It's my party

Wow. Um. Apparently I AM doing too much. My body is shutting down via an emotional breakdown apparently. Last night the minute I left work I just felt sad and anxious and miserable emotionally. theMan got me out of the house and to an Olive Garden STAT (yes, we're a little redneck still) which was really nice. Then we went and wandered around Borders, where I haggled a saleslady about a baby book I wanted. (15% off because it had one scuff, holla!)

Thought that was the worst of it! Came home and actually slept good. Except when I woke up and got to work, I couldn't stop crying.

I cried on the train. I cried every time someone talked to me. I cried when my boss asked me to do a simple task for him. Like blubbering, face in my hands CRYING. I cried just reading work emails!

Had to IM my boss to ask her if I could just go home because I knew asking in person would make me cry, and told her so. She told me, because she's awesome, to "go home before you shoot the place up!" Ha ha ha! When I started to feel a little better and told her I'd just wait it out she said, "No. Go." And good thing too because then I started to get all teary again!


So now I'm home, I've ate pasta, 2 fudgesickles and I'm going to go lay horizontal and read until I pass out, then read some more. I think my body is trying to tell me to just "chill out on the doing's, Missy." So I am.

Baby, you're already making your momma take care of herself. Thanks!


The Final Countdown

Had my final "2 week" appointment today, now I'm going into the every week ones where they start fishing around in the va-jayge. I will say, I'm pleasantly surprised at the total lack of "fishing around" they have done. I figured pregnancy was 9 months of fisting, but so not the case. A little in the beginning and a whole lot the last month then one final BIG OLD FISTING FROM WITHIN and presto!

Next time they are checking dialation and figuring out what position this little lady is in. I gotta believe she's head down. I feel her really strong on the lower left and upper right under my ribs. We shall see. I can lay in bed now and watch my belly jump around. Even been known to wake up theMan at 2:00 a.m. to feel her going nuts. (He doesn't mind seeing how he comes to bed then anyways.)

People at work keep looking at me like I'm going to break my water at any moment. At a photography shoot this week people were horrified that I was running around, lying on the ground, going up stairs...I don't know, I just feel sorta energized! Except of course, if I sit too long. Then it feels like my undercarriage is falling out when I stand.

But if I stay mobile...well, let's see: Saturday I cleaned the entire house, mopped, swept, wiped down, dusted and then moved on and organized the nursery, as well as packed bags for the hospital within a 2 hour window. Either I'm nesting or insane.

Our baby shower for our Chicago crew is this weekend. Should be a pretty small affair with plenty of awesome food and booze for those not knocked up. I'm going to face plant into my sister's root beer float punch bowl and German chocolate cake.

So that's where I'll be.



I haven't blogged about the inauguration yet and I have no reason other than brain mush. For the first time in my history I watched the entire event, speeches you name it, and was absolutely and completely filled with hope.

I'm not the most eloquent of people when describing big events and how they shape me, but these pictures do that for me. All I know is I watched this race closely and Tuesday I sat in our office breakroom and tried not to cry from joy.

But really...if you want to know how I really feel, read this guy. He's better at it.

"...Thing is, I’m supporting an honest, level-headed man who seems to care about doing a good job and telling people the truth. But, I’m not supporting a poster. It’s posters we need a shit-ton less of right about now."

EDITED TO ADD: And here...here here Ma'am, thank you for saying what I had been thinking for years. We did it but we can fix it. Amen.



Here is what we learned at the class today. I loved it and both left feeling so prepared! Plus we got cookies. HELLO!!?!?!

1.) We can have 4 people in the room at all times during labor (not sure on delivery exactly). HOWEVER, if anyone drives me nuts, the nurses promised to lie and make 4 become 3.
2.) It's freaking swanky and the rooms are HUGE!!! They have these awesome flat screens, views of the lake and Bose systems you plug your iPod into! Gotta make some Cds!
3.) Hospital stay: Vag birth-48 hours, C-Section-3-4 days stay.
4.) Parking garage is ridiculously priced: $10.00/less than 7 hours and $19.00 for more than 7. There is valet...nice.
5.) Tested Argo Tea in lobby, it's fantastic.
6.) Only the mother carries the baby up from Labor & Delivery to my room in my arms, not in a bassinet and it doesn't "meet" you there. Even for a c-section. This comforted me for some reason.
7.) They have lactation consultants on staff to deal with breast reduction/etc. issues and seemed to want 100% breastfeeding right after birth. Right now their rate is 90%. Obviously they will do bottle-feeding and use Enfamil if you go that route but was stoked they are willing to work with us since I may have trouble.
8.) The hospital believes in labor as long as possible, letting you walk around, squat, sit on birthing balls, not be hooked up to monitors (they have portable ones if necessary too), you can get in as many labor positions as necessary. Even have bars on bed for squatting. However, all deliveries are traditional on back, legs up pose. This doesn't bother me.
9.) Hospital also doesn't seem to believe in episiotomies unless absolutely necessary.
10.) Their goal is to get the baby to the mother's skin as soon as possible after born and leave them there for as long as they can. (thought this was nice!)
11.) Epidurals can be given at any time, however if you are close to 10 they encourage not getting them.
12.) They do not give enemas.

It was really really fun and worth it and the hospital seemed to go with my hopes for birth! We both feel like we are way more prepared now. No hippies or teenagers, but some of the ladies and their men in there seemed kinda uninformed, just to be judgmental. Ha! Like asking questions you'd know if you read any preg. book. This one girl, who strangely reminded me of New York from Flavor of Love, kept telling us about her "sister" and how she didn't poop for a month afterwards...blah blah. There was one couple that was absolutely terrified. I felt really bad for them and just wanted to hug them both. However, she did work up the courage to ask if she should shave her "region" before birth.

Most of the ladies just kept wanting to know how fast they could get epidurals. The teacher was like, "girls, we can't come to your house!" theMan gave the best husband answer: "I'm here to learn how I can support my wife." I nearly mounted him there.

It was good and she spoke very frankly about what happens to your jacked up vag afterwards. I also don't feel so scared any more just because I got to see where I will labor and it just eased my mind a ton. The place is super swanky. I kinda can't wait.


Ergo, my apologies

Thanks to Bill for the swanky Ergo carrier with hood! Chucky loves it!

Slowly collecting everything we need for this kid. We even have one more baby shower coming up! Everyone has just been so generous with the very high quality hand-me-downs to gifts to just love and support. If there is one thing I want Addie to know is how much she was loved before we even met her.

Tomorrow is our birthing class all day. I promise to report back and take some sneaky pics of any hippie sightings. I hear there is a rumor that they teach the partners to give back rubs...dear god I hope that is the case. Me want.

Packing her diaper bag and putting up the co-sleeper soon. So crazy this could happen in a month.


Sorry, I Twittered

My husband has been all a'Twitter for months now, usually the one of us on the up and up of the hipster stuff online. So I thought I'd join him.

I can't promise there will be anything of note on there, but hell, why not. Updates will be in the sidebar.

You should too!


theMan is truly, the Man

My husband...oh...where do I start. If he isn't shoveling 40 inches of snow, carrying all of the groceries up, doing all of the laundry, or not making me feel bad about milkshakes for breakfast...he's snuggling up to me to feel our daughter move every single morning and night. I always knew I wanted children with this man, but I never guessed the magnitude of actually having one, and how it would affect me.

He's had a rough couple of months, or at least a very surprising few months, but despite the awful role model he had for a father, I know to my core this man is world's best dad, even before Addie gets out here.

I love you baby. Go the let go route.



So apparently I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the past month off and on. I had no idea! Man, compared to my seriously nervous and worried every single second first trimester I have turned into a "eh, when I see the baby's head, then I'll freak" sorta gal.

Not that I should have freaked, they went away and never lasted more than an hour, but wow! I had no idea! Basically my belly would tighten really hard in the evenings every week or so, for about an hour and it'd be a little uncomfy. So I'd just sit and assume I had done to much that day.

I haven't had them in the last few weeks, not as bad as I had in December. So I'll just keep keeping on. Plus, I'm sorta proud that I actually listened to my body and took it easy. That was exactly what I should have done.

In that vein of trusting my body, this past month we have been reading books on labor for the Bradley method. The closer I get to giving birth, the more I really want to try to experience this as medicated free as possible.

EDITOR'S NOTE: I do not think if you give birth medicated/c-section you are not really experiencing birth or that makes you less of a woman or your kid will be a serial killer.

I just want to really feel it. Weird as that sounds. I'm kinda hopeful to see what my body can really do. You know? I keep thinking, it will only last awhile and I just want to see. Now, will I jump off a building if I end up having a c-section? No. This is just the first time I actually trust my body, my strength. So we'll see.

8 weeks to go.


2009 Goals

First things first...a recap of 2008 Goals:
1.) Be debt free by 30. I want to owe no one by August and then I want to start saving for Italy and who knows, maybe a house.

2009 Update: Okay, well, no Italy obviously and no house, but I'm only about 6 months off being debt free by 30. Plus, my goal kinda got updated when we got pregnant....so now it's be debt free by March 2009 and with the exception of a small student loan, we made it!

2.) Focus 100% on my health and appearance.

2009 Update: So this might be a goal for 2009 as well. The beginning of 2008 I photographed everything I ate, did Weight Watchers, lost 10 lbs., got sidetracked by alcohol and summer and well...then got knocked up. HOWEVER, part of this goal was to focus on my appearance too and that is definitely something I did. I try to wear make-up often now, I buy clothes that are flattering and have rarely just worn my standard 1996 jeans and t-shirt out. I even accessorize to go to the grocery store. Never felt better that way, just am not digging the "in shape" part of the goal.

On to 2009!!

I'm a little hesitant to list a ton of goals because I feel like my old life stops around March and a new Kitten's adventure will begin. I'm not bold enough to say I'm going to be back in my jeans by April 1st or anything crazy, or even how our finances will be...but here are some rough plans:

1.) Be a good wife. (Our lives are going to expand with our new roommate coming and I want to make sure my marriage is still a priority. Sure, I'll give myself a few months to get into routines, figure out this new person and our new life, etc. but I've always wanted our children to see their parents in a healthy, loving, respectful relationship and I want to keep it up. Plus, theMan is going to need my support to be a stay-at-home dad and I'm going to need his being a full-time working mother.)

2.) Take one artistic, thoughtful photograph weekly and post to Flickr. (No longer will I just take belly shots in the mirror, I long for holding a camera and actually thinking up shots. I imagine our new model in the house will lend itself to some photos. :) )

3.) Refocus on my health and fitness by year end. (I'm a HUGE believer in 9 months on/9 months off so I'm not setting a number, but I am going to spend time on my health. My plan: theMan has promised to take over making dinners to help me eat healthy. And regarding exercise, my only plan for my maternity leave is to take an hour walk a day or an hour of yoga a day (even ordered the slings/strollers to help with this). Other than that I'm laying in my bed with my baby and doing the best I can.)

4.) Remain debt free and increase our retirement funding by 5%. (I have a plan for adding to savings and I will be increasing my 401k and IRA contributions this year. Regardless if we are eating Ramen noodles and living in this shitbox, it's happening.)

5.) Take a family vacation. (Somewhere, anywhere, because I have such wanderlust right now...I would be excited to drive to Iowa at this point.)

Let's see yours!


Boobs and such

In the spring of 1996, my senior year of high school, I had a breast reduction. At the time it was the best decision I ever made for myself, and frankly, still is. I could take dance, I could wear shirts under an XXL, I could buy bras that didn't just come in beige and circus tent size. In short, I could feel like a girl. (Although the scarring made me retire my career of flashing passing cars on the highway.)

The only downside is that they told me I couldn't breastfeed. When you're 17 and known as "Biggins," even though I welcomed the nickname and laughed along, breastfeeding is the furthest thing from your mind. In fact, I hated my boobs so much I didn't want a baby touching them, let alone boyfriends.

However, now...well, now it's really really important to both theMan & I for our daughter. I had scoured the internet for any nugget of good news that would say "Oh you'll be able too" and basically was met with "You have to wait and see." Which, honestly, that's pretty standard advice for any new mom I guess. I have to wait and see.

I have good signs: my boobs hurt when I get my period/ovulate, they have been acting weird and growing 2 sizes during my pregnancy, I have *ahem* cracking nipples, but still...I won't know until I deliver how they will fill up, per se.

So as a back-up, my sister has graciously offered to store some breast milk of hers for us. Just to clarify, she's not going to breastfeed our daughter-boob to mouth, although that really doesn't bother me if she did. No...we got her a pump and she's pumping milk for us to store in our handy 5 cu. foot freezer now occupying our dining room. Pumped breastmilk, when stored in a freezer not attached to a fridge is supposed to keep for 6 months or so. We have, so far, enough of a supply for her first week and 2 more months to go of pumping to get her first month in the freezer before she gets here.

I trust my sister explicitly as far as what she puts in her body, hell, she's healthier than most people I know. But it's more than just that...the whole thing just gives me a "it takes a village" vibe that absolutely warms my heart (our heart, as theMan is grateful too) and brings our girl closer to her aunt. I just, well, I'm just god damn proud.

Some people have been skeeved out, sure, but it just seems like such a selfless act on my sister's part and I can't tell you the pressure it's taken off me. I mean, I'm still going to try to breastfeed and have even found some great evidence saying it's possible.

But I can rest easy knowing that if my boobs, my perky, surgically enhanced (or de-enhanced) breasticles don't do as their told, Addie will still get what we feel is so important for her first few months.

How do you repay someone for that? I mean, Hallmark doesn't make "Thanks for feeding our kid by pumping at 5:00 a.m. every night" cards.