Friday, June 29, 2007

Operation Induction - Round 1

We checked a couple more things off of the list today, including pedicures and spicy foods. Mom, Joy and I met up to get our nails done, which was wonderful. I can't say enough good things about the Sea Spa Pedicure. However, the girl doing my toes had never heard of pedicures being a method of inducing labor, and frankly, she seemed a little worried that anything she was doing down there might trigger the birthing process.

After our digits had been beautified, we met up with the boys (Seth, Tim, and Oliver) and attempted to lunch at Bonefish Grill so that we could indulge in some Bang Bang Shrimp. However, much to our dismay, Bonefish is not open for lunch, so we settled on the next best thing and went to Fish City Grill instead. I ordered a Spicy Mexican Shrimp Cocktail appetizer, hoping that it could satisfy the Bang Bang Shrimp requirement, followed by a Buffalo Chicken Po' Boy that made my eyebrows sweat. It was moy caliente - in fact, Oliver tried a bite and look what happened to his hair!!

Anyway, we gave it the 'ole college try today and we'll just have to see if anything transpires in the night. Hopefully, Alex will be a good little boy and will decide to show up in a timely manner (i.e. on his due date). Otherwise, tomorrow will have to be round two and we'll have to check a few more things off the list...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pancakes, Pools, and Pedicures

Since Mom and I spent the entire day yesterday eating chocolate cake and watching the Project Runway marathon, we decided to get up at the crack of dawn and head to Wilson Park to get some exercise.

We made it all the way around the park once (hey, it's a big park!!) and decided that all that exercise earned us breakfast at the Village Inn. Maybe it's not the most logical move to follow a workout by the consumption of sugary maple syrup and home fries, but again, a preggo's gotta eat!

We are hoping to make it to the pool this afternoon as long as the weather holds out. Until then, we may begin implementing some techniques that might help get the ball rolling on this baby thing.

For the curious at heart, here is the list (in no particular order) of the various activities that friends and family have suggested to "naturally" induce labor:
  • walk, walk, and walk some more
  • rock in a rocker (when walking becomes too tedious)
  • take primrose and raspberry tea in the evening (iced)
  • "do the thing that got you in this predicament in the first place..."
  • order the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer from Bonefish Grill (or consume anything else spicy)
  • get a pedicure (supposedly feet have pressure points that can trigger contractions)
  • drive over railroad tracks at 60 mph
  • clean out closets and cabinets (nesting in general)
  • pack your hospital bag(s)
  • make a big mess (babies tend to come at inconvenient times, like when you've made a big mess and don't have time to clean it)
  • chase storms (changes in barometric pressure can affect labor)
  • show your belly to a full moon (next full moon is June 30th!!)
  • pray, pray, and pray some more
So that's the list I will be working from - hopefully something will take. In fact, the plan for tomorrow is to walk in the morning, then Mom, Joy, and I will be getting pedicures before heading to Bonefish Grill for Bang Bang Shrimp. With any luck, we'll be bringing home baby by Saturday morning...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Plan B

I had yet another appointment with Mari this morning and still nothing!! I guess Alex has decided to be rebellious and make his own schedule as opposed to conforming to the one we have already made. Mom says that we need to get used to that. Due to the lack of progress, Mari reluctantly suggested that we not try to induce on Saturday, for fear that forcing our headstrong child to come out before he is ready could lead to a longer than necessary labor and/or the need to resort to a Cesarean. Which is totally cool by me. Concluding this wonderful pregnancy with a traumatic delivery experience is something I would prefer to avoid, and as such, I am content to alter my plans (and everyone else's) to do so. Besides, that just means I have more time to lay around by the pool!

The revised gameplan is for Timothy to come home Thursday evening so that he can take advantage of a very important career opportunity (aka a very important firm sponsored golf tournament). Then, we will kick the "natural" induction plan into high gear and do what we can - within reason- to persuade this baby to join us, e.g. walking, eating spicy foods, pedicures, etc. Let me know if anyone has any other suggestions (old wives' tales included)...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Alex's "Crib"

Now, the moment that many of you have been waiting for - the grand unveiling of the nursery. I realize that by delaying this revelation for so long, I have created a level of anticipation that no room could possibly live up to. But we love it, and we are sure that Alex will love it too, especially when he looks back and realizes that it was filled with such wonderful gifts and treasures from everyone that loves him (whew, composing that sincere sentiment took a lot out of me). Although pictures can hardly replicate the warm fuzzies that occur when one physically occupies a baby's room, hopefully these will suffice until you all have a chance to do so.

The following images include the changing table portion of the millwork that my dad (Grandpa Boettcher) made, along with the adorable "Alex" boxes that Kara put together for me, photography by my sister Rachel, and some handpainted artwork that mom and I whipped up last week. We figured we might as well take the guesswork out of one aspect of baby care by providing a step-by-step guide on how to properly install a diaper...

These next pics show the other portion of the millwork that Grandpa Boettcher handcrafted. The pieces were designed to be modular so that we could combine them in a number of ways. Ultimately, we decided to leave the changing table on its own and combine the other two elements - a three drawer dresser and a flip-top cabinet to accommodate a Diaper Genie, or eventually (when Alex becomes too stinky for a Diaper Genie), a dirty clothes hamper.

I also got a handy little storage unit for the closet, which as you can see, has already begun to fill up. Little man's already got quite the shoe collection going - he's a boy after his mother's heart...

So there you have it, folks. I hope you all will have the opportunity to come and visit it in person over the next few weeks, once the final accessory has been added!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sincerest Apologies

It has been brought to my attention that some people are quote-unquote addicted to this blog and that they have been sorely disappointed by my efforts as of late to keep them fully informed of my progress, activities, and general state of being. For that, I am truly sorry, and I will do my best to keep you, my fans, up-to-date and in the know of all of my goings-on.

That said, allow me to divulge the details of my weekend. My good friends Katie and Amy had a joint birthday soiree Friday night, so when Tim got home Friday evening, we went to Katie's house for a cookout that included Amy's gourmet shrimp and chicken kabobs and birthday cake courtesy of Rick's Bakery (hubba-hubba).

Friday was a rather late night, so we slept in Saturday morning (8 am!), then laid around the house, ate breakfast, napped, and laid around some more. We got my dad a webcam so that mom and dad would be able to "watch" Alex grow despite being hundreds of miles away, so we spent Saturday afternoon downloading software and setting up the cameras so that they will be ready for action whenever this baby should decide to arrive. We also made sure that Tim's family's webcam is in working order so that they too will be kept in the loop. Now, we just have to focus on how we will prepare Alex for his small screen debut. The stylists are working on his wardrobe and we are going to use baby sign language to help him learn his scripts. We just know he will be a star...

By Saturday night, I was completely stir crazy and insisted that the three of us get out of the house for a bit, so we went to Tim's Pizza for dinner (and all had salads in lieu of pizza - is that weird?) then went to see Evan ALMIGHTY at the movies. Not exactly Oscar worthy, but it was a cute flick. Plus it was an excuse to have popcorn and Junior Mints for dessert.

We figured seeing a movie based on Noah's Ark the night before excused us from church the next morning, so instead of heading up to Fellowship, we dragged Mom to La Maison for breakfast
(just kidding, God. Please forgive us for skipping).

After running a few errands, we went back to the house to recover. Mom and I had some good belly laughs watching Timothy struggle to inflate the exercise ball that will be in my bag o' tricks for the delivery.

As we were discussing dinner plans, Kara called and invited us to an impromptu get together at her house, so we finished up Tim's laundry and headed to the Reeves' for what was likely to be the last hoorah with the crew before the babies get here. We had lots of fun and good food - we finally got to watch the Brian Regan stand-up that I had neglected to Tivo (hil-arious) and mom even broke her rule about taking pictures of inanimate objects without people in them (she took a picture of the food, just so she could send it to dad and rub his nose in it).

Yay for good friends! We can't wait to see everyone again - hopefully at the hospital...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Me, Ma, and Mari

Calm down people, there's no baby yet!!! Mom got in Monday night and we've had tons of fun doing the last bit of preparing, shopping, and relaxing that needs to be done before Alex gets here, so blogging hasn't been at the top of my priority list. But I'm here to redeem myself with a deliciously juicy post!

Okay, not really. We had a doctor's appointment yesterday morning, so mom got to meet Mari and see the clinic. It was pretty much a rerun from last week, with the exception that Mari noticed how much lower A was hanging. Although he is not officially engaged, which I could've guessed by the amount of movement that is still going on, he has moved even further south. But he is definitely
still quite mobile at this point. There has been plenty of thinning going on but no dilation to speak of as of yet. Good boy, Alex, mommy hasn't been to the pool yet. Hang in there one more week, 'kay baby?

We also had another labor and delivery class at the clinic last night that included a tour of the hospital facilities. The first portion was basically a summation of all the other classes I have taken, but it was great for mom to get the refresher course on a lot of subjects she hasn't heard or spoken about for, well, about 23 years! Of course, a lot of things have changed since then, so one of my biggest challenges may be to get her to let the "protective Grandma" shield down long enough to let people in the room to visit and, well, to touch or breath near her precious new grandson. (A chosen few may be allowed in without much struggle, but the rest of you may want to be armed with compliments and chocolate to persuade her.)

We got lots of good info about the hospital, the delivery room, and basic procedures, so I think mom and I feel a little more prepared for what lies ahead.

So other than waiting for a baby to show up, mom and I have big plans to clean the house, go to the pool (if weather permits), and finish one last piece of artwork for Alex's room. There's so much to do still before he gets here - the list never ends!! Including giving poor Murphy some focused attention before he doesn't get any at all. Luckily he and mom are best of friends, so he has definitely been relishing her time here.

And I think he will miss the belly, too. Hopefully he can cuddle up with Alex the same way once he is actually born...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Friends and Family

So today is officially the last day that I will be alone. Forever. Regretfully, Leah left Saturday morning and headed back to Eldo. She was a very good babysitter and we had tons of fun together and I will miss playing with her. But she will back in a couple of weeks at the latest, although she will be playing with Alex at that point and not me. Guess I better get used to that...

Saturday afternoon I went to a baby shower for my friend Amanda (see Preggo Shout-Out: Amanda Simpson) while Timothy and Amanda's husband Brian went to the park together to keep the Simpsons' 125lb. bloodhound out of the shower punch.

After the shower, we drove up to Rogers and were fashionably late for the CG cookout at Bryan and Robin's house. After a great dinner, we just hung out, laughed at the babies, and played washers (which, I was informed, is the "redneck version of horseshoes". I said I didn't know that it got more redneck than horseshoes. Who knew?)

The game was quite competitive - it's so sad when something like a simple yard game comes between best friends.

But eventually the preggos were called in and it was all over.

We love getting together with these guys and can't wait until Alex can join in the festivities. He already has so many friends waiting to meet him (segue to gratuitous baby shots).

Timothy and I spent Sunday morning together and celebrated his first Father's Day with breakfast at one of his favorite joints, La Maison de Tartes. The Primms came over for lunch, under the pretense that we would watch the Brian Regan stand-up comedy show together that I had supposedly Tivo'd. Little did they know, the whole "comedy show" thing was just a ploy to get them to come hang out with us. Ha-ha, how clever are we?

Okay, so maybe I was supposed to Tivo it and they really were coming over to watch it, but instead, I forgot to save it and an episode of What Not to Wear bumped it off the list. Hey, blame the shrinking preggo brain, not me. Regardless of my embarrassing blunder, we had a great time and Oliver got lots of walking and dog-dodging practice in.

Timothy had planned to go back to KC last night, but I made the mistake of mentioning that I thought that Alex seemed to be in a noticeably lower position than he had been earlier in the day, and that there were other sensations that indicated to me that he have officially "dropped" into place. I could totally be wrong - and we'll find out on Wednesday if I am - but he felt compelled to stay the night and leave at the crack of dawn so that I wouldn't have to stay the night alone. What a good hubby he is and daddy he will be. The night was uneventful, so he packed the car at the crack of dawn this morning and headed to work.

Meantime, I have been ordered to strict bedrest for the duration of today, which, seeing as this computer is not in my bed, I have already disregarded. But other than doing some blogging, a couple loads of laundry, eating and using the bathroom, I have no intentions on breaking the rules. Fortunately, my mommy will be here this evening to take care of me, so I just need to make it one day without doing anything to induce labor...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Girls' Day Out

So yesterday was my last day of work for a while, which is such a bittersweet occasion being that I love (some) of the people I work with and (most) of the work I do, but I also love napping in the middle of the day, laying out by the pool and, well, not working. So me, Leah, and two of the aforementioned people that I will miss desperately - Katie and Adela - decided to celebrate and mourn my last day by going to lunch and having our nails done.

We ate at Marketplace Express - a meal that wouldn't have been complete without indulging in a dee-vine Chocolate Mess (a glass dipped in fudge and filled with vanilla ice cream, topped with massive amounts of whipped cream and nuts - hubba-hubba).

After stuffing ourselves, we headed to the mall (or more accurately, the Pinnacle Hills Promenade "lifestyle center") to get our nails done. We each climbed aboard our designated pedicure chair, complete with remote-controlled massage capabilities that Katie seemed to enjoy a little more than the rest of us. Her enjoyment, for some reason, left us highly amused.

We were also highly amused by the toilet they had in this place. This multi-functional commode was a toilet-and-bidet-in-one, providing personal hygiene-related services such as a "front wash" and a "rear wash" that could be used in either "soft" or "strong" mode. Now you can't have your rear washed without having it dried too, so a drying feature was also an option. Oh, and if the massaging pedicure chairs didn't suit your fancy, you could have your fancy massaged by this talented toilet seat. Other than the seat warmer, I didn't really have time to experience each of these features personally, but have plans to return in the future and give them a whirl (pun intended).

After tinkering with the massage chairs and playing with the toilet, we finally got down to business and had our toes done. I highly recommend the Sea Spa pedicure, which includes a sea salt scrub and foot massage that was freakin' awesome. However, I pitied the poor girl that had to deal with my inflato-feet, which happened to be especially bad yesterday. I debated about whether to actually post a picture of them, but you can't really blog about getting pedicures and not reveal the end product.

Warning: What you are about to see contains graphic images that may not be suitable for anyone with functioning eyeballs or a weak gag reflex. Viewer discretion is advised.

Hopefully you all will continue to read my blog after this traumatic experience. Leah says that I have an obese lady's feet attached to normal legs, which feels true because I don't even recognize them anymore. When I can actually see them, that is.

But at least my nails look purty, as do everyone else's. It is so nice to relax and be pampered a bit - preggo or not - so I'm so glad we all decided to hang out and be pampered together.

Thanks for the fun time girls! I miss you already!!

My eventful day didn't end at the nail salon, because our friends Shara and Chad had their baby girl Kayla yesterday. We met up with the Primms and the Reeves at the clinic for a short visit. Timothy even managed to make it down from KC in time to join us, so we all got to ooh and aah over their darling little girl together.

It was quite surreal to be standing in what could possibly be the exact room that I could be giving birth in at any point over the next couple of weeks. And hearing Shara tell of her experience - which is likely to be very similar to mine - really was a reality check. Not that I am any more anxious or nervous or scared than was before. In fact, I have very few anxieties about the actual birthing process - almost too few for comfort. I guess I am approaching it with the attitude that a) it's gonna happen regardless - this baby ain't staying in here forever; b) everyone's experience is different, so to harp over someone else's issues is pointless; and c) chances are, I'll live and the baby will be happy and healthy and that is totally worth whatever it takes to get there.

Whoa, that was kinda heavy. Like the ten pounds of fried catfish and hushpuppies we consumed at the Catfish Hole after we left the clinic. How's that for a segue?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Serving Sarah

You all will be so proud of me - I have totally taken advantage of Leah over the last few days and have forced her to wait on me hand and foot, just as promised. She has been cooking and cleaning like a mad woman, while I have sat back and, well, not cooked or cleaned.

I came home from work and found that Leah had prepared a scrumptious dinner of Honey Nut Cheerios and Minute Rice... Not exactly gourmet eats, but hey, I give her an A++ for effort.

She even did the dishes!! A little extra cleanup was necessary after she accidentally put liquid soap in the dishwasher. But the kitchen floor is spotless now, so I really can't complain...

Once she mastered the art of operating the vacuum cleaner, she did a fab job. The hallway is now as clean as the kitchen floor!

So here's what I did while Leah proceeded to work her little fingers to the bone. We called this concoction a "Mom-osa" (aka orange juice in a margarita glass).

Okay, okay, so you caught us. Maybe some of these images and stories have been exaggerated (or completely fabricated) for sheer entertainment value. But we have had a fun and relaxing week and plan for it to continue tomorrow. I will have a half day of work, with "Girls' Day Out" to follow, which will include lunch, pedicures, and perhaps some shopping. Seriously folks, does it get better than that?