Monday, December 20, 2010

Babies, babies everywhere!

I mentioned when I was pregnant that Jared and I were taking a Bradley birthing class. Rather than your average 1-2 day class at the hospital, this course spanned 12 weeks. That's a long time to spend discussing birth canals and lamenting pregnancy pains with fellow classmates. While we didn't become let's-hang-out-on-the-weekend types of friends with any of our classmates, we enjoyed our class a lot and were excited to get together for our class reunion and meet everyone's babies.

Can I just say that 7 little babies lying next to each other is an adorable thing. And hilarious. I'm pretty sure 2 of the babies were open-mouthed kissing.

Libby is the one in the black shirt, if you can't tell.

In age order from youngest to oldest...

Libby and the boy next to her somehow linked arms...

When we got home, we found Libby looking like this... my cute little Trekkie.

Miami Trip

Libby and I went to Miami last week to visit Jared's sister. It was a great trip. Libby was an absolute perfect angel baby on the plane, for which I was incredibly grateful. It was also nice that I had the entire back of the plane to myself on the flight down and had an empty seat beside me on the way back (I may or may not have discouraged people from sitting next to me by changing Libby's diaper on that seat while people were boarding).

While we were there, we went to the Seaquarium which is like a small version of Sea World (I suppose...I've not yet been to Sea World). Not sure if I've mentioned it before, but I LOVE aquariums. Anyway, Libby seemed to like it, too because she was very alert and seemed to enjoy staring at the fish...
and the killer whale show...
So fun! Anyone know how someone becomes the person who rides on the nose of the killer whale?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Poor Man's Christmas Decorations

Sad news: we don't have a Christmas tree. We didn't get one last year either. It doesn't bother me though because we don't really have room for one anyway. As long as we have other Christmas decorations, right? Well...we got out the holiday box and turns out, the only decorations we had were 2 stockings and a wreath holder. Not even a wreath to go on it. We considered buying decorations, but we'll be moving in the next several months and we just don't want to add any more stuff to our pile that we have to move. Plus, you know...we're still poor students and when it comes down to it, I'd rather buy diapers than decorations.

So.....our Christmas decorations this year are comprised of our 2 aforementioned stockings (plus a 4 foot long stocking for Libby that was too hard to resist at only $1), a strand of colored lights, and homemade paper snowflakes hanging from the ceiling by white thread.

One of these days (hopefully next year!) we'll have an awesome Christmas tree and real decorations, but I might just make paper snowflake making a Benson tradition for years to come.

Friday, December 3, 2010

3 months

Picture to be uploaded later - my monitor is fried and I'm using Jared's computer that sadly, has no Libby pictures on it.

My little girl is 3 months old, which seems so old and yet so young. I was looking at some pictures of her from her first week and I almost can't believe how tiny she was - just 6 pounds the day she came home from the hospital. She was so skinny! It really is true that babies grow up so fast. It's incredible and miraculous and a little bittersweet all at the same time.

This past month, Libby has:
  • learned to laugh! (which is the most thrilling thing in the world to me)
  • gotten much better at holding up her head
  • sat in the Bumbo without totally falling over
  • rolled over several times from front to back (she can only roll to the right - I cannot help but be reminded of Zoolander when I think about this)
  • outgrown most of her newborn sized clothes :(
  • discovered that her hands are the greatest toys ever
Love, love, love her.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My thankful list

Poor girl was so tired here. And maybe I should have taken the picture before I opened the can. Then the label wouldn't be torn and my baby wouldn't be playing with sharp edges. I'll remember that next year.

I'm thankful for:
  • Jared
  • Libby
  • my family
  • Jared's family, which I guess could fit under "my family" but I'll give them their own bullet point because they're just that great ;)
  • my Savior
  • a place to live
  • my health and the health of my family
  • our cozy space heater (most favorite recent purchase)
  • Reese's Puffs cereal (I just can't get enough)
  • pumpkin cheesecake
  • our friends Madelyn and Brian for having us over for Thanksgiving dinner!
  • memories of wonderful, wonderful Thanksgivings past at Grandma and GramPaul Luther's house
  • libraries
  • my sewing machine
  • Libby's sweet, sweet smiles and laughs
  • our washing machine (especially today since Libby pooped on our bed)
  • disposable diapers (see above - my daughter is a poop machine)
  • the modern luxuries of indoor plumbing and electricity
  • the beautiful fall weather
  • my education
  • Jared's education/job
  • cell phones, so I can talk to my family even when they are far away!
I feel like I could list so many more things because as I look around me, I realize I am thankful for EVERYTHING I see - including the aloe plant beside me and the Scotch tape on the table - but if I start listing things like that, this post is going to get ridiculous pretty fast. So I'll just end with a big
Happy Thanksgiving
to everyone!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

5 a day keeps the doctor away

[Scene begins with Jared and Jenn sitting at the computer researching the podunk towns where they may eventually live. Jenn tries to offer Jared a bite of a mandarin orange.]

Jared: "no thanks"
Jenn: "have you had any fruit today?"
Jared: "yeah, a lemonhead."

Mother knows best

I'd like to think I've gotten pretty good at deciphering my baby's cries and moods. Hungry = she sucks her hands like crazy. Tired = whimpers and usually slows down (she never stops bicycling her legs, but it at least gets slower when she's sleepy). Gassy = she's even squirmier than usual.

I can also tell a lot by her face. For instance:

Overall, Libby has an incredibly good temperament. She's usually only fussy around feeding times and that generally has to do with being a) hungry, b) gassy, or c) both. Otherwise, she's all smiles.

Hooray for happy babies!

Friday, November 5, 2010

2 months

It feels like so long ago that I looked like this:

Forgive my not so modest appearance, but this is the most pregnant picture I have of me - taken on August 28th, just 4 days before Libby was born. I had just gotten home from working out (meaning, trying to get the baby out).

Two months later, and I have this precious little joy to smile at every day.

Birth - 6 lbs 8 oz (25th percentile), 19 inches long (33rd percentile)
1 month - 8 lbs 10 oz (27th percentile), 21.5 inches long (50th percentile)
2 months - 10 lbs 13 oz (49th percentile), 23 inches long (80th percentile)

Head circumference? I have no idea. It was 29th percentile at 1 month and 28th percentile at 2 months, but as far as the actual measurement, I just can't remember. Sorry Libby. I should write these things down.

At 2 months old, Libby is really good at:
-pulling mommy's hair
-splashing like crazy in the bath
-holding up her head (She holds it up pretty well when I have her on my shoulder to burp, but sometimes she seems to suddenly lose control and her head comes crashing down into mine. We've headbutted each other countless times this past month, but she is a stubborn little girl and won't let me hold her head still.)

I'm also proud to report that Libby has learned to eat without biting me. I wouldn't say she's quite good at it yet, but she's much, much better. We've been visiting the chiropractor, which has helped a lot. We also discovered last week that Libby had a tongue tie, meaning her tongue was attached too tightly to the bottom of her mouth and restricted its movement. So, I took her to an ENT who snipped the frenulum under her tongue. Poor girl did not like that at all, but I think it has helped quite a bit. I just wish someone had noticed the tongue tie earlier and could have saved me 8 weeks of excruciating pain.

Libby is also super tough and only cried for about 30 seconds after getting her shots this week. Way to go, girl.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

New LDS website

I always loved the first day of school. All the way through college, I loved it. The first day brought new folders, new pens, and the opportunity to organize. I've never been great with organization, but I have always loved trying. A notebook with freshly labeled dividers is a beautiful thing.

I can't believe it's been over 4 years since my last first day of school, but today I feel the excitement of a new beginning again because I have discovered the awesome new church website and its Study Notebook feature. Like always, you can do all your gospel reading online (scriptures, lesson manuals, general conference talks, magazines) but NOW you can highlight (in 4 different colors!), tag, make comments, and organize your notes into folders. I can't wait to get started.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Libby's birth story

Before I commence with the story, I just have to say that having a baby has desensitized me to conversation topics that may be uncomfortable for some people. After having countless people in the hospital (and I'm not talking just nurses and doctors) see me naked and ask me about my nipples, I just stopped worrying about modesty. So...if you're not into birth stories or you think you might feel uncomfortable looking me in the eye after reading all about my cervix, you might want to skip this post. ;)

Oh, and this is LONG, since I mostly wrote it for my own memory. Consider yourself warned.

Let's begin on August 27. I went to the doctor for my regularly scheduled visit at 39 weeks and 2 days. My doctor said I was only dilated to a 1 and not at all effaced, so I probably would not be having the baby anytime in the next week. She also estimated the baby’s weight to be 6 lbs 5 oz at the time, which totally shocked me because I had just been expecting to have a big baby (Jared and I were both bigger than average babies and I was told at about 32 weeks that I was measuring a little large).

Fast forward to Tuesday, August 31. Jared and I went to bed that night like every other night the past few weeks, hoping the baby would plop out overnight in my sleep. Or wait, maybe that was just my silent wish… Anyhow, Jared stated his prediction that I would start having contractions that night at 3 AM. About 1:15 AM, I woke up to use the bathroom. When I came back to bed, I felt a strange little drip. I rushed back to the bathroom, wondering if I had not quite emptied my bladder. I came back to bed and again, as I was trying to climb into bed, I felt a little drip. I stood at the side of the bed for a few minutes, just wondering, “could this be my water breaking?” Jared woke up and asked what I was doing. I was almost hesitant to even tell him, because I was so unsure. It took a couple more trips to the bathroom before I was finally convinced that this was definitely amniotic fluid and not urine. It was dripping slowly and I wasn’t feeling any contractions, so I put a chux pad down on the bed and tried to go back to sleep. Jared was able to fall asleep, but I wasn’t. I guess I was too nervous and excited. Turns out, Jared’s prediction was dead on, because somewhere around 3 AM, I started to notice some slight cramping. The cramps were off and on and irregularly spaced, but I knew they had to be contractions. I continued to lie in bed until Jared woke up about 6 AM and I suggested we go for a walk to get things moving before it got too hot outside. We ate some breakfast and then headed out to walk laps around our apartment complex. (Funny side story: While we were walking, we decided to go pick up our mail at the office. A woman who works in the office looked at me and said, “you haven’t had that baby yet?!” I told her matter of factly, “I’m having it today.” She responded, “Oh good, I’m sure you’re happy about that.” I’m pretty sure this woman had no idea I was actually in labor and just assumed I meant I was going to be induced today.) Walking definitely sped things up and my contractions became much more regular, occurring about 4 minutes apart and lasting about 30 seconds each. They were still quite tolerable at this point, but I was using deep breathing to relax through them. We finally went back inside the apartment and I spent the next few hours trying to find a comfortable position. I stood in the shower for about an hour, rocking back and forth from side to side, which felt great. After the shower, I tried sitting on the birth ball and lying down, but both of those positions were uncomfortable. Interestingly, I found that if I sat or lied down, my contractions spaced out but got much more intense when they did come. Since standing or walking was the only tolerable position, I paced around the apartment while trying to watch an episode of Pushing Daisies on Netflix. It was hard to concentrate though, and eventually I decided to get back in the shower. Again, I stood in the shower rocking back and forth, but this time the contractions were more intense and I had to concentrate much harder on my breathing. Jared was timing my contractions and they were getting closer together, but we were trying to wait for the magic 3-2-1 rule (contractions 3 minutes apart for 2 hours, lasting 1 minute each) before going to the hospital. My contractions never quite lined up to that rule, though. After they had been coming less than 2 minutes apart, lasting 45 seconds, for almost 2 hours, we decided it was time to go.

The 15 minute car ride to the hospital was difficult and I was silent most of the way there, focusing intently on breathing slowly and keeping my whole body relaxed. As we walked into the hospital, I suddenly started crying, not because I was in any more pain than I was a few minutes ago, but because I couldn’t believe this moment was here and I was scared. We walked to the registration desk and they had Jared deal with the paperwork while they led me back to labor and delivery. He didn’t have to sign very much and they probably would have just had me wait with him, but they saw I was crying and I heard one lady say to the other “she’s really uncomfortable; let’s go ahead and get her back there.” They pulled up a wheelchair for me, but even the thought of sitting down made me hurt worse and I told them I would rather walk. Once I got into the labor room, I thought the first thing they would do is check my cervix and let me know if I was even far enough along to be admitted. I was surprised when they went ahead and hooked me up to the monitor to check the baby’s heartbeat and my contractions. After 30 minutes of monitoring, the nurse checked me and said I was about 3-4 cm dilated, 90% effaced, and +1 station. I was slightly disappointed that I was only 3-4 cm because I was so uncomfortable, but I felt better about it when the nurse told me I was doing great considering how firmly the baby’s head was pushing down on my cervix.

After monitoring, I got into the shower and stood in there until I was too tired to stand anymore. Then, I let the tub fill with water and spent the next few hours alternating from sitting to kneeling in the tub. During this whole time, I was trying to conserve energy and relax. Talking or making noise of any kind (screaming, crying) would have taken entirely too much effort, so I was basically silent for hours. Eventually, I started shaking uncontrollably and no matter how much I tried to relax, I could not get rid of the shakes. I was already exhausted and was starting to get a little panicky that I could not relax. I told Jared that I thought I wanted an epidural. He calmly tried to tell me that I could do it, but I told him that I wanted to at least go ahead and get the saline started, so the epidural would be an option. He went to find my nurse, but she was with another patient. It took about 20 minutes for the nurse to come in and start the bag of fluids. I was still laboring in the tub at this point and was having contractions that felt different now. I felt like I was involuntarily pushing with each contraction. I wasn’t making any effort to push, but I felt like my body was pushing the baby down. After an hour of receiving fluids, the nurse called the anesthesiologist. I asked to be checked before he inserted the epidural and the nurse said I was about 8 cm dilated and that I could easily have another couple of hours to go, plus an hour or more of pushing. I felt like that was impossible because I already felt like pushing when I was in the tub. (I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but I found out later that apparently I was pushing in the tub, because I had a bowel movement without realizing it.) When she told me I was only 8 cm dilated, I thought that if I was already in this much pain, I did not think I could endure the pain of going from 8 to 10. So I told them to go ahead with the epidural. The anesthesiologist inserted the needle and gave me a “test dose” of lidocaine and epinephrine. My legs got a little tingly and the intensity of the contractions did diminish, but I could still feel the pressure of the baby moving down and I could still feel and move my legs.

While they were placing the epidural catheter, my doctor had arrived to check on me. It was about 5:30. She said the nurses had called her and told her they predicted it would be about 8:30 before I was ready to start pushing. However, my doctor decided to go ahead and check me again. She was surprised to find that not only was I completely dilated, but the baby was already so far down the birth canal that she could only insert her finger up to her first knuckle before touching the baby’s head. (Which makes me wonder if the nurse who said I was only 8 cm 30 minutes ago was right...) She told me she would go get changed right away and I could start pushing. She and the nurse both left the room and I started pushing with just Jared there. The doctor and the nurse came back and the nurse told me she was not going to hook up the epidural drugs since it was already time to push (I had the catheter in my back, but no drugs dripping in yet). This was fine with me because I knew I was close and I wanted to be able to feel the contractions enough to push with them. With each contraction, I pushed 3 times for 10 seconds each. I was surprised by how nonchalant everyone in the room seemed at this point. The doctor was making polite conversation, telling Jared to tell the nurses about what he is studying at school. She also asked me some questions like “are you a swimmer? Because you can hold your breath for a long time” and “does everyone in your family have fast labors?” I couldn't believe she was trying to make conversation with me! At one point, the doctor told me that she could cut an episiotomy and the baby would be right out. I told her I wanted to try pushing through a few more. Sure enough, just a couple more contractions and Libby was out! She was born at 6:09 PM. After quickly suctioning her mouth and nose, they placed her on my chest and I held her for quite a while before Jared cut the cord and they washed and weighed her. Apparently I pushed a little too hard and required some stitches. While the doctor was stitching me up, I was surprised to find that I still felt quite a bit of pressure in my pelvis from the placenta. Once the placenta was delivered (which did not require any pushing, because it was so far down in the birth canal that the doctor could easily pull it out), the pressure was relieved. I asked to see the placenta (wouldn't you be curious, too? or is that weird?), so the doctor lifted it up out of the bowl. She lifted it by the umbilical cord, which was twisted, so the placenta started spinning around like a tire swing and sprayed blood all over me, Jared, and the room. It was awesome.

Libby was very healthy, with Apgar scores of 9 and 9. She weighed 6 lbs 8 oz and was 19 inches long.

Libby's first picture. I think Jared and I were both a bit dazed at this point because the nurse had to suggest to us, "hey, maybe you should get the camera out and take a picture."

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Remember how I mentioned that Libby slept 5 hours one night? Turns out it was just a fluke. Bummer. She's still quite the handful with hour-long (painful) nursing sessions, but I'm trying to enjoy the little things (like her cute little smiles as she's falling asleep and her adorable hands that like to grab fistfuls of my hair) and pretend like the pain doesn't exist. Speaking of nursing, I went to a La Leche League meeting yesterday, hoping I could get some help (wasn't very helpful, unfortunately) and Libby was by far the youngest baby by a couple of years. All the other babies were at least 2 or 3 years old. I know that how long a woman nurses her child is a personal decision and I am not saying there needs to be an age limit, but it was just funny to me. When I asked a question related to nursing a newborn, the ladies were all like "can anyone remember that far back?"

This is totally unrelated, but I have to share this recipe that I recently discovered. It's a sweet potato salad and it is awesome. I found it when I was trying to figure out what I could make that would use up the sweet potato, celery, and onion in the fridge. I didn't think Jared would really like it, since he's not a big fan of sweet potatoes, celery, OR onions, but he actually requested that I make it again. Hence, we have had this twice in the past week. You gotta try it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

1 month already!

Oh Libby. Sweet Libby. AKA Libster, Munchkin, Offspring (that's Jared's name for her), and sometimes Little Miss Fussy Pants. Can't believe she's already 1 month old. Last I remember, it was August and I was swimming in the pool. Now it's October and I'm wearing sweaters and I have a baby? Seems like September went by in a sleepless blur.

It's been a hard month, but I sure love this little girl. Also, I have the best husband in the world. I can count on one finger the number of times I've done the dishes in the past month and that's a nice feeling.

I knew that being a stay at home mom was a full time job, but I didn't realize that I would literally spend 8 hours a day just feeding this child. She is still eating 8-9 times a day and takes 45 minutes to an hour to eat. That translates to eating every 2.5 to 3 hours. By the time she is finished eating and I get her to sleep, that leaves anywhere from 1.5 to 2 hours for me to sleep. But! Last night, the child slept for 5 hours! Too bad I woke up after 3 hours to the sound of her sleep grunts. I couldn't get back to sleep because I kept thinking she was going to wake up any minute. I think my body no longer knows how to sleep more than a few hours at a time. But maybe the Libster will surprise me again tonight and we'll both get a good night's rest.

We finally gave her her first real bath on Saturday. I know, seems like a long time to wait to bathe her, but it took 21 days for her cord stump to fall off. And was just easier to keep giving her sponge baths as needed. But once I noticed she was accumulating stuff in her neck creases (milk, probably), I decided it was time to break out the tub. Anyway, here are the obligatory first bath pictures. Can you believe she slept through it??

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meet Libby

Now that she's 20 days old, I think it's high time to finally introduce my precious daughter.

Libby Claire
Born 9/1/10 at 6:09 PM
6 lbs 8 oz, 19 inches

I've been delaying posting about Libby's birth until I finish writing her birth story, but it's taking me forever because I am trying to include all the details that I want to remember. And every time I consider sitting down to finish writing it, I realize I would rather sleep instead.

So until I get around to writing down the details, suffice it to say that my water broke in the middle of the night, I stayed home as long as possible, labored in the tub for 5 hours at the hospital (during which time I thought I might pass out from pain and exhaustion), pushed for 35 minutes, and had a healthy baby girl.

As hard as it is having a newborn, it's totally worth it when I look at this sweet face.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I was soaking my aching hips in the bath this week when the baby kicked so hard, she made ripples in the water. It suddenly occurred to me how amazingly REAL this baby is - that even though she is still inside of me, she is alive and has the power to affect things outside of me. I thought about it again later in the week, when I was sitting at the kitchen table reading with a book propped up on my stomach and the baby moved and nearly knocked the book off.

I am so excited about this little girl arriving that it's getting hard to concentrate on anything else. Of course, that could also have something to do with the fact that the baby is making her presence known constantly these days by wriggling down into my pelvis, pressing on nerves, spreading my hips, jumping on my bladder, etc. But I love it. Even if my back hurts and I sometimes have to waddle, I feel so incredibly grateful to be able to have a child.

36 weeks

I can't wait to meet you, baby!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Magic Etch A Sketch

Have y'all seen this before? There was an article on recently about this guy who does some incredible artwork with the Etch A Sketch. The article is gone now, but you can see his gallery on his website. The Michael Jackson montage is my favorite, but they are all incredibly impressive!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A note about bellies

I'm all for manners and social graces, but some white lies just don't cut it. Sometimes when I tell people how far along I am, they like to say things like "I looked like that at 4 months!" or "I can hardly tell you're pregnant!" I don't really get why people say things like this. First of all - HELLO. Look at me!

Second of all, I wonder if people are just trying to make me feel better about myself. That's nice and all, but it's really not necessary. Besides the fact that I know I look like I swallowed a watermelon and I will absolutely not believe anyone who tells me I don't look pregnant, I understand that having a baby means your stomach pokes out. And I'm perfectly ok with that. In fact, I think it's pretty amazing. So when the kids in the hospital (and we all know kids are more honest than adults) say things like "your big, huge belly is in the way!" or "why is your stomach sticking out so much?" I take it as a compliment. It means I'm growing a nice healthy baby.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Whoa, is it seriously July already? Let's see...what has happened in the past 2 months since I last posted?

~Took an anniversary trip to Asheville, NC where we visited the Smoky Mountains, hiked to a bunch of waterfalls (including one where we were led by a volunteer guide dog named Spot), and watched hippies with dreads play drums.

~Went to Texas for a few days, saw my family, had a baby shower, and spent many hours studying for the ACE personal trainer exam.

~Took the personal trainer exam (which was required for my job); didn't pee my pants or pass out from hypoglycemia (which I was worried about since it's a 4 hour test with NO BREAKS) thanks to the super nice proctor who made exceptions for me due to my condition of being with child. Officially got certified though I officially don't know how to train persons.

~Laughed when I found wheat in Jared's pockets while doing laundry. Laughed even more when I found wheat in Jared's belly button.

~Began nesting. Bought a crib, car seat, and stroller; washed and organized all the baby clothes, blankets, etc; found an awesome pediatrician that gives out her cell phone number, makes house calls, and doubles as a lactation consultant.

~Grew a lot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Update on the growth of the little one

Mother's Day - 23 weeks

I know the lighting is terrible in this picture, but check out how pointy my belly is!

I'll be 24 weeks in 2 days and according the the Mayo Clinic, baby should be measuring 15 inches long! What the heck? That seems gigantic!

Interesting events since last update:

1. Near fainting episode on the bus. I was sitting down comfortably on the bus on my way to work reading Husband-Coached Childbirth when suddenly everything started to go dark. I knew immediately that I was about to faint and I started sweating like crazy. To make things worse, my stop was coming up really quickly and I was afraid I would be passed out and miss my stop and it would be an hour before the bus came back around to it. Fortunately, I willed myself to remain conscious and was able to make it to my office without passing out.
What I learned: My doctor says I need to increase my salt intake. My blood pressure has been low lately (92/45, 100/60). Jared bought me a giant bag of sunflower seeds to suck on.

2. Ice pick headaches. Has anyone heard of these before? They're basically very short (1-2 seconds), very intense pains in my head. They're so intense I feel like I'll pass out if they last even a second longer, but they always go away very quickly. I've had them for years, but hadn't had any in 6 months until a couple of weeks ago, when I started having them multiple times a day. So my OB sent me to a neurologist.
What I learned: The headaches are nothing to be concerned about. Just an overactive or easily irritated occipital nerve. The neurologist calls these headaches "migraine volleys." Also while I was there, she so kindly informed me that 1) I have a very long neck, 2) I am a weakling (that was the exact word she used when telling me that I have "basically no musculature" around my neck and shoulders and that I need to do some strength training) and 3) I have a heart murmur. Thanks, doc. Actually, she was very nice and informative, but I walked away thinking 'really? She just called me a weakling?'

3. Mother bear showed her face. I was rear-ended on my way home from work last week. There was no damage to the car, but I was incredibly angry that this woman hit me (and didn't even get out of her car!). I yelled at her to watch where she was going, then got back in my car and drove away. I was too angry to think straight and didn't get her insurance info. We were both heading down the same street and she ended up in the lane beside me with her windows rolled down. At this point, I started to really worry about the baby and I decided she had not learned her lesson, so I yelled at her again. I was shocked that I did this since I never yell, but I can only attribute it to fiery maternal instincts. Turns out, after consulting with my doctor, I needed to go to the hospital to get checked out and make sure I wasn't having contractions. So I ended up in labor and delivery for an hour or so, hooked up to a monitor.
What I learned: I was told my uterus was "irritable" (having small contractions) but it was nothing to worry about and the baby was fine. Also, the labor and delivery rooms are huge and look like hotel rooms. Sweet!

4. We started a childbirth class. We're taking a Bradley class and it has been really great so far. My main reason I wanted to take a class was so that I could be as informed as possible and make educated decisions regarding my pregnancy and birth. This class is 2.5 hours every Monday night for 12 weeks, which seems like an incredibly long time to some people, but I think it's great. There's so much to learn about pregnancy and childbirth and I am keenly interested in knowing what is going on with my body. I'm not okay with sitting back and being poked and prodded and cut open without having any idea what's happening. It's also really exciting to have 2.5 hours dedicated each week to talking about and getting excited about this baby. Last week, a massage therapist came to the class to teach the menfolk how to give massages during pregnancy and labor. That's a class any woman can appreciate.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Patio Gardening

I long for the day when I have a home with a lawn and space for a real garden, but for now, we are making the best of our apartment living and decided to try our thumbs at some vegetables this summer.

We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, yellow squash, okra, jalapeno peppers, banana peppers, and sugar snap peas.

I was interested in trying the Topsy Turvy tomato planter (has anyone tried it?) but Jared said we could make our own upside down planter. So we did. And it was free. Jared simply cut a hole into the bottom of a cheap plastic pot that we already had, inserted the tomato plant (so the plant was sticking out the bottom of the pot, turned it upside down and added soil. He also cut 2 holes in the sides of the pot and attached some rope. Then we hung it from our balcony. I'm excited to see how it does.

On a totally different note, I tried to do some maternity clothes shopping at Target today, but couldn't find anything that I wouldn't have to wear another shirt underneath. Seriously, if I am going to be pregnant in the sticky North Carolina summer, I sure am not going to wear any more layers than necessary. Why is it so hard to find shirts that aren't see through and have a modest neckline? Anyway, I gave up on shopping for clothes for myself and instead romped through the baby section with Jared. I've probably looked at Target's baby clothes 5 times this month, but today I finally bought something. My first baby purchase:

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's a girl!

I have to admit, I was surprised. For some reason, I just assumed this little baby inside me had to be a boy. Maybe because even before I was pregnant, anytime Jared and I talked about a future baby, we always referred to it as a "he." But I am definitely excited about this little girl. I felt her first kicks 2 weeks ago today and they have been getting stronger and more frequent ever since. It's so exciting to feel, I can't help but smile to myself when I feel her kick.

And just a few pictures to update those interested folks (mostly my family, I'm sure) on my belly growth:

15 weeks

16 weeks - taking a walk at the park

17 weeks

Just realized I missed the 18 week picture. Coming up on 19 weeks in a couple of days. I thought I was hiding my pregnancy pretty well at work, but when I announced last week to my coworkers that I was pregnant, they all said "oh, we've known for weeks. But thanks for letting us know anyway." Apparently they would talk about it whenever I wasn't in the room and try to guess how long I was going to wait to tell them. Plus, I've had 2 bold people ask me if I was pregnant before I ever said anything about it. So I guess it's now becoming obvious and there's no more need to hide the fact that I can't button my pants. Or zip them for that matter. Bring on the stretchy panels!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

26 weeks till Baby Benson comes...

...and changes our lives forever. The ultrasound below was taken at my first appointment (10 weeks). I am 14 weeks now and had another appointment today. We got to hear the heartbeat again, but I still have a hard time believing there is a baby inside of me. At my next visit (18 weeks), we will find out the gender! That seems so soon to me. I still don't feel pregnant. And as far as looking pregnant, I haven't gained any weight yet, but I do think my stomach is sticking out more than usual, especially at night. Is that normal? Sometimes I show Jared my belly in the evening and he accuses me of sticking it out on's a noticeable difference at night.) It's crazy to think that in just 4 weeks the baby will be developed enough to clearly tell the gender. My doctor said that you can actually tell as early as 14 weeks, but there's no additional benefit to having an ultrasound that early, so we'll wait until 18. Can't wait!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gaga Gag

Check out these series of photos before the link disappears. Of particular interest: photos 2, 5, and 14. Seriously? This woman is so ridiculous I can hardly stand it.

Makes me think one thing: histrionic personality disorder. Especially when I read this quote from her: "I used to get made fun of for being either too provocative or too eccentric." Textbook histrionic.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snowed In

When I was living in Utah, I always hoped to be snowed in and have to stay home drinking hot chocolate and watching movies instead of go to work. My wish never came true in Utah. I may have had a hard time getting out of the parking lot at times, but I always made it. Today, in North Carolina, we are snowed in. I'm not sure how many inches of snow/ice we got, but it really doesn't look like much. But when we went to the car to take a quick trip to the grocery store and return a red box movie, we couldn't get the car to roll over a small patch of ice/snow behind the back tires. After spinning the tires for a while, we gave up and came back inside. Turns out being snowed in is a little bit boring. We don't have any good movies to watch and I feel lazy not leaving the house all day. Church has already been cancelled for tomorrow, so we won't be leaving the house tomorrow either.

I thought people were crazy for stocking up at the grocery store the other day, but now I'm glad I did some extra shopping this week!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Never catch a falling cactus

While Jared was kindly propagating an aloe plant for me today, he accidentally knocked a potted cactus off the windowsill. Reflexes kicked in and he reached out to catch it. Dang reflexes. His thumb was covered with cactus needles. Those suckers were long and went in deep - some even under his fingernail. Poor guy. It reminded me of the dog on Homeward Bound that gets a faceful of porcupine quills.