Saturday, December 19, 2009

You might be a SAHM if...


So, it's been awhile, huh? No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth. If you are reading this, you either... a) Were shocked to receive an e-mail alert saying that I had posted something new, b) had tremendous faith that I would someday return and update the blog again or c) haven't visited in so long that "Bailey is 4 weeks old" is news to you.

Regardless, here goes my first blog post in a few months, a brief reflection on one of my life's biggest changes.

You might be a stay-at-home mom if...

10. Your last blog post was 3 months ago. Neither your e-mail nor Facebook account is getting much attention, either.

9. A stroller is your new exercise machine.

8. Going "to town" will be your biggest challenge of the week.

7. You've traded your listening device from MP3 player to baby monitor.

6. "Naptime" used to mean a Sunday afternoon siesta, but now it means get as much done as possible.

5. You wear slobber in your hair more often than hairspray.

4. Singsong is your normal tone of voice.

3. You cannot determine what the strange liquid is on your pants or how long it's been there. You don't bother changing clothes.

2. You put on lounge pants, a T-shirt and a hoodie, and your husband asks, "Where are you going?"

1. You now know what it means to have a full-time job.

And yes, I am loving it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bailey is 4 weeks old!

Yes, I realize I’ve only blogged once in a month. Hopefully, this is not a new trend. I’ve just been sort of tied up taking care of a little person 24/7. And oh, the things we’ve learned!

Taking a shower and brushing my teeth have become big accomplishments. I am proud to say I’ve managed to do both every day. Makeup is icing on the cake. Can’t say I haven’t missed a day of that.

In a shocking twist of events, I am no longer the boss. One clear example: Yesterday, Bailey was lying on her play mat when she decided to take a nap. Of course, no nap is complete without her purple pacifier. The pesky thing won’t stay in her mouth long, so she recruits a willing adult to hold it in for her until she falls asleep. So there I was, lying on the floor still in my pajamas having had no shower or even breakfast, holding a pacifier. Bailey, on the other hand, was well fed, clean and dressed. Yep, we see who now rules our roost.

I have become familiar and have fallen in love with this baby’s sounds and facial expressions. It’s funny how that attachment grows. …Even the little things, like how she holds one of her legs out straight when she eats. One of my favorites is when her eyes are open wide and her lips make an “O” shape. I enjoy hearing her voice, even when she cries. In the past few days, she has begun to coo a little. I’ve been amazed at how much my world changes in the space between a cry and a smile on this tiny face.

When Bailey is asleep, she’s knocked out, but when she’s awake, she’s very alert. In the past few days, she’s seeing a lot more. She watches people and can follow you across the room with her eyes. She’s noticed a few of her toys for the first time, like the ones hanging from her Pack ‘N Play and these above her play mat.

Homegirl canNOT keep a sock on. We have baby socks strewn all over the house where she’s kicked them off somehow, usually 2 seconds after I’ve put them back on for the 14th time.

Her bouncy seat (courtesy of Auntie Lola) is one of Bailey’s most used possessions. Many, many naps have come as a result of this jewel.

On the other hand, her world would be a much happier place if there were no diaper changes. She’ll never let you know she has a dirty diaper because she is so adamant about avoiding this process. Changing clothes is even more terrible. I have learned that if you don’t strap on the diaper just right, it leaks. And leaks. And leaks.

Baths are okay, except when it comes to having her back washed.

Daddy gave Bailey her first bottle on Wednesday, and she drank the whole thing. She had another 5 ounces or so last night when her GG kept her. I think she’ll just take anything she can get.

For several nights in a row, she fell asleep around 11, waking up at 2 or 3 a.m. to stay up 3 or 4 hours. Thank goodness, that trend has ceased for now. She’s done better the last couple of nights. She sleeps most of the day, too. I guess young babies sleep a lot.

Yep, just as soon as you think you’ve learned a baby, everything changes.

Bailey and I are going to try to go to church for the first time tomorrow morning. We’ll see how that goes. She’s been to the church building a few times already to visit Daddy at work and to take her stroller (a.k.a., the Cadillac) for a spin.

Other outings include two checkups at her pediatrician (Dr. Barron and Dr. Benak, the same ones I saw growing up); an early supper at Old Mexico; Anna, Abby and Jacub’s house; grandparents’ houses; the park; and a trip to Target to pick out a sling (the jury is still out on whether she hates it or loves it). Bailey seems to be okay with trips out of the house – she sleeps the entire time – but they still make Mama a little nervous. I guess I fear she’ll have a meltdown away from the security blanket of home and I won’t be able to handle it.

I’m definitely ready for the weather to cool off a little so we can spend more time outside.

On a different note, Gunter’s liver biopsy yielded good results, though the experience itself was not the most pleasant. Dr. A said the liver scarring was minimal and could be reversed with healthy diet and exercise. We’ll go back to see him in December.

I guess that’s enough recapping for the month. Thanks for hanging in there for the long post and for not giving up on the blog! I’ll leave you with a few more pictures.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Say hello to our new addition!

Hello from motherhood and my brand new way of life! I'm pleased to announce that Bailey Lynn Akridge was born on August 25 at 10:06 p.m., the most beautiful 8 pounds and 3 ounces of baby you've ever seen.

It's been a long couple of weeks, and I purposely waited to blog until after the vicious "baby blues" had subsided. My tear ducts are still a little leaky, but I'm 100 times better than I was just a few days ago. Seriously, I have never lived through such emotional turmoil before.

I think we're all well now. Gunter and I are doing our best to learn how to understand Bailey's needs and meet them. She is such a good baby. We're actually getting some sleep at night, and she seems to be eating well, though every day is different. I love her more all the time, and I'm slowly getting adjusted to taking care of a baby 24/7. I don't know what I would have done without some very helpful new grandparents, prayer from friends and one amazing husband.

So here she is, the baby we waited so long to meet. You're going to be seeing a lot more of this darling face.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Almost check-in time

Hello from this side of labor! If all goes as planned (when does that ever happen?), today is my last full day of this pregnancy. 40 weeks is a long time.

Gunter and I have enjoyed the past few days. Highlights include our family all coming to see us one more time while I’m still pregnant, a movie date, trying a Japanese restaurant in town with a couple of friends, watching two Tyler Perry plays on DVD and tying up loose ends. We split a big Diet Coke at the movies, the first I’ve had in I can’t remember when. Bailey didn’t seem to mind. The weather has taken on a tinge of fall, and it’s beautiful, though now both of us have sinus trouble. Gunter has done very well with his new healthy diet. We’ve become quite educated on the fat content of various foods. Some restaurants’ nutrition facts have shocked us. We discovered that fat free milk is not bad after all, even for me, the milkaholic. We started work on our choir Christmas cantata, “All Bow Down” by Travis Cottrell. I read Baby Wise, but I don’t think I’ll understand it until I know what caring for a baby is actually like. Gunter finished stripping the paint from a dresser for the nursery. Lots of getting up during the night and lots of feet-propping. Lots of “You haven’t had that baby yet?!” I realized this morning that if I were pregnant one more day, there’s no way I could paint my toenails myself. Having TV in the hospital will be kind of like vacation for us. We haven’t had cable since we got married, and we’ve had no TV since we moved to Brockton.

It’s strange to think that Gunter and I are about to go through such an experience together. He mentioned last night that it’s even more special to him because it hasn’t been so long ago that we went through other life-changing experiences that weren’t so happy. Sometimes I still think of us as those little kids who met in third grade or those high school friends who cut up together. Life is such an adventure.

I’ve had moments of nervousness about the next couple of days, but I’m not nervous right now. Last night, I worried about all the swine flu talk going around since I’m about to spend a few days in a hospital and bring a baby into this germy world, but I’m over it for now. I can’t miss enjoying this because of something over which God already has control.

We’re still hoping I’ll go into labor before tomorrow morning, but if not, I’m okay with that. No, I’m not going to jog, ride a dirt road or take castor oil. Walking is painful, but I do what I can, my front yard is a bumpy enough ride, and I’ve heard the castor oil horror stories.

So, I guess I’ll see you on the flip side. I’ll post pictures as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A liver story

I know I’ve been talking about cooking more than usual lately, but I have a new challenge, one I shouldn’t be so overwhelmed by, but I sort of am. Just as I’ve gotten back into cooking on a regular basis (well, regular for me), now I have to learn to do it healthy.

Not that my cooking is that unhealthy. We’re not talking Paula Dean good and fattening. We from South Alabama start out well. We cook with chicken, fish, fresh vegetables and lean meat. But then, we like to make it taste good.

Gunter got some good news and some bad news Tuesday. The good news is there was no recurrence of cancer on his CT scans. The bad news is that he has nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Basically, his body doesn't break down fat well and it ends up in his liver. Fatty liver disease can be reversed with a healthy diet, but if left untreated for some time, it can cause cirrhosis and liver failure.

So, he’s supposed to be careful about what he eats, cutting way down on all the things we’ve always been told are bad – fats, margarines, carbs that turn into sugar (like bread and pasta), artificial sweeteners, etc. – and eat more fresh (raw) fruits and vegetables, along with some high-quality protein.

This is sad, but as we were reading about this kind of diet, one of my first questions was, “How do you cook without margarine? Is butter better?”

Obviously, I’m in need of some ideas of things to cook that follow these guidelines as closely as possible and still be something he’ll eat. Between the two of us, I’m the one who likes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. He’s more of a meat, potatoes and bread kind of guy. Hopefully, he can learn to adapt his tastes, kind of like when you’ve weaned yourself off soft drinks and sweet tea for a while and you actually want water.

Really, if we’d just eat food the way God provides it for us – as is – we wouldn’t have so many health problems.

Any advice from all you health-conscious cooks out there?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Countdown to D-Day: 5 days or less

We just got back from the doctor, and he says if Bailey is not born by Monday, we'll spend the night in the hospital and induce Tuesday morning...on her due date.

I have mixed feelings about this. I'm excited that we should have a baby within a week (WHAT?!), but I'd still rather she come on her own. Makes me feel like we're forcing or rushing, even though she's probably been ready for weeks. But, inducing means my doctor would be there to deliver, and I like that. I would say I like the predictability of inducing, but I know that birth is anything but predictable, no matter how it happens.

Funny, I'm still not nervous. Maybe I'm in denial?

We'll see what happens between now and Monday. It's still all in God's hands. ...And maybe is influenced by that lady who works at Chick-Fil-A in Montgomery. She predicted Bailey would be born this weekend, and then rubbed a blessing on my stomach.

Everything else still looks good with the baby, except her head is a little high. My blood pressure, weight gain, etc., is still normal, though "everything looks good" would probably not be the most appropriate phrase to describe me right now.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Face to face...almost

Here are Bailey's ultrasound photos from Tuesday, as promised. What a cute little round head!

And for the grand finale, a 4D picture. What a pleasant surprise! See any resemblance yet?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Discoveries from maternity leave week 1

Discovery #1
Cooking and eating at home supposedly saves money by avoiding restaurant food costs. Ah, but cooking costs a lot, too, when you add up:

the price of food + gas for trips to the grocery store + electricity it takes to run the stove and oven + electricity for the air conditioner to offset kitchen heat + electricity and water to clean the kitchen, wash the dishes and run the dishwasher

I think I've been loading and unloading our dishwasher every day for the past few days, and I'm not even a serious cook.

Discovery #2
Cooking can be fulfilling for a Southern woman, even if it's really simple stuff not picked from one's own garden. For example, I made my first fruit cobbler yesterday. This is about as "from scratch" as it gets around here. I've never been a big dessert-maker, so Gunter wondered what was going on. Well, for the first time in my life, I understand the importance of sweets.

I discovered that peaches can be hard to peel because they're so slippery underneath that fuzzy exterior. My favorite part of this recipe was eating peach peelings and bread crust as I went. I couldn't bear to waste some of the best parts.

A buttered 8x8 baking pan
5 to 6 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (the ones at Walmart were HUGE, so I only used 3)
5 slices of white bread
1 1/2 cups sugar (I accidentally used 2 1/2 cups. No wonder it was so sweet!)
1 egg
1 stick of butter, melted
2 tablespoons of flour (not a common item in my house, but I had some because Gunter plans to make biscuits at some point)

Place peaches in the buttered 8x8 baking pan. Cut crust from the bread and slice into fine fingers. Place the bread fingers over the peaches. Mix sugar, flour, egg and butter, and pour over fruit and bread. Bake 35-45 minutes until golden brown.

Discovery #3
It is possible to sleep past 7 a.m. I can't do it without waking up first and making a conscious effort to go back to sleep, but it can be done. That's all I'll say about that. I don't want to rub it in the face of all you working folks. But for months, people have been telling me to get all the rest I can because now is the last time I'll ever sleep in my entire life...ever. So I'm trying.

Discovery #4
It's difficult to reach my laptop keys, so I'm going to take a break now.

Maternity leave day 7 - a medical update

I’m still here and still great with child. This is officially week 38. I’ll go back to that tracking method, since measurements are now moving beyond the normal span of pregnancy.

We’ve all been doing well. I am thankful for every single second of this pregnancy, and I realize how fortunate I am to have made it this far…but I’m about to the point of being “ready.”

I’m adjusting to this slower-paced life at home. I have been catching up on some housework and getting out, too, though it takes more out of me than it has. I’m surprised that I haven’t run out of things to do. In fact, I haven't gotten around to several items on my to-do list. And yes, I have been catching up on rest. I don’t have much of a choice in the matter. Swelling and pain overrules my wishes from time to time.

I’ve started on a pretty good novel, but I should be writing thank-you notes instead.

I saw my regular doctor yesterday (the rotations are finally over!), and I remember that I like him a lot. He noticed that my face is swelling along with my feet, but he said it’s okay because my blood pressure is good. No progress as far as labor goes. He said that even though the baby is getting big, he won’t consider inducing until, at the earliest, a week before my official due date (August 25). He wants to make sure the baby’s lungs are fully developed. I’m good with that. Still hoping labor starts on its own.

Dr. B was almost certain the baby’s head was down, but he sent me for an ultrasound to make sure. Indeed, it was. They estimate she weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces. I was glad to finally ID the body parts that most commonly poke out here or there. We got to take home some pictures, so I’ll post them as soon as we get them scanned.

So, Dr. B sent me home, told me to keep my feet up as much as I can and wants to see me next Wednesday.

Sorry if this blog has sounded more like a report, but my writing is a little rusty after a week of being away from work and not blogging.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Maternity leave day 1/2

A picture is worth a thousand words, but two swollen feet are evidently worth a ticket home. Let me break it down into an equation:

Doctor’s appointment + (7.5- to 8-pound baby on the way) + caring folks at work = maternity leave before lunchtime

As of my appointment yesterday, I’m still measuring 2 weeks ahead of schedule, which I guess puts me at 39 weeks and a couple days. The doctor estimated the baby could weigh 7.5 to 8 pounds by now. He said we’d rather have a big, healthy baby than one who’s not ready. I agree. I’d rather not be induced if I don’t have to be.

He thought Bailey was head-down, but he wasn’t sure. She doesn’t like to be grabbed or prodded, so she put up quite a fight when he tried to feel her out. Everything else looked good, and I’ll see my regular doctor next week if I haven’t gone into labor by then.

Doc still wasn’t concerned about my feet, but the folks at work were when I showed up this morning. I was willing to work the rest of the week if they really wanted me to, but they told me to go on home and put my feet up. No argument here. I am now officially on maternity leave, so I can do housework goof off rest until Bailey shows up.

I actually did prop them up for a couple hours this afternoon, and I was amazed at how much better they felt…until I was on them again. I guess Gunter was right – propping them on a stool underneath my desk is not the same as “up.”

Being home makes me feel a lot better about the unknown. I’m not in a big hurry for her to come now (except for that 8+ pounds thing), but I doubt it will be too much longer.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Name those feet

Let's play a game! I'll give you two pictures of feet, and you pick which ones are mine and which ones belong to a certain famous pig who co-starred on one of my favorite movies of all time, Muppet Treasure Island.

Set of feet #1:

Set of feet #2:

Give up?

Set of feet #1 belongs to...

The glamorous, the fabulous, the one and only Miss Piggy.

Set of feet #2 belongs to...

Me, the human torpedo! And guess what...These pictures were taken first thing this morning! Now, if I could only get Miss Piggy's wardrobe and snazzy sense of style!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


It's here, and it's real.

Not to say that I don't hit a tired phase about 10 p.m., and not to say that my weighed-down body can hold up with the stamina of an athlete, BUT I have so much energy right now, I can barely stay in my chair. It's been like that all day.

You can't tell it yet by looking inside my humble abode, but this is serious. I took a day of leave tomorrow just to have more time to work on things around the house and run errands. I haven't taken a day off work for anything other than a planned event or a doctor's appointment in I can't remember when.

I'm not in a panic to get things ready. I would more accurately describe my feelings as "desperate," but in a more positive "determined" and willing to eradicate anything that gets in my way.

In a nice way, of course. :-) But fully prepared to resort to tougher measures if necessary.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Baby Banter #10, 11 and 12

Some people can make a 9-monther feel so good! I'll take these kinds of comments any day! All these came from women at work...So now you know one reason I love my job.

Passing on my way out of the bathroom:
Girl, you don't even look pregnant from behind! Turn around. [I turn around, remembering why I never participated in beauty pageants in high school.] You're all baby!

Being followed while on my way in the employee entrance door:
You don't even look pregnant from the back! You're just as narrow as you were before.

Meeting in the hall between my cubicle and the breakroom:
You are so cute! You just look fabulous. And red looks really pretty on you.

Sometimes I wonder what people will talk to me about when I no longer look like I'm smuggling a watermelon.

And then there are the looks... I wish I had a built-in camera sometimes to capture wide eyes and open mouths. Come on, people, I didn't grow that much over the weekend!

Or did I?

People say that insomnia and getting up during the night help prepare pregnant women to get up with the baby every few hours. I think God put measures in place to get dads ready, too -- mom's restlessness for one thing. When I wake up during the night, I have to get completely out of bed (which takes a few tries), flip my pregnancy pillows and three regular pillows and crawl back inside the pile before I can go back to sleep, which usually wakes Gunter. Apparently, it's been turned up a notch because he says I have started snoring.

Now he knows how I felt when we first got married.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow...

This was supposed to be my 35-week update, but I’m really not sure what week I’m updating from. Neither are my doctors.

I went in for an appointment on Thursday thinking I was 35 weeks along, but I measured 37. I guess a lot of that baby banter I had been hearing for weeks was somewhat on track:

“You look ready!”
“There’s no way you’ll make it to August 25.”
“You look like you’ve dropped.”

I don’t doubt it. Right now, they estimate the baby weighs 6.5 pounds. If she keeps growing like she has, she’ll either be born earlier than we thought, or she’ll be big. The doctor said her growth could slow down, though, putting her closer to normal size and closer to my due date. She still appears to be head-down.

In summary, she could be born anytime between today and 5 weeks from now. Yeah.

I’m thankful that she’s progressing well, but I’d like to have a better estimate than that. It’s unreal and exciting that D-Day could be so close. I learned a valuable lesson this week – only God knows when babies will be born.

I really think my doctors are more laid-back than most. They’re not at all concerned about the constant swelling in my feet because my blood pressure is good. I’ve been wearing flipflops to work lately, calling them my maternity dress sandals. But even flipflops leave marks behind when I take them off.

They’ve set my next appointment in two weeks (they almost let it slip to three, but I protested). I think I’ll keep working at least that long and maybe go on leave if the doctor thinks I’m still progressing at this rate.

As for now, I’ve realized that I need to kick the baby preparations into high gear. We have our last shower this afternoon, and after that, I’ll go on a shopping/washing/organizing/cleaning frenzy!

By the way, Gunter painted my toenails for me this morning. Next Saturday, I'll have a spa pedicure, compliments of my "twin" and her husband. If my feet continue to swell, the spa people will have quite a bit of real estate to work on.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Don't worry...

I'm still here! Yes, it's been a week since I posted, but what a busy week it's been! I'll try to update sometime this weekend. Just didn't want all three of you to worry.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Goldilocks and the three mountains of baby clothes

Last night, Gunter found a strange woman asleep on our den floor! He even got a picture to prove it. Who does she think she is, Goldilocks? If you have any information on the identity of this woman, please call our free hotline.

Wait, isn’t that the shirt I was wearing last night?

So this was the view in our den around 10 or 10:30. (I'm afraid the view in my office has been similar several times this week, only with a desk instead of the floor.) Those items at my head? A wreath for the hospital door, a shopping cart cover and a carseat pad. At my feet? Burpcloths, bibs and blankets.

We had made piles of gifts from our shower Sunday and had gotten rid of the gift bags. I sat down on the floor to gather the blanket pile, and the last thing I remember is seeing Gunter unbox the Pack-and-Play. When he woke me up, I was aching all over and the Pack-and-Play had disappeared -- moved to its place in our room where the baby will spend at least her first few weeks…or months…

Evidently (as PawPaw Dye says), I have hit a tired stage in this third trimester. Hopefully, I can justify it as tired and not just lazy. If I want things organized and ready for the baby, the nesting phase better kick in soon. Falling asleep as soon as I sit still is also quite a hindrance to thank-you note progress.

The past few days, pretty much anything other than lying on the couch has become a chore. Including getting up after a nap on the floor.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Postpartum post

Postpartum class was quite helpful last night. I got a little woozy near the beginning, as I have during every class, but it wasn’t too bad. I really appreciated how detailed it was, including the ever-popular visual aids.

One such visual aid was a mini-Jacuzzi the hospital sends home with each patient. That’s not what they called it, but I like “mini-Jacuzzi” better. Thanks, Blue Cross! I told Gunter I would make it into a footbath for pedicures as soon as I can reach my feet again.

The nurse didn’t say anything about massages curing baby blues, but I think she assumed we already knew that.

I’m slightly concerned about not getting to eat when I’m in labor – me, the girl who eats every 2-3 hours. (Of all the things to dread, right?) Maybe the majority of my labor won’t happen from 5 a.m.-noon. That’s when I’m the hungriest. I think they don’t let you eat because they’re afraid you’ll get sick, but they don’t know that the opposite is true with me. Even worse, if you have a C section, you apparently don’t get to eat for days!

Gunter’s just going to have to find a drive-through on the way to the hospital. I’ll be sipping the last of my milkshake as we sign in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

34 weeks and now counting backwards

I am 34 weeks now, and I guess it’s about time for another pregnancy picture. My belly looks a lot bigger than this when I’m standing up.

Here’s Bailey and me in a place where I predict we’ll be spending a lot of time soon – a rocking chair from some sweet friends in Opp in Bailey’s not-quite-finished nursery. I’ll try to show more pictures when we’ve got a few things hung on the walls and one more piece of furniture in place. Gunter is working on it like crazy, but the 5,724 layers of old paint he’s scraping off are about to get the best of him.

I redeemed a birthday gift certificate yesterday and got a pregnancy massage. I was wary of the table at first because, even with an indention for my belly, I wondered if I was putting any pressure on Bailey. When I told my mom about the table made for pregnant bellies she asked, “Did yours fit?” A valid question, since mine does stick way on out there.

After I got comfortable with the table, I really enjoyed the massage. Getting up was quite an endeavor, but when I left the spa, I didn’t even feel pregnant. I felt lighter, and nothing was strained or achy. The only trouble I had was the massage oil lingering on my hippo-like feet. No matter what I did, I couldn’t keep them from slipping in my shoes. No Walmart trip for me (pun not intended). Gunter picked up groceries on his own.

In other news, I’ve not been as active with the youth this summer. We had water day a few Saturdays ago, and I did go out there, but I had a great time in the shade playing with my “twin’s” little ones in a kiddie pool instead of slip-and-slide baseball. After it was all over, Gunter tried to pull me down the slip-and-slide on my back, but I don’t think he took into account that the extra weight would not allow him to go very fast. It wasn’t a very dignified experience.

The youth went tubing on Saturday, and we decided it would not be best for me to try that, either. I couldn’t imagine how I might get into an inner tube and still breathe, though I could easily see me falling on a stump or something. Gunter made a good point about going into labor on the river and having no cell phone service. Besides that, any time over 5 minutes in the sun would have cooked me. Mom and I went shopping instead, and then I took a nap and cleaned house. Much safer, except for the cleaning the house part.

Tonight, we’re going to a postpartum class at the hospital so Gunter will know what to do with me when I turn into an all-out basketcase. I hope to find out that shoulder rubs are key in battling baby blues.

Friday, July 10, 2009

You know you're "ripe" when...

...people replace "How far along are you?" with "How much longer do you have?"

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Favorite Thing #323: Sweet Tea in a Mason Jar/Southernisms

This post will double as a "favorite thing" because there is nothing better than sweet iced tea in a cold mason jar with a little lemon. Nothing! Goodness gracious.

I yanked the part below from an e-mail forward, but it totally spoke to me. I was proud to identify with every one. If you don't, well bless your heart!

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "HAVE" them, you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess."

Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of "yonder."

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in: "Going to town, be back directly."

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who's got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor's trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

Only Southerners grow up knowing that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines, and when we're "in line," we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they're related, even if only by marriage.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin'," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

Only true Southerners say "sweet tea" and "sweet milk." Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it -- we do not like our tea unsweetened. "Sweet milk" means you don't want buttermilk.

And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart" and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!

And for those who are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls' front porch that reads "I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

By all appearances...

I’ve started thinking... I have no idea what my child will look like. Really, her appearance might come as a big surprise. My features differ from Gunter’s quite a bit. I hope Bailey is gorgeous like her daddy, but I secretly want her to look at lot like me, at least enough to recognize her as mine.

Allow me to demonstrate…

Will she inherit Gunter’s sometimes blue/sometimes green eyes, or my brown ones?

Will she have a head full of dark, curly hair from the beginning…

…or will she be bald until about the age of 4, when she finally starts to grow fine, straight hair like Mama?

Bailey might even start out blonde like Uncle Benjamin or red-headed like Great-Granny Dye.

Will that trace of Cherokee skin be passed down, or will she look more like vanilla pudding with chocolate sprinkles?

Note the arms.

Will she inherit the athleticism and competitive spirit of grandparents, aunts and uncles, or will she be more interested in books and music?

We look forward to finding out!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Banter #7, 8 and 9

From a woman at a local church after a Jimmy DeYoung lecture:
Are you having TRIPLETS?!

Yes. Yes, I am. Very small triplets. If you add all their sizes together, they add up to be about the size of one normal 32-week baby (at the present, about 4 pounds and 19 inches long).

Beloved pastor after the Jimmy DeYoung lecture:
She’s pregnant!

Don't even play. You knew that already!

From Jimmy DeYoung after the Jimmy DeYoung lecture:
Hey, Mama!

Suddenly, I’ve become everybody’s mama, even Jimmy DeYoung’s! Funny, we don’t resemble each other at all. I’m missing the receding fro and the great broadcast voice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Baby Banter #6

From my dear husband after I made a joke about unloading a watermelon from his vehicle (something I knew I would not be allowed to lift):
"You can't do that! You already have one!"

It might not have looked it, I'm pretty sure that watermelon was bigger than my watermelon! And it was very tasty.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Don't be a stuck in the mud

Dead Sea peril: sinkholes swallow up the unwary

That was a headline today. Unbeknownst to Yahoo! News, that is not news to me. The Dead Sea is one big sinkhole. My time stuck there was more like 5 minutes than 14 hours, but I got stuck nonetheless. Fortunately, my brave rescuer (Gunter) was close by to drag out my salty, miry self.

Stuck is about the only thing you can get at the Dead Sea. If you’re looking to learn about Biblical history, floating or mud that burns your skin, the Dead Sea is a neat place.

If you’re looking for a gorgeous ocean and a nice spa, try Destin, Florida.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thoughts on the drive home

Don't text while driving, especially on winding country roads. That means you, huge shiny pickup truck crossing over into my lane!

You know you're from the country when a bad smell comes through your vents and you can immediately identify what kind of livestock generated said smell.

If I tilt my steering wheel as far up as it can go, maybe the airbag will hit me in the face if it were to go off instead of in the abdomen. I guess you know you're getting more mom-like when you'd prefer being hit in the face by a huge sack of air at a gazillion miles per hour.

Country roads can be so beautiful. I should stop and take a picture one of these days. I have pulled over on the side of this road before, and 2 cars stopped to check on me before 3 minutes had passed.

I'm blessed to have air conditioning, even though it doesn't seem to do much good on the way home. The car gets cool on the morning commute, but the AC is no match for the Alabama afternoon sun.

Sometimes, it takes longer to pull out at an intersection with only three cars puttering down the road than it would take in a big city.

Queen for a few more days

I’ve spent the past few nights at Mama and Daddy’s house because Gunter left me.

Wait, that doesn’t sound right.

What I mean is, he left home to take the youth on a beach retreat, so I’m vacationing at the parents’ house this week. Gunter recanted after what happened a few weeks ago and told me that I could stay at home by myself if I wanted to, but I figured it would ease a few minds if I had more supervision.

What everybody forgets, though, is that I was never alone. Bailey was there the whole time. I think she knows karate.

Staying with Mom and Dad takes me back to my last few days of college and the year before Gunter and I got married. I was doing about the same thing I am this week -- driving the same route to work, talking to Gunter on the phone each night and being treated like a queen. I think my queen status might have even been upped this week because it’s only for a few days and because I’m carrying around a large ball of grandbaby.

Mom even stole the dirty clothes out of my room.

I’m pretty sure that, soon enough, Bailey will think Grandmama and Grandaddy’s house is the happiest place on Earth when she is treated like a queen here, just as I thought my grandparents’ house was better ‘n Disney World. I’ve heard from others that my queenly days at this residence are numbered according to the arrival of the next generation of spoiled-rotten grandbabies.

We'll see. Maybe they'll at least still like me here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baby Banter #4 and 5

From a nursing student at a community college in Opp yesterday:
"You're so little! When I was pregnant with mine, my belly was twice that size!"

From the Winn Dixie deli lady today:
"August?! You look like you're about to have her."

On the contrary, according to my doctor, I'm measuring right on schedule. That's what Blue Cross pays them for, so I think I'll stick with the professional opinion.

Baby Banter #1, 2 and 3

Because I get so many baby comments a day, I thought it would be fun to share some of them on the blog. Keep in mind that I am NOT offended by these comments, so I hope you won’t be either.

I’ll start the series with a top 3 of the week from a lovable cutup at church. These sound mean, but you’d just have to know him (and some of you know him well).

“How’s my favorite blimp?”

“Hey, Slim.”

“There she is, protruding navel and all.”

I think “Hey, Slim” made me laugh the most. I never know what to say back.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lip service

I don’t wear lipstick. I can’t stand most lipsticks I’ve tried, mostly for the taste and the dry paint feeling. But, since last Saturday was such a special occasion – my little brother’s wedding – I figured I’d better invest in some. I didn’t think lip gloss was up to the challenge of the gazillion pictures bridesmaids pose for on wedding days.

So Thursday after my doctor’s appointment, I scooted over to the Clinique counter at the mall. I would normally just get something at Walmart, but I needed someone to pick me out a color a high-quality product.

I don’t wear lipstick, so I’m not accustomed to buying it, either.

I described the dress color to the Clinique lady, and she proceeded to pull lipstick tubes from one of those sample boards. And I, not EVEN thinking, picked up the first tube and smeared it all over my lips. I then noticed her rubbing each tube on her hand to test the color. Of course, it didn’t occur to me to do that. For some reason, rubbing countless hand germs on my mouth seemed like such a better idea.

At that point, I started rubbing lipstick on the back of my hand, too, hoping she didn’t notice my goof or the sparkly new shade on my face that simply was not there before.

I ended up buying that very color – waterviolet. It looked really good on the tissue I vigorously rubbed it on immediately after walking away from the counter.

And that was just one brain lapse for the day. A couple of hours later, I arrived home to remember that I left my car in Dothan. But that’s another story.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Okay, I get it.

I'm co-teaching kindergarten VBS this week (with my friend who is expecting at the end of July). Judging by the way my hips felt this morning, I'm going to have to go easy on the dancing.