Saturday, June 23, 2012

Act 2; Scene 47: Just Some Pregnancy Cravings

Summer is such a fun time of year! 
It's sunglasses and pools,
warm grass for your bare feet,
Picnics and popsicles,
Roasted marshmallows and s'mores,
Fireworks and corn on the cob,
and most of all (at least for me lately):

I have never been a huge melon fan as anyone in my family can tell you, but every day for the last week I have been begging to bite into some dark red, juicy, luscious watermelon. Yum! Doesn't that sound absolutely amazing?!

After putting it off last week's grocery trip since they're huge and Robert's not the biggest fan, I realized what an awful mistake that was. This week we made a point of buying a whole watermelon (don't worry, it's pretty small) just for me to enjoy in our hot apartment. That's a healthy snack, right?

This is one of my largest tupper ware containers. Hopefully I can get through all of this deliciousness fast enough! Though I'm not too worried about it :-)

Another thing I have been craving lately are
Did you notice how roasted marshmallows and s'mores were also part of my summer list?
I don't know why, but any way they come they have been sounding soooooo good. I can just snack on them out of the bag. That's what these are for:

Thanks Lori for awesome jumbo 4th of July star marshmallows.
We should be able to make some killer s'mores with these!

Can you guess what Robert and I had for a snack today?

Watermelon chunks and oven toasted s'mores.


Happy summer cravings!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Act 2; Scene 46: Meet Rufus

A while back, Robert proposed a plan to me. He said that he wanted to get each of our kids one special stuffed animal hand-picked from Mom and Dad when they are born. We're both big stuffed animal junkies, and both liked the idea. Robert proposed that we go to Build-a-Bear and pick out a bear, stuff it, and choose a special outfit (or something like that) just for our baby from Mom and Dad--his first teddy bear.

So last night we decided to head to Build-a-Bear to start our tradition. And here is the result:


You're right--he's not a bear, he's actually a puppy. But we both liked him and his cute little tongue the best. After stuffing him (and being prodded by the "stuff helper" to make a wish on a heart and stick it in the stuffing) we searched the entire store over to find the perfect "outfit" for him. We thought it would be fun to go with something 4th of July themed for our July 3rd due date, but there just weren't many options. At least not for little boy teddy bears. Funny how even at Build-a-Bear you can't escape the walls and walls of girl outfits compared to the one rack of boy outfits :-).

We finally decided on a red polo shirt (sort of patriotic, right?). Then we found a Happy Birthday cupcake that he could hold, which we couldn't resist. 

We even received a birth certificate for him, and registered his name into a computer (what?!?). Robert thought of the name Rufus, and I concurred. It's kind of perfect for the little guy, isn't it?

Rufus now sits in the corner of the crib, waiting to say "Happy Birthday" with a cupcake to his new best friend, whenever he decides to show up.

My favorite part of this whole thing? Seeing how excited Robert was to go to Build-a-Bear, and watching him (not me--him) look through every piece of teddy bear clothing to find the perfect outfit for his son's stuffed puppy, and hearing him declare this morning, "I like Rufus."

Oh yes, this will definitely become a tradition.

Hope there's some company in that crib with you real soon, Rufus!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Act 2; Scene 45: Wait....What? I'm Having a Baby?!?!

Well folks, yesterday was the 37 week marker for me and this little (big) fish. In other words, we have reached full term.

What does full term mean exactly, one might ask? According to one friendly fact I received, it means if the baby was born any time now he/she would most likely have lungs that are developed enough to not go into the NICU. And your baby would not be considered a "premie," just a little early.

Reassuring, right? Needless to say, that definition of full term didn't make me think "Oh yes, I am having a baby any time now." My mindset at 37 weeks was "I still have this week to write all of my syllabus and lesson plans, next week to finish up with all of my clients at work, this weekend to deep-clean the house, next weekend for PG's Strawberry Days, a few 7 Peaks trips, visits with family coming in for some summer fun, etc etc." Did you notice that having a baby, or even thinking of baby, wasn't mentioned in there? Also notice that this was my mindset when I woke up yesterday morning at 37 weeks.

This was still my mindset as I sat for an hour in the doctor's waiting room for my appointment. This was my mindset when I decided to schedule the rest of my visits right then and there (they tend to get pretty booked) for the next three weeks. And this was definitely still my mindset when the doctor came in to see me.

She asked if I wanted her to check for dilation--mostly for curiosity's sake. I said sure, why not. And I was still planning on scheduling my next three weeks out in detail for myself when she said, "Wow, that head is really low" (was that supposed to mean something? because it didn't to me), and as she continued, "Wow, Carson...three...no, four! Really, four?" (Don't forget while she is double checking to make sure it really is four, I am double timing my breathing on that highly uncomfortable table). "Wow, four." she confirmed. 

This news I had a little better understanding of, since I thought I would be at a one, so I was rightly surprised. The doctor continued to tell me that usually people aren't dilated to a four until they are in active labor (!) and if it was my third child she might be worried about it, but as it is, just make sure to come into the hospital sooner rather than later when I start having regular contractions. Like, don't wait the full hour of contractions every 5 minutes.

***Small tangent--ok, so this is a pet peeve of mine. Everyone (meaning doctors and nurses) keep asking me if I've been having contractions. Well...what exactly does that feel like? I'll tell them something I felt, and they all say, "Well, that could be a contraction...it could be this, it could be that, but it probably won't be this...just listen to your body, you'll know." You'll know, you'll know, is what everybody says. But if they aren't painful at first, and if I am supposedly having them since like 28 weeks, how am I supposed to know, when I know? What if I don't know? Ok, tangent done***

So this news about being dilated to a four sort of threw my previous mindset for a very small loop. I asked the doctor lots of specific questions about contractions (see tangent) and exactly what I should be looking for. She said not to worry, I'd probably still have a few hours when I got to the hospital. Then, she said the most mind-boggling, mind-set-changing thing:

"But you should still make an appointment for next week, just in case."

Wait...what? Are you saying I could have this baby before next week's appointment? 


But...it's June 12th. And next week is June 19th. NOT June 26th, NOT July 3rd. 

As soon as I walked out of the exam room, all of the nurses greeted me with "Yay!" "Congratulations!" "You are so close!"

Yeah, I was a bit baffled by that response.

Honestly, I could be dilated to a four for three weeks. I could be dilated to a four for four weeks and still have to be induced. No one really knows what this means, except that my body is getting ready to get this fish out, according to its own time table. However....I could also be dilated to a four right now, and in 8 hours be dilated to a nine. 8. hours. It's possible.

Holy smokes.

Remember how I said my mindset was a certain way? Well, my doctor visit changed it--180'd it. I walked to the car and this is what I thought:

"Wait...what? I'm having a baby? Is this really happening?"

It has been so surreal, especially the closer it gets (go figure that one out), that the realization that in who knows how long (one week? three weeks? one day?) there will be another little man in my life who cries and poops and eats and I have to figure out what in the world to do with him. Yikes. Also, I have to recognize when he will be coming into our lives.

I spent the rest of the evening feeling for contractions, and driving Robert up the wall by stating, "Yup, that's a contraction. I'm pretty sure that was one, too...I think this is one?" so that I can work on really understanding what they feel like. Robert told me I was freaking him out. That's probably good for him--he doesn't get freaked out very often or easily.

Then I spent half of the night awake with a throbbing lower back, feeling contractions. Thinking that they were coming more frequently...and ow, that one hurt more! Is this a sign? Should I be tracking this? Glad to say I made it through the night and am still here with no baby (on the outside, that is). 

But here's the clincher, folks--I am really having a baby. Really. And it could be any time.

I'm still planning on hitting up Strawberry Days next weekend, though, along with all of my other scheduled activities. Life goes on...I'm just not sure for how much longer :-)

Oh, and just for kicks and giggles, here's me at 37 weeks, on my way to the Arts Express Conference for Educators:

Wish us luck!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Act 2; Scene 44: In which Robert beats a lifetime 5K record

Yes, it's true, Robert had an incredible race this past Friday. He has been training for a few months for the Ancestry.com 5K fun run wellness event. His goal: to beat anyone else in the finance department.

But I'm actually going to tell you about the event from my point of view.

It starts off with the one mile fun run, "for children of all ages." I figured that 36 1/2 weeks and 24 1/2 years counted as "children of all ages," so I decided to walk the one mile fun run. And it was delightful. I had fun chatting with Robert's co worker and his family (incidentally, his wife used to be my babysitter back home--small world!). We braved the racing and tripping five-year-olds, as well as the giant sprinklers that kept popping up on our path. We finished just over the 15 minute mark. And this time, I was NOT the last one in. :-)

Us finishing the fun run with Alan cheering through the finish line, towing his two children behind him in a plastic wagon.
Next Robert and I headed to the start of the 5K race. Robert took time to navigate through his iPod to make sure he had enough "pump-up" music ready to go (note--Robert listens to Disturbed to get pumped up for a race--I listen to Broadway. Same diff)

I pushed Robert to the front of the group so that he could definitely start before any other finance people. Soon after, the alarm sounded and the first wave took off--Robert right in the front. All of us on the sideline cheered.

Once he was out of sight, I  bee lined it to the ladies room. I hadn't visited it, after all, since before the Fun Run about a half hour ago.

Next I bee lined to the snack table. Water bottles, granola bars, fruit snacks and apples--sweet! After collecting my hoard I thought I would maybe get my face painted or try out the fish pond. I did have about 20 minutes left before I needed to be at the 5K finish line with the camera handy. I opted instead to sit down and enjoy a granola bar and a few grapes before deciding on any other activity.

While I was enjoying said granola bar and chatting with Angie Mangum (formerly Johnson) from the New Phila ward, I saw a runner with bright red shoes coming in towards the 5K finish line. That's strange, I thought, checking my watch to see that it was only 9:38--8 minutes after the 5K had begun. Angie and I began speculating about what he was doing. Did he start early? Did he just happen to be out for a jog and came this way? Did he decide to do a short cut?

About 9:39, a few other runners started coming in. Those of us (there were not many, at this time) near the finish line all turned our heads at each other with confused faces. 9 minutes? What's happening? The runners seemed a little befuddled that no one was there to greet them.

Behind them came some more runners toward the finish line. By now, there was some attention gathering, and people were murmuring and watching the finish line. The runners started sprinting when they saw the finish line--at 9:40. After crossing the finish line, confusion was had all around as everyone checked their watches and phones and scratched their heads.

But there was no denying it by this point--runners were pouring in. A small audience started gathering, as befuddled as they were. Although most people were still standing in line so their children's faces could get painted.

The best part of watching this confusion while eating my granola bar were the buff ancestry guys coming in from the run, checking their watches multiple times as they neared the finish line. Then, about 9:42, Robert rounded the corner and sprinted toward the finish line. Now, I had been planning on being up at the finish line cheering, with the camera ready at this point. However, the past few minutes had caught all of us so off guard, that no one was yet gathered right at the line, and I didn't even have my camera out yet. Basically, Robert ran the 5K so fast that I didn't even get a picture of the big finish ;-).

12 minutes--WOW! That is pretty amazing, Robert! In fact, it's almost better than the world record for a 5K! Much consorting of the ancestry guys unveiled the secret of the success. Apparently there was a very confusing and not well-marked turn just under a mile into the run. This led the runners up over the hill and down to the finish line--in appx. 1.8 miles rather than 3.1. Oops. Only about 1/4 or less of the runners that initially started the 5K went the "right" way. Everyone else ended up with INCREDIBLE times.

And that is the story of how Robert ran the fastest 5K ever, at just over 12 minutes. Too bad one finance guy came in at about 11 minutes. So close, Robert!

It was pretty awesome. Fortunately, 12 minutes is a pretty rocking time for almost 2 miles anyway. We came away with a good laugh, a pat on the back and a shake of the head.

We then celebrated the success by standing in line for about 45 minutes to get a balloon animal shaped like a dinosaur for myself.

Hope you all had a great Friday morning carnival, too!