Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Week 23

We had a fabulous weekend on top of the mountain at the annual Brannaka Reunion in PA. Shamus and I left Thursday afternoon and got to spend Friday with the grandparents! Staying with them is like staying at a bed and breakfast (I think... I've never stayed at one!). We arrived in the middle of the night so we were only greeted by a cozy home. We woke up when we felt like it, went out into the kitchen and Gram took our breakfast orders. She makes the best eggs and bacon in the world! I highly recommend the place, and would give it 4 stars out of 5 (only because of the times I've stayed there and helped slaughter pigs... if you've ever done that or heard stories, you know it's not glamorous.)
We waited for the rest of the Cronins to arrive (the Greenville bunch left Friday "morning" around 4... which really is more like night than morning). Morgan arrived that afternoon just before they did and it was SOOOOOOO great to see her! We haven't seen her in so long!!
She had some neck pain and couldn't turn her head so we had some fun being silly and getting just out of her peripheral vision and then talking to her, forcing her to rotate her entire torso and of course, to make a funny face.
We played frisbee golf, with tons of shotgun starts and a few penalty strokes for hitting other family members while throwing the frisbee. Nick got really excited when he scored better than one of his cousins while using the worst frisbee I've ever seen. This is the celebration that happens when he doesn't win the hole, but beats his dear cousin:
We continued to enjoy the weekend, playing tons of volleyball (yes, even the pregnant lady played), playing cards, and realizing that Rosie and I were wearing almost the same pjs. Jim had an awesome dive in one of the volleyball games and Shamus did his usual run all over the place and save all the out-of-bounds hits and yelled "SPIKE IT!" repeatedly to everyone. I even had an okay lefty spike at one point.
The last night we were there we walked over to the big pond and visited with more family and enjoyed the beauty that surrounded us. On the way back, it was pretty dark and Sam kept jovially pointing out that "the people in the back are always killed first in the movies". So we walked faster back to the cabin than we did to the big pond. :)
We headed home on Sunday, sad to be driving south instead of north to see the Cronin family in Massachusetts but excited because we're moving in 2 days!!! Jim and Judy and Sam weren't too sad about missing the move to be on vacation in Cape Cod with the rest of the family. I wonder why....
Bartok is doing great, kicking a lot and forcing me to sleep on my side. Since I'm pregnant, I brought 3 pillows to the cabin and Morgan didn't have a good one so I gave her my "this one goes behind me so I don't roll over onto my back" pillow and I just used Shamus as a rolling barrier. I wonder how he feels about that?
Bartok can hear so that's exciting! I haven't started talking to him yet but I do love to sing in the car, in the house, and anywhere where most people can't really hear me. So he gets serenaded, off-key, but enthusiastically. He's still the size of a papaya.. just a bigger, riper one. His face is now fully formed so if we did one of those cool 3D ultrasounds, we could see about how he'll look when he comes into the world! (We're not doing one of those because it's costly.)
We are really excited about finally getting into our new house!! It's a big week!! Shamus and I are very blessed to have so many friends and family members who are so excited to help us move!! I think it will be really fun!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Week 22

Well, we had a lot of fun visiting the Culpeppers and going to a family reunion. My friend, Ari, came with us. We enjoyed catching up with everyone and seeing the little ones and even took a little walk in the woods. Another highlight from the trip to GA: my parents found a great deal on a really big kitchen table and they bought it for us!! We're so excited to have a table big enough for company and kids!! So as soon as we're moved in and we get some chairs to go around the table, you're invited to come over and use the table with us! We'd like to eat, play board games and cards, sit and talk, and Karen would like to do some scrapbooking there. If there are any little kids out there, I'm sure Shamus wouldn't mind being shown up in coloring at the table.
So the baby is still growing! I can tell because of the belly.... it just keeps getting bigger and bigger! For the next few weeks, Bartok will be the size of a papaya. Again, as I advised with the avocado and the mango, if you don't know what a papaya looks like, then you probably don't know what it tastes like and you should definitely go to your local grocery store and pick one up and eat it. They are delicious! To get a better idea, Bartok weighs around a pound and still fits in your hand. He's also "kicking" - which could really be any variety of somewhat violent movements such as elbowing, punching, kneeing, shouldering, head-butting, judo-chopping, kicking, or log rolling (which is not as violent, in general).
Shamus finally got to feel the baby a week after I did!! I might have messed up some of his wrist ligaments in the process of trying to get him to feel the baby. Imagine sitting to the right of someone, grabbing their right hand with your left and making them touch your belly with the palm of their right hand. Now imagine doing this to the person while they are asleep. Do you have any idea how fun this has been for Shamus?!?! I think it was worth it in the end... I mean, he got to feel the baby, right?
This weekend, we're driving to PA for the reunion on the mountain! And we're really excited because we get to see MORGAN!!! We haven't seen her since she left for Boston! Should be another fun family adventure!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Week 21

Last weekend lots of painting happened - and it's almost done! We decided to pay a professional to do the foyer and hallways and that will be finished some time next week!!!! Then, we can finally move in!! As you can see, we had quite a few helpers. I didn't get to capture my parents on camera, but their handiwork is the beautiful yellow room. I went around the house measuring all the rooms and drawing them to scale to plan for the move. Since I'm not allowed to move the furniture, I decided to make paper cut-outs of our belongings and lay them out on my to-scale drawings. This way, when we move, I won't be saying, "Wait, can you try putting that on the other wall?" because I already tried it on all the walls!! Don't worry.... I haven't turned into an engineer or anything. I just took good advice from my engineer husband after he saw a not-to-scale drawing of the baby room with random not-to-scale-furniture drawn in it. (Turns out I was trying to put a rocking chair against a 5-inch wide wall... oops!)
HUGE news on the baby front: I felt him move!!! It was Saturday night and I had just gotten into bed and suddenly felt like my stomach flipped over! I've felt random movements before but I wasn't ever sure if that was me digesting or the baby moving. But Saturday, it was clear. I've never felt anything like that in my life!! Now, I'm feeling him kick regularly but only from the inside. I can't wait until Shamus can feel him through my belly!! Bartok is now past halfway there so instead of measuring him head to rump, it's head to toe. He's around the length of a banana and he weighs around 13 oz (almost a pound!). Coolest thing this week: he can taste! He's been swallowing amniotic fluid but now he can actually taste it with his teensy buds! I have to train those taste buds to like what we like to eat and what's healthy... and some studies show that I can start teaching him what to like right now! Pretty awesome!
This weekend is the second family reunion of the year - this time it's my dad's side! We're heading to the lake to eat some really good southern food and to catch up on life. My friend from Mexico just got back to South Carolina - and she's staying for 2 years!!!! She's planning to come with us to the reunion so she can see my family again (who she hasn't seen since 2005). I have a few other good friends who have been abroad for a while now and they all just happen to be coming back to the US this summer. What a blessing it is to have my friends back in town when our baby is on his way!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Week 20

It's a.......... BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We went out to dinner with the grandparents-to-be and Sam to celebrate! My mom and dad came up early Monday to help move a van-load of stuff to the new house and when Shamus and I got back from the appointment, they were at our apartment with 3 pink cupcakes and 3 blue ones and a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal. Shamus and I decided not to tell anyone until we were all together but I almost slipped a few times in the 15 minutes that we had to wait. Our son is very healthy and I had the privilege of getting a 2nd ultrasound on Wednesday to see his heart because he wouldn't roll over and show us on Monday. The nurse printed out a bunch more pictures for me. This is my favorite one because he's kissing me.

We are naming the baby after Shamus (he's James IV), but we're not sure what we're going to call him yet. Therefore, I'm going to continue to call him Bartok, since Shamus and I "agreed" with Morgan and Sam on that name for the time being. By "agreed" I mean that we couldn't fight it off, so we embraced it and now love it. There are a few names that are out for sure, including, but not limited to: Bartok, Five, Cinco (5 in Spanish), Funf (5 in German), Cuig (5 in Irish, pronounced koo-ick) and Tito. (Tito was a suggestion from Robby, who thought JAC5 (the baby's initials plus his V) would remind everyone of The Jackson 5 and I guess Tito is his favorite.)
We're not posting any pictures to prove that Bartok is a boy because his father doesn't think that would be very classy. And now that she's thought about it, his mother agrees in that she wouldn't want most people having that picture. If you want to see one, I carry them with me in my planner and all you have to do is ask.

Bartok is now the size of a regular cantaloupe (not the ones that look like they're on steroids - the regular ones) and has achieved a new feat - he can make poo!!! It's actually amazing that he's already doing that, since it won't escape him until after he's born! That is some complicated poo, I guess. Even more complicated than polyjuice potion.
Still haven't felt the baby - but the doctor said I should in the next 2 weeks. I've really been trying to encourage him... my favorite song to sing to him is "Kung fu Fighting" and of course "Hit me with your best shot" and I'll even sing a few words of "Hit me baby one more time" even though I don't like the song - but it's the only one directed at babies. I've even started nudging him a little (gently, of course) to see if I can get him riled up. So far no luck. I talked to my friend, Amanda, who is about a month ahead of me in her 1st pregnancy, and she can see her baby move from one side to the other!!! Yet another thing I can't wait for!!!!!!

This is a picture from Katie's wedding of me and Weston - as per Morgan's request that I post this particular baby bump picture. The bump does look nice in that outfit. And Weston sure is cute! Oh, the joys of marrying into another wonderful family!!

This weekend is more painting - and this time, I'll be there to take pictures! (Don't worry, I won't be breathing in those fumes... I'll be breathing the other air in the room. It's really a matter of teaching your nostrils to detect the good air amongst the bad.)

I'll get another belly shot in the Reactions slideshow ASAP. Then you can start making statements about whether or not my belly is over-reacting - quietly, among yourselves so that I can't hear you just in case I'm feeling sensitive about my shape in that moment. Which could very well be the moment after I say "It's kinda cool how I can't fit into any of my old pants anymore" (Which used to translate to "I'm okay with being fatter than before", but now that I'm pregnant, it could mean "I need to do some laundry", "I'd like to purchase a few pairs of pants", or even "It's really terrible that I can't fit into any of my old pants anymore and I'm upset about it.")

And now you know more about the many challenges that every father-to-be is faced with!***

***A hint to everyone: It helps to repeat back to the crazy pregnant lady, word for word, what she said so that she can at least hear herself. No guarantees on good communication - I'm just saying that it can't hurt as long as you're calm when you do it. Good luck.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Week 19

Well it's been a GREAT week so far!! Last weekend, we went to Charleston for Joveth Pacaanas's wedding and we visited Alicia and Justin, all friends from Clemson. I got to show off my Bartok belly, attend a beautiful wedding, eat some very delicious seafood, and hang out with good friends. We brought the Wii and had a great time watching Alicia and Justin box!!
Bartok is now the size of a mango!! Again, like the avocado, if you're not sure how big that is or how it tastes, please go to the local grocery store, ask someone how to pick out a good one, buy it, skin it, slice it and eat it. You'll thank me later.
On a grosser note, Bartok is also covered with fine hair called Lanugo mixed with dead skin cells and oil. It's called "Vernix caseosa" which apparently means "Cheesy varnish" - because that's what it looks like. Yum. The purpose is to shield the baby from the amniotic fluid. It's why they don't come out all prune-y after a 9-month-long bath. Another cool fact: we're the only land mammals that have newborns that have this stuff on them. There are some sea mammals that have newborns with vernix caseosa, though, like the seal.
We're painting 2 rooms in the house at the end of this week: the baby room and the office (which is just one of the bedrooms upstairs). Can't wait to see how they turn out!
This weekend we're heading up to PA for Shamus's cousin Katie's wedding. There will be family in from all over the place and Gene and Renee will be there with Callan, their 3-month-old son! Sam already called dibs on him (Callan, not Gene), but I'm sure I'll get to hold him some, too. I'm really excited to be able to talk to Renee about being a mom! It'll be fun to talk to someone who is going through new motherhood right now!
We find out on Monday, July 7th if our baby is a boy or a girl!! Can't wait!!!!!!!!