Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We celebrated the four days of Christmas this year. Now that it is all over, I can look back and think it was a success. There were a few moments in there when I just wanted to crawl back into bed and sleep a little longer. I'm really glad I didn't!

We started our holiday celebrations at my parents' house on Saturday. The Watts Family Christmas was a good time. I'm still amazed at how we all fit into my parents' living room; but I do love the coziness of the experience! I also really like the time to spend with my sisters and my parents. It's not often you can get all six of us in one place!

Of course, every family gathering has its casualties. This year poor Cathy was the victim of a monkey to the forehead. She had recovered by Christmas day though, so all is well.

Next up on the Christmas Countdown was the Barrett Family Christmas. This year we had Steve's Dad, Anne, Shayna, Dick, and Shane all over to our house for brunch. I love brunch. There's just something about fruit, eggs, coffee cake and orange juice that just makes me happy.

We were visited by the Red Power Ranger for most of the day, which was very entertaining. Steve also got to use his foosball table with someone other than his talentless wife. Although I don't think he was much more forgiving to Shane.

That celebration capped off nicely with a Bears win over Green Bay. I'll just leave it at that. You can fill in your own Green Bay joke.

Christmas Eve took us to the City (that's right... all the way to Chicago!). We picked up Steve's Mom and met our friend Kurt and his girlfriend, Amanda, for dinner. What says Christmas Eve better than endless plates of meat. Fogo de Chao was awesome even with my ever shrinking belly. They also have the best ginger ale, which isn't actually ginger ale but something very similar only better. I don't remember the name, so you will just have to go to a Brazilian restaurant or store and ask for ginger ale.

Christmas Morning was nice and quiet at the Barrett Compound. I made coffee cake; Breyer and Steve relaxed; it was a very nice morning. We also realized that next year at that time we would probably be doing the same thing, except it would be after a morning filled with opening presents and Santa amazement. We spent Christmas evening at my aunt and uncle's house in McHenry. The Unger Family Christmas is always exciting. This year, the Carlson's got a Wii, so there was much video game playing. I think they even broke a glass while bowling.

So that is the Christmas update. I know this reads like a Christmas letter, so I put all of the pictures first. If you have actually read to here, thank you. You would think a journalist could keep these entries a bit shorter and more to the point. However, I'm a bit wordy and can't always distinguish between which details are necessary and which aren't.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Short Update

We've done it again. We celebrated Christmas early. I already posted about the camera Steve bought me for Christmas. But this weekend, my parents and I gave Steve his Christmas gift.

My family helped me out (all sisters and parents included!) in buying Steve a Foosball table. Our basement is a little bare. There are the loveseats and the baby strollers, but we didn't spend too much time down there since there wasn't much to do other than sit and push an empty stroller. I thought it was time for Steve to have a little fun.

I found the Tornado table at The Great Escape, but I knew I couldn't get it by myself (weight limits or not, that box is unwieldy!). So my parents were nice enough to meet me at the store to help me make the final decision and then get it home.

Steve was pretty excited. He and my dad got the legs put on while I showed my mom the baby furniture upstairs (and it doesn't take very long to look at a crib and gilder!).

We played the inaugural game this morning. Steve won even though he spotted me 8 points (you play to 10). In my defense, I did make him play to 11 since I scored once and you have to win by 2. I have some practicing to do.

Well, I will post some pics later. Right now, I'm exhausted. I've slept most of today, but I'm still pretty tired. I also think Jack doubled in size today. I'm looking forward to carrying him on the outside. All of this weight around my belly is beginning to take its toll! Not to mention that it would be way more fun to see him kick on the outside when I can see him smile or coo.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Baby Linens

In our birthing class this Saturday, we learned details about the 1st stage of labor. It was really informative. I never realized exactly what happened during dilation and effacement. And no, I am not going to relay that information here. If you are really interested, feel free to pick up a book and read about it, or get pregnant and take the class. What I will tell you a little more about is the relaxation techniques. It's basically yoga, which is nice since I already like yoga and know some of the basics. We learned how to tense and relax different limbs this week. It turns out I am not so good at relaxing. Steve was not surprised by this. We're going to practice though.

Last week, we learned about signs of labor, one of which is nesting. I thought nesting meant getting ready for the baby: setting up the room, putting away clothes, playing with the toys, etc. It turns out nesting also means an intense desire to clean and organize your entire house. I have decided that once this nesting instinct occurs, both Steve and I will be ecstatic. I feel like I am pretty useless lately and I certainly do not have any desire to clean.

So, I promised updated pictures of the nursery. Here they are! I took these tonight. I tried to get a belly picture of myself in there too, but that didn't work out well. Either there would be a weird shadow in the background or I would be incredibly unphotogenic (too many double chins, weird smile, awkward stance, etc). So, no pics of me tonight.

Okay, so beyond baby stuff, here's what's happening.

Steve is quite handy around the house. Today, he removed the sinks and counter top from the hall bathroom. We are one step closer to getting that renovated. Really, the vanities, the tub and toilet need to go and then it's time to rebuild!

He's also been busy with grad school planning. I think the plan is to have applications done pretty soon.

Me, I've been sleeping and working. I thought I was doing better with grading, but it turns out I have not. I've really got to buckle down this week and get back on track though. The last thing I want is to give birth before all of the grading for this terms is finished. That would be a huge stressor I just don't need. Of course, in order to do this, I have to stop spending energy on other things, i.e. socializing. I feel like one of my students. I'm spending too much time having fun and not enough time getting my work done. I'm going to try to be a better example though.

Well, I think this has gone on long enough. It's almost nine, which is my desired bedtime. Until next time!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Baby room update

The baby furniture has arrived! Well, actually, it arrived last Thursday, but it's definitely here! and put together!

Last Thursday, Steve and I had some fun (although I think Steve was humoring me, but I'll take it!) washing all of the bedding and putting it on the bed, putting all of the stuff away in the dresser, and taking turns trying out the glider. I was nesting. Now I'm even more excited for Jack to get here.

Other than that, we've been busy with work. I collected research papers yesterday, so I am starting the biannual fun of grading large essays. As usual, I do have a plan.

The typical third trimester symptoms are hitting me pretty hard lately. For instance, right now, I'm totally exhausted and can barely think straight. This is after 8 hours of sleep last night and a 2 hour nap this afternoon. If you've spoken to me lately, you have probably heard about the heart burn. If not, I'll summarize... it sucks. I'm also not finding very many comfortable positions to lie down in. I'm still trying though!

Okay, so here's the fun part. Here are the photos of the baby's room. This is before I "nested" because right now the room is a little trashed with empty boxes and wrappers and stuff all over. I'll get around to cleaning it and taking new photos soon though!