Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dear Baby J...

Dear Baby...

Congrats on dominating Month 7!  You are one big boy in there; almost up to your total birth length by now, and working hard to gain weight.  For some reason, I feel like you are going to be a tank.  Your daddy and mommy were both around 7 pounds, so I'm hoping you don't exceed much more than that.  It's pretty amazing to actually feel you getting bigger in there.  I know you are starting to run out of room.  I know this because I'm starting to feel body parts pushing into places I never expected.  It's an insane feeling and I'm not going to lie, a little uncomfortable at times.  I'd ask you to kindly remove your foot from my ribs; however, I am aware that you are indeed a boy, and that boys sometimes have a difficult time taking direction from others, especially women.  Although this foot of yours takes my breath away every now and then (and I'm not talking the 'Top Gun' type), I realize you are just as, if not more, uncomfortable as your momma and I would much rather have you moving and kicking than not.  Yesterday, I hardly felt you move and that, combined with crazy pregnancy hormones, was enough to make me go a little crazy. 

Speaking of crazy pregnancy hormones, my mind has been a little all over the place this week.  After an incredibly relaxing Sunday at home in the hammock, my week should have been set.  But with three weeks until I greet my students for another school year and about nine weeks until I meet YOU, I was feeling anything but relaxed.  Can you believe my 'What to Expect' book actually recommends I start packing my hospital stay bag?!?!  What on earth do I need at the hospital?  How do I find you a pediatrician?  How do I find a longterm sub?  What on earth are disposable underwear?  Questions like these flooded my brain this week and caused less than ideal sleep patterns.

The good news is, I usually need a night or two of feeling slightly 'ill-prepared' before I feel better about where I'm at.  I realize that no book or checklist can truly prepare me for what is to come in that hospital room.  I realize that it is completely out of my control as to when and how you decide to make your presence in this world.  I realize that even if I write the best checklist in the world, I will still forget something.  I just hope it's not my camera...

The truth is, I've never felt so 'unprepared' in my life, yet, I'm strikingly okay with that.  I actually welcome it.  The unknowns of motherhood and parenthood are sure to be an adventure, and I can already tell it is going to be the best ride of my life.  As for all of those 'unknowns' out there, I have the history of millions of women who have delivered babies in far less-appealing situations than I will have.  I have the support of a husband who's 'coming around' to the thoughts and images of a delivery room.  And, I have the faith of a Father, whose been in the driver's seat of this miracle I refer to as 'Baby J,' since January 30, 2010.  That's a lot riding on my side, I'd say ;)

So, as I search for the perfect valence for your room, and the perfect nightgown for my hospital stay, I continue to grow into these new shoes of mine.  No, they aren't the finest pair of Jimmy Choo stilettos, but I find myself fitting into them a little better every day.  

Love,

Your 'ill-prepared' momma      

Either Beau is pointing you out in this picture, or pointing to my belly button, which is enjoying its last days of being an 'innie.'  

3-1

How far along? 31 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Love my new Gap clothes. Getting worried about finding things to wear to school every day. Did I mention my classroom does not have air conditioning?!?!

Stretch Marks? No

Sleep? I heart my bed!

Cravings? Nothing too exotic this week. I shift from salty treats to sweet treats frequently though.

Best Moment This Week? A ‘small’ back-to-school shopping spree yesterday. Some maternity clothes, some nursery must-haves, and most importantly, some pretty cute items to add to Baby J’s closet!

Least Favorite Moment This Week? Going almost an entire day without feeling Baby J. I’ve heard as they get bigger, they get less mobile; however, yesterday was torturous! Needless to say, today he is making up for it! I currently have a foot stuck in my ribs!

Gender? BOY!

What I Look Forward To? A baby shower this weekend!

Weekly Wisdom? Walk. Every day.

Milestones? I can officially feel a foot. Before, I had no idea where this child was positioned or what body part I was feeling. After last week’s ultrasound, I can now confirm this hard little something constantly pushing on my ribs is a foot!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family...

This weekend, my first cousin, Ryan, got married.  Ryan is the fifteenth cousin on my dad's side to tie the knot (if I counted right).  Not counting spouses, there are 18 total grandchildren, and now, more great-grandchildren than that.  My Grandma Henrichs, who still has a beauty shop in her house and still proceeds to give perms to a little society of old women in town, used to have a stocking for each of her kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids.  She also used to give each of us a bottle of shampoo as we packed into her little house each Christmas.  Needless to say, we've talked her out of the shampoo, and managed to convince her to move Christmas get-togethers to the local Amvet Hall.  As her flock continues to multiply, she still crochets a blanket for every new bride and every new baby!  Bless her heart and bless big families!

So this weekend, my family met at Mom and Dad's and took Charly to her first wedding.  Although I didn't have a baby to tend to during the wedding and reception, Baby J never let me miss his presence.  I mistakenly thought I could rock the heels, and by 10:30, my back had had enough.  Let's just say there was no chicken dancing for this lady!

Some pictures the familia...





Friday, July 23, 2010

Oh Happy Week...

As summer slides away as quickly as a caught lightning bug in a tiny little fist, I find myself trying to hold onto every piece of it.  I've hit the time in every teacher's summer when I begin thinking about my classroom, my curriculum, and the dreaded bulletin boards, still plastered with the faded backdrop I failed to take off at the end of last year.  

The office will get cleaned.  The maternity plans will get done.  The bulletin boards...well...they'll probably get done.

But for now, it's about summer, baby.  A summer week with a lot to add to the Happiness Project. 

57.  A playful run through the sprinkler with my husband.  As the sprinkler drenched our thirsty front yard, Beau and I ran, stood, splashed, and drank in every drop of that moment.  There is something about a sprinkler that brings you right back to your childhood.  There is something about running through a sprinkler fully clothed on a Sunday afternoon while the neighbors peeked their heads around the corners of their homes that makes you feel a bit silly, a bit immature, a bit wonderful...

58.  A finished Master's Degree I can just about taste.  The paper is finished, my final class is days away from finished, and I am RELIEVED!

59.  Only in the summertime can I have a morning like today.  7:00 am.  Beau is unusually chipper (he is typically not a morning person).  Freezy pops for breakfast.  Weezer's, "El Scorcho," blaring in the kitchen.  Dancing (or what I like to call, 'gorilla dancing') in pajamas.  Stirring pizza sauce and shaking a bottle of red wine vinegar to the beat of the song.  Mornings like this don't happen very often.  When they do, it's best to bottle them up and save 'em for the all-to-familiar days of groggy mornings, rushed showers, and skipped breakfast.  I'll take El Scorcho any day...

60.  Holding sweet, sweaty babies with chubby toes in one hand, and eating homemade grilled pizza with the other.  Caramelized onions, pesto, and fresh mozzarella atop a grate of hot coals.  A sampler pack of Goose Island for the boys, Italian sodas for the girls.  Watching Charly girl roll over on her tummy, stretch her arms out, and show us her two new teeth.  Working hard to make her giggle, then finally succeeding by embarrassingly singing the 'crazy feet' song over and over AND OVER again.  Laughing at her innocent little smile as her Uncle Beau completely dishevels her hair.  One day Charly may get her retribution if her uncle's hair continues to take the path he thinks it will... 

61.  My new favorite purchase for baby.  I've been eyeing this thing for quite some time and finally scored a great deal after heckling the ladies at Peek-a-Boo.  If they'll sell it for half off because of a little rust stain, I guess I'll take it! 


Do you think this makes me a little nervous???

    

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Yeah, Baby!

Dear Baby J,

Well, little man, today you made your mommy and daddy really proud.  Today was my 30 week appointment and a special one at that, as we were anticipating an ultrasound.  As you remember, we were told two weeks ago that you were measuring a little small and needed to 'beef' up.  I didn't mind the news because 1) I like to eat, and 2) we got an excuse to have another ultrasound!  So this morning, as I drove to pick your dad up on the way to the appointment, I was reminded of some of the same emotions I experienced before our 20 week appointment. 

Excited to see how you've changed...

Anxious to see lots of new growth and development...

and a little nervous to see something not-so-good. 

Just ten weeks ago, we found out you were a healthy little boy.  We watched you stretch your legs and move your arms, yawn, and drift of to sleep.  You were bony and a little mutant-looking, but active, healthy, and right on track.

In the ten weeks that followed, I feel like I've gotten to know you quite well.  I feel your bubbles and kicks, and know when you are sleepy and when you are crazy.  So today, as I watched you on that ultrasound screen, it was different.  Instead of a 'discovery,' it was more of a 'checking in' so to speak.  And, boy, are you looking good!

First of all, I couldn't believe how much room you filled up.  You still had room to move (and were taking full advantage of it), but your little body filled up the entire screen.  No longer are your arms so bony; they (and your little boy 'parts') have thankfully fell into better porportion with the rest of your body!  You weigh about 3.5 pounds and measure a little 'above average' on the growth charts (good news)!

Then the ultrasound tech. showed us the 4-D pictures of you.  We could see a perfect little glimpse of your face!  Instead of a teenage mutant ninja turtle, you look like a sweet, chubby little boy!  Oh man are you cute!  As I watched you blink your little eyes, I couldn't help but laugh and think about what exactly you are doing in there.  To me, you were just sitting contently, chillin', hanging out until the timer goes off.  

And, then, just like that, you'd had enough of the sweet baby face.  With one, simultaneous motion, you kicked my stomach!  The picture on the screen shook and the ultrasound tech. laughed as she felt it through her little controller on my stomach.  One giant, WHACK, and our ultrasound was over!  You're strong, that's for sure ;)  

We're on the home stretch now, little one.  You keep cooking in there and before we know it, I'll be touching those little cheeks instead of staring at them through a digital image screen.
  
And because you did so good at your appointment today, I decided to reward you with a little shopping trip to Von Maur.  The stores are getting fall stuff in...watch out world!


I love you! 

Mom.
     

30...30...30...30...30...30...30

How far along? 30 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss? 15 pounds

Maternity Clothes? It may sound weird, but I kind of love maternity clothes. They're airy and comfy, and they accentuate my new favorite curve! I hit the Gap Maternity sale last week and scored big!

Stretch Marks? No

Sleep? Sleep is getting slightly more and more uncomfortable. I move from side to side sporadically all night long. And when I’m not jumping out of bed in the morning thanks to a killer leg cramp, I’m continuing my ‘fish roll.’ My pelvis is a little stiff in the mornings!

Cravings? Nothing crazy. I continue to eat a lot of fruits and veggies, and drink lots of chocolate milk.

Best Moment This Week? A super 30 week appointment today. I’m still smiling! Ultrasound was so much fun. Instead of the single pound little skeletore that greeted us at our 20 week appointment, we saw a three and a half pound, chubby, human-like baby boy! The 4-D pictures are amazing! I can’t stop staring at his sweet little face!

Least Favorite Moment This Week? A good week in my third tri-. No complaints!

Gender? BOY!

What I Look Forward To? Holding him for the first time. It takes my breath away a little…

Milestones? Baby J was deemed, “perfect” by the doctor today. I measured right on track, baby is a little above average as of size, due date is still accurate, and pelvic pain is completely ‘normal’ at this stage.


Good work, Baby! (I think it was the Chips Ahoys…)

Friday, July 16, 2010

What you can learn from the ESPYS

"Our country is the only one in the world with a national anthem that ends with the two words, 'Play Ball!'"
-Anonymous

Because you are a little boy and will grow up surrounded by men who love sports (unless, that is, you spend all your time with Grandpa Ray), and will probably find the majority of my blog posts sappy and 'girly,' I thought I would try my hand at a more testosterone-driven post.  I don't know how possible this is, since your mom is about as far from a 'tomboy' as one may get, but I do pride myself in accepting, appreciating, and even loving one of America's greatest pastimes...

I used to know a lot about sports.  Thanks to my dad and brothers, I could tell you the entire lineup for the Minnesota Twins and the San Francisco 49ers.  I loved looking at Jordan's baseball card collection, went through a spurt when I paid attention to the NBA (thanks to a collection of NBA inspired pencils we had at home), and even used to pick and race our favorite stock cars on a wooden ramp Dad set up in the basement.  I had a thing for Torii Hunter and Ken Griffey Jr., and spent careful time considering which Starter pullover coat to buy from Scheels (sadly, you will probably never own your own 'Starter' coat).
 
Then, I graduated high school and moved in with three other girls.  During my four years of college, I paid very little attention to sports.  When I started dating Beau, every now and then, I would spout off a little bit of my sports knowledge, to which Beau, although impressed, would inform me that my comment was a little 'out-dated.'  He started referring to my sports knowledge gap as the 'Black Period,' a time when I failed to get the message that Jerry Rice was no longer a 49er and Kurt Warner had left the Rams. 

There is a reason we live in a country that eats and breathes sports. The thrill rides, the Cinderella stories, the adrenaline rush, and the awe-inspiring role models that filled the room Wednesday night at the ESPY awards made me proud to live in the country I do. It’s not every day you see an athlete from UNI in the same room as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. Whether it’s a State Championship win in Des Moines, a Super Bowl title five years after its stadium was used to house thousands of displaced hurricane victims, or a second-margin record breaking win at the Winter Olympics, sports have a way of bringing people together…showing us that anything is possible and creating moments that will be etched in our minds forever. 

So...whether you decide to play sports, watch sports, or ignore sports and take up the fine arts (one can do both too), there are lessons that everyone can learn from the game.  Funny that these lessons have nothing to do with Lebron James and his decision to play for the Miami Heat, or Tiger Woods and his latest gossip headline.  These lessons are from real heroes, and have nothing to do with fame, fortune, or contract deals.

1.  Sportsmanship...While you may hear your dad refer to the quote, 'you play to win the game,' I believe sports is much more than who wins the game or who breaks the record.  Take Armando Galarraga as an example.  After umpire, Jim Joyce's blown call to ruin Galarraga's perfect game on June 2nd of this year, Galarraga did the unthinkable.  No, he didn't raise a conundrum, scream at the umpire and create a scene only fit for reality TV.  No, he did not seek to become the spotlight in the multiple media coverages that followed the event.  And no, he didn't even demand retribution.  He simply smiled, shook the hand of the man that ruined his perfect game, and lived the sometimes painful lesson that 'everyone makes mistakes' with grace.  Being a good 'sport' goes far beyond the field.  It's about realizing that everyone is human.  It's about being happy for others.  One of my favorite sports quotes sums up 'sportsmanship' far more than I could...

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."

-Michael Jordan

2.  Anything is possible.  Take the 2010 UNI Panthers Men's Basketball team.  Seeded ninth in the NCAA March Madness Tournament, the Panthers had to play #1 ranked Kansas.  Even the die-hard Panther fans weren't about to choose them over Kansas when creating their brackets.  Wednesday night, however, Coach Ben Jacobson, and graduates, Adam Koch and Ali Farokhmanesh, stood among Drew Brees, Terrell Owens, and the U.S. Soccer Team to accept the award for 'Best Upset' at the ESPYS.  Looking star-struck and completely freaked out, the three men stood among thousands and dedicated their award to none other than WATERLOO/CEDAR FALLS!!!  They were star-struck and so were all of the proud Cedar Valley'ians' glued to the TV.


Best moment...although Coach Jake's joke about Ali wanting to 'shoot' the basketball trophy bombed with the audience (a true cricket moment), everyone in Iowa 'got it.'  While we were laughing back home, Jacobson's face turned a shade of pink and I thought Ali looked a little horrified! 

3.  Courage.  It's a word that's difficult to define, let alone live by.  But by the words of Aaron Thomas, sometimes we have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep playing.  Perhaps no one had learned this lesson more last year than the family of Ed Thomas.  You will hear of Ed Thomas someday, not because he coached at the 'Sacred Acre' in Parkersburg, just 10 miles south of my hometown, but because of his story and the legacy he has left behind.  Murdered by one of his former players during a summer weightlifting session with his team, Ed's wife, Jan, and sons, Aaron and Todd were forced to pick up the pieces of their life without their father in it.  But they did more than rebuild their own family.  Just as their father helped rebuild the small town after a devastating tornado in May 2008, the Thomas family sought to rebuild a football team, as well as their relationship with Mark Becker's family, a family torn apart by guilt and grief.  As they stood up on that stage amidst a tear-filled audience, I believe they taught even the biggest stars a lesson that night...a lesson of faith, family, forgiveness, and football.         

4.  Character.  Character is not about being deemed the 'greatest golfer of all time,' or the 'richest man in sports.'  It's about a golfer winning the sport's most renowned tournament and instead of acknowledging his victory, he acknowledged the strength of his wife, struggling and battling through breast cancer.  While Tiger Woods deals with his identity crisis, or what others have ridiculously coined, "sex addiction," Phil Mickelson has his priorities in check.  Now, I don't know a whole lot about Phil Mickelson; however, I do know he hasn't made the same headlines his rival has.  Character is not about wins or losses; it's about how you play the game...the game of sport or more importantly, the game of life. 

So there you have it...an utterly long-winded post about sports from an on-again, off-again sports fan.  As far as the Ron Santo, Chicago Cubs life lessons???  I'm leaving those up to your father ;).   

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A mad craving...

And I don't think this is what the doctor had in mind when she said baby and I needed to put on some weight...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodbye Twenties!

Dear Baby,

Well, little one, it’s my last week in the 20s…of pregnancy that is. My birthday is coming up, however, I still have a few years left to be twenty-something. Next week will be my 30th week of pregnancy, which sounds incredibly crazy to me. There’s still a lot to do before I’m officially ‘ready’ to bring you home; however, I’m also getting more and more anxious to meet you and hold you in my arms. I have approximately ten weeks left of my first pregnancy…ten weeks to savor the kicks, the freedom to eat what I what when I want, and all the little miracles that go along with carrying you.

Speaking of kicks…I’m not sure if you realized it or not last night, but I felt your foot. Your kicks were making me slightly uncomfortable in bed last night, so instead of concentrating on sleep, I concentrated on discovering where and how you might be positioned in there. You seemed to be lying how you should because all your kicks were originating in the middle of my tummy, up towards my chest. So, I placed two of my fingers on the bulls-eye, and waited. Then…I felt it. The ball of a little foot, pressed up against my fingers. Back and forth we played this little game. Touch and go. Touch and go. Touch and go. I even yelled to your dad to come feel the evidence. I’ve been feeling you for several weeks now; however, last night was different. Last night, I knew without a doubt that I felt your little foot. And I must say, you have an adorable foot!

After that, I was one happy mommy. I laid in bed and dreamed about touching and kissing that little foot of yours. Although a part of me wanted to freeze that special moment forever, a part of me can’t wait for the real thing…the real foot and the real everything! Life is going to be pretty special with you in it.

Ten weeks to go!

Love...Mom

P.S. The belly picture. I think I look huge. I purposely wore leggings and a tight tank top to try and accentuate my ‘features.’ I think it worked. I can’t quite imagine what I’m going to look like by October!


29 Week Update...

How far along? 29 Weeks

Maternity Clothes? Lots of shorts and t-shirts this week. My t-shirts are getting tighter and tonight, I realized the bottom of my belly was showing at the checkout counter at Target…oops!

Stretch Marks? No

Sleep? No complaints this week (especially with line-dried sheets on the bed)

Cravings? Mom’s spaghetti sauce and Chips Ahoy cookies

Best Moment This Week? This has been the summer of organization for the Jorgensens. What started as a newly developed shelving system in our basement soon became a complete closet revamp. Now, the baby has a closet all to himself, AND, a shelving system that I put together BY MYSELF! The upstairs bedrooms are cleaned and the closet organization has helped our ‘stuff’ situation so much!

Also…turned in my MA paper TODAY! Two weeks of class left and I’ve officially finished my Masters Degree…all before Little J arrives! It’s been a lot of work, but I’m hoping it pays off when I can be home at night with my little guy instead of sitting in class!

Least Favorite Moment This Week? I went to the mall the other day to buy some new underwear (as they fit a bit differently being pregnant) and had trouble walking from Von Maur to Younkers. I was so achy by the time I hit the baby department that I turned around and went home!

Gender? BOY!

What I Look Forward To? The crib! It’s started and should only be a few more weeks!

Milestones? I felt a foot last night! Baby J was super active from the time I devoured a plate of spaghetti until I went to bed. I couldn’t get comfortable on either side because he was moving so much. Finally, I settled down and decided to ‘take in’ the moment. I stuck two fingers on the place where I was feeling the bumps and before I knew it, the ball of a foot hit pressed up against my fingers! It was so cool! It’s little moments like that I won’t ever forget.

Monday, July 12, 2010

You know you are 29 weeks pregnant when...

...you have to stop in the middle of a 'quick' grocery run to Hy-Vee to use the bathroom.  I've never seen the Hy-Vee bathrooms before!

...My body officially feels like a guest house.  Someone has taken over and he is out-growing this house everyday.  I finally have a glimpse of how my mom feels after raising three kids in the same house my dad built about 25 years ago!  She's out of room!

...You know how a fish flops around the dock or boat floor after aimlessly falling off your hook?  How he struggles to find his way back to the water, to freedom, to a new start?  I'm pretty sure that is how I look as I get out of bed in the morning.  Sleep is getting slightly more and more uncomfortable and every morning, I fishroll out of bed in order to land on my own two feet.  

...Every morning is like Christmas.  A new surprise.  A new ache or pain in the lower half of my body.  At least the new aches have replaced the existing ones. 

...The view of my feet is becoming more and more obstructed.  I see a few more pedicures in my future!


...I have discovered the meaning to the word, flatulent, and it now makes its way into Beau and I's daily conversation.  I won't say if this is due to my own experience, or the collection of pregnancy literaure I have at home. 

...I'm hungry all the time.  The good news is, my stomach fills up really quickly.  It, too, has shrunk to make room for the growing 'guest' I have occupying my space!

...I get winded walking up the stairs too fast. 

...I wake up several times during the night.  Thank goodness this doesn't happen on a regular basis, as I've discovered my husband snores.  I used to take pride in being a really, REALLY hard sleeper.  The neighbor's house was on fire once, fire trucks lined up in our backyard, and I slept through the entire thing.  Now, my internal clock has officially turned to 'mommy hours.' 

...I'm starting to wonder how my body will ever make room for this guy in September!?!?  He's bound to double his size before joining this great world, and frankly, I don't know where he's going to go!  If my students thought I was crabby before the school year ended (I heard through the grapevine), wait until I'm nine months pregnant in a building with NO AIR CONDITIONING!  Eek!
     

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Baby Likes Brats...

Happiness Project...Happiness Project...Happiness Project...Happiness Project...Happiness Project
Happiness Project...Happiness Project...Happiness Project...Happiness Project...Happiness Project
Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy...Happy

52.  I realized while wandering through the aisles of Hy-Vee the other day that we are well into July and I have yet to have a grilled beer brat.  Last summer, I feel like we ate them all the time.  A cheap and easy dinner plan...and oh-so-summer. 


So this week, I made my idea of the perfect summer dinner.  Grilled brats, fixed with ketchup and sauerkraut, my favorite macaroni salad, and chips.  The only preparation besides the mac salad involved marinating the brats for 5 minutes in a boiling pot of beer.  We ate on the deck on a picturesque summer night and all was happy...

...and clean up was a breeze!

Old Fashioned Macaroni Salad...
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 green pepper, chopped
4 carrots, shredded
minced onion
1 can Eagle Brand Sweet Condensed Milk
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
2 cups mayo
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook macaroni; drain and cool.  Toss with green pepper, carrot, and minced onion.  Pour dressing over salad and refridgerate until cool.
 
53.  There is nothing like a toasted marshmallow melting between two grahms and a slice of chocolate to really feel summertime.  Beau is not a dessert guy; he'd actually be quite content if his diet included nothing but protein and a starch.  This makes a happy (and sometimes complicated marriage) being that my two favorite food groups are salads and desserts.  Only when I'm 28 weeks pregnant can I enjoy eating s'more after s'more while my husband watches me and keeps refusing my offer to make one for him.  


54.  Well, my closet is just about finished!  No, there isn't a chandelier donning from the top, or mirrored doors fighting with one another's reflection, but there is the perfect space for me and my clothes.  Last week, I spent an entire day sorting through my clothes, making a few trips to Goodwill, and finding a new home for a few old friends that hadn't made an appearance for awhile.  It had been suffocating in my old closet!


55.  Spontaneous picnics.  There's just something awfully nice about eating a meal on a blanket in a quiet, peaceful place.  Our picnic didn't last long because Baby and I found it a little uncomfortable to pop a squat on the hard ground...let's just say I look forward to laying a baby on the blanket instead of attempting to get comfortable with him laying awkwardly inside of me!
 

56.  Lazy, rainy, Sundays.  An bottomless cup of cream-and-sugar coffee and reruns of The Hills.
 

"In every life we have some trouble,
when you worry you make it double...
So don't worry,
BE HAPPY!" 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Calling all BLOG readers!

I am getting close to my year anniversary of 'Our Life...Better Together,' and have officially been sucked into the blogosphere. Every day, I stay a little more in tune with the world around me because of it and even more than that, I have acquired a few other blogs that have become my favorite reading material!

Today, I'm asking for some help from YOU! Yes, you, one of my readers. I know I have readers; however, the affirmation is not there when I look at the six followers (including my husband and myself, sadly) I have listed on the sidebar of my blog. I'm looking to recruit more 'followers,' and would love to have you join!

If you scroll down to the bottom of the blog, click the box that says, "FOLLOW." Then, using your email address and password, simply log-on.

My goal is 20 followers! And, as a high school teacher, I know that if you don't receive any 'points' for this, it may be hard to entice you, so, keep in mind, there may be some 'extra credit' involved in the future ;).

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

28 Weeks!

(Beau highlighting the baby bump, as if it needs any help!)

How far along? 28 Weeks

Total Weight Gain/Loss? I say a gain of 17 pounds; the doctor says 13

Maternity Clothes? Still loving summer dresses and my favorite pair of maternity shorts. After going through my clothes yesterday as I organized my new closet, I had a hard time believing I would ever fit into some of my old favorites ever again! Beau may not agree, but I see a post-partum shopping spree in my future!

Stretch Marks? No

Sleep? Waking up at 4:00 am this morning was not fun. It turns out, there’s a reason God gave me a good pair of REM eyes…I think way too much in the middle of the night. Is this what parenting is going to be like?

Best Moment This Week? I am so blessed to have such a great place to go to have this baby. The nurses and doctors are unbelievable. My 28 week appointment was today and I left feeling so reassured. Little dude’s heartbeat was 135…somebody was feeling sleepy after the momentary sugar high from my glucose screening. Now I’m onto 2-week appointments. And next time…another ultrasound! Turns out, baby hasn’t grown as much as he should since my last appointment, even though I feel like I’m carrying a lot more around with me lately. Bring on the burgers and milkshakes I guess!

Least Favorite Moment This Week? Unfortunately, the achiness has not subsided. It’s like a new surprise every morning when I wake up. Last week, my pelvis. Last weekend, my tailbone. Today, my entire lower body is achy. I’m walking funny and feel the need to make a Williams’ sister-like grunt when I bend over to pick something up. I know everything in there is shifting and pulling and moving and growing, and now I just have to learn to ‘grow’ with it. I’m used to feeling good and this is just a shock to my system I guess. It’s okay that it hurts to even think about riding a bicycle and that a trip up the stairs leaves me feeling a bit more winded than usual. When I told the doctor that it hurt when I lifted things, she said, “Well, silly, you shouldn’t be lifting things anyways.”

Gender? BOY!

What I Look Forward To? The baby’s closet is cleared out! I now have a place for his whale of a tub!

Milestones? Baby should be taking his first breaths of air! This is a dose of relief for an expectant mommy!

Waiting...

Dear Baby,

It’s you and me. Sitting in the waiting room of the place you will be born during a flash flood in the ‘Loo. I drove through massive puddles to get you here on time and let’s just say, I’m not used to driving in flooded streets. I guess there’s a ‘no drive’ warning in Waterloo as we speak. But we made it, at 9:00 on the dot, with enough time for me to down a glass of some orange kool-aid on steroids. Yes, it is my 28 week appointment, time for a glucose and diabetes test. That means, after drinking a glass of over-active kool-aid, I sit here patiently for an hour, only to get poked and de-blooded. See what I have to go through for you? You better always be sweet to your momma…

Good thing I have you to keep me company. If I thought you moved a lot before, I had another thing coming. You are currently acting as a human pinball machine. I’m having a terrible time keeping a straight face and wonder if anyone else in the waiting room can see my tummy popping up and down. You are distracting me and making me have to pee more than I already do. At least you’re making the time go fast…my little crazy pop.

Today I feel like a mommy. Being surrounded by a room full of other mommies totally ignites the experience. We smile at each other and wonder how far along others are. We touch our tummies, send our working husbands text messages, and distractingly thumb through Good Housekeepings as we await our name to be called. I’m usually not a huge fan of hospitals or doctors’ appointments, but going to see a baby doctor is an entirely different experience. It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s one step closer to you.

Today should be an interesting day. I was up, wide awake at 4:00 am, half thinking, half dreaming of all the things I need to do before October. I finally forfeited my battle with sleep and got up around 5. You and me sat by the table with a glass of orange juice and a toasted English muffin with peanut butter, and made some meal plans. Yes, your mom is not only a loser, but now an insomniac.

Now, five hours later and a glass of sugar high sinking into my system, I’m heading for a massive crash this afternoon. I have a feeling you are too.

Praying for a good appointment and some questions answered about the constant state of achiness I’ve been in. I’ll let you know how it goes soon…

Love you sweet one,

Your Mom.

Update…

Okay, Baby J, it’s time to start growing. The doctor says you are a little behind schedule when it comes to how my tummy measured. I felt like telling them it’s no wonder you haven’t gained, you won’t stop moving in there! I think you take after your busy-body parents already! In two weeks, I get to have another ultrasound. So in the meantime, it’s time to pump up the volume, little one. I’ve never followed wrestling; however, it’s never too late to start. You’ve got a weight to make and two weeks to do it, so put away the soccer ball and let’s go to Olive Garden!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Our trip to the Lone Star State...


Well, baby, your daddy and I just returned from another away-from-home adventure to add to our summer book of memories. A trip to Dallas, Texas has been on our list of things to do since Beau’s two college roommates, Dallas and Heath, and Heath's wife, Nicole, moved there a few years ago. But, as you’ll learn someday, time slips by, things pile up, and it gets hard to squeeze in all the things we'd love to do in a 365-day calendar. This year was the year, however, so, just crossing into my final trimester, 28 weeks pregnant, we hopped on a airplane on Thursday to enjoy a long weekend of friends, food, and relaxation in the Lone Star State.


This is Emersen, Heath and Nicole’s baby girl. Although the saying may be that everything is bigger in Texas, Emersen does not fit the bill. She’s seven pounds of cute, and it was fun to cuddle with her throughout the weekend. Someday, we will go back to their house and the two of you will have lots of fun together. Beau thinks you two would make a great couple someday; however, your momma will have some words if you decide to move too far away.

This is Heath and Nicole. Your dad lived with Heath for four years during college, at the infamous ‘504’ apartment. He has many stories that involve his friend, 'Fid'; unfortunately, your ears can only hear about half of them. We arrived in Texas Thursday afternoon and Heath picked us up from the airport. We spent our first night relaxing at their beautiful home, while also gaining some practice and parenting advice from the newbies. I absorbed Nicole’s every move as she tended to her little one, and Beau treated Fid’s advice as gold. It turns out, Fid took some of Beau’s advice to heart as well over the weekend. Friday, while the girls got pedicures, the boys went to Lowes and purchased a Char Griller Smoker. Before the weekend was over, Fid had knocked out a rack of ribs, a turkey, and a brisket. Beau was so proud...


This is Dallas. I love this man. For some reason, I’ve always had a soft spot for him. Tall, sweet, and handsome, I always told Beau that Dallas would be the perfect candidate for a season of ‘The Bachelor.’ Now, two months from tying the knot to his fiancĂ©, Teresa, in Hawaii, Dallas is definitely living the good life in Dallas.

After a Texas-style dinner of fried green beans, guacamole, and ribs at a perfectly country place called, Love and War in Texas, Dallas took us to his place to stay for the remainder of the weekend. It turns out, Dallas has mad game when it comes to being a tour guide. In his black Lexus, with a custom CD of old music he and Beau used to listen to in college, we sped through downtown, as Dallas pointed out completely random, wonderful facts about his city. He showed us Hotel Zaza, an exclusive hotel just purchased by Lady Gaga (simply because of the name), the largest set of freeway interchanges in the country, and the Dallas Aquarium, home to seven different species of penguins. We drove by the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks; The Loon, a favorite bar of Luke and Owen Wilson; and an exclusive bar that is visited by the richest men in the entire world. If there was a random fact about this city in Texas, our friend Dallas knew it. I asked Beau later if he thought Dallas researched all his Texas knowledge and he replied, “Dallas has always been a curious fool.”

This is the view from the rooftop of Dallas’ high-rise condo. Let’s just say, Beau and I had 'above-average' living arrangements during our stay in Texas. Dallas actually hired a crane to drop off his hot tub, grill, and field-turf lawn when he moved in! I only wish I could have sampled the Grey Goose or Tanqueray 10 martinis Dallas was whipping up for his guest of honor on the rooftop of his pad.

We had great hosts during our stay. While we toured the sites of the city on Saturday, Dallas continually asked how I was feeling, whether I was walking too much, and whether I was hungry. It turns out, he’s a pretty good personal photographer too!


We toured Elm Street, and I had goose bumps as I stood in the exact spot that JFK was shot. Dallas pointed out the window where Lee Harvey Oswald knelt, as well as the conspiracy theory of the potential second gunman. We sampled frozen yogurt from Yumilicious, probably the best soft serve yogurt I’ve ever had. And, we unveiled our childlike wonder at Medieval Times, donning our crowns and eating with our hands.




Beau relished the silverware-less dining experience, although he was disappointed that he couldn’t point his turkey leg at people in the crowd (the chicken legs were a little small). We clanked our mugs together, took pictures with the falconer, and cheered on our knight as if our lives depended on it.





When I started having back, pelvis, and tailbone achiness about a week before leaving for the Lone Star State, I was a little nervous about overdoing it during our stay. It turns out, this trip was exactly what my body needed. It was time to sleep in, laugh with good friends, and not feel obligated to clean my bathroom, switch the laundry, or mop the floor. It was a getaway to a new place, comforted by the laughs of old friends and old stories.



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