Tuesday, September 26, 2006

36 weeks 2 days

I went to the doctor again today, and he said that I am 1-2 centimeters dilated, and not very effaced. He said he thinks this will be a bigger baby than Gabriel was - I believe it!! He estimated 6 1/2 lbs, I think, when he comes. I asked if the fact that I'm not too dilated means I should make it through another 12 days without having it, and he said that he wouldn't bet a lot of money on it, but that I might. Huh.

So now I'm down to having appointments every week. Bleccchhh. Oh well. I'm grateful to God that everything has gone as it should so far in this pregnancy. I'm looking forward to seeing the new little sugarpie...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Funder and Ditenin'

The other night we had a BIG storm here in KY. I think Louisville got 8-10" of rain, and about 4 people died in the Lexington area from flooding. The storm started right before Gabe's bedtime with random quietish thunder and occasional lightening. Gabe has this combined fascination with and fear of lightening and thunder. It is the only thing that he has been consistently worried about. We talked about the lightening and thunder during our bedtime routine, and he seemed ok, but when we went to put him to bed, he clung onto me, and did NOT want to go into bed all by himself with the unpredictable thunder and lightening outside. So Tim and I decided to go to bed early since we were both tired anyways, and took him over to our bed. It ended up being him still chattering away about the "funder and ditenin' " while we were both basically on the very edge of exhausted sleep. He fell asleep around 11:30, right before the real storm hit. The next morning, he woke up talking about the lightening and thunder too. I was glad he could fall asleep feeling safe and secure, instead of alone and worried in his crib.

In other Gabe news - man, that kid is growing! It always surprises me when his 18 month clothes don't really fit right. He is a "2T"-er. He weighs 26 pounds, and he really seems to have gotten taller. He is at such an adorable stage; I see why people like this 2 year bit, with his little words and baby face. He is such a parrot - he repeats everything you say. He likes to cuddle, and really is a good boy who listens. He now has a sense of things being "funny" or "silly". It surprised me the other day when he told me I was being silly when I was doing something.

The puppets that Grandma Carol and Aunt Lynette gave him continue to hold this fascination for him. We have been sort of surprised to see how he interacts with them, like they are people. Even when we are just using our own voices, his eyes sort of light up, and he gets this sort of shy delight on his face when they are "talking" to him, and he has these little conversations with them, and responds to them, and gives them things. It would be fun to take him to see a puppet show, if he likes things like that so much.

Sometimes when he is going to bed, he asks for me to sit in the chair beside his bed. Now, this might be ok if he was a child that fell asleep in 5 minutes, but it takes him a while to fall asleep usually anyways, and often if he has me sitting there, it is just fodder for delight and jumping around and talking. Plus...I get so INCREDIBLY ANTSY after I've been sitting there about 3 minutes, especially if I have been working all day. The nice thing is that when I tell him I'm going to go sit in the chair "out there" (office, living room), that still seems to pacify him. I guess he understands that I'm not far away. Tonight he wanted to go lay in "Mama's bed", but when I told him that he needed to sleep in his own bed, and that Mommy would be right outside the door and would come in if he needed her, he repeated that several times "outside door", and was fine when I left. I'm really glad that makes things ok for him, because it is a drag and a half to sit for an indefinite period in the room of a child who doesn't show any sign of going to sleep anytime soon.

We actually had to rearrange his bedtime routine in the past week, because he was having a lot of trouble going to sleep, and after I put him to bed one night around 10:15 and he stayed up until about 12:30 yelling and grouching, we decided things MUST CHANGE. Now, we do not let him watch TV or play football after his bath, but do quiet things like read books. Instead of leaving the hall light on, which he used to prefer, now I try to make it as dark and night-like back there in his corner of the house as I can. We also make sure he has a very good snack before bed - I think that was one reason he was having trouble before; even though he would have his before-bed milk, I think he needed something more. And bedtime has been SO MUCH BETTER that it is amazing. It is so much nicer when he goes to sleep ok, because it actually gives us an evening.

Belly Shelf

Today I felt rather bruised-tired when I woke up this morning. My eyes had these big dark circles under them, which has to do with a combination of 4 12-hour shifts in one week, 3 of those in a row ending yesterday, and forgetting to take my prenatal vitamins. (But I took them today, Mom.) I did get a very good nap in this afternoon, though, and currently feel much better.

I had a slight panic attack yesterday when I realized that I am now 36 weeks pregnant (you would think that I would be intelligent enough to realize that 36 weeks comes after 35 weeks), because that means I am one week away from being term, and I just don't feel quite ready!!!! There is stuff I still have to do with the house, there is money I still need to earn (that I will be just fine with if I don't have the baby for another week), and most importantly, there are holidays to be avoided. Seriously, this is sort of a moderate stressor for me right now for some reason. 14 more days. If I can not have this baby for another 14 days, I don't have to go back to work until Jan. 27 or so. Otherwise, it sort of throws everything else off, and I could end up with my first day back being Christmas or New Years. When you think about me, pray that I can make it that far. Life will still be fine if it happens otherwise, but boy, what a bummer. I'm probably going to work myself into going into labor by being so concerned about NOT going into labor. :) Knowing my luck.

Here's another example of my luck: This morning, for the first time, I wore this brand-new long sleeved shirt I got from Gap when I was pregnant last time, when I miscarried. I absolutely LOVE this shirt. It is really soft off-white cotton, with these little pearly beads around the neck. It is very "me". I would put a picture on, except that it is currently in the wash. Yes, indeed, read my lips. "IN THE WASH". Combine wonderful new WHITE shirt, with pregnant, nose-bleeding lady. Oh, yes, you heard me right. Of ALL the things to get on my new shirt, how about a nice spray of blood. Wonderous. Amazingly, though, I think it actually all came out, thanks to Mom and "Esther's Cookbook". And I had had such a good time parading around in my new shirt this morning... :)

That was kind of like my other beloved shirt that I got all sorts of compliments on - it is a really light cotton yellow with flowers and little sequiny things that just pushed all my happy buttons, that I was planning to handwash and lovingly gently lay down to dry...and then dear husband threw my fragile little shirt into the wash with all sorts of growly mean colors and textures...and it just hasn't been the same since. :(

Or my "perfect shade of blue" shirt that I ROUTINELY drop food on every single time I wear it. I never knew I was such a messy eater!!! My belly is this perfect little food-catching shelf. Speaking of belly shelf, check this out:

Last night I plopped down in the office with my new magazine and my little bowl of apples and automatically set my apples on top of my stomach for easy access - before I realized what I did. I thought it was pretty funny. I refer to my stomach as my "kitty shelf", after it served such a nice purpose when I was holding mom's new kitty a few weeks ago. :) Hey, doesn't my stomach look massive in this picture? Now can you understand my whining? :)

My goodness. Carrie has been such a chatterer this evening. At least it's been about such IMPORTANT life issues...I'm sure everyone feels challenged and inspired. I'd better go cook some macaroni and cheese now. From a box. Man, I'm a mom to admire.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

El Hugeo Pregnant Bellyo

In the above photo, let me show you the hugest belly in the world. I am so pregnant the skin on my stomach literally aches from being so stretched. I am WAY bigger than I ever was with Gabriel…which makes me a mite apprehensive as to exactly how big this child is going to be. Seeing as I’m the one who gets to deliver it, and all.

I get ALL SORTS of comments on my stomach all the time, ranging from one extreme to the other. I have people tell me I am SO LITTLE, and other people on the same day tell me that there is no way I am making it to my due date because I look too pregnant. I’ve had one woman ask me if I was anorexic (Sigh. No.), but after she saw me eat lunch she informed me that I eat more that she thought I would. Thanks for that. I had one guy the other day at church tell me that I looked more pudgy this time. :) Oh, man, thanks!! That is JUST what a woman wants to hear. :) I had somebody yesterday tell me I looked so great , but I had one nurse tell me the other week that “Not to be rude, but I was the weirdest looking pregnant person” that she had ever seen, since I was carrying low. Oh, that’s nice, too. :) SO many people inform me, after seeing me one time, that I have dropped. And I’m like – um, actually, no I haven’t, but I’ll just smile and accept your opinion. The hilarity of it all is that most of these people have either just met me, or I have seen only a few times. A pregnant belly is a hot topic of conversation.

Poor Gabe doesn’t remember he used to be able to fit in Mom’s lap, without all the squirming and readjusting to make himself comfortable.

As long as I can make it three more weeks from today, I don’t have to work any holidays. I’m sure I’ll make it, honestly. I’ll probably go over my due date. Even though I feel vastly huge, I will honestly be surprised if he comes early, just because most babies don’t.

Thirty-five weeks, three days, and counting...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We had a great weekend last week when Ama Carol and Papa Norm and Aunt Lynette and Uncle Rusty came to visit from IN and Chicago. We had a very good time just spending time together.

This was the first that Gabe had seen Lynette and Rusty since they left for Thailand last August (?) I believe. He loved having everybody there – he could hardly contain himself at times! Aunt Lynette and Ama Carol introduced him to the world of hand puppets – he now has a tiger one and a crazy red fuzzy bird one that squeaks and it’s tongue rolls out. Gabe was just not too sure about these new developments – they were a bit alarming. It took a while before he would come close to them.

He could also hardly go down for a nap. It took a soothing read by Uncle Rusty to put him fast asleep.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Birthday Party

Last night, we had Gabriel's birthday party with Tim's college friends. Gabe had a great time - he got to have PIZZA, and CHIPS, and POP, and STRAWBERRIES, and CAKE, with CANDLES to blow out (twice) and ICECREAM, and then there were presents just for him (he got two books from us, and we had already given him a football, and some bubbles that were really pretty nifty, he thought; and Tim's friends got him a remote-controlled little John Deer combine and some cute little Levi's), and there were boys to horse around with and swing him all around, and BALLOONS!!!!! The balloons, the combine, and the guests seemed to be his favorite experiences of the evening.

This was actually Gabriel's second birthday party; we went to VA for a few days over Labor Day for the first time this summer!! and had a little party for him with just us and Mom and Dad and his Uncle Quentin. He got to eat some rib-eye steaks and have some birthday cupcake. "Cuppa-Cake?", he says. And have wide-eyed delight at the sight of his new tricycle.

Then, Tim drove home to KY to start school, and I took Gabe up to Ohio for a chiropractic appointment by myself. I was kind of looking forward to spending the alone time with him - I have been working so much recently and I feel like I hardly get to see him anymore. I was looking forward to it being just Mommy and Gabriel having some bonding time. We had a good time...although I tell you what, I am so glad not to be a single parent!! Gabe is going through these stages of "now I am holding Mommy's hand and now I am letting my knees bend and am sagging to the floor to be dragged along the ground just because I think it would be fun". Or "now I am at Walmart and feel I must lay down on the tile floor". Or "this floor needs a good lick". We were in a public bathroom on the way home when Gabe decided, after getting his hands washed, that due to the lack of paper towels, the nice dry floor would be a good alternative drying method. Yes. Lovely. It's just hard to be 8 months pregnant, lugging a purse and a variety of baby items, and to be diving around after a curious child that is a whole lot closer to the floor than I. Makes me grateful that he has an agile, very non-pregnant Daddy. :)

While we were in Ohio we went to the Belmont County Fair, just for something fun to do. Gabe squeaked in under the admission price cutoff - you had to pay $7 for any child over 24 months, and he was 2 days shy of that! :) Whoo-hoo! That also meant that I got to go on rides with him for free - after buying a $5 ticket for him, of course. They like taking your money at a fair. But he had a GREAT time. He wanted to ride the little cars that go around in a circle, while the child wildly spins the steering wheel, and so I let him; I wasn't sure if he would get scared or not being by himself as the cars whizzed around, but every time he whirled past, he gave me this huge delighted grin. It was precious.

After that we went on the merry-go-round, and he thought that was pretty special, and then he wanted to go jump in one of those big inflatable jumpy things, and had a great time. He was so little in there with all these slightly larger kids that it made me cringe a little bit as everyone careened around, but he paid it no mind. Then we staggered off (the staggerer being myself carrying him and his stroller and my purse, as he associated going into the stroller with going home and wept desperate tears at the thought) to the livestock part to view the chickens (fascinating), the cows (absorbing), the "piggies" (which he had never seen before), the goats (pretty nifty), and best of all - the BUNNIES. Oh, the bunnies. Wonderful bunnies. He had to get out of the stroller that I had finally coaxed him into and walk all around and check out the cages again for himself, and talk about the empty cages, and pet the angora bunny that someone was holding. I mean, it was great to enter Bunny World. He would have gladly stayed at the fair for much longer than Mommy physically could. I was so TIRED after lugging him around and manuvering the stroller...but I was really glad we went! It made his evening.

One of his other trip highlights was the purchase of a football at Walmart. We had went in to get some necessities and he caught sight of a two big, inflatable footballs used for some promotional thing, and became mildly obsessed over them. Gabriel LOVES football. He loves to watch Tim's X-Box football game demo and hurl himself around the living room with any available ball. So, I couldn't resist - I bought him an early birthday present of a football. We went back to the toy section to get it, and once he had hold of it, he was NOT letting go. When we got up to the front of the store, and I tried to give it to the cashier to pay for it, he cried and cried and cried (after a one hour nap that day - that always makes things quite devastating), and so she came around to scan it. Poor boy!! :) So guess what we watched for three days in the hotel room - and it wouldn't be anything of my choosing. That's right. Football. Or tennis. Anything with a ball. It makes me curious if he will always like sports like he does now. He is a very physical little boy; he loves to crash into things, and bounce off your legs, and fall on the floor, and physically experience life.

So, anyways, that's a catch-up on Gabriel's life recently. Even though our little trip together was a mite arduous, it really helped me feel reconnected with him. Doing all the little, mundane tasks it takes to take care of him; changing diapers, baths, getting his meals and snacks - add up to an intimacy that makes me sad to have to miss again when I jump back into madly working to pay to afford to take time off of work when this next baby is born. I often come home too beat to muster up much of the energy it takes to chase him around doing the nighttime caretaking. Bath to bedtime is one of the most energetic times of the day, as he is not at all into the idea, generally. Tim has really appreciated getting to experience that part of life with him this summer though - there probably won't be another child that he is able to spend several months on end with like he has with Gabriel this summer. That day to day intimacy is a precious part of raising a child.

The last night we were in Ohio, he didn't want to go to sleep, so I lifted him into bed beside me, much to his delight, and he trilled away as he lay happily on the pillows next to his mommy, talking about the light on the smoke-detector, and wanting to sing "Mommy Loves Her Baby", and reminiscing on bunnies, chickens, and the like. He lay all tucked up against me, watching my face while I sang to him, and singing along...I'm serious, it was absolutely adorable. I finally lifted a limp, drowsy little boy back into his crib. That's the reward of all the other menial tasks it takes to keep a boy in action. What a sweetheart.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Birthday, Gabriel!!!

My little buddy is two years old today!!! What a little man! He is growing and changing; right now he is really saying a lot. He got a new tricycle for his birthday from Grandma and Granddaddy Beery, and that is VERY special to him to have his own "back-ee" (bike). We are going to have a birthday party for him tommorrow with Tim's college friends.