Monday, February 25, 2008

A vocabulary lesson

I love words. All words. I even have favorites -- winningest is among them. My greatest pet peeve is when people say "funnest" and "funner" and completely butcher the English language.

That said, it seems I still have much to learn.

While having a conversation with some sisters-in-law this past weekend, the conversation somehow turned to labor and how I might envision giving birth. One had two kids through c-section, so I thought we were talking about whether I would prefer a c-section or "natural" birth. Well, apparently, "natural" childbirth means something completely different than "vaginal" birth. One sister-in-law had experienced labor without drugs of any kind. After hearing those stories and one or two others about women who attempted truly "natural" births, I realized I had misspoke. I had actually meant "vaginal" birth -- to clafify, pain drugs are completely welcome and encouraged. Strongly.

Those who know me know I am big baby. Seriously. I have a scar of my right calf from when I got stitches and cried because it hurt so bad. I was 20. The ER doctor, I think, was less than impressed with my lack of pain tolerance and rushed through the stitching process just to shut me up. Let's see, I also cried when I got me ears pierced. All three times. Even this morning, I teared up a little when I dropped a shoe on my bare foot. (In my defense, though, it was a stiletto-type shoe and I don't really recall if the tears were due to the pain or because I miss wearing all of my spiky heels.)

So, yeah, labor is a scary thought. Very scary. I was teasing Ray the other day that he has to wear a "sympathy belly" when we take childbirth classes in April. His response: "My belly just unstraps and comes off. To get rid of yours, you need to actually push the baby out." He helps keep things in perspective, doesn't he?

Onto other topics, I am now in my 23rd week. Things are still pretty uneventful here. The belly continues to expand. I finally had to give up my pre-pregnancy jeans last week. Lola continues to kick several times a day, most often during City Council meetings, which is nice because it helps keep me awake (editorial note: I'm just kidding, if anyone from work is reading this -- I love my job).

Seriously, I am not missing the sickness or anything. The backaches are a bit more frequent and I am now uncomfortable all of the time, whether I am sitting on the couch or laying in bed. But nothing is unbearable yet. Lola isn't quite big enough yet, I don't think, to really wreak havoc in my ribs. Although, she did find a way last week to kick my back, which was an odd feeling.

So, life continues. Not much in the near future on the baby front except for a regular check-up Wednesday morning. I have a list of 15 or 16 questions ready! As Ray says, "I bet the doctor is just thrilled that she got the reporter for a patient."

Have a good week -- I will try to post an update later this week.
- Bethany :)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Us? Motivated?

Wow. Really, that's all I can say after yesterday (Friday). Wow.

Bear with me, this might take a minute or two:

I was off Friday, so I decided that I would rearrange my closet during the afternoon. Now, I don't know how long this takes most people, but since the entire point of doing it was to find extra storage space, I basically needed to take every item in the closet out and start from scratch. I also seem to have a little obsessive-compulsiveness in me -- all my clothes are hung on certain hangers, facing the same direction, and are in order from sleeve length and color -- basically, you could remove an item of clothing from my closet and I could tell you what it was. So, in short, this was a long process. But, I did it. And I got four new boxes inside -- yea!

Of course Ray came home from work and looked at my closet and said, "THIS took you all day?" And then looked at the still-messy kitchen and sighed. Oh well.

Then, Ray and I had to run into town to check if our recently-purchased crib bedding would match the Minnesota northwoods theme depicted on a quilt downtown -- and it matched perfectly! We were really concerned about whether the pinkish flowers on the bedding was too pink. But, we couldn't have matched it any better! Seriously, if I ever get around to posting pictures this week, you'll see! It was so cool!

Thus, we were getting a bit more excited about the nursery, so when we got back home (it was about 5 p.m. or so), we were motivated to actually do something.

Fast-forward four hours and the nursery is empty!!! Seriously, the big bed and all the boxes are completely GONE!

OK, well, we still have SOME things left to do tonight and tomorrow, but they're the FUN things, so we're actually excited about it. The cubby full of camping supplies still needs to be sorted through -- Ray and I are actually looking forward to doing this, if for no other reason, we get to think about springtime for a while.

Also, the pictures on the wall (all camping related) are moving into the master bedroom. The other wall, which was kind of an ode to Bethany's tennis days, was boxed up and put in the closet, so all we should have left with the walls is spackling and painting!

But, these are such little things! The bed was the major hurdle for us, and just walking through the empty room we can see where the crib and dresser will go, where Ray is going to paint the pine trees and flowers, where we'll hang Mr. Owl and all his little forest friends. It's so fun!

So, that was our Friday night.

Oh, one quick funny: We have four canoe paddles, but last night, while moving some things around, we realized that something wasn't quite right. We only had three canoe paddles. This is a problem, since we use two to hoist the canoe onto the top of the truck and the other two to actually power the canoe (OK, in all fairness, Ray powers the canoe with his one paddle and mine kind of sits beside me in the "ready" position in case my help is ever needed -- and if Ray wants a nice afternoon on the lake, he knows better than to ask). Well, long story short, Ray got all bundled up last night and hiked down to the waterfront and dug through the snow for a while -- and tada! He found the missing paddle still hiding under the canoe.

But the really funny part was that he found more than the paddle. There also was a slumbering raccoon that thought the canoe made a very nice shelter from winter. Ray said it was hard to tell who scared who more -- he also said they both ran away from each other pretty quickly.

Ahh, Bemidji. We love it here.

Anyhow, I hope you all are having a good weekend!
- Bethany :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

20 weeks down, 20 more to go...

Well, I am officially past the halfway mark! (Although really, since you can't find out that you're pregnant until you're already at least 4-5 weeks pregnant, the last "half" is actually longer than the first, right? But, I'm assured by those who have lived through it that the next 20 weeks, if even, or more, will fly by.)

The nursery. Well, we got the giant bed taken part and moved into another part of the house. And, we went through the boxes hidden underneath the bed (eight empty boxes that we use to move our dishes, two empty boxes for our Nativity -- we leave it on display year-round -- one box of various electrical cords, one box of Bethany's high school yearbooks, two or three boxes of Bethany's saved newspapers and articles, and one box of artwork from Bethany's third-graders from her senior year of high school). Notice a pattern? Yeah, so did Ray. Lots of Bethany stuff. So, that all ended up in a pile for me to go through this week. And, yes, I reluctantly decided to throw away the empty boxes.

Ray is now gone. He was sent to Baxter (near Brainerd) for a three-day training session for work. (You know, it's funny. My little brother recently returned from a job-training trip in Florida -- and Ray goes to Baxter. Seems fair.) Being apart isn't new for us -- I mean, I've taken trips to Arizona, New Orleans, etc., while we've been dating and married -- but he's never left me before. This is new. And, not fun, I'm learning. We were sad Sunday night, but, surprisingly, I didn't seem to much care this morning when he left at 4 a.m. -- all I really remember is yelling something about turning the lights off. But, he comes back Wednesday, so it's not like he's gone for too long.

My car has decided since Ray wasn't here this morning that this was the ideal time to be difficult. It wouldn't start this morning at all. My car, while known as a big baby when it comes to the cold, has never not started for me. Ever. Even this past weekend, when it was -50 with the windchill, she started just fine. Today, a whole 10 degrees warmer, at least, and she refuses to turn over. Long story short, she eventually started about an hour later after Lola learned a few new four-lettered words.

Ooh, speaking of Lola, she continues to get stronger. Seriously. Her kicks have become much more powerful and distinct. A few have caught me off guard, but they're so fun! Ray can consistently feel them also, which is pretty cool. I'm super excited for this week: I should be getting her baby book any day now. I ordered it online last week, so hopefully I should receive it by Friday. I know there are a few "waiting for baby" pages that you can write in during pregnancy, so that will be fun.

That's really about it for now. Check back later this week -- I'm sure with Ray being gone and not having cable I'll have more to say later.

If not, have a happy Valentine's Day!
- Bethany :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The before shots...

A very smart sister-in-law suggested to me that I take some before pics of the nursery, so I could track its progress. So, here are some pics so you can understand what we're going to try to get rid of. Everything must go! I sound like a going-out-of-business sale, don't I?

(I really should have taken a picture of what is underneath the giant bed, but I didn't think of that -- picture a junk drawer times one million!!!)

I'm feeling optimistic about this weekend. Last night, after grocery shopping we came home and reorganized and scrubbed the entire kitchen (at like 9 p.m.). That was overdo and also needed, but I'm thinking that if we were motivated on a TUESDAY -- then accomplishing stuff this weekend should be a walk in the park, right?

Except I am a bit afraid that we're going to burn out soon -- with shopping/cleaning last night and church tonight, we're not getting a lot of down time this week.

Oh well, we have tomorrow night to prepare. And, thanks to "Lost" we should get some sitting-on-the-couch-doing-nothing time!

Stay tuned.
- Bethany :)

Monday, February 4, 2008

Little Lola

This is our little Lola. Isn't she cute? (You can see how she seems to be waving.)

Well, after last week's excitement, not much has changed! Ray and I are still celebrating the news that we are expecting a baby girl.

Lola continues to get stronger. We mostly notice her at night, shortly after dinnertime. She's a little wiggle bug, that's for sure. Ray was able to feel one of her stronger kicks last night, so that was pretty cool.

This coming weekend is, supposedly, going to be dedicated to the nursery. (Ask me Monday just how much we got done!) But, we do hope to finally clear out the room and take down the camping pics and my tennis awards. We need to find another location for the camping supplies, too. Considering we've only lived here for 7-8 months, we have managed to acquire a lot of stuff.

Regarding myself, my belly continues to expand, which is both scary and exciting. I feel just fine, although I do seem to be a bit more tired. Most frustrating right now is my appetite, as I am absolutely starving all of time. I try to do the 4-5 meals-a-day plan, but I really think I could eat 14-15 a day, if I would let myself! Instead, I've taken up snacking on carrots, peanuts, etc., at work. Otherwise that candy machine is just too tempting!

Off topic, Ray and I made a much-needed trip to the Twin Cities this past weekend. As always, the time flew by, but we were able to see family as we hoped. We also got a chance to look at some crib options and decided, I think, that JC Penney's is our best fit for now. I also found a little baby book which we will soon order, and quite a few little girly outfits caught my eye! (There was this itty bitty little tennis dress that was absolutely adorable; while I was able to resist, for now, I just may need to order one or two online...)

Thanks for checking on us. Sorry if we're boring, but things will pick up soon, I'm sure.

Happy Super Tuesday, in advance!
- Bethany :)