Friday, July 27, 2012

I never knew I'd be so excited to meet someone...

Cleona could be here tomorrow. Or in 43 days. Or somewhere in between. This little girl has shown her personality to us from early on in utero. We learned that she is stubborn, for sure (and she comes by that honestly--Matt and I are both very stubborn people). We've learned that she's sassy, and she's a mover and a shaker. And apparently leans towards liberal. (No really, I've got physical proof--if you check out my left side and right side of my body, you'll see that I have about 8x more stretch marks on my left side of my hips/torso/chest than the right--because this little girl--wait for it...--leans left!)

All silliness aside, I find myself wondering what she will look like all the time. Will she get her daddy's eyelashes? My ears? Will her hair be straight or a little wavy? Heck, will she even HAVE hair?? What about her nose--there's a lot of noses she could inherit.

And will she be outgoing and loud like her mommie or a little more reserved but also a cut-up like her daddy? Will she be a leader? An observer? An uber-nerd like both of her parents?

What will she do with her life? Who will she become? What will her favorite color(s) be? Will she sing and dance or play soccer or be a bookworm--or all of those things?

Only time will tell.

Pregnancy has been a long process for me/us. We've been preparing to meet this girl for going on two years--from the moment I visited my doctor and said "okay, tell me about this whole going-off-the-pill thing...." We've been planning and anticipating, scheduling and determining, hoping and praying and really, spent a heck of a lot of time wondering.

And then we finally got that positive sign...and although I've spent the past 8 months growing a human being, I haven't spent all of them thinking about how I was going to get to meet her--like, really really meet her, because at some points it was just too much to think about.

But now I think about the first time we will see her face. And it makes me smile and brings tears to my eyes. And then--after a very appropriately timed kick or round of hiccups from inside my belly--I smile even bigger.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

things I didn't understand until I was pregnant...

baby brain.

it's real, folks. like, no joke, honest-to-goodness, for reals. if I want to do something I need to DO IT. and pronto. or else it'll never happen. I've been forgetting words. Or saying words where one syllable matches the word I want and the other doesn't. it's bizarre.

people keep telling me that your brain never comes back. I am hoping they are mistaken. My Aunt Ellen told me that it comes back but takes a long long while. I'm going to hope that's the case.

barefoot and pregnant (in the kitchen)

for whatever reason I always thought this was also a comment on social status or a comment from the 50s. or something.

um, no. not at all. do you know why they say barefoot and pregnant?? it's because your feet--they swell. they well in the kind of way where your shoes leave big ol' imprints in your feet. If you're particularly lucky like I am, those imprints hang around for a bit after they are there. it's delightful.

(oh and PS thanks for the suggestions Maria and Cassie! Cassie, I have some banana and spinach or kale pretty much daily (in my green smoothie) but I bought some bananas to eat by themselves! and Maria, my doc said no-go on the compression socks. Apparently we'd rather my feet swell than me overheat. Also, I don't have pants that are even remotely comfortable that are also work appropriate, so there's that. BUT I will keep them in mind for next time, especially if we have a baby in cooler weather)

people will look at you like you are crazy for your choices.

and it doesn't matter what they are.

I would've loved to have a home birth. there are a multitude of reasons we aren't going that route including that I tend to have the weird medical problems and that we've never done this so we haven't a clue what labor will be like for me. instead, we are going to the hospital (statistically normal) and having our baby there.

however, we have hired a doula (statistically not normal) and I am doing everything in my power to have a totally natural/unmedicated birth (statistically not normal, at least in the past 3 generations). I have gotten a LOT of input on this--including from my doctor yesterday who said "well, a lot of women find that once they're in labor their plans change." which, admittedly could totally happen, BUT at the same time? natural childbirth aligns with my entire life philosophy. so, while I totally get that I might change my mind, or need an epidural for a number of different totally legit reasons, I don't think my core values are going to uproot themselves and be replaced by something more mainstream. also? my mom had twins and two ten pound boys without any drugs. I think it's definitely possible.

we plan to cloth diaper (again, unusual but gaining popularity, and totally what everyone did a few decades ago) and breastfeed for 12 months if at all possible, and anyway. yeah. I get that some things are less orthodox/mainstream. but daaaang.

growing a human being is pretty friggin incredible!

I have had many moments where pregnancy is totally not fun. I will spare you the details, and instead just say that literally since three days after the test was positive (and heck, even beforehand, when the test kept saying negative month after month) pregnancy has definitely had some "downs." But recently I can't help but keep thinking--I am creating a person. Like, growing and developing a HUMAN BEING. Clearly you can't get pregnant on your own, and please don't think I'm ignoring the whole divine plan thing, but I eat food and my body takes some of it and develops a brain or lungs or blood or skin or digestive organs, etc. I am the sole source of nutrients and support and LIFE for this little girl. Often when she gives a little kick or sticks her bottom out, I get this ridiculous grin on my face--because for one, there's a BABY in my belly and she gets to come home and live with us for a long long time. And for two, I can already tell that all of the "downs" from the last 8 months (and before) were totally worth it--because I have grown a human being. And if she were born today (which I sincerely hope she isn't! PLEASE wait!) she would very likely survive! It just, it blows my mind.

It's pretty powerful stuff. I must admit that sometimes when I get down and out (because my hips hurt, my feet are swelling, my nose is spreading, I miss beer, I can only eat half of a sandwich at a time, etc) I remind myself that I work harder in my sleep than most people work all day--and that I have grown a PERSON.

I am carrying my potential future grandchildren.

my friend courtney pointed this out to me--females are born having all of the eggs they'll ever have, right? which means all of cleona's eggs are already in her body, right now, just hanging out. a handful of those eggs will potentially become children some day. WHOA.

Friday, July 20, 2012

faaaaaaaaaabric. and caaaaabbbbbage.

um, hi.

so, I have a problem. two, really.

one? it's de swelling o' de feet. and it's NUTS. I have been experiencing it for a while now, but it has ratcheted into high gear. Like, most flip flops don't fit, and it's actually painful...and sometimes my toes or parts of my feet go numb.

so I've been doing all the things they tell you to do (increased fluid intake, lower salt, movement, elevating them, blah blah blah.) no dice.

yesterday, I tried another. I'd been a nice combination of skeptical and forgetful regarding it. here's what my feet looked like.

that, my friends, is cabbage. and elastic wrap stuff. did it help? eh, sort of, I think. did it feel good? well, it was cooling, so that was nice.

I put the rest of the cabbage in the fridge and will be trying it again with cool leaves. wish me luck!

next up, FABRIC. holy smokes, people. I am in lurrrrve with it. I mean, this is nothing new, really. I've been slowly collecting pretty fabric over the years. But now I have this STRONG DESIRE to peruse fabric. Purchase fabric. Craft with fabric.

A few eons ago I started making a quilt with my lovely friend Katie.  With her help, the fabric was wonderfully cut, just how it should be. And that's as far as I've ever gotten. No, really...six weeks later I met Matt, and I kind of forgot about the fabric. While cleaning out our guest room closet to make an organized space for baby stuff and my craft stuff, I found the bag of it. Sadly, it's still going to sit because I desperately want to make a quilt for little Cleona. I have decided to do a mix of the oranges, purples, pinks and grays that we've been using for her room. And THEN I can think about when/if I'm going to do the other quilt.

I have also been wanting to make little girl clothes. And pillows. And so.much.stuff. So far (since we're still playing the purge from our house game--which is going SO AMAZINGLY well and I am blown away by the amount of stuff we've gotten rid of--you should be too, trust me) all I've done is sort and organize my fabric and make these guys.

I found a tutorial on pinterest, used fabric I already had, and bought some pretty stretch elastic for the headband part--I think it'll arrive today. I am totally making more!! They are SO easy, especially since I have mad flower-making skills from our paper flowers from our wedding.

Speaking of which....I FINALLY ordered our wedding album. It only took me two years and three months, but dammit, it is DONE and in the mail. I think it might arrive today actually. Perhaps my next post will include closet and wedding album pics! :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

our little small fry---the video.

last year, my friend Kat did something super-awesome before her little girl arrived...she had people send in pictures and her awesome husband Karl made a video from them. When I watched it, it made me cry! They had intentions of watching it during labor, but things went so quickly that they didn't.

Anyhoo, I am totally copying the heck out of her. (with her permission!)

This is the part where y'all come in: there will not be a video without your help!

Step one: Be awesome! (done.)

Step two: Find pictures, quotes, whatever to send in. This could be a picture of you with your baby. Or your friend's baby. It could be of your kiddos who are well past the baby-stage, too.

Perhaps you're short on pictures of you with kiddos--and that's fine too! Send in pictures with a momma. Or a pregnant friend. Or you while pregnant! Send in pictures you think I'll like. That will make me smile. Ones that make YOU smile, even! Or words of advice. Or make a jpg of a quote--about life, about love, about babies, about whatever!

Something funny. Something supportive. Something awesome. Your choice. :)

Really, there are no limitations here other than whatever you do, it needs to be a jpg. :)

Step three: email that sucker to our.small.fry [at] (without the spaces, clearly). Do so by, well ASAP, but at the latest...let's see...I'm gonna say August 5th. Please do NOT send it to my email--it's supposed to be a surprise :D

Step four: revel in your fantasticness!

And thank you, a hundred times over, for helping us with our special day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

asheville babymoon, p1.

let's start this out by admitting something: I am obsessed with food. local food, precisely. and also fruit and icecream. usually not icecream--but since being pregnant? yeppers. icecream. no pickle-obsession though. well, not more than I had to begin with.


we left on the 4th of July figuring a) less traffic, b) it meant we could get in a "long weekend" and still come back in time to have a day at home before I had to get back to work. We had a leisurely AM, loaded up the car and got on the road.

stop one: sonic. for pete's sake WHY are all of the sonics 40+ minutes from my house? Please, Sonic, America's Drive-in, come to Durham. Thank you. And mmmmmm sonic blast. I've had quite a few of these on our travels recently :)

stop two: H0bby L0bby! My love of the hob-lob is well-documented. While I am SO glad that there's now one about 50 minutes-ish away (because before the closest ones were an hour and twenty minutes away, and then before that two and a half hours away) it's still far. I really wish Hobby Lobby would come to Durham too. If it did, along with Sonic, and since Blue Bell now exists in my part of NC, life would be complete. Um, ish....

and then there was napping. lots of napping. (just for me--Matt was driving!) except Matt had strict instructions to wake me as soon as there were mountain views--and it was GORGEOUS! I love the blue ridge parkway. If you ever get to drive in that part of the state I highly recommend it!

We arrived to town, checked into our holiday inn (not super fancy BUT it meant we didn't spend lots of cash and had a jacuzzi tub in our room, so I got into that EVERY night and it felt fantastic!) and headed to Tupel0 H0ney Cafe, the South location. The food there was yummy (I took iphone pics, they are nothing special and not worth the hassle of uploading here) and we got to sit on their covered patio because it had cooled down a little. Sitting outside in pleasant weather, especially for a meal, makes me think of Italy EVERY time. :)

After that, we found fireworks! We could hear them starting at dinner--and Lake Julian was just 10 minutes or less away. We parked in a grocery store parking lot, watched for a while, went in to get fruit for me and beer for Matt, and went back out to see some more. I didn't need to see the whole show, but I DID need to see some real actual fireworks. Mission accomplished. After about 10 more minutes we got in our car to head back to the hotel--and got out just before traffic, it was wonderful! (we could see the mess starting as we were turning onto another road!)

On our way back was when we saw car-on-fire #2! It was actually a relief to see police and fire trucks on their way within 45 seconds of passing by the car. But it was bizarre to see plastic literally dripping off of the back of the vehicle--their rear hatch was open and even though all we did was drive by it, it was crazy.

Then it was time for a bath for me and some HGTV-watching for Matt. We also watched a movie and stayed up very very late since we knew we could sleep in. Ahhhhh relaxing. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

henrietta clementine and baltimore

much to Matt's chagrin, that's the name of our car. I'm thinking about calling her Etta. Or Clementine. Y'know, going a little southern with it. :) It seems like it's really uncommon to go by your real actual first name 'round these here parts.

we even made sure she made a cameo in our 31 week maternity photo! We've taken her on two trips now--one up to Baltimore for Lauren and Stephen's wedding, and then to Asheville for our babymoon!

The wedding itself was super fun! I always have an extra good time seeing the Fry side of Matt's family because there are relatively close in age to us!

On Thursday Matt and I had a HECK of a time getting to the actual rehearsal dinner (we allowed TWO extra hours and were still an hour and twenty minutes late--damn traffic!) At the rehearsal Tonya and I sang "Love Shack" and I got some interesting looks as a pregnant woman walking around carrying a bottle of beer. Granted it was NON-ALCOHOLIC beer, but still. IT probably did look kind of ridiculous. But I was glad there were actual real options there--I got to have a kind I'd never had before!

On Friday we slept in (oh, blissful sleep!) and walked to get some dunkin donuts. I had an actual caffeinated latte and everything! (I've had relatively little caffeine during the course of this pregnancy) We also got some yummy donuts, breakfast sandwiches and water, because it.was.HOT. After that we walked to the liquor store and got Matt some just-in-case beer, and then we went swimming in the indoor pool at the hotel, hoping to ease my swollen feet.

By the way, Matt is the cutest. ever. When we go swimming (which, in general, is very rare due to my propensity for teeny tiny hives after exposure to the sun and his likelihood of getting swimmer's ear, but has been MUCH more frequent while I've been pregnant) and don't have a floaty toy, Matt acts as one for me. He has me hold onto his forearm or his shoulder and pulls me around the pool so I can work and stretch my legs and feet without needing to actually propel myself forward. It makes me happy.

< / mushiness > :)

After that it was time to go get my hair did. Aunt Teri very kindly offered everyone the chance to get their hair done if they liked, and I am SO glad I took her up on her generous offer. I LOVED my hair. I totally want to try it at home. The best part of all was that, since curls tend to fall out of my hair lickety split, the gal gave me a 'do that would still look good as the curls fell. LOVE it.

oh, and then we went back to the hotel. on our way we saw a car ON FIRE. like, fully ablaze. I've seen smoking cars or a car with a small bit of fire coming from the engine compartment--but this was fully lit. I called 911. It took 3.5 minutes to speak to a human, and even then they seemed nonplussed, and very annoyed that I wasn't actually *at* the intersection. but they said they'd send fire trucks, so that was good.

we went to our room to get ready and discovered that they had fixed our toilet, thank goodness. I failed to mention that--it stopped actually flushing. (Which we only found out after it needed flushing, of course. eeeeeew.)

We got dressed and went to take the 5pm shuttle. At 515 while we were waiting I broke down and went to the restroom--I couldn't take it anymore. At 517 the bus pulled up. At 518, I walked out of the bathroom to find there were 3 of us who needed on (Matt, me and our cousin Linda) and only room for one more on the shuttle. We decided to take a cab instead--and though I'm glad we did, timing-wise, it was also miserably hot!

The venue was fun and funky and I really loved it--it was the vision@ry art museum in b@ltimore. there was one teeny problem--the cocktail hour space wasn't air conditioned--but otherwise it was SO cool! And since Matt and I had forgotten to actually get a card, we bought one at the museum shop, and it couldn't've been more appropriate. See?

In the note to them I told them that those were also mighty fine character traits for marriages. :) I

At the cocktail hour I really enjoyed the fruit and veggies on display, and then it was ceremony time. It was really sweet, and I just loved seeing the looks on their faces! Then it was time for cocktail hour #2, when Matt cooled me off with yuengling bottles and I was grateful that the top of my dress was navy so you couldn't see my sweat :) It was followed by the usual--dinner, dancing, festivities--and some really sweet toasts. A fun wedding indeed with some cool details!

After the wedding we caught the shuttle back. This shuttle experience could be an entire post in itself...but I'll try to summarize. First, we waited in the wrong place (where it had dropped off) and since a storm was brewing, got literally sandblasted while we waited. Then, we saw the right place and felt like we might miss the bus--but got on and actually got seats! Right after turning onto the road we stopped waiting for a stop light (and worried about the potential projectiles the storm was moving--such as temporary street signs) and someone called the shuttle's attention to the apartment building on the left--where someone was watching PORN on a huge wall-mounted TV. Then, someone began singing "I've been workin' on the railroad..." at the pace of a dirge. We sang all of the parts of it. Then, when we stopped at the first hotel, someone started saying (rudely) "people with money, get off!" because it was the pricey place. Oh, and it was POURING so the people going to the h0liday inn who were standing in the aisle didn't want to move to let the others through. And then one we got to the h0liday inn, the driver let us off much farther away than he needed to--so we had to cross over the train tracks and then walked half a block in the POURING rain. And I lost my shoe and had trouble getting it back on and then picking it up, so I ended up walking into the hotel with only one shoe on. And almost fell in the process.


So we changed clothes and went to the after party at the hotel bar. We hung out in our little corner, G&T brought a computer for us to take home and we got to see all of the relatives again. Oh and there was a fun and then awkward exchange with some other guests who were getting married in a few weeks. We were talking about pregnancy and--you know those movie commercials where the ticket-taker says "enjoy the movie" and the patron says "you too!" and then feels silly? Well, the gal and I talked about some of the less glamorous parts of pregnancy and then she told me she hoped I enjoyed it--she meant the being a mom part, but it sounded like she was saying I should enjoy the stitches and tearing and pain. Oops! We giggled. I made it until ~1 or 130am when I said I just couldn't do it anymore--and was very proud of myself for making that long. Lauren (the bride) was really impressed too.

next up: Saturday!

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