Monday, September 29, 2008

The Nursery: In all it's infinite COMPLETENESS

The nursery is DONE! I am happy to announce that here!

My sister finished the furniture last week (yes, handpainted, all by her hands!!) and we finished papering the drawers on Saturday night.

I have to say, I am pretty proud of her and her talents. I could have never done what she did to this furniture. And it's so beautiful. The pictures hardly come close to doing it justice. It's just SO DARN GORGEOUS!! Can you tell I am excited?? ;o)

I feel like I am ready to have this baby any day now. I spent a large part of the weekend in "nesting mode" as they call it, and I have to say, I am READY. We can't wait to meet our little Charlie!!

So, here it is: DRUMROLL PLEASE!!

http://charliej.shutterfly.com/charliesnursery

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baby Watch 2008

Well, it has officially begun. I am 2 days away from being full-term and this little guy could be here any day now. Or he could wait until October 15 and then I will have to be induced due to my gestational diabetes.

I am already getting phone calls, and the guys at work were surprised to see me this morning!! Golly! I still have 3 weeks!! Or that is what I keep naively telling myself.

Last week, my doctor said that I was 1cm, and 50% effaced. That is like reading braille to some of you, I am sure. Basically, what it means is that things are progressing "down there." What it doesn't mean is that this baby could come any day now. I could walk around like this for weeks, or my water could break right.this.second. It really means nothing. In the scheme of things, it was important for me to know my progress so that if the induction date is necessary, I will know if I am a good candidate or not. Right now, I am already a good candidate. But, there will be no induction until October 15!! Dr. K assured me of that.

A small part of me wants this little boy to wait just a little longer. I feel like I have so many loose ends to tie up at work, and I would love to get October closed out before I go on my maternity leave. On the other hand, a very large HAND, I want this kid out of me NOW. It's painful to say the very least, and well after 9 months of waiting, we want to meet this little boy!! I think this is the toughest part so far. The unknown is hard to take, as is the "when will he make his debut??" part of the equation.

For now, we wait.

I have another appointment on Thursday at which point I will continue to update here. In the meantime, you can ramp up those thoughts and prayers!! We will need them, whether it be now, or very soon!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Goodbye, My Sweet Cleo


I hate to add to the doom and gloom here, but last night we had to put our eldest cat to sleep.


Many of you know of our struggles with our sweet Cleo. She just wasn't using her litter box anymore. This had been going on for about the last two years, and there was never any explanation for it, other than that she was acting out in this way. She would use the concrete basement floor as her litter box, and that was tolerable. Well, as tolerable as it could be. Then last week, her business moved upstairs into our living space. And on Saturday, it moved into the way upstairs where we sleep.

We had a tough decision to make. Probably the toughest decision we have ever had to make. And last night was one of the hardest nights I have experienced in a long time. We didn't know what else to do. We couldn't re home her, knowing what she was capable of, and no shelter was willing to take a 10 year old cat that doesn't use her litter box. So, we were left with what we felt was the only thing that we could do.

I got Cleo in December of 1998. I was on Christmas break at Michigan State, and I was living with some girlfriends at the time. I had pondered getting a kitten for a long while, and decided to take the plunge on a cold, snowy afternoon. My friend Kym and I drove down to the Ingham County Humane Society and picked out the sweetest little kitten. Her name was Petra. Right away, we named her Cleopatra. It just seemed to fit her so well. We brought her home and we all fell in love instantly...well, that was until a few of my roommates returned from Christmas break. They were less than thrilled with my decision, but she was my kitty now....and eventually, they learned to love her. Even to this day, a few of them always looked forward to seeing her when they would visit us. She moved around with me a lot...and eventually, she took very well to her Dad, Curtis. We both loved this animal more than we ever thought we did. Last night proved that. She was always the cat in our house that would be at the door when you came home. She heard that garage door open and she would bolt to the door to greet her masters. When we returned home last night, there was no cat waiting for us. It was so terribly sad. And this morning, it was like there was a piece of our family missing from the puzzle. It's a big void, and it hurts to not have her here anymore.

So, in honor of my sweet baby, I want you all to hug your pets today.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

6lbs 5oz

We have a big boy on our hands.

My ultrasound yesterday estimated his weight to be the above figure. Now, I know these estimates can go 1/2-1 pound in either direction, but wow. He's a big boy already!! We both expected him to be a big baby. I was 10lbs 11oz, Curtis was 8lbs 10oz. We have big babies all over the place in both of our families.

He is head down, and still using my bladder as a pillow. He is not engaged in my pelvis yet, but that likely won't happen for a couple more weeks.

Tomorrow means that I am 35 weeks, and I have 35 more days until we get to meet this little bruiser. And the excitement in our house is overwhelming!! We are both more excited than we have ever been. You can see it on our faces, and when we giggle and laugh about him like we are two teenagers that just fell in love. Except, we are in love with our little boy!!

Right now, the plan is to not let me go past my due date. So, here I am. 36 days and counting until I finally get to see those puffy cheeks in person. The anticipation is almost too much to bear!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Showers Galore

I had a baby shower this weekend....and it was a blast!! It is so fun to have everyone in the same room to celebrate you and your new little baby. I would be lying if I said I didn't love every second of it.

My Aunt Carol really went out of her way with the food, and the flowers and the fun. Everyone was very generous and we came home with some really great things. Here are some pictures:


Me and my moms. I think they planned their coordinating outfits!!
Why is my aunt not a florist??



Grammy, me and my beautiful mother in law
Mary, me and Anna. I love my sisters!
Nana, Me, Anna and my cousin Krista. It was so nice to have my Hoekstra relatives there too!


Later on in the evening, I had a bridal shower for one of my best friends from high school. We had such a great time!! Everyone was enjoying wine and Limoncello, and it was kind of funny to be the sober one watching them do what we all usually do!! They are such a fun bunch, and after my terrible week, I really needed to hang out with these girls. Here are some pictures. I included the outtakes because I couldn't help myself. HILARIOUS!!! And it was obvious there was wine and Limoncello involved in this evening!!

Left to Right: In the back: Katie, Megan, Liz and Brianna. Front Row: Lana, Megan (the bride to be) and MWAH!

And the outtakes. I love these!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Enough is Enough

Do you ever have those weeks where you just don't think you can handle anymore pain, agony or grief?? That has been my week.

My sister is going through a crisis right now. A big one. One of huge proportions and it's tearing me up inside. It's hard to see a loved one in such great pain, and I have been praying that she will make it through this difficult time in her life. I know that we are all here to support her. Right now, I just want to give her a big hug.

My co-workers mom passed away last night after complications from surgery. There is always that expected chance that something terrible might happen, but it's rare that we think it will actually happen. I cried hard for her this morning.

An acquaintance from a local baby chat board that I am on, lost her little boy this week to an unknown virus. My heart aches and breaks for her.

I got a call from a local salon owner last night, and she told me that she was suing my very close friend for slander (a former employee of the salon). She went on and on about how terrible my friend is, about how she is spreading lies about me etc etc. Her husband is friend's with Curtis, and he called Curtis too. Why were we roped into this mess?? This is none of my business, and frankly it's pretty uncool to lay that on an 8 month pregnant woman WHILE SHE IS AT WORK.

My cat has been giving us problems for about the last year. She doesn't use her litter box to go #2. On Wednesday morning, I woke up to a mess UPSTAIRS. Previously, she had been doing this on the basement floor. But, now this behavior has made it's way into the living space in our house. We made an appointment to put her down. And then we cancelled that appointment after all that has happened this week. I just can't take it. Instead, we are going to try one more time to see if the vet has a solution for us. Otherwise, I hate to think of the other consequence. We cannot rehome her, and that breaks my heart. And with a new baby on the way, I hate to say it, but we can't have a cat that poops in our house. It's just not safe for a baby.

Last night I cried myself to sleep. I can't take anymore. I really can't. Tomorrow is my baby shower, and I have to try and put on a happy face. My sister can't make it, and I want her there. I am just so heartbroken this week. I feel like enough is enough already. Please God, give me a break. Often times, we ask "WHY GOD?, WHY??" But in the end, I know this is not his will. He is throwing things at me to make me a stronger and better woman. But, He does not want to see me in pain. I know this. I am His chid, and I find my comfort in Him during these very tough moments. But, even still, it's hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel.

Pray for my strength. I feel like I am holding on by a teeny tiny thread.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Man of My Dreams


4 years ago today, I married the man of my dreams. We have been together for almost 9 years (WHOA!) and my life has been forever enriched since the day I met him.

This morning, he joked that we were graduating from "Marriage-highschool" to "Marriage-college." This was in reference to having a baby on the way. I told him that was true, but we aren't 17!!! We had a nice chuckle and then went our separate ways to work.

I love you more than anything, babe. Happy Anniversary!