Monthly Archives: March 2012

Rules, rules, rules!

I have read just about every piece of pregnancy literature I can get my hands on. I have steered entirely clear of parenting literature.

I don’t know why, but I have no interest in reading the stuff that will actually prepare me for a real live person to raise. I think it is because I’m confident that no matter how prepared I think I am for this, once she arrives, I’m going to be completely at a loss.

It’ll be up to me and the Hubs to trial-and-error our way through it – common sense to be considered of course.

Sleep training.

Potty training.

Self-soothing.

Not spoiling.

I’m sure there are a million “methods” that work. I would welcome your recommendation! But I am not sure I’m ready to start reading that stuff.

My pregnancy journey has been nothing like what my books told me to expect. I’m certain that no two pregnant women have the same experience. Why should parenting be any different?

Not that I want to be unprepared for parenting. I’m sure sometime between now and July I will get practical, and I will educate myself on “Ferberizing” and I’ll read On Becoming Babywise and I’ll weigh my options and talk it out with Zeb and we’ll have a parenting plan of some sort.

I’m not sure I’m going to enjoy it.

But I did enjoy this blog post – “25 Rules for Mothers of Daughters”. Oh Pinterest, how I love thee for your treasure trove of discoveries, both craft-oriented and otherwise.

Read it. Love it. I will take advice like this any old day.

I can’t wait to put all 25 rules into practice.

Baby Literature – It’s funny because it’s true

Ladies and gentlemen, if you are offended by bleeped out words, don’t read this post.

With that out of the way, let me tell you about the first gift the Hubs and I received after releasing the news that we were expecting.

Go the Bleep to Sleep book cover

Thanks to Auntie & Uncle Stu!

I discovered this book before I was expecting, and I thought it was really hilarious. You know why? Because it was an audio book, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

I am sure that there will be times very soon when I do not think this book is hilarious. Because it will be too true.

But for now, I’m still amused.

Enjoy.

But don’t click that link if you don’t like potty mouth language words, because it is unedited. No bleeping on the potty words. Fair warning.

Baby Genius

Maybe you didn’t know that my husband is a genius.

This weekend we got the news that the Hubs has passed his test to be a journeyman plumber. I’ve never been so proud.

I’m no slouch in the intellectual department either. Not to brag, but I’m pretty sharp. So much so in fact that it is my maiden name.

Ba-DOOM-chhh…

What this means is that we are brewing ourselves a tiny bundle of baby genius right now.

I knew Baby Dub would be remarkable, being a combination of my genes and the Hubs’ genes (nature), plus sure to be surrounded by greatness in the form of her parents, her grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunties, cousins and of course, Mommy & Daddy’s friends (nurture).

But now I am confident there will be something above and beyond about this little girl. Her Daddy will soon be proudly sporting a sticker on his hard hat that reads “Dr. Pipe”, while her Mommy can easily recite to you Psalm 119 (the longest chapter in the Bible, thankyouverymuch) and can sightread complicated piano compositions with ease.

We got the news about The Hubs’ record-breaking test scores on Saturday night. We had spent the day at a BBQ in the Tricities, so even though we knew that the news would likely be waiting for us in the mail when we got home, we were distracted by good food, good company and an hour long drive home.

Once we took the exit off the highway, The Hubs got the jimmy-leg. He started shifting uncomfortably in the passenger seat. Putting his feet up on the dash, putting them back on the floor, rubbing his forehead, scratching his beard, generally freaking out.

“I don’t even want to know. I would rather wait another few days than find out bad news today.”

5 Minutes Later

“I have to know tonight. I don’t care either way, but I have to know now.”

We had the keys to the mailbox in the car. We pulled right up to the mailbox. The Hubs quickly returned to the car with a stack of envelopes, one particularly official looking.

I saw the test scores first, and they were good.

I yelled “You passed and you did really good!!!!”

It was a moment of jubilation. I’m so very proud of my genius spouse.

There are moments when what is going on for another individual is much, much more important than anything you have going on in your life. You experience these with family, with friends, with students and co-workers. You experience them more fully and more frequently with your spouse.

Imagine how intense these moments of empathy will be with our own child!

I am going to quite possibly be the worst/best stage mom ever.

Naturally, I am invested in my own success. I also care very greatly for my husband’s success in life and in his career and just all across the board. I want him to win backyard games of catch.

When we have a little girl, who wants to play tee-ball, or who wants to dance, or who wants to play the piano, or who wants to be in plays… I am going to be a terrifying visage on the sidelines. I will be screaming at referees. I will be consulting with the dance teacher, sitting in on the piano lessons, volunteering backstage at her plays.

It is going to be awesome.

My own mother was an excellent stage mom. Growing up, I had a lot going on extracurricularly. Momma Sue was there for as much of it as she could be… driving me hours and hours, to play rehearsals, piano lessons, Master’s Classes, recitals, auditions. My Dad was pretty awesome at this as well, signing me up for acting camps and acting as chauffeur whenever Mom had to work and making me my favorite breakfast before a big piano adjudication. My parents also walked the course at my brother’s golf tournaments, volunteered to be on rules committees for WJGA events, drove to our boarding school to watch my sister’s basketball and volleyball games. We had a ridiculous support system.

My husband’s parents were just as active with the extracurriculars. The Hubs went to highschool an hour away from where his family lived, but his dad still showed up for basketball games and got riled up at the poor refereeing. When the Hubs returned from a summer fishing in Alaska, his mom was there with a big batch of his favorite pasta salad… and guess what? Today, that very same pasta salad made an appearance at a celebratory dinner with the Dub Clan.

We had such excellent examples of parental support growing up. We are destined for parenting greatness.

No matter what our progeny excels at (and I imagine she will excel in many areas), she will be surrounded by people who root for her no matter what the sport or activity, who blissfully revel in her successes and anguish at her defeats, drive hours to take her out to dinner to the Olive Garden when she loses the student body presidency race (Thanks, Mom), make her favorite dinner the night after she wins the spelling bee.

I cannot wait to meet this tiny Baby Genius we are working on right now. I can’t wait to celebrate her first success… even if it is just sleeping through the night.

I imagine that celebration will be pretty rowdy.

I’m so itchy!

I know why pregnant women are supposed to take prenatal vitamins. It has nothing to do with nutrients for baby. It makes your fingernails grow faster. And you need long fingernails, because when you are pregnant you get itchy.

Me, I get itchy right in the middle of my back. You know, the spot you can’t reach whether you go over the shoulder or twist your arm and try to go backdoor style.

I’m thinking of making the Hubs take prenatals so that his fingernails will grow faster, because he’s been on scratch duty for the past 3 months.

(This is a joke, however, the Hubs probably would consider taking prenatal vitamins solely for the beard-growing magic he thinks they possess.)

I’ve gone through two bottles of that coconut butter lotion that some celebrity mom swears kept her from getting stretch marks. I’m not all that worried about stretch marks, since my mom didn’t get ’em and they are supposedly hereditary.

Now, my body pillow smells like cake (not the best scenario when you climb into bed). My husband thought I was baking something the other morning. Nope, it’s just the sheets, big guy.

I got one of those Chinese back scratcher things at our office Christmas gift exchange. This is my new best friend.

I also rub against the corners of walls from time to time.

I’m like Baloo in The Jungle Book.

This is one pregnancy side effect I look forward to being rid of. In the meantime, who wants to scratch that left shoulder?

Bump Progress

I’ve been pretty religious about taking a weekly picture of the “bump” so that I can look back and say “Oh yea, that’s what it was like to have a body.”

I feel compelled to share the bump pics here. Who wants to see ’em? I frankly am excited to see them all next to each other. Bumptastic! Let’s do this!!

10 Week Belly

10 Weeks!

11 Week Belly

11 Weeks!

12 Week Belly

12 Weeks!

13 Week Belly

13 Weeks!

14 Week Belly

14 Weeks!

15 week belly

15 Weeks!

16 Week Belly

16 Weeks!

17 week belly

17 Weeks!

18 week belly

18 Weeks!

19 week belly

19 Weeks!

20 week belly

20 Weeks!

21 week belly

21 Weeks!

22 Week Belly

22 Weeks!

What the? Did I explode??!!

To be fair, between the 21 week and 22 week picture there are about 12-13 days of belly growing time. I think the 21 week pic was taken at the start of week 21, while the 22 week picture is taken today, on the eve of 23 weeks. So…

Seriously, I look like I’m ready to give birth in this pic!

And I’m going to get bigger. AWESOME. Bring it on.

The Honeymoon of Pregnancy

Whoever called the 2nd trimester the “honeymoon” of pregnancy can suck it.

I felt WAY better in the 1st trimester.

I wasn’t sick. I didn’t have trouble sleeping. I wasn’t overly exhausted. I wasn’t carrying extra poundage all over. My back didn’t hurt and I could still wear most of my bras.

I AM fond of my belly. It is fully of Baby, and Baby is good.

But I have to say that the 2nd trimester has not been a honeymoon, by any stretch of the imagination.

On our honeymoon, for instance, it was about 100 degrees outside and I got to bask in the sunshine every day. There was golf, every day, and I didn’t have to swing around a belly. I was in some of the best shape of my life (P90X got me ready for the big day!). I had a wardrobe that wasn’t solely made up of stretchy fabrics. The only reason for my back aching was too much time in the bunkers at PGA West.

Dangit, I got to drink cocktails on my honeymoon!

They call it the “honeymoon of pregnancy” because you typically aren’t throwing up every 5 minutes (in contrast to the 1st trimester, I suppose), and you aren’t as huge as you’re going to get in the 3rd trimester, so in theory this is the most comfortable you’ll be in pregnancy.

Unless you were awesome in the 1st trimester, like me.

A friend of mine (who found out recently that she is pregnant) texted me this weekend to ask me how much weight I gained in the 1st trimester.

Without shame I will tell you, as I told her, that I gained about 10 pounds.

This is THREE TIMES the amount that my preggers books inform me is healthy. 0-3 pounds, really? Yes, maybe if I was throwing up every day, like many pregnant women in their 1st trimester. Me, I was hungry all the time, I was told I couldn’t continue my Insanity work outs (I miss you, Sean T.!), and I kept all my calories from coming back up. It was a recipe for weight gain.

I wasn’t a fan of gaining this much weight, but I wasn’t going to obsess over weight gain either. People, pregnant ladies have baby parts to make. We can’t be bothered with calorie counting.

I slept like a freakin’ baby(maker) during the 1st trimester too. I woke up in the morning feeling like I’d just gotten the best night’s sleep of my life, and that was often WITH a 2 am pee break to interrupt my REM cycle.

Things have changed in the 2nd trimester, I’ll admit. Mainly I’m more tired, which leads to lack of exercise, which leads to a harder time going to sleep at night, which leads to being more tired.

Darn you vicious cycle!

When you’re tired, you don’t feel healthy, and you’re more sensitive about little things, and let’s face it, the fact that you weigh the most you’ve ever weighed in your life (and it’s only going to get worse!) is a big “SUCK” too.

Where’s my violin? I’m throwing a little pity party over here.

Being pregnant has not been incredibly difficult thus far. I’m pretty much enjoying the whole journey. But I will say that it is a constant adjustment. Your body is no longer all your own. Add all the physical changes to the emotional toll of contemplating being responsible for another human being, and you have a recipe for one-to-two-to-three break downs.

I’m working on staving off my second pregnancy break down of this pregnancy. I think keeping it under 5 will be a reasonable goal.

I suppose it isn’t as much fun to read about as some of the other things I write about. Sorry. But you know what, I’m tired and I’m not going to apologize anymore! You are going to read it and LIKE it!

Oh dear.

I think Baby Dub must have known that I would have a weak constitution for even the mildest of discomforts in pregnancy. She’s been so easy on me so far. I’ve felt gross for the past 3 days, and I’m ready to snap. Can you even imagine what it would have been like if I’d been sick for days on end?

We would not be here today.

There would be no time for blogging in between trips to the bathroom, screaming fits at the Hubs about ice cream flavors, and sobbing sessions in the corner over all my parenting fears.

Thank you, Baby Dub, for being so kind to me.

I am gearing up for the most important job of my life, and while this particular job is totally terrifying, I choose to be awesome at my every undertaking.

It is time for me to be awesome at the 2nd trimester.

Three days of funk is enough funk for one pregnancy.

We’re a few weeks behind, but…

…let the HONEYMOON of pregnancy begin!

I want ice cream all the time

You know what I want right now?

Ice cream.

I want ice cream all the time.

As the title suggests.

I have heard this phrase from people who are advising me about pregnancy cravings:

“Your body craves what your baby needs.”

Baby Dub must need a lot of calcium.

My husband keeps me guessing with new varieties and flavors. He knows that the household freezer needs to have options. He’s started steering clear of the weirdass flavors and whole foods varieties too. Mango sorbet? No thank you. Chocolate peanut butter sundae? Serve it up, Big Bear!

I’ve made homemade ice cream before, and you know what? It’s freakin’ amazing.

But this pregnant woman can’t be bothered with custards and waiting. When I want ice cream, I want it onthedouble.

My friend Lindi makes homemade ice cream too. She’s making a business out of it. She made me a black pepper ice cream with a strawberry balsamic swirl. I traded her that for some Mediterranean tortellini.

I’m sure she’d just take your money for some ice cream though. You should find out.

Hey, it’s my first blog plug!

But seriously, Lindi is pretty much good at everything, and especially good at desserts. Check it.

Anyway, plugs aside, I want ice cream right now.

I am stuffed, and I ate red onions so I’m burping red onion flavors that I’m confident would not go well with any of the special flavors that the Hubs has stocked up on. Huckleberry-Red Onion. Red Onion-Orange Sherbet.

I don’t care. I want it.

This is the only pregnancy craving I have experienced thus far.

It’s 10 am? I would love some fro yo.

I just ate a bowl of ice cream?

I would like some more.

I wonder what this means for Baby Dub?

Will she be allergic to dairy?

I heard a story about a lady who craved peanuts something fierce during pregnancy, and ate peanuts and peanut butter and all manner of peanuttyness throughout her pregnancy, and guess what happened to her baby? Peanut allergy, that’s what.

I had a friend tell me that they ate a piece of chocolate cake every day of their pregnancy.

I haven’t gone that far. I have icecreamfree days. They are brutal, but I have them. Sometimes I have a frozen yogurt instead. Or a kind of sketchy Cadbury Egg that was in my Christmas stocking.

I remember before I was pregnant, and ice cream was a treat to be enjoyed maybe once a month, probably less.

How did I live?

I figure ice cream cravings are better than say, Cheetoh cravings. No Yellow No. 5 for Baby Dub! So I do indulge this pregnancy craving, and fairly often. I am not a medical professional, but I suspect this isn’t the BEST thing for Baby Dub. But it can’t be the worst thing. Know what would be worse? A world without ice cream. And that’s no world to raise a child in.

The Push Present

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m in the market for something shiny.

I hear tell of this thing called a “push present.” My sister-in-law did me the favor of informing the Hubs what this is (thanks, SIL!).

And now I will inform you – in case you didn’t know.

As reward for, a-hem, pushing out our newest human being, the Hubs is responsible for regaling me with a present in the form of sparkling bauble, preferably of the diamond variety (but other extravagances will do).

I do not know the first thing about diamonds, people.

Other than that they are a girl’s best friend.

When the Hubs decided to tackle the task of picking out a ring with which to pop “the question”, I did not know my ring size. I did not know the “four Cs”. I left him completely and utterly on his own.

He did just fine, by the way.

I still don’t have a wedding band, folks. I love my ring just as it is. I don’t have the diamond lust to find a perfect band to go with it. I’m lazy with jewels. I am a precious gem commitment-phobe. I can’t pull the trigger on the pricey gemstones.

That’s what husbands are for.

When I look at ticket prices for some of these baubles, I am aghast. I immediately do the math “That’s two car payments” or “That’s a weekend in Bend” or “That’s a heck of a shopping spree.” There are just so many other things I can think of that that much money could go toward.

Even, more responsibly, “That’s a downpayment on Baby Dub’s college tuition.”

What I really want for a push present is a babymoon.

Did I just blow your mind?

I don’t want a bauble. I want to spend special moments and experiences with the Hubs before we have this new responsibility to totally distract us from each other for the next 18 years.

I don’t just love my husband, people. I REALLY like him. I enjoy spending time with this guy. Have you ever met my husband? He’s a freakin’ blast. When Baby Dub arrives, she’s going to be so awesome I can hardly stand it (that’s a given). But she’s also going to be lots of work, and responsibility.

We can’t just leave her in the car and crack the window.

The closer we get to July 4, the harder it is going to be to get away. Doc says I can travel – but I’ve already shared with you my lack of desire to go anywhere on an airplane. 

So I’m not dreaming of white sandy beaches, or the dream getaway to Australia, or a Mediterranean cruise. I just want a long weekend somewhere within reasonable driving distance where I can see something cool, do something cool, and max and relax with the big guy.

Maybe more than one long weekend.

If you see any bomb Groupon deals, pass them my way. Better yet, send ’em in the Hubs’ direction.

Not that I’d turn up my nose to a good old fashioned diamond.

Tagged ,

Pregnancy is not a handicap

Several years ago, some good friends of ours (the couple who introduced me and the Hubs, in fact) informed us that they were expecting. The topic came up over a discussion about summer golf. When Zeb asked if they’d be doing any couples golf that year, the response was,

“Well, she’s going to have a little handicap – got a bun in the oven.”

I remember this vividly – probably because of how thrilled I was for the couple (they are wonderful parents and their little girl is too cute to be mentioned here).

I also remember this vividly because I remember thinking about pregnancy as a handicap. Having not experienced it for myself at the time, I could still see how pregnancy and an enlarged belly region could indeed contribute to errant golf swings, so in terms of golf handicap, the terminology is quite appropriate.

Today I played a little preggers golf myself.

The Walla Walla weather has decided to acknowledge that it is, in fact, March, and today we enjoyed 60+ degree temps and sunshine. The Hubs and I headed out to Wine Valley for 9 holes of ecstasy or misery, depending on the wind.

It was quite windy, in fact.

And at 22 weeks preggo, I will not pretend that I was looking particularly attractive in my golf attire. I have one pair of golf khakis that is missing the top button. Add my belly band and we have reasonably acceptable bottoms – if you consider high-water khakis acceptable.

Normally I do not. But today I worked with what I had.

I also have an oversized Oregon Ducks polo that doesn’t reveal an obscene amount of belly. Again, with the assistance of the belly band.

Needless to say, my confidence was not high upon departure.

Setting fashion statements aside for a moment, lets talk technique.

I am carrying some extra weight at the moment. To put it gently, “Baby got front”.

So gripping a golf club and swinging it in a manner that doesn’t make me look like “an octopus falling out of a tree” takes some effort. Making solid contact with a golf ball, also important, is a challenge as well.

As if the ill-fitting attire and awkward golf swing weren’t enough, I cannot say that I was feeling great about having to play with a couple of strangers for our first golf outing since I have become so visibly with child.

I don’t like to swear in front of strangers.

We got out to the course with enough time to play a few range balls and putt around on the practice green before our tee time. Somehow I figured out how to swing around the bump. And the two strangers we were joining were a couple of delightful older gentlemen who immediately took some of the pressure off by playing the white tees (and jokingly asking if they could join me at the red tees).

I strung together a pretty decent round for barely being able to bend over to tee up my drives.

Three pars. A few double bogeys and bogeys. No triples. All in all, a respectable final score of 45 for 9 holes.

I imagine that with my golf handicap (not my pregnancy handicap), even my brother (who is a golf pro at the local country club) wouldn’t have minded me as a partner in a pro am. I probably would have helped out quite a bit in fact.

I hadn’t expected to string together such a nice round. My expectations were for a nice day in the sun and a little exercise with the Hubs. What I got was a nice score and bragging rights around the house for a few weeks. I hadn’t felt great going into it, but instead of lowering my expectations for myself because of my “handicap”, I went all in. High-water pants and all.

I gripped it and ripped it.

Which brings me to the point of this post. No, I did not write this blog post solely to brag about my epic round of golf in the monsoon-like Wine Valley winds (am I making this sound better than it actually is? Good).

There is a tendency to treat pregnancy like a handicap, and not the golf kind. There a limitations placed on what you can and can’t, should and shouldn’t do.

And this all makes sense in certain instances. I want my baby to be as healthy as possible, so I’ll be avoiding alcohol, and horseback riding, and raw eggs, until the 4th of July and probably beyond.

Let’s face it. I don’t do a whole lot of horseback riding or raw egg eating, pregnant or no.

But what about non-health related things –

Like being a working mom?

Or a stay at home mom?

Making a career change?

Asking for a raise?

Taking on a new hobby or a class (and not a birthing class)?

All my spare time has not been dedicated to baby-centricness, and perhaps this isn’t what I should do.

I want to do work that is important. I want to be an excellent parent.

The two are not mutually exclusive.

I won’t treat pregnancy as a handicap, as my scapegoat for not trying harder, not dreaming bigger.

“I would have, but I had a baby on the way.”

I want to be the type of person who just gets s*** done. Goes big, dreams big, DOES big.

Grips it and rips it.

And I hope that our daughter will be the same way – times a zillion.

Nesting

I keep hearing about this phenomenon known as “nesting”. Supposedly at some point during my gestational months I will be overcome with a strong desire to clean house, organize, scrub toilets, dust baseboards and generally get my house in order.

So far, none of that sounds like very much fun.

Now, I like to entertain, have folks over, cook dinner for a crowd. I enjoy having a quasi-kempt guest room where the in-laws or out-of-town guests can stay should the need for an overnight stay arise. I don’t like sinks full of dirty dishes.

But getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing something? Deep cleaning? Organizing the “nook” where we shove all our unpaid bills and miscellaneous crap?

Puh-lease. I have much better things to do.

As I write this, I sit at a kitchen table covered in papers, unopened mail, half-drunk glasses of water, and other assorted garbage.

I look to my right and see several bags containing The Hubs’ latest haul from Ranch and Home, a couple of golf clubs, and an empty laundry basket.

To my left, the kitchen awaits. Countertops strewn with the fixin’s of a later-today epic bake-off/meal-cook.

Do I have any desire to tidy this mess up?

Not in the slightest.

When can I expect this “nesting” desire to strike? Because I would certainly love to be motivated to do all these odd jobs around the house, I really would.

So far, my nesting instincts (or lack thereof) have me thinking very seriously about hiring a housecleaner.

Anybody want to recommend a good one?

Because I’d rather blog, poke around on Pinterest, and lounge on the couch this afternoon than research reputable housecleaners.

Much like morning sickness, nesting is a pregnancy symptom I seemed to have dodged.