Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - year in review

2012: In The Beginning
Where did you bring in the New Year? in baltimore. 
Who were you with? matt, callie, anthony, and a few other friends.
Did you make any resolutions?  i honestly don't even remember.  i think i resolved to eat healthier, which i did (up until the past 2-3 weeks).

2012: Your Love Life
Did you break up with anyone? no way!
Did you get anything for Valentine's day? i believe we went out for dinner in center city.
Did you meet anyone special? not romantically, no.
Did you fall in love? with baby boy.  already head over heels.  and i fell more in love with matt as we work through this journey to parenthood together.

2012: Friends and Enemies
Did you meet any new friends this year? sure!
Did any of your friendships end? i stopped taking calls from a friend whose drama i no longer had time for. 
Did you dislike anyone? yes
Did you make any new enemies? no
Did you resolve any fights? every day.  it's what they pay me to do.
Who was(were) your closest friend(s)? matt, callie, abriel, nicole
Who did you grow apart from? see the 2nd question.
Do you have any regrets when it comes to your friendships? not really.

2012: Your BIRTHDAY!!
Did you have a cake? i doubt it.  i might have had a cupcake or something.
Did you have a party? nope.
Did you get any presents? probably money from my parents.  and i don't remember what matt got me.  this is terrible!
If so, what was the best thing you got? dude, who doesn't love birthday money?

2012: All about YOU
Did you change at all this year? mmm...i packed on a few (30) pounds, grew a human, instantly became a mother...yeah, i changed a bit
Did you dye your hair? yes, a couple of times i diy'd it at home. 
Did you get your hair cut? a few times. 
Did you change your style? yeah, i went from classic normal to whatever-looks-good maternity.
Were you in school? ugh, no, done with school.
Did you have a job? social worker
Did you drive? yup
Did you own a car? my beautiful nissan rogue.  i seriously love my car.
Did anyone close to you give birth? 2 of my friends (who are sisters) had baby girls!  and lots of coworkers had babies this year!
Did you move at all? no...not yet.
Did you go on any vacations? we spent a week in georgia - stayed with abriel and dave in peachtree city for a few days, and then spent a few nights in savannah.  loved it!
Did you leave the country at all? no, not this year!
Would you change anything about yourself now? i'd be un-pregnant right about now!

2012: Wrap Up.
Is 2012 a good year? 2012 ranks up there with one the best years ever!
Did 2012 bring any new insights? this has certainly been a year of growth and learning. 
Do you think 2013 will top 2012? most likely.  baby boy will be here and we will have our little family.  it will be more challenging than 2012, for sure, but i'm betting it will be totally worth it.

How old will you turn in 2013? 34.
Do you think you'll be married by then? already married.
What do you look forward to most in the next 2 months? baby!!!!
Will you be looking for a new job? i don't think so, but with the way the hospital is operating right now, that sentiment could change.
Will you be looking for a new relationship? a flourishing mommy-son relationship!
New house? not likely
New Years resolution? i haven't even thought about new year's resolutions.  i just want to get this baby out and start being a mom!
Any trips planned? no.  let's have the baby first and see how that goes!
Wedding plans? nobody getting married this year, that i know of!
What's on your calendar? ob and chiro appointments, last day of work, baby's due date.  eventually we'll get around to scheduling spa weekend with my mom and sister, and callie's baby shower!
What can't you wait for? oh my god,!!!
What would you like to see happen different? no idea.
What about yourself will you be changing? are these questions getting repetitive?
What happened in '12 that you didn't think would ever happen? my sister got pregnant while i was pregnant!
What will you do differently in 2013? actually be a mom, instead of just reading about it, ha ha!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

38 weeks

due date: jan 10
how many weeks down/days left/days of work left: 38 weeks/13 days/7 days
baby is the size of: a leek
sleep: rough.  it is really difficult and even painful to roll from side to side at this point.  i need to fully wake up in order to do so, then i end up need a drink or having to pee or just laying there awake for a bit.
best moment this week: christmas day.  matt and i slept in till 9 and just lounged all day long...i didn't even get out of my pj's.  and matt got me the camera i've been wanting for like a year - the olympus pen!
what are you looking forward to: last visits with my family before baby arrives!  dad is coming down on saturday and i think we're meeting my mom and jeff at a restaurant in between us to watch football on sunday.     
what do you miss:  not waddling.  and being able to open things up by myself - my hands are now very swollen all the time, and i feel like i have arthritis.  i have a new level of respect and sympathy for people who live with actual arthritis day in and day out.  it is the pits
symptoms: big belly.  back, hip, and pelvic pain.  lots of  peeing.  puffy feet and hands/hand pain.  congested.
weight gain: 29 pounds.    
movement: still moving a lot.
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: still not what i would call an outtie, but it's more out than in.
rings: all off.  i'm not even comfortable wearing the opal ring anymore. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

and finally, the nursery

finally getting around to revealing the nursery, even thought it isn't quite done.  still need the bench cushion and blanket that my mom is making, and the cross-stitch that matt's aunt donna is making to hang over the crib.  otherwise, we are all set and ready for baby boy to make his appearance and move into his new room!  so without further ado....

here's what you'll see as you walk into baby's room.

the corner with the crib, and my paper lantern mobile, which i love.  my step-sister had my nephew in the room at our christmas party, and she said he was totally enthralled with the lantern.  here's hoping baby boy will be, too.

here's what's behind the glider.  matt and i love music and movies, so we thought it was only appropriate to include some of our favorite quotes or lyrics.

l-r: grateful dead, "eyes of the world."  coldplay, "yellow."  willy wonka and the chocolate factory.

l-r: john lennon, "imagine."  rent.  queen, "a kind of magic."
here is the dresser and the gallery wall.

a few more detailed pictures of the gallery wall.

the special edition poster from the ben gibbard show
yup, that's matt and i, each at about 2 years old.  aren't we cute?
and this is the print my sister had made and had everyone sign at the shower.  i am completely in love with it - it is such a special piece, and i love that it has all of our closest friends and family on it!

mama and daddy, right up top  (c:
so there it is!  that's where baby boy will be living for the next however many years!  thanks for taking the tour!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

end of pregnancy

to my dear baby boy,

you are 38 weeks old today.  i can't believe we've come this far and are so close to meeting you.  i sat in your nursery last night and looked around at all the pictures and stuff we have for you.  it is all set up and just waiting for you to come home.  i am so proud of all the work your daddy did and how hard we both worked to make it a special place for you.  i just know that you're going to love it.  i sat on the glider and thought about having you in my arms in that room, and i just wept.  i cannot wait to meet you.

gosh, i can't believe how much you've grown - from a little sesame seed to a watermelon!  and i know you will just continue to grow and grow.  and we will want to freeze time, i'm sure.  because it will all go so fast, just like this time did for us.  in some ways it feels like just yesterday that the word "positive" showed up on that tiny screen.  in other ways, it feels like ages ago.  either way, it's been 34 weeks since we found out and i can't believe it.

i was going through your clothing last night and just can't wrap my head around the fact that you are going to be so little when we bring you home.  those tiny little shirts and pants and hats!  they're smaller than the clothing i used to dress my dolls in!  

up until the past week or so, i have been perfectly content keeping you on the inside, safe and warm and snuggly.  but it's eviction time, little dude.  mama's belly is full.  her hips and her back hurt.  and she can't do anything without requiring major effort - you would laugh if you saw her trying to roll over in bed!  mama keeps telling you to wait until january, but you don't have to listen to her - this is one time in your life you're allowed to disobey me, so you should take advantage while you can!  anytime you're ready, we're ready for you. we'll be here, with open arms, open hearts, sappy smiles, lots of tears, and most likely some annoying camera flashes.  daddy will play guitar for you, mama will sing to you, and padfoot...well, she'll probably just sit and stare at you. 

hurry up, little one...i'm not sure my heart can take much more waiting! 


Sunday, December 23, 2012

37 weeks

yikes!  excuse my terrible hair!  but go steelers!!

due date: jan 10
how many weeks down/days left/days of work left: 37 weeks/21 days/11 days
baby is the size of: a stalk of swiss chard
sleep: not too bad.  slept through the night a couple of times, up to pee once a couple of other nights. 
best moment this week: ob appointment wednesday - baby's head is "very low," and i'm 1cm dilated. 
what are you looking forward to: remember last week when i said we were shopping, installing car seats, and packing hospital bags?  well, we shopped.  but we didn't get the car seats installed or the hospital bags packed (though i did at least start a list).  so we're doing that this weekend.  for sure.   
what do you miss:  not waddling, ha ha! 
symptoms: big belly.  back, hip, and pelvic pain.  lots of  peeing.  puffy hands and feet.  congested.
weight gain: 29 pounds.    
movement:  i seriously think he's trying to swim out.  i just feel this constant movement at the top of my belly - it feels like he's doing bicycle kicks in there!
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: still not what i would call an outtie, but it's more out than in.
rings: all off.  i'm not even comfortable wearing the opal ring anymore. 

Friday, December 21, 2012


it's been a busy holiday season so far, and it's not because of the holidays!  first we had thanksgiving and my high school reunion.  then my shower.  then my mom's surprise birthday/retirement party.  oh, and then our family holiday party.  oy....i'm glad we have the excuse of not being allowed to travel for the holidays, cuz this mama needs a break after all that!  

my friends/family baby shower was held on sunday of thanksgiving weekend.  i had a feeling that a lot of people wouldn't be able to make it because of the date, but more than i expected came, and i was so touched.  my mom and callie worked their butts off to make it a special day, and i was so overwhelmed.  callie made cake pops and chocolate-covered oreos.  they made a ton of food, including stromboli, stuffed figs, salad, asparagus rolls, and meatballs.  they also made sangria and hot apple cider, which i don't normally drink but have recently been craving.

step-aunt betsy, step-sister ashley, and callie

the spread - so much yummy food!

mimi ruth and donna (2 of my mil's best friends), plus nicole and jody (bil's girlfriend)

2 of my besties, nicole and abriel, abriel's mom melinda, and mil

callie and me

2 of my coworkers/friends, stacy and karen

matt's cousin dawn, aunt tana, cousin beth, and cousin danielle

matt's aunt donna, plus my friends stephy and mel

my mom made the pennant banner - the fabric in the middle (the argyle one) is the same one she is using for the bench cushion and blanket that she's making for baby's room!  plus you can see all the cake pops and the sangria!

callie didn't organize any shower games, which was perfectly fine with me.  i always find them awkward, anyway.  the only thing she made sure people did was leave their fingerprint on this amazing print she had made for the baby's room.  i cannot wait to hang it up; it's going right in the middle of the gallery wall over the dresser.  we had all the aunts/uncles/cousins add their fingerprints at our holiday party this past weekend, and matt and i will add ours!

i'd say gift opening took about 45 minutes.  people were extremely generous, and i was so overwhelmed with all the thoughtful gifts that people got.  we didn't get nearly as much clothing as i'd expected, and we got no diapers, which was shocking (nobody really knew about our plans to cloth diaper).  we also got very few gift receipts, so hopefully babies r us is fairly forgiving in their return policies.  but overall, we got a ton of great stuff, and i had a great time coming home and washing everything and putting it away.  the nursery is really coming together; i can't wait to show it to you guys!!

on monday at work, i had this incident that i needed to report to my boss.  so on tuesday, she sent me an email asking me to please come to her office to discuss the situation further.  we had a staff meeting scheduled at 1pm, so she asked me to come by at 12:15.  i was kind of annoyed that she wanted me there 45 minutes before our meeting (her office is in our townhouse, which is a block away from the hospital) - i didn't think it would possibly take 45 minutes to discuss the issue, and then i'd be kind of stuck over at the office until the meeting started.  around noon, i got caught up in something, so i shot her a quick email to say i'd be there but a few minutes late.  i got over to the office around 12:25, but not before i noticed that stacy, my officemate, had taken her coat, which i kind of thought was strange but thought maybe she had to run to the pharmacy to get meds for a patient.  anyway, i got to the office and my boss was waiting for me.  she suggested that we should go upstairs for our meeting, so i just obliged and headed up the stairs.  as i got to the top, i realized that it was not a meeting with my boss to discuss the incident, but rather a surprise baby shower!  my department threw me a fabulous baby shower, complete with little italy pizza (stacy made sure to get chicken bacon ranch pizza for me, god love her), cake, brownies, and cupcakes.  they had taken up a collection and gave us our bathtub and hooded towels, as well as some very generous gift cards.  i was definitely surprised and so touched!

matt, baby ike, and i are so very very lucky.  this little boy is very loved by so many people.

on december 2nd, we threw my mom's surprise party.  matt and i were in town for "a haircut and to pick up matt's car," and also "our last weekend to be home and see everyone before baby comes."  it was a lame excuse, but mom bought it.  my step-dad had rented out a room at the country club for the party, so in order to get her to the club, the plan was that matt and i would meet them for brunch after church.  the party started at 2, and we were supposed to meet them at noon, with instructions from jeff to show up late so we could drag things out a bit.  we showed up about 25 minutes late for brunch, using the  excuse that i had fallen asleep again and matt let me sleep, since i was sick.  i was sure she had no idea about the party, because the whole day before and the morning of she kept insisting that if i wasn't feeling well they would just pick up some soup and come home for lunch.  i assured her i'd be fine for brunch.  anyway, we finished eating around 1:30, at which point matt, jeff, and i looked at each other and thought, "how the heck are we going to stall her for another 1/2 hour?"  well, she went to the restroom and ran into some other club members and got to talking to them, which killed about 15 minutes.  after she came back to the table, i started talking to her about callie's shower.  that killed about 10 minutes, at which point we all (slowly) started gathering our things and getting ready to leave.  she tried to head out the back door, like usual, but jeff told her that they had put up the christmas decorations upstairs and he wanted to see them.  matt shook jeff's hand like we were leaving, and i said, "well, no, i want to see the decorations, too!"  so the 4 of us headed up the stairs towards the room where the party was.  as we reached the top of the steps, we saw my mom's philadelphia cousins, and she said, "oh my gosh, look who's here!"  she still didn't get it - she thought they just happened to be in hershey.  it wasn't until she rounded the corner and saw several other friends and family that she figured it out.  i ushered her into the party room and everyone yelled surprise.  she really had no idea about the party and was completely surprised!  yay!!  there were probably close to 100 people there - friends and family came from all over to celebrate with her, and it was such a special day.  i'm so thrilled that so many people were able to come and be with her!  (most of these pictures are courtesy of my step-aunt, which is why all of my step-relatives are in the pictures!)

my step-cousins meghan and kirk

my step-brother john and nephew brody

more nephews - gianni, isaiah, and eman

my niece, brianna, and step-sister, melissa

nephews!  aiden and eman
step-dad jeff with step-cousin travis

me, mom, and callie

mom and jeff, on the dance floor - i swear it's their natural habitat

mom and jeff

Monday, December 17, 2012

36 weeks

*once again, written on thurs, posted on monday.  it's a bit hectic around here!*


due date: jan 10
how many weeks down/days left/days of work left: 36 weeks/27 days/16 days
baby is the size of: a crenshaw melon
sleep: a bit better.  i count myself lucky, as most books i've read make it sound like by now i should be getting up 3-4 times a night.  i get up once, usually sometime between 2-5 to pee, and then usually fall back asleep pretty quickly.  i'm still congested, but not sick-sick like i had been.  and not snoring, according to matt.  
best moment this week: our family christmas party on saturday!  we had about 21 people at our house, so it was crowded but it was wonderful.    
what are you looking forward to: this weekend we're planning to finish our shopping at babies r us, install the car seats, put together the pack and play, and start packing the hospital bags.  in other words, we're finalizing preparations for baby boy's debut!   
what do you miss:  being able to do much of anything without getting short of breath. 
symptoms: big belly.  back and hip pain.  lots of  peeing.  my hands are still pretty swollen most of the time, so i'm going to address that with my ob today.  and like i said, i'm still congested, but i think that is mostly pregnancy congestion at this point - i think my cold is gone.
weight gain: 27 pounds.    
movement:  he's definitely still moving around in there, but i have noticed a difference in the movements this week.  as he runs out of room, i think i'm feeling fewer little kicks and stuff, and more bigger movements. 
gender: baby boy!! 
belly button: still not what i would call an outtie, but it's more out than in.
rings: all off.  i'm not even comfortable wearing the opal ring anymore. 

Saturday, December 15, 2012


the news of the school shooting in sandy hook, ct, has left us all feeling a little bit....angry, sad, overwhelmed, afraid...  no matter what you're feeling, i'm willing to bet your heart just feels like it weighs a bit more at the moment.  i know mine does.

in events like this, i tend to avoid the news.  i didn't watch the news at all.  i read one article and cried my way through half of it before matt told me to stop reading it.  i simply cannot read about it and not put myself in the places of those parents, teachers, staff, and families.  and i can't possibly imagine the thoughts of those little babies.  it just breaks my heart.  and so i say a prayer and turn it off.

last night as i scrolled through my facebook news feed, reading all of my friends' status updates about hugging their kids tighter, i could help but feel deeply deeply saddened.  and then i read honest toddler's update, "so many angels.  can you see them?"  and that's when i broke.  as i sat and felt this little boy rutching around in my belly, i couldn't help but fixate on it a bit more.  and i just cried.  and cried and cried and cried.  given yesterday's tragedy, part of me now wants to keep him inside me forever, where i can keep him safe and snuggled up next to me.  of course, i know that's not realistic, and while part of me wants him to stay inside me forever, the stronger part of me wants to meet him and hold him and kiss him and cuddle him.  we won't be able to keep him safe from harm at all times.  i'm not naive enough to believe that.  so all i can do is pray for his safety and teach him how to stay as safe as possible at all times.  it's the best we can do as parents.  

on tuesday, december 18, i'll be participating in the blogger day of silence in support of sandy hook.

i will post nothing but this button.  there's not much i can do from here to support the families and citizens of sandy hook, but this is at least something.  spreading the word and helping people who want to donate do so. 

keeping the families of sandy hook in my heart and prayers. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

family christmas

on saturday, matt and i hosted our entire families at our house to celebrate the holidays.  as of december 13, i am no longer allowed to travel more than an hour away from the hospital, which means that being home for the holidays is not an option.  so we decided to host everyone at our house in one big shot, rather than spread it out and host 3 separate smaller parties (matt's family, my mom and jeff's family, and my dad).  we ended up having 21 people at the house, which was a lot, but it worked out pretty well.  i delegated a lot of the food out to everyone (and actually assigned dishes, rather than having people show up with whatever), so i didn't really have that much cooking to do.  i made pulled pork (in the crock pot, yay) and a vegetable lasagna for the vegetarians in the family (and by made a lasagna, i mean i used our points at the grocery store to get a free party-size stouffer's lasagna, and threw that in the oven).  but we had a ton of other food from everyone else, and it worked out really well.  we exchanged our gifts with our families.  we got more stuff for baby, plus some great stuff for us, as well.  my mother-in-law was the only one taking pictures, so that's why there's hardly any pictures of my family. 

Matt's nephew Gabe and niece Avery (3rd from left) with my brother-in-law's girlfriend's daughters, Alexa and Christina

My sister, my dad, and me

Gigi and Fritz (my mom and Jeff) with my nephew Brody

My brother-in-law Dan and his girlfriend/one of my high school besties Tina

My brother-in-law Mike with his girlfriend, Jody, and 2 kids, Gabe and Avery

Matt and his brothers, Dan and Mike

The boys - Gabe, Mike, Dan, and Matt

Pretty Aves

Me and Matt opening gifts - this is a t-shirt his brother Dan got for baby

Me and Sissy - one clearly pregnant, one pregnant but you can't tell at all

my sister and anthony spent the night, and we just hung out, watching movies and talking.  sunday morning, i made eggnog pancakes, and after callie and anthony left, matt and i lounged around watching football.  i opened our car seat and put together our stroller, and washed the new baby stuff so i could get it put away.  but for the most part, it was a lazy day and it was exactly what i needed.  even though i didn't cook much for the christmas party, i was still busy and didn't sit much all day saturday until after everyone left, so i was still pretty tired.