Baby Nerves

Some one asked recently if I was nervous about the upcoming adventure known as "labor". The simple answer to that question is yes and no. The complicated answer is...well, complicated. Let me see if I can explain...though I doubt it will be coherent. Emotions are rarely coherently verbalized, and hormone-influenced emotions are at least twice as crazy.

I shall start by saying that my least favorite part of pregnancy (and yes, I know that I have been blessed with a super-easy uncomplicated one, for which I am hugely grateful) is the hormone induced emotions. Inside of a minute, the very same thought can completely terrify me, and then completely thrill me. I have, in almost the same thought, concluded that I am going to be a mothering failure and then surmised that there is no way I could do any less than rock the socks off of mothering. In regards to labor, most moments I am fairly calm and non-emotional about the subject, but then there will be moments where (again, in the same thought) I panic and wonder why I would bother trying to do this without drugs, I hate pain, I hate long lasting hard work, and I really don't think that an epidural will do long term damage to my baby then I get excited because deep down inside I know I can do this, I know I have prepared for this, and I know its going to be the most wonderfully rewarding miserable and difficult thing I have ever done.

I hate all kinds of roller coasters, amusement park rides, and emotional highs and lows included.

I also hate change. Being pregnant has been a fun change, a very gradual natural feeling change. Papillon's arrival will prompt a much less gradual change, and sometimes that freaks me out. Which is why, I think, that at 38+ weeks pregnant, I am still totally cool with being pregnant for some time. I know she will come eventually, and I will love it when she does (I always adjust better to change than I anticipate) - but, as with most change, I am not overly eager to make the jump.

In terms of actual tangible fears about labor...
...I am not afraid of having the baby on the way to the hospital. Everyone asks this, since the hospital we picked is 35 minutes away. This would not be ideal, but, really, I doubt its going to happen; and if it does, it just means she came super fast, which is fine by me.
....I am afraid of being induced. Babies come late sometimes, I am cool with that. And as long as she is doing well, and I am doing well, I really really really don't want to be induced.
....I am not afraid of the pain. And yes, I may be naive, this is my first baby, so I am allowed to be; I do understand it will be worse than I can probably imagine, but that doesn't scare me. The pain can't kill me.
....I am afraid of a long labor. The pain won't kill me, but exhaustion could get the best of me.
....I am not afraid of medical intervention, if necessary. As a good friend of mine told me, there is no blue ribbon or gold star for going naturally. Medfree, drugged up, or surgically operated on, Papillon is what I get when its all said and done.
.....I am afraid of not being supported in my intervention/med-free goals. While I think the hospital will be supportive (they say they will respect the mother's wishes in all things), I do worry about this. I am not very good at voicing my opinion even when not in huge amounts of pain. Thank heavens for Mon Amour in this regard, and the fact that I trust him implicitly; I suspect I will be totally relying on him to ward off any kind of medical intervention unless he believes it necessary.

All in all, I would say I am feeling pretty confident about labor. I just keep reminding my self that one day it will just start (Lord willing on its own), and then, eventually, it WILL end. And it will end with Papillon in my arms. What happens in the middle (and on either end of course) is in God's hands.

That does not preclude me from my fair share of freak out moments.
Like the moment a couple weeks ago, when, after 2 showers, while going through Papillon's clothes, I realized she had no socks. Some how it didn't bother me that we didn't have a car seat, a stroller, a breast pump or a pack n play (all of which we have now, thanks to the generosity of our amazing friends). But when I realized she had absolutely no socks, I just started crying. I knew it was a dumb reason to cry. My logical mind knew it was not a crisis, but, because my baby had no socks, (and thanks to my wonderful hormones) I couldn't stop crying.

When I freak out about other stuff, I remember the sock moment, remind myself that I am very hormonal, and sit back and wait for this roller coaster-esque emotional drop to start climbing again.

And in case you are curious, thanks to a wonderful friend, who has been so good listening to my random worries, Papillon is now well stocked in the adorable sock department.

A Quaint B&B

On our trip back to visit friends a couple of weeks ago, we got to stay at a brand new Bed and Breakfast, owned and operated by some very good friends of ours. It had officially opened just shortly before we moved, and they told us we could come any time - so we took them up on that offer.

I knew it would be a pleasant experience (how could it not be with such pleasant inn keepers!) but I have to say it went waaaay beyond what I expected.

Here is the house:

Isn't it adorable!

Look at the amazing sign out front.

And to make this shameless plug even more obvious - here is a link to their website!

Every detail was special; not a single aspect of the stay is an after thought. From the homemade ice cream served upon arrival, to the snacks in the room, to the amazing California King (aka HUGE!) bed with tons of pillows, to the fine china breakfast, to the muffins to take with you, to this little shampoos and soaps - everything was phenomenal.

Our room had a quaint little sitting area.

And a comfy corner chair.

I didn't take a picture of the bed, because I think I fell right into bed as soon as we got there, so the sheets were all messed up by the time I got the camera out.

It being a Sunday morning that we were there, we got the abridged version of breakfast, for which our lovely hostess apologized profusely. But I am not sure why she was apologizing, I can still remember the amazingness of the chip-beef gravy. I always thought people ate chip beef gravy because it we are trained to assume that all "gravies" are delicious - so this tasteless white mush must also be delicious. I was wrong, chip beef gravy done right is heavenly. Combined with the yummy toast, served with fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade granola and muffins....I think we were glad we did not get the full out breakfast, we might have exploded with tastiness (and yes, I am still pregnant, and can eat a LOT).

So, if you need a weekend get away, I highly recommend this B&B. You would spend twice the price at another B&B and have half as fabulous an experience.


It has taken me a while to get my grocery shopping sea-legs, if you will. The number of options of places to shop has been a bit overwhelming. There have actually been times when I have found my self wishing for a good Acme catalina sale more than any of the countless sales in my area. I just kept telling my self, though, that I just needed to get in a good shopping grove - get a feel for sale rotations, who is good for produce, etc etc.

Well, I think I found my grove. I think I may also be nesting, cause I have gotten a bit carried away with the shopping of late. (but I have NOT been going over budget, so my crazy stocking-up must be forgiven).

(Note: The following grocery shopping tale is longer than it should be, and probably boring to most readers. But, I fear this little excursion was the highlight of my week, and so in my mind warrants a long tale. Don't read on unless you enjoy overly detailed shopping trip stories)

This past weekend, I had my grocery options narrowed down to the 4 best stores (out of like 10 options), then decided 4 was ridiculous, so I picked my favorite 3 and made my list, with coupons, calculated out to the penny, and went on my way.

My first store - a locally owned, one of a kind little place. I was a little nervous (always am at a new store) that things would not go as planned (prices would not be as advertised, coupons would be disputed, etc etc) - but it was a huge success. The staff was super friendly, the produce was gorgeous looking, and all the sale prices clearly labeled and accurate. Love it!

2nd Store - an Aldi that I had been to before. I was pre-disposed to like this one because I had heard good things, but my local Aldi has been hit or miss at best. And this time it was a definite miss - I really needed 2 things: strawberries and cherries. I think I looked at 30 strawberry containers, before I found 4 without mold. And ALL of the cherries were moldy. Not impressed.

That's when I decided to improvise. I really wanted cherries, and the one store I had taken off my agenda, was right around the corner, and also had a good price for cherries. So off I went to store #3 - another locally owned, one of a kind little place (the one with the Jamaica me crazy sale a few weeks ago) Successfully purchased a bunch of cherries as well as a bunch of other beautiful produce. Another rousing success.

Last stop - the local Superfresh. We have a very nice local superfresh, and other than my inability to efficiently match my cereal coupons to the cereal sale (I figured it out, but I think I stood stupidly in that aisle for waaay too long. We'll blame it on pregnancy brain), it was also a success.

In summary, this is what I brought home:

Highlights include:
A ton of produce- including lots of veggies and about 12 lbs of assorted fruits.
Close to 15 lbs of meat in various forms
6 boxes of cereal
Luigi's Italian Ice (FREE!)
Assorted snacks, juices, hotdog buns and a small assortment of other stuff.

Total Cost: $59.64

Which was almost exactly what I budgeted! Not too shabby for having to improvise a bit in the middle.

The most amazing part was that I went to all 4 grocery stores....and traveled less than 10 miles total. I am still in shock about that. I don't think there was a single grocery store within 10 miles of my farm house. And I went to 4 without going 10 miles. I could get used to this city life.

In conclusion, I think I have found my top three stores. Two of which are not chain stores, which I was surprised about because in my mind, small and locally owned equates to expensive. I figure its only because of the big bulk contracts that chains have that they can offer low prices. But, its not true. Locally owned seems to be the way to go. The people are nicer, coupon policies are fabulous (doubling up to, and including $1 coupons!), and the prices are fabulous.

Baby Shower #2

Ever since we moved, Mon Amour and I knew that we would need to pick a date to return to previous life, in order to catch up with friends before Papillon arrived. We knew if we didn't schedule a date pretty far in advance, we would lose track of time and may very well not get in a visit before our lives changed. So, shortly after we moved, we picked a date well in advance, and made it non-negotiable on the calendar.

What I didn't know is that at about that same time, plans started rolling for something more fun than simply catching up with friends. The night before we were leaving for the weekend, we were picking out clothes (a process made slightly more complicated by this ever growing belly), and the process became oddly complicated. Mon Amour picked out his clothes, no problem. But when I told him I was going to wear shorts and a tshirt for Saturday, Mon Amour was oddly opposed. I know that Mon Amour appreciates it when I put some thought into my clothes, but when he suggested I wear a dress both Saturday and Sunday, I was very perplexed and opposed. In my mind, shorts would have been more practical, since we were going to be running all over town and visiting folks with kids, which inevitable involves sitting on the floor, etc. But he was insistent; eventually we compromised, and he agreed to shorts, if I agreed to do my hair.

When we arrived at our first destination, I realized what all the fuss was about... wonderful, wonderful friends had planned me a surprise shower! Apparently it had been in the works for months! Mon Amour (and of course my other friends) are fantastic secret keepers. I had no idea.

Everything was picture perfect!

It was such fun to see a bunch of friends that I hadn't been expecting to see!

No shower is complete without a fun belly shot. I am pretty sure this is the day Papillon dropped (or at least started to drop) - so I think she looks smaller than she did at one point (in my opinion). And despite what my friend thinks, she does still look significantly smaller than me, a perfectly acceptable (and adorable) belly for being a mere 3 months behind me and it being her 2nd, and my 1st.

Thanks to everyone for the lovely surprise! I had an absolutely amazing time and am blessed to have such thoughtful and generous friends!

Baby Shower #1

A number of weeks ago (ok, a lot of weeks ago) I had my first (and only, as far as I knew...more on that later) baby shower. It was hosted by my wonderful boss (with the help of my coworkers), and I had a delightful time!

We played the classic guess-how-big-my-belly-is game. Everyone thought I was much bigger than I actually am. The person who won had a bit of an advantage - she is also pregnant, just 4 weeks behind me.

Papillon got lots of adorable clothes! This particular one is one of my favorites, I am sure there will be pictures of her in it this summer :-)

It was such fun to see everyone who came. It is so fun to use Papillon as an excuse to hang out with fun folks. A few that I am related too (or at least might as well be):

And some really fabulous friends, including these fun girls - we don't see each other as much as we did back when we first became a trio, but we still manage to cross paths and have fun together like nothing ever changed.

Many thanks to those who came out for the shower (despite the literal "shower" aka torrential down pour, that happened right as the party started); it was a grand time!

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, this was the shower that included this cake. It was a book themed shower, hence the "Kipper's Toy Box" cake. Everyone brought their favorite kids book to the shower, and got Papillon's library started off right, with classics like Madeline, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

Little Nose

This is from 36 weeks - and its been on facebook already; so it maybe old news. But I thought it was still worth sharing.
When the (inexperienced) doctor couldn't figure out which way Papillon was facing (he would have called her breech and scheduled a c-section on the spot if it were up to him. I believe he is a little surgery-happy. Anyway), he sent me to get a quick ultrasound.
I was mildly concerned that she may have flipped around (having been head down the week before), cause those things can happen; but I was also don't put much weight into this doctor's opinions (for various reasons, including the fact that he thinks natural childbirth is silly, in his words "if you were having your appendix out, you wouldn't try and do that without pain meds, would you?". So in his mind Papillon = faulty appendix.)
So when the ultra sound revealed that she is very comfortably head down, I felt a small sense of victory. Score one for team Papillon; zero for Dr. Appendix.
And the best part about the whole little snafu was that I got an adorable profile picture of Papillon.

Yay for tiny little round noses!

Other Babies

For a few more weeks, I still must get my adorable-baby-fix from friend's babies.
Tis a good thing my friends have some super adorable babies.

How can you not love that hair? And those eyes?

That tongue is just precious. And of course, the pigtails are to die for.

Sigh. Such cuteness all over.

Full Term - Assorted Pregnancy Thoughts

Goodness, how time does fly. Forgive me if this is a rather stream-of-consciousness type post.

This week marks 37 weeks. Which means we are officially full term.

She is now allowed to come whenever she wants. Which means maybe I should look into what I need to pack to go to the hospital...maybe.

Personally I think she "dropped" last week - though she still looks fairly high, there has been a lot less rib-kicking and she looks smaller from my perspective. Now that appointments are weekly, and because my practice has lots of doctors, I get different little tidbits of info each time.
It is amazing to me the difference between a doctor with lots of experience, and one with less. At my 35 week appointment, the (experienced) doctor, with one touch to my stomach found Papillon's head, which was down, right where it was supposed to be. My 36 week appointment doctor (who is rather young) poked and prodded my stomach until I was very close to telling him to stop cause it hurt - and he couldn't figure out which way she was facing, and if he had to guess he would have said she was breech. A quick ultrasound proved him wrong - she was still head down like she was supposed to be. This week, again with someone experienced, it took a couple gentle touches and we identified her head, bum, and feet.

Her feet are my favorite; they are all the way on my left side, and they are all kinds of active. So much fun.

Even though she looks smaller (trust me, she does) I definitely can't see my feet, or the horrendous stretch marks on the underside of my stomach. Both of which are fine with me, cause the stretch marks are ugly, and my feet, as of late, have taken to swelling up very unattractively. I thought that I might get self conscious about my pregnant self when I hit the weight I was back in highschool that I hated; but we are significantly beyond that, and I am still not bothered by my weight gain. But after just a few days of swollen feet, I am ridiculously self conscious and ready to be done with swollen feet.

Other than that, Papillon and I are still quite happy with the way things are. While I would rather she not come super late, there is no rush for her to come early. I am getting lots of comments from strangers about looking like I am "ready to pop", which I find fabulously amusing. And its kind of fun to go to the doctors office and be one of the most "senior" pregnant folks there.

In light of the recent swelling, we were concerned that I might be having blood pressure issues, but as of today, my blood pressure "couldn't be better if we tried" according to my doctor. So other than puffy feet, all is well for Papillon and myself.

Baby Shower Cake

I have been slacking at the blogging, I know. Its actually mostly due to only having 1 computer. Cause when Mon Amour is home and needs it for school, I can't blog. And when he doesn't need it for school, spending time with him his more of a priority than blogging. One day the blogging will resume full force (I "retire" from my day job in 4 weeks...that might help)

But anyway, one day I shall blog more about my recent baby shower...until then, here is my favorite part:

Hands down, most amazing baby shower cake I have ever seen. It was adorable, and delicious. (and huge, there are lots of leftovers...)

Does any one get the children's book connection? Or am I alone in my love of this (sadly out of print) kid's book?