Monday, October 31, 2011

37 Weeks: What's New...

Due date: November 21st (3 weeks away and we are finally full-term!)

Weight gain: 1lb  (18 pounds total pregnancy)

Baby developments: Lil Mango is now the size of a watermelon and gaining about 1/2 an ounce a day. Many babies have a full head of hair at birth - the ultrasound tech confirmed this about Cruz at our last visit. He is also brushing up on his skills for the outside world - blinking, sucking, inhaling, exhaling and gripping...I have to add that he's definitely perfected his kicking and jabbing skills!

At my doctor's appointment this morning, I was still about 1 centimeter dialated, which at this point doesn't mean a ton because I could hang around 1cm for a while or it could change quick. She struggled to find the heartbeat for a while this morning and was concerned that he may have moved too much, but after what felt like forever the strong heartbeat came through and she confirmed that he is still in the right position.

Cravings: even I am starting to get shocked at just how much I crave sweets after every meal. Our pantry looks like a candy store/bakery...and if I'm even going to think about getting into my pre-pregnancy clothes after baby, then I need to start making some changes now!

Aversions: none to note

Symptoms: Braxton Hicks contractions and cramping have plagued me this week. I've become more uncomfortable - lower back pain when sitting or laying for a while, tons of movement, many of which are hard kicks & jabs. The baby has dropped and I can definitely tell that I'm not as winded as I used to be, but my bladder is suffering now and I have to pee ALL THE TIME.

I think I'm getting to the point where I may be ready to get this baby out of me, but I feel like a major whiner in the meantime...thankfully Nick's been very understanding.

Sleep: I've been getting to bed earlier, but waking up much earlier than normal...frequent trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night and usually by my 5am-6am trip, I cannot get back to sleep. This morning was the earliest yet - up at 4am and haven't been back to sleep.

I am loving: all of the time I've been spending with Nick and our famillies. Last weekend my mom came down the night before the shower and it was great just having alone time with her. She has been so helpful and amazing answering all of my silly questions and giving me advice. On Saturday night we had dinner with Nick's dad John and his stepmom Janice. And yesterday we had brunch with Nick's mom Carol, her boyfriend Duane and Marc & Brittany. Prior to brunch, I met Tessa and the fam down at Elmwood park to take family pics for their Christmas card.  I love catching up with family and it all just reminds me how lucky we are to have such amazing people in our lives and how lucky Cruz will be when he gets here.

I am looking forward to: obviously just for lil Mango to get here. It's been such a long journey, but very exciting along the way. Now I just can't wait to meet him, see what he looks like and find out what his personality will be like.

I'm spazzing about: As the end nears, there are just so many questions I can't answer which leads to me being even more anxious, nervous and excited...Will I have severe contractions when it's time and know that I'm going into labor? Will my water break - and if it does will I be one of the few percent of women where it actually breaks and gushes? A nightmare of mine is that my water will break hard core, in the middle of the casino floor, in front of a huge group of people. Will I go early or will I go into labor after my due date? Should I work up until my due date - what if I'm over my due date, should I set a drop dead last-day-of-work date?

Best moment this week: the nursery is almost done - seriously - just one last touch and the big reveal pics will be out! Doesn't it feel like I've been working on this room forever?? It absolutely feels that way to me but I'm so excited how it's turned out! I love spending time in the room and lounging on the rocker. I just can't wait until we bring Cruz home so he can see his room for the first time.

I've also enjoyed nesting and getting things around the house ready. We put together the swing, diaper pail, baby monitors, baby shower Thank Yous are done, set up the humidifier and put the Pack n Play up in our room, which we will be using as a bassinet. There isn't much left to do, except for have this baby.

And, finally, I'm happy that Nick and I finally made it out to another movie today - we had been seeing them so frequently for a while but with work and other conflicts it wasn't happening....this afternoon was a perfect time. Afterwards, I drug Nick into Carter's to return a few things and was shocked that this was his first trip to a baby store....well, if I'm being honest I'm not that shocked....

Movement: he continues to move like crazy - more and more every day. I can see my stomach moving as he kicks and jabs. And now it's not only movement when I'm in relax mode - he is moving when I'm walking, when I'm sitting, whenever.

Milestones: three weeks left, which means that he is now fully developed. At this point, he could come at any time and there shouldn't be any worries.  That is a very comforting feeling, especially since I still have a feeling he's going to come early.

It's a...: boy

Exercise: has been sparse this past week - I'm going to make an effort to walk more often this week. If for no other reason than because they say it helps move labor along.

Diet: my efforts toward this haven't been the best either, especially with the sweets I mentioned previously.

Goals for the upcoming week: to find the last piece of the nursery and finish it completely, plus tidy up the closet that has been a bit of a catch-all in that room since the baby shower.

Belly shot:

37 week baby bump
Look at that bump!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Little Bit of Work

The days are ticking down until Lil Mango gets here and I've been trying to bust my butt at work to get caught up on some things and fill my team in on anything and everything they might need to know while I'm out. Lately there have been a lot of changes at work, which in turn have resulted in a lot of additional responsbilities for me to focus on. I have to admit it's been stressful, but the work has paid off.

Last week, I received a promotion to Vice President of Marketing for our two properties. What does this mean you may ask....well it means that not only will I continue overseeing Casino Marketing, which has been my focus the past 7 years in some form or another, but I'm also taking over all of the marketing functions as well. I now have the advertising, PR and events/promotions teams reporting through me. Over the past few weeks (as I was interim), I have been trying to spend as much time with the new areas to soak up as much information as possible. Fortunately, Casino Marketing and Marketing have always worked very closely, so I have a good understanding of their day to day operations, but now I truly need to dive in and understand every aspect of these new areas - and for the most part before I go out on maternity leave.

I'm extremely fortunate that even with our senior management team knowing I'm going to be out soon on leave, they didn't look past me for this opportunity. But I need to quickly prove myself before I my time off and make sure that I don't allow my being out of the office to halt any business decisions from taking place. It also means getting prepared to balance an infant and my career. There is definitely a lot to do in the next few weeks...let's hope the stress doesn't send me over the edge and put me into early labor!

Boys Clothes Can Be Cute

Omaha really lacks kids clothing boutiques with clothes geared towards little boys and that are somewhat fashionable. I had been dying to check out Posh Princess - girlie name, but I was told they had both boys and girls clothes - so on Saturday when my mom & I were running errands, we stopped in. The store was super cute, BUT everything that was cute was made for baby girls - bows, tutus, shoes, sparkle, leggings - if I was having a girl I would definitely be all over that store. The boy's section left quite a bit to be desired. It was shoved into one little corner of the store and their selection was less than stellar. I didn't see one thing I liked.

So imagine my shock and surprise when I was running errands on Monday and had stopped by Babies R Us to pick up a few things and I came across this.....

Potential Christmas outfit - stylin like his daddy

I am definitely thinking this could be a Christmas outfit for little man. How stinkin cute will he be in his vest and matching pants?!? Love it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

36 Weeks: What's New...

Due date: November 21st - 4 weeks away...officially starting my 9th month of pregnancy today!

Weight gain: 1lb (17 total pregnancy)

Baby developments: Lil Mango is the size of a honeydew and continues to pack on the pounds. Normal babies are weighing almost 6lbs this week, however, our little guy is anything but normal and was weighing in at 6lbs 1oz last Monday so who knows how big he is today. He is over 18 1/2 inches long. His skin is getting smooth and soft, his gums are rigid, his liver and kidneys are in working order and his circulation and immune system are basically good to go. His lungs are the only organs that still need to fully mature, but every day he gets a little closer to breathing on his own.

A major development this week: at the end of the week he will be considered full-term which means if I went into labor at that time, he would more than likely be fully developed. Just a few more days until full relief...

Cravings: I've realized that my "cravings" that I report each week aren't necessarily "cravings" per se, but instead my "flavor of the week." This week I had a soft spot for reduced fat Oreos (yes....I actually picked up the package that said reduced fat, because evidently that made me feel better about eating them). I have to say I blame one of my Hosts for this - last week we had a potluck on Sunday and she brought in Halloween Oreos and I haven't had Oreos in a long time - but once I had a couple at work I had to stop by Hy-Vee and pick up a bag of my own. It seemed as though Nick & I had a glass of milk and a couple Oreos every night this week (Nick's milk was Lactaid's version and I got the good stuff: Robert's Skim).

In reading back over my posts the past few months, I think I can safely say my true "cravings" have been sweets & chocolate and each week I have just been switching it up.

Aversions: none to note

Symptoms: lightening is in full swing and this little guy is descending. I believe the way my doctor put it this morning during my pelvic exam was "ooh, baby is really low." I definitely have felt a difference - there is much more room up top and I can breath much easier, however, the alternative is now that he is putting a lot of pressure on my bladder and lower body. I've had a sore lower back toward the end of the day as I'm trying to relax in bed. Today, it felt like he was purposely pushing on my bladder which was slightly uncomfortable.

I've noticed more contractions over the past week, which feel somewhat like period cramps, but different (that helps describe them, doesn't it?) I have also gotten the restless leg syndrome almost every night which has made it a bit more difficult to get to sleep, but nothing too terrible.

Sleep: has been good. I feel like I was up between 2am-2:22am each night this week to pee (2:22am exactly at least twice) and then again between 5am-6am. Most of the time I took the 2nd trip to the bathroom as my cue to wake up for the day, but a couple of times I headed right back to bed for another hour or so of sleep.

I am loving: every little thing about being pregnant (even the stuff that I complain about) because I know it's going to be over soon. And while I'm unbelievably excited to meet Cruz, it's been a pretty amazing experience the past 9 months.

One of my biggest loves so far: the chair in the nursery. It's finally come and it's better than I thought it would be (remember it here)! I love the soft, white fabric and found myself sitting in it quite frequently yesterday after it arrived. It really looks great in the room and I can't wait to get the new prints I ordered so I can finally hang the pictures in the room and call that room good!

 Best Storytime Series - Irvington in white

I am looking forward to: getting the room completed and putting together all of the great baby shower loot that we got this weekend for little man. Some of it that won't be used in the first few months is going in the back of the closet - but I've got the pack n play, car seat, swing, diaper pail and a few other things to get together.

I'm spazzing about: the fact that we will have a baby any day now. And while we are going to be as ready as we can, it still hasn't hit me how much our lives will be changing.

Best moment this week: one of the best moments is that Nick came along with me to my doctor's appointment today and got to hear the baby's heartbeat's been about three months since he's heard it (I get to so frequently at my appointments) that I think when she put the device up to my belly, it shocked him a bit.

Another great moment this week was the Omaha baby shower - thanks to the Gardner/Mango girls, Grammy Jan and Patricia for putting on such a gorgeous event (more to come later this week). It was a fun day and I got to catch up with so many people that I don't get to see so often.....and some I see a lot, but still enjoy getting to see!

The Hostesses: Brittany, Carly, Marcy, Morgan, Patricia and Grammy Jan

Cruz's beautiful Grandmas

Movement: a ton! This little guy is extremely active and I love that I now know when it's his foot or hand or booty pushing against me.

Milestones: making it to the 9th month has definitely been a huge achievement...and I can honestly say that it's been going by so quickly. Eeek - could I really be becoming one of those mamas who only remembers the good? Nah, I'm sure I won't, but things have been going so smoothly the past few weeks that I'm actually loving pregnancy!

It's a...: boy

Exercise: lot's of walking. Running has been out of the question for the past few weeks and I'm embarassed to say that lifting - legs or arms - has stopped completely as well.

Diet: besides the sweets has been relatively ok.

Goals for the upcoming week: the hospital bag for Cruz and I is officially it's up to Nick to make sure he gets his stuff together. But I do have a couple goals: finalize the nursery (waiting for a few more prints to arrive) and create the hospital list of "who to call" - there will be two components of this. One, who to call when we are heading to the hospital. Two, who we will call (and who will make the calls) when we deliver this little guy.

Belly shot:

36 week bump

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some of My Preggo Favorites: Clothing

Through my pregnancy there have been a few staples in my wardrobe that I would recommend to any future preggo mamas-to-be:

Express Bra Top Tanks - I wore these prior to becoming pregnant as layering tanks or around the house and they have made it well through my pregnancy and I'm still wearing them well into my 8th month. They are stretchy, comfortable and the bra top is great as well. I highly recommend these, plus they come in many great colors and I think I almost have them, white, pink, gray, yellow, blue, red.

Express Bra Top Tanks

Adidas Climalite Yoga Pants - these stretchy pants have been as much of a staple as the Express tanks, whether lounging around the house, during workouts and as most of you have seen in my weekly updates "bump" shots.

Belly Bands from A Pea in the Pod - my MIL picked these up toward the beginning of the pregnancy and I wasn't so sure I would use them that much. How wrong was I? These bad boys have been pretty handy as I've stayed away from buying maternity work pants/suits as much as I could. I have been able to wear my pre-preggo work pants throughout the pregnancy - all you need to do is leave them unbuttoned/zipped and slip one of these over your pants and belly and - voila! - comfy work pants that stay up throughout the day. Just keep them away from your hubby - he doesn't take well to the belly-band-without-a-shirt look!

Maternity Leggings from A Pea in the Pod - majorly comfortable (though all leggings are comfy) and handy as my belly continued to grow. I highly recommend the "over the belly" maternity stretchy-thing, not the one that only goes halfway up the belly because you aren't able to see the band through your shirt.

 Mavi Skinny Maternity Jeans from A Pea in the Pod - I didn't want to spend a ton on a pair of maternity jeans, but I finally caved and got a pair and have gotten my use out of them. I haven't worn Mavi before, but since this was one of the few "designer" brands that they had at our Pea in a Pod, there weren't many choices. I could've bought a pair online, but figured I wanted to be able to try them on and not have to wait for them to arrive and possibly ship them back if they were the wrong size.

Liz Lange Tanks from Target - in addition to the tanks that I had from Express in my wardrobe prior to pregnancy, these have been a great addition after I got pregnant. They have just the right amount of stretch in the belly and whether I'm wearing them around the house or over my leggings w/ a jacket or cardigan - these are an item in my wardrobe that I've gotten a lot of use out of and they are inexpensive. They come in black, white and gray.

Maxi Dresses - these got me through the summer and I'm forever indebted to them. Maxis had been worked into my pre-pregnancy wardrobe for a couple years, but became one of THE main items during my pregnancy. Comfort was a necessity as my body was changing through the summer - whether it was casual or dressy - and I was just not interested trying to squeeze into jeans or pants if I didn't have to. I will admit I got a little tired of them as of late, but I'm more than willing to throw one on with a jacket to get me through.

I had been going through my closet and thought I'd share what worked well for me. Hard to believe that it's coming to an end and will soon be time for me to bust my butt to get back into normal clothes again!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

From His Mouth to this Blog

Some of the things that come out of my hubby's mouth are too good not to share....

Nick & I were driving to work Tuesday morning and we were talking about the day we go into labor and things he needed to remember as the "sane" one since I'm sure I will be a bit frantic. We were also talking about having the baby in general and how much our lives are going to change.

Me: "What's the one major thing you need to remember...."

Nick (excitedly interrupting...and drop dead serious): " feed the baby every day!"

Me: "Uh....well, I was going to say 'what's the one thing you need to remember when we check into the hospital.' And that would be to ask for the bigger room with a double bed since we will have a lot of visitors.  But yes, we definitely need to remember to feed the baby every single day. Good answer."

Seriously...would remembering to feed the baby every day even be a question I need to ask??? Evidently so....oh, how I love my husband and the way his mind works.

Monday, October 17, 2011

35 Weeks: What's New...

Due date: November 21st - five weeks away! Doctor's appointments will start becoming a weekly occurence now as we get closer to d-day.

Weight gain: 0 pounds (16 total pregnancy). Had a bit of a scare this morning when my doctor thought he was measuring small, but after an ultrasound at Bergan it showed he is quite the opposite and growing just fine (check out the details here).

Baby developments: Lil Mango is now the size of a honeydew - from here on out his growth is mostly in the plumping up department. I found out today at our doctor's appointment that he is weighing in at about 6lbs 1oz - so he's a BIG boy - my online source states he should be around 5lbs at this point and is over 18 inches long. Most of his basic physical development is complete - he will spend the next few weeks putting on weight.

Also, according to my appointment this moring, this little guy has started to drop and will only continue to do so as we get through these next few weeks. He's completely head down in preparation for birth.

Cravings: Blueberry Morning cereal, water, Powerade Zero, sandwiches (Subway, Jimmy John's, etc). I had fresh pineapple last week at my MIL's house and it was so good...I've been craving it all week and finally picked some up this weekend. Nick & I finished it between last night and today so I picked up another today. Yum!

Aversions: nothing to note

Symptoms: cramping, a few cases of heartburn (although I can't pinpoint what it's from), frequent urination, Braxton Hicks. This weekend was extremely busy at work - 12+ hour days Thursday & Friday and full days Saturday and Sunday resulted in some cramping and round ligament pain just while walking the casino floor.

I'm also starting to become a big more emotional....this was evident in my little break down this morning, but I'm also finding that I tear up at the littlest things - a song on the radio, a commercial on TV....just about anything.

Sleep: continues to be good. I've still been getting to bed later than normal, but sleeping through the night really well. It's starting to get more uncomfortable, so I'm working the pillows and placement.

I am loving: spending more time with Nick. As much as it's hard that online poker is gone, I have been enjoying going with Nick to work at least 3 days a week and spending our nights at home. This past weekend he went with our group to Iowa City for the Hawkeye game and was going to leave straight from there and drive to Chicago for a week for poker tournaments. Late last week, he decided he wasn't going to Chicago - he is getting more nervous that little man could come any day now and said he wants to make sure he's here....just in case. While I want him to be able to get out and make some money when it presents itself, I'm happy he's thinking about our family and I know he is so excited for Cruz to get here.

One of our gifts that arrived last week was his pompesan from Barbara & Steve Amundson - I put it together today and it's so cute. I know Tessa used this with all of her kids and it helped put them to sleep and keep them relaxed. I can't wait until Cruz can try it out.

Pompesan Chair
I am looking forward to: the Omaha baby shower this week, hosted by the Manganaro/Gardner girls and my girlfriend, Patricia. Plus, Shauna is coming up from Kearney with three MAJOR packages - the chair for the nursery, the bedding AND the car seat that mom & the girls got us at last week's baby shower.

I'm spazzing about: the fact that little man could arrive any time - and while we are in the safe zone now - it's a bit scary....and so exciting. I had mentioned last week that Marcy made it a bit more real when she reminded us that Sicily had arrived 4 1/2 weeks early. Then this weekend I was talking to two women at the same time and both had early arrivals - one 6 weeks early and the other 5 1/2 weeks early. Nick & I were talking about it last night - he has a feeling Cruzer will arrive right on time and for some reason I have a hunch he may arrive early (although not weeks early, more like days).

Best moment this week: we had our hospital tour which was very helpful and reassuring...I think Nick is now feeling better about knowing where to go and what to do when I go into labor. My favorite part was learning about the "big rooms" - evidently if you're expecting a lot of family & friends, you can request a "big room" when you check in. The big room has a double bed, a pull out couch, multiple chairs and just more space - we are definitely requesting this when we go in....cross your fingers!

Movement: crazy movement from this little guy. It was great to see him in the ultrasound today and finally find out that it has been his foot giving me all that trouble up near my rib cage - he is a kicker, that's for sure. It was also pretty amazing to see one of his lungs contracting and his heart beating.

Milestones: 5 short weeks remaining - he could be here any time, but let's hope its much closer to his due date!

It's a...: boy! I feel like EVERYONE was asking about the pregnancy this weekend, some customers I've seen sporadically over the past few months hadn't even realized I was preggo, so there were many questions. It's a boy, 6 weeks left, Cruz Nicholas, feeling great.....those were the words out of my mouth all weekend.

Exercise: has been any walking or movement I could fit in this week. I didn't have a specific workout but I was at work early all week and seemed to work late each night and walked around the casino floor a lot. I need to get back into regular walking....I think that can only help. Plus I want to get back into a workout routine, so it's not too difficult after Cruz gets here.

Diet: has been a good mixture of fruit, sandwiches and sweets - I've also been drinking a TON more water and other liquids.

Goals for the upcoming week: we are going to the New Parent Class tomorrow which both Nick & I are excited about - this is the one class we wanted to be in from the beginning because how in the world do we know what we are doing with a little baby. I'm also hoping that after the shower on Sunday, I will be able to get in and organize the nursery. I completely cleaned and organized it from the first shower today - it feels good to have that done.

I also started my hospital checklist and have a bag started! I want to finish that as much as possible over the next week...just in case. I'm going to wash up a couple of his sleepers and NB and 0-3 month outfits as well as some of the receiving blankets to pack them for the hospital.

Belly shot:

35 Week Belly Bump

Doctor's Appointment Scare

This morning I went to my regular check-up at Dr. McTaggart's office. The Dr. came in and checked the heartbeat (strong) and then measured my belly - which is how each appointment has gone for the past few months. As she was writing down the measurements, she mentioned that she was concerned that the baby was measuring small and asked if I noticed that he had dropped. I explained to her that I'd had some cramping this weekend and chalked it up to working crazy hours and being on my feet a lot at work.  She told me she wanted to set up an ultrasound to have the baby checked out to make sure he was measuring ok. I asked her if everything was fine and she told me she just wanted to make sure since we hadn't seen him in a while. Shortly after she left the room to set it up.  Then the nurse came back in and told me to head to Bergan where she had set up an ultrasound for right now.

As I was walking out, I started to get scared. What if everything wasn't ok? I called Nick and, being the emotional basketcase that I am, started bawling. The poor guy didn't get the whole story - all he could hear was baby was measuring small. He asked if he could come meet me down at the hospital but I told him since they had scheduled it right away I would go and let him know as soon as I got information.

I composed myself (somewhat) and got checked in at the hospital and was taken to another doctor's office, where the nurse started with the ultrasound. She was very nice and helped me feel at ease. It was great seeing him in the monitor since the last time we'd had an ultrasound was June. I saw him taking breaths, one of his lungs was moving. I saw his heart beating and heard his very loud, strong heartbeat again. She showed me that his head was down, getting prepared for birth, and was startled because of all the hair she saw and said he had a lot of hair (like his daddy). One of his hands was in a fist with the thumb up and then she put the wand up to my right side just under the rib cage where I've been feeling the most jabs and got a great shot of his foot. Now I know what to blame when I get those painful kicks!

I asked her if she could tell whether or not he was measuring ok - and she told me she wasn't allowed to give me any information - the doctor would fill me in.

Toward the end she was trying to get a profile pic but he was being stubborn and wouldn't move his hand from his face - she was pushing the wand down to try and get him to move the hand for one quick pic and this little guy was punching back up at the wand - he wasn't having any of it! She told me she was going to send the doctor in.

Dr. Barsoom came in and continued the ultrasound - he let me know the baby was measuring fine - actually he felt Cruz was about 6lbs 1oz - and he was going to be calling Dr. McTaggart to tell her everything is measuring great. He asked if I've been having any contractions and I explained I had cramping over the weekend but nothing that I felt was a contraction. He sent me off feeling so much better than I had felt when I went in....and so relieved.

I'm just so relieved to hear everything is going well in there. And I can't believe this little guy is already measuring in at 6lbs!! Only a short while now until we get to meet him.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Shower: Emerson

Last weekend, my beautiful sisters hosted a Baby Shower for me and Lil Mango at our church fellowship hall back in Emerson. It was a gorgeous day and they were so creative in decking the place out. Many of my mom's friends, Nick's mom's friends and some of my Emerson friends were in attendance - it was so great catching up with all of them and talking all things baby.

The sisters planned a couple of games - a memory game where I walked around with a tray of baby stuff for the guests to memorize and then told them there would be questions about the stuff they had to remember....only when I walked out of the room, they switched it up and the guests had to answer questions about me, what I was wearing, etc. They also filled out a sheet of well wishes and hopes for Cruz, which was super cute and fun to read later that night. After games, we broke into the desserts where they had ALL of my favorites - chocolate covered strawberries, lemon bundt cake from Nothing Bundt Cake, Hostess cupcakes, Raisinettes, pumpkin bars...I was in a sugar comma for the rest of the night!

Sign in table

Table decor - Tessa made the Cake Pop centerpieces


Head table (note my bowl of candy!) + gift table
Jen + Dayvie greeting guests

DeLaney - 10 months old

Tessa's onesie creations - super cute!

Posing with my delicious cake

Gift time - the kids were big helpers

They loved the lights and sounds on this toy!

Nick's mom made this onesie from the same fabric she
used for Nick's onesie when he was born - so neat!

Aaysen decided he was done wearing clothes....and stripped down

Mama + I

The Grandmas!

Grandma Carol + I (her first grandbaby!)

Tessa + Jen's poofs - brought a lot of color to the room!

With the party hostesses - Ash, Jen, Heather + Tessa

Funny faces with the kiddos - just missing Sophia

Tessa w/ her kiddos

Earlier that week I had gotten a couple of other gifts for the little guy - our Cedar Rapids friends found the cutest Hawkeye onesie and hat. Can't wait to get him in this....maybe for the Hawkeye v. Husker game on 11/25!

Our neighbor, Sydney, makes these great fabric letters personalized for his room - they are going to look great above his crib and are so cute! I love the different fabrics - the colors will definitely add a pop in the nursery!

Letters for his room

As we get closer, I'm very thankful for all of the thoughtful gifts that we've received - I continue to realize that Lil Mango will be one lucky little guy!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weird Dreams

I had read a while back that preggo ladies sometimes start having weird dreams. At the time, I was feeling pretty normal and shuffled this to the back of my mind since my dreams had been relatively normal. Fast forward to this past week and I have definitely been experiencing some weird ones!

Earlier this week, I had a dream that the baby was moving around in my stomach and somehow punctured his uterus home and got out, but was still inside me. I basically had a skin baby and could see every outline of his body under the skin. I had to hold him up because my stomach wasn't containing him and the doctor couldn't do anything abou it. So I was the weird preggo lady with the skin baby that I had to hold while he was still under my skin.....then I woke up. I blame this a bit on the fact that the night before he was moving like crazy and I pulled up my tank to see if I could see his hand or foot as I understand so many pregnant women then going right to bed after that left thoughts of my baby's outline on my brain.

Then a couple nights later, I had a dream that I was in the car (scratch that it was an excursion van) pregnant with my mom, sister, dad, brother and a few other people I don't recall and at one point I was still pregnant and later I wasn't pregnant and had the baby in my arms. The baby was sleeping and was so innocent and cute when everyone was looking, but as soon as they turned away, he turned into a possessed baby who didn't like me and was trying to hurt me. As soon as anyone's attention was on him he would resume the sleeping position. Scared, but not wanting to tell anyone, I finally put him in his seat (which was in the far back of the van) and fastened him up, but he was still trying to get at was a weird Chucky version of my baby! I remember waking up from that dream scared to death and grabbing my belly to make sure my little guy was still there and praying this little mutant baby was gone. It was so crazy!

Hopefully these dreams will not last and I'm pretty sure they aren't telling of my future, but they were very vivid and that time and definitely scared me a bit!

Monday, October 10, 2011

34 Weeks: What's New...

Due date: November 21st (6 weeks away) - my sister-in-law kindly mentioned she had her first 4 1/2 weeks early - I cannot imagine that, let's hope Lil Mango stays inside for at least another 4 weeks....

Weight gain: 2 pounds - back on track! - (16 pounds total pregnancy). I read that in the next week I should gain 2-4 pounds, yes pounds, of new blood to prepare for giving birth. That is unreal.

Baby developments:  Lil Mango is now the size of a honeydew - he weighs 4 3/4 pounds and is 18 inches long. His fat layers, which will help regulate his body temperature once he's born, are filling him out and making him rounder. His skin is smoother than ever. He now uritnates about one pint per day....weird!

I read something today (there is a trend with all of this reading!) that makes me feel good about the next few weeks - if Lil Mango were born now, he would not only be able to make an efficient transition from the womb to the outside, but he would also be able to resist disease. Babies born 34-37 weeks generally do as well as full term babies. That is definitely reassuring should this little guy decide to come early, though not as early as Sicily (see above)!

Cravings: Apples, bananas, Blueberry Morning cereal and a new find: Twix Ice Cream bars. These bad boys are amazingly good - if you are a fan of Twix candy bars, then I definitely recommend you check these out!

Aversions: nothing new to note.

Symptoms: shortness of breath has been the main culprit...this little guy takes up a ton of room in my belly and definitely impacts my breathing. I huff & puff ALL the time these days.

Slight heartburn, but I haven't pinpointed what exactly is the cause - Tums help get rid of it.

Sleep: has been ok. I'm getting more uncomfortable and it's harder to get to sleep than normal. I've been going to bed later this week than normal for me, but I haven't woken up once in the middle of the night to pee in the last five nights! Granted, when I wake up around 5:30am-6:30am or so, I'm bursting. However, a little uninterrupted sleep....I can get used to that.

I miss: my waist....I was uploading pictures from this weekend on a computer I don't use often and noticed some old belly shots. It wasn't the greatest waist ever, but dang, I miss it!

An actual waist....hard to remember what that was like

I am looking forward to: baby shower #2 in a couple weeks. One, because it will be a great mix of family, friends and people from work. The second is Shauna will be bringing Lil Mango's car seat, rocking chair and bedding. I can't wait to finalize everything in the nursery!

I'm spazzing about: the due date and how close we actually are! It's a great mix of excitement and nervousness.

Best moment this week: there were quite a few! We had our first baby shower in Emerson (thanks to my sisters) and Nick's dad's Hall of Fame weekend in Wayne. We are so fortunate to bring this little guy into the world with such an amazing group of family and friends to look out for him.

With my beautiful sisters (aka the Hostesses)

Movement: he has been moving like crazy, but never when someone wants to feel him! I haven't quite figured out how to make him move around and really don't want to nudge and push him too much to try to make him move! He has been residing on my right side primarily and I often feel what I think is his little booty or head pushing out towards my side.

Milestones: 8 1/2 months along...coming up on our 9th and final month in two weeks. Wow!

It's a...: baby boy

Exercise: hmmm....well, not so good. It's not that I haven't been active, but I only got to a couple of walks with Maya this week and there was definitely no running.

Diet: has been ok as well, as long as you don't count the sweets I gorged myself with at the baby shower. They planned all of my favorite desserts in one place....that isn't good for a girl like me who has NO willpower!

Goals for the upcoming week: I need to follow up on a couple leads for a nanny. I would love to get that finalized - it would be a big relief. Nick and I have the hospital tour tomorrow night, which will be nice to get out of the way as well.

Oh, and I suppose I need to clean up the nursery and put these great gifts away....I sort of dumped them in there after I got home last night and haven't had much time to get in there today.

Look at this messy nursery!

Belly shot:

34 week belly bump

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Surprise Party For Our Better Halves

Finally.....the night of the surprise party has come and gone and was a great success! I'm so relieved to no longer have to "hide" things from my husband - I am the worlds wost liar and I felt awful doing it!

A couple months ago, Tessa and I decided that since our husbands were adamant about not having a surprise birthday party for their 30th (Nick) and 40th (Chris) - that we were going to have one anyway...for both of them together with their closest friends and all of our family. Planning commenced right away and I have to say everything went off without a hitch....well except for a couple things.

The biggest letdown happened early September when I had sent out a reminder evite to everyone who hadn't RSVP'd - well one of Chris' friends from AZ forwarded the email to Chris. While it was an accident and he was intending to forward the email to another friend, it was a HUGE bummer that Chris was let in on the surprise. However, it was much easier having him in on the surprise and to keep Nick off track.

We were still able to keep a few things a surprise. On the night of the party, Tessa and I along with our guys showed up at Stir Bar at Harrah's where mom had corralled all of the party goers for the big surprise. We lured Nick out under the guise that we were going to have a night out to celebrate Chris' birthday (just the four of us) and one last night away before the baby comes. He was SO shocked when we opened the door and he walked in first....then backed out to let Chris in figuring it was his surprise....then noticed the sign with both of their names on it!

Surprise! Walking into Stir Bar at Harrah's

It took a while for Nick to realize the party was for him too!
Shortly after, we sent the guys up to the stage for a couple surprises. Jeremy played emcee and announced our special dancer, Anna Roxia, a drag queen who was recently crowned Miss Gay Omaha. She performed two songs and definitely surprised the guys and the crowd!
Our emcee for the night & one of the roasters - Jeremy

Anna Roxia performing "Happy Birthday Mr. President"

And as Lady Gaga "Poker Face"

Getting frisky with one of the birthday boys!

Showing her stuff for the crowd
 After Anna Roxia, we moved into the Roast - and it was amazing! Four of their friends got up on stage and gave it to them. I laughed so hard I thought I was at a comedy show! I have to say Ross and Jeremy were so prepared and pumped for this opportunity and it showed - they were excellent!

Ross - roasting the birthday boys

Hawkeye Birthday Cake

After a few drinks!

Same for these ladies - except for me....
After the Roast, Stir had a cover band - Ten Club, a Pearl Jam tribute. Many of the party goers went down to try their luck at the casino and others came up to our suite for after hours. It ended up being a VERY late night, but all in it was AMAZING and I'm so glad we pulled it off!!

To cap off a great night, I had a special present for Nick waiting up in our suite. I had been working on this gift for a long time and was originally planning on giving it to him just after Cruzer was born....but, of course, I couldn't wait. Nick is a baseball fanatic and has always told me his favorite player is Ryne Sandberg who played for the Chicago Cubs in the 80s. Currently, he is coaching a triple A team in Pennsylvania and it took some time to track him down. I contacted the Marketing Director for the IronPigs and shared my story (Nick's been a huge fan forever, I wanted this as a gift for him & our first son). Two weeks later, he contacted me and told me Ryne would autograph the jersey and personalize it. Once I got the jersey back, I brought it to be framed.  Here is the finished product:

Nick's birthday surprise in our suite
Autographed Ryne Sandberg jersey - Nick's favorite player growing up

Personalized to "Nick & Cruz - all the best - Ryne Sandberg #23  HOF 2005"