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Archive for December, 2011

Christmas Recap Part 1

After our gender reveal appointment, the next week was just jam-packed with activities.

Wednesday night our friends, Jen & Aaron, came over to give us our first baby outfit!

Thursday afternoon we had plans to celebrate Christmas with my grandparents, aunt, and my 16 year-old cousin. I was super excited to give my cousin his presents since he had (jokingly) asked me for jeans from the Buckle, knowing the average price tag for jeans in that store is about $100. I love my cousin, but our Christmas budget isn’t THAT generous. Luckily enough, I happened to find a pair of jeans, in his size, missing a price tag that just happened to ring up for $29.99. Even the clerk was shocked. My cousin was SO HAPPY to have his first pair of Buckle jeans. I can’t say I understand the craze, but back when I was in high school, I remember paying $80 for a pair of khakis from Abercrombie & Fitch and worse them every chance I could. That is, until they ripped and I considered it the biggest waste of $80 ever.

We bought my grandpa a portable hard drive and a couple of gag gifts, like dreidels (he’s not Jewish) and a reindeer dog (from the Grinch) that dispenses chocolate covered raisins, making it look like it’s pooping.

For my grandma, we gave her a new purse, some socks (she asked for them), and a guitar ornament that plays Elvis Presley’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas. (My grandma has a thing for music boxes and trinkets. Oh and Elvis.)

We gave my aunt a gift card to the move theater. It’s the same thing we give her every year but she loves it.

The final gift for my grandparents was an ornament announcing our baby boy news. My grandma was shocked since she was predicting a baby girl, and my grandpa was just all smiles. He said he didn’t have a preference, just as long as it’s healthy, but they were glad to know. Even happier that they were the first to know – even before our parents. My grandpa jokingly threatened to call my mom and tell her ahead of time, even prank calling me and acting like he had the wrong number because he was trying to call my mom to tell her the news.

Sadly, we had to cut our visit a bit short because we were due for dinner plans with hubby’s aunts, uncle, and cousins. We played games and snacked on appetizers and cookies. Games are a tradition on my husband’s side of the family. We would play them at his grandparents’ house on Christmas night. But two years ago, his grandma passed away and we haven’t continued the tradition, so it was nice to spend some time with part of his family and start the games up again.

Later that night we finished off our own mini-Christmas, just the two of us. Every year, the hubs and I go a bit overboard on each other. Since we’re always out of town for Christmas, it seems silly to pack our presents for each other and haul them across the country only to have to bring them back again. So we just pick a night and open them early. The last couple of years, we’ve tried to spread the fun over multiple nights. (Hey, if Jewish people can have 8 crazy nights of presents, we can have 3 or 4 right?) So that’s that we do. And to make sure one of us doesn’t have 2 presents to open while the other person has 10, we agree on a number so we’re equal. This year, that number was 7 presents. No rhyme or reason to it other than the hubs finished shopping first and said he had 7 presents for me. So that’s what I got him as well. Here’s the rundown:

For me:

  • Burberry Body perfume
  • A salon gift card for a pregnancy massage
  • A maternity coat
  • Red jewelry set that included earrings, bracelet, and necklace
  • A new pillow
  • A personal planner
  • Wine bottle tea light holders

For him:

  • Collector’s edition of the entire series of LOST on DVD
  • A robe
  • Underwear
  • New sneakers
  • A Keurig coffee maker and an assortment of coffees
  • Dude You’re Gonna be a Dad book
  • Aqua Di Gio cologne

 

(Yes, I know we spend WAY too much on Christmas. Not just on ourselves but for everyone. It’s a sickness. But we love it!)

The next day, it was off to Ohio to visit the in-laws…

(to be continued…)

 

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“We have a third leg!”

On Tuesday night, Dec. 20th, we went to our gender ultrasound appointment. My doc won’t do gender screenings until 20 weeks, which means we wouldn’t be finding out the gender until mid-January. We tried to talk my doc’s office into letting us find out at our 16 week appointment, but no dice.

But thank goodness for places like Ultrasona St. Louis, where you can pay a reasonable amount to go in and check out your baby’s goods. (Side note: The ladies there are super-duper nice, which was a pleasant change from the receptionists at my doc’s office.)

Just before the appointment, I had myself convinced that we wouldn’t be able to find out. Something was just bound to go wrong. The place would be closed, the scheduler messed up my appointment time, the equipment would be temporarily broken, or the baby just wouldn’t cooperate. When we pulled up, the office was brightly lit with a clear “OPEN” sign. Concern #1 wiped out. As soon as I walked in, the receptionist smiled and said “You must be Elizabeth.” Concern #2, gone. After a quick potty break, they ushered me into the ultrasound room, machines warm and lights low, all ready for me. Concern #3, vanished.  I hopped up on the exam table, lowered the waistband on my pants, and the tech put some jelly on my belly (ha! That rhymes.) and started checking out baby. She took a couple of quick measurements and started moving around to get a good shot at the baby’s nether regions. It didn’t take long – maybe 30-45 seconds – before she was in the right position to pause the screen. As first-timers, we had no clue what we were looking at. I mean, it was clear, and I thought I could see IT, but I was waiting for her to say without a doubt whether or not we were looking at little boy parts, or really big girl parts. (Hey, I said we were first-timers. I have no idea how big a girl’s you-know-what should be!)

The screen was actually a really big LCD TV mounted on the wall directly in front of me and the hubs was on his feet in front of me, glued to the TV and pacing as if he were watching a big game. After a few moments of silence, the tech finally started to confirm what we thought we were looking at. “Let’s see,” she said. “We have one leg….two legs….and…we have a third leg.” I turned to look at her. I needed to hear the words “IT’S A BOY!” before I would believe it. So I asked, “It’s a boy?” She shook her head yes and said, “Yep, it’s definitely a boy.” I couldn’t believe it. I had prepared myself for the news that we were having a girl, but hadn’t really thought about the joy of having a boy – something my husband wanted so very badly. My eyes immediately started watering and I was just grinning from ear to ear. The hubs was still staring at the TV. He finally turned and was just smiling the biggest smile. I thought he’d be jumping up and down but he managed to hold it in. I repeated, “We’re having a boy!” and gave him a high-five from the exam table. Not the most romantic reaction but it seemed appropriate.

The tech took a few more photos and checked the heartbeat. (Usually it was either 160 or 165; this time, it was 132.) I think I also said something about, “Take THAT, stupid Chinese birth calendar.”

It was such a relief to finally know. We immediately texted a couple of friends, then headed to the mall to find baby boy themed ornaments to make the official announcement to our parents on Christmas. (See previous entry for photo of the ornament we chose.) While we waited for our ornaments to be personalized, I found a couple of pairs of maternity jeans and a cute Cardinals shirt while the hubs walked around in a euphoric daze. I had to repeat myself a few times when talking to him because he was just so dang happy and distracted.

I guess we can mark down “having a third leg” as the best Christmas present ever.

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It’s a…

BOY!

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Boy or Girl?

Post written 12/20.

So tonight we’re scheduled to find out whether this little peanut growing inside of me is a boy or a girl. I’m ridiculously excited, not just about finding out, but for the ultrasound itself and getting to see the baby moving around. It was the coolest thing during my 12 week screening and I’m just so excited for my husband to be able to see the baby move around too.

Of course we’re also excited to find out the gender. I go back and forth on what I “want” but I already know that either way, I’ll have mixed emotions about the whole thing. I mean, on one hand, I’ll be super happy if it’s a boy because 1) we already have a name picked out 2) it’s what Ryan really wants and 3) it takes the pressure off of baby #2 to be a boy (since we want to have at least one of each). But I’ll be sad at the thought of no cute frilly baby headbands, no adorable girly clothes and accessories, no long hair to put into cute little pig tails, no little mini-me dressed in a tutu running around singing Disney princess songs, no adorable daughter curled up in daddy’s lap looking at him like he’s her hero.

Right now, the baby possibilities are endless. I can peruse boy nursery themes while cooing over girly baby accessories. I can admire a pink and orange nursery with a faux glass chandelier and immediately switch to digging a blue and green theme with frog decals hopping across the walls. To close the door on one of those, even if only temporarily, will be tough.

So either way, I’ll be happy and heartbroken at the same time. Mostly happy though. Because no matter what – boy or girl – it’s going to be an amazing adventure that I know I won’t want any other way.

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Looking Forward

Post written Dec. 14 – which means….HOORAY! We’re all caught up on posts! Now I can start blogging in real-time.

Call me crazy, but I’m really looking forward to January. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to rush the holidays by AT ALL, but just yesterday I was emailing with a friend about plans to get organized and all of these goals, that I just got…excited!

Last year was simply dreadful. I didn’t make any new year’s resolutions. I was suffering from SAD. I was bored and apathetic. I was just…a loser. But these last several months have been wonderful and I’m ready to take on all the joys that 2012 has to offer. Just some of the things I’m looking forward to…

1. Finding out the gender of our baby

2. Getting the holiday decorations NICELY put away and organized. Unlike last year where everything was just sort of thrown in the basement

3. Organizing our office, our files, and decluttering

4. Decorating the nursery

5. A baby shower!

6. Um, a baby. Of course.

7. Wedding planning with one of my bestest friends

8. Throwing an engagement and bachelorette party (and since the bachelorette party will most likely be post-baby, actually attending it and enjoying it with the rest of the ladies.)

9. Being able to enjoy a beer or couple of glasses a wine this summer and fall

10. New job opportunities for friends and family.

11. Hopefully some new baby news or even births in there too (other than mine)

12.  Tax returns. Always a joy.

13. My 30th birthday and my mom’s 50th

14. LOTS of shopping for baby

15. An entire summer of PAID maternity leave coupled with a full month of (unpaid) paternity leave for the hubs.

16. New workout routines

17. Dusting off that old Weight Watchers membership (post-baby)

18. Baby’s first Christmas

19. Celebrating 7 years at the workplace and hopefully continuing to work on cool projects

20. Maybe a couple of weekend getaways, if we’re lucky. Babymoon anyone?

21. A new car. Hopefully just one though and not two.

See what I mean? 2012 is going to rock my socks off. I can’t wait!

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16 Weeks

Post written Dec. 12.

I’m nearing the 16 week mark which means I’m officially FOUR MONTHS pregnant now! I love being able to say that.

According to BabyCenter, at 16 weeks baby is the size of an avocado. I don’t particularly like avocados (because I’m allergic) but I’m digging the food analogies. (Last week was an apple. I like apples.)

I also felt some serious flutters today. Now I can’t be sure, but I’ve been battling gas for pretty much the entire pregnancy thus far, and I know that wasn’t it. I’ve felt shorter, weaker flutters before – as sporadic as they may be – and after awhile, convinced myself it was just wishful thinking or indigestion. But this was definitely something different. Kind of exciting to get physical reminders that hey, there’s a baby growing in there!

In other developments, I’ve hit the 5lbs gained mark. And I’m almost completely into maternity pants. I have just one pair of regular dress pants that still fit, a few that I can use the BeBand with, and several that have already been stored in a tupperware bin for next year. (No one told me that in addition to my belly growing, my ass would too. This was not a pleasant surprise.)

I haven’t spent any time on the BabyCenter baby boards like I did the first few weeks. And other than a few conversations with other pregnant friends or friends with babies, I haven’t really done much reading/commenting in forums or being otherwise baby-obsessed. I’m sure that once the holiday madness is over, I will, but right now I’m so focused on what to get these 30 people we have to shop for and making sure we’re prepared for all of these holiday plans that sometimes I almost forget that I’m even pregnant. When I remember though, I’m mentally like Monica from Friends in the episode where she’s in a retail store and stuffs a sweater under her shirt and starts hugging her belly. I’d post an image if I could find one, but you Friends fanatics out there probably know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, it’s not important. So just…never mind.

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Common Questions

Post written Dec. 11.

Now that I’m “out” about being pregnant, I get a lot of questions. And even though I’ve heard a lot of pregnant women complain about the questions – and some of the ridiculousness of them – I’m more than happy to talk about my experience (as if these frequent posts weren’t an indication of that enough).

Right now, the most common questions I’ve received are:

1. Is it a boy or a girl? – This is by far the most common question asked of me, and probably the only one that – at least very early on – sometimes bothered me. I think in those first few weeks that we were “public”, I was just a little shocked that people, even moms, would be told that I was pregnant (no one just figures it out by looking at me, at least not yet) and immediately ask if it’s a boy or a girl. Um, people? I’m not even four months yet. Ask this question when it’s obvious that I’m pregnant because you can’t move around my protruding belly. Until then, it’s pretty safe to assume it’s too early to know the gender.

Now that I’m nearing the 16 week mark and finding out in just a couple of weeks, this question doesn’t bother me so much anymore. In fact, I’m downright giddy about finding out so instead I just reply with a much-too-long response about how and when we’re finding out.

2. Will you find out the gender? – This is almost ALWAYS the question that follows #1. And yes, we’re going to find out. I know lots of people that waited to be surprised at delivery but my personal opinion is it’s still a surprise whether you find out in the ultrasound room or at birth. And frankly, there will be so much going on in the delivery room that I just don’t think my poor little brain can handle it. It just seems like a lot of unnecessary stress that I’d rather not deal with. Also? I REALLY want to know! If only because it could help cut out any future arguments over undecided baby names.

3. How are you feeling? – I ask my other pregnant friends this same question quite often, so I get it. And most of the time I’m happy to answer with whatever I’m feeling at the moment. What I don’t get is when that’s the first question I’m asked by the same person on a daily basis. I appreciate the concern, I just would like them to ask me something else – even if it’s baby related. And if you don’t want to hear that I’m constipated and fighting constant indigestion, then you probably shouldn’t ask.

I’m actually quite surprised that more people don’t ask about names. I don’t really like sharing our ideas for baby names with anyone unless they’re super close to me, so I guess I’m glad I don’t have to have the awkward conversation of “Yes, we have a name but we’re not sharing it.” Right now, this is also made easier by the fact that we don’t have a girl’s name picked out yet. So when people DO ask about names, I can honestly say we don’t know yet.

But all in all, I welcome the questions and the acknowledgement that I’m growing a human. It’s nice to know that other people out there understand the life change we’re about to experience and care enough to ask about it, regardless of how annoying it might be to some people. So bring on the questions! Let’s just keep the belly touching to immediate family and super close friends though, okay? Not that anything like that has happened (yet) but I’ve heard about it, and I’m a little nervous.

 

 

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