20111228

Please Help Me

Someone out there must have gotten a sinus infection while pregnant, right?  What did you do besides live in pain and suffering the entire time?  I can't stop coughing long enough to sleep and my face hurts from the pressure in it.  Do I just suck it up for the next few weeks and keep trying to dislodge it with hope and a prayer?

20111227

Three Hundred Posts And All I Get Is One Boy And One Girl

So, my husband and I pulled off a surprise intended for us!  As you might recall, we wrapped a surprise onesie (with the help of a harried Babies'R'Us service desk individual) letting us know the gender of our still gestating little one.

On Christmas night, when the majority of our family was over, and after my mom nearly cried during the morning opening of presents when we told her that we were waiting to open the onesie until the evening, we opened our package and inside was a...  bright pink little sister onesie!  I hope to get a video up eventually, but my face was all shock and happiness from what I was told and my in-laws video. 

I'll tell the truth, I was so happy initially when I saw the pink onesie, but now I feel a kind of worry and guilt.  N really really wanted a brother and I feel like I failed my little boy.  Afterwards, I told him that the baby in the belly was a girl and he said to me with an unhappy face, "But I wanted a boy."  I know that he'll eventually not care, but still...  My sole reason for wanting a boy was to make N happy.

I'm also worried that I could never love any other little child as much as I love N, but I'm assured by the internet that this is a common worry that does not often come true. 

One boy and one girl.  Looks like I will have it all. 

20111219

How A 30 Week Pregnant Woman Goes To Sleep

Man, oh, man.  These weeks.  I'm trying to keep a chin up, I am, but N's school is the school of germs and destruction.  I've been sicker in December than ever and it is hard.  I love Christmas and this is just the worst.  I thought I'd write you all with a quick blog post, however, of how I fall asleep nowadays.  Read it and weep.

1.  Decide it is finally time to sleep.  This can occur any time between eleven PM and four AM.  I know some of you are horrified, but my insomnia has hit me especially hard this pregnancy.

2.  Brush my teeth.  Check on N to see how his breathing is.  His asthma is kicking up in this dry weather.  Forget I've brushed my teeth and brush them again.  Use the bathroom.

3.  Get to bed where I need to rearrange my nest of pillows.  This takes about five minutes.

4.  Lay down.  Cough.  Nearly throw up.  This happens every single night.  I try not to clear my throat by coughing but then I am miserable.

5.  Spend another ten minutes in the bathroom trying to keep the food I did not eat down.

6.  Get back into bed and think about the nest of pillows and the heartburn. 

7.  Turn from side to side trying to find a position where my lower spine doesn't feel like it's falling apart.

8.  Think about the c-section.

9.  Vow to try a natural birth.

10.  Laugh at myself and then weep.

11.  Have to get up and use the bathroom again!

12.  Re-arrange pillows and finally find sleeping spot that is vaguely comfortable.

13.  Drowse.  P who is soundly sleeping turns over.  This is like a small earthquake in our bed.  Can't believe I never noticed pre-pregnancy that he basically throws himself around when he turns over.  It wakes me up.  Bathroom time again.

14.  Come back.  Settle down.  Drowse.

15.  Spend next hour or two trying to sleep/drowse.  Finally, six or seven in the morning, fall dead asleep.

16.  Seven thirty AM, N walks into the bedroom and screams, "WAKE UP!"

For serious, folks.  If they offer me pain or sleeping drugs after that c-section, I'm going to take them like there is no tomorrow.  And I'm going to sleep.  I just want them to bring me a baby to feed and change for a few days while I sleep and sleep and eat ice.

20111217

Have You Wondered If I Was Alive?!

Wonder no longer, my friends.  The last few weeks have been...  interesting.  The list of things that have gone wrong in the last two weeks seem kind of hilarious, but when I'm in the midst of them, it is just just a little overwhelming and I can't blog.  (To give you a hint, in the last week alone, N has gotten both a horrible stomach bug and pinkeye and I've gotten the stomach bug and our heater broke and everything every where fell apart.) 

But, life is starting to pull together, and I'm done most of my Christmas shopping, so now I'm back to bitching about pregnancy and how much I'm already over it.  I'll try to post more often so you guys know what is going on, but don't be too surprised if December is sparsely populated with posts.

Wait, how are the holidays going for all of you?! 

20111130

Tom's of Maine Toothpaste


Several weeks ago, P and I decided it was time for N to make the move to fluoride toothpaste (from the swallowable bubble gummy stuff he had been using) and we decided to just let him use Aquafresh.  I'm not going to lie, we've used Aquafresh from the very beginning of our marriage because it is my preference and my preferences rule our bathroom products.  This is why my husband, a man with normal to oily skin and perfectly moisturized skin uses Aveeno and other products for super dry skin. 

Anyway, at first N was very excited to use "mommy and daddy's" toothpaste, but that lasted all of three seconds.  Then, the screaming began, "It's hot!  It's hot!  It burns!"  Our son was not the biggest fan of mint.  From there, toothbrushing time turned into torture screaming time, each occasion marked with tears and screaming and the words "it's hot!".  My husband persevered.  I gave up under the tears and moved to toothpasteless brushing. 

When Diane of Knitting Zeal offered a giveaway for strawberry toothpaste on her mommy blog, I got super excited.  I entered and won a tube of Tom's of Maine toothpaste and just got it this week!  Wow.  What a difference.  When N first saw it and I explained what it was, he took the tube and started dancing with it.  It was "his" toothpaste.  When he got his first bit of it, he stopped and said, "Yummy!  I love strawberries!"  (A blatant lie.)  Since then, we've had several successful toothbrushing opportunities with it, and I'm ready to call it a success.  He's pleased with its distinct lack of mint, I'm pleased with the fluoride he is spitting into the sink, and P is pleased that he doesn't have to deal with more screaming.

So, consider this my thanks for Tom's of Maine for hosting a giveaway on my friend's blog.  Since I doubt this will be the last tube we use, you've managed to turn a giveaway into a mom who is going to buy this product for several years.

20111128

Pumpkin Monkeys


Honest to God, these socks took like a year.  It's embarrassing.  I mean, I'm less embarrassed than Helen should be considering this is a throwdown where she didn't even start her part of the throwdown.  (Sorry, Helen, I had to call you out so I could feel better about myself for taking over a year to knit a pair of socks.  Using my current knitting timeline, the dishcloth I just started should be finished when N graduates from college.)


These socks were made for my mother-in-law.  When I first met the woman, she was merely the mother of a friend.  Then, years later, I started dating her son, and I wanted her to like me!  (Luckily, I was one of those children/teens taught to respect and be polite to people who were older than me, so I hope she never disliked me prior to my dating P.)  When, P and I got married, she invited me in a roundabout way to call her mom, which I basically and stupidly ignored.  

See, over the years, she's helped me to cultivate my hobbies such as knitting and photography.  If I express an interest in something like scrapbooking, she gets me a scrapbooking kit.  She asks me about what I'm interested in and tells me about her own interests and she has a never ending list of interests and hobbies.  Since my own hobby list is somewhat extensive, I love this!

More than a year ago, our family learned that she has a pretty bad health problem, and I think it quietly devastated me.  It took me a while, but I realized, I did love this woman in much the same way I loved my own mom.  (In fact, our relationship is much less antagonistic in that my mother-in-law doesn't try to take the raising of my child out from under me.) This means I did something for her that I would not do for my own mother, I knit her a pair of silk and wool socks in a beautiful colorway and in a Cookie A pattern.  (My own mom gave some of the socks I gave her to her cat as a chew toy.)


I like how these came out and they were washed prior to the giving so don't feel bad about me wearing them for the pictures! Truthfully, they look silly on me because I've just learned that I have silly sized feet, while my mother-in-law has normal sized feet.

When I gave them to her, my mother-in-law was tearing up which made me want to tear up. To be fair, though, excessively sentimental magazine ads make me want to tear up during my seventh month of pregnancy. I hope they keep her feet warm and remind her that someone loves her very much. Also, she first thought they were mittens and mentioned how she needed a pair. Anyone have a good mitten pattern?

20111127

I Swear I Still Knit

Sure, it is only a dishcloth but that is something, right? Also I've installed the blogger app in an attempt to blog on the road.


That allows me to show you I'm knitting at the park while my son and husband play with rockets.


Remind me to edit this when I get home! It looks hideous.

20111121

Stupid Things I Do During Pregnancy

I find blogs all about miscarriage, or death, or injury, or pain, and I read them and I cry and I cry and I cry until I get sick and I throw up.

I get angry over stupid things like the fact that we have no salsa in our house when I need some for N's lunch or that I wanted to use the word mad instead of angry and it made me think of the number of times I have to correct myself daily about the correct word to use and how I fear that I'm ruining N's chances of going to a good college because I'm teaching him the incorrect meaning to words.

I blow my nose in the shower and I nearly faint at the amount of blood that comes out.  Ugh, pregnancy nose bleeds.

I make myself chocolate chip cookies at eleven at night and then get bitter that they cause me heartburn.

I refuse to talk to my doctor about my anxiety, insomnia, or general fear of giving birth or having a C-section.

I spend a great part of every day hating pregnancy and then worrying that I'm ruining this baby's life.

I wonder if people hate me because I hate pregnancy.

I crave the moment I have the baby in my arms, but fear the exhaustion that will come with it.

I'm nearing the third trimester (only one more week!), which was absolutely the hardest one last time.   In approximately three months, I'll be posting pictures of a newborn and telling you all about how I tried to punch someone at a hospital to get out of getting an IV.  (Okay, maybe, maybe not, but I wouldn't put it past me.)  I'll be gushing about a baby and thinking that the picture I have of N holding him or her will be the best thing ever.  I will be cradling N in my arms in a hospital bed to assure him that I love him so so much.  I will be thinking "At least that's over" when really it will be more like "Well, this is just beginning."

And now, so you can all be as sad as I am, go read Posie Gets Cozy's story of a failed adoption attempt.  It is beautiful writing that will make you weep.

20111116

Hormones, A Blessing And A Curse

Heart
Photo by seyed mostafa zamani


I've been bitching so much about pregnancy and labor recently that I told P and Helen I was afraid that I'd dislike or hate this child at birth. Both reminded me that I felt the same way about my pregnancy with N.

This is true, by the way. I spent seven months terrified I would not love my baby enough the first time around. I was convinced that I'd love my cats more and my baby would know it. I was convinced that I would always love my husband best and mostest and brightest.

I had a blood clot, a hospital stay, twice daily needles, pills, and I hated pregnancy back then almost as much as I do now. (Difference is that back then, if I decided that the only thing I wanted to do all day long is work in a chair, and then come home and take a three hour bath, this was a completely valid lifestyle option for me.)

And I remember being angry at N for needing to be delivered and for the C-section and for everything. Evolution is clearly protecting me by trying to tell me that I'm lousy at having children and I should not do it. It's weird knowing that simply a hundred or two hundred years ago, I'd be part of the statistics of women who died before or during childbirth. I was one of the 33% of women who'd not make it. My body is trying to protect me by making me miserable during pregnancy.

Luckily, evolution and my body also work for my children, I suspect. The second I heard N cry after he was delivered, all I felt was a rush of love. When they showed him to me and allowed me to kiss him after the C-section, waves upon waves of love and adoration poured through me. There are hormones that basically make you feel joy when you see your baby for the first time and those suckers kicked in like nobody's business with N.

I remember sitting in the hospital room, holding him for the first time, and thinking to myself, "He is the most splendid thing that has ever existed and will ever exist and I can't believe it is possible to love this much." My love for my husband skyrocketed simply for being involved with making N exist. I'd probably mark those days as the happiest in my life, rivaled only the by the first time P told me he loved me, my honeymoon, and the first time N told me he loved me.

So, even though I still fear quite a bit that I will be angry about pregnancy for the next three months, I remind myself daily of that feeling I had after I heard N for the first time.  It's going to be okay, new baby, I'm going to forgive you everything the moment I hold you that first time.   But, I'll probably never let you forget it when you get older.  HA!

20111114

I Would Totally Murder You All For Fresh Chocolate Chip Cookies

Once, when I was still in college, and talking to my father, he mentioned my mom-mom (his grandmother and my great-grandmother) and her cooking. He turned to me and said in all seriousness, "There is no one I wouldn't run over, besides you, for one more plate of her spaghetti and fried chicken." I think he only excepted me because I was in the room with him. I came home and asked my mom about it and she paused briefly before saying, "That was some really delicious, delicious food."

It's fairly significant that she said that because my mom loves to be contrary to anything my father says or thinks. In fact, I often joke that the only thing they have in common is a love of tacky decorating and cats. Apparently, this also now includes my mom-mom's chicken and spaghetti dinners.

Either way, lately, I've been dying for sweets. My cravings are all for sugary, baked things. The other day, I stood at the fridge at my mom's house weeping because she didn't have chocolate chip cookie dough made up into little frozen balls waiting to be baked up, nor the ingredients to make cookie dough, nor a working cookie sheet. (When I used to live with her and make cookies, it would be an hours long production of pain and suffering and I'd buy all the ingredients fresh every year. By the time I left that house, we probably had ten bottles of vanilla about.)

Today, looking at something, I randomly thought, "I'd run over just about anyone besides N for a fresh and hot chocolate chip cookie." Guess my mom is right and I'm more like my father than I previously thought.

Also, are you all ready for the Hunger Games movie? Trailer below. I don't care if my baby is only one month old, I'm going to go see it.

20111111

No Lie, This Is A Rough Week

Some of you are probably unaware that my husband travels a fair bit. For months there, we were in a bit of a lull of travel time, but prior to N's birth, P would be away for weeks at a time. Then, during the winter of my discontent (ie, the time where N was diagnosed with asthma and I spent a lot of time at the doctor and hospital with him), P was called to work in MA for months and then NY. He probably spent a good half of the year, or more, away from us. I suffered through it a little bitterly, but N was always so happy to be with just me back then and I was so energetic, that it didn't really matter.

Then came this pregnancy and P's work's desire for him to travel to Seattle multiple times. And it's ramped up in October/November and might continue through until January, which we will officially call my eighth month of pregnancy. Now, for some energetic and glowing pregnant women, that might be fine. They might be happy to raise their children on their own while highly pregnant. Others might be forced to due to military leaves or being single parents. (If there is a heaven, I highly hope those people get a prime location in it after death. Otherwise, I hope karma comes for them early by way of lottery winnings.)

Me? I've been dying when P's gone. Like, I've stayed with my mom nearly the entire week and I'm still tired and beaten down. Literally, my mom called me this morning asking me if I wanted her to come over to babysit, because she was so worried about me. I told her no and later regretted it when I thought I was going to die after an hour walk at the mall with N. I literally came home and got sick from the food I had eaten and then lay on the couch while N watched television so I could get back to a state where I could give both of us a shower.

Now, N is in bed, and I'm still wishing I were comatose or on bed rest. (Man, hospital bedrest vacation, you're sounding better by the day.) How the hell am I supposed to get through another fourteen weeks of this crap? Anyway, I have to go make a "Star Of The Week" poster board for my son. Wish me luck. So far, I've put his name on it. It's due Wednesday. Why am I getting homework when my son is the one in school?!

20111108

Cookbook Club Happened And You Were Most Likely Not There

Seriously, you almost all dissed me by not coming to Cookbook Club.  Luckily Helen and Anna are awesome and brought awesome food.  Though, remember how I said I might make that Greek Chicken Soup?  I did not, but P did and now I think I might be obsessed with it.  It seemed like no trouble, fairly cheap (especially if you ditch the chicken meat) and it was divine.  Also delicious?  The risotto which Anna made and the lentil salad from Helen.

Having said that, I kind of want to get a feel out for this -- if I had a gathering of people for sewing one day, would anyone be interested in coming?  I know a bunch of people who are either interested in learning to sew or who want to make time for it, but don't.

My Precious


I would totally be willing to let people try out my own machine, a Bernette 66, and I would have an iron and pins and stuff available for people who do sew and I would make room at my dining room table for people who'd like to bring a machine along. I'd even be willing to give some beginning pattern deciphering clues to people interested in fashion sewing, since I've done one or two easy patterns so far.

Would anyone be vaguely interested in doing this? It would probably be in either December or January, because by February I will have turned into a giant ball of nerves and anger waiting for this baby to come. (Like I'm not already a giant ball of angry nerves now!)

20111104

Almost Done Monkey Socks

How boring is this blog nowadays?  After moving from no posts a month to fifteen posts a month, I lost two subscribers!  I'd like to point out that it takes skill to lose readers just for posting at all.  Anyway, thanks for the feedback on the fabric post.  I'm pretty sure I'm just going to do two elephant pillows, but if not, I think the turquoise fabric was the other favorite.

Baby number two is still freaking me out on a daily basis.  While I got the full results from the amnio and the news is that the baby is good as can be, I'm still a paranoid mess.  For reals, I hate kick counts.  If this baby is sleeping for about an hour during the day, I start to have mini heart attacks where in I'm convinced the baby is dead.  Then it kicks me about fifty times two hours later, and I'm reminded that I'm paranoid.  (Still, why hasn't the baby kicked recently?!  For reals?)

In further crafty news, my Monkey socks intended for a special person in my life are almost done.  They only took more than a year to complete.  Luckily, when I threw down a challenge to Helen, she actively ignored the challenge to instead knit on sweaters, cowls, baby blankets, and all types of other things.  I'm going to beat her handily even though she started a sock up.  Just goes to show that if you want to win a challenge, make sure to challenge a person who is not even trying.

20111103

Need Fabric Opinions

So, after seven years of living with the ugliest cough on Earth, further uglified by my cats ripping up the arms until you could see the wood underneath the foam underneath the ugly fabric, I decided to do something about it. I mean, here is a picture from two or so years ago when it wasn't as horrible --



Bottle Time


I got a slipcover. I've always been virulently anti-slipcover, but I needed to do something. This couch was hideous. I ordered a cream slipcover from Overstock and a grey rug. When we got the slipcover, it ended up being a grey slipcover instead. So, now I have a yellow and grey living room, which I kind of like more than I imagined I would. I think I'm going to make turquoise my accent color.

Having said this, I still have the couch's hideous pillows which are saggy and ugly and non-comfortable, so I've decided to buy some down pillow forms and make pillows. Now comes the questions, which fabrics? I've decided on one which I fell in love with.


Do I do two of these pillow? Or do I do one of that fabric and one of the following as well?




And, because I'm a giant dork, I'm thinking of making N his own pillow in the following fabric.


P declared that this was unfair and I should make two of this pillow so that he could have one as well as N.

20111101

This Is Halloween (Or Are We Calling It Snowtober Now?)

Ugh, "Snowtober" is my new least favorite meteorological phrase ever. Perhaps it knocks "Snowmageddon" out of the running. Anyway. Last night, P came home and we woke up N from his nap (still three hours, still every day, still beautiful). We quickly got him into his costume and he was a grump.



Unhappy Buzz


Even though he has been begging for a solid month and a half that he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, at the last moment he told us he wanted to be Batman. We nixed that since his Batman costume was small, not as warm, and had not cost us close to fifty dollars. (Disney store, you're so expensive but so awesome. You're the worst.)

With the weather being what is was, we had him all bundled up under the costume and he was grumpy about that too. After finally getting him to my mom's house and trick or treating there for a bit, he finally warmed up to the whole activity, gleefully running around from door to door, wondering why we were denying him the "lights off" houses.

I managed to keep up for one block before I went back to my mom's house to devour fruit and cheese we had brought for dinner. (On a less happy note, my heartburn is back and worse than ever. It was a pleasant two weeks I had without bad heartburn, but it appears that for me, pregnancy and heartburn are best friends.)

When N and P got back, N was covered in mud with wet socks and shoes. We quickly divested him of this gear and put him in his nice warm clothing and gave him a half a bowl of soup before allowing him to eat his weight in candy.

In other news, the tantrums are continuing and I'm still so tired and angry about it. I know I love my son and that he loves me, but I swear, the idea of every day preschool sounds so delightful right now. I could just rest.

Hey, in my continuing stories of women who could be my nemesis, here is a person who wants to spend their life eight months pregnant. It's interesting to note that she also has hard pregnancies, but doesn't even care. I like how she "anticipates" labor too. As opposed to my fearing labor.

20111030

My Preschooler, His Tantrums, And My Lower Back

Do you have small children? I'm sure you either do, or you have had them, or you know what I mean when I say that N is going through that stage. You know, right? The one where your child is convinced that he or she can get you to understand that they need that chocolate chip cookie by throwing themselves wholeheartedly at the floor in tears of rage and anger? It's super awesome. N tantrums about fifteen hundred times a day now.

Some days I handle it better than others, but most days in which P and I are both at home, I manage to handle it better because I think seeing P's anger at the tantrums calms my own.

Unfortunately, this means that my darling son inevitably wants me to hold him and comfort him and carry him. This was fine when I was non-pregnant me. I could easily carry him even at thirty five or so pounds. Sure, he got a little heavy, but I'd just adjust him a bit and keep powering through.

Now, however? Oh, my back. And, frankly, people are trying to convince me that at twenty plus weeks, it's probably not the smartest thing to be hauling that much weight up onto my hip. I'll admit that when his face is quivering and his arms are reaching, it is so hard to say no to him though.

Did any of you start to have lower back pain this early in your pregnancy? I'm a little past twenty-three weeks and it feels like I've already started to waddle like a fat penguin and my back feels like someone has punched it.

Also, now, when I sleep, I occasionally get that damned round ligament pain. And when I walk more than five feet, I get a stitch in my right side. Oh, pregnancy, you're miserable. Have I started to glow yet? If so, that would be the constant sweat that is streaming from my pores. I'm sure Halloween trick or treating will be delightful tomorrow as I walk from door to door and give up five doors later. (To those who are not aware, I love holidays in the same way children do, wholeheartedly and excitedly and lovingly. For me not to trick or treat the whole time with N is basically my admission of defeat to this baby. You win, tiny baby. You win.)

But, to end this all off on a slightly humorous note, I dreamed that I had my baby slightly prematurely the other day. It was a girl in my dream and I remember being super blasé about the whole deal -- having the baby, seeing the baby. And I remember in my dream worrying that my pregnancy had ruined my enjoyment of the baby. Then, I was looking and looking at the baby and finally said to myself, "This baby is a girl!" In my dream, I turned to P, and said, "You need to stay here at the hospital with our baby. I have to go buy her a super cute going home outfit from the mall!" I totally abandoned my infant and husband to go get cute clothing for a baby girl. I'm going to be the most awesome mom ever, right?

20111027

Damn, If I'm Not Negative, I Have Nothing To Say

I've been on such a posting tear recently, going on and on about my dislike of pregnancy and my general anxieties. Then, I feel a modicum of relief and happiness and I've got not a lot to say. Happily for the readers of this blog, I can only be happy for so long. Pregnancy contributes to my misery.

Here are my random thoughts and bits for today.

1. I finally called a fireplace cleaner to come out and clean our fireplace. It's been years and it needs it. It will be in time for Cookbook Club.

2. I really, really want to move into a new house in a new neighborhood which has young children in it so that N has more children to play with that don't require long drives. However, I think the value of my own house has dropped ridiculously and I shiver at the idea of trying to sell it. Lesson learned, don't buy a house you like but don't love and make sure you research the neighborhood first.

3. I'm happy about the baby nowadays, but dreading the idea of delivery. I most likely will be going to c-section and I spend minutes, if not hours, thinking of the IV and the spinal and the cutting open and the possibility of being paralyzed or killed.

4. Also, since I'm still only at week 23 (ugh, forever until February), the baby is kicking a lot, but not so steadily or heavily that I can do kick counts. This means that I'll experience an hour or two during the day in which I'm convinced something has happened to hurt my baby. (Today's crazy thought for the day: "Did the amnio have a late reaction for this baby and now it is hurting?")

5. Still with the bitter taste of metal in my mouth after eating. Ugh. I just want to enjoy something sweet, life.

6. This baby is such a crazy kicker and so active as compared to my pregnancy days with N. I'm worried about how this will play out the first few months of its being a child.

7. For everyone who has asked, no, we do not know the gender yet. We have an envelope, and we're going to Babies'R'Us or something similar. We plan to pick up one Little Brother onesie and one Little Sister onesie and then tell a cashier to wrap one up as appropriate. Then we plan on opening the present on Christmas day in front of friends, family, and such.

8. Whew, N has reached the whiny stage of preschoolerhood. Tantrums abound. Prior to parenthood, I had no idea that children would really throw themselves on the floor and kick their legs when upset. What a revelation. A sad, unhappy one.

9. Of course, he also declares that he loves me regularly and holds me close to him when he's tired or sad.

10. Today, we started a new thing -- stories about a young boy named N. N was captivated and asked for about five of them. I hope this helps spark his imagination.

20111025

The Quad Screen AKA "The Eff You Test For Anxious Pregnant Ladies"

Approximately two weeks ago, during my high risk meeting with a doctor about this pregnancy, they recommended I stop by my regular doctor for blood work for a quad screen since I'm of "Advanced Maternal Age". Without thinking too much about it and because my fear of getting blood drawn is now down to normal fear levels, I agreed and hopped over to do it. I knew my regular odds for Down Syndrome and I knew other stuff could occur, but like all people who don't have any results, I assumed my baby was healthy and comfortable and perfect.

Monday of last week came around and I got a call from my doctor. "Are you meeting with a genetic counselor?" I replied happily, "Yep, tomorrow." She paused and said, "Good, because your quad screen results came back and your Down Syndrome chance is 1 in 110 as opposed to most people your age. And there is something called trisomy 18 which I want her to discuss with you. The odds for that have been increased also, though not by as much. I'd suggest an amnio." I paused and said, "Okay." Then I came home and was anxious, but not as anxious as I was during my meeting with my genetic counselor.

Joann, a sweet lady of roughly my own age, attempted to calm me down when we met. "The odds are still low for both, but not as low as they should be. You've been flagged as a positive for further testing." I tried not to throw up on her as she showed me a drawing of what would occur with the amnio. "Do you want me to move away from this page?" I teared up and nodded at her. She further tried to calm me down. "Your ultrasound looks good, so I can't say that your odds for either are exactly what they say on this form. In fact, doctors catch trisomy 18 a lot of the time and Down Syndrome 60% of the time just looking at an ultrasound. I can't give you official odds, but try to take a deep breath." Little does this lady know that I'm the most anxious person in the office today and that she is my own personal demon. She has basically told me that my baby is going to die weeks after its birth and it's all because I did something wrong with the chemicals in my body. I refuse to listen to reason which states that this baby is most likely (over a 99% chance) just fine.

Again, I tried not to be sick. This pregnancy has already been an anxious one for me, and now here was another thing to be anxious about. I schedule the amnio for two days later, even though getting a gigantic shot into my stomach was not on my personal bucket list.

My husband, a darling but somewhat busy man at work nowadays, asks me if I need or want company at the amnio. Somewhat sick over my baby's health, I'm barely able to concentrate on the idea of a giant needle in my stomach and I tell him that I'll be just fine. It also crosses my mind that I'm going to embarrass myself and I do not want him with me if I do so. Helen offers similarly when I see her for potted duck and macarons. This one is slightly harder to turn down. I know Helen has a fear of needles much like my own and I suspect that I could use the support. However, I am still much too anxious about my baby to believe I'm that worried about the needle and I still don't want to cry in front of someone else.

I get to the doctor's office a little early, unlike my normal self, but I'm made to wait for my amnio for an extra hour for some reason. During this time, the lack of sleep (due to my worry and general pregnancy insomnia) and anxiety I feel begin to take their toll. Randomly, in the office, I tear up, but manage to keep it down. The worry about the needle finally begin to overcome my anxiety about my child's health and I keep imagining the needle hitting me and causing a miscarriage. (One in 500 chance I tell myself silently over and over.) When they finally tell me to get into the office and get undressed, I ask, in tears, some questions and the nurse talking to me pauses. She asks me if I'm okay and I tell her about my fear of needles and the amnio and my general lack of sleep and my high dose of anxiety. She attempts to calm me, but I start sobbing giant tears. This does not go over well. I get changed, but it appears that a conversation has popped up behind the closed door.

When the doctor comes in, she looks around and asks, "Where is your husband?" Through my raging tears, I reply, "I told him not to come with me because I didn't think I'd be too bad." I can barely say the last part of the sentence because I'm shaking so badly. The nurse from before tells me that she will be holding my hands the whole time and that I can feel free to squeeze her hands. I ask them if other people in the office cry about this, and both the nurse and the ultrasound tech assure me that they do. The doctor looks peeved.

After they start, the doctor plunged the needle in, but did warn me. I did not look and nearly kicked up my legs, until they begged me to lay flat. The nurse holds my hand and chats with me, or attempts to. She reminds me to breathe like I did while in labor with my other son. Though nearly hysterical, I tell her that I was never in labor. I went straight to c-section and it was beautiful. She appears stymied before asking me more about my son, but I beg her to tell me that it is over. After a full minute of flipping out on my part, she asks me if I want to see the screen. I ask if the needle is out and when she tells me that it is not, I nearly scream no at her. They quickly remove the needle and tell me to look at the screen. Tired, anxious, crying, I do, and I ask if the heartbeat is strong and okay. They assure me it is. I ask when the prelim results will come in, and the doctor says, "Seven days." I nearly fall apart at the idea of seven more days of anxiety like the days I've already faced and as she walks out, she adds, "Hopefully we call with good news." I immediately wonder if she saw something that leads her to believe the news will be awful.

After she walks out, the nurse starts to carefully tend to me. As I cry a little more gently now, she tells me to call after three days because the results will more likely be in by then. She points out that my other ultrasound was good. She tells me a lot of people weep at this office. It is the high risk office. She tells me the odds are in my favor and the only thing I can think of is The Hunger Games ("May the odds be always in your favor.")

I head home convinced that my baby will be dying soon, that my pregnancy is miserable, that my husband will leave me, that the world is ending. After a long fretful weekend doing tons of internet searches, I manage to get back into a somewhat normal state of mind, one that allows me to do things like take a shower without weeping. I do not miscarry from the amnio, and then assume all my luck has been used up in not miscarrying. The rational part of my brain that is able to do math and calculate odds is beaten down by the part of my brain that wants my baby to be healthy when it is born.

Then, today. I'm at work, waiting for a call, because it has been three days. I'm able to concentrate because I like being in the office, but as the hours go on, it weighs on my mind. I can barely breathe by eleven and I say to my phone out loud, "Ring, damn you! Where are you?"

A minute later, the phone rings and it is the genetic counselor. She starts with "Good news! Just verify your identity!" They are no fools, these genetic counselors. I nearly fall apart with gratitude and relief as I try to verify. I ask them the reliability of the prelim test results and they assure me that it is ninety to ninety-five percent assured. I immediately call P, who seems unfazed (as usual) and cheerful.

When he asks if I'm happy I've had the amnio, I say, "HECK NO. If I had never had the stupid quad screen, I wouldn't have had the amnio and I would have spent my whole damned pregnancy believing everything was fine!" He asks me what the quad screen is and how it factors into anything.

I think he might block out half of what I say when I'm anxious.

So, when it comes down to it, what I'm saying is that if I ever got pregnant again (most likely not) I would skip the damned quad screen and go right to amnio even though it made me fearful and weepy. At least then I'd skip the two weeks of crazy anxiety too. If you think this tale of fear and anxiety is nuts, by the way, do a search on "quad screen false positive" and read the forums out there. Clearly other people out there are experiencing the same thing I am.

20111020

I'll Have More Of That Duck Thing And Another Macaron, Please

Macaron Rose, Maison Kayser, Nihonbashi
Photo by yuichi.sakuraba


You guys (says the Philadelphia girl), do you like macarons? When I first started to see them pop up around the food blogosphere, I was enraptured. They looked so delicate, so pretty, so amazing, and so delicious. I wanted to make them no matter how long I had to age egg whites on my counter. I wanted to make them so people would look at food I had made and weep with joy at the idea of eating them. However, they seemed to be an exclusively non-United States treat, and I didn't have the money or energy to jet off to France or Australia for some sweets, no matter how cute.

Time has moved on and they are now popular here! A few months back, P and I went to dinner with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and several of their friends to Talula's Table, and the ending bite was a single teeny macaron. It was the first I had ever had. I was afraid I would be disappointed, but that single bite told me everything I needed to know -- macarons were as good as they looked! In fact, when P told me he hadn't loved his, I almost got angry at him for eating it. I could have eaten that bite! That could have been my macaron bite! Did I eat the stupid heirloom tomato salad that I didn't care for and not give it to him? No, I gave him the salad because I loved him. I realize this is not rational, but the macaron was that good.

Flash forward to this evening. Helen asked if I wanted to hang, and I've been so upset over my pregnancy anxieties and I've felt a general malaise recently, that I jumped at the chance. I demanded macarons too. (That just lets you know if you become close friends with me that I'm self-centered, pushy, and mean not just on this blog, but to people I like. I'm the worst.) Because she's a good friend and because I told her that my anxiety levels are through the roof, and because she's a fan of macarons as well, she got several from Jose Garce's Trading Company. (She also got fresh mozzarella, fresh feta, and some duck/fois gras/caramel thingie that I would have licked out of its jar if she had not been around.)

The macarons were excellent. My favorites of the night ended up being the salted caramel, the chocolate, and the huckleberry. The salted caramel seems to be the popular favorite online for the Trading Company, and it was certainly fantastic, but my favorite was the chocolate. The chocolate was fudgey and much like a flourless tart in its intense flavor. I could buy a whole dozen and just go through them. My excuse would be pregnancy!

Does anyone else in Philly know of a good place to try more macarons? Alternatively, any online places ship that you'd recommend?

20111018

Cookbook Club -- November

If you didn't know, Cookbook Club is coming to our household on November 6th at 1 pm. This is an open invite to the people who read this blog and are located close by and who are not murderers, robbers, or baby kidnappers. What is Cookbook Club? Well, it's really the work of Helen and Anna, but the point is that you bring food from a cookbook, cooking blog, or cooking magazine, and we all sit down and sample.

They've picked Dinner is a Love Story, which was tricky of them. Because the authors of that blog don't use very clear tags to delineate which posts are recipes and which are just talkative, you've got to read the darned blog to find recipes! I mean, I liked the blog, but I suggest these people put together a recipe list too.

Because people like me might be angry, you're allowed to use Time for Dinner: Strategies, Inspiration, and Recipes for Family Meals Every Night of the Week since one of the bloggers also wrote for that book.

What will I be making? I'm a sweets type of person, so maybe Snickerdoodles. If forced to do a savory, I might try something new such as this Greek chicken soup.

Now for the bad news! We don't have a microwave, we have only one oven, and four burners. That means if you need to heat stuff up, space will be limited. We also have two cats, one preschooler, and a small house. However, to offset this, I think we might have our fireplace going and a cheese plate out. Does that balance anything out? Also, our preschooler is awfully cute.

Listen, if I've invited you before I want you to come and join in. The only rule is one dish per person. So, if you invite your significant other who hates cooking over, make sure you find them the cheese plate post and have them buy some delicious cheeses. (As a general rule, if I know you, and you come over bearing delicious cheese or delicious alcohol, I'll let you in my house without complaint.) Give it a try.

Weird Things

One of the really weird things about having a blog and then forgetting you've told people about that blog is that people will occasionally read your blog and then mention it to you and then you get nervous and wonder if you're secretly blogging things that might offend them.

For instance, I was at my cousin's daughter's one hundred day party (a special Korean celebration of a baby's life and their moving past the most worrisome part of their childhood) and his sister turned to me and told me that my post on thoughts I had while anxious was hilarious. I immediately froze and reviewed whether I had blogged about my mom recently in a negative way. (Darling cousin, you're on to my secret thoughts now.) Luckily, while my mom and I have a somewhat argumentative relationship, she has been terrific (mostly) lately. Even if I didn't love my mom because she was my mom, I would love her because she tells me to take a nap when she sees me and then her and N play outside all day. And I sleep. Do you know how much I love sleep while I'm pregnant? It's like the greatest blessing on Earth. And though I hate to say this to my husband, the sleep I get when around my mom is deeper than the sleep I get around him. I'm more assured that she'll rush to get N if he's upset or hurt or waking up.

I also wonder if any of P's family (besides my super awesome sister-in-law) ever reads my blog. I barely ever mention P's family, but it weighs on my mind. For instance, I've been wanting to blog about how much I adore my mother-in-law recently, but in doing so, I might happen to admit that I love her much more than I love my father-in-law (who I'm also fond of) but I don't want her whole family to hate me for that. Well, I guess the secret is out now. Don't hate me, okay? I just love your mom more.

Luckily, among my friends, I mostly know who is reading, though I also am curious if anyone of my Facebook friends have found this blog via my webpage link. Surely most of them I never discuss and the ones who I'd insult are the same ones who'd never come looking at this blog, but it still makes me a little nervous.

I think this is one of the reasons I was so happy to keep my online stuff mostly impersonal for so long. You can't really hurt a person's feelings by telling them that you knit a pair of socks or cross-stitched a sampler, you know?

After all that, I do want to give me cousin who reads this blog a big shout out. First, she should have her own damned blog because her decorating at the party was fine. I feel she put a ton more simple and elegant thought into that party than I have for all of my son's parties combined. The color combo of grey and yellow was interesting and pretty and perfect. Secondly, she let me borrow her truckload of maternity clothes. I'll admit that I was a little intimidated by the sheer amount of them. (Last pregnancy, I had about three pairs of pants. This time I have ten pair of khaki pants alone!) Thirdly, she's also the one that taught me to cross-stitch way back in the day. If I had never cross-stitched, I probably would never have knitted. If I had never knitted, I would probably never have picked up sewing. All my craftiest hobbies are due to her and she never even knew it.

20111014

Pregnancy, It's All I Discuss Because I'm Boring

Actually, lovelies, if I can ever get off my ass, I'll take pictures of the pillowcase I made for N today. After dropping him off slightly early, but not too early, I rushed home to read some blogs, make brownies, clean the house, and sew. I'll admit, though it reeked horribly of domestic bullshit, I did find it lovely. It was relaxed, entertaining, and productive.

I was going to use my Weekend Sewing pillowcase pattern, but it asked for slightly more fabric than I had of my main fabric, a cute cotton print of woodland animals. I jumped over to the ConKerr Cancer site for their pattern and realized I still didn't have enough fabric. However, because I'm not an idiot, I was able to manipulate the inches of each fabric until I was able to get what I want -- a working pillowcase pattern.

Saying that, I still screwed up because I'm incapable of reading directions. The first sewing step of the pattern is basically: "Fold the border in half lengthwise, with the wrong sides together, and press." I folded widthwise and spent five minutes wondering why I did that before unfolding the piece. After sewing my two fabrics together and reading the next step, I wondered why the edge of my pillowcase was not hemmed. I realized that with the step I got wrong, if I had done it right, there would have been no need for hemming. Then, I wept.

I kind of love sewing now, but it's such a non-child friendly hobby. It's full of sharp scissors, pins, needles, and burning hot irons, any and all of which could truly injure a three year old. N begged to sit next to me while I finished up the sewing and I let him, but I was a nervous wreck and I kept checking where his hands were.

Anyway, living by the motto "Pics or it didn't happen", I'll try to get you a picture by next month or so.

Yarn, yarn, yarn


Do you see what that is? Wine. It's beautiful, boozy red wine. In fact, that picture is of the first wine I drank after N's birth. I'm so in need of a damned drunken binge. I don't want to get so messed up that I black out, but I want the pleasantly woozy feeling of being a little tipsy. I know it'll be at least four more months until I get there, but I'm waiting patiently. The good news? C-section patients get their babies removed at 39 weeks instead of 40! Yay for small miracles. I'd totally be willing to give this baby up at week 38 if they aske though.

In other news, do you think I'd be a jerk to buy myself a baby gift? I love the idea of CitrusLane. They send you a box of age-related goodies for your baby! I think I might save part of my work earnings for this because if I were tired and grumpy, a box of cute baby goods arriving once a month on my doorstep might cheer me up. And I could sign up for the short 3-month subscription, even!

It Is All Good

Want to know a way to freak an anxious pregnant lady out?  After you give her a thorough week twenty ultrasound, leave her in the room with her ultra calm husband for about half an hour or so.  My mind went racing through the possibilities.  Did the ultrasound technician smile while she gave me the exam?  (An indication things went right.)  Did she make any concerned noises or linger over a portion of the test?  (Why did she have so much trouble finding my baby's unfurled hand?!)  Was the doctor gearing up to tell me unpleasant news about my darling little new one?  By the time I did talk to the doctor, I was most of the way to throwing up out of pure nerves, only to hear...

"The baby looks great!"

Why couldn't you have just come by, said that, and added, "Do you mind waiting half an hour while I finish up some other stuff?"  I don't mind waiting.  I can be a patient person when I'm thinking good thoughts.  When I'm about to throw up because my fetus is hypothetically damaged, I'm not patient or calm!

In less awesome news, my doctor was concerned by my disinclination to rush about getting myself blood thinners, pointing out that this could kill me at any moment.  I'm not saying I'm not going to get blood thinners, but there was no way in hell I was administering them to myself. As my friend and I once discussed, Stacy (in The Baby-Sitters Club books) and her need to give herself a daily injection of insulin were horrifying.  In fact, I once read a book in which that was a murder weapon.  No lie. I really did.  And now I find myself in the position of needing a daily shot, once again, for several months.

Another interesting note is that being of "Advanced Maternal Age" (heh, they totally said that to me) and having a previous blood clots means that I'm going to see the doctor so damned much.  I get eight non-stress tests weekly before my delivery!  I find it ironic that something called a non-stress test will be giving me so much stress.

20111011

More Mish And More Mash, Only With An Actual Photo

Something amazing I learned in the past week -- if I blog more than once every other month, people will comment on my blog and visit it!  (Other things I might learn in the future: taking pain medication when I'm in pain will diminish my pain, sleeping a proper night's sleep will give me more energy the next day, and doing my hair will make me hate my frizzy hair less.)

Anyway, when I fell ill in the first (and half of the second) trimester, I gave up on processing photos and posting to Flickr.  I just couldn't give a crap anymore.  This is why my recent blog posts violate all my rules of posting by not having photos.  How can I put up October posts when my most recent photos are of Father's Day?!


CUTEST PICTURE EVER


Luckily, I'm slowly getting back on track.  Even more luckily, I don't think I took more than three pictures in September and October combined.  I really need to get caught up prior to having baby number two.

Now, to  check if any of you actually read these things through the whole way -- what shows are you watching now that fall television is back in swing?  I've already told you that my life isn't complete without Community and Vampire Diaries, but I want to know if there's anything I don't watch that I should give a try.

Also, now that I feel more human and less ill, what should I attempt to sew during N's preschool hours?!

20111010

Thoughts

Some days I think I should take pregnancy belly pictures for the blog to keep up to date with how big I'm getting, but I'm not proud of how big I'm getting and when I tried to show my week 39 pictures to my husband from last pregnancy, he seemed freaked out.  Honestly, I was kind of freaked out by the pictures.  And I barely looked more pregnant than I do now.


I vacillate over whether we should DVR Community or The Vampire Diaries every week.  Damn the only two shows I care about on live television for being on at the exact same time.  Which do I prefer?  Allison Brie, Joel McHale, and top notch humor?  Or Ian Somerhalder and crazy fun drama?  Most weeks vampires and their diaries win, but if they do another paintball episode on Community, I will have to reschedule things.

I called my doctor in a panic this evening because I was afraid the dull ache I've had in my abs all day was a bad sign, but it turns out the lack of throw-up, fever, or blood indicates that this is just another pregnancy symptom.  I then secretly cried over the idea of another twenty weeks of this.  Then I felt bad because I didn't want this baby to think I didn't love it.  I do love it.  I just love my body being my normal body more.  Then that thought made me weep for a loved one in my life who has cancer and who is having a tough battle with it.  At least this shit will all end in twenty weeks.  I just got to tough it the hell out.


I genuinely hate the phrase "It is what it is" and everyone has started to use it.  Screw that.


I have a cat that seems inclined to suicide.  So far she has swung around on the top of a door that was opening and closing, fallen into furnace piping, gotten lost in two different attics, ran away from home and into a doghouse, attempted to eat tortilla chips and drink lemonade (which ended up with her slightly choking like a toddler who was never taught to chew), and tried to run away into a thunderstorm.  As I told P last evening, if she saw a tank full of sharks, she'd probably jump into it.


Going back to work one day a week has made me remember how much I genuinely liked my job.  I don't regret staying home to take care of my son, but I miss it.


The last Postsecret post had a postcard from a woman who talks about loving to give birth, but hating to be a mom.  I think that woman is secretly my nemesis. 


My mom made fun of me for just wanting to lie about and read or sleep for this whole pregnancy telling me that I was going to fail at being a mom to two.  She seemed to ignore my point that this pregnancy was wretched to me and that I probably wouldn't get much of a chance to read or sleep after the baby was born. 


All I think of all day long is how good my favorite foods must taste.  They rarely taste as good as I think when I eat them.  I still spent half an hour last night imagining a big bowl of gravy and some bread.  I spent an hour today thinking of brown sugar Pop Tarts and another ten minutes daydreaming about chocolate ice cream.  However, I'd probably be happiest if someone just installed a hospital ice maker in my kitchen.


Even though I do not yet know where we will be moving to in the future, I keep looking at every house that meets my list of requirements that is on sale in any region I'm interested in.  I almost bought the most recent Philadelphia magazine that touted the best suburbs to raise children in.  I love this house for the children it has brought me, but I think our family is outgrowing it very quickly.


N is really big into tantrums this last week.  I can't figure out if he's just not getting over this cold/infection or if he's three. 


For serious, only twenty more weeks.  I can do it.  Right?  Sure, it's not running a marathon and then delivering, but managing not to die of sheer misery is something. 

20111009

Less Gloom, More Baby Room

Because I forget these things and I use my blog as my notepad now -- here is what I need to get for the new baby and N prior to the birth:

1.  Going home from the hospital outfit.  If this is a girl, be prepared to see the fussiest, craziest, girliest outfit that has ever existed.
2.  New crib, but one that sits on the floor rather than a few feet off the floor.  I'd rather bitch about bending over to put my baby to bed than spend two years worrying that my baby would fall five feet to the floor below after they climbed out.
3.  Twin sized bed and mattress.
4.  Playmat.  A cute one.
5.  Carseat.
6.  Small bottles (Will this be the baby I can breastfeed?  Let's hope so.  I will totally save money.)
7.  A recommendation for a newborn photographer because I want precious pics of the tiny babe this time to post all over the house.
8.  New non-yucky diaper bag.
9.  Mei tai.

It's not as much stuff as last time, thank God.

20111007

Speaking of Anxiety

Here is a fun list of things I've worried about in the last twenty-four hours that are ridiculous:

1.  I spent a good five minutes worrying about my belly button popping out on this pregnancy.

2.  I spent much more time worrying that I might one day be in a bank while it was being robbed with my two children and the robbers would try to attack one of them because I couldn't keep them quiet.

3.  I worried that my spinal during my next c-section would go terribly wrong and I'd end up paralyzed for life.

4.  I sobbed over how I'd get a blood clot right after my c-section and die leaving my husband to raise our two children alone and that he'd find a wife who would be mean to our children.

5.  I briefly wondered if my son would grow up to be an unreliable young adult who never calls or emails because I didn't spend enough quality time with him during this pregnancy.

6.  I worried that I might leave the bottle warmer on and that it would burn down our house and my son would be too young to realize what to do and we'd also lose our cats.

7.  I became afraid that our washer would spin out of control and smush our son as he was walking past.

8.  I was mildly concerned that I'd slip on the bathroom floor while it was wet and lose our baby.

9.  I wondered if my last c-section had gone totally wrong and ruined my stomach thus leading to all the nausea and heartburn this pregnancy.

This is seriously stuff I think about as the day goes on.  Do any of you have ridiculous fears or am I the only one? 

Do You Think I Have An Anxiety Problem?

I'm totally posting from my iPad for the first time as a tribute to Steve Jobs. That was a lie. I'm doing this because I'm lazy and my couch is comfortable. But I do like a good Apple product. (That clearly doesn't include the piece of crap Apple computer I was forced to buy in college.)

Anyway, this will be a short one. I just took a test on the Internet to see if I had an anxiety disorder. It was one with obvious "normal" versus "stop worrying so much" answers and so I was not surprised when it told me to see a doctor. After I got the results I worried that I had picked the answers I did just to get that result. Then I worried that worrying about an anxiety disorder test online probably meant I really did have a problem with anxiety.

20111004

Feel Free To Judge Me, Just Don't Leave Nasty Comments

Now that I'm deep into this pregnancy, I like to do several things -- read pregnancy blogs and read of horrific late pregnancy miscarriages. Both of these things bring me extreme misery but I simply cannot stop doing them. See, first of all, after my mom's history of miscarriages, I pretty much believe I'm going to miscarry every single day of my life. Right now? I haven't felt the baby move in about a few hours so I'm worrying like you don't believe, even though it is only week twenty. And then, when I do feel the baby kick, I'm all annoyed with it because it makes me feel weird. I'm the worst.

As for the baby/pregnancy blogs, even if the people who write them are open minded, the commenters are the worst. I have a friend who once told me that he refuses to read comments on the internet. Why I don't follow his good and true advice, I have no idea. People judge so harshly over everything when it comes to babies. So, here I am with a list of things you might think make me a crappy mom/pregnant woman. Feel free to judge me.
  • I still let my three year old use a pacifier when he goes to sleep. It comforts me.
  • I didn't breastfeed him beyond two or three weeks because I had nearly no milk, he couldn't latch, I couldn't afford a breastfeeding consultant, and I was spending more time crying over it than bonding with him. I will try with the new baby, but if I can't, I can't. (According to 55% of internet moms, this puts me into the same league as mass murderers and kitten kidnappers.)
  • I drink caffeinated coffee on days it still tastes good to me.
  • I ate sushi. A few times. During both pregnancies.
  • Even though I don't want a blood clot and the pain and danger associated with it, the idea of laying in a hospital for a week with a ton of painkillers being injected into me while I simply sleep, knit, and eat hospital ice kind of sounds like a vacation rather than a punishment.
  • Sometimes, instead of playing with my son, I sit on the couch and read books or I just check out the internet on my iPad. If it makes you feel better about this one, if I do this, I feel guilt for the rest of the day.
  • Sometimes I yell at my son when I get angry and I feel justified about it rather than upset.
  • I told my son that Santa Claus exists.
  • My son believes that the Great Pumpkin exists because I let him watch television. Sometimes I even let him watch more than two hours a day when I feel especially crappy.
  • I give my son sugar. And white bread.
  • I let my son listen to music with curse words in the songs. I don't care because I like those songs.
  • If N asks to sleep in my bed at night, I just let him, especially when it is just us.
  • I might CHOOSE to have a c-section.

Do you hate me now? I still like you. I promise. Also, I want to talk more about pregnancy in general nowadays, but I'm afraid all my posts would read, "I'm miserable and angry and waiting for February." This probably isn't a positive attitude to post about since I don't want my future child reading my blog one day and asking, "Did you like me at all?" So, when I get more positive stuff to share with you, I'll be back. That'll probably be soon. As N gets more vocal, his comments about this new baby have been damned hilarious.

20110906

I'm Back! I'm Back! I'm Sick And Pregnant!

I bet you weren't wondering where I was. Okay, maybe you were. Sometime around early July I began to feel the stirring of "morning sickness" and heartburn and exhaustion and misery. I call it morning sickness, but it would last from two in the afternoon to three in the morning. I don't throw up easily, so I would just lay in bed wondering if it was possible to die of pure wretchedness. Sadly, the fact that I was sick as a dog prevented me from sleeping at night which meant that I was forced to sleep in the morning when N was playing with Legos on the floor. Literally, I'd get up and feed him and help him use the potty and then I'd toddle to the couch and zonk out.

Sadly, the symptoms kept piling up. After the nausea began to die down (but not disappear), the heartburn began to really get bad and then the weird bitterness in my mouth took over. Everything tastes bitter including sweets such as chocolate or starches such as potatoes. Milk tastes bitter. The only thing that doesn't taste bitter is lemonade which exacerbates my heartburn like nothing else besides Indian food (a household favorite dinner). Then, the headaches started. They'd last three days, easily, and I couldn't take any effective medicine for them.

The side effect of all this is that I've lost five pounds since getting pregnant, I'm grumpy and depressed, and I just want to eat normally. Like, I want my husband to make me a giant pot of risotto and I want to eat it and some Brussels sprouts and then I want to finish off my meal with a giant slice of pie or cake or an ice cream sundae.

I can't even look at half the food I just mentioned without running to my room, lying down, and closing my eyes. Even thinking of them as food rather than words makes me start to get sick. If I ate a third of that, my stomach would rebel and I'd get heartburn that would last me for four or five days and then I'd clear my throat and I'd be stuck trying not to be sick for an hour or more. I spend most of my days thinking of food, how I'd love to eat, and then getting sick at either the reality or the thought of it.

Other than that? I'm pretty damned excited to be pregnant again. I want another child, but I'm afraid of how this new baby will affect my relationship with N. I love N's growing independence and creativity, but I want to cuddle him like he's my baby still. I am looking hesitantly at our finances. I spend half my time willing this baby to be a girl and the other half willing it to be a boy. I cry at the drop of a hat over either happy or sad things. I wonder why my husband isn't sick. I wonder why he doesn't do enough around the house. I thank God he does so much around the house and I want to cry because I'm not grateful enough.

I count down the weeks until "delivery". I pray that the holidays make it sail along. I hate that the doctor gave me a choice between C-section and VBAC. I love that she was actually concerned about my mother's four miscarriages rather than dismissive. I hate that she told me I might need to go on blood thinners once again, but love that she didn't mock me for being a big scaredy cat about pain. When I told her I had a panic attack during my last C-section, she asked me if I was taking medication and then indicated I might want to look into it after giving birth if I normally experienced a lot of anxiety.

I'm so miserable about being pregnant, but I realize I should be grateful that it is going so well and that I get pregnant easily.

I was just on a week's vacation and Paul was home for about nine or ten days straight. I'm finally rested enough to post on this blog again. Maybe you'll see me soon. After all, N starts pre-school soon, and you might hear my hormonal weeping about my baby not wanting his mommy from your current location.

Missed you all and I hope we can talk again!

20110712

I'm Not Feeling Well

I know I haven't been posting, once again, just after I've said I'll be posting more, but if it makes you feel better, it's because I just don't have the energy. I'm just not feeling well lately and that's causing me to sleep earlier at night when I usually do all the posting!

Anyway, I did want to give you all a tip -- Design Mom is having a special giveaway for her fifth blog anniversary. What is it? Fifty picture books. That's right, fifty. Enter if you have a young child, because that is clearly an effing awesome prize right there.

20110628

Ring, Ring, Ring, God Calling!

Mmmm


The picture has nothing to do with the story, but what is a blog entry without a photo?

We've been to church with N many times recently and N is very concerned with who God is and what he does and where he lives and whether he is good or not. (I'll be honest here, just between us, my blog readers, and say we did not go very regularly for awhile before that and that my own faith and beliefs are a work in progress. My husband is definitely the more faithful of the two of us and I believe a better person morally.) We've told N in simplistic terms that God loves him, the church is one of His houses, and that God is very good and he created everything. After church last week, we came home and P and N gardened together.

P came in a little later to tell me that the little man had been pretending to talk on the phone for a short bit and that he hung up when P got close. When P asked who N had been talking to, N answered simply, "God." P was a little surprised but asked what God had to say. N replied, "He said thanks for coming to church and it was good to see me."

So, you know, N has a direct line to God apparently. Maybe N can get some answers for me.

20110623

Lantern Moon, It Is The Bestest


Remember last year when I bought those ridiculously expensive Lantern Moon needles at Salty Yarns down at the shore? I've used them for about a quarter of one project and three quarters of another and, so far, two of them have snapped. I'm not even going to lie, I possibly wept when the second one was found in the bottom of my purse, having fallen out of both my knitting and my knitting bag. Unlike the Clover needles I previously used, these Lantern Moon have been beautiful, pointy, and smoother, allowing the yarn to be easily picked up and slid down them. I loved these needles.

Well, just yesterday, I wrote to them to ask how much an individual Sox Stix would cost since I just can't afford to waste money on new rosewood needles, though I did not say it that way. They told me that all of their needles are guaranteed! All I had to do was tell them which ones I was missing and they'd send replacements.

Oh, my heart. I now have an excuse to purchase Lantern Moon needles. I won't feel badly about the investment.

20110622

Wordless Wednesday #17: It's Been A Long Time

Molly!

Blogging Train: Still Running

Things that this whole blogging thing is forcing me to do? Get my damnable pictures more up to date. How can I tell you about what I'm doing when the latest photos I have up on Flickr are two months old?

In the upcoming week or next, I plan to blog about how summer feels more summery with my son around, how Lantern Moon is the bestest, and I'll give you another finished project in the form of a baby blanket, but in the meantime, here is a dose of squee from April!

Our next door neighbors have a duck that has taken to nesting in their bushes during the spring. She comes, lays eggs, hatches them, and then she and her brood take off. We do our best to make sure that we see them!

Here they are waddling to the creek in our backyards.


They Found Each Other


They had some trouble achieving this because at first the ducklings just squeezed under my neighbor's fence while the mother duck panicked like hell telling them to come back here right now or they'd be sorry. Once they had all gathered and got in the water, they were experts at only several hours old!


Lots of Little Duckies


They were quite keen to take off and we thought we had all seen the last of them.


Lots of Little Duckies


But momma duck came back for her last unhatched egg! So it was back up to the nest for one last overnight visit.


Back To The Last Egg


Hopefully they are doing well!


20110621

Finished Project(s): Mommy and Baby Elephant

I've been drooling over the super cute stuffed elephant in Sew Everything Workshop for years now.

Mommy and Baby Elephant


Recently, after hemming up some pants and shirts for my mom, I realized I wasn't making fun stuff for myself on the sewing machine because I felt I wasn't thin enough to wear cute clothing. I know this is stupid, stupid, stupid, but it was really killing my enjoyment of sewing. I decided to take a step back and make some of the patterns I have for children. After all, it's hard to feel bloated just because your son is holding two stuffed animals.

I originally told him I'd make him an elephant, and that we had to go to the store for fabric. He had no understanding of what I was going on about. He asked me where the toy elephant was in the Jo-Ann store. He asked me what the word make meant. He begged me for the elephant on the way home from the store. I felt pretty badly about the whole incident and did not delay on starting the Mommy elephant pattern, which I cut out that night.

After Nap Cuddle


The next day, I started sewing pre-nap and I showed him the elephant's trunk (which he again did not understand), but got the majority of the body done while he was asleep. I quickly stuffed it, but I had lost my hand sewing needles so I was unable to seam up the open holes in the body and ears, and I was unable to attach the ears and eyes. No matter. When my son woke up, he was astonished to find an elephant like creature waiting for him. I showed it to him and he asked his daddy softly, "Can I hold it?" I said, "Of course." I also explained how I needed to add eyes and ears.

He hugged it gently and said, "I love it."

After Nap Cuddle


And he proceeded to hold it for another hour in the car and to lovingly ask me when I'd put the eyes on. He also asked me where the baby elephant and daddy elephant were located. I explained I had to make them. With some quick needle work (and some hand sewing needles from Safeway), I was finished with the mommy elephant in time for his next nap.

Napping With Elephant
a

After putting together the mommy elephant, the baby elephant went together super quickly. I have to give a big hand to the author of this book. Her patterns and instructions are fantastic. There was no confusion or guesswork or mismatched pieces in this (or the other three patterns I've made from this book.)

Mommy and Baby Elephant


I used a flannel from Jo-Ann for the body of the elephants, some Minky like material for the ears (which I have a ton more of should I ever decide to become a stuffed animal producing machine), and cheap-o buttons for the eyes.

I can't recommend this pattern enough. Anyone seen any other cute stuffed animal patterns out there? Maybe it's time to knit up a stuffed animal!

20110617

Testing, Ding, Ding, Is This Thing On?!

Showing Off


Hey, thanks to the advice you gave me, in like, March, I decided to finally combine my love of my son, N, and my crafting. I will now have one blog. If you are following two blogs, or two feeds, might want to get rid of one of them since they'll probably be a bit redundant. On the other hand, my book review blog is finally getting some posts written because I've decided to take it more seriously. No lie, I've posted to it ten time or more this month.

Either way, I've got some crafting stuff to post. I made my son some stuffed elephants. I knit a blanket. I broke my Lantern Moon sock needles and now have half an effing sock sitting in my WIP bag. I hope this works.

20110607

Sulky

Sullen


Ugh. This has been a good month with bad things happening in it. First, it costs a fair bit to buy presents and throw a party for a little boy. When combined with two trips we plan to take this summer, upcoming school for N, and other financial changes, I'm feeling pinched when it comes to finances and it sucks.

It sucks because I want to buy things like yarn and needles, or fabric, or books, or other things that I enjoy and I won't. Worse, I haven't bought clothes in months now and shoes in years. I get money and I immediately allocate it to something hobby wise or coffee wise or to getting N stuff.

I've decided to take some steps re: this. I'm going to stop drinking Starbucks so much. It's killing me even in theory, but those Mocha Coconut Fraps add up both cost wise and calorie wise. I'm going to stop buying so much food for N when we're out. He'll need to learn to brown bag it a little more often. And I'm going to stop buying stupid small things that I want like a new more expensive shampoo or cute little cups for N. Perhaps if I stopped buying them, I could afford some new shoes once in a while.

And now, I'm here to tell you with this depressing financial statement, I think I'm back to blogging. My book blog is actually flourishing, and it's making me feel helpful about my family and craft blogs, which I've finally decided to combine. Also, it is a free hobby. So, wish me luck!

20110326

Thanks For The Advice

I want to thank you all for writing back to me about this blog. I get really insecure at times. (Ha, that's a laugh. A better phrase would be I occasionally experience bouts of confidence.) I hate the idea of ruining my darling N's life with my discussion and talk of him, but he's so damned cute that I can't avoid it. However, unlike my husband, N has no say in whether I blog about him. So, I feel like he might dislike it one day and want me to take this all down, but by then the Wayback Machine will have recorded it!

I'm still giving serious thought to combining my two blogs, but until I can decide which URL will be the winner and whatnot, I'm just going to keep blogging about. Just keep an eye out, okay?

Helen expressed some disbelief in the idea of me running. There is a reason for this. If you do not know me personally, let's say that I do not mix well with athletics. My normal walk is more of a shuffle with my feet pointing outwards. My husband (accurately) says that you can here me coming from across the house as my feet drag along the floor. My mom says it looks like I'm continuously daydreaming since I appear to walk without purpose or aim. My feet are all kinds of screwed up as my mom decided to ignore my doctor's advice when I was younger for corrective shoes. And this is just my feet and walk.

My friends have described my running as distinctly "hilarious", "wow", "odd", and "duck like". I probably couldn't beat a tortoise in a foot race. I've never participated in foot races. I prefer reading.

Jennifer at her most Jennifer


So, why running? Because, much like I find my artistic drawing skills laughable, yet have always wanted to be able to draw, I want to be some kind of athlete. Me, the kid always picked last! And while I'd much prefer to be a cyclist, my mom gave me free sneakers while a bike costs several hundred dollars. As we can see, one is definitely cheaper than the other.

So, last night I ran, and today I did a pilates workout and I'm hoping to continue with running and yoga next week. I'm really hoping to turn my body around to be a little more fit. Has anyone here ever pulled anything like that off? What is your preferred way of getting in shape?

20110325

Hey, I Went Away

Having finally processed the gigantic lump of photos of Christmas, I finally feel like taking photos once again and sharing my life with the rest of the world. I'm still processing photos from January, but at least they were taken in 2011, you know? My prize Christmas photo?

Such A Great Smile


I'm still hesitant about blogging, to tell you the truth. I always read advice columns where the columnist is all, "You are going to regret sharing your life on a blog or Facebook and if you don't, your child totally will, and if they don't, then your spouse will, and if your spouse doesn't, all your friends are ashamed of you. And child molesters know what your children look like. Jerkface!" Then, I wonder if I'm secretly ruining my son's life by blogging. Then I wonder if I should obfuscate his name on the internet as if he didn't exist. Then I wonder why I can't just share my thoughts and feelings with you like I want to. Then I think, "Life is hard. Let's go shopping."

Anyway, what I mean to say is, I'm also considering combining my craft blog with my 'life' blog since I spend so much time crafting even though I don't blog about it. Also, if I had one less blog, maybe I'd have more posts? What do you think? Nay/yea? Other crafters successfully do it as do some mom bloggers.

Lastly in this mostly rambling blog post, I've started to run. I'm going to admit it here so that I feel some need to update you all and thus shame myself if I don't continue to run. I saw my back view at Target today and I was not impressed. Though I do remain impressed with Target's Converse line. So cute.

Look, it's all I can do not to just randomly type haikus here. I'm sorry if you find this blog post nonsensical, but let's just go with it and see where it leads.

Should I take down that photo of my son above? Is it ruining his life?