Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ta-da! The Prince's Chamber revealed...

Well, the photo itself won't win any awards for composition...but as far as content goes, I'm really, really proud of myself. =)

Here is his room. You can get the general idea from the shot, but all humility aside, I have to say, it is just a gorgeous room, especially after 3 pm, when the western sunlight spills in the room.... It just makes me so happy to be able to sit in here and dream of our son.

Thank you to the following people for helping inspire and bring to life this nusery: Rachael Ray, for featuring the wonders of acrylic gel medium on your TV show. To Hobby Lobby, for selling scrapbooking paper cheap enough to let me make affordable wall hangings (and to MaryBeth for keeping me company for the hour and a half it took to pick out said paper). To our parents for their generous contributions to this room -- his crib and the glider and ottoman. To Jerry, whose days at Kraft resulted in the weiner bus that got me comfortable with the thought of orange in this room. To my Grandma Soldano, for remaining my favorite seamstress ever and cranking out those perfect drapes. He will know he is loved by so, so many from the moment we bring him home.

It's even more perfect than I expected!

My "carrot" chair is here!!!! (Jim calls it that, and I can't argue, as that is the official fabric color.) Isn't it fabulous? (Click on the photo to enlarge -- the detail in the fabric is wonderful!)

Sprout says "thank you so much, Gramp-e and Grandma!!!!" I know that Jim and I will both spend many precious hours in this chair, feeding, rocking, reading to, and merely loving on The Nameless One.

We couldn't be happier with this final furniture addition to the room (and it will be the last piece of furniture, as you can see in the post above that the room is full with a capital F). Now for all the fun stuff -- the onesies and books and toys and blankets that will come in the next several weeks. We already feel so blessed with the layette that has lovingly been started; thanks to Jerry and Nikki for Sprout's first gifts -- they've just kept coming since then!

Whoo-hoo! Grandma, you rock!

My grandma, not Sprout's (though his grandma(s) rock, too!). This is a close-up of the curtain panels sewn by my Grandma Soldano. When Jim was off salmon fishing at the beginning of September, I stayed in Bellevue for a few days. Grandma and I had a lot of fun (and a little frustration) picking out the fabric for Sprout's curtains, but they turned out SO well. I couldn't be happier. The blue and green panels are repeated at the bottom of the full-length drape, but on a smaller scale. It was a lot of work, and given the fact that neither Grandma nor I are all that great with numbers, we're lucky we actually ended up with the right amount of fabric (our first calculations would have resulted in enough yellow cotton to frame every window in my house. Hah! But we persevered, and it really makes the room. Kudos to you, Grandma. I love them, and I know Sprout will, too!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Sprout says, "Thanks, Nana K, for my loot!"

Well, now all three sets of grandparents have started showering our little one with love and loot. These adorable sleepers arrived yesterday from Florida. I especially like the turtle one in the top left -- it's one of those open-bottomed sleepers, which I'm sure will come in handy for middle-of-the-night diaper changes. He also received his first CD (Baby Einstein, of course, to make him even more brilliant), so we'll need to start looking for a small CD player/radio to keep in his room...maybe I'll run off and go add that to his registry. ;) He is starting to have a definite "play time" during the day, even in the womb. He was SO wound up yesterday! Poor Ramona (my dental hygienist)! Even she could see my belly bouncing, and kept pausing during my cleaning to ask, "Um, are you sure you're okay? He's really happy this afternoon!" Maybe we're growing a dentist! Who knows!

In other news, this mommy has been down for the count for about a week and a half now. What I thought was a cold a couple weeks ago just wouldn't go away, so at the firm prompting of those near and dear, I called the dr. Imagine my dismay and disappointment when Dr. Gibbs' office said pneumonia!!! Thankfully, after a visit to my primary care physician, I received a diagnosis of "just bronchitis." Dr. Fisher is a little concerned that the pain in my back (piercing when I cough or sneeze) may be more than a muscle strain, and is keeping an eye on me to make sure that I haven't developed a clot near my lungs. (Would that just be fitting?)

Next week holds 3 appts: follow up on my renal u/s on Tuesday afternoon; fetal u/s and cervical measurement on Wednesday morning; and my gestational diabetes test on Friday morning. Fun, fun!
Not too many plans for this coming weekend. Jim and I will be holed up at Westgate for a Leadership Summit both Friday night and Saturday morning, and a birthday brunch with the family will round things out on Sunday. I'm looking forward to one last weekend of relative quiet. Somehow, Jim and I have managed to fill up every weekend between now and the first weekend in December: dinner with friends, alumni reunions, Jr High fall retreat, one more trip to Jerry and Nikki's for the "big game" (Bengals v Steelers, and annual tradition), my shower, the BIG big game (OSU v MI), Thanksgiving.....and to think, somewhere in there, I'm most likely gonna have a baby. Yikes!! I'd like to get through our childbirth classes (they end the Monday after Thanksgiving), but we'll see. =)
I'm hoping Jim and I can get the curtain rods hung in the nursery this weekend. I'm dying to get pictures up of the curtains Grandma Soldano made for Sprout. They are PERFECT! They're hanging in the closet door right now, and I'd photograph that, but it doesn't do it justice, so we wait.
So, until tomorrow..... =)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

99 days until his due date = bittersweet

It's hard to believe it's been a month since Jim last took pictures of my belly...I don't know where the last 28 days have gone, but if the proof is in the pic, then they landed squarely on my tummy! I felt "cute" today....until I uploaded these pictures. =( The last 3 or 4 days, I've really internalized the emotions I've read about in my pregnancy books: where the mommy-to-be starts to struggle with her body image, her shifting shape, her stretch marks, the number on the scale. Although Dr. Gibbs' scale showed that I've only gained 4 lbs during this pregnancy, there is no doubt that things are a-changing. My skin hasn't been this pimply since I was 14; my butt (which has never been my best asset [no pun intended]) seems huge to me; please don't comment if you concur; and my hair --which is, according to pre-natal vitamin lore, supposed to be growing like crazy is STILL taking forever to grow out (which is why, despite an hour in the bathroom this morning, it looks horrendous in these photos) God bless Whitney for the miracle I know she'll be able to work with this mop in a couple weeks.

But, here, as I debut the first bare-bellied shot of Sprout's current nursery, I reveal the phenom that at least Jim thinks is beautiful (and yes, I know it's pale). I know that the next 2 months are only going to get "worse." I know this; and I hope that I'm okay with it as it happens. Thank goodness I have a husband who makes me feel pretty (and dare I say, even sexy sometimes?!), even when I haven't bothered to shave, or brush my hair (or teeth, for that matter), or change out of my pajamas. I know this little nameless boy of ours is 100% worth it, no question. I'm just going through a phase, I guess. And from everything I read, and chat about online with my pregnant Internet friends, all I'm feeling is normal. (Oh, I hope so.)
Now, onto the real heart of the matter, and the reason behind today's post. As excited as I am to meet this little guy who has been dancing on my spleen (and in my heart), I'm sad that my pregnancy is on the "last lap." I officially enter my third trimester next Sunday (27 years = 27 weeks; it's fitting, I guess). And given our complications, I doubt I'll be pregnant for all 13 of those weeks. So, I know the end is, if not near, a LOT closer than the beginning. And I'm sad. =(
I feel like I haven't really gotten to experience being "pregnant." It's as though all I've been for the past months is merely the sick anomaly. First the sulfa crisis, and just as I was recovering from that, came the cervix, and then the abruption, and then the hospital stay and kidney scare, and then the notching artery. Ugh. I feel like pretty much every conversation I have, with the exception of when it's Jim who is talking to me, starts with "So, how are you feeling?" Which is fine, I guess. It means that people are concerned. And I'm sure I'm not the only pregnant women to ever be asked how I'm doing. But I feel like it's ALL I'm asked.
As I sit here and type, I realized that I sound whiny and ungrateful for all the people who have taken an interest in my pregnancy. I'm not (ungrateful). I promise. Your concern means you care and that I (and Sprout, too) am loved. But, yeah. I still feel the way I feel: I'm not ready to be done with this pregnancy, but I also realize that prolonging it isn't going to fix my "problem." I'm not going to get "better." I'm not going to all of a sudden start having a normal pregnancy.
So, my solution, I guess, is to put on my BGP's (requisite Big Girl Panties) and deal with the fact that this is the pregnancy that God wanted me to have, and just because it's not what's portrayed in Hollywood, in my pregnancy books, or in the Isabella Oliver catalog, it's okay. I'm still going to get what I want on the other end of this 9 (or 8 or 7 1/2) months, and that is a beautiful baby boy.
Okay....I hope those of you who actually made it through this eternally long post can take it for what it is: just my ramblings on how I'm feeling this beautiful Saturday afternoon (a little skewed, I'll admit, and blame on 9 weeks of bed rest and a week-long cold). I love all of you who care enough to put up with my moods and who bother to read my scribbles. Until next time (when I hope I'm in a better mood....), have a wonderful weekend. xoxoxxo

Happy 25 Jenny!

Happy Birthday, Mrs. Carbonaro! Hope you're having a great day with your family, in your new house; whoo-hoo!!!

Friday, September 21, 2007

It's officially AUTUMN!!!

In honor of the best season of the year, I made the yummiest treat this morning: caramel chocolate chip pumpkin bread. Yummo! The recipe makes enough batter for three loaves (or two loaves and a batch of muffins). But here's a discovery: the muffins don't need to bake as long as the loaves. If you bake the muffins for the stated hour, you end up with overcooked, rock hard lumps that end up being processed into crumbs to use as, oh I don't know, yogurt topping or pie crust or ice cream toppers...oh well. At least I got 2 beautiful loaves out of the deal. Happy 9/21!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Just for laughs....

I married a nut. But he makes me smile. Click here to see what he sent to cheer me up today. =) This is why our son won't have a cell phone until he leaves for college.

PS -- You might not want to click on this at work, if you have sensitive security. Just a heads-up.

Never-ending nursery progress

So, the dresser. As I've mentioned before, this dresser is a built-in in the smallest of our three bedrooms. It would have made a perfect changing station as well, if it were just a bit shorter, but alas....the most frustrating thing about that "impossibility" is knowing that there is wasted space at the bottom, as the section closest to the floor is not a drawer, but just hollow space. But I digress.

I knew that I did not want to strip (to its original finish) nor paint over the dresser, so I began making plans to upholster the drawer fronts in fabric that matched the crib sheets. Call me chicken, call me lazy, but the more I thought about it, the more intimidated I got. So, when a recent trip to Meijer uncovered an adorably patterned contact paper (for $6!), I knew I had to try this first.

The pictures aren't the best, as plaids never show up well in a photo, but you get the gist. It's a wide plaid in two shades of blue and a shade of green. Jim just came home for lunch and gave it his stamp of approval (which means only one of us is going "hmm...I just don't know." With that said, I'm open to opinions and comments (be nice, though, please!)

And I promise, I think the only other nursery progress pictures you'll have to endure are once the curtains are up; the chair and ottoman delivered; and pictures and knicknacks are hung. Thanks for indulging my excitement!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Want to learn about "notching"?

The correct answer is NO. (But we'll get to that in a minute.)

My appointment with Dr. Gibbs on Friday was relatively normal. Each week that I see him, I thank God for bringing me to such an incredible, sensitive physician. And he's cute and funny, too! What more could a girl ask for? But, I digress.

I have gained a total of 4 pounds during this pregnancy, and have started to be (mildly) concerned about how tiny I seem to look (although is you ask my Grandma Soldano, she'll tell you I look plenty pregnant!). But Dr. Gibbs measured my belly (nothing fancy, just a regular ol' tape measure) and said I'm on track, just carrying in such a way that I'm not "huge." My nurse, Jo, just laughed and said, "Be careful what you wish for; it'll come!"

We went over the results of my Sept. 5 u/s, and I was so happy to hear that Sprout is still "perfect." He continues to present right on track with weight, measurements, movements, position, etc. Way to go, baby boy! (Now just tell us your name, and we'll be all set!) The clot which resulted from the abruption in June is all but gone -- if not gone in its entirety, it is no longer visible, and the separation has "scabbed" over. This is still a vulnerable spot for the placenta, and of course, with its weakness comes a risk of another separation, but for now, there is no reason to anticipate that happening.

Dr. Gibbs has ordered that I continue to take the progesterone suppositories (hormones) through the remainder of this dose (8 more days) and one more refill. That will take us up to exactly 30w, at which point he said I'm free to discontinue the drug, as we'll be "ready" to welcome the baby. (Yea! That an extra $90 back in our pocket!)

Now. For the post title. I can't very well explain the complication that they found with my uterine artery when I was in the hospital last month. But I know that, unfortunately, it was not a fluke, and I am still presenting "notching" in my uterine artery scans. I have found 2 websites that (kinda) of explain the problem: one is a British site, and a little in-depth; the other is found at (and please ignore that the article heading refers to Down Syndrome; in my case, they are not linked).

Here is the schedule of events going forward as we head into the third trimester on the 30th (happy birthday to me!):

Renal u/s - Sept 21
Dental check up - Sept 27
Flw-up with urologist - Oct 2
1-hour gestational diabetes test - Oct 2
Fetal growth u/s - Oct 3
Dr. Gibbs - Oct 12

In the meantime, I'm loving this cooler weather, although finding warmer clothes to fit over the belly bump is proving harder. Jim and I went shopping last night, and while I found a really classy shirt to wear to an alumni reception next month, the "casual" fall wear I was drawn to (at this particular store) is pricey!! I can't justify $90 for a sweater I'm only going to wear a handful of times, no matter how cute it is. Oh well. There is always Old Navy. =)

Another accomplishment of the week was the first foray into child care centers. I met with the director at two separate Children's Discovery Center locations. The one I'm most drawn to is the Franklin Park location. Not only is it close to our home, but the director was phenomenal, the staff was impressive, and the children were a true testimony of the quality of care I feel this center would offer. There would be "pros" to choosing the downtown location (namely, its proximity to my office), but I just didn't get the same vibe.....We are going to look into several other facilities, but I have a good feeling about the FP CDC, and feel blessed that the Lord opened the right door to make this decision just a little bit easier for this new momma.

It doesn't look like I'll have too many "serious" issues to update on in the next few weeks, but I'll try to keep you entertained with random entries as the mood strikes. Until next time....

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Our lil guy -- 23w3d

Just a couple shots for your viewing pleasure:

Jim, in typical guys fashion, is so proud of this first shot. =) Every u/s we have confirms that we are indeed having a boy, but now we have the photo to prove it. The tech was so helpful to draw an arrow at his "parts," just in case we couldn't decipher the anatomy.

In this one, his mouth was going nuts - you could tell he was sucking/swallowing, so I'm not sure if he was aiming his fist at his mouth or what, but it was so, so sweet.

As for how the rest of the appointment went with the specialist on Wednesday.... I wasn't actually slotted to see Dr. Sundjeri, and the tech was not at liberty to go over the ultrasound results, so, I know very little more than I knew before the appointment. I did ask the technician what she had been ordered to look for, and she was able to tell me they were checking on the following: baby's weight, height, and overall measurements (all good, by the way -- he was 1 lb 5 oz); the size and or/presence of the blood clot discovered in July (we're hoping it's 100% gone); and the blood flow between the uterine artery and the placenta (I had abnormal results when I was in the hospital in early August).

The next appointment is this coming Friday (9/14) with Dr. Gibbs, and I'm hopeful for all good news.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I love my wonderful husband!

Look at what I came home to last night -- all set up and ready for just the finishing touches (plus a baby)! Also, keep in mind the bean bag is just temporary until the glider and ottoman come in. But think orange! Also, the dresser drawers will (somehow?) be upholstered in the same fabric as the crib sheet. I can't wait to see it done. (If anyone has tips, I'd welcome them.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

10 hours, 3 rolls of tape, one tired mommy

"Labor Day" took on a whole new meaning for us this year. =)

After about 10 hours, a LOT of blue tape, and some sore muscles, Sprout's nursery is that much closer to being DONE!

We've chosen Behr's Ocean Tropic (bottom) and Enchanting (top) with 1" and 2" white stripes in between. I am now a HUGE fan of acrylic gel medium, the wonder product that gave me the razor-sharp lines that eluded me in the in dining and living rooms last year. Spread a little of the white gel (it dries clear) over the seam of the tape, and voila! Up it comes with no spots, no drips -- leaving only beautiful, white lines. Now, onto setting up the crib and sewing the curtains!