Baby Pares Counter

Monday, July 4, 2011

1 week ago....

My daughter, Jessica Victoria Pares, was born. She was born on June 27th, 2011 at 4:12 pm weighing 7 lbs 5 oz at 19 inches. I prayed, I wished, and I dreamed of her all my life. I dreamed of being a singer, a nurse, a politician, a principal, and a teacher. I could compromise on any of those, but not being a mother. It is truly a blessing to finally be a mother to such a beautiful young lady (aka "Lady Jessica" by her Grandpa - my dad).

I finally wanted to get her birth story written up for her to get it off my chest before I forget. I'm sure she will want to read it just as my mom shared my birth story when I was a baby. I'm going to try to keep it somewhat short? It really isn't that dramatic.

Jessica was due on Father's Day, June 19th. I woke on June 19th in tears because she hadn't come yet. I started to doubt my body and question whether or not I did something wrong during my pregnancy not to have her come on time. I know ... It is very silly but I was done at that point. That night, like several other days, I called the doctor complaining of contractions that I thought were labor only to learn it was nothing... as usual. By mid week, I was at peace since we scheduled my induction for Monday June 27th. I had a little more energy now and decided to go on a cleaning spree of my house, do a crazy dance video, eat my sis-n-law's delicious eggplant parm, and get a few walks in. I even drank a couple glasses of wine -- as prescribed by my doctor since I was in so much pain and frustrated.

I was so excited on the night of June 26th. Michael and I went out to have a nice dinner. My goal was to get a good night's rest and be ready for a phone call from Labor and Delivery. I could get a call as early as 4:30 am or as late as 3:30 pm. So no, of course I didn't sleep. This was not because of my anxiety or excitement. I started having back pain and other symptoms that were just "off". I was uncomfortable but ignored them because of all my other false calls. Around 5 am, I noticed my contractions seemed to be closer together... but I also thought that was a fluke.

Finally I got my call at 8:30 am. We got ready to go and by the time we left, I was definitely in "don't mess with me" mode. We arrived by 9:45 am. It took us about 30 minutes to get settled in. I met all the doctors and nurses. We discussed my birth plan and all the other logistical stuff. It took 1 hour just for them to keep track of Baby J's heartrate. My parents arrived around 11 am. At about 11:15 am, it was very clear my contractions were much stronger and now were 2 minutes apart. I breathed through every one with my eyes closed while listening to my favorite song made by my brother. My mom was getting a kick out of watching me silently handle my contractions. I didn't find it funny at all. I came in the hospital at 1 cm and now was 4 cm.

Then Baby J's heartrate went down. Her heartrate has been steady in the 140's for the last 3 months. She dropped below 100 and in hearing that, I lost it. I started hyperventilating, my contractions got stronger and were now 1 minute apart, and then a rush of docs and nurses came flying in. They put tubes here and there and then the oxygen mask. My water broke and the contractions lost it. Michael and the nurse did SO well to calm me down and keep me focused. At this point I was 7 cm dilated. I felt better because her heartrate went back to normal. Now it was about handling the contractions. I dealt with them for a while longer but with them now being 30 seconds apart, I asked for an epidural. It didn't get it for another 40 minutes. There was a student involved which made the process even longer. These were my WORST contractions but I knew that if I moved during this process, I could be screwed. So I toughened up.

Epidural in ... I was in la la land. It was like the greatest glass of wine to my lower half.

15 minutes later - doc says, "ready to have a baby? you are fully dilated" I said to him "are you joking?" So everyone took their time to get everything ready to let the baby come down some more.

4:00, I started pushing. 4 pushes and 4:12 pm... she was out.

She was wisked away quickly because she did do her first poopy in utero, so they had to clean her up. I was looking at the face of Michael and my mom to see if she looked okay. I heard her cry and focused on that the whole time as I had to have some pretty extensive repairs done.

We were moved to recovery about 1 hour later and I finally had Baby J in my arms. I was in heaven and truly blessed.

We came home about 72 hours later. My stay at the hospital was fantastic. Everyone was so helpful. Nurses were there for guidance and educating me. I milked it all up. Mike and I enjoyed our time together with her in our room.

She is now home. I am definitely sleep deprived as we learn this "food" thing. I've been in a ton of pain the last week, but nothing could outdo my love for her. I could stare at her all day (as I am right now). She is beautiful and healthy. I am blessed. Thank you Jesus for giving me this wonderful gift.

Well that was sorta short...

One of these mornings, you're gonna rise up singing

Then you'll spread your wings

And you'll take to the sky

But 'til that mornin'

There's a nothin' can harm you

With daddy and mammy standin' by...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I've lost it... The Labor Dance

Soooo... after watching several labor inducing dance videos, I decided to enjoy my body one last time. I've mentioned my woes with my baby stretching me, blowing me up like a balloon, and putting me in pain. All the woes I am grateful for. So I am taking my curvacious, big belly, jumbo butt, no makeup, silly self to all extremes to have a dance party. This is for Baby J's memories of mommy's celebration of her pending arrival in 2 days.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eviction date scheduled!

What? Jessica is 102% baked! Today I went for my final tests; both the NST and my ultrasound. It's funny how the ultrasound is not as exciting anymore because baby is just too darn big. You barely can see anything. As usual, little Jessica is healthy and booming! She has a guessed weight of 7.5-8 lbs. She is definitely scheduled to be evicted from my dear body on Monday June 27th.

I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm scared. I'm at peace. She is not showing any signs of coming before then so I am just enjoying my "alone" time for now. 4 days seems like forever but it will be here in no time.

I am just imagining this little one will fill her bouncy seat, lay in her bassinet, sleep in her crib, get her butt cleaned on her changing table, wear her carefully cleaned and ironed clothes, drink out of her lonely bottles, stare at me as she lays on her boppy pillow, and fill my house with so much warmth and joy in just 4 days. How amazing.


Monday, June 20, 2011

No baby J and a glass of wine!

It hit me this morning when all of my tickers, calendar updates, and blog were off. One website said 364 days until your child is 1 years old! This ticker above said that Baby J graced our lives yesterday. Outlook kept on a blinking reminder that Baby J was due yesterday. These were all reminders of what an emotional day yesterday was for me.

I woke up in the morning and watched the sun beam into Baby J's room as I sat in my rocking chair and just fell out in tears. I've been holding you for 280 days girl and you weren't here for your birthday! I've been in pain and all that, but not enough to get overly emotional about it. Yesterday just hit me because it was just the realization that it wasn't going to happen and that I was going to be that mom that carried past 40 weeks.

Later in the day yesterday, I thought maybe you just might come. I couldn't take the pain anymore and headed to L & D to check things out. Nada. She is just getting bigger, causing me a ton of pain, and no progression. The doctor saw how stressed I've been (I haven't been sleeping because contractions keep me up all night). She said doctor's orders are to go home, drink a glass of wine and take a bath.

That glass of wine was heaven along with watching me some Miss USA pageant. I had the best rest I've had in the last 2 1/2 months. I awaken this morning to still having contractions but at least I am rested. I've sent my hubby on his way to work. I'm in my recliner... just waiting as I've been told that now the pressure of the baby is causing me additional pain and to stop walking around.

As I wake up with a fresh mind this morning, I have a renewed feeling of "oh my gosh, I'm going to see my little one sometime this week!" She didn't come by her due date, but she will be here. That puts a special glow on my face. So here is to Baby J coming sometime this week... I hope.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is she going to make it before Father's Day?

It's been a while and I figure I should write something. I hit month 9 at the end of May and have been somewhat miserable ever since.

We have this incredible hosta that we put in a pot finally and within just a couple of days it grew beautifully. It was quite amazing to watch. It looks fabulous on our front steps.

What is not amazing to watch is how my stretch marks have accumulated over the last month. Just like that hosta came out of no where, so did the stretch marks. I've been a cocoa butter junky since I was a kid. It is just something my mother always used with us growing up with everything and it always worked. The stretch marks don't bother me much now other than like 2 of them that are painful. My sadness is in what these jokers will look like AFTER the pregnancy. You hear over and over that there are no miracle creams or that there are, that they will fade or that they won't and so on. All I know is that I'll be working my tail off to try to fade 'em, get rid of 'em, hide 'em - something. My belly is so stretched it literally has not grown anymore in the last 3 weeks. Battle wounds are what they call 'em!

No really? Every stretch mark is a beautiful blessing. I've read the various sad stories of June mothers that I've bonded with during this pregnancy who were not able to make it this far. If it takes a bunch of lines on my belly to make it happen, I'm all for it and I would do it again. Thank you Jesus for this dear blessing.

For a while this month Jessica got very quiet and so did all my Braxton Hicks. Well all that came back full force this past week. I am having regular contractions, FINALLY dilated, and Jessica has quite a bit of an attitude in my belly. I told her I feel the same way and that she is going to have to do some work and get out! Doc suspects she might be a 7-8 lber. If she is not, I am going to demand that the doc looks for the other baby hiding in my belly to make me stretch out this far!

I've definitely been nesting. I lay down whenever I get a chance because my feet and legs swell in a second. It's literally nest for 10 minutes and rest for 50 minutes... repeat. I've scrubbed down our refrigerator and freezer, cleaned up Jessica's room like a million times ironing all of her washed clothes and socks, scrubbing the bathrooms, making lists from lists, and throwing things out. I've been very tired though lately. I typically take 2-3 hour naps each day. Baby Story gets me in that sleepy mode.

I'll leave us with what I hope is my final pregnancy picture at 39 weeks. My brother came over and took pictures so that every preggo picture of me isn't with me holding my cell phone.

Here's to patiently waiting for Jessica to come over the next 5 days. It's a full moon tomorrow. Just maybe she'll make her debut mid week.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What's the difference?

What's the difference between me and these stuffed animals? Well the real answer is that they await patiently in Baby Jessica's room for her arrival. You don't see them squirming anxiously counting the minutes trying to figure out if their contractions are close together or not! You don't see them running around with sore hips and cramps saying "She needs to come already!"

Yes I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Jessica. In the last few days I have been experiencing very odd pains, irregular contractions, dizziness, nausea, crazy baby movement, and no sleep. My record is 3 hours of sleep at night.

These animals are patient and so very special. One of them belonged to Michael when he was a baby. Another is a rabbit that Michael and I have had since we were engaged (it has recorded voices in him/her). Ok ok I won't drag it out but they all have some pretty good meaning which means Dugga can't go in that room anymore because he absolutely loses it when he sees stuffed animals all together.

We'll see where I am at tomorrow when I see my doctor! Oh! Here goes another contraction... adios.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bows and headbands and beanies... oh my!

I couldn't wait to share. This DEFINITELY brightened up my rainy bedresting day! Look at this collection. Lord knows I wanted a boy but I think the bows just did it...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

33 weeks and bows! May baby or June baby?

Not much is happening. I am still on bedrest. Symptoms are the same. Nothing dramatic.

My awesome coworkers sent me these beautiful flowers today. The next photo is a nice reminder that I can't see my poor feet. The next one is my 1st shot at going bare belly. I thought I'd try at least one even though I am not a fan of them!

How am I feeling?
  • Can't sleep at night even with multiple pillows so I am constantly tired
  • Can't sleep in a bed so I mostly sleep on a recliner or on the floor
  • Decreased movement from the baby but I still feel her at least 1-2 times a day (less kicking)
  • She hiccups in my crotch and I can't stand it
  • Horrible pelvic pains that make it nearly impossible to walk, turn, or stand up. I prefer baths but it takes a lot out of me to get in and out of the tub :(
  • Contractions galore! These come and I normally would prefer not to talk to anybody
  • Swelling feet on and off... my rings still fit though!
  • Weight gain has stalled for a bit out thank goodness

So when I asked the doc if I was going to make it to 40 weeks (which would be June 19th), she said a flat out "no". She then said "I don't want to jinx it, but I think we can make it full term". Full term for me would be May 29th. So I wonder if Baby J (as my coworkers call her) will be a May baby or June baby? I am certainly excited to have her come here but with my bedrest there isn't much I can finish up around the house like I would like to. My cervix is still shortening and funneling which is why she doesn't think I'll make it that far. Doc is hoping we can keep her cooking for as long as possible.

Total Weight Gain to date: 17 lbs :(
Whatever happened to that nice 4-5 lbs I had going?

Bows! I splurged buying $70 worth of bows, headbands, and beanies for Baby Jessica and they get here tomorrow. I'm excited to see them! If my little girl comes out looking like a little man, we're going to have to dress her head for a bit. I got them from an online site called Halo Heaven.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sleep deprived in my new apartment :(

So the bed has been my apartment and yesterday I found out that it will be my new apartment for some time until Jessica is a little more "well done" in there. My apartment moves regularly. My bed is no longer the place of choice. I've slept on the floor, in our recliner, and now... I'm sleeping in my stepdaughter's bed. Why? I can't get comfortable anywhere. Our bed has one of those mattresses I was wowed by 6 years ago because it is so fluffy, soft, and luxurious... not! It is so uncomfortable now. I sleep with anywhere from 4-6 pillows including this boppy thing. I need someone to swaddle me I guess.

So I get that I will be sleep deprived when baby comes. The flip side to this is that anybody who really knows Christina Ellington, knows that doesn't mean much. I don't sleep period. I've dealt with insomnia since college. Even before this pregnancy, I would be the one to send 1-2 am work emails or get projects done overnight. This is not because I procrastinated but for some reason I get more work done at night. My mother used to hate seeing me deal with this. When I got married, my husband realized I had a serious problem with it and also hated it. When I competed in pageants, my directors were always on me about it. My mom thought my pageant platform should have been about sleep disorders. So being sleep deprived is a part of who I am and I am not going on any pill for it. I don't know if I took after my mother who has been working nights as a nurse in various capacities for the last 30+ years. My mom would be up all hours of the night vacuuming, doing laundry, watching TV, writing letters, doing work, on the phone and so on. It was like she was in her own little day world. Once I got my freedom in college to sort of manage my own schedule, I just never slept. In college I would average 3-4 hours of sleep a night sporadically. I just learned to function on it.

The problem with this 3rd trimester sleep deprivation nonsense is that is has added luxuries. The main goal of the tossing and turning is to try to get back to sleep (which is a very boring and annoying game I say). So I am in so much pain in my lower half that when I end up sleeping on my back, it becomes nearly impossible to even turn myself to my side. Lifting my leg to get the pillow in between them hurts. Oh wait... I have to potty now! Lifting myself up, turning my body to put my feet on the ground, and standing up is a workout. 99% of the time, I stand completely bent over while holding onto everything in my path to the bathroom. I fell the other day in front of my mom, my dad, and my husband just because I can't seem to get my balance right. I'm just a bag of wobble goo.

I'll do anything for little Jess. Mama's knocked out, but I love you girl.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'm moody, she's happy, and she will come when she is ready...

Well the specialist said "if the baby comes now, we are not going to stop her". So even though I am having some cervical concerns, everything else is looking good and we are just in waiting mode. I am going to do my best to rest when I can, drink tons of water, and try to stay off my feet when I can. Other than that, the ultrasound shows that she is doing very well and healthy.

I am drained though. Mike and I went to the sporting goods store a few days ago. I remember getting out of the car, walking into the store, and standing by the running shoes section as he tried on sneakers. As I stood there, I got really dizzy and realized that my heart rate had dramatically gone up! I wasn't even breathing hard. Doing what? Walking into the doggone store! Anytime I am still, I can feel the blood pumping through every part of my body. They don't lie when they say that your blood supply increases. Everything exhausts me and it's starting to make me moody :(

On the flip side of my moodiness, little Jessica is in a very good mood. Seeing her smile in this video is amazing. I can't stop watching it. I can only imagine what it is like to see her smile in "real life".

Today I am excited because my stepdaughter, Alexis, comes to stay with us for the next few days. We haven't seen her since early January when I was 15-16 weeks. The baby room which is also her room is close to complete. I left her side unfinished because I am going to have her assist me in how she wants to decorate her side. She's also got to help me organize the room so I've got all the baby stuff out so she can give me some ideas. We've got some work to do!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Bedrest, 31 weeks, hands, and Mr. Braxton Hicks

So we are finally at 31 weeks which means I am officially in the single digit countdown. 9 weeks to go... if Jessica wants to hold out that long.

I've been on temporary bedrest for this past week due to a short cervix and cramping. One week ago I started getting cramping and definitely said "woah that's not right". I've had a really good pregnancy with no cramping, no aches or pains, no nothing. So Saturday I thought maybe I was just having a "day". On Sunday I took two warm baths because they were bothering me and my back was getting to me as well. I went to work on Monday, back on my feet, and it was clear that the cramps were not going anywhere. I went to the doctor that day only to find out that my cervix was quite short and continuing to shorten. So I am on bedrest until I see the specialist next week until we get the more definitive plan for how we are going to deal with it. Long term bedrest would be my worst nightmare as anyone who knows me knows that I am a keep it movin' type of person. Over the last week of bedrest though, it has proven to be that I am not just getting a tiny bit of cramping. SOMETHING is going on in there and it is increasingly getting more and more painful by the day. Jessica is going to just have to wait and cook a little bit longer.

Accompanying the pain are Mr. Braxton Hicks and friends. It was cute when I was getting them starting 1 month ago - distorting my tummy. There is nothing entertaining about it now. It makes me stop everything I am doing (like I just got one 1 minute ago and I stopped typing this), it normally is joined by Ms. Cramping and Mr. Backaches, and requires a little concentration. Ms. Cramping is enjoying the sounds of me typing right now. All I have to say is, "Mr. Braxton Hicks - you and all your little friends can go home for now. I'm finished with this party."

So I've been down in the dumps about all of this as I don't know what I am going to hear next week when I get my next cervical reading. To keep me happy, I got to see my little one on 3D today at Stork Studio in Orange, CT. She is a true fat butt! Big chubby cheeks like I had as a kid. She definitely has an obsession with her hands. Her hands were all in her face and in her mouth the whole time. It was ridiculous. We had to keep hitting my stomach to get some type of view of her face! My mom had the chance to come join us.

Hubby who is usually quite reserved and quiet about this whole process came out and said yesterday, "I want her to come out now." (smile)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

30 weeks, Baby Shower, and woah weight gain!

Now look... It was only in February that I was yapping off to my doctor some small concerns around the fact that I had only gained 3-4 lbs total at 20 something weeks. The nurse made fun of me in January and told me wait until you hit February because you weight it just going to shoot up. I went through all of February still at the total mark of about 4 lbs. So March comes marching along and my weight goes up a couple little lbs and I think to myself, "this is not too bad." Well here we are on April 10th. My weight has shot up 14 total lbs. This baby lost her mind. I've also been noticeably a lot more hungry at my main meals. With the demands of my job, I don't eat as often during the day as I should. So I am determined today to go out and get some good snacks to try to eat during the day when I am hungry so I am not stuffing my face at one meal. Good thing is that glucose test was great. No high blood pressure. No issues at all in this pregnancy so far. I could be dealing with worse so I won't complain.

I have my 30 week appointment this week with the doctor and then yay for my 3D appointment this coming Saturday. I am going to check to make sure this baby doesn't magically have a little hotdog we didn't know about.

My mom called me about 4 days ago with that odd voice on the phone. I kept asking her what's wrong mom? She finally blurted out that she was trying to plan my baby shower with her friend to keep it a surprise but she would prefer to have me involved. She said it would be more "fun". Anyone who knows my mom knows that a party is right up her alley and she can put together anything. So I've been assisting in some respects but definitely not picky. I'm excited that is underway. Hopefully baby Jess doesn't decide to hit the streets anytime soon. We are looking at mid may for a party.

A lot has been done with the baby room. The things we have left to do or may not even do are:
  • Child Birthing Classes (not sure)
  • Newborn Items (waiting for shower because I have no idea what to get right now)
  • Baby wardrobe
  • Boobie Pumps
  • Glider/Recliner (not sure)
  • Stroller/Car Seat (mama said she is going to get this)
  • Packing delivery bag (later)
  • Finalizing registry
  • Clean carpets in baby room
  • Put together baby swing
  • Put newborn napper in my room
  • Get birthing plan to hospital
  • Meet with pediatrician
  • Boobie feeding class

Biggest Con right now: My breathing sucks. I go up and down the stairs regularly at work and my breathing isn't cutting it. You would think I ran a few miles by the time I get to the top. I push through it but it is so hard to be so short of breath :(

Biggest Pro right now: My belly is getting SO big! While it is getting big seeing the baby move my belly parts around is incredible. Visibly seeing the kicking and jabbing is crazy but so exciting. I listened to the heartbeat last night with hubby and heard a strong healthy baby.

10 weeks Baby J!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Baby Room and 29 weeks!

The baby room is coming right along finally. I got the walls done with the wall decal, got the blinds up, and put together the bassinet/playyard. The playyard will be in our room for when the baby first comes home. We also did a little home gardening today for the 1st time! We're so proud of ourselves!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

28 weeks! 3rd Trimester! Running total: 8 lbs

Oh boy life has been busy. I can't believe it has been 3 weeks since I've blogged!

Anywho, I am officially 28 weeks tomorrow and in the 3rd trimester! Things have been going well. I've definitely put baby decorating to a halt as I've needed to put some focuses into some job related activities over the last few weeks. My hope is that next weekend I will task on baby duties. I received my wall decal in the mail with Baby Jessica's name on it. I need time for that!

So for the weight gain... After I posted about not gaining much weight, I jumped up like a mad woman. My total weight gain at this point is approximately 8-9 lbs at 28 weeks. I'm doing well but that's going to need to hold on a second lol.

I've been experiencing lots of kicks and jabs. Michael and I watched her move her way across my belly. How funny! She likes to hang out in the lower part of my belly during the day which puts me in a ton of pain. Other than that, this is a fabulous pregnancy with no major issues. I took my 1 hour glucose test on Friday. That could change things up a bit seeing as I now have a craving for juice regularly.

84 days to go little girl! Keep on cookin'! We love you :)

My brother is officially married. Here I am with mi madre at 25 weeks!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

25 weeks tomorrow and Baby Bro gets married!

What a week it has been! I didn't think I was going to make it returning back to work after such a nice break.

Baby Pares is doing well and kicking. She now seems to have a daily schedule I have gradually picked up on. She does some major kicking around 4 am every morning. It drives me nuts because my alarm is set to 1 hour later. When she wakes me up... I'm up.

In addition to that, I haven't been sleeping so well :( I wake up a lot in the middle of the night. I can't seem to find a comfortable position to lay in. When I have to do my 4 runs to the bathroom at night, it is a PAINFUL walk to the toilet.

I got to enjoy waking up at 4 am this morning and watching Baby Jessica move all around my belly! I used to listen to her heartbeat every couple of days but now this new reassurance is exciting.

Weight Gain: So after enjoying JUST gaining 4 lbs in the 1st 6 months, I packed on another 4 in a week!!! AHHH! I got nervous but was told numerous times that my weight would jump. I am currently trying to get back on a more regular water routine now that I am back at work. I am not as good about water when I am at home. I feel it helps tremendously. So total weight gain for 25 weeks is 8 lbs. In general, based on calculators and charts, I am still way below typical weight from where I started, but doing well.

More importantly, today is a special day. My baby brother is getting married. I haven't thought about it much in the last few months of him preparing for the wedding. But I couldn't help crying on my drive home yesterday as I thought about my protective moments of my lil' man and how he's a big boy now! When I was younger I was always a quiet and shy girl. I didn't say anything. If you, adult or child, messed with my brother, however, that changed in a second. I am proud of the man he has become and know that the future is so bright for him and his new family.

Anywho - I am SOOO excited that I found where the Girl Scouts are going to be in town tomorrow. I've been CRAVING Samoas for weeks now and no one sells them at my job. I will be the 1st person at the table at Stop and Shop tomorrow getting my boxes of cookies.

Baby tasks this weekend: Clean boxes out of baby room, put up blinds, fix mobile, put together Sweetpeace glider, and playyard with newborn napper.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Jacana Baby

So today was the start of the "fun" part. I got the crib bedding! A few things are on their way tomorrow.

I also ordered a large wall decal to go over the crib with Jessica's name that should get here in a few weeks.

I think I'm starting to get into this girl baby thing... :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Belly pics - 23 weeks 4 days

23 weeks 4 days
Today is special because I purchased a belly support band for my upper thigh and back pain. It feels awesome! (I bought it from Destination Maternity)

Super-mega mommy!

So they tell you not to lift things and to be careful when you are pregnant. I have to admit that I am extremely hardheaded. I have this week off from work for Winter Break. My husband does not have the time off. The next time I'll get a break, I will be 30 weeks. My typical work days fall between 530 am and 6 pm. My husband has tax season going on. I won't be able to get anything done down the road. So I had to take it upon myself to get things done.

Here was my list:
  • Put together all the baby furniture (Storkcraft from a combination of Target, Walmart, Babies R Us and Amazon)
  • Rearrange our 2nd bedroom since my stepdaughter sleeps there when over
  • Put extra items in storage (TVs, mattress materials, headboards, brother in law's equipment and stuff, our office stuff, and so on)
  • Get rid of all the garbage (boxes and excess waste)
I was successful! This was definitely the less glamorous part of getting ready for baby but it had to get done. I'm experiencing a tiny bit of back and lower abdomen pain, but I am doing just fine. I probably could have gotten this project done faster but I chose to take my time with it to take care of my body. I turned on some Pandora, Dugga chilled out by the window, and I got my hubby's power drill and I was good to go!

Posted are some rough draft photos of the baby room.

Next stop this week is to get a lot of the baby decor (crib set, valances, wall decals, blankets). Much of it has to be ordered (lamp, curtains, rug, and other goodies) but I can get a lot of it from BRU. I'm getting excited to get to that part! Eventually I want to get a small flatscreen TV for the room so that my stepdaughter has something to watch and not the bulky TV that is in there now!

My car full of storage items!

Next job this week: Reorganize the basement! It looks like a tornado hit it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Baby Room, New Promotions, and Money

I started a blog once and didn't keep up with it too well, but I am committed to keeping this one up. I hope.

This is for my little one and babies to come. One day I am going to look back and wonder how I did it. My husband and I are going through a very interesting part of our lives right now. Most of it is great and some of it has to do with some hiccups that we just have to iron out.

One of our greatest joys has to do with the upcoming arrival of our 1st baby together in June. Her name is Jessica Victoria and we are excited to have her come join our family. We also both have taken on new roles at our jobs. I took on a role as a Dean of Students at my school and my husband took on Tax Manager. Both promotions are very exciting and give us both the challenge we need for our careers right now. They also are requiring a great deal of time, work, and stress. That's part of the package right?

Like any family, however, there are some hiccups. Ours is a hiccup but it will be very rewarding in the future. Confession: We joined credit counseling a little over 1 year ago for our debt. It kills your credit but we've paid down $12k in debt in this time frame. I'm plugging credit counseling to anyone struggling with major c-debt! We can't wait to be debt (credit card) free so we can move on with our lives. We are expected to be done in 2 1/2 -3 more years. I still have $140k in student loans that the government thinks I will pay off before I die (good luck). In the midst of it all, we have still managed to buy a home, buy me a car in the fall, and just bought him a car the other day! Cash is tight but PARES FAMILY makes it work! I'm proud of what we have been able to accomplish together.

Baby Stats Today:
23 weeks 1 day

Baby's weight: 1+ lbs
Highs: Only gained 4 lbs since 1st visit in November
Lows: I have a fibroid that seems to be increasing in size and a wee bit painful.
It's a girl! (Jessica Victoria Pares)
Baby Projects: Furniture ordered, delivered, and now I am halfway there to putting it together. I am ordering the full bedroom set this week (pictured above).
Current cravings: Juice
Cravings I can't have: Sushi and Margaritas

Michael's New Ride:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Duggaboo? Duggaboo-a?

Okay I know. It's weird and it's a long story.

Bottom line is that Michael had stuffed animal dogs named Dugga and Rugga. I heard about "Dugga" a lot in the earlier parts of our marriage. When we got our dog, we decided Dugga was the perfect name for him. He's our little pain in the butt baby we love dearly (smile).

So when I got pregnant, calling our baby Dugga-"boo" was very fitting. We were under the assumption that it was going to be a boy no matter what. Well... that didn't happen. So we reserved the name Duggaboo-a in honor of the feminine "a" in the Spanish language.

(Dugga scratching up my window sill. He with all his Akitaness is the reason why we have to search high heavens for homeowners insurance)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Bump

So I am definitely bump-a-licious right now. In the pageant world, there is nothing cute about this bump. In my world, however, I'm all game. I will grow and stretch however the dear Lord wants me to make sure I have a healthy baby.

In a perfect world, I wanted to lose all this weight before getting pregnant. It didn't happen. I lost quite a bit last year, but definitely not where I wanted it to be. The funny thing is that you get pregnant and all those thoughts of frustration around weight go away (well not all but most).

My perfect world is my healthy baby right now. She is doing perfectly fine. She is growing perfectly well. My pregnancy perfectly hasn't had any complications. I'm blessed :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Everything baby!

So when I wasn't sure what nursery theme I would have, I decided to go to Target for some inspiration after my gender reveal ultrasound. I found a bunch of cute pink monkey related baby clothing and went crazy. Most of the walls in our house are a brown or tan so the combo was looking good. Here are the clothes I bought as part of my inspiration that led to picking Cocalo Jacana bedroom set.

I'm really excited about this glider/rocker. I decided to opt out of a bouncer for now until we see what she will like. I've seen a few youtube videos of people using this thing.

The playyard also has a bassinet that I'll be using while she is a newborn. It comes out and serves as a portable rocker. I saw so many cute pink things but decided to go with as many gender neutral things as possible for the future.

The playyard has the stroller and car seat set to match it as well.

We'll see what happens!