Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cooper, the first Baby Lotz

Recently, I learned that 76% of Americans treat their dog as a member of the family. We are no different.

Cooper was our first baby. Remember how stinking cute he was??

I know that some families send their dogs to stay somewhere else the first few days after they return home from the hospital following the birth of a child. I think this is very reasonable. There seems to be enough to worry about with a new baby at home, no need to add another layer of responsibility with the dog.

I've thought about what to do with Cooper during those first few days home (well, and also what to do with him while we're in the hospital). At this point, I can't imagine Cooper NOT being home with us, especially during the first few days.

You see, Coop is a great dog. He minds when he should, he doesn't eat things he's not supposed to eat, he doesn't go to the bathroom in the house; he just gives love. Lots and lots of love.

I think that if, during our hospital stay, Cooper is at Doggy Day Camp, he'll not only get to have his fun, but he'll be pretty tired when we get home from the hospital with the babes. After a stay at camp, he is still alert and full of love, but he's more relaxed and calm that usual. I think this state of mind will be the ideal way for our two babies to be introduced.

We've heard two suggestions to help transition Cooper:
  1. Bring a blanket home from the hospital that has Bubs scent on it and let Cooper get used to Bubs smell from that
  2. At the first meeting, keep bubs in the bucket carrier, covered up with a blanket, except for her/his toes. Let Cooper sniff and explore Bubs and also lick Bubs feet. Teach Cooper not to lick Bubs anywhere else (for now) except on those little toes.
Both of those seem like great suggestions. Cooper is a big dog, but he can be a gentle giant, especially when Hubs is around.

I think Cooper is going to be Bubs biggest fan.

Cooper is also going to be a big help during the midnight feedings. Right now, when I have trouble sleeping and I head downstairs for a few hours, Cooper comes with me. It always makes me feel safer and reminds me that I'm not alone. (Side note: with as much alone time as I had at night when Hubs lived in Omaha and I slept alone every night in our big house, you'd think I wouldn't mind being home alone. I don't really mind it, but I don't prefer it.)

I imagine that when I get up to feed Bubs, Cooper will come in and lay down next to the recliner to keep us company. He's going to be a great big brother.

So for now, the plan is for Cooper to be at home when we arrive with the bundle of Bubs. (That is subject to change, however, as we approach D day)

Also, I'm fully preparing myself for the event that Bubs is a boy and I'm the only female in the entire house. I think that would entitle me to mani/pedis for life.

On the other hand, if Bubs is a girl, that's another mani/pedi entitlement because it would for sure be a great way to bond with her.

Either way, I'm securing mani/pedis for life. Guaranteed.

I'm just sayin'...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The loot

From the day we first told anyone we're pregnant, we've received SO MANY things from friends and families. Gifts of clothes (both gently used and new), baby gear, books, it's been overwhelming at times :)

In my crazy mind, a part of me was worried that because we are one of the last of our friends to start a family, we would be "just another pregnancy" to people.

I'll explain:

During our wedding planning, I felt this way too. We were the first of our friends to start dating and we were the last to get married. I wondered if any of our college friends would attend since we married 3 years after I graduated AND the wedding was held in St. Louis (we went to college in Lexington, KY). Everyone else married before we did. Being the selfish person I can sometimes be, I worried that because there were a number of weddings prior to ours, our friends would tire of weddings and we would be "just another wedding" they had to attend.

It didn't turn out that way. At. All.

Our wedding was more than I could have ever dreamed. We have the best family and friends. Over 30 of our college friends drove 4 hours (or more), many flew in from out of state, paid for 1-2 nights at the hotel, all so they could see Hubs and I say our vows. We knew that our wedding was special for us; our family and friends made it very clear that it was special to them as well.

This pregnancy is no different. Bubs is not the first grand baby on either side of the family; Bubs isn't the first girl; Bubs isn't the first boy.

But, again, family and friends are making it perfectly clear that Bubs isn't "just another baby" in their lives. They are proving that my crazy thoughts were just those, crazy thoughts. Nothing more.

I love our family and friends!

And, apparently, they love BUBS!

They express their love through much more than material items, but I can't take pictures of their unconditional support and love :) I can, however, take pics of the loot!

There are also several books from the in-laws (in addition to some of the clothes above), but those are upstairs and well, I'm lazy :)

My little sister also gave us stacks of clothes and diapers, but those are currently in the washing machine (the clothes, not the diapers :) ).

I can't wait for the furniture to arrive tomorrow so I can start filling up those drawers with this cuteness :)

Until then, XOXO....

I feel good/A historic day

Duhna-nuh-nuh-nun-nuh-nuh. I knew that I would.

Sorry for the lack of blogging. It's either all or nothing with me :) The good thing is that I have at least 3 posts ready to write, so hang on!

These last few weeks have been good, although very, very busy. I feel good. The gagging has really subsided. Occasionally I'll still get a good gag to come up, but for the most part, it's few and far between.

Sleeping is becoming a challenge thanks for heartburn (which I've never had in my entire life) and my absolute fear of sleeping on my back (apparently after the 4th month, you're not supposed to sleep flat on your back).

I don't really have any acne and although the ankle swelling started a few weeks ago, I'm really staying hydrated and that helps tremendously.

Today, for the first time ever, a total stranger asked me when I'm due :)

I promise to get a belly pick up tomorrow.

The "big" ultrasound is scheduled for April 8th (Craig's dad's birthday!). Even though we're not finding out the sex, it'll be so nice to see Bubs again and spend more time with him/her.

The past week was very busy. Although the furniture wasn't scheduled to arrive until May, I got a call last Tuesday stating it came in and they needed to deliver it as soon as possible. The in-laws were in town last week, so we scheduled the delivery for today. Hubs stayed home in anticipation of the 11:30am arrival, however the company called and there was a problem with the delivery truck, so they rescheduled for tomorrow (Sunday) at the same time.

I was bummed since Hubs got up early today to finish preparing the room, but at least now it's ready! Remember how the nursery looked just a week ago??

Well, here it is now after much TLC from Hubs (and help from Matt and Ben):

Nice, huh?

Today was a great day. I picked up the BFF for some early morning resale shopping at the local college. We got there later than most, so many of the large ticket items were gone, but I scored several packs of onesies in various sizes. I actually wasn't interested in the big ticket items, I'm saving those for the registry :)

After the consignment sale, she VERY KINDLY offered to go to Babies'R'Us with me to walk around and give me any advice I'd like on various baby items and registry needs. It was TREMENDOUSLY helpful! I took 2.5 pages of notes. She gave me suggestions on how many of each item to register for, lots of tips on diaper changing tips for both at home and when we're out and about, and a small list of items to steal borrow from the hospital after delivery.

Most importantly, I got to spend time with my BFF and learn more about how to be a good mom. She and her husband are wonderful parents and I really appreciate the time she's spending with me, giving me insights into parenting. I realize that you're never fully prepared for life after the birth, but in talking with her, I feel more comfortable with things.

We enjoyed a quiet lunch at Red Robin before we both headed home for the afternoon.

It was a really good day.

Oh yea...and mark this day on your calendar: I did my first load of baby laundry today:

We've been so blessed to receive gently used items from many people so I decided that with the furniture coming tomorrow, I could get a load ready to fill up the dresser drawers :)

In my next post, I'll show you all of the things we've already received from friends and family! Warning: the cuteness is almost too much to handle!

Until then, XOXO...

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ya'll are geniuses!

A dimmer in the nursery?! GENIUS!

This is why I come to you! That is a great idea and not one I would have thought about. The question is, does an electrician have to install it? Or, is it supposedly pretty easy DIY?

Katherine, will you ask Eric? He's smart...and very handy!

Remember the previous post where I outlined the time line for the nursery? I started with the furniture being delivered in May and worked backwards to early April when Hubs needs to have all of the existing furniture moved out?

Well, scratch that! The furniture place called today and well, the furniture arrived!

The good news? Our furniture arrived!

The bad news? We have SO MUCH to do in the next two weeks. The furniture is being delivered AND set up on Sat, March 27th. Holy cow. We'll have baby furniture by April. That's nuts :)

Luckily, I had already planned on taking off work today so I'm Facebooking and blogging spending time cleaning out the room, throwing out a bunch of stuff, and getting all of the shelves and such cleaned off so Hubs and crew can move the furniture whenever they're ready next week.

I'm also trying to clean up the rest of the house because the in-laws are coming into town this weekend for our niece's birthday and our house is a disaster area. It's embarrassing. Just ask Amy :) She came by a few days ago to drop off some baby loot (including a book that she bought just for us!) and Hubs hid in the basement b/c he was too embarrassed to be seen in the house. Whatever. I can either do my hair and wear makeup every day or we can have a clean house. Take your pick; You can't have both.

Now,there is stuff everywhere and it's driving me nuts. I don't have the energy to get things done after work, so every month I'm working 4 longer days one week and taking the first Tues of the month off to help get stuff done 'round here.

I spend a few hours in the morning running errands and organizing the day. Then I spend the rest of the time executing the to-do list. And hopefully, I don't keep adding things to the list mid-day. I'm notorious for doing that!

I'm feeling good. Because I've been up and about today, moving around, and being quite physical, my gagging has picked up again. But, it's just me at home, so I just let 'er rip. No point in trying to contain it like I usually do.

My ankles are puffy, but I'm staying really well hydrated and I'm taking rest breaks every few hours.

Alright, back to work!

Until next time, XOXO...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Nursery-- any tips??

My plan over the next 4 weeks is to clean out the soon-to-be nursery. We got a great start yesterday morning, but all that really involved was moving stuff out of the closets in the big room into the closet in the little room.

Here are some current pics (I took these after we started cleaning out the closets, which is why there is crap everywhere):

Part of my to-do list strategy is creating timelines in which to accomplish certain things. I work backwards from the event and plan accordingly. As such, the nursery time line is:

  • Furniture is delivered sometime in May, which means the room needs to be cleaned out, cleaned up, painted, prepped, etc by then
  • Carpet cleaning is scheduled for May 1
  • Touch-up painting happens prior to carpet cleaning, but the new blinds need to be installed before paining, so [the new] blinds need to be hung no later than April 25th
  • The existing furniture needs to be moved out NLT April 25th too
So my question is, are there things we should be thinking about when planning furniture placement in the room?

We have four pieces of furniture: crib, tall dresser, bureau/changing table, and an oversized recliner.

Does one piece need to be positioned near another for efficiency's sake?

Any other nursery tips to share??

Until next time, XOXO...

Saturday, March 13, 2010

And then it happened

This was a great week to be pregnant! Although it hit a rough patch, it ended on the highest of notes.

I feel good. I had this big long post planned out in my head about the craziness we endured on Wed evening, but I've decided to minimize the negative and focus on the positive.

Wed evening highlights: puked on the bedspread, two rounds of prenatal pills, bedspread in the washing machine which triggered the circuit breaker to flip off, no power in our bedroom Wed night, Hubs cleaned up a washing machine gone wild, battery powered alarm clock died.

I slept great! And Hubs is my hero for cleaning and fixing while I kept falling asleep mid-crisis.

I ate ZERO protein on Wed, which I sense played a large part of the late evening pukeness. I didn't intentionally avoid meat. It just happened that everything I ate during the day was healthy veggies :)

Veggies taste SO GOOD to me right now. Truth be told, I could probably live on Imo's side salads and Subway Veggie subs for the next 5 months :) Yum.

Onto more important things: WE FINALLY GOT TO MEET BUBS!! We had our 16 (well, almost 17 week) appt on Friday. Hubs and I were reluctant to ask for the ultrasound but my lovely mom went with us and she asked.

You see, I have this thing about not wanting to be "that" patient. It's hard to describe and people think I'm crazy, but I don't want to be the high maintenance patient that has a set of demands at every visit. I don't want to call the doctors office at the smallest sign of a potential problem (that's what my mom, Jennie, Debbie, Martha, Amy, and well, all of my friends are for) and I just want to be a good, easy going, low maintenance patient. My dad is also pretty well known in the community and I'm always aware of the fact that if I ask for something "extra," people can misinterpret that as me thinking I'm entitled to it b/c of who I am. And, I'm not like that, at all. Call me crazy, but I just want to be another patient on the doctors schedule.

Having said that, we REALLY wanted to see Bubs. We had gone 16 weeks without seeing Bubs and we certainly could have waited another 3-4 week until the REAL U/S, but my patience was wearing thin (I guess I really am "that" patient, I just don't want to be perceived that way :) ).

Initially, Hubs hadn't planned on being at this appt. When we scheduled it, we knew it would be a very routine, very quick visit. Hubs is a busy psychologist so anytime he's not at work seeing patients, I feel a little guilty so I gave him the a-OKay to skip this visit. As the visit neared, I realized I never want to attend an OB appt alone. As much as it SHOULD be a routine visit, you just never know, so I asked the next best thing to my husband to mom. She's awesome and always puts me at ease so I was very glad she could go with me.

A few days before our appt, my BFF had her OB appt and they couldn't find the heartbeat, so they did another U/S. I told this to Hubs and he began thinking, "what if they want to do an U/S at our appt and I'm not there...." so he rescheduled a few patients and made it to the appt.

I may have dropped a few hints to my mom that maybe she should inquire as to the possibility of seeing Bubs during this appt. And, she happily obliged! As it turns out, she and my dad will be on vacation during our 20 week appt and the REAL U/S, so she politely asked Dr. T if Gramma could see the baby today since they won't be here during the next appt. Dr. T graciously agreed and well: World, meet Bubs :)

Many of you know how awesome this experience is- after nearly 17 weeks of knowing you have this baby inside you, it is unreal to finally be able to SEE the life you've created. It's amazing (and ya'll know I don't use that word liberally).

My blood pressure at the appt was perfect, again (120/77). Seriously, it doesn't get any better than that. Again, I can thank my friend, Magnesium, for the healthy heart and the efficient muscles that are helping me through the physical changes.

I also got online to Target and set up a baby registry. We'll eventually go into the store and use the scanning gun to fine tune the list, but to be honest, I'm kinda dreading that part. You see, one of the few fights Hubs and I have ever had occurred during our wedding registry process. It didn't have anything to do with the scanning gun, but more of the fact that Hubs, who is normally pretty indecisive, all of a sudden had an opinion about, well, damn near everything. Where was the easy going, indecisive gentleman I had been dating for 6+ years? :)

(In case you're wondering, the only other big arguments in our nearly 12 year relationship involve Brown Bagger (a former friend of mine) and White Castle.)

I figure if I can keep our baby registry list updated online, we can minimize any potential differences of opinion and remain married during the pregnancy :)

Of course, I'm not kidding. Hubs has already given great input into our purchases thus far (mainly the furniture), so I'm confident we'll make it through the baby registry without any major uprisings.

Oh, as an update on the nursery, we've decided to switch baby rooms. We originally were going to use the smaller room for the nursery, but Hubs talked me into using the bigger room. It makes more sense and will require less moving and rearranging (over the next few years). We spent this morning cleaning out the closets and deciding where the existing furniture will ultimately end up. Now Hubs just needs to bribe ask our male friends for a few hours of their time one day so we can get it all moved about the house. With the three males he has in mind, it'll take just an hour or so to get it all moved.

The furniture arrives in May, so the room needs to be ready by the end of April. We already have some of those weekends committed to social events, so time seems to be limited. I'm not sure Hubs realizes that is just around the corner ;)

I'd like some of your thoughts on the set up of the nursery, but I'll address that in the next post.

In the meantime, I have a favor to ask. I know several people in the trying to conceive process who could use some prayers. Having been in their position for some time, my heart goes out to them. The testing, the doctor visits, waiting on results, wondering why your body isn't acting like it is a very draining process. We know it well. Those friends and their situations are never far from my mind. Please say a quick prayer that their faith be strong and their prayers be heard. It would mean a lot to me if you'd do that.

Until next time, XOXO....

Monday, March 8, 2010

Bubs gets a gift!

Look what Shennie made for Bubs! How beautiful is this blanket? Bubs is going to love it!

We came home later than usual tonight (we had dinner plans with friends) and there was a package sitting on the porch.

Bubs loves getting packages, especially when they contain homemade gifts :)

Thank you Aunt Sher!!

In other news, I am uncomfortably stuffed right now. I ate a baked potato for dinner, drank 3 glasses of lemonade and had 1/2 of a small piece of chocolate cake. And I.AM.FULL.

I'm guessing Bubs must be making its way north for the spring because I feel very full for having eaten so little food (although, it was all carbacious food).

Speaking of Bubs, at 15 weeks, Bubs was likened to a Kit Kat bar by one of the books we're reading. Ummmm, kit kat bar. YUM.

Now, at 16 weeks, Bubs is the size of a mascara tube. Or an avocado, depending on which book you read. I used to like knowing which food Bubs looked like, but then I found myself wanting to eat that particular food and I got freaked out. So now I prefer to know which non-edible item Bubs most resembles :)

Can't wait for the appt on Friday. Just hearing the heartbeat again will be a big deal for us.

Hubs can't make the appt, he has patients scheduled. Mom is coming, though. I'm pretty sure Dr. T would do an ultrasound with my mom there (they're friends), but I'm going to decline since Hubs won't be there, too. We'll just wait patiently until our 20 week ultrasound which should be around April 9th.

Until then, XOXO...

Friday, March 5, 2010

I threw up

I threw up 4 times yesterday. But, as Hubs says, it was only "one episode."

I didn't realize there was a distinction :)

This week was a great pregnancy week.
  1. I didn't have any headaches :)
  2. I only gagged a few times each day (very little on Wed and Thurs)
  3. I ate fairly well (excluding the donut and McDonalds incident)
  4. I did water aerobics on Tuesday with the BFF and it was wonderful
  5. I walked for 20 mins last night outside with Cooper
  6. I took my pills every day this week
And then I threw up yesterday morning. Blah. Right into the sink. I won't go into any more details, except to say that I had to explain to Hubs that yes, it was baby related (he asked if it was due to morning, thats a yes).

Here's why he wondered, though.

Because my gagging had subsided recently, I thought I was getting past that particular symptom. But then yesterday morning, I ate a bagel and drank 2 glasses of milk for breakfast. Within 20 mins of finishing breakfast, I started feeling ill. At first I thought it was the usual, "I'm going to gag," but then I felt my stomach muscles contracting and quickly wondered if I was actually going to get sick.

And then I did. In the sink because the toilet was too far away.

So, Hubs wondered if it was truly morning sickness or if it was b/c I drank milk.

I didn't drink milk on Wed and Thurs (that I can recall) and my gagging was minimal.

Today, I drink milk and 20 mins later, I got sick.

Correlation? Or causation?

I think it's causation and therefore, I will probably be avoiding milk. I think being pregnant has caused my body to not handle milk as it once did. So, was it pure morning sickness? No, but was it due to being pregnant, yes.


I feel like an alcoholic that is admitting I have a problem. It doesn't feel right giving up milk. I drink at least 1.5-2 gallons/week.

But, if thats whats making me gag, I will gladly give it up. No question about it.

Water aerobics was really fun and just what I needed. I used my new YMCA membership and the BFF and her family make an evening out of it, so I was grateful that they put up with me intruding on their family night.

My bathing suit fit and it felt so good to just float in the water and pretend like I was doing under water movements with my legs :)

It's a weekly event, so we'll be back on Tues evening.

Work is still stressful, so I'm taking extra care to relax during my down time. On Tues and Wed, I came home and didn't watch TV and didn't get online. I just crawled into the recliner with a good book (Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster- hysterical!).

Not sure how much we'll get accomplished this weekend around the house (except for the normal cleaning routine). At some point, though, we really need to clean out the nursery. I doubt Bub wants to start his/her life off in the daybed that currently occupies the space where the crib is slated to go.

But, the furniture doesn't arrive until mid-May, so I keep thinking we have plenty of time.

The reality is, though, I'm almost 16 weeks and time is FLYING by without my permission. Weeks come and go and I can't believe how much is left to do.

I'm torn between doing so much now that I don't have anything left to do the last two months (when I might need something to do to help the time pass quickly) or putting too much off and then not having the energy (or ability) to get stuff done so then I'd be stressed the last few months.

I need to find that happy medium. And I will. I always do.

My next appt is this coming Friday. It should be a relatively short, quick, and simple appt. We'll hear the heartbeat, pee in the cup, take measurements, and then schedule our 20 week ultrasound! We'll finally get to see Bubs!

Thanks for all of the great tips you all left in the comments section and also sent to me via email. They've given me a lot to think about.

Until then, XOXO...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Belly Pic (15 weeks)

Here it is: the much-awaited-highly-anticipated first belly pic.

It was a looooong day at work and I'm having to make some tough decisions, so it shows in my eyes. I also didn't sleep well last night so thats part of "the look."

Oh yea, and I'm 15 weeks pregnant. I look 27 weeks pregnant, huh?

Today, for the first time, people at work said, "Hey! Look at that baby belly!" For some reason, they didn't believe me when I told them it my was my New Orleans food baby.

Who cares. I love it.

Until next time, XOXO...

New symptoms

Last week we traveled to New Orleans for work and had a great time. The city, full of culture and delicious food, treated us very well and we're so thankful for the opportunity to visit.

It also was the time when I experienced the most pregnancy symptoms. The great shift and expansion project (as my BFF calls it) has started and on more than one occasion, I was certain I had burst my placenta. The first time it happened was on the plane ride heading South. I had to shove my backpack under the seat in front of me and I leaned down to position the backpack, squished everything inside me and felt a very painful pinch. I got lightheaded just for a minute and realized I cannot do that again. It hurt. A lot.

The rest of the trip, my awareness of this internal phemonenon had me paranoid about actually popping the placenta, so I really took it easy. Until I had to tie my tennis shoes one morning. Again, not giving it much thought, I bent right over (I was seated) to tie the shoe and same thing. Sharp, pinching pain. Luckily I had a much quicker response this time so it didn't hurt nearly as badly.

Needless to say, I now have a "no bending" rule.

The other symptom I'm experiencing is headaches. In real life (prior to pregnancy), I rarely experienced headaches. Maybe once or twice a year I'd get one.

Now, they are frequent (almost daily) and uncomfortable. I'm really trying to stay hydrated since I know that most headaches are caused by dehydration. When you're pregnant, your body is creating more blood (by the time you deliver, you have 40% more blood circulating in your body...thats insane!) and that can more easily lead to headaches if you don't take extra care to stay hydrated. Without more water, you have more blood rushing through the same sized veins and that can quickly lead to headaches (and swelling). My understanding is that when you're well hydrated, your veins expand which allow the same amount of blood to rush through a larger area (thus no pounding and throbbing that usually can accompany a headache).

While traveling, staying hydrated is always a challenge (mostly for me because I refuse to spend $4 on a bottle of water in the hotel room and the 4 block one-way trips to CVS at the end of the day weren't helping the swelling in my ankles). I also didn't want to drink too much water before the plane flights since they were relatively short rides and often times during short trips, the captain doesn't turn off the seat belt sign and then you're trapped in a seat without access to a bathroom.

I needed to drink more water to help with the symptoms, but I also had to plan the water intake carefully because I wasn't always near a restroom. It was a vicious cycle ;)

I'm now 15 weeks. I guess I should start feeling the baby move sometime in the next month or so. From what I've read, the baby also makes it's way out of the pelvic area and more into the abdomen during the next few weeks, which is OK with me because I have a lot more room in my stomach than I do in my pelvic area! I've prepared my stomach well over the past few years and trust me, there's plenty of room in there ;)

I know people will say, "be careful what you wish for" when I say this, but I cannot wait to feel the baby move. I realize that as the baby grows, the random internal movements may get annoying and even uncomfortable, but for a first time mommy, it's exciting waiting for that time when you KNOW your baby is moving. I'm sure all of the other mommies out there remember that feeling. I can't wait to experience it.

This should be a pretty busy week at work, but hopefully I'll keep up with blogging.

Oh, and one of my next few posts will likely be about registering and I'm really interested in any and all advice about where to register, what to register for, what to stay away from, etc. For example, do we need a diaper genie? What about suggestions on how to set up a separate diaper changing area since the nursery is upstairs and I don't see myself running upstairs every few hours to change a diaper. Are diaper caddys worth it? They seem too small to be able to keep well stocked. Almost seems like keeping everything in a milk crate shoved under the coffee table is more efficient (although certainly not more attractive I realize).

So if you have some thoughts and tips, BRING IT ON! I'm all ears.

Until then, XOXO...