Friday, January 24, 2014

Week 27 Update

Long time no talk.  Things have been hectic around here!  We’ve had full weekends and busy season is picking up at work.  I had plans a couple weeks ago for a “99 bottles of milk on the wall” post where I told you that it was only 99 days until the baby was due.  But I really couldn’t come up with anything else for the body of the post, and I couldn’t just have a clever title.  I also have future plans for some “nursery DIY” posts.  The nursery is coming together quite nicely, if I do say so myself, and we’ve done quite a bit of the work/decorations ourselves.  I’m excited to share!  Until I get my act together and get those drafted (and actually take nice pictures rather than iphone photos), here’s a weekly (monthly in my case) update to hold us over.

How far along:  27 weeks 3 days

Size of baby:  A rutabaga (don’t know what a rutabaga looks like?  Neither did I.  The baby should be about 14 inches long and roughly 2 lbs at this point)

Total weight gain:  15 lbs (8 of which were gained in December alone).  The holidays were good to me, really good to me.  So I’ve been trying to make healthier food and exercise choices in the new year.
Symptoms:  Week 26 was a dizzy week.  Every afternoon without fail, the room would be spinning.  It was very weird.  I checked with the doc, and he said no concerns, just another fun pregnancy symptom.  This week has been characterized by intense back and rib discomfort.  Focused on the right side, on the same horizontal plane, below my shoulder blade in the back and lower ribs in the front.  There is seemingly no comfortable seated position to ease the pain, which is unfortunate since I spend the majority of my day sitting at a desk.  Laying down and standing up feel great, however!  So I paced around my parent’s house on Tuesday night while we celebrated my mom’s birthday, and I stood through our entire lunch at Which Wich yesterday with Tom :) 

Cravings:  Sweets still.  Although that really isn’t pregnancy specific for me.  I’ve always craved sweets!  I just give in to the temptation more now.  Last night, I mashed up Thin Mints in Maggie Moos better batter ice cream, wish a splash of Blue Bell chocolate brownie ice cream.  Can I get three cheers for Girl Scout cookie season!?

Sleep:  Pretty good.  Occasional tossing and turning, the usual nightly restroom break.  But I won’t complain for now, I hear it’s only going to get worse over the next 3 months (2 months and 29 days to be precise).  And downhill from there once baby is born!

Movement:  Our little cheerleader is a mover and shaker!  As she’s getting bigger, I feel her movements much more often.  Sometimes I wonder if she ever sleeps.  Oh and the hiccups.  Poor chick, she gets them all the time!  I personally HATE the hiccups, so I feel terrible when she gets them.  And equally as annoyed as I’m sure she is when they keep us both up at night!

Gender:  It’s a girl!

Name:  Madelyn Grace (aka Maddie).  Side note, it’s funny, everyone else (family, friends, coworkers) seem to call her by her name now.  But more often than not, I still refer to her as “the baby”.  As excited as I was to decide on a name, I don’t do a very good job of using it yet!

Style:  Maternity clothes.  But I’m not complaining, they comfortable, and I think they’re cute!  I have a lot of pre-pregnancy blousy tops that I thought would look awesome at some point during my pregnancy, but somehow I missed that week, because they’re all too tight now.  Or too short.  That’s a major issue.  Can’t have this little belly exposed to the world!

Nursery:  Still a work in progress, but moving along quite nicely.  And I am loving it!  Pink, green, polka dots, birds, it’s everything I love :)  I hope she’ll love it too.  Here’s a sneak peak:

Best moment of the week:  We had the best weekend last weekend!  On Saturday, we had a 3D ultrasound, and our moms joined us!  Maddie was such a little cutie, all curled up in a ball.  The sonographer kept saying, “she’s all hands and feet!”  It was true, her hands and her feet were all up in her face.  In fact, she really wouldn’t move her hands away from her face the entire time.  And for a little while she was holding her foot up there by her head too, hanging on to her big toe!  I just have to say, technology is so cool.  What a treat it was to get a sneak peek at the little munchkin in my belly.  And then, on Sunday, I had a baby shower!  The girls did such a wonderful job putting it on.  It sounds like everyone pitched in with decorations, food, and games.  And it turned out so perfectly!  I had a wonderful time, and we are so grateful for all of the gifts we received!  Here are a few pictures from the ultrasound and the shower:

Worst moment of the week:  When I realized my linea nigra  (dark pigment line that forms down a pregnant belly) is starting to show.  Which, in itself, isn’t all that terrible.  I know it will eventually fade away.  But, it’s crooked!  At first I was horrified, but now I just have to laugh a little at the belly button stretched to its limits and the crooked line zig-zagging across it.

Tuesday marked exactly 3 months until our due date, and we just can’t wait!  Everything is [almost] ready for her, and we’re so excited to bring her home!  Now if we can just get through these next few months of tax busy season….

Wish us luck! :)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Happy New Year! (and a silly post script)

Happy New Year!  Can you believe it is already 2014!?  A good friend of mine posted a very humorous photo yesterday that her younger brother had sent her.  It was a photo of the inside cover of his history book at school, where her name has been neatly written with the school year “03-04”.  First thought, that means we studied that book 10 years ago.  When did we get so old??  And second thought, sounds like the school needs to invest in some updated books!?

Surprisingly, I really don’t love this time of year. You’d think that with my propensity for planning, I would enjoy goal setting and new years resolutions.  But truthfully, I find it a little overwhelming and worrisome.  Setting out grand plans for a full year can be a daunting task.  In fact, I found these  depressing statistics on new years resolutions.  Only 8% of people are successful at achieving their resolution!?  At least I fall into the category of 39% of people in their twenties who achieve their resolutions.  But still, not very inspiring.
Nonetheless, I have set a resolution this year, that will probably only last until April, when everything in my life will change dramatically :)  Tom and I actually set the same resolution this year, and it is to: wake up earlier!  I am a notorious snoozer.  I smack that button over and over like a game of whac-a-mole.  I snooze snooze snooze then rush rush rush - to get ready, pack a lunch, feed the dogs, find a fast (and usually unhealthy) breakfast and get out the door.  It makes for a stressful start to the day and then it gets worse as I get frustrated by the dang traffic that’s making me late to work.  Except that it’s not the traffic making me late.  It’s me!  Me hitting the snooze button!  I’m doing it to myself.  I know that traffic is bad.  It’s a given.  I need to plan better to account for the traffic.  This I know, so why do I keep putting myself through the same terrible morning routine!?
I will usually hit the snooze button no less than 3 times in the morning, sometimes 4 or 5 times.  That’s close to an hour of interrupted, half-awake, worthless sleep.  Which really equates to an hour of wasted time during my day.  And there never really seems to be enough time in the day, agree??  So it is my goal this spring, to wake up earlier and utilize this valuable hour of my day.  I don’t have any specific plans for this hour.  Sometimes I might work out, or walk the dogs, or maybe I’ll cook breakfast, watch the morning news, or just get to work earlier.   Whatever I do in that hour, I will not STRESS.  I will not RUSH.  And I will not start my day FRUSTRATED.

I know that a successful goal must be: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.  But gosh that puts some real pressure to succeed at the resolution!  I know in my heart that I will be happier when I achieve my goal, so right here, right now, I am making my goal “SMART”.  I resolve to: wake up by 6:15am at least 4 out of 5 weekdays every week, until April 1, 2014.  In order to make this more attainable, I will be in bed with lights out by 10:30pm on weeknights. SO, wish me luck and help keep me accountable!?!
Best wishes to all of you for a happy new year and success with your new years resolutions!  And remember - early to bed early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

P.S. On a very random aside, I just have to tell you about that one time I called 9-1-1.  It was yesterday.  The first time I’ve ever dialed those numbers on my phone!  I was headed back from Dallas to Austin late last night, and as I was nearing the end of the drive on I-35 around 10pm, I came up behind a large, maniac, swerving bus - right blinker on, veering across all 3 lanes of the road.  I initially made up some excuses for the bus (it’s foggy, it’s windy, these lanes are narrow) but as the minutes and miles passed, the bus wasn’t making any driving improvements.  So I nervously decided to try and pass the bus.  I sped up, but just as I got close the bus, it swerved into my lane.  UGH.  Ok, nevermind, I’ll just take it slow and hang out behind the bus.  But even this seemed to be a little dangerous, as the bus kept changing speeds.  I contemplated my options and tried to estimate how long the bus has been driving erratically.  Finally, I decide I should report the vehicle, this is just dangerous, and aren’t the people on the bus nervous!?  So I dial 9-1-1 on my phone.  But I just can’t get up the nerve to press CALL.  A few more minutes pass.  A few more swerves, still with the blinker on.  I press CALL.  The dispatcher answers, I explain the situation, give my location and a description of the reckless vehicle.  I remain on the line with the dispatcher, and I kid you not, it is less than 5 minutes before a police office is pulling the bus over!  It was awesome!  I was very impressed with the timeliness of the response and action.  And I felt like a real newsperson: Casey Cooper, reporting live from the scene of the crime, where a crazed, drunken felon has hijacked a bus full of elderly men and woman and sends local police on a high-speed chase down the interstate as he tries to flee the country with a suitcase full of drugs and backpack full of stolen cash. It’s quite a scene out here!  Ok ok maybe that’s not exactly how it went :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Christmas with The Coopers

I’m a little late on this post (a running theme on my blog), but we have been on-the-go with our annual Tour of Texas the past couple weeks.  Since December 19th, we’ve put over 1,100 miles on my car.  Austin to San Antonio, back to Austin, Austin to Houston, back to Austin, down to Canyon Lake, back to Austin, up to Temple, back to Austin, down to Concan, up to San Antonio, up to Canyon Lake, back to Austin.  WHEW.  Not to mention we still have one more quick trip planned to Victoria before we’re back at work next week, which will put us just shy of 1,500 miles.  That’s roughly 25 hours in the car and the equivalent of driving from here to Washington D.C..  We are true road warriors!  And we don’t pack light.  Adding a baby and baby gear to the mix next year will be challenging to say the least.  Christmas at our house instead!?

Ok so let’s start at the beginning.  Thomas was, unfortunately, out of town when our nephew Connor was born on December 16.  (Work training in Orlando, Florida – rough life).  So as soon as I picked him up from the airport on December 19, we headed straight down to San Antonio for a visit.  We fell in love with our sweet nephew, and really enjoyed holding him.  Neither of us can recall the last time we held a baby, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to “practice” with Baby Connor.  And the advice from Trey and Annie will surely prove to be invaluable!  I really did not want to leave their house, I could have cuddled Connor all day!

Next up on our tour was Houston for an early Christmas celebration with Tom’s mom’s side of the family.  There were nearly 30 family members gathered together for dinner and a white elephant exchange at Tom’s grandparent’s house.  It was loud and fun, and oh so different from small family Christmases I’ve been accustomed to for the past 26 years. (Usually just my parents and brother, occasionally my grandparents – we’re the only ones who live in Texas, our extended family is out of state).  It was, honestly, a little overwhelming.  It was great to visit with all of his family though, many of whom we haven’t seen since our wedding last summer.  The food was delicious, and the gift exchange was a lot of fun!

We stopped back at home for a night to do our own Christmas gift exchange, just the two of us and the dogs.  Tom got new cowboy boots and I got beautiful diamond earrings.  The dogs got new toys, which were fun for all of about 3 minutes, and then Bailey put herself to bed upstairs.  The poor pup just cannot stay awake past 8pm, so she missed the rest of our family fun night.

Next stop: Canyon Lake for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We had a great time taking it easy at the lake, soaking up the pleasant Texas December weather, and visiting with Tom’s family. Trey and Annie came up both days with Baby Connor and we were so pleased with how our dogs behaved with the baby around.  Sure they were their usual annoying, whiney selves when we stuck them outside alone, but they were very sweet and calm toward the baby.  I was a little apprehensive about them meeting because our dogs have never been around a baby, but it really couldn’t have gone any better.  We went to a rather interesting Christmas Eve mass at the local Catholic church (imagine a priest singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer during his homily, and referring to an infant in the congregation as a “little baby Jesus”). We enjoyed a wonderful Christmas morning and lunch the next day, then ended the night by visiting with family friends.  They put on a fireworks show and only had one little mishap that caused a minor grass fire, but really, would Christmas Day be complete without an incident like that?! Also, if we weren’t already expecting, I would really have baby fever right about now.  Over the course of two days I saw 4 tiny babies under the age of 2 months.  So many adorable tiny toes!

Our final Christmas celebration took place in Temple, the day after Christmas. We had a yummy Tex-Mex dinner at my grandparent’s house and a great gift exchange with my family.  I got an awesome Ju Ju Be diaper bag and Tom got a new rifle.  Yep, you read that right, I got a diaper bag and Tom got a gun.  Merry Texas Christmas, y’all! Over the next couple days, the guys got in some golfing and hunting, and the girls did some shopping and painting. We had a great visit!

Then it was time to head back to our house to unpack, unwind, and take down our Christmas decorations – which I felt we hardly had time to enjoy since we were on the road so much!  Down came the tree, the decorations, and the cards.  It was nice to have the house back in order though.

We didn’t last long at home though before we hit the road again.  We headed down to Concan, Texas for our 2nd annual New Years Eve on the Frio River.  It was an awesome, low-key New Years Eve complete with an Aggie football win (WHOOP!), good times with good friends, and a sparkling apple cider midnight toast for me :)  Thanks again, Nick and Katie (my favorite engaged couple), for hosting!

On the way home from Concan, we stopped in for another visit with Trey, Annie, and Connor as well as a pop over to the lake house for a quick hello.  And finally, we were back at home.  We were so lucky to both have a long holiday from work (17 days to be exact) and it worked out very well to spend time with family and friends.  Back at home, we started a DIY project that we thought would take a day or so MAX.  Fast forward 3 days and we’re nowhere near done.  Once completed, I’ll share the details of our project :)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  Best wishes for a wonderful 2014!!!