Monday, September 28, 2009

Side by Side

Admittedly, I've been really lax about taking the requisite photo every 4 weeks to show belly progress. Call it a combination of lack of energy / not loving the body changes / laziness. Whatever. I did manage to take a couple, and here is a comparison of approximately the same time frame as when I was pregnant for Liam. Its not an exact copy, but I tried to get them as close as I could :)

I really don't see much difference, do you? If you're brave, you can click the photo for a bigger look. My boobs are bigger now, the belly button is flatter...and I've got more stretch marks above my belly button (which you conveniently can't see due to the soft blur of the photo :) Ahhh - I love photoshop :) ). I feel like my butt is bubbly-er too, or maybe my posture is just worse LOL. Keep in mind, I'm almost at exactly the same weight I was last time too....interesting how things move around.

I don't know. People say they can tell by looking how you're carrying if its going to be a boy or a girl. If the first one is a boy, any one care to guess what #2 will be?? I'm calling it a girl - for the record. Just a feeling more so than analyzing how I'm physically carrying. I've felt that way since I first found out I was pregnant....I guess we'll find out soon enough!

Big & Little

Liam, as most kiddos his age, is going through an explosion of learning, absorbing and of course language acquisition. In his current bag of tricks are Opposites, the most popular of which is Big & Little. To encourage this I usually try to point out big and little things so he can reinforce his knowledge, but mostly because I think its cute when he says things like "Beeeeeg truck" and Leeeetle Car". It makes me smile.

Today was no different when we left the produce store and walked past a plethora of pumpkins. I draw his attention to a bunch of tiny gourds. fully expecting a "Leeetle pun-kin" to spring forth from his lips. Instead, I got a very, very enthusiastic "oh! oh! OH!!! BABY pun-KINS!". And he surprised me again when I pointed to the large pumpkins next to them and he exclaimed "DADDY Pun-kins!!"

This made me one happy Mama :o)

Last OB Appointment!

Yup, that's right! I had my last OB appointment before little bambino makes his/her arrival! The big date is all set and ready to go for Friday, October 2, at 10:30 AM. I've got my instructions and now all we have to do is wait :) The appointment went well - everything is still "high and tight" so no signs of baby trying to make an early arrival. Heartbeat nice and strong, and my BP a cool 110/60. I've been lucky this summer with it being soooo very cool, I've had little to no swelling issues at all. AND, as of this morning, I'm sitting at a total gain of 21 pounds :) I feel like 90% of that is boobs and belly....maybe mostly boobs seeing as how stinking GIANT they are!

All in all, I've been feeling relatively OK. Aside from the occasional late night or belly discomfort disruption, I'm sleeping pretty well. Pain has been manageable - baby is still sitting pretty high, so my hips haven't given me nearly as much grief as I expected. Don't get me wrong, they are still very achy, but not as bad as it could be. Back hurts, its tiring to stand or walk for too long, I don't do much in the way of bending over because its not very comfortable, I can't sit and snuggle much with Liam because my belly gets in the way.....but all normal pregnancy stuff. Pat has so very graciously taken over Liam bath duty and night time duty, and pretty much every other duty, which I'm very grateful for...especially since he doesn't even hint at complaining. He's such a great man - I don't know where I'd be without him.

Saturday evening I spent a good 6 hours or so with regular contractions that were just slightly more painful than annoying :) Got tired of waiting for them to get more intense or closer together, so took some benedryl and went to sleep...all was normal in the morning!
It was very strange to experience that though - sitting and timing contractions. I didn't have a stop watch handy, but used my iPod instead :) Nifty little stopwatch thing that has!

I think it was so strange because I hadn't experienced it before when I was pregnant with Liam. No regular contractions at all, until I was in the hospital and on Pitocin. In fact, since Liam's pregnancy is the only one I have to go by, I've pretty much been expecting my water to break, although I know it only happens to 20% or less of people. That's kind of stressful....its like every time I go to the bathroom I expect more fluid than just urine to gush out. Yeah, TMI...but whatev.

The other issue I've been wrestling with regarding the idea of going into labor before Friday AM is eating. Its like I don't want to eat, just in case I spontaneously go into labor. If I do I have to, then I have to wait at least 6 hours before having a c-section. I know, its kind of weird, but I never claimed to be normal. Same thing with taking medication (like heartburn or allergy stuff). I end up suffering a bit because I'm afraid if I do take it, it will affect my hypothetical c-section in some way. I'm kind of over it, but kind of not, because its always in the back of my mind.

Well. that's pretty much it! I'm not planning on taking my computer with me to the hospital, because its giant, so my next post very well might be after we're settling in at home with the new kiddo!! Wish us luck!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Halloweenie, Creepy Skulls and other Miscellany...

It was brought to my attention that most people (I.E. especially Pat, his brother, and family) find my incredibly adorable Árbol de la Vida adorned with Calacas and other Calaveras very creepy. Here are the items in question....

*sigh* They are so uncultured.....

I found my post where I tried to explain the concept of the Mexican Art when I purchasedback in 2006 (Egads, have I been blogging for that long!??). Its a rather long post though....and I found a better summary on Mexconnect. It all goes back to pre-Hispanic times (i.e. indiginous peeps before the Spaniards came to rape our land) and the duality / balance / equilibrium present in that culture.

"The skeletons and skulls of Mexican folk art reflect the dualism fundmental to the pre-Hispanic world view. Without duality in all aspects of life, the universe loses its equilibrium. Animal and human forms; masculine and feminine energies - all are needed. Of all these balancing forces, perhaps none is more significant than that of life and death."

So really, one would fear skulls over babies (death and life) no more than a man over a woman (masculine and feminine energies). That wouldn't make any sense, because all these play equal parts in balacing of the universe. Make sense now?? I think our own fear and creep-outie-ness of skulls and items associated with death are ingrained from a long oppression instilled by our mainly Christian roots, taught to fear least that's how I feel about it.

And in understanding the roots of the art, I can appreciate the beauty! So its NOT creepy - its BEAUTIFUL!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hard to believe

Yet another year has flown by! It is so very humorous to me how much of my life is expressed in cliches now....but there is a reason :) Just because they are cheesey cliches like "I can't believe how big he is!" and "How did a year just fly by so quickly?" does not make them any less true. He's such a big boy!

Here he is just one year ago on big birthday Numero Uno :)

And, Sunday at his Birthday Party celebrating 2 great years on earth :)

A little less messy, but certainly not less adorable :)

We didn't want to have a party for him initially....but the best of my maternity induced guilt got to me, and I wanted him to have one last center of attention hurrah before his life is changed forever. We had a great time despite the craptastic weather, and I think he's pretty darn happy with the oodles of trucks and cars that now happily occupy his toy space :) Of course, we also let him open two small matchbox cars this morning (it is his actual birthday, after all) and after his nap he was devastated to remember that he lost the Birthday Orange Truck at playgroup today. Like the 50 other trucks and cars he had just gotten weren't nearly as good as the $0.76 one he lost. *sigh* Isn't that always the way??

I'm anticipating the arrival of baby number two to really send him into a tailspin, but I'm also hoping I'm terribly wrong and that he'll do just fine :) It will be interesting to see how it all pans out!

Happy Birthday Little Bear :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Baby update :)

I had so many things to many insightful things....but I ALWAYS forget!


::::::::::: Baby Charlie :::::::::::

I have many friends in the Chicagoland area, many of whom have been popping out babies in assembly line fashion! Its been amazing to see the transition between one kid and two, and actually pretty empowering. Seeing all these women do it makes me feel less overwhelmed, and I know I can take it on....although, at the same time, its rather scary because *gulp* the next most pregnant person than I just had her kiddo on Sunday!

Welcome officially Baby Charlie (Charlize)!


I've actually avoided holding other newborns...mostly because I was kind of nervous. Nervous to actually HAVE one again! But, since I had a check up today right next door, and I wanted to sneak a peek at the hospital too, I thought I would drop by and say hello. Holding her was so very nice - so warm and snuggly. Yeah, I'm holding out hope that I'll be able to enjoy the newborn stage this time....keeping my fingers crossed!

::::::::::: Two weeks away :::::::::::

Or just over, anyway. October 2, 10:30AM. So far, so good. I had a 37 week check up today - everything is looking smashing! Even had a growth ultrasound to see how baby is growing. The estimate was 7 lbs 5 oz as of today. (However, the margin of error is 15%, which basically swings it a pound in either direction). So, if we take that estimate and figure an average 1/2 lb gain of baby per week, then we're looking at topping Liam's birth weight of 8 lbs 7 oz (or being pretty darn close). We'll see how close they are. Not that it matters much with this being a c-section and all. They also looked at a bunch of other stuff...amniotic fluid level looks great, blood flow looks great, heart looks great...etc. My Blood Pressure is steady and low....everything looks great!

I'm actually feeling well, too. Not sure if its a home stretch burst of energy or what, but I'll take it.

::::::::::: Adjusting to baby :::::::::::

Thankfully Liam has been exposed to a LOT of babies over the course of the past six months, due to my very fertile friends. This is good, but we also wanted to prepare him (or at least attempt to) by doing things at home. So we borrowed a baby doll from Larkin (Pat's niece) and have had it laying around the house since we've moved. We practice being gentle to it, and change its diaper, and give kissies and hugs at night. We've also set up the baby swings & bouncy seats and practice taking baby in and out.

He's a smart kiddo though - he knows the difference between a real baby and a toy, but I figured its good exposure if nothing else than to have all the baby crap all over the house. I have no idea if any of this is going to help the transition, but I figure it can't hurt.

The only negative (so far) thing happened today. I busted out all my wraps and slings, wrapped myself up and stuck the doll inside. I told Liam he couldn't climb all over me because I was snuggling the baby.....and he looked up at me with his big ol' sad eyes and said "All done snuggle baby?" and tried to take the baby out. I think I may have to come up with a different word than Snuggle when I'm holding the baby, because he definitely knows what snuggles are, and I don't want him to get too jealous when I'm snuggling the baby all day long. At least I'm assuming I'll be all wrapped up all the time. That's how it was with Liam....

::::::::::: Liam Time Outs :::::::::::

Little man had about a zillion time outs at playgroup today. He was putting sand in his hair over and over at the park, and dumping out all the goldfish crackers in the bowl. Not mind blowing stuff mind you, but things he knows better not to do. Yeah yeah, I know he's only two (almost!) but still....I think I have a pretty good idea of what instructions he's capable of following, and he just was adamant about not following them today. The saddest was when he was sitting on the bench begging me "all done time outs, mommy, all done". He was so cute.....

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I'm kind of sort of freaking out about delivery of baby #2 - just over three weeks away now. Yes, I've had a c-section before, and everyone has said the 2nd, especially if its planned is a completely different, easier experience. Which is all good and well but I'm still freaking out about it all. And to be honest, I'm not sure that's the only thing I'm worried about. With the post-partum depression I had with Liam....I'm petrified to go through the whole ordeal again. I don't even think I bonded with him until after 6 weeks. I'm not looking forward to caring for a newborn again - and I'm doubly scared that Liam is going to hate my guts after we bring him/her home too.

I'm thankful that once again I'll have help here at the house for about a month after delivery (between my mom, dad & Pat's mom) I know at least Liam will be taken care of. I know we'll have meals because my mommy group friends will be bringing a couple by. I know that I'll have 1000 times better of a support system than when I had Liam because I've got a great network of friends that live relatively close.

I know all of these things. I want so very badly to let all this worry and "what ifs" go and not waste my energy on it, but its encompassing me!! Of course, this all might have something to do with the fact that I'm also not sleeping well at night and waking up at 5AM every morning (because that's as late as Liam will sleep). I also ache all over - am giant - and the biggest crabby pants on earth.


I wrote the above vent to some cyber friends earlier today, because I had been feeling so incredibly shitty as of late. I'm not sure why its always easier to spew feelings like this online, instead of calling a friend or talking to someone in person, but alas, its what I did, and maybe it will help foster conversation in the future. Its not like I can't talk about how I feel - its just that normally when I'm with my friends in person we're busy chasing after kiddos, and unless I can express myself in two succinct sentences my point isn't going to get across other than "I feel like Poo".

Not that its a bad thing - I actually think its hilarious. Our entire conversations are chopped up.....we could be mid point and then stop to shout "{insert kid name here} do NOT lick that pigeon!", then run off to prevent some sort of avian infection. Phone conversations are the same way. But I'm digressing.....

I thought about asking to meet up with people outside of playgroup, or even asking for someone to come and visit for a while so Liam could have someone to play with, but I feel like we're a bit isolated because of the distance between the 'burbs and the city. It is not insurmountable, mind you, but it does put a damper on things (especially when you want to do something in the afternoon, and don't want to fight all the crazies during rush hour traffic. Because that BLOWS chunks!).

I've tried to do some shopping therapy - because that's what I've turned to in the past when I'm feeling down....but that is tough to do on a restricted budget. Well, tough to do and avoid tremendous amounts of additional guilt. Luckily I've got a few gift cards up my sleeve, and buying mostly stuff for new baby which is checking stuff off of my list and helping to quell the nesting going on in my brain.

Shopping therapy never really gets to the root of the problem though. Its always just a temporary fix. So what is the root of the issue? I think it all boils down to the fact that I'm really, really pissed off that I can't seem to handle this all myself. I mean, I should be able to handle it all - I'm an adult dammit, but apparently I can't. Emotionally or physically, it seems. And it just makes me mad.

It didn't help today that my doctor's appointment didn't go all that well today either. Liam was a handful at the beginning....probably because he wasn't very happy about the 1.5 hour drive in (really it should take 40 minutes or so). But then he calmed down quite a bit. And physically I'm OK, and the baby is doing well. I was slightly worried that I had pre-eclampsia, mostly because I'm a hypochondriac but partly because I had a couple of bad headaches a couple days in a row. Turns out the BP is good to go - a steady 110/60. I also gained more weight this past two weeks than I had at any other appointment - 4 lbs - which explains why I feel so damn GIANT all of the sudden.....but I'm still in really good shape as far as weight gain goes (under 20 pounds as of today). But when the PA walks in and asks, "Honey, are you doing OK? you look slightly exhausted", that's never a good sign. You never want to look as bad as you feel. It was nice to let myself break down and cry for a while though.....

The fact of the matter is I'm tired, cranky, tired and achy, and although I muster up enough oomf to take care of Liam through the day, it doesn't leave much overflowing to take care of me. So I don't. Most of this stuff is popping up now because Pat has resumed somewhat of a more normal work schedule, meaning that he's gone most of the time instead of working from home more often....which has affected me more than I anticipated. That combined with Liam's obscenely early wake up call at 5AM, and poor sleep quality at night for me is apparently taking its toll.

So what to do? In the infamous words of Dory, "Just keep swimming....just keep swimming....just keep swimming swimming swimming". Through it all I'm going to keep monitoring things with my doctor, and make sure it is only exhaustion and it doesn't blow into a full depression before I even get to PPD...and keep reminding myself that its OK to ask for help.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

If you are a Tiger's Fan...

Then I'm sure you've heard about Ernie Harwell's cancer.

And maybe even about his decision to not proceed with any medical intervention.

When I first read about it, I felt a pang of sadness that he was sick...and then I thought to myself (and maybe even out lout to Pat) "For Pete's sake - he's NINETY-ONE!! He's going to go one way or another. I wouldn't go through with chemo or anything either!". After reading an additional article from MLive - he really does exude the peace that he has for this part of his life's journey. I hope I'm that open and wise when I reach his age.

It still doesn't take that pang of sadness away.

I realize many people look to him as a grandfather figure - someone who has been part of their lives for as long as they can remember. I don't necessarily have that kind of attachment to the man personally, but the memories his voice brings holds a special place in my heart. His voice was the the sound of summer.....interlaced in the soundtrack of my childhood. We would play outside, and Dad would have a radio on the workbench in the garage, which was inevitably tuned to Tiger Baseball.

Tiger Baseball. Memories of going to Tiger Stadium with my Dad, Grandpa** & family. Eating peanuts in the shell. Learning how to keep a scorecard. Relishing the sunshine. Hearing the crack of a wooden bat making contact with the ball. Trying to follow a homerun ball before it was lost in the sun or the stands. Watching a great double play unfold or seeing someone lay down a nice bunt. Strategy. Power. The Game.

Somewhere in those warm, fuzzy, happy memories, Ernie's voice will always be.

I wish him well.

**I'm sure there were always other family members with us at those games, but for some reason I associate the memory predominately with the Patriarchs of the family. Which is OK - its my memory, I can remember it how I'd like :)