Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Childproofing

In just a few short hours Handsome Coastie's sister, her husband and four little boys will be here to visit for 11 days!! We've just finished making beds, stocking up on kiddie foods and hiding every valuable or deadly item in the house. These next few days are going to be full of fun, energy and good practice for us parents-to-be!

Also this week I've been slammed with twice as many school assignments while still trying to work between two jobs. It's been a challenging June and all this busy-ness had made the time fly by. This Friday I'll be 6 months pregnant and not much more prepared than I was 2 months ago. Thankfully hubby took me out on a romantic date for my birthday at Salacia, where we had seaside seating on the verenda. The candlelight, salmon and salty air were a perfect change of pace from baby registries, curriculum projects and prospect databases.

Today J and I had our monthly check-up and things are lookin' good. In fact, J is actually measuring slightly ahead of his due date, and surprisingly, mom's belly is measuring slightly bigger than her weeks. Looks like J might be an over-achiever. His heartrate is the same as always, but that's just because he's consistent like his parents. :) With 4 months to go (give or take a week or two) baby-daddy and I are planning out a nursery and still discussing names.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nesting

According to pregancyweekly.com, "Around the fifth month of pregnancy, the "nesting" instinct can set in. This is an uncontrollable urge to clean one's house brought on by a desire to prepare a nest for the new baby, to tie up loose ends of old projects and to organize your world."

Well, between work, school, and traveling/visitors every weekend, I don't think I will be feeling the "nesting" urge too much these next few months. In fact, I have specifically set aside all weeks after August 24th for just the purpose. But in the meantime, I've been busy practicing a different kind of nesting - the kind that takes place every night in sweet slumber.

You may have noticed that I haven't complained about backaches, leg cramps or lack-of-sleep in some weeks. I have my sister-in-law to thank for this ... and her generous lending of what both of our husbands have dubbed - THE NEST.

THE NEST is this amazing pregnancy pillow that pretty much surrounds my entire body while I sleep. Not only does it provide support for my pregnant body in all the right places but, my personal favorite feature, it guarantees that I get my half of the bed each night. No more whacks to the head by hubby's flying elbows - compliments of THE NEST.

Unfortunately, THE NEST does not travel well. Frankly, it's huge. So when we went home to PA this past weekend I paid the price for nestlessness. I had another attack of the leg cramps and have had a slight limp ever since. As a result of lighter sleep, I also had some crazy dreams. For instance, in one dream the doctor who was about to deliver my baby walked into the room. He looked like Albert Einstein but when he reached out to shake my hand I realized he was wearing a ring the size of his entire fist that spelled out "Gangster." This revelation was followed by a real-life flailing elbow from aforementioned husband and I succinctly woke up, unable to complete the dream. Thankfully I am now back home, sleeping safely in my nest each night.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

New Jobs All Around

Well, today I started training for my new job at the college. This was a very hard decision. I loved my job at the other office and was planning to return to work after the baby was born until Handsome Coastie and I got re-stationed in 2010. But a new opportunity arose across campus where I can do similar work to what I'm doing now, only with a more flexible schedule and the opportunity to do the majority of my work at home. So as much as I enjoyed my job and loved my team, it just can't compete with having more time with Baby J. I'll be spending the rest of this month wrapping up things at the old office and training my replacement, while also learning how to do my new job and getting to know my new co-workers. I still can't figure out why even positive changes can be so difficult to make. :(

 The hubster will also be starting a new job this summer. In August he'll transition to a different and better role in his current office. He doesn't let me say a whole lot about his work, but what I can say is that he won't have to work nights, weekends or 12-hour shifts anymore! Hurrah, this is wonderful news for everyone! J and I are very excited that we'll get to spend every weeknight and weekend with Daddy.

To be fair to everyone in the family, I'll also mention J's new job - swallowing. At 21 weeks babies can start swallowing the amniotic fluid. "Why?" you ask. "Researchers believe swallowing amniotic fluid may help growth and development of the fetal digestive system" (Your Pregnancy Week By Week). In fact, J may even be swallowing up to 17 ounces of fluid in a 24-hour time period!! This may contribute a small amount to his caloric needs. And heaven knows with all the activity going on in mom's stomach, J needs all the calories he can get.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The rumors are true ...

... pregnancy brain is real. And apparently it's not going away anytime soon. Studies have shown that many pregnant women do experience memory loss and that this can last up to one year after birth. I used to think this "momnesia," as some call it, was just a sorry excuse that pregnant women use. But I have to admit, I appreciated the stereotype when I sent out 4 letters last week without address labels. Or when I went frantically searching in the bathroom at David's Bridal for my purse. (The assistant was kind enough to point out that my it was hanging right next to me in the dressing room.)

Ask my husband, who often receives the brunt of my strategic (perhaps selective??) memory -- forgetfulness is not in my nature. So what else could I blame such carelessness on but the pregnancy?

If you're like me, you need to know "Why is this happening??" According to the highly-informative webmd.com, "The brain is being marinated in a huge amount of [the pregnancy hormone] oxytocin during pregnancy." Which has been shown to have amnesia-like effects during pregnancy. If you want to get really deep, some believe that this is nature's way of notifying mothers that it may be time to simplify their lives and get ready for the baby ... or it could just be nature's way of reminding us to take our pre-natal vitamins.

Whatever it is, you can rest easy because not only is "pregnancy brain" completely normal, it is also, as one doctor says, "not something that makes women dangerous."

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Halfway!


This weekend I reached the 20 week mark, which is technically halfway, even though we didn't know we were pregnant until 5 weeks into it. Either way, it's a good reason to celebrate! I'm starting to show a little more each week, although I'm sure people who don't know me just think I have a gut. But the best part of this past week was really, truly feeling Lil' J move!! There's been lots of little bumps and pops, especially at night when I'm sitting on the couch doing homework. Jon even felt him last night - he thought it was "just gas." Note to the wise: Never tell a pregnant woman "It's just gas." When I can see my hand moving when it sits on top of my belly, I'm pretty sure it's not gas. :)
Last weekend my family came to visit for the holiday. We found out J was a "he" just in time for Marmie to come down for some shopping. Knowing it's a boy and starting to buy some little outfits has made this pregnancy much more real. One of my favorites was the "Litte Sheriff" set complete with faux vest. Sadly, Handsome Coastie is not a fan. He says J is not allowed out of the house in the sheriff outfit, but he's not the one that's going to dress him every morning. :)
We also attended a "Budgeting for Baby" class that the Navy offers new parents. It was more about budgeting than it was about babies but definitely worth the free layette we received at the end. We got a canvas tote that says "Baby's first sea bag" full of onesies, sleepers, bibs, burp cloths, and sheets, plus a handmade afghan. We also came away with a few pointers such as the best places to buy formula, how much money you can save a year by nursing and that most babies go through 2300 diapers a year. Good to know.
In other news, my friend Janine had a baby girl yesterday! A perfect little 5 pounder. She's the littlest, newest baby I've ever held! And yes, that's right. I have a friend also named Janine. We worked in the same office and even answered the same phone line, which was just a little confusing. We are also both short and blonde. For awhile we used to reference "other Janine" as "the pregnant Janine" but that lost its effectiveness 4 months ago. In referencing my former post about trying to pick a less-than-popular baby name, I'm sure our parents could have never guessed that their daughters would one day work with another girl with the same name.
Speaking of names, we're working on it. Most people know we're pretty sure of the first name, but we're having a hard time agreeing on the perfect middle name. We'll keep you posted!
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