Belly Photo Friday!

Here we are at 24 weeks! We are now entering the 6 month and it’s not too much longer before we enter the third trimester.

The second trimester has been good to me and people are right when they say you should enjoy it after the junk you dealt with in the first trimester. My biggest problem has been not taking this advice and worrying about how un-pregnant I looked before now. The hard part about the first trimester is that you feel tired and sick, and you want people to treat you kindly because you feel so badly, but you aren’t ready to tell anyone you are pregnant. Somehow I thought that once we decided to tell people our news everyone would be able to look at me and know I was a pregnant lady. I still haven’t had any strangers notice, but I’m sure that will change as the weather gets warmer and this baby gets bigger.

Right now he is the size of a papaya and on his way to an eggplant. Only a few more fruits to go before we get a human and not larger and larger produce! It seems like from here until the end each baby grows at his own pace so the length and weight estimates are ranges, but he is probably around 9 inches from his head to his bum and about 1.5 pounds. I feel him kicking more often – after I eat, but now also when I lay down in bed and when Zach reads to him/me.

I love reading aloud and especially having someone read out loud to me. Right now we have abandoned children’s books and are reading Cheaper by the Dozen – one of Zach’s favorites as a kid. I think maybe he could relate to the size of that family!

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Pregnancy 28 years ago.

My parents just got back from a visit to my mom’s little sister and her family in Colorado. While there my mom’s sister, my Aunt Linda, showed my mom a bunch of photos she had from when my mom was pregnant with me. I have only ever seen about two photos of my mom pregnant and these photos my mom hadn’t seen in a long time.

Anyway they are great and I wanted to share some. My mom has forbidden me to post photos of her on my blog, but technically these are also photos of me and she looks very cute so I am ignoring the ban just this once.

This is my dad, mom, and mom’s parents sometime in July. I was born in November, but I was late, so I think she is around 6 months pregnant with me at this point. I love my dad’s cheesy grin and camera at the ready and my grandpa’s pale blue slacks – the perfect attire for whatever it is they are doing.

Here is the whole gang again plus my Aunt Linda and my parents first dachshund child, Herman. Again my dad is sporting a cheesy grin, my grandpa an entire pale blue leisure suit, and my mom a look that says she is tired of people pointing at her belly. This is in October I believe.

This one could totally be me, right? Pony tail, dark hair, and bangs. I have never thought I looked much like my mom; she, my aunt, and my grandma are all tall and I could never be considered tall. I have always thought I looked more like my dad’s side of the family, but this profile shot of my mom made me think of this one:

Pretty close right? I have more of my dad’s cheesy grin, though, for sure.

In this one you can’t really see my mom’s belly, but it’s a special one because it’s with my grandpa. My grandpa died when I was around 4 years old so there aren’t many photos of him in my lifetime. My mom says he had a unique sense of humor which I think often made my grandma roll her eyes, but obviously made my mom smile. Once he made an “elephant chaser” out of empty soda bottles and set it up in my grandma’s garden. When no elephants trampled her asparagus patch he used that as proof that he gadget was working.

That is his writing from the back of the photograph, “A pillow makes us both look P.G!”

It’s fun to think of how excited the family was for their first child, niece, and grandchild. I don’t often think about what my grandpa would have been thinking if he were still with us because I didn’t know him very long, but I bet my mom wishes he could be here to see me now and reminisce about what it was like to watch his  daughter go through her pregnancy.

Television induced nightmares.

FYI, I mention some graphic scenes from a t.v. show.

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I have an obsession with the MTV show 16 and Pregnant. Please don’t tell me how terrible it is that I watch this show. I know. Lately I just can’t help watching the deliveries and the impending drama that happens when the mostly clueless teenagers take home newborn babies and try to care for them. I often cry because of the hard lives these teen girls have had even before becoming mothers and then cry because of the difficult situations the babies will grow up in. But I’m also mesmerized by that moment that each new mother meets her baby. The nurse puts a plump, red-faced infant on the mothers chest and she loves him. Forget how unprepared the girls are for the responsibility of motherhood – in that moment each one knows. Just in that moment all that exists is her love for that baby. I think my obsession is with that moment and I fantasize about getting to experience it myself.

My husband has told me repeatedly to stop watching this show because it is not good for me to get worked up or to get my information about the delivery procedure from MTV. He is also convinced it will give me nightmares. One evening I turned it on for all of one minute before he insisted that I switch the channel.

That night each time I got up to go to the bathroom or adjust my sleeping position Zach would sleepily said, “Are you OK? Do we need to go to the hospital?” I am only at 24 weeks pregnant, poor guy. He must have been half awake all night and dreaming about rushing me to the hospital. I didn’t have any doubts about his ability to wake up in the middle of the night and be ready, but I guess I know for sure that his instincts are to look out for me and the baby.

That night I had a dream that I was running in a race and some woman behind me grabbed me around the waist and started squeezing so I wouldn’t beat her. I kept telling her I was pregnant and I was clawing at her arms, but couldn’t get her off. Then I woke up with a terrible leg cramp – bizarre. Zach rolled over and said with his eyes closed, “Do we need to go to the hospital?”

One show we both enjoy is Southland which used to be on NBC and was picked up by TNT this season. It is great. We sat down to watch an episode from the DVR the other night and it turns out it was about a rapist dressed up as a cop who just happened in the first few scenes to pull over a mom with a baby in a car seat. He started to hit her over the head and I knew I couldn’t handle it. I made Zach stop it and we watched something else. Sunday night I felt sure I would be able to handle the rest of the episode so we tried watching it again. We enjoyed the majority of the show until over halfway through they find the woman who has been beaten and we assume raped. They figure out her baby has been in a hot car all day and start racing up this hill to find the car and I lost it. One minute I was eating pizza and the next I was screaming for Zach to fast forward and sobbing as if I had just found Watson hit by a car. I couldn’t stop watching until I knew the little boy was safe. As the DVR and Zach mercifully sped through the scene we saw the sweaty head of the little baby still in his car seat and safe. I just sat there sniffling and wiping away tears as Zach stared at me.  Yikes. I have never cried that hard so fast in my life. Crazy hormones.

Another show we like is House on Fox. The episode we had on the DVR was about a woman whose baby is stolen from the hospital moments after she delivers it. When Zach read the description I looked at him as if he had just asked me if I would be interested in sky diving next weekend. I didn’t watch that episode.

Manly Nesting.

Saturday afternoon Zach began the process of assembling his little boy’s crib. He enjoys these types of projects and had asked me to stay out of the room so he could do it, but this only made me want to prove I could be in the room during the project. Zach has a perfectly legitimate reason for asking me to stay out.

While he enjoys these types of projects I get aggressive and bossy and usually end my participation by ripping up the instructions and storming out of the room. I am not proud of my behavior and I am mystified about where it comes from. (If you have theories, don’t tell me. I am not ready for that level of self-awareness.) While I did cut the instructions off of the mattress springs although it clearly said not to do so, I did not rip them up and Zach was able to calm me down before my storming out incident. He really is a pro – putting together his baby’s crib while expertly calming his wife’s childish tantrum.

After that I think I was a pretty pleasant companion and only got involved when he asked me to hold something or hand him something. What once was our guest room is slowly transforming into a baby’s room. The “third room” as we have creatively named the other room in our house will now become the sewing-office-guest-room. With so many functions for one room it is taking us a little time to transition, re-purpose, and organize the room and so it takes us awhile to get the nursery cleaned out and set up.

We both like the color of the baby’s future room so that is staying. I have enjoyed just walking upstairs and looking at our guest room because it was so cheery and welcoming. I had it decorated with my Italian art and books and it made me think of the sunny summer I spent in Italy. If the wall color had anything to do with giving me that feeling I wanted to keep it for the babe. Zach’s little brother informed us that the color yellow is stimulating for adults, but calming and relaxing for babies. (Again, if you know otherwise, don’t tell me. I am very happy with this idea.)

Watson spent the morning prowling the backyard in the rain so by the time he came in to join us he smelled like, well, a rain-drenched dog who then chose to bask in the sunlight from the window while staying right at his master’s side. On top of that I think he probably ate something unusual while outside because he was having, well, digestive issues which added a certain something to ambiance of the crib-building day. Most days Watson would not be Zach’s chosen companion, but doesn’t he look like such a good dog in this picture? He really is a sweet dog that just likes to be with us all the time. I think life with a dog like that sounds perfect. Zach thinks it smells disgusting.

Once Zach had mastered the marital and pet pitfalls of crib construction, the rest of the process was surprisingly easy. Easy for a manly man like him, of course. (Please note the screw driver to emphasize his manliness.)

We are happy with the result. We wanted a crib with a low profile that was solid wood and this one had the added bonus of being eco-friendly. We weren’t looking for a convertible crib because we have an extra bed already, but this one does transform into a toddler bed so we have that option before moving him into a full-sized bed. This one is by Babi Italia which is sold only at Babies ‘R’ Us. I think this one has been discontinued which explains why we were able to buy it at the overstock cave.

It is still hard to imagine what it will be like to have a little baby in there since we don’t have a mattress in there yet, but I’m happy to have the crib together. I kept going up to the room last night just to look at it.

Baby’s first Royals Game.

Both Zach and I believe one of the most important life lessons we can teach our child is the necessity of hard work. It is never too soon to learn a valuable lesson like that so we decided to introduce our unborn son to the torture of being a Royals fan.

We went to the Twins vs. Royals game on Saturday night with our Twins-fan friends.

Cheering for the Royals is like cheering for any other losing team – it’s hard work. This game was exceptionally hard because it was raining for most of the game, it lasted 12 innings, and they still lost. We stayed until the top of the 10th, but still it was no picnic.

The Boy seemed to enjoy the baseball experience except for popcorn and the cherry limeade. I won’t be eating those items again anytime soon. The atmosphere and the laughing with good friends was enjoyable for momma and baby.

Shoes, shoes, shoes!

I bought shoes! While I didn’t figure out how to get my insurance to pay for them as my dad suggested, I did find some kicks that I think will quickly make my feet feel better. My friend went shopping with me and we easily found three pairs that were made for comfort and felt good.

The first:

the wave runner from Sperry Top-Sider. Super comfortable and totally waterproof for all my boating needs. I joke because I live in prairie country and we have no boats. But, this does remind me of another story from my childhood. My grandparents have a cabin on a lake in Nebraska. My dad and his siblings grew up spending their summers fishing and swimming and then me and my cousins have gotten to do the same. One summer when I was maybe three years old I was down on the shore helping one of my uncles clean out the boat. I am told that I had a new pair of slip-on tennis shoes – I don’t remember the pair, but I imagine something like this:

My uncle, now the father of two fashionable, well-dressed teenage daughters, at the time did not have much experience dealing with a girl and her new shoes. Apparently my uncle thought it would be funny to spray my new shoes with the hose he was using to clean off the boat. As the story goes, I looked down at my new, wet shoes and took about two seconds before telling my uncle off. He was not prepared for the backlash of his little joke. In his defense, I was wearing the shoes on the edge of the water and had deemed them appropriate for boat cleaning, and they were tennis shoes. So how was he supposed to know? Well, now he does and it’s a good thing because I don’t plan on getting these boat shoes wet either.

The second pair of shoes:

A comfy pair of Naturalizers for dressier/sandal-ier occasions. I have a few weddings and multiple days of work this summer so something like this seemed right. I wanted something  with open toes and heels and this has a Velcro strap that seems like it will make the shoes easy to put on and off when my belly is larger.

And lastly:

Super squishiness. These have memory foam in the foot bed which feels wonderful. I am wearing them right now.

Now I have four pairs of “comfort shoes” plus tennis shoes to get me through most situations if you give me the benefit of the doubt i.e. believe with me that the bronze colored flats I have are appropriate with black, brown, or any color of clothing I wear them with. My sister-in-law told me that in is perfectly fine to wear tennis shoes to work everyday when you are pregnant if that is what is comfortable, but I really wanted to have some cuteness and some variety. Mission accomplished.

A good walk spoiled.

We went golfing again. Well, this guy golfed and I walked along and took pictures with my new awesome iPhone app.

My friend Mo told me about it and I took the time off from swinging clubs to try out the different settings for photos.

(That’s me and the Boy holding the flag for the golfer.) My feet are continuing to hurt, but Zach picked me up me some different insoles on his way home to try out so we thought a nice walk on the golf course would be a way to test some out. I am just going to try lots of stretching and keeping my feet up every chance I get.