Friday, November 28, 2003

Happy Thanksgiving! We had a great dinner yesterday with Katie and some of her family and other friends. She made a yummy turkey. It was really nice to be able to have Thanksgiving dinner as more of a pot luck style meal. Everyone is able to contribute to the meal, and no one ends up overwhelmed.

Before the big dinner however, there was still a bunch of work to be done around the house. The final major 'project' left was to clean out the guest room, which was where we had piled everything removed from the baby's room months earlier. Jim did an amazing job of purging junk we don't use, and neatly migrating the rest up into our attic, which I'm told is now quite full. I handled some less physical tasks, like wrapping some Hanukkah presents and preparing them for shipping.

Today begins the 4th annual Turkey-dillo co-ed hockey tournament. And, for the 3rd time in 4 years, the Beliveaus will be returning to Texas to stay with us and play. Although it's early in the morning here in Houston, they have already completed one leg of their trip, and I see that the second flight will be delayed about 15 minutes or so. That's just fine, as Jim will get a little more time to sleep in. I have been unable to sleep past 8:00 recently. I now am awakened to pee three times during the night - usually once before 2:00am, again around 4:00am, and when I get up for a third trip around 7:00am, I just can't make it back to sleep. Oh well, I guess just practice for round the clock feedings which are not too far off.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

A few more important milestones are under now under our belt. Yesterday was Jim's final trip out of town for the rest of the year. After the news at last week's appointment that we are in 'any day now' mode, he adjusted his travel plans to ensure he would not be away from Houston overnight. What that translated to yesterday was him getting up at 5:00am to leave for the airport, arriving in Boston after noon, working for a few hours, then flying back and returning to home by 11:00pm. Ouch.

This morning we went to the doctor for our 36 week visit. The PA exclaimed, "I thought you might have had this baby by now!" She continued on that all numbers (weight, blood pressure, fetal heart rate) are just "perfect" and that my belly size measurement is still tracking a bit ahead. Assuming our boy doesn't make an appearance before next week, our 37 week visit will also include another ultrasound to check on his size. The doctor specifically said that she is not worried about a 12 pound kid, but they just want to have a better idea what might be in store. (More pictures for us, perhaps!)

We met up with Heath and Kim and Chloe for a late lunch today. Back at the house afterwards, little Chloe (now 14 months old) was quite interested in checking out the brightly-colored assortment of toys on the shelves of the baby's room! Not too much longer now until our young son will be here to check them out himself!

Monday, November 24, 2003

Man, a ton of stuff has happened since I last posted on Friday. This weekend was just awesome! Tracy flew in from Atlanta to spend a few days, and on Saturday we had a mini Rice reunion. Rachel drove in from San Antonio for the day, and Stacie and Jen were able to drive out to the house as well. It is just stunning to think that it's been nearly 10 years since graduation (gasp) yet hanging out together it was like no time had passed at all. Except for the not-so-small details like the fact that Rachel has an 11 month-old little boy, and Stacie and I are both in our third trimester of pregnancy! What a great day - doesn't seem like too much has changed from the pictures.

So, there was even more excitement this morning. I woke up around 5:30 to pee (not uncommon) and discovered everything was wet, so we rushed off to the hospital. A couple of tests later (they use litmus to detect the presence of amniotic fluid!) they confirmed my water had not broken or leaked and sent us home. Not a bad trial run, I guess, and at least now we know where the elevators are! There are a bunch of mixed emotions running through my mind right now. After getting so geared up early this morning that today was going to be the day, there is some level of disappointment. I've also been a bit worried that my text-book pregnancy is suddenly jumping over to a seemingly accelerated track (not fun to have to tell the hospital nurses that my due date is the 26th... of next month) so I'm also feeling relieved that our son will get to cook a bit more and continue to mature. And, there is a bit of embarrassment in going to the hospital thinking that you're ready to have a baby, only to find out you are wrong. I know I should discount that last feeling, because we did call before leaving the house and were told to come, and before getting discharged from the hospital they told us to come back if the same sequence of events occur again.

Our online baby pool has now been closed. This morning's events don't indicate that the birth will happen any sooner or later (Dr. confirmed no additional dilation) but this week we will officially enter the 9th month, so it's time to close that door. It also means that I'm done going to the gym and spinning (unless I go beyond the due date and hopefully then exercise will help to get things moving!)

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Since we found out last week that Bonnie's body has already started preparing for the birth, and the next news we get may well be that Spencer's arrival is imminent, we have decided to close the baby pool game. If you want to change you guesses (or fix them... Audra), Monday is the last day....

Friday, November 21, 2003

Definitely a shift in mindset these past 24 hours! To be honest, I am excited, but not entirely happy about the news that this delivery may occur sooner than later. I've said all along that I hope to still be pregnant in January, but now that scenario seems less likely.

My husband is awesome. Just wanted to reflect here about how fabulous it is be able to relax and know there is someone dependable to take care of situations - physical, emotional, or otherwise. I have felt so reassured (through our relationship, and especially during this pregnancy) that I can depend on him for anything. To quote my grandma from a conversation the other week, "It's so nice to hear how he is so involved with everything: coming to Dr. appointments and all of the work in the nursery. In my day, the men really didn't get too involved. It makes me happy to hear how he is so attentive - I like him!"

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Today was a 35-week Dr. visit, and we have been a little apprehensive. At last week's Dr. visit, Bonnie saw the PA who was concerned enough about the fact that Bonnie was tracking ahead of schedule that she asked Bonnie to see the Dr. this week in spite of the fact that we were supposed to be on an every two week schedule for 2 more weeks. Add to that the bruising and pain that the baby is exerting on her insides, the fact that she is noticing the signs of the baby moving down, and some stress over the last few days - we were getting a little concerned. Well, this morning we had an appointment and she is still tracking ahead, but we were SHOCKED to hear that her cervix is 1.5 centimeters dilated and 30% effaced! I was not really expecting to hear that. The good news is that the Dr. isn't all that concerned since she is tracking ahead in size / development she said that if the labor starts anytime from now on that they won't try to stop it. She also mentioned that this could go on for several weeks and not progress, but she called it a "nice little head start". The idea of this happening "any day now" is still sinking in...

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Two different strangers stopped me at lunch yesterday and told me that I looked just "wonderful" and "beautiful" with my big pregnant belly. That made my day. :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The city is almost dried out - still some standing water on the way to work this morning in areas that were impassable last night. We checked the radar closely during the evening and made a quick round trip back to work to fetch the car during one of the lighter periods of rain so we would have everything home safely. Katie emailed they let everyone at her law firm go home early and it still took her four hours! What a mess in Houston.

Well, I finally saw it this morning when I got out of the shower. The intermittent pain I've been feeling below my right rib cage has now manifested itself into a bruise that is visible from the outside. PA said that area is near my gall bladder, so this will definitely be something to discuss at this week's doctors appointment.

Lunch date today with Wendy - I'm looking forward to hearing how life has been with six month old Paige!

Monday, November 17, 2003

What a crazy past few days. All of the hard work from the past few weeks was certainly worth it, so I was able to relax (?) amid the frenzy of activity the last few days. After a false start due to the canceled flight, mom arrived in town on Friday evening, and we went straight from the airport to Pappasito's. Where else, right?

The weekend was such a blur. No one at the shower knew more than 1/3 of the people, but with mimosas and Katie's original design for laminated nametags the conversation never seemed to stop. Audra and Bari really outdid themselves in the planning details. Now the nursery really seems to be pretty darn complete, just waiting on the baby!

On Sunday mom and I hit Harwin, but no luck. Although mom did find one purse to give as a holiday gift. Then on to Memories to plan some paper for additional gifts. We picked up Jim amid the thunderstorm and were able to enjoy one meal together in Houston before mom headed back out this morning. Her travels were uneventful, thankfully, and our city is now completely soaked from massive rain. Coming home after spinning (which was a super-fun class with Lynn's all-80's mix combined with movie trivia!) was more than a bit scary for me. I followed another SUV who negotiated the higher water ok, Jim had to get a ride home from Heath's truck. Hopefully things will dry out without too much damage to our city.

Thursday, November 13, 2003

I'm tired. It's been a long week. I think I got everything taken care of for this weekend. Mom's flight tomorrow morning was already canceled (gusty winds in NY canceled tonight's inbound planes,) but she was re-accommodated on the next flight and will still make it to Houston by dinner time. Cleaning ladies are coming tomorrow, so it will be nice & relaxing to come home to a clean house at the end of the day. Time for bed...

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I am beginning to feel like the end of the projects are (sort of) in sight, but there is still a lot of little stuff to do. I've decided I'm not a big fan of scrapbooking. Or, at least I'm not happy to feel that there is a deadline inside of which I have to try and be creative. That doesn't work well at all for me. I am mostly done with grandma's birthday book, but mostly done in this case means about 5 original designs to go. I hope to be able to get it all knocked out tomorrow. Maybe I'll do some web surfing for ideas. (Gee, why didn't I think of that at the beginning of the week?)

Today was a dr. appointment for a 34 week checkup. (Reminder for the rest of the world that doesn't count in weeks, pregnancy due dates are set at 40 weeks, so I still have six weeks to go. Babies born after 37 weeks are considered full-term, and doctors will induce labor after 41 or 42 weeks.) And despite everyone's protest that I am getting unbelievably huge, I weighed in only one pound heavier than I did two weeks ago at the 32 week checkup. So, to those rude folks who asked if I'm having twins, or if I'm due next week - go take a hike. Belly measurement was 35cm which means I'm just slightly ahead. (I was told there is only cause for concern if weeks vary from centimeters by more than four.) From now on, I'll be visiting the doctor every week. Guess that means we're really getting close!

One of the women in the spinning class this week told me she was doing aerobics until the day before the birth. Good grief. I'm not sure how much longer I can ride the bike, my belly is definitely starting to get in the way. Although I felt really good during this last class, so hopefully I'll be able to continue. The baby is usually quiet during exercise, so that's a nice respite from his usual wriggling around.

Monday, November 10, 2003

I finished the pillow this evening. Pics are posted on the updated Baby's Room page. Now I plan to put away the ironing board that has been out in our living room for the past two weeks!
New belly pictures are posted for November!!!

This weekend was full from beginning to end. Saturday we drove down to Jim's dad's to celebrate Jackie's HS graduation. Then drove back home, where I turned right around to head down to Kimi's bridal shower at Katie's. Too bad I could not enjoy all of the different and fun martinis. But it was fun to decorate the martini glasses with the special pens Katie found for the project. As I was leaving, Katie touched my belly to say goodbye to the baby and he gave her a huge kick, right on her hand! Then Kim and Lara tried and he rolled over and rearranged so body parts were just traveling everywhere. Good show, son!

By the time I got home, Jim had cleaned out the entire garage and it looked fabulous! Needing to use most of that space for the various construction projects that have been going on, it was wonderful to see everything cleaned up. One big help was that the truck from the Houston Furniture Bank finally came to take away our sofa donation. Early Sunday morning Jim was even able to install shelves for the hockey gear, and we were able to park both cars in the garage on Sunday evening for the first time in about a month.

I am still continuing to work on grandma's little (7" x 7") scrapbook from her birthday party. Man, when you buy photo paper and use high quality print settings for digital pictures, the results are awesome! I am planning to work on that more this week and I think I'm still on track to finish in time to send it home with mom this weekend. One more sewing project before I put the machine away for a little while will be to make a pillow for the chair in the baby's room. Still trying to decide on what trim to use around the border. That reminds me that we need to post pictures of the Roman shade which was indeed completed last week. Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 08, 2003

Yesterday was a great birthday! With so many other things on our minds recently, I kept forgetting that the day was approaching. Jim surprised me in the morning with a new watch so I can be a "hip mommy." And I received several e-cards and birthday emails from friends and family. A bunch of us from work went out to lunch together and my boss even gave me a present - a cool stone bracelet that perfectly matches the shirt I was wearing. How awesome is it to work for a boss that acknowledges your birthday like that!

After work, we relaxed at home a bit before leaving for dinner at Americas. Jim presented me with a gift certificate for spa manicure & spa pedicure at Derma Technique Day Spa. Of course, not knowing this I had treated myself to a manicure & pedicure on the way home from work, but hardly the spa kind with hot wax and massage up to the knee. Can't wait to redeem those!

AND, the big gift from Jim for my birthday was a pair of diamond stud earings! I was speechless. I had been viewing this birthday as a rather minor event, not feeling much like myself 7 1/2 months pregnant, and all of the focus recently on the baby and projects around the house. Last year was the big 3-0, this was just another birthday. But this gorgeous gift was something special from my sweet husband was also to remind me that all of my birthdays are indeed very special occassions, no matter what else is going on in our lives.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Today is Bonnie's Birthday!

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

My life seems consumed by projects and arrival of new babies. On the 1st Maura's baby boy arrived, then Claus' son on the 3rd. Jen & Thomas went to the hospital this morning to be induced for their son, and I predict Jason's baby girl will be born on the 7th just to round out the pattern.

Yesteday Audra and I drove down to the Scrapbook Village so I could get started on grandma's birthday album last night. With her help, I think I made good progress in mapping out some page designs, and will be able to continue for the next week. My plan is to finish and be able to send it home with mom next weekend.

Today I was able to get the rest of the hardware for the roman shade and have almost all of it put together! If tonight wasn't a hockey night for Jim, we certainly would have had it hung before going to bed. I feel good knowing that it will be complete by tomorrow. Pics to follow!

Monday, November 03, 2003

We're relaxing on the couch after an evening out downtown to celebrate Kimi's enagagement at the Twelve Spot. Baby was pretty quiet all night, but now seems to have developed the hiccups. This week should continue to be productive working on stuff for grandma's birthday party scrapbook, and making a Roman shade for the baby's room. We've watching them do it a dozen times on Trading Spaces so hopefully that can be knocked out fairly quickly. The "k" initial purse Katie bought when we went to Harwin on Saturday was hugely popular (especially with Kelly, Kelly, Kim and Kimberley) and a few girls are planning to pick up ones for themselves later this week. I may try my hand at making one out of the leftover material from the ottoman. Or, I may decide I have enough projects on the table and just get one for myself from Harwin (although when we went on Saturday none of the stores had any "b" purses.)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

As promised, I added photos of the bumpers, and the new living room set-up to the baby-room page... Check them out...
No new baby pics to post, but more as projects are being completed there will be some additional photos to share. Stay tuned for some updates on the new ottoman (which coordinates with the new sofa & rug in our living room) and the crib bumpers which should be completed this week. After a couple of false starts during the week, I turned my back on the pattern instructions to figure things out for myself. In sewing class yesterday, the instructor concurred that sometimes those things are just written stupidly and should not always be strictly followed.

The show was certainly more of a success than the previous one (earned back the both fee at least!) but it's still a bit puzzling to figure out how to sell, when the product is obviously good. Last night at dinner Jack reasssured that it takes about two years of putting your name out there before people will start coming to you. Jim and some hockey buddies had gone golfing together during the day and we all met up in the evening for dinner. I had never met Jonathan's wife before, nor their adorable little kids (ages almost 2 and almost 3.) It was great to meet another couple who said they hadn't gone to any pregnancy/birthing classes either. I'm a bit tired of people giving us that look when Jim and I say that we haven't, and aren't planning to, take a class.

Later this morning I will be going for my first professional massage ever - a gift from Deena last Hanukkah that I'm just getting around to redeeming now. And Jim will be driving me to & from so I won't have to deal with west loop traffic right after I get all relaxed. Not much else on the calendar today, perhaps I can finish up the bumpers before the weekend is through.