Thursday, December 17

Noteworthy Thursday #29

Dear Baby,

Well, you've been in there 26 weeks now (Okay, okay, fine. The first two weeks don't really count. Pregnancy math is hard. As is all math, if you ask me. But don't ask me. Ask your father. Or your Uncle Jeff.). I just wanted to remind you to stay put for a few more months. I just read about a somewhat infamous reality show star (for lack of a better term) who developed preeclampsia and had to deliver her 19th child (I know! That's a lot of kids!) at only 25 weeks. 25 weeks! That's way too early! That baby only weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces. Baby, you probably are already bigger than that, and even though you are already making my back hurt sometimes, I want you to grow and grow and grow, until you're nice and chubby and squishy and chompable. Then you can come out into the world and I will give you kisses.

Do we have a deal? I will keep you warm and safe (and I will stay away from the extra-spicy foods), and you will keep growing until you are nice and ripe. Okay, it's settled. See you in March!


Momma at 26 Weeks

Tuesday, December 15

Happy Birthday to Me

Last Friday was my birthday, and it was lovely. I received some fantastic gifts, including a fancypants camera and lens from Andrew (I’ve been talking about taking a photography class forever, and now I have no more excuses), a gift certificate for a prenatal massage, some lovely notepaper, some tasty goodies, an adorable brooch, and lots of cards. Oh, and with some birthday money from my parents (and a hefty discount for being a Hallmark employee) I bought this lovely bag for myself.

The gifts weren’t the only good part. Two of my best work friends took me to lunch (which included a stop at Sheridan’s!) and talked me into buying the fabulous bag. That’s what friends are for—getting a girl frozen custard on her birthday and helping her make good shopping decisions.

We also went to dinner at Potpie, my fave restaurant, with two fantastic people whose names easily become one (one of whom will be mad about the fact that I am about to call them this) (and on the INTERNET, no less), Jeffanie. Since I am expecting/knocked up/have a bun in the oven/pregnant, I refrained from having wine with dinner, which has always been one of my favorite parts of going to Potpie—sitting for a long time, sipping the wine, and talking. But Andrew—my lovely, amazing husband—somehow snuck in a bottle of sparkling grape juice just for me. He gave it to the server and everything, who brought it to me as if it were any other beverage. (Of course, Andrew got lucky that I went to the restroom first thing upon entering the restaurant, so he didn’t have to be THAT sneaky.) I was confused at first, because the grape juice looked just like wine. But only two people at the table ordered wine, and there were three glasses, so… Confused. It was a wonderful birthday surprise and a wonderful 28th birthday.

Tuesday, December 8

The One In Which We Register

Have I ever told you about the time Andrew and I registered for wedding gifts? No? Well. I’m not really going to tell you now, except to say that we hated every single stinking minute of it. Registering sounded so fun, you get the little scanner and you go around and pick out things you would like. Easy, right? Oh, so terribly wrong.

We couldn’t make up our minds about anything, and the pressure to make the right decisions, quickly, was very overwhelming. Take towels. Which towels were the best? Are those soft enough? Do they come in the colors we want? And what exactly are those colors? How am I supposed to pick out what color towels we will someday want in our future guest bath? All for a few pieces of terrycloth.

In the end, I think we went back to the store no fewer than three times to finally register for everything we “needed.”

Last Saturday we made the trek out to register for baby stuff. Since we knew how much we hated registering for wedding gifts, we came prepared. We had three separate lists of recommended baby gear from trusted sources, and a plan to not over think anything. We’d get in, scan the things we needed, scan a few super cute things, and get out.

The trip started out well enough. We got the forms filled out and received our scanner. Checking our lists, we began moving through the store. Our first stop was “infant care” (which is sort of a vague name for a section in a baby store, don’t you think?) and we quickly found ourselves faced with a bottle dilemma. I’m planning to breastfeed, so we don’t think we will need that many bottles. (All you parents out there may be snorting with laughter at my naivety. All I ask is that you let me down gently.) One of our list writers recommended two or three brands that she liked, and since we had no clue (and have read that our baby may reject any particular bottle just for kicks) we decided to go with what was recommended. But the list failed to mention that for each of the brands, there were numerous options. Too many options.

But after several minutes staring blankly at the packaging and furiously scanning our lists, hoping to see something we missed, something to clue us in as to what we should be looking for, we sort of gave up. We scanned two or three bottles (BPA-free, of course) and moved on to pacifiers. From then on, we were a little more carefree about the whole thing, figuring that we could always adjust our choices online and that since we couldn’t predict what Baby Langford would like anyway, we might as well not stress over it.

Almost two hours later, we found ourselves on the other side of the store, faced with the task of selecting one of those play mats, with the arches and the dangly toys and the bright colors. There really weren’t that many to choose from. Andrew was fond of one in particular, but I disliked it for some reason. I wasn’t really excited about any of them. Did I want my baby to look at an underwater scene or a jungle scene? Should we get one that played music? Was the smaller round one okay, or were the colors a bit too primary? It was ridiculous.

My head was spinning. The aisle was crowded, and Andrew couldn’t fit the cart through (BTW, we had a cart just to hold my water bottle and the three lists, not for actual purchasing of product. In case you were wondering.), so he went to the next row over to check out some toys. I looked up to see that he was not intently studying that play mats like I was and got frustrated. Why was he not helping me figure out this great mystery of the universe? He said he couldn’t fit the cart through and was waiting for it to get less crowded. But I need your help nowwww, I whined. And so he came over, and we stood in silence for a moment, again looking at the display.

And then the tears started rolling down my face. “Let’s go,” I said. “I need to get out of here.” So Andrew turned in the scanner while I composed myself and go we did.

I don’t really think the tears had anything to do with the floor mats. It was all just such a huge process. And when I tried to visualize one of those mats in our home I just didn’t know where it would go. Suddenly all those things we had been scanning became real products that we would soon own and soon have to find a place to put in our house. How are we really going to have a baby? How are we going to figure out how to do it? We couldn’t even figure out which stupid play mat was best, or what all those differently sized waterproof pads were really intended for, or why babies need specific baby washcloths. And it was all just a little overwhelming.

Or maybe I can blame this one on the hormones?

Wednesday, December 2

The Recordable Storybook is Going Fast!

If you have been thinking about purchasing the new recordable storybook from Hallmark, don't wait! The Night Before Christmas is selling so well, Hallmark is predicting it will sell out well before, well, the night before Christmas. This book truly makes a fantastic keepsake for the people you love, so hurry out and get your hands on a copy before they're all gone.

(And I'm no expert, but if I had a guess, I'd say that just a couple of months after Christmas, around Valentine's Day, one of the other recordable storybooks, All the Ways I Love You, just may sell out, too. Don't procrastinate!)

Tuesday, December 1

Thanksgiving 2009: an essay in photos

I present The Turkey. This is the first entire turkey I have ever purchased, and I went all out. This guy is local, free-range, pasture-fed, the whole thing. He weighed in at a modest 12.8 pounds.

Naked turkey! I was a bit baffled by that flap of skin binding the legs. But eventually I stretched it off. Gross. But if I thought THAT was gross, I should have just waited... (ooh, foreshadowing!)

Here is me, pulling out the giblets. (Why is it that no one ever uses that word any other time of the year?)

The turkey, the organs, and my belly.

This photo was taken near the beginning of this process, when I was all into taking pictures. These are just a few of the aromatics that were to go inside the turkey, you know, for their aroma.

And look! Now there are also carrots and everything is chopped.

And then the turkey got stuffed full of aromatics, and then the whole thing went in the fridge overnight, then I got up early and melted butter and brushed it over the turkey, and salted and peppered it, then put it in the oven (tented with foil, of course), then with an hour to go, brushed more butter over it, removed the foil, and then voila! The turkey you see here was ready!

Our first meal at our new dining table. Also our first meal to be eaten in the formal dining room. So nice that we could share it with our parents and Andrew's sister and brother-in-law.

Here is my mom, making the gravy. Our first gravy attempt was a big fat FAIL. Thankfully my mom was there and knew how to just start over. I was all, oh noes, gravy lumpy! And she was all, psssshhh, you no worry, I fix. And she did.

Andrew's first ever turkey carving, taught by the turkey-carving master, my dad.

Two and a half Langfords, posing in front of the buffet-style meal.

Yum, pies. Delicious pumpkin, of course, and the delectable Tollhouse cookie pie that was always somewhat of a Thanksgiving tradition at my house. The perfect end to a perfectly lovely Thanksgiving meal.

Friday, November 20

Updated (and current) belly - Week 22

I give you another photo of my ever-growing belly. This time you'll notice that the background looks a little different than last time. The baby's room has been painted! It's starting to feel like a room that we might actually use. Weird, it's like we're really going to have another member of the family soon.

Thursday, November 19

Noteworthy Thursday #28

Dear Baby,

Hi. I’m your mom. Since we’ve been spending so much time together, I thought I ought to introduce myself. I suppose some might say that we’ve already been getting to know each other for the last few months, but I still can’t wait to meet you.

I’m fairly certain that you’re going to be amazing. But don’t just take it from me. Your daddy thinks so, too. You know him? That guy that talks and sings to you sometimes? He loves you a lot. A whole lot. I know your daddy pretty well, so trust me when I tell you that he is so happy and excited to get to know you. It makes me happy to see him so happy. But back to my point—you’re going to be amazing. You’re already pretty amazing.

I don’t even know your name, but I already know that I love you. And I know when you’re hungry. And I know when you’re sleepy. And I know that you have an incredible future in front of you. Maybe you’ll play the guitar like Daddy. Maybe you’ll love to write stories like me. You might be an excellent dancer or you might love to sing. Maybe you’ll be a scientist or an actor or a poet or a zookeeper. Maybe you’ll be the kid who eats paste. The possibilities are endless. I love imagining who you will become.

I can hardly believe that it is only a few more months until I will hold you in my arms. I will snuggle you and kiss you and rock you back and forth. I will sing to you and tell you stories. I will even let you in on all my secrets because I know you won’t tell anybody. (I know this all must sound very enticing, but please don’t try to show up to the party early. You need to stay in there and cook a little bit longer.)

I love you, Baby. I’m so glad I get to be your momma.


Wednesday, November 11

It's true!

I'm now 21 weeks pregnant. One of the pregnancy calendar-type things I read told me that at 21 weeks, I should be able to not only easily feel the baby move from outside, but I should be able to visually see my belly moving. Because "cynical" is my middle name, I obviously did not believe this for one gosh-darn minute.

Also, Andrew has actually only felt the baby move one time. Not one series of movements, just one little kick. It was last Thursday, and it was kind of magical. Our little guy mostly moves around mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Not so much moving at times when Andrew and I are in the same zip code. So it was very awesome for him to get to feel it. He said, "So he just pokes you like that all day?" Yeah, sort of.

Back to my original point. I have been feeling sort of behind, pregnancy-wise, because it seems that my belly might be smaller than average for this stage of the game. (Of course, the people who think this probably don't know shit about shit, but there it is, all the same.) I figured no way could my teeny baby's teeny kicks with his teeny feet possibly be SEEN from the outside, but this afternoon I felt some movements, and since the mandatory training session I was at was less than helpful, I decided to watch my belly for awhile.

And it moved. (Bet you didn't see THAT one coming, eh?) It visibly popped a little when he kicked. So weird. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. He is supposedly sort of huge right now. Do you have a standard sheet of paper nearby? Hold it up in front of you vertically. That is basically how long the baby is (minus one itty bitty half inch). Think about that for a second, I'll wait.

Yeah. I KNOW.

Tuesday, November 10

One lame excuse after another

Remember how I used to post occasionally? I thought I might even show you pictures of my ever-expanding belly, perhaps even on a weekly basis. But clearly that hasn't happened. I sat down last night to post the most recent belly picture, only to find (or rather NOT find) that the camera's transfer-upload-picture-moving cord thing was not in its usual location. (I blame Andrew.) Alas, I could not upload the most recent belly pics to the computer.

But! I could not just leave with you nothing. (And without a picture, I have nothing.) However, I do have a belly picture that is now nearly two weeks old. Honestly, though, I pretty much look the same way. Without further ado, here is me at 19 weeks.

Wednesday, November 4

Our Very First Baby Pictures

Now that we’ve shared it with family and friends, I can finally share it with the internet. We had our first sonogram nearly two weeks ago, and I’m happy to report that everything is growing as it should be and that our baby appears to be healthy.

And, it’s . . . a BOY! Can you even believe it? I’m going to have a son. I was stunned. I was so convinced that we were having a girl, that for a moment I was sure there was some sort of mistake. But nope. I’m no sonogram expert, but as you’ll see below, he is for sure a boy. Slowly but surely I’m adjusting to this news. I almost believe it.

Since we found out the sex, this whole thing has become much more real. I am able to imagine what our lives will be like, and think about the future in a much more concrete way. We can focus on names better, and we can buy cute little clothes when we see them. It’s kind of amazing, really, how much of a difference it’s made. My dad recommended that we wait until delivery to find out, but I wholeheartedly endorse finding out ahead of time. Knowing whether the little person in there is a boy or a girl has made it much easier to get started on that whole bonding thing. And I only have twenty weeks left to really get to know this little guy.

Isn’t he just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?

Thursday, October 29

Recordable Storybook from Hallmark!

The Recordable Storybook from Hallmark is now available! You can check it out here. This is a great new product that I just may have poured a bit of my heart and soul into. So run, don't walk, to your nearest Gold Crown store and get your hands on a copy before they're all gone. And believe me, they will probably sell out this year. Available titles are The Night Before Christmas, All the Ways I Love You, and Bright & Beautiful.

Tuesday, October 27

You've Got Mail

Dear Everyone,

Please quit telling me that you don’t think I look pregnant. Not only are you insulting me, but you are bringing out my pregnancy neuroses and making me question whether or not my baby is growing at an appropriate pace.

Let’s address point number one. I mean really. Do you honestly think I have just always had this gut? Am I fatter in your eyes than I thought? I suppose you think you’re being complimentary and all, telling me you don’t think my body has changed or that I haven’t gained much weight. But it’s not a compliment. And at this semi-early stage, I WANT to look pregnant. I want people to know that something is going on in there and that my body is working hard, dammit. I’m SUPPOSED to gain weight, and if I’m not, it means SOMETHING IS WRONG.

Which brings me to point number two. Why oh why am I letting you make me feel so insecure? I’ve heard the heartbeat; I’ve felt the little movements. Logically I know that everything is going fine. But when you ask me how far along I am, then respond with a shocked “You’re not nearly big enough for x weeks!” emotion takes over. You make me want to run home and grab the Doppler, because maybe the baby ISN’T growing the way he/she is supposed to. And I need to check the heartbeat right this minute to be sure it’s still beating away.

So I’d appreciate it if you would refrain from commenting on my size. I’m not too small, and I’m not too big. Repeat this to yourself and next time you see me, simply say, “You look great!” Even if you wholeheartedly disagree. I don’t care. Lie to me.


Monday, October 26

That Worm Update . . . Finally

I’m going to let these pictures speak for themselves, with just a few comments.

  1. Everything is so moist we haven’t even attempted to harvest the castings. Not sure we ever will.
  2. When I was so morning-sickness sick, I could not stand to look at these worms. Andrew has taken over worm-bin duties.
  3. What you can’t see in these photos are the hundreds of tiny fruit flies flying around.
  4. We moved the bin to the basement.
  5. I voted to get rid of the worms. Andrew vetoed me.

Wednesday, October 21

The Car Seat Story

I went to Chicago this past weekend (and bought a TON of stuff, though that is a story for another day) and when Andrew picked me up from the airport, I noticed that he had installed the car seat base in his backseat. He was proud of himself for figuring it all out, and I was proud of him for being so excited about the baby coming and for taking the initiative to get it ready.


We are not going to have a baby for another five months. So the car seat installation seemed a bit premature.

The next day I went out to my car to find that he had also installed the second car seat base in my backseat, along with the car seat itself. And I freaked out a little bit. I don’t really know why. There was just something about seeing this little car seat there, and knowing that someday our teeny baby would ride in it, but then realizing that currently that teeny baby is only, oh, I don’t know, SIX INCHES long, that was too much for me to handle. Maybe there was just a little too much reality there, and maybe that was one of those moments where I realized OMG I’M GOING TO HAVE A REAL LIVE BABY.

I honestly wanted to take the car seat out right that minute and not think about it again for another four months, but I was already running late. And so it stayed there, safe and sound and properly installed, until that evening when Andrew and I sat down to dinner and I thought about the car seat thing and began crying. For some strange reason, Andrew did not know what was upsetting me, so he tried to ask me what was wrong. I said, “I’m pregnant,” which clearly is enough explanation, right? It means I’m emotional and hormonal and I can cry if I want to. But he still didn’t understand, poor guy.

Eventually I just asked him to take the car seat out. He seemed a little disappointed, like, oh, I thought you’d like that. And I did like it, in theory. I just wasn’t ready to see it in my backseat. I’m so far from ready. I’m sure I’ll be ready by March . . . but not yet.

Tuesday, October 20

He/She Likes to Move It Move It

The baby is moving.

I thought I felt it moving last week, on Tuesday. Around 4:00 or so, I was sitting in our regularly scheduled Tuesday books meeting at work, when I felt this tapping. Just four or five little taps, kind of like what I imagine a drum must feel like from the inside. I thought, is that it? Is that the baby? And I waited. And waited. But I didn’t feel anything else.

Then a couple days later, I felt the same tapping, this time just a couple of taps. Again, I wondered, is that the baby? But again little Cupcake refused to confirm his/her intentions.

But Friday and Saturday, I could no longer question it. I felt it quite often, especially when eating, and it felt just like a little teeny baby moving around. All the books say this feeling is hard to describe. I used to think, pffft, it can’t possibly be THAT hard to describe. But it really is. To me, I can say it feels like little bubbles popping, or a little swimmy feeling—but those don’t really give you a sense of what it feels like, if you haven’t felt it for yourself. Because to me, it just feels like a tiny 5-inch-long creature wiggling around and occasionally bumping into something (me). And how do you really describe something that just feels like what it is?

It’s an amazing thing, it really is. Even as I’m typing this, I just finished eating lunch, and I am acutely aware of my tiny cupcake getting in her/his post-lunch calisthenics. Good job, baby! Don’t forget to stretch!

Wednesday, October 14

My mother-in-law will cringe when she reads this.

It’s funny how plans change. Andrew and I had all these lofty goals for the way things would be when I was pregnant, like how we’d eat all our meals at home and cook with fresh, organic ingredients. And of course I’d stay away from desserts and rarely drink caffeine.

But then I got pregnant. And the fresh, organic, blah blah blah all went out the window.

Today my lunch consisted of a slice of pizza with Canadian bacon, pineapple, and something crispy and delicious that just may be regular bacon. And some ranch dressing to dip it in. But that’s not all. I washed down the pizza with a Dr. Pepper, then finished it all off with chocolate cake with little Oreo crumbles on top. Frankly, I ought to be embarrassed to share this information, and I may end up deleting this post later to erase the evidence.

But seriously, this was a very tasty lunch. Possibly the worst lunch (in terms of the health benefits I gained from it) I’ve had since my oyster cracker days, but very satisfying. And I’m positive that this is what the baby wanted today.

Monday, October 12

Quick Weekend Update

We had quite an industrious weekend. We bought this table. ($100 off, BTW!) I bought these glasses. (Okay, these might not be the exact pair…I had trouble finding a good picture. But I’m pretty sure these are the ones. And look! Blue!) Andrew bought a bunch of clothes, and I borrowed a bunch of maternity clothes from another recently-pregnant friend, Monica. I cleaned out my closet and piled up a bunch of stuff to go to Goodwill, and I boxed up the stuff that is either too summery or too small to wear for the next five or six months. My mom came over and helped me remove the teddy bear wallpaper border that was in our future baby room. We also took down the eyelet-lace-pink-gingham valance. I will not miss it.

And then the best part of the weekend (by which I actually mean the worst part of the weekend) was when Andrew spent all of last night laying on the floor of the bathroom with the flu. Or something terrible. Remember last year? Yeah, this is eerily similar. Cross your fingers that this year we won’t need a trip to the ER.

Tuesday, October 6

A Few Loosely Connected Paragraphs

Today I am 16 weeks pregnant. All the books tell me that sometime between 16 and 20 weeks is when I should start to feel the baby moving. I am so looking forward to that. Sometimes, as I’m lounging on the couch or laying in bed, I try to focus on the way I feel, like maybe I could feel something if I were only paying attention. It hasn’t worked so far, and I’m guessing that the first moment I feel movement will completely catch me off guard. I hope I feel something before our sonogram. It seems like it would be nice to be able to feel tiny movements while seeing the same movements on the screen. Like rumble seats in the theater.

An update on maternity pants: I do love the elastic, comfy waistband, but I hate how these pants keep falling down. I’m constantly hiking them up. Can someone please tell me if this will improve as my waistline expands, or if it will continue to annoy me for the next 5 and a half months?

While getting dressed this morning, I realized that I should probably think about buying a few maternity shirts. Or at least wash the two I already have. I was fortunate enough to borrow a handful of tops from Lindsay, but since I haven’t cleaned out my closet yet, those shirts are still in the storage bin they came in. Note to self: must box up too-small or soon-to-be-too-small clothes asap.

I stopped by the grocery store on my way home yesterday to pick up milk and apples. And then I decided to get some hummus and a salad to eat for dinner. And then the Double Stuf Oreos caught my eye. So of course I bought them.

Tonight I have a personal training session. I’m curious to see how my workouts start to change as I start to change. I’m already to the point where I’m not supposed to do any more exercises while lying on my back, like chest flies. Should be exhausting. But my favorite part of the evening will be my 3M’s conference call with Emily and Molly. And the Double Stuf Oreos, of course.

Thursday, October 1

I don't think you're ready for this belly.

Today I bought my first pair of maternity pants because, quite frankly, I’m tired of the partially-unzipped-rubber-band-around-the-button look. And I don’t find the Bella Band very comfortable, even though I seem to be in the minority there. Hence, it was time for maternity pants.

And, since I will be wearing the new pants tomorrow, I thought it was prime time for my first belly photo. First time to show you all, that is. I’ve been taking them for six weeks, though the roundness in the first couple photos was mostly dinner and my gas baby. So I’ll keep those pics to myself. If you twist my arm, by the end of the pregnancy I may give you a belly-photo collage and include the early pics. But this photo is me at 15 weeks, and I swear my little bump is a real baby, not a food baby.
(Being this shape is weird to me, by the way. Looking at this photo, my first thought is, sheesh, suck it in, fatty. Also, I am judgmental of my thighs. Isn’t that terrible? *shakes fist at society*)

(I think I’m going to love maternity pants.)

(One more thing: we took this photo in the coming-soon-ish nursery, thinking that as I change, you will see the changes to the room, too. Clever, no? But so far it’s not much to look at.)

Wednesday, September 23

It's decision-making time.

I have a very serious issue to discuss. My hair. More specifically, how my hair should be styled and cut.

I have been in a constant state of "short hair, no, growing it out, medium-length hair, no maybe short hair, no, how about we grow it out again" for a long time. I clearly cannot make up my mind. Most recently, I've been wanting to grow it out a bit. Nothing too dramatic, but I wanted it long enough to pull back and be low-maintenance. I imagine it won't get washed daily once the baby comes, and I don't want to look completely scummy.

But on the other hand, I remember when I had short hair and how it seemed so easy. At some point, my stylist began getting too experimental for my taste and my hair got shorter and shorter and pointier and pointier and eventually I switched stylists and decided to grow it out. But I think that original cut was quite nice.

So you see the dilemma. Continue to grow it out? Cut it short? I need your help! Which cut would look best, be easiest to maintain, and look the best?

Kristen Bell and J-lo represent my long hair look.

Long hair pros:

  • easy ponytail
  • fewer trims needed
  • can go for a couple days without shampoo
Long hair cons:
  • ends get shaggy looking
  • kind of boring
  • baby can pull on it
  • hair is not naturally straight, so could look weird
  • takes a long time to blow-dry, looks funky when air-dried
Old pictures of me represent my short hair look. The third pic is the closest I could find to how the back should look.

Short hair pros:
  • works with my wavy hair
  • very quick to dry
  • cute (?)
  • quick to style
Short hair cons:
  • been there, done that
  • sticks up when I sleep on it
  • no ponytails
  • can quickly become pointy if cut improperly

You may advise me what to do in the comments. But please be quick about it. My hair is getting cut on Saturday!

Tuesday, September 22

Ew times two

Well. Our cat, Zadie, is full of sick, and it is coming out both ends, if you know what I mean. And I'm pretty sure you know what I mean. We (Andrew) had a fun time cleaning that up this morning. That's all I'm going to say about that. You're welcome.

Monday, September 21

Five Things About My Weekend

  1. I tried unsuccessfully to buy new glasses. See, apparently pregnancy makes your eyeballs change shape, or something, and wearing my contacts means I end up with red, aching eyes. So for the next few months, glasses it is! But my current glasses tend to slip and practically fall of my face, and since I’m wearing them all the time, it’s time to fix this problem. We shopped at a handful of stores, but nothing seemed just right. Sigh.
  2. I attended the second meeting of my high school ten-year reunion planning committee. We didn’t really accomplish much, but I did get to eat a delicious cupcake while I was there.
  3. I borrowed some maternity clothes from my friend Lindsay. She had her baby last March, and I am due in March, hence, we were/will be pregnant during the same seasons. Time will tell if her clothes will fit me. Cross your fingers!
  4. I also borrowed a Doppler heartbeat thingy from Lindsay. I’m so glad she was neurotic enough to actually buy one! Last night Andrew and I sat and listened to that tiny little heartbeat for awhile, and again, it was wonderful. And not really that hard to find—or maybe we just got lucky (though I did listen to my own heartbeat for awhile with a sense of wonder, then Andrew pointed out that it should probably be beating faster than that) (Who knew you can hear your own heartbeat in your pelvic region?) So far, hearing my baby’s heart is the very best thing about being pregnant.
  5. For the last few months, I’ve been growing my hair out. Or wanting to grow it out—I had a bit of a setback when my stylist cut off a bit more than requested. But now I am thinking maybe short is the way to go, sort of how I had it last year. Any thoughts on this? Moms, would you say long or short hair is easier to deal with when caring for a baby?

Wednesday, September 16

All She Wants to Do is Read

I need your help. I have nothing to read. (Not entirely true, I just am not interested in the things I have to read.) All I've been reading for the last several weeks are pregnancy books or only mildly interesting magazines. It's time for a change.

I'm thinking fiction, for sure. Possibly something Oprah's book club-ish, possibly chick lit. Nothing too heavy (figuratively and literally, so fewer than 400 pages, please), nothing that will make me too weepy i.e. no baby tragedies. Any recommendations?

Tuesday, September 15

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh . . .

Last entry written a long time ago. This one was just a day after the previous entry, on August 27. And get ready for new, improved, up-to-date posting, because today I'm officially in the 2nd trimester, baby! Woo!

There’s no denying it. There’s definitely something alive in there. I heard the heartbeat to prove it.

Yes, my doctor’s appointment was today, and we got to hear the heartbeat for the first time. At the beginning of the appointment, my doctor told Andrew and me that sometimes you can’t hear the heartbeat, but if she couldn’t find it, she would do a sonogram to check the viability of the pregnancy. Either way, by the end of the appointment, we would know for sure that there was a baby in there, alive and well.

When I heard that I might get a sonogram, I almost wanted to not be able to hear it, because seeing that little person moving would be incredible. But now I’ll have to wait another eight weeks for that. Sigh. But of course, the extremely positive side is that I did hear the heartbeat, and it was amazing.

I didn’t have quite the reaction I had in my mind. No tears. I surprised myself a little, because I just couldn’t stop grinning. That was my baby I was hearing. That tiny little rhythmic sound is going to grow up and someday I’ll hold her or him in my arms and feel that same little heart beat next to mine. (Awwww)

The moment didn’t last long. The doctor let us listen for about fifteen seconds, then she was done. I could have listened to that sound all day.

Monday, September 14

Preparing for the Heartbeat

Written on August 26, when I was ten weeks and one day pregnant.

Tomorrow is our second prenatal doctor’s appointment. This will be one of the momentous ones because we’ll be hearing the heartbeat for the first time. I’m really excited about it.

I’ve been thinking about this moment for a long time, for much longer than the length of the actual pregnancy thus far. For me, hearing the heartbeat is one of those key moments in your life, like the moment that having a baby all becomes real. When my sister was pregnant, I was so excited to even just hear about her experience hearing the heartbeat.

I’m afraid that I’ve built it up way too much. I keep picturing the scenario—Andrew and I will be gripping each other’s hand, waiting for the big moment. As the doctor moves the wand around my belly trying to find the heartbeat, my own heart would pound in anticipation. And then . . . whoosh, whoosh, whoosh. Perhaps I’d cry. Andrew would squeeze my hand and kiss me, both of us completely overwhelmed with emotion.

But in reality, it can’t possibly be like that. It might have been, but surely reality can’t live up to my super-idealized version, can it? In reality, I imagine it will still be a great moment. We will probably hold hands, and my heart will certainly be pounding. But I don’t think I’ll cry. And can a moment I’ve imagine a hundred times still change my life?

The books tell me that at this stage, the baby is about an inch and a half long, from crown to rump. That’s fairly good sized. It’s so strange to know that there’s a real, growing person in there and I can’t feel it or know exactly where it is. Not “it,” “he or she.” I think I still say “it” because it doesn’t quite seem real yet. Maybe after I hear the heartbeat I’ll start saying “he or she” with more regularity.

Friday, September 11

9 weeks down, 31 to go

Another post, this one written on August 19. Spoiler alert: the second anti-nausea pill worked!

Today I am nine weeks and one day pregnant. And being pregnant is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Somewhere between weeks six and seven I started feeling terrible. All the time. Constant nausea, lots of vomiting, extreme fatigue… I got to where I felt like I couldn’t do anything. About five days ago, Andrew’s concern for my well-being (and Cupcake’s, obv) got him to call the doctor and I ended up getting a prescription for an anti-nausea medication. But honestly, I’m not sure it worked that well. But it did make me soooo tired. The first day I had it (Saturday, luckily) I was awake for a total of about seven hours. And I still threw up several times that morning.

So it’s been a rough road. This morning I called the doctor again because I’ve lost about 8-10 pounds in the last three weeks and I wondered if that is a major concern or just a small concern. The nurse said it wasn’t good and that I really needed to focus on my hydration. And then she prescribed another anti-nausea medication. This one might be working a little better, but it’s only day one. Who can tell?

Have you ever felt sick for four straight weeks? Felt like you have the worst hangover, and nothing makes it go away? That’s kind of what this is like. Smells are overpowering, heat and humidity make me queasy, and no food sounds appetizing (with the possible exception of macaroni and cheese, which has become a staple for me).

I took a PTO day from work today so I could get some rest. Going into work every day has been awful. I sit there at my desk, just trying to think about not feeling bad. The drive alone takes all my energy up. I’ve decided that if the new medicine doesn't work, for my health and sanity, I’m going to basically take a couple weeks off work. Maybe use a combo of PTO and VTO (voluntary time off, which means unpaid), maybe try to work from home when I can, maybe get on short-term disability. I don’t know. I haven’t been able to catch my manager to talk about it. I just know that on the days I am home, I feel better, throw up less, and am generally more relaxed. And I don’t think stress is good for Cupcake. I wonder if staying home for a couple weeks is the right thing to do. If I go unpaid, will it affect our budget later? When I have the baby, I would love love love to take the maximum maternity leave that Hallmark allows, which I understand to be six months. Of course, the majority of that time is unpaid. Andrew and I have some figuring out to do, if we can live for a few months on a single income. So if I go for a few weeks unpaid now, how would it affect us later?

I wish it were easier. I think about my sister, who had essentially no morning sickness with Austin. Yet, she wasn’t working during her pregnancy and had more flexibility anyway. I keep hearing that morning sickness equals a healthy pregnancy and blah blah blah. But there are plenty of healthy pregnancies—like Courtney’s—that have no morning sickness at all. And I know I probably sound all complainy and whiney, but you try being sick nonstop for weeks on end with no end in sight and see how you handle it. I feel like I’m at the end of my rope, but I still have to hold on. But for how much longer?

Tuesday, September 8

You may call her/him Cupcake.

This post was written on July 28. Bear with me; just a few more entries to go before we're all caught up.

Today I am six weeks pregnant. I had my first doctor’s appointment yesterday, and everything went well. Andrew and I saw a nurse practitioner instead of my regular doctor because my doctor wasn’t available for another four weeks, but the woman we met with was great. She was friendly and said all the right kind of things.

My official due date is March 23. Nerd alert: Andrew hopes Cupcake comes early on March 14 so the birthday will be pi. My next appointment will be in four weeks, and at that appointment, we’ll get to hear the heartbeat. I am very much looking forward to that. It’ll seem so much more real.

Although this pregnancy is definitely starting to feel very real, because I have been very sick. Or maybe not so sick compared to other women, I don’t know. I just don’t feel 100 percent. It’s a hard thing to describe. I’m exhausted. I’m nauseous, and don’t want to eat much, yet I’m hungry all the time. All day long I just feel off, like hollow and achy and I just want to lie down. This morning was the first day I actually threw up, and that was not fun. I threw up twice this morning, the second the kind of vomit that actually comes out your mouth and your nose. So gross. But I had to get to work, so I managed to get dressed, and I took a plastic trashcan with me in the car, and I think you can guess why that might have been necessary. But I got to work fine, and even made it through the whole day.

I haven’t been exercising as much as I want to. It’s so hard, struggling to make it through the workday. I just want to eat whatever I can put together the fastest, then lay on the couch and do nothing. I did go for a 45-minute walk after work today. It wasn’t fast, but I’m glad I got out of the house for awhile.

In the evenings, after dinner, I usually start to finally feel better, almost normal even. Except for the tiredness. But it sucks, because just when I’m starting to feel okay, it’s time for bed, and I know that when I wake up I’m going to feel terrible. Mornings are by far the worst for me. I’ve been sort of late to work practically every day, and if the throwing up continues, I don’t think that’s going to improve. I wonder if I’ll have to end up telling my manager at work that I’m pregnant before I wanted to if I end up being sick and late all the time. Plus, I’m finding it very hard to concentrate on anything, and I’m afraid my work will start to suffer.

I think this entry is awfully random. My thoughts just aren’t coming together, but I wanted to write something so I’d remember how it felt the first week and a half I knew I was pregnant. So to sum up how it feels? Nauseating, that’s how it feels.

Thursday, September 3

Oh, Baby

I wrote this post on July 18, while it was all still fresh in my mind. But for obvious reasons, I wasn't ready to tell the world. So I waited. And now that I've announced it at work, the world can know, too. Just be forewarned: this entry may have a bit of a TMI factor. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Do you ever have one of those days where everything changes, and it’s like your entire life is redefined in an instant? Today was one of those days for me. I found out this morning that I’m pregnant.

I can hardly even believe it’s true. Andrew and I have wanted this for so long. We’ve had so many conversations about baby stuff. What we’ll be like as parents, who our baby will look like, how we’ll decorate a nursery, what names we like. The list goes on. And today we had more of those conversations, except this time, they have a due date.

The back story: I went off the pill in May 2008. That’s fifteen months ago—crazy long time. Month after month of counting days, having sex on command, waiting, and ultimately being disappointed. Time after time. I can’t tell you how hard it is to want a baby, to be trying to have a baby, and have people constantly ask you when you’re planning to have a baby. “Oh, sometime,” you say. “Not yet!” And everyone sort of chuckles. Because it’s easier to act that way than to explain. Or the people who do know that you’re trying say things that are meant to be helpful, like “At least you get to have lots of trying sex.” Sure, sometimes it’s fantastic, and passionate, and wonderful. But what they don’t know is that sometimes it isn’t fun at all. Sometimes you know you’re ovulating and you know you need to do it if you want this to happen, but you’ve both had crappy days and no one feels like taking their clothes off, much less getting caught in the throes of passion. But you try anyway. And it turns out to be for nothing.

But for some reason, it finally happened. I was convinced that it wasn’t going to happen for us, at least not in an easy, natural way. I thought we were destined for fertility treatments and who knows what. I don’t know what was different about this month. Maybe we were finally more relaxed about it, consigned to our fate. Maybe it was the fertility supplements Andrew wanted to try. Maybe it was because Andrew decided to give up coffee for awhile. But whatever we did, I’m so glad it worked.

For the last few days, even the last week or two, I’ve felt different. I don’t know how to explain it. I really thought I was pregnant. My achy boobs felt different than premenstrual achy boobs. I had body aches that were…different. There’s no way to describe it. My period was supposed to start Wednesday. Today, Saturday, July 18, 2009, seemed like a reasonable time to test. Today is day 35. I’ve had cycles as long as 40 days, so it still seemed a bit risky to get my hopes up too high.

But then. Five seconds of peeing on a stick. Three minutes of waiting. Two pink lines. Amazing.

Andrew came into the bathroom with me to see the results. I had covered up the stick with tissue, so we couldn’t see the results until we were ready. When we saw it, I didn’t know how to feel. Was I supposed to be shrieking or jumping up and down? It was a little early, and I had just woken up minutes before. We just hugged each other tighter than we’ve ever hugged, and kissed. I kept repeating, “I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it. We’re going to have a baby.”

I don’t really know how to feel, or how I do feel. I’m excited. I’m extremely happy. I’m completely awestruck. But I’m also a little overwhelmed. This is really going to happen. My life is changed forever. This afternoon Andrew and I went into a Babies R Us, just to wander and feel what it’s going to be like. After a few minutes of wandering around and checking out countless cribs, strollers, and pack-n-plays, I felt completely overwhelmed. I wanted to leave. I couldn’t make any decisions about what we needed yet. And obviously we weren’t there to purchase anything or even think about purchasing anything. But it was so…real. I wanted to have a few more days of “is this really happening?” before jumping into that reality.

We’ve decided to tell our families and a few close friends pretty soon. After trying for over a year, we didn’t want to wait. When we first started trying, we thought we wouldn’t even tell our parents for two months, at least. Now I’m planning to tell my parents tomorrow, the second day I even know about it. Things don’t always go the way you planned, do they?

This baby will be born in March, late March, maybe. I wanted a baby to come in the fall. But at this point, I’m just thankful to be having a baby at all. Oh my god, I’m going to have a real-live baby in the spring. Is this real? When will it feel really real? Wow. Andrew and I are going to be parents; we’re starting our own family. This is the most amazing day.

Monday, July 13

Everybody do the worm.

I have worms. Not in the gross way, but the good, composty sort of way. I found a worm seller in Spring Hill, KS (or rather, the worm-preneur found me, via this blog), and on Sunday Andrew and I drove down there and bought three-quarters of a pound of red wigglers. They also gave us a bag of manure and castings to help us get our bin started. Very nice. They gave the worms to us in this jar that they had labeled with their own company label. Pretty cool. I think I may have been the first customer, which is also awesome.

In case you’re interested in starting your own worm bin, here’s how I did it. But don’t copy me until I update you on whether it’s working or not.

Step 1: Buy container; drill air holes.
Step 2: Fill with shredded paper.
Step 3: Let cat play in shredded paper.
Step 4: Dampen paper with squirt bottle.
Step 5: Put on rubber gloves; dump in manure/castings.
Step 6: Dump in jar of worms.
Step 7: Realize that worms will not just fall out of the jar.
Step 8: Reach into the jar and start shoveling out worms.
Step 9: Huh. Notice that worms are much warmer than I expected.
Step 10: Shovel more worms.
Step 11: Bury worm pile with shredded paper.
Step 12: Add handful of chopped up food waste; cover with more shredded paper.
Step 13: Put lid on, wait for something to happen.

Monday, July 6

Third time's the charm.

Once you are married, are you supposed to stop celebrating all your previous “anniversaries”?

Today marks seven years since Andrew and I began dating. Or rather, it marks seven years since I gave in to Andrew’s relentless wooing and decided to give him another shot, since we had actually already dated and broken up twice before. And I’d already vowed that I was through with him, because a girl can only take so much heartache, especially from someone so handsome. And charming. And funny. And smart.

But because of the handsome/charming/funny/smart characteristics, I gave him another shot. So glad I did. Because now, seven years later, we’re still celebrating. Our official anniversary is now our wedding date, but surely it’s okay to remember all the little milestones that got us to where we are.

The next “anniversary”? September 2, the day Andrew unofficially asked me to marry him, closely followed by September 19, when I got the official, down-on-one-knee-oh-and-here’s-a-sparkly-ring proposal. Ah, memories.

Sunday, July 5

V is for Vermicompost: Continued

On Saturday morning, I woke up at 6:40am, showered, and went to the farmers' market (the big one in KC, the one that is a 25-minute drive to reach) because the worm guy was going to be there. And I had spent my Friday night shredding paper and drilling holes in a plastic storage bin so I'd be ready for my worms. (I know, you are sooo jealous of my fantastic weekend, right?) (Seriously, though, my weekend was fantastic.)

But the worm guy was not there. We walked everywhere, up and down the rows, but we couldn't find anyone selling worms. We did buy six peaches, a bunch of onions, and a dozen ears of corn (that, incidentally, had tiny worms in them). But the worm guy wasn't there.

Due to the magical power of the smart phone, we looked him up on teh intarweb, and found that due to the recent surge in popularity of the worms, he wasn't going to the farmers' market in order to give his worms time to, um, replenish, if you know what I mean (bow chicka bow wow).


He'll allegedly be back selling worms at the farmers' market on July 18. And that is when I will start vermicomposting. Allegedly.

Thursday, June 25

Noteworthy Thursday #27

Dear Time Warner,

Sigh . . .

Please fix our internet. Once again, it fails us.




Wednesday, June 24

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad’s 60th birthday. I can’t believe he’s 60. Shouldn’t he be retired by now? I can remember celebrating his 40th birthday. Some friends of his came over and put “over the hill” signs in the yard and strung black balloons around. I don’t think I really got what “over the hill” meant. Maybe I still don’t.

Because now he’s twenty years over the hill, but 60 doesn’t seem that old to me. Sure, my dad’s hair isn’t quite as vibrantly red as it once was, and he has a few more laugh lines than he used to have, but to me, he isn’t very old at all. So, over the hill? Waaaaay over the hill? Not my dad. My dad is still more dedicated to his work than anyone I know. He spends hours taking care of his yard. He gets down on the ground and plays with his grandson. He can do crossword puzzles in circles around me. And I’m pretty sure he’s always able to find his glasses.

One thing about my dad that has always impressed me is his iron will. Because of health issues, my dad refrains from eating sweets. In the last fifteen years, I’ve probably seen him eat only two or three desserts. I went out to lunch today with my parents to celebrate the big 6-0, and even on his 60th birthday—a milestone worthy of cake and ice cream if I ever saw one—he stuck to his no-sweets plan. My mom and I shared a dessert while my dad paid the bill. He didn’t even take a bite. Impressive, no?

Happy Birthday, Dad. Thanks for buying me dessert. It was quite delicious.

Tuesday, June 23

V is for Vermicompost!

Today at work I went to the EcoTeam meeting over lunch to hear about vermicomposting. I think I might actually give this a try. The presenter, Eric Williams of, was very knowledgeable and interesting, and he made composting with worms sound foolproof.


  • indoors
  • confined to a bin (with a lid!)
  • odorless
  • no confusing brown/green ratios to worry about
  • fast

  • involves, you know, WORMS (red wigglers, to be exact)
  • not suitable for yard waste composting
  • worms will double in number in a relatively short amount of time and then you have the problem of what to do with all the extra worms (they can’t survive outdoors as they aren’t native to the area)

Does anyone have any experience with this? My outdoor compost bin has turned out to be sort of a mess. I can’t get the green/brown ratio right, so it stinks. It has also become a breeding ground for roly polies, fruit flies, and ants. I do like that in the outdoor bin I can compost the yard waste . . . but will it work okay without any of the paper or food waste (which would go into the worm bin)? Help!

Thursday, June 18

Noteworthy Thursday #26

This note is very near and dear to my heart. This is something from my late grandfather, and it's just a perfect example of how kind, sweet, loving, and hilarious he was.

The date on the sheet was February, 1994--I would have been 12. (Incidentally, my grandma would have passed away just eight months earlier, I think, if I have my dates straight.) I don't remember why my sister and I stayed overnight with Grandpa, but I love that we were greeted with such kindness and such a sense of fun.

Tuesday, June 16

Yet another shameless plug

I know you all love a good gift book. And you especially love a good stimulating conversation. Well, have I got a recommendation for you.

It's a Gift Book From Hallmark! This is called Talk Show: Turn Off the TV and Tune In to Your Family. (Conversation Starter Cards for Hours of Fun.) Basically, each card has a cute, fun, silly, or thought-provoking question that is appropriate for the whole family, and they're guaranteed to get you talking and having a fantastic time. (Okay, not guaranteed in the traditional sense, I do not believe there are cash refunds associated with evenings that are less than stellar.)

Go, go buy it now! I wrote/compiled it, and even after hours spent contemplating each and every question, I would still be a consumer of this product! And if that isn't a good recommendation, I don't know what is.

Monday, June 15


You’ll never guess what we did this weekend. I can hardly believe it myself. Andrew and I got matching tattoos!

Just kidding.

Seriously, though. My mother-in-law emailed on Friday and said she was going out of town and that my father-in-law’s best bud and his wife were also going to be out of town. And that, obviously, meant that my FIL needed to be entertained. My MIL asked if we had any projects around the house that needed to be taken care of, because Mark would love to have something to do. I said that we could use some help cleaning out our gutters.

Mark emailed back shortly, saying that he’d come over right after work with the ladder and clean out the gutters. And that maybe Saturday he would come over and build the gate we’d been talking about (a gate to close off our deck to keep the cats on the deck, basically). And true to his word, he was there Friday evening around 6:00 to clean the gutters. And we got to talking, and instead of him coming over on Saturday to build the gate, he was going to come over to build some benches on our deck. Built-ins, around the back corner.

And that sounded awesome. We’d wanted built-in benches for awhile, but it always seemed like one of those future, distant projects, like finishing the basement or cleaning the bathroom.

But all day Saturday and a good chunk of Sunday ending up being devoted to building these benches. No gate yet, though. Maybe next weekend.

This is a candid shot. Apparently this is a face I really make.
I was trying to decide if the seat felt comfortable,
like a reasonable bench seat. Yes, am a dork.

Yes, the one on top is my husband. Isn't he darling?