Category Archives: ch-ch-changes


This morning, we dropped RR at her new center, full of first-day-of-school jitters (us, not her) and trepidation that she (or us) would disintegrate into a pile of soggy, wet emotions everywhere.  But no, we were all OK.  We arrived (on time – gasp) with all of her accoutrements (sheets, blanket, spare clothes, diapers, wipes) and a positive attitude that this would go smoothly.  We also accounted for hanging out with her for 20 minutes or so until she got settled.

She enjoyed seeing her new friends she had seen only on the playground before, new toys, and new things to get into.  My wife did the settling in (and consoling of one of RR’s good friends who was having a hard time) and I filled out forms and talked with one of the teachers about what kind of new routine we could expect.

Not to bore you with details of all that, let’s cut to the chase about how incredibly proud and happy we were at her braveness.  For Little Miss Slow to Warm, she did a phenomenal job.  We spent last week practicing her new teacher’s names, so she got to put those in context. I think the newness of everything was more exciting than it was scary, and she was actually one of the only kids bouncing around the room, laughing and smiling.  So, so proud.

Also, earlier this week, we snapped a picture of her on our front stoop in a spot (and close-enough pose) where we took her first day of school picture last year.  Can you believe how far we’ve come?  I mean, the hair alone!

Physical Update

While we’re talking about mundane day-to-day sorts of things, let’s have an update on how things are going physically, hm?

I’ve moved strictly to slip-on wear 24/7 nowadays.  I think I COULD tie my shoes if I wanted to, but thought I’d go ahead and save myself the struggle from here on out.  This means I wear my Crocs (in a respectable Chocolate color) pretty much all the time – walking to/from work, walking the dog, on the weekends, etc.  I change into some manly Sketchers Jesus sandals when I get to work, to avoid being that person at work with Crocs, of which we frighteningly have several in the department.

I’ve got a good clothing rotation going on these days.  Oh sure, it means I have to wear 3/4 sleeves two out of five work days, but that’s something I’ve come to peace with recently after I learned that the bass player from Death Cab for Cutie only wears 3/4 sleeves on stage.  I had no idea when I wrote about such clothing success two months ago that those cargo pants/shorts and muscle undershirts would make up 90% of my daily wardrobe when I’m out in public.  The other 10% accounts for the weekends and evenings, when I can still wear a majority of my t-shirts and sweats.  I’m still wearing my same arsenal of pre-pregnancy boxer shorts, so no need for maternity underpants yet.  In TMI news, I’m sleeping naked these days, since I don’t see the point in buying maternity pajamas and, well, I don’t mind being naked.  So there.

No, not me – Vegas!  That kid is a hiccuping fool.  Typically, they last from anywhere from 5 minutes to 15 minutes.  Considering I can’t suggest that he drink nine swallows without stopping, or eat a tablespoon of peanut butter, he and I suffer through them until it gets worked out.  Since we’re (me, wife, OB) relatively certain his head has dropped, it explains why the hiccups feel as if they’re coming from the lowest part of my belly.  It feels like an internal pulsing/throbbing/thumping – unfortunately, they’re not visible from the outside yet.  His favorite times to hiccup are in the morning right when I’ve gotten to work, or in the middle of the night, in an effort to wake me up, for sure.

I have a pretty persistent twitch in my left eye, which my wife assures me is not visible to onlookers.  Thank goodness.  Since I’m sleeping OK these days (as in, mostly through the night), and it’s not caffeine related, it’s most likely pre-baby panic and mania.  It gets better when my wife talks to me in soothing tones, or if we’re making a to-do list, and then get some of it to-done.

Pain in the Ass
Literally.  I’m having some sciatica pain in the left side of my ass, which makes me waddle when I walk.  Who knew that the pregnant waddle can be brought on by ass pain?  Tylenol and the rice sock to the rescue.

In other news, I need a haircut and another prenatal massage STAT.  My to do list for today consists of setting those up, so I can look and feel more presentable as we’re coming down the home stretch.  At least the waves of panic are off-set by equal waves of excitement in meeting Vegas.  I really can’t wait to see that kid’s face.  I can’t wait to know if it’s a boy Vegas or a girl Vegas.  I also can’t wait to drink a beer and lift something really fucking heavy, but all in due time.

Symptom Check

Just so that I can keep track of myself and my inner and outer-happenings, let’s log some current symptoms, shall we?  Some of these, seriously, could be taken right from the book for “Week 26”:

  • Shitty eyesight:  Well, I’m sure the book doesn’t say “shitty,” but I have a combination of little clear floaters in my vision, plus a healthy side of blurriness, especially early in the morning while staring at a computer screen.  That said, I’m surprised this entry will be spelled correctly in its entirety.
  • Growing belly, shrinking everything else:  The belly is starting to get in the way, bumping into strangers, asking for spare change.  It’s fueling itself largely from my thighs, back, and neck.
  • Waddle:  Oh yes – Houston, we have a waddle.  Accompanied by slow-goings on any long walks.  Sorry, dog, for making you poke along so sluggishly up that hill.  Sorry, wife, for making us less effective, time-wise.
  • Voice Cracking:  Like a 14-year-old boy.  This is new and slightly embarrassing, and surely the result of some hormonal awesomeness.
  • Nausea:  Hey! I know you! Mostly in the morning, and especially if we’ve had a light dinner the night before.  Not nearly as severe as the time it mandated in-bed-saltines, but I’m real quick to chomp down a banana as soon as I’m able.

Little miracles (knock on wood):

  • No swelling to speak of – not in hands, legs, ankles, feet, etc.
  • Sciatica seems to be backing off a bit, thanks to strategic sleeping positions, balance ball sitting, back-rubs.
  • No real life-bossing food cravings, which means my wife is off the hook with being sent out for pickles and ice cream.

In response to how am I feeeeeeeeling?  Fine, really.  I mean, other than being a little winded here and there, and making sure I don’t knock anyone over with my newly expanded front-side, I feeeeeeel fine.  I don’t think I ever “forget” that I’m pregnant, per se, but my daily life isn’t revolving around it as much as it could be just yet.  For the most part, everyone (wife, co-workers, close friends) treat me as if nothing is really all that different (aside from some clothing comments), which goes a long way mentally from preventing me from throwing myself a pity-party over pregnancy-induced inconveniences or woes.  I know for a fact that, sure, the pregnancy is exciting and all, but we’re really looking forward to meeting the kiddo, so I’m trying to look past the current and upcoming symptoms and concentrate on visualizing Vegas’ little body in those tiny onesies.

Fries with that?

According to “the books,” Vegas will be doubling in size over the next couple of weeks.  This could explain so many things – my recent back aches, strange itchy spot on my outer thigh (just one thigh), unquenchable thirst, trouble sleeping, feeling drained, and the nudgings/pokings/jabbings from him as if he’s trying to claw his way out to freedom.  So this is my cue to really get my leafy green vegetables on.  Oh sure, sure – I should have been eating spinach and kale like they were mini Cadbury eggs all along here, and we’ve been doing relatively well, but I don’t want to give the kid hamburgers and fries to double up on.  How fair is that?  “Hey, kid… growing a brain and some arm-length?  Here, have some fat and grease.  Chop chop!”

It’s becoming less of a weight complex about myself, and more about making sure this kid comes out with every advantage under the sun to finally break away from my pre-disposed familial beefiness.  I’m not saying big isn’t beautiful, but big sometimes means sucking the fun out of things like riding roller coasters, or flying in a plane, or walking with thin people.  See, my whole family is hearty.  Sturdy?  Thick, as my drummer would say.  I’m the tallest of the bunch (at 5’6″) and the thinnest (see other post re: size 22).  Environmentally, my mom started sabotaging me with feeding me fast food every night (as my only dinner option) long before it hit the evening news out of popularity and concern.  Call her a trendsetter.  I’ve also had this body type since I can remember, and these broad shoulders started eclipsing other kids’ when I was about ten, as evidence by line-up-type softball pictures in which I look like I’ve eaten a teammate before the photo shoot.  Now, we don’t talk about “the donor” a lot, for various reasons, but I will say that we did make sure to pick a guy who was pretty lean (with a family history of being lean), and not very tall (in Caucasian donor standards, which is around 5’9″).  Lean, to hopefully off-set some of my chub-genes.  Not very tall, cause… well, we’re not very tall, and didn’t want a kid to tower over us, as if one of us boinked a basketball player on the side.

Also, my wife and I already have a tendency of unintentionally growing things on the large side.  We have large cats, a large dog, large plants, and so on.  The last thing we need is to grow an amazonian child.  Since some obese-prevention will be in place immediately by stopping my mother’s tradition of delightfully putting a straw-ful of Pepsi in his mouth when he’s six months old (“Get ’em started young!” she says), the majority of making sure he’s not made up of layers of oatmeal pies and corn dogs starts with what I put in my mouth.  Here’s to leafy greens, fresh fruits (man, that farmer’s market cannot start soon enough), legumes, and lean meats.  Yeah, it takes the fun out of having wonky, fabulous, decadent cravings (which, oddly enough, I’m not having a whole lot of?), but I’m trying to think of the long run here, which is always easier said than done, but here’s hoping.

The Sound of Waiting

We’re counting down the days until Friday morning’s ultrasound.  The last time we saw Vegas was back in December, and before then, was at the six week mark, when he was merely a flashing spot on the screen.  Unless we get super-sassy (or I’ve missed something in my notes), this is the last scheduled ultrasound before he’ll greet us all in June.  While I’m sure we’d love to sit there and watch him for hours, we’re mostly hoping for a clean bill of health, and to leave the room unspoiled on the sex.  I’m at peace with the fact that this will probably be our last peek at him, since I kind of feel like he’s our little soufflé – in there baking and rising with a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging on his cord.  Not being able to see him very often (or hear him, either, since we don’t have a home doppler) is finally off-set by his moving about and increasingly impressive cirque du soleil shows.

He’s growing a lot in there, too, as witnessed by my belly taking turns growing in on the sides and out front.  Since he hired some movers to relocate my stomach to a studio apartment, I’m also forced to practice the small-meals-often rule, with emphasis on the “often” since he is kind of bossy like that.  The amount of bananas, yogurt, and bowls of original Cheerios I consume in one day is pretty impressive.  I could be a sponsor for Chiquita, Yoplait, and General Mills any day now.  Any meal larger than normal (i.e. restaurant meals) end up ultimately making me feel like purging out of discomfort afterwards.  Blech.

In other news, the nursery is coming right along, and our FriendsWithTwins gave our crib, changing table, and co-sleeper a test run last weekend, with thumbs up reviews overall.  Everything is a “good height,” which might have been something we should have researched before buying, but it looks like we’ve lucked out.  There’s still a good chunk of (heavy) office stuff to go downstairs (thanks, in advance, wife), and a handful of things to buy and/or register for (groan) to make the room complete and Vegas-ready, but we’re well on our way.  Thanks, Twins, for lending your sleep and baby butts in the name of consumer reports.

I think we had our last bout of snow yesterday (knocking on wood), so I hope the white-frosted world will start to thaw out soon, and maybe I’ll get to see the grass in my backyard again.  A girl can dream.

And now jackhammers?

Whereas I may not look as pregnant as other almost-20-weekers, the changing inside my body is making me, at least, take notice.  The internal wrecking crew is back, as my pelvic bones constantly feel like they are being pried apart by crowbars, and the muscles along my sides and in front of my ribcage take turns aching.  I’m sleeping on my sides at night, mostly, which makes the outsides of my hips hurt, and my lower back is a constant low thrumming moan of pain, just for good measure.  Hot damn!

The dog, to his delight, is getting a good 20 minute walk every evening, regardless of the weather.  Aside from our previous neighborhoods, this one is actually rather hilly, so he and I both get a workout huffing and puffing up the inclines.  Factor in some ice and snow plus oncoming traffic, and we’re off-roading.  Throw in two other dogs being walked off-leash, and we’ve got ourselves an upper-body workout as well.  This is all to say that I feel like I’m getting my prescribed exercise each day, especially once you count in the 20 minute walk to the parking garage after work, and the constant up-and-down of my back deck stairs when the dog wants to play ball.  I imagine, though, that rescuing the Chuck-It (usually reserved for dog park activities) out of the car would help both my trouble bending down every two minutes as well as my throwing motion.

In brighter news, Vegas is moving around a lot.  I can feel him mostly whenever I’m sitting still – at work, sitting on the couch, sometimes laying down in bed.  It’s the weirdest and creepiest thing ever, though I suppose I’m supposed to say how wonderful and beautiful it is.  Which, OK fine, it is.  We both can’t wait to see his wiggly self on the 19th, which seems like eons from now.  I’ll let you know if a jackhammer is visible on the ultrasound.

Smell Police

Oh great.  Now I’m that pregnant lady whose sense of smell is so heightened that I’m bothered by other peoples’ perfume/cologne.  When did this happen?

Exhibit A: There’s a woman who keeps coming back into my office suite to make copies.  I’m already aggravated because it’s not her office suite, nor is it her copier – she’s merely visiting here for a meeting – so she’s sucking my will to live by barging back here and asking for “one more favor” every twenty minutes, which is testing my patience and customer service skills.  She’s fortunate I’ve been able to keep my pregnancy rage in check thus far (which is more than I can say for the two people I’ve laid-on-my-horn at in the last 24 hours – it’s a small town, folks – people don’t honk because you probably know the person you’re honking at).  But besides her poor-planning that’s giving me pain, it’s her cloud of Bath&BodyWorks that arrives 10 seconds before she knocks on my door, and lingers two minutes after she’s gone, that’s headache-inducing.

That is all – I will now leave you to be appreciative that this entire post wasn’t all in CAPS.

Soggy Panini

OK, so the “Be nice to me, I’m pregnant” shirt is out of stock, which is unfortunate, since crying is totally the new nausea.  Woah nelly.  Did I say crying?  Oh wait – maybe I meant sobbing uncontrollably in a reaction to being asked where we should eat lunch.  You would have sworn a relative had died.  Oh you silly hormones, off ruining my Saturday afternoon.  Thanks, hormones!

We can all sigh in relief, though, as Google suggestions is there for us, yet again!  #1, baby!

Google suggestion - Crying during...

Though, I will admit that the “breastfeeding” and “bottle feeding” don’t give me much longterm comfort.  I keep asking my wife when the book says this sort of thing will stop.  The book likes to point out when symptoms start, and then dozes off, forgetting to tell you when (if?) they might ever end.  And “intercourse” is #2?  Where do I sign up to thank my lucky stars I don’t have to Google THAT!?

Contrary to Google’s suggestion results, I’m not worried about how Vegas feels about the sobbing, which seems to be the popular concern.  No, I’m more worried what my wife and the strangers at Panera think – does that already make me a bad parent?  Crap.

Crying, Itching, and Sniffling

Hello emotional wreck, goodbye nausea.  Man, what I would give for some good old-fashioned queasiness in exchange for this new crying/happy roller coaster awesomeness.  Wee!  I suppose this was only to be expected in my somewhat (so far) textbook pregnancy, for those of us following along at home with those pregnancy week-by-week books, but still.  What I benefited from with my iron no-puke stomach, I have made up for with my hair-trigger crying.  If I already wasn’t sensitive enough, this is the emotional equivalent of someone suffering from morning sickness with a super weak gag reflex.

So let’s take this moment to recap some new and exciting symptoms:

  • Emotional mess – Crying one moment, elated the next, anxious in between.  I need a shirt that says, “Be nice to me, I’m pregnant” as everything that could be taken the wrong way, is.  I’m sorry, wife.
  • Itchy belly – Around the base of my belly, horizontal to my belly button (and underneath), it’s itchy off and on all day.  We’re smothering my belly with homemade belly rub, Eucerin Calming Creme, and Aveeno Moisturizing Shower & Bath Oil to combat the issue.
  • Swine flu?  No – it’s the dreaded weird pregnancy stuffy nose!  Replacing morning sickness is morning sniffles and stuffiness.  Thankfully, this has only been limited to the morning hours.

We’ll be at 16 weeks on Monday, and I’m still pregnancy-clothes free.  I can feel my organs and belly shifting around – what was hard up and around my ribcage isn’t has hard anymore; the hard mass is settling in at the front of my belly now.  If you were to take your hands and put them on my hips, and pull them towards my belly button, you’d feel an obvious shift from chubby flesh to hard baby belly.  My hips are low enough, though, that my pants still just sit under my belly.

I’m still waiting for this second trimester magical switch when I have an energy boost and endless appetite, or whatever is supposed to happen next.  In the meantime, I’m still pretty tired and hitting the sack as early as possible (without being rude), and I don’t have any real cravings to speak of (well, besides the Ruffles and Heluva Good french onion dip).  I’m finally eating normal-sized meals again, with small snacky items in between (which my wife has to remind me to eat amidst all of the crying).  I’ll let you know when we get to pickles and ice cream land.

The Big Reveal

Telling everyone we know about the pregnancy has been a tiring five-day PR roll-out.  Well, it started far more than five days ago,as you know, when we initially told close friends and family.  Those folks kept their trap shut as long as they could (varying times per person) and eventually told other people.  You know… my mom told that lady at church; her mom told a few neighbors.  But for the masses, this baby has been kept under lock and key.

Oh but now – now everyone knows.  A timeline for you, if you will:

Friday:  Sonogram reveals averagey average baby.  I tell one co-worker and my boss.
Saturday:  Not so much telling, but an exhausting day spent registering (a whole other post).
Sunday:  Holiday newsletter was emailed to friends and family (otherwise known as, people who would have been grouchy to find out news of this caliber on Facebook).
Monday:  Morning meeting with HR, afternoon spent telling boss’ boss and other co-workers.
Tuesday:  A timed attack on Facebook – a one-two punch of her status update, followed by my update (and obligatory posting of ultrasound picture as my profile picture).  Dozens of status “like’s”, Congratulations, Wow’s, and one HOLY SHIT! later, everyone from former and current co-workers, and high school and college friends have been dutifully notified.


On another note, the past few nights have been rough sleep-wise, due to some combination of nausea, having to pee every hour, and a lot of gurgling activity inside which is most likely the result of the hammering and scaffolding that is being erected in my uterus to support what is yet to come.  I swear, at some point I could smell sawdust.  My belly is getting weirdly hard, which is also creepy exciting.