Monday, October 28, 2013

Full Term

Baby girl and I are full term today! And she celebrated by keeping me up until nearly 3 a.m. with increasingly painful and regular Braxton Hicks contractions. Sometime around 2 a.m. I downloaded an app with a big button I could hit every time one started because I was too tired and delirious to keep track. Also around 2 a.m. it occurred to me that I could actually go into labor before my scheduled c-section date, that it could in fact be happening right then and I needed to pack things and call one of the two very kind co-workers who offered to be our middle-of-the-night baby contact and there was some leave-related paperwork I still had on my desk at work and was our camera charged? and wasn't it nice I'd done my hair for my baby shower on Saturday night so I could just brush it out slap on some under eye concealer to be post c-section camera ready? Maybe it would be nice to have the baby now!

And then, about 2:45 a.m., they stopped. They stopped and I was instantly relieved and unconscious and left my poor contraction timer app clicking away until 7 a.m. when I woke up and found out I'd had what appeared to be the longest contraction ever.


So that was last night's excitement. Saturday night's excitement was our couple's baby shower! Hosted by two very good friends and co-workers, one of whom just had her second baby and another of whom is due with her first in February (and another three co-workers just had or are about to have babies; we could pretty much start an infant daycare center). I'd never had a couple's shower and it was so fun to do something different and less girly and baby-focused for #3. And since all my friends in Fort Worth are my co-workers (I'm so so blessed with the people who have started at the SEC just before and after me; I genuinely love all of them and their spouses, how rare is that?!) and many of them were men, it allowed me to have a guest list of more than 4 people. And as an added bonus, everyone seemed super excited about a grown-up party sans-kids.

We had margaritas (virgin/sad and regular/delicious), a Mexican fajita and nacho buffet, and many sweets.


We opened presents- teeny tiny baby clothes and soft blankets and a little lamb that promises to soothe baby 3 to sleep.


My parents treated grandbaby 3.0 to the two most fabulous holiday hats EVER. I cannot wait to meet her and hold her and put a turkey hat on her head. They also sent this portable highchair that I think is going to be awesome to have for the lake house, all the time we spend outside by the pool, and all the times baby sister is going to be dragged around time for various big sibling related events.


In other weekend adventures. I got a haircut on Friday. As always, I pretended like I'd do something different and then just got about 2 inches cut off all around. But my new stylist did curl it, which is fancy and not something I'm remotely capable of recreating, so the only people who got to enjoy it are my family and the fine people in the customer service line of Target.


And on Saturday I brought Claire to the "ladies salon" for a haircut of her own. We've always just brought Claire to Great Clips with JP- like Landon, she loves haircuts and the whole thing takes about 5 stress-free minutes, so we never bothered with a pricier kids place, but lately I've felt like GC hasn't been doing a great job. Her bangs were always too long and it seemed like maybe she could have some sort of style besides a mop top. I was saying this to my stylist on Friday and she said "oh, just bring her by on Saturday, I'll trim her up for free!" So I did, and it was adorable.


When we walked in Claire reverently whispered, "is this a big girl place?" And then she sat calmly during her trim and told her newly adopted stylist ALL about her baby sister who is going to come very soon. Her bangs look adorable now, her hair is a little bit layered and the curls come out better, and she had a story to very excitedly share with her school class on Monday. It was a 10 minute visit of win.

Less fun, but very satisfying for me and my obsessive need to clean and organize everything in our house, was finally getting JP back up on our roof to scrub our 40 sky lights so they sparkle. They looked beautiful for about 4 hours and then we had a massive storm that dumped a bunch of leaves on them. They're still vastly improved, but it seemed a little mean of mother nature to smack us down so quickly from our window cleaning high.


That's about it. I continue to feel generally fine, but am pretty over the belly. It's in my way. I can barely put on socks. I'm tired of my maternity clothes and I miss being able to find my hipbones when I put my hands on my waist. It's the little things. I was walking around Old Navy o Saturday, a place filled with clothes that are perfectly serviceable but rarely sigh-inducing, and I found myself filled with envy that I couldn't just pick something up and try it on. Then the Victoria's Secret holiday collection catalog came in the mail and I was too depressed to open it to pull out the coupon. I'm ready to just be me inside my body again. But mostly, after doing a final round of laundry and folding and organizing tiny diapers of clothes in the nursery, I'm just really want to meet our baby girl, to introduce her to her overjoyed big siblings, and to get on with the holidays and the joyous chaos of being a family of five. Two weeks to go!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Projects- we're doing them!

I am working hard on growing a baby. A project that is now 22 days away from completion.

I continue to feel good. Honestly, other than my obsession of countdowns and general impatience, I almost wouldn't believe I only have 22 days left. My back is much better now that I know resting it isn't the answer and my heartburn has been cured by this crazy drug called "Zantac." I'd never had heartburn before two weeks ago- in fact, I nearly got in a fight with JP the first time I felt this "burning low in my throat" and he told me it was heartburn and I kept arguing that no, it's in my throat. I told my OB and her expert diagnosis was, indeed, heartburn, and I was to take Zantac twice a day. One pill later and it was a whole new world. I've continued taking one a day and haven't had any throat burn since! Oh modern medicine, I love you so.

(Side note: the pictures above were taken at the end of a 10-hour work day, filled with 8 hours of very intense testimony taking; my second day of taking testimony in a row. Last week was a WEEK, you guys, and I had to do it without wine. Everything went well, but I am so glad it's over.)

Nighttime routine: kisses and hugs for baby first, THEN for mommy

In my need to Do The Things and my self-imposed ban on baby shopping until after my baby shower/couples party next weekend, I've been washing and folding pink linens and other tiny things. I discovered a hidden cache of baby items in the garage that we saved in the move- turns out, I have my Arms Reach Co-Sleeper (now set up in the corner of our bedroom- it's happening!), all of our infant toys, and several other baby items I'd already borrowed or replaced. Apparently some secret part of me knew we were having a third child when we were packing in March 2012.

JP continues to work on our family's biggest project- the assembly of our 1,000 piece 700 lb. much-anticipated play set. He got pretty far on Saturday, but the roof was killing him (the 48 screw holes didn't line up, like at all), so we attached the swings and trapeze and called it a day. The kids were thrilled.


And we went on a birthday dinner date!


We enjoyed a delicious dinner, delightful conversation, and the best bread pudding in Fort Worth. Happy 32nd birthday to my very favorite person in the whole world!


Today, after JP went on a long run and I sat on the couch and fought with Shutterfly, we were back to it. And by "we" I mean JP, with assists from Landon, and drive by moral support and the occasional passing of a wrench or screw by me. Oh, and I banged in some poll caps with a mallet! Because I'm handy.



Claire tested out the slide, Landon was delighted by everything (as he always is) and at 2:00 we (JP) were done!!


He mentioned he was hungry and we realized it was 2:00 p.m. and no one had eaten since the pumpkin bread I'd baked at 8 a.m. that morning. Oops. We high-tailed it to a local restaurant for a much deserved basket of chips and queso and a side of burgers and fries.


Next weekend we're (JP) cleaning all the sky lights and after that every item on my fall to-do list is done! The baby's room looks so cute and so very ready for a baby to be in it. It occurred to me yesterday that I should probably start packing a hospital bag. Claire was so patient (and so thoroughly stuck in my hip bone) that I've gone from thinking my baby might be surprisingly early (a la baby #1) to being blissfully and ignorantly confident that she will wait right until the moment she's scheduled to be evicted (a la baby #2). It literally wasn't until yesterday that I realized there could be an in between. So now I have some things packed and a list of what else I would want to throw together if needed. 3 more weeks (at the most!).

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Compilation

A roundup of mini blog ideas that didn't seem quite deserving of their own posts, but have now accumulated to a sufficient quantity to be deserving of a collective one.

(1) Shutterfly has been mocking me, MOCKING ME, with 50% off discount codes for photo books for months, and then just last week I minimized all the windows on my home laptop to find THIS as the background image randomly selected from the 6,000 or so images in my pictures folder on my computer and I knew it was time to finally start the kids' photo books.

2012 Christmas Bear perusing her personal photo book

The crazy thing is I love those books. And the kids really love those books. Claire sleeps with hers often and we get them off the shelf and go through them together at least once a week. I always order my own copy and I know I will treasure them forever. But they are such a pain in the ass to make that I've been a terrible procrastinator this year. Part of it is my perfectionism. Part of it is simply how much I put into combining their pictures with selections from my blog posts and funny little quotes and sayings I've written down over the year to try to capture them in all their 3-year-old or 6-year-old glory. It's the place where ALL of that goes, in an artfully presented full-color format, so I can move on to the next year without worrying about separately saving anything else from the year before. And as of this weekend, I'm 4 months into Claire's and it is such a relief to me. 7 more months to go, then on to all of Landon's, but the important thing is I've started. Let the stress dreams about background images begin!

(2) We attended Claire's parent-teacher-conference at school yesterday and after hearing about how much she loves school, her friends, her teachers, and her Montessori "work" (basically, if it's related to school, Claire loves it), we were regaled with stories about how much Claire is looking forward to the arrival of her baby sister who is coming "after Hawoween". Apparently all the babies in the classroom are now named for her sister, all the girls in her class have named their baby dolls at home after Claire's future baby sister, and ALL the kids, boy and girl, wear the big bouncy balls under their shirts as soon as they go outside so they can have a baby just like Claire's mommy. This may be the closest I ever come to being famous.

(3) After months of saving for and then searching and reviewing and agonizing over ever play set sold over the internet, I finally ordered our backyard playground (seriously, the agonizing- the set we finally ordered has 57 online reviews and I could probably recite them all to you word for word). Then the government shut down and I kind of freaked out over the purchase, but all 750 lbs. arrived anyway, 4 weeks ahead of the delivery schedule, messing up my perfect plan for it to arrive when my dad and brother were in town to see the baby (they need projects like they need oxygen, so now I need to think of something else for them to do- outdoor lighting, perhaps?).

750 lbs. and 1,000 pieces

We purchased "the park" (as the kids have dubbed it) with the first official disbursement from JP's swim school as a "we survived the summer" gift for ourselves and the kids. He worked his ass off this summer, almost literally (he lost 20 lbs. in the first 6 weeks and made himself quite sick, but he's better now), and I did pretty much all the home and kid things by myself for 4 months, and the kids were so good and helpful and forgiving of their occasionally short-tempered mother, so we thought the play set was a good reward for everyone. The kids have an awesome thing to play on when the pool is closed for the off season (we don't have a heater) we can say "go outside and play" any time we want the house to be quiet.


JP put most of it together by himself, with the occasionally assist from Landon and helpful commentary from Claire, until the torrential rains came and made him stop. He's about 75% through and should finish up the first day it stops raining. We can't wait!


(4) I took a "Week 36" belly picture yesterday and when I went to pull it off my phone I saw that it had been helpfully filed in a previously empty "Panoramas" folder. I was torn between insult and respect, and then ate all the candy corn in the house in response. We'll see who's a panorama, iPhone, we'll see.

(5) When I went to get the kids up this morning I saw the light was already on and could hear excited whisperings going on inside the room. I opened the door and found them fully dressed and their beds neatly made. They both squealed when I walked in and quickly explained that Landon had pulled up both their sheets nice and straight and they each did their comforters and then Claire arranged all the lovies on top. I saw that Landon's Iron Man, monster, and seal were lovingly tucked under a small blanket on his bed, and Claire's baby and 15 assorted animals were arranged in a long line across her bed. This is going to be a very stressful week for me at work and it was an incredibly sweet way to start it out. Love those two.

Full contact affection (really, that's a hug)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Baby Got Back (and Boots and Boxes)

Baby girl and I are now in Week 35! 35!!! That's the week her big brother decided to make his big debut (not that I'm trying to give her any ideas, I'm quite happy with her Nov. 12th scheduled arrival date). This week I even have some complaints to report, which is important, because I'm increasingly concerned that about two years from now I'll start asking JP what he thinks about having another baby. He will respond negatively, and then I'll ask again until he agrees with me. That's pretty much how we started down the path to #3, except he's the one who started the asking.

Anyway, future me: right now your back hurts VERY BAD. Very bad almost all the time! Remember the back. Also, you only have a 3 bedroom house and you have to stop paying for daycare before Landon goes to college.

But back to the back- you see, my belly is a 100 lb. torpedo just jutting out from my poor unsuspecting mid-region and the pressure in my back from supporting it grows and grows until I can barely move by the end day. The only thing that prevents it is slow, constant walking in supportive shoes. Do you know how much of my average weekday involves slow, constant walking in supportive shoes? Just about none of it. I've been trying to take breaks and walk around the office, but (1) I'm busy and all the work I need to do involves the sitting position in front of my computer, and (2) I'm hugely pregnant and I really just want to sit and eat cookies. So after a nice active weekend of errands and botanic garden exploring, the pain begins on Monday. Just a dull ache, but a constant one, that increases daily until I can barely move and moan in my sleep every time I change positions by Friday. It's fantastic.

From the front I look almost normal, and then I turn to the side and BAM, torpedo belly

On the upside, my ankles still look good and I don't have any stretch marks.


On the downside, I'm concerned I might have started to waddle. I've tried to get confirmation from friends and colleagues, but they're too nice to be honest. Oh, and heartburn, I have that now.

In other exciting news, I have decided to let myself buy a pair of boots for Fall! I love boots and last fall we were on a full budgetary lock-down with JP's job news, so I just looked and didn't touch. This year, I can't buy any of the beautiful fall clothes I see in stores because I'm huge and pregnant and get all freaked out that I don't know what I'll look like post-baby (despite doing this twice before and going back to looking pretty much exactly like me), plus we're still on a budget (a pre-maternity-leave/impending SEC shutdown budget) so I've decided one pair of boots is allowed. That's me trying on one of the pairs in the top set of pictures. They're dark brown and dressy and beautiful and I'm trying to decide if I need those more than the other three pairs I bought on sale online.


We have a nice black bootie with a low enough heel to wear on weekend errands v. the dressy 3" heel dark brown boot that are more pretty than practical but would be great for work v. 4" cognac fancy casual boots that will look great over jeans but may be too high to wear as casually as their finish implies v. black riding boots that are one of the most practical and are the rare riding boot that isn't too wide for my super narrow calves and even narrower, but very long size 10 foot. For the next few days there will be much agonizing and wearing in front of the mirror until I finally pick the lucky winner that gets to live in my closet forever.

Even more exciting than boots? The box they came in! These boxes are from my online shoe order, secret Christmas purchases, and a few of JP's swim school gear purchases.


The kids are building quite a collection and I think they're having as much fun with the boxes as I'm having with my private episode of Shoe Survivor (and that's a LOT of fun).


This is pretty much what we did on Saturday- they played with boxes, I sat on the couch, complained about my back (this was before I realized walking was the answer) and secretly snapped photos of them being cute. Big day.


4 more weeks and 4 days until she's here! And then my back will be cured, there will be a lovely new pair of boots in my closet, and an even lovelier, even newer baby will be in my arms. I can't wait, and I'm reading all the books and eating all the cookies until we get there.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

One with the Pumpkins

In the spirit of Fall and the gorgeous 60-degree weather we woke up to this morning, the Lag Liv family packed snacks, waters, and my real camera into a backpack and drove to Dallas to experience the Arboretum in all its promised pumpkiny goodness. I've heard great things about the Arboretum since we moved here, but we normally avoid driving to Dallas at all costs (no offense Dallasites, but driving between our two fair cities is a terrible punishment to inflict on oneself if you don't have to); however "pumpkin village" had a nice ring to it and we love throwing the kids in the car and going places, so off we went!

And WHOAH, it was so worth the drive and inexplicable Sunday morning traffic.


We enjoyed every acre of the botanical gardens, but the pumpkin village was the clear first stop. Pumpkins and crazy shaped gourds were everywhere- lining walks, covering houses, creating art and sculptures. There was a hay bale maze and even a Cinderella carriage pulled by corn husk horses.

Claire wanted Landon to come in the carriage with her, and because he indulges her in all things, he did.


This isn't the best picture of me with my 2 3! kids, but I adore the way Claire is looking up at me. That girl loves with her whole being.


Swan gourd lake!


Seriously the whole thing was so cool. The kids ran and exclaimed and ran some more.


Claire took a breather on a giant cucumber-like gourd that I thought might be handy to have in the front yard as a little bench.


I made JP get in a picture. His are always a little nontraditional.


After about a forty minutes of gourd-filled-fun, the kids ran (literally) onward to the trails connecting all the rest of the gardens.


Among many other things, we discovered a water wall (here I believe baby girl 2.0 is the only one actually looking at the camera and smiling properly):


some very big fish (off-camera Claire is growling because she thought one fish looked like a tiger and she chased it all around the edge of the pond, nearly falling twice, to continue the growl-off. I believe she won):


and lots of beautiful water, plant, flower, and tree-filled scenes, and great views of White Rock Lake.


We took a break by a wigwam exhibit so the kids could eat their goldfish and then, since they still seemed to have boundless energy (we never use strollers, so Claire had walked all 20+ acres, and yet still, energy!), we suggested some races.


Landon won, Claire felt the agony of defeat (and also of being 3 and tired and very ready for lunch).


In what was probably not my best parenting move, I comforted her with the knowledge that soon she'll have a little sister she can cream in races for at least the next 10 years or so. Perked her right up.

All in all it was a pretty awesome day. My belly and I enjoyed being amongst the pumpkins and the kids had a blast (JP did too, but he loves any outing involving our children, driving, and the outdoors). We got ourselves a family membership on the way out- as long as we go once more this year it'll be worth it, and we may well go next weekend. Then my belly can match an even bigger pumpkin! It feels so at home there.

pumpkin smuggler

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hello There

Why hello there! It's been forever- well, really only 8 days, but that seems like a long time, particularly for a pregnant person who measures everything in her life in week-long increments that go sloooowly by. Speaking of being pregnant, let's just get that update out of the way. Baby girl and I are in Week 34 and we're very excited about it!


Not that you can tell by my awkward hand-placement and mirror pose, but we're feeling good and are excited to meet each other in 5 weeks and 5 days. Though, while I do feel generally fine, I am pretty sure my belly took on a whole new dimension over the weekend. I woke up Monday morning, walked past the giant mirror that stretches across our bathroom, and stopped short. Whoah. Mentally, I know it's part of my body that has grown in a very natural way, but it will never not be weird to see it just jutting out like some foreign object that's been glued on. Pregnancy is weird.


But kids are freaking awesome.

Claire let me do her hair this morning, so I thought hey, stand there cute children and I'll snap a quick picture to send to Gigi. And both of them, without any overt communication between them, immediately struck a flamingo pose.


And then my finger hit the picture button on my phone again on accident and I got a slightly blurry picture that perfect captured Claire's look of love at her big brother. Like, "Isn't this cool Yandon? We're being mingos together!"


Good god I love those two.

We enjoyed a lovely weekend. I read a lot, cooked a lot, and watched the kids play a lot. JP made them a fort in the play room and we worked (well, JP worked, I continued my feverish reading of free digital library books) and smiled and listened in on their hilarious story lines and commentary. When Landon was a baby I could never have envisioned a rainy Saturday where I had two kids that were a non-bothersome, entirely fun value-add on a thoroughly lazy day.


Here I believe Landon had been instructed to make a fire while Claire laid out their tea. There's no reason camping out can't be civilized.


Claire remains VERY a very attentive little mother. While Landon was helping JP outside with the yard work (leaves have already started to fall, poor guys) and I was laying on the couch (because that's part of what my to do list these days), Claire read books to her babies. So, again with the eavesdropping and smiling.


And to short-circuit the rest of this post, we'll do 3 highs and 3 lows from the last 8 days. Lows: (1) my OB was put on bed rest and will be unable to continue seeing me for the rest of my pregnancy, which is a bummer because I really liked her and now I have to find another (my appointment tomorrow is with one of her partners); (2) Congress has refused to fund the government over the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare, a law that they passed, that was challenged and upheld by the Supreme Court, and was a key issue of the most recent presidential election (which they lost), so my family and I may LOSE MY PAYCHECK through no fault of mine which makes me stabby to an extreme degree; (3) Breaking Bad is over; and (4) Landon's after-school program STILL hasn't started. So, lows.

Landon left this tiny ghost he made on our ottoman and it made me smile

But our highs are that: (1) my agency budgets well and has enough leftover 2013 funding to pay our next paycheck, so I still get to go to work and earn a living for the next 10 days, but there are no guarantees after that (but I'll hyperventilate if I think about it, so let's not); (2) Breaking Bad may be over, but the last season was every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be so I can't even mourn it yet; (3) Landon continues to love everything about school; and (4) Endless Knight (#2 in the Kresley Cole Arcana Chronicles I fell in love with last year) was finally released and I loved it! (Mini lowlight- it ended in a cliffhanger and #3 isn't out until Fall 2014, a date that seems so far away as to be meaningless. I'll have 1-year-old!)

But all in all, as long as I will get to go to work and be paid for it, things are pretty good in the Lag Liv house right now.