Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Showered in love and cute pink stuff

Until a few weeks ago, we had nothing in the way of baby products and I'd been feeling pretty unprepared for this whole parenthood thing. That all changed after a couple of baby showers, thrown by my mom, sister, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. It's amazing what a bunch of women and a few carloads of gifts can do to bolster your confidence!

The first shower was held in Minnesota. My mom and sister put together a fantastic party, and it was great to see so many of my friends and family. I didn't have a chance to take many pictures of the actual shower, just before and after. Here are some highlights:

The centerpieces were cute little stuffed animals which match the nursery PERFECTLY.

They made little diapers out of napkins and filled them with mints:

Alisa decorated with baby clothes on a clothesline. Adorable!

The cake was supposed to represent a baby with a combination of both Jeff's and my qualities, but somehow the Packer/football theme seemed to overtake the literature theme. Typical.

My friend Jodi is pregnant and due shortly after me. The babies wanted to chat, so here they are, probably gossiping about all the cake we ate.

Grandma Pam, aka Party Planner #1:

Auntie Alisa, aka Party Planner #2:

Jeff's mom and sister threw a shower the following weekend. This too was a great success, despite some crappy weather. Again, I didn't take enough pictures to capture the awesome-ness of it all.

Susie had a cake made with baby pictures of Jeff and myself. It's a great way to guess what Baby Schmidt might look like. My prediction? Dimples.

Auntie Dana:

Grandma Susie:

Dana delivered her son Brennan in June. When he was born, I remember thinking how far away December seemed. How did the time fly so quickly?? Anyway, he's pretty pumped about meeting his new cousin. I can't wait to watch them grow up together!

Thanks to the generosity of our family and friends, we have pretty much everything we need (and more) for the baby now! The nursery is still a work in progress, but it's getting closer. It feels good to be more prepared, if only physically. As for the emotional preparation, well... I still have four weeks...

Thanks everyone!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Betsy's Adventure

As many of you know, Betsy ran away earlier this month. Some of Jeff's friends had come to Eau Claire from Minneapolis to surprise him. When they burst into the house, the front door didn't shut and in all the chaos Betsy escaped. Thus ensued a frantic search over the next day and a half. To say the least, we were devastated. Betsy has run away before, but has never been gone for more than a few minutes. We drove around Eau Claire, talked to the neighbors, called Animal Control and the Humane Association, posted lost dog notices online, and came up with nothing. Her name is on her tag and she's microchipped, but we didn't get a call from anyone. Nobody seemed to have seen her anywhere.

I was starting to lose hope after Jeff and I drove around searching on the second night she was gone, still with no results. I woke up several times that night to go to the bathroom. Each time, I went into the living room and checked for any sign of Betsy. At 3:00 a.m., I stumbled into the living room and was shocked to see her out on the deck, shivering and scratching at the patio door! Somehow, after being off-grid for 30-some hours, Betsy had made her own way home. She was limping a little and was VERY tired, but recovered within a couple of days and is now back to her perky little self.

Resting after her escape. What a stinker.

Since her return, we've asked Betsy about her little excursion, where she went and what she did, but she's not giving anything away. We've also chided her extensively about all the worry she caused, but she doesn't seem very remorseful. The entire experience has given us a glimpse of the emotional ups and downs that will inevitably come with parenthood. I don't know how we'll handle the stress, quite frankly. For now, we figured out a good way to contain Betsy in the baby's new play yard. :)


Officer in Training

It's been an eventful month. I'm going to do my best to summarize in a few posts.

I went to Washington, D.C. early in November for a conference. There wasn't much time for sight seeing, but I managed to walk around the Capitol a bit and take a few pictures.

We also took tours of the Capitol and the White House, both of which were really interesting. Cameras weren't allowed in the White House, which is too bad, since I saw a member of the first family in person, a mere 10 feet away. That's right... I saw Bo, the First Dog! He's just as adorable up close as on TV, and seemed totally unfazed by the crowd of admirers. I guess he's adjusted to his celebrity status.

The best part of the trip was being able to see my friend Dana, who lives in the area. She's pregnant with a baby girl too, so we made sure the babies got some time to hang out and chat, fetus to fetus. It was pretty clear to us that they're going to be great friends.

Baby Schmidt didn't go unnoticed by the locals in D.C. In between meetings with our Wisconsin legislators, I was walking near the Capitol when a machine gun-armed police officer stopped me. I racked my brain, wondering what federal law I'd broken and how I'd talk my way out of it. Fortunately, he just wanted to give me this super cool badge for the baby:

She looks good as a federal cop, doesn't she?

On the flight home, I realized that between work trips and vacations, Baby Schmidt has taken 10 plane rides and visited six different states in utero. I'll be sticking close to home for a while now, but I'm hoping the traveling has instilled a sense of adventure in our baby!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodbye, Friday night lights. See you next fall.

Last night was North's final football game of the season.  Not only did they WIN, but they played an outstanding game, with a final score of 54 to 22.  Way to go, Huskies!  What a great way to end the season.  I'm so proud of Jeff and all the work he's done to develop some great players. 

Pre-game huddle:

The proud coaching staff:

The wide receivers that Jeff coached:

Coach Schmidt with his two biggest fans (his wife and his mom): 

We're sad to see the end of the football season, but I'm glad to be getting a husband back for a few weeks.  Then it's on to basketball!

Dog = baby's best friend

I know what you've all been thinking since Jeff and I announced that we're having a baby: what will happen to Betsy??  How will she adjust?  Will she be jealous?  How will we possibly be able to continue coddling and spoiling her in the manner in which she's become accustomed?  Believe me, we've asked ourselves the same questions.  Frankly, I'm a little worried that the baby will have absolutely no idea that Betsy requires constant love and attention and might even expect that we devote more of our time and energy to her, rather than the dog.  Babies have some nerve, don't they?

A few weeks ago I watched our nephew, Brennan, and was eager to see Betsy's reaction to an infant in our home.  She was extremely interested in him, and even though she was a little clingy and anxious, I was pleased that she didn't try to tear his arm off or anything.  She actually tried to play with him a little (unbeknownst to him).

Can you tell which one is the baby here?

Betsy: "Fine, we can share the couch... for now."
Brennan: "What the heck IS this thing?"

Keep your fingers crossed that Betsy and our baby will be buddies.  Otherwise, it's off to a new home... for the baby, that is.  Only kidding.  I think. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


My birthday was last month.  It's not bad enough that I had to wear a bathing suit while pregnant, I also had to turn 30 without consuming any alcohol.  My child has no idea what kind of sacrifices I'm making for her.  Fortunately, I was able to compensate with some delicious Coldstone cake, courtesy of my husband.

Also, my friend Jodi got me this awesome maternity t-shirt!

Speaking of which, I'm officially 30 weeks into growing the person inside me.  Meaning she will make an appearance in about 10 weeks.  Meaning I'm freaking out just a little.  Here's a pregnancy update:

1) Baby Schmidt can now open her eyes and sense light/dark, weighs about three pounds, and is putting on fat quickly.
2) Bending over, walking, and getting up from the couch is starting to get uncomfortable at best and downright awkward at worst.
3) For the first time in my life, I'm consistently warm.  Even warmer than Jeff!  The other day he asked if we should turn on the heat and I thought he must be joking.  He wasn't.
4) The baby moves All. The. Time.  In the past month or so, her movements have evolved from sweet little kicks and nudges to what I can only assume are escape attempts.  I'm surprised I don't have bruises, the way she bounces around in there. 
5) I recently thought it would be fun to measure my belly.  Don't ask me why I thought that would be fun.  Suffice it to say that, in my doctor's words, I'm "growing very well."

There you have it.  30 years old and 30 weeks pregnant!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Me and my wolf pack

Last weekend I went to Las Vegas with some friends from St. Olaf, on what we like to call The Big Trip III (preceded by two slightly more local but no less glamorous Big Trips).  Despite the heat (103 degrees!), the close living quarters (six girls in one room... jealous?), and the fact that I was forced to wear a swimsuit while pregnant, the trip was a smashing success.  There was lots of walking, eating, drinking, pool lounging, laughing, gambling, Elvis sightings, Hangover references, and other memorable shenanigans over the course of three days.  I can't possibly document all the fun times in one post, but here are a few highlights:

One of the few benefits of being pregnant in Vegas is eating stuff like this and not feeling at all guilty about it.

The cotton candy was actually part of a brunch buffet.  Do they do things right in Sin City, or what?? 

I warned you there were Elvis sightings.

One of the best parts of the trip was meeting Alissa's daughter, Ella.  She's happy and adorable, and it was so much fun getting to know her.  It made me even more excited to meet my own little girl in a few months.

We took some time away from the Strip to see Alissa's house and Hoover Dam.  The dam was pretty impressive, although we all agreed it might have been more meaningful if we knew anything about its history or what it does (something about power generation?  there must be some kind of turbines involved?).

Straddling the Nevada-Arizona state line.

Here we are on Fremont Street, also known as the "original" Vegas strip.  Love these girls!

All in all, it was a fabulous trip and a great way to spend some much needed time together.  Thanks, ladies!

The end of an era

Earlier this month, my dad retired.  After nearly 40 years with the same organization, he's going to focus on the more important things in life: fishing, boating, and playing with his soon-to-be granddaughter.  We went over to his house for a barbeque to celebrate the big occasion.

Hopefully Margret can keep him busy in his retirement.  What's that saying again?  Oh yeah... "twice the husband, half the paycheck."

Information Systems Supervisor no more.  Congratulations, Dad, you've earned it!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Huskies vs. Some Other Team

North played their first home football game a week ago.  The Huskies lost 20-16, but the game was a nail biter... a pass into the end zone in the final four seconds would have changed the outcome, but it was just a little too long.  Regardless, the team played very well and we all have high hopes for the season!

Coach Schmidt had quite the fan section:

The youngest fan at the game with his godfather:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So this is what anxiety feels like

Pregnancy is a time of great excitement. It’s also a time of complete and utter terror. The closer I get to my due date, the more freaked out I get. And not just about obvious things, like if I’ll make it through labor or if my daughter will have all her limbs when she’s born. There’s other things too. Like, what if she robs a liquor store at age 15? What if she winds up in one of those polygamist compounds? Or on a reality TV show? What if she drops out of college to become a swimsuit model, or never understands the difference between “your” and “you’re”? What if she marries a NASCAR driver and buys all her clothes at Wal-mart? I could go on and on.

All of these concerns seem to result in the same scenario, which involves Jeff and I sitting in front of a psychologist who tells me I should have eaten more broccoli and watched less Bachelor Pad while pregnant. I’m not even playing Mozart for her in the womb! (Don’t worry, I already called social services on myself.)

That being said, there are a couple things that make me feel better about this whole parenting thing. The first is having Jeff around. Not only will he be a great father, but apparently was a very “spirited” child… meaning he’ll know how to handle it if our kid drives our car at age 12 and parks it on the wrong side of the street, getting the cops involved (yes, this actually happened, and no, I don’t know how Jeff’s parents managed to produce a relatively normal adult from this sort of monster).

The second is looking at this ultrasound picture. Something about it makes me smile every time I see it, and suddenly I stop worrying about all the ways we could screw up our baby. Instead, I start wondering what color her hair will be and what her laugh will sound like and whether she’ll be the first female president. The possibilities are simply mind-boggling, aren’t they?

An unexpected side effect

Since I got pregnant, people have been asking if I've been having any cravings or aversions.  I usually say no, but that's not entirely true.  For instance, I crave pretty much any fatty, starchy, salty, or surgary foods (basically the entire menu at Dairy Queen).  And I've been somewhat turned off by vegetables and all forms of exercise.  The problem with this is, Jeff works out on a daily basis, so by comparison my inactivity is borderline pathetic.

In a lukewarm attempt at getting in shape, I recently bought a prenatal yoga DVD.  I did it for the first time last night, and woke up to something even more alarming than the soreness in my legs... a very obvious belly!  It's like the baby ingested some steroids overnight.  I got several comments on the size of my bump today, so I know it's not just my imagination.  At 23 weeks pregnant, I shouldn't be surprised... however, I'm convinced that this growth spurt was a direct result of exercise.  I should have known better.

   By the way, I'm not the only one in the house who's taken up yoga.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Blog Post #1, wherein I sheepishly admit to reading Harry Potter 10 years after everyone else

For years, I've listened to people rave about the Harry Potter series.  Until now, I've secretly mocked them all for being sucked into such a fad and for saying things like "Hufflepuff" out loud without laughing.  However, I've begrudgingly started reading the books and lo and behold, I like them.  What's worse, I too now know the rules of Quidditch.  I guess not all fads are horrible.

Enter: our family's blog.  For me, blogging is a little bit like giving in and reading a popular series, years after the fact.  In the past, I've laughed at the idea of writing about my life and expecting people to actually read such ramblings.  But with the birth of our first baby looming on the horizon, it seems the most practical way to share updates and pictures of the family with anyone interested (i.e. our parents).  That said, I still have doubts about this whole process, so consider it an experiment until further notice.

Wish us luck!

Shana, Jeff, Betsy, and the Bun in the Oven