Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Insert Foot Into Spleen

I felt the baby kicking yesterday morning while I was at work. This was the first time I was able to feel her when I wasn’t lying still, and it was amazing!

All of a sudden, I felt something move. It was similar to normal digestion or gassy feelings, but it was a definite kick – moving outward away from my spine at the front of the belly. And then, to assure me that I wasn’t imagining it, she proceeded to kick me about 40-50 times all morning. I’m so excited to be able to feel her in there.

There’a a PERSON in there. A tiny person, but still a people. Crazy!

Now that I’m about 20 weeks, my belly is more noticable. It definitely isn’t as big as I was expecting by this point, but I’m certainly not complaining. Because I’m on the heavier side, my weight gain goal given to me by my OB was 10-15 pounds. At first, I laughed a little when I heard it. I figured that despite all of my hard efforts, my body might just keep growing past the 25-35 mark.

Praise to the heavens, I’m currently STILL less than I was when I conceived. I gained about five pounds in the first month... before I knew I was pregnant. But then I changed my diet (no more crap food) and made yoga and walking a priority. No late night snack binges, despite occasional cravings. And no fast food. I lost 11 pounds, bringing me to about 6 less than what I was when I got pregnant.

Since then, I’ve been slowly creeping back up to the break even point (as I call it). I’m still about a half pound under my original weight, and I’m halfway done! Hopefully the 10-15 more from here will just be baby growing and amniotic fluid. ^_^

Monday, September 28, 2009

Girls, It's a Girl!

We had an ultrasound on Thursday at 18 weeks. The tech said she was 80% certain that we'll be having a little girl!

The whole experience was amazing. We were able to see her brain - you could clearly see two separate lobes. We also saw her stomach, bladder, kidneys, heart, and lots of feet kicking! We were also able to witness our sweet little girl trying to find her thumb. You can see it in this picture. =)

This weekend I went north to New Hampshire to visit my parents and brother, and my mother and I went shopping in North Conway with some friends. We got the most adorable little clothes at Carter's! A little pink dress and a soft, cream-colored cardigan to wear over it. (It'll be February, after all!) Also tights to keep her legs warm and some little booties! Everything's so tiny and cute. I can hardly stand it. In a good way, of course.

Yay for little girls!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Letter to Baby

Dear Baby (Name to be determined ^_^),

Mommy and Daddy are so excited to meet you!

You’re still only 12½ weeks, but you’re already almost three inches long. You’re growing so fast, and Mommy can’t wait to start to feel you moving in her belly!

We don’t even know if you’re a little boy or a little girl. But there are a lot of things that we DO already know. We know that we want you to grow up knowing how very much we love you. And we want you to know how much Mommy and Daddy love each other. You’re lucky, because your parents are best friends. We’re all going to have so much fun together!

We don’t know if our home will be filled with matchbox cars and baseball gloves or if we’ll be picking up princess dresses and costume jewelry. We don’t know if you’ll be wearing prom dresses or renting tuxedos. But we do know that we’re excited to play with you whether it’s GI Joes or Barbie dolls, to watch as you learn how to play catch and drive a car.

So for now, just keep growing. We don’t care WHAT you are. We just want you to be happy and healthy. We’ll see you soon!

On Fruit, Fetuses, and Lasting Nicknames

Blueberry = Baby. Did you know? At least, for my family it does. When we told Scott’s brother and sister that I was pregnant, they were ecstatic. They’re 24 and 21 (respectively), so they can’t wait to be uncle and aunt. They were also curious to know how big the baby was at that moment. Taking a page from “What to Expect” (not literally, of course) I explained that the 5 week old fetus was about the size of a blueberry.

Since not everyone knew about it, we spoke in code at the family reunion.

How’s Blueberry doing?

Make sure you eat enough for blueberry!

And my favorite, as I was eating fruit salad with blueberries in it.... Simultaneous looks (from both of those fools) of fake shock and disappointment as I “ate” my child.

They really are hilarious and awesome people – I consider them to be my closest friends... And because they’re so witty and amusing, the nickname has stuck. (Not surprised... ^_^) I have a feeling our little one will always be “Blueberry”... even when they’re going to their prom. Even now, baby is more peach than blueberry. But that doesn’t seem to matter.

I can still hope that the baby grossly mispronounces their names and they go through life referring to uncle and auntie as something completely random. Like my cousin who started saying “Gwah” instead of “Gram”. He’s sixteen. She’s still Gwah. That would be some funny irony.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Calling All Moms!! Advice?

Next week I’ll be going in to my OB’s office for some testing that has been scheduled. The test is called Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS), and I’m unsure how I feel about it. I was hoping to get some feedback from you moms out there.

For those of us who don’t know what it is (myself included, until I read up on it), they insert a small tube or needle into the uterus to extract a sampling from the placenta. The tissue therein is rich with genetic material matching that of the baby. They use this to test for Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, as well as Down’s syndrome. The idea, apparently, is that if you found out that there were genetic defects, you could decide what to do... how to proceed. Whether to proceed?

You can imagine the thousands of thoughts that have been racing through my head. What would I do? I’m not sure that I’m willing to get into the details here, since this subject is one that people feel strongly about – one way or the other. Myself included. I avoid discussing this subject with friends and family, to avoid hurt feelings and getting into an argument with people that I care about. So I’d like to avoid that amongst us as bloggers, too. If you’ll forgive me for completely side-stepping this whole conversation.

MY concern, is whether to have the testing done AT ALL. I hadn’t really thought about it until my mother questioned why they were doing such an invasive test when there are no hereditary warning signs on either side of my and Scott’s families. Why, indeed? I tend to go with the flow. When my OB said that at around 12 weeks, they run tests for Tay-Sachs and Down’s syndrome, I said “okey-dokey”. Do what you’ve got to do. But do they have to?

After reading up on it a bit more, the consensus seems to be that there is a 1 in 300 chance of miscarriage associated with the test. That statistic improves in reputable clinics where the test is routinely performed, as is the case with my provider... But my bigger concern is this: What if we got a false positive?

My cousin’s girlfriend got pregnant fourteen years ago at the age of 16. When the CVS was done, the results came back positive for Down’s. She got a second opinion. Same results. She was devastated for her entire pregnancy. But she went through with it. At 16. And when the baby was born, out came a perfect, beautiful baby girl. With NO signs of genetic problems. She’s 14 now, and still perfectly normal.

I guess I’m just looking for some kind of assurance that everything will be okay. Not that anyone can give that to me. But is there anyone out there who’s had a baby recently?? Like within the past five years? Has the testing been refined or at all perfected in the past 15 years? Help! =)

In other news, today I am 11 weeks and five days pregnant. And last night, I realized that when I press on my lower tummy, I can feel my uterus. How cool is that? Four more weeks, and I might be able to feel some movement. Little baby feet kicking! So excited....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Further Proof

Here's further proof of my nerdiness. *sigh* I was booooored. It's the day before a long weekend (we get Victory Day off in Rhode Island - woot!) so this place is DEAD. And all of my work is done.

I drew my D&D character for the first time. She came out all right.

Despite the fact that she's pink-toned because of the "Important Message" scrap paper I was using to draw on.

Don't judge me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Proof That Nerds Can Find Love, Too

I’m a gamer. Did I ever mention that? Growing up, my whole family was into Nintendo when it came out. Mario Brothers, Tetris... the good ole days. My brother and I liked it, but I think I may have outgrown it or lost interest if it hadn’t been for my mother – who was not only killer at video games, but also enjoyed it as much as we did.

She beat those games long before myself or my brother had the hand-eye coordination (or the patience) to do it. As a teenager, my brother had an xbox and I would play it in his room when he wasn’t using it. I’m still fairly certain that I played it for many more hours than he did.

So when Scott and I began dating, it had been awhile since I had played any games. When he learned that I used to play, he was eager for me to start again. (A gamer girl is any nerd’s dream girl, after all.)

I warned him that we only had the one console and that once invested in a game that I like, it’s difficult to pry me away. He insisted that he didn’t mind. Skip ahead three years (one engagement, one wedding, one baby conception later) and I’ve added a considerable list to my repertoire of games that I’ve beaten. Some more than once. They’re that good. I won’t list them here, since the impressive titles will likely fall on deaf ears, and I’ll be sad face.

I also enjoy comic books – or graphic novels, whichever you prefer to call them. My favorite is the Astonishing X-Men series (but only the ones that Joss Whedon wrote/collaborated on – without his writing genius, the story line is pale in comparison. It’s like drinking Boone’s Farm after you’ve become accustomed to fine merlot.)

The coup de grace? We play Dungeon’s and Dragons. Judge not, fair-minded friends, judge not.

The only exposure I had had to D&D was the creepy kid who sat next to me in Journalism class in high school. He had hair longer than mine, was whiter than most vampires I know (heh), and wore huge, spikey, metal rings on his fingers that looked too painful to wear. He was the only person I had ever known who had played D&D. So when Scott told me that he and his brother (and sister!) played it all the time, I got a wee bit frightened. But they turned me around. May have been a “Suggestion” spell, now that I think of it.

As someone who loves to create characters and give them fabulous back stories, Scott was surprised that I wasn’t already familiar with the game. As someone who adores medieval literature and history, I’m a prime candidate for this rpg (role-playing game). In case I haven’t already lost you, let me say thanks for not X-ing out of my blog faster than you can say “I roll 20’s.”

Let me list for you the things that we do NOT, under any circumstances, do while playing this game:

**We DO NOT dress up as our characters. No capes, no weird hats. No goth garb. Regular clothing only. Those folks are freakin' weird.

**We DO NOT talk in olde english, middle english or anything other than normal, human style, American English. We cannot be held responsible for copious Family Guy and Chappelle Show quotes. They’re a D&D staple.

**We DO NOT talk to each other as if we are our characters. Yes, this is a part of “role playing” but it’s kinda weird, and we don’t roll that way. Pun definitely intended. Mwah ha.

So now that you already know a vast extent of my nerddom, add to it the fact that I LOVE Star Wars, and have read about 15 books which go into further detail of what happened after the end of Return of the Jedi. Yessir.

Aaaaaand since we love Joss Whedon’s writing so so much, we’re clearly huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Firefly fans. *Deep breath* Whew!! That’s a whole lotta nerdiness for you guys to absorb in one sitting. Can you handle it? Or has your brain gone all mushy?

Are you prepared to see the onesies that I found on Cafe Press that serve to prove that our child, regardless of sex, really has ZERO chance of not being a nerd? Sorry, little one! (But only slighty... o-only slightly.)

Exhibit A: Future Browncoat - When you can't run, you crawl... And when you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you.

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C: Recognize the reference to Star Wars: A New Hope?

Exhibits D, E, and F:

We're perfect proof that nerds can find love. And procreate. For better or for worse. You decide. ;)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pregnancy Ticker

Keep track of our progress! =) I've added a pregnancy ticker to the footer of my blog. It helps me keep track of exactly how far along I am. And it lets me see pictures of babies at the same stage that ours is right now.

Pregnancy ticker

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see... And keep us in your prayers for a healthy baby!

Ready for Mommy Chores

I started babysitting on my own when I was about 13 years old. But for years before that, my younger brother and I went to a babysitter every day after school and every day during the summer. It wasn’t a huge babysitting company – only one woman who worked out of her home. Our play areas were the living room, the ktichen, the hallway, and the unheated mud room/porch. I was older when I began going... About seven. And when you’re that age at a babysitter’s with about 3 toddlers/babies still in diapers, it was occasionally easiest to seize the moment and change diapers yourself rather than calling for Di every half hour. Not to mention the fact that for a short while, I was convinced that I wanted to be a babysitter when I “grew up”. Turned out what I really wanted was children. To be a mom.

My point for all this is that I’ve changed my fair share of diapers in my life. Looking back on it, my sitter had a pretty good gig. The older kids were content to entertain the younger ones, leaving her free to clean up behind us, cook us our meals and snacks, and do the thousands of dishes that go with the territory by hand. I distinctly remember her lack of dishwasher. Poor woman. But it could have been worse. Without us to change diapers and rock babies with a naptime bottle, she would have had to do housework all night to keep up with the chores.

The plus side for me is that I already know how to do all of those mommy things. I know how to change diapers, get a bottle ready, spoon feed baby cereal, give baths, etc. I was doing it when I was still ten years old. I’ve also inherited a knack for putting cranky babies to sleep when they’re overtired. In fact, I did it for my friend, Serena at our friend’s wedding two years ago. She was a bridesmaid, and her little girl (Emma) was only about 2 months old. Long day + No Naptime + Lots of People = Overtired, Fussy Baby. I offerred to hold her, and was able to rock her and whisper to her softly until she was out. Like a light. Took about 3 minutes in a crowded reception hall.

Let’s hope my little one responds to my momma magic. =)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Fantabulous News!!

One month. A whole month, people! What could I possibly have been doing with my time? Have I been kidnapped by a band of nomadic and frustratingly invisible ninjas? Travelling Europe? Did I finally get recognized as a fabulous writer with tons of potential by a worthy publishing house and have therefore been rushing for the past month to submit the first few chapters of my book? Alas, no. But I have something better.

Scott and I are going to be parents!!!

If all goes well, we’ll be expecting our wee little one at the end of February. I found out a month ago, and the news has practically consumed all of my waking thoughts. I’m about 10½ weeks along now, and I really have been dying to tell you all. We’re so thrilled, we’re having a tough time containing our excitement. We want to tell everyone we see on the street, but we’ve been refraining from telling many people until I was farther along. As of August 20th, we’re giving ourselves the okay to tell anyone who’ll listen, since it will be the beginning of my second trimester. We’ve told many family members already, and they’re all getting excited too!

(Ahem... not Tina and Scott's baby.) So yeah. Found 'im on Google Images. Isn't he sweet?

But I really couldn’t see waiting to tell all of you. It’s not like I have such a vast following. Besides, it’s been a month since my last post! And I really couldn’t bring myself to write about anything other than baby. Be prepared to be underwhelmed by my posts as I drool over teensy baby booties and various layette items. Don’t hate me when all of my posts begin to sound the same – here’s a nursery that I love. Here’s a nursery that’s ridiculous. And so on. My apologies (not really) and warnings ahead of time.

You’ve entered the baby zone! Cue adorable booties.

(I'm not even sorry.)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review: Jude the Obscure

Having just (this morning) finished Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, I thought it pertinent to share my thoughts and reflections on it while it's still fresh in my mind. Also, I have today off and therefore have no excuses.

This novel is the story of one man whose life is ridden with small tragedies, any one of which could potentially have broken a person completely.

As a young boy whose parents have both died, Jude lived with his Aunt Drusilla in a small farm town, where he dreamed of growing up to become a scholar at Christminster (Hardy's version of Oxford). Attaining various old and used Greek and Latin schoolbooks, he taught himself to read in the old languages by studying day and night. As life often goes, Jude is never able to realize his dream, the tragedy of which lies in the fact that he both wants it more and is more worthy of a degree than most graduates.

Picture is of Christopher Eccleston, actor in the movie representation of the novel.

He is first detained from Christminster by falling most unfortunately in love with a girl who aimed to entrap him from the start. Arabella is one of the most realistic characters in literature, in that she's exceedingly false. All that appears positive about her (her adorable dimples, her shining hair, her sweetness and innocence) is fake, a lie, or an act. Dimples? She's learned to suck in her cheek just right. Voluminous, shining hair? She wears a hair piece, which she pins onto her existing hair each day, taking it off each night before bed. Innocence? Jude soon learns that she has had other male partners before him and has worked in a tavern as a barmaid. She and Jude as a couple are a tragedy in themselves, and they unsurprisingly do not last long.

The other major relationship of Jude's life is with his cousin, Sue, whom he is head over heels in love with. Sue leads him along for the majority of his life, the dangling carrot just out of reach. While they do manage to have two children together, the tragedy that befalls them is too shocking and too important to the plot to describe here.

Perhaps most ironic for me is that despite all of his well-meaning efforts, Jude dies alone and in pain, with only the distant church bells of Christminster to keep him company in his last moments. Most painful is that at that moment, the university was granting an honorary doctorate to some likely undeserving fellow, while its most staidfast supporter lied in bed, taking his final breaths.

While a bit slow-moving, the novel is an excellent representation of how life can be if you let it get away from you. Without perspective, life can be seen as nothing more than a series of small and large tragedies with a few joys sprinkled in between. If we don't enjoy the little moments that constitute the majority of our existence, we'll have as much to show for ourselves as poor Jude. We won't always get what we want out of life, but to only keep our eyes on the horizon and never on what is before us, we'll miss what's happening right here, right now.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


It was so humid this morning that when I was taking Isabel out for a walk, I could see my own breath. You read that right. It was about 60 degrees outside, and the air was so WET that I could see my own breath. Disgusting.

In an effort to forget the weather and the ickies that result, here are some pictures of things that I absolutely adore. Some of these are projects that I’m currently copying or plan on copying in the near (or semi-distant) future.

I love plates. And I love them on walls, though I didn’t know this until I began trolling the internetssss about a month ago. These colored plates are great, arranged all together and all complimentary in their greens and pinks. I love how this person (unknown to me since I didn’t mark where I found the pic – oopsie) managed to put pink and green plates on a blue wall without looking like an idiot. And I love those candlesticks. Love them!

This picture, from County Living, was one of the first pictures I saved onto my jump drive. The chaisse lounge is beautiful, and I love the pink plates of different designs on the wall.

This platter mirror from Martha Stewart Living is a project that I want to tackle if I can find a platter that I like in my yard sale/thrift store travels. The mirror just needs to be cut by someone with a glass cutter, and they’ve also added pillow piping to the edges of it to give it more texture. The mirror only appears to be hanging from the ribbon. They’ve secured it with a plate hanger and added the ribbon afterward. Cuteness!!

Another project that I can’t wait to finish is a shelf that I acquired from a thrift store for $3. I’ve painted it, distressed it a bit, and now am just waiting for hubby to hang it tomorrow. This picture from Better Homes & Gardens reminded me of it, so I saved it for inspiration.

Someday, when we have our own home, I'd love to cover a wall in a wallpaper like this one. It's beautiful, but a teensy bit too crazy for a whole room. Blue + Damask = Instant Love Affair in my world. This photo is also from BHG.

This photo, from DIY Ideas, draws me in every time I look at it. I'd love to find a gorgeous, ornate frame like this. Paint it a pretty color. Add a map of Block Island, where Scott proposed. It would be so very Rhode Island, and perfect for our home. I'm keeping an eye out for one!

I'd love to cover an entire wall in literature. This is also from DIY Ideas, and it's one of the more creative wall coverings I've seen. They used dictionary pages, but I'd love to do it with pages from a "Complete Works of Shakespeare" edition. I just don't know if I could bear to cut one up. It's too Fahrenheit 451 for my liking.

I'm impressed with myself that I wrote down the photo credit for this one. It's from Rate My Space, and the user was Momma2Be. How adorable is this nursery? I love its simplicity and the use of moulding to divide the wall. That vinyl design is perfect, and I love the colors she chose. And check out that gorgeous little chandy!!

After my headboard post, I found the perfect one for us on Martha Stewart Living. Inexpensive and adorable. I'm going to attempt to make my own quilt. It'll be simple, and it'll be my first. And it'll likely be a year in the making. But it's in the works! Scott and I also want to add a moulding shelf above it for frames and vases, etc. It's going to be awesome.

It's a bit too late in the season to start this next project, but it's a definite possibility for next year. Martha rocks my socks again with this invisible trellis idea. They made it with eyehooks screwed into the wall and med gauge wire. I'm thinking morning glories or some other kind of climbing, flowering plant. So pretty!

This nautical themed ribbon garland is easy and looks like it would be great for outdoor parties. You could also use different colors for different seasons! And yep - Martha again. No real surprise there.

A romantic, easy way to display flowers and vases simultaneously. Martha comes through in a pinch.

I'm doing a version of this last project very soon. As soon as I can get my hands on some sand. Which should be easy, since we're going to Portsmouth for dinner tonight. Maybe I can snag a tupperware container of it before we head back inland on the way home.

That's it for now! Have a happy Tuesday!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Six Flags Day

Our company paid for everyone to go to Six Flags, New England yesterday. It went off without a hitch, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, so I consider it a success! It was the very first event that I've ever planned - I'm so glad that it went well. I took a few photos, but since bags aren't allowed in most ride lines I didn't have my camera on me as often as I had thought I would.

As soon as we stepped inside the gates, we made a beeline for this ride, aptly named "Scream".

I definitely screamed. Like a little girl. It raises you up in the air, all at once and unexpectedly. And then it raises you to the very top, and drops you without warning. So two scares in one ride. Perfect! You can see we had lovely weather. ^_^ Here's a nice pic of our COO (to the left), a random child, and our Patient Advocate (to the right).

My team consisted of one of our java programmers, myself, and our HR Director (my boss - who is awesome, BTW. No joke.) Scooby and Scrappy were unfortunately not part of our team.

Another team got an awesome photo with Wonder Woman and Robin, the Boy Wonder!

Since it wasn't too hot out, there were lots of characters out and about all day. Here's a nice shot of Bugs Bunny's bum. Also some other folks you might recognize! Daffy and Pepe!

This guy, from the commercials, is much more creepy in person than you might think. Very weird.

One of the things I was most impressed with were the flowers throughout the park. Their gardeners/landscapers did a fabulous job. Check these out!

I wish I could create hanging baskets like those! The mixture of flowers and different colored and textured leaves makes for a fabulous palette...