New Year’s Resolution 2014: Be a Better Blogger

No kidding.

I actually thought long and hard about this one. (No, really, I did).

I took great pleasure in cataloging my pregnancy with Elle and her first year, and then the last 12 months have just been an ‘eehhhh’ year in blogging. Just take a look at the number of posts per month for the last 12 months (if I don’t make a rash decision and change the look of my blog tonight, you can see this on the right side of your screen).

So, I’ve resolved to be a better blogger. More consistent. I’ll shoot for 10 posts per month, which SHOULD be conservative but is probably and simply realistic for me and my life.

I’m going to figure out how to incorporate pictures easier (if anyone reading this is a fellow blogger, what’s the easiest way to do this – I feel like downloading/uploading photos constantly can’t be the only way – there HAS to be some handy app for that right?).

And I’m going to try to find a theme I like. I looked at shuffling pages around, at potentially finding a new blog name. But, I think The Baby Brain works. For now. But in the long run? I have a DBA of “Candy Tree Productions” that goes back to a candy tree that my Grandpa shook for me. I guess you could call it a summertime Santa Claus story, but it’s one of the defining memories of my childhood. Maybe naming the blog “Under the Candy Tree” or something? What do you think? Suggestions?

Here’s the logo that I had worked up for the business:

CandyTree-Pink

 

 

What’d you think? I like it – but I’m not sure how I can use it and keep the blog name the same. I know there’s a gad-zillion ways to do it. I just haven’t settled on what way that will be. Yet.

In other news, Jon, Elle and I rang in the New Year by going to bed at 9 p.m. Sick and wrong and lovely all at once.

In full disclosure, Elle still gets a bottle (yikes, it hurts even writing that) at night, to go to bed. And she only wants a bottle. I was SO close at nine months old and at 18 months old to getting rid of the bottle from our life. However, more realistic heads prevailed and I figured my kid wouldn’t go to college drinking out of a bottle (at least not a baby bottle!) so I stopped letting it be something I tried to battle. Anyway, we were out of a) milk and b) bottles at 1:30 a.m. But guess who was awake? Our girl Elle. So, Jon went to the corner store for gas, I washed a bottle and we wished each other Happy New Year before rolling back over, getting kicked in the back by our toddler, and drifting off to sleep. Oh, the life!

I think that it’s likely that someday, in the relatively near future, we might learn to have fun again. But for now, we’re both working a lot, and tired, and going to bed at 9 p.m. on New Year’s Eve is probably – actually – one of the better New Year’s Eve’s I’ve ever had. As my cousin Matt has always called it, New Year’s Eve is ‘amateur hour’.

ANYWAY – I really veered off path there but at least got a little info in on our NYE.

The goal for the year is to be a better blogger. Here’s to hoping! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1,000 Seconds

I’ve heard it’s a sign of some disorder when you constantly count…so I’ve probably got that.

Not REALLY, but I find that in most things that I try to do well at all, I find myself counting. I blame my Dad for teaching me this trick with my golf swing…

“Back-two-three-four, swing-two-three-four” to find a tempo for my golf swing in my high school hey day.

Then, there was the summer I was on the bowling league with folks from work and they coached me to be a moderately better bowler (this doesn’t imply I was in any way GOOD, however) by counting…

“Step-two-three-four, back-two-through-four” to find a tempo where the ball wouldn’t end up in the gutter every time down the lane.

So, naturally, I applied my counting technique to motherhood, too.

How, you may ask…

Well, I’ve taken to counting at bedtime.

This is pretty much our routine on a week night:

7ish: B-A-T-H Bath Time

by 8ish: Bottle & Bed

But Elle is getting more and more difficult to get to sleep some nights. Partially may be because she’s getting teeth (I swear she is) and maybe because she’s growing. But either way, some nights it’s hard to get her TO SLEEP. If her arms are up by her chin still, you know she’s not out yet and you have to stick with it. If you put her into her crib before the arms go down, you’re going to end up spending a lot of time shoving her binky back in her mouth before she finally gives in or you’re going to start over with the rocking, etc.

And I have very little patience some nights. Other nights, I thoroughly enjoy the rocking time we get to spend, just us girls.

But either way, I have to count because otherwise I give up/in too easily. I think she’s asleep and she’s not, and there’s a premature laying down that goes on, then I end up spending MORE time than I would have in trying to get her back to sleep.

So, I’ve begun counting.

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10…and so on, until 100. And then…1,2,3,4,5…and so on, until 200. And then…this process continues until 1,000 seconds have passed. My rule is to err on the side of caution, which means that if I think I counted to 300 but it could have just been 200, then go with 200, because you don’t want to give up too early. Extra seconds won’t hurt, but giving in too early will.

So, on nights like tonight, it’s 1,000 seconds or else.

And she’s out, folks. Out like a light.

The Weekly Visits

Well, had another weekly visit this morning, first thing.

Saw Dr. Neubeck – which is always a treat. I find him funny and engaging. I’m glad he’s been my primary doctor throughout this, it’s definitely made the pregnancy something that is not a worry on my mind in any way.

Next week, on Monday, I’ll see Dr. Ahmad. Who I like as well. I like all of the doctors in the practice – all for different reasons.

Anyway, my blood pressure was up again. I mentioned again that I see these black ‘floaters’ like bugs/flies from time to time, so Dr. Neubeck did a little checking and said that there was no constriction in my blood vessels in my eyes or anything, so he wasn’t TOO concerned about it. I had gained another couple of pounds (WTF!?) so I think that the quick weight gain here at the end is contributing more to the hike in blood pressure than anything else. Need to make a concerted effort to lead a less sedentary lifestyle.

Jon is home today. It’s his one day off from work each week. I made a point to work yesterday so that I was ahead of the game today so I could spend some time with him.

Oh, back to the appointment…(hello A.D.D.)…

So, they did the beta strep test, which will take two days to determine if I have beta strep. It’s no big deal either way, it’s just an antibiotic they’ll give to me prior to delivery so that it doesn’t get passed on to the baby. So, we’ll know next week if that was positive or negative. He also did a pelvic exam and quite literally pushed our Minnie up into my rib cage. I said “Um, you’re pushing her up — I’m going to push her back down if you keep doing that!”. He explained that it’s because she’s not engaged yet, so she hasn’t fully committed to her head in my pelvic region (while I don’t blame her, she could hurry up and decide to do that ANY time now). He called it something that started with a b…it sounded like bobbling, but it wasn’t that. And I’m too lazy to Google it. So, she’s bobbling around in there. He had me push on my stomach to feel her butt (‘she’s got a big ass’ he says…just like her mom, I respond) and then had me feel down in my pelvis where her head is. It’s definitely weird to know where her body parts are for sure. I mean, I knew where they were before, but to actually FEEL them and have a doctor make it ok to press on them (Jon doesn’t like it when I do this, but whatever).

I also commented to Dr. Neubeck that for all the things that he and his doctor friends know, they should really know a good way to get these babies to come out. His response? “Sex.”

Fine and well.

Only, did I mention that Jon is home ONE DAY A WEEK? For approximately an 18 hour stretch? Yeah, ok. Good advice. I’m going to opt for walking a lot now that I’m not on the road and I’m also going to blow up my exercise ball and sit on it all day long. Why not, can’t hurt (if all else fails it will engage my ab muscles and if it works, we’ll have a baby girl sooner rather than later!). I’m starting my campaign for her arrival now because I just am over this back pain and weighing as much as a cow.

Speaking of back pain, I am on a Tylenol regimen daily and I think it is contributing to my ability to sleep the last two nights. I’m going to keep taking it because it really seems to be providing some good back pain relief for me.

Beyond that, I’m just trying to not be too ‘nesty’ — I have the linen closets organized, under the bathroom sinks cleaned and organized. I’ve got bottles washed and dried and put up in the cupboard. I’ve got all the receiving blankets and fluffy blankets washed. Washed all the crib sheets and changing pad covers. Packed her hospital bag, my hospital bag, made a list of Jon’s hospital bag stuff and the last minute stuff that I can’t pack. We’re ready to go. Now, just need to convince this Minnie girl to get on the bandwagon.

As Neubeck said, “Women want to be in labor, want to be in labor, then they go into labor and really DO NOT want to be in labor,”.

Touche, Neubeck.

Grateful for Sleep, Comfortable Sleep

It’s true – I’ve been sleeping pretty well lately, other than that weird thing last Friday night. I keep waking up about 7 a.m. (which Jon loves, because I have a tendency to want him to be awake if I am…) most days, like clock work, but…sleep is going pretty well.

I have to say that I feel more tired than I had in the second trimester, and less tired than I was first trimester, but somewhere in between normal and more-tired-than-normal. I read that it’s totally normal, but it’s frustrating, because there are things I want to try to accomplish and I just don’t have the energy.

Tomorrow is officially 32 weeks. I feel like eight weeks is still a pretty long time (as you can tell, I keep waffling between ‘it’s not that long at all and we’re almost there’ to ‘is this ever going to end up in a BABY?!’). I had an odd moment where I was overcome with fear…literally a MOMENT…earlier today. I can’t quite put to words what the fear was…about dressing a newborn…that was it. I have this book “The Hot Mom-to-Be Handbook” downloaded on my Kindle app on the iPad and it made reference to what to pack for the hospital when I was reading it Monday night before bed. And, it said to pack a few outfits for Baby Girl. Great, of course. But, then it made reference to how hard it is to dress a newborn so to bring outfits with snaps up the front instead of over-the-head stuff. I mean, really, you have to tell me how hard it’s going to be…in writing…dressing my child. And, really, does it change at week three or something that they’re suddenly easier to dress? all of a sudden more cooperative, having control of their motor skills/arms/legs? No. I don’t think so. So, I don’t know why they even referenced that in the book.

Here’s what I’ll say about that book…while it’s got a clever title, I don’t know that I’d recommend it. I feel like the websites out there are filled with all the info you could need. You purchase the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book (doesn’t everyone have to do this?…btw, make sure you buy an updated copy because things change CONSTANTLY). But, there is also a whattoexpect.com, which sends newsletter updates daily to your Inbox. I feel like there’s not a huge need to build a preggo library of books. And certainly not with the Hot Mom To be Handbook at the top. Just sign up for the newsletters and read the parts that are interesting/noteworthy in your mind. That’s my advice.

I’m also starting to get frustrated with our lack of a name for Minnie Mason. I have this sneaking suspicion we could just name her Minnie and be done with it. Not really…maybe…no. I don’t know, there has been a huge name game going on since Day One I think…I liked Emerson a lot. Jon, not so much.

(Aside: I just spotted the Google Maps car. This is my second run-in with the Google Maps car…once in Clio and once in Indianapolis.)

But, then Jon liked Braley, a name that I was really digging too. I had a dream that that was her name, back in the first trimester. However, I feel like that her whole life it’d go like this “Hi, I’m Braley” other person: “Bailey?” her: “”No, Braley. BR”. Which is just annoying. And that happened when we mentioned the name to one of Jon’s cousins the other day…so I know it’s not just in my head.

I spent some time late last night researching family trees for names I might like (not much). I also started just arbitrarily looking at names. I keep texting different ones to Jon to see if I can get anywhere. Right now, I feel like we’re further behind than we were 30 weeks ago.

So, if you have any name ideas, please pass them along…we need all the ideas we can get at this point!

L

Week 29(ish)

Well, I felt like I liked the color shirt I was wearing this morning and when I looked in the mirror didn’t hate my appearance, so I snapped this photo of me and the baby belly today, July 27, 2011. Based on the original due date the doctor gave me, today would be the official “Three Months To Go” date. But – as we all know – my fact-based approach to negotiating has got the due date to October 20, 2011. That means — 11 weeks to go my friends!!

Somewhere around 29 weeks!

 
Anyway, not much new to report. Sleeping is still going well. The water intake I definitely need to increase. I’ve gained just 7 pounds total during this pregnancy. Not bad, all the way around.
 
It’s surreal (I keep using that word to describe this pregnancy journey) to know that in just 11 weeks or so, we’ll have a real, live baby living at our house!! Holy crap. How did it get to be just 11 weeks?
 
I need to get a new bra. Not that you care about this, but the boobs keep growing, outpacing the belly for sure. I was a 36C, solid, before this adventure began. I’m now wearing a 38D and it is UN comfortable. Need to go tonight and see what I can find in the way of a more comfortable bra. Heck, even my sports bras are beginning to get tight (at least the older ones…the newer ones I bought a little bigger).
 
I continue to be relatively conflicted about the breastfeeding route I want to take. I know ‘they’ say it’s good (again, who are they?? Oprah’s people, I think). But — then everyone says they don’t know why exactly it’s good. So, if you don’t know what’s good about it, how do you know it’s good? I guess I’m just not passionate about breastfeeding the way some women are. I believe that there are a lot of paths towards getting the baby the nutrients she needs. And the whole thought of being the sole person to be able to feed the baby bothers me a lot. I know this is an adventure that is not meant to be done all alone — so I don’t want to do it alone. I don’t have to, Jon’s there, so I feel like he should be involved in the feeding requirements as well. And seeing’s how that’s the only thing that babies need, other than a warm bed and diaper changes, I just don’t see how that all works out anywhere other than in his favor, if I’m the sole provider of nourishment.
 
I need to educate myself a bit more I guess and see how I feel about it. I guess I’m envious, frankly, of the women who know, vehemently, one way or another what they want to do. Some women are ‘No, not breastfeeding’ and others are ‘Absolutely breastfeeding, pumping, etc.’. I don’t fall in either of those categories.
 
Take, for example, the conversations of the last several days. My aunts (Mom’s sisters) whom I love dearly have said the alluded to the following things:
“Don’t feel guilty if you don’t want to breastfeed. I didn’t. I wore two bras and taped them up and bottle fed from the beginning.”
 
“You’re going to breastfeed, right?” When I responded I didn’t think I was, I got a “Oh, please do it just for the first month or so”.
 
Here’s where I stand as of today on the topic: I have just 8-12 weeks of leave for maternity. I want to truly enjoy and savor those moments with my child. I will not get the time back, I will not ge the opportunity to truly enjoy this baby, with no other distractions (like work) ever again. I don’t want to be struggling (or even not struggling) with breast feeding. I don’t want to be chained to a breast pump throughout the holiday season. I don’t want to breastfeed for one month, begin the weaning process, and battle through that process until I return to work. I want to enjoy my baby, one on one, with Jon, with my family. I want all of the people I love to enjoy the baby and bond with her. I want to enjoy the holidays that will fast approach after her arrival. I want to concentrate on nothing more than loving my baby — and to me, breastfeeding gets in the way of that. I know that for countless others they will feel exactly the opposite. But today, that’s how I feel…and that’s how I have felt. So now, I’m just trying to reconcile that with the feelings of guilt that the rest of the world (billboards, well-meaning family and friends, etc., websites, books) seems to put on me.
 
I’m sure in 11 weeks we’ll know a lot better how I truly feel about it…but for now, I’m just not convinced it’s the way I want to go.
 
L

Ow, Shoulder Pain

I have been having this severe shoulder pain, especially at night, but in general too.

Haven’t been able to figure out why, or how to get rid of it.

I forced Jon into just grabbing and pressing super hard on my shoulder, which actually seemed to make it feel better.

And when I woke up the following morning, my opposite shoulder hurt.

And that’s when I put two and two together and, folks, I got four.

Sleeping on my SIDE (as indicated is the best/only way when you’re pregnant) is creating this awful shoulder pain from holding myself on my shoulder all night. I have to say that these days, sleeping/laying on my back is pretty discomforting…makes it a little harder to breathe and it’s just generally uncomfortable. So, the side it is. But this shoulder pain was something I did not account for.

I think part of it was the antiquated beds at the cabin upnorth last weekend and the hotel beds I was in last week. Last night I slept awesome (save the four bathroom trips throughout the course of the night).

And while Jon has made fun of the 10 pillows on our bed, I think he now realizes how important they are to my sanity and muscle tension.

Last night I hybrid-ized a sleeping position that is sort of like sleeping on your stomach for the top half of your body, but the bottom half of the body remains properly in place on its side. Seems to have rid my body of the shoulder pain at least for today.

These are the things no one tells you about. That, and the hemorrhoids. And the acne.

But it’s a joy… … …really, I swear.

23 Weeks: Status Update

Ok, Baby Girl aka Minnie Mason is 23 weeks tomorrow. So – another status update is in order. (I feel like I’ve been writing about things other than HER and the PREGGO experience…so I’m back on track with this update).

Without further ado, a Week 23 status update.


Due Date: October 14, 2011. The sonographer told me that the due date is October 14, and I’m going with her. October 27 was off by my count anyway. I said October 19 all along and the 14 is probably even more accurate (this due date is based on Minnie’s size). She was 10.4 inches long and 365 grams at the ultrasound two weeks ago.

Baby Developments: Watch what you say — baby is now able to hear outside noise from down in the womb. Studies show that baby finds gentle music and your own voice most soothing. Nipples are starting to sprout, and that little face is fully formed. And, baby’s starting to settle into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn’t be hard to figure out when — just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.

Weight Gain: Will have a much better gauge on this one after today’s appointment. Keep in mind, I don’t weigh myself. I’m still saying that I’ve only gained 2.7 pounds or whatever that number was through 23 weeks…I can say that for about another hour.

Cravings: Food. In general. Well, not even really. I guess I just have a bit more of an appetite. I wish I were eating just a wee bit healthier. But, pizza is back to sounding REALLY good. Fresh fruit still sounds good, but I am not eating enough of it. In general, though, I haven’t had a craving per se. I am certainly loving my sweet treats these days though.

Symptoms: Tiredness. I have started taking just one kids vitamin a day to see if that helps and it seems to have made a slight difference. I think I really wore myself out getting ready for the big party two weeks ago and spent last weekend recovering.
Oh, last night was the first real leg cramping I’ve experienced. It woke me up (not cool). I went for a walk this morning and that seemed to help. But, I hope that these don’t continue all the time. I’m ok with from time to time. I guess the leg cramping happens because you have so much more blood and fluid in your body as a result of cooking a baby. Whatever – I could do without the shooting pain of the leg cramps.

I am loving: having my best girlfriend in town, Jay. She’s here with her kids until later this month and she came over this a.m. for coffee with her 18-month old, Stella. It’s just so nice to have her around. I miss her when she’s not here. I’m also loving that my local bestie, Andrea, asked me to take infant pictures of her baby Drew after he’s born (he’ll be here June 27). I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on the how-to’s of newborn photography. I can’t wait to get started. I’m also really, really loving the time I seem to have these days. Not having to work on my Master’s frees up a lot of space in my head and in my life to do other things with.

Sleep: Great. Lots of it. Spent a lot of time napping last weekend, but I think that was more because of wearing myself out the week prior.

I miss: looking like my regular self. Seriously, someone should have told me I looked this pregnant.

I am looking forward to: Drew’s arrival, spending time with Jay and her kids while they’re in town and shopping with my Grandma for Minnie tomorrow.

I am spazzing about: Now that the crib and glider were delivered yesterday, the really other big thing is to figure out a childcare (yikes!) situation after Minnie’s arrival. I don’t really like thinking about it – buuttt I have to. So, that search will start in earnest very soon. I swear.

Best moment of the week: Lots — it makes me smile when she kicks. And she kicks a lot. I realized yesterday that she has taken real issue with her neighbor, aka my bladder. Have had to pee a lot. But, I LOVE feeling her move around and get a bit weirded out when I don’t feel her like I think I should. I’m really trying to pay attention to how often she moves and when she moves. Current status: sleeping.

Milestones: Lots of kicking. Jon even felt it! Yup, on his 36th (holy crap he’s old) birthday, I had him lay his hand on my belly and he was like ‘I don’t feel it’ and I said you can’t feel THAT and he was like, I feel things moving, but… So, I was like ‘that’s HER’. I think maybe he thought it was going to be like karate kicks and chops or something…but it’s just little (getting bigger) all the time. But it’s cool that he felt her…and he’s getting more likely to touch my belly to see if he can feel her. Not a lot, but he’s done it a few times and I really like that.

Movement: Lots. I try to figure out which part of her is where…but can’t really tell or am not paying close enough attention.

It’s a….: GIRL!

Exercise: Brisk walk this morning. Nothing when I’ve been on the road. But, we’ll see how the weight gain is going when I head to the doctor here shortly.

Diet: The sweet treats have been my undoing. Being on the road makes it hard to eat very well and I find myself over-indulging and over-filling myself which is uncomfortable. But, can’t say it’s too too bad.

Goals for the upcoming week: Not specifically baby-related, but get the electrical done in the attic so that we can get the insulation done so we can concentrate on getting Minnie’s room ready. The crib is here, the glider’s here, the dresser/changing table is here. I have the paint picked out. Just need to pick up the frames for the artwork, purchase the wall decal from tradingphrases.com and get moving.