Saturday, February 28, 2009

Long post... hope it's not too much for one sitting

Travis and I had a fairly random weekend. I used to always plan my days off down to the last second because I didn't want to lose one minute of entertainment. This weekend was different. At the last minute, we invited Chris, Alexa and Blair over for dinner on Friday. They haven't been to our house since Blair could walk, so that was interesting. Travis and I got a taste of what things might be too dangerous when we have our own little one roaming our house. I did attempt to pull things off the coffee table that were not baby-friendly, in hopes that Chris and Alexa wouldn't have to spend the entire evening chasing Blair around. Although I do have to give them props because when they said 'No', Blair was a very good listener.

There were a few time were you could tell that he was testing his boundries. For example, see the lantern lights behind Chris in this photo?


Blair loved them. And who wouldn't? Alexa told him no (not a good idea for a one year old to be playing with electricity) and he stopped! He made a pouty face and walked away. But just a few minutes later he walked back to them. Before he touched them, he looked at his mom to see what she was going to do, and then he touched them again! LOL! He is so funny. After a couple tries, each time being torn down by mom, he finally gave up on the lanterns.

We got in several hours of fun before it was time for Blair to head to bed. Alexa brought over a few items that she had been borrowing, along with a few more baby things that I passed on to Nadya (her and her husband Alexey are expecting a baby girl just five days after our little man). They also left behind a gigantic box. It was originally for Blair to play with, but when they left I sprayed it with catnip and it became the cats' box. They had a good time before it was time for their 37th nap of the day.

Saturday turned out to be a fairly gloomy day. Travis spent all day with the guys celebrating JR's Bachelor Party Day. The had a tee time of 11:30AM and spent the whole afternoon on the golf course. Then they headed to Hooters for dinner. They all planned to head to a bar after dinner, but Travis ended up leaving the party early. He had some weird, scary blackout moment. He said he only had a few drinks throughout the whole day, so it can't be explained away by too much alcohol. Travis said he started to get hot and his heart was racing. He excused himself from the table and then woke up almost half an hour later laying down in his truck.


This really freaks me out. I feel like we are so close to having the little family that we want that every little thing that goes wrong scares the living daylights out of me. He called to say he was coming home early and asked if I could have some chicken soup ready for him. As excited as I was to have him home with me, I didn't like the circumstances. JR said that he just disappeared and they didn't know where he went to after he excused himself from the table. That means he never passed out while standing upright.

We still have no idea what happened to him. He felt fine when he woke up Sunday morning and has not had an incident since. I hope it was a one time thing. It does seem like every time he plays golf, he comes home feeling like crap. I always thought it was a combination of too much sun and too much alcohol, resulting in dehydration. I guess that could still be the case, despite not drinking as much as he used to. Eek!

Sunday was another random day for us. We got up and Travis made me french toast and bacon for breakfast (that pre-cooked microwavable bacon is my new favorite). We decided to take Callaway for a walk, but were disappointed to find it was pretty chilly, with a significant breeze. We made it about half way down the block when some guy comes out of his garage asking what kid of a dog we have. Turns out, he has a Catahoula Leopard dog that looks a lot like Callaway. He and his wife were just about to head out on a walk themselves with their 9-month old son, so they joined us. They seemed like very nice people, so we exchanged phone numbers. They said they like to grill out a lot - maybe we'll get an invitation soon. =)

After the walk, we took it easy for an hour and ate lunch. Then we headed to Galveston to help Nadya and Alexey move. Now that they are expecting a little one of their own, they decided it was time to get a bigger apartment. It has worked out great being pregnant at the same time as Nadya. I know so many people who have had babies within the past couple of years and we have been offered so much stuff. We are ending up with two of some item, so I have been offering the "extras" to Nadya and Alexey. Yesterday, we were able to set them up with a free dresser and crib from a friend of Travis'. Having a baby makes it very easy to fill up any extra space you may have had in your home. I think they will easily fill out that new apartment.

Since they didn't have much to move, we spent only a few hours with Nadya and Alexey. Then we made a surprise visit to Ariel and Robert. We have been trying to meet up with them for weeks, but our plans kept falling through. This time we just dropped by and didn't give them a choice. We lazed around with them all afternoon watching movies and catching up on our lives. We had Pizza Hut take-out for dinner and watched The Legend of Bagger Vance. It was a little slow for me - not sure I would recommend it to anyone.

All in all, we had a good weekend. Although I'm not ready for the week to start yet. Oops. Too late...

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Ever-Popular Issue of Weight



This picture is hilarious to me on so many levels. A friend from high school was going through some of her old photos and came across this one. It was taken on the floor in front of my locker. I have no idea what we are doing hanging out there. Maybe it's the beginning of the day and class hasn't started yet? I have no clue.

Travis and I joke all the time now that we our weights have switched since high school. I was at my heaviest at a little over 145 and Travis maybe weighed 125 pounds. Granted, at the time, he was a sophomore and I was a senior. I had a few more years of growth on him, right? Anyhoo, since then, Travis has gained enough weight to make him look more like an adult than an adolescent and I managed to get my junk food cravings under control. Pre-pregnancy, I was almost constantly at 133. Somehow I got down to 125 for our wedding. Ya, that won't happen again.

Looking at this picture freaks me out. I am currently at 144. That is VERY close to my heaviest weight ever (as is seen in photo above). Rachel and I were talking the other day about how pregnancy goes against everything a female is taught in this day and age. I'm not saying that either of our parents promoted anorexia, but the media has done a darn good job of letting us know that obesity is not an option.

Now, people look at me like I'm a bad person when I say I only gained five pounds in my first trimester. I saw a guy at work yesterday that I hadn't seen in a few months. His first reaction was, "Hey! Congratulations! You look great! I haven't seen you since you got bigger!" Can you tell me when that has ever been said in the same sentence as a good thing? Congratulations you are bigger?! Ha!

I love that I am expected to gain weight (although I want to keep that under control so I'm not in agony after the baby is born). The other hilarious thing is how I am treated like I am injured or incapacitated in some way. I am getting to the point where things are getting a little more difficult. Like bending over, for example. I can still do it, but it takes a little more effort nowadays. Here are a few examples of what other people will not let me do "in my condition":
  • Bend over to unlatch a door. (according to a lady in the break room)
  • Use the stairs, because I might slip on a piece of ice or food. Keep in mind that the stairs at my work are INDOORS. (according to a guy in my lab)
  • Use the step stool. Although I can see this one becoming treacherous in the future. (according to a guy in my lab)
  • Pick up boxes, empty or full. (according to everyone, it seems)
  • The one I am starting to appreciate the most - I am always offered a seat, wherever I am.

I know people are just trying to be nice and I appreciate it. I just worry about stuff, like my bosses thinking having a pregnant lady is a nuisance because she can't do anything. I feel like I am at a point where I am still capable of doing most things, albeit sometimes it may be a little slower than I used to. I am only just past the halfway point in this pregnancy and I've only put on 11 pounds (I have to say I look better pregnant-fat than I do in that photo). I guess I just don't want to lose respect because I've become some lazy pregnant lady.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For those with and those without

Maybe I will feel differently about this once I have my own child and once he has grown enough to possibly wonder off when I am not paying close enough attention to him. Or perhaps in high school when I am worried he might be getting into drugs. Or if he has snuck out in the middle of the night to meet up with his girlfriend for a makeout session... Until then, for those of you who would like to stalk your child.

Lok8u - World's first GPS locator for your child

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Freaky. I guess some people want it so badly they'd purchase something like this. I still say it's creepy.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What the deuce?!

This is, by far, one of the strangest fish I have seen as of late.


The head is transparent. And those two green balls on the inside are its eyes, pointing upward as it searches for food. The two dark spots just above the mouth are its nares (fish version of nostrils). This fish was first discovered in 1939, but more is being found about this unique creature as technology advances.

Want to learn more? Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (my dream job) or good ole Wikipedia for more info.

Seriously. Cool. Fish.

Car Seat Safety

Last night, Travis and I went to a car seat safety class. It was so funny because we were the only couple there until the last five minutes of the informational video. Then there was one other couple that went with us on the walk-through of the car seats and strollers.

We almost didn't go to the class because I had some painful Braxton-Hicks contractions all day yesterday. I have had them in the past, but never more than one or two in a day. My doc said to take it easy whenever they got painful, and to call her if they became regular. The contractions were never close together, thankfully.

I was really looking forward to this class at Babies R Us, so I roughed it for a few hours. I am really glad we went. Travis even admitted he learned a lot. The strange parts to me were that they recommend children under 13 ALWAYS sit in the back seat and that children as old as 8 years may have to use a booster seat (depending on how tall they are). Woh. My parents totally didn't do that with us. Travis said that he would have gotten beaten up if he had been seen getting out of a booster seat at school. We have a few years before we need to make those decisions.

After the class, the instructor gave us a coupon, so we made a few purchases. We decided on some not-fun stuff, like a crib mattress liner and diaper changing accessories. Plus, they gave us a car window sun shade for free in our take-home bag. FUN. Looks like Travis is going to have a Babies R Us sun shade. LOL! Travis pointed out that my car doesn't need sun shades since the tint is practically blackout.

I was also excited to find some information on where we can take the car seat to get checked for proper installation. They only do it during the week, so I hope to do that while I am on my maternity leave.

Here's what What To Expect has to say about my weight gain and the baby's weight gain this week. YIKES!

"This week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain. Your baby's weight in the next four weeks alone should double (and you may feel as though yours is too)."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Before 2002

I had another strange dream the other night. I am sure that doesn't come as a surprise to many of you.


I dreamt that Travis, Ariel and I all had to go to the cell phone store to upgrade our phones. When we all went out to the camper (none of us own a camper in real life) to drive into town, this tall guy got in behind the driver's seat and took off with us in the vehicle. He was driving in the direction we needed to go, so I didn't say anything to the familiar looking man. A few moments later, he pulled into the strip mall parking lot of our cell phone store and parked the camper. We all got out and headed for the store, like this had been the plan all along. The guy headed towards the pizza place next to our cell phone store and said, "Come get me when you guys are finished. I'll be right in here."

My dream ended shortly thereafter and I woke up trying to figure out who that guy was. It actually took me a couple minutes to realize that he was a friend of Travis and mine when we lived in Illinois. Suddenly, I was reminded of a whole time of our lives that I had forgotten about. I know I've mentioned before that I have a bad memory, but this is ridiculous. I completely forgot about the two years between when I graduated from high school and when Travis and I moved down here to Texas.

Don't get me wrong, I do recall that I had two years before we moved here. And I remember that I went to a community college and got my Associate's degree during that time. But it seems I dropped every recollection of our social life.

We had this large group of friends that we made through a guy that Travis worked with at Quizno's during his last two years of high school (yes, that's right. Travis is two years my junior). This Quizno's guy went to school at the large university in the town where we lived. He lived in a rented house on campus with a friend and his twin.

My best friend Chrissie ended up dating the Quizno's guy and we all started hanging out every weekend. The location changed every weekend as we took turns hanging out at a different friend's house each weekend. At the end of each night we either stayed the night at the Quizno's guy's house, or we headed back to our house.

I suppose the fact that I totally forgot about this time of my life should give you an idea of our weekend activities. That's about the time I learned to like beer. It's crazy to think about how far Travis and I have come since then. Every time I think about how much our life is about to change with the birth of this child, I am amazed and grateful for everything Travis and I have done in our lives together. I don't know what brought up the random memory of the good old university group, but that sure made that dream just as random as the rest of them to me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I'm Crashing

Last night was a mess. Every time I have a night lacking in sleep, I remind myself that I have many months and possibly years of that to look forward to. The only difference is that then I will have a little person to distract me from my exhaustion.

Saturday night, Travis was in a Mardis Gras parade in Galveston. He and a friend drove a truck that pulled a float for Tilman Fertitta Hospitality (the man who owns half of Galveston). He had a few drinks during the celebration. When he got home, he wasn't plastered, but it was evident that he had imbibed a few. The funny part here is that I ended up feeling like his mom.

This whole being-pregnant-and-always-sober thing is allowing me to get to know Drunk Travis a little better. Whenever he has been drinking (which is not near as often as it used to be before I was pregnant), he comes home and tries to play it off like he is completely sober. It's like when we were in high school trying not to get caught by our parents. It has only happened a handful of times, and I never get angry with him, so I'm not quite sure why he's trying to hide it. I guess I should appreciate his thoughtfulness.

That night, Travis didn't get much sleep. The whole drinking and sleeping thing doesn't leave for a quality bedtime. That is why I was hoping that Sunday night, after lack of sleep, roughing a hangover and a full day of work that he would sleep great. Turns out, he didn't. He tossed. He turned. He repeatedly whacked me as he rolled over throughout the night. Plus, he fell asleep with the TV on and when it woke me up at midnight, I tried to wake him to turn it off (no telling where the remote was). It took five tries of him seemingly waking up and saying okay, but then rolling over and falling right back asleep before he actually woke up and responded to me properly.

Travis went through this period of months where he would wake up and we would have a conversation lasting several minutes. Then he would fall asleep before I was finished talking. When I tried to finish the discussion in the morning, he had no idea what I was talking about. He had absolutely recollection of speaking to me. I think that might have been what was going on last night when I was trying to get him to turn the dang TV off. UGH.

Needless to say, between the beatings I received from Travis, Phage sleeping on my feet and Travis sleeping in the center of the bed, (also add in here the body pillow and wedge pillow I sleep with) I did not get enough sleep last night. I think my weekend long sugar-high has left me in an extended energy crash. I ate a ridiculous amount of sugar this weekend. There were tons of cakes, cookies and chocolate at a fancy bridal shower I went to on Saturday. My house is still filled with Valentine's Day candy and a tub of Blue Bell Tin Roof in my freezer. THEN, on Sunday, I brought lunch to Travis at his boss' house. I guess his boss is friends with someone who works for Nabisco and that FRIEND left a million samples at his house. I left his house with a bag full of Nabisco treats. Guess I'm finally going to try Cakesters. I try not to keep sweets in my house. If I did, I would weight at least 10 pounds heavier than I normally do.

I have already decided that I am not allowed anything sweet today. I am on sugar overload and I worry that my baby is going to come jumping out of my stomach on his own.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Furniture Complete.

The nursery furniture is complete! We still need to get the co-sleeper and rocking chair for our bedroom, but we still have four months to purchase that.

Friday night, Travis put together the futon that we ordered from Target.com. I am very happy with our decision to put a sofa in the nursery. Friends of ours put a love seat in their nursery and I don't know that I would have thought to do that without seeing their idea. I love the fact that both Travis and I will be able to sit in there together and enjoy spending time with our son. Plus, as he grows, it will give us a place to sit to read books if it is not yet bed time.

The only downfall with this dark futon, which we learned very quickly, is that cat hair shows up GREAT on it. I know that cat and dog hair is an unfortunate side effect of owning cats and dogs. I was just hoping to keep this room pristine at least until the baby gets here. At the moment I have the door to the bedroom closed to keep the cats out. Sagira has been sharpening her claws on the diaper changing pad - another thing I'm not a big fan of. I liked being able to walk by the room and see his crib there. Now it's just dark at the end of the hallway. Damn cats.


I put up more photos of the nursery at Lil Wodie's BabySite, for those who are interested.

Another exciting development - I feel the little guy moving throughout the day now! I LOVE IT. It really is the coolest thing. He was moving around first thing this morning when I woke up, so Dad was able to feel him move before heading off to work. (I have to work this afternoon, too.)

My favorite thing is when he pushes his head into the side of my belly. It is the weirdest thing to see my lopsided stomach. I think I like it so much because I get a feel for how big he is and it's almost like I am holding him in my hands. I'm sure that sounds weird and/or creepy to most, but I love it.

The other night, I had another vivid dream about Lil Wodie. I was sitting down, watching my belly move. I pressed my hands down on my skin, to show everyone where he was kicking at and when I did that, it stretched my skin out. It ended up stretching my skin so much that it became transparent enough for me to see the baby. All my baby books say that his skin is still mostly transparent at the moment because he does not have skin or hair pigment yet. Interestingly enough, in my dream Lil Wodie's skin was transparent too. So I could mostly only see his bones. Again, in this dream I was not frightened or worried about this whole situation at all. I was just in awe that I could see my baby. After the light came in from the outside, it woke Lil Wodie up. He opened his eyes wide and stared at me. Then he smiled!

My dreams are weird.

Friday, February 20, 2009

TGIF!!!

Gah! If I knew how to make the font larger or bolder on this post title, I would. It's been a BAD week and I am grateful it is almost over. First there's the whole having to pay taxes thing. Then there's the stress from the credit card company. And then after work yesterday, some lady slammed her car door into my car in the grocery store parking lot. I sat there for a second waiting to see what her reaction was because I honestly wasn't sure if she had hit my car, or if she had just dropped something on the ground outside my car that was loud enough for me to hear on the inside.

When she just closed her door and walked away, I jumped out to go check my car. Turns out, she did hit my car. It's only a little scrape - maybe a centimeter long - but it irritates the crap out of me. She had no problem just walking away like nothing happened. I had the engine running, so she knew I was in the car. She was already in the grocery store by the time I realized there was damage. It's not bad, but over time with rain and wind, it will probably get worse.

I decided I didn't want to sit and wait for her to finish shopping, so I just left. I left irate. I didn't feel better until I got home. Not even the thought of the Taco Bell I bought for dinner made me feel better (which I had been craving all day). It wasn't until I was bringing the groceries in the house and saw the package for the futon leaning against the garage that I felt happy (yay! the futon for the nursery is here!).

I'm not good with negative feelings. Anger, frustration, sadness. I don't cope well with these. I always used to find a way to work through them. Pregnancy is like glue for these feelings. Once they stick, it's hard to shake 'em. It makes my stomach flip and I get mild heartburn. I have to say that one of the things I WON'T miss about being pregnant is the extremes in which I find my emotions. If I'm sad, I'm bawling. If I'm mad, I'm livid. If I'm happy, I want to bounce everywhere I go - not walk. And it usually takes some time for the feeling to dissolve. I can't deal with all this negativity!

Again, I need to focus on the positive: I am getting so much hand-me-down baby stuff that is in great shape - clothes, bouncy seat, swing, stroller, car seat, crib mobile - from our great friends and family (THANK YOU EVERYONE), we have all the furniture for the nursery, I have a healthy baby growing in my belly, I have an awesome, loving husband who is working his butt off to pay for this baby... The list goes on. I need to not forget it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

We almost made a trip to South Dakota

I didn't feel much movement from Lil' Wodie yesterday and I was starting to get a little worried. I felt a few kicks here and there, but nothing consecutive so I could show my co-workers the leaps and bounds our little one has made over the weekend. Last night just after dinner, my fears were lessened when he was more active for Dad.

When I was just finishing up my shower, Travis came in to announce that our credit card company had raised our interest rate from 5% to 20%. Any fears I had that Lil' Wodie was not alright ceased right then. The adrenaline that kicked in must have woken the baby up to the point that he was doing constant somersaults.

I tore out half my hair while brushing because I was in such a hurry to call that damn credit card company. All the while, trying to ignore the flips that both my stomach and baby were making. You see, several months ago, we paid off that credit card. When we did that, they called me and offered up this deal - lifetime interest rate of 5% for any transferred amount, assuming I don't default. Hell ya, I thought. I quickly moved over a good chunk from another credit card with a much higher interest rate.

In December, I got a letter from that same credit card company stating that they were raising my interest rate to 20%. I was livid because I NEVER would have transferred to them if I thought they would change my rate (let alone within six months). I immediately called and they assured me that I was locked in with the 5% as long as I didn't default. All I could think was THANK GOD we paid off that card. I cannot imagine having to pay off a credit card after they raised my interest rate that much. That is ridiculous. Especially for a customer like me who pays higher than their minimum balance EVERY MONTH. It used to be that you were rewarded for such action.

Back to the present... Thankfully, Travis was looking at our bills in detail last night and he noticed that they had actually started to charge us that 20% interest. That's when he came in to interrupt my seemingly relaxing shower. I barged out of that bathroom like a bull on a mission. I called the company, asked them what the hell was going on and they pointed out that I made a late payment in January. When I went through my bills, it turns out my payment went in two days late. TWO DAYS!

The customer service agent I spoke to was awesome though, and she worked it out with her manager to get my original rate of 5% back. Thank goodness. I was about to do something drastic. Like make a trip with Travis to South Dakota to visit these folks. We've got a baby on the way, plus we just found out we owe a ridiculous amount in taxes despite the fact that we both have our taxes taken out of our paychecks. We just don't have the means to deal with an increase in interest rates right now. We'd probably be on the streets with the other half of America within a few months.

It seems the credit card companies are going to extremes with this economy crisis. One of our friends paid off half his card in one month so he wouldn't be riding on the limit line, risking fees for going over. The next month, he got a letter stating that they dropped his limit amount. Guess by how much. The same amount that he owed. So now he's back riding that limit line. There NEEDS to be a law against that. And one against randomly raising interest rates. Especially if you are a good customer. I can understand such treatment if there are missed payments, under payments or late payments. But not for customers with a good history.

Lil' Wodie is doing flips just as I'm writing this post. I should stop writing now and think about puppies. Or flowers. Or the very sure possibility that I will be holding my son in four short months...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday TGIF

Last night, Travis and I rushed up into Houston traffic during rush hour to meet some long-distance friends for dinner. They live in New Mexico and have a 9-month old son with a lot of baby stuff he is quickly outgrowing. When they decided to come visit friends and family in Houston, they gave me a call to meet up for an exchange of baby stuff.

We met at TGI Friday's and we even made it on time. I couldn't believe that Travis actually got out of work at 5:15. Despite rush hour traffic and having to take the tollway, we made it to the restaurant by 7. I got some of my Omega-3's naturally for probably the first time in this pregnancy. The thought of seafood has been one of general aversion for months now. I have been taking my prenatal vitamin with DHA, so hopefully that's slightly making up for my lack in fish.

After dinner, we retrieved the cargo: a travel system (thanks Shannon for offering to get us a new one!!!), a snuzzler and a crib mobile. This whole hand-me-down system is really lightening the load for us. It's been such a relief.

On the way home, I was blasting the heat for a few minutes after the freeze-out the restaurant put me through. The result was steamed up windows. Travis through on the defoggers for a minute and then he suddenly grabbed my head with one free hand. I looked at him like he was crazy and asked him with the hell he was doing. I assumed he was making reference to the fogged up windows that were most likely a result of the heat and humidity radiating from my head.

Turns out, he saw a sign that said "Stop Ahead". So he stopped my head. Phff.

******************************************************

I am also relieved to announce that we found a home babysitter to take care of Lil' Wodie during the day. Joanna, the babysitter, watches a friend's 2-year-old son and they (both mom and son) love her. Little Matthew is turning out pretty good, so she must be good at what she does. She is a stay-at-home-mom with two daughters. One will be starting Kindergarten in August and the other is 20 months old.

Joanna was forced into an apartment after Hurricane Ike, but is planning to move back into a house in April. After she and her husband make that move, Travis and I are going to stop by and check out her house and meet her in person. Again, I can not describe the amount of relief I feel after this GREAT FIND. I'm starting to feel a lot less stressed out about this whole having a baby thing. =D

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day

Travis and I usually try to spend all of Valentine's Day together, just the two of us. Since this will be our last before it becomes the three of us, we wanted to make sure to enjoy one last hurrah. When I woke up a little after 8, I rolled over to find my husband was gone. Ha! I guess he didn't have time to get anything for me all week, so he had to settle for the morning of. Phsh.

He showed up 15 minutes later with a box of chocolates and a live orchid. I'll let you know how long it takes me to kill it. Seriously, I have not been able to keep anything but an ivy plant alive in this dungeon of a home we live in. Our last apartment was so bright, without direct light, and I was able to grow a forest on our shelving. I WILL have that light again.

Back to Vday... We went over to a friends' house for dinner Friday night and Travis was feeling a bit hungover, so I made him breakfast in bed. We laid in bed for at least another hour, watching TV and surfing the web. We even got crazy and bought tickets for our babymoon. It will also have to serve as an early birthday present for me, since we will have a newborn and probably won't be up for heading out for anything big without the little guy. Travis bought us tickets to go see Dave Matthews Band in concert!!! I have always wanted to see him live. I can't wait! It should be interesting though, since I will be under two months from my due date. We got lawn seats, so I can lay down if need be. LOL! Pregnant lady at a concert!

The best part all morning was when Lil' Wodie somehow developed super strength overnight and we were actually able to see him kicking. At first, I had Travis feel and when he distinctly, no questions asked, felt our little man kick I was SO ecstatic. Then, while he was purchasing the tickets, I lifted my shirt up just to check if I could see the movements. I couldn't believe it when I COULD. Travis got to see it too! Oh man this is so cool. Lil' Wodie must have been lifting weights or something. How much does the umbilical cord weight in comparison to a 21-week old fetus? Whatever it is, it seems like he turned into Super Baby overnight.

Travis and I finally got our lazy butts out of bed around 10 and put together the crib in the nursery. (Sara strongly recommended putting it together IN the nursery. When they put Logan's together in the living room and tried to carry it into the nursery they quickly learned that they would have to take it apart again because the crib wouldn't fit through the doorway.)

After I finished arranging the furniture and repairing some of my old baby books, I headed out to see what Travis had accomplished in the garage. Earlier this week he had put together some of the cabinets that we got from Chris and Alexa. When they were going to throw them out after the hurricane, Travis asked if he could use them in our garage. Now we have more folding space for laundry and cabinets to hold our sports gear.

Then on Saturday, Travis made way for his Man Room. Once I got out there, a steady downpour began, so I decided to hang around and help him for a while. By the time we finished, it was time to get ready for dinner.

Travis and I almost never go out for dinner, so it is always a treat for us to go out on Valentine's Day, birthdays and anniversaries. We usually try to find some place we've never been and that we would not go to on any regular day. This year, we decided to take it easy and head to Galveston for steaks. I was sure that we would have to wait forever. One, because it was Valentine's Day on a weekend. And two, because the Mardis Gras celebration is going on in Galveston. We did a call ahead to get put on the waiting list and got to the restaurant early, but it turned out there was no need. The weather was crappy, so there was barely anyone out for Mardis Gras. Plus, we happened to get to the restaurant at the beginning of one of the parades. Meaning, anyone who was out in the crappy weather was at the parade!

We were sat immediately and ate our meal within an hour. Quickest Valentine's Day dinner ever. Since we were done so early, we headed to the grocery store for a couple pints of ice cream and then hit up a Red Box on the way home to pick up Eagle Eye. I'm pretty sure I held my breath through half of that movie. It was intense, without being scary. I liked it. Although, Lil' Wodie was probably hurting for oxygen by the end. Oops.

We had a long day, so we hit the sack by 10:30pm, after the movie. It was a grand just-the-two-of-us Valentine's Day. =D

Monday, February 16, 2009

The nursery is almost finished!

We finally got to put together the crib! YAY! We spent several hours on Valentine's day putting together the crib and rearranging the nursery and garage. It took Travis about 20 minutes to get the crib together, while I wiped the styrofoam packing pieces off all the wood. I think it turned out really great - THANKS DAD!!!

After the crib was together, Travis headed out to the garage to build a shelf (hanging from the ceiling rafters) to hold a bunch of our stuff. We had everything piled against the wall and underneath his work bench and it was starting to get crowded out there. It is almost impossible for Travis to get his monster truck into the garage, so we use half of it for the foosball table and Travis' tools/machinery.

Now that he moved most of the boxes off the ground, he has more space for his Man Room. Yes sirree, Travis is going to have a Man Room in the garage. We have a futon and a TV that we no longer have room for in the house, so we are moving them out to the garage. Travis already has a foosball table and dart board. The only thing he has left is a mini-fridge for his beer. We are building a good ole redneck hideaway for my husband. Nice. Man Room sounds better.

While Travis was working away in the garage, I vacuumed up the remaining styrofoam pieces in the nursery and arranged all the furniture.


You can see the beige Travis used to paint the walls. I think it's hard to see the difference unless you compare it to
previous photos. The biggest change is the new dark brown shade of the built-in shelf and dresser. I think it turned out pretty good.


The only thing we have left that we can do before the baby shower (in May) is get the futon (ordered and awaiting delivery) and find window treatments. We plan to put up white blinds and colorful curtains to help brighten up the room. Right now there is an abundance of brown that needs to be put in it's place.


Putting together the crib from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday Callaway!

Callaway celebrated his second birthday this past Saturday. I am so thankful that he has started to calm down finally. He still has to constantly be in our presence and when we are up and walking around he only feels safe if his nose is touching our legs. At least he doesn't constantly jump up and down (which he still does, just not constantly).

I have decided that if we ever get another dog in my lifetime, it will not be a puppy. I am happy that we got to have Callaway as a little guy and that he got to grow up with us, but house training is a bitch. Although, Travis would argue that we would be able to train a new dog and teach him tricks more easily if we got him as a puppy. UGH. That is something we will deal with when the time comes.

Our carpet is still covered in spots where Callaway peed as a puppy. We've done as much as we can to clean it, but it will be here until we are able to replace the carpet (hope to do that right before we sell the house). Nowadays I just have to deal with a dog that loves me so much that he won't let me pet him. Not because he backs away, but because he has to lick my hand the second it comes within a foot of him. I'm going to have to go ahead and point out that this is Travis' dog, despite the fact that I spend more time with him than Travis does (because of all the hours he works).

Anyhoo, Travis and I brought Callaway back a treat for his birthday. Travis wanted to document the occasion, so here you are:








Callaway's 2nd Birthday from Nicolette Ward on Vimeo.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Introducing Lil Wodie's Blog!

I finally broke down and started a baby blog for Lil Wodie. I was having trouble trying to pick one out because most of them have cheesy backgrounds that I'm not very fond of. This one was the best I could find. For free anyway.

I know I talk a lot about baby stuff and pregnancy on here, and I'm not going to stop. But maybe having this other website will help me cut back on the amount of it. That way there is a sort of filter on this blog, for those non-baby-eccentric folks out there.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Avoiding the topic

I am having an angry morning. For no good reason other than I have pregnancy hormones surging through my body. I think these hormones are comparable to alcohol in that when there is too much of it in your body, your inhibitions are diminished. I say things or get angry at times when I know it is unreasonable, but I gripe at Travis about it anyway. I mean literally, as I am speaking the words, I know it is not sane thinking. But it feels like the only way to ease my pain is to let it out.

This morning I did a pretty good job of not letting it all out on Travis, but it left me feeling mad and irritated. Traffic on the way into work just exacerbated the issue. In fear of passing on this pointless anger, I'm going to stick to a few strange things I've come across in my recent web surfing.



Free online PMS reminder (for husbands or boyfriends who fear that time of month)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Streaming Webcam

My dad and I figured out our webcams last night. It took us probably 20 minutes to run my dad through everything he needed to do to turn on the webcam capabilities on his computer. The night before we downloaded the program. Since Travis was working on repairing our Internet, we were unable to test it then.

I think that may have been a good thing because it can be EXTREMELY frustrating sometimes when I explain computer stuff to my dad. He has lots of patience. It's me that wants to tear my hair out when I have to describe to him, over the phone (remember: he's in Illinois, I'm in Texas), how to toggle between open windows. I have to go through every single little step required to do something. I've been trying to convince him to take a Microsoft Office class at the local college so he will at least have that basic knowledge. Still trying though.

Anyhoo, after we finally got our webcams synced, I realized that my microphone had stopped working. I was unable to figure out what the problem was, so we settled for speaker phone for last night. I went through and showed him what Travis has been doing in the nursery (which he finished last night, by the way - photos soon), all the baby clothes and book, and all the new stuff we've done to the house since he last visited. It was cool that I could just walk around with my laptop to show him these things.

THEN, we started photo sharing! Wow. It is amazing what you can do online. I wish I had started doing this earlier. With both of my parents. And my friends in Illinois. It would still be nice to get this running with all of them, but it probably won't happen. Lives are busy (Chrissie just had a baby, mom just moved to a new home) and stuff like setting up webcams can be a daunting task for some people. Although I do have to say that it was much easier than I was prepared for. If my brother hadn't fallen asleep at 7:45 last night, I would have had him set everything up for old daddio.

Ah, photo sharing! That was so neat. I just uploaded photos directly into the instant messaging screen. I showed my dad current photos of the belly and all the ultrasounds. Plus I threw in a few of stuff I've done with Ariel recently and a few of the animals (my current babies).

This whole online camera thing is going to be so great once the baby comes. I am a little upset that my parents and brother won't get to be as large a part of Lil' Wodie's life as I want them to be. This will open up all new doors. I can show them the baby, live. Then I can share any current cute photos I may have taken of the little one. My dad owns his own business and his office is at home. So the days when he is just sticking around the office during my maternity leave, I can jump on for a quick hello.

I think we were online like that for almost two hours last night! I finally pried myself off the keyboard just before 10 pm so I could jump in the shower and head to bed. I was so wired from all the fun that I couldn't get sleepy until 11:30 pm. It didn't help that Travis came into the room after I climbed into bed to talk about our days for a little while. He still had to eat dinner and take a shower!

I told Travis that he needs to settle down a little bit or he is going to run himself into the ground. He assured me that after he finished putting the furniture back in the nursery and after he finished painting some decorative boxes for the nursery, he would sit down and rest with me tonight. Sounds like there will be plenty of resting going on for him tonight, huh? At least he was reasonable enough to agree to wait until this weekend to put together the crib! (I'm fighting the urge for his sanity.)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tales of a Bullheaded Man

Travis is a stubborn, stubborn man. He stayed up until 3:30 in the morning doing work around the house. That means he got about three hours of sleep last night, before heading to work this morning.

The main task I wanted him to take care of last night was to get our Internet working. I asked him to take care of this first because it didn't work all weekend. I ended up using the neighbor's Internet (thanks Sara!) to do our taxes this weekend (another horror story in itself). Neither our modem nor wireless router would work with our computer.

First on the list of people to call was our Internet provider. They were able to get our modem to work, but the wireless router still wouldn't work.

Second on the list of people to call was the maker of our wireless router. They were unable to find a problem with the wireless, even though the Internet still would not work unless it was hooked directly to the modem.

Third on the list of people to call was the maker of our computer, Hewlett-Packard. Of course, through all this, the only American Travis spoke with was with our Internet provider. Everyone else was from somewhere in the Middle East. When Travis called HP, he spent the first 15 minutes of the phone call spelling his name out to the guy. Neither of them could understand each other.

He ended up spending a total of two and a half hours working to get our Internet back up and running. The final repair was removing our wireless card and reinstalling it. What a pain. Thank goodness it's working again though. I HATE paying for something that doesn't work.

Travis finalized everything around 11:30pm and then what does he do? Continue painting the nursery. He started the trim at almost midnight. I got up at 3:20am for my mid-night trip to the bathroom to find Travis on the couch eating Ramens. What is wrong with him?!

Of course, all last night he was a cranky butt. He didn't ever finish his dinner, hence the snack before bed. I don't know what his rush to finish this stuff is. I think he's having more extreme nesting instincts than I am. He has a growing list of things he wants to do around the house before the baby is born. Hopefully we don't kill each other before then.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The 3 Stooges (minus 2)

I think the clumsy stage of pregnancy has started to set in for me. I have hit my head twice this weekend. TWICE. Once, on Saturday when I stood up on a chair in the closet doorway, as I attempted to retrieve an item from the top shelf. Yes, I knew that door frame was there. I stood right into it anyway. I knocked myself dizzy with that one. Then, a second time on Sunday, when I was leaning down to set some stuff in the corner of the kitchen, I whacked my head on the cabinet. Each time I had to fight back tears.

Here is where I combine two of my hated "side effects" of pregnancy: acne and the new one, clumsiness. When I hit my head on the cabinet, I frickin' hit directly on a monster zit that has been living on my forehead for the last week. AND NOW IT IS BRUISED. Yup. I bruised a zit. Didn't know it was possible, but apparently it is. I guess this pimple was not painful enough, I had to go whack it on some kitchen hardware.

I can also tell my memory is getting worse. Another thing I didn't think was possible. I have a horrible memory. I call Travis my living Rolodex of memories. If I can't remember the name of a place we went, I just ask Travis, "Remember when we went to that place? On that special day commemorating when we started dating? Two years ago?" He always knows what I'm talking about, thank goodness. I would be lost without him.

I've determined that my crappy memory is a combination of things. Hypoglycemia is a major one. Who can think when they are hungry? Another adding factor I found out about recently. When my brother started going to daycare, they required a lead test. His results came back HIGH. Not life threateningly high, but well above the normal range.

See, we grew up in a house that was over a century old. Meaning, there are decades of lead filled paint covering those walls. When my parents bought the house, it was on the verge of being torn down. My dad, being the conservationist architect that he is, could not bear to see the place demolished. Instead, my parents purchased the house and began refurbishing. A couple years after they began this process (you know, after they had running water and functioning electricity) they got pregnant with me. They spent the rest of our time in that house fixing it up. We lived there until I was 18 years old.

The last decade we lived there, the construction was not as vigorous as it was in my first few years in that house. If my brother had high levels of lead in his blood ten years after I was born, think about the levels I must have been exposed to. In prime growing season. Yet another reason why my memory is retarded.

Now we add pregnancy on top of all this, it's no wonder I'm a clumsy, forgetful fool. I shouldn't be surprised to find out my brain is shrinking.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Star Wars a cappella

OH MY GOSH! This was so awesome I had to post it. A friend of mine posted it on Facebook.

Saturday Morning Cartoons

What happened to cartoons like these? Kid shows nowadays CREEP ME OUT. For example, Teletubbies, The Wiggles and the Doodlebops. Google a couple of those and see how warm and fuzzy you feel afterward. I have a feeling we're going to be renting our Saturday morning cartoons.



Friday, February 6, 2009

Bummed

The population of vagrants in Galveston has dwindled significantly since Hurricane Ike. It's been nice, actually. I was so used to having to dodge requests for change as I walked anywhere in Downtown Galveston, and in various random other parts of the city, that it was a huge relief when I could walk around in peace.

I'm assuming that many of the bums left the island before the storm on the shuttle bus and are unable to get back, since the shuttle bus doesn't bring people back. Plus, the Salvation Army had to close down due to damages and is slowly working to reopen in a different location. Meaning, there is no place for vagrants to eat or sleep on the island.

After work last night I had to run by the pharmacy to pick up a prescription. As I was leaving, there was a man sitting on the newspaper stand in front. It's the place where the regular bum used to stand, but he hasn't been there for months. I was trying to determine if this was a man to avoid eye contact with. He couldn't have been older than 30. He was wearing a track suit and carrying a black backpack that was still in good, clean shape. The only strange thing was his cell phone was charging in the outlet on the outside wall of the pharmacy.

Sure enough, as I walked by, "Scuse me ma'am. Would you happen to know where I can find a mission?"

I don't know what a "mission" is, so I stupidly said, "What?"

He repeated himself, which did me no good. I quickly figured out what he was looking for and said I would be of no help. I knew the Salvation Army had closed down temporarily and didn't know where else he could go.

He then proceeded with, "Do you know the Subway right over there?"

"Yes."

"Well, would you mind going over there with me to get me some food?"

I thought quickly, and decided that I did not want to walk anywhere alone with this man, let alone drive him over in my car. "I'm sorry, I have to hurry home to meet my husband."

"Would you happen to have any money so I could go get some for myself?"

Uh, nope. Sorry buddy, but I don't give handouts. "No, I'm sorry."

He thanked me for stopping to talk to him and I said goodbye. As I was driving away I was feeling horribly guilty for not buying the man dinner. I was just focused on the concept of going somewhere with this guy and risking myself and my baby. It wasn't until I was driving away that I thought of the fact that I could have gone to get him dinner and brought it back.

The guilt is still eating away at me a little. What would you have done?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Median


I'm 20 weeks, putting us halfway there! Or as Alexa pointed out, hopefully we're halfway there. This little bugger could stay in there for up to two weeks after the due date. Ugh.

I had the strangest dream last night. (Can you believe it?) I dreamt that I was laying on the bed, feeling the baby move around while Travis folded his laundry (which he was doing when we went to bed last night). All of a sudden, the baby makes a big movement and we can see his ear and head and face so well it's like he's on the outside with us. Travis jumps onto the bed to watch in amazement with me. Then, BAM, he is on the outside with us. He's freakin adorable, wearing a blue onesie and white beanie. When we were done getting a good look at him, BAM, he's back on the inside awaiting his due date.

It wasn't creepy at all in the dream. On the contrary, it was very exciting. Maybe Rachel and I should avoid watching YouTube clips like this one and stick to videos like this.



I don't know if you can see it, but I have a scar just above my belly button where I had a piercing back in my early days of college. Unfortunately, my skin did not like the metal hoop and slowly pushed it out, leaving a larger scar than a normal piercing would. That scar is slowly becoming more prominent as my skin is stretched out. I can't wait to see what it looks like by the end of this. YIKES.

I sent out a text to our Russian friend Nadya, who is expecting a girl only a few short days after our due date, exclaiming that we are halfway. Her response was priceless:

"Ours is still 19 weeks and 4 days. But we used the same recipe. I hope it's not gonna be overcooked."

I'm Just Sayin'...

Does anyone else see a resemblence?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Few Things I Miss

There are a few things I miss while being pregnant. Of these, the food items that I pine for the most are feta cheese, wine and sugar substitutes. Feta is awesome and I don't know how I ever lived without it. Unfortunately, I'm not supposed to have it right now since it is not pasteurized. Wine, I don't need, but I LOVE with certain foods. One of them being feta. I have tried having a glass of red wine since I've been pregnant, but it doesn't taste the same. I'm not sure if it's because I am out of the habit of drinking alcohol or if it's because my taste buds are reacting differently.

The sugar substitute is probably what affects me most often. I have purchased food I used to always get and brought it home only to find that it has some form of sugar substitute within. I'm finding that I pretty much should not get anything with the words Light or Lite in the name. The Yoplait Light I just got - out of the question. Those Popsicles I got a few weeks a go - out of the question. Sweet'n'Low in my iced tea - out of the question. (And it dissolves so well in the cold temps!) Sugar-free gum - out of the question. I never realized how much I ingest that contains fake sugar.

The doctor (and all the prego magazines I've been reading) suggests not having sugar substitutes because they have not been around long enough to know what the long-term effects are on the fetus. Since I am only pregnant for nine months, I don't mind skipping it. I guess I just need to spend a little more time in the store reading the ingredients before making my purchase.


I have started to feel the baby kicking every day. I love it! I can't wait for it to get stronger. Right now, I only notice it if I'm sitting quietly. Sometimes I can even feel it with my hand on the outside. This past Friday Travis and I were sitting on the couch after dinner watching TV. I started to feel Lil' Wodie fluttering around in there and automatically put my hand on my belly. Travis was asking me every day if he could feel it yet, so I wanted to be on top of things. Well, that night, Travis got to feel the baby kicking! I felt it a lot more than he could, but he felt it nonetheless!

It is so exciting! When it is stronger, Travis will be able to feel it better and I can't wait for that. The weird thing is that I only feel the baby kicking on the right side. The doc told me the placenta is on the front of my uterus, meaning it will be harder for me to feel the baby kicking. The added tissue between my skin and the baby will inhibit that. I'm starting to think that the placenta is only on the left, front, which is why I only feel him on the right side.

Being pregnant really is the coolest thing. At least so far. ;)


Random pic from Sunday. That's my belly in the plaid.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Frivolous Days

Travis and I have been really good lately about our spending. We are trying to do our best to save up for all the things we need for when we have the baby. The way I figure, if we are so lucky to get everything we need at our baby shower, then we will use all that saved money on diapers and daycare.

This weekend we splurged a little. Scratch that, a lot. Saturday morning and had my hair highlighted. I know, lots of people are gasping out there - pregnant woman getting her hair dyed! You'll be happy to know that I had the green light from my doctor to get my hair done once during my second trimester. My hair stylist was nice enough to use an ammonia-free recipe, so I wouldn't have to sit in the fumes. The thing I was worried about most was having my hair turn a funny color. I've read a lot of articles that say your hair reacts differently to hair coloring during pregnancy due to the raging hormones. Thankfully, I did not have that problem. Although, I think you run into more problems if you are dying your hair, not highlighting it.

Travis worked all Saturday and when he got off, we went up to Main Event for his friend's birthday party. He's a guy Travis works with. I really like him and all the guys Travis works with. They are like a family and we always have such a great time when we get together with them. I was grateful for my two-hour afternoon nap, because we didn't get home until a little after 2 in the AM.

Jeremy, the birthday boy (in blue), Travis and Alberto

We slept in Sunday before heading up to Babies R Us to pick out the travel system (stroller + infant car seat) we would like. We are not registering it because some of our friends want to buy it for us. Shannon pointed out that the stroller we originally picked out at Target had some really bad reviews. When we went to the store to try it out (which we couldn't do at Target because they screw the strollers to the shelving), we found that we had the very same complaints. Thankfully, Shannon noticed this before we had gotten too far! I LOVE the new one we found. It is VERY easy to use and has some great ratings. Not to mention, Consumer Reports doesn't have much bad to say about Graco strollers.

After making that decision, we went over to the crib department AND BOUGHT THE LIL WODIE'S CRIB!!! My dad is getting it for us, but since he's in Illinois, he is just sending the check so we can purchase it here. I was a little disappointed when I found out that they didn't have it in stock. There is a 5-7 day wait for it to come into the store. I'm hoping it'll be in by next weekend. I want so so so so badly to put it together the second we get it, but Travis is making me wait until he can paint the nursery to put it together. I know that is the right thing to do, because I would be upset if he somehow managed to get paint on the crib. BUT I WANT IT NOW! Ugh. I'll get over it.

For lunch, we met Chris, Alexa, Kai and Melinda at this flippin awesome new greek place near the Kemah Boardwalk. The food was delicious and we will definitely go back for more. We ran back to Alexa's house to pick up some more hand-me-downs from Blair. (THANKS ALEXA AND CHRIS!)

It was awesome getting to see Blair walk in person. He just takes off. Between his new-found toddling and obsession with moving furniture around, I had a few good laughs. He is such a happy kiddo.

For the Super Bowl, we went to Ariel and Robert's house for their party. I couldn't believe it when we walked in the door and found TWO flat screen TV's. TWO! LOL! They got one from my dad for Christmas, and then they just bought another larger used one from a friend. Both TV's were set up in the living room, but they plan to put one in their bedroom. Needless to say, there was plenty of football viewing. Or in my case, commercial watching.

Although I do have to say I was impressed with Steeler line backer James Harrison's 100-yard interception and resulting touchdown. I was not surprised at all when they handed that 240-pound man an oxygen line after his sprint.

Ariel was prepared with enough 3D glasses for all of us to watch the 3D commercials during the half time. Those commercials were SO FUN. We even rewound the DVR and watched them a second time.

Allison and Jerry (who gratefully loaned us a swinger and bouncy seat for Lil' Wodie)


Jayne, Ariel, Travis and I watching the commercials in our super-cool glasses.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Home for the Fish

Travis got a fish tank from his boss to exchange with the one that we have at the end of our dining room table. I told him it was fine if he wanted to do the trade, but I wasn't up for it. I used to want a salt water tank, which would still be neat, but they are SO much work. Besides, I can't get any freshwater fish to stay alive except for goldfish and sucker fish. I haven't done any of the super easy fish, like guppies, because I want fish that I think are pretty to look at. Guppies are to small to appreciate.

I don't know what's wrong with my tank. I've taken the water in to get tested and they always say it's fine. Of course, they tell me I should be changing out two thirds of the tank water once a month. HA! The "experts" at PetSmart also say that I can't use the tap water here because the chlorine content is too high for fish. No way am I going to buy enough bottled water to change out the tank once a month. That's a joke.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure how big the new tank is, but it has to be at least 35 gallons. Probably more. We used all the water from the old tank, plus 21 gallons of fresh bottled water.

We aren't finished with it yet. I still need to buy a new tube to hold the motor head for the undergravel water circulation. The old one is too short. We eventually will need a new light. In the meantime we are using the old one. I also need to get a new black background so we can hide all the cords hanging down behind the tank and help make the coral stand out more.

The old tank (this is just a photo I cropped to show what we used to have)


And the new gigantic upgrade

We currently have four fish in the tank: three sucker fish and a goldfish (two of which are Hurricane Ike evacuees). I'm trying to convince Travis to let me get a bunch of fantail goldfish again. He's not a fan of them because they tend to have poop that sticks around longer than other fishy poo, resulting in a dirty tank that needs cleaning more often. I might be able to sway his opinion better if I could just get off my lazy ass once in a while to take care of the tank.

FYI - I totally straightened those photos after I looked at this picture on my computer. LOL!