Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Week 32: Emotions, a To-Do List, and a Rodeo

***Disclaimer: this first paragraph is sentimental and deals with feelings.  It may make you nauseous***
It feels surreal to tell people I am 32 weeks pregnant.  Obviously, getting to this point and beyond was the goal of the whole 'getting pregnant' deal, but the joy of actually having a 3 pound baby moving around in my stomach is indescribable.  I love feeling his body as it pushes against the side of my stomach.  I'm always wondering, is that his head? Hand?  Butt?  Feet?  It often looks and feels as if he's break-dancing in there.  Kyle and I watch with wide eyes amazed to be seeing all the movement.   It's fascinating to think that 33 weeks ago, the baby didn't even exist, and now he's wowing his parents with all of his dance moves.  It hit me this week that this baby will make noises and smile.  I can't wait to see that first smile and all the smiles that follow!  According to one of my weekly baby newsletters, we are entering into a period of growth where I will be gaining a pound a week with half of that being added onto the baby!  Little boy's job for the next 8 weeks is to fatten up for survival in the outside of the womb.  I can already tell he's LONG.  I'll feel him right under my chest and under my belly button at the same time.  An average baby at 32 weeks would be 16.7 inches long.  I think my little guy is right about there!  In addition to all of the weight and length, he's developed toenails, fingernails, and real hair.  I'm wondering what color his hair is and if it will be curly or straight.  Whenever I see a baby, I ask myself, "Is that what he'll look like?"  I'm obsessed;  it's such a blessing to be able to be at this point in my pregnancy and life.  I can't believe there are only 8 weeks left to go.

Mushy feelings aside, the past weeks have been really busy, but in a good way of course.  When Kyle and I first got married all we did at night was watch t.v.- as in sit on the couch for 4 hours after work, then go to sleep.  Now, we actually do things.  They aren't always exciting, but we're not glued to the couch in a trance.  Most recently we embarked on an adventure that can only be described as purely American: we went to a rodeo.   It was a YEE-HAW good time and entertaining.  Imagine a horse hula-dancing, hundreds of children chasing calves covered in stickers, barrel racing, a clown accidentally setting his clothes on fire, and of course, bull riding.  Let me tell you, this was America at it's finest; I can't wait to bring Baby M to it next year!

This coming week, Kyle and I have a few chores to do to get the house ready for the baby.
-wash blackout curtains
-iron and 'hem' regular curtains
-hang curtains back up in the nursery
Progress- one curtain is ironed and... the board's been sitting out for 3 days.
-print off pictures for the frames in the nursery
-look for letters to hang above the crib
-figure out what to do with the dogs while I'm in labor at home (maybe kennel them for a night?)  They can be home when I'm at the hospital, just not while I'm mentally managing my pain at home.  We may not have two living dogs if one of them tries jumping on me during a rush.
-bring these plants back to life/compost them if I can't
-figure out the mantel.  Honestly, this has needed to get done since we moved in and believe it or not, the plants are a major improvement from NOTHING.  Can't keep my precious plants on the ground anymore with a baby on the way, but I fear that a combination of the plants and birds will make people sing "Welcome to the Jungle" when they come into our house.  I don't know, maybe that's cool?
-read Birth Skills by Juju Sundin
-recycle the massive glider box currently residing in our living room
All in all, the to-do list isn't too bad!

This week I've felt very pregnant.  When I hold the door open for people, they always comment, "Oh, I should do that for you."  Well, no- not really.  I can hold a door open.  Ask me in a month, and I'm sure I'll appreciate people opening doors for me, but for now, I can do it!  I've noticed my eating increase this week.  Maybe it's my own fault for having Kyle bake rocky road brownies, but we have a lot of great food at our house this week, and I've been eating a ton of it!  Easily 400 calories/day more than usual, and I'm eating constantly- like a monster. I also had a pregnancy symptom for the first time this week: numbness.  On Tuesday, I noticed my leg felt tingly while I was walking around at work.  I sat for a little while to see if it felt better, but it still felt tingly and was working it's way towards numbness.  Later as I was eating lunch, I noticed my hand getting tingly and numb. I googled the symptom and a website said numbness is most commonly caused by the baby laying on a nerve.  I then called my doctor who told me the same thing, her recommendation was to lay down and get the baby to move.   I looked around my classroom and decided the bean bag chair was the least-disgusting place to rest.  After laying down for a while, the babe moved and I had feeling in both my hand and leg.

Bump pic coming soon! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Week 31: Baby Halloween Costumes

Halloween used to be my favorite holiday of the year. I trick-or-treated all through high school and may or may not have gone once in college (go ahead, judge).  I loved everything about Halloween- wearing a homemade costume, trick-or-treating my entire neighborhood with friends, weighing my pillowcase full of candy, trading all of my Reese's Cups (sorry mom!), and staying up late.  Having the next day off was the icing on the Halloween cake!   My fondness for Halloween has dwindled over the years as it now means "Halloween party at school" aka chaos.  It also means I have to buy candy, which I end up eating.  Then there's the ever so popular doorbell ringing which makes the dogs go CRAZY.  Although honestly, it doesn't take much for that to happen! While there are many parts about Halloween that are a hassle, I do enjoy handing out candy.  The costumes are always cute, and the kids are always excited to get candy. 

Halloween is a big question mark for us this year.  We wonder will the baby be here?  Will he be born on Halloween? If the baby is here, should we hand out candy, put a bowl out on the porch, or just have our light off?  Then there's the most important question of all, what should our baby be for his very first Halloween?  This led me to peruse the baby costume sections of various websites over the past few weeks.  Take a look at some of the contenders for McBaby's Halloween costume.

This costume teaches a great life lesson- hot dogs: wear 'em, don't eat 'em.
I like bumble bees, but this looks a little too familiar....

Knew I'd seen it somewhere before..... 

Baby Elvis? 
Wondering if feathers like this would impress Lucy....
If only I were a Star Wars fan...
Does this lil' astronaut costume remind anyone else of Top Gun?
Obviously, this was a tough choice! Right now we're leaning towards this number.  It will be perfect for our tiny, crying sleeping little guy!  Admittedly, he'll only wear the costume for 5 minutes while we take pictures.  It would be even longer if Kyle got his way and took him trick-or-treating!

Check out the bump picks for this week!  I think the best view is from the front where you can tell I've got a big round lop-sided stomach. 

Just for fun...what were you for your first Halloween?
Personally, I have no idea.  If only my mom made me an awesome memory book so I could remember these things.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Week 29: Me, Whiny?

Whatever you do, don't ask me how I'm feeling.  Emotionally?  I'm a lot more stable than in past weeks.  Physically?  Well, I could whine for hours.  I def. feel my insides being compressed as little man gets bigger and takes up more room.  Incidentally, my stomach has shrunk while my appetite has grown.  Go figure!  The heartburn is RIDICULOUS.  When I describe it to Kyle he says, "That sounds like when I had an ulcer."   My lower back HURTS, and sleeping is the worst part.  Also, I can't lift simple things anymore like the laundry basket.  Not only is it too heavy, but I no longer have a hip to rest it on! Add onto that all the schweaty hours I spend at work and well, I'm a little whiny.  However, I believe in a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy so as long as you don't ask about how I'm feeling, I won't tell you! 

On Saturday, Kyle and I went to an 8-hour birthing class at our hospital.  The first part of the day focused on natural, intervention-free birth and breathing techniques.  The second part discussed medical interventions and c-section.  I knew about almost all the content since I had seen The Business of Being Born and read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.   Even though I knew the content,  I was happy to be informed of the hospitals point-of-view.  For instance, they are all about throwing the baby on your stomach after birth and getting right to breastfeeding.  Our nurse also said that the bed moves so you can try a bunch of different birthing positions.  Of course, the best part is that they will provide a mirror so I can see the baby being born!  Sweet!  It will be interesting to see how long I can watch that.... 

On Sunday,  Kyle and I were total bums; even so, I managed to finish McBaby's Memory Book.  I chose to make the baby book, rather than buy a pre-made one because I wanted to be able to personalize the pages. To make the book,  I followed this template from Young House Love.  

It's fun to think about all of the pictures we'll be taking of our little guy to fill the book.  Ranging from "My First Day Home" to "My First Christmas" all the way to "My First Birthday."  I love imagining what he's going to look like in all those pictures!

I had a visit to the nurse practitioner today, and asked a TON of questions!  What's the baby's position in my stomach? (He's transverse, as I suspected from the jabs at both ends of my stomach!)  At what point do we try to turn him? (He should turn on his own as his head gets heavier and gravity pulls it downwards, but if he doesn't we'll talk external turning around 36 weeks) Can I still be laying on my back when I sleep?  Do I need more sleep?  Why do I see so many bright floating spots when I look out a window?  How will I know if I've overheated at work?  What should I do if when I overheat? Are there any specific foods to avoid?  Eat more of? 

 I was glad I asked the last question because she told me my iron level was slightly lower than it should have been when I last had my blood drawn.  This was surprising as I religiously take my prenatal vitamin.  However, now it makes sense because I was taking it with dinner and after reading the vitamin's 'directions' recently, I learned that taking it one hour before drinking dairy or two hours after having dairy could reduce the iron absorption.  (I was downing my pill with milk every night at dinner!)  The 'directions' also said to avoid taking the pill with an antacid, which can also reduce iron absorption.  (I would take an antacid about every three nights at dinner time!)  So basically, a lower iron count makes sense, and I've learned to read the fine print that comes along with medicine.

In fur-baby news, Buster is keeping us busy.  On Wednesday night, Kyle and I had just finished dinner around 6 o'clock.  He headed out to the garden with the dogs while I went to my room to get ready to meet some friends.  When I came out of the room about twenty minutes later, all I could say was "What is that smell!?"  "It smells like a moldy turd."  "No, it's cat pee."  "Someone's cooking a dirty diaper."  This smell was AWFUL and yet so mysterious.  I wish I could share it with you scratch and sniff style through this blog so you could know just how terrible it really was.   After walking around our house for a while with a scrunched up face sniffing for the origin of the odor, I gave up and sat at the computer.  Note:  Kyle didn't smell it at all and thought I was making it all up.  While sitting at the computer, I noticed Sissy sitting right next to Buster. Nothing out of the ordinary; those two cuddle all the time.
Before I knew it, Sissy was licking Buster's neck!  She had NEVER done this before, and I freaked out because it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen.  All adorable doggy-times must come to an end, Sissy stopped licking Buster, and they got put into their kennels.  Fast forward two hours, and we're back home.  Kyle let the dogs out, and Buster jumped up onto my leg.  I reached down to pet him and felt a huge patch of greasy fur on his neck.  Then the smell hit me.   My reflex was to yell for Kyle, who came and felt the greasy patch.  He was then ordered to smell it, which he did, then promptly picked up the dog to give him a bath.  The next morning, the stench was still in the air especially when you got close to Buster.  I went about my day as usual (work at school, eat Jimmy Johns, go to the pool), got home around 4, and gave the dogs their second baths in 24 hours.  There was a noticeable difference in the smell afterwards! 

Fast forward to dinner time when Kyle and I were talking about this.  I say, "It just smelled so....musky.  What type of animal would musk?"  Then Kyle decides to bring up a little anecdote about last night while he was in the garden, and Buster was in an overgrown corner of our backyard. Evidently, Kyle heard Buster scuffling with something, but like a good father, chose to ignore it.  He tells me, "I thought it was probably just a snake so I went and looked around for a dead one after Buster got out of the corner.  I didn't find a body, so I guess he just ate the whole thing."  REALLY?  REALLY!  Up until that point I hadn't even considered Buster eating an animal; I assumed the something musked him and ran off.  Now I have the visual of my him getting musked, tearing a snake apart, and eating it.  Thanks, Kyle!

Today is my last official day of summer vacation!  I can honestly say this have been one of my best summers, but can hardly wait till next summer when I'll have an 8 month-old boy to play with all day! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Project Reveal

Last week I, along with thousands of others, was challenged to complete a project from my Pinterest page.  I chose this pin-project to git done.  

The inspiration photo came from Pottery Barn Kids.  Obviously, all of their home furnishings are drool worthy, but who in their mid-twenties can afford any of it?  The answer: people who aren't public school teachers or life-time students.  I digress...  Looking at this picture, I thought, "I can do this."  So I went to Micheal's and procured my materials:  5 pieces of scrap paper which were on sale for $0.25 each, bringing my project total to ~$2.00 when I factor in the gas it took to the store.  After getting the materials, I printed off the above picture of the elephant decals.  Then I outlined one of the elephants to get a feel for the proportions.  I then drew the outline on the back of the scrapbook paper.  This picture is like a 'magic eye' puzzle- you have to look at it really closely to see the elephant outline!
The next step was cutting out the elephant.
Then, voila- look at the cutie!
Here's the whole elephant family!  I have fantasies of modge-podging the fam onto a big canvas painted a light, mint green, then writing the word family in the corner.  Alas, for now- the 'decals' stuck to the wall are good enough for me!

P.S. You might be wondering, "Why blue polka dots?"  Here's a hint!
P.S.S.  Check out Sherry's post over at Young House Love.  Not only did she create a beautiful light fixture, but she has over 100 links to other Pinterest projects!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Watermelon Baby

Watching all of the natural births on The Business of Being Born made Kyle a little jealous.  He reacted by giving birth to a 10 lb watermelon!  Buster, the midwife, was very helpful with massaging Kyle's back and inspecting the melon-baby after birth. The funny thing is- this watermelon is from our garden and Kyle has been working hard- watering twice a day- getting it to grow.  Unfortunately this baby is of the Tom Watson variety and should be 20 to 40 pounds.  However, the garden master was growing impatient/ had never grown a  watermelon before, so he picked it too early. 
My initial reaction after he cut open the melon was, "Well, maybe it's supposed to be pink and white."  Wrong- all the pictures online show a beautiful deep red fruit.  So, Kyle began to chop it up and throw it in the compost when I said, "Why don't you just try some of the red part to see how it tastes?"  Well, it tasted like... watermelon!  K immediately stopped throwing the tasty fruit away and cut it up for storage in the fridge.  We even had it with dinner that night!  Although there's a lot of white, the melon tasted good-like one you would buy from the store.  As opposed to Ah-mazing, like one from the Farmer's Market!
My contribution to the dinner was homemade falafel!  My sister-in-law recommended I make these when I told her about all the cucumbers from our garden and how I wanted to make tzatziki sauce.  I followed this recipe almost exactly.  The one substitution I made was using crushed dried mint instead of fresh.  This recipe was not only a great way to use a garden cucumber, but also some of our sun gold cherry tomatoes and my favorite appliance- the Cuisinart food processor!  The finished product isn't exactly a looker, but it tasted delicious, and I LOVE how two of the ingredients came from our backyard!
I ate one of these bad boys and then fixed a falafel plate, which is all the ingredients outside of the pita. 
In my opinion, this was a great meatless recipe!   Despite the intimidating ingredients list, it was super easy to make and full of flavor (my opinion).  Kyle's opinion was that the yogurt sauce tasted too much like sour cream, which he hates, and that overall it needed more flavor- so he coated it with hot sauce.  I'm just glad he's a good sport and lets me try different recipes and doesn't insist on meat every night!  Although he did request meat and potatoes tonight; to which I replied, "You make it, I'll eat it."

Week 28: The Baby Floats out on a Cloud, Right?

This past weekend I finished reading The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.  It's was about how to soothe a colicky baby.  Reading it taught me a lot about how to calm a baby, but also made me realize how much more goes into taking care of a baby that I don't know.  Kyle told his friend on the phone last night, "Yeah, we've got no idea what to do with it when it gets here."  The Happiest Baby on the Block even mentioned how parents think they will instinctively know what to do with their new baby, but in reality, that's not how it works.  Uh-oh!  Must keep reading....

I guess we're getting ahead of ourselves though, I mean, the baby has to come out first, right?  The doctor brought this up on Friday when she showed me a piece of paper on which I could write my 'birth wishes.'  Oh crap, I guess I have to think about actually giving birth now.  Naturally, I turned to my girl Ricki Lake for advice; Ellen was busy.  

Ricki Lake had a lot to say on the topic of giving birth, so much so that she made a movie about it in 2008 called The Business of Being Born.  This movie was a documentary about the birthing system in the United States.   It shared good information and gave me a lot to think about when it comes to my birth experience. The births in this video were beautiful.  I had to bite my lip each time the baby came out because you could feel the mother's joy; I wanted to cry each time.  Seriously- these hormones are ridiculous!  I didn't realize how naked the whole birthing experience is.  I thought you wore a gown and lifted it up when the baby was about to come out, but evidently, you bear it all when you're having a kid.  So, sorry mom, dad, cousins, neighbors, Buster; you will not be in the room with me while I'm giving birth.  (Did I just hear a sigh of relief?)  Instead, I plan on finding a doula and/or a midwife.  I must thank Ricki Lake for all the insight into giving birth and let you know that you too can watch the movie; it's on Netflix streaming!

I am also reading a stellar book on birthing called Ina May's Guide to Child Birth.
In the forward, Ina May, an experienced midwife, discusses how telling birth horror stories has become a regular thing to do, so much so that women go into the whole birthing experience frightened and expecting it to be an awful experience. To counteract the horror stories, this book starts out with about 70 positive, real, natural birth stories.  The second part of the book informs the reader what happens in labor, giving birth, common medical interventions, and much more.  I'm hoping to learn a lot from this book; I'm sure it will help guide my birth plan.  However, the main useable ideas I've gotten from it and the movie so far are to move around a lot during labor and to take my time going to the hospital.  Who knows what information I'll actually use from the book and movie, but I feel much more informed now and will feel even more so when I've finished the book. 

The third trimester starts today!  I can't believe I'm 2/3 of the way through my pregnancy, and my little boy will be born in less than three months!  Actually, three months exactly would give him a pretty cool birthday- 11/1/11.  : )

The doctor's office should call back with the result of my glucose test any day now.
Am I weird for thinking the glucose drink tasted good?  I actually heard myself say, "Yum!" and "I wonder if I can get another one of these" while I was drinking it!  It reminded me of those barrel drinks my mom would buy for us when we were kids.  The flavors were either grape, blue raspberry, orange, or fruit punch.  I LOVED drinking them as a kid and would often take them to school in my Animaniacs lunch box!  Coincidentally, barrel drinks are exactly the kind of drinks I will try keep away from my child- full of sugar and devoid of nutritional value! 

As I mentioned last week, my lower back has been bothering me while I sleep.  There are no comfortable sleeping positions!  I feel like I've put up with the back pain for long enough (7 days is like forever when you wake up with a sore back!) so I sucked it up and bought a Snoogle.  The price on the pillow was ridiculous, but I've tried rearranging all of the pillows we already have- under my stomach? between my knees? against my back? I still wake up sore.  Here's to hoping the Snoogle is the miracle pillow all the reviews claim!

Time to go enjoy my last two weeks of summer!