Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Lately...tears and fears

This week I have had 2 people reach out and ask if I have had a baby since "all's quiet on the western front." And by western front, I mean the ever increasing hole my pa-took is burning into the mattress.

Ute-still occupied! 32 weeks and counting.

One would think that the time spent in bed would reward me with lots of time to use pent up "strategery" and compose brilliant posts and updates. Interestingly, I am on my work computer more, and tend to only want to engage with the virtual world on an "as needed" basis. So outside of streaming Top Chef the day after it airs (shhh! don't tell me if my favorite Kish wins, m'kay?), I tend not to have my personal computer open for business.

Hmmm...strike that. My friend Amy just sent me a link to watch all seasons of Dowton Abbey.

Plus, bedrest is lonely.
Aggravating.
Depressing.

I don't have impromptu live conversations with people during a normally functioning day (ie, outside of my bedroom). Life tends to be me snapping at whoever dares to enter my room because, well, I am kind of in a stalemate with my "good mommy/wife/daughter/friend" persona.

So I operate in a "Sybilian" world (made up) and have lots of conversations in my head with myself. And because we all want to look through the double paned glass when we walk by the Cuckoo's Nest, here is what has crossed my mind lately that has either made me cry, worry, or both. It's like those weekly roundup posts more composed, bathed, and put together bloggers do. I call it, "Lately: tears and fears." (Subtitle, stuff I found while lobotomizing Ali's brain)
  • "Shugah"
    • I failed my 1 hour oral glucose tolerance test, boo! Tears.
    • I passed the 3 hour, yay!
    • Note to preggers: demand your glucose drink be chilled like a good bottle of Cristal. And actually say that to them--"I only pop properly chilled bottles...can you put that on ice?"
    • Bee tee dubs: the 1 hr drink has 50 mg glucose. The 3 hour drink in the same size bottle? 100mg. You *may* need Doogie Howser to walk you back to an exam room to lie down during the last hour because you are threatening to vaso vagal on the waiting room couch or puke.
  • Weight Woes
    • I still have guilt about my current diet (thanks Halloween, T-day, Christmas, New Years, F's birthday, my birthday, Eric's birthday and V-day), and fear that the 1 hr failure was because I'm growing the State Puff Marshmallow baby. Although, according to the courtesy 3D ultrasound I had on Friday, I am going to deliver a baby who looks exactly like Eric. Maury, no paternity test needed. It's so uncanny, my mother gasped at the mugshot/profile--"It's Eric! Without glasses!"In the unlikely event it is a girl, we may need to fit the baby with a mask. I love me some Eric...he just doesn't make a pretty girl.
  • Baby Fears
    • I feel like whenever I agonize over something, another more talented and well known blogger does me the courtesy to write about it. And to that I say: "word!" Kate at This Place is Now a Home, just blogged about current fears while she is pregnant (whoo hoo! she's pregnant!). The past 2 weeks, I started the spectrum of fears:
        • Benign Fear: What if I can't lose this baby weight chocolate and bedrest have awarded me?
        • Reasonable Fear: What if this extra weight gain translates into a 10lb baby that tears me from here to Uranus?
        • Unreasonable Fear: What if this said 10lb baby can't control his/her blood sugar, and I have to supplement with formula and can never breastfeed? And so by the transitive property of the third trimester fears, GAINING WEIGHT = INABILITY TO BREASTFEED. And the only way to assuage my mathematical prediction...is with dark chocolate Dove candy. Clearly.
        • Unfair Fear: What if this baby really is ugly like that Seinfeld episode? Not sure I really want a baby coming out and looking exactly like a 32-year-old history teacher. Especially if there is facial hair involved.
        • Ashamed Fear: What if I made the biggest mistake of my life by having a 3rd child? I do need to comment that part of this comes from feeling overwhelmed with this actually happening in the next few weeks. Part of it feels like Miles's and Felix's lives will suffer.  And heck, my marriage. And part of me feels a sense of defense and anger towards what I consider some unintentional hurtful comments from people that have ranged in topic and issue. One of which was that perhaps my pregnancy difficulties, both past and present, are a signs from God (that apparently I ignored after Miles and Felix) that I shouldn't have more children and our family is "done." Apparently I missed that heavenly memo after my first pregnancy and just ignored it the 2nd time? Also, I know I only have 2 hands and will now be outnumbered, but please don't set me up for failure and already tell me how hard it is and how you would never have 3 children. Smooches. Love ya. Thanks for the support.
  • Toddler Fears
    • Felix was (thankyousweetjeebus) potty trained at 2, but at a little over 3 now, still saturates his pants during naps and overnight. Luckily, he's pretty good at taking off his "urine peplum" each morning, and it isn't that much of an inconvenience, but I am just not sure what to do about nighttime wetting.
        • Benign Fear: What if he is still wearing an overnight diaper over the next year?
        • Reasonable Fear: What if he isn't nap trained by preK when it is expected? 
        • Unreasonable Fear: What if he isn't nighttime trained by elementary school, and doesn't get invited over for sleepovers because he is known as a "bed wetter?" so by the transitive property of potty training: BED WETTER = NO FRIENDS.
        • Unfair/Selfish Fear: What if I still have to spend money on diapers for Felix for another couple of years, which could be spent on other things like Dove dark chocolate?
        • Ashamed Fear: What if this is all a result of the emotional torture we went through potty training Miles? While I know this isn't true, I can't help but think there was some damage done by osmosis.
  • PreK Fears
    • With the wise counsel of Miles's preK teachers and going with our gut, we have decided to have Miles repeat preK prior to going to Kindergarten. merelymothers recently had a post on the stress of electing a preschool/preK for your child. To which I say again, "word!" I'm overwhelmed with the current process. Miles is young, small, and needs more time to develop socially before we throw him to the wolves. So we are looking at young 5's type of programs, but trying to make one that works with my professional schedule (Eric has zero flexibility given he is a teacher) and at a cost that won't put us into foreclosure has been a battle.
        • Benign Fear: Miles is so picky, what if he doesn't eat the provided lunch at whatever school we choose?
        • Reasonable Fear: What if I can't make the schedule work with mine and I lose health benefits because I can't work 35 hours a week?
        • Unreasonable Fear: What if this random year at a random school doesn't allow Miles to make friends, and he turns into a loner, which then makes him more likely to commit heinous crimes when he is older? And so by the transitive property of 4-year-old nervosity: YEAR AT RANDOM SCHOOL = FUTURE CRIMINAL. Okay, I know this sounds extreme, but I seriously worry about this...the accused of the crimes I am gently referencing over the past years have all had a common denominator: males who tend to be loners. So, yeah, I worry.
        • Bottom line/Ashamed Fear: What if we are making the biggest mistake of his life by repeating this year? This child has been exposed to a lot of transition and change in his life. And for a kid who is an innate rule follower and pretty much afraid of, well, everything, it kills me to think I am doing him "wrong"...God give him the strength to be resilient. (right after you send me that 3rd memo telling me that I shouldn't have more children after this one. I might listen if you throw in a free vasectomy.)
In closing, I want to both acknowledge how blessed I am to be on good medications and bedrest, as it all seems to be working, but also acknowledge that bedrest is overwhelming. I've been asked if "being waited on hand and foot is a luxury" and to that I say, absolutely not. I've spent weeks, now, watching life continue and my family operate without much participation on my end. So my recommendation for anyone supporting people on bedrest is just to be mindful of the emotional fortitude it requires. Please be gentle with us bed riders; we are a hormonal bunch.

To everyone who has stepped up and stepped in to provide childcare, meals, "pick me up" gifts, calls, texts, I cannot thank you enough...but please don't take offense if my acknowledgements and thank you notes are delayed.

The truth is, while intellectually I am capable of shouting to the world that all of these years of tears, fears, and complicated pregnancies are worth it, right now it may take me a little more time to believe it.

Week 33, here I come.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Some Bunny Loves You

Angry ute not only causes me some general anxiety, but also insomnia. And I usually have a choice: continue working on my work computer, or crush on Jimmy Fallon and knit.

Clearly no contest.

I've been an amateur knitter for many years, with a repertoire that spans...well...as far as the end of my bed. But in terms of volume, I've banged/knit/purled out a ton of goods for friends as gifts. And the boys and I are still in possession of a few hats and scarves I have thrown together.

But in all of my years, I have never knit a toy for my own children.

Shoemaker's children.

But with Jimmy and the Roots as my company, I have finally knit the yet to be born child a toy. Huzzah!
 Just call him nugget.

I also finished off a bunny for one of the girls who works for me who is pregnant with her first child, a little girl. 
Do you think my toys enjoy my photoshoots on the edge of my couch? (ie, the only place we get natural light). What can I say--jr varsity knitter and jr varsity photographer.

This last pose (they both protested, BTW), I took in honor of Valentine's Day and call it "Some Bunny Loves you." You know...bunnies doing what bunnies do best:

Spooning.



Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Boy + Bike

Sometimes, even the shyest, most fearful boys just need a good set of wheels in order to take off...
 I love you, Miles...


 ***




And just because...here is a before and after (photobomb) that makes me giggle. Yup. I married "up."










Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RAKs: the third trimester

Not only am I in the third trimester of pregnancy (generally unfamiliar waters even though this is my 3rd pregnancy), but also the home stretch of my 33 random acts of kindness in 33 days.

So, my ute (pet name for uterus) has been getting all angry on me again and I am currently making a huge impression in our master bedroom mattress. I just told Eric to think of the final result as a bed slide. With some extra medication I have been put on, bed rest, and weekly check ins, I am hoping I have a good 6+ weeks left to deny I am having a 3rd child. Oh,  and I am managing to clock in a 40 hour work week while ordering around my children, husband, and mother who flew down to ensure the DSS wasn't called due to my inability to care for my children.

So technically, it's been 32 days since I started my random acts of kindness. And I had a good pace, until the ute was all "hello! look at me! I'm gonna contract all day and night, and reward you with weekly cervical checks, oral medication that makes you feel all vaso-vagally, and just general anxiety about doing the NICU song and dance again." Cervical checks = intimate time with my male OBs. The newest (okay, there are only 2 in my practice. And both relatively attractive) graduated in...wait for it...1999! No--that's not medical school graduation. High School. Like, he probably barely finished puberty and his last growth spurt around that time. Like, that is after I graduated. Like, he totally is up in my vajay all the time as an "expert." Like I'd be lying if I said I didn't find him on Facebook and sift through his pictures with his wife to make sure he wasn't really a "Doogie Howser" and born in the 21st century.

But! He did assist in the delivery, via C-section (lead by my primary OB), of the Atlanta Zoo's newest orangutan baby, so he must be legit.

Upside? Last ultrasound he confirmed I am not, in fact, having an orangutan. Glass half full...or as I am now saying, amniotic sac still full.

Eric thinks I should add: being the favorite patient, to my RAKs. Given how often I am there to get shots in my a$$ and wands up my hoo-ha, I have had a choice to shrink into a spiral of shame and pretend it all isn't happening, or embrace it and make jokes and friends. The latter has served me well. Eric can attest to the fact that we have heard "off the record" stories from the NP and OBs, and we are all on a first name basis. I'm all, "yeah, Bryan...why don't you give Brad a buzz and just let him know our plan for the fetal fibronectin test, m'kay? Give me a ring this weekend on my cell if you need me. Or message me on Facebook." The conversations aren't far off from that. And I have been told on multiple occasions that the Dr, nurse, and NP love when I come in. What can I say...a little vaginal humor and perspective goes a long way.

And I might have offered up my husband as a test subject to my underage Dr when he mentioned during my last visit he wanted to get certified to do vasectomies since it is the only form of birth control he cannot offer. (If that isn't a RAK...I don't know what is!)

But I'm not quite to the point of adding "befriending the OB staff" as a RAK. So currently, I've officially completed 25 RAKs, and have 2 more about to be executed...and then there needs to be a strategic meeting with me, myself and I because I simply cannot do the remainder on bed rest.

For instance: there is a home down at the end of our street with a young couple who must have recently had a baby. I've seen a pink wreath on their door, some balloons on their mailbox, and a glimpse of a newborn swing in the window. They have clearly been on baby duty and not cared much about landscaping: they have all these pine needles sticking up, like little evergreen kamikazes, in their overgrown grass. I wanted for us to go over there and just rake it all away for them.

Or offering my close single-parent friend a night of free babysitting so she could go out and do whatever she wanted for however long she wanted.

Or signing up for a 5K benefiting a charity and donating another entry fee (and then subsequently walking the 5K).

Or going to the park with my boys and picking up every piece of trash we see.

So I have some reevaluating to do,

And part of me kinda feels like a failure right now. Failing RAKs and failing pregnancy--again. Well, let me correct that--I will complete my mission for 33 random acts, just not on my original deadline. And I still am holding out for 38 weeks with this nugget. I may just need excessive counseling and a new mattress. Maybe I am more like a C student, but slap that bell curve on me and with grade inflation, I am going to claim to be averaging a solid B. Not good enough for Harvard, but definitely top of the class for online University of Phoenix.

And now, here is where we stand:



I included links to some of the sources of the random acts in case interested.
  1. Give a 100% tip. (Okay, it was at Starbucks on a $4 drink. *Update! I found out that my husband secretly gave 300% tip at IHOP when we went out for dinner recently, and had the most horrible service. He didn't even do it in honor of my mission, but said he did it because he needed to do something so he didn't blow up at the server. Show off...)
  2. Dropped off a new pair of running socks in the mailbox of a neighborhood gentleman we have seen run every single day by our house for 4 years.
  3. Taped change to my company's $0.25 pop machine.
  4. Cooked cinnamon pecans for someone we know who mentioned she liked pecans.
  5. Sent 2 free movie ticket vouchers to a couple who I know need a date night out!
  6. Taped 2 lottery tickets to the gas pump.
  7. Baked gluten free peanut butter cookies for a co-worker recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance and just announced she is pregnant.
  8. Gave a friend an awesome eco-friendly t-shirt from Etsy's OneLaneRoad depicting backyard chickens. (She really really really really wanted chickens and a coop for Christmas. Santa didn't get the memo, so I improvised for her.)
  9. Dropped off a donation to a local elementary school (my kids do not attend there, yet), for them to buy daffodils for their garden. 
  10. Went to Target.com, printed out all of the online coupons and taped them to the products at the store.
  11. Planted a bunch of $1 bills to Target dollar items. (Totally bring your kids for this one. They were "making it rain" with the dollah dollah bills throughout the aisles.)
  12. Walked to Dunkin' Doughnuts with the boys...bought a dozen...walked to our Police Station, and dropped them off for the department to enjoy...walked home.
  13. Gave Miles's classroom a new copy of the book, One,  I selected from our own stash of books to read when I was "mystery reader".
  14. Mailed a dinner + a movie gift card to a friend and her husband who have been confronted with more than their fair share of health issues with their family.
  15. Commented, meaningfully, on every.single.blog in my Google Reader over the course of 1 day.
  16. Baked our mail carrier some treats and left them in our mailbox.
  17. Baked Felix's teachers some treats to enjoy for taking such great care of all of the kids at the center.
  18. Returned a borrowed book with another book to read/keep (one she has wanted to read), and threw in a new Nike running visor because she loves to run and is one of my running inspiration.
  19. Bought my colleague her favorite sour cream doughnuts from a local doughnut shop.
  20. Bought the said local doughnut shop owners a really beautiful Ravensburger puzzle and secretly dropped it off at their doorstep late one night. (Whenever you go in, they are *always* doing puzzles on a table.)
  21. Sent a pair of cute boxer briefs to a little boy up north rocking the potty training transition.
  22. Mailed a gift card to a friend who is increasing her sewing hobby/passion to her favorite online fabric store.
  23. Sent pregnancy and nursing tea to a friend up north who just got over the flu and endured the bitter cold, epic storm that was Nemo.
  24. Made a slouchy hat (or "cupcake hat"/"marshmallow hat" as the 2-4 year olds have called it) to a friend who casually mentioned her daughter could model it for me when I lamented that I only had boys who could model the little girl hats.
  25. Sent a year's worth of meal plans to a friend who could be the most organized, ambitious, and clever Mama I know. Funny enough, my husband printed off 2 copies. A few days later, another friend asked me for my list of RAKs so she could start her own journey, and mentioned she liked this particular random act. Bingo-bango, even though we were going to keep the print out for ourselves, the universe couldn't have been more clear to send it to her.

New goal: 33 random acts of kindness before this baby is born.

25 down, 8 more...and, go!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fe-fi-fo-THUMB


Sometimes, I like to take a time out just to say "I love you" to my boys on the blog. 

It's been a little rocky over here in regards to health: the boys and mine. But more on that another day. 

***

We like to chant "fe-fi-fo-THUMB" to Felix a lot. 
And ask him to tell us how cows are milked.
And hear him tell you that he is a dragon who is going to spit fire at you. 
And laugh at him when he refuses to put his pants on correctly. (Kris Kross will make ya...must be genetic.)
And watch him wear his astronaut costume multiple times a day. Or to the grocery store. Or church. (God loves astronauts, too!)

He's a stitch.
And I know everyone warns you about the "trying threes" but I have to say, so far, it's been pretty good.

Love you Felix.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pretzel popples

Out of nowhere, Miles started asking to go to the mall.

Okay. We are not mall people, and only go when are trapped due to some sort of global warming pattern bringing inclement weather to the area. Between the Disney store, the magical floor thing-y that the kids jump on and it projects interactive images on the tile...oh, and the germ infested play equipment that takes $3 for a ride (note: my kids get the static journeys and we have never actually enabled one of the ride on toys)...we can spend a good hour plus at the mall.

The last time we went, we got Annie's Pretzel nubs/bites...popples as I like to call them. They come in a cup, and they are de-lish.




Something must have triggered that memory in Miles b/c he told us he wanted to go to the mall to "eat those things that come in a cup."

Instead of going to the mall (there was not global warming that day), I searched and found a copy cat recipe for the Annie's pretzels, made a modification to make "popples" and think I just changed the course of our lives.

Now, I don't sing the praises of recipes unless they are a slam dunk. This, my friends, is a slam dunk.

I'd include a picture, but between the 4.5 of us...they were gone in an HOUR.

Please. Make these. 

Pretzel Popples

Ingredients
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 2 T butter--room temp
  • 2 1/2 cups flour (up to another 1/2 cup if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 2 cups warm water
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • 3 T butter, melted
 
Directions
  • Warm milk in a microwave, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on HIGH power. 
  • Pour milk along with yeast into the bowl and whisk together until yeast has dissolved, let rest 5 minutes. 
  • Add brown sugar, softened butter, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp salt to milk mixture and stir until blended. 
  • Here is if you have a stand up mixer you could probably do something with a dough hook. I did this all with a spatula and my hands. Probably not recommended.
  • Add remaining flour and knead mixture until elastic. Mix in up to an additional 1/2 cup flour, as needed, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise in warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Punch dough down several times to release any air pockets. 
  • Take a segment of dough and roll into a long, thin rope on very lightly floured board. (I split the dough into 8 chunks and then created long snakes about 1/2 inch wide.)
  • In a shallow bowl, whisk together baking soda and warm water then fully immerse pretzel snake into water mixture and allow excess water to drip off
  • Cut the snake into "nubs" (about an inch long).
  • Put on baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse salt to liking.
  • Bake for 6-7 minutes. KEEP AN EYE ON THEM! They go from nothing to golden very fast.
  • Remove and brush with melted butter.
  • INHALE.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Goodwill Hunting: volume 10


BOOM! 
28.5 weeks

Bu-bye toes
See ya skinny pants
Sayonara horizontal stripes

I abandoned weekly belly shots with my "countdown" shirt. 
This, my friends, is going to be the life of a third child: hand-me-downs and forget-me's. (Still debating that apostrophe.)

Last shirt was done at 15 weeks! When I thought I had a huge booty thighs. Pee-shaw.

I've also abandoned my Goodwill Hunting posts, and not b/c I haven't been rocking the Goodwill stash. In fact, I've found that going up a size in clothes at Goodwill has been a great way to get through this pregnancy. That, and the good will of my friends who loaned me their maternity clothes.
Here's a little recap with some progressive belly action.

Good/will components: $2.50 Limited cardigan, and $6 Express Jeans. 

Good/will components: Borrowed Gap maternity dress, $2.50 leggings, adopted 80's belt from my mom!


Good/will components: $2.50 Santa t-shirt, $2 Old Navy PJ bottoms
Good/will components: Borrowed black cable knit v-neck maternity sweater. Borrowed Gap gray maternity cords. Free firmoo glasses.

Good/will components: $2.50 Limited sequined v-neck short sleeved t-shirt. Wool read Tulle jacket was a gift from my sister-in-law a few years back. Not visible, borrowed black maternity pants.

Good/will components: Pashmina scarf was a gift from a coworker, $2.50 Banana Republic cardigan, $5 Old Navy maternity maxi dress, $6 Gap satin bow teal flats.
 (first day someone told me I "waddled.")

Good/will components: $2.50 Lands End Canvas turtle neck. $6.00 J.Crew Suede flats. And yes, I purchased on clearance Old Navy Maternity "super skinny colored pants." $12.

Here's to another 10 weeks of maternity fashion! Thank you Goodwill Perimeter, and an even great thank you to the friends who have kindly loaned me their maternity clothes.