Thursday, May 31, 2012

Here ya go...

As I promised, a couple pictures...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Travel and gestation.


The title pretty much sums up my current experience.  Last week I spent in Ottawa.  I don't have many pictures of that (other than one in my Twitter feed) because I spent my whole time in talks and seminars, and catching up on sleep.  It was pretty awesome.  When I first discovered I would need to go on this trip (for work) I was kind of bummed.  Five days away, more than I've been away from MJ for her entire life  But as the day approached, I realized how exhausted I was, and how much five days away would be appreciated.  And the work aspect was pretty good, too.

8 hours after arriving back in Minnesota, we left for a trip to Madeline Island.  We went with some friends, and really had a nice time.  I planned the trip and convinced others to join, so I felt somewhat responsible for the crappy weather we experienced.  Nothing that could have been predicted, and we still had a nice time, but less outside time than I had hoped.  We have one more trip planned to a friends cabin in a few weeks, and then we hunker down.

31 weeks today.  35 pounds gained.  Although I spent my early pregnancy stressed about weight gain, I have now given up.  I have been active, eating fairly well, but my body just likes to gain weight.  And the thing I was most worried about, becoming incredibly uncomfortable, has not happened.  I still feel very good at 31 weeks.  I can still go for somewhat long walks.  Although I can tell I'm starting to slow down, I'm feeling so much better than I did last pregnancy that I'm just going to roll with the next couple months. 

I did invest in some more maternity clothes.  I realized what a scrub I looked like at work and decided I needed to fix it.  I just didn't even feel good in my own skin.  I tried to invest in things that were non-maternity and which I can wear post-maternity, we'll see if it works like I plan. 

Everything else has been going well.  Movement has been intense.  MJ is still excited, though tonight we had a conversation about the downsides of her future sister.  I pointed out that her sister will sometimes steal her toys and argue with her.  So MJ got down next to my belly and whispered "Please, please don't steal my toys.  Please?  Please?"  She likes to take her sister's pajamas and dress her babies in them. 

After spending the weekend with a (very cute) four-month old we had a healthy reminder of what we're in for.  Going back to feeding and changing round the clock, as well as very little sleep, will be hard.  We're finally getting to a point of independence with MJ (did I mention her dad potty trained her while I was in Ottawa?), and then we go back to square one.  I'm still excited, but I've resolved to really enjoy the next 2 months. 

Edit:  If you hadn't noticed, there are some pictures up there that aren't showing up.  They're on my home computer, so for now you'll just have to hold your horses.  Will repost them soon.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

On the move

Taken at 28 weeks 3 days
 29 weeks.

Due Date: 1 August.  2.5 months away.

Weight Gain:  32 lbs!
I think my midwife must be bad at math, because at my appointment the other day she said "22 pounds!  Right on track!"  I didn't correct her.

Symptoms:  Tired.  Always somewhat hungry, often ravenously hungry.  I know I don't want to gain more.  I know to tone it down.  But it doesn't seem to be working.  Did I mention tired?  The fatigue hit this week.  I know part of it is that DH has been working a ton, so it has just been MJ and I.  But I feel bad because by the end of the evening I have little energy for anything.  I'm short with MJ.  I haven't been cooking, or even really cleaning, because the effort doesn't feel worthwhile.  Too soon to be feeling this way!

What's different this time:  Much less pain than last time around.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Food.  All the time.

Sleep:   I've been sleeping well but am still so tired....

I am loving:  My time with MJ.  Trying to soak in having her all to myself.  Knowing she will never get our undivided attention again, I love just spending mother daughter time with her. 

I miss:  I saw a photo of myself.  I know logically it wasn't even during a particularly thin spell, but it looked amazing.  I hope I can look like that again.
I am looking forward to: Lots of trips.  We were in Chicago last weekend.  On Saturday I leave for a work trip for FIVE DAYS!  This will be the longest I've been away from MJ.  At first I was really sad about it, but now I'm really looking forward to it.  It sounds relaxing, even though I know I'll be working a lot while I'm there.  It will also be my last solo trip for, likely, a very long time.  And given how impatient I've been with my darling child, it will be good for her to have some one-on-one dad time.  Then I come back from that and leave the next day for Madeline Island.  Part of why I've planned all these is knowing I'll soon be stuck at home, sequestered from the public, unable to travel.  Trying to get it out of my system while I can, so that I'm happy to be home and tired of traveling.

I'm spazzing about:  Nothing in particular.  I finished the crib.  I washed and put away baby clothes and diapers.  I have much of what NEEDS to be done finished.  I'll be ordering a recliner this week, and finishing up final touches once this bout of traveling is done.

Milestones/Progress: Nothing much.  Had my gestational diabetes test the other day, and am assuming no news is good news.  Got my rhogam shot.  Pre-registered for the hospital. 

Movement: Big movements, though less frequent.  Definitely a lopsided belly.  MJ's butt always stuck out on the right side, and it seems that side is sticking out this time too.  Maybe she stretched it out for her sister?  At any rate, all the movement comes on the right side and that is the side that I see move as well.

It's a...: Girl.  The name is still undecided, so those of you who have gotten names from MJ, they don't mean much yet :) 

Exercise:  I've been getting a lot of steps in (at least compared to before) but I am getting more and more tired doing it.  I figure I have to keep doing it, though, so I don't become too lazy...

First born:  I got MJ some books about having a baby sister around and she is SO in love with them.  One is this book contained in a collection of stories by Eloise Wilkin that my mom got her.  It is all about a little girl who has a baby that she takes care of while her mom takes care of her new little sister.  MJ is constantly asking me to read it to her, and is clearly dreaming of when she gets to do the same.  I think her maternal instinct is stronger than mine.  Another little girl at daycare has a new baby sister, a few months old, and MJ is constantly asking her questions about her sister, and why she does certain things (why is she crying?  Does she want her nuk?  etc.)  She actually seems to be preparing for being a big sister, which is fascinating.  She has told me how she will bounce her and rock her when she cries.  How she will always make sure she is buckled into her car seat.  It all makes me wonder if having a first born who's a girl is easier than having a first born who's a boy.  I have yet to meet a boy child who cares about another baby arriving, but little girls seem to relish the thought.

She did recently ask me how baby gets out.  I didn't know how to answer that one, but I'm sure I'll have to revisit it.  Especially since she might be around when I go into labor, I'd like to prepare her for the process.

Monday, May 14, 2012

All About MJ

This last weekend the fam had our first visit to Chicago.  It was a nice getaway, and our first family trip in quite a while.  It was also a reminder that, although the Twin Cities are a "big" city, they are not big in the way that some places are.  All in all, while nice to visit, I'm glad to have our small city to come home to.

It was also a weekend in which I started to come to terms with the fact that MJ is becoming a three year old.  It started exactly two weeks ago today.  At first I attributed it to poor sleeping.  While I still think poor sleeping plays a role in some of her poor behavior, I am starting to think this is an age thing.  Having never had a three year old before, it took me a while to notice the symptoms.  But it took the eloquent words of Dooce to give me the "aha" moment....  A few of the symptoms:

1.  Foot stomping when I deny a dinner of ice cream.
2.  A default to whiny voice.  This is probably the one I have the least patience with.
3.  Daily tantrums.  Less fulfilling than my word of the day emails.

While visiting Chicago, we went to the aquarium.  I used to love aquariums, but I am coming to despise them.  I think we've taken MJ to 3 or 4 aquariums in her short life.  They always seem like a good kid activity that is also interesting to adults.  Win win all around!  Only not, because they are always disastrous.  I have thought that perhaps it is coincidental, but I am starting to think it is not.  It is simply too much to expect this kid to enjoy things that she cannot directly participate in.  And aquariums are most definitely not participatory.  You are expected to just watch.  No running?  No hands in the water?  No licking the glass?  No.  No.  No.  

Her tantrums have become... intense.  As everything with this kid has been, I expect "three" will be extreme.  I think it is particularly hard because 2 has been such a magical age.  It started almost exactly a year ago.  She has been sweet, and curious, and joyous and everything I could want in a kid.  She is still a great kid, but now she has such strong opinions!  About the way things should be!  Like the right way to get to the grocery store!  "It's not this way mom!"  About where Baby should be put for the night!

So that was our weekend.  And then I came home to, among other things, a very sad blog roll.  It seems there is much tragedy in some of the blogs I have been following.  It makes all these concerns seem so petty.  And they are.  But you know what?  We, as humans, are designed to dwell in the petty.  You cannot live every day immersed in drama and trauma, on the edge of your seat.  It's not good for you.  It's okay to feel petty things sometimes, because otherwise we would only be feeling big and important things, and that is simply exhausting.  So I'll just appreciate that I get to feel petty things for the time being, and feel lucky I am not feeling important things right now.

But this girl?  She is still amazing.  And hilarious.  My favorite comment of the trip occurred when we reached altitude.  I told her we were in the air now, and she looked out the window at all the tiny houses (we weren't very high, it was a short flight).  And she looked around on the plane.  And then asked "Why isn't everybody flapping their arms?" 

She is also at the age where she busts out embarrassing comments and questions at every turn.  

"Is that a baby?"
"No Mj, I think he's about your age"
"Then why does he have a nuk?  Only babies have nuks.  He shouldn't have a nuk."

I'm certain his Mom heard my daughter criticize her parenting.  

A favorite is her asking me the name of everyone that walks by our house.  Often it is a neighbor, whose name I should know but don't.  And so I cowardly pretend I didn't understand her toddler speak, until she yells it so loud that everyone can hear it, certainly most can understand it, and possibly put together the awkwardness that is happening.

Or when she asks me, loudly in public, "Did that woman poop on the potty?  She has cake" because we have been so desperate in our attempts to bribe her to poop on the potty that we have even offered cake as an exchange.

This girl is amazing.  Here are some pictures of the past month or two to prove it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Life

26 weeks, 4 days (can I round up to 27?)

Due Date: 1 August.  3 months from today.

Weight Gain:  28 lbs!
Did you read thatBeing as 25 to 35 lbs is the recommended weight gain amount, in an ideal world I would be full term right now.  But I'm not.  I've already gained what I'm supposed to and still have 3 more months to go.  Needless to say, I'm nervous about how much more I will inevitably gain (and need to lose).

Symptoms:  Some mild aches and pains but nothing like last pregnancy.  I can tell, though, that I'm starting to get into third trimester.  I'm starting to get worn out much more easily.  Getting up is a bit of a struggle, and my motivation is beginning to tank.  But still quite a lot to do. 

What's different this time:  Much less pain than last time around.

Diet/Cravings/Aversions: Craving lots of sweets.  That's not necessarily unusual, the need seems more urgent now, though.

Sleep:   Not quality.  I've been getting a lot of it but still not feeling rejuvenated.  I blame part of this on our dog, who insists on sleeping under the covers but then gets too hot and gets out of the bed.  Then gets cold and goes back under the covers, repeat, all night long.  When you're not sleeping well already it certainly doesn't help.

I am loving:  The weather.  Today I worked in the garden and planted some plants, and MJ loved digging around in the dirt.  As for pregnancy, still just loving the movement.  It's such a comforting presence, a little reminder of something amazing happening even at the most mundane of times.

I miss:  Being comfortable in clothes.  I'm down to one pair of comfortable pants, and most of my shirts are too short.
I am looking forward to: Finishing the nursery.  Still a lot to do on it, though.

I'm spazzing about:  Getting everything done!  Thankfully we got some of the big stuff done, like doing the taxes, getting a new car and assembling some furniture.  The remainder is mostly the little stuff, like digging out all the baby stuff and making sure everything's washed.  Though we do have a car to sell, too.

Milestones/Progress: Viability!  Although there's no definitive date when this happens, over 90% of babies born at 26 to 27 weeks of age survive.  So it's nice to know I'm in that window.  Which isn't to say I want the baby to come now.  Also, depending how you define your trimesters, I'm now in third trimester (being as I have exactly 3 months left....).  And baby is now about the size of a cauliflower.

Movement:  Lots of it.  DH can now feel it fairly easily.  MJ still hasn't, but that's mostly because she is incapable of sitting still for more than 2 seconds, and usually you have to rest your hand for longer than that before you feel something.

It's a...: Girl.  The name is still undecided, so those of you who have gotten names from MJ, they don't mean much yet :) 

Exercise:  Lots of walking.  It's been beautiful outside, definitely trying to take advantage.

First born: Amazing, as usual.  She's been starting to develop a sense of humor, which is thoroughly entertaining to watch.  Her jokes make absolutely no sense, but her hysterical laughter is impossible not to laugh at.  Furthermore, she is intent on understanding the jokes made around her.  If someone laughs at a joke, she will laugh along, and then try to find out what was funny. 

She's still fixated on her sister.  She has explained to me how she will protect her, and help her, and put her to sleep, etc.  If she is half the sister she intends to be she will be amazing. 

In other categories of new life, these baby birds are new residents of our front porch:

When we moved in last year there were two nests on our front porch complete with lots of bird poop underneath.  The birds moved out when we moved in (the house had been empty before) and we intended to bring the nests inside over the winter, when anything else living in the nests would be killed by the cold.  But we forgot.  And one family moved back in this spring.

After watching the birds sit on the nest with MJ, I started to grow attached.  We peeked inside two weeks ago and saw four tiny eggs.  Today when we peeked inside there were no more eggs, but tiny new residents.  MJ was ecstatic.   The bird poop seems a small price to pay.  It's also a nice reminder that VERY new life is often kind of grotesque looking, as these naked little birds were.  Much like newborn babies.  It takes some time for them to fluff up and plump out before they look cute.