Tuesday, July 31, 2012

25 Weeks - Keeping It Real

If you took a survey of 1 billion pregnant women, I'm not sure you'd find one more thrilled/grateful/ecstatic to be expecting than me.  As I've said in every post, I love being pregnant and am so excited for what's to come.

Now that we're clear on that, it's time to reveal some of the not-so-amazing things about pregnant Merd.  In no specific order....

1.  It is hot.  Really, really hot.  I've always been a sun worshiper and would still take this weather over snow and ice, but my biggest issue now that I'm "with children" is I can't cool down.  I will run a few errands and once I'm home it takes me two hours before I feel comfortable again.  I'm sitting under a fan wearing next to nothing and might as well still be outside.  It's weird.  Because of this, I will not (I repeat: WILL NOT) leave the house without a huge glass of water.  If I find myself somewhere without a drink I start to have a small panic attack so I try to avoid this situation as much as possible.  The great news?  I've yet to encounter any swelling!  Hooray!

2.  I am losing everything, my mind most of all.  I don't know what the deal is but I can't keep up with anything.  I was organizing the kids closet the other day and realized I'd unintentionally thrown away a pair of Sloane's shoes.  They were still in a bag and were so lightweight that I must've thought the bag was empty and tossed it.  I was crushed.  Not because they were amazing or expensive  (though they were super cute--silver snakeskin sandals! I mean, come on...) but because it was my first purchase for her once we found out we were having a boy and a girl.  I was really down on myself for being so reckless.  We were at Babies R Us the other day and I found them again, only this time they were marked down to a whopping $4 so I pleaded with Michael to let me purchase them one more time.  He agreed (after rolling his eyes) and I was ecstatic.  A few days ago I was looking for a lost gift card (have you noticed a pattern?) and was digging through a big bag of baby stuff.  And what was at the very bottom?  The original pair of silver snakeskin sandals.  I never threw them away.  Not only that, they were never even in the kids closet.

(I wish they made them for adults...)

3.  I've turned into a pathological liar when it comes to my due date.  This typically occurs when I'm in a hurry (check-out at the grocery store) or when the person doesn't speak much English (nail place).  I just make something up that is far enough ahead of our due date to be believable.  My conversation the other day at the nail place: "How many months are you?" "A little over seven." (Nope.)  "When's your due date?"  "Er.... October 10." (Nope.)  "Do you have a name picked out?" "Not yet!" (Nope.)  Isn't that ridiculous?  It is. 

4.  My mid-afternoon snack today was Sonic cheese tots and a large (very caffeinated) coke.

The convo between Michael and myself...
(Sidenote: "Aaaahalalala" represents the sound Homer Simpson makes when he's just eaten a donut or had a beer.  Michael knows this.)

5.  I can't make up my mind about anything.  Before pregnancy I always thought I was pretty good at making decisions and sticking to them.  Now I can't decide on ANYTHING and it is driving me crazy.  This is especially true when it comes to the nursery.  Why?

6.  I have recently obtained the line that runs down the middle of my stomach.   It is very faint but the real kicker is it is very crooked.  My only guess is it's due to my crazy scoliosis but it is now a constant reminder that I am a distant relative of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  If it wasn't so pathetic it'd be quite humorous.

7.  I've watched an indecent amount of the Olympics.  I love how these amazing athletes turn me into a complete couch potato.  I also love that most are half my age and I outweigh every Chinese gymnast (man and woman) by at least 80 pounds.  Pass me the cheese tots.

I think that's enough.  In keeping with this "True Confessions" blog post, my bump picture this week is me wearing my favorite "outfit."  I typically take the pictures when I'm going somewhere (showers, weddings, etc.) but this, my friends, is the real deal.  T-shirt, jean shorts, and hair in a top knot.
25 Weeks - How many basketballs do you see?

Let me make it even easier for you.  (That poor, poor side seam...)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Babies Update - 24 Weeks

This morning we had our monthly appointments with the Perinatologist and OB.  I told Michael this was the first time I was just excited about the appointments.  Don't get me wrong, I'm always excited but there is also a bit of fear that goes with it.  Not this time!  Ok, a little bit o' fear creeped in five minutes before the sonogram but that's normal, right? :)

Jude and Sloane look fantastic--lots of movement and still very big.  They weigh a little under two pounds each and are both measuring almost two weeks ahead of schedule.  Two specifics from this appointment: Jude's head is still enormous--all three of us laugh when the doctor takes his head measurement (poor kid), and Sloane has some looooong legs--no clue where she gets that.  :)  They're both head down and taking up the majority of my stomach but are still close enough to one another that it's the cutest thing you've (ok, we've) ever seen.  Neither are thumb suckers but I think that's because they're too busy punching me or one another.

I'll be honest, the sonogram pictures aren't great.  They're getting so big and moving so rapidly that it's hard to get a clear shot.  The best pictures are of their private parts but Michael and I vowed to never post (nor take) pictures of said privates.  Let's just say they're still very much a boy and a girl.

Next up: my appointment.  My blood pressure is great and weight is right on track.  I've gained 20 pounds so I can safely say I will not pull a Jessica Simpson (famous last words) nor will I be one who people fear has not gained enough weight.  My doctor doesn't take the stomach measurement as one does with a singleton but when a woman is carrying almost four pounds of one baby she is around 32 weeks.  I think it is very safe to say I look every bit of 32 weeks. YOWZA! :)

I had an amazing baby shower this past weekend and am waiting on some pictures so I'll just post a bump picture for now (taken before the shower) and do a separate post soon.

Thanks so much for your encouraging words.  While these weekly updates are fun for us I realize they can get very wordy.  I appreciate those who have stuck with us through this incredible journey!  I will reward you with a bombardment of pictures once they finally arrive (and yes, that statement is dripping with sarcasm but is closer to the truth than I care to admit).  Thanks again for being awesome--you're the best!

24 Weeks!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Weekend Recaps (Weeks 21-23)

The past few weekends have been BUSY!   A recap...

July 6-8:  Wes and Nathalia's Wedding Weekend!  Michael has been friends with Wes since the 2nd grade--he is such a great guy and absolutely hilarious.  Before Wes met Nathalia the three of us would hang out together and as much as we loved those times, we were thrilled when he told us he'd met someone.  They had an instant bond and married a year later!  Wes and I went ring shopping last Fall, which happened to be the day he found/purchased her ring so I feel like I am partially responsible for their marriage.  Haha.  :)  Michael was a groomsman in the wedding so we went to the rehearsal/rehearsal dinner on Friday night.  Brian is another childhood friend and also a groomsman so I got to spend a lot of time with his wife, Erin, who (whom?) I adore.  The dinner was fantastic and we had such a good time catching up with everyone.   Brian and Erin live in California (awesome for them, terrible for us) so we only see them a few times a year.

Wes, Nathalia, and the Groomsmen

Coppell Boys - Wes, Brian, Michael, and Craig


(Taken after the rehearsal dinner - 21.5 weeks)

On Saturday morning the groomsmen came over to our house to spend time together before the wedding so I got the boot.  I spent the morning with Michael's parents and we reunited at the wedding.  It was beautiful!  Nathalia was stunning and Wes looked so handsome (Michael looked pretty great too).  It was a very sweet ceremony and then we headed to the reception, which took place at an old theater in Grapevine.  Very cool venue.  We loved seeing all of his Coppell friends as many of them live out of town/state.  Three of us are pregnant and Lindsey had a baby boy a few months ago so you can imagine what the female discussion was about.  After the reception several couples came over to our house to continue the celebration (sans Wes and Nathalia).  It was a great day!

Gorgeous couple

Coppell group at the wedding!

 Michael, Craig, and Brian

Erin, Amy, Lindsey, and myself

Our little family of four

Amy is due a few weeks before me in October and Erin is due early January! Our kiddos will be classmates! (...if these girls would ever move back to Dallas!)
(My dress was not nearly this neon in person.  I blame the flash.)


 (Almost all of the above pictures I stole from Erin!  Thanks Erin!)

I woke up Sunday and felt like someone punched me in the face.  Apparently my energy level is not what it used to be.  Michael and I went to Lisa and Bryan's house to meet their sweet one-week-old daughter, Sophia (Sophie) Elise.  She is precious and they are naturals.  There is no way Michael and I will look that good or feel that relaxed when our kids are 7-days-old.  I was in awe!

We left right before lunch and I got ready for Amy's baby shower.  She and I have similar taste so there were several items she opened that we have sitting in the nursery or waiting patiently on our baby registry.  It was a lovely shower and one more chance to see the girls before a lot of them drove/flew back to their homes.

This past weekend was another busy one.  We attended a hospital class on Saturday afternoon, which was highly informative and (to me) a wee bit terrifying.  Our instructor (RN) is so used to the whole birthing process that she didn't really sugarcoat anything.  I'd prefer she say things like "c-section" instead of "when they cut you open."  Oh well.   After learning all about the delivery process we were given a hospital tour and taught how to perform CPR on an infant.  We were given a 20-minute instructional video as well as a "mini-baby" so we could practice.  Don't be surprised if I ask you to watch the video before I leave my babies with you.  Just kidding.  I think.

After several weeks of narrowing down a paint color for the nursery (FYI: there are approximately 5 billion greys), we finally settled on one so Michael spent Saturday evening painting!  We love it!  Sunday morning we went to his parent's house for breakfast and then came home to put some furniture together.  The goal was to assemble one crib (we've heard nightmares about cribs) but ours turned out to be very easy so he put both together in a short amount of time.  Michael's parents came over and his dad helped him assemble the dresser/changing table so the laborious part of the nursery is DONE.  Up next: time to decorate (yahoo)!

I'm feeling great!  My belly button is now doing this weird volcano-like thing (it's as cool as it sounds) so I'm going to go ahead and call it an outie.  FAIL.  The kicking and/or punching and/or head butting is still going strong and I already know a few things I can do to guarantee instant kicks (Jude does NOT like it when I sleep on my right side--it is war at 3 am).  Sloane is situated in a spot where I don't feel her kicks as often but when I do they are POWERFUL.  The babies are each around a foot long now!

This is such a fun time and I can't stop smiling.  While nothing is written in stone, Michael and I have always wanted two kids so this will most likely be our only pregnancy.  I'm really trying to savor every moment because I can't help it, I absolutely love it.  As excited as I am to meet these two, I already know I'm going to miss these sweet moments with my babies so close to me.  Gah, here comes the tears so I'm signing off.

23 weeks--15 more to go!  EEK!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Favorite Things

I believe this is the fourth installment of "These are a few of my favorite thiiiiiings."  I wanted to include the following items but decided not to due to their absurdity (but if I'm being truthful, honorable mentions go to):  jean shorts, ceiling fans, chocolate chip cookies, and sleep. 

Here we go! I hyperlinked all of the items in case you're interested.

1. OluKai Paniolo Leather Flip Flops
One would never use the word "comfortable" while looking at my shoe collection.  I do own some flats but for the most part I prefer heels.  That being said, it finally dawned on me that 1) It is summer and 2) I am pregnant and 3) Comfort is slowly passing fashion.  When I was in Florida I realized I needed a pair of comfortable shoes.  I tried on several and while my feet were in heaven, my brain was screaming, "Take them off right now--they're hideous!"  And then I saw the OluKai Paniolo flip flops. They were (in my opinion) the absolute best of the worst.  I tried them on and birds sang as they reminded me of my Birkenstocks, circa 1997.  I now wear them 5+ days a week and love them.   While they aren't cheap, I believe they are worth every penny. 

2. Clarisonic Mia Sonic Skin Cleansing System
When I worked at Nordstrom a few years ago the Clarisonic Mia was one of their bestsellers.  My in-laws gave this to me as a birthday gift this year and it is absolutely fantastic!  While my face doesn't look 10 years younger, I do notice a difference and my face actually feels clean after I use it.  It can be used at the sink or in the shower and it comes with a charger.  Once again--this is not uber cheap, but very useful for those of us who worship the sun.

3. MAC Lipstick - See Sheer (coral-orange)
You know how most women can go to a makeup counter and the employee excitedly shows them what colors look great on them?  I am not one of these women.  Each time I say, "I'd like to find a new lipstick that works well with my skin," they point me to the 1000 lipsticks and saunter off.   I either buy the same color I've always worn or leave feeling discouraged.  For some bizarre reason the employee listened to my request on my last visit and stayed by my side.  He examined my skin, my hair, and my eyes, and then pointed to a color that was "so me" and "on trend" (I hate that phrase by the way).  I never would've picked out this color for myself but I love it and it makes me feel very... on trend (ugh). 

4. Babylit Board Books
I can't remember where I first saw these but I thought they were THE cutest baby books ever.  I showed Michael and he agreed so we're now building a small collection for our future literature junkies. They're obviously very basic and innocent (for example (SPOILER ALERT): no one dies in Romeo & Juliet) but if we can limit the number of times we have to recite, "Brown bear, brown bear what do you see? I see a monkey and I want to punch it in the face (or whatever the words are)" we consider it a huge success.
 (Inside page of R&J)

5. The Newsroom
This is Aaron Sorkin's new drama on HBO and holy cow.  We adore it.  It is a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable news program.  It's very smart, very fast-paced, and very, very good.  We always have plenty to talk about after each episode and are still talking about it the next day.  And if you need another reason to subscribe to HBO, it's called Game of Thrones.

6. Of Monsters and Men - My Head Is An Animal
This cd has been on repeat in our cars since April.  If Jude and Sloane do not come out singing one of their songs I will be shocked.  Their folksy sound is similar to Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes.  I love this album because I can start on track one and listen to the entire thing without skipping around.  And they're from freaking Iceland, so that's cool too.  Below are two of their songs.  (The MP3 download is a whopping $4.99 on Amazon.  Buy it.)

King and Lionheart


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

20 Weeks & The Babies Shower

THANK YOU for the sweet comments re. the last few posts.  It's crazy (and sad) how everyone who has ever been pregnant has had to deal with hurtful remarks.  I also learned I've stepped over the line as well. I often tell someone how small she looks.  Unfortunately, I never realized this could be just as hurtful, causing the mom to panic that something might be wrong with her pregnancy, etc.  (For the record, I will never be offended/upset if you want to tell me how small I look.  Thank you.)  At the end of  the day, it sucks that it happens but being pregnant is absolutely, positively worth it.  21 weeks down, 17 (or less) to go. :)

Moving on to a more exciting topic--thank you for your kind words about our kiddos names.  Many have asked if they are family names or if there was a particular reason we chose them and our answer is simply this:  We just love the names.  No family relations, no sweet stories of a young Jude saving young Michael's life, etc.  I've been obsessed with names for over a decade.  In junior high I realized I would need to have at least 14 kids in order to use up my list of names--I don't remember all of them but if you guessed a random President's last name you're probably right.  I blame my history teacher.  Michael learned about my love of names on one of our first road trips while we were dating.  I asked him to play the name game with me.  Most boyfriends would panic and pull over immediately but he patiently listened to me list off dozens of names and would offer his own suggestions when I gave him the opportunity.  With that being said, we've known our son and daughter would be Jude and Sloane for years.  If the twins were two boys they were going to be Jude and Sullivan (Sully) so when we found out it was one boy we did the most obvious thing we could think of and combined them.  As far as girl names, I was a bit panicky at the thought of having two girls.  Sloane was always at the top of our list and nothing else (in our opinion) compared.  Since the name Sloane is a little unusual, Michael asked that we use a classic middle name.  We love the name Elizabeth but thought we'd use the European spelling (Elisabeth) since Sloane begins with an "S."  And there you have it!  Let's hope she doesn't have a lisp like her mama did.

A few weekends ago we drove to Fort Smith for a wonderful baby (babies?) shower.  The turnout was fantastic and everyone was so generous.  We are one blessed little family!  Each of the guests played a very important role in my upbringing (neighbors, Sunday School teachers, high school teachers, best friends, etc.) and it was so neat to have all of them together in one room. It was such a special day.

Another exciting thing happened while I was in Fort Smith--I felt the babies kick for the first time!  It happened a little before 20 weeks and now I feel them ALL OF THE TIME.  It's absolutely wonderful and so reassuring.  The only problem is I don't always know who the kick belongs to so it can be a bit confusing.  A few days later Michael was able to feel them as well!  They're busiest at night (around 10p) and oftentimes I just stare at my stomach and watch the craziness unfold.  If it weren't so special it would completely freak me out. 

Sorry, I'm jumping all over the place.  Instead of driving back to Dallas after the shower I stayed another day in Fort Smith and then drove to OKC to spend more time with Leslie and her adorable family.  It was so good to get to know her beautiful new baby boy, Rhett, and it is always a joy to hang out with her older son Riggins (Riggs).  He was a little unsure of me at first but by the end of the visit I felt like I had a new best friend--I absolutely adore that boy!  Leslie is a wealth of baby knowledge and I completely took advantage of this during out visit (thanks Les)! 

Ok, pictures from the shower! 
June 24, 2012 (almost 20 weeks)

 That, my friends, is A LOT of gifts.  And a very happy Merd.

So many wonderful memories with these girls!

The two lovely hostesses!


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