Monday, February 18, 2013

Little Navajo--34 Weeks/Baby Shower/Nursery Update

How Far Along: 34 Weeks

The cake at my shower included a blanket that matches the chevron colors in the nursery.

Size: Ryan is likely a little over 18 inches long and is almost 5 lbs--the size of an average cantalope.

The sweet ladies from my church who threw this shower went all out.
You ever feel like you've been blessed with people you don't deserve?
Me, too.  (And I really don't look pregnant from the front--I just look
like I have a gut.  Ha!)
Gender: It's a boy--Ryan Christopher!

The CCL (who is sitting beside me) sews.  Part of her gift included some really
sentimental items.  Then she cried and I refused to look at her so I wouldn't cry.
But among some of the really cool items was a wipes case with Ryan's initial.
Movement: He's so big and the skin across my stomach is stretched so tight, it's impossible for him to make a movement without us noticing.  Favorite is fascinated by this development and regularly insists on watching my belly dance.

Two Bumbo seats are totally going to be blessing.  We're keeping one
at home, and Favorite suggested we keep the other one at the car.  That
way, no matter where we are, Ryan will have some easy-to-transport gear.
Sleep: Most of the time, I don't sleep well for two days in a row, and then fall into an exhausted sleep on Day 3.  For the most part, I've been averaging around 5 hours.  So I may be a little out of it some days, but I'm totally functioning!

That hat?  Is a crochet hat complete with Yoda ears.  And my kid will wear it
until I can no longer jam it on his little head.  Oh, and there WILL be pictures.
Maternity Clothes: I wear them most days.  In fact, the picture above should be a pretty good indicator that my belly is approximately the size of a large watermelon and just as oblong.  It looks a little strange when I sit down.

Favorite's Nanny hand-quilted a blanket for Ryan.
This is Favorite's Nanny.
Symptoms: Pretty much all the normal symptoms of pregnancy--a huge belly with a clearly active human being inside, occasional difficulty sleeping, heartburn and slight back pain.  Nothing unmanagable or super-uncomfortable--oh, and if gratitude can be considered a symptom?  My heart is overflowing with it.

My mom shocked the beejeezus out of me by giving Ryan a quilt--her first ever.
I had no idea she was working on something like this, but the sweet people at a local
shop who have been guiding her through the baby bedding process helped her put this
together.  You can see the look on my face--I was so proud!
Aversions: Today I ate cereal and corn on the cob.  Nothing else really sounded good.

The CCL and I have a lot of similar facial expressions. 
After asking around A LOT and looking at different reviews, Favorite
and I registered for a Diaper Champ.  My MIL gave us this, and I think
it was probably the best choice for us.  We do intend to try cloth diapering;
however, most of the info we read indicated it will be about 8 weeks before
Ryan will fit the diapers well.  And even if cloth diapers work for us, we
will likely use disposables when we travel and if we get a bit behind on
laundry.  In the long run, the Diaper Champ should help with either--lined
with a trash bag or a wet bag.
Cravings: Still on a milk kick.  I can't explain it.

And baby boy clothes?  Can be so.cute.  We got a variety of sizes which was
super awesome.  On a slightly unrelated side note, we keep praying Ryan
will be Favorite's size and get his height from my brothers (who are both
at least 6').  That way a Division I Football scholarship might actually be
a possibility.  Well, unless he gets his coordination from me.  LOL.
What I miss: I'm so grateful to be pregnant. I can't think of one thing I should be missing.

Favorite even showed up for the end of the party to help load gifts and enjoy cake.
And for those wondering:  he's well on his way to losing all of his pregnancy weight :)
Feeling toward pregnancy: I cannot lie:  Joy, gratitude and dead panic.

I have an admission to make that I may have denied in the past:  I am a control freak.  There.  I said it.  And when it comes to my classroom?  I'm the worst kind of control freak.  It's not that I think others are incapable; I just have a hard time investing in a group of kids and then leaving six weeks of lessons in someone else's hands--especially when I know everyone has his/her own style of approaching material.

Will it be worse than my approach?  Probably not.  My sub is a seasoned teacher who could run circles around me--particularly when it comes to teaching the writing process.  But it's my classroom.  You know?

So I'm praying I can just write general plans for each week, leave the information and let it go.

Oh, and I'm still praying Ryan does not choose to come early...

We're hoping to instill a small amount of musical talent in him with cool presents
like this activity mat.  What baby doesn't want to kick at piano keys?
Best Moment this week: Sorting through all of our gifts and finally sitting down to read some of the notes in the cards.

Oh, and Favorite moved us out of the trailer officially.  I know that's not really pregnancy related, but now that Ryan's arrival is close, we both seem to feel the need to make our house as home-y as possible.  It's weird how a baby has pushed us to organize things and build furniture (a kitchen table--thoughts to come) in order to feel as comfy and at-home as possible.

Ryan's "bed" for the first 2-3 months.
Another first weeks home "bed."  Fun story:  This randomly showed up on
our doorstep on Saturday.  Favorite and I opened the box to discover BigBro
and SILSheena decided to send us more presents--not just because they're
awesome, but also because they need Ryan to have a comfy place to sleep
when we visit Ohio :)
What I'm looking forward to: Finishing the nursery. 

First on the list is washing clothes and diapers and organizing them in the closet.  I've ordered some cloth-diaper-friendly detergent online and it should be here next week.  That means closet organization starts next week.  But I did want to show you some of the progress we've made.  (This is for you, Aunt Sheena!)

A starting point:  changing table side of the room.
A starting point:  crib side of the room.
Curtains and the closet haven't changed much, so I'll leave those pictures for another day.

The changing table upgraded.  We added a pegboard and decorated with various
baskets and items.  Not all of these things are staying on the changing table (obviously),
but I'm still in the process of organizing and getting things together.  Most of the stuff
on the pegboard will probably say there.  Frankly, I think it was a really useful project
and it came together quite nicely.  We just spray painted and framed it out on the wall.
Mom is working on bumper pads this week.
A better bedding shot.
Still to come: 

1.  Some sort of glider.  They are pretty expensive; Favorite and I are trying to determine what would work best for the space while maintaining our financial sense.  (A $1200 chair is so not an option.)

2.  A couple of tables.  I haven't checked Goodwill yet, but we know we'll need a small table to put beside the glider for a lamp and other things as well as another table for the awesome, dragon humidifier and the super cute turtle night light.

3.  The women who threw my shower also gave me some of the decorations.  Favorite and I are going to hang a bouquet of chinese lanterns on one side of the room over the glider.

4.  Decorations over the crib.  I have no idea yet.

5.  Book slings.

6.  Something decorative for toy storage.  In the future we'll have to develop something a little more substantial, but for now?  Something decorative would be awesome.

7.  Curtains.  Mom and I have already discussed this issue, and we think we have a plan.

And that's about it for now.  I should've taken a picture of my diaper bag that arrived this week, too, but I'm feeling lazy right now. 

And completely excited for this new stage of life--well, when I finish feeling like I'm going to throw up over sub plans ;)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday HodgePodge 2/13/2013

(Just a note:  My baby shower this week was really incredible.  I totally have pictures to share, but I want to wait and share them with updated pictures of nursery progress.  Since Favorite and I are spending some time sorting and organizing this weekend, I hope to share these pictures after Saturday.  But, seriously, hold. your. breath.  I am so excited about the way things are turning out--and I am far from an interior designer!)

1. This week marks the beginning of Lent...will you be giving something up or adding anything to your life during this season of the year?

I'm really attempting to practice purposeful gratitude.  I've found a bit of gratefulness (no matter how small) tends to change the lense through which I see most situations.  That one act shifts my entire focus, and, not surprisingly, my demeanor.

Frankly, I'm a much more relaxed person.  Of course, the monster contorting my stomach is a constant reminder that I have much for which to be grateful.

2. The day before Lent is Shrove Tuesday... tradition states you eat pancakes on this day. In some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is actually known as 'pancake day'. How do you like your pancakes? Or don't you?

Oh pancakes.  You are certainly one of my love languages.  I prefer them with a bit of butter (none of that margarine nonsense) and maple syrup.  Though, if given a choice, I honestly prefer French Toast.

3. I'm sure there are many, but what's one love song you really love?

"Heavenly Day" by Patty Griffin--I can't sing that song without smiling or finding my own harmony to go along with Patty's soulful-bluegrassy sound.  And these days?  Some of the lyrics just mean something different to me:  "The smile on your face/ I've been longin' to see"

4. What are some things you do to let others know you love them?

A lot of people would probably describe me as a fairly loud, ostentatious person.  But when it comes to feelings?  I tend to be a little more reserved.

These days, my time is often a declaration of my feelings.  Time is precious.  Of course, I also attempt to write to them or about them.  But even then, words are sometimes difficult to find or don't quite "get there."

5., pink, or do you prefer another color? Can you recall the last time someone gave you flowers? Given your choice would you like to open the door and see a dozen red roses, a dozen purple tulips, or a dozen pink peonies?

Yellow is my favorite color, but I like roses in all colors.  Thankfully, Favorite doesn't feel flowers are a special occasion thing, because I got some beautiful daisies at work last week.  It had been a rough week and I just wasn't feeling well.  He thought they would brighten my day, and he was right.

(Girls, sometimes I just don't deserve that man.)

Out of those last three options, I would prefer the pink peonies.  Peonies just smell up a whole room and you can't be sad around them!

6. President's Day will be celebrated in America next Monday. Does US Presidential history and trivia interest you? Many Presidential homes are open to the public and offer guided tours...Monticello (Jefferson's home), Mount Vernon (Washington's home), Montpelier (James Madison's home), Hyde Park (FD Roosevelt's home) and The White House (home to the sitting President) to name just a few. Of those listed which would you be most interested in touring? Why?

Trivia interests me, but presidential trivia really isn't my thing.  In fact, I'm really only interested in history as it applies to literature.

Wait...that last statement isn't entirely true.  I guess I'm just not a big fan of American political history?  Though, if I understood a bit more, I would probably be a better informed voter these days.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure I'd never voluntarily tour any of those places.  But put John and Sherry Petersik's house on the list and I'm there.  (I'm not sure what this says about my priorities or personality.)

7. Are you good at keeping secrets?

Yep.  Some things just aren't mine to tell.

8.  Insert your own thought.

So. Much. Baby. Stuff. 

Y'all.  I know Hebrews says we're surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  The implication there is we are encouraged by those who kept the faith and have passed on, but Favorite and I are currently surrounded by a community of encouragement that could best be described as a great cloud of witnesses.

Witnesses who believed and prayed for us when we were over it.

Witnesses who continue to support and celebrate us in this new journey.

Witnesses who will love and help raise Ryan like he is a flesh and blood relative.

I am so thankful for all they've given us; we were certainly overwhelmed with the gifts we received this weekend.  But when I see those things, I rarely think "YAY!  STUFF!"  Instead, I think how blessed I am to have these people to call mine.

And how much more blessed Ryan will be because they are his.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Little Navajo--32 Weeks

How Far Along: 32 Weeks

Size: Ryan is likely a little over 17 inches long and a bit more than 3.75 lbs--apparently the size of a large jicama.

Gender: It's a boy--Ryan Christopher!

Movement: I feel him move and I watch him move.  This week at small group, he was letting himself drift until he could push off my left hip with his feet and then he was ramming his head into the right side of my torso.

Sleep: JaketheSnake readjusted my shoulders and I slept gloriously last night.  Favorite also let me sleep in this weekend which was pretty nice.

Maternity Clothes: I wear them most days.

Symptoms: This week?  Swelling in my ankles. 

I've spent most of this pregnancy carefully considering my food options and exercising *fairly* regularly.  It doesn't mean I've never induldged or my exercise is super consistent.  I'm a human being, after all.

But I can tell you after last week's headlong jump into sitting and eating little more than sugary breakfast cereal, there's something to the advice of doctors.  Keep in mind I'm to the stage where a little swelling is to be expected--especially after a day of no sitting.

But people who use pregnancy as an excuse to eat whatever, whenever and lay around constantly?  I can't imagine 1. how they feel or 2. what the swelling in their limbs looks like.  It took three days of readjusting my eating habits and alternating between sitting and walking regularly, but the swelling is gone and hasn't returned and I'm less sluggish than I have been for the last week.

Just a short testimonial regarding the advice of doctors.

Aversions: Chicken. Mostly.  It's not so bad if it's shredded or pounded thin, but regular chicken breasts?  Blech.

Cravings: Milk.  Peanut butter.  Greek yogurt.

What I miss: I'm so grateful to be pregnant. I can't think of one thing I should be missing.

Feeling toward pregnancy: My normally awesome and lovely coworkers decided to share some information about pregnancy I previously didn't know.  (In their defense, it's probably good information for me to have.)

So while I'm all "Squeee!  I'm having a baby!"  I am now simultaneously, "ACK!  I'm having a baby!"  And when labor strikes, I'm pretty sure I'm going to be "ACK...ACK...ACK..."  Or that's what I've gathered based on their description.

Best Moment this week: Favorite thinks it's funny that he can talk to Ryan and Ryan responds by punching Mommy.  Hard.

And while most women would be insulted by this declaration, Favorite also told me "You're starting to walk like a pregnant woman."  Frankly, it made me smile.

What I'm looking forward to: I'll be pretty grateful when I can finish some "official business" stuff so I can get down to the business of relaxing and expecting a baby.  Next week is our first baby shower and the week after Favorite and I will be taking maternity photos with a friend of mine.