Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rain, rain go away...

I went to a week-long overnight summer camp every year when I was in middle school and two years in a row, we had to spend a part of a night in a disgusting old basement because of storms and tornadoes.  A lot of kids cried and wanted to go home. I though it was kind of fun.

It rained on my wedding day.  Though it was only for about 2.5 minutes, it just happened to be the 2.5 minutes during which I needed to walk from the parish center, outside, and into the church.  No biggie.  I think I had an umbrella, but was too excited to care about a few raindrops. 

This past winter was terrible.  I think we had snow and ice on our driveway from November until the beginning of March, I had to buy a kind of ugly maternity coat that wasn't very warm, and I scraped ice off of my car 100 times.  Letting Toby out to go potty meant then chasing him around the house to dry him off every single time he went out and he got almost no walks.  Again, no biggie.  I had plenty to do indoors.

It has rained just about every single day this month.  April 2011 has officially tipped the scale as one of the rainiest Aprils ever recorded in Indiana and it could take the top prize in the next few days.  There are flood watches across the state and we've heard storm/tornado sirens more in the last 4 weeks than I think I've ever heard them in my life.  Sure, the grass and trees are green, but its all too water-logged to enjoy.

In years, even months past, I would have just shrugged my shoulders and said "oh well!"  Sure, I would feel badly for people really affected by the weather (farmers, people hit by flooding and tornadoes, people without shelter, golfers), but I would just get over it and move on to the next indoor activity... but not this rain-soaked April.  I'm pissed off.  All I want to do every morning and evening is take my little dog and bowling ball belly for a walk around the block.  I want to get out of the house that is becoming cramped with baby gear and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.  I want to sit on my front porch with Blake and watch the kids next door conduct a javelin tournament on their bikes in the street.  But no, I can't.  It's raining. AGAIN.  And taking Toby out in the rain now means cleaning the entire house, mud-stained towels, rugs and sofas, and a stinky dog because Lord knows I can't chase him anywhere.  And even if it's not raining, like at this current moment, it is too cold and too windy to really enjoy being outside. 

Maybe it's because I'm so anxious and excited about Sprout arriving and I have nothing else to complain about.  Maybe its because I didn't get to take a warm-weather vacation this winter.  Maybe it's because my feet are out-swelling all shoes but flip-flops, including my rain boots. I don't know what it is, but for the first time, I feel foiled by the weather.  I am so frustrated at Mother Nature and wonder what I did to make her hate me so much. 

Whatever is fueling my current angst over the 50 feet of rain we've had in the last month, I've always been very tolerant of the weather, even when it wasn't convenient.  But now, I'm ready for a little more hot, dry, and sunny.  And, I think I deserve it. 

Please, rain, don't come back another day,
Kate

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ready or what?

In the past, here and here, I've said that I'm not in any huge rush for pregnancy to be over.  Well, that was in the past.  I'm still not totally ready for pregnancy to be over for a handful of reasons including that I still feel pretty good, Sprout is doing well, and my due date is still two weeks away.  BUT, I am getting SO ANXIOUS to meet the little one I can hardly stand it! Plus, I feel like we're ready...

Gear and life organized - check. The nursery is finished (photos next time, I promise), our bump photos have been taken, the swing and bassinet are set up and ready to go (thanks, Blake), car seat bases are installed (thanks, Blake), clothes are washed and ready to be worn, diapers and wipes are stashed around the house, the bathtub has been deep-cleaned (thanks, Blake), the yard has been mulched (thanks, Blake), and the kitchen has been reorganized.

Work transitions set - check. I've notified clients, updated my colleagues on the status of various projects, recorded my vm away message, and drafted my out-of-office email alert.

Information overload - check. We finished our childbirth class weeks ago and I've read no fewer than 6 books on various topics from breastfeeding and healthy sleep to swaddling and nutrition during pregnancy and afterwards.  I've googled every question I can think of and interrogated my mommy friends about all sorts of personal topics I never imagined myself talking to anyone ever about.  I'm sure there is more that I could learn, but I am more of a hands-on learner...

"Responsible adult" activities - check. We've purchased extra life and disability insurance just in case and we finalized our wills and estate planning documents last week.  We changed our beneficiary designations and I've sent off copies of everything to the people who hopefully will never need them.

So, all that being said, I think we are ready to welcome Sprout.  At least, as ready as we'll ever be.  If nothing else, I'm SO BORED with the waiting and am pretty sure that Sprout's arrival will cure that problem... bring it on.

So what's not ready?  Sprout, apparently. 

Here's to patience, which has never really been my thing,
Kate

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sites worth sharing

Since finding out I was pregnant (and maybe even before then), I've turned to the Internet on various occasions for information...  Some sites I've stumbled upon seem worth sharing!

Best General Pregnancy Site

While I would NEVER recommend a website for medical advice, I like the Baby Center website for general information about fertility, nutrition, fetal development, baby names, coupons, you name it. They also have a pregnancy app that I have on my Droid that reminds you how far along you are (not that I've ever needed reminding!) and gives you ideas on things you should be doing in any given week.  I most recently utilized the page that lists what I should pack in my hospital bag(s).  Though I've also read a good number of books on pregnancy, the major benefit of this website, I think, is that unlike some of those books I've picked up, like What to Expect When You're Expecting, the site is more positive than negative and it is much easier to search than the cryptic table of contents.  You can just skip to the stuff you're interested in and avoid the stuff you aren't.

Celebrity Babies

I've been reading the celebrity babies tab of People.com while I eat lunch for a very long time.  I mean, who isn't fascinated by celebrity babies and their often cookey parents?  Though I don't generally participate, they have some cool giveaways and sometimes have reviews of cool baby stuff like strollers, clothes, stationary, and toys that I wouldn't otherwise find on my own.  I also admit to reading the blogs of celebrity/athlete moms like Jennie Finch and Kerri Walsh.

Discount Baby Stuff

I've never been much of an Internet shopper - I hate the prospect of having to return items that don't fit or aren't what I expected.  BUT, Sprout apparently loves to Internet shop... girl or metro little boy?

Zulily is my favorite... some of the items are still pricey and though the shipping cost is not outrageous, sometimes it defeats the deal.  However, if you hit it on the right day, you can get a handful of really nice things at a great discount, which does make the shipping cost worthwhile.  I recently got a super cute little hat and they have some decent maternity/post-partum clothing deals too.  I've also been recently turned on to Gilt which has way more than just children's stuff.  I haven't actually purchased anything, but they do have some good deals.

Though I wouldn't call it a discount store, I also really like etsy, the site where people can sell their own wares.  There are tons of people who make "newborn photo props" like knit diaper covers that are super cute... we're ready for our photo shoot!  Just make sure to plan ahead because a lot of the items aren't made until you order them.

Finally, I was dreading having to purchase a breast pump for nearly $400.  A friend sent me a link to Lactation Care, Inc. and I was so happy to learn that they sell the same stuff as Babies-R-Us and Buy Buy Baby for $100 cheaper.  You can't order some of the items online, but they will email you pricing information and then you can call and order or fax them an order form.  I opted to just call and I got my little machine within 2 days.  Also, its a small, women-owned business, so I felt good supporting it.


I'm always looking for new sites to check out (though my Internet surfing lunch breaks are going to come to an end soon...) so please share any you enjoy or find useful!

http://wwww,
Kate

Monday, April 18, 2011

T

I had my 37 week check-up today.  It involved the following:  the nurse had to skip right over the 100 lbs notch on the scale to the 150 lbs notch (though she did not need to use the ones...); my blood pressure is still good and low; baby's head is still down, though "floating" - whatever that means; Baby's heartbeat is in the 150s, which is good.

It also involved me asking a bunch of questions about icky things that I would like to avoid if possible such as suction and forceps, C-sections and episiotomies.  Dr. L reassured me that members of his practice "do not do these things for the sake of doing them" (even on a Friday night) and that, in most situations, they would ask, or at least inform me, before doing anything.  So, that made me feel pretty good about some of the "what ifs" that I've been carrying around.

After putting Dr. L through the wringer, he very clearly said "well, Kate, though we can only predict so much, it does not appear that your labor will start in the next 12 hours."  So, I've got at least 5 more hours... and probably many more than that before anything happens. That's just fine with me - I want Sprout to cook for as long as her or she needs to to come out healthy and ready to come home with us right away (babies born early can have lung development issues and need extra time in the ICU...).

On his way out of the room, Dr. L handed me my record sheet.  I only glanced at it but couldn't help but notice that at the bottom, where it says "weeks", instead of writing 37 like I would have expected, they wrote "T"... term.  Wow.

Kate

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Photo Finish

Life passes us by so fast and there are millions of little moments worth capturing - Toby doing something cute (or something bad but hilarious, like pulling out yards of toilet paper from the roll or running around with my tennis shoe in his mouth), Blake doing something cute (like snuggling on the floor with Toby), the flowers in bloom in our front yard, celebrations with our friends, my Sprout bump growing.  Yet, most of us rarely take the time to make even a mental picture, much less snap a real one.  And even then, when we do, they sit on the memory card or maybe Snapfish or Facebook without ever making it into old fashion photo albums.  I'm totally guilty.

I'm not promising that this will for sure change with the arrival of Sprout, but I do have really good intentions of taking more photos and getting more of them into print so that someday, we can open at least a shoe box and flip through stacks of 4x6s like my family use to do.  I recently ordered prints from the period of time between college graduation and our honeymoon.  The next set will be the last three years.  And then, I'll be caught up and can hopefully make photo ordering an annual event...

Since Blake and I are not really accomplished photographers (even though we do have a pretty decent camera), we wanted to have someone who was get a few good ones of us now - before baby.  Enter Ryan Cook - the husband of one of Blake's fellow-residents - and a sunny Sunday in April. 

Holcomb Gardens - Butler University
We live down the street from this park.
Blake's parents got married here.
We were engaged here.
This can be our spot.


If you want to see more, go to www.ryancookphotography.com.
Click on the yellow icon to enter the site.
Then click on "clients".
The password is our last name.



This is at 56th and Illinois.
Also down the street from our house.
Nothing special about this bench.
I just like the look on my face.

Many thanks to Ryan for spending the afternoon with us and for the blog-able pdfs!  Can't wait for our next photoshoot - the one with the BABY!

Cheese,
Kate

Monday, April 11, 2011

Out of the Kettle

I'm officially 36 weeks along.

That's 66% or 2/3 of a year (my mom is smiling down from Heaven to see that I finally figured out fractions).

252 days.

8 months.

And, in homage to one of my favorite Broadway numbers... three-hundred, sixty-two thousand, eight-hundred and eighty minutes; three-hundred, sixty-two thousand, eight-hundred and eighty moments so dear.

It's also a bittersweet end in sight to this pregnancy - in just a few short weeks it will all be over. 

Though I am super excited for that day to come and cannot wait to meet this new life that's been punching me in the bladder all afternoon, I'm a little sad to see it come to an end.  For the most part, I've really enjoyed being pregnant.  It's had its up (chucks) and downs.  It's had its pains (sciatica) and its pleasures (ice cream whenever and the Big Mac phase).  But so does will parenthood, making the end of pregnancy really just an out of the kettle and into the fire experience.

But even when I'm not feeling so hot (who can forget weeks 4-16?) or when I wake up with daggers twisting in my calf, I've still always had a subtle feeling of happiness that makes the discomfort worth it.  I've tried to keep the complaining to a minimum and have made an effort to let people know that I feel lucky.  I've tried to be positive to my girlfriends who haven't had children yet because I hope that they someday go into pregnancy feeling only joy and that they can feel the same way I've felt for the last 8 months. 

Babies are such a miracle and being able to be pregnant and feel a little life growing inside only adds to the amazement I have at how God created us. Most women are only pregnant a small handful of times in their lives, and since I don't plan on being the next Michelle Duggar, my months, days, weeks, minutes and moments of being pregnant may be 1/2 or 2/3 over (see Mom, I really can do math).  So, despite the heavy feeling in my gut (literally) and my doctor's comment that "baby could come any time now and be just fine" - I'm going to keep enjoying every minute, every moment, of being pregnant.

And then, I plan to move on to enjoying every minute, every moment so dear, of being a mom so fast that I don't even have time to miss the kettle.

Kate

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wasted Tears

So, just last Friday I posted a sad little account of leaving Toby at the vet for the weekend.  Though I somewhat joked about the tears and tried to laugh at myself all day on Saturday and Sunday, I was really very upset about it.  That is, until we brought him home Sunday evening (our vet is a friend and she graciously let us retrieve him early). 

Let me tell you, in case you were worried, Toby is fine.  He is actually better than fine.  He is running around like never before.  He is still eating his food in .3 seconds flat.  He did not forget me.  He has found at least two brand new ways to annoy me and bring me to a totally different kind of tears.  Those other dogs at the vet's must have been a bad influence on him...  My favorite is when he digs into the waste-paper baskets and then darts around the house and under the bed with whatever tissue, toilet paper roll, random item he has found so you'll chase him (only I don't chase).  He has also started waking up at 6am for no apparent reason, scratching at the door of his crate, and whining.  Luckily, he still goes into his crate on his own and does not seem to have forgotten how to sit (though the stay part is still a work in progress). 

Anyways, I see now that my tears on Friday were not really necessary.  Our vet took good care of Toby and Blake and I got a much needed and well deserved break from the little rascal.  I'm going to try to remember this lesson when it comes to leaving Sprout at day care, but we'll see...  something tells me those tears will not be wasted.

Kate

Friday, April 1, 2011

Growing Pains for Mama

I've kind of gloated in past blogs about how good I've been feeling.  Don't get me wrong, I still feel pretty good, considering that I'm carrying around 20 extra pounds and a bowling ball 24/7.  But, I woke up yesterday with a a really horrible pain in my butt.  Seriously.  I think they call it sciatica and it was one of those things that I really never thought I'd have to worry about.  It starts at in my lower back and then shoots down to the back of my upper thigh like a serious charlie horse.  Not quite as bad as the calf cramps we've all experienced, but bad enough to make me limp.  So today, I brought the heating pad to the office.  We'll see if it helps.

The other pain worth mentioning?  Our little Toby is now 6 months old and that means its time for him to be neutered.  I took him to the vet this morning and he will be there all weekend, until Monday.  I cried when the tech took off his collar and handed it to me.  I cried when she told me that he couldn't have his little towel because it has threads falling out of it.  I cried when she took him out of the room.  I cried even harder when after I said "I'm sorry, I'm pregnant and a little hormonal" and she responded, with great surprise, "Oh! You are?"  Guess she missed the limping and the bowling ball.

I called Blake from the car, still sobbing.  If I can barely leave my puppy for a weekend how in the heck am I ever going to leave our baby somewhere?  He assured me that though it would be hard, it would all be okay.  I believe him on both counts.  But I still have tears in my eyes as I think about it.

Sad puppy dog eyes,
Kate