Monday, December 31, 2007

Best of 2007

A personal top 10 list, in no particular order.

10. Forging a relationship with Theatre West Virginia, where Marcus and I hope to spend many happy summers.

9. Turning 30. What a great age.

8. Being married to Marcus. What a great gig.

7. Finding out we were expecting.

6. Re-connecting with a ton of people from my past.

5. Every single kick, squirm, hiccup and wiggle from the baby in my belly. I can't believe how much I already love this kid. Pregnancy is the greatest adventure I've ever been on.

4. The birth of our nephew, Adam. What a sweetheart! It's been so much fun watching him grow this year.

3. Getting to watch football this fall! Of course that was mainly because I was kind of unemployed, but still a good thing. :)

2. My mom's kidney transplant. Wow.

1. Knowing that we are DAYS away from meeting our baby. That is awesome.

Happy new year, everyone!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Are we there yet?

So, I got a pedicure. Finally. And it was heavenly. Marcus mentioned last night, when I said I planned to go today, that I should make sure they loofa'd my heels. It was getting out of hand. I can't even put my own socks on, so you can imagine that my footcare routine is not what it used to be. Anyway, now my feet won't scare my child if they're the first things he/she sees at birth. We also went to the big grocery store in the car today. (A big deal in NYC) Somewhere between Marcus buying a giant thing of chow mein noodles and me throwing enough cans of tomato soup into the buggy to get us through a nuclear disaster, I realized we were stocking up on the food we'll eat when we bring our baby home from the hospital. And I almost freaked out in the Pathmark. Fortunately, Marcus was able to distract me with sugar cookie mix, so there wasn't a meltdown or anything. I keep expecting to go into labor today for some reason. I am four weeks from my due date. (Still don't think we'll make it.) Sometimes it hits me that in just a few short days, we will go to the hospital where they will take our child out of my body, then give it to Marcus and me to bring home and raise. I keep asking Marcus if this freaks him out. Calm as ever, he says no, but he could certainly freak out if I'd like him to. I think I've got that area covered.

Let's talk about how CUTE said baby is gonna be cheering for the Crimson Tide next year! (See photo above of adorable Baby Bama ensemble.) Cap courtesy of Grammy Jenny (my dad says it's child abuse--he's a die-hard, bleeds-red-and-blue Ole Miss fan!), Bama binky, onesie and book courtesy of Meredith and Ms. Kay. All we need is a pom pom.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The final countdown!

Let's begin by looking at the pictures. One is of Adam modeling his "My first Christmas" bib. Adorable. (he's 11 months old and 26 pounds now, by the way!) The other is Marcus and me by his mom's tree. Just call me Biggie Smalls. :)

We got back from DC yesterday bearing Christmas and baby prizes. So now we have a bassinet to assemble, little clothes to unpack and lots of other stuff to put in its place. I can't believe the next time we see our families it will be to show them our baby! I feel like I've been pregnant forever, but a part of me also can't believe it's almost over. (And my almost over I mean MAN, I hope we don't go all the way to our Jan. 27 projected due date!!!) I keep waiting for the baby to drop. For all I know, it could have already happened, though I can't really breathe, so I don't think it has. I have a feeling when dropping occurs, my belly will be down to my knees, making life even more interesting than it already is! Poor Marcus has to put my socks and shoes on me. He really is a saint.

Christmas was good. We ate a lot, visited with the family, ate some more, enjoyed being out of the city, then ate some more. Marcus racked up a whole new wardrobe, in which he will look quite sassy. Adam was fun. He has been sick, so his energy was a little low. He got a TON of presents, but was most interested in his plastic bowl and spoon. He also became quite fond of the Snack Trap. If you have small children, run don't walk to get yourself some snack traps! I got one as a gift from The View and they are fantastic! The kid can't spill the snacks! And they have really cute designs on them. Adam is partial to the blue penguin.

My mom continues to do well. She and my dad are chillin' in the townhouse, unless they are at a doctor's appointment or the lab. Yesterday they went to Starbuck's to check email. I can't tell you how wonderful it is to hear her sound so great after her surgery. What an amazing blessing.

Well, since the dish fairy is obviously not going to come and clean up my kitchen today, I'd better get on it. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

T-Minus One Month

Hi, folks!
After receiving a couple of frantic emails from friends that said something to the effect of "You haven't blogged all week--is your mom ok? Did you have the baby?" I thought I should publish that all is fine with the Lanes. We are still in DC, currently awainting someone to show up at my in-laws' house to fix the crack in our poor windshield. We'll be heading back to NYC early tomorrow morning. I promise to post Christmas pictures then. And, though we didn't think it possible, I'm even BIGGER than before. :) Baby is due exactly one month from today, which is both the most wonderful and terrifying thing I can think of. I'm kind of miserable, but trying to stay very positive and remind myself to cherish every kick and squirm, even though it has me running to the bathroom every 15 minutes and getting up out of bed to walk around every hour. I feel my stretch marks have been proudly earned, though I'd like to beat up the people who SWORE that rubbing cocoa butter on my belly every day would prevent them. (not so much...) Marcus and I love this little person so much already...can't wait to see what it will be like to have him/her on the outside!

My mom is doing beautifully. If you google the Oxford Eagle, our hometown paper, she and Bradley were the cover story on Christmas Eve. It's a fantastic article. They were also on the news in Columbus, MS that night. Her recovery is going very well. She and dad are settled into their townhouse, which is attached to the hospital. She's eating well and loving life without dialysis! She sees the doctor today for a post-op visit. Bradley is also doing well. Last I heard, he was heading to Ripley, MS to visit his parents. I still can't believe it's all real. Christmas was great this year, but we really got our gift on the 19th when this surgery happened.

More to come when we get home!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Transplant a Success!!!!

SHE"S DONE!!! And everything went perfectly. They said as soon as they attached Bradley's kidney, it pinked up and started working. She's doing so well that they are not even putting her in ICU or step-down tonight, she'll just go straight back to her hospital room. And Bradley is almost out of recovery and doing great. This is truly amazing, nothing short of a miracle. I feel like four years of stress has been lifted off our family. What a relief! Thank you, THANK YOU for all those who have kept up with our family through this journey. Your thoughts, prayers and good wishes are MUCH appreciated by all of us. Please feel free to share her story with anyone. It's definitely the most uplifting thing I've heard in a LOOONG time and to have experienced it is just beyond words.
Much love,


We're halfway there! Bradley is out of surgery and doing great. His part took a little longer than expected because his kidney was bigger than they thought. My dad said "Cool, Jenny gets and XL model!" Mom is still in surgery and will probably be there another hour or two. I"ll post again once we hear something. My dad talked to a lady whose husband had a transplant (and was up walking the halls the next day!) and she said when Mom wakes up, she'll feel 20 years younger. Sweet.
Thanks for checking!!!

Wednesday morning 9am EST

Hey, everybody. Just wanted to let you know there's nothing to tell yet. I've been trying to call my dad all morning, but his cell phone doesn't get good reception in the hospital and I'm not sure how else to get in touch with him. Hopefully he will call soon with an update. I talked to my mom last night around 10:30 and she was in great spirits, laughing and having a grand old time with HER mom. I'm glad my grandma's there with her. She had to take a shower with some kind of special disinfecting soap (so did Bradley), then get an IV at 1:00 this morning! No rest for the weary, right? They were coming for her at 6am to get prepped for surgery. I imagine things are well underway by now.

It's weird--I keep thinking about it and assuming I will freak out at any moment, but I have such a peace about all of this. I just know it's going to work out beautifully. And I actually slept last night! God knows what he's doing, and apparently the right thing for me was some "holy sedation." I couldn't believe it when I woke up and saw sunlight. Of course my bladder was about to burst, but that's a whole other story.

I"ll update as I know more. Surgery should be done by early afternoon. Thanks again for checking in on us!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Mom update

Mom and Bradley are cozily tucked into the hospital. My grandma arrived around 4 this afternoon while I was on the phone with Mom. Everyone's had an EKG and some blood work. They took 12 vials of blood from my mother, who has the worst veins in the world. Yikes. But she is in good spirits and is really ready to get on with it! She met her transplant surgeon this afternoon and loved him. He explained everything and answered questions. If all goes well, she may not even have to stay in ICU tomorrow night! They'll start the procedure at 7:30 in the morning. Bradley goes in a little earlier than mom, but she'll follow closely. I'll update this site as soon as we have a good, detailed update after the surgery. Please keep my family in your prayers, if you would. I'm waiting for it to hit my dad, which it probably won't until they are rolling her into the OR. I really wish I was there.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday, Monday

Welcome to week 34. Here you see me in a shirt I forgot I had bought over the summer. Yay, new clothes! Marcus and I found all sorts of interesting things when we purged the closet yesterday, this shirt among them. We just threw out 9 bags of trash. (granted, not all of that was from our closet, but still!)

SO, doctor appointment today. Ok.
My heissofabulousilovehimsomuch Dr. Moritz is on vacation, so I had to see a partner. And I hated her. I'm sure she's a lovely person, but not for me. She didn't use the ultrasound machine to check out the baby, which is fine. Not all doctors do that. So she poked and pushed and Baby Awesome DID NOT like it! (neither did I for that matter) She was a little old-fashioned in her thinking and a bit brisk in her answers to my questions. (and there were LOTS of questions this time) She kept acting like I should just know things. I was like "uh, it's my first time to ever BE pregnant, so no, I don't know exactly what labor or Braxton Hicks contractions are supposed to feel like! And I've never done a birth plan or gotten a strep B test, so help a sister out!" She even made me weigh myself, which I thought was ridiculous. What if I had lied? And why am I paying you if I have to operate the scale myself? And she did one of my pet peeves: Talked to me while taking my blood pressure. Well no wonder it came back super-high! Let me lay down and be quiet for a second and it will be normal! (Which is what happened.) It also annoyed me that she didn't include Marcus more or at least say he was nice for taking off my snow boots and putting them back on for me. Needless to say, I won't be seeing her again, even if Dr. Moritz is not available. After we were done, I went and found my favorite nurse, Delsa, who hooked me up with an impossible-to-get appointment with Dr. Moritz as soon as he's back from vacation the week of New Year's. Delsa's got the hook-up. Anyway, forgive the rant. Baby is super-healthy, head down and has a very strong heartbeat. I have hit the 30 pound weight gain mark, but am the perfect size for as far along as I am, or so says crazy lady dr. And we're good to go to DC for a week for Christmas, as long as we stop a lot for me to stretch my legs. I imagine we'll be doing the rest-stop tour of New Jersey. :)

My Mom and Dad made it to Birmingham today! They are set up in the apartment where my dad and grandma will stay while Mom is in the hospital (about a week). Once she's out, they'll move up to the apartments on the 7th floor, which is the transplant wing. The apartments are actually attached to the hospital and have a cafeteria/food court, laundry, a nice lobby and pretty much everything you need right there. That will be much more comfortable that sitting in a hospital bed all day. And she's allowed to leave to go out and eat or walk around if she feels like it. Since they'll be there about 3 weeks, it'll be great to have some "homey" touches. They even brought a little Christmas tree. Mom checks into the hospital at 8am Tuesday and Bradley gets there shortly after that. The surgery is Wednesday morning. Each part takes about 3 hours, but will probably overlap a little, so we should have an update by early afternoon on both Bradley and Mom. Please keep them in your prayers. Also, pray for the hospital staff. I don't think they know what's in store for them. I think most of North Oxford Baptist Church is going down for the event, along with Lord only knows how many family members! Oh, to be in that waiting room!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Workin' for the weekend

Behold my sweet, cute husband who takes excellent care of me. :) We didn't really have to work this weekend, per se, but we feel like we did! Marcus wrapped up his final exams on Friday. Saturday was our last baby class: Newborn Care. We learned about swaddling, bathing, baby fingernails (which scare us), diapering, and many other useful topics. It was nice to be around other expecatant parents and even nicer to see that we actually knew a lot more than we thought. Some of those poor people were kind of clueless. One guy almost had a breakdown when the instructor told him it was ok to use either wipes or a wet cloth to wipe the baby's bottom for the first few days. He wanted brand names of wipes and thread-counts on the cloths! Poor guy. His wife's having twins, so he's probably a little freaked out. For anyone who watches Trading Spaces on TLC, Genevieve the designer was in our class! Kind of a cool celebrity sighting. She's due a couple of weeks after we are.

Today we went over our birth plan, using a template from my "What to expect" pregnancy journal. Doing our birth plan pointed out one thing--we're not really sure about exactly what we want! And that's ok. We have a list of questions for the doctor tomorrow, including "Do we really need to print out a birth plan to hand out to the hospital staff or will that make them hate us?" We have an idea on important factors, like circumcision, breastfeeding, one of us being with the baby at all times when possible, etc., but until I feel what labor is really like, I have no idea whether I'll be more comfortable standing, sitting, in the tub or with my lovely epidural. (I expect the latter...) Baby continues to show off, kicking up a storm. Yesterday before we got up, he/she flipped so hard it shook the whole bed. I feel like I"m going to pop and my feet are even more swollen. And I"m ready to hold my baby. I did, however, finally take the time (and energy...and it took a lot) to sit on the side of the tub and shave my legs, at least from the knees down. Now I won't feel bad at the lady dr. tomorrow. I wish there had been time for a pedicure, but I'll just leave my socks on. I'm getting a haircut tomorrow and I can't wait. It's growing so fast these days that it's really uneven and in need of some serious shaping! Ronen, my stylist, usually does an exciting blow-out, so we'll be sure to post a picture.

We finally cleaned out the closet. The rule of thumb was "If you haven't worn it in a year, you don't get to keep it." We filled 7 bags. Now, in our defense, packrats though we may be, at least 2 of those bags were wire clothes hangers (mommie dearest just can't take them) and shoes.The amount of space it freed up is unbelievable. Marcus also moved our bookcase over by our dresser so we can move my nightstand to his side of the bed. On my side, there will be a bassinet, full of sweet, pretty BABY soon! Oh, I can't wait to kiss the feet. :)

Tomorrow, my mom heads to Birmingham! On Tuesday morning, she will check into the hospital where she and Bradley will have their final work-ups, including EKGs and blood work. Wednesday morning is the transplant. Please keep them both in your thoughts and prayers. I think their entire church is going down for the blessed event. A couple of people who can't make it are sending relatives who live near Birmingham. I can't even tell you how much I want to be there. But as my mom put it, I have to stay here and grow her a grandbaby so she'll have something to do now that she'll be all healthy. Sounds like a plan to me.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wintry Mix

If you don't live in or have never been to the lovely north, you may not know about wintry mix. It's the nastiest combination of rain, sleet and snow imaginable. And that's what it's doing here today. So much for going out of the house. It's ok...I'm too tired to move anyway. The post office will almost certainly be there tomorrow.

Yesterday, we went to Marcus's holiday party at his office. It was fun to see everyone. I wore my party shirt. (See picture--33 weeks along!!!) Baby was in rare form. He/she kicked and moved the ENTIRE TIME we were there. One of Marcus's secretaries is leaving next week, so I was glad to get to see her one more time before the baby comes. He is so lucky to have such great ladies to work with. (shout out to Judy and Yahaira!!)

I had class last night at the hospital. Breastfeeding class. I won't go into the specifics, but it was pretty great. There were only 6 of us, so it was kind of informal. The instructor was wonderful and I feel much more at ease about giving it a shot now. It was a loooong day and I could barely move by the time I got home. And now there's wintry mix.

I am tired of being pregnant, y'all. And I keep feeling guilty about that. I have LOVED growing this baby. The kicks, squirms, growing and the bonding that happen before you even meet your child are incredible. But it hurts now. I'm uncomfortable and I think baby is, too. It's gotta be cramped in there, right? Just a few more weeks, though, and we'll all get to meet "Baby Awesome." Until then, we have to put together all the baby stuff, unfurl the new rug (it came yesterday!!!) and take our Newborn Care class. And have Christmas. And New Year's. And I need a hair cut. Ok, maybe I'm not THAT ready yet. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Deep Thoughts

I think we've hit the official "Glamourous" stage of pregnancy. I don't feel like doing anything. I did get a few constructive things done today, like typing out my list for what to pack in my hospital bag and putting together Kitty's post-partum to do list, which she has so graciously offerred to complete for me. Marcus and I were planning to do our "official" birth plan today, but we let it slide in order to watch some weird reality show about photographers. (Dear TV Writers, PLEASE come off strike!!!) Much of this weekend has consisted of sitting on the couch, playing yahtzee on my comptuer, IMing with my mom and eating. Here are some deep observations:

*I have cankles. That's what all the pregnancy books call it when your ankles swell so much that your calves just go all the way down to your feet. I thought I might make it through without this happening. Not so much. (See extremely nasty photo above. Kitty wanted to see a picture, so I took one. Please do not judge my lack of pedicure. I'm going this week.) Thankfully, my mommy sent me a brand new pair of Land's End clog slippers, which are the only shoes that fit. I can wear my winter boots, too. My mother in law got them for me for Christmas last year and we ordered a size big on purpose to accommmodate thick socks. It's all I can do to get them on with knee-high hose. And forget socks. For a while, the ankle socks were all that worked, but now they even leave marks. Tomorrow I will go shopping for some of those 80s type slouch socks that don't really have elastic at the top. Hot. Marcus fashioned me a make-shift ottoman out of a rubbermaid storage container and a pillow so I can elevate my feet and cankles, which scare him when they swell. The man is a saint, I tell you.

*I have lost interest in "normal" food, like meat and veggies. For a while there (ah, those wonderful second trimester days), I prided myself on having a lovely meal for Marcus when he got home at night with lean meat, a green veggie and some kind of starch. Now that his semester is done, I want things like potato pancakes, hot chocolate and mint oreo cookies. (An odd craving since I don't think I'd ever HAD a mint oreo before I sprung a crazy craving the other day...) Tonight, at my urging, we ordered Chinese food, which I never want. And it was real good.

*Remember when I was soooo happy about the pregnancy hormones making my hair sooooo thick and luxurious? Well I need a haircut, y'all! It's kind of a bushy disaster. It may scare Ronen, my stylist. Hopefully he'll take it easy because I"m pregnant and not yell at me.

*Marcus and I are getting pretty good at Lingo. Ever watch that on the Game Show Network? I have to ration how much I"m allowed to watch GSN. There was an unfortunate phase in grad school when I got addicted to Match Game and had to quit cold-turkey for a while. Ooh. Memories.

*I have an overwhelming urge to bake and decorate holiday desserts for my baby. Marcus has explained to me that this is unnecessary this year, since said baby won't be able to see and enjoy said desserts. Plus I don't need the sugar.

Tomorrow I"m going to venture out into the world (assuming I can get my shoes on by myself) and do a little Christmas shopping. I'm sure that will yield a fun story or 2, so be sure to check back. And thanks for listening to my ramblings. :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

In the thick of it

What a week it's been! On Wednesday, we got the fantastic news about my mom's transplant. Yesterday, we toured the hospital where the baby will be born. Today, we saw the obstetrician. We're tired! Here are the updates:

HOSPITAL: Really nice. The staff was friendly, the rooms were clean, our questions were answered. They even had little snacks for us in the board room where we met before the tour. (Marcus filled up on cheese cubes, then didn't want dinner afterwards.) Kitty went with us, since she will be our "support person" in labor and delivery. I think we confused everyone. We were the only party of three in our tour group. We came up with all kinds of fun scenarios in case anyone asked. Of course when the tour guide DID ask, we told the truth. :) Anywho, all the birthing rooms are private and quite nicely decorated and include a jacuzzi tub. They also have a state of the art birthing center one floor up, which is like a hotel, but I won't be using it. You can't have drugs and they send you home 12-18 hours after the baby is born. (!?!?!?!) They offer private post-partum rooms on the regular labor and delivery floor, and they can be yours for a mere $750 a day. YES--they cost $750 a day out of pocket! NO insurance plans cover it! We just laughed. They have a concierge and room service and serve "high tea" in the afternoon. Uh, I'll be down the hall in my semi-private room with my baby rooming in, eating hospital food and living for visiting hours. Anyway, we were pleased with the hospital and it kind of made it all hit home that yes, this child IS going to come out of my body. Shortly. Which takes us to ...

DOCTOR APPT: We saw Dr. Moritz today. All is well with Baby Awesome. And he/she is big. REALLY big. We are currently in our 32nd week of pregnancy. Baby is measuring in at a whopping 35 weeks! He/she weighs 5 pounds 6 oz! (This is when I remind everyone that I'm five feet tall and used to weigh 110 lbs. before I grew a gargantuan baby. OW!) Everyone's healthy, thankfully, although quite uncomfortable. Baby's head is down and he/she likes to use my bladder as a pillow. There are little feet in my ribs all the time. But I love it. I'll miss feeling those kicks, flips and hiccups. But we can't wait to meet our baby. The dr. didn't change the due date from Jan. 27, but he did say it will probably be closer to the 19th. Either way, we'll be waiting with open arms, cute outfits, lots of storybooks and tons of kisses.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Transplant Set!

My dad just called from Birmingham. Bradley is a PERFECT match for my mom on all counts and they have set the transplant date for 2 weeks from today, December19!!!!!!!!!!! We are all thrilled, to say the least. Four long years of waiting have finally come to an end. Mom is in GREAT spirits and I think she's packing her bags as we speak. They will check into the hospital the day before. Bradley gets to go home that weekend--they will take his right kidney out lapriscopically, so it's very minimally invasive for him. He will be on break from work (he's a teacher), so he won't miss a single day of classes, even with recovery at home. Mom will be in the hospital about 5 days, then will move to the townhouses, which are attached to hospital, for monitoring. So she won't even have to be in the hospital on Christmas. A ton of their friends are planning to make the trip down, as is my Grandma and Lord only knows who else. (I'm too pregnant to travel or else I'd probably go down tomorrow!) She will be home in Oxford before the baby is due! (though I'm SURE the baby is going to come early, so maybe not...)
Thank you all so much for your support, concern, thoughts and prayers. Please keep her in your hearts as she wraps up this very long process. Of course, her recovery will be long, but at least it will be DONE! I'll keep you posted.

*The photo above is a t-shirt available from the National Kidney Foundation. It says "Share Your Spare" and features a kidney with a gift bow. I think I'll get one for Bradley.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy December!

Here's what we woke up to this morning! Our first snow of the season. (That's our patio.) This put a serious cramp in my plan to have Marcus walk to Dunkin Donuts with me for a cruller and some hot chocolate. We will also probably not make it to the drug store today. I"m sure we'll survive without whatever it was we needed there (no one can remember what that was exactly), though I may not survive without the cruller...

This week begins the official start of the crazy season for us. We have an interview with the pediatrician tomorrow, a tour of the hospital on Thursday, a doctor's appointment on Friday, then baby classes next week. Then it's practically Christmas! I really, REALLY think this baby is coming early, so I'm anxious to see what my doctor has to say. I've been doing some Christmas shopping online because I just can't handle myself in "real" shopping situations these days. I'm terrified I'm going to fall or bump into something with my belly. I've been putting off a much-needed trip to Crate and Barrel to check out the rug we want to order because I'm scared I'll knock something off a shelf and end up paying $200 for a broken vase.

We spent the morning cleaning out our living room cabinets. If you've never been in our living room, we have these 4 weird little cabinets with a little counter space. They kind of catch everything. They are now organized within an inch of their lives, which makes me one happy mama to be. The lower shelf of the top set is stocked with all things baby--diapers, wipes, extra pacifiers and baby shampoo. Our mailing supplies and fancy paper are neatly arranged. We packed up all the DVDs and videos we haven't watched in years and put them in some of our new Rubbermaid containers in the basement. Friday, we completely purged the basement. It was fun to find things from the past and to laugh at the things we thought we needed to keep (Especially me, Senora Pack Rat). Yesterday was spent almost entirely on our new sofa, which rocks. (see photo above. That's our card table behind it and our new end table to the side.)

We'll keep you posted on our many appointments and classes. Knowing us, they will yield some fun stories, especially the hospital tour which Aunt Kitty will be taking with us. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to eat. Again.