Monday, May 30, 2011

Baby A Update: Weeks 16

Dear Baby A,

16 weeks. We are 4 months along, which in my mind, is PRACTICALLY the halfway point. This week, we celebrate:

- 3 weeks before we find out what you are. I. CANNOT. WAIT.

- I was told I looked 10 years old. While that was so very weird since I'm pregnant, that could be lucky for you. Let's hope you inherit my eternal-youth genes.

- We bought the paint for your room. It's the perfect GRAY COLOR.

- Your Dad felt you move. FINALLY. I've been feeling you wiggle around for the last week or so, but it was SO cool to watch him feel you. You aren't thumping on the walls of my stomach, so it feels more like air bubbles rumbling through my stomach.

- We've become obsessed with Angry Birds. Sure, I know this has NOTHING to do with you, but I want to make sure we don't forget this important event.

- I bought Maternity Clothes. Finally. My pants wouldn't buckle. It was time. Thank-goodness, for my friend Heather for tagging along. I had a lot (more) fun with Heather being there!

- Ben surprised me by making sure that Milo and Miko are getting excited for you. He bought this cute little toy for them (now, I'm worried they might try to eat ANY owl they see.)

Memorial Day 2011: Part 1 (Rest)

I've been looking forward to this weekend for so many reasons. For one, I needed a break. A chance to rest - fully - and recover. Pregnancy is not kind to a woman's body. In my case, I've endured aching joints, uncomfortable, restless nights, and the over-all continual exhaustion. My job which averages 45+ hours a week leaves me with little energy to do much less.

So this weekend was welcomed with wide open arms. The chance to rest for 3 days and what's better, a chance to rest with Ben.

It started off with a one-hour massage Ben had arranged for me. It was glorious. For the first time in YEARS, I felt the tension of stress, the discomfort of pregnancy melt away. I slept harder that night then I had in a very long time.

The next day, I actually had a lot of energy to enjoy the day Ben and I had planned out....but that fun event will come in the blog post or two!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Baby A Update: Week 15

A lot happened this week, so I want to be sure to not miss this week's update.

Baby Registry: 
We have begun the baby registry process. While it is a lot of fun, it is also a good dose of reality of what we will be undertaking in 5 months. The completion of the baby registry will take a month and a 3-step process. We will go to 2 stores, but then the 3rd process will be coming back to get more gender-specific items and make our decisions on big things like car-seats, strollers, and cribs. So, what do you think is the best of those big items? We want something that will last, so share away. 

I the bed: 
This was a weird event. Mainly because neither Ben nor I are sure how it happened. One moment, I was sitting on the bed playing with Milo. The next moment, I was falling off the bed. Thankfully, I landed on my butt, so I was fine, but a little scared. Ben's concern was (probably) greater than mine; I wasn't bleeding, so I knew I was fine, but he was still worried. And, poor Milo was so upset. I think he felt it was his fault (but it wasn't).

This is a great segue into Week 15's Doctor's Appointment: 
Ben told me he was nervous to hear the baby's heartbeat after my night-before fall. But all was well, and we heard Baby A's heartbeat.
They took blood to check for genetic disorders such as down syndrome and spina-bifida. While Ben and I didn't really discuss this much afterwards, I think it hit us both that either one of these "disorders" could be in our future with Baby A. I do know we discussed it enough to know that no matter what, this is our child, and we will adjust and love Baby A regardless of what the future holds.
In other news, we are four weeks away from finding out if Baby A is a boy or a girl. We are SO excited.

Art of being (un?)Comfortable: 
As this pregnancy progresses,  I am quickly becoming more and more uncomfortable. One night this week, I woke up around 1am to Ben saying, "you really need a body pillow." I think he realized that I was trying hard to get comfortable and it was not working.
Aside from my struggle to get comfortable at night, I am also dealing with random aches and pains of my hips, stomach, and legs and my feet are beginning to swell ever-so-slightly. My doctor says its all normal, but I don't feel normal.
Lastly, I have resisted Maternity clothes for 15 weeks. But I knew the end of this resistance was in sight,  when my pants wouldn't buckle, and I'm running out of clothes that actually fit.

This week's cravings: 
Hip-Hip-Hooray! for pickles....and strawberries.
(for all who have wondered, I am not craving pickles and ice-cream!)

Note to Baby A:
The more that arrives for your nursery, the more excited I get for YOU to get here. We are 25 weeks away. It seems like a long time to wait, but I have established several mile-markers that help break up all those weeks.
- We find out if your gender. June 2011
- Your Dad runs a 10K. July 2011
- Your Aunt Lydia gets married. August 2011
- We take maternity pictures. September 2011.
- Your dad takes on his first triathlon. October 2011.
When I consider all those events, your arrival doesn't seem so far away. We are thrilled and anticipating the day, you are in our arms. We KNOW you will be one spoiled baby. And, that is okay. We only get these moments with you once. 

Monday, May 16, 2011


Dear Blog,

In college, I was never bored. Never without company. Never without conversation. During the course of my 4 years of higher academic pursuit, I was never without friends. This was a big deal to me. I love people. I crave that interaction - that face-to-face conversation, the hours spent in someone's company. I am a people person.

But more than that, I had experienced the intense feelings of loneliness before. Pre-college, I spent a lot of time by myself. Wanting friends and wondering what was wrong with me? There were too many tears, too many unanswered questions and too many promises to myself: Just get through this and never gain. I promise. 

Post-college, I learned the value of being alone. Enjoying "me" time. This is something I was once afraid of, but now I cherish it. I don't need it a lot or often, but I enjoy it when I get it.

Lately, however,  I find those pre-college feelings creeping up. I'm walking down an all-too-familiar and all-too-dreaded road. I'm lonely again. Yet, now, I find myself beginning to be discouraged. My lack of quality interaction, conversation and people investment, leaves me sad and paranoid. Sad because I love people and I love to hang out with friends. Paranoid because I can't help but wonder if it is me. Have I cut people off? Do I not seem welcoming? Friendly? Those promises of long ago seem unreal: Once again. 

I don't like to seem like a sad-face with this blog. But, sometimes, I feel like I HAVE to be honest with you all. My life isn't always full of fun and happiness and sunshine (although, I TRY SO VERY HARD!!), and while I am happy with my life, I do struggle. And, this is an area of my life that I am struggling with right now.

Thank you for listening.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baby A Update: Weeks 13 & 14

Week 13:

- I celebrated Mother's Day for the first time in 5 years.
- Ben suprised me with a 1 hour massage and tickets to see Bruno Mars in concert.
- My friend Stephanie sent me the best card reminding me that she hadn't forgotten how hard Mother's Day has been. It reminded me of all those Mother's Days I spent with her in college, and it made me so thankful for her friendship (again).
- I consumed a jar of pickles in a week. It was wonderful.
- I wore my only maternity outfit. It's basically a maxi-dress made out of jersey cotton. I don't care. It is comfortable and it fits.

Week 14:

- I bought several items for Baby A's nursery. Ben and I contemplated what color to paint the nursery (I vote gray - regardless of Baby A's gender).
- We left the Bruno Mars concert before the first song finished. The music was too loud and I was terrified of it negatively affecting Baby A. Then, I cried the rest of the evening. 1) Knowing I had made the right decision. 2) Having a hard time coming up with fun things to do while pregnant (that don't involve shopping or eating)....suggestions are welcome.
- My baby bump arrived. Thank you, Baby A, for deciding not to truly show yourself 'til after we were out of the 1st trimester. Your mother thanks you.
- Ben waking me up in the middle of the night as he pulled me closer to him, then having him place his hand on my stomach. At 3am, Baby A, he was trying to feel you move. Grow big; your dad wants to feel and see you wiggle inside my tummy.
- Just so you know, Baby A, a lot of people have made a couple of the following remarks:
   - "Maybe Ben will grow up now that he is about to be a Dad."    I love that Ben is goofy and so entertaining. I am sure this will be a trait you also will love about your dad. And, I'm sure will inherit his silliness too. It will make for a lot of funny and silly memories.
- "Get all the sleep you can now."    This is also an inaccurate statement. I am already LOSING sleep because my pregnant body. I see this as preparation for the future when Baby A is finally here.
- "You will have to get rid of the dogs."    I want you to grow up around animals. I think this is so important for you, Baby A, to learn how to be gentle and love our furry friends. So, unless you are deathly allergic to them, or they show signs of aggression towards you...Milo and Miko will be apart of your life.

Lastly, this is FOR YOU, my readers. I want your votes: What do you think Baby A is? A boy or a girl? Leave your comments in the comment box. We find out in a couple of weeks, but I want to be able to include your input in the baby scrapbook I plan to make. If you are "anonymous", put your name in the comment box so I know!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Beginning: Making Dreams Come Alive

As the oldest sibling, I am not accustom to be confronted by my younger siblings. But, last weekend, that is exactly what occurred.

My brother, JohnMark, is almost 16 years old. He is funny, but also very philosophical. So, when he popped up on facebook chat and said he had a question for me....I honestly thought it would be about something silly (like girls) or something deep (like politics).

Turns out, it was neither. It had to do with me.

He said: "Now that Ben is pursuing his dreams [Ben is in school, but also running his own business], when are you going to start pursuing yours?"
I'll admit. I was very confused by this. "What do you mean?"
"You love to write." He replied. "But you don't do anything with that love."
He paused for a moment before continuing. "Some of my best childhood memories were listening to the stories you use to tell. You've talked about writing them down, and making them into something. But you haven't. And, now Baby A is on the way. More than that, I want my kids to know about Mongo."
I was stunned by his statement.
Mongo is this character I created in which I crafted multiple stories surround the adventures with Mongo and told the stories to my siblings. Always a new story, a new adventure, and unbeknown to me, I was crafting memories that would play vital part of my siblings' lives. Who knew?

I love writing. I really do. It challenges me, it relaxes me, and honestly, I love having an audience to share with too. This is why I love my blog so much. I have so much fun doing something I love. Truly, truly love. Yet, JohnMark sparked an old flame in my writing soul. He reminded me of my dreams, my fears, my hopes. More than that, he made me realize what an opportunity I have to craft my passion into art to be enjoyed by others.

With that in mind, I plan to do something I've never had the courage to do: put Mongo on paper. Recount the stories, and begin to pursue this dream.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011


That's what she wanted to be called. In my 16 year old mind, I thought it was so weird to listen to my Mom discuss what she wanted her grandkids to call her. But I also knew it was so like my Mom as well.

10 years later, 5 years since she has been gone and 6 months away from her first grandchild making his/her entrance in the world, that name seems so real to the woman I'm remembering. It seems strange for me to realize that my child will never know their grandmother - the personality that would have brought the name Duchess to life with all the elegance, fun and more. Try as I might, Duchess will be a foreign name to Baby A.

I was discussing this with a friend of mine recently and she reminded me that Baby A will see my Mom's influence through the way I raise him/her. Isn't that both fascinating and startling? That all though Baby A will never know my Mom or even recognize her thumbprints in my life, the influence will be there.

To all the Moms out there - Happy Mother's Day. You are loved. Greatly.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baby A Update: Weeks 11 AND 12

Dear Baby A,

Well, congratulations to you! You are now 3 months along and you are movin' and grovin' right along. It will be a couple more weeks before I'll be able to actually feel you, but I'm excited for that day to come. You might actually convince that this entire pregnancy thing is not a joke. *wink*

Over the last couple of weeks, your rapid development and growth has completely sucked all the energy right out of me. I was sleeping 13 hours a night EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and still felt like I need just 7-8 more hours. It was rough. But, the recovery is on its way and I finally feel like a normal person.

I've noticed a couple of things I want to be sure to remember. A couple of things I want to make SURE you know about:

Apparently, you make people feel invincible. Your grandfather told me he didn't need to get out of the tornado weather - After all, HE WAS GOING TO BE A GRANDFATHER. 

You also give people the desire to celebrate Mother's Day. This will be the first Mother's Day in 5 years that my family will actually celebrate it. And, Baby A is going to be the star of that day for making me a "Mom-to-be". (How weird is that?!?!)

Your little library is quickly growing. And, your mother could not be more thrilled. WHO DOES NOT LOVE CLASSIC GOLDEN BOOKS?!?!?! You can thank your Grandma-Tina for that.

I had a lady dangle my necklace over my stomach and announce that I was having a girl. Boy or girl, we are excited to see you. We know you will be just a gorgeous baby. I mean, LOOK AT YOUR PARENTS!!! 

There is nothing more magical, more incredible then hearing your little heart pounding away. Keep on keepin' on! You, Baby A, are 6 months away from making your grand entrance.