Category Archives: Uncategorized

31-36 Weeks Plus Nursery Pics!

Well, I’ll be 37 weeks tomorrow, which is actually full term.  Third trimester has definitely been challenging.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.  On top of that, I wasn’t able to control it with diet alone, so my doctor put me on insulin.  Therefore in addition to pricking my finger 4 times per day, I have to give myself insulin shots 3 times per day.  The shots are actually really easy.  And insulin is magical!  My blood sugar numbers have been pretty much spot on ever since adding insulin.  Of course constantly thinking about what I’m eating and how it’ll affect my blood sugar is no fun!  I can’t wait to be able to eat whatever I want.  I have been able to enjoy some treats at my showers, just have to watch it.

Anyway, in other “side effect news”, did you know that pregnancy can cause carpal tunnel syndrome?  A few weeks ago, I started waking up with really sore wrists and couldn’t grab things.  Now I get to wear wrist splints while sleeping to help with that.  The number of random things that are “pregnancy related” just blow my mind!  Don’t get me started on the size of my feet . . .

With three weeks left until the Little One’s arrival, we have now finished setting up the nursery!  Here are some progression photos taking the room from our office full of random junk to a functional nursery:

BEFORE (full of junk)

Before

Cleaned!

Cleaned

Painted! (Matt did that while I was out of town one weekend, how sweet!!)

Painted

Full of shower presents

Presents

Now organized and fully set up:

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And here are some bump progression pics.  I definitely feel very large these days.

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Rounding Third!

And heading for home!  Hard to believe that I’m 3/4 of the way through pregnancy!  When did that happen!?!

The last month has been busy with cleaning up the house and going to childbirth class.  I have the best husband, who willingly woke up early for 5+ hours at the hospital on two Saturdays to learn all about “how to have a baby”.  The topics varied from relaxation techniques to epidurals (bring on the drugs) to learning the stages of labor and about different options we may have.  My selling point for getting him to wake up was that he could eat lunch at the hospital cafeteria.  Unfortunately not all of the fun stations were open, so it wasn’t quite the draw I was expecting.  During our last session, we had to take cards with options and choose which ones we preferred.  Then we had to slowly whittle them down to what was the most important.  As it should be, all of the couples chose “healthy baby” as the number one outcome we would like in regards to childbirth.  Below are what we started with:

ChildbirthPreferences

We whittled our preferences down to: healthy baby, doctor, hospital, and epidural.

I hit third trimester about 27 weeks, and my “feeling good” body immediately went away.  At the moment, my worst “symptom” is back pain.  Specifically in my middle back when I’m sitting hunched over in certain chairs (like during my 1.25 hr math class), and it’s exacerbated by chairs that have inadequate back support.  Once I get sore, it usually doesn’t subside until the next morning.

My other big development is that I’ve developed gestational diabetes.  I failed my 1 hour glucose test, and then failed my 3 hour glucose test, both in spectacular fashion.  So now I’m trying to control it with diet and monitoring my blood sugar.  I’m two days in, and it hasn’t been going well, so it’s rather frustrating.  Hopefully my body is just adjusting to the new diet, and I won’t have to start taking insulin or other drugs.

Here’s a progression of recent bump pictures.  I feel like my long torso made the bump not so big until recently.  It’s definitely been commented on by colleagues and strangers now.

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So, we have about 9.5 weeks left.  We have a few more things to finish up the nursery (at least until baby comes) like getting a ceiling fan and a glider.  Other big “adult” things include finding a pediatrician, writing a will, and looking into life insurance.  So boring, yet completely necessary.  Just 4 weeks left in the semester, too!!  April is going to be a busy month!

Happy V-Day!

Yes, Valentine’s Day is coming up, but I’m talking about Viability Day!  At 24 weeks, babies are considered viable meaning doctors will take extensive medical measures to help the baby survive outside the womb.  A baby born at 24 weeks has a 39% chance of survival.  Of course, we’d love for the Little One to stay cooking for another four months.

Highlights from Weeks 21-24:

  • I’ve been feeling the baby since about week 19ish.  Matt has now officially felt it, too!!  At 23 weeks, I was laying on the couch and realized that I could finally feel the baby from the outside.  Not wanting to startle the kid, I whispered for Matt to come over and put his hand on my stomach.  When the baby finally kicked, Matt was like “Is that it?”  He thought that I might be tricking him and just making a muscle twitch.  Nope!  That was it!  I’ve always thought that feeling a baby inside would be creepy, like the alien in Alien.  But so far it’s been kind of neat, also reassuring to keep feeling it.  Of course, I’m still not so excited about other people feeling it.  I really don’t want strangers to be all up in my business!
  • I got to visit with friends and see my high school friend, Jeff, as an Angel (Drag Queen) in the National Tour of Kinky Boots!  It was awesome!  And my friends got to see the bump!!  So much fun in Nashville!  Friend is the guy still in drag makeup in the middle.  I’m the obviously pregnant one on the left.  Actually Jeff and I “dated” in high school.  Someone joked about how funny it is going to see your ex-boyfriend’s show while you’re knocked up with someone else’s kid. 😛  Love you, Jeffy!

KinkyBoots

  • Not much else is going on.  We’ve started our registry.  I’m taking it slow just doing a few big things at a time.  I think Matt is sick of our weekend trips to Babies R Us though.

Bump Pictures!  I feel like the bump didn’t grow from Weeks 18-23, then this week it’s considerably bigger.  I’m wearing the same shirt in the 21 Weeks and 24 Weeks picture, and I think the difference is noticeable! Also, I have no idea what my finger is doing in the 22 Weeks picture.  Perhaps I subconsciously think that the Little One is a boy.

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Running Shorts Sunday!

So, Matt and I will be running the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Savannah at the beginning of November.  We are two weeks into our training (two ugly weeks), and I have a dilemma.  A clothing dilemma.  See, I’ve only run in pants or capris.  If I wear shorts, the inseam of the shorts creeps up, and I get what I lovingly to refer to as “chub rub”.  It’s chafing of my inner thighs.  I’d like to blame my slender hips for this phenomenon.  The thighs just have no where to go.  My running friends that I asked for advice apparently discussed my issue on Friday night and back up my slender hip claim.

Anyway, now that we’re in Tennessee which is so humid and feels like the face of the sun at the moment, I thought that I might try shorts to keep cooler.  So I went out on a $17 limb and bought a pair of running shorts.

shorts

(source)

I maybe should have tried them on in the store, but I had to get to class.  They have a 2 1/2” inseam and felt like they had a lower waist than I am used to.  Not going to lie, I like to pull my pants up like Urkel.

So I took these babies on a test run this afternoon, and NO GO!  I only did 3 miles, before I had to cry uncle from the chub rub.  Granted I didn’t use any body glide, which might have helped, but I’m not sure.  One of my friends has recommended to me some $50 lululemon shorts.  I’m not sure if I should take the plunge, although if I buy another pair of shorts that don’t work, I might as well have spent the $50.

(source)

Does anybody else have issues with chafing?  Any suggestions for clothing?  Should I just get laser fat removal from my inner thighs?  Either that or birth a child in order to widen my hips?  Thoughts?

The Return of My Brother

I forgot to mention that my brother has returned home from Afghanistan!  He arrived in New Hampshire at 4:30am on Thursday, September 9, and met my mom at 29 Palms USMC Base in California around 4:00pm (Pacific) that afternoon.  We are so proud of him and so relieved to have him home.  This was his second deployment, and as much more difficult on his psyche from what I have learned.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers over the past seven months.  And thank you to all of our service men and women and the families supporting them.

September is here!

September is one of my favorite months.  It is beginning to be crisp and fall like, but still usually sunny.  Football is starting today.  Plus, sapphires are September’s birthstone, and we all know about my love of sapphires!

Sorry for the lack of posting as of late.  Last week was crazy.  I worked 60 hours in a week, then Matt went out of town and left me alone with the dog for the weekend.  And she had decided to start peeing in the house for no actual reason.  ARGH!  So I was getting up at 6am for a 3.5 mile walk, and a second one in the evening.  By the end of the weekend, after walking 14+ miles in two days, my legs were a bit sore!

Anyway, back to regular posting perhaps?  No promises!

Another reason I wasn’t posting is that I had no healthy living things or wedding items to discuss, since I haven’t been living very healthfully (and wedding is rather dormant).  Now I am trying to set myself back on the right track.  Here are some goals for September:

  1. If you buy healthy food and keep it in the house, you are more likely to eat it!
  2. “Soda free September” I like the alliteration.  Going to give soda up, for no reason other than I know that it’s not good for you, even diet.
  3. Go to the gym 2X per week minimum
  4. Send out Save-The-Dates

All very accomplishable goals.  As I said, September marks the beginning of fall, which is usually a very busy time for me.  This is mostly due to my obsession enjoyment of college football, which pretty much takes away a day of the weekend.  Combine that with going to the Cape, Minnesota, and Purdue and friends coming to visit and fall is jam packed!

ARGH, just realized that my camera cord is at work.  I swear I brought it home!

So I’ll entertain you with a picture showing that even our dog is ready for football:

She’s not a very good wide receiver, but I think she’d make a great defensive tackle!

It's Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

Everybody remember this viral website from back in the day?  I can remember looking at it in Jen’s apartment while doing like our materials homework sophomore year of college.

Anyway, this has been a main staple in our house for the past two months.  Basically, we’re lazy and don’t want to make food.  So we have this multiple times per week.

My PB&J is made with smooth peanut butter and grape jelly on whole wheat.  For some reason, strawberry just doesn’t belong on a PB&J.  I enjoy strawberry on toast or in my oatmeal, though.  Mmmm strawberry jam or preserves will suffice.

What’s on your PB&J?

I really need to get back to making food.  This is too convenient!

How was your weekend? Let’s back up to Saturday morning.  April woke up about 6:15, and I decided to be nice and let Matt sleep.  So we did a nice slow walk/jog for 3.5 miles.  All I could think about was returning to my bed.  Upon returning home at 8am, I crawled back in bed until 1:30pm!  HOLY COW! I know we didn’t go to sleep until after midnight, but still!

What’s the latest that you’ve ever slept?

After putzing around, we made our way to a new dog walking path at Fresh Pond.  It’s a 2.25 mile loop around a big pond in Cambridge.  I tried to take a picture of the view across the pond, but the camera would only focus on the fence.

Those two tall buildings in the background are the Prudential Building and the John Hancock Tower.

Action shot of April and Matt:

She loved how many dogs we saw on the path.  And they were all so friendly.

The path also took us by the Cambridge Water Works, which I thought was a cool building.

After our walk, Matt and I head out to dinner and some shopping at Michael’s.  I don’t think boys understand the awesomeness of craft stores.

Why were we at Michael’s?  Getting some wedding centerpiece mock-up stuff.  I went out to my mom’s Sunday afternoon to work on the centerpieces for my grandmother’s birthday party and for our wedding.  Stay tuned for the progress we’ve made.  I’ll post it tomorrow (AKA later today).

Hope you all had a great weekend!

A Dancer's Body Image

In honor of the Operation Beautiful Book Release, I’ve decided to talk about body issues that I have had over the last 28 years.

For those of you who don’t know, I have danced since I was five years old.  I love dance, the feeling of being on stage, the fun of dressing in outrageous costumes.  It’s an amazing high.  But with dance, comes an incredible focus on your body and how it looks, moves, and bends.  I was constantly surrounded by girls who weighed 30 pounds less than I did.  When puberty hit, so did the chest.  And boobs are not something that are common in the dance world.  I swear this is why I’m still convinced that I have a huge chest today.

I remember trying to lose weight in ninth grade.  Of course it never worked.  I had horrible eating habits.  I didn’t eat breakfast.  For lunch every day I had a bottle of cran-grape and a super bagel.  I would eat junk in the hour I was home between school and dance class.  Sometimes I made chocolate chip cookies, just to eat the dough.  Or I would binge on candy that I found in the house.  Dinner might be grabbing some fast food between classes.  Now I don’t want to speak poorly of my parents upbringing.   I did have wholesome meals several nights per week as we sat around the dinner table, but left to my devices, it was not good!

My mom recognized these bad habits, but was afraid to say anything and cause an eating disorder (which are so prevalent in the dance community).  I knew several girls growing up who had issues with these eating disorders.  I guess my eating during high school wasn’t exactly ordered.

Luckily, over the years, I’ve slowly learned what healthy eating is truly about and how it works FOR ME.  And while I still don’t have a “dancer’s body” per se, I have gained so much from dance.  Physically, I have amazingly muscular legs.  I also have a great sense of balance (which helps when trying to ski).  Personality wise, I don’t usually have stage fright.  I’m very outgoing, and am not so afraid to talk in front of people.  Dancing has given me a great hobby and talent, that I can take with me wherever I go.  I still try to dance at least once per week.  When I get together with my friends from high school, we always end up doing some dance (wedding give a great stage for that).  If you or your child dance, please try to see the good things and help them sort through the bad.  It’s all worth it in the end.   I wouldn’t trade my calves for anything! 🙂

Happy Fourth of July

Okay, busy weekend of nothing in Tennessee.  And no pictures to show for it!

Friday:  flew to Knoxville after spending 3 hours in Dulles.  We walked around Terminals A/B and named all of the state and attempted to name the country flags.  It’s a great way to (A) get in steps (B) educate yourself and (C) pass the time!

Saturday:  brunch at IHOP, visiting Matt’s granddad, then family BBQ at the house.

Sunday: church, lunch at Outback, saw the A-Team (pretty great, by the way), hung out with Matt’s best man, cookout/game party with church people where I re-learned Rook (for the third time) and taught them Euchre, hurried to fireworks, then hung out a bit more.

Monday: not much but playing with pictures and flying back to Boston.

One of the big projects of the weekend was to gather pictures of Matt for a wedding project.  I haven’t actually seen many pictures of Matt as a little boy.  A little background:  Matt has a twin sister, Diana, and they were born 2 months early.  He weighed 3.5 lbs when he was born and lost almost a pound in the hospital.  He stayed in there for 88 days (because he kept forgetting to breathe).  But he survived!  For those of you who are anxious about premmies, Matt’s a great success case.  Anyway, because of that, there aren’t many pictures (at least happy ones) as a newborn.  But I did find some great ones of him ages 1-6.  He was so freaking cute!  Here’s one of my favorites:

Aww!  I hope our babies have that cute little dimple!

I hope you all enjoyed your Fourth of July!

AccesSport America!

Thanks for all of your help with the dress choices!  I’m surprised that many people (my mom included) liked the blue one with the bow.  It was also interesting that the pink color didn’t work.  Usually that’s my go to color.   I’ve ordered the bow dress in a larger size and have them on the lookout for the other blue dress in a larger size (since it’s sold out).  We have another month (actually like 4 weeks) until the pictures, so you’ll see what I choose then!

Busy day today at work.  Luckily (despite the absolute gorgeous weather), our volleyball game was canceled.  So I came home at 5:30 and went on a great 3.5 mile walk/run with Matt and April.  Then we cleaned up the apartment and did laundry, because WE’RE GOING TO TENNESSEE TOMORROW!  I haven’t seen Matt’s family since Christmas, so I’m psyched.  Our wonderful friend Kristina will be dog-sitting at our house all weekend, so April will not be lonely.

That’s my big day.  Yawn, I know.  So I have a favor to ask ya!  I know that I really shouldn’t keep hounding y’all for money, but this one’s for my friend, Mell.  If I help her raise $5 from my blog, then it’s worth it, right?



All About AccesSport

AccesSportAmerica, a national, non-profit founded in 1995, inspires higher function and fitness for children and adults of all disabilities through high-challenge sports.

In support of this mission, AccesSportAmerica:

  • Engages over 1,500 athletes through High-Challenge Sports programs – adaptive windsurfing, Hawaiian outrigger canoeing, kayaking, rowing, cycling, soccer, tennis, climbing and Function+Fitness programs – personal training and conditioning with sports – in partnership with our Program and Funding Partners.
  • Builds skills and commitment through Sports Camps – intensive, overnight, one week training program in targeted locations nationwide.
  • Provides $250,000 in a free, year round program – City Street – for underserved, economically challenged urban youth in partnership with the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools, Camp Harbor View and Boys and Girls Clubs.
  • Offers high-challenge sports program for Veterans.
  • Accommodates all disabilities; creates/develops nationally recognized Adaptive Equipment, the first to adapt for windsurfing.
  • Collaborates with professional experts to document physical, educational and social changes and to promote health, educational and recreational benefits.
  • Depends on the generosity and support of individuals, corporations and foundations to raise $850,000 annually as well as significant gifts in-kind.

My Company’s Team

Mell and other coworkers will be representing our company in the Access Sport America Mayors Cup Regatta on July 18th on the Charles River in a Hawaiian Outrigger Canoe.

As I said, they are doing this to support AccesSport America which provides people with disabilities the tools and training to pursue high-challenge sports (see above for more info).  Hilary (Mell’s sister who suffers from cerebral palsey) will be the representative from AccesSport paddling with the team, she has been involved with AccesSport as a participant for about 3 years. 

In order to have this day of fun, revelry, and potential soaking in The Charles they need to raise a total of $5,000.  Our company is donating the first $500 so we need your help to pull in the rest.  If you can contribute, please go to this link and make a donation in any denomination you wish.  (Choose Mary-Ellen H. as your paddler)

Here’s the team from last year:

AccesSport America sounds like group right up my alley!  We’re going to go down there and support the team on July (bringing April of course!)

Speaking of April, here’s a cute picture of her from yesterday (Matt got tired of taking pictures of me in dresses)

Thanks for your time!