Sunday, December 31, 2006

Soothing sounds for baby

A couple days ago, I apparently ate something that my body (let's blame the baby) did not like and I was rewarded with a non-stop burping rampage. It started out funny, though, because we were lying in bed making fun of all the strange and new sounds my stomach and throat were making. We tried to categorize the sounds with appropriate labels such as "moaning cow", "squealing monkey" or "dying cat".

However, the fun quickly lost its entertainment value when Michael was able to go asleep and I was left to ward off the wild animals on my own. It hurt! It wasn't just that I was burping a lot; it was that every time, I could feel it building up inside me until it finally reached a painful release. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

I finally got up and looked for some Tums that I was sure my mom would have somewhere in her freaking freezing cold house (it's a log cabin up in Estes Park, Colorado). Much to my dismay, nothing could be found in the guest bathroom or in the kitchen, but I did discover that I felt better when I was standing up. So, I tried to sleep sitting up in a chair, covered in my mom's fur coat for warmth.

That lasted about 10 minutes until I found myself rolling around in pain again. As I sat there trying to decide if I should wake my mom up for help, my mind started wondering about how I could make the most of my misery. The best I could come up with was a device to play the stomach churn sounds to my baby to soothe her to sleep after she is born. I'm sure you've seen a similar device before, where you can play relaxing sounds like the ocean and a heartbeat for the baby because the baby is accustomed to hearing such pleasant sounds in the womb. Uh? An ocean in the womb? Hello!? I'm of the opinion that stomach groans are probably more common.

Soothe your baby to sleep with the relaxing sounds of heart burn and gas! I doubt such a product exists. I'm going to be rich! $$$* Don't worry, when that happens, I'll try to remember all the little people. Or at least the ones I don't resent for sleeping peacefully throughout the night. =)

* Pronounced as "cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

When it's ok to stick your hands down your sister-in-law's pants

I try to be a good sister-in-law when it comes to my relationship with my sister's husband, but I know that I have my moments of weakness. So the fact that I got a kick out of this is something I feel bad about, but I'd be willing to bet that you wouldn't blame me for sharing.

My baby has been super active recently. Very little time usually passes between kicks (which makes me wonder how much my baby is going to sleep after he's born but we'll worry about that later). Anyway, my sister was excited to feel the baby move and felt a couple really good kicks.

Since she was so excited, she called her husband over, "Quick! Come feel the baby!" He hesitated and came over to us only to have my sister grab his hand and shove it down my pants and put it on my tummy. My poor brother-in-law grew deep red and was as stiff as a board while he tried to wait patiently for the baby to kick.

Of course, the baby decides he is shy and doesn't move. Maybe he was thinking "if I stay very still, he won't know I'm here!" Whatever the cause, poor brother-in-law just stood there frozen for what I'm sure seemed like an eternity to him, until I gave him permission to remove his hand from my pants by saying "Bummer, the baby stopped." I've never seen someone look so relieved, especially to get out of my pants.*

I tried to make him feel better by explaining to him that my pants are now much higher than my usual pants. Had he placed his hand there 5 months ago, it would have just been on my stomach and not down below any zippers. However, I doubt that made him feel any better. =)

* Ok, ok, I'm sorry. That was inappropriate. I'll stop now.

It's not the quantity that counts...

but the quality that counts. And in case you didn't know, that applies to weight gain too!

Things I learned this week:

1. I (and I'm assuming others as well) weigh a lot less in Colorado than I do in Maryland. Need a good weight loss plan? Go to Colorado! It's simple and you can eat any food you want. For the small cost of a plane ticket, you will automatically lose over 5 pounds! I kid you not. I weigh 5 pounds less here with my clothes on than I do in Maryland butt naked.

2. I have big ankles. I'd like to blame it on the pregnancy. Maybe that's where my weight gain is going! I just hope that my feet don't start to grow to keep up with the ankles. The last thing I need is bigger feet! Maybe in my next life, I can be one of those cute women with little graceful feet.

3. I have large hips. And apparently I always have. This whole time when I was thinking that I was an extremely sexy desirable woman (no comments please... lol) in my prime years, I have really just been blind. Big hips. I'm told that it's a surprise I've never noticed. I hate it when I'm the last to know these things!

4. I am gaining more weight than I need to. Apparently it's not necessary to grow in all directions when there is a baby inside you after all. This week I think I've gained 3 pounds (I'll know for sure when I get back to Maryland and see that it was really 8 pounds or something). At this point in the pregnancy, I should only be gaining a pound a week and so I believe I am now 5 or 6 pounds above average. Ugh. But please, it's the holidays. Speak up if you happen to be the one and only person who doesn't gain weight during the holidays!

5. Weight gained does not go away when you're pregnant. Usually when I gain the typical 5 pounds from eating turkey and candy, I can get rid of it pretty easy. Skipping one meal and drinking loads of water always does the trick for me. However, that seems to be illegal when you're pregnant. I can't skip a meal and believe me when I say I do not need a reason to pee more than I already do!

So I've learned a lot this week that I didn't know before. It's shown me a side of myself that I never considered. However, the most important thing I've learned is this:

6. I have great friends and much of the above just simply is not true. I met my mostest favoritest girls for dinner this week and told them about my newly learned information. They were nice enough to explain to me that most of it was wrong and that indeed I am as sexy as I always thought I was. And they know what they're talking about! These women (all 4 of them) have the sexy thing down! They know what sexy is. So woo hoo! Let's hear it for the girls!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are we keeping it from you?

I guess I should address the question that seems to be one that many people share... "Are we keeping it from you?" That is, are we going to tell people the names we like or when the time comes, the names we choose?

It's a good question, really. I don't blame people at all for asking. I have asked the same thing when it comes to talking to the few people I've known who were expecting their own baby. It used to surprise me when I would get a hesitant response with no real answer. It made me wonder things like "are you just that unsure of the name you picked?" or "you're making this way too hard. it's just a name!"

Oh how ignorance is bliss!

Here's the thing... We're not exactly keeping it from you as much as we are scared to tell you. We have told a few people our initial list of names we like and have gotten mixed results. Oh, don't get me wrong, everyone is excited about the topic and it's a lot of fun to see their reactions and take in the energy they give.

However, amongst all the fun there are still comments that come out (some joking and some not) that when taken one at a time are not a big deal, but they start to weigh down the excitement a little. Some of the comments I have received so far (some more often than others) **:

"I knew a _______ once and she was a spoiled brat."
"______ for a girl?"
"______ for a boy?"
"______? Isn't that a last name?"
"______? Isn't that a dog's name?"
"______? Like the cheese?"
and last, but not least...
"If you name your boy ______, he'll grow up to be gay, (pause) not that there is anything wrong with that."

Having said that, there are useful comments we've received too, along the lines of:

"Kids will make fun of _____ because it rhymes with _____."
"H_____ I_____ Vincent? You might want to rethink that!"
"There are just too many ways to spell ______, she'll be spelling her name for people her whole life!"
"______ is a fine, but people will call him _____ for short and that sucks."

So even though we haven't shared our names with a lot of people, I can now understand why those who I have asked in the past were hesitant to tell. When it comes down to it, we're not going to make everyone happy with whatever name we pick, but even the critics will fall in love with a name once they fall in love with the baby!

You're probably now thinking "yeah, yeah, yeah, but you didn't answer the question" so now I will do just that... I will share the names we're thinking of as soon as Michael and I come up with middle names to go with them. Our game plan is to pick our top three names (for each gender) and choose middle names for each. Then we'll see where that takes us. I have to keep you guys in suspense, you know?! =)

For now, would you settle for knowing what our initial favorite names were? Kaitlyn and Aidan were by far our favorite names at the beginning, so much so that I didn't think we would have to address the topic again. However, we have since found out that everyone else in the world also loves those names and if there is one thing we've learned from being Jennifer and Michael, it's that we don't want a super-common name for our baby!

** Disclaimer: If you're one of the people who have given one of the responses listed above, please do not be upset that I used it as an example. I know that everyone involved in the process has the best of intentions and that sometimes these comments are meant in a joking manner and spoken with a smile. That's the disadvantage of blogging... though I can type a blog entry with a smile, it gets lost in translation somewhere amongst the fuzzy cloud we call Internet.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

To Baby Vincent

We came home last night to a package marked:

Baby Vincent
c/o Michael & Jennifer Vincent

Woohoo! Our baby got her first piece of mail! And her first Christmas present!

And since we're on the topic of Baby Vincent, I might as well add that Michael and I discussed baby names again last night (over butternut squash ravioli... Mmmm!) and I have exciting news to share! No, no, we didn't pick a name yet. Or even two for that matter. The exciting news is that we agree on our top two girl names!* Yay! Yay! Please, no applause. Just send money.

It's too bad that we can't just combine the two names and have a full name picked out, though. They just don't sound good together. Oh well. It's at least one step further!

* I think we also agree on our favorite boy names as well, but they're more difficult than the girls. It's so much easier to find girl names to get excited about and love. Boys are so hard to name!!! We have a few that we like, but nothing that jumps out of us like the girl names. This baby-naming process is ha-ard!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Is it hot in here or is that just me?

It must just be me.

Damn! These hot flashes suck! I don't know whether to blame it on the weather (an insanely warm 70 degrees a week before Christmas??) or the pregnancy but all I can say is that I'm grateful that I'm not going to be pregnant during the summer months! Ugh!

Tummy Tummy Tummy (22 weeks)

It's picture time again!

It's hard to believe that I'm half way through my pregnancy when this was taken (at 20 weeks)! The time has gone by so dang quickly!

As time goes on, I get more and more excited about these pictures because I'm anxious to see the entire progression. I really haven't looked at all my tummy pictures together yet, and I think it will be really fun to do.

Remember when I mentioned that line on my tummy? You know, the line that every big pregnant tummy has? If you don't know what I'm talking about, you'll surely notice it next time you see a big pregnant tummy and you'll think "Oh, that line!" Anyway, here it is. I still think it's weird weird to have a straight line going all the way down my tummy. All the way down.

Here I am at 22 weeks. I'm starting to get chubbier. In fact, my midwife says that I'm gaining a little more than average (by 3 pounds), which of course is not what I wanted to hear! =)

And apparently my ass has grown too! That must have been in the fine red letters because I know I didn't sign up for that part of the deal! Tell me the truth... does this baby make my butt look too big? Michael says it needs to grow to act as a counter-balance for the baby. My response was to stick my tongue out at him and walk away. Maybe I should reconsider being excited to see the progression all at once!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Life Is Precious

Things have been pretty stressful for a lot of people at work lately. We have some major deadlines coming up (New Year's Eve), so everyone has been running around like crazy trying to get stuff done. Then, after the deadline, we don't have a moment to relax because while everyone is so busy working, they are simultaneously falling behind for the next deadline. It's a vicious cycle, really. But the end result will be more than worth the effort because it's going to change so many people's lives. Big time.

This week started off on a very bad note when we found out that a coworker committed suicide over the weekend. Without going into too many details, it has taken everyone by surprise, as such a thing probably almost always does. Being my emotional pregnant self, I had a difficult time Monday and Tuesday. However, I called many of my closest friends and family to tell them I loved them and that helped.*

Now onto the happier, pregnant side of the story... I do not know if I am just imagining it or not, maybe the timing is just coincidental, but it seems like my baby took that sad moment as an opportunity to remind me that life is precious. It seems that since Monday the baby has been super-active. If I sit down and pay attention, I can usually feel him kick at least once every few minutes. I love it!

This, combined with the fact that I've started my scrapbook by making a family tree, has resulted in me thinking a lot about my grandparents. I can't help but wish all the grandparents could be around to meet their new great-grandchild**, but I suppose that's how the circle of life works.

* If I didn't call you, please don't take it personally. I'm sure that if you're reading this blog, I love you very much and appreciate having you in my life. =)

** I am, however, extremely excited for the remaining grandparents to meet Baby Vincent. I can't wait to take those pictures!

Latest Thumping News

Sorry for the silence this week, but apparently my work has decided to block blogspot on random occasions. Today is the first time I've been able to log in. "Why don't you log in from home?" you might ask, to which I'd respond with "Because."

But an update... Tuesday we went to the doctor again. It was the first appointment since our ultrasound. The midwife reaffirmed that everything looked normal for the baby, so yay! Then she measured my uterus and listened to the baby's heartbeat. Apparently the baby was doing acrobats in my tummy because it was difficult to hear anything other than kicks and such, so that was fun.

Baby Statistics (as of December 12):
Weight = 36 percentile (small baby, but still in normal range)*
Heart rate = 160 bpm
Uterus = 22 cm (just above my belly button)**

* As long as it's still in normal range, I'm completely supportive of a small baby! I still haven't completely accepted my role towards the end of the pregnancy.

** I'm still not quite sure what this means. All I know is that they measure where my uterus is and that helps them determine how my progress is going. From a more personal perspective, I have noticed that the bump on my belly is slowly moving upward. Apparently 22cm upward. =)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Today's Random Pregnant Knowledge

Today's random piece of information I learned about pregnancy -

I have issues with the doors on the bathroom stalls. In the last week, I must have hit my tummy half a dozen times while opening the door to get out! Apparently I need to learn that a tummy takes up more space than a non-tummy. Either that, or I need to learn that when in tight spaces, I should open doors much more slowly.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It Just Will Not Do

I started writing a post this morning that, sadly, I can not finish for quite sometime (I'm not-so-patientily waiting for pictures). However, in starting to write it, I quickly realized that something has to be done about this "he", "she" and "it" nonsense when talking about my baby.

Since I do not know the gender, and I am getting further along in the pregnancy, I hesitate in writing "he" or "she". I do not want one of my readers (I love that I have readers!) to see something on my blog and then run off telling everyone "It's a boy!" or "She found out it's a girl!" when indeed I have done no such thing.

On the other hand, I refuse to call my baby "it" just to keep the crazyness to a minimum. "It" is so dang impersonal!

The solution? I'm going to follow the examples I've seen in my Baby-gami* and Baby Sign Language books. The author always uses "he" or "she" when talking about the baby and just assumes that the reader is smart enough to make the mental change to apply to their own baby as necessary. So, let it be known that from this moment on I will refer to my baby as "he" at times and as "she" at times. No jumping to conclusions without my permission**!

* Baby-gami: The art of wrapping a baby. hehehe... cute book title.

** Though Michael tells me to request that my readers (hehehe, there it is again, readers) inform me if I start to always refer to the baby as a girl or boy, instead of a nice mix of both.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Hello, baby!

Is it strange that when I'm bored or if I find myself with a moment of "what do I do for the next couple minutes" I find myself looking at my baby? Hello baby! You're so cute!

And as another quick little note, I have been feeling my baby move quite a bit recently. And yes, I am now convinced that it is indeed the baby. And I love it!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

High School Woes

I've never really had a problem with my weight, and I have always been very thankful for that (I owe it to my mom's side of the family... Thank you!).

In high school I weighed a measly 110 lbs.
In college I gained my Freshman 15.
After graduating, I gained another 5 lbs and then stabilized.

Not too shabby, eh? Especially since I have always been too lazy to work-out (though to my credit, I have tried to start up the stationary bike recently). Remember that commercial? The annoying one that says "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful". Well, try not to hate me for not needing to worry about my weight.**

Having said that, I know I'm never going to weigh the same as I did in high school, and who knows what it's going to be like after having kids. However, given the fact that the most I'll ever weigh is when I'm super-pregnant and the least I've ever weighed was in high school, I was surprised to learn this morning that my high school clothes might very well be the only clothes in my wardrobe that I will be able to wear throughout my entire pregnancy!

Woohoo! Let's hear it for the grunge era!

In recent weeks I've learned that there is a definite difference between a "fat day" and "pregnant day". I've had days where I just look at my growing tummy and think "Could I be any less attractive?" Yet, I've also had days where I look at my growing tummy and think "I've never felt so sexy!"

What I find to be particularly strange is that when I put my baggy high school clothes on this morning, today instantly became a "fat day". I blame it on the memories I have of hating high school because when I wear these clothes I have the same self-esteem as I did back then (or lack thereof). It really makes me wonder why I kept them.

** Disclaimer - It all evens itself out in the wash. I may never have had to worry about my weight, but I have also never been blessed with a nice complexion or long thick hair. =)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Thank you all for your emails and phone calls saying you're waiting patiently for an update on our appointment we had last week. I didn't want to post the update until I had scanned a picture, and it has been a hectic few days for both of us.

Enough babbling... Look! It's our baby! I know you're anxious to know if we decided to find out the gender, but I'm going to be mean and make you wait.**

This was taken at 19 weeks and 6 days. The baby's heartbeat is 152 bpm and the baby weighs about 10 oz. The doctor says that everything looks good, and he will be sending a full report to my midwife.

The appointment was both exciting and disappointing. First, let's start with the exciting part. See the baby's hand in the picture? We actually saw the baby wipe his face! It was so very very cute!

Now for the disappointing part. Both Michael and I were hoping the appointment would be a "Grand Tour of Your Baby." You know, something along the lines of "And off to your right, you see the baby's foot with 5 toes. Now if you look to the left, there is the baby's heart. Any questions? Ok then, let's move on..." But instead it was "And there is the baby's hand" click "and there is the baby's stomach" click "and there is the baby's kidneys" click, which left us thinking "Wait! Wait! Go back! I didn't see!"

But the important part is that the baby is healthy!

And now for the exciting news that I know everyone has been waiting for! Is it a boy or girl? Did we break down and find out? Well we have an answer for you!

It's a ...

Baby! Yay! We're so excited!

We ended up deciding not to find out the gender. Actually I intended on convincing Michael to find out, and we were discussing it all the way up to the end when we were waiting in the lobby for our appointment. However, there was this cute couple who overheard us talking and they spoke up. The woman said they are expecting their 5th baby and they've never found out the gender (so far they've ended up with 2 boys and 2 girls). She told us a little about how it can be frustrating to not know, especially towards the end, but the moment when the doctor hands over the baby and says "It's a boy!" or "It's a girl!" it is the best feeling in the world.

Now I know that the moment when the doctor hands over the baby is bound to be the "best feeling in the world" regardless of knowing or not. However, the way she spoke made it all seem worth the wait. Damn her.

** That is, of course, forgetting about the fact that you could always just scroll down to the bottom of the entry to find out right away, but how many of you were really that smart? =)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Instant Tummy - Just Add Water

Sorry for the delay in posting these great tummy pictures! Michael and I came back to the wonderful surprise of our computer not working. Like we needed something else to add to our list of things we need to pay for now!

Without further ado, I present to you the first real Niffer tummy pictures (taken at 19 weeks)...

I do not know how many people will believe me, but I swear I got a tummy over-night! Wednesday I wore a pair of pants to work and thought "these are comfy, I should wear them on the plane tomorrow" only to find out that they did not fit the following day. Bam! Instant tummy!

Ok, ok. So this isn't quite the same as Miss Model #98, but it's not too shabby considering I don't have gorgeous hair like hers! Did you see my tummy? I love it!

As a side note, did you know that every pregnant tummy gets a line down below the belly-button, even the small tummies? I do now.

Yes, this was taken on the same day. And yes, that is still my own tummy. It kept growing as the "photo shoot" progresssed. It's HUGE!

In my defense, though, the camera does add five pounds! =)

Last, but not least... as much as I love my new-found tummy, I am still humbled by those with greater tummies than I. As you can see, David wins.

To know or not to know. That is the question.

Tomorrow is the big appointment! You know, the one where we get to find out how healthy our baby is, but more importantly, which gender it is! =P Actually, officially Michael and I are leaning towards not finding out. Strange, huh? I know! However, the closer we get to the appointment the more excited I get about it!

It's no secret, I want a little girl so badly! How cute would that be? And besides, I want to have the type of relationship with my daughter as I have with my mother. No doubt in my mind that I want a little pink bundle of joy.

On the other hand... I have to admit that in recent months I've been getting more and more excited about the boy option as well. Everyone knows that it's "Daddy's little girl" and "Momma's boy". Oh, how cute would that be!? No doubt in my mind that a little blue bundle of energy would be more fun than I ever previously considered.

So... I'm back to not knowing which I want, which I guess could be taken to mean that I don't have a preference. But then I start the whole cycle again. I want a girl. No, wait. I want a boy. No, wait. I want either. No, wait. I want both! No, wait. Just a girl would be fine.

See the vicious cycle?

Many people are surprised at the fact that we are leaning towards not finding out. Most of the time, they come up with the excuse of if we know the gender, then we can start buying stuff. I would totally agree with this if we were doing a gender-specific nursery. There is no doubt that the nursery needs to be done before the baby arrives. However, we've already decided that our favorite nursery theme (regardless of boy or girl) is Sweet Vanilla, which is very neutral.

And as far as clothes go... it would be nice to have a collection of yellows and greens because the pink/blue stuff is bound to come after the baby is born.

So knowing the gender just so that I can start buying stuff doesn't work for me. The argument that does... Naming the baby. I have to be honest and say that the thought of speaking to my baby by name even before s/he's born appeals to me.

Hmmm... Did I mention my appointment is tomorrow?! I wonder if I'm going to have the self control to say "no, no, don't tell me what I'm having."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Not Your Normal Thanksgiving

I just got back from Florida for Thanksgiving. Why did we go to Florida for Thanksgiving? Do we have family who live there? Nope. Not at all. However, that's where I ended up for the weekend (along with Michael, his brother, mom and stepfather). With the exception that I really really miss my family (and having Turkey Day in FL instead of the usual CO meant I couldn't see them at all), the weekend ended up being a good one.

We went to the Dolphin Research Center, where Michael often donates money, and got to see all the dolphins! Did I mention I love dolphins!? On Friday we saw 3 super-pregnant mommy-to-be dolphins, and by the time we came back on Saturday, there was a super itty bitty baby dolphin. It was only this big: <------>. For obvious reasons, it was really fun to see the new baby, but it was particularly so for me since the more I watched the baby, the more I thought things like "oh, I'm going to have one of those soon!" No, silly, not my own baby dolphin. Just my own baby. Try to keep up with me. =P

And while at the Dolphin Research Center, what better thing to do than get in the water with them?? And how exciting would that be? I wondered if the dolphins would respond to me differently since they would be able to tell that I was pregnant. I have to admit, I got myself excited to participate. I even thought about how they would tell me "you can't get in the water with the dolphins during your first trimester", and I would respond with "that's good because I'm in my 2nd." It seems like a pregnant woman can't ever do anything if she's in her first trimester. You're banned from so many activities, I guess because companies are afraid of you having a miscarriage and then suing them or something.

Anyway, point is this... I thought I was in. They ask the expected "how far along are you?" and I responded with a confident "19 weeks!" However, much to my surprise, they responded with "I'm sorry, you can only get in the water if you're in your first trimester."

So let me get this right... if you're in your first trimester of pregnancy, you can not do things like get a massage or a flu shot, but you CAN swim with dolphins???

Regardless, it was still fun, and I got some great pictures! Hopefully I'll be able to post them soon.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Une jolie petite fille et son trop mignon petit frère*

I couldn't help myself. I am bored right now waiting for someone to show up to help me carry my heavy box... so what better way to pass a few minutes than to look at random blogs? Actually, this is the first time I've done so.

But look at this one! It's mainly filled with pictures of a super cute French family (I believe they're in Paris). I absolutely love the pictures of the little girl pointing to her little brother's nose. HOW CUTE IS THAT???

I've changed my mind. Instead of wanting a cute little baby with a British accent, I want a French one!

* Translation - A pretty little girl and her too cute little brother

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tummy Time?

About a week ago I found myself gathering email addresses for a group of mothers-to-be, so I now have a half a dozen new friends, all expecting to have a baby right around the same time as me. I think it will be fun!

One of them sent me pictures of her tummy today. She's beautiful! And the tummy! Oh my gosh! It's great!

Once again I find myself thinking "When is it my turn? I want a tummy too!" It's really quite surprising how drastically different everyone seems to be in the tummy department. I'm barely starting to show and I have seen pictures of other women just as far along as me who look like they could pop soon!

Have no fear, though, I will catch up!

Back 'N Belly 2000

Recently I've been trying to practice sleeping on my side, which has proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. Up until a week or so ago, I thought I slept on my side all the time, so it came as a surprise to me that when I started to actually pay attention to it, I found myself sleeping on my back more often than not. I would find myself mentally reminding myself to sleep on my side, only to automatically flip to my back when I actually fell asleep.

So, sadly I haven't been sleeping very well. =( Woe is me. (did you see the hand go up by my forehead when I said that?) Woe is me.

Luckily, there is good news to this story. The good news is that I'm married to my Michael and my Michael bought me a pillow. He bought me the Back 'N Belly 2000 (well, ok, I added the 2000 - it sounds more impressive). It's a monster of a pillow and dominates the bed, but I absolutely love it! I have never laid on something so incredibly comfortable before. It just hugs my whole body. Mmmm... body hug!

You'll be happy to know that I slept like a baby last night. Hmmm... that no longer sounds right to me. I've heard too many stories about babies not sleeping through the night. Let's try again... You'll be happy to hear that I slept like a rock last night. Better.

The only problem I have with the pillow is that it kept me hostage in my bed this morning. If that becomes the norm, I'm going to need more hats!

Sunday, November 19, 2006


Yesterday I got to open another window on my pregnancy advent calendar for being 18 weeks along. Woohoo! Anyway, the window said "I may be startled by loud outside sounds".

"Quick!" I said to Michael, "Make a really loud sound!"

"No! I don't want to scare the baby!"

"Not even so I can feel him move??"



Update: I have almost convinced myself that I have indeed felt the baby, but I'm still not quite sure. An update to come when I am sure. =)

Friday, November 17, 2006

Quote of the Day

Michael's response -
"Stupid people must have been put on this Earth to make smart people laugh."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Abs of Steel

I used to joke around that instead of having "Abs of Steel" like you see on those TV commercials, I had "Abs of Flab." It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Recently I've changed that to "Uterus of Steel" but that doesn't flow off the tongue nearly as smoothly.

This morning while I was brushing my teeth, Michael came up and put his hand on my tummy and said "Hello? Anyone in there?" I followed suit and knocked a couple times on my tummy, which made both of us laugh.

On the way to work he said that me knocking on my tummy felt really funny. He said that it didn't feel like knocking on a "normal" part of the body, or like knocking on his tummy. Instead was more like knocking on a kick-ball. Whatever that means.

It's reassuring to know I'm not the only one who is surprised by the hardness of my growing tummy.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Good to Know

Today's baby progress report:
"The ears are moving to their normal position now."

Well that's good to know. Who wants to have a baby with their ears... um... what... crawling up their back?? =)

When to Play the Pregnancy Card

I don't think I've had any really good opportunities to use my pregnancy as an excuse for something yet, which is really a shame. That's not to say I haven't kept my eyes and ears open for possible chances...

Today a friend invited Michael and I out to dinner to a restaurant that serves an amazing butternut squash pasta with a cream sauce dish. OH MY GOD! IT IS HEAVENLY! Sadly, Michael has a silly football game he needs to play tonight so we can't join. Besides, we actually just went to this particular restaurant two nights ago (that's how my friend knows about the place - I told him about the squash pasta!). Sadly, as much as I'd love to play the pregnancy card on this one, I doubt Michael would believe me if I insisted that the baby wants and needs butternut squash pasta.

An emergency of sorts came up at work today. Software folks fried one of my circuit boards again. Without giving away unnecessary boring details, I quickly grabbed the help of a lady who does circuit layouts to get the next rev of boards ready to be made ASAP. Michael later told me that his office mate said to give me hell for it because he was in line to work with this lady for some of his stuff but was told that she was pulled off of his project for one of "higher priority". I joked around with him and said things like "Don't mess with me, I'm pregnant" and "I'm not afraid of you".

So my question is, when do I get to legitimately play the Pregnancy Card? And when do I get a tummy?* And, though I know I'm recently been obsessed with this picture, when do I get hair like hers?**

* I had so many people tell me today "you don't look pregnant at all! have you seen Shana? she looks like she's about to pop!" (Note - Shana is only a few weeks further along than me)
** Wishful thinking I know, but I deserve it, don't I? (lie if you must)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today's Random Updates

I had another appointment with my midwife yesterday. It went well, though a little on the boring side. All they did was listen to the baby's heartbeat (still at 150 bpm) and then felt where my uterus is. Speaking of which, I have recently found it interesting that though I'm getting a tummy, it's pretty much rock hard. My uterus is rock hard! It's two finger widths below my belly button, and when you press on my belly, you can definitely feel where it begins. Let's just put that on the list of randomness I never knew before.

So the appointment wasn't too exciting, but I (like my friend, Kim from college, who is expecting at the same time) still wish the appointments were closer together. Four weeks is so long to go without a confirmation that yes, indeed, everything is ok and your baby is still beating. There is still a part of me that expects to go into my appointment only to have the midwife say "umm... just why did you think you were pregnant?" hehehe.

My next appointments should become much more exciting.* I need to schedule the ultrasound for 3 weeks from now. That means we have 3 weeks to decide if we want to know what we're having (other than a baby, of course). My next midwife appointment is in 4 weeks again, and I'm told that they will start to take out a ruler to measure exactly where my uterus is (apparently they can tell just how far I've come based on the uterus traveling up my tummy). So, repeat after me: Oooooo! Ahhhhh! Ohhh! How exciting!

* Disclaimer - It's all exciting to me, but I fear for the sake of my readers that one of these days they'll realize I'm not as entertaining as I pretend to be. =)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Mind Boggling Factoid

I looked up a description of how far my baby is at 17 weeks. And here is a little piece of craziness:

"Mind boggling factoid of the week: if you’re having going to have a little girl, her ovaries have already produced millions of primordial egg cells, which, within a few weeks, will develop into actual eggs! Phew… just wait till she’s a teenager eh?"*

On a related note (but only because the picture was on the same webpage), isn't this picture gorgeous?? Can I look like that when I get a tummy? And what the heck?! How can she be only 17 weeks pregnant with a tummy like that??? No fair! I want my money back!

* Thanks to Baby Gaga

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tummy Tummy Tummy (17 weeks)

It's picture time again! Yay pictures!

These two pictures are my tummy at 14 weeks. I didn't end up posting them since nothing had changed. In fact, I look thinner in these pictures than I did at 9 weeks! Go figure.

However, for those who wanted to know, this is what I looked like after my first trimester. At this point, I had gained 6 pounds.

And here I am at 17 weeks. Look! I finally have a belly! And a chin, apparently. I'll have to work on that. Though I understand that gaining weight is healthy for the baby, I do not believe holding the weight in my chin does the baby any good.

Any guesses on how much I've gained at this point? Looking at the pictures, I think it looks like I would have gained a heck of a lot in the last 3 weeks. But all in all, I have now gained 8 pounds. It's strange to think that from here on out, it will basically be a pound a week. I'm guessing all that weight needs to go to my tummy in order for me to get nice and big.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Scrapbooking Ideas

I have to be honest and say that the ideas I mention below did not come from my new set of scrap booking friends. So, please, whatever you do... do not place blame on them.

Someone, let's call her Sally, responded to my post that I left a week ago about my new-found excitement about making a baby scrapbook. Remember? Anyway, Sally was nice enough to tell me that in her son's scrapbook, she had items from many different categories:

Ultrasound pictures

All of his baby teeth

A piece of his umbilical cord

So thanks to Sally, I now have a "Plan B" to fall back on. If Michael thinks I'm going overboard on the baby scrapbook, I'll just remind him of what "overboard" really means.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Non Food Cravings

I'm looking forward to my first real strange food craving, but alas it has not happened yet.

However, for those of you who are curious here is the update:
- I no longer like, much less love, olives
- Mushrooms have once again become the slimy fungus I thought they were when I was growing up.
- Fruit on the Bottom Yorgort: strawberry - Nasty. Cherry - Decent. Apple - Good
- Still need to find pumpkin or squash ravioli

Unsolicited Advice

Don't you hate it when someone tells you something like "appreciate this now because it won't last"? It's always bothered me but I do not know why. It's not like those people saying it have bad intentions. They're just passing on advice to make my life better.

Regardless, it still annoys me. I think it's because I instantly get this attitude inside that says something like "what makes you think I don't appreciate it now?" Kind of like the time that my dad's friends visited us in Colorado and went on and on about how we didn't appreciate what we had because we lived with the beautiful mountains surrounding us every day. Then they would turn around and cut down the mountainside, without staying on the trail. UGH! DON'T TELL ME I DON'T APPRECIATE WHAT I HAVE!!!

When people told me to appreciate the flat tummy while it lasted, I got the same sort of internal response. "What makes you think I don't appreciate the fact that I don't have to worry too much about my weight?" or better yet... "Well maybe I plan to work out and get rid of my tummy!" We all know that's not true, but heck... That doesn't mean it can't be. =)

Well... Now it's my turn. The other day I went through my clothes to put away (not throw away) the ones I do not think I'll be able to wear for a while. I had forgotten about so many cute clothes that I have that I now won't be able to wear!

So, for all of you non-pregnant (or newly pregnant) friends out there:
Enjoy it while it lasts! Go through your clothes now and make sure you wear all the super-cute ones at least one more time! =)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Girl Fun

Last night I joined a couple friends for scrapbooking. Though I do not hang out with them often, I always enjoy it when I do. I think it will be fun to join them more frequently in the future. Seeing their work got me all inspired to make myself a baby scrapbook. I'm so excited!

No one should be terribly surprised by this news, especially if you have seen my scrapbook for my wedding. I think you could duplicate my entire wedding if you looked through it! It's really difficult to say which I enjoyed better, planning the wedding or doing my scrapbook. There were quite a few times when I remember making a decision based solely off of the fact that I needed to finish a page in my book. Pathetic? Probably.

So, now I'm going to start the obsession again for my baby! In my defense, I did warn Michael that this time would come. I think I even warned him before we said our vows. So he can't get upset. =)

Last night, as I was thinking of ideas on what to do with my future scrapbook, I had to laugh at myself for the things that came to mind that meant something to me. It's funny how some of the strangest random items can mean so much to you. In particular, the thought of putting my pregnancy test in my scrapbook did come to mind. Hahaha! How twisted is that? Don't worry, though, when you see my finished baby book, you do not need to be scared to open to the first page - Michael threw the pee stick away not too long ago.

The other thought that made me giggle last night was that upon looking at scrapbook supplies, it became obvious to me that my scrapbook project would be significantly easier if I knew the sex of my baby. Since we are currently leaning towards keeping it a surprise, I doubt Michael would appreciate me saying "we need to find out boy or girl so that I can order the right stickers for my scrapbook!"

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Oh Lovely

I found a couple pregnancy tickers to add to my blog... I'm not sure which I like better, so for now, I decided to keep them both.

Today's status:
My baby is now urinating inside of me. Lovely. Why couldn't I be two days further along before adding the ticker???? Yuck.

I have a plan

As of last night, I now have the next five years of my baby's life already planned out (well at least for Halloween, anyway):

'07 (0.5 years old):
Girl - Pea in a Pod; Boy - pumpkin
(duh... I LOVE peas but everyone knows the pumpkin in the pumpkin patch is a must-have picture)

'08 (1.5 years old):
Girl - flower; Boy - Bumble Bee
(hehehe... imagine them stumbling around)

'09 (2.5 years old):
Girl - Tinkerbell; Boy - Dragon
(We saw the cutest dinosaur last night, but he might have been a dragon. I hope I didn't hurt his feelings).

'10 (3.5 years old):
Girl - Pretty Pretty Princess; Boy - Batman
(ok, so I was really looking for a Power Ranger costume, but can't find one for a toddler... they exist, though, because we saw the cutest little Power Ranger last night!)

'11 (4.5 years old):
Girl - Wonder Woman; Boy - Ninja
(I loved Wonder Woman when I was young and so I was happy to see that she's still popular and encouraging young girls to go kick some ass too)

Some of the funnier costumes I saw online:
Tootsie Roll
and of course, Woopie Cushion

Monday, October 30, 2006

A lesson in shopping

Friday, Michael and I had dinner with his dad, stepmother and aunt. It was nice to see Lou Ann (his aunt) again, and best yet, she gave us our first baby gift!*

The best part of the gift was a bunch of old children's books. Inside, they were autographed by her, Michael's dad and Michael when they were young. OH MY GOSH! I love them!!! Lou Ann did mention that there was one in there that I might not want to read to my child only because it has metallic print inside and might be worth a lot of money. I couldn't help it, but to that, I thought "BAH! My child is SOOO going to sign that book!"

The other gift that Lou Ann gave us was a cute little yellow onesy with ducks on it! Our first baby outfit! Oh my gosh! I'm going to have a baby! In presenting the outfit to us, she mentioned the two rules for shopping for baby clothes:

1. NEVER buy baby clothes that do not unbutton around the legs. If you have to pull the pants on/off the baby, the clothes will only end up staying in the closet. Too much of a hassle.

2. ALWAYS stick your hand inside the clothes before buying them. There are lots of baby clothes that look super fancy and soft on the outside, only to have a plastic-y feeling on the inside.

* Disclaimer - We have gotten a lot of great thoughtful gifts from family members since finding out we're pregnant, but this was the first that was actually for the baby.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Baby Vincent is a Pig!

2007 year of the PIG*

Pigs are tolerant and generous,virtuous and peaceful. They are well liked for their honesty and warm natures. They aim to find the best in people and allow others plenty of freedom of expression. They are often imbued with the energy of wealth and the support of others though they are not concerned with accumulating wealth. They can be content with modest means. They rarely criticise others and are not vengeful and thus have few enemies. The Pig accepts the existing richness of life and doesn't demand more. They enjoy simple and earthy pleasures. In relationships they give love and affection and trust that they will receive the same. They possess considerable determination and if they set their minds on something will pursue it and attain it. Good careers are in music, food, writing, social work, gardening and looking after others.

* Thanks, Jeanne.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Is it the baby or just gas?

I just got off the phone with my mom and she said that I will probably feel the baby kick soon and that I should call her as soon as I do. So soon? Is she crazy?

Needless to say, I looked it up on the internet. Really, how *did* expecting mothers survive without the internet?? Anyway, apparently most first time mothers don't feel the baby kick until 16-22 weeks into the pregnancy (and I'm at 14). Women who have been pregnant before tend to feel their baby kick earlier because they already know the difference between how it feels when their tummy grumbles from gas and when their baby kicks.

Taken from one of many pregnancy sites:
"Women have described the sensation as being like popcorn popping, a goldfish swimming around, or butterflies fluttering. You'll probably chalk up those first gentle taps or swishes in your belly to gas or hunger pains, but once you start feeling them more regularly, you'll recognize the difference."

This really has me wondering. I do recall thinking "huh... My tummy SURE is grumbling funny." Do you think it could be the baby? I guess I will have to pay more attention to it and not automatically assume it's gas. LOL.

And of course, now that I'm paying close attention to it, my tummy has decided to be particularly uneventful.

Gone are the days...

Gone are the days where I can claim that the only way someone can tell that I'm expecting is by that "glow" pregnant women get (or as my friend, Tom, insists... The boobs). The last couple of days have forced me to admit that I may be starting to get a tummy. How is that possible, with only having gained 6.5 pounds? I'm beginning to wish that I could go from having a great body with a flat tummy to being noticeably pregnant. Why mess with the in between stage where people aren't sure if you're just getting fat or not? Really, it's really an awkward stage for everyone and it would be better to just skip it and move on with our lives.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Where's the love?

In recent days/weeks, I have experienced a few changes that I have no option but to blame on the pregnancy.

First of all, I have become a forgetful person. I lost 2 or 3 articles of clothing while in Paris (including my sister's jean jacket - I'll buy you a new one if you want). This is NOT like me, but I've already warned Michael about it. Maybe I should warn others as well. It might be nice to have an excuse for "forgetting" to do something at work. :P

Secondly, I have become quite emotional. Upon my return from Paris, I walked into a coworker's office to catch up with him. He said "So, how was Paris?" and I responded by starting to cry. Oh, Paris was great! So why the hell was I crying? Beats me. Surprisingly, he was one of the few people who didn't already know about me being pregnant, but that conversation certainly gave it away.

Thirdly, dry skin. Everywhere. I hate it. Last night my legs were so itchy that I made them hurt from scratching so much. Even after putting on lotion I could barely stay still to fall asleep. Ugh.

But as much as I complain, I find that I don't get much sympathy. "But, why?" you might ask. Lucky me... I haven't been very sick. I had a couple brief episodes where I was able to force myself to sleep through it, and then there was the plane landing in Chicago where I hurt my mom's feelings for telling her I just didn't want to talk because I felt like I was going to be sick. But apparently a couple episodes aren't enough to warrant real sympathy. I've talked to other women who have had such bad pregnancies and were so sick during their pregnancies. One coworker of mine even strongly considered adopting her second child because she was so miserable during her 9 months with the first.

So, though I have my own frustrations, it comes down to me not really having much to complain about. And now that I have made it through my first trimester, chance of me being sick are slim. I may lose my mind and forget who I am, but I won't be nauseous! Woohoo!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Thumpety thump thump

150 beats per minute and all is well.

And the best part is... (drumroll please)... at 13 weeks and 2 days, I'm basically done with my first trimester! Woohoo! Go Jen! Go Jen! It's your birthday!

Inspiration from the French

I was gone all last week on a mother/daughter trip to Paris! Paris! It was really nice to spend a lot of alone time with my mom and my seestor.

So, what do you do when you're in Paris for a week? Well, shop of course! (actually we did see A LOT of stuff). My mom bought this really pretty grey dress (a color she's NEVER liked before, but looks great on her) and I, of course, got more baby clothes! I got a cute shirt that says "c'est pour avril" (it's for April) with an arrow pointing downward. Super-cute! And even though I'm not exactly fashion concious, I do realize I should wait until I'm showing more to wear it. LOL!

Speaking of which, I owe my mom and sister an appology. So, if you guys are reading this, here it goes... They kept telling me that I look pregnant, and I kept insisting that I'm not showing yet and all that weight that they saw was just from the Paris trip (Mmmm... creme brulee!). Well, in the last couple days since being home, I not only lost the few pounds I gained from the trip, but I have also been told by a few people that indeed, I am beginning to show. How is that possible? I've only gained 4 pounds since finding out I'm pregnant!!! And I swear the majority of that is in my upper body, not my lower (enter applause and whistling here).

Anyway... moving on... the other baby-related thing that happened in Paris was that we finally decided on which nursery theme we would use. Both Michael and I had been leaning towards Sweet Vanilla, but hadn't made any decisions. Then in Paris, I found out that Marie Antoinette loved sheep so much that she built an entire cottage village (thatched roofs and all) to play "sheepherdess" with all her friends. How funny is that?! Well thanks to her obsession with sheep, it made it quite difficult for me not to buy some myself. Sheep!*

Don't worry, I did call home to ask Michael if he approved first, and just because he was still asleep when I called does not mean his "go ahead" was not valid! =P

Ok, ok... so back to work now. We have our next doctor's appointment today, so wish us luck! I believe that officially, we're past the first trimester! Woohoo!

* Please do not send sheep. I have enough myself and already risk having my very own flock in our nursery as it is. =)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

It's official

It's now official. I'm now officially pregnant because I have told people at work. I was trying to wait until I knew for sure that the review cycle was over or until I started to show (which ever came first). However, there were enough people who knew that I figured I should start telling people officially because who knows how long such a thing is kept a secret.

I wasn't going out of my way to tell people. It's just that some people knew we were trying to get pregnant and so they would ask how that was going and I'd get a big goofy grin on my face. I even went into one coworker's office to borrow something and he said "you're pregnant, aren't you?" I asked who told him and he said he could just tell. He must have noticed my new boobs. LOL!!!

Anyway, there were enough random people who knew that I decided to tell at least my section supervisor. And what better timing? Last time I went out of town, she picked the day I was leaving to give me bad news - horrible timing on her part because it meant I spent my vacation worrying about work. Well, revenge is sweet. This time I told her about going out of town tomorrow (for a week in Paris!!) just before telling her I was pregnant. "Umm, yeah, so I'm not going to be useful next week and I can really only be helpful for another 6 months anyway. Please still love me."

Ok, so it wasn't that bad... I did tell her about my trip earlier, but that doesn't mean she had the time to remember. It is weird, though, having people know now. And how do I continue to tell people? I can't just walk up to my male engineer coworkers and say "so... I'm pregnant, but I think I found a fix to the design problem we had!" Or can I?

Friday, September 29, 2006

My mom would be proud

As with most people, every 6 months my dental insurance gives me permission to see the dentist. It's like a semi-annual party gone bad every time. I don't blame the dentists. Poor guys. But I find it difficult to not hate them, and today I went in for my so called "cleaning". I much prefer to call it "scraping". Ugh.

I have become accustomed to being lectured about flossing. I've never been very good at doing it, and my only lame excuse is that the floss hurts my fingers. Yep, my fingers, not my gums. However, this time I was prepared! I've been flossing ever since I found out that I'm pregnant! (enter round of applause and cheers here) I had read (in multiple places) that poor gums can lead to premature births. Don't ask me how that works, but needless to say, the pregnancy has been good motivation for me to pull out the floss.

Anyway, today, much to my surprise, I did not get a lecture! Woohoo! It's not that my gums are in *great* condition, but they're in *ok* condition and the dental hygienist was kind enough to blame that on the pregnancy. Score!

Not pregnant? Then your gums are in bad condition. You should be ashamed! Pregnant? Well then your gums really aren't all that bad. Keep up the good work! Hehehe... it makes me laugh.

On a brighter note, my dentist has given me his official permission to go out and eat ice cream and pickles.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

L is for Leezard

This week's theme: dry skin.

I am amazed at how dry my skin has been in the last week. The strange thing is that it's only in patches and in strange areas. Enough said. However, taking a look at those areas, you'd think I recently had a bad sunburn or something. I feel like a scaly lizard. It's really too bad I can't use this as an excuse to go lay on a nice warm leezard rock and take a nap!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tummy Tummy Tummy (9 weeks)

It's picture time!

For the sake of argument, let's just say that this is my tummy at time t=0. We took this picture the weekend after peeing on our magic stick.

And these two pictures were taken at 9 weeks into my pregnancy. Though it's not typical to gain wait yet, I have gained 5 pounds. I blame that on the simple fact that I'm not going out of my way to watch what I eat anymore. I'm now eating for a baby so I can't skip dinner just to lose a pound. I think most of the weight gain is in my breasts, though strangely these pictures do not show much of a difference. Maybe I was experiencing one of those "damn miracles" when the first one was taken. :P

I've already decided that this will be my favorite pregnant mommy outfit. These are the clothes my sister helped me pick out in London. See the funny front of the jeans? That's supposed to fold over as my tummy grows. But the best part of the outfit is the shirt!*

Oh my gosh! How precious is that??? In case you can't see, the shirt shows a baby on the front. The baby is actually made up of words that say "I love you" in English, German, Italian and French. My seestor bought it for me and I've already decided that this will be my picture time outfit from now on. Thanks, seestor! I love you!

* Though Michael does tell me that the jeans do make my ass look good. ;)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Counting Sheep

I don't know if it's because of the lack of sleep that Michael and I have been getting lately, but I've got a bad case of Sheepitis (commonly known as "crazy for sheep syndrome").

Take a look, but no making fun of me. I just don't know if there is any turning back now, though... We may have to go with the sheep theme. Either that or get a new mattress so that we can start sleeping better. :P

Jesus Loves Me (minus the ribbon)
Sweet Lola

As a side note, I learned how to have my links open in a new window. Pretty cool, eh? You have to appreciate the small daily achievements.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I have issues

I have come to the conclusion that I am way too indecisive. I wish I could say that this is the first time I've come to this conclusion, but I doubt anyone would believe me. Being indecisive leads to many annoying problems, especially when you're in a group of indecisive people. However, this time I have no one to blame except me.

The biggest problem I have with being indecisive is that I end up being way too easily influenced by other people's opinions. The latest example is nursery themes.

A year ago I started looking at different nursery themes when we started talking about starting a family. I know, I know, I tend to get ahead of myself when I'm excited about something, but it's fun! At the time I was too embarrassed to ask anyone else for opinions, and came to the decision that Sweet Vanilla was by far my favorite nursery. I loved the simplicity of the colors and the feeling of preciousness it gave me.

We recently started looking at nurseries again for our two year anniversary gift (cotton) to each other. Our opinions changed daily, but I'll try to keep this short...

My favorite girl theme was Cottage Rose. Look at how pretty it is! However, Michael likes cutesy themes, and I agreed, so my favorite girl theme quickly became Flutterbye. Bugs are cute! But after sending a few links to my sister, she came back with "the others just don't compare to Cottage Rose", and I agreed, so that brought me back to the start (one of the shorter cicles I completed in this nursery search). PURTY!

It was similar with the boy themes. My sister liked Wish Upon a Star and I couldn't have agreed with her more. That is, until my mom told me she liked Mommy & Me the best. Definitely my favorite. But then Michael said "what about Froggie Tales?". Yeah! Frogs! I love frogs!

Then Michael and I went to the mall to try to see some of these in person. No such luck. However, they did have a Winnie The Pooh set that was super soft and fuzzy. It had all sorts of materials in it, and from that moment I made the executive decision that the nursery must be super soft. There was no going back.

So, our requirements? Super fuzzy and cutesy and not too pink and not too blue but is still appropriately girlie or boyish. That shouldn't be too difficult, right? Wrong. Well, ok... Partially wrong. As it turns out, our two favorite boy themes are made from all sorts of soft materials, and so is the original Sweet Vanilla. However, it is impossible to find a girlie set that is all super-soft, cutesy and not overly gawdy.

And of course, depending on who I spoke to last, my favorites flip between them all.

Current top boys are Wish Upon a Star and Mommy & Me.

Current top neutral is Sweet Vanilla.

It's really hard to beat Sweet Vanilla. Look at how precious it is! And yes, maybe the fact that I want to decorate the nursery right now (without knowing the sex of the baby for another 8-10 weeks!) might be weighing in on my opinion. But only a little itty bitty bit.

And just for fun... a few examples of instant toss-outs, or as Michael put it: the "Oh, god, please no" category:
Oooh La La - Cutesy, yes. Fuzzy, maybe. Overly gawdy, yes.
Twinkle Toes - Cutesy, yes. Pink, yes. Pink, yes. Pink, yes.
Sports USA - Just can't bring myself to say ok.
Scary Fish - Is this for real???

Friday, September 15, 2006

Look, Ma! No stuffing!

Not long ago a friend gave me a bunch of her super-cute hand-me-down clothes. I called it the "House of Jenny" shopping spree. I highly recommend shopping there. Anyway, she had a bra that she had apparently bought a while ago only to find out that it was too small. When she suggested that it may fit me, she was being quite optimistic on my behalf (she is always so nice).

Well... you'll be happy to know that I tried it on again... and WHOOO HOOO!!!! Cleavage baby, cleavage!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Baby's First Picture

Look! Look! It's my baby!

I had my first appointment yesterday and though we weren't able to hear a heartbeat yet, we were able to see the baby through an ultrasound. What? Can't see the baby? There is basically a head and a bumm so far. I'll be honest and tell you that it was significantly easier to see on the machine, when you could see the baby actually moving around. But look at the picture. The baby's head is in the bottom left of the red square and the butt is in the top right corner. We were also able to see the heart beating! It was somewhere in the middle of the red square, but on the machine it was a very obvious quick flashing. It was pretty neat.

So... what you're seeing here is at 8 weeks and 4 days. The baby is about 2cm long (about an inch) and has a heart beat of 189 bpm. They were able to determine how far into the pregnancy I am based off of the size of the fetus (from head to tail). I'm not as far into the pregnancy as I thought. The doctor had estimated I should be 10 weeks and 2 days in, so it was off by about 2 weeks.

Right now this means two things....
1. It will be another 3 months before I get to know the sex of the baby!! (happens 18-20 weeks assuming the baby is cooperative and isn't too shy... lol)
2. My due date is April 21.

Comments we’ve received so far:
I don't see it, but I believe you.
So, what sign is that?*
You mean, that kidney-bean looking thing?
Where are the arms and legs?
Your eyes must be better than mine.

* Aries if born up through April 20, and Taurus if born April 21 and after.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Do these pants make my stomach look big?

You might ask me what's the point to having a blog if I never write in it? And to you I'd respond with "uh, um... because my mommy says I'm special!" Actually, truth be known, I've been so busy at work that by the time I get home all I want to do is crash. To say that I've been stressed out at work recently would be an understatement, but I am trying to tell myself that it's not good for the baby and that there are a lot of things I just can not change, especially now given the timing of everything.

So enough of that... on to more fun things! Last week I went to England with my family to meet the man who rescued my grandpa from his plane crash during WWII. Quite the story, eh? It made for an interesting trip and it was actually quite humbling. In the end, it made me miss my granparents. It would have been nice if they had been able to meet M, or better yet, been around to see the great grandchildren.

Sorry, I forgot. We were supposed to move onto the fun things. My sister is super excited to become an aunt, and this was the first time I've seen her in quite a while. She couldn't stop complimenting me on my tummy. She insisted that I've started showing and she thought it was cute. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I'm really not showing yet, but that it's just the weight I've gained since the last time I've seen her. And I tried to keep that thought out of my mind everytime she patted my tummy.

So, what is there to do in London? Apparently, shopping. My sister insisted on helping me buy my very first tummy clothes!! I'm sure it's too early to really start, but I couldn't help myself. We just came across this super-cute maternity store. I must say, though, that it was definitely the way to shop. For the first time ever, instead of sucking it in, I was pushing my stomach out to make it look as big as possible. Instead of the usual scene of me asking "do these pants make my butt look too big?" (picture me sticking my bumm way out), I kept asking "does this make my stomach look big enough?"

Let me tell you, much much less stress when you shop like that. =)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Nap time?

It is not even 2:00 in the afternoon and all I can think about is how badly I need a nap! I knew that one of the symptoms of being pregnant was being really tired, but this is just insane!

Want to know the real reason why I finally ended up taking the test??? Well... I got home and realized that the rug in the entryway looked so cozy and all I wanted to do was drop right there and sleep. I barely had enough energy to go upstairs. That's when I knew for sure I'd pass the test. Everything leading up to that point was just encouragement.

That's how it's been for me for 4 of the last 5 days... I have hardly been able to stay awake in the car to keep up a conversation with M, even though the topic is one that I've recently been fascinated with (baby names)... I am personally quite proud of myself when the clock turns 8pm, thinking to myself "Look! I've lasted until a somewhat reasonable bedtime! Woohoo! Good night everyone!" just before I pass out. I actually am quite shocked that I've ended up in my bed every night.

So no, I am not surprised that I am tired, but I am surprised at just how tired I really feel. Mom, remember when I'd come home after finals and pass-out for a few days? Well, if only work had a budget I could charge my time to for such a thing!

"Oh, I'm sorry, I wish I could help you on your very important and exciting project, but my plate is 100% full with this nap-time critical design review I need to prepare for."

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I'm pregnant.... I'm pregnant not...

I have to confess that I've wanted to create a blog for a few months now (inspired by a good friend of mine who keeps up a cute blog about her little boy), but have somehow managed to control myself by introducing a self-imposed rule - I can not start a blog until I am pregnant. But sometimes rules are meant to be broken....

Besides... this week should count! It's been kindof hectic in the "Is Niffer pregnant?" arena.

Since I'm assuming that anyone who would ever stumble on this blog would also happen to be someone who found about about it because I told them, I can only assume that everyone reading this knows that we have been trying to get pregnant now for a few months. Really, it's only been a couple of months, so we're not concerned about it yet.

However, the daily phone calls from my sister for the last week or two (yes, it was approaching that time of the month) have gotten me a little on edge (I'm quite proud of my mom for showing such self-control and not doing the same). I know that they're just excited for me, but please! When I get pregnant, I'll tell you! Stop it with the "are you pregnant yet?" and "how about now? pregnant now?" and jokingly saying "You know, you do have to have sex, right?" LOL. My family makes me laugh.

But still... as if trying to get pregnant isn't stressful enough (I know, I'm trying not to be concerned about it). Sheesh!

The funny thing about that is that as much as I get annoyed with the daily inquiry, I have also finnd myself upset if a day goes by without it. What the heck? Do you just not care if it happens to be today that I'm pregnant? I know... I have issues. I'm sure a couple years of counseling and I'll be just fine.

This last week has been a hectic pregnancy week. As every little girl does at one point or another (and I'm not convinced that guys haven't done the same), I used to pick up a flower and do the whole "he loves me; he loves me not"... but I was smart about it. The way I figured it, the more petals the flower had, the better my chances are of ending up on a "he loves me". Well, ok... so maybe I wasn't that smart. :P

My new grown-up version of this game has left me wondering how many petals I started out with. I'm pregnant, I'm pregnant not, I'm pregnant... you'd think it would be simple. Either I am or I am not. Period.

It's not like I have been a great example of timeliness when it comes to my menstral cycle recently. I do miss those 28 day cycles that come with the pill, where I could predict my period to 20 minutes if I did my homework and took my pill in a timely manner every day for an entire month. But no, that is no longer me. There are three basic theories on types of cycles out there: 1. 28 day cycle 2. montly cycle and 3. seemingly choatic cycle. In the 4 months since the pill, I believe that I fell under #3, though I was hopeful of becoming #1. M insists I was a #2.

But as mentioned earlier, I knew that the time was approaching. If one believed in the 28 Day Theory, I should have started my period last Tuesday (the 1st). If one were one who supports M's Monthly Theory, it should start on the 4th of every month (last Saturday).
Point is... A week ago I convinced myself that I "felt" pregnant, so I started getting excited when I was late for the 28 Day Theory. I know I should not have taken the test, and I promised M I would only use when I was absolutely sure! (It was nearly impossible to miss the look of fear in his eyes at the grocery store when his mind started adding up the cost required for monthly pregnancy tests. Seven bucks a pop!) But come on! You can't blame me, right? I was convinced I was pregnant.

I'm Pregnant!

So last Wednesday morning, I peed on a stick and tried to wait patiently for the second line to appear. Bummer! No Baby for me! Of course, I couldn't bring myself to tell M because I was embarrased to have wasted the $7 stick for a single big fat pink line.

I'm Pregnant Not!

The next few days were spent with me convinced I was not pregnant and assuming that my period is just late. Come Friday the 4th... The BIG day for M's Monthly Theory. No period. Hmmm.... Maybe I was pregnant and the test just wasn't sensitive enough!!!

So M and I discussed it and he insisted that he woudln't start getting excited until a week after the 4th (Friday the 11th). I insisted that I would be excited a week after the Tuesday (today). So we compromised and said Tuesday morning I'd take a test if I hadn't started my period. I kick ass at the compromising game! =)

Sunday comes and still no sign of Aunt Flow. I couldn't help but get excited about my on-coming nausiated feelings. We spent the day with Michael's family and I felt horrible. Yay! Baby!

I'm Pregnant!

Monday morning and I started the day like any other day... I peed. Much to my disappointment, when I wiped I saw I had started my period. Bummer. No baby for me! No point in wasting the second $7 test.

I'm Pregnant Not!

I told M and I could tell that he was disappointed, but did a good job of making me feel better about it. It's not like we've been trying for long, right? And since for obvious reasons, I did not really feel like talking to my sister about it, I sent her a text message: "No baby. Call me in a month."

Yesterday I felt like crap, but luckily I had a lot of work to accomplish so it kept my mind off of my head ache and back ache and such. But once I got home and had a moment to realize how yucky I felt, I realized that my "period" that had started that morning was barely anything at all.... just a little spotting, almost as though it was the very end of a period instead of the beginning. I've always been one of those people who have a couple of really heavy days at the beginning, then it tampers off. I never start off on a light day. And this was incredibly light. Hardly any sign of a period at all. Weird.

This morning I woke up and went to the bathroom thinking "surely there'll be signs of my Aunt Flow's return after a full night's sleep, right?" Wrong. I gave M a warning that I'd have to use up one of the precious pregnacy tests tomorrow morning if nothing changed before then. He's a wise man. He didn't even try to convince me otherwise.

Anyway... I know that the new plan was to wait until the morning to pee in a cup again (no way do I trust myself to pee on a stick I'm holding for 5 full seconds again!), but I couldn't help myself. M is working late tonight, and so I was bored when I got home.

Two pink lines! Woohoo!

I'm pregnant!

I'd like to believe that I started this blog tonight out of sheer boredom, but who am I kidding? I've been waiting to start one for a few months now!

Oh, and for those concerned, just thought I'd reassure you that for obvious reasons this all initiated a full-blown search about spotting during pregnancy, and I was surprised to find out that 25% of early pregnancies have spotting! And apparently it often happens around the time that you would have expected your period. Also, in the earliest stages of pregnancy, spotting can happen when the fertilized egg implants itself into the wall of the uterus. Regardless, I do plan to mention it when I go to see my doctor.

And now, I'm off to pick up my husband from work. I plan to wrap up my 2-lined stick and give it to him as a present. :D