Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 31: The FOUR Oranges

Sorry I'm late this week!  I let the holidays and the 8 INCHES of snowfall get the best of me!

J and I were at the grocery store yesterday, and I stopped to really look at the size of some of this produce.  I'm here to tell ya', little man is not so little anymore!
And speaking of not being so little...

Big news of the week: this week's baby appointment brought with it some questions about Gabe's size.  At each appointment (beginning at around 20 weeks or so), the doctors measure my "fundal height."  For you non-medical personnel, this is basically a measurement of how big my uterus has gotten.  It's pretty nifty, actually.  The number of centimeters should correspond to the number of weeks pregnant I am.  So at this 31 week appointment, my uterus should have been about 31 centimeters tall.  Well, my uterus hit 33 centimeters this week.  At 28 weeks, it was 30 centimeters, and at 25 weeks, it was 28 centimeters...are you seeing the trend?

Well, maybe Gabe will be a tall boy, some of you may be thinking.  And in answer to that- J is 5'8" and I am 5'3".  A tall son?  Me thinks not.

SO, chances aren't bad that our little man is NOT a good listener, and will not stop growing at 7 lbs as I have repeatedly requested.  BUT, we don't know this for sure.  I could just have an excess amount of amniotic fluid, for one reason or another.  And I suppose there could be other reasons why my uterus is expanding at a faster-than-normal rate.

In any case, we will be having another ultrasound soon (most likely at 35 weeks) to take a look in there and see what is causing this growth.  And I'm not gonna lie- I'm pretty excited that we get to take another peek this late in the game.  Especially since J and I decided to forgo the 3-D ultrasound that is all the rage these days, as we find the images to be...how do I put this delicately?...creepy.

I'm really not too alarmed about this.  Little man is kick, kick, kicking away, his heart rate is wonderful, my blood pressure is fantastic, my weight gain is still non-existent (yay!), and every other aspect of pregnancy is right on the money.  And there are several completely reasonable and non-scary reasons why I could be measuring ahead.  So don't fret, readers!

Truthfully, I've been feeling for a little while now that little man is going to be big, and he's going to be a little early.  This just further adds to my suspicions.  But hey, I also thought I was definitely having a girl, so what the hell do I know?  I suppose only time will tell...and by time, I mean the mere 56 DAYS UNTIL D-DAY!  AAAHHHH!

Aside from the update, I have some images to share this week!  A few pictures of the disaster of a nursery in progress, and a few of my recent favorite baby things.  Enjoy! 

The dogs are distressed, as we have taken out the bed, and piled copious amounts of baby stuff into the middle of the room, so we can get to the walls to paint!

Tape is in place for painting, step one.  The area below the tape will be white with navy blue stripes.  There will be a chair rail installed at the tape line.  More pics next week!
How cute is this outfit?  I'm only sad that he'll have to wait a year to fit into it!

Yes, that's his little monogram.  Thanks, Blaire!

My first extravagant, non-necessary baby purchase.  But c'mon.  Gabe HAD to have these!

I mean, they're itty-bitty Chuck Taylors!  For cool babies.

And, the belly shot of the week.  I sure am feeling big these days!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cookie Extravaganza!

I'm not sure exactly what came over me.  Nesting in the kitchen?  I felt the need to spread my culinary love to friends and neighbors?  In any case, I recently went on a very serious baking spree.

We're talking ten kinds of holiday treats made in one weekend.

I was obsessed.  I made my list and gathered all of my ingredients.  J was frightened when he saw what I was taking on.  I had my trusty Mrs. Claus apron, and I was ready to go!

A few photos of what I have dubbed Christmas Cookie Extravaganza 2010!

Supplies are gathered...let the baking begin!

My grandmother's soft sugar cookies- soft and fluffy like muffin tops!  Mmmm...

Peanut Butter Blossoms- some of my favorites.  Just FYI, all you bakers out there- if you run out of milk chocolate Kisses, don't use the dark chocolate ones as a substitute- they melt!

Spritz cookies made with my favorite Christmas cookie tool- the Super Shooter!  Thanks to my awesome MIL for giving me hers!

Fantasy Fudge- 'nuff said.

Chocolate Toffee Caramel bars- or as I call them, "Everything But the Kitchen Sink bars."  We're talking chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, toffee bits, caramel...sinfully rich and beyond tasty.

My Tupperware overfloweth.

A finished tray for our friends the V's!

 And now, I am exhausted.  I may not bake again until Christmas 2011.

Also- J and I will be eating cookies for weeks.  But it's okay- I'm eating for two.  We'll manage!

Monday, December 20, 2010

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 30: The Head of Lettuce

HOLY COW!  Week 30?  Out of 40?  That puts us at the three-quarters mark, people!  As in, 75% complete!  A mere ten weeks until d-day.  Whoa.

This week, baby weighs in at around three pounds.  About the same weight as a large head of lettuce.
I was just thinking back to this picture, and how I was so excited to finally be able to see the entire quarter next to the produce.  Seems like so long ago now!
This week, I present the good, the bad, and the ugly.

We'll start with the good!  Little Gabe got the hiccups this week.  I have been waiting and waiting to feel these.  I often wondered if it was happening, and I just wasn't recognizing it.  But I kept hearing "You'll know it when you feel it!"  Turns out, true.  Not only could I feel them, but we could see my belly move with each hiccup.  J and I were in bed, getting ready to turn in for the night (you know, the time of day when baby is crazy active, every day, without fail), so I wasn't surprised at all of the activity going on in there.  But I suddenly realized that this movement was very rhythmic, and wasn't coming and going in spurts.  So I laid there and watched.  After a minute, I told J that I was pretty sure these were hiccups.  He started watching too, and wholeheartedly agreed that it couldn't possibly be anything else.  It was definitely cool.  And definitely went on for a L.O.N.G. time.  Poor guy.  J felt bad for him that he couldn't seem to stop.  We're hoping he didn't inherit his daddy's horrific hiccuping.  (But if he did, rest assured- J will teach him the ninja breathing trick to get rid of them.  You know, once he's here and can actually breathe and everything.) 

Onto the bad: This was the week when I said goodbye to sleeping soundly and comfortably.  I toss, and I turn, and I toss and I turn some more, desperately trying to find a position that is comfortable.  I lay on my side, and for a brief moment, I think "Ahhh...this is comfortable."  But ten seconds later, I realize that it's not.  So I flip onto my back, and I think "Ahhh...this is comfortable."  Ten more seconds pass, and I realize that alas, it is no longer comfy.  This goes on for quite some time before I finally reach such a state of exhaustion that I pass out in whatever weird position my body is in at the time.  But after a (usually short) time, I am awake, again struggling to put my body into some contortion that doesn't make me feel hurty.  (Yes, I realize that hurty is not a word, however, I made it up and am using it, as I feel that it accurately describes my predicament.  I'm just all...hurty.)  The cycle continues all.night.long., until J comes in to wake me up, and I feel like crying because I feel as though I must have only gotten five minutes of sleep.  Yes, I suppose this is my body's way of helping to prepare me for the sleepless nights ahead!

And now for the ugly: Nausea and morning sickness are officially back.  Those ugly words speak for themselves.
30 weeks!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snow Day!

Yes, friends, this is what a snow day looks like in North Carolina.  Yep, this is all it takes.  For reals.  Crazy southerners!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My (Not-So) Professional Opinion

I just finished reading the acclaimed, #1 best-seller, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  This book is so buzzed about, is being made into an American movie (after already being made into a Swedish one), and is the subject of book clubs everywhere.
My opinion? In short: it stinks.

The book is approximately 600 pages long.  I was engaged in the story for about 200 of them.  It took the entire first half of the book to introduce the cast of characters and build the necessary background knowledge.  That was some S.L.O.W. reading.  The main characters didn't even meet one another until this halfway point.

The murder mystery portion of the story, while intriguing, only played out over 150 pages, or so.  At this point in my reading, I became excited, and thought that maybe the book was worthwhile, after all.  But then it seems as if mystery solved, action over- and I still have over 100 pages left to read.  What could the author possibly talk about for another 100 pages??

The answer: not much.  What played out in the end could have been summed up in 20 pages, rather than 120.

This book took me months to finish- which is not like me.  However, I am really quite stubborn about abandoning a book once I've started it, even if I don't enjoy it.  (Remember the Anna Karenina debacle?  If you've forgotten, you can read about it here.)  I powered through until the bitter end.

And I mean bitter.  SO not worth it, in my opinion.

SO, if any of you readers have read and enjoyed this book, care to enlighten me?  Because I feel as though I surely must have missed something!  What is it about this book that is such a sensation??

Monday, December 13, 2010

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 29: The Butternut Squash

I can't look at this picture without imagining Gabe in this shape...it makes me giggle.
Current Stats:
Weight: -3 lbs
Waist: +8 inches
Baby Appointments: Ramping up these days!  The want to see me all. the. time.  Seven (or so) appointments left.  Yes, 7 appointments in 11 weeks.
Days Until Due Date: 71

Q: How are you feeling about the weight gain these days?
A: One word- LUCKY.  However, I am getting to the point in my pregnancy where the weight has to start piling on.  I mean, it just has to.  And I am surprisingly not excited about it in the slightest.  I've made it SO FAR without gaining any pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight.  I think I just about had myself convinced that I might actually make it through the entire 40 weeks without gaining an ounce.  Now that we're nearing the end, baby gains approximately a pound every two weeks.  Some of that HAS to reflect in my weight, too, right?  I am mentally preparing myself for that.

Q: How are things in the aches and pains department?
A: Well, this week I threw out my back- and I mean threw out my back- doing absolutely nothing.  I didn't lift anything heavy, I didn't overdo it (or do it at all, as the case may be) on the exercise- I just suddenly lost the ability to move without excruciating pain.  A quick visit to the doctor, two days of laying without moving, and some (mostly) baby-safe narcotics later, I am back to my new normal.  New normal being that my back hurts a lot, but not to the point of immobility.  More to the point of annoyance.

More bothersome than my back are my stomach, which feels like I have an incessantly pulled muscle (they call this round ligament pain), and my hips, which are starting to feel dislocated (due to the spreading out to make room for baby).  Nothing too intolerable by any means, but by the end of the day, my body is tired from carrying around baby.  And although there is no "extra" weight to carry, the weight is not so evenly distributed!  All out in front makes for a tired body.

Q: What's the baby movement like these days?
A: Complete craziness.  We've become more interested in watching Gabe's movements than feeling them.  J once said it looked like a demon was trying to escape, but I didn't like the image that left in my head!  I prefer alien.  In any case, during his most active times (i.e. when I have laid down to go to bed for the night) it certainly appears as if baby is trying to get OUT.  You can see rolls, jabs, jumps, and squirms.  It's bizarre, and amazing, and hard to take even my own eyes off of.

Q: How are the baby preparations coming?
A: Slowly.  But the pace is picking up!  After my wonderful shower, I was ready to start making Gabe's room the baby room instead of the guest room.  So it was OUT with the bed!  We received the changing table as a shower gift (THANK YOU, Nancy!), so we went ahead and set it up.  I've been piling all other baby paraphernalia into the room, as well.  Right now, it looks a little...shall I say...disheveled.  But not for long!  Painting, phase one, begins next week.  Then my mom arrives after Christmas (and with her, the crib!) to finish painting and setting up.  I will take photos as we go, and promise to share the end results!

The one thing that IS ready is the cradle.  This cradle has been in my family for a L.O.N.G. time.  It was built in 1841, and has been passed down and around all these years.  I spent some time cleaning and polishing the wood, ordered a new mattress and bedding, and now we officially have a place for baby to sleep those first few months. 
Isn't it beautiful?

And for the belly shot- I spent all weekend baking Christmas cookies- as the pregnant Mrs. Claus!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stuck in a Rut

Dear Readers,

I realize that I have been horribly bad about keeping up with the ole' blog.  Although I have not yet missed an update from The Peanut Gallery- for I am fearful of an uprising if such occasion ever were to occur- I have been, well, LAME with all other forms of posting.

It is not because I have forgotten about you!

I am having trouble thinking up things to blog about that aren't baby related.

When I first found out I was pregnant, I vowed to not make this pregnancy and baby the only thing I could talk about.  I mean, YES, I am THRILLED to be pregnant, and can't wait for Gabe to get here!  But that's not the ONLY thing going on in my life, right?  Certainly I can think of other things to discuss.

Well, it turns out that lately, I can't think of other things to discuss.  Every time I think to myself, "Oh!  I should blog about this!," it inevitably revolves around something like breast pumps or strollers or car seats, oh my!

So in order to maintain my promise that this wouldn't turn into a full-on "Mommy Blog," I don't post at all.

Well, friends- times, they are a changin'.  I've come to accept that at this very moment in time, baby mania has taken over.  I only have just over ten weeks until d-day.  Ten weeks.  I guess it's only natural that at this point, all things baby related are at the forefront of my mind.

So I'm going to post away!  Hopefully, a few non-baby related items will sneak in from time to time, but don't be too terribly disappointed if they don't.

And if the baby mania drives you a little crazy, I apologize.  There will come a day when my life settles back into a state of 'normal'- or, at the very least, a 'new normal'.  I'm sure once my body is my own again, my brain will once again turn to other things!

Thanks for sticking with me, readers!

Your obsessed-with-all-things-baby blogger

Monday, December 6, 2010

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 28: The Chinese Cabbage

Don't ask me the difference between a Chinese cabbage and a regular old cabbage, because I don't know.  But I'm guessing the Chinese variety tastes great in spring rolls.
This was also the week of the baby shower!  And I must gush about it.

Several months ago, my good friend Cecie told me that her mother-in-law, whom I've always just adored, wanted to throw me a baby shower.  I did not hesitate for one second, but merely said "YES!"

Dorien and Cecie put together the most wonderful night for me.  I felt so special and loved, and the only word that kept coming to me was 'overwhelmed.'  I was overwhelmed by the love that I already felt everywhere for my little guy, with the generosity of my dear friends, and of course, overwhelmed by my pregnant emotions!  There were definitely a few happy tears shed this beautiful night.

I could go on and on about how perfect and beautiful and special this night was for me, but instead, I will share some pictures.

ALSO, J and I decided we are ready to share little man's name with the world, after sharing with our families, and then friends at the shower.  We can't WAIT to meet Gabriel Clark Anderson!

Beautiful china for our delicious dinner.

Desert- my favorite!  So delicious.

The MOST precious diaper cake ever!  Made with love by J's mom, Grandma Terri!

Our first gift of the day came in a giant box, so we got to open it early at home.  THANKS, Grandma Terri!  Now we can officially have a baby- we have a car seat to bring Gabe home in!

The rest of the many, MANY gifts we were showered with!  We are so grateful for such generosity.

Cutie stripes!

Nothing is cuter than overalls.

Some guests, and the lady behind the camera, Dorien- the hostess with the mostest!

Whose baby wears Ralph Lauren?  MY baby, of course!  By the way, this gift was chosen by my father, who also enjoys the Polo ponies.  Like father, like daughter!

GO BUCKS!  This will fit Gabe just in time for football season.

Grandma Terri and Aunt Amanda, who drove in from New Bern and spoiled us rotten!

Opening the famous hand-knit baby booties from Amanda.  I couldn't wait for these!  They are BEYOND cute.

More of my besties- including Cecie, the other hostess with the mostest, diligently recording all of my gifts for me, so I can stay on top of the 'Thank You' notes!

The rest of the guests.  I was so happy that so many people I love were able to make it- even though it SNOWED all afternoon!  Yes, in North Carolina!

And here's the belly shot of the week!

J, Gabe and I are so thankful for all of this l.o.v.e.  We couldn't possibly thank you all enough!

On a very quick non-shower related note, since I promised an update this week- I PASSED MY DIABETES TEST!  So I will continue to eat Little Debbie's Christmas Tree Cakes at will.  YAY!


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