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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Foto Friday

Technically, I am posting this Thursday night, but it's late enough for me to already be thinking about Friday. So, the following pic isn't great in quality, but it's because I took it with my phone in the car this evening because I wanted to capture Scooter's love of the A/C vent. If he could make love to that vent, he would. The entire drive, he just sits and sniffs that vent: It smells SO delightful!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dr Appointment

So, I had my weekly check up at the doctor's office today, and for the good news, my weight, blood pressure, and Norah's HR were all still good. And the doctor especially praised me on how well I've done in the weight gain department, so that felt good.

In the other news (I don't want to label it "bad" because that implies the wrong thing), nothing much is progressing. Cervix is soft, but Norah's head is still not all the way down in my pelvis and I am not dilated at all yet. Also, the doctor estimates that Norah is somewhere between 7-8 lbs, which is average, but I'm measuring a little on the large side, so she's a bit concerned that if I go to my due date, or past, that I will be delivering GIANT baby. And at this point, it seems inevitable that I will not go early.

So, we'll wait until my appointment next week and have an ultrasound then to help better determine how potentially large (or average) in size the baby is. The doctor said that she may be perfectly average in size, but because I'm so small and have such a condensed torso, the baby could just be measuring large within me; she also said that we have to consider that Jerry is considerably bigger than me and certainly his genetics are playing half the role here in determining how big she might be. Translation of that? Average, or slightly larger than average, sized Norah inside a tiny Jess.

Thus, if the ultrasound shows Norah in the 8-9 lbs range by next Wednesday, we may need to talk induction or, possibly, c-section on or before my due date. But really, to contemplate that stuff is to put the cart before the horse. So, ultimately, we just have to continue to wait and see what happens, and in the best case scenario, I just go into labor sometime between now and next Wednesday!

Anyway, no point in thinking too much about GIANT baby until there's a reason to really think on it, and in the meantime, we just have to continue to be patient. The doctor told me I have a great attitude for someone this far along (and showing little sign of progress), and that helped reinforce that I just have to do my best to remain positive and easy going. I know, logically, that I can't remain pregnant forever, and if Norah is GIANT baby, then she's GIANT baby: she can win the height contest on my side of the family!

My Walking Partner

Since I stopped running (6 weeks, 5 days ago, but who's counting?), I have been regularly walking as a way to remain physically active in the remaining portion of my pregnancy. On most days, Scooter and I take about a handful of walks: These are mostly short pee-break walks, but once a day, we get out there for a "long walk" (about 1-2 miles).

But, despite his initial enthusiasm and his inherent cuteness, he's not really the ideal walking partner. Here's 5 reasons why:

1. He's stubborn and willful. Which means he wants to go where he wants to go. And that's where the smells are. So, if a particular patch of asphalt or an individual blade of grass smells like heaven to him, he'd rather stop and sniff that for half an hour than keep walking. This also means that he tries to pull me all over the place in pursuit of such delicious smells. So, he is definitely not that well-trained dog you see that calmly trots along next to its master while walking.

2. He's neurotic. And kinda skittish and unpredictable. So, one minute he wants to chase down a garbage truck that is barreling past, and the next, a leaf blowing across the sidewalk nearly makes him jump out of his fur.

3. He makes frequent stops. In a route we typically take that is about 1.5 miles, he will stop to pee a dozen times. The first 2 or 3 times, actual pee comes out. The next 10 times, he's just fruitlessly lifting his leg. Thus, it feels like we're pausing at every tree, fire hydrant, and sign post on the route.

4. He has a penchant for walking in the street. I don't know why the grass isn't good enough for him, but he always pulls and wants to walk in the street, and his leash is just long enough for him to continually skirt the edge. Now, the streets we walk aren't heavily trafficked, but there's enough cars that I feel as though I am constantly yanking him back onto the swale and telling him to "get outta the street!"

5. When he's done, he's done. Most dogs I know love to walk and will walk for as long as their master will take them. But for Scooter, once he gets a certain distance, he wants to go back home, and he will continually try to turn around. Some walks are better than others and he is happy to walk as far as we go, but other days, we get about 3 blocks in, and he's ready to turn and head back home. On those walks, I feel as though I am dragging him along behind me. And the irony is that once we get to the turn-around spot, his attitude seems to change to "this isn't so bad, let's continue on!" Essentially, there are some days where I think he just wants to walk in the opposite direction as me -- probably just to piss me off.

But, for as annoying as he can be, I am glad to have him with me (most of the time -- yesterday, Jerry took him to the dog park, so I went for a long walk without him, and it was quite glorious). Plus, he's usually so tuckered out from the walk, that once we return home, he's out for a good few hours, and my mantra has always been: "A tired dog is a well-behaved dog."

My mom tells me that that was the basis of her entire child-rearing philosophy as well. Hmmmm, that explains all those days at the park, and the long summer days of swim lessons, tennis camp, and soccer practice...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Vivid Dreams

This morning, in my semi-awake stage, as Jerry was leaving for work, I told him to "be careful of the zombies."

"What?" he'd asked, confused of course, because most days I say something like "have a good day."

"The zombies," I told him, "careful. They're everywhere."

So, yes, it's true that dreaming during pregnancy takes on a whole new dimension, and it's often a blurry line between what's real and what's been a dream. Lately, especially, my dreams have taken on a particularly vivid quality, and I believe this is because I wake up every 2 hours to either pee or shift around, so I am constantly interrupting my REM cycle, and thus, waking in the middle of dreams. Therefore, they take on a more realistic quality.

And last night, I was dreaming about the zombie war.

Why? Simple. I'm reading "World War Z" by Max Brooks. (Jerry read it about a year ago and kept harassing me to read it, so I finally decided to pluck it off the bookshelf and give it a go: turns out, he's right; it's an engrossing, fast-paced read. Plus, anyone who knows me, knows I have a particular fascination with zombies. I can't explain it, I just do.)

So, I went to bed last night with a head filled with zombie images. But in my dreams, I'm never in a passive role. No way. I'm not gonna sit idly by while zombies take over the world; I'm gonna be a fuckin' zombie mercenary. So in my dream, I am hunting down zombies with nothing but my closest posse, who all just happen to be the entire cast from "How I Met Your Mother" (I've been re-watching seasons 2 and 3 on DVD lately: I have a lot of time on my hands these days).

So, when Jerry woke me this morning to say "goodbye," I was still in this dream-like state when I bid him to be careful of zombies. What can I say? I'm a considerate wife, and I'd prefer he didn't get devoured by the undead. Plus, I've made it pretty clear in our past discussions that if he were bit by a zombie and infected that I would dispose of him rather quickly.

Sorry, hon.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Well, Jerry can sleep well tonight

because the camcorder arrived today!It's a pretty sleek little machine -- a far cry from the gargantuan video camera my grandpa had when I was a kid (I think that thing must've weighed as much as a 3 year old) -- I have munchkin-sized hands and it fits perfectly within my palm.
So, be prepared: Once Norah arrives, I will most likely inundate you with some incredibly dull footage of her that only parents truly cherish, but I will expect you guys to "ohhhh" and "ahhhh," so maybe you want to go ahead and start practicing your fake enthusiasm.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Waiting Game

Yesterday, in the weekly email update that I receive from BabyCenter, it described this remaining part of pregnancy as "the waiting game," and I think it's the most accurate description for what both Jerry and I are experiencing right now. BabyCenter's email suggests: "Take naps, catch up on your reading, and spend uninterrupted time with your partner while you can," and really that's what I've basically been doing this weekend.

But, enjoying this down time is easier said than done, and like most things in life, I'm sure I won't appreciate all this extra time, sleep, and relaxation until later when I don't have it anymore. So, while it has been a nice, quiet, slow-paced weekend, I also find myself a little bored and sick of the anticipation.

However, they say that good things come to those who wait...

Friday, July 24, 2009

7 Traits

I got tagged by Teacherwoman to list 7 personality traits about myself, and because I have no other bloggy-ideas, I figure today is a great day to do this meme. So, here goes:

1. Independent.
I think that perhaps because I'm the oldest child or perhaps because my parents are divorced, I was prompted to take on responsibility and self-sufficiency from an early age, and I have always thought of myself as capable of taking care of myself. Thus, my sense of Independence is vital to my sense of identity. I think this part of my personality is why I enjoy teaching college so much: I am essentially my own boss. I also think this part of me is also why I had to marry someone like Jerry who would allow me to maintain that sense of identity; for instance, I didn't take his last name and we keep our finances separate.

2. Easy Going*
I'm pretty laid back, flexible, and generally "go with the flow." And few things really upset me. I remember once when Jerry and I were first dating, my car got broken in to, and he was with me when I came outside to discover windows smashed in and the stereo gone. My reaction? "Oh, shoot." He couldn't believe how casually I handled it. But really, why get upset? The deed was done. Nothing to do but go about fixing things.

3. Optimistic*
I always believe that good things will happen for me and those I am close to. Yes, I understand that bad things happen in this world, but in general, things seem to have a way of working themselves out to positive ends. This optimism is also tied into my sense of karma and good luck: I just seem to have good luck. For example, I used to always boast that I was indestructible. This boasting was based on some significant examples of me narrowly escaping what should have been disastrous circumstances. The best illustration of this was when I was in a car accident my freshman year of college. I rolled my car, was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the car (thrown through the driver's side window), and the worst I suffered? I chipped my front tooth. That's it. Landed in a soft pile of snow. Granted, I am no longer a reckless teenager who doesn't wear her seat belt, but I figure if I can walk away from that, things will turn out just fine.

4. Hard Working
I am average in every sense of the word, but I have worked hard at things I felt were important to me, and I believe that hard work and determination count for WAY more than natural ability when we set our sights on achieving a goal.

5. Contemplative
Some would also label this "absent-minded" or "poor at paying attention" because I often let my mind wander. This is often a trait that is irksome to Jerry since it's the part of me that allows me to walk out of the house without remembering to close the door behind me, or locking myself out of the house or car. But, I'm really not that bad at paying attention and I listen better than people may perceive; it's just that I may give the impression of not listening because I may be thinking of something else as you're speaking to me.

It's this part of my personality that is especially fed by running, though: When I'm running, my body is engaged in it's own thing and my brain is free to roam. It's really a nice, relaxing feeling. I also think it's this part of my personality that allows my brain to be creative. Thinking about things allows me to always remain curious about the world and ponder questions. I also think it's this part of my personality that makes me such an avid reader: reading allows me a focused way of being contemplative. I read something; I think about it; it opens up my mind to new possibilities, ideas, worlds, and perspectives.

6. Organized
This may seem somewhat contradictory following the above characteristic, but I really am an organized person. My house is neat and clean and everything has its place. I am very organized at work: I keep separate folders for each of my classes, and I have never (in 9 years of teaching) lost a student's paper, test, or quiz. I am always on time (often a few minutes early). And I have never paid a bill late in my life. I always keep careful track of appointments, due dates, birthdays, holidays, travel itineraries, and deadlines.

7. Outgoing and Sociable
Like anyone, I enjoy my alone time, but I am, primarily, a people person. Again, I think this is why I enjoy teaching because I get to meet lots of people, and they are new people each term, which makes it far more interesting. I like hanging out with friends, and I think I make new friends or acquaintances with relative ease, and I get along well with a wide-range of people. I like to try new things, go new places, eat new and different foods, and in general, I embrace the whole "eat, drink and be merry" attitude.

*These traits have been skewed by pregnancy. Never in my life have I felt the kind of anxiety, worry and impatience that I have felt in the course of the past 38 weeks. I'm hoping that once the baby is here, these parts of my personality return to a better level of normalcy for me.*

So, part of the tag means that I have to tag 7 others to do the same and list 7 of their personality traits, but I don't know who's done it and who hasn't, so if you haven't done it and would like to, consider yourself "tagged"!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oikos Winner and Dr Appointment

I took all your names from yesterday's post, and performed a random drawing, and the winner of the 3 coupons for Oikos Yogurt is.....

N. D. of L'il Runner!

Congrats!! I sent you an email already, so go check it! Thanks for all the interest and participation, but the rest of you will just have to fork over the necessary cash to try Oikos for yourselves.

Now, back to me.

I had my weekly check up yesterday, and things are going fine. I gained another few pounds, and I am now up 25 lbs overall. I know this is perfectly normal, but man alive, it seems like a lot! I have never seen these kinds of numbers on a scale before and, to be frank, it's pretty frightening. However, I know that in these last weeks most of the weight gain is the baby's, but still, I feel like a fatty-fatty-two-by-four!

Other stats: my blood pressure remains good and was 100/70, and Norah's HR was still strong and healthy, and I'm still lucky to not be experiencing any swelling. So, that's all good.

In addition to the regular stuff, the doctor also did a pelvic exam to feel how things are progressing "down south," and she said that my cervix is softening, and the baby's head is moving down, but it's not all the way down yet and I am not yet dilated at all. I am experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions, but those are "false labor"; however, they are a sign that my body is getting ready for real labor in the next few weeks.

All in all, what does this mean? Not much. At this stage of my pregnancy, things could progress very rapidly or very slowly, so we just have to remain patient.

I confess that at this point, I'm ready to just do this thing; it's kind of like the two week taper before a marathon when you just want the day to arrive so you can do it and stop thinking about it. That's how I feel right now. Don't get me wrong, I have my terrors and anxieties about labor, but I'm sick of anticipating it, and I'm ready to just get it done. However, it's all in Norah's power right now since she's the one who determines when she's ready, so I just have to resign myself to waiting for the right moment when she decides to come and meet us.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oikos Review and Giveaway

About 2 months ago, the good folks at Stonyfield Farms offered me some coupons and a chance to review their Oikos yogurt, and I gladly took them up on the offer. And then promptly forgot about it. So, I'm a little late getting to my review of their product, but better late than never, right?

So, I picked up two variations on the Oikos brand, the honey and the plain, and I used the honey first.
I mostly like to use yogurt as a smoothie ingredient, and often times I add honey to my smoothies too, so this was a good combination. I made myself a nectarine smoothie (nectarine because I had a very ripe one that was in need of use) with the Oikos, some ice, and some milk.

It was delicious! And the serving size of the 5.3 oz yogurt was the perfect amount for the smoothie.

Next, I used the plain yogurt as part of a tzatziki recipe.
Personally, I could make a meal out of tzatziki, hummus, and pita, and this plain version of their yogurt had a natural tang that regular plain yogurt lacks and, I think, that helped enhance the taste of the tzatziki.
Mmmmm, you want to grab a hunk of warm pita and just dip it in there, don't you? Yummy.

So, overall, I thought both flavors were good and worked well for the sort of food that I usually use yogurt for (I don't honestly eat it just by itself all that often). It is a brand that is slightly more expensive than other generic yogurts, but that's to be expected with an organic line. Also, I know others of you who reviewed the product said you had a hard time finding it, but for me, it was amongst all the other yogurts in our regular Publix, so no special trip to a specialty store was required.

But, I don't want to be selfish and horde it all to myself; no, I have decided to share. So, if you think you'd like to give Oikos a try, I have 3 remaining coupons that I'd like to give you! All you have to do is leave me a comment here, in the next 24 hours, expressing your desire to get your hot little fingers on these coupons below. Make sure you leave me your email address or comment with a profile that has an email option, so I can contact you for your mailing address.
Tomorrow, I'll draw randomly for a winner, and then mail the coupons to that lucky person! Good luck.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Haircut and Shameless Self-Promotion

Thanks for all the input yesterday about my hair dilemma. In the end, I decided to just go with a trim:Turns out, I think it was exactly what I needed: looks pretty much the same, but feels a lot fresher, and there's just a good, clean-kept feeling after trimming those damaged ends off. In the end, I decided that it's a bit easier to deal with when it's longer, and in a few months I may be desiring a much more drastic cut, so I can save the big chop for later if I choose.

Now, aside from complimenting me on my beauty, I have an additional request from you. Remember that short story I had published at the beginning of the month? Sure you do. You read it. You loved it. So now is your chance to return to the magazine and vote for it for "Story of the Month."

Directions:
Go here.
Read it (titled "The Infirmary" -- it's the last one listed) if you haven't already.
Decide that it's fabulous.
Vote for it.

Your reward for such work? My eternal gratitude. That should be motivation enough.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hair Dilemma

I have a haircut scheduled for tomorrow, but I am completely undecided as to what I want to do. I have been growing my hair out (which is really just lazy-speak for the fact that I haven't had it cut since February), and part of me would like to continue to allow it to grow because I haven't had long hair in years; plus, long hair is easy to maintain because I can just pull it back in a pony tail. And easy maintenance might be handy for being a Baby Mama.

So, this is what it currently looks like:
So, if I let it grow, I'd just get it trimmed tomorrow (which, if nothing else, it desperately needs that). However, part of me really wants to CUT it. So, I'm pondering going back to a style that's like this: Because I'm not the most rational person right now (I think that being 9 months pregnant makes me slightly OCD and even though I know cutting 5 inches off my hair won't erase the 20 lbs sticking out in front of me, somehow, they do seem related), I am turning to you, dear readers, for your opinions.

Do I: CUT IT! or Trim it. ???

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday
We went to scope out potential camcorders. Lately, Jerry has been dedicatedly researching various camcorders since, well, since we got pregnant; for men, it's all about the gadgets. Anyway, in the past few weeks, the decision about which one to buy has reached "stage critical" and he had narrowed his search to 3 potential candidates, and he wanted me to see them and test them in person before ordering one online. After looking at them, we decided on one and Jerry ordered it from Amazon. (Jerry cashed in some change this weekend, and it turned out that he had $175 in his change jar! Whoa! I guess those poker evenings with the guys really do pay out. Anyway, with his change-jar cha-ching and some giftcards he'd been hoarding, our new camcorder felt like a bargain!)

The funny thing is that after he ordered it, he proudly announced, "Well, our new video camera will be here in 5-9 business days!"

"Well, I hope it gets here before the baby does," I told him.

His face fell with the sudden realization that that may be a possibility. Now is probably the one time he wishes he would have paid the extra $$ for the rush shipping :)

After we shopped for the camcorder, we went to see a matinee of Harry Potter, and I have to say, it was fabulous. In my opinion, probably the best of the Potter adaptations so far. Of course, it was like 2 hours and 40 minutes, so I had to get up and pee twice during that time, but other than the long sit, I really thought it was great. Now, it sucks that we have to wait until Nov of 2010 for the first installment of Deathly Hallows!

Sunday
I ran some errands, and then went and treated myself to a pedicure. Pedicures are one of my few beauty indulgences, but I have really come to appreciate them since I got pregnant, and they are a special treasure to me right now since I can't really paint my own toenails (managing to shave my legs feels like it deserves a gold medal).

So, it's been a nice weekend, but everywhere I go I have been getting the following:

Questions from strangers about when I'm due.
Comments from strangers about how I look like I'm gonna "pop" any day now.
Pats on my belly from strangers.
Question from a stranger if the iced coffee I was drinking is decaf.
Question from a stranger about which prenatal vitamins she should buy.
Pat on my belly from pedicure-girl and comment that I'm lucky not to have swollen ankles.

So, am I ready to have this kid? Hell, yes! If for no other reason than to have an end to the above.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Dog Beach Friday

Thanks for the compliments on the pics I posted earlier today (below); I feel ginormous. And yes, I'm ready, but at the same time, I'm practical and I know that while it could be "any time now," it could also be 5 weeks from now. We'll see when she's ready!

Anyhoo...this afternoon when Jerry got home from work, we packed up some beach stuff and took Scooter to Hollywood! Hollywood, FL that is. They have a "dog beach" there, where on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, you pay $5 for access to a section of beach that allows dogs to roam off leash. We had a blast and Scooter loved it. And, of course, I took about 3 dozen pics. Here's a sampling:

Scooter, ears flapping in the ocean breeze: He looks like he's smiling, doesn't he?
Jerry and Scooter running: It's like my own version of "Baywatch"!
Jerry and Scooter playing in the waves: Waves kinda freak Scooter out, and each time he'd muster up the courage to go out and swim, he'd get a wave big enough to splash over him and then he'd be done with that for a bit.
Scooter and I:
Scooter looking contemplative off into the distance. There's just something about the sea that brings out the thinker in a dog :) Note the slobber encrusted with sand. Yummy.
After we beached it up for awhile, we went to a restaurant where we could sit on the patio with Scooter and we enjoyed a nice, relaxing dinner. It was really a great Friday evening -- the perfect way to kick off the weekend!

37 Weeks: Full Term



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Packing My Bags

So, I started to pack my hospital bagbut I think it will sit open like this until the last minute simply because there's so much I'll probably throw in at the last minute: camera, cosmetics, snacks. So, packing my stuff took about 5 minutes: 2 changes of clothes, nursing bras, nightgown, slippers, etc , but deciding on what to bring for the baby took decidedly more time. Following a suggested list, I packed some swaddling blankets and burp clothes, but when it came time to deciding on which outfit we should bring her home in, I was kinda stumped. So, I ended up packing 3 outfits!

The first is this yellow ducky ensemble that has a matching hat and booties:
I know you're wondering, why yellow? Well, a colleague of mine told me it's good luck, no matter the baby's sex, to bring a baby home in yellow. So, Jerry and I had settled on this outfit long ago (Jerry has a particular affinity for baby animals on baby outfits, and he seems to especially favor ducks), but as I was packing it yesterday, I thought to myself: "What if the size is slightly off? What if she doesn't look good in yellow? What if I just plain want her in something else?"

Silly, yes, but I wouldn't label myself the most rational of people right now. So, I picked out two other onesies (and matching socks) to bring along as back ups. This one:
And this one:

They are all close to the same size, but each has a slight variation either in length or width, and frankly, I think I will want to decide on the appropriate color in the moment, and like any woman, I need choices. Logically, I know that we live less than 5 miles from the hospital, and Jerry will probably go home at some point and will be able to pick up anything we need; still, my crazy preggo brain insists that this selection of outfits is critical right now.

Of course, with 3 outfits packed to chose from, it now seems highly probably that we'll just bring her home naked, wrapped in a blanket.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This and That

Still no Jury Duty, but I had to write myself the above note so that I remember to continue to check in every day this week; otherwise, I think I'd totally forget it at this point.

Had another doctor check up this morning, and everything was pretty much as it was last week: My weight remains the same, blood pressure is still good, and Norah's HR is still good. The only notable thing is that the strep test I mentioned last week came back positive. All that means is that they'll administer an antibiotic during delivery to prevent the baby's "catching" it. No big deal.

Aside from the dr appointment, my primary task for today has been cooking. See, I figure that after we arrive home from the hospital, we won't feel up to cooking, nor may we have much time to do so, so we've devised some freezable meals to prep ahead of time, so that especially in that first week home we won't have to worry about dinner. Today's meal? Lasagna.

In my opinion, lasagna is one of the best freezable meals there is: Something about it just freezes well and then heats up perfectly. Here it is in it's freezable container, all set to go:I also plan to make a chicken enchilada recipe I found online that looks good and reportedly freezes well, and Jerry is going to make his delicious baked potato soup that should also do well in the freezer. Additionally, I've purchased a few "bag" meals -- prepackaged frozen meals that are easy to heat up and serve.

I don't think we'll need much more than that, and I don't think our freezer is big enough for much more than that, but does anyone have any suggestions for make-ahead meals that might work well for my endeavor?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Toothy Tuesday

Today, Jerry and I had our standard 6 month teef cleaning and dental check up (I always schedule us at the same time, so that it's easier to keep track of), and because we're together, we always get the same two dental hygienists who are in the same room together. And today, seeing how visibly preggo I am, they both felt it incumbent to share with us their own pregnancy and labor stories and also tell us what hellions their teenagers now are.

And, of course, we heard for the upteenth time: "Oh, your lives are going to be SO different!"

But aside from the repetitious advice, stories, and shockingly detailed anecdotes, the benefit was that the hygienist I always get (who I refer to as the "Floss Nazi") was more gentle with me this time than usual (even back in Feb, when she knew I was preggo, she still gave my gums a thorough lashing with her brutal flossing), so that was a relief.

Plus, the dentist declared my teeth "perfect" as always, and seriously, who tires of hearing such praise? So, all in all, a good visit. And the next time we go in for our 6 month check up, our lives will be SO different!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Mocha Monday

So, I saw an ad last week that McDonald's is giving away free samples of their mochas on Mondays. I like free stuff, so this morning, I went to Mickey D's and got me a sample:It was really the perfect size, maybe 6 ounces, and it was pretty delish. Of course, I wouldn't really label it "coffee" because it was more like a milkshake, and it was pretty sweet so I don't think I'd be interested in a full size serving. (Plus, I looked up the nutritional info, and a small, which is 12 oz, has 280 calories and has a whopping 33 grams of sugar!) But, after getting a little caffeine and a lot of sugar, I set to work on my primary task for the day: cleaning Jerry's truck.

After my epic car cleaning last Monday, I vounteered to clean out his truck, and he readily agreed. So, he took the Escape today, and I cleaned out his Ranger, aka "Bold Gold" as we call it.

This is a much bigger task than cleaning out my Escape. I keep my car relatively clean, but when I opened the passenger door to Bold Gold, this is the mess that greeted me:
I cleaned out two bags of recyclable stuff (empty water bottles and soda cans) and one bag that was just trash. I also made about $5 in change that was floating around in there. Next, I gave it the same treatment I gave the Escape last week: Windexed the windows, wiped down all non-cloth surfaces, and finally, vacuumed.
It's not sparkling clean, and there's still a strange smell that I just can't identify (I might just label it "man smell"), but it's as clean as two hours worth of cleaning can get it. Plus, I gassed it up and washed the outside at the car wash, so the truck is probably cleaner now than it has been in a loooooooong time.

Now, I think I have earned an afternoon of laying on the couch with a book. Toodles!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Car Seat Installation

Today, Jerry and Scooter installed Norah's car seat base in the car. Actually, I think Scooter thought he was going for a ride, and without thumbs, I don't think he really helped Jerry much. But he did get to see Jerry squat in the base in order to apply enough pressure to pull the straps tight enough.
It only took Jerry a few minutes to install it, which was a relief to him since every other baby thing has required quite a bit of assembly and subsequent cursing, and he wasn't looking forward to putting the car seat in on a 90 degree day.
After he had the base installed, I practiced taking the car seat in and out a few times to make sure I got the hang of it. It's a bit awkward, and clearly, it will be harder for me to lift once there's a baby in there, but I also won't have an extra 20 lbs out in front of me either, so I think the effort will balance out.

Now, with just 4 weeks remaining until my due date, the only baby task left is to pack the hospital bag. Then, I guess we twiddle our thumbs and wait.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Breakin' the Law

So, I totally forgot last night to call and see if I have jury duty for today. And I didn't realize I'd forgotten until about 10 am this morning, so let's hope that my "on call" status didn't change; otherwise, I could be in deep doo-doo.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Thank Goodness for the Blog

As part of the grand photo album project this week, I am putting together two baby books for Norah (one is a "memory book" -- so lots of space to write and record stuff, and one is just photos), so I had printed all the preggo pics I have of me. Problem is, I couldn't recall how far along I was in each pic.

Problem solver? The blog! I have posted most pics here, so all I had to do was search through my archive to find my discussion about the timeframe (I know what you're thinking: why not use the folders from your hard drive? well, since I switched to a laptop in April, not all the printed pics came from this hard drive, and Snapfish just organizes pics by month, not exact dates or weeks).

Anyway, the short trip down memory lane prompted me to think that you may enjoy a brief trip down this lane as well.

To begin with, here I am at 12 weeks. I can't believe I thought I looked "pudgy" here! I don't look pregnant at all! And again, at 18 weeks, I still don't look preggo, but at the time, I recall believing that I was really starting to show. How silly.
21 weeks. Okay, now I look preggo. At the time of this post, I said that I felt like the belly had started to fill in nearly overnight, and with the short 3 week gap between pics, I think that was pretty much true.
29 weeks. And, clearly, I have learned to master only one preggo pose.
And lastly, the most current pic of me, which was at around 33-34 weeks. Seriously, can I not figure out something else to do with my arms? I guess I will have to experiment and come up with a more unique pose for my next pic.
Goodness, I have grown, huh?

This week's photo album project has been fun, but it's been weird looking at pictures of myself before I was pregnant and in the early stages of pregnancy when I didn't yet look like I was pregnant because right now, it feels weird to think of myself as not being pregnant. And, I have to say, that I don't think I fully appreciated what I looked and felt like before pregnancy. Sorry, body.

Anyhoo...all done with the photo album project. Now, after Norah is born, I doubt I will ever get around to this much picture organizing again. Well, that may not be true. She's the first born, so her pics will probably still get organized, and I'll still take the time to record everything. It's that poor second kid that will probably not have a single printed pic. I know that in my family, I'm the eldest, so I have a cute baby book with all my milestones pictured and commented on, but my youngest brother, the 3rd kid, just has a bunch of pictures in a box!

What about you guys? Do you have a baby book of yourself? Did you keep up baby books for your own kids?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Still no Jury Duty for Me

Which is good since I had a doctor appointment today. Everything checked up just fine: I gained another pound, so I'm up to a grand total of 22 lbs so far; blood pressure was good (110/80); and Norah's HR was still strong and steady. The only variation to today's check up is that I had to have a strep test, which means they swabbed my cooter for bacteria. If present, the bacteria is harmless to me, but since a baby will have to pass through that region with her mouth open in a few weeks, they have to be aware of whether or not it's present so they can administer the correct drugs during labor.

And that was the excitement of the morning.

But, thinking of jury duty has had me thinking of Liz Lemon (from "30 Rock" -- one of the funniest shows on TV in my opinion) and her method of getting dismissed from jury duty:

And, it does remind me that I too have a Princess Leia costume:
Hmmmm....

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Summer Day Indoors

Today was another scorcher outside (temps as high as 102 this afternoon), so it was a good day to stick to the indoors with the A/C and work on another pre-baby task I have created for myself: printing and organizing pictures into albums. The last pictures I had printed and put into albums were from Christmas 2007, so today I worked on the entirety of 2008, and I intend to get all of 2009 (thus far) done later this week. This is actually a fun task because I like looking at the pictures and remembering each event and occasion, so while this is still just as neurotic as cleaning my car, it is a bit more enjoyable.

Scooter also decided that the best thing to do on a day like today was chill, and he chillaxed in his bed while I sorted pics.
But, now that it's 8 pm, and the sun is setting, and the temp is "only" 90F, so I think he and I might go for our daily long walk. Jerry just went out for a run, so we might run into him -- I just hope he hasn't lathered himself into a heat exhausted stupor.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Call to Duty and Nesting-Induced Cleaning

So, I got summoned for jury duty.

At first, I thought it was the worst timing in the world, being 35 weeks preggo and all, but then I figured, eh, what else do I have to do? So, I figured it wasn't such bad timing. However, what sucks is that today, my first day of summoning, I wasn't actually asked to come in. Nope. Instead, I'm "on call" for the next two weeks, so everyday, after 5:30 pm, I have to call the courthouse and see if I'm on duty for the next day.

As I said before, this is not a big deal since I don't have to work right now, but the one thing I am concerned about is how a possible "affirmative" one of these days in the next two weeks will interfere with my now weekly doctor appointments (dr's office asks for 24 hour notice for the cancellation or change of an appointment), but I guess I will just deal with that conflict if it actually arises.

Anyway, without jury duty today, and with nothing else on my schedule, I figured I would clean my car out. Clean it like it's never been cleaned before.An hour later, I had vacuumed every square inch of the Escape (mostly a lot of dog fur and beach sand in there), cleaned the upholstery, and Windexed the windows. I had also sweat through my underwear and drank two bottles of water -- deciding on such a task on a day with 98 degree wasn't the smartest part of the plan -- so even though my original ambition had been to also drag out the hose and wash this puppy, I aborted that idea after I finished the interior.

I think tomorrow I may just take it to the car wash in order to get the outside as clean and shiny as the inside.

And yes, apparently, "nesting" inspires a mania-like need to clean everything before the baby comes. It's like a compulsion. Soon, however, I am gonna run out of stuff to clean.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

4th of July Pics

We had a fabulous time yesterday for the holiday (each year I don't have to rush Jerry to the ER is a good year), and we got tons of pictures to mark the occassion.

Here's Jerry and I in the afternoon for the "day time" fireworks. It was about 95 degrees out -- pretty much unbearable heat -- but Jerry and the other guys toughed it out in the name of explosives. Here's Jerry sharing snaps with some of the kids. He likes to ensure that they learn to appreciate the holiday for what it's meant for: Blowing things up.
For dinner, we had a fabulous Cajun-style shrimp and crawfish boil. Our chef, Ryan, prepared it all and then dumped the boil out on two long tables, and we all just chowed down with our fingers. It was awesome food!
Here I am about to sample my first crawfish. I discovered I'm not much of a fan. They're a lot of work for very little meat.
Scooter was a brave little dog this year and he spent most of the day and evening outside despite the loud, scary booms. (He wore himself out though because he slept until 10 am this morning!)
Scooter likes to monitor Jerry, so here he is supervising Jerry's early evening firework lighting.
Here I am shooting Roman Candles into the lake. That's a good profile of me at 35 weeks preggo.
As dusk descended, we began with the fountains. Later, when it was truly dark, the big fireworks made their debut.
Me, enjoying some sparklers.
Jerry and I toward the end of the night.
And, for the grand finale, here's a video of some of the "big" fireworks that we set off. Seriously, the firepower we had rivaled any small city. It was awesome! If you watch the video with the sound on, you'll hear me comforting Scooter, who was sitting in my ever-shrinking lap.
video