To Nellie Rose: On Her Due Date

Dear Nellie,

Hey there baby girl. It’s your mommy. I am just writing to let you know that you are officially due today! I know I’ve been saying that you can come out for about 2 weeks, but now I mean it. Really. Come out! Your daddy and I are so anxious and eager to meet you. To hold you.. To give you so much love! I can’t wait to see what your little face looks like.. The color of your hair and eyes.. To smell your sweet baby smell. I am so excited that the each day that passes brings us a little closer to the day we get to hold you. I know that patience isn’t the best of my virtues. I’m just so ready to have you in my arms, little girl.

It’s a long road we’ve been down together, baby. I’m going to miss feeling you in my belly (right this very second, you have the hiccups!) but the moments that are yet to be make me feel so excited and full of anticipation. I promise you will like it on the outside. Your parents are pretty awesome, and we love you so much. There are a LOT of other people who want to meet you, too! Everyone is just waiting, Nellie…. Waiting for you. You’re so special.

Okay, sweetie. I’ve said my peace. If I have to be a little more patient, I guess that’s okay… Just know that if you don’t come out on your own soon, we’re going to have to come and get you! So.. Come out! Your day is here!

All my love,

Time to Rest

I was going to work until delivery. I was going to save all of my precious full-pay and maternity leave for when little miss Nellie got here.

And then I started getting absolutely miserable at work. Around 37 weeks is when it started. I was tired, uncomfortable, and cranky all the time. With everyone. Coworkers, customers.. I just wanted to be at home resting and sleeping. But I couldn’t waste precious time that could be spent with Nellie at home sleeping… Not to mention that we couldn’t afford it.
Until Josh got his full-time job. I had put my claims in for short-term disability and FMLA to start on the 17th – my due date, and was planning on adjusting the date to when she actually was born. Once Josh got confirmation of his employment we decided that I would just go ahead and take my leave effective the 17th. I’ll be receiving about 60% of my pay for 6 weeks on short-term disability. We also decided that instead of only taking off 6 weeks, I’d take off the full 12… SCORE. So, friends, today is officially my last day of work until APRIL.
That’s right, APRIL. I get 12 glorious weeks off with my daughter! This new job for Josh has really been a blessing. I have been working full-time for almost three years now and it’s going to be so strange to not have to wake up and come to work every day for a while. I’m really looking forward to being at home with our girl.
I’m hoping she comes this weekend so daddy doesn’t have to miss any orientation at work. If she doesn’t come by Tuesday, I will enjoy the extra rest with not having to work.. But I’d like for her to get here this weekend. If she’s not here by Tuesday, my doctor and I are going to start talking about induction. So, little girl, you’re going to be here soon whether you like it or not. If you don’t come on your own, we’re coming to get you!

39 Weeks – Baby Watermelon

Your baby matches up to a mini-watermelon, weighing a bit over 7 pounds. (Length: about 20 inches, head to heel.)

Your baby’s waiting to greet the world! He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it’s likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, a mini watermelon. (Boys tend to be slightly heavier than girls.) The outer layers of his skin are sloughing off as new skin forms underneath.

How far along? 39 weeks 3 Days
Total weight gain/loss 38 pounds total. Gulp.
Maternity clothes? I’m running out of things that fit!!!!
Stretch marks? UGH. Yes. ALL OVER my hips, and some on the underside of my stomach.
Sleep *thumbs down*
Best moment this week My husband got a full time job!
Movement She’s getting cramped. All her movements are squirms and pushes now.
Food cravings None really.
Gender Girl!
Labor Signs 2 cm dilated. 50% effaced. Baby’s head is at -2 station.
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss Being comfortable, and feeling rested.
What I am looking forward to meeting this little girl!!!
Weekly Wisdom Relax and sleep!

Doctor’s appointment went well yesterday. Blood pressure was 128/78. I had some ankle swelling in the evening – I didn’t even recognize my fat little cankles. The doctor says that she predicts she’ll see me at my regular appointment next week… Which is disappointing, but anything can happen. I’m really, REALLY hoping that Nellie comes this weekend so daddy doesn’t have to miss any orientation at his new job and have to make it up. I am starting to feel like she’s never coming out of there!

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

I am 39 weeks pregnant. Due any day. How did the time go by so quickly?
One one hand, I feel like it was just yesterday that I was staring at the positive pregnancy test and on the other.. I feel like I’ve been pregnant forever. As my pregnancy draws to a close, I have to stop and look back on the journey that my daughter and I have had so far.

It’s strange, knowing that you’ve been pregnant for the majority of one calendar year. I think back on all the holidays that Nellie and I have been through together: Mother’s Day (our first). Fourth of July. Memorial and Labor Day. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Christmas. May of 2009 seems like it was so far away, and simultaneously it seems like time has flown by in the blink of an eye. I look back on my old posts from my early pregnancy with fondness, and a smile on my face. Even reading my posts about morning sickness makes me remember with a certain happy nostalgia. I remember being so excited when I caught my first glimpse of “baby bump” at around 15 weeks. It wasn’t visible to anyone but Josh and I, but it excited me so much. I remember going into Motherhood Maternity and proudly purchasing my first pair of maternity jeans at 18 weeks. I remember thinking I looked “soooo pregnant” at 20 weeks, and now when I look back I can’t help but laugh at myself.

Nellie was there with me for my chorus’s yard sale in June – when we were outside for hours in the hot, Southern summer heat. She accompanied me to Birmingham when I went to summer camp with the ladies from my chorus… And missed a bit of the workshops due to frequent trips to the bathroom to throw up. She was there; so little and so tiny when my friend Deborah and I walked downtown to watch the fireworks for the Fourth. Once upon a time she wasn’t Nellie, she was simply known to us as “Gummi”. A tiny little black and white figure on an ultrasound screen; arm and leg buds just barely recognizable. I remember putting various countdowns right here on my blog – ticking off the days until the 2nd trimester, the 3rd trimester and finally until Full Term. Now the only ticker that remains is her Due Date ticker, which is now down to 6 days.

It’s amazing to me that this little girl has been present for so many events and days in my life and she doesn’t even realize it. She’s been to Ruby Falls and to Rock City. She’s been sung to by her mama (and daddy). She’s been out with her mama while she performed with her chorus and quartet. There are so many people in our lives who are so anxious and excited to meet her…. None more than her very own mommy and daddy.

As I reach the end of my pregnancy with Nellie, I can’t help but be a little sad. I was laying in bed last night, feeling her kick as Josh and I were talking about how she’d be here very soon. I watched my belly swell as some body part of hers pushed against my tummy. I got choked up and tears came to my eyes. Very soon, I’m going to have to physically let her free from my body, and she will be shared with the world. Nellie isn’t the world’s most active baby but she has her moments. It’s been difficult for people who aren’t around her all the time (AKA, me and her daddy) to feel her move. There is a secret part of me that is just a tiny bit happy when she only kicks for daddy and me. It’s like something special just between the three of us. Soon we’ll have to pass her around to be held. People will want to feed her, give her gifts and sing to her, they’ll want to hold her little hands and kiss her cheeks… And while she’ll always be our little girl, others will be a part of her life as well. Right now, we are all she really knows and that’s special. It’s a little sad to give that up, but obviously we can’t keep her to ourselves forever. I realized while I was watching my belly swell how much I’m going to miss this connection that just our little family has. I know that we’ll have other special moments as a family, but the quiet times resting on the couch where Josh puts his hand on my belly with a smile and I put my hand over his won’t be here much longer. I know that we are about to have so many more amazing moments with her here… But I’ll miss these ones a lot.

I cherish each and every memory I have of my pregnancy. Each minute with our Nellie has been a blessing.. I am so very grateful that Josh and I have been given the opportunity to be a mom and dad to this amazing little girl. I hope that she knows how much we love her already and that she never, ever questions that love. I want her to know how desperately she was wanted and how strong our love for her was from the very first second we knew of her existance. Before the belly swelling, before the first kicks, before the first ultrasound we loved her. Really, we loved her even before the positive pregnancy test.. We’ve been waiting for this child for such a long time.

We certainly have come a long way, baby. From pregnancy test to Gummi Bear… From morning sickness to my growing belly… From hearing your heartbeat, to finding out you were our Nellie Rose… I’ve enjoyed the hell out of this ride, kiddo, and I hope that you have too. It’s almost time to meet face-to-face and I just cannot wait. We love you so, so much little girl.

Fate Works in Funny Ways

On Thursday, I was having One Of Those Days. It was a day where I wanted to cause physical harm to any poor soul that happened to wander into my little personal space bubble. I was tired and cranky, I was uncomfortable and feeling sorry for myself having to be at work for 8 hours. In other words, I was a massive hellbitch.

At around 11:00 AM, my entire day took a turn… For the better!

For those of you who are unaware, my husband has worked as a brick mason his entire life. Masonry has suited us just fine for the majority of our marriage. A few years ago, work was so good I didn’t have to work. I took an entire year off, and when I got back into the work force it was a part-time job and our income was almost all disposable. Instead of being wise and squirreling away money for rainy days and slow building periods, we wasted it going out to eat, seeing movies and generally just.. Blowing it. Whoops. As I am sure everyone who reads this blog is aware, the economy over the past two years has been one big major Sucky McSuckfest. People have been getting laid off left and right, losing their jobs and the construction industry has suffered horribly. We have been living so tight the last 7 months and it’s been really scary. Joshua had been job hunting since June. Since. June.

About two weeks ago, he got a phone call calling him in to interview at a local correctional facility. We could hardly believe our luck! An actual full-time job, with benefits that had room for advancement. This wasn’t just a job, this had the potential to become a career. His interview went well, because when I got his phone call this past Thursday he could barely contain the excitement in his voice. He said to me simply, “Baby, I got the job.” I asked him if he was serious about 5 times, and almost started to cry. No longer did we have to wonder and worry about where secondary income was going to come from! Gone are the days of watching the weather with bated breath; hoping and praying that the rain would wait until we got a decent week’s pay in. We are no longer at the mercy of this terrible, awful economy. My husband now has a steady job!

As a result of this news, I decided to go ahead and start my maternity leave as of the 18th of January. I was going to work until delivery, but not anymore! My last day is Friday (providing Nellie doesn’t come sooner than that, of course). I am so relieved and happy, it’s really hard to put into words the feeling. This also means that we are one step closer to our goal of having me be a stay-at-home mom. It’s my heart’s desire to be able to stay home with my babies. This isn’t something we’re going to get right off the bat, mind you. I am going to have to return to work full-time until Josh’s health benefits kick in at work (which usually is about 6 months) but after that we’re contemplating dropping me down to part-time hours. Hopefully, as he advances in this job as I know he will, we will be able to cut my hours more and more until maybe one day we won’t need them at all!

So my day was brightened on Thursday, and it only got better. We got notification that due to weather conditions, the university that I’m employed at was closing at noon. EARLY SNOW DAY, YA’LL. It was with excitement and glee that I left work that day, and I relished not having to be stuck in my office for the rest of the afternoon. On Thursday evening around 10:45, I got ANOTHER notification saying that the university was to be closed ALL DAY FRIDAY. Classes were cancelled, and offices were closed. I GOT A FULL SNOW DAY, YA’LL and a three day weekend!

Saturday was my birthday, AKA My Favorite Holiday Because It’s the One Day a Year That’s All About Me. My brother in law took us out to lunch at my favorite hibachi place and I ate myself silly. Josh and I took a nap, and that evening I went for some karaoke fun with the girls from my quartet (and a few other ladies)! It was too crowded, and only two of us got to sing – one time (I sang “You Know I’m No Good” by Amy Winehouse) – but we still had a blast together. It was a wonderful way to start out my 26th year of life, and I feel really blessed to have such amazing friends.

Things have a funny way of working out. Josh and I were both starting to stress – a lot – as to where our income would come from while I was on leave. I will be getting paid half my wages for 6 weeks thanks to short term disability, but that’s not very much. Now that my husband is going to be working full-time hours, we can breathe easier. So. Much. Easier.

Fate has smiled upon us, my friends. And Josh got the world’s best fortune in his fortune cookie after lunch on Saturday:

A new relationship is about to blossom. You will be blessed.



Please. Do NOT Provoke the Preggo.

Now that I’m at the tail-end of my pregnancy, I figured I’d let out a small rant. I think it’s warranted.

To begin, I’d like to make it crystal clear that I love being pregnant. I have loved each and every second of this pregnancy, even the morning sickness. Mostly because I didn’t have morning sickness badly with my first pregnancy, and we all know how that ended. I love my belly getting bigger. I love feeling Nellie move, even when she jabs me so hard it hurts or feels really strange. I love each and every moment that my little girl grows in my belly.
That being said, one of the things I could deal without in regards to pregnancy are the hormones. I haven’t had so much of the weepy ones (aside from the occasional commercial or movie) but boy, have I ever had the irritability. If I thought that 1st trimester irritability was bad.. Woo. I hadn’t seen ANYTHING yet.
Being pregnant seems to open you up to all sorts of random comments from strangers. I don’t know if people think they’re being helpful, or funny, or witty, or what but most often they are being obnoxious and ridiculous. There is something about the sight of a pregnant woman that makes normally smart people lose their brains for a temporary period of time, and think that certain things that should not be uttered are a great idea to blab directly to said pregnant woman. I will never understand why people think it’s OK to say such things when they know a woman is in a very delicate hormonal state; probably the most delicate hormonal state of her life.
So, here is a list of the things that have irked me most in my 3rd trimester:
  1. Demanding I choose my due date. For example:
    “When are you due?”
    “January 17th.”
    “Oh, you need to wait until January 22nd to have that baby. That’s when my son, little Junior So-and-So was born!”
    “Really. That’s great.”
    Honestly, people, I cannot squeeze my legs together and keep the baby in if she wants to come out. Nor can I jump up and down and shake myself like a Coke bottle until she erupts forth from my vagina like a mass of bubbles and fizz. This baby will come when she is ready.
  2. Repeatedly asking me when I am due, especially if I see you on a regular basis. I understand that not everyone is as invested in this pregnancy as my husband and I are. That goes without saying. But if I know you relatively well, and you ask me every single time you see me (which is weekly or more than once a week) when I’m due, I’m going to get tired of sounding like a broken record. I’m going to start making shit up, just to see if you’re paying attention. “FebuMarch 40th, 2010.” Another question that could set off a pregnant woman into a rage is, “When’s that baby gonna get here?” I swear, if I get asked that one more f-ing time, I’m going to lose it. How am I supposed to know when she’s going to be here, for crying out loud? My psychic abilities don’t kick in until I’m 30, sorry.
  3. Gawking at how big/small I am. You really cannot win with this, folks. It’s best when you see a pregnant woman to say, “Wow, you look wonderful!” I don’t need to hear that I’m huge, nor do I want to hear that I’m super small. I am aware that my belly has grown since you last saw me; that’s what happens when a woman is pregnant. The baby grows, and so does the woman’s belly. It’s been happening for thousands of years, so stop acting so shocked that I have a swollen tummy.
  4. Staring at me like I have three heads when I mention my birth/parenting style of choice. Or, giving me a sympathetic/condescending smile and tell me that “that’ll change”. Yes, I’m planning a natural childbirth. No, I’m not insane. Yes, I’m aware childbirth hurts. Oh, you had an epidural? That’s fantastic, good for you. Of course I’m aware that I may change my mind, but I’m going to try my best not to. Oh, you wanted a natural childbirth too but just couldn’t do it? I’m sorry, when did my life and yours become the same thing?
    No, we’re not planning on co-sleeping. I don’t care if it’s easier to breastfeed in the middle of the night. We’re not doing it. And stop looking at me with that LOOK and tell me to “wait and see, I’ll change my mind”. I’ll stick to my guns JUST TO PROVE YOU WRONG, because I am stubborn, so is my husband and THAT’S HOW WE ROLL.
  5. “When I was pregnant back in 1874” stories. I don’t care what was the breastfeeding style (or lack thereof), clothing style, parenting style, or childbirthing style when you were pregnant back in the Dark Ages. It’s 2009. Times have changed. Get over it.
  6. Making fun/poking jokes/openly criticizing my kid’s name. This one. Oooohhh, this one just makes my blood boil thinking about it. I’m aware that our name of choice is not run of the mill. Let me explain something. Nellie was my grandmother and she died when I was ten. I have wanted to name my first daughter Nellie pretty much since I was a teenager. I made this clear to my sibling, and all of my cousins: the name Nellie is MINE. I’ve had dibs for a long time. Upon hearing what we’re naming our daughter, I’ve mostly gotten a positive reception but I have gotten a few gems that made me want to fly off the handle and rage. Here are a few:
    “Nellie? Like that bitch from Little House on the Prairie?”
    “Nellie, huh? Are you gonna call her Nell, like that retard in that movie? HUH HUH.”
    “Like the rapper?”

    And this one, readers.. Was my personal “favorite”. It happened just the other day while I was sitting at work, minding my own business. The following exchange occurred between me and a woman who works in the building I do.
    “Hey there Natalie, when’s that baby due?”
    *trying not to scream, as I’ve told this woman at least 5 times* “January 17th.”
    “And what are you gonna call it?”
    “HER name is Nellie Rose.”
    “You know she’s going to hate you for naming her that, right?”
    This is what I heard in my head, ya’ll:

    What I wanted to do was calmly grab the coffee cup sitting beside me, and lob it forcefully at her head until I heard a satisfying CLUNK. What I said was,
    “Well, she doesn’t have much of a say in the matter, does she?”
    The woman replied, “Oh I know it, but you just know that when she gets older she’s going to be like, ‘Mother! You gave me such a stupid name. It’s so old fashioned!'”
    URGE TO KILL. RISING. RISING. I’m not sure what it is about people making fun of
    Nellie’s name. I think, to me, it’s like making fun of her and that raises my hair on end and makes me feel like an angry lioness about to defend her cub. I seriously want to rage at anyone who have something negative to say about my little daughter’s name.

I know this post sounds really bitchy, hormonal and ranty but really… I’m 9 months pregnant, I’m tired, cranky, and deserve a good rant every now and again, damnit. Hopefully my fellow pregnant women (and people who have been in my shoes) will have gotten a good chuckle out of this. If you are suddenly frightened by your friendly internet blogger, please don’t be. Just set down something tasty for me to eat, slowly back away, and you’ll be fine.


38 Weeks – Baby Leek

Since we’re getting so close, and I haven’t been having my doctor appointments ’till mid-week, I’ve decided to put Wordless Wednesday to the side for the time being in favor of my weekly baby updates. I don’t have many more, so this is just temporary. So even though I am midway through my 38th week, here’s my update!

Your baby, now as long as a leek, weighs nearly 7 pounds. (Length: more than 19 1/2 inches, head to heel.)

Your baby has really plumped up. She weighs about 6.8 pounds and she’s over 19 1/2 inches long (like a leek). She has a firm grasp, which you’ll soon be able to test when you hold her hand for the first time! Her organs have matured and are ready for life outside the womb.Wondering what color your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If she’s born with brown eyes, they’ll likely stay brown. If she’s born with steel gray or dark blue eyes, they may stay gray or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown by the time she’s 9 months old. That’s because a child’s irises (the colored part of the eye) may gain more pigment in the months after she’s born, but they usually won’t get “lighter” or more blue. (Green, hazel, and brown eyes have more pigment than gray or blue eyes.)

How far along? 38 weeks 3 Days
Total weight gain/loss 34 pounds total – lost 2 pounds since last week.
Maternity clothes? No, I’ve magically been able to fit into my normal clothes! Kidding, of course.
Stretch marks? OH, LORD. Not only do I have the hip ones that have been present for a few weeks, but some have popped up on the underside of my belly. I DIDN’T ESCAPE THE BELLY STRETCH MARKS. DAMN!
Sleep Same ole’, same ole’.
Best moment this week Packing our hospital bags!
Movement Less kicks, more squirms/pushes/rolls.
Food cravings French fries.
Gender Girl!
Labor Signs Occasional crampy feelings, nothing regular. 1 1/2 cm dilated at the doctor, 0% effaced.
Belly Button in or out? Innie.
What I miss Sleeping comfortably, sitting comfortably, laying comfortably…
What I am looking forward to Nellie’s arrival!
Weekly Wisdom Nothing this week.
Milestones Um… less than 2 weeks away from our due date?


Had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. Blood pressure was ok; 130/78. Still higher than I like, but not bad overall. Lost 2 pounds since last week. Doctor checked for dilation (which is so, SO UNCOMFORTABLE. UGH) and found that we are 1 1/2 cm dilated, but the cervix is still thick. I know that can change very quickly! She also mentioned that my pelvis is very narrow. She is still optimistic about having the unmedicated vaginal birth we’re aiming for, but she did warn us that since my pelvic cavity is so narrow we may run into complications that could lead to a c-section. She said that we’re going to do everything we can to avoid a C obviously, but just to prepare for a worst-case scenerio type situation. Josh kept trying to get her to give us the chances of having to have a c-section and she refused; she kept saying that we’re going to “plan for a vaginal birth” but just to also be prepared in the back of our minds that a C could be on the horizon. Oh, and did I mention that she’s estimating the baby to be around 7 1/2 pounds already? I know that’s not accurate and that it can sway a pound in either direction, but that’s not a small kid. I asked about induction, and she said she won’t let me go over 41 weeks. I want to avoid induction, but if it means that I get to 41 weeks and she still isn’t here, I’m okay with being induced. Sure, I’d love a wonderful birthing experience just the way I want it but the bottom line is this: As long as Nellie gets here safely and is healthy, that is all I care about. Induce me, cut me open, I don’t care. As long as she’s here safely, that is all that matters. Period.

Are We There Yet?

I have a similar feeling to the one I used to get near the end of a school year.

You know the one; where summer is knocking on your door, beckoning you to come out and play and yet you still have to sit through tedious lessons that go in one ear, and out the other? Yeah, that’s kind of what the last few weeks of pregnancy are like.. Especially if you’re working until your due date.
I decided to play Super Woman and work until Nellie’s arrival. Not only did I feel confident that I would feel well and energetic enough to tackle such a task, but I also figured that the more time I get to spend with my newborn daughter after she’s born, the better. Why waste my precious 6-12 weeks (depending on finances) doing silly things like resting and nesting (isn’t that clever, I just thought of it)?
I’m starting to regret my decision, as the last few weeks have certainly caught up with me. My energy levels are at an all-time low, and I get tired to the point of almost falling asleep at my desk around 3:00 every single day. Walking is hard, sitting hurts, concentrating is almost impossible. I never, ever guessed that late pregnancy would take such a toll on me mentally and physically. I’m struggling to stay focused and train my coworkers to do my job in my absence. It’s like we’re racing; fighting and struggling to get all this information crammed into their brains before the little one gets here. Every day is a battle for me to keep my motivation to do at least a little work. Luckily my coworkers are all very understanding and accommodating. I know I haven’t been the easiest person to work around in the past 9 months, what with hormones and snappy mood swings. I am a very good employee, but the past few weeks I have been a very tired, worn-out and semi-mentally checked out one.
I’m ready for my break. I know that parenthood is by no means easy and I won’t get much more sleep than I’m already getting, but I anticipate spending time with our new baby girl isn’t going to feel much like work at all. Not only am I anxious to start a mini-work hiatus, but I’m also anxious to meet Nellie. Now that I am so tantalizingly close to The Big Day, I find myself almost mentally willing my body to go into labor. I casually mentioned to Josh the other night that sometimes, foot massages can trigger labor. He practically dragged me off the couch by my toes to get his hands on my feet. We’re both really excited and anxious for this girl to get here. We’ve been waiting for her for so long, now that the end is within our grasp, we have found ourselves outstretching our fingers and wiggling trying to grab it! Both Nellie and I have our hospital bags packed, the car seat is installed and her room is completely ready. All we need is her to arrive.
I, of course, want nothing more than for her to get here safely and soundly and if I have to wait a few more weeks for that to happen, so be it.
But I’m still going to try and get as many foot massages as I possibly can. You know. Just in case my body needs a little nudge.

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.

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.