Monday, September 29, 2008

Baby Shower to the Rescue

Leading up to the baby shower generously hosted by Court's aunts, Mary Lynne and Gayle, I thought I was being a responsible parent-to-be. Bought the safest car seat (that matches my car). Check. Researched cribs until I was cross-eyed. Check. Bought the must-have changing table and rocking chair. Check and check. All were assembled (albeit slowly) and safely nestled in the nursery months in advance of Grace's birth. CHECK. Now I would be able to sit back the next two months and eat my way through the upcoming holidays...errr I mean focus on eating healthy and working out relentlessly.

One minor detail forgotten. This baby needed to be clothed - especially during the frigid, winter, Washington months. Somehow baby clothes, arguably the most expensive item of the nursery (because the little rascals 1) never stop growing and 2) never stop spitting up and ruining everything) didn't make my "baby-stuff-to-buy" checklist.

Baby shower to the rescue! Generous friends and family came to my rescue, or Grace's rescue I should say, and have clothed my baby for at least the first year of her life. Granted more is needed but she is much better off than she was a few weeks ago!
Thank you to all who have helped this mother-to-be get prepared for Grace's arrival. It was a lovely afternoon and one that I will always remember!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Must Love Dogs

I am a self-proclaimed dog lover. My love for dogs rivals that of my love for cake. I honestly don't think I could live without either. Although I know that not everyone is a dog lover, I don't understand it. Dogs make everything better. EVERYTHING. Well, maybe not your sheets if you let the dogs sleep in your bed. And perhaps your checking account is a little worse off...but at the end of a crappy day, no one loves you more than your dog. That is why the following picture is so heartbreaking.

Lucky had to go to the vet yesterday to have some cysts removed from his tail and now he has to wear the cone for two weeks. If those "puppy dog eyes" don't melt your heart than you are made of stone!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dancing Machines!

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late. My computer came down with a virus and that abrubtly suspended my blogging. Besides my computer being sick, I have been feeling great and trying to capitalize on the these last few days of summer. I spent a few days in Seattle and a few days in Boise. Needless to say, the baby shopping is well underway! This past weekend, Court's aunts, Gayle and Mary Lynne, threw me and Grace a fabulous baby shower. We had a wonderful time! In the next few posts, I will delve into all of this in a bit more detail, but for now, I will just leave you with this picture of me and Court.

Court hung up his signature "Coat Dance" to do the "Rub Your Bump." What can I say? We are dancing machines!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Barefoot and Pregnant

The phrase "barefoot and pregnant" brings up bad connotations. It brings to mind the "little wife" clad in an apron stuck at home slaving away over dinner when she could be bringing home the bacon. I realize we have come a long way and that women today have a lot of options. They can work outside the home and still be terrific mothers and wives. They can remain at home with their children or work part-time. I do not take issue with any woman's choice to work outside the home or to dedicate herself to her family. Afterall, it is a choice - a personal choice - and I believe in freedom of choice - on all levels. My issue with this phrase is that realistically speaking being barefoot is the only way to be comfortable while pregnant!

Recently, I had to cram my swollen, pregnant feet into a pair of heels to attend a dinner. Prior to pregnancy, my go-to-shoes were a pair of black kitten heels. If I knew I was going to be on my feet all day or was going to have to walk a lot, these babies would get me through pain free. My kitten heels have definitely lost their magic touch during this pregancy. The other day, I stuffed my feet into them and watched as each foot oozed out of each shoe. Not comfortable and definitely not the look I was going for.

Currently, I have four pairs of shoes that fit. Two of which are flip flops and one is a pair of slippers so they don't really count. I am excited for fall/winter because I can throw on my Ugg boots and that is basically like walking around barefoot on clouds!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Right of Passage

At each new stage of life, we go through a right of passage. Wikipedia defines a rite of passage as a ritual that marks a change in a person's social or sexual status. Since parenthood is definitely a change in one's social and sexual status, it makes sense that it would be accompanied by a substantial (read "ass-kicking") right of passage - pregnancy.

I believe that is why pregnancy takes nine, long, miserable months. It takes that much time for a parent-to-be to look at themselves in the mirror and say I am ready to do this - to be a parent. (They are still lying to themselves but after seven or eight months you start believing your own lies.) During those long months of pregnancy, a woman is preparing her body and her mind for motherhood. The process isn't a conscious one most of the time. It just happens. She slowly starts contemplating what "really matters." She puts her shallow ideas about body image, appearance and grooming aside and manages to go out in public even though she is 30+ pounds bigger and covered in acne. She realizes sleep is overrated and stays up half the night waiting for her baby to start kicking again. She stops blowing her disposable income on purses and shoes and instead looks forward to buying Hooter Hiders and Baby Einstein videos. (Uhhh...scratch that. I'll never give up a good purse but I do have three more months for this "miracle" transition to take place.)

Fathers-to-be do not have the around-the-clock preparation for parenthood like women. HOWEVER, men do go through a right of passage in order to prepare for fatherhood. It may not be as intense as a growing belly, morning sickness or labor pains, but for some fathers it can be just as difficult. Fathers-to-be have the important task of assembling all of the baby furniture. The crib, the stroller, the swing, the changing table - it all requires assembly of some kind. From time to time you will hear about the importance of assembling baby furniture together correctly for fear of trapping your child between the headboard and mattress BUT NO ONE tells you that putting together a crib is probably one of the hardest, most frustrating activities.

Saturday at lunchtime, Court generously offered to assemble the crib. When we ordered the crib about a month ago it was on back order until the end of October. To our amazement, it showed up on our doorstep about three weeks ago and since then I have been chomping at the bit to put it together. (I assembled the stroller myself last week and have been pushing it around the house like a toddler pushing around her dolly.)

The crib we purchased came with directions but not the kind that are written in English and that clearly tell you what to do. The "instructions" were just a bunch of pictures that allow you to infer what piece goes where. There were ten drawings or ten steps in all. We made it to step nine and the pieces were starting to resemble a crib. Little did we know that step eight would be the last step we would complete - at least for a while.

Step nine directed us to attach the "sliding" rail of the crib. A crib with a sliding rail is usually a selling point. It allows an exhausted mother or father to approach the crib, touch the rail ever so slightly thus effortlessly lowering one side of the crib so they can access their screaming, starving baby without throwing out their back. Genius. (Unfortunately, the genius stopped there. I don't think crib manufacturers have update the engineering of cribs since the 70s and assembling them is nothing to sneeze at. I now understand why crib manufacturers do not offer crib assembly as part of their delivery service.)

When we attached one side of the sliding rail, the other side would come unattached. When we would re-attach the fallen side, the attached side would come undone. We did this for about 20 minutes, when Court, in frustration, punched the floor. He punched the floor as hard as he could and began squirming in pain. Instantly, I knew he had broken his hand but it took him another 20 minutes of panting and pacing before he acknowledged that his hand might be broken and we needed to head to the hospital.

A few hours and a few pain pills later, Court was x-rayed and splinted. He did indeed fracture his pinky finger. They call it a "Boxer's Fracture" because that is where a boxer would most likely fracture his hand when punching an opponent - or in Court's case, a floor. Court will remain in the splint until the swelling goes down and then his doctor will determine whether a cast is needed. Either way, his right hand is out of commission for six weeks.

The only thing hurting more than Court's hand was his pride when he had to tell the nurses and doctors at the hospital how he had broken his hand. One nurse didn't even blink an eye at Court's story. She told us that when she was pregnant with her first child, her husband was admitted to the hospital (while she was on duty) because he had driven a nail through his wrist while in the process of assembling their crib. Nail through the wrist, broken hand, 24 hour labor - they are all about the same on the right of passage pain scale, right?!

Lucky for Court, the crib arrived early allowing him to break his hand and fully recover before Grace's birth. (I can't believe I will still be pregnant when his cast is removed!) The good news is each of us can now have a hospital bracelet for the baby book! (And Court won't be able to get out of diaper changes or late night feedings!)
I guess Court is ready to be a father since we finished the crib yesterday - broken hand and all! I still have three more months before my "right of passage" graduates me to "parentdom." Honestly, I think Court got the easy end of the deal here!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Scale Shock

Today, marks the first day of the third trimester! It's all downhill from here people (thank god because I don't think I could do any uphill traveling at this point). To celebrate, I decided to weigh myself. (Umm yeah. Did I mention that pregnancy causes you to lose your mind from time to time?).

I don't think I can adequately relay my shock over my weight gain. Since our bathroom remodel began back in June, my scale has been upstairs in the guest bedroom - on carpet. From time to time, I would weigh myself. Each time I got off the scale I would see a bit of increase but nothing super shocking. I am pregnant and fully expect to see the numbers rise. So today I hopped on and it said that I had not gained a pound since the last time I weighed myself about a month ago. Thrilled but thinking this reading suspect, I relocated the scale to sturdier ground. Maybe the carpet was throwing off the scale. BOOM! My on-the-carpet-reading had given me an initial 25 pound weight gain. By moving the scale to sturdier ground, I instantly gained another 10 pounds! 35 pounds! A 35 pound weight gain! A 35 pound weight gain! (Well, I am telling myself 32 pounds because I was fully dressed and my hair was wet.) 32 pounds! 32 pounds and I still have three months to go! How can this be possible?! (I think my days of morning sickness when I was craving comfort foods is the culprit. You'd think the morning sickness part would cancel out the comfort food cravings but it doesn't look like that is the case.)

Needless to say, the scale shock I am feeling has sent me into action. No more comfort food. No more bagels with butter and cream cheese. No more cake. UGH UGH I am heading to the store today to buy nothing but chicken breasts, spinach and fruit. Maybe I will even walk to the store so I can burn some additional calories. Hmm...maybe if I walk to the store AND chew gum at the same time I can maximize my calorie burn. my pregnant brain is working!! I am posting a picture that was taken of me and Court at a wedding we went to this past weekend so you can see the damage I have done.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Parenting 101

Getting excited for times like these:

Not so excited for times like these (definitely looks like a job for Dad):

However, with techniques like these, parenting ought to be a breeze!