Saturday, October 25, 2008

Week 35

Exciting news on the OB front!! The baby is head down!! Yay! That means that if I were to go into labor, he'd be ready to come out the right way and therefore there's less of a chance of a need for a C section. Woo hooo!! I have to keep reminding myself that this does NOT mean that he's ready to come out. And he shouldn't yet. The due date is Nov 24th but it's really plus/minus 2 weeks. So he needs to stay for another 2 weeks before he takes his first deep breath and lets out a quality cry. (I read that the end of the pregnancy is prime lung development time.) I am selling books through Usborne and I really like the rewards system they have for schools - the school gets free books based on what the kids' parents buy. Unfortunately, I don't have any school bookfairs planned yet but today I sold books at a Fall Craft Fair in a church. It went alright, I guess. I ended up making a little but I'm still in the hole from the first investment. My goal is to earn at least what I invested. I would love for this to become a side income for our family but I'm not sure how to make that happen in a way that I would enjoy. I do feel good about sending out the website - especially since there are some really good deals on there. If you're interested, here's the site: They have some really cute books and they have several different Bible-based books for kids. All the books are high quality and they have some fun activities, too. So if you want to buy some kids books (Christmas is coming!) check out the link. If not, don't!

Bartok is now 18 inches long and weighs 6 lbs!! So I'm not "40 lbs overweight" as Shamus says... I'm 34 lbs overweight! Yay! Bartok also has kidneys now. And he's producing waste. I guess he's getting warmed up for the changing table! I was thinking about putting something by the changing table that would make people want to change diapers. Maybe we'll post the funnies on the wall above it each week. Or I could put some candy on the shelf underneath. His movements are also different now. Instead of pitter pattering from the inside of my belly, it's more like an ocean wave of large rocks, except that it doesn't hurt. But if I had to describe it, that's what I would compare it to. I guess he's just rolling around a little in there and there's not really room to do a full punch or kick.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 34

Last Saturday our church had a baby shower for me! It was really fun to see everyone and celebrate with them. I had a few students from my English as a Second Language class
Last weekend we bought a crib!! We were talking to some people at church and they asked if the nursery is ready and we said not quite. They said they were trying to get rid of a crib so Shamus and Jim went to pick it up on Sunday and we put it together! Yay! Now we just need to get those pink dressers painted white and moved in there.

This week we went to a new shepherding group through church because the other one is so far and the new one is so close. I've been praying about finding a mentor since the ladies' retreat and it turns out that 3 of the ladies I met at the retreat are in this shepherding group! Maybe God is setting up his answer to my prayers. :) One great thing about the new group (for now) is that it meets every other week and our old group meets every week. So we can go to both! I'm not sure how well we'll do going to both after we have a baby. But I just can't see leaving the other group for good! I'm sure someday we'll have to because of the distance and because of our desire to lead our own shepherding group... but I'm really going to miss our time with the other group. Hopefully we'll continue to see each other at church and at Bible studies. Right now I'm doing the church ladies bible study on Carolyn Mahaney's Feminine Appeal which is about Titus 2:3-5: "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled." We're spending one week on each characteristic to strive for. I've read this book before but our ladies Bible study teacher does a lot of extra research and adds to Carolyn's teachings in such a way that I feel like this is my first time through. I highly recommend this book! It continually reminds you of your high calling as a wife and mother and how by God's grace you can do all of the things listed in the verse. Today was a big day in the life of a pregnant woman: We went to our birthing class! All day we were at the hospital learning about labor and delivery. We watched videos (everything from Bill Cosby's stand up to a c-section to a natural delivery) and discussed. We practiced breathing and different positions... but only for the part of labor that you're at home. I've read about the other breathing (the hee-hee-hee-hoo stuff) and that it's for when you want to push but the doctor wants you to wait. The teacher had our husbands massage our feet, backs, necks, arms, and hands and then made us tell our husbands how to improve. It was wonderful! I think Shamus enjoyed it overall, too. The only downer was that it was only one day so we didn't really get to meet anyone and make friends like so many other couples do through birthing classes. One thing that was really weird was that the teacher told us she usually has classes where about 90% of people are having the same gender baby. Our class was boys. There were 2 couples who didn't find out the gender and only 1 expecting a girl. Out of about 18 couples!! After the class, I have mixed feelings about labor. Part of me doesn't want to go through that so I started telling the baby he can just stay in there. But a bigger part of me wants to meet this little person and take care of him and watch him grow. Hopefully the whole "I don't want to give birth" thing will go away before it's time. I'll be praying about that.
This week, Bartok is just chunking it on. He's getting fatter. With fatter arms and legs comes more intense punches and kicks! So I'm betting that if my baby is fatter than yours then he can beat yours up. But we'd rather they be friends so I guess we'll never know!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Week 33

Last weekend was fabulous! Shamus dropped me off at Amanda's baby shower where I got to catch up with some friends from high school. Many of them are teachers and they like their jobs! It sounded like they are all at great schools. Also, one of my high school friends is engaged! How exciting!! We had a lot of fun playing games and catching up and goofing off.

After the shower, I headed to Robby's new house where we got a tour and Shamus helped him prepare for company tomorrow. He's having the guys in the family over to his house while the girls have a baby shower at my parents' house. We then headed to Shamus's old house to see how it's changed and then to my parents'. My friend Ari came to GA to go to my baby shower and to celebrate my birthday and we celebrated her's too! (Hers is in Sept) We blew out candles together and exchanged gifts - she got me a t-shirt (for after the pregnancy) that says "Alguien que me quiero mucho me trajo esta playera de Michoacan, Mexico". I love it!! My parents got me a great gift, too: Break from cooking dinner!! As you can see, we own a grill now! Can't wait to eat some yummy charred meat! And Shamus is also happy about this gift, as you can see.

There was an Amigos for Christ Festival in Suwanee that Ari, mom and I went to where we heard Caedmon's Call play. They sing "There is a reason" and "The Hands of the Potter". It was really nice to sit and enjoy some good Christian music and be surrounded by other people doing the same thing. We had fun people-watching, too - we saw a bunch of cute babies and little kids and lots of the kids were dancing like they were the only ones on earth.

On Sunday we went to my parents' church where we heard a great sermon about living in uncertain times ("Uncertainty Part 1") and clinging to God through those times. It was really great to go to church with my parents.

After church, it was time to get ready for the baby shower and then to celebrate JAC V!! Mom's friend Karen came over to help set up and she brought some plants for me from her garden that I plan to put near the mailbox. I need to make sure that now is a good time to plant them, though! I also went through a bunch of boxes in my parents' garage and picked out the stuff I want... I came back with a box of Halloween decorations and costumes, dolls from my childhood, and some baby and babydoll clothes among other things.

After we packed the car, it was time to party! The Culpepper side of the family and some GA friends came over to touch the baby bump, tell their labor stories, celebrate JAC V and catch up. It was great to see everyone and to hear their stories and to be encouraged by their excitement about a new baby. My favorite moment of the baby shower was when my cousin Katy was touching my belly and I directed her hand to where the baby was moving. Her reaction was something like, "gewwwull". Apparently it grossed her out a little. But she did recover quickly and say that it was cool... but also weird.

Pictures from the baby shower

Bartok is now at 17 inches long and weighs a whopping 5 lbs! His big plan: get chunky, then get out. Sounds like fun to me! Pass the cheesey poofs!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Week 32

Well this has been a really great week! Probably because it's my birthday week (and weekend)!!! I don't know about everyone else, but in our families, the celebration usually lasts about a week because we think birthdays are that important!! (Actually, it usually has more to do with people's schedules and when we can celebrate with whom... but we'll say it's because birthdays are IMPORTANT!)

I woke up on my birthday and had no plans for the day and no car to go anywhere. I thought it was going to be a pretty boring day so I slept in for a while so that it wouldn't feel like a whole day had gone by before Shamus got home. I was hoping for more like half a day.

BUT, when I did wake up, there was a sticky note announcing "Karen's Super Birthday Hunt 2008"!! I had to find sticky notes according to clues on previous sticky notes to try to find a birthday surprise. My favorite part of the birthday hunt was that Shamus sent me to the bathroom twice because "it's a pregnant lady game". :) I found my surprise: a bunch of yummy muffins for breakfast - and one of them with frosting! I spent the rest of the day doing whatever I felt like doing (mostly watching Harry Potter and reading) and talking to friends and family on the phone. When Shamus got home from work he had another birthday surprise for me: a Bartok t-shirt!!

Then, he made me pancakes for dinner (one of my favorites!) and I blew out a candle in my pancakes! (It's a type of cake.) (But I don't recommend it unless you like cold pancakes. I ended up with half of a birthday candle melted into my pancakes and couldn't eat that chunk. It was waxy.)

Tonight we're going out to eat with Jim and Judy to celebrate my birthday, then we're going to GA to celebrate some more with my family and a few friends there. We've also got some baby showers to go to (a friend's and one for me!) and plans to hang out with family. I'm so glad I was born!!! And I'm so excited to have so many wonderful people in my life!!

Bartok update: He's 16.5 inches long and he weighs over 4 pounds!! I guess he's pretty worn out from all the growing and kickboxing because apparently he sleeps about 90% of the day now. So that's where they get the saying "sleeps like a baby". Because apparently they don't do that much sleeping through loud noises and such once they're out of the womb. His skin is ironing itself out with layers of baby fat and he's getting more hair on his head this week so he looks more and more like the Gerber baby (and less and less like a lizard, I guess). Ask Bill Cosby about the lizard thing. Bartok is also going to try to get head down for exit pretty soon! We're praying that he'll get in the right position (head down, sunny side down) for delivery because that makes things move along better. 8 (to 10) more weeks till we're PARENTS!! I can't believe it!!