38.5 Weeks: Very Last Appointment

So I typically don't do half-week updates, but we had a doctor's appointment today and there have been some BIG changes that are just too exciting not to share!

First of all, I'm nearly 2 cm dilated (not much progress there in the past three weeks*), but 70% effaced (HUGE progress)!  Our doctor also mentioned that Baby is very low and has definitely dropped.  She was very happy with the progress my body has made on it's own and said things are looking great!

In addition, she "stripped my membranes", a very unpleasant experience (ouch!) which often leads to labor.  Who knows--maybe Baby will arrive this weekend!  Yikes!

If he decides to be stubborn (like his daddy) and doesn't show up in the next seven days, we have an official induction date!  That's right--an appointment at Shawnee Mission Medical Center to induce!!  The end is in sight!!

The induction is scheduled for next Friday (as in a week from today!) at 7am!  Baby Boy Sides could very well be in my arms in one week!!  Or...I could be in utter pain and misery at this time next week, as well.  (Let's hope not...hello epidural). 

So a scheduled induction before my due date!  Lucky me!  I think she feels comfortable doing this because of the progress my body has made on it's own.  That, and perhaps the unbearable heat has something to do with it, as well?  Oh, and the fact that she'll be there that day.  Regardless of the reason, I'm so happy and excited!

Here's proof.




So there you have it!  We are having a baby SOON!

I can't wait to see what he looks like, hold him in my arms, and of course, share his name with all of you!!  The secret's been killing me...

Stay tuned for updates!  I'm guessing the big news will appear first on Facebook, but I'll try to update this blog ASAP after his arrival!

Happy weekend!

*I'll take 2 cm with no pain and/or contractions!  That means I'm 20% there and haven't even felt one contraction!


Friday Photo Dump

Still here.  No baby yet.  Only 10 days til D-due!  Perhaps next's weeks photo dump will include pics of a new baby??  (Fingers crossed...)

Captions
Top: Ham & pineapple skewers | Baby bump shadow | New nail polish or moldy fingernails?
Middle: Kinnick & his squirrel buddy | Another book for cards
Bottom: Mmmm....caprese salad (minus the moldy basil I bought) | Watching tv with daddy | Baby bump shadow #2

Captions
Top: Fresh artichokes - a new experience for me | Tried to grill them - finished product | Hospital packing list
Middle: Last pedi before baby | Of course he sleeps with his head on a pillow - what dog doesn't? | Farmer's Market goods
Bottom: Look at his paws and mouth - he makes me laugh! :) | First red tomato! | Baked zucchini

Baby Got a Mobile

The latest addition to Baby Sides' nursery - a cute mobile for his crib!  I ordered it because it matches the colors of his room - and it's the only one I could find that did so - but also love it because it's very math teacher-y and geometric.  Enjoy!





 

The Nesting Continues!

Since this baby doesn't seem interested in coming early, I am forced to find things to keep myself occupied.  Thank goodness for Pinterest.  Otherwise, what on earth would I do with myself?

Today's project - a DIY weekly meal planner.

Despite being a super organized person, I formally plan meals and go weekly grocery shopping only about five times per year.  Usually our dinners are last-minute decisions and I'm constantly running to Target for ingredients.  Seriously, I bet the cashiers recognize me, as often as I'm there.

Anyway, I figured that wasn't going to fly with a baby.

So, a fun, weekly meal planner is my solution.  The meal planner will help me to plan meals, in advance, and go grocery shopping for all the ingredients for the entire week at once.  And do so on a consistent basis, rather than five times per year.  That is my hope anyway.

Here was my inspiration.

Source
 Only mine turned out way cooler.


I can't take credit for anything here.  I copied this chic's instructions to a tee.  I have not laminated my meal cards yet, but plan to.

I'm also going to laminate a few blank cards because, frankly, I will get bored with the same 35 meals over and over.  I'm always searching for and trying new recipes.  Hence, once laminated, I can use a dry-erase marker to write in other {new} recipes.

By the way, the pre-printed meal cards have ingredients on the back to make grocery shopping even easier!  So great for the hubs! :)

Speaking of grocery shopping, I also created this today.

A grocery list template with many of our typical purchases.  Again, I saw the idea on Pinterest and stole it from another blogger. 

I printed multiple copies of the grocery list template, clipped them to a clipboard, glued magnets to the clipboard, and stuck the clipboard to our fridge.  Even better, it's within arm's reach of the menu planner!

So anytime we run out of something, or plan our weekly meals, making a grocery list should be a breeze.  Simply check the items we need or add them to the 'other' category!

I'm so excited to start using these things!  Oh, nesting...

July Baby

I saw this on Pinterest.  I hope our little boy doesn't feel this way!  I was excited for him to have a summer birthday (hello pool parties, baseball games, and fun-in-the-sun)...having a January birthday always made me wish for such!


38 Weeks: And Ready!

I feel like a ticking time bomb these days.  When are the contractions going to start and when is Baby Sides going to make his big debut?!  Last week was a super productive week for this mama-to-be and I can honestly say now that I'm ready.  Physically.  Mentally.  Just ready.  My hospital bag is even packed and ready to go!  Of course, it doesn't really matter if I'm ready.  He'll come when he's ready...but any day now, Baby B, is okay with me! :)

We had another doctor's appointment last Friday.  She didn't check me, but mentioned that she probably will this coming Friday at 38 1/2 weeks.  I'm anxious to see if I've dilated any further.  She also mentioned inducing me if I make it to my July 9 due date and still no baby.  Not because I'm miserable and not because the baby is larger than normal, but because she would like to be the one to deliver our baby (because of the hydrocephalus issue) and if it's a planned labor/delivery, she can schedule it when she'll be there.  Otherwise, if it's not during normal business hours and she's not the physican on-call, there's no guarantee she will be there.  (But she did say she will make every effort to come to the hospital despite being on call or not.  What a great doc!)

The to-do list is pretty much complete and I'm feeling great about bringing a baby into this world!  I dusted and vacuumed today.  Something that {sadly} doesn't happen as often as it should in our house.  And I just finished another masters class!  Only two more to go...EVER...and the next one (an easy elective) starts on July 9!  Seriously, I'm ready for baby!

1) Wash all baby clothes.  
2) Find and meet with a pediatrician.
3) Get car seat installed. 
4) Buy registry leftovers.
5) Order new tubes/supplies for breast pump.  (Not really worried about this.  Assuming breast feeding will go well and I won't need to pump for awhile...and if not, I'll figure it out.)
6) Get some maternity photos taken--on the agenda for this weekend! :)
7) Decide on a newborn photo outfit...and maybe order a cute hat from Etsy.
8) Figure out which is a better deal - diapers/wipes from Amazon Mom or Costco.  Got some tips from friends...again not really worried.  We'll figure it out.
9) Long term sub plans.  I just can't work until I'm under pressure...which means I probably won't start these until August. :)
10) Get a pedicure.
11) Make and freeze a few meals.
12) Schedule a maternity care coordinator appointment.
13) Contact/meet with our daycare provider to square things away.
14) PACK HOSPITAL BAG!!
!


How Far Along: 38 Weeks

Size of Baby:
A pumpkin

What's Happening (according to thebump.com):
Baby Sides is slowly shedding the white goo on his skin (called vernix caseosa).

Cravings:
None

Movement:
The same...still feeling body parts protrude through my skin (though I still can't distinguish which parts) and I have felt baby hiccups a few more times!

Sleep:
I used to love bedtime.  I can't really say I feel the same anymore.  Ugh.  Sleeping is un-com-for-table!!  I roll from one side to the other (not easily either) all.night.long.  And I wake up to hands/arms that are completely asleep/numb.

Clothing:
Still loving my summer wardrobe.  And SO glad I'm on summer vacay and don't have to dress up every day!

Other Pregnancy Symptoms:
Swelling, acid reflux, and the carpel-tunnel like symptoms are back.

Here's the baby bump!  And here's to hoping this is the last picture!  (I'm not going to count on it though...)




Friday Photo Dump

Happy Friday!  (As if it matters...everyday is like a Friday for me!)  Still lovin' my Instagram app!  And I taught the hubs how to use it on his iPad, so now he can join in on the picture-taking fun, too!
Captions
Top: K loving on his bro | Newborn aviator hat I ordered from Etsy
Middle: Basket for newborn photos | Afternoon nap | Freezer full of meals
Bottom: The schnauz and I | Blueberry-cream cheese muffins | Blueberry bush
 
Captions 
Top: Father's Day breakfast on our deck | Philly cheesesteak stuff peppers | Bucket 'o blueberries
Middle: Such a mama's boy during the summer | Cup holders seem like a good place for doggy paws | Childbirth certificate
Bottom: Father's Day gifts for Daddy* | Hubs snoozing with the schnauz


*In case you're wondering what, a pooper scooper from Kinnick (hey, it's what he wanted) and children's Jayhawk books from Baby Sides (and mommy)! :)

 

Pregnancy - What I'm Going to Miss

I've been very lucky throughout my pregnancy.  In fact, I've really enjoyed being pregnant!

Yes, there are things that aren't the most pleasant, but I've tried really hard not to complain.  The fact of the matter is, some women can't get pregnant, and I've never wanted to be one of those girls that complain constantly about the journey.  I consider myself lucky to experience such a miracle and have tried to focus on the positives throughout these past nine months.

Nonetheless, I'm not lying when I say I'm going to miss it.  Honestly.  Here are some things I'm truly going to miss about pregnancy when it's all over and done:
  • The obvious - feeling our little guy move around and twitch and squirm and kick and punch in there.  Being the one to protect and nurture him.  And never, ever being alone...I love that our little man is always with me.  Truly amazing feelings.
  • The anticipation of his arrival and the planning, organizing, dreaming about how life is about to change.
  • The abundance of foot rubs from my hubs.  I think he feels guilty that I'm currently doing all of the "work" of carrying our baby, so he gives me foot rubs whenever I ask!  And sometimes, that's multiple nights in a row!  Thanks honey!
  • Maternity clothes - I love them!  The shorts/skirts are super comfy, dresses are just plain adorable, and shirts are long and flattering!  I will really miss the clothing.  Don't be surprised if I continue wearing my maternity tank tops throughout the summer.
  • My baby bump - I've always loved them on other girls and feel no different about my own.  It makes me feel cute and I'm not ashamed to admit it. :)
  • The smiles from strangers in public.  Everyone loves a pregnant girl!
  • The long and strong fingernails - I've never had nails like this!  They grow so quickly and don't break as easily.  I think I may have kicked my habit of biting my nails...but we shall see.  Ask me in six months...
  • The feeling of making it through another week.  I have loved ticking each week off the pregnancy countdown: four through forty.  Each one feels like a major accomplishment.  And of course, I'll also miss our Monday photo sessions.
  • Having an excuse to eat whatever I want and whenever I want.  Oh who am I kidding, I do that anyway!  :)
And since I don't like to post a blog entry without a photo, how about a collage of all my baby bump photos!  Of course, theoretically, there will be a few more, but here's what I have so far (minus a few in the early weeks...I could only fit 25!)



Nesting

This baby must be coming soon because I have a major case of nesting!

Yesterday, I prepared seven meals for our freezer.  Some are new recipes, others are favorite of ours.  And I stocked up on side dishes to go with each and every one of them!  I'm so excited for Baby to arrive so we can eat these tasty treats!

Today, the baking continued!  I made these yummy blueberry muffins...

...and two more loaves of zucchini bread for our freezer.

But, the nesting didn't end in the kitchen.  I've been trying to get Baby's room organized ever since receiving those twelve bags of clothes from a friend last week.  It's hard when there are so many different pieces of baby clothing--in multiple sizes--in addition to bibs, burp cloths, etc.  The un-organization of the drawers was driving me crazy!  So I found some drawer dividers at Bed Bath & Beyond and am finally happy with how things are arranged.  Hey, this mama loves to be organized!  (Let's not forget the closet dividers and totes I made earlier this spring.)

And since there was no way all those hand-me-downs were fitting in Baby's room, I bought some totes for the rest.

Whew!  Two full days of nesting!  I wonder what I will come up with tomorrow!

(I may have found a project already--the rest of the above closet needs some organizing!)

37 Weeks: Officially "Full Term"

37 weeks marks a pretty big milestone - Baby Sides is considered "full term".  If he were to come into the world today, chances are, his organs (lungs especially) would be mature enough to fair on their own and he would likely thrive in the outside world!

Though everyone seems to think he's coming early (my mom thinks later this week, my Grandma Fritz thinks June 25), I feel no signs of labor.  I don't think Baby has dropped, which unfortunately, still means lots of acid reflux. :(  My doc didn't check me at my appointment last Friday, and won't again until 39 weeks, so I have no idea if I'm further dilated or not.

I can't decide if I want Baby to come early.  Now that he's full term, if he's ready, we're ready for him!  But at the same time, I am not going to wish away these carefree, rest-abundance days.  I am really enjoying my summer vacay thus far - sleeping in until 9 and often taking a nap, as well!  And there are still a few things I want to accomplish before his arrival.  It really is weird going to sleep every night wondering "if this is the night".  Only time will tell!

Here's an update on "the list" - it's growing longer, but things are also being crossed off!

1) Wash all baby clothes.  Done--including the 12 bags of hand-me-downs I received from a co-worker!
2) Find a pediatrician.  Done--we have a pre-natal appointment with her on Friday!
3) Get car seat installed. Half done--it's in Craig's car...still need to get mine installed.
4) Buy registry leftovers. Done!
5) Order new tubes/supplies for breast pump.  I've heard that the hospital should have them??
6) Get some maternity photos taken--on the agenda for this weekend! :) Done!
7) Decide on a newborn photo outfit...and maybe order a cute hat from Etsy.
8) Figure out which is a better deal - diapers/wipes from Amazon Mom or Costco.  Has anyone done research on this??
9) Long term sub plans.  I just can't work until I'm under pressure.
*10) Get a pedicure (Haha probably not necessary, but something I want to do!  I'm waiting for a swollen feet day and trying to time it as close to delivery as possible.)
*11) Make and freeze a few meals
*12) Schedule a maternity care coordinator appointment.  Done--appointment is tomorrow (And yes, I added this just so I could cross it off!)
*13) Contact/meet with our daycare provider to square things away  Meeting with her next Monday!
*14) PACK HOSPITAL BAG!!!

*New item


Finally, last night was our last childbirth class.  Good news people - we passed!  We are officially ready to be parents!  Ha!  I'm not so sure about that, but we did get this sweet certificate.

I'm really glad we took a class.  Not only was it a good chance to chat with other parents-to-be, but we learned a great deal of information.  And our teacher, Tisha, was fantastic!  I would highly recommend this class, and teacher, to anyone expecting in the KC area!

How Far Along: 37 Weeks

Size of Baby:
A winter melon??


What's Happening (according to thebump.com):
Baby Sides is practicing skills like inhaling, exhaling, sucking, gripping and blinking.  He's also getting his first sticky poop (called meconium) ready for his first diaper.  I know you really wanted to know this!

Cravings:
None

Movement:
Still movin' and groovin' - kicking and punching my ribs and bladder frequently!

Sleep:
Still not well.  I ditched my Snoogle pillow and it helped a little.  It was really crowding me and making me hot.

Clothing:
Ahhhh comfy shorts and tank tops.  Love it!

Other Pregnancy Symptoms:
Nothing new - still swollen at times (my wedding band does not fit) and acid reflux almost every single night.

Here's the "full term" 37-week baby bump!  Only a few weekly pics to go!




A Berry Fun Time

On Saturday, I did something I've never done before - I went and picked blueberries!  There's a cute little place south of Kansas City called The Berry Patch.  My friend, Lauren, had heard about it and suggested we go.  It was a fun time...something that would be a good tradition to start, especially once the little kiddo (and hubby) can come along!

Lauren & Erica


My hand-picked blueberries
I'm not a huge fan of eating plain blueberries, despite how healthy they are.  I'd rather eat yummy (and unhealthy) baked goods.  So that's just what I did yesterday!  I made a tasty blueberry breakfast cake.  I found it on my friend Erin's blog, but I think I've seen the same recipe floating around Pinterest.  Of course.

Here is the recipe!  I'd highly recommend it!

-->
Buttermilk-Blueberry Breakfast Cake
Serves 6-8

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon (I didn't have a lemon so skipped this)
7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
* 7/8 cup = 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons

** This 1 tablespoon is for sprinkling on top

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. (Note: Baking for as long as 10 minutes more might be necessary.) Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.


I still have lots of blueberries leftover, so feel free to send other yummy blueberry recipes my way!

Friday Photo Dump

Captions:
1 - Sunday pool day with the hubs.
2 - My sweet doggy and I after waking up one morning.
3 - I've never had nails this perfect--definite pregnancy perk!  (Oh, and my wedding band no longer fits...so engagement ring only it is...when it fits anyway!)
4 - I love summer vacay...chillin' with my feet up, morning coffee, and cute dog.
5 - Kinnick sunbathing on the deck.
6 - Back in the grind of scrapbooking - page #1 of Baby Sides' scrapbook!
7 - Soaking my poor, swollen feet.
8 - Royals vs. Brewers on Tuesday night - Royals won!
9 - Twelve bags of {free} baby/toddler clothes from a co-worker!

Maternity Photos - The Slideshow

I just can't get enough of these!  I think I've looked through them close to a thousand times!  My friend, Jamie, did such an amazing job and I can't wait for our next photo session with her (newborn pics of Baby Sides)!  Here is a slideshow with almost all 98 of our maternity pics!

And for those that has asked, his name does begin with the letter B... :)



P.S. Some of my favorite photos are these that we copied of Jessica Simpson's Elle photo shoot...but being a teacher, I'm not sure I feel comfortable posting pics of me in my undies on the Internet, so you'll have to use your imagination! :)














 

36 Weeks: Holy Heartburn!

Well, I have successfully completed 36 weeks of pregnancy!  According to the Internet, I am 8.1 months pregnant.  (One would think 36 weeks = 9 months, but technically there are more than 4 weeks per month...leave it to the math teacher to get technical like that!)  We are almost there!

I am still feeling great, with the exception of heartburn nearly every single day and night.  Only it's in my throat, like I mentioned before, so I like to call it "throat burn".  I often wake up overnight, not to pee, but because I feel the acid creeping up my esophagus.  Ugh.  It's miserable!  The bottle of Tums has become my best friend.  Supposedly when the baby drops (which should be soon!), the heartburn/acid reflux improves...any day now would be nice!

We are going to doctor's appointments every week now, so that's a big milestone!  She is also checking "down there" to see if/how things are progressing.  As of last Friday, I was 1 cm dilated (woo hoo!), but my cervix was still very thick (a sign that labor is not coming tomorrow or anytime soon for that matter).  I was happy to hear I was already 1 cm though...I'll take as much as possible without any labor pain and/or contractions!  We also learned during our sonogram last Monday that Baby's head is down (a good sign - typically he will stay that way if that's where he is at 35 weeks), but face up (sunny-side-up as our childbirth teacher likes to call it).  Doctors prefer that babies are face down for delivery and face up can mean lots of back labor, which I've heard is very unpleasant.  The good news is that it's pretty easy and common for Baby to rotate to face down sometime between now and delivery.

Last night was night #4 (of 5) of our childbirth class and it was empathy belly night!  The boys all got to try on the 25 to 30 pound empathy belly to get a feel for what's it's like being pregnant!  Our teacher made them do things like bend over to pick something up, lay down like they were sleeping, etc.  It was pretty funny and I think they were all a bit surprised.  I think the worst of it was the tight band she put around their chest, which was supposed to represent the lower lung capacity.  Now Craig understands why I'm so out of breath after our walks, especially after walking up a big hill!  Craig was a good sport, but he's been pretty great during my entire pregnancy.  So no complaints here!

(If I'm being honest, I think the empathy belly was probably worse than real life.  For me anyway!  It was heavy on the shoulders, which clearly I don't have, and close to 30 pounds...all in the belly!  I've only gained 23 thus far and it's not all in my belly...despite what you might say.  I'm not that miserable!)





And now for the weekly update:

How Far Along: 36 Weeks

Size of Baby:
A honeydew

What's Happening (according to thebump.com):
He's getting closer and closer to being able to breathe on his own, his skin is getting smooth and soft and gums are rigid, his liver and kidneys are in working order, and his circulation and immune systems are good to go!


Cravings:
Nada

Movement:
Still feeling him move all the time and I felt him have the hiccups a few days ago!  There was no doubt about it!  It felt just like I had them, only it was in my belly!  The hubs even felt it from the outside.

Sleep:
Not. Well. At. All.

Clothing:
Ahhhh comfy shorts and tank tops.  Love it!

Other Pregnancy Symptoms:
Swelling in my hands and feet and horrible acid reflux.  I think that covers everything!

My baby bump must be growing rather large because people in public are finally commenting on it!  No strange touches of the belly though...  Here it is!


Sweet Baby Boy

Here are the most recent (and last ever) sonogram pictures of our 5 pound 8 ounce little man.  Next time we see this precious face, he will be here!!!