Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Where does the time go????!

Okay, so time is just slipping away from me, as I knew it would. George is already over 2 weeks old! I can't believe it! (new stats: 6 lbs 15.5 ounces - he eats all the time!). He is so adorable and sweet, but I'm not going to count on him staying that way since I heard it takes a while for colic to set in. Until he's a month or two old, I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I'll just hope for the best and enjoy his angelic disposition while it lasts. Hopefully, it will last until he's 18, but I doubt it.

As for Luke and Evie, they are adjusting really well. The only hard part is the fact that they want to hug and hold him a lot! Oh, and both of the kids have brought up when the next baby is coming. At the hospital, Evie asked, "When is the next one coming?" And yesterday, Luke told me that when we have the next baby there will be six in our family. I just calmly answered, "Yes, if we had another baby there would be six of us." I haven't broken the bad news to them yet, but I'm pretty sure there won't be a "next one."

We've also experienced some interesting times with me nursing George. The first time they saw that, Evie asked incredulously, "What is he doing to you?!" I had to explain that mommies make special milk for their babies. It only took one or two feedings to eliminate all questions and inquiries. I don't cover up when it is just the family at the house because, honestly, it would just be ridiculous. So, the kids have gotten used to just seeing me out in the open. I stopped changing clothes in front of them a long time ago, but for some reason, this doesn't seem unnatural or like I'm exposing them to something they shouldn't see. Still, they think everyone can see what is going on so they try to look under the blanket when I cover up for company. I've had to explain that not everyone wants to see George eating. This was a difficult concept to justify and explain. Although the kids are good with the nursing, I think I would totally freak them out if they saw me pumping. I can just see their faces if they saw me hooked up to the funky and noising machine sucking away at my you-know-what.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I know two of my friends had babies over the holidays (Congrats to Kari and Susan!). Mine was pretty good, all things considered. My in-laws decided that they should all celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my house. I was somewhat against this plan since we have a new baby in the house, but my wishes and suggestions were pushed aside, because really, how do you say no to your in-laws. I won't delve into the details, but suffice it to say that hosting Christmas with a new baby was not my idea. But I have to admit that under normal circumstances, I would LOVE to host Christmas every year. So, I put on my optimistic face and welcomed the idea of having all the family over to meet George and celebrate Christmas, until . . . . the day before they arrived I found out that half the family was recovering from a stomach bug and Chuck's dad was throwing up as he drove into town. To say the least, I was not pleased. But they came over anyway, despite my concerns. So, Chuck ended up with the stomach virus three days after Christmas. So far, no one else has caught it. While they were here, I made everyone use Purell, I refused to hug anyone or let them hold the baby (I don't care if that seems bitchy), and I disinfected the house immediately after they left and throughout their stay.

Now, things are somewhat back to normal, but the kids' school is closed all week, so I'm taking my first stab at being a full-time mother of three. Let me tell you, the house is a mess and I'm doing my best to keep the kids entertained beyond watching SpongeBob Square Pants and Dora the Explorer. I'm not having much luck. They're all sitting on my lap right now asking over and over, "Mom, what are you doing? Mom, what are you spelling? Mom, what does the 5 do? Mom, where's the 1? Mommy, I want to spell my name." Ahh, the joys of children.

Enough of my rambling for now. Here's another picture of George for you to enjoy. These are his hospital pictures. My little football player. For the record, the photographer had the football - I didn't bring it. I'd love to share a picture where his eyes are open, but he slept through the whole photo shoot.

A seasonal pic. We bought them all so we didn't have to make any decisions. Picking out pictures at the hospital was the last thing we wanted to do.

This is Chuck's favorite. I think we all have one of these photos of our children entitled, ". . . and the horse you rode in on too"Hopefully I'll be back in the new year with more frequent posts! Happy New Year to all of you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drowning in Baby and Christmas

As promised, here are some pictures of the little one. He looks different from the first two. For your sake, I've eliminated all the nasty shots of the kid just coming out of the womb. Yuck. Still, I have to admit that it is an amazing and miraculous experience, but one that I don't wish to actually see first hand.

George Maxwell Berend:

Big yawn!

Evie and Grandma: Evie's not so sure about George at the hospital, but she loves to hold him now.

This one just makes me laugh. He really looks like a grumpy old man - especially when you take his hat off.

Me - pretty tired on the second day at the hospital.

First night at the hospital after George was born. Notice my hair looks great! I had it done right before I called the doctor and was ordered to the hospital for observation. What great timing.

I feel so out of touch with the world! Here I am just soaking up the time with my little George and the help from my mother. She's been great! I am getting plenty of rest and lots of help. Thank heaven, George is an angel! Still, it is tough on the system to wake up every couple of hours and stay up for an hour feeding during the night. I swear there is nothing like a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Sleeping for eight hours total during the night doesn't really give you the rest you need if you have to wake up every couple of hours. Still, it is much better than my experience with Luke which was to be awake for hours at a time and have Luke only sleep for an hour at a time. He was the opposite of what a baby should be - although he is perfect now.
Sorry to not be able to keep up to date, but hopefully I'll get better at managing everything after the holidays. It's been tough trying to wrap up my Christmas shopping and having guests in and out. I've been so grateful for the company though. Still, we have a boat load of family arriving tomorrow to celebrate Christmas with us, and I still have a few more gifts to buy. Gotta love last minute Christmas shopping and fighting the crowds. Hope all of you are more ahead of the curve than me.
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I'll try to get more recent photos uploaded soon.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


One more thing.

Name: George Maxwell Berend
Weight: 6 lbs 7 ozs
Height: 19.5 inches
Birthday: December 13, 2008
Time: 12:42 p.m.
37 weeks

I'm already in love.

It's a Boy!

You guessed it! I finally gave birth to sweet little George. It was induced, but the induction came as a surprise. I left my hair appointment on Friday and checked my bp with a cuff I borrowed from a friend and the result was a very high bp. Called the doctor and was ordered to the hospital for observation. We discussed bed rest, but eventually the doctor decided to go ahead and induce on Saturday morning. I spent the night in the hospital and after four hours of induced labor and three minutes of pushing (just one or two pushes), we welcomed George into the world.

We got home late Monday and spent yesterday completely sleep deprived. Lucky for me, my mother was able to drive into town late Friday night to help us out. Now that I'm feeling more human, I'm able to catch up on a few things. I will try to post pics of our newest little one soon.

Thanks to everyone who kept us in their prayers. We appreciate all the wonderful warm wishes and can't wait for you all to meet George.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa and a Staph Infection

No, the two don't actually have anything to do with each other except that I'm putting the two topics in one post.
First: Staph Infection
Poor Luke has a staph infection on his little nose. He has little sores on the outside and inside that are making this infections super painful which is what led me to rush a doctor's appointment. How awful is that?! I feel terrible, but I don't know if I could have prevented it. We've been trying to keep his nose clean and crust-free, but I guess the sinus infection got the best of him. Doctor put him on another round of antibiotics and gave us a prescription for a topical cream. I just read up on staph infections (this is a new affliction in our house) and it turns out that they are very contagious and infants are among the most at risk for contracting staph infections. Great, right?

This is what my poor baby looked like this morning. I hope it doesn't get any worse. I feel so terrible about this and feel like a better mother could have somehow prevented this!
Second: Pancakes with Santa
On a happier note, here are some pics from Pancakes with Santa at the Club last weekend. Evie was sick so only Luke got to go. He and Chuck had a great time. Luke wasn't all that crazy about Santa. In fact the first picture showed Luke sitting on Santa's lap leaning away from Santa and looking at Santa as if Santa had just farted. I wish I had a copy of it, but I don't. Chuck got him to flash the gig 'em sign and so we got a somewhat better picture.

Here's a picture of them at the breakfast table. I just wish they would cooperate and take a picture without the thumbs up crap. It was really starting to piss me off last weekend, but they thought it was hilarious. I have 15 pictures of Chuck and Luke - all with the damn thumbs up. At least they were happy even though I was annoyed.

Despite that little annoyance, we had a great time and the club looked beautiful. We'll definitely do this again next year.

Luke made a snowman while Chuck waited in the line to see Santa (way better than waiting at the mall).

There were also two toy soldiers walking around the ballroom on stilts. Luke gave one of them a high five while we were eating breakfast.

All in all, it was pretty darn fun. Plus, Luke got to see some of his soccer teammates who were there with their parents. That's my life in a big small town! Better not go out without makeup on!

Blood Pressure

Congratulations to me! I did not have to see the doctor this morning. My blood pressure was 135/86. Not bad. I've borrowed a blood pressure cuff from my friend who suffered from preeclampsia a couple years ago. I will monitor my bp over the weekend and see the doctor on Tuesday. No big deal, right? Still, I am planning to leave work early today. I've pretty much wrapped up all my pending issues here at work so I have no idea what I'm going to do for the next few days. With my luck, all this hullabaloo about my bp will probably disappear and I'll be pregnant until my due date with nothing to do at work.

For Lisa, here is a belly shot taken this morning. You also get to see our horribly crooked tree in the background. We got the tree on the Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend. Chuck wanted to wait for the next shipment of trees because nothing looked good, but I was insistent that we were getting our tree that day! Well, I guess I should have taken his advice. Instead, we have a tree with character - a little imperfect and off center - just like us.

The kids are also going to the doctor this morning with Chuck so that we can clear up this crazy cold they have. Their poor noses look so painful!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday funny

I'm trying to pack in a lot of posts because I know my time will be cut short pretty soon. Here's a little something for the holidays! Yes, I sometimes tend toward the deranged sense of humor. Enjoy.

No Comment

Doctor didn't even comment on my beautifully groomed you-know-what! That's okay. It probably would have been weird if she had. Can you imagine, "Oh, Theresa! Wow! You really look great down here!" I heard the nurses gossip about such things, so at least I'm prepared for the hospital!

Last night I went to a panty exchange party (instead of an ornament exchange party). I got the slutiest thing there - a nice bright pink lace thong with white bows on the back. Here's a picture:

As was stated by several of the skinny bitches (and I say that strictly as a term of endearment even though they all have size 2 bodies), a person probably needs a Brazilian to even consider wearing it! I told everyone at the party I was going to wear it to my doctor's appointment this morning so I could show it off somewhere. Can you imagine the talk I could have caused at the office?!

Baby Update

Saw the doctor this morning and received quite a shock. Although I feel wonderful (full of Christmas cheer and everything), apparently my blood pressure is too high and I'm "dropping" protein in my urine (sounds yummy, right?). She has ordered me to "take it easy and rest." That means reduced work, stay off my feet (no more Christmas shopping, damn it), stay away from sodium (what the hell can I eat now?), etc. Needless to say, this was not in the plans. I have to go have my blood pressure checked again tomorrow morning. If it is worse, then I have to go in and see the doctor again. If it is okay, then I will see the doctor again on Tuesday. If my blood pressure has not improved, she will probably induce on Wednesday.

I will be 37 weeks on Saturday and that is considered full term, so I guess that is a pretty big milestone that the doctor wants to reach before George is delivered. I completely trust her judgment, so her obvious concern about the situation was a sobering experience for me. I guess I'll just do my best to take care of myself and my baby, and we'll go from there.

As for the normal part of my check up, I am dilated 3 cm - whoohoo! So, maybe little George will make an appearance on his own. My doctor is on call this weekend, so that would be just fine timing for me. Otherwise, I'm still expecting to gaze into the eyes of my precious newborn sometime next week. Little finger, little toes, I can't wait!

On another note, I'm completely jealous of the Houston crew who all got to experience hours of snow. We didn't see a single flake! What a rip. And let me tell you, Luke is totally heartbroken about it too. I mentioned that it snowed at Grandma's house and he asked if it snowed here. I said no. He started to tear up and I asked what in the world was wrong. He looked at me with big crocodile tears in his eyes and said, "Is Christmas over?" --- Ugh - back to this horrible misunderstanding that I may or may not have explained to all of you. Luke and Evie are insistent that it snows on Christmas and it is Christmas when it snows. In their minds, it absolutely, without a doubt WILL snow on Christmas. I've tried to explain that snow is a function of the weather, and not controlled by religious holidays, but apparently this is beyond their comprehension because every Christmas movie they watch shows it snowing on Christmas day. I guess that makes sense. The problem is trying to explain to them in February (when it is more likely to snow) that they aren't getting Christmas presents just because it snowed. Still, it is easier to explain that than it is to explain that they haven't missed Christmas this week and that they will still get their presents and Santa will still visit even if there isn't snow. Instead, they tell me (in their best I'm-smarter-than-you voice that it will snow on Christmas).--- So, I tried to reassure Luke that he hadn't missed Christmas, but he remained upset for at least 20 minutes until I was able to distract him with breakfast.

Any suggestions on how to clear up this misunderstanding?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Getting myself ready.

So, last night I decided to go to the spa and have myself "groomed" for the upcoming occasion. If this is TMI for some of you, then stop reading now.

Anyway, for those of you who aren't sqeamish about such things, let me begin again. I decided I didn't want to look like I'd been living in the wilds of Africa for the last nine months. I can't actually see anything anymore, but trust me, when I tell you I am certain it wasn't a pretty sight. So, I made an appointment at the spa for last night and went in.

Now, I've had this done only one other time and I laughed my ass off the entire time while the woman waxed and ripped causing me untold amounts of pain. I laughed hysterically at the fact that I was actually paying someone to do this to me! All I could think was, what kind of crazy person has this done to themselves willingly? Sadly, once they start, you can't really stop because the wax is already on there and you can't walk around like that, so you just have to make it through the pain. Well, after that experience, in which I repeatedly broke out in a cold sweat as I endured the pain and had to walk gingerly for a day, I decided I would probably never get a bikini waxing again. Of course, I should be smart enough to know that one should never say never.

Now, I guess I could have tried to do it myself (but I seriously cannot see a thing), or I could have asked Chuck to do it (but that's really not an option). One time I had Chuck manicure my nails and when I looked down I realized he had manicured them to look like man hands - so now I don't trust him with very many grooming details with regard to my body. So, without many other options as to taking care of this area, I came to the conclusion that the spa was my best option and I just needed to suck it up and do it. Well, I did. I have to admit that I was a much better trooper than last time and even avoided the hysterical laughing. Instead, I only experienced the cold sweats a couple of times and the technician (or whatever you call a person who gest paid to rip hair off of a person's body with hot wax) kept me talking the whole time as she waxed and ripped and groomed me as she saw fit. She asked me my preferences and all I could tell her was, that I couldn't see anything so she should go ahead with the procedure however she saw fit. Well, she did, and it looks fine - I think (again, I can't really get a good look at it). In any case, I don't think it looks like I've just emerged from seclusion and the doctors shouldn't be scared when they see it.

But through it all, I decided that waxing that area of one's body is definitely worse than child birth. Hell, the tech even asked me if my Lamaze was helping. I said, "I have no idea. I never took Lamaze." Tech, "Well, it really does work for you to blow out the pain." I was stunned into silence as I thought, should a person really willingly engage in a monthly activity (bikini waxing) in which you have to utilize breathing techniques to overcome the resulting pain? That's not for me. I swear after that statement the ripping hurt more for some reason, but I got through the whole thing mostly intact after banishing scary wilderness woman.

(On a side note, if you decide to have this done and you aren't pregnant, drink two glasses of wine in the waiting room and pop a couple of Tylenol before you subject yourself to this kind of pain. If you are one of those people who has this done regularly, then I will state for your sake that apparently this gets less painful if you have it done on a regular basis. Sadly, I cannot overcome the pain and the fear of pain, so I will probably never get to a point where this is pain-free experience.)

With all that trauma, however, I think I induced myself to going into false labor. I got home about 8:00 and started having strong (but not painful) contractions around 8:30, five minutes apart. After a while, I insisted that Chuck needed to clean the house just in case this was the real thing, plus I was totally riddled with anxiety. Who knows what the anxiety was about since I was really ready to go, but the anxiety was there nonetheless. (Of course, in my opinion, the thought of having a newborn and a third kid is enough to make a person a little nervous). While Chuck cleaned the house, he put in a movie he said was meant to ease my anxiety. For the record, Lethal Weapon 4 was not a good choice on his part. At 10:30 (contractions still coming every 4-5 minutes), I decided I needed to take a shower and go to bed. I showered (still contractions), went to bed (still contractions), slept for a couple hours and woke up at 1:00 (still contractions), and fell back to sleep around 2:00 (no more contractions). So, here I am this morning back at work and ready for anything!

Now that I've got the nethers groomed, my next step is to get my hair highlighted, my nails filled, and my toes sparkling. We'll see if I can fit it all in.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm a ticking time bomb.

Baby George has been very active today. I can't believe some of his kicking hasn't caused my water to break. For a minute there, I thought he was going to bust out of my stomach like that scene in Alien. Still hanging in there. I see the doctor again Thursday morning, but that seems like forever away.

Sick again?!!!

So, here we are, expecting a child any day now and the whole family has contracted a cold . . . again. I'm loading us up with vitamins and decongestant and constantly encouraging the kids to blow their noses. I've got to kick this before George gets here and then I've got to disinfect the house like a hospital.

Monday, December 8, 2008

More than One Private Part

During bath time this weekend, Luke proudly pointed out his penis and then pointed below his penis and asked "What is that?" I love that he was so matter of fact about it. At first I wasn't sure what he was pointing to, because it looked like he was pointing out his penis again (and we had clearly established that he knows what his penis is). He pointed again, a little closer this time and I realized he was pointing to his testicles. So, I responded, "Those are your testicles." His next question was not as easy to answer, "What are they for?" Me, "Hmmm . . . (debating whether I should really tell him) I think they make semen. Maybe you should ask Daddy. Only boys have testicles." Him, "Girls don't have testicles?" Me, "No. Only boys." Him, "You don't have testicles?" Me, "No." Him, "What are testicles for?"

I decide it is time for a man to explain what testicles do, so I leaned my head out the bathroom door and shouted, "Chuck, what do testicles do?" Chuck, "They make sperm." Me, leaning back into the bathroom and looking at Luke, "Yup, they make sperm." Him, "What does sperm do?"

Me, but in my head, "Awe hell! How did I get into this?" Me out loud, "Umm, sperm helps make babies." Now, I'm thinking I've stepped into quicksand and I quickly try to bail out saying, "Um, but only big boys make sperm that can make babies." I quickly amend it, "Only Daddies can make babies." Luke, "Babies?" He sounds very suspicious, but thankfully does not question it as I change the subject to washing his hair. Crisis narrowly averted. Better get ready for next time.

On that note, I discovered the following book in the kid's section at Barnes & Noble. It is a book written and illustrated in 1977 called, "Where Did I Come From?" It describes sexual intercourse in words and descriptions that kids will understand. It shocked the hell out of me. I was just browsing the shelves while the kids played with the trains at the local B&N and I noticed this book set among the Human Health books in the kid's section. I flipped through the pages and couldn't believe my eyes as I saw illustrated Mommies and Daddies, full on with pubic hair, breasts, and penises. The book named all the parts such as vagina, penis, testicles, sperm, etc. and then went on to describe the act of making love, specifically stating that the Daddy puts his penis in Mommy's vagina. I was seriously taken aback.

I started to do a little research on this book online and found out that it is a highly recommended book - even Dr. Spock recommends it. So, here's a link and you can make your own decisions.,M1

I have to say, I'm leaning toward using this book to educate my children about the logistics of the whole thing. I think the difficult part will be trying to describe or inform them adequately about all the variations on the sexual act that are out there (e.g. oral sex, hummers, etc.). Should prove interesting for me and the kids.

Still here, but growing weary. I am moving much slower these days, and sleep is more and more difficult to come by. Still, George is kicking away. He's ready to leave his cozy home and we are ready to greet him. We spent the weekend cleaning the house and purchasing all our baby necessities. I think we are really ready to go now. I even have a bag almost completely packed. I've put all George's clothes away and moved the bassinet into our room. I set up a changing station upstairs and downstairs and marveled at the size of the tiny newborn diapers. It amazes me every time!

Forgot about all the fun necessities you need to have: nipple cream, breast pads for nursing, pads for the other end, a snot sucker (aka an aspirator), changing pads, sensitive wipes, bottle racks, alcohol for the umbilicus, vaseline for the circumcision, etc., etc. There are still a couple of things that I forgot to pick up, so we'll try and get those this week. One of the things was pads, so Chuck picked some up on his way home from church yesterday, but instead of bringing home pads, he brought home a huge package of Poise. I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I said I needed pads, not diapers! Do I look like an older woman who is incontinent?" His only response was that he got the biggest thing he could find and he was sure it work the same way. Let's hope so. Goofball.

Evie has become super clingy - probably a result of having the baby on the way (so says Evie's teacher). We're trying to work through it, but she is in tears if we even ask her to let go of us so we can go to the bathroom. I hope she grows out of this soon, but for now I'm a little concerned.

Before all that shopping, however, we got to go see Santa at the Club. Evie was sick so she stayed home with my mom. Luke had a really good time and ate up all his pancakes. I was really impressed with this event and will have to post some pictures. Luke asked for a scooter. As luck would have it, I hear that Santa has a scooter in his workshop just for Luke (don't mention that to Luke). Santa also has a scooter in his workshop for Evie, but I have no idea if that is what she wants from Santa.

Still have a few more gifts to buy for Christmas, but all in all, we are pretty ready for George to be here and for Christmas to arrive. For now, I'm just working steadily and slowly. Trying to get through the next couple weeks. I think I'll have continually reduced hours because I can barely walk or concentrate on much for any period of time. If I had some extra time off, I would gladly trade this last couple weeks for my couch and the remote control. Oh well. I'm here and I'm making it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

New Christmas Songs

If you don't know what a freak I am about Christmas, then let me explain that I start listening to Christmas music in August and when Christmas rolls around, it looks like someone threw up Christmas all over the inside of my house. I absolutely LOVE it - every bit of it!

Well, this year, I've heard two new Christmas songs (new to me, at least) and I'm sharing them with you now.

For those of you who need a holiday pick me up and enjoy remembering the reason for the season, here's a great song called "You're Here" by Francesca Battistelli that my friend Roxy told me about. Enjoy:

Also, I heard a song by Sixpence None the Richer the other day and it brought tears to my prego eyes. If you're expecting, I highly recommend it. It is called the Last Christmas. It starts, "I feel your heart beating inside my own skin; And I think of Mary in Bethlehem. . ." It is a sweet song sung by a mother to her unborn child about about how this will be the last Christmas the mother has without the sweet baby. With any luck, this will be our first Christmas with our new baby, but it touches my heart anyway.

Baby Photo Contest

Hey, I forgot to tell y'all that our photographer is having a baby photo contest and one of our pictures is in the running. You can go to her website and vote for us. We have the picture with my belly and all the hands. It is Number 5 and a copy is posted below. Thanks for the support!


The firm party was good. You know, same old clients, same old attorneys, same old thing.

I wore my heels for about two hours and now my feet feel bruised.

I bought some new pantyhose and had to try and squeeze into them while sitting on a toilet in the office restroom. Imagine my morning difficulties and then double it. I was grunting and rotating and probably causing everyone to think I was having trouble with a bodily function as opposed to trying to put on an article of clothing. The bathroom was deserted when I exited the stall fully dressed. No surprise here.

Chuck and I ditched the party around 7 or 7:30 and went downstairs to a new restaurant called "Grace." It just opened up about a month ago and it is a pretty happening place. A few other attorney's joined us and then we ran into several other attorneys that we know. It was good, but very pricey. Of course, my glass of juice was the cheapest thing, while Chuck's 18 year old scotch was priced for Vegas.

Still, we were home by 9:30 and climbed into bed around 10. We have a less exciting party to attend tonight, and I'm certain the food won't be nearly as good as the bacon-wrapped shrimp, shrimp cocktail, beef tenderloin, and other items that were served at my firm's party. Mmmm. Then tomorrow, we are having pancakes with Santa at the Club. I mentioned it to the kids this morning when they woke up and they said things like, "No, Santa is in the North Pole. Are we going to the North Pole?" And when I asked if they were excited to see Santa they evaded my question and asked, "Where's Grandma?" I thought they would be more excited - guess I was wrong. So, I'm a little worried about how they are going to react to Santa tomorrow. Hopefully better than seeing him at the Mall - what a beating!

Just finished up with a Christmas lunch for women attorneys and then the women attorneys at the firm are going to have afternoon tea at 4:00. I should be out just in time to get to the other party. Gotta love Christmas! Jingle, jingle!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Baby George Update

I'm now 36 weeks, dialated 1 cm, 70% effaced, and the baby is as low as he can get without falling out. Doctor predicts the baby will arrive sometime within two weeks - probably the week after next.

I'm really good with that except for the fact that I still feel like we have so much to do. I even casually mentioned last night that perhaps I should pack a bag for the hospital. Well, I'm packing a bag tonight and I intend to go buy all our missing necessities this weekend.

Beyond that, my only concern is the fact that I have never gone into labor on my own (induced with both Luke and Evie) so I'm worried I won't know when to go to the hospital or whether I'm having real contractions. We shall see.

The best news about the early baby is that I will hopefully get to enjoy Christmas a little more, provided I get all the Christmas presents purchased. Looks like Chuck is going to be very busy this month!

Maternity Pantyhose

I truly, without a doubt in my mind, believe that pantyhose were invented by men simply to torture women (same for high heels). Perhaps I should look this up before laying blame - but not today.

While pregnant this go around, I have pretty much boycotted the idea of wearing pantyhose. This worked out just fine while it was hot outside - a great excuse to not wear pantyhose in any law office. So, I ditched the dreaded pantyhose and banished the thought of them from my mind except for special occasions such as appearances in court. Unfortunately, it has turned colder and now, I'm desperate to have something warm on my white, pastey legs. Last night it dropped into the 20's here and to top that off, today is our firm Christmas party. So, when I went to get dressed this morning, I realized that I had to wear pantyhose for the sake of warmth, beauty (remember the pastey leg comment), and the formality of the occasion tonight.

Since I have banished all pantyhose, I only ever bought one pair of maternity pantyhose for wearing to hearings and other important meetings. Well, I wore that pair once and had to search for that one pair of pantyhose this morning. I noticed that there was a pair of pantyhose sitting on top of a fresh batch of laundry so I assumed that these must be my one and only pair of maternity pantyhose. I grabbed them off the laundry and proceeded to contort my ever-growing, bulbous body so that I could stretch, pull, manipulate, and hoist the pantyhose onto my overworked legs. Poor George put up a valiant protest as I squished him in my attempts to reach my toes, but eventually, I got the task completed.

As I finally attempted to pull the enormous pantyhose up over my watermelon belly to just under my bosom (girls, you know what I'm talking about), I noticed that the pantyhose could not be stretched beyond just below my non existent waist. I muttered, "What the hell?!" I looked in the mirror and realized that I had just managed to squeeze my 8 month pregnant, maternity ass into a pair of regular sized pantyhose. I briefly considered ditching them and trying to locate the ginormous pair of maternity pantyhose that would adequately fit over my belly, but realized that there was no way in hell I was going to go through that effort again even if I actually found them (which was unlikely anyway). So, as I walked out of my bedroom I felt the top of the teeny-weeny pantyhose begin to roll down as it settled uncomfortably and precariously around the top of my hips. Thank God I have big hips to hold them up (Yes, I can't believe I just said that - shows how distorted the pregnant mind can be).

So, here I sit at work with the waist of my pantyhose uncomfortably pressing in on George's little head, the fabric bursting at the seams (I already have a run in the back), and I realize that perhaps my "no-way-in-hell" attitude was perhaps the wrong choice. I guess I'll have to figure out a quick fix to this before the party, but I have no idea what I'm going to do since there are no maternity stores anywhere close to my office. Until then, I'm pretty much just going to bitch and whine about my poor decision. Thanks for listening.

A Griswald Christmas

Even Clark Griswald couldn't top this:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A New Tradition

We started a new tradition at our house this year, and I'm really excited about it. We now have an Elf on the Shelf. Has anyone heard of this before? I just found it at a boutique shop on Monday and I took it home and read it to the kids immediately. It is a book that comes with a little elf who sits on a shelf -- hence the name "Elf on the Shelf". The purpose of this elf is for the elf to keep a close watch on the children of the house during the Christmas season and report back to Santa every night whether the kids have been good or bad. The elf gets its magic when you name him but will lose his magic if the children touch him. He can't talk to children, but he can talk to adults, and everyone can talk to the elf. Each night he flies back from the North Pole and sits somewhere else in the house. It has been so much fun already!

We read the book Monday night and named our elf Murphy (my second choice for George's middle name). Murphy started out on our mantle over the fireplace in the den but the next morning he was on the mantle over the fireplace in our formal living room. The kids were amazed and so excited when they spotted him. This morning he was on our Christmas tree in the den. I don't know if the kids have spotted him yet.

I have reminded the children a few times that Murphy is watching them and will report back to Santa with any bad or good behavior. It has been pretty fun so far. Now that Grandma is in town, we've explained how there is an elf in our house and how no one can touch him. It has been so fun to watch the kids try to name him. Their first picks for names included "Elf" and "Mommy." We'll have to work on their imagination and creativity.

Here's a link to the Elf on the Shelf and an itty bitty picture of the book and elf.

I registered our Elf with the North Pole yesterday and will take the certificate home to include in our book. I am really impressed with this website too. It is amazingly advanced. Hope you all enjoy the website and will hopefully get an elf of your own!


Does anyone ever wonder where boogers come from and why they turn green and multiply when you're sick? I actually tried to look this up when I was sick, but my search resulted in very generic answers about the nose producing mucus to trap foreign objects etc. Well, that doesn't exactly explain why the hell you (and your kids) get green nastiness flowing out of your nose. Yuck.

On an unrelated note, we have encountered a major glich with our new school. I guess we should have known that there would be some hiccups along the way, but it still took us by surprise. Our school failed to pass inspection with the fire marshal because it doesn't have overhead sprinklers. How odd is that? It is smaller than my house and it has more fire alarms and other types of alarms installed in every room. Who would have thought that they had to have a sprinkler system in addition to that? Anyhow, the school actually got shut down for this failure and we had to pick up the kids from school yesterday. The school will be closed while they install sprinklers (who knows how long that takes) and then we will get right back to work. We are still very committed to the school and don't regret our decision to send our kids there. I can't tell you how great it is to see Luke reading and Evie trying to write her name. For now, the kids are enjoying a vacation with my mother, who promptly dropped everything and drove up from Houston to help out. What a life saver!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Santa Cause

Just wanted to share a fun tradition that one of my friends participates in each year. It is called The Santa Cause. DFW Santa Cause is an annual holiday pub crawl fundraiser benefiting the United Way Charities of Dallas/Ft. Worth. People get dressed up as Santa, Mrs. Clause, elves, the Grinch, etc. and get on a big yellow bus to drink the night away for a good cause. There are already 249 people registred for the Dallas Santa Cause and 60 people registered for the Fort Worth Santa Cause!

I just love this idea and wish it had been around when I was bar hopping on a regular basis. Chuck and I would have LOVED it! Oh well. Instead, I am passing this on to you. If you go to the website, you can enjoy the fun pictures and even make a donation to this worthy cause. Here's the link and a picture to give you an idea of what it is all about:

Hope you all have a holly jolly day!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Serious Braxton Hicks Contraction

Serious braxton-hicks contraction that really hurt. It would be interesting if I went into labor on my own instead of being induced like I was with the other two.

Pilgrim & Indian 2

Having trouble with my video upload, so here's one of Luke's performances separately. You can tell he is really concentrating!

Pilgrims & Indians

Here are some pictures of my little Indian and Pilgrim (giving the Gig 'em sign because Chuck ALWAYS asks them to do that when they have their picture taken - drives me crazy). In this picture, the kids had just finished their program. Here's Luke sitting ready at the beginning of the presentation. So adorable, even though he looks pissed off.

Ms. Evie looks bored, but that appears to be a common theme throughout the program for her.

Here are my sweet babies performing at their Thanksgiving Program at school. The video is pretty bad, but we just got a new electronic device that should produce better recordings in the future. This one has Evie performing and you can barely hear the words - sorry. The Program consisted of over 10 songs and all the kids knew all the words and the parts. They would sing a song and perform little actions to match it. So, so sweet and fun to see. Evie has all the parts down, but refuses to sing.
Even though Evie doesn't sing, Luke sings all the time! I can't stop him from singing. It ranges from the Aggie war hymn to Thanksgiving songs to Christmas songs. We can be anywhere. This weekend, we were picking out our Christmas tree at Lowes and he sang Christmas carols the entire time to the delight of all others. No kidding. People would look at us and smile and encourage him to keep singing. I don't think it had anything to do with the quality of his voice (and certainly not with his ability to get the words right), but people (like me) seemed genuinely pleased and cheered by Luke's excitement for the Christmas season. Evie, while not a singer (yet), has been spreading Christmas cheer to Chuck and me through her absolute excitement about decorating the house. I love when they get so excited while their talking that they have to catch their breath. "Are we going to (breathe) decorate the tree? (breathe) And then (breathe), are we going to, uh, uh, (breathe) put lights up on the (breathe) house?!" Her little eyes just get so wide with excitement and I can barely describe how cute it is!

Ahhhhh . . .

This was just about the best break I've had from work and the house in a long time. Spent time catching up with family and spent lots of time with my sister who will soon be moving to London. It was absolutely wonderful. No agenda, no deadlines, no worries. I am so thankful to have had a chance to actually relax.

Chuck and I also hit the stores (sans kids) on Friday morning and had a great time with one another. That one on one time doesn't happen as much as it used to, and I'm certain it is about to completely dry up with an infant on his way.

With Thanksgiving behind us, we are rapidly approaching Christmas and George's birthday - although I don't know what day that is yet. I've become more comfortable with the baby - I guess I'm just growing used to it. I'm in a lot of pain at night and find myself unable to do a lot of things, such as Christmas decorating. Nonetheless, I got two trees up in our house this weekend, and pretty much got them decorated. We have a few more things to do to prepare our house for Christmas, but all in all, it will be a scaled back version of my normal holiday spirit.

As for George, Chuck and I have finally had that "Oh-Shit" Moment - namely the moment where we realize that we are having a real, live baby and it will be here forever and we are not nearly prepared. So, I guess we'll go shopping sometime in the next week and gather together all our necessities. Oh, and I guess I should pack a hospital bag sometime. To assuage some of my nervousness, I picked up a pack of diapers this weekend. Plus, my family was so kind and gifted us with lots of little onsies, blankets, socks, etc. It makes it more and more real. Oh, and Chuck has taken an interest in the baby room which has been really sweet.

So much happened over the weekend that I'm sure I would bore you with all the details, but I might throw out a cute story here and there this week. Until then, I best get to work and bill as much as I can before George makes his big arrival.