2009 In Review

I snagged this from Benjamin’s Daddy’s Blog. He wrote this post as his own, and I liked it so much I asked him if I could snag it and re-post on my very own blog. Being the awesome, sharing blogger he is he said “go for it!” So, here it goes.

Moments to Remember


January:
1) Had all four of my wisdom teeth removed. At once. Fun times.
2) Turned 25 years old!
3) Was in a wedding.

February:
1) Started taking “Origin” vitamins in hope it would help us conceive. They did not, and turned my pee a strange shade of yellow.
2) Someone close to me had the first of about 5 different pregnancy dreams about me.
3) 5 year dating anniversary of me and Josh.

March:
1) Participated in my first Regional Competition with my chorus. We came in 2nd place small chorus division, and 3rd place overall.
2) 2nd person had a pregnancy dream about me.
3) Sold an article for $5.00 on Helium.com.

April:
1) Got AF, making 9 unsuccessful TTC cycles. Had a minor emotional breakdown. Stopped actively TTC.
2) Signed up to sell mark. Never did get actively into it.
3) Got a BlackBerry.

May:
1) Chopped my hair off.
2) Discovered that I was FINALLY PREGNANT.
3) Discovered True Blood.

June:
1) Saw Nellie (or, as she was known then, Gummi) for the first time on an ultrasound.
2) Had morning sickness the ENTIRE MONTH.
3) Barbershop Bootcamp in Birmingham with my chorus.

July:
1) Entered the 2nd trimester.
2) Entered “Pregnant Limbo“.
3) 4th of July, spent it at the downtown fireworks eating italian ice w/ my friend Deborah.

August:
1) Started wearing maternity pants at 18 weeks.
2) Started taking regular belly pictures. Thought my baby bump was huge.
3) Had to upgrade to a bigger bra.

September:
1) Found out that the baby was a GIRL!
2) Felt Nellie move for the first time.
3) 4th wedding anniversary!

October:
1) Started registering for Nellie at Babies R Us.
2) Had to give my kitty away to a new home.
3) Third trimester!

November:
1) Entered my first blog contest.
2) Moved into our new apartment!
3) Thanksgiving!

December:
1) Had our 3d ultrasound.
2) Won the blog contest!
3) Christmas!

That’s 2009 in brief review. Obviously, more than that happened but those are just some highlights.

Favorites of 2009


Favorite moment of 2009: May 9th, 2009. Seeing the positive pregnancy test at 12:00 in the morning.
Favorite song: Paper Planes by M.I.A
Favorite CD: I didn’t really get into any new CDs this year, actually.
Favorite movie – Drama: Taken
Favorite movie – Comedy: Zombieland
Favorite move – Action: Inglorious Basterds (I don’t know if this counts as action, but I’m counting it as action.)
Favorite TV Episode: This is tough, and hard to pinpoint. I’d have to say any of the Big Bang Theory episodes.
Favorite new show: Modern Family
Favorite lunch while at work: 2 Squares chili
Favorite home cooked meal: Josh’s potato soup
Favorite homemade Dessert:
Umm.. Christmas cookies? :)
Favorite gadget:
BlackBerry Pearl… RIP little BlackBerry :(
Favorite App: I didn’t get many apps.
Favorite Website: Facebook
Favorite Radio Station: Our radio stations here suck.
Favorite Ice Cream: Cold Stone Creamery sweet cream with Reese’s mashed up in it.
Favorite Pizza: Vinny and Joe’s
Favorite LOL Moment: WAY too many to count. WAY TOO MANY.

37 Weeks – Baby Swiss Chard

Your baby is as lofty as a stalk of Swiss chard and weighs 6 1/3 pounds. (Length: a bit over 19 inches, head to heel.)

Congratulations — your baby is full term! This means that if your baby arrives now, his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though your due date is still three weeks away.

Your baby weighs 6 1/3 pounds and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches long. But don’t be surprised if your baby’s hair isn’t the same color as yours. Dark-haired couples are sometimes thrown for a loop when their children come out as blonds or redheads, and fair-haired couples have been surprised by Elvis look-alikes. And then, of course, some babies sport only peach fuzz.

How far along? 37 weeks 3 Days
Total weight gain/loss 36 pounds total. Yikes.
Maternity clothes? Most of my shirts are failing to cover my entire stomach.
Stretch marks? Still some along the hip-meets-belly line.
Sleep What’s that?
Best moment this week FULL TERM!!!!!!
Movement Less active the past two days, but she’s been more active today. This seems to be her little game. It’s called “Let’s Freak Out Mommy to the Point Where She Considers Calling the Doctor, and then Move Like Crazy”.
Food cravings Ice cream with chocolate chip cookies.
Gender Girl!
Labor Signs Occasional crampy feelings, but nothing regular or anything like contractions.
Belly Button in or out? Innie. I don’t think this turkey-timer’s gonna pop.
What I miss Sleeping comfortably.
What I am looking forward to meeting our baby.. It could be any day now!
Weekly Wisdom A woman from my chorus told me that when she had her 10 pound baby with no drugs, the key was to completely relax during her contractions and just detach herself from the pain.
Milestones FULL TERM!!!!!!!!!



I missed last week’s update. Whoops. I had a routine doctor’s appointment yesterday. Nothing spectacular or exciting; she checked Nellie’s heartbeat (which took a minute, Nellie decided to play Hide and Seek with the doppler). No cervical checks, but I think she’s going to next week. My blood pressure is slightly elevated. I usually have very good BP (120-125/75 or so) and yesterday it was 138/75. Yuck.

Rescuing the Orca AKA Getting My Big Fat Pregnant Ass Outta Bed

Greetings, readers! I’ve recovered from my long weekend, and am back to my beloved blog. I will probably post my weekly baby update/belly picture tomorrow after my doctor’s appointment. I completely missed last week. Whoops. Bad blogger! In the meantime, enjoy my latest post.. All about getting my big fat ass out of bed.

I had once been told by a friend of mine who had been pregnant with twins that in order to get out of her bed once she had gotten big, she had to grab onto the headboard and roll herself off. This was in early pregnancy, when my baby belly was simply a dream to me. I, of course, laughed at the visual and figured that it was something that happened solely to women carrying multiples.
Oh, how very… very wrong I was.
I have since learned the error of my way of thinking; as I, too have become one of the Pregnant Launchers. You can’t really explain it to someone who hasn’t ever been pregnant. I don’t think even being overweight or obese can compare, because to my knowledge, fat moves. Baby stomach… Does not move. It’s like a boulder that you get strapped to your middle; one that is constantly there, constantly in the way. An immovable, round barrier that bars you from doing normal activities. Like.. Tying shoes. Sitting close to a table (resulting in mama constantly dropping food onto the “shelf”). Bending over. Hugging your husband/partner properly. Hugging ANYONE properly. Breathing well. Passing by people in a restaurant behind their chairs to get to the bathroom. And, of course, getting out of bed.
Yes, you can still get out of bed but not without a lot of noise and to-do. At least, I can’t.. And I’m honestly and truly not that big. Of course, I am 37 weeks pregnant but I’m not that big. No, I’m not in denial. I’ve had a couple people tell me I’m not that big, thank you very much. Since a little over mid-pregnancy, I’ve embraced the glories and wonders of the body pillow. It’s not a fancy, expensive pregnant-lady body pillow but a $10 one from Wal-Mart that I stole from the couch when I started getting uncomfortable. I cannot sleep without my body pillow. I’m a side-sleeper by nature so transitioning to side-sleeping only was never a problem for me… Getting used to sleeping draped awkwardly over a pillow, however, did take a little time getting used to. Not to mention the fact that I can’t freaking snuggle with my husband anymore, which SUCKS.
I digress. I can never stay comfortably asleep on one side for more than an hour or two at a time before I have to roll over. I used to try and just roll over and go right back to sleep, but it took so much adjusting, grunting and tossing of the pillow I just gave up and began shifting sides whenever I had to pee (which, coincidentally enough happens to be every 2-3 hours). I normally start out sleeping on my right side, embracing the body pillow for dear comfort. Upon my first waking, I have to begin the Ritual of the Rolling. Taking care not to launch my feline companions that are snug at the foot of the bed, I’ll pull the covers off. Then, I’ll drag the body pillow completely out from under the covers, fling it off the bed and give a little sigh. Next comes the heaving. I will roll ever-so-slightly to the right to get my momentum going, and then roll as hard as I can the opposite direction, flailing my arms and legs to get as much leverage off the bed as possible. I’m amazed that my husband does not wake each and every time from the amount of movement and noise that comes from me when I get out of bed. Once I’m in a sitting position (wincing from the groin and pelvic pain), I’ll hoist myself up off the bed to a standing position with much more noise and effort, and shuffle awkwardly to the restroom.
After I’ve done my business, I will get back into bed, snag my body pillow from the floor and switch to my left side. I’ll nestle the pillow properly where I like it, cover myself back up, and wait to fall asleep.
This process will repeat in 2 or 3 hours. I have seriously considered installing some form of rigging to the bed that will simply lift me out; like one of those big ass crane/sling things they use to rescue whales from the shore when they’ve become beached.

Yeah, that thing.

Just call me Shamu, baby. Just call me Shamu.

PatientStyle.com Winner!

First off, thank you to everyone who entered my first giveway. I’m happy and excited to announce that the winner of the giveaway is

Congratulations Becky!!! She will be receiving a pair of PatientStyle.com anti-microbial slipper socks in pink!

Ask Me Anything – Answers

Here are the answers to your Ask Me Anything Questions!

1. Julia asked: “What ‘tradition’ of your own are you planning on creating or recreating from your childhood with you new little girl?”
It’s hard to say. A lot of ‘traditions’ from when I was a child are centered around music, so it depends on if she is musical or whether or not she particularly likes music. I am definitely going to want her to develop a love of reading, so perhaps reading to her/telling her stories will become a tradition!


2. New Mom asked: “How many kids do you want and when do you plan on trying for #2?”
I would like a maximum of five children, and no less than two. It really depends on how we stand financially. We will have children until we have a boy, for sure. As for trying for #2… I’d like to wait until Nellie is close to out of diapers. It took us almost a year to conceive her, but there’s no guarantee we won’t get pregnant right away with the second baby.


3. Nicole asked three questions:
“What was the first present you bought for the baby?”
I bought Nellie a bib that said, ‘I Love Daddy’ on it. The first real gift we bought her was a stuffed animal; a fox that lives in her crib for the time being.
“What is your favorite Christmas song?”
Happy XMas (War is Over) by John Lennon, and Star of Wonder by the Roches.
“What is the strangest thing you have eaten or craved to eat during your pregnancy?”
Hmm. I haven’t had really strange cravings, more like really random and out of nowhere. One day, I wanted green bean casserole REALLY BADLY. Another day, it was pumpkin pie. Just totally random and out of the blue.


4. Pregtacular asked: “What is the first thing you’re going to do once you’re all free and clear of your pregnancy (and possible breastfeeding)? A meal of raw oysters, soft cheese and a few bottles of champagne? A roller coaster ride or two?”
A beer with my dinner. I like beer, and I like to try different kinds of beer. I am looking most forward to being able to occasionally have a beer, and also sushi. I miss sushi. And bleu cheese dressing, which is my favorite. I love roller coasters as well, but it will be a while before I can ride one again – the nearest Six Flags is two hours away!


5. Toni asked a few questions:
“Have you picked your pediatrician yet?”
We have one in mind, I just have to stop procrastinating and call the office.
“Have you picked your childcare yet?”
Sort of. We have an idea of our plan.. I’m still sort of in denial about having to go back to work.
“Have you pre-registered for labor and delivery?”
I have the paperwork, it just needs to be filled out!
“Have you packed yours and Nellie’s bags?”
Nellie’s bag has a few items in it, and Josh and I were just discussing this morning about getting mine together. I have a checklist that I keep forgetting to bring home!




Thanks for taking the time to think of questions to ask me! I had fun answering them!


Santa Who?

In the spirit of Christmas, since it is Christmas Eve I’ve decided to go ahead and post this entry that I’ve had drafted for a while. I’ve contemplated if I wanted to post it at all, considering it’s somewhat controversial. I may, or may not get flack for this post, and that’s OK. Not every blog post has to be fluffy and happy and non-controversial. Really, who wants to read entries from a blogger who doesn’t stir things up every now and then? It doesn’t seem to be a very popular opinion, especially with my friends who are already parents and my mother-in-law. So bear with me.

My husband and I aren’t going to teach our kids about Santa Claus.

Well, that’s not 100% true. Let me rephrase. We will teach them of the myth and the story behind Santa Claus; the origins of the legend, etcetera. But we are not going to do the whole, “There’s a magical, obese man that squeezes down your chimney every December 24th and brings you presents if you’re good. And likes milk and cookies, which really and truly doesn’t help with his weight problem. And has flying animals. And automatically knows who is naughty or nice, and knows precisely where you live. And sees you when you’re sleeping. “ Because that last one is really, really skeevy and creepy. Sorry.

I have seen a lot of skeptical faces from my friends, and disappointed expressions from grandparents and other family members who can’t understand why we don’t want to pass on the Santa tradition with our children. I can’t remember believing very strongly in Santa. Some people will argue that if you don’t let children believe there is a Santa Claus, you are “robbing them of the magic of the season”. Since when does Christmas have to be about a jolly man in a crimson suit dropping presents (or coal) on the people of the world? To me, my fondest holiday memories are steeped in family, not whether or not the fat man existed. Memories of gathering around the table and eating, sharing stories and singing songs with my cousins dominate over the one year I recall leaving Santa milk and cookies. I don’t believe the magic of the season is lost on children at all if you create new magic, and new traditions. I also feel children need to understand where their gifts come from; they don’t come magically from a workshop in the North Pole. They come from mom and dad, grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles.
There’s also the matter of questions, which has been inspired by the children of friends I have who are parents. Questions like:
“How does Santa fit down the chimney?” and “How does he know where I live?”
The only response that most people can seem to come up with to perpetuate the illusion that this mythical man exists is, “It’s magic” or “Because he’s Santa.”

Um. I’m sorry, but if you have a child who is logical (like my husband is) and questions the nature of his or her reality, that’s just not going to cut it. And it’s not like you can just make something up like, “He fits down the chimney because he’s made of rubber.” Or “He knows where you live, because he has everyone in the world in his PDA contact list.”
Because that’s just flat out lying. And then you get the questions about the various other aspects of Santa, like..
“How do his reindeer fly?”

“What if my list gets lost in the mail?”

“Is Santa married? Does he have kids? What are their names? Does he get them presents?”

The questions that can fly from a child’s mouth in regards to Santa and the whole thing surrounding him could be endless.. Which also equals a parent who is frantically trying to think on their toes because they don’t want to shatter a child’s illusion of Santa Claus.
Really, I don’t want to lie to my children. I don’t want to tell them that something exists when it doesn’t. Because one day, when they find out the truth they may be upset or angry that I lied to them. I want my children to be enlightened and educated. As for “robbing them of the holiday spirit”, since when did Christmas become about Santa? For those of you who know me, or have read my blog for a while you know I’m not religious and don’t consider myself a Christian. For me, the holiday season isn’t about the birth of Jesus, or the “magic of Santa”. For me, it’s a time of family and celebration, a time to be thankful for what we have in the world and to give others gifts and show them kindness. Ideally, this behavior should be carried throughout the year but the holiday season is special. I do have my childhood memories of Christmas and none of them have to do with Santa. They have to do with fireplaces and cocoa, of carols and decorating our family Christmas tree.

So our plan to tell the truth about ole’ Kris Kringle may seem harsh or even mean to some, but to us it fits. Also, please don’t think that I look down on anyone who chooses to continue the Santa tradition with their children. I understand that for a lot of people, believing in Santa is very important and they can’t wait to pass that excitement down to their children. That’s awesome! It’s just not for us. We also plan on making it very clear to our children to keep the Truth About Santa to themselves, as we realize that others would like their children to believe. Our kids will be taught many other traditions and values to create their own memories during their holiday season.. Santa just won’t be part of it.

Wordless Wednedsay

A note my husband put in my lunchbag a few weeks ago. <3

Losing Green Bean – 2 Years Later

Today marks 2 years since we lost our first baby, whom I lovingly called ‘Green Bean’.

I found out that I was pregnant with GB on December 1st, 2007 after only one attempt trying to conceive. To say that we were excited is an understatement, as you can tell if you clicked on the link a few lines back. You were with us for a little over three weeks, baby. You were so small; so tiny. We got to see your heart beating on an ultrasound just three days before you had to leave us and I am so, so glad I got the chance to see you. I still have your picture in the frame we bought (“Watching You Grow, Loving You So”). It’s wrapped safely away in the Baby Looney Tunes blanket daddy got for you, and tucked away in a very special box. I’m wearing my Forget-Me-Not necklace in memory of you today.

I’m pregnant with your sister right now. This time last year was so hard, because not only was it the first anniversary and my heart was aching; not only from missing you but also because we still didn’t have a precious baby to love. You were the very first, Green Bean and nothing will ever change that. The day we lost you was one of the darkest, saddest moments of my life. You taught me so much, and having you for the short period of time defined me in ways I never thought possible. You changed my life, little one.. For the better, and forever. I will always remember and love you.

And again, here is Your Song, little one.. The one that makes me think of you every time I hear it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arTtGq-E8Xo

Love, Always and Always,

Mommy.

PatientStyle.com Review & Giveaway!

Hello, hello, hello readers! I am excited and pleased to announce my very first review and giveaway here on Hope Springs Eternal. I won’t be reviewing a specific product; rather, I am reviewing the website PatientStyle.com as a whole.

PatientStyle.com is, as you see when you open the website, all about “Improving the Patient Experience”. They are all about feeling more comfortable with your hospital stay – improving your healing time by feeling better and more comfortable during your time there. They offer a wide range of products, from cute and stylish hospital gowns to an array of items for an expectant mommy. Not only are their products practical and very cute, but many of them are also anti-microbial to help your peace of mind as well especially since we are smack in the middle of flu season.
My first impression upon entering the website is how appealing it was on the eye. The layout is very eye-catching, and the colors blend well together and are nice to look at. One of the first things I look for in a website that I’m thinking of shopping is how easy it is to navigate. PatientStyle.com happens to be completely easy to navigate with easy-to-find shopping features. The categories are clearly marked, and feature drop-down menus for the sub-categories. Another thing I like to see when browsing a website is an FAQ section – which is clearly visible on PatientStyle.com – and contact information in case I have questions (also very easy to find).
Being not only a first-time mom, but someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience staying in a hospital, this website was particularly helpful. It answered a lot of, “what should I bring?” questions. You can find so many little things that will bring comfort during an extended hospital stay on PatientStyle.com; ones that you may never have thought to bring yourself. They also offer beautiful gift baskets which would bring a smile to anyone’s face.. Who doesn’t like getting gift baskets, after all?
The product I am giving away from PatientStyle.com today are their Anti-Microbial Chenille slipper socks.

They are soft and comfortable and come with little rubber grips on the bottoms so you won’t need to worry about slipping on those slick
hospital floors. PatientStyle.com offers them in two colors; dark blue, and pink. I am giving you a choice on which color you’d rather win! These slipper socks would be perfect for anyone who is expecting a hospital stay, or for someone who winds up unexpectedly in hospital care and finds themsel
ves with cold feet. As an expectant mother, I’ve been told that feet can get rather cold during labor. These socks would be a perfect item to slip in a mommy-to-be’s hospital gift basket!
Here’s how you can win a pair of these fantastic slipper socks:
MANDATORY ENTRY:
-Visit PatientStyle.com and leave a comment on this entry on which product you think is best,
and why. Be sure to include which color slipper sock you would prefer; blue or pink.
EXTRA ENTRIES:
-Become a follower of my blog, and leave a comment saying you are a follower. Be sure to include which color slipper sock you would prefer; blue or pink.
Follow me on Twitter, and Tweet about this giveaway. (“Enter to win a free pair of slipper socks from PatientStyle.com! http://tinyurl.com/yecrhdu“)
Comment saying that you are following me, and link to where you Tweeted (you can do this by finding your Tweet and clicking on the timestamp underneath it. Then copy and paste the web link from your browser onto your comment) Be sure to include which color slipper sock you would prefer; blue or pink.
ALSO, VERY IMPORTANT. BE SURE TO INCLUDE A WAY FOR ME TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU SHOULD YOU WIN. E-Mail, Twitter ID, something!
This giveaway will be open until approximately
11:00 A.M EST December 28th, 2009. Good luck!

The Monday Before Christmas

I can’t think of a more clever title, because I’m really tired this morning. We had a very good weekend, which included a gig singing with my quartet on Saturday and my company’s Christmas party that evening. We went to a murder mystery dinner theatre, and I had an absolute blast. Sunday my brother-in-law took us out to Outback for lunch, and then took us shopping for our Christmas gift..

Which just happened to be a dining room table, and chairs that went with it. Yeah. Pretty much one of the best Christmas gifts ever. We haven’t had a dining room table at all since we’ve been married so it’s pretty sweet. It’s a really nice table, too. The set comes from Better Homes & Gardens from Wal-Mart. Instead of just four chairs, it had the option of getting two chairs and a bench which is what we did. I’ll have to take some pictures of it and post them later.. It really ties our apartment together nicely.

We made Christmas cookies last night. And by “we”, I mean “Josh”. We got a sugar cookie mix, decorated them with green icing and sprinkled red sugar sprinkles on it. Voila, festive Christmas cookies for our enjoyment. I’m very much looking forward to this week. We’re doing Christmas at my in-laws tonight, tomorrow my office is having a party and I’m leaving early for a doctor’s appointment and I’m off work on Friday. I’m feeling so tired lately that I could sleep all day. After going to the mall, Target, and Wal-Mart yesterday I was seriously about ready to pass out and ended up taking a one hour nap. I never knew pregnancy could wipe one out as much as it has in the past two weeks or so. I am tired ALL THE TIME.

Anyway I never did get around to taking a belly picture, so my weekly baby update may be a day late or so. Also, keep your eyeballs peeled as I’ll be doing my very first review and giveaway at some point this week – I might even post it today. I haven’t forgotten the Ask Me Anything post; I’m trying to accumulate some more questions before answering the ones I have. I hope everyone has a great Monday, and don’t be surprised if you hear from me more than once today.