Monday, April 30, 2007

Squeaky Clean

After a great time at the wedding on Saturday, we showered in Eldo and scored lots of great gear and gadgets for baby Alex. Here are some of the highlights of the festivities. Once I've had a chance to sort through all of our gifts, I'll share some more pics of our baby booty.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Eldo, Here We Come!

This weekend will be a doozy. Tim's cousin Amber and her husband Brad are coming in from Tulsa tonight and will be braving the mess that is our computer room for a night before we head to Little Rock for a wedding tomorrow. We will be meeting Tim's folks at the wedding, after which we will head down to Eldo for our first baby shower on Sunday afternoon. I'm so excited to have a shower cuz I think having baby stuff will make it feel more like we're actually having a baby. For some reason, having this little creature constantly beating me up from the inside hasn't driven that reality home yet. I'm hoping that we'll have enough room in our Altima to bring home all the loot we are expecting to score - we may have to rent a trailer for the ride home. I will share post-shower highlights on Monday, once I've had a chance to recoup...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Doctors and Do's

Yesterday afternoon we had yet another doctor's appointment. It was pretty routine - peed in a cup, had blood pressure taken, belly measured, etc. I actually hadn't gained any weight since my last visit, which I am chalking up to my busy week followed by a weekend of supermodel-like behavior. Mari didn't seem worried about it, so I wasn't either. She asked if Alex had been moving well, to which I replied with a resounding yes. He was so active this past week that I emailed Timothy to ask if he had ever heard of anyone who suffered internal trauma due to extremely active fetuses repeatedly kicking vital organs. He said he hadn't. But I'm still convinced it's a possibility.

Mari did another ultrasound to check things out. Oddly enough, the bigger Alex gets, the harder it is to see what's really going on in there. She pointed out his hands and knees, his full bladder, and as Timothy describes it, "reconfirmed his boyhood". Then she paused and said, "Oh." For Timothy and I, her "oh" translated to "uh-oh", and we waited with bated breath for her to explain her reaction. She pointed out some little pointy things attached to a big round thing, and said, "Do you know what those little spikes are?" I completely drew a blank. But Timothy, ever the logician, replied, "Is it hair?" Sho'nuff, little Alex is sporting a full head of hair, which according to Mari, is pretty uncommon at only 31 weeks. Although it was pretty amusing to see it, I was really not surprised considering I was born with a noggin full of bushy black guinea pig hair and totally expected that I would be giving birth to a hairy little monkey of my own.

We got some pics to take home, but as I mentioned, its pretty hard to decipher what's what. The one at the top shows Alex's spiky 'do, the second is knees and a hand, and the third shows his...well...boyhood.

Evans v. Walmart

I had an amusing/frustrating experience this afternoon that must be shared...

I uploaded my preggo pics to Walmart's online photo center last night so that I could pick them up at lunch today. When I arrived at Walmart to get my pictures, the girl at the counter pulled a package of pictures from the file and proceeded to consult with another associate before approaching me. The second gal thumbed through my pics, putting grubby fingerprints all over my pristine images, and rather rudely inquired about where I got the pictures. Turns out, Rachel did such a good job that the powers that be at Walmart determined that they must be professional pictures and that I was obviously guilty of copyright infringement by having them reprinted.

Despite my explanation that my sister took them, in my own home, free of charge, the woman straight up refused to release them to me. Nevermind the fact that these photos displayed no water mark bearing the name of the photographer that I was allegedly stealing from, nor any other indication that anyone other than my sister (or husband, or dog, for that matter) had taken these pictures and had given me permission to print them.

The remedy: to provide express written consent from the photographer that these photos could be released by Walmart to one Sarah J. Evans.

Aaaargghh, there are so many flaws in this logic I could scream. Nonetheless, I called Rachel and explained that since she was such a brilliant photographer, it was necessary for her to fax a release form to Walmart so I could take my pictures home. Nevermind the fact that the name Rachel Boettcher is nowhere to be seen on the photographs and that I could've called my hairdresser and had her fax a "consent form" to Walmart. Brilliant.

Oh well, I got my pics, Rach got mad props from the Walmart photo department, and you all got an entertaining rendition of today's bizarre events. I guess things worked out okay...

Monday, April 23, 2007

Preggo Pics

As promised, here is a sneak preview of the Sarah Evans Preggo Collection. Eventually I will add a few more to my Flick'r site, the link to which is in the lefthand column of this blog. FYI, I am only posting the more...ummm... conservative of the pics taken. Only a select group will be permitted to view the collection in its entirety due to some less than modest wardrobe choices. Ahh, now you're wondering if you are amongst the chosen few...

P.S. I intend to put an album together this week, so anyone attending any of my showers will get to see the rated PG collection up close and personal. Ciao!

Ready For My Closeup

After several torturous months of waiting impatiently for its arrival, this weekend I finally had my preggo photo shoot!! My mom drove down from Peoria and my sister Rachel flew into NWA Friday afternoon and converted my home into a virtual photography studio. To refresh - my sister is a professional photog, so I am totally taking advantage of her skills (and the professional photog equipment that she has acquired). Mom's role encompassed multiple responsibilities, including, but not limited to: photographer's assistant, hair smoother, dog sitter, snack getter, wardrobe fixer, belly painter, idea giver, and general moral support provider. Although the model and photographer receive most of the credit when it comes to these things, no photo shoot would be a success without those providing behind-the-scenes support. Thanks ma!!

Friday night, after fulfilling our carb cravings at Noodles, we took some time to devise our game plan. Starting Saturday morning, we spent the rest of the weekend - the entire weekend - taking pictures. I'm talking wardrobe changes, background changes, location changes, props, lighting effects - the whole shebang. We ended up with so many pictures, it took just about as long to look at them as it did to take them. Let me put it to ya this way - we "narrowed down" the collection to our favorites, which ended up being 370 pictures. We estimate that we shot somewhere around 800 in total. You can imagine how wiped out we all were after this endeavor. I will be doing some additional cuts to the collection tonight to determine which are album worthy, which I anticipate will be quite the task. Tune in tonight for a sneak preview of the final collection...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

All in the Family

My mom and my Aunt Suza - extremely creative and talented artistes extraordinaire - spent last night working on handmade invitations for my Peoria shower. Mom sent me an email to summarize that experience, which I felt had to be shared. Anyone who knows me may be aware of the gift (or curse) I have of picking the most difficult possible way of doing things - especially when creativity and originality are at stake - which is why I found her message to be so amusing.

Here is an excerpt from the email Mom sent this morning:

Well, after 7 hours the two of us got most of the invites half done....almost. The part we do have done is looking pretty good. I can't believe I have to go buy MORE supplies! These now cost more than double your wedding invitations and I am trying to not punch the smart guys in the mouth that are now telling me I could have ordered exactly what I wanted online for half the price and have the professional look done in two days. Timing people! Where were they when I was obsessing about designing these!?

The good news is that we had a really fun time and I wish I would have taken pictures. I looked so bad last night that Suza turned around to get something from me and burst out laughing. I didn't get it until later when I looked in the mirror to see my hair looking like a Phyllis Diller double and the Rocky Horror Picture Show make up from the pool scene. In other words... I was looking a bit rough.

Another 5 or 6 hours today and I should have the 30 invites done with only one additional mortgage on the house...

See folks, creative overachievement runs in the family! And this is just mom we're talking about! Nevermind the fact that my dad insisted on building a changing table rather than just buying one! Or that my little brother is successfully living gig to gig. Or that my sister spends months at a time on a ship carefully honing her photography skills. My insanity is an inherited trait! Not that I would have it any other way...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Post Preggo Shout-Out: Kara Reeves

This post preggo shout-out goes to Kara (and Jeff) Reeves, representing Lowell, AR. Before we even got to Arkansas, Seth and Joy were telling us that they had these friends that they couldn't wait for us to meet. So when we got here, the Primms set the four of us up on a blind date at Outback Steakhouse - which was somewhat less awkward since Seth and Joy were also there to break the ice. We immediately bonded over Aussie Fries and the fact that our "waitress" was in fact a "waiter" (the hairy arms and mannish posterior totally gave it away).

Not long after, Jeff and Kara found out they were pregnant and eventually Hudson William (aka Hud-dog aka Rev. Reeves) made his way into the world. Born on August 14, 2006, Hudson weighed in at 7lbs. 10ozs. and 21 inches long. It didn't take long for Hudson to acclimate himself to the fun and unpredictable nature of the Reeves family. If it's possible, I think that visits with the Reeves are even more exciting now that Hudson is around. We love you guys!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Happy Belated Easter!

I know I'm running a week behind, but I wanted to share some of the fun Easter surprises that we (aka Alex) scored last weekend. For example, Grandma and Grandpa Boettcher sent a fun Easter card. Enclosed were five dollar bills, a handful of confetti (as Alex will soon learn, no letter from Grandma Boettcher is complete without a handful of confetti that will fall out and make a mess) and a message that read:

Here's a little money to help you on your way.
I hope you have a great Easter Day!
One to save,
one to spend,
one to share,
one to send.
The last one is up to you
what you think you want to do.
But I hope it's me you lend it to!!

As instructed, one of those dollars will be going into Alex's savings account, bringing the total balance to $101.00! The fates of the others are still to be determined, but if Grandma B is really hurtin' for some dough, he might consider lending one to her.

The Easter celebration in Peoria was at my folks' house this year, and Great Aunt Karen brought an adorable stuffed bunny for Alex to enjoy. Word is that he is super soft and that he made the rounds at the party so everyone could love on him before he came to Arkansas. As far as I know, he has yet to be named. Maybe one of my clever commenters can come up with a worthy name for him to adopt. I'm open to suggestions...

Aunt Karen and Bunny No Name

Grandma & Grandpa Boettcher and Bunny No Name

Saturday, April 14, 2007

My Biscuit's Not Burnin'

Yesterday was fab! It started off at the clinic, where I was supposed to get my RhoGAM injection to defend Alex's poor defenseless antibodies from mine should he have a positive bloodtype. (I know, you're thinking, gee Sarah, that sure doesn't sound fab to me. Patience is a virtue people, the story gets better!) Everyone I know that had gotten this injection and knew I was going to get it had attempted consolation by saying "It really isn't that bad." Of course, to some people, that means, "It really isn't that bad." To me, when someone says "It really isn't that bad," that usually means, "It really is bad. Otherwise I wouldn't say anything at all. I would just assume that you assume that it won't be bad." In other words, I was prepared for it to be bad.

My trepidation was only further enhanced when the nurse who was administering the injection made an attempt at what I can only describe as an ineffective method of calming me by making sure I was fully prepared for the pain that lie ahead. After I had yanked my chin-high maternity pants down over my hips and laid down sideways on the examination table, she said to me, "Now, I have to warn you, most people find this to be really unpleasant." Um, thanks for the warning, lady. I feel much better now.

Timothy had insisted that I let him come with me for moral support, so the nurse suggested that I take his hand and squeeze it if I needed to because "that's what he is there for." We started chatting about this new pregnancy-inspired sitcom called "Notes from the Underbelly" while she prepared the needle. I was yapping on and on about it, waiting to be stopped mid-sentence when the agonizing pain of the needle became too intense to speak. I felt the tiniest needle prick and the slightest burning sensation, so I continued to yap, patiently waiting for the real pain to start. Before I knew it, she was dabbing the affected area of my hip with cotton and applied a band-aid to the injection site. "Uh, is that it?" I asked. She answered in the affirmative.

Oddly enough, I was a little disappointed by the painlessness of it all. I was totally prepared to be the tough girl and play off the pain like it was nothing. But this really was nothing, so I couldn't in good conscious pretend like it wasn't and play the hero anyway. In fact, it was so not a big deal that I began to worry that the nurse had done something wrong and that maybe she hadn't given me enough of the antidote for Alex to be able to combat my vicious antibodies. You know, like "the tingle means it's working" kind of thing. I almost went back in to that nurse, demanded a redo, and said "And make it hurt this time."

Fortunately my overly rational husband was there to stop me. On the way out of the clinic, we also found out that results for my glucose test came back. I passed - got an A minus. So no gestational diabetes for me! Next stop - Dairy Queen, for a celebratory Butterfinger Blizzard (super-sized, of course).

I headed off to work, where Joy called me and asked whether I had lunch plans. Although the Lean Cuisine French Bread Pizza I had stowed away in the freezer was tempting my taste buds, I decided that lunch out with Joy might be a little more fulfilling. So we pretended to be "ladies who lunch" (even if only for an hour) and had a scrumptious meal at Belle Arti, one of my favorite little Italian joints on the square.

I gave Joy the nickel tour of the office before she headed home, then I pretended to look busy for a couple of hours before heading to Fayetteville. A carwash project that I was managing was having its soft opening today, so I left a little early to go check on the progress and see if I needed to crack any skulls. Skull-cracking took less time than anticipated (or I'm more efficient at it than I thought) so I was able to get home about an hour earlier than usual.

I walked into the house and saw a large Wal-mart box and random packing material strewn about in the living room. Aha! The bedding has arrived! Wal-mart had recently caused some bedding drama when they sent the bedding that Vicki had ordered back to the factory. But thanks to her incredible powers of persuasion, Vicki convinced them to send the bedding directly to our house, free of shipping charges, and it arrived the very next day!

Timothy went out on his own and picked up the mattress so that he could have the whole bed made up by the time I got home. With only a single call to his mother (for confirmation only), Timothy assembled the mattress, bedskirt, sheet and bumper. I was very impressed and sooooo excited!! The pattern is a combination of stripes and polka dots in yellow, brown, and sage green. I was excited to see how the bedding was going to work with the art I had done for the opposite wall. Although the pics of the art that I've posted here seem to enhance the brightness of the hues, the colors are much more muted in real life and will hopefully work well in the space.

Anyway, we are well on our way to having a complete baby's room. My dad is working diligently on the changing table and hopes to have it done in a few weeks, and hopefully we will acquire the rocking chair on our registry (hint, hint). Then a few decorative touches later we should be ready to bring home baby.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

OOOOhhh, My Belly's so Tiiiggggghhhht!

This morning I had a doctor's appointment that included the glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. I had to slurp down the dreaded orange syrup, which it turns out, is not bad at all. I would describe it as a thicker version Fanta Orange Soda - bubbles and all.

We had an hour to kill while the sugar made its way into my system, so we ran upstairs to the clinic where the actual labor and deliveries take place. We had been wanting to scope out the joint to be able to better visualize how this whole thang will go down. We found an especially chatty nurse who was more than willing to show us a room and fill us in on everything that might possibly happen during delivery. The clinic has what they call "LDRP" rooms that stand for "Labor And Delivery Something Something" rooms, which basically means that you end up spending post-labor in the same room (and bed) that you delivered in. Seems kinda gross, but supposedly they shoo the mom away for a bit to clean up the room and remove traces of ickiness left over after the birthing process. Plus, these rooms are pretty p*mp - very spacious, warm colors, nice millwork, wood (laminate) floors. Not bad at all.

When we got back to the lab, they drained about ten gallons of blood out of my arm for the glucose test and to screen for antibodies because my bloodtype is Rh negative, which means I also have to get an injection on Friday morning. They've tried to explain to me this whole Rh negative thing which, for some reason, I'm having a hard time digesting. Something about how my body will produce antibodies that will combat Alex's antibodies if he has a positive blood type, so they have to inject me with anti-antibodies to protect him... or something... Not sure and too embarrassed to ask again for clarification. Oh well, I have faith that the nurses know what they're talking about, so I'll just do what I'm told.

We also met with Mari who went through the regular routine - basic measurements, quick ultrasound, question and answer session, etc. According to Mari (who knows everything), my belly measurement (23cm) is "perfect", weight is "good", blood pressure is "great", and overall my pregnancy is going "beautifully". Not a bad assessment, huh?

I also mentioned to her that I had been experiencing some pretty substantial tightening in my abdomen that I was suspecting were Braxton Hicks contractions, which she confirmed. Joy had mentioned that she started noticing them at twenty weeks, and although I had been feeling "something weird" for several weeks, I kept thinking, that can't be contractions! Contractions are what happen at the end of your pregnancy! When the baby is about to arrive! I'm not ready for CONTRACTIONS!! Then I found out that I have probably been having them the whole time I've been pregnant, but just haven't noticed them until now. Kinda scary but pretty cool, too.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Seven Months: Seriously Swollen

Baby Alex has been quite active in the last few days, so I have a feeling that things must be getting a little more cramped in there and he's attempting to make more room for himself. Which is surprising considering the immense proportions that my midsection has taken on. I would think a brontosaurus could build a summer home in there and still have room to spare. At 37.5", it has only grown 3 inches since my 5 months post, which is actually hard to believe when you look at the difference between the silhouettes!

And not only has my belly swollen - my feet and ankles tend to balloon up so much by the end of the day that I am waiting for one of them to detach, not to be seen again until football season when it's flying over some stadium with "Goodyear" stenciled to the side.

As of late, I've also had to revise my regular sleeping arrangement to alleviate some aches and pains I've been experiencing at night. My hips and back have not been totally content with the whole sleeping on my side thing, so I've had to do some experimentation to come up with a way to avoid being woken in the night by protesting joints and nerves. I bought one of those foamy knee thingies, which seemed to help the hip thing but made my back hurt. Without the foamy knee thingy, my back was fine, but my hips were aching. After further trial and error, I came up with a configuration that seems to work pretty well - foamy knee thingy in place, one pillow wedged under the belly, one pillow crammed against my back, head and shoulders slightly elevated. Of course I still get up three to five times during the night to empty my bladder and have to rearrange my sleeping space each time - but my back and hips don't hurt as much!

Aside from a few physical woes, I am feeling pretty good mentally/emotionally/spiritually. No major hormone inspired breakdowns thus far. Okay, maybe just one, but Timothy has an annoying habit of being especially annoying at times that I am very prone to being annoyed. So I can't be completely to blame. The rule of contributory negligence might apply here... Maybe "contributory annoyance" would be a more appropriate term (Timothy being 99% annoying, Sarah being 1%). Sheesh, you'd think I was married to a law student or something.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Great Friday

My boss was kind enough to give us the day off today, and I really wanted to take advantage of the occasion. So Timothy and I started the morning at La Maison des Tartes - that's "House of Pies" for my non-French-speaking readers - which is one of our favorite local spots for coffee and pastries (well, my favorite spot for pastries, at least. Timothy likes their coffee, but it is never hot enough for me. What can I say - I'm my mother's child!) Timothy indulged on an Americano and a delicious poached pear brioche, while I sipped a lukewarm hot chocolate and chowed down on a divine piece of lemon thyme cake.

Seth and Joy had the day off as well, so we thought, what else would Seth and Joy rather do on their day off than hang out with us?! So, being the good friends that we are, we invited ourselves over to the Primms' for lunch. The Primms were out and about so we met up with them at Wal-mart where we did some quick shopping and watched Timothy blow it up at the Guitar Hero demo in the electronics section.

After experiencing his glorious rendition of "You really Got Me" (lame Van Halen version, not the superior original version as performed by the Kinks), we headed to the Primms' house, dodging a few random snowflakes on the way. That's right! Snow! In Arkansas! In April! In the same week that temperatures reached 83 degrees! That don't make mama very happy.

Anyhoo, we had a yummy lunch with Seth and Joy and Timothy even got to play a little more guitar. That makes daddy very happy. Oliver has become fascinated with the guitar and music in general, which is not particularly surprising when you consider who his daddy is (singer/guitar player extraordinaire). He thought Timothy could use a little help so he went in to show him how it should be done. I think Timothy's ego was a little bruised after being schooled by a ten month old, but he'll get over it.

After the Primms', we headed home and I headed straight for the bed. I didn't get the greatest night's sleep last night due to a poorly timed tortellini dinner that left me with serious heartburn, so I was due for a nap. Tonight we'll just chill,
grill some steaks for dinner, and watch What Not to Wear on the tube. All in all a pretty dern good day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Post Preggo Shout-Out X 3

I'm going for the hat trick here because three good friends recently had three precious baby girls - all around the same time - so I'd like to try to overload you with sugar and spice and everything nice by shouting out to all three in a single post.

Lauren Elizabeth Weems
Born March 16, 2007
7lbs. 3ozs. 20.5inches

Sadie Joy Cheshier
Born March 20, 2007
6lbs. 15ozs. 19inches

Quinn Ellis Carpenter
Born March 25, 2007
7lbs. 10ozs. 20inches

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Court, Class, and Chillin'

This past weekend was even crazier weekend than the one before, so allow me to speak of it in three separate parts so as not to overwhelm you with the random nature of our activities...


Tim and friend/consigliari/Moot Court partner Matt Panach advanced to the final round of the Moot Court Competition, so I left work early on Friday and Timothy's family (minus Auntie Leah, who was suffering through a Disney World vacation and was sorely missed) came up from Eldo to attend. The competition was decided by three very important and "real-life" judges - I would totally botch official titles if I tried to give them, but I think one was a Chief Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court and the other two were maybe circuit court something or anothers... Don't quote me on that. [There was an Arkansas Court of Appeals judge, a Missouri Court of Appeals judge, and an Arkansas Circuit Court judge - Tim] Point being, they were pretty important folks when it comes to the Arkansas judicial system and they did not hesitate to exercise their powers of authority when questioning the guys about their cases. Nonetheless, the guys maintained their cool and showed those judges whose house they were in.

Ultimately, Team Timothy smoked the opposition, not only winning the competition as a whole, but also taking home the award for Best Brief and Timothy with the Best Oralist honor for the both rounds (for those of you keeping talley, that's 3 awards for best oralist.) Oh, and $500 each, which will be spent on new golf clubs. Which I'm fine with. Really.

After a celebratory supper at Logan's, Tim's family made their way back to Eldo - but not without contributing lots of cute things to Alex's expanding wardrobe.


At last, the long awaited and anticipated Childbirth Preparation Marathon!! We spent the entire day on Saturday getting the "accelerated" version of the typical 6 session class. We, along with 4 other couples, learned many fascinating things, including the many ins and outs (literally) of the female body. I think Tim learned some things that they don't even teach in health class. In fact, I even discovered some things that, in 27 years of being female, I never knew (or wanted to).

We spent a good portion of the time trying various relaxation techniques and practicing lamaze inspired breathing methods, which, as it turns out, were more entertaining for Timothy and I than I think they were meant to be. All the other couples took this portion of the class very seriously. But for Timothy and I, simultaneously trying to balance on large rubbery exercise balls while synchronizing "hee-hee-hee-hoos" and massaging each other's hands incited those uncontrollable giggle fits that one often experiences during church, funerals, or other situations where giggle fits are completely inappropriate.

We also watched those infamous "birthing videos" - you know the ones I'm talkin' about. Not the pleasant ones that take care to avoid the icky bits and focus on the mother's face and only pan down far enough to see the clean and freshly swaddled newborn baby as the doctor places it on the mother's gowned chest for the first time. No sir, we're talking videos where the mothers are completely buck naked and the cameraman is all up in her business - clearly in the way of the OB that is trying to deliver the baby - taking care to capture every intimate moment including all of the icky bits.

Somehow, despite the unsettling nature of these activities, we left feeling completely settled and ready to get this show on the road. Although you can never be truly prepared for something as unpredictable as childbirth, I guess just having some visuals to reference makes it all a little easier to grasp.


After our long day at class, we were ready for some rest and relaxation that didn't involve big rubber balls or imaginary contractions. Saturday night was a big one in the world of NCAA Basketball, so we gathered with our peeps (the Primms and Reeves) at Buffalo Wild Wings to chow and watch some tournament games. Said "peeps" are all fairly new parents, so being the good friends that we are, we made sure to refresh their memories with all the gory details of our childbirth class in case they had forgotten (or repressed) what it was like. We ate a ton, then headed to the Reeves' for the afterparty. Many wild and raucous hours later, we headed home to crash, with visions of ... still dancing in our heads.