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Ultrasound Tech:  Are you planning to find out the sex of the baby?

Me:  YES!  PLEASE!

UT:  Alright we’ll see what we can do.  (Scans some things that are not my baby and then quickly proceeds to the good stuff)  Well, normally I wait to share the sex until the end, but this baby is giving us a fantastic shot here.  Imagine the baby sitting on a glass table and you’re looking up.  Here’s leg 1, leg 2, the cord and here are HIS boy parts.

Us:  WOW.  Oh my God.  Our SON!  WOW.  (Um, this went on for pretty much the entire appointment.)

As we were leaving TTO looked at me and said, “I know we both thought it was a girl, but earlier this week I started thinking that it was actually a boy.”  I couldn’t quite believe it because as I mentioned in my last post I had thought the same exact thing.  Little L (as he’ll be called until January when we’ll tell everyone his name) spent the rest of the time showing off his Phelpsian flip turns, healthy heart and other vital organs, ten fingers, ten toes (on his 1.5 inch feet!), his TONGUE and many more shots of his personal business (the boy REALLY wanted us to know). 

Prior to the scan, Big Daddy said that whether this baby was a boy or a girl it would most definitely have a big head (courtesy of yours truly) and long arms and legs (courtesy of TTO).  He was right on both accounts.  Little L is measuring a week ahead of schedule.

While my mom (Grandma Kiki – hee!) may be a teeny bit disappointed that this baby won’t be wearing the cute little dresses and wee little swimming suit, everyone has met the news with a big WOOHOO!  Including us.  When I say that we had no preference, I really and truly mean it.  We would have been equally happy if it were a girl.  Sure, this means I’ll live in a house of all boys (for now), but I can manage. 

It still feels surreal to be referring to him as a HIM and with his actual NAME.

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Wow, it’s been a really, really long time since my post.  11 weeks if I’m being completely accurate.  I only know this because I last wrote right after our ten week ultrasound and as of tomorrow I’ll be 21 weeks.  We have the BIG ultrasound tomorrow.  By this time tomorrow night I’ll *hopefully* know if Baby O is a boy or a girl.  TTO and I have both felt girl very strongly from the beginning, but lately I’ve been less sure.  With the exception of my mom, everyone else thinks it is definitely a boy.  We’ll be throughly happy no matter what.

I have been extremely, EXTREMELY lucky with the pregnancy.  I haven’t experienced any of the negative side effects everyone talks about.  I had some mild nausea in the beginning, but no puking.  I’ve been a little tired and a few other sundry issues, but absolutely nothing to complain about.  I feel a little guilty about this, especially knowing how awful the experience has been for others.  I’m also worried that because the pregnancy thus far has been so easy this child will be a demon when it is no longer inside of my body.

We’re also a lot farther along with the baby preparedness than I thought we would be at this time.  Thanks to Craigslist, consignment stores, garage sales and the generosity of our families (who are SO EXCITED, THRILLED, ECSTATIC and every other happy adjective you can think of) we are in possession of a crib, a glider, a high chair, three rubbermaid bins of clothes and blankets, a portable swing, a pack n’ play, an exersaucer and much more.  I’m still on the hunt for the elusive natural colored wood changing table/dresser, but we do have a changing table that will work if I can’t find one I love.  The nursery will be staying the current dark sage green because the color will work for a boy or a girl and that room is already on its third shade of green.  We are painting the trim white to help lighten it up a little. 

Yes I am painting, while wearing a mask, with the windows open and a fan on.  Other things I have done that are supposed to be big no-nos (but have been given the okay from my truly awesome doctor) include ingesting caffeine, coloring my hair, sleeping on my back and eating lunch meat.  Everyone is a little surprised at how laid back I’ve been.  Including me.  I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac (this may be a giant understatement), but I decided that I just wanted to relax and enjoy this.  And I have.  I’ve double-checked every questionable act with my doctor beforehand and I listen to my body when it says to eat, drink more water and rest.  I’ve had one unplanned trip to the doctor where the issue was quickly diagnosed (round ligament pain) and since then all has been well.

The hormones have hit a little bit this week, but nothing irrational.  Yet.  I was beating myself up about not making more of an effort to journal the pregnancy.  I’ve written exactly one entry in the pregnancy journal I HAD to have.  Then I talked myself out of the funk by reminding myself that some of my most favorite memories are things I never would have written down.  If all I remember from this time is that I had really bad, awful, terrible gas, well then so be it.  Or maybe it will be the fact that I’ve had horribly inappropriate dreams about Bobby Flay, Joe Mauer and an old high school crush (definitely not people I would choose to have THOSE kinds of dreams about).  While they might not be warm fuzzies, they are definitely the truth.  What I know I will remember is the first time TTO talked to the baby and told it how much it was loved. 

Auntie Alice is hopefully going to be our nanny for at least the first 9-12 months of Baby O’s life.  I’m going to let her and TTO hammer out the financial details because that was the other issue I was handling a bit hormonally.  I have to say that I am truly excited by the thought of sharing the early part of Baby O’s existence with Alice.  Having a seven year age difference has prevented us from really bonding through the major life events and I hope this is our time to really get to know and appreciate each other. 

Also?  The way Alice says goodbye to the belly whenever we see her melts my heart.  She wiggles her fingers at it and talks in a squeaky voice that just seals for me how much this baby is already loved by each and every person around us.

In addition to all things baby-related, we’ve experience a few other life-changing events in the last few months.  You may remember that I started what seemed like a great new job back in February.  Unfortunately that job turned out to be completely hellish.  The work itself was fun, but the people I worked for were completely psychotic.  I wasn’t the only one who thought so – there had been 10 people in my job in the last 2 years.  My replacement lasted six weeks.  I’m not going to rehash how awful it was, but the stories of my experiences are becoming legends.  If you ask nicely maybe I’ll email you a few. 

I can be so nonchalant about it because I was able to get the heck out of there and into a fantastic, pinch me-worthy situation.  I found a great job, doing something I thorougly enjoy, in Hometown – meaning I get to go my parent’s house for lunch every day and it will make the eventual move back much less difficult.  I was really nervous about breaking the baby news to them.  I opted not to say anything during the interview process because I was worried it might hurt my chances and it was still relatively early.  I broke down and told them the Friday of my first week.  Their reaction?  Why would you be worried about telling us?  This is fantastic news!  Nothing is more important than family!  I was blown away.  This is definitely the job I was meant to have.

Last night we found out that TTO will finally get to leave his crazy, crazy work schedule behind.  No more 12 hour shifts, nights or weekends.  Instead he’ll be doing four ten hour days.  And he’ll get to take about three weeks off when the baby is born.  He has been an amazing support through everything and I couldn’t imagine doing this with anyone else.  While our relationship has always been rock solid, the pregnancy has brought us to a new level of trust and appreciation.  He is already a fantastic dad. 

We’ve also worked out a plan that will have us moving back to Hometown and onto a FARM (I’ll have to save that  for another post) in roughly two years.  Everything we’ve talked about for almost seven years is falling into place.  I really can’t believe it.  There is a part of me that keeps feeling like the other shoe is going to drop, but I’m not going to buy into it.  Instead I’m going to savor the blessings that have been given to us and be thankful each and every day.

Also, Gus?  Did not have cancer.  He is 100% healthy and so ready to be a big brother.  All of the above-mentioned baby stuff has been sniffed for approval and he hasn’t jumped up on me when I’ve walked through the door since June.  I think he knows, because TTO and Auntie Alice still get the full body treatment.

I apologize for the jumbled-ness of this post, but I just needed to get it all out already. 

Basically life has been a Jason Mraz song (who I will be seeing LIVE in November when I am probably going to be too huge to enjoy it) for the past few months.

Lucky I’m in love with my best friend

Lucky to have been where I have been

Lucky to be coming home again

So Lent starts tomorrow.  I’m still not sure what I’m going to give up.  I’ve always taken this period pretty seriously.  I was never the kid that said, “Oh!  I’ll give up homework!”.  I felt like it was something that was very important, even in 2nd grade.  I’ve had varying success in abstaining from a variety vices.  In recent years I’ve tried to go the full forty days without:

  • Caffeine (Did it!)
  • Fast food (Only one or two slips!)
  • Swearing while driving (Okay, but not great.)
  • Rolling my eyes (It’s too much of a reflex.)
  • Procrastinating (Yeah, right.)

In high school my dad told me that if I couldn’t think of something to give up it would be okay to try to do something good instead.  I tried that too:

  • Compliment at least one person every day (Did it!)
  • Read the bible and say the rosary (Okay.)
  • Exercise every day (Yeah, right.)

I’m trying to think of something creative and difficult this year, but so far I haven’t come up with anything.  So tell me, what are you doing for Lent?  If you don’t recognize Lent, what vices do you have that you’d like to give up?

I had every intention of putting together a thorough retrospective of 2007 (especially since I didn’t really start blogging until July), but then I came across a meme that I thought would adequately sum up what transpired this year.

Before I get to the questions, I have to say that 2007 was sincerely one of the best years I’ve ever had.  My marriage is stronger and more fun than ever.  My family and loved ones are healthy and secure.  The little brown dog loves me even when he gets fed a little late.  I had the opportunity to travel to fantastic places and try lots of new things.  Unfortunately, good almost always comes with bad and it was no different for us.  TTO’s grandpa passed away in November and it was very difficult for everyone.  He will definitely be missed.

Now, on to the questions.
1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Went to Twins spring training, tent-camped in a state park, acted as an usherette in a wedding, climbed a bluff, ate sushi, rode ziplines through the jungle, went snorkeling, and more that I just can’t remember.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
In 2007 I really wanted to “try new things” and I think that was accomplished. We could have done MORE, but I’m satisfied with where we ended up. Instead of traditional resolutions for 2008, I’m making a checklist of all the things I want to accomplish in the next year. For me, that seems more accomplish-able than setting vague resolutions.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
It was the year of the baby. We had no less than 10 couples that we know get pregnant or have babies.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, TTO’s grandpa. My favorite aunt’s mom also died very recently.

5. What countries did you visit?
Mexico – Playa del Carmen

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More confidence in my abilities and overall self-acceptance.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
No one single date comes to mind.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Moving outside of my comfort zone and trying lots of things I previously would have said no to.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not living up to my work ethic.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I’m a klutz. I had lots of minor injuries. I had a few colds, but nothing too major.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I’ll probably say this a few times, but the laptop and new internet connection. Aside from that, our trip to Mexico was so, so worth the money we shelled out for it.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
TTO. He has been my rock. He deserves a great big party for putting up with all of my craziness.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Britney Spears, but more depressed than appalled. We saw repeats of her SNL hosting gigs and it was just so sad to see how she used to be compared to where she is now.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Besides our mortgage and other bills? Traveling.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The new computer and high-speed internet. All of our trips. The new roof and deck.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Settlin’ by Sugarland. Yes, it’s country, but it really set the tone for what I wanted out of life this year.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) Happier or Sadder? Happier. I had my low moments, but the happy definitely outweighed the sad.
b) Thinner or Fatter? Honestly, about the same. Hopefully GaGA will change that.
c) Richer or Poorer? Richer, in every way.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Work around the house/yard, been engaged at work, spent time with my whole family, gone on adventures

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Procrastinated.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
The day before Christmas TTO and I had our own little Christmas extravaganza. Christmas Eve we divided between both extended families (too much, next year we will choose one) and went to a beautiful candlelight church service. Christmas Day we spent the morning with TTO’s parents and his brother and the afternoon with my parents, my sister and her boyfriend. It was a lot for just a few days, but overall we really enjoyed ourselves.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
You may want some crackers, this will get cheesey. In 2007 I fell more deeply in love with my husband than I thought was possible. We didn’t have the awful first year most couples experience, but as we looked back on our first two years in July we found that we have definitely come a long, long way. TTO is everything to me. I can only hope that I am half as good to him as he is to me.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I watch a lot of TV. Trying to pick a favorite is impossible. While I fully agree with it, I am very sad about the writer’s strike.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No. There lots of people I was annoyed with, but I try really hard to not hate anyone.

24. What was the best book you read?
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (I still need to write that review).

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’m not sure. It wasn’t a great music year for me.

26. What did you want and get?
Health and happiness for my family. High speed internet, a new laptop, a great vacation, an iPod, a label maker and the 24 count pack of colored Sharpie markers. I got a lot more than I probably deserved this year.

27. What did you want and not get?
A new job.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Juno. If you haven’t seen it? Go. Now. You will laugh, cry and want to see it again.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
Went to work, ate Chinese food with TTO, admired my new golf clubs and visited with my parents. I was not a girl, not yet a woman at the ripe old age of 27.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not worrying so much about what other people think.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
“Trying Harder” I’m still not as well-put-together as I’d like to be, but 2007 was a better year.

32. What kept you sane?
TTO, caffeine, eating lunch in my car instead of at my desk

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Matt Damon. I’m fully supportive of his “Sexiest Man Alive (with the exception of TTO)” award.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
The fact that the 35-W bridge collapse was politicized so quickly instead of focusing on the people that were involved and doing what was necessary to take care of them.

35. Who did you miss?
TTO’s grandpa, my grandparents, Auntie Doris. Our families, when we went too long without seeing them. Gus, when we were in Mexico.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ve (virtually) met so many great new people through this blog. It’s been such a great outlet for me. I never intended for people to actually read what I write.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Sometimes the attempt is just as important as the accomplishment.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
“I ain’t settling for just getting by. I’ve had enough so-so for the rest of my life.” Sugarland

Stay tuned for tomorrow when instead of posting resolutions, I post my list of 108 things I want to accomplish in 2008. 

I’m at work.  I am the only person in the entire building.  I will hopefully get to leave at or before noon.  I’m really hoping for before because while I have done the following:

  • Purchased gifts for all of our family members
  • Baked 18 loaves of Spiced Applesauce Bread (one for everyone at work and one for each of the families we’ll see over the next two days)
  • Made a teacup candle for all of the women in our families (I’ll need to post a “how-to” on these.  They’re really easy and do make nice hostess or teacher gifts)
  • Cleaned my house and did all of our laundry
  • Opened gifts with TTO during our little family’s “Christmas Extravaganza”

Unfortunately I still need to:

  • Wrap all of said gifts
  • Cover bread and add a festive bow and tag
  • Make three more candles and wrap them
  • Put together the pickle, cream cheese, corned beef roll-ups that I’m bringing to one of the parties (written out that sounds really gross, but people LOVE these things)
  • Take a nap (please!) before we start hopping from one party to the next so I can make it through church even later tonight

We both throughly enjoy our extended families, but the holidays can be really tough.  We have two gatherings to get to tonight and two tomorrow.  You never get to spend as much time as you’d like with anyone and then you’re off to the next party.  It makes the festivities fly by and before you know it you’re in bed wondering where the heck all that time went. 

In an effort to not speed through our time with each other, TTO and I planned our own little Christmas for yesterday morning.  We ate sweet rolls and and egg bake, opened our gifts, put together a gingerbread tree and watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.  It was lovely.  I spent the rest of the afternoon doing the things (except buying presents) on the list above. 

Then I drove through some of the most undesirable road conditions I’ve ever experienced (and I’m a Minnesotan, people, I KNOW crap driving) so I could drop TTO and his friend off at the light rail station for the Vikings game.  I went home and cleaned out our spare bedroom so C would have a place to sleep.  I forgot how much stuff I’d crammed in there over the last few months.  It’s now hiding out in our laundry room.  Looks like I’ll have to move that project up on my ever-growing Get My Shit (or Self if you prefer the non-cursing version)Together in the New Year list.  More about that later.

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Gus, TTO and I want to wish all of you a very happy and safe holiday.  We hope that you’re able to spend it with people that you love, doing things that you enjoy.