Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas 07 (and why photography is not our hobby)

Oh, the intentions are there, I swear. We charge and carry around our piddly camera to all important events, but somehow it never gets used. It doesn't help that at each event this holiday season we had a "pro" who was taking photos: my father-in-law, brother-in-law and then at Bec and Adam's party, a friend who is a doctor and a photographer! Plus, I have realized that when you are "in" the action, it is hard to take pictures "of" the action. Eric did manage to get a few shots of Christmas, which will be posted once I find a good chunk of time to transfer the pictures from the camera to my home computer.

Overall, Christmas was a success! For 2 years in a row, we still did not actually see snow fall, but we did witness remnants of the massive New England storms lingering on the ground during our brief stay in Mass. Unfortunately, it was already pretty much that dirty, lifeless gray that is left over after a day or so of traffic. And with our luck, they got slammed again a day after we left. Ohio was fun, but the 5 days leading up to Christmas were, at times, agonizing. It had nothing to do with any unstable in-law relationships, but my attempt at hiding my nausea, and avoiding any situation where an alcoholic beverage might be offered. At home, I could retreat into my own bedroom for hours without anyone knowing. Additionally, I work from home a few days a week, so frequent trips to the bathroom are not noticed by co-workers. Perhaps our "baby" radar was more primed than before, but Eric and I were astonished at how often the topic of babies came up prior to the big reveal. Just as a sampling:

-Lunch at Sharpy's sandwich shop: conversation turned to health insurance, and how I recently changed to a new plan after I switched jobs in the fall. Mother-in-law commented, "I just told Eric to make sure that your plan has maternity coverage."

-Burlington Coat Factory: Mother-in-law and I, in a quest to find her a top for a new sweater, somehow ended up perusing through the "baby depot" as she talked about how many of her daughter's (my sister-in-law's) friends are having babies.

-Marc's grocery store: Mother-in-law and I strolled down one of those aisles that groups together all the items you would need for a Christmas party (from cookies, to decorations, to baking supplies), and she spotted some sparkling juice. I made the comment that I really like sparkling juice. She said, "would you like to get some? Oh, but you'll be drinking the real stuff, right?" I pulled one of those maneuvers where you kind of pretend you didn't hear the comment. I'll be drinking the real thing in about 2 years after I deliver and breastfeed! (although, I am sure I'll find a way to celebrate with champagne a few times before I hit 30).

-Eric's parents' basement: we had a heart-to-heart with his sister about babies...after mentioning that she didn't know what our time line was regarding having babies, Eric felt compelled to blurt out, "I want a dog, first." What?? I know we have "lied"about our baby status over the past 3 months, but I tend to prefer the little white fibs, slight manipulations of the truth, or even my favorite, not telling the whole truth (e.g. "Is Ali sick?" "Yes. She has been to the doctor, and they are not concerned." True, but not the whole truth)...not the outright, in your face, bold face lie! After I swatted him later that night for the ridiculous comment, his excuse was, "I didn't want uncomfortable silence." I told him he had better find a humane society willing to adopt within 24 hours.

-Christmas Eve- Eric's Grandmother ended the night with a heartfelt speech about how having children (and grandchildren) was the best thing in her life. I just kept thinking, "I hope she feels the same for great grand children."

-Christmas Day - before the last gift was opened (our little onsie), somehow the conversation turned to grandchildren, and how one day that would be a great gift to get. My memory is a bit foggy as the only thing I could think about was the reveal, but my brother-in-law quickly commented, "not 'it'!" I wanted to say, don't worry, we took care of it...but five minutes later, that was clearly apparent. The reaction was everything we could have hoped for, and when his parents asked how I felt, I couldn't help but blurt out, "TERRIBLE!" Phew. We then called my family to experience the reveal via the phone. Everyone was thrilled. The "Happy Holidays! we're having a baby!" phone calls lasted the rest of the day, even through what ended up being one of the worst days I had in terms of sickness. What is funny is that I heard more people say, "I knew it!" than I had anticipated. Whether or not people really "knew" it is up for debate, but I think at my age, and given that it would be hard to conceive (no pun intended) of another answer to the question: we have big news, guess what? I am not really shocked. Well, I guess there is still that dog option...

The holidays were so packed with activity that I will break the stories up into different posts. Going back to that whole photography thing, I must say that I do wish we had taken more pictures, but I will do my best to post those that we did take, and forward on any that are sent to me from others who captured the events.


-As I begin week 15 (can you believe it?) I am so grateful that despite continued feelings of nausea, fatigue and anxiety, that I have made it this far without any serious complications. I know the first trimester marker is huge, and with each passing minute, feel more and more confident that Linus is still there...alive and well. Just waiting to feel the "quickening."

-Although my families live far from Atlanta, I am thankful that I got to see both sides this holiday. I realize that with the birth of a child, travel will take on a whole new dimension and may be truncated over the years, but need to really reflect on and appreciate the time I have been able to spend with family...and I'll be sure to send Airtran deals to my family as much as possible.

-Ah, my husband! (Does anyone else still have trouble using that word? As if we didn't feel like little kids playing house after we got married, this whole "baby" things is really making is freak out that we are adults!) He is just the bee's knees. Even though we promised to have a giftless Christmas between the two of us, the guy had already bought a present back in the summer: part 2 of our anniversary gift. For those who don't know, he got me the most beautiful pair of pearl stud earrings from Solomon Brothers. I am not a huge jewelry person, but what little I have, I prefer to be the kind that I can pass down to my children. I had always wanted a set of pearls...a la Audrey or Jackie O. The earrings were a shock (especially because my gift was the "stick" massager...granted, a runner's delight, but not on par with pearl earrings!). Well, I was astonished (and cried like a baby) when I received the matching pearl necklace over Christmas. Shock and awe. Knowing that from now on, our big purchases will probably be on the order of "crib," "stroller," etc., it was a delight receiving the necklace.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Pain in the Rear

Given how open I have been in the past in my posts, and that the number of people who have access to this blog at this point are rather limited, I have no shame in updating you all on the next obstacle that has challenged me: my recurrent pilonidal cyst. It's almost getting humorous...a girl who is always the one who avoids seasonal colds, migraines, sinus trouble, broken bones (save that stress fx)...has to have the "odd ball" conditions (fibrocystic breast disease anyone?). Let me say, for those who won't Google it, that a pilonidal cyst typically forms in sedentary, obese, hairy men. Well, the sedentary can be attributed to me right now, but not the latter. Basically, I have a huge abcess at the top of my tailbone in my back. Like a swollen grape. It feels like the rubbery grape I had removed from my breast in 2003, except that it is painful. Anyway, I almost laughed this morning when I rolled over and felt it. I say, "bring it on!" Well, no, I take that back. I would appreciate the uncomfortable signs and symptoms plaguing my body to at least hibernate for another 6 months. So far...swollen chest, extreme nausea, anxiety, acne, and now a pilonidal cyst. All those comments about "pregnancy glow" and how attractive pregnant women are, certainly were not thinking of me. :)

In the words of the Indigo Girls, "you have to laugh at yourself, or you'd cry your eyes out."


-This isn't so easy this morning, but I am grateful for how flexible my job is to allow me to feel disgusting in my comfort of my own home.

-I am thankful that Eric gets to travel up to the midwest this weekend for the X-C club nationals in which he will compete. I also pray that his team will be safe; they are driving a van up in what appears to be incliment weather in Ohio, and I hope they are safe!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Gummi Bears! Bouncing Here and There and Everywhere"

This will be a quick update. First things first: still feel sick and don't enjoy anything related to food. I try to trick myself into "thinking" I have an appetite, but let's be honest, I don't, and it is not a particularly attractive quality in a lady. I've been pretty successful at most things in life, but I am a terrible pregnant woman. :)

On to the fun. I went to the new clinic in Decatur and had a great u/s appointment with a lovely tech name Tracy. She let me look at the baby in a zillion different ways for a good 20 minutes. I am sad to say that I was by myself, and I think Eric is really upset that he wasn't there...but Tracy said that the 20 week one will be so much more fun (and that will be the next time I will probably get an u/s). I got to see the umbilical cord (looked like the loch ness monster), and she changed the view so I could see red and blue for the arterial and venous blood in the cord. I also got to see and hear the heartbeat! (160bpm). There is nothing like hearing the quick beating of a baby's heart fill a room. I also saw the little thing "swimming" around. He doesn't have great dance moves, yet, and I wouldn't be surprised if he takes after Eric. Tracy pushed on my stomach to get him moving again, and he wiggled his little "buds." We came to the consensus that he looks like a Gummi Bear. No more kidney bean (or lima bean); we've moved on to Gummi Bears! I am also about 10 weeks, 2 days by her extensive crown to rump measurements. In addition to the heartbeat and cord, I got to see bones in the fingers, the top of the brain, and the spine. I have a million print outs, but given my lack of scanner, and terrible ability in taking a picture of a picture, I'll only include one blurry one in this post. It actually didn't turn out as well as the previous (I think because the paper was more glossy). Even still, I present to you, Linus's second picture. (And no, we won't find out the gender until the 20 week u/s, but we are still banking on a boy).

The 2nd picture is of the onesie that Eric and I created to give as gifts to our families for Christmas for the "big reveal." We actually have 4 onesies because the first 2 came back from the printer with a tiny bit of black on one of the legs. So, I wrote the company, and they sent us another 2 for free! Our intention is to wrap one for his grandparents and one for my maternal grandparents. I think we'll just call my paternal grandparents. The plan is to call my house on x-mas from Ohio (after Eric's parents have opened their onesie), and have my Dad open the present while we are on the phone. We hope that my siblings will be there, too. We should have many pictures and stories from the holidays!


-I am thankful for another week gone by. I may feel rotten, but Linus is still alive, and I am one week closer to hitting the 2nd trimester!

-Believe it or not, I am thankful we haven't sold our condo, yet. Well, it would be nice to get things rolling right about now (especially with such low mortgage rates!), but I think if I had to think about selling and buying over the past 5 weeks, I would have honestly lost it.

- I am thankful for Trader Joe's lemonade. I really don't "crave" any food, but do enjoy a glass of TJ's lemonade with seltzer and 2 wedges of lime, from which I will proceed to eat away all of the flesh when I finish the "kiddie cocktail." (It reminds me of a virgin gin and tonic.) I used to be obsessed with seltzer - craving it many times during the day, and now I cannot imagine drinking a can, unless mixed with lemonade.