May 31, 2003

Go Big Red!

I was convinced that this child's first collegiate wear would be of the garnet and gold variety, but a Cornellian has beaten the 'Noles to it. Baby received an adorable Cornell jumper and socks yesterday, courtesy of a co-worker who also went to Cornell.

How this happened is obvious to me, however. For the Cornell crowd, it is very easy to go with gender neutral overalls. The 'Noles are waiting to see if it's a boy or a girl -- after all, you have to know whether to buy a quarterback's jersey or a cheerleading outfit!!

Posted by Dineen at 12:06 PM | Comments (0)

May 30, 2003

You might get hit by a truck

Or go into labor. Every morning for the past month or so, I approach my getting ready routine with the notion that today might be THE DAY. For some reason, the whole "wear clean underwear because you might get hit by a truck" adage is stuck in my mind. Usually, I am pretty lazy about shaving my legs unless I know they are going to show, to save time in the shower. Lately, I am pretty darn good about taking my time in the shower and taking a swipe with the razor nearly every day. I only wear my "good" underwear (I actually just went ahead and trashed most of what I considered "bad" underwear, one shouldn't be wearing "bad" underwear anyway).

I am also trying to take better care of my hair and nails. Last weekend, I decided I was a flygirl: "get your nails done, get a pedicure, get your hair did." (thanks to Missy "midemeanor" Elliot for the wording there, and to the Flylady for giving the phrase a double meaning). That was me. The gals around me joked that I was being silly by trying to impress my docs. As I explained to them (and to the doctor at my appointment, much to her amusement) I wasn't trying to impress the doctors. I was just trying to not embarass myself. I don't think the doctor cares that my toenails are "Grand Canyon Sunset" pink, but I would care if they were too long and bearing yucky too-old polish and my feet were callused and rough. They are, after all, going to be pretty much in the doctor's face for some period of time, and I don't need to worry about being embarassed when I should be concentrating on pushing. And I am much better off with nicely manicured nails than my usual not-taken-care-of scraggly things that might hurt or scratch the baby. Ditto with the hair -- the shorter cut is easier to style, yet still ponytail-able, so it should make my routines easier in baby's first month.

It's odd that I never thought that taking care of me was a priority; that I thought I could let myself go because my work, my house, my marriage, were all much more important. Being hospitalized (and embarassed by hairy legs!) earlier in the pregnancy, plus realizing that I have to take care of myself in order to really be able to take care of a baby (and my work, and my house, and my marriage) has been quite an epiphany.

Posted by Dineen at 11:23 AM | Comments (0)

May 29, 2003

Going for artsy...

Tried to get a little fancy with these pictures; you tell me if it worked. This is me 11 days before my due date (aka, 38 weeks, 5 days, aka Tuesday night after midnight). I have no modesty worries here; the bra has full coverage, after all. I figure it is still more than a gal in a bikini would have on. Once again, the belly looks HUGE in pictures to me, as opposed to in person. In the immortal words of Robert Burns, "Wad some power the gift to gie us To see ourselves as others see us!"

Posted by Dineen at 01:47 AM | Comments (1)

May 28, 2003

1 Down, 9 To Go

Because of a mixup with the doctor's office this morning, I ended up seeing my second favorite doctor in the practice instead of my main doc. Nonetheless, I like her a lot, and her news was good. Those occasional cramps I have been feeling are actually productive, and I am one centimeter dilated. That also explains the achy pains I've been feeling in my hips and pelvis, as things are starting to open up in preparation for the big event.

Now of course, there is a long way to go between 1 cm and 10 cm -- days, even weeks, and hours of labor, no doubt. But progress is progress, and I am happy for it. The baby, in keeping with past practice, kicked the doctor like crazy while she was doing the exam, which really cracked her up. All other signs are go -- blood pressure is good, fundus measuring right on track, weight is steady.(1) We're looking at ten days til D-Day.

(1) I will complain about that one nurse again, though. She needs to learn to keep her opinions to herself. First, she harrumphed when I told her she had to push the big weight up a notch. I gained a total of a half a pound this week (I had gained almost 3 pounds the week before, which still had me at about + 15 total). Her commentary? "Well, good thing you're doing better than last week!" Stuff it, lady.

Posted by Dineen at 11:51 AM | Comments (6)

May 27, 2003

The Name Game

At our party two weeks back, we asked people to give us suggestions for names. Here's what we got (all comments not in italics made by the writer; numbers in parens mean the name was suggested more than once):

Girl's names Boy's Names
Melissa (2)
Tallulah (yes, really.)
Elizabeth (2)
Esperanza (hope in Spanish)
(Wee)-Kir, Irsay or Hogray
(all from a 3 year old)
Jacqueline (Jackie)
Janessa Leigh
Kerry Madeliene
Sara Elizabeth
April Mae June
Lilli Marlene
Dineen 2: The Revenge
Oliver Wendell
Mark (2)
Matthew (3)
Tedol Augustin
William (2)
Tucker Michael (Hey, it matches…)
Hunter (2)
Theodore (Ted)
Andrew Mason
Matthew (Mathieu for
additional pretentiousness)
Alexander Mikhailoritch
Allen Scott
Samuel (Sam)
Peter (2)

Dineen2: The Revenge is my personal favorite, but I don't think Mike will go for it. We still aren't going public with our name choices, but I will say that a couple of the names on this list are possibilities...

Posted by Dineen at 01:18 AM | Comments (9)

May 26, 2003

From the Mouths of Cashiers

Made a quick stop at Safeway this evening, and the cashier made my week. First, she looked straight at me and said, "You definitely having a girl!" We gave the standard (and true) "we just want a healthy baby" line. Then I said, "well, we'll know in two weeks!"

"Two weeks? You gonna find out?"

"We'll find out when the baby comes."

"Two weeks? You due in two weeks? Girl, you carrying it so well. You go, girl!"

Now that's what I am talking about. A little positive reinforcement.

Posted by Dineen at 10:40 PM | Comments (0)

May 24, 2003

Geeks Prepare for the Next Step

Some people pack bags, do laundry, and other such tasks in preparation for the birth of their first child. We've done that (well, mostly!), but geeks like Mike and I have one other imporant task: tinker with webspace. Like my belly, this pregnancy diary is growing, and will soon have to pull double duty as a baby brag book and parenting diary as well. In anticipation of that, it has moved to a new place (and has a new design). Please update your bookmarks accordingly.

Posted by Dineen at 03:20 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2003

Full Term

Today I am 38 weeks pregnant, which in most circles is considered full term. Everywhere I go, everyone says "any minute now." Ack! I need to take that to heart and get my desk clean!

Posted by Dineen at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 22, 2003

Baby Bootie

There definitely is something about babies that just makes the money pour out of people's pockets and into retailers coffers. Today, one of the secretaries on my floor (who already gave me a sweet gift at my shower last week!) popped her head in and said "I saw this on a sale table today and just couldn't resist!" It was a neat CD of classical music called Baby's First Classics. It has lots of the old faves on it -- Claire De Lune, Moonlight Sonata, Brahms' Lullaby, some Mozart and Schubert and Bach. Great little disc. Such kindness! It really just amazes me that people are so generous.

Posted by Dineen at 02:56 PM | Comments (0)

May 21, 2003

Body Image

Pretty much all women suffer from body image issues, I am sure, and pretty much all pregnant women, especially, struggle with the changes wrought over their body during the course of nine months. I was so upset when I wasn't showing at all, because I wanted the whole world to know that I was with child. I am so proud of myself that my total weight gain for this pregnancy is less than 20 pounds. Still, at this point, everyone feels entitled to comment on my appearance, and it is getting on my nerves. The comments fall into three basic categories:

(1) You don't look that far along! This I take as mostly a compliment. I haven't gained a lot, which is good. And while my weight gain seems to be all baby, baby is staying very close to Momma, and so I don't have the basketball stomach that really skinny women tend to get. These comments I don't mind too much.

(2) You don't look pregnant at all! These people are trying to compliment me, but they are failing miserably. All I can think of is, "Does that mean you just think I always have a big belly? You just see me as being this fat? Can't you see that the belly is baby-shaped, not fat-shaped?" I think I have inadvertantly sowed the seeds for this one by not wearing a lot of maternity clothes. I haven't had to -- my sweaters and such fit, even if they cling in the belly a little bit. But they don't really flatter -- they cling in the belly a little bit. With only two weeks left, I am not going to go out and my more clothes, but next time around I need to either buy or borrow more maternity tops, at least. I want it to be obvious that this is baby, not fat.

(3) "****" (not a word about baby). Look, I'm not trying to be the center of attention here -- and I understand that people would generally be hesitant to ask a stranger on the street "are you pregnant?" just in case the person were just fat, but... by 9 months, it should be pretty clear that this is baby, not fat. I think. I mean, c'mon, isn't it? We saw a former colleague that I hadn't seen in a while at a dinner last night -- and when I say we, I am referring to a tableful of current coworkers and one woman who had a baby last June and is expecting again this August, and so has not come back to the firm. This former colleague asked the other pregnant woman all about her baby and pregnancy, and didn't say word one about baby to me. I just wanted to scream, "CAN'T YOU SEE I AM DUE IN LESS THAN THREE WEEKS????" Another colleague told me later that she looked more pregnant than I did, since my dress tended to disguise the belly, particularly when I was sitting. The other pregnant woman is a very petite girl, and she was pregnant with #2, so she was very obviously with child. But I thought it was weird to not be acknowledge at all. Again, it falls into the "I guess you just see me as a fat girl" category.

I also haven't had the problems that all of my other pregnant friends complain about of strangers grabbing/rubbing their belly out of nowhere. And while I don't WANT strangers grabbing at me, there is a small part of me that again feels like that must mean I look just fat, not pregnant. Weird how our minds play tricks with us.

The important thing, I guess, is my husband thinks I look absolutely fabulous, and God Bless him, tells me so every day. That's probably the only thing that keeps me from being outright depressed about the whole belly thing.

Posted by Dineen at 03:10 PM | Comments (1)

May 20, 2003

Maternity Wear

I have to go to a fancy-schmancy annual dinner for a think tank for whom I've done some work tonight. It will be mostly fun -- it's in a nice hotel, etc. -- but finding something to wear was a challenge! Since my office is casual, I had been able to avoid buying a maternity suit. The last time I needed a suit (somewhere in my 7th month) I wore my regular suit and just didn't zip the skirt or button the jacket. That won't work now. I finally remembered I have this loose A-line dress that I always used when I was at my fattest, and thank goodness, it fits!

Then, on to stockings. I went to the department store in my mall last night after work, and they didn't have any maternity stockings, so I ended up buying thigh-highs, which I HATE because the elastic really irritates my skin. But, nothing on the tummy.

Then shoes. Since my feet don't quite want to fit into my size 10s anymore, I was counting on an old pair of pumps we had bought for my DH one Halloween for a costume that required him to be in drag (long geeky story; only two lawyers would dress up as Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (me) and Sandra Day O'Connor (him) for Halloween!!, and probably only in DC would other partygoers think that is funny, but hey, it was hysterical when we kissed!). I thought those shoes were a 12 -- little big, but doable -- but it turned out this morning that they are a size 13! They were falling off my feet. I ended up squeezing into my favorite pair of low-heeled pumps, and now we just pray. If my feet really blow up, I have the Halloween shoes in my bag as a back up. Who knew getting dressed could be such a problem!

The good news is, in the elevator this morning I saw two colleagues I hadn't seen for a while, and neither could believe I am only 2 1/2 weeks out from my due date. So that made me feel like less of a cow.

Posted by Dineen at 09:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2003

No news is good news, I guess...

Doc's appointment this morning was pretty much uneventful. Blood pressure remains good, weight remains good, baby remains head down and in launch position, we won't know until next week if my cervix has done anything cool, although I doubt it has since I haven't felt any contractions, not even Braxton-Hicks contractions. I am hoping maybe I am one of those lucky gals who has contrax and doesn't even know it! The only new (and good!) news is that I tested negative for Group B Strep, which is a minor miracle considering how buggy I have been with all of the bladder and kidney infections. So, no IV antibiotics the second I walk into the hospital, which is nice. I should be able to get by with just the hep lock in case of emergency, rather than being tethered to a pole.

So, nothing to do but continue waiting. Oh, and finish thank you notes. And finish announcements list. And pick out announcements. And finish laundry. And get myself organized at work. So, I think baby ought to stay put for a little while longer!

Posted by Dineen at 02:58 PM | Comments (0)

May 18, 2003

Swole but happy

What kind of glutton for punishment decides to throw a backyard BBQ when she is 37 weeks pregnant? And then decides that the weather is too bad for a backyard BBQ, and so instead moves the party indoors, and takes on the added burden of going food shopping the morning of the party to buy cold cuts to take the place of the anticipated burgers and dogs? And then, when her last guest leaves, cleans for 30 minutes before heading out the door to someone else's party until after midnight? If you answered Dineen, Dina, and Silly tired Dina, you would be right on all counts.

That said -- despite my swolen feet and total exhaustion -- it was a great day. It was so nice to see everyone. It was so nice that Mike and I had such a good time Friday night unpacking baby stuff into the room so that we could get it out of the living room and guest room. It was so nice to see both long lost friends and folks we had seen just last weekend. It was so nice to allow my friends to put their hands on my tummy and feel the baby roll around inside me. It was so nice to joke with folks about when baby would come and what it should be named. It was even so nice to use that exhaustion as an excuse to sleep in til 10 this morning, then alternately eat, clean, read, and snuggle with my honey all day. I needed every one of those things.

And heck, today my feet look almost normal, just by staying off of them! My hips and pelvis feel better, too. I may be swole (as Katie says folks in Nawlins would say about my delicate condition), but I am just so happy.

Posted by Dineen at 06:52 PM | Comments (2)

May 15, 2003


I was so excited at how cool the furniture looked when they delivered it, that I spent a few minutes putting books on the shelves and snapped a few photos. It's all really coming together. I can't tell you how relieved I am to have things falling into place! Click to enlarge:

Posted by Dineen at 01:07 PM | Comments (2)

May 14, 2003

Baby Jail

Mike (with the help of his lovely assistant, me) put together the crib last night. The directions were the model of clarity and understatment. "You may need a friend to assist you with this stage." Unless you are an octopus or the Indian Goddess Kali, you DEFINITELY need two people to put those suckers together!

All those bars look a little like a baby jail, but I am sure it is going to be just great. The room is currently empty except for the crib, but come tomorrow the furniture arrives! Then I can start putting stuff away and clearing out the guest room and living room of baby stuff. I can't wait!

Click to enlarge (l-r): Spring assembly, installing the stabilizer bar, and Voila! the finished product.

Posted by Dineen at 03:04 PM | Comments (0)

May 13, 2003

Big baby?

Saw Dr. Miller again today, thankfully. I feel much more comfortable dealing with him than the others, even the ones that I like. He is of the philosophy that an internal exam at this point yields little usable information, but is pretty uncomfortable for Mom, so he didn't do one (he said he would if I wanted him to, but I decided to forgo the discomfort this time). He'll start doing them at 38 weeks (in two weeks!) unless I ask him to do it next week. So no info on whether I am dialated or anything like that.

But... my blood pressure is good (100/60), my weight is steady from last week, I am measuring right on track, and baby is still head down (and moving so much I wonder if he or she doesn't have a future career in breakdancing). Dr. Miller said the baby feels a little on the large side, from what he can tell, admitting that estimates from the outside can be way off. He estimates we have a 7 pounder in there so far, with a little more growing to do. He was a little surprised when I told him I was in the 5 pound range! He was also little disappointed when I said I haven't felt any contrax yet -- although come to think of it, I did feel a little crampy last night. Maybe all of the work, work, work I have planned for around the house this week will keep me active enough to spur things forward a little. Oh, and he gave me a little homework to do, but that's between me and my husband, thank you.

Posted by Dineen at 01:02 PM | Comments (0)

May 12, 2003

Saddle Sore

I've finally come up with a good way to desribe the discomfort I have been feeling the past few weeks. You know what it feels like when, after not having ridden a bicycle for a really long time, you go for a long bike ride? Particularly if it is on a very narrow-seated bicycle? You know, that I-think-I-split-my-pelvis-in-two soreness? That's the kind of discomfort I am walking around with every day. It's like the bones on both sides are sore and bruised. Not so sore that I am in pain, exactly, but sore enough that I notice it all the time, particularly when I go from sitting to standing, or roll over in bed. And I can't just roll over like a normal person, oh no. I have to use my legs to lift my pelvis off of the bed entirely, then swing over.

Saddle sore. From the inside. Quite an interesting feeling.

Posted by Dineen at 10:51 AM | Comments (0)

May 11, 2003

By popular demand...

Here are some pictures of the progress we made in the baby's room last weekend (CLICK TO ENLARGE).

l-r: Proud parents pose during painting, the new fan and walls, star detail.

Posted by Dineen at 11:33 PM | Comments (1)

May 09, 2003

Almost Ready!

A few weeks ago, I was in a total panic that we didn't have anything for this baby -- very few clothes, no diapers, no crib, no changing area. Nada. The room had poor lighting, poor wiring, and drab cream walls, and a really icky rug on the floor.

How far we've come! The room is now painted a cheerful, warm yellow with purple trim and whimsical swirls and stars, and friends and family have in the past two weeks just showered us with everything we need. The electricity is mostly fixed, and there is a bright white ceiling fan on a dimmer rather than wacky 50s wall fixtures to keep the place bright. We have the Carlson family cradle all set up, and the full-sized crib in the living room awaiting assembly. We have several dozen diapers (both cloth and disposable), a diaper pail, clothes galore in a range of sizes, a bouncy seat, a swing, a car seat and stroller, a baby bathtub, and all sorts of other baby accessories. There are still several jobs to do -- it's not quite all put together -- but things are feeling all sorts of more under control.

Good thing -- a week from today, I am considered full term!

Posted by Dineen at 06:32 PM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2003

Body Art

I could look at my stretch marks as the bane of my existence. Or, I could look at them as cheap body art, without the painful needles. The way they leap up around my belly button, they kind of look like flames. Yeah, that's the ticket. Hot Harley-Mama Flames on my belly. Woo hoo!

Posted by Dineen at 10:31 AM | Comments (1)

May 05, 2003

Room Progress

As Michael so eloquently pointed out, we made significant progress in babybean's bedroom yesterday. We got both the trim and the walls painted, and Mom and I started on the stars and swirls (the paint job was inspired by this high-end baby store treatment). We had some equipment issues (the brushes we bought for the detail work weren't quite right) but the overall effect of the stars, at least, was pretty cool once we got our templates and techniques down. Not bad at all for non-artists.

What's left? Finish the painting, figure out the window fiasco (loooong story!), get the drywall in the closet fixed, have the electrician change the outlets out, put together the crib, and arrange to have the rest of the furniture delivered. Then, put all of the baby stuff -- currently in bags and boxes piled high in the guest room -- into the baby's room where it belongs. Wash the clothes and diapers (the latter 5 or more times!) and put them all into place. All in the next two weeks. Oof. But it will get done!

Posted by Dineen at 04:00 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2003

Babybean is loved

Mel and Mom worked their butts off on Friday and Saturday to throw together a fantabulous baby shower for me and my belly (not easy to do in someone else's home!). It was so great to see Mike's aunt, my Mom's cousins who traveled from Bowie and outside of Philly (!!) to be there, as well as so many of my DC friends. Babybean was the recipient of quite a library of books -- miraculously, not a single dupe! We got a few other necessities, such as a stroller, the baby gate for the wide staircase, and the diaper bag we picked out. We also got not a few really adorable outfits and other baby paraphernalia. One of my faves: a bib that reads "Trust me, my Mom's a lawyer!"

On Tuesday, my wonderful friends at work are throwing me yet another (final) shower. And in two weeks, we are inviting everyone we know over for a last hurrah to hang out before babybean makes its appearance (the baby showers were great for that, but we didn't get to see many of the guys. The space constraints that kept the guys off the list for the showers are blown out the window when you are talking about an everyone stand-around-and-grill-in-the-back-yard type of party). We are asking people to come up with suggestions for names, and I am guessing the results will be hillarious (and perhaps even useful). We are also using it as a deadline for having the nursery all put together and ready to be seen by the viewing public!

I just can't get over how many people in this world are so supportive of me and Michael and this little life-on-the-way. I have been trying so hard not to allow myself to become self-centered about the whole baby thing, but allow me this one indulgence: I feel like the luckiest Mom-to-be on the planet! We are truly blessed.

Posted by Dineen at 03:30 PM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2003

Another Weird Dream

OK, my sleep has gone all to hell and my dreams have become a lot more vivid. Last night, I dreamed that I woke up and felt something between my legs (in the real world, I bet Tucker was sleeping there, which probably helped trigger the dream). I reached down and felt the baby's arm. In the dream, I started screaming to Mike to call 911, because I was terrified. By the time he got on the phone, though, I had the baby out and it was breastfeeding. Oddly, I don't recall in this dream if the baby was a boy or a girl. Most of the rest of the dream was spent trying out various breastfeeding positions (laying down, football hold, etc.). I guess my mind is practicing the whole breastfeeding thing. I hope that means that it comes naturally when the time comes.

Posted by Dineen at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

May 01, 2003

Momma Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Yesterday, I finally had to break down, give in, and buy myself a new pair of shoes. In a size 11. A full size larger than my usual. My feet don't exactly feel swolen, but the feet and ankles are definitely bigger. I sure do hope that this abates after the baby is born -- I will really hate it if I have to ditch my entire shoe collection!

Posted by Dineen at 11:07 PM | Comments (1)