Thursday, May 31, 2007

Preggo Shout-Out: Amanda Simpson

This preggo-shout out goes to Amanda Simpson representing Fayetteville, AR. Timothy clerked with Amanda's husband Brian at Friday, Eldredge and Clark in Little Rock last summer and Tim would always come home with stories about the awesome friends he had made, including this "Brimpson" character. I don't know how much actual work they got done while they were there, but they sure seemed to have taken advantage of the opportunity to "network". Fortunately for me, I also got a new friend out of the deal!

Amanda and I have had lots of fun bonding over the whole "my husband's in law school and doesn't that stink" situation, and now we get to bond over being preggo! Amanda is due on August 14 and they are also having a little boy, yet to be named. Timothy suggested Seamus McCaffery Simpson (we think they're gonna go with it, but they haven't made the official announcement yet). Brian just graduated from law school this year and will be working in Fort Smith, so they'll have a lot of big changes in the near future.

Congratulations and good luck Simpsons!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


So I went to see my baby daddy in Kansas City this weekend. Tim's family drove up from Eldo on Friday night and we headed up north Saturday morning. About four hours and six potty stops later, Bill, Vicki, Leah, Cinder, Elle Mae, Murphy, Alex, and I arrived on Timothy's doorstep just in time for lunch. We checked the doggies into their hotel room and headed to Arthur Bryant's BBQ - a KC must-do for anyone who visits.

After consuming approximately six large barnyard animals worth of barbecue, we waddled to the car and headed to Timothy's office, which is just a stone's throw from KC's swanky Country Club Plaza as illustrated by this shot of the view from the lobby.

We got the grand tour, that included the lobby, all ten thousand conference rooms, the fully equipped lunchroom (complete with wall 'o microwaves that requires user to don a radiation suit before operating), and Timothy's office.

Although only a lowly clerk, he is special enough to have his very own nameplate (which he had requested to display the name "Big Sexy", but due to a clerical error, ended up with "Tim Evans" on it instead. He decided not to cause a fuss this early on and will respond to either "Tim" or "Big Sexy" for the duration of his clerkship). Despite the nameplate debacle, we were all quite impressed with Timothy's fancy private office and with Blackwell's facilities in general. It's no wonder they're the best firm in Missouri...

We had several things we still had to pick up from Babies 'R' Us, so we gave Maggie (aka the Magellan Road Mate GPS system) the address tried to find the closest one. However, we ended up at a Furniture Deals that used to be a Babies 'R' Us. Fortunately, Furniture Deals was next door to a Krispy Kreme Donuts that we just knew would have a phonebook or a knowledgeable staff member that could point us in the direction of another Babies 'R' Us. We left with addresses and free donuts, so we decided that our journey was not a total loss.

We finally made it to the BRU and found our travel system (generously purchased by Auntie Leah), baby carrier, and pack 'n' play.

It was about 9 when we realized how hungry we were and so we decided to meet some Eldo friends at California Pizza Kitchen for a late night supper.

Sunday was just as eventful. Timothy, Murphy, and I stayed at Timothy's apartment (which I could kick myself for not taking pictures of) so we met up with the rest of the crew at the hotel for a quick breakfast before heading to the Farmer's Market with the dogs. Unfortunately dogs were not allowed at the Farmer's Market (which is a change in policy since the last time we were there). So we took the dogs to the plaza instead, where we pretended to be hoity-toity celebrity dog owners and bought them things like gourmet doggie-safe carrot cakes and "puppermints" at the Three Dog Bakery.

We took the spoiled pups back home and went to Cabela's, a very popular destination for your hunting and fishing types. In other words, the exact opposite of a place you would ever expect to see me. But I've gotta admit, it was pretty cool. There was an aquarium with catfish bigger than my car and lots of fashion faux pas to giggle and gawk at - Stacey and Clinton would have enough material for the next ten seasons if they ever stopped by. Oh, and they had to-die-for kettlecorn that alone was worth the trip.

We worked up quite the appetite and decided the only thing that could satisfy our hunger was an all-you-can-eat buffet. Fortunately we had gotten some bogo coupons for the buffet at a nearby casino. After gorging ourselves on a veritable feast of, well, every type of food known to man, we decided we could not leave the casino without trying our luck at a game or two. Timothy, Leah and I got our gambling ID cards and headed to the nearest row of video poker machines, where we collectively proceeded to lose $10 of Leah's hard earned money. Despite feeling a little skanky hanging out at a poker machine ten feet from the bar in a smoky casino while nine months pregnant, we had tons of fun.

After a busy and productive day, we retreated to the hotel to get some much needed R&R before starting phase 2 of our evening. There was a big fireworks show at Union Station, so we decided to head towards downtown to try to catch it. Instead of fighting through the crowds, we stopped in the parking lot of a McDonald's where we got a perfect view of the show. The scent of french fry grease and filet o' fishes whetted our appetites once more, so we ended the evening with yet another late supper at The Cheesecake Factory.

We headed back to Fayetteville Monday morning and discovered that Xzibit had in fact come by to pimp my ride. Check out what was in my driveway when we got back:

Okay, okay, so Xzibit didn't hook me up. But Auntie Leah did - this is her Pathfinder that she is letting me borrow for the next couple of weeks while Timothy has my car. She will be borrowing Vicki's car, Vicki will be borrowing Bill's car, and Bill will be riding his motorcycle to the office everyday - just to make my life easier. Do I have the best in-laws or what? Eat your hearts out, people...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thank You, Thank You Very Much

I mailed out a grand total of 110 thank you notes today. That means I bought, wrote, labeled, licked, and stamped 110 thank you notes over the last couple of weeks. And as tedious as that process was, it was completely dwarfed by the realization that at least 110 people already care about and love our baby so much before he has even shown his face. How cool is that? He is going to be so lucky to have all of you in his life. Thanks so much to everyone who has sent thoughts and prayers (and "stuff") our way to help make Alex's life the best it can be.

p.s. Sorry for the sappy entry - I realize it is a little out of character for me. Blame it on the hormones...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cryin' and Cruisin'

I had yet another appointment with Mari today. It was my very first visit to the clinic without Timothy. Here's how I felt about that:

But the appointment went really well. I actually lost a pound since last time I was there, which didn't concern Mari one bit because it just solidified the fact that I have the capacity to carry several gallons of water in my body at a time. Kinda like a camel, only I keep water in my ankles instead of on my back. She mentioned that I seem to have "blossomed" since the last time I was there. I took it to mean that I look humongous, but she reassured me that I was just the size I should be at this stage. As she put it, my uterus was measuring "beautifully". Way to grow, uterus!!

She asked if I would rather hear or see the baby, and since I figured he sounds pretty much the same as he did the last two times I heard him, I opted for the ultrasound. I even scored a couple of pics for Timothy to check out this weekend. I thought about posting them, but since he's so cramped in there, it's near impossible to decipher them in real life, let alone after scanning, shrinking, and uploading. Sorry to disappoint - y'all will just have to wait for the real thing!

As thankful as I am that things seem to be going well with me and the baby, I was especially thankful that I even made it to my appointment today consider my mode of transportation. I neglected to mention that Timothy "borrowed" the Altima this week so he would have reliable transportation to and from KC. I will be carpooling for most of this week, but due to today's appointment, I had to drive myself to and from Rogers in:

Boys and girls, can you say"ghetto"? Yes indeedy, that's duct tape holding that headlight in. I keep expecting Xzibit to show up and pimp my ride, but it hasn't happened yet...

Monday, May 21, 2007

All By Myself

So, Timothy left for Kansas City last night, leaving Murphy, Alex and I to guard the castle for the next few weeks. For those of you who don't know, Timothy earned a summer clerkship with a big firm called Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin (aka Blackwell). He'll be in the Kansas City office for six weeks then he'll finish up in St. Louis for the last two. It is a great opportunity to network and create job opportunities for after graduation. Plus he'll make mad cash, which doesn't hurt either.

I guess you're wondering how this will play in to the whole "having a baby" scenario. Well, here's how it breaks down. I am home alone this week, then Timothy's family will come pick me up and we will head up to KC for Memorial Day weekend. They will head back home on Monday and I will be on my own for the next two weeks, then Leah will head back up the following week to keep me company, chauffeur me around town, wait on me hand and foot, etc., etc. I figure she'll be sick to death of massaging my feet, brushing my hair, and cooking me dinner after about a week, so I will then relieve her of her duties and send her home.
That Friday will be my last day of work, then Timothy will come home that night and spend Father's Day with me and Alex. My mom will arrive on Tuesday and she and I will spend the next two weeks relaxing and pampering ourselves in order to prepare for the tedious work that will lie ahead.

Timothy will come home on Wednesday, June 27th (3 days before my supposed "due date") or when I call him and tell him I'm in labor - whichever comes first. Although he seems confident that Alex will hold out until that date or later, I am a little anxious about having to do the whole "giving birth" thing without him if little man decides to come sooner. Thoughts and prayers that he won't, 'kay folks?

Timothy plans on taking off two weeks around Alex's birth, which is why we'd prefer he spend that time taking care of the new baby afterwards as opposed to sitting around with a whiny, uncomfortable preggo waiting for her bag o' waters to break. That'd be no fun for anyone, including the whiny preggo. When Timothy heads back to KC, mom will stay with me and help out with the baby, followed by some combination of Vicki and Leah in the following weeks. The plan is for me to not be alone unless I want to be, which, I must warn all helpers, could be the case at some point. Tim should be able to come home on most weekends, so with that, a webcam, and this blog, hopefully he can remain in the loop as much as possible...

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Buck Wild

Man, we went to the wildest party yesterday. Being eight and a half months pregnant, it was probably a bit risky to partake in something like that, but even a preggo's gotta have her fun. The guests were pretty raucous - I'm talking cake throwing, crazy drink concoctions, pants-wetting, even a couple of fights had to be broken up. I think there might have even been some gang affiliations cuz a lot of the guests were wearing similar colors. Luckily it didn't get too out of hand, so no one called the po-po to break it up. And the really scary thing is, the guest of honor was a one year old. Geez, they start so young these days...

Ok, so it was just Oliver's first birthday party. But still, pretty crazy fun. Lots of fun people showed up and we had a great time. Joy had done a "camo" theme, which was genius. Timothy and I frequently don camo gear anyway
(army camo, not hunters camo- this is an important distinction to make), so it was nice to have an excuse. Plus I didn't have to go out and buy a new outfit, which I was okay with. . .

Friday night before the party, Timothy and I spent a good 45 minutes at Toys 'R' Us trying to pick out the most annoying toy guitar that we could find because one of the benefits of being the godparents and not the parents is that we get to buy the annoying toys but don't have to listen to them day and night (although we realize that this will probably come back on us tenfold, we can still enjoy it for the time being).

We had already decided on the drum because Oliver tends to turn most things into a drum anyway, but we thought it might be nice if he started on the guitar too. The Lord knows this child will be musically inclined, so we'd like to think that we made some contribution to his musical genius. Apparently the Reeveses and the Mosts didn't want us taking all the credit because they bought him guitars too. But hey, every good guitarist has to have at least two backups, right? Great minds must think alike, huh guys!!? But O really seemed to like the drum, so we were pretty excited about that.

What fun! We hung out for a bit longer to catch up with the crew, then headed home.

p.s. I took at least eleventy-million pictures, so please visit my Flick'r site if you're interested in some completely uncensored and never-before seen footage of O's party (aka Babies Gone Wild).

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Grand Finale

We went to Peoria for final shower #3 this past weekend and I regret that it's taken me until now to sort through presents and pictures to be able to post a decent entry.

This time, Timothy was honored with his own "Proud Papa" party that celebrated his contribution to this whole baby thing. After the girls and I left for the hotel, he and the boys hung at the house and watched basketball, ate brats, and played poker for nickels.

Thanks to major hookups courtesy of my Grandma Sally, the girls got the royal treatment and celebrated in style at the Presidential Suite of the Par-a-dice Hotel & Casino. My Great Aunts and cousins were were exceptional hostesses, providing an awesome spread and filling the place with fab decorations in brown, green and blue. Grandma Sally even made a special stop at the M&M factory in Las Vegas to pick up brown, green, and blue M&M's that would match my party colors. I kinda felt like one of those obnoxious spoiled brats from MTV's "My Sweet Sixteen" show - the only things missing were the b-list hip-hop artist and pimped out white Mercedes with 22" rims. Not that I'm complaining...

Family and friends helped celebrate, including surprise guests like my Grandma "Mimi" and Kathi Weltzin, a good family friend and artist extraordinaire who created this amazing copper vessel to house a series of notes contributed by all of the shower guests. In fact, everyone was so generous and brought varied and wonderful gifts. One of my very favorite things was a plush toy from my Aunt Karen's family. His name is Jeero and he is from the Ugly Dolls collection and I LOVE him. My mom also got me a baby book to document Alex's first three years through pictures and descriptions and memorabilia. I am really excited about that and can't wait till I can start to fill it out.

Lucky me, the party didn't end when the shower did. Since my Grandma had rented the room for the whole night, Tim and I got to take advantage and stay there Saturday night. We felt pretty toit - definitely something we could get used to...

Another great shower gone by. Thanks so much to everyone who made this weekend such a hit!

p.s. These cute red wedges are the shoes that I wore to the shower. Despite much scolding from multiple well-intentioned people warning me of the various potential harms of wearing heels at 8 months pregnant, this was one of the only days in the past couple of weeks that I was not completely swollen from the ankles down. The others were the two days following the wearing of said shoes. As such, I am contending that these 3 1/2" heels are in fact a cure for elephant ankles as opposed to the cause of such things.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Belly Dancing

Geez, this baby is really starting to affect my productivity. I've been feeling quite Napoleanic lately as I spend most of the day with my hand(s) on my belly so as not to miss a single movement. And things must be getting seriously crowded in there, because when he moves, my entire belly jerks violently from one side to other, often threatening to pull me out of my chair or propel me into a wall as I'm walking. And now, as he's gotten bigger, I can feel actual baby parts as opposed to unidentified lumps and bulges. There have been times that I have felt what is quite obviously an arm or leg pressing up against my insides, which, to be honest, totally freaks me the heck out. Seriously, after that happens, my typical reaction is to immediately remove my hands from the area and throw them in the air (Arrested Development fans, picture the "no touching!!" gesture that occurs frequently during the prison scenes), remaining still and in wide-eyed astonishment for several minutes before regaining my composure, resuming my hands-on-belly-position, and waiting for the whole episode to occur again. While totally freaky, it's also awesome and amazing and definitely makes me ready to meet little Alex and see those little arms and legs instead of just feeling them...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Eight Months: Muumuu for Me

Jeeminy, it's been eight months now and I can't believe how time has flown. As you can see, I'm bigger than ever - when I sit down, I feel like I've got marshmallows stuffed up under my ribs. I'm not sure whether it's my organs or baby parts or what, but it sure makes things more... interesting. Although I am attempting to maintain a minimum standard of stylishness and professionalism, most days I just want to throw on a muumuu and fuzzy slippers and head to work in comfort. If questioned about my wardrobe choices, I think I would just remind my boss that form should follow function. How could he argue with that?

We had another doctors appointment yesterday. I am not prepared emotionally to disclose how much weight I gained, but Mari and I both concluded that at least two pounds of it were in my ankles. Apparently everything I eat is laden with salt, and if I want to be able to lift my feet more than an inch off the ground, I will need to go on a water and low sodium turkey breast diet for the next eight weeks. But other than some minor cankle issues, everything seems fine. No ultrasound this time, but we did hear his heartbeat again. It seems that all is good in the baby growing department.

We are still working on Alex's room and I promise pics will be posted immediately upon completion. Patience, children...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Family, Friends and Stuff

Warning: an extremely busy weekend can and will result in an extremely long blog entry. Please feel free to read the proceeding narrative at your leisure.

Yay, what a fun weekend! My folks got in Friday evening and we grubbed at Hugo's, then headed back to the house to prepare for the eventful weekend ahead. My dad brought the changing table he built from scratch, which is freakin' awesome. Mom and I spent every free minute of the weekend finishing it - we stained and painted and sanded and varnished till we dropped. The end result is more perfect than I had even imagined and I can't wait 'till Alex gets to weigh in on it. (You are probably expecting a picture now, but I'm going to have to disappoint you. I have a few more things to do in the room, then I will take and share pics of everything, including an extensive set featuring the illustrious changing table.)

Robin was sweet and thoughtful enough to invite my mom to her shower, so Saturday morning, we hitched a ride with Joy and Oliver (mom and O shared some good bonding time in the back seat) and headed to Robin's party. It was a beautiful shower and so much fun. It's always great to have all the CG girls together, so we were sure to document the occasion.

It's especially fun to see fellow preggos like Robin and Shara - having someone to commiserate with about disappearing ankle bones is such a comfort. And again, having three preggos in the room almost always results in a Kodak moment.

And for those unnamed folks who love to compare the size of my preggo belly with that of other near eight-monthers, I have taken the liberty of including this picture as indisputable evidence that yes, I am officially humongous. (P.S. note the relative placement of the girl-carrying baby bumps to the boy-carrying one that I am sporting. There's a quite obvious difference, no?)

With all the pregnant ladies and baby showers and such, mom and I attempted to thwart an estrogen overdose by joining the boys Saturday night to watch the highly touted de la Hoya v. Mayweather boxing match on Pay-per-view. Although watching grown men pummel each other to bloody and swollen pulps is not generally my idea of an entertaining evening, the Golden Boy is pretty enough to make the whole thing a little less painful (pun intended). However, I was both awed and dismayed to discover that, at 5'-11" and 154 lbs., I actually weigh more than he does at this very moment. Ouch, now that hurts.

Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! I was sooo excited for my shower and couldn't wait to get to Joy's to see all my friends. Fortunately the morning passed quickly as mom and I were up at the crack of dawn working on the baby's room, stopping with just enough time to get cleaned up for the shower. Vicki and Leah arrived in the Grammy Mobile, having made record time from El Dorado. The four of us were extremely giddy, and after posing for a few choice pics, we caravaned up to Lowell for the shower.

Joy's house looked awesome, starting with Kara's amazing diaper wreath at the front door (that I could kick myself for not capturing on film). The tablescape she had created was just as impressive. She handmade these fun white boxes with Alex's name on them in really bold and colorful (and totally me) graphic prints and filled them with fun antique toys. Even the food and flowers were coordinated. Yes, as sad as I am, I have come to terms with the fact that Kara has now earned the official "Ultimate Party Decorator" title that once was mine. Mad props, girlfriend!! And let's not forget about Joy who, in addition to opening up her home to my motley crew, made the most adorable party favors and to-die-for cupcakes. I spent most of the work day today daydreaming about those cupcakes. Mmmm, sprinkles.

After feasting for a bit, we sat down to open gifts. There were lots of gifts to be opened, and although it is probably not kosher to say so outloud, I have to admit that I was really excited for the part where we get stuff. I like stuff. I know, it's a flaw and so unChristian-like and so materialistic. But admitting that I have a problem is the first step, right?

My friends are all so generous and thoughtful and they donated tons of great things to Project Alex. Having so many friends with young children is such a blessing - they all know what you need, what you don't need, how many, how much, which one leaks, which doesn't. One of the best things about this shower was having mom there to see all of the new gadgets and stress-saving devices that are on the market today. Apparently a lot has changed since I was born. Speaking of which, one of mom's gifts to me was a journal that she kept, starting one month before my due date through my first year. I can't wait to dig into that and share some fun stories about my babyhood.

Anyhoo, it was a great shower in every possible way and it was so special that so many of my friends were able and willing to attend. Thanks a million to my friends, family, and especially my hostesses who made this such an awesome day.

The end of this awesome day consisted of dinner at Marketplace Grill (Chocolate Mess included), mom and I finally finding a super comfy and relatively inexpensive rocking chair after searching all over town for one, and some final touches on the changing table. Yay for a great day!!

Although my parents had to head back to P-town this morning and are already sorely missed, my woe will be short-lived as I will be heading home for my final shower. I can't wait to see my extended family who I haven't seen in real life since "the announcement". Another fun weekend awaits!!