Tuesday, October 31, 2006


That's Arwen's new nickname for me. He says it like it's the sweetest pet name ever. You'd think its true meaning is something equivalent to "sugar bunny" but LBG in fact stands for: Lumpy, Bumpy, and Grumpy. Lumpy is for the peanut lump, Bumpy is for the persistent breakouts I've been suffering from. And Grumpy, well... everyone knows I haven't quite been my normal sweet self all the time lately.

Case in point, The Milkshake Incident. About a month ago Arwen called me out of the blue from his office. I don't know precisely what had gotten into him but he opened by saying, "I just wanted to tell you I love you. Sometimes I forget tell you that." Who are you and what have you done with my husband? I thought. He went on to say "I know this whole pregnancy thing can be hard, and sometimes I forget how tough things might be for you." I found myself thinking Did he get this out of one of his books? He continued, "So if I'm acting stubborn or difficult and it gets to be too much, just use this code word and I'll know to cut it out: MILKSHAKE."

I laughed out loud. I pictured him being particularly petulant and me at my wits end, shrieking "MILKSHAKE!!" like a complete lunatic. It seemed humorous. I was amused.

Jump ahead three weeks to one night that will no doubt stand out in our memories for a long time to come. We had been cuddled up on the couch together sharing a blanket and watching a movie. All was well in the Vaughan household. And then I'm not sure precisely what happened. I can't recall what triggered it but the next thing I knew I was in a full-on hormone induced rage. I was shouting. I was crying. I was using emphatic hand gestures. It was like nothing I've ever experienced before. I felt myself swirling completely out of control, swept up in a tidal wave of emotion. I had become unhinged.

In a brief moment of clarity I realized that I was in fact the problem and that I needed simply to remove myself from the situation until some later point at which my sanity would hopefully return. I tried to convey this to Arwen as best I could but the hormonal tidal wave of emotion had deprived me of all but monosyllabic words and grunting noises for getting my point across. Arwen continued to gently and patiently attempt to resolve the issue at hand, but even that proved too much for me. Suddenly I found myself shouting at the top of my lungs, "MILKSHAAAAAKE!!" like a complete lunatic.

Arwen looked at me in horror. I saw flash in his mind "Oh my god, she has completely lost her mind!" He was probably trying to figure out how he'd raise a child on his own with me locked up in the state mental institution. It turned out he had NO recollection of the whole "milkshake" code word. Once I refreshed his memory we both had a good laugh over it.

So grumpy. Yes, I have been grumpy on occassion. But I'm feeling much better now... ;)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

What's New - Week 19

Week 19This has been a nice weekend. We've gotten into a routine of going out to dinner on Friday nights, just the two of us. I think of it as "date night." This Friday Arwen wasn't in the mood for our usual spot, so we ventured into downtown and tried a new place called Mona's. It was a little swanky for our tastes, but had good food and good ambience - a nice treat.

Saturday we spent most of the day looking for a new car. Since we can't seem to find a house we like we decided to think about tackling the other major purchase we need to make. All the snowfall we've had this October has motivated us to stop putting off getting a 4wd vehicle. Arwen's anxious to get some use out of his snowboard pass, and I'm adamant that we're not driving up snowy mountain roads without 4wd.

We started out looking at Subarus. Judging by the number of Subarus you see on the roads here, one would think that it's a requirement to own one when you become a resident of Colorado. We were most interested in the Forester - their mini SUV model. Just to make sure to cover all our bases though we decided to take a look at some other comparable 4wd small SUV type vehicles. Long story short we ended up at the Honda dealership and the Forester went out the window after we sat in the new CR-V. We're hoping to get one in time to drive it down to Houston at Thanksgiving.

Saturday night we went to a pumpking carving party hosted by Molly & Scott, a couple we met through Amanda & Doug. We've gotten pretty used to walking into a roomful of people we don't know and chatting them up for 3 or 4 hours. We had a good time. We ate some yummy snacks - I brought these mini cheesecakes with mini reces cups in them - so dangerously good I only bake them every few years. Molly is expecting their first baby about a month before we're due, so it's nice to have someone to compare notes with.

Sunday we seem to have a standing breakfast date at the Berkeley Cafe just down the street from us. We like to walk down there, eat breakfast on the patio and stroll back home. It was clear and sunny today, perfect t-shirt weather. And then I guess we just putzed around the house and enjoyed the rest of our weekend. Aaah... the perfect weekend!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Thank gawd for McDonalds!"

Those are not words I find myself uttering on a regular basis - or perhaps that have ever left my lips - at least not since the days of Happy Meals. With their fat-packed and nutrition-deficient grub, it's generally a place to be avoided in my book. But Tuesday afternoon at around 4 pm, "Thank gawd for McDonald's" is exactly what I found myself saying.

Arwen and I had been on our way down to our realtor's office to put an offer in on a house. It's a much more modest house than the last couple we've gotten excited about. But we think it will be adequate in size and amenities, and if we could get it for the right price we'd feel really good about it.

Anyway, we'd made it about 3/4 of the way to the realtor's office. It's about 40 minutes from our house. Suddenly our clutch cable snapped. We knew our clutch cable had snapped because we had heard that distinct "SNAP" sound on a prior occasion, followed by the clutch pressing firmly against the floorboard. We coasted off freeway to regroup.

It had been a busy day. Arwen had taken the day off to run a bunch of errands, including getting the car exhaust tested and braving the DMV to get a set of Colorado license plates. We were racing down to the realtor's office near the end of the business day to put in this offer before the broker had to leave for the day. "If I was a superstitious person," Arwen said, "I'd just go straight home and forget about putting in this offer."

Compounding these difficulties, I realized as we coasted to a stop that hunger was setting in with a fierceness I've only known since this pregnancy started. I knew that left unchecked, a mild grumpiness, followed by anger, topped off by flowing tears were certain in my future. I could clearly see myself having a hunger-induced temper tantrum on the floor of the realtor's office.

Just when total panic was setting in, I looked up to see a McDonald's across the street from us. "Saved!" I thought. "I'm saved!!" Note to self: Never set out on a journey - no matter how short it is supposed to be - without a pack of raisins and a can of roasted almonds.

Here is the latest belly photo. It's from this past Monday - I just haven't had a chance to post it. We met with our midwife last night and she confirmed that I have gained 3 lbs since our last appointment, which puts me right on track for weight gain. And we got to hear the heartbeat again!! I'm 18 weeks 4 days today, so we'll be setting up our 20 week ulrasound soon!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Frogging the froggy

Oh Drat! Just when I thought I was 66.66666% finished with the froggy hat & booties set, I hit a snag. I knit the hat up quickly - except for the pom-pom eyeballs and the embroidered smile which I still have yet to do. Then I moved on to the first flipper bootie. Although I followed the pattern faithfully, the lone bootie has a fatal flaw. The flipper part came out great - really, really cute - but there's no way the darn thing has a chance in Hades of staying on. The ankle part of the sock is nowhere close to long enough.

So now comes the fun part: rip it all out and start over. Ironically, when you have to pull out stitches in knitting it's called "frogging" because you rip-it, rip-it. Ha ha. I'm not exactly doubled over in laughter. Oh well, frogging is just a fact of life with most knitting projects. Luckily I enjoy the process itself as much as the finished object, so it only means more time spent doing something I love.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!! Oh it is soooooo beautiful. I just can't even tell you. And to think, yesterday the high was in the upper 70's!

We took Sasha for a little walk tonight and she just had a blast running around in circles, digging in the snow and acting like a puppy. Our park is so beautiful. All the trees are white, there's about 4 inches of fluffy, sparkly snow on the ground, and it generally looks like Christmas. In fact I found myself thinking "Wow, it looks like the North Pole display at the mall!" And to think, we *live* in this magical place!

Now the real question is... Will we still feel this way about the snow once April comes around?

Here are a few pictures of us playing in the snow tonight:


And here's the latest belly photo, as promised. That peanut is growing, I tell ya!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Now the size of a lobster tail

I thought you'd want to know: "Baby is now about 5 to 5 1/2 inches long from top to tail and weighs a little more than 5 ounces, about the size of a lobster tail."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Sorry to leave ya hanging

I know it's been a little while since my last post. But in my defense, it's been a little bit of a rough week for me. Oh nothing terribly dramatic - I'm just belly aching over here (yes, pun intended). I'm sure in a few months I'll look back at this time as the golden period of my pregnancy. But at the moment, I just feel like complaining!

For starters, ever since about two weeks before I learned I was expecting, my face has been broken out like a teenage McDonald's fry cook. I keep expecting it to pass. Everyone talks about how beautiful you look when you've got a baby on board - the "glow" of pregnancy. Baloney! More like the glow of cheese pizza. Seriously. It's bad.

As if that's not enough, I have recently come to understand that due to a dreadful habitual mistake I have made over the past two years in applying SPF 15 moisturizer every morning, I have developed a darkened area on my face. You see, in applying moisturizer I focused on the cheeks, the eyes, the forehead, the nose and the chin. I tragically overlooked the area just above the lip. So now I am sporting a freckle moustache. Very attractive. Now when I go into the grocery store I imagine people thinking, "Yeah that girl would be cute without all the zits and that moustache." Niiiice.

These complaints may just be vanities, but compouding those are new aches and pains that are starting to develop. The "experts" out there have certain rules about how one should sleep after one's fourth month of pregnancy that are wreaking havoc with my body. Apparently, once you're as far along as me, sleeping on your back is verboten. As the baby grows, you see, its pressure can cut off blood flow, depriving you and he/she/it of oxygen. Depriving your kid of oxygen definitely sounds like a bad thing, but I can't help wonder how the heck kids survived before these revered experts were ruining the sleeping patterns of moms like me. I'm pretty sure no one ever told my mom not to sleep on her back. I'll have to ask her though.

Anyway, since I'm not allowed to sleep on my back, I'm supposed to sleep on my side, preferably my left side because that supposedly maximizes blood flow to the baby. The problem with that is that by about 3 in the morning both of my hips are so sore they just can't take it any more. And my shoulders are ground into the bed, so that both my upper back and my lower back are in total agony. This morning when I extracted my achy body from bed, I had to immediately turn on an hour of a prenatal yoga tape just so I could feel whole again. And it's supposed to get a whole lot worse from here with the aches and pains! But I'm going to work on my configuration of pillows to see if I can rig up a bonafide Pillow System for myself.

The only other thing that has me a little bent out of shape is that even though I keep getting bigger - and lemme tell ya, right now I'm HUUUGE - I'm not gaining any weight. I haven't gained a single pound in 3 weeks. I don't get it. What the heck is in there that's taking up all that room and yet is apparently weightless? Helium? Naturally I'm watching what I eat and trying to make healthy choices. I will even admit to my habit of keeping a daily food pyramid chart with tic marks for each food group. But that's just to make sure I'm hitting all the different nutrients. Believe me, I'm not confining my diet to low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb options. My midwife suggested full fat milk, and I'm gulping it down happily. I indulge in the occasional BLT or hamburger. And yes, I will confess to a few covert runs to The Border. But I'm sure I'm worrying for nothing, and my body is working as it should. And I'm sure the peanut would send me running to the fridge if it wasn't getting what it needed.

Oh yeah, one last development. Arwen's guy friends who have tread before him in the path to fatherhood have all asked him at different times something along the lines of, "So.... has Heather started getting cranky yet?" And up till recently he's been able to sincerely say, "No, in fact I can't remember the last time I've seen so happy and content." We actually had the hubris to think maybe it wouldn't happen to us. Well guess what: that day has arrived. I try to keep the emotions in check and at least to hang on to some shred of rationality, but there have been times when I'm just not the calm, level-headed, open-minded person I'm accustomed to being. Arwen is really sweet. He generally tries to find some way to "fix" what I'm feeling. At least at this point I can be self-aware enough that I can say "I know it doesn't make any sense that I'm crying right now. I know that. But that's just what I have to do. And it's not your fault." So at least I've got that going for me.

So wah wah wah. Poor pregnant lady. Who am I kidding. Even with a few bumps in the road, I am still loving having this peanut on board. Sometimes I catch myself in the mirror and say to myself, "Wow, this is really happening to us!" We are so dang lucky.

I will post a new belly photo very soon.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Week 16

Here's the latest photo. I must say, I am only posting these photos as a public service and an exercise in humility. Bare-bellied is by no means the most flattering pose for me these days. That's not to say I'm not feeling cute being preggo - I am! - but my big belly looks a lot cuter in a maternity shirt than exposed to the open air.

This week has been fairly eventful. We came about *this* close to putting in an offer on a 2 story home built in 1895 that had been converted to 4 apartment units. It was really tempting. We are big fans of the idea of having other people help pay off your mortgage investment. But the overwhelming prospect of potentially massive renovations finally outweighed the numerous possibilities we saw for the place.

Friday night we were just putzing around the house until I couldn't stand it anymore and prodded Arwen to go take a walk with me. We were so confused when we stepped onto the street and saw hundreds of people. We'd forgotten - yet again - that it was the First Friday of the month, when the art galleries all over the city keep their doors open till 10 pm, and people wander gallery to gallery and shop to shop, beer and wine in hand. We happened into the historic Oriental theater around the corner from our house where we found a dress rehearsal going on for an international professional belly dancing show. And let me tell you, these girls were TALENTED. Just ask Arwen. ;)

On top of that was some kind of annual pub crawl on bicycles going on. There were about 200 people in costume crammed into the bar next door to our house and spilling out into the parking lot outside, blitzed out of their minds. One lady was wearing a white petticoat/tutu contraption with NOTHING on underneath. Apparrently she won "Best Use of Ass" for the event. So I would have to say Friday night was an unexpectedly successful, if salacious evening!

Saturday we ran all kinds of errands, cleaned the house, and were generally productive. We rewarded ourselves with a "date night:" we went out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant we hadn't tried before and then followed that up by going to see a movie in an *actual movie theater*. Something we hadn't done in several months. Which for us - chronic movieholics - is an eternity. We saw The Departed with Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, and Lionardo DiCaprio. Usually it seems like the more stars a movie has, the more it sucks. But the online reviews praised it highly, so we gave it a shot and we weren't disappointed.

As if that isn't enough fun for one weekend, today we ventured out to Boulder for the Solar Home Tour. Arwen ate it up - He is so excited about the alternative energy thing. It makes me happy to see him happy. And it seems like the whole renewable energy thing is very do-able. Who knows, you may find solar panels on our house one day.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Day 95

"Baby is now urinating."


Monday, October 02, 2006


Well here's the latest belly shot. This is week 15. Today was a good day. With a little help from practically every recent mom I know, I managed to crack the mystery of what car seat and stroller to pick. I swear, I had myself so bent out of shape over the dizzying array of options I wasn't even sure what my name was anymore. One thing I learned: Never walk into a Babies R Us alone when you're trying to make heads or tails of all this baby gear! Whew, now I can move on to the next stultifying parenting questions!

And here's where I am so far on the froggy hat & booties set. Unfortunately the happy lime color I picked just doesn't come through very well in the photos. But trust me, it's looking very frog-y. You may be wondering, "What's the deal with all those knitting needles?" Well this hat calls for the use of double pointed needles, which are a pain in the rear (I'm using 5 needles at once!) but are handy for making small, seamless, tube-shaped items like hats and socks. Ah, the things we do for love...

Well it's way passed my bedtime, so I better hit the sack soon. I wouldn't be up so late except at 9:30 this evening I realized that no groceries had magically materialized in the house, even though I've been waiting for them to do so since Sunday. The prospect of being oh so hungry tomorrow was even more unappealing than the thought schlepping down the isles of the King Sooper at closing time. And yes, Arwen did offer to hit the grocery store in my stead, but come on. You know me and food. Those are decisions best not delegated. :)

Ok I rambled on long enough. Good night everyone!
"It's a great time to be a fetus"

15 week fetusThat's a quote from the daily pregnancy calendar I read on iVillage.com. It also says that the peanut has been upgraded to the size of a small gerbil:

"Your baby weighs about 2.8 ounces (79 grams) and is about 4 1/2 inches from crown to rump -- roughly the size of a small gerbil. At any time, you will begin to feel fetal movement as your baby's bones harden, and she starts a big growth spurt. Your baby has plenty of room: At this point, she could fit in the palm of your hand. This is a great time to be a fetus. At any given time, she might be playing with the umbilical cord (which she's now able to grasp), putting her thumb in her mouth, or kicking at the amniotic sac."

Woo hoo. Party on.