Monday, February 28, 2011

27 week check-up check-in

I went to the doctor last Thursday and had the one hour glucose test.  No results yet, but I can fill you in on everything else. 

First things first:  I'm now in the 3rd trimester!  Less than 13 weeks until my due date!  Yiiikes.  This also means that I will start going to the doctor every 2 weeks instead of 4.  That makes the time just fly by even more.

Weight gain so far:  16.5 lbs (I only gained 2 in the last three weeks, phew).  At this point in my pregnancy with Theo I had gained 27lbs, so I am definitely thankful!  I am on track to gain a healthy 25-35 pounds this time.  The baby should be weighing about 2 pounds now and measuring approximately 14.5" long.  That's a lot of baby!  No wonder I am feeling so much movement.  It's good to know that if the baby was born now, chances of survival would be very high. 

I'm feeling good for the most part.  Much of how I feel is tied to sleep... how much I get and how well I rest.  If I'm well-rested, the only time I feel bad is when I get up and haven't had anything to eat for awhile.  I get nauseous and weak but that usually goes away after I get some protein.  The heartburn hasn't been too terribly persistent.  I haven't had to take anything over the counter yet besides Tums.  I don't quite remember when it got really bad with Theo, but it was worth it for his gorgeous head of hair (supposing that Old Wives' Tale is true) and I hope this baby has just as much of it. 

People have been asking me if this baby is more or less active in the womb than Theo was and up until the last week or so, I've said it's too hard to compare.  I've been paying close attention lately and this kid is definitely more of a wiggle worm.  For example, while my OB/GYN was trying to get a heartbeat with the doppler, we could visibly see this wild child squirming under my skin to get away from the noise.  We were both laughing and that didn't help matters, with her hand shaking and my big belly jiggling.  She even said I was going to end up having to have an ultrasound to get a heartrate if the kid didn't cooperate.  Obviously, we both knew the little one was alive and well.  Spunky little booger.  She eventually got it and it was averaging in the 130s-140s again. 

We talked about the possible birthdates for the baby, supposing I don't go into labor on my own.  My doctor said she is on call Thursdays and some random Fridays.  If I am scheduled for a c-section, it will be at 39 weeks so the baby would be born on Thurs 5/19 or Fri 5/20.  If I am induced, she wants to do it at 38 weeks (supposing an amniocentesis shows that the baby's lungs are fully developed) and I would be induced on Thurs 5/12 or Fri 5/13.  Naturally, my hubs is hoping for a Friday the 13th baby (if you know my hubs, you totally get this!). 

So, there you have it.  I'll update about the results of my 1 hour glucose tolerance test soon. 

fingers crossed,

Thursday, February 24, 2011

not super excited

I have my 27 (random) week check up today and with that, the dreaded 1 hour glucose tolerance test.  I'm so not looking forward to it because I know if I have "abnormal" results, I'm going to have to do the dreadful, terrible, horrible, tragic 3 hour glucose test.  My doctor told me if my results are 190 or 195, she won't make me do it because levels over 200 mean you surely are diabetic.  Oh, I guess I should explain what I'm talking about in case anyone isn't all caught up here.

With Theo, I had gestational diabetes.  There is a genetic factor to it and obese people are more predisposed to it.  I'm not obese, so I guess I have my dad and most of my grandparents to thank for the genetic part.  Although I think they are/were all Type 2.  Anyway...

The test:  You drink 6 or 8 ounces of disgustingly sweet orange syrup and wait an hour, then get blood drawn.  From the blood draw, they test your glucose level to see if your body produces enough insulin to handle the extreme amount of sugar.  If you are over say 140(?) or maybe 160 (?), that's considered abnormal and you have to do a 3 hour glucose tolerance test to see how your body handles the even more disgusting, even more sugary liquid over a three hour period (meaning they do 3 fun blood draws instead of just one).  The worst thing about can't eat after midnight the night before and you can't leave the doctor's office.  So three hours of sitting in the waiting room with nothing to do (meanwhile, on the verge of puking because that stuff really is sickeningly sweet AND if you are diabetic, you're probably sick anyway from not eating for so long). 

If you have gestational diabetes with one pregnancy the chance that you'll have it with subsequent pregnancies is quite significant.  If, by some miracle, I do not have it this time, I will be SO happy because that will mean I'll (more than likely) get to try for another vaginal birth. 

If I get it, and definitely if I have to go on insulin this time (I didn't last time), I'll be having a c-section.  Boo.  Anyway, I'll check back in with the results of the test and updates from my 27 week appointment soon. 

Happy weekend,

p.s.  What about the name Dexter?  Nickname Dex?  Cute, right?  Theo and Dex.  What about Mallory for a girl?  Kind of loving both of these names right now.  Holla?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

sad scribble

Things are starting to come together for Theo's first birthday party (in less than two weeks).  We bought the decorations over the weekend.  We talked to the cake-making lady and have a better idea of what's going on there.  We have a semi-decent idea of how many people are coming.  I talked to a friend who advised me on how many pizzas to order.  The anxiety about all of this is coming down a little. 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my dad.  I miss him every day but sometimes he just comes up in the most random ways.  Shortly after he died (and occasionally still), I'd say something about going to "Mom-n-Dad's house" or calling "Mom-n-Dad" to ask a question.  Mom-n-Dad is kind of like a run-on word/title/entity growing up, so when one of them is gone, it's hard to just say "Mom."  It's missing something (or someone). 

Are you wondering what these two seemingly random topics have in common?  I was writing a list of people that have RSVP'd to the party (thank you, kind souls) and sure enough, it looked like something this:


Stop.  It just came out of the pen before I had a chance to think about what I was writing.  As soon as I wrote the letters d-a-d, and before I realized what was happening, I scribbled those three letters out.  Then I stopped again.  What am I doing, scribbling Dad out?  All of that happened in a matter of a couple of seconds and the whole 2 second ordeal stopped me in my tracks.  I felt guilt for scribbling and panic for wanting to undo what I had undo that he won't be at Theo's first birthday party.  It was the first time I thought about the fact that my d-a-d won't be there.

As I sat there paralyzed, not able to continue with my list, I stared at my scribble and a massive, unexpected wave of sadness swept over me.  They say you never really lose the ones you love.  They say that the hurt lessens over time.  It's true - I don't feel that kind of intense emotion every day.


There's something about having all of this emotion coming out of nowhere 4 years later over a scribble and a vacant chair at a baby boy's first birthday party that knocks the wind right out of your chest.

wondering why that had to happen,

Monday, February 21, 2011

i bought a dress. so what?

I went shopping with my lovely mother-in-law last week and I think she's a bad influence... would I have bought the 3 little girl outfits had she not been with me?  Probably not, but they were such a good deal and she made it seem like the right thing to do...

So I did it.  I bought the first little girl outfits.  Two dresses and a three-pack of newborn onesies.  I couldn't resist the clearance prices at OshKosh.  I'm almost wishing I had picked up some of the itty bitty pink overalls.  I held back a little bit.

I was telling my friend about it later that night and she asks me "are you secretly hoping for a girl?" 

I had to think for a moment before I answered the question. 

Baby girl clothes sure are cute and lots of fun to shop for and buy and hold and look at.  I'm guessing they are even more fun to put on your cute baby girl, but in the long run, my answer is no, not necessarily. 

I'm certainly not opposed to the idea of having a girl.  Before we had Theo, I couldn't picture not ever having one.  I even said that if we had two boys, we'd end up having three children.  I don't think I could manage more than three, but I thought I'd want to give it one more shot.  Now?  Now I don't know.  I'm certainly not ruling out a third child before my second is even born, but I can see being content with two - a boy and a girl or two boys.  Either way, it feels right. 

Kind of makes me wonder if my mom and dad were at all disappointed when I (the second of two children) was born and they learned that I was a girl.  Hmm...

Meanwhile, we enjoyed a weekend of warm, gorgeous weather for which we were all very thankful!

I love that he was smiling with his mouth wide open for so long that he drooled all over himself.  Ha!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

paranoid party planning committee

I have to admit, I'm experiencing some anxiety over Theo's first birthday party.  It's coming up in 2 short weeks (and 2 days) and I'm getting nervous.  Feeling a little pressure.  There will be a lot of people and a short amount of time.  There will be babies his age and kids that are older.  Am I supposed to have activities to keep everyone entertained?  Because I'm thinking we'll be lucky to make it through pizza, presents, and cake in 2 hours. 

Not to mention I am paranoid that Theo is going to have a crazy morning that day, thereby ruining all my visions of his perfect little celebration.  We picked the 12-2 time frame because that's generally between his naps, but what if he's off that day?  What if he refuses to nap and is ready to crash just in time for the party?  It could be disasterous.  What am I supposed to do with him while we are decorating for the party, which is not going to be at our house?  How am I going to manage to get the balloons, cake, and decorations in place while he is supposed to be napping?  How am I going to manage taking a million adorable pictures amidst all the chaos while still being present enough in the moment to enjoy it through him?  And what about the cake mess?  Since we're not having the party at home, how am I going to get cake out of his hair before we put him back in his carseat?   

And the best (ha) part of all is that he won't even know what hit him.  Of course, he is the one I'm most worried about pleasing and, party or no party, it's just another day to him. 

I wanted it to be small but just with our immediate families, there are 15 people.  And then there are his little baby best friends that I wouldn't dream of not inviting.  Parents included, that gets us up to about 30.  Then there are our friends who have the older-ish kids, the babysitter, and my grandparents and we're at 40.  Egads.  I didn't even invite our friends who don't have kids and I'm feeling guilty about that but you have to draw the line somewhere, right?  With all that being said, I really want all those people there because they have been such a big part of Theo's first year.

Maybe in the future we will do a family birthday dinner with cake and ice cream and then a baby friend birthday playdate.  That way everyone gets to enjoy Theo and vice versa.  And I get to enjoy everyone and ...well I guess the vice versa part is subjective.  So that new idea I just came up with here and now has me feeling better about his birthday next year, but back to the panic attack...


Did I mention I'm somewhat stressed and depressed about the fact that my eensy weensy baby is almost ONE? (Yes, yes I did.)

Any suggestions?

freakin' out,

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

dear baby

Dear Baby in my Belly,

I can't believe that we have already known about you for 5 months and that you will be here, on the outside of my belly, in about 3 months.  Time is going by too fast and we haven't even seen your face yet.  I know that you, just like your big brother, will change and grow at an amazing rate of speed and we'll be looking back a year from now wondering where our tiny newborn has gone.  My pregnancy with you has been so different than my pregnancy with Theo.  With him, we knew he was a boy and by this point we had picked out his name.  We called him by name as if he was already with us.  We said "he" when referring to him.  It's weird, always referring to you as "he or she" or "it"'re certainly not an "it."  Sometimes we slip and call you just "he" or "she" because it's easier, but that doesn't feel right, because what if we're saying the wrong thing?  So then, it's back to calling you "he or she."  Long way of saying that sometimes it would have been easier to just know.

But I'm glad we didn't find out.  You're our little mystery.  Regardless of your gender, we already know that you'll be so very different from Theo.  Your own little person, indeed.  It will be so exciting on your birthday because the anticipation is already building.  I know that by the time another 13 weeks or so has passed, we'll be overflowing with excitement to meet you and hear the doctor proclaim "it's a boy!" or "it's a girl!" (in no particular order of preference...ahem).

You are a wiggly little person and I hope you sleep more outside of my belly than you do now.  Maybe you roll over a lot in your sleep?  I'm starting to feel big, hard parts of your body...what I'm guessing to be your back and your head...rather than just the little kicks and pokes that I'd been feeling until recently.  By now you should weigh about a pound and a half and be a little over a foot long.  That doesn't sound like much, but when you're curled up inside of someone's belly, it's kind of a lot!  Don't get the wrong idea - I need you to stay put until you're a good 6 or 7 pounds.  You just stay snuggled up in there until you are nice and healthy and fat. 

I'm trying to take good care of you and I always hope I'm doing okay.  I'll always hope I'm doing okay as your mom.  It's just me and you right now, kid, but there are dozens of people who can't wait to meet you, love you, and smother you with hugs and kisses.  Enjoy the alone time while it lasts, because things are gonna be changing soon. 

I already love you more than you'll ever know. 

Love always,

Monday, February 14, 2011

is it just me or...

was our waitress Saturday an idiot? Here's what happened.

The menu item that I settled on was a salad that came with some kind of herb vinaigrette.  That did not sound delicious to me, so when I ordered I said something like this:

"I'll have the [blah blah whatever it was called] salad, except can I get the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette?  On the side, in case I don't like it?" 

She seemed to have no trouble understanding my question, therefore I thought she understood my request.  She bobbled off like the airhead that she (apparently) is and a few minutes later our salads come out.

My reaction:

"Oooh, this looks goo-"

I toss my salad around with my fork and observe that it is soaking wet, covered in dressing.  Covered in something that is clearly not the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette, which she did bring on the side.  The waitress bobbles by again so I grab her attention and ask:

"Um? I'm confused.  Does this already have dressing on it?"

"Yeah...the herb vinaigrette comes on it.  And I brought the sun-dried tomato vinaigrette on the side."

I sat there, dumbfounded, with a wrinkled brow just long enough for her to bounce away.  What planet must you live on to assume that when I order a different dressing from what is on the menu, I want it in addition to the one that is mentioned in the description?  How much salad dressing can one person use?

Clearly, she knew that she missed the mark because she trotted past our table about 50 times without ever checking to see if we liked our food or needed anything.  Meanwhile, I overheard her asking all of the tables surrounding us if their food was okay.  Honestly, I wanted to blow up.  Not over the dressing mistake so much as her reaction to the situation.  Finally, while I was on the phone for 30 seconds with my mom, she came back and asked husband if he wanted a refill on his drink.  She didn't bother to make eye contact with me.

If I hadn't been in such a hurry to get to my in-laws and see Peezy after our baby-free early Valentine/Friday night/Saturday morning date, I would have definitely complained and waited for them to re-make it.  But I didn't.  The herb vinaigrette dressing actually wasn't bad.  If I'd hated it, I certainly would have said something.  It was just the principle of the matter and her response to it that pissed me off. 

Am I crazy here, people?  Based on what I ordered, is there any reason to believe that I still wanted the herb vinaigrette?

As a side note, Happy Valentine's Day!

love, love, love,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

in a month

In a month, my little bitty newborn baby will be a year old.  I feel like he's still just brand new.  Of course we have learned a lot, thanks to the advice and help of friends and family along with trial and error.  I marvel every day at how much he has changed from that little lump of sweetness we brought home from the hospital into this smart, brave, inquisitive little boy.  He has so much personality already, and he hasn't even started talking yet.  Well, he thinks he's talking but we haven't figured out what he's saying. 

I've gotten him to mimic me a few times, saying "mom," only he shapes his little mouth in an "o" and it comes out more like "mohm."  He's also saying "moo" when we show him a little cow that makes the same sound.  I love every second of it.

But at the same time, I hate it.  It's bittersweet.  I miss him being that tiny little lump that I could hold in my arms for hours and hours.  Now I know that you can't spoil a baby.  I'm glad I didn't listen to people that said you can hold a baby too much.  I held him as much as I could and I have no regrets.  He's confident and secure (so far) and has never demonstrated separation anxiety.  He can put himself to sleep and play happily in his bed when he wakes up.

I can't believe how lucky we've been over the past year.  He's been such a good, easy baby.  I remember taking him to the mall when he was about 6 or 7 weeks old and I was in the elevator with him and an elderly man who asked how old he was.  When I told him, he grimaced and said that he had 6 children and would never go back to that age.  He must have had a bunch of lemons, because I think I've had more fun during the past 11 months than I have at any other time in my life.  Every day with Theo is something new. 

In (less than) a month, we will have a little party.  He won't have a clue why everyone is gathering around to stare at him (okay, that's actually pretty typical with our families) or cheering when he digs into his cake (hopefully).  It's a celebration for all of us.  We've nearly made it through the first year of milestones.  We've gone from rookies to parents with a little bit of experience.  We've gone from two to three...from a couple to a family. 

I can't wait to see what all the next year has in store for us.


Monday, February 7, 2011

24 week check-up check-in / baby name dilemma

Last Thursday I went in for my 24 week check up.  Surprisingly, she didn't talk a whole lot about the pending decision (c-section vs. vaginal delivery), but of course she did mention it.  We listened to the baby's heartbeat, which was in the 140s again.  I have to go back in three weeks for the gestational diabetes test. I begged her to just assume that I was positive for it if my test comes back abnormal so that I don't have to do the awful, terrible, dreadful, disgusting 3 hour glucose tolerance test but she said that so many 1 hour tests come back abnormal that the 3 hour is the only true way to tell.  Maybe I should just do that and be done with it.  But it really is awful.  When I was pregnant with Theo, I had to do it after working all night and not eating anything since before midnight.  So I got to the doctor's office at 0830 and had to sit there until 1130...drink this thick sugary syrupy orange flavored goo (nauseating) and try to stay awake...ugh! Sheer misery.

Anyway, she measured my abdomen and said I was measuring one week ahead, which (according to me) is a bad sign.  I need this baby to stay petite if there's any hope of not going the c-section route.  Blood pressure was good, the doctor said my weight was good...I wasn't as impressed.  I gained SEVEN pounds since last time, bringing my total weight gain up to 14.5 so far (I think).  They weigh me on a different scale every time though so I don't know how reliable it is.  I weighed myself about 2 weeks before that at home (in the buff, of course) and it was 9 pounds less than what I showed at the doctor last week.  There's no way I gained that much in 2 weeks.  Who knows?

The baby is moving around lots and lots now.  I can see and feel the movements easily from the outside, which is kind of fun.  S/he is getting up higher now and I can feel some kicks in my ribs, which is not so fun.  The heartburn is getting more intense but it's not constant (yet).  I feel huge already and I have a long way to go.  I definitely need some more jeans.  What happened to all my jeans from last time?  They are like capris now.  I have one pair of long-enough maternity jeans.  As badly as I need them, I hate buying maternity clothes.  Just seems like such a waste. 

We're not making much progress on names, even though I am pestering the dada to talk about it almost every day.  We need boy names.  I don't know why boy names are so hard this time around.  Maybe part of it is that we want it to compliment Theo's name.  We also want to give him a name that lends itself to a good nickname, like we did with Theodore.  That really limits the choices.  A couple of new ones we talked about over the weekend were Harrison (Harris) and Griffin (Griff).  I really prefer Griffith over Griffin but it doesn't roll off the tongue quite as easily.  I still like Tegan (he still hates it) and I kind of like(d) Toby (until my friend pointed out the Toby Keith connection. Bleck). 

Any suggestions?  Comments? 

Please help,

Thursday, February 3, 2011

in a land far, far away

As promised, here are a few pictures from my trip.  As I look back at the pictures, I'm asking myself "was I really just there?  Standing in the middle of that picture, breathing in the air and taking in these views as they lie around me?"  Feels like I am a million miles away from the scenes in these photos now.  It's amazing to me how different the culture, climate, and terrain is everywhere I go in the US.  I hope I get to do some more extensive international travel at some point in my life (you know, aside from Mexico, Canada, and Jamaica).


Thursday we ventured to a local spot for a Mexican breakfast, then it was off to the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.

View from the Sand Dunes

A beautiful Colorado sunset as we were leaving the Sand Dunes.  The funny thing is that I wasn't trying to capture the sunset, I was trying to photograph the mule deer that didn't even show up here. 

Here is said mule deer, with the amazing Sand Dunes in the background.

It's impossible to explain how huge the dunes are in words or pictures.

Friday we went to Garden of the Gods just outside of Colorado Springs (both of which I loved, for what it's worth).  We did a couple of the "easy" hikes (Puh.  Easy for who?, I might ask).  After that, we walked through Manitou Springs.  Friday night we went to a skeezy Indian restaurant.  Hey, I liked my food but no one else liked theirs. 

The red rock formations seem to pop up out of nowhere.  They reminded me of Sedona, but on a much smaller scale.

Pike's Peak!

The sun was going down by the time we got to Manitou Springs and I was too tired to carry my camera/bag around anyway.  If you're interested, here are some photos of the cutesy little town.  It reminded me a lot of Gatlinburg.  A nicer Gatlinburg.  I was happy to hear that Theo was getting along just fine.

Saturday em. woke up not feeling so great, so L and I gave her some time to rest while we explored downtown Pueblo, where they are currently travel nursing.  There are quite a few neat little stores, antique malls, and an awesome coffee shop right on the main road.  Pueblo recently installed a riverwalk that was charming on a winter's day with springtime weather.  It was in the upper 60s and sunny! 

On the way back to the apartment, I got this on my cell phone:

Maybe those tears were there because he didn't want to be in his car seat; I choose to believe it was because he missed me.  God, I missed him.

After checking on em. and coming to terms with the fact that she was not moving from the couch, L and I decided to take a nearby scenic drive (Frontier Pathways) through the mountains to Westcliffe, Colorado.  Wow.  I don't know how many times I said it that day or over the course of the weekend, but I can't imagine living that way.  Talk about wilderness.  I love Target way too much for frontier livin' ya'll.  With that being said, it was beautiful.

Can't you almost see a covered wagon going by?

We had delicious homemade empanadas for dinner and watched a movie called The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia  on Netflix instant streaming.  Have you seen this movie?  Heard about it?  I'm not going to go into the details (because this blog would end up being twice as long), but I thought it was worthy of linking up here.  If you have Netflix, it's definitely worth streaming.  I bet you a buck that if you start it, you won't be able to stop it. 

Luckily, the nasty stomach bug up and left sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning so we three gals departed for the airport bright and early Sunday and got to spend a couple more hours chatting about all the fun that had been had.  I was anxious, anxious, and more anxious to get home to see my baby (oh, and my husband too).  Loved the look Theo got on his face when he saw his mama - it was pure happiness.  I'm pretty sure my expression mirrored his.  Looking back through my pictures, I certainly can't say that I regret the trip.  I even realize that had Theo been with me, the trip would have been very different.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to get away and explore new territory.  When Theo and I reunited, it was like no time had passed at all; it's the best of both worlds.  What can I say...I'm a happy girl. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

organ donation

All the news stations here have been covering the life and death of a courageous police officer who was slain in the line of duty.  During his funeral, it was mentioned that through his death, 9 others have new life because he was an organ donor.  I have always said that I wanted to donate my organs and have always, always been surprised to find out that some people think that is gross or creepy.

Seriously.  What are you going to do with your organs once your brain is dead and there is no hope for recovery?  It would be my dying gift and my dying wish to donate my viable organs to those on a waiting list, those not knowing if they will see another day or week or month.  Do I care if I am buried (or cremated) with no eyeballs?  No.  I'm not sure anyone would want my eyeballs because my vision is terrible, but hey - they're better than nothing.  (I don't even know how much your corneas have to do with actual vision...I may be a little bit dumb on this subject).

Anyway, this whole thing where the officer donated organs to 9 people has really got me thinking so I registered online to become an organ donor.  This is a conversation that we all need to have with our loved ones.  There should be no mistake about what you want done with your body should you be too incapacitated before your death to make it known.  I don't have the little heart on my driver's license but do you need that?  If your spouse knows that you want to be an organ donor in the unfortunate event of an untimely death, do you have to have the heart on your license?  That's what I need to know.  No worries, people... I don't feel a looming sense of doom or anything.  I just want to make sure that my dying (and someone else's living) wish is fulfilled, should I leave this earth too soon. 

Have you had the conversation?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

on leaving him behind

Last weekend was a first.  Not the first time I ever spent the night away from Theo but the longest  I've ever spent away from him by double and then some.  I swung by the babysitter's Wednesday morning to see him to at least subtract one day off of the length.  Then, Wednesday afternoon I flew to Colorado and spent 4 nights with my best friend, who I hadn't seen in 3+ months.  It was fun, great fun.  Make no mistake about that. We laughed and explored and reminisced and teased and ate and on and on and on...

But Friday morning the hole in my heart was getting a little too big so I tried to superficially stuff it back up by looking through every last digital image on my camera.  I wanted to study his face and all of his cute expressions, as if that would make me feel him in my arms.  So, I made it a whole 48 hours without crying.  My heart ached with so many miles between us, not being able to kiss his chubby cheeks, and knowing it would be another 2 days before I watched him break into one of those sneaky smiles.  But what could I do?  This was a rare chance to spend time with my bff, and I had to make the most of it.  Luckily, there were some pretty captivating distractions, like the Great Sand Dunes National Park

 and Garden of the Gods.
Wildfire Productions
Forgive me for not using my own pictures, which I have a bazillion of, but I haven't had time to retrieve them from my camera yet.  I will try to do that soon.  Needless to say, when I saw my sweet one's little face, all was right with the world.  I was exhausted and exhilirated at the same time and so thankful for my wonderful husband and his parents, who took care of my munchkin while I was away.  I have no doubt that it was harder for me than it was for him. 

And that it will be a long, long while before I am away from him for so long again.