Sunday, August 31, 2003

So this morning I'm relaxing on the couch reading up on Baby Bargains (checking out ratings and recommendations for infant carriers today) and had the book propped up on my new shelf/tummy. Apparently, our son didn't think that was ok with him and began rhythmically bumping that area causing the book to bounce up and down. Hmmm.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Well, I spent all day yesterday painting our spare dresser (priming, not even painting yet) and building a changing table, so today I was free to go golfing (I'm sure that will stop soon). Based on my score, I should have stayed home and painted. Had a blast, and the 3rd 9 holes we played were $5 per hole, and luckily, I came out even in that too... Back to painting and sanding tomorrow I guess... I get to have Monday afternoon free to fly some more cadets around if I play my cards right...

Thursday, August 28, 2003

The belly is definitely starting to get in the way. Yesterday at the gym I was trying to squeeze between two weight machines and I got stuck. I tried for a couple of seconds to gracefully push my way through, but realized that wasn't going to happen and had to back up and go around. I'm sure some people witnessed the event, but at least I didn't hear anyone laughing out loud!

Tonight included a last minute trip to the Astros game w/ a couple of Jim's hockey buddies. Great seats just four rows back right by third base! Too bad the home team couldn't pull out a win this time.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

We have been quite productive on the baby front during the past 48 hours. Yesterday we met with a pediatrician who we liked very much, got all of the 'right' answers to our questions, and is very conveniently location only 10 minutes from either home or work. Today we met with the senior rabbi at our temple just to chat and ask a few questions and make sure there wasn't anything we were overlooking along the way. One big question on our minds was the tradition of Jews to not have baby showers or do much of anything to prepare a nursery in advance. This came from times when infant mortality rate was much higher, and such tangible items might add to the parents' pain. Our rabbi assured us that nothing in Jewish law expressly prohibits gifts for an unborn child, and that attitudes about this tradition are much more relaxed outside of observant Jewish circles. So, with that assurance, we'll now get a bit more serious on figuring out what we need (aggressively consult ratings/recommendations in Baby Bargains) so we can get started on registering. We stopped on the way home and bought a light for the baby room, which Jim has already installed in the time it has taken me to write this blog entry.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

Today is 8/26, our due date is 12/26. Five months down, four months to go (more or less) which is another way of saying this baby is definitely coming sooner than later.

Monday, August 25, 2003

Well, neither U.S. team could pull it out in the Little League World Series championship Sunday. They finished 4th to Curacao and 2nd to Japan. BUT, it was great to see a championship game without any tears, as the two teams celebrated together in center field after the final out.

Even though I know I'm on track with weight gain, I'm still a bit concerned. Using one of the online calculators, I input my pre-pregnancy height & weight and it determined I should gain 34 pounds (even breaking it down by how much of that is baby, fluids, fat, etc.) Ouch. So, I guess the 15 I've added so far isn't even half of what I'll end up with. Not a fun thought at all.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Last weekend, I went flying gliders. Today, I spent the morning out at the airport teaching Civil Air Patrol cadets (12 - 18 year olds) to fly. To be more precise, I exposed them to flying as this was their first real flight in a small airplane. They had a great time, and so did I. Plus I get to fly and the US Air Force picks up the tab! The kids I flew with today were pretty eager, but we kept it pretty basic so as not to overwhelm them. They got to taxi the plane around (in open areas) and then once we got above 2500', they got to steer the plane and we even flew over their houses. I'm looking forward to flying these kids around some more, and am even more looking forward to teaching our boy to fly. I hope to have the chance to expose him to aviation early and often, so when it comes time to learn to fly, he wont be overwhelmed by being in the plane like the kids today were. That alone is enough of a reason not to get away from flying when so many other things are demanding my time.
Yesterday's appointment made me feel good. Although I am aware that I have gotten much bigger lately, I was initially horrified to see them record a gain of 10 POUNDS since my last visit exactly four weeks ago. But was then quickly reassured that this was indeed normal to through a growth spurt during at time, and that it will level off. (i.e. I won't be gaining 10 pounds a month for the next four months!) I felt even better when the PA measured my belly and it was exactly in line with my pregnancy. Diana had just told me earlier in the day that the measurement in centimeters should equal your number of weeks. For me, both numbers were 22 yesterday, so I am exactly as big as I am supposed to be at this time.

Friday, August 22, 2003

The Little League World Series is awesome! It was so exciting to watch the boys from Texas (just outside of Houston) battle back from being down 10-2, to tie it up 10-10 and send the game in to extra innings. We cheered as they pulled ahead 13-10 in the top of the next inning and watched their disappointment return as New England pulled out a 14-13 victory in the bottom of the frame. How crazy to be a parent at this event - emotional highs and lows like the kid has probably never experienced before. As the lead changed back and forth in the late innings, kids on both sides were visibly crying in the dugout from despair.

I think we've got a while to wait, as we have some time before Baby Boy Leach is walking, let alone able to swing a bat. This afternoon is another doctor visit where they will check the baby's heartbeat. Early on, that was the only reassurance that things were on track, but in the past two weeks or so I have been able to feel him regularly moving, squirming, rolling, jabbing, etc. so I am constantly reminded that he's alive and kicking in there. They will also check my weight to see how that is increasing. I have a feeling I will have gained a few pounds since they last checked four weeks ago. I step on a scale every few days at home and at the gym, but it's hard to discern gradual changes across different scales. Although, it is clearly on the rise!

Thursday, August 21, 2003

I rememeber the month or so before Chloe entered Heath and Kim's lives last September that we saw many movies together, knowing that going out for the evening would soon be a thing of the past for them once she arrived. Last night Jim and I checked out S.W.A.T. with Jack & Lori and Todd & Nana. While it was not a very original plot, I did find it to be a fun movie. But then again, I'm also looking forward to seeing Marci X which opens tomorrow, despite the fact that I know it was made a few years back, and apparently some scenes have already been "copied" in movies that have already been released. (One mentioned this morning on 104 was about Lisa Kudrow threatening to unload her Tae Bo, sounding similar to that memorable catfight scene in Bringing Down the House.)

Tom Viney's baby girl arrived on Monday. Congrats!! He says he is already missing his sleep time. I think she is all we knew about for summer babies. So it should be quiet until the onslaught of October deliveries...

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Girls' night for August was a fun rendezvous at Vietnam Restaurant last night. Kellys, Kims and Bonnies were in attendance, along with fellow bloggers Katie and Heidi and others. The 10 of us were the ONLY people in the restaurant for the entire night! (We think perhaps that is the reason they will be moving to a new location in 3 weeks.) After ordering invididually, we shared everything from the giant lazy susan in the middle of our round table: beef, shrimp, pork, chicken, crab - absolutely everything was fabulous! Looking forward to our next outing in September!

Once we both made it back home, Jim and I watched Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Man, I think that last night’s episode was just about the most hilarious one yet! This bald cop from Staten Island was just too funny! So many one-liners from the show had us laughing out loud. Too many to recount, but the first one I remember is from one of the opening scenes when Thom (a.k.a. gay guy responsible for interior design) is surveying the apartment and states, “this room is just dumb.”

Speaking of gay guys, Katie and I were discussing Boy Meets Boy, and neither of us could believe last week’s reveal which indicated that Dan was straight! He was quite a cutie, but I was so sure that he was quite gay. And speaking of men’s bodies, I was checking out my husband’s belly button last night. I remember when mine used to look like his – round and having some depth. Now mine has flattened and turned into a little more than a horizontal line. Not that I was na├»ve enough to not know this was certainly coming, but I read on the daily pregnancy calendar that this is the week when it might start to turn into an outie. I can’t believe how much my body has changed already – and I still have MONTHS to go. Today is the final day of week 22 (out of 40) but for the rest of population that counts in months, that means I haven’t even finished 5 months yet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I think we are finally turning a corner. So far, just about everyone we know has some advice about the baby, and mostly its useful. But, I think that over the last few weeks we have reached the point where we are getting the same advice over and over (not a bad thing as this tends to reinforce some important stuff to us) and also getting other advice that is totally contradictory (from this, we learn that some things are just a matter of preference and we wont know the right answer until we try something ourselves). I have gotten some great tips from unlikely sources. I was having a beer after my hockey game Sunday and a few of the "experienced" fathers (those that have survived the sleep-deprived first 3 months at least) that are on my team offered some key tips... Dont buy expensive diapers until they can at least crawl... make sure the ceiling fan in the room is a contrasting color to the ceiling, its a cheap and effective mobile and provides white noise... Pay whatever you have to to get the quietest crib and travel seat since accidentally waking a sleeping baby is a HUGE mistake... Get the all-black backpack diaper bag since you will be carrying it and you dont want to be toting around a pink bag... Toys are a waste of money until they hit about 6 months... All good things to know, but not the conversation I expected to have after hockey...

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Yesterday was quite a trip! Kim was kind enough to meet me out and help me navigate through my first trip to Babies R Us and serve as the voice of experience. Whoa. Talk about overload at the store. We did a good job staying focused on the task at hand: nursery furniture - cribs, dressers & glide rockers. This was good, because I think I might have not been prepared to walk down an aisle filled with nothing but different kinds of pacifiers. I had no intentions to buy or register yesterday, just get an idea of what's out there, and get a better handle on what our bundle of joy is going to cost. I think the outing was a productive one, because I found that I kept gravitating towards the desigs of one particular crib manufacturer (who scored well in Baby Bargains, which you know I was carrying around in the store with me!) While there we ran into Stacie! One of my Rice buddies that I haven't seen in forever. How funny to randomly run into an old pal, only to find that since the last time you visited (they came to our house right after we moved in nearly five years ago) you have both since gotten married and are now both shopping for baby stuff! She's due in February, so not another one to add to the ever-increasing October total!

Speaking of October due dates, last night was a shower for Brett and Liana at a phenomenal home out in High Meadow Ranch. They are both such good people. I went solo to this huge event, where I knew zero of the ~50 people, and they both made sure to introduce me around to their friends to ensure that I would have a good time. Dinner was wonderful, and their friends were so warm - it was a fun evening. Brett and Liana joked how this was the first time that their parents have seen each other since their wedding nearly seven years ago. (And added that they both asked to be reminded of the others' first names on the trip in from the airport!) Cute. As Liana opened her gifts, she made sure to point out items recommended in Baby Bargains. To which all of the other moms of toddlers nodded in agreement, "oh yes, that is good to have!"

Saturday, August 16, 2003

I feel as if I'm not really entitled to complain, as I have been feeling so well during the pregnancy, and I understand that is really not the norm. But I am VERY frustrated about the fact that I have become increasing forgetful and clumsy. Actually, that's not quite accurate. It was more like someone flipped a switch more than an increasingly gradual change. This morning I picked up my bowl of cereal and sloshed the milk out on to the floor for the second time in a week. It is frustrating to not be able to trust your hands, or your brain.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Jim made it home from NJ yesterday, which was earlier than expected! I know he missed me, but part of me knows that he is also looking forward to using his new toy to install wainscoting and moulding in the baby room this evening!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Unfortunately, I missed the dinner tonight for Bari, but it sounded great. I spent the day in Raritan, NJ. I was visiting the computing headquarters for Johnson & Johnson. I'll be there again tomorrow, but I did get to spend the evening out with friends in NY. I'm staying with Karl in Manhattan, and we went to a great Czech beer garden in Queens. On the way there, Karl and Heather FINALLY guessed the name we are leaning toward for a baby boy with the initial 'S', but admitted that it took looking at a list to figure it out. I guess that means that it's not too popular. That is a good thing. Funny thing was, that at the beer garden, over a couple of pitchers of German beer, a few of the guys asked if we knew what we were having, and I said, yes, that it is a boy, and the reaction was just like that in Houston, "YEAH!, First try too! good job!" Funny that everyone assumes that a boy is what we were shooting for. I guess that 5000 years of evolution is hard to fight, and I have admited that AFTER finding out that its a boy, I am pretty excited about it, and even though I can't say that I'd be any less excited about a girl, I guess I just know boys better.
What a wonderful day! It was capped off by a fun dinner out at Pappasito's with a surprise celebration for Bari's 30th birthday. Super-yummy cake from R.J. Goodies which I haven't had in years; since leaving the mechanical team when we brought one in monthly for birthday celebrations. Despite telling our waitress that Bari didn't want singing, they came over anyway and planted the big sombrero on her head. Somehow I got blamed for this because I had been getting up and down to use the bathroom so often that Susan and Julie figured I had said something to our waitress during one of those trips.

This morning the guys came to replace our bedroom carpet. It was so wonderful to get rid of the carpet containing nastiness from 30 or so foster dogs from SAFE House Rescue and Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary during the past three years. The new carpet is clean and soft and lovely to walk on with bare feet! The day continued going well when I went outside at lunchtime - it was 76 degrees!! I swear that must be a new record low for Houston in August! I think May was the last time the temperature went below 80 in the evening, let alone mid-day! The nasty storm that came across Texas yesterday left Houston feeling wonderfully and unseasonably comfortable. At the end of the workday I won an ebay auction for a second pair of maternity jeans identical to the ones I bought new at Old Navy over the weekend. (Sale price for jeans at Old Navy = $32, ebay price for same (used) jeans = $13.)

Only low point today was stopping by Noah's Ark to return a dog crate that we have been using to foster dogs. I learned from Heather that their lease was not renewed, and they have been unable to secure a new location. The Houston Chronicle ran a story over the weekend about how they will essentially have to close down most of the operation before this week is over. Very sad news.

Monday, August 11, 2003

It's amazing how your mind can fast forward. Watching one of tonight's regional games for the little league world series, I can't help but wonder about what the future may hold for Baby Boy Leach on the diamond...

Over the weekend we made a trip to Ikea to check out ideas for rugs and lighting in the baby room. While there, we ran into an old co-worker of Jim's who is due in October. I think we now know seven people due that month...

Sunday, August 10, 2003

In my readings about baby bedding, I came across these two variations of matress pads which seem pretty slick. Instead of placing the pad between the sheet and the matress (which normally requires pulling up a messy sheet from all four corners and replacing it with a clean one in the middle of the night) these pads are right on top or actually integrated into the bedsheets and can be easily changed. Do any recent mommies have knowledge/experience with either QuickZip crib sheets or the Ultimate Matress Pad?

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Last night was a semi-successful trip to the only Old Navy maternity store in the city of Houston. It's really just a section inside of a regular Old Navy store, so Jim was able to shop and get a few things too. I picked up a new pair of jeans that I desperately need (mine really don't work anymore) and a couple of basic t-shirts. I was hoping for more good stuff there, but as Old Navy is a national store, most of their stock was long-sleeve stuff to get ready for the fall. Fall? We have had temps over 100 this week, who can even look at long sleeves right now?

Jim hasn't sat down yet today, and won't for several hours. He has been getting some primer and paint on the walls and trim in the baby's room, and running outside to assemble the shed for lawn equipment storage in between coats. I (unable to help with any activites that involve chemical fumes or heavy lifting) am reading up in my copy of Baby Bargains and trying to get educated on crib manufacturers' safety ratings.

Perhaps we'll get down to Niko Niko's tonight for some gyros... We stopped by last night, but the line was as long as we've ever seen it. And, as they don't move particularly fast & we were on a bit of a time crunch to get to Old Navy before it closed, we decided to try again another time.

Friday, August 08, 2003

Today, August 8th, is Grandpa Sidney's birthday. He was born on this day in 1905 and passed away in 1995. It is a Jewish tradition to name babies in memory of deceased relatives we admire, and whose lives we hope they will emulate. We plan to give Baby Boy Leach a name beginning with "S" to keep Grandpa Sidney's memory alive. Our baby's middle name will begin with "J" in memory of Jim's maternal Grandma Jane. We have been getting asked a lot lately if we have picked out names. The answer to that question is "no, but we are definitely getting close."

Thursday, August 07, 2003

For all of those out of town people that are looking for a little extra info to help make a guess, here is the one month progression of Bonnie's belly. Just click on the July picture and hold and you can see the August picture.
So today was to be the day we got to see 4D ultrasound images of our baby. It started out to be a big let down when we found out that they would be doing 2D diagnostic images only (the ones that they use to measure the baby and verify that all the parts are in the right places). But, it turned out fine since we were able to get some great images including some 3D ones too. AND, we will get to go back around 28 weeks to do the full motion 4D imaging. The advantage to waiting is that the baby should have enough fat to look more like a baby and less like an alien, but won't be so big as to look like he's being squashed in a pickle jar like he will look closer to term.

He spent a considerable time alternating between playing with his umbilical cord and sucking his thumb. The main difference in this set than in the ones 2 weeks earlier is the machine they used was much better, and the baby was more cooperative. When we got the ones at 18 weeks, we were told he was a boy, 95% sure. Well, it's actually 100% now, and we got the pictures to prove it.

And for all of those who have asked for more info to help guess the weight and birth date, the latest info is that he weighs 14oz, and is about 5 days further ahead in development than we are in time (based on his size).
Although I have already started buy some maternity clothes, and Wendy generously added to my collection with some trendy pieces over the weekend, last night I admitted that many of my regular clothes just don't fit anymore and really shouldn't be worn at all. I separated stuff in the closet and moved everything I can't (shouldn't) wear any longer to the back.

Can't wait until this afternoon!

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

Today is the final day of week 20. What that means is that after tonight, I will officially enter the second half of this pregnancy. But, all of that is a bit skewed, since it takes a couple of weeks before you get confirmation about being pregnant at all.

Tomorrow is the day we get to 'see' Baby Boy Leach in 3D!! Jim found this website about a Houston anchorwoman's story and pics from her 4D earlier this year. I was reading last night that sometimes these 3D/4D images can look more "normal" another month or so into the pregnancy, once the baby has developed a bit more fat. At this point in time, our baby should be about 10 inches long, and weigh about 10.5 ounces. So, that's roughly 1/2 of his final length, but only about 1/12 of his final weight! "Alien baby" is the term we've heard thrown around to describe what we might see tomorrow. Measurements taken of the femur bone during the ultrasound two weeks ago indicated that our little guy is growing and developing as anticipated. Can't wait until tomorrow afternoon to get another look inside!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Hooray! Dr. office called and said we have to move our 4D appointment because ultrasound guy won't be around on Friday. So, we're going to get in on Thursday instead!

Alternately, I'm FRUSTRATED because work did not have time off benefits for new moms accurately written down ANYWHERE on our intranet. They say it is covered under 'short term disability' but they DON'T say that there is a completely different set of rules. When I called benefits hotline to inquire, they confirmed that this "special" policy is not written down. "That's why we give you this phone number to call and ask..." Great. Just a fraction of what was anticipated based on the overall short-term disability plan that is detailed online for employees. Plus, I can end up doulby screwed and lose my vacation at the end of the year if Baby Boy Leach arrives early. I can go back to work in six weeks, and stay home without pay for another six. Everyone who has had a baby says that six weeks is DEFINITELY not enough time to get back in sync. I think the rest of the world laughs at the US and our pathetic time off policies.

Now a second phone called yielded a different message - 8 weeks pay, no questions, and that can start within 14 calendar days of due date (was told before the I must work until the baby is born.) I am hearing mixed stories as to what exactly our coverage is. I have a feeling that if I talk with 5 different HR people I will get 5 different answers... Grrrr....

Monday, August 04, 2003

I continue to feel lame during spinning. Today I was watching the clock and my heart rate monitor and I discovered that I can only get in about 15-20 seconds of standing climbs or jumps before I hit 140 and have to sit down and slow down again. Sigh. In the locker room afterwards I was talking with Liz who asked me if I had started to shop for maternity clothes yet. I think I must have grinned ear to ear - because I am wearing a maternity shirt with a maternity skirt today and thought that I just looked positively round. Well, I guess she didn't say I didn't look pregnant, but I'm glad that at least my clothes don't scream "maternity!"

Sunday, August 03, 2003

I am no longer surprised, but still continue to be amazed at how projects spawn more projects. We have been talking for a couple of weeks about turning the sports room into the nursery, and this morning we got motivated to get started. We've got a pretty good handle on decorating ideas, but the first step was figuring out where to relocate the stuff that's in the room now (storage for all sports equipment, and actively used for airing out hockey gear) so that we can get started. We settled on the garage as a new home for hockey gear - which yielded another project to figure out how to store it in between games, out of the way of cars, tools, etc. and convenient to access. We then realized in order to do this, we would have to find a place to relocate the yard equipment (mower, edger, pesticides, etc.) that currently occupies the desired location in the garage. This lead to a search for a suitable storage shed to put in the backyard to store lawn equipment. (BTW - I've been using 'we,' but please note that Jim will be the brains and the muscle behind making all of these grand ideas a reality.)

Saturday, August 02, 2003

Yesterday was another 'milestone' day for the pregnancy - the first time some decided it was ok to rub my belly. And it happened twice! No warnings at all. I was too stunned to repond. I understand this will only become more frequent as I get larger and more obviously pregnant. Although, I think it's pretty obvious by now. Last night Audra said "I'm going to go change my guess in your online baby pool because you're tummy is getting big. I was being nice, but I think this will be a big boy!"

Friday, August 01, 2003

I think dinner with Heath & Kim & Chloe last night may have made me re-think my prediction/desire for Baby Boy Leach to be born a week into January. Kim proudly stated that she did not have any stretch marks all the way through Chloe's due date - it was the fact that her baby didn't make an appearance until two weeks late which ended up making the difference. :( When do you think our baby boy will arrive? (game name = leachbaby)