My last midwife appointment was quick as could be. We were in and out fairly quickly, but unfortunately it wasn't completely straight-forward.
The first problem was that I had forgotten to collect my urine sample that morning, so I was desperately chugging down water on the way to the appointment and ended up filling my syringe o' urine in the restroom at the centre. Fun!
After that excitement, Mandy took my blood pressure and proclaimed it "beautiful". Then we had another first- measuring my bump. It plotted exactly on the projected line for my growth and was deemed "perfect". Then it was doppler time. Mandy quickly found our baby's heartbeat. She smiled and said he was lying transverse across my abdomen "like he was in a hammock".
This description definitely jived with my experience of kicking on the mid to upper left side of my belly. The heartbeat sounded great and Mandy said there was still plenty of time for the baby to get in head-down position. She said he'd move around into all sorts of positions between now and D Day.
Then, as we were wrapping things up, I asked a question. I'd read on plenty of blogs (written by Americans) about the standard test for gestational diabetes. I figured it wasn't the norm in the UK. I'd asked Ross and he didn't know, but thought it wasn't given to every woman. So I asked Mandy about it. She said they only give it to women who are considered "high risk" for GD, dismissing my need for one. That includes Asian women (what Americans would call Indian) and women with a BMI above 35. At this point, she paused, rifled through my paperwork and said "Wait... what was your initial BMI?" with slightly nervous eyes. Needless to say, my BMI was a bit above that when I got pregnant... She really doesn't like to think I'm as heavy as I am! I guess that's a compliment...
She went into a slight, but well-controlled panic and got on the phone to get me an appointment ASAP. After getting off the phone, Mandy said that it had been an oversight and that I need to be seen by week 32. She also said that I wouldn't have GD (fingers crossed!) so not to worry. I got a letter notifying me that I'd be having my Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT) at the hospital where I'd had myscans on January 11th. I'll still be just in my 32nd week. Whew!
So I will be participating in the right of passage of drinking a sickly sweet sugary drink after all... I sort of wish I'd just kept my mouth shut and gotten to skip it.
On a final note, we start our Antenatal Classes on the 12th. Ross has informed me that he's greatly looking forward to it. Now before you "Awwww" all over yourselves, let me tell you that it's because he's planning to ask as many stupid questions as possible. He's determined to ask at least one question that has never been asked before.... Lord help me.
I talked about our Christmas plans a little bit already, so I thought I'd tell you how the day went. We slept late and started the day with a nice bit of snuggling.
I got our breakfast ready and made coffee for Ross and chai tea for me.
I ended up making a Berry and Banana French Toast Casserole. I sort of combined 2 recipes and improvised a bit and it turned out really well! Ross even liked it- and he's not usually big on breakfast, especially sweet stuff.
After we ate breakfast and Ross got his iPod set up to play Christmas music, we opened our stocking presents. Then we moved on to tree presents.
A rare picture of Ross in his glasses.
We each had plenty of fun presents for ourselves, but got most excited about presents that we received for our baby. Grandma sent a sweet little sleepsuit that features duck on the feet and a duck face on the bottom. This present resulted in the baby's first semi-enduring nickname: "Baby Duckbutt". That's how we roll.
Grandma also sent a soft hooded bath towel (and a little rattle lovey too). Do you think she might be excited about becoming a grandma?
I now present to you a picture of the package that made me tear up when we opened the box of presents that my brother sent from New York.
And what was inside? Baby Awesome Onesies! You read that correctly- onesieS! My sweet big bro sent us this HIMYM inspired baby outfit in 3 sizes (12 mos, 18 mos, & 24 mos) so that everyone will know how awesome our baby is for an entire year. He also sent a cuddly lavender-scented teddy bear. He may seem like a curmudgeon, but Uncle Rumple is one sweet guy :)
My favorite present from Ross is one I've already shared with you. I just love that the baby and I have coordinating hats... now we just need to find one for Daddy.
I followed up all the excitement of opening presents with a multi-hour nap on the couch. I even missed the Queen's Speech! Ross attempted to wake me and I half-heard it through the haze of slumber. We've got it recorded so I can still experience this British tradition. I woke up and got started on dinner. It was resoundingly fine. I tried all new recipes and wasn't wowed by any of them.
Oh well... better luck next year! Despite the lack of WOW in our Christmas dinner, we still had a lovely day. We finished the night by skyping with my family and then calling my grandparents for lovely chats all around. It was strange to realize that this will likely be our only Christmas (at least for a very long time) with just the two of us. We hope that next Christmas we're able to take Baby Duckbutt to Texas for the holidays so we can all celebrate together.
Did you have an awesome Christmas?
What was your favorite present?
Do/did you get excited about different kinds of presents once you became a parent/got pregnant?
The night had finally come to an end. It had been an amazing party, but we were ready to hit the road.
We got word that our ride had pulled up outside.
Ross and I shared a few final moments basking in the glow of our new marriage.
I gathered up my shoes and realized that I'd never gotten around to throwing my bouquet. Ross hadn't wanted to do a garter toss and the bouquet toss wasn't that important to me, so I decided to just forget about it.
The wedding guests gathered outside with handfuls of dried rose petals. (You can also see that my mom had gone around asking guests to take home the centrepieces. It ended up being cheaper to purchase the vases, than to pay for the florist to come back the next day and pick them up.)
We were showered with cheers and petals as we ran for the carriage.
Ross helped me into the carriage (no small feat in a giant wedding dress).
And we rode off into the night. We got lots of hoots, waves, and shouts from people as we rode to The Adolphus. When we arrived at the hotel, a very drunk gay man insisted on helping me down. Ross still complains about his husbandly duty being usurped.
We have so many wonderful memories from our wedding day and it couldn't have happened without the love and support of our family and friends, especially my awesome parents. We can't thank them enough for giving us such a magical way to start our marriage. As we approach our second wedding anniversary, I can only say that it's gotten better and better.
I'd been resisting everyone's raves of Pinterest for sometime now. Then a friend on FB sent me an invite, so I figured I'd go ahead and sign up. I figured I'd quickly be sucked in. Everyone on the internet that talks about it seems to find it to be the greatest thing ever. I'm... not. Don't get me wrong. I can see how it is useful. I'm glad I have an account and will use it. But I just don't see how it's the be-all-end-all. Maybe I just haven't spent enough time searching things. Anyway...
My very first (and so far, only) pin was for a project that I made Ross for Christmas. I saw the project on a blog and new instantly that it would be perfect!
You see, for nearly a year, I've had these lying around.
They are the menus from our first anniversary dinner at The Oceanaire. They are pretty big, and not that neat. I mean, they say Happy Anniversary across the top, but that's about it. I'm actually not sure why I felt the need to keep them, but I did. And they'd been sitting under our front hall table for the past year!
So I followed the directions in the tutorial and quickly had a cut out of a little flower.
I knew that the paper I'd printed it on wouldn't hold up to 12 tracings very well, so I traced it onto a piece of heavier card stock and cut it out to use as my pattern.
I picked 12 different parts of the menu that I wanted to be part of the ornament. Some of them were more important to include than others.
Then, I just cut them out and assembled. Easy peasy! I punched a hole in one of the flowers and threaded a stretchy silver cord through it so it would have a hanger.
I was a little worried that Ross wouldn't "get" it, but he was very sweet and his eyes lit up when he opened it on Christmas morning. It went straight on the tree. I can definitely see doing this craft with other paper products to make fun keepsakes. I saw one suggestion that you could use this idea to recycle previous years' Christmas cards.
If you Pinterest and would like to follow me, you can find me here.
Are you into Pinterest?
Did you make any fun crafts for Christmas?
This first one has been playing quite a bit recently. "Stop the Cavalry" was a number 3 Christmas hit in 1980. I asked Ross why it's considered a Christmas song, other than the cheerful horns and the fact that it contains the lyric "I wish I was at home for Christmas", it doesn't strike me as particularly Christmas-y. Ross said he wasn't sure why it doesn't get played at other times. A quick bit of research on Wikipedia reveals that it wasn't actually intended to be a Christmas hit, but was written as a protest song.
Still... the horns are undeniably cheerful (even if the lyrics aren't)!
This next selection is by Aled Jones. "Walking in the Air" shot it's teen singer to stardom after it was released as a single. The song was used as the soundtrack for the beloved British holiday cartoon The Snowman. It reached number 5 in the UK pop charts in 1985.
This one makes me feel very happy! "I Believe in Father Christmas" is another one that the artist never intended as a Christmas hit. He says he was protesting the loss childhood innocence and the commercialization of Christmas. It went to number 2 in the UK charts in 1974.
Today's final entry is at the request of my husband. He has fond memories of The Wombles. They recycled before it was cool to be green. I don't really get it, since we didn't have The Wombles in America. Ross used to freak out over them as a kid, and from what I can tell, he wasn't alone! This ditty went to number 2 in 1974. I actually mentioned the Wombles in my last Christmas music post, for the eagle-eyed of you out there...
After our outdoor interlude, Ross and I headed back inside to wind up the party.
We said goodbye to some of our guests. Those with young children and the older ones didn't make it until the end, so we bid them a fond farewell.
By this time my feet were really hurting and I finally switched to my little ivory satin Isotoner slippers. Ross ended up dancing with my shoes on his hands. Don't has him why... when we first saw these pictures he said he had no memory of doing such a silly thing.
We ditched the shoes and had some more fun.
And with a final dance, the night was drawing to a close. We were ready to head out and unwind quietly together.
Next time: The end. Seriously. It's finally time to wrap these suckers up!
Santa Presents- Different families have different ways of doing presents from Santa. In our family there were presents from family members and stocking presents. These were labelled and under the tree, or in the stocking, from whenever the gifter wrapped them. Santa presents appeared Christmas morning in a pile. One for my brother and one for me. As we got older and learned the truth about Santa, these presents tended to just be the ones that were larger or more complicated to wrap. I always liked the magic of how these presents just showed up on the morning of Christmas. I also like that we had other presents that were known to be from other family members. Christmas wasn't just about us getting presents. We also gave them. It made the joy of giving, as well as receiving, part of our Christmases.
The Wrapathon- This is one of those silly things that always makes me smile. I'm not sure why I like it so much, as it's not really anything big. My dad is a really good Christmas present buyer. He doesn't do gifts much during the rest of the year, but rather saves up all his creative juices for the holidays. He would shop throughout December and leave everything in the trunk of his car. Then, on Christmas Eve, he would spirit everything into a room. He would then announce that "The Wrapathon had commenced". He'd wrap everything all at once, whilst locked away from prying eyes. That's pretty much all there is to it, but it makes me smile.
The unwrapping of presents- After we've eaten breakfast, we do stockings. Stocking presents are generally small, low-cost items. Once all the stocking presents have been opened, we move onto the tree presents. At some point, after my brother and I had some self-control and didn't descend on the presents like wild animals, we started to slow down the process. Either my brother or I will take turns playing Santa and distribute one present to each person. Then each person takes their turn to open their gift. This way everyone gets to see everything and the process takes an hour or more, rather than minutes. It's a great way to savour the morning and the giving/receiving dynamic.
The Christmas Rabbit- So this is our weirdest tradition. It's one that I didn't ever think was all that strange until I first tried to describe it to a friend. You know that moment where you realize that something your family does isn't normal? When you're forced to see it from an outsiders perspective? Yeah, this tradition is that for me. I love it. In my family, the Christmas Rabbit brings people pajamas. I told you it was weird. I don't really know why. But that's how it is. We all know that the Christmas Rabbit is my dad. Every year, a sexy nightie for my mom and fun PJs for me and my brother. The Christmas Bunny is my mom. She buys PJs for my dad. Around the time I went away to college, The Christmas Rabbit started giving a fun little toy and an Old Navy gift card instead of PJs to me and my bro. I think dad felt weird buying PJs for his grown kids, but I still miss it. I'm looking forward to when the Christmas Rabbit brings PJs to my kids.
The Christmas Eve Present- After we came home from the Christmas Eve service at church, before going to bed, we'd select one present to open. It was a fun way to whet our appetite. As I got older, I'd usually choose to open my present from The Christmas Rabbit so I could wear them that night. My brother grew out of this practice long before I did.
So those are a few of our family's Christmas traditions.
What are yours?
How did Santa work in your house?
Do you have any as weird/awesome as The Christmas Rabbit?