Monday, December 31, 2012

The waiting game

T-minus ten days 'til my due date! I am so very tired. I have not been sleeping well for some time now and it keeps getting worse. My mom says it's "Mother Nature's way" of getting me ready for life with a newborn. I say Mother Nature can shove it! I need my sleep!

There's nothing like your first pregnancy awaiting the arrival of your baby. Butterflies abound as you anxiously await labor. You've heard everyone share their story up to that point, the good, the bad and the ugly and you're left wondering how your story will go. You have no idea what to expect and that is a double-edged sword.

On one hand it is very helpful not knowing what to expect, you know... blissfully unaware. On the other hand, it is torture just waiting and wondering, "is this it?"

But this time I have to say it is almost worse!! This time I know what to expect, relatively speaking, but there are still many unknown variables that are driving me crazy. This time the double-edged sword is a doozy! I know that it will be intense, I know that it will be hard work, I know that it will be painful. Hey, it's called "labor" for a reason! This will be no walk in the park. But the silver-lining on this side of the sword is that I've survived! I've "been there, done that" and I know I can do it again. It is amazing what our bodies, and minds, are capable of accomplishing and I'm ready to let this baby do her thing.

Although knowing I can handle it definitely helps my confidence, I still have a great deal of butterflies and anxiousness awaiting P-Nut's arrival. When will it happen? How will it play out this time? Will it be faster than Little C? Will there be any complications? So many unknowns and if you've been reading my posts for a while you know that "rolling with the punches" is something I actually have to work at as it doesn't come naturally for me.

Luckily when it comes to labor I have no choice. I must succumb to the fact that rolling with the punches is the only way. I also need to not let my sleep deprivation take me into Negative Nellie land and stay positive and relaxed.

I'm going to kick this labor's arse no matter when it comes for me and I'm going to have a beautiful baby girl in my arms in no time!! Ready when you are P-Nut! But of course if you want to just hurry up already and get things started right this second, that would be fine too. Just saying...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A letter to my unborn daughter

Dear P-Nut,
My sweet baby girl... Welcome to our family! You've been a part of it for the past 9 months but soon you will physically be here with us and we are happily awaiting your arrival.

I wanted to share with you my feelings on having a daughter. You will probably read some of my past blog posts (since you will automatically be one of my #1 fans and pour over each post with vigor) and you may notice that I was in a bit of shock upon finding out you were a girl. I want to make one thing very, very clear... That shock is LONG GONE!

I am over-the-moon excited to be having a girl for so many reasons. Of course there is the obvious reasons... dresses, tights, shoes, bows, etc. Which I promise not to go overboard on because little girls need to get down and dirty just as much as boys do and you will be dressed accordingly!

I'm also incredibly excited for you to meet your father. There is something very special about the relationship between fathers and daughters and I can't wait to see your Dad's heart melt once you are in his arms. You will learn a lot from him, be protected by him and have so much fun with him. I can't wait to witness it!

You will also have a big brother. Little C will be a playmate, a friend, a nuisance at times, and another one of your protectors. The two of you are going to have a lot of fun. Just try not to gang up on your Dad and I too much!

Another reason I'm super excited to be having a girl is the possibility that you will enjoy some of the same things that I do. Perhaps you will want to be a ballerina like I was, and share a love for dance and musicals. We will have nights where we paint our toe nails and giggle about silly things. We will sing and dance around with reckless abandon. Maybe you will even want to be a cheerleader like your 'ole ma. So much fun!

That all sounds like perfection to me but do you know what else sounds perfect? If NONE of that is your cup-o-tea! Maybe dance and musicals are of no interest to you whatsoever. Maybe you will love all things sports and will be a great athlete. Perhaps you will excel at playing an instrument and music will be your passion. You may be a little smarty pants with a thirst for knowledge and spend your time reading books and figuring out math problems.  I can't wait to see what path you take and I want you to know that I will support you no matter what.

The next reason I'm excited to have a daughter is the opportunity to make a positive impact on your impressionable little life. It will be my greatest challenge to date for no other reason than I don't want to be a complete hypocrite! I don't want to simply tell you to be brave, fearless, confident, and self-aware, I want to be an example for you. I have been working very hard for a long time now to be all of those things and I can safely say that I'm getting there. I'm not perfect, but I'm a work in progress.

I want you to know that you are "good enough" just the way you are and that trying to be someone you are not will prove to be a giant waste of precious time and energy. I am speaking from experience on this one.

But enough of that mumbo jumbo! We'll cross those bridges as we get to them. Until then, here are a few more things in store for you:
  • You will have some of the most amazing women surrounding you and loving you unconditionally. The core group is Mopsi, Nana, Mimi, and Auntie Shannon. That line-up is pure gold and each one of those ladies will have something very special to share with you.
  • You will have some of the most amazing men surrounding you and loving you unconditionally. I can't tell you how you are about to have some of the toughest guys I know wrapped around around your finger! Popsi, Scotty, Uncle B and Uncle C won't know what hit them!
  • You will get to meet your great-grandparents, and P-Nut... just let me tell you, they are a hoot and holler!
  • You will have the proper manners of a lady and be able to throw a football with the best of them!
  • You will be able to change your own tire and kill your own spiders.
  • You will appreciate fine food and fancy hotels but know how to pitch a tent, gut a fish, and camp your little heart out.
  • You will fall in love.
  • You will break some hearts and get your heart broken.
  • You will learn that being a Princess means more than being beautiful and finding Prince Charming. Princesses are smart, brave, kind, and more often than not, can really belt out a good tune!
  • You will make mistakes and learn from them.
  • You will have some amazing girlfriends that will never let you down, that you will love and cherish, and have moments of laughing until you can't breathe and your sides hurt.
  • You will have some girlfriends that do let you down, but you will learn from those circumstances too.
  • You will know the value of hard work.
  • You will also learn that compassion, kindness and understanding really do go a long way.
I could go on but the best part is there's so much that awaits and you have to live and experience it all for yourself.

Baby girl, you will carve your own path in this world and as you do there will be two people by your side throughout it all... your father and I. We may not always be physically by your side because I'm told as you grow up there will come a time that we have to "let you go," but we will always be there for you no matter what. No. Matter. What.

I hope you're as ready to join our family as we are for you. I can't wait to meet you and hold you in my arms! See you soon, precious girl.

All my love,

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Just like that, the magic is over...

All that build up to Christmas, the hustle and bustle, and then... it's over. No more Christmas tunes on rotation and I'm back to work after four days off.

:: note to self - take the day AFTER Christmas off next year, you fool! ::

We had a really great, and busy, Christmas. Saturday and Sunday was a whirl-wind of errands and chores, then visits from family and friends whom we don't see very often. Christmas Eve we hosted Hubs side of the family at our house which was a very nice day and thanks to our amazing family, this 9 month pregnant gal didn't have to do much at all!

Christmas morning was perfect with the Hubs, Little C and I. Our second year with our little man and our last with just him. :: sniff, tear ::

Then more family and fun Christmas afternoon with my side of the fam. Yesterday evening the three of us crashed hard. C was in bed by 7:30pm and I think Hubs and I were asleep by 8:30pm. Not on our way up to bed, literally asleep!

Little C was quite the character having a ball with his loved ones and enjoying all of the gifts. He is definitely at an age where it became a bit overwhelming at times, but I have to say he was a trooper and I'm super proud of him.

It was such a great four days and I'm left feeling very blessed to have so much family to spend this special time of year with.

Now that it has come to end it is time to gear up for baby!! There are only a few items left on our to-do list and I'm hoping P-Nut "hangs in there" until I have crossed them all off. Two weeks away from my due date!! Holy Crap!

But that stuff can wait. At least until tomorrow, I'm tired. For now I will enjoy reliving Christmas 2012 and how much joy it brought.

We woke up to a White Christmas in Colorado

Little C making his way toward Santa's offerings.

At first he only had eyes for the fire truck. Santa scores!!!

Giving the fire truck a thorough inspection

The Mickey Mouse couch was his second love

A Mickey Mouse couch and fire truck. What more could a boy ask for?

I captured many more precious moments although I'm a terrible mother blogger for not getting any pictures WITH my son. I looked back and I don't have a single image of the three of us. I'll have to take one in front of our tree before we take it down and call it a Christmas photo!

And finally...

He'd had enough excitement for one day!

I hope you had a wonderful Holiday as well and that you were filled with happiness and contentment. And if you're back to the grind like me today, I feel your pain!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brain dump

Last night I was having very regular and strong Braxton Hicks contractions to the point that a few times I was left asking, "is this it?" But thinking back to my last labor I remembered that if I have to question whether or not "this is it," then it most certainly is not. There is no question about when the real labor starts, at least there wasn't for me.

As the contractions were doing their thing I just made sure to completely relax and drink plenty of water in case it was just my body telling me to calm down, get some rest and hydrate. That's just what I did and even threw in some ice cream for good measure! Hey, it has a calming effect on me... yeah, that's it! I eat the ice cream because it "calms" me down. ;)

But as I sat there with P-Nut moving and grooving and the Braxton Hicks tightening and relaxing, I started thinking how real this is about to be and I became nervous, anxious, and stressed out. It's funny because I've been feeling so ready to be done with the pregnancy and keep saying I want to get on to the next stage already. But then it hit me that, I"M ALMOST TO THAT NEXT STAGE!!! :: gulp ::

I started thinking about labor and how it will go down this time around? I felt that my first go-round couldn't have gone any better and I am praying this will be the same. Labor is a mental game as much as it is physical and I'm also hoping I can get back into that "zen" place when everything gets started.

I started thinking about Little C and how our time with just him is getting smaller and smaller. As excited as I am to meet baby girl P-Nut I am also super excited for Christmas with C. I am hoping our baby girl wouldn't mind waiting until after Christmas to do her thing. Although, if there is anything P-Nut has taught me so far it is that she is on her own little agenda and will get here when she darn well pleases!

I started looking around the house at all the things we still have to get done. I started thinking about work and all of the things I still need to get done there for my maternity leave. It all just started closing in on me and I felt overwhelmed.

Hubs started talking about my breast pump and where it is and how we need to get it cleaned up and ready. I couldn't even talk about it. I shook my head and requested that we just sit on the couch, watch mindless TV, and enjoy our ice cream without talking about anything baby related or to-do list related. I just couldn't handle it.

Today I'm feeling the same way and I just wish I could shake it. But instead of beating myself up for how I'm feeling I've made the decision to just roll with it. Yes, I'm nervous, anxious and stressed out but that is normal. I'm on the brink of a life changing event and it is okay to be feeling this way. Everything will work out, it always does. Everything will get done, it always does. And even if every little detail isn't accomplished by P-Nut's arrival, so what! We've got enough done that if she were to show up today we'd be fine.

I've got a lot going on and sometimes it's more exhausting to pretend like I've got it all together instead of just admitting that I'm dealing and doing the very best I can. Luckily I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Holiday and even though getting ready for that is part of my to-do list it is enjoyable and it will be nice to get together with the fam and be merry!

So that's my brain dump for the day. Thanks for listening! How are you doing? Need an ear to dump on yourself? I'm here for ya!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1 + 1 = 2

I'm at Mile High Mamas today talking about the anxiousness I'm feeling for P-Nut's impending arrival. I'm also incredibly excited, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous for life with a newborn and a toddler. I know I can handle it, just can't fight the feelings...

Head on over and check it out!

Were you nervous when going from one child to two? Any words of wisdom or advice for me?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Monday!

I say that without a single shred of sarcasm. Because today, after the events from Friday, it doesn't seem right to complain about anything.

I definitely had a lump in my throat as I dropped Little C off at daycare this morning but we have to carry on.

As I entered daycare I was also told that our center is closing its doors as of January 18th and we will need to find a new place to take Little C. New center, new teachers, new kids, coming at a major transition time in C's life where we will be welcoming a baby sister AND introducing potty training...  Plus we need to find a center that has room for our baby girl in a few months!

Now normally this would have me very stressed out. But today I told myself, "oh well." We'll figure it out.

Any stress or complaint that I may be feeling today pales in comparison to what people in Connecticut are dealing with. I'll take my "problems" any day.

We did manage to have a good weekend complete with a visit to Santa and major headway with P-Nut's nursery! Almost time to share the "after" photos with you!

As for our trip to see Santa, it was great! There were two standout moments... 1) on the car ride to see Santa, Hubs asked Little C what he was going to ask Santa for? C replied, "something to eat!" We were in stitches!  2) After meeting Santa, siting on his lap, and taking the picture, dear old Santa placed C down and our son reached his little arms back up in the air because he wasn't ready to go.

It was too cute. The picture taken by the pro's turned out great and this outing was one more reminder that I HAVE to get a new camera. Here is all I was able to capture:

Waiting patiently for our turn.

Thanks for the candy cane, Santa!

I wish I new what Little C said here. Santa seems shocked!

Feeling very blessed to have these precious moments. I hope you had some of your own this weekend.

My thoughts and prayers are still with Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary and will be for some time...

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My thoughts...

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by the tragedy in Newton, Connecticut. Those precious children, their parents, siblings, relatives, etc. The teachers and staff at the school and their families. The rescue squads called to the scene, and so many more.

As a mom learning of this shooting I wept... It's unthinkable. Even if I wasn't a mom I still think this tragedy would strike a chord. The children... It really is too much.

My thoughts also turn to the gunman. I ask myself how someone loses their way so much and feels so lost that they don't understand the value of a human life. Maybe they don't see the value in their own but to not see the value of others is the real tragedy here.

People will start sharing their ideas on how to make sure this never happens again but until someone comes up with a secret to healing those that have lost their way, I don't think we will be able to escape this madness. Gun control, heightened security, religion in schools, it is all good in theory but until someone can help the person that truly believes ending the lives of others is their only purpose, we will get nowhere.

My thoughts are also on my own children. I am sick that this is the world they will be growing up in. A world where innocence is lost way too young and now nowhere is safe. Instinctively I want Little C to spend the rest of his days in our basement with his father and I and P-Nut can stay put securely in my womb, protected and safe!

Of course, I'm being dramatic but how in the hell am I supposed to feel confident when I drop my kids off at daycare and someday at school that I will see them again at the end of the day? How is my mother-in-law who is a teacher supposed to feel safe going to work? This event is one more reminder that nothing is off limits and that makes me sick and scared.

But life goes on and giving into the fear only lets darkness prevail. All I can do is make sure my children know they are loved and give them a life that instills confidence, compassion and empathy. I can protect them as best I can but there is a great big world out there and to not let them experience it would also be a tragedy.

There are still good people out there and kindness all around and that is a beautiful thing. I'm sure like me, you've given extra tights hugs over the past few days and let your loved ones know how you feel about them. It is hard when we fall prey to the daily grind to not take anything for granted and it is a shame that we sometimes wait for life changing events to remind us.

All I know is I remain thankful for my life and my family and friends and my thoughts are with Newton.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sounds of the Season

Do you love Christmas as much as I do? I love the lights, the smells, the sounds, the warmth, the cheer, the traditions, the magic, and being together with loved ones. It truly is the most wonderful time of year!

I am also the crazy person that starts listening to Christmas music around Thanksgiving and pretty much has it on non-stop until Christmas day is over. No, I never get sick of it and yes, I mourn when it has to be turned off until next year.

"So, Kendra... What are some of your favorite Xmas tunes?"

I'm so glad you asked!! Plus that's what I'm here for. To answer the burning questions of my loyal readers!

:: crickets ::


Well, I'm gonna share my favs anyway.

Favorite Album: Hands down, without question, always has been and always will be...

I used to grab a fake microphone, singing and dancing around the house to this RECORD. Yup, vinyl. My parents were troopers but no one was a bigger trooper than my snot-nosed bratty little brother whom I also shoved a fake mic into his hand and insisted he be "Kenny" on all the duets. Much to his chagrin, of course. This is such a fun album and it holds very special memories for me...

Favorite Song: Oh Holy Night.

But not just any old rendition will do. There are some singers, who are amazing in their own right, but have no business singing this song. It takes a special voice to really do it justice. This song should be reserved for the Celine Dions and Josh Grobans of the world. All others need not apply. There are many versions that give me chills every time. It is a gorgeous song, indeed.

Then there is my uncle Scott (bless his out of tune heart) that really can belt "fall on your knees" like no one else I know and it just isn't Christmas for my brother and I until we hear him hit those notes. :) 

Favorite Version of Silent Night: Can I get a some east coast swaaang!! Hey, I grew up in the '90's and Boyz II Men were pretty special during that time. Whether or not you like hip hop or R&B it just doesn't matter when it comes to this song. They are talented guys and they sing acapella to boot!

Boyz II Men's Silent Night Listen to it now... you're welcome.

Overall Favs in no Particular Order:
And these are just a few!

So what did you think? Are any of these on the top of your list too? As you can tell I'm a sucker for more of the oldies but it's what I grew up on and the memories that they hold are part of the reason I love this time of year so much. 

What are your favorite tunes this time of year? Do you love the music as much as me or could you do with out it? What special memories do your favorite songs recall for you?

Monday, December 3, 2012

"You're so big!" - Yeah, well your breath reeks!

Over the weekend the following comments were directed at me:

**I feel I should preface this by mentioning all were said by people 75 years or older at a client event my company sponsored on Saturday. It was a Holiday luncheon for a group of retirees. Oh, joy of joys...
  1. "By looking at you it's easy to tell when your due date is... two weeks ago, right?" HAHAHA!
  2. "You are soooo big. Is it twins?"
  3. Said by an old man as he's holding my hand - "I learned long ago to never, ever, ever, ever, ask a woman if she's pregnant until you can actually see the head crowning!" HAHAHA!
  4. Said by the MC of the event to the entire crowd, with a microphone - "Have you seen Kendra yet?" "Well you won't be able to miss her, she's due any day now!"
Ahhh, the elderly. They get away with saying whatever comes to their ancient, lovely minds. And it's not just them. I don't understand why people feel compelled to tell a pregnant woman how huge she is!

I feel like it's the one time people get to be free with their words without caring about the consequences. For instance, I'd never tell a person how huge their ass got since the last time I saw them. Or to tell a short person how short they are. We never tell strangers that we meet that they have bad breath or that the shirt they're wearing is all wrong for them. But people see a pregnant person and feel compelled to tell it like they see it!

Why? Why tell me how huge I am?!?! It's not a compliment and what am I supposed to say in response? This past couple of weeks I've at least been able to gain a few laughs by saying, "yeah, I just ate too much turkey at Thanksgiving!" Plus, I never know what they truly mean anyway. Are you saying my belly is huge therefore my baby must be huge? When you say I'm "so big" are you implying that just my belly is big or are you also pointing out the fact that my ass, hips and thighs are also gigantic and you are stating for the record that I am big from head to toe?

Because if you are... not. cool.

When you ask if I'm "due any day now" is it because you think I look miserable as if I truly am due any day now? Or maybe is it because you are an OB by trade and you have the power to tell the position of the baby's head or that it is starting to drop?

Either way, just don't.

When you tell me I'm "glowing" am I really? Do I really possess a charming glow with flawless skin and a smile of contentment or are you just saying it because you feel like you have to?

I think telling someone they are "glowing" is a charming comment that should be reserved for someone that is truly glowing. We've all seen it. A person is so happy and fulfilled that they look effortlessly beautiful and you feel compelled to share that with them. That is appropriate and, if you are the recipient of such a compliment, it seems to fit.

Please don't tell me I'm "glowing" if you feel like that is just the thing to tell a pregnant woman. We know how we look and the majority of the time we are feeling anything but "glowy."

I guess my point is, don't tell a pregnant person that they are huge, or big, or ask them if they're having twins, or if their due date is any day now and reserve "glowing" for when you really mean it.

I still have 6 weeks to go people and I swear if someone feels compelled to tell me one more time how huge I am, I just may round-house kick them in the face!

Assuming that I can get my leg that high, or move that fast, or that I really will be so rude instead of simply smiling, putting my hands on my apparently enormous belly and saying in response, "yes, I sure am."  (sigh)

6 more weeks, 6 more weeks...

What is the rudest thing anyone ever told you while pregnant? How do you handle the, "you're so big" comment?