Tuesday, February 14, 2012

40 Things. . .

I think being pregnant and finding out we're having a girl has made me particularly mushy this Valentine's Day. 

When Shawn and I were dating he celebrated his 40th birthday and I wrote him an email with 40 things I loved about him.  It started out easy, then around 20 it got hard, and then around 40 I didn't want to stop.  I realized as I was composing the email that I wanted Shawn to be in my life forever and always and that I wanted to marry this man!  Somewhere around this time Shawn realized the same thing about me because it was on his 40th birthday he showed his parents the ring he had picked out for me and told them he was going to propose!

In honor of this Valentine's Day, and in honor of the overflowing love I feel for the man who is going to be a Daddy to our little girl, here's the email of 40 thing I love about my Shawn.

Happy Birthday Mr. Walker! 
To celebrate this wonderful occaision, this day when the world went from being without Shawn Walker to being with Shawn Walker I'd like to give you 40 thing I love about you:
  1. I love how patient you are
  2. I love that you support me
  3. I love that you are committed to making our relationship work
  4. I love that you make me laugh
  5. I love how much your family adores you
  6. I love that you had your nieces and nephews over for a sleepover!
  7. I love that you always hold my hand
  8. I love that you love to play games
  9. I love that you wanted me to meet your family (even if it freaked me out)
  10. I love how happy Scooter makes you
  11. I love that you are always willing to do what I ask you wether it be going to a family party or changing a tall lightbulb. 
  12. I love how you take care of me
  13. I love that you own a home.
  14. I love that you let me plant flowers in your yard.
  15. I love that you push me to try new things (like riding a motorcycle!)
  16. I love that the first time we talked on the phone you told me you wanted a Mini Cooper. 
  17. I love that when you make fun of me I know you are doing it because you love me. 
  18. I love that you have a pool. 
  19. I love that you want to listen to me talk about girlie things. (Or are willing to listen?)
  20. I love your bald head.  :)
  21. I love how I feel when I am with you
  22. I love that you make bread from scratch
  23. I love cooking with you
  24. I love that I feel comfortable talking about the gospel with you
  25. I love that you played Pretty Pretty Princess with Maya
  26. I love that you have goals and ambitions for the future
  27. I love that you like to travel
  28. I love that when you are telling me something serious or important that you get quiet
  29. I love going on drives with you
  30. I love that you take interest in my roommates
  31. I love that we have the same values
  32. I love that you take your home teaching seriously
  33. I love watching you with your nieces and nephews
  34. I love that you know so much about things I know so little about
  35. I love that you are willing to go to the ballet with me
  36. I love spending time with you no matter what we do
  37. I love that you encourage me, wether it's working out or finding a new job
  38. I LOVED it when you took me to the airport
  39. I love getting emails and text messages from you in the middle of the day.
  40. I LOVE YOU!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cradles and Bassinets and Cribs, Oh My!

Can we talk baby furniture for a minute?  There are so many choices and options I feel like I'm drowning in a world of changing tables and dressers and cribs and mattresses and strollers and car seats!  ACH!  HOW DO YOU DECIDE?

I decided the crib was the first thing I was going to choose and then everything would fall into place from there, but seriously, there are 9,000 cribs out there and they ALL LOOK THE SAME!  I want a crib that is going to last if/when we have more babies, but don't want to spend a ton of money if I don't have to.  But, seriously, right now they all look basically the same, the $180 crib from Walmart and the $700 crib at baby stores.

Then there's changing tables and dressers.  Do I need both?  After talking to my sister she stressed the importance of making sure diapers and changing supplies are in easy reach, so I'm pretty sure I don't want JUST a dresser, but I secretly hate the way open shelved changing table look.  I like the idea of a changing table that has an open shelf and then dresser drawers underneath, is that enough?

And then there's the bassinet/cradle/moses basket dilema.  What should my baby sleep in for the first few weeks/months?  I know I'll want the baby in our room, and I know a crib is too big for both a newborn and for our room, but how do you decide on which option?!  And seriously, what's the difference between a cradle and a bassinet? Is portability important?

Oh, and I'm not even thinking about car seats and strollers and mattresses yet! But I do think I've made one important decision.  I think I've found a rocker/glider chair I like.  But it's only online, not in stores, so what if I get it and it's uncomfortable and I hate it?!

So, my Mom friends, what did you do?  Particularly for the first few weeks, what worked?  Or what didn't work?  And how did you decide what to get?  Am I overanalyzing?  HELP!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Olympic Memories

Let's take a short break from the pregnancy posts to discuss the 10 year anniversary of something that happened right here in Salt Lake!  The Olympics!  I love the Olympics, which is slightly odd because I hate sports.  I don't watch the Superbowl, I don't watch the World Series, but every two years I can devote hours on end to watching speed skating and swimming and gymnastics and the dozens of skiing events.  I love the competition and the world coming together to celebrate.  Ten years ago the Olympics were held in my hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah, and I do consider it an event that has shaped my life.  I'm going to share with you some of my favorite stories from the Olympics in 2002.  Some of this might be a repeat for some people, but with any close friend or family member, sometimes you have to listen to the same story twice.

One of my favorite Olympic experiences was attending the Pre-Pre-Dress Rehearsal of the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games.  As a volunteer I was given one ticket to attend, and my brother-in-law, Rick also got one ticket, so we bundled up and headed to the Olympic Stadium one night in late January.  When we got to the stadium and got settled in they announced that they were going to try to recreate the March of the Athletes coming in to the stadium as they hadn't rehearsed that yet.  They asked for volunteers to be the athletes and asked some of us to go up to the concorse and divide into countries.  Rick was not interested in pretending to be an athlete, but I dashed off and ran into a friend who volunteered with me.  We tried to be German athletes but they were full.  We tried to be French, but they were also full.  Finally, we ended up with Team USA.  We waited and waited to march into the stadium following the path the athletes would take. Team USA would be the last team to enter as the host country, and finally it was our turn.  There were maybe only 100 or so of us pretend Team USA athletes, and the stadium was only about 1/3 full, but as we rounded the corner to walk into the stadium the cheering started, and as we all walked the track around the stadium it became deafening as the other volunteers, city workers, and performers cheered for Team USA.  I have never felt a sense of pride to be an American as I did that day walking around the stadium, waving, smiling, feeling as if I was truly an Olympian.  The US had been through so much in the previous 6 months with the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11th and the fear of further terrorism.  It felt like such an accomplishment just to have the Olympics in Salt Lake when there was so much fear of the world.

When the real Opening Ceremonies happened I watched as the athletes carried the battered American flag found in the wreckage of the World Trade Center.  I watched the real Olympians march along the track and felt a pride and a kinship with them.  I was an athlete once, if only for five minutes.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Am I Too Young for This?

Lately I've been feeling too young to be pregnant.  I've started really showing in the last couple of weeks, and not only showing, but not really trying to hide it when I'm around people I know.  But when it comes to people I don't know, I feel like I need to hide my pregnancy because I'm too young to be a mother.  You guys, I'm 33!  THIRTY THREE!  Let's acknowledge that I'm really at the end of my "ideal" child bearing years.  So, why do I feel like I'm too young to be pregnant?  I've always looked younger than my age, but it's not like I'm getting away with looking like I'm 16 anymore.

Maybe it's not that I'm too young to be a mother, maybe it's that I feel unqualified to be a mother.  Aren't I supposed to take a test or prove my worthiness BEFORE they let me bring a child into the world?  I mean, I had to pass a test to go to college, and I had to pass a test before they let me drive a car, and those things were relatively easy, but here I am pregnant, about to become a MOTHER, admittedly the hardest thing I will probably ever do, and I can just do it without passing any sort of test or taking a class or anything?

Or maybe it's because I've only been married for a little over a year.  I always thought I wanted to be married for two years before I had any children.  But that idea came when I was 23 and all my friends were getting married and it seemed insane to get married or have children.  And since I got married at 32, waiting for two years no longer seemed like a good idea, plus my husband was really against that idea.  And while I was totally on board with the "let's have a baby" plan, I also didn't feel completely prepared to become pregnant when I found out I was actually pregnant.  I thought I'd have a few more months at least!  (How a few more months would help me be more prepared, I have no idea.)  I feel like in the "real" world people wait longer to get married and have kids, but my husband and I have been on the fast track. And maybe that's the real problem, I need to stop comparing myself to some outside world.  In my world, in my reality, people get married fast, and they don't feel the need to wait for years and years to have children!  Who belongs to that other world anyway?  So, world, here I am!  Married for a year to the best man I have ever know and pregnant and happy!

Oh, and by the way, does anyone want to make me these cookies?  They look delicious!  I found them here, my new favorite blog!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Long Update

Dear Blog,

I've been absent for a few months.  Oh, you didn't notice?  Well, I have a really good reason.  I've been sick and I haven't wanted to write and only whine about how sick I feel.  But not writing about how sick I feel just doesn't seem right under the circumstances.  This is a good kind of sickness, or at least the kind of sickness that will have a really great ending and has a time limit of 5 more months!  Yep, you probably did the math and figured it out, I'm pregnant!  The morning sickness has been pretty rough.  Especially since I'm 18 weeks and it's supposed to be over by now according to blogs and books and friends.  But, it's still hanging in there reminding me how miserable I can feel.  I'll try to write about some of the funnier aspects of morning sickness at another time, but now I just want to remember some of the more fun parts of pregnancy so far.

Shawn and I took a trip to Disneyland in October with his brother Lance's family.  We'd been planning it for months and I was absolutely determined NOT to be pregnant at Disneyland.  Right before we left I was a bit suspicious that I might be pregnant and my period was technically one day late when we left.  But it hadn't been particularly regularly since I went off of birth control, so I decided it wasn't a big deal.  We had a great time in Disneyland, but my period still hadn't shown up when we got back on Sunday night.  Monday I knew it was time to take a test, but I was so nervous about it!  We had decided to start trying, but I thought it would take months before we actually got pregnant!  I didn't feel ready, I thought I would have more time.  We had a family party right after work, and I just couldn't think about anything else, and we went straight to the store from the party where we ran into a neighbor who was just so chatty!  I kept thinking, "We have things to do!  We can't sit here and chat with you!"  

I was too nervous to actually look at the pregnancy test, so I left it sitting on the counter and told Shawn to go in and look at it.  And sure enough we are pregnant! Shawn was so excited right from the first moment, but I was terrified!  It took me a few days to not be freaked out about the whole thing, and honestly it's taken me a few weeks to get excited! 

And then the morning sickness settled in.  And the painful sciatic nerve.  And heartburn.  And lots of cramping and stretching.  And congestion.  I feel like if there's a pregnancy symptom I've had it.  At first I didn't want to tell anyone, not a soul, until 12 weeks.  But after the first couple of days of morning sickness I had to call my Mom, and as soon as I called my Mom Shawn called his.  Then I had to tell my sister because it's been too long since my Mom has been pregnant, and she never had morning sickness.  And so much for waiting until 12 weeks.  We slowly told people, but did manage to keep it mostly secret until Christmas.

Shawn had to work for my first OB appointment at 8 weeks, so I invited my Mom to come, and it was so sweet to have her with me.  Part of me was scared that they would tell me I wasn't pregnant and just had the stomach flu, despite the pregnancy test and no period.  When we heard the heartbeat for the first  time it became real for the first time!  And then they had a portable ultrasound that was new in the office, so I got my first ultrasound and saw my tiny baby moving around and looking just like a baby!  And that's when I started to cry.  That is an amazing experience and one I won't even try to really describe!

Shawn came with me to the 12 week appointment which was our first with the actual doctor who was going to deliver our baby.  I'm glad he was there to meet her with me and hear the heartbeat again.  That's by far the best part of the appointment, just a reassurance that Baby Walker is still in there and going strong.

We haven't come up with any good nicknames for the baby yet.  When I talk to it I just call it "Baby."  Shawn doesn't talk to the baby like I do, but when he talks about the baby he always calls the baby a he.  Shawn is determined he's having a boy!  I think it's a girl, but am not completely determined.  For a little while we called it Franny because it was the size of a raspberry, and Fran is similar to the spanish word for Raspberry, but it didn't stil for more than a couple of days.

We have a great pregnancy app on my phone and have had fun reading the updates every week and seeing what fruit or vegetable I'm carrying now.  Currently the baby is the size of a Mango, but I suspect it's more of a baked potato.

Well blog, that's enough for tonight.  And hopefully the morning sickness will stay away for a few more days and I'll be able to write the humorous part of morning sickness.