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It’s been a long time since I stopped by here. No excuses or anything, it just is what it is. Let’s just dive right in then, shall we?

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Today I am 35-weeks pregnant with our third little guy. I feel fortunate that aside from a really crummy first trimester and the fact that I caught every single illness Owen brought home from preschool this endless winter, this has actually been my easiest pregnancy yet. I’m sleeping, I’m not really waddling, I’ve gained less weight than before and aches and pains have been minimal. Maybe this one knows I can’t possibly handle feeling like crap while chasing the boys around.

I am officially out of cool weather maternity clothes that don’t make me look like a sausage casing, though, so if this warm weather could stick around I would be grateful.

With five weeks to go (and I truly anticipate him staying in the whole five weeks. My babies tend to stick it out till the end.), it’s only just starting to hit me that he’s coming. Soon. Someone recently asked me if I was ready for him. I stared at her a few seconds and then said, I guess I will buy some diapers soon. And…wash some baby clothes? I mean, I do want to set up his nursery and all that jazz. It just hasn’t hit me as pressing yet. Talk to me next week and I might be singing a different tune. I always pack my “just in case” hospital bag at 36 weeks. You know, in case. I won’t need it, though.

As much as I’m excited for him to be here, I’m also not in any rush. Just like I wanted to savor the last days of our family of three before Ryan was born, I am feeling that way again. Before This Little Baby 3 arrives, I want time with my boys. My boys, who alternately drive me crazy and make me want to smother them with love.

Owen, at nearly four, is a BOY now. A smart and curious boy who is writing letters and trying to sound out words. A boy who joined a soccer team and has blossomed in preschool. He is an amazing big brother to Ryan and I am so excited to see him do it again at this age. He is excited for “his” baby and all the help he can give. While he continues to give me tons of “threenager” attitude and challenges my parenting daily, I am overwhelmed with love when I look at him. He is truly an awesome kid.

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At almost 22 months, Ryan is in one of my favorite stages. While he definitely exhibits some Terrible Twos-like behavior, overall he is fantastic. His language has really exploded and he talks to us all day long. Everything is “why?”, and he wants to do absolutely everything Owen does. Monkey see, monkey do. Because of this, he has already climbed onto Owen’s bike, is fearless in most endeavors, and would run head-first onto the soccer field if I let him. After a little rocky transition into a new room, we also moved the boys in together to free up the nursery. After the first month I can say for certain that it was the right idea. They bonded so much more and adore having each other there.

Ryan is my mama’s boy. He will be going a mile a minute, then instantly stop to climb in my lap for a snuggle. I know from experience he will adjust when the baby arrives, especially since he has Owen, but I do worry about him a little bit more. I worry about his transition from baby to big brother, from youngest to middle child. Hopefully it goes well!

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I’m so lucky to be mommy to these boys.

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And I know the gift of a sibling is the best thing I can give them. Come June, my lap and heart are just going to be so full. I can’t wait.

If you don’t follow me on my other various forms of social media, you probably don’t know I’m pregnant again. So, surprise! I’m…21 weeks pregnant. With another boy. I feel as though I have failed you as a blogger in withholding this knowledge so long. My apologies! Here, I’ll summarize for you:

- thought I wasn’t pregnant. Peed on a stick to rule it out because I was meeting friends for drinks. Forgot about the test for 20 minutes. Went to throw out what was obviously a negative test…only it was positive.

- begin to show immediately. By the third pregnancy my abs just gave up.

- start to vomit on a multi-times-a-day basis for nearly three months. That was fun!

- finally start to feel better around December.

- find out we are having another boy, which shocks most people except me. I knew it! Owen cried when we told him because he wanted a girl to create his own version of The Fresh Beat Band, which has two boys and two girls. He sobs we already HAVE two boys. Explain the idea of an all-boy band and he converts to Team Blue. Ryan couldn’t care less, but likes to pat my belly and say, “baby!”

That pretty much brings us to now. Baby boy is kicking and squirming, landing some good punches right to my bladder. He has no name yet, but this time I feel little urgency about it. Can’t leave the hospital without one, so he will be named eventually.

I am overjoyed and totally unprepared for the reality of three children, but come early June that will be our reality!

Sorry for holding out on you, friends. Still love you!

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(Last week at 20 weeks. Complete with raging sinus infection and Breathe Right strip. Keeping it real, folks.)

I blame it on that smell.

It lingers in the fold of his neck, grazing his cheek and wafting up towards me as I nuzzle into him. It’s not the newborn smell anymore, the smell I could never quite pinpoint the origin 0f (though I swear it came from his eyes), but the smell of baby. Sweet, pink, baby smell.

My baby fever is returning. I wasn’t expecting it so soon, but it here it is knocking at the door. It surprises me, this pull towards another baby, because I couldn’t even begin to imagine another so soon after Owen. It wasn’t until he was a year old that I even started to consider it seriously.

Ryan will be eight months in just a few days and I can’t believe he is that much closer to turning one. Maybe it’s because he’s my second and there is so much more going on, but I feel like his first year of life is hurtling by me at top speed. He spoke his first word — “mama” (be still my heart). Yesterday he was thisclose to getting up on his knees, prevented only by one chubby leg getting stuck. It’s all just happening so quickly.

A few months ago I found myself in the “two week wait”, wondering if a positive pregnancy test would be at the end. It wasn’t planned — I felt it was too soon. I wasn’t ready, not at all. While I worried about taking away from Ryan’s babyhood, about throwing yet another baby on Owen, about my milk supply drying up from pregnancy before Ryan was even a year…Michael calmly and happily said another baby wouldn’t be such a bad thing. The more we talked about it, the more I began to think maybe he was right.

As it turns out, I wasn’t pregnant. As I stared at a single pink line on the stick I felt relief, and just enough disappointment to know that our family isn’t full yet.

Something has shifted in the last few weeks. As I watch my boys double over in giggles while they play with each other, my heart swells and whispers to my head, another baby.

It would be a lot, sure. A lot, a lot. I’m tired now, you know? I just got back to my happy weight. I’m still nursing. I just got one out of diapers. There are enough reasons to rationalize it’s too soon, and yet I feel myself starting to ache for the time to be now.

My body, as it turns out, is in control. I didn’t ovulate for 14 months after Owen, and while it appeared I was trying to a few months ago, I’m pretty sure I haven’t yet as my cycles haven’t returned. Because of that, I might be longing for #3 for quite awhile.

Don’t get me wrong, my boys — OH, my boys. I don’t want another baby to replace the two who are growing so quickly. I want another baby because I’ve tasted how delicious this time is and I want more of it.

It’s really the smell’s fault. If only the baby didn’t smell so good.

Although, sometimes the baby smells like yogurt…

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Looks like I’ll probably be posting that 40-week belly picture after all. Oh, this stubborn little boy.

Yes – my due date is still two days away. He’s not late by any means. He’s just not here here yet and we want him to be.

I had an ultrasound today to do a fluid and measurement check. They guessed him to be about 7 lbs 10 oz, give or take a pound, which means he will DEFINITELY be in the eight-pound range like Owen was. At least he hasn’t spent this extra time getting massive, unlike his mother, who is a HOUSE and weighs more than I did last time around.

But even in 2D, oh…was he cute. SO cute. I wanted to nom on those full little lips and kiss those kicky toes. Oh, baby. Please come out and play.

Even though it’s Friday the 13th. You’d be such a good omen on a day filled with “doom”.

30 days to go. Totally excited.

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Happy weekend!

Weeks: 33.5  – 46 days to go.

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Wearing: Anything that stretches. A lot. My disdain for each piece of maternity clothing is growing more and more as I’m down to only a handful that I can squeeze into without flashing random slices of skin. I will probably live in this black maxi dress the remaining weeks, despite the fact it does nothing for my arms. It’s the closest I can get to wearing nothing, though, so it wins. Also, I’m pretty sure I had a VPL situation going on here. I tried my best to avoid it, but if you think I’m putting on a thong right now, you are damn crazy.

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Physically: Oh, guys. I’ve done nothing but complain this week. Everyone is entitled to at least one REALLY whiny pregnancy week, right? (Just humor me here.) Overall, I do feel good. At my last weigh-in I had gained 26 pounds, which is a little bit less than I had around this point last time, but my top half has finally succumbed to the weight gain and has surrendered. That above picture is actually doing a good job at hiding the double chin and marshmallow arms. It’s where I always gain weight so I guess I’ve accepted it as much as I can. It’s still…fluffy, though. Blech.

The biggest challenge has been my left foot, which remains swollen while the right doesn’t. I had it checked out by a podiatrist to rule out any infection from when I had the plantars wart removed, and he thinks the pain and swelling are caused by me walking funny to avoid the pain of the wart, and therefor causing the bone on top of the foot to press into and bruise the tendon. There’s not too much I can do about it except keep an eye on it and ice it every so often, but it’s the source of my irritation lately. I’m just so aware of it all the time and it constantly is uncomfortable. I couldn’t enjoy my yoga class last night — something I look forward to all week — because almost every pose caused my foot to hurt. Again, blech.

Finally, this weather. OH MY GOODNESS. Summer came on with a bang and dumped heat and humidity on our little state. I love summer, I do, but I guess I blocked out how disgusting it makes pregnant me. I had lunch with a friend yesterday and felt like I had to apologize for basically sweating all over the place. Attractive it is not. It adds to the swelling, too. I told Michael that if we go on to have a third baby, I think I’d like to plan on being mega-pregnant in the winter. Apparently I like to torture myself by having summer babies.

Emotions:Ok! Enough complaining! Really! Emotionally, I’m feeling good. I still have bittersweet moments when I think about Owen’s world changing, but I’m coming around to seeing all the good things about that and not focusing on the fact that the original baby is growing up. He’s been such an amazingly wonderful kid lately, that watching him grow has been awesome. What keeps me awake is worrying about silly things, like who will be available if my labor is going quickly and I can’t get in touch with my mother-in-law to watch Owen. I guess that’s not silly, but it’s silly to worry about it at night.

Emotions surrounding the baby are mostly excitement. I cannot wait to meet this boy! Six weeks seems so long when I’m feeling this ready. I think part of it is I’m not nervous about labor and birth this time around, I just want to do it and have him here. Owen was born on a full moon and there’s a full moon on July 3rd. That’s 12 days before my due date, but if the moon wants to help us out again, I’d be totally fine with that.

 

Preparations: Baby will eventually be in Owen’s current room, so other than obtaining some art for the walls and raising the crib mattress again, there’s not a whole lot that needs to be done in there. This weekend we bought furniture for Owen’s new room, so he will move next week! (pics to come when the room is done.) Once he’s settled, I will get busy washing all the baby cloths and swaddling blankets and get that all set up. Around the 36-week mark I will pack my bag just in case and start setting up the baby stuff (swing, bouncy, bassinet) so Owen can get used to them being around. And then…we wait.

Name: I think we’re pretty close on a name. I hope. I really do.

- According to WordPress, this is my 50th Randomness post. That’s a lot of word vomit.

- Nesting has kicked in. I kept waiting for it, thinking maybe it wouldn’t come on as strongly this time around, but I was wrong. Suddenly I’m obsessed with getting Owen’s new room painted (this week!) and moving him into it. There’s a furniture sale at a local place this weekend and my mom and sister will be visiting. They didn’t know it until now, but I’m dragging them there to buy a dresser and a mattress. I’ve already bought a rug and will just need bedding and some accessories to make the Big Boy room a reality. Wee!

I’m going to leave the nursery as is, save for some artwork on the wall and possibly something hanging with baby’s name on it, so there won’t be much work to do there. At some point I do need to tackle the task of unpacking and washing all the teeny tiny clothes that Owen wore and putting them in the dresser. I’m actually excited about that.

The last project involves cleaning out our fourth bedroom that is currently serving as an office slash catch-all for random stuff. This will be converted to the office slash guest room (which is currently upstairs and the room that will be the Big Boy room), but will probably be pretty boring and unfinished for awhile. With seven weeks and change till baby is due, I need to get a move on. Like, yesterday.

- My foot is totally messed up. The plantars wart was removed (ewwww), but is taking a long time to heal. It’s still painful to walk on so I know I’ve been turning  my foot at an odd angle. As a result, my left foot is swollen and feels bruised on top. I’m sure part of the swelling could be pregnancy related, but I’m pretty sure it has more to do with walking like I have a peg leg. Sandals don’t provide enough support so I’m forced to wear my boat shoes, which while super cute, are not what I want to wear on hot days. Any amount of standing or walking irritates it, so I’ve been spending a lot of time icing and elevating.

This didn’t happen with Owen, although the sciatica was worse in terms of pain. I’m stating to get a little grumpy about the end of my pregnancies, though, and the gimpiness that tends to come along with them. Yes, I’m totally complaining. But my foooot. It huuuurts.

- In non-whiny news, my house looks super neat and clean and that’s lovely. We had company yesterday from out of town and I spent the two hours before they arrived making sure everything was in order. I said to Michael that I should probably pretend once a week that company was coming, and just clean as much as I can in two hours. Of course this will only work if he’s home, but  maybe it’s something I’ll try to do. Until, you know, July. Because I’m sure that idea will TOTALLY work with a toddler AND a newborn. Right.

- This morning Owen sat down in the living room with a book about becoming a big brother. I stood quietly behind him and listened to him talk about it. “Baby brother coming! I BIG brother!”

My heart, you guys. It totally just exploded.

- Oh, must go. Owen is using his crayons to color on his booster seat. Awesome.

- Last weekend I hopped on a train and headed down to New York City. It was going to be a whirlwind trip — I’d actually end up spending more hours on the train than in the actual city, but I’m so glad I went. My blogging buddy from way back, Jess, was going to be in town with her family, and we had never met in real life. What a perfect opportunity to join up with the lady formerly known as Clink (Alena) for an old-school blogger meet-up. It was lovely, to say the least.

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They were kind enough to tell me otherwise, but Pregnancy Face is back and in full effect. Yaaaaay.

- Remember I told you how my foot was bothering me? It got so bad that I decided to suck it up and make an old lady podiatrist appointment. When I arrived, I sat in the waiting room with five other people. I was the youngest by at least 40 years and most of them eyed me suspiciously. After I filled out my paperwork, I was led to an exam room, where I got to sit and stare at this shoe display:

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Orthopedic shoe heaven. This is basically my worst nightmare. I decided right then and there to patent a line of non-orthopedic looking orthopedic shoes for Older Women Who Love Shoes and Can’t Stand To Have Elephant Feet. (Trademark! Copyright! Mine, mine, mine!)

OK, fine. I’m being dramatic about the whole thing. But it turned out that I don’t have a corn, I have a plantars wart, which sounds so much more disgusting than a corn. The doctor told me it’s common to pick up the virus that causes it, but then it is exasperated by stress, weight change causing pressure on the foot and hormonal changes. So, uh, basically I’m a walking cocktail for it right now. He put some stuff on it that’s supposed to cause the skin to blister and push the wart out and I go back next week for a follow up. GROSS.

- I have successfully taught Owen to answer with my first choice name when I ask him what we should name Baby Brother. Michael still hasn’t committed, so I needed some back up. When I have Owen perform his trick, I’m met with an eye roll from Michael. Hehe. There’s only 10 weeks left to go…this kid needs a name!

- We weren’t able to confirm a sitter, so tonight’s couples date night has turned into a big pizza party at our friend’s house with all the kids. There will be six adults and six kids in total, plus two in utero. Definitely different from the date nights of the past, but I’m really looking forward to it.

- Owen is cutting the first of his four 2-year molars, so he’s been…pleasant. And congested. It’s affected his mood and his sleep and gah, I am tired. Last night was an epic battle to get him to go to sleep. Screaming and sobbing, wanting nothing more than to be held on the couch and refusing to sleep in his crib. I finally went in my room and lay him down on my bed…and he was instantly asleep. I left him, surrounded by pillows, for an hour or so, before moving him back to his crib. He woke around midnight crying  again, but this time Michael was able to sooth him back down.

We hastily attempted a night with his mattress on the floor once when he acted like this before, but it wasn’t really talked about as being a Big Boy Bed transition and didn’t go well. But I’m starting to think that he actually sleeps better in a bed at this point, and we should stop dragging our feet and do it. So…maybe a mattress purchase is on the agenda this weekend.

And a nap.

For ME.

Happy weekend!

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.

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