Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bump Watch redux

5 months
I can't believe we're at the halfway point. Week 20 is here and I feel like I've just started getting used to the idea of carrying around a living being inside of me. The changes will be coming fast and furious now. This weekend I co-hostessed my good friend Stacia's baby shower, and it is absolutely overwhelming the amount of STUFF needed to manage a tiny, 8-ish pound helpless baby. Stacia and Emily (another fab Lawrence friend) are kind enough to be my mentors as I register next week for all of these as of yet foreign things that I'm sure I will soon not be able to live without.
So, below left is 4 months and right is 5 months. I do believe there's something going on inside of there!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Get Lost!

Seriously! Lost is back in 4 days. I'm almost as excited about this as finding out whether BC is a boy or girl! And, I'm a little sad that BC will not be able to have a true Lost experience except via re-runs. Sigh. Hmm, I wonder how Matt feels about the name Locke... for a boy, of course. Maybe Juliet for a girl? :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

19 Weeks

Almost 5 months! 
According to the reading, BC (Baby Coles will now be referenced by initials only until a proper name has been picked!) is now the size of a large heirloom tomato. Now I must not have come into contact with many heirloom tomatoes in my life  b/c I would think a bell pepper (Week 18) is bigger than a tomato. But what do I know? See, this blog is educating all of us on the wide varieties of produce the world has to offer. Pick some up at your local farmers' market today!

Eyes up here, buddy! (but not really)
Just in the last few days, I have noticed that people are often-times looking at my belly first when I see them instead of the usual eye contact before a "hello". Anyone else notice this habit of others when you were pregnant? I don't mind it. In my head at least, it means people realize I am truly pregnant, instead of just letting myself go a little. :) Now I can sort of relate to how women who are blessed with certain larger-than-average, um, "assets", go through life dealing with attention.

Daily Soapbox Time!
It wouldn't be a true blog entry if I didn't put on my preacher hat for a minute. I ran across this interesting article about the high expectations in today's society/media about the length of time (or lack thereof) losing the "baby weight" should take a new mother. Case in point:  Kourtney Kardashian's recent picture in a magazine was airbrushed to make it look as though she has already shed her pregnancy pounds - a mere 5 weeks after giving birth! Now, I secretly love all things Kardashian, and I pity poor Kourtney for clearly not living up to the outrageous standard we are all setting for ourselves. Anyways, give it a read if you're bored.

It's a Bird. It's a Plane. It's a....
Okay, not long now. Next Tuesday we have our sonogram to hopefully find out whether BC is a he or a she. Cross your fingers BC is not shy!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Deep(ish) Thoughts

It's a puke-free world
Woohoo! It's been over two weeks since I was cursed with a bout of morning sickness. I think it's safe to say I've turned a corner, onto a new street filled with lovely things like heartburn, hip pain, and a trip an hour to the ladies' room! :) Seriously, though, I am feeling good, and hate to complain (although I'm getting pretty good at it).

Proud to be an American?
You know how sometimes you have absolutely no interest in certain topics or social issues until they become relevant to your own situation - What? There was an earthquake? (Sorry, terrible example.) Anyways, now that I am forced to learn about things like how much maternity leave I get, and how much of it will be paid and at what %, etc., I am suddenly finding myself a little incensed at the insensitivity our country has toward working mothers - and fathers. I mean, even Russia, RUSSIA!, has a longer leave policy than we do. Rocky didn't beat Ivan Drago to represent a country that would have Adrian treated in such a rude manner after her pregnancy!
Below is a list of a few countries who make the U.S. look like a backwards, barbaric nation of women-hating workaholics. Yeah, totally not bitter or anything.
Family Leave around the World
Maternity Leave Policies*
26 weeks. Most mothers will usually qualify to be paid Statutory Maternity Pay or Maternity Allowance during ordinary maternity leave. Additional maternity leave available for up to 26 weeks, usually unpaid. A recent amendment makes it mandatory for women to take a minimum of two weeks’ maternity leave immediately after childbirth (four weeks’ minimum for factory workers). Pregnant employees may also be eligible for a Sure Start Maternity Grant,9 a one-time, tax-free payment offered to low income mothers to buy supplies for the baby which does not have to be paid back.10
16 weeks, 100% salary, under the Sickness Benefits Act, "with pregnancy treated as an illness for purposes of the act." If pregnancy or childbirth gives rise “incapacity for work,” the employee is eligible for 100% of her salary for up to an entire year during her illness.11 Also offers parental leave for each parent for 13 weeks, 100% salary and unpaid leave for 26 weeks before the child’s 8th birthday as long as the person has been employed one year.12
3 weeks prior to the birth and 6 weeks after, 100% salary.13 May also take parental leave for 44 weeks at 100% salary or 54 weeks at 80% salary, shared with the father.14
5 months, 100% salary. Mothers may optionally abstain from work for an additional 6 months at 30% pay, and unpaid if the child is ill and under three years of age.12
10 weeks prior to the birth of the child plus 10 weeks after, “with social payments in the amount specified by the law.”15
14 weeks, 7 prior and 7 after delivery, 100% salary.16 Parental leave follows for 76 weeks; 56 weeks at 100% (if 20% is covered by the employer) or 80% salary, 12 weeks at “a low flat rate,” and 12 weeks unpaid. 8 weeks of this is lost if not taken by the father.20
12 weeks, 4 weeks of which may be taken prior to childbirth. After, 24 weeks may be taken, or 12 weeks if shared with the father. 80% salary.20
52 weeks, unpaid.17

Before I lose you completely...
Here's a fun pic of Preston and Matt from the other week. Because blogs are really only worth reading for the pictures, right? :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back To The Grind

We just got back from spending a few relaxing days with Jerry & Melanie in Florida. Boy was it great timing to get away from the Kansas cold! Most of the time the temps were in the 70's, with a couple of nice, sunny days. Matt got in his share of golf (but didn't beat Jerry too badly this time around), and I survived 9 holes. Melanie was patient enough to take me around to some maternity stores, where I found some pants that actually work for me! Yea! (Tip: Gap Maternity is awesome!!!!) One thing I won't be repeating for not attempt to play tennis for the first time in two years while pregnant. I am still sore. Although, Matt did say that he thought I played better pregnant. Wish I could say the same for my golf game!

The Word Is Out
Jerry and Melanie are so excited to become grandparents, that whenever we were introduced to friends of theirs who live in their golf community, the first words the introducees usually said to us were, "Congratulations!" It appears as though the good news spread even before our arrival. I wonder if Banjo knows his days as Grammy's #1 baby are numbered... :)

18 Weeks
So here I am at the 4 1/2 month stage, where, according to the reading, Baby Coles is the size of a bell pepper. I should start to feel some movements here and there around now, although I haven't felt anything yet. At least, not anything I can put a finger on that is for sure "baby". I am continuing to categorize all motions as indigestion, which I know for a fact has been going on in there since Day 1. :) Sorry, TMI!

The Name Game
We have started compiling a list of baby names, both girl and boy at this point, and welcome any suggestions. I know my mom is good about texting me whenever she runs across an interesting prospect!  I'm sure there will be a poll soon, so be on the lookout.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Things That Go Bump

Bump Watch 2010
Another week down! Time for the first installment of "Bump Watch 2010". Here I am at 4 months. Let's see how far this comfy grey shirt will stretch through the coming months.

17 Weeks
Baby Coles is now the size of a turnip. A turnip, you ask? Well, yes. Because a turnip is not at all an obscure piece of produce and anyone can easily conjure up an image of a turnip with its approximate length and width, right?

Say It Ain't Snow
This week, Matt and I are excited to visit Jerry & Melanie. We are looking forward to leaving the frozen, hilly plains of Eastern Kansas for the sunny warmth of Ft. Myers, Florida. Only this trip, Jerry, better make my bloody mary a virgin! I hope to be able to golf at least one round - maybe Baby Coles will actually improve my swing!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news...

Today we went to the doctor for my monthly checkup. Quite the boring appointment! I guess no news is good news. Matt finally got to hear the heatbeat. (I could have done with a little more enthusiasm, but that's for a different type of rant, err, post. ;))  The heartbeat was a healthy 163. For more on that see below.

A Weighty Matter
From day one of my pregnancy until now, I have gained 14 pounds. I was almost at peace with that, reasoning that if it took 4 months to gain 14 pounds, another 4 months at another 14 pounds would be right in line with what is a healthy pregnancy weight gain. Then Matt burst my bubble by commenting that everything he has read states that the bulk of weight gain happens in the last couple of months. So there we go.

Reasons why I think we are having a girl:

1. The Chinese birth calendar, which claims to be 93% correct, says we are having a boy.
2. I am craving orange juice more than I ever have in my life.
3. The heartbeat is 163 - and as the wives' tale goes,  a heartbeat over 140 means girl.
4. Most of the people we know are having or recently have had boys, meaning our little universe is due for some evening out.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

4 Months!

I am starting Week 16 this week, and still waiting for that magical switch to flip and make my morning sickness disappear. This baby sure likes to remind me throughout the day that he/she is in charge!

Holy Guacamole
According to the various baby books I'm reading, Baby Coles is the size of an avacado this week. And suddenly, I have a craving for some spicy guacamole. It's actually kind of disturbing, associating food with babies to pregnant women, with our increased appetites and all. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

And Happy Birthday to Grammy-to-be, Melanie! I see 2010 as a year of change, promise, and hopefully a better economy! Here's to everyone's health, wealth, and dirty diapers. I really only have one resolution for this new year, and that is to be more least until the baby comes. Then, it's really just about survival, right??? :)