Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nursery Update

Here are some pictures of the nursery now that the furniture has been moved in (thank you, Matt and Jacki!). We still have a few things to buy and a few decorating items to install, but the basic layout is ready.

Door with cute sign. The little fox is actually meant to go in your car with your cell phone number on it in case your car needs to be moved, but it will make a nice ______'s Room sign once we pick a name.

Growth chart and cute trash can

Glider and changing table/dresser. The cats love the glider. We want to buy a nice standing lamp to go next to the glider.

Crib - obviously a bit low right now, but Keegan is going to adjust the height after a trip to the hardware store. We really need some colorful sheets!

Monday, February 22, 2010

News from the Doctor's Office

I am still intending to update about our trip, but first here's the update from our doctor's visit on Saturday. We thought we would be extra savvy this time and get there right when the office opens at 9:30, but when we arrived at 9:25, the office was already open and bustling with people. Still, we were third in line to see Dr. Lee, and I think our wait time was a little shorter than usual. Since we don't have to go through the hassle of making appointments (and then STILL waiting in the waiting room), I try not to mind the waiting too much.

Dr. Lee told us that this month he would do an ultrasound "from brain to toes" and that it would take a little extra time. He started with the baby's head and brain, both of which look good and are exactly the right size for 21 weeks. He also measured the baby's arms and legs, which both measured at exactly the right size for 22 weeks. Since we are at 21 weeks now, the doctor remarked on how long our baby's limbs are. Guess my assessment of the gangly ultrasound from a few weeks ago was right on. Dr. Lee checked the baby's lip for a cleft lip and her spine and pronounced both to look normal with no visible defects. He asked whether he had told us the sex already, and when I reminded him that he had told us it was a girl, he replied "Well, there is no change." So now we can be even more sure that we will have a daughter in July!

We had a chance to count the baby's fingers (10) and look at her feet, but it wasn't very easy to count her toes, so we'll do that next time.

Baby's hands, with fingers marked by arrows. I think she is World's Earliest Waver. So precocious.

Baby's blurry feet

In the abdomen, we could see Baby's heart beating, and the doctor pointed out her kidneys and stomach. Her stomach was full of amniotic fluid, which she has been swallowing for a tiny amount of nourishment and to practice her swallowing skills. When he zoomed in on the heart, we could see all four chambers and watch the valves open and close. Pretty cool! Unfortunately, the CD with the ultrasound video on it is scratched, so I am trying to figure out how to recover as much of the video as possible.

Overall, the baby is now about 440 grams (around a pound) and about 22-23 cm long (8.5-9 inches). Dr. Lee pointed out the baby's position to us with the ultrasound transducer: her head is down low on my left, her body stretching out to my right, with her feet up high to the left of my belly button. I can't believe how much room she's taking up already! Good thing there's still plenty of room to expand.

Baby's head. On the right, you can see a slight profile with one eye and the nose. On the left, Baby is facing the "camera" straight on, with one Terminator-esque eye (she kicked me when I wrote that) glaring out with the death ray.

Baby's face is squished into the lower right corner of the frame. You can see her forehead, eyes and nose pretty clearly. I think the bubbly stuff to the left of Baby's face is the umbilical cord.

In other baby news, we were able to move our hand-me-down nursery furniture into the nursery this weekend (pictures coming as soon as I get things a little more orderly in there). I also spent all afternoon Sunday trying on clothes to discover what still fits and what I still need. I was heartened to find many attractive options left for me if the weather would just warm up a tiiiiny bit. I also rediscovered several elastic-waisted skirts that should continue to be winners for a while. Hooray! Still, I am looking forward to finding some new things when I'm home next month.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back from Kyoto

Well, we're back from Japan, and we had a great time! It was so nice to fly there and get the traveling done so quickly. We loved our Japanese inn, which couldn't have been in a better location. We saw several temples, took a day trip to a Japanese castle, and ate lots and lots of good Japanese food. We also took over 500 pictures, so it will take me a while to sort through them all and get them up on Flickr. Here's a few teasers to tide you over.

Keegan reading in his futon on the floor in our ryokan room.

Kiyomizu-dera Temple

In a bamboo grove

My belly is huge in Japan.

Keegan at Himeji Castle

There are some other pictures to look forward to, too. On Saturday, we'll go back to the doctor for another appointment and an ultrasound. He'll be looking carefully at the baby's heart and other key areas to check for any defects that we should know about. I'm looking forward to a chance to see our little girl again. She's been kicking and rolling around quite a bit lately, so I hope that she'll give us a good show on Saturday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Pre-Vacation Almost 20 Week Update

Now I am at almost 20 weeks of pregnancy, so halfway through. I think I am growing bigger by the day. I taught one of my students the adjective "round" with reference to my belly, and I don't think that she will forget that word soon. Now each time I see her, she tells me that I am more round. I don't mind, though. I love my growing belly!

The baby is getting stronger, and when she moves around I can feel her much more easily. She jabs a little (with hands and feet, I'm sure, though I can't tell which is which), and I think she also rolls sometimes. It's hard to describe the feeling. If you're familiar with cats, you know that sometimes when you pet them on their back, their back muscles will kind of contract involuntarily, like a wave after your hand passes over. That's what it feels like on the inside of my ab muscles. It's a little uncomfortable, but knowing that the source is so wonderful helps a lot.

Otherwise, I am still feeling fine. I am very hungry - it's hard for me to believe that I only need an extra 400-500 calories a day for the baby, because I am like an eating machine. I trust my body, though, and have been following the "give the belly what it wants" philosophy of pregnancy dieting. My weight is going up between a half kilo and a kilo a week, which I think is on the high side of normal. I'm continuing to jog and swim four days a week, which is great. I am still tired in the evenings, and I have a weird continual itch on the sole of my right foot, which I've read can happen during pregnancy. Seriously weird, though, and very hard to scratch satisfactorily.

This week we've been preparing for a five-day trip to Japan over the Lunar New Year holiday. Wouldn't you know that right in time for our trip a rainy weather pattern has arrived, settled in, and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. They are now predicting rain for every single day of our vacation. But at least the chances for precipitation are relatively low most days (20-30%), so I hope we'll avoid the worst of it. Anyway, we are flying to Osaka tomorrow morning, and then we'll spend five nights in Kyoto, in a Japanese Inn called Rikiya. I hope I'll have lots of interesting and exciting things to report next week! Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Moving (Around) Day

This morning at breakfast, Keegan suggested that we spend the day moving some furniture around so that we can get ready to put the nursery together. Last Sunday, we had dinner with Matt and Jacki. Matt is Keegan's co-worker, and he and Jacki have two children who have outgrown a lot of their baby items. They have graciously offered us many of the things we need for the nursery, including a crib, changing table and glider chair. So we were excited about making a place for those things, even though we still have to figure out how to move them here.

So after breakfast we began moving everything out of the current study to make room for the guest bed. The cats were in a state of mild panic as the living room slowly filled up with books, papers, and miscellaneous junk that had piled up in the study over the past year and a half. We were delighted to find that all this moving around gave us an opportunity to clean some nasty dusty areas, and the cats were mollified by the rediscovery of at least a dozen long-lost cat toys. We also discovered that there was a very narrow space underneath the bed frame that we could use for desperately-needed storage. It's not terribly practical because you have to remove the mattress and the bottom of the bed frame to get to what's inside, but we had a few things we could put there. We are thinking about taking our bed apart, too, just to stash some items that we don't need but can't throw away because they belong to the apartment's owner.

Once we got the new guest bedroom/study ready, we were able to move a bookshelf into the baby's room and unpack some of the cute things we've acquired. The nursery is still pretty unfinished since we haven't moved in any of the furniture yet, but it's nice to have an idea of how much space we have to work with. We spent the rest of the afternoon reshuffling and re-storing all of the things that were dislocated by the move. Conclusion: we have too much stuff, but also much more storage space than we thought.

The highlights of the day, as discussed by Ellen and Keegan at dinner were the following:
1. How well the new guest room/study came together.
2. Unrolling the baby rug that we bought months ago before we were even pregnant.
3. Finally figuring out how to wash the windows in the guest room (they come out) and seeing the beautiful view through windows unobscured by salt and grime.

Here are some photos of our handiwork. Judge for yourselves!

The new guest room/study

The beginnings of the nursery

Shelf with cute baby things

I had hoped that the cats would be less interested in the baby's room once the big comfy bed was moved. But clearly, that is no obstacle at all to comfort when you're Pepper.