Happy Thanksgiving

So much to be thankful for this year but most of all it’s this wee bundle of joy.

I obviously don’t have the time to cook my traditional thanksgiving feast and have my photo op with my turkey like in past years, but thanks to two extremely generous friends we will still be having a Thanksgiving feast!  Andrea and Jed hadn’t even cooked thanksgiving for themselves before, however today they delivered all the traditional Thanksgiving sides.  As soon as our Trader Joes pre-dressed turkey brest is done we will be having our own thankful feast.

Sydney Mahleen is here!

According to our camera’s time stamp on 11/21/09 at 19:23 Royce took this picture of me:

and at 22:30:43 he took this picture of me and our baby girl:

Sydney Mahleen Burns
11.21.2009 @ 10:29 PM
7lbs 4 oz   19.5 inches

More on the birth and how we are doing will come later….  Until then enjoy a few photos from Sydney’s first few days.  Mom, baby and Dad are doing well…tired but well.

A little morale boost

I knew going into it that being pregnant would attract copious amounts of unsolicited advice and comments.  However, I was never prepared for how many of them would be so negative in tone.  I’m sure people really aren’t trying to be negative…they probably think they are trying to be cute or “prepare” you.  But I would like to know a responsible adult who has waited to have children who didn’t think just for a moment before getting pregnant that; 1) their life would never be the same and 2) raising children can be _____ (fill in the blank:  life changing, expensive, difficult, time consuming, tiring).

We once got trapped talking to the most miserable parents of all time at a party when I was barely in my 2nd trimester.  They moaned on about sleep deprivation, day care costs, lack of freedom, no traveling…yada yada.  When we finally broke away from them Royce and I swore to never say anything negative about pregnancy, labor or raising children to a couple who is expecting …even if we are so far down in the dumps we can’t see a wee light at the end of the tunnel.  Or if we feel the need to be seemingly negative (and lets face it sometimes the truth about babies IS negative) we have to balance it out with a positive.

To help me through this last week, when all seems to be moving so slow, I posted the following as my Facebook status and put a charge to my parenting friends out there:

“after months of negative/ho-hum/sarcastic comments on “what we are getting ourselves into” and “if your tired now, just wait!” and “your life is gonna change! wink wink”…I would like a day of positive comments!  So Moms and Dads tell me the good things about how your baby or child has changed you, or your life, or anything…just keep it positive.  I can’t take anymore cutesy miserable threats.”

Below are some snippets of their beautiful comments…

  • Just think how cute a little baby girl is!  So cute!
  • Take time to view the world through a child’s eyes and all the things on your “To Do” list magically become less of a priority.
  • Becoming a mom was the best thing I ever did, you are about to start the best chapter of your life.
  • You will soon have a new very best friend!
  • She will have the softest skin you have ever felt.  Every little coo will melt you.  Nursing her will be so amazing.
  • The smile you are gonna get when you go into to get your baby in the morning makes everything ALL worth while.
  • Nothing beats the feeling of when your little one reaches for you and you know that the only person they want and need at that moment is you.
  • Having a child is like watching your heart beat outside of your chest and it is the most amazing feeling!
  • You don’t know how much you can unconditionally love someone until you see your sweet baby’s face.  And they’re so cuddly!
  • To know that your little one is solely dependent on you for everything – nourishment, shelter, security and LOVE is an awesome feeling.
  • Even if you have a terrible day, once you see your baby’s smile, hold them, snuggle with them and kiss them everything is alright.
  • Being a parent has made me a better person. You will find you are a stronger and more compassionate person than you ever realized before.
  • My boys crack me up every day.  They are so cute & cuddly.  It is so fun to see them smile and develop more each day.
  • No one will ever make you feel as loved. Soft little hands on your cheeks… Millions of little kisses… Sneaking out of bed for “one more hug”… Fussing with everyone but you…She will be the most amazing gift you’ve ever received.
  • You know how when you have had a hard day at work and you can wait get home and have a beer and relax? When you come home and have that wonderful baby to and hug… it is way better than that beer. (and when you are not pregnant anymore you can also have that beer).

Thank you to all my wonderful friends, now I’m content and smiling and feel more than ready to face this next challenge in life.

The next time you see a pregnant woman (especially one at the end of her wits) skip the sarcasm, tell her one of those above things and make her day.

The last week

This past week is best described as annoying.  I’m tired, wicked tired, more tired than I’ve ever been.  So tired I was sitting at work this AM and almost cried.

At best I sleep in 1 hour stints.  I wake from either heartburn flares, or the need to pee.  The need to pee has been an ongoing occurrence, one of my first side effects of pregnancy that just never went away.  It just occurs more often …like every time I move or shift my weight.  Now the contractions have started and those typically wake me up and bring to my attention the need to pee.  I never knew I had so much pee.  Maybe this baby is part diuretic.  I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night without getting up to pee*.   I am looking forward to baby being out because she has to sleep for at least 2 hours straight in 1 day right?  Maybe?  I hope so…2 hours at once is way better than what I’m getting currently.

I should consider myself lucky.  I’ve really only had this one week of real struggle out of 39.  Every day people tell me I don’t even look pregnant.  I’ve had no nausea, vomiting, or pain (round ligament or sciatica), I’m not swollen, my rings still fit, I haven’t even gained the allotted 25 lbs yet.  Up until this week I would sometimes even forget that I was pregnant because I honestly haven’t been uncomfortable at all.  So if all I have is 1 week of horrible sleep deprivation I guess I’ll take it and run with it because most of my friends haven’t been as blessed.

* and don’t start saying it’s ‘training’ and ‘if you are tired now just wait’…people who say that crap I want to kick.  You don’t ‘train’ for sleep deprivation, you train to run a 10K.

The nursery

Finally some photos of the nursery!

It was fun sewing and designing everything from scratch, a true labor of love that can’t be matched by a store bought purchase.  I took bits and pieces from different patterns, books and websites to satisfy my vision and create flexibility (the bumper is reversible).  All the fabrics came from Amy Butler’s Lotus Collection.  They were a true dream to work with, solidifying my belief that good fabric is worth it’s weight in gold.

The stuffed bugs were also a fun project.  They are filled with jingle bells and are very attractive to Charlie, so for now they are staying put in the crib.

In addition to doing all the crummy work (painting, trim work, light installation) Royce even helped a bit with the valance.  He did a great job nailing some wood together to form a box so that I could staple the finished valance on.  And of course he helped mount the final product since a pregnant woman yielding a power drill precariously from a step stool isn’t the best of ideas.

I’ll have to admit the contrasting box pleat on the valance turned out rather fresh and fancy.

To protect the dresser top, which for now will be used as a changing table, I experimented a bit with quilting and made a reversible runner.

All and all not a bad outcome (although my binding gets a D).  Probably would have made my life easier for myself if I would have just done a standard mitered quilt binding, but alas I just had to have a 1 + inch border.  And of course I was too lazy to slip stitch one side by hand so the top stitching doesn’t really hit up well on one side like it does the other.

Royce thinks it’s the best room in the house and I can’t deny that.  The cozy fabrics, whimsical art work, carpet and lighting all come together for a very relaxing nursery.  I sure hope she enjoys it as much as we do.

Take your best guess!


Coming down the homestretch here.  38 weeks today.  Only 2 more weeks left til anticipated ‘D-Day’ of Nov 21st!

What do you think?  Anyone want to wager guess a for a birthday and birth-weight?

If the costume fits…

We had a neighborhood Halloween party to go to last night. First Halloween party for me since college if I remember correctly.  I’m not much into the costumes and silliness of this holiday, probably less so this year due to the current girth of my midsection (but will probably be more so next year when I have a wee tyke to dress up and parade around!).

I was just going to wear a black shirt with a pumpkin face sewn on my belly and call it quits until my friend Ashley had a better idea…  Black dress – check, white turtle neck – check, black tights – check.  Had to whip up the habit on the sewing machine and Royce had to make me a cross, but all in all it turned out pretty well.


As our friend Albert says I’ll probably go to hell, but I figured I already was well on my way considering we didn’t even have a cross in this house to put around my neck and I may as well fess up that we never replaced that Bible either.  At least I’m having fun on my way!

Showered with gifts and books


Feeling more and more ready each and every day.  Last weekend was my baby shower.  Both Grandmas-to-be were here along with Aunt Monica.  Good times!  With the help from a few other friends, my friend Leigh from work hosted at her new beautiful home in DC.  Girlfriends from near and far came to celebrate all that is baby girl over brunch and mimosa’s.


(I’m not sure how I one can get through an entire baby shower with out a good photo of ‘the belly’ but what you see above is about as good as it gets because all the other photos I’m sitting down and well I just look sorta fat or I have gifts in the way and you can’t see anything).

One of the organizers had the brilliant idea of giving books instead of cards so I got a solid stack of great books to start off our collection.


This is baby girl will definitely be dry and warm.  I got about 5 hooded towels, and thanks to the grandma’s 3 awesome baby blankets.Untitled-1 copyAfter a few loads of laundry later we have the majority of the things we need for the first few weeks at the ready.  I’m completely amazed at how small these onesies are.  I can’t imagine anything being that small.  Watching Royce fold them sorta melts ones heart it’s so cute.

Give us a heart attack will ya?

We had our 36 week sonogram yesterday which threw our day into chaos.  All ended well but it took me a while to come down from being so tense.  And when I did come down I didn’t realize how tense I was.

Long story short, a finding on a sonogram at 20 weeks was back (it had disappeared at the 29 week sonogram) which caused concern and lead to a referral to a Maternal and Fetal Medicine specalist for a more high tech sonogram of baby’s heart.  When I called the MFM specialist they tell me the next appointment isn’t until a week from now, which given how I’m on the 4-week home stretch seemed a bit lackadaisical on their part.  Royce worked his ‘professional courtesy’ magic and manage to swing us an appointment yesterday at 1 (a perk to being married to a doctor which easily makes up for all those nights alone).  We got to see baby close up and personal on a big flat screen and after about a 30-min sonogram and a visit with the MFM doc were reassured that the thing they are seeing on the sonogram are meaningless sound reflections and that baby’s heart is perfectly fine.

So big sigh of relief.  It’s the first problem/scare we have had with this 40 week journey so I consider ourselves extremely lucky.  It opened our eyes to how vulnerable these little people are and how much control we don’t have over the situation.  And how much you can care and worry about something you have yet to even meet.

They even had H1N1 vaccines and gave us BOTH one.  Very nice of them since here in MD  the distribution of the vaccine seemed to skip over emergency health care workers and go straight to the public where you have to stand in long lines to receive.

Birth class trouble makers

We completed our 3 session birth class last weekend and it sorta sunk in that this is happening whether I want it to or not!  This was more for me than Royce (initially) since I figured he-who-has-delivered babies would know a bit himself.  Come to find out that knowledge of catching babies is not the same as knowledge of coaching someone through the labor process.

Overall it was a decent way to spend our time, I feel a little better prepared, a little freaked out, but also a lot more educated.  The start of the class was a little rocky which gave us some hesitation.  The first hour of the first session was filled with technical difficulties.  Nothing gets me more irritated than a speaker who is not prepared!

Once she was settled we spent an hour on insulting information such as “you shouldn’t drink”, “you should eat a balanced diet”, “your body is changing”.  I found this information to be a bit silly as with an average 8 weeks left of pregnancy I would hope that the women in the class had thought long and hard about diet, drink and body image.

Next up was at least 30 mins of videos of how to get up from a seated or lying position, and how to get out of a car.  I think the one that took the cake was the video on how to help stiff muscles if you sit all day long.  Royce and I had a good laugh on the way home mocking how horrible it would be if you were stuck at a desk and had no clue how to relieve stiff muscles…or if you were stuck in a car for 7 months because you couldn’t figure out how to get out.

The remaining of the sessions were better.  Royce got a little ornery during some of the relaxation times.  The instructor would suggest for the dad to find a ‘tense’ spot on mom and massage it out.  Royce always went for my ear lobes.  This of course put me in a fit of giggles.

I’m sure when the time comes we won’t remember practically any of what we learned.  Maybe we will, who knows.  We do a lot of the positioning in my prenatal Yoga class so maybe the weekly practice will help.  As to the breathing, well I’m hopeful it will either come naturally or Royce will remind me to do it every once in a while.

Ready or not, she will come!

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