Sunday, March 29, 2009

Stella and Etta

My expectations of Stella's behavior with her sister have been far exceeded. Stella is just the sweetest big sister, always gently kissing Etta, wanting to see her first thing in the morning and first thing after her nap. In fact yesterday, she was like, "bring in baby sister" as soon as she woke up from her nap and I said that I had her and she just broke out into a wide grin when she saw Etta. She wants to hold her several times a day (of course heavily helped by us). I'm surprised because I thought she wouldn't find a newborn very exciting, but I was wrong. When we change Etta's diaper, Stella's right there with her step stool to help. If I need something, Stella will get it for me. And Etta is already enamored of her big sister. Seeing them together is so amazing!
Already sharing a joke.
Right now she's whining that she wants us to give Etta a bath immediately. We're planning to do it this morning, but at a more leisurely pace. Waiting is not a 3-year-old's strong suit, though.

I feel so behind, I have a 1,001 pictures to go through, but eventually they will be on smugmug, I promise! I also need to write my birth story before I forget it all. As I was telling Tim yesterday, it's so hard to transistion back to normal life after having a baby.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Good Family Photo from the Hospital!

I got Tim's Mom's pictures from the hospital and thankfully she got a good one of the four of us. I knew someone out of all those cameras had to have gotten a good shot!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tim's Interview at the Austinist

Tim got interviewed by the Austinist today about Time Steps. Check it out.

I've got Two Hands Again!

Today after Etta's first Dr's appointment, we went by Austin Baby to get me a sling. I had planned on getting the Zolowear Ring sling based on people's recommendations. I was originally going to order one online because it was cheaper, but decided I would at least try the Zolowear to see if Etta liked a ring sling before I ordered one. I tried a zolowear on and Etta seemed to like it just fine, but I thought my shoulder hurt a little. Plus I still felt like it was too difficult to be sure that the baby's airway wasn't constricted. And the $89 price tag was holding me back a little. So I decided to try a Moby Wrap sling just to see, especially since that's what Courtney got for Oscar. Oh my gosh, I LOVED it! I'd always been intimidated by the wrap slings, they just seem so complex, but after Erin (owner of Austin Baby) helped me put it on once, I was able to do it again all by myself. Etta was totally comfortable in it, she was upright and therefore her nose and mouth were completely unblocked, I could see her face at all times, and her weight was so evenly distributed I had no discomfort whatsoever. I ate lunch with Etta strapped to my chest, I was actually able to help Stella put her toys away, and right now I am typing this post with both hands while looking down at my sweet baby. And I can't believe the $39 price tag. Two thumbs up!

As far as the doctor's visit, everything went great. Dr. Patil said Etta was perfect in every way, and gaining weight like a champ. She's already back up to 7 lbs, 1.4 oz. She was 6 lbs, 14 oz Sunday when she left the hospital. Now after a good nursing session, I am feeling like I'm about to pass out. It's nap time, folks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stella's 3!

It's hard to believe Stella turned 3 today. It seems like just yesterday she was like this:

And here she is today looking so grown up:
My baby's a big girl! Unfortunately I am very tired, way too tired to wax poetic about the situation. Got a new baby to feed!

Oh, and in other news, I never even got a chance to profess my love for the IPod Touch before it futzed out on me today. It really sucks because I was using it to record all of Etta's feeding times. Hopefully we can get it replaced tomorrow without sending it off. What kind of electronic breaks after 5 days?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Hospital photos

They took some really cute photos at the hospital. I was planning to not get any, but we actually got prints of a couple. We couldn't resist! These are all of them, for "Web Viewing Only", obviously.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

She's Here!

Our sweet baby daughter made her grand entrance yesterday! Etta Mae Thomas was born at 4:03pm Friday, March 20th. She weighed 7 lbs, 7oz and was 19 inches long.

She was indeed born on my father's (her Pappy's) birthday. He was very excited about his birthday present and I think it made it easier to be half-way around the globe and not able to see her until she's a month old. If you are wondering where we came up with her name, we just really loved the name Etta, and her middle name is after my grandmother, my father's mother, Frances May and her mother, Edna May! Well, feeding time is upon us again, so I need to go.

Unfortunately, our family photo didn't turn out so well. Too many cameras at once! But we'll try again today!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Today seems like a good day to have a baby

First day of Spring, my Dad's birthday (Stella was due March 19th and I think he was really disappointed she didn't arrive on his birthday), a Friday. Plus we already have a doctor's appointment at 9:45, in 3 hours. Plus now the Unbearables will have to stay together because I will miss their final show tonight! But I know I have been wrong before. A few times, but I really think this is it. All those contractions that I thought were painful - HA! Man, was I a pansy. I forgot what real labor felt like!

Assuming this is real labor. Which I'm going ahead and assuming because I am an optimist. Today at least.

If it is not real labor, I will be able to let the world know relatively quickly after my appointment because Tim got me an IPod Touch yesterday! It's my early push present. He says he got it for me early so that I could stop thinking about all these damn contractions I've been having. Very sweet. I really haven't figured out how to use it, and the thing that finally pushed me over the edge about wanting to get it is that there is an app that times contractions. Really. Although I can't get it right now because Tim's asleep (as he should be, as we all should be at 6:40am), and he must have changed the wireless password because the old one is not working. So for now I'm recording these %^%**&)*( things on the same purple pad of paper with the same black ballpoint pen I've been using all week. No technology is being used. Well, other than the fact that I'm blogging that I'm in labor. I should get Twitter real fast and then I can Twitter my labor. Would it make me feel better if I could let the world know I was in severe pain every few minutes?

By the way, does anybody know how, after you sync your IPOD with ITunes, to delete certain albums off your Ipod that you may not want on there? With my old mini, I never used the sync all feature, I just added individual albums because it was only 4 GB. My Touch is 32 GB (although I was disappointed to discover that it really only holds slightly less than 30 gigs), so I can fit almost all of our music on it. That was my biggest requirement if I got a new Ipod, I was tired of having to pick albums every once in a while and load my ipod up. I always waited too long to do it and it always took too long to do.

I can't help but feel a wee bit guilty about spending this much money on an electronic gadget, but I am trying to look at it as stimulating the economy. And we are so fortunate right now to be in a really good place (in fact, Tim just got a raise. I know, don't hit us!), so there's really no reason to go overboard on being frugal. I am naturally frugal in the first place, but you hear about all this belt-tightening and think, "I should go on the belt-tightening band wagon!" Luckily, babies are natural belt-tighteners, you have no time to do anything or go anywhere!

Anyway, keep your fingers crossed that we meet BabyBean today!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More Reasons to Stay Pregnant!

After yet ANOTHER tango with false labor yesterday, one where we really, really, really thought this was it but yet were turned away at the doctor's office, I need to remind myself of further reasons to stay pregnant and just deal with the constant contractions:


We were at Waterloo Records Sunday night with Tim's sister Christine, her husband Brian and their friends who were visiting from D.C., and they were giving out free tickets. I kept asking people what these free tickets were to and finally someone answered that they were filming concerts to be broadcast on DirectTV. I asked, who's playing? And people kept telling me 3rd Eye Blind and Ben Harper. Now Ben Harper is pretty cool, but even for free, I don't want to see 3rd Eye Blind! Finally, I found out they had a list of people playing and I discovered that Echo and the Bunnymen are playing Saturday at 5! Now why didn't people lead with that, that is freakin' awesome! In fact, E & the B are the only people I was really excited about who are going to be at SXSW. So I snagged a couple, and Christine and Brian snagged a couple, although they may or may not make it back in town to go. So if you're interested in a chance to see Echo and the Bunnymen at the Convention Center, let me know! And you can have all 4 if I drop a baby before Saturday;)

I'm finally feeling a little human again. I think I caught a stomach bug from Tim's parents (they maintain it was food poisoning), and that just happened to rear its ugly head at the same time as the 16 hours or so of regular contractions yesterday, so between those two things I REALLY felt like I was in a labor. AND I felt majorly awful. But I slept really well last night and took a nap this afternoon, in fact I fell asleep on the couch while Stella colored two feet away, so hopefully I'm fully recovered and can return to normal life!

It's not that I want the baby to be born tomorrow, it's just we're tired of our life being on hold and having to guess whether it's the real thing or not. And what is up with doctors saying "you'll just know" when it's labor? I was having painful contractions 3-4 minutes apart yesterday and that wasn't labor, how the heck am I going to know the real thing? I think I'm just going to wait to go back to the hospital next time until my water breaks or a baby's head starts emerging from between my legs!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Family Photos

We finally got outside this afternoon and took some family photos. They aren't as nice as if we'd hired a professional to do them, but hey, they're free and didn't require phone calls or scheduling. And once I put them in black and white they look pretty fancy, if I do say so myself. In fact, I'm only broadcasting myself in black and white from now on, everybody looks awesome that way!

Babybean's Room

I finally overcame my persistent laziness and took some pictures of the baby's room.

The baby's name is concealed by the piece of fabric, which is well-tacked for nosy visitors:
The closet door won't close because the baby swing is currently behind it. Also, we still need a stereo, but check out that awesome Monkey lamp:

Cozy corner with chair and chandelier:

I used scrapbook paper to cover the clear fronts of the chest of drawers:

I'm very happy with the result! I think it's a room the baby will be happy to come home to. Now I just have to overcome my persistent laziness to do my belly cast. We'll see about that one...

The Birth of Cool- Eh.

Tim's parents watched Stella yesterday and we went to the Birth of the Cool Exhibit at the Blanton. We were less than overwhelmed. Unfortunately, it's a very small exhibit, we went through it in less than an hour, and it's a survey of music, architecture, design, media and even news events of the time period. It didn't go in-depth on anything. I think if you were unfamiliar with Mid-Century Modern design, it would be a great overview, but for fanatics like Tim and I, it was sort of like, "yeah, I already know this, show me a little more!" It was very cool to see Julius Shulman's Case Study House photos large, as opposed to small in books or on the internet (he took the groovy photo above), and there were some amazing photographs by William Claxton of the jazz musicians of the day, but did I really need a timeline of ALL the historical events that took place between 1959 and 1962? I mean, if they didn't have anything to do with MCM, did it need to take up space? And most of the events you would know about, if you had any understanding of history at all. I would have much better preferred to see photos from ALL of the Case Study houses rather than a history timeline.

So the verdict: You'll probably enjoy it if this is your first encounter with much Mid-Century Modern stuff, but if you, as Tim said, "Know how many case study houses there are and who designed them", it will probably be a little too surface for your tastes.

Interesting tidbit: Dobie Gillis was the first tv show to depict teens from their point of view. And his best friend was the first time a moody, beatnik teenager was shown on tv. I had no clue!

I was promised nice weather!

At some point, at least the last time I checked the forecast for today, we were supposed to be done with this wet, cold weather and be back into the 70's and dry today. I woke up this morning cold and I could see through a space in the curtains that it was wet. Drat! I KNOW we need the rain, but really, isn't 4 days enough? Cold and wet is a very bad combination when you have an almost 3-year old because you can't take them outside. And without being able to take them outside, you quickly run out of activities to keep them busy. Also, my remaining fitting maternity clothes are skirts (well and one very saggy pair of jeans that drive me crazy), so I need the temperature to creep up a bit. I was going to finally get around to taking pictures of us as a family in the backyard this morning before the dagnabbit weather interfered.


Friday, March 13, 2009

Concentrate on the Positive

First off, let me just say that the previous post's title is really bugging me. It sounds nasty. Even though it's not. But I digress.

I have decided that rather than wallow in my personal physical misery about being pregnant and wishing I was no longer pregnant (which doesn't do a damn bit of good), I am going to concentrate on all the things I will get to do if I continue to be pregnant.

If I make it through next week (in other words, to 39 weeks): Wednesday I'm getting my hair cut and it needs it desperately, Thursday, we're going to see Bombs in Your Mouth at Hyde Park Theatre, a world premiere featuring the incredibly talented Liz Fisher and Joey Hood and I'd be very sad if I missed this one, and Friday Tim's taking the day off (he got an extra vacation day for a job well done) and we're going to the Stem and Leaf Records day party featuring what may be the last Unbearables performance and the always excellent One Hundred Flowers. Plus free beer for those of you who can partake. If I make it to Sunday, I'll get to sit in on the reading of "Teacher, Teacher", LGT's script for our June show at the Off-Center, and meet Max Langert, the playwright.

If I make it through the following week (40 weeks): I will get to see Time Steps, the Austin Scriptworks Out of Ink Festival which Tim has a piece in, as well as loads of other talented playwrights, including Sarah Saltwick, who wrote in Slapdash, and Aimee Gonzalez, who wrote in Slapdash and also our FronteraFest piece, in addition to the aforementioned Max Langert.

So you see, making it at least another 14 days (Time Steps opens the 26th), is very advantageous. Even if it means dealing with some discomfort. And as my ticker shows, I only have like 16 days left anyway until my due date, so I might as well sit tight and stop complaining. But I can't guarantee that March 27th, I won't be heading over to Reale's and chowing down on the pepperoni pizza that drives women (including myself with Stella), into labor!

Planting the Seed

For whatever reason this morning, when Stella requested her Minnie cup to drink her milk out of, I decided to tell her all about where Minnie lives, Disney World. I also told her that Donald Duck and Chip and Dale live there (that's the only other Disney characters she knows because we have a Little Golden book from my childhood with them in it). I told her about Cinderella's castle, and the robots in the exhibits. I have gotten her totally excited, her eyes were just huge with wonder. Of course, now she just has to wait a few years until she's old enough to enjoy it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

37 weeks, 3 days

I've been a bit behind on getting my belly shot for this month. I've been trying to do them every 4 weeks, but that would have put me at Sunday before last and I kept forgetting. So I got one yesterday, although unfortunately it was really cloudy outside, so it didn't turn out that well:
You get the idea though. I'm still pregnant. And I'm pretty big. I went to the doc today and she said I was dilated 1.5 cm. So I guess all these contractions are doing something. Just not as much as I want. This is the part of pregnancy that everyone hates. I mean, I'm still 2 and a half weeks out from my due date, but I am sooooo sick of being pregnant! I'm ready for this baby to carry her own weight. Or at least to carry her with my arms and not my uterus!

It's really cold and wet here, very odd weather for March. I think that, coupled with being so pregnant, has caused me to lose all motivation. I don't feel like doing anything! Although I need to drag myself up from this here computer to get ready and to run a few errands. Life calls!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oh, Stella's vomit!

I neglected to mention that we found out what was causing Stella's sporadic episodes of sickness: she was drinking too much water and then laying down, which caused her to get sick. We've cut out the sippy cup by her bedside and no more changing nasty sheets in the wee hours! I'm so glad that we didn't move her party and that everyone still came, since obviously drinking too much water isn't contagious!

Sleep, Glorious Sleep!

This picture is completely unrelated to this post, it's just cute!
Last night I slept over 9 hours! I feel like a human being again, after Friday, Sunday and Monday nights where I only slept 4 hours each night (I slept about 8 hours Saturday night). 4:00am Tuesday morning I woke up with contractions that felt like the real thing and even loaded up the car Tuesday morning in case we needed to go to the hospital. Let me tell you, thinking you are in labor and having to get a 3 year old ready for preschool is a lot more work than the first time when I just lounged around watching music videos and Antiques Roadshow. I agonized over dropping Tim off at work or going into my dr's to get checked out. Glad I didn't change my routine because obviously it was false labor, since I'm still here!

Tim and I have been behaving like an old married couple: due to our individual sleep troubles, he's been sleeping on the couch (his choice, not mine). He snores because his allergies are so bad, which keeps me from sleeping, and of course every time I groan or get up to use the bathroom, it wakes him up. So we're keeping separate sleeping quarters for the time being, at least until we both catch up and his allergies get better. It makes me very sad when we go to sleep, but I sleep much better and that's really what's important right now.

This post is excitement in blog form, isn't it? I'm looking forward to the dr's visit tomorrow to find out if these never-ending contractions are doing any work. While I'm not crazy about having an early baby, I'm more not crazy about constant contractions and wondering "is this it?" for another 2.5 weeks!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Damn, that feels good

It constantly amazes me how it lifts my mood to have such an intelligent, eloquent President. I'd really forgotten what that was like.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

BIG Weekend

Yesterday was my absolutely fabulous shower and today was Stella's absolutely fabulous birthday party. So now I am sitting here just getting pictures uploaded and relaxing. I am very proud of myself for just sitting here when there are so many things to be done:) My mother was wonderful enough to clean up after the party before she left, though, so I have a lot less on my plate!

I am so relieved to have this weekend over. I have had a wonderful time, but I've been absolutely paranoid that the baby would arrive before we got these two events knocked out. Now that they are out of the way, I can breathe easy knowing I'm more ready. Okay, I still don't have a bag packed, but now I have time to do that! We've been especially paranoid this weekend, since I've been having contractions every 10 minutes or so since Friday evening. Last night I even had some painful, closer together ones and was really getting worried. But I guess I'm just going to have to live with this until the baby gets here! On the plus side, hopefully these contractions are working towards making my labor a shorter one. But I'm really hoping I don't have to endure constant contractions for the next 3 weeks! My incredible sisters who organized and pulled off the whole thing. Thanks guys!

Stella's birthday party was this morning, and although I don't recommend planning a child's birthday party for 10am the day that you have to "Spring Forward", I think a great time was had by all.
The theme was obviously Hello Kitty (selected by Stella) and we had the most wrong looking cupcake cake:
You would not BELIEVE the amount of icing they put on this thing! It was delicious, though, and Stella picked it out and was very happy.

We had a pinata, which Stella enjoyed, but Henry and Daniel wanted nothing to do with.
It was one stubborn pinata and just about the time I thought we'd have to take it down and get out a hacksaw, Jeff beheaded it.
The kids scored themselves castanets, bells, dinosaurs and a little bit of candy. Then it was time to sing happy birthday!

Stella made out like a bandit. Just see the aftermath for yourself:
Well, Stella's awake after a long and must needed nap, so I think we may leave the toys where they fell and go shopping!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Thanks blogging

Seems I just needed to document my contractions. They seem to have gone away. Yay!

Insomnia, Insomnia, right on!

(sung to the tune of Beck's "Nausea"). I've been awake since 3:25 and it's 5:19 now. I only finally got out of bed about 10 minutes ago. I've been an insomniac since childhood and I've always held fiercely to the thought that I'd be able to go back to sleep if I just stayed in bed. Of course, insomnia has largely disappeared since I modified my caffeine habits several years ago, but pregnancy has really brought it back. If I can't get back to sleep, it's going to be interesting to see how I fare with the very busy day coming up on 2 and a half hours of sleep. (I didn't get to bed until midnight and didn't fall asleep until about 1am). Extra bonus: we lose an hour tomorrow night.

The reason I didn't get to sleep until midnight is that poor monkey Stella threw up about 11pm. We were watching "Choke", (which was awesome by the way, I actually liked it better than the novel because it wasn't as gross), which we didn't start until late, so by the time we got Stella cleaned up, sheets changed, back to bed, etc, it was pretty late when we finished the movie. Luckily she hasn't thrown up again, and she was in really good spirits by the time we put her back to bed, so hopefully it was just a one time thing. It was totally gross though. Curry doesn't smell or look as good coming back up, trust me. I nearly retched and had to tell myself, "I am an mama, I can deal with this" as I cleaned up the vomit trail from her bed to the bathroom and changed her sheets. Feeling sick yourself yet? Sorry, hope you aren't eating.

I was having Braxton-Hicks all evening and Tim and I both had the horrible thought that I'd go into labor while Stella was vomiting. Wouldn't that be fun? I am still having them pretty regularly, and really, all I ask the labor Gods is that they let me get through this damn weekend pregnant. Stella's party should be over by 1 on Sunday, so hold off, okay? Besides I don't have one stinkin' thing packed and I don't even have a toiletry bag yet! I have the feeling if I went into labor and missed this shower today, my mother-in-law would never let me live it down!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Stella's new cute habit

Stella has started reading books to herself. It is SOOOOO cute! She'll sit there and turn the pages and tell the story. She just finished recounting Pinnocchio and then started saying, "Thank you God for people and puppets!" over and over. I guess at least she's grateful;) She travels around with a large stack of my old little golden books and plops them down wherever she is (here she's in our bed), and starts reading. It's adorable! So glad we're raising another obsessive reader, it runs in both our families.
I have so much to do today it's not even funny! Tomorrow Tim's sisters are throwing me a baby shower luncheon and Sunday morning we're having Stella's birthday party since everyone is in town. Also, that way we don't have to worry about cancelling it if BabyBean comes early. So we have lots of family coming in town tomorrow. I'd better get cracking on cleaning and we've got to go out and order Stella's cake! It's her first store-bought cake, but we're trying to take the laid back route to this party since the weekend will already be busy. Less time prepping for the party, more time enjoying people's company!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Poking the Bear

We had our first doctor's visit where the doctor gets "up close and personal" if you know what I mean. I wasn't dilated at all, but when the doctor checked my cervix, the baby moved, which was pretty amusing. I'm apparently 60% effaced, which means my cervix is pretty short and the baby's head is really low. The doctor was able to touch it quite easily (which caused BabyBean to jump). The doctor asked, "did you know she was so low?" Uh, yes, I am CONSTANTLY aware of that! The doctor said that means that labor could go much faster this time, so not to hold off too long on going to the hospital, especially since if I want an epidural. I don't want it to go THAT fast! I mean, as Tim pointed out, we have so much more to deal with: we have to get Stella handed off to her Baba's, and I'd better have that epidural or else I will not be a happy camper.

Stella's totally sensed something is up. She has been throwing temper tantrums over almost everything. She wants me to do everything for her. She was really difficult yesterday afternoon, but Tim said as soon as I left to go to book club, she was a little angel for him. So obviously she's aware of the fact she's about to have to share her mommy. Sorry, hon, I know it will be an adjustment, but trust me, having a sibling is the best gift we could give you, you guys are going to have a blast! My brother and I of course fought like cats and dogs, but we also were inseparable playmates all through childhood. Besides, how else can you gang up on your parents if you don't have a sibling to do it with?

Tim said last night he realized why neither of us have been getting any sleep. He said I was waking up 4 or 5 times an hour with a gasp and changing positions. He thinks maybe I was having trouble breathing and would move to try and get comfortable. Obviously I have no memory of this, although I do remember not being able to get back to sleep after I woke up from a dream at 5:45am this morning where the doctor told me I'd have to have a c-section and in the dream I was crying and crying. Then I woke up and started thinking I haven't been playing with Stella enough lately and started crying and crying in real life. Hormones! It took me until 7am to fall back asleep, and that was brief before I was awakened by Stella herself at 7:30. And my ability to nap seems to have left me. Yawn!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Get off my Bladder

Really, I don't want to complain, but if you'd be so kind as to get off my bladder, that'd be great, thanks. I do have things to do other than visit the restroom every 10 minutes and spend my life in a constant state of feeling like I have to pee.

Also, I read a pregnancy book that said you aren't supposed to drop into my pelvis until labor since you are my second baby. Obviously you did not read that book, and are not following proper procedure. So crawl on back up because it feels like I'm waddling around with a bowling ball between my legs. Thanks so much!