Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Random thoughts

And now, for an assortment of random thoughts by yours truly.
  • I'm almost ashamed, but not really, to admit that yesterday at the grocery store I purchased: TWO cases of chocolate and vanilla swirl pudding packs (for the record, the last time I even ate a pudding pack I was like, 7. And no, they weren't buy one-get one. I just needed two), chocolate chip granola bars, chocolate covered graham cracker cookies (and ate a third of the box), angel food cake mix, and cool whip. The good news is that I resisted chocolate donuts. And now I want a chocolate donut... (interesting fact? Until I delivered Eleanor, I was never a "crave chocolate" kinda gal. I figured that part of the female DNA bypassed me. Apparently, birthin' a babe was all it took for that switch to get turned on). 
  • My child has been eating like a cow lately. I think she's been inspired watching her mama go to town. Two nights ago she downed two rather large plates of chicken curry, black olives & rice. Last night it was Ricotta, Spinach and Chicken stuffed Manicotti, more rice, and helped herself to several (yes, three) slices of fresh french bread. Growing much, baby?
  • If she hears the word "shower" she bolts to the bathroom, removing her clothing as she goes. Doesn't matter if she was invited to join along in the bathing, she's diving in. 
  • Ellie wants to be potty trained. I just know it. But, I really, really don't want to deal with having a potty-trained toddler while we're out and about. How horrible is that? The thought of packing up a potty along with spare clothing, always asking if she needs to go, or rushing to find the nearest public toilet sends me heading to the figurative diaper aisle (we get ours from Amazon) and stocking up. Also? She's now in size 6, which I'm pretty sure is the last size they make. Looks like I might not have a choice in the matter.
  • Even though I can see 30 on the horizon, my mama still spoils me. She took it upon herself to hire me a once-monthly housecleaner for a little while. Honestly, this is one of the nicest gifts I've ever received. Coming home to the cleanest house I've ever come home to this week was mindblowingly incredible. Maybe some people would think that having your mom pay for house cleaning would be an insult to the way they keep their home, but all I could think of was "THANK YOU! YES PLEASE!"
  • Something about having a clean house has triggered a nesting I never really had the first time around. We've got about 15 weeks left now and I'm making all sorts of lists about what I need to have done by the time the baby arrives. Poor husband... The "kids room" as we call it is currently functional for two babies, and just needs some tweaking to make it more effective & efficient. I don't care too much about decorative details, and in a pretty small house, the number one thing is organization and efficiency. I've got a small handful of gender neutral outfits, loads of onesies and receiving blankets, nursing tops and bras in all sizes, and all we need are some diapers. And to keep the house clean. And some names picked out.
  • I'm hungry. again. As always.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Let's Just Stay Positive

I feel like I've been complaining a bit too much lately on this ol' blog. Or, maybe it hasn't been completely transpiring to the blog, but there's definitely been a lot of negativity in my head, swirling around. I've gotta work on changing that, so while I do, I thought I'd jot down some things I DO like about being pregnant (lest anyone think I'm ungrateful!) and things I'm looking forward to.

Here goes:

  • Mac N Cheese. Yeah, I make no excuses here. I'm a carbs & cheese addict, and let that habit take center stage while gestating. 
  • Never being alone. I like having a permanent little buddy with me at all times. After El was born, I missed having the pseudo-company with me at all times. I could talk to her and she'd nudge me back. She's still my sidekick, but it isn't the same
  • Kicks. Speaking of sidekicks, there is just nothing like it. No matter how much pregnancy and I don't get along, I will never, ever get tired of feeling my baby move inside me.
  • Camaraderie. Other mama's and mama's-to-be look at you knowingly and smile. It's almost like they're wishing me luck or something...
  • Driving in the HOV lane defiantly by myself. Okay, I've only done this a couple of times, and always on on or off ramps, but still... if I was to get pulled over and challenged, I've got some right-wing rhetoric ready about how my fetus is a person too, and therefore, we are a high occupancy vehicle. 
  • My belly. I wish it didn't make me quite so uncomfortable, and quite so difficult to bend over, but I LOVE it. I love that it's big, and out there, and it showed up around 6 weeks so I didn't even have to wait to "look pregnant."
  • Foot rubs. My husband rubs my feet (with lotion!) when I ask for it. This is a pregnant only treat in our house, and I'll take it!
  • Guiltless, apology-free living. I absolutely refuse to apologize, or feel guilty for, living in a way which would have previously been a lot less acceptable. I take naps almost daily. My house is nowhere near as clean as I'd like it to be. Heck, I'm nowhere near as clean as I'd like to be most days. Meals aren't always balanced, or even homemade, and my child watches a LOT of TV these days. And, I'm pretty fat and I don't get much exercise. Despite all this, I won't apologize. I'm doing the best I can do, given the hand of cards I've been dealt, and given the fact that no one else knows what it's like to be me right now. Am I getting tired of living like this? Yep! I'm totally ready for live to get back to normal, and to live up to my own non-pregnant standards. But, this is the way it is for now, and I'm just fine with that. More-so, I'm proud of what I'm accomplishing. Doing my best & growing a human.
I'm sure there's a lot more. In the meantime, I'll remember these key 8 things and smile. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Weight Of It All

Perhaps I should title this one "The Wait Of It All" - after all, in this case I'm referring to both the waiting as well as the weight, and how both feel so... heavy. (you're reading saying, "Well, duh. Carrying extra weight feels heavy.") Let me get to the point. 

It seems like there have been points in my life where actions and consequences and turning points and decisions feel especially meaningful and especially burdensome. There have also been times in my life where I probably should have considered my actions a little more seriously, and some of the choices I've made have really effected me, long term. 

I'm feeling like the choice we made to have a second child has been hitting me like a ton of bricks, and every day we inch closer to the finish line (or, start line, depending on how you look at it!), I feel this weight coming down on me harder and harder. Coincidentally (or, maybe it's natures way of getting us to see the seriousness of what we are about to embark on), as my literal weight increases, so does the weight I feel on my shoulders. As I toss and turn to get comfortable at night, I realize it's not my body which is keeping me up, but my mind.

This should have been so obvious. And, by this, I mean, the significance of the decision to have a second child. I mean, we already have one, so we have a pretty good idea of what we're getting into. Instead, I feel it a hundred times more than I felt the first time. When we were planning for an expecting Eleanor, it was fun and exciting and new, and there was an idea that she'd just fit right into our family, and we'd roll with the punches together. And she has, and we do. But having a second? It's terrifying. It's making me envision being stretched thinner than I've ever been before, not only emotionally, but physically, spiritually, financially, relationally. I stay awake at night and wonder if we've bitten off more than we can chew. I wonder how my husband will adapt to what's certain to be a high stress couple of years. I wonder how Ellie will adapt. I wonder how I will possibly stay afloat, how I will care for two, how I will manage a home, how we can afford this, how we can maintain our marriage, friendships which are already so thin to begin with. Heck, I wonder how I'll even manage to get grocery shopping done. 

And all that's assuming we're having a healthy baby, normal delivery, easy breastfeeding. Basically, all that is assuming that we're having a child identical to his/her big sister's experience and personality - which we all know is not likely to happen.

Honestly? I feel like a teenager who was blindsided that her decision to become sexually active has resulted in a pregnancy. And the worst part about that is this was a planned pregnancy, a mutually agreed upon decision of what was (is) best for our family. 

So here I am. 17 1/2 weeks left and I'm just so overwhelmed.

I'm hoping this will all magically go away when this child is placed in my arms, but somehow, I have a feeling that there is much more reflection to come...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday domesticity

It's finally Friday afternoon and the weekend is in sight. Hooray! For those of us who don't have "real" jobs (ha! ha!) that tends to mean little more than a slight, but oh-so-significant respite from our usual days. For me, it means more family time, more help with the kiddo and more time to do things I want to do (I'll be honest. Usually that means take a shower sans toddler and something really exciting like mopping the floors or whatever I didn't get around to during the week).

I'm feeling pretty elated right now. Two days in a row I have forgone my usual routine of "nap while she naps" and have instead managed to get some stuff done around the house. It feels FANTASTIC. My new New Years Resolution is to nap less. I'm sure this will last all of a day, what with the third trimester quickly upon me, but I'll take it when I can. I was/am really starting to feel discouraged by how sick and tired I've been the last 22 weeks, and as a result, how sloppy everything around me (including myself & my appearance) has started to become.

Back to naptime. I've tidied up a bit, eaten some lunch and just popped a batch of granola into the oven. Here is the basic recipe I use. It's so much better and cheaper than the store-bought kind, and pretty customize-able. We have company staying over tonight, and I like the idea of having fresh homemade breakfast around which I can make the day before.

Needless to say, it's been a pretty long week. Last Friday Ellie started running a little fever, and by the weekend it was into the 102-103 range. When she's sick, this is a pretty typical range for her fever to hang out in for 24 hours or so, but by Sunday we couldn't get it down, despite piggy-backing ibuprofen and tylenol. Poor kiddo looked and acted quite sick, not to mention sounded absolutely terrible - wheezing, coughing, etc. On the advice of our family friend physician, we headed to Urgent Care on Sunday and waited out a chest xray, strep test, etc. Luckily, no strep & no pneumonia, but we were sent home with some antibiotics and an inhaler (side note: have you ever tried to get a 20 month old to use an inhaler? HA!) and a diagnosis of bronchiolitis (basically just inflammation of the bronchioles). She and I spent the whole week holed up in the house fighting her real fever, not to mention a serious case of cabin fever. Today she seems mostly better, which is great news. I think one more day of being cooped up and we both would have gone batty. :) (of course, it's 1:30pm and we still haven't left the house. Go figure!).

One last thought: I'm tired of reading about this crazy flu season. I'm even more tired about reading about people who think vaccination is ineffective or dumb. I want to yell at these people because vaccinations save lives, period. Are they 100% effective, always? No. But still. Get the darn shot. Do your part to help protect yourself, your kids, me, people with compromised immune systems and most importantly - my kids. That is all.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Halfway down

Crossing the 21 week mark today, and feeling... blah. Where is this mysterious "second trimester energy boost" that they say you will be getting? Didn't get it last time, and certainly haven't seen it yet this time. I *think* those energy boosts are reserved for the cute little preggos with the tiny little bumps who glow from the moment that special little stick tells them they are going to be mommies. Unfortunately for me, and for my husband, I am not one of those special ladies. :) I can surely count on two hands the number of times I have not crashed out for a nap in the last four months. And glowing for me is the sweat the vomiting leaves behind (still once a week or so...)

So, where are we? I know I gripe about being so chubby, but in reality I waver between totally embracing it, and yes, resenting the bigness. Obviously, things will get bigger before they get any smaller, and there's certainly a good chance that I will not be doing this again, so I may as well love it. To be totally cheesy, there is something pretty special about being pregnant over the holidays, especially when Nat King Cole sings "round yon virgin, mother and child." (Yeah, I know all these words don't exactly apply to me, but still... I feel a kinship with Mother Mary, being pregnant at the holidays).

We had our 20 week ultrasound, and one of my dearest friends came with me in lieu of my husband, which was pretty fun. We did NOT see the babe's gender (phew!), but did get to see everything else - and let me just say, this kid is very cute. We also saw a low placenta (no previa though, thankfully) which is anterior (that's to say, between the baby and my stomach wall) which is what I suspected, based on the lack of frequency of feeling movement. We also saw that the baby is currently breech, and there is as small heart flow issue (Trivial Tricuspid Regurgitation), which basically means that the triscuspid valve lets a little bit of blood back into the chamber it came from, instead of being a one-way passage only. The doctor didn't seem too concerned with this, and said we'd follow up with it at 30 weeks and then determine if any further steps need to be taken. Based on her apparent lack of significant reaction, I'm not really concerned either. I'm honestly more concerned that this baby stays breech, which I KNOW isn't really a concern until much later along. Still though...
Other than that, we're swimming. My dreams are getting pretty bizarre. Last night I dreamed I was naked in a church, all my former boyfriends were there, along with a plastic surgeon who was offering free surgeries. I told him all I wanted was my varicose veins removed, and he says, "you sure you don't want liposuction while I'm at it?" Thanks, dude. Thanks, subconscious. Also in my dream was Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast and Kung Pao Chicken and when I woke up, I couldn't decide which I wanted more. I think there's a chance both will be seen this weekend on the table. :) My hips & backs ache, second trimester headaches are upon us, as well as some fun thumping and kicking from the inside. I can't seem to live without a daily grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, and lately have really wanted peanut butter on everything. Okay then.

Next post will have an Ellie update. She's so awesome and fun right now, as well as being a bit of a handful. :) Kiddo is almost 20 months old, is starting to be potty trained, is affectionate and smart and helpful and I just love her so much it hurts.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Year Ago

Just over a year ago, I wrote this post on greeting 2012 with a request list for the new year, ala "The Secret."  Funny, I didn't believe in The Secret then, and still don't, but when I look back on the list, every item has come true. I attribute this to either coincidence or good luck, but in the spirit of not messing with what's worked in the past, I've decided I should take the same approach for 2013.

For fun though, here's what I hoped for out of 2012, and how it came true:

  • "significant change in our life which would create new responsibilities for one of us" - I was talking about leaving my job and staying home with Eleanor. Didn't want to be too specific (probably not the best idea to say on the internet that you are totally mentally done with work and don't want to it anymore!), but obviously, this came true! I believe March 9th was my last day at work, closing that chapter. I've been so thankful for the opportunity to stay home this year, despite how scary it can be to give up a paycheck and career trajectory. 
  • "more nights sleeping through the night than being up" - Check! Thanks to Ellie for learning how to sleep all night, most nights.
  • "continued health for our family" - while one of us had a couple bouts of kidney stones, I more or less discount this. It came with a decent sized hospital bill, but thankfully was not at all life threatening. (sounded pretty darn painful though!) Check! 
  • "Employment for those that wish for it" - This was for a specific person in my life, and I'm so relieved and happy to see this one come true. Check! Thanks, universe!
  • "news that 2013 might bring a new addition" - It's 2013, and yep, looks like we'll be adding to our family this year. Check! 
  • "An election which will bring leaders who encourage peace...." - No shame here, I was asking for President Obama to be reelected. Check! :)
  • "Deep joy & peace, and mostly happy days" - Not gonna lie and sugarcoat it, but there were some extraordinary stressful things going on this year which I specifically didn't blog about. Some days we were discouraged and depressed, not to mention incredibly stressed out. The one scenario which is keeping us from feeling completely settled is still in limbo, so that's kinda scary. BUT, at the end of the day & end of the year, we have our family, we have our health, a roof over our heads & a great support network, and mostly, a beautiful girl who brings smiles to our faces daily. I'll call this one a win. :)
So, for next year? My list is pretty simple:
  • An uncomplicated delivery which results in a happy, healthy baby and happy, healthy mama
  • A *relatively* smooth transition to becoming a family of four
  • Continued employment for those that want it
  • No major health crises for anyone in the family
  • A year of financial building
  • Mostly happy, peaceful days. :)
Okay, 2013. Bring it.