The Gill Family Webpage

Thursday, July 30, 2009


We moved into our new temporary home this weekend. I promise pictures when I find the camera and have unpacked the last few boxes.

Overall, the move went smoothly (in theory). A friend came by on Saturday AM and we loaded up the POD with some of the bigger furniture items that we needed to pack away. A co-worker of mine came by afterwards to pick up a few items that we would not be moving (a chair, lamp, rug, etc). Everett mowed the lawn for one of the last times and Zoe and I were busy at the playground or packing boxes inside.

On Sunday, three more friends came over to help us move. They looked kinda mad when they got there and I started to feel bad about asking them to come help us move early (not early for us, but these are single guys!) on Sunday. Turns out they were all nursing hangovers and didn't feel their best! But I'll tell you what - you know who your friends are on occassions like this because none of them complained a lick while they hauled heavy boxes, bed frames, and furniture out to the U-Haul. I'm gonna really miss these guys! Around 4pm, we had all our belongings in the duplex and had returned the U-Haul. All that remained in the house was the little stuff - mainly kitchen goods (food, utensils, pots/pans, etc) and some things that needed to be packed away downstairs (camping supplies, tools, bed linens).

All sounds good, right? Please indulge me while I bring up the other side of the move. Did I mention that Everett and I were sick as dogs from about Friday on? Zoe was sick last week and was diagnosed with an ear infection on Thursday. She seemed to have recovered fine, but Mom and Dad were ill. I think all the dust that had been kicked up during the move decided to come and congest us. And the congestion stayed. Of course, all the moving and lifting and packing did not make us feel any better.

Add to this the fact that Zoe started to really "act her age". She's two, remember? And terrible she was! She kicked me, hit me, pulled my hair, yanked my glasses, and said NO to me more times than I think she ever has! She cried and whined for no reason and did not listen a lick to what Mommy was saying. And she refused to nap. Awesome! By Sunday night, my belly was straining and I couldn't take it anymore. This was the worst Mommy Weekend I have ever had! I felt horrible! I didn't have the energy to deal with her so instead of re-phrasing things to sound more positive ("Please don't hit Mommy, that hurts" versus "STOP IT! NO!") or re-directing her attention ("Look! There's Dora - go play with her!"), all I could do was say NO myself and plead with her to be nice to mommy. While Everett gave her her bath on Sunday night, I just collapsed on the couch, clutching my aching belly, and cried. I felt like I failed my daughter by being mean and losing my temper. I hated that. And still, 4 days later, I still feel as awful as I did on Sunday when I think about it.

Later that night, after Zoe had gone to bed, I crept into her room. She was asleep on the "big bed" (a double bed, not her Dora bed) and she looked so precious laying there on her belly with the passy half out of her mouth and her little arms and hands tucked underneath her raised butt that I couldn't help but smile, run my fingers through her blonde locks, and give her a kissy-kissy on her chubby little cheek.

Things are better today than they were this past weekend. Everett turned the corner yesterday and today I can say that I feel better than I have in a week. Zoe has abandoned the devil child that took residence inside her and is starting to act more normally. She's not all "Yes, Mommy whatever you say", but she's not a raging brat either. She's just acting like a normal 2 year old testing her limits for sure, but knowing where to draw the line. We will not be closing on our house tomorrow as originally planned, but we're hopeful that it will happen next week sometime.

And so we wait.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Moving my nest

It seems like only yesterday we were getting the nursery ready for Zuzu. My nesting instinct hit hard, especially in the last trimester, and I did almost nothing at night, but sit in the nursery, cleaning and organizing, and decorating. When I wasn't doing those things, I would sit in the glider in the nursery, rubbing my belly, humming some tune, and day dream about what life would be like when my little babushka made his/her arrival.

Fast forward to this pregnancy's last trimester: I have no nursery in which to make a nest! I am actually deconstructing my first baby's nursery. I've been packing up box after box with toys, books, CDs, and clothes. These boxes are slowly making their way from the house to the POD sitting in our driveway. Bye bye nursery.

It's not as though we're not making preparations for Mango though. I've got bags and boxes packed for him/her which will find their way to the duplex we've rented until the Fall. I have bought some clothing items (I just can't pass up those cute little baby clothes!), but most are in the 6 month plus range. We saved so many items from Zoe's first few months that I think we'll be set for at least a few months after Mango arrives whether he's a he or she's a she!

What's more, we're not packing my paints. As in, they'll be moving to the duplex with us so that we can all paint Mango his/her own Mom and Dad paintings like we did for Zuzu. The new nursery theme will be "Under the Sea". Very original, I know! But we like fishing and going to aquariums and the like, so we figured it would be perfect. We even got Mango a fish mobile while we vacationed in Mexico a few months back. I think s/he will love it!

Finally, as proof that while I may not have an actual nest, I still have a nesting instinct, check out the photo of the boxes. What you see is 1/10th of the number of empty boxes we have in the house right now. I have been collecting them for the last 2 months from work and other places in anticipation for the move. I have a problem though: I can't stop collecting them! Since I can't really lift anything heavy (although I do sometimes) it's my way of helping our family move. Everett finally told me, "No more boxes!" (very politely of course), but I can't help it. Don't tell him, but I have two more big boxes sitting in my office as I type this!

So Mango, know that even if we are not able to prepare a physical nursery for you before your arrival into this world, we have been planning a mental nursery for you for a long time. We love you and can't wait to meet you!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gotta gooooooooooo!!!

83 steps. That's about how many it takes to go from my office to the ladies' room all the way at the other end of the hall. The pictures barely do the hike justice! And with an average of a billion (1,000,000,000) trips a day to the Land of the Self-Flushing Toilets, that's a lot of steps!

120 stairs. That's how many there are between my office and the 6th floor lab where I collect my eye movement data. I used to take the stairs most of the time between the 2 destinations, but it just kills me now to walk up even one flight of stairs.

75 days. That's how many days until Mango's appearance (assuming s/he comes on time!) and also the number of days I have left working at Vanderbilt (well, minus weekends). I have mixed emotions about that right now - I've been here for almost 6 years! For now, let's just say I'm looking forward to seeing my Maginator in about 10 1/2 weeks!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy (belated) Father's Day!

I know, I know, I'm about a month off, but that's life. We were actually away from the bambina on Father's Day as she spent it with her Grandma and Papa while Everett and I were checking out South Florida, our soon-to-be new home. But just because the designated day for honoring one's father has passed, it doesn't mean I can't honor the father of my children today!

This year, I wanted to thank Everett for all the things he's taught Zoe so far. After all, along with loving and providing for his children, teaching them things is one of a father's greatest gifts to his children. So in no particular order, here are some things that you've taught Zoe:

1. Being polite is not overrated. Zoe has learned to say not only "please" and "thank you", but we've been teaching her that demanding "Milk PLEEEEASE!!!" is not the right way either. Slowly but surely, she's learning that the full phrase goes something like, "May I please have some milk?" which usually comes out as, "Zoe have milk please?" Everett's real good about reminding her that it's not nice to shout out one's demands.

2. There are many genres of music out there that are appropriate in different contexts. You see, in Daddy's car, they listen to "Gansta Rap" (thanks XM radio), and this genre of music is not the same type of music as reggae. Just try switching the station on this child! In Mommy's car, we listen to "Mommy's music" (usually country) or "Spongebob", aka "Zoe's music". Under no circumstances is NPR "music" so don't even try it! I think it's funny that when Zoe gets on her little bike now she "turns on her radio" to Spongebob.

3. Food is fun. Daddy imparted Zoe with the knowledge that yogurt melts can actually stick on your nose if you lick them first. Um, thanks for this one, Daddio!

4. Give Mommy hugs and kisses when she's sad. So I'm pregnant, right? Which means anything can set me off crying - a story in the newspaper, a book, a commercial, my thinking about our uncertain future, anything! When I start to get teary-eyed, Daddy sends Zoe over to give me a big hug and kiss. Sometimes that makes me cry more, but it's worth it!

5. Breakdancing. This is a recent skill that Daddy has passed on. He taught her "The Arm Wave" - the one where you start moving one arm and then the other as though a fluid wave has moved through them. She'll be ready for the dance clubs before we're ready for her going to them!

6. 360 is the number of degrees in an entire rotation. One of the favorite Daddy-daughter bonding moments that always make me cringe a little is "Whomping Time". Zoe looks at her Daddy with a little gleam in her eyes and says, "whomp time Daddy?" Trust me, it sounds worse that it actually is, but it involves Zoe being swung by her ankles upside down and then "whomped" down onto the couch in a fit of giggles. There are two versions of the whomp: the 360 version and the tick tock version. In the first one, Zoe gets swung completely around, and in the second one, she's swung back and forth like a pendulum. If there's a mirror around for her to watch herself being propelled through the air, then it's extra giggle-inducing. Give me strength!

There are the other usual lessons too, like what these things called letters are for and that lima beans and brussle sprouts are yummy, but I thought I'd point out a few of the more unusual lessons. Thanks for being unusual Everett! Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

How sweet it ain't

So last week we had our 6th doctor's appointment of this pregnancy. We were at week 27 (now at week 28) so it meant I had to do the routine screening test for gestational diabetes. I got to drink the super sweet and nasty orange drink and then get my blood drawn an hour later to see what my blood sugar content was like. All else went well with the visit and as we were leaving we even took a pregnant picture outside the office. You can see I'm getting BIG. Our doctor was the third person in less than two days who exclaimed that I was "really popping out now"!

While they were drawing blood for the diabetes test, they made sure to draw enough for a test to see if I had contracted Fifth Disease. This is an infection that kids get and it turns out that someone in Zoe's daycare had it so they cautioned all expecting mothers to alert their doctors about the possible exposure. This disease can be really nasty if a pregnant women contracts it - especially if she does so early on in her pregnancy. Even though I was well past the "early on" stage, I was worried that I may have it and that bad things were happening in my uterus. Like I needed to worry more, right?

Well the doctor's office called a few days after the test and the nurse told me she had some possibly bad news. I panicked. I immediately thought I had tested positive for that horrible disease. My mind raced as I thought back to everything I had read about it and its impact on my unborn child. I was taken aback when she said that while I did not test positive for Fifth Disease, I had failed my glucose monitoring test "in a big way". I could have gestational diabetes she said, but we needed to do a follow up test to be sure. She again told me not to worry (yeah right) as she gave me instructions to "carb load" over the weekend and show up Monday morning having fasted that morning for more blood tests.

So I spent all of Monday morning alternating between being poked with a needle (4 separate draws an hour apart), reading a very good, but depressing, book, playing Sudoku on my iPhone, and attempting to stay awake. Good times people, good times. But it all paid off! I heard this morning that I do not have gestational diabetes!! I am so relieved! This pregnancy has been full of false alarms - more than we encountered with Zuzu's incubation. I am just hoping we won't have any more issues to worry about!

Mango, be good in there! I'm trying my best to be a good and healthy vessle for your journey. I can't wait to see you and tell you how wonderful it was to spend so much time in close proximity to you, my little munchkin.