Monday, April 23, 2012

Cleaning out the fridge.

The fridge being my brain.  I feel the need to update, but can't seem to find the motivation for a full-commitment, well thought out post.  So you'll get the crusty stale things that get cleaned out of my brain simply because they can't stay in there any longer.  Sounds appetizing, no?

1.  This pregnancy is going quickly.  I judge this, somewhat, based on how little progress I've made on the nursery.  I wanted to be done by 25 weeks, but I'm not even done painting the crib yet, which I've been working on for about a month now.  Oy.

2.  I love my pedometer.  I'm pretty sure that's like saying "I love support hose", i.e. not something you're really supposed to admit.  But I feel like when I get a lot of steps in it rewards me, and when I am a lazy bum it chides me.  Considering all I'm really up to at present is walking, it at least keeps me moving.  Good pedometer.

3.  I have been trying to avoid saying I hate my job, but I kind of don't like it.  I am trying to be grateful, and patient, and hope that things will get better.  I love my co-workers.  I think that in time it could become great, but I'm coming to realize I don't know how long that will be.  As it stands now, all day, every day, I work on reports.  Very long reports.  For months at a time, the same report.  It is often mind-numbingly boring.  I know that work is not always supposed to be fun, but I have had plenty of other jobs.  There are always pluses and minuses, but currently there are very few pluses.  The number reason I find my motivation is that MJ is currently THRIVING at preschool and I couldn't justify keeping her home with me.  So I might as well work.   But once I have another?  It's going to be hard to justify leaving her to go to a job I don't like very well.  I know you're not supposed to say this sort of thing to the internet, because it's bound to get back to someone who it shouldn't get back to, but that's what's on my mind.  Internet, are you tired of hearing me complain about my various jobs yet?  Because there's been a lot of that this year, I hope it will end soon.

4.  Yes, MJ is thriving.  Her teacher is AMAZING.  While I didn't come up with this description, her teacher reminds me of a very gentle and kind Mary Poppins with flaming red hair.  Every day I drop her off or pick her up they are doing something that looks joyous and educational.  They are pretending to be airplanes.  Or learning about caterpillars, followed by a snack of everything the hungry caterpillar eats.  They have butterfly cocoons in their classroom.  They are always reading.  They are always learning and it seems every bit of fun has a lesson couched within it.  I think MJ is in love.  She has become better at sharing, she has learned new things that she comes home and tells me and she enjoys every moment of it.  I realize "school" isn't necessary at 2 1/2, but the strides I see her taking make me question that.  At least for her, I know the right thing is not for her to stay home with me.

5.  I am psyched that my discovery of insoles for my shoes has cured me of back pain.  But I'm little perplexed about summer footwear.  I've been wearing Tom's without socks, and now my shoes just stink.  But I can't put insoles into sandals.  ::dilemma::

6.  My husband has been amazing lately.  So helpful, so present.  It has brought much peace to our household.

7.  There are so many things I'm trying to fit in before the baby comes.  As much friend time as possible, because I feel like we'll be house bound without much social life for a long time.  Lots of cooking, because I found it near impossible when MJ came along (particularly once she was mobile.)

8.  Some of my favorite recipes from this last week:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/dining/basic-pizza-dough-recipe.html
http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2012/03/petite-vanilla-scones/
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Arugula-Bacon-and-Gruyere-Bread-Pudding-350898

9.  It's intriguing to me how the more interesting my daughter becomes the less I have to say about her.  It's almost like words can no longer capture the person she's become so often I don't even try.  Pictures probably do a better job.  I am so proud of her, which is a feeling I haven't really had until recently.  She is compassionate with other children, and (usually) when she does something to upset someone she will feel awful about it and start crying herself.  She is independent and feisty, and prefers to do everything by herself that she possibly can.  She's not violent, she's good at sharing and she's curious about everything around her.  Granted, she's 2, so none of these are all encompassing adjectives.  But, in my limited experience with 2 year olds, she seems to be doing well at these things (not that I'm biased or anything).  And I guess I'm proud of her because I see her figuring these things out for herself.  We've played some role, I'm sure, through parenting, but I see her making most of these strides on her own.  It's kind of hard to have such an independent 2 year old, but it's so fascinating to watch what she's capable of already.

10.  MJ had her first dentist visit today.  As I suspected, it was mostly a waste of time.  But I guess now it's a little more familiar, so should she ever need to visit she might do better?  She let them stick their hands in there and polish a bit, which I guess is all you can expect of a 2 year old.  She was interested in it all, but after about 10 minutes was too antsy to sit in the chair and could only think about the playground I had promised her after.  All in all, a fairly uneventful milestone in her young life.  20 teeth, no signs of cavities.

10.  My fridge is exhausted.  It's not really clean, but I guess the things that had to be taken out were.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I'm still wearing pants.

Consider this your 24 week update with a splash of 25, since I'm about 5 days behind. 

I had decided weeks ago (a month maybe?) that I was done with pants.  When the belly gets big enough, there are simply no pants that are comfortable enough.  I tried some full panel this time around, but they just make my belly itch.

But this morning it snowed.  And last week it was cold, so I'm still wearing pants.  We had a tease of nice weather (it's really still nicer than usual) that inspired a garden, but the beans appear to be goners and after the predicted frosts this week the peas might be as well.  I knew I might be jumping the gun, but that's how it goes.  I'm more sad about still wearing pants and having no winter coats that fit around my belly than I am about the vegetable loss.

I did finish that bed.  I'll post pictures at some point.  And we had a lovely visit from family, more on that at some point, too.  But really, for the past week, I've been all consumed with taxes.  And van shopping.  Nothing makes you sound like more of an adult than saying "Sorry I don't have time to party with you, but I've been busy with taxes and shopping for a minivan."

I'm happy to report that both are finished.  The taxes this year were scary.  If there was a time for us to become republicans, this would have been the year and the season.  But if this didn't do it then likely nothing will.  Not only did we buy a new house, but we had a big jump in income, DH helped start a new business, we converted a house into a rental and we have to file in two states.  I thought of hiring someone else, but by the time I told them everything they needed to know and tracked down all the documents I just did it myself.  The two state thing is frustrating, too.  We make the majority of our income in Wisconsin, because that's DH's place of employment.  Minnesota has reciprocity, meaning they credit what we pay to Wisconsin for what we owe them.  But it's frustrating, because Wisconsin gets 90% of our state taxes despite the fact that we live in and use the services of Minnesota exclusively.  Doesn't this seem stupid to anyone else?  That's all I'll say about taxes.  That part of being an adult is done for the year.

As for the minivan, that part of being an adult is just starting.  We pick up the new wheels tomorrow.  Here she is:
If you look close you can see MJ inside.  We are even getting a remote starter installed (Oh!  Hold me back!) so it really is my dream-mobile.  We went into the car hunt thinking we'd get a mid-size three row SUV.  Why three rows?  Because we have family visit a lot and don't want to have to rely on two cars every time.  And because we tend to keep our cars for decades, and want the option to haul our children's friends around.  And maybe even squeeze another of our own children in there if we still feel like it.  

But may I inform you the problem with 3 row suv's?  You can't get to the back row unless you fold the second row back.  Which you can't do with a carseat installed.  So you climb over the seats?  Or take the seat out?  Ugh.  The practicality of the van almost immediately won us over.  Except that it's a van.  And we have still-so-many biases to overcome on minivans. But we'll get there, I have no doubt.

Oh yeah, the 24 week update.  

Hmm..  Weight gain (at least when that picture was taken): 21 lbs.

Kicks:  all the time.  DH has felt them a few times.

Names:  We're not telling.  I finally got hubs to have the discussion.  He was using delay tactics to avoid having the conversation.  His last delay tactic finally expired (I want to wait until viability!).   I have no doubt that MJ will relay to everyone whatever we decide, even if we try to keep it a secret.  

Other than that, still feeling good.  Hips get a little sore during walks, and I find myself just overall a bit more tired.  I feel a little more uncomfortable ordering a latte at a coffee shop being as I'm so clearly pregnant.  Surprisingly, though, I've had very few stranger comments.

Other than the man at Menard's.  Last week I fixed the toilet and bathroom door in our rental house.  I was at the Hardware store buying some supplies, when an old man shouted "EH?  You building something there?"  Clearly I thought he was talking about the toilet parts I held in my hand.  So I made some awkward comment about rebuilding a toilet, only to realize he meant in my belly.  Weird.  (Pretty proud of my handyman abilities, though, and happy to report that our renters have decided to stay.  The alternative was they move out when their lease expires on August 1, my due date.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dream fail

Remember that dream I had of not returning to Ikea for a full year? I'll think about that dream as I return to Ikea tomorrow to pick up a missing piece for the bed I've been assembling. Also? Baby Mama? More than just a handy moniker. MJ has actually started calling me Baby Mama. Won't it be weird when she reads this blog someday? We have so many more tools to embarrass our teenagers than our parents ever dreamed of. Lastly, my unborn is kicking me. A lot. Which is why I'm not asleep right now. Perhaps this is retaliation for letting MJ yell "POOPY! POOPY! POOPY!" at the top of her lungs into my belly. The milestone of 23 weeks is that they can hear everything now, and MJ just wants to fully prepare her for the family she's to be born into.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The 7 Year Ikea Itch


Yesterday we made a major Ikea outing.  There was a time when we both loved a trip to Ikea.  That time has passed.  I suppose it was back when we had an undecorated, unfurnished space and we could envision so many possibilities.  And back when we weren't chasing a toddler and had the time to envision those possibilities.  Now, the only things we envision are losing MJ when she decides to hide under a table or her desperate attempts to try to jump off a bunk bed.  There are many possibilities, but generally not good ones.


I am fairly certain we managed to buy the most difficult to assemble item at Ikea yesterday. It's a bed with storage underneath for our Guest Bedroom (which would be better named the Grandma bedroom).  The Grandma's have been kind, but have been grumbling a bit about climbing off the floor every morning.  And since I know we'll have many visitors when the baby is born, it seemed to be time to get them a bed frame.  At any rate, I've assembled at least one of every class of furniture from Ikea (chairs, bookshelves, tables, beds, dressers, etc.) and this one is far and away the most complicated.  It's a 3 boxer, which should have been my first warning.  And the manual is better termed a novelette.  A cryptic novelette that MJ could better interpret than I could.

I hope to make it a year without having to return to Ikea.  Maybe by then I will have gained some of the affection I've lost.

This is, in a round about way, a pregnancy update post.  But I'm tired of boring titles and fill in the blank answers, so you'll get a bit more rambling.  These photos are now about 5 days old; I'm 2 days shy of 23 weeks but these were taken at 22 weeks, and I just never got around to posting them.  As you can see, the full body pregnancy weight gain has begun.  I remember looking in the mirror at some point in my last pregnancy and thinking "Oh my!  Has my face always been this chubby?"  I was relieved to find that the answer was "no" and that it returned to what I remembered it looking like after pregnancy.  This time around, I'll try to accept that this is just what my body likes to do when I get pregnant.  I'm still hovering right around 20 lbs of weight gain, and have been for a couple weeks, so that's somewhat comforting.  Plateaus of this sort are a good thing.

The movement this week has been extensive.  There have been several nights where she kicks so much I can't fall asleep.  I'm finding that I really, really enjoy it, even when it makes me grumble a bit.  In general, I'm enjoying pregnancy.  I'm not one of those glowing "I love being pregnant!" women, but it has been pleasant.  Although it's getting more difficult to do simple things like bend over, and build Ikea furniture, I still feel really good, and that's more than I could say last time at this point.  My exercise has slacked and I need to pick up the pace so that I stay in a semblance of good shape.  Walking is all I'm aiming for at this point, my dreams of running throughout pregnancy have dissipated.

I've been trying to get everything set up around here before I get too uncomfortable, thus our Ikea trip.  I've been painting MJ's old crib, which has turned into a rather large project.  It's looking nice, but I really want to finish so that I can fix up other things in the baby room.  After a week, I'm only about a third done.  And then there's taxes.

That's about all I've got to report.  We've had some family visit, are about to have some more family visit.  My job is still incredibly boring, though my boss and coworkers are wonderful, and the hours are pretty nice.  MJ is still amazingly cute about the baby.  Every morning she runs in and says good morning to her.  She talks about wanting to read to her sister.  And how excited she is to have her sit in the back seat with her.  I feel a little bad for her, knowing that the reality, at least at first, will probably not be as great as she has built it up in her head.  But I'm hopeful that this will help in some capacity.

I think I'll just wrap up with some of my favorite photos from the past month.