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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Mama’s Plea (Dinner Update)

So far today I have eaten:

– one piece of Starbucks Reduced Fat Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake (8:30 am)
– 20 almonds (9:30 am)
– one 6 oz. serving of raspberry yogurt (10:30 am)

Yet here I sit with powerful indigestion, unable to consume a morsel of the yummy Panera I procured for myself almost two hours ago when I did NOT have said indigestion.

Baby Girl, I love you but could you please make some room for my lunch?! My mind thinks I’m starving but my belly thinks otherwise.

I suppose there’s nothing to do but wait it out!

UPDATE: I finally ate the mac n’ cheese half of my “U pick 2” at 3:00 pm.

I had a banana at 6:30 pm.

Indigestion set back in around 7, but I refused to accept it and I had two mini York Peppermint Patties at 7:30 pm.

I now feel like I want to throw up.

Grrrr! I’m really hoping this indigestion phase is a short one! Shorter than 10 weeks please!

 

Friday Update: Week 29

I don’t know what the hell kind of object is just over 15 inches long. Google sucks at telling me this. I’ve got things that are 14 inches, 14-1/2 inches, 16 inches, but apparently only last week’s 15″ Macbook Pro is 15 inches. So I’m saving myself the heartache and forgoing an object comparison this week. Sigh.

Anyway, at just over 15 inches, Baby2 only gained a bit less than half and inch in the 29th week, but she did gain another quarter pound!

To accompany Baby2’s crazy growth, Mr. Handsome’s and my schedules have been doing some crazy growing of their own. This week has just been a major juggling act. Mr. Handsome is moving to a new restaurant (same owner/company, just better management personnel and structure) so he’s pretty much working double time because he’s awesome and won’t leave the new place without the two (or I think he gave them three?) weeks notice. He’s working every day for 16 or 17 days straight. Great money, and we could use it going into my 10-week maternity leave of which I’m only paid for six weeks. But it wreaks havoc on our schedules.

Plus this week Kiddo1 was sick again (his ear infection from last week cleared up but now he has a bad cold and swelling in the other ear) so Mr. Handsome stayed home with him Monday (he had the day shift off) and I took over at night. I stayed home with him Tuesday and Mr. Handsome took over at night so I could go to my group midwife appointment. Wednesday he got out of his night shift so I could go to water aerobics. Thursday and Friday he worked a double shift and he will work Saturday evening and Sunday brunch. This weekend we also have a soccer game for Kiddo1, I have an event to go to a big consignment sale with my Moms Group and I need to find time to get to all the projects that I’ve been woefully neglecting. Deep breath.

Speaking of scheduling, one of the things on our vast third trimester to do list is to figure out when our parents and families are coming to visit. My parents have surprisingly been very easy. They’re short on vacation time from their jobs so they’re meeting my requirement of visiting after I’ve had a couple days to recover and not staying too long (I’m going for quality not quantity!). Mr. Handsome’s parents have not been so easy because they’re retired and have all the time in the world. I love my parents and in-laws, don’t get me wrong, but I can’t handle people visiting for more than a week. I get this emotional claustrophobia and I start to become unpleasant to be around. I fear my emotions will be all screwy to begin with, what with just having pushed out a human and all. So we’ll see how that all turns out.

Here are some other events of the week:

  • Total weight gain: 24 pounds. I am still averaging a pound a week, even though there were two weeks of a half pound gain (each week) and then this last week of two pounds gained, it all evens out. I shouldn’t be surprised about the two pounds, and I really am okay with it, but I was a little sad when I stepped on the scale on Monday (I weigh myself Monday through Friday, so Monday usually brings the biggest change).
  • Cravings: Honey Nut Cheerios are the best breakfast cereal ever. Except for maybe regular Cheerios.
  • Coolest symptom: At Tuesday’s check-up it was determined that Baby2’s head is down (I think it has been for several weeks, it was down at our ultrasound), her back/bottom is on my right side with her feet on my left. This makes complete sense because I feel the strongest kicks on my left side, light ones on my lower right (those must be little arms) and an odd rotating session very low, like her head or shoulders are slowly rotating. The latter movement is the weirdest one.
  • Lamest symptom: I only have to look at food to get indigestion.
  • Exercise this week (the goal is 210 minutes): 210 exactly, and I feel like I just barely made it. I’m still not doing well at finding time to exercise on the weekends and, as you can read above, the weeks are getting busier so I’m not exercising every night either. My saviors this week were water aerobics (mandatory 60 minutes), soccer practice (another 60 minutes) and my renewed commitment to arm exercises (I did three days, 10 minutes each day). Rounding out the week was 75 minutes of yoga (two sessions of 30 and 45 minutes).

Finally, here’s a baby development update, courtesy babycenter.com:

Your baby now weighs about 2 1/2 pounds (like a butternut squash) and is a tad over 15 inches long from head to heel. Muscles and lungs are continuing to mature, and your baby’s head is growing bigger to make room for that developing brain. To meet your baby’s increasing nutritional demands, you’ll need plenty of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron. And because his or her bones are soaking up lots of calcium, be sure to drink your milk (or find another good source of calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or enriched orange juice). This trimester, about 250 milligrams of calcium are deposited in your baby’s hardening skeleton each day.

I Love Water Aerobics!

I already love prenatal yoga, but for about three weeks now I’ve also been taking a weekly water aerobics class at the community center down the street. I had some trepidations at first, but this class is actually pretty awesome! Sure, I’m the youngest one there (by far!) and the music they play is atrocious (think The Macarena) but I love it more and more each time I go to a class.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppI’m too cheap to buy a maternity swimsuit so I just wear my bikini. Some people look at me kind of funny – are they trying to answer the “fat vs. pregnant” question? I’m not really there to impress people so I’m okay with this.

Some of my favorite things about water aerobics:

  • It’s so low-impact that I don’t feel like I’m doing much. I mean, I push myself, go at my top speed and flex my muscles to make sure I am getting something out of the whole thing, but when I get out of the pool I don’t feel exhausted or sore like I sometimes do when I get off the elliptical. It isn’t until I’m back home on the couch that I start to notice my muscles are a little tired.
  • Water resistance is great – I can “turn up” the resistance by flexing my feet or moving my palms to push the water as I move. Or, I can lessen the resistance my moving my palms to cut straight through the water.
  • It’s great for the core muscles because I have to fight to maintain control of my balance. It’s so easy to let my hips move from center because I can move with the water, but it is such a better workout to fight against the water to keep my core upright.
  • Luckily I’m in the water so I can’t fall over! I can’t really hurt myself either, other than over-straining or something.
  • I’m covered by water up to my neck, so I don’t at all feel self-conscious about my belly hanging out or my big ol’ boobies bouncing around!
  • I like that I can work as hard as I feel like working and no ones knows either way. If I’m feeling pumped (which I have been so far!) I can crank up the intensity without alienating my neighbors. Or, if I’m feeling tired or slow, I can ease into it and once again, no one is the wiser.
  • At first I had some leg cramps but only because I kept pointing my toes. Now I try to flex more at my ankles and I don’t have that problem anymore. But, if I do have a cramp, I can stop for a second and massage it out and no one really notices.
  • Also, I sleep so great after being in the pool for an hour!

Plus, some things I learned about while I was reading about the benefits of water aerobics:

  • Did you know that being in the pool for awhile actually reduces swelling? I heard this from my midwife too. Apparently the water pressure helps to push the excess water out of your body. Yet it somehow hydrates too – I know this because I pee a LOT after water aerobics. Like, once before I change, once after I change and a couple times in the 30 minutes after I return home. I do drink water during the class but not that much water. It’s weird.
  • This NY Times article from 2008 describes a study (though a poorly-executed study, but a study nonetheless) which found that pregnant women who exercise using water aerobics are less likely to take pain medication during labor and delivery – 27% of women who exercise opted for drugs versus 66% in the non-exercising control group.
  • This article from Women Fitness also outlines some great tips and reminders for water exercise.

I’m so glad I’ve finally started to shake up my routine with this class. I highly recommend it!

Book Review: Active Birth

This book is so great I literally read it twice. I finished the book and just flipped it right back to the first chapter and starting reading it again. I checked the book out from the library but I’m even thinking about buying it because it is that good. I want Mr. Handsome to read it to so he can help me keep its principles during my labor.

PhotobucketActive Birth: The New Approach to Giving Birth Naturally by Janet Balaskas is all about moving around and basically getting off your butt (literally) during labor and delivery.

Let me back up: a lot of books about labor talk about listening to your body and doing what comes natural. They talk about moving around to facilitate labor and encourage you not to be embarrassed about assuming (for lack of a better work) “primitive” positions for delivery, such as squatting. They talk about labor in a very touchy-feely way which really, is all fine and good, you should listen to your body, but it gives a sort of flighty vibe to the whole thing.

This book is not like the others. For one, it is very much grounded in science (I like science). Ms. Balaskas proves that labor is much more easy if you move around and assist your body during contractions rather than lying back on a table as in most hospital labors. Did you know that the uterus actually tips forward during a contraction? So if you’re lying on your back the muscle has to work even harder to do what it has to do. But if you’re upright you can bend yourself forward a bit and help yourself out. You can even slow down your labor a bit if needed by coming all the way forward, like an all-fours position.

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone AppScience is in delivery, too. Ms. Balaskas clearly shows how the bones and muscles of the pelvis just open right up when you’re upright or bending over. But if you’re lying on your back the sactococcygeal joint slips the coccyx (science talk!) forward, narrowing the pelvic opening (the bones push together creating less space for baby to pass through).

This info about helpful positioning for labor and delivery is enough to make this book great. But wait – there’s more!

Like Choosing Waterbirth, there are whole chapters devoted to yoga and breathing exercises for pregnancy (one chapter for each). I felt like the poses in this book were a bit more basic than in Choosing Waterbirth, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. They’re perfect for later on in pregnancy when you don’t feel like contorting your body too much at all. Nice and simple. (To be fair, I don’t have Choosing Waterbirth at my side for a direct comparison. I’ve already returned it to the library.)

I love when I book has a chapter about the three stages of labor and delivery because I learn something from every explanation. This one is quite extensive and one of the main reasons why I chose to read the whole book all over again. Not only does it contain insights about what is happening to you and the baby during each stage, it reiterates helpful positions based on stage and situation (like squatting to help move the baby down and open the cervix if things are moving slowly).

There’s a small section about pain-reducing drugs but it isn’t scary – some books present this information in a way that you sort of think they almost want to scare you out of using it. (Hey! Who’s Having This Baby Anyway? was kind of like that. Although it was a very thorough account of each drug and its pros and cons.) This book is more like, “here are the drugs that are available, but you won’t need them because you’ll be such an awesome active birther.” I like that it’s pumping me up for success rather than scaring me into success.

I could go on and on about  the things I love about this book, really. There’s a chapter on waterbirth that is great so I can’t wait to read Ms. Balaskas’ next book, The Waterbirth Book.

If you can’t tell, I highly recommend this book. It’s for sure in my top three pregnancy books that I’ve read so far, it’s actually probably number one. Read it!

Next review:

Tie Tuesday

What the heck is Tie Tuesday?

PhotobucketMonday

I’m not really sure what the look on my face is for… Maybe Mr. Handsome was trying to make me laugh or something. It was a week ago so I’ve completely forgotten by now. Well, enjoy my strange expression.

Monday I was feeling my “old lady” accessories – I’ve got tweed shoes and a whole bunch of my grandmother’s pearls. I guess I was in a bit of a silly mood on Monday, what with my funny expression and “character” accessories!

Anyway… This purple dress is wonderful; it isn’t maternity but it is wrap-style so it still fits! The weather is starting to get warm so I wanted to get it in while I can still wear long sleeves. But I didn’t cave to tights! You will face the wrath of my white legs! Muhahaha.

I also wore a light pink tank underneath to go with my pink tweed heels. It’s too bad the heels don’t go with much because I do like them. But pearls go with everything!

PhotobucketTuesday

For Tie Tuesday I thought I’d finally tuck my shirt into these “real waist” pants since I haven’t done that yet. I still feel like my belly looks really “beer belly” when I do that but I guess that didn’t stop me today (or tomorrow!).

These pants are so comfy, I love them, but I didn’t want to get them hemmed so I have to wear them with heels. Normally that’s fine but for some reason I picked these booties that are fairly high-heeled and I wore them all day – to work, to my son’s dentist appointment, to dinner. My feet were killing me for like two days afterward. I can still wear heels just fine but I think I’d better do a better job at pacing myself!

I also wore this white scarf because I needed an accessory, but it wasn’t really cold enough for a scarf. I love that the weather is getting warmer, though. I’m ready to put the winter stuff away!

PhotobucketWednesday

See, I tucked again, even though it weirds me out. I guess I just want to take advantage of these “real waist”-type paints. Plus this shirt is a little long/big so I kind of needed to tuck! It’s funny because sometimes I still feel like I’m between real clothes and maternity, but I’m glad the maternity stuff is still big because I know I will be grateful for it in a couple months!

This shirt is from Old Navy, another one of my pre-pregnancy clearance finds. I’m glad that all the stuff I bought before I got pregnant is stuff that I’m actually able to use now! And most of it is summer stuff so I can keep wearing it for awhile. Double score! Triple if you count the savings too!

The turquoise-ish bracelet is from Forever 21, of course. I have had it for awhile, at least a few years. I think it’s slowly starting to come apart but whatever!

And these are flats from Target.

PhotobucketThursday

I like this soft purple shirt. It isn’t maternity but it is a flowy, empire-waist style. It hardly fits but I made it. Some of the buttons toward the top were working hard, some failing, causing me to look down almost all day to make sure I wasn’t starting to come undone! Good thing I have to wear a tank underneath, because the fabric is already a little see-through.

These are my Forever/Love 21 maternity jeans ($6! Yes I will mention that every time I wear them!) and a Forever bracelet again. The silver paint (or whatever it is) is starting to wear off, okay it’s beyond starting, but I think it makes the bracelet look like cool worn or something. Shabby chic if you will.

And these are my Report flats – they look a little wet around the soles because I was taking the dog out before I took this picture and the ground was all wet from an earlier rain. Yeah, you needed to know that.

PhotobucketFriday

I don’t remember this maternity tunic being so short the last time I wore it, but whatever I still like it and it has pockets! I wore it with leggings which are totally not tights but I get that they aren’t pants either so, you know, the risque thing could go either way. Nobody says anything at work or even looks at my twice, though. I think I get a “pregnant lady pass.” I’ll take it because I was comfortable!

Like I said, this is a great tunic, comfy and with pockets, but it has kind of an awkward cinched waist that just didn’t work for me the last time I wore it. So I added this black belt instead. I think the belt is from Old Navy? The leggings are Old Navy, I remember that!

Plus I wore my go-to black Rocket Dog flats. Love them.

That’s it for Tie Tuesday this week! Happy dressings!

 

Moms Group Challenges

Awhile back I posted about how I had started a Moms Group – well the group has been going on for about five months now and we ballooned up to 60 members! It’s great to see our numbers climb, but with it come so many challenges that I figured could happen but hoped wouldn’t. Here are some of the challenges I’ve faced and how I’m working to overcome them (this post is helping me to vent, for one!).

  1. Finding Things To Do
    • I’ve been wanting to write a post about events for a Moms Group, but I haven’t been very good at figuring out what to do so I can’t write that post yet! It is really difficult to think of things to do sometimes! What kind of things are good to do with a whole bunch of pregnant women? Well, eating is one. Sitting and talking is another. So I scheduled a bunch of bi-weekly events to sit and eat. This went well for a few weeks, but then people must have gotten bored.
    • This brings me to diversity – no one wants to do the same things week after week. I figured since we’re just getting to know each other we should keep our events low-key, but that’s just boring. But what the hell else do we do? There are only so many free classes and baby expos and I can only go to the “big box baby store” so many times before I start to go crazy.
    • It’s also difficult to find a place with all the basics that people want: adequate parking is usually number one (a difficult task here in the urban Pacific NW where cars are not king), access to alternate transit is another and a convenient place in town is important too. No one wants to be in the car forever, especially when you have to pee every 30 minutes or so.
  2. Getting People to Show Up
    • What’s been really frustrating is that there are 60 people in this group and I’ve met maybe, maybe, 20 of them. And I go to every event! (Except for one, read on…) Yet every single person, when they signed up, said they joined the group to meet people. So where are they?
    • Most of the people that I have met have only come to one event. It is most difficult to build a friendship with a person who you’ve only met one time.
  3. Gathering Feedback
    • What makes matters worse about the no-shows is that people won’t tell me why they don’t show. Are the events not at a convenient place? Do you hate the food there? The parking? Maybe there are too many events in a month and you just don’t know what to pick. Maybe the day or the time of the event doesn’t work with your schedule.  Is there somewhere else or some other day/time that you have in mind?
    • But why not tell the organizer about your conflicts or dislikes? If you truly joined the group to meet people then why aren’t you either coming to the events that have been arranged for you or telling the organizer that you have a problem with the events? I can’t read minds!
  4. Keeping My Cool/Getting Over Myself
    • Deep breath. I refuse to give up.
    • Are my expectations too high? I mean, we’re all pregnant, we all have different energy levels and sometimes you just don’t feel like going anywhere. I get that. Last weekend I ditched a group event for the first time ever because a) I was frustrated with the group, b) only one person had RSVP’d and c) It was a beautiful Saturday and my garden was calling my name (“Please, please help me grow things for you!” it said).
    • Deep breath. I refuse to give up.

So… there are my grievances. Kinda makes you never want to start one of these things, huh? But WAIT! There’s got to be a light at the end of the tunnel. Things are bound to turn around, right? Well, to be honest, they haven’t yet. But they WILL. Here’s what I’m doing to make it happen:

  1. Changing the Group’s Online Host
    • In my last Moms Group post I talked about the importance of finding an online “home” for your group; a place where you can keep the calendar of events, a list of members and generally communicate between yourselves. I started the group on Meetup.com, but that costs money to use as a host. And, since the participation has been most frustrating I didn’t feel like wasting spending the money on it any more.
    • I moved our group to Facebook this month. The transition is happening over about six weeks, giving people plenty of time to get use to the idea and convert. The deadline to make the switch is in just a couple weeks and so far we have 18 members on Facebook. This is not at all a complete switch, but I still see it as a positive. I hope that the people who never truly intended to do anything with the group just don’t come over to our new space.
  2. Diversifying Our Events
    • Now that the weather is getting nice, I’m trying to do more things for our events. I scheduled a bunch of things through the next couple months, including a few walks in the park, a visit to the local free gardens, Farmers Market browsing and a cute cafe with outside seating. I hope to get some people to go to the “What To Expect” movie when it comes out in a few weeks. Plus I found a boutique baby store that has free classes for cloth diapering (I did that one with the group already), baby wearing, breastfeeding and even infant CPR. These sound like fun things, yes?
  3. Begging for Feedback
    • I developed a survey on surveymonkey.com and asked the group to participate. While I only got ten responses, it did help shape scheduling and expectations. Here are some of the finer points from the survey:
      • They prefer events that are in fairly central parts of town (which has been the case for all our events so far…)
      • Most would like to participate twice a month, with mostly the same amount of participation after their baby arrives.
      • Weekend days from 12-6 works for almost everyone, with a few liking weekday evenings as well (I’ve never scheduled anything outside these times).
      • People prefer events types in this order of popularity: walking around (90%), sit and eat (80%), free classes (70%), movies or ice cream/coffee (60%), shopping (55%) and for-fee classes (45%).
      • No one wants to suggest actual places to go (even though this was a mandatory question. One response was actually “Um…”.)
    • I hesitate to host things at my house because, well, I don’t know these people! My plan is to host things at home after our babies arrive but if I haven’t gotten to know people well enough to trust them in my home with my new baby by then then I’m not sure what the hell we’ll do when we have newborns.
  4. Getting the Word Out
    • Now that the group is on facebook, this is a tad more difficult. We have a closed group so people have to friend me to join so I can add them. But, it’s a small price to pay for a much easier and free home for the group. I’m trying to get ladies in my group prenatal checkups to join, especially since we have due dates that are really close together (which is pretty much the only requirement for being in the group!).
  5. Keeping My Cool/Getting Over Myself
    • I have to keep my expectations low. I have to realize that I probably won’t find my Next Best Friend in this group. And that isn’t really the point anyway. I just hope to have a little entertainment and an excuse to leave the house once Baby2 comes along and I’m at home all day.

So that’s my big, long, well-organized (!) vent about my Moms Group. Bottom line, it sucks and people are not accountable but I’m sticking with it. I’m hoping that pregnancy is holding people back and things will get better after our babies arrive and are at a manageable age for taking them out. I’m trying (hard) to keep my expectations low. But my fingers are still crossed for success!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Handsome!

I was all set to post yesterday like I had planned, but we have had some fantastic weather here this weekend so I couldn’t help but enjoy it without the computer on my lap. So this post is a bit overdue.

PhotobucketAnyway, Mr. Handsome and I celebrated our 5/10 anniversary on Friday – that’s five years of marriage and ten years of togetherness. We were married in Phoenix with our four-year old son at our side, my brother officiating and Mr. Handsome’s two brothers attending, plus my two best friends.

It was a good wedding (of course there are things that I wish went differently but I did a lot of compromising with my family) but the real important thing is that it is a good marriage.

Mr. Handsome is pretty awesome. He’s awesome not only because he picks up my slack (which, oh my goodness, I can’t even begin to describe how much better he is than me at housework, cooking/meal planning, parenting, basically making sure shit gets done) but because he makes me feel awesome every day.

He always wants to cheer me up if I’m feeling down, even when I don’t really want him to (but I appreciate it anyway, even if I don’t let him know that). He always says I look good and calls me his “sexy lady” even though I balk at him almost every time – he still never gives up and I love him for it, even that I won’t tell him that either. He even doesn’t seem to mind taking my crap – me not telling him I appreciate him as much as he does for me, me refusing his niceities, me just being a lazy pain in the ass.

I’m sure I bring some things to the table in this relationship, but he brings all the good things. He makes my life easier, better and just generally more pleasant. He is an amazing father, caretaker, dog-owner and man. And I love him very much.

Happy anniversary Mr. Handsome. I’m excited to live the rest of our futures together.