Sunday, February 27

A Baby(s) Shower!

Today was a beautiful day spent with many work friends to shower these babies with gifts - A LOT of gifts! I can't say enough about how generous and thoughtful everyone is. A big hand to the planners/organizers - love you! We are so grateful and appreciative of all the fantastic baby gear and supplies we received. So much good food and good times -  easy to be exhausted after.

Craig spent the last day and a half cleaning the house - cleaning parts of the house that haven't been touched since I've been on bed rest. He's been a busy guy so he rewarded himself with a couple of spirits and male bonding in Ashford. Of course he had to take Marty with him - because the old man never would have made it through an afternoon here with 20 women talking and eating! And Marty enjoys visiting Uncle Derek as much as Derek:) So as soon as Craig gets home, he will have lots of fun putting our new 'toys' together.

Otherwise nothing else is new.  I've just been looking forward to this shower all week, to spend time with people I'm use to seeing EVERY day at work, catching up with them. The last time most of them saw me I was stilling running around in small scrubs! I don't think this belly would fit in them now:)

I've got pics of the shower and mostly finished nursery; I still need a frame for my owls. Craig was going to make me one but I don't know if I need to add yet another task to his 'honey-do' list.

LOTS of gifts - and diapers!

Baby Cake; filled with diapers, receiving blankest, bathing goods, shoes, and a bottle 

baby girl's side of room

baby boys side of room

Wednesday, February 23

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.

I have no appt this week so there is no babies/cervix update. But I can tell you there are a lot of bony elbows in there! Craig's been reading what developments the babies are going through this week and apparently their light and sound sensitivity can be tested. In order to do this, you are supposed to take a flashlight and move it across the belly; or make a loud sound close to them. While this sounds like great fun to Craig, he doesn't have a head in his right ribs and feet in his left ribs--feet on top of his bladder or a head in his pelvis! So no, I don't think we are going to try this experiment.

We had some *fun* visitors on Sunday:) Craig's college friend/roommate stopped in on their way to other Milwaukee adventures. Brian and Alyssa are our favorite people south of the 'border' and we can't wait for their wedding in July! Brian was also one of Marty's roommates, whom Marty still recognizes and cries a little when he sees him.  Then later our ever faithful bed rest visitors/friends Rich and Melissa brought dinner and Rich's daughter, whom Craig tutored for years before she went away to high school. So we had a nice night chatting, catching up, and ROCK BAND. I am highly entertained by their aspiring talent!

The nursery is almost done, just waiting on one more thing to come in the mail. Which I'm sure the mailman is not happy that he has to deliver a package to our house every week, especially with the all the snow--Craig didn't shovel the walkway to the front door because no one uses it. And I wouldn't be waiting for one more wall decal if I could READ! I never specified a color and so it came in standard black. I am still hoping it shows up before Sunday so we can complete the room before my shower--I will post pictures as soon as it's done. No theme--just a baby(s) room!

Sunday, February 20

I am entering heartburn territory

I'm surprised no one corrected my Mad Men cable station listing...which leads me to belive no one out there has seen it:) It's actually on AMC, a "regular" cable channel that is included in most packages. So I am even more impressed with how racey it can be, out there for anyone to watch. But I guess MTV now has Skins, which TIME magazine even wrote an article on it's inappropriate content. Anyway, I'm trying to get caught up so when season 5 starts this summer/fall, I will be ready!

Craig was not one of the estimated 600 or 1000 teachers at MPS to call in Friday (for the some reason the reporters had conflicting numbers, ah media) but since a significant number did, they closed the schools. There were pros and cons to this happening. He was already showered and dressed by the time he heard he didn't have to go to work: con. So he came back to bed, told me might try to go back to sleep, couldn't but then I was awake: con. But then he felt he could go to Madison with his fellow teachers without guilt: pro. Also there was a rocker/recliner I wanted that was on super sale ($300 off!) at Shopko-only problem was that Janesville was the only store in the state with any in stock. Since Craig was already out in that part of the state, he made a run to Shopko to pick up the last chair: pro.

While Craig was getting his Admirals game/Uecker bobblehead/drink on Friday night, a group of work friends showed up for good food and good laughs. We ate my favorite Italian sandwich, muffaletta (google it, if you're interested. Giada makes a fabulous one). Then of course to top off the salty, savory dinner, we made custard/brownie/hot fudge/pecan sundaes!! I had one for lunch the next day;) We also watched It's Kind of a Funny Story, with Zack Galifinakis (Hangover--wolf pack) so you would think it would be good, entertaining. I think the girls would agree with me when I say don't waste your time or money on it. Saturday night Craig and I saw Killers, with Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. We liked it--it's a cross between comedy, action, and only slight romance. We were going to watch Inception, but since Craig was slightly over-served the night before (and claims he didn't sleep well), he wasn't going to be able sit through a 'thinking' movie.

Our new rocker/recliner for when the babies come...can anyone
spot the cat in this photo?

Friday, February 18

The Intimidator

Yep, NASCAR. It might surprise you that I decided to write about Dale Earnhardt. But I remember where I was when he died. It's like asking where you were on 9/11 (a bit of sarcasm here:)). I was in college, living in the dorms--gosh, that makes me feel OLD. It's the 10th anniversary of his death. The floor I lived on was checkerboard; every other room was boy/girl. So the guys on my floor took it upon themselves to memorialize "#3" in the dorm hallway by duct taping the words "INTIMIDATOR" and talking in strong, thick redneck accents. They appropriately wore trucker hats and cut off flannel shirts. I don't think they even knew much about NASCAR; but college kids are known to be overly passionate for sake of being involved in something. How long did NASCAR fans hold up the number 3 on the third lap of a race? Or the broadcasters go silent during that infamous third lap? Number 3, Never forget.

Enough of that! I'm surprised my post yesterday didn't prompt a response from some of you. There are a lot of people that have believed for years that it isn't "fair" for governement workers to get "free" pensions/health benefits. And while it is mostly true that state/local employees are paid less than private equivalents, the trade off was that they were compensated with significant benefits. Teachers are a little different; most of us know private school teachers rarely make close to what the public schools are. But all teachers have had to make concessions recently and as of the next school year, they were already preparing to contribute to their health benefits. And talk about suffering--Craig has 32 students--teaching alone--10 of those students are classified with some learning impairment/disability. I'm just saying you would see my mug shot on the news if I were in that situation.

And on to HAPPIER thoughts:) I finally had an appt where I wasn't asked to return the next week for a follow-up. No funneling (no baby membrane/sac dipping into my cervix), the cervix length was relatively the same as last week, passed the diabetes test--which is huge, considering I've been eating/I mean inhaling Craig's valentine candy all week! I actually have to wait until March for my next appt; which has its pros and cons. The appts get me out of the house, which I enjoy because life still happens when you are laying in bed all day. And now I have to wait 2 wks before I leave again. Although the anxiety of "what are they going to find wrong this time" is non-existent. Baby girl weighs 2lbs7oz and baby boy weighs 2lbs3oz and he seems to be taking up most of the space.

A shout out to Craig's sister Cher; it was her birthday yesterday. Tonight is Bob Uecker bobble-head giveaway at the Admirals game. Monday is President's Day and end of the semester, so Craig is off and we can finally get our online childbirth class finished before the babies show up:)

Thursday, February 17

Hey Hey, Ho Ho...

...Governor Walker's got to go! I'm irritated by this man, his politics, and his dictator-like behavior. I know some of you out there are thinking it's about time state/local government workers contribute to their own well-being. To a degree, most of you are right. BUT where is the civil servant love? I don't believe Craig woke up one day, 14 some odd years ago, and thought, gee--I'd love to work for "peanuts" in an underappreciated career! The least the state/tax payers could do was reward their own employees for doing sometimes a less than desired job. Walker's eliminating 50 years of peaceful collective bargaining--Wisconsin was the 1st state to implement this and he's just throwing it away like garbage. And before this bill was announced, Milwaukee public teachers were already prepared to contribute to their health benefits next school year. If this bill passed before I became pregnant, it's not likely we would be pregnant for a couple more years because insurance choices will be taken away. Republican or not, the legislatures do not have to pass this--I would like to think they have their own brain and can make decisions not specifically based on what side of the party line they fall. Those pro-Walker bill commercials are not accurate either: they talk about state/government workers not having to make any sacrifices. Craig has had to do more with less for the past couple years, with no compensation. As they have been cutting staff, they aren't replacing them so who do they think is picking up that slack? If Walker's not careful, he's going to end up with a Cairo, Egypt situation and the capital will turn into Tahrir Square...I'm just saying!

The Wisconsin Educators sent emails last night to the local unions to tell teachers to 'call in sick' today. This morning, the MPS superintendent sent an email to the principals telling teachers there would be disciplinary action if they did not report to work today. No worries, Craig went to school today but I'm pretty sure the school can't question a teacher about why they missed one day--they can ask for a doctor's excuse if you are gone multiple days. Oh, I guess I should say that the superintendents and principals are not in the same unions as teachers. I also feel there has to be other ways to balance the deficit--screwing our beloved civil workers can't be the only option.

That's my rant! I have to stop because I'm starving and need to find my nourishment for the day:) Hope some of you are enjoying the spring-like weather. I experienced it a little yesterday while I waited for Marty to make his slow trek back into the house. We have another appt today so I'll let you know how that goes-fingers crossed for only good news.

Monday, February 14

Chalk Another One Up

Well, Monday already. I had a LONG weekend...let me explain. I use to look forward to getting away, seeing family and friends. But since this was my first time out of the house in 37 days, I could only think about how I have all week to lay around! I even took a nap yesterday when we got home:) Haven't done that since the first week I was put on bed rest. The wedding was fabulous and beautiful and now my little sister is all growed up! Everyone was on my team, accepting my limitations for the days events. I walked down the aisle, sat through the whole ceremony, walked out of church, sat again waiting for pictures. My sister is a minimalist-I think I only took 3 pictures before we left for the hotel so I could lay down/rest. And then I was able to kick my feet up and watch the shenanigans unfold all night:) But there is nothing like sleeping in your OWN bed-I couldn't wait for last night. I am feeling really good today and so fortunate to have been able to attend without any issues.

the fam! (i know, we are a good lookin' bunch)

Craig and I

FYI...for anyone interested in the Summerfest concerts so far (especially if you are not in the MKE area): Toby Keith, Katy Perry, and Sugarland are at the amphitheater. And Bon Jovi will be at the Bradley Center in May. Not that we plan on attending any of these but it does mean summer is on it's way!

Oh yeah, I forgot it's Valentine's Day--I'm not really a fan. I HOPE Craig did not get me anything, mostly because I feel he spent too much on my birthday. I did buy a little something for Craig, though. Only because I was thinking I will have to go big for his birthday, to reward him for all he's done and been doing since I've been on bed rest. But his birthday will be right in the middle of baby chaos and I'm not sure how much time/energy we will be able to give towards it. So I wanted to do some little things now, along the way, to make him feel special, remind him that I appreciate him because I feel my thank-yous only go so far (after hearing it over and over and over...)

Anyone watch the Grammy's last night? Lady Gaga of course was no shock. Most of the winners were of no surprise, except I was sure that Justin Bieber was going to win "Best New Artist". Who is Esperanza Spalding? I thought that maybe because I really haven't listened to the radio, I missed her-but so far everyone I've talked to has been as dumbfounded as me. Another what the ... was Arcade Fire. They were on late in program and if you took a nap like me, you were still up to see it. I'm sure there were some audience members that had seizures during their performance. The light show was making me nauseous from my bed--I was wondering if the band was so unattractive that the lights were a great distraction.

Stay tuned for 'bump watch'--I'm going to have Craig take a picture to mark the 7 month milestone!

Friday, February 11

Getting Things Done

We began decorating the nursery and it looks so nice! I am thrilled with how it looks so far. I've been waiting all week for the rest of the wall decals to arrive, but apparently the mail delivery system does not know that this is all I have to look forward to. We left this room fairly plain, especially after my sister moved out of it. All we (I) did was paint it and fix the trim.

from the doorway to the left; baby girl's side of the room.

straight on from the doorway; baby boy's side of the room.
Once we are finished decorating, I'll take pictures of the room again! Can't wait:)

I started watching an HBO series called 'Mad Men'. I had heard only good things about it and I believe it won a lot of awards. A friend from work loaned me seasons 1 & 2; I finished the first season and started on the second. I very much like watching it all at one time instead of having to wait each week for the next episode. I recommend it to anyone looking for something new or different, with one warning--it is on HBO, which means some of the topics/situations are much more graphic than anything on basic cable. 

Craig and I have recently watched the movie RED and The Kids Are Alright. I don't remember RED being nominated for any Oscars, but was definitely worth renting. Of course you have to appreciate how wacky John Malkovich can be. Now I know for certain The Kids Are Alright was nominated because the guests on Regis and Kelly have been actors from nominated movies and TV programs. This movie not as super; I was expecting more especially with a well-known cast.

Lastly, I had another appointment this morning. The cervical length below the cerclage looks good; it's long and the cerclage is holding nicely so far. Every time we look at the babies on ultrasound, the boy switches positions. at 22 & 24wks, he was breach. 25 & 26wks, he was head down and today he decided to be breach! Already that boy is a handful:) So another appt next week--back on schedule--to of course look at the cervix and growth of the babies! And soon I get to look forward to my first baby shower--with all of my favorite people from work. I miss them, I miss work (I know, crazy), I miss the infamous "quiet lounge", the drama. Can't wait to catch up! 

our friend's toddler--totally in love with Wriggs--and too cute not to share;)

Tuesday, February 8

This n That

I have just a few things to talk about, mostly because I'm bored;) So if I'm going to have a captive audience, I might as well use you!

So Craig has been perfecting his skills in the kitchen with me being on bed rest. At least in the future, I will not worry that the kids will go hungry or only get mac & cheese or fast food. This is really helping him become more confident in cooking. I have to say that he was not a stranger in the kitchen before; he has always made his own breakfast-egg over easy and turkey sausage. But I am not a recipe person, unless I am baking, so it was hard for me to tell him what or how much of the ingredients to add. He needed exact measurements so that he could be sure he wouldn't ruin the dish! Craig is preparing great meals every dinner but I think we are equally excited for me to get back into the kitchen once I'm able:)

I feel like I may be jinxing myself with some of the details of my pregnancy that I post. Like right after I said that I pretty much sleep 6-7 hrs before I have to get up to pee, stopped the night after I wrote that! The first night I was up at 3 then 5, the next night it was 2 and 5, then 1 and 5. Now I'm not tired at night. I'm falling asleep after 10, some nights after 11. I was also looking forward to that pregnancy "warmth" some women get, where your body temperature finally matches that of your boiling husbands! (why can they sleep in shorts in the middle of winter and we are bundled up in long pants, shirts, and socks?) So I hadn't read anything about it so far in my "what to expect this week in your pregnancy", but the last couple of nights I've been shedding my sleeping layers and extra blankets. I always thought the extra heat would come in handy , especially this time of winter.

I will be posting pictures of the nursery so far...we are expecting some of the baby's room decor to be delivered soon and I know Craig will want to put it up ASAP, so I will show the before and after!

Sunday, February 6

Floppy Paws

I thought I would spend some time on Craig's (our) dog Marty. Most everyone that knows us, knows him. I have never been an avid dog-lover; I think they are cute, lovable, and loyal but if not trained properly they can be irritating. I know what some of you are thinking: that dog does what he wants and only listens when we wants! Now I will be the first one to defend Marty's disposition-he is not untrainable, but he came to Craig in an altered state. Marty is like a used car or for better comparison, a rental car. You know when you get in a rental, the first thing you yell is "drive it like you stole it"! Who takes care of a rented car? You only use it for a short time and then it goes on to the next renter, who treats it the same way you did.

Marty only had 1 previous owner before he was given up to the humane society but I assure you that the owner either did not know if was going to lease or buy, or what it was like to take care of a new dog. So around 6 months, Marty ended up in a shelter with the nickname, Maniac Martin.

Craig being the soft-hearted guy he is now as he was in college had recently lost his childhood dog. Instead of going out and finding a new puppy, he went to his local college town human society with his roommate. Marty is a pit bull-lab mix, so imagine a 9 month old puppy with the intensity of pit bull and the hyperactivity disorder of a lab! Then put him in a bachelor pad college house with 4 other guys. I think Marty managed to turn out relatively untarnished, all things considered.

He obviously use to be more fun...going for walks/runs, playing catch, doing tricks (he does a couple yet, but ONLY when he feels like it). He has always been a sweet, kind soul; recognizing when we are sick and just need to snuggle and rest on the couch. He is still our watch dog, maybe becoming more paranoid in his age, as he barks at EVERY.SINGLE.UNUSUAL.NOISE.HE.HEARS. But at least we know he can still be intimidating, if a situation ever requires him to be.

Marty's activity level now consists of making it up and down the stairs to go to bed or out of bed. Then he only uses the bathroom twice a day and while he's up doing that, he eats. So it's safe to say that Marty is better at bed rest than I am! I have a new respect for Marty, now that we have spent every minute of the last month together. I find myself scolding Craig for yelling at him when Marty barks, because I know that he either needs to go out or probably has no food. We are now connected at the hip and he often will not go out unless I get up with him.

Martin is almost 12 years old (May). I will be the first to admit that I did not think he would make it this long, mostly because he lived such a balls-to-the-wall life in the first 4-5 years. But he is healthy as a horse, as the cliche goes. His only issue, the one thing that slows him down are those darn paws. Marty has some pretty debilitating arthritis. I think it started 2.5 years ago. My sister was living with us and my brother was spending some nights here while working in Janesville. Marty loved it when Derek would come home and play catch with him for a half hour every night. Then I took him for a walk and we didn't make it very far before Marty wanted to sit. We use to go out for almost an hour; it had only been 10 minutes. We turned around and headed home and noticed the back of his front paws were bleeding, not knowing he was already starting to walk funny or on the wrong part of his feet.

We took him to the vet for a check up. There were x-rays and it was determined that the ligaments in his front "ankles" had stretched beyond their means. There wasn't a cure but we could give him rimadyl for the impending arthritis and Marty would just do whatever he could without being too uncomfortable.

Now his back paws are following suit. He has become the "grumpy old man". I watch him sleep all day in our bed. Marty barks at me when he needs to go out, and then I have to go downstairs first and get a chair and wait for him in the kitchen; because he is not going to go any further than he has to and wait for me. His spunk is still there when he is chewing on/playing with a bone. He use to chase after the cats if they were playing with each other, but now only barks at them or pretends to bite at them (they have learned that he is not scary anymore). Lots of people ask us how much longer we think Marty will stick around; its hard to say. Some think he'll wait to see the babies. I say the babies will annoy him; Craig thinks he will be fine around them.

So because Marty's time with us is undoubtedly limited and our life is going to only get busier, I thought I would give Marty the props he deserves now, when I have the time, while I still appreciate him and can remember all the good times he gave us.

although it seems he is camera shy, the only time I can get a picture of him standing is when he's eating...I wanted to showcase his sad, floppy paws.

Thursday, February 3

Spring's coming early?!

Today was the day...the long anticipated appointment where I get the answer to my only bed rest dilemma: do I get to attend my sister's wedding? Unfortunately my mom was there to witness the answer, so even though I had already decided that I didn't care if they said no I was going no matter what! But no worries--they gave me a cautious yes:) My cervix length was good but the top was funneling. Which means even though the stitch is keeping my cervix closed, the top is opening a little and allowing baby girl's amniotic sac to sag down into the cervix. So now I am going back next Friday to check the cervix AGAIN....  My sister has been waiting on pins and needles; she can breathe again and I think I need to be there for her, especially before church:)

Apparently there was a blizzard in Milwaukee this week. I wouldn't have really noticed except that channel 12 news did not play Regis & Kelly on Wednesday. Instead they just broadcast the same information How many ways can you tell people that there is a lot of snow on the ground, in the streets? And Craig was home; which sounds like it would be GREAT for me, but it turned into me watching him snow blow/shovel snow for 2 hours, then he had lunch with me, then the furnace wasn't working because the vents were blocked by snow so Craig spent another hour fixing that AND THEN he discovers that the storage room behind the furnace needs cleaning. Even though he was home, I saw him minimally, but I guess he was there if I needed anything:) And he was off today so he ran errands. I would have seen him more today except that I was gone for 2 hours at my appointment. I'm sure we'll catch up this weekend:)

view from patio door

out the front door

Tuesday, February 1

Snow Day

February ALREADY! I know some of you are thinking, good-hurry up and get through this winter season. I'm thinking, wow the days are going by FAST. Which probably confuses you because bed rest might seem like But what it feels like is every day passing you by without accomplishing anything. So I want to enjoy being pregnant without getting depressed about doing nothing

So the babies are moving machines! I know all you mothers out there know this is nothing unexpected, but *few* of you know what it's like with 2 going at it. They are really most active very early in the morning, like the first time I get up to pee around 5. And lately later at night, when I'm supposed to be sleeping but can't, after 10. I've done the fetal kick count, which isn't an issue-just for fun, and it is every second for at least 2 minutes straight. And most of it comes from the boy. Baby girl does less kicking, but because her head is so low in my pelvis, I can feel her roll from facing down to facing out...a little creepy. The other thing I was telling Craig is that it feels like they are already scheming. Like they are dividing up who's going to take the blame for what-coloring on the walls, breaking the window with the baseball, sneaking out of the house. This way one kid isn't always going to be in trouble and they've already decided who's turn it will be. Well, that's my take on it:)

Craig just texted me that MPS already cancelled school for tomorrow. And then the news interrupted and told me the same thing. This way Craig will have ALL day to snow blow! He wants to challenge me to the game of Life again because he gets so mad when I win. I never go to college; I skip right to getting the career, which he says is not right because that's not what I did. I remind him, often, that this is the GAME of Life, meaning I can do things that aren't what I would do in my real life! I also don't buy home or auto insurance and that's not realistic either. Two words: sore loser! Sunday night Craig did *real* dishes, like in the sink without the dishwasher. He walks into the living room by me and says, "I think the dishes are cleaner when you do them by hand." Did this stop him from going out and buying more dishwasher way! Ah, I love him; it's always a trip to hear what he's gotta say.

My sister may be staying at our place tonight because of all the snow; it's just less stressful to have to drive all the way home tonight after work only to have to figure out how to get back in the morning. It's rare that hospitals and clinics close--somehow, someway those patients find a way to get to their appointment! And seriously, I live 1 minute away. It takes longer to park and walk into the hospital. I'm hoping she remembered to bring me a pair of her jeans to borrow. It doesn't pay for me to purchase maternity clothes because 90% of the time I am in sweats. The 5 times people are actually going to see me doesn't necessitate a whole expensive maternity wardrobe. But while I'm excited for her to bring the jeans, she probably didn't. I know it might be all I'm thinking about. But I can't blame her for not thinking about me lately...apparently she has this wedding thing coming up;)