Friday, April 24, 2009

Week 29 and TGIF!!

Before we go too far, I just have one thing to say. Oh how I would love to be able to sleep on my stomach again! I've always been a stomach sleeper and now that the aches and pains of pregnancy are in full swing, sleeping on my side is killing me! My hips hurt, my stomach aches, my shoulders get squished and end up being sore for hours after I wake up. Being comfortable is definitely a thing of the past. All of this and I wake up every three hours to make a mad dash to the bathroom, in the dark, tripping over cats and shoes and whatever else I've left on the floor because I'm too tired at the end of the day to put it away. Sigh. Oh well, I digress.

Anyway, today marks Week 29 -- 77 days to go until my due date! Here's what Elmo's pre-occupied with this week (other than kicking me in the ribs which I secretly love):

Your baby is growing rapidly now. This week he weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. His muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and his head is getting bigger to accommodate his growing brain — which is busy developing billions of neurons. Every day, about 200 milligrams of calcium is deposited in your baby's skeleton, which is now hardening. With this rapid growth, it's no surprise that your baby's nutritional needs reach their peak during this trimester. The brain can control primitive breathing and body temperature control, and the eyes can move in the sockets. The baby is becoming sensitive to light, sound, taste and smell. Now, I wonder how experts know a baby can smell in utero?

Everything went well at my OB appointment this week. Growth is right where it should be and my doctor said Elmo has flipped and is now head down, just where he should be for birth. We've switched to twice-a-month appointments so I head back on May 5. I can't say it enough -- time just flies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The World Should Really Read More

I love books, can't get enough of them. I'm one of those annoying book snobs that likes to buy everything, not just get them from the library. Mostly this is because being surrounded by books just makes me feel good. Thankfully, Scott is the same way. Anyway, I came across this deal that's been circulating on the internet for a while and thought I'd add it to the blog.

Here's how it works:1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.2) Italicize those you intend to read. I italicised books that have been on my TBR pile for years. I swear I will get to them all some day.The premise of this exercise is that the National Endowment for the Arts says that the average American has only read 6 books from the list below. Watching the movie doesn't count!

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (not the whole thing front to back, but sections)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – I have read many plays, but not the complete works!
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Not too bad!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Time is Flying...

Wow...only 81 days until my due date! That just seems incredible! I know I've said this before but I still can't believe how quickly time is flying by. This past weekend my sister Kathleen and sister-in-law Danielle threw me a baby shower in Minneapolis. What a wonderful time! It was fun to see everyone and catch up with some that I haven't seen in a while. Thank you to everyone who made the effort to come out and celebrate with me. Scott and I had a fun time organizing things on Sunday. Thank you so much to both Danielle and Kathleen for doing that for me! It was so nice of you and very much appreciated!

We are on to Week 28 of my pregnancy now --

Our little miracle is growing and developing at an astonishing rate! Eyebrows and eyelashes are now present, and the hair on the head is growing. The eyelids open, and the eyes are completely formed. The body is getting plumper and rounder (weighs about 2 pounds) and is composed of around 2 to 3% body fat. Muscle tone is gradually improving. The lungs are capable of breathing air but if the baby is born now, it would struggle to properly breathe. Be sure to talk to your baby a lot because s/he can recognize your voice now!

I'm still feeling pretty good but there are a few things I'm struggling with as I've moved into the third trimester. For instance, sleeping has really become an issue. I'm exhausted all the time but somehow can't seem to sleep through the night. Besides the 2-3 trips to the bathroom each night, I'm having a hard time getting comfortable and once I wake up, my mind starts racing with things we need to do to prepare for Elmo. I'm sure this is nature's way of getting me ready for the numerous nightly feedings once Elmo arrives. Unfortunately, that doesn't help when I sitting at my desk at work, just wanting to take a nap. Oh well, it's all worth it!

We have another OB appointment on Wednesday. It's the last of the once a month appointments. We now will be going to the doctor every two weeks until Week 36. At that point, we will be going once a week. Like I said, time is flying!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thoughts on My Pregnancy

A mother's joy begins when new life is stirring inside... when a tiny heartbeat is heard for the very first time, and a playful kick reminds her that she is never alone.-- Author Unknown

I love that quote!

I really can't describe the feelings that run through me when I feel little Elmo moving around in my belly. It's such an overwhelming sense of love and nurturing. This little person depends soley on me for his well-being. That is such an amazing responsibility and I'm so grateful for every moment! I was recently talking with a friend who delivered twins at 27 weeks, where I am right now. Obviously, if I delivered now there would be serious health issues to contend with. But even more than that, I can't imagine giving up my pregnancy quite yet. I love the little kicks and jabs, hiccups and flips that I'm feeling. I'm not ready to part, physically, with this little person growing inside me -- this wonderful little being made up of Scott and myself. The frequent trips to the bathroom, the swollen feet, the expanding waistline, even the pregnancy brain are all worth it when I think about my little baby. This bond is so strong already. I can't wait to meet Elmo face to face but until then, I couldn't be happier with him safe and sound in my belly.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Week 27

Another week done and only 13 left to go! Time is flying! Here is what is happening with Elmo this week:

This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She's sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby's brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don't bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

And now for an update on my bouts with pregnancy brain -- today I left the house for work without any shoes on. That's right, no shoes. I did have Adidas soccer sandles on which are my staple when I'm hanging out at home but those wouldn't have been so great at work. Luckily I noticed before I had the car completely backed out of the driveway. In my defense, I was trying to remember about 15 other things that I needed to bring with me today. Oh well -- life goes on.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pregnancy Brain... oh so real! I remember hearing about the forgetfulness that sometimes accompanies pregnancy but really just thought it was an Old Wive's Tale. I didn't think it really happened. Well, I was wrong. I often find myself getting up from my chair at work but then not remembering why I got up. At home, I will walk into the kitchen to fill up a water glass but forget to bring the glass with me. Just silly little things but it can be so aggrevating!

All weekend long I was planning on making a specific chicken casserole (Easy Chicken for those in the Blair family) which takes about 4 hours to bake. Around 2pm I pulled the recipe book out to double-check everything. Well, when I checked the baking time it said only an hour and 15 minutes. Ok, fine, maybe I was wrong about the baking time and thinking about something else. Around 6pm I started things in the kitchen -- mixing, measuring, etc. Scott was looking over my shoulder at one point and asked why I was reserving a 1/2 cup of something. I showed him in the recipe book where it said to do that (silly boys who can't read recipes is what I was thinking). His response was "well, that's the wrong recipe" and pointed to the recipe on the opposite page -- the one for Easy Chicken. AHHH! Of course, I had used my last can of cream of mushroom soup and stomped upstairs to get changed so I could run to the store to get another can. I was less that happy about the whole thing, to put it mildly. After arriving home from my quick trip to the store, I of course realized that I was right about the baking time, that it did take 4 hours to bake (remember -- I looked at the wrong recipe from the start) so my entire trip to the store was pointless since I couldn't start a casserole at 7pm that takes that long to bake. Did I think about that before heading out to the store in a fury? Of course not. Being the hormonal person that I am right now, I was on the verge of tears because of the entire episode.

So the moral to this little story is, the next time you hear about pregnancy brain, please believe it is a real condition and cut the poor pregnant lady a little slack (and give her a bowl of ice cream).

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Return of the Boys of Summer!!

Today is a very exciting day in the Carter household! After a long winter preceeded by a depressing loss to the White Sox in October, the Twins are back! Tonight is the home opener against the Seattle Mariners and we have tickets (it's tradition afterall) for the game. We will be sitting in the Metrodome tonight, cheering on our favorite team along with 40,000 other fans, anticipating the home opener next year. For those of you who don't follow the Twins as closely as we do (I guess you can be forgiven), this is the last year in the Metrodome. The Twins will again be playing baseball outdoors next year at brand new Target Field. We can't wait to take Elmo to games! The poor thing has no choice but to be a Twins fan.

Speaking of Elmo, we've made it to week 26 - the final week of the second trimester! I'm still feeling great and looking forward to the home stretch. Elmo is moving quite a bit now, regardless of whether I'm trying to sleep or not (hints of things to come I think). I've begun to have frequent baby dreams -- probably 3-4 times a week. Sometimes Elmo is a girl, sometimes a boy but always the cutest baby ever! This is what's happening this week:

The network of nerves in your baby's ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner's as you chat with each other. He's inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he's born and takes that first gulp of air. And he's continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches from head to heel.

Grow, baby, grow! Scott and I will hopefully take some more pictures this week so I can post one of my ever-expanding belly. Until then, have a great week!