Friday, February 26, 2010

Let the swelling begin...

Oh, geez.  My feet have started to spread & swell.  I know, I 36.5 weeks, I should feel lucky that this is my biggest complaint.  My back doesn't hurt, my hips don't hurt, I'm not having difficulty breathing...etc, etc, etc.  I just really like my dainty little ankles & feet and I want them to stay that way forever.  Last night, my right foot looked like it belonged to Fred Flintstone.  I'm not kidding.

On a very happy note, I had a good 36 week checkup earlier this week.  My blood pressure is still great, Klaw's heart rate is excellent, I am measuring just right for my weeks, and he is comfortably head down awaiting the moment when he decides to enter this world.  My midwife did an ultrasound and it was amazing.  Now that he has put some more meat on his bones, you can really see more of his features - even on the grainy black & white standard u/s machine.  During the u/s, he was sucking on his hands and when he finally pulled his hands away from his face, you could clearly see his puffy cheeks & big ol' pouty lips.  This was much more awe-inspiring for me than the previous Skeletor u/s pictures.

It's real.  I'm having a baby...and he just happens to be the cutest baby ever.  ;-)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ash Wednesday

Today marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent. What is Lent, you ask?  Oddly enough, this has always been one of my favorite times of the year.  I think a certain part of me has always enjoyed the "self-sacrificial" aspect of it.  Plus, several good, long-term changes have been made in my life due to the various things I have "given up" for Lent.  I gave up red meat once in high school, I gave up caffeinated soft drinks in middle school (STILL only drink about one cherry coke a year and that's only if I go to a matinee movie!), and I once limited the amount of time I spent on the computer to 15 minutes twice a day.  Obviously, the computer time limit didn't stick all that well...

One year, I even dumped ALL of my Madonna tapes, posters, records, etc off in a brown paper bag in our high school Sunday School classroom.  We had done a program about laying our burdens on the cross.  I don't know why, but it struck me that I had had a pretty big obsession with Madonna ever since I got her Like a Virgin tape when I was 8 years old.  Yes, 8.  My Barbie & the Rockers sang only Madonna songs.  I sang only Madonna songs.  It was ridiculous.  Anyways, I felt compelled to get rid of all of it, so I did.  I assumed someone else would remove the bag but it was never touched for well over a year.  By that time, my musical interests had broadened and I decided to reclaim my previous "burden."  I rarely listen to Madonna anymore...but I do have all of her albums, many on tape & CD, before her reinvention as a middle-aged body builder.

This year, I have no idea what I'm going to do.  I am 95% convinced that pregnancy is one big Lenten Season and since this pregnancy will almost fully overlap Lent, there's not really anything more I can give up!  However, I haven't always given up stuff for Lent.  Sometimes, I've added something beneficial to my life, whether it be a daily prayer or scripture reading or even half an hour of exercising.  I'm trying to decide if there is anything I can add that would be beneficial to me &/or to Klaw.

Lent is a time of reflection and preparation, which sits awfully well with the last few weeks of pregnancy.  I think it's a happy coincidence that I am preparing for the birth of our child at the same time that the Church is preparing for the death & resurrection of Jesus.  One will provide a multitude of changes in my life while the other provided and continues to provide a multitude of changes in the lives of people all over the world.  Maybe I have begun to answer my own question about what to do this Lenten Season...

O Lord, who hast mercy upon all,
take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me
the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore Thee,
a heart to delight in Thee,
to follow and enjoy Thee, for Christ's sake, Amen
St. Ambrose of Milan (AD 339-397)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Shayna, "The Loud One," & "Kitty"

Virginia Living Museum

My best friend/suite mate/partner in crime from college, Shayna, came to visit with her two hilarious kids.  I'm not at all surprised that her kids made me laugh as much as they did!  It was good timing, too.  I've been bored, sore, uncomfortable, etc since hitting the 8month mark in this pregnancy.  "The Loud One" and "Kitty" were perfect reminders of WHY I'm pregnant.

Now, you may be wondering why they are called "The Loud One" and "Kitty."  It's terribly easy to explain.  The Loud One has absolutely no volume control.  It was much like having my dear sweet husband back at home...the man can be right in front of me and you'd think he was speaking to a crowd without a microphone.  Luckily, The Loud One's voice doesn't carry quite as far as Chris's.  Kitty meows.  Plain & simple.  If she's tired, hungry, nervous, etc...she lets out a cute little "meow."  Now, don't let that fool you...she can turn that kitty into a tiger if she's tired/cranky/annoyed enough!

During their stay, we visited the Virginia Living Museum, the Aquarium in Virginia Beach, met with Shayna's relatives (who treated me to the Aquarium & dinner - easiest way to my heart!), saw a LOT of snow & several of Hampton Roads' "finest" drivers testing the limits of black ice, ate a fabulous french toast breakfast at my sister's house, and played some card game about dinosaurs - The Loud One set & reset the rules a few times.

The dogs were great during the trip...I'm often overly cautious when it comes to Samson around small children due to his previous negative experiences with children scaring the mess out of him.  Shayna's kids followed the "ignore Samson" rules and he eventually warmed up to them...even tolerating the stair sliding and squealing without running to hide in my bedroom.  Boomer, of course, was in heaven with all of the activity and extra attention.

There were a few issues, however.  1 - Kitty puked on the carpet within about 20 minutes of being in my house; 2 - It did not snow at my house, which was very disappointing to The Loud One; 3 - I do not have any TVs in the bedrooms...again, very disappointing to The Loud One; and 4 - The Loud One decided to pull a wrestling move on my niece after breakfast.  He's only 4 but built like he should be in the NFL.  Needless to say, when he jumped from the rope (stool) onto her stomach, it did not go over well.  All in all, we got over the speed bumps & had a great time.  I know I did!

Samson watching Shayna & her kids leave
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