Wednesday, April 21, 2010

End of 24th Week Belly Update

I had my monthly doctor's appointment last Wednesday. These "routine" appointments include a weight check, heartbeat check and tummy measurement. Then they go over certain things each time that you should be doing in between appointments. And, this month, I got to take the gestational diabetes test. Fun! I also get a few minutes with the doctor to ask questions.

So, weight and tummy. Last month, I had gained two pounds total. I thought, given my clearly growing belly, the weight gain would begin in earnest this month. I mean, last week, jeans that fit on Sunday didn't fit AT ALL on Friday. Amazing to me!

24 weeks (1) (by Ateupamateur)
It helps the "look" to wear a maternity shirt, no?

Turns out I LOST a pound overall, taking me back to a total gain of one pound. Or basically flat. But, my tummy is measuring well within NORMAL range, so my doctor isn't concerned about the weight gain. Basically, baby is gaining and I have, so far, lost overall.

Heartbeat was again strong and he even kicked the doctor a couple of times for good measure. He certainly likes to kick!

24 weeks (14) (by Ateupamateur)
Side view - definitely sticking out more!

My assignment before next month's appointment - sign up for a childbirth class, pre-register at the hospital and sign up with a pediatrician. OK. Got it.

may 15 grad school shower invite (by Ateupamateur)

And, in the mail this week, I received the cutest invitation for the first Dallas sweet! I can't wait to see everyone there.

And next month we get to have a 3D sonogram of the little guy. That'll be fun! But, I also have to start rotating to other doctors in the office, in case one of them is on call when I go into labor. I chose my doctor because she's a girl. This office has three girls and one boy doctor. I meet the boy doctor next month. And, I hope I like him, because I'm pretty sure it'll be my luck he'll be on call when Mr. Man decides to make his entrance. Ha.

So, you are now up to date. On this topic. Once again. See you soon!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Whirlwind Continued!

Felege Hiwot Center (3) (by Ateupamateur)
The next stop was here!

The Felege Hiywot Center is a mission founded by my mom's good friend Aster. You pronounce her name "Ah-stair" - like Fred Astaire. One time Deacon couldn't remember her name and he asked mom if he had seen "Step" lately. It took her a minute, but she figured out "Step" was Aster - step and "a stair" to a four year old are pretty darn close objects. Funny.

Felege Hiwot Center (17) (by Ateupamateur)
Aster and Mom (still in race gear, of course!)

Anyway, when Aster, who is originally from Ethiopia, and worked at the same company my mom worked for, retired, she started this mission. This is their mission statement:

We, the Felege Hiywot Center, serve urban youth of Indianapolis, second generation Ethiopians in Indianapolis, and orphans in Ethiopia. We teach gardening and environmental preservation. We encourage youth to embrace the virtues of community service. We perform this mission as an expression of our Christian faith.

The urban youth part - the gardening part - has really taken off and she has become an integral, important part of the community in which she serves.

Felege Hiwot Center (7) (by Ateupamateur)

And people are taking notice - people with money - at the difference she is making there. Which only allows her to do more things. In fact, that very morning we stopped by, a huge group from "Keep Indianapolis Beautiful" had come to volunteer their time and the mayor of Indianapolis even stopped by. It's a good thing she and her crew are doing. A very good thing.

Felege Hiwot Center (1) (by Ateupamateur)
They started with these two small, dilapidated houses.
And they did their work in them, no complaints.

Felege Hiwot Center (2) (by Ateupamateur)
Along with the gardening in the plot next door.

Felege Hiwot Center (8) (by Ateupamateur)
But one of the houses has been fully restored.
And is now a decent place to work.

Felege Hiwot Center (10) (by Ateupamateur)
A semi-commercial kitchen in back.

Felege Hiwot Center (11) (by Ateupamateur)
Looking from the kitchen toward the front door.

Felege Hiwot Center (12) (by Ateupamateur)
The seedlings for this summer's garden.
Equipment donated by Purdue.

Felege Hiwot Center (13) (by Ateupamateur)
A volunteer re-created the rick-rack above the door,
and included "FHC" for the name of the mission.

Felege Hiwot Center (16) (by Ateupamateur)
They collect all the water they need for the garden from the rain that falls.

I was very impressed indeed with Aster's organization. If you live in Indianapolis and are looking for a good place to spend your volunteer time, I would highly recommend checking them out. While we were there, Aster also gave me a baby gift. Very, very sweet.

After we left the Filege Hiywot Center, we stopped for a bite of lunch and then I had an appointment with my pillow. I took a two hour nap! After the nap, we headed to my brother Steve's house for dinner with his family and with my Unk and cousin Lori and her son Isaiah. It was a good place to meet because the kids could run and play outside and we could sit indoors and visit. I took no photos of this gathering. I am falling down on my duties.

But, the BIG NEWS at this event was that my sister-in-law Terri - the one who hosted the shower chronicled yesterday - is PREGNANT with their fourth child! That's right - that takes my pregnant sister-in-law count to THREE and the 2010 baby count to FOUR. Crazy! She's due in mid-November and hasn't decided if they will find out the sex before it's born. I'll keep you posted. The kids are all very excited about the impending new baby, which they have nicknamed, "Branch" - like, you know, a new branch of the family tree.

Sunday brought more activity. I woke up early and packed my luggage. Then I headed to church, where Steve and Terri announced baby four to the congregation and my mom was commissioned along with the rest of a team of people from their church for a mission trip to New Orleans they will take starting this Saturday. That was a long sentence.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (1) (by Ateupamateur)

After church, I headed back to Dad and Torchy's to observe the annual Easter Egg Hunt, eat good food and visit with more fabulous family. I did take a few photos of this one.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (5) (by Ateupamateur)
Easter baskets, as it turns out, make GREAT hats.
Nathon and Deacon pictured here.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (6) (by Ateupamateur)
After the baskets were handed out, there were a series of rules announced before mass pandemonium set in.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (4) (by Ateupamateur)
The two littlest hunters had a smaller, more manageable space set aside for them.
Kylie pictured here.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (13) (by Ateupamateur)
The eggs could hide but they couldn't run.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (18) (by Ateupamateur)
Cora, who has just a TINGE of drama in her personality,
was not in the mood for egg hunting, it seems.

Easter Egg Hunt 2010 (by Ateupamateur)
A sizable hunt continued until all the eggs were found.

After the hunt was over and the dust settled, it was pretty much time to head back to the airport to fly home. One fabulous weekend under my belt, I hated to go, but was glad I had the opportunity to make it to Indy. It was wonderful.

I have more stuff to ramble on about - hope to see you again soon, perhaps with a belly shot update. It's growing, I'll tell you that. It's growing. See you then.

Whirlwind Weekend

Wow-wee, what a weekend! I went to Indianapolis this past weekend for the express reasons of a) walking in the Race for the Cure with my cousin Robin and b) visiting family one last time without baby in tow. I accomplished both, for certain. And much, much more. It was busy, folks. But, so fun and wonderful. Here is a recap.

I arrived late Thursday night, so activities began in earnest on Friday. I had a late breakfast with Dad and Torchy and Kylie then headed for Mom's house. From there, we did some serious shopping, both for baby and for maternity clothes - I found a great collection of lightweight, short-sleeved maternity tops that are appropriate for work. I was having a hard time finding these in Big D. It was fabulous. I think I'm set now to fashionably cover this new-found big ol' belly that is maybe not so big yet but growing every day!

Veda's Birthday Dinner (2) (by Ateupamateur)
Veda and Mom at dinner.

Then, we were scheduled to take Veda out to dinner since her 9th (9th!!! how is that possible???) birthday is this coming weekend, and we were both going to miss her party. We had a lovely dinner with Veda and set out to drop her back off with her mother.

Indiana Baby Shower (55) (by Ateupamateur)
Terri and me at the shower.

That is where things did not go as I expected. I walked in the door and found out I was part of a surprise baby shower - for me - hosted by my sister-in-law Terri - attended by just about every female relative I have in the greater Indianapolis area! Can you believe that?I was TOTALLY surprised and humbled and amazed.

Indiana Baby Shower (51) (by Ateupamateur)
The cake - it was a "Ducky" theme.

Indiana Baby Shower (52) (by Ateupamateur)
The game.

Indiana Baby Shower (54) (by Ateupamateur)
The huge pile of presents.

Indiana Baby Shower (by Ateupamateur)
The favors.

It was a wonderful, wonderful event. Terri had a cute cake, cute favors, a game, decorations...everything! And everyone showered us with the most generous, thoughtful gifts for our baby. Handmade things. "Little man" things. Very, very useful things that I have no idea how to use but will need. And gift cards and cash. I couldn't believe the generosity. I couldn't believe the fabulous surprise!

Indiana Baby Shower (59) (by Ateupamateur)
Everyone, minus Susie, who was taking the photo.

After lots of visiting, eating cake and opening presents, we set off for Mom's house to hit the bed before getting up bright and early the next morning for the Race for the Cure.

Race for the Cure (1) (by Ateupamateur)
Our parking spot - with a view of the capitol building!

The alarm went off at 5:45am so we got up and got ready. We found a pretty good parking place, only a few blocks from the walk.

Race for the Cure (13) (by Ateupamateur)
Robin, me. It's her!

Then we headed to the survivor parade and made it there a few minutes before Robin's group walked by! I saw her, starting saying hello, got so excited and took that fabulous photo of her abdomen. Ha. Oh well!

Race for the Cure (14) (by Ateupamateur)
A pink pooch.

Race for the Cure (15) (by Ateupamateur)
Steve and Terri on race day.

Race for the Cure (18) (by Ateupamateur)
Me and Mom.

Race for the Cure (41) (by Ateupamateur)
Robin and Dad.

Race for the Cure (44) (by Ateupamateur)
Robin and her Aunt Soni.

Race for the Cure (47) (by Ateupamateur)
My oldest niece Amber and her mama, Sherri.

Race for the Cure (34) (by Ateupamateur)
Gabe, Robin's oldest son, and Robin.

Race for the Cure (30) (by Ateupamateur)
Robin's husband Mike and their younger son Caleb.

Race for the Cure (55) (by Ateupamateur)
Uncle Kenny and Aunt Sally, Robin's parents.

Race for the Cure (70) (by Ateupamateur)
The part of the team that did the family mile.

Race for the Cure (76) (by Ateupamateur)
There were thousands in front of us...

Race for the Cure (86) (by Ateupamateur)
...and thousands behind us. Over 40,000 to be exact.
In front and behind, that is.

There were 67 registered members of Robin's team, the Cleavage Keepers. Over 50 of them were seen on race day. And in total we raised over $3000 for breast cancer research. What an amazing show of support for her as she continues to win the battle against this horrible disease! When we finished the family one mile, mom and I headed to another stop.

I'll start there tomorrow...see you then!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Updates are Apparently Necessary

I received an email from the Cheese Fry the other day indicating I am falling behind on my duties on this here blog. I mean, he didn't really come out and SAY that. This is what he said (he's a fan of no capital letters except for emphasis. Very e.e. cummings, no?):

how are you? i do read the ATE UP AMATEUR blog - what does that title mean? - but it's not enough information on where things stand now.

By "where things stand now" he means the baby business. So, I thought you might all like to get an update on where things stand. now. on that topic.

Incidentally, if you're also wondering what that title means, you can read this.

Following are the questions Mr. Cheese Fry felt I needed to answer, and their answers, of course:

how are you feeling?

Pretty good now, thanks. Finally, after about week 20 (I'm working on week 24 now) the ugly nausea monster left and I feel pretty good most days.

how's little S?
He's fine, too. A little over a pound now, and a little big already. Yikes.

any weird cravings?

Not really - I mean, I've only really been eating normally for about two weeks. I am just glad to be able to eat more things. As of my last appt I had only gained 2 pounds overall, which I'm glad of, since I was doing so good on the weight loss before the baby news - I want the weight gain number to be as small a number as possible. But, I feel much fatter now. So who knows. Next appointment (and mandatory glucose test for gestational diabetes) is on the 21st.
(postscript - seemingly overnight, my regular pants have stopped fitting and I'm having to embrace the maternity clothes. While I was sort of dreading this, I do have to admit they are VERY comfortable. But, I really don't LOOK pregnant. Maybe just a little fat(ter). No cute baby bump on me. Actually, my belly button seems to go in too far...not a cute pregnant person.)
And, to prove it, here are two photos.

Week 24 front view (by Ateupamateur)
Front view. Can't tell a thing.

And, if I did a side view without pulling the shirt taut, you'd have the same outcome. But, because I seem to like to embarrass myself, and you know, for posterity, we took one with the shirt pulled taut over the baby boy bump. You will also be able to see the belly button thing. It doesn't go all the way across - just in the center - near my apparently well indented belly button. Funny thing is I can feel baby boy kicking around above, below, beneath that button, so it doesn't seem to bother him at all.

Week 24 side view (by Ateupamateur)
Side view. Little bump-itis.

Yep. That's it. Just fat looking - not really pregnant-looking. I have it on good authority that one day - sometime soon, even - this will change. I'll keep you posted. For now, back to the Cheese Fry's interrogation...

how long are you going to take off work for? (this question sent in to us by mrs. cheese fry)

12 weeks - 4 weeks unpaid. We're saving our pennies now.

any shower plans?

Yes, indeed. I have several wonderful, beautiful, thoughtful friends who are throwing showers for me here in Dallas. It's a blessing to have such good friends and I'm truly humbled by their graciousness. They will be in late spring/early summer. You know, when I hopefully actually LOOK pregnant.

any nursery plans?

Since we are not moving, we're using the guest bedroom with the dark brown walls and converting it to the baby's room. Keeping the walls. We are borrowing a crib from a wonderful co-worker, and using the existing desk as a changing table. I hate "baby" stuff, but did find some geometric bedding that is orange/brown/light blue that looks "little boy" that I can live with. So all we're going to buy is maybe a rug and a recliner/rocker. That's it. So I'd say the theme is "unbaby". Nothing has moved yet because I previously felt so crappy. This month, hope to register and to get the closets cleaned out/purged. Then maybe next month we'll get the room set up. Before I'm too fat and too hot to care.

(postscript: we did register, thanks to my good friend Errika, who's "In Your Kitchen" segments, photographed in late January, might make it up on the blog before her daughter makes it to college. She made it easy and even fun. God bless good friends. And no purging has begun because of the vacation and busy weekends. This weekend, a trip to Indy. I still hope late April/early May is filled with purging. Of the non-body type.)

have you felt little S kick and move? (i'm bad with math - what month are we on now, five or six?)

You do know his name is NOT going to be little S, right? Yes, he has been kicking me since about 16 weeks. He is VERY active on some days - so much that I'd like him to nap so my insides can take a breather. I've felt him kick on the outside too. That was pretty cool - felt like we were communicating - you know, like two prisoners on opposite sides of the same wall. And, big news, last night S even felt him kick! It was very, very cool. We're in month five now, closing in on month six. Goodness.

Therein ends the Cheese Fry interrogation. I hope you find the information also interesting, and that perhaps I have now done my duty to update you more fully on the baby business. And, if there is a burning question I failed to address, feel free to write me about it and I'll be happy to oblige. But, seriously, surely this is not rocket science and you've heard enough.

In other baby news, sister-in-law Kim, due in May, is now officially off of mandatory bed rest. So that little girl could come anytime. As of the last check, she still had no name. And, sister-in-law Brooke, due in September, found out she is also having a girl! So our baby bundle will have lots of girl cousins to mother him! And thankfully, here in Dallas, older cousin Andrew to show him the important stuff. Not to mention, a bevy of older Indiana cousins to teach him good, wholesome, solid Midwestern values. He's going to be a lucky boy!

I'm off to Indiana and all those wonderful and important Midwestern values tonight for the rest of the weekend to walk in the Race for the Cure with my cousin Robin. And to visit with lots of other relatives and friends. It'll be great. And, maybe, I'll chronicle it here next week. See you soon.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Savannah on My Mind

IMG_5359 (by Ateupamateur)

S and I set out for our last great hurrah - the last vacation "B.B." - before baby - the week before last. Yes, that's right. I'm still behind. I'm starting to believe it might be something that goes with the rest of my life. Ahem.

Anyhoo - good news is I am finally feeling more "normal" - that is, less nauseous all the time, and this started about three days before we left town. That was great news for the enjoyment of the time away for me and for S, God bless him.

Why did we go to Savannah? Well, because we had never been there before. And it wasn't too far, the weather would more than likely be nice (it was), we could see some new things but not be somewhere we'd have to run to see everything, and we'd have some down time to swim/sit by the pool/do nothing. It was all that. It was a perfect place for us for this time away.

And, of course, I took photos!!! So, without further ado, here are a few photos from the trip:

IMG_5138 (by Ateupamateur)
The azaleas were apparently late to bloom this year, but a few had already sprung.

IMG_5161 (by Ateupamateur)
One of the main drags down to the fountain at Forsyth Park

IMG_5170 (by Ateupamateur)
I like this one.
You don't have to.

IMG_5178 (by Ateupamateur)
S at the fountain.
Isn't he cute?

Incidentally, the earth's axis did not shift. And he was standing straight as an arrow. It was the photographer who couldn't seem to line everything up without a tilt. And that says a lot, now, doesn't it. God bless.

IMG_5198 (by Ateupamateur)
The memorial to the Confederate dead is in Forsyth Park.
Or perhaps I should say "A" memorial to the confederate dead.
There were many, of course.

IMG_5211 (by Ateupamateur)
The live oaks are truly majestic.

IMG_5244 (by Ateupamateur)
The azaleas were not the only pretty flowers.

IMG_5245 (by Ateupamateur)
We walked through every last blessed square in town.
They were all unique and beautiful.
Some more than others, of course.

IMG_5258 (by Ateupamateur)
Some were like this, with monuments in the middle.

IMG_5302 (by Ateupamateur)
Some had plaques about famous Savannians, like this one about the composer of "Jingle Bells."

IMG_5333 (by Ateupamateur)
Some had cool things - even historical things - like sundials.

IMG_5343 (by Ateupamateur)
This wasn't in a square.
But I liked it.

IMG_5344 (by Ateupamateur)
Back to the squares - that's John Wesley - the father of Methodism.
Did you know he lived and preached in Savannah when he came to America?
Now you do.

IMG_5353 (by Ateupamateur)
Of course this was an important sign to photograph.

IMG_5358 (by Ateupamateur)
Some squares were just big open spaces like this one.

IMG_5373 (by Ateupamateur)
Some housed beautiful blooming dogwood trees.

IMG_5405 (by Ateupamateur)
This was one of our favorites - Orleans Square
Very picturesque, no?

IMG_5420 (by Ateupamateur)
There was also a fascinating colonial cemetery.

IMG_5272 (by Ateupamateur)
The cathedral was amazing, too - deserves another post, maybe.

IMG_5280 (by Ateupamateur)
But in case I don't get around to that, of course, I love this photo too.
You don't have to.

IMG_5352 (by Ateupamateur)
There were many historical theaters in Savannah.
This one premiered Gone With the Wind!

IMG_5316 (by Ateupamateur)
And the City Market was a nice area, with many shops and restaurants.
We had some darn good pizza here. And ice cream. And other things.

IMG_5317 (by Ateupamateur)
Just for kicks and grins, here's S in City Market.

IMG_5325 (by Ateupamateur)
Oh, and one more - here's S with Johnny Mercer!

You know - Moon River Johnny Mercer? Right, that guy. A famous American lyricist, songwriter and singer. Yeah, S - he didn't know who he was or that he wrote Moon River or anything else for that matter. So, for penance, we took this photo. Aren't they cute together?

So, there you go - a quick photographic journey of some of our time there. We went out of town too - to the coast - to see other interesting things. I'll try to cover those another day.

As for what we're up to now - we're doing fine. We're collecting baby things at an alarming rate - all wonderful gifts and "giveaways" from friends and family. We registered without killing ourselves, thanks to the help of our good friend Errika. We've learned babies apparently need a lot of stuff. And we're getting more and more used to the fact that another little being will be sharing our home in a few months. I have plans to purge the house of every last non-useful thing in preparation for finding a place for all this baby gear. That's my goal in the coming weeks. We'll see how it goes!

Hope to get around to seeing more of you here on the blog too - thanks for stopping by - see you soon.