Monday, January 31, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 36: The Crenshaw Melon

Okay, I am SO over the mysterious produce.  Let's just say that the baby is the size of a small bowling ball and leave it at that, shall we?
Current Stats:
Weight: -2 lbs
Waist: +10 inches
Baby Appointments: Only 3 more to go...and I'm sincerely hoping I don't make it that long!
Days until Due Date: 22

Not a lot to report this week.  I am big.  I am uncomfortable and constantly aching.  I am not sleeping.  BUT, I am not swollen.  The doctor told me today that I will officially weigh less after delivery than I did at the start of my pregnancy (a pregnancy miracle!).  And Gabe is still head down and just a little guy.  Bonus.

Today marked the first of the weekly appointments.  From this point on, they want to see me all the time, just to make sure that everything goes smoothly these last few weeks, and to monitor any progress toward labor.  (For those of you wondering, as of today, that progress would be zilch.  Sigh.)  

In other exciting news, I packed the diaper bag yesterday.  You wouldn't believe the enjoyment I felt at gathering the necessities that  I will need when out and about with baby!  I figure I will just bring this to the hospital when d-day finally arrives, so I packed his little going home outfit- well, several options, really, as we're not sure of his size and what the weather may be like the day he decides to come- along with a couple of receiving blankets, some diapers and wipes, pacifiers, and a  little brush for his hair.  I know aside from the clothes, the hospital has all of these things, so we won't really need to dip into our personal stash.  But it was still fun to gather all of these things together, and place them in my ultra chic Kate Spade diaper bag!!

And speaking of the hospital- we had our tour this week.  This hospital kinda rocks.  I'd expect to find jacuzzi tubs and flat screen televisions in a hotel, not in the room where I'm birthing my baby!  But these are just the types of amenities that will be offered to me.  Score! 

And this is what 36 weeks pregnant looks like.  Large and in charge.  (And I believe Delilah is standing next to me, hoping that I am there to open the pantry for her enjoyment.  Either that, or she is still utterly concerned for my well being, as I had just barfed profusely prior to the taking of this picture.)

Until next week!

Monday, January 24, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 35: The Honeydew

Apparently, just so that you all know, the honeydew is slightly larger than the cantaloupe.  Who knew?
This marked the week where I officially turned a million months eight months pregnant.  So as of now, when people ask when I'm due, I can say cheerily "less than a month now!"  Not gonna lie...that feels good.

It feels good not only because I've reached the epically uncomfortable stage of pregnancy, but also because I've had a switch in thinking this week.  I've all of a sudden started thinking about Gabriel as a tiny person.  A real, human little guy, who will be here so soon.  Not just some alien life living in my belly.  I'm not sure what's changed, but his movements are suddenly amazing to me again.  For awhile there, I had gotten so used to them that I don't think I paid much attention to them most of the time.  But now these big shifts and rolls that are happening are so fascinating to me.  When I put my hand on my belly and feel some body part pressing out, I am in awe.

Yep, I'm really ready to meet my son.

And on the lighter side if things...let's talk classes.  This week, we had round two of childbirth class, as well as a breastfeeding class.  Lemme tell ya, good times were had by all!

Childbirth class this week was actually really good.  Our regular instructor (remember Mary Sunshine?) was sick, so we had a sub.  She.was.awesome.  Much more realistic and much less rainbows and unicorns.  We were pleased.  We talked about the different stages of labor and what to expect with each of them.  She even broke down some numbers and times for us, which I know was helpful to my rational, thinking man of a husband.

Then we talked about (and practiced!) some different positions that we could labor in.  I especially liked this part, as almost every position involved J massaging my in some way.  We could sit on the floor and he could massage my shoulders.  Or I could lay over the birth ball and he could rub my back.  All good for Betsey!

In the car on the way home that night, J asked me if hearing all that talk about labor and contractions scared me.  And the real, true reality of it?  It did not.  I left class actually excited to go into labor.  Now don't get me wrong...I know it's gonna hurt, and when the time comes, no amount of massage is going to take away the pain of contractions.  BUT, I really am excited for the moment when I can say "J, I think I'm in labor."  That moment when we know that it's happening, that Gabe is really on his way.  I am truly looking forward to that time.

I also told J that I left that class feeling empowered about my ability to maybe do this without drugs...and that the previous class made me want to sign right up for the epidural just to spite stupid Mary Sunshine.

Now breastfeeding class was a different story.  As it turns out, J and I are not mature enough to attend a class such as this.  There were several times when I looked over at J only to find him with his head turned away from the video screen, desperately trying to suppress his laughter.  And I cannot tell a lie...I had a few of those moments myself.

For instance, when the instructor used the phrase "a mouthful of boob."  Or when she kept talking about (and demonstrating how to make) a "breast sandwich."  Those moments were tough.

But we prevailed, and came away from class with a few interesting tidbits of information.  All I can say is THANK GOD that class was a one-timer, and we don't have to go back for more.  I'm quite sure we would reach the laugh-out-loud stage and be asked to leave.

And now for my favorite part of the week (and I'm sure yours, too, Mimi!)- we had a little photo session yesterday with my good friend Heather at Shugar-Shots Photography.  So instead of one weekly belly shot this week, here are the photographer's favorites from yesterday's session.  I may have more to share after I get to see the rest of the shots, but for now, I am loving what Heather was able to capture for us yesterday.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Friends, I think I have reached the point where I am officially embarrassed to be working for my current employer.

It was one thing to make national news headlines at the election of our new school board majority.  They came in with big ideas about student assignment- but in all fairness, this was the platform on which they ran.  And I found it somewhat refreshing to see politicians getting right to work to keep the promises that they had made to those who had elected them.

But then the uproar began.  People speaking out everywhere you turn against the ideas of this new board.  The public begging the new majority to slow down and really look at how their actions will affect the school system.  The NAACP threatening legal action at the prospect of resegregation in our county.

Next thing you know, the Washington Post publishes a "Letter to the Editor" from the U.S. Secretary of Education, in which he speaks out against the undoing of the WCPSS diversity policy.  Doesn't get much higher up than that.

Beyond embarrassing.

AND NOW, it's come to this...public ridicule from Stephen Colbert, himself. 

This is big, friends.  This is "The Word".

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
The Word - Disintegration
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

I must say that this is the proudest I have ever been to have done my research and voted, even in the tiny run-off school board election.  And I'm beyond proud to say that I voted for the other candidate.

Golden Globes 2011

A few days late...but apparently that's how I roll these days. 

To sum up this year's Golden Globes red carpet- WILDLY disappointed!  I believe I told J more than once that I was disgusted with what the stars were wearing.  These people have lots of money!  Hire stylists, people!!!  Wait, what's that?  You have stylists?  Well then you should promptly fire them and hire someone else.  I PROMISE you that I could do a better job!  Throw some of that money my way!


Emerald Green- Clearly the "it" color of the Globes!
Angelina Jolie in Versace

Catherine Zeta Jones in Monique Lhuillier

Elisabeth Moss in Donna Karan

Mila Kunis in Vera Wang
Asymmetrical and Cut-Out Red- some good, some bad, some ugly.
Christina Hendricks in Romona Keveza.  This dress was met with mixed reviews- I happen to love it!

Edie Falco in Valentino

January Jones in Versace.  Another dress with mixed opinions.  My opinion, January?  Yuck.  Again.
Drapey neutrals- boring and matronly.  For shame.
Jennifer Lopez in Zuhair Murad

Sandra Bullock in Jenny Packham- and HEAVY bangs.  Yikes.

Scarlett Johansson in Elie Saab
And as if her gown wasn't bad enough, she added Bride of Frankenstein hair!  This was J's first thought, although I've heard the exact same comparison from many a fashionista.

Unfortunately, friends, I've had an extremely difficult time choosing best and worst for this event.  Bear with me and my many finalists.

Best Dressed
Kyra Sedgwick in Emilio Pucci.  I LOVE the bold, tangerine color, and the cut of this dress is just gorgeous.  Well done once again, Kyra.

Eva Longoria in Zac Posen.  This dress makes this petite woman look downright curvy.  Amazing silhouette. 

And my #1?  Anne Hathaway in Armani.  Such a glamorous, sexy look.  Perfection.

Worst Dressed
(Yes, there are many!)
Halle Berry in Nina Ricci.  Such a shame to see such a beautiful woman in such an utterly ridiculous gown.

Heidi Klum in Marc Jacobs.  Wait, doesn't this woman host a show about fashion?

Julianne Moore in Lanvin.  It broke my heart to see my favorite Ginger movie star looking lopsided and silly in this one-sleeved atrocity.

Leighton Meester in Burberry.  Long sleeved and beige?  Really?

Tilda Swinton in Jil Sander.  No surprise to see her landed on my worst dressed list- or ANY worst dressed list, for that matter.  At this point, maybe she's just comfortable there?

Michelle Williams in Valentino.  She usually makes such good choices...which is why these absurd daisies confuse me so!  Michelle, unfortunately, was my biggest disappointment of the evening.

BUT, I couldn't leave off the perennial Helena Bonham Carter in Vivienne Westwood.  Believe it or not, her dress wasn't even the focus of the well-deserved ridicule.  Check out the shoes...two different colors??  Good ole' Helena never disappoints.

Monday, January 17, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 34: The Cantaloupe

So THAT'S why it feels like I'm carrying a bowling ball around on my bladder.  Cantaloupe, bowling ball- who can really tell the difference?
Current Stats:
Weight: -2 lbs
Waist: + 9 inches
Baby Appointments: Only 4 more to go!
Days Until Due Date: 36

Well, friends, I just returned from my most recent ultrasound and baby appointment.  Turns out, this pregnancy is completely perfect and uneventful, after all!

We started with the ultrasound.  I was so excited to get another peek at my little man- and my fingers were crossed that I didn't have to start referring to him as my big boy!  Alas, I DO NOT.  Gabe is currently only in the 31st percentile for weight (who knew they kept track of that kind of stuff for fetuses, right??).  He's weighing in right at 5 lbs now.  So my fear of an extra-large baby was unfounded!  (At least for right now.)

My fluid levels were also perfect.  Turns out, I must just have a big uterus, as I was still measuring two weeks ahead today.  But absolutely no worries.  Gabe looks perfect.  He is head down now, which is also good news!  My fears of a breech baby and an automatic c-section were also eased.

My favorite part?  He has hair.  We could see it on the screen.  I'm not sure why this is so exciting to me, but it is!  J was born with a full head of hair...I was bald until I was three.  So it could have gone either way!  But somehow knowing that he has hair makes him more of a real baby, and less of a fetus.

The doctor said that if I were to go into labor right now, no one would try and stop it.  At his weight, he'd be good to go on the outside.  We'll still hope for at least another couple of weeks, so that we can make it to that magical "full term" number (and ensure that his lungs are fully mature), but I've essentially been given the green light to deliver a healthy, happy, bouncing baby boy!  (Which, by the way, was confirmed one more time today- definitely a boy!)

Here are the few pictures that we got to take away from today's appointments.  It was much more difficult to see much of anything today, as Gabe is so big in there!  But try your best to decipher what you're seeing- even the nurse I saw today needed help to figure out what she was looking at!
A profile shot of Gabe's face.  See his nose and lips sticking up?

He's looking right at us.  You can see a shadow of an eye, his nose, and an open mouth.  LOVE this picture.
In other news, we've been busy preparing little things here and there in anticipation of Gabe's arrival.  We are TRULY ready for him to come anytime now!
Not what I'm used to using my stove top for!  Pacifiers are sterilized and ready to be popped into screaming baby's mouth.

Look what I've got in my back seat!  J has a base installed in his, as well.  We took a field trip to the fire station this weekend to make sure everything was installed safely and correctly.

I don't have a belly shot this week...but I have ultrasound pictures!  That's gotta count for something, right??

Until next week!

Monday, January 10, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 33: The Pineapple

Pineapples make me think of Jamaica...Jamaica makes me happy...ergo, I'm a happy mama this week!
I hope you all caught yesterday's "Special Edition."  In case you missed it, definitely go back and check it out, because THE NURSERY IS FINISHED!

In other baby news:

Q: How was this week's baby appointment?
A: Great!  Everything still looks pretty perfect, with the exception of that whole fundal height debacle.  This week, I measured 36 centimeters.  Yep, three weeks ahead.  My next appointment is next Monday morning.  This appointment will include an ultrasound, so we can check out Mr. Man's growth and make sure there's no weird and crazy reason for my larger-than-average uterus.  Can't wait to get another peek!  And if you all are lucky, next week's update will include the boy's most recent pictures!

Q: Have you finally made it back up to your pre-pregnancy weight?
A: Nope.  Still two pounds shy.  Which is extra amazing, since I feel like there's been a recent growth spurt.  I looked down at my belly yesterday and thought that it was suddenly GINORMOUS.  But hey, apparently I'm the size of a 36 weeker (probably 37 by now), so it's no wonder I look big.

Q: Are you getting nervous about the impending birth?
A: Yes.  I am starting to get a little scared about that whole pushing-a-human-being-out-of-me thing.  But I am trying to keep an open mind going into the experience.  I keep telling myself that my body was designed to do this, and that millions of women have come before me, and that I, too, will survive.  There are moments when I feel truly calm and at peace with this thinking- then there are moments when I fear that Gabe will be a ten pounder and I get a little panicked. 

Q: Are you planning on drugs during delivery?
A: The answer is, I'm not sure.  Again with the whole open mind thing.  My official plan is to hold out for as long as I think I can before asking for the good stuff.  But if the moment arrives where I feel like an epidural is necessary, then I'll ask for one without feeling any shame.  Hey, there are no medals given out for natural childbirth.

Q: How is Childbirth Education going?
A: Well, our first class was last week (this week's has already been canceled due to the threat of inclement weather).  I have to say, it was pretty much what I expected.  J and I definitely giggled several times, but our instructor, Mary Sunshine, didn't seem to mind.  Seriously, this lady is all rainbows and unicorns.  I told J that if I learned one thing from that class, it was that I definitely do not want a doula present when I give birth.  To each his own, but I really just want J there to support me.  Plus, the uber-positivity of this woman isn't calming to me, it's laughable.  I'm not really sure what that says about me as a person!!

In all seriousness, even though I'm extremely well-read and well-informed about pregnancy and childbirth, I did get a few things from this class.  And I expect each of the next four sessions to be about the same.  If nothing else, these classes are a rite of passage for new parents, and they are exciting because they bring us one step closer to meeting baby.

One final nursery image for the week: these blocks didn't arrive until today, so I couldn't include them in yesterday's nursery post!

And, of course, the weekly belly shot.  Me in my glider, hanging out in my new favorite room!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- SPECIAL EDITION: The Nursery

I know that I'm only a day away from Monday, when I normally post my updates.  But this was just too exciting to sit on for even one more day.


My mom arrived on Wednesday night, and worked tirelessly all day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to help bring my vision to life.  J's mom drove into town on Saturday to help out, as well.  (Isn't Gabe a lucky boy to have his grandmas put so much love into his little room?)

I'll keep the words short and sweet, because I am HEAVY on the pictures.  But basically, I am in love with this room.  As a matter of fact, I have hardly left it since it's been completed.  Sitting in the glider and admiring this sweet space, all the while envisioning my baby being here in a few short weeks, is now officially my favorite past time.


Remember a few short weeks ago when the room looked like this??

Then my friend Amanda and I painted the bottom half of the walls white, to help my mom get a head start on the huge transformation ahead!

Now we start to paint the top half of the walls light blue.

Supplies are ready, and light blue is coming along!

I go to work one morning, and come home to find the chair rail up!  Just needs finishing.
Grandma, the happy, handy helper.  Seriously- she's really handy.

Uncle Scott (and Delilah) helping to tape the wall for stripes.

BOTH Grandmas hard at work!

Stripes are done!

Room's still pretty empty, but Daddy is hard at work assembling many pieces of furniture!

And we have a crib!

and a glider...

and a dresser... (which is full of washed, folded clothes now, by the way)

and a bookshelf...

AND a changing table!

Still really loving these tiny shoes.

Pictures are hung! 

The dogs aren't quite sure what to think.

Grandma Clark knit this little sweater.  So sweet!

Of course, I had to get Gabe a personalized clock.

All in all, this is one happy mama.  I simply can't wait for Gabe to get here and call this space his own!  Until then, I will be here, happily gliding away.


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