Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What a Difference a Dress Makes

I don't wear dresses that often.  Yes, I bought a new one for the Baby Shower (and I admit that I wore the same dress to both showers), and I bought one for the "All Class Prom" that was hosted as part of the centennial reunion festivities in my husband's hometown earlier in the summer.  But aside from those two maternity dresses, I think that the last dress that I bought was for my wedding rehearsal.

But last week, I hosted an event for my freshmen leadership group in which we asked them all to attend in "Business Professional" attire.  I wasn't about to go out and buy a suit for the last month of my pregnancy, so I figured I would have to make one of the two suits hanging in my closet work.  I knew that the gray pencil skirt wouldn't fit, so I didn't even try that one on.  But I have a blue pant suit that I bought last summer before I lost all the weight...so I thought that perhaps I would be able to make that work.  I even ironed the pants on Sunday night along with all of my husband's shirts for the week.  Perhaps I should have tried the pants on first before ironing them...because they definitely did not fit.  So, I was left with only one option:  to wear the little black dress that I had worn for the "All Class Prom" with the gray suit jacket over it. 

Since the event was in the evening, and I knew I wouldn't want to wear the suit coat the whole day, I opted for a light 3/4-length sweater during the day, and just brought the jacket in with me.  But like I said--I don't wear dresses that often...and apparently the shape of my belly looks totally different in a dress because I got so many comments!  Even our big-boss lady (the one who doesn't have the tightest filter on her mouth) told me that I should wear dresses more often because I have great legs!  Not a bad thing to hear when 36-weeks pregnant!

So I figured it was time to post another picture (and it gave my wonderful husband the chance to play around with his new camera):
I now realize that I don't have any pictures of me in my dress from the shower...perhaps one of my friends got a shot of me.  If so, I'll post those as well.

Today's blessing was the chance to go for a walk with my husband after dinner.  I really enjoy our evening walks, and I know that they are good for me, but I was just so busy last week that we didn't get the opportunity all week!  So it was really nice to have that quality time with him.  It's amazing to think that in a month or so, we'll be pushing a stroller!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Weekend of Showers

This was the weekend of showers in our circle of friends.  Yesterday, I was able to celebrate with my very-dear friend at her Baby Shower.  She is about two weeks behind me (so due in mid-October).  As part of her gift, I decorated two onesies with the words "Best Buddies"--one in blue for her Baby Boy, and one in pink for our Baby Girl.  My husband thought that they were a little cheesy, but all of the women at the shower enjoyed them.  Here's a picture:

Then today, I was able to celebrate a second shower here in town with my friends and colleagues.  It was a fun blend of women I know from various parts of my life here, and it's always interesting to bring them all together.  Some know of our struggles, and others are totally oblivious of the journey we took to get where we are now.  But either way--it was still wonderful to celebrate with everyone.  We had a really nice time, and my two friends who hosted it did an amazing job of making me feel special and appreciated.  With the gifts we received, we're feeling closer and closer to being "ready" for our Baby Girl to arrive.  We still have a handful of essential things we need to pick up on our own, but we've got time.

Today's blessing was the chance to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our Baby Girl--again--with friends and colleagues who support me.  Sure, it takes two to "make" a baby, but I know that there have been so many times when I have relied on these women for prayers, guidance, answers, and encouragement--and I'll continue to do so.  God really has blessed me with some amazingly wise women!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Do Men "Nest" Too?

I think it's safe to say that I'm starting to feel the urge to "nest".  Sure, we started working on the nursery a couple of weekends ago before things got to busy with back-to-school activities...but I think I confirmed my own nesting tendencies when I felt the urge to clean up the conference room where we've been advising students all week.  I had the morning shift all week, and felt compelled to clean up the handouts and straighten up the chairs each morning before we opened the doors to the students.  I haven't had time this week to do much at home...but clearly the desire to nest is following me in to work.

But do men "nest" too?  I'm really thinking that perhaps my husband is also trying to nest.  For the second time this week, he pulled weeds, trimmed trees, moved rocks, and cleaned up the yard until it was too dark to see what he was doing.  I usually have to really urge him to work on the yard...or just do it myself (though I totally cut back on my yard-work duties when I got pregnant).  Over dinner, he told me his plans to fix up the trailer to bring some of the debris in to the dump.  Then later this evening, he asked me how many weekends he had left before our Baby Girl arrives so that he can plan when to clean up the office and finish some other projects around the house.  He also told me that he wanted to clean up the house before our parents (more on that later) and others come to visit.

I'd say that those are all pretty good indications that he's nesting now as well...right?  It's really quite endearing to watch.  He's always been a kind and caring husband, but I definitely recognize that he is becoming more tender and thoughtful as we get closer and closer to our Baby Girl's arrival.  I am totally looking forward to watching him fall in love with her.

Today's blessing was an amazing sunset on my way home from another long day at work.  It really was the perfect way to finish off the first week of classes.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Three Shoes in One Day

I have a secret stash of shoes underneath my desk at work.  Okay, it's really not a secret, but I at least try to keep them out of sight of my students.  I'm just a simple sandal girl...but they just don't quite fit the professional image that is expected in my office.  So I wear my sandals to and from work, and change into my heels or cute flats at the last moment possible. 

So this morning, I was expected to make an announcement in a class at 8:00 am.  The class was just down the hall from our office, so I wore my heels.  I had to give another announcement at 9:30 am--but this classroom was on the other side of campus, so I changed into a pair of flats for the walk.  The instructor--who I had ran into as I was leaving the first class in my heels--commented on how I had changed shoes, and I laughed it off that I wouldn't have attempted to walk across campus in heels, even if I weren't pregnant.  But apparently my feet have either grown or flattened out or are swollen, because my feet were totally rubbing by the time I got back to the office.  So for my third set of announcements--again, on the other side of campus--I gave up my attempt at a professional image and simply wore my sandals.  This totally humored the instructor, who was shocked to see me in my third pair of shoes in one day. 

I eventually made it back into my heels for the afternoon (we were conducting interviews, and I thought it best to look the part of a professional).  But I admit that it sure felt good to take them off at the end of the day!  I totally appreciate that my colleagues and superiors in my office are flexible with my wardrobe and shoe selection as I enter the last month of my pregnancy, but I also don't want to take it all for granted.  I guess I'll just continue to rotate through my options, depending on the venue.

Today's blessing was catching up on all my emails and feeling okay to leave my laptop at work--rather than bring work home with me.  Of course, I've checked my email from home, and I already have about a dozen new messages from students that I'll need to address in the morning.  But even so, it's nice to come home and have a nice evening with my husband (once he finished his fantasy football draft, that is) without feeling obligated to work.  I've got one more day of work before the weekend, and it's a blessing to know that things should be slowing down soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Candlelight Dinner

My husband and I had a very pleasent candlelight dinner last night.  But before you start thinking that he's uber-romantic, I must admit that it wasn't planned (and no, he wasn't being romantically spontaneous either).  I was working late, so he got home about an hour before me...only to find out that the monsoon storm had knocked out our neighborhood's power (and had knocked over our neighbor's tree as well!).  By the time I got home, most of the stormed had blown through, but we did go for a walk in the ending sprinkles, assuming that the electricity would be back on by the time we got home.

No such luck.  We got home as the sun was setting, and used the last few moments of daylight to gather any candles and flashlights we could find.  I reminded him that we had the camping lantern in the garage, but he figured that the electricy would be restored by the time that we pulled it out.  He did, however, find his head lamp, which at leat made things easier for him.  So we set about to make dinner the best we could.  He was very concerned (and as it turned out--rightly so) about not releasing too much cold air from the refrigerator, and made us come up with a game plan before removing the necessary items all at once, and then returninging them again all at the same time.  So we made our wraps (the only thing we could do without using the oven or stove), and had a very pleasant candlelight dinner. 

And then we tried to entertain ourselves without tv or internet or lights or any other modern appliances that are so easy to take for granted.  I had downloaded a few emails from work, so I was able to write the response...but couldn't send them out.  He got plenty of use out of his head lamp and spent the time reading for his class (with the light moving so slightly as he had his way through the pages).  I ended up going to bed at 8:30 pm, but not before calling my mom to tell her that I think God was looking out for me by knocking out the electricy and forcing me to get some early rest in the midst of this crazy back-to-school week. 

I was shocked that the electricity still wasn't on when I woke up this morning, nor was it restored by the time my husband left for work an hour or so after me.  He didn't even let me open up the fridge this morning to eat breakfast or grab my lunch, for fear of losing the last bits of cool air (luckily we had bananas at home and leftover bagels at work).  I didn't necessarily mind that the electricity was out--I figure it's just part of the territory when we live in the path of the monsoons (which, ultimately, I love).  But as the hours ticked by, I recognized how much I take electricity for granted...and realized how grateful I am that our Baby Girl isn't here quite yet.  I'm sure that we would have found a way to manage just fine--but the power outage was rather inconvenient, and I'm sure it would have been intensified with a newborn.  I recognize that women have been having babies longer than we've been harnessing electricity...but we've become so dependent on it!  It kind of makes me reconsider some of my habits.

And yes, I should mention, that the power was back on by the time my husband got home today (Thank You Lord!).

So aside from having electricity again, today's blessing was a very kind email from an instructor.  He teaches an elective course that I often suggest to my students who are looking for a fun and interesting class to fill their schedules (it covers the "history and heritage" of our university).  Well, apparently he asks each student where they heard about the class, and he said that many students mentioned me by name and shared having a positive experience with me as their advisor.  So he took the time to send me an email to thank me--not so much for recommending his class, but for being supportive to the students.  It was just really nice to be appreciated--especially during such a busy week!

Monday, August 23, 2010

She Latched!

Well, at least in my dream, that is.

I don't remember all of the details of the dream, but I was definitely breastfeeding a baby girl.  I don't remember anything distinguishable about her, and I admit that I think she may have been more like a "doll" than a "baby", but she was definitely our Baby Girl.  Of course, there were some problems with the dream.  For one, I apparently fed her three times in a row from the left side, rather than switching over to the right side.  And of more concern, I kept misplacing her on the coffee table, and I think she even got covered up with papers and such at one point.  But dreams are weird, and I'm not reading too much into it.  Ultimately, it was sweet to dream about her again.

It sure beats the other dreams I had last night involving advising students (but that's what I get for working from home on a Sunday evening until 9:00 pm).  Yes, classes started today, and I'm in for a busy busy week!  I survived today, and even responded to all of the student emails in my inbox by the time I left...but I brought home my laptop to work from home again tonight (I'd rather kick my feet up in front of the tv and answer emails from home, than go in tomorrow morning to realize that I had received 50 new emails over night).  I would, however, totally appreciate your prayers throughout the rest of the week.  It's bound to be busy, and I'm really trying not to stress out.

Today's blessing was the chance to see some of my amazing students again.  Yes, their arrival means more emails and more work for me, but really--that's what I'm here for.  I really do have some amazing students--especially those in my leadership group, and it really is a blessing to connect with them again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Priorities

Driving home from our appointment today (everything looks great--it was amazing to see her breathing, which my doctor says is a great sign of a happy baby), I saw a sign along the side of the road advertising "Boxer Pups".  I grew up with a Boxer, and I absolutely adore the breed.  I'm convinced that they are the most playful, loving, protective, goofy, beautiful dogs ever.  Okay, okay--everyone is entitled to their own preferences, but for me--I love Boxers.  Around this time last year, I would have pointed and waved to my husband who was driving home behind me and called him and begged and pleaded for him to get me one.  But as much as I love Boxers, it dawned on me that I'm at a totally different place in my life with a whole new set of priorities. 

As if to tug at my heartstrings just a little bit more to see if I truly was ready to postpone the dream of having my own Boxer, a few minutes later as I turned onto our street, I noticed that the Boxer belonging to our neighbor a few houses down from us had gotten out.  Much like my Boxer from my childhood, this one made a quick get-away with the two teenage boys chasing after.  I waited to make sure that they got him home okay, smiling to myself the whole time as I reminisced about all of the times when I had to chase our dog down (she really was an amazing dog--despite her tendency to make a run for it whenever a door was left open).

It really was sweet to see the neighborhood dog in action, but at this point in my life, I want to focus my time and energy on our Baby Girl.  I absolutely loved having my dog curl up to me, but I think I'll enjoy the touch of our Baby Girl that much more.  I loved the walks I took with her, but I'd rather have a stroller in front of me than a leash.  I will always love Boxers--and I do look forward to having one again someday, but I think that it will be when our Baby Girl is old enough to appreciate them and ask for one herself (and help out with the responsibility of raising a puppy).  So for now, I'll let go of the wish for a Boxer puppy, and instead, await the upcoming arrival of our Baby Girl. 

Today's blessing was simply being able to see our Baby Girl again today.  She is still head-down and looking good.  When my doctor measured my funal height, I initially measured at 33 weeks, even though I'm 34 weeks.  This, of course, worried me a bit--which I think my doctor picked up on.  Upon looking at my belly again, she mentioned that she thought perhaps I was experiencing a Braxton-Hicks contraction the first time, thus making my belly tighter (and thus smaller).  So she measured again, and I was back to 34 weeks.  I realize it's not an exact science, but I really do pray that our Baby Girl is getting all of the nutrients that she needs.  I gained 1-1/2 pounds in the last two weeks, which my doctor said is totally fine, but it doesn't seem like a lot.  So I convinced my husband to take me out to dinner at an all-you-can-eat salad bar type of place, where I loaded up on the veggies...then the soup and breadsticks...then the dessert.  I don't want to go overboard, but I want to ensure that I'm getting enough nutrients for both me and our Baby Girl.  Please pray that she continues to grow big and strong.

Monday, August 16, 2010

My "Happy Birthday" Hand-Washing Routine

Have you heard the rule of thumb about how you should sing through the "Happy Birthday" song twice while washing your hands to ensure that your hands are sufficiently clean?  Well, supposedly that's what you're supposed to do--at least according to all of the various health announcements that we received back during the cold and flu season...right around the same time that we found out that we were pregnant.  So that's what I've been doing ever since.  I was so determined not to get sick and jeopardize our pregnancy in any way (I made it through the traditional cold and flu season, although I did catch that nasty summer head cold).

But I admit that I've struggled with the second-to-last line that says "Happy Birthday, dear (fill in the name here)" since we (still) haven't picked a name (we're not really any closer yet, either).  So instead, I've just replaced that line with "Happy Birthday in September" (I should mention--all of this singing is just going on in my head--I'm not really singing out loud...though that would be pretty funny, especially at work).  And then today, it dawned on me--September is just around the corner!  We're now more than halfway through August!  And since we're gearing up for the start of the new semester on Monday, I know that the rest of August is just going to fly by!  And then what?  I guess that I can keep singing "Happy Birthday in September"...but perhaps that's also our cue that we really need to start deciding on a name.  It will sure sound weird to sing "Happy Birthday, dear ..." for real (again, in my head), but oh how I look forward to singing it out loud to her each year!

Today's blessing was working late, but coming home to find out that my amazing husband had made dinner!  The house smelled wonderful, and it all tasted so good!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sneak Peak

We're getting closer to finishing up the nursery.  The room is all painted, and the majority of the furniture is back in there.  We hung the curtains and valance sometime in the middle of the week, and I absolutely loved how it changed the image of the room to bring in that splash of accent color.  We have an old bookshelf that my husband is going to work on painting today (also in the same bold accent color).

I'm not ready to post pictures of the whole nursery quite yet--I want to wait until we have it entirely done to show you all the final product.  Aside from finishing the bookshelf, we're still waiting on the crib mattress and the bedding.  But for now, here is a sneak peak of our theme:

There are four big butterflies like this throughout the room, and each is about 3-4 feet in length.  This was the handiwork of my maid-of-honor when she flew down to visit me, work for me, and then drive home with me for my shower with my family back home.  The walls are yellow, and while we may not be 100% perfectly matched with the bedding, I love how cheerful and warm the room turned out to be.

But while on the subject of the nursery--I have a question for all of you as well.  How necessary is it to have a glider in the nursery?  My mother-in-law gave us a beautiful antique (but totally functional) rocking chair, and her intent was that we could use it in the nursery.  But it perfectly matches the decor of our bedroom, and since our plan is to keep our Baby Girl in the bedroom with us until I go back to work in January, it will get plenty of use in our room. We have space in the nursery for a glider--we could easily just put one in front of the window.  But I'm wondering if we really need to spend the $200 for a cheap one...or the $400+ for a fancy one (the salesman yesterday said "You're tall--you should try the taller ones"...and proceeded to direct me to the most expensive models on the floor).  Sure, it would be nice to have one...but do I "need" one?

Yesterday's blessing was the chance to have a "Ladies Night" with some women from church.  I have my core group of married friends who I adore, but this was the first time that I (and the other women in our group) were invited to hang out with some of the single ladies (one recently got married...so I think that she's now sort of bridging the two groups and bringing us all together).  Being the introvert that I am, I had thought of backing out, but I'm really glad that I was able to have that time with them.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Perhaps She Takes After Her Daddy...

I admit that I was a bit nervous for most of the day today.

I've read all of the information about how by 33 weeks, babies begin to run out of space, so their movements become less noticeable.  My mind knew this, but my heart was still fearful.  I felt her moving around "enough" this morning, but it was less than I've experienced in the last few weeks.  This afternoon, I felt her even less.  I poked and wiggled my belly a bit, and got a bit of a response from her.  But I admit that the thought of running to the hospital for verification that everything was okay definitely crossed my mind.  In the end, I decided that if I were to be there, I'd want my husband with me.  So I opted to drive home, lay down on the couch for a bit, and see what she would do.

Sure enough, that's all it took.  I immediately got the type of kicks and punches and wiggles that I was missing all day, and I praised God!  I felt her on and off throughout the rest of the early evening, and each little movement melted my heart and eased my earlier fears.

Now that it's late into the evening...she's going crazy!  I brought my work laptop home to respond to some emails (it's that time of the year when things really pick up), and she's been giving me quite a show all night!  Which makes me think that perhaps she takes after her Daddy in terms of her morning/evening preferences.  I'm definitely the "morning person" in our relationship--once I'm up, I'm totally awake.  I do my best work in the morning, and admit that I'm a little sluggish in the afternoon.  By the time I get home, I just want to relax.  My husband, on the other hand, is nearly impossible to get out of bed.  He's been known to run out of "snooze" options on his alarm on his phone, and he definitely enjoys his coffee in the morning.  But when I'm typically crawling into bed, he's just getting started with his evening!  With the way my belly is currently rolling at this "late" hour (well, late for me), I'm thinking that perhaps he'll be more effective at entertaining her in the evenings.  I know that we'll both have to adjust--but I'll just need to keep these patterns in mind for the next few weeks so that I can hopefully keep the fears in check.

Today's blessing (well, aside from feeling our Baby Girls kicks after worrying most of the day) was noticing that the stroller/travel system had been delivered!  I'm very excited to put it together, and I'm even more excited to be able to use it in a couple of weeks.  There are still plenty of items that we need to get before she arrives, but we figure that we've got time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What a Trooper!

We had our breastfeeding class last night.  When I registered for the various classes about a month ago or so, I noticed that all of the costs were listed "per couple".  So I specifically asked if husbands were expected to go to the breastfeeding class as well, assuming that the coordinator would say that the men were off the hook.  But to my surprise, she quickly responded that they do in fact encourage the husbands to attend.

Perhaps the other women didn't ask about the men...because my poor husband was the only one there.  As we were signing in and realizing that he would be the only dad there, I sincerely offered him the chance to leave, no guilt trip attached.  But to my delight, he stayed!  The instructor tried to include him as much as possible--sharing suggestions about skin-to-skin contact, reminding him to remind me to keep my shoulders relaxed, etc.--but the class was clearly designed for a female audience. 

What a trooper!  I admit that he did send some text messages about boobs back and forth with one of his friends towards the end, so I guess he's not "perfect".  But he still earned plenty of bonus points in my eyes!  Not to mention that he spent the last few days painting the nursery and has been so helpful with other projects to get the room ready (pictures will come--I promise!).  I truly do appreciate him, and I'm so glad that he's been so active in this pregnancy with me.

Today's blessing was getting through one of our more stressful days of the summer without too much stress.  Classes start in just over a week, so the pace is definitely picking up!  I just pray that God continue to keep my energy levels up, and keep me stress levels down.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting In The Way

I'm starting to notice that my belly is getting in the way.  First of all, I should clarify that I mean "getting in the way" in a "physical/spatial" sense...not in an "inconvenience" sort of way (after what we've been through, I don't ever think that I could think of my belly as an "inconvenience").  But I am noticing that I--physically--can't fit through spaces that used to be so easy for me just months ago.  For example, my husband is currently applying the second coat of paint to the nursery, and he very sweetly set up the rotating fan in the doorway, with the fumes directed out the open window.  I go in briefly from time to time to check on him, but am noticing the I can't really fit through the remaining space in the doorway without bumping into the fan.  The same goes for the space between the dining room chairs and the temporary spot for the changing table as we pain. I tried to squeeze through so that I could open the dining room window to allow for some ventilation, and found that I had to tiptoe to raise my belly higher than the chair backs to fit through.

I've also had some near misses in the kitchen, as my belly now protrudes enough to bump the handles of the pots and pans on the stove.  I'm now extra careful when reaching around hot items.  But eating and drinking--that's another story.  When I got home from work today, I just threw on the tank top that I was wearing last night--only to discover that I had apparently spilled little bits of curry all over my belly at dinner last night.  These are the types of spills that I think would normally drop right onto a napkin in my lap...only the said napkin in my lap now apparently has a large belly blocking 90% of it's purpose.

But I share this simply in "observation mode".  I love my belly!  In fact, since so many people have commented on how small I look, I welcome the growth!  I absolutely love all that is happening inside of me that is causing my belly to grow and expand and "get in the way".  I can totally adjust to bumping into things for the next few weeks.

So to share a recent image of me and my belly, here is a picture of my amazing sister-in-law and I at the conclusion of my shower.  I'm in the purple dress at 32 weeks; she's in the green dress at 11 weeks:

And speaking of my sister-in-law, I consider her my blessing for today.  She and my brother left for vacation shortly after the shower, so I haven't been able to talk to her for this whole last week.  It was so wonderful to have the chance to catch up with her today and to hear that her pregnancy is continuing to go well.  She and my brother will celebrate their three year anniversary later this week, and I truly consider my whole family to be blessed to have her join us.  I always wanted a sister, and I'm so blessed to have someone who is such an amazing sister-in-law and friend.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Did You Catch The Epidemic Too?"

Yesterday I received a call from one of our faculty members, calling on behalf of an family-friend incoming student.  We try to keep up a good relationship with our faculty, so I took the call, and helped out as much as I could.  In closing, the faculty member commented that she would encourage the student to keep in touch with me throughout the semester, at which point I shared that it was a good idea to stay in touch with someone in our office--but that I would actually be on maternity leave for the second half of the semester.

At this news, she just sighed and said "Oh dear...did you catch the epidemic too?"--referring to how three other women in our office have given birth in the last two years.  (Really?  Three babies in two years--I wouldn't quite call that an epidemic.)  She went on to say something else about how no one should attempt to drink the water in our office.  (If only it were that easy, right?

I couldn't bring myself to correct her.  I wish I could, but I don't have that sort of relationship with her.  So I simply shared, as sweetly as I could, that we are excited and blessed to welcome this Baby Girl into our lives.

This wasn't the first time that someone commented so flippantly on the fertility of our office, or of others in our college.  Perhaps on the surface, it does appear that we are just popping out babies left and right, but very few know the anguish that I--or others--have experienced.  Should I have said something?  And if so...what?

Today's blessing was the chance to sleep in a tiny bit, and then wake up to a beautiful rainbow outside our bedroom window.  My husband has to work today, so I have the chance to work on the nursery a bit. It's my last lazy weekend before things pick up with the return to school, so I hope to find a good balance between working around the house and relaxing. 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

As Promised

My husband was more than happy to play around with his new camera and try out some pictures of the cradle and the quilts, so here they are:

For now, we just have the cradle at the foot of the bed, but we'll rearrange things a bit so that she is up closer to my side of the bed.  In the background, you can barely see the original quilt that my grandma made from the various dresses that she made for me in my childhood.  And speaking of quilts, here they are:

My grandma knows me so well, and recognizes that I'm such a blue girl.  I think I mentioned that the backing of the baby quilt is the same as the backing on my flower basket quilt (the one in the background of the first picture).  The other quilt is flannel and has mostly yellow, which will match beautifully with the nursery (which we hope to work on a little bit more this weekend).  I absolutely love them--both the quilts, and the cradle (not to mention the other quilts and blankets that we got).  It's so special to know that we'll be able to share some significant family heirlooms with our Baby Girl when she arrives.

Today's blessing was a beautiful drive home, with huge gray clouds on the horizon that look like they might bring us some rain.  We've had considerably less rain this monsoon season, but we need it so bad, so I'm hopeful that we'll get a good downpour tonight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Thought So!

I returned from my trip home last night, went back to work this morning, answered emails all day long, and then left early for a doctor's appointment this afternoon.  My poor doctor is just getting back from a vacation as well, so she was rather behind and perhaps a little bit rushed, but she was just as cheerful and positive as usual.  She measured my fundal height, but apparently we were chatting about something because it wasn't until we left that I realized that she hadn't told me how I was measuring.

Then she moved on to the ultrasound, where we immediately discovered that our Baby Girl's head is still pointed downwards, as it should be.  We still have 7+ weeks to go, but we're hopeful that she'll stay "heads down" (two women in our Lamaze class who are due in August were still breech, and were rather worried--understandably!).  We then determined that our Baby Girl's back is to my left, with her arms and legs to my right.  I thought so!  Whenever I feel her move, it sure seems like I'm experiencing kicks and punches on my right side.  I can't quite claim "that's an elbow!" or "that's a foot!" with 100% certainty, but it definitely feels nice to know that I'm starting to read my body and her movements correctly.

Our doctor also said that the fluid levels look good, and we heard and saw her heartbeat still thumping away beautifully.  As with forgetting to ask about the fundal height, it wasn't until we were leaving the office that I realized that we hadn't gotten any pictures from this ultrasound.  I was a little sad to not have anything to show for today's appointment, but I also recognize that our Baby Girl is getting to the point where she is "too big" for any of the cute ultrasound pictures that we got in the past, so I'll survive.  Besides, I'll see her again in two weeks.

So, it had been my intention to upload pictures from the shower...but I accidentally left my camera at home!  So I'll have to wait until my parents can send it to us before I can post those.  On the other hand, I'll be able to post pictures of the cradle and quilts soon, because my husband bought himself a fancy new camera and he's excited to play around with it (once I can unpack and clean up the bedroom, where the cradle will be).  So those will be coming pretty soon--I promise.

Today's blessing was the chance to get through almost all of my emails.  I

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I Am Loved

I don't have any pictures to post--yet--of the shower...but it was so wonderful.  I was so busy visiting with friends and family that I didn't even have a chance to pull out my camera until we were saying goodbye to the last few family members to leave--and even then, I realized that I don't have any way of moving them from the camera to my computer (where is my computer-nerd husband when I really need him?).  My sister-in-law designated my niece to take a ton of pictures on my brother's camera, but they left for their vacation at the cabin right after the shower, so he didn't have a chance to get them to me either.  But I promise that I'll post them--eventually.

I'm so glad that I made the trip up here to celebrate the upcoming arrival of our Baby Girl with all of our friends and family!  It was definitely worth the trip to see so many people who have supported me through this journey.  I know that I am loved--but more importantly, I know that this Baby Girl is already loved.  As part of the shower, my sister-in-law organized for each guest to be able to decorate a plain white onsie, and there were a couple that simply said "I Am Loved"--and it's so entirely true!  There are so many people who share in loving, caring, and praying for this Baby Girl, and I'm glad that I got to share my joy with them.

We were adundantly blessed in the gift department.  In addition to gift cards and items purchased from our registry, we also received some very special and personalized gifts.  My grandmother made two quilts--and these just aren't your ordinary quilts!  Every year while I was growing up, she made me a dress for the first day of school and Easter, and a set of pajamas at Christmas.  About ten years ago, she made a beautiful quilt in a "flower basket" design, with each flower being made out the leftovers from a former dress.  Little did I know that she had enough leftovers to make baby quilts as well!  One of them also has the same backing as my flower basket quilt, so it's almost as if our Baby Girl has a miniature version of the one in our room.  They really are beautiful, and I'll share pictures once we get home.  And speaking of pictures--another woman is a photographer, and will be in our area to visit her parents in October, so she blessed us with a gift of a free newborn photoshoot, once our Baby Girl arrives.  And last but not least--part of the reason why I drove here was to bring back the cradle.  I knew that my dad's friend had made it, but since I was born in Southern California, and I remembered this man and his family from our days in Northern California, I just assumed that he had made it for my brothers, and not for me (which would still make it special--just not nearly as significant).  But I totally hadn't recognized that he had actually grown up with my dad, stood up as my dad's best man at the wedding, and had been insrumental in getting my dad to move to Northern California.  So the cradle had in fact been intended for me all along--thus increasing its significance!  And it's just absolutely beautiful!  (Again, I promise pictures.)

The shower was such a beautiful reminder of just how truly God has blessed me with so many wonderful women (and men) who love me and support me, and will love and support our Baby Girl as well.  It really was everything I had dreamed it to be--and even more.  I am so so so abundantly blessed!