Dr. Seuss

I forgot to post pictures of these cute Bumkins waterproof diaper covers I found on Craigslist, brand new, for $5 (retail 18.99). Who knew they made cute Dr. Seuss things?

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Pregnancy Updates

I should be preparing for my first Conrad class tonight, so this will have to be quick. Our 3rd Birthing Class on Saturday went really well. Linda taught us a lot about the first few weeks of a newborn’s life– almost too much (information overload!). This was our last week learning massage positions on the floor, she said. Next time, it’s all about laboring positions…oh boy.

In other news, the day of our anniversary was also one of my mid-wife appointments. I had the “nazi” midwife Cherie, so I was a bit nervous to find out what I weighed…only to find that I’ve only gained a pound in the last 4 weeks, for a total of 17 pounds this whole pregnancy! If I go all the way to 40 weeks, gaining 1 pound a week from here on out (growth spurt time!) that’s still only a total of 25 pounds. Even my nazi midwife looked at me and said, “Congratulations! Β You’re doing so well on your weight!” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I eat icecream every night and fast food with Jesse on the weekends…didn’t seem like the kind of “moment” she was looking for.

Although I’m grateful that I haven’t puffed out like a balloon these last 32 weeks, I did just cross the 150 pound mark, and it’s tough, I have to confess. I know it’s all baby since all my other measurements have remained the same, but telling myself that still feels like “blah blah blah”. I FEEL HUGE. I keep bumping into things, everything aches…I found a huge purple spidery bruise on my left ankle, and I have no idea how it got there. Perhaps it’s just groaning under all the weight.

Also, pray that I don’t get put on Bed Rest, because that would just NOT be the way I want to spend the next 4 weeks (36 weeks is the minimum gestational age that I can use the birth center). On Saturday, I had concerted cramping for at least an hour total along with a few Braxton Hicks contractions, WHILE sitting down drinking water at BJs with the Snells and Unruhs. When it happened for another 5 minutes on Sunday, I called Cherie’s cell phone and asked her about it. She told me to go home, take a bath, and lie down the rest of the day. If it was still occurring today, she said, I was supposed to come in for another checkup. Luckily, I rested pretty much all morning, with the exception of my 1/2 Curves workout and 1/2 grocery shopping trip, but it still worries me. We need this last month of piano teaching in order to get our finances in a place where I can take 3 months off. Bed Rest would make things pretty difficult, at this point. Β I also want to be as physically fit as is possible (given the limitations of having a huge watermelon strapped on) when I go into labor, seeing as they liken the exertion of labor/ birth to running 2 back-to-back marathons.

Off to piano lessons and then my first class!

True

“A dog will stand over you and protect your lifeless body from all predators. A cat will eat you when you are no longer able to use the can opener.”

32 Weeks

My current baby πŸ™‚

Her new little shirt that Julie bought her

Anniversary Date

Since we went to Brazil for our honeymoon, Jesse found a Brazilian “Churrascuria” for us to eat dinner at. It’s a nice change to be able to actually celebrate our anniversary– our first one, we were driving through the Texas desert to move to Dallas, our second one, I was in the ER, and our third one we were sitting in the car repair shop, hating our death-trap Passat.

Before eating, we worked up an appetite by walking around in old town Irving. It was a beautiful evening, about 75 degrees with a light breeze.

Cute shops lining Main Street. Reminded me of Downtown Paso Robles or Fullerton

Historical log cabin and windmill

This park totally reminds me of Templeton Park, back in the day...

The old boxcar. Again, Templeton Park, anyone?

The old train station

Pretty church steeple under a gorgeous Texas sky

Centennial Park

Lots of people walking on the trails, enjoying the gorgeous evening

The fountain in the square

Obligatory candid photo

Our Brazilian grill, owned by two Brazilians. Our waitress was from Paraguay.

Appetizer plate from the buffet

The Fried Food plate they brought out...the pockets are fried mozzarella, then fried polenta (my fav!), then fried bananas (my other fav!) and french fries

What's left of our yummy basket of cheese bread!

Bring on the meat! Jesse called it "God's Buffet". We had bacon wrapped filets, parmesan pork, at least 3 different types of sirloin, sausage and chicken

For dessert-- grilled pineapple with cinnamon!! Bestest!!

4 Year Anniversary

4 years ago today, I made the best decision of my life and married my best friend, Jesse.

Surprisingly, I don’t have a lot of words to describe what this means to me, and what we mean to each other. I only have small descriptions and snapshots to show that life has never been better, and that every day we only grow more and more in love with one another.

For example:

I can’t remember the last night we went to bed angry with one another.

Jesse can still make me laugh like no one else. Last week, he “tried” to do my Kegels exercises with me. I explained this was impossible. He said, “You never know until you try!”

On our way to church the other day, Jesse made me laugh about something silly (I can never remember), and he paused and said, “If I can make you laugh like that every year of our marriage, I’ll consider myself a success”.

We still fall asleep most nights holding hands. And he still wakes me up every morning to give me a hug before he leaves for work.

We hardly go out in the evenings. Mostly because if we’re together, we’re already content.

He’s already proven what a great father he is going to be. He texts me during the day to make sure I’m feeling okay. He makes sure I get my nightly massage to alleviate unecessary pregnancy discomfort. He’s been to nearly every appointment. If I ask him nicely, he makes a concerted effort to shop talk “baby gear/stuff” for as long as he is able (and still retain his manliness).

I’ve only spent a total of 2.5 weeks away from him this entire 4 years, and even those were difficult.

He got off 9 hours of work last night, made dinner, got me dessert, fixed my broken picture frames with carpenter’s glue, and even helped with all the dishes. Seriously, what a guy.

Hips Don’t Lie

My body is now constantly reminding me that Gregory’s arrival is drawing near.

Sunday was rough already because it was a loooong, hotttttt day. Singing in the choir is also becoming quite the athletic endeavor, seeing as my diaphragm is now smaller than a pancake. We went to church on Saturday night, where I sang for 1.5 hours, then church on Sunday where I sang for another 2 hours, and then a wedding Sunday afternoon where I sang for another 1.5 hours. We were planning on attending the fancy shmancy Hilton reception afterwards, especially since it was down the road in Southlake, but I was too tired to cope. And cranky, mostly because I had to stand the entire wedding (which ran long because the bride was 20 minutes late. Which means we sang prelude music for an extra 20 minutes!). Usually, I can bring a chair up into the choir, but (not to complain), we did not split up the choir into antiphonal sides for the wedding. There was only room for 3 chairs, and older, feebler members of the choir had first dibs. God was gracious though– at the one point where it got REALLY HOT in there and I felt like I was going to pass out from standing so long (plus, I’d already had one or two Braxton Hicks contractions!), one of the ladies offered me her chair for a while. It was just what I needed…wouldn’t want Gregory coming THIS early!

I also realized that my hips are beginning to expand. I did not acquire this information visually, because it’s too slight to notice in that way. No, I feel it. All day yesterday, I felt like someone had taken a baseball bat to each hip bone. It kind of feels like when I used to play volleyball, and we would run diving/rolling drills for a few hours on the hard wood gym floor. As Jesse was performing our nightly routine of prenatal massages, some of them became EXCRUCIATING. If he accidentally pressed on a certain bone, it would send shock waves of pain everywhere.

This is also putting pressure, once again, on my sciatic nerve in the left leg. I was walking in to the bathroom to talk to Jesse while he was brushing his teeth, and all of a sudden, “OW OW OW OW” and I couldn’t move my leg. Like it was disconnected from voluntary action and had decided its ONLY function was to cause mind numbing pain. This has been disheartening, because that nerve hasn’t bothered me for weeks. I hope that this is just a growth spurt, and that once things get bigger to accommodate Gregory, my body can calm down again.

You might laugh as I try to explain this next part, but I really hope that my hips stay expanded, when all of this is said and done. Everyone has certain things they wish they could change about their body– one of the things I’ve always wished for is bigger hips. I know, right? But I just happen to think that there is something so beautiful about having big hips and a small waist. Big hips AND a big waist, not so much. But I believe that hourglass figures were coveted and mimicked for centuries in our culture for a REASON.

But, while usually not large, both my hips and my waist have always been close to, if not the same size. Sometimes, magazines group women into 4 major body type categories– pear, apple, rectangle, square. I am definitely the rectangle. Β It’s the way I was created, and I’ve learned that there is nothing I can do to change it. I really mean that– there is nothing I can do! If I try to lose weight, not only does my body not let me, but any slight pound or two will be evenly taken off from everywhere, instead of one certain place. As I was telling Chelsea in January, I tried an experiment last fall. I ate super healthy an entire month. Kept a food journal, exercised 5 times a week, limited dessert, everything. After a whole month? Same weight, give or take a tenth of a pound. Β The next month, I threw all caution to the wind. I ate McDonalds a few times a week (hey! It was Finals!), binged on Thanksgiving leftovers, ate icecream every night, worked out maybe twice the ENTIRE month. And I was the same exact weight, at the end of it.

So, while some women are here cautioning me that “some of my pants may no longer fit after pregnancy” because of hip expansion, I have been secretly rejoicing. Perhaps, finally, I will have bigger hips.

Hey, pregnancy already does such a number on one’s vanity (probably for the better!) that it’s good to rejoice in the little things. Even if they’re becoming bigger things πŸ™‚

Cloth Diapers

Back when Courtney told me she was going to buy cloth diapers for Topher, I laughed. I automatically assumed that cloth diapers were inferior– didn’t work as well, messy to use and clean and, generally, a pain in the butt (couldn’t help myself!).

As you know, I’ve thought twice about these faulty assumptions. First of all, cloth diapers are WAAAAYYYYY cheaper. Most child-care experts estimate that a baby will go through 8,000 diapers from birth to potty training. At .25/disposable diaper (which is Sam’s Club/economic pack-cheap), that’s $2,000 in disposable diapers. ICK.

The budget-friendly cloth diapering system? $100-200 total. I’ll let you do the math on the savings there. Of course, you have to add in an extra $10-20/month in water bills for the extra laundry you do. But still.

And inconvenient? Hardly. “Safety pins” and “clips” have generally become obsolete. Cloth pocket diapers look and work exactly like disposable diapers, w/ velcro or snap closures instead of tape. No training needed.

Time spent throwing in a load of laundry? You’d spend that much time having to run to the store for diapers.

If you or someone you know is ever planning on having children in the near or not-too-distant future, you should watch this 1 minute video. You might save yourself close to $1800.

Birth Class #2

I have to say, the best part about these birth classes are the 1/2 hour back massage I get from Jesse. The doula/birth coach has the men practice all the different stretches/massages from the previous class, adding 6-8 every class. The nicest one was “child’s pose”, where Jesse rolled a frozen waterbottle along my spine. It is supposed to be very helpful for back labor…dreading the possibility of THAT!

We also watched 2 short birth videos, one a natural birth in a hospital with a doula and Dr., one with a water birth at home. The fact that both of the women were actually using the different positions and massages that we’ve been learning during their labor was good for me to see. Granted, neither woman looked comfortable, but neither was anything NEAR as dramatic as what I’ve pictured. The movies have trained us to think that labor has to be this screaming ordeal. The only kind of talking and “yelling” that should be allowed are low noises– the rest just tense everything up and make it much more painful, apparently.

I cried lots during this class, once during the birth video when the mom held the baby for the first time, and once when our instructor was reading a cheesy birth poem while we were practicing our focused breathing/relaxing/massages. I hated myself for crying on that last one– the CHEESIEST, most poorly written poem I’ve heard in a long time, but the sentiment behind it was super sweet. Even Jesse appreciated it, although he too couldn’t stand the fact that someone tried to call it a poem.

Next week we are supposed to cover the first few days after birth, plus a little about breastfeeding. Hmmm…..I’m scared to think about how one actually LEARNS these sorts of things without a baby there to practice with…

Gregory’s Photo Shoot

This is the one that Jesse entitled, "The Storm Trooper"

Yes, everyone. Those are testicles. He's a boy.

A big footprint, with the toes on the right

A Big Thanks to Jenny for picking up the cd!