Thursday, May 10, 2012

On my first Mother's Day - A letter to Maggie

Dearest Maggie,

As I reflect over the last nine months we've had together since you came into our lives, turned it upside down, and made it more wonderful and exhausting and rewarding than I ever thought possible, I wanted to pause and reflect on all the things I love about you and getting to be your mom. With it being my first Mother's Day, I'm even more sentimental than usual (evidenced by tearing up with big crocodile tears when I watched the Publix commercial the other night when the little girl helping her pregnant mom in the kitchen is encouraged by mom to talk to her baby sister in mom's belly and after much thought, decides to tell her "you're really going to love Mommy"- ugh, it gets me every time!) and just want to stop time and soak up every spare moment I have with you, and because I think this is a day just as much about you as it is about me, I want to tell you some of the things I love about you. Here are a few things I don't want to forget:

How you squeal with delight when I blow raspberries on your bare belly.

How your eyes light up when I sing our "wake up" song that I made up when you were just a few weeks old, or your other favorite, "I'm a little teapot..."

How you babble to yourself in the middle of the night or when you wake up in the morning, and I can tell you are having an entire conversation with whatever you see in your crib.

How you have chosen to go from our baby who sleeps 10-11 hours each night to one who has decided to wake up 2-3 times a night, absolutely and positively ready to party.

How you finally give up and go back to sleep when I rock you, and how your little head nuzzles into my neck to find the perfect spot and your open mouth leaves a little pool of drool on my shoulder.

How you watch with wonder when we blow bubbles on the front porch.

How you stare at people when we go out to eat, until they acknowledge you and you reward them with a big smile. You have never met a stranger.

How you look when you smile with those two tiny bottom teeth peeking through.

How you love to watch the train that goes by behind our house, and here me say "chuga, chuga, choo, choo, choo!" and how amazed we are that it actually never wakes you when you're sleeping.

How you still sleep with your arms behind your head when you're on your back, just like you did in your ultrasound picture.

How you get the hiccups when you laugh too hard.

How your laugh makes your dad and I both laugh.

How you make a funny face when you try a new food for the first time, and how you make this awful gagging face when you really don't like something (like the peas).

How you love, love, love to be held, and cry when I put you down and I'm out of sight (really relishing this one, as I know it will soon change once you are on the move).

How you watch your friends at daycare intently, and decide you're going to keep up with the big kids by trying to do everything they do.

How you can cry like the dickens but immediately quiet when I pick you up. And sometimes look over your shoulder and grin at your daddy when I do it. :)

How sweet you smell when we get you out of the bathtub. I wish I could bottle that baby scent.

How you have decided you love bathtime, which you used to be very apprehensive of. You love to eat your bath toys, splash in the water, and put your hand under the running water.

How you adore your exersaucer, and will bounce and bounce on your tip-toes until your little cheeks are flushed.

How you still love your snugabunny bouncy seat, even though your bottom almost grazes the ground when we bounce you.

How you beam at your daddy when he plays peekaboo with you in the kitchen when I'm feeding you.

How you do your "conduct the symphony" hands and find them utterly fascinating.

How you attack your bottle like it is the last one on the planet.

How you can be oh-so-dramatic when you have to do something you don't like (i.e. sit in your high chair).

How you hate to have your nose wiped (and who could blame you?)

How you scared us to death with your high temp of 105, but amazingly, still managed to laugh.

How you are always so happy in the morning, no matter what kind of night you had.

How you love to give kisses, and how you grab my face with both hands to plant one on me.

How you get so serene and peaceful when we go for stroller walks in the late afternoons. Without fail, it instantly calms you. You are such an outdoor baby.

How you manage to do at least one adorable thing every single day, and how you have made my heart grow tenfold since the day you arrived.

How you have made me a better version of myself, and though I often don't know what the heck I'm doing, your smiles make me feel like I'm doing something right. 

Words can't do justice to how my heart swells with love for you, my beautiful baby girl. Thank you for giving me the honor of my life in letting me be your mom. It is the best job I have ever had.

3 Month Photo

Maggie, 3 months (photo compliments of Lindsey Smith)

Who is a little behind? This sweet thing turns 9 months next week, but this photo was just too beautiful not to post. We loved it so much, we used it for our 2011 Christmas card, with the caption "Best Gift Ever" because she absolutely is.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Maggie's Monthly Milestones: 3 Months!

Oh Maggie, when you read this when you are a teenager (if blogs are still around then) don't be embarrassed when you see that I am a big ball of emotions tonight. I am writing you this on Thanksgiving Eve, and I have such a full, happy, grateful heart that it might just overflow. It is after midnight and I'm thinking about all the things I have to be thankful for this year, but you absolutely top the list. I think back to Thanksgiving last year, and how you weren't even a twinkle in our eye yet. I used November 19 as the start date in all my pregnancy calculators to tell me when you would arrive, and now here we are, a year later, and you are alive and well, making your dad and I fall in love with you more every minute. How could I have known the joy you would bring? All I know is I simply cannot imagine life without you. You, my dear daughter, make Thanksgiving so much more special. How much sweeter life is with you in it!

So I've not been on top of our monthly photo sessions, and usually realize we need to do them a few days after your monthly birthday has passed, but your dad and I did sing happy birthday to you on your 3 month birthday. You smiled at us and my heart swelled. In fact, you smile at us a lot in the morning, which is just about the most perfect start to a day I could ask for. And we all know I am NOT a morning person. But you have made me become a lot less grumpy.
I have a closet full of adorable clothes for you, but I end up snapping your picture in whatever "play clothes" you happen to have on at the moment, because I don't have the heart to change you into something less comfortable and risk you having a meltdown before picture time. I kind of like that you're not all done up in your finest duds though, and that we capture you just as you are. Because you really are one cute kid (though you have taken after your dad in the picture-taking department and are not even remotely a fan).
However, because I did have to break down and buy you a proper smocked gown (and was a sucker for this hot pink number because you are absolutely infatuated with polka dots) I had to snap a quick picture of you in it. You seem to be debating if it was worth the outfit change.
So, since we have a trip down to Alabama planned for early tomorrow morning and Mommy needs to get her behind to bed, I'll go ahead and get to your monthly milestones. Oh and right now, I'm watching you sleep soundly on the monitor in your brand new Halo Sleep Sack - you have been busting out of your Miracle Blanket for about a week so we had to find a new trick. This seems to be working out nicely, because you have barely moved since we put you down. That's my girl...
Weight: 12 lbs, 6 oz. Goodness, you are growing! We actually went and got you weighed today, and got the thumbs up from the nurse on how you're tracking. Makes this mama so proud to know that breastfeeding is making you grow so big. I remember thinking I would never make it to three months nursing, but now I feel like I could do it in my sleep (and sometimes do!).
Height: ?? I'm not sure - we'll get this checked next month at your four month appointment, but I definitely put a onesie with footies on you the other night and your toes could have busted the seams. I reluctantly decided it was time to add those to the "officially outgrown" pile - man, they were one of my favorite pairs!
Clothes: 3-6 months. Though a few 0-3 month things will still work, you have pretty much outgrown all the clothes that took up the majority of your closet before you arrived. I loved how easy it was to put you in a short-sleeved onesie or even your Baptist Hospital t-shirt and a diaper for the first few months of your life, and am trying to get the hang of putting you in layers and long-sleeves! I've also started trying to put shoes on you - since you've been a barefoot baby for most of these first three months!
Eye color: Still a dark bluish-green. Here's hoping they'll stay hazel and not turn brown!
Doctor's orders: No visits to the doc other than the weight check-up. Your next appointment is on December 14 and you have to get the second round of shots. I truly hate those more than you do.
Biggest accomplishment: You have become Queen of Tummy Time! You really just got the hang of it this last week, but now you don't even cry when we put you down on your tummy. You'll sit up on those chubby arms and look at everything around you, cooing and sometimes even smiling. This is a big improvement, since before you had a three minute max! Also, one night last week you rolled over, which took you and us both by surprise!
How we spend our day: I started back working two weeks ago, but thankfully I'm in the office only two days a week and working from home the other three. You like to wake up around 7 a.m. and Dad gets you and brings you to our room so I can give you your breakfast feeding. You are usually pretty hungry but after about 20 minutes nursing, you lay back on our propped-up knees and give us the biggest and best smiles of the day while we play. You are so stinkin' happy in the morning, which you HAVE to get from your dad. After that, you go back down for a mid-morning nap, which is by far the longest one of the day. Once you wake up from that, I change you out of your pajamas and we do some kind of activity - tummy time, reading books, activity mat, etc. - until you get sleepy again and go back down for a nap in your Snugabunny seat, which you love. I try to get things done around the house or run errands until you wake up, then nurse again and have more play time. You've started to really like Baby Einstein, so sometimes I'll put on a video that you'll watch with wide-eyed wonder. When Dad gets home, I hand you over so he can get some "Maggie time" while I try to figure out something for dinner. He is wonderful to lend a helping hand or offer to pick something up, which I so appreciate. I used to love to come up with new things in the kitchen but I have no idea when I'll find the time to do that anytime soon, so I'm leaning on recipes from memory. After dinner, we have family playtime (or bathtime twice a week) and then you'll nurse once or twice more before going down for the night. You love to be swaddled and read to before bed - your current favorite book is "Bear Snores On." I try to loosely follow the acronym E.A.S.Y. which I read about in Secrets of A Baby Whisperer, which is Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time. It seems to work really well for you, unless you're going through a growth spurt and it's more like, Eat, Eat, Eat, Sleep!
Likes: All the same things from 2 months - early mornings playing in the bed with mom and dad, polka dots in any form or fashion - you will just stare at them as if you are mesmerized!, and being swaddled when you're sleepy. You also seem to like when I sing the ABC's and Pat-A-Cake, seeing yourself in the mirror, your new Play and Learn Puppy your Uncle Dan bought you, and inspecting your toes when you're sitting up - which you're doing so well! You can sit up in your bumbo without help now, and love to be facing out when you're sitting on a lap.
Dislikes: You seem to be warming up more and more to bath time, so I wouldn't even consider it a dislike anymore. You definitely don't like outfit changes, which we have to do quite frequently because of your tendency to have the occasional "blowout."
Trips You've Taken: We've pretty much stayed put this month, since you traveled so much last month, but we've still taken you out to restaurants and twice to church. You slept through the entire service both times, despite the loud worship music. I know we're probably pushing our luck, but you're such a good baby, we can't help it!
Sweetest Moment: Seeing your Dad get down on the floor with you and helping you to do Tummy Time, or really just seeing him with you anytime. He is so in love with you, Maggie. And I fall more in love with him when I see the two of you together.
You are an absolute joy, Maggie, and though there are many times I've messed up and misread your cues or done something wrong, you are really such an easy baby. I am so excited that we get to experience our first holidays with you, and surround you with friends and family over these next few weeks. May you always know how much you are loved!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Maggie's Monthly Milestones: Two Months!

Oh Maggie, I cannot believe you are two months old! So many people say the first two months are the hardest physically due to lack of sleep, breastfeeding, etc., but I've found that they are definitely the most emotionally rewarding as well. I am so smitten with you, and am trying my best to sear all of these sweet moments with you into my memory, as they are going by so fast. I look back over the hundreds (literally) of pictures we have taken of your first two months of life, and you have changed so much already. I love seeing what new thing you'll do next!

I feel like I finally hit my stride on the mom thing around 6 weeks with the whole where-do-you-find-time-to-do-anything-other-than-stare-at-your-child routine. I woke up one day recently and realized I was halfway through my maternity leave before I go back to work part-time. Don't think I didn't hug you a little tighter that day. Being home with you these first months has been pure bliss. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, and I am so thankful I took as much time as I did to enjoy seeing the world through your beautiful blue-green eyes and didn't rush back to work. Best decision I ever made, other than marrying your daddy.

Speaking of, let me just tell you how crazy your daddy is about you. I knew the moment he met you in the hospital and had those big tears in his eyes that you had him wrapped, but you've managed to melt him even more over these first few weeks. I used to make fun of him and call him the Tinman because of how little emotion he would show, but you have come along and started to change all that. He loves to kiss us both before he leaves for work (he says sometimes we're even sleeping in the same position), call and check and see "how his girls are doing" throughout the day, and most of all, come home after a long day's work and scoop you up in his arms for some "Maggie time." He has a position he likes to put you in where you stare right in his eyes, with your arms hanging loosely by your side, and you get all relaxed and comfy and it looks like you feel completely secure. And you should, sweet baby, because he works his tail off for us. That's how I get to shop for you all the time. :)

Life with you is better than I could have ever imagined. Truly. You have turned our world upside down, but it is a more beautiful and complete world because you are here.

So let's see your stats, shall we?

Weight: 10 lbs, 7 oz. We're in the double digits! Your dad and I made a bet on what your weight would be at your 2 month appointment, and what a surprise to see you surpass both of our guesses! This put you in the 50th percentile, up from the 15th percentile at your 2 week visit. The doctor was very proud of you, and so was I! I believe we've finally gotten the hang of breastfeeding, and thankfully, it seems to be working!

Height: 23 inches (75th percentile - you must get that height from your dad and not me)

Look what a good patient you are!

Clothes: 0-3 months. I had to pack up all of your sweet, tiny newborn clothes after finally realizing how hard it was getting to get them over your head when I change you. I'm not afraid to admit it tugged on my heart a little to put them away.

Eye color: Dark bluish-green. They still could turn brown like mine, but I'm hoping they'll be hazel like your dad's!

Doctor's orders: I was dreading our two month check-up a little, since I knew you were getting those first immunization shots and I had a sneaking suspicion I would cry just as much as you did. Turns out I was right. It broke my heart to see you smiling and cooing the whole time, and then have you let out the saddest cry when they poked you. Dad took off work to go with us and be my moral support, which I definitely needed. You were fine by the time we got out to the car, but I could hardly put you down the rest of the afternoon! Made me so thankful for your health - I simply cannot imagine what some parents go through like those in the NICU, seeing their children hurt. I thank God everyday how happy and healthy you are.

Biggest accomplishment: That first big, beautiful smile! Oh, my heart just melted into a little pool on the floor when you flashed it at me. You are so happy after your first feeding in the morning, and the minute I'm done nursing you, you look up at me and give me the sweetest grin. You're also holding your head up now, and trackings lots of things with your eyes. You love the polka dots on your carseat, and the birds on your mobile in the snugabunny seat. And best of all, you are STILL a sensational sleeper! Once we got the doctor's orders to let you go at night and not wake you every three hours, you've gotten into a routine in these last few weeks of going to bed around 11 pm, and you usually sleep until 6 or 7 am! Those are the same hours we had before you arrived - how thoughtful you are to let us continue and keep them! Finally, your dad would probably say it was a big accomplishment to move you into the guest room. We did that right before your two month birthday, and though I hated having you across the hall, I have been quite proud of how well you have done in there. I don't think you even notice the train that runs practically in our backyard. Perhaps our biggest accomplishment this month was having our first date night, and leaving you with your favorite babysitter, Katy. Your dad and I were invited by one of his clients to see Sheryl Crow play a private concert at the Ryman, and we got all gussied up and had a date. I only texted Katy twice to check on you, which I thought was completely justified. You did great for her but I couldn't wait to get my hands on you when we got home!

How we spend our day: I've decided that this was hands-down the best time to have a baby. The weather has been so perfect for our neighborhood strolls, and you still seem to love being outside and feeling the fresh air - sometimes it instantly calms you. I have loved seeing summer turn into fall with you, and especially enjoy seeing the changing leaves, the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes, and the start of football with new eyes - it's been so nice to stop and slow down rather than go, go, go all the time. Your'e good for me like that.

Likes: Early mornings playing in the bed with mom and dad - your favorite time to smile! Also, i've discovered you love polka dots - on my padded armrest on your carseat, on the nursery curtains, anywhere you can find them! You still seem to like being swaddled, though sometimes you'll bust out and we'll find you with your arms up by your head in the morning. Your new favorite position is being held over my shoulder - I love it because you just fit right into the crook of my neck, and I can kiss the top of your fuzzy little head.

Dislikes: Bathtime, though you seem to be warming up to it, slowly but surely. You're also not a fan of being woken up, having your diaper changed, and being put on your tummy for tummy time...but really, who would enjoy those things?

Trips You've Taken: What a traveler you have been this month! We've gone to visit both sets of grandparents on back-to-back weekends, first to Virginia (a 9 hour car ride that usually takes 6) and then to Alabama. If anything, you're teaching us that we can't plan like we used to, as the on-the-road nursing and changing stops you need dictate our arrival these days. We've also had the Turman family come visit us, and it was so much fun having all of your cousins ooh and aah over you. You've also gone to your first football game, seeing Vanderbilt defeat Ole Miss, though we only came for the last quarter.

I didn't want to push my luck, but you slept just about the whole time. We also took you to church for the first time, and even to brunch afterward at our new favorite spot, The Garden Brunch Cafe. I got the Bananas Foster pancakes, which were to DIE for. Better enjoy eating things like that while I'm nursing and burning those calories!

Uncle Chris and Aunt Treva came to visit you over Labor Day Weekend

Mimi came too and covered you in kisses!

Logan, McKenzie and Lucas all wanted to hold you

You and your handsome daddy after church at the Garden Brunch Cafe

Cousin Audrey holding you for the first time

Granddad was a big fan of your gameday outfit

Perfectly at ease with your namesake, Aunt Margaret

Your first time meeting your Uncle Andrew

Sweetest Moment: Without a doubt, that first ear-to-ear smile. I will do just about anything I can to get it out of you because it absolutely melts me. And thankfully, you love to give it! Sometimes, I'll even get a coo or a giggle to go along with it - I think it's your way of saying you love me too. :)

Here's a sneak peek of the next post - Maggie's first photo shoot!

And after that, I've got to do a recap of her labor and delivery story. I must get it down before I forget the details! Let's just say that it was not according to plan (as in no time for an epidural), but worked out absolutely perfectly. From moment one, Maggie has been full of surprises!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maggie's Monthly Milestones: Month 1

In an attempt to remember all these precious "firsts" of Maggie's life, I decided to start a monthly installment called "Maggie's Monthly Milestones." I do love good alliteration. :)

Maggie, at one month old, here you are!

Weight: 8.1

Height: 21 inches

Clothes: Newborn (you probably could have worn preemie those first few weeks though)

Eye color: A beautiful dark blue

Doctor's orders: At your two week check-up, doc said you were doing great! He told us to keep up the feed every three hours routine, and then let you go at night. Made our day to hear that, since you have proven you are quite the little sleeper. (You take after your mom like that).

Biggest accomplishment: Sleeping for a 6 hour stretch. Could you please keep that up?

Funniest moment: On our way to a pediatrician appointment, you had quite a blowout that your lucky Daddy got to change, since Mom was getting ready. Upon coming into the nursery to see if we were ready to go, I see a stack of diapers, wipes, a change of clothes, and a very overwhelmed look on Dad's face as he said "I don't think you understand what just happened here." You had a very pleased look on your face - I think you were pretty proud of your first BIG poopy diaper!

How we spend our day: Since we are breastfeeding (and loving it now that we have the hang of it), we start the day with a nursing session in bed, while Mom watches the Today Show when she's not watching your little jaws work. After Mom's cup of coffee (welcome back, beloved java), we go for a midmorning walk in your stroller, since you seem to love to be outside and in anything that moves, though you typically sleep the entire time. We really took advantage of the beautiful weather, and the exercise combined with breastfeeding helped Mom get back to her pre-pregnancy weight pretty quickly. Once we're back home, we nurse again, then you're usually back to sleep for an afternoon nap on the sofa (surrounded by your boppy) while Mom tries to get things done around the house, though I usually just want to stare at you! Once Dad gets home from work, he gets his Maggie time by giving you a bottle of breast milk and taking over diaper duty. You usually go back to sleep while we eat dinner, and then nurse twice more before bedtime. Bedtime varies from day to day - it could be midnight or it could be 2 a.m., but you do love sleeping in your pack and play in our room, and have been sleeping there since your first night home. Mom has the camera set up in the bedroom so she can look at you on the monitor at anytime - and does so often through the night to be sure you're still there!

Likes: Being swaddled, being read to at bedtime, being held by all your visitors, short sleeved onesies or your Baptist t-shirts (they are the easiest for changing), going for rides in your carseat or your stroller, and taking a nap in your swing!

Dislikes: Bathtime, though you seem to be warming up to it, slowly but surely. Being woken up, having your diaper changed, and being put on your tummy for tummy time.

Trips You've Taken: We've made you quite the foodie! You've been to Taco Mamacita for lunch, Germantown Cafe for Sunday brunch, and Jimmy Kelly's for dinner during Restaurant Week. Also, two trips to the pediatrician, one trip to the grocery store, and two trips to Target!

Sweetest Memory: Seeing you smile in your sleep. It absolutely melts Mommy's heart. I can't wait until you actually smile AT us!

Until next month, my love. Thank you for making this the best month of my life!

Friday, September 16, 2011


Miss Margaret Mae "Maggie" Turman!

She arrived on August 16, 2011, weighing 6 lbs, 10 oz. and 19.5 inches long. I had quite the labor story, with an unexpectedly natural labor (no epidural!) that took only 2.5 hours, from my water breaking at 11:45 p.m., arriving at the hospital at 1:15 a.m., and hearing her first cry when she came into the world at 2:20 a.m. Best moment of my life.

Her proud daddy is completely smitten. :)

10 tiny fingers, 10 tiny toes!

Angel. Baby.

Modeling her hospital door sign, lovingly made by an Etsy vendor right here in Nashville and announcing her name, which we had kept a secret. It was quite the hit with our nurses!

Our second morning together, in one of the rare moments I took my eyes off of her.

Heading home from the hospital! Daddy has never driven more carefully in all his life.

As IF I could sit anywhere but right beside her.

I had to be able to look at this adorable little face the whole way home. :)

My Maggie,

Since the moment we met you one month ago today, we have fallen so in love with you. It is absolutely, without a doubt, the purest love I have ever known. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of heaven by showing us how beautiful life can be. You are such a good baby, and have inherited my ability to sleep just about anywhere! You love your carseat, your swing, and your walks in your stroller, and can sleep in all three with ease. You also love the bassinet in your pack-and-play, and thankfully, have slept there every night since you were born. We learned early on the swaddle is a game-changer, and have mastered the art of rolling you like a burrito to help you sleep soundly, though you've already started trying to bust those arms out.

You are completely at ease being held by all of your admirers, from our families who came to see you that first day in the hospital, to our friends who have steadily visited (and brought lots of lifesaving delicious dinners) in the weeks since you came home. We've passed you around like a hot potato, and love seeing how content you are in everyone's arms. You always seem to fit best in mine though. :)

You're quite the foodie, having visited three of our favorite restaurants in your first month - Taco Mamacita for lunch, Germantown Cafe for Sunday Brunch, and Jimmy Kelly's for a fabulous dinner during Restaurant Week - and slept through each with complete and total ease. You weighed 7 pounds, 5 oz at your last checkup with the pediatrician, so you've gotten back up to your birth weight after getting down to 5 lbs, 14 oz, and then some! You love to eat and can get fussy if you don't get fed exactly when you're ready for it, but who doesn't get ornery when they're hungry? You seem to equally enjoy nursing from me and taking a bottle of breast milk from Daddy when he gets home from work, so we hope to keep up that routine as long as you'll let us. Your Daddy took two whole weeks off from work to be with you, which went by in a blur. We didn't know what date it was, but we sure loved laughing over every funny face you made, and capturing everything on camera we could!

You have your daddy's long fingers and toes, and your mom's microscopic toenails. Though it's still hard for us to tell who you favor, your Dad thinks you have my lips, and I think you have his pretty eyes. You have our olive complexion and dark hair, and are starting to rock a pretty solid mullet with more hair in the back than on top! I have lots of pretty bows ready and waiting for you, but we'll have to wait until you get a little more hair first.

All the sleepless nights, diaper blowouts, and marathon nursing sessions are so very worth seeing your sweet face when we wake up each morning. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and awe that we get to be your parents, and we love you more than you will ever know.

Happy One Month, sweet Maggie. May the months go by slowly so we can savor every moment!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

37 Week Bumpdate - We're Full Term, Baby!

Photo taken at 36 weeks, but I'm actually 37 weeks tomorrow!

So here we are at 37 weeks, folks. It's pretty surreal to be sitting here on the sofa typing this post on a lazy Saturday afternoon, knowing Mr. T is in the nursery putting a surprise finishing touch on the nursery, feeling yet another Braxton-Hicks contraction, then looking down and see this little lump move across my big, bodacious belly, knowing we are three weeks and counting from meeting our little girl. Who as you can tell from the picture, is very clearly running out of room in the womb. I can now tell which lumps are her feet (always kicking me on my right side), and which one is her cute little bottom (just to the left of my belly button). At my doctor's appointment last Friday, the doctor confirmed she is still head down, my cervix has softened, and I'm about 70% effaced. WHOA. That means it's almost showtime. And whereas a week ago I was freaking out about that, all of a sudden in the past week I have become so, so ready. I'll let the bumpdate below explain why:

Symptoms: Hmmm, which one to choose? Sadly, the pregnancy insomnia is back with a bang. Four times this past week I've woken up around 3 a.m. to use the bathroom, all to come back to bed and toss and turn for two hours straight. Sometimes it's because I can't get comfortable, sometimes it's because she's keeping me company with an acrobatic act, and sometimes it's because I'm thinking of all of the things I still need to take care of before that fateful moment when I say, "it's time." I'll think of things I need to pack, wash, organize or do, and then I have to fight the urge to get up and do them right then so I won't forget. Because that's the other big thing I've noticed lately - I'm forgetting LOTS these days. I actually read today that your brain cells do actually decrease in the third trimester, and lemme just tell you, I am living proof. I literally panicked the other day and couldn't remember if I had written a thank you note to a dear friend. Turns out I hadn't...for a gift she had gotten us two months ago. Awesome. Thankfully, she totally understood my forgetfulness, but now I have learned my lesson and am tracking those thank you's more than ever!

Weight Gain: So they say there are early gainers and late gainers in pregnancy. Clearly, I am the latter. I was feeling semi-proud of myself for keeping things in check up until about 34 weeks and then WHAM! I started packing the pounds on like nobody's business. According to my trusty books, the baby went through a growth spurt a few weeks ago and gained a 1/2 pound per week, which also seemed to showed up on me! I went from being able to still wear some of my more forgiving regular clothes and bottoms with my belly band to literally wearing nothing but maxi dresses and maternity jeans or pants. Thank goodness it is summertime and sundresses and flip flops are expected. Because that is about all I can rock these days. I'm up to about 20 pounds, with three more weeks to go. We were able to get an ultrasond and see that Baby T is measuring almost 6 pounds a week ago, so we have both gone through a growth spurt. Within the last week, I've had some pretty significant swelling in my hands and feet, so much so that I'm down to about two pairs of shoes I can comfortably wear. Bye bye, fun high heels, hello flats. Which becomes barefoot the minute I get home from work. Poor tootsies.

What's different: Um, everything. I have truly loved every minute of being pregnant up until about two weeks ago. Long story short, we had a little scare that sent us on an unexpected trip to the hospital. We went on a little "last time for just the two of us trip" over the weekend and I started feeling pretty crummy pretty much the minute we left. (Sidenote: we have decided we are cursed on trips - I was sick the first three days of our honeymoon, sick the entire week of our one year anniversary because I was six weeks pregnant, and sick on our babymoon. What gives?) After calling the doctor on call after things kept getting worse, she thought we should get up early on Sunday and come into the hospital. I could really tell the baby had been less aftive when we were driving back, and once we were admitted, I asked them to check her on the fetal monitor. Five minutes and several alarmed looks later, they rushed me to Labor and Delivery, finally telling me that the baby's heart rate was 205 - scary high. Turns out that I was dehydrated and had an infection, and she was simply mimicing my symptoms, bless her heart. Talk about scary - we went from the doctor telling us we might need to do a c-section that night to getting her moving and her heart rate back in the normal range in about two hours flat. The positive that came from all of that was that we got a trial run of what to expect at the hospital (the staff was amazing, which was such a comfort) and also a lesson in how we are so not in control of any of this. It made us realize how lucky we've been throughout this whole pregnancy, and how her health, and mine, has been such a blessing. I think we needed that reminder.

Cravings: The other night while getting ready to watch the way-overrated Bachelorette finale, I absolutely, positively had to have a brownie. Brownie a la mode, actually. But I didn't want to bake a full pan for fear I would be tempted to devour the whole thing, so on an impulse, I ordered a Chocolate Thunder From Down Under from Outback. Mr. T picked it up and when he showed up with it, I devoured it in about five minutes flat. It wasn't pretty, but it was sooooooo worth it. And the baby kicked in delight for a good thirty minutes afterward. I think she likes sweets too.

Aversions: None!

Sleep: Not the greatest. But trying to enjoy it as much as I can, while I can!

I am loving: Sitting in the nursery and rocking in my chair. Listening to her dad read Dr. Seuss books to her at bedtime. Having the hospital bags packed and knowing we're ready when it's time to go. Sterilizing her sweet little pacis and washing her tiny little clothes. The smell of Dreft. Looking in my rearview mirror and seeing her carseat. Opening her closet and staring at her adorable clothes for the 100th time. And more than anything, knowing I will meet her soon.

I really miss: Sleeping on my stomach. Like, for real. That is going to feel like heaven in a few weeks. When I do get to actually sleep...

I am looking forward to: Meeting her, seeing her face for the first time, and telling her in person how much I love her, rather than having her hear it through the gurgle of my stomach. Plain and simple.

I'm spazzing about: The crazy, unbelievable, amazing thing my body is about to do. In one way, I'm totally in awe of all that is happening even now to prepare me for birthing this baby. And in another, I keep thinking "how in the world am I going to do this?" Is that normal?

Movement: Every day! We confirmed she is head down, and like I mentioned earlier, I can tell where all her little limbs are now. Sometime when I touch her foot, she moves it in response. I think she's ticklish. :)

Milestone: Baby T is now 19-22 inches long and weighs about 6.5 pounds. She's busy making last-minute preparations for life in the real world by simulating breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, sucking on her thumb, blinking and pivoting from side to side (though I can tell she has a favorite position). We are officially full term, and would gladly welcome her any day now, but my doctor seems to think I'm tracking right on time for my 8/28 due date. Wow, next time I post, I could be a mom!!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Party Inspiration

Well I satisfied my craving for a chocolate dip cone last night, but whether it was the hot, humid weather we walked in to get said treat or the fact that the ice cream cone immediately went to my fingers, my ring finger was so swollen that I couldn't get my wedding rings off and proceeded to have a minor meltdown when we got home. And by minor meltdown I mean a total come-apart. I slathered cocoa butter on that baby and followed Mr. T's suggestion to put ice on it, but it took both of us to get them off. So I will be sporting my faux ring from now on, because the thought of having my rings sawed off makes me want to cry big fat crocodile tears. No thanks.

On a happier note, I came across the most adorable idea for a gender reveal party the other day, which I thought I would share. I've always been a bit skeptical of these parties, especially with the idea of throwing one myself, but this one truly is the cutest thing I have ever seen. They did a duckling theme, and my favorite part is use of a fun gender-neutral yellow in the paper goods and most definitely the "Waddle It Be?" on the invite. Just check out this eye candy...(click photos to enlarge or view on blog).

Is that not adorable or what?

As for us, we elected to call our families the nano-second we got in the car after leaving the doctor's office at our 16 week appointment because we were bursting at the seams, and pretty much had our baby girl's name picked out within two days. And though we are keeping it a secret from friends (which has driven everyone crazy but everyone with kids tells us is a fabulous idea), we call her by name every single day. And might I say, from the first time we said it out loud, we knew it was absolutely perfect. (And don't worry, as a girl from the south, I do have a few things monogrammed with her name that are ready for her arrival).
5 weeks and counting, y'all!
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