Tuesday, May 31, 2011

29 wks + 6 days & 42"

And the face really begins to fill out. 10 more weeks and I'll be Ireland-round. I mean, it's ice cream season, people!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day golfing, a few hours at the pool, brats and closet building makes for a tired parent-to-be duo.

On this week's agenda? Finishing the Collard Dogs closet, starting the office supplies and stuff closet, and getting the rest of my "stuff" out of Baby S's room. Next weekend we have an Ann Arbor cloth diaper class, our new couch is delivered and hopefully, the landscaper makes an appearance.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Couches and closets

This Memorial Day weekend we made the difficult decision to forgo the trip to lovely Lake City and instead, focus on house and baby prep. On the docket? Bring the upstairs office downstairs, organize the new office closets, and figure out a sleeping solution for Bob and Betts.

As of now, we have the major furniture downstairs and set up, I'm feverishly sorting stuff, the first of two closets is well into its makeover, and we survived (and conquered) the search for a 72" *comfortable* sleeper sofa priced under $1500.

Though you'd never know by looking at Will.

As a bonus, as part of our sofa quest, we had lunch at Red Coat Tavern, Will got to hang out at two maternity stores (the ever-popular Destination Maternity and smaller, Bella Belli) and we ended the excursion with Tasty Twist flurries. We have tee times for Sunday and Monday mornings (I need to get in fighting shape for the looming couples shower/golf outing), so stay tuned to see what else we can accomplish after hitting the links . . .

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tag your pooch

At 6 a.m. on Friday morning, half a mile from the gym, what little traffic there was came to an abrupt halt. Annoyed, I swerved around, trying to discover the hold up. My heart skipped a beat when I spied a beautiful red and white husky-looking pooch running scared down the center lane.

While others cruised passed, honking, I of course pulled over and as soon as Will drove by, waved him to a halt. With his help, we corralled her and made a make-shift leash out of my pant string. The poor dear was wet, cold, scared and STINKY . . . skunk stinky . . . And of course, was wearing a collar but no identification tags.

What does one do with a smelly, wet, lost dog at 6 a.m. on a rainy Friday morning? Well, after getting zero help from the nearby fire station, and vague suggestions from Oakland County dispatch, we loaded her into the Jeep, and after a quick stop at the gym so I could change, headed 45 minutes to Oakland County Animal Control.
She was a dear, sweet animal. And once in the car, curled into a little, smelly ball and fell fast asleep.

When I arrived, a nice gentleman was outside the rear entrance smoking and helped me get her into a kennel. Fingers crossed her family loves and misses her, and calls the shelter. I'll call on Tuesday to get an update.

After our heart-wrenching experience with Jazz, I cringe when I see a dog without a collar or identification tags, and I stop every time I spy a loose pooch. I hope the rest of my blog readers do the same.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Getting my zzzzzzzzz's

Now in the third trimester, I am struggling with some new pregnancy-related ailments. Top of the “fix it now” list? Sleeping. (And yes, that is me. And yes, I do sleep surrounded by rose petals. Naked.)

Research suggests side sleeping (left side in particular) is the prime position. I’ve always been a side sleeper, so I was thrilled when I learned I could change NOTHING and still be doing something good.

But now, my enlarging midsection makes side sleeping uber uncomfortable. My flopped over belly puts strange pressure on my ribcage (and in particular, my xiphoid process – the little piece that extends from my sternum).

Recommendations for sleeping problems usually involve pillow support – between the legs, under the belly, against the back, etc. So of course, savvy retailers have developed a plethora of maternity pillow solutions. The most prominent, Leachco.

Co-pregnant pal Shari swears by her Leachco Snoogle.









I find the Leachco Back and Belly very appealing. Or the Body Bumper. (I mean, look at all its uses!)







And there’s the Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow. Very “secure the car tire” seeming, and complicated enough to come with instructions! (Not to mention the brand name.)





For now I am going to try to use bed pillows, but a warning to Will (if he’s reading) – the big box from Amazon.com? It’s just Leachco. And your new sleeping partner.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

201 days & 41 inches


This photo was taken on Monday, May 23 when I was 28 weeks, 5 days pregnant and 41 inches 'round the middle. Honestly, from the side, I don't look so bad. From the front, call me double-wide.

Baby S. is still a mover and a shaker, though I think she'll soon run short on room. She's very responsive to my polite requests to move, though. I just give her a little poke and she scoots away - especially handy for the low-and-on-the-bladder position she likes to take up when I exercise, and her foot-in-the-ribs-after-lunch resting spot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crib skirt sass

With today's minimal crib bedding standards, there aren't a ton of ways to add fabric pizazz to a nursery. My solution? Custom crib skirts. Here's a sample of the three grey and yellow fabrics I chose for Baby S's room: Amy Butler's Midwest Modern Optic Blossom Linen and Martini Mustard (in honor of Grandpa Bob) and Michael Miller's Bird Swing. Fingers crossed, sewing-machine-maven Grandma Betty will be whip up three sassy skirts for our Park Lane crib.

And maybe, if I wish hard enough, the scraps, along with some others I have laying around, can be used to craft a snappy bird mobile like that one I was fantasizing about. (Wink, wink.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sacrificing spaces

505 Aldil is a three bedroom house. Two up, one down. For the last 2 years, one of the upstairs rooms has served as an office. In truth, my office. Why mine? I have the luxury of working one day a week from home, occassionally pick up freelance graphic design work and need a place to produce my fabulous Collard Dogs and Collard Green collars.

But last weekend, I said goodbye to my little second floor sanctuary. Self-less me agreed to move my operation downstairs for the well-being of Baby S. She is going to inherit my special space. It has copious amounts of natural light, lots of shelf storage and is steps from our room. (Notice that the room is yellow, which, along with some grey accents, are the colors I chose for the nursery. Significance? Very little painting.) It will be perfect for her.

My new space won't be quite as light, bright and cheery, or as removed as the upstairs haven, but it is larger, has a spanking clean carpet and is attached to a bathroom - key for the next two months. I should mention, however, that our future house guests (read: Gram and Gramps B) are taking one for the team as well. With my desk, the queen bed won't fit in the room. A sleeping solution has yet to be determined, but all signs point to a futon (if space permits) or aerobed (if Gramps will sleep on it). Watch for photos!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thanks Bucket List Betty

This weekend's lesson? Prolonged bending over = un-Zantacable crazy heartburn. Learned while assembling what could possibly be the only two pots I plant this summer. (And yes, I am wearing a shirt. Strapless. Desperately hoping that a tan will hide the arm cellulite I've recently acquired. It's hot.)

The reason for my reduction in pot planting? Well, we are once again experiencing a windfall from one of Bucket List Betty's employment experiences. It's no box of discounted Saykllys turtles but 9 pots of annuals, planted and left to grow in perfect greenhouse conditions at Tony's Nursery in Bark River, MI, ain't a bad deal either.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pass me a crochet boob, please

Last Wednesday Will and I had our second official visit with our doula, Deb Rhizal of Pregnancy Arts. The first visit was a few months ago, at our house in Milford, and served as a meet and get-ta-know-ya/let's talk about expectations. This visit was in Ann Arbor, at Deb's house, and marked the official start of our childbirth ed classes.

Our doula package includes two prenatal meetings, birth services and two postpartum visits. We added a couple extra sessions to go over childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting basics. Though we're still debating a formal/traditional group class, with our busy schedules these one-on-two lessons, scheduled at our convenience, are fabulous.

The plan for Wednesday was to review life-after-baby-basics. What the first two weeks will look and feel like, and what steps Will and I can take to preserve and nurture our bond as a couple, while simultaneously welcoming our new little lady.

Needless to say, we got off track. Early in the "now you're home" convo, which took place over raspberry tea and muffins, the subject of every-two-hour feedings arose, which naturally led to a breastfeeding question. Which led to another breastfeeding question, which led to another, and pretty soon we mutually decided to ditch the plan and focus on breastfeeding basics.

Which is when . . . drumroll please . . . the crochet boobs made their appearance. Why, you might ask, were crochet boobs included in the prop list? Well, Deb had to demonstrate a proper "latch," and how I will be able to help Baby S get the most out of her time with my boob. Though the knit boobies were a bit strange, they were perfect props, and decidedly less awkward than using a live model. Sadly, Will and I didn't get to actually handle the crochet boobs, but we did get our own baby dolls.

Though there's not a whole lot we can do to prepare for the breastfeeding part of bringin' the baby home (except to buy a nursing chair - I have a few in mind - stay tuned for pics) I feel much more prepared to tackle the breastfeeding challenge. I understand the mechanics and why, when the mechanics are a bit off, everything is that much more difficult.

The other awesome takeaway from the meeting? The tips Deb provided Will for supporting me during the breastfeeding challenge. He asked, being boob-less (or rather, having non-milk-producing-boobs), what he could do. Her answer - for the first two weeks, get up with me. Make sure I have plenty of water and snacks handy. Help me position myself with pillows. And when I'm done feeding, take the baby and perform all the after feeding tasks (burping, changing, putting her back to bed). Eventually, she explained, when we start using bottles, we can split the night feedings, but until then, he is my wing man. I like.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Gettin' adjusted

A few weeks ago I blogged about a Birthing Normally seminar that we attended. The panel included a chiropractor, Michaella Walter, from the Optimal Wellness Family practice in Royal Oak. She presented on the importance of spine and pelvic positioning as it relates to childbirth, and on her use of the Webster technique.

The Webster Technique is defined as a specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment that reduces interference to the nerve system and facilitates biomechanical balance in pelvic structures, muscles and ligaments. This has been shown to reduce the effects of intrauterine constraint, allowing the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.

My midwife was supportive of chiropractic care and the benefits sounded good to me, so after a quick call to Blue Cross Blue Shield confirmed that my policy covers 24 chiropractic visits a year, I made an appointment with Dr. Walter to just check things out.

So far, I’ve had two visits and two “adjustments.” Both times I walked out with a tender pelvis and sacrum (tailbone area), and looser round ligaments.

It’s hard to tell if it’s doing anything good, but if there is a chance it will aid in my delivering Baby S naturally, I’m willing to give it a few more visits. Besides, the office also employs a massage therapist, not a bad professional to have on speed dial.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Orange death defeated

Last Wednesday I took the dreaded 28 week glucose screening to check for gestational diabetes, a high blood sugar condition that some women get during pregnancy.

I was prepped beforehand. The midwife told me to have a low-carb, high protein breakfast, and that when I arrived for my appointment, they'd have me drink a sugary solution (dubbed orange death by my doula), wait an hour and then they'd draw my blood.

So Wednesday morning I housed my greek yogurt/fiber one concoction, had my one cup of caffeinated coffee and headed off. Upon arrival - well, since this joint always runs 30 minutes late if you're not the first appointment in the a.m., 30 minutes after arrival - they handed me this bottle, which was full of orange liquid, and told me that the clock started when I finished it.

Glug, glug, glug. Orange death. It took me about 3 minutes to drink.
It tasted like the syrup they use to make Fanta. Before they mix it with the carbonated water. Not that I've ever tasted it. But, in my head I have.

Anyhow, down it went. I almost vomited, but was told that if I did, I'd have to come back another day and start all over, so I thought happy thoughts and swallowed the excess saliva.
Joy.

My midwife had told me that her very unscientific opinion was that people who hate the drink are usually negative. Those who don't mind it (aka have a real sweet tooth) often test positive. Maybe her unscientific opinion deserves a journal article because today they called and told me I was all clear - a huge relief. The test is known for producing a plethora of false positives, which then results in the patient having to endure an extra long test.

Here's a description:
For three days before the test, you'll be told to eat at least 150 grams of carbohydrate a day. If you eat a normal diet and have an extra piece of bread at each meal, you'll likely be getting enough carbs. For eight to 14 hours before the test, you can't eat or drink anything but sips of water (and you're not supposed to smoke or exercise either), so you'll want to schedule it for first thing in the morning. When you arrive for the test, the technician will take a blood sample to measure your "fasting blood glucose level" and then ask you to drink either a more concentrated dose or a larger volume of the glucose solution. Then brace yourself for three more arm pricks, as your blood is tested every hour for the next three hours. The technician should alternate arms each time she draws your blood.

So, I'm pleased as punch that I passed. Orange punch that is...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

525,600 minutes x 5

Hard to believe its been five years since we stood on the stone patio of the Plantation House, at the base of St. Lucia's Pitons, and Will recited his beautiful, heart-warming, eloquently-written vows...

Maggie,

I promise to love and care for you and to continue to develop and perfect my ability to consider your needs as if they were my own. I promise to place our needs at the head of the trail so they will guide me and my decisions in our new life together. I promise to give us 100% and to value our unity and marriage, attacking the betterment of our bond with vigor and hard-work, mixed with a life-giving sense of humor. I am truly excited to be part of a new, stronger united us. Thank you for allowing me to combine my life and soul with yours and thank you for being you: The wonderful Maggie who I can now become one with to form and mold into the ultimate friendship.

I truly look forward to the next 50 years of our journey, with this new baby (and maybe more) in tow. Though I know the road may be rough at times, I have no doubt that our combined strength will allow us to overcome any challenge we face. As I said five years ago:

Will,

You are my best friend and the love of my life. I love your quiet intelligence, quirky and smart sense of humor, compassion and openness to all things new. I admire your patience, fierce determination to always better yourself and your ability to see the brighter side of life. You teach me to cherish family and nurture friendships. You challenge me to always be kind, understanding and honest. And you remind me not to sweat the small stuff. You are a part of me - an essential element to who I am - and I cannot imagine life without you.

Today, in front of family and while surrounded by the spirits of loved ones, I pledge my life to you. I promise to be true to you. To love, comfort, respect and support you. I promise to bring strength, joy and commitment to our marriage and our new family. I accept that life is not a fairytale but I promise to devote myself to making the rough times a lesson in communication and a way to strengthen our bond. Don't worry. There will be plenty of laughter as well. An amazing future lies ahead, filled with discovery. I promise you, Will, the adventure has just begun.

Right now, that last line seems very apropos.

To my best friend, I love you. Happy five years.



Monday, May 16, 2011

Supersonic San Juans

During last weekend's Seattle visit, we spent Saturday exploring the largest of the San Juan Islands, Orcas.

To get there, we drove an hour and a half north of Seattle to the ferry terminal in Anacortes and boarded a Washington State Car Ferry for the hour long ride. Not to worry though, Will had Mighty-O donuts in tow to keep Marge enlarged.


Stopping first at the most rural of the three major islands, Lopez. A little bit of trivia: Washington State Ferries operates the largest ferry fleet in the United States. 21 ferries cross Puget Sound and its inland waterways, carrying over 23 million passengers. From Tacoma, Washington, to Sidney, British Columbia, we travel up and down the Sound, acting as a marine highway for commercial users, tourists and daily commuters alike.




After lunch, a belly shot and a bucking doe ride in the largest village on Orcas, Eastsound, we spent some time exploring.











Will was chased by some natives (practice for the future) and we took in the local museum but ditched the tour guide after taking 35 minutes to tour one room of the 6 room establishment.








We then drove to the top of Mount Constitution, the highest point in the Islands and arguably the best view in Puget Sound.








When it's sunny. Saturday wasn't. After exploring the peak, we had to hustle back to the ferry for the trip home. Rain on the ride back meant that Mary played her first game of euchre.











And once back at the homestead, it was time for some R&R. Will and his new best pals, Toby and Matilda, took in a great flick, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia.






It was a great trip to see great friends. Thanks, James and Mary, for being such gracious hosts! We owe you one...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Supersonic Seattle

Hard to believe a week ago we were enjoying the sights of the Pacific Northwest with friends James and Mary!







We arrived Thursday morning, James and Mary picked us up at the airport and we were promptly whisked away to view Seattle sites, including Pike Place Market, some public art, the Olympic Sculpture Park and the illusive Soundgarden, for which the Seattle band was named.



The latter destination was quite a mystery to find. Because it is on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration property, you have to actually drive through a security gate installed after 9/11. Not to worry though, we passed inspection and hiked out to the moaning metal pipes. It was a 3 minute thrill, but now we can say we've been there.





Before heading to Fremont neighborhood's Mexican eatery, El Camino, for some Cinco de Mayo libations, we met up with The Troll. Scary.







James had to work on Friday so Mary treated us to a Seattle Duck Boat Tour. Louie was our captain. He was a total putz. But we did see more of the city, and yes, did drive directly into Lake Union for a spin past the Sleepless in Seattle house.


It was a tad nipply but after the spring we've had in Milford, we were wise to the weather and foiled Mother Nature by packing our cold-climate gear.





After the tour we went back to Pike Place for chowder, giant cookies and coffee.









Mary snapped some shots of us holding the Milford Times by infamous brass pig Rachel. I submitted to the paper one and am hoping our small town weekly runs it in their "Where the Times went" community section feature. Be nice for the baby book.

Thrillingly, Will found a fellow Lions fan. Granted, he was strumming a jaw harp and probably got the coat from the homeless shelter, but it was a taste of Detroit in a place far far away.




James joined us for a Friday afternoon visit to the Experience Music Project museum, where were took in a special Nirvana exhibit (so nostalgic) and Mary and I jammed in the Sound Lab.


And that evening, we went to an amazing Japanese restaurant, where I ate well, but drooled over Seattle's most delectable looking sashimi.





Stay tuned for tomorrow's post... The San Juan island excursion...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Baring it all

So this is what the beastly belly looks like sans clothing. What do you think the Kroger cashier would have to say about that?!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Looking "wide"

Today was a doozy of a peanut-gallery/public comment day. I blame the shirt.

So I got this garment at Salvation Army for $2.50. I really don't like the standard maternity-wear shirt: empire waist with copious swaths of fabric below the belt. Not exactly slimming. So, as you can imagine, this bad boy is not my favorite. But, it was super cheap and just what today's 85 degree weather called for.

Good thing I woke up on the right side of the bed today.

During an 8:05 a.m. stop at the printer, I was treated to a "Whoa! . . . You look preggos!"

At an 11:07 a.m. coffee warm-up, I endured a "HOW far along are you?" followed by a "You sure it's not twins?" (No joking implied.)

A 4:20 p.m. bathroom break convo brought forth a "Oh my goodness, you look big!"

But my favorite was my 1:15 p.m. dalliance with a Kroger cashier.
(Players: Kroger Cashier "KC" and Enlarged Marge "EM")

KC: "So you're havin' a boy, hey?"
EM: "Mmmm, pardon?"
KC: "Boy." (said while neanderthalescly pointing at my belly)
EM: "Nope. Girl."
KC: "Mmmm? Nooooo." (said incredulously)
EM: "Yep. Why?"
KC: "Well you're just too wide for a girl." (gesturing back and forth across my abdomen)
EM: "Well fuck you." (Don't have a heart attack, mom. I didn't really say that. But I did think it.)
EM Real Answer: "Thanks." (accepted receipt and left)

I might shelve this shirt/tent for a few weeks. Or until I need a good laugh.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Uncle Paul!

Happy 29th to one of the best uncles Baby Spurgeon will ever know!