Thursday, February 24, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- The Final Post

As it turns out, we skipped these:
39 weeks- The Mini Watermelon

40 weeks- The Pumpkin

Because little Mr. Anderson is here.

Last week, I told J that we needed to make plans for the weekend.  I told him that if I had to just sit around and wait for the baby to come, I would drive myself CRAZY.  So we made plans to see a movie, have dinner with friends, and enjoy some lazy time together.  The school where I used to teach was also having their annual Spaghetti Dinner, so we decided to dine there Friday night and visit with some of my old friends and co-workers.

When we walked (and/or waddled) into the school, I was immediately met with jokes about how I was going to have this baby any second!  I joked that maybe there was enough red pepper in the sauce to throw me into labor.  LOTS of people kept asking when I was due- it was delightful to reply "any day now!"

We enjoyed our spaghetti and chatted with lots of folks, then headed home and went to bed.

Maybe there is something to those old wives tales about the full moon...

At 10:30 that night, I woke up feeling a little crampy.  This was definitely a different kinda feeling, but I ignored it and went back to sleep.  After all, two days prior to this the doctor had told me that I most likely still had awhile to go, as I had made zero progress.  We even went so far as to schedule an induction for March 3, just in case.

Midnight rolled around, and I was again awakened by a weird, crampy feeling...I started getting suspicious.  But I went back to sleep again.  I really didn't want to get my hopes up.

Then at 2:00, I woke up yet again.  At this point, I knew I was having contractions.  I still didn't wake J up, however, as I thought this might be a trick, and not the real thing.  He woke up on his own, though, and noticed that I wasn't sleeping.  I told him that I was having contractions, and that's when the real fun began.

We started timing my contractions.  At this point, they were anywhere from five to ten minutes apart, definitely annoying, but not unbearably painful.  I was most certainly not able to sleep through them anymore, and J was on the alert and not sleeping, either.  So we did what any normal couple in labor would do: we turned on a movie.  We watched "Beauty and the Beast" while I breathed through contractions.

Around 5:00, I told J to get some more sleep.  At this point, I knew this was the real deal, and he was definitely going to need the rest.  He managed to doze off for another hour while I went downstairs and handled the dogs' morning routine.  Contractions had now gotten quite a bit stronger, and were three to four minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds.

Fast forward to 7:00- J is off to McDonald's to grab some breakfast for us.  (Just for the record, I threw up my McGriddle, so yes, I officially threw up through my ENTIRE pregnancy.)  After we ate, we decided to gather our things for the hospital.  We both showered and got ourselves together, then went for a walk around the neighborhood, trying to encourage my contractions to become a little more regular.  We made it about one-third of the way through our normal route before we had to turn around and head home.  My contractions were suddenly a minute and a half to two minutes apart, and I could no longer walk or talk through them due to the pain.

When we made it home, J called the doctor.  For some reason, I was hung up on the fact that my contractions weren't lasting a full minute.  The rule of thumb for going to the hospital is usually 4-1-1.  Contractions 4 minutes apart, lasting for a full minute, for at least one full hour.  Luckily J insisted on making the call.  Of course, we were told to head to the hospital.

The car ride there was when things got real.  As in, excruciating.  Walking from the entrance of the hospital to my room took a good ten minutes, as I had to stop every other minute and try not to fall over from the pain.  I was certain that when the nurse checked me, after contracting since 10:30 the night before, and considering the frequency and intensity of said contractions, I would be dilated several centimeters.

One centimeter.  That's what that bitch told me.

Originally, my plan was to try and do this thing drug-free for as long as I could stand it, and hope that I could make it all the way to the end.  J was instructed to try and talk me out of it if I asked for drugs, at least at first.

But one freaking centimeter?  After 12 hours of labor?  No thank you.

I looked at J and told him I was getting the epidural, and not to even think about trying to talk me out of it.

"Oh, thank God!" was his response.  My wonderful husband was feeling completely helpless as he tried whatever he could to comfort and help me through all of the horrible contractions.

Unfortunately, the epidural had to wait until I had made some more progress.  So for the next five hours, I labored.  And progressed.  And tried not to die.

At 3:30, I got my epidural.

Oh, how I love that anesthesiologist.

About ten minutes after I got the good stuff, I looked at J and said "I'm so happy!"  Labor became a whole new experience.  I no longer felt any pain.  I could relax and get excited about meeting my son.  J and I hung out, watched "The Golden Girls," Facebooked on our phones, even napped a little.  At this point, we were just waiting.

Around 11:30, it was time to push.  Apparently, according to my Labor & Delivery nurse, I am an excellent pusher.

And so it was that at 11:47, my perfect, beautiful little Gabriel Clark Anderson was born.
Gabriel Clark Anderson- 2.19.11- 8 lbs 6 oz- 20 inches

And I am in love.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bird Odditites of the South

Before you all begin reading, I want to record to reflect that today, I am not posting about baby or fashion!  It's a bit of a miracle.  But yes, I am posting about birds.

Doesn't get much more random than that, folks.

This morning on my way into work, I saw a gaggle flock school fleet covey of quail.  In someone's front yard.  Not fenced in, not kept as pets.  Just birds, hangin' out.  (They run like chickens, by the way...with the whole head bob thing.  Now you know.)  I do believe that this is the first time I've ever seen quail!  It's certainly the first time I've seen them in a group, gallivanting around a random residence.

I just found this to be such a random occurrence.  I don't recall seeing things like this in Ohio!  (But then again, I always lived in Ohio, my commute into work is a little more country, and a little less rock n' roll.)  I DO, however, recall several other weird bird sightings I've had since moving to the good ole' south.  Here are a few of my favorites.

The Wild Turkey
Now this guy I've seen on multiple occasions.  I've seen him in yards, I've seen him in fields, and I've even seen him on the side of the highway.  I'm always amazed at his size...he's a HUGE bird!  And I'm always amazed that there's a turkey, just standing there on the side of the road.  A TURKEY.  Maybe I'm easily amused.  So be it.

The White Peacock
This one has very little to do with the south, and much more to do with some family's oddness.  (Come to think of it, maybe the two go hand in hand?)  There is a blue house that I passed every morning on my way to my last job.  The owners of this home kept several white peacocks, I guess as pets?  (I find this hard to believe, as I happen to know from personal experience that peacocks are not very nice, and they will definitely bite.)  Some mornings as I drove past, there they would be, perched in a line along the rails of the front porch.  Once I saw them lined up on top of the roof.  Other times, they would just be milling about.  Beautiful birds?  Yes.  Warm and cuddly pets?  Certainly not.

And, my VERY favorite...

The Yard Chicken
Here in the south, many, many families have what I like to call yard chickens.  Northern folks, don't get confused.  Yard chickens are not found merely on farms.  They can be found in any residential yard that is not part of an HOA.  (Or maybe the HOAs here allow for yard chickens?)  I'm not exactly sure of the purpose of the yard chicken.  Maybe folks keep them for their eggs?  Maybe they butcher and eat them?  Maybe they are just kept as pets?  Whatever their reason for being, I just LOVE to see the yard chickens.  If ever we are in the car and drive past a yard where chickens are running amok, I must yell out "YARD CHICKENS!" as I press my face against the glass and point.  I'm certain that J is no longer amused.

I tried to talk my friend Kim into getting herself a couple, as she has a HUGE backyard and no other pets.  I wanted to name them Dolce and Gabbana.  Sadly, she refused.  I'd get a couple myself if I didn't think my dogs would eat them (or that J would kill me).

So there you have it.  My most memorable bird-related moments.

I warned you- it doesn't get much more random than this, folks. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Grammy Fashion Recap

The Grammy Awards are a different sort of night...less class, more pizazz.  (Wow, that may be the very first time I've used the word pizazz- and I'm not sure I like it.)  The attire is more frivolous and fun, and much less formal.  Now I happen to L.O.V.E. the formal, but the Grammys are definitely a fun distraction from the rest of the award season!

Onto the best and worst of the night.


Jenna Ushkowitz (from Glee) wearing Pamela Dennis.  Definitely not your every day dress, but oh-so-fun for the Grammys.

Jennifer Hudson in Versace.  She just looks smokin'.  Her body has never looked more incredible. 

Hands down my favorite of the night!  Jennifer Lopez in Pucci.  Now THIS is how to dress for the Grammys.  And by the by, I couldn't possibly covet those shoes more.

Rihanna in Jean-Paul Gaultier.  I can't decide if this dress reminds me more of tacky, white Christmas tinsel that you might find on a pink faux tree, or those cheap plastic "leis" that you might find at a child's luau-themed birthday bash.  Either way, ick.

Katy Perry in Armani, with feathered wings by Mother Plucker.  I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Nicki Minaj in Givenchy.  Now I'm not going to pretend that I am cool enough to know who this person is, but I definitely have enough sense to know too much leopard when I see it.  And the hair?  Yikes.

Normally, I ignore the men, as at these shows, a tux is a suit is a tux.  But at the Grammys, men play by no such rules.  And while many men managed to look fabulous in their more casual attire, one man failed the test.  In a BIG way.
Ricky Martin, in pants by an an unknown designer.  (Maybe I couldn't find mention of the designer because he is ashamed of what he created?)  Oh, Ricky.  I understand that you are finally out and proud, and I couldn't be happier for you!  But that is NO EXCUSE for skin tight, shiny, silver pants. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 38: The Leek

Gabe is as long as a leek.  Definitely long enough to get outta me.  Pronto.

So. Done. Being. Pregnant.

Please keep in mind that I write these updates at the end of the weeks.  Which means tomorrow I will be 39 weeks pregnant.  Which means that as I write this, I am only eight days away from my due date.  Which means I have been pregnant forever.  And I would like not to be anymore.

I am definitely feeling uncomfortable.  But I am also feeling that Mr. Gabriel Clark isn't really on his way quite yet.  I am sincerely hoping for labor to spontaneously kick in any minute now, but there have been no signs that it's on its way.  I am hoping that the doctor gives me some good news on Wednesday, and tells me that my body has made a little progress!  Both J and I are so ready to meet our little man.  Even J said last night that "it's just time for him to be here."   

In other news, the nesting continues.  J is so done with the cleaning.  I feel for the guy, I truly do.  Luckily for me, he realizes that I am just very crazy pregnant, and I can't help myself.  But we have scrubbed, vacuumed, swept, washed, or dusted just about every single surface in the house.  And every time I think we've finished every possible chore, I think of something else that just HAS to get done before I can rest.  (I'm also hoping that all this crazy cleaning might just throw me into labor.)  It's amazing what the pregnant woman's psyche is like just before the birth of her child.  I just can't help but want perfection in our home before we bring Gabe into it. 

On the upside, my uber-clean house makes me happy.  Unfortunately for J, he does not get the same satisfaction out of this particular job well done.  If there's no baby by this weekend, I've promised a day of rest, without any cleaning.  (For the record, he believes my promise to be empty, as I will certainly think of some other cleaning emergency that must be handled.  I'm not counting this out.)

I got an unexpected day off today, so I was not out of bed this morning for J to take my weekly belly pic.  So I improvised, lest I be hunted down and maimed due to lack of photograph.  Here I am, in all of my big, big, big glory.  

Monday, February 7, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- Week 37: The Swiss Chard

Apparently Gabe is as long as Swiss Chard.  Whatev.  But look at how tiny the quarter is!
Q: How are you feeling?
A: Big.  Super-gargantuan-style-big.  This will forever be known as the week that my "comfy pants," aka my Target yoga pants, no longer fit.  I have been so excited that I've been able to wear my most favorite stretchy pants throughout this whole pregnancy.  Until now.  Now they kinda hurt, and leave big indentations in my skin.  Insert sad face here. 

Q: Any progress toward labor?
A: That would be a big, fat NO.  People ask me if I've "dropped."  Without a previous pregnancy to compare to, I can't say with 100% certainty, but I don't think so.  The signs of this phenomenon include the ability to breathe easier and fewer kicks in the ribs.  Well, baby isn't very big, and uterus is.  He's got lots of room.  I've NEVER had a kick in the ribs or significant trouble breathing.  So these indicators aren't helpful to me.  That being said, I still don't feel like he's dropped.  Pretty much, I feel the same as ever.  No dropping, no contractions, no nothin'.  Insert another sad face here.

Q: How's childbirth education going?
A: Really not too bad.  Both J and I are ready to be done (last class tomorrow- huzzah!), but we've definitely learned some things.  Mary Sunshine is as cheerful as ever, but still a wealth of knowledge.  She's given us lots of strategies for coping with labor, as well several things to discuss with our doctors.  Such as: will I automatically be hooked up to an IV when I arrive at the hospital (no, since I am Group B Strep negative- but I will need a hep lock, just in case), am I allowed to eat or drink while laboring at the hospital (only clear liquids), and how far past my due date will they let me go before they decide to induce (somewhere around a week, but not sooner). 

Q: Are you ready?
A: I can't tell you how often I'm asked this one.  And the answer is a resounding YES.  Aside from feeling ready physically, we are actually prepared in every other way.  With each passing week, I've accomplished one more thing that I'd hoped to complete before the baby arrives.  At this point, my list is dwindling.  My hospital bags are packed, car seat is installed, my desk at work is cleared off and my replacement has been trained, my house is nearing spotless.  The carpets are being cleaned on Thursday...but if Gabe decides to come before then, GREAT.  (Incidentally, my mother had a dream that Gabe was coming on the tenth...that's Thursday...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her dream comes true.)  I'm really not stressing too badly about anything anymore.  Just twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the big moment.

Ready for the super gargantuan belly shot?  Here it is!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

SAG Awards Fashion Wrap-Up

Happy Birthday to me!  This past Sunday, the Screen Actors Guild gave me the gift of a red carpet to watch.

Thankfully, this award show red carpet was much less disappointing than the Golden Globes!  The stars must have read my blog and hired new stylists...unfortunately, none of them hired me.

My best and worst dressed were easy picks this time!  What do YOU think?

Sofia Vergara is SMOKIN' HOT in Roberto Cavalli.  This is a woman with curves, and she knows it- and EMBRACES it!  This color is stunning.

FINALLY!  Tina Fey- a perennial worst dressed- made a good choice  with this Oscar de la Renta stunner.  Bravo.

And my best dressed was obvious the moment I saw it.  Lea Michele once again looks flawless in Oscar de la Renta.  

Jennifer Lawrence in Oscar de la Renta.  I just can't get over the bright pink with the black accent, and the crazy neckline/sleeve thing she's got going on.

Christina Hendricks in L'Wren Scott.  This dress looks like heavy drapery.  The sleeves, the slit, the shoes- all wrong. 

I also knew my WORST dressed the moment I saw it!  Winona Ryder in Alberta Ferretti.  If you're thinking this gown looks a little bridal, that would be because it's from the BRIDAL collection.  What were you thinking, Winona?  Look at the expression on her face- I think even she's confused as to why she's shown up to an awards show wearing a wedding gown.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I just wanted to point out that my cheesy teacher calendar shows that today is February 1st.  Yes, friends, it is finally February.  The month my sweet baby boy will be joining us.

Also, today I hit a milestone- 37 weeks pregnant.  That means that Gabe is officially considered a full term baby now!

That is all.


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