June 25, 2009

36 weeks

Well, we're coming into the home stretch now! Just a little over a month left now that we're kicking off week 36 today.

It's been a bit of an exciting week starting with my appointment on Tuesday, when my midwife decided that she wasn't positive that Junior was still in the preferred head-down position as he she was sure he had been for the last few weeks. Since there is still a window to get him to flip if necessary, she recommended that I have an ultrasound to verify the position so we can be 120% sure and I could get started with the headstands or whatever she was going to be asking me to do ASAP.

So yesterday I visited the radiologist for the ultrasound, and our sweet Baby didn't disappoint. He's happily floating in there head-down like he should be, and I was able to get another glimpse at his cute little mug. I even got to see him yawn! Super cool. We also took the opportunity to verify that he does indeed have boy parts, so there shouldn't be any surprises at the birth!

The tech checked some other things, but that was about all I could absorb before I started feeling light headed and got really uncomfortable from lying on my back for so long. Turns out that the weight of the baby and his liquid-filled uterine home is way too much pressure to have resting on important arteries like the vena cava for any length of time. My ears were ringing, I was seeing stars, and I was sweating and near passing out for at least two minutes after I was finally allowed to sit back up.

As unpleasant as it was, it's comforting to know that he's in position and we'll be ready for him to make his appearance soon. I have a feeling that these last few weeks are just going to fly by!

June 23, 2009

happy first father's day!

I thought I would show off the Father's Day gift I got/made for Gus. He's been talking about buying cigars to pass out to his friends once Junior arrives- you know like they did back when men wore hats everywhere and paced in the waiting room of the hospital while their child came into the world? Yeah, like that.

While we were on our "weddingmoon" in New Orleans, we wandered into the Cigar Factory and watched these amazingly talented artisans hand-rolling cigars for a few minutes. Gus bought a sampler pack to bring home to mark the occasion, because cigars seem to make a good celebratory event in themselves, when you save them and share them with a good friend. I'm sure that those cigars were enjoyed in a moment of manly companionship at some point on our deck.

So anyway, Gus couldn't decide if he wanted to do it or not (big, frivolous expense, etc...) but I thought that whether or not we planned on buying a bunch of cigars to pass out to his buddies, my hubby needed a couple to mark this special occasion. I ordered a selection from the Cigar Factory purely for sentimental purposes and set to work making them into a custom Father's Day gift.

I originally planned to make a custom seal in Illustrator to replace the bands on the cigars with Lincoln's own trademark design, but then I remembered that I don't know how to make anything in Illustrator, so I just used scrapbook paper and some ribbon and other crafty bits to do the job.

Gus was excited to see them and maybe even a little touched that they came from NOLA- so I think I did a good job. One Father's Day down, dozens to go!

June 19, 2009

for those who like it warm and wet

Today I ordered one of the final components for our ultimate home birth experience:

The AquaDoula Labor Tub.

There's a local company called Labor Tubs Northwest that you can rent them from that seems to totally take all the thought and work out of the process. They're on call 24/7, so when you're in active labor you just give them a buzz and they come to your place and set up and fill the tub. There's a heater to keep it at optimal temp, and you're good to go for 24 hours.*

Once you've done your thing and achieved your orgasmic birth and baby is happily nuzzling at the breast; you just have your hubby or doula or drum circle leader give the company a call back and they come back and clean the whole thing up and take it away.

Sounds great, right? No muss, no fuss, just an opportunity to birth in comfort and style right in your own living room.

Now, I'll admit that I am a little bit concerned that soaking in a hot tub isn't going to sound like a pleasant pastime given the potential temperature at the end of July, but we're going to give the thing a shot anyway. I would rather have the option available to me than not.

And we'll be sure to post a full report on the success of the labor tub aspect after the fact, in case you're contemplating your own rental. Maybe for your next backyard BBQ?

*If you need it longer than that you have to have them come back and refill it, as the warm water shouldn't be kept for longer than that- breeding ground for icky bacteriums, etc...

June 17, 2009

let's blame Baby!

Over a week ago, Glenna of Your Fabric Place was sweet enough to grant this sad little excuse for a blog the One Lovely Blog Award. I was flattered and surprised, and of course I meant to pass the love along right away, but I find that I need about an extra week to accomplish just about anything these days. Obviously, I blame Baby, who is robbing my brain of vital nutrients and making me a slow, bumbling shadow of my former fabulousness.

So without (any further) further ado, here are the One Lovely Blog Award rules:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Now, I read A LOT of different blogs, and I'm always adding new ones to the mix. The "good reads" link on the sidebar there probably accounts for about 1/3 of the feeds currently in my Google Reader list, and hubby has just as many that he follows. You could say that we're blog addicts.

I'm not what you would really call an "active" member of the blogosphere though, more of a lurker. Since I can't keep track, and none of these bloggers know how long I've been reading anyway, I'm going to cheat a little bit on the "newly discovered" bit in the second rule above and just give this award out as I see fit.

It's my blog and I can do that. If you don't like it, you're more than welcome to blame Baby.

So, here's my own list of Lovely Blogs that I think deserve a little pat on the virtual back. Thanks for helping me learn new things and pass the time as I wait for the little man to arrive.

1. Amazing Mae
15. Yummy Goods

I encourage you to check out these blogs and say hello! I've used each of these as a resource for various things- cooking, gardening, home decor, baby-wrangling, sewing, crafting, and obviously, entertainment. Maybe you'll like them too!

Incidentally, here are some other things that we're blaming Baby for at the moment:
- My inability to return phone calls (or even listen to voice mail until approximately 1 week has gone by).
- The melasma that has developed near my right eye.
- My insomnia.
- Our shopping habit and incessant need to have fourteen projects going at any one time (we're nesting).
- My poor memory. Have I mentioned that? I forget.

If you too are looking for a scapegoat, I highly recommend procreation as a solution.

June 14, 2009

a first class seat on the crazy train

The last couple of days have been an adventure in hormones like nothing I've experienced so far. After a productive and fun week, I inexplicably spent Friday bouncing between frustration, boredom, and an overwhelming urge to cry my eyes out.

On top of the emotional drama, I had a couple of days of extreme physical discomfort and I felt like no matter how I sat or where I lay down, there were feet wedged in my ribcage, I couldn't breathe, I had to pee, and I was really just tired of being pregnant.

Saturday morning I thought I was good, but by noon I found myself flopped hopelessly on the bed in tears after having to rip out a seam one too many times for my liking and trying and failing to figure out what was wrong with the borrowed and unfamiliar sewing machine I'm using.

My phone rang in the middle of that pathetic little scene and it was Gus, calling from the grocery store to figure out if I wanted oat bran or wheat bran for my muffin recipe. I didn't want to (and didn't know if I could) explain what I was so tweaked about, so I pulled myself together and got in the shower to regroup and wash away my temporary insanity. Unfortunately, it was all for nothing. Half an hour later I was curled up on the bed again, tears running down my cheeks and a pressing feeling of frustration, irritation, and sadness was just weighing me down.

Hubby was understandably worried, but once he determined that I wasn't experiencing an imminate sensation of "doom and gloom" (which we were warned could indicate that something was really wrong with the baby), he was sweet and considerate of my emotional train-wreckage.

Intellectually, I understand that the hormonal fluctuations I'm experiencing are going to lead to days like this, but I don't want to get overwhelmed by the little things and miss out on this time. I feel better after getting things off of my giant, stretch-mark laden chest and allowing myself time to refocus.

I know that part of my upset stems from the fact that I still don't know what I'm going to do with myself and my life once Baby comes. I know that I'll be a mom, but is that all that I'll be? For at least the time being, I think so. I love that, but it's also terrifying in a way. I've worked for years to try to establish myself as some kind of a productive member of society, and the last few months have seen me reduced to incubator. I'm so grateful for this time and I wouldn't want to be working, but I feel somehow less-than at the same time. Like I'm not earning my keep.

The stupid sewing machine drama was made more painful because the only thing I am doing right now is trying to use my limited talents to craft and sell things in my etsy shop. My one contribution is being thwarted by a crappy piece of machinery that I can't diagnose and repair. Helpless and useless is not comforting, so I just had to walk away for a while. I'll go back with a fresh perspective and I'm sure things will be easier.

And instead of feeling like Junior is being a pest and that his jabs and rolls are occuring just to make me feel uncomfortable, I'm trying to focus on the fact that he's learning and preparing for life outside of me and that I'm the only one who gets the honor of being with him right now. Plus, once he's outside we're just going to have a whole new set of problems on our hands, so I know it's best not to rush things!

June 11, 2009

34 week belly- bonus edition!

Here's Lincoln's baby-house at the start of the 34th week. He's filling that space from top to bottom at this point. I can tell, because I can feel his every gigantic sweeping movement. He's a very active baby and sometimes I just wish he would take a little nap and quit jabbing me already!

It is nice that he moves around so much though, as I never have to worry about how he's doing, and I haven't even had to bother with fetal movement counts. Ten movements in a short period of time twice a day is nothing for this little man. He's all over the place.

And, because I know you've been dying to see, here's an extreme close-up of my poor, mangled belly button. Thanks to the fact that it was so cavernous to begin with, I haven't ended up with an outie like a lot of pregnant women do. It has, however, started poking out at the top edge so it kind of looks like a third nipple unless my shirt or a belly band is applying enough pressure to keep it contained.

If you look closely underneath my belly button, you can see a faint shadowey line that starts in the middle (like where my jeans button) and slants slightly to the left in the photo. That is a faint linea negra that I actually thought was an indentation caused by the seam on my underwear for the first few weeks that it was there. It wasn't until I took the time to note that there was no seam to speak of that I began to suspect that it might be something else.

Pregnancy is not a high-point for mental aptitude, in case you haven't picked up on that already.

The red spots above my belly button are the remnants from a belly-button piercing from back in my younger and wilder days, and the red scar on the right of the photo is from my birthday appendectomy in 2007.

Also worth noting: the little pregnancy countdown tracker thing that I have embedded in the blog also lives on my iGoogle page, and I was pretty shocked this morning to see that it says "48 Days to Go!" Holy shit. Really? Just 48 days? That doesn't seem like very long at all. We're going to have a baby living in our house before we know it.

Can't wait to meet you, Lincoln!

June 10, 2009

defying all logic and expectations

We had a visit with another one of our wonderful midwives today, in an effort to meet her before she goes on vacation for the entire month of July, just in case Lincoln decides to stay inside until August when she returns.

Today we learned that my belly is truly full of surprises, and we were relieved and happy to hear that the midwife found it amusing, not alarming, so I guess we're still good.

See, somehow in the month since my last visit, I've managed to lose a pound. This is the second time that I've lost one pound between visits (not consecutively), but I can't for the life of me explain how. I'm eating good, healthy food in sufficient quantity, and I'm getting around 70 grams of protein a day. My belly (among other things) is clearly expanding, so it's all just kind of strange.

Even stranger is the fact that my uterus is continuing to measure BIG for my gestational stage. Today I measured between 36-37 cm, while it would be expected that I would measure about 33. I've consistently measured one centimeter on the larger side, but this time was a pretty big jump from what they expected. If I'm still measuring this much larger at my next appointment, they may request an ultrasound to make sure Baby isn't heading into freakishly-large territory and that I have the regular amount of amniotic fluid and all that.

My explanation for this anomaly is that Lincoln is actually slowly devouring me from the inside out, and once I give birth I'll just be a hollow sack of skin and bones. My previously plump and meaty frame will have been completely replaced by my giant baby, who will set a record for size and fascinate all those who come to visit after he bursts out of my body through the opening he tears in my stomach as if he is ripping off a muscle shirt.

It's going to be quite a sight. If you're in the area at the end of July, I suggest that you plan to stop by.

June 8, 2009

maternity skirt refashion

Now that the weather is pretty much reliably beautiful and my belly is getting more giant every day, it's nice to be able to slip into a comfy skirt instead of jeans. Unfortunately, I only have a couple that I can wear at this point, so I decided it was time to do a little refashioning to expand my wardrobe.

I had this fitted a-line skirt that I purchased last summer to take on our honeymoon in hotter-than-Hades New Orleans. It's a gauzy embroidered white material with a silky lining and it's great for hot weather. I love it except for the fact that I got it on sale at a price I couldn't pass up and bought it despite that it was always a little too snug in the waist and way too long. I wore it once on the trip and I don't think it's been out of the closet since.

I also happened to have a hand-me-down stretchy belly band in light blue, which I haven't worn because I usually just wear a white or black one. I decided it would make a perfect component for the new skirt project.

I slipped the skirt on (unzipped of course) and marked with an erasable pen under my giant belly where the new stretchy top should be attached. I carefully stitched the band to the skirt along that line, stretching the band as I went along. Once they were sewn together, I chopped off the top of the skirt (about 6 inches, including the entire zipper) and zig-zagged the raw edges of all of the layers together.

Now it's like a whole new skirt and I can actually breathe when I have it on! Perfect for summer, and well worth the sacrifice since it wasn't a perfect pre-baby skirt anyway. I have a feeling that there will be more refashioning like this to come. Maybe next time I'll try it this way like this one that's been lurking in my inspiration folder for months.

custom goodies!

As you can probably tell, I love making stuff. I'm not particular about what it is, and I love to try new skills and make all different things. That's why I love it when someone asks me to make them something that I've never made before. It's the perfect opportunity to experiment without feeling guilty about making yet another thing for myself!

So I was super excited when I recently got a request for a Kitchenaid mixer cover and a bread bag from a dear friend and fellow baking enthusiast. She emailed me photos of some Heather Bailey fabrics that she liked and I got to work.

Since I have a cover for my own Kitchenaid, I had a great technical starting point for the design. I knew that hers should be way cuter than my utilitarian version, however, and I felt a little like the frumpy girl in the corner once I realized how ugly mine really was in comparison! Why didn't I think of this?

I'm thrilled with the end result, and I hope she is too! If she's not though, I'm totally fine with using it in my own kitchen, so maybe I should hope she hates it...

And I am definitely going to be making myself some of these bread bags very soon. They're all over the blogosphere and I had actually bookmarked one a while ago in my "inspiration" folder. That folder is chock-full of things that I really want to make, but usually just can't justify taking the time to do for purely selfish reasons. Again, the custom request comes through and provided me with the guilt-free opportunity to indulge myself! Thanks Dizzle!

And be sure to keep an eye on the Etsy shop for future incarnations of both of these designs!

June 4, 2009

of course it was necessary!

So yesterday I woke up when Hubs left for work and I couldn't get back to sleep. Something was bugging me but I wasn't sure what.

Then I realized- I must need to spend the day moving all of our bedroom furniture around for no particular reason! That would certainly make me feel better!

So that's what I did. Right after I drew up some scale models of our room and all our furniture so I could decide on placement.

Here's the way our room was laid out prior to my insanity:

And here's the layout now:

This is not an unusual thing for me to decide to do on a whim, and I wouldn't even say it's "nesting" related. I remember spending hours arranging and rearranging my bedroom furniture when I was a kid. And I would never let anyone help me, I just slid the furniture around and played with the layout until I was satisfied. I think I just need to change things up once in a while in order to keep my sanity.

In other news, it looks like the DIY topsy turvy might be working after all!

Here's a photo that I took this morning. The fuschias are starting to bloom, and the squash has really been loving the last couple of hot days. It wasn't nearly this big the last time I looked.

In case you need a comparison, here's how it looked right after we planted it on May 20.

Good news for those who want to try to grow veggies in a small space! Looks like you needn't clutter up your life with an icky green plastic planting contraption after all.

June 3, 2009

college flashback

No, we didn't spend last night drinking from a beer bong and wake up on the neighbor's front lawn- but we did relive a little bit of our college experience in a more future-parent-appropriate way. 

We spent the evening at a lecture. In an auditorium with those tiny fold up desks attached to the chairs and a speaker with a Power Point presentation and everything.

Through our childbirth class, we learned that local parent educator Elizabeth Pantley was going to be participating in Swedish Hospital's new Birthways Lecture Series speaking about her book and method The No-Cry Sleep Solution. We figured that before Lincoln arrives would be a good time to attend such a lecture, as we'll probably be too sleep-deprived to listen once he shows up. (Our theory was proven correct by the lady seated in front of us who dozed off a few minutes in to the presentation!)

I think we got some good information from attending the event, and consider all these bits of knowledge to be just one additional tool that we'll have at our disposal when the time comes. The solutions that the book suggests are mostly designed for the time after the early newborn phase, so we'll revisit the topic later once the little man arrives and we have a chance to try out the system.

June 2, 2009


I have officially become a snot factory. I had a bit of a sore throat on Saturday which I thought was due to allergies or maybe to the fan that we were running 24/7 due to the intense freaking heat in our house. Sunday was sneezy and stuffy and my nose was starting to stop up completely so that I was awakening even more frequently during the night to supplement my pee trips with nostril clearing and failed attempts at normal breathing patterns. The last 48 hours have been almost exclusively decorated with piles of kleenex and my rosy red and raw nose.

Being sick is stupid. Being sick while pregnant is really stupid thanks to the fact that I just get to sit around and whine about it instead of doping myself up with twice the recommended dosage of whatever I can get my hands on and sleeping for a couple of days.

End whine. Thank you for listening.