Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Summer Celebration & Pre-Baby BBQ

What a weekend we had August 11 & 12 celebrating the upcoming arrival of Baby Westy and my 28th birthday! Sorry for the delay in posting these photos & recap (I had some technical challenges). Better late than never...

The weekend began with the Friday eve arrival of Grandpa & Grandpa Cochrane and Aunt Katie - ready to help with some final clean-up and prep. Saturday was filled with a flurry of prep, all coordinated by our awesome & incredibly organized hostesses, Lauren, Beth & Alisha (also special thanks to Alisha's husband, Stephen). Their attention to ALL the details was amazing - from the beautiful bright pink daisies to the pink gingham ribbons wrapped around green napkins. Around 4pm our courtyard began buzzing with dear friends & family... and with the cool drinks, watermelon, and delicious burgers & brats (thank you Cochrane brother BBQ crew!), the celebration rocked on until early evening.

Though we were exhausted after the day's events, we were also blown away by the love & support shared by so many. It was awesome to catch up with many who traveled for the party and/or we rarely see. Special thanks to the beautiful hostess crew who made the day possible - we love you! We are blessed to be surrounded by so many people who are excited to welcome Baby Westy into this world and we are encouraged to know they'll be there to support us as we enter this new adventure.

After sleeping in on Sunday morning we capped off the weekend with a special birthday brunch at Stanley's Kitchen (a Cochrane/Keeton family fave) in the West Loop. Celebrating my 28th birthday, it's crazy to think we'll soon experience an actual birth-day! On this final birthday sans-child (at least outside the womb), I wanted nothing more than to relax. So after brunch, we enjoyed a day on the couch in the AC (am I getting old?).

Our awesome hostess & host crew - Alisha, Stephen, Beth & Lauren

The STRONG and beautiful helper, Aunt Katie

The Cochrane brother BBQ crew - Carey, Kev (Grandpa C), & Dan

Matching bumps - Leslie & Sarah

A birdseye view - the party rocks on

The morning after - Stanley's Birthday Brunch

Monday, August 27, 2007

When is Baby Westy coming?

I was hoping to have an actual ETA update after this morning's MD apt... but sorry, folks, there's really not much to report in the ETA world. The good news is Baby Westy still appears to be thriving in her cozy home that is my belly. Her heart rate is as we'd desire and I show no signs for concern. As big as she is (and as I feel) it really is amazing that she can still find the room to be so active in there. But I guess that's how this works.

Since this week marks week 37 (If this means nothing to you, like me until just a few months ago, babies typically come without concern between weeks 37 & 42. When you hear people say their due date, that's week 40. But since it's all a bit of a guesstimate, weeks 37-42 mark the magic window), and they "won't let" me go past week 39, it's safe to say she'll come in the next 2 weeks. If she doesn't come on her own before then, we'll have an ultrasound next Tuesday where we'll get another assessment of her size and then discuss the realities of either inducing labor or scheduling a c-section.

Today's MD did give me a little hope when she pressed on my belly and said, "Your baby's big, but not huge. Who knows, maybe the size estimates are off a little bit." We shall soon see...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Some Fave Chi-town Restaurants

As most of you know, one of the Westy's fave pastimes is dining out around Chicago. Pending our mood or taste, this can range from a convenient pub in our own backyard to an exploratory journey across the city. We find inspiration in everything from friend's recommendations, specialist resources like Chicago Chowhounds or LTH Forum, or even a menu stuffed in our mailbox.

Over our 5-ish years in Chi-town, we've developed a nice list of faves. In a city with so many choices, how does a restaurant become a fave, you ask?

For us, (not exactly culinary experts, but up for trying anything once), it's really a combination of things. Rationally, it's the menu offered, food's taste, setting, service, and price. But it's probably the emotional drivers that really get something on the list. Does the spot consistently deliver? What were/are our expectations when we go there? Do we love the place's story/people? Do we always go there for a particular occasion/with special people?

All things considered, we share our list of faves (in the list section at this page's right) for you to check-out/enjoy. It's always growing, so check back often. And let us know, what are your faves?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Nighttime feeding

I was hoping tonight would be the first night in a long time without the need for a nighttime feeding. But as you can tell by the hour of this post, no such luck.

Wait, Sarah, I didn't think you had the baby yet, you say?

You're right... we're talking Sarah feedings here.

Yes, in an effort to bring my bloodsugar back up to normal, I've recently been plagued by the need for nighttime feedings anywhere between 2 and 4 am (or both). On Wednesday my doctor explained that toward the end of pregnancy my insulin needs, which have been really high throughout the pregnancy, decline as the placenta gets older. She then reduced my overnight insulin rates and sent me home dreaming of a night with no need for juice guzzling and/or applesauce downing. But with tonight's 1:50am count of 45 (target is 80-100), I guess we need to drop the insulin rate even more. I'll explain more on this subject in a future post RE: Diabetes & Pregnancy.

So here I sit slurping my applesauce doused with sugar (I finished the juice last night) - contemplating if I should also brush my teeth before dozing off again, watching the natural light show out the window. Baby is dancing... she must like it. Maybe this is God's way of training me for the nighttime feedings in my future.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Things I'm Thankful For

Nearing the end of this pregnancy in late August, and carrying a rather large little girl, it's fair to say I'm getting rather uncomfortable. Out of respect for those who don't care or don't want to be scared away from having their own kiddos, I'll spare you any more details.

Because it gets so easy to focus on the negatives (and for some reason, it seems like pregnant women feel as if they have a free pass for being negative), I'm trying really hard to practice a "focus on the positives" approach. For those who remember Pollyanna... it's kinda like her Glad Game. Now don't get me wrong, this doesn't make the discomfort or not-so-great realities go away, but it does help to not let them overtake me. I guess you'll have to check in with Rye to see how well I'm executing this approach.

Below is a list of the things I'm very thankful for right now. Or considered another way, things I wonder how women survive without. What are you thankful for today?

1. Central air conditioning... and my husband understanding my desire to keep it a few degrees cooler than normal
2. A car - not having to take public transit or walk everywhere
3. A job that lets me work at home
4. In-unit washer & dryer
5. Health insurance that allows me to receive excellent care
6. Not having to work a second (or third) job
7. Family & friends who are incredibly helpful and excited to meet this baby
8. Relatively easy access to and the ability to have, the things I want, when I want them
9. Trevor, our dog walker, who prevents me from having to take any extra steps in the heat
10. A loving and involved husband

Monday, August 13, 2007

Growing Bump

Are words really necessary? With a 7 lb. 9 oz. baby in my belly today (35 weeks)... it's hard to believe I thought I was big at 21 and even 27 weeks. I guess it's all about perspective. These pics definitely capture the progression from a mini bump to what now feels like a mountain. Really, how does the human body do this? And thank goodness for the amazing Bella Mama Belly Butter!
11 weeks

14.5 weeks

20 weeks (after baby's first 5K)

27 weeks

32 weeks (baby is 5 lbs. 15 oz.)

35 weeks (baby is 7 lbs. 9 oz.)

35 weeks (baby is 7 lbs. 9 oz.)
38 weeks (9.3.07)

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Brandtrust SURPRISE Baby Shower

I suspected something was up when Beth asked me to be in the office on Wednesday (I now work at home several days a week)... but I honestly wasn't sure what. I thought it was a little early for a pre-baby celebration, and with my birthday coming up, I thought maybe we would celebrate early.

So when Katie asked me to help her with something in the copy room and Steph suggested we take a walk to chat/bring lunch back, I was happy to go. Little did I know I would return to a SURPRISE luncheon baby shower! My Brandtrust friends/colleagues really know how to throw a party.... complete with great food, fun decor, and a surprise special guest - Ryan! Highlights include everyone's baby name guesses (Katie's pick, Wicked Wichuthu Westrom, wins the creativity prize), the birthdate pool (winner gets a $100 Banana giftcard), amazing creme bruleƩ cake, and a very generous gift card for our stroller.

Thank you BT!