Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Serves Us Right

It was amazingly complicated trying to get an actual date scheduled to take my maternity pictures while balancing the fine line between waiting far enough along in my pregnancy journey to still feel beautiful and confident while dramatically showing, and waiting so long that the crappy symptoms of the third trimester start bringing my confidence level down a little too far.
Conflicts galore attempted to halt our planning, but eventually we had a date, despite it being during my busiest week of the month!! 
Then arose the question, "What the heck do we wear?!?" This dress looks good....oh no!...Is that a stain??...Do I have time to have it dry-cleaned?
Which was followed by, "Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego are we going to take these things?" It's gotta have personality, but be natural, possess versatility and accessibility, but be not over populated.....
Preceded by, "What time of day is the best time?" Lighting is essential, but Patrick can't miss too much work.....
I started checking the weather report everyday to be sure spring showers weren't going to rain on our parade; after all, most of the shots I wished to be captured played with sunlight during the day and silhouettes during sunset, hence why we chose to shoot at White Rock Lake. 
Lo and behold, our date soon approached and although surrounded by days of glorious sunlight, this particular Thursday was shadowed with thick grey clouds. After spending the first 4 hours of my day in a educational meeting for work, I rushed around the city trying to find infant shoes and complete a couple other last minute tasks.
And as the day continued forward, the clouds got heavier and heavier, eventually becoming so bogged down by the condensation they were harboring that sprinkles of rain drops started to mist the landscape. Great......
A little disappointed, we decided to push forward, looking on the beautiful side of gloomy weather (green always looks so much more green against grey skies). Besides, I suppose that's what we deserve for having such expectations during Mother Nature's most dramatic of seasons.
Trying to leave the house on time to beat traffic while gathering all the supplies and accessories needed for the session was a chaotic cluster. I hadn't packed a single thing ahead of time.
To put it in crystal clear perspective, I realized, as I was backing out of the driveway while eating my almost rotten banana (multitask, multitask, multitask), that I completely forgot to put on mascara!! Ay Yi Yi, the placental shunting is really going to do me in one day (and they say I'll never get it back).
Despite the weather throwing a big grey wrench in my sunshiny picture plans, Leisha did an amazing job of capturing the beauty of this special time in our lives.
We had tons of fun during the shoot; Leisha and I getting especially dirty, with me parading around barefoot and sitting in swampy lands, and Leisha falling all over the place to get the best angle, even if it meant diving into treacherous poison ivy.
I'm sure I even took a few people by surprise, with my well rounded self stripping down outside the car for every wardrobe change, devoid of all modesty (making my Nana proud).
Short story long, I'm so glad we decided to go with the flow and not reschedule, especially since almost 2 weeks later, the place where my ankles used to be are now days looking more like they belong to a person 4 times my size, due to this lovely puffiness that I just can't seem to shake.
I can't forget to mention, Leisha, Jason, Patrick, and I went out to eat at a Mexican restaurant afterwards, to replenish our bodies from all the hard care modeling work, where we met a seemingly Mexican waitress that didn't know the difference between charro beans and refried beans. 
It made for a hearty laugh, but then we sat with anxious anticipation, wondering what our orders would come out like. The answer: not as good as our maternity pictures, but definitely edible. I think the live mariachi band improved the feel of authenticity a little. 
If you live in the area and are looking to have some awesome pictures taken by a wonderful person, Leisha with Unbridled Dreams Photography is your woman!! 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hiccups, Crying, and Boundaries: Week 34

Patrick had to patch things up and apologize for a terrible terrible fight we got into while I was dreaming. His dream self can be such a jerk's a good thing his reality self always makes it up to me!
I had my first hormonal cry since the Little Mermaid episode that happened forever and a day ago. It felt awful and ridiculous, and I'd be completely okay with not having another one! 
I felt Cotton's hiccups for the first time ever. They lasted a long time and I wondered if hiccups are as uncomfortable to a baby in utero as they are to a out-of-utero person.....I would think it'd be especially awkward to have the hiccups while suspended upside down and swimming, which is how he/she has been positioned for a few weeks now.
Kicks are getting so strong that sometimes they take me off guard, hit in just the right spot, and hurt a little bit, even to the point of waking me up! A couple of mornings ago, Patrick woke up really early and was cuddling with me while I was still asleep and told me later that my belly had been moving all over the place (I was snoozing hard and clueless). Dr. B inquired about the baby's movement during my appointment yesterday just as he was positioning the doppler. As he struggled to keep track of the fetal heart rate he said, "This baby is all over the place!" You ain't telling me anything I don't already know..... 
I find it utterly mesmerizing how many people in our society completely forgo any boundaries they'd normally respect when fixated on a child, even the unborn kind. I can't even keep track of how many strangers go straight for the reach-in and rub my belly. Complete strangers!!! Not that I'm too terribly bothered by it, but it's just that I'd NEVER rub on someone's belly that I didn't know.....and even if I do know them, I have to feel very close to them to feel privileged enough to rub without asking. And then there's the whole entitlement to give unsolicited advice thing.......You shouldn't be drinking that coffee! ......Are you suppose to be eating that sushi?!? ......Is that soft cheese you're munching on pasteurized? Thank you for your concern, random people that I don't even know, but I'm 100% sure you should mind your own business.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chipmunk Cheeks: Week 33

Cotton is so crazy active these days that it really does look like there's something trying to crawl out of my belly! I used to notice a trend in awake/asleep times, but now I'm not so sure about any particular pattern. If I had to pick one time of day when Cotton feels most active at this point, I'd have to choose morning. In the evenings he/she likes to wedge his/her legs directly under my ribs, making me squirm and grimace.
Our ultrasound guesstimated Cotton to be growing in the 62nd percentile in measurements, weighing over 4 pounds already. I look at babies weighing 4-5 pounds at work and think, "There's no possible way something that big is growing inside of me right now." But then I see a picture of myself and think, "Wow, I don't feel small by any means, but I'm way bigger than I think I am."......and then I watch the video (don't worry, I have more clothes on in that clip than you think......or do I???....I'll guess you'll never really know for sure) of how my belly looks when Cotton moves around.........and I can kinda start to believe that it's real
Patrick and I are both getting superbly curious about the gender and what Cotton will look like. Every week the anticipation grows a little stronger. Cotton must now prefer to remain a mystery though, because he/she refused to let us see his/her face during the ultrasound!! We were desperately hoping to get a good face shot to compare ultrasounds again, but even though the little booger was moving around all over the place, kicking the tech's ultrasound wand and all, he/she never budged those little fists from in front of his/her face. The best picture we could get was a half blacked out screen shot (because bones show up black on ultrasound), with half a profile of a really chubby chipmunk cheek.
My hands, feet, and legs are starting to get "puffy". I wouldn't call it edema yet, but I can definitely feel and see a difference. I've been drinking lots of lime water and consuming as much protein as I can, to try and offset the symptom, but all I really want is jalapeno poppers with ranch followed by ice-cream. 
No one ever talks about how weird it is when you can no longer see certain parts of your own body (and I'm not referring to my feet). It's straight up, crazy sauce bizarre, and even though I've been trying to adjust to this madness for a few weeks, I still can't get used to the concept. There, I talked about it.
Doctor's appointments are getting more frequent!! We are going every 2 weeks now, and soon to be every week. I finally had the heart to heart with Dr. B about our "birthing preferences", and after a good discussion, have a great amount of relief knowing he is now on board and on the same page. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

"Wish you would step back from that ledge, my friend."

The drive to our next adventure is always the hardest part for these puppies.
Sumo makes little whimpering noises out of agonizing excitement almost the entire way.
Me: You think you're agonized now??? Just wait until I get you in the park and make you stop to pose in wildflowers. That'll show you!!
Puppies: Oh ya? You want to play that game? We'll just constantly look in a different directions than you, as a subtle rebellion. 
Sumo: Okay, fine, if you're not going to give up, I'll just give you what you want. Can we go play in the water now? Can we? Can we?! CAN WE?!
These pups would have jumped off a cliff to get to the water (no joke; we had to pull them back from the edge while singing Jumper by Third Eye Blind on more than one occasion).
I love it when all the natural natives are in bloom.
It was the perfect spring day to go for a walk by the lake, then stopping to chill under a cypress tree by the creek and watch people do crazy things like fasten a tie-down across two trees and practice their "tight rope" skills (or their lack there of), or ride down the biking trail on a motorcycle in a full on, head to toe Easter Bunny costume (and you just thought weird people lived in Austin, Hollywood, or Portland.......turns out every city has their own set of unique breeds).
And since I've bored you with two puppy posts in a row, I might as well indulge a little further by showing you this hilariously dramatic video about A Sad Dog's Diary. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Why The Hell Would I Know Where Your Mother Is?"

If these puppies think it's already hot outside, they've got a rude awakening headed their way in the next couple of months!! I must admit, though, the bright green blades of cool Johnson grass being blown by the wind into rhythmic flowy waves did look mighty refreshing and I shortly contemplated on joining the panting party. 
They ended up getting their wish 2 days later, when a cold front brought unexpected freezing temperatures to town!!! I was counting my blessings that I hadn't put the plants I've been pampering all winter outside just yet, like I had initially planned. 
Let's all take a moment to honor National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day. As you all know, my husband is the biggest fan of all "sandwich categories", and when I heard about this on what I call "the fake news", because it doesn't talk about anything particularly relevant....unless you consider holidays like this relevant (which we do, hence the real life picture featuring my version of a how a grilled cheese should be, minus the pickles since our frig was so unfortunately barren of deli pickles). If you're just now finding out about this holiday, I'm sorry you missed it, but the good news is you can always catch it again next year!!!
While you're here, you should totally watch this educational owl video, because it makes me oh so happy, and I have a feeling it will you, as well. The German fairy tale is especially my very favorite part. "And then the owl swooped down and ripped the little girl's face off and ate her eyeballs." (I'm giggling all over again, just thinking about it!)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Like a Waddle Star: Week 32

'Twas Monday Belly Photo Day and this one turned out to be a bluntly honest picture with 3 day old wind blown hair, the most comfortable public appropriate clothes I could find for the short errands I had to run, and absolutely no makeup. A hot mess. At least I put on a bra and took a shower; you're welcome. 
A cold front blew in, and there's nothing more I wanted to do than change into the amazingly comfortable pajama pants I stole from Jessica's house, lay on the couch bundled in a cozy blanket, and watch Ellen, while drifting in and out of naps. 
I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I haven't "worked out" in about a month, but I walk on most days until I start getting cramps.......or feel fatigued (more than usual) or start waddling too much (quite a site, I assure you). A sweet friend let me borrow her maternity support belt and it makes such a world of difference for my lower abdomen and back! Another thing that makes a difference (and some may think this is crazy and unbelievable) is my meditation/self-hypnosis practice. One day last week I woke up with the most horrible back pain. I went through all the tricks to relieve it, and nothing seemed to help. Then I sat down and practiced my hypnobabies CD, focusing on hypnotic anesthesia. I had already been efficient in managing to get my arms and legs numb, but on this day, it's real effectiveness would be put to the test......and it worked!! My back pain completely vanished and didn't return. True story. 
Cotton may not be old enough to know much about life yet, but there is one thing he/she is sure of, and that's a definite preference for the right side of my abdomen. 
Patrick is doing an amazing job of studying for his birth partner role and being supportive. I came home from work and found this little note of positive affirmations taped to the refrigerator. He knows just the way to my heart: food, and love notes in the form of positive thoughts.
In other news, not only do we get to see Cotton via ultrasound in a couple of days, we're also suppose to take maternity pictures this week and are crossing our fingers the weather cooperates. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Worse Than a Nightmare

There I was, innocently scrolling through my dimly lit phone, trying to pass the time during my now routine 1am insomnia episode while being as considerate as possible to my snoring beauty of a husband, when I felt a shift in my hair. Always paranoid when it comes to bugs residing in my hair (for good reason according to my unfortunate record), a brief tinge of panic rushed through my veins, but I kept calm, assuring myself it was just a strand of hair sliding down the pillow, rationalizing it's movement by the fan catching it for some strange reason. 
Then I felt the shift again. Okay, that was weird. Don't freak out. Don't freak out. 
The following seconds would be a blur of chaos as the over-sized lunatic moth (I had no idea what it was at the time) got a wild hair up it's butt and darted for my phone. I screeched a little and jumped up in bed faster than a wild monkey in a banana fight (except I went the opposing direction of the moth, unlike I would assume the monkey might do if it was fighting over a banana). This reaction would no doubt awake the slumbering husband, who of course, thought I had lost my mind. 
"There was a bug! A big crazy bug! In my hair! It landed on me and flew over my phone! I swear!"
.........Nothing? No response? 
Only confused and skeptical stares were being transmitted from the husband.
I turned the lamp on. No movement. No evidence. No bug. Geez, I'm looking pretty irrational right now.
"I'm positive there was a bug," I tried to convince him as I attempted half-heartily to settle back down. And just as my head was about 2 inches from the pillow, "I just can't find....." before I could finish, the spastic direction-ally challenged bug hit me in the face!
This time there wasn't a screech; it was a full blown scream. I'd had enough. I was thrashing the covers, darting around as best I could, determined to find and destroy this demon haunting my bed.
Patrick continued to stare in disbelief, glassy-eyed and blank-faced. "Are you okay? I didn't see anything. I don't have my glasses on."
"You didn't see that?!?! IT WAS THERE ON MY PILLOW, blending in with the brown, AND FLEW AT MY FACE! I SWEAR!"
After a few minutes of searching, I found the pesky critter lurking beside the night stand, where my hero in boxer briefs was quickly directed to immediately find and flush this new enemy. Alas, I was rescued, but unfortunately not before a good dose of adrenaline had been released into my system, resulting in even worse insomnia than normal.
This incident may have been nothing in the grand scheme of things, especially compared to the time a gigantic roach was in my hair and I stood on the table while Patrick took everything out from under the bed to murder the invader, or that other time I jumped in the car after watering the flowers, looked in the mirror and found a wolf spider lurking in my locks, my dramatic reaction almost causing us to have a wreck, but it was enough to keep me wide awake for another 2 hours!!!
Bugs + Bed = Definitely worse than a nightmare. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lesson Learned: Week 31

It's official; we are in the single digits of weeks left before we get to meet Cotton!!!!
There's a valid reason why most women in their 3rd trimester of pregnancy don't spend late nights out  partying (all jacked up on lemonade until 4 am)........
It's because it takes almost 3 days to recover! I was hobbling around the next day from round ligament soreness and didn't do anything but sleep for a solid 2 days. Pitifully, it even took me more than half a day to work up the energy just to get off the couch and look this decent.
In other news, we have an ultrasound scheduled for next week because our chunky monkey is measuring a whole 2 weeks ahead of schedule! I've read that measurements could be subjective, depending on how the baby is positioned at the time (which has been all up under my ribs lately), but Cotton has consistently been measuring a week ahead of schedule via ultrasound starting from the get go, and even though my belly has grown considerably since my last weigh-in at the office 4.5 weeks ago, I only gained 2 pounds, so we shall see! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cuddle Compensation

If we all look's because we were.

Only one person in that picture had more than 3 hours of sleep, and from the looks of it he's not ashamed of it either. 
We were dying to cuddle with sweet Holden and no type of scheduling conflicts or lack of sleep were going to hold us back from getting what we wanted!!!
We took advantage of Cristina's generosity and didn't give him back for a solid couple of hours, but we didn't leave her empty handed. As cuddle compensation, I made her and John dinner, Jessica supplied dessert, and Ale brought a breast feeding survival basket.
It's hard to believe that in less then 3 months, I wont have to go to someone else's house to steal baby cuddles! 
Until then, I know a little someone who will take as many cuddles as he can get, especially when his pride is hurt from falling off the couch. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Small Life Adjustments: Week 30

I'm starting to feel really tired these days, like I could take a nap at any given time. Sometimes I feel like I'm moving through water just to get around.....or at my most tired times, mud. So long second trimester energy! Aside from that small detail, and all the blooming trees flaring up allergies I didn't know I had that I refuse to take medicine for, I think I feel pretty awesome.
Everyone has been so sweet lately, telling me how good I look......because around now is the time I should start looking like crap, I guess?? The most common things people say right now are, "You look like you have a basketball stuffed under your shirt," and "If I only saw you from the back, I wouldn't even know you were pregnant."
I don't know my own girth anymore, and as a result am constantly bumping into things when I think I have enough room to steer clear. The other day, I tried to squeeze by the grocery cart that was positioned next to the conveyer belt in the check out isle, but couldn't fit. I then laughed at myself for even thinking I could suck in far enough to make it happen (any amount of sucking in is impossible), had to pull the cart out, go down the isle, and pull the cart behind me......little life adjustments that feel so weird. 
If I stand for a long time, my feet turn pink.
I read that the top of my uterus is around or a little above the half way point between my belly button and my boobs. This is a crazy truth as evidenced by the feeling of Cotton literally wedged inside the bottom part of my ribs when I'm sitting down or the occasional sucker punch to the ribs when 'you know who' is feeling really feisty. Sometimes I can't tell if Cotton is moving around in a really strong way or if I'm having a Braxton Hicks contraction, although I'm pretty sure it's Braxton Hicks contractions. Don't worry, they're painless and completely normal.....just a really strange tightening sensation.
We started studying Hpynobabies this week. Intriguing stuff. I'm actually so interested, it's hard to just stick to weekly studies instead of reading the entire book straight through.
Every single person who guessed when my belly button was going to flatten out has officially lost!! It's super shallow, and gets really close to being completely flat when I'm sitting down, but is still hanging in there.


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