Tuesday, December 27, 2011

After Christmas and 36 weeks

I had a lovely last week of Advent on vacation! I just took everything slow, enjoyed time to read, sleep-in, cook, and spend time with Dylan. We did our Christmas dinner shopping early, early, so we completely avoided all crowds - no last minute runs to the store or anything. We made it a quiet Christmas just the two (3) of us. On Christmas Eve we took a nice walk in Fort Snelling State Park along the Mississippi before having a potato pancake dinner before getting ready for midnight Mass at St. Paul's Cathedral - our first Christmas in MN (and no snow!!) Christmas Day started slowly, and we just enjoyed hanging out, skyped with our missed families, and had a lovely dinner for 2. We smiled all through dinner, though, because we hadn't done it up so much for just the two of us before =). All in all, I think Pea had a lovely Christmas ... next Christmas won't be with Pea, rather with ____, whoever this baby turns out to be! Here are a few shots from those events:
Mississippi River
 going to Mass
 Christmas Day dinner =)
 Oh, yeah! And Boxing Day bowling, the Braud (and now Knoll...) tradition =). I whooped D with a 112 and a 162! But who's keeping score ;)...

We are really on the countdown now - just four weeks until the due date but only 2 until "pre-term" is passed. It's hard to convey via blogging, but we're pretty excited to meet this little one and about all the unknowns coming up. We love adventures!
36 weeks:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

35 weeks down, 35 days to go (-ish)

"Me & Pea" don't have much longer this attached. The bump.com told me today that there are only 35 days left. (It's clearly not predicting the birth date ... just counting down until the due date.) I wonder if there's any way that I can tell if Pea will be early, on time, or late. Those terms don't mean anything to the baby, though; s/he'll just get going whenever s/he's ready!

I'm thoroughly enjoying my vacation so far! I spent Monday going to the dentist, walking the 2 miles back home (felt great!), and running errands. Now the Christmas tree has a few things under it ;). Today I got to sleep in and then got on all those things that are easiest for us to forget when busy with 3rd grade, school, and/or work. That felt great, too =).

I don't think I mentioned that Dylan was hit while driving on Friday, and he's been messing with the insurance companies since then. He's fine, and we're optimistic that Vince (our black VW Jetta) will be fixable. I'll get a photo of that tomorrow and add it - I'll even try to get our carseat in the shot =).

Thanks for the new top, Ginny & Ryan =):

Sunday, December 18, 2011

On Christmas Vacation!

Now that I finally have some free time, I can catch up on reporting a few things. First of all, we visited Dr. Anderson on Thursday for the last 2-week check-up; in two weeks, we shift to the weekly visits - woo! He said great growth, Pea's not "large, economy size" (phew...) and very low-risk. We got to ask him a few questions and were put at ease by his answers, and then he also confirmed that I had my first contraction! Bizarre! It was last Monday morning about 5 minutes before needing to leave for school, and I felt a dull, achy, menstrual-like cramp low in my back. Now, everyone has told me to prepare for the Braxton-Hicks, but what I experienced that morning wasn't like what others described: tight hardening of the whole abdomen but not painful, just pressure. Dr. Anderson said, though, yep, that's what that was. Anyway, kinda neat to have had the first one! I've got two weeks off school now, and we're starting to get pretty excited about this little baby.

Here we are today at the SAINTS-Vikings game that was a (surprise) present from Dylan. Ended 42-20! Geaux Saints!
Jim & Steph joined us:

And here's an idea I'll take from Jaclyn Knoll down in Oz to show MY perspective of Pea (She's ten weeks earlier, though, and can still se her feet! So, I had to cock-out a foot - ha!):
And a close-up BUMP:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Whopping 34 weeks

Written Dec. 13th:
Dylan and I have attended both of our pre-natal classes now and will go to the breastfeeding class tonight, Tuesday; then that wraps up all of our learning. Right, right? Then we'll be experts, yes? Well, then we at least know what exactly to ask the doctor. At last Saturday's class, our closing activity was this video: Reflections of Motherhood . It is advice from women, moms, that they would give their pre-pregnancy selves. I liked it, anyway.

It is busy being the last week before Christmas break! There's tons to wrap up for 3rd grade as well as a final project for class at St. Thomas, and then come two weeks of nothing but prepping for Pea, celebrating Christmas, and relaxing -- aaah... After the New Year, I'll only be in school for another short while (assuming Pea's not early!), so in wrapping up things for 3rd grade, I'm wrapping them up on a larger scale than I have done before just for Christmas vacation. It's a funny feeling.

It feels good to be head-cold-free and able to go for good walks again. I don't know if it was the lack of walking for 2 weeks or the, ya know, being 8 mos pregnant that lead to a few aches and pains, but things feel better going for walks either way. The snow's melted, leaving the sidewalks clear, too. It's been a mild 30F here, which is great for not slipping but terrible for dreams of my first white Christmas =). (I think deep down I'd rather the not-slipping bit over the snow, in the end, anyway...)

Here we are this week with only a few more weeks to show (as few as 4 and as many as 7):

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

33 weeks!

This week has been a roller coaster ride ranging from confidence to anxiety, including everything in between. I'm sure being sick and feeling tired had something to do with it, but lots of work to do (especially after being out for 2 days!) plus Dylan having lots on plus everything starting to wind down (or up?) for Pea just left me not knowing how to feel. I'm about 95% healthy now, though, and my moods feel mostly back to normal, as well ... as far as my pregnant moods have been normal in the first place <=).

I told my principal the details about my leave this week: with Pea's due date on January 25th, the substitute will be in place and on call as of January 2nd, when the second semester starts (but I'm hoping Pea won't be ready that early!). Then, with Dylan's graduation on May 12th, I'll be ready to go back to school for the last 4 weeks starting May 14th while he stays with little 4-month-old Pea.

Nowadays I'm feeling BIG! I need help with getting up and down from chairs or the floor, and I've started feeling a little lower back pain ... my old marching band stance comes in handy here: weight on the balls of my feet, and my "tail tucked". That's now my cooking and cleaning stance =). I've been getting a couple of nice comments from parents at school, though - how Pea's bump suits me, or it's a pretty little bump, things like that.

We even attended our first of 2 pre-natal classes, learning labor management positions and massage techniques. When I'm not feeling anxious, it's all fascinating =), and I'm looking forward to it. It's getting closer; in as few as 5 and as many as 8 weeks, our whole world will change!