Monday, January 26, 2009

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

We recently went to the Dr and had an ultrasound. Even though I kept waiting for the excitement to build up, it never did. Truth is, I didn't really care what we were having. I always thought that was a false politically correct thing people said but I really felt that way. We learned that its most likely a girl... and that is really exciting... but I'm not more excited than before I found out. I was excited before and I'm still equally excited.

So it's a girl! And we are very happy to know that we're expecting a beautiful little girl that Dan can visciously protect with his newly created a&*hole dad personality and guns that have yet to be purchased. Seriously he'll be a great dad. As a result of the girl news, my mom and I went shopping this weekend and explored the pink section at Babies R Us... which almost made me nauseous. Sorry baby girl, it looks like you are destined to look like Pepto Bismol. Why don't they make orange baby clothes?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Alexandra Kew - our new neice

Alexandra Kew Craighead joined our family last week. She is the newest daughter of Dan's sister, Amy. Amy already has a son, Isiah, who is 2 and half. He was born while we were still enjoying New York so we have only recently been able to bond with him. He is warming up to us but still is cautious at first... although he did call me and Dan by name this last visit which made me feel really good. Who knew the approval and acceptance of a 2 year old would mean so much to me but it really does.
Alexandra Kew (middle name for the Gardens in England where Amy interned during college) was much more prompt than Isiah was and actually arrived on her due date which also happened to be Amy's birthday. It was not only cool to see her so young but also to get to handle a little newborn since I know we'll be doing it before too long. Dan was really cute and tried to mold himself to make her comfortable. He'll be such a good dad.
I taught Isiah how to use the camera and he had a great time running around taking pictures. Not all of them are of discernable objects but some of them actually turned out pretty good. I posted them here:
This one is my favorite. He may turn out to be a photographer when he grows up!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Memoirs of a Pregnant Woman

10 Things I Thought I Knew About Pregnancy:
  1. You throw up in the morning and then feel great all day during the first trimester
  2. 9 months means 9 months... NOT 10 months or 40 weeks, which is actually already started by the time you actually get pregnant... very confusing!
  3. If you don't watch it, you'll gain 100 lbs during pregnancy and never lose it
  4. After 3 months, you start to look pregnant in this really cute belly is obviously a baby & not fat kind of way.
  5. Everyone will be really happy for you and give you ridiculous tshirts that say "Hot Mama"
  6. You have to read "What to expect when you're expecting" b/c that's the pregnancy bible.
  7. Women who are moms change from their original selves into this loving mom mushy monster who doesn't think about anything but laundry and age appropriate topics for their child.
  8. You and your baby are what you eat so I will only eat good, healthy things while I am pregnant.
  9. The hardest part about being pregnant is giving up partying with your friends.
  10. Whenever you talk to a pregnant woman, you should ask her how she's feeling because that's just what you're supposed to do.

And now....

10 Things I've Learned About Pregnancy:

  1. Morning Sickness for me was never predictable and some days I felt like crap all day. However, somedays I felt great.
  2. Pregnancy is all about the weeks. Sometimes I have to think about it to even know what month I'm in. People who've been pregnant understand weeks... others understand months.
  3. I've still only gained 2 pounds despite my horrible diet, however I know weight gain is coming in the second half of the pregnancy... but there's no way I'll gain 100lbs.
  4. I could still easily be mistaken for a fat chick. Dan likes to play the "She's rockin the beer gut" song for me. Yep, that's pretty much what it looks like unless I purposely wear tighter maternity clothes that show my belly more prominently.
  5. Most are happy... happy to give you unsolicited advice and opinions that is. Seriously though, most people are happy but some aren't. That's ok. I'm happy enough for everyone.
  6. The sheer size of "what to expect..." is way too intimidating and it has not found its way home from the book store yet. I'd rather read the gossip pages online.
  7. I don't feel any different other than the fact that I'll get to impart all my wonderful thoughts onto another little one. If anything, I think motherhood will make me smarter and more insightful. I don't feel mushy... but maybe that's to come.
  8. I eat what sounds good. If that's healthy stuff, great! Usually its not.
  9. The hardest part about being pregnant is having your friends say or feel that you used to be more fun when you drank. Ouch.
  10. Everyone asks me how I am feeling and I almost want to ask them "do you really want to know?" because what if I feel crappy? Who wants to know about that stuff? So I always oblige in saying something along the "pretty good" lines. I just appreciate that they ask. It means they care and that is wonderful.

So as you can see, being pregnant isn't exactly what I expected... and really it's just is a new reality. Sure, it's wonderful and a miracle and all that... but for me, when I get up in the morning, it's a new part of my world. It's like getting your hair dyed a different color. People who see you often, notice it the first time and then become used to it. People who see you less often may not get used to it but for you, its your reality. Often people say that the length of gestation is meant to give you time to mentally prepare for the arrival. I think that is very true. Obviously, I'm still preparing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Reflections

As the stroke of midnight came this year during a more low-key shrimp boil party over at my sister's house, I looked at Dan and thought "what would I ever do without you", and then promptly kissed him and hugged him to ring in 2009.

2008 was a big year for us although I've heard many refer to 2008 as a disappointing year in their lives. Was this a global problem that stemmed beyond the economy? Do many find themselves waiting for 2009 and a new beginning? It makes me reflect on what has happened in 2008, since it didn't occur to me that it had been such a bad year.
  • My grandmother got diagnosed with cancer... and beat it.
  • We lost a friend, Thor, suddenly during a routine medical procedure... and discovered that his pregnant wife is having another girl (they already had 2).
  • We got to see the first African American be elected President by a shockingly large margin.
  • We moved back home from New York City.
  • We decided to expand the Shepard clan... and I got pregnant a few months later.
  • We saved up a ton of money that we'll be putting into a home purchase sometime early 2009.

That's just a few things. I guess if you view it from a certain angle, then 2008 could have been seen as bad... but the way I see it, it was a pivotal year for the Shepard family. 2009 will be even better. I don't know how I would have done any of it without Dan and as we shared our moment during the stroke of midnight, I felt so thankful that I had the perfect person to share all my years with (new and old).

Welcome 2009. This is the year that our lives will change even more... and all for the better. Hope you have as much to look forward to as we do. Happy New Year.