Thursday, May 27, 2010

Baby Ramblings, Loki Update and Tutti

I had my 32-week prenatal visit this morning. Everything is perfect, according to the nurse. My weight and belly size is spot-on. I've gained 23lbs. Funny thing is I'm now the same weight I was in college. So needless to say I'm not having anxiety attacks over the weight gain. I looked damn good in college.

I worry sometimes that the docs/nurses aren't checking on Scarlett enough. They ask me if I'm having any issues, they check her heartbeat, measure my belly, and weigh me... but what does that really say about her development?

The nurse recommended seeing a chiropractor for my pelvic pain, so I made an appointment for next week. Cross your fingers for me. I'd like to be able to take long walks again! I've also decided to suck it up and go swimming a few times a week. I have not been getting enough exercise, and it's starting to make me feel crappy. Thing is, my skin reacts badly to chlorine. Even if I shower the second I get out of the pool, my skin still gets red and dry. So I avoid chlorinated water like the plague. But I'm getting desperate. I'm going to try to just suck it up and go anyway. I wish there were a saltwater pool nearby that didn't require an expensive membership...

Jeremy has been in the Springs all day helping his parents with some stuff at their house. It sure feels different here when he's gone. I get antsier, that's for sure. I've gotten a TON of work done today at my job, and I also did some yoga, took a walk, washed the dishes, played with the dogs, cleaned the floor fan, and reorganized a shelf in the kitchen to accommodate baby stuff. I don't want to say that I'm lazy when Jeremy is around... but maybe I just respond to his low-intensity energy. With him still out of work and me working from home, we are together 24/7. It's been nice, actually, I really can't complain -- but I'm sure these breaks from each other are good for us too.

And yes, before you start wondering, he is still trying to get his new business up and running. He's hit a snag with the insurance, but we've got high hopes that the snag will work loose and he can get going very soon.

In other news, Loki doesn't look like a pound puppy anymore. Ever since she had her tail cropped, she's been getting healthier and healthier. She's putting on a little weight (though she's still a skinny minnie), her coat is glossy, her eyes are no longer red, she's not as gassy, and even her snoring has improved. I don't know if it's from the antibiotics she's been on for the surgery, or if not having a constantly broken and infected tail is what's making her better, but whatever it is she is a VERY happy and healthy girl now. We are extremely glad we had this surgery done, and we wish we had done it years ago.

Cairo had a funny little incident this week. You may or may not know this, but he is a strictly indoor cat. This is more for my sanity than anything, but we feel very strongly that it's also safer for Cairo. I was out on the back deck talking to Jeremy while he was working on the yard, and I didn't notice that Cairo had snuck through the open screen door. I went down the stairs and into the back yard to help with the yardwork, and as I was standing there talking to Jeremy I heard a cat HOWLING like it was dying. I looked at Jeremy and said "Is that Cairo?" We both said "Nah, couldn't be," and kept talking. A minute later, the howling was getting more frantic, and I thought maybe I should walk back up to the deck and see if Cairo was at the door. Sure enough, he was at the door -- but on the outside of it! He was standing in front of the screen door, staring into the house, howling and shaking. After I got done laughing at the fraidy cat, I let him back inside. I'm sure he was freaked because there was a door between him and his food dish. That'll teach him not to sneak outside!

Jeremy and I went to a new restaurant here in Lafayette called Tutti on Tuesday night. I had been there once before with Della, and it was just as great the second time around. They have a large and eclectic menu, great service, and delicious food, but the greatest thing about it is they offer three sizes on their menu. You can get any of their items (from appetizers to entrees) in sampler, plate or platter size. I like to get two or three sampler size dishes to try various things, and none of the food has let me down yet. The prices are really reasonable too. Our bill for the whole meal, with drinks, was $29. We spend more to order delivery pizza! The patio at Tutti is fantastic, too, and I'm anxious to go back on a warm summer night. Especially when I can have a couple of glasses of wine...

I saw Dear John this week. I want my hour and a half back. But Jeremy watched Descent 2 while I was upstairs watching Dear John, and he really liked his movie.

Monday, May 24, 2010

32 Weeks

In lieu of my typical pregnancy photo, here's a clip from one of the baby shower photos. This is me at 32 weeks. Yeah, this is the last time I'll be able to wear this dress until after the baby is born... it ain't stretchin' no further.

Reusing Old Prescription Bottles

This is an article worth keeping on-hand!

12 Ways to Reuse Your Old Prescription Bottles

Mama, stop working and come rub my big ol' blubber belly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Baby Stuff

I am absolutely exhausted. What a weekend!

Della threw me a baby shower at my mom's house in Castle Rock on Saturday. Jeremy and I arrived early so he and my dad and brothers could get out of there before the women converged. I've never seen my dad so happy to see Jeremy. LOL. Those boys were ready to get the heck out of Dodge!

I sat in the kitchen with my mom, Della, Sarah and Abby while Della directed the preparation of everything. She's done professional catering many times, and thrown many showers -- she's amazing. It's like watching a ballet, only with food. The theme was "afternoon tea", so she brought these amazing loose-leaf teas from the Huckleberry, hand-picked by the same woman who chooses the tea for the Dushanbe Teahouse in Boulder. She also put out tiny tea sandwiches -- cucumber, caprese and salmon mousse. And her piece de resistance was pineapple ginger punch. My mom got a two-layer bundt cake with cream cheese frosting from a local bakery too -- the top layer was lemon blueberry and the bottom layer was white chocolate raspberry. In a nutshell, the food was freaking amazing.

Instead of playing games, Della had everyone put together a scrapbook for me. Everyone was given a piece of card stock and access to a bajillion awesome stickers and glue-on borders, and Della asked everyone to write words of advice and encouragement. I can't tell you how awesome it was to take home such a beautiful memory. There is plenty of space in the scrapbook for pictures, too, so I'll be putting in pictures of the shower and of course of Scarlett after she's born.

Everyone was very generous with their gifts. We got a lot of stuff we really needed, and more stuff that is just plain adorable and fun. I'll post pictures of the shower in a later post, after I pull them off my camera and get the ones that Della took.

I was up at 4am again this morning. I keep hoping this is a phase that will pass soon. Nothing is on TV at 4am, and nothing is open. By 6:30 I was crawling the walls, so I drove to Burger King to pick up some breakfast. But Burger King wasn't even open yet! So I went to Sonic. Then I came home, ate, watched some infomercials, and finally by 8:30 I was tired enough to go back to bed for a couple of hours.

I went to my prenatal (aka sanity-saving) yoga class this afternoon, then Jeremy and I went to Babies 'R Us to start picking up the rest of the things we need for the baby. We got a fantastic deal on a display model travel system (stroller-slash-baby-carrier-slash-car seat) -- it's not the prettiest thing in the world, but it was a steal and will get a lot of use. We also picked up a Diaper Genie (we've got three pets -- making stinky diapers inaccessible is a must), a basic medical kit, a few more clothes and blankets, and a mattress for the crib that my parents bought us. Jeremy was so into picking out the clothes for her, I told him he could do the honor of picking out her coming home outfit. I think he did a fantastic job...




And he absolutely HAD to have this. It's a terrycloth tiara that says "Cinderella" on it, and it was on clearance for $2. How could I say no? (Sorry about my crappy phone pics -- Blackberries are not great cameras.)


There was a whole section of clothes that had a rock 'n roll theme, and we are going back to stock up on those as soon as we have a little splurge money. Let's just say that Scarlett will fit right in at the Hard Rock Cafe. Hahaha!

It still feels like there are a million things we need to get to be ready to have a baby in the house. But at least we made a dent in the list this weekend.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Eclipse Scene

I could watch this allllll day...




Direct URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY8lvjQJFwo&feature=player_embedded

Allergy Fun

As most of you know, I have TERRIBLE year-round allergies. Mostly in the form of a stuffy/runny nose and red eyes. Like 24/7 hay fever. I've tried every holistic method in existence to get rid of them, but nothing makes a dent. I have been on prescription meds for about 5 years. Of course, since I got pregnant I have been unable to take those meds, so this has presented me with a fun new problem.

The only thing that the docs and pharmacists said was definitely safe to take was Claritin. An antihistamine. I am verrrry sensitive to antihistamines. And honestly they don't do a whole lot for me. They make my eyes less red and make my nose a little less stuffy, but it's not a 100% fix. I've tried different methods of getting along with Claritin over the last 31 weeks -- taking it at night before I go to bed, taking it in the morning and drinking a bit of coffee afterward, taking it every other night, taking it only when my allergies get so bad I feel like I can't function anymore. But no dice. I get the same result every time: lowered blood pressure (thus weakness) and a muddled head.

Now combine that with this whole waking-up-at-4am phenomenon, and you've got my recent experience. I wake up at 4am and I'm in and out of fitful sleep until I wake up for work, and then I'm groggy and weak for the rest of the day. Ah, but my nose isn't running! Still not worth it, though. So I stopped taking it last night and VOILA! I woke up at 4am, clear-headed as could be. LOL

So once again I'm going to suffer through my allergies as long as I can, until I finally get so frustrated that I forget all this misery and say to myself "Maybe I should try a Claritin".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Betcha Can't Have Just One

It's interesting to me how the arts feed into each other. I know very few people that paint that do not also write, or that write and do not also knit, etc. It seems that once you get into a creative endeavor, you quickly add a second, sometimes even a third or fourth. Or you can be a freak like me and do ten things.

For me it's because I need a secondary outlet when I'm feeling stuck in a particular art form. When a painting isn't coming together the way I want it to, I can lose myself in writing for a while. When I've got writer's block, I can settle in with some knitting needles and a new skein of yarn and go to town. And when everything seems stagnant, I can crank up the rock music, get out my acrylics and splatter paint on a canvas. Then there's photography, piano, craft-making... personally I can't settle for just a couple of creative outlets. I need the gamut.

I wonder if other creative people have the same thing going on, where they need a secondary outlet when they're stuck in one art form. Or if arts are just so addicting that it's impossible to pick just one.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Early Mornings and Busy Weekend

I started writing this post at 6am. I've been awake since 4 and out of bed since 5. This is a part of pregnancy I did not expect!

So we knew what we wanted to name the baby about two weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Picking names for both a boy and a girl proved to be very easy for Jeremy and me. But we've been "trying it on" since we found out we were having a girl, just to make sure her name felt right. It definitely feels right. This name is definitely sticking. So I feel comfortable calling her Scarlett here in this blog from now on, rather than Baby Girl.

Saturday Jeremy and I went to Lone Tree and had brunch with my family to celebrate a belated Mother's Day with my mom. My parents were in Hawaii on the real Mother's Day. I'm sure they were REALLY bummed they weren't here, right? LOL. They brought us a big bag full of baby books and toys that they had found at a garage sale. So sweet! Scarlett now has a Tigger that plays music when you pull his tail.

After brunch, Jeremy went back home and I headed to the Springs. I went to Josey's and got to meet her new little baby boy, Connor. He is such a cutie pie! Quite the active little one, too. Only two weeks old and he's already trying to hold his head up. Garrett was very excited to get to show Connor off to me. As soon as I walked in the door, he had a big smile on his face and was yakking about his "new baby brother". I couldn't believe how articulate he was. Has it been that long since I've seen him? Crazy how time flies. But anyway, Josey has two very sweet boys on her hands.

After my visit with Josey I went downtown and got my hair done. Eric (the stylist I drive to the Springs to see every 5 weeks because he's a GENIUS) and I were talking about how long I'd been seeing him, and we realized it had been about 8 years! That is my longest relationship with a man. Hahaha

When I got home Saturday night, Jeremy and I played a game of darts. We haven't done that in a long time. I didn't last too much longer than that, though. For a pregnant lady, that's a freaking long day. I was in bed by 11.

Sunday I slept in. I have been waking up at 4am every morning for the last week or so. Wide awake, not just waking up and going back to sleep. So I planned on skipping church and catching up on sleep Sunday morning. Blessedly when I woke up at 4am I was actually able to get back to sleep. I woke up every hour after that, but I was able to get back to sleep every time. So I slept late (well, late for me is not as late as it used to be), got up and had a leisurely breakfast, watched some TV and headed to the rec center for my prenatal yoga class. I learn so much from the other women in that class, it's amazing. Such a great community for us expectant moms.

After yoga, Jeremy and I headed into Boulder to check out the art fair on the 29th Street Mall. It was all Open Arts artists, so we had seen a lot of their work during the Open Studios tour last fall. It was neat to be able to say "Oh, I remember this artist! We watched their oil painting demonstration in that little house on the east side of town." And it was neat to see the new stuff they had worked on. The whole Open Arts thing is just a great idea. It gives you a sense that you're an intimate part of the art community here, without all the pretense.

Before heading home and being lazy bums for the rest of the evening, we stopped in at Barnes and Noble and got a couple of baby books. One of them was about baby sign language -- something I am very interested in teaching Scarlett very early on. My friend Katie taught her daughter sign language long before Kenzie was able to talk, and after hearing how much easier Kenzie's early years were because she was able to communicate what she wanted in a way other than crying, I knew I wanted to do this with my kids. Imagine how great it will be for Scarlett to be able to TELL me she's hungry or needs her diaper changed, rather than just fussing and me having to try to figure out what she wants!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nerves

Today was pretty much hell on my nerves. To start off with, it took me 45 minutes to get my work computer working, and then when I finally got logged in I found out a a bunch of stuff at work was screwed up and I couldn't do anything about it -- but it directly impacted several projects I was working on. Then, I had to give a presentation on a conference call with a HUGE attendee list. And finally, I had my piano recital tonight.

I felt pretty good going to the piano. But once I started to play the first song, my hands shook so bad my fingers literally shook right off the keys! So the first song was not great. But by the second song my hands weren't shaking so bad, and I completely nailed it. The second song was perfect.

So to celebrate the end of this day, I am having a glass of wine. YES THE PREGNANT LADY IS HAVING A GLASS OF WINE. Trust me, it's better for the baby that I have this treat than if I don't.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ball of Happy

Good news! Jeremy got me a new exercise ball today (my old one got damaged in the move), and doing some of the exercises that I learned in childbirth class actually alleviated some of my pelvic pain! Everything I read about SPD said that there wasn't much you could do about it. Basically SPD is when the chemical called relaxin (that loosens your muscles and joints during pregnancy) over-loosens the joints of the pelvic bones. Most of what I read said it will go away after the baby is born. I had given up hope of feeling better before then. But my wonderful husband brought me a bright pink exercise ball and insisted I try some exercises -- and sure enough, it helped! I'm going to keep it up and hopefully I'll be back to my long walks in no time. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ouchies and Stress

Sigh... my hormones have definitely shifted. The energy I was experiencing during the second trimester is pretty much gone, replaced by a heavy fatigue each evening. It's similar to the first trimester fatigue, but not as bad. I've also got SPD (symphisis pubis dysfunction) which causes it to be painful to lift my legs -- so walking and even rolling over in bed are painful (but not impossible). The last doc I saw said it was ligament pain, but now I'm quite sure that's not it. I guess I shouldn't complain too much. Most women I know have had WAY harder pregnancies than me. I've actually had it pretty easy!

Work is stressing me out right now. It's the beginning of the new quarter, so it's a crazy time to begin with. But I'm also trying to strike a balance between getting the marketing folks more involved in what I'm doing (so I'm not spending time hunting down projects) and letting them trust me to do what needs to be done with the info they give me. Marketing folks are just a different breed. Once you let them become involved in your work, they often want to micromanage what you're doing. And in my line of work that adds up to clashing goals and bad metrics. It's a tightrope. There are other things stressing me out at work, too, but I don't want to get too much into it here. It's nothing the rest of my team isn't experiencing too! Web merchandising and content is a stressful game.

We've moved 90% of the stuff out of my former-office-now-baby's-room upstairs. There are still a few things scattered about that I need to find places for, but at least the baby's room is empty enough that we can start filling it with baby furniture. My baby shower is two weekends from now, so we're waiting until after that before buying anything. I'm so excited to get her room ready!

My piano recital is Friday. And I also have to present in a HUGE meeting Friday afternoon. So needless to say, my anxiety is building. The weekend is going to be a welcome relief. And I get to meet Josey's new baby, Connor, this weekend too!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Childbirth Class, Mother's Day, Etc.

We had our childbirth class this weekend, Friday night and Saturday all day. We were dreading the games, role-play and long lists of boring facts that we'd heard about -- so imagine our surprise when it was totally different than we expected. The teacher was really straight with us about modern practices (versus what our parents went through). She didn't tell us doctors and nurses were gods or to always trust them. In fact, she told us that we weren't going to be dealing with people, we were going to be dealing with an institution, and our best bet was to learn everything we could and be our own advocates. She told us not to be afraid to ask for what we needed, or even ask for a new nurse if we weren't feeling like we were being cared for in the way we wanted.

I think the most important thing I learned was the different birthing positions. Everything I grew up hearing and seeing on TV was with the woman giving birth on her back. I was surprised to learn that is one of the least productive positions and can actually cause damage to me and the baby! We also learned different positions and techniques for coping with pain, and most of them Jeremy can help with. She set up stations around the room and let us actually try the positions/techniques out to see which ones we liked. This teacher was definitely an advocate of the partner being VERY involved with the process, which we both liked a lot. We also appreciated her telling us the way a lot of nurses and doctors would approach pain relief, and how to make sure we got what we wanted and nothing that we didn't. But instead of saying "you should do it this way", she gave us the benefits and risks of everything.

Most of the women in the class were freaking out about the birth process -- I kept hearing "I don't think I can do that!" during breaks when we were all talking. Funny, but I'm not worried about giving birth. It's probably due to some of the health problems I've had -- I know my pain threshold, how I handle pain, coping techniques, at what point I'm going to need allopathic help, etc. I feel like I know what I'm up against, pain-wise. The point in the class at which I started freaking out was when we talked about AFTER giving birth -- taking baby home! How it changes your life and your marriage, common problems babies have, breastfeeding... I swear I started to hyperventilate. And I won't lie, when we got to the car after class I started crying and telling Jeremy how unprepared I feel for having a baby to care for. But, true to form, he reassured me and put all my worries to rest.

The class was held at Exempla Good Samaritan hospital in Lafayette, and it is the same place I'm going to give birth. I was so impressed by it! It's beautiful! Water features and outdoor seating all around the outside, a sunlight-filled inside with lots of quality, low-priced restaurants and shops, and a really great staff. Even the cleaning lady in the bathroom was warm, friendly and helpful! I have a really good feeling about the experience I'm going to have there in July.

I have to admit I'm getting a liiiittle sick of the comments about how "tiny" I am. Mostly from other pregnant women, or women who have had babies recently. I am the perfect weight and the baby is the perfect size -- and frankly I think I look pretty normal from the side at this point in my pregnancy. It's just from the front that I still look "small". I have a narrow frame, people! But I swear it affects some women's self-esteem. I'm not going to go around wearing huge shirts to make myself look bigger or to hide my belly altogether. I tend to wear things that show off my figure because, dammit, I'm proud of my body. I think it's beautiful pregnant. Not to mention, I want to take advantage of this shape because every pregnancy is different and I might look really different through my next one.

Jeremy gets more and more excited about the baby daily. It's so wonderful to experience! He spends time "playing" with her every night. She really does respond to his voice and touch. She likes to push on his hand, and she'll usually squiggle a little when he hums to her. He tells her how much he's looking forward to meeting her, and how much he loves her. It makes my heart burst. And you know what? He was the only guy in the childbirth class that paid any attention to his wife and baby. He made the observation that he was the only one that helped his wife off the floor after certain exercises -- and he was right! I'm really lucky to have such an involved partner.

In non-baby news, we watched Where the Wild Things Are this week, and I want my hour and a half back. If I liked artsy-fartsy movies, maybe I would have appreciated it more -- but as it is, I can't stand movies without a good plot, believable and flowing dialogue and music that doesn't make my ears bleed.

I have to miss my yoga class tomorrow because we're going down to the Springs to celebrate mother's day with Jeremy's family (we're celebrating with my family next weekend). As much as I'm looking forward to seeing them, I wish I could put my yoga teacher in my pocket and take her with me. Hell, I wish I could just go to her class EVERY DAY! Her prenatal yoga class helps me get through the week. I can always tell a big difference in how I feel when I miss it.

I discovered Google Calendar this week. Okay, well, I discovered the sync capabilities of Google Calendar, because I knew about the calendar application for years. I am addicted to it! Having a single calendar that I can access anywhere with an Internet connection, that syncs up with my Blackberry and some of my other device's calendar applications -- what a breakthrough!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Growth Spurt -- 29 Weeks

My energy plummeted this week, and it didn't take too long to figure out why. Baby had a growth spurt!







And for reference, 24-wks and 28-wks

Monday, May 03, 2010

Tropical Nursery

We have decided on a tropical island theme for the baby's room. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find decor that isn't all underwater (thus all boyish blue) or has monkeys and lions in it (I don't remember seeing lions or monkeys anywhere on our tropical vacations). All I wanted were some tropical flowers, some palm trees, maybe a dolphin or starfish or two. Is that so much to ask? At least we found one set of bedding and a few wall decor items tonight. It took an hour of searching, but we found them.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Early on a Saturday

I'm writing this blog at 5:30am on a Saturday. Pregnancy does wonders for your circadian rhythms.

My 28-week prenatal appointment was on Thursday. Everything was perfect -- textbook pregnancy. I've gained 20lbs, though, which is a little freaky. I know, I know, I "don't look it" -- but I feel it! The baby is taking over! They ran a bunch of blood tests, including one for gestational diabetes, and everything came back normal. Though they did say I was borderline anemic and wanted me to double my iron intake. Not surprising since I'm a vegetarian. The baby's head is down, now, so I'm getting kicks in the ribs and headbutts/punches in the gut. It's quite interesting.

Loki has mentally/emotionally completely healed from her surgery. As of about 2 days ago she's once again bouncing off the walls and chasing the cat. Even on pain meds. She never even noticed she lost her tail. All this time Jeremy and I have believed what we read about how traumatic a tail cropping is for a dog at her age, and how it could be like "losing a limb" -- and the big dopey dog doesn't even notice.

My piano teacher has set up a recital in 2 weeks. I already have butterflies.

If you're wondering how I fared on ScriptFrenzy, I got 50 pages of script written. That's 50% of the goal. Considering I'm pregnant and I was sick for 3 out of the 4 weeks, I am proud I did that much. But still wishing I had finished it.

There was something else I wanted to write about, but it's out of my head now. I'll add it later, if I remember. It's too damn early to be writing this anyway.