You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2012.

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Have you guys tried these? I’ll admit that when I first heard “peanut butter Cheerios”, I was kind of turned off by it. They were on sale last week, though, so I gave them a shot, and YUM. Probably too sweet for breakfast, but they make a pretty delicious snack.

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Fatty feet in the bathtub.  Nothing wrong with that.

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Speaking of fatty feet…LOOK. SHOES THAT FIT!!!! If anyone is curious, those are 6.5 EXTRA WIDE Stride Rites. I used the child foot measuring guide on Zappos to figure out what size to buy. It was dead on for shoe size, but had I gone with their recommendations for whether or not to buy a wide size, it would have been wrong. (His feet did not cross into the “wide” zone, for they are high, not wide across.) So, I recommend the guide, but if you know your kid has fat feet, get the wides. Or, in our case, EXTRA wide. I feel good about them — he’s no longer tripping on too big shoes, so I can take off my “Parent of the Year” button until the next bonehead move I make.

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Owen is really into trucks. REALLY into trucks. Our living room is littered with every possible vehicle you could imagine. Head down to our family room and there are totes full of trucks and trains. He vrooms, he screeches. It’s fun to watch. It was also funny for him to discover that his baby brother makes a great ramp while in utero. He would drive the car up my stomach and say, “up hill!” Funny kid.

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One of the biggest perks of living where we do is the ocean. It’s different every day. This week we had a blustery, gray day, and it looked rough and angry. Yet also, beautiful.

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To sustain my cookie monster husband, I bake a lot. After Owen’s nap is when I get a lot of my cooking and baking done. He has a snack, then reads and plays in the kitchen with me. I love those afternoons. And even though there was raw egg in there, I couldn’t resist a bite!

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This might deserve its own post, but in short, I’m preparing myself for a natural birth. I had said I wanted to do that last time, but decided on the epidural later on. I don’t regret that decision at all. Owen’s birth was a good one.

After the whole low-lying placenta thing this time, the idea of an intervention-free birth really started to appeal to me more. So this time, I’m preparing for it. (I didn’t do any prep last time, figuring I’d just…I don’t know…breathe through it?) I’m doing some reading, will make a playlist to listen to and (hopefully, if it’s available) use the new labor tub at my hospital. I’m no hero, though. If at some point I decide that pain relief would be really amazing right now (gimme drugs!!), I’ll get the epidural. I think every woman deserves a “hear me roar!” moment after giving birth — however that baby comes out. I’d just like to give it a whirl.

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Yesterday was a CRANKY DAY. I don’t know what crawled up his butt, but Owen was a pill most of the day. He took it out on some tissues before I noticed. Punk.

(Also, for the record: that rug. I know. It doesn’t go with the furniture AT ALL. It’s what we were using when we had the old couch and I haven’t been able to find a suitable replacement yet. I think at this point, I’m going to head to a local place, pick a neutral rug and have them cut it to size and bind it for me. Then I’ll move this one to the guest room and call it a day. Maybe I should get on that…)

Happy weekend, friends!

1. I’m starting to find leftover crumbs in my cleavage.

2. I’ve begun to waddle. A little. But still.

3. I…well, I thought I’d never have this story to share, but…

Last night, after two hours of lovely prenatal yoga, I was saying goodbye to the other women in my class. As I was making my way over to my friend’s car, another woman made me laugh. Before I could even realize what was happening, I peed my pants.

Yeah, that’s right. I had no control over the initial leak, but luckily was able to practice a kegel squeezing just in time to save myself from full-on puddling embarrassment.

While uncomfortable and…damp…no one would have known. Unless I went ahead and told my friend.

And the internet.

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Oh, third trimester. How lovely you are.

This weather has been so weird lately. Yesterday it was in the 60s, a few days ago it was 83 and not a cloud in the sky. My legs and feet were not prepared for hot weather. Are you blinded by the glare off my white legs? Mama needs a pedicure, too. I never ended up getting one while I was pregnant with Owen and regretted it. This time, I’m going to pamper those poor swollen tootsies.

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One of my favorite things about warm weather is eating on the deck. Owen and I had lunch together, then shared a plate of strawberries. I didn’t even mess around with this photo — they actually looked that good!

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Insomnia continues to attack me this pregnancy. Every few nights I find myself tossing and turning and WIDE AWAKE when I’d much rather not be. It doesn’t help that Owen has been waking so early, because of course as soon as I do fall asleep, he wakes up.

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I had my 1-hour glucose test the other day. I know most people complain about the drink, but I really don’t mind it. It was red, and tasted like really cold, thick fruit punch. Easy to drink. The after affects, however, sucked. I felt all buzzy and then had a major sugar crash, wanting nothing more than to fall asleep right in the waiting room. It was empty, so I was tempted…

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I hadn’t bought anything for this baby yet. Friends and family started to, and I love that, but the practical part of me kept thinking that since we were having another boy, I really didn’t need to buy anything, especially clothing. But then I was in Target and…I just couldn’t help myself. Look! Totally impractical newborn-sized jammies! That he’ll grow out of in a minute and a half!

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I like to think I’m pretty flexible. My dance background stuck with me through the years and I do pretty well in my yoga class. But this? This I cannot do.

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I was in desperate need of a haircut. All the style had grown out and it was just LONG and Cousin It-like. More often than not I was throwing it in a ponytail. Blah. Every time I go in, I think I want a change, then chicken out and cut half an inch, maybe an inch off. I just got into the mindset that long hair was my thing. Then I had one of those “I need a haircut RIGHT NOW” moments and decided it was time to bite the bullet. I figured if I hated it, it would grow back eventually.

I took off six inches last night. I don’t think I’ve had my hair this short in…five? six years? Probably even longer than that. But, oh. I really like it!

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I wanted to go get adjusted this morning, but the chiropractor is closed. Boo. (First World Problem!) So instead, I’m packing up the kid and having a Mama-Owen bagel date. Yum!

Happy weekend!

- It pains me to say this, because it sounds so gross, but I have a corn on the bottom of my foot. At least, I think I do, based on a self-diagnosis from the All Mighty Google. If you’re unfamiliar with that disgusting term, it basically means I have a really painful callus that won’t go away and makes walking ouchy. Why they have to go and name it something that churns up visuals of lumpy corn-like growths on you, I have no idea.

Anyway, I’ve been trying to home remedy the sucker for a while now, but to no avail. Foot soaks, pumicing, lotioning and removing the shoes that caused pain SHOULD have helped, I thought, but no. I even wandered into the unknown — the foot aisle at the drugstore — and bough corn pads to alleviate the pressure. If that doesn’t make me sound 82, I don’t know what does.

I guess the time has come to suck it up and call a podiatrist. That’s one of those doctors who when you call, you know you’ve reached a Certain Age. The pediatrician carries you through your childhood, your first trip to the gynecologist ushers you into womanhood.  Making this appointment is like my ticker tape parade leading me to 30’s door. Next up: colonoscopies and cataract screenings.

- Since we’re talking about feet (YOU’RE WELCOME), I ordered almost $200 worth of shoes for Owen yesterday. (Side note: why, oh WHY are toddler shoes so expensive? I ordered four pairs! If that’s not a rip off, I don’t know what it.) (Side note #2: trust me, I’ve looked at the cheaper options, but at this point, my fat footed child needs some shoes that fit, and fit well, so suck it up I must.)

I used Zappos since they have free shipping both ways. I figure one pair has got to fit (right? RIGHT????) and then I can just send the rest back, easy peasy. With my luck none will work, and I’m going to have to submit Owen to a life of a hobo. I’m probably going to have to bite the bullet and buy the kid some Crocs for the summer. You know how I feel about those “shoes”, but I believe that the only time those things look cute is in miniature form and hey, they’re easy to clean and will probably fit his Shrek feet.

- I had to get my RhoGAM shot yesterday. (See link if you’re interested in it. It has to do with preventing my body from creating antibodies that would destroy the baby’s red blood cells. Sounds scarier than it is; it’s really just a preventative measure. It’s super common and most women who have a negative blood type need to get the shot. They give it to you in the top of your butt cheek and it hurts like a bitch, but better that than having my body eat my baby, I suppose.)

I had to take Owen with me, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to pull up and see this sign in the hospital parking lot.

While he can of course walk, as soon as he gets out of the car he wants me to carry him. I’m working on getting him to hold my hand and walk into places more on his own, but he only does it sometimes. Also, since the appointment was in the Infusion Center of the hospital — a long walk through the parking lot, the lobby, up an elevator and down another long hallway — had I let him walk the whole way we would have been 45 minutes late. That was my long, drawn out way of saying YAY PARKING SPOT.

More places need parking like that. Or, drivethru windows. (I’m looking at you, POST OFFICE.)

- Owen has been back to waking at 5:30 a.m. this week. No bueno, child of mine. I’m going to see if I can get him to snuggle in bed with me now with some books. Maybe a morning nap is in our future. (HA. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.)

Though not to my face, a comment was made recently about my weight gain while pregnant. It wasn’t a nice comment either. When I heard about it, I initially brushed it off with a sense of disbelief, but as the day went on it started to eat at me. I got irritated, then I got angry. And I got my feelings hurt.

I am 27-weeks pregnant. I am not fat.

There’s a difference, you know.

Like most women before pregnancy, I was conscious of my weight, tried to exercise and eat well and maintain an attractive and healthy body weight. It’s fluctuated over the years (especially in college), but I’ve always been on the slender side. When I gain weight, my problem areas are obvious. My arms get big, my face gets round, my breast get big. I carry weight on my top half, and paired with my Russian bone structure and broad shoulders, it’s not easy to hide. While I’ve always been mostly confident in the way I look, I have of course wished X,Y and Z were thinner/smaller/stronger at some point. I am human — and a woman — after all.

It takes a mental shift to gain weight for a pregnancy. Suddenly you’re supposed to gain weight. You have to gain weight. Your baby requires it. All the “rules” disappear. Hell, they get harder to follow. Now, not only are you supposed to exercise and eat well, now you’re also supposed to gain anywhere from about 10 to 40-plus pounds, depending on what you weighed before pregnancy. And while I fully believe that pregnancy and the body change that comes with it is beautiful, I will admit that it’s a hard pill to swallow.

I was told at the start of my first pregnancy to gain about 35 pounds. I remember nodding my head as my OB talked, while smugly thinking on the inside, “YEAH RIGHT.” For the first 20 or so weeks the gain was slow. A pound here, a few more there. I would get on the scale every week and make note of what the number was. I felt a sick sense of pride that I wasn’t going to be one of “those” pregnant women who blow up like a balloon.

Around the six-month mark, the weight started to come on faster. I had a few appointments where I gained 7-8 pounds in just a month. Clothes fit differently and I started to get puffy. The hot flashes started too, so not only was my face round with an extra chin, but it was often bright pink without any warning. I remember standing in front of my closet trying to dress for something, and feeling like I was going to burst into tears any moment because I just didn’t know what to do with this foreign body.

Rationally, I knew that growing a human means your body is producing lots of extra blood and fluid, growing a placenta, and oh yeah, a BABY. All that stuff has WEIGHT. I also knew that sure, there’s some extra fat there, it happens. I was hungry. Having those rational thoughts in my head did not, however, soften the blow when a close friend remarked that she was surprised how disheveled I appeared at a party; how unlike me that was. I had finally found something to wear and was actually feeling cute, so I was so taken off guard that I mumbled something about not having anything that fit right, then went home and sobbed.

She didn’t mean it to be cruel, but her words stuck with me, even two years later. The comment itself wasn’t the worst part. What made it so hard was that the gain, the change in my body, was beyond my control. It wasn’t from too many late nights at the bar with a pitcher and a plate of wings. It was just what my body decided to do.

At last count before Owen was born, I gained 37 pounds. That washed the smug right out of me, I’ll tell ya. I left the hospital two days later about 20 pounds lighter and carrying the most beautiful 8 pound, 1 ounce baby boy. Four months later I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and by the time he turned one I was 17 pounds below that, actually teetering the line of unhealthy from months and months of constant nursing, little sleep and not enough attention on keeping myself healthy. (Sadly, this was a time I was told by many that I’ve never looked better. But that’s just our society for you, I guess.)

Today I find myself right back in the same position as I was in two years ago. Six months pregnant, 24 pounds gained, mostly all belly, but recently seeing the effects in my arms, face and breasts. I’m right on track to gain just as much as I did the first time, despite chasing a toddler, exercising more and having little time to sit and be lazy. The only difference is, this time I was feeling pretty good about it, bolstered by the knowledge that my body will (mostly) return to normal and that whatever changes are happening to my body now are worth it for the reward at the end.

But that comment yesterday, well, it opened up an old wound and like the razor sharp edge of a paper cut, I think it’s going to take some time to heal.

For the record, no matter what you’re thinking, the only thing a pregnant woman wants to hear is YOU LOOK FANTASTIC! It doesn’t matter how secure she is — or appears to be. Just tell her she looks great. Because she does.

Arms, face, breasts…and a (blurry) happy mama.

I’ve been trying so hard to find shoes that will fit Owen’s feet. They have a pad of fat in top of them, so it’s been difficult to find a pair that close over the tops of his feet. Sadly, neither of these work.

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It’s fine. He just wants to wear mine anyway.

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If you ever need something to do with your toddler on a rainy day, I highly recommend the pet store. Just be prepared for a meltdown when you’re ready to leave.

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We got all dressed up for Easter last weekend…

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…but a long morning of goodies, family and church made everyone tired. Owen insisted all his friends take a nap — face down, just like him.

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Napping creates some serious bed head.

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I haven’t been napping, or sleeping at night, all that well. Iced tea from Dunkin Donuts helps. It’s just so good.

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Despite the caffeine, morning still seems to come too early some days.

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Happy weekend, friends. May you all get some rest!

I had an ultrasound on Monday to follow up on my placenta. There’s something I never thought I’d be thinking too much about — the state of my placenta. But for the last six weeks it was always in the back of my mind. Back when I had my 18-week anatomical ultrasound, I knew that unless something of concern showed up, I wouldn’t get a call from my doctor. So when I didn’t get a call, I went about life without a worry. A few weeks later at my monthly appointment, my doctor casually asked me if the ultrasound tech had told me about my low-lying placenta. Huh? No, she hadn’t.

Apparently this phenomenon is no big deal and pretty common. Occasionally when the placenta develops, it attaches lower than it should. Most of the time as the uterus grows, it pushes the placenta to where it should be and that is that. But if it doesn’t move and gets too close to the cervix, that’s where problems can occur. (A placenta-covered cervix — called Placenta Previa — puts the mother at a high risk for bleeding and hemorrhaging once dilation begins, and therefor would require an automatic c-section.)

My doctor scheduled an ultrasound for a month later, telling me by then we would know for sure if everything moved into place. She reassured me by saying that in her whole career, she had never seen a low-lying one not move, and not to worry about it.

I went home, and worried about it, naturally.

Mostly because the whole thing was just out of my hands. There’s nothing I did to cause the situation, but there was nothing I could do to fix it either. All I could do was wait and see. Now, look. Would a c-section be the end of the world? Of course not! If that is the way to bring my baby safely into this world, then that’s what I’ll do. But they scare me. Much like a vaginal birth was scary the first time because it was unknown, the idea of a section, regardless of how many people I know who have had one, made me seriously nervous.

If it were to come down to it, I would most likely have a scheduled c-section rather than go into natural labor, especially since I walked around three centimeters dilated with Owen for over a week before he was born. That wouldn’t be possible in this situation.

ANYWAY – I waited. And every night I said a little “Go, placenta!” cheer, hoping the power of suggestion and positive thinking would help a little.

It did.

My placenta has moved to where it should be, and I’m back on track for a vaginal birth. Of course, there’s no guarantees with birth of any kind, so that doesn’t mean things will go as planned. But I’m happy that for now, things are as they should be and this boppy, bouncy little boy is safe and secure.

He looks a little bit like Owen did in there, only less chubby. If he is, that will be a shock to me. A lean baby? What’s that?

A few nights ago I was planning on making calzones for dinner. Typically when I do this, I purchase a bag of dough from a local bakery. I make my own bread, but I find this dough works the best for calzones.

Anyway, I had bought two bags at once a while back and not used one, so I pulled the second bag out of the fridge. Only, something was not right. The dough was gray-ish and wet and had a really strong smell of alcohol. My best guess was something was going on with the yeast, and I should probably throw it away. Of course, first I turned to Twitter and asked what others thought. I mean, what’s Twitter for if not saving you from potential salmonella-induced gastrointestinal pain?  Twitter agreed with me — throw it away.

I did, but then I was faced with a problem. I make and stick to a pretty firm meal plan each week (I can’t tell you how helpful this has been, both in time and budget), but my remaining options required defrosting meat, and it was already late in the evening. What was I going to do?

Then I remembered a little recipe I have in my back pocket. I use it all the time, and realized tonight was the perfect time to pull it out.

Oh Crap, What’s For Dinner? — 15 Minute Pizza Dough
Adapted from Little Space to Fill


Ingredients

1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
cornmeal or extra olive oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, combine the yeast and warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Add the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil; stir to combine using first a wooden spoon then your hands. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle baking sheet or pizza stone with cornmeal, or coat dough lightly with olive oil (I’ve had better success with the olive oil, personally), and press dough into it to your desired thickness.

Top with your toppings and bake for about 25-30 minutes, checking on your pizza in the last five minutes. The more toppings you use, the longer it will take for the middle of the pizza to cook through.

Look how yummy it came out!

This dough is really so, so fast, and I always have the ingredients in the house. I’ve made so many different versions of pizza using it — roasted garlic, chicken buffalo with shredded zucchini and carrots and cheddar cheese, Thai peanut…the list goes on. On this particular night, I turned the calzone inside out and used ricotta with herbs, sauce, mozzarella and veggies. As per usual, it was delicious.

(Note: this is a sticky dough and works best being pressed into your desired pan. I attempted calzones with it once, but it didn’t work so well.)

Add this quick dough to your arsenal. You won’t be sorry!

- I’m starting to feel the urge to nest. Our house has remained basically non-decorated since we moved in September and it’s time to remedy that. There’s so much I want to do and get, but all those things cost money, so one thing at a time. Starting with narrowing down color choices for Owen’s big boy room and the living room.

- Big Boy Room, you guys. We’ve already moved on to the Big Boy Seat at the table, and he now says the high chair (which I’ve yet to put away) is the “baby chair”. He’s also started to wake up in the morning and call, “Out crib, Mama! Ouuut!” soooo, yeah. It’s time to get him into a bed. My goal is May 1st to have the room done.

- A few days ago I was running around trying to get us out of the house, when he clapped his hands together and said, “chop, chop, Mama!” Chop, chop??? Where did he learn that?

- I was on a mega search for flattering maxi dress to wear as the weather got warmer, but I was having the hardest time finding one. Maternity or not, they all made me look like a circus tent unless I held my hand under my stomach. Not practical, eh? I ended up finding one at Marshalls for $20 (win!) that I think looks pretty good. My lovelies Twitter friends told me I could rock it, so I will choose to believe them!

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(That green tile? House project #563.)

- Michael and I marked a decade together yesterday. Ten years! It’s been a really good stretch, I’d say.

- Now that Instagram is available for Android, I jumped on the sepia-toned bandwagon. (Username Tlmoments) I’ll probably post some here each week because then I won’t guilt myself so badly about not posting anything of substance for days on end. Here’s a sampling:

Easter time means Cadbury mini eggs. The one-pound bag.

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Prenatal yoga.

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Owen insists all his friends watch Sesame Street together while cozying.

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The view from above. Almost can’t see my feet anymore.

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Someone found some panty liners.

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Happy weekend, all. Next week I promises something more interesting. Like the state of second time around pregnancy boobs. You’re hooked now, aren’t you??

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