31 January 2009

Oh, Brother!

If someone had told me 20 years ago that my brother and I would end up being really good friends, I would have probably laughed in their face. And, I can almost guarantee that my brother would have done the same thing.

It's not that my brother and I hated each other or fought all of the time, it's just that we clashed sometimes....and I would have predicted that the clashing would have continued all the way through life.

Before my mom got back into teaching, she worked a 9-5 job and my dad was teaching and coaching. So, once my brother was old enough to handle a key around his neck, he was watching me at home after school was out. I can't remember the fights that we had, but I do remember calling Mom many a times. Sometimes, if we were smart enough to realize that our fights were stupid and petty, we would call the "Dial-a-Story" number at the local library and only pretend to call and rat each other out. We did it so often that both my brother and I can still recall the phone number.

In junior high and high school, our fights were over things like the bathroom or where we should eat out on Sunday's after church. Again, completely petty things. When he left for college, I became an "only child" at home and LOVED it. I had all of my parents' attention and couldn't have been happier...until he came home for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or summer vacation. It was back to that whole sharing thing, and I'll admit, I wasn't very good at it.

But, that all really changed when we both were at IU together. Ryan was a senior in college and lived at the ATO fraternity. I was a freshman living across campus in a dorm. My brother would call me all the time and ask if I needed anything from the store or Target and even invited me over for lunch, dinner, and PARTIES at the fraternity. It was really funny to see how over-protective he was of me. I was friends with several of the guys in his fraternity...one of them even ended up being my fraternity dad...but if I was there with Ryan, I wasn't allowed to go see any of them without him escorting me to their rooms. My brother was also really involved in helping me find a sorority. He was friends with several sorority girls and hooked me up with a few of them for visits and lunches at the houses before rush came around.

One practice he started (and continued even after he left IU) was editing my papers! I could call him at 11:00 the night before a paper was due and would email it to him for his review. No matter how perfect I thought it was, it would always come back with suggestions to make it sound 10x better. (Maybe I should have sent him this blog, so he could condense it a little bit!)

When he graduated from IU and moved to Atlanta to start working for CNN, I was so incredibly proud. For any of you who know my brother, he has wanted to work in the news division (and more specifically for CNN) since he was in elementary school. He used to tape the music off of the news shows, write scripts for the two of us, make us both get dressed up, and then set up the video camera and read the scripts with the music playing in the background. He even emphasized how exactly to "shuffle" the papers when signing off.

Once my brother kept getting promoted at CNN, I started getting more and more perks! I could see him on tv sometimes...he would call us and say, "Hey, turn the tv to CNN." Then he would tell us to watch. And, about 5 seconds later, we would see him walk through the newsroom. We got to go on personalized tours and even got to be on a couple of live news shows.

And, the Christmas gifts? Well, they kept getting better and better too! My poor brother started a bad habit of giving really cool gifts, and so each year he has to try to live up to what he got me the year before! For example, when the ipods first came out , my brother jumped on the bandwagon and got me one...inscribed with my name and everything. Yes, I have a Generation 1 ipod (which is so thick and heavy compared to the newer ones)! Now, I am a music JUNKIE, but I was never much of a techie. I hadn't heard anything about some crazy ipod. But, when he explained to me what it was, I was blown away. Needless to say, that Christmas break was spent uploading the hundreds of cds I had onto my laptop!

Ryan didn't just give good gifts though, he became a really good brother. He would call just to talk to me, he listened to my problems and actually gave me advice. We stopped fighting over what restaurants to eat at (maybe because I learned it was just easier on all of us to let him eat at the Texas Roadhouse) and could actually go out for drinks together and hang out. He even came to my school in Indianapolis and gave a CNN presentation to all of our 6th graders. He brought t-shirts, pencils and all sorts of CNN swag for the kids. I had some that up until the end of the year would ask about my brother and asked if we could turn CNN on in the room to see if he was on there!

Okay, so let me get to my point. David and I got to hang out with my brother at Christmas this year in Arizona. Well, I should probably say David got to hang out with my brother. When the two of them get together, SERIOUSLY, it is like no one else is in the room. They each pull out their laptops and start talking GEEK SPEAK. Then, they switch from that and start pulling up stuff off of the internet to sort of "one-up" each other....anything from youtube clips to new gadgets hot on the market. Or, they spend hours changing our hairstyles on Ryan's Mac.

Me, with incredibly short hair. Ryan said, "Um...I don't think you should ever go this short!"

Is it me, or does my husband look A LOT like Owen Wilson in this picture?

They spent a day with my dad test driving cars together. (I can't believe they didn't want to join me and Mom for a day of baby shopping!) I honestly LOVE that they get along so well. I never would have predicted it, considering how overprotective he was of me with all of his friends in college, but it is wonderful to see them hanging out together.

When we were in Puerto Rico, my brother sent me a text message asking us to come for a visit. And, as much as we really wanted to go, we just couldn't spend the extra money on another trip. (Remember, we have a baby nearing the end of her hibernation...) As much as he enticed me with thoughts of Cheeseburger in Paradise and Buffalo Wild Wings, we just couldn't swing it. So, my brother bought us two airline tickets and is flying us out to Atlanta next weekend. David and I are so excited (and I'm pretty sure my brother is too) and it's not just for the FOOD. Although, Ryan and I did dub this trip "Eating Out, 2009." We are going to tour CNN, check out the Titanic exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium, and possibly even hit up the Cirque Du Soleil show. Oh, and we get to snuggle with Peyton too.

So, a huge THANK YOU to my brother...not just for the plane tickets and the opportunity to check out Atlanta again, but for being a wonderful friend to both me and David.

28 January 2009

Good Thing We're Having Pot Roast Tonight

I just got back from my doctor's appointment up in San Luis Obispo. Everything is fabulous with Baby Girl (I'm scared to call her Peanut since peanut butter is getting such a bad rap these days). I had to have my Rhogam shot today, but honestly, it was 100x better than having blood drawn, so there will be no complaining from me. Plus, I adore the nurse's aide at Dr. Goodrich's office, so she could do shockwave therapy on me and I'd still walk out of there singing her praises.

Anyway, the results from my glucose tests came back normal (in case you all, eh hem DAVID, were worried because of my love of all things chocolate, but most especially frozen Ding Dongs). But, they did show that I'm a little low on iron, so she wrote me a prescription for a filet at Jocko's once a week. Oh, the tough times of being pregnant!

27 January 2009

The Good News Is, They Won't Last That Long!

Just wondering if I should be freaking out or not.... the Egg Beaters I used to supplement Dave's egg-based breakfast have a "Best if Used By" date of April 14th. So, basically, that means that they could still be used by the time our baby girl arrives!

Yeah, I'm freaking out!

26 January 2009

Those eggs were a lie! A lie!! They gave me no emu powers! They gave me no nutrients!

So, I know I have been M.I.A. this last week, and I sincerely apologize to all of my faithful followers (aka MOM, who wrote this "Dad and I are waiting for a new post.......pleeeeesssss!!!!!!"), but in our little bubble there hasn't been too much excitement that's been blogworthy.

I am sure that most of you don't want to read about the annoyances that I have been going through trying to find the small pieces of checked tile that we need for converting the den to the nursery, or the fact that the doors are about 3x the cost of what we originally anticipated. I'm also going to take a stab at it being even less fun than the actual procedure for you to read about me waiting in the hospital waiting room for 2 1/2 hours to drink an orange, sugary drink and have 3 vials of blood drawn and nearly passing out. I have been doing my darndest to capture on video all the movements of Peanut inside my belly, but I swear she is so camera (and other hands) shy. We just know she is going to be that girl who sings and dances for us, but when other people come over she'll be all coy and cute and bat her pretty eyelashes and say, "Oh, I can't dance..."

So, like I said, not a whole lot of blogworthy material....until this weekend. Dave and I spent a much-needed, lazy Saturday resting off a nice big breakfast until evening time and then packed up and headed over to Santa Barbara to hang out with our friend/psychic/maid of honor/make-up artist/doula, Michele. We hadn't seen her since stopping in for a quick visit right after Christmas and were all three in need of some fun times.

We missed Michele's birthday, so we headed down State Street and hit up a really cute Italian restaurant and had a fabulous dinner. We went back to Michele's and made a pit-stop at the Wildcat. Let me just comment here that this was not an establishment I will ever want to go back to...half naked dancers, smoke machines, and horrible music do NOT make for a fun time for a preggers Amanda. Hmmm, and come to think of it, it wasn't much fun for Michele or Dave either. But, it was a place that we had heard a lot about and thought that since Brad and Angelina were in town for the SB Film Festival, they might be there. No luck. So, it was back to Michele's for her birthday brownie & ice cream deluxe and a little Nacho Libre. (Now that is what I call making a pregnant girl happy!)

Michele graciously gave up her bed for us...probably after she got sick of hearing me grunt and groan when trying to get out of the booth to go to the bathroom. Unfortunately, her air mattress had a hole in it, so it was the three of us (plus a cat-fearing Magnum) in her bed that night. Let's just say Michele doesn't like it so much when Amanda has to go pee multiple times in the night.

We woke up Sunday morning and decided the three of us were hungry enough to devour the emu egg! I was in charge of the biscuits & gravy and sausages (just in case that emu egg wasn't all it was cracked up to be) and thankfully, Dave was in charge of the egg. It wasn't as easy as he makes it look here:

STEP 1: Cut a whole in the egg.

STEP 2: Stir the yolk in the egg.

STEP 3: Drain the yolk from the egg. (Yeah, with a little help from Ignacio)

STEP 4: Scramble the egg.

So, the egg was okay. I had trouble stomaching the breakfast when I made David green eggs for St. Patrick's Day, so I figured eating an emu egg was going to be difficult. It really wasn't that bad, but I probably wouldn't do it again. It had more of a spongy texture to it than regular eggs and even though one egg is equivalent to 12 regular eggs, the price was about 6x that of a dozen eggs...so not really worth it.
We cleaned up and headed up to the monarch butterfly preserve to see the monarchs in action. David and I had gone to see them last year, but we went in March and most of them had already left. There were SO many of them this year and it was really incredible to see them all clinging to the eucalyptus leaves and flying around.
We left the preserve and walked down to the beach and saw all sorts of parasurfers enjoying the beautiful day. It was a great day out and we had such a blast hanging out with Michele. The highlight for Dave was probably the egg, Michele's was the butterfly preserve, and mine was most definitely the brownie! (And, by brownie, I mean Michele!)*
*And, yes, I can call her that!

XX OO XX OO. Xx Oo x.
Kiss kiss, hug hug, kiss kiss, hug hug. Big kiss, little kiss, big hug, little hug, little kiss

17 January 2009

A Giraffe's First Moments

This is the video that my mom sent me to make me feel like giving birth to an 8 pound baby wouldn't be so bad! The hardest part of the video to watch is when the giraffe tries to take his first steps. Enjoy...just don't watch it while you are eating!

16 January 2009

It's a Girl....AGAIN!

No, we aren't having twins! (Thank goodness!) I had my monthly check-up with my doctor on Wednesday and she got a new ultrasound machine and was being trained on how to use it. She asked me if I would mind having an ultrasound done and I EAGERLY agreed!

The ultrasound that was done was nowhere near as detailed as the ones we had done for the nuchal screening or the anatomy scan. But, it was very cool to be able to have a sneek peek of her and her activities. The doctor took all of her measurements and said everything was right on target. She was also able to give me a 2nd confirmation that, yes, our peanut is in indeed a girl. (Which is also a plus since I spent a good majority of time on Tuesday sorting through the baby clothes and realized that there was more pink in it than I had originally thought.) The doctor wasn't able to tell if she looked more like me or David, but she did say she was cute, so she must be a good combination of the both of us!

Our class that evening was interesting, but not nearly as bad as I had been imagining in the days ahead of it. We were supposed to watch a video of a birth, but didn't have time to get to it since we have a couple in the class who likes to monopolize the instructor's time by asking off-the-wall questions. For instance, when our instructor told us that we should eat something to "fuel up" during early labor, the husband asked, "Like...can we bring in a pizza? Because I want Klondike's pizza. Can we do pepperoni? Oooh, oooh, I want mushroom. Can we do mushroom?" Our instructor tried to stress that we wouldn't want to eat something that might not taste so good the second time around, but I'm not sure he got that. His facial expression was that of a man dreaming of beer, football and pizza.

We did get on the floor and practice some positions...and yes, one of them was on all fours. However, these positions were more for trying to relax and alleviate discomfort during contractions rather than the actual pushing positions. I can tell that David is going to be a good coach...even though he spends a good majority of our break walking around looking for the best massage tool that the instructor has brought, only so that I can use it on his back...when it is time to get into position, he is always asking about what feels good and is genuinely taking it seriously. My husband may have been thinking the inappropriate comments when we got down on all fours, but Pizza Guy was the one who actually said them out loud!

12 January 2009

2/3 of the Way There!!

Today marks the 6 month point in this wonderful journey we call Amanda's Pregnancy! I sincerely hope that the next 3 months go as smoothly as the first 6 have gone. Today at my prenatal yoga class, my instructor asked how everyone was doing...when she got to me, I said an enthusiastic "GREAT!" My instructor came back with a quizical, "Really?" And, I really am feeling good. My face has cleared up, the cankles are gone, and the fiber has regulated that other little problem I moaned and groaned about. Knock on wood, I am feeling fabulous! (But, please, don't tell my husband because in order to get the nightly foot rubs, I have to pretend that they are sore from carrying all this extra weight around.)

At 27 weeks, our little Nutter Butter is about the size of a head of cauliflower. She is almost 2 pounds and with her legs stretched out, she is almost 14 1/2 inches long! She is moving around quite a bit. A couple nights ago, Dave's ADD took a break and he was able to keep his hand on my belly for a good 15 minutes while we did a crossword puzzle before bed. (It wasn't the easiest crossword in the book...that's why it took 15 minutes.) He could not believe how active she was. We are still in awe everytime we see my belly pop from her movements. If it doesn't get old for us to "watch" her behind the protective barrier of my belly, I can't even imagine what it is going to be like when we are holding her in our arms!

I'm including our 6 month belly shot. Some of you may say I still look small, but I feel like it's much bigger than where I was at 5 months. It seemed to grow quite a bit right around Christmastime. I'm posting a double picture that shows me at month 5 and now 6 months together so you can see the difference.

I know last month I said that I wasn't going to put a bare belly shot up on the blog, but I thought this one was a little comical and figured I could get away with it. Maybe it's because I've been researching belly shots for our pictures we're having taken next month and almost all of them are mostly nude. This is as bare as I'm going to get....or at least until next month!

Downey Soft!

I just dropped this load of blankets and sheets onto the ottoman and ran back into the laundry room to put the rugs in the dryer. When I came back out, someone was just too comfy for me to fold them.

Road Trippin'

As if we haven't traveled enough in the last month, Dave and I have decided that we need to explore the local surroundings a little more before the baby comes. We decided the best way to celebrate our 6 month anniversary would be to head on down to Solvang, a Scandanavian-style town that reeks of tourism!

Yesterday was a gorgeous day with a high of 78 and full sunshine. We packed up Magnum and drove about 40 minutes south with our Eyewitness Travel: California book in tow. As we pulled into Solvang, we saw a huge group of ostriches at a farm on the side of the road. We pulled off to take some pictures and even got to see a couple of them chase after each other. We realized that the farm sold eggs and meat and my wonderful husband just couldn't resist! We left the farm with a pound of ostrich meat and an emu egg that is equivalent to about a dozen eggs.... PERFECT for a weekend breakfast for David!

We headed into Solvang in search of an authentic Danish meal. We were told that Solvang has a great Italian restaurant, a delicious French place, and a really cool steakhouse called The Hitching Post. But, what about Danish food? Well, they do have bakeries on every corner. We managed to find a restaurant called Bit O' Denmark, and with a menu of hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and a few Danish meals, a "bit" was all we could find there. Dave braved his way through the buffet (was that 4 trips or 5, babe?) and realized that Danish food wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

We spent the next hour or so walking around the small town. We were most thrilled with the As Seen On TV store where we found everything from a "Peel a Shrimp" tool to the infamous ShamWow that we saw on tv 10x a day in Puerto Rico!

Never buy paper towels again! Made in Germany! You'll say WOW everytime! (Needless to say, we didn't buy any Shamwows!)
I was just happy that I stumbled on Barack Obama in a t-shirt shop (that sold baby clothes and marijuana patches). He was just as confused by their choice of goods, but he was thrilled to pose for a quick picture with me before jetting back to DC to get ready for the inauguration. Maybe he was thinking about wearing the pretty butterfly shirt hanging behind him to the Inaugural Ball.

09 January 2009

You Want Me to Put WHAT, WHERE?!

So, David and I attended our very first prepared childbirth class Wednesday night at French Hospital. As some of you may know, we have two choices on where to deliver our baby. Sierra Vista is a typical hospital and French has a family birthing center. When we toured Sierra Vista, we were a little put-off by the fact that there was a possibility that I would have to share a room with another new mom after delivery. At French, you have your very own room where you deliver and recover in the same room. There is even a little chair that folds out into a twin bed for David to sleep on so he can be with us through the entire time of our stay. The birthing center is very cozy feeling and they practice a lot of different methods for having a better delivery.

Even though David had been up since 4:30 (and had gotten little sleep from our late arrival home the night before), I was able to convince him to go to the 6:30 - 8:30 class with me. After some basic introductions and a quick discussion on our expectations for the course, which included pizza and massages from the men in the crowd, we got down to business. And, when I say got down to business, I mean it! Our instructor, who I must stress is really wonderful, pulled out charts and diagrams like it was her job. Ha - I guess it is, actually. She went through the book and explained all the terminology that has ALWAYS confused me when I hear it on tv, like when they say, "She is 3.5cm dilated, 80% effaced, at a stage -3." Now I, sort of, know what they mean!

The best part came towards the end of the class when she drew a picture on the dry erase board of two smaller circles on the top and bottom and a larger one in the middle. Then, she went on to talk about the tissue surrounding those holes. I won't go into detail, but I WILL tell you that it sounded a whole lot like this:

Just wait, it gets worse! So, next week, we are going to be practicing labor positions. Our instructor got on the floor and put her legs up in a typical birthing position and said, "I hope I don't see any of you on the ground like this!" She did tell us (and I've also read about it) that the typical birthing position is not really the best laboring position to use, but it is the most common due to epidurals making the mother pretty much immobile. I have not fully decided on whether or not I am going to get an epidural, and would like to try as much as I can without one, but the alternative positions very much scare a modest girl like me. I am willing to get in the tub to help ease the pain of contractions, but when our instructor suggested giving birth doggy-style, I'll have to admit, I got A LOT scared!

08 January 2009

I Didn't Get a Tan, But Got a Sister Instead

But, I think I will take the new sister-in-law over the tan anyday!

Dave and I had a great time in Puerto Rico last week! It was so wonderful (finally) meeting Lauren's family who are exactly the way she described them...awesome! We had a fabulous time hanging with the families and the new friends we met. Dave had a little Bromance of his own going on and it was such a nice getaway before Baby Claire (as she has so been dubbed by Miss Christi Window) arrives. Unfortunately, I didn't take many pictures as I was on video camera detail and figured that the 40 other cameras that were constantly snapping could catch enough good shots. If you want a more detailed account of the trip, check out Marissa's blog or Lauren's blog as I'm sure they both will have lots of stories and pictures to post.

David and his new boyfriends, Frank and Matt, and his one and only, Kiel.

I, on the other hand, have a zillion things to do and am going to save my blogging skills to recount our first childbirth class that we attended last night. Stay tuned!