Thursday, March 26, 2009

nesting my life away...

Luckily, the school that I work for has been on spring break for the last two weeks.  This has given me ample time to "nest," something that most mothers-to-be start long before I did.  My brother and sister-in-law graciously took their little Huddy out of his crib a few months earlier than usual, shipping their furniture to us so that I could have the pleasure of preparing Mary's room before she arrives.  Thanks so much, Luke and Kelley!

Once we got the furniture set up the nesting began!  I had another hold up that most mothers-to-be don't have to endure... I decided to make the bedskirt, curtains and quilt.  Now that they are all done I'm happy with my decision... but I was ready to burn it all while in the middle of my 50 hours of quilt sewing in two weeks!  The room is not totally done, but the crib is set up and the beloved quilt is hanging above it... 

So, that is the room so far.  As far as Mary and I, we are doing pretty well.  She is expected to arrive in 12 days and we can't wait!  She seems very healthy and is estimated to be a pretty big girl!  I think big babies are cute, so once she is out I will be happy about her size.  

I had a somewhat painful side issue for about 4 months; sometimes I was fine and other times it was really painful to move around.  A few weeks ago it just went away... so I actually feel really good these days!  Other than a little stiffness after getting up from laying or sitting, I don't have much to complain about.  I can tell that I feel a little more physically worn out after doing a full day of shopping or running errands (which I have been doing a lot these days!), but nothing that a little sit doesn't take care of. Monday I return back to tutoring until the baby comes... so, my "to do" list will hopefully continue to dwindle away this weekend!  

We will keep you updated on her arrival!  Keep checking back and don't forget to vote on her due date!  

A Lesson in Preparenting from Danny

Experts will tell you that reading to your children, even at a young age, is beneficial for their development. They'll tell you it's important to read them books that will engage their senses- bright colors to catch their eye, fun textures for them to touch, and so on.

But there's something these "experts" won't tell you: it helps if your baby has been... you know... born.

Seriously, I tried following the advice of those who have been trained in early childhood development. For instance, I decided I wanted to read to Mary the other day and opted for Brown Bear Brown Bear, What Do You See? because of the variety of animals and colors. Should be a good learning experience for her, right?

Well, as I'm reading it, I can practically hear her complaints: Hey, Daddy, I'm really happy that the Brown Bear can see the Red Bird. That really is exciting. But there's one problem- I can't see anything! It's not like I've developed X-Ray Vision. I mean, I can sorta make out the lining of mommy's tummy, but even that's blurred by this sac of amniotic fluid I'm floating in.

Hey- Mary's gotta point.

You may also be thinking, "hey, those animal books with the fun textures will really help her explore new ways of learning!" Sure, and Mary's response will be something like this: Wow, a fluffy doggy. Too bad I can't reach through mommy's belly button and feel it for myself. But, hey, no worries, I figured out how to put my hand in my mouth a few weeks back. That'll tide me over until I'm born and can touch that big nasty beard on your face.

Touche, Mary, touche.

Here's what I learned. For children who are still in the womb, you can't rely on flashy colors and feathery ducklings. Nope, you need to to go with a book that is plot-driven. There needs to be an emphasis on action and character development.

For this, I recommend the classic Goodnight Moon. You get to follow the baby bunny through her nightly ritual of saying goodnight to the various objects in her great green room and the luminaries in the nighttime sky. As you're reading along, you keep wondering, "who will she say goodnight to next?" "Will she accidentally nod off before she's able to get to everyone?" "Will the quiet old lady whispering 'hush' finally get tired of the baby bunny saying goodnight and give her a spanking?" I defy you not to turn the page! You can't help it!

It's a tried and true method of story telling: let the tension build until you can't take it anymore before bringing about the plot resolution. Hey, there's a reason it's a classic. And after Mary's born, even though she'll already know the plot, there are wonderful illustrations to assist in the development of her senses. So I guess the "expert" advice isn't completely worthless.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Mary at 37 weeks

Hey everyone, we got another ultrasound today. The official medical reason was "size greater than due date," but our main reason was the chance to see Mary again. As of the time I write this, we have 19 days to the due date (April 7). Of course, she hasn't consulted with us to give us a heads up for when she'll actually come, so stay tuned.

Anyway, here are 2 pictures from the ultrasound; let's see if you can see her face. She had a hand up around her mouth the entire time we were there, so we couldn't get a perfect shot. I guess she's getting a head start and making things hard on us now.

You may have noticed that we added a little feature in the upper right hand corner of the webpage. We've added a poll to make your trip to this family blog a little more enjoyable. We'll try to update the polls regularly as time goes on, though of course we may not have a ton of free time in a couple weeks. Or so we hear.

For our first poll, we're taking votes on when Mary will be born. Remember, the due date is April 7. Vote and let us know if you think she'll be early or late, and just how early or how late she'll be. Even more fun would be if everyone guessed the specific date, so leave us a comment and see if you're right! We may even have prizes! Okay, probably not, but leave a comment with your best guess.

As a final word, we want to let you know that we'll be updating a little more regularly as we approach D-Day. So come back and check us out, and let us know what you think. We appreciate your prayers and your support!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Danny & Lisa at 35 weeks

Things are progressing well here in Boston. Lisa is now at 35 weeks, inching closer to the finish line. She is currently in the "nesting phase." Animals of the wild have their own way of nesting: birds gather twigs, badgers dig holes, and turtles bury their eggs in mud. Lisa, as you can see from this picture from week 34, makes curtains:

In the not-so-distant future, we'll have Mary's room finished and you'll be able to see the finished product.

Danny is frequently asked how he is doing through the pregnancy. Now, obviously Lisa has the harder end of the bargain, dealing with the pains of pregnancy. That's why tonight, in our birthing class, Danny opted to take up the opportunity to empathize with Lisa's plight. We present to you: Danny and Lisa at 35 weeks.

Danny is wearing the "Empathy Belly." It's weighs in at 35lbs, mostly water. Underneath it is a strap around his chest, restricting the ability to breathe deeply. In order to help the father understand the need to use the bathroom so often, there's a special weight that rests on the bladder, which is especially effective while sitting- a feeling familiar to moms throughout the centuries. Danny practiced sitting, walking and bending over to pick up items. However, unlike Lisa, he gave up after 45 minutes. Ah, the pleasures of being a man...