Friday, February 25, 2011

My son: Part 1

My son doesn't eat. He's never been much of an eater, except for when he was a baby, drinking formula, and then he just drank the normal amount. I wouldn't necessarily call him a "picky" eater. He just doesn't eat anything at all, and I think of picky eaters only liking to eat certain things. He does like sweets, though. But, he will beg and beg for a cookie and after I convince him to eat 3 bites of his dinner (that's 3 bites total, not 3 more bites) he will take one bite of the cookie and be finished with it. He has gone through phases where he has eaten a lot, but those are usually short lived and don't amount to much in the weight gaining department. He's always hovered anywhere in the 3rd-7th percentile for weight. The doctor tells me that if he drops below the 3rd percentile, we will need to look into causes. But these past couple of weeks, his eating has gone from small amounts to minimal and almost none, some days. He regularly sits at the dinner table for about 45 minutes without eating a single bite, then goes to bed without eating, and doesn't seem bothered by it in the slightest. Every once in a while he will wake up in the middle of the night, or just a couple hours later and say that he's hungry. I'll bring him some bread (sometimes with peanut butter on it) and he'll eat 2-3 bites and then give it back and go to sleep. I just recently started doing this because I'm actually concerned about how little he eats. I used to tell him "too bad, you'll eat at breakfast". But still, it's not like he's eating a lot when I bring him something at night anyway. He has plenty of energy during the day, and certainly drinks more than enough whole milk, (I mean, he really drinks a lot of it) so maybe it's fine. And, in all honesty, I don't require much food either. I rarely finish a meal when we are out. (I rarely finish half of my meal when we are out, unless it's so delicious it's worth having a stomach ache afterward from being so full) Although I enjoy food, I'm perfectly happy eating several small meals throughout the day. And I don't equate a full stomach to being satisfied with my meal, or with life in general. So, maybe he is just like his Mama, and only eats when he feels like he needs to, and not because the clock says so?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

16 Weeks

I thought it might be a fun idea (for me at least) to give periodic updates on what's going on with me and the baby. I'm not going to promise that I'll do one every week, but I sure would be proud of myself if I did! If, for no other reason than to document it for myself, or for my little avocado. Who knows, maybe it's a girl and she will actually care?!

Today I'm 16 weeks. I don't know why, but I feel like that's much farther along than 15 weeks. Maybe because it's the 4 month mark. Like, it's when people start taking this pregnancy thing more seriously? It's also the week that they say you can accurately tell the sex of the baby. I don't know. Anyway.

Baby's size: An avocado. About 4 1/2 inches long, head to bottom and weighs 3 1/2 ounces.

Belly size: About 33" at my widest

Weight gain: You know what? Up to this point my weight gain has been minimal, but I might not always want to share this number, so let's just skip this question, shall we?

Cravings: (With Jackson I didn't really have any cravings, but with this baby, I always do, so this might be fun to keep up with.) Up until this past week, I've been craving sweet and sour flavors (bring on the sweet tarts) but this week I've really wanted red meat! I've also been wanting beer, but I'm not sure that's a craving. More of an addiction. (just kidding Dad)

Mood: It's stabilizing a bit. Either that or I'm getting used to it. I'm certainly more emotional than pre-pregnant. Especially about tv shows, which is stupid.

Symptoms: I haven't had to take my Zofran for the last two weeks! Woo Hoo! (Zofran is an anti-nausea medicine) I'm able to eat more, but still not a lot at one sitting. I know this will only get worse. Minimal acid reflux though! My skin is a wreck. The biggest symptom I've had is that I've been really sleepy all the time. I've definitely started feeling those Braxton Hick contractions already. (I'm having one right now actually) I started feeling them around 18 weeks with my last, and even sooner with this one. Even though they are a little uncomfortable, they aren't painful, and I welcome them with open arms because I have a theory (totally
not based on science, and I'm sure any medical professional would disagree with me) that the more Braxton Hicks I have, the faster my labor will be. This is based on the fact that I had about 100 a day (4-5 per hour), starting in my 4th month with Jackson, and only a 5 hour labor. I just assume that each one of these little gems gets me that much closer to having a baby in my arms, and out of my....ummmmm....vagina.

Go to clothing: This might not matter to some folks, but it's really important to others, so I'll include it. So far, I've managed to stay in non-maternity pants and I can switch from maternity shirts to looser non-maternity. The length of shirts is becoming an issue though. I'm definitely
not in those tent-ish, bunching under the boobs shirts yet, although I know it's coming eventually. I still have a couple pair of regular jeans that I can wear. They are from after I had Jackson, but before I lost my baby weight and my hips shifted back to their normal position. I intend to wear these for as long as possible. Maternity pants aren't exactly flattering on a girl with no butt! And thank God the cardigan is in style right now. I can put a non-maternity one on over a maternity shirt, look cute, and stay warm!

Sleep: So far, so good. I'm usually fast asleep within minutes of hitting the sack and I stay asleep until woken up.

Baby movement: I've just started to feel some consistency with flutters, but that's all I can really say so far. Not a lot of hard kicks, and certainly not hard enough for Eric to feel on my belly.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Three more weeks!

Only three more weeks until I find out what kind of baby is inside me. (the boy kind or the girl kind) For those of you who are keeping track, you might be thinking "huh, I thought it was four more weeks". Well, you would be right. It was supposed to be four weeks, but today I called and changed my appointment to 19 weeks instead of 20 weeks. I have a legit reason for moving my appointment up one week, and it's not just because I'm going crazy not knowing. (I might be going a little bit crazy....) The real reason for moving it up is just as fickle though. The day that I was planning on having my reveal party was on Saturday the 26th. I looked at my calendar and also noticed that there is a craft show where I'm planning on having a booth. (I hand make things for mommies and babies, in case you didn't know) Based on the energy and effort I put into my last craft show, there is no way I could have a party on the same day, or same weekend. I was up late every night preparing for it, and was exhausted by the end of the show. And I wasn't pregnant last time! I could just not have the party, but that's no fun. If I can do both, I'd like to. So, I thought I'd just call and see if I could move my appointment up one week, then I could have the party the week before. I was really hesitant to do this, because I'm such a rule follower. I was told by this OBGYN that my appointment had to be at 20 weeks (even though I know darn well that the anatomy scan can be done anywhere from 18-20 weeks) and who am I to question a doctor? I also figured that their office gets all kinds of crazy pregnant ladies calling in and begging for gender ultrasounds or whatever. I didn't want to be put into the category of "crazy pregnant lady". But then the more I thought about it, I thought "who cares?". This isn't my regular OB, (My regular OB sends me to a specialist for these scans) and I'll probably never see these people again. Who cares if they think I'm crazy? So I called. And they changed the appointment, no problem. No questions asked. And I'm pretty sure they don't think I'm crazy. That was easy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Cake pops

Have you ever had one of Bakeralla's cake pops? Well, if you haven't, let me tell you what it's like. Imagine the most moist piece of cake you've ever had in your life, and multiply that moistness by ten. So, it's THAT cake, rolled into a ball or formed into another shape, and then dipped into chocolate or candy and decorated to resemble something adorable. On a stick. I had my first and only taste of a cupcake pop at a friend's baby shower several months back. I'm not a big pastry eater (shocking, I know, given the amount of ice cream I regularly consume) but these were too adorable to pass up, so I tried one. And it was SO good. (I may or may not have stolen a couple from the party to take home) It almost tasted like cake batter, minus the stomach cramps and salmonella. Well, this past weekend for Valentine's day, my mother in law sent me Bakeralla's cake pop cook book. I was eager to try to make them and I have a poker party that I'm going to this weekend, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity. I decided I'd make little playing cards. I figured, how hard could it be? A rectangle, dipped in white candy and I'd draw the numbers and symbols on with edible markers. So, after Jackson went to bed last night I gave it a shot. I already had the cake baked and the balls formed and in the freezer. Now all I had to do was change the balls to rectangles and dip. Here's how that turned out:
That's not cute. I couldn't get it to be rectangley enough and also dip it in the candy without it falling off the stick. And I was tired. So I covered the remaining balls and put them back in the fridge to be dealt with in the morning. I decided to just make the regular old cupcake pops instead. Something that actually had directions to it. I suppose, in hindsight, it probably wasn't the best idea to make up my own cake pop the very first time I ever made cake pops. So this morning I went back to the store and got chocolate and pink candy and a flower shaped cookie cutter to make the cupcake pops. I think these turned out much better.

They certainly aren't perfect, but they taste delicious and are cute
enough to take to the party. Next time they will be better. There is definitely a learning curve.

Oh, and I used the extra chocolate and sprinkles to make Eric a giant snow cap (which he loves)

I'm not sure this picture adequately portrays the giantness of this snow cap. I'd say it's at least 6 inches wide!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Mommy Intervention

***Let me just preface this by saying that I'm NOT looking for advice here, only empathy or a volunteer to watch Jackson for a little bit. (not that anyone will be willing to watch him after I write this blog) This is me. Venting.***

The past couple of weeks have been really rough for me. Eric has been working overtime everyday during the week and on weekends too. (This is an absolutely necessary thing for us right now, so stopping isn't an option) Most days he leaves before Jackson wakes up and doesn't get home until 7:00 or 7:30 at night. He comes home, we quickly eat dinner, then I get Jackson ready for bed. I spend the next 2-3 hours trying to get Jackson to lay down, maybe watch a show on DVR, but usually just collapse on the bed. Wake up in the morning and am all alone with Jackson again. I love him more than anything, but spending that much time with anyone will start to wear on even the best of us. And probably because he isn't seeing his daddy as much, and probably because my patience is wearing thin, Jackson has been really testing me. He will chase the dogs around the house. I'll tell him to stop chasing the dogs. He'll stop chasing them and start hitting them. I'll tell him to stop hitting the dogs. He'll stop hitting them and start "fake" kicking them (not actually touching them, but getting close). I'll tell him to be nice to the dogs and he'll squeeze them too hard giving them a hug. I'll tell him to leave the dogs alone. He'll leave them alone and start whining for a cookie. I'll tell him he can have a cookie after lunch and then he'll start whining for candy. I'll tell him he can't have anything until after he eats his lunch and then he'll start screaming at the top of his lungs. This goes ON and ON as long as he is awake. It's EXHAUSTING!!! He does do better when we are out of the house, or with other people, but I'm usually too exhausted to do anything out of the house or with other people. And when he does do this testing game in public is even more exhausting. And then there is potty training. Which is going very well, but it's become just another game that he plays. Holding it when he clearly has to go and is dancing around and holding himself. When I ask him if he has to go he screams NOOOOO! Then finally goes once he's about to have an accident. I've stopped asking him and started just letting him tell me. He did have an accident yesterday because of this. And as far as pooping goes, he will tell me he has to go when he doesn't really have to go yet. He'll sit on the potty, tell me he doesn't have to go, then repeats that every 5 minutes or so until he finally gives in and goes. This can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. Yesterday he did this while I was in the shower. I got out of the shower FIVE TIMES to sit him on the potty. He finally went after I finished showering, turned the water off and dried off.

I'm pretty sure I know what needs to happen to get us both out of this funk, and I have a feeling that step one is for me to get a break. A morning or afternoon by myself. To use the massage gift certificate that I got for Christmas, or get my hair cut, or eat lunch in peace, or ALL THREE OF THOSE THINGS! Step two is the more difficult step, which is why I'll need to be rejuvenated for it. It involves a serious toddler boot camp for Jackson, as well as a series of regularly planned activities for both of us.

Sooooo....any takers? I can't really pay you, but I CAN watch your kiddo(s) for you some morning or afternoon so you can do something you need to do.
Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gender reveal party?

Six more weeks. That's how long I have to wait to find out what sex this little lemon is. (That's how big the baby is at 14 weeks. I don't think the baby is actually a lemon) I've been thinking about having a gender reveal party. This would be a party at our house where people would show up dressed in either pink or blue, depending on what they think the sex is, and we would do something "fun" to reveal the gender. It wouldn't be a big deal, as far as food. Just basic snacks, drinks and cupcakes. We would also request that no gifts are given. I think this would be fun for many reasons. It would be more enjoyable than just calling everyone up, or posting my facebook status as "it's a boy" or "it's a girl". I also think it would give me something to do and plan while I'm desperately wanting to know who's in there. And, it's just a fun excuse to have a party and see a lot of our friends that I haven't seen being so cooped up in the house this winter. In my five minutes of researching these parties I came across two schools of thought regarding these. Many people think they are fun and exciting. But there are also many who think it's completely egotistical, a total waste of time, and just another stupid party they feel obligated to go to. When I saw those kind of comments it really made me think twice before throwing this party. I certainly don't want people to feel obligated to come, or to think we are "so into ourselves", when, in fact, no one gives a shit what we are having. My thoughts are, if you do care what we are having, and you are free, then come. If you don't care, then don't come. What do you think? Egotistical stupid or fun and exciting?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Baby's first gift!

I found out on December 1 that I was expecting. It wasn't overly clear at first that I was pregnant. I took a home test and there was one solid line and one extremely faint line. Like, so faint that I thought I might have imagined it. So, the next day, I took another one, and it was really faint again. A couple days of that and the line got darker and darker, until I was sure that it was a positive test. There was no "OMG! I'm pregnant! Yippee!" moment. There were "you're probably just imagining this positive pregnancy test, so whatever you do, don't get your hopes up" moments, followed by "well, now that the moment is gone, yes, you are in fact pregnant". The next week I went to the doctor and they confirmed all of my tests by peeing in a cup. I was pretty sure of my dates, so my doctor didn't feel the need for me to get an early ultrasound. At my 8 week doctor appointment, the doctor told me that she probably wouldn't be able to hear the heartbeat on a doppler, and she prefers to not even try, because then it will just worry me that she couldn't hear it. It wasn't until my 11 week appointment that I first heard the heart beat and it all seemed like it was really happening. So, up until a few weeks ago, I was kind of in denial, except for all of the morning sickness, acne, big belly and mood swings, of course, proving to me that this might actually be real. So, as a precaution (and also because I was totally broke) I didn't buy anything for the baby. I don't really need much to start with, unless it's a girl, then I'll just need clothes. For my first trimester screening, I SO had my hopes up that I would find out the sex of the baby. (And I just knew it was a girl) I had envisioned all of the adorable little baby girl stuff I could sew. I really wanted to make a girly rag quilt. I had the colors and textures all picked out in my mind. Well, when I found out that they couldn't/wouldn't tell me the sex, I was so disappointed. I really wanted to make something for my sweet baby. I decided that I'd make the rag quilt anyway, and just make it gender neutral. I went to Joann (by myself!) loaded with coupons, on Friday to get the fabric. I've gotta say, gender neutral stuff sucks! I don't particularly like pale yellow and green. I was hoping for more of a tan/chocolate brown theme, to match the current nursery, but my options were really limited. And I kept wandering over to the pink section, dreaming of the cute pink quilt I could make. But I finally settled on some fabric, that was gender-neutralish-leaning-towards-boyish. I figure that if I do find out I'm having a girl, I will happily make another, more girly, version. I decided not to make it a baby blanket, but, rather a full size throw. When I was pregnant with Jackson I spent countless hours knitting him a hooded baby blanket that he was able to use for exactly three minutes before outgrowing it. I wanted something that new baby could use for years. I got the material home and immediately got to work. I tend to get really excited about a project and have a hard time walking away. So, I worked until 2:00 a.m. Friday night and got it almost all the way done. (or so I thought) In the morning, I did a few finishing stitches on the sewing machine, then started the process of clipping every single seam. That. Took. Hours! But I finally finished and threw it in the washing machine, to give it that "rag" look. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I'd love to make another one already! Maybe I'll make them and sell them on my etsy site?

Perfect size for the crib!

The back is solid tan color
Close up detail
Jackson helped de-lint

Monday, February 7, 2011

A minimalist, or a middleist?

Lately I've been reading several blogs (like this one, this one, and this one) that I've stumbled across pertaining to living a minimalist lifestyle. It's not something I've sought out, but I've just come across them by reading other blogs about money saving, coupon clipping and budgeting. And I must say, I'm rather intrigued by this lifestyle. I don't know if I'm up for it though, but I don't know that I'm NOT. Most of these families that I've read about have one or no cars, have washing machines, but not dryers, they compost and recycle like crazy, grow their own gardens, only have a few articles of clothing, things like that. I'm all about saving money, and their are definitely certain aspects that I think are totally doable for us. But there are certain things that I'm just not willing to give up. (Like my dryer)

I'm fairly certain I'm going to give cloth diapering a try with this new baby. Some people tell me I'm nuts, some tell me it's no harder than disposables, just a load every 2 or 3 days in the washer. (Cloth diapers have come a LONG way, BTW. We aren't talking about our mom's cloth diapers. No folding diapers, pinning them and separate rubber pants. No soaking them in gross and smelly buckets. Just change your baby and put the dirty diaper in a "wet bag" and when it comes time to wash, you just throw all of the diapers, bag and all, in the washer, then the dryer) Cloth diapers could save up to $1000 a year, not to mention the toll disposables pay on landfills.

Food is another aspect where I could totally live a minimalist lifestyle. We really already do. We are very good about always eating in, and making our own meals (although we don't really go the organic route just yet). I made all of Jackson's baby food myself. (and will for baby #2 also) It saved SO much money and really wasn't difficult. We don't often buy snacks or other non-necessities. We make a grocery list and stick to it.
Something that I don't think I could change would be giving up my car. Being stuck at home is like a nightmare come to life. And with Eric gone from about 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. every day, I really would be stuck at home. I don't live in a big city so walking places wouldn't be an option. Could I possibly downsize my car? Sure. And I'm willing to do so, if I need to.
What I'm not willing to do is have an unreliable car. Eric's truck is already so unreliable, we need at least one that we can depend on.

I'm also not willing to give up my vacations. Usually that just means going back to Ohio to visit friends and family, but every once in a while it means going on a real vacation. A cruise or a trip to Hawaii. To me, vacationing is why I work on saving money. It's what I live for. (aside from family, of course) And vacations don't always have to cost a lot of money. It could be a quick trip to the mountains, or in the case of a possible trip to Vegas coming up, Eric is going to a convention there, which is totally covered by his job. His flight, hotel room, and food are paid for (not to mention that he'll get paid while he's there) so all we'd have to pay for would be my flight and food. Granted, I'll be 6 months pregnant by that time, and everything you can do in Vegas is awkward when obviously pregnant. (except for the buffets....duh!) But it's still a vacation. With a pool. And warm weather. So I'll take it. Even if I do get nasty looks with my big belly in a bikini.

Something else I've seen these families do is to minimize their clothing. This would go into the "possible but not likely" category. I saw one post where they are challenging themselves to only have 33 articles of clothing, including accessories. I think undergarments weren't in the count, or sleep wear. This girl had one sweatshirt! ONE?! Yeah, that's just not possible. I live in those things. So, while I can see the value in this I'm not sure I could do it. Especially for me, right now. I'm changing size every day and have no idea what I'll fit into from one day to the next. And in a couple months I won't fit into anything I currently do. So for me to go and get rid of clothes that don't fit or that I'm not wearing isn't going to work. I also have no idea what will fit after I have the baby either. Last time it took almost 18 months for my pelvis to finally shift back into it's pre-baby place. Something I am doing is not buying any more maternity clothes this time. (Okay, maybe one thing for special occasions) I still have my old clothes and I've had a couple friends give or let me borrow their maternity clothes, so I really don't need anything. But I think all pregnant women out there have discovered that you can live off of just a few outfits. Those last couple months there are usually only a few things that fit you anymore, but you refuse to go out and buy anything more. (rich moms are excluded from this rule) So, you just keep rotating those five (or however many) outfits for a couple months. It certainly makes laundry easier. And deciding what to wear easier. And it proves that minimizing your clothing can work, it's just a matter of if you want to make it work.
I had a whole gianormous paragraph here about why it's better (financially) for us to stay in our current house, instead of downsizing. It included a lengthy market analysis of our neighborhood and market trends, as well as a run down of our personal and financial goals. But in the end I think it's just better to leave it as "while we'd like to downsize to a smaller house on lots of land, it's not a smart move for us today". Then call it a day.

To end this blog and make it even longer and with even more pictures here's a cute picture of a baby pug:

And what's cuter than a baby pug? My baby! (My favorite picture of Jackson BTW)

And what's even cuter than a baby and a baby pug? A baby riding a pug!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The dumbest thing ever

Look, I'm not a scientist. Or a meteorologist. Or even a weather guru. But the wind chill factor is the dumbest thing. Ever. How can it be 2 degrees outside but it "feels like" -27? If it feels like -27 IT'S MINUS TWENTY SEVEN! It's the most basic of science principles. If you can "feel it" IT IS. End of story.

A little peach

We saw our little peach for the first time today!

I was really nervous going in to this ultra sound. With Jackson I had a couple ultra sounds by this time, so I had that validation that there was actually a baby in there. This time I just had the reassurance that I hadn't bled or had cramping, which is always a good thing, but certainly not enough to help me feel out of the woods. As soon as she put the ultrasound machine on my stomach the baby was in the perfect position to measure the folds on the back of the neck (kind of reclined, as if in a hammock). She said she wanted to hurry to get those measurements before the baby moved around too much, since that was the whole point of this visit. Little did we know that that's the position the baby would stay in for the next 15 minutes, so hurrying wasn't necessary. Everything looked great! A strong heartbeat of 160. Nothing out of the ordinary. While she was looking around, I asked her if there was any way she could tell the sex. She kinda shrugged me off, telling me a story about how she was told the wrong sex at 14 weeks, but that she would "give it a shot". Which, I guess, technically, she did. She put the ultrasound thingy between the baby's legs for about 5 seconds, didn't zoom in, or anything, and said she couldn't really tell. From what I saw, there was a tiny nub there, but most babies (boys AND girls) have some what of a nub at this point. With Jackson there was clearly a twig and berries at 12 weeks. This time there wasn't clearly anything there. Not the standard "hamburger" or "equal sign" for a girl, or twig and berries for a boy. (Although, I really think that if she would have zoomed in or even tried a little harder, we could have seen something) I guess I just wasn't supposed to find out early this time? Maybe it's to help me let go of the "having a girl" dream I've always had. It's not that I don't want a boy, I just really want a girl. (it makes sense in my head) And knowing that this is our last baby (famous last words) I'd just really love to have the experience of being a mother to both a boy and a girl. Of course the most important thing is to have a healthy baby. That goes without saying. And it also goes without saying that I will love this baby to the ends of the Earth, no matter what. Healthy, unhealthy, boy, girl. It doesn't matter. Seeing this gorgeous baby today, already being cooperative and waving at us, definitely helps me let go of any pre-existing ideas I've had of being a Mommy to a little girl. Although I will probably still give myself a few minutes to be sad and let go, if I do find out it's a boy. Then I'll head straight to Joann Fabric's to get started on a boy rag quilt I've been dying to make!

Now I have to wait seven more weeks (until I'm 20 weeks) to find out the gender. SEVEN MORE WEEKS! That's, like, 3 years to an anxious pregnant Mommy! Or I could pay $100, and go to an ultrasound facility to find out at 16 weeks. It's SOOOOOO tempting. Like, I-could-sell-plasma-to-come-up-with-the-money, tempting.