Thursday, April 29, 2010

To Grandma's House We Go

After trying for months to figure out how to upload videos from our new camera to the Mac, I succeeded! That means I can finally share with you the video that was taken (post about the day can be found here) when we told my mom, Carole, our baby news.  She is going to be so embarrassed that I shared this, but I'm pretty sure every one of you is going to fall in love with her if you haven't already.  Enjoy!

Going to Grandma's House from Amy B on Vimeo.

P.S. If you are having a hard time viewing parts of the blog right now, click here.  GRR!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog Fail

Not sure what's up with my blog right now, but if you click on the title of this post, it will look more normal and you can access the sidebar and past posts (I posted a new one tonight here and a fun video here).  If it turns out that I broke the Internet, I'm going to bed for the rest of the week!  ;o)

Update: It seems that if you view this blog using FireFox as your browser (my preference!), everything looks good.  I'm working on figuring this out, but in the meantime, ARRRRGH!!  Pregnant Pirate on a Rampage! does a body good!

I came home from a crazy day of work only to be greeted by a thoughtful, unexpected present from my dear friend Jilly (I briefly mentioned her in this post)! If you ask me, the best kind of present is the kind you aren't expecting that you get for no reason at all. Lately, I've gotten a few of these because of this thing I'm know, growing a baby? And along with growing comes stretch marks! But Jilly wouldn't let those nasty things happen to me...

Because she treated me to some fancy belly oil and lotion!

And let me tell you, this stuff smells amazing.

Thank you so much, Jilly! You are such a sweetie to think about my future bikini needs. Er...just kidding - I think my bikini days are o-v-e-r.

While we're on the subject of lotion, let me share with you what's on our computer desk right now:

HEY, get your mind out of the gutter! Ohhh, don't try telling me you didn't just go there*!

Truth is, the reason there is lotion and a washcloth on our desk is because I spent the morning trying to record and upload Chickpea's heartbeat with the use of our new doppler.

It didn't go so well. I'm technologically inept. WOE IS ME.

I won't give up, though. Promise. You WILL hear that amazing heartbeat soon. But if any of you know how in the heck to record sound with a dual audio jack (using our Mac - which hates me), I'd greatly appreciate your input!

*Sorry for being a bit inappropriate, mom - you know I can't help myself. Hahaa...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bump Watch: 18 Weeks

Almost 19 weeks along! And speaking of this past week, it kicked my pregnant behind like you wouldn't believe. I also lost 2.5lbs, which I wasn't happy about. Rest assured, none of that weight came off my ghetto booty, which is evidenced by these pictures. ;o)

This time, I decided to show you my actual belly!  OK, so I didn't plan on it, but when I went to put the week # on, I realized it wouldn't show up on the black outfit (GENIUS!) and was too tired to change. So naked belleh, it was.

Is it just me, or do I look skinnier in black and white photographs?  Anyone?  Bueller? 

Miss Molly was a part of the photo shoot this week, but all she wanted to do was hold my I got down to her level and gave her some smooches.  


I foresee a lot of future pictures of Chickpea with a scrunched-up face as Molly licks him/her "clean."  She's kind of obsessive about the kisses.  I don't mind, though!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Know You're Pregnant If...

  • You suddenly can’t read enough birth stories, and they all make you cry.
  • Dropping a big shadoobie is now cause for celebration - as in, “I deserve a cupcake for every day that has passed since I was last able to go.”
  • You take up drinking decaf coffee to moooove things along - and buy a new coffee maker (all hail the Kuerig!) just for this purpose.
  • Your boobs go from small to big, or from big to “oh-my-god-I think-a rib-just-cracked” proportions.
  • Your skin goes from oily to itchy & patchy, causing you to grab for your significant other's dry skin lotion for the first time ever.
  • You go from being ‘hell on wheels’ to becoming a more conscientious driver, starting the day you find out you’re pregnant.
  • You stop bemoaning another pound gained - and constantly "dieting" - and begin celebrating the weight you put on for the sake of the baby.
  • You begin to think maternity pants are the answer to Thanksgiving dinners or PMS after you give birth…these things are GLORIOUS!
  • You keep a plastic bag in your purse and car for impromptu upchucking sessions, having learned the hard way that not having one when you need it is not cool at all.
  • You find that a toilet isn’t the only acceptable place to throw up – the kitchen sink is closer (God bless Clorox)!
  • You start forgetting things and suddenly understand why your mom used to call you 'Oliver' after the dog instead of by your own name.
  • You begin to wonder what happened to your stomach muscles - and blame the loss of them on the fact that you moan every time you stand up from the couch.
  • You start having crazy-person dreams that make no sense and keep you thinking long after you've climbed out of your warm, cozy bed.
  • You now salivate when you see icky things as opposed to the yummy things, and learn to take this as a warning.
  • You go from having a sweet tooth to wanting to hurl upon seeing that delectable three-layer cake.
  • You cry at the cheesy commercials that used to make you roll your eyes or laugh hysterically. 
  • You find you have to remind yourself to stop sucking in your gut…it’s a hard habit to break!
  • Watching the news becomes unbearable and scary, causing you to think, “Look at the crazy world I’m bringing this baby into!”
  • Brushing the back of your tongue in the morning no longer just means good hygiene. It also means "Breakfast round one, coming right up!"  
  • You become a more forgiving person, thinking “Aww, but that is someone’s son/daughter" as opposed to “That person could really use a boot in the arse.”
  • You know where the bathroom is located in every establishment you've ever been in, because chances are, you've already had to use it.  Twice.
  • You go from being embarrassed to pass gas in front of your significant other to ceremoniously lifting your left cheek and letting out a satisfied sigh.
  • Conversation always seems to lead to bodily functions and you no longer feel bad about it or offer apologies. In other words, you become downright CLASSY.
  • People start touching your stomach and you let them, when only a few weeks ago that would have been cause for a dirty glare and a “What is wrong with you?” comment.
  • All of these crazy new things feel completely worth it…because you know that when this is said and done, you will have a precious baby to love and call your own.
If you think of any to add that you learned from your own pregnancy experience, please leave them in the comments section and I'll add them on.  Besides, I look at this list as a work in progress...I'm pretty sure this is only half of what I'll learn from this experience, since I DO have another 5 months to go. *God Help Me*

UPDATED to add a link to my late-pregnancy symptoms!!  Click here for more!

Friday, April 23, 2010


Yesterday marked 18 weeks along. It also happened to be the first day that I unmistakably could feel the baby moving inside me! Starting on Tuesday, I began feeling gurgling or a 'goldfish flopping' feeling, but thought it was gas or my food settling. But when it began happening more frequently, it dawned on me that little Chickpea was trying to let me know s/he is in there!

It's still pretty fluttery, but there is no mistaking it now that I know what it feels like. And it feels...AMAZING. That's our baby in there! I know I'll probably regret saying this, but I can't wait until Chickpea actually grows big enough to give mama a swift kick to the belly. I can't wait until it's a game, where I push at my stomach and s/he pushes back. Of course I'll need to discourage such behavior later in life, but for now, I'm just going to take it one step (and kick!) at a time. :o)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dreaming in Color (Pink...or Blue?)

Mark and I don't plan on finding out the gender of our baby.  This might be hard for some to believe, but while it's not the easy choice, we definitely feel it's the right one for us.  I mean, how many true (and good) surprises can you really get in life these days?  I count getting engaged as one such surprise and I also count that day as one of the best of my life.  Whenever I get anxious to know more about the baby inside me, I think about the "It's a ____!" experience we have to look forward to on Birth Day and am comforted that it will vastly add to what is sure to be another amazing and favorite day in our lives.

I'm not one to subscribe to the "Girls rule; Boys drool" theory.  When I think about having a boy, I feel just as content as I would if we were blessed with a girl.  Plus, if you knew me as a mouthy teenage girl, you would understand how I might be nervous about the possibility of that coming back at me twofold if we do have a girl (soooo sorry for putting you through that, mom)!

That brings me to the dreams I've had thus far.  Early in our pregnancy, I had a dream that involved two baby girls.  One was a bit older than the other, but they were both blonde-haired, blue-eyed beauties.  I'm not sure if they were mine in the dream or if I even felt like they were mine, but they were certainly in my possession.  Last night, however, I had a very graphic dream in which I went into labor and could actually feel the stomach contractions pulsating - though they didn't hurt - and could feel the pressure and excitement I imagine going into labor creates.  It was all very real and at the end of it, the doctors yelled out, "It's a boy!" and handed me the baby.  Later as we were showing him to people, I said his name out loud.  The name I said is one that is near the top of our boy-name list.  I have no doubt that if we do have a boy in September, that will be his name now that I've had this dream. it, Mark wasn't so accepting of the middle name we've already talked about, so I might have to work on him in real life a little more just in case.  And no, I'm not telling you what it (or the first name) is. ;o)

I'm not sure I believe Chickpea is a boy just from this dream intuition, but I do know that I was extremely proud and content with the way things ended up in the dream.  One thing to add is that my sister has four boys - four happy, sweet, well-behaved boys!  I love them as much as one is able to love a child that isn't their own.  You can imagine, though, that my mom is totally 'Team Girl' this time around...she wants and deserves a granddaughter (but will obviously be happy no matter how things end up).  Obviously we have no control over this, but if we did have a girl, it would be pretty amazing.

I just want this baby to come into our lives happy and healthy.  I want us to be able to help him or her to achieve their dreams - no matter what gender they end up being, Mark and I will teach them that nothing is impossible, that whether they are a girl or a boy, anything they want is within their right and their grasp.  And isn't that the most important thing of all?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bump Watch: 17 Weeks

Can you believe a week has already passed since the last belly pictures?  I'll be 18 weeks along on Thursday!  These pictures were taken tonight after a long, busy day at work following a fun and busy weekend spent visiting my best (and longest-running) friend, Tracy, in Chicago.

One thing I didn't expect but that was quite evident this morning is how tiring traveling is now that I'm pregnant.  I'm so glad Tracy and I got our girls weekend in (mani/pedi's and a Michigan Avenue chocolate tour!) because we might not get to do it again for a loooong time, but mama is TIRED!  This, my friends, would be why these photos were taken with me in my baggy pajama's.  And this time, Lucy Lu got in on the action.  How cute is she? And while I'm asking questions, how HUGE does my stomach look?! 

OK, gotta go.  Molly clearly feels left out and is sitting under the desk whining like you wouldn't believe.  And they say pregnant women are drama queens...  ;o) 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

They Call it Puppeh Love

You see up there in header, where it says, "...and then 'We' became 'Three'?"  It's kind of misleading.  The truth is, while we are expecting our first child, Mark and I have had two furbabies for quite some time! And yes, skin babies are waaaaaay different, but our love for these beauties knows no bounds - we are both total suckers for them.  I thought it was only fair to introduce them to you (in case you don't already know them - and if not, that is shocking since I talk about them ALL THE TIME) so you know that we will actually be turning into a family of FIVE in September.  :o)

This is Molly.  She turned four years old today!  Well, we pretend April 15th is her birthday, since we rescued her when she was roughly 6 months old on October 15, 2006. 

She's a 75-pound Black Lab/Australian Shepherd mix who thinks she is a lap dog. She might be the best-behaved dog I've ever had the pleasure to know.  Well...maybe not when there is a squirrel outside, but who can blame her? 
Molly is always doing things that make me laugh.  She likes holding hands and will continue to lift her paw until someone takes it - just to hang out and let you know she's there.  She is the dog I go to when I need to decompress.  I sit on the floor and she instantly trots over to me, turns, backs up, and then sits in my lap and stays there as I hug her until all the tension in my stomach has melted away.  I'd feel pretty lost without her.
This beauty is Lucy.  Lucy, an Australian Cattle Dog/Australian Shepherd mix, was another lucky rescue.  We got her on June 8, 2008 - just a couple weeks after our wedding.  She is the result of what happens when I cry during those ASPCA commercials (this was the Sarah McLaughlin one - SOB!).  Mark caught me crying and said out loud, "Ok, OK!  We can get a dog for Molly..."  I find it hilarious, because while I'd been hinting at wanting another dog to keep Molly company, I certainly didn't expect it to be THAT easy.  I mean, I cry about everything.

Lucy is my little cuddlebug.  She is the most loving, sweet, trusting dog in the world.  As long as you are giving Lulu attention, you can do pretty much anything to her and she won't budge.  And yes, that includes grabbing her front paws while she is laying on her back (a favorite position that she noisily flops into upon seeing you approach her) and dragging her across the wood floors.  Uh...please don't call the Humane Society citing abuse; I swear, she loves it!

Lucy makes the most awesome sounds - ones I've never heard a dog make before.  She moooooo's when she lays down or relaxes.  She also does this Tim Allen-esqe grunt when she's anxious or desperately wants to go out. It's really too cute for words. And when I think about the baby coming, I don't feel stressed about how this gal will do.  I have a feeling she is going to be a big fan of our little one.  I envision her coming to get me when the baby cries, and sitting patiently by the crib to make sure everything is going well.  She is our fierce - yet gentle - protector, and I can't wait to see that love translate to the baby.

Remember how I mentioned squirrels?  WELL.  This is what happens when one of them scampers up a tree in our yard.  Molly lumbers up and lazily pretends she can scale the tree, and Lucy reaches for the sky and sees no limit.  Yep.  That pretty sums up our pups.  I hope you love them as much as we do.  And really, I don't see how you couldn't.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Well Worth My Now-Puffy Eyes

As you can imagine, I can't feast my eyes on too many birth stories these days.  I'm not naive enough to think our own story won't be completely unique, and I realize we won't know how that story goes until life and time has written it for us.  Still, I find myself thirsty for the inspiration and knowledge during a time when all I can do is wait.  I'm always moved by these stories, no matter how they happen or end.  Today, however, I came across one that made me unabashedly sob at my desk in the middle of the day, made me love life and its beautiful twists and turns all the more than I already do.

I must warn you: this birth story is absolutely heart-wrenching.  For me, particularly, it brought back a lot of emotions of a time three and a half years ago when my precious nephew Gavin was born. My heart broke again while reading this, thinking of all the varying emotions my sweet sister went through that day and in the many months after.  Don't say I didn't warn you, but if you have tissues on the ready and want to go along for a very honest, emotional journey that will leave you feeling inspired after all is said and done, you should definitely go read this birth story.

An extra note
I feel the need to give my sister's situation some clarity.  She and my brother-in-law had far more to bear than just an unexpected surprise the day Gavin was born...there were severe health issues and scary "will he live?" questions to go along with the raw emotions.  And so, when I say my heart breaks reading this story, I guess what I really mean is that it actually soars...  Because our Gavin - against all odds - is with us today, by the grace of God.  And while I will never truly know what my sister went through during that experience, this birth story helped put at least a little of it into words for me.  (To my big sister, Alicia: you amaze me every single day...I hope you never forget that!!)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PLUS, someone once told me I look like Gloria Estefan

I recently joked with a friend about how I wish my iPhone had an app that could record all of the thoughts that go through my crazy mind on a daily basis, so I could upload the ones I wanted to share.  I mean, it sure would make blogging and communicating a lot easier.  And then, last night as I was laying in bed desperately trying to fall asleep, a (really bad) song randomly popped into my head, followed by the following thoughts:

1-2-3-4, c'mon baby, say you love me/5-6-7 tiiimes/8-9-10-11, I'm just gonna keep on countiiiing...

No no no no no no! What the heck? WORST SONG EVER. Gah. Ok, clear your mind, Amy. 

*silence in head*

STOP! What is wrong with you?  Seriously.

*silence in head*

OK, this is good. I can handle this song. *sigh*

*silence in head*


1-2-3-4, c'mon baby, say you love me...



Note to the nerdy computer/science techs that may or may not be working on a mind-reading app: 

Do me a solid and stop what you're doing.  Just mooooove on, please.  Because really, no one needs to know that shit. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bump Watch: 16 Weeks

What's a pregnancy blog without belly pictures?!  Today's post is the first in a series of weekly "Bump Watch" posts that will include pictures I have recruited Mark to take for your viewing pleasure.  

I must say, when I downloaded these photos onto our computer last night, I was aghast by how HUGE I looked in them.  I swear, people, when I look in the mirror or walk around on this Earth, I do not think - or feel - that I look this big (or TIRED!).  Something tells me this is going to be a L-O-N-G five and a half months. ;o)  

I'm telling myself it was the Quizno's I had for lunch and the Cold Stone ice cream (don't judge!) I had for dessert, but I doubt that will fly.  The truth is, my belly is beginning to take over and the proof is in

Also, my boobs have gotten in on the deal.  I had to go buy a new bra this weekend and found that I'd grown a whole 2 sizes around and one cup size bigger!  Do you know how long I've been waiting for this?  My prepubescent self is totally stoked.

Friday, April 9, 2010

This One Goes Out to my Girl Paula Dean

This morning was a rough one, nausea-wise.  My first mistake was brushing my tongue too far back while hurriedly trying to get ready for work.  I hadn't eaten breakfast yet, thankfully, because I knew my stomach wouldn't support it, so there wasn't anything to come up. The 'hurlie swirlies' got worse on the drive to work, though, and it was then and there I decided I needed some grease - good old-fashioned grease.  Originally hailing from Southern Indiana, I have a serious love of grits.  Give me a plate of cheesy grits* and I will make out with you on the spot .

Upon getting to work, I grabbed my friend Tiffany and we walked over to the House Office Building "HOB" cafe so I could load up on grits (with lots of butter and salt!), bacon, and cheesy scrambled eggs.  On the way there, I told her that I needed grits, STAT!  And then I said "There's nothing grits can't fix!"  And that, my dear friends, just might need to go on my tombstone someday.  ;o)

*Mmmm...cheesy grits.  That reminds me of the one of the best meals I ever had when I was in New Orleans for a bachelorette weekend (hi, Jilly - love you!) in 2008...NOLA - one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurants - is the place where dreams are perfectly prepared, folks.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Four Months!

Mark and I just got back from our 4-month (40% through the pregnancy!) doctor visit, and everything is great!  We got to hear the heartbeat using one of those doppler heartbeat monitors; it was so nice to get that additional reassurance that things are going well.  I actually broke down yesterday and ordered a doppler for us to use at home (I just couldn't resist; it was CHEAP) and can't wait for it to get here!  It has a cool feature where we can record the heartbeat to our computer, so stay tuned and we will upload it for you to hear soon.

In the meantime, I've been feeling really good.  Bloated (ha!) and a bit tired, with the now-routine morning stomach icks, but I honestly can't complain.  Unlike all those hangovers I once had in my partying days (JUST KIDDING, mom!), at the end of this journey, WE GET A BABY!!  So, you know, totally worth it.

Since I just sent the link to this blog out to our family and friends today, I hope to have lots of people joining us here soon.  If you've found us, WELCOME and thank you for stopping in to read about these foibles throughout our pregnancy.  Assume I'll be pretty schmoopy on here, as well as silly and sarcastic, but most of all, I hope you know how lucky Mark and I feel to have you all in our lives.  This wouldn't be nearly as exciting of a time for us if it weren't for your support and excitement.  Hugs!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

More Than I Could Ask For

When I was in Indiana this past weekend, Carla/Yom and I were chatting when she told me that, while she's always viewed me as an upbeat person, I seem to have this happy glow about me right now.  It was nice to hear, because I feel that way - I just didn't know other people noticed.  "They" talk about how pregnant woman are glowy, how they have this special look about them.  I'm never sure if it's just something people say to be nice or if there is truth to it.  I can certainly attest to a feeling that is akin to a 'glow' within myself these days, though, and it's amazing.

It's hard to put into words, but what I told Carla was this: while I think I've always been (or tried to be) a "glass half full" type of person, when I met Mark, suddenly my glass felt completely full.  Now that we are expecting our first child, my glass feels like it is honestly overflowing.  It's, by far, the happiest time of my life.  Sure, there has been a scare and some unknowing times these past four months, but those make the other times that much sweeter in retrospect.

As I mentioned in my first post, this is a ride I'm on (along with Mark, of course!), but I also don't have access to the steering wheel this time.  My life is on autopilot and for the first time, I feel pretty O.K. with that.  In the past, I would let my anxiety rule, preventing me from either getting things done to stave off the anxiety or keeping me from enjoying the journey I was on.  This time, that's not an option - it's not just about me anymore.  And that realization gives me a new kind of that seems to be lighting me from inside out.