Friday, October 29, 2010

Let's call him "Bob" *

* some names have been changed to protect the innocent

Over the summer, Jeremy and I decided we should start getting serious about being healthy.  We're not getting any younger, and it would be nice to be able to keep up with the baby when she gets mobile.   We've definitely made a lot of progress on the food front.  We're eating more fruits and veggies, we've cut out a lot of processed foods, and we've gotten much better about a lot of our food-habits.

Working out wasn't so easy.  I used to run, but getting pregnant kind of put a stop to that.  Jeremy helpfully pointed out an article about women who continue to train for marathons while pregnant, but let's just say I am not that motivated (actually I told Jeremy that I'd love to train for a marathon WITH him which pretty much put an end to that conversation).  I like hiking and walking but with  my schedule it is often dark when I leave the house and dark when I get home.   We could go to the gym, but having to drive somewhere to work out significantly increases the probability that we will end up deciding to stop for ice cream rather than actually hitting the gym. 

So, we decided we were in the market for some home exercise equipment.  In particular a knee-friendly elliptical trainer.  We certainly couldn't afford a brand-new one, so we started checking out Craig's List a couple of times a week.  Eventually an elliptical that was both one of our preferred brands and within our price range came up.  I emailed the guy who had listed it ("Bob") and he said that since he worked in Marina, he' just throw the elliptical in his truck so we could come check it out.

After a little back-and-forth it turns out that Bob works at the fire station in town.  Jeremy and I set off to meet him, expecting he'd be something like this (only a firefighter instead of a policeman):

I mean, the guy was SELLING his elliptical since he said he never used it.  It turns out Bob was selling his elliptical because he apparently doesn't NEED it.  Let's just say that if the local fire department ever decides to put out a fireman calendar, they could really clean up (if all the pictures were of Bob).  Not only that, but the guy was ridiculously nice.  He apologized profusely for calling us 15 minutes later than we had originally scheduled (he was busy putting out a fire) and he bought brand new batteries for the elliptical.  He also volunteered to drop the elliptical off at our house so we would have to try to cram it in our car and he said he'd help us move it in because he didn't want me to have to lift anything.  After we completed our transaction, Jeremy and I got back in the car.

To my credit, I did not say anything.  Jeremy started the conversation:
Jeremy: I did not know that men like that actually existed
Kate: (pretending not to understand) What do you mean?  Firefighters?
Jeremy: No - he is the best looking man I have ever seen in real life
Kate: I know ... I mean ... other than you sweetie

The next morning (when his shift ended) Bob brought the elliptical over.  True to his word, he helped carry it in and set it up, making sure it was where we wanted it before he left.  Jeremy and I just looked at each other and were like "yep, he's still amazingly good looking". 

For the next week or so, Bob was kind of a running joke and he still comes up once and a while in conversation.  You know: "I bet Bob would do the dishes", "Bob wouldn't say something like that" - that kind of thing (from both of us mind you) :)  Now we're just fighting over who gets to take our car seat to the firehouse to get checked ....

32 Weeks and 31 Years

We've officially been "baking our Bagel" for 32 weeks now - 8 more to go. 

Since every week gets us one step closer to having an actual baby in our house, we're trying to start checking things off our baby to-do list.  Tonight we unwrapped the mattress and put it in the crib.  Danger immediately jumped into the crib and looked up at us as if to say "it's about time I got my own room".  Poor little guy - wait until he sees what is actually going to go in that crib.  Poor kitty doesn't know what he's in for.

In other exciting news, my baby brother turned 31 on Thursday.  I explained that this year his present was a niece and he said that was fine, just to FedEx her out to Michigan when it was his turn to play with her.  He is such a hilarious guy ... and ladies - HE IS STILL SINGLE.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


We're all pretty tired around here - between work, school, and keeping ourselves fed/clothed/etc, Jeremy and I don't get much sleep.  Of course, that is nothing compared to how exhausting it is to be a cat around here.  Between crying for attention, begging for people-food, and the non-stop work of shedding the cats keep a pretty packed schedule. 

To add to the kitty excitement, we bought some new cat toys over the weekend.  Rocky loves the dangle-toys on elastic thread that you hang over a door - he goes absolutely nuts every time we get him one.  Of course, Lucy tires of these toys easily and when she has had enough she methodically chews through the string, leaving the little toy on the ground and ending everybody's fun.  Needless to say, the lifespan of one of these toys at our house is about a week, but every once in a while we buy one as a special treat for Rocky.  He leaps and jumps and bats the toy around until he is exhausted, and then ...

... he needs a nap.  That's Rocky, passed out underneath his toy.  He plays until he can't play anymore.  Then he lays under the toy and bats up at it until even the effort to bat at the toy becomes too much, then he falls asleep.  His little paws continue to twitch while he sleeps which is pretty adorable.  When he wakes up, the cycle starts all over again.  It is so tiring being the kitty!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doctor Update

We had a doctor's appointment on Monday.  Probably the most notable news is that they were ON TIME.  That might be the first time during the entire pregnancy that we actually saw the doctor at our scheduled time.  Even the doctor was making jokes about it.  

Other than that, everything is going well.  I continue to gain weight like a champ (what can I say - I like to overachieve) and baby's heartbeat is super strong. 

Baby Bagel is pretty territorial and responds fairly strongly when she feels like someone is invading her space.  When Jeremy pokes her, she pokes back (I tried to tell him it was the baby high-fiving him, but I don't know if he's buying it).  At the doctor's when they use the doppler on to listen to the heart beat, Bagel starts trying to kick the machine.  It is pretty funny.  The good news is that every time she tried to kick the doppler, Bagel's heart beat sped up which is exactly what it is supposed to do. 

Probably the funniest Bagel response is to Rocky.  Rocky loves to jump up on my lap and wrap himself around my stomach (I guess it makes a nice soft kitty pillow).  Once he settles in and starts purring, Bagel starts kicking him.  The first time it happened Rocky jumped up and ran away, but now I think he kind of likes it - I like to think of it as kitty-massage.  Hopefully Rocky and Bagel will continue to get along after she is born.  I think as long as we can eventually teach her the proper belly-rub technique they should be fine.

Starting now, we're on an every-other week schedule for doctor's visits.  Kind of crazy!  Luckily, we're still able to schedule them when both of us are able to go.  We were in a little bit of trouble with the OB because this is the third visit in a row where she asked about a pediatrician and we still hadn't started to look.  That's next week's project - visiting pediatricians.  There are really only two big practices on the peninsula, so we figure we'll check out both of them and then pick the one that we like best. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

T-minus 2 months and counting

Since today is October 24th and Baby Bagel is due on December 24th, we officially have two months left - YIKES! 

As part of our baby preparations we went on a tour of the hospital yesterday.   We were one of three couples on the tour and the nurse was really nice.  Since it was only a one-afternoon class, there was a LOT of information crammed into three hours.  Jeremy earned major dad-to-be points for being one of the better-behaved husbands on the tour.  He wasn't even the one who asked if the TVs in the room got cable :)  [but the answer is yes, they do get cable, no football needs to be missed during the birth of our child should she choose to arrive during the playoffs].

One of the best things about our hospital is that it is certified as a baby friendly hospital.  That means that all of the nurses have some kind of breastfeeding training.  You get to stay in the same (private) room the whole time you are there (labor through recovery) and the baby stays with you as well.  It was nice to get a chance to check everything out now as opposed to waiting until we're in labor.  We even got to see a real-live baby that had just been born.  I can't say that we really feel ready yet, but at least we know where to park when we get to the hospital :)


Friday, October 22, 2010

31 Weeks!

Our weekly count rolls over on Fridays so as of today, we've made it through 31 weeks of pregnancy!  Only nine more weeks until Bagel's expected delivery.  I have 7 more weeks of class, so we're cutting things a bit close, but luckily my colleagues have all volunteered to help out during the end of November/beginning of December.  I am really lucky to work with some really great people. 

Due to some last-minute scheduling issues at the hospital, we're going on our tour of the maternity ward this Saturday (we had originally been scheduled for November).  It should be interesting, although tonight we'll have to cram our online study materials since we've been a bit lax in keeping up with those.  Hopefully there won't be a quiz.

We don't really have much to report.  We spend pretty much all of our time working, with periodic breaks to discuss exciting things like diapers.  There are a lot of decisions that you need to make about babies! 

One thing we've been pretty concerned with is trying to limit the environmental impact of bringing another person onto the planet.  Ever since we saw An Inconvenient Truth, Jeremy has been very concerned with what Al Gore would think about his decisions.  After much MUCH online research, we've decided to cloth diaper at home (day care will only use disposables but baby will be home enough that it will make a difference).  Jeremy's been doing a lot of research about which disposables are least bad for the environment, and we've narrowed it down to a few brands that appear to do the least harm - we'll stick with those for daycare.  They're more expensive than regular diapers, but Jeremy thinks it is what Al Gore would want him to do :)

We've also been looking at all of the cloth options - and there are lots of them out there!  I got recommendations from several friends, but after looking at a couple of the recommended diapers, we realized that the convenience of that particular brand came at a definite trade off in terms of grossness of dealing with the dirties.  We decided to go with a system that has reusable covers (you don't change them every time you change the diaper) and super-absorbent inserts.  This cuts down a little bit more on the laundry since you only wash the inserts every time you change a diaper.  Also, we feel a little better about the laundry aspect of this since we have a super-high-efficiency front loader (thanks to my mom and dad who bought our washer dryer as a housewarming present).  We also wanted to make sure we picked a diaper that had one size covers as opposed to having to buy new covers every couple of months.  Anyway, after checking out many options on the market (if anyone is considering cloth diapers - talk to us, we can discuss your different options at LENGTH), we decided on these:
The original diapers we had considered were the Bum Genius by the same company which scored major points for the awesome name, but as previously mentioned had a significant gross-out factor involved (you stuff the insert into a special pocket in the diaper, and Jeremy pointed out that fishing the used insert out of the pocket would be a particularly disgusting task.  I was also considering getting a couple of these:
But Jeremy pointed out that "comes in cow print" shouldn't really be the criteria that we use for picking out diapers :)

So, that was how we spent last Saturday night :)  Researching diapers online, taking a trip to the baby store to look at diapers, and deciding what kind to buy.  Do we know how to party or what??  I told you we didn't have any "real" news, so diaper talk will have to suffice.

The other big decision we've been trying to make is which baby carrier to buy.  We've been able to get pretty much everything else we need second-hand or hand-me-down, but all of our friends with kids are still using their carriers.  I had talked to a friend who recommended one brand, but Jeremy was pretty smitten with the baby carrier sported by his friend Geoff.  Despite seeing it in action, I was still skeptical.  Then Jeremy volunteered to do research, and he started quoting posts from online mommy discussion boards.  Yes, Jeremy was invested enough in our decision of which baby carrier to buy that he spent an entire evening fact collecting from online mommy forums (I don't even read online mommy forums).  I was pretty impressed.  Not only did the facts he find convince me, but I was really impressed with the overall effort.  Usually I am the one that wants to compile research and make spreadsheets etc etc and Jeremy is the one standing there rolling his eyes yelling at me to MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY (see the post about our near-divorce resulting from a visit to the paint aisle at Home Depot)!  So, anyway, baby Bagel will be sporting around town in the Pikkolo:

So, two decisions down only about nine million more to go.  Who knows what exciting topics we'll be discussing at the Gottwood house this weekend!  We've talked about how becoming parents is really just changing us from "those crazy people that talk about their cats all the time" to :"those crazy people who talk about their baby (and their cats) all the time" :)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Belly Shot

Several of my friends have been bugging me to post a pregnant-Kate picture.  We finally took a couple tonight.  First, Jeremy and I took a picture comparing our "bumps":

Jeremy says he always wondered "how far along" he was - it looks like the consensus is about 30 weeks.  Granted he is really sticking his belly out in this picture.  He has actually lost some of his baby weight already and is looking pretty trim these days! 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Two Big Milestones Today!

Today marks two big milestones.  First, today is officially marks 30 weeks of pregnancy for the Gottwoods - 10 more weeks to go!  It seems like baby Bagel will be here before we know it!

Also, today is my dad's 63rd birthday.  Happy birthday Dad!!  I would call, but usually the first person to call is the one that has to explain to Dad that it's his birthday.  Then you can play the game where you try to make him remember how old he is :)  Usually you end up telling him that it is his birthday and how old he is and then he says "Well, whaddya know."  What can I say?  It's family tradition. 

Not to ruin the surprise, but this year everyone is getting a baby for their birthday (well, actually just one baby, you all have to share).  Sorry the present will be a little late Dad, but hopefully it will be worth it! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Spoiled Already

The other day I heard a news report saying that Macy's had reported better than expected earnings for the quarter.  I imagine that is due in large part to the huge surge in baby clothes purchases at their East Lansing franchise - Grandma is definitely doing her part to save the failing economy :)  Baby Bagel got a huge box in the mail full of clothes, toys and books.  Actually, the box was shipped to Jeremy who I think was a little confused as to why someone would send him a pile of pink onesies.  We definitely do not have to worry about distance impacting Grandma's ability to spoil her granddaughter (even *before* the baby is born), that's for sure!  Thank you Grandma!!

Actually, the biggest thanks probably comes from the cats who assumed that the whole reason my mom shipped something to us was to provide them with an exciting new box!!  To make it even better, the box was full of packing paper!!  It pretty much made Rocky's week.  He kept pulling out a piece of packing paper, batting it around, and then snuggling up to it.  Danger also enjoyed the packing paper, but was highly suspicious of the stuffed kitty toy and knocked it off the table twice before we rescued it and stuck it in the baby's room.  Overall, the cats have been relatively calm about the influx of baby stuff, but we'll see what happens when there's an actual baby to contend with!

In other baby-spoiling news, Jeremy and I are both looking forward to my mom visiting in November.  She's coming out for the part of Thanksgiving break that I am off of work, but Jeremy is still in school.  It's a relatively short trip, but we're really looking forward to help with all of the last-minute pre-baby chores.  We've been working on a Grandma to-do list.  Since school started, baby stuff has definitely taken a back-burner while we both struggle to keep up with our jobs/homework.  Thanksgiving week will be our last big push to get everything we can done before the baby arrives.  There's a chance I might have to run to the office for a two hour meeting one of the days while Mom is here.  I was initially worried about ditching mom to go into work, but Jeremy pointed out that she'll have plenty of chores to keep her busy - he even offered to stay home and supervise to make sure she wasn't slacking off  :) 

My mom will leave just as Jeremy is beginning his Thanksgiving vacation.  Our plan is that mom and I will get enough done while she is here that Jeremy and I can enjoy our last pre-baby long weekend together.  But I guess it all depends on how much work we can wring out of the old woman :)  We love you Mom!  (We hope you're still looking forward to visiting)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Many of you know that I consider myself a bit of a connoisseur of office/school supplies.  Jeremy has another word for it, but I'll let him tell you all about the "trauma" he experienced during our first trip to Staples together - he loves to tell that story and I really don't do it justice (well, Jeremy thinks I don't do it justice - I just think I don't over-embellish)

Anyway, before Jeremy went back to school, we went supply shopping at the local Office Max.  To me, one of the huge benefits of engineering school is clearly all of the engineering-specific school supplies.  Since Jeremy is a newcomer to the field, I tried to offer my expert advice, but he was a bit skeptical.  He poo-pooed many of my recommendations and used a variety of increasingly disparaging adjectives to describe each new suggestion.  One thing that I insisted on was that he purchase a pad of green, quad-ruled engineering paper.  He was appalled that I would insist on FOUR DOLLAR PAPER when there was perfectly good 95 cent paper but I think he eventually caved just so I would let him leave the store.

Well, long story short Mr. Isn't-all-paper-the-same has been doing his homework on the engineering paper all week.  AND the other day he came home from class and said "you were right - everyone has the special paper".  Really - a judgment call involving the combination engineering school AND office supplies - and you thought I would lead you astray?

I think we may have a convert on our hands.

Now he is complaining that he has completely worn out the eraser on his mechanical pencil.  I think someone recommended that we invest in a click eraser and refills, but I could be wrong ... (lucky for Jeremy I have a spare).


Things have been a little rough around the Gottwood home for the last two weeks as both Jeremy and I fought off what was either a version of Plague or a bad cold (depending on whose opinion you want).  It is just now getting to the point where we are both feeling better (if not quite back to our normal selves). 

We're also settling into a pretty predictable back-to-school routine.  We both get up early and head to work/school.  When we get home we eat dinner together and catch up.  After dinner, we sit at the coffee table and both do our work.  If we're feeling especially crazy, we might watch a half hour of tv before bed.   Sounds pretty exciting, doesn't it? :)

Now that Jeremy is no longer house husband, we've gone back to our cook-on-the-weekends, reheat-during-the-week method of feeding ourselves.  Not last weekend, but the one before, we spent four hours and made enough dinners and lunches for two weeks.  We'll do the same thing this coming weekend.  It is kind of a slog to plan that many meals, do the shopping, and all the cooking all at one time, but it makes our lives during the week possible.  It's also nice to know that even when we're super-busy we're getting good, homemade, healthy meals.

So clearly, there's nothing too exciting going on over here.  Our big excitement over the weekend was getting a new belt for the vacuum cleaner (actually, that may have been more gross than exciting - we realized exactly how little cleaning our vacuum had been doing for the past few months).  The other day I was talking to my brother on the phone and he made the claim that "married people are boring".  I tried to convince him otherwise, but later in the conversation I said "I should go, Jeremy just got up from his nap, so we're going to reheat dinner and watch Jeopardy".  John pointed out that I wasn't doing a very good job of representing for "cool" married people.  I claim that our boring-ness comes from being old, not married :)