A wonderful Christmas!

GeorgetownLoop_2013We had a fantastic visit from my parents and Michael and Sarah for Christmas this year.  It was Michael’s idea to have the fam meet in Denver so Chris and I wouldn’t have to travel.  We are so grateful!

Unfortunately, there was a good amount of sickness in the house (who wasn’t sick this year over Christmas?) starting with me sporting a chest/sinus infection before Sarah arrived with her own sinus infection.  We all spent a good amount of time napping.  In fact, I spent the first four days my parents were visiting in bed.  Once my antibiotics kicked in, we were able to do some fun family activities.  We checked out Passport to Paris at the Denver Art Museum and rode the Georgetown Loop Railroad (see fun photo above!)

Even though my parents were here for ten days, it wasn’t enough time.  And Michael and Sarah were here for just four brief overnights!  Too short.

Sarah and Pete hosted a lovely Christmas Eve open house and on Christmas day after snoozing at home in the morning and noon mass, we went to Dianne and Dale’s for turkey sandwiches and games.  It was relaxing and a lot of fun!  On Friday, Christopher hosted my family for dinner at his house.  Lots of eating – lots of incredible food.


[Me, Baby Stroh and Dad at Chief Hosa]

Some highlights of the visit were making three huge pots of soup – sausage, french onion and vegetable – playing with the play-doh my mom made each of us, experimenting with vegan dishes (mmmm!) to accommodate my dad’s new diet and taking plenty of fresh air walks in Cheesman Park.

It’s hard to imagine that that next time we see my parents Baby Stroh will be here!

Baby wish list: Transportation.

Chris is a dear husband and will make a wonderful father.  He’s a lot like my dad in that he wants to purchase the very best money can buy when it comes to important things.

He loves Consumer Reports.  Often, a high price tag on something [as far as he's concerned] means it’s quality.  We’ll have it forever!  My dad always tells the story of buying his Pioneer receiver in the early 80s.  It was top of the line, several hundred dollars.  Worth-every-penny.  My parents still have it running the sound system in their house.

I wonder if this logic applies to baby strollers.

Chris got very animated the other night when he told me the kind of stroller he wants.  It slices, it dices, it juliennes!

bugaboobuffalo1We live in a concrete jungle.  I don’t know that we need an “all-terrain” stroller.  But, this is what Chris thinks is best for us and our baby.  He’s read a lot of reviews and our friends bought a Bugaboo second-hand and mostly like it (their complaint is that it’s bulky).  It’s great for Wash Park, I imagine–from the sidewalk to the grass with no bumps for baby.

But when I saw the price tag I gagged.  This price does not even include all the “attachments.”  It’s like a Kitchenaid mixer.  I guess, when it comes to strollers, I was thinking more Graco than Bugaboo.

So then I thought about my dream transportation for baby.  I told Chris all about it (hey, we can both dream, right?)


They call the Silver Cross Balmoral Pram the “Rolls-Royce of prams.”  It is $4,400.  That would be approximately 1/100th the cost of an adult-sized 2013 Rolls-Royce Phantom Coupe.

Wouldn’t we look so posh pushing this pram in Cheesman Park?

However, the pram may take up too much precious space in our small living space, I think what we actually need is something more like this little sling for Baby Stroh.  Looks like it’s pretty easily foldable.  We’ll put it in the coat closet when it’s not in use.


Updates to follow on what we actually purchase!

For fun. A survey at 31 weeks.

As of this past Friday I am 31 weeks along.  I thought it would be fun to do one of those surveys I keep seeing on pregnancy blogs.  Some of them share information like, “total weight gain.”  I’m not answering that.  I have posted a photo though, you can take a gander!

Size of baby? Baby is over three pounds and about 18 inches long.  Long, skinny baby!
Maternity clothes?  Oh yes.  I’m pretty much exclusively wearing maternity clothes.  I’m happy not to stretch out anything from my former belly-less days.
Sleep?  What sleep?  I drift off and wake up.  Drift off, wake up.  I am generally up and raring to go at 2 or 3 in the morning.
Best moment this week?  I was sitting in a meeting and I felt baby move.  I pushed my hand on my belly to get it out of the spot where it landed and the baby pushed back!
Miss Anything?  Sleeping on my stomach.
Baby Movement?  Baby is ON THE MOVE.  I’m trying to count kicks each evening when I turn into bed.  Generally, I’m feeling and seeing ten movements well within one hour.
Food cravings?  I’m loving potato chips, cereal, cottage cheese, raw vegetables and soup.  ’Tis the season for Fudge-Covered OREOs as well.  Lucky me!
Foods you’re avoiding?  Since about week 14, I’ve been steering clear of pickled beets and anything with Indian curry.  Even typing that made me feel a bit queasy.
Gender?  It’s a surprise!  But…we think it’s a girl.  We’ve thought it from the beginning.
Labor signs?  None (thank goodness!)
Symptoms?  I’m tired after long days at work.  I’ve also started experiencing some fairly major heartburn but taking antacid helps.
Belly button in or out?  [This is one of those bizarre questions, but I'll answer for inquiring minds] In, and un-adorned without the ring that’s been in it since I was 18.  You were right, Momma.  I regret the piercing.  It’s left a fairly ugly scar.
Wedding rings on or off?  On!  No swelling to speak of.
Happy or moody most of the time?  Happy!  Excited to meet this little babe but happy to be just a couple right now too.  Apprehensive about labor and birth.
Excited about?  Visiting with family this coming week!


Birthing classes. Better late than never?

We signed up for birthing classes at the hospital where we plan on delivering months ago–in typical Bridget planning mode.  We scheduled around C’s original date of surgery.  But then we had to reschedule when his surgery was pushed off to a later date.  And then one more time when the surgery was again pushed off.

We’re now signed up for a four-week childbirth preparation class pretty much on the edge of the end of this pregnancy and I’m having minor heart palpitations thinking about not knowing a thing about labor (except for what I’m reading) until this baby is ready to pop out.  I imagine most of my worry about the late date of this class came from a Yoga Sculpt class I took last night–which is supposed to be relaxing.  There was a wee little infant with his momma in the class and she mentioned he’s five weeks old but came THREE AND A HALF WEEKS EARLY.  So this morning, while the rest of the world is sleeping, I went online and tried to get into express classes and condensed classes and even the six-hour class that gives you “just the basics” as well as a tour of the labor and delivery unit at the hospital (we’ve only seen labor and delivery triage so far after the car accident.)  To no avail.  Every class is full until the end of January.  We’re due February 14.  I can’t push it that much.  I’m keeping our third original class dates.

But I just can’t take Childbirth Prep and consider myself ready.  What happens AFTER this baby is born?

Luckily, there are other hospitals in the area (lots and lots of them).  Most are just as full as our hospital when it comes to class sign up.  But I’ve found a gem after some searching around.  As of this morning at 2:30 a.m., I’ve signed us up for two other classes – Baby Safe (CPR and basics on keeping your baby right-side up) where there was ONE SLOT LEFT at a hospital close to our house but not where we’re delivering THIS SATURDAY and then a breastfeeding class at the tippy end of January at the same foreign hospital.  Chris will wake up to two Google Calendar invites after the Sandman leaves him in the actual acceptable morning hours.

Holy crow.  I wonder what I’ll be worrying about Friday morning.

Ready for a break.

This morning I showed my IKEA Family card to the guard in place of my photo i.d. in order to get into my office.  The guard said, “Congratulations!”  Whoops.

IKEAI think it’s time for some downtime.  Some time off without too many big concerns (surgeries, recoveries, waiting work, prepping for baby…)

It’s incredible to imagine that last year at this time we were getting ready to go to South Africa and not thinking about any of the above concerns.  We didn’t even have an IKEA Family card way back then.

When we arrived in beautiful Cape Town in December 2012, Nelson Mandela was in the hospital and there was major concern with the friends we were staying with both in Cape Town and Durban that politically, things would unravel quickly should he pass away.  Our travel partners said it would be in our best interest to leave Africa immediately should Mandela die, anticipating chaos in customs as well.  Of course, Mandela held on and we were grateful to see a mostly peaceful country.  We were fortunate (only for our own sakes) to see some very raw emotions displayed through the segregation that still exists, long after apartheid is “over.”

And today, as Mandela’s body lies in state, just what our friends there said would happen is starting.  Political unrest.  There is talk of impeaching current president Jacob Zuma should it be proven he’s purposely “misled” South African Parliament and citizens over knowing the immense cost of renovating his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.  I’m fascinated by this, as it didn’t seem to take the people long, even during this mourning period, for the people to push back at their current president.  I imagine there’s way more to this story.  And it’s exciting to see the people stand up and make noise.

Thank yous.

Thank you for prayers, meals, good vibes.  Thank you for emails and snail mail and phone calls checking up!

Chris is doing really well.  We had a post-op appointment with Dr. Nemechek last Wednesday and he’s pleased with Chris’s progress.  He took off the steri-strips that covered the incision. Chris has a pretty gnarly scar under there.  However, the scar is expected to fade into a small line with continued use of Vitamin E cream over the next nine months.  He’s now switching between ice packs and heat to keep blood flowing during the healing process.

On Saturday night we went to C’s work Christmas party at Shanahan’s.  It was great to meet out with everyone and to load up on some delicious steak (I’m slightly anemic and on an iron supplement, so I’m sure my body appreciated this…)  Chris, I think, appreciated the socialization of a night out with co-workers.  One more week at home to rest up and continue healing!