Monday, March 30, 2009

The Ben & Jerry's Belly Bulge

This has got to be one of my best pictures yet. I'm one hot mama-to-be, no??? After a day of gardening (or rather, watching Eric garden) and many unsuccessful attempts at taking another belly shot, I grabbed some ice cream and settled in on the couch to watch a movie. (The truth is out: it's not a cheese steak and beer bulge; it's a Ben & Jerry's bulge.) Well, Eric thought that was the perfect belly shot, and after seeing it myself, I had to agree. I suppose if I were vain (or had any pride at all), I'd disagree, but fortunately, I love laughing at myself and love to share the laughs whenever possible.

For those of you looking for a more traditional belly shot, I've also added something more "normal"...(a.k.a.: boring).

5 months on Wednesday! Craaaaaaaazines. I seriously can't believe I'm halfway to having a baby...the shock of it hasn't set in yet (and may not until I'm actually holding the little bugger and he/she starts crying and is poopy and I go to give him/her back and realize there is no one to give the stinky little crier back to...that'll be my moment of realization, that or when someone else gives her/him back to me to do the dirty work). So weird. I still think I'm too young for someone to be calling me mom or to associate myself as a mom. I guess it'll grow on me. No pun intended.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What to do with the to do list...

I think I need to blog more like the way that I eat: lots of small, nutritious posts rather than one infrequent and overly wordy gorge. Doing that would stress me out less--I've actually started adding "blog" to my to do list. Of course, those of you who know me could say, "big deal, you just like crossing stuff off a list," and you'd be right. I do love to scratch through something on a list! Mom made fun of me when I admitted that I often add something I've already done to the list just so I can scratch it off. To me, the act of scratching something off a list supplies an unequivocal feeling of productivity and success. Pathetic, eh? (Don't worry, I haven't added "birth baby" to the list.) I'm thinking I can execute this "many small blogs" rule starting this weekend because tomorrow is my last day of class...whether or not I maintain that habit when my dreaded life change occurs in T-minus 1 week is to be determined.

For those of you who haven't had the honor of listening to my ever-so spoiled ranting and crying about having to go back to work full-time, here's the update: my boss gave me the ol' come-back-to-work-in-the-office-full-time-or-sayonara-sucker ultimatum. Prior to that, I got the news that my tenants/friends were moving out of my house at the end of this month. We decided to take the opportunity to renovate and then move back in when July rolls around. That said, the "sayonara sucker" option of my ultimatum, although tempting, was not a financially sound option. So hi-ho it is! Back to work I go. My leisurely life of afternoon naps is about to become a fond and distant memory...I know it's hard to feel sorry for me when the rest of the world is working 40 hour weeks so I'll end the belly-aching here.

In baby news, I'm definitely starting to show though only to those who know what my pre-preggger tummy looks like. All others probably still assume that it's just a pot belly derived from excessive drinking and cheese steak binging. Speaking of excessive drinking and my belly, for a controversial, humorous, and totally unflattering pic, check out Laura's blog ("come on and wake up with me") linked to the right. Her pictures of Shannon's bachelorette party this weekend are awesome and indicative of the level of crazy fun-ness us ladies had. There's another pic Laura took of me that is less controversial that I will upload if she gets around to sending it to me. Otherwise it looks like I missed my 4 month pic.

So yeah, I made it through my first sober bachelorette party (the party wasn't sober, noooo way, but I, obviously was). As I said to someone, I really don't miss drinking at all (I just miss my "liquid courage" when it comes to busting a groove on the dance floor). The alcohol I can definitely do without, but what I do miss (in addition to raw fish) is energy. Where the f*** is that "I'm ready to climb a mountain" feeling that more than one person swore I'd get in the second trimester??? I'm ready to WANT to climb a mountain. I'm ready to want to do anything to that involves moving from the couch and/or not going to bed at 8:30. Being tired all the time is seriously inhibiting my all-time favorite hobby of scratching stuff off my ever-growing to do list.

I suppose that record is broken, eh? How many more times can you read me write about how exhausted I always am?? Well, the thing is, my writing here is stream of conscious so what you're getting are my unfiltered thoughts and 85% of the time, I'm thinking about how tired I am.

For those of you who delight in the pregnancy 101 info that I regurgitate from my books, here's your fix: The baby weighs about 7 ounces (and, according to the book, my boobs weigh in a close second at 6 1/2 ounces). No more fruit references on the size of the baby, but my uterus is the size of a cantaloupe (this explains the beer and cheese steak bulge). I've gained about 10 pounds (the book says between 8 and 14 is normal at this time so go me for being normal!). I'm supposed to be feeling some movement but haven't felt anything yet (except the piroutte that happened the first time I put on some Vivaldi). Speaking of, I went to the dr. last week because I thought that my 4 day cold was probably pneumonia or bronchitis (I'm turning into a bit of a hypochondriac...), and the nurses asked "how's the baby doing?" I gave them a puzzled look and refrained from saying "you tell me." I did read that the first movements are often mistaken for hunger or gas, so if that's the case, considering I'm always hungry and gassy, it could be a while before I learn to differentiate the baby dancing from the day-to-day murmorings of my hungry, gassy tummy.

Speaking of's time for some food. That and I really have to pee. Eating and peeing--that's what I think about the 15% of the time that isn't spent dwelling on being tired. Time to move! Maybe I'll cross "clean kitchen" off the list after I get some food in me....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mama Birdy

These are not the best pics as they were taken from inside the window (and it was raining for the third day in a row on the second one). Hopefully they are still enough to make you go soft and say "awwww!" This dove moved into the hanging basket that hangs by our front door last February and proceeded to have a couple different batches of babies before flying off for the winter. A few weeks ago her and her fella came back. After a bit, the fella flew off, but she stayed behind. Since we NEVER saw here leave, we correctly deduced that she was hatching babies. This past week they've been feeding and flapping their wings a whole bunch. It's pretty fun to watch, especially for Kaya who goes nuts sitting at the window meowing.

This mama bird will probably hatch quite a few more babies before baby Kellogg makes an entrance!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Week 17

I feel like I'm always playing catch up! I suppose that's what happens when you're renovating two houses, one of which you are also partially packing up (per the realtors request to de-clutter) and need to get on the market asap. Not that I'm actually doing much of the renovating--that whole "building supplies are toxic" thing when played with the pregnancy card takes out all other hands on the table--but I keep busy cracking the whip! hahah! Just kidding. Dear ol' hubby is a very dedicated machine and needs no whip cracking. He is way more motivated and hard working than I ever realized, and he seems to be having fun doing this stuff too, though I'm sure he's looking forwad to the day when it's all over and he can go back to lying on the couch in the evenings and watching the various cartoons and sci fi shows that he recorded that week. In the meantime, I stay busy packing boxes of books (our main source of "clutter") and doing other Donna Reed type tasks like cleaning and feeding my man. Oh, and homework--I'm taking that online grant writing course which I thought I needed because I had all this "free" much for that luxury.

I did manage to find the time tonight to read weeks 16 and 17 in my pregnancy books so I at least know what's happening with the fetal floater. She (or he) is about the size of "your" hand open wide--who's hand? I don't know--Eric's hand is considerably larger than mine...I assume the author assumes her audience is a woman so a woman's hand? You get the point. Crown to rump length is about 4 1/2 inches. Weight is about 3 1/2 ounces...that means nothing to mean as I have no concept of what is an ounce is...I liked it better when they said it was the size of an olive or softball. These are tangible things I can picture.

The baby is also beginning to develop a little fat (and therefore looking less alien-like), and last week it started growing "soft lanugo hair" (so goodbye alien look, hello hairy caveman). I am starting to show a teeny bit though it still isn't clear that my "pooch" as Eric calls it is the cause of a developing baby and not just the result of a heavy Thanksgiving-type dinner. Since I mostly wear yoga pants and sweatpants, I have no idea whether I need maternity clothes time I attempt to put on jeans, I'll let you know how it goes.

I read that I am supposed to stop laying flat on my back now as the weight of the baby package is enough to squash my aorta and vena cava which can reduce blood flow to the baby...I remember Libby telling me that her first pregnancy caused her to pass out if she laid on her back because the weight of everything cut off the vena cava, but I have to wonder, if I'm not passing out, is it really cutting off the blood flow? I told Eric that if he notices me passed out lying on my back to roll me over and I should snap to. In the meantime, this seems a strange rule to follow, and I'm going to do more research before I give up my ab workouts (which the book so kindly points out that I need to stop doing now).

I've also expanded my baby reading to include Mothering magazine (which I love!! Thanks to Libby for recommending and to mom for buying me a year subscription) and the Hypnobirthing book listed at the side. (After finally finishing The Omnivore's Dilemma I decided I needed to focus my reading efforts on all things pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding related for the time being.) The hypnobirthing book is surprisingly interesting and not at all clinical or boring like I assumed it would be. I'm learning a lot and have started trying to practice some of the breathing techniques. I get pretty obessessive over whatever I'm reading so this makes me want to go to hypnobirthing classes and get a hypnobirthing instructor and just be gung ho hypnobirthing...I love the philosophy. But again, I'm super easily persuaded by a passionate person who has an idea that even remotely aligns to one I have.

Eric is reading The Birth Partner and seems to be enjoying it. We read together at night before bed and share interesting tidbits so that's been kinda fun.

Here's a fun cultural fact to wrap up with: "To the Jarara of South America, childbirth is such a normal event that it traditionally takes place in a location in full view of everyone." Although I'm not pushing for that kind of an audience, I really like the normalcy that is birth in other's much better than the fear and pain and drugs and hospital-like procedures that are shoved down your throat in this culture (this is the hypnobirthing book speaking...).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

4 Months

I'm not much in a blogging mood but just got back from my month 4 check-up with the midwife so I'll summarize: The plastic crutch my uterus was using (which I finally found out is called a "pessary") has been removed and is in a plastic baggie on my dresser (not as a keepsake but in case something happens and I need it again). I decided to take the optional blood test screening for three birth defects that I is down syndrome, the other is maybe spina bifida or some neural tube or...anyway, the test has a high failure rate so often if there are abnormalities, the baby still ends up being fine. As such, they give you a big speech about to warn you that it may cause unnecessary stress. I think my life can handle a little more stress so I told them I wanted it. I figure it's something I'll occasionally worry about anyway so I might as welll get the test and cross my fingers that it comes back normal. Not much else was done...the lump has pretty much disappeared so I mentioned it but there was nothing done.

And again, as always, I'm tired for no reason so that's it for this update.