Monday, October 27, 2008

Poll: When Will I Go Into Labor?

37 weeks today. Wow. (This pic of our lil buckeye baby belly is actually 36 weeks and 5/7, but that's close enough, right? Can you see that she's dropped?) Okay, so here's the fun part where anybody's guess is game: when will I actually go into labor? If you believe the whole 'like mother like daughter' thing or that you can get a good feel for maternity trends by looking at Mom and sister stats, here ya go:

My mom was 2 weeks early with her first baby, my older sis. Then pretty much right on time with me, my bro, and my younger sis. My older sister was 2 weeks early with her first baby and right on time with her 2nd. Keep in mind that my mom and I have very similar body shapes and my maternity pictures are strikingly similar to hers when she was expecting. But, both my mom and my older sister are shorter and more 'petite' than I am. Especially my sis. She's teeny and thin, so we really don't look anything alike physically and I can't honestly anticipate that our bodies would respond all that similarly in labor patterns.

One final detail. I'm dilated to a 1 now. (yes!)

So, will I go into labor 2 weeks early during week 38 (which would be NEXT week-- and a test week for Eric. Not extremely convenient timing...), 1 week early during week 39, pretty much right around my due date on Nov 17th, 1 week late, or more than one week late (pushing towards a Thanksgiving baby! Please don't let this be the case!)? Cast your votes in the poll to your right! :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Beautiful Sleep

I had a roommate my freshman year at BYU named Jessica who was a budding self-taught photographer. She really had an eye for capturing people when they appeared the most pure, the most peaceful, and the most innocent... and her FAVORITE time to snap a photo was while someone was blissfully asleep. At first I found it perturbing because one cannot possibly consent to said photo if one is catching up on Z's (and I didn't enjoy having my photo taken without being aware of it). But I have grown to appreciate what she described as "a moment when there are no cares or worries creasing the forehead or filling the eyes with tension". She thought people looked the most beautiful when they were asleep. What do you guys think? Are YOU or your loved ones the most beautiful/handsome when blissfully asleep? I think Eric looks pretty dang cute in this pic...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Taking on too much... But isn't it worth it sometimes?

Apparently, this is one of my talents. Taking on too much, not realizing my own limitations, going above and beyond expectation... I've done it for as long as I can remember. Ask my mom or my friends from Elementary school... I did it then too. Is this really a talent/gift or a weakness? I'm not really sure. Maybe both, depending on what I do with it. I guess if I get overwhelmed and stressed out about something, that is definitely a sign that I've gone too far... but if I just make some activity or project turn out REALLY great, then that's a good thing, right?

Well, I took on a normal project yesterday and blew it up into a huge production. The Pumpkin Pallooza I was hosting for Gardening/Food Storage Club at church was a smashing success with a great turnout (15 people! Wow! That was so exciting to see all the new faces! And I know so many more would have liked to come!), delicious food (I'm admittedly proud of how the pumpkin pie turned out since I've never made one, let alone from real pumpkin rather than canned--and that cake was all that I could have hoped it would be!), fellow-shipping time for new ward members and some visitors with whom I used to work, and I learned a TON in the process! That would make the 'over achieving' worth it, right?

But did I overdo it? I am feeling exhausted from sitting at the computer too long typing up info and recipes (seriously, like a 10 page document!), have a pervasive back ache that began after being on my feet ALL day yesterday cooking, and it took almost all night with windows open to the brisk October air before I finally cooled off and stopped sweating from being by a hot stove/oven baking all day...but I wasn't stressed, or anything. Just physically tired. (Which I guess is a big deal when you're 36 weeks pregnant. I forget that I can't do as much with my body as I could normally...). I had so many offers of help-- I probably should have taken people up on it-- but could we all really have fit between my table and the oven and baked all day without just having 'too many cooks in the kitchen'? I don't know... I did take Julie up on her offer to come over for about 2 hours and help with the stew. I was pretty tired by then and she was great! So, realistically, should I have asked more people to come help out?

Did I take on too much, yes. But wasn't it really worth it?

Baby Shower

What a great time! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to both Nancy and Heather for throwing such a great shindig, just for me! Sorry there aren't any better pics, I totally got too involved in enjoying myself and forgot to get any more. I sure wish I had taken a big group pic to capture all the wonderful friends who came to share in our joy over the pending arrival of Baby Girl Allan! Thanks to all of you! We're much more prepared now for the arrival of our lil one. Seriously, it is really humbling to realize how blessed we are to have such great friends out here... ya'll are more like family than I ever realized friends could be. It really makes a big difference when family lives so far away.

Enjoy the pics of a few of the gals 'becoming pregnant' with balloons! :) I'll leave them nameless for their own privacy... but ya'll know who you are! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Naming an Elephant

Eric loves his younger brother Collin. They have this 'brotherly affection' thing goin to which I guess I don't completely relate (since I've only got 1 brother). Collin is "Coll-Dawg" on Eric's cell, they love to have lively debates/political bashing sessions every Sunday, and mercilessly tease each other about superfluous things whenever the chance arises. (Thanks Mama Allan for making such a nice scrap page of pics of Collin that I could steal from your blog and post here! :)

Yesterday I was sharing from my National Geographic magazine reading about a group of Elephantologists in Tanzania that get to name each elephant they observe whatever they want. Really cool, random names like "Genghis Khan" or "Marley" or "Babylon". I thought that was pretty fun to think about, sky's the limit, ya know. So I asked Eric what he would name his elephant if he found one. He looked up from his cardiology reading and immediately replied:


then a pause for brief contemplation...

"But only if he was AWESOME...."

another pause...

"If he was a wuss, I'd name him 'Collin'."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Can Anyone Explain Airline Costs?

I just got off the phone with one of my dear friends in Korea who is trying to find cheap plane tickets to visit various friends in the US when she arrives here in December. Can anyone explain to me why it costs almost 400 dollars to fly from Washington D.C. to Columbus, OH (a trip roughly 1.5 hours) and THE SAME DAY it would only cost her 260 dollars to fly from D.C. to Salt Lake City? I just don't get it...

A Pretty Meal

I think I'm a good cook. Really, I can count this as a talent of mine. Recipe following to a 'T' may not be my strongest point, but I can improvise and substitute with the best of them! I rarely make the same meal twice unless it was just an ABSOLUTE winner because I love to experiment and try new recipes. Some yield more success than others, but for the most part, I think I've got a cooking gene.

I've never, however, been able to get my meals to turn out as beautifully as the pictures in books... (maybe because I don't do EXACTLY what they say, I don't know. Or maybe they're all really plastic-- like in fast food advertisements.) Eric assures me my food is attractive, not just tasty. (we were discussing Elder Uchtdorf's talk in the Relief Society Broadcast and I commented that I can never get my food to look as good as I think it tastes.) He didn't agree, bless his merciful eyes and tastebuds!

I made this Thai Halibut (don't worry, I didn't eat the Halibut) curry meal this week (even made the curry myself from whole spices! Very pleased with my new birthday mortar and pestle! Thanks hon!) and he immediately got out the camera to document the "pretty meal" with a

"see, Hon? You make pretty food!"

I love that boy!

btw, there was rice and curried butternut squash to go with everything. Just didn't make it in the picture. I don't know why I'm telling you that... like anyone really cares... but I guess I don't want you to think the meal is unbalanced. (I'm so silly! Why do I care if you think I made an unhealthy meal? We already ate it all anyway!)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baby Budget 2009

So Eric and I have been working on a baby budget for 2009, just to make sure we will have enough funds to cover all the new expenses. We might need to cut back our entertainment/miscellaneous fund to take care of diapers, ya know? :P It is kind of funny trying to look at national averages for things like food, diapers, and health care and then just kind of guess how much we think WE will be spending in each area. Really, we're trying to be 'generous' with our baby fund but not extravagant. Frugal. I still think we'll be surprised by how much things end up costing us. So, a quick poll for all the moms out there: what was the most surprising new baby expense that you encountered? (and may I ask how much it actually cost you?) Also, if you'd rather answer this question... what item did you purchase that everyone told you was 'essential' and then you realized afterwards there was a much cheaper route? Are there more expensive items that you think are actually WORTH the extra expense for some reason instead of getting the generic/cheap kind?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pregnancy Thoughts and Shots

Well, we had our 34 week check up yesterday. Everything is looking great!

What will I miss most about being pregnant?

7- stronger nails and beautiful hair!

6- feeling justified to sleep in a little

5- being first in line for food because no one wants to impede the pregnant lady from getting her edibles!

4- how nice everyone is. Seriously, so accommodating!

3- imagining what she's doing or thinking right now every time I change activities

2- watching Eric press his nose into my belly begging for her to "give us some kicks"

1- feeling those sweet wiggles, kicks, and hiccups inside me during the day when I'm pleased to know she is awake too.

I've just been thinking so much lately about how beautifully miraculous it is knowing that she is so much a part of me right now. I'm going to miss that, I think. There are definitely things for which I'm grateful.

32 weeks

33 weeks

34 weeks! 6 more to go!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Delaying the Project...

No picture to go with this one. I'm just kind of postponing getting started on one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) projects for baby: sewing the bumper and matching valance.

don't get me wrong. I'm THRILLED to be making it myself and excited to have the finished product so cute with all the hand appliqued animals and bugs, and all... and the ears and wings that flap freely instead of being tacked down... I mean, these things are going to be ADORABLE! And I really love using my hands (and Jenni Harris's sewing machine) to do it, and I've got the time since I've finally gotten all the furniture finished, and I've eliminated the excuse of a cluttered room since I've finally finished organizing and tidying everything....

so why don't I want to march upstairs and get started?

I think it has something to do with knowing that once I get started, there is no going back til I'm completely finished. I'll no longer have nice, neat stacks of cute material folded up on my desk... I'll have a big work in progress.

it is kind of like that feeling you get before you start typing your huge research paper or thesis. you know. Like you've done ALL the prep work, all the compiling and quote selections, and all you have to do is dig down and commit to sitting in front of the computer for a dedicated 20+ hours or so just to put it all together and crank out the rough draft. But you don't want to do it. Don't want to start because you know you can't do it in 1/2 hour spurts: it has to be HOURS and HOURS to get it done. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about? Am I the only one who ever feels this way?