Leap Year Baby!

Doesn't look like it's going to happen. I woke up with 2 pounds of water weight, thanks to a regular soda, plate of cod fish and hushpuppies and count em, 2 giant mason jars full of sweet tea.I ate a lot of food yesterday and none of the choices I made were good ones. (What can I say, the baby demanded sugar and fried seafood)

But today is another day, Leap Day in fact and it's going to be a good one. I'm off to work in a few minutes and going to batten down the hatches, turn up the Adele and get the rest of my maternity leave prepping done. I'm taking a can of the slimfast, a package of Belvita cookies, a can of the chef and a baggie of two servings of cracker fro lunch today. 450 cals for breakfast and just around 600 for lunch. That leaves me with about 750 for dinner, which will probably not even come close to that, because I'm planning on hummus and cucumbers, maybe some pita.

The difference in my face is remarkable from yesterday to today. I have frog lips! I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow I have stories to tell about people talking about my "cute puffy pregnant face" (you think I'm joking? more than one person has used that exact phrase)

I believe the thing I'm looking forward to the most when this pregnancy is over is the fact that my pants will no longer have the disposition of a southern belle in august, I swear if I stand up too fast they head to floor like they've just seen Jesus. The slope of the belly is such that most pants have nothing to hang on too, so I have to either wear yoga pants(not that there's anything wrong with that) or be sure to have a free hand whenever I walk down the hall.(a pretty common occurrence given the bladder situation)

Well, onward to tackle the day, happy Leap Day all! And ladies, if your dude has not yet proposed, you can do it today and if he says no, he has to buy you a gift to "soften the blow"


Week 38: So, so very pregnant.

I've been sleeping a little better and having a slightly easier time with getting around, plus a little extra energy. I figure this probably means he's coming soon, it's the calm before the storm, so to speak. He weighs somewhere around 7 pounds this week, give or take a few ounces. He's getting a little cramped and to be honest, so am I.

Mutti seems to think that he will be coming tomorrow; that I'm going into labor tonight and he'll be born tomorrow, which we all know I don't want. But, at the end of the day it's about him, not me, so we'll see.

I have succeeded in taking it easy in spite of the energy surge and really, everything is going very well.
The past few days have been filled with lots of Munchy snuggling so I have some (really bad) phone pictures to share.

Me and Pumpkin: We have the same hands
Sleepy Sunshine, please pardon the blue polka dot bra.


Wow...just, Wow

So I have to share the awesomeness that Jeeves and my Mutti heaped upon me this weekend. A pre-baby Moon of sorts.

Friday night our baby sitter volunteered to babysit the munches free of charge as a pre-baby surprise. So Jeeves and I went out for Mexican dinner and to see a play that my SIL was in at a local community college. It was a pleasant evening and I enjoyed having the time out with Jeeves, getting to spend some time with him sans kiddos was pretty excellent. Mutti wanted to have sleepovers with the munches so she came and picked up Pumpkin before we got home and so Sunshine, Jeeves and I spent some some time cuddling on the couch and then piled into the king sized bed for some sleep.

Saturday morning Jeeves told me I had plans, and Erin called to tell me that I needed to be dressed and ready to leave my house around 10:15. (I love surprises, so this just tickled me) She picked me up and our first stop was a new luxury Clean Spa, which offers a variety of services for feet including a medical based center that helps diabetics and those with walking issues to get the therapy and assistive shoes they need to get around better. The service I was there for was a zero gravity pedicure with a reflexology session (read: really, really fancy foot rub) Erin accompanied me and kept me company while the staff put a warm lavender neck wrap on and tilted back the zero gravity chair.


The lady put all sorts of potions and gunk on my feet, wrapped them in hot towels and then in thermal blankets and I sat there for about 20 minutes letting everything soak in. Then she came back and clipped, buffed, scrubbed and lotion-ed up my tootsies for about a half hour. Then the reflexologist came and did this magical foot rub that I can sort of still feel, and it's Monday. (for realz, I nearly fell asleep at one point.) Then the lady came back and painted my toenails, pretty blue to match my hospital jammies, since I'm having a boy and all.

Then we went out for lunch and had among other things a 4 cheese quiche and banana chocolate chip muffins which were sinfully good. After lunch I went home, took a nap, Erin came over and we ate yummy dinner and watched "the help" with Jeeves. Pumpkin came home but since Sunshine went with Mutti, Pumpkin spent the majority of the evening playing her video game without little sister interruptions, she was in heaven.

Sunday we did church and bible school, then Mutti kept both of the girls and Jeeves took me out to a historical candy shop where we had a treat and then we went for a matinee showing of "The Artist" at a historical theater in Saint Louis. The movie was not awesome, but the company and the popcorn were, so I'm not complaining.

All in all it was such a lovely and restful weekend. I have had several people comment on how much less tired and stressed I look now, which is either a very clever lie or a testament to the awesomeness of the weekend provided by Jeeves, Mutti and Erin. I feel very loved and spoiled today, it's not a bad feeling.

I'll leave you with a few pictures, I got the rest of my photo session back today, I love so much about these photos. 


Sorry Charlies

I know I said pictures today but yesterday a yummy dinner and an evening being crafty with Erin took precedence. Tomorrow, promise.

 Today I went to the doctor and am still only dilated to 1, but the Munches and Jeeves were at the appointment and the girls got to hear Squirt's heartbeat and charm the doctor a little. Everyone in the OB office kept saying how cute and polite they were, which just made my day. Anytime someone compliments my children on how polite and personable they are I get this rush of "I'm doing a good job" mommy mojo.

Then I went to the Physical therapist who had me run through my exercises and gave me another alignment fixer exercise that will hopefully ease some of the sharp stabbing pains in my pelvic area (Feel kind of like, help! someone has just thrown a ninja star at my lady parts!) She says that being a pregnant klutz is going to make it harder for the muscle to heal but completing the exercises twice a day and using heat and ice will put me on the road to running. I told her I feel like a broken moose, so here's hoping for healing. Another thing we did today was I spent about 20 minutes in a dark room with a monstrous heating pad on my adductor muscle, which (because it was dark and I'm pregnant) led to napping and I'm totes sure I was snoring when she woke me up, *face palm* (I'm just happy I didn't drool on her pillow, that would have been really embarrassing)

going to do the hummus/cucumber/tomato/pita thing for dinner again tonight, yum.



The laundry that is. It's funny to me that I will likely not do another load of laundry until after my son is born. The munches have drawers full of clean clothes and now they are well versed in getting themselves dressed without much more than a reminder to put on clean undies. They even put their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, SCORE! All of Squirt's stuff is clean and put away and my clothes are also clean, not quite away yet, but that is on the docket for when I get home today.

This remarkable winter has made for plenty of chances to get the Christmas crap out of my office and into the shed, however the schedule and sleepiness of my hubby mean that I still have an office full of rubber-made tubs. . I'm still hoping it will happen before the baby comes. If not I will end up doing it myself, after the baby comes, because I am impatient and don't want to wait on Jeeves. I hate being so pregnant that I don't have a choice.

Also done: the Robot Quilt that Mutti made for Squirt. She brought it in to me at work today, and I'm in love with. I'll get a photo when I get home and probably post it tomorrow, it's so awesome. Now she's working on an embroidered name hanging for the wall above squirt's bed. I have some fun decorations I'd like to make but my sewing machine is currently inaccessible (see Christmas crap issue above) so I have to wait.

Still not eating much and sticking mostly to liquids and soups, but I did discover that hummus with Pita bread cucumbers and tomatoes is both yummy and satisfies the hunger and manages to not fill me up to the point of discomfort. It's got good dietary fiber and some protein. Plus, when I make it myself the calories are way down because I tend to omit the olive oil and swap in a few teaspoons of lo-cal sour cream instead.

Alright, I'm busy and lunch hour is over, I'll be back tomorrow, hopefully with some pictures of cute baby stuff and a story about a clean office...we'll see.


Week 37: Dropping the Bomb!

So, yesterday while at the local gas station procuring a bottle of apple juice and some diet Pepsi, I was surprised by a loud barking laugh. I looked around and noticed a man standing about three feet from leering at my stomach like it was actually boobs.

The conversation went like this.
Creepy Dude: "Wow, you're almost there huh?"  indicating the belly with his newspaper.
Me: "yep" inching toward the counter.
Creepy Dude: "About to 'Drop the bomb', eh?" dude totally did air quotes around drop the bomb!!!
Me: "mm-hm" I turned and walked away.
I saw no point in politely segue-ing out of the conversation since I
a. did not start the conversation
b. have no interest in maintaining good manners with creepy inappropriate lechers in the Quik Trip.

It's week 37, I am now considered full term, little man could make his appearance any day now, it's the 21 day countdown. He's just basically gaining weight and kicking me in the kidneys for the next however many days.

I went to Physical therapy and it's official I have a strained adductor muscle which hasn't healed properly because of limping from sciatica. My hips are slightly out of alignment and the therapist who specializes in women's health gave me a group of stretches and exercise to complete to help with the discomfort and some suggestions for when I'm in labor, i.e. flat on my back is not a good idea. Yay, I have a reason to demand a partially sitting position or side lying delivery. The munches have been doing the exercises with me and I've got them rolling tennis balls on my inner thigh to help massage the tight muscles.

Last night I started having some painful Braxton Hicks contractions, so I drank a big cup of water and laid down and they stopped, I was getting a little worried because I'm not quite ready yet, but in reality it could be any day now.  This morning I straightened the kitchen and put in a load of laundry. If the baby comes tomorrow I want the munches to have lots of clean clothes and whoever is with them to be able to navigate my house without stepping on Lucky Charms or Strawberry Shortcake toys. I tend to balk at induction if there is no medical reason so I'm just sort of waiting now....


Stuff and Things

I had a full weekend, it was full of fun and full of other stuff too.

On Friday I found out right before heading out to a party that one of the women I've worked with, a young lady similar in age to myself who had been receiving services at my place of work for about 8 years, passed away. She was hilarious and will be missed however, I'm happy that now she is probably looking at the wonders of heaven and running and singing. I was blessed to know her.

Then I went out to a piano bar for Erin's birthday. Now, I'm really, really pregnant so I was not the life of the party, but the hummus was yummy and we had fun listening to piano versions of "Moves like Jagger" and some hip hop stuff that I didn't know very well. Erin jumped up on the piano at one point and the musician played her a really raunchy birthday serenade. I've decided that sometime, sans person inside of me, I need to head back there. I feel like a few beers and I'd have been singing along a lot more than I was.

Saturday was a whirlwind. We took the girls to saturday school and saw Pumpkins kindergarten school, rode on the bus, met the principal and had a snack in the cafeteria. Apparently she is going to be reading and writing at the end of kindergarten, I don't think that's how it happened 23 years ago, but times change. Then we went to Wendy's for lunch, ToysRUs for a surprise toy purchase for the girls and then to YoMyGoodness for a sweet treat. We got our taxes done and found out that we moved into a new tax bracket, (damn raises) and are not getting back nearly as much as we'd have liked from our federal return. (Bummer City)

Then dinner, playing with munches and not cleaning the house ensued for the rest of the evening. Which then lead to oversleeping on Sunday and not making it to church or doing any of the things I planned on getting done, including a round of cooking. Oh, Well maybe I'll do some this week while getting other things done.

Oh, and the Baseball outfit is done, here is a pic of the finished product.
Varsity Squirt
Happy Monday

I'm off to drink some lunch and try to make myself believe my slim fast and coffee is actually a mocha milkshake, wish me luck


White Castle?

Yesterday was Mutti's 51st Birthday. My little (actually a head taller than me) brother and his wife wanted to make her dinner and invited us over to join them. They made French onion soup and french dip sandwiches. I got there as the ingrediants were coming together and the house was starting to smell awesome. I mixed up a pan of Mom's favorite, cream cheese marbled brownies and sat back to enjoy the combination of simmering booze and onions as well as the occasional burst of chocolate from the oven.

Then after a while dinner was served. It was heavenly, all gooey and warm and cheesy. I don't actually remember the last time I ate french onion soup but it will not be such a long time before I have it again because the recipe that Felix and Brit used was from Skinny Taste, which is this awesome blog of great healthy recipes.Which means that once I get my cooking groove back I'll be making it myself, probably weekly, it's that good. My niece was adorable, she had a bowl and was not interested in the bread or cheese but ate the onions hand over fist, it was like she was digging through a candy jar, she was that excited about them. She even finished a few that I had left in my bowl!

Today I have a case of "Did you shower at White Castle this morning?"

My Mom's house is great for imparting food smells onto people's clothing, hair and even skin as is the case today. I guess it doesn't have great ventilation because most smells, food, dryer sheets and even her perfume, hangs out for longer than it would most other places. Even after a good scrubbing I still catch whiffs of onion, it's making me hungry.


I'm a Thief

I stole a t-shirt idea from a website and made it myself. However I'm not selling it to anyone, so it's not so bad right?

I did the big sister t-shirts for the munches last night. I free handed the giraffes and then colored them with iron tranfer crayons. After doing the transfer, which due to the variation of wax on the paper,is always sort of a crap shoot, I decided I didn't like the way that looked so I broke out my tiny paint brush and fabric paints and filled in the colors.

What do you think?
Sunshine is a big sister too!
They love them and I'm going to make some more this week. Since the nursery "theme" is robots and we have a cute little robot shirt for Squirt I am going to make some for Sunshine and Pumpkin with robots on them as well.

I've got an appointment with the OB this afternoon, and then tomorrow I am going to the Physical Therapist to hopefully get some help for my suffering lower body. Happy Thursday!


Ironical and Kinda Unfair

The 10 Great Ironies of Pregnancy

1. During the one point in your life when you want more than anything to be able to maintain your "lower body hair situation," you can either
       a. not see the area in need of trimming, which poses an issue because it's not a place you want to take a sharp instrument to blind; or
       b. not reach it. The center of gravity is off, so bending over is not possible and if you sit down your leg will only come up so far...unless you have an un-squeamish and lovely person to ask for assistance in these areas your child might be born thinking his mother is the Lady Sasquatch.

2. You wanna, but you can't, and if you did it would not only not be fun, it might hurt and could potentially lead to labor...don't pretend like you don't know what I'm talking about.

3. I could justify eating just about anything and am stuck sipping meal replacement shakes because there is so much KID in my abdomen. I went all out and had some ramen for dinner last night, I felt like such a rebel, calories for the day: 800...with the ramen. This would be an effective diet plan if it didn't entail insanity, sciatica, constipation and you know, growing a person.

4. As much as you wanted to look pregnant during the first 6 months, now you want people to just shut it already about how "huge you are" come on folks, really, this is your sound plan for social interactions. Let's talk about the size of an emotionally disturbed, hormone factory who is weeks away from having a thing squirm it's way out of her lady bits and expect that it's all gonna be okay... Good call

5. People keep giving you gifts, for someone else. I'm not really broken up about this one. Getting baby gifts is fun and gets you all excited about seeing your little one in the pajamas, hooded towel, horribly ugly outfits and bizarre hand-me-downs from your own childhood. Trust me, dressing your kids in weird crap is as much fun as putting you dog in a costume, if not more so. Dogs have no shame, kids will someday date...*giggles with maniacal glee*

6. It is totally permissible for you to leave the house in "creative wardrobe alternatives" i.e. pajamas cleverly disguised as "maternity clothes" however you don't. You don't because if you add pajamas to the waddle, water retention, sciatic limp and constant terrified faces thanks to errant kicks and braxton hicks contractions... you fear that you might slip into a state of such overwhelming and creepy frump-dom that not even Stacy and Quentin could haul your mammoth ass out of it.

7. Little people want to sit in your lap, problem is you no longer have a lap. Mine even go so far as to want to sit on top of the bump, not a problem for say, my 9 month old nephew, however my 40 pound 5 year old is another story (no honey, we don't want your brother to be born looking like a deflated balloon.)

8. Awesome Boobs...they aren't fun, or comfortable and they are still dwarfed by your expanding midsection, but taken independently from the rest of you...awesome

9.You keep trying to relax but are unable to fight the call of nature which whispers in your ear like the voice in "Field of Dreams", "The sock drawer should be organized by thread count, color and seasonal wear...." or "You just washed those baby clothes with regular baby detergent not extra special, sensitive skin baby detergent, better just redo it..." and lastly, "You just sat down but guess what, now you have to pee..."

10. If you've done this more than once, which is a safe bet, people are going to ask you questions like, "Are you done now" and "So you've got your boy, no more babies, right?" Then when you are unsure about the future plans, and by unsure I mean you are not planning a tube tying party the same day as the birth, they look at you like you've got six heads and start comparing you to the Duggars or the Goslings.
I ask you, what is it about pregnant women that gives people momentary loss of all social appropriateness and diarrhea of the mouth? Here's the deal, when I want your opinion on how many children I ought to have, whether or not I should breast feed, if I'm going to circumcise the kid, and how often we will force him to wear girls clothing for fun, I'll ask for it. Unless and until I do, shut your trap, yo.

There you have it, hope it gave you a giggle.
Smooches, Nellie


Week 36: More Photos, More Preparations, More Me

Good morning everyone! I'm 36 weeks today and in 7 days, this child will be considered "full term" which means that at any point in the next 2-4 weeks, the baby countdown clock will hit zero and I'll be harboring the alien no longer. (Can I get an amen!)

We took some more maternity photos yesterday and the photographer sent me a preview of some of the edited shots. I'll share, cause I'm cool like that. She is doing these photos free of charge because I've given her permission to use them on her web-site. Jeeves and the munches are in lot of this round and I'll be able to share more of them when she gives me the CD with all of the pictures loaded on it. Also, free of charge.
The Photographer says I "don't look pregnant"...right...
Behind us are some super pretty cameo-style pictures my SIL made for me, love her!
Lookit how pretty my girls are! Love these babies!
Squirt, continues to grow, put pressure on my lady business and generally make me uncomfortable. I've had about 10 "real" contractions, you know, the one's that hurt. But they are spread over the last week so I'm not concerned at this point. He's starting to shed the covering of lanugo and lose more of the monkey hair that has covered his tiny little body for the past few months. He's head down and getting ready to make his grand entrance.

Last Saturday we took the munches to the Hospital for a "Big Sibling" class. They colored pictures, talked about do's and don'ts when having a baby sister or brother, and practiced holding a baby using some life sized dolls. Then they got to stand outside the nursery and see a real new baby, look at how tiny he was, see his belly button and get an idea of what to expect. Lastly we went to one of the rooms where I'll be staying and see the place where they will meet their little brother for the first time. There are DVD players in the rooms, so the girls can bring some movies to watch and the rooms are big enough to accommodate a bunch of visitors. Both of the girls were super excited. We had such a fun day.

Outside the nursery, very excited about seeing the real baby.
The papers are certificates that the munches are now, "ready to be big sisters"
Mutti has been quilting for each of her grand-babies since Pumpkin arrived, so this time I got involved in the design process and asked for robots. Boy, am I excited! I get to wrap my little one up in what is going to be the coolest quilt evar! See the preliminary pictures, more when the whole thing is put together.
These match the print that will make up the back of the Quilt.
Okay, so enough pictures, for this week, I'm sure I'll have more to show next week as I have big-sister t-shirts and wall decorations for the nursery on the to-do list this week.


TV Dinners

Now that the laundry situation is just about in hand at the Casa de Ninja, I am turning my focus toward something more important but slightly lacking of late.

Cooking, (yeah I know "look at the blog title, this is supposed to be about cooking")

Post baby with the healing and nursing I anticipate about two weeks of not having the energy or motivation to cook for my self or the kiddos. With that in mind I have a plan. I am going to buy a few dozen pounds of chicken, ground turkey, eggs and various veggies to create some easy to heat and eat meals for after we bring Squirt home.

The munches really like peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese and hot dogs, so we'll have those on hand as per usual. They eat their PB&J on whole wheat bread and we add pureed veggies, carrot and cauliflower to the mac and cheese, so I don't feel like a terrible mother for feeding them these things.

Jeeves is great, but sometimes just getting him to boil water is challenging, I swear he thinks the stove won't work if I'm not physically in the house.But he can work the microwave like a pro so I'm going to make it easy on both of us. Here's the list so far, I have frozen and re-heated all of these things before so we know they come back well.
Pumpkin Pancakes
Homemade chicken nuggets
Spaghetti with ground turkey and pureed broccoli
Egg and Squash breakfast bake
Salsa Chicken with corn and brown rice.
"Parmesan" Chicken with pasta and red sauce.
Turkey and veggie meatloaf with mashed potatoes and green beans.

I've made my grocery list and addressed the lid and container situation in my plastic storage cabinet. I am ready. I had like 32 extra lids at the end of the bowls. Funny enough there were no bowls without lids left over. So after a rather fun lid Frisbee game all over the kitchen with the munches, we figured out which ones would be accepted by the recycling center and tossed the rest in the trash.

It's Friday and I need to go grocery shopping because thanks to only having one car and Jeeves having a stupidly busy schedule, I am going to be stranded at home for the next two days and if I don't buy some milk and pop tarts there may be an insurrection.



Just Fat? & List Update

So, it's been hard for me to deal with the weight I have gained during this pregnancy. Hormones, sciatica, an affinity for nachos and the inability to battle fatigue sufficiently to cook meals has caused an 18 pound total gain. (Yes, I know, that's normal, even healthy, however I did not get there healthily, nachos remember?) Anyway I've been worried for the past few months that I don't look pregnant. I worry that people see me and just think I'm another pudgy girl. (and realistically, why would they care? at 203 I'm not big enough to attract stares, even if I was this weight sans person growing inside of me.) Add the waddling to that mix and any degree of "pregnant cute" has gone out the window. I feel like one of those metal guys from the 5th element movie.
Mondoshawans... anybody....anybody.....
I need to stop it.

I have packed my bag for the hospital and with 33 days left I am getting ready to go, basically any time. It's my third, doc says he's gonna show up early and I'm basically ready, well as ready as you can be. 

For the rest of this week, in between cleaning and organizing, I'm going to be crafting up a storm. I have a few sibling t-shirts that I want to make for the munches, some thrift-ed t-shirts to convert into nursing covers and burp cloths and a few more small pieces to crochet for my little guy, some booties, a baseball hat and something with about 4/5 of a skein of really pretty moss green yarn.

Update on the "Getting Ready for Baby Lists"

On the Have-to list:
-Get the bassinet from Mom's house - done
-Recover the cushions on the rocking chair - done
-Move the Christmas stuff out to the shed.
-Pack the hospital bag - done
-Get work stuff ready for maternity leave -in progress
-Nursery Shopping: Lamp, bed skirt, clothing storage (done) and heater (don't need)
-get baby clothes organized and put away. - done
-take the munches shopping for a gift for their new brother
-get gifts for the munches, from the baby brother.
-get rid of excess crap - toys, highchair, car seat, dresser

On the Want-to list:
-finish Squirt's christening outfit.- done
-make nursing shirts. -done, but purchased, not made, yeah, I'm a slacker
-stock freezer with ready to heat/eat meals. -Erin has suggested an awesome way to get this done, cooking party!!! To be scheduled  for after next payday.
-make Munches Easter dresses. -probably going to buy these, I found some that I really like.
-do another office organization, last one Jeeves, I promise.
-make Robot rag quilt.
-make nursery decorations
-make hats and misc stuff for newborn photos. (pinterest is the devil) -done
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