Monday, September 28, 2009

Ok, NOW the Baby Can Come . . .

The original 38 week picture

According to my OB, I've got about 12 days to go until Renae's little brother arrives. Of course we all know that date is quite theoretical. I could go tonight, or if he's like Renae, 3 weeks from now. Let's not think about that.

Anyways . . . this weekend I made my list of things that need to be done before Baby Boy Masson arrives. I had the basic cleaning list plus a few other things to do:

  • Type up instructions for Renae's baby-sitter (hopefully her Nana) which had to be quite detailed as my Mom will be watching Renae in a country where she does not speak the language. Our appliances are all labeled in Spanish, and of course if she needs to go to the store, the ingredients she's looking for will not be in English. This instruction sheet also includes information on how to use Madrid's public transportation, how to get to our park, and numbers of English speaking friends nearby. If I go into labor before my Mom arrives, my friend Paula will be driving from Caceres and she will really only need Renae's schedule. Check.
  • Get infant carseat out of storage and clean it. Check.

Showing Renae how to use the camera.

The most important list:
  • Paint finger and toe nails, as well as wax my eyebrows. Check.
  • Pencil in waxjob mistakes. Check.
  • Get hair highlighted. This was on my list before Renae was born, and I was so glad I did it! I for one felt disgusting after giving birth so to know that at least my hair looked decent made things a bit more sunny . . . Check.
  • Find new purse that will be big enough to hold both Renae's snacks etc., her brother newborn necesities, and of course, my new hooter hider! Check.

As you can see, I have the most important details on my to-do list. Now that all of that stuff is done, I'm ok with the boy coming. Sure, my house could probably use some more cleaning, but at least my hair and nails are done!

Again trying to help in the midst of her actually pressing the right button.

A new 38ish week photo with new hair and new photographer.

Speaking of that new photographer . . .

She had a great week of potty training last week! We are down to only using diapers at naptime and bedtime, and usually after her nap, the diaper is dry! She is going to use the potty on her own initiative. She's had a few accidents, but that's to be expected. We're still working on doing you-kn0w-what on a consistant basis. Friday we had quite the constipated little girl . . .

Renae's entry for her first art show. She calls it "Feets."

I had to post this picture that Renae actually took a few months ago. She had woken up and found her dressy white shoes. While we were still enjoying some quiet morning time, Renae found my camera, and took this picture. We absolutely love it because it's actually pretty good, and soo cute! Now there were also about 20 pictures after this one of the couch cushion, but we won't bore you with those. At least we know she can take 1 good picture!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Giving Birth in Spain: Pain Management

Outside view of the hospital where I'll deliver

This week I had what I consider one of my most important appointments. It was a meeting with an anesthesiologist. Here in Spain, you are considered pretty crazy to not want an epidural. In fact, I've heard it can be somewhat difficult to locate a birthing center that will allow you some of the birthing options common to women in the states. (water births, using doulas or midwives, going without IV's or pain medication, etc.) So for those of you who are really into that stuff: don't have a baby in Spain.

Spain however is the perfect place for me! I like being in the hospital around all that medical stuff. And I sure as heck am a fan of epidurals. I had a GREAT experience with an epidural with Renae. I was able to feel my contractions so I knew when to push, and it didn't slow down my labor. Any of my brothers and especially my mother will tell you that I. Am. A. Wuss. Jesse can really vouch for me as a few months AFTER I'd experienced labor, I was unable to handle the pain of a splinter being pulled from my finger. Jesse ended up using a numbing medicine on my finger so he could pull the sliver out without me fainting and screaming in pain (aka fear.) I do not handle pain well.

A typical recovery room

Back to my very important appointment this week. Each woman giving birth must meet with an anesthesiologist a few weeks before her due date. For me, this entailed going to the hospital and answering a series of questions from the anesthesiologist. What past operations have I had? How did I respond to previous anesthesia? Do I take any medicine? Do I smoke? He also looked at my mouth, and my spine. After that he gave me a form to sign which authorizes the hospital to give me an epidural at the appropriate time once labor has begun. I must bring the signed form, and copies of my 3rd trimester blood results in an envelope to give to the anesthesiologist who will administer my epidural. He also made a point to tell me I cannot have an epidural if that form is unsigned, and or left at home. You can bet I have that envelope clearly marked among my other necessary documents to bring and it's in my hospital bag ready to go. I will NOT be arriving without it!

So I guess if you want to go without pain medication during labor here in Spain, you could accidently forget to bring your signed form. Or . . . you could arrive too far along in labor to receive one. I guess I'd be ok with that . . . As long as the labor goes really, REALLY fast . . .

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Retreat from the City and from English

Piña de Horeb

We attended a retreat with our Spanish church this past weekend and had a great time. It was so nice to get out into some open space, and be completely surrounded by Spanish 24/7. You may be surprised that our lives aren't like that usually, considering we live in Spain, but when a family of Americans live in one place you can bet lots of English is spoken at home. We try and speak Spanish to Renae when we are around spanish speakers, and out in public, and of course when we are in a situation with other Spaniards, we speak Spanish (as much as we can).

Renae and Irene during some of the worship. The usually really like each other.

Baptisms in the river

On Saturday morning, we had the wonderful blessing of watching 5 people get baptized. It was neat to hear their stories of how they came to be followers of Christ, and why they were getting baptized. Each person could select one person who had been instrumental in their walk of faith to help the pastor with the baptism. I thought this was a really neat idea.

Lots of puppies roamed the camp ground! Renae was in heaven!

Renae was also sleep deprived . . .

Enjoying the beautiful fall-ish weather.

Renae has fallen in love with swings!

And I keep falling in love with her over and over again!

Walking back from lunch we found some grapes.

"Daddy . . . do I get some?"

Of course she does . . .

Can you tell Renae has become quite the Daddy's girl?


Yes, I was there too.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Good-Bye Fede

The Spanish countryside

Last Saturday we took a little trip with our friend Fede to his parent's chalet. Here, almost everyone lives in apartments and if you live in a house as we think of a house in the US, it's called a chalet. Some Madrileños have places in the countryside as a retreat from the busy city life. It was a great day to get out of the city, and enjoy a relaxing day with Fede and his parents.

Fede Sr. The grilling master. He's also known as Renae's Abuelo Fede.

Grilled meat . . . Does it get any better?

Upclose and personal with Renae . . .

She really enjoyed all the space to run and play. And be goofy of course.

And be sweet too . . .

Jesse and Fede headed to the community center for a game of Spanish pool.

Renae with her flower from Tío Fede

This week we also had to say good-bye to Fede. He moved to London to get a job and learn English. We had the great priviledge of taking him to the airport. He was a little nervous (obviously) as he was essentially moving to a new country with a new language, and no place to live or work yet. I would be nervous too!

Renae enjoyed playing with his suitcase. Seriously, anything on wheels . . .

Waiting in line can get boring . . .

And the last picture, right before he went through security (and before I started crying.)

Ok, one more hug . . .
We will miss Fede lots and lots but he hopes to come back at least once or twice before we leave beginning of next year. Thank goodness we'll get to see him!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here's One Way to Spend a Fall Night . . .

I'm not sure if I can believe it quite yet, but it appears summer may finally be over here in central Spain. This weekend saw temperatures in the 90's but Monday morning it seemed we'd turned a new leaf. Literally. The weather had cooled to the 70's and by the time Jesse's evening soccer game rolled around, it was cool enough for long sleeves and pants!

Jesse plays soccer once a week and I've always wanted to go watch. I decided this would be a good time as going out at night with a 2 year old and a newborn sounds about appealing as giving birth . . .

Can you see Jesse through the blurry shot? He's right in the middle in the red jersey.

Watch that fast foot action . . . that foot scored 2 goals by the way.
(And the other foot had an ankle that rolled, unfortunately.)

Renae wanted to play in the park and someone had to watch her.

Ready to head down the slide!

"Go Daddy!!!"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Go Iowa State!!

Reger family, you better cheer loud today!!! Wish we could be there!!! Renae is now walking around the house saying "Go sallcones" which is her version of "Go Cyclones." Papa, Tarica, Aunt Becky R, Trey . . . don't even bother commenting today. ;)

P.S There is another short video of Renae on Facebook.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Little Bit of This . . . A Little Bit of That . . .

A group of ladies were visiting from the states and volunteered to watch Renae this past week. Of course, we were thrilled to get a night on the town with free baby-sitters! One thing that we've really, I mean really missed, is having Grandparents in town to watch Renae.

Look familiar?

So once instructions had been given, Jesse and I hopped on a bus and headed into town with no stroller, sippy cups or wipes. I would say we went kidless, but I am still carrying around 1 kid. He's just super easy to take anywhere.

Attempt at a long arm shot.

Speaking of being pregnant . . . it's worth it! We decided to try Madrid's Hard Rock Cafe which is located in the Plaza de Colon. Although temperatures are still pretty warm during the day, the evenings are gorgeous and when we saw the restaurant had an outdoor eating area, we jumped at the chance to enjoy a date night out in the fresh air. However, it looked like all the tables were full and there was already a waiting list. So we gave up on the idea of sitting outside and told the hostess we needed a table for 2. He then asked if we wanted to eat inside or out. We said we'd love to eat outside, but was there any available tables? He told me that because I'm pregnant, I get priority seating and as soon as a table is available where I want to sit we'd get a page! No being put at the bottom of the list and waiting forever for the perfect date atmosphere. I could get used to this kind of treatment.

Long arm shot attempt #2. (The Hard Rock sign can just barely be seen above Jesse's head.)

The food hit the spot and the atmosphere of Hard Rock Cafe was just what we enjoyed. And we especially enjoyed seeing a couple out with twin 1 year olds who were screaming a good part of their parents meal. We felt bad for them, but glad for us that we were (almost) childless that night.

Ripping it open small piece by small piece.

Moving on . . . Renae's Aunt, Uncle and cousins sent her a birthday present! There were a few gifts for her little brother too and we enjoyed opening a package from family.

Swimming butterflies

"Thanks Aunt Britt and family! I love these butterflies and can't wait to use them in water!! Mommy also says she loves the pacifiers you sent for my brother because those are the kind she was wanting to get!!"

This is just a random video from a few weeks ago. Renae and I had to meet Jesse in town for something and while we waited, Renae ate her lunch from home and half of my smoothie. What a mootcher.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Renae's Ramblings: So What's With Mom's Belly?

I've got something I need to get off my chest. Please keep this on the downlow . . .

Ok, I don't mean to be rude here, but have you seen my Mom lately? She's really packing on the pounds! I noticed that when we went to Iowa she was starting to look a little "gorda." I thought nothing of it seeing as how we had just been in the land of plenty. I for one was stuffed full of all kinds of pre-packaged goodies. However, over the past few months I've seen her belly grow and grow and she doesn't seem the least bit concerened! What is the deal?? I have a few theories as to what is going on here:

Theory #1: While in Iowa, some native species took up residence in her tummy and has continued to grow. I suspect it came from one of the various restaurants we visited. To me, some of the food looked quite weird so I'm not sure I would have been able to distinguish between food and a live organism of some sort. Plus, all of the food servings I saw in the US were much larger compared to here so that could explain why the belly has become so big. The only thing I can't figure out with this theory is how big the species will get and if it will come out. I'm taking diligent notes. I'll let you know what I found out.

Theory #2: I know my Mom really likes to eat. Could it be true that she is really just becoming . . . "one of those?" I really hope not. Because so far, I'm not really benefiting from the excess food if that is the case. She tends to hoard the good stuff (ie: stuff from the states) to herself.

Theory #3: It has something to do with Daddy. This is the theory I'm most confident in. You see, Daddy doesn't seem to mind Mom's growing belly. Sometimes I even see him with his hand on it like he's proud or something. So it makes me wonder if there is an "It" in there, and if Daddy somehow put that "It" in there. Speaking of "It," I'm wondering if "It" might be what my Mom keeps referring to as Brother. She'll say to me, "Come say hi to Brother, Renae! Come kiss Brother!" I'm a pretty obedient child so I usually oblige. (Plus I'm really fascinated with belly buttons.)

Anyways, Mom and Dad say that "Brother" is in my Mom's tummy and I guess only time will tell if "Brother" is something that hitched a ride from the States, a name Mommy's given her obsession with chocolate, or indeed, some sort of human being! Renae the investigator will keep you updated!