Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Eighteen Weeks

I am eighteen weeks (and eleven pounds) pregnant. I feel huge and Jory says I don't even look pregnant, so I guess it depends on your perspective! We have our sonogram Monday and I am very excited. Four weeks is a long time to go between hearing that heartbeat! I haven't felt the baby move yet - I am awaiting the 'flutter', but I am constantly aware of Little One now. I notice my hand resting on my stomach more and Little One's existence permeates my life - Finally!

We spent a WONDERFUL weekend in Oklahoma and took a scenic drive into Arkansas. We have lots of pictures to post this week. I made a banana cheesecake for the weekend and we cooked out, relaxed and talked about Little One and politics. We also took Baby's First Hike. We have avoided hiking since I got pregnant and we realized this weekend how much we miss it. It was beautiful.

In Major Events that Occurred During Pregnancy, Washington Mutual no longer exists and now represents the largest bank failure in history. The House voted down a $700B rescue of the Financial World. Ole Miss beat Florida and the Aggies won a football game. Pretty big week all the way around.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More Pictures

Above is Lake Whitney where we had a reunion with Kim's family this past Sunday. It was such a nice day! Below are all pictures of our backyard after Hurricane Ike. I think we had the least amount of mess of any home in Tyler. We were very blessed during this storm.

We are headed to Broken Bow, Oklahoma this weekend for a relaxing get away. We should have many beautiful pictures of that. We will return Monday.


Here are some pictures of me and of our 'stuff'! Things are still going very well. I am still eating more fruit than any of you can possibly imagine. A woman at work gave me 20(!!!) very nice skirts to borrow. I will be able to use them throughout my pregnancy (I'm wearing one today and I love it). All I need to do is get some solid color maternity shirts and sweaters to wear with them and I should be set for many months. YAY! People have been so generous and helpful. And they've even restrained from laughing at me when I prove time and again that I am a baby idiot.
This is me at 16 1/2 weeks.

You can't tell how pretty this is, but this is a blanket (my dad and) Sheri bought for us and it is the softest thing! It is wonderful!

This is a blanket that Jory's GREAT-GRANDMA made for him when he was a baby!

This is a blanket that John and Kim's next door neighbor made for us! We don't even know her! She just brought it to Kim one day and said she knew we were Aggies, so she made us a blanket! How sweet is that? It is so soft.

Baby Things

Oh my gosh! Do you have any idea how much stuff you are supposed to buy before you have a baby? I have recently learned that God made pregnancy last nine months because that is how long it takes to accumulate the 'necessary' items! When you register at a store, you get a list of 'Must Have' items for which you are supposed to register. This list is anywhere from 50 to 100 items without counting the many, many items of which you are supposed to have several. I have so many issues with this list I barely know where to start.

Where does all this stuff go? I feel like you are going to open the door to our house in six months and there is going to be a trail of baby items running throughout the home. Seriously. How do people who live in an apartment have a baby?

What is some of this stuff? If I don't know what something is and the description on the store's website doesn't clear up what I am supposed to do with it, do I still need to register for it? Do I really need alcohol swabs? I would not know what to do with an alcohol swab, but that may be because I am a baby idiot. Under 'Baby Care', protective mittens are listed. Are these for me or for the baby? What do they protect against?

Are some of these things duplicated on the list? I don't know why the stores would list something more than once, but is activity mat not the same thing as activity gym? Are a bouncer and a jumper really different and are both necessary?

What does 'Must Have' really mean? Okay, we've got bottle warmer (can I not use the microwave?), bottle sterilizer (does washing the bottles not count?), and drying rack (what's wrong with the dry cycle on the dishwasher?). We've got child-proofing items. We intend to have a fairly intelligent child, but if Little One is opening cabinets and sticking things in light sockets any time soon I think we've got a problem.

Now here's the kicker. Once you decide what you are going to register for, the options are endless. Let's overlook the important things like which of the 50 available car seats will protect Little One the best. Let's go to diapers. There are 117 kinds of diapers at Babies R Us. I am not making this up, you may check. I am sure I would be a better mother if I knew why I should register for organic diapers or sensitive diapers or Egyptian cloth diapers, but I don't. So I just threw Pampers into the search criteria. Yeah. You don't want to know how many types of Pampers there are. I did not register for diapers.

It is truly amazing that our grandmothers managed to have so many children before the advent of Babies R Us. How on earth did they survive without car shades and splat mats?

So, as of now, the registering is a work in process. We hope to have it completed before Little One enters the world. I fully intend to do my best and then take my registries to friends who have actually had children so that they can edit. I am mostly doing this in hopes that they will tell me that we will only need 50% of the things on the lists.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Little One Makes Us Lucky

Every since I got pregnant, Jory has won every raffle he has had the opportunity to be entered in. So far, this has amounted to tickets to a concert we couldn't attend, a cheap pen and some fly fishing lures. But yesterday we hit the jackpot! I was invited to a Girl Scouts Luncheon because one of the partners at my firm was being honored. By virtue of that, I got a free ticket and was seated at the head table. In return for the generosity, I kicked in $25 to purchase three raffle tickets. 500 tickets were to be sold and there was only one prize, clearly one destined for me! I won four plane tickets on American, good for anyone to use to anywhere. I also won four VIP Seating Passes to a taping of the Dr. Phil show.

Now, two of the plane tickets are being booked today. The other two will likely get us to Colorado next summer. But, the Dr. Phil tickets??? Probably not going to be used. So, if any of you can get yourselves to Los Angeles between now and March (or in August or September of 2009), you are welcome to these.

Major Events

AIG got $85 Billion and Little One's daddy got to go on TV and talk about it.


If you click on 'What the AIG Bailout means to you', a four minute video will play. At minute 1:51, Little One's daddy's news premier begins. He's on there three times. Little One loved watching it on TV last night.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Four Months Pregnant

I am 16 1/2 weeks pregnant now - I am coming up on halfway! We took pictures this week and will post them soon.

This is a weird time for me. It is as if I am just coming to the realization that I am pregnant. Since most women have some sort of symptom in their first trimesters, I am sure that they become aware of their pregnancy much earlier. Things really didn't change for me in the first three months. When things were different - like when I got tired - I could blame it on our schedules. Pregnancy was not something that permeated my existence. Unless someone mentioned it, I could forget I was pregnant.

I am now aware that I am pregnant. All the time. My body is different. My clothes are different. My brain is very, very different. My energy level is different. Apparently, my attitude is different. (Our doctor asked how my moods and emotions had been. Jory told her I'd been a little cranky. I'm sure he's making that part up, though.)

When I talk to women who have been pregnant, they gush about how they enjoyed every single moment of their pregnancy. I feel like I've missed something. I wasn't fully aware of pregnancy for so long, so I didn't relish all of those "moments". Now, I've got this realization, but I'm a little freaked out. I am SO excited to be a mother. I am thrilled at the prospect of watching my husband be a father. I KNOW that raising a family fulfills a God-given Purpose in my life. All of that is miraculous and exciting and I anxiously await it. This pregnancy thing, I'm not so sure about.

It seems like so much pressure. And I have no tangible proof of whether I'm screwing it up. The baby can't cry to me when he or she is unhappy. I don't know if I'm consuming enough Calcium or Iron or Vitamin C to suit Little One. I don't know if the way I sleep is comfortable for Little One. I don't know if he or she would prefer I not work next to a jackhammer on a regular basis (another story, another day). In short, I feel like I am supposed to be relishing all of these little moments and I'm turning pregnancy into a checklist of dos and don'ts and should I dos...Hopefully this will pass. Hopefully other mothers experience this when they first realize they are carrying precious cargo and my awakening just came a little later.

In the meantime, pregnancy is still very easy for me. I have been wondrously blessed. Every doctor's visit comes with a list of symptoms and me saying that I don't have any of them. I am headache free, nausea free and, generally, very healthy.

Before I sign off today, I will again mention current events. I am aware that you know all of these, put I am creating a list of things that occurred while Little One was incubating. This week, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch ceased to exist. I am not sure we'll ever be able to explain to our child the impact of those events. We can't show pictures of a bankruptcy like we can of a hurricane. In happier news, Britney Spears recently hosted the VMAs and has reached an unprecedented (for her) level of normalcy. This may not reach Little One's future history books, but it should.

Have a wonderful week. Jory is enjoying the cool weather here which means it is probably freezing where half of you live, bundle up!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Things We Will Remember

Hurricane Gustav came and went exactly two weeks ago. Though there was damage, it mostly left a lot of inconvenienced, unhappy people. Well over 2 million people were evacuated four days ahead of the storm that made landfall with a much over-estimated intensity. The vast majority of people who left their homes would have been fine staying. Unfortunately, that attitude carried forward. This morning, Hurricane Ike hit Texas and Louisiana with a force that stretched 500 miles. Less than half the number of people who evacuated for Gustav left for Ike, despite mandatory orders to do so. It will be days before the damage is known.

On a personal - and much less devastating note - Hurricane Ike is projected to pass through Tyler today. It is to bring wind gusts of 60-70 miles per hour and last for several hours as it moves slowly through Texas. This will be a Tropical Storm (hopefully - it is currently still a hurricane), and the residents of Tyler were given orders to prepare yesterday. Anyone living in mobile homes were evacuated. All outdoor furniture had to be brought in and low hanging limbs had to be removed from trees. The IRS extended the September 15 deadline to September 22 for all areas to be affected and Tyler was included. Tyler was actually declared to be in a state of national emergency. Realistically, though, as long they are inside, the residents of Tyler are in no danger. There will likely be the convenience of electricity being out, but we will be fine. It was a bit nerve-racking, however, to be told to prepare for a storm. Having always lived in the city that people evacuated TO, watching people evacuate FROM our town was a little unsettling.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I've Gone Stupid

Some people call this Pregnancy Fog. Pregnancy Fog, however, is a symptom of pregnancy that I vowed not to get. Therefore, the only explanation is - clearly - that I've Gone Stupid. The people at work find this funny. I find it less so. Okay, I find it not funny at all. I find the idea that this may continue for some months to be the furthest thing from funny I can conjure.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Interesting Facts

1. I burned myself last Saturday. This is neither interesting nor incredibly surprising in and of itself, I understand. But, here's the thing. I touched a rung of the oven with the back of my hand for a fraction of a second. It was so quick I didn't think anything of it. I ran water over it because that's what you do, but I was certain it would not leave a mark. Seven days later, there is still a very definite mark. However, it's nothing compared to the disgusting mark that was there a few days ago. People noticed my hand and asked me what on earth I had done to it. The reality of what I had done was a pretty big let down. When we saw the doctor Thursday, I asked her if it was about to get infected and harm Little One (it did not look good, folks). She said to keep Neosporin on it and call her if it started showing a few signs of infection she gave me. But - here's what I found interesting - she said it did not surprise her that it would look like this after so many days and be working so hard to heal. She said that when you are pregnant, your immune system is working so hard that it just doesn't have much left over and everything takes longer to heal. I did not know that.

2. My ears have felt very full. They don't hurt like I have an ear infection, but there is a lot of pressure and it's uncomfortable and somewhat annoying. My doctor explained that this was also a sign of pregnancy - I did not know this. She said that I could expect my head, ears, nose, glands, etc. to feel full and swollen for quite a while, so I should get used to it. She gave me a reason for this, but I forget it. Jory probably remembers. I was focused on the fact that I would feel like I'm on an airplane for the next several months.

3. Speaking of airplanes, I was looking at plane tickets for Christmas in Ohio two weeks ago. Then someone mentioned that I would need to get permission from my doctor to fly since I would be 30 weeks pregnant. So, I didn't order the tickets. I got online today - permission firmly in hand - to find that flights have gone up $100 a person. And, we are only getting one-way tickets!

4. I am wearing a maternity shirt for the first time today. I have resisted this. I shouldn't have! I am loving how comfortable I am right now. And it's a normal looking shirt. Jory said I looked cute.


The picture on the top is me at three months pregnant. The other one is 6 weeks pre-pregnancy. I couldn't find a good sideways shot there.

On the top, I am standing in the baby's room. However, I think we are going to repaint, so that yellow may be a thing of the past.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Doctor Appointment

We love to hear that heartbeat! It is amazing! We had an appointment this morning and heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time in a month. It just blows us away! Little One has a strong, fast heartbeat and all appears to be well.

My doctor came in and said first thing, "You weight gain is great!" That took one stress off of me. My blood pressure and everything else are good, as well. Jory will have to tell you what my blood pressure is, but it's low. I have low blood pressure anyway and that may come in handy during the pregnancy.

Our next appointment is Oct 6 and we will have a full sonogram - that will be exciting! We will get a CD of images then and we can post them on here.

Everything is great here. I feel good and we are getting more excited by the day. Jory was on the phone with Adam last night (Adam and Jory have been friends for about 30 years and Adam's wife will have their second baby in December). I heard bits and pieces of their conversation and it was all about baby. It was fun to hear the excitement in Jory's voice as they discussed the upcoming births.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

All Things Baby

As promised, today's post gets back to the truly important things in life - Me and the Allen Baby! :) As far as ME, I am fourteen weeks pregnant. I gained seven pounds in my first trimester. One book I am reading says that is the exact number of pounds I should have gained. The other book says that is almost twice what I should have gained. I am pretty freaked out over the weight gain. Since I know many people who lost weight their first trimester and still had no problem gaining the total amount necessary throughout pregnancy, I am in fear that I am heading towards a dangerously heavy pregnancy. Logically, it is clear that all of the weight is in my stomach and I am not eating cartons of Ben & Jerry's, so I really don't know what I could do differently. (Except I have slacked off on exercising a little bit and I probably do need to pick that up.) But illogically I am pretty distraught over the weight. We have a doctor's appointment Thursday, though, so I guess she'll let me know if I need to change something.

Also on ME, I am the proud owner of new clothes! We bought a pair of black pants (larger than what I would normally wear) and a pair of black maternity pants. A woman at work also brought me 5 really nice long skirts Friday. They are Maternity and have a drawstring inside so that they can be worn from pre-pregnancy to post-pregnancy and everywhere in between! I wore one to church Sunday and felt like I looked nice for the first time in a few weeks. It is good to be comfortable in my clothes again.

Moving to Baby Allen, Little One's room is coming along. We have removed everything that doesn't belong to Little One. We are keeping the yellow walls and we will be doing a lot of tan accessories. My friend Ann (who is amazing) will make the bedding and curtains. I don't think material has been picked yet, but it will likely be maroon and tan. We have a gorgeous baby quilt that has several maroon patterns and she may try to match one of those. We received a beautiful tan blanket and we have already hung up a burgundy and tan wall hanging we received as a gift. We have not decided on furniture yet and we probably need to delve into what we are going to do there pretty soon.

Nothing else right now. We are anxious to hear Little One's heartbeat again Thursday and will let you know of any news from the appointment.