Thursday, March 29, 2012

32 Weeks

I thought I'd kick it old school with a Preggo questionnaire stat post.  Complete with belly picture!

It's seriously like I put a basketball under my dress and told everyone I was pregnant.

Total weight gain/loss: Not a clue, but probably somewhere over 20 pounds?  I'll find out at my check-up tomorrow!

Maternity clothes? YES!  One of my best friends had her second baby about three weeks ago.  Last week, Laura and I got to go over to their house to see the new baby.  I arrived bearing trays of baked stuffed shells, and left with a huge tub of Spring/Summer maternity clothes.  I fresh outlook on my wardrobe has really helped!!

Sleep: I can sleep alright IF I'm in the guest bed (which is too small to share with Nate), and I don't drink too much water before bed, but I'm not too thirsty (it's a delicate balance), and if the fire alarm battery doesn't die at 1am, and if the Noisy Puppy behind us isn't up all night.  So, um, it's not great.

Best moment this week: The past weekend was pretty fantastic, with Hunger Games on Friday, Newsies in NYC on Saturday, and Mad Men on Sunday.  Laura has been a really hysterical gem this week, and I have new-to-me clothes that make me feel pretty.  On the other hand, work this week has been a nightmare.  I'm really glad tomorrow is Friday.

Movement: Nonstop and ridiculous.  I could do without the whacks to the cervix.  Seriously kid, you are already showing signs of ADHD.  Not cool.

Food cravings: Veal piccata (finally satisfied this week!), sparkling citrus-scented water, grapes, ham & cheese croissants

Gender: All boy, baby!

Labor signs: I thought I had "Braxton-Hicks" with Laura, but I was clearly inexperienced in the ways of late pregnancy tightening and cramping.  Anything I felt with Laura prior to my water breaking at 2am was fluff compared to some of the tightening and cramping I've felt with Gavin!  There are moments where I forget to breath, my stomach is so tight.  Great sign for my ability to labor through real contractions during labor, right?  Yeah, I'm pretty much screwed.

Belly button? It looks really weird, distended and ridiculous.  And has for weeks.  I don't think it could protrude further.  Then again, I have another 5-10 weeks to go.  Anything is possible.

What I miss: I'd like to sleep in the same bed/room as my husband again.  I miss him, all alone in the other room.  I just wish our actual mattress were as wonderful as the one in the guest room!

Weekly wisdom: A few additions to your wardrobe can go miles to making you feel a little less huge, pregnant, fumpy and awful.  Even if those additions are used!

Milestones: Um... I am feeling better finally?  Only took 7 months...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Strawberry Hugs

There is something about two-year-olds that just makes them completely, 100%, irresistably adorable.  Something in their mix of innocense, budding personality and imagination.  The mix is intoxicating.  I can't get enough of it.

I got home somewhat late on Friday, having seen a matinee of Hunger Games* with some coworker friends.  Laura met me at the door with squeals of laughter and glee.  Mommy came back!!  That's my mommy!  Mommy home from work!!  She jumped up in my arms as soon as I was through the door for the biggest, squeeziest hug of my life.  I love big, squeezy hugs.  They are the best, and I told Laura as much.

Laura responded by squeezing harder and harder, so she was dangling from my neck, as I set down my purse and moved into the family room.

It's a strawberry hug, Mommy!  I make it for you!  I bake it in my kitchen!

Laura slid down to the floor, grabbed a bowl and spoon from her kitchen, and handed them to me. 

Here Mommy!  More strawberry hugs!  I give you strawberry kiss?

I snatched her up for another strawberry hug and this new strawberry kiss.  A big, wet, noisy kiss right on my lips.  And a few more strawberry hugs as my heart melted and I navigated us to the couch. 

Laura explained to me and Nate a little later that strawberry hugs are much stronger than regular hugs, because she makes them special in her kitchen.  Strawberry hugs are the very specialist kind.  I was worried that strawberry hugs might be a temporary thing, as so much of being two-years-old is fleeting.  Having received tons of extra squeezy strawberry hugs all weekend, I think they are around to stay.  At least for a little while.

I hope they stay for a long time.  Strawberry hugs are the very best hugs.  Ever.


*Hunger Games was fantastic.  I'm so glad I had a chance to be a part of it on opening day.  I loved the adaptation from the book.  But it was not nearly as awesome, in any way, as the strawberry hugs.  How could it be?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy Kicks

I have spent much of the past seven months whiney, miserable and complaining.  That probably won't change in the next two months.  However, things haven't been all bad all the time.  And the very fact that I'm growing an entire person - complete with personality - in my womb is pretty amazing.

At dinner with friends the other day, I took a sip of the most wonderful concoction ever... concocted.  Italian grapefruit soda.  If you know where to buy this, let me know.  Gavin is really into bubbly, lightly sweetened grapefruit-scented beverages.  In a way I never would have been on my own.  I took a sip, and he did a happy roll in my tummy.  At that moment, my life was perfect and I told my friends as much.

But how do you know?  How can you tell when Gavin likes something or really hates it?

Huh.  I hadn't really thought about it before.  I just sort of... know.  For much of this pregnancy, I've had very little appetite.  I eat because I'm hungry and need to... even though nothing sounds like it will taste good.  So a lot of what I eat are foods that I just tend to like on my own.  Gavin seems neutral for most of these choices.  They neither alarm nor delight his palette.

Sometimes I'll eat something that (under normal, non-pregnant circumstances) appeals to me.  Within bites I know I've made a poor choice.  I feel completely off.  I want nothing more of the food in front of me.  I get angry kicks and jabs from Gavin.  Potbelly sandwiches - of any flavor! - are at the top of this list (woe is me)!

Then other times I'll eat something so marvelously delicious and perfect and wonderful.  Like veal picatta.  Or Perrier Pink Grapefruit.  Or some other overly expensive.  My tongue revels with delight over these wonderfully delicious, savory foods.  Gavin rolls and wiggles in my tummy.  Everything feels happy and good and wonderful.  The world is a good place, and I am happy. 

These are the moments when I realize that I am doing something amazing, by carrying this child.  I need to eat more veal and drink more Perrier.  Maybe then I'll spend a little more of the next two months marveling in the wonder and beauty that is pregnancy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Things I Don't Say

I was raised with the wise words:

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

It's why my husband's family thinks I'm so quiet.  I'd rather not get involved in their love-filled familial bickering, as I would be sure to say something completely innappropriate to each.  I love my husband, and his family is great.  They just don't always inspire the goodness in me.

I am, however, very surprised that more people don't take this phrase more seriously.  I have been overwhelmed of late by horrid people saying horrid things to me.  And I want to to call them all out on it.  Call them bad things.  Use bad words.  I want to hurl in their faces everything I hate about them.

But I don't.  Because that's not nice or fair or appropriate.  And because I don't want to screw things over for my child, as poor Laura would ultimately be stuck in the crossfire of rudeness.

I don't say all the words bubbling in my head.  I keep them quiet and to myself.  I don't like sounding like a classist, snotty, rich girl, even in my head.  I don't like making assumptions of people's character based on their weight, occupation, marital status, age, family background, childhood, anything.  I don't want to discriminate ever, at all, in any fashion.  But man, is it hard.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Do not, ever, ask a pregnant woman the following:
You're only 7 months?! (yes)
How many are in there?  (one)
Are you sure it's only one? (yes)
Are you going to "go" early do you think? (I'd really rather not)
Is it just all in your belly? (um)

And I'd been feeling so glowy and beautiful this week.  Trashy bastard.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Actually, I'll take the dog.

What is it about 3am in my neighborhood?  It's like the witching hour for the crazies to get loud.  It's usually just The Dog.  A poor, disenfranchised youth let out in the wee hours, set on tormenting my toddler with noisy "scary" barking.  (And since I don't have an exact address/location for the dog, I couldn't report it to animal control.)

Last night was definitely worse.  Our windows were flung open, to let in the fresh spring air.  Lovely!  Till the clock struck 3, and the neighbors started fighting.

Most of my neighbors are lovely people!  I live on a cute little street, with cute little houses.  Lots of children, dogs, and waving Hi to each other from porches.  All the reasons I wanted to move to the South.  (Um, hi.  Maryland is the South for me).  We do have a few neighbors, however, that are a little less classy.  And these neighbors aired their grievances last night for all to hear.

At first, I thought I was having a really swear-ridden dream.  But I was jolted completely awake by "YOU FUNKY CHORE!"  Except that funky was the F-verb, and chore was more like a bad sort of woman.  The fight went downhill from there, with my husband and I sitting up in bed, mouths agape at the langauge we were hearing. 

We worried about the fight waking Laura, till we realized that thankfully her windows do not open, and that thankfully this domestic disturbance was in front of our house, rather than behind.  Laura slept through all the bad words I hope her mouth never utters.  I shut our window, and fell back to sleep wondering the meaning of some of the new words I'd learned.  No, I won't be repeating them.

#ISwearILiveInANiceNeighborhood  #SometimesIUseBadWordsButWOAH  #ImGladLauraSleptThroughThis  #ThreeAMIsMyNemesis

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Like a movie

I was driving into DC on this sunny afternoon, to get in some extra hours at work but also to meet up with friends for dinner.  DC driving is wrought with stop lights, and today I hit ever red.  I slowed to a stop at one particular red light as it happened.

I was behind a Lexus - Daddy's car, I'm sure.  The roof of the convertible slid back into the trunk, and the driver tossed her hair in triumph.  The passenger, another young woman, adjusted her Ray Bans in the mirror as she laughed.

They reached toward each other.  Eyes locked.  Hair flowing in the gentle breeze.  They started making out, holding up traffic as the light blinked to green in the mid-March sun.

It was something out of Hollywood.

Friday, March 16, 2012

30 weeks

I'm thirty weeks in, which means I'm 3/4 of the way to the finish line.  Ten weeks to my due date.  Seven weeks to that magic full term.  Twelve weeks to the worst case scenario - the baby being late.

I'm so torn about that though.  At 30 weeks, I am DONE with this pregnancy.  I am tired and huge and cranky.  I want my baby to be healthy, but I also want him to get his foot out of my diaphragm so I can breath thank you very much.   I want to hug my sweet darling little boy, and see what sort of person he is.  I want to watch my amazing daughter become a sister. 

However, I don't have much leave stored up for this kid.  And while I work for a quasi-governmental agency, generally home of the awesome benefits, my institution does not offer maternity leave.  I can use whatever leave I have, and then I can take unpaid leave through the Family Medical Leave Act.  Which means the later this kid is, the better.  We won't have day care till sometime in August.  I'd like to continue to be paid for as long as possible.

So I guess my point is that by week 40, I'll be a raging lunatic of pregnancy hormones.  I've had a rough first 30 weeks, and I'm not expecting the last 10 to go any better.

I'm crampy.  And emotional.  And tired.  And crampy.  And tired of Braxton-Hicks... If I thought I had any of those with Laura, I was clearly wrong.  Or maybe what I have this time are real contractions randomly spaced.  Either way, I'm just a ray of sunshine. 

I'm also tired of everyone telling me I'm huge.  Yes, thank you, that's the perfect way to make a hormonal woman feel better. 
Tell her, "Wow! You're enormous."  (thank you, janitor at work)
Tell her, "Ouch, your ankles are getting fat."  (thank you, director at day care)
Tell her, "Ha! You look like you could roll down the hall."  (thank you, grocery store clerk)

Tell her all these things, and expect her to smile politely and laugh about how high the baby is riding.  Tell her all these things, and wonder why she cries instead.  No belly picture today, because I really don't need to see how huge I am.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Who Let the Dog Out?

For several weeks now, our house has been rudely awakened at 3:00 in the morning by a very noisy dog barking and howling to his hearts content for half an hour or so.  Laura, who is generally a dog lover,  is terrified.  Won't go to bed at night terrified of this scary dog behind our house.

I never thought I'd be the sort of person to file noise complaints with the county.  But here I am.  My case is filed.  I have officially complained about the excessive 3am barking.

I thought maybe we could move on.  I thought maybe someone else would report the barking.  I thought maybe we'd learn to sleep through it.

Instead, my daughter has a stuffed dog sitting on her windowsill to keep her safe.
Instead, my daughter has a five minute ritual of talking about the dog before I can leave her room.
Instead, my daughter cries out in the night, wimpers, and then yells "Stop barking, Puppy!" into the darkness.

Instead, I filed a complaint.  I guess nothing will ever come of it, since I don't even know whose dog is menacing my evenings.  But maybe, just maybe I have made a difference in my neighborhood and home.

In the meantime, I'm bracing myself for this evening when my daughter looks up at me from her big girl bed at 8:00 pm, asking if the scary puppy will bark again.

Well, Laura.  He might.  But what do we tell that noisy puppy?  Stop barking, puppy!  Because he's just noisy.  He can't get in.  He can't hurt you.  He's just noisy.  And look!  Fuzzy Puppy is on your windowsill to keep an eye on that noisy puppy!  So what do you do if he wakes you up?  Stop barking, puppy!  Sweet dreams, my chickie.  I love you! 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Definitely Pregnant

On Friday, I almost attacked a coworker because she had the exact sparkling water I have been searching for to no avail.  Perrier Grapefruit in the 1/2 litre plastic bottle, in case you know of a source and want to mail me some.  I practically launched my pregnant self across the table as I pointed at her and yelled "WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?!"  It was most innappropriate.  And also, it turns out she hadn't seen any in months and that she was just reusing the bottle for some plain old flat water.  Poop.

So on Friday night, I stopped at Giant to pick up a a few 1 litre glass bottles of Perrier Grapefruit because even a big, heavy glass bottle of liquid heaven is better than none.

I also grabbed a 6-pack of Deer Park Sparkling Lime because it was less expensive than the 4-pack of Perrier Lime (still in heavy glass).  I figured, inferior sparkling lime would be inferior sparkling lime, regardless of brand.  Since anything not grapefruit is inferior. 

Wrong.  Deer Park ain't got nuthin' on Perrier.  The bubbles are all wrong, and the lime doesn't even taste limey.  A mistake I won't be repeating.  But don't get me wrong - I have two bottles of this inferior bubbly stuff on my desk right now.  They'll be gone by my weekly grocery shopping tonight.  Where I'll be hoarding Perrier.

Here are some other ways I'm definitely pregnant:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Big Girl Bed

We started talking about getting Laura a big girl bed way back in November.  Laura was 21 months old, and already fighting her crib at bedtime.  She wanted a "big cwibby" to sleep in.  I emailed my parents and arranged to have them bring my childhood bed (that was also my mother's) to our house, where it then languished in the basement for a while longer.

We held out on moving Laura through the holidays and her 2nd birthday.  When she turned 2, Laura moved into a new classroom at school and began taking her naps there on a cot, rather than a crib.  She turned up the volume on wanting a bed.  My in-laws had a spare mattress and boxspring to go on the bedframe, but...

I just wasn't ready to wrap my preggo brain around rearranging the entire upstairs to fit a guest bed, massive desk, crib, big girl bed, changing table, and bureau.  It was too much, so I ignored the issue.  But Laura has been sleeping half her nights in the guest bed.  Which is where I prefer sleeping these days.  And is also where the nanny my mother-in-law sleeps on Thursday nights.  It wasn't a good solution.

We finally bit the bullet, moved furniture, and procured the mattress for the bed.  The boxspring is still at my in-laws, as it couldn't fit in the station wagon at the same time as the mattress.  We'll get it next week.  In the meantime, Laura spent her first night in her big girl bed last night:

Laura could not be happier about having a big girl bed!  Our transition was really easy, as Laura so desperately wanted a big bed.  We do have a side rail up on the non-wall edge of the bed in case she rolls.  We have yet to address the issue of her getting out of bed on her own during the night.  We have a baby gate ready to install at the top of our (very steep) stairs, so maybe we'll take care of that this weekend.  In the meantime, she was never a kid to attempt escape from her crib, and she has been content to wait for help getting out of the guest bed these past few weeks.

And yes, we did decide to have Laura and Gavin share one tiny room:

[caption id="attachment_1382" align="alignnone" width="224"] Laura's SideGavin's Side[/caption]

What you can't see here is that Laura's bed goes almost the whole way to the opposite wall, and only just barely allows the armoire doors to open.  It's a tight squeeze (with Laura's bureau in the other room, and Gavin's clothes... um... he doesn't need clothes), but it was the best solution for all our stuff. 

 As far as nesting goes, I'm feeling much better about things.  I was really wound up about getting the upstairs reorganized for everyone to fit.   Now that we've completed that task, I can move onto better things.  Like dusting the walls and washing infant clothes.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


I'm having one of those supermom weeks.  Laura's sick again?  No problem!  I'll get her to the doctor, buy groceries, and cook dinner without blinking an eye.

Home with the sick kid for a day?  No big deal!  We'll sleep in, take a shower, run errands, vacuum the shiz out of the downstairs, put Laura down for a two hour nap, and cook dinner.

Back at work after a lifetime away?  Ha!  I'll work my ass off, get home, cook dinner, vacuum the shiz out of the upstairs, and rearrange furniture to make room for somebody's big girl bed. 

I might have done a little too much last night (and I might also be nesting).  I might be a little exhausted today (is it Friday yet?), but the house is tidy.  We're well fed.  I'm effing rocking my supermom cape.  Don't feel too jealous; I'm sure I'll snag my cape on something soon enough.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Yesterday wasn't a total bust.  I spent a really great day with my funny bunny little girl.  We slept in, (one of us, er me) had some breakfast, ran some errands, cleaned, napped, played... and only watched Lady and the Tramp once! 

The doctor had been able to squeeze us in at 4:45 Monday night, which was great.  We got to start our third round of antibiotics that much sooner.  The doctor also scheduled us for a two-week ear check, so we can really try to get rid of this ear infection once and for all.  Here's a look at 2012 thus far:

January 31st - Laura comes down with a raging fever, just two days after her second birthday.  We go to her previously scheduled two-year "well baby" visit, and come home with a prescription for Augmentin.  One teaspoon twice a day for ten days.  And the crap tastes like coconut flavored chalk.  Laura fought every single dose with all her might.

Laura finishes the chalk, and is ok for a week...

February 20th - Laura is raging with fever again.  I'm fortunate that she got sick on a Federal Holiday, so I'm not missing yet another day of work.  This time we are prescribed Zithromax - famously strong, and also incredibly laden with sugar

Laura finishes the sugar, and is ok for a week...

March 5th - Laura gets sent home from school, and here we are again.  This time we are given Amoxicillin - the big kids dose.  It's 1 teaspoon twice a day for ten days, but thank GOD it tastes like cherry bubblegum.  She's back at school today, with an actual appetite.  Which in Laura's world means she ate one whole miniature pancake for breakfast.  A big eater, she is not.

Let's just hope this is the end of antibiotics for a while.  Also, this is one of the worst things I've ever written, but I'm hitting publish anyway!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Did it have to be today?

I just fielded a call from Day Care.  Laura's running a fever and is complaining about her ears.  Again.  Of course she had to get sick on a Monday.  Again.  Why do children always get sick at the most inconvenient (and expensive) times?  Here's why Mondays are no good for Laura to be sick:

Friday, March 2, 2012

Maybe It's OK

I sulked most of yesterday afternoon. 
My tummy hurt most of last night. 
I didn't want any dinner... until I was suddenly ravenous and even crankier.
Laura fed off my crankiness... until she asked to go to bed a half an hour early.

The damn neighbors dog started howling barking, again, at 3am on the dot, again.
Laura woke up because of the barking, again.
I couldn't fall back asleep because Gavin was trying to kick his way out, again.
I slept in, again.
I slept in on the one morning I actually had to shave, blow-dry, put on make-up and wear a dress.  Classic.

But I made my train.
And I look really nice in my dress.
I was 28 weeks yesterday, and definitely 100% in the third trimester.
It's sunny out.
Nate and I are being taken out to dinner by his boss tonight for a job well done.
It feels great to be recognized for hard work.
Because when you are the wife of a Certified Financial Planner, you are part of the sales team. 
And I work hard to advocate for my husband's valuable services.

I treated myself to Starbucks this morning.
My coworker shared a truffle.
Another coworker and I finished a big project.
We got lots of applause.

Maybe it's all ok.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I should be happy

My gallbladder is perfectly healthy.  I'm just feeling crappy for absolutely no known reason.  I probably shouldn't have been hoping for gallstones... since they are bad... but they would have given me a name for my pain. 

So while I should be thankful that I'm "healthy," I'm just sitting at my desk sobbing.