Week 18: Baby Goodness

This week I have no picture to include. I finished the layout, but it's just type on cardstock placed on some patterned paper. I'm practicing doing things sub par (ie. quickly) for when the baby arrives and there is no time to do anything thoroughly anymore! 
This week mom came to join me for a second year of Artfest, a four day art retreat held in Port Townsend, WA. Fortunately, she came to Seattle a few days early so we could scope out baby items and try to come up with an idea for the nursery.

I've been putting off thinking about any baby stuff thus far for two reasons: #1 - I knew my mom was coming for a visit and having her creative input when it comes to decorating has always been something that I have valued. We do well shopping and brainstorming together and I pretty much always trust her judgement. #2 - I have admittedly been completely overwhelmed by all things baby related! What do I really need? Is it going to completely overtake our house? How much is all of this going to cost? How do I know what to put on our registry? Etc, etc. The overwhelming feelings just do not end.

I've always pictured myself having a family. I love the idea of the family unit, and I cherish the bond between parent and child. The majority of my fondest memories are of family times together with my parents and my brother, Jarrett. But having a baby on the other hand is something that I haven't spent much time actually thinking about. I've never been the type to feel compelled to hold someone else's baby or to want to rock them to sleep as I sing them a nursery rhyme. In fact, the most I've ever really felt drawn to babies is to photograph them. And somehow I have this unsettling feeling that taking care of an infant's every need is slightly different than taking a few pictures of them in good lighting and then stepping away to my computer to do a little photo editing!

So when mom arrived, we headed straight to Babies-R-Us. I've always been slightly against this large chain store, but I have to say after our lengthy visit - I'm fairly impressed. They seem to have just about everything you could need. Mom and I spent time scoping out the strollers, cribs, high chairs and baby bath tubs, and I left feeling a bit dazed, but slightly more informed. I think for me, it just takes one step at a time. I'll mull those things over in my head for the next couple of weeks, look at some online reviews and get advice from my older cousins and a few of my experienced friends. I mean how much preparation can it really require? Millions of people do it every day, right? In no time, I'll be ready to take this little kitten home from the hospital, and I have no doubt Dash will be willing to share his automatic feeder.


Week 17: Never Mix Hormones with an MBA

So, as you may have noticed, I'm about a month behind now in my posting. It's April 17th and I'm about 21 weeks pregnant, but here I am posting my 17th week. I've been struggling with how to tell this story succinctly for a while now, so I've decided to just post it - it's not a hard bound book that I'm publishing after all! 

Also, in my efforts to stay up to date, I'm going to skip the pictures of the scrapbooked journal. My brother so wisely informed me that blogs are supposed to be easy, that's the whole principal behind them (since when did younger brothers get so smart?!). So I'll attach a picture here and there and when/if the scrapbooked page ever happens at the same time, I might occasionally post a picture of it too. But in the meantime, I'm just going to focus on getting the stories written!

It's important for me to note that Matt has been working on his MBA during my pregnancy. He'll finish his first year just about the time the baby is born, and then he'll still have almost two years to go. Definitely too much time left to feel like he is making any significant headway yet. And that's frustrating for him since he is working out in the middle of nowhere. Nowhere, while pretty and scenic,  is about an hour's drive in the mornings during rush hour traffic and his MBA classes are at the University of Washington (in Seattle, which is far from nowhere) on Tuesday and Thursday nights. He gets up in the morning for work around 6:30am and doesn't get home on school nights until 9:45pm. They are very full days, often with no lunch breaks, so I try to have dinner ready for him as soon as he walks in the door in the evenings. His manager status also makes him permanently on-call, so you never know if that means he'll be interrupted on a Friday night while we are out to eat with friends or if he'll be woken up at 2am to address an outage. 

It's a busy life he is leading - working a crazy job, going to classes, doing homework and studying for tests. He put it to my dad this way, "I have about two free hours a week, so I thought it would be a good time for us to have a baby."

I'm not sure if when he made that decision, he knew about pregnant women and their hormones. I have to admit, I have had a few cravings here and there. Nothing requiring Matt to go out at 10pm for a special request, but there was one time when I called him just as he was arriving home from a long, busy day at work and declared that I wanted a hamburger. I think it was the need for protein, but suddenly all I could think of was MEAT, and it had to be big, juicy and fattening! So matt reluctantly turned around and went through the McDonald's drive through, hastily delivering hamburgers and french fries to me with a scowl on his face. I wasn't quite sure what this disgruntled look was all about, conveniently I had forgotten his stress levels as of late (and did I mention that I was still in my pjs?). He also pretty much hates Micky D's and their vat of grease that they disguise as a hamburger by adding a bun and a wilted piece of lettuce. I, on the other hand, couldn't imagine that anyone could be less than thrilled with the idea of eating that vat of grease. My heart sank into my stomach and tears literally filled my eyes. My excitement turned to utter anguish as I realized just how irritated he was with the whole ordeal, and I assumed that this heat of emotions was all aimed at me. Upon seeing that his bulbous wife was actually about to cry over this incident, Matt's tense demeanor quickly softened, turning to confusion. Since when did Stephanie cry over getting her way? And in fact, the tears shocked me a bit too. It was the second time in two weeks that I had felt like a small three year old who needed to bite her lip to control her emotions. I think the whole thing took us both by surprise, and the matter was quickly resolved by laughing over my increased sensitivity and Matt's lack thereof. 

Future Rule of Thumb: When a pregnant wife's hormones are raging and a husband is overtired and overworked see if The Brewery would be willing to deliver Angus beef burgers and a six pack.


Coming Soon!

No, I'm not referring to Baby G. Just letting you know that I will be adding a few blog entries soon. We are back from Artfest, and I'm getting into the swing of things again. I have a lot to share... so please standby (a little longer).

Happy Easter!


A Little Note To My Greatest Fans!

I can't believe how quickly time gets away if I don't keep on top of posting. The last time I posted was two weeks ago, so I'm now at 18 weeks in my pregnancy (almost half way!). This time, I thought I'd write a little note rather than posting a journal entry (since I am about to become even further behind). There is a lot going on right now, and the next two weeks aren't going to be any less busy, so there won't be any new posts after this one for a while.

What's going on? Well, my mom is coming in town on Thursday and then Candice Swanson (from Javelin/Dallas) will be arriving on the following Tuesday. All three of us are venturing off to a wonderful little thing called Artfest! It's in Port Townsend, WA, about a three hour drive (plus a ferry ride) from where I live. We'll stop along the way to do some shopping and sight seeing, and then we'll arrive in Port Townsend where we'll spend the next three days taking art classes!!

Lately, I've been working on "trades" (art/collage/assemblage which many of the 500 women who attend Artfest make to trade with one another). It's a situation where anything goes, and everyone trades without reservation or judgement. It's a lot of fun and gives us something to take home with us at the end of the week. This year's theme is "Sea Monsters" so many of the trades will involve things of the sea. I am including a picture of my works in progress (little toy compasses with a mermaid drawing inside who is pointing towards the West since Port Townsend is about as far West as you can go in the U.S.!). The compasses have clear plastic lids, and I will put some sort of ribbon or message along the side of the compass and include my name and the year on the bottom. Still a lot of work to go!

In the meantime, we are refinancing our house; I have to go pick up Matt's books and parking pass for his next quarter of school; I'm getting a haircut, and I have a doctor's check up... all in the midst of cleaning house and preparing to pick up my mom at the airport in two days! While mom is here, we plan to do a little more prep work for Artfest (finding supplies, etc) and a LOT of baby talk. 

Here is a list of blog entries you can look forward to when I get back from my art break:
• Results of our second sonogram - which should confirm that I can paint the baby room pink if I so desire
• Pics of our house as it is now (before it is filled with baby toys)
• A story about how we chose the baby name
• Journaling about Matt's workload and my hormones (two ingredients which should never be mixed!)

This summer is filling up fast with visitors, baby classes and decorating!! Baby George, ie. Little Pink Baby Button will be here before we know it! Thanks for sharing in this adventure with us. We love and miss all of you!


Week 16: Prego with an Eggo

Well here it is ladies... you've been wanting to see a picture!
For so many weeks, I felt like I was the only one who could see it, especially when wearing jeans and layering for Winter. But after Matt took this picture... I realized its getting pretty obvious. I'm starting to get used to the idea of a baby bump!


Week 15: The First Time I Saw You

When I went to the doctor's office today for my sonogram, I was expecting to see a grainy little picture of a rockstar baby. But what I was not expecting was for the sonographer to ask me if I wanted to know the sex! We have the "official" sonogram scheduled in another five weeks, and that's when I was planning to drag Matt along, telling him that he did not want to miss this! But today the sonographer explained that sometimes she can identify the sex this early on. So after showing a little disappointment that my husband was absent, the woman said, well, I don't have to tell you what it is...

HA!! Like I was going to fall for that one! Of course, I still wanted to know. I just wished Matt wasn't going to have to live vicariously through my beaming face.

As the sonogram started, I was expecting the usual sonogram picture where the mom points to a couple geometric shapes and says, "See?! See my baby?" And you're all like, um, mm hm, yeah, I see it. Then you clear your throat and quickly change the subject to baby names!

But when I saw the baby on the screen moving around, to my surprise it was actually pretty easy to decipher. I was amazed at how easily I could identify its head, arms, body, spine, eyes, mouth, etc... it was precious!

For some reason, even though my stomach is starting to pooch out and I've gone through some morning sickness, indigestion, uncomfortable nights of sleep, I still have this question in the back of my head that says, is this for real? And since I can't just take a quick peak, see that it's wilting, move it into the sun and give it a little water... there is always this relief when I go to the doctor and she doesn't say, you know, you really don't have much of a green thumb, do you? So maybe precious is an understatement... awesome? amazing? astonishing?!! I think those are more like it.

Finally at the end of the sonogram, one more surprise was delivered... the sonographer told me that she was 90% sure it was a girl! All this time, even though I'v been wanting a girl, Matt has had me convinced about this theory of his that we would only have boys. The Georges have produced only males for the last three generations. Well let me tell ya, I couldn't wait to go home and burst his little bubble. Of course, he says he is still holding out for that 10% chance. But that doesn't seem to stop him from asking at least twice a day, how is my girl going?