Getting our nursery furniture has been an exercise in bad luck. First, we found the set we wanted (yay!) and then we got an email saying it was being discontinued (yikes!). Then, we found that it was still available online (yay!) but only on certain, random, days (yikes!). We found the same set in a different finish (yay!) and purchased it (yay!) but then it arrived, looking like it had fallen off a truck (yikes!).
Update: we checked the box and all the pieces are there and are virtually unharmed (there is a minor scrape on one of the legs, but that’s not worth the hassle of a return at this point)… so overall: YAY!
We had a wonderful day and we hope you all did, too. We went to the Christmas Eve service at 11:00 pm, and it was a beautiful celebration of God’s gift to us in His son, Jesus. How sweet to walk out of church and greet each other in the early moments of Christmas Day!
Chris is ready for cold weather wherever we move next year!
We ate Christmas dinner with our friends, Staci & Ryan. Since both of us are pregnant, it was nice to just cook half a dinner… and still eat a whole delicious meal! Their dog Merlin provided the entertainment :-), the boys played Xbox and watched the ballgame, and the girls chatted about all things pregnancy and childbirth related!
I don’t know if I have the words for my gratitude tonight. But I have to try.
This evening, I got a BIG box in the mail. It was a package from a friend who lives in New Jersey, a friend I met online and who I’ve never even seen in person. We have a lot in common…. Teaching, bedrest during pregnancy, husbands in medical school & residency. I’ve enjoyed getting to know her much better over the last six months or so, and we laugh about mentioning “MyfriendCourtney” and “MyfriendMichelle, youknowfromonline” to our respective husbands and getting a similar “you gotta be crazy” reaction from them. I really hope I’ll get to meet her, and her husband, and their two little boys, sometime soon. I count her a good friend, and I’ve been so lucky to have her perspective and advise during this pregnancy. A few weeks ago, she told me she’d been going through the boys’ stuff and had found a lot of clothing they don’t need anymore…. And would I send me her address because she wanted to pass it on. (There is a very funny story here about automated helplines at the USPS, but I’ll spare you.) I don’t know what I expected exactly, but I was so happily surprised.
There were TONS of clothes. Many are new, with tags still on! There are things from newborn sizes up to 6-9 months and bigger. There were little shoes (ah, so cute!) and hats and blankets, and nursing pads she never used and some of the VERY LOVELY Mustela products (if you’re not a big Babies’R’Us shopper, let me tell you that these are some of the yummiest baby & mommy things out there. They smell wonderful and come very well reviewed) like massage oil, diaper cream, cleansing lotion, and baby wash. I sat in the middle of my living room, pulling things out of this beautiful box and just cried.
Yes, we all know I’m hormonal. And those teeny tiny clothes (the little Ralph Lauren bear bib-over-all-thing!!! the Very Hungry Caterpillar romper!!! the lime green set with the polka dotted onesie!!!) really grab that estrogen and work it for all it’s worth, so that’s a part of it. But a much bigger part is the fact that I feel so blessed with this friendship, that a woman who I only know through our computers can reach out and do something so nice, so caring. I’m humbled and happy and thankful.
One day I hope I’ll be able to do something for her. Or for the next new mommy I meet. But I know, for sure, that I’ll never forget how this gesture made me feel. She’s my angel for this week of grumpiness and sleeplessness and feeling sorry for my big ol’ self…. Merry Christmas, my friend. May God’s best come to you and your family this year, and please know that you’ll be in my prayers. You’re the best!
When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my thankful-est things
And then I don’t feel so bad….
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudel,
Doorbells and sleighbells and schnitzel with noodles….
It’s a random collection, but apparently there’s something really thrilling about animals, food, and doorbells when you’re a kid in Austria with a repressed old soldier with whistle hangups for a dad. Let’s get to my list….
- The Kid is still in utero and growing daily. (We’ll add my mood swings, swelling, aches, numbness, and insomnia to the part of the song that comes before remember thankful things.)
- Our money troubles were averted by the Great State of Georgia when the SREB scholarship fund came through in 8,800 little ways!
- Christmas is coming in about a month, and it’s always been our favorite season.
- Two cozy cats, one warm bed. ‘Nuff said.
- Pillows. Seriously, a pregnant woman’s best friend.
- Laughing with my husband about things we want to do (and NOT do) with our son as he grows up.
- My parents are just silly with happiness about this baby. And despite a few little health speedbumps, they’re doing well as they near the half-century mark… so The Kid will probably have them around until he’s, like, 40.
- My brother is all grown up, working, living on his own, and gasp! dating!!! Will wonders never cease….
- My in-laws are the kindest, most caring people ever. They have gotten more than a few laughs at me during this pregnancy, but it’s all in love. (Right, guys? You’re laughing with me, aren’t you?)
- There’s babies popping out all over! Christina just had her third, Andrea’s having her first, and next month brings Aunt Alice’s fifth, Bethany’s second and Barbara’s first; then I’ll have our little guy, and then Staci’s little girl is due. Lord, I just love tiny little socks and shirts.
- Gilmore Girls & Gray’s Anatomy. I’m getting my fill now so I can live without it after The Kid joins the crowd. I hear infants aren’t really into dramedy.
- TUMS. Do I need to clarify that in any way????
Okay, someone’s got to do it, so I guess I’ll just tell my own news. In spite of appearances, I’m not bragging. Seriously. No, really. I mean, I’m a very modest person! I wouldn’t want to sound self-glorifying or stuck up or anything… but Chris doesn’t “do” blogging, so it all falls to me.
I’m officially a National Board Certified Teacher (as an Early Childhood Generalist) according to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards!
Most of you know I began the process in March 2004 and completed the work in May 2005. I had to submit a portfolio demonstrating my abilities in children’s literacy development, integration of math & science, building a classroom community through social studies & the arts, and documented accomplishments which support children’s learning. Then I took a computer-based assessment of six essays in literacy, math, science, social studies, health/PE/safety, and children’s play. Each portion gets a score from 1.0-4.0, which is then weighted. Your weighted score must be at least 275 to achieve certification… and I earned a 322!
In Florida, NBCTs are given a financial incentive (woo-hoo!) but that’s not the only perk. This certification is recognized in ALL states, and in most states it is treated as graduate work (so you end up higher on the pay scale). In addition, it’s pretty prestigious; only 40% of the teachers who apply to the process earn the certification. It’s quite nice to be recognized for something so rigorous and meaningful.
So… tooty tooty toot toot toot. There goes my little horn. Yep, I’m proud of myself! And darn straight, I’m going to tell everyone I know about this little doozy of a news item! Sorry if I sound full of it. I’ll get over myself eventually, like when my big head gets stuck in the office door!
After two days of the T.F.C. movement (see previous post), I had a weekend to keep my feet up and drink plenty of water–but still had a lot of contractions. I started to feel very anxious about what my body was doing, so I called in sick for Monday the 10th and went to see my OB.
She was shocked that I had even considered going back to work & told me to take the WEEK off… then she arranged for me to see my perinatologist again. Eukie is still growing strong: he weighed in a hefty 1 lb, 5 oz and his heartbeat looks good. The vaginal ultrasound showed a long cervix (5 cm); exactly what they would look for at this point in the pregnancy. However, the cervix is a muscle which can change at any point, so he said he wasn’t comfortable sending me back to work.
My mom flew down from Savannah to help out, since it’s pretty hard to function when you’re imprisoned on the couch. She’s been a real lifesaver, cooking meals and cleaning the apartment and even feeding the cats (to whom she’s violently allergic!) and changing the litter boxes.
The perinatologist sent his report to my OB, who called me just a few hours later with the news: bedrest for a week and a half, until my next scheduled appointment on the 19th. It was not fun, let me tell you! But friends from school and church dropped by to chat and distract me with smoothies, puzzles, scrapbooking materials, and all the latest news, which helped a lot.
At my appointment this past Wednesday, my OB was happy to hear that instead of 8-9 contractions a day I’ve been down to one or two daily. She was right in the middle of saying I could go back to work for a week or two on a trial basis when she began my internal exam…. and her face changed and she stopped what she was saying. She feels my cervix is still short & said that she trusts her own 20+ years of experience over a machine (meaning the vag u/s done at the perinatologist’s office) any day.
The verdict: we need to get this baby safely to 32 weeks (about December 10th) at the least, or 36 weeks (near New Year’s) even better. So I’ve filed the paperwork for disability leave from the school system, and I’m at home until January 1st. At that point, I’ll be allowed to return to work until I have him (because even if I went into labor that first day back at school, he’d be big enough to do very well out here).
Thankfully, I’m not on strict bedrest anymore! I’m on “light activity” ~so I can get out of the house, shop (within reason, no more 6-hour mall marathons!), cook, do light cleaning. I still need to take it easy though, and make sure I’m resting and keeping off my feet several hours each day.
- Hurricane Wilma will probably make landfall in the Naples area (due West of us) around daybreak Monday. Pray for the safety of the residents of that area, and for our safety as we will go through the predicted Hurricane 1 force & tropical storm force winds and rains.
- Chris is completing his rotation at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. Please pray that his interview for a residency spot goes well & that he will have peace about it. Also pray for safe travel on his return flight(s) on October 31st.
- Pray that I can find a good balance of activity and rest, and that the baby continues to grow strong and healthy and stays PUT!!!
- My mom will be flying back home on November 1st, pray for traveling safety and blessing on her for her giving heart and gracious spirit (to put up with me for three weeks!)
On Wednesday, I was sent to the hospital to be monitored for pre-term labor. I’d had a routine OB appointment and told my doctor I’ve been having some Braxton-Hicks contractions for the last few weeks. (She wasn’t happy that I waited so long to tell her!) She did an internal exam and it appeared my cervix was shorter.
The next thing I knew, I was at the Maternity Care Center of Palmetto General, hooked up to two monitors (one for the baby’s heartbeat and the other for my contractions) and an automatic blood pressure cuff. I had an ultrasound as well, and they finally decided to let me go home at 9:30. I’d had no contractions while I was there, and even though my cervix is effaced it’s not at a dangerous level.
So for now, my orders are
*keep my feet elevated and stay seated as much as possible (I’m pioneering a new movement: Teaching From Chairs!)
*increase my fluid intake (though I’m already drinking a TON of water so I guess I’m going to float through the next few weeks!)
*call my doctor when I have contractions or pressure.
I’ve had a handful of contractions since then, and when I called my doctor she didn’t seem too concerned; I guess she just wants to be kept informed.
Please keep all three of us in your prayers. This is obviously hard on Chris since he’s so far away and can’t be here to take care of us, and I’m really missing him a lot right now. Pray that I’ll follow doctor’s orders and stay relatively un-stressed, and pray that the baby will just stay put for a while longer!!! I’ll be 23 weeks pregnant on Monday, so we want at least seven or eight more weeks (though sixteen or seventeen would be even better)! One good point is that he’s measuring big (he looks about 25 weeks) and if he ends up coming early, the bigger he is the better off he’ll be.
Well, we’re on our own. This morning at 5:00 am, Chris boarded his plane for Minnesota to begin a month-long rotation at the Mayo Clinic; so now it’s just me and the little one! I had a pretty weepy night (but what would you expect with my husband going out of town for two months and me full of pregnancy hormones?) but I’m feeling a little better today. I’m sure I’ll get used to it in a few weeks…. but in the meantime, I’m welcoming any emails or phone calls checking on me 😉
…We’re having a bouncing baby BOY!!! (see arrow for photo proof)
We had a visit today with our perinatologist ~so far, everything looks good and healthy, but because they cannot preclude that a male offspring can get Noonan’s syndrome, we’ll be meeting with a genetic counselor next week and following up with the perinatologist in about a month. Part of our appointment today was a Level II ultrasound, which is such amazing technology! The machine can really see such incredible details. They checked the baby’s heart, and he has four good chambers pumping away; they looked at a lot of his organs and checked fingers and toes (10 of each, thankfully!) and looked at facial features. –What do you think, is that Chris’ nose???
Chris was SURE this baby was a boy from the moment the home test was positive so he’s feeling pretty confident in his “father’s intutition.” I’ve wanted an “oldest son” for my family ever since I was a little girl, so I’m just as happy. My parents were so excited to hear that they’re having a grandboy 🙂 and Karl was so excited about the next boy to carry on the family name, he was shouting “Yay for Penises!” I’ll bet that got him some funny looks!
Now we get the fun of looking for all the little clothes and toys… Bring On The Blue!