March 31, 2007

Fat friends?

I just got an e-mail with the subject line: "Make your fat friends envy you." At this point, I'm not sure I have any friends fatter than me. So, I deleted the e-mail.

I have been overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation at the arrival of this little boy. 55 days left until my due date. So, I'm hoping for about 45 days until delivery. Have I blogged about my May 11 thing yet? If I have, forgive me, because I'm going to write about it again.

May 11 - 12 would be the perfect days for labor/delivery. Our Prime Time retreat would just be finishing, Kyle would have the weekend off from baseball games and would still be able to make it to his Monday game. And, it would give us a full three weeks before staff training. I realize that I've pretty much doomed myself to delivering after my due date for making such plans, but I can dream, can't I? I've had talks with the baby about when I'd like him to start making his way into the world, but I'm not really sure if he's listening. If flailing and kicking is any signal of comprehension, then he totally understands.

Anyway, back to my excitement . . . Kyle painted the nursery today. I LOVE the color. For those of you who know how wishy-washy I've been about the paint colors in our house (there's no room that hasn't been painted at least two colors . . . some up to four), you'll know what a success it is to love the color on the first try. I can't wait to get some furniture in there and start putting things away. I should have taken a picture of our other spare bedroom before I organized things. Everything we've received for the baby was just dumped there for a while and it was insane.

Kyle and I have been referring to him by his name a lot more when it's just the two of us. And I've come REALLY close to slipping in front of other people on a couple of instances. I just like calling him by his name. I ordered something the other day with his name embroidered on it and we just kind of sat there and looked at it for a while when it arrived. I can't wait to introduce him to everyone!

As he's started kicking more and more, I've become more and more attached to him. I've always had a hard time understanding how I'd experience so much bonding with my baby before he's born, but I get it now. I've felt gradual levels of attachment from the day I heard his heartbeat. I feel like I know a little bit about his personality and that he knows me a little. Kyle had a chance to feel him REALLY kick last night. I don't think he realized exactly how much the baby moves and kicks until he sat there with his hand on my belly for a half hour straight. He was amazed.

I've heard three people who just had babies in the last 2 - 3 weeks refer to the first few weeks as "a lot of fun" and that's encouraging because all people seem to tell me about are horror stories of how awful the first few weeks are. I know that having a baby is hard, but I think from now on I'm going to stop listening to people who only give me feelings of drudgery and gloom about the first few weeks. After all, can anyone tell me that it's not worth it?

One word about Kyle before I close this post . . . I'm amazed at his resilience and integrity. He's had a really rough couple of weeks and has handled everything with so much grace that I find myself getting annoyed when he doesn't want to fight dirty and lose his temper. I guess it's just another reminder to me of how lucky I really am.

March 29, 2007

What not to do . . .

I've learned a couple of things not to do when pregnant this week.

It started on Tuesday when I went to the U-Haul store to see if I could buy a box big enough to ship a guitar in. As I parked and got out of the car, I looked at the dumpster next to the U-Haul store and behold . . . a box big enough to ship a guitar. "Why should I buy one when there's a free one in the dumpster outside?" I though to myself.

You see, the problem was that it was an oversized dumpster and it involved me balancing precariously on the side while trying to lift the box out. I guess at this point I should add that the U-Haul store is on Michigan Ave in Jackson. I'm sure I looked like an idiot trying to balance there (sideways because my belly was in the way) while pulling a box out of a dumpster next to a store where I could have just gone in and bought one. THen, after I got it out, I kind of ran back to my car to shove it in and leave because I felt a little guilty about taking it. But I got my box at no expense. But I did learn my lesson. Lesson 1: Don't dumpster dive while pregnant.

The second lesson came this morning. Yesterday I cleaned out my car and vaccuumed it (which is also something I would avoid doing in your last trimester of pregnancy). I had the car radio on for 10 minutes before the batter died (yes, I need a new battery). This morning, Kyle and I forgot that we needed to jumpstart it before he left for work, so he said he'd come back on a planning period to get it running for me. I knew he wouldn't have much time, so I decided I'd get the car out of the garage on my own before he got home. How hard could it be? Put the car in neutral, and it would just roll out, right? Wrong. I was pushing and then jumping in to slam on the brakes. Then, I'd try and push with one foot while steering, then get out and push again. I seriously hope no one was watching. The end result? The car got out onto the gravel driveway. I also have a chiropractor appointment for this afternoon. Lesson 2: No pushing cars by yourself while pregnant.

Another one bites the dust . . .

If you'll look back a few blogs, you'll read about everything in our house that has just decided not to work in the last month or two. This morning, the saga continued.

We have no hot water. The 2-year-old hot water heater is broken. Why, God, why?! Plus, I think through a series of really stupid actions on my part, I've broken our clothes dryer. Which isn't a big deal right now anyway because we have no hot water to actually wash our clothes in. We put several hundred dollars into repairs on the explorer a couple of weeks ago and my car wouldn't start this morning and we're pretty sure I'll have to get a new battery. I asked Kyle if he thought the baby would rather sleep in the hot water heater we have to replace, one of the cars we had to fix or the dryer we'll probably have to change out . . . because all of our money is going toward this stuff rather than toward baby stuff.

I guess that's not completely true because my parents did give us money to put toward a crib and we still have that sitting in an envelope waiting for us to choose one. I just hate it that we have to put money into this stuff when we could be putting it toward the baby. We bought a brand new house because we though it would be longer than two years before we'd have to deal with garbage disposals, water heaters and other random appliances breaking. Oh well . . . I'm sure I'm learning something from all of this.

I sit hear complaining, but I really shouldn't. I've been pretty good about not checking my registries daily, but the last couple of days I have. I am floored by how much people have bought for us. It's amazing to know that so many people love us and want to help us with this new little guy.

Speaking of the baby . . . he's getting big. And I can tell he doesn't have a lot of room left in there. I get elbows, knees and feet jabbed into every area of my body. It's funny how I used to think that was so cute. Now I have to have frequent conversations with him where I explain that mom doesn't like getting kicked in the ribs. Somehow, I think he understands me.

March 28, 2007

It takes all kinds . . .

Based on the subject, you may have thought that this blog would be a lesson in diversity. It's not. This is a blog that I posted on my myspace page about my garage sale last year. I'm thinking of having another one in a few weeks and I can't wait to see who I'll meet there!


I'm sitting at the fourth (and hopefully last) day of my garage sale. Let me tell you . . . I've seen ALL kinds of people. Let me give you a few examples:

Pants Down Lady: Probably the funniest of the weekend was this lady. She had been browsing for a few minutes when she picked up a skirt and pulled down her pants to try it on. Thats right. I had a grandma in nothing but a t-shirt and granny panties standing in my garage. The biggest disappointment was that there was no one else there to enjoy it with me . . . the first time. Thats right. She tried on another skirt a few minutes later, and there were others here to witness it.

She did NOT buy the skirt.

TMI Grandma: This lady needs more friends. She told me about everything from the women doctor who wouldnt take her as a patient (literally, that was the first thing she said to me with nothing leading up to it) to her sisters daughter who raised Peruvian horses. You have to trust me when I tell you that I did absolutely nothing to provoke these conversations.

Smoker Guy: I understand that if youre over the age of 18, you have the right to smoke . . . for now, anyway. But dont bring it into my garage. And if you do, DO NOT put it out on my garage floor and LEAVE IT! I was completely appalled.

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire lady: This one must have had some sort of mental illness. Our conversation went something like this:

LLPOF LADY: How long have you lived here?
ME: A little over a year.
LLPOF LADY: Thats so nice. I used to live in this house before you.
ME: You might be thinking of a different house because it was a new construction and we are the first owners.
LLPOF LADY: Well, honey, someone lied to you, because I definitely lived here five or six years ago.

She bought close to $50 worth of stuff, so she could pretend to have lived here all she wanted. Heck, for the right price, I'd let her pretend that she was married to Kyle before me.

Creepy boy: So, I feel for little kids who are . . . well, different. And this little boy certainly is, but he creeped me out too much not to write about him. He was probably about 5 or 6 years old. He stood about a foot from my table and stared at me out of the corner of his eyes the ENTIRE time his grandma was shopping. He kept asking me why I was selling all of this stuff. My answers were never good enough for him, so he continued to ask. He was either mildly autistic and/or possessed. I was creeped out.

Sticker boy: I had left a sheet of price tag stickers sitting out on one of the garage sale tables and there I noticed a little boy take one off. No big deal, right? Well, I got distracted by a customer and about five minutes later noticed that all of the stickers on the sheet (all 24 of them) were gone. "What could the little boy have done with those," I wondered. No big deal . . . hundreds of stickers left.

As the little boy and his grandma were leaving, I looked down the driveway saw where the stickers went. All 24 of them . . . on the back of his grandma's pant leg.

Excellent supervision, grandma.

Cheapskate lady: Now, I know that people come to a garage sale to find a good deal . . . and I'm willing to deal. But there's never any reason to be rude. This lady walked around picking stuff up and yelling, "What a rip off. Im not paying that!" Seriously, 15 - 20 times.

The Talker: The talker is a really nice name for this lady, considering what she did. As she was checking out she mentioned that she was down today because her sister died this morning of cancer. Weird that she told me that? Yes. But I still felt for her and expressed my sympathy. Then she said, "Well, it wasnt actually my sister. I saw a tv show this morning about a lady who lost her sister to cancer and its really affected me as if it had happened to me." For real, lady? I was left speechless. Honestly . . . what could I say to that? I couldnt make this stuff up if I tried.

If nothing else, this garage sale stuff has made me feel a lot more normal than I did before.

March 24, 2007

Just breathe . . .

I got the new Nooma video in the mail yesterday. It is, as usual, brilliant. But it made me remember that the one that came out in December was still in it's wrapper sitting my office, so I decided to get that one out and watch it too. It's titled "Breathe."

In "Breathe", Rob Bell asks, "Have you ever thought about your breath from a spiritual perspective?" With everything that we deal with on a daily basis . . . from stressful things to mundane things . . . no one really ever stops to think about their breathing. Bell points out that the name of God, "LORD" appears in the Bible over 6000 times. But it wasn't originally written in the English language. It was originally in Hebrew. The Hebrew name is essentially 4 letters: "YHVH". But in Hebrew, the letters are pronounced: 'Yod, Heh, Vav, Heh." Say it out loud. The name of God is essentially the sound of breathing. How does that change the way we view ourselves and the others around us? God breathed into us the breath of life. And now by merely breathing, we speak his name.

Bored yet? Well, as I was sitting in our childbirth class today, learning to concentrate on my breathing, this all came rushing back to me . . . the importance of breath. As I watched the gruesome labor and delivery video, I got teary as I watched the baby take his first breath and thereby speak the name of God for the first time.

Divine breath is flowing through each of us who have been created by God . . . no matter what their belief system, race, sense of humor or anything else. We are all on holy ground whether we stop to recognize it or not. He ends with this blessing:

"May you come to see that God is here right now with us all of the time.
May you come to see that the ground you are standing on is holy.
And as you slow down, may you become aware that it is in 'Yod, heh, vav, heh' that we live and we move and we breathe."

March 19, 2007

10 weeks left

I feel like I should be saying something like, "Wow . . . 30 weeks. Time has flown by!" But that would be a lie. It hasn't. This has been the slowest 30 weeks of my life.

Not that it's all been awful or that it's not worth it . . . it's just gone by really slow. I guess I'm kind of glad for that because if it flew by I might be even more behind on getting ready for the baby than I feel right now!

So, for those of you who don't see me regularly . . . here's what I look like!

March 18, 2007

The reunion

I felt so lucky this weekend. I got a chance to go down to Greenville and see friends all in one place that I hadn't seen in years . . . well some of them I hadn't seen in years. There's something really great about being with people who have known you longer than 5 years.

Sarah and Nicole threw a little party in Greenville on Saturday. Kyle was able to come down with me (which was great, because I'm not sure I could have made that drive all by myself). We drove through Chicago so we could stop and meet Heather in Springfield for dinner. I hate Chicago traffic. I hate it even more than I can't make it 100 miles without stopping to use the bathroom! But we had a great dinner with Heather and went on to have a great weekend with old friends!

A few of the girls left before we remembered to take a picture, but here's a picture of most of us:

I can't even begin to describe in words how good it was just to spend a short amount of time with them. Sarah and Kevin let us crash at their place all weekend and we even had a chance to drive to O'Fallon to visit Jen Nash who's about ready to deliver any minute! It's crazy that we're all growing up and having kids.

McKenzey and Evie:


I wonder if all of our kids will grow up and be friends some day . . .

The joys of living in MI

Here's the saved post that I wrote last Wednesday but didn't publish:

It's been in the 70s the last two days. By my calculations, we should get massive amounts of snow in the next two to three weeks. That's just the way Michigan works. Nonetheless, I'm going to enjoy the 50 degree weather while it lasts.

Here's what I woke up to on Thursday:

Ahhh . . . the joys of Michigan weather.

I realize it's been a while since I've written anything, but not a whole lot has changed. I have full-blown carpal tunnel syndrome, which basically means my hands fall asleep at random times throughout the day and sometimes wait hours to wake up. And I have severe wrist and hand pain in the middle of the night. On a brighter note . . . my back pain has almost completely gone away. I'm so thankful for that!

I'm feeling completely overwhelmed with the amount of school and camp stuff that I have to do. There's so much stress in getting ready for the summer, trying to write my thesis, creating a brand new website, hiring staff, keeping my house picked up, getting ready for the baby, and so much more I can't even begin to list it.

I'm so lucky to have such a wonderful husband who helps me through all of this stuff when he's got enough stress of his own. He had to make baseball cuts this week. He hates making cuts. I don't think many of his players realize that he dreads it. I think they think he enjoys it, but he didn't sleep at all the night after he had to make them. On top of that, he's had to deal with parents . . . parents who chase him down on the highway and force him to pull over to talk about why their son was cut. Parents who think Kyle has it out for their kid and are missing out great opportunities to teach their kids how to deal with disappointment. Parents who are probably just looking out for their children . . . but are ultimately embarassing their kids and making things harder for the themselves and for Kyle.

Anyway . . . moving on. Here are some of the baby shower pictures from the shower my mom threw for me:

The shower hadn't even started and I was already sick of getting my picture taken.

The favors:

The prizes:

THe party:

Opening gifts:

Needless to say . . . it was a great time!

March 7, 2007


I think that gestation lasts about 25 weeks longer than women should have to gestate. I'm almost to 29 weeks and I'm not sure how I'm going to make it the last 11. I know that sounds a little dramatic and that's because it is a tad over dramatic, but I'm just feeling tired, overweight and just plain blah. It doesn't help that I'm having to write another 60 pages for school, am creating a website and getting ready for the summer and have zero motivation to do so Am I allowed to complain when this is what I wanted for so long?

Let me tell you something good that I'm overwhelmed by . . . my family. My mom threw mew a baby shower last weekend (March 3) and I am completely humbled and floored by all that we received. My Aunt Patty, cousin Noelle, counsin's fiance Nikki, Aunt Kathy, Aunt Mary Jean, Aunt Jan and cousin Emilee, Kyle's grandma Luke, Kyle's mom Cindy, my sister Karina and, of course, my mom were all there. We received a baby carrier, high chair, boppy pillow, baby swing, blankets, toys, a diaper bag, onsies, our travel system (which includes a stroller, carseat and carrier), money toward a crib of our choice (yay!) and more! We played some great games . . . the guests had to unscramble baby names, guess how big my belly was (and I should be offended by some fo the guesses) and they had to guess magic words throughout the day. When someone said a magic word, they got a prize AND I got a prize. My mom went ALL out and it was really cute. The table cloth had profiles of pregnant women and there were vases of flowers on the table. I'll post pictures once I get them because words cannot describe it.

During the shower, Kyle, my dad and my brother stayed downstairs in my parents family room. They had murphy with them and put couch cushions and other things in front of the stairs so that Murphy wouldn't come up and bother us. She went nuts not being able to be a part of the action, so she balanced on the back of the couch so she could see up to what was going on.

Eventually, she got tired of it and decided to try and sleep.

Kyle was really excited about the baby carrier.

Kyle and I were at a conference from Sunday through today (Wednesday). I'll write more baout that later. But when we got back, we put the travel system together, before we went to pick up Murphy from his parent's house. WHen we got home she went nuts barking at the stroller. She would get only as close as she needed to to smell it.

What on earth will she think when the baby's here?! I'll write more about the conference later and I'll post pictures of the shower when I get them!