Thursday, May 26, 2011


Yesterday, at my 37-week appointment, I heard my doctor say something I have never heard her say before.

“You’re dilated.”

Woohoo! Not that I am counting on having this baby anytime in the next week or anything, but after 42 weeks of carrying Lola around, I never dilated at all until the day before she was born.

So here I sit, at 1 cm dilated, 50 percent effaced. And I am just happy to be progressing in some way.

My doctor, and I, expect that I will still be around for next week’s appointment.

But one can wonder! She even made a point to tell me no more traveling anywhere (I was cleared for the one-hour drive to and fro my dad’s place this coming weekend) and that if I do “go” this weekend, that she is gone and I would have the on-call doctor. (Which is fine. She didn’t deliver Lola either. I’m not picky.)

So there is, perhaps, a chance that Amelia will have an early entrance…

Not a big chance. And certainly not one I am counting on…

But one can hope…

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lola van Gogh?

Ray was working late last night so Lola and I decided to color on her chalkboards. She wanted to sit on her table/chairs and that does not really work right now for me. So I took another wall. We were, more or less, sitting back to back.

I thought I would draw some things and let her guess what they were.

So I drew this (quickly, I might add, without the blue chalk):

"That an octopus?" Lola guessed.

I told her it was a sun. She was not convinced and turned back to her own drawings. I think she was trying to remind me that Ray is the artist in our family.

After a minute or two, she turned toward me and announced proudly, "I draw Daddy!"

Now I am as proud as any other mother of her child, but, honestly, the kid rarely draws much else other than circular scribbles and scary-looking triangles.

I was, admittedly, shocked to find this instead:

I was a little stunned. And I think she was trying to help me out a bit as she pointed out, "Daddy has two eyes," she said, showing me where they were, "one nose, one mouth."

I asked her what the big circle was that encircled him.

And she got sad, "Daddy stuck in truck."

She knew her father was "stuck" at work, working a little later than usual, which, to her, means he is driving around in his pickup truck.

She, of course, wanted to erase it right away.

I am so, so glad I thought to grab the camera. You can't really frame chalkboards. But I can capture it on "film" so to speak.

I am glad I did.

When Ray got home a little bit later, Lola proudly showed him what she drew, including this:

(two balloons by her Mickey Mouse ball)

Ray was impressed, too, as was/am I.

I think, though, he was just pleased to see that Lola has inherited at least some genes from him as well as me.

- Bethany :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Amelia's room

Roughly three years ago, Ray and I laid down in the middle of Lola's completed nursery, held hands and stared up at the sun as we talked about the future.

Last night, Ray and I sat down side by side in Amelia's completed nursery and discussed our revised hopes and dreams.

Amelia's room is complete.

As in finished.

And it is gorgeous.

Not that I am surprised - I have learned in the last three years just how talented my husband can be (Ray does fabulous work) - but getting to this point has been a battle of wills on more than one occasion.

Want a tour?

Meet Mommy and Baby whale. Or, as Lola says, the Mommy and Lola whales. I love them. Of all the murals Ray has done, this is my favorite.

You can't pick up on the subtleties of the shading, thanks to my crappy point-and-shoot, but they are perfect. Absolutely perfect.

My boss kind of arched her eyebrow a little bit this morning, commenting something about the killer whales swimming above the baby's crib.

But I love this image. The baby so close to the mother.

From "A calf begins to swim independently of its mother within days of its birth, although the mother stays close to her calf and attentively directs its movements. The baby swims close to its mother and can be carried in the mother's 'slip stream', a type of hydrodynamic wake that develops as the mother swims. This helps the baby swim with much less energy and keep up with the pod."

To me, that sounds like parenthood: invite the child to swim alone, on its own, but keep her close and within reach. I just love it.

(And besides, the Mommy whale is kind of smiling - I don't think she's scary looking at all.)


The other mural in the room is a hodgepodge of under-the-sea creatures.

This was very time-consuming and if Ray and I did have any battles, it was over the components of this mural.

Of course, as I am learning more and more each year, sometimes it is best to just let Ray do his thing and trust that it will turn out beautifully. It always does.

Here are some close-ups:


For the decor, we just tried to include some under-the-sea touches.

I love the little touches throughout the room. The turtle pillow, for instance, was among a set of three that graced the same shelf in Lola's Northwoods-themed nursery when she was an infant.


* happy sigh *

So we are done.

The nursery is complete. And, I got my hospital bag packed.

Now we just need baby...

- Bethany :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

“So how much longer?”

I am getting this question a lot now.

And I still don’t know how to answer.

So I give my usual, flippant response, “Oh, we expect delivery in anywhere from four to six weeks.”

I am so confused about my due date – and even thought it really does not matter, I would like to at least have a date in mind.

I am due on June 13.

Or so I thought.

At my 20-week(ish) ultrasound, I was measuring about six days behind, putting my due date at June 19. But my doctor said she would not change my due date unless it was one week off or more. Mine would be off by six days.

Still, everything I see and read at my doctor’s office (i.e. my chart, my disability paperwork, etc.) says June 19.


When I ask about it, she kind of just smiles, pats me on the arm and says it doesn’t really matter anyway. Look at my history with my stubborn 14-day-late Lola. It’s not like I expect a June 4 baby (although some of us can still hope, right?!).

So I hate when people ask me what my due date is. Was last Friday, the 13th, the beginning of the one-month countdown? Was yesterday?

I hate not knowing.


In other news, we still are progressing on the nursery and I hope that by the end of this weekend, maybe, I can get it arranged to the point where I can take some pictures.

Ray has, again, done an amazing job. And I can’t wait to share it with you.

(More so, though, with her, of course.)

Lola is being a great trooper. She got a new bed last week and has been watching as some of her things (furniture, especially) are making their way to Amelia’s room. I wondered if she would handle that OK, with the baby “taking” her stuff. But she is more interested in the baby’s toys (play mats, bathtub, bouncy chair, etc.) than the fact that some of her touch-and-feel board books have been redistributed.


Every time we unpack something, we laugh about Lola’s baby year(s).

First, it was the bouncy chair, which was Lola's "crib" for the first six months. And which still does not have a working play/toy bar because she, you know, destroyed it. Like she did the baby mobile and about a dozen other items.

Yesterday, though, it was the bottles.

We have, remaining, eight bottles with 11 nipples, 10 of which are size 2 and just one size 1.

See, Lola refused to ever go up nipple sizes. Ever. She would scream and throw her bottle at us whenever we tried to sneak on a size 2 nipple. And while we have never been opposed to letting her cry herself out until she adjusted to change, that was one area in which she would never adapt.

She wasn’t a difficult child at all (sarcasm, eye roll).

But in retrospect, that stubborn, “difficult” side of her has helped her develop into the most wonderfully frustrating strong-willed child. I have to say that despite our daily multiple battles of wills, she has developed the most amazing can-do attitude.

She wants to do it all herself. Undress herself, dress herself, somehow climb up into the Jeep herself, get into the car seat, buckle herself, plant flowers, water said flowers, make dinner, etc.

And no matter how many times you tell her that, no, she can’t walk by herself in the street because it's dangerous, she will ask again the next afternoon. And every afternoon thereafter.

She got mad at me Tuesday morning before daycare when I wouldn’t let her pull the overflowing garbage can to the streetside. Seriously, it was heavy; she couldn’t do it.

But she thought she could.

So we did it together.

And she still wasn’t happy about it. So I promised that that afternoon, when we got home, she could pull the empty one back the house.

Roughly seven hours later, she remembered.

“I get garbage by myself,” she reminded me as I pulled the Jeep into the driveway.

And she did.

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


“This one has poopers on it.”

So said our little princess girl last night, as she handed a piece of watermelon back to Ray.

Um, what?

Apparently she won’t eat watermelon that has seeds.

And we’re not talking “normal” watermelon seeds – we had bought a seedless watermelon! – these are just the little whiteish seeds.

So this morning, as Ray was trying to get Lola to eat some watermelon before leaving for daycare, he was painstakingly going through and having to pick out all of the little white seeds. Or else Lola would just hand them back to him.

Happy summer.

- Bethany :)

Monday, May 16, 2011


Ray and I are odd – some people (lots?) probably don’t “get” us per se.

Anyhow, yesterday, we were driving home from the grocery store. We had bought a few Snapples, so we’re shaking the Snapples all up.

Ray starts singing, apparently to himself.

“Shake, shake, shake...”

“Shake, shake, shake...”

And then, again, because we’re odd people, and the stupid song is kind of catchy, I join him for the next line.

“Shake your booty.”

And then came this little voice from the back seat…

“I don’t wanna’ shake my booty!”

You just never know when they’re actually listening.

- Bethany :)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

“Go build your nest somewhere else!”

Ray is getting irritated with me.

I like organizing normally. But I really, really love to be clean and organized when I am pregnant and going through the so-called nesting phase.

Ray hated the last month of my pregnancy with Lola. He said he felt like I was a vacuum cleaner following him around. He would take out a fork and use it. I would wash it and put it away. He would take out a paper towel and set it on the counter and it would be tossed in the garbage before he had a chance to even use it. He would take out a shirt, put it on the bed and then go in to take a shower. When he returned to get dressed, the shirt would, again, be hung up in his closet.

Well, we’re entering that nesting phase again. Except, now, it’s a little more ... um ... pressing perhaps (to me anyway) because we are not as far along with preparedness as we were at this point with Lola.

Yesterday, Lola and I went to “the fishy store” (Walmart) to buy 50 baby hangers. We came home, Ray had made dinner, we ate. And then, after dinner, we all went outside to “play,” which turned into me tearing the Jeep apart to vacuum and clean out the interior. And, of course, asking repeatedly for Ray’s “help” in getting reaching this spot or scrubbing at that mystery substance.

About 45 minutes later, the three of us returned to “the fishy store” to get 40 more baby hangers because I did not want to have another night pass without having all of Amelia’s clothes hung up and organized.

Lola went to bed about 8 p.m. I did some work and some blogging until about 10:30 p.m., when I was going to get back to organizing the nursery some more.

Then, Ray said to wait one minute because he wanted to join me.


I instantly made a mental list of things for him to get done: reassemble the bouncy chair; hang the closet doors; figure out where X, Y and Z should go; help me hang this shelf; and put A, B and C on these higher shelves I can’t reach.

I did say it was 10:30 p.m. right?

Ray could tell that I suddenly had a ton of energy ... and I was unusually giddy.

“Uh, we’re just going in there (Amelia’s room) to talk, right? To hang out?”

I was suddenly feeling a little less giddy. “No, we’re going to work. Right? Like get things put together and set up?”

I was just about to start listing some of the things that we have to get done (the above-mentioned bouncy chair, closet doors, etc.) when I thought better of it. His eyes were narrowing. His forehead was getting that deep, red crease that usually only appears when I start a sentence with, “Guess what I bought…”

So I just smiled. A hopeful smile.

In the end, we did do some work. Like 15-20 minutes worth. Enough that I got the clothes all hung and sorted. And, I got her changing table put together and organized.

Ray put the bouncy chair together and began working on the closet doors, but found he was too tired to have faith in his ability to hang them correctly. And neither of us wanted even more holes in the oak wood.

So we called it a night.

The mirrored closet door was not hung, but was being held in place by some clamp things. It was a good way to end the night. He had just spent the last 10 minutes or so getting the the mirror “up” and in its right spot. Even though it wasn’t actually hung, it would be easy now to actually put it into place tomorrow.

It was progress.

He was happy.

I was ... content.

So, we agreed to call it a night.

Ray turned to reach for his glass of water ... and it wasn’t there.

What can I say, I had gotten thirsty. And it was leaving a wet water ring on the newly washed changing pad sheet.

He turned to look at me with his, “What did you do with my stuff?” glare, when I remembered I thought I would set it on a shelf...

... in the closet behind the mirrored door.

So the night ended with a few choice words and Ray taking down the mirrored door so he could get his stupid water glass.

Oh well. At least the bouncy chair got put together!

- Bethany :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day

I’m fairly obsessive compulsive about some things.

Everything has an order and a “place” in our house. I could tell you, specifically, about the two toy components Lola (or we) have lost throughout her lifetime. I could tell you the exact order of her clothing that is now hanging up in her closet. I could tell you, correctly, the location of all of her books and toys at this very moment.

But yesterday, I could not find her pink sippy cup.

She has four sippies: two blue, one green, one pink.

The pink one was missing (thank goodness it wasn’t the green one).

So I began hunting it down.

I tore apart the cabinets. I looked under the seats in the car. Pulled out the couches, double-checked (and triple-checked) the dishwasher and refrigerator. I looked under her bed, our bed, in all of the closets … everywhere I could think of.

And after an hour or so, I chalked it up, reluctantly, as lost. I mentally blamed Ray, and made a note to buy more sippies one of these days.

This morning, I got to work. I went to put my string cheese in the breakroom fridge … and found the pink sippy cup.

- Bethany :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

tick tock, tick tock

I’m stressing out.

I’m not trying to.

But I am.

The nursery is not done. It is far from done.

And while that is bad enough. Worst, for me, is that I can’t do anything about it. I’m just stuck. Waiting.

And I am not patient.

At all.

We were going to refinish the wood floors, so we were waiting on quotes, etc. But then we found out that won’t work (or at least wouldn’t have been worthwhile). So then we decided, reluctantly, to get carpet. So I had to wait to get the room measured. Now I’m waiting for said carpet to actually be installed (hopefully that will happen this week, but likely not ‘til next week).

Meanwhile, Lola’s new bigger-girl bed (she’s already in a big girl toddler bed) will be here next week (again, hopefully). So we can’t re-convert the toddler bed to a crib until that gets here.

Not that I could put it anywhere, anyway, until the carpet is here.

I just last weekend got a new - functional! - clothes dryer (yay!) so I could begin washing baby clothes – but I don’t have anywhere to put them ... until the carpet is in.

I could start washing bottles and such. But again, I can’t put them anywhere until the carpet is in.

We hung some curtains and played around with furniture arrangements, but it’s all just temporary … until the darned carpet is put in.


I know that, really, I’m stressing about nothing. It’s not a big deal at all. I have at least six weeks (probably eight, realistically) left -- I have plenty of time. Not to mention that she doesn’t really need the nursery done – she will probably just sleep in her bassinet for the first few months in our room anyway – but I want to be able to work on stuff. I want to get things ready.

So what did we do instead this weekend?

Picked out new tiles for redoing the kitchen floors.

- Bethany :)