Thursday, April 21, 2011

Yes, I'm still here. Or rather, Dwight is still in his womb-room.

We may have stolen Grandma Flint's
puppy quilt for our own bed as the temps
dipped back into the 40s this week :)
We finished the last of the last baby to-dos this weekend, which included setting up the Pack-n-play in our bedroom, as we wont be receiving our marvelous hand-made co-sleeper crib from Tim's dad until sometime after the baby is born. I've been using the bassinet as a magazine holder for now :)

Tim also successfully installed the second car seat base we bought off of ebay in my car. You have to climb in the car and sit on the car seat to use your weight to strap it in as safely as possible - and he came in a little cramped and sweaty from doing that :)

I put up a tiny curtain in the baby's room over the white room-darkening shades and curtains from Ikea. It's got a little caterpillar on it, with tan, brown, orange and blue stripes. Super cute! And it better be, because I had to hand-pin it onto the Ikea curtain and redo it a handful of times so that it fell correctly since it's not actually hanging on a regular curtain rod by itself.

I also washed all the sheets in the house, so family, whenever/however you arrive, you will not have to sleep on sheets that you probably slept on two/five/10 months ago. Now, I haven't made any of the beds again other than ours, but I do HAVE clean sheets. Maybe I'll tackle that tonight....

Some of Grandma Flint's handiwork
More of her handiwork -
I love this bag!!
We've been having some serious downtime, partly because of my own declaration of "no activity whatsoever" for me in an effort to make it until my midwife comes back. So we've just been reading (yay for sitting around and reading things!), watching some Friends or The Cosby Show on Netflix, a movie, or just sitting and talking. Tim did go on a high ropes course and for some zip lining on Sunday with some friends while I went to work (I know, but we're launching a huge project this week). It's been nice to just hang. Seriously, if making two beds is the most on my to-do list, I've got it made. I haven't felt so unproductive in so very long - I've always got an errand to run, a free-lance project to work on, chores to do or exercise to be done. Now I either can't do any of those things (exercise per my own hiatus, most of the chores which are semi-manual laborious) or they're already done (other chores, all free-lance articles until July, and pretty much any errand I can think of). It's a weird feeling. People tell me to enjoy it while it lasts, because obviously my life is about to change, but having not a lot to do makes me feel antsy, not relaxed. Which is probably not a good thing :)

We also hit up a marvelous book sale at Toys R Us on Saturday, where we could use our Babys R Us gift cards - buy one book, get one for FREE! We bought a handful, including a couple of Dr. Seuss (One Fish, Two Fish and Hop on Pop), some nursery rhymes, a Caillou book that was super hands-on, a Curious George collection and a couple more. Dwighty is getting his mother's passion for books if I have any say in it!

No baby activity this week, well, other than his normal kicks and jabs. But no Braxton Hicks or contractions. Sometimes I feel a sharp pain or two, but I'm pretty sure its just him jabbing my insides because it's always in only one small spot, and only happens once or twice. We go to the doc's tomorrow to see where things stand!

And one last photo that I'd love to include here: this is one of Tim's genius ideas. The Ikea furniture we purchased has little handles that constantly jingle when you open and close the doors/drawers. So we put little bumpers on them to silence them :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Grandma awesomeness, mad camera skills and dilation?

I have arrived at 38 weeks. Where people have stopped asking me when I’m due and have rather begun to guess how many days past my due date I am – thanks in part to my ever-growing basketball belly!

The only baby thing we’ve done recently, other than some errands and trips to Lowes, was that on Sunday we had a local couple over to give us some basic how-to’s in photography! We have an old camera from Tim’s sister, Kara, which as far as we know is still useful and pretty nice, but neither of us have any sort of training in lighting or arrangements of photos – nor any training on how cameras work and the specific functions of our camera.

Kara – many complements to you – Matt and Pearl said that the camera we have is very, very nice, with several special features (like the flower button) that make it a step above many other similar cameras. And if we wanted to add parts like more lenses or an adjustable flash, it comes equipped to add on those pieces as well.

Let’s see if I can remember what we learned without my notes: shutter speed, which is how fast the camera takes the shot, aperture, how “wide” the lens of the camera is, and ISO, which had something to do with resolution but I don’t remember what. I wrote it all down J We also learned about lighting sources (should be about three), the rule of thirds and that the subject of a photo should never be centered – things I’ve learned in various art classes but were new to Tim. Matt tried to take an up-close picture of my eye by putting the camera about one inch away, which resulted in me laughing and flinching uncontrollably b/c I don’t like things near my eyes! Anyway, we’ll plan on doing some practicing of shots before and after baby comes so that we can become great photographers and show the world our beautiful baby! Kara – you would also be proud to know that we used one of your photos to demonstrate these various factors – the one of Micah eating an apple from the fall of last year with the sun dappled behind him – very nice job. They asked us what we wanted to learn and we said we wanted to learn how to take photos like that.

My ankles and feet are starting to get a little swollen – not uncomfortably so yet, and my shoes all still fit, just a little tight. And, some of you may be happy to know that I downsized from my 4” heels to only 2” or lower heels this week J

In very fun baby gifts news, my Grandma Flint up in Buffalo sent me a big box of stuff this week – including not one but TWO baby quilts! I’ll upload some photos later today, but they are absolutely marvelous. One could be used for a single bed, and the other is a little smaller, perfect size for baby. She also sent a beautiful hand-made bag with all sorts of pockets and all blue and white stripes, which I love and might make my new, super-awesome work bag. I feel like I’m surrounded by grandma awesomeness: my mom’s mom, (great) Grandma Norton, started crocheting just for baby boy Dwight, and made a marvelous little green blanket. Great Grandma Violet White’s skills were exhibited in an orange blanket with a beautiful pattern to match the baby’s room. NanNan (Julie, Tim’s mom) has been voraciously quilting for some time now, and showed us the colors/material she picked out at Christmas, and now (great) Grandma Flint has joined the party! We are very blessed. Oh- I should also mention the mad skills of Aunt Marilyn, who knitted beautiful matching hats and a blanket in my favorite color teal, Lauren from our old church in Uxbridge who knitted both some cushy blocks for baby to grab as well as a little jacket. I think I’m missing one – ah yes! Deb Koopman, another talented lady from back in Uxbridge. Bravo to all of you – I’ve never had the patience to knit. I like one-day projects best J

In a not-so-great update, I’ve had a head cold that developed into a sinus infection all week. I’m particularly cranky when I get sick – partly because I never take sick days and partly because I want to be babied ALL the time. So being almost 38 weeks pregnant, with crazy sinus pressure, hardly sleeping at night either because I have to pee/can’t breathe/am sleepless as a result of baby anyway, makes for a very cranky Holly. If you’ve had to interact with me for the past week, I apologize. I think Tim had to apologize to the other three people he works in an office with on Tuesday because I dropped him off some food and nasal spray (he was also sick) and I was pretty short with everyone…:/

Anyway, I went to the OB-GYN today and she gave me a z-pak(sp?) script to beat the infectious boogers back. So hopefully I will not be laboring while crying in pain over my over-stuffed sinuses, or trying to tilt my head to use a netti-pot while having a contraction.

In other news at the doctor’s – I’m two centimeters dilated! Didn’t expect that way at the bottom of this post, did you? I’m 13 days out form my due date, so not necessarily unreasonable, though often unexpected for first babies. The bad news is that my midwife is going on vacation….tomorrow. For seven days.

Now, the dilation could be because I had a leg massage last night while getting a spa pedicure at my friend Karen’s salon in Leola, along with my last haircut before baby, and I’m sure she hit some acupuncture pressure points in both legs, and that could have started me on my way. No contractions yet, Braxton Hicks or otherwise.

According to my midwife, I could still be two centimeters dilated in two weeks, or I could have the baby in the next four days – who knows. Every baby’s got their own schedule. I’m REALLY hoping to keep Dwight wrapped up in my womb until she returns and is back on call Sunday, April 24 (Easter!). So hold on baby, the midwife needs to relax in Vegas before you bust outta there.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Pool Noodles and Zebras

The pregnancy is chugging along. I use the word chugging both because it's progressing at a pretty steady pace without much excitement and I'm starting to feel like I'm the size of a locomotive :)

We've been trying to be social and enjoy our time together very purposefully, as that will soon be whisked away by sleepless nights and me being incredibly irritable :) We've been to our local pub for the best hot wings in town a couple of times, gone to see a movie (a two or three times/year occurrence) and even had an impromptu datenight yesterday with a giftcard (confession: it was b/c we spent so long sorting and looking through baby gifts that we relized it was 8 p.m. and we hadn't eaten or started to prepare to eat a thing). That's actually been enjoyable. I'm such a productive, git 'er done kind of person I spend most weeknights and weekends completing my list of to-dos instead of hanging out with people and relaxing.

It helps that we're pretty much prepared for baby (as much as one can be, ignoring the fact that I have to mentally prepare myself for pushing a watermelon out of a certain area). We need a light switch plate, to install one more car seat base....I think that's it. We've got the stuff, we've been overly-educating ourself to feel more prepared, my house is 90% clean and reorganized, etc. So - more time to just hang out!

So have I told y'all our newfound use for pool noodles? First I thought this was a universally known fact that I just was never aware of before. Now I hear that some people actually don't use them (or anything else) to make sure their car seat is level, which surprises me. Anyway, we had a cop friend who is muchos knowledgable -- also has two kids under the age of 4 -- demonstrate and install one of our car seat bases (shout out to Krista and Jesse who let us have their old infant car seat!). Eric actually climbed INSIDE our car, whole body balanced on top of the car seat base to get it as tightly installed as humanly possible. Which worked quite well!

I meant to share with you a funny comment that I imagine some of you may not find so hilarious. As one expects in pregnancy, my tummy is covered in stretch marks, which happens, and it doesn't bother me. But Tim did say the other night, "oh, you look like a zebra," in a sort of "I'm sorry for you" kind of way. It's true - both because I became much more lax in my daily water consumption (40-50 ounces along with a few other drinks like coffee and ginger ale instead of my previous 70 - 80 ounces) and because I am ALL belly and I can't help it if my poor skin is wearing thin! Even my midwife commented (also in that sad for you kind of voice) that my stretch marks seem to be getting stretch marks inside of them! Such is life, I'll just have to stop wearing bikinis so often throughout the summer :)

In mentioning all of our baby stuff above, and the fact that you might be able to tell from the tone of this post that I'm slightly more relaxed than usual - we had not one but TWO baby showers this week!

Ugliest shirt ever, I know.
One was planned, and thanks to Megan Fisher who did an AWESOME job with a nice, social party with some of my favorite food :) She got me a cookie cake, because she knows (okay, I told her point-blank) that I love cookies more than cake, she had delish deli sandwiches and cheese and delightful frosted animal crackers. Though only a small group of friends were able to make it, we were very grateful and enjoyed the time together. One friend shared a story about the first time he met Tim - our neighbors, who have a 5-month old little boy themselves, were looking at buying the home next door to us (duplex) just about a year ago. While they walked through with the realtor, they looked out the small back balcony that's on the home and saw Tim down below, with our laptop blasting out March Madness live, standing by the grill and making a large amount of ribs and other types of meat. Kent's first thought was "oh, we're going to like living next to them..." which is certainly mutual! We also won $2 with a lottery ticket prize, always a fun deal.

Then, at work yesterday, for one of the first times in my life people actually managed to surprise me with a party! Tim is sometimes successful at surprising me, but most people who know me know that I generally hate surprises and that I figure out whats going on usually before the surprise actually comes about. I was completely clueless on this one though, even though one of my direct supervisors accidentally included me on the original "shhhh - don't tell Holly" invitation :) My coworkers went all-out with a whole car-full of baby gifts, which I appreciated SO MUCH - it's almost everything left on our registry, with a few gift cards to use later and as we realize we need something else or to just restock something like diapers or wipes. They also had an awesome cake, which I'll hopefully post pics of soon - it was super cute and perfectly matched our nursery!

Speaking of all the things we've received, like our wedding showers, we've noticed people tend to give certain kinds of gifts more than others. I think we now have....7 boxes of baby wipes. which I'm sure we'll use, it's just funny how many people think of that :) We also have 5 different crocheted or knitted blankets, all of them beautiful (some from family, like Aunt Marilyn, Grandma Norton and Grandma White, and others just thoughtfully made by very talented people like Deb Koopman). It amazes me at the intricacy involved in such projects and how soft and wonderful the blankets are!

There's our most recent update - I may add some photos to this soon, so feel free to check back!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bits and Pieces and Noise and Dirt

HOLY COW - Monday was one month from my due date. It's a few more than 30 days b/c March is a long month, but still.

So I can't sit comfortably at my desk anymore. Not because it's uncomfortable to sit down, but because to sit up straight I have to pull the keyboard to the very edge of the desk since my belly is too large to pull up closely to the desk. This. is a little ridiculous.

Also a hilarious note: I got called for Jury duty. To begin at the beginning of my 39th week of being pregnant. I'm 26, have been a legal adult for eight years, have lived in Lancaster for four of them....yeah. Way to have perfect timing, state of Pennsylvania. My midwife advised against the idea of sitting in a courtroom without 30 minute bathroom breaks in an instance where, if I should go into labor and/or my water breaks, it could be my 15 minutes of fame as proceedings are stopped to haul me out of there. Not what I'd like my one shot at fame to be, frankly. So they postponed the summons until December, thank goodness.

A pregnancy symptom that's been getting worse is that I'm incredibly forgetful. It's getting very, very bad - or at least it seems so to me b/c I've always been very good at remembering all of those small details! I literally left my credit card sitting on a table after a lunch meeting - my lunching companion  had to remind me or I would have walked out without it!!! I also forgot about a regularly scheduled meeting at work yesterday. I've only ever forgotten one meeting in my entire life (professional or otherwise) when I was a senior in college, but yesterday it happened again!

Probably the funniest story of how I've been forgetful/crazy is a few weeks ago while I was doing the dishes, I was also whipping up a grilled cheese sandwich. Our sink and stove are on opposite sides of our galley-style kitchen, so my back was turned. I (obviously) forgot about my sandwich, and after a few minutes, smelled a burning scent in the kitchen. This thought literally went through my head: "Wow, I must have this water temp pretty high just for doing the dishes, it smells like the water's burning!"

Then I about died laughing at myself because that is the most ridiculous thing in the world to think.

As to be expected with only a month left, I have to run to the restroom constantly. It's not so bad, but it is quite amazing how the "hm, I should go to the bathroom," translates immediately to "get up NOW."

I know this is really piece-meal -- that's how my brain functions these days. We're pretty sure we have the name picked out now, and a backup name, and middle names. I never realized what an important decision naming your child is - I always thought I'd just pick my favorite name and be excited about it. But so many things have to be considered! Initials, the flow of the whole name together, if the first name nickname sounds okay with the last name, if you can say the middle name in the "mom" voice and will it scare your child, if you can teach your child to spell said name for their Kindergarten years, etc. For example, we wouldn't pick a one-syllable name because our last name is so short and choppy, or even a name with a one-syllable nickname (pool of names just narrowed significantly!), etc.

We also spent last weekend putting up some decorations in the nursery, yay! See photos below, including our FAVORITE from the wonderful Lynne Randolph who captured exactly what we were looking for!
And our own room, where we added a couple of pieces of art from our pregnancy photos and a recent marriage conference!