Saturday, January 31, 2009

Summer must be coming

I spent yesterday afternoon doing what I like to call de-furring. And by de-furring, I mean vacuuming, Swiffering, and wiping down all the furniture with a lint brush to rid my home of hair. I am pretty sure that I collected a full pound of it from my house. It appears that my animals are shedding their winter coats.

Don't get me wrong, I have three cats and a dog. Controlling that hair on a regular week can be time consuming. But this is just down right ridiculous. It is so bad that Travis was complaining about the cat hair on top of the bed and the dog hair all along the edges of the bed. I'm the one usually complaining about that. You know it's bad if Travis is verbalizing it.

We are definitely getting Bella sheared right before this baby comes.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Talking with Sagira

Another lazy Saturday night...

Travis got up between DVR shows and went to say hi to Sagira. I like to call her our TV ornament because she always sits on the back of it to stay warm. Occasionally she'll stand up and all we see is her little head sticking over the top. When she saw Travis, they started having a conversation.

Talking with Sagira from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

***** Stupid videos won't load properly on my blog. Click on the title of the video underneath and it will take you to the Vimeo website where the video will work better. *****

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Videos of the Birthday Party

Just a couple videos from Wednesday's birthday party:

Good times, eating tissue paper.

Chocolate cake is easier to see than white cake. =D

Wednesday Having Her Cake from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Addition to the Nursery

Sunday night Travis and I finally moved the old dresser out of the nursery and put together the new one from IKEA. The new dresser was entirely an aesthetic purchase. Although, it has given me a chance to give the room a nice, complete cleaning before Lil' Wodie's arrival. Moving the furniture out of the room has revealed patches of floor that most likely have not been vacuumed since we moved in to the house. I am yet to tackle the underside of the bed, but I'll get to that whenever we buy the crib.

The old dresser (that Travis has had since he was in elementary school)

You can sort of see what we are doing for a diaper changing station. We are just going to put the changing pad on the top of the dresser. Travis is going to paint some trim black and use the trim gun to put it at the edge of the dresser on either side of the pad to prevent slippage.

I put the Diaper Genie II in the back corner of the room, leaving it hidden behind the dresser. I was delighted to order it using points from my credit card. It really is nice to get a little something back from all that debt Travis and I racked up during college.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Zombie Belly

I was checking the tummy out in the bathroom mirror this evening and what do I see? The freakin Mississippi River running down my side. I had to take the contrast to the extremes to get this anomaly to show up in a photo, so please excuse the zombie-esque qualities. I swear I still have a heartbeat, and no virus, and no need to attack my fellow humans. Except for maybe Travis when he won't pass the ice cream spoon fast enough.


Registry Complete

Phew! Registering for baby stuff was TOUGH. I was really looking forward to it, but also dreading the day. I was super excited to pick out everything we want for our baby. In the same breath, I knew we would both be cranky after a full day of choosing EVERYTHING we need to care for an infant. To top it all off, it totally slipped my mind to bring along snacks, which meant I was eating Belly Bars directly off the shelf at Babies R Us.

I think we got everything though. Yesterday I went through the registry online to read the customer reviews and see what I could find on Consumer Reports. Shannon pointed out that the stroller we chose had some really bad reviews. I would like to go back and pick out a different stroller because of this. I don't want to make the same mistake with anything else.

Yes, yes. I know we registered early. But my baby book recommended that we do so in the second trimester so I won't be completely exhausted by the end of it. I still got exhausted, which makes me glad we didn't wait to do it when I am gigantic. I was just SO excited to pick out everything for the impending arrival of our infant!

I am following a recommendation of a friend and putting links to our registries (Target and Babies R Us) on the side bar for quick access. =D

The one thing we didn't finalize is the color of the walls for the nursery. I wasn't planning to paint Lil' Wodie's room - one, since I should really be around the fumes of paint; two, because we want to sell our house within the next few years and I like the neutral pallet of the house. But Dad-To-Be really wants to do this and I'm not going to deny him. We are leaning towards a shade of blue that is closest to what I would call cornflower. I tend to like darker shades of blue, but I don't want to go too dark in fear of making the room seem smaller. I'm going to run by Home Depot and pick up a few swatches so we can compare them in the room.

After we pick out the color of the walls we are going to buy curtains and blinds. There were no window treatments in that room when we moved in, and we have since put up curtains. I'm planning to move those curtains into our bedroom and buy new stuff for the baby's room. It shouldn't be too costly since the windows in there are not full length.

Prego Nikki has been doing pretty good lately. I did forget to eat my morning snack on Saturday morning and very much regretted it. I started to feel horribly nauseous and Travis wasn't there to grab me some food. I was sure that if I bent forward even the slightest, my stomach would spill out onto the floor. I moved very slowly around the kitchen, trying to pull out the most bland food item I could find. I ended up with graham crackers and cream cheese icing. After I finished off the graham crackers, I went back to the kitchen to heat up some pasta with butter. It took approximately the length of Designed to Sell for the pukey-feeling to go away, but it did disappear.

I haven't felt anymore kicking/fluttering, which has been disappointing. I think I might have felt it again yesterday while we were at Babies R Us, but I was walking and not sure if it was baby or my tummy grumbling for food. ???

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wasabi Wednesday...

on a Friday. When Travis and I used to live above a bar in downtown Galveston, we used to do this thing we called Wasabi Wednesday. Every Wednesday, we would meet Ariel and a group of friends (whoever was up for it that week) for sushi happy hour a couple blocks from our apartment. It was cheap and entertaining. Since it was on a Wednesday, we could never get to crazy, unless we were willing to endure a day of work with a hangover (we only had to walk home). But that usually helped keep the spending to a minimum.

When we bought our house and moved off the island, Wasabi Wednesday sadly came to an end. We had to stop all our frivolous spending, not to mention that we had a drive to make if we wanted to go to the bars. We have been back for sushi happy hour on random occasions, since the restaurant celebrates these lovely four hours five days a week. I would say I can count the times we've been there in the past year on one hand. Things are looking like that might change. Although it won't be every week, sushi "happy hour" is coming back... to our house!!

Robert gave it a try.

Travis made what I like to call Sushi Supreme - everything was in it.

The set-up: Miso soup, crab ragoon, egg rolls and sushi rolls.

Closer shot of the homemade sushi rolls.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Sock Monkey and sorts

Travis and I finished putting together the nightstands and managed to fit all of our clothes within our bedroom. We had to pull out a bunch of t-shirts to give away, but we didn't need that many to start with.

I'm a little bummed with the stability of these dressers. They are too tall compared to the depth, leaving them very wobbly. They came with a safety strap to fasten them to the wall, but we need to find a stud to attach them to. First we need to buy a screw for putting into the wall. I'm not sure what we will use. I wish the dresser would have come with that screw. I guess now I cannot sue Ikea if the dresser falls over on my son, when he's learning to crawl. IF I were the type of person to sue for stuff like that, of course.

This shelf is above the built-in dresser in the nursery. I went through my old books from my childhood when I was at my mom's house this Christmas. Most of the books on the bottom shelf are those books. That DAD frame is one of the items I gave Travis as a gift to tell him we were pregnant. I plan to put his first photo with Lil' Wodie in that frame.

Every year for Christmas my dad gives me a gift that was something I played with as a kid: Topple, Old Maid card game, Silly Putty, the book Polar Express and that Candyland game on the shelf. The fun thing about all these gifts is that I can save them for my babies. I'll be able to share something from my childhood with our kids.

Oh, and that Sock Monkey is from David and Stephanie. =D

Thursday, January 22, 2009

18 Weeks

Travis and I went for another ultrasound yesterday. It was amazing. I cannot get over how big he has gotten. Oh and by the way, the doctor said with 99% certainty that he is indeed a he. We now have three photos of his "third leg". Because we might need that in a few years when Adolescent Wodie tries to sneak out of the house in the middle of the night. I will be able to pull out these photos and say, "See these? If you sneak out one more time, they will become public knowledge and I will make damn sure that one somehow makes it into your girlfriend's hands."

Back to the ultrasound... IT WAS AWESOME. He was big enough that we saw every organ in his belly, the most prominent being his stomach and bladder. That was a good sign because that means he is drinking the amniotic fluid and his kidneys are properly filtering it to store in the bladder. They also measured multiple bones, including the two in his forearm. He has two feet and two hands, with little bones. We even saw him moving his tongue in a sucking fashion, complete with movement in the throat muscles.

His hearbeat was so strong, and it has slowed further to 153bpm. Listening to his heart beat makes me tear up everytime. It is unreal how strongly I can feel about someone I've never met.

After the ultrasound I offered the pictures to Travis to take to work if he wanted to show off his son's "goods". He declined. I guess its not cool for guys to flash sonogram pics. Whatever. I just may have to do it for him.

The doctor told me that I can feel free to take the tags off of all the blue clothes and wash them in preparation for the baby's arrival. He said that if this child comes out a girl, she is going to need some serious plastic surgery work down there. I'm taking that as my cue to cut the tags off of everything and continue with my organizing!!

If I can ever get my butt to Walmart, I will scan some of the sonogram photos onto a CD so I can get them up here. And anywhere else I can show off the kiddo.

PS - I cut my bangs. Yea or Nay?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another hospital closing

UTMB (my employer) is falling apart. Between the financial problems they were having before, the hurricane and Shriners problems, this hospital is quickly disappearing. Along with thousands of jobs.

The Birth of Lil' Wodie's Nursery

Travis and I drove up to IKEA Sunday after everyone had left for the weekend. We had planned on doing this next weekend before registering. I'm really glad we didn't wait. I don't think I would have made it all the way through the day.

IKEA + pregnancy = afternoon nap.

We drove up planning to purchase two nightstands/dressers for our bedroom. As of right now, Travis has all of his clothes in a dresser in the soon-to-be nursery. To avoid waking up a sleeping baby in the future, we want to move his clothes out of that room. Since we don't have room for a second dresser in our bedroom, we opted for mini-dressers to replace our nightstands. I plan to move one or both of our existing nightstands into Lil' Wodie's room as end tables.

Just before leaving for Houston, Travis asked if I would mind purchasing the large dresser. We want to replace the old one we have in there. He wanted to make sure I was okay with it since it MAY stretch us a bit after our bills this week. Whatever! Hell yes I want to buy that dresser! Besides, the idea of having to make two hour-long trips to IKEA for something we already know we want to buy seems silly if it is avoidable.

Although, the Murano proved our logic wrong on the ride back. With a car full of furniture, we got the best mileage I have seen that thing get. Travis said it always seems to get better mileage when it is loaded it down. Guess what the mileage was. 52.7mpg. SERIOUSLY. Here's the proof (that has not been Photoshopped I promise):

When we reached the store, we had to walk through the whole place. They don't really give you much of a choice actually. But we were happy to stroll through. During this stroll we were reminded to purchase a new rug. The one Bella has been peeing on has almost no rubber on the bottom due to the frequent washing. Plus, we found a really cool floor lamp on sale for $10 off. On top off all that, there was a Blue Moon sale going on, meaning 10% off of everything! Score! 10% doesn't normally sound like much to me, but after making a series of large purchases, it adds up.

This is the lamp we bought. It has room for three bulbs, but we only used two to keep it dim. I want to use it as a nightlight for midnight feedings. I don't have photos of the dresser and nightstands yet. Travis spent two nights in a row staining the nightstands to match our bedroom furniture. And we would like to have the old dresser moved out of the nursery before putting together the new one.

We also bought the stuff to make additional hanging rods in the nursery closet. We looked for something that would fit our purpose at IKEA, but nothing was close to what I had in mind. When we were at Lowe's later that afternoon I came up with this ingenious contraption.

Travis made it out of marine rope and PVC pipe. I spent the latter half of Monday going to four separate stores trying to find child hangers to hang the new clothes on that thing. But I was determined to find some before the end of the day. I ended up washing all the 3-6 month hand-me-downs and hung them on the bottom rung.

Everyday when the sun goes down, I go into Lil' Wodie's room and turn on the night light. We are slowly making progress. I can just feel the room waiting for him to come home.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Wednesday!

It was the weekend of Wednesday. David and Stephanie got in Friday night and we went grocery shopping while we waited for Travis to get off of work. Prego me was starving after all that shopping, so we stopped by Wild Wings on the way home for a "snack". The plan was to go out to dinner with David's parents and pass Wednesday off to them for the night. Unfortunately, they did not get in until late, so Stephanie only got the decorating done that night. I get tired at 9pm, so I went to bed at 10:15 when they left to drop Wednesday off with Grams and Gramps.

We all got up at a decent time Saturday morning to bake cupcakes and run a few more errands before the party. I laid in bed for an hour, not wanting to get up, so when I finally did I regretted it. I waited way too long to eat, so after my first few bites of breakfast I was sitting at the toilet again. I'm not sure if it was just the low blood sugar, or a combination of that with my oatmeal and orange juice with WAY too much pulp in it. Not quite the loveliest of textures. Although I would prefer that to come back up than something more substantial.

I disappeared into the bedroom (in the middle of a conversation with Stephanie) and made Travis get me a bowl of Cheerios. I needed something crunchy after all that. The nausea didn't last much longer than it took me to eat that bowl of cereal, thankfully.

The party began around 3pm when the birthday girl arrived. She was wearing an outfit that Travis and I had bought for her, complete with Bear Bottom tights.

We spent the first few hours chatting while Travis grilled the burgers and hot dogs. Stephanie had picked a variety of foods that were very easy to serve, which meant minimal time in the kitchen. I always get crazy making food for parties. It was a nice change to actually hang out without the stress of running back and forth to the kitchen.

After dinner, Wednesday started opening the gifts. That girl had a great time tearing her way through all the tissue paper in the bags. She seemed especially drawn to this shiny present. After so many times of removing and reapplying, the bow lost it's stickiness and appeal. She proceeded to knock the box down and climb on top. Because that's what shiny boxes are for!

Here she is again, climbing the box after it was opened. Mom even gave her a little ride, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

By the end of opening the gifts, there was tissue paper everywhere. Wednesday must have tasted at least half of them.

The best part was yet to come - CAKE TIME! David demanded chocolate cake with chocolate icing, so it was very easy to see where the cake made it's way onto Wednesday and the surrounding areas. I've been finding icing in the most random spots since that party. In places that can't even be blamed on good ole Wednesday. As you can see, she obviously enjoyed partaking in a little cake eating.

I had to jet off for a couple hours to go to another friend's going away party. Sveta, a Russian from work, moved to Alabama yesterday. Why Alabama, you ask? School. I think that might be the only thing that would draw a person to that state, besides family.

The majority of the guests left the party while I was gone. The younger crowd stuck around to party until the later hours of the evening. Prego Nikki even managed to stay up until past midnight. I worked past the exhaustion, so when it was time for me to lay down I had trouble closing my eyes. Even though I was seriously tired. Stephanie went to bed early, since Grams and Gramps took Wednesday for the night again. She was looking forward to using her childless time to catch up on some Z's. David stayed up for a while, but also went to bed well before I did.

Wednesday made out good. I didn't get to see the truck after they packed it full of her goodies, but I can imagine it was a tight fit. Thanks to everyone who came to celebrate Wednesday's big day!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to Nikki's Nutshell

It has officially been one year since I created this blog. A lot has changed in the past year. The event that I am looking forward to most is meeting the little boy growing in my belly. It's going to be another crazy year!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

More Heroes

Again with the hormones. Unless you have fallen off the face of the earth, you've heard about the plane that made a "controlled" landing into the Hudson River right next to New York City. I just cried while reading this story, at the part where they commend the pilot for his heroic efforts. Ya, I'm at working. Crying.


My cats are spoiled. For the most part, they keep to themselves. Occasionally they come over for a little rub and if I'm lucky, Sagira will be feeling snuggly and sleep with me at night. But when these animals are out of food or water, WATCH OUT. They are all over us! We always know when the water bowl has dried up. We don't even have to check it, because THEY WILL LET US KNOW.

This was one of those mornings. I could not take a step without tripping over three cats. Therefore, the first thing I did after I woke up (besides pee) was to water and feed the cats.

I cannot do anything until those animals are out from under my feet. It's ridiculous. Scary, almost. Remember that movie from the early 90's called Sleepwalkers (by Steven King)? While I was peeing, I was reminded of the final scene in that movie when all the cats in the neighborhood go in for the kill. Except the cats weren't after my blood.

If you never saw that movie, or it's been a while, here's a refresher. You'll have to skip to about 4 minutes in to see what I'm talking about with the cats. Be prepared for some serious 90's gore. And if you're afraid of cats, you probably shouldn't watch this. It will only make matters worse.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holy Crap!

Read this article. Some people are idiots. Some kids have actually been brought up right.

Hit and Run Hero

A Kicking Connection

I think I have started to feel the baby kicking!! Or fluttering to be more precise. I was sitting in a comfy chair reading a book (Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy) at lunch on Tuesday and I felt this strange sensation just below my belly button. It was like someone was running their knuckles just under my skin. Then I felt something this morning on the drive into work that was a little faster, more like twitching. I know it wasn't actually twitching because usually I can see or feel (on the outside) my skin moving, and I could not. I am still not confident that this is Lil' Wodie kicking, but I have my hopes up! All the books say you can usually start to feel the baby moving between 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. I'm at 17 weeks and two days, so I'm right in there.

I have thought a lot about everything that I will have to do within the next five months. Everything seems so different than I thought it would. I always knew that I would have to deliver a baby at the end of this. Believe me, there was no doubt in my mind about that. But now that I am physically pregnant, when I picture us going to the hospital, I imagine it with me being the one on the bed. Whereas all my previous thoughts have been as an outsider watching me on the bed. I will be the one sitting in the hospital gown. I will be the one feeling the labor contractions and having to walk it off.

Ooo, and the exciting part that I had not thought about? When I pack my hospital bag, I have to include clothes for the baby! FUN. The tradition in my family is to have the maternal grandmother to the child choose the going-home outfit for the baby. That means my mom will be the one to pick out Lil' Wodie's get-up for that special day.

I also have though about what it would be like to feel the baby moving. Again, I pictured it from the third party view - reaching out to feel the belly from the outside - since that has always been my experience in the past. Now I feel like I've reached a whole new level of connection with this baby. It makes him so much more real, being able to feel him moving around in there. It is the greatest feeling. I think I am getting just a taste of what it is like to actually have my own child.

I have been having some troubles with being cold lately. As soon as I get cold, it will not go away. Which is weird, because I thought pregnant women were always on the other end of the spectrum when it comes to body temperature. At night, I cannot fall asleep until my feet and hands are warm. Travis is such a trooper and lets me warm my feet on his legs. And if I go to bed before he does, I have to punch up the thermostat and throw on sweats before jumping under the covers.

I've been noticing some funny things that Travis does now that I am pregnant. He has definitely noticed my struggle with body temperature. For Christmas, he bought me a giant zip-up hoodie that matches the one he got for Lil' Wodie to wear whenever he is about a year old. When he had me try it on, I noticed that it was a little large and thought about exchanging it for a smaller size. That's when he said that he purposely purchased a larger size, so I would have a jacket that will fit me throughout the pregnancy. Then the other night, he had me try on one of his zip-up hoodies. When he saw how large it was on me, he said that I could borrow it anytime I wanted since it would fit me as my belly grew. How cute is that?!

I cannot wait to raise a child with this man!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Alex's Indo-Board

I'm not very organized this morning. Travis had a bad migraine and a temperature last night, so I picked him up from work. He wasn't up for driving himself home, so we left his truck in Galveston. That meant that we had to carpool into work this morning. Of course, we didn't leave early enough for me to get to work on time and therefore did not have time to put together a proper blog post.

I took about 15 mini-videos with the new video camera while we were in Illinois. This one is Christmas at my dad's house on Christmas morning. Ariel and Robert made Alex this thing called an Indo-Board and it is so perfect for Alex. Especially during the winter when everything is covered in snow and ice so he can't get out on his skateboard. Travis is trying to get Robert to make us one. Although I absolutely refuse to get on it. I tried it once, by the end of the trip. I had to hold onto someone the whole time, making it pointless. It's all about balance, of which I have none.

Alex's new Indo-Board from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

17 Weeks: Prego Dreams

The other night I had a dream that I gave birth to Lil' Wodie. I was far enough along in the dream, so it was healthy timing. I had to wait for the labor to progress enough before I could started pushing. While I was waiting, I fell asleep. The weird thing is that I then had flashes of waking up and the doctor running in to deliver the baby, in between sleeping. When I finally woke up, I was not pregnant anymore. I was confused that I had missed it all so I asked Travis what had happened. He said that I was so tired that I slept through the whole 4 hours of labor and delivery. I asked him why I didn't wake up from the pain and he said he knew I wanted an epidural, so they did it, all the while I was sleeping away.

After coming to the realization that Lil' Wodie was out here in the world, I wanted to see him immediately. Unfortunately for me, I spent the rest of the dream trying to get to the nursery. I wanted to visit my other friend in the hospital who had her baby that day too (who was a random girl from high school - weird), so we did that on the way. I never made it to Lil' Wodie by the end of the dream.

Pregnancy dreams can be very strange. This is the first one I've had about giving birth though. I wonder what it means?

I had my OB/GYN check up Monday. Everything is going fine so far. The baby's heartbeat is down to 162bpm, which is normal. I have had this strange hardening of my stomach several times in the past week and I was talking to Alexa about it. She said that she started having Braxton Hicks contractions when she was 12 weeks pregnant and maybe that is what I have been having.

I told the doctor about it at my appointment. She said that it is uncommon, but possible to have these practice contractions throughout the pregnancy. Most women don't get them until the third trimester. I don't know if that is what I am having, but it is definitely a strange sensation. I made Travis feel it last night to make sure I was imagining it. I wasn't, by the way.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A Triumphant Weekend

Travis and I had a pretty successful weekend. Saturday, he worked and I helped Rachel move apartments after her foreclosure fiasco. She had a gazillion people helping, so we moved everything in a record hour and a half. That left plenty of time to eat the lunch spread she had waiting for us and spend a little time socializing. It was funny because there were two other pregnant women there. We called ourselves the Prego Club. We were busy carrying pillows and clothing. I feel like I helped out somewhat because I was able to bring a truck load of stuff from one place to the other. Although, she probably could have fit it all in the U-Haul.

After Rachel's, I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few items and brought them home. When I got home, I let Callaway out of his room. When he stayed over Christmas with Chris and Alexa, they let him have free roam of their garage, where they left his kennel open at all times. When I picked him up, I couldn't believe that they had put pillows in his kennel and he DIDN'T EVEN EAT THEM. Ever since then, we have been closing off the office to give Callaway a little more space while we are gone. Eight days later, he has yet to tear up those pillows. WOW.

Anyhoo, I spent the rest of the day putting away what little Christmas decorations I had pulled out this year and cleaning the house. I was mad to find that part of that cleaning involved wiping up a puddle of cat piss from around Callaway's food bowls. I am horrified to say that Bella's having another behavioral fit. Travis had already picked up her poop that morning, and either didn't notice the pee or she hadn't done it yet.

Rachel recommended throwing away the rug on which Bella keeps eliminating waste, but it seems that she does not need the rug to entice her. She does it whether the rug is present or not, so I guess it's not the leftover scent that is bringing her back. We had a repeat of the pee and poop, in the same location, on Sunday. I'm purchasing another cat pheromone plug-in today. It seemed to work last time, so I'll give it another go. I am getting worried about her behavior though. I don't want to have to deal with this while learning how to care for a newborn.

Saturday night, we had Sara and JR over to play cards. I was so excited when Travis won. Sara is freakin' awesome at that game and so she almost always wins. The benefit is we won the money pot, which means that we have change to play with next time!

Sunday morning Travis went off to do a side job. I guess it was really easy to fix, so he was back in no time. Alexa called me that morning to tell me she had some more maternity clothes from a friend that I can use. I waited for Travis to get back before we headed up to their house to hang out for the afternoon. Travis and Chris went to Home Depot where Travis purchased everything we need to finish rewiring the house. Alexa and I went to Target so she could pick up a few items and I could buy Wednesday's birthday present (her 1st birthday party is this weekend at our house). We also noticed that the large storage containers were on sale, so we both picked up a box.

After burgers, courtesy of Chris, Travis and I headed back home. I spent the rest of the evening organizing my closet in the bedroom. I managed to fit all the maternity clothes between the closet and my dresser. I thought about forcing Travis to give up half of his closet for a few months, but ended up smashing everything in mine. For some reason my closet looks much smaller than Travis' now. I tried to go through and pull out everything that is too small for me first, but I only got about one bag's worth. I still fit all my shirts. It's the pants that I'm having trouble with. I bought aqua-colored hangers to use for all the maternity clothes. That way as I get bigger, I can quickly find clothes that will better fit me. I figure I'll pull items I no longer fit as I get larger.

I had a few extra minutes on my hands this morning, so I used that time to fill the storage container I had purchased at Target. There is now an additional drawer of free space in Lil' Wodie's room! Slowly, but surely.

MommyQuinn & the Humor Blog

A couple new blogs for my list - a friend of mine from high school became a first-time mother in June of 2008. She posts occasionally and I think she deals with some baby issues that I may have in the coming year. Although, I'm still crossing my fingers that Lil' Wodie will be the perfect child that eats and goes to sleep whenever it is convenient for mommy.

This other blog, I found because it was nominated for the 2008 Weblog Award of Best Humor Blog. I've definitely laughed out loud on numerous occasions while going back in her posts.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hormonal Momma

The other night, Travis and I decided to take it easy and do a little catching up on the DVR. One of the few shows that we both enjoy watching is Eli Stone. It's a series about a man who develops an aneurysm and then mysteriously becomes a prophet, receiving messages from God. We've been watching it since Episode #1.

We had two episodes of Eli Stone saved to the DVR so we watched them consecutively. At the end of the second one (SPOILER ALERT), a woman who is expecting her first child has a heart to heart with her baby daddy and they decide to be parents together and to not fight each other on the decisions that need to be made. They worried that the baby might have down syndrome and were awaiting the results of a test that would tell them for sure. As soon as they had come to the decision to work together, the phone rings and BAM, the baby does not have down syndrome! YAY! I just started full-on, blubbering sobbing.

They show the ending scenes for the other characters in the show and each one makes me cry harder. The tears just wouldn't stop! Then there's a sappy commercial about babies and it's all downhill from there. Travis retrieved a handful of tissues for me and I used every last one. I had to jump in the shower and read the back of a bottle of shampoo to stop the water works.

It was so strange. I could not even see through my own darn tears. And all for some stupid show on ABC? What the?

Friday, January 9, 2009

I'm Famous!

Well, sort of. It's kind of funny actually. For some reason, one of my photos of the local mall was chosen from my Flickr account to be in some online Houston guide. You can barely even see the mall. I was just taking pictures of the damage from Ike and I noticed the Baybrook Mall signage had been demolished and there were some downed power lines, so I took a snapshot. Anyhoo, I'm sited as providing the photo. If you click on the photo, it takes you to my Ike album at Flickr.

Kind of neat. Right?

16 Weeks

Tuesday I hit the 16-week mark in my pregnancy. It's amazing to me how quickly my pants got too small for me. I haven't gained but maybe 3 to 5 pounds since the beginning of this pregnancy, which certainly cannot be enough to alter the fit of my jeans. I fluctuated that much daily prior to carrying a child. I'm pretty sure my hips are spreading. Or have spread. Whatever. Either way, I can no longer button the top button of my pants AND sit down at the same time. It causes some sort of uncomfortable pressure that I would prefer to avoid.

I do however, feel like the baby bump has finally made it's arrival within the past week. What do you think?

4 weeks

16 weeks

Travis loves the bump and I couldn't be more ecstatic. I was so worried that he would see me as this cow that keeps invading his space and not want to have anything to do with me. If anything the baby bump has had the complete opposite effect. I LOVE IT. At this point, I love being pregnant. I think I am pretty much over the morning sickness. As long as I eat immediately after waking up in the morning, I don't have any nausea. The few times I waited an hour to eat, while in Illinois, I quickly regretted it. I only threw up once and it was many a moon ago. I'm so happy I made it over the crappy hump of the first trimester. This second trimester is winning with flying colors at this point!

PS - Current cravings are salads and apples with cheese. YUM!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flooding and The Escapees

Funny story. This past Sunday (the day after arriving home), I was walking out to the garage to do laundry when I noticed a pile of dry, but wet-looking, toilet paper in my yard. I thought it was strange, but was more interested in the task at hand to spend much time pondering. A little later I noticed a spot on the sidewalk that looked like what had been mud at the bottom of a puddle that had dried up. I asked Sara if there had been a lot of rain while we had been away and she responded, "No, but it was foggy a lot."

I was getting weirded out by the random stuff going on in my backyard, but gave up thinking about it too much. Monday evening, I went out to the garage to fold a bunch of my laundry that had accrued. When I was walking back to the house, Callaway was acting strange, sniffing around the lawn chairs and table we have sitting back there. Since my eyes were not accustomed to the dark after being in the lit garage, I kept walking and called him along with me. I saw Sara walking out to her car, when she yells, "did you know your cat was outside?" I look to my back door to find that it is open and Bella is crouching just outside the door.

Here's the thing. We don't let our cats outside. I had two cats when I was a child that had to have a leg amputated because they either got run over by a car or broke their leg doing who-knows-what. I wasn't ready to deal with that with my cats, so we opted for indoor-only cats. I freaked out and shooed Bella back into the house. As I finished the trek to the back door, I came across what appeared to be water flowing across the sidewalk. I couldn't figure out where it was coming from and decided to ask Travis if he had dumped a bucket of water outside. (Because he was magically able to mop the house, dump the water and hop into the shower during the 20 minutes it took me to fold laundry?)

When I got inside, I checked for the other two cats, but came up short one. I quickly grabbed a flashlight and ran back outside. Sagira was missing and I worry that if she ran away she would never come home. It's not that I doubt her ability to find her way back. It's more that I don't trust people to see a super-cute Bengal and just let it wander on by. Anyhoo, I immediately noticed her reflective eyes sitting over on the lawn chair that Callaway had been so interested in a few minutes earlier. Phew!

When I grabbed her I was quick to notice that she was wet and smelled like pee. I brought her inside and went to find Travis to see if he could help me solve this strange mystery. Turns out, the strange flowing water on my sidewalk and the escaping cats were totally unrelated. It was just too much weirdness for my brain to comprehend as separate situations. I must not have closed the door all the way when I went out to do laundry, and the flooding sidewalk is due to sewage backing up into my yard. AWESOME.

Travis immediately got pissed when we figured out that sewage was overflowing from a clean-out junction on our property. The last thing we can afford right now is a plumber. Lucky for us, Travis has his feelers out in the construction business. He called a buddy of his who's father is a plumber. He told us what to look for and when Travis told him what he saw he said, "call the city." Good enough for me! That's way better than paying a plumber to check things out and find that it's not a problem he could solve.

Travis called the city the next morning and they came right away to jet-clean the lines. Unfortunately, that resulted a multitude of nastiness being forced out of the line and into my backyard. And it's still there. Because I don't want to touch it. I didn't actually notice it until this morning on my way out for work because it was dark when I got home last night.

I will most likely force Travis to spray everything down with the hose. Last thing I need right now is rampant bacteria growth in my backyard, what with Lil' Wodie growing in my belly and everything.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More on Audrey

I have to put up a few more photos of Audrey. She was just too precious. It cracks me up how much Chrissie is into her little girl's style. I suppose I would/will be too. She was trying to pick out what Audrey was going to wear for New Year's Eve and she tried several outfits before picking the perfect one. It's like when you're trying to pick out an outfit to wear to the bar and you don't have time to put everything back on the hanger after you try it on. There is always a disaster waiting on my bed for the drunken me at the end of the night. Audrey probably doesn't have this problem though.

Audrey's hair is long and wavy. It is strange because both Chrissie and Jordan had nearly pin-straight hair when they were little. I guess Chrissie's grandma has hair like that. Chrissie said she blow dries Audrey's hair straight most of the time. LOL!

I had a great time catching up on the life of Audrey. I got to change a poopy diaper and I even got to witness bath time. Audrey loves the water. I need to get the camcorder out so I can get the videos uploaded.

I was wondering what you do to take care of a baby in the frigid winters of the north. I got my answer when Chrissie brought the baby home in this bad mamba-jamba. I took this photo while we were shopping for curtains for the nursery. She slept the whole time we were out. Chrissie had to wake her up for feeding time at Olive Garden (I love the never-ending salad, bread sticks and soup).

Travis was honing his bottle feeding skills. I think he did a pretty good job. His thoughts were that as long as he can watch the football game on TV while he takes care of Lil' Wodie, he'll be able to handle parenting easily enough. GREAT.

Audrey really seems to love watching football. She doesn't really pay attention to the TV until there is a game on. Chrissie thinks it might be because of the bands playing all the time and the colorful crowd. Either way, she enjoyed the show while Travis burped her.

Dad gives it a go! I'm not quite sure what Audrey's face is all about. I think the red-eye reduction light on my camera freaked her out a little. I had to put my finger over it to get shots of her without a deer-in-headlights response.

I am so sad that I am going to miss so many stages of this little girl's life. She is going to be so much bigger by the time I have a chance to visit again. I guess I'll just have to settle for my own little one. =D

Monday, January 5, 2009

There's nothing left in Bolivar

For the drive to Illinois, we generally take the Galveston Ferry. I know I mentioned before about my stress about the ferry working, and what we might find on the other side. To add to this stress was the possibility that the ferry might not be running due to fog. We had several days in a row of fog that was so severe they had to temporarily close down the channel the day before our trip. Before leaving Ariel and Robert's apartment that morning, I called the ferry and was relieved to hear the channel was all clear for boat traffic.

When we left this time, we made it to Bolivar Peninsula around 7 in the morning. I was interested to see how the area had changed since Ike and boy was I in for a shock. There was nothing there. I mean sure, there were a few skeletons of buildings and homes and there was a spurt of street lined with vehicles that had obviously been pushed there by the storm surge. I was amazed to see cars overturned and halfway buried under the sand. I heard that when the sand was submerged, it turned into quick sand that sucked in anything heavy enough to sink. We saw that first hand.

Unfortunately, the fog was so bad that we could barely see beyond a block from the road we traveled. There was still standing water EVERYWHERE that had even overtaken a portion of the road. I was irritated I had to go 20 miles under the speed limit. It's a long drive dammit!

We saw one lot that looked like it was rebuilding, but they were raising the land first. I cannot imagine rebuilding out there. Even if you had land to build on, there was NOTHING around. No grocery stores, no gas stations, only one school unless you're willing to drive 30 to 40 minutes up the road. There was one restaurant that had already reopened. I can't imagine that business is very good for them.

Here's a look at what shots we could get in the fog:

I was hoping that we would be able to get some better shots on the drive back, but I forgot about the fact that there are no street lamps left to light the area. We got in around midnight, and to top it off it was foggy again. We noticed at the ferry landing that everything was still running off of generators. And of course, we were "randomly" chosen to have our vehicle searched. I was going to go off if they made us open the trunk. It was packed full to the ceiling, plus we had to make use of the roof rack for our luggage. Thankfully, they let that step slip and they just checked what they could. No drugs or guns in our car, by golly.

We made it the whole 18 hours home without one piece of luggage falling off the roof (unlike our last experience with using the roof rack). Travis, Robert and my dad wrapped everything in a tarp before tying it closed with rope and topping it off with ratchet ties. I think that stuff was pretty solid. The only downfall with tying crap to the roof is that our miles per gallon went down 3mpg!! That adds up over 1100 miles. It was worth it though. We brought so much stuff back from my mom's house (on top of all our Christmas gifts).

It was a great vacation!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

At a gas station somewhere in Mississippi...

This story is too mortifying not to share. If you are faint of heart when it comes to bodily functions, you're going to want to go ahead and SKIP THIS POST.

One of the "side effects" of pregnancy can be constipation. Up until two weeks ago, I thought I had been lucky enough to fore go this issue. But after making the trip to Illinois and all proper eating habits went out the window, things took a turn for the worse. I have been able to do nothing but produce a couple rabbit turds (as Travis calls them) every other day. I think it is mostly due to the fact that I have been eating tons of junk instead of the regular fruits, vegetables and granola that I like to get in on a daily basis.

Anyways, it figures that during the 18-hour drive back to Texas my bowels would suddenly decide they know how to work again. Travis was driving and I knew an emergency stop was necessary, so he pulled off at the first gas station we came upon. I was thankful to see it was a decent gas station that I would be spending several minutes in. There is no way I could have hovered over a nasty toilet to take care of this deed.

I run into the bathroom, and sure enough, there are only two stalls, with two women in line ahead of me. I impatiently wait my turn and go in for the kill when grandma finally makes her exit out of stall numero dos. This was an emergency situation, so I had no other choice but to do the deed immediately. I have never had to take a crap, let alone have free flowing bowels, in a room with SO MANY PEOPLE.

I swear to you, two Mormon families stopped at the gas station at the same time as us. There was suddenly a line of ten women and girls overflowing out the door, waiting for their turn in the bathroom. And to top it all off, the stalls were the flimsy metal kind with a three-inch gap around the entire door so that every person standing in line could wave and easily have a conversation with me as they awaited their turn.

My only saving grace was that because of the numerous people going in and out in the handicap stall next to me, there was almost constantly a toilet being flushed or a hand air dryer blowing. I had to keep reminding myself that I would NEVER SEE any of these people again.

I still to this moment do not know what turned on the Nikki Faucet. Don't ask me why, but I'm thinking it was the apple slices from Subway. It seemed like my body saw fresh fruit and just flipped out.

So now I'm sitting at my computer, looking at my Afro silhouetted in my computer screen. I must be back in Texas.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Family and Friends and Food, Oh My!

Travis and I made out pretty good this Christmas, and so did Lil' Wodie! After everyone heard the news, they ran out to pick up some stuff for the little guy. So far he has accrued an Illini onesie and hoodie from Daddy, a diaper changing wedge and a BAG of hand-me-down clothes from Alexa (thanks, Alexa!), a blanket, sweater and jeans from Chrissie and a BAG of clothes from Grandma Carol (my mom). Little did Grandpa Greg know that he bought us a video camera for documenting the Life of Lil' Wodie. Yay!

My mom also bought me a maternity outfit and Travis' sister gave me a bunch of her old maternity stuff. Travis gave me a belly band for Christmas which I am super excited about. It's perfect for holding up my pants that I now I have to leave unbuttoned and sometimes partially unzipped, depending on how much I've eaten. It just looks like a have a black tank top under my shirt. Plus, if I want to wear the maternity pants my mom gave me now, the band will hold them up, since they're a little big for me just yet. It's amazing what they have for the expecting mother these days!

It is going to take everything in my power not to run home, take the tags off of Lil' Wodie's new stuff, wash it and throw it on a baby hanger in the closet. My friend Sara put that off until a few weeks before her due date, only to find out she wasn't having a girl - it was a boy! Since everything was untagged, she couldn't return anything. She was however able to return the bedding that was delivered after she found out the change of plans. I think I will feel more comfortable after the upcoming ultrasound this month. The prenatal doctor said he can tell us with 99% accuracy the sex of our baby, assuming he's willing to show us the goods. As of right now, it's at 80%.

Travis and I have been so busy running around visiting all our family and friends. It hasn't been as stressful as I thought it would be though. Here's a couple photos to bring you up to speed.

Robert, Ariel and I went to my dad's work to help him do a couple things. Several trees lost a bunch of limbs during the ice storm.

I was confused for a moment and thought we had somehow wondered into Mexico. We left the Mexican restaurant after lunch with my dad and this frickin rooster came running out the back door with two Hispanic guys. Woh. Alex couldn't get into his car because he was worried the rooster would attack. Seriously.

Travis and I stayed at Chrissie and Jordan's house for several days around New Year's. It was great to spend so much time getting to know Audrey

Audrey and Mom hanging out in Audrey's nursery.

We forgot to take photos with Travis' dad's family when we were there for Christmas, so we stopped by several days later. (Left to right, front to back: Nikki, Travis, dad Curt, sister Crystena, nephew Cole, brother Sean and niece Kaitlyn.)

I can't wait until Travis gets to rough house with Lil' Wodie and his friends! Here he is taking on the kids at his dad's house.