Friday, December 28, 2007

Moving Day and neighborly advice

Today I came across a big pile of tests that I brought home to grade over break. How in the world did I think that I would have the time to get anything done with moving? Maybe moving is like birth---over time the memory of how awful it is fades, so that you're stupid enough to do it again in the future (so I've heard). I fully expect today to be miserable and filled with snags and complications, but at least at the end of the day we won't have to commute to our other apartment to sleep--that's what we've been doing all week and it stinks.

Here's my best story this week. I enter the new building behind some other guy, and we both get in the elevator. I press the button for "4" and say to him "Which floor?" to which he replies "That's it-4" and smiles (people have been really friendly up there so far). Here's the rest of the conversation:

Me: "Oh, do you live on the 4th floor?"
Him: "No, I'm just doing some work there" (he looks like a contractor)
Me: "Ah." (thinking I should explain my possibly intrusive inquiry) "We just moved in on that floor and I'm just interested to meet the neighbors." (smile)
Him: (nods . . . about a 3 second pause . . .) "Sometimes the neighbors don't want to be met"

(cue dramatic horror movie music, lights flickering, etc)

How creepy was that? I brushed it off with small talk and moved on, but I nearly burst out laughing. I wish I could've just responded with something equally vague and foreboding . . . "Sometimes the neighbors should make an effort, or they might regret it."

In other notes:
-Christmas was fantastic. We had a lot of fun with the family, Collin is just old enough to kind of get the whole Christmas thing. Everyone was overly generous too.
-We had a frustrating ultrasound yesterday. All of the measurements came back normal (although the baby is measuring 1 week small) except that the baby was so tucked in and curled up (and NOT interested in moving) that they could only get half of the measurements they needed. So we go back in one week for another ultrasound.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


The moving has begun.

On one hand, we are so lucky to be off this week---it allows us the time to move in reasonable chunks. On the other hand, I can't believe that we're going to spend this week moving (and cleaning, organizing, shopping, packing, etc) and then suddenly we'll be back at work and my break will be gone.

The moving started yesterday-my parents came to help and Dave was amazed by how much work they can do. Dave & my dad moved everything we had packed from the apartment, our storage downstairs, and Dave's parents' storage bin--while my mom and I went to breakfast, shopping for cleaning supplies, and then my mom set to work cleaning the new apartment.

This move stinks for me because I can't lift anything, I can't be exposed to too many chemicals (so that limits the cleaning) and I just feel useless. Also, around 3 or 4 everyday now my legs hurt. A lot. Enough that I need to sit down and rest.

On the upside, the new apartment is AMAZING. It's huge, it's beautiful, it's so so nice :) Once we're in there (Friday is when our furniture is going up) it will be lovely to live there.

Oh, I also haven't gotten any shopping done for Christmas. So I guess I'll be going out today and tomorrow to shop.

Baby Update
The baby is about 5 1/2 inches long. I feel it kicking usually once or twice a day--but only when I'm sitting or lying down (so I never really feel it at work). It's not strong enough to feel from the outside, so Dave hasn't felt it yet. It can definitely hear now, so I put headphones on my belly and play it music. And it's around 5 1/2" long. According to one website, it's the size od a sweet potato. Where do they come up with this stuff?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Ok, now we're not getting the keys tonight. We're getting them on Friday instead. The sellers need one more day to clear out---but we're booked with working late tomorrow, so we'll wait until Friday to get the keys.

Also, Dave has been a fantastic husband for my birthday (wait-that doesn't look right---he's always fantastic, but he's doing great birthday things for me too). He decorated my classroom, sent me flowers, and covered my lunch duty with the kids!

-----News in Brief-----

This last week of work before Christmas break is always so busy that I don't really have any time to update stuff here. So here are the headlines for now . . .

1. We closed on our new apartment! I'm now a homeowner (and until we close on selling this place, Dave actually owns 2 apartments)! We are meeting with the realtor tonight in Riverdale to do the official walk-through and get the keys to our new place :)

2. I've felt the baby move a few times, but it's certainly not regular. I can only feel it if I'm sitting still and paying attention, which certainly doesn't happen at work very often.

3. Today's my birthday :) Happy Birthday to me!

4. As a birthday present, I bought myself a doppler (it's like a little microscope that attaches to a speaker---I put it on my belly and we can listen to the baby's heartbeat). It's way fun and I used it last night---the baby's heartrate was 142.

So our break will be filled with packing and moving madness--a big challenge for me, as I like to get in there and do everything, so I need to keep telling myself not to lift heavy things, etc.

Oh--highlight of my week so far: I return to school yesterday (the closing was Monday, so we weren't at work). After 3 days of not seeing my, some of the kids eyes looked like they were going to pop out of their head--my stomach is really expanding! A 6th grade boy who sits right in front of me says, as we're starting class: "Mrs. Nieder, this has nothing to do with science, but your stomach has gotten a lot wider!" What the hell?! I guess this is the one time in life when people are allowed to say these things? If I see you over the holidays you better get your wide comments in now, because they won't be so funny starting the day after the baby is born.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Hey! I felt that!

I felt the baby kick (or punch or something)!

I few times this week I thought that I felt a little something, but it came and went so quickly that it could have just been my imagination. Folks had suggested lying down and pressing gently on my belly to get the baby to kick back--I've been trying everyday, but nothing happened.

This morning I tried again and felt a very distinct little thump in return---not only could I feel it from the inside, but I could actually feel it hit my hand too!

I think there's really someone in there :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

16 week Update & a Dream

Baby Update-16 weeks

At 4 1/2 inches long-ish (head to bottom), the baby is about the size of an avocado (I remember being 4 weeks along, when it was the size of a poppy seed, so it's grown a lot!) The next two weeks will be a big growth spurt, which must be why I'm hungry and exhausted again. Its ears are in the proper place and it can hear sounds from outside the body as well as inside, so it's time to start talking to it, although I feel a little stupid doing so. Although closed, its eyes are moving (slowly), and it's even started growing toenails. Facial muscles now make it possible for the baby to make a varitey of faces/expressions.

All the websites say that this is when I could start feeling the baby move, but I haven't felt anything yet. 18-20 weeks is more common-and that will my right at my birthday & Christmas time. Feeling it move around would be a good present!

Most disgusting new baby fact: The baby is now emptying its bladder every 30-45 minutes. I have something peeing inside of me. Gross.

I had a dream about the baby last night--nothing exciting, but it was a boy. He had brown, curly hair and big eyes. I know that there are some folks out there who put a lot of stock in pregnant mom dreams, so I'm just providing you with the facts, in case anyone wants to change their gender prediction.

More stuff to come soon, I hope---it's hard to update this when I'm so tired. But I wanted to give the 16 week baby growth update before we were done with week 16.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

We hear babies (well, only one baby)

The title of this post has a dual meaning:

1. We (Dave & I) heard the baby's heartbeat at the appointment today! It only took a few seconds to find the heartbeat, but it was very difficult to continue listening to it, as the baby is moving around a lot! After a few seconds of heartbeat, we would hear a little thump/whoosh as it moved out of the way.

2. Layla (the cat) has superpowers. We mentioned the cat at the appointment, and the midwife asked if she was male or female. When I said female, she said "You know that she knows you're pregnant already, right?" Well, since she brought it up I shared that Layla has been nutso since I was 3 or 4 weeks along---crawling all over me, in my face constantly. She said that female cats (moreso than males) are very sensitive to pregnancy, and that by now Layla can hear the baby moving. Also, she will want to be near the baby--not only sitting near me, but sitting close to my stomach.

Now when she stares at me I feel like I'm sitting next to that little kid from The Sixth Sense. Charming.

Appointment today

A new post and update will be coming tonight.
We have a midwife appointment today at 2 and I'm so nervous! Last time we couldn't hear the heartbeat, and I'm really hoping that this time we can hear it easily. If not I'll probably need an ultrasound to check and see that the baby's ok, which would be pretty stressful. So send us some good vibes or prayers or whatever you've got :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Small things, and an exorcism

1. Pay no attention to the talking baby at the top of the page---this week it's talking about having an ultrasound to find out the sex, which we are not doing. Our plan is to be surprised in May (unless some careless tech spills the beans by mistake).

2. My sister is insisting that I clear her name--she did not call me "wide" as mentioned in the previous post--she just said that I'm high (I think she meant my stomach, but whatever). My mother, on the other hand, definitely called me wide and can not wiggle out of it. Thanks, mom!

3. Yesterday we went to my niece's baptism in NJ. I wore an overly fancy dress because it's the only dress that still fits me (anyone have maternity clothes that you'd like to pass my way? Spread the word--I'll take anything). The best part of the baptism was the "Prayer of Exorcism" which the deacon said was to get rid of evil or something. Now, I started to giggle, and then Lisa saw me and started laughing, and then I just lost it (see below). I had no idea that Emerson was evil to begin with (she's fairly sweet and not at all threatening), but I'm glad that now she's had her successful exorcism.

The rest of the baptism entertainment was provided by Collin, who interrupted the deacon several times with his favorite phrase "I want to show you something". His best comment came during a particularly wordy prayer, when he shouted out "Stop talking!" Hee hee.

4. A few folks have asked if there's a place here that they can submit name suggestions. I'm trying to figure out the easiest way to make that happen, although I'm thinking that the suggestions may all be things like Dieter Nieder, or other ridiculousness.

Baby Update
The baby is now growing 2 inches every day and needs 1 brownie per day for optimal development. Ok, just kidding--but I'm hungry every 10 minutes, so this is what I tell myself so that I don't feel like a garbage disposal. Suddenly I'm also obsessed with brownies (and I've never been a big chocolate person).

For real, the baby is around 4-4.5" long. Hair and eyebrows are growing in, although the color may change before birth---it's also growing fine hair over its entire body which is supposed to fall out before birth (I certainly hope so). One website says "Although her eyelids are still fused shut, she can sense light. If you shine a flashlight at your tummy, for instance, she's likely to move away from the beam." I don't know why I would want to shine a flashlight at myself, but ok.

I still can't feel it move, which should happen sometime between 16-24 weeks :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Name Game . . .

I know, I know---everyone wants belly pictures. The problem is this: we lost the camera cord, and the battery is dead. So we're stuck until we have a new cord. They'll be coming soon though---and get excited, my mom & Lisa say that I'm carrying "wide." Isn't that great? Who doesn't like being called wide? (That's part of the reason they think the baby is a girl)

(That's the umpire signal for "wide." I'm just waiting for people to start doing that when I walk down the street.)

So baby names are a hot topic. People are curious, and everyone has an opinion. Here's the thing--I probably don't want to know your opinion. So Dave & I have been talking about what to do with names--should we let our family and friends know about our potential names, thereby risking an influx of (possibly) negative feedback? Or should we keep them a secret, eliminating the potential negativity, but also blocking our family & friends out of the fun? So I've developed a plan, which (for me) is the best of both worlds . . . pay close attention :)

We are happy to share names that we like (which will probably change a million times) with one important rule---NO NEGATIVITY. If you don't like the name, I don't care (and I mean that in the nicest way possible). Should you feel the need to voice your negativity, we will feel the need to no longer include you in any name preference conversations! Even if we say that we're planning on naming the baby Britney Spears Nieder, the appropriate reaction would be a polite nod. Like mom always said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

***One obvious exception--if we actually ask you for your opinion on a name, then hit me with your best shot! ***

So to summarize, if you're interested in our thoughts on names, we're open to sharing. But one strike and you're out of the naming loop (until the baby is born--we'll tell everyone the name then, and if you don't like it then you can tell the baby to its little face).

Sunday, November 25, 2007

My magical bump

Gather round and see Dana's magical baby bump . . .it disappears and reappears before your very eyes!

Actually, I've heard this is very common--but I'm in a strange phase right now. In the morning, I have a small bump--really I just look a little fat. By bedtime, I look undeniably pregnant, with a big stomach bump!

I thought maybe my mind was playing tricks on me, so yesterday I decided to do a little experiment (I'm very scientific and needed to see some data). I measured my stomach in the morning, and then again at night, and the difference was . . .

nearly 2 inches!!!
It seems like a big difference to me! So I've heard that one morning I'll wake up and it won't have shrunk down again. (I measured again this morning and it went down 1.5" overnight, so I'm starting today .5" bigger, for whatever reason).
I'm having Dave take pictures today, so I should have some proof of the growing bump tomorrow.
PS. Don't listen to Dave, the pillow's name is Jimmy, not Julie.
PPS. Laura Nieder is bringing the trash talk about winning the baby pool (although I question her predictions). We haven't picked a prize yet, but we will!

Friday, November 23, 2007


This was our Thanksgiving dinner table yesterday at my parents. Beautiful, right? It looks like we're about to enjoy a lovely meal.

However, I actually took this picture after we finished dinner. These are all leftovers. My mother is a little crazy, and makes enough food to feed the block--but then we all get leftovers, hooray!

Baby Update

I'm 14 weeks along now, and the baby is about as big as a fist, or a lemon (somewhere around 3.5"). It can now suck its thumb and make faces. Its also developing fine hair all over its body, like a monkey.

*New Game*: Check out the "Bet On Our Baby" Game (upper right hand corner)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone!!!
I hope that everyone enjoys the holiday, even if the family togetherness makes you a little crazy. Eat up, and join me in getting fat---we can lose the weight together, starting in June :)
(I had 2 great cartoons in this post, but they didn't last long because they weren't supposed to be pasted or something, so that's it for now!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My new best friend

Meet the giant pillow that now takes up 1/3 of our bed. It's the most comfortable thing I've ever encountered. It keeps me sleeping on my side, since I'm not supposed to sleep on my stomach anymore.

Putting the pillowcase on was so difficult that I had to go primate (that's when you use your feet like a second set of hands, chimpanzee-style). Notice how helpful Dave was (oh that's right, he just laughed at me and got the camera).

Success! (Friends--please keep your dirty comments to yourself, or email them. Keep in mind that family members read this).

This just in

Yesterday we got 2 big phone calls:
1. My first trimester screening results came in, and everything looks normal (it tests for Downs and other trisomy syndromes). We had no reason to think anything would be wrong, but it's still nice to be able to cross some worries off the list.

2. We got the apartment! So soon we will be moving to Riverdale, into the (comparatively) giant new place :) Thank goodness. If we had to stay here, this baby would be living on a shelf in the closet. Here's a picture of the new dining room & living room:

Of course, the stress now begins about the sale of this place. We're hoping that the board loves our buyer and approves them quickly---if not . . . well, let's not think about if not. Just send good vibes to our buyers.

Monday, November 19, 2007

It's SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is one of my favorite moments of the year--first snowflakes! I can't imagine ever living in a place where I couldn't see snow every year :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What do you do?

If a 5 year old can't mentally picture your job, I have no idea what you do.

Like this---are you a policeman (is policeperson the pc term)? Or a zookeeper? A cashier, a doctor, work on an assemblyline a la I-love-Lucy? No? Then what the hell do you do all day?

Some of my friends explain that they "invest other people's money in hopes that they'll end up with more than they started" . . . ok, but I still find myself wondering "Yes, but what do you do all day?" Sit at a computer? Walk around an office----do you have an office? Or a cubicle? A workspace? Do you look at your coworkers all day? What do they do? Does someone like Dwight work next to you, using a ruler to delineate the territory line between your space and his?

My daily existence this week has been exhausting, but it's at least it's all easy to envision. Here are some tidbits from my life this week:

60: The number of minutes Dave & I spent in our board interview (for our new place). We were clearly the social event of the week for our interviewers, who chatted about eerything from skunks to "that one time I took the subway the wrong way".

537: The temperature in the room that we had to sit in for the above interview.

15: The number of classes I taught this week. The highlight was teaching 10 year olds about how the digestive system ends with flush. They love that crap (literally).

94: The number of paper bags that I decorated and filled with popcorn for our movie party on Friday.

140: The number of kids I teach. Tues & Weds we had parent-teacher conferences, so this is close to the number of grades that I had to explain.

7 years: The amount of data that was accidentally erased from my computer on Tuesday afternoon (not by me, by computer people). Yes, 7 years worth of work-poof!

2: The number of times I went to the hospital to visit one of my kids, who was hit by a car. I have nothing funny to say about that.

1: Annoying tilted uterus. Yes, you read that correctly. My organs are tilted, so when I went to the midwife (Weds) we couldn't hear the baby's heartbeat. Who has tilted organs? I guess this isn't that uncommon, but it's annoying.

13: The number of weeks along I am now :)

Oh yeah, and I moved the blog. That other site I tried out was not really for blogging, although they called it a blog site. This one is a lot easier. If you liked the other one better you can drop me an email at:

Baby Update

The baby is now the size of a peach-about 3 inches long. This past week it's vocal cords have formed, and 20 teeth and sockets have formed in the gums. It finger dexterity has improved, and you could now tell whether its a boy or a girl (even though we're not going to find out!).

If you want to see what a baby like ours looks like (and watch it move) check this out (it's a 4D ultrasound): (it says 11 weeks because that's the age of the fetus, not the length of the pregnancy. It's confusing, but trust me, that's what our baby is like now)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The blog begins . . .

I have no idea what I'm doing. Do not come here with high expectations of wit or regular updating. We'll see what happens. Lisa has kept a great blog going since she was pregnant with my first nephew, and people (like me) love checking it to see new pictures, etc. So I thought it was worth a shot. Right now the baby is about the length of my pinky finger from head to butt (that's how they measure these things). It's about 2 1/2 inches long. See the new pic below! Now that we're past 12 weeks, I'm starting to feel like this whole pregnancy thing is a little more real, so we're starting here . . .

Here's my pregnancy test from September 12th. You're looking at something I peed on. Hee hee.

This is the baby at 9 weeks- it looks like a gummi bear! That fact made my friend Dan sing the Gummi Bear cartoon theme song, which was stuck in my head for a while. Now it is again.

And here it is now--the 12 week picture. If you're good at checking out ultrasound pics, you can actually see the outline of the face (nose, mouth, etc).