in our small part of the world:

This was Mike and I's fourth wedding anniversary and to top it off I had a monthly check-up for the baby. Everything went well at the OBGYN's office. When they checked for the heartbeat the baby kept kicking the microphone which let out a "whomp, whomp" each time. He finally settled down enough to get a reading which was once again 143. Everything else checked out okay so I hit the road.

That evening, Mike surprised me with a pale pink stargazer lily plant that smells wonderful and is blooming like crazy. He suggested we plant it outside our back window as a memento of our anniversary (yes, he can be very thoughtful despite his opposition to daddy books). As a special treat he ordered red wine at dinner (a luxury for him nowadays) and we topped off the evening catching up with our friends Rob & Courtney. 

Nothing too incredibly exciting happened Friday, we were just thankful for the weekend. Mike was achy after work and thought he was catching a cold so he proceeded to veg out for the evening while I catered to his food and OJ cravings in between researching baby gear. 

The moment of truth finally registry day. Suffice it to say it was a good thing we rested up Friday night because this process is a marathon, not a sprint. We got to Babies R Us in the city at 9:40 a.m. and finally left around noon. My mom and sister Emily met up with us which was extremely helpful since I'm prone to asking questions like, "why do we need a first aid kit with a baby toothbrush, they don't have teeth?" After an eye roll from another customer in the aisle my mom patiently explained that you need brush the baby's gums. Who knew? Just another reason I still need my  mom. 

Overall, Mike did really well during the registry process. He liked using the scan gun and his favorite part was leaving so he could be rewarded with an ice cold Dr. Pepper. I didn't have the heart (or the energy) to go to Target for the rest of our registry needs. That will have to wait for another day. 

We enjoyed having dinner with my dad's side of the family Saturday night and then had lunch with my immediate family and Grandmama Solomon today. It was a nice treat to catch up with everyone and made me thankful that we are now living so close to family. It's crazy to think that next year I'll officially be celebrating my first year as a mother. 

Well, that's the latest from here. I should probably go take Mike some water and encouragement for the yard work he's so eagerly tackling at the moment. Other than dead-heading some plants, I really can't offer much other assistance. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Giggle Box

I've uncovered a side effect of pregnancy that is rarely discussed -- uncontrollable giggling. None of my pregnancy books or other literature have ever covered the topic of laughing to the point it becomes almost obscene.

It has happened several times... Mike and I will be carrying on a normal conversation and he'll say something funny or I'll catch him being silly and I cannot control my laughter. I don't mean a few belly laughs, this is full-on serious giggling that doesn't even sound like myself. The first time this happened Mike couldn't figure out what had come over me. It was like I was a totally different person with a strange laugh that had overtaken my body. 

I didn't think much of it afterward, but when the incident occurred a second and third time I decided to Google giggling and pregnancy to see if this was normal. It may be safe to say you can find anything on the Internet and this was no exception. I found mom blogs and pregnancy websites with lengthy postings about others like me who have been invaded by laughter yet nobody can really explain the cause.

There are a lot of pregnancy side effects that are not this enjoyable, but I do have to be careful not to let the giggle urge kick in at work meetings or other inappropriate settings. This was the case a few weeks ago when my boss and I both nearly lost it while meeting with our executive director about some marketing materials. She made a sly comment under her breath and I had to avoid looking her in the eye and focus on something else so my giggling wouldn't get me in trouble. 

Next time I'm around any of you, please accept my apology now if I start to giggle like a giddy schoolgirl at something barely funny or flat out inappropriate. I really cannot help myself so you'll just have to laugh along with me. 

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Nursery Therapy

Mike and I have both been having a busy and stressful week at work (and it's only Tuesday), so as we pulled into the driveway this evening we were delighted to see that the UPS man delivered our crib. We weren't expecting it for another few weeks. This surprise was the next best thing to coming home and enjoying happy hour at the end of a long day.

I had to resist the urge to rip open the box right there on the porch. It was nearly 8 p.m. when we arrived home from work so Miss Roxy was crossing her legs in her crate. After tending to her and providing ample cuddling to make up for our tardiness, we unwrapped the crib pieces one by one like it was Christmas morning. 

The room that was once our TV room/office has undergone some significant changes over the last few days and is starting to resemble a nursery. When Mike's parents came up from Houston this past weekend they brought along a chest of drawers we had purchased on our last trip but couldn't bring home on the plane. We also went chair shopping on Sunday and lucked into a comfy sage green Lay-Z-Boy rocker/recliner (think smaller scale, not the big overstuffed version) that was a steal because it had a small black mark on the fabric which is hardly noticeable.

The chair is by no means going to land us in any interior design magazines, but I'm sure we'll be thankful for the comfort and function during those 3 a.m. feedings. I'm even enjoying it now as I write this post with Roxy curled up next to me (I think she's scared of the power screwdriver Mike is using to assemble the crib). 

I'll post some pictures of the room once our latest purchases are fully assembled and the last bits of the office furniture have a new home.  

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bowl full of jelly

My belly's current rate of growth is somewhat staggering. When you read the pregnancy books, they all explain how women gain weight and begin showing at different times and apparently I'm a second trimester bloomer. 

After being out of the office all last week, I went in to work this morning and wish I had video recorded my co-workers reactions as they individually observed my baby bump. I even got a "whoa, look at your belly" from one woman who caught my profile as I turned a corner. Once she realized she had blurted something out without thinking, she quickly recovered by complimenting my skirt but I had to chuckle nonetheless.

I have noticed lately that shaving my legs or bending down to put on shoes takes some extra finesse and strategic belly positioning. So for now, I'm appreciating each and every day that I can still see my toes and paint my toenails (just don't look very closely). 

Friday, May 2, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, I'm back from the whirlwind four-day roadtrip and would be quite content to stay in my pj pants at home all weekend. Of course, this is not a possibility but a girl can hope, right? 

I did manage to take the day off, but only after working a few hours from home this morning. I had a travel column due for the Oklahoman today (which I had yet to write a single word for), but was happy to compromise and write it with Roxy cuddled up next to me in the chair instead of dragging my tired body up to the office. 

As I'm sure you've figured out by now Mike was not eager to be a guest blogger in my absence. He was probably too busy enjoying his short-lived bachelorhood and watching CSI every night without my usual interruptions. While I was gone we did get new gutters installed which were the final step in our home repairs from the ice storm. And to break them in, we had a whopper of a thunderstorm last night with hail and all. Before and after pics of the project will be coming in a later post.

In pregnancy-related news, I was able to see the baby move from the outside this week. Tuesday night he was particularly active and I was able to catch several bulges and belly distortions rise out from below my belly button. Mike was able to see an abbreviated show last night when I got home, but we have yet to capture it well on video. I'll keep trying and post footage as soon as we can get it. So far, I've only been able to get beauty shots of my belly moving up and down from breathing and let's just say the ever-growing peach fuzz on my stomach is not something I'm ready to share on the world wide web. 

I also feel like I'm getting noticeably bigger by the day -- a fact that Mike confirmed when I got home by looking amazed (and a bit shocked) at my bulbous stomach. Some swelling and general discomfort is also setting in but I think this may be due to driving more than 1200 miles over the last few days. 

That's the latest for now. I've got to get motivated and clean the house since Mike's parents and MawMaw are coming to visit this weekend. Hope you all have a happy Friday!