Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Eve

Just a quick (okay, it probably won't be that quick) Easter Eve post...
Baby girl is still in my belly.  

Muffin tried to pack herself in our bag earlier this week.
Hey, if the hospital allowed pets, surely, she'd be coming along.  Who needs an epidural when you have a Muffin?!

 Monday, we went for our non-stress test.  I hadn't eaten much yet that day
so they had me drink an apple juice.  Baby loved it.  And moved all around like a crazy circus monkey.  Though, she was rather ticked off at the loud sound of the monitors on my belly.  Her heart rate was all over the place (which is a good thing, because it means she's a mover and shaker).  She passed with flying colors.  And even managed to scare the crap out of Steve and I when she "hid" from the monitor and we lost her heartbeat for a second.
 Tuesday, we went for our fluid check.  We got to see a bit of baby, though she was mega squished in there.  Still, we saw her head, her heartbeat thumping away and even an eye socket.
Her fluid checked out great.

As far as progress...
When my doctor checked me on Monday, I was still 70% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated.
She shook her head and prescribed us some interesting "homework" to help dilate my cervix.  (Sorry, no photos...and no, it didn't work).

Lunch with smiley, handsome man, Daxon and his mama! 
Our last lunch together before baby girl joins us. <3 

One of our last dinners as just the two of us.

We received a sweet surprise from my friend, Nicole this week - a bunch of awesome kitty books for baby girl!!  We can't wait to read them to little miss.  The illustrations are so fun and pretty!

Muffin jumped right on the rocking chair and requested I read them to her tonight.
Thank you so much, Nicole!! <3

Muffin totally senses something is up! 

Thursday, we had another non-stress test.  Baby passed instantly.
And after getting checked....
I was STILL 70% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated. 
Whatcha gonna do...
I wasn't that surprised at all.  Either was Steve.  I didn't really feel any different.
Our doctor sat and talked with us about the next steps. 
The instructions are, that if I don't go into labor on my own by Easter night, then we begin induction.
It could be a long process if my cervix requires some "help" before induction.  But let's face it, it could be long even if it doesn't.  Maybe baby will shoot right out. ;)  Ya just never know.
I left the appointment and cried for a bit.  I needed to just have a few tears about the whole process.  It wasn't being induced that bothered me...more so, the extra drugs that may be introduced.  But I love and trust our doctor and know she has our (and baby's) best interest.  
She left us with the words that it is wonderful that baby and I have remained super healthy throughout this whole pregnancy.  And told us that we are going to be great.  And she's right...I am so very, very thankful for that. 
 Isn't it funny how it took so long to get baby "in there" and now...
Now, she doesn't want to get out of there. 

These past 41 weeks have been so insanely rewarding.

They have been the most beautiful 41 weeks of our lives.

A part of me is going to miss baby's kicks and hiccups and dance moves.
I'm going to miss hearing the breathtaking sound of life growing inside of me.

But, I know, that within the next few days, I will be holding our daughter and feeling a new kind of that is indescribable (until that moment comes).

Baby girl's strong and steady heartbeat on Thursday <3

To all of my sweet and beautiful friends...
Thank you so much...for your amazing and constant love and support.  I can't thank you all enough for the encouraging words and thoughts you've sent our way these past years.  
So many of you have taught me so much about life and love and what beauty can come from opening yourself up to the world.
Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

It has been one hell of a ride.
One hell of a "country song."
And I can't wait to return...
I know my next post will be just the beginning of a new, exhilarating chapter.
 And the "song" I'll be will be the most beautiful one yet.

Wishing everyone a happy and blessed Easter. <3

I'll be seeing ya soon.  
I'm gonna guess baby will be here by sometime Monday or Tuesday.

So Much Lovin',

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Due Date Day

March twenty-fourth has come - our daughter's due date. 
Baby girl is still lounging, nice and cozy in my belly.  I imagine she's lying in there with a beach towel, a pair of shades and a glass of tropical punch garnished with a mini umbrella.  
Our appointment on Friday showed that I am still the same 70% effaced and 1 centimeter dilated that I was the week before.  And the week before that. 
Our doctor called her a "little stinker" and asked us to come back on Monday for another check and a non-stress test, since I will officially be overdue tomorrow.
I don't have that "Get her out now!" feeling at all. 
 I feel more excited and more anxious because I know that we are definitely, no matter what, coming to our last days together.  And we now know for sure, she will be here in 8 or 9 days at the very latest.  

When I returned home from the appointment, I decided I should really get on packing our hospital bag.  I had everything washed and set aside for a good month but wanted to wait until we were closer to our due date.  I always imagined as soon as I packed us up, I'd go into labor.  Or that I'd go into labor and be huffin' and puffin' my way through packing us.
It was nice to be able to pack in peace.
I got my long list out, threw the bag on our bed, threw a good ol' Full House episode on t.v. and got to work.

Target has always been one of my bffs but in these last few weeks, we've grown even tighter. Every day I'd think of (or be told of) another item that should go in our bag.  I lived there last week as I finally completed checking off our packing list.
Before heading out the other night, I asked Steve if he had any last requests for his side of the bag.
"New slippers, gummi bears and beef jerky!" 
What a combination.  As I approached the lady at the checkout counter, I could see she had a big smile on her face.  "When are you due," she asked as she rang up my hilarious order of nasty beef jerky, knock-off gummi bears, dollar bin treats, $2 earrings, nail polish remover and neon undies in a size or two too big.  "Sunday...oh, and the snacks are for my husband" I said, as I laughed and smirked.  You know she totally thought I was lying and imagined me going home and pigging out on a gummi bear/beef jerky ice cream sundae.  I wouldn't put it past me, though. 
 I've been known to make a nice bowl of trail mix with milk
and eat ramen with pepper, peanuts and dijon mustard this past month.

Muffin sat by and watched my every move while I packed.

 All set!
(besides a few items that will have to wait until the time comes.)

Friday night, I decided to make some more freezer meals for the upcoming weeks.
The Mr. bought me a few cooking magazines a couple months ago with some pretty awesome (and easy) sounding recipes.  I gave the chicken and broccoli casserole a try and it turned out great.
I'm actually learning to follow directions. ;)

Saturday morning, I woke up and could have sworn that it was going to be "labor day." 
There were booby traps following me from the instant I opened my eyes.
As soon as I stepped out of bed, my foot sunk into a freezing cold, squishy, wet slipper.
Miss Muffin, who loves to try and steal a sip of my water, must have knocked over my cup in the middle of the night, causing it to land directly into my slipper.

Next, I headed to the bathroom to get ready for our day.  Eye makeup remover was one item I did not want to chance forgetting for the hospital.  (I have a feeling it's gonna get a lot of use with this emotional mama.)  So, I packed it on Friday (and was too lazy to use it that night before bed).  I, like a total dumbo, grabbed a tissue and pumped a little bit of some handy-dandy hand soap onto it - Hey, hands...eyes...they're all the same, right?!
And in my groggy state, I went to sweep the tissue over my right eye and got a nice glob of cranberry orange soap right smack inside it.  It burned like no other and stung like someone poured Tabasco sauce in my eye and then lit it on fire.  I'm not lying.  I don't know what's in that stuff, but it is evil. Feeling like a total moron, I tried to flush it out and keep quiet before telling Steve.  I was literally dying laughing and almost crying at the same time.  Two minutes later, it was even worse and I could barely see out of both eyes because of the insane burn.  I went in the hallway and screamed to Steve in the office. 
After he realized his wife wasn't in labor he screamed -"Flush it out, baby, what are you doing?!  Why in the hell did you use hand soap to wash your eye out?!"
(as he rightfully so, laughed his butt off and stood in the doorway staring at his loony wife). 

"Because I already packed my eye make up remover!!  Don't just stand there, help me!!  Help me!  Help me!  I can't see" I shrieked (as I am laughing uncontrollably and hanging over the bathtub drowning my eyes with water).
This literally went on for about twenty minutes until my eye actually gained its sight back.

I truly believe that yesterday morning was just a glimpse of what our labor will be like - there will be burning and stinging and laughing and screaming and crying and more laughing.  And definitely more crying.

 Pure evil!

Steve grabbed my camera out of my purse and snapped about 289 photos of the whole thing.
Here's a few of our favorites.

Smart  Dumb Maria uses another tissue
(and places more dust in her eye) to try and help with the pain.

 This is our absolute favorite.  This was me in the middle of laughing so hard, crying, and me telling Steve that I was going to squeeze some of that demon soap in his eye if he didn't stop laughing at me.

Thank you, cranberry orange Home Goods hand soap.  Labor will feel like a breeze after the pain you put me through. ;)

So, after my eyesight finally came back around, we were truly ready to start our day.  I had worked up quite the appetite.  And what better way to feed it, than with a trip to the sweet, Shady Maple Smorgasbord in Amish country.
The drive through Lancaster is always so pretty, rain or shine.
We picked up my mom and Karen and were on our way.
The drive was extra long and scenic, as we were stuck behind a carriage half the trip.
Luckily, Road Rage Randy Steve kept his cool.

Steve made fun of us ladies for wasting belly room with salads.
This is what our first plates looked like.

 And this was his...
Fried chicken on top of steak on top of fried shrimp.
We shortly followed his lead (just with maybe about 1/4 the amount of meat).

I didn't eat it all...promise.  If baby left me more room, I so would have.  Everyone laughed at me as I walked waddled back to our booth, carrying a plate of desserts and 2 pieces of cake.

 My mom looks so sweet and innocent here.  I think it's a good look for her.
I was glad we came across these - I picked up the cutest little bonnet for baby girl.  I tried to tie it on Muffin, but she ran for it.

 After 3 hours of lunch and shopping


Last night, we got festive and dyed some eggies.

Muffin was thrilled she got her own little cup.


Much thanks to my friend, Rebecca.  She sent us a sweet package this weekend filled with thoughtful treats for all of us.   She made the tutu for her daughter this past year and wanted to pass it on to us for baby girl - so touching.  I see a photo shoot or two with baby sportin' it.

Thank you so much, Rebecca!

So, here we are - due date day.
40 weeks.


Whether it be tomorrow, mid-week or next week...
We are ready.  Waiting.  Practicing patience.
  And filled with massive amounts of excitement and love. 

Have a sweet night, everyone!  Thank you so much for your constant support and love.

40 Week Lovin',

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This and That

Steve (and I)
thank everyone for the kind and wonderful words on his last post.
Thank you.  Thank you.


Okay, really, that six should be a five.  The photo was taken yesterday.  Just five days left until my due date.  I sit here, in my favorite pajama pants that are stretched out to their max with my hair thrown in a ratty mess on top of my head.  And I find it hard to believe that I'm sitting days (at the most, 13 days) away from meeting our daughter.

I had a doctor's appointment last Friday.  Baby is extra comfy in there.   I was still 70% effaced and one centimeter dilated.  The same as the week before.  My doctor predicts I will go around or after my due date, March 24.  The latest she will let the baby come is one week, but because the hospital does not induce on weekends, that puts us at April 1st if I am to be induced.  Yes, an April Fool's baby, if she decides to stay in there that long.  As goofy as I think it is, it would kinda fit well with this whole journey, don't ya think?!   No matter when her birthday falls, she's gonna come when she is ready. 

I feel so calm.  So almost oblivious to the fact of what is about to take place.  I know that doesn't make any sense.  I mean, I think about it all the time.  Envision so very much.  Dream and let my mind wander to those moments that are gonna sweep us off our feet.  But, it's like I keep saying to Steve - "I'm so calm, it's freaking me out!"   I know I'm totally contradicting myself.
But you know what I'm sayin'!

Everything looked great at my appointment.  Blood pressure is nice and low and steady every week.  Baby measured 37 weeks at 38 weeks/5 days - but that's normal due to fluid shifting. 
Weight gain - 26 pounds.  And her heart rate is lowering which is a healthy sign towards the end of pregnancy. 
I'm starting to swell, that's for sure.  It all kinda hit me last week.  It's on and off each day.  One second I'm stuffy and the next I'm puffy.  One minute, my rings are twisting around my finger and loose.  And the next, it looks like my finger is trying to eat them.  My nose (which is already not small) is kinda going all dinosaur on me. 

I feel like this some days.

Okay, not exactly what I was looking for.  But when I Googled "clown dinosaur" this is what it gave me, so I'll go with it.  What in the world is that thing?!!
Maybe I should purchase it for baby girl's nursery!

Last Friday and Saturday, I was feeling so much pressure and huffy and puffy and stuffy, that I wondered if maybe it was a sign.  But other than that, I feel pretty much the same.  A lot of people are asking me if I have had any "it's time" symptoms.  I don't really think I have.  I thought for a quick minute yesterday that maybe something was happening.  I went downstairs to tell Steve I was having frequent cramps and before he could jump out of his chair, I realized it was just that fiber tortilla, two salads and apple I had earlier.
Speaking of Steve...the Mr. is sick.  Well, he was really sick yesterday.  He went to the doctor's immediately.  The same doctor we saw years ago to get our referral to our fertility doctor. 
He told Steve he wasn't gonna mess around with knowing our timeline, and gave him hardcore antibiotics that will clear him of it all in 48 hours.  Steve "grounded" the baby - he said she's not allowed to come out until the end of the week.  We're sleeping in separate beds until he's better. 
But I'm not sleeping much at all.  I wake up almost every hour either to pee or just be wide awake and full of adrenaline.  I did laundry the other night at 3 a.m. for fun.

Okay, I better stop myself before I type another 10 paragraphs.
I will leave you with a "few" photos of the past couple weeks.

Kelly and I went to a little consignment sale two weekends ago.
Found this brand new ducky dress for 3 bucks! I can't wait to see baby in it!

Steve and I went over to Kelly and Kurt's later thant night for chicken marsala, ice cream, fun and Scattergories.  We always have the most interesting and mature answers.

Breakfast at my mom's.  She always asks if I want anything to eat when I get there.  I reply "no, thank you" and ten minutes later food appears.

I made pancakes.  I never ever had before.  Sad, I know.  I only burnt the first one.  It was black and set the smoke alarm off and made us have to open the windows to let the fresh 30 degree weather in.
My second attempt last week was a success. 

I've been cooking a lot lately.  And getting more and more comfortable in the kitchen.
It's actually been kinda fun.

(crappy phone pics)

 A four hour lunch with Kim. <3

Thursday, Karen and I went to a huge consignment sale.  The same one we went to in September.  I remember back in September saying "I bet I won't be able to go because the baby will be here already!"  I was happy I was wrong.  It was even more fun to shop, knowing that baby will be here soon.  Karen (as always) cut in front of me in line and treated baby girl to lots of new toys and a few sweet summer outfits.
Afterwards, we headed to breakfast for two rounds of blueberry crepes.

A visit from Brie and sweet baby Henry. <3

Another four hour lunch.  With Jessica.  This was take #41.  This was the day the clown-dinosaur in me really started coming out.

Don't tell me you don't see the resemblance?!

 Okay, let's move onto something MUCH cuter...Chloe!!

Friday night with Chloe and her mama! 
Kelly made incredible enchiladas and the three of us had a girls' night in while the misters had a guys' night out.

Back to the consignment sale Saturday.
  Everything in the bag for 25 smackers!

Sunday, my mom and I spent the day running errands together.
 We first stopped for produce.  Our fridges are stocked heavily with fruits and vegetables.
It's amazing what not even 20 bucks gets you at Produce Junction.
After  5+ hours of running around, I was ready to put my feet up.

Speaking of mom gave me these shoes for baby girl.
  They were mine when I was a newbie.

 39 weeks St. Patrick's Day cupcakes

39 weeks
St. Patrick's Day bump

Kelly's awesome enchiladas on Friday inspired me to make a big batch to freeze for a couple meals after baby's arrival.  So last night, I gave it a whirl.

I want them now.

A huge thank you to Alexis and her mom, Michele.  They sent this absolutely beautiful and perfect, drool-worthy headband.
  Their letter had me crying instantly...they made it to match baby's nursery.  I lovelovelove it.
Baby will be rockin' it very soon.  Thank you both so have both been such an incredible support and inspiration to me. <3

I purchased another amazing headband from their shop for baby's first few holidays later this year and oohed and ahhed over it when it arrived.  These ladies are so talented and creative.  Their headbands are my favorite out of all the ones I already have for baby girl.
You can check out their site at

Thank you to Melissa, a friend of Steve's who has become a friend of mine this past year.  We've gotten to know each other so well through our lengthy emails. 
She sent us this sweet canvas photo of Steve and of our favorite pictures from our maternity shoot.  We decided it'd be perfect right outside of the nursery.
Thank you tons, Melissa!   We adore it! <3


I hope everyone has a relaxing rest of the day!
And a wonderful week!

 I'm gonna take it pretty easy the rest of the day.  Maybe nest a bit.   Run an errand or two. 
But mostly, just take in these last few days (or hours or week +) until we meet our little girl.

So, I'll see ya soon...whether it be in a few days...or a few more after that.
Time will tell. :)

Sending love to you all. <3

39 Weeks (and 2 days) Lovin',

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