Monday, August 31, 2009

An observation...

On the eve of my V-Day (Viability Day, which is the day - and those following - when, if the baby by chance is born early, they have a higher survival rate with a lot of medical assistance), I noticed something crazy.  My stomach changes shape throughout the day!  This morning it was flat under my ribs but then bulgy a bit lower.  After lunch, it was a basketball under my shirt!  So odd!  Right now?  High and in the shape of a basketball.

I have heard that no one was able to comment on this blog so I changed some settings.  You can see if you can comment now. 

I will be blogging with more updates tomorrow when I (and cashew) turn 24 weeks.  This means 12 more weeks until I am considered "full term" and 16 more weeks before my due date.  This also means 16 more weeks of Xmas shopping time, FYI...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Up, up, up with the sun

With my strange sleeping patterns lately, it is amazing that I can put two words together, nevermind a full sentence. However, this morning, as I watched the sunrise, a poem popped into my head that I may use with Cashew. It would be like a good morning poem to get everyone going (of course, this isn't for infancy although I could possibly still read it to them and do the motions with them).

I was thinking that there would be hand, arm and body movement to go with it to really make it interactive and fun. Don't judge me on my lack of rhyming skills. I am certainly not going to print with this poem. It is just for Cashew, Daddy and me. But I thought I would share...

Up, up, up

Up, up, up comes the sun
It’s face glowing bright
Its rays reach wide
Waving goodbye to the night.

Up, up, up are the birds
Singing their morning song.
They flap their wings
As they soar happily along.

Up, up, up are the trees
Their branches reach high
To embrace the light
From the morning sky.

Up, up, up are the doggies
Their tails wagging fast
A quick trip outside
And then breakfast at last.

Up, up, up are the kitties
They stretch and they yawn
Excited to play
And watch birds on the lawn.

Up, up, up little (name)
It’s time for the day
Time to get ready
To have fun, learn and play.

Up, up, up with your arms
Stretch to the sky
Turn in a circle
And blink each eye.

Up, up, up with your smile
Let’s get ready to go
Give out big hugs

Cuz you are loved more than you know!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

23 weeks: The Good, The Bad, The Hormones

I finally made it to 23 weeks - time seems to be standing still as it has for months now. But I am trying my hardest to just enjoy the time being pregnant since this may (or may not) be my last time. But some days are harder than others.

I had a tough weekend. Tay wasn't feeling well and kept us up most of the weekend. My patience and compassion started jumping out the window (and I wasn't too far behind them) which made me really nervous about whether or not I even had a "mom" gene. I'm glad I didn't blog on Sunday as I had thought I might. Moms (and a few new Dads) would probably hunt me down with pitch forks and torches because I would be looked upon as evil. But I didn't post and I am grateful I didn't. Monday I felt a little better mentally and today I am back to watching the seconds tick on the clock and x'ing off days on the calendar. If I could just make it to October...maybe time would go a little faster...

Yesterday I went to visit a good friend of mine who just had her baby about three weeks ago. My friend looks GREAT - OMG she is so beautiful. I never would have imagined she JUST had a baby. She is definitely my idol!! Not to mention she is closer to my age which makes her even more my idol!! They live very close to us so I am excited about our kids hanging out together. She has a 2-1/2 year old son that is just adorable. Seeing him made my heart skip a beat and made me realize how happy I would be to have a boy (I know...healthy baby is the most important and I am not saying I wouldn't be happy with a girl...gotta cover my bases so that I don't get flamed). And her baby...and I am not one to think babies are that pretty in the like a Gerber baby even this young. Anyway, congrats to the whole family once again and I can't wait for our babies to meet!!

After my visit, I headed to Fry's to pick up a few things. I usually shop at the Walmart close to us for groceries but Fry's happened to be on the way home and I didn't really want to hop on the freeway to hit Walmart. I was surprised at how some things are so much more expensive at Fry's while other things were such a great deal. There was a great sale on the produce - which looked a heck of a lot better than Walmart's produce - so I was excited about that! I stocked up on veggies and fruit. And, can I say...I am plum crazy over plums right now!! I already had one today and may end up having another before the night is up. I guess I never realized how delicious they are!!

Today was a tough day physically. I woke up at my usual 2 - 3 AM timeframe and had to go the bathroom. After that, as usual, I had a hard time going back to sleep. I ended up turning on the TV in the bedroom and watched a couple of episodes of Three's Company before I felt like I could drift back off to sleep. I don't think I have had a restful night sleep in weeks. I really don't. And it isn't so much about being uncomfortable. My belly isn't really big enough to make me uncomfortable yet. It is just not being able to sleep. Once I am awake, I am awake. It is pretty frustrating.

I got up this morning and had two...yes TWO...bowls of Special K cereal. I NEVER used to eat cereal and certainly not two bowls. I am noticing my appetite getting a bit stronger. After I ate my cereal, I became very flush and warm. I started feeling very light headed and a little dizzy. I went to lay down under the ceiling fan in the bedroom and fell asleep...for TWO hours!! I don't EVER do that! This all had me a little worried so I asked our family nurse (and wonderful friend) Linda what she thought could have caused this. She said my sugar level probably spiked after the cereal which made me feel that way. She didn't seem at all concerned so I am chalking it up to that. I mentioned that my appetite was getting a lot stronger which worried me. I don't want to gain a bunch of weight. She said to just be sure and make smart choices and gave me the suggestion of toast with peanut butter.

And to keep exercising! Which I did NOT do today. Actually, I didn't do much today. My nap through me off and I felt unmotivated and tired all day. A shower helped but it didn't boost my motivation in the least. I will need to catch up on my chores tomorrow as well as give Jackson a bath - he stinks and the groomer can't make it until next Tuesday. I might go for a walk this evening but even that sounds to laboring. It may be a veg'd out TV watching night. I hate that but I just can't seem to light that fire under my rear. No excuses. I am hitting the gym for the rest of the week!

I added another item to the nursery. My blanket rack came in. I need your opinions as to which side of the crib it should go:

This side:

Or this side:

Here is a closer look at the rack:

Now about Cashew. Here is a little bit about what's going on with him/her right now (as per

"Turn on the radio and sway to the music. With her sense of movement well developed by now, your baby can feel you dance. And now that she's more than 11 inches long and weighs just over a pound (about as much as a large mango), you may be able to see her squirm underneath your clothes. Blood vessels in her lungs are developing to prepare for breathing, and the sounds that your baby's increasingly keen ears pick up are preparing her for entry into the outside world. Loud noises that become familiar now — such as your dog barking or the roar of the vacuum cleaner — probably won't faze her when she hears them outside the womb."


For me:
Weight gain: Haven't checked in a while. Last week I was up 8 lbs from pre-pregnancy weight. I will check at the gym tomorrow.
Movement: I feel Cashew everyday...a lot! You can now see some movement on the outside and T can definitely feel movement as well.
Latest craving: FRUIT! Especially plums!!
Next milestone: Making it to 24 weeks
Next doc appt: Sept 10
Next needle poke in the arm for more blood: They will schedule my Gestational Diabetes screening at my next appt. So I have a few more weeks before the torture.
Sleeping: NO
Belly button: Shallow but not popped

This is a pic of me yesterday wearing actual clothes to go somewhere! Haha! I just wanted people to know that I don't always wear stretch pants and wife beaters.

22 weeks, 6 days

23 week pic in a pair of new maternity jeans that I love...oh the comfort!

That's all for now.

Dear Cashew,
Now that you can feel me dancing, let me apologize to you. I am a total white girl with white girl moves. And, although I love to dance (and sing when alone), I am definitely not winning any contests. So please don't learn my moves. You seem to have your own moves anyway and WOW are they doozies! I wish I could watch you and see what the heck you are doing! It can feel pretty crazy in there!

You must be growing by leaps and bounds. I seem to always feel hungry and thirsty and very tired. You are already draining my energy! I guess that's good preparation for the next 18 years! I need to keep up with my vitamins. I am sure missing them from time to time isn't helping me much. I read that you don't really need them anymore as much as I do. You get the nutrients you need from whatever I eat and I have to fend for myself after that.

I had a tough weekend and, if you heard me talking to Daddy Sunday night, you probably think that I am really worried about being a mom. I am. I will admit that. But, after talking to your Daddy (who is definitely my better half) he made me feel a lot better about our family. I know there will be challenges and I know there will be a lot to learn but we are in it together! We will have the best family EVER!

Well, time to kick back and enjoy the evening. I will be hitting the gym tomorrow so get some rest tonight. And help me get some rest too.

Love you already and always!!!

PS...Daddy talks to my belly all the time now. Do you hear him? I think he thinks my belly button is the portal to your ear! But it is very sweet and he loves you VERY much! He loves feeling you kick and squirm. It lights up his face.

Thursday, August 20, 2009 gym today

Looks like I will have to take a day off from the gym today. I am not very happy about this decision but I feel it is the right one.

I was moving along fine this morning until I had to stop and go to the bathroom. My stomach was very upset and, while I was dealing with that, I started getting very warm and sweaty. Then I started feeling lightheaded. I grabbed the towel that was hanging on the rack in front of me and put it under cold water. After tapping my face and neck with it, I started feeling a little better.

After I was done in the bathroom, I laid down for a couple of minutes. Cashew was doing some reassuring aerobics in my belly while I laid there trying to regain my strength. I got up after a couple of minutes and headed down to water the plants. I am feeling better now but still a I guess would be the right word. I think I actually could hit the gym and do ok, I feel like maybe I should just lay low today and go tomorrow instead.

I'm not worried about the dizziness and so on. I know all of that is pretty normal throughout the pregnancy. But I am definitely bummed that I have made the decision to not hit the gym. I hate breaking a routine. But I don't want to pass out at the gym either. I can see it on the midday news (which is a slow news time anyway), pregnant woman passes out and falls off of treadmill busting her head open. That would be my luck.

But, other than that, things are fine. I did purchase my first Hooter Hider yesterday. Tatum would be so proud! It was on sale for half off on so I figured, what the heck? It shows it has already shipped so it should be here any day. Who knows if breastfeeding will even work for me but here I am with a Hooter Hider.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

22 week update: Small department, big attire

Here we are at 22 weeks and I don't have a whole lot of updates. Which, when you are pregnant, is usually a very GOOD thing.

I do have a vent, though. Maternity clothes and maternity "departments". Of course, when you are not pregnant, you never notice the maternity section of department stores. I only knew Target had one because I would see the big red and white sign flying when I was shopping in misses. But, let me tell you about maternity departments. They suck.

First, they are so limited! There isn't much of a department to speak of and most of the maternity clothes are mixed in with plus size clothing which gets very confusing. I went to Kohls today because I saw in a flier that they were having a one-day sale and, to my ultimate surprise, maternity clothes were included in the sale. It was advertised as 40-50% off so I thought I would check it out. My biggest need (no pun intended) is bottoms. My tops still pretty much fit albeit a bit snug - they definitely hug my bump.

Anyway, I looked and looked for the maternity department upon arriving at Kohls. I finally found it wedged between the womens department and the baby clothes department. And, when I say wedged, I mean there were probably a grand total of five small racks of clothes. I dug through and was able to find a pair of cropped jeans, a denim skirt and some denim shorts with the full "hidden" belly. **Side note: I bought a pair of maternity shorts and cropped pants from Ross & Target. They are the ones with the elastic band at the top - not the full belly. Well, because I seem to be carrying low, they are sooo uncomfortable. They cut into my belly and make the nastiest muffin top look under my shirts (which, remember, are bump huggers).

On to shirts. I thought I would browse through the shirts to see if there were any that caught my eye. I am realizing that my belly must still be pretty small because even the medium sized maternity shirts looked like balloons that would swallow me whole. And, I guess when you are pregnant you are supposed to look frumpy and pillowy. These shirts, even if I had a bigger belly, were soooo unflattering and downright UGLY! I found one that I tried on and actually laughed out loud! I guess the ruffly edging on the shoulders is supposed to help keep the eyes up at your face and away from your growing pod. In reality, you look like you just had a bad 80's night. Wow. Horrendous.

What else horrendous is the price of maternity clothes. You can buy those hiddeous pairs of plaid shorts that hit at the knees along with the oversized shirt with fluffy sleeves for the small price of $100 something dollars. Oh, I am not kidding! And this is at department stores. Don't get me started on the Motherhood store. Absolutely outrageous. Thanks to the sale at Kohls, I was able to buy my three denim, full belly items (along with a new pair of $10 sunglasses and a silver $8 ring for my thumb) for $70 something. At Motherhood, that price might get you a pair of jeans.

I find that jammy pants and a tank are the best options these days. My workout clothes are pretty comfortable too. I am making dinner for one of my BFFs Amy tonight and I decided to get a little fancier with my long black lounge pants and a white T. No makeup and my hair in a head band. But Amy loves me no matter how simple I look. But, since these items won't make it out in the real world, I had to find some pants that wouldn't cut me in the center of my pod and make me look even more bulgy than I already do. I know I will have to resort to looking for shirts as I progress but I am going to wait. I doubt they will get any better but, the other reason, I may need to eventually buy some larger, warmer clothes. And something for my showers as well.

We did get the shelf put up in the nursery. Here it is with some odds and ends on it. I am sure it will be rearranged a few more times with items before Cashew arrives...


Here is a pic of it in relation to the crib

I had an idea for what I wanted over the I talked with my Dad. He is a fantastic artist and I am his greatest fan! Our house is like a gallery of my Dad's awesome work. I am helping him with a video he wants to produce for a friend of his. I am going to do the edit work on the video for him to give to his friend in late November. Dad and my SMom asked how I would like to be repaid and I told them, no payment necessary. I love to edit.

Well...I changed my mind! Haha! I have asked Dad to paint something on canvas (or some sort of artwork no matter the medium) that would correlate with our wall color and our bedding. So I am going to send him the valance from our bedding set (which doesn't fit our window), the paint card with the color we selected for the walls and the length of the crib and he is going to create a piece of art to hang over the crib. I am so excited and feel so lucky that I will have something that special over Cashew's crib!!!! It sure means a lot to me!

Here is the size of me at 22 weeks (I am up 7 lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight):

Here is the size of Cashew (according to one of the many reference websites out there):

Stats on Cashew at 22 weeks:
Weight: Approx 1 lb
Length: Approx 11 inches
Latest developments: He/she can hear the sound of my voice and outside noises.
Movement: Yes, I feel movement everyday. The kicking and punching is still low in my belly - right at or below my belly button. Sometimes my stomach gets very hard and very front heavy. I think it's cashew leaning on me.
When does he/she move the most? Evenings mostly but I can feel him throughout the day.
Cravings: I had a real sweet couple of days but have cut them out for a while. At least cut back and only have sugar free snacks. I don't want to gain too much.
Stretch marks? Nope. Not yet at least.
Any weird body changes? Not really. My hair seems thicker and my nails are awesome!
Next milestone: V-Day (Viability Day)...this is technically when the baby would be able to have a better chance of living outside of the womb but with medical support. This is at 24 weeks. I obviously don't want to find this out first hand but it does mean that the baby is stronger. I still want to go full term, obviously!!
Working out? Yep! 30 minutes of good cardio followed by weights and abs. Abs are a little limited but I can tell they are helping my stomach stay tight where there is no baby.

Dear Cashew,

Happy 22 weeks! I bought a Fit Pregnancy magazine today to help me learn how to keep myself healthy which, in turn, will hopefully keep you healthy. There isn't much going on out here to update you on...and, now that you can hear things out here, you probably have caught most of the highlights. I hope you have been enjoying our workouts together! The plank sure has become more challenging since I have you resting in there at a pound! I am noticing more and more people looking at us when we are at the gym but I am assuming that I look pregnant now and not just fat. So it really isn't bothering me much anymore.

Well, I am off to get dinner prepped for your Auntie Amy Lou!

Love you bunches,

PS...Daddy is out of town until tomorrow night but he loves you too! He talks to you everyday when he is here. He thinks it's too cool that you just might be able to hear his voice.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

21 weeks, 5 days: Alive and kickin'!! And boy dreamin'!

It has been an eventful couple of days but I have been too busy and/or tired to post.

Yesterday we had T's family over to celebrate Tay's first week of school. We have decided to make this a traditional event for every first week of school. I will share pics when I am able. I sucked at taking them during the event because I was busy forgetting to slice tomatoes for the overcooked burgers! Haha! More on that event to come when pics are available.

Let me tell you about the dream I had Friday night! It was awesome! In my dream, I felt like I had just come from the mall or someplace else when I ended up in something that resembled a mix between a hospital and a hotel. My family and T's family were gathered around one of those clear plastic bin things that they put babies in when they are born (I don't know what they are called). I walked in and said, "hey, who's baby are you looking at?" Everyone turned and looked at me like I had three heads. "It's your's," someone said. I was very confused and said, "no, I haven't even been here and I obviously haven't just given birth. Everyone kept looking at me like something was wrong with me. "Are you ok, sweetie?" I was asked. Very odd.

But, as the crowd let me through, I saw a baby laying there and fell instantly in love. He was beautiful. And I do say "he" because, one of the things I did in my dream was change his diaper. It was definitely a boy!! And I definitely changed a diaper in my dream as poorly as I imagine I will in real life! In my dream I even put it on me first to try and figure it out. Don't's a dream.

He was a very sweet boy and was wide eyed and not crying (I know, I'm dreamin' for sure now). I even burped him in my dream. I don't know why the diaper change and burping was part of my dream...maybe because I am not clear on how to do either. But I must say that I was overjoyed that he was so sweet and beautiful. I woke up smiling - which doesn't happen often - with tears in my eyes. I was so full of love, excitement and joy, I wanted to wake T up and tell him all about it. Cashew was awake and kicking around in there when I woke up too. That was an added bonus!!

I don't know what any of that means and, if I have a girl, I am sure I will feel the same love and joy. It was just such an intense dream (with more gory details I will leave behind), so real, I am still feeling the affects from it!

Tay felt her little brother/sister for the first time on the outside today. It was a pretty decent kick that made her eyes and mouth widen with joy! She was so excited! She hardly kept her hands off my belly for the rest of the day! But Cashew was only going to perform when he was wanting to so it was only that one time today that she felt anything. But T felt a few flutters and a hard kick about an hour ago. He was pretty excited too. Cashew is VERY active today which may be a result of the overwhelming amount of sugar I have had today! I surprised T and Tay with Krispy Kreme doughnuts for breakfast (I had THREE when I usually have NONE or no more than one). I had a brownie after lunch and a small trial package of Starburst Sour Gummies. OMG!! I NEVER eat that much sugar. And, while I am in a sugar coma about ready to pass out, Cashew is doing acrobatics in my belly on a sugar high. Sorry Cashew. We are heading to the gym tomorrow and having salads every day this week!

We ordered another addition to the nursery. My Mom and my sister-in-law both crocheted me beautiful blankets and I wanted a place to both store them until I use them and to display them. Therefore, we ordered a quilt/blanket rack in cherry wood for the nursery. It is small and will be perfect to hang my blankets until the day I am sitting in my glider with Cashew.


That's the latest update from here. Approaching 22 weeks...I will post an update and a belly pic then!

Dear Cashew,

Wow! You already mind your Mommy so well! I asked if you could give Daddy a firm kick the next time he felt my belly and you DID! He was so excited! He said, "WHOA! I felt THAT!" And your big sister was super excited too! Good job! I feel you a lot and I can tell that you are very strong and active! I'm so glad. It just feels nice to know you are healthy and kickin' it good in there.

I had a great dream about you! Are you a boy sending me messages through my dreams or are you a little girl playing tricks on me? Either way, I was able to get a preview of how happy and in love I will be when we are finally together! It was one of the best dreams I have had in a VERY long time. Especially since I am having such a hard time sleeping lately.

Well, speaking of which, I am pretty tired right now. I am going to head back to TV land and get ready to watch the Colts play. That's Daddy's team (remember, you like the Steelers) but, since we are family and since I love football, I will watch it with him!

Keep kickin' Cashew! I love the way you move!

Love you so much already,
Mommy and Daddy

Thursday, August 13, 2009

21 weeks, 2 days: All is well in Cashew land

We had our doctor appointment today and all sounds great! We had the doc assistant, not Hutch, but she is so super sweet too. No sonogram/ultrasound today but we did get to listen to the heartbeat. She had a heck of a time taking a listen because Cashew kept moving all over the place. A couple of times you would hear a "thump" the same time I felt the thump AND a couple of times we could SEE the thump on my belly! It was pretty cool!

His/her heart rate is great at 144. My blood pressure was 100 over 70 which she was very pleased about. My weight is right at 149 which is 7 lbs more that my pre-pregnancy weight. She was VERY happy about that and said I am all baby and uterus! I will be honest, it is still hard to see the scale at a higher number but I know it is inevitable.

I asked about the H1N1 (swine) flu since there was some concern about me flying home in October. She said no worries. She said, quite honestly, you can catch it anywhere, anytime. You just have to be rigorous about washing and sanitizing your hands and, if someone seems to be sick around you, move. But, as T said, he flies more than I do so, if this flu ends up in our house it could be from all of his travelling. But we will be (and always are) very careful and will do everything we can to keep from getting any flu bug. I don't want any of them.

Other than that, the appointment was pretty short and sweet. Quite literally since I grabbed a Starburst candy chew on the way out from their candy jar! I have grown to have a bit of a sugar tooth lately. And I am kinda craving brownies a little. But I am totally limiting that kind of junk so that I can make sure the scales don't get too out of control.

Our shelf for Cashew's room came last night so we are hoping to get that up today. Just another step closer to completion of that room. I'm glad all of the basics are done. Now it is just about decor odds and ends.

Tonight (5 PM our time) the Steelers have a preseason rematch with the Arizona Cardinals. I am so excited that football season is kicking up again. It will be a little different watching the games without a cold, frosty beer in hand but I will make due. I hope to have one (or so) in my hands by Super Bowl Sunday!!

That's all for now. Our next appointment is Sept 10. She mentioned that I will need to do my glucose test around that time as well. I said, they take the blood from my finger, right? She said, no, I don't think so. I think it is a blood draw (which always means from my arm). I am a little bothered by this but I am not going to let it get to me until closer to time. Maybe she is totally wrong. She is, you know, the assistant...haha!!

Dear Cashew,

You sure were a mover and a shaker today! You were giving the doc a run for her money! We heard you moving all around in there and it was music to our ears! I even saw a couple of kicks/jabs on the outside and Daddy got to feel a faint kick as well. You seem to really calm down when Daddy puts his hand on my belly so he usually misses the harder thumps. I think that's sweet, though, because it must mean his hand comforts you. It comforts me, too. We are so lucky to have him!

You heart rate sounds perfect and my health seems to be perfect so we are moving along quite well! Tonight will be your first lesson in football. It doesn't matter if you are a boy or a girl, Mommy needs you to LOVE football as much as she does! And, although Daddy will try to sway you to the Colts, you need to stick with Mommy. The Steelers is the team for you. Plus, I am the one that taught Daddy everything he needs to know and the traitor switched on me and started cheering for the Colts. Whatev. You and me...we will stick together! I already have my eyes on some Steeler onesies for you! If (I should say when) we make it to the Super Bowl again this season, you must be ready with your colors!!

Daddy and I are going to put your shelf up today in your room. It is quickly coming together with just a few more things here and there to make it "your" room. The only thing we will need to complete the whole project is YOU!

Well, have fun down there. If you can help it, try not to kick low. Sometimes it feels like you are kicking me in a pee spot and I almost don't make it to the potty. Oh, and watch the belly button too. You've come close a couple of times in that area and it kinda freaks Mommy out. Belly button touching is off limits.

I will feel you soon and will hear you again on September 10! We will be at 25 weeks then!

We love you always!
Mommy & Daddy

PS...give Daddy a good poke the next time he touches my belly. That will make his day.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

21 weeks

It has been a hard couple of days for me. My hormones have been in a whirlwind since Saturday which results in multiple tears at random times. Some moments when a full boo-hoo plays out. It is pretty crazy but somewhat refreshing as well. It is almost as if my tear ducts need to be cleansed and purged!

I think - no matter how much you planned for a pregnancy, want a pregnancy or knew what that pregnancy would mean to your altered life - you will have moments when it is all overwhelming, frustrating, boring or all of the above. It is natural. Although I knew going into this pregnancy all the things I would have to give up and alter, at least temporarily, it doesn't change the fact that there are days when I kinda wish I was at the end of this pregnancy - in a healthy way, of course. I want to be myself again, go where I want to go, eat what I want to eat, drink what I want to drink and NOT be the center of attention (whether it be good or bad) because I am a pod.

But today has been much better on my soul. I finally went back to the gym after many (and, no, I haven't counted) weeks of being absent. It was refreshing and rejuvenating. I need to stick with this routine so that a) I can get the baby fat off quicker and easier, b) I can jump into personal "kick butt" training quicker postpartum and c) to help keep my mind cleansed. Of course the visit made me pretty tired and I haven't accomplished much else today of interest or productivity. But there is still some days of the week remaining...

Latest fun things, I have still been feeling a lot of movement. No specific time of the day although it seems to hit more in the mornings and evenings. I even felt some stuff during the night last night when I had my usual wake up around 2 AM. T actually felt a faint "thump" on my belly yesterday. That was pretty exciting.

Other than that, my appetite hasn't picked up. I eat about the same amounts and don't really crave anything out of the norm. As a matter of fact, the heartburn I tend to get at times has kinda kept me from eating too much dinner so I am probably eating a bit less than I did pre-pregnancy. I am still desperately missing my beer and my occasional Meyers and Diet. Sometimes I will take a sip of T's beer and then realize what a tease that actually is. That's why I don't do it often.

My belly is definitely growing and my back is starting to ache a bit more frequently. Especially when I sit for long periods of time. Leaning over to pick things up is very interesting. I feel like there are a ton of loose bricks in my stomach that all fall forward when I lean forward. It feels very bizarre when I stand back up straight and feel all the "bricks" move back up as well. Maybe it's baby, maybe it's uterus, maybe it's fluid, maybe it's fat but there is something that weighs me down face first when I am leaning over. It was interesting today at the gym when I was doing the plank exercise. This is where you are face down on the mat with your elbows under your shoulders and your legs straight behind you. You prop yourself up on your elbows and toes, keeping your back straight and your abs tucked in. It is a great core exercise and the only ab move I could do while the stability ball was being used. It was so much harder than I remembered thanks to my bricks!!

We received another gift off of our registry. My Dad and StepMom gave us our baby movement monitor. It is supposed to sound an alarm if the baby hasn't moved for a certain amount of time in the crib. There are great comments about the product from other moms so I was excited to register for it...and very excited to receive it!! Thanks again Dad and StepMom!

I'm feeling movement right now as I type!!

Our next appointment is Thursday at 10:15. I think it will be a quick session of measurements and listening to the heartbeat. As long as I keep feeling this movement everyday, I probably won't be too concerned about going. That will be a nice switch from the norm!!

21 week belly pic:

I am going to start adding some simple stats to my blog to help you follow along with the progress of cashew. I receive an email every week letting me know the progress of cashew for that week. Here is what we know of 21 weeks.

Weight: About 3/4 of a pound
Length: About 10-1/2" long (like a carrot or banana)
Latest developments: Taste buds developed and able to taste, eyebrows and eye lids are developed, swallowing amniotic fluid and may develop hiccups
Latest developments with me: Not anything new other than a growing gut. Frequent heartburn and indigestion, energy bursts followed by exhaustion, kicking and rolling by baby
Weight: I weighed myself at the gym and was right at 148. So around a 5 to 6 lb weight gain
Cravings: Nothing out of the norm
Aversions: Nothing out of the norm
Milestones: T was able to feel movement yesterday!
Thought of the day/week: I feel like time is creeping by...looking forward to my appointment Thursday, though!

Dear Cashew,

Sorry I have been such an emotional wreck the last several days. I assure you it has nothing to do with you personally. I love you very much and I don't ever regret being with you now or having you later! It's just hard to be in a pregnant rut. You are so limited in what you can and can't do and it only gets worse thanks to the media. I know you don't know what that is but, unfortunately, you will. Mommy worked in the media madness and can tell you - don't trust anything you hear on the news! It is totally biased and one-sided.

But I digress. I just want you to be healthy and happy and, by the feel of things in there, I think you are! I feel you everyday now and it is both awesome and kinda freaky. Sometimes you hit the same spot so much that it kinda freaks my mind out a little. I always think to myself that I wish you would stop but, then again, I don't want you to.

Not sure if I have told you yet or not. We have your name picked out whether you are a girl or a boy. Daddy doesn't want to tell anyone the names until you are born to add to the exciting announcement. I think he is going to have a lot of fun with that!

Kizzy has definitely taken over your crib! I am going to have to re-wash your comforter (which you won't use for a long while anyway) and I will probably have to lint roll the mattress! He is in there about everyday. He's keeping it warm for you!

Your big sister started kindergarten on Monday. I was so excited for her and for us! I looked around at all the other kids and thought "cashew will be going to school for the first time someday!!" I got all excited and teary just thinking about it! I am really looking forward to those days. Not that I am not looking forward to the baby days. I just know that I will do really well with you as you get older and start school! That's such a fun time!!

I think that's all for now. I am looking forward to hearing your heartbeat on Thursday. I am sure I will hear some movement as well. You are quite the acrobat in there! Oh, hey...while you are in there...can you do something to help with the heartburn?? Help a mother out, would ya?

Love you always!
Mommy & Daddy

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Milestone 20 weeks - half way there!

Today marks a couple of milestones for us during this journey. One is the 20 week mark which makes baby half baked - haha, I just wanted to say that. But, truly, we are half way to the finish line.

The second milestone was our "big" ultrasound. I assume that this ultrasound is considered "big" because you can find out the sex if you desire. However, for us, this ultrasound was similar to our NT Scan with a few more details such as looking at the heart ventricles and the brain. Everything looks great! "Perfect" was the word that was used frequently throughout the procedure. She even double checked the fold on the back of the neck (which is what they checked at the NT Scan) and it still looks perfect as well. This was all good news.

She did wander her wand down to our baby's "area" to have a look around. She merely told us to "not look" so I placed my entire arm over my closed eyes and T deliberately looked away during that time. Tatum continued to look but really didn't know what she was looking at so it didn't matter too much. She did say that its "mouth" was wide open which made me think it was a girl! Haha! But then I realized that, if "it" was "wide open", there may be some concern on the techs part!! So I think she just saw one of the many "black holes" that exist as the wand rolls around on my stomach.

Before the procedure, the tech told us that she will be referring to the baby as "he, him, his" as she does with all babies so don't take that to mean she knows something we don't. It made me feel better that she does this since T and I have both been referring to cashew in the masculine tense for so long. So, for the remainder of this blog entry (and for entries to come) I will probably continue to do that just to make it easier.

I must admit it was hard not to look but exciting at the same time!! I am looking forward to having THAT to look forward to during the many hours of labor. Finally finding out what kind of cashew we have!

Boy (and that is just a term I am using), was he active today!! I kinda knew he would be going into it. I could feel him squirming and kicking on the way into the parking lot. I even mentioned it to Tatum that we might see some movement today. As soon as she put the wand on my stomach, you could see him twitching and turning. Almost doing swimming moves like a dancer. It was so incredible to see. I was a little worried that he was going to turn or squirm a certain way that was going to reveal a little something (or a lack of a little something) but the tech kept close tabs on the anatomy and, to be honest, I probably wouldn't have been able to really detect it without her literally pointing it out to me.

It was really nice because, since our last visit, they have added a flat screen plasma so that you and your guests can sit back and enjoy the show without trying to look at the small ultrasound screen. It was awesome! This appointment was done at the same perinatal center that my NT Scan was performed which is not at my doctor's office.

Without further ado, the pics.

My gut-o-rama at 20 weeks

Check out the flexibility of this child! We were saying that it looked like he jumped off of a high dive and was doing a flip of some sort! Just so you can get your bearings, his legs are over his head. His knee is coming close to touching his nose!! T and I both noticed that he has long legs...a Daddy feature for sure!!

Closer up of the face profile

These are two pics side by side. The one on the left is a good shot of four fingers (there is a thumb not shown - tech confirmed 5 fingers and 5 toes on each hand/foot). The one on the left is his arm and hand over his head (you can kinda make out a face).

Another combo pic. The one on the left shows a birds eye view of the baby - looking down on the top of his head (you can kinda see the chambers in the brain). In this pic, you can see how he is about to kick himself with his own foot! He must love that position. The second pic is a great shot of the bottom of his foot.

The shot that scared Tatum. On the left is baby saying "what?? never seen a baby before?" and the one on the right is hard to decipher. I believe she said that this was looking kinda down the top of the baby's face. You can certainly see a hand and a bone. This was a very encouraging pic for our tech because it ruled out a lot of "markers" or bad signs that something could be wrong. No cleft lip or anything like that which rules out those abnormalities.

A close up of Skeletor aka Cashew. We should totally blow this up and print it out for our Halloween party. It is pretty scary looking but one of my favorite pics. I almost feel like he is looking at us saying hello! He looks pretty content with an arm under his head. Kinda resembles Michael Jackson during his last days (yikes, sorry. I just felt the bad karma vibe!)

So it was a successful day! We saw cashew, heard his heartbeat (which sounds great) and scared the bejesus out of Tatum. Pregnancy isn't always pretty, my dear. Her reaction today made us grateful that the hospital won't allow her in the delivery room when the baby is actually on its way. She wants to be in there but, after her fear of the skeletor pic, I think the bloody mess during the delivery might have her running and screaming!!

Thankfully, because of my awesome age, I get to have another ultrasound similar to this one at 32 weeks! I am so glad!! It's good to be "of mature age" and pregnant! All the ultrasounds and pics you get!

My next appointment is August 13 at Dr Hutchinson's office. Not sure what that will entail but I am sure it will be a short visit overall. Maybe a listen to the heartbeat and measuring of my ute.

In nursery news, we found a lamp at Target that we liked for next to the glider. It has a cherry and black base with a sage green shade. It works PERFECT in the room!! The table that it is sitting on is an antique that T's late grandmother painted. We have had it forever and never had a real good use for it. I am so glad it has found its destiny!

We also found a hamper at Ross for $10. Fits perfect in the room. It looks black but it is a real dark mahogany type color. Another detail done.

Other news on this milestone day:
> Louisville is under water after a huge down pour of rain! Flash flooding - the worst seen in years - engulfs the city.
> I bought a new nano iPod since losing mine - it is pretty purple!!
> Londyn will be celebrating her one week birthday tomorrow.

Dear Cashew,

Well, Daddy and I did good! We didn't peek to see whether you are a boy or a girl. If you are a girl and reading this later in life, please don't be offended that we are using the masculine tense to refer to you. We love you already no matter WHAT you are!!! A gorilla, Skeletor, whatev. We love you still!

You sure were moving around in there today. It was amazing to see! And your flexibility is amazing! You look like you are having a really good time in there. I'm glad. But don't get too comfortable come December. Use that stylish diving pose you showed us today to get the heck out of there! But, until then, enjoy!

You are already playing pranks on your big sister. You really scared the pants off of her with your skull shot! I can see many more pranks in the guys will have a lot of fun together. She gave you a hug before she left us today. She already loves you too!

Well, I think it is time to go feed us now. Since we had Buffalo Wild Wings with Habanero sauce for lunch, I will stick to something mild tonight. Jackson just came up to say hello to you and Kizzy has been keeping your bed warm!

It was so nice seeing you today. I know it will be a while before we can see you again but we will just continue to talk to you and you can continue to kick and squirm whenever you'd like!

We love you so much Cashew!!
Mommy and Daddy

Monday, August 3, 2009

20 weeks tomorrow!

I skipped last week (my 19 week update) because my new niece arrived to the world! She was born on Wednesday, July 29 and was 8 lbs, 6 oz. She is absolutely beautiful and the family is doing great. I will post pics after I receive permission from the parents.

During the time we were waiting for Lauren to go into labor, we were getting the baby room up and running. We started with the painting. We were going to do a lighter green on three of the walls and a darker green on an accent wall - the same wall the crib would be located. After it was painted, T and I both had our reservations about the lighter color. It just didn't look like we had expected it to. Don't you hate that about paint? It seems to look one way on the sample card but looks completely different when combined with the neutral paint of the wall and the natural light from the window.

We ended up "sleeping on it" that night to see what we thought about it the next day. No such luck the next day. It, to me, looked like the color of mint gum. I just didn't like it. Luckily we both decided to paint the entire room the darker color (which we love) while the walls were still taped and before we built furniture.

T knocked out the re-paint job. I would have helped but he would not have it. The paint fumes were strong and he was worried that it would give cashew brain damage or something. Fine by me. I'm not a very good painter anyway (which may have been the actual reason I was banned) so I just did some cleaning around the house and waited for the painting to be done so we could start building furniture.

On Tuesday we started (and finished) the furniture. We are VERY happy with our choices! It looks so classy and so our style. It wasn't too difficult to put together and we were done right about the time Lauren said she was heading to the hospital (which was Tuesday around dinner time). We packed everything up and started to head that way when she texted and told us not to worry about coming that night since not a lot was happening. Once we got back in the house, we were too beat to do much else than veg on the couch.

Here is the room (before and after pics) along with some explanations:

Before painting - a positive T!




A helpful Kizzy

Post paint and furniture - where we are at this time



I want to put some wall art over the crib...something maybe like this or similar idea...

Changing table/dresser and rocker - want to hang a framed maternity pic between the shelves on the wall over the table.

This corner will have a bookshelf - the shelf is ordered and should be here in a couple of weeks.

Here is the shelf

Closer image of crib with bedding. I don't have the fitted sheet on the bed as of yet.

Someone really loves his new bed!!!

The following is my 19 week pic since I skipped last week. I will probably surprise you with another entry tomorrow since that will be a huge milestone day!! I will be at 20 weeks (half way there) and will have my "big" ultrasound appointment. That is usually when people find out what they are having (such as boy or girl - most of us know it is a baby...or an alien) but we are sticking to our guns and NOT finding out!!

19 week pic:

And just so you know what I live with!!!

Latest developments is my larger gut and a few dozen kicks, squirms and movements during the evening hours. Cashew was really going at it when we were in the hospital waiting for Lauren to give birth. Feels so odd but reassuring at the same time. I am hoping to feel more tonight since it was a little quiet last night. At this point in the pregnancy, you may not feel movement every day. I have been lucky to feel it most days but still nothing on the outside yet.

My appetite is about the same as it's always been and I don't seem to have picked up wait anywhere other than my stomach. I am able to drink water now without gagging so that has been nice!

Well, I have been cleaning all day and need to start dinner soon so I may sign off for now. But I will definitely be back tomorrow with another belly shot and some new sonogram pics!!! But don't be expecting to find out the sex. Ya gotta wait until we find out on cashew's birthday!!

Dear Cashew,

I am pretty tired today so probably won't write a lot. But I do hope you will like your room. It is so soothing in there. Daddy fell asleep in the glider already and, I must say, that is probably my favorite seat in the house! It is soooo comfortable. We already have a few clothes in your dresser and the closet is cleaned out to add more!

Daddy and I are both excited to see you tomorrow! I bet you will look more like a baby than a gorilla like last time! Keep those legs closed, cashew! We want to wait to find out what you are until you are born. We do have names picked out for you for if you are a boy or a girl. We are still trying to decide if we are going to tell anyone what are choices are or wait until the big day for that too!

Well, I will write more tomorrow! Hope you are doing well inside there! Give me as many kicks and rolls as you'd like to let me know you are good.

We love you bunches and will give you a BIG wave tomorrow!!

Mommy and Daddy

PS...We are hoping your big sister will be able to join us tomorrow too!