Nov 23, 2010

Isabel Jane is Here!

One week ago today, I was finally able to meet my daughter. She is wonderful and beautiful and a miracle, and Drew and I are so blessed. I wanted to write my birth story before I forget all the crazy details, so here it goes:

Monday morning (11/15), I went in to my doc for a scheduled visit. At this point, I had been having contractions for 8 days solid, 4-10 minutes a part, some pretty intense, but none that were telling me that I was actually in labor. I had been sent to Labor and Delivery twice by my doctor, once because the contractions were 4 minutes apart for about 16 hours, and another time because my blood pressure was high. So, Monday, Dr. Reyna checked again and said I was probably about 3.5 cm dilated and about 50% effaced. My blood pressure was still high and so she decided to do a sonogram to see how big Isabel was to see if it was a good idea to go ahead and induce. I was 38 weeks exactly at this point. Dr. Reyna did the sonogram and said that Isabel was nearly 8 pounds already. A big baby combined with my blood pressure and 8 days of contractions and the fact that I was already progressing, albeit slowly, we decided to go ahead and induce.

So, I headed home to wait for Drew to get home from work. I called my husband when I was on my way out of the doctor's office and told him they were going to induce. I will never forget how he sounded - excited and rushed to get things done at school and get home to his girls. While I was at home, I was able to eat a little potato soup, make the bed, make sure all of our things were in the hospital bag and ready to go and tidy up a few things. I felt calm and relaxed, and I honestly do not think my mind really grasped the fact that I was about to go to the hospital to have my daughter. Drew came home and changed clothes, and we headed to the hospital.

We got there and checked in sometime between 1 and 1:30. By the time I was checked in, wearing my 47 identification/allergy/fall risk bracelets, showered, in my hospital gown and in bed, it was about 2 or 2:30. My first nurse was Susie. She was amazing. Such a sweet spirit and so helpful and encouraging. She helped me get settled, and then Dr. Reyna came by to check on me and give orders for pitocin. About 2 hours after we arrived, my water broke. And when I say broke, I should say gushed. I was laying on my side since Isabel's heart rate was dipping a little with each contraction (she never did like those, but who can blame her?) and I felt a trickle. Drew and my best friend, Macy were in the room and I told them I thought my water had broken. In a flash, they were both by my side and for some unknown reason I started laughing uncontrollably (blame it on pregnancy hormones, or relief that something was actually happening, or maybe something funny that my sweet Drew said). When I started laughing, my water gushed... soaking the bed all the way to the end. It was just like you see in the movies, only I was laying down and not at a grocery store or the mall - or my biggest nightmare, teaching my 7th grade class, thank God!
After my water broke, things started to progress much more quickly.My contractions turned from the uncomfortable tightening of my belly to actual pain in about 2 minutes. I think I might be the only woman in the history of the world who was actually excited for contractions to pick up. A few hours later, I had progressed to 5 cm and the pain was starting to get to me. At this point, I had Amanda for my nurse - or should I call her Amazing! I asked for an IV pain medication to take the edge off, and she gave me some advice that I will never be able to thank her enough for. She said the type of pain med they give you basically makes you feel drunk, where you are still in pain, you just don't care that you are in pain. If I wanted an epidural at all, I would have to wait til that medication wore off completely so that I would be able to sit still enough to get the epidural. I am so glad that I listened and went ahead and requested the epidural. Best decision I made during the whole labor. Macy even commented that it was like seeing two different people - one in pain during contractions, and one at ease after the epidural.

After the epidural (which was expertly inserted by Becky - first try, perfect, no pain!), time drug on a bit. Our labor room had great windows with a beautiful view of downtown. It was lightening, and I pictured in my head writing my blog and beginning with "It was a dark and stormy night"... which I might modify the story to begin with one day :)

I was completely dilated by about 2 in the morning, but still not completely effaced, so it was a waiting game. It was pretty quiet, and everyone was trying to get some rest for the inevitable sleepless days and nights that would follow. At about 4:30 in the morning, Amanda decided that I was ready to start pushing. Oh how thankful I was. My husband was by my side, my mom was in the waiting room, Amanda was helping me know when to push, and another nurse, Shannon, was there to help me with my very numb left leg. Drew was a total Godsend. He supported my head, put his cool hands on my face, and was so reassuring. It brings tears to my eyes now to think about how amazing my husband is.
About 30 minutes or so into pushing, I swear my epidural wore off. My sweet baby girl inherited both her mom and her dad's big head, and I could feel every inch of it as it neared the outside world. But I didn't care. Labor was difficult, I can not lie about that. I was tired, I had thrown up twice (it got in my hair, ew!) and I was so ready to either let her stay in there forever, or to get her out. Dr. Reyna was there now, and all the preparations had been made to bring her into the world. I don't know for sure how long I pushed, but I think it was about an hour and a half when Dr. Reyna finally said "if you push REALLY hard now, you can get her out" - that was all the motivation I needed. One more push, and her head was out, then her body, then the suctioning of her mouth and nose, then the cry... oh the cry. My sweet baby girl was Here!! I was a mommy!! They put her on my chest for a minute while Drew cut the umbilical cord and then whisked her away for apgar, eye drops, etc. Drew got some amazing photos of her first moments of life, and when he brought her swaddled back over to me with a tear in his eye, that was the most amazingly beautiful moment. Here we were - a family. Our first family picture was taken by the nurse and then everything went so quickly. Dr. Reyna finished with me, the baby was taken to the nursery, followed by her adoring daddy, and eventually Nana and Granddad and Aunt Jerri. I was alone in the room for a moment and remember thinking to myself "what just happened?"

Isabel Jane was born at 5:51 on November 16th - 7 lbs 15 oz, 20 inches long, 14 1/2 inch head!! We could not be more in awe of the awesome gift of life Isabel is.
And here we are a week later, precariously balancing baby on top of my typing hands, exhausted and tearful, but oh so happy, and oh so proud of my baby girl, myself for all I accomplished, and most of all, my new little family.
It has not been an easy road, but I remind myself just as I remind my students often... nothing worth doing is easy. And what a lucky girl I am to have my mom around to help me in this new circle of life. I only hope I can be half the mom she is.

Nov 12, 2010

The real update

So, here is the post with all of the meat. It has been an exhausting week, so forgive my lack of poetic grace over these next few paragraphs.

Sunday afternoon at around 5 pm, I started having contractions. They were regular and timeable every 5 minutes apart, but not intense - I could easily talk through them. So, I called the on call doctor at around 8:30, thinking "I'll get him while he's still awake". 2 hours passed and no call back, so I called again. 6 days later and I still haven't heard from the guy, but that is a moot point at this stage :) Since the contractions weren't intense enough to keep me from talking, we went ahead and went to bed. I was up and down all night and didn't get much sleep. The next morning I called my doctor's office when she opened at 8:30 and at that point I had been having contractions for 16 hours! The nurse consulted with the doctor and she decided to have me go straight to Labor and Delivery for observation since I had been having regular contractions for so long.

So, Monday morning I head to L&D for trip #1. I took my mom so that Drew could go ahead and go to school since we didn't know if anything would happen or not. They hooked me up to a fetal heart rate monitor and a contraction monitor and of course monitored my blood pressure and checked to see how dilated I was. At my previous week's appointment on Wednesday, I was dilated to 1 cm and not effaced. At L&D, I was dilated 2.5 cm and 50% effaced, so the contractions had been doing something, which meant that I was in "early labor". They just weren't active enough to keep me and deliver a baby. So, disappointed and frustrated, I headed home. Mom, Emily and I went to the mall and walked until I was so tired hoping to induce the labor - no such luck.

Tuesday morning, I was still having contractions, but went ahead and went to work. I was so exhausted, and had a bit of a tear fest in the office before going to class. After lunch, I had a headache and started having some spots in my vision, so I asked the school nurse to come take my blood pressure. It was highly elevated, so I called the doctor and let her know and she said I should come in for my appointment early. My BP was still high at her office, and she checked for more dilation (nothing), but did find a lot of fluid, so she did a very fast sonogram to make sure my amniotic fluid looked good (which it did). Because of the BP, she wanted me to go back to L&D for more observation. I was there for nearly 3 hours this time - and my blood pressure did eventually go back to normal. I think one of the reasons they kept me so long was because Isabel's heart rate dipped a few times during contractions, but apparently that is normal as well. So again, frustrated, exhausted and a little disappointed, I headed home.

That was 2 days ago and I have been trying every natural induction method I know (with the exception of castor oil, gross), and still nothing. So, I went back to the doctor today for another check up. I am still dilated only "between a 2 and 3" and not fully effaced, so she asked if I could wait it out until Monday. I go back in Monday morning, but the doc assured me that I would "have a baby in my arms and be home well in time for Thanksgiving". Hopefully she is right! I can't wait to meet Isabel and snuggle with her!

Baby, Where are you?

It's been a while since I have updated... for a completely different reason this time. You could say it has been a frustrating week, but when you look at it from the right perspective, it has been a week that taught me perseverance. But then again, hasn't the past 9 months been teaching me that every single day?

Remember this? This was Isabel at 7 weeks old. Just a spec on a sonogram that you can barely distinguish, but already so important. Already full of potential and so completely loved. I can honestly say that at that point, I had no idea the emotions I would be feeling in the next 30 weeks.
And here is my sweet girl at 19.5 weeks. Look at how much she grew! You can already see that sweet tummy and sweet little nose, and can imagine the thick curly hair she will inevitably have :) I can just picture her swaddled with the tiniest green socks that her Auntie Lisa bought for her and us rocking and soaking up her smell and trying to get in as many kisses as I possibly can before she grows even more! Oh we are SO blessed. So incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to unite our family with this child. So lucky to be able to be her mom and dad and to teach her how to walk, how to read, and all about God and how much He loved her, even before she was that tiny spec in the first sonogram - the first time we saw her. And we are SO blessed that she is healthy!

A friend of mine posted this on her blog this morning and it really put some things into perspective for me. This family cherished every single minute, and that is my goal. Though I believe I will get to love on my daughter for her very long and full life, we are never guaranteed another day - so why wish for the next when today has so many awesome adventures of it's own.

Baby Eliot was a miracle, and he changed lives before he could even talk. Doesn't that give you chills?

This post has enough information on it's own, so I will give you my baby update in the next post.

Oct 30, 2010

Happy Halloween and Happy 36 weeks!

I love Halloween. Admittedly, it's just not quite as fun without a kid around to share it with, and since my cousins are far too grown up to be interested in trick or treating any more, that just leaves Drew and I... yet another reason why I can not Wait for Isabel to be here. It will be so much fun taking her trick or treating, carving pumpkins, etc. I get so excited thinking about all the fun things I get to do with her one day.

Today, Drew and I finally got around to carving the pumpkins we've had sitting around for ages. I have always enjoyed carving pumpkins - scooping out the goo, designing a face, it's disposable art I guess and it's so much fun! The pumpkin on the left is mine, and the one on the right (Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas) is Drew's. I can't wait til it gets dark so I can light them on the front porch. More photos to follow :)

Halloween day marks 36 weeks for Isabel and I. That means 28 days left to go, 4 weeks, 1 month... however you look at it, it's quickly approaching and I am SO ready! Come on Isabel! We can't wait to see you!!

Oct 28, 2010


I forgot the photo from my last post! Can't have a whole ton of text with no illustrations :)
34 weeks at my family baby shower.

Waiting and Wishing

Again with the lapse in my blogging. I'm telling you... things just pile up and then I get overwhelmed with where to even start writing about them, so I just don't :)

But I'm back.

This may be a fairly philisophical blog entry. Just warning you before you get much further, haha.

I hope you all have clicked on the link in my previous post and made a guess at when Miss Isabel will arrive. I'm leaning toward the 21st, because it's a full moon :)

I am trying my hardest to be patient, but God knows that has never been my strong suit. In fact, when I was in high school and just beyond, I used to pray for God to give me patience... I should have known better! I don't know that God necessarily GIVES you patience, as much as He tests it to show you that you already have some measure of it. I feel like my last 10 years have been an exercise in patience - learning to wait on the Lord and his timing, not my own. I was so distraught in those months when Drew and I were "trying" to have a baby that nothing was happening, when in hindsight, that is the time when I should have spent preparing my mind, my body, and my home for life with baby - even baby in the belly. You'd think I would have learned enough times now that God never lets me down and always provides for the desires of my heart. I mean, look at my life - absolutely wonderful husband, college degree, home, and now a baby on the way. I'm not saying any of this came easily - I have worked my butt off (I wish in a literal sense, haha). But even when it's been so hard that we didn't know what trial was going to face us next, God has never let us down, and we've always miraculously had what we need - even the small things like my co-worker, Karen Burr, bringing me lunch a few weeks ago on a day that I didn't bring anything to eat. God always provides. And I have to remind myself every single day that we will have the diapers we need, the clothing we need, the job we need, and the food we need, even though we don't have any idea where the money will come from to pay for these things. All we need is manna - a daily supply.

Friday night, I had my first bout of "false labor." At around 7:30, Drew and I had finished dinner and were sitting around watching tv - I believe we were watching a scary 80's movie in honor of Halloween :) I started to feel "braxton hicks" but to a degree I had not experienced them previously. My entire belly would tighten up, and I had cramps and some pain. So, I started timing them with one of my nifty Iphone aps, and turns out, they were coming every 9 or so minutes and were lasting about a minute and a half a piece. I waited for a while to see if this was consistent. 2 hours later, I told Drew what was going on. 3 hours into the "contractions," I mentioned it on facebook to a friend of mine who wisely convinced me to call the doctor. I have been a little frustrated with my doc's office because everytime I call with a question, I feel like the answer is always "that's normal" without any sort of explaination or question for further information. The on call doctor told me to take a Tylenol and go to bed... if they got closer together, to go to the hospital. So, around midnight after 4 hours of contractions every 9 minutes, I went to bed. When I woke up at 4 in the morning for the inevitable trip to the bathroom, they were gone. Part of me was relieved because at that point, I was not even CLOSE to being ready to taking off work, to having a daughter, to delivering, etc. But part of me was really dissappointed. I am so ready for her to be here - and on the same coin, so very ready to not be pregnant anymore. I so desperately want to be able to sleep on my stomach again!

I generally have no idea what my husband thinks about all this. When I ask him if he's excited, he will say yes, but he really is not one for showing much emotion. Sometimes he will touch my belly in the most incredibly gentle and loving manner, and I know he's thinking about her... but then other times I think he forgets I'm even pregnant, haha. But who could blame him... his body isn't the one that has been growing and changing for 9 months, and beyond the accumulation of baby stuff in the house, my complaints, and the infrequent kicks from Isabel that he gets to feel - it isn't quite real yet.

I think he is starting to get a little stressed out that it's a mere 4 weeks away. For me that seems like an eternity, but for him, its tomorrow - same page on the calendar - counting down the free weekends we have left...

He'll make a great daddy though - sometimes, waiting for something uncertain to happen is the scariest part.

I have to say though, I never would have believed 5 years ago how much I would have grown to love Drew. I loved him like crazy then - before we even started dating I knew I loved him, I just had no idea how much, or what kind of love it was at that point. When we got married - I had no doubt that I would enjoy spending time with him, that I would stick it out through the good and the bad times, and that we would have adventures together - I just had no idea what that would entail. And now, almost 5 years after we said "I Do", I love him in such an intense and deep way, that it is just impossible to describe in an online blog. The fact that he is by my side is the most incredibly comforting thing I can think of. Even his smell calms me down. Knowing that there is someone that special to walk through parenthood with leaves me with no fear at all. And knowing that someone loves me as much as I am describing here, and that he will love his daughter that much or more is the most indescribable thing. I really found a keeper! He is going to make the most amazing daddy, and I have tears in my eyes just picturing in my mind him holding her and rocking her to sleep - and that's just the first day of her life! I think I would need a whole box of tissues if I started to think about him walking her down the aisle one day :)

Ok, there we go, the waterworks have been turned on. I think that is my cue to end this blog post and save the rest of my rambling thoughts for another day. Can't let my students come in and see me all teary eyed :)

31 more days. Can you believe it??

Oct 26, 2010

Baby Pool

Have a guess as to when Isabel will make her awaited arrival?

Tell us!


Oct 9, 2010

Favorite New Recipe

Today marks 50 days left until Isabel is due to arrive :)
With that in mind, I do fully intend to update you on all the baby happenings that have been... happening, haha. But like most pregnant mommies, I must share this with you before it slips my mind.
Here is our new favorite recipe: It isn't often that I get more than a "that was good" from my sweet husband about dinner. I grew up in a house where my dad went on and on about my mom's cooking, and it took me a while to understand that is not Drew's way :) I don't have a problem with it at all, and really, when I make something that he really loves and he tells me how awesome it is, it makes me feel even better! A few weeks ago, I made Chicken Poblano Corn Chowder for dinner, and it happened to be such an occasion that he told me it was amazing. So, forevermore, it will hold a special place in my recipe book :)

1 large poblano pepper, cut in half lengthwise (I used a roasted hatch chilli from Central Market)
Half a regular sized bag of frozen corn
1 can creamed corn
1 1/2 cups low fat milk
1/4 tsp salt
a pinch of crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups chicken broth
1/2 pkg of fat free cream cheese, softened
1/2 a rotisserie chicken, deboned and cubed

If your peppers are not already roasted, place the two halves skin side up on a foil lined baking sheet, 6 inches from the heat and broil 5-6 minutes or until pepper looks blistered. Fold foil over pepper to seal and let stand 10 minutes. Peel pepper, remove and discard seeds and chop pepper. Set aside.

Bring creamed corn, frozen corn, milk, salt, black pepper, red pepper and cumin to a boil in a 3 qt. saucepan over med-high heat - stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes.

Stir 1 1/2 cups chicken broth into mixture. Whisk in softened cream cheese and poblano pepper. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes, or until cream cheese is completely melted. Whisk in additional chicken broth if necessary. Add chicken, and continue to simmer until chicken is warm - just a couple minutes.

Garnish if desired with sliced jalapenos.


Sep 13, 2010

29 Weeks and Graduation

Well, here we are at week 29, with a mere 76 days to go until the due date... Each day I think more and more about Isabel actually being here and I can not wait! I have to admit that it has a little to do with the fact that I am so ready to not be pregnant anymore, but so much more to do with seeing her sweet smile and getting to hold and cuddle my daughter.

This weekend was a busy busy weekend with nearly 14 hours of Childbirth Preparation classes at Methodist Hospital. We learned all about hospital policy, breathing techniques that I am sure will make my pain just disappear (ha!), all of our pain management options, and took a tour of the maternity ward. I don't really feel as though I learned a lot of new information, but then again, I have been totally obsessed with reading as much as I possibly can get my hands on about pregnancy, birth, and baby care. I don't think much of it will do any good... learning by experience seems to be necessity when it comes to babies :) But all in all, I'm glad we went. And rest assured, we graduated from the program, so of course now we are "qualified" to have this child, haha! We got a diploma and everything!

This weekend was also my Papa's 81st birthday. I have been so blessed to have such wonderful grandparents who lived so close to us while I was growing up, and still live close and will be able to be involved in my daughter's life. Papa is an extraordinary guy and I hope he has many many many more years ahead!

After class on Sunday, Drew and I celebrated our diploma at Big Shucks - we have a serious addiction to that place. They have the best shrimp... well, everything on the menu is amazing actually. Afterward, we came home so Drew could finish up a TON of grading that he brought home this weekend for his Forensics class. I helped out a little and I love reading some of the things his kids write... I was cracking up when one person wrote something about the "quart of law".

This Wednesday, my dad is having back surgery. Please keep him in your prayers! This is something that he has needed for quite a while, and hopefully it will make him feel all better so he can be up and active and ready to play with his granddaughter :)

Here's a picture of me at 29 weeks 0 days :) I just looked through my Belly Book this weekend and saw a picture of me at 19 weeks - exactly 10 weeks ago. Wow, have I grown! But once again I must say... I am SO ready to have my waist back!!

Sep 7, 2010

Love Like Crazy

You know how every once in a while, you hear a song and it puts into words how you feel about a particular topic? Well, here I am letting my country girl come out a bit... The song "Love Like Crazy" by Lee Brice is such a sweet song. I have had SUCH great examples of what a wonderful Godly marriage is supposed to look like - my grandparents on both sides were/are married for over 60 years. My parents celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary this year, and though Drew and I are only at 4 and 3/4s, we take our vows very seriously. I look forward to the next 55 years with him :)
Anyway, here are the lyrics to the chorus of the song. Had I written them before whomever wrote this song, these would be my words of wisdom to anyone about to get married.

"Just ask him how he made it
He'll tell you faith and sweat
And the heart of a faithful woman,
Who never let him forget

Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your praying knees get lazy
And love like crazy

Always treat your woman like a lady
Never get too old to call her baby
Never let your praying knees get lazy
And love like crazy"

Sep 4, 2010

A Safari in Our Own Backyard

On this beautiful 3 day weekend, on the day before I am officially in the 3rd trimester, Drew and I decided to take a Safari in our own backyard and go to the Dallas Zoo (which literally backs up into our neighborhood). The new Giants in the Savannah exhibit is amazing! Though I wasn't allowed to touch the giraffe, they were coming right up to the look out area, and kiddos were feeding lettuce leaves to the giraffe. So cool!

85 days and counting until we are due to meet baby Isabel Jane :)

Sep 3, 2010

So Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for. Sometimes it's nice to remind yourself of such things:

1. Our baby girl has a name! But I'm not telling yet because I haven't had a chance to call the Grandmas. Soon.

2. Sunday marks the 3rd trimester. The weeks are flying by and this baby will be here soon - and hopefully soon after my waist will make an appearance :)

3. We are getting a peak at cooler weather this week. Don't get me wrong, I'm still sweating. But it's a reminder that cooler temps are coming soon.

4. My dear friends, Brad and Crystal, get to bring home their newly adopted son, Levi, today. I can not express to you how overjoyed I am for them and for that sweet baby. What a blessing from God for this family to find each other.

5. THREE DAY WEEKEND! Oh hallelujah!

6. I get to see my two very best friends tonight. They get to meet each other for the first time, and Macy is bringing baby things! I think that's 3 in 1, hehe.

7. My amazing husband - I don't know what in the heck I did in my past to deserve such a sweet, caring, intelligent, funny, Godly man (in fact, I'm pretty sure I don't deserve it), but I am so incredibly thankful for him. Last night, I made dinner while he was on his way home, and we ate in bed while watching a silly sci-fi. It was bliss :)

8. The State Fair of Texas opens in a mere 3 weeks - 2nd favorite time of the year!

9. I have sweet friends that are planning a baby shower for me and... oh I almost let it slip :) I can't wait - I know it is going to be awesome! (no pressure, haha)

10. Did I mention 3 day weekend? I think that counts for double after 3 hours of 7th graders today, haha.

Aug 31, 2010


Lilypie Maternity tickers

Anyone have an idea of how to get this to go in the bar on the right?

Aug 30, 2010

90 days

As of today, there are a mere 90 days left until my sweet girl is due to arrive. She still doesn't have a name, but we are getting closer to narrowing down our options. She has a place to sleep, a way to get home from the hospital, diapers (but no wipes), and a couple of outfits. Though we could be (and will be) a lot more prepared, we are ready with the bare minimum of what she will need once she is here... and I am so ready to meet her! I hate to admit this, but I am not one of the ladies you hear about that glows during pregnancy. I pretty much hate everything about how I feel right now. I am so tired of the extra weight, of not being able to breathe or bend down to pick something up off the floor, of the heartburn, etc etc etc. But I would not trade it for anything. Knowing that I am about to have a daughter is one of the most amazingly HUGE things I have ever faced in my entire life. I am so thrilled, so in awe of the surprising path God has placed before me, and yet so terrified that I won't be ready, that we won't have the money to do what we need to do, that I will do something wrong and scar her for life! Life is already changing at an alarming rate - who would have ever thought that I would rather go buy a stroller than a new outfit?? I say all this to get it off my chest, but I hope that you all know how happy and excited I am. I want nothing more than to have this baby - despite the uncomfortable body, or any fear. In fact, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has me, Drew and baby in His hands, and has since before she was even conceived. I know that He will continue to provide for our needs (even when we find that Blockbuster online is not a true need :) ). I am so excited to see our family grow - SO very excited for her first Christmas, her first time to go to the Fair with me. I await with anticipation those days when we can snuggle on the couch and watch a Pixar movie and eat popcorn. Every time I even begin to think of another little stocking hanging from my mantle I just tear up and get so happy. And footie pajamas... let's not even start on how amazingly cute and snuggly that will be!

I wanted to commemorate 90 days left with a picture, so I quickly snapped one this morning on my way out the door with my phone. I'll try to remember to get Drew to take a real one later to put in the Belly Book. I can't even remember what my waist looks like! I want it back!!

This weekend we went to Babies R Us and got a GREAT deal on her stroller and car seat. Isn't this box huge? I was considering last night what furniture we have in our house that I can get rid of so that we have room for all the baby stuff and a Christmas tree, haha. As soon as Drew carried the box in the house, Clark pawed and marked it as his - he doesn't have claws, so when he paws at something, that is his way of saying "Mine". Oh what changes are in store for our sweet kitty, haha.

Drew was a trooper and went with me to Babies R Us after dinner and the mall... can you believe that they are open until 11 pm on Friday nights??? Who decides "Hey, Target is closed and we have nothing else to do, let's go shop for baby gear!"?? Just crazy, I tell you. They are having some great deals right now, and it was hard for me to not be tempted to buy things I know we will need instead of waiting til after the shower. It was a good thing I had my level headed hubby with me :)

Ok baby, 90 days or less, are you listening to your Mama??

Aug 27, 2010

Ok, I'll admit, not the best looking stuff in the world. But OH SO TASTY!

Hatch King Ranch Chicken

1 jar Cromwell Hatch Chili Stew mix (you can get this at Central Market)
10 or so corn tortillas
4-6 hatch chilis, diced and seeded (you can get these now at Central Market, but I have made the recipe when I did not have access to them, and it turned out well)
1 can tomatoes with juice
1 can cream of mushroom soup
about half a pound of chicken, cooked and cubbed (use a rotisserie chicken!)
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a bowl, combine green onions, chilis, tomatoes, chicken and chili powder and mix well.

In a 13x9 pyrex baking dish (or you can use 2 of the smaller ones and freeze one for later), layer approximately 1/4 cup of the green chili stew mix. Put a layer of tortillas, then the chicken mixture. Layer on the can of cream of mushroom soup, and most of the cheese, then pour about half of the jar of stew mix on top of all that. Add another layer of tortillas, then the rest of the stew, then cover in cheese.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown.


6 and a half months

Week 26, captains log...
oh wait. scratch that. :)

Week 26 has definitely been a trying one. Not necessarily because of anything having to do directly with the baby (well, the fatigue is probably a contributing factor, but I digress). This has been one of the longest weeks I can remember in the past 26 weeks... trying, annoying, tiring, but also productive and successful. I have to say, there have been days where I have had little daydreams about what it would be like to quit my job in an angry fashion. But when I am actually teaching, I love it, and I think about my sweet little one and all the things that she needs before she arrives and I decide to keep my day dreams as dreams, and persevere. Gotta keep remembering the Bible verse that says that "perseverance must finish it's work so that [we] may be mature and complete. Not lacking anything."

Sunday, Drew and I headed to the church we have been visiting for a while now and had a great Sunday school and church service. We headed home for lunch and some relax time, and then headed out to Central Market for Hatch Chili Festival! Hatch Festival is my 3rd favorite time of the year, directly below Christmas and then the State Fair. I am a foodie, and proud of it. I got the freshest Hatch tortillas I have ever seen, and they were SO good! I ate one in the car on the way home, and then I have made quesadillas a couple of days to take to school. I also made Hatch King Ranch Chicken one day for dinner. I'll post the recipe this afternoon when I get home. So good!

Monday, Drew started back to school. Though I totally feel for him having to wake up so early every morning, it is nice for us to both be back on a schedule. I can not tell you how hard it was for me the few days last week that Drew didn't have to work to wake up and get dressed in the dark... hard to actually wake up that way :) He is such an amazing teacher, and I thank God for that man every day of my life. I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, Drew went back to taking classes at El Centro. He is currently working on taking courses in paralegal studies.

The best thing about Wednesday... a friend of mine sold me a Groupon she bought for a house cleaning. Bit A Bliss House cleaning came out on Wednesday afternoon and cleaned my kitchen, fridge, bathroom and bedroom... sparkling clean! And it smelled nice too! It was such a blessing, and it inspired me to do a TON of ironing (did Drew even have any shirts left??), and clean in the den. The house isn't perfect, never will be, but I can not tell you how nice it is to have that all clean now. Everytime I try to do what the girl did when I clean, I end up sneezing my head off and being sick for a day. No fun!

Yesterday was one of those days... I was annoyed at so many things, and so thankful that my sweet husband and my BFF were there to listen to me vent all my frustrations.

And now we are to Friday... oh THANK GOD IT'S FRIDAY!! It started out with a rough patch... my maternity jeans don't fit anymore!! GAH! And it was Spirit day, so I could wear an FBA t-shirt, but after trying on 4 and none of them fitting, I finally found just one that was stretchy enough to accomodate my growing belly. Oh so ready to have my body back the way it is supposed to be! I miss my waist!

This weekend, Drew and I plan on a trip to Babies R Us for a great deal they are having right now. If you bring in old baby gear, you can get 25% off select new baby gear, and the stroller I have had my eye on is part of the deal. We have a crib that is missing a part, and they will take it as a trade in for the stroller! I will feel so much better having a car seat for my baby girl... then at least we will have a place for her to sleep, a few packages of diapers, a way to get her home from the hospital, and a couple of outfits. There are so many other things she needs, but this would at least get us started :)

Ok, you know you are pregnant when... last night I actually had a DREAM about eating a Dairy Queen Blizzard. How bad is that? I so want to get one this weekend :)

Aug 26, 2010

10 things Never to do or say to a pregnant woman

Someone posted this on one of the many message boards I check that give me far too much information on being pregnant and birthing a child. I thought some of them were hilarious and thought I would share. I agree with most of these, but some of them don't bother me so much. See my additions in red.

1. The appropriate response to a couple telling you they are having a baby is "Congratulations!" with enthusiasm. Any other response makes you a jerk. This includes such statements as "It's going to completely change your life" or "You'll never go to another party again". Yes, I do realize it is going to change my life, but I do not plan on becoming a hermit because I have a child.

2. Through the wonders of science, we now know babies are made ONLY by the mother and father- not grandparents or anyone else for that matter. Unless the baby is in your uterus, or you are the man that helped put it there, you may not use the phrase "my baby"

3. On the same note, unless you made the baby as defined in 2., the pregnancy, birth and the raising of the child are not about you. You do not have input. No one wants to hear your opinion unless they ask for it. Mom and Diane, I actually do value your opinion on this, haha... as with most women who have had babies before me. I think #3 is really speaking about people who offer opinions without being asked, or are constantly negative in their advice.

4. The body of a pregnant woman should be treated the same way as any other body. You would not randomly touch someones stomach if they were not pregnant, nor would you inquire into the condition of their uterus, cervix, or how they plan to use their breasts. Pregnancy does not remove all traces of privacy from a woman. I actually don't mind when people touch my belly.... as long as it is an appropriate time and not for too long :) The talk about whether or not I will breastfeed is kind of odd to me though... especially when a guy asks. Why on earth do they want to know or care??

5. Likewise, no woman wants to hear comments on her weight- ever. A pregnant woman does not find it flattering you think she is about to pop, must be having twins, looks swollen or has gained weight in her face. Telling her she looks too small only makes her worry that she is somehow starving her baby. Making such comments invite her to critique your physical appearance and you may not act offended. The only acceptable comment on appearance is "You look fabulous!" This really really does make me mad. On my first day back to school for In Service, I can't tell you how many times I heard "Marcie, looks like you put on a little weight this summer." I'm sensitive enough about how much I weigh, and don't need to be reminded that this cute, tiny thing inside me is making me look like the Goodyear Blimp!

6. Most of us have picked up on the fact that summer is hot. We are hot every summer when we are not pregnant. We don't need you to point out that we will be miserably hot before the baby comes. And on the same note, I don't want to hear how "freezing" you are in 90 degree weather. I still sweat 24/7.

7. There is a reason that tickets to L&D are not sold yet on ticketmaster. Childbirth is actually not a public event. It may sound crazy, but some women really do not relish the idea of their mother, MIL or a host of other family members seeing their bare butt or genitals. Also, some people simply feel like the birth of their child is a private and emotional moment to be shared only by the parents. I am announcing this publicly to the world: I am totally fine with having my friends and family visit in the hospital while I am laboring, however, the moment a doctor or nurse comes in to "check" anything, get out. And along the same lines, while I am delivering my child, it will be me and Drew in the room... you can wait a few minutes and see her after I've done the hard work :)

8. Like everything else in life, unless you receive an invitation, you are not invited. This includes doctor visits, ultrasounds, labor, delivery, the hospital, and the parents home. You do not decide if you will be there for the birth, or if you will move in with the new parents to "help out". If your assistance is desired, rest assured that you will be asked for it. I'm ok with visitors. If I want you to leave and tell you to get out, though, please don't take offense... just remember I'm tired and hormonal :)

9. If you are asked to help after the birth, this means you should clean up the house, help with cooking meals, and generally stay out of the way. Holding the baby more then the parents, interfering with breastfeeding and sleeping schedules, and making a woman who is still leaking fluid from various locations lift a finger in housework is not helping. Word.

10. The only people entitled to time with the baby are the parents. Whether they choose to have you at the hospital for the birth, or ask you to wait 3 weeks to visit, appreciate that you are being given the privilege of seeing their child. Complaining or showing disappointment only encourages the parents to include you less. Again, we are family oriented people - those close to us will be included, especially since she will be born around the holidays! But whining is never a good idea!

Aug 8, 2010

6 Months

It has been an awfully long time since my last blog post, and instead of trying to recap everything that has happened and make myself crazy, I'll give you some of the highlights from my belly book since I tend to keep that a little more consistently than I do my blog:

Week 21:
Left to go to Missouri to visit Drew's family. Kept very busy doing fun things. Drew went fishing, kayaking and shooting with his dad, while Diane and I did our best to stay cool, near bathrooms and well fed, haha. We did lots of antiquing and found the perfect dresser/changing table to use in the nursery. With Diane's help, we got it refinished and "antiqued" so that it will look perfect with the vintage/quilt theme I have chosen for the nursery.

Week 22:
Since Sunday marks a new week, the first day of week 22 was by far one of the best. The sweet friends at Mike and Diane's church threw a wonderful shower for us. Nicole was the ring leader to the wonderful festivities and I highly appreciate all she did. It was beautiful, and we came home with lots of clothes and diapers for our sweet little one. I need to snap some photos of the sweet things we got and post them here. We feel truly blessed after that wonderful party!
I didn't feel great this week, but that has stopped surprising me. I love being pregnant because of the baby, but I hate everything else about being pregnant, haha. I haven't been comfortable in quite a while now, and I'm just kind of ready to feel some semblance of normalcy again.
Another great thing about week 22 was that we went to go see Despicable Me. Seriously one of the funniest movies I have ever seen in my LIFE! I can't wait to see it again.

Week 23:
Last week was a bunch of nice, covered in sneezes and itchy eyes, haha. Drew and I had a nice time resting and relaxing at home after our 2 week trip to Missouri, but it seems that as soon as I got in the car to come home, my allergies switched into demonic gear and haven't let up since. My eyes are so itchy that they are starting to look swollen and totally red. Luckily I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so maybe she can suggest something different to help me get some relief.
On Thursday, we decided to make a somewhat impromptu trip to the Hill Country for a mini vacation this summer since we really hadn't gotten to do any fun traveling together this summer. On our way to San Marcos for the night, we stopped at Innerspace Caverns. I have always wanted to stop there, and though I am glad to have the experience, it definitely did not live up to my expectations. It is a privately owned cave, rather than on public land, and so it was much more expensive than either of us expected. They cram as many people on each tour as they possibly can, and then take you from the bright Texas sun, down a tunnel into a dark cave, where the first thing they do is put you in front of bright spot lights and take your picture with a bright flash. Then they shuffle you back into the dark cave before your eyes adjust. On the path back to the cave, they happen to have a huge rock that juts our into the path at apparently 6'1" exactly... and poor Drew's head connected with the rock and he got a pretty huge gash on the side of his head. Looks pretty horrible. So, in this picture, he doesn't look so happy because he has a bloody gash on his head:

The cave was pretty cool, and they do let you take photos, which is nice. Longhorn caverns, which is a much nicer experience, only let you take photos without a flash, which is difficult at best in the darkness of a cave. Though, I did see on their website recently that they offer a photographer's tour... might be something I want to look into. This next photo is of a painting by a local artist of the types of animals they found in an archeological dig of one of the sink holes in the cave. I can't remember the name of it, but they said this particular animal was as big as a volkswagon bug, and they found a ton of them buried in the cave that fell in from one of the sinkholes.

After leaving the cave, and stopping at Dairy Queen for one of many blizzards on the trip, haha, we headed to San Marcos. Our first stop was the Aquarena Center at the University, where we took a glass bottom boat tour of the springs of the San Marcos River, and checked out the aquarium and other spots along the start of the river. Absolutely beautiful, clear, blue waters. I would have liked to have spent more time on the river, but we had things to do and places to see!

We stayed at a B&B overnight that was very nice, but warm and bright lights at night... not to mention the train that passes through near the University ALL NIGHT LONG! I didn't sleep very well that night. But I am getting ahead of myself.

After checking into the B&B, we headed to the famous Salt Lick for dinner. This is a very well known bbq place in Driftwood, Texas and it definitely lived up to it's name. We had a great time talking and enjoying some tastey bbq, and Drew proved his excellent driving skills on the 2 lane, curvy, hilly, high speed limit drive on the way there and back. Have I mentioned lately how much I love that guy??

Friday, we woke up and went to breakfast at the... bed and breakfast... yeah. Did I mention that I hadn't slept very well? Well, as soon as we sit down, the lady puts a champagne type glass in front of me full of OJ, and before she had even filled Drew's glass, the first thing I do is spill the whole dang thing all over their nice, white table cloths. Lack of sleep, pregnancy hormones, and the Asian guy at the next table who laughed at me had me at the verge of tears, but I reminded myself that we do not cry over spilt OJ and did my best to enjoy the breakfast. I was sure that this was an omen for a horrible day ahead, but I was wrong Thank God!

After breakfast, we donned our swimsuits and headed out to Hamilton Pool. This place was AMAZING! It was kind of a trek down to the swimming pool, so I didn't take my camera, but it was by far the most beautiful location we have seen in a while.

I borrowed this image from so that you could see how amazingly beautiful this place is. It is this cool little swimming hole that is fed by a river that falls into this cave like area by waterfall. You must go there sometime.

After swimming for a bit, we hit up the Nutty Brown Cafe for lunch and had the biggest chicken fried chicken I have ever seen (as big as my face, no lie) and some of the most amazing mashed potatoes I've ever had. Again with the not taking pictures thing... I blame it on starvation, haha.

All in all, it was a great trip and I am so thankful to have such a wonderful Hubby to take me to all these cool places. He was so sweet watching out for me and taking care to make sure I didn't get hungry or dehydrated... not to mention stopping for my many potty breaks. This baby thinks it's hilarious to kick in the bladder area. So not funny - and if she keeps it up, she's grounded!

People have been asking for a new belly shot lately, so I quickly got Drew to snap this one this afternoon after my nap. Not quite the best photo ever, but you can see how big my baby bump is getting. I can't wait til this little girl is here!

Six months down, 3 to go... 3 very busy, full, exciting months to go!

Jul 14, 2010

Goodnight Never Never Land

I'm in Love, I'm in love, I'm in love and I don't care who knows it! - Buddy the Elf

Isn't this the most perfect and adorable crib bedding you've ever seen in your life? I nearly bankrupted myself buying it today, but I just can not stop looking at it and picturing our sweet baby girl fast asleep on the cute owl and tree sheets above a ballerina bed skirt... My sweet friend from high school, Donna, helped me pick it out since she is a visual coordinator for Pottery Barn Kids. This is a modified version of the Brooke bedding set.

Before you say "I told you so" or anything to that effect... I know! It's pink and ruffly, and everything I have stood against for so long now. But I couldn't help myself! It's just too perfect. The ruffles are balanced nicely by the blues and greens in the bumper and quilt, there are vintage inspired fabrics in the trees and birds, and it's a nature inspired "theme".

After setting it all up today, all I want to do is decorate the room. Why on earth do baby things have to be so expensive?? We still really need to get a dresser to use in the room for storage and for a changing table on top, and I'd really like a rug for the room since our house has a tendency to get very cold in the winter.

I found a really cool tutorial on a blog I read about how to use corn starch and water to create a paste to fix fabric on furniture or walls. It's easily removable with a little water, and looks like it will make the perfect fix for the huge stand alone closet thing we have in the nursery to bring it more into the theme.

Beyond that, just odds and ends and shower goods will fill up the space... can't wait to see what it looks like when baby comes!

Jul 9, 2010


Is this not the absolute coolest way EVER to take a birth announcement photo? I am taking my iPhone with me to the hospital and ordering one of these precious birth announcement tshirts as soon as the baby is born from Culpeper General on

Lisa, get ready!

Jul 8, 2010

Holy Cow!

It's a girl!

I am still totally trying to wrap my mind around this turn of events, haha. Don't get me wrong, I am so very excited to know what we're having, and to know that she is healthy, and to have gotten to see her for so long today and to hear her heartbeat again. I can not explain why, but for some reason I was fairly convinced that we were having a boy, so when the doc said "It's a girl!" I was a little surprised, haha. Will just take some time to adjust my thinking from rocket ships and science themed room, to something a little more feminine.

I think I was less scared about the thought of having a boy because I actually grew up as a girl (deep thoughts here... stay with me). So, having been a girl, I know the silly things girls do... oh please Dear God, do not let my daughter do some of the stupid things I did!! Oh man, I might have nightmares thinking of that thought... new topic!

Here is a profile shot of my sweet baby GIRL... gotta get used to that, haha. Doesn't her sweet little nose look so wonderful?

And the tiny little toes... can't wait to put socks on those little feet.

So, Dr. Reyna took a long time with us in the sonogram room... measuring everything she needed to, showing us all the sweet pictures of the baby. She was kicking up a storm during the whole thing, but after about half an hour of being pushed and manipulated, I think she was done. To tell you the truth, I don't blame her... So, she started covering up her face, but you can see a good arm shot. I still think it's pretty cute.

So, now I must go be quiet and relax a little... I am absolutely exhausted. Mentally and Physically. I need some time to process... I think today just made everything that much more real! I think it felt like I was playing up until now.

And for those of you asking, no, we don't have a name picked out yet, but we do have a list. I'm sure Drew and I will be talking about that now, though!

Jul 7, 2010

It's A...

haha, made you look. Ok, that's the last time I will "cry wolf" because we actually get to find out the gender of this sweet little bambino TOMORROW! Woohoo! Here is one excited Mama. This baby better not be shy... one day I am sure I will say "don't sit like that, close your legs", but tomorrow, well, hopefully baby hasn't learned any manners yet!

This weekend was, as Darla from the Little Rascals might say, the Fourf of July. It has always been one of my favorite holidays because it is so low pressure, and you get to blow things up. We learned this year that pregnant women should not have access to fire and explosives, but that's another story all together. Needless to say, I think I might owe our friend, Sam, a new shirt, haha.

Anyway, here is a photo of me on the fourth of July at 19 weeks pregnant. It's hard to tell from here, but those of you moms who know, do you think I am carrying high or low? It is a question in my baby book, and I honestly do not know how to answer it!

And just in case you couldn't see through my rotund pregnant self, here is a photo of our awesome new "retro" glider that we purchased this weekend to further complete our awesome outdoor space.

You can also see the awesome cactus conglomeration that Drew got for me (half price) this weekend. I love it! So interesting looking, and so low maintenance. I just have to remember to bring it in when it's supposed to rain so I don't end up killing it like I did the aloe plant I bought, and I have nearly killed the hen and chicks that Grandma Dodd gave us (Diane, don't tell her, haha). My grandfather is a Master Gardener - certified and everything. I wish that talent hadn't skipped my generation in the gene pool. I have absolutely NO talent for keeping plants alive whatsoever. But don't worry, I can keep animals alive, so this baby has a chance!

I have really not been feeling well this week at all. Sunday night my right arm started hurting incredibly badly. My fingers were swollen and it felt like every joint in my arm was stiff and in a ton of pain. I could barely grasp anything, much less lift anything. Of course with it being July 4th weekend, my doc was out of town, and the on call doc took THREE HOURS to get back to me! When he called back, he told me to take a Tylenol and go to bed. Gee, thanks for the advice... So, I suffered through all day Monday, and when I woke up on Tuesday, it was feeling a little better. I called the nurse at my doc's office and talked to her about it, and she said if it didn't feel better today to call back and she would get me in to see the on call doc... no thanks. But luckily, I am feeling much better today. Just tired and a little achy.

So, there is my cue to end this post and go lay down on the couch and watch tv. Why is it that days when you are waiting for something good always go by SO slowly?? I can't wait for tomorrow at 4:15!

Jun 28, 2010

Baby Swag

This weekend, I went down to Austin to visit my Aunt Lisa and my cousin, Katie. We had such a fun time hanging out, and they were so excited to get to go baby shopping with me that it filled me with excitement too. I have been a little down lately because I have been so tired from my summer job, and just feeling quite awkward and uncomfortable (it's hard work growing a baby!), but spending time with these two fun loving ladies lifted my spirits and we had so much fun!
Plus, they spoiled me rotten. Here are a few of the wonderful early shower gifts I got from Lisa (with help from KK):
If you live in Austin, you should definitely check out this really cute baby boutique called Picket Fences. It was so cute, and they had some really interesting items. For that matter, check out for even cuter things. But all advertising aside, these swaddler blankets are ridiculously soft and sweet. They are made by aden + anais and they are the Swaddler set. We originally fell in love with them because of the elephants, then because of the fact that I want to rip the box open right now and sleep with them myself, haha. These blankets alone have made me decide to go with an animal theme in the room... of some sort. Don't quote me on that yet... my mind changes itself a hundred times a day. But the fat little elephants are so flippin cute, and they would be easy for a Mama to paint to put in the room somewhere....

Speaking of animals - check out this adorably sly little Fox. This is made by the company Blabla, and I am convinced that it will be Bebe's favorite lovie - I mean, I want to carry it around with me everywhere I go, so why wouldn't the baby!?

And then, by far, the sweetest and cutest of all the baby splurge purchases... TINY tiny baby bamboo socks. These socks will change your life. They are so incredibly small and so incredibly soft and I can not wait to bring my baby home from the hospital wearing these sweet little things. So, whatever outfit we choose to bring baby home in, must coordinate with the green socks! I hope they still fit at Christmas time - I can't wait to show Grandma's these sweet little socks!

Mom and I also had a lovely afternoon on Sunday. We had lunch at Le Madeline and then went to Babies R Us and spent a year there looking at every single product on the shelves (well, close, haha). I think we might have come to a conclusion on the bedding that we like, though I still want to look around a little and wait to see if it's a boy or a girl to see if that changes my mind at all. (Speaking of which, 10 days til we find out!!!) I can't wait to go and register and pick out all the sweet little things that will help take care of my sweet little Bebe. Makes my heart just melt to think about bathing, clothing and rocking this little one... and makes all these aches and pains and uncomfortableness not quite so horrible.

So, this is the beginning of week 18. Almost halfway there! And only a few more days (10) until we get to find out if it's baby Boy Dodd or Girl Dodd, haha. Don't worry, I'll post photos and let you in on the "secret". You only have 10 more days to go vote on what you think it will be! Look to your right and vote, people!!

Jun 22, 2010

Week 17 and the Fantastic Voyage

Here we are, in week 17, with 159 days of pregnancy to go (give or take). I just read an article about "What Summer Activities to Avoid" during pregnancy, and I am happy to report that riding my bike is now a no no (at least for the next several months). I have to say, it was never my favorite thing to do anyway, but it's nice to have an actual excuse, haha.

The past couple of weeks have left me feeling a little blue about the whole "growing a baby" thing. I had visions in my mind of what an amazingly beautiful and lively pregnant woman I would be, and now that it's here, I just feel fat and uncomfortable. And itchy, let's not leave that part out. I'm sleepy nearly all the time, but have such a hard time getting comfortable in bed that it makes the idea of going to sleep quite upsetting. I think I could sleep if I were in a zero G environment... yeah, that would be great. Anyone know where I can find a portable Zero-G that will fit roughly on my side of the bed? I was always quite sure that my hips had enough padding around them to cushion a person nearly twice my size, but as of late, I am thinking differently. Laying down, my hip digs into the bed, sitting in the office chair as I type this blog, my right hip bone is digging into the chair.

The other physical complaints are just a little too graphic for the blogosphere, so I'll just suffice to say that though I am already deeply in love with this baby, and SO very glad that God has blessed me with this little life, I do wish that it were a little more comfortable in the making. The lack of sleep and uncomfortableness are also affecting my temper and my zen like mental state (ha!).

But on the awesome side, I actually think I am starting to look prego.
Have I mentioned lately how amazingly awesome my husband is? I promise that is not an absent Segue... I bring it up in conjunction with what my wonderful hubby did for ME this weekend. We took an impromptu Daycation. Woke up on Saturday morning, hopped in the car with an atlas, and took off. We ended up in Dublin, Texas for our first stop. We went on a tour of the Dublin Dr. Pepper bottling facility, and had a real, honest to goodness fountain Dr. Pepper - put ice in a cup, pour in some syrup, pour in carbonated water, mix and enjoy. So tastey. Don't judge me, I have been limiting my caffine intake.
Here's a photo of me outside the museum. I'm still trying to decide if the stripped shirt is super trendy, or makes me look like an overweight inmate. I'll just keep telling myself that it wouldn't be in the stores if it weren't trendy, right?
Our next stop was on our way back in the general direction of Dallas. We drove through the square in Granbury and decided to make a stop to look in some of the shops and get an ice cream cone. Drew was wonderful, and actually went in a few antique stores with me - where I found one of the insanely cute little fiesta pitchers that I have been "collecting" for a while now. And the ice cream - YUM! It started melting as soon as it was placed in my hand, but with Mama Marcie and Daddy Drew, it didn't last long.

Third stop was to Fort Worth and Sundance Square where we walked around a bit and found pizza for dinner.

We had a great day spending time together in the car on our journey, and talking with each other. Had I been a prepared mom, I would have brought a baby name book so that we could have come up with a few ideas in anticipation of finding out if this sweet little one is a boy or a girl! Our appointment to find out is July 8th, and I have had a countdown going on for a while now. We currently have 16 days left til we find out. I was pretty sure that everyone thought it was a boy, like I do, but after spending some time with family for Father's day, and hearing that several people have changed their position, I am just not sure. My sweet tooth has definitely come back, which is an old wives tale that you are having a girl.

I have felt a few kicks, here and there, but nothing too consistant yet. I am definitely excited to be able to feel him move around more often, though the first few times it happened it made me very nauseated. Imagine something swimming around inside your stomach... make you queasy? Yeah, that's how it feels at the moment.

Well, I am a television star today - channel 5 decided to come interview me and film part of the summer Art camp I am teaching at the Bath House this summer (on the one day that I woke up late and didn't have time for a shower... of course). If I can find it online, and if my hair doesn't look too awful, I'll post it on my blog. Off to watch the news - weird.

Jun 2, 2010

Pregnancy - Day 101

Can you believe it has already been over 100 days since this little baby's life was formed? Oh my gosh it has totally flown by. I can't even remember what all has happened in the past several months, but I know I haven't had as many moments to sit and reflect as I might have liked.
This is week 14 of Frijolito. I *think* that I have felt a little movement, but I'm going to give it a little longer before being totally convinced. It feels kind of like the twitch under my eye when I get really stressed out, haha.
Next week is my 4 month doctor's appointment. I have to wait til 19 weeks to find out the gender, so hopefully the first week in July. I can't wait! Only 5 weeks to go!

This weekend, Diane was here. We had a great time eating and shopping - seems to be our two favorite things to do together, haha. We checked out downtown McKinney - way cool! Lots of cute shops and restaurants. I will definitely go back there sometime. I did not find the two things I was looking for - an armoire and a short dresser, but I will keep looking. And if all else fails, there is always Ikea for the storage aspect of the room.

We did go to Babies R' Us and decide on a stroller.
It is a Chicco Cortina Travel System in Discovery (that's the color). Diane and I were in the store practicing taking out the car seat, folding the strollers down, wheeling them around aisles so that we could decide which one pushed easier. It was down to a Baby Trend model and this one, and this one won in my book hands down. It was much lighter, easier to fold and unfold, and seemed to be just a little better thought out. We also asked a few parents at the mall who we saw with this stroller, and it got pretty good reviews.

Another thing I found that I like a lot is this pack n' play:
It has the regular pack n play at the bottom, plus a newborn attachment at the top so that we can use it in our room as a bassinet for the first couple of months, PLUS a changing table attachment. Not to mention that I love the color. Very gender neutral.

I also found this crib that I like a lot:
It's made by Graco and got great reviews on the Babies R Us website. It is also only $169, which for a convertible crib is outstanding. I still plan on looking around for cribs though, to make sure I find one that we really like a lot since they are so expensive!

Well, now on to shower and run a couple of errands. Funeral this afternoon for my great Aunt, Beadie.

May 29, 2010

22nd Grade

Just got a really cute email from my cousin Gillian about all the things she learned in 7th grade. I didn't realize how much they teach you about hair and fashion in school, haha. Anyway, it prompted me to think about all the things I have learned lately. So, here is a list of some of the things I have learned in 22nd (or there abouts) grade:

  • If you add an extra $50 a month in Principle to your mortgage, your total amount due will ACTUALLY go down!
  • Not going to Target really helps the family budget
  • There is nothing about me that is good at "keeping house"
  • Being pregnant is the most surreal, unusual, wonderful, horrible experience I have ever been through in my life.
  • Hearing my baby's heartbeat is AMAZING
  • I love my family, even if they drive me crazy sometimes
  • It doesn't matter if you have friends at work. It wouldn't be called work if it didn't suck sometimes.
  • I love my students, even if they drive me crazy sometimes :)
  • There is much in life that is uncertain, but trusting in the promises of God will steady you enough to get through it.
  • Always write down your user names and passwords somewhere... it's a complete pain to forget them and then try to pay a bill.
  • People will tell you anything to sell you clothes at a Maternity store... including that you are "incredibly small framed with a large chest". Did they even look at me before they said "small framed"??
  • iPhones are great to have, but they make horrible phones
  • my husband is absolutely amazing and I love him very much
  • breakfast is important
  • So is midday snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and midnight snack, haha
  • You'll never remember everything, so make good notes and enjoy the moment while it lasts.
Well, that kept me occupied while I tried to figure out a user name and password that I forgot (hence that thing that I learned up there). But now I gotta get back to cleaning house! Diane is coming in today, and so are G and D and Lisa... looking forward to getting to see everyone, but must finish the house before I can have fun.

May 24, 2010

Welcome Second Trimester!

I suppose I had half hoped that I would wake up this morning, the first day of my second trimester, and feel absolutely alive and energetic and strong... well, I can't say that it exactly worked out like that, haha. But before you, like my co-workers today, accuse me of being "Cynical Marcie," let me just say that I do feel remarkably better than I did a few weeks ago. I still have short bouts of nausea, and I still get tired easily, but I can now eat pretty much whatever I want without it making me sick. Getting out of bed in the morning is still ridiculously hard, but I think that might be more the fault of it being the last week of school (woohoo!) and less the fault of little baby.

So, week 12 and 13... less has happened these weeks as far as my body, but this has definitely been a busy couple of weeks. Drew and I amazingly put up with it being about 85 in our house before getting someone over to "repair" our air conditioning unit. But it is "fixed" now and we are staying somewhat cool... though every time it comes on I just start visualizing throwing money away to the electricity company. But I suppose it is worth it... when Drew is hot, he turns into the Incredible Hulk, and being pregnant makes it somewhat difficult to regulate my body temperature. I am getting to the point where I am starting to feel warm all the time (I type this as I sit in my classroom that is about 55 degrees, trying not to shiver, haha). God continues to show me over and over again that He'll take care of me. All of my financial worries are usually for nothing, because I have never had a day where I had to go without a meal, and I have a beautiful roof over my head. I need to remember to thank Him more often...

This week is a big baby week. It is the first week of the second trimester, which a lot of moms call the "golden trimester" because of how much better you feel. All of baby's important organs are there and have started functioning, and he (remember, we're calling it a he here until we know one way or the other) is practicing breathing in and out in the amniotic fluid. I think one of the coolest things about development this week is that my sweet little one has finger prints. How cool is that? It still just baffles me every time I read something like that and then hear someone say that it isn't a baby until it's born... last time I checked, a real baby had a heart, lungs, arms, legs, brain waves, and fingerprints... so, that sounds like a real baby to me!

I think the thing I am the most excited about happening in the next few weeks is starting to feel the baby move. In the books I have read, it says you can typically start feeling the baby move between weeks 16-20. That will be simply magical to me.

I am already wearing maternity clothes, but I would really like to start LOOKING pregnant instead of just overweight, haha. I think that should start happening in the next few weeks too, so they say in "the books."

New changes in the Dodd family - Drew will be teaching Forensics next year which is pretty awesome. He gets to go to a training in San Marcos this summer, and I am sincerely wishing that I could go with him and go to all the outlets while he is in class. Maybe I can go down on the weekend. I will be teaching summer camp again through Big Thought's Thriving Minds program. I have been doing a lot of planning today and I am pretty sure it is going to be totally awesome. And, Drew's mom is coming to visit (hopefully) next week! We plan to do lots of antiquing and shopping, and hopefully I can get her input on some baby things.

Wrapping up for this week, but to the right is a poll that I would like your opinion on... do you think it is a girl or a boy? I'd also really love to know WHY you think it is one or the other, hehe.

May 7, 2010

10 weeks

Like I said in the last post, pregnancy is the most unusual thing I have ever been through in my life... it is constantly changing and evolving and growing, and I never know one day to the next how I am going to feel physically or emotionally.

Perhaps the 3-4 hours of sleep I have gotten every night this week have exaggerated my emotional state, but it seems as though every little happy thing makes me want to tear up this week. I don't mind it, but it is a very different state of being for me - a very privately emotional person.

Saturday afternoon was the 9th Annual Methodist Hospital Pink Ribbon Tea Party, hosted by my aunt Jerri. I genuinely enjoy going to this every year, sipping tea and eating fancy little treats with my grandmother and cousins. I am always so proud of my aunt for the work that she does to make the Tea happen - it is always a packed house - full of ladies in their nice clothes with their fancy hats, all wearing pinks and with smiles on their faces. This year, I wore a dress that I found with my friend, Rebecca, at Nordstrom Rack. It is fairly form fitting, and the fact that I can't really wear things like that has not fully sunk in to my brain yet :) So, below is a photo of me in my fancy dress, taken with my fancy iphone in front of my husbands anything but fancy mirror in his closet in a not very well lit room, haha. I think the look on my face is absolutely descriptive of how I have been feeling lately - confused - is this really me? Am I really having a baby? Nothing about this experience so far seems "normal," but I obviously have not been through this before, so who am I to say what's normal??

Allergies have been the theme of my 10th week. I have just barely started feeling a little better on the morning sickness front, only for that to be replaced by the most severely horrible allergies I have ever had in my life! Monday morning, I awoke to a very bad sinus headache and no clue of how to cure it. So, I called in sick and laid in bed for most of the day - which of course helped both my head in the physical sense of the headache, as well as mentally - I think I am starting to get burnt out this year and desperately need a break (good thing summer is coming up soon!)

Monday was one of my best friend's birthday, so we met Rebecca and her husband, Jeremy, at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. As always, it was delicious, and I went home full and happy.

Tuesday, while Drew was at class, I finally got around to making a home cooked meal. I haven't cooked much since I found out I was pregnant because of the "morning" sickness. Plus the fact that I have been absolutely exhausted! Building a baby is very hard work! But I digress.... I made my wonderful husband one of his favorite meals - Caldo de Pescado (fish stew to those of you non Spanish Speaking readers). I have to say, it turned out just like I intended, thanks to Rachel Ray and a little of the cooking talents I inherited from my mother (thanks Mom!).

Thursday was a good day, except again for those absolutely HORRIBLE allergies poking in where they do not belong. I really have amazing students this year. They are genuine and wonderful, and I have been very blessed to be able to call them mine - even if just for this year. My yearbook class specifically has been absolutely wonderful this year, and so we scheduled a field trip to our publishing plant to see how Yearbooks are printed and bound. It's really an intriguing process, and at the end of the tour, Mickey, our sales rep, came in to say hi and brought us the very first finished yearbook. It is absolutely the most amazing yearbook I have ever seen! I am SO proud! We weren't expecting to get to see it so soon, so it was really a great surprise.

Another new thing that has developed this week is this sense of worry... am I eating well enough to keep my baby healthy? Did I drink too much caffine this week? Is this benedryl ok to take? How about a Tylenol? I don't feel sick anymore, and therefore, don't feel pregnant - morning sickness is really the only symptom I have had up to this point, so it is the thing I associate with FEELING pregnant. I know that is silly, but it really has crossed my mind a few times.

But the most exciting thing is that my little Frijolito is the size of a lime this week! He (I think the baby is a boy... don't know why) is growing so fast! In just a few short months I will have a sweet little baby to snuggle in my arms and I get so overwhelmed and excited just thinking about it. And then I think "oh my gosh, it will be November, and it will be cold! How will I make sure he stays warm in the crib at night? How will I make sure he is warm in the car on the way home from the hospital??" Why are these silly little worries plaguing my mind?! This baby is totally in God's hands, and has been since before he was conceived. Just gotta keep reminding myself of that :)

Ok, just a couple more things and I swear I'll end this post, haha. I know it is the length of a short novel already.

What do you think about the name Elliott Benjamin for a boy?

Also, I found this amazing website this week with the most beautiful stories about birth and adoption, and seeing the little one for the first time. You should check it out!

I highly recommend reading "Birth Story Once Removed" and "Is that my Uterus in that Taurus?". Both made me laugh til I cried and cry again til I laughed.

Doctor's appointment on Monday - expect another update! One and a half more weeks til the end of the 1st trimester, YAY!

Apr 12, 2010

Week 7

pregnancy due date

Being pregnant is... well, different than anything I have ever experienced in my entire life. Never in the past would I have EVER been ok with being sick every day and tossing my cookies regularly. But I have to say, all I have to do is think "oh my gosh, I'm having a BABY!" and then I get this little butterflies in my stomach and it doesn't matter if I can't keep anything down. It is amazing how one little word on a stick that I peed on could change my life so drastically. Sometimes, I will be working on a project at school, or being busy doing something and I will temporarily forget that I am "with child" (haha), then something will happen - I'll start feeling yucky, get a bit of a cramp, or someone will call me "Mama", and I'll get this crazy electric shock feeling and smile, get nervous and feel like I am going to tear up all at the same time!

That brings me to my next topic... Pregnancy hormones. They are seriously intense and flat out crazy! Weird things have started to change - like my hair. My hair has been straighter than anything my entire life, and now all of the sudden it has a bit of natural curl to it. I love this! I can scrunch my hair and be ready to walk out the door in half the time it usually takes! The tearfulness is also something I will have to get used to. I am not normally very open with too many of my emotions, and these days when I feel any sort of intense emotion, I am tearing up! Not actually crying, mind you... just eyes watery kind of tearing up. Oh, and the weight gain thing. This part is really starting to get to me. Before you judge me, I know... it's for a good reason! But my goodness, I can't button my jeans!!! I have made many a promise to myself in my pre-pregnancy days to never ever buy a bigger size pair of jeans than I am in right now, and now as Mama Marcie, I can not even button these that I vowed for so long to fit into for the rest of my life! I guess it shouldn't bother me too much, but it does make me need a bit more affirmation that I normally need (Drew, hope you are reading this :) )

Today: Doctor's appointment and sonogram... hopefully I will get to hear the heartbeat today! I'll post another sonogram photo soon! :)