24 Weeks (of Worry)

24 Weeks (of Worry)

I skipped last week's update, mostly because I didn't feel that different and hadn't been to the doctor in three weeks so any new information on the baby's size was purely speculation (or a comparison to a vegetable and those grow more bizarre by the week. From a spaghetti squash to a tomato? Huh?). So... after today's appointment I feel a little more at ease sharing our progress plus I've actually noticed some changes recently (like my expanding girth, for example.)

While we're talking about all things pregnancy, let me just say... this nine-month period that can be described as thrilling, terrifying, miserable, or exciting (depending on whom or when you're asking) is pretty much a worrier's worst nightmare. At the beginning it was, "Will I bleed and find out this is over before it really began?" Then, "Is she growing? Is her heart beating?" "Why can't I feel her moving yet?" THEN, "Why hasn't she moved in *insert freakishly precise amount of time*?" "Is she still breathing?" "Does she have all her toes?" (Yeah, I know.)

AHHHH. I'm sure all pregnant women struggle with this, and it's been the biggest contributor to the fact that I absolutely refuse to google anything pregnancy related. (I have a doctor and two sisters for that.) But as someone who would definitely characterize herself as a Professional Worrier, it's taken a toll on my mental health at times. (Slight exaggeration but not much.) Every little jump, twinge, or otherwise unfamiliar feeling (which happens a lot, considering this is my first pregnancy) is cause for concern. Seriously, it's exhausting! Every milestone- another week, another trimester, another ultrasound- allows me to breathe a little sigh of relief, briefly, before the next onslaught of "what if" questions begins and I've taken off on the Crazy Train again.

And once the baby actually comes, it's not like it's over... every time one of my nieces or nephews is sick or gets hurt I realize that... good grief, this stuff never ends! I'll be worrying about this girl for-e-ver. (Spoken like Squints.) AND none of this worry even includes the actual birth/labor/delivery process which I have completely blocked out of my mind and refuse to acknowledge. (Remember that my pain tolerance is... less than zero, if that's possible.)

So these days trust is a big struggle for me. Here's the thing... other than using common sense to take care of myself, there's not a thing I can do about this baby that the Lord hasn't already planned. I have no reason to believe anything will go wrong, but then again, other people face struggles with their children every day and I'm not some kind of Special Snowflake who is immune to reality. The good news is that God is more than capable of handling me in all my neurotic nonsense so I Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you," allows me to pray/worry aloud without guilt. (I try a little harder not to unload on Jonathan.)

Getting bigger!

Waiting for the doctor... I look so calm, right? 

Now that you've trudged through my weird issues, here's some news about me AND Alice- definitely more interesting! =)

How far along: 24 weeks today!
How big is baby: about 8.5 inches (an ear of corn?) and over a pound. 
Weight gain: I feel pretty good and still fit in my clothes fairly well, BUT I legit closed my eyes on the scale at the doctor today. #denial
Sleeping: Not bad now that the constant bathroom-seeking has slowed to about every hour-hour and a half and not 10 minutes. I have still been trying not to nap but on days when I'm busy (my in-laws were here this week and we went out several times), I pretty much can't make it to bedtime without one.

Food cravings: Chick-fil-A. All day, every day. And grape tomatoes
Food aversions: I'm not feeling salad right now (probably a shame) or pizza. 
Symptoms: My back has started hurting pretty easily (nooooo!) and I have become very, very forgetful- like, mid-sentence or mid-task. (I can't tell you how many times I have pulled out my phone to look up something and forgot what it was in the time it took to open Safari. Thanks, Alice, my former students, and old age for crashing my internal hard drive at age 26.)
Miss Anything?: I really miss all my dresses with "normal" waistlines (so, almost all of them.) I would say I miss having energy but considering my life as a teacher I guess I've just stayed exhausted most of the time. =)
Doctor’s appointment:  Today! And everything looked great. (Again, needless worrying!)
Clothes: Oooo.... I found some REALLY great maternity stuff this week so a post about all that is coming soon. (I haven't posted about clothes in far too long... right?? Sure.) Anyway, the search for maternity shorts continues- hardly any stores around here even HAVE maternity, rude- but I'm planning on looking on my trip next week.
Movement: increasing all the time! But definitely more at night and when I'm resting or sitting still. She rarely moves when I'm moving. But the flips and kicks are getting a lot stronger- she's good at keeping me awake. =)
Best moment of the week: I have to say it's just been feeling her movements a lot more strongly and starting to feel a real bond (I know, over halfway through this thing- a little late, maybe?) but I feel more and more like I'm getting to know Alice and not just this alien creature moving around inside me. (Pregnancy is a strange thing.) Also, celebrating Father's Day with Jonathan was very special.
What I’m looking forward to: going to Georgia next week and having my baby shower at my home church! 
What I did / Got for baby: my mother-in-law bought her a few things (thanks, Nana!) including a beautiful Vera Bradley dress and the cutest little chambray shirt ever. I bought her her first book (this one because I had to!) and first stuffed animal (the most precious little Bambi!) and have really started planning the nursery in earnest. We found a couple little things at Ikea but otherwise we're still in the "looking/being inspired" stage.
Prayer requests: As always, health and safety for the baby (and me- see worrisome paragraphs above) and especially safety next week as I travel home to Georgia. (And for Jonathan as he lives the bachelor life for a week!) 

Thanks for all your sweet comments with every update. We're so lucky that Alice is loved by so many wonderful people (or, you know, that you're all just amused by her nervous mother. Either way.) 

Happy Tuesday!


22 Weeks (and a NAME!)

22 Weeks (and a NAME!)

I don't really feel like the days are passing quickly (they tend to drag, in fact, unless I'm lucky enough to have some kind of outing planned) BUT I do think the weeks are flying by. (I realize that doesn't really make sense but that's how my messed-up brain is working at the moment.) Twenty-two weeks already? It seems like we were just DYING to know the gender and that appointment was already a month ago. Crazy. (Also now I must quote It's a Wonderful Life and say, "EIGHTEEN? Why, it was only last year you were seventeen!" I so love Jimmy Stewart. Anyway.)

SO before I get to the exciting news that we have, at long last, chosen a name for this little person, I will follow tradition (set one week ago) and answer the pregnancy update questions first.

Let me briefly mention that, thanks to clearance and a coupon, I got this maternity dress from Target for $6. I actually have it in navy and white too but I love the coral and snatched it up for cheap! Yay!

How far along: 22 weeks (and two days, if we're being obnoxious precise)
How big is baby: according to those absurd fruit/vegetable comparisons it's about 8 inches long and since last week I'd say we're up to a pound? (Just my highly professional opinion.) 
Weight gain: tough to say. I feel pretty good (and I accomplish that feeling by avoiding all scales.)
Sleeping: Well... the last few days I've really pushed through and forced myself to stay awake all day (no naps! the horror!) but (duh) it's helped with not waking up a million times and not taking hours to fall asleep at night. Of course I'm ready for bed at 9:30 but I guess that's the price to pay.
Food cravings: I've never been much of a sweets person (chips over cookies, all day every day) but lately I've wanted sweet stuff. The thing is, I really only want 2-3 bites and then I'm done. So, Jonathan is the lucky recipient of the desserts I don't finish (including a batch of brownies that I ate one of and left the rest. Poor guy.) 
Food aversions: I kind of sandwiched myself to death there for a few weeks so pretty much any kind of sandwich is not very appealing right now.
Symptoms: Still fatigue... I went shopping and to lunch the other day and was yawning up a storm by the time I got home. My marathon mall trips are over, I believe!
Miss Anything?: Mountain Dew (not that I never ever have any, but it's only in tiny quantities with great guilt so... not really worth it. =)
Doctor’s appointment: Next one is two weeks away. 
Clothes: Still looking for a good pair of maternity shorts, but I'm living in dresses like the one above for right now. Anything that doesn't require a lot of fuss is a win in my book! (And, sadly, though I absolutely love layers, that's just not going to happen in this heat!)
Movement: still fairly light and mostly at night when I'm really still... she definitely responds to louder noises!
Best moment of the week: finally choosing a name!
What I’m looking forward to: pinning/planning for the nursery like crazy. 
What I did / Got for baby: chose a name and started looking in earnest for nursery ideas.
Prayer requests: As always, health and safety for the baby (and me) and for Jonathan as he is working full-time and wanting to do the ministry things we came here to do! We're still figuring out that mix with his hours being different than originally planned so we're trying to make adjustments as needed. 

AND NOW... the moment you've all been waiting for...

There it is! I've agonized over this, I promise you... but this is what we ended up with and I love it. Alice is so feminine and classic to me (and as you can tell from the picture, I love Alice in Wonderland, even though I'm sure our Alice will not have hair that is even remotely blond.) And Juliet, of course, has literary roots but let's be honest... Juliet O'Hara was the main inspiration for that. =) Also, my cousin's wife Alice is pretty much one of the most wonderful people I know (and the only Alice I know in person!) so that helped seal the deal as well. 

You better believe I've been pinning Alice in Wonderland nursery ideas like crazy! Some of them are a little much (like... I don't necessarily want the Mad Hatter and March Hare on my baby's walls- slightly creepy) but there are some beautiful ones and I'm going for more of a Disney-inspired theme in general, not specifically Alice in Wonderland. But when I find stuff like this makes me love Alice even more. 

Anyway, I'm completely relieved to have this decision made... it helped that Jonathan just started calling her Alice as if my mind were already made up (it wasn't!) but then it just kind of stuck (and I got tired of constantly wondering what it should be.) The middle name took another few days but now it's all finalized and I'm so glad. 

So, happy Thursday from me and Alice! (Ah!) 


Disney Lullaby Playlist

Disney Lullaby Playlist

Last summer I started a Disney Playlist series and because I'm lazy and our lives were in a slight upheaval I abandoned it after a few posts. But one of the first things I started planning when I found out I was pregnant was a list of Disney lullabies (does my baby have a name yet? Nope. Priorities, people.) So, after several revised drafts, here is my finalized list, in no particular order.

I realize that if a baby is at Disney World at night then she is probably not sleeping but oh well. I love this picture and now I reeeeaaaallly want to go back to Magic Kingdom at Christmas. Anyway.

1. Stay Awake from Mary Poppins- this is probably the most obvious choice for me since it's actually a lullaby. The fact that Mary Poppins was and remains one of my top favorite Disney movies doesn't hurt... and what baby wouldn't be soothed by Julie Andrews's beautiful voice?

2. When You Wish Upon a Star from Pinocchio- oh, Jiminy Cricket. The sweetest little bug (and conscience!) to ever befriend a puppet. (Ha- weirdest sentence ever.) Anyway, this is such a classic and the harmony is beautiful. I love those old-timey Disney arrangements.

3. Baby Mine from Dumbo- I'm pretty hard-hearted and this one can just about have me in tears. Dumbo is such a sad little movie and this part in particular is heart-breaking but so, so sweet. (Also I really like the Alison Krausse version.)

4. Second Star to the Right (also called Main Title) from Peter Pan- another favorite! I loved Peter Pan when I was little (apparently I would pray for him?? Weird kid) but this song is great and includes more of that harmony I love.

5. A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes from Cinderella- I mean, obviously; lullabies, dreams... this one is a shoe-in. The songs in Cinderella are just so pretty, and this one is no exception. Ilene Woods (the voice of Cinderella) is a treasure. (And you can't beat the mice for cuteness.)

6. Someone's Waiting for You from The Rescuers- I love this song and think of it any time I see an adoption story. It's so sweet! The Rescuers (and Rescuers Down Under) are a little underrated in my opinion and so is this song as it's usually overlooked. Not on this list!

7. Bella Notte from Lady and the Tramp- so this isn't exactly soothing but it's one of my favorites. I wanted to avoid "love" songs but I mean... this is the cutest! The spaghetti-sharing scene? (And it reminds me that a small part of me is still a dog-lover. =)

8. Proud of Your Boy from Aladdin on Broadway- yes, I'm having a girl, but I just love this song. I guess they cut it from the movie but brought it back for Broadway and I'm listened to it approximately a million times since I bought the album. Just a sweet song (and Adam Jacob's voice is so good- doesn't he look like a real-life Aladdin?)

9. In the Golden Afternoon from Alice in Wonderland- this scene always cracks me up because some of the flowers are so snobby to poor Alice. "Did you ever see an Alice that size?" "Come to think of it- did you ever see an Alice?" (I wanted to include the Main Title but it's a little too bombastic to be considered a lullaby, I think... this one might be too but I love it so it stays.)

10. Your Mother and Mine from Peter Pan- this song is often overlooked but it's so sweet (and sad!) when Wendy sings to all the Lost Boys on Neverland (and even Mr. Smee is moved to tears as he listens outside.) 

11. The Age of Not Believing from Bedknobs and Broomsticks- this movie is not that well-known but it really should be because it's fantastic but this song is one of my favorites. Angela Lansbury is golden at any age. It's not really a baby song but it makes me nostalgic nonetheless.

12. Once Upon a Dream from Sleeping Beauty- like I said, I was trying to avoid "love songs" but again- dreaming/lullabies- I just couldn't resist. I always thought Sleeping Beauty was the prettiest princess (and I'm seriously in love with the name Aurora.) 

13. Feed the Birds from Mary Poppins- what better way to bookend this post than by starting and ending with Mary Poppins? This song has been my favorite since I can remember (and it was Walt Disney's favorite so I'm in good company.) So soothing and beautiful. 

There you have it- there are PLENTY of great Disney songs that I'll include on other lists for the baby but these are the best lullabies, I think. Also, I'm working on a list of non-Disney (mostly Broadway) lullabies (think Edelweiss, Over the Rainbow, etc.) I've got to start a Spotify playlist asap so the baby can start hearing these songs every night! 

Any songs I missed? What would you add? Happy listening (and sleeping- who said lullabies are just for babies?)!




I feel terrible about not doing a better job documenting this pregnancy but sickness + hormones + fatigue does not create a mindset that really lends itself to sharing and positivity, am I right? BUT at some point I'll want to remember how I was feeling and all that good stuff so why not write it down and share it with others? (The internet is a beautiful thing.) 

This is a terrible "bump" picture but there we were outside the hospital and people were coming down the sidewalk so I panicked and didn't want to turn and pose for another one. (#sociallyawkward) I'm actually showing even more than that now and it was just a week ago!

I have read in a few different places where women said things about how strong and empowered and amazing they felt while pregnant and I'm like... hmm. What drug is that you're on? I am not feeling sick anymore but I wouldn't in a million years describe myself as feeling empowered... if anyone should feel empowered by pregnancy it's toilet paper companies who are thrilled to capitalize on the fact that I literally have to go to the bathroom 37 times a day. (If only I were exaggerating. Also, TMI? Probably.) I am thankful, however, to feel good most of the time. I get tired easily but that probably has as much to do with my unemployed, sedentary lifestyle for the past year. Oh, and insomnia, which is horrible and, coupled with the whole bathroom-every-five-minutes thing, is wrecking any chances I get at a full night's sleep.

My mom tells me that this is nature's way of preparing me to get up multiple times a night with a newborn, but I think it's a little cruel to be robbed of the last few months of uninterrupted sleep I'll get until I'm pushing 50. But, anything for you, little Baby. (Remember this when I'm elderly and in need of full-time care, please.)

As you know, we did find out that it's a GIRL which immediately took me from slightly dazed, oh-yeah-I'm-having-a-baby mode to HOLY COW THIS IS A GIRL AND NOT AN IT AND WHAT WILL WE NAME HER? (Pretty much the entire reason I was #teamboy was that I had the PERFECT boy name picked out and no girl names nailed down at all.) I'm not really sure what the standard procedure is for a gender ultrasound since so many people choose to keep it a secret until it can be revealed with paint or balloons or candy or custom cars but our ultrasound tech just waved the thing around for a while until matter-of-factly (and with no warning) blurting out, "Oh, it's a baby girl," with little to no enthusiasm. (Apparently she's lost the wonder of her job over the years or perhaps has just grown hardened in the face of weepy parents.) 

Once we (I) recovered from that shock it became clear that shopping for a girl was going to be SO fun and require every bit of self-restraint that I possess (so in other words, not much.) I have done really well and only bought a few little things in the past couple weeks which is really a miracle because baby clothes are like kryptonite. (And as much as Jonathan protests all this shopping, I have caught him red-handed with fistfuls of baby clothes so... we have a daddy's girl in the making already.) 


Oh, and have we decided on a name? No. Has it been keeping me awake at night and during my multiple daily nap times? Yes! It's driving me insane... I started off with specific initials in mind because I knew if I didn't set some boundaries I would never, ever make a decision. (Although, just for fun, I've spent a lot of time perusing Janssen's name posts over at Disney Baby.) I do have it narrowed down to three (realistically, two) names and one of them is definitely Disney-inspired, naturally. But other than that... I got nothin' and I really, really want to make a decision that I won't have to change or regret or make my child resent me forever. (No pressure.)

I truly don't let myself go down the rabbit hole that is the internet when it comes to almost anything baby-related because 1) so much is inaccurate, including those nonsensical fruit-vegetable comparisons (which I check weekly anyway because I'm a sucker) and 2) there are a million and one horror stories that I just don't need to read. So I've kept myself mostly worry-free by ignoring a lot of misinformation and trying to trust that the Lord is in control of what happens over the next few months but I do feel like the minute we found out the baby was a girl and everything became "real" all over again that my Zen-like approach took a backseat as I quickly spiraled into the Crazy Town of paranoia that I hadn't experienced since the first few weeks of pregnancy.

I was especially nervous about our 20-week appointment and ultrasound that would check for any abnormalities, problems, etc. It bugs me when people say, "There's nothing worry about!" when clearly there is... but thank God everything really was fine and I semi-relaxed after that good report. I am beyond thankful that we have a healthy baby and I've had an extremely easy pregnancy compared to a lot of women. I know we're still a good ways out but I'm choosing (trying) to trust and not focus on what could go wrong, which is enough to make anyone crazy. 

SO... it's a girl, I haven't bought too many baby clothes (cross my heart!) and I'm still agonizing over a name, but I'm feeling okay and still kind of in disbelief that I'm pregnant as well as being very grateful for things going smoothly. 

I know you're supposed to do this every week but like I said, I'm a major slacker and I haven't but I thought I'd do one of those pregnancy question thingies just for fun. (I know... I should let other people tell me it's fun. It's probably not.) I'll try to faithfully keep track in the weeks ahead. (I got these questions from Molly's blog but I'm not sure of their original source. Probably a chain email from 1998.)

How far along: 21 weeks
How big is baby: last week the doctor said 14 ounces but I'm not sure how long... maybe seven inches?
Weight gain: not much... only a couple pounds up from right before I got pregnant (I lost weight in the beginning thanks to puking and hating all food.) 
Sleeping: Bleh. Taking forever to fall asleep and then waking up all.the.time. to go to the bathroom. Of course daytime sleep is an A+ but that cuts into my night sleep and the vicious cycle begins again.
Food cravings: Goldfish crackers all day every day because I'm a toddler, apparently. Also cucumbers with apple cider vinegar (which sounds heinous but it's really good) and grape tomatoes. 
Food aversions: Most fast food (probably a blessing) including, sadly, orange chicken from Panda Express. EWWW.
Symptoms: Fatigue... any outing longer than a couple hours really wipes me out. And my stomach is expanding all over and not just in the front.
Miss Anything?: Regular sleep and all my dresses that aren't empire-waisted.
Doctor’s appointment: My next one is in a couple weeks and will be a very brief checkup before I go HOME to Georgia for a visit! Yay!
Clothes: I can still wear a lot of my regular clothes since I usually go for looser styles, but switching to maternity jeans a few weeks ago has changed my life. I did buy a belly band but I'm not wild about it so I'm mostly sticking with my trusty, stretchy Old Navy pencil skirts. Finding a good pair of maternity shorts is my mission at the moment. 
Movement: lots! I actually just started feeling her bump around in there last Sunday night so it's still very new and exciting. I'm looking forward to having the little kicks and punches be strong enough for Jonathan to feel. 
Best moment of the week: Feeling the baby move around and respond to noise/music, etc. and seeing her yawn on the ultrasound which was adorable. 
What I’m looking forward to: Ugh... choosing a name! And Jonathan feeling the baby kick. 
What I did / Got for baby: I'm finalizing my choices for a Disney lullaby playlist (priorities!) and we've been scoping out baby furniture. 
Prayer requests: Just safety and health for the baby and me (and sanity for Jonathan =) especially as the Texas heat settles in with a fury and it gets quite uncomfortable to be outside for any length of time. (Thank goodness our apartment has a pool or I might never survive this summer.) 
I can't believe this pregnancy is over halfway over. I feel like the first trimester really dragged but the second one is flying (doesn't everyone say that?) but as my girth increases and the temperatures outside rise (yay) I'm sure I'll be singing a different tune before too long. Too bad my number one task in the heat is to stay hydrated which plays right into my problem of spending 75% of my time in or finding a bathroom but hey, fun times, right?
Happy Thursday to you from me and (Unnamed) Baby. =)