Friday, May 21, 2010

29 Weeks, Holy Baby Bump Batman!

The further along I find myself in this pregnancy, the more frustrated I become with that silly little weekly survey. I mean, do you honestly care each week whether or not I'm wearing maternity clothes? I think it's pretty self-explanatory now. We all know my belly button sticks out an additional inch from my abdomen and should have it's own postal code and just in case you were wondering, I officially weigh as much as my hubsand. Put that in your Caesar salad and suck on it, whydontchya?

Hubs and I have sat through our first of TWO childbirth classes. Our instructor is not only a Labor and Delivery nurse but also a Mom and well, she rocks. She tells you like it is, no holds barred. She even tells you when the video is about to show the delivery of the placenta so you can either close your eyes like a mature adult or bury your head in your pillow like a small child. Because, I mean, let's be honest. NOBODY wants to nor needs to see that. We all know it has to come out somehow. She's given me the confidence (and a few helpful position tips and breathing exercises) to go with my gut and try to push this baby out au natural.

Aside from the horrific indigestion and the almost complete inability to find a comfortable position to sleep in at night (thanks to the basketball in my midsection, as well as the hotflashes), I feel great. I waddle when I walk and I wheeze if I try to walk and talk at the same time. My hips hurt, my back hurts. My feet hurt. It's all relative.

I passed my 1 hour glucose test with flying colors. Hello, 92! I only had to suffer through forty minutes of total dizziness, nausea, cold sweats and the shakes to pass! Oh, and I drank the fruit punch flavor. I give it an 8 out of 10.

I can't touch my toes and have resorted to biweekly pedicures. This week, I'm rockin' OPI's La Paz-itively Hot! Hubs refuses to paint my toes for me and therefore I'm allowed to shellout 35 dollars to have my new BFF "Jennifer" paint them for me at the salon down the road.

I can lay on the couch and watch elbows and knees make their way across my belly. I get a little weepy thinking how badly I cannot wait to hold those little hands and feets that I feel either punching my cervix or kicking me in the ribs.

Baby boy knows his Daddy's voice and kicks and rolls in reponse to him. Do I even need to say more? Insert sound of heart-melting and double squee, here!

Had some routine labs drawn this week and knowingly confirmed my Rh negative-ness. Highlight of the week? Getting an intramuscular injection in my hiney. Thanks, Sue Ellen. From one nurse to another? You were the bomb-diggity. No jokes.

Oh, and did I mention? We've chosen a name. Let's see how long I can keep it a secret from you all. The last time I tried this, I lasted what? Approximately 12 weeks and 3 days? That's nothin'! Baby boy will be here before we know it!

Looking forward to my first biweekly doctor's appointment on Monday and will somebody PLEASE remind me to ask when my next ultrasound is? We all know Baby boy has been measuring ahead of schedule, but I would at least like to prepare myself for whatever size fruit or vegetable I will be pushing out of something the size of a lemon. Thanks!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Marital Musings: On Pregnancy. Don't Say You Weren't Warned!

While standing in the kitchen (albeit barefoot and pregnant) preparing dinner one night:

AP: [looks down at feet] Wow. I really can't see my toes. That's weird.
Hubs: [not super interested in the conversation, but lets out a half-laugh]

AP: Hm. [dejected sigh] You know what else I haven't seen in a while? My hoo-ha.
Hubs: [lights up at the mention of hoo-ha] Um HI!!!!! Join the club!!! Me either.

Anyone's boyfriend/fiance/husband ever try to tell them that their member would fall off if it didn't get any use? You know, this line was often mega popular back in those high school days? Well ladies, they were all lies. Don't believe them for a minute! ;)

"They" say that your sex drive roller coasters throughout pregnancy- some women become ravenous tigresses, some women refuse to be touched with a ten foot pole. I would just like to take a minute to thank Hubs for being such a great sport about the whole thing. Babe, I promise I'll make it up to you...


Sidenote: I can't believe I just said the word "hoo-ha" on my blog. Dad, Nanny.. I'm really, really sorry. Haha!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Wine Adventure.

Chilean Merlot grapes crated, fresh off the boat

Last night, Hubs and I, along with my in-laws, embarked on what will become a year long wine-making adventure. And let me tell you, as if Hubs and I didn't have dreams of owning our own vineyard before? Whew. Things just got ten times worse. When we got home last night, I was all set to sit down at the kitchen table and rework "The Budget" to allow for a Future M Vineyard savings. For those of you who know of our newly cramped budget, you'd be laughing right along with me right now at the impossibility of this task! I mean, we can barely eat out once a month, let alone sock away savings for a vineyard. Okay, so maybe it's not in the cards for us just yet. But one day? We can only hope!

Chilean Merlot grapes

By the time our wine-making adventure ends, I hope to be able to document the fun in a photo book. Here's a sneak peak at our timeline:

28.3 weeks pregnant, crushin' grapes!

May: Our adventure begins during the height of Crush season. Chilean Merlot grapes, fresh off the boat, arrive stacked in crates. Argentinian Malbech grapes are stacked neatly alongside. For those of you interested, we will be bottling Malbech and Syrah for the family reserve. I can't even begin to explain how sweet and delicious these grapes are! They immediately get tossed into a "stemmer" which is a giant, stainless steel machine that, in crushing the grapes, removes them from their stems, spitting the stems out one end and funneling the crushed grapes, skins and delicious juices, into a giant vat.

The Stemmer

Hubs adding grapes, he's a natural!

Discarded stems

Mmm.. a fermenting vat. The first step in becoming wine!

Once in this vat, sulfides are added and the grapes are "schtoinked." Yes, this is a made-up term involving a homemade "schtoinking tool" but I swear it serves a purpose that I can't quite recall at the moment. The grapes, or "must" at this point, are mixed. If you were to taste this concoction, it would taste like the most delicious, purest grape juice you've ever had!

Next, based on the sugar content and the acidity of the grapes in question, a type of yeast is selected and mixed into the must. One checks the sugar and acidity by using a refractment tool. Basically a chemist's fancy kaleidoscope-like tool that you smear grape guts onto and look at through the light. A blue line appears along a corresponding number and this enables you to choose which yeast would best compliment the grape. Note to self: Yeast smells like vomit. No joke. But, it helps make the grapes into wine and who can complain about that? Now begins the first fermentation process. We will return again in one week to observe the fermentation process, check the sugar content and the acidity of the fermenting grapes and make any additional adjustments if necessary.

August/September: We return to the winery to barrel the fermenting wine. The winery we've chosen ferments in both French Oak and standard Oak barrels. The different between the two? Mainly price, but also the construction of the barrel. French Oak barrels can cost upwards of 900 dollars, whereas, standard Oak barrels, from say, a Kentucky cooperage cost merely 380 dollars. It does sound much fancier, however, if you can tell people that your wine was distilled in French Oak rather than just plain ol' Kentucky Oak, right? Ha!

And finally, in March of 2011, after a long and successful fermentation and distillation, the wine will be ready for bottling. Whew! Talk about hard work. Needless to say, I can't wait until then to sample the fruits of our labors!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Pitter Patter of Tiny Feets. And Not What You Think.

Thought I'd take a minute and post about an otherwise normal day. Woke up, ate breakfast with the Sheepster, let Baby listen to some rockin' tunes while catching up on some reading. Hopped in and out of the shower and began getting dressed... to the sound of tiny feets running around our house.

Clearly, there's no baby running around our house. Sheepie doesn't have tiny feets. Nor does he live in the attic. The last time I saw Sheepie, he was passed out on the floor of the office.

Walk down hallway, peek into office: Yep, still a sleeping Sheepie.

Walk back into bedroom. Stand in middle of room, stare at the ceiling.

Hear dance party going on in the attic.

Make frantic call to Hubs, "Um, I'm pretty sure there's a family of medium-sized somethings living in our attic."

Hubs: Laughing.

AP: Headed out to lunch. For. the. day. And hoping Super Hubs is home by the time I get back to release whatever lovely squatters have taken residence up in our ceiling. Awesome.

Monday, May 10, 2010

27.3 Weeks. And I've Never Been Crankier.

Although I have nothing to compare it to, the last six months of this pregnancy have been a dream. Sure, I've been uncomfortable at times, although those times have been few and far between. Of course I had some nausea all day, every day during the first 13 weeks, but it was manageable and the end was soon within reach. I knew this whole pregnancy thing wasn't going to be easy, but it's always been tolerable. I've truly enjoyed being pregnant and have even had some sneaky thoughts pop into my head, telling me, "heck, I could do this three more times!"

Welp. That all changed the minute I hit 26 weeks. It was like someone flipped the switch on my mostly pretty, practically perfect pregnancy. Now I'm cranky, achey, frustrated and I huff and puff pretty much all day. What the heck happened?

My lower back hurts all the time. I detest going to bed because I know all I'll do for the next 6-8 hours is toss and turn. I feel huge. Hello, Braxton Hicks. So that's what you feel like. I can't be on my feet for very long or else I get this searing sciatic pain running down my right side. Walking the dog down to the corner of our street leaves me short of breath and ready to turn back home. Wait, did someone say I have roughly 12 more weeks to go? I could smack you. Listen right now, Baby Boy M. You'd better make your appearance somewhere between the 35th and 36th weeks. Or else...

Sidenote: After proofreading this entry, I sound like Debbie Downer meets Carla Crankypants!

27 weeks and 3 days

Total Weight Gained?: I've gained twenty-five pounds since my first weigh in at 8 weeks. Good thing 4 pounds of that is extra blood volume. Whew!

Maternity Clothes: Definitely rockin' the maternity pants (shorts, capris, jeans, leggings) but as far as tops go? There's just SO many new non-mom tops out there with enough give/rouching/ruffles that work for my pregnant belly. Not to mention, they look SO much cuter! Same goes for dresses- it just takes me a bit longer to dig through the racks and find the ones that work!

Stretch Marks?: Knocking on more wood, but absolutley stretchie-free! Apparently, I have my mom to thank for that! Thanks, Mom! And Kiehl's Imperial Body Balm.

Sleep?: What sleep? I get anxious merely at the thought of bedtime. I know. I have it pretty easy. I don't have to wake up every morning at a certain time for work and can pretty much sleep in on any given day, which helps greatly. But, I do wake up every two hours to pee and change position. Poor Hubs. I think all of my tossing, turning and cover-stealing finally wore him down. Together with Sheepie, I was gifted the infamous Snoogle for Mother's Day. I can't wait to sleep with it!

Labor Signs: I've been omitting this question because up until now it's been entirely too early for any of that nonsense- but last week I may or may not have experienced my first Braxton-Hicks. Now they're a pretty regular happening in my daily routine. If I'm on my feet too long, or walking Sheepie too fast, or changing position in bed or on the couch too quickly, my entire belly tightens and it takes my breath away. They last less than a minute and are rather painless. Just annoying.

Best Moment of the Week?: Introducing Baby Boy to music. From the kicks and jabs I feel while he's listening, he either loves it a bunch or loathes it. Sorry, kid. But if your my son? You'd better love your music.

Movement? All the time. He's active in there pretty much 18 hours out of the day. Just recently, however, his movements have become much more strong and forceful. Sometimes, it feels as if I'm getting beat up from the inside out. FYI darling boy, Momma does NOT like that. I've also noticed that I'm feeling him much higher and much lower lately. He must've flipped to a more vertical position in the last week or so.

Food Craving?: I can honestly say there have been a few moments where I've just seen a commercial on TV for Mexican (or Chinese, or Pizza, or Ice Cream) and I've literally thought about getting in the car and driving to the nearest Chipotle, Rita's or pizza joint. I still love me some soft serve with spinkles though.

Food aversions: Did someone say food? Yum. Yes, please.

Belly Button? We all know the answer to this one.

What I miss? This week? Being a size 4. Let me wallow in my vanity. No passing judgement. I'll be over this angst in a day, but for now? I miss being cute and skinny. Although let it be known, I'm happy being cute and pregnant. But if Victoria Secret sends me one more godforsaken email about new bathing suits? I'm going to crack!

What I'm looking forward to: Getting our nursery in order. The bedding is in, the furniture has been ordered and the paint colors have been selected! Now it's just a matter of doing! Also looking forward to scheduling a 3D ultrasound back home in NJ so that Grandma can get a peek at her growing grandson. My mom's been dying to see an ultrasound of Baby Boy and I'm thinking now's the perfect time!

Weekly Wisdom: Slow down, woman. You can't do it all and you can't do it nearly in the same manner as you're used to. For example, you can no longer bend at the waist to pick things up off the ground. Baby Boy doesn't like being squished. Remember, bend at the knees. Bend at the knees..

Milestones: Making our way into the 3rd Trimester! Baby is the size of a head of cauliflower and weighs roughly 3 lbs. Which I find almost impossible since last week he was the size of a cucumber and the week prior, an eggplant. Whoever thought of these vegetable/fruit references was an absolute moron.

I can't believe I go back to see the doctor every two weeks now. Woah.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Show Us Your Life: Baby Names!

I don't typically participate in Kelly's (Kelly's Korner) weekly Show Us Your Life re-posts, but since this week's topic hit incredibly close to home, I figured I'd give it a whirl! This week is all about baby names and much to my dismay, Baby Boy M still remains nameless. Although, I will admit that I've already decided on his name and may or may not have used it outloud a few times, just to get a feel for it rolling off the tongue!

Hubs, however, still isn't quite as onboard the Baby Name Boat as I am. It's okay though. He's a man. And he doesn't have the awesome, albeit nameless reminder, kicking him in the ribcage 18 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hubs is pretty much a part of the camp that feels like, "Hey! we still have two and a half months until Baby gets here! What's the rush?" and therefore, isn't in as big of a hurry to get this little guy named. And I can sort of understand that. In a hurryupandlet'snamethislittleguytomorrow sort of way.

Don't get me wrong, this is certainly NOT a decision I've (we've) taken lightly. Naming your unborn baby is a HUGE life-changing decision. I mean, this kid is going to grow up with this name! He's going to learn to write it in kindergarten, sign it when he opens his first savings account, mercilessly write it atop countless college applications and as a successful mother, you hope that one day, it will be adorning the desk of his very own Fortune 500 company, right? Needless to say, it's a big deal.

Let's start with girl names. Why are girl names so much easier to come up with? Hubs and I had a list nearly a mile long when we first started discussing girl names and within a couple of weeks (we're talking major progress here, guys) we had narrowed it down to a couple of our favorites. Hopefully there will be a Baby Girl M in our future and we'll be able to bless her with one of these beautiful names:

Charlotte Allen: I've always loved the nickname "Charlie" for a little girl and who can forget one of the best childhood book's ever written, Charlotte's Web? Allen takes after my Dad but with the spelling changed up a bit, making it a little more feminine.

Kennedy Allen: Kennedy, a unique name and a reassurance that she'd be the ONLY Kennedy in her classes at school. Disclaimer: If we end up choosing to name our son the name I've settled on, Kennedy will be off the table, as it is also a President's name. Just like the boy's name we've (almost) chosen.

Sadie Allen: I just love, love, LOVE this name. Hubs vetoed it immediately stating that it's too close to "Satan." He makes me chuckle. I love Hubs. I've also learned that it's quite the popular pet name. Scratch that!

And just the other day, Hubs turns to me and says, "I really love the name Leigh for a girl." So I guess we'll add that to the running for future M babies. Potential middle name? Perhaps. However, Hubs? Let's focus on the unnamed baby that's currently tap dancing on my bladder, ok?

Whew. Boy names. Just the thought of them makes me sigh heavily and go weak at the knees. I can't tell you how many names I've rattled off to Hubs. In the car. In church. Over dinner. In the shower. Via text message. The list goes on and on. I've downloaded Baby Name Apps and purchased top-rated books. I've wrapped them up and gifted them to Hubs. I've rambled through hundreds of names via iPhone on long carrides to and from Maryland. And New Jersey. And Pennsylvania. One would think by now that ONE of those names would've stuck. Well, hopefully one has. But we'll see. Here's what's currently on (and off of) the table:

I'm a huge fan of family names. Well, wait. Let me clarify. Not so huge a fan as to continue the tradition of naming my son Hubs. L. the III. Thankfully Hubs, who is a Jr., isn't rallying for that or else I don't know what I'd do. Probably cry my eyes out. However, let it be known that I do love the idea of incorporating family history into the naming of our children.

Before I proceed any further, I'd like to point out that rattling off baby names with Hubs is like playing the word association game. I would throw a name out and he would immediately tell me the first thing that came to mind. You'll understand why I shared this with you the minute you begin reading some of my favorites:

Carter Joseph: Carter is my mother's maiden name. I LOVE this name. Years ago, I had figured it would be the name of a future daughter. However, the minute Hubs threw it out there, I was sold. Paired with Joseph (a family name on both sides of our families) I swooned over a little "C.J." I'm 99.9% sold on this name and ready to drive to the nearest craft store to buy the little wooden letters I plan to hang above Baby Boy's crib. Hubs? Well, he's about 89% sold.

Nathaniel Allen: Baby Nate. How much cuter could you possibly get? I just love it. However, Hubs? Not nearly as much.

Noah Carter: "What? Does he come with an ark? No. We're not naming him that."

Grayson Nathaniel: "Grayson is the name of a 40 year old African American lawyer. Our son is not 40. And as far as I know, he is not African American." Seriously. I LOVED the name Grayson and it was my NUMBER ONE pick for Baby Boy. Imagine my frustration when Hubs filled me in on his opinion! Silly husbands.

Here's a couple of names that I thought had a nice ring to them. Not to mention, they sounded pretty awesome in combination with our French-inspired last name:

Mac: "We are not on CSI. Next..."

Miles: "That's a dork name. We are not naming our son a dork name."

Like I said earlier, every day it's like we're playing that god-awful word association game. It's okay though. I gave Hubs a taste of his own medicine with the few names he threw out into the mix.

Jeffrey: "Makes me think of Jeff Gordon. And although we live below the Mason Dixon line, this is NOT acceptable."

Gerald: "Listen, I know you have a buddy from work named Gerald. And it might be cool to call him "Gerry." But we are NOT naming our son that. End of story."

David: "And Goliath? That is not a cool name for a kid. Plus, I used to get bullied by this kid named David on the bus growing up. Too many bad childhood memories."

So there you have it. Our favorite baby names. Wish us luck. Share your baby-naming drama. Let me know how you and your Hubs agreed on a name. Email Hubs and tell him it's not up to him. Whatever you do, just pray that Baby M has a name soon!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We Be Jammin'...

I've been meaning to introduce Baby M to some rockin' tunes for weeks now but insisted he wore the perfect pair of headphones. I never once thought to put my regular ol' iPod headphones up to my belleh and was constantly forgetting to grab Hubs' headphones out of his work bag each morning before he was out the door and headed for the office.

Finally, one of us remembered to leave said headphones behind and let's just say Baby M has been rockin' out to some sweet, sweet tunes ever since. We've been keeping it pretty lowkey lately, mostly Matt Nathanson and a little O.A.R here and there and if I had to guess? He absolutely loves it. From the fierce kicks and punches I've been feeling, he's got some pretty sweet dance moves, too. Just like his Momma! Either that or he's gearing up to be an awesome drummer, just like his Poppy!

I plan on playing him a little Skynard and The Stones tomorrow.. Maybe throw in a little John Mellencamp for good measure. Remember: baby steps here, people! Baby steps!

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