Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Big Storm

So, after all the hype and preparation, we ended up not getting the big storm that we anticipated. Much of our state lost power, many trees fell down, and there was some flooding. But none of that directly impacted us. In fact, I found the day kind of boring. (Not that I wanted a hurricane to hit us badly. I just always find rainy days boring!)

I do definitely feel sorry for the people who are still without power, and hope for their sake that it gets turned on very soon! I also pray for the victims of the hurricane, because there were places much harder hit than here, and a few fatalities as well. But for us, the impact was minimal.

The wind was pretty intense for awhile, and we could see a few fallen branches from our sliding glass window. It rained early in the morning, but was done by 10ish. We kept the weather channel or local news station on all day, switching back and forth to get the most up-to-date information. Other than that, we just spent the day together as a family, cuddling, playing, watching TV and napping. (Well, Dan and Stephanie napped. I don't nap during the day unless I completely and totally need it. Like when I have a newborn.)

Yesterday, when I headed out to run errands, I encountered the remnants of the hurricane, and it reminded me how lucky and blessed we were to have escaped any kind of repurcussions. Many roads were closed, tons of stop lights weren't working, and I saw more than a few trees that had fallen into power lines.

I know we escaped what could have been a very big storm. Things could have been a lot worse, and the damage could have been much more intensive than it was. I feel like it was such a great reminder to all of us to be thankful for what we have, and to appreciate the things we tend to take for granted.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for a Hurricane

Well, as i'm sure most of the world knows, the East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Irene. (And in fact, she's already landed in North Carolina.)

In our house, we've spend the last few days glued to the news, keeping track of where this storm is headed, how it's going to affect us, and when it's set to arrive. Ok, full disclosure. I don't actually watch the news. I follow the local meterologist on Facebook, and get all my info from him. My husband rolled his eyes at me yesterday when I told him there was no need to turn on the TV, since I already have all the information. He then proceeded to turn it on and stare at the weather for an hour. To my surprise, all the hurricane graphics completely entertained Stephanie with their flashy lights and pretty colors. Huh. Wish I had given that a thought earlier in the week. Anyway.

On Thursday, Stephanie and I went to the drugstore and grocery store to stock up on supplies. CVS was out of D batteries, but we got some boxes of cereal, and facial moisturizer (don't want to run out of THAT during a hurricane, right?) At the grocery, we picked up bananas (because they don't need to be refridgerated), applesauce cups (ditto), ice-cream (because if the power goes out, i'll have an excuse to eat the whole carton), water, and bread. Again, no D batteries to be found.

Yesterday we went shopping as a family, since Dan's work cancelled training for the weekend. (That doesn't mean he gets out of work, just the people he's supposed to be training. But his schedule is a little more flexible, so he was able to go with us.) We picked up more food (soup, raisins, snacks), milk, and another loaf of bread. We then proceeded to check 5 stores for D batteries. No luck. Clearly, I should have had the foresight to stock up earlier.

Today I made my "last-minute prep" list. Tonight i'll gather all the flashlights, candles, matches, and non-perishable food to keep all together in one place. Dan will bring in all the outside stuff from our patio, and empty the garbages and recycling. (I don't want them stinking up the apartment, since the AC's will go off if we lose electricity, and it will get hot in here!) I also want to keep our cell phones plugged in until we actually lose power, that way they'll be fully charged for as long as possible. I also took Stephanie out for one last shopping trip, to get the MOST IMPORTANT things.

Those, of course, were snickers bars (can you imagine being stuck inside during a hurricane with no chocolate??) and one last Dunkin Donuts coffee. If we lose power, and can't get around for a few days due to fallen trees, I wanted to make sure I got in a Dunkin fix. I already want another one. Sigh. OH, and I also found D batteries! Completely unexpected. I went to the tiniest little CVS, which happens to be the closest one to us. (It's so tiny, there isn't even a pharmacy in it.) I checked the aisle, but the D's were completely cleared out. But, while I was in line to purchase the snickers, there was a case of them with four packages left! Score. I felt like that was a major accomplishment.

Now that the essentials are taken care of, we can sit back, relax, and wait for the storm to hit. If it even comes. We're famous around here for panicking, filling the stores to load up on bread, water, and milk, and then having the storm fizzle out. Lets see what happens!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Post About Nothing

I have been sitting here for several minutes trying to come up with a good topic to post about tonight, and I came up with...nothing.

I feel like there has been nothing special/significant going on that's worthy of sharing with the world, and I hate to bore my readers by writing about ho-hum things. However, since I can't seem to find an inspiration tonight, i'll just write down a few random thoughts.

1. Stephanie and I have been on our own since Saturday, because, as I might have mentioned previously, this is Dan's busy time at work. He spends the last two weeks of August training his new staff for the upcoming school year, which means he leaves the house at 7, and doesn't return until 9 or 10 at night. It's hard not to have him here for our normal routines, and Stephanie spends a lot of time asking for her Daddy.

2. I'm shocked that I really can't yet complain about doing everything parenting/household related by myself. It hasn't felt stressful yet, and in fact there are certain things i'm enjoying about it. Like getting to make "kid" dinners. (Mac & cheese, grilled cheese, frozen pizza, chicken nuggets, etc.) I would feel guilty serving those things for dinner if Dan were here, and in fact he doesn't even like 3 out of 4 of them. But when it's just Stephanie and I, anything goes!

3. Stephanie's molars have now come through enough that they no longer bother her. Thank goodness. The waking at night and being cranky all day has ended. Phew! Of course only the bottom ones are in, but at least i'll know what to expect when those top ones decide to make their appearance.

4. We apparently had an earthquake today. Well, that's not entirely true. The earthquake happened in Virginia, and we felt the repurcussions of it. It was a nannying day for me, and the girls were sleeping. I was reading on the couch, and it started to vibrate. I thought either it was pregnancy related off-balanced-ness, or an airplane that was causing things to shake. (Doesn't make much sense looking back, but I would never have thought it was an earthquake.) Later I saw from other people's Facebook status's that it was indeed an earthquake.

5. On a weather-related note, we're supposed to get effects from Hurricane Irene this weekend. I'll be stocking up on food, water, and batteries because i've found that the more prepared you are, the less likely it is that you'll actually see the severe weather!

Ok, I honestly can't even come up with any more random thoughts. Pathetic, I know. If you're still reading, thanks for finishing out this boring post. I promise that the next one will be more interesting! (I hope so anyway...)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby Update, Week 32

I went for my 32 week, 5 day appointment yesterday.

I only put on 1 lb in two weeks, yippee!!! My snickers addiction hasn't slowed down at all, so I really expected another big jump, and was excited that that was not the case.

My blood pressure is still low, and i'm crossing my fingers it stays that way!

I'm also officially at the point where I started getting the PUPPS rash during my pregnancy with Stephanie. (If you don't know what this is, consider yourself very, very lucky. It is the worse, itchiest, most uncomfortable, bordering on painful rash ever. It only happens when you're pregnant, there's no explanation as to why some women get it, and there is nothing you can do about it. Except beg your doctor to give you a c-section at 33 weeks to take you out of your misery. She obviously didn't oblige me.) Anyway, luckily they say that it's more prevalent in first pregnancies, and so far that is the case for me, yay! I also have no new stretch marks this pregnancy (and am hoping that writing it down didn't jinx me.)

I measured 33 weeks, which was only 2 days ahead of where I actually was, so that's no big deal.

The only bad news is that the Dr  thinks he may be breech. However, there are still 7 weeks to go, and i'm doing everything I can to convince Joseph to flip around so he's head down. And by "everything" I mean that I spend an inordinate amount of time talking to him in my nicest mommy voice, asking him to please be a nice boy and do mommy this big favor. We'll see if he listens!!!

All in all, i'm happy with the pregnancy thus far, and hope it continues to be smooth sailing. I can't believe there are only 7 weeks left! Yikes!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


We live in a very small apartment. There are a host of "issues" that I have with it, including the fact that we have no control over fixing anything that might break, the fire alarms can go off at any time, we are at the mercy of other people to mow our tiny lawn, and it can get very noisy. We often have trouble with people taking our parking spot, we've had to call the exterminator this summer to fix a bug problem, the walls are poured concrete so it's hard to hang anything, and we're directly above the boiler room which means it can get HOT in the winter. If you're someone who knows me in person, none of this is news, i've had all of these things on a constant list of complaints since we moved in three years ago. However, I realized today that while I view it as less than ideal, to Stephanie it is home and she loves it.

Right now her two-year molars are coming in, and she's been super cranky and not sleeping. On the way home this afternoon, she whined and fussed in the car, asking to go night-night, and just generally being unhappy. Then we pulled up to our building and her entire demeanor changed. She shrieked with happiness, yelled "HOME! YAY!" and clapped her hands.

It struck me at that moment that she doesn't see all of the "problems." To her, it is the place she feels most safe, secure, and loved. It's all she's ever known, and it's home.

I started thinking at that moment that I really shouldn't complain about it as much. We have a roof over our heads, a place to put our children to bed at night. And the best part is, we don't have to pay for it, it's a perk of my husband's job. (This is actually one of the things I like to complain about it. While it's nice to be given an apartment with utilities included, it's a double-edged sword because as long as my husband has this job, we HAVE to live here.)

I should be grateful that we get heat (lots of it), hot water, electricity, internet, telephone, and cable. We never have to worry about getting those particular bills paid. We've very, very lucky and blessed.

It took my 18-month old to remind me that those are the things I should think about when I start dwelling on our living situation. Thank you Stephanie for putting things into perspective for your mommy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

How We Spent a Rainy Day

Today it rained. And I mean rain, not just a shower here or there. It was pretty torrential, and as soon as I woke up this morning I knew we wouldn't be leaving the house.

Somehow, with that simple decision made, the day loomed ahead of me, and I just knew it was going to be a "bored" kind of day. (Of course there are tons of cleaning tasks I could have accomplished, as well as some things on the baby-to-do list that I could work on. But I knew that wouldn't happen today.)

Being "forced" to stay home all day just seems so much worse than choosing to do so. Whenever there's been a time where we've been out and about and busy for days on end, I crave time home. I relish every minute we spend in the house, and never lack for things to do. But when its weather, or sickness, or some other such calamity that keeps us in all day, I just want to rip my hair out!

Dan left for work at 8:45 this morning. Stephanie and I were already dressed, had make-up on (me, not her) and had eaten breakfast. As soon as he stepped out the door I had a "now what?" kind of moment.

I washed the breakfast dishes, and then at 9 put Curious George on TV. Stephanie was content to play with her toys and occasionally pause to watch a minute or two of George while I checked my email and caught up on some blog reading. At 9:45, the TV went off, and we read some books. (She is obsessed with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and after reading it about 350 times, I think I can recite it by heart.)

At 10, I was sick of reading books, couldn't believe it was only 10am, and decided it was snack-time. (Organic honey bunny crackers for Stephanie, Greek yogurt for me.) After snack, which sadly only lasted 15 minutes, I sat down to play with her. We did some coloring, had a picnic, and read some more books. (As I mentioned before, I knew the rainy day would make me completely unwilling to do any sort of cleaning. Which is really too bad, because there is so much I need to do.)

We played for what seemed like hours, and at 11:15 I decided to make Stephanie lunch, because she was getting restless. (And, quite frankly, so was I.)  Lunch lasted until 11:45, and then I cleaned up and washed the dishes. She then asked to go for a nap, so even though it was early I put her in. Once she was asleep, I made myself an omelette for lunch, ate it, and cleaned up. I was exhausted, so I spent the next hour resting, and as soon as I started to consider getting something done, she woke up. I knew she hadn't slept long enough, but I also knew that she hadn't really been fully tired, since she went down for a nap half an hour earlier than normal.

I got her up, changed her diaper, and gave her some milk. We played with toys for a little bit more, and then I gave her an afternoon snack. (Goldfish and craisins.) At that point, desperate for something different to do, I decided to make play-doh. I looked up a recipe online, made sure I had all the ingredients, and put it together. It was surprisingly easy to make. When it was cool, we sat at the table to play, and we both had a blast! It was a lot of fun to watch her discover the new texture, to squeeze it through her fingers, and try to roll it into balls like I did. I was proud of myself, because the process killed about an hour of the day, and when we were finished it was already 4:30. Time to think about dinner!

I started dinner, and Dan came home right at 5 for once. (He often gets caught up in meetings or conversations and will arrive anytime between 5:15 and 5:45. Annoying when you're trying to plan for dinner. But that's a story for another time.)

As soon as he walked in the door, I morphed into super cranky wife/mommy. I think it was the whole "forced to stay in, havn't seen another adult in 8 hours thing." I had zero tolerance for anything at that point. But we made it through dinner, clean-up, bathtime, and bedtime. Now it's 7:45 and I AM DONE. I want nothing more than to eat some chocolate, take a nice hot shower and go to bed. Thank goodness this never-ending day is finally coming to a close.

I hate rainy days.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Clean Up, Clean Up

"Cleaning up with children around is like shoveling during a blizzard." - Anonymous

This was someone's facebook status this morning, and I just had to use it. It perfectly sums up the challenges of trying to keep a house clean with a toddler around. (Actually, i'm sure it applys to any age child, but my experience right now is with a toddler.)

Since we live in a small apartment, clutter gives me anxiety. It used to be so easy for me to run after Stephanie, cleaning up whenever she was done playing with something. I'm a big believer in "everything has a place," and I make sure that every time a new toy arrives in our house, it has a place to call home. But lately it's been harder and harder for me to keep up.

Part of the problem is that i'm trying to teach Stephanie to clean up after herself, and that once she's done playing with something it needs to get put away. She loves the "clean-up" song, and will help me clean up if I sing it. (She even sings along.) But she's only 18 months, so her attention span isn't always long enough to completely finish cleaning up an activity. Then by the time i'm done with it, she's taken 3 more things out...and moved onto something else. And of course, everything has a million pieces, which have often been strewn from one end of the apartment to another, so half of the cleaning time is spent searching out each part of a toy. (And try asking an 18 month old where something is. She'll head off to look for it, then get distracted and wind up making a bigger mess.)

I also lack the energy right now to really enforce the "one toy out at a time rule." I'm moving slower than usual, and it's hard to bend over to pick up toys. So what usually happens when I see 3 more things out is that I give up. (Such bad parenting, I know.)

By naptime our entire apartment looks like Toys R' Us exploded. We don't have a playroom, so there are toys in the living room and in Stephanie's bedroom. But they also migrate to the dining room, the kitchen, and the master bedroom. And if she's gotten into the bathroom at all during the day, there are bath toys flung all over that room as well. It drives me CRAZY but right now there just isn't anything I can do about it. I also tell myself that it's going to be worse than this when the baby comes, because we'll be sleep deprived on top of taking care of two little ones. Maybe if I can train myself to relax about the clutter now, it will help me not to freak out then.

The best i've been able to do is make sure that it's all cleaned up every time she goes to bed. I do one big "clean-up" sweep at naptime, and another when she goes to bed. Then I have a few hours of serenity when I think "wow, our apartment can look really nice." Until, of course, she wakes up and the cycle begins again.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Point of View

A facebook friend recently posted a link to a blog post where the woman discussed how blogging gives her the validation that stay-at-home moms crave. I completely related to this article, probably because i'm a stay-at-home mom, and a blogger. However, there was someone who criticized the author for not being sensitive to working mothers. This comment irked me, because in my opinion the author never mentioned working mothers, she wrote about how she feels as a stay-at-home mom. That is her perspective, so she gave her opinion based on the lens that she writes through.

As bloggers, we can only write what we know. Our thoughts, opinions, and tirades are filtered through our own experiences. We can't begin to know what it's like "on the other side." If I write about how hard my days at home are, and how much work I have to do, etc, etc., i'm not saying I have it harder than a working mother. I'm merely stating how i'm feeling at that moment, and what i'm going through. When a single mom writes about the difficulty she has when trying to deal with her sick child alone, she isn't claiming that married mothers have it easier. She's just writing about the unique challenges that come along with being a single mom. When this particular blogger stated that blogging gives stay-at-home moms validation in their jobs, she wasn't saying that other people choose to work out of the home just to get validation. She was simply saying that that part of her life had been missing, and blogging was a way to get it back. However, in all of these cases, there is always someone quick to chime in and berate the author for not being sensitive to people in the opposite position.

It is so hard for me to understand why these commenters do this. While disagreeing with the point of view of an author is acceptable, it's not ok for someone to tell anyone else that the way they feel is wrong. Bloggers don't write because they want to appease all of their readers. That would be an impossible job because we are all different, and all go through different experiences. It's great to find a blogger that you relate to, but even then there might be something that you disagree about, and there's nothing wrong with that! Even if two people went through the exact same experience, their thoughts, feelings, and way of dealing with it would be different. That's just the way the world works.

I'm sharing the link to the blog post, if anyone is interested. I personally do not see that it in any way puts down working mothers. But then again, that's because i'm reading it through the eyes of a stay-at-home mom. If anyone thinks differently, i'd love to get your opinion, so feel free to leave a comment!


Thursday, August 11, 2011


When I originally started this blog, I titled it "Stephanie's Mommy." I then deleted the (maybe 4?) posts that I had written over the course of several months. I changed the blog when I got pregnant, and titled it "Baby Makes Four." However, my URL was still http://www.stephaniesmommy.blogspot.com/. That was realllllllly bugging me, since the URL didn't match the title. SO, I am announcing that I have officially changed my URL. If you're trying to type in the address, it is now http://www.ababymakesfour.blogspot.com/. (Same as the title, but with an "a." Now I can be a happy, content blogger again :) Thanks for reading!

Baby to-do List

I feel pretty comfortable with how much we've done to prepare for this little bundle that is arriving in (gulp) 8.5 weeks. Over the course of the summer, i've tried to get as much stuff done as possible, because the last two weeks in August and the first week of September are going to be crazy. Part of Dan's job involves training new staff members for three weeks, which means we do not see him for the duration of that time. (Ok, we see him a little. But never for meals, or Stephanie's bedtime.) This three weeks includes weekends, which means that everything we have to get done needs to be done already, or get done after that three week period.

Here is what we've done so far:

-Moved furniture out of the nursery. Once Joseph is sleeping for a big chunk of time at night, he'll move into Stephanie's room with her. To make room for the toddler bed we'll be getting, we moved the changing table into the dining room, and the glider into the living room. (We live in an apartment, so space is at a premium.)

-Started a baby registry. I'm not having a shower this time, so I mostly did it to organize my thoughts on what we need for this little guy. 99% of the baby stuff we have from Stephanie is pink, and I just cannot put my son to sleep on pink sheets, or use pink burp cloths for him. I also included things like pacifiers, bottle nipples, etc. We've gotten quite a few gifts already, thanks to my amazing friend who gave us a mini-shower. I also pick things up here and there when I have a coupon. At this point we have about half of what we'll need for those first few weeks.

-Made room in our bedroom for the bassinet. With Stephanie, I put it right next to my bed, and had to push it away every time I needed to get in or out of bed. So we cleared some space, and hopefully it will be easier this time.

-Switched Stephanie's closet. The nursery has a big closet that Dan was using, and an armoire that was for Stephanie. Her enormous wardrobe was bursting from the armoire, which meant there was no room for poor Joseph's clothes. So, we gave the kids the big closet, I gave Dan the closet in our bedroom, and I took the smallish armoire. (Dan's work clothes for both summer and winter need to stay hanging year round, whereas I can switch stuff seasonally. So even though i'm the woman, and have a bigger wardrobe, I took the small closet. Oh the sacrifices of a mommy :)

It seems like we've accomplished so much, and we have. Most of what we have left doesn't need to be done until about that 3 or 4 weeks before baby. This includes:

-Buying a going-home outfit for him.

-Washing all his clothes, sheets, bibs, burpcloths, etc.

-Digging out the swing & bouncy chair, washing them, and reassembling them.

-Setting up the bassinet.

-Buying the rest of the stuff from the registry that we're going to need right away.

-Packing the hospital bag.

-Packing Stephanie's bag that she'll take with her when she spends the two hospital nights at my parent's house.

I'm actually looking forward to doing all those items, especially washing the clothes. I want to do it now, but i'm making myself wait until labor day weekend. I know it will all get done, and amazingly I don't feel stressed about doing it all. Yay for actually being relaxed about something!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Ok, I did it...I conquered ebay!

Last winter Stephanie had this sweater that I loved. I put her in it every single time it was clean. (Possibly because I spent a total of 60 dollars on the sweater, a onesie to go under it, and a jean skirt to wear with it.) But it wasn't just the money, it was the fact that I completely adored this sweater. It was white, with red fair isle patterning along the collar, and sweet little penguins dancing among the pattern. I kept that thing hanging in her closet well into the summer, even though it no longer fit, and never would again. I had grand plans for heading to the outlets this winter to pick it up in this year's size, since the store I got it at always puts out the lines from the previous year. But then I realized that 1) I will have a newborn and a toddler this winter, and the odds of me getting to the outlet mall an hour away from my home are probably nil and 2) With my luck I would get there and they would have every size but 2T. So, I figured hey, let me check out this ebay thing that everyone raves about.

I went onto the site a few weeks ago, and signed up for account. Then emailed my sister to ask how the heck I was expected to pay. She told me about PayPal, but I was hesitant to do it, especially if I never ended up finding the thing. I felt funny about having my credit card info just out there in cyber-space. Especially because I kept finding the sweater, but starting bids were like, 25 dollars. For just the sweater. Sorry, I just can't do that.

Then, this weekend I found it, new with tags, for 9.99 starting bid. It also came with a matching red tutu, also new with tags. I couldn't help it, I posted a bid. I was so excited. I emailed my sister right away, and she got so excited. I think it was part excited that I found it, part excited that I was bidding on something, and ebay is really fun.

The next day, I got an email that I was outbid, so I went a little higher. When I got outbid again, I decided it just wasn't meant to be. Then I told my husband about it, and he said to bid higher. (SO WEIRD. Even though he never complains about the amount of clothes I buy for her, he's pretty much of the notion that she needs a shirt, a pair of pants, and two changes of underclothes and that's it. Maybe a second set for when the first one is being washed.) So when my sister texted asking if I won the bid, I told her no, I was outbid, but Dan was urging me to go higher. She also told me to go a little higher. So I decided I would, but with only an hour left to go, I planned to wait until the last minute.

I had downloaded the ebay app for my phone, and bascially the thing didn't leave my hand for the next hour. I brought it into the bathroom while I took my shower, and let me tell you, that was the quickest shower in history! I was so afraid of being outbid. My sister texted me to say that she was at my mom's house, and the whole family was sitting around the computer, refreshing the page, to see if I won. (My family is awesome.) About 5 minutes before bid time ended, a last minute bidder popped up, but I still planned to go higher. At 1 minute to go, I placed my bid. It kept telling me to bid higher, so I went up and up...and finally decided it was too high. And then...I realized I won! For the lower bid I put in! It was only telling me to bid higher to ensure my win. I was ecstatic. Wow. What an adrenaline rush. (And yes I realize how silly that makes me sound.) But I won the sweater! For a very reasonable price. I am so excited, and it makes me ready for winter so I can dress her in it over and over. Because after all, who knows how many more winters I have to dress her in my favorite clothes without hearing her whine and complain about how she doesn't like it and doesn't want to wear it. And also, i'm sort of glad that something as simple as winning a bid on ebay can make me happy. It's the small things in life. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Some Positive Thoughts

I feel like I do a lot of complaining on this blog, particularly in regards to my pregnancy. I tend to mention the exhaustion, the aching back, how difficult it is to parent a young toddler while being pregnant, how the heat is getting to me, etc. I'm getting a little sick of it myself (the complaining, not the pregnancy) so I thought to change things up, i'd write about some of the positive pregnancy-related things i'm experiencing.

First of all, I feel so much more confident this time around. I know i'm capable of growing this little nugget into a full-fledged human being, and i'm relishing the fact that my body is nourishing and sustaining him. Every day I am thankful for the blessing of being his mommy, and some of the best moments of my day are when i'm sitting still, hands on my belly, experiencing all of his acrobatics.

I also love my pregnant body so much more this time. I started out this pregnancy so focused on keeping the weight down, and while i've slipped a little recently, all-in-all its been a success. I strongly feel that keeping the weight in check is correlated to keeping my blood pressure down, which makes me feel so good about my ability to take control over my health. I'm carrying very differently this time around as well, and have more of that "basketball under my shirt" belly. I love that, and love showing it off with the maternity clothes that I proudly wear.

That brings me to the subject of maternity clothes, which I consider a big perk of pregnancy. So many people loathe them, but I love them! Stretchy panels that don't dig into your belly like regular pants, and loose, drapey shirts (or tighter ones...I wear both!) where the emphasis is on your belly. At what other time are you happy and excited to show off your belly?? I know during "normal" times i'm constantly trying to find shirts that hide, not show off, my stomach. There is none of that concern during pregnancy, at least for me.

I also love thinking about, and preparing for, the arrival of my little bundle. I feel much more prepared this time around, in terms of knowing what to expect. I know that i'll need time to heal, and that i'll be tired, and not feel like myself. I also know that things could be completely different this time, and i'm open to that as well. I have no expectations, i'm just going to take it as it comes. I'm going to be breastfeeding (hopefully) this time, which is going to introduce a whole new set of feelings and experiences, and again i'm open to it.

I can't promise that I won't spend the next 9 weeks complaining about things. In fact, i'll warn you right now that it's pretty much guaranteed that at least once a week i'll post a whiny entry. But hey, that's just because it's honest, and how I'm feeling in the moment. But at least now you know that I really do cherish this time of my life, this baby, this pregnancy. I'm thankful every single day for the blessing that I carry around in my body.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Update

We're officially done with camping for the year. I'm always sad to see vacations end, but this one was so extra exhausting that I'm happy it's over, even though we all had so much fun. I'm already excited about next year!

I had my 30 week OB visit yesterday. Here are the stats:

Weight gain: Up 5 lbs....biggest jump yet. BUT i've still only put on a total of 18 pounds so far this pregnancy. With Stephanie, I was already up to 26 pounds. However, my daily snickers bar habit, and craving for Doritos definitely don't help keep the weight in check. Definitely something I need to work on...

Heart Beat: Strong. I love that part of the appointment. Even though I feel his movements constantly, it's nice to hear that steady whoosh, whoosh.

Blood Pressure: Excellent! Again, this is a huge improvement from when I had preeclampsia with Stephanie.

Glucose Test Results: Perfect. Which means no 3-hour test. Yay! However, i'm borderline anemic, so I need to up my iron intake, and make sure I don't forget my prenatals. (Something I have a tendency to do. Oops.)

So, basically this pregnany is progressing completely normally, and I am so grateful for that! Joseph is a big mover, and I love to sit and watch my belly jump up and down. I'm definitely feeling big and pregnant, and I tire more easily. But there are now only 9 weeks and 1 day until my due date! It's approaching fast, and i'm starting to get extra excited. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Camping Days 1, 2, & 3

We've been "camping" this week, as I mentioned in my last post. (Camping during the day, coming home to sleep at night.)

Day one was great. We arrived at 3:00 to check-in, with my parents and sister. We set-up, which for me meant playing with Stephanie since there wasn't much I could do to help. Then we went in the pool, which was great for my pregnant body. Stephanie LOVES water, and had a blast. She wanted to run right to the water as soon as we arrived. She played on the pool stairs for a while, but then wanted to do it without holding our hands. We tried swimming with her in the shallow end, but she just wanted to swim by herself. (Ummmm, sorry kid, you're 1. It's not happening.) She finally relented to riding in the raft/float thing that my mom had bought. After swimming, we had dinner and a campfire, and then Dan, Stephanie and I headed home.

Monday we were up right away, I packed a few things for the day, and we headed to the campground. We ate breakfast as soon as we got there, and then went back to the pool. My sister and niece (who is Stephanie's age) were there too, so the girls had a lot of fun together. After swimming, I was EXHAUSTED. I think it was a combination of the heat, the pool, and walking around a lot more than I'm used to. I took Stephanie into my parent's camper in the afternoon, with the hope that she'd take a nap. I laid down next to her and closed my eyes, but she just jumped around, did some yoga poses (she does downward facing dog. I'm waiting for the day she rolls over in a somersault), and yelled to everyone out the window. After about 20 minutes of this, I had Dan take her for a walk while I took an hour nap. I woke up and felt much better. We played for a while, had dinner, and walked to the camp store. At that point my back was throbbing, and I was exhausted again. We headed hoome a little earlier than the night before, and Stephanie went right to sleep.

This morning we got a much later start, since Stephanie slept until 8:30. But the day progressed almost exactly the same. That monotony is part of what I love about camping. I was still tired, and my back still hurt, but I had a lot of fun.

We did this exact same camping thing last year with Stephanie. But that was so much easier, since she was only 6 months old, wasn't crawling yet, and was able to fall (and stay) asleep much quicker and easier. I actually brought a book to read, and had a lot of time to relax. This year is all about chasing after her, preventing her from jumping/running/falling into the fire, and finding activities to keep her entertained. I'm also 7 months pregnant, which means my body doesn't move as fast, and as I think I mentioned (haha) i've been getting so tired halfway through each day. Oh, and the back thing doesn't help. I don't know if it's because i'm carrying so much weight in my belly, or if it's the unsupportive camp chairs, or all the walking, but i've never had lower back pain like this before. (It's actually probably a combination of all of that.)

All in all, I have to say i'm having a lot of fun, and Stephanie is absolutely loving it. She gets to be outside all the time, which to her is the best thing in the world. There's lots of dirt/sand to play in, delicious food to eat, and a pool to swim in. She couldn't be happier. And honestly, that makes all the preparation, exhaustion, and back pain worth it. To see her enjoying herself makes me a very happy mommy. It's also been nice to spend so much time with Dan and my family, who have been amazingly helpful and patient with me, since I can't chase after Stephanie or help with food prep/clean-up the way I want to. Despite the complainy nature of this post, I have to say that watching my daughter experience one my favorite summer pastimes is an absolute blessing, and i'm definitely enjoying the experience.
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