Separation

My oh my, these past two-and-a-half weeks have been full! They’ve been full of fun and love and excitement, but there’s been another theme as well: separation from my baby.

After my first week back at work, in which I spent two long workdays away from Corban, I then proceeded to spend my first night away from him. That Friday I headed down to Chicago to celebrate my friend’s bachelorette party. The next week, due to some unavoidable scheduling issues, I worked three days in a row, Monday through Wednesday, then Friday night I flew off to Washington, D.C. for another friend’s bachelorette party. That was two whole days apart. And of course this week I was back to work – only two days, Tuesday and Thursday.

Yeah, quick transition from being together pretty much 100% of the time to being separated for workdays, then nights, then consecutive workdays and then consecutive nights!

As far as work goes, I have to admit that despite that first day of bittersweet nostalgia, I am loving being back. It took me about two days to get back into the groove, but now I am rocking out again with lots of fun projects on the horizon. Back in December in those final weeks of work, I was so ready for the break. The combination of the approaching holidays, the winter weather, my intense workload and being very pregnant caused a bit of burnout. But after nearly four months off, I am once again excited about my job. Surprisingly, when I’m at work, I can’t help but think part time isn’t enough. Then, of course, on my days off I find myself thinking being home part time isn’t enough. I guess I couldn’t ask for anything more if I’m happy doing what I’m doing when I’m doing it.

It is hard to leave these sweet cheeks every morning though.

As for my overnight soirees, I was really nervous about leaving Corban overnight the first time. I worried that I’d be thinking too much about him and feeling too guilty to have fun with my friend for her bachelorette bonanza. Fortunately, I was way too distracted by all the fun we had to be able to think too much about it. The worst part, however, was pumping – especially after leaving the hotel at 6:30 p.m. and not returning till 4 a.m. Not exactly comfortable (but a fun night).

The whole pumping issue made me even more nervous to be away for 48 hours the following weekend. I was convinced I had made a huge mistake in choosing to leave Corban at the wee age of four months. Thankfully, once again my fears were eased once I arrived in D.C. and enjoyed a really fun weekend with my college BFF and her friends.

Pumping was inconvenient, but didn’t really put a damper on anything. I’ll write more on that in another post.

Corban was fine with Daddy (though there was some bedtime drama both nights… bottle just doesn’t soothe like the breast does).

While being away overnight wasn’t ideal (and I don’t plan on doing again anytime soon), I’m glad I was able to celebrate my friends’ special milestones with them. I’m also finding that being away from C during work can be a good thing. It’s tiring spending all day taking care of a baby! Work provides a productive break and makes me excited to get to spend time with him when I get home.

This definitely is a new stage, but it’s one I’m enjoying so far.

3-month update

Oh dear, blog, I’ve missed you! It’s been a whirlwind past month (wow, does the time fly) with lots of out-of-town visitors and out-of-town visiting as my maternity leave continues and I continue to maximize my time off.

Some stats on our favorite little man:

Age: 3 months, 10 days
Weight: Over 15 pounds
Diapers: Size 2
Clothes: Outgrew 3-month before he even wore all his outfits; it’s all 6-month now
Hair: Starting to thin
Eyes: Still blue!
Swaddle: One-armed, since he could roll over any day, but still needs some arm-taming
Sleep: 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. with usually two feedings during that time (one if it’s a good night)
Smiles: Lots, on visual cues in addition to auditory cues
Laughs: No real ones yet
Coos: More and more (love this)
Nursing: Going great, eating 6-7 times a day
Pumping: Goal is 10 ounces a day (usually pumped after middle-of-the-night feeding because I’m crazy)
Tummy Time: Getting better at it, but still not liking it
Essential item: Mamaroo – for naps and hanging out when we need to put him down during the day

Yay 10-second increments of serious head-holding-up!

Since my last update, Corban has…

…worn that cute swim outfit I bought him

…and liked it.

…and gone swimming in it.

…been to the beach.

…watched a Florida sunset (or at least has been present for one).

…met lots of new family and friends.

(Great-grandparents Nanie and Pops)

(Great Aunt Kathy and Great Uncle Jim)

(Friend Bill)

(Friends Jay and Leslie)

(Friend Patrick)

…cheered for his parents’ alma mater during a very sad exhibit of March Madness.

…and celebrated his first St. Patrick’s Day with a festive outfit and a smile.

We were blessed with one laid back little guy. He just loves to be talked to, smiled at, fed when he’s hungry and given a pacifier when he’s sleepy. I’m content just to smell his silky smooth hair and rub his velvety skin, and my goal is to take advantage of every opportunity to do so. This means some days I don’t get a whole lot done, but I’m OK with that for now.

Parents’ night out

Last night we got all dressed up, packed the diaper bag, dropped Corban off at our friends’ house and went out to Peter’s work holiday party. Our first time going out together without him – eek!

After we dropped him off, Peter commented on how quiet the backseat was. It was a tiny bit strange not hearing his coos and little infant noises, and we found ourselves checking the backseat only to remember he wasn’t there.

I always used to hear about couples who didn’t have a night out alone without their baby until the baby was six months or a year old, and frankly, I thought they were insane. Now that we have a baby of our own I can kind of understand that a little more, but I still was excited to have an adults-only night out. We have taken him out with us quite a bit – to another Christmas party, Bible studies, church, our respective workplaces – but socializing is way more relaxed when you aren’t worrying about burps and feedings and diapers.

For the most part, I didn’t feel nervous or guilty at all. Actually, I did feel a little bit guilty for not feeling guilty, but that’s just kind of insane. Sure, I would think of his sweet little face and miss him a tiny bit, but I knew we’d see him in a few short hours. And I had full faith in our friends who were babysitting – they have four grown children, and as Peter put it, they have more parenting experience than we do. I was more worried about how Corban would treat them than how they’d treat him.

The party was really fun, as always – a nice dinner and bowling at iPic, a fancy movie theater/restaurant/bar/bowling alley complex. I look forward to it every year, and I have to admit I was bummed when the date was originally set for December and I figured I would be pregnant for it. When it was rescheduled I was selfishly glad I could partake in the open bar tab and not be a giant whale while bowling, even though it meant leaving C with friends.

But as much as I love spending every waking (and half-sleeping) moment with my baby, it was refreshing to have a break.

A look back at 2011

Wow. One year ago today, looking ahead to the start of 2011, I had no idea how big of a year it would be. I’m inclined to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about some of the life-altering highlights.

It hasn’t all been roses, but here are my major happy memories from 2011.

January

The year started out as planned, with an epic trip to New York City with my best friends from college. It was one of the most fun long weekends ever – and it all started because of a good deal on airfare. We saw shows, toured the sights, ate some wonderful food, participated in our first flash mob (ridiculous), sang karaoke, went clubbing and even toured the New York Times with a former college classmate of mine who works there.

It was also in January that I officially applied for my current position at work. After three years as a multimedia producer working on online projects for all sections of the paper, I became the interactive entertainment producer, helping to plan, launch and maintain a new entertainment site.

February

February was the month of skiing. Training for my first American Birkebeiner cross country ski race got intense, and I was out on the trails 3-4 times a week, sometimes skiing for hours. The race was at the end of the month, and in single-digit temperatures I finished the 34.5 hilly miles in just under 7 hours. That’s pretty slow compared to most skiers, but relative to my training, it was a fast pace and I was so glad I put myself out there and entered the race (despite nearly getting frostbite on race day).

February was also the month Peter and I officially decided it was time to have kids. Our past discussions of “when” had always been a vague “we’ll know when it’s time,” so it was kind of scary at first when we realized this could be the time. Of course, we had no idea how long (or short) it would take for it to happen.

March

March was defined by Tap Milwaukee. This is when work got serious on getting the site up and running. It was incredibly stressful and challenging, but also some of the most fun I’ve had at work.

April

My memories of April are all packed into one crazy, wonderful week. My lifelong friend Sonya got married in Minneapolis in mid-April. My entire family went up there for the wedding and had an awesome weekend.

The Monday after the wedding weekend, I wasn’t thrilled to be back at my desk. But later that afternoon I got possibly the biggest surprise of my life. The Pulitzer Prizes were announced, and not only did a project I had put months of time and effort into win the award for explanatory reporting, but my very own name was included on the team of five people who won it. I still am in a bit of disbelief over this.

(Photo by Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

The week that followed was fun, exciting, overwhelming – and also stressful. Tap Milwaukee launched one week later.

(And yeah, I somehow found time to make cookies.)

May

Another dear friend, Jay, got married in May. His wedding weekend marked another big milestone in my life. In our hotel room in Cincinnati the afternoon before the wedding, I took a pregnancy test. I didn’t expect anything of it, but I just wanted to be sure it’d be safe for me to drink at the wedding. Lo and behold, it was positive. I couldn’t believe it. I expected that moment to be one of pure joy and excitement, but I found myself scared initially. After letting it sink in a little, the excitement came, but despite being surrounded my all my best friends from high school, we had to keep this to ourselves. The weekend’s activities were a ton of fun and kept us distracted enough not to spend every moment thinking about the baby though. I successfully managed to sip Diet Coke at the wedding with no one realizing there was no booze in it. That Sunday, which was Mother’s Day, we called our parents and shared the news.

(Diet Coke or Rum and Coke? No one knows the difference.)

Later in May, I returned to New York City, this time for the Pulitzer Prize ceremony. It was Peter’s first time in the city and proved to be another epic weekend, this time spent sightseeing, visiting my college BFF and celebrating the Pulitzer with my coworkers and parents.

(The entire “class” of this year’s winners. Recognize anyone famous?)

(The team with our editor for the traditional Pulitzer jumping photo. How cool is it that our paper has won so many recent Pulitzers that we actually have traditions around them?)

June

I turned 25 with not much fanfare, just a nice dinner with Peter at one of my favorite restaurants during Downtown Dining Week.

June is more memorable for the work I did on Tap Milwaukee’s Summerfest coverage, though. [Summerfest is the world’s largest music festival: 11 days, 8 main stages of constant concerts on the Milwaukee lakefront.] This year, I went crazy trying to set up a video interview with every possible [somewhat known] musician playing the fest. The result was a ridiculously busy and complex week and a half of coordinating, shooting, interviewing, editing and posting dozens of videos (with lots of help from an incredible team, of course). I had the pleasure of interviewing Jack’s Mannequin, Cage the Elephant, and Danny Gokey, and shot an epic (I know, I’m using that word a lot in this post, but it’s true) interview with Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. We spent over an hour with him waiting for a golf cart to take us to the Skyglider, where we conducted the interview from however many feet above the ground.

(Wayne Coyne interview)

(Cage the Elephant interview)

July

Much, much earlier in the year, I had signed up for the inaugural Summerfest half marathon. Even after becoming pregnant, I planned to run it with my doctor’s blessing. Well, come July, I had gone from being in great shape thanks to all that skiing in February and a good deal of running in March, to losing all my endurance thanks to a super busy work schedule and first trimester fatigue. So I dropped down to the 10K distance, figuring even if I wasn’t all that fast, I could still bang out six miles. I did, but the course was hot, the sun was unrelenting and the race organizers ran out of water, making it a brutal failure for Summerfest and even prompting them to offer partial refunds to all racers. My pregnant brain got confused and I ended up starting the race with the half marathoners, who started 30 minutes before the 10K, which thankfully ensured I had just enough water to make it through unscathed. Had I started with the 10K after the water supply was completely decimated, baby’s first race might have gotten ugly.

My family took a wonderful trip to Glen Arbor, Mich., to visit my Aunt and Uncle at the end of July. Peter and I took a ferry across Lake Michigan to get there, which was exiting in and of itself. We enjoyed absolutely perfect beaches, beautiful hikes, sand dunes, kayaking and lots of family time.

As I look back at my planner, I realize July was also a highly social month for me. I lived it up, going to concerts, movies, dinners and races with friends as much as possible. I started to realize that those kinds of things would take a back seat when the baby arrived, so I stopped feeling bad if the house was a mess or I skipped the gym in favor of something more fun. I’m sure I’ll miss that freedom next summer, so I’m glad I enjoyed it as much as possible while I could.

August

August was another fun, social month, just like July. At the end of August I had the opportunity to travel to a resort in Tucson, Ariz., for a features journalism conference. Rough, I know. Peter came with and we celebrated our 3-year anniversary. It was a sweet little unofficial “babymoon,” even though I spent part of the time in conference sessions.

September

Peter turned 28 in September, and we celebrated with a night out in Milwaukee. I took him to dinner at Harbor House and to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and we stayed in a hotel downtown thanks to Marriott rewards that needed to be redeemed.

We also hosted a huge feast in September! I roasted my first turkey for a Thanksgiving story I wrote for the Food section, and invited a houseful of guests over to eat it with us. I now have new respect for anyone who hosts a big holiday gathering.

October

This is the month in which things got real, baby-wise. I had my first baby shower, hosted by my sister and mom. It was so much fun and filled with such love. This was accompanied by a wonderful weekend with college friends (instead of clubbing like we did in New York City in January, we went apple-picking and to a haunted mansion, hehe).

We also made a visit to Peter’s hometown in Missouri for a relaxing weekend free of obligations.

November

Childbirth classes, two more baby showers, another trip to Peter’s hometown and my hometown and wow — time is flying by and life is so busy I barely have time to breathe.

December

It all culminates in December! We spent the first week doing all sorts of baby prep – choosing a pediatrician, taking maternity photos, training people at work to do my job, two final baby showers (yeah, busy week) – and then our little guy decided to arrive 3.5 weeks earlier than expected.

Suddenly, our world changed big time! The rest of the month has flown by. Lots of family visits…

Corban’s first Christmas…

Sleepless nights followed by snuggly mornings…

It’s been an amazing month to top off an amazing year. 2012 has big shoes to fill, but somehow I think this little guy will make it a happy new year.

Non-cheesy maternity photos

Almost all of the maternity photos that I’ve seen have had one thing in common: They are SO cheesy.

Husbands kissing stomachs, couples both baring bare bellies, huge bows tied around waists… maximum cheese. There are some hilariously bad ones out there (thank you, Pregnant Chicken, for compiling this roundup.)

I do think this is a really fun time to get professional photos taken, though. As uncomfortable as my protruding stomach might make me feel right now, I want to remember how I look at this stage and capture our excitement and joy as we anticipate our baby’s arrival. As long as they weren’t ridiculously posed, I wanted to have some professional photos taken for that reason.

We’re fortunate enough to have a friend, Anna Sparks, who is studying photography in college and already launching her career, so choosing a photographer was easy. It also made me feel better spending the money on photos – knowing it was supporting a friend.

So yesterday we tromped around by Lake Michigan, a park in Grafton and downtown Cedarburg for some chilly pics (though it was one of the warmer days of late). A lot of the time, it felt like we were taking engagement photos, only with my stomach being an extra prop.

Anna was kind enough to send a few “preview” shots to keep me satiated while she studies for finals. So without further ado, here’s a preview of our shoot yesterday.

There’s one more that I added to yesterday’s post and the belly pics page.

I’m loving all the shots so far and can’t wait to see the rest! Thanks, Anna!

36 weeks

As I type out “36 weeks” I am in shock that I am this close to the end of this pregnancy! I wouldn’t say it’s flown by, but this whole I-could-pretty-much-go-into-labor-any-day-now thing really crept up on me.

No picture today – yet! We had our friend Anna Sparks take maternity photos today, so you’ll have to wait till we get a pic from her to see this week’s bump [updated] and here is one in the style of my weekly photo, only much more professional.

I feel mentally prepared (I think) to welcome our baby into this world, but there are still a few things that need to happen before that day arrives:

  • Receive/set up bassinet that my cousin is sending us (or buy Pack ‘n’ Play, which I’m going to wait till after our final shower on Tuesday to buy with our registry completion coupon)
  • Set up appointment with pediatrician (we have one recommended by our neighbor, but need to meet him and do whatever you do to officially become a patient)
  • Get new tubes for breast pump (after the great used breast pump debate, I never updated you on my decision. Basically, my friend Michelle gave me her Medela Pump In Style. I am cool with it since after changing out the tubes and everything there is really nothing else that touches the milk. And I know who it’s coming from, so there’s no weirdness with that. And it’s free – thank you, Michelle.)
  • Wash baby clothes/blankets/etc.
  • Install car seat and have it safety checked.
  • Call the company that handles unpaid leave for me at work and officialize my maternity leave.

There are also some things that aren’t absolutely crucial, but I would really like to get done:

  • Set up crib
  • Finish organizing/arranging/decorating nursery
  • Purchase glider for nursery
  • Cash in gift certificates for prenatal massage (from Peter as an early Christmas gift) and pedicure (shower gift from my friend Litzy). They sound sooo good right now, but I just need to find the time!
  • Buy all the miscellaneous baby items we still need (this also involves figuring out what those items are…)

Current symptoms

Yeah, life with the bump is not getting any easier. Sleep is tough. Rolling over is tough. Getting up after sitting for a while is painful.

My feet are very swollen and at times it feels like I am walking on water balloons that could burst at any moment if I bend them the wrong way.

Baby still likes that right rib, only he/she is getting bigger and stronger and sometimes putting an undue amount of pressure on it.

Most people are really sweet to me and tell me I am one of those women who only gains weight in my belly when pregnant. For the most part, I think that’s true (and I feel really lucky), but it’s kind of the entire mid-section that’s bigger, not just the bump. One woman in the cafeteria at work (who I think is the same woman who made the weird comment I mentioned in this post) told me she can tell I’m nearing the end because my face is starting to fill out. I don’t know how she would have any grasp on that since I don’t know her, but I kind of have to laugh at the thought that she might be the only person being honest with me. I think my face has filled out a bit, but perhaps not noticeably to others.

And again I feel lucky, because I’ve only really gotten two weird/borderline rude comments over the past 8 months, and both were from the same woman.

In other news…

My co-workers threw me a lovely shower at work on Thursday. This was my only shower that involved animal masks. Which is an awesome addition to any party, in my book.

(Giraffe and pup, a.k.a. me being tall and Jackie being… an attack dog)

(Elephant and bear, a.k.a me smiling even though my trunk hides it and Enrique smiling because that’s what you do when you’re in a bear mask)

(Zebra and lion, a.k.a. Nancy looking cute and my hair threatening to turn into a full-on mane)

There were many more mask photos, just not taken on my camera. I think I wore nearly all of the maybe 15 masks at some point.

(Cake design inspired by this very blog)

(Lots of yummy homemade food)

(Some of the ladies in my department)

It was so sweet, and I was once again taken aback by the generosity and love poured out from the people in my life.

On a much more serious note

Another very busy week ahead. As overwhelming as life feels for me right now though, I would like to ask for prayers for my friend Michelle (mentioned above, who gave me her breast pump), who will be having a double mastectomy this Wednesday. Michelle found out she had inflammatory breast cancer a few days before her 30th birthday and the very same day I went to the doctor and took my official pregnancy test (we actually go to the same doctor). It’s crazy to think that as long as I’ve been consumed by this baby growing inside me, she has been consumed by cancer treatments and all the fear and unknown that comes with that. Her strength and trust in the Lord over this time has been a constant reminder to me that no matter the issue, large or small, God is in control. It has helped me put things in perspective when my problems were the center of my world and helped me realize that it’s God who should be at the center. So please pray for a successful surgery and recovery, no more traces of cancer and strength and comfort for Michelle and her family this week.

33 weeks

I’m a day late on my weekly belly picture post. Didn’t even have time to take a photo yesterday, let alone write. So here’s the least-horrible photo from this morning’s photo shoot.

Can you tell I really badly need to do laundry? I have officially run out of all my cute maternity tops.

Anyway, this weekend was nonstop for me – nonstop fun, for the most part, but not much time to get anything (like laundry) done.

Friday night I went on a scavenger hunt at Mayfair Mall (yes, you read that right) with women from church. It included things like this:

And this:

(Woman on the left is visiting from Sierra Leone!)

Loads of laughter that night. Unfortunately I had an early wake up call the next morning for singing practice at church, followed by part 2 of the women’s event (a mini retreat-like morning), lunch with church friends and a ZTA alumnae chapter “meeting,” that turned out to be…

…a sweet surprise baby shower!

It was so much fun catching up with my Zeta alumni friends. And Baby Sherwood now has a bunch of adorable yellow and white ducky clothes and accessories (I’m telling ya, gender-neutral = ducky when it comes to onesies, and that’s not a bad thing). The only other picture I took was of these cupcakes:

Yummm. Just some of the delicious food our generous hostess, Trixy, prepared.

Of course, after all that fun I had to go into work for a few hours.

But Sunday brought more good times. After church, we headed to Wine & Dine Wisconsin, an awesome food and drink tasting event put on by the Journal Sentinel. After my shift in the JS booth (which earned me some free tickets) we walked around with our friends Chris and Alicia, who we happily ran into, and eventually met up with Peter’s brother Noah and his girlfriend, Lindsay, who were in town from Quincy, Ill., and their/our friends Jason and Cynthia. Jason is Noah’s friend from high school who is coincidentally marrying my ZTA alumni friend Cynthia. I’d like to take credit for their meeting each other, but really we just unintentionally brought them under the same roof one day a few years ago and they hit it off from there. Such fun!

It was a little tough to miss out on all the wine and beer tastings this year (though I did take a sip of Blue Moon’s peanut butter beer – it was…. interesting), but there was enough good food to stuff me to the gills. I actually found one restaurant (Cafe Manna) that was serving a non-alcoholic drink, a very green and healthy limeade, so I filled my wine glass up with that (and definitely got some stares and questions regarding what green concoction I was drinking). We stayed quite a while at Wine & Dine before heading home with Noah and Lindsay and eventually going out for a late dinner (no idea how we were hungry after Wine & Dine, but somehow it happened).

So that covered pretty much every minute of my weekend. Still with me?

I am happy to report that this week, for the first time in months, or even possibly ever, I have no evening plans for the entire week! This means all the things around the house that have been neglected for the past several weeks (ahem, laundry) can get done. And yes, this makes me happy.

Pregnancy update

So what has this week been like pregnancy-wise? Uncomfortable. Switching from sitting, standing or lying down to any other position is quite the endeavor.

I finally understand why everyone says to put your feet up – I am starting to retain water in my ankles and feet, a.k.a. hello cankles.

Walking is uncomfortable for the first few steps until I gain some momentum to propel me forward. Seriously. Haha.

But overall, it continues to be not too bad. I especially feel blessed that I’ve made it this far without any complications, and am very happy that Baby still seems content to be inside my belly. I try not to think too much about all the babies I know that were born by this point in pregnancy because that freaks me out (obviously on a health-risk level, but also on an “ahhh I’m not ready yet!” level).

I really can’t believe how close we are getting to the end though! I am looking forward to finishing getting the nursery put together (which should happen this weekend) so I can feel a bit more prepared. Right now that’s the big thing that is hanging over my head.

Weird dream update

I haven’t had a ton of violent nightmares recently (thankfully!) but I have been having bizarre baby dreams/nightmares. In one, we had an ultrasound that revealed that I was actually having triplets, and because of this I was going to have to be induced the very next day – no exceptions!

Then last night I dreamed that I had the baby (a boy in this dream) but had labor and delivery amnesia, where I didn’t remember a thing about being in the hospital. It was very mysterious, and I was sad that I “missed out” on the birth of our child (who was very cute in the dream). Then someone told me the baby was born at 10 pounds, so I figured it was probably better that I didn’t remember the delivery. Haha.

Wow, packed a lot in this post. Hope your week is off to a great start!

30 weeks and a baby shower

The big 3-0! And I’m all warm and fuzzy from this weekend spent with my closest friends and family members, enjoying fall weather and activities on Saturday and my baby shower today.

Four of my BFFs and college roommates (we all lived in one room together in our sorority house one year  – and shared an amazing communal closet) came into town for the weekend from Missouri and NYC. We took advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent most of Saturday at a huge apple orchard and pumpkin patch in Maple Park, Ill.

So many laughs and great conversations. So much has changed since college, and yet nothing has.

Today was baby shower day – again, lots of laughs and fun spending time with friends and family.

Baby was being shy and refused to kick under all the pressure!

My sister and mom hosted the shower at White Chocolate Grill in Naperville. It started with mingling and a delicious lunch.

I’ll be dreaming of this dessert for a while – warm blonde brownie with chocolate oozing out of it and topped with vanilla ice cream and white chocolate shavings:

My mom and Lauren kept everything simple, but with lovely attention to detail.

They even made the “Ready to Pop” popcorn favors [seen above and closer below] from scratch – like, crafted the boxes out of cardstock and stuck the letters and stamp on, plus the homemade popcorn with white chocolate and pastel candies. My sister, the Pinterest addict, found the idea on this blog (via Pinterest of course).

There were some challenging baby-themed crossword puzzles and word scrambles on the table that my pregnant brain couldn’t handle.

And we played two fun shower games. In the first, we had to guess what Peter’s answers were to a bunch of questions about babies and our baby. Like, how many diapers does a baby go through in a day? And how many diapers will you change in a day? (Surprisingly, Peter answered that he would change 40% of the diapers! I thought he would say zero – ha.)

We also played “guess the belly size” with ribbon. Everyone guessed too big (some by a lot!) but Nana guessed my exact belly circumference!

We now have lots of adorable baby items (rubber ducky-themed everything is so in). I especially loved how those who have recent experience with babies gave us things they knew were tried and true.

And my aunt crocheted this incredibly soft blanket! I am so touched. I know the baby will love it just as much as I loved the blanket my grandparents’ friend sewed for me when I was born.

I drove home from Naperville feeling incredibly loved and blessed to have spent the weekend with such supportive loved ones.

Back to reality tomorrow! And childbirth class #2 after a busy workday of meetings.

A mystery bag

I came into work yesterday morning to find this sitting on my chair:

No, not the cat. The bag of baby clothes!

It’s filled with some adorable little outfits. The ducky onesie at the top actually has little duck feet. Swoon! I’m tellin’  ya, there are plenty of cute gender-neutral clothes out there.

But I digress.

This lovely bag of goodies was accompanied by no note, no email, no Facebook message, no tweet nor any other indication as to whom it is from. Obviously, it’s one of my co-workers, but I can’t figure out who!

Most likely, I had a conversation with someone at some point, probably a while ago, and they asked if I would like some hand-me-down clothes, and I said yes, of course. But it’s true what they say about pregnancy brain. I am just plain forgetful and ditzy these days, so if that conversation did indeed happen, I don’t remember whom it was with.

I’m hoping the mystery person will reveal him or herself so I can give a proper thank you. Until then I’ll keep racking my brain. I did contemplate sending out a newsroom-wide email but decided that might be too much.

But this brings me to a larger point. We have been blessed by so many generous friends and acquaintances over these past few months that it makes my heart swell. I have only had to buy a couple pieces of maternity clothes because people have lent me – or even just given me – theirs. We have a nice little start to baby’s wardrobe thanks to hand-me-downs (from kindred not-finding-out-the-gender parents especially) and early gifts. I have more pregnancy/first year books than I can possibly read (but I’m still trying to skim a lot of them!) I even appreciate all the advice veteran parents have offered. #lovefest

But I’ve been adamant about sending thank you cards, so I will not be able to sleep until this anonymous donor is identified. [Actually, that’s a lie. I sleep 9 hours a night and can’t drag myself out of bed in the morning. But you get my point.] Time to get investigating…

Baby’s first karaoke night

Just another drunk chick channeling Bill Medley [Time Of My Life] from behind the karaoke monitor.

Wait a second… she’s pregnant? And, more surprisingly, SOBER?!

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See, it’s just the side view that gives it away 😉

And yes, karaoke is still fun without liquid courage… though the bad singers are a little more difficult to listen to when you’re drinking water.