Monday, December 22, 2008

Nothing Says Christmas Like Stars and Pigs

We decided to make Christmas Cookies this weekend. Christian sat in his high chair and watched me cut out stars and pigs from sugar cookies and gingerbread dough. Yes, stars and pigs. I realized that I have Halloween cookie cutters, 8 different star cookie cutters, and two pig cookie cutters. No Christmas cookie cutters.

So Richard and I decorated pigs and stars.

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Mom + Text Messaging

My mom finally bought a cell phone. I'm so used to her not having a cell phone, that I forget to call her on it.
While I was talking to her today, I realized she has the ability to send and receive text messages. I teased her that I was going to send her six text messages a day. She panicked and begged me not to because she didn't know how to receive or respond to text messages.
As soon as I hung up the phone, I sent her a text telling her I loved her and to have fun in Tennessee. She sent a text back: "gh"
I instantly texted back: "What?"
Her reply, "ggg" !!!!!
I was laughing so hard. I called her while I was still in hysterics. She said she couldn't figure out how to type on the phone's number pad.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Special Day Indeed!

Today is a special day. Today is my dear and beautiful friend, Michelle's birthday! She's 28 years old today!

One year ago today, I found out I was pregnant (that was a hard secret to keep at Michelle's birthday dinner!)

Today, Christian turned 4 months old!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Squeaky Clean Teeth

I haven't been to the dentist in almost 3 years. I have a slew of excuses, but the truth is the more I procrastinated, the more scared I became. I was scared of the number and extent of cavities that were multiplying in my mouth. I was scared of the poking and prodding. I was scared of the inevitable lecture of flossing (I do floss just about every day! I swear!)
So I finally made an appointment at a local dentist. In the waiting room, I sat at the edge of my seat, anxious and ashamed of my lack of regular dental visits. But when my name was called and the dental hygienist led me into a room, I was suddenly hopeful.
Instead of sterile metal equipment and bare white walls, the equipment was cream and the walls were a warm caramel color. The blinds on the window were wooden as were the cabinets. It felt warm and inviting. And The Today Show was playing on an LCD monitor in front of the chair. And as the dental hygienist lowered the chair to look into my mouth, I noticed the normally blinding fluorescent lights were covered with a coral reef scene complete with 44 fish (I counted).
The dental hygienist was gentle and kind. When it came time to polish my teeth, she asked me which flavor polish I would like. I expected my choices would be mint, cherry, or bubble gum. But on top of those three, she offered me strawberry, cinnamon, grape, raspberry, or cookie dough! Yes, cookie dough. Apparently it is very popular with the kids. I chose raspberry and it was wonderful!
Dr. Pat came in to examine my teeth. I expressed my concern about a particular tooth. He took one look and then said he would show it to me on the screen. He put a little camera in mouth and played the video on the LCD TV screen. I saw my troublesome tooth. This was new and fascinating.
To my relief, it wasn't a cavity. However, I would probably need a crown in a few years. I have a large filling in that tooth. And my grinding has made the tooth flat. So little fissures have developed in my tooth.
I love my dentist office! I never thought I would say that. I have some awful memories associated with the dentist. I remember being in high school, getting a filling, gazing out the window during an ice storm. The window overlooked Hwy 172 in Green Bay. The ice storm was so intense, I watch car after car slide into the ditch and down the hill. It was awful to witness and I knew I would have to drive in it soon with a numb, drooling mouth.
Then in my early 20s, I had another filling. The dentist injected Novocaine into my gums. All was fine until I went to work that night and my cheek swelled. I called the emergency on call dentist. Apparently the dentist who injected the Novocaine, shot it into my nerve. And there was nothing I could do, but take a few Tylenol and wait it out.
So Albertville Family Dentist, you are awesome!

Monday, September 1, 2008

First Week Back

Last week was my first week back to work. It was a mess. Lots of damage control. Tons of paperwork.
I thought I would cry the whole 26 miles to work. I thought I would miss Christian to the point of a meltdown. But I was so busy, I barely had time to dwell on the fact that I missed him so much. Only when I pumped twice a day, did I have a chance to think about him. I used that time to call and check on how he was handling our separation. He was, of course, just fine.
I am very lucky. My mom came to stay with us for two weeks while I return to work. This made my life so much easier. My anxiety level was not nearly as high as it would have been if he went right to daycare. My mom is awesome with Christian. He loves her so much. They have a great time together. We're both going to miss her when she goes home this weekend.
Next week, he starts daycare. Our daycare provider, Shannon, is a wonderful person. And I know he will be well taken care of at her house.

Monday, August 25, 2008

MN State Fair

MN State Fair Attendance on Sunday: 183,528

Richard, Molly, Ryan, and I went to the MN State Fair on Sunday.

Four blisters and a sun burned scalp later, Richard and I had devoured lots of delicious fatty food:

  • Double Cheese Pizza on a Stick
  • Deep Fried 3 Musketeers on a Stick
  • Mini Donuts
  • Spaghetti and Meatballs on a Stick (deep fried of course)
  • Deep Fried Fruit on a Stick
  • A Pronto Pup (on a stick)
  • Walleye on a Stick (are you seeing a theme...)
  • Deep Fried Cheese Curds
  • Fresh Squeezed lemonade
  • Hot Dish on a Stick
  • Alligator sausage on a Stick

We also visited some sheep, ducks, and rabbits. And we saw the Iron Jack Lumberjack Show. One of my favorite parts was the Sky Ride. Richard and I took a round trip. We got the "Cow Car", complete with a cow bell. It was a blast! We also visited the winning vegetables. The largest pumpkin was 834 lbs!

For more great pictures of our state fair adventure, check out Molly's blog

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I usually have to change my clothes at least once a day because of baby spit up or breast milk leakage. It always centers around Christian.
Then the day came where I had to change my outfit and it had nothing to do with Christian.
First I had to change my pants because in a sudden burst of excitement by Logger, he peed on my leg.
Then I was cleaning out the refrigerator. I had a container of pudding and whip cream (left overs from a delightful fruit trifle my mom made). It slipped out of my hands and plopped in the sink, sending pudding and whip cream into the air and covering my shirt and hair.
Christian didn't spit up on me once that day. I was just a magnet for mess.

Monday, August 11, 2008

August 10: Happy Birthday Logger

My little Loggerhead turned 2 years old yesterday!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Pizza Face

Today is Richard's birthday. He is 27 years old. We aren't doing anything special today because Richard has to work in an hour. And I haven't been able to go shopping.
I'm starting to miss my freedom. The freedom to just go any where and do anything. Since I have to pack Christian up and lug around a car seat and diaper bag, going shopping has become less appealing. Running a quick errand is no longer quick when I have to get Christian in and out of the car.
I am not saying my son is a burden. Everything is more of an adventure with him. I never know if he is going to get fussy. Or hungry. And I need at least somewhere to breast feed or some way to warm up a bottle.
We've taken him grocery shopping a few times and out to dinner once. We've ran errands with him yesterday. He's been very good.

In other news, my son is going through puberty. He has pimples all over his face. My estrogen is still in his system from when he was in the womb. This is causing acne. Poor kid. All the other babies are going to tease him.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Eskimo Pies

With a last name as common as mine, there are bound to be at least a dozen people who share your name.
I didn't Google Christian's name before choosing it. For the same reason we didn't share his name with others, we didn't look at who else shared his name.

A week after Christian was born, Richard and I were watching Modern Marvels on the History Channel. It was the history of ice cream episode. I was playing on the computer when I heard Christian's name! I demanded Richard rewind the program (LOVE satellite TV). Sure enough, they said Christian's name.

Christian shares a name with the gentlemen who invented the Eskimo Pie (who was not an Eskimo)

I wondered who I shared a name with. Would there be anyone famous?
Kelly the actor (who is male)
Kelly the body builder (part of a mother/daughter body building duo)

What famous people do you share your name with?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

How Did This Happen?

I've been on maternity leave for 4 weeks. I have 5 more weeks to go. I haven't had any contact with work since Christian was 3 days old (he's almost a month old!).

My boss called me on Thursday. I've been promoted.
How do you get a promotion while on maternity leave?! That's awesome!
I am now a Onsite Operations Manager (versus a Site Manager). It came with a nice raise and more opportunities for bonuses.
I will oversee three accounts and manage the account I am currently assigned to. I will have to travel to Madison, WI at least once every 6 weeks. My stay in Madison will be paid for and I can visit with my sister, Brother-in-law, and nephews.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sitting on the couch eating BonBons

I could never be a stay at home mom. I'm already addicted to day time TV. I hate day time television. Soap operas, talk shows, reruns, and court shows. Luckily, I'm only addicted to reruns. I've been watching endless episodes of Gilmore Girls (not so bad) and Roseanne (yes, that Roseanne) and Friends and Just Shoot Me. And many others. Also, I watch Judge Judy religiously now.

It's awful.

I don't get enough exercise either. It's too hot outside to take Christian for a walk. At least at work, I walk a lot. Maybe I can figure out a way to walk on my treadmill with Christian. I need to do something.

I try to clean the house, but my son loves to nap in my arms. And well, I LOVE holding him. I could do it all day. I do do it all day. It's probably not such a good thing because he will never get used to napping in his bouncy or bassinet. He does sleep in his bassinet at night. We don't let him sleep in our bed. He's in my lap right now as I type this!

I've become accustomed to doing things with only one hand or moving things by kicking them. It's terrible.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Life Revolves Around My Breasts

It's true.

Sleeping. Shopping. Eating. Blogging. Everything. We have to time every activity we do according to Christian's feeding schedule.
We have to time our meals just right so that Christian has just eaten by the time it is done. Yesterday, we went to visit Richard's grandfather. We couldn't leave until Christian ate because it's an 1.5 hour drive and I didn't want to breast feed in the car with my mother-in-law on the side of the road or in a gas station bathroom. It was bad enough I had to feed him in the small camper bedroom.
My breasts have never felt so important, so loved.
I know I could pump and bottle feed him, but I'm not ready to do that yet. I want to wait at least two weeks before I give him a bottle. Breastfeeding is tough business and I don't want a bottle to jeopardize the progress we've made.
Soon, he will only need to eat every four hours. Then I will be a little more free. Although I enjoy every second with Christian, running errands can be difficult with only a small window of time. And I don't want to leave Richard with a screaming, hungry baby that he can't feed.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Holy Crap! I had a baby!

Christian Steven was born on Sunday, June 22.
I've started his own blog:

Motherhood is going well. I fell into the role smoother than I thought I would. Breastfeeding and 3 am diaper changings feel normal to me already. I am still adjusting to only 2-3 hours of sleep at a time. Richard thinks I'm pushing myself too hard because I don't take naps during the day. I've tried, but I'm not a napper. It's hard for me to sleep when Christian sleeps. Since I'm breastfeeding, it's not like Richard and I can switch off feedings. He does help me change him every few hours. Or he will burp Christian for me. Plus, I actually enjoy breastfeeding time with Christian. He is extra cuddly and sweet right after.

I hate diapers. I don't mind changing them. I'm annoyed that they don't stop the pee. They leak. This is how the couch, the bed, and me all got wet.
(Photos courtesy of Molly)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Progress! Finally!

I was pretty bummed after my week 39 checkup. I was eager for this appointment because I was ready. I am ready for Baby FermaNels to come. I wanted to make it to week 39 and he can come any time.
At 38 weeks, I was 50% effaced (how much my cervix has thinned) and the baby's head was completely down in my pelvis.
At 39 weeks, I was....the same. No progress.
If I had been even 1 cm dilated, my doctor offered to strip my membranes which would move labor along. (You can be dilated 2 cm one day and go back to 0 cm the next. Dilation does not guarantee labor will begin). So we discussed how long she would let me go over my due date (1.5 weeks).

I took a nap today. I took my jeans off and slept in just my T-shirt and underwear. I woke up an hour later, fixed my hair and makeup, and put my jeans back on. I felt something cold against my inner thigh and figured my jeans had gotten wet from washing my hands. But it felt weird. So I reached down and felt something gooey. I instantly screamed, thinking one of the cats puked on my jeans and it was smeared on my leg. Richard came running. I pulled my hand out to reveal a gelatinous pile. It looked like lubrication jelly. I instantly freaked out, trying to figure out where it came from. Richard immediately asked if it was my mucus plug. I had no idea. I searched my pregnancy book and discovered it was. I lost my mucus plug during my nap and it stuck to my leg! (sorry if this grosses you out!)
I'm very excited about this because it means I'm one step closer to going into labor. It also means my cervix has thinned more (Yeah!).

PS: I'm not going to scrapbook it, Molly.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

15 Days to Go

I fell today. Don't worry. I didn't get hurt although I freaked out all my employees. I went to sit down in a chair and it kicked out from under me. I fell on my butt and just started laughing.
Updates: Ribs still hurt. Pelvic bone hurts when he moves. Tired all the time. Sleeping is hard since my belly has gotten larger.
But, I'm hanging in there. Two weeks to go...
And yes, this is one of my favorite pregnancy shirts (thanks Kim)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Please remove your foot

His foot is lodged in my ribs. This has become his new favorite place. I guess it gives him a little extra room to stretch out since he refuses to move out instead of up. But it hurts!
I have to sit perfectly straight or stand. Otherwise, I have a butt or a foot stabbing my ribs.

Richard's grandpa has a brain tumor. This past week, we've spent many hours at the hospital with this family with many more hours to accrue later this week. I've actually enjoyed my time there. His aunts and uncle are in from various parts of the country (and they are my favorites of Richard's relatives!). And I've met lots of extended family. I really enjoy family history, so it's been fun to listen to all the stories. Especially the ones of Richard. =)
Richard's grandpa (his namesake) has a tumor the size of a fist pushing against his brain. It was causing mini seizures which disrupted his speech and memory.
Richard went to see him last Friday morning. He asked to his his great grandson, not realizing he hasn't been born yet. It took awhile for him to comprehend that the baby will be here in 3 weeks. Then he started asking for me. I went with Richard's brother, Josh, to the hospital Friday after work. Richard's grandpa was so excited to see me and my belly. Luckily, Baby FermaNels cooperated (which he rarely does), and Richard's grandpa got to feel him kick.
Over the course of the weekend, Richard's grandpa proudly introduced my belly to all his visitors. He is obviously excited to become a great grandpa (Baby FermaNels will be the first great grandchild).
By Sunday, the anti-seizure medicine had done its job. Richard's grandpa was able to speak clearly and walk around. He had his first surgery yesterday to cut off the blood supply to the tumor. It was a success. Tomorrow, they will remove the tumor. It is looking like the tumor is non cancerous. As tumors go, he has won the lottery.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Week 37: Full Term!

Baby FermaNels is officially full term! But I don't want him to come yet. Reasons:

Most importantly, I want him to have the best chance to be healthy. The longer he stays in the womb, the more weight he'll gain and the more developed he'll become. I can put up with any discomfort if it means he'll be healthy.

Secondly, and stupidly, I have one more project at work to finish before I go into labor. It starts this week and lasts the full week. I don't want to leave it unfinished. Plus I have two brand new employees. I want them fully trained in before I leave. Since my company does not offer maternity leave, my employees and my boss are on strict orders not to contact me while I am on short term disability. I don't want to come back in late August to a mess.

I had my first scare last Wednesday. I haven't missed a single day of work because of this pregnancy. I'm pretty proud of that. On Wednesday, I started getting shooting pains on the top of my stomach. My doctor told me to come in and get checked out. I knew I wasn't in labor, but Richard freaked out. We don't have a bag packed, so he frantically started throwing things in a duffel bag.
Obviously, I'm not in labor. Baby FermaNels is out of room. He is suppose to be growing outward, but he is stubborn (gee, I wonder where he gets that from?!) and insists on growing up. He is now past my ribs. The shooting pain is being caused by the baby pushing on nerves under my ribs. He is also in birthing position. His head is in my pelvis. So when moves, he is either hitting my pelvic bone or my ribs. Very uncomfortable. It has actually become more comfortable to stand than sit. Luckily, I don't have swollen feet.
But I can hold out. I would rather be uncomfortable than for him to come too early.
Tonight, Richard and I are going to properly pack a bag.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

If one more stops by.....

Vultures. They are all vultures. My doorbell rang 4 times in the last 24 hours - all contractors wanting to give us an estimate. I have fliers shoved in our newspaper box. And of course a half a dozen littering our yard (which I promptly recycled). My house phone rings with men offering free estimates. I can't even walk Logger without being stopped by at least two stormchasing contractors. The main road into our neighborhood was littered with trucks from seven different companies all soliciting.

So I went with the first person we talked to. Our new neighbor down the street who compared storm damage with the rest of us. A simple sign in the yard wards off unwanted and unruly coyotes.

Perhaps I should start from the beginning....

The storm that devastated the small community of Hugo also hit us. Only we were fortunate only to have hail. Three waves of hail bombarded our house. I stood in the middle of our great room. One hand around Logger, the other clutching my stomach as if to protect my two boys. Richard stood at the front door, snapping pictures.

After the first wave of golf ball to tennis ball size hail, we joined the neighbors to compare damage. Some far worse with a broken window or two. Others with only few pieces of chipped siding. We fared somewhere in between.

I had gone back in the house to watch the news. Richard called me to come outside. A funnel cloud was forming far in the distance. I ordered him in the house. Of course he didn't listen and continued to gawk at the sky with the other husbands. He came running home when the second wave of hail hammered us.

We are all safe. And that is what matters. Only some cosmetic injuries to our young house.

One month from today....

Everything will change...

Monday, May 26, 2008

GB Baby Shower - Titletown Brewery

Molly and my mom threw me a baby shower in Green Bay. The afternoon was filled with fun games (if you said "baby" you lost your bead necklace. The person with the most necklaces at the end of the shower won). I lost my necklace early on to my cousin who tricked me! Other games included matching baby animal names to the adult animal (ex. puppy to dog) and guessing which characteristics and features of Richard and me I hoped the baby inherits. All of these I had never played before.
I received more gifts than I could ever hope for. The most precious of all was this painting Molly had ordered for Richard and me:

It is so beautiful and personal. Little parts of our lives pulled together into a single painting. Including my wedding flower, my pets, the bluffs and river that separates Molly and me, the origami from Molly's wedding, a semi truck, my supportive family. I'm crying now just writing about this wonderful treasure.
We hung it in our dining room so we could share it with more people. Richard and I gaze at it often, amazed by the detail and beauty. Richard points it out proudly to every new guest that enters our house.

Michelle made me the cutest crocheted pig. I had to hide it from Logger because it combines his love of destroying stuffed animals and yarn. Michelle also made the baby the softest blanket complete with stars.

Little Abby came to play. Vicki's youngest daughter.

Abby took an instant liking to Molly!

My sister, Kim, made me a diaper cake! I really don't want to take it apart. Another very special gift from someone I love so much.

My nephew Antonio stopped by. More than anything, he wanted to stick his fingers in the cake.

My sister and my nephew Jack.

My bestest friend Molly. She will make a wonderful Aunt. I am so lucky to have her in my life. And since I planned my baby around her teaching schedule (unlike my wedding), I'll have the privilege of having her stay with me a few days before my due date (just in case!) and she will be there, beside me, when my son enters the world.

The girls working hard at Molly's tough animal game!

35 Weeks: Smooth Sailing

I saw my doctor last Friday. At the end of the appointment, she commented, "You are the most laid back, easy going, first time pregnant woman I have ever seen!"
Score one for the Sloth! My belly is growing outward since I have no more room to grow up. Baby FermaNels continues to push on all my organs including my stomach and bladder. His favorite thing to do is stick his butt into my ribs. My doctor confirmed that is head is down and his butt is on my right side. He's in the correct position for a healthy birth (Yeah!!).
Thursday and Friday my sciatic nerve caused shooting pains down my left leg, through my knee, and into my shin. I could barely walk at work. I've been working a lot of hours for the last three weeks. Thank goodness those are over. When they ended, the shooting pain ended.
This weekend, I started feeling Braxston-Hicks contractions. My stomach gets hard. Almost as if I have an actual bowling ball under my skin. Sometimes they are accompanied by a small cramp. This is absolutely normal. I guess you start getting them around week 6 of your pregnancy, but cannot feel them until the end of your pregnancy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Week 33: The Battle Begins

I've had an easy pregnancy so far. That's all over.
Most nights I wake up in excrutinating pain in my hip. It's from all the extra weight resting on the joint. Some mornings, it feels even worse. Some mornings I can barely walk downstairs. So I'm starting to get creative with pillows, hoping to take the pressure off my hips.
The sciatic nerve has kicked into high gear again. It's bearable during the day. But the later it gets, the more painful it becomes. This searing pain down my lower back and into my butt has caused me to scream. Moving becomes too painful. I have broken down and cried several times.

But with only 7 weeks left, Baby FermaNels moves all the time. My belly will jolt to one side. An appendage will kick out suddenly. He gets the hiccups sometimes, which is always fun. He sticks his butt into my ribs daily. It's uncomfortable, but also exciting. I love feeling him move.

Happy Mother's Day

My wonderful husband wanted to buy me a Mother's Day present. I insisted he couldn't as I don't consider myself a mother yet. Others did not listen. I received a Mother's Day card from my mom, numerous text messages from friends, and these lovely flowers from Molly.

I think of my own mother who has always put my sister and I first, who loves us unconditionally, who always made sure we never went without. My mother who to this day sends us care packages just to let us know she was thinking of us. My mother who has always been there to listen, to advise, to share. She has never held back at telling us the truth (even when we wanted her to!) and taught us to be independent.
And I do love my unborn son unconditionally and I am doing everything I can to ensure he arrives healthy, but I know nothing about him. What will he look like, what will his favorite color be, will he be more artistic or musical or academic or all of the above.
So, I don't consider myself a mother until I can look into eyes and see his bright future a head of him.