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.