Thursday, February 28, 2008

Photomontage of the month in review

Technically this was in January but here is one of the primary causes of stress this month, the three-season-porch leak from ice damming.

At the beginning of Feb. we got away to a cabin for respite, centering, and a plain old vacation. Here is S and G by the fire!

Here is a picture of the basement mid-search for the “problem”….i.e. pipe burst.

Shortly after the pipe burst our wonderful family members, K and B arrived with their 8 month old Newfoundland, Olive. She and G had their moments (we blame G) but are very good dogzins!

Finally, the one you all have been begging for, the 30-week belly shot in the nursery. Isn't she so cute!!!! Enjoy!

Happy end of winter…we hope!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The name game

I'm sure E will have more than 2 cents to add to this...

When we first found out we were pregnant, I uttered these words (ala "famous last words"):

"I want to have a name picked when we find out what we're having so that we can call the baby by name from then on."

Hmmm... so, we began to compile a list. Anyone who knows me IRL should not be surprised to learn that we used a book complete with graphs and statistics and then put that information into a spreadsheet (my most favorite-est thing on earth. just thinking about spreadsheets brings me peace. ahhh.....) The spreadsheet helped us eliminate names that were too popular (E has a fairly common last name, so a rather uncommon first name will be required) and let us compare names that were rather similar etc...

So, sometime in September, when the weather was still nice (pre-arctic conditions), we spent a lovely lazy weekend afternoon on our newly constructed deck where we settled on a lovely name... for a girl. We were absolutely unanimous (me, E and the spreadsheet). The name met our rarity criteria, our preferences criteria, included a familial (middle) name, and we BOTH liked it.

We managed to narrow the boy names down to a short list that day.

Flash forward to November, and we had managed to narrow the boy names down further to two with a sure shot middle name. December crept upon us and we found out we were having a boy yet two names still sat on the list. Then we knocked one off and added another one. E now asks me at least once a week, "what's the chance we're going to name him F.J.?"

I haven't wavered in my answer for quite some time now "60%".
Then she will likely counter, "What's the percentage we will name him H.J.?"
Of course, I can't resist, "60%".

Sure, we've been talking about names for years and years. How can you not when you'd been trying to have a baby for at least that long? Why can't I settle on a name? I don't know. Unwillingness to commit? Inability to realize that a little PERSON will be joining our family in 2.5 months? Plain old indecision? Quirkiness? I have no idea....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

(Nearly) 30 weeks

We have almost hit the 75% mark. As of tomorrow, we will have accomplished 3/4 of this pregnancy. Wow! The time does seem to be picking up a bit, which I admittedly welcome... even though we still have so many projects to accomplish at home before our little guy comes... including deciding on a name!

The biggest change I've noticed this week, besides an increase in discomfort, is a tremendous growth spurt. I'm not sure if it's baby or if it's me, but my belly is a ton bigger. E was gone for 3.5 days and noticed it when she returned on Saturday night. Tot does, again, seem to have grown stronger. Some of the kicks and punches positively surprise me! and I still love them all.

This weekend, Grandpa is coming to visit. We always look forward to spending time with him. It's been over two months since we've seen E's dad, so this is a particularly welcomed visit. I'm sure we'll do the usual: sit around and chat, go out to eat, eat in, sit around and chat... I'll go to bed and they'll chat some more. As much as we're looking forward to his visit, I think Gladys might be the most excited if she knew he was coming. He may be her very favorite person on the entire planet. If only she knew what was in store for her!

Monday, February 25, 2008


Merr and Sum got their +HPT!! Big congratulations!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Home again home again, jiggety jig

My dear sweet E is home. She has rescued me from myself.

I don't know how I did it. Usually when she is gone, I pout. I pout constantly and hard and let myself have a terrible time. I watch tons of TV varying that activity only with surfing the internet, and I eat junk food if I eat at all. I let the house go to pieces and bank on the moment that she arrives home.

Can you imagine the pressure that poor woman has to endure while she is away earning us our living? She is pulled in 1000 directions at those meetings and then has a sulky wife sitting at home waiting for her calls and her return.

This time, however, I worked hard at being a SANE person. I mostly managed it too... with quite a bit of help from some other folks that love me. I swam and took the dog to the parks (several times, which didn't seem to be enough because she was still terribly rambunctious yesterday). I finished up the registry at the local store, got a new (same) cut & color and went to the grocery store. All while receiving phone calls from a couple of magnificent sisters and a good friend in CA and a few cards from my father-in-law.

Of course, all of that love makes me want to move to be near them even more. It is, however, also a testament to how lucky I am to have such marvelous people in my life, even if they aren't in my immediate vicinity. I love my peeps.

E arrived home last night in time to go out for dinner (after a scare that she wouldn't get home until after the start of Sat.urday Ni.ght Live.) She has promised me a lovely day together. The temps are mild today (we're probably going to rise above freezing!!!) and the sun is out, so I'd say things are looking pretty good so far. Now, I just have to go wake her up.... I love having her home.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Surviving so far

Well, E has been gone for approximately 24 hours. So far, so good. I know you were all worried.

I managed to head off a big portion of my lonely blues by heading straight to the gym after work yesterday. I had myself a very nice swim (in my new maternity suit, so comfy for swimming!) and then headed home to make dinner and speak with a friend via telephone for an hour. I even managed to clean the kitchen (a.k.a. load the dishwasher.) After so much productivity, I was quite pooped and found myself snuggling Gladys while watching Amer.ican Idol for the rest of the evening.

I think the swim was the best thing I could have done for myself. In spite of my frozen hair by the time I made it back to the car, I just felt good about myself... which was especially needed given my failed test news from the other day. (BTW, follow up next week Friday.)

I'm a bit tired of feeling ho-hum lately and I'm glad to be feeling a bit better today. I know the blues are likely to return a bit, especially since more snow is predicted for next week. I think, though, that I'll be ok.

Baby is certainly growing. My belly is getting very big; I went back to the maternity store to buy new FULL panel jeans. I can't help but look at the belly when I pass by the mirror now. I also find myself rubbing its side quite often. I don't even know why I do that. I guess I just love the baby in there.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Finding a pediatrician

Well, E and I are about to start the search for a pediatrician. I'm going to throw a few questions out to you wise folks:

  • How do you conduct a search anyways? I mean, we have lists of names and some recommendations, but now what? Do we make an appointment and come up with a list of interview questions? Do we just call? Do we just take a recommendation? (not likely, we're research junkies.)
  • What questions do you ask and what do you look for in a pediatrician? I'm sure we will come up with a good list, but we've not yet begun to think about this, so if you have any good thoughts or questions/answers that you found illuminating, please share!

E left this morning. She's such a saint. She's already called me twice to tell me she loves me. She knows that a hormone-filled wife is even more needy than her usual!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


I failed my initial glucose screening. I also am borderline anemic.


Monday, February 18, 2008

The effect of family

One of my sisters and her husband brought their dog for the weekend. We did nothing spectacular: went out to eat, brought dogs to the park, ate in, sat around and talked, ate ice cream, etc... Nothing spectacular at all.

Still, we had a weekend unlike one we've had in a long time. We felt connected, loved, and understood. It's been a while since I've felt that way... Unfortunately, I was so down after they left. I just feel so trapped: trapped by the weather here (ugh! we're up to nearly 7' of snow this winter), trapped a bit by my job these days, and trapped by being so far away from the people we love but needing to stay here.

See my ability here to take something good like a warm comfortable weekend and turn it into something bleak?

This week is going to be a bit hard for me. E has to leave on Wednesday morning for a trip until late Saturday afternoon. I'm just hoping the bad weather ends today so that I can manage walking the dog... which also means that it has to be warm enough that I don't really have to zip my coat all the way since it doesn't fit anymore! The worst part will be that my love is so far away from me; I admit I'm a bit codependant.

Two weeks until March. I'm holding out hope that we'll have an early spring after a winter like this. I'm sick of hearing myself complain about my winter blues.

Friday, February 15, 2008

We're swearing off Valentine's Day FOREVER

We love each other, very much. We appreciate small tokens of love, even on this Ha.llmark holiday...

In spite of our undying love for one another, V-day is just not our day. Even when we don't attempt to make a super-romantic evening out of it, things just fall flat.

Last year, I made a very romantic dinner complete with homemade chocolate mousse (the best either of us had ever had.) Soon after dinner, we found a mouse in our garbage can and evidence that a herd of mice had infested the house. The day after spending an entire evening cleaning mouse poop out from under the sink, we called Or.kin.

Fast forward to last night. We spent the evening in birthing class where we had to watch more birthing videos that make me think that hiring a surrogate next time is the way to go. Class got out late, as it always does, and we drove home in snowstorm aftermath, as we always do. At 10pm, I walked into the house and heard a noise. Took off my shoes, and stepped onto the family room (in the basement) carpet. Squish, squish, squish. I called Erin back from the neighbor's house where she was going to shovel the walk. It took us 20 minutes of investigating before realizing that a pipe had burst. Now, our brand new basement carpet is ice cold and wet. Did I mention we have guests coming for the weekend?

We agreed that we no longer believe in V-day. It's apparently the yearly annivesary for something to go wrong. Then again, E pointed out that so far in this pregnancy, the garage ceiling has caved in, the back deck and porch have sprung new leaks, the dining room windows and chandelier have leaked, and now we have a burst pipe -all on top of record snowfalls that require E to shovel inches upon inches several times a week.

What a winter story to tell the grandkids!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Is it the 3rd trimester already?

I know that the 3rd trimester technically started at 27 weeks. I, however, refused to cede until this week - out of principle. It just doesn't seem fair that the 2nd one is so short. It's the one where you are supposed to feel the best... my 1st trimester ick didn't even leave until week 16, so it hardly seems fair that 10 weeks later I have to give up the good-feeling portion of the pregnancy!

E and I have both noticed that over the past couple of weeks I've grown more tired again. I'm also having more and more difficulties with my tummy - acid reflush, nausea etc... Last night I was a bit ill. So, I can't help it: I'm just going to have to scream "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!" I think that stuff should start right before baby is born because 12 weeks seems like a long time....

I am also not particularly appreciative of all of the well-meaning folks that like to remind me that it's only going to get worse from here on out. Gee, thanks. I am now feeling like I have so much to look forward to! It sounds like the next three months are going to be a blast!

I now have a new symptom. When Tot doesn't move as much, I am struck with fear. Fear that something is wrong with him. Fear that we won't make it to the end of this pregnancy. Fear that I've done something to hurt him in there. I'm working on my rational self and reminding it that some days I'm more tired too... he's probably growing lots...and that every movement counts... just because he isn't walloping me every few seconds doesn't mean something is wrong... I know that much of this is just first pregnancy/pregnancy unfamiliarity syndrome. I'm not this neurotic (usually.)

So far, Rational Self has managed to stay in control. Good thing we have an appointment this evening b/c Rational Self is getting rather tired.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

28 weeks

28 week down. That is 70% of the 40 weeks; 70%, people!!! Not that I'm worried (b/c I honestly am not), but we've read that if I were to go into labor now, that our baby would have an 85% chance of survival without any significant complications. Wow!

When we reminisce and tell our son about the winter we were pregnant, we will tell him:
  1. The country was in the midst of the most dynamic presidential primary in recent memory (certainly in my memory!) At 28 weeks, Obama held a rally and Clinton is on her way here this weekend. We feel like we are part of history, and we both plan to vote in a PRIMARY next week!
  2. WI received a record snow fall. We are approaching 80 inches now, and the weather gurus are suggesting we might even reach 100" by the season's end. (Previous snowfall record for ENTIRE season: 76.1".)
  3. Related to the above point, poor E has shoveled our driveway more times this season than she should have had to in five years. Of course, the one season I'm of extremely little help....

I'm sure there is more we will tell him... we will tell him how much we love him, and how much we wanted him before he was ever here. We won't be surprised when his favorite foods are cereal and ice cream, because that's what he seems to be telling me he wants!

12 weeks to go. 12 weeks before we meet our wonderful baby boy.

P.S. Does anyone know what happened to Maeby at Possible Maybe? Maeby, are you password protected now?

Monday, February 11, 2008

I guess I never thought about THAT before

E and I are taking birthing classes through our birth center. We've been twice so far, and I think the most shocking thing is that I never really considered the fact that I'm going to actually go through labor and then - get this- birth a BABY!!!

Yes, I recognize that this is strange as getting pregnant and choosing natural childbirth usually leads to that which is mentioned above. However, for some reason, in all of our years of trying, and in the past six months of actually being pregnant, it never really connected that I would- with my own body- birth a BABY!

Week 1, I was so in shock that on our way home (in a snow storm) all I could say was "I'm really freaked out". E must have thought I was an alien or something. We had watched several videos and although we were learning about what not to do and how to take control of our own birthing situation, we did not see anything traumatic. Our dear midwives did not show us anything overly graphic or horrendous. In spite of that, I was absolutely overcome with emotion... shock, maybe? I still don't have the words for how that evening left me feeling. One woman in the videos, who had such a natural birth that she caught her own baby, danced with her husband through most of the labor. She was particularly nervewracking to me because her eyes kept rolling back into her skull. I know it was supposed to be a beautiful video of how peaceful birth can be, but it reminded me of an exorcism that I hadn't signed up for.

Week 2, we watched three videos. By the third one, I think I was finally breathing regularly- at least for the most part. We drove home that night and I was less freaked out about birthing, but still perplexed at my reaction, or was it a lack of cognition before those two classes? I am just unsure.

I'm not really afraid of labor and delivery. Fear definitely isn't my dominant feeling. It must be a previous lack of acknowledgment in terms of how pregnancy ends, specifically how this pregnancy will end. It's overwhelming to imagine getting there. Getting to The End. L&D signifies the end, afterall. Maybe it's the mental block after years of IF, after years of wondering whether or not we would finally have our own child. Maybe it's just healthy to not overthink an experience that can go on for hours and cause a significant amount of pain. Maybe I'm not as grounded in reality as I tend to think of myself. Maybe I'm crazy...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wishing I could post more anonymously

E and I are relatively open people. I'm assuming that comes across in our writing, but to explain: we are folks who reach out quite a bit to those around us. I say this because when we started writing here we reached out to those that we knew at the time (as in, we didn't yet really know anyone in blogland.) That included family and close friends. Some of those folks are loyal readers, and some aren't. That isn't the problem in this case. The problem is that I sometimes have difficulty airing my "dirty laundry" because folks IRL know those about whom I feel compelled to complain.

That being so, coupled with a seeming inability to write protected posts on blogger... I'll just have to say that I'm having some difficulties lately dealing with some folks in my life that I do really love quite a bit. Being pregnant and far away from everyone that we love IRL is taking is toll on me. And, with the laws the way they are in our home state, we just won't be changing our situation any time soon.

I wish I could share how I'm feeling with you all because you are all so supportive. With IRL folks out there, though, I'm afraid I'm left feeling a bit more isolated and unable to talk about the things on my mind...

I know I've not said anything, really, but thanks for "listening".

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Non-bio mom chronicles

Sometimes I wonder what it is like to be a non-bio mom. Is it like being a dad? Well, since I'm planning to breastfeed, I guess not really. Is it like being a bio-mom? Not really since I am not pregnant. I'm an aunt, is it like that? No, I only see my nieces every six months. So, what is it like my ladies out there?

Calling all non-bio moms, calling all non-bio moms, please comment on the best thing about being a non-bio mom!

Here is my guess, it is great and un-like most societal defined roles a person can play in the development of a human. I mean, I'm one of child's parents. He will have to listen to me because I'm a mom (and will refuse to listen to me, because I'm a mom). I don't have the wonderful experience of wondering if he will have my eyes or heaven forbid my chins! :) But I can, with all honesty say he might have some of my personality and demeanor. He will likely pick up some of my mannerisms, my love for things, and many of my values.

The term non-bio mom seems so secondary but really, isn't the same as so many other things in my life that I have to "reclaim" and give the meaning I believe it should have regardless of the societal definition or the lack of a better word? So, I from here out declare myself a NON-BIO MOM, and I'm proud to be!

My definition of non-bio mom:
(Noun) a woman dedicated to the life and development of a child born as their child by another woman (my wife). She is the caregiver, dedicated parent, and forever-biggest supporter of said child. She is, a mom (see definition of mom).

Also known as Mutti (German form of Mom derived from Mutter) in our house!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A refreshing start to February

We had a lovely weekend of doing next to nothing. We sat around in a cabin where we ate ice cream by the wood fire, played Ya.htzee and got lost in one of the nearby state parks while I tried out some borrowed snow shoes (why have we not invested in these marvelous contraptions!!?) Gladys had a blast as well; she's a city dog born to live in the country, so the woods were the best playground she could have asked for.

We returned from our getaway in time to see most of the S.uperbowl. I got most of our tax info in order and E made some delicious chicken wings for the event. All in all a very nice weekend.

We have both had it with the winter this year, so getting away was a nice way to refresh for the rest of winter. We've had an outrageous amount of snow and cold for one season in this part of the country, and I've felt something like a shut in for the last couple of months. Coming into February makes me (wrongly, I'm sure) believe that we are just one month away from spring weather. Nevermind that March 1st hardly ever brings spring weather. Although the shift in weather generally occurs mid-late March, there is something about this mindframe that gets me through the end of winter every year. I think this year has been particularly difficult because I've limited going outside for fear of falling on all of the ice and snow (and a dog pulling on the leash only exacerbates that fear/reality.)

Maybe too, I know that spring is the last season before our baby arrives. I can hardly believe that he's coming!! This weekend I must have thought "I can't wait to see him" about 50,000 times. I know he's not ready to be here, and I know we still have quite a bit to do before he arrives, but I am really starting to day dream about holding him, changing his diapers and falling in love with his little face over and over again. I can't truly believe that we're going to be parents, and I'm trying to imagine what that might truly mean because - honestly - how can we really know until we're doing it? Today, I'm not afraid of the whole parenting thing; I'm just truly excited, dripping with the anticipation of getting there. There being that place that we've been trying to get to for 3 years. 3 years on this road to finally meeting our son.

Damn! I can't wait for spring!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Photo Friday: Black and White

Higgins has been with me for most of his 8.5 years. He is our "special" cat. I adopted him from a rescue, and he's just never been a well boy. He spent his first week or so with me at the kitty hospital, most likely for stress in retrospect. His favorite being in the world is Tanner, our other kitty. The only person he cares for is me, and he never really forgave me and E for moving in together, let alone for bringing a dog into the mix. He is a sweet cuddler when he isn't cowering under the spare room bed.

He is a sweet cuddle boy, though. I love him to bits when he jumps into bed with me. He will actually sleep under the covers if the dog is nowhere to be found (like when I sleep in the spare room to save E from my pregnancy snores!!) He has a snaggle tooth that juts out, and we think it's the cutest little thing. He doesn't come when called by any of his names, but he is affectionately known as: Snags, Snaggle, Higgs, Professor Higgins, ghost face (b/c he hides in the dark and all you can see is his white face), cuddle bunny, cuddle boy, and whatever else catches our fancy when he decides to stand at the edge of the living room and "join" us in whatever we're doing.