Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Showered at School!


You are SUCH a lucky boy! Mommy's school friends threw a shower for you at school and it is very obvious the we are blessed! You got so many kind, generous and thoughtful gifts today and I cannot WAIT until you are here and using them!!! Lots of soft blankets, cute onesies, fun toys and so many sweet little cards and personal things! I am just overwhelmed at how much love was shown today!

The best part is that there was so much FUN! Right before the shower, mommy realized that she had lost her diamond ring! It has been bothering my finger terribly, mostly because of swelling, and I took it off and put it on my pinkie finger. I planned on putting it RIGHT IN MY WALLET, but got caught up doing something and realized about 10 minutes before that it was GONE! Talk about freaking out!!!!! Auntie Deb and Auntie Tracy started looking all over, and we put an all-call out on the speaker in case anyone found it! Little did I know that at the same time we were looking for my ring, Deb, Tracy and the rest of the school were also looking for the UPS man....who had the decorations for the shower! So, the all-call was, "If you find a diamond ring, please turn it in to the office. If you find the UPS man, GET HIM!" THANKFULLY, we found the ring....and then Deb and Tracy said, "Well, we have to tell you. The UPS guy has the decorations. They were supposed to be here by noon and they're still not here and well, we have to go down to the shower."

I nearly peed my pants laughing! I know if I had been planning it, I'd have been disappointed like they were also, but honestly, after being so relieved that the ring was there and just being so grateful that friends at school wanted to do something nice for us, who cared about the decorations? I sure didn't...and it was JUST the type of story that I want to remember about a shower! Somehow, the more the fiasco, the better...and really, it's just a lesson in laughing, because really, what else can you do?

So, we headed down to the media center and started to hang out for a few and guess what showed up? The DECORATIONS!!! Ha ha! Bless their hearts, everybody started to tear the box open and get the favors and decorations out and up! It was so comical, but just so perfect! All in all, it was a great time, there was a lot of fun and laughing and I was just enveloped in so many thoughtful and kind wishes. I'm glad you were there for it...although you were kicking me the whole time and I was having some Braxton Hicks!!!

Here are a few pictures from the are a very lucky and loved boy!

Hanging the decorations that made it!

Auntie Deb and Auntie Tracy...I don't even look (that) pregnant!

Isn't this clothesline of gifts ADORABLE? You should see the cute basket it was in!

Isn't this card the SWEETEST???

HOLY COW are you a lucky little boy!!!! I'm a lucky mommy!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

32 Weeks...

Matthew is not necessarily following in his mommy's footsteps these days...I typically aim for (or not, just luckily make it into) the top percentage for just about everything. Only 3% odds of blah blah blah? Count me in. (In fact, right now, that's where I am with him still being breech) Less than 1% chance of blah blah blah happening? Yep, that'll be where you'll find me. Having that happen.

Matthew, however, has decided he wanted to drop some percentage points and has now gone from the 38th%tile for growth to the 22nd%tile. Dr. Sweeney said that was not a big deal because A) I'm little and odds are, Matthew will be little; and B) He's gained a whole pound in a month, and that's great. So, he weighs a hefty 3 lbs., 6 oz. and I'm happy with that. I was only 4 lbs., 2 oz. when I was born and I was full-term. Of course, I don't want my boy to end up as small as I am, but like Grandma pointed out, he has a cousin who was in the 5 pounder range when she was born and she's just dandy now. So....he wasn't very cooperative for pictures so all we have is a little foot picture. We got to see his face a bit, and the cheeks are definitely chubbing out! He was all crunched and the cord was in front of him, so the 3D pictures were just sort of scary and unrecognizable. Room's getting more and more sparse, I guess!

Still only one kidney. Like that surprises me. We go back in 4 weeks, and that will probably be the last appointment with the specialist. The one is functioning just fine, amniotic fluid looked fine, placenta looked, "young," and from my visit yesterday, things were "tight and closed," so all seems well for him to cook a bit longer. I am only doing half days until next week and then 4 full days with the long-term sub next week, but she'll be there if I need to sit or leave. I must was a long day. I'm really going to be glad when next week is over and I can relax a bit more. I hate leaving my kids in such a lurch, but at this point, not many other options.

Matthew, you need to be very glad that your daddy has a good job and has put money in savings so that mommy can take time off and let you grow. I am thankful for that blessing every day. I just don't know how I could physically keep going at school too much longer, and I am just so, so, so grateful that I don't have to.

Maybe that's when Matthew will really plump up!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Matthew Does the ER

Well, John always tells me that he can't believe I am immune to the "beep...beep....beep....beep" sound the answering machine constantly when we have messages, but he's right, I am. I am HORRIBLE at checking messages. HORRIBLE. That's what I have caller ID for. Of course, it helps when I check it thoroughly too.

Had I, on Friday, I would have gotten the message from my OBGYN telling me to go to the ER. Unfortunately, I didn't get that message until last night. And boy, oh boy, last night I had some heavy duty Braxton Hicks contractions and almost DID go...but knew I was going to talk with my OB this morning so I just rode them out.

Then, when I talked to their office this morning, they said to go directly to the ER and rule out a blood clot in my leg and check those cramps out.

And after spending the entire day in the ER, the following was found:
  • I do NOT have a clot. Thank God. Without being too invasive, they can only surmise that the extra weight I am putting on my feet, plus probably leaning more to one side since my back hurts so much on the other side is maybe pressing or pinching a nerve and I need to stay off my feet as much as I can. Not bedrest, just take it easy and stay off feet if I don't have to.
  • I have been having some strong Braxton Hicks contractions. I'm not dilated or preterm, thank God, but again, need to just take it easy.
  • I DO have a UTI. Which is actually surprising, since I have had not one symptom of that. I still don't believe it, but John's not letting me get away without taking the meds and thinks the doctor has no reason to make it up, so I guess he has a point. Ahh...the joys of being a teacher and having to ration your bathroom breaks.
  • Matthew is STILL quite a monkey! The poor nurse had to basically move and hold the monitor to get his heartbeat because he just kept moving. Oh yeah, he's wiggler! Big time. I love it.
  • I am SOOOO back on the epidural and/or "General Anesthesia, wake up and there's your baby" train after today! After the birthing class, I thought, "I bet I could do that with just the Stadol or something like that...I want to do what's best for Matthew." Well, I've decided that if Matthew's mommy is DEAD from the pain, then that's not good for him and I'm going to have to do the drugs. I blame this all on the internal exam...and I loved the nurse's comment: "This 'aint nothing." Dear Lord, I can only imagine something.'s about to be done, whether I choose it or not, and I'm going to take the advice of taking it easy and letting my little monkey get bigger and hopefully move into the right position. Tomorrow we see the specialist, so we'll see him again. I bet he's going to be moving....that's his favorite thing to do!

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Matthew--your first game was fabulous! Take out the fact that mommy's back and ribs were KILLING her, there was rain ALL DAY LONG, we had some slight ticket issues (all worked out for the best) and the porta-potties pretty much made me want to throw up and daddy and I can still unequivocally say that it was SO worth it! No one thought we'd beat Miami and yet--we not only beat them, we KILLED them! We went with our long-time Hokie friends Kevin and Melissa and Chris and Bridgette and had a great time. Two weeks ago, when we planned this trip, I was feeling much more mobile than I currently am, so I was sort of wondering what the heck I was thinking yesterday. Then, standing in the stadium with 66,000+ other people, I remembered: I was thinking that I was a Hokie and that's just what we do. We suck it up and pull it off.

We bought you a couple of cute little things to get you started. I loved Auntie Nanci's Facebook comment about helping you take a path down the Wahoo road, but rest assured, just in the shirt I was wearing yesterday, you've already been branded a future Hokie!

Mommy is wearing a shirt that says, "Future Hokie" and has an arrow pointing to YOU!

Beginning the tailgate process. It's raining, but just getting started!

Rain's getting a bit heavier. Introducing the Great Pumpkin.

After we've tailgated...and are headed to the game. Wet, but not drenched. Yet.

Before we headed to our seats, Melissa and I took a bathroom break!

We met up with Daddy and Uncle Kevin...who thought it was funny to take a picture of my back because I had my pillow under my poncho and I looked like a Hunchback. Nice.

You TOTALLY loved this cookie! SO DID I!

Thursday, September 24, 2009




On another note...yes, I do think the pregnancy tracker picture for this week is sort of creepy. Mala pointed it out, and in truth, I hadn't even looked at it. Upon further examination, yikes. Maybe it's a good thing it's dark in there.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Sit down and take a load off..."

Or don't. Because sitting is just about the worst thing you can do for your lumbar system (or whatever it's called) and puts more pressure on your poor backbones than standing any day. Or it can. And in my case, it does. My chiropractor said that sitting was awful and then gave me some paper that had all the different amounts of pressure exerted on your spine with various positions. Yep, sitting is not good. Laying flat is best, walking/standing is ok and sitting is the worst. So, as sweet and helpful and kind as it is to have people tell me, "Sit down, take a load off," or "My goodness, look at your feet!!! Sit down!!" it doesn't help. According to my OB-GYN, unless I am laying down with feet above heart, swelling will happen. And folks, that just doesn't happen when you teach second grade. OR when you spend two full days in the worst chairs in the world at workshops. So...the countdown is officially on until I am able to be home, relax a bit, go to the bathroom when I have to and let Matthew just grow. October 16 is it.

On a funnier note (because the back pain right now is SO not funny!), last night when weighing myself, I hit 125. (Remember I was 97 pounds when I got pregnant.) John said, "Hmmmm....when we got married I was 100 pounds heavier than you were. Now I'm only 50. You're sure gaining." Ha ha...he's so funny. And what perspective--I now weigh only 50 pounds less than my 6 foot Marine husband. And I'm not even 5 feet. And I'm continuing to gain. Super!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

For comparison...

Well, on April 27, I looked like the snake that ate the mouse:

And now, on September 20, I look like the snake that ate one million mice...or a very weird-shaped yoga ball:

Yep, same dress. Pre-pregnancy bought, by the way....thank GOD stretchy fabrics have been in!

On another, very important note (because the two belly pictures were soooooo important, right?), all through church this morning, I had things I wanted to say to Matthew (who, as always, was thoroughly enjoying the worship music!) and must write them now to make sure he always knows where mommy stands.

In Sunday School, we are doing a study that focuses on the question, "Do all religions lead to God?" and it is very interesting. It is thought provoking, challenging and convicting. The most important thing I got out of it this morning was this: There really are three questions one must ask to be a Christian and to know that even in this world of relativism and what's good for you may not be good for me blah blah blah....there IS truth. Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic or LORD.

Jesus was NOT a liar. Not only are there tons of historical documentations out there that back up many claims made by Him in the Bible, research the top 5 religions of the world and see that even THEY revere Jesus as a respected and holy man...they don't necessarily see Him as the resurrected son of God, but the respect that Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and others give Jesus as a holy man and/or prophet should be somewhat of an indicator that even founders of those religions did not believe Him to be a liar...lest He not be worthy of their respect.

He was NOT a lunatic. He may have made claims that in His day were considered heresy and unbelievable, but again, look at historical documentation and see that His claims and miracles were always backed by often multitudes of people. Lunatics claim crazy things and then nothing comes of them. Jesus made claims and did things that no one else could do, and astounded those who doubted. He proved Himself, though He did not have to, and lunatics simply cannot do that.

He is Lord. And because He is, we can believe Him and His promises. And Matthew, this morning, I couldn't stop crying thinking about how very blessed we are that He is faithful. It took over ten years, but He has given you to us and with every little kick and movement you make, you are a living and breathing testament to the fact that He is Lord and He knows the plans for you. All week long, I've had "Above All" in my head or on my Ipod in the car, and then lo and behold, we sang it church...and again, I just wanted to fall on my knees out of gratitude for what I have been given in my life...

Matthew, I want you to know--whenever you question or doubt or wonder--mommy's been there, trust me. Far more often than I'd like, if truth be told. But make no mistake, you are a wonderful and glorious creation sent to us directly from God. You are loved far more than you can imagine by your mommy and daddy, but Jesus's love for you is immeasurable. Whenever you are down, whenever you feel like you are alone and don't even know what in the world this world is about, remember that Jesus knows your heart and loved you enough to sacrifice His life for you...He loves you above all else, and I want you to always have the feeling of security and peace that comes in knowing that.


Laid behind a stone.

You lived to die,

Rejected and alone.

Like a rose,

Trampled on the ground,

You took the fall,

And thought of me,

Above all....

Friday, September 18, 2009

So I remember...

Matthew, you have been moving around ALLLLLLLLLLLLL DAY. Literally. For not having a lot of room in there, you sure are finding ways to move. A lot. What's going on in there?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Daddy does the nursery.

Well, I've been alluding to it, but have no choice now but to post the pictures! John got in last Thursday (yahoo!), recovered Friday and bright and early Saturday, was up and at 'em. I knew from that look on his face that it was not going to be a nice, relaxing Saturday. Nope. It was going to be a busy, productive one.

Ok. I was up for that. Sitting doesn't help my back one bit and really doesn't make a difference for the swelling in my feet! So....we hit Lowe's, and I am just thinking we will be *looking* at paint ideas for the room. Again, NOPE. John is gung ho to pick them out, has brought the picture insert from the bedding and is explaining to me that low VOC is a gimmick and as long as we air the room out with plenty of time, all will be fine with the paint. (I sort of lost the argument when I couldn't remember what VOC stood for and he just thought I was on the latest froo-froo bandwagon.) After deciding on the two tones of paint (something blue--maybe Blue Satin? and Cloth by Laura Ashley), we headed back toward the chair railing. We picked that out--well, he picked it out and I said, "Mmmhmmm," and as we walked by the flooring, John said, "Let's check that flooring out."

We walked down the aisle, looked at the flooring we had already sort of decided upon and lo and was on sale! At this point, I have decided that a nap was probably not happening, and John decided we might as well get the flooring too. Twelve boxes of the flooring later, and we were FINALLY on our way out. I was LOVING Lowe's that day because we asked if they were still giving a military discount (10%) and they WERE! This is often iffy, so we were feeling very lucky that day! That discount saved us over $70 and we essentially got all the things we needed to convert that room for quite a bit less than I expected. Again, thank GOD John can do all the work and was motivated to do so!

By the time we got home, it was late afternoon and I didn't have much expectation for productivity, but that boy of mine is DETERMINED, to say the least. I felt bad, so I helped him tape (he'll disagree, but I touched the roll) and painted the bottom part...or at least cut in the trim. WHICH, by the way, I HATE. I hate painting anyway, but cutting in the trim is the WORST. I just don't have the patience. In any event, Matthew decided he'd had enough of me being on all fours warbling around the bottom of the wall and told me to go take a nap. Yes, sir.

I left that room with the bottom blue painted and John starting the top walls. NO MORE THAN AN HOUR LATER, seriously, I woke up and he had finished painting all the walls, taken the carpet up, taken the padding up, and put down two or three rows of the flooring planks!! HOLY COW! I'm telling you, that daddy wanted that room done! He thankfully called it a night, but on Sunday after church, he finished the flooring and got part of the chair rail up! We had Dixie's agility stuff going on, but then he worked on it when we got back and has been squeezing work on it this last couple of days in between his real job.

Tonight--the payoff....he finished EVERYTHING today, put the crib together, moved the furniture back in and couldn't wait to show me when I got home. Unbelievable.

So...without further ado, here's the far. We still have some decorating to do, a bookshelf and chair to buy and a rug to find, but WOW has it come a long way!

The beginning...

AFTER...but no furniture yet

Introducing some of the stuff...and a huge me!

Dixie and mommy...all we need is a baby Matthew!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

30 Weeks...

Today we saw Dr. Polko for the 30 week appointment. Hard to believe that we are already at 30 weeks, yet another 10 weeks seems sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo long!!! Matthew is still breech, though Dr. Polko says she's seen babies turn as late as the day of delivery. I have no doubt that happens, but as Dr. Sweeney said, "Real estate is getting expensive in there," (referring to how cramped baby boy is right now), I'm not sure how easy that will be for him. So...options will be: a) Attempt manual inversion. Not my favorite choice and luckily not Dr. Polko's either. b) Wait until I go into labor and see where he is. If he's turned, super. If not, C-section, decision made that day. c) If he's still breech at 38 weeks, schedule a C-section for anytime after week 39. Probably my pick of all three, only because I like the knowing of the plan part. In any event, he still has 10 weeks to make his big move, but I seriously wonder as he has spent the last oh, 25 weeks or so right where he is...head right under my rib and feet tickling right below my belly button. Guess we'll cross that bridge as we get there and in the meantime, I see the doctor every other week now for the next 6 weeks and then weekly after. We see Dr. Sweeney again on the 29th and then again probably at the end of October, beginning of November and that will be all that we see of Matthew until he makes his debut. I'm getting very anxious about seeing him and what he will look like. I wish, wish, wish I had more infant pictures of me, but I don't. I know somewhere around is my newborn hospital picture but not yet have I come across it. I have several 'baby' pictures, but not many before 3-4 months...and not really many more after that....luckily, we have a few more of John, but I'm just dying to compare them and see this little miracle. Deep down, I hope he has something of his Grandma Jane's and something of his Granddad Ennis's---we still miss them so and nothing is as healing for loss as seeing your loved ones in new life. Whatever he looks like, we can't wait!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Matching dogs, matching clothes, matching bellies!

Today we took Dixie Belle to an open house for agility training that was for the members of the Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Maryland and surprisingly, she did well! A month ago when I signed on to take her, I figured that since we'd just lost Raleigh, it might be something good for Dixie to do and though I doubted John would be home, we could handle it because I doubted Dixie would be very interested in being agile. Ha ha. Well, John did come home (yahoo!) and Dixie surprised me with her confidence in attempting some of the obstacles. Granted, as we were all in line for the first practice of just walking over the jump things, she decided she was not going to participate and wriggled her way out of her collar, BUT....once we wrangled her back into her collar, she was impressive. So impressive that we signed her up for agility classes starting in October...nothing championship, mind you, but for an hour a week for five weeks, she'll be able to work out some energy, play, please her daddy and show her skills.

Another member of the group has a sweet pup Josie, who reminds us a lot of Dixie (though Josie is a bit more obedient!). Josie's mommy is also pregnant, about 2 weeks ahead of me. This just must show that by this point in pregnancy, one does not care to buy more clothes and will make do with what one has...we both showed up wearing similar outfits--right down to the bellies.

Boy, is my face looking FULL!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Mommy's day....

Oh boy...what a long day. I really ought to be in bed right now and will be shortly. I thought I'd blog about my comedy of errors day, though, for posterity of course.

I was EXHAUSTED getting up this am. Yesterday I felt tired I couldn't move for about 2 hours straight. Literally. Could not lift my arm....worried I may have strep throat as a teacher at school had it and was in school for a bit before she FINALLY went to the doctor. Anyway, I chalked it up to pregnancy and ragweed being awful.

Then today, my school nurse *advised* me that I should call my OB and tell them I've been in contact with some illnesses that would require treatment. I don't want to cause panic, and I doubt anything is going to come of it, but after talking to my OB, she said to go straight to my primary care doctor and be tested for a few things. So...though I feel a bit better today, I still am not 100% and my primary care nurse told me to come in tomorrow at 10. I have to see someone, for CDC purposes, and can't just get blood taken or a swab done. Lovely. As I said, I do not feel that I have anything other than sheer exhaustion and allergies, perhaps strep. In any event, since every medical professional I talked to today told me that it was better to be safe than sorry, I'm going to go along with them.

So...tired as I am, I stayed at school longer than I should have to get some stuff done before the long weekend (which will be really long since I have my wonderful friend Jenny coming to visit and I am psyched!) and I'll probably be there long tomorrow. As I drove home, John told me that mom's dog Lola had a *pooplosion* when she got home. This on the heels of us coming home the other day to Dixie having the same issues...for days. Nothing more fun than cleaning up poopy-butt all night long. So, I called mom to apologize for Dixie getting Lola sick and immediately knew something was amiss in MY house when I walked in. Apparently Dixie's flu-bug is not over. Hooray! More *pooplosion* to clean and poopy-butt too! Not to mention, more pepto to shove down her throat and more rice to cook for her for dinner.

I cleaned ALL things needing cleaning up and then while her rice was cooking, I started to clean my Spot-Bot (the BEST little carpet cleaner EVER!) out by filling the sink with hot, soapy water to suck it through the tubes and clean them out. Yeah...well, that didn't work so well. What instead happened was the little rubber filter on the dirty water container popped off and flooded the floor. The rugs bled. The water fled. Dixie came to check it out. It was a fiasco.

Long story short, I cleaned it all up, fixed it all, finished her rice, cleaned her up AGAIN, and FINALLY sat down with some of mom's beef stew she made for me before she left. Thank GOD for homemade beef stew. It makes everything better. Mostly.

I'm now going to bed and it is barely 8:00. About 2 hours later than I wanted, if you ask me. Matthew, I realize that I'll have many days like this with a wee one like you. The thing is, with you, at least at the end of pooplosion or something to that effect, there will be some snuggling involved. Dixie's pretty leery of me because I keep shoving pepto down her. Honestly, I can't blame her.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Let the Third Trimester Begin!

Well, it's official! We've made it to the third trimester and according to Dr. Sweeney, Matthew looks "like a million bucks!" Not quite, but close. Ha ha. Seriously, he's doing super. He was not being very cooperative and was all scrunched up so the pictures are not fabulous this time. Well, the face pictures, that is. Making daddy uber-proud, Matthew decided to show the world that he is ALL boy and quite boy at that. Matthew, mommy feels a little uncomfortable talking about your parts, but let's suffice it to say that Dr. Sweeney said what you lack in kidney, you CERTAINLY make up for in other places! He actually had a lot to say, but mommy will save those for your very private baby book because they were very funny little jokes about your private parts! He was impressed, though, I'll say that. I loved seeing you--you were 2 lbs., 6 oz. and that put you in the 38th percentile. I'm okay with you being a little less than average in size because it's not a huge distance from average and let's be real--your mommy is not a big gal. Based on your weight now and what you should gain in the next 12 weeks, you should weigh about 6-6.5 lbs when you are born. I am QUITE happy with that weight! Besides, your mommy was 4 lbs., 2 oz. and your daddy was 7 lbs., 3 oz., so that 6 lb-er weight is just a nice balance.

Grandma and I went and did a little shopping after and got some really cute little things at some great prices. I can't wait to see you in them!

Here are some pictures of you today...

This is your side profile. You were not very interested in showing your face, and you were sort of bunched actually look like you are running out of room in there! No wonder my tummy feels tight!

Here's your little foot...

Here's a 3D side can make out your little elbow blocking your face and right before the tech snapped this picture, it was very easy to tell your nose is your daddy's. Grandma says you have the Reynolds nose!

This is the 2D shot of your boy-ness. Very obvious, huh?

And here's the 3D shot that Dr. Sweeney walked into and with which he was very impressed! Daddy probably too! Your foot is covering your little eyes; your elbow is still bunched to the side and blocking the side of your face while sitting on top of your knee. Your leg looks like a real little leg and leads right to...well, your turtle. Looks like daddy's thumb, if you ask me.