Friday, March 30, 2007

31 days to go!

That's just a month of days folks! Woo hoo! I keep swinging from sheer joy and excitement to just a bit of terror. :) I am so excited about Kylie's arrival and what having her in our lives will mean. There are so many things I want and hope for many dreams I hope she sees fulfilled in her lifetime (both my dreams for her and her dreams for herself). I can't wait to see her and hold her and touch her and smell her. Don't you just love that baby smell?!?

Really, it doesn't seem possible that she's almost here. There have been so many times throughout this pregnancy that we have waited on something and wanted time to pass faster than it was. But, now that we're so close to the end, I look back and wonder at how fast the time has actually gone. may hear a different story from my sweet Wendy who has dealt with all the ups and downs of the changes to her body and carrying Kylie so safely and so well all these months. I think there have been times that have gone much slower for her than for me. :)

But, I'm just so thankful for the wonderful experience of this pregnancy. I've had numerous men attempt to verbally bring me into the "dad's club" with comments like "has she bitten your head off yet?" and "the bigger they get the harder they are to live with" and "won't you be glad when this is over?". Harumphf, I say! I have thought nothing of the sort during this whole wonderous adventure and have treasured every moment...really. Every up and every down has been a part of this amazing journey and I wouldn't trade one minute of it away for anything in the world. I think I find it surprising that men seem to take the pregnancies of their wives so hard (I know not all men...but most that I've been around fit this category). It's like the pregnancy put them out somehow and that they should be given some kind of special award for having survived it. That's just totally bizarre if you ask me. I'll say it once again in this blog that I am just honored and awed to be my sweet Wendy's sherpa during this journey.

And...while I can't wait till Kylie is here, there will be a part of me that misses the journey that brought us to her arrival. But I suppose as with all things, the end of one journey is just the beginning of another, right? :)

- Karen

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bark, Doc and pictures

Yesterday we had mulch delivered to our house via "The Bark Blowers". Now why didn't I think of this idea?

Basically mulch is blown onto your flower beds via a great big vacuum hose attached to a delivery truck full of mulch. They mulched in 15 minutes what took me 2 days to mulch myself last year.

I had to restrain my little redneck self from running out and taking pictures of the bark blowing truck in action. Already the dudes who operated the equipment thought we were a little weird because we had staked down white mesh over my little seedlings to keep them from getting trampled. The back yard looked like there was little pieces of toilet paper flung all over the place.

The guys did a great job mulching and then cleaning up. It was well worth my dollar.
. . . . . . . .

We had our 35 week doctor's appointment yesterday. I had an internal exam as well as my Strep B test. The baby is beginning to drop but so far no dilation or effacement (which is fine because it's still a bit early for that). We had a quick ultrasound to confirm that the baby is head down and that she is, in fact, still a girl. We laughed when the doctor said she wanted to double-check so there were no big surprises when she was born. Kylie took a couple of amniotic breaths which was good to see.

My blood pressure is up ever so slightly from my normal range but it's still excellent at 106/70. And there was no protein in my urine-hurray!

I'm beginning to get more uncomfortable and swollen but I feel so lucky that I'm still able to Jazzercise, that I haven't had heartburn (which plagues so many pregnant women), that the baby doesn't kick my ribs, and that I'm able to still sleep lying down. A lot to be grateful for!

Here's a 35 week belly shot:

And here are two presents we received in the mail from Larry K.- a colleague of Karen's.
Nine month outfit

Sweet bear


Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Last night I went to sleep at 10:30pm. At 2:30am I was wide awake. And I stayed awake all morning. I felt lots of pressure on my pelvic floor. And my feet and head were aching like crazy. Sleep totally escaped me. Therefore, I'm a wee bit irritable and predisposed to rant.

I mentioned my insomnia to a Jazzercise friend the other day and she told me, "It's only going to get worse for you when the baby comes." I about bit her head off. Only Karen's calming presence kept me from going up one side of the lady and down the other.

Yes I KNOW to expect lots of sleeplessness when the baby comes. I am not an idiot. But don't tell an eight-month pregnant, groaning, swollen woman who is just trying to get through the days that shit is just going to get WORSE.

In fact, "YOU" statements have always been a pet peeve of mine. Anytime someone says something like "You will be happy or you will be sad or tired" or "You will feel this or that" or "You will think this or that", I just want to gnash my teeth. Because really...can this person see in to my future and know what I'll be thinking or feeling?

No. I believe what they really want to do is share some of their experience with me. I just really wish they would turn that "you" statement into an "I" statement. Such as, "I remember I didn't get much sleep for several months" or "I was a walking zombie" or "I remember how tough those last weeks are" and so forth.

Tell me about your own experience and I will listen raptly. Try to tell me "how it's going to be for me" (while looking in your crystal ball) and I will shut down.

I really enjoy hearing and reading about other women's experiences with their children. Some moms radiate such pride and joy and wisdom about how cool it is to be a mother. Other mothers seem to wield their mothering experiences with such smugness and superiority and try to come off like they are the Dr. Sears.

I really need to make my peace with this pet peeve. I don't want to snarl when I hear "you" statements. I don't want to flinch when I hear them compare their child to mine. I want to not take it all so personally.


Monday, March 26, 2007

The Spring freeze at our house

It's almost April and the world outside is waking up with new growth and lots of color. But inside our house, it's winter! Let me explain...

Since pregnancy arrived at our house, and Wendy's internal thermometer has stayed constantly spiked it seems, things have been a bit chilly around here. Weathering the winter has been a bit of a challenge for me and the cats. For months now, I have been wearing 2-3 layers of clothing and try to keep my hands warm by wearing my wonderful fingerless mittens Wendy knitted for me. I keep a little space heater near my desk and keep it on high most of the time. The cats sit on the heat registers in the house praying for the heat to kick on or lay in a pile in their basket trying to share body heat. Phoebe loves to sit in front of my heater, but she blocks some of my heat so I "accidentally" bump into her if she stays there too long. :)

Well, with the advent of spring, I have been hopeful that the increasingly warm weather would mean my icy fingers would thaw and I could actually store my space heater away. Ummmm... no such luck! The increased temp outside has made it more uncomfortable for Wendy and we have turned on the air conditioner. Yes...the air conditioner. When I got up this morning, the house temp was 61F (that was only about 10 degrees warmer than the outside temp). Chloe, our younger cat was sitting on the heat register in the kitchen and looked up at me and let out this plaintive, pitiful meow-cry thing that made me want to start a fire for her (and for me too). By lunch time, after I put my icy hands on Wendy's belly and actually made her flinch (she usually loves my cold hands on her overly warm self), I turned the heat on to get the temp up to the upper 60's in the house. Woo hoo!

It's 5 weeks (or less!) till Kylie gets here and the cats and I will be staying bundled up to ride out the last days of winter in our house. :) I only hope the thaw comes when Kylie does!

- Karen

35 weeks and 35 days

Today, I'm at 35 weeks and I have 35 days to go.

And I'm basically brain-dead. I want to be witty and charming and interesting on this blog. But lately, I stare at the screen completely blank. So here is a boring list:

What we did this weekend:
  • Viewed our 60 proofs from our pregnancy portrait photographer. Picked 6 pictures to print. (They won't be ready for 4-6 weeks but when we get them, we'll scan them in and share them with you.)
  • Saw the movie "The Last Mimzy". It's a smart, charming, feel-good movie with good actors, script, directing and editing. Nice special effects. I recommend it.
  • Got a manicure.
  • Fondled yarn at a yarn store. Bought 4 skeins of beautiful, red, Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran yarn for a sweater for Kylie.
  • Bought two onesies and some baby shoes on sale.
  • Bought the new Joss Stone cd
  • Drove around and walked alot enjoying Spring (my favorite season).
  • Ate out quite a bit. Indulged by eating at a Sonic. The Sonic is a great place to overdose on grease, salt, and carbs. It's one of those restaurants that are everywhere in the South. We've missed having one here in Portland. But now, there is a new Sonic restaurant just a hop, skip and jump away in Hillsboro. And right next to it is a Panera Bread (great bagels!) which is another favorite of ours from TN. Now if we could only get a Chik-Fil-A and a Cracker Barrell!
  • Camped out in front of the TV for the season finales of "Rome", "The L Word" and "Battlestar Gallactica". The end of Battlestar had us shouting, "I KNEW IT" at the tv screen and squealing on how they are leaving us hanging until 2008.

    [35w, 0d]
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Opposable thumbs

    I can move my thumbs again! Hurray! This is awesome!

    For around two weeks I've had tendonitis around my thumbs. It's caused by the swelling of the tissues in the hand which is caused by the pregnancy. For the most part it didn't bother me except that (gasp!) I haven't been able to knit for a while. But then it got to the point where simple tasks like opening a door with a doorknob or pouring milk from a gallon jug or emptying the dishwasher had me whimpering.

    So I was willing to try anything. I've tried heat and ice. I've tried thumb immobilizers. Nothing was really helping. On a whim, I called my chiropractor to see if he could help.

    Now I've had great success with him with regards to back and neck alignment. But I didn't really think he could help with tendonitis. Boy was I wrong!

    He cracked several vertebra in my neck, popped my thumbs and wrists joints several times, and finished with a massager/thumper up and down my thumb and wrists. And now I can move my thumbs!

    There's still some swelling and popping and a bit of pain but I can actually move my thumbs in a circle again. I celebrated by knitting five rows on a baby blanket (that I've been working on forever!). I wish you could see me smile!

    [34w, 2d]

    Blogger spam

    FYI for our fellow bloggers...

    We've been getting spam almost every day on this blog. It seems that advertisers are creating blogs and blog profiles. They then go to some of our earliest entries (deep in our archives) and leave their advertising message as a comment to our posts. We've had "comments" promoting weight loss, colon health, and riding bicycles! They are actually typing in their sales message in the comments and then typing in the word verification letters.

    The only way we've been catching this is that we get an email each time we receive a comment (kind of a cool way to read your comments). It hasn't annoyed me to the point where I want to moderate each comment but I thought I would let our fellow bloggers know about it.

    To check it out, you might want to go to some of your oldest posts and view your comments. Hopefully you aren't getting hit like we are.


    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Isn't she lovely?

    She takes my breath away every day. Her joy and excitement about this whole experience of pregnancy and bringing our daughter into the world is a constant source of wonderment to me. She'll laugh for no reason and smile in wonder every time Kylie hiccups or moves. Yesterday she tickled herself by trying to say 'monogamous magnanimous' over and over and kept getting all tongue tied. She thinks it would be a great name for a Dr. Seuss character (so do I).

    Pretty soon we'll be three instead of just us two. But somehow, even with all the love I know I'll have for Kylie, my sweet Wendy will always be my heart.

    - Karen

    Monday, March 19, 2007

    Photos and Flowers

    On Friday Karen and I went to a photography studio to have our pregnancy photos taken. We took around ten outfits each because we had no idea of what to wear. It looked like we were moving into the place! The photographer has a style that I just love. Here's a photo (not me) to show you their style.

    However, to get these beautiful photos, the pregnant gal is basically nude. I was nervous at first. Especially for the first round of pictures which was of me in one of Karen's oversized shirts with the belly poking out and nothing on underneath! But the photographer and assistant had such a lovely, easy-going manner that I was able to relax and enjoy the process.

    My favorite part was putting on and wearing this tight mesh tube. It was like having your body completely wrapped in a light-weight ace bandage. When I walked, I had to take itty bitty steps and looked like Morticia Adams. But it really accentuated the belly!

    The photographer had Karen wrapped around me, hugging me, nuzzling and kissing me for most of the shots. The photographer would say, "Let me see in your eyes and smiles how much you love each other!" It was so very sweet and loving.

    I really recommend having your portrait taken while pregnant. Whatever your body type, if you have a good photographer, you'll leave the shoot feeling beautiful and glowing. And as I told Karen, "I'm just going to pregnant once. I want lots of keepsake photos!"

    On Saturday, we had beautiful weather and we spent most of the day in the garden. Karen planted over 40 plants in our backyard. The plants came from a mail-order nursery. Well, I've learned my lesson from ordering plants online. There is an amazing selection but when you get the plants, they are mostly tiny little rootballs. So although we have a large area planted, it still looks like an empty plot of dirt! Oh well, maybe it will actually look like a garden by the time Kylie is five or something.

    If anyone has ordered plants this way and has had success, please drop me a line and let me know. Right now I'm a bit discouraged that a) these plants won't live and b) it will take forever for them to grow so c) it was a waste of time, money and effort.

    On Sunday I woke up to find several stretch marks had bloomed across my lower belly. I guess I can expect new stretch marks every week from here on out.

    Lastly, I'm so tickled to be at 34 weeks. For some reason, I've been really looking forward to hitting this milestone and now that I'm here, I'm pleased as punch! 34 Weeks... WOOHOOO!

    [34w, 0d]
    [37 Babies R Us visits]

    Thursday, March 15, 2007


    I've never been one to use the handicap bathroom stalls in public places. To me, they were like handicapped parking spaces. I leave them open and available for the people who really need them.

    But lately I've been giving myself permission to go in there. And I've got to tell you... I love the extra room and the handrails. I love that I can use the handrails to heft myself up.

    But I'm jumpy when I'm in there. I'm afraid when I open the bathroom door there will be some bathroom police person writing me up a citation. Or that other women who might be waiting for a stall will stare me down, shake their heads and make that tsk tsk sound under their breath.

    Hmm.... I don't think Freud covered this one.

    [33w, 3d]

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    No energy

    Today is one of those days where I'm just dragging about with no energy.

    And it is so very tempting to reach for some carbs (in the form of chips, or bread, or cookies)to just get an extra boost.

    I really need to be writing thank-you notes for our shower gifts but have absolutely no desire to do so.

    I had my regular check up at the doctor's office yesterday. Everything looks great. My blood pressure is good at 102/64 and the baby is measuring at 33cm- right where she should for 33 weeks. She's still head down and will probably stay in this position until she is born.

    Karen helped me run some errands today. She carried my books for me at the library. She carried Phoebe, the cat, into the vet's office for me for Phoebe's annual exam. She's incredibly sweet to drive me about and fetch and tote stuff. But the independent girl that I am wishes on some days that I could take care of these things on my own.

    And dang it all... even knitting is getting difficult. I've been having some tendonitis around my thumbs which is getting worse. It doesn't actually hurt to knit. But a few minutes after I've finished knitting, my thumb joints want to lock up and burn.

    Sorry to be so boring and whiny today.

    I'll leave you with this interesting note. I dreamed last night that Kylie had grown up and become a chemist. She created a system to filter water through different chemicals to purify it. She could take the nastiest water (even nuclear waste water) and clean it without any residual affects. I have no idea what this dream might mean but it was cool to see her as a grown, passionate, incredibly intelligent woman.


    Monday, March 12, 2007

    Baby shower

    Yesterday was our baby shower!

    We had 16 smiling guests at our house from 2:00 until around 4:00. We had women we know from our Jazzercise class, women we know from PLOP and some of our best friends. We snacked on crab cakes, mini quiches, cheese ball, banana bread and scrumptious chocolate cake.

    Our guests guessed on when they think Kylie will be born and how much they think she will weigh. We plan to give the "winner" a Starbucks gift card. The dates people guessed are: 4/23, 4/26, 4/27 (2 votes), 4/28, 4/29, 4/30, 5/1, 5/3 (3 votes), 5/4, 5/5 (2 votes), 5/6 and 5/17 (gasp!). My due date is 5/1. We'll just have to wait and see who wins.

    We racked up on presents for Kylie. We ended up with 14 blankets, 10 outfits, 8 books, lots of bathtime supplies and plenty of toys. If you are interested, you can see pictures of all of the presents here.

    Our good friend Heather bought us this beautiful cake, wrote down the list of presents and helped us clean up afterwards. Thanks Heather!

    Karen asked me what was the best part of the shower for me. I told her that I loved having so many guests in the house and loved reading all of the cards. The cards were filled with such love and such blessings for both Karen and I and Kylie.

    At the end of the day, my face hurt from smiling and laughing and my ankles were swollen but I wouldn't have changed a single moment. It was simply perfect!

    For more party pictures, click here.

    [33w, 0d]

    Thursday, March 08, 2007


    Please tell me that I'm not the only pregnant person who has fretted over the fact that I haven't played the Biscuit ANY Mozart or Vivaldi. I have this image that I should be sitting in the nursery, rocking in our new glider, listening to Mozart while sending soothing, loving, brain-stimulating waves to Kylie.

    Instead, the only music she's heard so far are billboard top hits. I've been Jazzercising (and she's been bouncing around) to the likes of Christina Aguilera, Bob Sinclair, Beyonce, and Shakira played at top volumes. Eeekk....what have I done to my child?

    However, I will say that anytime I start to stress about Kylie's well being, I'll hear a little voice in my head. This little voice says, "Relax Mom. I'm doing just fine". In fact, she's been "saying" this to me since she started living in my body.

    It's no wonder to me then that "Kylie's song" is "Have a Little Faith In Me" by John Hiatt.

    I played this song when I would get scared about losing her in the first trimester, when I would freak out about birth defects in the second trimester, and when I've worried about her gaining too much weight in the third.

    I do have faith in you baby.

    And believe me... you can have faith in me too.



    My Mom sent some presents for me to open during our baby shower. But I simply had to open them today. I LOVE to get mail and two packages of baby stuff was simply irresistable. She sent me a onesie, a blanket and teddy, Kylie stickers, nursing pads and some lovely organic baby care supplies. Thanks Mom!


    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Note to self

    Do not e-v-e-r call your pregnant wife with gestational diabetes "sugar lump" and expect it to be received as a wonderful endearment. {wink, wink}

    - Karen

    Crazy cats and spring cleaning

    I had several mischievous snickers and snorts yesterday. I rearranged furniture in my family room in preparation for our baby shower this Sunday. Now normally this is a fairly mundane activity. What made it so fun was watching my two cats freak out.

    You see, my cats have what I call an "attack run" for each room of the house. An attack run is where they can tear across and circuit a room without actually touching the floor. The run and leap across the furniture at top speeds.

    But when you move their furniture, they give you this look like, "Holy Crap! What have you done!" And then they start trying to find the perfect "new" attack run. So I had quite a time watching them tear about with freaked-out wide eyes and bushy tails. What can I say...It doesn't take much to amuse me.

    I also rearranged our food pantry. Don't ask me why. I really don't think that our shower guests will stick their noses into our food pantry and yet I felt compelled to clean and rearrange it. Do you think this constitutes nesting or spring cleaning? Anyway, I'm glad I did it. There was a bunch of expired canned food in there!

    I also bought two spring/summer maternity dresses. I'm getting to the point where I don't want any clothes touching my belly, even light and soft stuff. I would post pictures of the dresses but my official picture taker, Karen, is in Dallas this week at a large conference. Last night, there was a western-themed reception at the conference and someone took her picture with two of her colleagues. Doesn't Karen (in the middle) look fabulous?

    I think I'm over the worst of my cold/allergies. I still have a stuffy head but it's much better. And I managed to get some sleep last night. I'm only getting about one night of good sleep per week and I treasure it! Other nights, I'm awake with pregnancy-insomnia for 2-4 hours.

    I'm still doing well with my glucose levels. But I'll confide this yucky tidbit. When you draw your own blood four+ times a day, it starts to show up in your dreams. Almost all of my dreams have blood in them now. Eeewwww.

    And another interesting tidbit about my restricted diet is that I'm not gaining any weight. I haven't gained any weight in a month. But it feels to me like the baby is gaining some weight and mass (because the belly is growing bigger) and that I'm losing it.

    Lastly, because my belly is getting bigger, I'm more aware of people's looks and stares at me. It doesn't bother me at all. Yet many times I wonder, as I'm passing people by, if I'm waling past someone who is struggling with infertility. And I wonder if my baby belly causes them a bit of heartache. It makes me count my blessings and say a quick prayer for anyone out there who desperately wants a child.


    Thursday, March 01, 2007

    Waddle and sniff

    These days my walk resembles E.T. The Extraterrestrial's.

    My head is too stuffy to even think of anything clever to blog. I'll leave you with today's belly picture. Note the red nose, bleary eyes and very pale skin. What's even scarier is that I thought I was smiling for this shot.

    This picture's caption could be:
    "How in the hell did I get this big?" or
    "How many more weeks until I can swig down some Nyquil?" or
    "Why didn't anyone tell me about reduced bladder control and really hard sneezes?"

    If you have a funny caption for today's photo, please leave it in the comments.