Thursday, June 26, 2008


What does 90+ degree heat and 12-14 hour work days get you...cankles. Every night this week I've come home and propped up my feet only to realize I've lost my ankles sometime earlier in the day and my calves seem to run all the way down to my swollen toes.

We've been hosting an annual conference of 130 travel writers from across North America and my job was to organize and staff custom media tours before and after the conference. It's been an incredibly exhausting week for our entire team, but it's also made me realize just how many physical ailments I can no longer ignore. 

Despite the past 7 months of stubbornness in admitting I shouldn't or couldn't do something because of my pregnancy, I'm now realizing I'm not invincible. 

Tomorrow marks my last tour and what I hope is my last 14 hour day while pregnant. I'm driving yet another 15-passenger van up Route 66 to Sapulpa and back. Once that's over around 5 p.m., I'll take another writer to a pow wow in Norman for the evening. 

Random side note: I've never driven a 15-passenger van in my life but I just realized I've somehow have managed to drive one on three separate roadtrips during this pregnancy. How bizarre is that?

Anyway, enough of my whining. That's the latest from here. I hope you all enjoy a laid-back Friday and relaxing weekend. Please say a little prayer that my cankles are only a temporary condition. My ankles may not have been the smallest in the world, but I would like to have them back someday. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tea Time

Last Saturday marked our first baby shower which was graciously thrown by my cousin Suzanne and Aunt Karen. It was a family shower with about 20 ladies enjoying lunch and sweet treats at an adorable tea room.

Since I single-handedly have four sides of family before counting Michael's relatives, it's a rarity to get so many branches of my family tree in one place. I think our wedding was the last time I enjoyed this luxury so I was not only excited about the baby gear, but also catching up with everyone.

We are extremely lucky to be showered by such a loving family and while our baby may not have a name yet, he is the proud owner of some seriously cool gear. I can't wait to see him in the tiny little clothing, wrapped up in the hand-sewn blankets or playing and learning with all the toys and books.

As I went to write this post I realized that all the shower pictures were taken with other people's cameras so I don't have those to post, but I can provide a visual for the landslide of amazing gifts we were showered with for our baby. Below are some pictures of the nursery which is currently in a disheveled state. My cousin also brought over some large items like a Moses basket, exersaucer, bathtub, jumper and bouncy seat that we're borrowing from her son Luke since they're only used for a few short months. As you'll see, the nursery is quickly filling up and making this whole parenting thing seem like more of a reality.

Thank you to everyone who made the day so special and to those who had to travel to be a part of it. We love you all and know our son's life will be enriched because of your generosity and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Know Your Audience

Well, I've learned something about you all this week. Apparently gun posts get you talking more than 4D ultrasound pics or any other topic. Who knew? 

Everyday since the BB gun post, Michael has come home and casually remarked about how many comments his crazy actions have generated. We both thought that post would easily be trumped by the new ultrasound pics but not so much. 

As I sat down this morning to post about my first baby shower, I am now questioning your interest in that topic since it doesn't involve firearms or more crazy Michael antics. At any rate, I need to get some pictures uploaded before I share about the shower and our fun-filled Saturday. I'm sure you're on the edge of your seat to hear the onesie and baby toy details. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

4D Photo Shoot

This morning we had our 4D ultrasound. Mr. Baby was pretty sleepy and didn't feel like moving much so it was difficult to get full shots of his face. He spent most of the session with one leg hiked up over his head and an arm blocking his face as well.

That said, we were able to poke and prod enough to get some profile shots. The ultrasound technician said boys typically resemble their mothers, but in this case she thinks he's favoring Michael. Either way, I'm sure we'll think he's the cutest baby in the world (you'd expect nothing less from proud parents, right?).

We also learned he's around 2 lbs. 11 oz. and they projected my due date two days earlier which puts us at Sept. 6 (but who really knows). Enjoy the show...

He's nestled in to the uterine wall which you see on the right side.

She tried to build out the right side of his face, but it's a bit distorted since he had it buried against the wall.

As the technician poked around we watched his facial expression change which was pretty cool. He was not happy with all the harassment and just wanted to sleep in...guess he does favor his daddy.

Once she stopped pressing down, he quickly settled back into a comfy position.

Here's a shot of both feet.

"My future's so bright...I gotta wear shades."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Michael's Alter Ego

You can take the boy out of Texas...but you can't take Texas out of the boy.

Michael recently acquired a BB gun from my Grandpa to "address" our rodent problem. Our backyard has been invaded by moles and a small family of field mice. After multiple environmentally and Roxy-friendly remedies failed, Michael decided stop being "Mr. Nice Guy" and step up his plan of attack.

That said, he couldn't just go out and scare off a few pests. Oh, no. Instead he had to fully disassemble and clean the BB gun, then set up a series of targets for ample practice before any pest management could begin. It's now been three days and has a single pellet been shot at a rodent? No, but his aim at the targets is getting better.

Unfortunately, I didn't get pictures of his beginning targets but I have captured the latest one for your enjoyment. Each one gets more elaborate and he scoots further back to hone his new skill.

I have to say, I never anticipated I would ever be posting about a gun on a pregnancy blog, but such is life. Hope you enjoy the sharp-shooter slide show.

Carefully preparing his pellet ammo.

Such great form
I have no more words...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Beginning of the Not-so-fun Part

Every time someone asks me my due date they get the same look on their face as they realize I have to endure the entire summer before delivering. In true optimistic fashion, I'm quick to note that we have a swimming pool (which I'm heavily counting on to provide some summer relief). 

That said, I'm starting to experience some aches and pains that the pool may not be able to address these last few months. Just when I feel like my stomach skin can't stretch any further, it finds a way to grow some more. My belly button is hanging in there like a trooper, but realistically I don't think it's going to last much longer. 

I've also started feeling extremely full, kind of like eating too much Mexican food, but it doesn't ever really go away. It's an odd feeling when paired with hunger pains so I'm trying to eat more frequent smaller meals. Yesterday I had to use my nausea gel for the first time since the beginning of the second trimester. Fingers crossed that won't become a daily occurrence again. 

Swelling is also becoming a more permanent state these days and just getting dinner ready leaves me needing to elevate my feet. Michael is helping a lot with chores and random acts of kindness so I try not to be too much of a grumpy gus. I'm not quite ready to admit that my wedding rings no longer fit, so each morning I put them on thinking maybe today is the day they will not become uncomfortable. 

On a positive note, we are able to feel the baby moving so much these days and we've settled into a new nighttime routine of playing him music and watching him dance. It's quite the sight, with an iPod earphone stuck in my belly button and my stomach randomly gyrating. So far, he is a fan of Beethoven, Mozart, Postal Service, Aphex Twin, and of course, his daddy's voice. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Baby Bump Update

I just got home from my 7 month check up. It was a fairly routine appointment which I have to say I'm thankful for. So far, I'm having a textbook pregnancy with heartburn, hip/pelvic pain and the beginning stages of swelling right on schedule. 

The nurse measured my baby bump and checked the little guy's heartbeat. Both were normal and right on track where they should be. As usual, the baby kicked at the heartbeat monitor several times until finally calming down enough to let us get a reading of 149 (up slightly from 142 the last few months). It's also time for me to get some lab work done to check for gestational diabetes so they gave me the paperwork to take care of that in the next week or two. 

We go back on June 19 for a 4D ultrasound and I can't wait! In the meantime, here's an updated shot of the baby bump. I'm not quite brave enough to show you a bare belly pic, but trust me it's better this way. You don't have to look past the gross peach fuzz and distorted belly button that's slowly disappearing.

Monday, June 9, 2008

New chairs

Our highly-anticipated living room chairs have arrived. Not only are they sexy, but they are seriously comfy as well. Enjoy some glamor shots of the new pair:

Who knew something made in 2008 could fit in so nicely with our mid-century home?

Here's our long living/dining room/den. Even though the chairs are technically in the "den," they help tie in the red wall at the other end of the living room. For some reason they look a little orangish red in the pic, but they are darker in person.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Puppy Practice

Now that Roxy is in a better mood, we're able to use her as a guinea pig for trying out new baby gear. She patiently tolerates us knowing that there's usually a treat in her near future.

This weekend we went to a new baby store to purchase a crib mattress and came across "hotslings" -- a fun baby sling that comes in a variety of fabrics. Mike located a gender-neutral graphic print that he would feel comfortable wearing and we headed home.

Here are some pictures of our canine baby trying out the sling. She didn't really like her head to be inside, but other than that Roxy relaxed and hung out in it for almost 30 minutes while Mike walked around the house hands-free. I think she likes the closeness plus the feeling of being about 5 feet off the ground (instead of just a few inches). Maybe we should get another sling so one parent can wear the baby while Roxy chills out attached to the other parent.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Baby Development Update

I thought I would share some fun facts on the baby's development stages at this point in my pregnancy. These are general facts out of a book, but I think they are cool nonetheless.
  • The baby is now about 9 1/2 inches from crown to rump and weighs approximately 2 lbs. 2 oz.
  • His eye lashes are fully grown
  • The taste buds on his tongue and inside his cheeks are fully functional now (hope he likes BBQ chips)
  • His higher brain functions are becoming more sophisticated
  • His lungs continue to grow but the air sacs lack a vital substance that keeps them inflated so he's still not able to breathe for himself
  • If the baby were born this week, he'd have an 80% chance of survival
The book also says the baby's heartbeat can be heard by anyone putting his/her ear to my abdomen, but I'm not so sure that's true. Mike tried it last night and could hear lots of movement but no heartbeat. Seems like it would be difficult to detect if you were hearing my heartbeat or the baby's. 

At any rate, the baby is so developed now that I have started to notice movement patterns at certain times of day and can even feel different body parts like the head and feet when they are close to the surface. We're having a 4D ultrasound in a couple of weeks and I can't wait to see what he looks like and get actual length/weight measurements. I just hope he doesn't have my cheeks :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dance Party in my Uterus

The baby has been enjoying his stay in Sin City if the level of movement is any indication. It's like my own personal cirque de soleil inside me.

Many of the conference luncheons and evening receptions have live music (DMC of the 80s favorite Run DMC was today's lunch entertainment) which the baby immediately responds to. I also think all the walking during the day makes him twice as active at night.

The kicking was so hard and frequent last night that it actually kept me awake. Instead of enjoying the miracle of movement I started having visions of the umbilical cord getting wrapped around his neck and worried he may be squirming to get out of it. This worry kept me awake even longer, but I finally managed to get a few hours sleep around 3 a.m.

Judging from the equally high activity I've been feeling today, I'd say he's doing just fine and is enjoying what little room he has before he outgrows it.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pregnant Lady Heaven

Depsite my distaste for Las Vegas, I managed to discover the silver lining last night. After walking what seemed like 5 miles between the convention center and a reception on The Strip, we finally decided to stop for dinner. But we didn't stop just anywhere, we took advantage of the incredible buffet at one of the casinos.

This may be the city of excess, but when it comes to food it's a quality this pregnant lady is willing to overlook. I could satisfy every craving...sweet, salty, spicy, anything! My plate was filled with a mixture of eggrolls, guacamole, salad, a taco and roasted potatoes. When we went back for dessert, my coworkers just chuckled to themselves as I returned with grilled corn on the cob and a piece of carrot cake.

To top it off, Michael called me this morning on his way to work with news that a Chick-Fil-A is being built less than half a mile from our house. This is one of my all-time favorites (their bbq sauce is the best!) so I'm hoping it will be the fastest construction project in the history of man.

Just typing this post is making me hungry...

Sunday, June 1, 2008

100 Days To Go

As you can see from one of my baby tracker widgets we are at the 100 day mark (give or take when the baby actually comes).

I thought this might be a good time to make another top 10 list for the things I miss and the great things I'll want to remember about pregnancy.

Top 10 Things I Miss

10. Wearing my favorite summer clothes
9. Easily bending down to paint my toenails or put on shoes
8. Not having to put on clothes like an old lady (with as little bending as possible)
7. Seeing the lower half of my body in person instead of the mirror (but then again, that's where the cellulite is living so this may be a good thing)
6. Being as active as I want without worrying about tiredness or swelling
5. Worrying about what food will give me heartburn (just about everything these days)
4. Lifting my own suitcase while traveling (and not getting lectured by the airport shuttle driver that I shouldn't be lifting it)
3. Not having restrictions on my life (sleeping positions, riding rollercoasters or gocarts, sitting in the exit row of an airplane, dietary restrictions, etc.)
2. Drinking a cold beer or girly cocktail on a hot summer day
1. Getting up or walking without pelvic pain

Top 10 Things I've Enjoyed While Being Preggers

10. Feeling it's okay if I crave Subway at 9:30 a.m.
9. Getting a pedicure
8. Having Mike give me a back massage whenever I ask
7. Brainstorming baby names
6. Not having nausea the entire pregnancy
5. Hearing the baby's heartbeat
4. The joy having a grandchild brings to our parents and family
3. Seeing the ultrasound images
2. Feeling the baby kick and respond to our touch and voices.
1. Learning things about myself and Mike that we otherwise wouldn't have ever known.

Luckily, it's still easier to come up with the enjoyable items than the ones that I miss.