Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zach Attack is Coming!

Before I found out I was pregnant I asked Mike, my brother, if I could have Zach, my three year old nephew, for an entire weekend. Like I said, that was before I realized I was pregnant and that I had zero energy to chase around a three year old. Well, an aunt’s got to hold up her end of the bargain and I will have Zach over for a fun filled weekend.

We had planned to see the Bubble Show, a magical entertainer that can work wonders with bubbles who has performed in Vegas and off Broadway. Toddlers have an odd fascination with bubbles and I thought this would be perfect. But some cruel hearted person stole his bubbles and they canceled our show! Who would do such a thing! And what would a person want with gallons of bubble mix and ropes? I have no clue. Maybe there’s some huge demand for bubble mix on the black market. Who knows!

We had planned to go to the Winfield carnival on Friday night – that’s still a go. Then Saturday morning we’ll go to the farmers market, and head over to target to get a birthday present for Frank’s cousin’s daughter, Reese. Then off to a pool party for Miss Reese’s 2nd birthday! I think Zach will have a blast and I know he loves the pool. Zach’s mom, Jen, says he jumps right into the deep end, so I asked her to bring one of those swimming vest thingies and lots of sunscreen. Better safe than sorry.

So Sunday’s still up in the air. We may just have a down day. Uncle Frank may cook us a nice breakfast. We may have a play date with our neighbor friends LeeAnn and her two kids – Jason and Amanda. We’ll play it by ear.

This weekend I’ll muster all my energy and put on a smile for my little nephew – who I adore and I don’t spend enough time with. It will be nice to get a glimpse into what parent hood is like and to spend some quality time with Zach.

The Sock Man

Ozzie’s doing well – he fought off a pretty bad infection. Dr. Fry has his foot in a little baby sock – how cute! Poor Ozzie has to wear a cone and is pretty miserable. We take it off when we can watch him, but all he wants to do is lick his foot which would not be good. Dr. Fry says he’ll probably just chew his foot right off. Not good! So we spend lots of extra time cuddling and scratching his face for him cause he can’t reach it. He’s well on his way to recovery.

Six Weeks Today!

This week's major developments: The nose, mouth, and ears that you'll spend so much time kissing in eight months are beginning to take shape. If you could see into your uterus, you'd find an oversize head and dark spots where your baby's eyes and nostrils are starting to form. His emerging ears are marked by small depressions on the sides of the head, and his arms and legs by protruding buds. His heart is beating about 100 to 160 times a minute — almost twice as fast as yours — and blood is beginning to course through his body. His intestines are developing, and the bud of tissue that will give rise to his lungs has appeared. His pituitary gland is forming, as are the rest of his brain, muscles, and bones. Right now, your baby is a quarter of an inch long, about the size of a lentil bean.

I’m actually feeling better – the nausea has seemed to subside. That or I’m just getting used to it. But the fatigue has hit full strength. I’m literally falling asleep at my desk and yawning all day, non stop. My body’s trying to tell me to get more sleep. Last night I slept a full nine hours and even then I’m finding it really hard to get up for work. I got ready in about 30 minutes this morning, that’s record time. Just so I could get a few more minutes of sleep.

Two more weeks until our first ultrasound on August 18 – we can’t wait! I am dying to know that the baby’s ok – that it’s where it’s supposed to be and that there’s only one! Fraternal twins run in my family – my Aunt Jayne had a set and her daughter Amy just had a set. I’m sure it’s only one baby brewing in there, but wouldn’t that be amazing!

Baby news in our family – I just found out my cousin Amber is expecting her second baby, due February 28 – could be a leap year baby! Wouldn’t that be fun! Amber’s sister, Wendy, is also pregnant, due in November. Then I’m due at the end of March! Dave, my step-dad’s, side of the family is huge and I have many, many cousins. Dave is one of nine and their kids are having kids. As it turns out there were five of us cousins all born in the same year. So we’re well on our way to having our own little group of second cousins of the same age.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Side of Pickles Please

I'm not sure if I would categorize these as actual pregnancy cravings, but I've had several thoughts and day dreams about certain foods lately...

Sub sandwich - ham, salami & cheese
Stewart's curly fries
Any and all cheese
Pickles - so typical, I know!

Under the Microscope

It’s funny how much people feel the need to share with you what you “can” and “can’t” have while pregnant?

Well, not so funny if you’re actually pregnant and these well meaning people, ei your parents and in-laws and even husband, are monitoring your every move.

“Do you know that has caffeine in it?” – yes I do, I know it has exactly 95 mg caffeine and I can safely have up to 200 mg of caffeine a day. If this helps me get through the day without yawning 500 times or even falling asleep during a business meeting – then let me have my cup of coffee!
“Are you sure you want another double cheese burger?” – yes, with extra pickles and mayo please. Wanna go head to head? Can you down another burger? I think not. Pass the pickles.

“Be careful down the stairs” – granted we all know I’m a certified klutz and have the broken bones to prove it, but still – Can’t a girl walk down the stairs without someone telling her to take her time? I mean really! My baby is the size of a sesame seed for goodness sake. Even if I did take a flying leap down the stairs, I’m sure the baby would be fine. On the other hand, I’m sure I’d break something and my ego would definitely be crushed and I’d have to listen to people saying be careful FOR-EV-ER.

For the record – I have not had ANY coffee, and I’m not missing it. I’m just making a point. I am having a huge craving for a big sloppy submarine sandwich – piled high with ham and salami, both off limits because of the dreaded listeria risk. I can have lunch meat, I just need to heat it in the microwave for 60 seconds then cool it again in a sterile container, but some how, that doesn’t sound as appealing.

We’re going to clear up my approved list with my nurse practitioner when we see her on August 18… it’s going to be a long few weeks.

I have a feeling this is only the beginning and when we actually let the cat out of the bag, I’ll get the full brunt of “helpful advice.”

Yikes… I think the hormones are kicking in… big time.

Do I Have The Right to Complain?

I don’t think so.

I got myself into this mess, with the help of my darling husband. People are constantly asking me how I’m feeling. Why should I mention I have 24/7 nausea and that I can’t sleep three hours without getting up to pee? Or that all I’ve been eating is saltine crackers and ginger ale? Do they want to hear those awful details? Will they think I’m ungrateful for this blessing we have been given?

I think I’ll keep those gory details to myself and share with my close friends and family. But I still feel a tad bit guilty complaining.

I’ve heard parenthood has guilt wrapped in everything. Let the guilt begin.

Telling the Boss

I told my boss Jeannie last week. I was a little concerned telling her so early, but I figured with the doctor’s appointments and me feeling so crappy, it would help if I was honest. Many of my pregnancy books say tell the boss first if telling her won’t have a detrimental impact on your work.

Boy, was I surprised at her reaction when I told her – She shot out of her seat and started screaming, mind you it was 7:30 in the morning, and jumping up and down and crying. Hugs galore! She’s so great, so supportive and such a great friend. I think she wins for the best reaction probably because I wasn’t expecting it!

Oscar or Cleopatra…

After trying desperately to come up with a few free days to road trip it to DC to share the good news in person with my dad, John and step-mom, Susan, we came to the conclusion that an in person announcement wasn’t possible.

We broke down and called them on Friday night. They were sooooo excited for us. I just wish we could have told them in person, but Frank’s schedule and the upcoming carnival put a huge wretch in those plans.

Susan, the most fun loving person I know, immediately named our newest addition Oscar or Cleopatra… not sure if those names will stick, but they sure are fun!

We’re going to plan a weekend trip this fall to see them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Five Weeks - Sesame Seed

At five weeks today, our baby is growing at a furious pace. At this point, he/she's about the size of a sesame seed, and looks more like a tiny tadpole than a human. The embryo now made up of three layers — the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endoderm — which will later form all of his organs and tissues.

The neural tube — from the baby's brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone will sprout — is starting to develop in the top layer, called the ectoderm. This layer will also give rise to his skin, hair, nails, mammary and sweat glands, and tooth enamel.

It’s heart and circulatory system begin to form in the middle layer, or mesoderm. (This week, in fact, his tiny heart begins to divide into chambers and beat and pump blood.) The mesoderm will also form the baby's muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutaneous (under skin) tissue.

The third layer, or endoderm, will house his lungs, intestines, and rudimentary urinary system, as well as it’s thyroid, liver, and pancreas. In the meantime, the primitive placenta and umbilical cord, which deliver nourishment and oxygen to your baby, are already on the job.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Well we went to the doctor yesterday. We met with a nurse practitioner who confirmed our pregnancy with a urine test and also took blood to check my hormone levels. For some reason I think it's a little more real when a medical professional confirms what home tests have said for the past week. I knew all along, but I think Frank needed this little bit of confirmation.

I'm officially 4 weeks 5 days pregnant.

We have our next appointment scheduled for Monday, August 18 for a visit with Debbie, the nurse practitioner, and an ultrasound. I think I'm still going to be anxious until I get the blood work back that my hormone levels are fine and the ultra sound says the baby is where it's supposed to be.

Feeling tired and nauseous. I found that munching on saltines helps settle the upset tummy I get each morning. But the nausea doesn't seem to go away completely. I also don't have much of an appetite, but try to get a few nutritious meals in everyday.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Telling the Parents

So we told our respective parents – who live locally. We’re still deciding on how to tell my dad and step-mom who live in DC. We may plan a trip down to see them.
But for now, we shared our news with Frank’s parents, Frank and Theresa and my parents, Aurelia and Dave.

We went to Frank’s parents house and his mom was the only one home. We had taken our four pregnancy test and wrapped them in tissue and presented them to his mom in a lovely pink gift bag. She opens them up and it took about 5 seconds for it to sink in… and then she started jumping up and down screaming “I’m gonna be a grammie, I’m gonna be a grammie!”

This went on for several minutes.

Frank’s dad had just left a for a meeting and his mom called him to come home right away.

Frank’s mom was beside her self. Crying and wanting to tell everyone. “Oh, I have to tell some one…. Can I tell the girls at work?”


“Can I tell Mrs. G? (her best friend neighbor)”


She called Kristen, Frank’s sister, and asked her to come home instead of going to the gym. And of course Kristen needed a reason and could hear something was up and asked her mom if I was pregnant… and she told her over the phone.

So Frank’s dad gets home and Frank’s mom wants to meet him outside and tell him, but we literally had to hold her back until his dad was physically in the room.

“I’m going to be a grammie and you’re going to be a poppie!” she said through tears.

They were both very happy for us.

The funniest thing was that his mom didn’t know what a pregnancy test was! She said afterwards that she thought they were markers!

My parents were equally as excited for us, in their own way.

My mom instantly started crying and Dave took it all in stride. He is most often the cautious type and gave me a hug and Frank a stern hand shake.

So we’ve started to spread the word to our immediate family.

I’ve scheduled our first doctor’s appointment for August 25. I should be about 10 weeks by then and the doc will be able to get a good look at a heart beat…

I still can’t believe it. There are moments when I “forget” that I’m pregnant and sort of remember when I’m in the middle of something and it’s like a nice surprise all over again.

I have been feeling some abdominal pain. Not sure if that’s normal, as I’m sure I’ll say many times to come, I’ve never done this before. So I called the nurse and she’s going to call me back. My main concern is an ectopic pregnancy. I don’t think I will rest until I see the little sack exactly where it’s supposed to be, beating away.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Home Run!

Wow… I can’t believe it. Wow… I’m still in shock.

Yes, I’m pregnant!

Frank was up when I got home from work last night and I thought, so I thought what the heck, I know I’m not pregnant, but on my calculations I should have gotten my period that day. So, Thursday night I decided to take a test since Frank was up.

I’m standing there in the bathroom waiting for the negative result when up pops a plus sign. Shocked…

I grab the test stick and directions and walk into the living room. I hand Frank the stick. He looks at it, then studies the directions. Looks at the stick again. Looks at the directions again. He hasn’t said a word.

I tell him I’m pregnant and ask him what he thinks?

He replies with, “Are you sure? Do we have any more tests?”

Of course we don’t have any more tests, so I run out to Walgreens, all the while with my head spinning and me almost forgetting where Walgreens was! I buy two of the “expensive” kinds with a digital read out. I’m sure the lady who checked me out was thinking I was nuts for buying so many tests.

I come home, and Frank’s still not saying much.

Frank decides to come in and witness the actual tests. We hold the sticks the plastic cup and place them on the counter. Wala… pregnant, pregnant, pregnant.

We took FOUR total tests.

Then Frank said, “wow… I feel nauseous.”

We both were surprised and didn’t think it would happen so soon. Not sure why we were so shocked. We had been trying, but not that much because we were both sick with colds last month.

I can’t stop smiling. I’m feeling great. Just a little nauseous, but nothing a saltine cracker wont fix. Poor Frank, I totally thought he was going to get sick last night. He was nauseous, clammy and dizzy. It’s a lot for someone to take in.

I think I’m about 4 weeks pregnant. I’m calling the doctor this morning to make an appointment. I’m sure she won’t see me until I’m 8 or 10 weeks along. I’m considering taking the entire day off so Frank and I can enjoy this special day.

So, I’m going to take this day by day. I’m not going to get all wrapped up in details and putting the cart before the horse. I know I’ll drive us both crazy.

But first things first, we have to tell our parents.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Waste Not, Want Not - let the cooking begin!

This weekend I have a goal… It’s simple really. To cook three meals using what we have in the house. I’ve dedicated myself to NOT wasting food or money on needless meals out or spoiled food. We've gotten into a really bad rut with throwing away perfectly good food, if I had taken the time to cook it!

On the menu for the weekend cooking extravaganza…

Pork noodle bake – using up left over pork chops I cooked last night
Stuffed zucchini – using the gynormous zucchini Frank brought home and sausage his parents gave us
Sausage, Spinach bake – again with the sausage
Grandma's bread and butter pickles - cucumbers from our garden

During the week I’ll take a stab at an all time favorite low cost meal, the tuna noodle casserole. You know the one with potato chips on top! Hey, bake me up some of that hot cheesy, salty, crunchy, starchy goodness anytime!

I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot of “bakes” cause casseroles seem to be cheaper than most meals. But hey, it’s a start and I’m sure I’ll get super creative by the end of the summer!

PS - still waiting

Impatiently Waiting

I’m still waiting. Based on my guess work, I’m due for my period today. I’m feeling crampy, but not more than usual, maybe even a little less. But I could talk myself into anything at this point. I resisted the urge to take a test this morning. If I don’t get my period by tomorrow morning, I will definitely take a test. When in your life can you actually look forward to seeing a positive pregnancy test result? I figure now’s my chance!

But I’m still not getting my hopes up!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Second Inning

Still Waiting…

Ok, so we’re in our second inning hoping we hit a home run! I’m still waiting for my period, it was due today, I think. Silly me, I’ve been tracking my cycle for months now and the one time when I actually need to know if I’m late, I don’t jot down when it started. I think I was upset that we didn’t get pregnant last month that I just didn’t want to deal with it.

Well, I’m not sure if I’m late, but I’m getting close to being late. I feel pretty normal. Accept the irrational outburst I had at Frank last night. It was totally uncalled for and kind of felt a little guilty as the words came out of my mouth. I’ve been crampy and a little nauseous, but really, I’m sure it’s all in my head. That was a lesson we learned last month. BUT, I didn’t get my week long of head aches before my period like I usually do. So that’s different.

I’ve been cooking up a storm and my neighbor, and good friend, Lee Ann thinks I’m nesting. I just think I’m sick of eating out or frozen dinners and our budget is stretched to the limit. I actually looked up “recipes on a budget” to find the most economical meal to make at home. I made chili and chicken enchiladas. This weekend I’ll make tuna noodle casserole. You know, the kind with the potato chips on top! Can’t wait!

Frank’s parents were nice enough to bring us groceries from Costco. They shared Italian sausage, pork chops, chicken and veggies. It’s like they some how knew our budget has been tight. We’re so lucky to have them! They came over with groceries, I fed them chicken enchiladas and we watched Frank on an advanced copy of his new TV show!

Oh my, I have neglected to share that my darling husband will be featured in a new reality TV show on A&E called Jacked! How cool is that! He’s been riding along with the Auto Theft Task Force (ATTF) in Newark and he was there when they taped the show this spring. The show starts in late August, so keep an eye out on A&E for my favorite sergeant.

Okay, so still waiting. Something we all know I am not very good at. I will try, very hard, not to take multiple preggo tests. Maybe that’s something his parents can pick up at Costco, a 12-pack of over the counter tests!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dredded Bandage Changes

Ok, so a lot has happened this weekend. Frank took Ozzie in on Friday for another bandage change. Poor Ozzie. But great job to Frank cause when he first dropped Ozzie off, the vet tech took one look and said he was fine and no need to change the bandage. Frank knew better and told the vet tech that he’d like to speak with a doctor and that he definitely needs a change because it is infected. Good thing he did! And the doc even said that. The doc reiterated that it was still infected and had to sedate Ozzie to soak the foot and re-bandage. Good job daddy! Sticking up to the docs without me there! Our little guy is luck to have you. So that was Friday.
Saturday morning, we’re laying around, not doing much and all of the sudden Frank yells at Charlie (our very mischievous cat), for getting into something, and Ozzie who was illegally sleeping on top of the couch, dutifully jumped up to go correct Charlie and got his bandaged leg stuck between the window and the couch. Ozzie let out a yelp, which broke our hearts! The bandage had shifted at least two inches from where it was supposed to be. We called the vet and they said to bring him down, even though we had an apt on Sunday. We drive down to exit 102 on the parkway on a Saturday morning… needless to say, it took us A LONG TIME to get there.

I sat in the back of the car with him and his bandage was slowly slipping off. By the time we got to the vet, into the waiting room then finally into an exam room the bandage was almost off. Poor Ozzie, he doesn’t like to be held out in public. He was barking at all the dogs, and squirming so much. At one point, and we couldn’t help but laugh because we couldn’t do anything else, his splint/bandage was waving around like a helicopter and hit me in the head numerous times. Eventually the bandage fell off and we saw it.

Oh, our hearts broke again. I couldn’t look, but I had to look. His paw was a different shape, with just two toes, rather square. One looked very red and swollen, probably the infection. I had to hold him and his paw so he wouldn’t step on it. If you’ve ever tried holding a wriggling 25 lb pug, you know how hard it is. I was so glad to turn him over to the doc when she came in and let the experts make him all better.

They had to sedate him again, but this time didn’t charge us for the sedation. Being experts in splinting and bandages, we figured the one that caused all this trouble was too large up top and got caught easily. His next one was much sleeker. He’s had a multitude of colors hot pink (which the vet swears is red, but it’s definitely pink), blue and yellow. We’re hoping for a black next. Frank has been such a trooper, driving Ozzie in during the day so I won’t have to take him during rush hour. We’ve got a good system - I give all food and meds. He takes him for bandage changes. Frank takes him back on Wednesday morning.

We’re really hoping this infection clears up.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blog Name Change

Ok - I totally borrowed "Notes From The Underbelly" from a cancelled TV show. But hey - it was a great show and it perfectly describes what this blog is all about! So sue me. Okay, no not really.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Great News About Ozzie

We just got word from the vet that the surgeon removed the entire tumor and Ozzie gets to keep his leg. We were so worried, and the surgeon wasn't sure he could get clear margins, but thank god he did. He’s got a few more bumps that we biopsied and were also found to be mast cell tumors, but the surgeons consulted with the oncologist and it seems that pugs can have a syndrome where they get these mast cell tumors and the treatment is really to do nothing. The staff assured us we did the right thing by removing the one on his foot cause it was huge and could have easily ulcerated. We’re meeting with the oncologist next week to follow up and discuss this further. We affectingly call him Bumpa.

Ozzie's getting around wonderfully. We had a bandage change on Tuesday and they gave him a manly blue cast. His incision was a little infected, so Frank's taking him back on Friday for another bandage change.

Ozzie's pretty much back to normal. But, he's still milking it with his pathetic looks for extra treats and cuddles. But hey - he's been through a lot.

Thank you all for your kind words and prayers. Our little guy is going to be ok :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Independence Day, 2008

We spent this long weekend at home with Ozz Man. He’s been sleeping a lot, and his lack of appetite is starting to concern me. He will not eat his dog food unless it’s mixed with some human food and he even will spit out the dog food if it doesn’t taste just right!

We have a vet appointment on Tuesday to change the bandage. He is slowly starting to get back to normal. Chasing the cats, barking at our neighbor Ursula, but still not eating as he should.

I felt very domestic this weekend. Went grocery shopping, did several loads of laundry and I even cooked! Made bbq ribs, brownies, a frittata that even surprised myself at how good it was, and chicken cutlets with pasta. I think we’ll have tons of left overs for the week. Now I just need to keep up the momentum.

Our garden is doing really well – we have already picked several good size zucchini – which prompted me to cook the frittata. I even used fresh basil and parsley from my herb garden. Know any good zucchini recipes? I’m sure we’ll have tons all summer. We also picked our first cucumber, which a bunny had started to nibble on. Frank saw the bunny munching away, but said he couldn’t chase it away because it was a baby. What a softy. We’re still waiting for our tomatoes to ripen – we planted four plants, but ended up with over twenty! We let several tomatoes fall to the ground last year and now they’re back.

We’re mid-summer. Can hardly believe it went by so fast.

Happy Independence Day everyone.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Second Day Post-Op

Ozzie had a much better second post-op day - thanks to new meds. Frank called and said he was still very restless and wouldn’t settle down. The vet called in a prescription for a pain med to my local Walgreens that I picked up on my way home. Right when I got home, I could already see a difference in him. He’s wagging his tail much more, he gave me kisses – so he’s definitely feeling better.

I did give him the extra pain pill last night so we both could get some sleep. Frank and I have been sleeping down stairs so Ozzie wouldn’t be tempted to negotiate the stairs and even jumping on the bed. He’s supposed to be on strict no jumping for three weeks. So we’re trying to keep him quiet, but he’s getting around just fine. In fact, while I was in the shower he went all the way up stairs and onto the bed. We have since put up a baby gate.

We get the pathology results today. I’m dreading to hear if we have to take his leg. I’m trying not to think about it until we need to make a decision.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ozzie's Home

We brought Ozzie home by 4:30 the day after his surgery. He slept until 6:30 then got up for potty and dinner then slept until midnight. He’s getting around fine, lots of hopping – he’s fast! They have him in a splint from toes to elbow wrapped in that sticky wrap that only sticks to itself. Frank wasn't happy with the color choice - pink! We covered the cast/splint with a baby sock, to keep it clean.

They removed his two center toes. We’ll just have to wait for the pathology. The surgeon who did the discharge told us that it was “highly unlikely” that they got a clean boundary, so I’m not getting my hopes up.

Last night I could really tell he was in pain and uncomfortable. He was resting fine until the morphine the hospital gave him wore off. Then he was restless. He wouldn’t settle down, like he couldn’t get comfortable. I could tell he was in pain. His arm was twitching and he held it up so it wouldn’t touch anything. That was tough.

So, it was a tough night. Getting up with him, helping him settle in, find a new spot to lie down. Frank’s home with him now and if he doesn’t settle in the next hour, we’re going to call the vet for some good meds. All they sent him home with was an anti-inflammatory. I was hoping for something a bit stronger to take the edge off.

Thanks everyone for their well wishes. He’ll get better, the first few days post-op are always tough.